Innovator Insights: Radically Generous, Vicki Saunders, Founder of SheEO @vickis
Name: Vicki Saunders
Title: Founder of SheEO Twitter: @vickis
Vicki Saunders is an entrepreneurial game-changer: advocating for entrepreneurship as a way of creating positive transformation in the world, not simply as ROI. Vicki is the Founder of SheEO, an initiative to radically transform how female entrepreneurs are supported, celebrated and funded. SheEO is a new model that brings together and combines crowdfunding, coaching, buying power and expertise to leverage not just the wisdom of the crowd — but its financial power and yes, heart.
Me: Why are you an entrepreneur?
Vicki: I have always been obsessed with being free and making a big positive impact. As I looked for places to do good and make money, I couldn’t find any existing job in the world that would give me that. And then I was in Europe when the Berlin wall fell and it changed my life. Everyone around me was talking about what they were going to do now that they were free. And I thought, “I’m free too!” So I looked around me, noticed what was needed and started my first business. I’ve started 4 more since and I’m now totally unemployable. I love being an entrepreneur.
Me: What problem would you like solved?
Vicki: I would like to see a world where people have equal opportunity to reach their potential and a culture where we are radically generous with one another.
Me: Advice you’d wished you’d had or had followed?
Vicki: Breathe. I was in such a rush to solve everything quickly and do everything at once. I’ve learned that the kind of change I’m interested in (systemic) takes time. I never wanted to hear that when I was younger. I thought I’d just dig in and solve the stuff I wanted to in quick succession.
Me: What does success look like for you?
Vicki: Success for me looks like giving myself to whatever I’m working on (or not working on) spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally every day. I have gone to bed every night for the past 20 years feeling like I’d be ok if I didn’t wake up again. Of course, I feel like I have a lot left to do but I’ve learned to enjoy the journey no matter how far I am from the destination.
Me: Who are your heroes?
Vicki: I want to live in a post-hero world where we are not celebrating individuals. I am in awe of the community my mom has fostered for over 70 years. Her ladies meet each month and have had each others back for more almost 3/4 of a century. That to me is heroic.
Me: What is your best discovery?
Vicki: My best discovery has been to learn that that the only thing that changes behaviour is an experience. You can teach team building all day long from a textbook but until you give people an experience as a team and then debrief it through their experience, they’ll never truly understand it. Knowledge isn’t wisdom or understanding. That was a big one for me. Especially now in this world where we have all the data to show us that we are acting in ways that harm us and we do it anyways.
Me: What would the title of your biography be?
Vicki: Everything is broken, What a Great Time to be Alive.
Me: What is your biggest regret?
Vicki: I don’t have regrets. I call it learning.
Me: Anything else we should know about?
Vicki: SheEO is launching Radical Generosity in cities around the world and our goal is to reach 1000 cities, 1M women and 10,000 female entrepreneurs by 2020. If you’d like to learn more check out http://SheEO.World.
This post originally appeared on Kelly Hoey’s website. Keep up to date with Kelly’s latest Insights by signing up for her Innovator Insights newsletter.
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