The League of Extraordinary Women exists as a support community for female entrepreneurs. The League believes that the world needs more extraordinary females, doing what they love, because it is lonely at the top and the entrepreneur’s path to success is one of the most isolating experiences.
What inspired the formation of the League of Extraordinary Women?
As I started my journey of entrepreneurship, I felt extremely isolated the first year of business. Wanting to find others that were going through a similar path, I went out to networking events and met a few other like-minded women. We decided to catch up for coffees, then thought if we gained so much from our chat - why not open it up to other women? We created a group on Facebook, it went viral and our first evening event saw 160 women show up.
What is your most frequent message to female entrepreneurs?
"You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with" - surround yourself with people who support you, get you and encourage you. Especially when we're working alone most of the time, when we have people that encourage us to keep going and that give us the support we need it makes a profound difference.
What has been the greatest learning curve in growing The League?
Managing the fast growth of The League in the first few years was a huge learning curve as the demand of the community was unprecedented. We just wanted to create casual catch ups but realised that we needed to treat it as a company to manage and control the brand Australia-wide.
What are your plans to expand the League globally?
The entrepreneur's journey is still one of the most isolating experiences - even with our ability to connect with tens if not hundreds of people online. We try to find the people that get us, we attend networking events but, how do we know who to connect with? We simply leave it to chance. Instead of leaving it to coincidence, we have created a solution.
We believe in the truth of this quote, “You are the average of the five you hang with”. So, Find Your Five is our platform that specifically curates powerful connections for female entrepreneurs to meet face-to-face in a mini-mastermind session. With over 100,000 women in our community in the U.S, Canada and Australia, we continue to grow with interest worldwide. We are currently working on the technology-driven solution to grow The League globally.
What has been your most surprising feedback from a League member?
We have heard from so many women that have collaborated with each other and that have started businesses. However, the most surprising feedback would have to be the women from other areas of the world that reach out to us, following what we do and gaining inspiration. It's women from Iran, South Africa, Hong Kong and beyond that reach out and say that they want to start the League there that makes us feel excited. It's a pinch-me moment to know that these extraordinary women exist everywhere in the world and we can be the ones that connect them all.
You've been over to Silicon Valley a few times in the last 12 months, what advice would you give to anyone else making the journey?
It's an experience that will open your mind to boundless opportunities - if you put in the work. Prepare for the trip, start emailing contacts, asking for introductions before you land and research all the events you can attend whilst there. If you don't know where to start, I suggest programs such as The Hacker Exchange or Bright Sparks as it will give you access to parts of Silicon Valley that will be life-changing.
Sheryl Thai is a graduate of the RMIT Bachelor of Business (Information Systems) 2006. She is willing to answer your questions about starting a new business. Find her in the Members section.