They created an online platform for women to visualize and navigate their life path

Kt McBratney and Rebekah Bastian are the founders of OwnTrail, an online platform, community, and tech startup that has envisioned a new kind of digital realm for women. Thanks to their site, women can build their own “trails”, visual representations literally of the course of their life; with milestones, struggles and achievements. Members can view each other’s journeys and start a dialogue with each other, or even report a “Help Beacon,” a call for support and advice that the digital community can respond to. McBratney notes that members have given and received help on “Everything from support during career pivots, advice on fundraising, responsibility for 10k training and a TED talk!” Today, Seattle, WA-based entrepreneurs are proud to have created a startup on their own terms and in their own way.

The story of McBratney & Bastian, told at The 1000+ Stories Storytelling Project:

What was the reason you started your business?

When my co-founder Rebekah shared the idea of ​​OwnTrail with me, I knew it was something that could literally change the world. I imagined what could happen if women all over the world could take up space as they please, instead of trying to fit into a world that wants them to play and stay small.

how do you define success?

My life’s work is to disrupt brotherhood. Succeeding in this means questioning and questioning the oppressive and harmful systems in the world and in myself, which means that there are endless areas in which to track progress. It also means that the job will never get done, and accepting it is a form of success. Put simply, success brings more good to the world every day than ever before.

Tell us about your greatest success to date

Professionally, it has been a huge success to develop OwnTrail exclusively through community-led growth, especially when the conventional start-up manual is to put money in the pockets of ethically questionable tech companies. Is it more difficult that way? May be. Is it the best thing for our business and the people we serve? Absoutely.

Personally, one of my biggest successes to date is letting go of perfectionism. It took a lot of unlearning and I’m still working on it, but it has really helped me to be a better person in all aspects of my life.

What is your main challenge and how did you overcome it?

Although I have experienced burnout in the past, these experiences stemmed from a feeling that I needed to do more. With OwnTrail the challenge is that I always want to do more. This is not uncommon among founders, especially those with a personal why behind what they are building. I have found so much support and solidarity in connecting with other Founders who are working to establish healthy boundaries in work and life, and this community is a source of inspiration and responsibility. I also finally accepted that no one would benefit if I stretched out too much, so trying to do all the things doesn’t help anyone. I’m going for a walk. I don’t look at the time and don’t count my hours “at the office”. I gave up my efforts for Inbox Zero (I’m not and never will be that kind of person). I focus on the most important and precious thing at this time. Sometimes it’s a marketing campaign. Sometimes it’s pretending to be monsters with my kid.

Have you experienced important personal situations that have affected your business decisions?

Many obstacles in my life that have affected my career are detailed on my journey, but the individual lessons and perspectives of overcoming things like living with mental illness, experiencing harassment and discrimination and toxic work environments are valuable. things that not only inform how I manage. now, but how we build OwnTrail, period.

What’s your biggest tip for other start-up entrepreneurs?

Your job is not to know everything. Let go of being the best (or trying to be the best) at your field, because it keeps you from trying, failing, and learning. It’s about your business being the best it can be, and that sometimes forces you to suck (and not so much next time).

How do you find inspiration in your darkest days?

When the going is tough, I need a bit of perspective to break through my mental cloud. It is usually distraction free time outdoors or distraction free time with my child. These reminders of worldly magic are so powerful… and sometimes necessary.

What is your most important role model?

Cindy Gallop is a constant reminder to take space in life and business. I aspire to be relentless and confident as she is as she leaves her mark across industries, geographies and generations.

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Stephen V. Lee