Pledge 1%’s #WomenWhoLead series celebrates female leaders who are paving the way for the next generation. While our featured leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, they are united in their efforts to promote equality for all women in the workplace. We’ve asked them to share a bit about their journey to success, as well as lessons they’ve learned along the way.
What is your name and title?
Yasmin Grigaliunas, CEO & Co-founder at World’s Biggest Garage Sale.
Briefly (1-2 sentences) describe your current role.
An entrepreneur of impact and a circular economy pioneer in Australia, driving this industry forward by innovating, collaborating, connecting and mobilising multiple stakeholders towards a shared vision, all while providing social good.
How did you get here? Please share any quick stories from past work experiences.
I am a doer. It excites me to build things and drive motion forward. I love the hard, the stretch, the impossible, not because I’m anything extraordinary, but because we’re all ordinary people capable of extraordinary things. We just need to believe in ourselves.
In your opinion, what’s the #1 decision or move you’ve made that has helped advance your career?
Mine was when Mark Sowerby (Queensland’s First Chief Entrepreneur) told me that my ‘hobby’ of running a once a year annual World’s Biggest Garage Sale, was actually 4 years of running a business.
The big question he asked me was could I afford to quit my job and go all in?
That was in 2017…. I quit my job less than a week later and haven’t looked back since.
It hasn’t been easy, I won’t pretend or portray that, but I wouldn’t make a different decision if I had the chance to relive that moment.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned this past year?
I was chatting (ok, perhaps ranting one day) with the team and I came up with this – to best describe our year
Effort + Execution = Evolution
What’s the number one challenge you face as a woman in your industry?
The bias, it’s a real thing, although I never spend a great deal of time sitting in any negative about it. With less than 3% of VC funding flowing to female founded ventures globally, the issue is real.
Do you have any mentors? What does mentorship mean to you?
Mentors are lifeblood. It’s important though to recognise, that mentors are only as good as the mentee – it’s always a bidirectional and circular relationship that has natural flow in all directions. The one word I think of when it comes to mentors is:
#Coachable (be coachable – it will serve you well in life – even when it hurts).
What advice do you have for women who are just starting their career?
You are better than you think you are, exponentially stronger than you realise and you already have the capacity and capabilities to do what you sit and admire others for. Get out there and DO IT. Don’t wait for the perfect moment, the better situation, the ‘one day’ timing – there is no better time to shine than now. Start today……
What is one thing companies can do, big or small, to help create an environment that advances women into leadership positions?
Collaborate and Connect – but not because it sounds good….actually go deep in the ACTION stages, get your hands dirty and bring together diverse entities to multiply outcomes.
What is one thing you hope to accomplish in the next year?
Scale, Scale, Scale.
We will accomplish a capital raise…..(but argh….I dislike even writing that, because it’s such a ‘game’ and I’m not a game player). I prefer HOT (Honest Open Transparent), even though it might burn at times. I’d much rather just fast track things so we can get on with it – but I know that it doesn’t work that way. Most importantly, the opportunity to scale our team, bring on new talent to provide jobs and expand our reach for People, for Planet and for Purpose.
Is there a cause that is particularly close to you? If so, why this cause and how did you get involved?
The SDGs are the cause I care most about – driving action globally for a better world for all. I am not the type of person to be put into a box – I’d rather the ‘all-sorts’ so that there’s a little bit of something for everyone. Equity over Equality…..
Not my words – but – Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities. Equity recognises that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.
When did your company join Pledge 1%? What does your impact program mean to you?
We joined in 2018, back when I was in SF for a trip with the Accelerator we participated in. Impact is the very fabric of our business. If I’m going to be in business, it needs to be as a force for good. While being rich in wealth is what some desire, for me, I want to be rich in love, rich in life and I know that the circular and sharing economy has the capacity to even things out a LOT. I have often said that we need to evolve the P&L report to a PLI report, which records Profit/Loss/Impact. Now where are the new Fintech founders to solve this one?
What do you like to do outside of the office? Any interesting (or unique) habits or interests?
I am a 2x Ironman Finisher (that’s the brand name…not my doing) and as it turns out, I was pretty good at it in the day. It’s been a looonnnnggg time since I’ve raced, I will go back one day, but it’s expensive and time consuming, neither of which I have in abundance right now.
I’m also a runner – having completed 2019km in 2019 and more than 2020km in 2020. 2021 is a little stagnant, but I’m feeling out a new challenge. I also ran more than 650 consecutive days, including 110 days of 10kms a day! I love doing extreme things – just because it feels good to stretch.
Are you reading/listening to anything interesting at the moment? Please share your most recent favorite book or podcast!
One is HARD and one is SOFT. These two bipolar forces will give you a taste of what life is like as a founder and entrepreneur. I love Audible and will have many books going at the same time, choosing a title based on what I think I need to energise me at the time of listening.
What’s been the one (or two!) things that have helped you navigate this past year? Any tips or tricks to dealing with remote work?
What’s helped us is transparency, authenticity and good old fashioned hard work. It’s been a challenge (for us all), but rather than whine about things we cannot change, our team focused on controlling what we could, which was ultimately our own capabilities and capacity – then we stretched and stretched and stretched. There were some little snaps along the way (as to be expected), but our trust and love (yes love) for each other, really meant that we made sure we would make it through.
In relation to remote work, I’ve worked remotely since giving birth to our first daughter almost 15 years ago. Being an early adopter, it meant that there wasn’t even a speed bump (for me or the team) when it came to adapting with flexible or remote work. I love to live life well outside of the comfort zone, and it’s only recently I recognised the comfort I now feel in this space. What it’s taught me is that when I think and feel the crazy stuff, then it’s highly likely something in it worth exploring.