Work Smarter, Not Harder by Kaitlyn Rikkers

Our latest guest blog is from Hivery member Kaitlyn Rikkers, founder of 98ProofBrands. Kaitlyn led an informative June Entrepreneur’s Circle at The Hivery which was a huge hit and the catalyst for this article. Thank you Kaitlyn!


Work Smarter, Not Harder: The Step by Step Guide of Getting to Market

Many of my fellow Hivery members are starting new businesses or bringing their ideas, talents, and services to market. This go-to-market phase is a critical one for gaining momentum, leveraging your time and talent, and getting off to a great start. Below I outline four steps to launching; whether it’s a new business or a new product within an existing business.

The best way to take a new idea to market or launch a new company is to start at the beginning. Your concept or business likely involves a great idea that can be used to help others solve an existing problem, AND to, ahem, make yourself an income, too. Perfect. There’s a problem, you have a solution, and there’s value in you providing that solution.

So, now that we’ve agreed on that, let’s figure out how to best bring your idea to the people who need it. 

49% of the solution is data—the rigor and science that will get the job done
51% of the solution is your special sauce—the creative something that differentiates you from         everyone else

When I work with brands or teach students, we go through the following steps. To start, we hone the idea, research and select the ideal audience and evaluate the market, then we build upon the differentiators and create a plan. 

Let’s break down the four fundamental steps for creating your go-to-market strategy:

STEP ONE: Research
To start, it’s important to do some research on the market where you’d like to capture market share. Ask yourself: What consumer or business problems this market has been established to address? Which competitors have control of this market? Why?

STEP TWO: Who is it for?
Next, run some queries around your target audience. For example, what does the average person spend per year on a certain product or within a certain industry? Or how much return does a company see when they use a particular service or product? Questions like these will help you understand who to talk to and what your audience may be interested in hearing about. 

STEP THREE: What to say
Now that you’re armed with the data, 49% of our job is done! (Hooray!) The rest of the solution is a combination of your language, your voice, and what makes you different. Think about the impression you want to make on your audience and write your language around that. Your voice should reflect and resonate with your audience.

STEP FOUR: Make a plan
Lastly, make a plan—any type of plan that best suits you. The key is organizing all the information you’ve assembled in the first three steps, into a cohesive strategy that guides you toward your goal—providing a service or a solution + making an income doing it!

Someone once said, think big and act small. This is your time to dream about the future, but always remember the devil is truly in the details

Talent + Special Sauce + Data + Targeting + Messaging + Planning = You’re in business!

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For more information or further inquiries please visit or email us at 


How to Create Your Meditation Spot and Morning Practice

Often when I meet with women at The Hivery who are embarking on transformative change, we talk about the simple, yet extremely effective benefits of having a morning practice and creating a thoughtfully curated place for it in your home. Your practice can take different forms (meditating, writing, reading, etc), it doesn't have to take long at all, and goes such a long way in starting the day off in a positive way.

It is from my meditation spot (see pic below) that I've learned about myself, dug deep, found strength, and am reminded of the limitless potential of what we are put on this earth to do.

This is the small space in my bedroom where I meditate, write, light a candle, and spend a few minutes every morning in my own sacred space.  

This is the small space in my bedroom where I meditate, write, light a candle, and spend a few minutes every morning in my own sacred space.  

Creating Your Meditation Spot

You can't live in the Bay Area without hearing the buzz around mindfulness, meditation, and taking time for self-care; but a few years ago, I wasn't clear on how to bring these concepts into my day-to-day life. My first step was to create a small space for myself in a place where I felt calm, safe, and peaceful. Mine is in my bedroom and only takes up a few feet; yours can be anywhere you'd like, and can be a small corner or nook. For me, having a designated space that was just for me, and a zone of calm, created a feeling of comfort and a place to look forward to sitting. 

When I set it up, I was thoughtful about only putting things in my meditation spot that fit into two categories: special and functional.  I added things that were special to me, such as: the crystal heart my Mom gave me, a dish that was a gift from my daughter, a stunning amethyst, prayer beads, the goddess statue of Tara, etc.  And things that were beautifully functional, like: my soft flokati rug to sit on, inspiring books, headphones for listening to Deepak Chopra, a candle (always, always, always), and a lighter for the candle. Everything tidy and in reach means that I can grab my morning coffee and wander to my spot without having to fully wake up. The more lovely your spot is, the more you're going to want to spend time there, and the more likely that it will become part of your daily routine. Take the time to make it beautiful. I don't allow any electronics (no checking email!) near my spot, with the exception of using my phone and headphones to listen to meditations.

Take Your Time

I light a candle, and sit in my little "spot" with my coffee. In this simple gesture, I honor that I deserve the beautiful light, the sweet smell, the early minutes of calm. It’s from this place that I meditate, write, read, and simply "take a moment". 

My morning routine can be as short as ten minutes, but lately has become a little longer, simply because I enjoy it. I do absolutely nothing without my morning coffee (no way!), so I sit down with my cup, listen to Oprah and Deepak's 20-minute meditations (oh, I love those two!), and then write a page or two in my journal. Just a few minutes of writing in my journal everyday has guided massive change and transformation in my life (including the clarity to start The Hivery a few years ago). I let the pen flow with no judgement about what I am writing or why. I refrain from editing my writing, and simply commit to curiously exploring what I want or envision. I credit my journal for revealing the idea for The Hivery that was deep in my subconscious, and for giving me the clarity to execute on it. If you're seeking clarity around your next chapter, I can't recommend daily journaling enough. 

Be Nice to Yourself

Listen, it doesn't always work out. The alarm doesn't go off, a sick kid has crawled in bed with you, you have an early meeting, or you'd rather go for a walk. Go easy. Yes, it's transformative, and yes, the more you do it, the more you love it. But, creating a morning practice that is based in self-kindness is the goal, with the outcome being that you've taken special care to set up your day in a positive way. If you miss a day, a week, or a month, just sit back down and try again. 

I'd love to learn more about your morning practice. Have tips on creating your spot? Or, tools that you love? Chime in below in the comments. xo, Grace


A Chat with Marlis Jansen, of The Money Conversation

A Hivery Member Perspective

We love sharing the voices of Hivery members and what they're working on. Today, we're showcasing Marlis Jansen, who created The Money Conversation to learn how we can change our stories and limitations around money and our value. 


What are you working on right now, and what inspired you to do so? 

I have recently created a company called The Money Conversation, aimed at helping people to create new ways of thinking and talking about money so that they can derive more power and freedom in their lives on their own terms.  Every one of us has a financial identity.  This is not our credit score, but an emotional blueprint that we carry with us and reference often, even if we don't realize we are doing it.  The Money Conversation works with individuals, couples and families and their advisors to help them access that blueprint, decide how they would like to update it and then to help them apply it to specific financial planning processes like estate planning, investment planning, marriage and divorce.

Can we change our financial situations by changing our mindset? What are tools we can use to change the way we think/feel about money?

Changing our mindset can create the conditions necessary for changing our financial situation.  As an example, many women are taught that they should not get involved in or "worry about" money. I think there is a shift happening right now in our culture that is making this less prevalent. But it is still very engrained.  It starts with girls believing they can't do math.  I recently had a client realize what she had given up by not being an active partner with her husband in this respect.  She completely changed the way she participated in financial planning.  With her new level of engagement, she felt motivated to get control over her debt as well as to reevaluate other things in her life that affected her financial situation, such as her career.

When I think about tools for changing the way we think and feel about money, I like to use assessments to help clients see where they are and visioning exercises to help them get out of their logical minds and into their deeper creative mode.  I like to guide clients through exercises where they envision intangibles like success, having enough, what financial freedom looks like etc.  These activities can take the form of drawing, journaling, verbal free associating etc.  There are also a bunch of online assessments that can be helpful.  WorthFM offers a free Money Type assessment online (  There is also an online assessment that gets at the money messages people internalize, also known as "money scripts."  This one can be accessed at

What advice would you share with The Hivery community on how they bring more financial abundance into their lives?

From a purely traditional financial perspective, financial abundance comes from living within our means and saving.  But this is, of course, a woefully inadequate answer to your question.  In our culture, most people live way above their means.  Our economic system encourages this by making it way too easy to take on debt.

What we need in order to bring more financial abundance into our lives is to really understand what enough means to each of us individually.  What it means to be enough, to have enough, to work enough.  We have been conditioned to believe that more is always better.  Creating more financial abundance often involves an identity shift.  Changing who you are with respect to money.  Ultimately, abundance is a state of mind.  I can make myself feel rich or poor depending on my comparison.

Identity shifts like this are difficult but doable.  We take on attitudes from our culture, family and social networks.  These attitudes form the basis of our identity.  When we become aware of the attitudes we have inherited about money, new choices become available to us.  With awareness comes choice.

How has The Hivery or the support to women in general helped you to achieve your goals and grow? 

I came to The Hivery first when it was in Sausalito and took Grace's (abbreviated) workshop called The Product of You.  It really inspired me to think creatively about how I could merge my passion wth my unique skills to create an offering that would excite me and be marketable.  The jury is definitely still out on how well I can do it but The Hivery has been a critical springboard for my personal process and for connecting with others who "get it," specifically with respect to the power of creating a career that is both personally and professionally invigorating.

What does it mean to be a courageous woman?   

To be vulnerable.  To me, being courageous means allowing oneself to be vulnerable in as many aspects of our lives as possible.  Growth comes through the portal of vulnerability.  


About Marlis: 

Photo by Kim Thompson Steel

Photo by Kim Thompson Steel

Marlis founded The Money Conversation with a desire to help people increase their emotional awareness and agility with respect to their finances.

Growing up in a culture where money talk is often taboo and realizing that emotion controls the human decision making process, Marlis saw an opportunity to address a need that is rarely met in traditional financial planning.

Marlis’ background running a private philanthropic foundation and as a member of a multigenerational family gave her valuable insight into how people relate to money.  This spans the gamut from multigenerational family dynamics to portfolio management.

Marlis is passionate about guiding clients toward a clear understanding of their current financial identity and then offering them tools to update any aspect of that financial identity that they no longer wish to carry.

The Fear Project

The Fear Project

In today's times, fear and uncertainty is becoming part of our lives. Inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert's letter to fear, we collectively wrote a letter to fear together. Dear Fear, we are not afraid to stand up for what we believe in. We are not afraid to be who we are. And, we are not afraid to dedicate our talents and gifts to help make the world a better place, for all. 

Continue to Shop our Holiday Market (virtually)!

In case you want to keep shopping and supporting local makers, here's a list of participants from our Holiday Market on December 7, 2016!

Janet Jacobs, Arts - Creator of drawings and paintings based on the landscape. Offering fine art and teaching services

Dolls and Dandy - 25% off all Woman & Men Products (Penhaligon, CA Baxter, beauty products and more! Additionally, 20% off gift cards

Sweet Pea Home Furnishings - a line of decorative bowls and trays. Each piece is hand painted in multiple shades of gray and earth tones, resulting in a one of a kind piece of art.

Bedouin Bling - Funky, cool, modern jewelry for you and your loved ones for the holidays!

Oak & Ashland - An ingredient-conscious line of skin and body products. Created by an esthetician. Made in the Sonoma Valley.

Doie Lounge - Eco-chic, super-soft robes and sleep masks, as well as some loungewear and dresses- at a special discount! 

Anne LaFollette - Mixed media art including greeting cards, photography, and original acrylic and hand-drawn pieces.

Transcendence Design & Sherri Silverman Studio - Art prints, notecards, incense, divination decks, Vastu sacred space design rectification tools: yantras, CD for sound healing. Info on design consultation services and courses.

Teri Garsten - Teri is an artist, jewelry designer, maker and craftsman. She incorporates natural materials, gemstones, leather and wood into her work.  Her goal is to recycle, up-cycle, reuse, and repurpose discarded materials into her unique designs. 

Lisa Joss - Gifts for friends based on original modern watercolor paintings by me! 

Lauren Massie Photography - Fine art prints for sale as well as portrait sessions available for purchase

Jasper McCarty Designs - Fine wood ware (cutting boards, serving spatulas, etc)

Epic Sky - Epic Sky girls apparel & jewelry, including original designs by local teen girls

Lisa Pepper-Satkin, MFT, creator of myHeartyKid -  This colorful handmade toy and guidebooks teach families how to grow everyone's inner LIKE button.  Families develop BIGlove for themselves and for one another in a powerful way!

J'Amy Tarr Outerwear - The perfect San Francisco jackets for women

EVA MICHELE - I design jewelry made from beach stones and SHE ROCK, a gift item for women.

J.Hilburn - For the men in your life, we provide luxury men’s clothing for both professional and social wardrobes without breaking the bank.

Rodan+Fields - Premium anti-aging skincare developed by two leading female dermatologists.

Navora Essentials - Navora Essentials is an aromatherapy company designing ethically-sourced essential oil based products, providing uplifting self-care rituals for your face, body and home. 

Beautycounter by Nikol Plass - A line of safe, chic and high-performing skin care products and cosmetics.

Three Circles Jewelry - Everyday 14k gold layering jewelry pieces

Parisian Macarons - Organic artisanal macarons, and gift certificates for Parisian Macarons classes

Rebecca Bruce Couture - Sweaters, coats, vests and scarfs. Many of my creations include vintage leather and feather and fur trim. 

Lori Knicely Artisan Jewelry - Handcrafted, original, sterling silver and semi-precious stone jewelry.

Julems Ceramics - Wheel thrown and hand decorated ceramics by Judith Lemmens, a Mill Valley based ceramicist creating functional, fresh, stylish objects for every day use.

Farmhouse Lab - Consciously Sourced & Crafted Salad Dressings

Wendy Verlaine Design - My exciting and one-of-a-kind hand crafted leather cuffs and gem necklaces are designed to showcase the luxurious quality and comfort of fine leather, and the color and sparkle unique to finely cut gems.

Plein Heir by Shannon Kaye - Refurbished painters boxes, perfect for organizing anything, or displaying barware, powder room sundries, and unique collections. Additionally, small plaques from my Good Fortune series, which are art pieces made with affirmations I wrote and had printed at a Fortune Cookie factory on fortune cookie slips.

Sparked - A board game with inspiration, heart, and hilarity! 

Heather Soicher -  Local, handmade ceramics with an earthy, organic motif. 

Elizabeth Street Cosmetics - A boutique collection of lip glosses, lipsticks, and crayons based in San Francisco. 

Seamstress for the Band by Gail Biddle - Creative sewing and crafts

Dare to Step Out: Lessons From Ballet Class

Dare to Step Out: Lessons From Ballet Class

At our recent Entrepreneur Retreat, I shared the lessons that I've learned about life from dance class. I'm fascinated by the wisdom that being a student of art or any discipline offers us.

When we create as artists (whether in the traditional sense or the metaphorical sense of creating something new), we own and embody our work as an expression of who we are. We show up and step out.

You belong at The Hivery (yes, you)

You belong at The Hivery (yes, you)

I hear these excuses too often:

  • I don’t have a business.
  • I’m not a writer.
  • I’m not an entrepreneur.
  • I’m not working right now.
  • I don’t even know what I’m doing next.

Women tell me they LOVE the idea of The Hivery. They're excited by the energy of our space and our members, but they wonder if they fit in. They aren’t whatever it is they think they need to be to come to The Hivery.

You are welcome here.