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Bloom North Panel Event - Being Brave & Taking a Risk

Back in November we held our first in-person event for over 18 months, based on survey results from Bloom North members, the panel ‘Being Brave and Taking a Risk’. HOME in Manchester kindly hosted us as our panel spoke candidly about their experiences of ‘Being Brave’.

Our host for the event was Terri White, editor, journalist, author, host and broadcaster, who most recently was Editor-in-Chief of Empire. Terri kicked off the event by highlighting her recent ‘risk-taking’ move of quitting her job at Empire!

We had a fantastic panel of individuals including;

  • Jessica Scott - Co Founder Love Sugar Science, a leading creative media agency.

  • Caroline Pankhurst - Business coach, and founder of Be Braver, a programme designed to help people achieve personal and career growth ambitions.

  • Stephanie Buttery - Founder of Chu Lo Japanese soft drinks brand and previously had a 12 year career in the Royal Navy

  • Michelle Vint - Co Founder of Regital, programmatic marketing specialists.

What Bravery Means To You

The first question posed to our panel was ‘What does bravery mean to you?’ and there was a mixed bag of answers from ‘going with your gut instinct’, ‘finding the point of where your fight and flight kicks in’ and ‘living life on your own terms’. While the answers differed they all covered a similar theme of ‘decisions’, decisions you make when you’re put in these difficult situations that need you to be brave.

The panel then went on to talk about the biggest risks they’ve taken, and they weren’t always what we expected to hear.

Jessica assumed people would think it was setting up her business, but she explained that actually leaving her first job was one of her biggest risks, as she was leaving a secure job with great people. Ultimately the belief she had in herself allowed her to make the jump.

Stephanie had similar thoughts, and said even fighting pirates wasn’t as scary as making the decision to leave the Navy after 12 years. She told us that the perception of leaving was much scarier than the reality.

“Women Are Courage”

During the discussion Caroline asked the audience members if they thought they were brave and courageous, which only got a few hand raises, however when asked if they knew anyone who was brave and courageous, almost all hands rose.

“The math is not adding up” she said and explained that “by definition, women are courage” because of the barriers that are set up against us.

She encouraged the audience to go away and think about the bravest thing they’ve ever done, and see how you can apply that bravery into everything you do.

A Time for Opportunity

The past 2 years have been tough on everyone, and businesses have been hit by Covid however the panel spoke about this time being an opportunity.

Stephanie launched her drinks business during the pandemic, and said she had to take it slow with the growth, however the “world was not asleep”. Jessica had a similar mindset, and said that businesses can capitalise on this time as people's routines have changed so you can get fresh eyes on what you’re putting out there.

Jessica explained that she’s always looking for new opportunities and often takes them because she “wants to know the end of the story”. Much like how she left her job after her maternity leave, which was a huge risk, but she was able to reframe the risk from “what if this fails” to “will I be ok if this fails”. She spoke about how she’s made herself more valuable through gaining more experience, so if something doesn’t work, she’s covered.

She finished of by saying (possibly the best quote of the event) “Fuck it, do it when you’re pregnant!” and that is our new mantra to live by!

Don’t Worry About Failure

In a similar vein, Michelle spoke about how not to worry about failure, and how she uses her strengths alongside others to get the best out of situations. She explained how her ‘every day’ risk taking was different to the typical, but more about making calculated decisions quickly. Finishing off by saying ‘If you’re afraid of change don’t do digital’ - which I think we can all relate too.

Imposter Syndrome

When speaking about her Be Braver Collective that was launched in 2020, Caroline explained that as a society we’re obsessed with labels, such as ‘Imposter Syndrome’ and we should switch our focus to be ‘are we where we want to be?’

She defines courage as the sweet spot between cowardice and recklessness, and if we can appropriately appraise ourselves we can improve our confidence. Ultimately, we need to remember that so much is out of our control, so we should control what we can.

Thank Yous

We’d like to thank our host Terri and the whole panel for their wonderful insight and for being so honest with their answers, HOME for hosting and our sponsors for making the event happen.

The panel was a huge success and we know lots of people left feeling inspired. It was great to see people IRL at an event and we’re all excited to have more events throughout 2022.

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