A Co-Stormers Experience – Meet Molly Bullard

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Tell us a bit about you! Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Molly Bullard and I am the founder of Seattle Photo Organizing. I help clients organize their print memorabilia, digitize and share their memories. I work 1/1 with clients, teach group digital photo organizing classes on both PC and Mac platforms, and create legacy books and milestone videos.

Prior to being an entrepreneur, I was a data analyst, sales & marketing manager for Oracle Corporation and stay-at-home-mom.

Why did you sign up for a CO-STORM?

At the beginning of 2016 I wrote out my goals for the year. The list included a lot of the same ideas from last year and a few new growth opportunities but I really lacked motivation. After ten years of building my photo organizing it was a well-oiled machine, like they say, “if it isn’t broken, why fix it?”. My right side of the brain was shooting for the moon but my left side was fighting harder to stay status-quo.

January turned into February and then I received the Facebook post about the Co-Storm event. I watched the event video, read about the mentors, and felt this childhood enthusiasm to PUSH myself. I really felt like an opportunity like this might push me out of my comfort zone, and I liked that.

What are the people in the CO-STORM like (including instructor + fellow stormers)?

I learned quickly that the network of mentors and attendees is robust. The first group I was paired with at the Co-Storm were from my industry and just as I thought they could help me, I thought I could help them. It felt great to be a part of someone else’s journey just as I expected their support of mine.

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What were some of your breakthroughs?

I went into the event with a very open-mind. I thought that others will see me, my business, and industry very differently than I do and that their perspective is not readily available to me anywhere as a solo entrepreneur. The most interesting comment was about me choosing to be an industry leader within the photo organizing industry – with my ten years of experience, technical skills, and foresight to protect our personal digital content, now is the time for me to lead others, and I want to!

What was your favorite part of the CO-STORM experience?

I loved listening to other women entrepreneurs talk about their goals and challenges. I had to learn the hard way about self-employment tax fees and recognizing that some business offerings were too much of an emotional and/or business expense for me to maintain. Each of these fellow mentees were honest about their passion, failures, and fears which made me feel connected to a like-minded, motivated group.

How have you applied the strategies or goals after the CO-STORM?

I have tuned and tuned my plans since attending the Co-Storm event. Each week I spend time working toward my goals and it feels like I am able to focus more and more on a clear path.  

What would you say if you were recommending a CO-STORM to a friend?

Accountability is a wonderful thing. It is proven that we will lose more weight if we have a buddy helping us through the tough late-night cravings. All of us at the Co-Storm event are now each other’s support system. We listened intently to each other, offered advice, and exchanged contact information with the anticipation that we will reconnect soon to share our progress. This environment is just the right amount of “family” to keep us moving forward.

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How do you feel right now?

I feel supported. I have my existing support group and this new one that believes I can achieve my dreams.

What motivates you on a daily basis?

Helping people gain confidence with their technology and reconnect with family and friends through photos.

What do you CRAVE?

I crave smiles. I spend time each day engaging with people I know, and don’t know, in an effort to get them to smile. Photos and the stories behind them bring out the best in each of us.

 

 

 

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Are you looking for answers in the same place over and over again?

 

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It’s easy to get stuck. Whether you’re starting a new business, climbing a corporate ladder, job-hunting—or doing all of this at the same time—you find yourself up against problems that don’t have a clear solution.

This is when you talk to your friends, mentors and coworkers. And that can produce fantastic results … sometimes. Those people all have one thing in common: they’re likely to have been immersed in the situation for a while. This is probably not the first time you’ve talked to them about your job, or your boss, or your new business. As your closest friends and confidantes, they’re also likely to be a lot like you in the way they approach a problem and view the world. Sometimes you need a fresh perspective, an outsider’s view of your world. This is what a co-storm is all about.

One of the most striking things about the co-storm I attended this weekend was the diversity. I talked with women whose ages spanned decades and whose current projects were surprisingly varied: a woman early in her career trying to negotiate a fair salary; a mid-career teacher launching a STEM summer camp; a longtime graphic designer creating a board game; a mother building a photography business; a young software developer eager to make her side project a reality; a start-upper in search of strategies for dealing with a hard-charging CEO; and a job-seeker hoping to better define her strengths and experience. 

During the six hours we spent together in the co-storm, I watched an amazing thing happen: People became unstuck. Their faces changed, their eyes lit up, and their body language relaxed as they were able to see their problems from a different perspective. They could focus with confidence on next steps. They finally knew what to do next.

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The reasons they were stuck were as varied as the people themselves. Some realized they were asking the wrong questions. Others realized they were focused on what they thought they “should” do instead of where their strengths lay.  Many already knew the right answer—but the encouragement from others helped them to trust themselves. For all of them, generating focus and ideas among a new group of people was a transformative experience.

What I took away from the experience was that, when I find myself stuck on a problem, I’m probably also stuck in the way I’m searching for solutions to that problem. I’m probably looking in the same place over and over again. It’s crucial to look in new places, and with new people, for answers, and the co-storm was the perfect place to do just that. 

Sasha Pasulka – Director of Audience Product Marketing at Tableau   twitter.com/sashrocks

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Meet our Mentors for our Business Solstice event on June 11th

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Join our summer solstice time-out and get a fresh take on your biz.  Come hang with us on June 11th from 10am -3pm

Throughout the day, you’ll participate in intimate “think-tank” pods with innovative business mentors, primed to help you take your business or idea to the next level.  Our experts are women at the top of their game, who will breathe life and focus into your goals and dreams.

Meet our Business Mentors:

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ANGELA SHENFounder of Savor Seattle Food Tours Dishing on overcoming your inner battle and moving forward to make smart decisions.  Angela juggles her successful full-time business headquartered in the Pike Place Market with over 30 employees, with taking care of her whole self, and being a loving mom to two young children.  

ginaGINA FRESQUEZ– Founder of  Women’s Side Hustle Society –Dishing on having (or starting) a side hustle or passion project and want to take it mainstream. Gina has found the sweet spot of juggling her corporate job she loves and being a mom to a toddler with her side hustle, a Freedom Catalyst for multi passionate women on a mission to change the world through their side gig.

L FeltonLARA FELTIN – Co-Founder & CEO Biznik –Dishing on fleshing out a business model and learning how to prototype. Lara’s passion for the one-page business canvas and her experience of  ten years in business will help you shed light on moving your business forward and gain insight on the questions you should be asking yourself.

marie-profile-GNMARIE POULIN – Co-Founder Oki Doki Dishing on creating an online or in-person program to elevate your 1:1 consulting business. Joining us from Vancouver BC,  her expertise is helping small business owners build, launch, and market online courses, products and programs.  Marie’s tips on running a more profitable businesses are invaluable.

CarrieJonesCARRIE JONES – COO of CMX Dishing on tips for building a community to create an unbreakable business. As the COO and Founding Partner of CMX, the hub for the up-and-coming community industry, Carrie knows what it takes to gather your tribe and reap the business rewards.  She has built communities for tech products with millions of users, advised companies on community strategy, and is always working to build small local initiatives.

lynnchambersLYNN CHAMBERS- Founder of Lynn Chambers Consulting – Dishing on moving past your limiting beliefs around money and learn about cash-flow.  Lynn is basically a financial shrink. This is a (no boring) conversation about your personality and how you can show up big instead of reverting back to small when struggling with cash flow.

cathy-gCATHARINE GATELY – Founder of Cantadora Communications – Dishing on telling your story effectively.  Cathy has been empowering individuals, companies and organizations to find their story magic, and “tell it and sell it” in strategic and creative ways to advance their business mission.

manpreet_photobin-1 (1)MANPREET DHILLON – Organizational Management Consultant – Dishing on overhauling your life and considering a career or business change.  Joining us from Vancouver BC, Manpreet has been serving women to be better leaders in their personal and professional lives. Her passion for diversity is contagious.

Tina-Pic-for-Site (1)TINA NOLE –  Founder of Larj Media – Dishing on making a podcast.  Tina’s over a decade of award-winning broadcast journalism led to the founding of Larj Media, a company that helps thought leaders, celebrities and brands find their podcasting voice, and ensure their audience hears it. Larj Media helps clients tell a compelling story, with national network quality recording, production and editing.

The Details

Saturday,  June 11th– 10am – 3pm

makersLocation: MAKERS: a modern and chic, co-working space near Pike Place Market

 

 

 

Itinerary for the CRAVE Business Solstice

9:30am – 10:00am Register and prepare to be inspired.

10:00am-10:15 Kick off

10:30-11:15am  Pick your think-tank pod

11:30 – 12:15pm  Pick your think-tank pod

12:15 – 1:15 Lunch break on your own

1:30– 2:15pm  Pick your think-tank pod

2:30-3:00 Powerhouse session with our experts

Learn more about the event here

 

 

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My inspiration behind starting Co-Storms – Meet Selena Soo

Last year I was struggling with what direction I wanted to go next with my business.  The CRAVE Company started in 2001, and 15 years later i’m still inventing/reinventing it.

Focusing on women in business, we have brought together masterminds, symposiums, shopping parties, vulnerable dinner parties, and produced books in several cities featuring women doing cool things.  It’s always been about creating community for women.

Where to go next?

I happened to be listening to a podcast interview with a girl named Selena Soo, who was rising fast in the business consulting world.   She dropped some names of people I knew and I wanted to know more.  I signed up for her mailing list and scheduled a listen to her upcoming webinar.  Then I found myself signing up for her full six month course.  Even though I have been in business over 30 years and inspire others to do the same, I was needing a fresh shot in the arm.  

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Watch the interview here.

I was committed to being on the “other side of the table,” so I took this seriously, didn’t miss a class,  did the homework.  Being in a course with people from all over the world was inspiring. Getting a fresh perspective is one of the things I live for.  Her first assignment was to think of 20 people to reach out to for research.  This motivated me to think about who I wanted to reconnect with, and what I wanted to talk to them about.  I could go so many ways.

Listening to Selena’s experience with putting on long term programs prompted me to ditch a couple ideas that were failing fast anyway, and to focus on shorter term projects which offered simplicity.  I am thankful for the time spent going through her program, because it forced me to flush out ideas and try on a few, pivot and land on something I am super pumped about.  I call it CO-STORMING™.

Yes I could have come to this conclusion on my own.  But I know myself,  and I need accountability and continuous inspiration to move my dial.

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I encourage you to check Selena’s upcoming webinar and decide for yourself if you could use a shot in the arm. Because I believe in this program so much, I’m a proud partner, helping Selena reach new students.

If you’re ready to give yourself the chance to see what’s possible for your business, she has a free report you can get here: https://rv208.isrefer.com/go/FreeR/a228/ and her free webinar is coming up in a few days that you don’t want to miss here: https://rv208.isrefer.com/go/WEBN/a228/

XO Melody

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A Co-Stormers Experience – Meet Jill Dahl

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Tell us a bit about you! Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Jill Dahl and I am the founder of Secondhand Therapy and Jill Dahl Consulting. Through Secondhand Therapy, my main business, I work with professional women who have been busy “leaning in” and suddenly they get stuck. Life has thrown them a curveball that causes them to lose their momentum and question the path they are on. I step in and help them make the brave decision that will move them forward.

Prior to being an entrepreneur, I spent a decade in the financial industry and five years as a high school teacher.

Why did you sign up for a CO-STORM?

I had connected with Melody on social media and in Seattle for an event she was hosting. I saw the promo for Co-Storm and I thought, “THIS is what I need!”

I am in my second year of business and after a busy fall and January, my business suddenly slowed down. I needed some help figuring out where I might need to pivot.

I loved the idea of being able to brainstorm with talented women and having the opportunity to pick the brains of the mentors/experts. I don’t need someone to hold my hand during the process of change, I just wanted someone who could challenge my assumptions. This seemed like the perfect opportunity.

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What are the people in the CO-STORM like (including instructor + fellow stormers)?

I LOVED the women that I connected with during the Co-Storm. I made new friends and I still keep in touch with several fellow stormers through social media.

It was one of those times where you walk into a room and say to yourself, “These are my people!”

What were some of your breakthroughs?

In the morning session, my mentor Felicia (who I knew that I loved the moment that she introduced herself as a “recovering engineer”) suggested that I should pivot by rebranding Jill Dahl Consulting as a way for my target type-a business woman to upgrade her professional soft skills. This made so much sense! Through Secondhand Therapy, I speak to a small portion of this demographic—the ones that realize they need help. By rebranding Jill Dahl Consulting, I could teach similar skills but offer them as a learning opportunity—instead of a fix to a problem. This allows me to reach a larger demographic of my target audience. BRILLIANT!

My afternoon session with Melody was equally inspiring. We brainstormed ideas for tapping into this expanded audience. I now have a list of opportunities that I would have never thought of on my own.

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What are your takeaways from CO-STORMING?

I started working on my rebrand right away. I kept it simple, knowing that I can go back and improve as I gain more momentum. I am happy to report that I have signed several new clients in the weeks following the Co-Storm.

What was your favorite part of the CO-STORM experience?

I loved being able to talk and think at a rapid-fire pace. I knew what I wanted to get out of the day, and I didn’t have to slow down. When you are surrounded by talented, brilliant women who are thoughtfully matched by Melody—magic happens. It’s so rare that you get to be vulnerable with a group of strangers and walk away feeling empowered and validated.

What would you say if you were recommending a CO-STORM to a friend?

I have already convinced several of my friends to join me at the next one. They heard about my experience and were upset that they missed out. I think it’s important to understand that you truly don’t have to have a solution in mind to your challenge. Just lay it on the table, and you will be blown away by the intuition and insight of the women at your table.

What motivates you on a daily basis?

I want to feel: magnanimous (generous of spirit, coming from a position of strength), inspired, dynamic, courageous, and discerning. Yes, those are core desired feelings that I identified almost 2 years ago thanks to Danielle LaPorte’s book.

I also took a StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment last year and realized how much my natural wiring motivates me on a daily basis. I thrive on opportunities to strategize, learn, achieve, relate to others, and maximize the strengths of those around me.

I know it’s a long list but I honestly love getting sh*t done and this requires being very aware of what motivates me.

What do you CRAVE?

I crave a happy life, where the people around me feel loved.

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