Entrepreneur Lab Speaker Spotlight: Sonja Hoel Perkins of Broadway Angels

The countdown is on for The Hivery’s 2nd Annual Entrepreneur Lab! Scheduled for 10am – 5pm on Saturday, Oct. 15, this all-day retreat will include sessions on how to start and grow your business, mastermind networking opportunities and several interactive speeches from a lineup of inspiring, successful women.

Among the esteemed speakers will be Sonja Perkins, a longtime venture capitalist who lives in San Francisco. She is the managing director of The Perkins Fund, which specializes in high-tech investments; and founder of both Broadway Angels, a collective of talented and experienced investors who all happen to be women; and Project Glimmer, a non-profit that provides gifts to teenage girls.


We spoke to Sonja to hear more about her background, thoughts on this month’s theme of overcoming fear, and advice for budding entrepreneurs.

Could you tell us a little about your background?
Sure, I grew up with a father who was a professor and a mom who didn’t go to college and was a homemaker and part-time secretary. I always knew I wanted to have options and that I didn’t want to rely on anyone other than myself. I had big visions of how and where I wanted to live, so I worked to get the best education I could and attended the University of Virginia and Harvard Business School.

What has your career trajectory looked like?
After undergrad, I landed a job working as an investment analyst investigating software companies. I thought it was the best job in the world. From there, I went to Harvard Business School and then came out to California and joined Menlo Ventures in 1994. In 2011, I decided to go part-time at Menlo and created The Perkins Fund, which is a family office fund. I wanted to keep investing but not on Menlo’s scale, which was in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

That led me to start Broadway Angels. I wanted to invite people with proven track records to work as a team to find great deals, network, share due diligence and inspire women and girls to get into venture capital. I’ve always found it to be a fantastic industry.

That’s fascinating because popular culture will have us believe that venture capital isn’t a very welcoming environment for women. That’s true, and I want to change that paradigm. I think it is a phenomenal job, and I think that women should have the best jobs, just like men. Broadway Angels isn’t a fund, but instead of group of incredible investors who invest out of their own funds. Today, we have 41 amazing members, all of whom happen to be women.

Our theme this month is overcoming fear. What are your experiences with fear?
Honestly, I’ve been fearless my whole career. I recently did a speech for Girls Inc. on the many failures I’ve experienced. I was rejected from a lot of jobs, but I’ve always kept going.

Do the entrepreneurs you help to fund also have an absence of fear?
They do. They look at obstacles as opportunities. It is really inspiring.

What advice can you offer women who do struggle with feelings of fear?
First, believe your story. Every entrepreneur I’ve met is passionate and knows their truth. They know that if they don’t believe in themselves, no one will (especially when seeking funding).

Second, think big. I was a seed investor for UrbanSitter and immediately thought the platform would be effective for things far beyond babysitting—that it could be trusted classifieds for everything from walking your dog and watching your child to cleaning your house.

Do you see differences in men and women when it comes to fear?
I do, especially when it comes to thinking big. I’ve found that men tend to have a more developed "think big gene" than women do.

I’ll give you an example. Let’s say two entrepreneurs—one man, one woman—want to start a furniture company. The woman may say she wants to make coffee tables and says that she will work hard with the goal of putting out the world’s best coffee table in the next year.

On the flipside, the man may say his first product will be a coffee table and that it will launch next year, but that he has a bigger vision for a full line of furniture, including chairs, dressers, beds, and son on.

The result? The man will get funded because he has a bigger vision.

Why does this happen?
I think women can be more cautious about sharing their long-term visions. Many women will only share what they are 100% sure that they can do. They prefer not to disappoint, whereas men don’t care and think: if it doesn’t work, I’ll die trying, so why not?

Ready to overcome your fears? Want to hear more nuggets of wisdom from Sonja? Join us for The Hivery's Second Annual Entrepreneur Lab where Sonja will be joined on the main stage by Eileen Gittins, Founder and CEO of Blurb and Bossygrl, and Jessica Semaan, Founder of The Passion Co. It's going to be a powerful and inspiring day of #womendoingcoolstuff! 


Grace's Corner: Overcoming Fear


This month’s theme is Overcoming Fear, and we’re exploring how to do that through the upcoming workshop series What’s Next (starts Sept. 28!) and the personal stories of several Hivery members (featured in blogs later this month!).

I’ve been surprised in the years since launching The Hivery to see that fear is a characteristic shared by many, if not all of us. I’ve spoken with many women whom I deeply admire and look up to, women who seem from the outside like they have it all together. It's surprising and oddly reassuring when through deeper conversations, they open up about how they also experience fear and self-doubt. It’s been both eye opening and a relief to know that we don’t struggle alone.

At the same time, I’ve also learned about learning to work with fear, and how wisdom, passion for what you believe in, and practice can indeed lead to a fearlessness, a willingness to be bold and do it anyway. I've learned through the brave women in our community and beyond that want to make an impact on the world we live in, that working with fear is a practice—and that practice can help many of us get to our own space of fearlessness.

For right now, I don't treat fear as something I’ll get rid of, but something I’ve learned more and more to work with. It was a big revelation for me to learn how to manage, recognize, name it, move forward anyway, and recognize fear for what it was. 

Each phase of building and growing The Hivery has been an exercise in working with fear. One of my most visceral moments happened in early 2016 when I was just weeks away from opening our Mill Valley location. I’d put every dollar I’d ever saved into creating the space and felt like its opening was the biggest risk I’d taken to date. While there was a lot on the line from a business standpoint, I also saw it as a public risk. I felt like I was putting myself out there in a highly visible way. And although I wanted to create something extraordinariy, that's not to say I wasn't FREAKED OUT. 

One day I was talking with a friend about my nightmare version of my worst-case scenario: I would open the space and no one would come. The empty space would be a symbol of failure, and then I’d have to physically tape large pieces of paper on the front windows of the space for the whole town to watch as I closed up shop. Everyone would walk by and think, “Oh, poor Grace, I knew it wouldn’t work.”

I live in Mill Valley and raise a family here. It’s a small community. My fear was that I would fail in front of the whole, damn town.

This sick fantasy, almost without me realizing it, had been cycling through my head for weeks. But it wasn’t until the day I verbalized it to my friend that I started to see it as ridiculous. I realized two things: first, that failure could, in fact, materialize. And second, that even if I failed, the whole town had better things to do than to gather and laugh. And most importantly, when I asked myself if I still wanted to do it, even with that worst case scenario as an option, a voice deep inside gave a resounding YES. Looking back, I think playing out the worst-case scenario in my mind was helpful to putting things into perspective; and a recognition of how much I wanted to do it. Fear was loud, but I was determined.

In that moment, I realized the feeling I was experiencing was deeper than the low-and-fluttery feeling of nervous butterflies. Under all of that was something more powerful than fear...it was exhilaration.I realized that fear is the twin sister of exhilaration, and exhilaration is the ultimate feeling of being alive.

That moment changed everything for me. Today, when I feel fear creeping in, I remind myself, that fear = exhilaration = feeling alive. What do I want most in this life? To be fully alive. So get on the bus, Ms. Fear, because Exhilaration is coming, too. 

Fear is a known entity, but there are some straight-forward things you can do to keep it from ruling over you. 


Surround yourself with a supportive community. Fear often comes at a time of transformation; you wouldn’t be feeling fear if you didn’t want to create another layer of existence. When you’re in a state of transformation, you can become very vulnerable to the energies of other people.

Be careful and treat yourself like a sensitive creature. Try to hang out with positive people. This isn’t a time to spend with people who are contributing to your fears or feeding you worst-case scenarios. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t have friends who are honest or practical with you, but I recommend being mindful with the company you keep, especially during this potent time.

Keep perspective. Fear is often a manifestation of our self-limiting beliefs—insecurities and stories we’ve heard since we were kids. It can help to learn how to recognize and unpack those beliefs, but it can also help to simply ask yourself what you want in this short, little life. My guess is that you want to make a difference, you want to do something meaningful, you want to be your best self. When fear is re-labeled as exhilaration, you'll be free to do just that. 


Three Hivery Members Making an Impact in Their Communities

Welcome to The Hivery's monthly Member Spotlight column, where we highlight amazing Hivery members who embody the month’s theme. In light of August’s theme of making an impact, we choose Marti Grimminck, Amy Lipner and Marti Rule (two Martis and an Amy!) to profile as examples of women doing great work in our community.



It was The Hivery’s “We Rise” scholarship back in late 2016 that first attracted Marti Grimminck to the community. She’d been doing work for years as co-founder of International Connector, a social impact consultancy that helps businesses adapt processes and attract Millennials in both the workforce and as customers.

Marti ended up winning the scholarship and has since continued her work with companies, but these days is also excited about a new project—the 2018 re-launch of Your Big Year, a program that funds a year of travel and connection for entrepreneurial youth.

What is Your Big Year?
Your Big Year is a free program that enables a select number of youth to travel around the globe and connect with social impact leaders. Each participant comes away with a better idea for how they want to change the world, and the contacts to back them up. In 2018, we will be focusing on traveling around the U.S. instead of the globe.

Why are you so passionate about youth and travel?
I have an extensive travel background, having studied abroad and lived in several countries, including Australia, where my husband is from. It’s always bothered me that so few young Americans travel; I think it is incredibly important for cross-cultural understanding. I even got my Master's at NYU on the topic of why young Americans don’t travel. I think the more we travel, the more we can empathize with one another.




Lawyer-turned-abortion-access crusader, Amy Lipner, was also first attracted to The Hivery for its “We Rise” scholarship to work on a project to help women access funds for abortions. Her project, Choicestarter, began blossoming in March after Lipner went to a hackathon in San Francisco and worked with volunteer web engineers on creating a custom-built platform.

The idea: to fundraise for abortion access funds across the U.S. Unlike coastal cities like New York and San Francisco which have several non-profits to help women afford abortions, places in the middle of the country do not have these resources readily available. While Planned Parenthood is nationwide, the organization doesn’t always have the funds to subsidize women who are not able to pay in full. State-by-state abortion access funds fill this gap.

What does Choicestarter do, exactly?
We haven’t launched yet, but we are creating a platform to help abortion access funds seek funding from individual donors, kind of like crowdsourcing.

What are your next steps and when are you planning to launch?
We are at a crossroads. We could either become a non-profit or we could be folded under the arm of another non-profit, like the National Network of Abortion Funds. I’m hoping for the latter. The world of abortion rights is tense and scary; it would be so nice to work with an already trusted and established organization. We are having a lot of conversations right now with potential partners and hoping to have a site and platform up and running by the end of the year.


Left to right: Marti Rule, Hivery concierge and co-chair Marin Teen Girl Conference with Alysia Montano, keynote speaker and local Olympic sprinter, and Kris Cirby, co-chair Marin Teen Girl Conference.

Left to right: Marti Rule, Hivery concierge and co-chair Marin Teen Girl Conference with Alysia Montano, keynote speaker and local Olympic sprinter, and Kris Cirby, co-chair Marin Teen Girl Conference.

One of our amazing concierges, Marti Rule is also an activist who has been working to empower Marin’s teen girl population for more than a decade. In 2010, she helped organize the first Marin Teen Girl Conference to offer a full day for local girls to chat about everything from sex to body image issues to mental help resources to career opportunities and more.

The conference is now annual, and this year’s event, she says, was the best ever. With more than 250 girls in attendance, they featured speakers such as a local police officer and a break-out session on self-defense. While Marti has been part of the conference for a long time, she is now stepping away a bit and hoping to delve into other passions.

What has been the best part of helping to organize this conference?
I love seeing the local partners that come out to help. It is really amazing how many people want to get involved, from women’s health organizations to local libraries. I also love seeing how the girls are positively impacted. Last year we had a “women in tech” panel, which explained types of jobs available and how to get into tech. I found out later that one of the girls is now going to UC Irvine for computer engineering because of that session.

Now that you aren’t playing as big a part in the conference, what’s next?
I am focused on empowering women in any way that I can. Right now I’m looking into international opportunities to help via microfinance in Africa and support women building businesses relative to things like coffee and chocolate.

Often, women join The Hivery as a way to meet, collaborate, and connect with other amazing women. As you learn more about Hivery members through the blog, on the Community Board, or during Member Spotlight events, we encourage you to reach out when their stories resonate with you. And, when you're at The Hivery, take a moment to introduce yourself to someone you haven't met yet. Ask them, "What are you working on?" Asking that one simple question while pouring a cup of coffee in the kitchen, or stopping to look at the events board, can inspire, connect, and result in some amazing actions and collaborations. The Hivery community is abuzz with so many #womendoingcoolstuff!

By Katie Morell, Editorial Director

Grace's Corner


This month's theme at The Hivery is Making an Impact. We've explored how to do that at the business level through social responsibility strategies, at the local level at a nearby school's garden cleanup, and at a community level through our We Rise Scholarship program. 

Often, the question isn't "Do I want to make an impact?," but rather, "How do I make the best impact I can with the tools and resources I've been given?"

From the work that I've done with women at The Hivery and from my very fortunate position of getting to be part of many women's next chapters, I've learned that finding your unique contribution to this world often starts with sharing your story. We have the capacity to serve others and make a massive impact when we are willing to share ourselves. From there, we can approach our service to others with open hearts and our truest voice. Below is a step that I took a few years ago to step out.

I often talk at The Hivery about what it means to put yourself out there and the power of telling your story. By making a practice of using our voices and taking creative risks, we expand what is possible, not just in ourselves, but in the impact we can have on others. Today, I wanted to share a story of taking a personal risk in order to open up my mind, heart, and practice so that I could encourage other women to do the same.

My legs shook uncontrollably on a foggy day in early 2014 as I walked into the basement of the Mill Valley Public Library. I took a deep breath and opened the door to a panel of five adults who were minutes away from judging me as I auditioned for Listen To Your Mother, a nationwide storytelling series, with a live performance at the Brava Theater in the Mission District in San Francisco.

It had been a long time since I'd auditioned for anything. The nerves, self-doubt, and slightly sick stomach of my previous life as a dancer, flooded back. I suddenly remembered the reason that I often hated auditions. The vulnerability, the risk of rejection, the fear of humiliation. Giving yourself completely to your craft, and then holding your breath while another person judges you, is not for the faint of heart. 

But there I was. This time using a story that I had written about my mother as my medium, instead of my dancing feet. This was perhaps my most personal story, a story some friends didn’t even know. I decided to listen to that voice and began. I was nervous, but determined to stretch my own boundaries. When I began telling my story, my voice shook, but as the story continued, I felt in my gut, that I was meant to share my experience. The audition went so well that I was selected to open the show a few months later in San Francisco.

The night of the event I couldn’t have been more nervous. Who was I to tell my story to an audience of 300 strangers? And, would anyone care to hear it? But as I stepped on stage, something happened, something physiological. I shakily brought the microphone to my mouth and instead of a high, fluttery voice, I heard a lower, more solid, tone come out. I spoke from a place deep within my belly. It was at that moment that I realized that it was there where my truth lived all along.

The story went great and the audience receptive and warm (read to the end of this post to watch my talk!), but I learned so much more from the experience than I ever could have anticipated.

I learned that I wanted to speak like this, live like this, for the rest of my life.

I launched The Hivery a few months later and since then have called upon that deep place inside myself more times than I can count, especially when telling a story about fear or vulnerability. Every time I’ve spoken the truth about being scared, about having no idea what I’m doing (I still feel that way on a weekly basis!), about feeling in-over-my-head, I hear “me toos” from countless women.

I’ve learned that using our voices can be one of the most authentic ways to make an impact. That courage is contagious and can have ripple effects on humanity. I’ve learned that our deepest impact is our personal impact that can then be unleashed in service, and being honest, open and vulnerable is one of the most effective ways to not only set us free but to set those around us free, too.

Just in case you’re wondering how you can make an impact—be it by getting on stage, starting a new project, helping a neighbor, or the like, here are my three biggest pieces of advice.

Share it. Have an idea? Share it with five people in one week and watch the ripple effect. I’m willing to bet that one of those people will say something that spurs on a second action, then a third, then a fourth, and so on.

Believe in the power of small actions. I believe small actions lead to big actions. Challenge yourself to do one action every day, even if that action is writing a paragraph in your journal about what you want to do or believe in. No action is too small.

Let your impact permeate your life. If you have an interest in making an impact in one area, start approaching other aspects of your life with the same thoughtfulness. When I wanted to make an impact with women and work, I knew I’d needed to show up with compassion, listen and make space. I quickly learned that I operate best when I approach my friends and family in the same way.

Bottom line: There are so many ways to make an impact. Spreading your truth, speaking your mind, being vulnerable—those are amazing ways to help yourself and those around you. I believe that every hour you have the opportunity to be of service to another human being. You don’t have to wait to be an executive director of a non-profit. You can make an impact right now, as you are reading this—in this moment!

Thank you for reading my very first post in a series called “Grace’s Corner!” In this monthly series we will explore our monthly theme at The Hivery, and my thoughts and advice around it.
If you would like to see my Listen To Your Mother performance, click the image below. 




Featured Artist: Dana DeKalb

A huge thank you to Marrow Gallery in San Francisco for introducing us to The Hivery's current featured artist, Dana DeKalb. You may have seen Dana's beautiful work in our space in the last few weeks. We encourage you to take a closer look the next time you are in! 


Souvenir 2, 24x24 inches, Dana DeKalb

Souvenir 2, 24x24 inches, Dana DeKalb

My paintings are rooted in the narrative tradition. I’ve always been fascinated by visual storytelling, especially with legends and myths, but also with comic strips and high school yearbooks. My own stories are told from an outsider’s perspective, the result of years spent as an American living abroad – I was born in Indonesia and spent my childhood as an ex-patriate in first through third world countries. I am a perennial observer, with a deep appreciation for the irony in our mutual misconceptions, as well as for our moments of connection.


In my work I present curious, open-ended narratives that explore the unexpected and exotic in seemingly familiar situations. Using odd props and visual non-sequitors, the subjects apply themselves earnestly to improbable tasks with devotion and good humor, despite a certain discomfort. There is the suggestion of a parable or morality tale in progress but with the lesson left unstated. My intention is that the viewer will become as absorbed in the characters as they are in their tasks, and that perhaps some preconceptions will be gently teased along the way.

Cache Tryptych, Dana DeKalb

Cache Tryptych, Dana DeKalb

Nosegay 7, 8x8 inches, Dana DeKalb

Nosegay 7, 8x8 inches, Dana DeKalb

The paintings are primarily acrylic and incorporate multiple colored glazes which bathe the action in a sensual, tinted light. The resulting scenes are simultaneously nostalgic and disorienting, reminiscent of antique postcards, theatrical sets or posed museum dioramas. I develop the imagery from combinations of magazine clippings, family photos, pictures from old travel guides and social studies books. Other influences include Asian and European miniatures, terracotta tomb sculpture, early American genre painting and scientific illustration.


Hide and Seek, 8x8 inches, Dana DeKalb

Hide and Seek, 8x8 inches, Dana DeKalb

Magic Hour 2, Dana DeKalb

Magic Hour 2, Dana DeKalb

Retablo, Dana DeKalb

Retablo, Dana DeKalb

Five Questions for Greta Schoenberg of the San Francisco Dance Film Festival

On Tuesday, August 8th, Hivery members and friends/family will have the pleasure of hearing from Greta Schoenberg, founder of the San Francisco Dance Film Festival, as part of the Hivery Circle: An Evening of Dance and Film. She, along with filmmakers Kate Duhamel, Lindsay Gauthier and our very own Grace Kraaijvanger, will screen several short dance films and share their stories of dance, creativity and how doing both perfectly fits into August’s theme of making an impact. 

To prepare you for this incredible event, we sat down with Schoenberg to learn more about her journey to becoming a pioneer in San Francisco’s dance film scene.

How did you get into the medium of dance and film, and why is the intersection of these two artistic expressions so important to you?
I’ve been a dancer for a long time, and through my work, especially in Europe, I’ve met and collaborated with several professional filmmakers. I realized there was a dance film circuit in New York, Los Angeles and Europe, but that here in San Francisco, people had not only not heard about it, but it became clear to me that Bay Area artists weren’t being represented in these films elsewhere.

I thought it was awful that we were so isolated, so in 2003 I started taking my little camcorder and recording small portraits of dancers I liked. Instead of having them on stage, they would be on the street or we would incorporate other types of imagery. I would gather together friends for screenings of my films and the films of other filmmakers. Those were the early days.

Is there a difference between dance film as a genre and simply filming an on-stage dance performance?
Most of the time there is a difference. The only times when there isn’t a difference is if a major network is using multiple cameras to film a performance. Otherwise, dance on film falls flat. With dance film, often called “screendance,” you can incorporate other imagery. If you wanted flying birds, you could put them in the film digitally instead of have them on set.

The beauty is in the editing. Instead of filming a dance performance start to finish, you can chop up dances and put them together without exhausting the dancers. The editing itself is a form of choreography.

What was the process of starting the San Francisco Dance Film Festival?
It started back in 2009 when I created a program of dance films in a gallery space alongside some dance photography from artists that I knew and respected very much. It was surprisingly popular; a lot of people in San Francisco didn’t know that that kind of work even existed. We started the festival the following year and it has grown from there.

Now we have it in multiple locations with the Brava Theater in the Mission as the main space. Most of our films are professionally made, but it is a really exciting time for independent filmmakers because, thanks to the technology out there, the barrier to entry is lower than ever before.

In what ways are you seeing the festival make an impact?
I see the impact in that I feel happy and proud to have created a platform for artists vs. focusing on becoming an artist myself. In a way, it has felt more rewarding to create a platform for them to showcase their work.

And in the Bay Area, it’s been particularly influential to make films and show films that showcase local talent. Now, going into our eighth season, it has become a really respected place to show work. I love that these artists are getting recognized.

I definitely didn’t feel like the
best-qualified person at the time,
but I could see a need that no one
else could and decided to go for it.

What tips would you give to others who want to expand their passions and/or art?
I think it helps to have a little naiveté. I didn’t know what I was getting into when I first started the festival, and honestly, I’m kind of glad of that because I’m not sure I would have had the guts to start in the first place. I definitely didn’t feel like the best-qualified person at the time, but I could see a need that no one else could and decided to go for it. 

My advice would be, regardless of your reservations and self doubt, jump in. Do it anyway. You will earn the right to be there along the way. And know that sometimes you don’t have to be the person to have every skill to run what you want to do successfully, but that you can attract the right people along the way to help you out.

I think it’s also important to know when to let go and let people do their thing without micromanaging. That’s been a process for me, but along the way I had two babies, which helped me let go because holding tight wasn’t possible.

Click here for more info on the San Francisco Dance Film Festival, scheduled for October 19-22. 

Meet Greta and learn more about The SFDFF at the August 8th Hivery Circle: An Evening of Dance on Film.

Grace Kraaijvanger, Founder of The Hivery will also be screening a short dance film she created in tribute to her mother. Get tickets here!

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 www.98proofstrategies.com or email us at hollarback@98rproofbrands.com 


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 (http://www.moneytype.me).  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 www.yourmentalwealthadvisors.com/find-out-your-money-script.

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.