Martha's Dare inspiring you to achieve your dreams

An Envelope full of Motivation !

This week I received the HUGE envelope of motivation – an envelope of letters from grade 9 girls. Last May I spoke at the Explore IT event held in Calgary, Alberta. In a pact full day of building robots, designing websites, or learning about solar panels the girls are introduced to IT, Engineering and Technology. My job was to inspire them to consider a career in IT. I did this by sharing my story, but more importantly asking them the questions that eventually led me to leading the life I love !

What questions did I ask them ?! Well the same ones I have shared with you – What do you love to do ? What job can you do that let’s you do that every day ? What is on your non negotiable list ? What kind of life do you want to live and what type of money do you need to have to enable that ? Finally, I shared that high school was the time to work hard and keep your options open for University/College/Internships.

At Explore IT, I had three keynote speeches, at three different schools across the city. During each presentation I had a lot of fun reminiscing to when I was in Grade 9, Martha with braces, a perfect bob haircut, horrible fashion sense, and quietly excited for life’s adventure. I shared my journey, the scary parts, the hard decisions, the exciting milestones, and where I landed after my first 10 years of work. They met the Martha that is the engineer, the problem solver, the field hockey player, the photographer, the triathlete, the project manager, the girl friend, and the innovative leader. What I hope they took away is that the Martha of today, the one that works downtown, still doesn’t know how to wear makeup, and has a thing for purple purses and shoes is not so different from that Grade 9 girl twenty odd years ago. She just has the confidence to embrace all that she is and be that Martha ALL the time.

What I find most intriguing is that my job at Explore IT was to inspire and motivate the girls towards careers in Technology. However I wonder if they know how much they motivated me ?! This blog is the result of three year’s of speaking at conferences like Explore IT and Queen’s CIRQUE and someone finally asking when I was going to write a book, and I thought, why not ? I am motivated by the girls wisdom and their passion for going for it ! Here are some excerpts from my favorite letters from the grade 9 girls at explore IT and some of what motivated me to create www.marthasdare.com.

“Your speech has inspired me to get to know myself. I may think I know everything, but I really don’t know what I want. You have taught me that I can have anything I want in life as long as I know what that is. ”

“I am quite nervous about high school and you showed me that by finishing high school I will succeed in life”

“I myself want to be a lawyer for two reasons. 1. I love shopping and I need a lot of money to go shopping and 2. I love to argue”

“Prior to [Explore IT] I realized that what I wanted to do when I grow up didn’t suit me. However after your speech I thought about what you said. You told us to look at what we liked and to find a job that we would look forward to every day. Now I see that there are so many other things that I could do which would involve the things I love. Thank you “

About Martha van Berkel

Martha is the co-founder of Marketing Technology company - Hunch Manifest. She likes to fire up customer adoption and disrupting industries! She is a entrepreneur and a Mom!

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