So I promised to blog atleast once a month and I kinda failed that but hey ho I’ve been busy running a business yo? Oh and just hobnobbing with the Deputy PM: Nick Clegg at the Wayra Unltd official opening! I got to talk to him about my journey into Discoverables and then also met the minster of Civil society Nick Hurd the same day at the Big Issue Invest celebration and then also met the CEO of 02 Ronnan Dunne the same week. I mean if that was just one week then you can only imagine what the last 2 months have been like.
On the 9th September I started my journey at Wayra Unltd and started a new chapter in my life of being full time Discoverables. The last month or so has been so crazy and awesome. A huge big flat blurr that I’m now having to refer to my calendar to document all the the things I’ve done and learned.
Bootcamp week was epic! My co-founder/chief director Eugenie was away in the states so I was the sole face of Discoverables for the first 2 weeks and If i’m honest with you I was pretty scared. Would anyone take me seriously? What if I didn’t do Discoverables justice? What if I just made no sense?! Well everyone in Wayra is just so amazing and friendly that I actually had nothing to worry about and if anything I got a lot of encouragement.
On the third day of Bootcamp I had to pitch Discoverables in less then 2 minutes to a room full of potential mentors/advisors! Followed by a great networking event. Two huge things I realised about myself that week was I’m really bad at scouting out potential people to talk to at these events. I’m one of those people that stand there looking awkward with the “SOMEONE PLEASE TALK TO ME” face. However once someone grabs me or I somehow manage to smooth my way in, I’m great at carrying a conversation or even ending it if it’s a tad boring by just handing out the business card, a great tip I learned from Oli Barret.
I also attended another event that week hosted by Nesta for “job innovators” where we got to “speed date” work programme providers. This was a rather strange and unusual experience for me as this time I was pitching to people from my old company I worked for and spent months hiding what I was really up too when I kept booking off days to work on Discoverables!
I’ve also been upping my business basics by attending very useful classes in the academy all sorts of boring but important stuff like law/ip/finance/tax. The amount of stuff I’ve learned over the last month is just awesome. I’ve come to realise Discoverables is not a nice little project, it’s a real deal business and with that comes responsibilities and one of them is hiring others.
So we have finally recruited for a developer! It’s an extremely strange experience when you are on the other side of the table. I learned lots which made me realise why the work we do around soft skills is so important. Not many people actually realise that you have to be “cultural” fit with the company you apply to. You could have the best hard skills but if you don’t match on that softer level, well you won’t get the job. So it’s so important to understand your strengths and skills which is what we help young people to do through Discoverables.
I’m also a bit of a weirdo who likes to do public speaking esp when it’s about stuff I love! So I was extremely flattered to go to Birmingham and speak about Discoverables at the Nesta: Innovation in Growing Cities roadshow to over 150 or so people. I rocked up thinking it’ll be a small gig, 30 or so people and got into a slight panic because the only practicing I did was on the train there!
As part of my role I get to do a lot of public speaking and promoting. It can be to a room full of 100s of people or simply be a meeting where I have to make a sales pitch and I’m grateful that I now get to have 1 to 1 pitching sessions at Wayra with Stewert Bewley where I can really become the best. It’s so interesting realising I have very silly habits, one being that I might be an extremely confident person but I don’t like looking into peoples eyes when i’m talking to them!
As for where we are going with Discoverables?! Well we have done a lot of talking over the last months and now with a developer we are excited to do lots of making! I finally feel settled in my role and I actually have some topical ideas I want to blog about so watch this space!
Now to leave you with some pictures of the last months. (Damn it! Seems like I always leave it on a self obsessive note!)
Until next time!