Be scared – but do it anyway

One of my favourite parts of Miss Collective and SheSays events is meeting amazing women during the pre-event drinks and networking. Last week at our Female Founders event with Cyan Ta’eed, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting brilliant women from all sorts of sectors and professions – IT, data analysis, tech start ups, digital agency and even a business owner in the niche medical tourism field! Networking doesn’t come naturally to me but I’ve never felt intimidated at our events – somehow, without fail, our attendees are consistently friendly and interesting to talk to.

But moving on to the main event – the super-smart and super-successful Cyan Ta’eed, co-founder and executive director of digital marketplace Envato. Which is basically a one-stop shop for everything people need for their creative projects.

Cyan and her husband Collis have built a worldwide success with Envato over the past 10 years, and the story of their journey is equally as inspiring as hearing about the leadership that Cyan and Collis continue to deliver to their organisation in it’s quite unique culture.

Seeing Cyan speak – a self-assured and successful woman – you’d find it hard to believe she could ever lack confidence. Yet she recounted a marvellous story of sitting in a room full of CEOs, of some of the biggest and best businesses in Australia, and closing up when asked a question. If it can happen to her, it can happen to any of us – and the inspiring part of that story is that Cyan didn’t let that stop her contributing to the discussion in that meeting and leaving her mark.

One of the core messages of Cyan’s talk was to get over your fear of failure. Being an entrepreneur is a muscle and like any other skill, you need to practice it to get really good at it. Cyan has launched two other startups prior to founding Envato and learnt valuable skills each time that helped Envato take off. She has continued to launch other business ventures whilst also constantly evolving the Envato offer. Practice makes perfect! Give up on the idea that failure is a negative.

Another key piece of advice from Cyan is to figure out what it is you want to do in life and start doing it. Now. And a favourite quote to sum this up? “Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be” (Clementine Paddleford).

Be scared, that’s okay, but act anyway. Feeling uncomfortable is part of life.

Follow Cyan’s lead and start something now.