Hivery Circle: WISDOM@WORK with Chip Conley May 15, 2019

The May Hivery Circle was incredible! Thank you for coming out and participating in our fireside chat with The Hivery Founder Grace Kraaijvanger and author, hospitality entrepreneur and thought-leader Chip Conley. The 90-minute conversation was captivating. We are thankful to Chip, author of new book Wisdom@Work: The Making of the Modern Elder and creator of the Modern Elder Academy, for being vulnerable, open and honest in his talk as well as engaging and deeply relatable in his answers during the post-event Q&A.

We loved hearing the details of Chip’s story, from growing up as a teen on a similar path as his father to being a mid-20s man coming into his own and founding Joie de Vivre Hospitality, which he ran for nearly 24 years. His stories were peppered with life lessons and wisdom. “One of my favorite quotes,” Chip said, “is from Oscar Wilde, who said, ‘Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.’”

Chip described the process of being an entrepreneur as the “process of finding your purpose.” And, it was inspiring to hear that when he joined Airbnb as Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy, he realized there was a disconnect between young workers and those in his generation, which inspired his book on the "modern elder," and the launch of his Modern Elder Academy.

“Modern elders are as curious as they are wise,” he told us. “We help people illuminate possibilities.”

Chip also explained that as people age their EQ, or emotional intelligence, increases. He cited a Harvard Business Review article about how confidence in women increases between their mid-20s and mid-60s (love that). It was such an inspirational evening!

Huge thanks to our friends at Bee Hunter Wine and GT’s Living Foods for providing delicious refreshments. Gratitude to Beverly Freeman for performing her original song to open the event and to Vanda Marlow for her inspirational reading to close the night. Talk about talented...thank you!

What takeaways did you get out of last night? Comment below to continue the conversation!


With Gratitude to our Event Collaborators:

 
 

Photography by Kim Thompson Steel
Audio/Visual by Oliver Ousterhout
Flowers by Sara Florals

The Impact of Isolation

When I first started The Hivery (and even still, five years later), there is a common response when I ask someone why they came to a tour of The Hivery. I’ll ask them, “What brought you to The Hivery today?” and invariably, they’ll respond, “I needed to get away from the distractions of my home office...I needed to get away from the laundry.”…After years of meeting with entrepreneurs, seekers, creatives, consultants, and people across all industries, I can’t tell you how many bring up the LAUNDRY as a reason to join a coworking space or community.

I’ve learned that it’s not about the laundry, AT ALL. It’s about the lonely.

When we are undertaking a next chapter or radical transformation, we can not do it alone. Isolation is the antithesis of creativity and can quickly become a breeding ground for self-doubt, overwhelm, and lack of action. And, even though we are “connected” every waking moment by the endless stream of social media, email, and the frenzy of life, the single greatest and most common challenge that I hear through my work at The Hivery, is the challenge of isolation. We need each other. We yearn for community. We crave being accepted for who we truly are. We have an instinctual response to help each other. We don’t want to grow, transform, or create alone.

The impact of isolation is very real. One in four Americans report that they have ZERO friends they can completely confide in. Another study showed that having weak social ties is as harmful to our health as smoking, and that the feeling of isolation sets off a cellular reaction that can increase inflammation in our body. In other words, the feeling of isolation, could be harmful to our health.

I’ve mentioned this before… Fear loves loneliness. Fear loves isolation. But fear can’t stand people banding together to support each other’s work. Alone in our thoughts, we can talk ourselves out of the very essence of who we are and what we are here to do.

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Belonging, on the other hand, is a state of being accepted for who you are and being part of something. Being part of something reveals shared values, hope, belief systems, rituals, and a collective spirit that we can continue to grow and improve, not just as individuals, but as part of humanity. It matters. Belonging is at the foundation of our human needs.

Here at The Hivery, it’s our goal to offer members the kind of connection that fosters well-being in every sense of the word—socially, emotionally, and physically. The Hivery is a place where you can feel true belonging, and...yes, there IS that added side benefit...you’ll also get a stunning workspace far, far away from the laundry.

XO,

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Beautiful Aspirational Space

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I love beautiful, aspirational space, not simply for aesthetics, but for the message that it sends to our deepest, internal selves. Space is a metaphor and indication of how we live life. Beautiful spaces create invaluable, subconscious reminders that YOU are light-filled, expansive, filled with possibility, bold, visible, and beautiful in ways that are so much deeper than the surface. You are bright, with unexpected dashes of color. You are in a state of transformation. You are lofty, constantly changing, and filled with texture. 

You have the power to move the furniture around in your soul, and you will encounter chapters when the coffee spills all over the floor. You aren't afraid to change it up, rearrange it, and create beauty in a different way. You're not just "pretty"...that's the exterior, it's lovely, but on its' own kinda' boring, and it's incomplete, not the full story. 

The deeper "space" that you are willing to inhabit is the courage, fearlessness, kindness, humility, and compassion of what it means to be a human.

You're willing to go deeper and deeper into the truth of who you are. And that truth is beauty. Do not be afraid. Embody that deeper beauty. Take up space. Make the world better in that way that only you can. 

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And, while all of that radical, soulful action is going on...take a look around. Drink in the beauty of the physical space, whether it's in nature, in your workspace, in a piece of music, or in a photograph...allow your surroundings to uplift and inspire.

Want to bring a little "Hivery" to your surroundings? Choose one corner of your house, bedroom, flower pot, or table top, and infuse it with beauty. No need to buy anything. Create a clean space, and thoughtfully add elements of light, soul, and life. It's a tray, a flower, a beautiful object, a plant, an inspiring book, a journal. All placed with thought and care, not for how it will look, but how it will FEEL. 

Take up thoughtful, bold, creative space. Be your own beauty-maker. You've got this.

XO,

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Hivery Circle: The Soul of Money with Lynne Twist and Sara Vetter April 3, 2019

In April, we are celebrating the importance of shifting from scarcity to abundance! At this month’s Hivery Circle, we were thrilled to welcome acclaimed author and speaker, Lynne Twist, and speaker and coach, Sara Vetter, of the Soul of Money Institute and Pachamama Alliance, an organization that partners with indigenous people from the Amazon to preserve their land and culture and bring forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on the planet.

Our April Hivery Circle evening event was one for the books, starting with delicious bites and drinks from the people at Bee Hunter Wine and GT’s Living Foods.

Wining and dining with new and old friends in the atrium was followed by a captivating presentation by Lynne and Sara that dove into the societal perceptions around money, concepts around scarcity, and advice on how to bring more sufficiency into our lives. Lynne, a world renowned speaker and author of The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship With Money And Life, started the evening by discussing how we all live in a culture of scarcity.

Sara then discussed the three myths of scarcity:

#1: There is never enough.
#2: More is always better (more pairs of jeans, more money).
#3: That’s just the way it is.

“But there is a radical, surprising truth,” said Lynne. “Sufficiency. What you appreciate appreciates. Sufficiency is a state of being.”

The evening ended with a lively Q&A where Lynne answered a question on how to balance less-than-ideal situations with the concept of sufficiency.

“We often don’t live in our lives, but instead live in the conversations we have about our lives,” she said. “Those conversations have power. Find the conversations that will empower you.”

What takeaways did you get out of last night? Comment below to continue the conversation!


With Gratitude to our Event Collaborators:

 
 

Photography by Kim Thompson Steel
Audio/Visual by MavMedia
Flowers by Sara Florals

This One's About The Money

Money. Money. Money.

There. I said it. The word that brings up so much for each of us, and yet a different story for all. Stories of scarcity, fear, pressure, abundance, pricing, value, inequality…Money’s such a tough subject that I have barely ventured to write about it yet. Until I saw a few patterns around money (both in myself and others) that made me want to do some myth-busting around common money issues.

“I see you and how valuable your contribution is to this world. And, I want you to be rewarded for it.”

“I see you and how valuable your contribution is to this world. And, I want you to be rewarded for it.”

Why this money pep talk? Because I see you and how valuable your contribution is to this world. And, I want you to be rewarded for it. Pure and simple. I believe from the bottom of my heart, that you’re worth it.

Here are four money myths that I’ve identified, and best practices for how to turn those myths around into valuable truth (and money in the bank).

Money Myth #1: You have to have everything perfect before you can start selling. A female entrepreneur I know was closing up shop. She couldn’t make the money that it takes to live in the Bay Area and she was shutting down her business to take a salaried job for a tech company in the city. Listen, I get it…we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do. But I wanted to understand what went wrong. “I just couldn’t make enough doing what I do,” she said. But, why?

She had amazing expertise, was an experienced consultant, had a sophisticated voice and point-of-view, had years of experience, and was certainly a thought leader in her field….so, what was she missing? Her business wasn’t producing enough revenue. I asked her a ton of questions. And the more she spoke about her business, it quickly became clear what was missing. She had avoided selling her work. She had named the company, created the website, created the opt-in to build her list, polished a list of services, created free content…she had done it all. Except selling…she had waited a whole year before she started selling her services and was reeling from a year with very little income. And there were all kinds of excuses for this…”I don’t want to be too pushy. I don’t want to be sales-y. I already told them how to buy from me, so they must not be interested,” to name a few.

As entrepreneurs, we have to flip the model…instead of being perfectly prepared and then selling, it’s imperative to make selling a priority, and then button up the myriad of other things on your to-do list later. In other words, sell EARLY. The website doesn’t have to be perfect, the offering can be a work-in-progress. But, flexing that selling muscle, and more importantly, telling your audience HOW to work with you and how valuable the results will be….that’s a critical step that can not wait until every detail is perfect. You need to start the exchange of value (money for the impact of your product/service) sooner than later, so that you can:

a) Learn what works.

b) Validate your offer.

c) Fine-tune your target audience.

d) Get a read on your pricing (too high/too low) for the time, energy, and value output.

e) Make sure you love it. By selling your work, you learn if this is the right project size for you, an audience you want to serve, the modality you want to do it in, etc.

f) Stay in business.

I’m not telling you to sell a sub-par product. But, in my experience, that’s not the danger to many entrepreneurs I meet. The pattern I see is that the product or service is READY to be sold, yet there’s a temptation to hide. Don’t hide your products or services. Put them right up front for your customers, so that the value exchange can begin.

Money Myth #2: I can’t set revenue goals until I’m making “real” money. A practical jumpstart for those that struggle with selling is to create a tangible revenue goal for next month. What do you want to make next month? Not next quarter, not next year, but within the next 30-45 days. You can create a monthly revenue goal based on your needs, and then work backwards from that number to create the action plan that will get you to your goal. It’s simple. Write your revenue goal at the top of a piece of paper. Write your products/offerings and their prices along the side. You’ll soon see how many sales you’ll need across your product mix to meet your revenue goal. And guess what? The universe loves it when you write things down. If you believe in manifesting (I do), start with the actual dollar amount that you want to see come in the door, and create the action plan to get there.

Money Myth #3: You can’t make money doing what you’re passionate about or what comes easy to you. Some of us have money blocks around how deserving we are of being rewarded when the work we are doing comes naturally to us, or flows freely. It took me over 40 years to realize that doing work that I loved and making money didn’t have to be mutually exclusive. My years as a dancer taught me subconsciously that making money meant I wasn’t a “real” artist. Well, guess what? I ain’t buying it. That thing that comes easy to you is a strong indicator of your zone of genius. And that zone of genius is unique to you. You’re the only one with the exact mix of passion, wisdom, experience, pain, joy, talent, and drive…thus, you’re the only one who can do it your way. When I’m mentoring someone on this concept, I like to remind them that if you withhold that magic sauce that only you have, you’re not just taking the opportunity away from yourself, but you’re keeping that value and expertise from the very audience that you’re committed to serve. In other words, if you can’t unleash your talent for yourself, then do it for us. We need what you have to offer.

Money Myth #4: Since I’m just starting this business, I’ll need to offer a lot of my services/time/products for free in order to gain credibility, customers, brand visibility, etc. Offering your services for free, or giving away your time in the name of gaining experience can go to far. Too often I see new entrepreneurs giving away their time and expertise over coffee for someone who wants to “pick their brain.” We often rationalize this by thinking that this free time will result in paid time down the road, or that they’ll recommend us in the future, or that we simply have to give away our time because we know the person asking for it (they’re a friend, colleague, family member, or friend-of-friend). Listen, I know that you’re gracious and hard-wired to serve…but let’s not give so much time away that we leave ourselves with little time to do the work, and be rewarded for it. Limit your “pick your brain” conversations to a short time limit that works for you, or a certain number of complimentary conversations per month. That way you can go on being your gracious self, AND know that you have the boundaries required to honor your expertise.

 

“Money itself isn’t the problem. Money itself isn’t bad or good. Money itself doesn’t have power or not have power. It is our interpretation of money, our interaction with it, where the real mischief is and where we find the real opportunity for self-discovery and personal transformation.”

― Lynne Twist, The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life

 

Today I felt compelled to lay the money cards on the table and dispel some common myths and patterns that I see occurring around money, especially from some of our newer entrepreneurs. Let’s continue the conversation around money and help each other as a community continue to honor our worth and respect the wisdom and value that each of us bring to the table. Because frankly dear community, I need to know that you are being rewarded for your work. And, I need you to challenge each other to hold true to the value that you provide. What are some of your hiding strategies around money? Or myths and patterns that may be holding you back from charging what you’re worth?

Want to talk more about the deeper meaning and soul work of money? You’ve come to the right place. On April 2nd, we will be welcoming Lynne Twist, bestselling author of The Soul of Money and Sara Vetter, The Soul of Money Institute Business Development Director, to The Hivery stage. Join us for The Hivery Circle: Soul of Money Gathering Tuesday, April 2nd.

xo,

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p.s. Next up in the money conversation…let’s talk about raising your prices. Who’s in?

Hivery Circle: Courageous Women Open Mic • March 12, 2019

This month we celebrated International Women’s Day with an Open Mic of amazing stories and inspiration. Check out the slideshow below….

Bravo and enormous gratitude go out to the incredible group of talented, authentic, and surprising(!) women who bravely opened their hearts on The Hivery stage to share their stories, their fears, their adventures, and their courage. From exquisite descriptions of sacred places, to authenticity, stillness, and self-care, to speaking truth to power, these women showed us real ways to live with courage every day. We wanted to give a special shout out to each of them:

Dr. Sweta Chawla: "It's not materialistic to love beauty."

Michelle Moquin: "It takes courage to be an authentic person."

Cristol Barrett O'Loughlin: "Sixty million mothers on the planet are living with courage every single day."

Cindy Carrandi: "Finding value in stillness."

Allison Schoop: "I'm a butterfly. I need to fly."

Amy Gragnolatti: "I had no formal experience and thought I had nothing to offer, but I took the jump and my life is now richer than I ever thought possible."

Thais Derich: "Get your seat at the table and get in a position to make decisions and support other women who are."

Laura Vidal: "Communicating with each other can reduce some of our fear."

Denise Blondo: "Courage doesn't come in big Oprah moments,
it comes in the small spaces."

Katie Macks: "We are not meant to be alone, we are meant to be in community."

Dr. Sarah Dihmes: "Every person has the right to feel good about themselves.
It's not vanity, it's sanity."

Pamela Weymouth: "I found the courage to follow my gut."

Dr. Vera Amore: "Your angel will protect you. Always trust your soul intuition."

Fiery adventures, hitchhiking with cats, journeys through disease and the path to loving the person in the mirror—these bold, badass sisters shined their lights last night and for that we are forever changed and grateful.

We encourage everyone to follow their example —share your story and use your voice.


With Gratitude to our Event Collaborators:

 
 

Photography by Kim Thompson Steel
Audio/Visual by MavMedia
Flowers by Sara Florals

Three Internal Warriors to Fight the Battle of Fear

There’s a line by Judy Dench in the Second Best Marigold Hotel where she says, “I don't know if I'm excited or terrified. Sometimes it seems to me that the difference between what we want and what we fear is a width of an eyelash." … I heard that, grabbed my journal, and furiously wrote it down so that I wouldn’t forget. It’s a reassurance that when the fear kicks in, pay attention. You’re probably on to something.

I’ve learned in the last couple years, that there are a few key warriors to employ in the inner-battle with fear.

The first thing that fear really can’t stand…the one super hero that shoves fear into the corner and lets courage step in the ring…is connection. Fear loves loneliness. Fear loves isolation. But fear can’t stand people banding together to support each other’s work. Alone in our thoughts, we can talk ourselves out of the very essence of who we are and what we are here to do. But with connection, the voices around us can support and distract from fear.

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I can’t tell you how many times I have watched a woman nod her head in workshops or events at The Hivery, simply by hearing someone else reflect something that she too was feeling. It’s as if a thought bubble rises above her to say, “I thought I was the only one…” and with that simple realization, the inner-fear voice has been hushed. It’s so much easier to be afraid when you’re all alone, with just you and your laptop. Often that voice that is telling you that you aren’t ready, aren’t prepared, aren’t good enough, or whatever list of no-good-very-bad-things is racing through your mind, can be quieted through connection with someone else.

The second thing fear isn’t crazy about is discipline (the artist formerly known as showing up). The repetition and commitment required to be your true self…it takes work. When you show up fully AGAIN, it’s that resilience that can knock the wind out of fear’s sails. I think back to my days as a ballet dancer when my favorite sound was the clink of my ring on the ballet barre when we were about to start class. That clink was the signal that I was home. Nothing could take me down if I simply overcame the resistance, and showed up. How I danced at class was barely the point…it was that I got there, every, single day, even when I didn’t feel like it, even when I felt like crap, even when it felt impossible. I showed up, and that very simple (yet complicated) action mattered deeply in my internal battle to put my best self out there.

Lastly, fear doesn’t like to hang out in sacred space. Fear likes to keep you feeling lost and out of sorts. Creating a space in your home or work environment (or enjoying your nook at The Hivery) is a critical piece of the concept behind Joseph Campbell’s bliss chamber.

"[Sacred space] is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.” — Joseph Campbell

Space is a metaphor and indication of how we live life. Beautiful spaces create invaluable, subconscious reminders that YOU are light-filled, expansive, filled with possibility, bold, visible, and beautiful in ways that are so much deeper than the surface. You are bright, with unexpected dashes of color. You are in a state of transformation. You are lofty, constantly changing, and filled with texture.You have the power to move the furniture around in your soul, and you will encounter chapters when the coffee spills all over the floor. You aren't afraid to change it up, rearrange it, and create beauty in a different way. You're not just "pretty"...that's the exterior, which is lovely, but on its own, kinda' boring. “Pretty” is incomplete, not the full story.

The deeper "space" that you are willing to inhabit, whether that’s through your connection with others, or your commitment to showing up for yourself, is the courage, fearlessness, kindness, humility, and compassion of what it means to be a human. You're willing to go deeper and deeper into the truth of who you are. And that truth is beauty. Do not be afraid. Embody that deeper beauty. Take up space. And let fear step aside.

xo,

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Blessed Unrest

“You strike me as a woman who’s never been satisfied.” sings Alexander Hamilton to Angelica in the infamous musical. That lyric has always had my attention. Is it true that we ALL feel that search for internal satisfaction? We often experience a yearning, a tugging, a wonder. There is a constant curiosity, an everlasting what-if? 

That feeling can be uncomfortable, and I've even heard women say things to me like, "Why can't I just be happy with how things are?". There is nothing wrong with you (quite the contrary!) in feeling this unrest. An artist is never pleased. I have been captivated and guided by this concept, so much so that I put the Martha Graham quote that references this idea directly on the wall (see the quote below). 

Never being satisfied is different from dissatisfied, and far different from ungrateful for what we have. Never being satisfied is a quest to uncover, to reveal, to scratch the surface, to do it differently, to do it again.

It requires repetition and conscious inquiry to uncover the truth. And it's part of our process of discovering who we really are. 

I put my left hand on the ballet barre thousands and thousands of times to begin each ballet class with a simple plié. Every ballet class for 400 years has started with this simple movement of bending the knees. But, it wasn’t until I’d been doing it for ALMOST 40 YEARS, that I learned that every plié was different. Every time, another opportunity to realign the body, come back to center, re-explore and begin again. Repetition is the mother of skill, an opportunity to create and maintain boundaries, that ultimately loosens the vice of limitations. You have to focus, in order to be free. 

That yearning, that tugging, that wondering about what you were put on this planet to do, must be attended to. Only you can tend to your garden. You have the seeds, you have the soil, you have everything required to plant the flowers. But, ultimately it’s up to you to explore the “blessed unrest”.

What is it about you, your hopes, your dreams, that lies in that blessed unrest category? That soulful desire that just won't leave you alone?

xo,

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Blessed Unrest

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening
that is translated through you into action, 
and because there is only one of you in all time, 
this expression is unique.

If you block it, 
it will never exist through any other medium 
and be lost. 
The world will not have it.

It is not yours to determine how good it is; 
nor how it compares with other expressions. 
It is your business to keep the channel open. 
You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. 

You have to keep open and aware directly 
to the urges that motivate you. 
Keep the channel open. 

No artist is ever pleased.
There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. 
There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction; 
a blessed unrest that keeps us marching 
and makes us more alive than the others. 

-- Martha Graham to Agnes De Mille

Expression as a Daily Vitamin

As I sat down to write yesterday morning, I found myself looking at the blank page for a long expanse of time; maybe it was only a few minutes, but it felt vast. I didn’t know what to write.

I’m trying to uncover or unlock the passion I have for writing that has been obscured a bit these past couple of years by a common roadblock of creativity…busy-ness. We know intellectually that we aren’t our best when our days are chock-full of the “shoulds” and to-do lists that leave us exhausted and feeling aimless. How many of you have felt those days that feel packed and busy and futile? The kind where you’ve done “all the things” yet feel like you got nothing done, or didn’t do any of it well? It’s exactly that feeling that I am consciously steering myself away from as I re-frame what I want my days to look and feel like. Being busy can feel like a trap, and a strong one with a powerful lure.

Because this has been a conscious process for me, I felt compelled to explore and name it. What is that state of flow and why is it that I can feel it so strongly and beautifully in various areas of my life, and conversely miss it and feel the intense void of it? Finally I understand that the flow is expression. Expression. And for me (for all?), it is a vital ingredient of the human experience, and must be tended to daily.

We need expression because we require an outlet. The world and this life are asking us to process so much and at warp speed. Our minds and our hearts become taxed and overwhelmed by the weight and the responsibility of all this stimulus. Without some sort of expression, we become bottled up, clogged if you will. The root of the word expression, to express, to let out, tells us all we need to know. Our bodies, minds, and emotions have a capacity for what we can hold and process. Without expression, we are filled to the brim with no room for flow. We feel stuck, stagnant, and in the “I don’t know what to do next” quagmire.

Expression is how we release the valve, take the pressure off, and regain flow. And the beauty of that expression is that it takes all forms. It’s a state of being, rather than a state of doing. It negates “busy-ness” and revels and thrives in consciousness. For me expression is in writing, dancing, conversation (especially those balanced with curiosity and listening). And, it’s also in unexpected places like making breakfast, making study cards with my daughter, and on walks in nature. Expression comes in the form of ideas, movement, sound, art, and even the way you arrange your personal mementos on your dresser top.

Why does expression matter? And, why must we consciously create awareness for expression? Because without it, we are confined to the parameters of our to-do lists, our schedules, even our bank statements. Our scope becomes narrow and we get that feeling that something is missing.

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Your assignment for today? Express yourself in a way that feels in flow: verbally, visually by making something with your hands or body or through words. Whether it’s a meal or a blog post or a business plan or a painting or a speech or a bracelet, make something before noon today. You don’t have to complete your expression as some expressions take time, but you do have to begin. Mine was this piece of writing, expressed through my pen and journal in the early hours of the morning. There. Feeling better already.  

xo,

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The Hivery 'We Rise' Scholarship Awardees 2018–2019

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

We are thrilled to tell you a little bit more about the amazing work of our 2018-2019 Scholarship Awardees!


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Amy Gragnolati

Amy, what are you working on?

I am the co-founder and COO of a local non-profit, LONA. Our mission is to invest in women’s ability to create economic opportunity for themselves and others. Our programming is simple but impactful: through grants, pro-bono services and access to "social capital," we offer the support a woman may need to jumpstart her education or entrepreneurial dreams. We emphasize supporting women whose plans include impacting a broader population of women and girls. This emphasis is really important to us, and it’s how we view our work having a far-reaching impact on the Bay Area. If we can empower one woman, she can empower others around her and spark systemic change within the community.

Currently, we are working on growing our grantee portfolio, developing a list of supporters willing to offer pro-bono support to our grantees, and growing our presence in the local Bay Area community. The Bay Area is an amazing place to live and serve, and we feel lucky to grow LONA’s roots in this community.

How do you feel The Hivery will help you achieve your goals?

In addition to my work with LONA, I am a clinical pharmacist at Kaiser San Francisco where I specialize in internal medicine and addiction medicine. I love my job, but unfortunately my work as a pharmacist does not always translate into the skills I need to continue developing LONA. I am excited to join The Hivery community and learn from a network of women with backgrounds in marketing, consulting, finance, social media management, etc. I know I could learn a lot from women with diverse careers and skill sets, and I am excited to use this knowledge to grow LONA.


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Denise Blondo

Denise, what are you working on?

As the owner of Better Choices Training,  I develop and deliver professional workshops, coach individual speakers and provide Lead coaching.

And, as the founder of a grassroots donation program, I provide patients with free Chemo Cold Caps, to prevent hair loss due to chemotherapy treatments.  In 2014, I began collecting and providing chemo cold caps to patients in need.

How do you feel The Hivery will help you achieve your goals?

The Hivery has been the single best investment of my career! Now, I am connected to business women on the rise in Marin. And, I’m excited to collaborate with the Hivery to develop business workshops to meet the needs of our community.

 


Cristol O'Loughlin

Cristol, what are you working on?

There are 7000 rare genetic diseases in our country, affecting 1 in 25,000 births and 30 million Americans.   My company, ANGEL AID cares for the caregivers— in particular, mothers living with the difficult financial, physical and social realities of raising a child diagnosed with a rare genetic disease.   

I originally started ANGEL AID in 2000 as a passion project with a purpose -- to raise funds to cure children diagnosed with a rare genetic disease called Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) or “Hunters Syndrome.”  MPS claimed the life of my three older brothers. Randy, David, and Jared passed away at 12, 18, and 19—and in many ways our family is still recovering from the difficult decisions and realities of caring for them.  Together with my UCLA Pi Phi Sorority Sisters, ANGEL AID has raised $125,000+ over 20 years through personal donations. It has become a clear calling that there is more we can do to support mothers during this journey.   

In November 2018, ANGEL AID was incorporated as A Nonprofit Group Enriching Lives, Inc. and I broadened our charter to offer research, relief and inspiration services to all rare disease families, with an emphasis on mothers.    

How do you feel The Hivery will help you achieve your goals?

Launching a company is a daunting endeavor—a journey with a thousand paths and ten thousand decisions.  I am thrilled to join The Hivery and tap the collective skills, experience, and inspired creative energy of this unique women’s collective.  It is truly an honor to be a ‘We Rise’ Scholarship recipient.

The goal for ANGEL AID is to source research, relief and inspiration for children and families living with chronic disease. ANGEL AID will uplift these families by caring for the caregivers, in particular mothers. We will achieve these goals through three measurable metrics (**Thank you Grace #womendoingcoolstuff & #selinatobaccowala for #TheHivery Entrepreneur’s Circle Jan 17th!)

  1. Grow our email database through regular communications

  2. Engage families in a connective online network

  3. Host 1-2 Sustainable SuperMom retreats in 2019 at historic Barrett Family Ranch.  

To create these offerings, I hope to collaborate with Hivery members and engage a myriad of skills: business operations, website design, social creative/posting/amplification, product design, technical development, user experience, retreat programming, grant-writing, storytelling, videography, etc. Working in an inspired space brings inspiration to your work. Grace’s Incubator program will no doubt help accelerate our relaunch.

I simply cannot wait to meet all of you!


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Hayley Leibson

Hayley, what are you working on?

I am cofounder and COO of Lunchclub, a platform that makes mutually relevant in-real-life professional connections. Users sign up and indicate their home city, goals, and interests, and opt-in for meetings on a weekly basis. Our machine learning algorithms work the magic from there. We are now in SF Bay Area, NYC, LA, London, Seattle and Austin with many more cities around the world on the way in 2019! The results of connections made through Lunchclub are truly inspiring: cofounding relationships, startup and entertainment investments, hirings, new friendships, consulting and advising, our users getting into Village Global and YC, speaking engagements, and more.

I am also the founder of Lady in Tech, an award-winning tech and lifestyle platform for women, and co-founder of Female Founders Community—the largest online community of women entrepreneurs. I write a column for Forbes that inspires, motivates and moves millennial women to enter the tech industry and build impactful products at scale to improve the world. I speak around the world about diversity and inclusion in the tech industry.

How do you feel The Hivery will help you achieve your goals?

I am extremely excited to join The Hivery’s incredible community and ideate, collaborate, create, and dream up ideas with members to forward women in the workplace and make the tech industry a place that is more inclusive and attractive to people of all ages, races, sexual orientations, and cultures. I am also really looking forward to attending all of The Hivery’s events and programming, as well as the opportunity to work from the gorgeous and inspirational space in Mill Valley.


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Sarah Dihmes

Sarah, what are you working on?

I am creating a company that specializes in the science of beauty. Built to help women spend less time in front of mirror and more time in their lives, Beauty Bootcamp will revolutionize and transform women’s beauty routines.

My programs enhance women’s lives by helping them create and maintain their own unique identities. Through education of beauty options, professional trainings for at-home maintenance, full-service pop up salons, and personalized services I’m creating strategies for women to design and sustain their everyday appearance.

We opened for busy women who want beauty services, but do not know where to go or which procedure is right for them. Specializing in the most innovative devices and products we help clients achieve natural looks. Our programs were created to encourage women from all walks of life to embrace their inner and outer beauty.

My first workshop will be right here in Marin, March 30 & 31. I’m bringing the salon to the client. Celebrity hair stylists from LA, the best semi-permanent make-up artist from Romania, and some of the Bay Area’s top dermatologists and make-up artists. In addition, ladies will learn how to do their own lash extensions and quick fix make-up & hair in less than 30 minutes. We’re giving our clients back the power so they can spend less money and less time sitting in salons and more time doing what they love in life.

How do you feel The Hivery will help you achieve your goals?

As a psychologist, breaking into the business world is foreign. I’m excited to embrace my inner entrepreneur and become empowered to network, market, connect and help other women. I know I have many challenges ahead of me. From learning how to design a user-friendly website, embracing social media, creating logos, programs, workshops, and financing I’m ready and excited to start this adventure!

I’m so excited to be able to work on my company at The Hivery! I have been searching for a collaborative and supportive community that would encourage me to work on my passion project in a stigma-free, female friendly environment. I’m registered for Grace’s incubator and look forward to learning more about marketing, branding, and business development for my new beauty program. I feel blessed for the opportunity to learn from fierce female leaders about how to start and grow a company.

Q.U.E.S.T. - Quiet Your Ego So That...

A few days ago on my morning walk (omg, my morning ritual is on fire!! but more on that later), the word “quest” kept coming into my consciousness. In and out as if trying to send me a message, the word quest, quest, quest. I am personally on a quest right now to take myself into a deeper layer of my work, both my professional work and my inner work. So, the fact that this word kept entering my mind makes sense. But, as I walked, the word seemed to spell itself into an acronym that I had to share with you.

Now, I love a good acronym as a tool for remembering a framework or structure, but my creative (sometimes wild) brain doesn’t typically work in an acronym-loaded way. But, this one seemed to be handed to me like a little soft thought bubble falling out of the redwood trees. The letters appeared before me and they look like this. 

Q - Quiet

U - U/Your

E - Ego

S- So

T- That….

And the rest is up to you. Quiet your ego so that…

  • You can heal.

  • You can forgive.

  • You can overcome resistance.

  • You can say yes.

  • You can say no.

  • You can love.

  • You can grieve in the time and way you need.

  • You can make something.

  • You can try something new.

  • You can get unstuck.

  • You can cry.

  • You can stop crying. 

  • You can ask for more.

  • You can overcome shame.

  • You can love your body.

  • You can love yourself.

  • You can rekindle a relationship.

  • You can begin anew.

  • You can walk away.

  • You can walk back in.

  • You can say you’re sorry.

  • You can love more deeply.

  • You can create a new ritual.

  • You can quit.

  • You can persevere.

Or, whatever is required. This Q.U.E.S.T. is about quieting the “shoulds" and the expectations, the patterns and the hurt. To quiet your chattering mind so that you can move forward or look back. 

I hope it’s a useful tool for you. For me, it’s been occupying my mind all morning. “Grace, quiet your ego so that you can write this blog post today. Quiet your ego so that you can take a morning walk before you commit to anything else. Quiet your ego so that you can go easy on yourself as you get back to work”. And so on….enjoy the QUEST. We’ve got this. 

xo,

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It's my birthday.

This weekend I turn 44. Even my son was surprised...he thought I’ve been 41 “for a long time.” I’m sure I’ve missed some deadlines in the quest for eternal youth...my forehead still moves, I’m hardly ever vegan, and I don’t love Soul Cycle (sorry, not sorry). As I reflect on these recent years, I’m in awe not of the numbers on my birthday, but of what’s happened in this human experience. What I’ve learned. What I’ve lost. What has grown. And, what I’ve shed.

As I’ve shared with you my dearest community, my sister, Maggie, died in May. Running my business amidst this personal crisis was hard and I became overwhelmed with stress and self-doubt. I don’t think I slept for what felt like most of 2018. The flip side is that I have never felt nor imagined the depth of love as I did during the precious time I had with my sister.

Losing my sister and trying to participate in day-to-day life was a bit of a blur. I wandered. I cried. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t write. I resisted going to dance class. I was hurting and wanted to stay away from anything that brought me close to the deep places in my soul. My ability to manifest what I wanted felt broken; my magic touch no longer available to me. I became angry. I started to hate clichés and positive mantras...even the ones I had made up myself (and probably told you to do). I couldn’t be kind to myself, practice self-care, or show up fully...all of the things I prescribe to others. Darkness. 

During that time, a few leases and opportunities to open new Hivery locations fell apart. A guy in a shiny VC office mansplained that I had to open another Hivery fast in order to scale and “be relevant.” Otherwise, my work wouldn’t matter. I refrained from calling him a douche bag (victory bell!).

The days felt heavy. People that I never expected stuck to my side like glue, some showed up in a blindingly love-filled way, and conversely some wandered off (or lost my phone number). Even with a tribe, the road felt dark. People often said, “I know you have so many people around who love you...” as if to say that I’d be fine, but the loneliness was intense.

Through the cracks came faint melodies that started to sound like courage. We gathered 350 women for our Entrepreneur + Inspiration Lab event in San Francisco that finally reminded me again of my creative zone. I learned that if I don’t express myself, I die a little inside. Very good to know. Life hack...don’t forget. Another victory bell would soon be in sight when the location we’d been working on for over a year in SF finally came through.

That day at our big event, I felt the sunshine. That day I also met a world-class doctor. After meeting with her, to review my breast cancer risk (off the charts is what she called it, I believe), I decided to have a preventative double mastectomy. A couple months later, she held my hand and sang “Dear Theodosia” while I went under anesthesia. I woke up different, and in pain, but quite proud of myself for not chickening out. Glennon Doyle, you say “we can do hard things”…but geez. 

So, that’s what I’ve been up to. During these past two weeks of recovery, I’ve watched 18 movies and entire seasons of “Fixer Upper.”  I refuse to look at my iPhone screen time report as the boredom has led to an insane (and inane!) amount of scrolling. I am in beta mode right now, striving for Grace 2.0...I think I need to design a 2.0 t-shirt. I’m entirely sick of bone broth.

And the weirdest part? I’m happy. Confusingly, slowly, like moving underwater, humbly, happy. Hopeful. Willing. Ready. Alive. No longer attached to expectations, but thrilled to be here. Grateful for the love of a community I created, and just as grateful to be part of a world that I’m only a tiny molecule in.

Here I sit, surrounded by the massive love in my house and in my life. In awe. More willing than ever to walk through the door of what’s possible. Compassionate for all those whose struggles and battles are so much harder than mine. It is not a comparison of hardships, but on the global scale, I know I’ve had it easy. My hurt softens me to the hurt of others, and for that, this whole thing has been a whopper of a gift.

I see it again...the road ahead. And I’m squarely on it, facing forward. The rear view mirror is there to remind me of my fear, sadness and all that has been endured, but can be tilted away so as not to obstruct my view of the light. Licking my wounds, and putting a soft hand on yours, I have been beat up, broken-hearted, and reduced to pieces. I know you have, too. And I’m still here. With you. With so much love to give and so much more life in me. 

Screw resolutions. I’ve earned wisdom. And I intend to use it to create magnificent, bright spots on this curvy and unexpected road of life for as many humans as I can. As Pema Chodron writes, “Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.”… That’s the quest: to humbly accept fear, to know that we don’t know, to have courage to stand on shaky ground, and to love fully and deeply, anyway and always.

Even with the unexpected. Even in the dark. There’s light. Don’t worry. Whether near or far, we’ve got each other. With unrelenting commitment, we’ve got this.

XO,

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