Sophie Dennis (UK)

portrait of Sophie Dennis

Sophie used to be Creative Director of a boutique web agency. Then she gave it up, moved to Devon, and tried to figure out what she was really good at. Now she’s an independent web producer and content strategy expert.

How I Redefined Success by Writing My Own Rules

video thumbnail watch video of Sophie’s main stage presentation →

When I started a web agency with my husband in the late 90s, we fell for the conventional measures of business success: more staff, higher turnover, a bigger office, investors, an “exit plan”. We played the game. Five years later, we were burnt out and miserable, so we decided to change the rules. It took another five years—and several near disasters—to follow through on that decision. Changing the rules of success is hard. You feel like a failure, and your “lizard brain” keeps pulling you back.

In this presentation I’ll share our story of false starts and bold choices, how we lost our staff, our fancy office, and most of our clients, our times of sickness and health, the year of saying “yes”, accidentally starting a web community, and letting go of the past. I’ve come to the scary conclusion that if we stop worrying about where we’re going, focus on where we are right now, take a few risks, and open ourselves to opportunity, life might take us where we truly want to be.

You’ll learn:

  • How to make bold decisions about your life and career. You can choose to break all the rules and not only survive, but thrive.
  • How status anxiety and survivorship bias make us misunderstand success and pursue goals that won’t make us happy.
  • Why being open to the opportunities that come your way is a clearer path to happiness and fulfilment than setting goals and making 5-year plans.

Who’s behind this?

At Together London we organise events to help you change your organisation. We’re here to make Dare Conference a safe space where everyone is treated with respect. Reach us at info@dareconf.com or Together London.

Jonathan Kahn

Jonathan Kahn

organiser
@lucidplot
David Caines

David Caines

branding and illustration
@salon16
Rhiannan Walton

Rhiannan Walton

co-organiser
@RhiannanW
Daniel Howells

Daniel Howells

digital design
@howells
Sara Wachter-Boettcher

Sara Wachter-Boettcher

content strategy
@sara_ann_marie