Nathalie Gordon, Founder Of The Explosive Campaign #Thisdoesntmeanyes Talks Courage To TQC


1. Tell us about you – what motivates you?

Being average. I think I have an innate fear of not living up to my potential. I’ve been very fortunate to have had an incredible education, spent 5 years at uni getting a masters degree and amazing, I mean really amazing, parents who support EVERYTHING I do. I am motivated by living up to all of that.

Perhaps you could say that fear motivates me. Fear certainly gives me urgency, takes me out of my comfort zone and gives me balls.

You see I don’t want to be like everyone else. I want to be different. I want to be remembered, somehow. That’s a pretty motivational dream. In fact, it’s not a dream, it’s a plan. It almost feels too much to fulfill in one lifetime but I refuse to live by limits; humans are by nature evolutionary creatures, but we have to strive for ‘more’ in order to evolve so I’m not scared of having big plans.

If I don’t have a plan, most likely I’ll fall into someone else’s plan and I don’t want to be motivated by other people. I do want to be inspired by other people, and I am, very much so, but they don’t motivate me. I’ve always believed that happiness is ready-made.

2. What does a day in the life of you look like?

I have to be honest, every single day involves me waking up wondering if today is the day that everyone is going to realize I have no fucking idea what I’m doing. It would seem my late 20s has involved me ‘winging it’- rather well so far but every day I’m not found out, is a blessing.

As a Freelance Creative Copywriter no two days look the same but every single one of them involves coffee, a fine-liner pen, some paper and ideas. If I am lucky (more often than not) I’m working with amazing people, like designers and coders and bonkers clients and most importantly people with stories to tell.

Most of the time I work in Creative Agencies, coming up with ideas on how to sell mortgages to people who don’t want them or finding inventive ways to get people to plan dates using a Google Hangout. Whether it’s making ads, writing articles, or defining the tone of voice of a brand I’m so lucky that I meet amazing people all day long so I’m usually working on a side-project or two for cause’s I really care about.

It’s clichéd but they call Creatives problem solvers because that’s essentially what we do. We take a problem, add some lateral thinking, push up the budget by 20%, use some sexy language and innovative tech and then we sell, sell, sell.

I am incredibly lucky that all I need to-do my job is open my eyes, listen to the world and look at things slightly differently from most people.

Most of my days end with gin.

3. What’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?

I’ve had two moments in my life where I’ve be courageous, the first made way for the second.

The first time was realizing I was human and that I only got one shot at this shit. My best friend and her sister were killed in a tragic car accident almost 3 years ago and fuck me, it broke me. But it also made me. It made me look differently at EVERYTHING and it made me change.

I really wanted to crawl into a hole and feel really terrible about the fact that I had deliberately not spoken to my best friend for over a year because I was pissed off about something she did when we were 19. I wanted to die over the fact she emailed me a week before she died to tell me she missed me but I didn’t think it was important enough to reply.

I cannot tell you how angry I was at the world, and I was angry for a long time. But I had the courage to accept that people are stupid, that I was young and doubly stupid and I was fucking lucky that I could learn that lesson and still live.

And because I learnt that lesson, I did the second courageous thing. I quit my ‘wrong’ job and went freelance so that I had the time and space to find the ‘right’ one. That move is still working out but I’m happy and I’m doing ok and I guess that’s good enough for now.

Like I said, we only get one shot and I saw no point in pursuing a job I hated out of fear. I can’t be scared of living- I have to do it for them if not for myself.

4. Tell us about your relationship to Change?

I really enjoy change. I relish in it. Life is unpredictable so I start to feel uncomfortable when things are consistent. It makes me jumpy. I know that’s not normal though- I know most people like feeling comfortable but complacency will kill you.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing I enjoy more than knowing where my next paycheck is coming from, knowing I’m loved and appreciated and everything is okay but who wants ‘ok’. I’m always striving for more than ok, which is probably why I live from one extreme to another.

I’m either functioning at a low frequency and think the world is going to end or I’m basically on the verge of winning an Oscar. That’s where fighting against ‘ok’ will get you. That’s where constantly pushing for change will get you.

Without change there’s no progress. I think women today are naturally programmed to want change because we don’t settle for a lack of progress. There’s always something to improve on. Whether it’s more money or smaller thighs we live a life under construction. That sounds hard work but it’s wired into our DNA, it’s certainly hardwired into the minds of the Millennia generation that’s for sure.

They say we’re narcissistic and coddled but we’re just not willing to settle, because we were told we could have it all and we’ll change anything to make that happen.

5. Who is your role model and why?

Women. Women are my role model. We fight wars for education, for the vote, for better working conditions, for safety, for change in legislation, for the way we’re perceived, for equal pay and equal rights, and most importantly, we’re doing it for each other. That’s fucking inspiring.

Women don’t want to be saved, women want to save ourselves. And we want to do it together. There’s so much power in that. Bitches get stuff done.

Look at the women around us achieving- Emma Watson, Tina Fey, Beyonce, Jennifer Lawrence, Angelina Jolie, Mallika Sherawat, Malala Yousafzai, Laura Bates, Zerlna Maxwell, Lucy-Anne Holmes to name literally just a few. These are women who are paying the way for not only the new generation of fearless teens behind us, but those women who haven’t quite found their voice in front.

Whenever I feel low, or like a failure or like I’m getting life really wrong, there is always a woman I can look at who I can identify with who or who’s been through something similar and I go ‘ok, you’ve got your shit together; because of you I wont give up’. That woman could be my mum (often it is) or it could be J-Law but the point is, it’s always a woman.

I don’t look at Harry Styles and think, ‘God you really stand for something amazing- you’ve fought and won’- someone like FKA Twigs though, you just know she has no fear.

6. What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve read, seen or done in the last month?

I’m working on a campaign at the moment, it’s for Rape Crisis UK and it’s a project that seeks to dispel some myths around what constitutes as consent, at the same time as empowering young women.

Now, one of my friends has been raped and it was her story that inspired this project in the first place. That sounds slightly off but it’s not, her story is inspiring because how she’s dealing with it is.

I spoke to her about the project a few weeks ago, checking she wasn’t going to feel uncomfortable about me sharing her story. She told me I could say what I wanted and then she asked what she could do. I found that bonkers. Here’s this beautiful woman who’s been through this awful thing who’s not only willing to share her story and but who also feels like she can still do more. That touched me.

It’s back to the thing I said about not doing anything out of fear. She refuses to live in fear as a result of what happened. She wants to turn that fear into something she can use, in this case, education.

You can read more about Natalie’s incredible project, #ThisDoesntMeanYes, right HERE