Living with Juxtaposition

I need a “theme” word for 2016.  This year it was discernment: pondering my skitzo — frantic — life.
What can I focus on to move ahead?

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 8.15.01 PMLately I’ve been concepting on the wisdom acquired from being 50-something AND starting 20+ businesses in 30 years.  Some of the lessons learned have actually sunk in. Like:
Keep it simple (simplicity is sexy)
If it’s not working, flip it til it does.

Yes, some valuable experience, but I’m still finding often (and lately) flying by the seat of my pants.

Here we are again with yet another business model iteration. Is it something new, or just a different cut and paste of things I’ve already tried?  Everything is constantly evolving and moving around to different perspectives.  
Am I smarter this time?  My mentoring “wisdom” is often only two weeks or months old.

Maybe I just need to lighten up and keep doing what comes naturally.

What comes naturally to me? 
Connecting people and bringing communities of women together.  My core power is “innovative feminine” (according to the insight of Danielle LaPorte many years ago!).  My business model has been to create new things for women and to share them.  If I have a magic power, I believe it’s being a connector.   

How I do life and business?:
With vulnerability
Constantly learning
Making and sharing new things
Connecting people

…what’s a word that combines all of that, moves me forward, and tightens things up?
Haven’t got it nailed yet!

Do you pick a focus word?  If so I would love some insight how you come up with it.



A Co-storming Success Story


My head and heart are buzzing right now.
I just experienced yet another CO-STORM that blew my mind away. My favorite part is when it gets so heated the other person is jumping out of their chair, both arms stretched towards me. They are screaming with excitement and telling me what to do with such conviction.
It’s not always like that, but when it happens…it’s magic.

Let’s back up.

The STORM started with tears and hard decisions. 
Comfort zone decisions. 
Do you stop doing something that provides security and pursue what’s really in the heart? What if this thing you keep working on is not really working for you, but you’re feeling stubborn and want to keep at it until it works. “Set it aside and move on.” Have you ever been given permission to do that?
The conversation got tough today. 
We said the words out loud that we were secretly thinking but didn’t want to acknowledge. Things were said with tough love… and received. I kept screaming in a loving way — sometimes apologizing because it felt harsh. I wasn’t just talking to the other stormers. I was also talking to myself. 
I saw the trees she was stuck in so clearly because that was me just a few months ago. Then the words “thank you” came and I knew we were on the right track. 

What I keep seeing over and over again is complication. 

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 12.14.37 PMWhy isn’t my ______(fill in the blank) working? “Is it easy?” I ask. Today’s co-storm was full of lost in the trees and not seeing the forest issues. “Keep it simple” I yelled. “pay attention to the ease of things.” Why does it feel normal (natural) to complicate things? 
“Simple is sexy. Simple is sexy.”
Let’s say that again: “SIMPLE IS SEXY!”
We also looked at her business model and flipped it upside down. We went down the ‘what if’ road. Was an opposite source of revenue possible? Instead of charging one audience $$, what if she gave it to them for free, and then pimped them out another audience? Wowza that felt good.
When it was my turn, I couldn’t even finish my update before the other stormers yelled out: “Have you sent them a proposal?” 
I hadn’t ever done that kind of proposal. Is that my next step? “YES” they yelled, and sent me three proposal samples they use in their business right on the spot. 
We walked out of the coffee shop (the baristas were probably shaking their heads about our animated convo) and went back to our lives. 
I know I moved my dial today, and I kinda think my co-stormers moved theirs too. We’d looked each other in the eye and asked some hard questions. It was a push we all needed. 
We scheduled again for two weeks from now. We’re hooked.
Love Melody

Meet Our Co-Storming Mentors, Muses, and Magic Makers

 I just read the following quote in a blog I subscribe to. I’d like to share it with you because I couldn’t have said it better. 
 It’s the perfect introduction to the incredible lineup of mentors we’ve lined up for our upcoming co-storm in Seattle on December 4th:
“There’s a very real sort of creative power that comes only from getting outside your own head. A muse (mentor, co-stormer) allows you to look at the world without your usual filters and desires, and inspires real problem solving.
Next time you’re stuck, step outside of your own mind. Think about how you’d solve your problems for someone else, or how they would solve it for you.”
Great ideas are only a conversation away.

You won’t want to miss the opportunity with these
Mentors, Muses and Magic Makers:

SHAUNA CAUSEY  Startup Advisor
Magic Powers: 
Innovator, Technology Problem Solver, Community Builder.

SASHA MUIR – Founder of butter LONDON & BEVEE
Magic Powers: 
Brand Vision, High Impact Marketing and Sales Plans, Start-Up to Rapid Growth Execution, Early Stage Investing. Always Brings PASSION with PRAGMATISM.

Magic Powers: 
Creating Pathways to Profitability, Business Sustainability and Scalability, Able To Cut Through Entrepreneurial Headtrash.

GILLIAN MUESSIG – Outlines Venture Group | co-founder Moz
Magic Powers: 
Futurist, Startup Whisperer, Cuts Through Noise to Find Strategic Signals.

Magic Powers:
Sweet-spot Finder, Brand Strategy Map Maker, Master Storyteller.
ANGELA SHEN – Founder of Savor Seattle Food Tours
Magic Powers:
Bootstrapper, Scaler and Spark Maker.


BRIDGET PEREZ – Principal and Creative Director at TRAY
Magic Powers: 
Brand Builder, Demystifier of Digital, Proponent of Conscious Capitalism, Creative Problem Solver.

Magic Powers: 
Creative Growth Hacking, Financial/Business Models, Monetization Strategies, International Growth

CANDICE CALDWELL – Principal Strategist and Consultant at Reveon
Magic Powers: 
Business strategist, Startup Advisor, Leadership advocate, Distilled Ideas & Path-clearing

Magic Powers:
CEO, Business Strategist, Life Coach on Steroids, Practical Magician, Village Builder, Aligner of Passion and Action. 
SARA DEAN – Owner of Sync Fitness Boot Camp
Magic Powers: 
Fitness Entrepreneur, Tribe Builder, Body Image Fixer, Selfish Mom Thought Leader.

PATRICIA RASKIN – Founder of Anne Sylvain
Magic Powers:
Luxury Entrepreneur, Product design, Sourcing and Production, Small Business Planning, Niche Product Marketing, Changing your Business to Change your Life.
Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 1.24.12 PM

– Serial Entrepreneur,
Magic Powers:
Bringing Ideas to Life, Activating Community, Storytelling – Finding the Heart in Your Story, Work Life Balance, Systems and Process for it ALL!
melody_picMELODY BIRINGER – CRAVE Founder
Magic Powers:
Connector, Mash-up Specialist, Community Builder.


Fri. Dec. 4th from 9am-3pm 
Sat. January 23rd from 9am -3pm

Vancouver, BC

Saturday January 30th from 9am -3pm 
Event fee: $97

To Apply:

Fill out this short form with the ideas/projects you would like to put into the storm. Also tell us what skills/talents you can bring to the storm. 

We are looking for a variety of skills and projects to make our mash-up the best it can be. If you are picked, you will hear from us within 48 hours of your application.  
Space is limited!
Melody and the CRAVE team

Cravings I Have Been Exploring

*A blog post by CRAVE founder Melody Biringer

Here are five CRAVINGS on my #100thingsiCRAVE list that I have been exploring lately.

I would LOVE to know what YOU have been spending your time doing, so please share your recently explored CRAVES here. (Unsure of what you CRAVE? Check out our free CRAVE CLARITY program by clicking here).

1. Listening to podcasts while getting my 10,000 daily fitbit steps.

I am now flipping through podcast episodes like I used to watch TV shows.  #icravelearningandinspiration


Here’s what I’m listening to this month:

1. Design Matters with Debbie Millman

This podcast is about design and an inquiry into the broader world of creative culture through wide-ranging conversations with designers, writers, artists, curators, musicians, and other luminaries of contemporary thought.

2. Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield

Amy helps entrepreneurs across industries establish strategies to maximize the power of social media and increase the success of their online marketing efforts.

3. Limetown
Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 3.01.48 PM
Ten years ago, over three hundred men, women and children disappeared from a small town in Tennessee, never to be heard from again. In this seven-part podcast, American Public Radio host Lia Haddock asks the question once more, “What happened to the people of Limetown?”

4. Real Talk Radio with Nicole Antoinette

She sits down with a wide range of people (athletes, writers, entrepreneurs, parents, coaches, spiritual teachers, artists, and more) to dive into the truth of what’s really going on in their lives.

5. The Beautiful Writers Podcast
The Beautiful writers
Danielle LaPorte & Linda Sivertsen in up-close conversations with bestselling authors, creatives, and industry experts on publishing, writing, deal-making and the beautiful complexity of creativity. 


2. CO-STORMING days with incredible people, at least once a month.

I just spent a day with the fabulous Sarah Lyons Gibbons from We brainstormed vision statements and expanding our businesses worldwide:).    #icravedeepconnection


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3. Experiencing Art.

I just added this to my iCRAVE list.

Going to any kind of art show, exhibit, dance performance etc., at least once a month is the goal The pic below was at a show call “Jump” in Vancouver. These people jumped for 70 straight minutes, while I ate candy and got exhausted watching their vulnerability:) #icraveedgyart

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4. Driving up to Vancouver as much as I can.

I get there about once a month to throw CRAVE events, hang with my Vancouver girlfriends and take people on silent walks to ponder their next move. Love the energy there! #icraveroadtrips

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5. Bringing new business ideas to life!

This year has been an inspiration filled year for me. In February I completely reinvented the CRAVE Company, turning my focus towards helping female entrepreneurs and leaders identify their cravings, and nurture a true work/life balance in their lives.  As I was prototyping different ideas the ONE thing that felt like magic was Co-Storming so I went for it and pressed send. #icravebringingnewbizideastolife


co storm(elements)

Don’t forget to share your CRAVINGS with us on our Facebook page by clicking here.


P.S. Please read the whole story, how I got inspired to create Co-Storming: an event, strategy, interactive think tank opportunity like you’ve never experienced. Apply to join us in December or January.

Want to share your CRAVES?

Send us an email at christine (at) thecravecompany (dot) com with the subject line ‘CRAVING BLOG – [your name]’. We want to hear all about what you CRAVE in your life, and how you are satisfying those CRAVINGS on a daily basis.


How do you nurture your new relationships? – Exploring your circle of influence.

the manifestoHave you seen our CRAVE manifesto yet? In the coming months, we are working down that manifesto, and focusing on a different phrase each month. This month, that phrase is:

Surround yourself with friends who bring out your best.

Who you surround yourself with matters, a lot. What you spend most of your time thinking or talking about basically defines who you are – or at least how you think about yourself. And how you think about yourself influences how you approach the world (and by world, what we’re really talking about is your community).

It also has an impact on the quality of the relationships you have in your life. 

We’ve been sharing friendship and connection quotes on our Twitter and Facebook pages over the last month.

Here are a few of our favorites so far:

Anaïs Nin:

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive.”

Stacy London:

“You should feel beautiful and you should feel safe. What you surround yourself with should bring you peace of mind and peace of spirit.”

Donna Roberts:

“A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.”

We have a question for you: How often do you meet new people?

Our lives are not stagnant. Our lives are consistently moving forward in, often, surprising ways… if you let it move in that way. Your tomorrow doesn’t have to be the same as your yesterday, and career momentum doesn’t always happen when you’re moving ‘the cogs’ yourself. 

Is it time for you to start approaching your relationships differently – by this we are referring both to the people in your life now, and with those you are just meeting?

Friendship isn’t a one way channel. With every relationship, there are two ‘channels’ you should be aware of’:

First, there’s receiving:

Receiving love – from friends who you really see you, etc.
Receiving opportunity –  from individuals who believe in you.
Receiving help –  from others who want to see you soar.

Then, there’s giving:

How do you demonstrate your love for those who mean the most to you in your life?
How are you providing opportunity to those you believe in?
How are you helping those who need a little boost to get out the funk you can see is holding them back?

At this month’s CRAVEfuels in Portland and Chicago, we’re going to be talking about your circle of influence.

The fuels are happening on November 16th and 17th.

We hope you’ll join us:
(click here or on the photo below to learn more)

November Banner