Grace’s Corner: My Journey to Reimagining Goal-Setting

I had an eye-opening experience this year around late October. I found an old notebook where I'd written out my New Year's resolutions for 2017. As I stared at the list with only a couple months left to go in the year, the words seemed to jump out at me.

I hadn’t accomplished a single goal.

I hadn't written a book, hadn't opened our second Hivery, and hadn't turned one of my workshops into an online course. 

"What a loser," my fear-brain piped in. I spent a good ten minutes being hard on myself. "You lost your focus." ... "You busied yourself with the wrong things." ... "What's wrong with you?"

Wow. That's the kind of self-talk that I would never allow at The Hivery. And here I was, engaged in a lively verbal shake-down in my own head. 

With some quiet time and my favorite "hike it off" strategy, I was able to get re-centered on where those original goals came from, why they mattered to me, and what NOT accomplishing them this year taught me. With further introspection and review, I "remembered" that 2017 has been an unbelievable year, filled with growth, learning, expansion, incredible friendships, countless victory bell moments with our members, and most importantly, love, family and joy.

I came back to my list a week later with fresh eyes and the knowledge that 2017 taught me a lot. Among the many lessons: in order to do anything new, I must go through the motions of exploring it, feeling it, and trying it on. That exploration time is part of my creative process and is not only time well-spent, but it is required for me to understand how important a goal is to me. I also learned that it is perfectly fine to walk away from a so-called goal, or answer the goal with “not now" if it doesn’t actually serve me, or just doesn’t feel right. 

I started thinking: what if I could reflect back on the past year and think about the things I did do rather than the things I didn’t do? What if I could look at the learnings I gained from moments when I had to change direction? Moments when things didn’t go according to plan?

I found myself humming along to the beloved musical, Hamilton, where the strong, impeccably smart character Angelica, sings, "You want a revolution? I want a revelation,” but I was singing, “You want a RESOLUTION? I want a REVELATION.” 

I realized that I, like Angelica, want something a little different. I don’t want to be bound by a holiday-based goal. I want to live, learn, change course, and create something. More than anything, I want to feel alive. That doesn’t always tie back to a goal I made in late December. That’s something I carry inside all year long. This change in thought did wonders for my disposition and has completely altered the way I look at goal-setting, especially as it relates to the proverbial New Year’s resolutions.

I would love to bust the perfection myth around this beginning-of-each-year tradition. New Year’s resolutions can disconnect us from the centeredness of actually being on the right track in order to somehow redirect us to thinking that something distant from us is really what we want. What’s more, that that distant thing is only attainable if we force ourselves into it at the outset of every New Year.

So how do we look at New Years’ goals with renewed perspective?

photo by Kim Thompson Steel

Here are a few ideas...

Get clear on your ‘why.’ Take a moment to think about the deeper reasons behind your goal. For me to do this, I have to get very quiet with myself. Only then can I assess my truth of either aiming for what I call a “should" goal vs. a goal that is inspiring and meaningful to me deep down.

Create a support structure. For the record, I’m not a goal-hater…and tbh (as my teenager says for "to be honest"), I’ll probably make some New Year’s resolutions again this year. I think goals can be good things, but in order to serve us, each one needs to have a support structure around it.


If your goal is to write a book, the first question is why? Why now? What story do you need to tell? Then, think about timing. When will you start outlining chapters? Will you start by trying to write for 10 minutes every day for two weeks? Would it be helpful if you joined a writers’ group, or even came to The Hivery every Tuesday and designated that your writing day? When you aren’t feeling your best, whom will you call to help prop you up and give you words of encouragement? Having an accountability buddy or mentor to coach you through the inevitable dips really works, especially for big, long-term goals. 

The need for support structure applies to all goals, from losing weight to spending time outdoors to travel. What support can you put around your objectives to help you along?

Prioritize the way you want to feel in the New Year.  Back in late November, I had the great fortune of attending Hivery member Megan Flatt’s Post-It Note Happy Hour in our Creative Studio. I love Megan’s insights as a coach and was really taken by her first question to the class. Instead of asking what our goals were, she asked how we wanted to feel.

We all wrote down the first things that came to us and it was incredible what my co-participants expressed. I want to feel expansive. I want to feel relaxed. I want to feel open.

My desired feeling? To live at the epicenter of my creativity.

I stared at my post-It and thought: wait! I do feel that way! Who cares if I didn’t achieve my New Year’s goals? I do feel like I’m living at the epicenter of my creativity every day. Realizing that was an incredible feeling. I had achieved my goal, albeit a different and more important one than I had written down as my resolution for the year.

Think about what you did do vs. what you didn’t do. To reiterate something I said earlier when I let you into the self-talk in my head, I think it can be easy for us to focus on our failures rather than on our successes. I’m willing to bet you scaled many mountains this year, even if they didn’t match your goal list. For this upcoming year, focus on how you want to feel, stay away from “should” goals, and create a structure for support (that’s what The Hivery is for!).

As always, you’ve got this.  




What We Learned in 2017: From Five ‘We Rise’ Semifinalists

The Hivery's ‘We Rise’ scholarship semifinalists are an incredible group of #womendoingcoolstuff! We wanted to continue to gain inspiration from them so we took a moment and asked: What did you learn in 2017? Here are several of their beautiful and empowering answers. 

Looking back on 2017, what are a few things you learned in your personal life?


Hannah Waen, Communications Manager, Trips for Kids Marin: I’ve learned not to be afraid to jump. Maybe you’ll crash, or perhaps you’ll fly, but at least you’ll be moving! A wise friend said this when I was caught in an unhappy and unhealthy work situation. I jumped, and I’m so glad I did. I also learned that challenging times are great opportunities for personal growth. Difficult times are when meaningful changes occur. Don’t be afraid to embrace the challenge when you’re being tested. And surround yourself with smart women. Your friendships and networks of female supporters will help you in unexpected ways.




Zphyna Caldwell, Artistic Director, Interactive Enrichment Company: I’ve learned to be more kind and gentle with myself, that love and acceptance come from within as long as I’m happy and know I did my best.





Gianna McLaren, Racecar Driver: It has been over a year now since I left everything I knew working for the Forest Service in order to pursue my dream of becoming a racecar driver. It has been the most fascinating, exciting, and challenging adventure I have ever embarked on. I came to Sonoma Raceway with literally nothing—no racing experience in any form—just a very big dream to be a Formula 1 driver. If, in the process of pursuing this dream, I can be an empowering inspiration to girls who need some encouragement to follow their true passion, in spite of what others might think, that would mean everything to me.





Erin Ceynar, Philanthropy Consultant: On January 3rd, 2017 I moved to the Bay Area from Minneapolis, MN. My big personal take-away is that change is good.





Marissa Viray, Director of Outreach, Girls Leadership: I learned that purchasing Moorea Seal’s book 52 Lists for Happiness: Weekly Journaling Inspiration for Positivity, Balance, and Joy was a really good idea. It taught me what and who makes me really happy, and as a result I’m spending more time with those people who bring me joy and less time on social media. I also decided to join the Inverness Yacht Club because I’d like to live up there one day. And this year I celebrated the 10th anniversary of my money club, a group of three women who came together a decade ago to crush debt and build savings. After all this time, I’ve learned that having a consistent support system has been critical to my financial success, and that their encouragement ultimately allowed me to take brave steps toward a career that is more fulfilling.


What are a few things you learned on a professional level?
Zphyna: On a professional level, I think of the Shakespeare quote "Reputation, Reputation, Reputation." The most important aspect of our business (besides serving kids) is to be known and well known for producing stellar classes, camps, and workshops. Our entire staff is friendly and charming and we truly connect with each and every student.

Hannah: I learned that I know more than I think I do, and that I can rise to the occasion when tested. I learned that everyone fakes it until they make it, and that it is okay to be uncomfortable and feel like a pretender. And finally, I learned that if it isn’t working, to make a change. Staying in an unsatisfying job and hoping it will get better is a disservice to yourself.

Gianna: I’ve learned a lot about overcoming the fears I experience as an introvert when it comes to being in open, public situations. Now that I have found what I am truly passionate about, I am no longer afraid to speak to the world about it.

Erin: In the end of 2016, I stepped away from the day-to-day operations of the Women's Foundation of Minnesota, an organization I helped found and held leadership positions in for 15 years. It was a retirement of sorts. Professionally, I chose to leave at the top of my game. I was intentional about this. I needed to recharge and I don't regret it.

Marissa: I learned that investing in a career/wellness coach is worth every penny, that there is a science to hiring strong team players, and that you can make a huge difference even with a tiny budget.


Looking ahead at 2018, what is exciting to you?
Zphyna: Expansion! We are adding adult courses, dramatic literature and improvisation to our Mill Valley program. We are also hoping to begin working in Ross and at additional private schools throughout the country.

Hannah: Next year will be a year of action. This year laid the foundation; 2018 is the time to implement, create and experiment. The prospect is intimidating and exciting at the same time. I can’t wait to start the year with a renewed vision, a boost of confidence and new goals—not to mention the backing of fantastic Hivery members.

Gianna: I am very excited and nervous about 2018. I am working hard right now to get sponsorship to race in the new US F4 series that will be on the West Coast for the first time. This would be my first season in car racing and the first step towards my ultimate dream of F1, so the 2018 season would be an incredible step in this journey!

Erin: I can't wait for 2018. I'm focusing on growing my consulting practice, building relationships in the Bay Area, working on the national roll out of the Young Women's Initiative and writing a book about my Cowboy Hall of Fame Great Grandmother—a true woman of the West.

Marissa: I’m excited to sail in Croatia, partner with brands like Athleta and REI to further our mission and to do more storytelling.


What advice would you give yourself 12 months ago?
Zphyna: I would tell myself to be patient, don’t worry and don’t panic. I’d tell myself that I’m amazing and everything is going to be great!

Hannah: I would advise myself to keep an open mind and absorb everything as if I was a sponge. You never know what information you gather becomes useful in six months, or what small thought could spark a new interest. Take time to sit with these new ideas and try them on. They might become your new passion.

Gianna: I would advise myself to truly believe in myself and what I’m capable of achieving. I'll never forget a talk one of the driving instructors at the karting track gave me at my second to the last race of the season. Up until then, I had been driving just like I was still trying to scope everything out, learn the basics of race craft, and perfect my driving skills on track. However, I was still very nervous when it came to driving so close right up on somebody's bumper, especially under braking while going into a turn, and making a proper pass. This particular instructor said he was disappointed that I hadn't made any really aggressive moves all season and how he thought that I was a racing driver but not acting like it. That got me really irritated and I said to myself "Of course I'm a racing driver!! I'll show you..." He also told me that I had to be really selfish and believe that the first place trophy is absolutely mine. Well I did. I went back out for the main race right after we had that talk and started passing other drivers with ease. That was the day I truly started racing, and won in my class that day. The final race of the season, I felt even more confident knowing that I had to get that trophy. I qualified 1st on pole with the fastest lap times out of a field of 10 drivers. And during the race, I led the field far in the front and won my first overall victory, plus the championship in my class. What an amazing feeling! So yes, you just have to believe that you are capable of something and you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish when you overcome your initial fears and hesitations.

Erin: Take every reasonable opportunity presented to you. Show up and be authentic.

Marissa: Don’t take things so seriously. It will all work out.

And now...what advice would YOU give yourself 12 months ago? Share with us here, or with friends and family, or in your journal. And then...move forward into 2018 with the voice of your best advisor leading the way. 

Grace's Corner: Redefining Balance

I’m convinced that my most valuable life lessons have been learned in dance class. My last dance class was no exception, and gave me a new perspective on the way we look at creating balance in life. 

It was a sunny Saturday morning at my favorite, local ballet class. The room was filled with dancers across all different levels; some ex-professional dancers, some long-time dance enthusiasts, all of us just happy to be there, spending a morning moving our bodies. We’re a cheerful bunch that have been taking this Saturday morning class for years. Halfway through our barre exercises, we were doing rond du jambes (a circular motion of the leg), and ending the exercise with a balance in passe (a balance on one leg). Ending in a balance at the barre allows the dancer to find their center, taking the hand off the barre, often raising the arms overhead, and balancing in releve on the ball of the foot.

As I began my balance, my mind went through the mental checklist that I’ve been practicing for a lifetime: ground the energy of the ball of the foot down into the floor, pull up in the hip, connect the lowest abdominal muscle to the spine, pull up through the stomach, let the ribs fall down, sternum up, chin up, shoulders down, arms elongated, fingers relaxed, oh, and breathe. Lengthen, lengthen, lengthen, get higher, taller, listen to the music, and put the foot down and soutenau  (turn around). The interesting thing about balance in dance is that sometimes it works beautifully, and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s as much emotional and mental as it is physical. You learn after a lifetime of dancing that some days are just better than others in the balance department. As we finished the balance exercise, our beloved teacher, Melinda, commented, “I love the stillness of balance. It’s so quiet."

And it struck me. In ballet, balance is still. It has an energy and the motion is flowing through the body, but in balance, you are doing one pose and you are staying there. You’re not rock hard or rigid in the balance, as that would create a “timber” effect. But, you are staying in one position and staying present in that single pose.

In life however, when we talk about balance, especially for women, we are talking about a balancing act of doing many, many things, often at the same time. Be successful, be smart, work hard, make money, be a great mom, be sexy, stay in shape, be a good friend, be spiritual, be beautiful, be creative, practice self-care. Don’t do too much of one thing and neglect the others. In this definition of balance, the dancer of life can feel like she’s juggling many balls in the name of balance.

photo by Weiferd Watts

photo by Weiferd Watts

See? I’ve got this balance thing down….juggle, toss, juggle, toss….I’ve totally got this. I can do it all. I won’t miss a beat. I won’t gain a pound. I’ve got my sunscreen on. My kid’s in advanced math. My business is profitable. My bed is made. I helped with the science project. I coordinated the carpool. I hired my first employee. I’ve got it. I’ve got it. Juggle. Toss. Meditate. Exercise. Juggle. Toss. Volunteer. Juggle. Toss. Shit. I dropped a ball. Damn, they’re all dropping. God damn it. There are balls everywhere…where am I going to put all these damn balls? Can’t anyone hold one just one f-n ball for me? I can’t do this. I’m not doing anything well. Aaaaargh.


Been there? Yeah, me too.

So, when I thought about what it means to balance in dance class, I wanted to apply that definition of balance to my life. Be still. Focus on this moment. Do this one thing. Check in with your whole body. Breathe, relax, lift up, higher, higher, elevate, and then put your foot down, and try it again. This time from the other side. Accept that some days my balance is better than others. Sometimes one leg is stronger than the other. And, you start to notice some patterns. It always works better when you breathe. Having a soft focus seems to help. Grounding down and elevating up at the same time creates an energy. Connect with your center. Wait, these sound like good rules for life.

So, my amazing community. Let’s redefine balance and live balance through the metaphorical dance lens. Stay grounded, yet elevated. Find your center. Breathe. And, remember that some days, it’s easier to balance than others. Come back to the barre, find your balance, and begin again. This time on the other side. You’ve got this.  

Hivery 'We Rise' Scholarship Spotlight: Brianna Russell

Inspired by Maya Angelou's poem, Still I Rise, and the powerful, brave work of women everywhere, we launched The Hivery 'We Rise' Scholarship Program in 2016 to empower, contribute and support passionate, bold beings who work tirelessly toward equality.

It has been an honor to meet and get to know the twelve semi-finalists and two awardees from this year's program. Today, we’d like to introduce you to the fabulous Brianna Russell, Founding Executive Director, Girls Leading Girls.

Brianna Russell - Girls Leading Girls.JPG

Could you please tell us a little about Girls Leading Girls? Absolutely! Girls Leading Girls uses soccer as a way to teach girls ages 7-18 about leadership and character building. We are based in San Francisco and coach soccer teams for more than 300 girls. We want everyone to have access to our programs, so we offer members a sliding payment scale. Some players don’t pay anything to join; others donate on top of the fee in order to help out girls who don't have the resources to pay anything at all.

We launched in 2014, and today we have more than 15 coaches. We’ve gotten so popular that now we have more demand than supply.

Your organization sounds amazing, especially because so much socialization and confidence building can stem from positive experiences in extra curricular activities, especially during childhood. Exactly. And that is where I got the idea. I grew up in the East Bay and played soccer through school, but in eighth grade things went downhill for me. I created Girls Leading Girls because it was exactly what I needed when I was 12 year old.

What happened when you were in eighth grade?
My dad was laid off from a job he’d had for 18 years. It was a really bad time for my family. I failed a class and got kicked off my soccer team. Looking back, I realize now that I was acting out because life was hard at home. My mom could see what I needed, though, and found another team where everyone was nice to me. It was a life game-changer.

I started performing well again, was named MVP, and the team felt like family to me. I didn’t want to miss out on practices or games. From there, I ended up playing soccer at Sacramento State.

What did you do after college?
I studied business in college, so I decided to try working in corporate America and hated it. I left two years later and went into the Peace Corps, where I would lead ‘girls circles,’ which were discussions where girls could ask about anything—questions about their periods, relationships, what it was like to live in the U.S.—you name it. I started playing soccer with them and we started a team.

After the Peace Corps, I came back to the U.S. and got my masters in international studies at USF. I knew I wanted to do something with a non-profit focus, and decided to coach soccer on the side. It was then that parents started asking me to coach their daughters’ teams.

Where did those inquiries come from, you think?
Several parents told me they wanted female coaches for their daughters because there are so few women in the sports. And it’s true; even here in San Francisco, there aren’t a lot of women in high positions in sports. I decided to look into it and created my own organization in 2014. Then, I took it a step further and made the model work for girls who couldn’t afford it. That is when Girls Leading Girls really took off.

I now do this full-time, and have an amazing staff of coaches—some who work three hours per week; others who work 15 hours per week.

What are some of your biggest challenges right now?
I’d love to figure out how to scale and grow larger than ever. I’m interested in finding out how I can open new branches without losing quality, especially legal and operations-wise. And I’m looking for funding to help me hire new staff. I’d love to accept every girl who expresses interest in our program, but right now we have to turn people away because we just don’t have enough bandwidth.

Congratulations on being a ‘We Rise’ scholarship winner! How can The Hivery help you achieve your vision? Thanks! I’m so excited to be part of The Hivery community. I think with its network of women—many of whom likely have backgrounds in marketing, consulting and finance—they may be able to point me in the right direction. I can’t wait to meet as many members as possible.

I also think the space at The Hivery is incredible. I live in San Francisco and it will be a nice place for me to go to get outside my house, interact with other women, attend events, and find inspiration.

Talk about inspiration: YOU are inspiring! What advice can you offer women who want to take a big leap, professionally? First, find a few key people you can trust to help you start. I had three board members and a parent help me start out, and they were huge in helping me figure out what my vision actually was.

Second, make sure the idea is something you care deeply about—something you’d want to be doing for 10 years. And finally, think big-picture. If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would your idea look like?

Brianna - Girls Leading Girls.jpg

We hope you'll join us on Tuesday, November 14th, 7:00-9:00pm at The Hivery to meet Brianna and the other 11 'We Rise' Scholarship finalists at a TedTalk-inspired Hivery Circle: Women Working Towards Equality. Free for Hivery members and $30 for non-members. Please register early to ensure you get a ticket for this inspiring evening!

Hivery 'We Rise' Scholarship Spotlight: Nicole "Nic" Winzey

Inspired by Maya Angelou's poem, Still I Rise, and the powerful, brave work of women everywhere, we launched The Hivery 'We Rise' Scholarship Program in 2016 to empower, contribute and support passionate, bold beings who work tirelessly toward equality.

It has been an honor to meet and get to know the twelve semi-finalists and two awardees from this year's program. Today, we’d like to introduce you to the fantastic Nicole "Nic" Winzey, founder of Winzday Events, a company that creates meaningful events for social impact organizations.


Congratulations! What attracted you to The Hivery and our ‘We Rise’ scholarship opportunity? Thanks, I’m so excited. I live in San Francisco and first heard about The Hivery through my friend Rachel Schneider. She posted something about the scholarship on Facebook and it piqued my interest, especially because of the focus on women entrepreneurs, the angle of social good, and the connection to Maya Angelou’s poem ‘Still I Rise.’

Also, this has been the year of saying ‘YES’ to me. I am an event manager, but saying that has been a struggle. I find that when I get close to success, I tend to run away. I have struggled with feelings of inadequacy and imposter syndrome, so when I saw this scholarship program I told myself: ‘Nic, Try it! Apply and see what happens!’ And so I did.

We are so glad you did. And thank you for your vulnerability—so many of us have similar thoughts. Can you tell us a little about how you came up with the idea for Winzday Events? The idea came to me several years ago while organizing dinners and fun events on Wednesday evenings. I loved doing things in the middle of the week, especially around food. I’d been working in marketing and advertising for a long time and was just making lateral moves; I couldn’t seem to move up. I was also noticing that I’d stopped drawing.

Are you an artist?
I am. I was an artist as a little kid and I remember getting busted for drawing in class. I would get my paper taken away and then start drawing again the minute I could. But after years in the corporate world, one day I realized that I’d stopped drawing altogether. This was back in 2014, and it was a pivotal moment for me. I loved planning events, so I decided to quit and try event planning as a profession.

I decided to invest the time and resources into doing a pop-up dining event called "Pure Imagination."

Like the song from Willy Wonka?
Yes, exactly! The theme was that you can do anything. I targeted selling 35 tickets online and sold 40. I curated a playlist for it and curated the menu. It was a complete success.

That event sounds incredible. How did you transition from that pop-up to Winzday Events?There have been a lot of things in between. I worked on events for the Rosenberg Foundation and Tides, two incredible organizations. Working with them opened my eyes to a number of issues in our area—from homelessness and poverty to criminal justice and racial justice. I had a front row seat to activists and educators in the social justice space and realized that I wanted to be part of the movement.

So, in June 2017, I branched off on my own and now I help social impact organizations with their events. I’m doing Winzday Events—a play on my name and the fact that I like to hold events for friends on Wednesdays—in addition to taking other event work on the side.

How will this scholarship help you do your work?
There are so many great things about this scholarship, starting with the mentorship piece. I need a mentor. And to have access to the space, which is beautiful. I also like that there is one free day to fundraise. I may do that or donate that day to one of my social justice projects. I also really appreciate the $500 donation to my business. And even more than that, I’m excited to have access to the amazing women at The Hivery and the events offered. I went to the Entrepreneur Lab a few weeks back and was blown away. It made me feel like I’d found my tribe.

Yay! Now for the advice question: What suggestions can you offer women who want to ‘rise’ themselves, and step into something new and possibly scary?
Honestly, I’d show them a picture I just drew. It is of a young Nic with squiggly lines showing periods of time when I’ve been unemployed, when I’ve had different jobs and where I am right now. On the right side of the picture is a depiction of myself as a confident stick figure. It shows that the path to doing what you want can be curvy, squiggly and all kinds of crazy [laughs], but it is still connected. All of the steps you take from point A to point B are necessary to who you are, and that there is nothing wrong with your story. I’d tell them to own their own truth, as hard as that can be at times.

And I’d tell them to find an accountability partner—someone who will give you a push and also some love. We can’t do this alone. When I feel uncertain, I call a friend and feel 50 times better. I think that is why places like The Hivery are so important.

illustration by Nicole Winzey

illustration by Nicole Winzey

We hope you'll join us on Tuesday, November 14th, 7:00-9:00pm at The Hivery to meet Nic and the other 11 'We Rise' Scholarship finalists at a TedTalk-inspired Hivery Circle: Women Working Towards Equality. Free for Hivery members and $30 for non-members. Please register early to ensure you get a ticket for this inspiring evening!

Collaboration Corner: The Head & Heart Tarot

In this month’s Collaboration Corner, we are highlighting Ariane Trélaün and Johanna Beyer, two business coaches who have launched The Head & Heart Tarot, a modern deck of tarot cards for business and life. Click HERE to learn more about their Indigogo campaign, which ends Nov. 12th and HERE to register for their Hivery Member Spotlight event, scheduled for Nov. 3rd.

Johanna Beyer and Ariane Trélaün with The Head & Heart Tarot. photo by hi5studio

Johanna Beyer and Ariane Trélaün with The Head & Heart Tarot. photo by hi5studio

Tell us a little bit about your backgrounds.
Johanna: I am a fourth generation San Franciscan and feel deep love for the Bay Area! All my life I have been drawn to learning about the inner workings of people and feel alive when I can support someone in a positive way. I took that natural ability and earned my Masters Degree in Organizational Development so that I could learn the fine art of facilitation and process to support teams in business become aligned and empowered. In 2002, I founded my coaching business, On Your Path Consulting with the desire to support high achieving individuals navigate big transitions with their careers.

Each day I pinch myself, because I feel that I am getting to the do the work that I was meant to do. I am forever inspired by the capacities people have to turn their lives in more positive and fortunate directions. When I am not working, you can find me on the dance floor shaking my bootie or hanging out with my two sons, husband and big fluffy cat!

Ariane: I’m a first generation San Franciscan. My parents, my father from France, my mother from Mexico, met at SF State as undergraduates, fell in love and here we are. I grew up in The Castro, went to French school in the City, then public middle school and Lowell High School. I have a degree in Russian Language and literature from SF State.

Through my work I gravitated toward business and numbers, and got my MBA in 2000. After (too many) years working for other people, inside of organizations, I launched my own business, Do Your Thing, in 2014, and have been pretty much over-the-moon happy ever since. On the family side of things, I have a grown son and the best daughter-in-law on earth, a delightful husband, a ridiculous dog, Mr. Burns, a thriving garden, 5 chickens and several colonies of bees.

How did you hear about The Hivery?
Johanna: Back in 2014 I kept hearing about Grace from many different people and one day I reached out. At the same time, Grace had been hearing my name as well, so we were super excited to meet in person! It was love at first site and I started leading workshops and doing individual Tarot/Action Sessions at The Hivery.

Ariane: Since I’m a beekeeper, I seem to always notice anything that’s bee or hive-related, so I noticed the name first, way back when The Hivery was in Sausalito. I did a writing class with Sam Whalen, also as a way to check out the space, but didn’t join until the Mill Valley location.

The Head & Heart Tarot. photo by hi5studio

The Head & Heart Tarot. photo by hi5studio

How were you two initially connected?
Johanna: Thank God for The Hivery because that is how Ariane found me! She was curious to learn the Tarot and I became her teacher! From there, we bonded on so many things personally and professionally. We saw ourselves in each other as we have always loved to blend our woo woo selves with our business selves!

Ariane: Right! I saw in a newsletter that Johanna was offering tarot sessions at The Hivery. I had just bought a bunch of books in an attempt to teach myself the Tarot, and wasn’t faring all that well. You know that thing about, when the student is ready, the teacher appears? That.

How did you come up with the idea to collaborate? Why was it attractive to each of you?
Johanna: Midway through our work together, Ariane shared an idea for a tarot coloring book to help people learn the symbols and meanings of the cards. At the very same time, I had been brainstorming the idea of my own tarot guidebook geared towards coaches and the working professional. It was as if destiny hit us both, for the combination of her idea and my idea were unlike any other product on the market. It was a GO!

Ariane: What Johanna said. It just evolved naturally, as a great way to put our different skills and shared passion for tarot and business and coaching together.

Who else have you collaborated with at The Hivery and why?
Johanna: I feel so grateful to Grace because she has given me unbelievable opportunities to share my work with Hivery members and many of them have become longer-term clients. It also brought me to Sophia Mavrides who did my website and photo shoots!

Ariane: Many people. I too have worked with Sophia, and she’s a client now. I count other Hivery members as clients, and have had so many fruitful conversations and experiences at The Hivery.

What is it about The Hivery that allows such beautiful collaboration?
Johanna: When I walk into The Hivery, I can feel that everyone there is grateful for the beautiful space and incredible women. There is just so much respect and inspiration going around! That prominent energy allows for destiny to happen! When women are open to one another, anything can happen!

Ariane: The space itself is beautiful, and there’s something truly magical about arriving somewhere pretty and clean with no laundry to fold or dogs underfoot (no offense, Burnsy). It’s just a relief really to be surrounded by women pursuing something, whatever their thing is. I love my home office and also it’s such a treat to be caught up in the collective buzz at The Hivery.

For women who haven’t yet found a collaboration partner at The Hivery or elsewhere, what are 2-3 pieces of advice for them?
Johanna: I guess I would say my one piece of advice is to say out loud what you are looking for or needing in a partner. Step two is then stay open to the magic! If a new collaboration wants to come in, it will and you need to be READY! DO NOT LET FEAR TALK YOU OUT OF IT!

Ariane: I feel like as soon as you know what it is you need, or even begin to have an inkling of what or who that might be, start talking about it, to anyone who’ll listen. Eventually everything will line up. And people who are tired of hearing about it, will help you find someone who’s waiting to have that very conversation.

Why is collaborating so important to each of you?
Johanna: OMG…collaboration is everything for me. I have special talents and gifts but I also know what I am not great at! Partnering with Ariane is a dream because she can do many things that are not my strengths and visa versa. And let’s be honest, having accountability makes the chances of an idea becoming real a whole lot more possible!

Ariane: Collaboration is truly alchemy, you know? Johanna brings qualities and experience and insight to our work that I never could, and together we built something so much bigger, better, more magical than we might on our own. It just always amazes me, at the end of every work session we have, to look at what we’ve accomplished. It’s so big, it’s so major and it’s also SO EASY when we work together. I have so much love and gratitude to The Hivery for bringing this gift into my life.

Johanna Beyer and Ariane Trélaün with The Head & Heart Tarot. photo by hi5studio

Johanna Beyer and Ariane Trélaün with The Head & Heart Tarot. photo by hi5studio

A Letter From Grace

I'm pretty introspective, and spend a lot of mental energy coming back to big questions like "Why am I doing this?" and "What IS my vision for The Hivery?" The word that always comes up for me is you. The reason that I do this is for you…my belief in you is exponential, it gets me out of bed in the morning, and tucks me in after a long day. I have such a strong conviction about what each of us has to contribute to this world, and a profound belief that you are the only one who can do it your way, with your wisdom, talent, experience, pain, mistakes, and love. 

So, as I closed our annual Entrepreneur Lab last Sunday, I chose to write you a letter….both to the women that were in the room that day, and to the women who are in this community (i.e. movement) all over the world.  

It's a letter written to you, dearest you, because in the grand scheme of figuring out what's next, changing careers, writing business plans, raising kids, making time for self-care, designing a life, or managing money, the most important aspect of all is you. It's you—with your passion, your resilience, your dedication—who makes all the difference. This letter is from me to you. 

2nd Annual Hivery Entrepreneur Lab Highlights

We are still floating from Sunday's 2nd Annual Hivery Entrepreneur Lab. Sharing the day with our guests, the incredible speakers, and the talented experts was like a dream come true. It was yet another powerful reminder of the magic that happens when we gather, support each other, elevate what's possible, and create something new that honors the potential of women. #TheHiveryEntrepreneurLab was truly a day of #womendoingcoolstuff

If you missed the event, or if you went, but want to hear more, we sat down with two of our incredible speakers to discuss their backstories and their advice for budding entrepreneurs.


EILEEN GITTINS,  Founder Blurb and Bossygrl
A longtime entrepreneur, Eileen most recently built Blurb, a self-publishing platform for books, magazines and brochures. She left in 2016 and founded Bossygrl, an online platform that helps girls ages 13-19 build their own businesses.

“I wanted to get them young, before people told them ‘you can’t, can’t can’t,’ ” she says.

There’s some controversy around the term ‘bossy.’ Why did you decide to use that term in your new company?
It was an intentional decision to take back bossy! It’s about empowering girls and women. They aren’t bossy; they’re the boss.


How did you get the idea for Bossygrl?
I founded Blurb back in 2006 and really enjoyed growing the business, but by 2016, I wanted a new challenge. I started meditating a few years prior and I realized that it was time to step away. I found a new CEO for the business and by early 2016, became chairman of the board, so I’m still active, but just not day-to-day.

In April 2016, while speaking at a conference in NYC, I was approached by many young women who asked for advice on how to start a business. One asked me a question that broke my heart: ‘Would my chances of getting funded be harmed if I had an all-female team?’

Oh wow, what did you say?
I said yes, that the odds wouldn’t be in her favor, but that they wouldn’t be zero, either. Then I went back to my hotel and couldn’t sleep. I started researching the numbers behind getting funded and stayed up all night. I learned that in 2015, 93% of all funding dollars went to 100% male teams. That means only 7% went to teams with a female! I couldn’t believe it. Yes, I know there are VCs now focusing on women, but I wanted to do more, so I created Bossygrl, especially with young women in mind.

Why is the young age group so important to you?
I believe that if we can get them young and enable them to create a business, it will help them grow up understanding the language of online business metrics, traffic, marketing, how to price products, margins, and so on. Bossygrl helps make all of those things approachable and not too complicated, and includes mentorship and video coaching along the way. I mean, what would the world look like if young women could be their own bosses at 15 years old?

Incredible! What about women older than 19, and men?
Absolutely everyone is invited to use Bossygrl.

This month’s blog theme is collaboration. What advice do you have for people looking for collaborative partners?
Don’t underestimate the power of tools like LinkedIn. I’ve investigated people who have certain skills and then started conversations with them. It’s been incredible.

Also, I recommend getting focused on what you really need. I’m asked to be an advisor by a lot of companies, and my first question is always around what roll I’d fill if I said yes. Most of them don’t know, which isn’t a good sign. I suggest being specific—very specific. It will help you find the right person.


JESSICA SEMAAN, Founder The Passion Co.
Jessica Semaan is the founder of The Passion Co., a company that helps people find and work on passion projects.

How did The Passion Co. come about?
It actually started as a collaboration. I was working at Airbnb, and getting antsy, so a photographer colleague and I decided to create a blog where we would interview and photograph people who were pursuing their passions. We were learning a ton from those interviews and decided to start facilitating workshops. That was 2014 and about 18 months later, I quit my job and went full-time into The Passion Co., offering five-week programs for people wanting to pursue their passions.


How do you recommend people find someone to collaborate with?
If you know you want to work with someone, bring something to show at the first meeting. I think cold emailing or sending a note on Instagram is more than fine, but show them what you’re thinking about—more than just an idea.  

Another idea is to go to and and find people who are doing similar things.

How does The Passion Co. enable people to pursue their passions?
A big part comes down to accountability. You get a buddy in the program, and at the end of the five weeks there is a party where you present your project. It is pretty motivating.

The other way we help people get things done is by giving them structure and allowing them to have a startup mentality around iterating and testing. There isn’t pressure to be viable. Instead, there is room to be flexible and experiment. We see that that mindset makes a huge difference. It gives people space.

Can people outside San Francisco take advantage of The Passion Co.?
Absolutely. We’ve changed our model a lot over the years and have realized that remote, one-on-one coaching is where we want to head the company. We are now training coaches to facilitate the five-week program, too. We have graduates from Tokyo, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. I think the need is truly universal.

What do you mean by ‘universal’?
I think there is a generational crisis happening across the globe. Millennials around the world are struggling. A lot of them believe that the capitalist system has failed them and they are looking to do things outside that system. There is an awakening happening. It makes me hopeful.

Are you seeing this only in Millennials?
Actually, no. We have people in their mid/late 20s and then in their late 40s/early 50s, too. Both groups have a sense of ‘waking up’—be it a quarter-life crisis or a mid-life crisis. We operate in crisis zones where people are questioning. They are realizing that the system that told them they’d be happy is no longer working. Some are getting divorced; others are dealing with obstacles like depression.

I believe it is the hard times that cause us to ask the most important questions. When we’re comfortable, you don’t really question things. It’s only when you see your own pain that you start searching for answers.

How has The Passion Co. helped you evolve, personally?
It has changed my life in many ways. We are now a team of two people; we were seven. I used to have grand goals and now I’m realizing that my true calling is coaching, and that is where the company is headed. It is the model that works best for people, so it’s a win/win for everyone.

What caused you to change your mind about the business model?
We had a conference in November 2015 and afterwards, I realized I was seriously burned out. I couldn’t walk and was hospitalized. It caused me to rethink everything.

I’m so sorry to hear this. Are you OK now?
I’m still sick—I have an autoimmune disease—but I’m learning to take care of myself. I learned that the way I was operating wasn’t who I really was. My breakdown has caused me to rethink everything, and it has been a blessing. I can now see that I was running away from unresolved childhood trauma, for example. Looking back now, it is so easy to see that I was holding on too tight.

The moment I let go of control, I found more grounding and more success—especially in coaching. I’m on a healing path now. I’m in school for psychotherapy with a focus on trauma. I’ve learned so much, including that at the bottom of pushing ourselves to be famous or successful or wealthy lies unresolved trauma and feelings of being unsafe or unloved. Those walls of defense become our identities. Knowing this has been revolutionary for me.

The 2nd Annual Hivery Entrepreneur Lab was a transformational day in so many ways. We cannot begin to thank our guests, speakers, experts, sponsors, and partners nearly enough for making the day incredibly special. More than a day of business-focused learning, The Hivery Entpreprenuer Lab is a celebration of what is possible...for you. 


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How Six Hivery Members Overcame Their Fears

Are you interested in taking a leap in your professional and/or personal life, but feel like fear is holding you back? You aren’t alone. Get ready to be inspired! We are honored to share the stories of six Hivery members who’ve faced their fears in memorable ways. 

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Kier Holmes: I had a deep fear of public speaking so I signed myself up to teach adult gardening lectures at the Mill Valley Library. Sometimes there would be close to 20 people in the class that I lectured to for 1.5 hours. After many classes, I learned to accept the butterflies in my stomach and teach them to fly in unison, plus I learned to embrace my anxiousness and use the energy to make my lectures more honest, mildly self-deprecating and conversational.


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Rachel O’Connor: Very recently I quit my job of 14 years so I could pursue my calling: to work with kids. I listened to my deep-seated fears of losing financial security/a comfortable livelihood, and chose to go ahead anyway. I kept front and center the possibility that I could do something so much bigger than stay in a job that was numbing me. I focused on the possibility that I could make a really big difference if I let go of the fear that was keeping me stuck. Making the declaration "I am someone who can create a world where kids feel Empowered, Safe, and Free” was my commitment to making that possibility
a reality. I looked at fear and said, "Enough!"


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Mary Gassen: I’m the owner of Noe Valley Bakery and, as we go through the process of opening a second location, I’m learning a lot about the voice in my head that tells me I’m going to make a mistake, repeats all the worst-case scenarios and shows me a disastrous future. I’ve realized that it’s easy to listen to that voice and mistake it for the voice or reason or even our gut, but in reality, it’s fear.

I’ve learned so much about that voice that I’ve given myself a three-step process for dealing with it:

Step 1: Recognize it. My fear often runs for worst-case scenarios, or tells me “You’re about the ruin everything!” If you don’t think your fear has a voice, start listening! Learn your fear’s voice so you can pick it out.

Step 2: Give it a Name: My fear’s name is Suzi Banchee. She’s screams at me hysterically, waving her arms with red cheeks and a frantic face. She says things like “You’re going to ruin everything! What are you thinking? This will never work!” Giving her a name allows me to think a little more clearly. It’s not logic that telling me I’m ruining everything, it’s just Suzi Banchee.

Suzi cares very much about keeping me safe. The more I listen to her, the more I realize that when I’m getting closer to something that’s good and helpful, she gets louder and louder. Being vulnerable, putting myself out there—that’s her worst fear. Suzi Banchee does not like taking risks, she likes being safe. I’m learning to hear her voice as a sign that I’m taking a risk, or growing.

Step 3: Thank Suzi and dismiss her. Now when I hear that I am making a colossal mess of my life, I thank Suzi for her concern, and tell her I’ve got it. She may be trying to protect me, but I’ve looked it over, done the math, examined the risks, and I know that opening a second bakery is going to be good for my family and my business. I remind her of all the homework I’ve done before taking this risk, and all of the experience I have. This is what it is to be an entrepreneur — to manage fear and still grow, take risks and evolve, despite the moments that I look around and think, “What am I doing?”



Liz Fritz: I resigned from my executive level corporate job in early September and became a full time entrepreneur running a marketing business for wealth management and fintech clients.

A year ago, I would describe myself as "risk adverse" and fearful of uncertainty. I did not like surprises and carefully mapped out every move in my career until eight months ago when I joined The Hivery and had a private consultation with Grace. This conversation propelled me on a personal and professional journey of self discovery that has led me to start our family business. It’s been amazing to see how putting dreams out into the universe, trusting intuition, hard work, planning and learning to “take up space” within oneself guided me through the fears that might have kept me from finding a new calling. 



Beth Crittenden: I was scared to join The Hivery. I first heard about it when it was in Sausalito. I got on the mailing list, told myself it would cost too much, and eventually just gave up on the idea. I couldn't even bring myself to visit, because I was too afraid I would love it and would not be able to afford it.

A couple of years later, I burned out on renting office space on my own. I felt so lonely and disconnected. I was going to check out a "regular" co-working space in Sausalito when I heard my smart inner voice say, "Just pay for The Hivery and see how it goes. You can quit if you want to after the first phase."

I have been in love with it from day one! It has been wonderful support to work there, and such great medicine for my now-former sense of disconnection and loneliness as a solo-preneur. It no longer seems "expensive"; it seems like one of the best investments I am making in my business and my own well being.


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Amanda Burke Livingston: I decided to take the leap to become a freelancer four years ago, after a career working for PR agencies and for major corporations. While I was doing work I was really excited about, mom was diagnosed with Huntington's Disease, and I knew I wanted to create a professional life where I wouldn’t be tied to an office.

I was terrified. This agency had kept me employed through an economic downturn and fought really hard to do so. I knew going out on my own would expose me to all the uncertainty and rejection that comes along with being your own product. I followed my gut, and it turns out my gut was actually screaming at me for a different reason altogether.

Six months later, my husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 Melanoma at the age of 27. Words like ‘shocked,’ or ‘terrified’ don't come close to describing the emotions that followed. It turned out that my gut was helping me set up a work structure that would allow me to stay both gainfully employed and at hospitals all across the country for the two years he was in treatment.

When we lost him June 18, 2016, I became a 31-year-old widow, parent to two dogs, and a solo homeowner. Overcoming the fear of managing the life that I built with my partner is something I struggle with daily. I'm very much in the healing process. Grief and work are not two words that fit together. Working for myself has allowed me the space to make grief my number-one priority. I have control of what work I do when and for whom. It's still a journey filled with scary turns and ebbs and flows, but at least I own it.

Event Spotlight: What’s Next Workshop

Are you feeling a little stuck?

Maybe you’re at a personal, professional and/or spiritual crossroads and aren’t sure of your next step. Maybe you’re looking for a community of women going through a similar transitional time. Perhaps you have an idea for your next venture/relationship/change in situation and need an extra kick.

Or, maybe you have absolutely no idea what the future holds—not the faintest clue.

We all go through periods of transition, but feeling stuck can be frustrating, especially if you don't have supportive community and leaders to guide you in the process. Our What's Next program was created to offer support, guidance, and tangible tools to discover your next chapter.


We sat down with Linda Lesem and Laura Riordan, creators and facilitators for The Hivery's What's Next program,  to learn more about how times of transition and uncertainty can lead to positive transformation.

How did you get the idea for the What's Next series?
Linda: The ball started rolling in late 2015 when I joined The Hivery with the intention of surrounding myself with wonderful women. As a coach, I was running a workshop called Mom’s in Transition. I heard about what Grace was doing and had to see what it was all about. I ended up hiring her for a coaching session and she invited me not only to create a similar, mom-focused workshop inside The Hivery, but she knew Laura already and told me that we had to meet.

Laura: I met Grace in spring 2015 on a tour of The Hivery’s former space in Sausalito. We would have long conversations on our shared passion to help women. When Grace met Linda, she introduced us right away. As a nod to Grace’s gift for choreography, we hit it off and put together a workshop in just two weeks.

What was the idea behind What’s Next?
Linda: Laura and I have extensive backgrounds in the psychology of transition, and thought that if we could bring together our expertise and craft a workshop around helping women hone who they are and how they could create possibilities—it would be a huge hit.

We offered our first What’s Next in early 2016 and it was true magic. To date, more than 100 women have gone through the program.

What makes the workshop so magical?
Laura: The intimacy of the group and the confidentiality that is involved makes it really special. Linda and I do a lot of personal coaching within the five weeks.

Linda: It’s interesting; on the first day you can see everyone checking each other out. But then we talk about why we came and our hopes for the workshop and immediately you see faces light up. No matter what the situation, someone in the room relates to you.

This seems like the perfect answer to September’s Hivery theme of overcoming fear.
Laura: It really is. Fear is a universal feeling. A lot of what keeps us stuck is that we struggle with our internal and external worldviews. We easily compare ourselves to others and it can be hard to feel safe sharing our innermost desires and thoughts. Linda and I create a supportive space where all participants feel heard and encouraged. We see after just the first session where women come in tentative, they leave giddy and excited to come back the following week.

What are a few notable stories to come out of your workshop series?
Laura: There are so many! Jennifer Labovich came to us knowing she wanted to be a teen coach, but worried she wouldn’t be able to make enough money to support her children through college. She had a full-time teaching position and decided take make the leap and started Marin Teen Coach earlier this year.

Linda: Sheryl Ott is another incredible story. She came to us with a passion to make an impact and tons of ideas. She got to the end of the five weeks and still wasn’t sure, so we offered her private coaching after the workshop and out of that she developed this incredible retreat offering called Dare To Detour, which just happened this month in Montana! We’ve actually partnered with her and provided some on-site programming to participants, as part of the retreat.

Do all participants need to know what they want to change?
Laura: Not at all, and that is an important distinction. While some What’s Next participants have gone on to open their own businesses, there are many success stories that unfold years later.

Linda: Not everyone will come away with an epiphany, and that is totally OK. Our hope is that each participant will come away with the framework for how to access themselves and have a greater understanding for how to handle transitional periods in life, be that now or 10 years from now.

We are so excited about the impact you are making and how you are helping women overcome fear or uncertainty. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Linda: I think the biggest thing is that What’s Next can be for anyone, regardless of what stage you are in. It is an honor for us to create this program for all women—even women who aren’t sure what they want to change!—to feel safe enough to get back to who they are.


If you are in a transitional time and the exploration of your "what's next" resonate with you, consider The Hivery's What’s Next: 5-Week Workshop Series. Co-led by Laura Riordan, Ph.D., and Linda Lesem, M.S., two veteran psychology experts and coaches specialized in helping clients through life transitions, the workshop covers everything from personality assessments and how to create life changes to how to establish actionable steps toward forward momentum. Limited to just 20 participants, the What's Next workshop provides an intimate, safe container for friendships to blossom and breakthroughs to occur.

We are excited to announced our November What's Next session (starting November 8th). In order to provide personal attention, this course is limited to 20 participants, and typically sells out, so register soon!

To learn more from workshop facilitators Laura and Linda, please join us for a free What's Next Information Session on October 16th at The Hivery. Or register for our November What's Next Session. 

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 Sunday, 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, Jessica Semaan, Founder of The Passion Co., and Nikki Silvestri, Founder and CEO of Soil and Shadow. 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 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: Making an Impact


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 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.