Leap Before You Feel Ready

Leap Before You Feel Ready

Last month, the third annual Conscious Company World-Changing Women’s Summit was held in Sonoma, CA. As Crowdfund Mainstreet co-founders, both Jenny Kassan and I were honored to each be named to the list of 43 World-Changing Women in Conscious Business for 2020.

The summit was attended by 250 female/women-identifying founders, CEOs, executives, and entrepreneurs involved with conscious businesses. The event focused on authentic conversations around two prominent themes: 1) listening to and trusting your instinctual wisdom as a woman and business leader, and 2) understanding, challenging, and overcoming the complexities of racism in business and beyond—both issues that are increasingly important as we challenge the status quo and take the concept of conscious business and conscious leadership to new heights. 

Confidence is an outcome of taking action, not a prerequisite for it.

The need for more women in business leadership is undeniable. Research and logic have long confirmed the fact that women have much to contribute to our companies and communities, but it can be daunting to fight the stereotypes and the patriarchy along the way to becoming the change we want to see in the world. Storied women leaders such as Missy Park of Title Nine, Tami Simon of Sound True, Cheryl Contee of Do Big Things, and Jane Wurwand of Dermalogica were in attendance and shared their experiences on finding their leadership styles and successfully growing their companies.  

Each of these women came to leadership in their own way, but all learned to listen to and trust their unique voices. All seemed to have an early grasp of the fact that confidence is an outcome of taking action, not a prerequisite for it. The message was clear—if you wait around until you have the confidence to make the changes that need to be made, you will surely perish in inertia. We cannot afford the loss of so many voices. A better way, as Jane Wurwand of Demalogia says, is to accept the fact that “You don’t know how to do something until the first time you do it. You didn’t come out as a baby knowing how to make a casserole—but you figured it out!” There is a freedom to fail forward and innovate when you adopt a beginner’s mindset. We will get to equality and inclusivity a lot faster if we learn to consistently leap before we feel truly ready.

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Go Ahead, Get Invested! The power of community investing

Go Ahead, Get Invested! The power of community investing

Local businesses are the touchstone of our communities. And in the last decade, social entrepreneurship and community investing have moved from fringe experiments to mainstream ideas. Together, there’s more opportunity than ever for community members to support, participate, and potentially share the benefit of the success of main street businesses. 

In case you missed it, you can watch the video replay from an event we recently attended in Los Angeles called Go Ahead, Get Invested!—an engaging evening of conversation and ideas for action around the power of community investing.  Click here to watch the video replay.

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2019 Social Venture Circle Conference Highlights

2019 Social Venture Circle Conference Highlights

I have been attending Social Venture Circle (fka Social Venture Network) conferences for about 10 years, and they never disappoint. These conferences attract business and finance leaders of all ages to discuss how business and investing can transform our world and hasten the arrival of the “next economy”—one that provides health, happiness, and sustainable prosperity for all.

One of the highlights of the 2019 conference was a conversation between SVC Executive Director Valerie Red-Horse Mohl and Anand Giridharadas, author of Winners Take All.

Anand’s book was difficult for many in the impact investing and social enterprise space to read. Anand called out changemakers for “falling prey to . . . a belief in ‘changing the world’ in ways that tend to keep it the same, in using the tools of hypercapitalism to soften its blows, all while refusing to question the system generating the problems.”

Presentations by Morgan Simon, Diana Marie Lee, Taij Kumarie Moteelall, Hope Lehman, Nathalie Molina Niño, Derek Razo, and many more (including me!) provided glimpses of what a truly just, sustainable, and regenerative economy and financial system would look like.

While it is true that some who call themselves impact investors are doing more harm than good by providing a fig leaf of respectability for rapacious, extractive finance, many speakers at the SVC conference delved into the hard questions and put forth radical ideas—exactly what is needed in this time of growing wealth inequality, economic insecurity, and political disengagement.

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Video: Ladies, don’t be afraid to transform your business!

Video: Ladies, don’t be afraid to transform your business!

Too often, women are overwhelmed and/or intimidated by dealing with the financials in their business. What we want to do at Fund & Fuel Your Dreams, is show you how you can raise capital without giving up control, transform your business, and feel confident and inspired to “Play Big.”

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What does it mean to Raise the Right Money from the Right Investors?

What does it mean to Raise the Right Money from the Right Investors?

I was at a great event last week called Food Funded. Kate Danaher of RSF Social Finance was speaking on a panel and said that she meets too many entrepreneurs who tell her that they have certain goals for their business but they have already raised money from investors in a way that is completely inconsistent with their goals.

A few years ago, I started telling entrepreneurs that they need to raise the Right Money from the Right Investors because I was seeing something similar to what Kate was talking about.

The Right Money means that the type of investment you are offering is designed so that your investors‘ interests and expectations are aligned with yours. For example, if you offer equity and never plan to pay any dividends, your investors are likely to expect you to sell the business as quickly as possible so they can get paid. If you don’t want to be pressured to sell the business before you’re ready, you should offer something different!

The Right Investors means that your investors share your goals and values, as well as your vision for the future of your business. They won’t pressure you to take things in a direction that doesn’t feel right to you.

Unfortunately, there are still far too many entrepreneurs that (usually inadvertently) take on the wrong money from the wrong investors.

If you are thinking about raising money for your business, I would love to talk to you about your strategy. My Women Raising the Right Money from the Right Investors mastermind program summer cohort is starting soon. If you’d like to learn more, click here.

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