Code Like a Girl – Changing the IT Industry for Women and Girls – Episode 92

Code Like a Girl

Code Like A Girl and is all about empowering women and girls to be equal creators in building the future. And I am super pumped to bring on the founder of this amazing and remarkable social enterprise, Ally Watson. She is making positive ripple effects across Australia and the world because of her passion to empower women and girls to be equal creators in building the future, and rise up even in a male-dominated industry. We’re going to talk about so much stuff including how Code Like a Girl came about, the role that social enterprises play in making this successful, and how they stay viable as a social enterprise. If you’re interested in making a difference through your business, believe me, this is an episode you’ll want to listen to.

Important Links Mentioned in the Show:

Code Like A Girl Website

Code Like A Girl Instagram

Code Like A Girl Facebook

Code Like A Girl LinkedIn

Profit Pillars

Business Masterclass – The Ultimate 4-Step Framework for Creating a Sustainable and Profitable Business

Women in Business Retreat 2020

Angela Henderson Active Business Facebook Group

Angela Henderson Website

Angela Henderson Facebook Business Page

Angela Henderson Consulting Instagram

Prefer to read Code Like a Girl – Changing the IT Industry for Women and Girls? Here’s the transcript:

ANGELA:

You’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast with Angela Henderson, Episode 92.

Hey there, you’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. My name is Angela Henderson and on this show, we talk about improving your business, life or both, by having amazing and rich conversations with brilliant guests who will inspire you and who will give you tips and tricks to help you grow both in life and in business.

Well, hey there and welcome back to another awesome episode of the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. I am your host Ange, from Angela Henderson Consulting where I’m a Business Consultant and Coach who has helped hundreds of amazing women business owners get all the pieces in place to have consistent five-figure months and then on to six-figure years without burning out in the process.

Now, as you know, if you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while, and even if not, you’re about to find out I love all the guests that come on my show. They each bring something magical. They are inspiring, they are smart, they are fun, they are funny; the list goes on and on.

But every once in awhile, I meet someone who makes me really, really, really take notice; makes me really pay attention; captures my entire attention, which isn’t easy when you have full-blown ADHD. And this is how I felt when I first heard Ally Watson speak at a conference I was at last year in Sydney.

Ally is the amazing founder of Code Like A Girl and is all about empowering women and girls to be equal creators in building the future. She has created a remarkable social enterprise. It is making such a positive ripple effect across Australia and the world, collectively. You see, at Code Like A Girl, this is what Ally believe; that her team believes:

“Every girl and woman should have access to accessible coding education. In closing the gap on education, social and financial disadvantage. In asking questions, ignoring assumptions and smashing gender-based stereotypes. In making decisions that have girls’ best interests in mind. In giving girls and women an edge.”

So if you haven’t picked up with my level of enthusiasm in my voice, I am super, super pumped to have Ally on the show today. We’re going to be talking about where this idea of Code Like A Girl came from, the role that social enterprises play in making this successful, exploring how she stays viable for being a social enterprise, and so, so, so much more.

If you’re wanting to know who and how you can make a bigger impact with your business in the world and you want to learn from an amazing human who’s doing this and making ripple effects all across the world, I encourage you to sit back, get comfy, and get ready for an amazing episode.

But before we hop straight into this amazing episode, I’d like to remind you that if you enjoy this episode, I would love for you to share a key takeaway, a snippet of you; whatever it is that you want to do; a fun fact, over on your Instagram stories and tag me @angelahendersonconsulting because it would put a smile on my dial.

Also, this episode is sponsored by my 12-month group coaching program, Profit Pillars, which helps women in business create consistent 5K plus months. My 12-month group coaching program is for women business owners who are ready to take action, who are ready to grow a profitable business.

My amazing 12-month group coaching program includes a complete Profit Pillar training systems with videos, PDFs, guides and more; monthly live strategy sessions, monthly hot seat calls, monthly masterminds with guest experts, 24/7 access to our amazing private Facebook community, world-class member support, special bonuses and secret surprises, and so much more.

To learn more about my 12-month group coaching program, Profit Pillars, you can simply head to angelahenderson.com.au and click on the ‘I Want To Create 5K Months’ under the subheading, ‘How Can I Help You?’

Now, let’s get ready for this amazing show with Ally. Welcome to the show, Ally.

ALLY:

Hi Angela. Thanks for having me.

ANGELA:

Gosh, well thank you for being here. I know you are a woman in demand, Ally, so I appreciate you taking your time as you are helping empower women and girls around here in Australia and collectively, around the world. So thank you so much for being on the show today.

ALLY:

You’re very welcome, Angela. Thanks for having me. 

ANGELA:

Now, we only met late last year at a speaking event in Sydney. And I remember being at the back of the room, and I was like, all of a sudden; like I said in my initial introduction to this particular episode, I was like, “Okay. Wow. She’s got me interested. Who is this lady? What is she talking about? I need to know more.”

And so, I was super; what I loved about you is just again, your focus on making sure that we are empowering women and girls to be equal creators in building the future. And that’s why I really wanted to have a deeper chat to you about that today.

But before we get into that amazing chat about empowering women and girls, I always like to ask a fun question to the guest that comes on just so that the audience gets to know you a little bit better. And so, my fun question to you is, obviously, you are Scottish, alright, in that beautiful accent of yours. So what is your favourite place back home in Scotland?

ALLY:

Oh, that’s a really good question. I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently. I moved up to a really beautiful green kind of mountainous suburb in Melbourne recently and it’s been bringing back a lot of memories for me. My parents were separated when I was younger. My dad, he actually lived in the country. He lived in this little town called Dunblane in Scotland, and I had some of my best childhood memories in this little country town where he lived just right next to this forest. And it was building three houses, going exploring, doing bird-watching, and going on really long walks in the Scottish countryside.

And I’d probably say, for me, that brings a lot of happy memories, and even just walking about the Australian bush in the Victorian countryside, I think it had this strange little piece of memory that sort of comes out on me that helps me reminisce about my childhood and some of that’s happened to me. So, I’d probably say, yeah, countryside in Dunblane is probably one of my favourite places to go walking. 

ANGELA:

Well, that sounds pretty magical, right? You kind of took us back to like a story there, Ally, which is always great. There is something you said about childhood memories and I also think about connecting with nature, naturally. I think a lot of our society, especially in first-world countries, where there’s a lack of or there’s a disconnect, I should say, with getting out with nature. 

And the benefits of nature, just being in sunshine for 10 to 15 minutes, smelling the fresh air and putting technology down is I think so powerful. But yet, so many people aren’t making the choice to do that.

ALLY:

I couldn’t agree more. Yeah.

ANGELA:

I think that’s a whole probably another conversation I can have on another podcast episode, but I do think; I know like my son and daughter, we were walking around here in this particular; we live in The Gap, in Queensland, Australia, and it’s all the way out. It’s kind of like the last suburb before you start heading inland. And so, we’ve got all the beautiful green trees and everything like that. 

And the kids, we typically go for a bike ride or a walk three to four times a week. But my kids have said, and they started to notice, “Mom, why are we the only ones out here? Where are the kids?” And I said, “Everyone has different lives.” And I was thinking though about when he said that is, yes, people kind of use the excuse I believe is, “My kids could get kidnapped.” Okay, well, that is a possibility, but the likelihood of that happening is quite minimal. 

“Maybe they’re in their backyards.” But then, Finlee is like, “But Mom, I don’t hear their kids playing in their backyards.” And I was like, “Fair enough call, right?” So I was like, “Where are the kids?” is what I’m saying. 

So I do believe there’s a disconnect, so it is lovely to hear about those beautiful memories you had back home in Scotland and how that equally, I’m assuming, you’d get back into the Melbourne; your new suburb and you are able to experience that newness for you there also.

ALLY:

Absolutely. 

ANGELA:

So now, Code Like A Girl. Let’s be honest; it’s amazing. Every element of it is amazing. And I know a lot of the listeners might not even know what the hell I’m talking about yet, Ally. But absolutely, they’re in for a treat today. So can we just start off by a little bit about giving a background about what is Code Like A Girl and how did you come up with that name? Where did it all begin?

ALLY:

Oh, yeah, right. Let’s get started. So let’s start with the name, Code Like A Girl. It’s always a really good conversation starter and it’s really leaning into that kind of, like cleaning back this insult, “like a girl.” You fight like a girl, you punch like a girl, and you run like a girl. 

There’s an incredible campaign and it was probably about ten years old now. I remember being in the really early twenties, I turned on the TV, it was always, always as a female kind of size retail brand, I think it was in the US as well as the UK.

And so, they had this incredibly, powerful ad there that came on, and it was interviewing young kids and older kids and adults and asked each of them to fight like a girl, to run like a girl, to throw like a girl. And the boy in the ad was doing it really feebly, throwing his hands, bending his knees, and it was all that fluffy.

They asked a really young girl to do it, and she did it as hard as she could, as strong as she could. And it was really about when did doing something like a girl come on insult? And so, it was a very powerful campaign about cleaning that back and saying, “Yeah, I run like a girl. You wish you could, too.” 

And so, this was really impactful for me when I first saw it. And I remember at the time on my Twitter bio; so, I was a software developer at the time when I saw this ad. I just completed my computer science degree, I was working in a very male-dominant industry. And often, I came across people who will always be surprised that I was a developer. 

And in particular, a backend developer; it was a very male-dominated role and not many girls ended up in that space. And particularly myself, I have a lot of time and energy, which I’m really proud of. So I was always kind of like a little bit different and people would remark on that many times, or they’d always get mistaken, or like think I’m the receptionist, or think I’m a project manager. So there’s many times I was always kind of trying to prove myself in front of people for that competency. 

So that was something that definitely, when I saw this ad, I was like, I wish that people had bigger expectations on me when they meet me. I wish that they don’t just see me on my gender. So I loved that campaign. It really resonated with me. I remember tears ran down my face the first time I saw it because I knew what women were capable of and it really bothered me that we still had stigma and biases around our capabilities. 

And so, changed my twitter bio to Ally Watson Codes Like  A Girl. And as time went on, I spent a really large time in my career as a software developer. So fast forward, probably about six years from then, I’ve been a developer for seven years working in web development and mobile development. I dabbled a little bit in software analysis, but I really liked the creativity of creative agencies and digital agencies.

But again, I moved countries, I moved companies, I moved roles. But something remained the same. I was always, “You’re going to be our first female hire, Ally,” or, “Are you okay, are you comfortable? You’re the only girl in the team.” And sometimes, I was even the only girl in an entire office and that was always really confronting because starting a new job anywhere is really nerve-wracking. But the carried weight of knowing that you’re going to really change up the dynamics, culturally, you are really going to ruffle some feathers because…

ANGELA:

Yes.

ALLY:

“I’ve never worked with a woman before.” Like, imagine the level of like fear about living, going into this environment. And I think anybody who feels definitely in a culture would recognize that kind of apprehension. And so, I was starting to get a little bit tired of this story. I was starting to get a little bit caved that why was there not more women? 

And it bothered me for several reasons; one was that I fell in love with computer science and software development. It was probably a career that I felt was so perfectly matched for my skill set and my personality, and the kind of things I enjoy doing and making and crafting. It was very complementary to the skills acquired for software engineering. And that bothered me because I almost didn’t get into computer science because actually, I thought I was destined for art school. I know right? Totally other; you will think that’s the other end of the spectrum, but I disagree. I actually think…

ANGELA:

I think they complement each other to some degree.

ALLY:

Oh, absolutely. I don’t think there’s a marriage better suited than creativity and technology, and I think those two things come together so beautifully. And I didn’t realize that until I really started my journey, and I kept thinking, “Imagine I haven’t been rejected to art school. Imagine I ended up going there and never finding this wonderful career that I just; I thrived and enjoyed and loved.”

And I thought there’s so much opportunity here, there’s so much; that your salaries are lucrative, the jobs are in abundance. It is like the only industry that was really booming, and even in the UK, even in Scotland who had suffered a financial crisis, towns were shutting down, like shops were shutting down right in the centre, but technology was booming.

And so, I kept thinking, this is probably unfair that there’s not more women taking these opportunities and why is that? And so, I started to explore, and I gave a talk at school, and I started a blog, and I thought, “What am I going to call this? What is this I’m doing?” Because at the early stage, I was very happy being a full-time developer; this was just a side project. So it’s just done something quick, I checked the domain, codelikeagirl.com.au was available, so I started with that. 

And it was originally a website, and then I came up to my boss at the time and said, “Hey Ika.” So I’m working in a really cute, little boutique creative agency in Cremorne in Richmond in Victoria in Melbourne. And I said, “Hey Ika, I want to get some women together. I want to have a glass of wine and the other women who program because I am alone all the time, and all the guys are always hanging out. I need some friends. Like, I need other women that do what I do. It’s a really big part of the enjoyment that I will get from this career.”

And she was all on board, she was like, “Absolutely, invite them out.” And so, what was supposed to be an intimate evening with a glass of wine ended up being in a hundred-person event.

ANGELA:

Wow. How amazing is that? Obviously, the demand was there.

ALLY:

The demand was there, and I think, at the time; so this was five years ago, Angela. So it was quite a while ago, and at the time, there wasn’t a huge amount of community around us. Unlike nowadays, if you go online, you’ll find a lot of women in tech, girls in tech, meetups and events. So it’s definitely became a real thing here in Melbourne in particular. But at the time, there wasn’t much movement, there wasn’t much going on. So I think we just hit the market at the right time, right place, and it was such a huge, overwhelming response.

Ever since that first event, I knew that I just fell in love of these women, I fell in love with their challenges, like I wanted to be part of the solution, meeting them. The passion, the energy that I got just from being amongst my tribe. And that’s how I felt at the time. Like, I had finally met my tribe, and for the first time in my career, I felt a sense of belonging, I felt that this is also a woman’s domain, and here we are, and hundreds, and it was just such an incredible moment. And from that, that was really the inception of Code Like A Girl.

ANGELA:

So awesome. And I like how you said that you wanted to be part of the solution because there’s so many people complain, complain, complain; fixed mindset makes me want to start like chugging wine, like, “Oh my God, focus people.” So the fact that you’re like, “Hold on a minute, this sucks, but we’re going to change this shit up, people We are going to come up with a solution.” 

And you did. I mean, to get a hundred people at an event. I mean, they, too, probably felt lost to some degree not knowing what to do. And the fact that you guys all came together is so powerful.

And then, so obviously, you’re at this event, you’re having a conversation with obviously, a hundred women, alright? Juicy, rich conversation; you got a good glass of wine in your hands. How did you then go from that to going, “Okay, let’s build a social enterprise.” Like, how did it go from there to there? 

ALLY:

So we started to gain traction, we started to get media attention, radio stations were phoning us up wanting to talk to us, wanting to film us. So people came to the place I work and they wanted to know more about what we were planning. And also, something really early on when I decided to do this, now I don’t really try things, I go and fulfill it off all.

And so, I remember the time saying that this is not going to be a one-off event because I knew that people had attempted maybe different things. It was all started, there was no regularity, there was no community being built, there was no networks; like really strong networks being built. So I promised at that very early stage that no matter what happened, this was going to be a thing that happens again.

So I committed at that point to do events every sort of two to three months, which we did. So we were doing that for about six months. So we’ve had about maybe three big events, and each one, we were just packed out, sold out, venues and partners and sponsors were coming on board because they wanted in in this action. They wanted to meet these women, they wanted to put their stake in the grand and see if we support this. So it was starting to build a lot of momentum and we were starting to actually get funding partners on board.

I was approached, so this was December in 2015 or 16, actually I don’t even know what year is right now. I got approached by PwC and the Foundation for Young Australians, and they called me up and said, “Hey Ally, we’ve heard about Code Like A Girl and we think it’s awesome. And we’re running this Accelerator Program for STEM Initiatives.” 

Now, as a developer, I don’t really have much knowledge of the entrepreneurship world, the startup world. Like, I kind of just worked for established businesses and the idea of starting a business really never actually crossed my mind at that point. And so, they called me up and said about this Accelerator Program and I didn’t even know what that was. 

ANGELA:

Yup.

ALLY:

So I’m on Google, and it was 3:00 PM on a Friday or something like that, and they said to me the deadline is close to business to apply. And I remember being like, “I don’t even; I’m at work. I don’t know what I’m applying for or what is going on?” Honestly, this was a real story. And so, this lovely, lovely guy from the Foundation for Young Australian’s marketing, we’re good friends to this day. He said, “Ally, this is the job, this is the process, this is the program.”

And it sounded wonderful, I was going to meet 60 other entrepreneurs who were trying to tackle a social problem. They were going to supply place and workshops, and it was only a very small commitment in terms of what I would need time off work for. And then, at the very end of the program, there was a chance to pitch your idea for funding.

I remember at the time saying, like, “Oh, that sounds cool, I’ll apply.” I’ve got permission from my boss and just luckily on the application the next afternoon. And it did take a couple of hours and I submitted, and at that point, I really wasn’t sure what was going on. And go on interview, and then I go to PwC for the first time. I’ve never been to their offices; they’re very fresh, very corporate, very lovely. 

I remember travelling up in this, like 11 floors, high skyscraper in Melbourne, walking past people in suits, went to this very formal meeting room, there’s someone from Zurich on the TV screen [Crosstalk 00:21:13] really quickly. And they started asking me about Code Like A Girl and why I started it. 

And I think one thing has always been something that people tell me often is the passion for what I do, the authenticity is because I’ve experienced it, it’s because I’ve lived to be what it’s like to be a girl in a computer science class, I’ve lived to be what it’s like to be a software engineer in a male-dominated industry.

So the passion I have for solving this problem is very; it is real and it is inside me. And even at that early stage when I had zero business, I think that really shone through. And they accepted me into the program, and at that stage, I met lots of non-for-profits social enterprise; I was actually exposed to this idea of a social enterprise.

And what a social enterprise is is pretty much like a business startup in governance with a bit of a social or non-for-profit value. So you may create a commercial model that actually also solves a social problem. And the benefits of that model, which was kind of awesome to hear about and meet people and started these things is that you can build something scalable, you can build something self-sustainable.

Because at that point, I realized that no one’s really tackling this street on, no one’s throwing funding at this, no one is dedicating full-time resources to this. What people are doing is initiatives; people are doing community groups or things are very [Inaudible 22:54] in small kind of doses, in small areas of the ecosystem, but nothing is going hard on this. 

And I felt there is an opportunity there; there was an opportunity to create a business, to work on a commercial model that was sustainable, but also solve the problem. And as a developer, I’m a problem solver.

ANGELA:

That’s what you do; coding, no pun intended. It’s inside of you, my friend.

ALLY:

That’s my job. Exactly. And so, I got pretty excited about this idea of working on something that hasn’t been solved yet, that is a global problem. Not every country suffers from gender imbalance that we see in Australia or the US or a lot of Westernized countries; there’s that gender gaps there. But when we look at Iran or India, their gender gap in terms of their education for computer science is very equal, very balanced.

But when you look at the industry, they also have issues in terms of women at work. And so, that’s a whole another issue; we’re going to hold on it. But I knew that it could be solved and I knew that there was something like culture and biases and stereotypes that were barriers in our society that could be lifted, that could be changed. 

And so, there was a glimpse of hope that I felt as a creative entrepreneur coder that maybe I could solve. And so, at that point, I went all in. I did my pitch at the end of that Accelerator Program, and I actually won $10,000, and this was the first amount of money and real money that the business sow. And so, with that money, we set up the business. 

And so, we did go for the governance structure of a for-profit with a social cause. And so, the idea would be that we could create a commercial, sustainable model that would then support this social vision, which was close the gender gap in technology. 

And so, ever since then, we’ve been accelerating, we’ve been learning, we’ve been creating products, we’ve been creating services; we’ve got corporate clients, we’ve got public clients, we’ve got parents, we’ve got all sorts of different customers. And we’ve really been through a lot of different revenue roles. And I think that’s been very educational journey for me as transitioning into a developer to a CEO, which is what I call myself now. So I’m a full-time CEO for the business.  

I cannot remember…

ANGELA:

It’s okay. We all do.

ALLY:

By the way, forgot what the original question is. When did we started the move into the business? So, yeah, that was 2017. It was February 2017 was the date that we registered as a business, and at that point, I wanted to shift gears. I wanted to give up my engineer job and go full-time with this because we were at Sydney at that point, we were at Melbourne, and I could see that I just needed some funding to be able to create some educational programs; some quality educational programs. And so, that was kind of where we sort of shifted gear really and moved into that business realm. 

ANGELA:

And with that business realm, I mean, can you talk a little bit more, obviously, as a social enterprise, alright? Are you able to, like I’m going to assume here, and it’s never good to assume, but like, do you have investors or how do you stay financially viable? Is it grants, corporate sponsorship, partners? Like, what does that look like for you?

ALLY

Yeah. That’s a really good question and I think lots of people are curious about that. In terms of our model, very early on, it was 100% sponsored by private tech companies. So there was no equity involved, it was basically like event sponsorship because that’s really all we were doing at the very beginning.

When we transitioned to do coding camps, that was a big step for us because that was a product and it was a 3-day camp and we wanted it to be scalable. So we couldn’t just do sponsorship, and we don’t want to just give away this for free because from experience, from talking to people, there’s a lot of effort that goes into arranging something. Particularly for kids, with 3Ds, you need teachers; you need working with children checks, you need child protection policies. Like, there’s a lot of admin that to assume that you can do that on volunteer time, it’s not scalable. 

So that was kind of the first challenge of, “Okay, what are we working with and how do we create a 3D curriculum that’s fully staffed, that can be scaled everywhere?” So we’ve worked out a finance model, and that finance model meant that the corporate funding that we got could establish a really core team, and that core team is marketing, it’s business development, it’s a bit of social, and some education director. 

So we have a quite small team. And so, our partnership funding, that sponsorship funding really sort of covers those overheads. And then, the tech price of the actual camp covers all of the facilitators. So we actually pay teachers to work with our students’ school holidays, and that was a really important turning point from going from just getting free labour and being volunteer-led.

And that was difficult when we were volunteer-led because people get busy, people have their own careers, and you lose those champions; those absolute, passionate champions who come on board because they came about the mission. But after two camps, they’re tired, they’ve got jobs; you don’t have the commitment that you need to kind of keep going and scale. So I really wanted to put in place structure that meant that every single [Inaudible 28:44], I could be scaling, I could be delivering; that these camps would happen without people pulling out. 

And so, I’m so happy that we went on that route, and I was a little bit apprehensive at the start because, I think because what we do is for kids, what we do is closing the gender gap. There’s an assumption that these kinds of things should all be done freely. People should be spending their volunteer time for these. That’s not scalable, and we really proved that.

So now we’re teaching about a thousand girls a year. We’re running camps in Canberra, we’re just about to launch in Adelaide, we’re doing them in Sydney, we’re doing them in Melbourne, and now we’re even doing them in regional areas. So it’s incredible that this finance model has allowed us to reach more kids to do even free camps in regional areas, to create training for teachers.

So a lot of our teachers come on board and they’re paid on their [Inaudible 29:41] so they can work on their professional development. So a lot of teachers get exposed to our curriculums, which are very easy to pick up, train up and deliver, which gives them exposure to content that may be the school system doesn’t have access to. It gives them a lot more confidence in delivering digital curriculum, which is now within the school system.

So it was kind of like a win-win ecosystem that was scalable, and that’s exactly what we wanted to really achieve. It also gave us budget to create really nice marketing assets to invest in curriculum development. So we now have unique curriculums that all kind of have that marriage of creativity and technology. So as an example, our upcoming camp, which is about to go online in a couple of weeks is Head, Knees, Shoulders and Code.

ANGELA

So fun.

ALLY:

And it’s always fun and it’s all about med tech and how technology is used enhancing medical mission. Our last camp was Code Your Own Adventure, we were focused on travel; in technologies and travel. We had Into The Wilderness, which was around vendetta and technology and the conservation work and endangered species.

Like, these kids just immersed themselves with 3Ds and topics that they care about, topics that ignite their passion. And we show them how technology can be applied in this industry, these problems in a way that’s never been done before. And I think; I really am proud of what we’ve managed to achieve with Code Like A Girl.

The kids get little patches at school holidays, so we’re seeing 30% return rate where kids just want to come back. They want to meet their friends again, and they want to learn more. And we’re not just teaching local, we’re teaching actual like web development. Like, the kids made a website of their favourite animal who’s endangered, and we’re able to show that to their parents. They’re so proud of their achievements and the outcomes of the camps.

So without that funding model, we were just never be able to achieve what we’ve been able to achieve just through sponsorships. So very slowly, we’ve moved from 100% sponsorship to 50% sponsorship. And the raise from the funding comes from either ticket sales or through corporate and private clients, which we now do camps at corporate businesses or those free regional camps, which usually have a big monetary sponsor who covers the whole program.

So it really has kind of shifted into not a fully self-sustainable model yet; I would say that sponsorship doesn’t feel sustainable for us. It’s really; you feel like you’re kind of always trying to get money and you always kind of pitching about what you’re doing. The reality is these companies only have a set amount of budget, and they disperse that budget between big issues. So you’re competing with budgets for like homelessness or other sort of initiatives that companies really care about, which is so understandable. 

And so, it’s getting harder and harder to pitch for the funding we need just based on your coding for girls. And that’s something I’ve always been really acutely aware of that I cannot build the best that lies on donations of sponsorship or grants because of a gender shift. And I do think, but technically, it was gender and equality and technology and the imbalances, people are starting to get diversity. Businesses are starting to shift and definitely there’s diversity, and the budgets are getting smaller.

And so, I’m in a rush, I’m in a race to build this business so that we will always be there for our girls. Even if the corporates don’t back it, we were going to create something that is long-lasting that we’ll never give up on these issues. So that was really important to me.

ANGELA:

And you mentioned a minute ago about that; you’ll never going to give up on the issue. And I know when we were at the conference speaking together in Sydney, you had talked about a variety of different super powerful steps. And I can’t remember all of them, but you did talk about like gender gap, for example. 

And I just; I’d love for you to talk a little bit about so that audience can understand some of these bigger issues that maybe they come at maybe get like a 5-second still on the news here and there, but really, the impact that, I guess, we kind of scratch the surface that it actually has, not only on women and girls but collectively, on our overall environment, our world moving forward. Are you able to talk a little bit about that?

ALLY

Yeah, absolutely. So I’ll maybe start with the stats and what we’re seeing in terms of the issue. So there’s two parts of the issue, there’s a pipeline issue, which is the people entering the technology industry; and then, there’s a retention issue. So there’s a lot of women leaving the industry midway through their careers. 

Now, the senior point, they are very valuable to company so we are losing 9% of our assets to our economy, to our workforce by losing these women. And so, to put a stat towards that, we don’t have any Australian figures on this, but in America, they have a stat of; and maybe you can check this for me, Angela, but it’s 56% of women are leaving technology midway through their career, and that’s in comparison to 17% men.

ANGELA:

Wow.

ALLY:

Yeah. So it’s a really big difference, and I can’t comment on the exact reasons why, but here’s my opinion, here’s what I think. I think that women are obviously still socialized and obviously, practical reasons; maybe leaving to have a family. That could be one issue.

ANGELA:

Yup.

ALLY:

And the return to work pathway is not very appealing, it’s not very structured, it’s not supportive. So a lot of these tech companies, a lot of these startups, because they are male-dominated, don’t have great benefits for women or haven’t even thought about them. So as an example, some startups; I’ve had people tell me that there was no bench in the bathroom.

ANGELA:

Yes.

ALLY:

They asked someone, head up, “Hey, by the way, there’s no bench in the bathroom,” and they said, “Yeah, there’s one in the kitchen.” 

ANGELA:

Oh my gosh.

ALLY:

As a woman, instantly, I’m like, “What? Are you serious?” No bench in comfort rooms; we’ve had one tell us that they were asked to go in the server room.

ANGELA:

Oh, come on. Yup.

ALLY:

Yeah. So you’d be quite surprised. And I think the good thing is we have progressed a lot. And it’s a real area that people have really stepped up and well-educated themselves better on it. It’s almost like a real crime nowadays to not address these issues. And it should be because it sends a message, and I think that message, it’s really helping like make us problem less. It’s sending a message that this is I want to build.

I think that the development career is quite amateur. I think that I would love to see the development career become that are more structured and creating in particular about more structured that when I compare what it’s like to be a software developer, as opposed to a doctor, the profession of your career is very separate. After a doctor graduates, they start doing their residency, they have a year one, a year two, and then they sort of own the world themselves. There’s a lot of structure in that training process.

With development, there is an expectation, and I think they steal the keys that you really should be up with upscaling in your own time. When I worked as a developer, many of the projects, many of the languages, and the trademarks I was given, I was hardly ever given time to train. Like, I was shocked on projects and I’m like, “I’ve never used this language before,” and the level of expectation about how much you learn and how much; if you’re passionate, you should find the time.

But as women who have family, that’s not reality. And so, the work-life balance as a developer, I don’t think there’s a place for women. I really think it’s a really hard career for them to maintain if we want to have a family; well, not everyone wants to. But also, people have rights to that job and I think there needs to be a bit of a culture change. 

And my third reason; God, I have so many reasons why I think women in this industry…

ANGELA:

Just keep them coming, keep them coming.

ALLY:

My third reason is I think there’s a lot of bad behaviour and bad culture in the tech industry. And I think no matter if people are working in a female-dominated area or a male-dominated area, at the end of the day, you need diversity because it breeds culture problems when it’s just one group of one sort of set of people. And I’ve seen that in men, like, who I’ve worked with get really quite aggressive or angry around bad code, if you submit a mistake.

And I remember at times, and it’s not every person, believe me. I’ve worked with absolutely beautiful, totally warm people, but there has been bad behaviour that I have witnessed and nothing’s happened because we have a shortage of technologists. And a good developer is very hard to find. But the problem with that is they think they’re untouchable. They believe that they’re not going to get fired because they’re such a crucial part in business.  

And so, a lot of this bad behaviour doesn’t get addressed like it would normally in an environment where you have an abundance of people. So I think some cultures, and I think it really comes down to those tech teams. You’re going to be very deliberate about who you’re hiring; are their values aligned? It’s not just about the code and how good they are. You’ve got to be employing good people. You can work with others, you can mentor, you can support, particularly, when you’re putting a minority into that group.

So I’ve experienced it and I’m pretty sure that lots of other women in that position would have experienced it. And I think that I don’t have to use my experience in other industries and other roles. So this could be just like something that a lot of other people experienced in their jobs. But we’re coding and we’re programming. There was a time where I was just like, “I can’t deal with this environment.” Like, it makes me feel uneasy, unsafe. I don’t want to take risks, I don’t want to try things because the atmosphere isn’t safe.

And so, I think that’s like maybe another reason why women are choosing to opt-out of these careers as they’re just bothered by and after bothered by and it was just not finding the right path. So that’s my kind of take on it and I can’t back it with too much other than my own anecdotes and own experience. 

ANGELA:

But something you said, and again, and I would also suspect regardless if you’re in that kind of tech; like you’re talking about encoding side of things. Like, I think a lot of women still feel this particular push. I mean, even in marketing, the amount of speaking events that I go to, and it is so male-heavy, and that’s okay because I do believe it’s okay if the person that is speaking is delivering what is needed to make a good event. Does that make sense?

ALLY:

Yeah.

ANGELA:

But there’s a difference between when it’s just the ‘bro-ness’ coming around, and then I see it often, right? Where everyone, it’s like, they’re not looking out to be able; how can we incorporate women into this event? How can we take their expertise because we all bring different angles. And so, it is something that again, I know I see specifically in the entrepreneurship space; there’s different speaking events that I’ve tried to speak at or I have been able to speak in, and I’m one of two girls, and there’s other eight or ten different males.

Again, I’m all about, again, if you meet the job description for whatever it is you need to do and you’re the better player, hands out to you. But I don’t think that’s always the case in a lot of places. There’s a lot of times I walk into the room, and like you said, you’re the only female in there. 

ALLY:

Yeah.

ANGELA:

There’s an amazing business coach over in the United States who just kind of works with seven-figure and eight-figure business and entrepreneurs; Ali Brown. She was just talking about actually the other day while she’s just created her own I guess, sub group called The Trust, specifically, for those women in seven and eight figures because she was saying that when you go to an event, a lot of times, the women-led events that we’re going where the women would stop going back to them because women were afraid to have these really rich and powerful conversations so they lack self-esteem, etc. etc.

But they would go to the male-dominant ones because the males were prepared to have those rich and juicy conversations that the women were craving and they needed in order to kind of excel their businesses. So Ali has made it kind of her; it’s her bigger impact part of the business that she’s wanting to leave as a legacy for women in business to be able to have equal opportunity to have access to great and rich, juicy networks that are women-educated and enriched, and isn’t dominated by males.

She’s only just released this in the last few weeks into the New Year. So it’s been really great to see that she’s kind of leading the way in this because she, too, has seen a gap. There hasn’t been a lot of data, what she says is she does like observations and people reporting back, and she’s like, “Well, how can we change this? Something’s got to change.”

So I love again; she’s looking for a solution in this field because again, I think it’s an issue kind of anywhere and anywhere. And again, by you starting Code Like A Girl and empowering women and girls to be able to build that confidence and step up into the world of coding, I think other people will start to get that in other fields also. 

ALLY:

Yeah, that sounds excellent. I hope to check her out. Ali; what was her second name?

ANGELA:

Ali Brown.

ALLY:

All the Ally’s? 

ANGELA:

Yeah. A-l-i. So not with the A-l-l-y. Yeah. A-l-i. So she’s fantastic and it’s called The Trust. And so, I’m really eager and excited to see how this evolves over the next 24 because she’s just starting her kind of first round of this is happening now at time. Yes, and so, super excited for her.

Now, in regards to empowering women and girls, obviously, you started off with empowering the females who are in the tech space, and then, you started to bring on the girls. Can you talk to us a little bit more about the broad type of services that you’re offering because again, before we pressed record on this, you were talking about some exciting things that are happening for you.

But did you see a gap? And if so, when did that gap kind of start to appear where you’re like, “Okay. We can’t just do this for the young ones, we need to also do this for the older ones, too.” Can you walk me through that?

ALLY

Yeah, I totally can. So it’s been quite a journey. When we started, we actually did the opposite. We actually tried to target everybody. We were trying to solve this problem from all ends, and obviously, like led to some serious burnout. So we were doing really short entry classes with women, adult women, and they were usually like two-hour to four-hour classes. And we were running them for probably the first year, and we’re also, on the side of that, running junior education. So junior classes, again, like really short course; like two-hour, four-hour Saturday kind of classes.

And then, what we decided to do was let us move the girl initiative, the junior initiative to be about more extensive, like two hours was not enough. These girls were going to be tech and really teach them like how to make a website, “No, we can’t do that in two hours.”

So we decided to move the junior education to 3D format, and that obviously took a lot more of our operational side of the business to make that happen. And what we found was that focus on junior education, it was absolutely tiresome to try and keep up the other audience based on our finances, based on the revenue.

So it felt like those first couple of years, everybody in the team was frazzled. We were just like trying to do everything, trying to be everything everyone because the demand was there and the opportunities just kept coming in. And I guess it was definitely my imagery as well as a business owner to be like, “Yes, yes, yes. Yes to everything.”

ANGELA:

Totally. I think we do that at the beginning though.

ALLY:

Oh my God. We’re just so excited. But it hit us hard when we got to the end of 2017. 2018, I decided; oh, no, actually, so at the end of 2018 we’re still doing a lot, covering a big audience from women to girls. Then 2019, at the very beginning of that year, I said to the team, “We are going to stop this.” Like, we are going to take away, we did this exercise actually full team. I had pulled out all the revenue stats, all of our numbers, and it was like this game of poker. I created cards for each piece of revenue stream that came through the business. Angela, I’m almost embarrassed to say this, but there were 17 different ways we made money that year. 

ANGELA:

Yup.

ALLY:

And from a business perspective, that is crazy. That means 17 different services of some sort that we offered that year and delivered. And I said, no wonder, we’re tired, no wonder we’re getting no money to shove it at the end of the year. Like everything just kind of going and we’ve not thought about it.

ANGELA:

Yes.

ALLY:

Now, that was obviously bad, but at the time it was such a new thing to be around on business. So we decided, “No, let’s really focus. Let’s choose three out of these 17 things that we were doing.” And so, the three that came out, I got the whole team to vote and a get a theme work, and the theme work was every single service and it questioned what is the impact, what is the revenue, and can we make this self-sustainable? Is it scalable? And the last one is do we love it? 

Because there was things that we were doing that we’re taking the revenue box to allow us to do other things that we just don’t really enjoy. So we were doing a lot of corporate private things that we just felt wasn’t strongly aligned but we’re able to pay this back. 

So we’ve cut down and we focused on three services, and we just ended up the internship program. So we have an internship program that places women into like entry level in software engineer roles, and the idea is that they teach up on the job rather than classroom and they don’t need formal education, and that’s a paid internship. 

So we’ve built these really strong relationships, saw the dream as the dream; diversity is the future and you want to be that company that solves this problem first. Like you want to be the company that has a balanced workforce that just attracts more and more diversity because your products, your profit, you know the story; will all be better. So we build these relationships and we’ve been able to place; I think we’ve placed over 37 women in the last two years into jobs. 

ANGELA:

Amazing.

ALLY:

I know, right? And 70% of them are actually staying in these intern companies going into full time permanent software engineer roles. So it’s been usually impactful and that was something that we wanted to keep and we wanted to keep running.

The second service that we hold in on our focus was obviously the coding techs, and we have, after 12 months, of that focus, we have just really improved the quality of education with curriculums, the design that goes on to them with creativity, it really paid off. And then, the third thing was we all started the events; we couldn’t give up the events. 

So that was 2019; a whole year of focusing on three products with three particular audiences. And that was; well, actually two audiences – women and girls. And so, 2020, we’re kind of ready now to get our hands dirty again. And so, I’m super excited to say, and Angela, you’re probably the first person publicly that I’ve told this to.

ANGELA:

So exciting.

ALLY:

That we’re launching a Tech School. So we’re actually getting the lease same this week and moving into the premises next month. But it’s a beautiful classroom space that we’ll be running adult short courses from. So the courses launch April 2020, we’re running two pilots. So it will be fundamentals of software engineering and the fundamentals of web development. 

And these two courses that we’ll be running we’ll be available for women to sign up to; they will be able to do it in their own time. So we practice, like develop what we think is a gap in the education market. There is not a lot of flexible options, acceptable in-place options for coding education. You either go fill hard a masive web account that will cast you an arm and a leg] or you sign up to like a university degree or a diploma. But there was no sort of middle ground entry point. 

So we’ve designed these short courses that can be done on a weeknight or a weekend. It’s two and a half hours a week with some take home homework. You do you your micro; the programs are micro courses and short courses, you do it over ten weeks. And by the end of that term, you have a really basic, solid level of knowledge within software development and web development. But also, on top of that, you have a huge community of women that you’ll meet and that you’ll have access to keep your learning going.

So we really wanted to target this audience because the internship had been going so well, but out of the average 50 applicants that we get a month, we only put through 10 to the intern companies. And 40 women, each one, who kind of not doing anything right and they’re not quite in the benchmark, but there’s nothing out there other than online education to offer them. 

And we know that education is a social experience that peer, respect and motivation helps us get past those big hurdles. And so, we wanted to create an education experience similarly to our coding camps, just as effective, just as creative; and an environment where women are absolutely going to thrive, that they’re going to enjoy the course, they’re going to get the support they need at an accessible price point – that’s always been important to us. Like, I don’t want just more and more affluent people coding.

ANGELA:

Yes.

ALLY:

Like, the world has enough. Like, wait, they’re privileged coders, we need people so we’ve always been really sensible in our pricing of Code Like A Girl. That was something we believed was really important. Like, self-sustainability is one thing, but also, we’re not this corporate, money-hungry company where we’re just covering our costs and a little bit of investment goes down to new initiatives and new ideas that we can get about creating work. So that’s 2020, big, big news to us.

ANGELA:

Oh my goodness. How exciting? But again, you’ve also, like you’ve picked up on something that’s not only going to leave an impact, but you’ve found a gap, right? Is that you said 40 women every single month in the application process is getting turned away, but have nowhere else to either upscale, again, build those relationships and connections, right, to potentially look for other opportunities. 

So you’ve really gone; like it’s impact but from a whole different level, too, right? So through that, you’re going to be able to build their self-esteem, their confidence, and obviously their skill set. And from that, it’s going to make a bigger impact on to the community; you’re going to have more diversity, but then, equally, you’re creating opportunities for women to have jobs and give back to themselves, their family, their community, etc. 

So I think sometimes we all forget that it’s a ripple effect in some of the things that are happening, and it’s not just that kind of short-term solution. It’s actually a bigger solution for long-term problems, right? Or that we’ve been facing, collectively. So that; how amazing that the school is going to be starting, that you’ve got this beautiful space that you’re going to be attending.

I also wanted to touch upon something that I think is super important for those business owners and other entrepreneurs out there that are listening is that the importance of more does not mean better; more does not mean profitability, alright? And I see a lot of women who come to me, either in my group coaching program or my one-to-ones, and they’re like, “I’ve got 50 programs. And no, none of them are doing really well,” or “I’ve got this going and that going and that going.”

And so, I, too, we’ve got to look at; let’s kind of refine what’s going on in your business. And I’m working with a guy myself, actually, he’s out of Germany and I met him on my mastermind in the Maldives. But he talked about the importance of not just looking at the profitability of each of your income streams, but also the time that is taken to each of those individual income streams. And that’s a big component that people don’t measure.

ALLY:

Oh, absolutely.

ANGELA:

And one of the things I’ve been doing with my own clients is using a tool called Toggl, and I’m saying, “Every time you do something, we need to measure it and just track it. It’s a free tool.” And they’re like, “Holy shit. I’m spending ten hours a week on this particular income stream, but it’s my income stream that brings in the least amount of money. I probably need to get rid of it, Ange, and focus on where I am more profitable, where I’m making a bigger impact etc.” 

So I do love that you had that kind of epiphany where you’re like, “Shit. We’re doing 17 different income streams. We’re frazzled, we can’t keep that up.” And that’s a lot of the business owners that I work with and see, and also those listeners who listen to this podcast is they’re trying to do everything. Really focus on, and that’s what I did last year; 2019, for me, was also a year, my word of the year was REFINE and I did not do anything new.

I refined my group coaching, I refined my one-to-one, I refined the retreat, and it’s only now, this year, that I’m now bringing on my mastermind because there is no point trying to bring anything else on when my processes and systems etc. wasn’t working, right? So the importance of refining, and again, less can be more. Don’t forget that.

ALLY:

And it teach us discipline. Like the thing is, I remember at the start of last year and the team were happy. So they’re like, “Really? We’re going to cut all this?” And I’m like, “Yup.” And I see things that build the gap, a few things you said yes to, you just book upon us. But all in all, we can’t do it and I think it really paid off. And yeah, I think you’re on it, Angela, face to face that you’re going to get someone who just focus down, keep it simple, and do that thing really well. 

ANGELA:

Yup. And track, like as I’m sure you know, as you get bigger, right? And I say this often so people listening before will know is that I had a mastermind mentor last year say to me, “Well, Ange, that’s why you’re a six-figure business and I’m almost an eight-figure business.”  I was like, “Damn, she did not just say this to me.” I was like, “No.” 

But as I got thinking about it though, is again, when you’re starting to look at refining, one of the biggest things that I haven’t done; well, I do now since last year even better is tracking. People don’t track time, they don’t track their money. So they might say, “Oh, yeah. I’ve got an accountant.” But are you tracking it? 

So like, I was working with a client just before I got on the call to record with you, and she was like, “Yeah.” She’s like, “I’ve got an accountant, but I don’t know if I’ve got enough money to employ this and employ this.” When we broke it down, we’re like, “Actually, this is a bigger problem,” right? 

ALLY:

Yeah, Totally.

So again, all I can say, too, is the importance of not only refining, but tracking. Tracking your dollars in, dollars out, understanding what income stream is doing really well, and that time. I think it’s crucial. And I think most of us don’t get there ‘till we kind of get a few years down the track, right? Like, we don’t think it’s important.

And I think that goes, too, like, I look at businesses’ kind of three main stages is you’ve got the survival stage, you’ve got the growth stage, and you’ve got the scaling stage. And I don’t think again, we do, like I said, that tracking and that refining; whatever ‘till we hit kind of in between growth and scale, and we kind of go, “Shit, something’s got to change.”

So if you are out there and you’re like, “I’ve just got to make the dollar. I’ve got to do this.” It might not be important, but the thing is we’re planting the seeds so when you do get there, like it doesn’t take you long to realize that you need it.

ALLY:

Totally. No, I couldn’t agree more. And I think it goes to at least the second year before we started forecasting and keeping that kind of 12-

month forecast ahead of us and making sure that every expense, every revenue stream was well-documented, and we had targets in place. So you know every month that you done all the goods. If you’re not managing, or you’re not setting yourself for those kind of; and go big as well.

Like, what I’ve found is give yourself a one million dollar revenue target even though if you’re only at the $100,000 mark because you may not reach that, but it’s that type if seeing of what does it reach for the; reach for the stars or something.

ANGELA:

I also think it’s about again, that you’re not limiting yourself, right? It’s like, there’s this bigger goal that is out there and more achievable and there’s so much growth. But again, like you said, setting those goals, setting those strategies, being clear on what you want is so, so important. Now, I’d like to know just a little bit before we work out wrapping up is what have you found though was the biggest struggle you face since starting Code Like A Girl? 

ALLY:

Oh, that’s quite easy, I think, for me to answer. I think the biggest challenge is not being yourself off about your own weaknesses. Now, one of my biggest weaknesses is difficult conversations.

ANGELA:

Yup.

ALLY:

I really have never been a manager, I have never been responsible for anything, and then, suddenly, I am responsible for everything. And I’ve had moments where I have had team members let me down, I’ve had partners just really treat us badly. I’ve had these situations that I have been thrown into whether I could have avoided them, probably. 

Every situation, I’m like, “I could have done that differently and avoided this,” but I find myself those are the most challenging times where you’re so stressed out, and this horrible thing has happened, and you have to deal with it, and you have to have difficult conversations. I’ve really found that the most challenging thing that I’ve faced in this business and the part that people often see like personal in business separate them.   

And I’m not really sure of it, but like, I don’t really get that. I’m not that kind of person and I really lead with my heart, and I really put everything into this business, both personally. I’ve sacrificed a lot, and I know that it’s a short-term, and I have that blind optimism that entrepreneurs do have, and it’s that optimism that you work hard today so that you can have a life that you can live a dream of tomorrow. And for me, it’s about, I genuinely believe, and this sounds crazy saying out loud, but I believe that Code Like A Girl could actually change the imbalance in Australia alone.

ANGELA:

100%.

ALLY:

I believe that if we could get this business to a point where it is training 5,500 women year on year, that we could actually close the gender gap, and that is the way that you have to plan. So it’s hard when bad stuff happens in the business, when people leave. Or I actually, I’ve had sort of relationships break down and people will say to me, “Well, Ally, it’s just business,” and it’s not. 

It’s definitely not for me, and that’s probably been the hardest, emotional, mental challenge of dealing with this kind of fall outs, doing these difficult conversations. But you survive and that is the coolest thing I’ve ever because each hurdle, each thing that hurts you in the face or kills out your heart, you survive. And you’re so much stronger and you’re so much wiser. And I definitely think I’ve aged like ten years in the last five years. I don’t know whether I look that way at all. 

ANGELA:

No, no, no. You look fine. You look fine. 

ALLY:

But there’s no better education than living through something. And particularly if that something is a bad something. You really do change a lot and you really find out who you are. And I think that’s an experience that I wouldn’t swap for anything. Like, as hard as it’s been, as hard as it got, I’ve grown so much, and that’s all I could ask for.

And like, I’m grateful that I’m here. I’m grateful that we’re thriving, I’m grateful for the wonderful, beautiful team that I made. Like, they are insanely wonderful and supportive. And now, I’m finding what it’s like to work with good people, with good partners and it’s easier. And it’s getting slowly and slowly, easier and that’s just feeds the optimism even more. So I reckon that it’s not for everybody, obviously but the journey is a long way. You’re running a marathon.

ANGELA:

100%. The marathon. You keep going, my friend. And what is the proudest moments since starting Code Like A Girl?

ALLY:

Oh, wow. I think I’m living the proudest moments at this point. Opening the school is a five-year vision of mine. Opening a space that I can design and create something really special that no one had, in Australia, at least has seen, that no woman in coding education has ever experienced. And that’s what I really get off on; I love creating this wonderful educational experience is that we have such a positive and long-lasting impression that genuinely changes people’s perceptions, people’s careers, people’s self-confidence.

Like, I’ve been able to do that this year and what lies ahead and even seeing and getting the reviews of the coding camps from the parents and the kids, I’m really proud. Like, the last six months have just been incredible. I’m very excited about what’s ahead and I know that it’s all the hard work that the amazing team that I’ve got, but I feel like this is our year. And I’m very, very proud to have got to this point and be able to do what I’ve been able to do this year. So yeah, I think I’m most proud of that.

ANGELA:

Well, all I can say is listen, it is an inspiration, like I said, hearing you at our speaking event that we were at. It’s an inspiration to watch you on your socials and your platforms, and I’m super, super excited to watch you hit this 2020 goal of opening up the school. I think there’s a lot of people you’re going to change in many, many ways that you probably don’t even know. But before we wrap up, how can people learn more about you or connect with you?

ALLY:

Excellent. Great question. So absolutely, go on to the website. So Code Like A Girl is codelikeagirl.com. You can read all about our internship program, our short courses are coming online at the end of February. If you want to know more about them, or keep in the loop, just join our mailing list, connect with me on there. I usually post a lot of company updates via that. So yeah, stay in touch and please reach out.

ANGELA:

And my final question for you is what do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started?

ALLY:

Oh, that’s a bloody, great question. No one knows what they’re doing. Like, legit. No one knows what they’re doing and everybody’s journey is so different, right? You got something like live through things. Like people will advise you, people will consult, people will tell you not to do things or to do things. And if you feel really strongly about it, just do it, and you will learn yourself. 

Like, people have told me not to do things and I haven’t, and then eventually, I come out again and I just do it. And then I learn the real thing. I’m like, “Oh, yeah. That’s why they told me not to do that.” Some days, you won’t know ‘till you try it.

ANGELA:

Yup. And that’s the lesson. I talk about often, I don’t look at things as mistakes are failures. I look at those were the things, those were the lessons that were needed to get you to that next part of the journey.

ALLY:

Totally. And it builds your confidence. Like when people try and pick holes in their plans, or who anecdotes like question my thinking, you’ve got so much evidence. Like, “Well, I tried this and this happened, and I did this and this happened. So I’m connecting the dots and now, I get here.” And so, there’s this experience that you are like, you become more confident and you suddenly can because you went through the silly mistakes.

And the good thing is make the silly mistakes early. Like, you don’t want to be making them when it’s serious money or serious partners. So that’s probably something that I would definitely encourage is like try all the crazy stuff really early when the stake is not high.

ANGELA:

Yup. When it isn’t too high. Well, listen, before we sign off, my team and I, I just want to remind everyone that we will also be putting the whole transcription for this episode together at angelahenderson.com.au and we’ll make sure that all of Ally’s links are included in those show notes so that you guys are able to access her quite easily.

And as I mentioned earlier on in the intro, if you have enjoyed this episode, I’d love for you to share a takeaway or a  tip. Don’t forget to tag me at the @angelahendersonconsulting. And Ally, what is your guys’ handle over on Instagram?

ALLY:

It’s @codelikeagirlau

ANGELA:

Fantastic. So make sure you tag both of us so we can share that. And again, as always, thank you so much, Ally,  for being here today. It has been an amazing hour to spend with you, and I appreciate you putting that time out. 

And for the rest of you that are listening, I hope you have a fabulous day no matter where you are in the world and I look forward to you joining me next week for another amazing episode of the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. Thanks again for everything, Ally.

ALLY:

Thanks, Angela.

ANGELA:

Thanks for listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast with Angela Henderson, Code Like a Girl. www.angelahenderson.com.au

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Angel Henderson Consulting

I'm Ange... proud Canadian, Nutella eating lover and pink is my favorite colour with a splash of glitter. I'm a business consultant/coach who has helped hundreds of business owners get all the pieces in place to have consistent 5-figure months and multiple 6-figure years... without burning out in the process.