Recap of An Evening With Sheena Brady and TeLisa Daughtry
I went to an event featuring Sheena Brady, Founder of Tease Tea and TeLisa Daughtry, Founder of FlyTechnista in late February, as part of the lead up to the International Womxn’s Week 2020 celebrations at Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards.
I had spent the day with my kids and was late to the event as I left to head there after dinner at home BUT around 6:30 when I arrived, the talk was beginning (whoohoo!)
So I listened in and wrote down a few key takeaways for readers of this blog and my Babies, Business + Breakfast community.
On Diversity and Inclusion:
• If you can’t find suitable growth opportunities, create your own! You can build a stronger network when you are a champion for other people.
• TeLisa says she “roundhouse kicks glass ceilings” because she doesn’t have time to wait another generation for gender equity.
• You need to create innovative and inclusive spaces which allow women to connect with each other and provide more opportunities to get them into STEM/STEAM.
• Hiring for Diversity & Inclusion in action is different than tokenism: it’s like core fitness/training, you need to be honest and truthful about what you do and what you don’t do, it will improve over time the more you practice it, you need to be very intentional, consistent and committed but it is much easier to start at employee #2 than #200 and course correct.
• When she hears the term ‘we hire for culture fit’ she says you’re getting it wrong, we need to think of ‘culture add’, as in ‘what value can this person add?’ instead of thinking of creating an environment in which views won’t be challenged.
On setting boundaries:
• From a health and wellness perspective, they both discussed burnout and boundaries, ensuring you put yourself and your health first as investors and partners are also investing in YOU. Transparency and communication are key when/if you hit burnout.
• TeLisa sets a weekly weekend Out Of Office from Friday until Sunday eve, doesn’t feel obligated to respond to DMs on social media and buffers in procrastination time each day. Be intentional with your time, she creates a no-laptop zone in her bedroom, doesn’t sleep near her phone. “I can’t be the best me if I’m not alive.”
• Sheena says she spent a decade in fight or flight mode, with stress and anxiety a normal part of her routine until she became a parent and her health came under scrutiny. She listens more to her body, sets up tripwires and regularly asks herself, “Am I the best person for this opportunity, can someone else do it instead?”
On building a business:
• Lessons from early on in their entrepreneurship journey included not understanding Intellectual Property (IP) strategy, legal protection, financial and tax law implications, making risky bets and at times having a lack of entrepreneurship education.
• When pitching to investors or negotiating contracts, you want them to look you up (who IS this person!?) and question your audacity…if it’s a quick yes, then you didn’t ask for enough.
• Are you building an empire or a legacy? The latter will outlive you and hopefully by multiple generations.
• On failing fast: Know when to quit, if it’s not profitable, your health is at risk, your relationships are at stake, it isn’t worth it.
Making room for yourself
I stayed on to chat with both guest speakers after the event and really connected with them.
They were so vulnerable and honest with the audience, sharing their experiences in life, business and entrepreneurship. They were also very generous with their time to meet with individuals afterward.
I had the chance to communicate my work on Babies, Business + Breakfast to date.
I also met many other wonderful local businesswomen and another member of the Invest Ottawa team I had yet to meet.
I really can’t say enough about this space, the programming they host and the team keeping things running smoothly.
I haven’t always felt like I belonged there since I started visiting three years ago in 2017, especially when wheeling my stroller or lugging a car seat and sleeping babe into a packed workshop room.
BUT the times are a changing and sometimes you need to create a place for yourself.
From the first baby change table installed in 2018 and the second one installed the day before my first Babies, Business + Breakfast event of 2020 a few weeks ago, to seeing community members and their babies sitting in the front row at this event, I know we are riding a wave of positive change.
I can’t wait to see what the future brings! 👶📈
Babies, Business + Breakfast comes to Bayview Yards once per month
It’s not every day you see stroller parking, car seats and a children’s play area in the Training Room at Bayview Yards (also the home of Invest Ottawa). But business is human and we believe parenthood and professional development don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
The next Babies, Business + Breakfast event will be held on Tuesday, March 31st, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Registration is now open for the next pop-up on Tuesday, March 31st via the button below. Tickets are limited as most parents bring a +1 (or 2) little one with them and the Training Room has restricted numbers, so get in quick if you’d like to check out the community I’m building!
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(If you’re not in Ottawa (or Canada) stay tuned as I’m working on some related parent-friendly professional development resources and offerings for you.)
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About Babies, Business + Breakfast
We believe parenthood and professional development don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
People have families and they want to invest in themselves. It shouldn’t be an either/or situation and we are creating a community that welcomes primary caregivers AND their children to talk about business in a safe and welcoming space (coffee and croissants included!)