Hello there!

Stephanie here for our second week of the Bird blog! I’m both the shorter half and the New York half of Bird. It’s exciting to have this new phase of the site up and running, and be able to share a bit more about ourselves and our musings, as well as the things we come across in our days trawling the internet (I do spend too much time online and now there is a use for it!).

Magdalena touched on our live panel last week “Congrats On Your Failure” and what a huge undertaking it was to get our first event up and running. It was such an amazing experience that really made both of us realize we could succeed in areas we’ve never had experience in before.

While putting on the event was a learning experience, the actual night was too. What an amazing group of women we had speaking … all four were so genuine and open in sharing their stories of failure. As someone who often struggles to share personal stories, I admire that so much in others. For those of you who couldn’t attend I thought I’d put together a few nuggets of wisdom from the evening from my perspective.  

Photograph by Matt Murray

Photograph by Matt Murray

Kippy Miller, founder of the amazing Kippy's Ice Cream Shop in Venice spoke about ego. Particularly a time when she turned down an investor who wanted to grow her number of stores, because she wanted to be the one to do it. As she said, “It was my ego that kept me from seeing what was right in front of me.”

Such a powerful thing to admit - and something I know I am guilty of. Getting help, having a team, working with others and reaching out does not weaken you or your goal! 

Holly Schlesinger, now a writer for Bob's Burgers talked about getting bad feedback on one of her scripts when she first graduated. It affected her so much that she didn’t write again for years, convincing herself that she couldn’t do it - to the point that she actually took herself back to writing classes. 

To hear this from someone who has a job doing the thing that she loves was so comforting. There is a lot of fear that comes from creativity (according to this article it also means you’re smart!). With my photography especially I’m constantly talking myself down, believing that I can’t do it, that I don’t know how. Holly’s story really spoke to me for this reason. 

Ann Friedman, freelance journalist and co-host of the podcast Call Your Girlfriend, spoke about valuing your time, your experience and your work. Her specific example was a time she spoke at a conference for free, only to find out the organizer was charging a lot for the tickets. 

When you’re starting out, or your work is in a creative field doing work for free is a given. When do you start charging for your work? What is the value of your work and your time? These are such tough questions, but something I’d love to talk more about and have yet to find answers to myself. Let’s get a discussion going!

Sarita Bhatt, Head of Digital Brand Experience at Sonos told so many brilliant anecdotes about the winding path she’s taken to get to where she is today. (We’re locking down an interview with her in the future so stay tuned.) But the thing she said that struck me the most came during our Q&A. I can’t remember the exact question but it was about the differences of failing as a man and a woman. Sarita said, “Men are hired on potential. Women are hired on proof.” This was like a “tah-dah” moment in my brain. 

As women we so feel like we have to prove we can do something, to speak more loudly, to show more skills, just to show that we know as much as men. This is a whole other conversation to talk about (future blog ideas!) but I just wanted to share the statment here to get you guys thinking as well.

Even two weeks later I’m still inspired by the stories that were shared, the event was a bit of a turning point for me and I can’t wait to see where Bird takes us next. 

 - S