Inspiration. Wonder. Bravery. Courage. These phrases have been rumbling around in my head a lot lately as we prepare for the beta launch for our software product Bella Scena in early August. It is also a good time for reflection as we get ready to take our next step as a company.
Some time back, I heard a phrase that resonated with me. We must see it to be it. In order for many of us to have the courage to pursue new paths, we need to see others that look like us. This central theme has resonated with me for a few years now. As I walk this path as a female building a tech company, it really hits close to home. This journey of entrepreneurship is a wonderful, but sometimes lonely place.
Early on after I started what would be ultimately named wonderly, I saw the movie Hidden Figures. It chronicles the journeys of three black women computers at NASA, and is a movie I cherish to this day. Their courage and perseverance is truly inspiring to me. I remember a line in the movie that still gives me goosebumps. Katherine’s parents were taking her across the state to pursue her education, and the narrator in the movie says “You have to go- you have to see what she becomes.” I’ve repeated that line to myself so many times as I have to embrace constant growth and change. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. I also recognize how important it is for all of us to see others that have gone before us so we don’t feel so alone.
It’s very easy to get trapped in the challenges of the current day and lose sight of the big picture. Inspiration and wonder are all around when we seek them. As I think back over the two years it has taken to get my company built out and my first product ready for launch, I am grateful for the many wonderly influences from which I have benefited. These are the people that have been there to pick me up when things don’t go as planned, and celebrate with me when they go well. It really does take a village to raise an entrepreneur. We can’t do it with you.
At wonderly, it is time to start to honor the village providers. I was tempted to say village people but that just goes to a whole different place and then you will get up start dancing around and won’t finish reading! When we look. there are many people that can help us to See it to be it. Over time, we’ll start sharing some of the many wonderly people that have helped us, in hopes that they inspire you too. The first person I want to recognize is Stephany Lapierre, founder of tealbook. Who is tealbook? Hint: they build some very powerful tech to enable supplier intelligence.
I first met Steph through Twitter when I was active in the procurement community. I interviewed Steph when I had the Thriving at the Crossroads podcast years ago. Fast forward several years. When it came time for me to start my tech company, I remember that lonely, scary feeling of not really knowing any women building tech companies. I remember thinking, “Do I really want to do this?” Those early days when an idea is new it is very fragile. As I contemplated moving forward, I had to face a lot of my own fears. But then I remembered Steph. All of a sudden the road wasn’t quite so lonely. She offered to be there if I ever needed it as I walked this new path. I was so grateful to see someone years ahead of me on the journey and building her company. I knew this meant I could do it too. Thank you so much Steph for inspiring me and those around you to see it and be it!
We’ll continue sharing and recognizing those people around us that are inspiring us to be our best self. Most of it will be on Twitter, but will also come periodically on LinkedIn. To follow and see more, you can find us on @SmileWonderly on Twitter or using the #seeitbeit hashtag. Can’t wait to continue sharing the wonderly influences around us!