My word in 2015 was ‘Build’. I completed on a flat in London; we recruited more people into the Stemettes team; about 4000 girls attended events, workshops and talks from the UK and across Europe. As hoped in 2014 my network of advisors and mentors grew, I started keeping receipts and I grew in experience. There were plenty of unplanned and unexpected turns of events, as with any building project.
In September, I handed in my notice and left my job at a global investment bank to ‘build’ on Stemettes. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and I had to give more of my day and headspace to building Stemettes. The transition has been smoother than I had anticipated and has opened up opportunities I didn’t realise existed.
Looking to 2016, it is these opportunities that are spurring me on and motivating me for what will be my year of Push. I don’t often compare myself to others, but I do like to keep an eye on my personal progress. This was much easier to do when I was in a big company and part of a cohort. We were all heading in the same direction, at similar places and had a path of progress laid out in front of us. Corporate title by corporate title, project by project we were all on our way up.
Now I have freedom to forge a path without the safety of rules, hierarchies and structures. This is great, because the sky is the limit. It is not great for measuring progress. I’m no longer part of a defined cohort; I’m going to have to get creative with charting my progress. I like problem-solving, so this will be a hoot.
This year, I’m setting some personal benchmarks and progress markers. This will be a ‘control’ year on the experiment that is my life and my ambitions. Push means I’m going to work hard and give things a good go – in business, in health and in relationships.
I’ve already tested optimising certain parts of my life, in keeping with other founders. September through December I wore the same thing to work everyday to save time & headspace picking outfits each morning. I did stints of having the same thing for lunch each day and cooking similar meals for dinner on nights when I was at home. I kept a daily to-do list of 3 things – extra items where bonuses. I downloaded Sunrise to keep my calendars clean, Mailbox/Inbox to keep my inbox clean and Trainline & Citymapper to ease my copious amounts of travel. Experiments are fun and it was great to tweak my technical setup and see life become easier and enjoyable.
Push = Persist Until Something Happens.
I’ll look back on 2015 fondly and will remember the magic that was Outbox Incubator – 115 young women, 32 startups and one 12 bedroom house – the best Summer ever. I’m looking forward to building on 2015 in 2016.
I’m looking forward to pushing myself to do the best for my team. I’ve learnt lessons managing and leading, hiring and recruiting and communicating with them. In 2016 I’m going to work harder to serve them, build them up and empower them.
I’m looking to pushing myself and my definition of good health. I had no hospital visits in 2015, which I’m proud of. I’ve recently got access to a free gym & lots of good food – it will be great to make the most of these and begin healthy habits. Being a founder is tough enough – exercise will be a good release and help me keep balance.
I’m looking forward to pushing myself to optimise each day and push myself towards my limits. Magic happens outside of the comfort zone and at worst I want to teeter on the edge of my comfort zone. New opportunities will put me out of my depth and I’m bracing myself to enjoy them and continue learning.
Push me, I dare you. Let’s see what happens.