Natasha Hooper is an advocate for gender equality and is proud to be BlueChilli’s SheStarts Program Director for the upcoming 2019 program.
On behalf of the BlueChilli and SheStarts team, I’d like to wish you a relaxing and energising holiday season as we approach the final days of 2018 – and I’d also like to introduce myself as the new Program Director of BlueChilli’s flagship accelerator program, SheStarts.
Throughout my career working across corporate law, finance and government, I’ve spent most of my career wishing I could see more female leaders thriving in senior positions.
Prior to stepping into this role with SheStarts, I thought I was living the dream, working in the whimsical and weird world of fashion in New York.
Around the same time, I had the opportunity to come back home to Australia, and help propel a platform to see more women succeed. I remember being so excited, I couldn’t sleep.
After some reflection, I decided to listen to my gut and came back to Sydney to contribute to Australia’s startup ecosystem and female entrepreneurship.
What helped me make this decision was my ability to listen to my intuition and understand my desire to make an impact.
It was these sorts of gear-shifts in life that inspired the theme for our event in Sydney last week. On 12 December, SheStarts hosted a live-streamed event in Sydney on Finding Your Creative Confidence in partnership with education game-changer, General Assembly.
As we approach 2019, we wanted to create a safe space for our community to reflect on how they can choose to be in the driver’s seat of their lives, and learn from boundary-pushing women on how to nurture your interests and take action to realise your potential.
What does creative confidence mean to us?
It’s about believing in your ability to create change in the world around you.
It is about recognising the power that each of us holds to make an impact, learning to honour our instincts and enjoying the journey. Creative confidence is the foundation of an entrepreneurial mindset and is at the heart of positive change. Learn more about Creative Confidence here.
We had the privilege of hearing from, Valerie Khoo, CEO of the Australian Writers’ Centre and the City of Sydney’s Curator of the 2019 Sydney Lunar Festival, on her journey from accountant to visual artist – and her firm belief that following your creative curiosity should be your guideposts in your life journey.
As someone who has navigated five industry changes, over eight years, across five cities, I feel like Valerie has given me the tools to weave together my patchwork of experiences.
After Valerie’s empowering and enlightening talk, I facilitated a discussion with Valerie, three of our SheStarts alumni – Danielle Owen Whitford founder of Pioneera, Dr Claire Jenkins founder of VetChat, Jessica Christiansen-Franks co-founder of Neighbourlytics, ANZ champion, Gwenda Phillips and Julie Trell, head of Telstra accelerator Muru-D, and SheEO Australia Lead.
We spoke about developing creative confidence, following your curiosity, tackling imposter syndrome, having a growth mindset and getting the courage to leap.
Here are our top five takeaways from Finding Your Creative Confidence that I know the SheStarts team will be reflecting on over the holiday period!
- Be different
- Follow creative urges
- Don’t let imposter syndrome hold you back
- Understand what you’re bringing to the table
- Give yourself permission to dream big
1. Be different
Don’t be afraid of being different and challenging the status quo.
Seek out team members from different backgrounds, and unique perspectives to create a culture of constant learning, and better decision making.
2. Follow creative urges
Everyone is a genius. Your genius is what comes naturally to you. Not everything has to be hard.
3. Don’t let imposter syndrome hold you back
We all think we are imposters. That feeling doesn’t go away. Acknowledge it, and keep moving forward.
4. Understand what you’re bringing to the table
We take our personal history with us, wherever we go, to every interaction. The best thing that we can do is be kind to each other, and support each other. We have a responsibility to try to bring out the best in each other.
5. Give yourself permission to dream
Give in to those questions that pop into your mind. Lean into what makes you curious and explore where it takes you. It might lead nowhere. It might lead somewhere magical.
For me, my curiosity has led me to the magic of SheStarts and BlueChilli.
Wishing you a relaxing and rejuvenating holiday season. I am excited to connect with you all at our events in the new year.
Looking forward to your game-changing ideas in 2019.
Natasha is a very curious lawyer and lover of all things new and shiny. She started her career as a corporate lawyer, and has has spent the last five years navigating her way through senior strategy and people roles across banking, foreign affairs and new media. Career highlights include working in international law in Moscow, designing an innovation strategy for one of Australia’s big 4 banks, advising former Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Australia’s relationship with Europe and bouncing between London, New York and LA managing VICE Media’s luxury fashion ad agency.
Join SheStarts & General Assembly for our second workshop, as part of our Art of the Possible series. On Wednesday the 30th of January, we’re sharing how the lean startup methodology can help you to make a difference in the world. Get your free ticket here.