In this episode, Tara speaks with Emily Bibb, co-founder of Breef, the first agency marketplace whose mission is to bring the world's best brands and agencies together to create better work. The two discuss how to approach and manage risk in a way that's not so scary, all through the lens of Emily's life experiences: from competitive collegiate swimming and her first jobs out of college to seizing an opportunity to create a business that addressed a prevalent need.

Emily’s background and journey to Breef

Emily’s first jobs out of college were at PopSugar, where she was an editorial assistant, and then VSCO, a photography editing company. She had been a user of both brands and was genuinely invested in each company before joining their internal teams, an example of how following and conveying your passions and interests in the hiring process pays off.

An award-winning marketer passionate about entrepreneurship, Emily saw a need for larger companies to have easier access to agencies to outsource work — and vice versa, that small businesses and agencies were struggling with the cumbersome RFP process for new business and lacked access to the bigger brands for the support and tools they needed to grow. Enter Breef, which Emily co-founded as a platform to centralize the process and provide the tools each entity needs to plan and contract projects, as well as connect with each other.

Approaching risk-taking and overcoming self-doubts and fear

Emily is no stranger to risk. She talks about facing her first risky decision in college as a competitive swimmer, when she decided to switch from UCLA to UC Berkeley, and how the desire to avoid regret and the realization that she had a finite amount of time to take advantage of the opportunity fueled her decision.

Emily likens taking risks to exercising a muscle. The practice gets easier over time and impacts how you evaluate things, better trust your gut, and pivot if something goes wrong. In fact, as a leader, being open about following your gut empowers those around you to let go of doubts and fears and creates a better environment.

Tara and Emily go on to discuss common misconceptions about taking what are perceived to be big risks, the process of considering all the “what if” scenarios, and the benefits of being open and in touch with your intuition and approaching situations from a place of learning and curiosity. Emily suggests vocalizing, externalizing, and breaking fears down into smaller bits to make the process more tangible. Personifying fear can make it more light-hearted and feel easier to solve.

The workforce today and radical transparency

67% of women are moving toward more fulfilling roles and what they’re passionate about, and communicating that passion for a particular role is important. Tara and Emily discuss how to evaluate someone’s passion versus their experience, and Emily conveys that, while experience can get you so far, passion is going to take you to the next level.

On the flip side, Emily comments on the importance of the concept of radical transparency: when a business’s communications and expectations are very clearly outlined, not just internally, but also from a brand perspective. Emily believes this transparency (on both sides of the coin) is the way of the future.