I recently spoke to Nicole Meliora on her ‘With A Story’ podcast

Nicole: All right. So, welcome to the With A Story podcast. I’m really happy today to have with me — Adele Barlow.

So, Adele is the Head of Content and Communications at Makers Academy, based in London, as well as a writer. She’s published for a number of publications and has published a number of books, as well as a number of other things, which — I’ll let you get into.

And she’s passionate about storytelling, startups and elevating women. So, really a perfect fit for — basically everything I’m interested in. So, thanks, Adele.

Adele: My pleasure.

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Listen to the full podcast on Spotify here

Nicole: So I wanted to start off by having you do an intro of yourself and who you are and what you do. …

Two weeks flew by quicker than I expected — later tonight, I get to reunite with the world outside this hotel room

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Photo by thom masat on Unsplash

Sweet freedom is hours away! And I’ve enjoyed quarantine way more than I expected. Over the last week, I’ve become an honorary resident of Stars Hollow, because I have been watching Gilmore Girls, Gilmore Girls… and more Gilmore Girls.

I only recently started watching the show for the first time, decades after everyone else. Yet the benefits of being this late to the party: there is not only a revival already on Netflix but also lots of opinion pieces already in existence, on how Rory became The Worst (‘a monster’) and why Jess mattered.

Anyway, the show has been a saving grace because it has made quarantine feel like a treat: when else would you have this much time to spend with Rory and Lorelei? …

One week down and one week to go in the magic land of endless food deliveries

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Photo by Alison Pang on Unsplash

“It sounds like your idea of heaven,” my boyfriend joked. “You get Thai food delivered to your door whenever you want, no cooking or cleaning up and the trash gets taken out for you every night.” (I am slightly obsessive about trash duty in our London apartment ever since we had a mice issue.)

“Yeah, it’s not so bad,” I’ve been saying. Because it isn’t. In fact, this whole live-in-a-hotel-for-awhile has inspired me. Maybe this is how to carve space for creative inspiration? I have a friend who checks into a hotel whenever she needs hyper-focus for a creative project. …

Silence, food deliveries, and a mid-morning movie

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39 hours. Door to door, from my London flat to this Hong Kong hotel room. I’m here. I made it. A hometown that has felt borderline fictional in my head for much of this year — it’s real, it exists, it’s here, and so am I. Barely. When I first landed I felt like a photocopy of myself, I was so tired.

While the HK airport process was rigorous (to say the least), the benefit is that you enter the city feeling a level of security that I haven’t felt all year in the UK. Here, the safety systems seem stronger than the virus. …

These men are feminists and comfortable enough in themselves to not only witness but to encourage women into power

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Here in London, we’ve just gone back into Lockdown 2, which feels like the extended, unrequested sequel of a bad movie that’s already gone on for far too long. I know it’s important to stay positive, but sometimes it’s hard to remember why. (I loved this description of lockdown life.)

And then something happens that makes 2020 suddenly feel like a year of hope and change.

“Dream with ambition. Lead with conviction. And see yourselves in a way others have not, simply because they have not seen it before,” Kamala Harris said as she addressed the crowd.

Over the last few days, we’ve been hearing a lot about Harris, about her background and biography and plans for the future. But what I kept thinking about was the two men who played a role in her win — because the truth is, no matter how qualified or brilliant or amazing a woman is — since so much of the world is still run by men, the decision to put her in power often rests with them. …

I recently watched the first episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Kendall and Kylie didn’t even wear makeup, Scott looked 14, smartphones weren’t a thing. It felt like an ancient record of people who have now morphed into completely different beings.

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Then I watched the most recent episode. Kim turned 40. And that made me like time was passing by way quicker than I’d expected.

It’s easy to feel in your mid-thirties that life is past the opening act, especially when Bieber was discovered at 13; Zuck was 19 when he started Facebook; Kim was 27 when KUTWK first aired. …

We’re all figuring out how to function in a slightly cuckoo world

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Exhibit A

Scrolling through the photos on my phone, I noticed a real flower trend: magnolias down the road, daisies in the park, tulips. Where there used to be hikes, group dinners, a birthday, there are petals and leaves.

That doesn’t seem crazy. In fact, it seems healthy to acknowledge the blossoming beauty of spring. But what if flowers are my new friends? Since they’re the only ones I see every day now.

Insert psycho emoji. But aren’t we all going a bit off the wall? If you’re not feeling even a teensy bit of edginess or anxiety or melancholy… good for you, I guess? …

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A flower practicing social distancing

“This is like a film,” your boyfriend said last night, watching Boris address the nation to announce a lockdown. You were half-listening and distracted by the jigsaw on the table in front of you. Yup. You do jigsaws now.

So far, 2020 feels like walking into a bar and thinking ‘oh this could be fun’ then getting bitch-slapped really hard by a random drunk girl. Huh? What? Suddenly everyone’s locked in their homes, and some say this could be karmic payback from the environment (maybe Mother Nature is the drunk girl?) for all the shit from the past few decades.

After all, the canals in Venice are clearing; carbon dioxide emissions are down in China; the list goes on. You’re not sure what to think. Everyone has an opinion. …

What to read if you can’t bear reading one more article with the C-word

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Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

If your brain feels like it’s rotting from a Netflix overdose and you’re looking for new authors to curl up on the couch with — each of the below was easy to binge-read, sharp, funny, and on my recent favourites list.

[1] My Friend Anna: The true story of the fake heiress of New York City (Rachel DeLoache Williams)

Intrapreneurship: the act of behaving like an entrepreneur while working within a large organisation

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The WIS 2020 launch

One of my first jobs out of university was co-founding a startup called yMedia. This was over 12 years ago and looking back, it was a lot of fun but also the hardest I’ve ever worked in my life.

Still, I got to create something which I believed was making a positive difference. And that was a great feeling, a founder’s high. While I worked for Escape the City, I stumbled on that feeling again, when I helped to launch the Escape School. After that I went on to work for a startup within Virgin and then at Lexoo.

It took me years of working on other’s startups to learn that you could get the high without being the founder. As startups tend to be over-stretched and under-resourced, this makes them ideal environments for entrepreneurial people. Entrepreneurship is a muscle that you can stretch within someone else’s startup, as long as it’s aligned with the overall business goals. …


Adele Barlow

Leading content/comms at @makersacademy, author of The Almost Girlfriend, Finding Fulfililng Work, and Leaving Law (www.adelebarlow.com)

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