It's 2014: feel the fear and do it anyway! By Linda Franco (Co-founder, Machina)
What's in a name?
CEO… “Chief Executive Officer”… the title just gives me the chills.
I am the co-founder and (formerly) CMO of a wearable technology company called Machina. My business card now reads “Co-founder & CEO”. I was asked to be the CEO of the company in January last year, didn’t say yes until September last year and haven’t said a word to anyone… until now. Why have I kept it a secret?
Well, the tech industry is mostly men, although I recognize that more women are jumping on the tech boat to become engineers, programmers and even hackers! Yet, in my company, I am the only female.
But what am I so afraid of? It’s not like I will be jumping off an airplane (I don’t like thrill rides). I know I am mostly afraid of failing and, being a young entrepreneur. Failure is always a scary thought.
Leaving Your Comfort Zone
I was part of an entrepreneurial festival last November and a very wise entrepreneur told me: “Life begins once you leave your comfort zone”. Almost three months later, I still can’t get that thought of my mind. It is so inspiring and so true. After that I decided I must do my very best to be an inspiring young leader, to make my company grow and make my objectives happen without fear of failure.
I decided to dedicate this blog post to all of you readers out there, both male and female, who are scared of taking your first steps into the entrepreneurial world. “Life begins once you leave your comfort zone”... if you have a dream, you must pursue it! I know it sounds cheesy but what would you prefer: to live and breathe your passion every day or be monogonous for the rest of your life?
There have been several curious people telling me they want to be entrepreneurs and have their own business but don’t do it because they are scared of failing. How do you know that you will fail if you don’t even try? Take the risk! And to all the female readers, take note: it is not a man’s world anymore! Did you know that there are 20 female CEO’s running America’s biggest companies? In the tech and fashion industries alone we have Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook, Sun YaFang from Huawei and Tory Burch, Rosalia Mera founder of Zara… just to name a few.
Breaking New Ground
Women are beginning to take important leading roles in all kinds of industries and we all have to embrace the idea that male dominated industries will soon change, not because women will wage some kind of power war against men, but because women are beginning to be strong, independent, smart, strategic leaders.
As for me, I know that playing my part as Machina’s CEO is only momentary, a once in a life time opportunity until the right person comes along. But who knows, maybe this new role in the company will be longer than expected... Only time will tell.
Are you thinking of taking a leap into the unknown? Share your experiences with us
About the guest blogger: Linda Franco is the cofounder of MACHINA, a wearable technology fashion brand. She studied marketing and strategic design in Centro University in Mexico City. She cofounded The Gyzu Experiment, a web design and development firm, and Plan de Escape. Follow her on Twitter at @LindaLFranco.