Like cheese and fine wine, we’re getting better with age.
Girl Friday IP is another year older. We survived the so-called terrible two’s. We officially turned 2 in March but you’ll forgive us for being fashionably late to our own birthday celebrations. It’s what happens when we’ve been out there living our best business life. Here’s a few personal insights into the highlights and reality bites of the last 12 months.
One of the best parts of running the Girl Friday IP show is flexing my creative muscles. From engagement with clients to the educational (and hopefully entertaining) content and workshops, it’s been the most creative year in business so far. It’s also been one of the best lessons learnt: with great creativity comes even greater discipline. Starting off with purposefully setting aside to work on the business rather than being in the business. I know everyone says this but it’s effing hard not to be distracted by emails, phone calls, socials or the pressing need to wash the dog for the third time that week*. Then in brain dump mode or toying around with ideas, whether by yourself or with others, things can get messy. Being prepared to ruthlessly critique, scale back or even cull ideas and taking the time to execute them with care, means a more polished and purposeful result in the end.
*(Frank is an actual pig in mud and takes liberties with my OCBD – obsessive clean bulldog disorder).
The first year of business meant getting swept up working and living in the fast lane. Then finding myself heading towards Burnout-ville, I was pulled towards the slow lane movement. This has been a constant struggle and work in progress over the past year. Being “busy” all the time is really overrated. Being productive though – this is what it’s all about. Helping the productivity factor this past year is knowing and owning our lane. Focussing on the work that we do best, not straying from this to chase work for a quick buck and saying no to prospective work and clients that don’t align with our values. Totally recommend anyone to take a leaf out of the Ariana Grande playbook: thank u, next.
Personal side bar: I’m also working on banishing the B word from my vocab and convos with friends, family and colleagues. It’s boring. No-one wants or needs to hear about it, including me. It’s fast becoming an excuse for not being present or phoning it in with those around us.
Anyone following the Girl Friday IP story from the beginning knows that I’m all about the school and tools. Educating and engaging with people about all the IP jazz is something I’ve been passionate about long before I even pushed play on the business boombox. And in the last year, the return on this investment has been overwhelming. From clients investing with us to go into bat for them with their IP matters, to the amazing community of #GFFs (Girl Friday Friends) both near and far. PGA warning: public gushy announcement. Simply cannot thank everyone enough for your continued support and friendship. Girl Friday IP wouldn’t be what it is without the community around it. Will be ramping things up this year with more workshops and events, so keep an eye and ear out friends.
Ermergherd the robots are coming to take our jobs. Echoing the sentiments of my favourite news anchor, Kent Brockman – I welcome our digital overlords. It takes a virtual village of people and tools to help make Girl Friday IP what it is. We’ve continued to welcome technology into our business this year with a massive digital bear hug. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I’m hurling abuse at the computer or Wifi. But the point is, we wouldn’t have the ability, let alone the flexibility to do the work and engage with our community, anytime and anywhere. It frees up so much time and headspace to do the little things right and the big things better. From our client on-boarding process, scheduling meetings and chats to dealing with the heavy nitty gritty things, embracing tech helps us make the whole experience better for our GFFs.
As the creative cats at Snask will tell you, generosity always pays itself back. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is one of the fundamentals to the GFC, Girl Friday Culture. Last year after much soul searching, we found and partnered with Water.org. As far as basic necessities go, clean and safe water is basic human need and right. This organisation provides innovative microfinancing solutions to provide families and communities with access to clean water and sanitation. This is why we’re proud to compete on value within our business and not price, so we can give back to those in need in a meaningful way. We’re stepping up our CSR efforts and paying it forward in other ways such as mentorship. Creativity and innovation go together like I-Peas and carrots. So supporting young inventors and creatives in the making is a no brainer for us. More on this below.
It’s only April and we’ve racked up some frequent flyer mileage: Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane. Next up on the tour:
CERI – Centre for Entrepreneurial Research and Innovation – Perth
Looking forward to spending some time at CERI to share and contribute our IP experience and knowledge to our local community of brilliant researchers and innovators here in WA.
Innovation Girls Workshop – Adelaide
If the efforts of Dr. Katie Bouman, along with the amazing team of scientists, to deliver the first ever photo of a black hole isn’t enough to get you excited about STEM – well frankly nothing here on earth or intergalactically will. We’re going to try our darndest anyway to inspire the next gen of students in STEM. We’re teaming up with our Adelaide friends at The STEMable Project for the Innovation Girls Workshop on 2 May 2019. If you know of a young female student looking to get inspo and info about a future in STEM, get them registering for this free event here.
INTA 2019 – Boston (or Bawston if you want to get technical or Ted-like)
Excited to be seeing our international GFFs and meeting plenty of new friends in Boston at the INTA conference this year. You’ll find me dressed head to toe in Red Sox merch and the basketball gods willing, Celtics gear.
Wishing everyone a very happy and choc-filled Easter break. Hop to it.