“The single worst dynamic in life and in business is the fear of what other people think.”

 

Cindy Gallop is an extraordinary lady. Her infamous 2009 TED talk (above) was as brilliant as it was controversial. The sight of an amazingly confident and beautiful lady strutting across the stage in high heels and delivering her dramatic lecture was totally unforgettable. How’s this for an opening gambit? “I date younger men, predominantly younger men. And when I date younger men, I have sex with younger men. And when I have sex with younger men, I encounter very directly and personally the real ramifications of the creeping ubiquity of hardcore pornography in our culture.” Certainly got my attention! If you haven’t seen it, do – it’s a bold, graphic, mind-bendingly unexpected and utterly fascinating talk in which she launches MakeLoveNotPorn.com, a platform that busts the myths of hardcore porn and celebrates the diversity of the human sexual experience. (“Porn says: ‘This is the way it is’. And what I want to say is: ‘Not necessarily.’”)

Since then, she’s grown MakeLoveNotPorn.com massively, turning it into a real world video sharing platform to rival porn sites and spreading the hashtag #realworldsex. And started If We Ran The World, a web platform designed to turn ‘good intentions’ into real actions by allowing users to get involved and collaborate to make stuff happen. She’s a phenomenal get-stuff-done person but she doesn’t bullshit that it’s all easy and effortless; she started the hashtag #StartUpStress to be honest and open about how tough being an entrepreneur is.

Cindy Gallop has bigger balls than most blokes and is passionate, intelligent and utterly inspiring. A proper heroine for the 21th century. Do yourself a favour and have a read of this recent Huffington Post interview. There are so many great insights and inspiring thoughts in there. For example: “I left advertising when I turned 45. I’d always thought one’s 45th birthday was a moment to pause, take stock, review, ask ‘Where have I been?’ and ‘Where am I going?’ so I did that. And I thought, ‘Maybe it’s time to do something different.’ I took a massive leap into the unknown. I resigned as chairman of BBH without a job to go to, and it was the best bloody thing I ever did because I couldn’t be happier doing what I’m doing now. I’m reinventing myself in every possible way.”

What an amazing woman, force of nature, role model. I find the idea of starting afresh at 45 and radically reinventing myself shocking, terrifying, exhilarating and inspiring in equal measure. Sod the comfort zone, Cindy rules!

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About antmelder
Creative Partner at DDB Sydney; passionate vegetarian; lover of books, boxing and Bruce Springsteen.

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