Silvia Myers: Entrepreneur

When I moved to Sydney (end of 2009) I was completely new to the city itself, and so I ended up moving to Newtown. And then after about fourteen months in Newtown the unit was selling, and I had to move out, and luckily at the same time a friend of mine had been living in Surry Hills for, like, for eight years, but she was moving out, and so basically I took over her place

7th July 2017

I’ve been in SH since 2011. I feel SH has got more trendy but also more poor. It used to be a cool place. I feel that while the area is more expensive it has got more poor. There are more homeless people and more junkies and crazies. SH now shows that the gap is bigger.

I think that in any society, the bigger the gap the worse it is for society. You have more crime which affects all of us and different problems that you need to service from community services. It’s sad. We want to be happy people so if you see people in a bad state of living, it doesn’t make you happy.

There are lots of things I love about SH I love walking around. Now with the construction of the light rail, that’s harder. I love the vibe, the quirky shops and buildings. I use all of the local services. The coffee shop owner knows me, the sushi place knows my order and I’ve known the hairdresser for a long time. Community-wise though for me it’s more about business. I socialise with business owners. With so many shared offices popping up there is an influx of entrepreneurs. It’s a massive energy and confidence boost. You can network and connect with people who are the same as you. Business leaders here are different; they want to have a coffee at a café when they meet rather than a business meeting in a boardroom.

It’s important for me to have the inner peace that what I do makes this world a better place.

I think looking back at my younger self, I see that younger girls have no comprehension of what they are capable of. They have no comprehension of how beautiful they are or how smart or how they can make a unique contribution to society. Women have been drilled to listen and learn but they have a lot to give. But nearly every woman I meet does not realise that. Even in the office where I am, most people are men, so I mostly work with men. If I do talk with women, they are usually employees of those guys. The guys are inclusive but it’s up to the girls to step up into their capability and own it. I wish I had realised that earlier when I was younger.

I’m an entrepreneur and so success doesn’t happen overnight. You do something you are passionate about but then you need to invest nights and weekends and months, even years working for little rewards. If you are an employee, you bounce off each other and give yourself a pat on the back. But when you start your own business, you don’t get that, all you hear is “No”. Feedback is important but processing the constant negative delivery is tough. I would be lying if I said that it’s easy for me to focus on my strengths all the time.

It’s easier after two years but it’s very hard to push through, particularly the first year. You have to cope with enormous rejection and you have to start giving yourself a pat on the back saying “I’ve spent a lot of time on this and I have done a great job”, regardless of what everyone else has said.

I have not grown up in Australia. The endless questions around, “Where are you from originally?” I’m ready to punch someone in the face when they ask me that. Isn’t there something more interesting you could find out about me? I mean, ask me that once we’ve had a conversation and we have got to know each other better. As far as I’m concerned unless you’re Aboriginal, you are originally not from here either. Your family might have migrated 150 years ago which in the history of humanity doesn’t mean much.

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