We play a great trick on ourselves when we believe the best road ahead is the one with the least doubt. This fact explains my obsession with doers. Whenever I see someone hungry for success and just going for it, it makes that fickle, doubting voice inside my head buck up and start believing.
As a woman entrepreneur I have a unique set of doubts. But when I see other women achieving incredible feats with sheer grit and audacity, I'm heartened to keep surging forward. There's something about witnessing 'normal' people do extraordinary things that calls out the potential in all of us.
You can imagine my delight when I met Nora Poggi. Poggi is a freelance journalist and bourgeoning documentarian whose TEDx in Barcelona has inspired women of all ages to ignore those doubting voices in their heads. Confidence is a learned skill, and it's something we have to calibrate over a lifetime of learning, dreaming, and doing.
Alongside her co-producer Insiyah Saeed, Poggi is crafting a documentary to help women do just that. They don't want to merely start a dialogue about women entrepreneurs. They want to paint a landscape of potential--showcasing empowered women entrepreneurs who can reassure the next generation of female doers that they can, in fact, do it.
She Started It isPoggi and Saeed'supcoming film on women tech entrepreneurs. The documentary follows five driven young women founders over the course of 2+ years, illuminatingthe ups and downs they face as they attempt to build their companies. It also features interviews with experts such as Ruchi Sanghvi, first female engineer at Facebook, Megan Smith, CTO of the USA, investor Joanne Wilson, and many more. They aim to inspire the next generation of ambitious women to dream big.
You can check out their two-minute trailer here. And you should. It's awesome.
She Started It may highlight entrepreneurs in its narrative, but its effect isn't limited to the start up business world. The documentary will be a springboard for women everywhere who struggle to muster the confidence to pursue every kind of dream. In my interview with Poggi, she said "We want girls who will see the film to know that they can take risks, that failure is okay, and that it is worth trying something you are passionate about...we don't expect nor want everyone to become an entrepreneur. But by showcasing real life stories of women who went after their dreams, we want everyone to be inspired to take on new challenges, learn entrepreneurial and technical skills, and apply them to their own lives."
Poggi and Saeed have learned to battle doubt and strengthen their confidence throughout the filming of this documentary themselves. When I asked Poggi the biggest lesson she'd learned from following the five women in her story, her response was clear. She said, and I will summarize here, that giving up is not an option--persistence and perseverance are two of the most critical components in any entrepreneur. After that, it's about developing a support system and reaching out to like-minded professionals who share your passions.
I followed up by asking what her biggest piece of advice would be for aspiring women entrepreneurs who are contemplating making the plunge. She said, "Just start! Don't overthink it. Even if it is small, even if you don't feel ready, start one step at a time. Don't give up and trust yourself. You can do it."
In my history with women entrepreneurs I've found that we can only imagine new ideas with the observations and knowledge we have to piece them together. Poggi and Saeed's stance and reason for making She Started It has been similarly bolstered by the quote from Marie Wilson of The White House Project: "You can't be what you can't see."
She Started It will certainly be planting seeds of possibility in our next generation of female leaders by taking the fear and doubt out of risk taking. The team just launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise their post-production funds and promote film screenings to the next generation of womenin schools, colleges, and festivals in Spring 2016.
Learn more about the inspiring women founders featured in the film at Indiegogo.