The inaugural Gather Inspiration evening took place at The Gunmakers in Clerkenwell on the 18th October. An insightful evening into how Connie Law and Rosalind Croad have taken very different journeys toward building their respective empires. Both women shared stories of a somewhat organic arrival at places in their interest-founded undertakings and reflected on the key decisions they are now addressing in the development of their enterprises. Salient points derived from the evening follow below. We hope you'll join us for our next Gather Inspiration event in the new year.
Rosalind left New Zealand several years ago as a response to a desire to explore both beyond New Zealand and, in a way, her own potential. Starting her unchartered trip in India, her journey has lead her from there, through Thailand, Spain and the UK - where she currently runs her projects from. Along the way, Rosalind cofounded and directs a 30-strong company that holds 6000-person tech events in Bangkok and Barcelona. One of the key lessons she learned in this endeavour was to strategically identify and solve problems as and when they arise, helping her go from near-disaster to absolute success of a six-figure event.
Employing a subconscious just-say-yes strategy, Rosalind, with her Silver Underground counterpart, Sasha found herself producing what is now known as 'Kamali', an independent film profiling a mother and her fight for her skate-boarding daughter, Kamali's empowerment in India. This story in itself is stunning, inspiring and eye-opening. I urge you to follow both the crew's story and the film's development here. Proceeds from the film and support it receives will contribute to furthering Kamali's education.
Rosalind outlines that in just saying yes to opportunity and denying what our brain tells us are 'the truths' of our potential, we reach a 'stretching' space. While at times this place might be uncomfortable, it allows us to flex into our real potential. It might not have always been easy, but Roz is yet to regret saying yes instead of succumbing to self-doubt or anxiety. She is also exploring the idea of professionally working with others to help them in their own journeys and realise their own potential. Here's to saying yes!
Connie, also a New Zealander arrived in London to continue a career in consulting and project management. But her real love is food. She loves to eat food, share food and write about food. Connie recounted stories from her childhood, when her parents would often cook and share food - both traditional Malaysian and not - bridging cultures and making friends in their new home, NZ.
Naturally, her love of sharing what and where she had recently eaten, both locally and along her adventures across the world, lead her to starting her food blog. This soon became the point of contact for restaurants and PR to invite her to review their businesses. Connie shared, that in finding her own voice and remaining true to her style, it resonated with an audience. She also reminded us that there is no such thing as a free dinner. That in blogging, she gives over her time and skills that are just as valuable as (if not more than) paying for that meal with money. A valuable lesson to us all on that night - value the work that you do and the skills that you have.
Connie takes her writing seriously and shares what she knows to be true and respectful but not all bloggers share this mantle. While it is up to the audience to decide both the authenticity and the integrity of the material they read online, some bloggers will write or promote to receive something in return. The question was raised, what about when you have a really bad experience - do you still blog about it? And herein lies what I think was one of the gems of Connie's talk. She says, that if something wasn't up to scratch or was substandard she will confront those issues, with the restaurant in the moment. While that experience might be something that goes on the blog later, it won't be without both the business's approval and opportunity to respond. How often do we ignore or bury the bad experiences instead of confronting them and allowing for resolution to be made in the moment. Many people for example hide behind a screen, destroying a restaurant over TripAdvisor. But how true this rings for many situations - how often do we stew over a workplace incident or situation at home, airing it anywhere but with those involved. Put down the smartphone, come out from behind the screen and confront the bad experiences as they happen; allow for positive response.
Connie and her boyfriend, Mike are about to hit the road again and you can follow them here as they start in Sri Lanka next month. Bon voyage team!