From little things, big things grow.
Rewind back to when I graduated from La Trobe University with a Bachelor of Journalism … if you had of told me that in 2017, I’d be running my own professional writing/PR business, I would have laughed. If you then told me I’d also be running an online news hub/community for young people and women called This Woman Can, I probably would’ve walked away, convinced that you were telling me fibs.
I’m more than happy to admit that this was definitely not the plan, but here I am. Looking back, I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs and while there have been some truly testing times, I wouldn’t change a thing. All of the lessons, regardless of how hard they’ve been to journey through, have been worth it because they’ve led me to where I am today and shaped the person I’ve become.
As a creative and a writer, I’m guilty of overthinking. I constantly think back to the days when I was fresh out of uni when my fancy pants ‘Project Manager’ title really translated to having to make 100 cold calls each day … or the days when I was forced to fetch coffees for others (and when I say “forced”, I really mean I just failed to stand my ground and say no) … or the time when I left one fairly stable job for “the dream job” that turned out to be a complete disaster on every level. And trust me, I don’t say that lightly!
I have made more mistakes than I can count and I’ve failed over and over again and I’m sure I will continue to do so moving forward. To quote the iconic basketball star, Michael Jordan:
“I’ve failed over and over again in my life… that’s why I succeed.”
That brings me to This Woman Can, the online community and news hub I launched in March last year (2016). In so many ways, my entrepreneurial journey began with that complete disaster mentioned above where my “dream job” became nothing but a nightmare. Don’t you just love the power of hindsight? Well, hindsight now tells me that the role in question was never really going to be anything but a disaster.
I accepted a role as a spokesperson when I fear public speaking. Even though a few months in, I knew the role wasn’t right for me, I persisted with it because it was easier to do so. Until I just couldn’t do it anymore and everything became a struggle. Waking up, the commute, caring about what the day ahead would bring … until one day, I just gave in and handed in my resignation.
That period of my life was one of the toughest I’ve ever faced. I was trying to digest what had just happened while trying to kickstart a business – no money was coming in, I didn’t know how to generate clients and my self-confidence took a massive hit. I’ve always been incredibly blessed to have very supportive parents and friends but at the end of the day, no one was going through what I was. I felt very alone.
I remember searching for a community, or anyone to talk with, to share my story. Someone who’d be able to say: “I’ve been there and done that, things are going to be pretty crappy for a while but the sun will rise again and you’ll actually look back and just laugh.” I couldn’t find what I needed at the time so 6 months into my business, I created it with This Woman Can. Thankfully, I’d managed to get to a point by then where the professional writing/PR business was steady.
At This Woman Can, our mission is to help young people and women to realise and maximise their career and life potential. We encourage young people and women from all walks of life to share their story and to be vulnerable in an environment where they’re safe. We’re all about women supporting other women and we’re growing.
We launched our website late last year and the feedback has been phenomenal. Each day, more and more women approach us and tell us just how much they love what we’ve created and ask how they can be involved. Like everything, This Woman Can will continue to grow and evolve in ways I probably couldn’t even imagine when I first set out to create this supportive community. I can’t wait to live the next chapter in our story.