Yesterday I saw Twitter co-founder Biz Stone speak at PRSA.
When we got into the media briefing room Biz immediately seemed like he wanted to leave. He said the minute he walked in the door his wife was going to berate him for being late and hand him a screaming ten month old. You got the feeling he cared a lot more about his own family life than he did being at a PR media briefing. I respected him for that. I also respected him for the world that he showed us yesterday–from being a college dropout obsessed with the democratization of information to creating a technology that would change the course of history.
Biz Stone answering questions, being down to earth.
He said two things that resonated with me on a personal level:
1. Opportunity can be manufactured and you manufacture this for yourself.
2. To succeed spectacularly you must be willing to fail spectacularly.
For me that means you’re willing to walk away completely empty handed from whatever you’re doing. And he reminded us that to do that–you need to care about what you’re doing on an emotional level.
Biz gave metrics that he felt companies should measure themselves by. One of them was joy. Can you imagine a company that looks at joy as an indicator of success?
I believe joy is directly related to self esteem. I believe self esteem is related to contribution. I also believe companies can build the self esteem of its employees by recognizing employees and giving them opportunities to challenge themselves and contribute. Today most companies don’t do this. Research shows a happy, proud employee will contribute much more than an employee that feels like a number.
Self esteem is something I write about a lot. I also built a “movement” around helping to build the self esteem of women with Project Enough.
Biz Stone’s talk about a service oriented approach to business reminded me of my own journey. I’d like to think that sharing personal stories about my own challenges with anxiety, depression, body image and self esteem help other women who are going through something similar.
My storytelling is my giving back. Most people would rather die than write about being humiliated as I did last week on the website Eat the Damn Cake. I get joy out of putting all my experiences and thoughts on my writing table and putting the pieces back together, but I also want to help other girls and women–to let them know they’re not alone–to provide them tools and resources and knowledge.
The talk made me think about Project Enough and why I keep coming back to it. I feel that this was a “movement” that started with a shift within me. I didn’t know if this was the right thing to do or not–and realized quickly this project was in no way about making money. This is a project to spread awareness and most of all joy–> to women, who suffer with body shame and low self esteem. And yes I just used the word “suffer,” because you do.
Biz said there was compound interest in altruism and I believe he’s right because when one person comes back to me and says thank you for writing that (or saying that), I can relate and I’m going through X, I feel that emotional compound interest. I also hope that other people experience that as well.
Biz’s talk was inspiration for me to continue with Project Enough and see what it can become.