Welcoming 2020: A Decade in Review
A decade in review!
I guess before entering 2020, it’s good to look back to see what I’ve done with my life.
I was a newlywed, married to my university sweetheart after 8 years of relationship, we bought a house and a car together.
Our marriage started to crumble at the point that I need to hire my first ever lawyer, unfortunately it was a divorce lawyer. 10 years after our divorce, I have nothing but gratitude as we have made the best decision. I have grown so much as a person after that. The asset from that pain was my knowledge on writing as a modality to heal. I wrote a journal for a full year to witness our separation process. It was truly something that healed me. I’ve been teaching workshops on Writing for Healing, and would love to start an online Zoom seminar on this subject. I also contemplate to publish my journal on Storial.co, if it can serve the purpose to help other people realize situations on their marriage.
This is also the year where I started Girls in Tech Indonesia with Anantya, a non-profit with a mission to inspire the geek in every girl. Also, the time where I started NulisBuku.com with Ega, a startup that helps writer self-published their books in Print on Demand model.
I joined founders of StartupLokal as one of the initiators and got an amazing chance to visit Dublin invited by Enterprise Ireland to learn more about startup ecosystem there.
I went to my first Umrah, the one that I’ve been postponing because I wanted to go to Makkah with my then husband, but heck, I’ll do it myself.
I became the ChairWoman for ON/OFF or famously known as Pesta Blogger, then had a chance to experience my first snow in South Korea invited by Korean Tourism Board.
After writing Je M’appelle Lintang in 2007, I finally had a chance to visit Paris. It was surreal experience. For the first time, I also use EuroStar to travel to London.
I did not come from a rich family nor that I made crazy money with my business, so being able to gather that kind of cash for my first Europe travel was a big thing for me.
Speak at ThinkBig Innovate 2012 in Brunei, also mark my first ever flying business and stayed at a 6 stars hotel :))
Joined a program by US Embassy, IVLP: A New Beginning and met 30 amazing entrepreneurs from around the world that become my family. We travel from Washington DC, Portland, Dallas, New York City for 3 weeks to learn about business, meet the successful entrepreneurs in the US and network with high networth entrepreneurs. I am grateful for that once in a lifetime experience.
Spent my birthday in Istanbul and fall in love with the city. Would love to go back to Turkey and explore more, especially going to the city of Konya where Rumi and Shams Tabrizi lived.
Went to Bahrain as invited by Discover Bahrain team. Also spent 9 days backpacking through Egypt: Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, Alexandria, first time ever backpacking and I really enjoyed the dust in my canvas shoes (not heels!) while watching the big Pyramid of Giza.
Visiting Marrakesh invited by Global Entrepreneurship Program to attend their event there and met a lot of new entrepreneurs friends from all around the world.
Went to Paris as invited by dearest friends Arnaud and Cath Barba to attend their event La Journee de La Femme Digitale.
Invited by my good friend Epi to attend his CrowdSourcing Week event in Singapore.
Went to Kazakhstan as invited by The US Embassy to teach technology. At this time, got a phone call to speak in Russia, where I can’t just fly to, so I need to go back to Jakarta, and managed to get a visa in a day lol. Was a miracle.
Finally fly to Moscow invited to represent Indonesia to speak about Indonesia startup ecosystem at rAsia Forum by His Excellency Djauhari Oratmangun, then The Ambassador of Indonesia for Russian Federation. Love the experience, and love Moscow in summer.
My dad passed away at the young age of 58 years old, we missed him ’til this day.
Attend Frankfurt Book Festival where Indonesia is The Guest of Honor. Met a lot of Indonesian authors there, hang out with Trinity and Ika Natassa when we can. I stayed at a mixed hostel where I spend a night with a guy on top of my bunk bed. Alone. So frikkin’ scary, I would never do that again :))
Spent 10 days traveling around Europe with my bestfriend Emie, from Swiss, Italy, to Spain. This is where I discover my 2 muses: Marcus Aurelius that lead me to be a stoic and Gaudi that inspire me to reach the level of excellence and genius always.
This is the year where I meet my teen time idol, Viky Sianipar, and he become my spiritual teacher (but he didn’t like that title haha).
Found a problem that it’s overwhelming for writers to write a whole book, so I thought writing per chapter would help them massively, while getting feedback in the process from readers and making money to sustain their life. Met a developer that eventually became a partner to develop the prototype of a baby that I will call Storial.co, a social storytelling platform.
Attend Beijing Book Festival invited by The Ministry of Creative Economy to study how they done it in China.
Speak in Portugal for A New Beginning event hosted by my friend Sandra. After the event, I visited one of an old bookstore and I reached for ‘The Book of Disquiet’ by Fernando Pessoa. The cashier looked at me in the eye as I was paying for the book, “Are you ready, to read a book that will change your life?”
Oh wow. The rest is history.
From the year 2001 I’ve been wearing hijab and this year, I took it off. I receive massive responses to it, some of course strongly against it at the point of bullying and gas-lighting. As a stoic, I use this opportunity to add more traffic to my website and block toxic people in my life that I used to call friends.
My first time accepting VC fund to start a media company, Zetta Media.
Met my support system entrepreneurs ladies for the first time in our trip to Sumba. ’Til this day, they remain the strongest support system in my life and I am grateful to Nina Moran to bring us all together. My soulmate best friends Vera, Heera, Devi, become closest to me after this meeting.
Mentioned by Sheryl Sandberg in her Facebook post as part of #SheMeansBusiness campaign which is fantastic and one of the best thing that happen to me in my online life.
Speak at Women in Innovation Forum New York invited by my beautiful powerful friend Catherine Barba that just moved to NYC.
Met an amazing guy that I love in January, get engaged in February, plan to marry in June and break up in May. So, yeah! Cheers to this mind-numbing heartbreak that still can’t turn me into Adele!
StartupLokal start our first LocalStartup Fest, and Girls in Tech Indonesia doing Girls in Tech Festival, a big milestone for us after doing years of monthly small events.
Wrote my first biography, ‘Done is Better Than Perfect’, a biography Denny Santoso. I’m grateful to be able to work with Denny to pull off this big challenge and prove to myself that I can do that. Thanks to my writing teacher and friend, Mbak Alberthiene Endah that has been cheering me for almost 7 years before I finally get my ass to write a biography. Yes, I also procrastinate! :))
Went to Nepal as invited by The US Embassy to teach technology to girls in Pokhara and Kathmandu with Anan as part of Girls in Tech Indonesia. So precious to watch the girls solving their unique every day problems with technology.
Sat down beside Sheryl Sandberg for lunch in Vietnam!! Argh!
Met Sediqa and Abdullah Sarwari, refugees from Afghanistan, that become my good friends and mark a start of my journey to address concerns over Refugees crisis in Indonesia and the world.
Painful year as I need to close down my company Zetta Media as we failed to raise fund and made enough money in time. I fell into depression that lead to physical sickness. I turn to the sun to heal and successfully tanned myself in the process until my mom was screaming that I look like I never shower *facepalm*
After few months, gradually managed to picked myself up and dive into my company Storial.co. I was honestly sick of startup world at that point, but my business partner Steve pushed me through. We signed up for acceleration program SKALA and learned tremendously on how to read meaningful datas to grow our startup.
Speak on The Future of SMEs talking specifically about the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the impact for jobs creation in Indonesia at The International Council for Small Business (ICSB) World Congress 2018. Love to hang out with smarter people than me (everyone is a Phd :D)
Storial secured seed funding from Salim Group, we use the fund to successfully proven our business models with the fund and help authors earn decent income with their stories.
I healed massively physically and spiritually. More about that in my next post!
Started Gini Aja Deh, a productivity Podcast that turned out to be one of the top podcasts people listen to in 2019.
Attend Girls in Tech Retreat in Bali, met Managing Directors of Girls in Tech Indonesia from all around the world, and taught a Miracle Journal class. This year also the year I launched ‘Today I am Grateful’ a gratitude journal in collaboration with Ayang Cempaka.
Become one of brand ambassadors for SARIAYU Martha Tilaar’s campaign #FearlessBeauty. Like what??? I am super super honored to experience this, feeling grateful to be among the most beautiful and successful ladies in the photoshoot.
Won mSPARK competition by MindShare and sent to InnovFest Unbound in Singapore. Also won a Women Markeeter of The Year 2019 by Asian Marketing Federation for #WhyNot campaign by Girls in Tech Indonesia.
So, I guess judging by the different things that I did and variations of places in the world (20+ countries according to Google Maps) that I have visited (mostly traveled without using my own money), my 15 years old me with no self confidence at all, would never ever imagine something like this would happen in my life.
My conclusion: trust life, let life flow, your job is walking one step at a time.
So, what’s next for me in 2020?
I’d like to talk about it in my next post!