Posted By Sheryl Thai On 16 December 2016
**Language warning, close window now if you do not wish to read curse words and please do not email me to complain about my potty mouth**
Yesterday, I spoke at FuckUp Nights in Melbourne and fuck was it glorious.
FUN, in short, is the exact opposite of a TED talk. No mind-blowing ideas but instead we talk about real shame, failure and bloody bad decisions. It was glorious because it was if I was given permission to gloat about how much of a fuck up I was and not be judged. In fact, it was probably my first speaking gig that I got everyone laughing real hard. (hmmm..)
To prepare for this talk, I actually scoured through 7 years worth of journal entries to read all about the shit times I’ve been through. Ironically, I ended up being disappointed that I couldn’t find a fuckup that was so huge that it destroyed me. I hate to throw a cliche at you but every fuckup has undoubtedly made me grow. Failure is a must on the road to success.
Really, failure is actually one of the best ways we learn. The people that we deem as successful, I can bet you that when they fail they get good at pondering: What happened here? What could I have done differently? How can I fix this? How can I turn this into an opportunity?
It’s only through self-evaluation that we learn how to make better decisions. It’s tough because no one ever wants to admit that they’ve failed or made a mistake but when we take a step back and really evaluate the situation, accept it for the fuck up it was – is when we start to grow.
So let me share a few failures that I’ve made at The League this year. *deep breath*
I overestimated what I could achieve in a year. I thought the idea of a tinder-like app to connect female entrepreneurs was what everyone wanted and needed – I was wrong. I thought it would be easier to raise seed funding from investors mainly based on the notion that we were going to change the world for the better and everyone had the same dream – I was wrong. As much as I feel like a failure for not having raised any funding or growing our team to be able to help more women across the globe, there are many lessons I’ve gained from this – we have gained from this.
After meeting with investors and startup founders in the U.S, their feedback and experiences led us to launching a better solution; Find Your Five. We have refocused The League into a organisation that has a technology backbone that allows for scalability without the overhead costs meaning that we can lower our subscription costs so that more women at startup stage can afford to attend these life-changing meet ups.
Wasted time, effort and frustration comes hand in hand in being an entrepreneur. The ones that we can see stand out from the crowd are the ones that take the time to sit down and really evaluate the mistakes and why things aren’t moving ahead. “Pivoting” or changing your strategy as soon as you can see it won’t work takes real guts and the ability to admit that you were wrong. Of course, there are clever ways to go about it and tell your customers so they don’t see you as flakey. That’s what marketing is for.
Now, for our announcement. As you can imagine, Run The World Conferences are tedious to organise, after the last one in August, we weren’t even sure if we would run one ever again. Of course, after hearing all the stories of inspiration, new collaborations and businesses that have sparked since the conference, we got that itch again.
Say hello to RUN THE WORLD TECH-FORMATION. Having immersed ourselves in the tech world this year, we have experienced how females are being under represented in this sector and it’s not improving fast enough. We are still seeing poor numbers of women in technology and STEM, something needs to be done.
This is our initiative, starting in Melbourne, to inspire the next generation of females in tech. I know it’s Christmas time and there’s so much you could be spending your hard earned dollars on but by purchasing tickets now it will support us to:
1) Attract and bring in high profile International female tech entrepreneurs to share their stories. This is important because big dreams lead to people thinking without limitations that will ultimately lead to ground breaking future innovations.
2) Inspire the next generation of girls to explore tech as a career path. We are committed to giving a minimum of 50 free tickets to girls in primary schools to spark curiosity and ignite possibilities in this realm.
I hope you’re excited about this as much as we are. If you want to support us in any way – sponsors, speaker suggestions, volunteering or even just to tell us that you’re excited too – drop us a line.
Ok now go buy a ticket. I’m going to take a couple weeks break from writing, take care and stay peachy!
Sheryl Thai | CEO