May 2020

The Power of Purpose – The Power of WE

Redefining one’s true purpose often comes during times of great loss. Purpose can unfold profoundly during loss. 

I have personally experienced this fact of life through my own devastating losses. I think this could be because when loss happens change is inevitable. I have found that the more, I fight change the harder I’ve made it for myself and others. 

We can become stuck in the initial stages of the process of loss and grief: denial, anger, bargaining/blame, depression, rather than embracing change and moving into the final stages of acceptance (and “finding meaning”). Often times our complete focus is on the desire to get things back to normal as quickly as possible. In our minds this will stop the pain, grief, and loss – and it’s natural for us to believe this.

Yet loss, change and processing the stages of grief, by moving through them, often brings incredible opportunities for rebirth, renewal and a refocus on self-awareness. A chance to come out on the other side stronger, more resilient and even more content and happier in the simplicity of living life with an open heart. Change forces us into new forms of awareness and understanding, bringing out in us the strength within to survive and ultimately thrive. It seems when we get to the dark levels of what many of us call “rock bottom” – the moment that we believe we can endure no more – then something beautiful happens. Our true essence emerges and insights to our calling or purpose become clearer.  

When we lean into change, hope begins to arise, self-awareness processes naturally begin to stir, one’s heart opens and the fundamental desire to live profoundly appears. Musician, Gloria Estefan, describes this as “coming out of the dark,” Yogi’s define it as bliss, many of us recognize these moments as the defining ones of our lives or an “awakening”. However, one internally defines these moments, they can be a moment in time in which more of our essential nature or character is revealed. 

Poignantly – amidst the Covid-19 pandemic – just about everyone in the world, internally and externally, is going through life altering, defining processes together. This pandemic brings with it devastating loss of what many of us held dear and, at the same time, incredible opportunities for reimagining life and work. Allowing each of us individually and collectively to tap into heart-based authenticity – for this is where our calling and power of purpose reside. Perhaps the silver lining in Covid-19 is an opportunity for each of us to reawaken, rediscover or reimagine our Power of Purpose.   

In Richard Leider and David Shapiro’s book “Work Reimagined – Uncover Your Calling” their dedication to its readers says, “To all those who have uncovered their calling to find a living worth living.” Maybe you have already been living your calling and your business is based on your purpose and then this pandemic stopped you in your tracks. These times still present to each of us the opportunity to reconsider what is important to oneself and our life’s work.

We are invited to reconceive ways to pivot and grow and connect more thoughtfully with our family, customers and community. Here is a great podcast to further unpack this idea:

Gregg Braden, American author, scientist and 2020 Templeton Prize Nominee emphasizes these ideals in a statement, “We’ve all heard the adage that the only constant in life is change. We’ve also heard that change can be one of the most stressful experiences we face in life. And it’s that stress of change that biologists tell us is the trigger for new ways of thinking and living—the evolutionary transformation that makes us better people, creates stronger families and communities, and ultimately promises our survival as a species. The formula is clear: the bigger the shift, the greater the transformation.”

He continues, “We’re living the shift from creating our lives based upon the way our MINDS see the world to a new way of thinking and living based upon the way our HEARTS and minds sense the world.”

To achieve this transformation, we need to get out of our heads and into our hearts. The Power of We (Women Entrepreneurs) Forum Series, held monthly through the fall, will focus on heart-based thinking, the power or purpose, sharing one’s gifts, reimagining life/work via creativity and innovation and thriving by tapping into one’s authentic self and intuition.

The current plan is to offer thought-provoking and helpful content (insights, internal or external development processes and work/life tools) via a blog/newsletter each week for three weeks in a row.  Then host a “Power of WE” free webinar with three panelists (one of each of the blog writers) that month. The writers and presenters will evolve and rotate.

Most importantly, we want and need to involve each of you on this journey. We want to hear your stories, understand your obstacles and celebrate your victories. We will be available online or offline to answer your questions or support you with additional resources. We really are in this together and it is a gift to each of us to collaborate and expand on varied opinions and experiences.

This journey begins May 18th and we ask you to participate through the polls and engaging with your questions and sharing your stories. We’ve set aside 30 minutes today, at the end of this webinar, to hear your stories of purpose, calling, reimagining work, your pivots and dreams for the future. Moving forward we will continue to ask for your engagement in a variety of forms including allowing interaction time after each monthly webinar. To view previously held WE Forum Series webinars email info@centralsbdc.og

By Jamie Billesbach, Central Mountain SBDC Center Director –

We would love this series to spawn smaller discussion groups, mini workshops and perhaps even new, innovative, for-profit or non-for-profit concepts, to assist our communities. At the very least, we hope collectively we can assist each other to grow, inspire and encourage heart-based innovation in each other. Join us for upcoming We Forum Series click here for dates and registration links.

For handouts of Richard Leider’s Purpose Quiz and other tools click here. Recommend works: Work Reimagined Uncover Your Calling, The Power of Purpose both by Richard Leider. Gregg Braden’s works can be seen at this link. Why we work by Barry Schartz. The Big Know podcasts and Youtube. 

The Power of Purpose Links & Books Enjoy!

Watch & Listen Richard Leider’s work

Authenticity in Leadership – The Power of WE

Authenticity is a collection of choices we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” -Brene Brown

Authenticity – What does this word mean to you as an entrepreneur?  I asked several women how they would define authenticity. From corporate execs to stay at home moms to professional peace builders, from wilderness guides to non-profit executive directors to school teachers, from small business owners to movers and shakers in a variety of industries.

Here are the common threads I heard. Authenticity is showing up as I am, speaking truth, trusting my intuition, being present in this moment, acting from a deeper knowing than my momentary feelings, embracing imperfection, tuning into my gut, holding onto my deepest truth no matter what others think or how scary that gets.

Most of these ideas revolve around one answer in particular: “Staying inside my skin.” In my work as an Integral Life Coach, I call this being at home in ourselves. defines authenticity as the quality of being genuine or real…the state of being authentic, or legitimate and true. The same website defines authentic as real or genuine, not counterfeit. And it lists reliable and trustworthy as synonyms.

So how does this translate for us as women entrepreneurs? How can we express authenticity – show up as real and genuine – with our clients, customers, employees and colleagues as we develop our products and services? And why is authenticity as entrepreneurs even important at all?

Here are 5 things you can do to increase authenticity in your business(es):

1. Identify, define and write down your core values for yourself as an entrepreneur and for the vision you have for your business or organization – what is the “bottom line” for what you want to create and offer? (3-5 at most is recommended, otherwise you lose the power of this step).

2. Run EVERYTHING through these core values to see if your actions, choices and plans remain true to your vision and what matters to you as an entrepreneur.

3. Do personal work to cultivate your inner knowing and authenticity with yourself –  your connection to your innate intuition – as this will always tell you if you’re on or off track (with your message, marketing, products, services, roles, etc).

4. Get clear about your Yeses so you know when to say “No” – and SAY “NO” OFTEN in order to support your Yes(es) – your values and your vision.

5. Get clear about your Target Market/Niche and be “true” to them in the message you deliver, and in your products and services; do not try to speak to everyone, and understand that this means there will be people who do not “like” –  or may even hate –  what you offer (hint: they are not your target market).

So, why so much emphasis on “authenticity” for entrepreneurship? Because this is a point of departure for successful and unsuccessful entrepreneurs. Choosing to be an entrepreneur automatically takes out the possibility for “safety” and makes us vulnerable to risk and failure.

In order to create something new and needed and bring it to the market, we will open ourselves and our work to scrutiny. There is no way around this.

Dr. Brene Brown, author of countless books including “Dare to Lead” observes, “If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief.”

This is also true if you trade your authenticity for people-pleasing, the need to always be “right,” the feeling of security, and/or the need to always look or feel good.

Being authentic in business requires that we be clear about our message and our market. Identifying our target market/niche, coupled with a clear understanding of our core values, will help us sustain authenticity in our business relationships and offerings. 

Speaking our truth through our message will not work for everyone that message reaches and will even possibly anger or upset some people. This is why authenticity can feel threatening. If we fail to put ourselves out there – to make ourselves visible – then no one can hate on us. But then the audience we are trying to reach and serve with our products and services can’t see us either.

I once heard a successful entrepreneur say: “Love me or hate me – just don’t be neutral or indifferent.” So, we shouldn’t be surprised when “showing up” exposes us to negativity. Because this also means we are visible to those we truly want to engage with and serve.

And if we are being authentic with ourselves, we can drop in and care for our own hurt feelings without letting them shut us down, quit or withdraw from the courageous work of being an entrepreneur.

Living from a place of true authenticity, what Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman calls “healthy authenticity” – or “our best selves” requires daily courage and a faith in ourselves to speak and provide what is ours to give. To be an entrepreneur we must be willing to share our voice and take up space.

We need to believe that what we have to offer is of value and can stand for itself. And then we need to do everything we can to stay true to that vision and be authentic in ourselves and our work. That is how we become (and remain) trustworthy to our clients and customers without burning out or losing ourselves completely in the process. With the Covid pandemic customers trust becomes even more critical – authentic businesses ensure trust.

By Heather Barron who has been an Integral Life Coach specializing in working with women on resilience, mindset, and self-care for the past twelve years. You can find her at, and on all the socials @luminouslifeinc

To hear more about this topic join Heather in a panel discussion Leading from a Purpose Based Authentic Heart on May 18th from noon to 1:30pm. Register

Leading from the Heart – The Power of WE

What do you think when you hear that phrase?

Maybe leading with compassion, trusting your deeper knowing or intuition, leading in a way that aligns with your values. Whatever comes to mind for you is undoubtedly exactly right. And also most likely incredibly complicated. What does it mean to lead from the heart in our current business environment? How has this global pandemic changed what a few months ago represented business do’s and dont’s?

And even if you intellectually know what it means for you to lead from the heart, how do you put this into motion?  
The opportunity in front of us is significant. Our current structures and institutions began to crumble just a few weeks into COVID-19. Paradigms are shattering and they needed to. 

So, the opportunity is to redefine how we move through the world and operate within our businesses and visions.

An opportunity to trust our deeper knowing and bring it to life. Because it is from this place of deeper knowing – from the heart – that we receive the messages and ideas that are not only right for ourselves, and our businesses, but also elevate those around us and our natural world. The future we need to create comes from our ability to see our interconnection to all of life. The tools to do this have been with us all along. With every breath comes an invitation to connect with our strongest tool, our deepest truth, and the wisdom and trust to move things forward – our heart. 

There are some basic techniques for tuning into your heart that have been developed by an organization called Heartmath. They’ve spent years perfecting tools that are easy and accessible to all, and you will see them shared from the stage by individuals such as Gregg BradenDr Joe DispenzaDeborah Rozman and more.

It’s an easy entrance into somatic awareness – an understanding of what you are feeling and experiencing as you move through your day and how your response to these deeper emotions is impacting your interactions, relationships, and ability to act on your dreams, ideas, and inspirations. 

I’ve recently made access to my Somatic Awareness online course free. It’s a wonderful resource for scratching the surface of this deeper work. Work that will transform your life and illuminate the paths and opportunities you’ve been waiting for.

Leading from the heart is leading from the feminine. When I say that I don’t mean female verses male, I mean reconnecting with the feminine wisdom that lives within us all. We have lost balance and been taught how to function under paradigms and structures created simply from the masculine awareness. It is this lack of balance that has created this collapse in our communities, environment, economies, and more. (Learn more through the Prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor)

The power to right the ship exists within each of us, and the opportunity is powerful and beautiful. The change we are seeking and wanting begins within. When we understand and remember how to lead from the heart we step into (to quote Charles Eisenstein) the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible, and we begin to see the path forward to creating this new reality. By Laurie Benson and owner of BV Roastery

 To hear more about this topic join Laurie in a panel discussion Leading from a Purpose Based Authentic Heart on May 18th from noon to 1:30pm.

Heart Intelligence YouTube Links & Books Enjoy!

Connecting with the Intuitive Guidance of the Heart, Deborah Rozman
3 SECRETS To Unlock The Full POWER Of Your MIND TODAY, Joe Dispenza
Laurie’s recommended books:
The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible by Charles Eisenstein and
The Return of the Feminine and the World Soul by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

The Power of WE inspiring blogs and monthly forum series webinars

The Central Mountain Small Business Development Center’s mission is to be Dream Focused and Business Minded. With the Worldwide spread of the coronavirus a New world is emerging and brings with it the chance for each of us individually and collectively to reconsider our life and career paths. Most likely, in order to survive our New world circumstances small businesses and supportive non-profits will need to pivot and evolve authentically and swiftly. Obviously, financial resilience comes into play and in our “Business Minded” training segments and free financial resource counseling we address this key fact. 

The Power of WE (Women Entrepreneurs) focuses on the critical “Dream Focused” aspect of being an innovative and effective entrepreneur/small business. We believe in this New world environment survival will not only take a tenacious spirit but must come from an authentic heart. As we move forward to reopening our businesses, renewal is key to take the marathon steps needed for recovery. 
Register for our free monthly forum series WE webinars.  

All of those who come in contact with you, your team and your business will need to trust you in many cases with their lives . . . literally. What measures are you taking to make them feel safe, why should they believe that you are constantly and consistently enforcing these measures, are you bringing your products and services genuinely to your market. Heartfelt authenticity is not only necessary for your renewed business concept but key to renewal of each of us individually and humanity as a whole.

Sarah Gartzman owner of Sweetie’s Sandwich Shop offers an exemplary example of running her and her husband Rob’s business with an authentic open heart. View this weeks YouTube interview with Sarah.  

An article in Inc. Magazine by Matthew Jones, entitled “The Most Effective Leaders All Have One Thing in Common: Authenticity” further describes the importance of an authentic heart.

“When you consistently do what you say, practice what you preach, and live according to your values something amazing happens. You start speaking and living as truth.

Instead of regurgitating inspirational quotes, you start speaking from the heart. You share unique wisdom that only comes from lived experience. You embody that which you hope to inspire in others.

And when all of those traits converge, you develop a palpable presence. Who you are naturally radiates and transmits to others on an unconscious level. People are drawn to you, but they might not know why.

People naturally trust you. Follow you. Listen to you. And no matter who you encounter, they respect you—even in disagreement. Because you don’t just speak truth, you live it.

That type of leadership cannot be purchased. It doesn’t come from expensive suits, excessive praise, good PR, or daily affirmations. It doesn’t come from speaking workshops or reading leadership articles. It comes from genuine self-growth.

From knowing yourself—your strengths, weaknesses, and areas of growth—and using that emotional awareness to inform your actions.

Real leadership comes from within. Listening to who you are, what you value, and most importantly, what you feel.

Being a leader requires you to trust your instincts. Listen to your intuition. And take action aligned with those sources of knowledge. That’s what leads to congruence and authenticity.”

The Power of WE is a new collaboration of offered leadership programming and self-exploration practices for women to assist and inspire all of us graced to live in the high mountain towns of the West. 

1.Offer thought provoking content, messaging and tools to inspire creativity and innovation, ignite self-exploration and awareness and cultivate positive change in our personal and professional development.

2.Bring an awareness of the need to balance masculine and feminine traits (in all of us women and men). Click for definition.  

3.We will offer suggested methodologies and alternative practices to assist one individually and as teams to cope, adapt, and excel in the environment of constant change, by nurturing creativity, innovation and authenticity.

4.Develop offshoot opportunities for continued growth through break out groups, smaller online discussions, chats and further exploration such as services offered by presenters and contributors of this programming.

Register for our free monthly forum series WE webinars.

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