"Change the perception of what you can achieve"

"Change the perception of what you can achieve"

Amy Thomson founded Seen Presents just 5 years ago with the aim of changing the way corporate brands thought about events. After creating incredible influencer experiences for Nike during the 2012 Olympics she scored them, along with other blue chips such as NATWEST, Microsoft and Instagram as long term clients. She wrote a book called Human Touch about using neuroscience and cognitive thinking to create truly memorable events and she is about to launch a new app called Lunar and Flo which tracks periods and hormones to regulate your life. Amy is a founding FutureGirlCorp member and will be hosting the BUSINESS MODELLING class. After launching Seen Presents she extended her business to retail displays and influencer engagement, reinventing the traditional events business model to become a deeper service agency COLLECTIVE. 

Making the decision to found a company... I decided to found my own company because I felt there wasn’t enough innovation, passion and technology in the agency world. I founded SEEN as we wanted to help demistify agency structures and create highly innovative and forward thinking agency models. SEEN is driven by creativity, methodology and tracking. The methodologies and IP we develop allow us to train great talent to deliver service for brands consistently and drive innovation within the agency world. Any service is only as good as the talent you have and making sure that talent all believe in what you are working towards. No ego’s just actions.

On why more girls should start tech companies….As with so many industries, technology is perceived as a very male dominated world, perception more often than not creates the norm. There needs to be more girls changing perception, as then the dial will shift and we can change the norm. 

On success... Being successful is a state of mind. It is really important no matter what level you are at to say well done to yourself. I guess it becomes clear that you have been doing quite well, when more and more people tell you well done and you are not the only person giving yourself a pat on the back. My strategy for success is simple: Be nice to people, listen and do great work. This has obviously evolved over the last six years and we do have more formal strategies, but this still sits at the heart of how we work. Never develop a business because you want to make money, develop a business because you are passionate. 

On emotion in business... Passion can often mean you are emotionally attached to your business and you can get disappointed when people let you down. I try not to get angry, as when you lead or manage with negative emotion, it doesn’t allow you to think clearly. Starting a business and running a business  is highly emotive, the best piece of advice I would give people, is no matter how personal something feels in your business or work, it is not personal, it is just your job. Take the emotion out and there is always a solution. Obviously easier said than done at times, but certainly try and avoid getting angry. 

On weakness... Personally my weakest point is ensuring I balance a healthy work life with a happy personal life. This can also be a weakness in the business, when you have a huge surge of work, the team can become very busy very quickly and loose their work life balance. Ensuring people don’t burn out and are empowered to push through the busy times is key. We combat this by developing a clear work culture, that embraces the individual and accepts flexibility to peoples personal lives. 

On inspirations... My inspiration is Annie Lennox, she has founded an incredible organisation called The Circle, it is a huge inspiration for how someone is using their influence to help make not just local but global change for women http://www.thecircle.ngo/annies-message/

On government support of women... I think the government needs to look outside its immediate networks, to help understand the landscape of small and developing businesses better. This again comes down to perception, it is very easy to think you are making change if you are talking to the same group of people and seeing a dial change in that micro group. The UK is a bigger place than just London and would be great to see more change being mobilised UK wider for girls and guys, supported by the government. 

On what we can do, right now... The one thing we could all do right now to help more girls build business is to help change the perception of what you think can achieve. If women think bigger, bigger things will happen. I believe in working together to help make this happen and Future Girl Corp is just the start.