Erin Flood

Name: Erin Ann Flood

Title: Co-Founder of Open Data Atlantic & Chair of the Fredericton Start-Up Taskforce

University, university degree:  St Francis Xavier University, Psychology – BA

Where you work/business name: The Go Do Project

What’s your role, title: Creator

Twitter handle, website links – ways to be connected with you.
Twitter: @erinannflood

Questions for Erin Flood

What advice would you give your 16 year-old self?

Pay attention. Raise your hand, and stop worrying about what those around you are thinking. In the grand scheme of life, those who matter are the ones you choose to matter most. Do things that make you happy, find your passions and chase them down aggressively. Embrace education, both in and out of the classroom and remember to always be humble in your everyday learning’s.

P.s. Wear what makes you feel you- not what the media asks of you.

Who were your mentors when you were in high school and university? And why?

My mother has always been my mentor, to me; she is the quintessential strong woman. In addition to that, I’ve always admired the “black sheep” in business, and in life. What I mean by that…the people who are successful because they’ve chosen the path less traveled, colored outside of the lines and found victory by creatively challenging the status quo.

How did your mentors guide you then? 

They inspired me to believe that with some confidence in my personal ability, my potential was pretty well limitless. However, it was my responsibility, and the only person for the job, to find that confidence. Once you have that with the help from mentors, the world becomes your playground.

What do you remember about growing up that was fun?  What were some of the challenges too?

The times where I had the most fun were the times when the activity was hands on, learning through doing. I loved to watch my father work, and I was lucky to have him teach me tricks of the trade at a young age (technology). While I’m a lover of all things tech, I’m certainly nostalgic of my childhood spent outdoors, where imagination made up the feature set of the day.

My biggest challenge growing up was accepting that my learning style was a little different from others. I learn through experience, and so it was difficult for me to comprehend sitting behind a desk for hours reading a powerpoint screen. With that challenge, came an issue of confidence, which is still something I work on but have learned to embrace my challenges rather than view them as faults.

Which of your traits are you most proud of?

The ability to listen. Listening is a trait that’s often overseen but I believe is so important when developing strong relationships in work and life.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid to fail?

Failure doesn’t scare me as much as it used to. In fact, failure has become my favourite most effective learning experience. This is important, and fits into my daily “Go Do” philosophy, because what’s the worst that can happen? (This is not me condoning any wild stunts).

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself up?

An exercise I’ve recently learned is around “framing”, and specific to this question, framing the problem. If you’re able to step outside to have an outside perspective, often times it helps strip emotions from the problem, and think rationally about how that self-doubt may be perceived from those around. Going for a run to pump adrenaline is always a great help, too.

Where does your confidence come from? 

My peers and myself.  It’s important to reflect on your accomplishments from time to time to remember the great accomplishments you’ve achieved, and will continue to achieve.

Courage and resilience are so important to living an authentic life.  Where do you find yours?

Challenging myself everyday, and constantly pushing myself out of my comfort zone. The things that make you uncomfortable, or vulnerable are the things that you should be doing. With experience and exposure, comes courage and resilience within you to constantly push the bar.

What’s the best piece of advice you were given when you were starting out?

Go Do. This is something I find myself saying on a daily basis, it’s the little push that gets me out of bed, and challenges me to try new things, be uncomfortable and learn from those experiences.

Has learning from a mistake led you to success? 

Learning from mistakes has been my number one reason for success.

What does success mean to you?

Creating positive change in someone’s life.

What are sacrifices that you’ve made in running your business or building your career?

My weekends and some sleep here and there. However, one of my biggest learning experiences in running a business is that balance is so important. The business or career you choose shouldn’t demand sacrifices that will take balance away from the personal things that make you happy. And, if you choose, you will find a career that feels more like a lifestyle than a “job”.

What characteristics do you admire in other women?

Empathy & confidence.

What does the world need more of?

Experiential learning & greater focus on individual human ability.

The Up and Go tag is Be Brave. Be You.  What does that mean to you in how you live your life?

It’s what is important to remember every morning in order to succeed and be the best person I can be each day.

What do we need to do more of here in New Brunswick to have more girls and women in leadership roles?

Continue the growth of organizations like “Up and Go”, it inspires young girls at an age when they are most impressionable and they deserve to learn early of the great potential that awaits them.

Create your own question?  Anything you’d like to talk about with these girls?  Please be creative!

What is your favourite hobby or pastime?

I believe that all too often in life and our careers, we forget to embrace the question “who?” and what that really means. When we meet new people, we have the tendency to first ask them what they do for a living, and not who they are as a person outside of the work place. A great way to build relationships, is to learn about the person first, what drives their passion, and allow that story flow into how they got into the career they’re in today. My favorite pastime is exploring outdoors with my dog Rosie.