A sensory experience

A sensory experience

At a conference recently, a business owner whom I have come to respect and trust greatly over the past year was discussing how the values of your business come through in the energy of your space. Her talk was geared directly to how you want your customers to feel when they are in your physical work space, but I kept thinking about how easily this could be translated to your employees.

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Values Based Entrepreneur Spotlight: Hector Kolonas of included.co

Values Based Entrepreneur Spotlight: Hector Kolonas of included.co

Anyone who has talked to me in the past year knows it is my BIG DREAM to open a coworking space in St. Augustine. As part of the process of doing this, I’ve joined a few coworking groups on Facebook to connect with other people who are active in the coworking community and gather resources and inspiration. One of those groups led to me connecting with Hector and learning about his company, included.co.

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Values Based Entrepreneur Spotlight: Tania Mings of Personal Hero

Values Based Entrepreneur Spotlight: Tania Mings of Personal Hero

Tania Mings runs a brand called Personal Hero which shares the message of everyday heroes. For the month of October, she is featuring a different breast cancer survivor each day, and she is giving 25% of her proceeds to an organization that focuses on breast cancer outreach! Her sheer dedication to have a post every day is inspiring to me and prompted me to do something similar in December (featuring values-based giving ideas…). She also sells some pretty cool breast cancer products - my personal fave is the heal candle.

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An easy place to start...

An easy place to start...

Does the idea of restructuring your whole company to explode with your values feel daunting? I totally get it. I’ve told the story many times about feeling like I needed to win the lottery to change all of my household and beauty products over to green/natural ones. I’m here today to give you a little bit of relief from that feeling. One of the easiest and most common ways that people navigate the intersection of values and profits is to build a give-back component into their business plan.

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Values Based Entrepreneur Spotlight: Chelsea Estebanez of Coastal Straws

Values Based Entrepreneur Spotlight: Chelsea Estebanez of Coastal Straws

Ever have one of those moments where you feel like the Universe really is conspiring for you? That’s how I felt when I learned about Coastal Straws. There had been quite the debate on my Facebook feed about using straws v. giving up straws v. reusable straws. I started using reusable straws a few years ago, and once the Amphitheater started talking about eliminating plastic straws (and plastic in general), I felt like the world was catching up. Seeing the articles about McDonald’s and Starbucks working together to go straw free was a moment of huge celebration for us. Almost the same day, my friend Kori, who owns Coconut Barrel shared a photo of her newest vendor, Coastal Straws. I know immediately that I wanted to feature them and to do whatever I could to help grow their business and spread the word!

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Values Based Product Spotlight: maude

Values Based Product Spotlight: maude

One of my personal values is debunking the tabu-ness of certain topics, including sex. And yet, many of my friends would tell you that I remain relatively conservative in my own world when it comes to sex. I still feel slightly off when I go into a sex toy store mostly because I’m there just for a vibrator and a lot of the other things make me quite uncomfortable.

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So, what are my values?

So, what are my values?

In order to operate as a values-based business, business owners have to take the time to stop and determine what our values are. Progressive business conversations define stakeholders as the owners, clients and employees of a business - some even going as far as including the community the business operates in. When you are thinking about what your values are, you need to examine your gut emotions around each of these groups of people.

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Values Based Entrepreneur Spotlight: lee lee McKnight of the Perpetual You

Values Based Entrepreneur Spotlight: lee lee McKnight of the Perpetual You

This week I am pleased to share the story of my sister, lee lee, and the magazine she publishes. I was honored to move to Connecticut for a short time and help her launch this amazing project - and continued to be impressed by her dedication and joy in what she is doing.  This month the magazine celebrates 3 years of being published and one full year of being in print! You can read online for free or purchase print copies from their website. They also have a lovely selection of branded products (created by collaborations with small-batch makers) and do some stellar gift guides!  I hope you enjoy getting to know lee lee a little better.

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Values Based Product Spotlight: ReGrained Supergrain+

Values Based Product Spotlight: ReGrained Supergrain+

Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge fan of the Craft Beer Movement.  Not only do I love a good Pale Ale (I have a Sweetwater 420 sign in my bathroom...), but the entire movement to me is a great example of taking back the power from large corporations to the local economy.  I know. I know. Many craft breweries are owned by big corporations and many others are selling - but I still believe that when people patronage a local brewery, or buy locally brewed beer at the package store, they believe they are shopping local and it helps them make that choice in other ways.  Mindset is a big part of where we spend our money and how we show our values.

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Values Based Entrepreneur Spotlight: Andrea Borgen of barcito

Values Based Entrepreneur Spotlight: Andrea Borgen of barcito

Andrea Borgen is the owner of barcito - an LA restaurant with a no tipping policy.  I read Andrea's story on medium and instantly knew we were soul sisters!  Not just because she had implemented a no tipping policy at her restaurant, but because she wrote a post for medium explaining how hard it has been, what she's learned and why she isn't giving up on the idea.  I'm a big fan of vulnerability and sharing the ups and downs of a world-changing life, so I reached out to her!

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Values-Based Product Spotlight: b+b Pain Relief

Values-Based Product Spotlight: b+b Pain Relief

Earlier this year I did a search on Amazon for "dye-free ibuprofen." I had read something that said the coating on ibuprofen isn't good for us, and since we try to be as natural as possible with our products, I figured I'd see what else was out there. I was stoked when b+b came up in my search - as not only dye free but as a one-to-one company!

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What does it mean to be a disruptor?

What does it mean to be a disruptor?

A couple of years ago I attended an event called "Disruption" in Hartford that featured entrepreneurs and companies who have disrupted their industry in big ways.  The panel included Ezra Klein (Vox Media), Anjali Kumar (Warby Parker), and Danny Meyer (Shake Shack).  In addition to loving the idea of being a disruptor, I went to see Ezra Klein.  I've long been impressed with Vox Media and the idea of someone being in the D.C. circuit and doing things in a new way was more than intriguing to me.  However, when I left, I was drinking the Danny Meyer kool-aid!  His description of and anecdotes about the philosophy he calls, "Enlightened Hospitality" left me feeling like I'd been to church.  And anyone who knows me knows those are my favorite kind of evenings.  If ever an industry has been stuck in its ways - the restaurant industry is surely it. And yet, Danny Meyer opened a super successful restaurant chain doing things in a completely different way.

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Values-Based Entrepreneur Spotlight: Jamie Galley of Just Make Things

Values-Based Entrepreneur Spotlight: Jamie Galley of Just Make Things

Jamie Galley is a talented branding strategist and artist in St. Augustine, FL.  She works with some of the hippest makers across the country. I've had the privilege of knowing Jamie Galley, personally and professionally, for many years. We met when we had both only recently launched our businesses and over time have grown increasingly close and bonded over our shared love of creative business, building community, and crab cakes.  She's introduced me to some of the tools that have truly changed my life and supported many of my own dreams and ventures.  And all of this pales in comparison to her amazing laugh and thoughtful spirit.  I'm pleased to highlight Jamie and her work with Just Make Things as a Maker who is changing the world!

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Values-Based Product Spotlight: Tuft & Needle

Values-Based Product Spotlight: Tuft & Needle

I first learned of Tuft & Needle (T&N) mattresses from one of my favorite leaders in the spiritual movement - Sarah Jenks.  She posted on her Facebook page sometime in 2014 that she had heard about this great mattress company and couldn't wait to try it out.  I hadn't had a new mattress in about 7 years and happened to be on the market for one, so it felt like perfect timing.

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Can your company make money and a difference?

Can your company make money and a difference?

So what is the intersection of economics and spirituality? To me, it means values-based earning and values-based spending.  Values-based spending is an easy sell and peolpe have been doing it for many generations.  From company boycotts for political reasons to choosing to shop local or buy fair trade, many people in our society choose to put their money where their heart is.  Values-based earning is newer though.  I'm defining it as when the business you run or job you have makes you money and makes your world better.   

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