The Courage to be Happy

The Courage to be Happy

I was recently interviewed by my friend Tania Vasallo, the founder of The Courage to be Happy Community.

Every month, she interviews an Inspiring Woman Of Courage and shares the interview with her community.  This month she featured me!  I’m sharing the interview with my own community here.

If you’d like to receive juicy tips, resources, and inspiring articles, sign up for Tania’s ezine at thecouragetobehappy.com and you can also get her FREE starter workbook at designingmylifeworkbook.com

Here is Tania’s post about me:

Today we are featuring my dear friend and colleague Jenny Kassan.  Jenny coaches mission-driven entrepreneurs to raise capital on their own terms from investors that love them.

She has two decades of experience as an attorney and advisor for mission-driven enterprises. Jenny earned her J.D. from Yale Law School and a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley. Not only is she brilliant but has the kindest most caring heart for all women that are running their businesses, she has your back!

Jenny is actually hosting her inspiring and successful Fund and Fuel Your Dreams Event on  March 30th to April 1st. Early bird tickets will be expiring soon so if you are a mission driven  women entrepreneur that is looking for ways to fund your business without sacrificing your soul or losing control, you won’t want to miss this event.  I will be there and it would be wonderful to connect with you and learn from a master at her craft.

If you are interested please click on this link to get your tickets now
www.fundandfuelyourdreams.com

Jenny is a giver.  I love her energy and how she inspires so many women with their businesses. You can read all about her thoughts and journey below. Remember to sign up for her event.

Meanwhile, have a great weekend!

Tania

1. Your definition of happiness:

Loving yourself unconditionally and having a supportive community.

2. Your definition of courage:

Doing things that are outside your comfort zone and knowing that no matter what happens, it is perfect.

3. Your definition of freedom:

Having the time, energy, and resources to say yes to the things that light you up and no to the things that don’t.

4. Your definition of success:

Having the time, energy, and resources to say yes to the things that light you up and no to the things that don’t.

5. What do you do for a living?

Coach mission-driven entrepreneurs to raise capital on their own terms from investors that love them.

6. What has been your biggest investment in yourself this year?

Hiring a very high quality professional marketing team.

7. Did you always know what your purpose was? If not, when and how did you discover your purpose?

No – it happened little by little through experimentation, lucky accidents, and listening to my gut.

8. What motivated you to design the life that you love?

I started my own business when I got kicked out of a business that I co-founded.  I’m not sure I would have had the guts to do it if I hadn’t found myself with no other option.

9. What was your biggest obstacle along the way? How did you get over it?

My biggest obstacle was self-doubt.  I didn’t get over it, but I have learned how to put the voice of self-doubt in its place.  I say, “I know you are trying to keep me safe, but I’m not finding your input helpful at the moment!”

10. Was there any period in your life where you were stuck or didn’t know what to do? How did you handle it?

I was in a verbally abusive marriage and was being told every day that I was worthless.
Something deep inside me knew that it wasn’t true and that part of me finally rose up and said enough!  That was the beginning of my finally believing that I have inherent value no matter what I do or say, how I look, or how much money I have.

11. How do you confront fear and connect to your courage?

I recognize that fear is just a voice trying to protect me and I don’t have to believe what it says.

12. Are there any days that you don’t feel motivated and if so, what do you do about it?

Yes – I try to listen to what my inner voice says about what she feels like doing in any particular moment.  If she feels like sleeping late, getting a massage, or just sitting there doing nothing, I honor that.  I know that later I will be in the mood to do other things like send out that proposal or write that blog post. I try to trust my feelings to guide me to the best thing I can be doing in this moment.

13. Do you think our world is starting to have more female driven energy in business or do we still have a long way to go?

I do!  I see so many people getting tired of the more masculine model of doing business which I see as constantly pushing to get as much done as possible as fast as possible, no matter what the long term costs might be.  I see feminine energy as more balanced, patient, and focused on creating long term value.  I think both men and women are recognizing the need to have a balance of both masculine and feminine energy in business rather than being exclusively masculine as it has been for so long and has not brought us to a very healthy place in our culture or economy.

14. What would look different in our world if we could join forces with more women to co create together, and empower one another to be leaders and change makers?

More people would have more fulfillment, happiness, and balance because when women are empowered and working together, we can create a better world for everyone in which we value so much more than just accumulation of money and stuff.

15. What can a women leader like yourself teach other women or men (husbands, brothers, fathers, sons) so that they can tap into more of their feminine energy and power?

Don’t feel the pressure to conform to societal demands – try to find the thing that makes your heart sing – one of my favorite quotes is “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

16. What do you want people to remember you for?

That the more you are truly yourself, the better off you and everyone around you will be.

Interested in learning more? Get in touch!

If you are interested in working together, send us an inquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can!

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Why do people assume your business is a nonprofit?

Why do people assume your business is a nonprofit?

I have a client that I’ve been helping to raise money from investors.  It is a for-profit corporation that is successful and profitable.  I am not exaggerating when I say that at least half of the people that I tell about this business assume it is a nonprofit.  The CEO of this company has told me that a lot of people she talks to assume her company is a nonprofit.  People don’t even ask if it is a for-profit or a nonprofit – they say, “oh, how can it raise money from investors given that it is a nonprofit?”

I have no idea why this is!  Here are some possible reasons:

  1. The CEO is an African American lesbian and when people picture a for-profit business owner they don’t picture someone that looks like her.
  2. The company is highly mission-driven and working in a space that many nonprofits work in as well.
  3. Because I am a woman, people assume that my clients must be nonprofits (because a lot of people associate women with nonprofits rather than for-profits).

Has anyone ever assumed your for-profit business was a nonprofit?  This has actually happened to many of my clients that are led by women.

I should mention that the people who assume these businesses are nonprofits are just as likely to be women as men.

What do you think this is about?!?!?

Please note that I don’t believe there is anything wrong with being a nonprofit and I have helped several nonprofits raise money from investors.

Interested in learning more? Get in touch!

If you are interested in working together, send us an inquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can!

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As a thank you for subscribing to our email newsletter, you will receive a free copy of my ebook entitled Get the Right Money from the Right Investors.

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5 Unconventional Tips for Talking to Investors

5 Unconventional Tips for Talking to Investors

1. Start the conversation by asking questions like

What’s important to you when making an investment?

What’s frustrating to you about the investment opportunities that are available?

2. Really listen!  Imagine what it feels like to be them. Do a lot more listening than talking.

3. Show empathy – almost everyone has pain and frustration about money.

4. Next, ONLY if it feels like a good fit, share your passion and vision, authentically and from the heart.

5. If the investor seems to be intrigued by the vision you shared, only then provide the nitty gritty details – your company’s milestones achieved, your plans for growth, how much you’re raising, etc.

BONUS TIP: Enjoy the process!

Interested in learning more? Get in touch!

If you are interested in working together, send us an inquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can!

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As a thank you for subscribing to our email newsletter, you will receive a free copy of my ebook entitled Get the Right Money from the Right Investors.

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What stage of business is the right time to raise money?

What stage of business is the right time to raise money?

Interested in learning more? Get in touch!

If you are interested in working together, send us an inquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can!

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

As a thank you for subscribing to our email newsletter, you will receive a free copy of my ebook entitled Get the Right Money from the Right Investors.

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Bridging the Gap Between Philanthropy and Impact Investing

Bridging the Gap Between Philanthropy and Impact Investing

Many philanthropists would like to dip a toe into impact investing, but they’re not sure where to start.  Below are a few organizations and projects that combine the best of nonprofits and social enterprise.  Many can accept both donations and investments (not all are currently accepting investments).

  1. Impact Assets – make a tax-deductible charitable donation and they will invest your donation in the social enterprise of your choice – investment returns grow the pool of investable assets
  2. SheEO – make a tax-deductible charitable donation and then help choose women entrepreneurs that will receive investment out of the the donated funds
  3. Force for Good Fund – 501(c)(3) investment fund offering eight-year revenue sharing notes – investing in social enterprises with a focus on women and people of color
  4. Economic Development and Financing Corporation – a nonprofit CDFI in Mendocino that raised money from the general public in California to invest in a start up wool mill
  5. RSF Social Finance – nonprofit offering investment notes to the general public – considered very low risk
  6. Nia House, a school in Berkeley – offered notes to the families it serves to build an addition; used community notes to leverage grants and institutional loans
  7. Beneficial State Bank is a for-profit bank whose stock is owned by a nonprofit foundation – bank profits go to the foundation so that it can make community grants – a great place to park your money!

Please share your examples!

Interested in learning more? Get in touch!

If you are interested in working together, send us an inquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can!

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

As a thank you for subscribing to our email newsletter, you will receive a free copy of my ebook entitled Get the Right Money from the Right Investors.

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