Holly Tattersall (Women In Digital)
- Serial startup founder
- First role out of uni was in Colombia as the co-founder of a Tour Company
- Now & CEO of Women in Digital
- Bachelor of Business Management – somehow ended up with a Triple Major in International Business, HR and Industrial Relations
- Family dispersed all over the world – extended family based in NZ, brother in the US and parents immediate family in Australia
- Born in PNG, has lived in Fiji, New Zealand, Colombia and Australia
What made you start your own business?
The desire to be creative and build a business that is unique to anything else out there. I come from a traditionally creative and entrepreneurial family. My brother is a musician, my mother an Artist and my father a business man. I think I took attributes of creativity and business acumen from my parents which has made me someone who wants to create unique and innovative solutions for the worlds needs and problems.
How did you do it, what was the process?
With my current business – Women in Digital – it has been an evolving project. In 2014 I was working in Digital Recruitment and was lucky to meet a senior exec who became a Mentor to me. I had never had a mentor, nor thought about Mentoring as something that could be for me – I always thought it was for executives or sports stars.
Having a woman I admired take me ‘under her wing’ was a life changing experience. It was something I wanted to offer other young women and so I decided to start a Mentoring Program within the industry I was working. So I simply started pairing people up in Mentoring relationships. From there the organisation evolved to offer other services that would help women in the industry.
That now includes events and networking opportunities to women around the world. I believe that because the organisation is run with its members in mind we have been able to grow and expand rapidly.
What were the major milestones in your business?
Starting international chapters of Women in Digital in Silicon Valley and Israel. This was an incredible milestone that expanded my view of what is possible with this company.
Any challenges and doubt along the way?
As a business owner there are constant challenges and doubts but they are enjoyable! If it wasn’t enjoyable or your true calling I believe I would have given up long ago because building an organisation like this takes hours and dedication that exceed the bounds of sanity and what most would consider normal work life balance.
What did you learn as a successful entrepreneur?
That running a business you are passionate about is more rewarding than I could have ever imagined! Despite the long hours and challenges along the way the pay off in providing services that change lives and help women grow their personal and professional confidence is a beautiful thing. I’ve also learnt how important it is to have the right people around you that believe in your vision – doubters or pessimists will kill your energy and passion, something essential to be buoyed by as an entrepreneur – moral of the story – be careful who you surround yourself with!
If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would have taken the leap into full time business ownership sooner!
Did running a business change you as a person?
Yes absolutely – I have more self confidence. When you have a team of people rallying behind you, I believe you don’t have the luxury of self doubt. You simply must forge ahead despite any doubts and just make things happen to honour the people who are supporting and working with you. Overcoming challenges and making things happen that you never thought you’d be capable of definitely makes you more self confident and believe in what you’re capable of.
Do you have any advice or tips for those wishing to start their own business?
Before taking the leap into starting a full blown business, ensure what you have to sell is actually something your customer will hand money over for. Create dummy products or services and get 90% of the way through a transaction. If someone is ready to hand over their credit card to buy what you have you’re in business and have proven product-market fit.
What are your plans for the future?
To work with more developing countries to empower more women through Technology. We are currently doing this with our partnerships in Bangladesh by mentoring and training young women out of university and high school, to develop their Digital skills – this is life changing stuff, as these women might otherwise end up working in unskilled labour e.g. factory work but instead they become web or app developers, graphic designers, video editors etc. We have clients around the world who then have their digital projects completed by this team at 1. a lower cost, and 2. through an initiative that is changing lives for Women in Bangladesh. I want to continue building this part of the business and look at expanding this program to other countries.
For more information contact Holly @ Women in Digital www.womenindigital.org
Tel: 0400 356 656