Wonder Mom: Manasi Gangan Helps Sleepless Newborns
This wonder mom is the president of Nested Bean Inc, a Zen Swaddle company that helps sleepless newborns. While eight months pregnant, waddling from one meeting to the next on the 23rd floor of her corporate office headquarters, she knew that there had to be other ways of earning a living. In hoping to find a more fulfilling career than creating exec summary reports, she was surprised to find inspiration as she cared for her second son. Creating the Zen Sleep System™, Manasi helps sleepless newborns with smartly designed swaddles and Sleeping Sacks®. Helping other parents cope with sleeplessness by harnessing the power of touch was an idea powerful enough to run with and gave her all the reasons she needed to take the risk and live a life of meaning on her own terms.
What is it that do you do?
I upended a thriving career at a prominent corporation in the financial sector to follow a dream. I now help save the sanity of new parents by offering them a helping hand as they struggle to put their newborn to sleep.
How did your business come into being and how did you know it was the one to run with?
Aki, my newborn, would wake up after 5 minutes after being put down to sleep. I knew something wasn’t right. One such day when I intuitively placed a beanie baby on his body, instead of my hand, I had him fooled into a few extra minutes of independent sleep. Seeing how his sleep improved as I mimicked my touch, I read published papers from touch research scientists, met psycho-physiologists to learn this: “Touch can be simulated to achieve the same calming benefits as touch from a human because our skin receptors cannot tell the difference, and therefore trigger the same soothing neurological response as human touch itself.” From there, my business was born into something that helps sleepless newborns.
How did you fund your business?
Nested Bean is a self funded business. My husband and I have been very conservative with our personal finances. Had that not been the case, it would have been a lot more difficult to fund, especially through the challenges during the startup phase.
How long was it until you turned a profit?
Nested Bean was profitable in its first year, but I don’t count that as it was just me as the only full time employee. The company was able to fund its growth and build a team, which required capital injection. It wasn’t until Year 5 that we turned a profit after having built a fully functioning operational team.
How has having your two boys transformed your lifestyle?
Gosh! How has it not would be a shorter answer. It has transformed my life in every way possible. I’ve gone from spending endless hours watching reruns and shopping with friends to valuing every minute of free time. I’ve gone from caring for myself only, to putting myself last. It has also changed my professional life, too. The perspective it has given me has made me a better manger… I hope.
5 words to describe your personal sense of style?
Something that withstands passing trends.
How do you find time to get ready and maintain your style?
To maintain any semblance of style, I had to rely on some hacks. For example; an unexpected spit up called for a nice neutral jacket, no time for makeup called for a tinted moisturizer, a couple good shades of lipsticks in the car always came to my rescue during out of office meetings. As the kids got older and the business got more and more stable there were of course more minutes to spare but having classic pieces meant that I didn’t always need to keep up with the trends and still look well put together.
Where do you get your energy?
That’s easy, from having single minded and relentless pursuit of our goals. And genes.
What is your dream super power?
My dream superpower would be the ability of clone myself. Now that would be cool!
What inspires you other than your boys?
Other leaders who have a certain perspective in how they exhibited poise, strength and far sight in following their dreams while keeping their feet firmly planted on the ground.
Who are your role models and why?
- Steve Jobs for his intuitive ability to know what the consumer wants and his surgical precision in decision making.
- Elon Musk for dreaming the impossible dream and his relentlessness despite grave odds.
- My mom for her quiet strength and resilience.
Any words that you live by?
Let your reach be farther than your grasp: Our brains change when we achieve what we initially perceive as impossible. But in order to achieve the impossible, we have to first dream of it.
A little pain hurt no one: I believe that people are too afraid to get out of their comfort zone because there may be some immediate pain or discomfort involved.
Live and Let Live: I don’t like to judge others because of their beliefs. We have to be more tolerant of others and let them live by their rules and live our lives based on our rules.
What is your favorite thing to do with your children?
Go on nature trails, play board games, and teach them good values that they will carry for their entire lives.
What would you do with more time?
Now you are teasing me. Depends, how much more time are we talking about?
How do you balance family and work?
I have realized that there is no perfect balance. You do the best you can to strike a balance. In fact, I don’t like the word balance as it means these are two separate parts of my life. I prefer the “work life harmony” instead.
What do you do to relax?
I find Yoga helps ease the tension in my body, and music as the perfect way to unwind.
What time do you get up and go to bed on a typical day?
I am up at 4:30 AM and I am in bed by 10PM on typical days.
What do you typically eat for breakfast?
I am creature of habit. It’s Post cereal for me every day. Weekends are more fun, when we all meet in the kitchen to make brunch together from the children’s recipe book.
Coffee, tea, wine, tequila, or other?
I gave up alcohol a few years back … but if I did, it would of course be WINE!
What is something that you struggle with fitting into your lifestyle and how do you deal with it?
That one is easy… time for myself. Isn’t that the first thing that goes out the window after you have kids?
Dentist appointments, too. Recently when flossing was found to be overrated, I was the one who screamed the loudest “I SAID SO.” Yes, health visits more of a once in a 3-year thing for me, too.
Any advice for new moms, or moms who are struggling to make it all work?
Don’t sweat the little stuff. And most of it is little stuff even if it feels big at the time.
ABOUT WONDER MOMS:
From Sheryl Sandberg to Marissa Mayer, women are not sacrificing themselves for their kids like they used to. Why? If you ask me, a confident and happy woman makes a better mother and role model. And whatever it takes to get her feeling that way should be done. But as a mother myself, I know how hard it is to maintain a sense of style, run a successful business and to feel like an okay parent all at the same time.
Women who are flawlessly manifesting this enchanting trifecta are the new wonder women of our times and they are my idols. So I got to wondering how they actually do it all and have it all. Is it really possible? Are they hiding something? Do they secretly never floss? I hope to answer these questions and to give the rest of us moms motivation to stay true to ourselves, live fulfilling lives and love our families as much as ever through interviews with moms who are already doing it. These are the Wonder Moms.
If you know a woman who fits this mold, please share her info with me on Twitter @metromomclub