Alexa Clay, writer, public speaker, researcher with a focus on subculture and the informal economy
Writer, public speaker, researcher with a focus on subculture and the informal economy
Alexa Clay has been described as a “rising star of our time.”
She was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts and graduated from Brown University and Oxford University. (http://www.alexaclay.com).
Alexa is the co-author of “The Misfit Economy” (http://www.misfiteconomy.com). “Lessons in creativity from pirates, hackers, gangsters, and other informal entrepreneurs.” This book inspired me so much that I dedicated a blog to it. (http://www.dmnewplacement.ch/en/news-details/items/it-needed-courage-to-write-the-misfit-economy-132.html). A bestseller book - praised by a number of world-renowned media.
I was very fortunate to meet her in person at an event this year and was impressed by her courage and particularly her work dedicated to social change. She is certainly making the world a better place through her work.
“When not travelling in search of misfits, you can often find me writing in coffee shops in Berlin, provoking people with costumes, or near the sea,” says Alexa on her website.
It is a great pleasure for me to share with you my interview with Alexa as part of my series of Inspiring People interviews. I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Alexa and to wish her continued success in her search of misfits...
How would someone who knows you best describe you?
Curious, thoughtful. Good listener, sensitive. Impulsive.
What does being courageous mean for you?
The ability to tune into yourself and not get shaken by others expectations. The ability to command your own life without feeling pressure to perform for others.
When did you last face up to a challenge, whereby you really needed courage?
Every time before I give a public talk I get nervous. I feel really horrible. I even start to question my life. Then afterwards I feel amazing. But more often, courage for me is little moments. The ability to be vulnerable. The ability to show sensitivity. I’ve always had the courage of a warrior, so for me, courage is more about being ok to take my defences down. Living without armour. It’s easy for me to be courageous in front of 1,000 people or 5,000 people, but sometimes it’s harder with just one or two people that I really care about.
What happened? What did you do?
Whenever I give a talk I try to feel into the emotions that I want to spread – humour, warmth, love. Focusing on the positive emotions and not the fear or anxiety that I might be feeling. I also breathe and drink a lot of water.
What advice, or which thoughts and inspiration would you give to people in a similar situation?
For anyone who has to do public speaking, I’d encourage them to really focus on the truth they are trying to convey. What is the authentic message they want to bring into the world? It’s not about you. It’s about you as a messenger. And it can sometimes be easy to forget that. Our egos are just vehicles.