Heidi is a business development lead at IDEO, and a writer and strategist that ‘keeps things real’ in her weekly column on life and relationships on Medium. She advises startups on the art of storytelling and also works at a global design firm, leading relationship development and inspiring companies to embrace design thinking. I messaged Heidi after reading her article about being vulnerable at work and since we skyped I've been following her daily writings since. Here's what she's go to say...
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt over the last year?
I have found that the more brutally honest I am with my writing, and the more uncomfortable I get, the more people resonate with me. A lot of people have similar challenges or viewpoints as us, but are just too afraid to articulate them. If we can all be a tiny bit more open, then we encourage others to open up as well. We often forget that our vulnerability connects us to the world. It’s the foundation of any real relationship, whether it is in a personal or business context.
What’s your burning question of the moment?
Fear keeps people from realising their potential. Fear of judgment, fear of failure, fear of vulnerability, etc. One man confided he was afraid of losing his job, so he didn’t take riskier actions that he believed in. Another woman told me that she was so scared of being alone that she stayed in a destructive long-term relationship. I’d like to better understand fears and how we can overcome them, freeing us to achieve greater things in life. I’m searching for stories and anecdotes to broadly share and inspire.
What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve seen/ heard/ read in the last year?
I started working with Mike Lewis at When To Jump. He encourages the world to leave their unfulfilling corporate desk jobs for more passionate pursuits. Mike started it when he left his job in venture capital to go and play squash all over the world. He started collecting stories of the people he met and stayed with and realized that there were a lot of other “jumpers” out there too. Like a woman who left her law practice to open a bakery. Mike hopes that by sharing more of these stories we’ll inspire other people to make changes as well.
What would be your one piece of advice to students out there?
Take time to explore the world when you are young. The people you meet and the experiences you have will be the best investment you can make in yourself. They will give you the courage and the perspective to do great things later. There will always be another boring desk job. There won’t always be a time when you are young and open and free of responsibilities.
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