Female founders mission to London

Published December 31st 2017 in News , Photographer Stories by Jannah Dryden

Female founders mission to London

I could give you a day in day out account of the truth bombs and the hilarity of the mission but that would take a few hours and I would probably need to lay down on a lounge.

At the end of November 2017 I was suddenly packing my bags, off on a mission to London where I would meet up with 10 other Aussie women in tech (none of which I knew) off the back of a rando Advance Queensland funding application that I had decided to apply for, which I had stumbled across when I was stalking someones personal Facebook page.

That’s a mouthful. Hang in there.

I smashed out the application in about an hour, forgot about it’s existence like every other funding application I was NEVER successful for and then gave a resounding WTF when the email came through with word that I was in. 1 of 5 in Queensland. From 106 applications.

But if you’re a female in business you can probably imagine the little internal ‘imposter syndrome’ I have (I call her Narelle) laying on my bed during the pack saying; “Geez, they must have really been scraping the bottom of the barrel when they selected you Jannah”

To be fair I did a huge ‘adult’ thing before I embarked on this particular trip. I got my affairs in order and did a will. I’m not sure if I subconsciously had a distorted belief that I was going to actually live forever but there’s nothing better to kick you into an existential crisis than doing a will. It’s basically making a legal commitment to dying.

I was convinced I was going to die on this trip. Looking back now it seriously makes me laugh and cry. Laugh at the unnecessary anxiety and fear and cry because the truth is, a big part of me did actually die on the mission and for that I am forever thankful.

I could give you a day in day out account of the truth bombs and the hilarity of the mission but that would take a few hours and I would probably need to lay down on a lounge.

Analogy? It’s like representing your school for high jump. And then realising how shit you are at high jumping. But you’re not going there to compete against anyone, it's a beautiful mix of high jumpers at every stage. There’s high jump coaches, reps from high jump schools, someone who builds high jump rigs, people who high jump with unique techniques and then that one high jump prodigy. The mix of women on this trip I swear to god you couldn't script it. I'm still in hysterics.

For a whole week we lived and breathed high jumping. We went and visited high jump stadiums and buildings dedicated purely to developing new high jumping skills. Sometimes it felt like we were on a high jumping planet! We listened to incredible high jumpers who had made MASSIVE jumps, missed the landing mat and ate it, face down in the dirt. How they picked themselves up, brushed off, assessed the situation and then vowed to improve their aim and jump again. We heard from those dedicated to making sure there is ample opportunity for high jumping globally. We bonded over high jumping. Came up with a new high jumping language and ridiculous high jumping ideas. We told each other of the times we had missed the mat, hit the bar, didn’t get enough speed in the run up or the crippling times we just couldn’t muster the courage to launch after the perfect running speed. It was me who cried all of the high jump tears and I can gladly say I found exactly the high jumping answers I had asked for from the mission and then I left with so many more.

I got home to my high jump rig. I looked at it, it looked at me. It was painful.

Firstly I had to ask myself honestly, if I am prepared to GENUINELY become the person I need to be in order to carry out what I ALLEGEDLY want. And when I really sit with this question, I am met with some very confronting feelings. Then came the inevitable process of grieving the death of my former self who had, with absolute gratitude got me this far. We have seen some pretty crazy shit, survival is a talent too you know.

As we start 2018 there is a huge uncertainty as to where things go from here. That’s the nature of this beast. But I know I can’t take my sole trader mentality with me, I am being called to step up and lead. I am choosing to see this as a unique opportunity to start sewing some new seeds and pull a few personal weeds.

Thankfully with the incredible on going support of Start up Catalyst, I’ve started pouring a new slab for the foundations of this next stage. A massive thank you to Advance Queensland for this opportunity, I take back all the times I took it to heart and I shook my fist in the air when my other funding applications were denied.

I’m giving myself the permission. I always had it.

Jannah x

Jannah Dryden Written by Jannah Dryden
J Create

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