“I am available” – a 24 year old me said to a room of 4 young men.

I didn’t mean I was available for a date 🙂 But I was available and ready to take on a new career adventure.

13 years ago, 4 young men had been brainstorming a startup idea for almost 2 years on the Stanford University campus without it taking off. I used to be the fly on the wall, sometimes chipping in with my 2-cents. They all had day jobs and no one was willing to take that leap of faith to commit full time to this fledgling idea that Jombay was then.

“I am available” I said and sprung off. I was willing to put my papers down and start this company. Putting myself out there and declaring my availability became the sole reason I became the founder. I became an entrepreneur by a chance that I took on myself! Only 1 of the 4 men in the room continued to work on that idea and became my co-founder. Jombay is the company that we built.

One of the things that keeps coming up in conversations with female friends, peers, colleagues, mentors and inspirational women leaders is – You simply can’t wait for people to bring you opportunities. If you know what you want, you have to go and ask for it – Grab it and don’t let go! After all, people can’t read our minds! (both at work and home 🙂)

This element of assertiveness and advocating has been strongly considered when we built the 1000 Women Leaders Program curriculum.

If you have a project, responsibility, role, or anything else in mind, and if you haven’t voiced it yet – go say ‘I am available’! (Is also true for men who don’t voice themselves 🙂 )

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