Amy Thomson, founder of Seen Presents and cofounder of FutureGirlCorp, shares with us some of her thoughts on switching up careers, listening to inner instincts and sitting at the table with your idols.
I have run my agency network for the last seven years and realised last year that I wanted to reevaluate my day to day. Even when you start your own business, you need to keep moving, motivated and inspired. I am therefore launching a new tech company called Moody. This will be hormone, period and mood tracking to give pro-active lifestyle solutions including vitamins, diet and exercise. In this process of pivoting my personal career and starting a new project in the tech space, I have learnt some incredible and hard lessons in confidence, drive and passion. I thought I would share three stories, which have defined some personal challenges and milestones for me and apply to anyone thinking about changing their career or starting a new business.
LESSON 1: TAKE ACCOUNTABILITY
The first is accountability for your own motivation and drive. I decided last year that I needed a new challenge, as SEEN is really successful and now runs itself. I was feeling more and more disconnected from my business, even though I had started it. I just wasn’t needed anymore. I started trying to find jobs and keep myself busy in the agency, which meant I started treading on toes. I was finding problems in things that actually were not problems, as I needed to find stuff to occupy myself. I became more and more frustrated and then I realised it wasn’t the people around me or my board, it was me. I was still hungry for a challenge and risk, all the things which had helped grow SEEN as a business, but when your business is seven years old it doesn’t need entrepreneurial hunger, it needs safe and steady hands. I therefore realized I needed to find a new place and role. I needed to be the author of my own motivation and drive and take a leap of faith into a new space and business. This was a hugely emotional and challenging decision, one only I could make.
LESSON 2: FEAR IS OKAY
The second lesson is that fear is a positive emotion as it shows that you’re stepping out of your comfort zone. Within my new transition I was lucky enough to be sitting at a table with one of my work idols, talking about Moody.
Pre this meeting, I had never felt nerves like I was feeling. I felt prepared with my content but also aware of how much I wanted to impress her, so I began to overthink it all.Then I realised this fear and anxiety could be turned into adrenaline and drive. I just needed to create a space of focus and ensure that my body was prepped to give my mind the best shot at nailing the meeting. No booze, greens, water, yoga, SLEEP and meditation. Sounds obvious but so often when we have fear or anxiety we default to a glass of wine and chocolate on the sofa. This is not to say there isn’t a time and a place for wine and chocolate on the sofa, but when you need to use all your brain power and harness the fear, those are not the right chemical combinations.
LESSON 3: OWN YOUR OWN STEREOTYPE
While sitting at the table and talking about Future Girl Corp, she gave me a quote, which has stuck with me: “We should own the stereotypes”. This is the third and most poignant lesson I have learnt. So often we try to edit ourselves to not be too driven or too emotional or too fashion. Actually we need to understand our stereotypes, both in our personalities and work and just own them. Stereotypes are how we as humans understand ourselves and others. By owning your stereotypes, you are actually making yourselves much clearer to the world around you, as well as embracing the person you are.