My guiding word for 2017 was Scale. It was an overwhelming year. So much so that I let it roll into 2018 without as much of a roundup blog. My word for 2018 was Nudge. My ‘remix’ of nudge theory was to make small intentional changes in order to help me better cope with any sort of repeat of 2017.
- I started a bullet journal (will write about this in an upcoming post)
- I was more intentional in personal relationships with family & friends.
- I went fully vegan. (there will be a post on this too)
- I proactively sponsored people outside of Stemettes’ programmes.
- I was so so so much better with my finances.
The bullet journal helped keep track of this. It kept track of everything I needed to do, my ups and downs & lessons learnt. Nothing needed to happen in 2018. But it did.
There were so many ups. An honorary doctorate from Kent University. My cousin getting married (and me getting to see my Grandma for the first time in ages). An honorary Fellowship of the British Science Association. Siblings turning 18 and 21. Being on lists like Inspiring Fifty, Forbes 50 Women in Tech, Business Insiders’s Coolest People in Tech & Elle Magazine’s Disruptors. I keynoted lots – around the world, and in London. I was also commissioned to host a Podcast with the Evening Standard.
The downs came too. The average length of time some companies take to pay us caused cash flow issues at Stemettes. Our popularity saw impact numbers soar, but also turned into big pressure on the team. We had to start to look at ourselves as a proper company, rather than a startup holding everything together with string and tape.
Growth came in the form of talking to my brain trust (my group of advisors) and people I admire. The Stemette Godmothers helped us through rough patches. Chilling with contemporaries reminded me to count my blessings, but also to spend more time working strategically rather than tactically.
As with every year, I learnt more about how humans, processes and structures work. Being on new boards gave me insights and understandings about inner workings of society and organisations.
The nudges worked. I now feel like a fully fledged adult. I have an accounting team, have delegated things like speaking & appearances to agents and have developed more patience. I’m a bit more comfortable with the sphere of influence I have.
To Infinity & Beyond?
So 2019, for me will be the year of ‘Beyond’. I’m venturing beyond my normal boundaries and spheres of influence. I’m looking beyond the realms of what I’m doing now and what I’m currently capable of.
I’ll be actively looking beyond the UK to do more Stemettes-style work and influencing. We’re already planning events in Frankfurt and Poland. I’ll even be in Cape Town for International Women’s Day in March. I’ve been meaning to do some work with a group in Bosnia for ages too.
I’ll be working beyond event formats. Working on blogs, books, TV and now a podcast – all formats I’ve never really been comfortable with, despite their importance. Work has already begun on the podcast and book. I have accountability partners for the rest.
I’ll finally allow myself to look beyond #GirlsinSTEM. In February it will have been 6 years of Stemettes. I’ve been alarmingly focused and disciplined. Not too much time has been spent on adjacent conversations like people of colour in tech, wider gender equality or even the different types of people who should be studying at Oxford University. There are many unexplored parts of my sphere of influence. I’m going beyond my norm.
Of course, my eventual aim is to become a hermit, but I need to do enough to deserve the hours in my home. There’s still so much that needs changing and fixing in the world. I’m going beyond so that I can say I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt and changed the game.
Here’s to an incredible year. Here’s to Veganuary (give it a try). Here’s to better cash flows!