Dream & Do

Female Leader Myths Busted at Mamamia Live! Featuring Rosie Waterland & Mia Freedman

Tara SheltonComment

Last week, Amy and I were lucky enough to attend the first Mamamia Live event, during which Mia Freedman interviewed Rosie Waterland, of Bachelor Recap fame, about Rosie’s recently published first book: a memoir ‘The Anti-Cool Girl’. Look out for our post on the event next week! In the meantime, we thought we’d share the top takeaway lessons from the night, complete with Rosie memes. Those quotes were too good not to share. Welcome to Mythbusters, Dream & Do style.

  Rosie Waterland, on how always trying to be 'the cool girl' isn't sustainable and we should own ourselves and our emotions

Rosie Waterland, on how always trying to be 'the cool girl' isn't sustainable and we should own ourselves and our emotions

MYTH: You can’t have a thriving business with a husband and three kids

BUSTED:

This is something I struggle with almost daily, and I wrote about here. Most entrepreneurial women I know do think about this, a lot. How can we balance a successful business with a healthy family life? It becomes particularly challenging when we’re in leadership roles. But Mia Freedman is a prime example of work/life balance. Sure, she’s crazy busy all the time and suffers her own set of issues like anxiety, but her husband was standing by watching proudly at the Mamamia Live event, and she’s a mother of three. Plus, what started out as the Mamamia parenting blog on her lounge room floor has now become a blossoming network of four online platforms and counting. And she still wears sequined clothes, which is even more badass.

  Rosie Waterland on why she thinks the Bachelor recaps have been so popular. "It's like watching a silly show with a wink and a wry nod," she says.

Rosie Waterland on why she thinks the Bachelor recaps have been so popular. "It's like watching a silly show with a wink and a wry nod," she says.

MYTH: Success is carefully planned

BUSTED:

Do any of us ever really know what we’re doing? Okay, some people do. For some, having a clearly mapped out plan, with goals, dreams and milestones, is the way to survive. But it’s also good to know that doesn’t have to be the case. Take Cereal Entrepreneurs, for example. Amy and I came up with the idea on a whim, and it turned out to be a huge success, with more events planned soon! When Rosie Waterland first approached Mia and the editorial team at Mamamia about writing recaps of The Bachelor each week, they were sceptical. ‘I think the general consensus was “Rosie, we’re not paying you to watch TV”,’ says Rosie. But she knew she could make it work. So armed with her laptop and a heavy dose of self-belief, she started writing funny recaps in her own time at night, and then in 2014 they exploded, being shared and read thousands of times, to the point where they’ve outperformed the show itself. Even though it was always a thought in the back of her head, Rosie certainly didn’t think she’d be writing a book, and that it would be a bestseller before it was even released. Especially not when she was in a blanket fort in her apartment, drinking vodka and ignoring emails from her publisher. Now she’s got two book deals, an agent, and is ‘taking meetings’ about a potential TV, movie or mini-series from The Anti-Cool Girl. Nailed it.

  Rosie Waterland, ever self-deprecating

Rosie Waterland, ever self-deprecating

MYTH: You need more than brains to be successful

BUSTED:

With her body-love and feminist, anti-cool girl ideals, Rosie is loud and proud about the way she looks. Even though she admits it wasn’t always that way; she speaks so openly about body image issues, her eating disorders and her eventual weight loss surgery that it’s empowering for others to follow her lead. Rosie has taught us that it’s okay to not always be okay. You don’t have to be the prettiest person in the room, and you also don’t have to be the happiest, healthiest person in the room. A brain is enough, dammit. Plus a sprinkling of self-confidence. (And, notably, a bit of therapy!)

  Rosie Waterland on being true to yourself.

Rosie Waterland on being true to yourself.

MYTH: Women at the top should not be too girly

BUSTED:

One of our favourite quotes of the night was when Rosie was talking about Laurina, from last year’s season of The Bachelor, saying ‘she became an accidental feminist icon’. But she was well-known for being demanding and ‘girly’, a trait that Rosie and Mia both believe to unfairly be used in a pejorative sense at the moment. Laurina was an ‘accidental feminist’ because she knew what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to ask for it. Rosie has written recently, on the website and in her book, about the notion of the anti-cool girl, one who isn’t afraid to admit that women have emotional expectations and that trying to be the cool girl all the time just isn’t sustainable. We can be feminists, striving for our rights and expecting to achieve them, while still crying when we’re sad and wanting attention from our partners.

  Rosie Waterland, on the problematic anti-feminist concept behind The Bachelor

Rosie Waterland, on the problematic anti-feminist concept behind The Bachelor

MYTH: You can’t be friends with the team you hire

BUSTED:

At Mamamia Live, Rosie and Mia talked about strong female mentors they’ve been lucky enough to have in their lives, with Rosie joking that Mamamia’s Editor-in-Chief, Jamila, and Mia herself, both vying for the role as her mentor. When Mia spoke about Lisa Wilkinson being her coveted mentor who then became her friend, Rosie joked: ‘So that makes Lisa kind of like my gran-mentor?!’ These two women have spoken and written openly about their love and respect for one another, despite the essentially hierarchical divide of boss/employee. I can honestly say that since starting Dream & Do, my team have become my friends, and I respect them each for their own goals and dreams. Myth: busted.

  Tara and Amy from Dream & Do at the Mamamia Live event last week

Tara and Amy from Dream & Do at the Mamamia Live event last week