Tamsen Webster, the Executive Producer of the oldest and one of the largest locally organized TED talk events in the world, is self-described as “pattern-driven,” and likes to have a plan. Today, we talk about her journey into parenting, and how her ideas for pregnancy (and even marriage) were very different than reality.She dove into her first pregnancy with a plan: she would have a natural birth and breastfeed her baby, as the research suggests. But nothing went according to plan. Even her work was wildly different than she expected when her boss changed while she was on leave. Tamsen shares her challenging parenting journey, admitting that having her sons “knocked her sideways,”—and that she unexpectedly became an entrepreneur as a result.
Why do we only show outgoing, extroverted, and confident business people as the model for success? In a world where most successful entrepreneurs and business owners are afraid to show any weakness, Morra Aarons-Mele is a breath of fresh air. The mother of three kids and the founder of Women Online, an award-winning social impact agency, she’s a key fixture in the world of digital marketing, even though she does most of her work at home, in her yoga pants. She’s the author of “Hiding in the Bathroom: An Introvert’s Roadmap to Getting Out There (When You’d Rather Stay Home),” and admits that we’re all just faking it. In her work, book, and this podcast she explores how to harness the power of your “onlyness” and make the work environment work for you.
Thirty percent of talented women drop out of the workforce, not because they want to, but because the way work looks is outdated, flawed, and fails women and families on a regular basis. And a full 70% of those women would still be working if they had access to better (or any) workplace flexibility. What would it do for our economy and businesses if we weren’t losing so ambitious, committed employees so rapidly? The corporate world is stuck in a structural model that is a relic of the post-Industrial era. Today’s guest on the show is an entrepreneur building a simple, yet revolutionary answer that makes the world fit women—rather than trying to make women fit into the world.
I turn 34 this month, and I thought I’d go back and list all the things I wish my 24-year old self would have known. On the list? Take all the adventures you can. When in doubt, pick something, and then learn from the choosing. Stop trying to be perfect and well-liked, because that is certainly a fool’s errand. And I give my past self advice about money, sex, feminism, and trying to pick the “right” career.