My journey inside Fuckup Nights

Have the difficult conversations. This is one of Fuckup Night’s recently developed values. But values are just meaningless words unless you live them. Unless you make the effort to embody and action them.

So we’ve had some difficult conversations.

And we can’t think of a better example of this than the story of our beloved Ileana Castro, Admin & People Manager (and known internally as our “Culture Ministry” ha ha). Ileana’s journey at Fuckup Nights is an extraordinary example of altering one’s trajectory and change – characteristics that helped forge the creation of the Admin & People Manager role.

Back in 2012, (which in a funny cosmic twist was the same year Fuckup Nights was started), Ileana fucked up. She had the great idea of partnering up with her best friend to found a flamenco dance studio that would barely run in an industry that is notoriously hard to get money for in Mexico City. And when a third person got involved, the fragile balance of the studio crumbled. 

This would become the origin story of the super hero we’ve come to love at Fuckup Nights HQ.

First steps

In 2017, Ile joined Fuckup Nights, or more precisely, the Failure Institute, the research and statistics arm of Fuckup Nights,as a Fundraiser. Next to Leti Gasca (FUN co-founder) and Mel Vázquez (a former researcher at the institute), she forged close friendships with her co-workers, while generating more knowledge around failure:

“(…) I never imagined I’d meet such inspiring and incredible women. We worked together to give shape to all these research projects around failure,  all so we could create insightful knowledge to help governments, academics and entrepreneurs make better decisions. There’s something inspiring about that I think.”

Having the difficult conversations

But all things have to come to an end as they say, and after a year and a half at the Failure Institute, some members realized they had to follow their own path, and, like we foreshadowed at the start of this post,  we had to have the difficult conversations. With this departure of some key people, we had to reformulate and re-think the purposes of the Institute. In the end, The Failure Institute was on hold, and Ile was free to choose her path at Fuckup Inc.

“Those were hard moments for me, it wasn’t easy to deal with the dissolution of my team. I had a conversation with Pepe (Fuckup, Inc CEO), and he let me choose from the many opportunities I had at Fuckup Inc. That’s how I started on Sales.”

Her adventure  with the Sales lasted 5 months, and this was a time where Ile could finally hang out and work with the whole Fuckup Nights team, an opportunity  that she didn’t have while working for the Institute.

And it was these experiences with the team that were the first steps towards the next change Ile was about to experience at Fuckup Inc.

“That period made me realize just how  great a team we are, and our authentic commitment to having the difficult conversations, making decisions we feel are right, and supporting each other.

Into culture

Very soon after,  we identified the need to develop a stronger organizational culture, capable of driving a growing team and a global movement; and for that reason, Ile was chosen to help define our values, create our culture book, coordinate our retreats, and to help us make the work environment a happier space. 

It made sense for us to choose a team member that had lived through so many changes inside the organization, that had experience with a bunch of the different teams at Fuckup Inc, and who also had had the difficult conversations when they were needed.

“Belonging to an organization where we genuinely live what we preach, and to be surrounded by wonderful people that strive to do their best every day, it’s really inspiring. That’s the fuel that boosts our will to create and to share our culture.”

Ile keeps contributing and growing along with Fuckup Nights, starting a new and fresh phase, full of ideas and inspiration. What’s next for Ile? Only time will tell.

And if you want to join Ile and work with us, click here to check out our positions, and maybe you’ll become a part of our amazing, foul-mouthed movement.