Legends of Tech
A weekly podcast where Chris Georgellis, on the Customer Development Team, interviews people across the tech industry. From veterans, to hall of famers, day to day tech industry people as well up and comers. Get to know them as individuals, find out what drives them, how they got into tech, and what they see now.
This week's guest: Kate Fleming
Good morning everyone. Welcome to the Legends of Tech on Cloudflare TV. Today I'm joined by an absolute superstar.
She's an international superstar, she's a DJ, she grew up in Australia, she works in Singapore, she's a founding member of LIC and she's an overall top person to hang out with.
Please welcome Kate Fleming. Wow Chris, thank you for the welcome.
I'm not quite sure about the superstar or the DJ part but happy to take the title.
Thank you. Yeah no worries, well thank you so much.
Just for everyone that's tuned in today, Kate has got dengue fever so she's an absolute legend for being on here today.
She's actually got a fever right now as we speak but she's all smiles and she's good to go.
So if she does go off on a tangent a little bit we can blame the fever.
That's right, that's the disclaimer.
And look thank you so much for joining today. I know you know during pandemics that are happening right now there's other things that are probably common where you live as well so how have you been anyway handling your sickness over the last week?
Thanks Chris. It's been really interesting actually. So for people that aren't familiar and I certainly wasn't until about a week ago and now of course I know a lot.
Dengue is like malaria, it's mosquito-borne and living in Singapore which is you know right on the equator, the climate here is just ripe for more type of mosquito-borne and tropical diseases.
And so while everyone's attention's been on COVID which has been a huge thing for you know you in Australia and us here in Singapore, Singapore's actually been battling a dengue pandemic, epidemic I suppose, an outbreak and we're actually on track to be our worst year in history since Singapore has been taking records for dengue cases.
So it's been something that's been prevalent right across the community but of course like anything and I suppose like COVID until it actually hits you physically it's very hard to have an understanding of what the implications are.
So it's a really interesting illness actually. I've got a fever at the moment so you'll have to excuse me but it involves full body rashes.
I had three or four days there I couldn't use my hands because they'd swollen up so much.
You can lose your appetite, you have headaches and in fact it's got a nickname which is break bone disease which actually comes from the feelings that you can get in your bones which is quite intense.
So I've only had it a few over the week a few times but it actually feels like your bones are breaking and I can just I can only imagine what people who were living 100 years ago how they coped with this or even people who don't have the mod cons now.
I mean I can I have a flexible company I work for Cloudflow, I'm on sick leave at the moment.
I'm able to turn on the aircon when I need to, I can go take a shower to cool down.
So it's been it's been really interesting and I think Chris something you and I were talking about earlier is it's a reminder for all of us that there is so much attention on coronavirus and COVID right now and rightly so.
I mean this is really uncharted territory for us but for for everyone there is still normal illnesses taking their course and there are still normal you know medical episodes that people are going through.
So the strain that must be on the health system and the fact that doctors can still look at you when you've got dengue and treat you humanely and not say get out of my way is amazing.
Yeah I just I feel for you and again appreciate you joining today. I can imagine I know you spoke to me through the stages I mean the bone breaking one would be really bad so.
Yeah and it's it's that all I can say is it is exactly what the name implies.
You just literally feel like someone is drilling into your your hip bones or hitting them with a hammer it's it's incredible.
And something else that we've learned along the way too so firstly that it's commonly known as a bone bone break disease.
Secondly that there's four or so different types of dengue that you can get so this is apparently the most mild thank you lord.
But interestingly papaya leaf so for anyone who's watching this who may end up with dengue something that we've only just learned in the last week so my husband's actually got it as well is papaya leaf is meant to be very good for getting your platelets reforming or getting your numbers back up.
So if you have a papaya tree in your backyard well done if not I suggest you get yourself some tea and drink it.
That's my my medical tip for the day.
Your medical tip for the day now thank you so much Kate. So I always like to start on how did you actually get into the tech sector because looking at your background looking at what you've done I'm always curious to understand how did you actually get into it.
Yeah good question so a bit of a well not a bit of a jack-of-all-trades absolutely a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none.
Very very quickly my background like I suppose a lot of a lot of people coming out of school is I didn't have a I had a clear view of what I wanted to do but it ended up not being what I ended up doing.
So all through high school I really wanted to be a fighter in a defense force fighter pilot or or an army intelligence officer and I really wanted to go and serve my country.
It was the days of the UN really coming to prominence and I and I wanted to to be part of a change in a solution and peace and I went to the Australian Defense Force Academy which is the tri-service military training facility in Australia.
I got a scholarship there I was very very lucky.
I thought this was it and I spent two years working out that actually wasn't it and that the dreams I had of grandeur and helping that came out of books like Figgles and reading about adventure stories for kids just didn't quite match the reality and in fact I just was not tough enough.
So when I when I left I'd taken my entire kind of teen years and being really myopic and then having to sit back and go what is it that I that I want to do and I ended up falling into a very series of careers.
I had a radio show. I was a terrible DJ so I ended up doing promoting dance parties.
I worked in hospitality. I went off to do my masters and thought I was going to do a PhD in gothic literature at some stage.
This whole hodgepodge of things and it got to the point where I was back from Germany where I'd been studying and I wanted to do my PhD and I needed money.
So I came back to Australia for a little while and I was going to get a job get money to go back so I could go and do my PhD and I'd been working in the banking industry before I'd before I'd left to go to Germany and explore that latest career and I didn't want to go back in to banking because I felt that it was really closed and in fact at the time I probably didn't have the self-awareness or or the confidence to call it out but actually it was it was actually a very sexist environment and you you really had to be one of the old boys and it was all about who's dad knew who to get ahead in this part of this particular part of banking and I I looked around at all of my my girlfriends and all of my friends and I did a little survey and worked out who was in what industry that that seemed to be giving them equal advancement and they didn't seem to be running into the same roadblocks and I had a girlfriend who at the time was working at Google she's actually back there now and I remember looking at her career and thinking the issue when we talk about work she doesn't have those same challenges I mean she's talking about work challenges but she's not talking about exclusion to that degree and so I literally just looked at tech companies and as it turned out Chris by the most bizarre stroke of luck there was a technology company in Sydney that had a job advertisement looking for someone who knew the Australian investment banking scene who had interview skills which I had for my time doing radio and and there was something else like it was the most bizarre like just no one has these weird you could only have had the most bizarre cocky career to have had it and anyway I walked into this role for an account manager at this like unified communications company had no idea what they did I thought they did face-to-face conferencing like organizing conferences in big halls where people came along but no it was video conferencing I didn't even know what that was and um talked my way into the into the job and in fact afterwards I got the job and then they called me and said look we're gonna offer you the job but we've changed our mind oh no we're gonna offer you the higher job because we actually think that you're better qualified and there's going to be more money with it you okay what do you reckon yeah you're the lesser job please correct and so so the the six month just working to get money um in a place where I'm not going to have to deal with sexism every day turned into you know that was 2006 so it's been 14 years that's amazing I'm always fascinated because I think a lot of us that are in our industry have us like you know they have these weird ways of getting into the industry because it's not like we've grown up in high school where there's like a career path to technology maybe not so much maybe now it's a little bit different um and I just find that amazing and it's greatly you back yourself and you know you weren't enjoying a particular industry and um you know you pivoted to the tech industry which is good I mean I speak to my wife about it she's in um I guess a pharmaceutical industry and you know they have similar challenges in there around you know there's hierarchies and old boys clubs and things like that and it's it's you know until you speak to someone that's experiencing it like you know you can you don't know exactly how people feel in a certain situation people feel stuck so it's good on you for going you know what I'm not going to deal with that but you've taken what you learned and gone all right let's go in this direction here yeah and I'd actually just jump in with two other things too is for people who are in that situation I think often and this is not necessarily about sexism but any situation that's not right for you you don't realize often how wrong the fit is until you get out and so there's a lot of loss of confidence about yourself or about your your capabilities and so I would say that anyone's thinking about that situation just be mindful that your thinking is not always clear if you're in a situation where you're not feeling valued you might just be lousy at your job like that's that's a fact but it may be other factors and so you can't you've got to take it with a grain of salt and you've actually got to give yourself a chance to step back out of it and get your thinking straight and go well what what can I offer and is this environment right the other thing too I will say is something that people ask off all the time is well you know you've got an arts degree and do I have to do stem and I think now as you said for people coming through school there's really clear pathways that give people an opportunity to focus in a technology bent or a field and and actually forge a career directly into tech but even if you don't take that path or that path's not available to you it doesn't mean that you can't get into the industry the thing that my first employer liked about me and I believe successive employers is also like was actually that my arts degree it was the fact that I can read a high volume of data I can synthesize different viewpoints and different sources of information come up with some type of idea about what the the kernel of knowledge is and then try and put that into a plan and it's also the human skills so research and human skills you can keep doing whatever so my suggestion would be don't feel like you have to yeah you have to specialize early on right that's great I mean it's a really good point you know you've you've thrown yourself into an industry where you had no background in it however you you know based on your knowledge and your understanding you worked it out what was it like trying to learn you know a lot of people feel that oh you've got to have the background in order to do a particular job what was it like for you to go through that transition and now you've got the job and you're like okay well how do I translate what I'm supposed to do now yeah look that's a really good question and I feel it all the time I think with every company I go to certainly I'm feeling I'm still feeling the clout there I've been here for 12 months and I there's so many super smart people with amazing technology around us that I've almost don't even try like I just you know that these people are super smart I'm not even going to try and beat them at their own game what I'm going to try and do is just understand where I can help and where I can compliment and I can compliment on the human side or I can pull that out but one of the things that is certainly cloudflow is very supportive of and I think a lot of companies are that are progressive is just asking questions and so there's a point where you have to we used to say to people you've got to leave your ego at the door and so you have to just be willing to go you know I don't I actually don't understand what's going on here or or to someone really technical maybe not in front of everyone when they're trying to get a point across but afterwards hey listen if you've got time can you just talk me through why why did you draw that conclusion or what about this graph tells me that the customer's under attack because I I don't know what I'm looking for uh and people I think people like to to share but where it doesn't go well is when you ask at the wrong time and I think that's people always say oh you should always ask for advice and then the the counter to that is oh but every time I ask someone senior they brush me off or they're too busy well you've probably not chosen the right time you know the middle of a serious presentation with a customer is not the time to put up your hand and say to colleague hey so how does that work it's a behind closed door thing um and so for me I think being able to leave ego at the door and going it's okay I don't know um it's okay that I don't know and it's it it's okay to ask and I think the other thing too is just being able to remember and this is a little bit related to leaving your ego at the door like what what's your purpose so I I am being employed at the moment by Cloudflare to make the best decision that I can in the interest of the company with the information I have available at hand right now I'm not they they never hired me to be the smartest developer code breaker to understand the nuances of crypto um but they've they've they've hired me to be decision making with with limited amounts of information at any point in time and being able to pivot and so going back to that and going back to that to other people and saying that's what you're being paid for often so make sure that you're investing your time and energy and making the right decision don't get distracted if you don't know put in what you can or find the people that can tell you but don't assume that you have to know everything because you're going to waste time and the company's not paying you to waste time yeah that's uh that's that's spot on brilliant advice and I think a lot of people you know it's okay not to know something but to your point it's ask the question at the right time don't ask in the middle of a company in the middle of a presentation um and I think I don't I think there's you know we can learn a lot from that I don't think enough people do put their hand up to say hey you know what actually I don't know can you please help me and I think you know we should be able to and I think you know if you do that I think I just find people will take the time to go hey listen how about I show you how it's done or what are your thoughts because you're right we're not experts at everything that's great great advice oh yeah and that's that's spot on now one thing I found interesting is that you've studied in Germany however you're not you don't have a German background um tell me what was it like what was it like going to Germany to study yeah so um I so when I when I decided to give up banking and I was gonna whatever be a DJ blah blah blah I ended up studying a master's in international studies and um my undergrad had been political science so it was a really natural fit and in fact political science had been what I was studying when I was in defense as well because that's yeah it's quite it's quite it's quite topical um so it was it was a natural continuation on but the German element was actually just because I met a super hot guy at the nightclub who was German uh he was pirate did pyrotechnics for ramstein he did a tat he had a tattoo which in those days was was pretty uncommon or relatively uncommon certainly in my world and I thought it was pretty exciting uh and and so when when you have to pick kind of a country or a language to specialize in it just made sense to do that so I could get over there anyway so as part of the masters you do learn German um but learning in a classroom environment is very different to then being being immersed and so you learn in the environment you learn something on hochdeutsch which is like the queen's English it's the correct way to speak and I ended up getting a like a small bursary small scholarship to study at a German university in the south of Germany where people speak fairbish so the dialect is very different and I remember leaving Sydney it was 32 degrees January flying from mascot arriving getting there was like minus however many degrees snow I'd not really been in snow before apart from a couple of trips to thread bow and the housemeister was like what is this language oh my god I've made a huge mistake I don't speak this language I can't do the cold what am I going to do and I was I was pretty miserable for the first few months I gotta say Chris um and it was back in the days before everyone had Internet so I'd have to go outside to the expensive payphone to call my mum to say read the email that I've just sent you from the science lab it was just dire and so I spent the first few months um kind of like fighting it if that makes sense like resisting the change and what happened was eventually over time I just I just kind of got into a groove and came out the other side to a point where I was just thinking German I was speaking German I was I was living I wasn't doing a very good job and people would be horrified at my my German but but I was living it and in fact the last six months that I spent living there was a German existence in my head my dreams were German I was writing in German and when I came back to Sydney for that first little while I would still have to finish my sentences in in German because I'd forget like a verb or I'd forget a noun in English and my sentence structure was actually German so it was it was an amazing story at the end and I was I was so glad I went through it and the reason why is because I was actually living this thing called the cultural adjustment curve and if anyone who's ever it doesn't have to be like I you can I moved from Sydney to Melbourne and I went through it um you can do it in changing countries but there's it's a really well documented in kind of academic circles around people go into a new environment there's a bit of euphoria at the change at first and then you go into what's called this trough of disillusionment which is where the the rate of change is just overwhelming and you you can either come back out the other side and go I can do this or you come back out the other side and say actually no it's not right for me for a bunch of reasons but what I learned from that and the advice I've given everyone since is if you move overseas or you take a new job or you do something if it's a big change it is natural in the first say six months or even 12 months to to hate it and to say this was a bad decision and I don't know why I've done it and I'm miserable but I urge people don't make a decision that's unreversible when you're in the trough of disillusionment wait till you pop out the other side and then if you still want to go home go home yeah but don't do it when you're here because it's it's not it's a temporary environment yeah yeah and and I think that's that's that's really good to know because I think in this day and age we we we tend to be a little very impatient so if something's not going our way we're like all right I'm gonna make a change straight away rather than go you know what just hold on for 12 months maybe get through make sure you you've covered everything and I think and I'm just looking at my like nieces and nephews that are younger and you know they're chopping and changing I remember we used to chop and change as well but no one's telling them hey just push through a is it for me yes or no like to your point or and if it is great if it's not we'll go on to the next thing at least you but at least you've gone through that cycle correct correct you've you've got you've given it a go the other thing is too you know I think everyone would would have this experience like think about your big regrets in life I've done so many stupid things that make me cringe even today and sometimes I'll just be walking down the street and a memory will come back I'm like oh my god I can't believe I said that in 1995 but I don't regret doing those things I'm embarrassed by them I don't regret them the things you regret are the things you don't do yeah you know it's that person that you totally loved and you never went and told them it's that job that you that was a dream job and you didn't go for it because you didn't think you'd be good enough how did you know you didn't even apply that's that's true that's great now this is groundbreaking we've finally got a question live on our show we need to we need to um put the question out there so this is a question for you Kate how did you work sorry how did you work the jack-of-all-trades thing into value that people see yeah and it's often I find people get looked over as not being specialized enough as you end up pigeonholed as a person who's a jack-of -all-trades so we'd love to get your your advice on that Kate yeah a hundred percent so I think there's I think there's a lot of luck in there and there's probably um a lot of it's luck um but the bits you can control of this so it's all about the narrative it's all about controlling your your own story and that doesn't mean I'm not talking about being dishonest you have to be you have to be honest and in fact in this day and age the worst thing that you can do is lie about your background because someone will find out and then you've eroded all um credibility but if you are a jack-of-all-trades there's going to be a common thread through there and sometimes it's about sitting down and looking at it and actually mapping out well what what did me starting my own business um I don't know say you're a failed entrepreneur you had a flower shop what what skills and attributes did I need to do that and yes I but what did I get out of that that I didn't have before okay so that's an extra skill that maybe Chris doesn't have or this person on the street doesn't have what did I get out of next job what did I get out of it so firstly you've got to map out what you did and what little things you got out of each phase and maybe you don't see value in that but someone who didn't do it won't have that insight the other thing too is then turn that into a narrative so turn that into a story that sounds like you controlled what was going on not I was completely lost and I just floated around but you can still be truthful and say look I wasn't sure but what I did do is I sat down I looked at my strengths and weaknesses and I know that I'm very strong in this area so I went down this path and you can just reframe it so slightly so I would suggest to anyone who's feeling like they're that they're completely a jack-of -all-trades number one look at what you've done create a story out of it and own that story own that telling of the story the other thing too is you may actually just be jumping around too much and I have to say as a hiring manager the number of times that I look at resumes for people who could be exceptional but I tell you what Chris they're just job hoppers and I can't it's going to take you six months just to just to get the basics at Cloudflare and if you've only been in each job for six to twelve months I just can't take the risk yeah so the other thing would be if you have been jumping around every six months well then you've got to settle into something you know even for 12 months 18 months you know get through that trough of disillusion and give it a red hot go think of it as I'm investing in getting something on my resume that's longer term without knowing this person's background I I don't think I can say much more than that but they would be the two things the other actually sorry there's a third resumes are probably one of the most inefficient ways to understand someone's capabilities and someone's relevance for the role and unfortunately no one's invented a better way of kind of getting that information around yet I'm sure in the future it's going to be a holographic video of Chris will be your your job application I'll be like yeah he's great but on paper like who are you this this one dimensional thing so for that person who's sat down worked out what their story is created a narrative that's honest but compelling who's made sure that they haven't really jumped around too much in their resume or at least has got a really good explanation about why each of those jumps are then the third thing is you want to get in front of someone so maybe you're looking for a company won't let you in you won't get a role or maybe you're already in a company and you're looking for a transfer set some time to have coffee a virtual coffee these days with those people and and speak you give people a chance to know you as a human because you want a piece of paper it's very hard for a hiring manager to to take a risk on that that's great great advice and it's so so true and I think you know I'm seeing more and more people are saying oh it's okay to jump out of if you don't like something but I think that truck of disillusionment that whole process you know you just got to go through and I think if you don't build that character during that phase and you don't do it at all then like you said you're going to be you're going to put yourself in a you know a precarious position in the future so that's really good advice so hopefully I'm not sure who the person asked that question hopefully that answered your question if you've got any more questions please feel free to do it so it's the first we gotta say sometimes this first thank you you've got we've got our first question we're we're on a roll it's all happening Chris it's all happening this is where the wheels fall off no that's funny so um so so so you studied in Germany so how did you then once you finish your studies in Germany what was your next uh what was your next step after that what happened post uh your German adventure yeah right so I'm I'm a habitual I hate to go I love learning I just love learning for learning sake I love being in classrooms I love being at universities the university I was studying at was founded in 1477 I mean for people from Australia that amount of history is just well of course Australian history is a lot longer a lot older but that amount of I suppose of constructed history or history in that sense is really mind -blowing because we just don't have those kind of structures uh in Australia so that was exciting and it really awoken me the fact that I just I just could learn all day I like to read I write to research I love to write um and so the next step for me really was was hey you know what I I'm not going to be a DJ I'm lousy um I've I've done radio for a few years back in Sydney it's great but I don't have anything to offer in the German market because my German's not good enough to do German radio and every German has well not every German but you know 80 odd million of them speak much better English probably than I do so I didn't have anything to offer to radio and I thought well why am I just going indulging what I want to do which is just studying gothic literature was an interest um something to do gothic literature and political science is an interesting kind of story you can weave there and so I I really wanted to stay out and do a PhD and I was on the phone to mom I said hey look you know the bursary is running out for the master's but I'm going to come home and um you know uh earn a little bit of money and come back and and do my PhD and she said she's like I'll never get to see you honey come home and get a real job um and so I literally I came back to Australia though to to spend time with my family and also just to get some money together to get it to go back and and pursue more of an academic career and you know there's a story well I fell into the this senior account manager's role with a company called PGI and I ended up I don't know if I was brilliant at it I certainly wasn't brilliant but I was good and I liked it it was it was fast paced it was interesting I was learning um and I was earning and I ended up just staying there and I got a promotion which I wasn't really expecting and then another one a year later and then that just kind of carried on and and at a certain point I'd been there for four years and so it it was really kind of clear and obvious that when I moved on to another company that I would stay within that certain within within tech at the moment at that time it was more ICT and so there was no real big career plan apart from to go back and do the PhD which I didn't do so I kind of fell into tech and it's funny because I fell into it you know if we think about what I was saying earlier because I needed the job but also I I wanted to work somewhere that I didn't feel like I was being discriminated against and so my girlfriend who was at Google kind of gave me that great example and then moving on to Cloudflare so many companies later was a similar thing I I didn't actually know about Cloudflare but I had worked I was working in a company where it the technology was incredible but the atmosphere and the people and and maybe the the direction when there was no I didn't feel that there was any direction that resonated with me and I wrote a list of I was doing a senior executive MBA through Melbourne Business School at the time and I wrote a list of attributes of the type of company I wanted to work for and I started trying to work out companies that had those attributes and in fact through a contact of mine that I'd had at my first tech job she was working at Cloudflare and that just for whatever reason brought it up in my feed a little bit more in LinkedIn and I so I was researching this company and then I found out about Project Galileo and I found out about the Athenian project and this whole corporate social responsibility aspect of Cloudflare and then I happened to be in San Francisco for something else and I I popped into the office there and met my old boss oh the person who was my boss when when I got hired to Cloudflare and I remember walking into the office at 101 and just going oh this is it I'm home I don't even really understand what they do but this is it I want to work here I'll do anything to work here uh really interesting yeah I don't know how so I know I've I've ambled on a little bit about that no no this is um I mean this is yeah these are the things I mean sometimes the gut feeling or the feeling is um you know it gives you enough to I actually I felt the same way when I rocked up for my onboarding training I remember seeing you at 642 and I could hear you talking and then once yeah it was just that's when I first met you that's right but yeah but it's just that that feeling of when you go into a place you know if it's right or wrong and I had the same feeling just walking to 101 you know I've done you know new hires in the past before and just as you walk through that door and I think it was Amy was at the at the front desk actually and you get welcomed and you sign in and you just start to go through and similar similar decision I'm not sure what's gonna what's in front of you but it just had a good feeling about the place the company feels like it's got a lot to offer in terms of you know what we do for the community and and for the people as well so yeah you're very interesting yeah so yeah it's great through your background as well I've seen that you're a founding member of LIC so do you want to tell us a little bit about that yeah so um not long after we moved to um Singapore so I was working in Malaysia before before this and then after my daughter was born we moved down to Singapore and I changed I changed companies and we were just you know making new friends as you do when you move to a new place um and we got in touch with the wife of a colleague at my company at the time and they just come over from the UK and she's this like incredible um woman in terms of energy you know some some humans just don't I don't know they don't sleep they don't need sleep they don't need downtime um and Tanya's just one of those ladies and so she had all these ideas for um wanting to get into investment and you know wanting to to help female entrepreneurs and and whatnot and we were we were having a wine as you do um and having a chat about this so and we noodled out some ideas and then there was a couple of other people she was working with and the the idea was this morphed this kind of thing it was something about women helping women you know at the early days it was very it was kind of ill-defined like women helping women there's a lot there's a really vibrant startup community and tech community here in Singapore a lot of support from the government for different programs for you know incubators and things like that and a lot of um commercially funded incubators here as well because it's such a great spot in in Asia to to have the right ease of doing business um the right environment physically to invite people along um and of course you're at the crossroads of Asia so it's great in terms of growing business so there's this real community and there's always a lot going on and we when I say we I mean I was literally like kind of hanging on the shirt tail so Tanya uh and the other ladies were getting really involved and going to all these networking things and this thing started to take shape and my my contribution Chris my contribution was when we went to have our first lunch together to talk about this because I was working the other ladies weren't working uh and I was their trailing spouses and I was working so we had to meet lunch in the city uh I I made a joke in my work diary saying um you know ladies investment club you know mic it was it was picky and it was just something to put into my work calendar as I went for lunch and the name stuck so my contribution to this wonderfully um aligned bunch of incredibly smart women who go and invest in female entrepreneurs is just the name and of course it ended up growing and Tanya got a whole bunch more people uh involved and we ended up investing in quite a few different businesses around Singapore and around the region so you know organic chocolate um produces in Indonesia female-led um local um Singaporean um workshops that produce like handmade gifts um online portal female-led um there was a business that set up doing healthy just no frills lunches for kids to take to school rather than really fancy really expensive female -led a whole bunch of different things and um so lick was tickling ticking along for a while and I've I've really stepped back in the last wee while because I um but just it just moved at a pace that was different but and it worked if you weren't working whereas for me I just couldn't balance that with work at the same time and tenure and the ladies have gone on and there's a couple of them now that have gone off to form a um an actual angel investment firm where they're going to be able to put some more serious capital behind uh entrepreneurs female entrepreneurs in developing markets so I'm looking forward to supporting them but uh but that's yeah that's that's it it's pretty interesting and I have to say to people that are interested in supporting founders or maybe you know you've saved up a way that's sure it's risky but but you feel like it's got some meaning and there are so many organizations out there that support um female founders and in fact there's something called sheo which is a global group of women and it's it's so many thousands of women globally that have all put in a few thousand dollars and that goes into a pot and every year so many female entrepreneurs will get the benefit of being invested in by this big group so if you think of so many people putting in a thousand dollars it ends up being quite a considerable amount of money and so they might get a million dollars towards their business they need to pay it back over a certain period of time because then that money gets used for another female investor in five years but it's self -perpetuating uh and that's that's a thousand dollars not everyone has a thousand dollars that's completely fine um there's other ways you can do it so a lot of these groups also then look for people who can donate time or can donate energy to help coaching the female founders in getting their pitch decks right or even working out what a pitch deck is so um i'm happy to answer questions and direct people but the Internet's your friend there's there's that's great now thanks for sharing that it's really good so what's your advice for i mean or it's always how do people always ask them how do i get into these sorts of things or how do i find things how like what's your advice to people out there to to become part of these groups or even find places where there's people like themselves in a similar situation or trying to connect with these sorts of groups what's your advice to to the crew out there yeah i think i mean there's so many platforms now um i would suggest there's there's quite a few founding networks uh and it will depend actually on where you are so um you know for someone who's sitting in sydney or someone who's sitting in san francisco there's going to be different groups but a couple things firstly get onto facebook and do searches for groups just search under things like um well actually search under things like um investment communities or um you know special interest investment groups if there's something that you're interested in for example um one of the easiest things is even just to go out to your own network and crowdsource so you can go out to your contacts on facebook or you can go out to your contacts on linkedin and say hey does anyone anyone know anyone that that could point me in the right direction i'm interested in getting started and you'd be amazed at how many people are willing to to offer time and introductions and then what you'll find is you'll start to pick up maybe some of the terminology or some of the key groups in your area and then you'll be able to see there's always meetups going on there's always talks going on there's ways um there's there's ways that they promote their events so eventbrite you can look at so you can just search for you know female okay i'm going to say female founders because that's easy for me female founder events in singapore and there'll be there'll be bunches going around or um something along those lines and then once you go along it goes back to what we're talking about earlier chris which is asking a question but just picking your time right so a lot of these people are giving their time for free and so they don't have time to coach you 24 7 on your career venture or what you're thinking of doing but if you're respectful of their time and you say look i can i buy you a coffee i'd like to have 30 minutes of your time because i want to ask you these things it's a lot easier for them to see this is a contained a contained investment in them passing on information to you and it may be that they then introduce you to three or four different other groups to get involved in or give you some ideas on how you could set up your own group fantastic i would say though i think i think there's like every man and their dog's got a group now so i'd probably i'd probably join an existing organization before i thought of doing my own spin-up um as a meeting group just because dilution of messaging you know there's so many people competing for your so many different things competing for your time and if you want to get people to join your group it's going to be hard if you don't have a really compelling offering so my suggestion would be joining an existing one oh fantastic that's great advice hopefully um people can can do that today that's great in terms of how did you end up in singapore yeah okay so um i had after i realized or maybe even before i realized i i wasn't going to save the world through military means um uh i'd you know when i was younger i didn't have a real wonderlust and then i was a bit of a late developer there and once it once it hit me and i went to turkey so i went to turkey when i was at adver through the academy and we went and spent time in gallipoli and with some military historians there and it was it was incredible and that was my first first time overseas and i was just blown away and i was what 17 i think so i finally just bang like it just started oh my gosh the world's out there it's huge it's wonderful it's big i want to do it and so i'd always had this this plan at the back of my head that i wanted to live overseas but i'd never really gotten there and so uh two companies ago i um was a software developer australian software developer very smart people from melbourne and i was lucky enough to be their vp of asia pack so i ran the sales part of apac and and helped the ceo kind of build out the strategy i wouldn't say i drove it um but i was i was an eager participant and um we were really doing a lot of sales out of australia and it just became cost worthy and from a time and money perspective for the business it made sense for me to be based in asia we just opened up an office in japan and i was spending a lot of time in japan just getting the company set up and hiring staff and finding office space but it didn't make sense for me to be based there because it's geographically it's right north in asia um so it's still it's still a fair travel to get anywhere and also you know i don't speak japanese and the cost of living is quite high and um malaysia actually came up as a as a really good option so at the time the malaysian government was really trying to bring developers and technology companies into malaysia to set up um dev workshops there so there were some tax incentives for us as an organization and um i knew a bit of bahasa um in the cost so i felt comfortable kind of living there the cost of living was was a bit more reasonable and it's it's just north of singapore it's like smack bang in the middle of asia so from a geographic perspective it made sense so we um i moved there and then my my husband came after grand final that year because that was the deal um we we couldn't um i'll just tell a quick joke actually so um you've got finally got the transfer and uh it looked like he was going to have to leave just before just before grand final and so in in an act of domestic dastardly behavior i said well listen honey why don't you why don't i'll go first i'll get set up up there you stay here you know stay here for grand final season it's really important he's a melbourne boy and what he didn't realize is that meant that he'd have to pack up the house in melbourne and he didn't work it out until i was out of the country oh my lord oh he was not impressed when he worked it out he's like but hang on a minute yeah i've got it back it's like but you get to see the grand final sweetheart hey it's how do you look you stay there get your grand final i'll go set up he thought i was like wife of the year oh she's such a kate isn't she great it's like no why is it always all the stuff still in the house why is there nothing and the thing is too like he's he's very minimal on belongings like he doesn't have you know he's not he's not a junkie kind of person whereas i like to get things i like to hold on to them in case you never know five years down the track you want me to use it so he gets to pack up all my stuff anyway anyway so that's that's how we got to malaysia uh and we were there for two years uh and then um during that time i had my daughter and it's amazing until you become a parent you don't pay attention to footpaths uh elevators like you don't notice how pedestrian friendly an area is or isn't until you've got a mobility challenge um you know like an elderly relative or in this case i'm a baby in a stroller and it just all of a sudden everything that was super cool and gritty about where we were living was just a pain in the neck um yeah and and so you know what's really cool for for a couple with our kids is a bit a bit of a different environment so um when the opportunity my my boss left that company i was at and actually moved to another company and he had an opening going in singapore and so i uh i took it and we moved down here yeah and then um uh he had to pack up that house too there you go i wonder how much stuff he threw out during the during the pack-up phase well funny you say that chris you know there's some things i bought in turkey in 1996 that i wasn't able to find yeah i think um yeah because i've got the same issue with my wife she's she likes to collect things i don't good on her um yeah and i've got a stage i'm letting out my secret now where she'll have it in one place then i move it we move it to another place then it moves to the garage and if it doesn't if nothing happens that for at least 6 to 12 months then it leaves and we don't we don't hear about it ever again so i'm sure there's a bit of that going on i'll be watching now i'll be watching you watch out just a little thing and it's it's always bad when you get caught out for something it's like oh you know i'm actually looking for this one thing and when you know you've literally thrown it out that's when you're like oh oh that's hysterical that's really funny yeah yes i'm a good i mean you're the partner of the year and now he's the he's the partner of the year as well for packing everything up so that's great oh correct correct he's uh he actually is now out of jail free for the for the rest of our days so he's done that he's done that twice that's great two international moves where he's been yeah kind of sharp it's been one yeah yeah yeah yeah fantastic and what's it what's it been like um you know family and transitioning into a new culture like asia you know you've you've traveled around the world how how was that experience yeah look we were i think i was really lucky because i'd been spending so much time in you know so my experience was probably a bit more um vanilla than most people's because i've been spending so much time in malaysia anyway at the time you know i had 20 25 percent uh of my revenue was coming out of malaysia so i was spending a lot of time there with partners business partners anyway uh so it didn't feel it didn't feel too different um but of course visiting a place and then living there are two wildly different things and so we still went through the whole this cultural adjustment curve and it was it was pretty long there i have to say that was it took me longer to get out of the trough of disillusionment in malaysia than it did when i went to germany and it was all right you know the things that pulled me out were all such common sense things and they're those things that you should have done earlier it's about forming community and connecting and just really learning about your environment and um kind of settling down and getting roots there and so there were some things that we found very difficult you know things that are difficult anyway like connecting your electricity and finding you know paying the bills or disputing a phone bill or um you know things like that but um the things that helped and the things that i would suggest to anyone and it's not it's got nothing to do with asia it's anywhere is you've got to find a couple of sources of information so whether you've got neighbors or whether there's a like the australia new zealand chamber of commerce or something like that find somewhere where there's a group of people that you can go to for information it's the really simple things that will break you it is how do we get the gas connected in our place no one can tell us this has been going on for weeks or i have a problem with this or where's a good doctor that just understands the australian vaccination schedule because i just need to make sure that my daughter's something like that and the sooner this goes back to asking questions right the sooner you find a source of information that you can go to without being judged that tells you about all of those little life things it's like mother's group right then you then everything else falls into place but the the secret is finding those groups as soon as possible finding different groups so that you don't fatigue one group of people and being mindful of the fact that they're still giving you time they're still giving you their time for free so it goes back to say look i've got 20 we've just moved here i've got 20 questions and this is what i did i i had 20 questions and i said look we've just moved here um i was introduced to a bunch of different people and um i said look so and so's introduced me here are my questions i will bribe you with coffee and or grape juice that comes out of a bottle that looks like wine whatever whatever you want if you can answer those or if you prefer not to me you could either just send me an email back with the questions or if it's too much how about i just jump on the phone with you and i'll ask you and take the notes so i gave people an opportunity to give back to me in the format that suited their own schedule and i found that that that worked and then i kind of collated the 20 answers to the same questions that i'd asked these five different groups of people and then kind of got the source of truth from that so that that that's really helped but it comes back down to asking questions but also doing in a way that's respectful of people's time yeah it's brilliant i guess i think again it comes down to just understanding the environment figuring out what you need to do and yeah ask questions don't feel don't feel bad for asking questions but they're not correct and the other thing too which is so easy to do is don't get into the habit of thinking that because you don't understand it or because it's not the same as home that it is stupid yeah yeah you know like their way is not stupid you're a visitor in their country probably you're stupid yeah that's right you don't know you know or it's different it's not stupid it's not dumb it's different and that that's you know you see the people that don't quite ever get through the trough of disillusionment because they're so convinced that well in australia we do it like this or in america we do it like this therefore anyone who doesn't do it like that is doing it stupid or wrong or it's not right no no it's like it's you my friend yeah that's right that's great that's great so if you look if you look back at your um you know over the last few years you know you've had some great you know career opportunities you've traveled you've done that are there any lessons for you that stand out like you you've done something or something you've experienced something good or bad that's really galvanized you or brought you to where you are today gosh there would be so many of them um let me just think about the the top ones so the first one is if you're traveling have travel insurance i know that this sounds like something that your grandmother would say but i'm going to say it if you can't afford travel insurance you can't afford to travel yeah but anything that can happen will happen i mean who would have thought 12 months ago that we would be in the middle of the global pandemic all those trips that people booked and they can't get things back it's just it's just devastating all those people that are sick that just get insurance for heaven's sake and honestly it shouldn't it's something that in life if you're traveling this is where things can go really catastrophically wrong and you just want to be prepared for it and i think in that um it just comes back to this whole idea of things can go wrong they probably will and that's just how it is number one so you can either say that it's too hard and sometimes it is too hard and i suppose the trick is finding out is this really too hard or am i just giving up too soon um and then kind of giving yourself a moment to sit back and try and think about it or get yourself out of that situation just for a day or two to really think about what's going on and is it is it too much i don't think i have any amazing killer bits of advice apart from ask questions leave your ego at the door definitely something that has helped me a lot is just learning to pick the battles and to understand what i want to get out of this so if my interest is in you and i chris working together to get a project out the door then stop battling about who gets credit or stop battling about like the little things along the way let them go because that's actually not the goal the goal is not to prove who was right it's just to get the project out the door and i think that we get stuck on that and that's one thing that i i do see especially with people that are maybe more junior in their careers is they're still wanting to be right or wanting to like to fight every battle and that's not like it just attracts you i think the other thing too is often um and this is this is work related everyone that i've ever worked with barring a few people but everyone is generally busy generally people are doing the right thing and they're making an effort but if you don't sit with them day in day out and if you don't know what their job is really it's very easy to say oh you know those people over there i'll go to marketing as an example marketing 20 people in marketing what do they do all day organized parties you know or like legal oh god they're slowing my contracts again what do they do all day and and it's very easy to get this us and them mentality like what do they do all day i'm busy they're not no no no they're probably sitting there going sales what do they do all day i've had people say to me customer success managers what do you guys do all day i'm like are you kidding we are insanely busy we don't have time to go to the toilet lunch but it's because they're not living it and so i would say to anyone before you say what are they doing or they're not busy or they don't know or i'm the only one carrying the load just back off because everyone's in the same position and this ties in nicely i think with attribute which i love which is assumed best intentions yeah so just just step back is this a battle is this even a battle one and if it's a battle is it even worth me having and number two am i just being an idiot and number three do i even know what that's for do i even know what these people are doing uh and just and who cares like at the end of the day so what it maybe all that team do is sit around and play beach volleyball all day and they go for drinks and they don't really do any work if it's if it's not impacting your ability to get your job done just just let it go because for all you know while you're asleep they're working or over the weekend they're working you don't know so that would be my that's the big thing i see at the moment is people get their knickers in a twist about what that person's doing or what this person should be doing and it's it's a completely different department not your call my friend okay it's been a pleasure thank you so much chris um there's so much stuff that we haven't covered today so i'm gonna have to get you back for another session when you're feeling better of course um please go get some rest i honestly really appreciate you you know i will small on your face you got a fever you're running you're running through thank you fever right now so thank you so much um to the to the people watching today thank you um please have a great day everyone um let's thank kate big round of applause for kate oh thanks chris this is fun this is fun see you later bye everyone okay bye so so You