The last time I published some thoughts here was quite some time – literally: years! – ago. In the meantime, I sold and dismantled my last startup and decided to take a break. It was urgently needed: I was burnt out and thoroughly fed up with a lot of aspects of entrepreneurial life. I also felt as if I couldn’t see the bigger picture any more – I was so lost, I needed to step back from it all and give myself time to heal.
Since closing the doors behind my last startup almost a year ago, I’ve been doing a bunch of smaller and larger projects, both personal and professional. I did a few consulting projects, amongst them a challenging but very satisfying project with great colleagues at Summer&Co, and I invested time in furthering my own education and skillset by looking more deeply into the world of business coaching, enganging with the fantastic team at scale up in Munich. I’m also greatly looking forward to intensifying my connections with enable2grow this year, where I feel that I will be able to leverage my skills and experience to generate real and lasting impact for clients in various branches of industry.
I am also currently reviewing my diaries that I wrote over the last ten years. Most entries are from the time I spent building Fast Forward Imaging, going through a lot of highs and lows along the way. I’ve realised that these diaries are three things: first, a treasure trove of information. How did I approach building my sixth startup, which mistakes did I make and where did we really manage to shine? Second, they are a reflection on the personal transformation that founders face when their dreams of building and scaling a company become reality. And thirdly, they are a brutally honest account of dealing with failure, large and small.
The combination of reading my diary and the work I have been doing with scale up has sparked an idea: the Scaleup Women project. I recently came across a British study showing that 40% of scaleups in the UK have women on their leadership teams. However, only 20% of startups in the UK are founded or co-founded by women, which leads to some interesting questions:
- Are startups that have women in their founding teams more likely to become scaleups?
- Can a startup increase its chances of becoming a scaleup by hiring women for their leadership teams?
- What exactly is the influence that women in leadership roles have on companies in an intense growth phase?
I want to start an ongoing discussion with women in scaling companies to see where our experiences overlap or differ. I have no idea where this will lead – a book, a podcast, or quite simply a blog – but I believe that if we want to change the situation of women in the startup world, there is little better we can do than making it crystal clear what positive impact women have on companies in their growth phase.
So if you know a Scaleup Woman, I’d love to meet her 🙂
Here is a link to some further info on the project and my thoughts surrounding it: https://annarojahn.com/scaleup-women-2/