Be Ballsy.

The things that are hardest to make yourself do are often the ones that end up being the most rewarding.

(By rewarding I mean they lead to the kinds of experiences where you learn something new, get to meet amazing people, and generally have opportunities to do things you never would have imagined doing before. Rewarding does not only mean money.)

I was thinking about this at PyCon, after someone asked me how it felt, as a woman, to get up and give a technical talk to approximately 1,400 men. Five years ago I couldn’t have imagined myself doing something like that, but a series of small chances, risks, and experiences have led me here. And it was a ton of fun!

I thought about this again when Bryce sent me a link to this post. OATV is hiring an analyst, and they haven’t received applications from women. The OATV team is a wonderful, smart, and energetic group of people and I’m certain that working with them would be a mind- and life-changing experience. To anyone who would be interested, but won’t apply because it’s a reach — forget about that, and apply now.

My mother always asked me, “What’s the worst that could happen?” It turns out that the worst possible outcome is better than doing nothing risky at all.


  • http://www.ouvre-boite.com Julien

    The worst thing that could happen is always nothing.

  • http://rexduffdixon.com/ RexDixon

    You rock! :)

  • http://nibrahim.net.in Noufal Ibrahim

    I for one am glad that you did deliver the keynote at PyCon this year. It was really awesome.

  • http://jesserfriedman.com Jesse Friedman

    Still inspirational even though I’m a dude ;)

  • http://twitter.com/0x1B Aaron

    Too bad our default word for being courageous or bold is the assumed masculine “ballsy.” How about “ovacious” for the feminine?

    In any case, thanks for the article!

    • http://www.hilarymason.com Hilary Mason

      Thanks, Aaron! I was playing with the term. :)

  • http://twitter.com/tarikh Tarikh Korula

    Hilary you rock and inspire.

  • http://profiles.google.com/gordonfsnyder Gordon Snyder

    Excellent post Hilary!

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    Curiousity is the best key.