I’m sure you recognize my face from our company’s logo, but in case you have been living under a rock for the past 110 years, let me introduce myself: people call me the Queen of the Cathedrals and Mother of Pigeons, First of her Name, but my friends and relatives know me casually as Little Old Bird Lady.
I’m a self-made woman and gathered a fortune by launching a successful startup, Tuppenceabag.com, some years ago. Today I’m heading my own empire of digital grain-selling, The Economist grants me with revolutionizing the poultry feeding business, Forbes included me in its 30 Over 130 succes list and Harvard Business School even teaches a case on my climb –or dare I say flight- to the top. It all sounds great, written out like that, but in truth I had to work harder than any other to get where I am today.
The beginnings were tough. I wish I could say it all started at my kitchen table, discussing my idea over matcha tea while wearing a turtle neck and hipster sneakers, but I didn’t even own a kitchen –not many of us did back in the Edwardian days. Instead, I dragged myself early each day to the steps of Saint Paul’s, in order to map out my business plan and observe the local pigeon population. The idea was simple: providing the birds of cathedrals worldwide with their daily dose of gluten and protein, while at the same time putting bread on my own table. The perfect case of philanthropic entrepreneurship!
The public was less enthusiastic though: turns out no one really was interested in buying bags full of crumbs, except some funny-looking little boy with bat ears and a cap, who unfortunately didn’t have the funds to invest in my project. He kept yelling something about the bank taking hostage of his personal fortune, but of course that wasn’t my problem, so he just took off and disappeared into a chimney. I never saw him again, but this episode did teach me to be wary of potential, all too promising investors. Success came some years later, when I developed an app making it possible to deliver my crumbs to specific pigeons within a radius of 1,5 kilometers around the buyer. This more personal approach, so it seems, struck a chord with millennials and from then on things took a flight. Before I knew it, I was catering to winged wildlife in over ten European cities and had tens of dozens of hungry employee mouths to feed.
Fame also brought haters and trolls. Not everyone wishes me to succeed and some try their very best to sabotage me. I’m sure you have by now seen that dreadful online petition, claiming I alone am responsible for the apocalyptic proliferation of pigeons –labeled as “winged rats”- in big cities, which is of course ridiculous, as well as heard of my ongoing juridical battle with the city council of London, holding me accountable for all the damage caused by bird poop to historical buildings. All around the cathedral, saints and apostles are getting disfigured by acid excrements, so they claim, and I am supposed to take the blame. Nonsense!
As for the recent attacks by animal right activists, I can only say this: yes I wear fur, but I’ve been wearing the exact same coat since 1910 and even back then it was a vintage find, given to me by a hysterical suffragette called Winifred who claimed “soldiers in petticoats” had no need for soft skins. Now if thàt isn’t the perfect example of sustainable fashion!
Anyway, for more tips on how to handle haters and manage the tricky entrepreneurial waters anno 2019, tune in for my TED talk next Thursday at 12pm. True to my nature, my words will be simple and few, but you will learn an awful lot of tips to spread your own wings! Hoping to digitally meet you soon,