Jackie and Noora sat down with Tease Tea Founder Sheena Brady and COO Amanda Baker (also the duo behind the Founders Fund) to talk about their experience as risk-takers. We know that risk is relative. And for small businesses, it can be an all-or-nothing experience to take a risk. (Should we invest this chunk of money and time into something? How do we weigh the risks and benefits?) In the era of COVID-19, it can feel like we’re taking a risk every day we go to work.
If you want to know more from this inspiring tell-all, catch the full episode on Sitti’s IGTV.
“Sometimes we can hold ourselves back when we don’t take risks [...], risk is part of our everyday business.” Noora explains how risk taking is important and why it was chosen as the episode topic.
"Risk-taking relies on two things: 1- trusting your gut on what feels right, but you also want to back it up with some sort of data analysis and reasons to believe why this risk is worth taking in the first place. So, not reckless risks, but rather calculated risks. Sheena on her decision-making process about when to take a risk or not.
“We were talking about the situation in Afghanistan, and we said in our case the worst thing that can happen is losing our money and our egos hurt. That is the worst thing that can happen in our situation. We recognise that risks for other people are life and death circumstances.” Amanda reflects on the privileges some people have in terms of risk taking, compared to other risks that people face around the world.
“I look at risks as an opportunity to do better for the next generation of my family. That’s a huge motivier, being part of ending this generational challenges and cycles, advocating for a better future and creating a strong legacy in the process.” Sheena on how sometimes risk-taking can break the generational poverty cycle.
“Any time that I’m scared or faced with something that is going to be really challenging, difficult or really risky, I say do it for the grandkids, because what story do I want to tell my grandkids as an old woman?” Amanda on how her decisions create the story she wants to tell to her grandchildren.
“For me, peer mentorship is a great thing. Find someone who is on your level and grow and parallel, because they will be able to get you when you experience those lows.” Sheena answers the question: In the moments of fear and discouragement, how do you lift your courage back up again?
“When I get these fears, number one: I tell somebody about it. Then I think, what is the worst thing that can happen? Being broke and my ego would hurt. I can build up again from these places.” Amanda answers the question: In the moments of fear and discouragement, how do you lift your courage back up again?
“You take a risk no matter what you do, if you choose to not do the scary thing and choose the comfortable thing, which is going to kill you slowly, it is also a risk, but it’s only more acceptable.” Amanda explains that there’s risk in everything.
“If you’re not sure you should take a risk, or if you’re wondering if you should step in to that, if you’re scared, do it anyway. Even if you’re scared, because you don’t have to be fully confident about it, you don’t have to be calm and collected, knowing this is the right thing to do. But being absolutely terrified - that is going to make your life more aligned with who you are meant to be.” Amanda answering the question: If you can give us some advice for people to take away?
What Else Did We Talk About?
- How to Write Your Representative about Afghanistan:
You can easily find your US reps here. Then write to them. Here’s a sample message:
Dear Representative LAST-NAME,
As a voter and YOUR-STATE resident, I am writing to implore you to take action on the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan. The abrupt withdrawal of U.S. armed forces has imperiled the lives and safety of countless people on the ground there, including Afghan citizens who have directly assisted U.S. efforts. I am especially concerned for women and girls who will be subject to oppressive and dangerous rule. We are morally obligated to take action to provide safety for the most vulnerable. Refugee visas MUST be granted and action must be taken on the ground to stabilize the situation. We only need to look to history to see what happens when we turn away.
You can also call to leave a message on an answering machine.
About the Author: Hazar Najjar is the Communications Assistant for Sitti Social Enterprise. She is originally from Syria and has a background in journalism and humanitarian work.