Entrepreneurship is looking different each day. It has new faces. It has new names. It has new shapes. It has new intentions. We represent a different way of looking at entrepreneurship and we are honored that we are not alone. One of us, has a career of over 15 years, with more than 5 of those years running her own companies. One of us, has a career of 5 years, with the last year increasing her audience by over 2,000%.
Most entrepreneurs base their companies on a consumer insight, a market opportunity, or a technological innovation. Neither of us had a rulebook or business school to rely on. Neither of us had a parent in corporate life. And neither of us started knowing exactly where we were headed. Only that we each knew that in a way, we were here to raise awareness for something bigger than ourselves.
For one of us, our path was catalyzed when a female boss said that we “belonged more in an apron, than in an office.” And that day, Women Rising was born, to always remind women that inspire each other, rather than allow us to be threatened by each other.
For the other, our path was catalyzed when online comments were used as the sharpest and cruelest weapons. And that day, LittleLizzieV was born, to always remind ourselves that we can thrive on the other side of being bullied.
For us, the consumer insight was our own experience showing what we hoped to prevent for others. For us, the market opportunity was the hope that was needed. And the technological innovation, was harnessing a community of passionate voices.
Our new face of entrepreneurism is that of building awareness and success on the other side of the darkness.
When we met during TEDxAustinWomen, one of us having taken the stage and one of us having produced the stage, neither of us had any idea what was in store ahead. From the record breaking kickstarter, to the filming of a documentary, to seeing it in theaters, to receiving awards, to launching a movement. All we knew from the very beginning, was that we both agreed we wanted to create something that would give people hope. In the process, A BRAVE HEART was received with more support than we could have dreamed, and soon it will be distributed in countries all around the world.
At each step, we kept going back to the intention of the project: Will this inspire? Will it give people hope? When it did, we moved ahead. When it didn’t, we changed course.
It was no different than each of our very different paths with entrepreneurship. One of us is a public speaker, an author, a digital content creator, and a social media hobbyist. One of us is a CEO, a director, a producer, and a creative. There is no one face for who we are or what we do. Just as women are multidimensional, so are we as entrepreneurs. We don’t fit into a clean box, we continue to reshape our own. We are inspired by new questions, new problems, and new opportunities. And we keep coming back to the same intentions when each of us is presented with something: Will this inspire? Will it leave something better behind? When it does, we will move ahead. When it doesn’t, we stay still and wait. If we’ve learned anything, we’ve learned that catalysts for the best new directions come in many different forms. The good and the bad. The light and the dark. But we’ve both learned that sometimes on the other side of the darkness, is the clear purpose for why we’re each here, and that knowledge powers why we do what we do.
For each of us and those we continue to come across on this road paved with moguls, that within each and every entrepreneur, is A Brave Heart.