Leaving Well: Columbus, Ohio

Part of the way our family moves from location to location is that we insist on Leaving Well.  What is Leaving Well, you might ask? Jerry Jones from The Culture Blend talks about Leaving Well as it relates to repatriation (going back “home” after a time overseas) but we’ve modified and added to the concept a bit as it relates to saying goodbye to the PLACE you are leaving as well. If you’re not a book reader but want to watch the interview I did with Melody, you can watch that here.

We called Columbus Ohio home as a full family for just one year. Todd lived there for 10 months before the kids and I made the move, but we packed in some favorites in those 12 months! We tend to make our first stops be thrifts stores, libraries and recently after reading This Is Where You Belong from Melody Warnick, we added “find a local restaurant quickly” to our list of landing well.

So to practice Leaving Well, you simply put the actions in reverse, and intentionally visit all of your favorite places, take photos, reminisce, have one last hurrah, and say goodbye to each place. It may sound silly, but saying thank you to each location or place for the role it had to play in your community building

Leaving Well, the Columbus Ohio version:

MudflatsMudflats was our “Oh hey guys! Welcome back!” restaurant. In Melody’s book, she talks about finding a spot where the staff remember you on repeat visits. We have always done the opposite and tried a variety of restaurants when we landed in a new spot, but we took Melody’s advice to heart and we are SO glad we did! On our third visit as a family, one of the servers said (with excitement and a huge smile) “Oh hey guys! Welcome back!” (it turns out she is a friend of one of our old neighbors, so the connection was super great!). It felt amazing to have a spot where everyone knew us and even got to know our favorite items to order. The Mudflats website says: “Welcome to the Mudflats Bar and Grill! Just like the gathering place that is the Mudflats area in the Hoover Nature Preserve, the Mudflats Bar and Grill is the gathering place in the lively, quaint and growing community that is Galena, Ohio. Stop on by, enjoy excellent food and make a new friend or reacquaint yourself with an old one.”  It was one of our favorite spots . . . truly.


Westerville Library MiaOh how we love the Westerville Library. Shhhh, don’t tell them but I’m keeping my library card active there because they have an AMAZING audiobook and ebook selection. Like, it’s CRAZY. They have a super cool multimedia room for movies, cds AND get this, you can check out ART! How cool is that? Their children’s area is beautifully constructed and well thought out for the littles and their Teen Room is rad. Don’t tell Mia I used that word, she would just roll her eyes! They have a DRIVE THROUGH lane to pick up your books on hold and a coffee shop. It’s one of the coolest libraries I’ve been in, and I’ve been in a LOT! (Little known fact, I used to be employed as a page in the Omaha Library system!)

Cath and NaomiOne morning I woke up to a message from one of my Triangle friends and it said “There’s a small something waiting for you behind the counter of Java Central.”  It was a gift card that Cath had purchased over the miles (she lives in the UK!!!) and the owner of this amazing coffee house kept the card for me and she virtually treated me to many many dirty chai lattes as a thank you for my work and energy with the I Am A Triangle community. Java Central quickly became a favorite and one of the barista’s even turned me on to a delic honey cinnamon latte creation that became my go-to order. Super inclusive of all humans, with live music, plenty of room to sit, have a meeting on the couches in the back and with amazing service, I really miss Java Central. (It was also the location we chose for one of our I Am A Triangle TriCONNECT gathering also, which was fun!! IAAT Java Central

Ok so we may a bit biased since the owners of the delicious Carfagnas lived across the street from us, but if you’re in the area, make this a choice for dinner reservations!  Their story began in 1937 when Saturnino and Nonna Maria Carfagna founded Carfagnas and the family continues their legacy today! Love these quotes:

“Give our customers what they want, not what you want.”
– Saturnino Carfagna

“Use only the very best and finest ingredients and never, never rush.”
– Nonna Maria Carfagna


Uptown Westerville is actually the reason we ended UP in Westerville! Uptown WestervilleMia and I drove through Uptown during a visit to see Todd (as I mentioned, he moved to Ohio 10 months before we did, so we had frequent trips from Virginia!) and fell in LOVE.

I love a good cabernet but I really don’t know what I’m doing when selecting a bottle. Enter Meza Wine. I never asked his name, but one of the employees at Meza is ridiculously knowledgeable and helpful. Plus? They have a community rock painting project which reminded me of Cassia’s Rocks project (if you haven’t already heard that story, click to read. It’s a GREAT story!)

Char-Mar Reserves became my go to for walking. I walked when I needed exercise, I walked when I needed to clear my brain, and we closed out our time at Char-Mar by taking the dogs for long walks during the times our home was being showed to potential buyers. (Expert Tip: if you’re putting your home on the market soon, scout out a nearby place that you can easily scoot off to if you have dogs that need to be out of the house during a showing. Many sellers place their dogs in a room with a closed door, or in kennels / garage but that is highly stressful for the dogs and barking dogs do not make for a great impression for those potential buyers)

Char-Mar Dogs

Finally, we also really loved Chop5. They take customer service to the NEXT level and never fail on that mission. Their employees are literally happy that you’re there and you can feel it!

That’s it for my Leaving Well, the Columbus edition. Do you live in Columbus and have some suggestions that should have been on our list to have loved while we lived there? Do you have a Leaving Well practice for your family when you move to a new location? Let’s chat in the comments!

(p.s. the formatting on this post is wonky and I’m aware of it. I have messed around with it for far too long so I’m leaving it . . . don’t mind it!)

How to set goals

It’s that time of the year and our thoughts and intentions all turn to goal setting. But do we really know HOW to set goals?

#ConversationMatters °3 was all about how to set goals and if you’d like to watch, it’s about 20 minutes of a fun conversation!

I was also a guest on my good friend’s podcast on the topic of goal setting. Kara and I have known each other for years and we quickly and naturally fell into the type of relationship where goals and motivation are at the forefront of our friendship. We are highly accountable to each other, so it was an honor to be asked to be her first guest, and to talk about how to set goals. You can click the image to listen, it’s also about 20 minutes.

Real Deep Dive How To Set Goals Naomi Hattaway


How to Set Goals

Ok. Let’s first talk about WHY goals fail, then we will discuss how I set my personal goals for my business, my family and myself and then I will share some invaluable resources.

The number one reason that we fail at our goal setting is because (if you ask me!) we lack accountability. We either do not have relationships in our life we can rely on for hard core accountability, or because we fail to ask. I know! Yes! We fail to ASK.  Think briefly about the friends in your life. I have a feeling that the large majority of them would love to be asked to help you be accountable to your goals for the upcoming year. We want the absolute best for our friends and loved ones, and if being asked to be an accountability partner for someone would help to ensure you live your best life, then that responsibility is on US (I love the word onus! The definition is such a great play on words when you also say “on us”!) to make the ask.

Using a simple sheet of paper, the next step is to identify your values. This may seem like an odd insertion of something to do when all we are talking about is how to set goals, but I promise, it’s important. Melanie Vetter from Wellfleet Circle offers a downloadable list of values to get you started. Choose 2-3 that really ring true for you, and the purpose behind this is that when you begin to brainstorm your goals, lay out those goals next to your values and ensure they align with each other. If you have a goal (no matter how big or small) on your list, yet it conflicts with your chosen values, consider scratching it off the list.

Next up is to mind map! This is a MUCH simpler term to wrap your brain around (there is a link down below to Jenny Blake’s video on this concept) when creating your list of goals. For me in 2018, I am going to focus on four buckets: my health, my family, community + volunteering and our finances.

Feel free to download / print this one page Mind Map resource.

Mind Map ExampleOnce you’ve decided on the things you wish to focus on, draw spokes out from the center . . . one spoke for each bucket. Then from the Health Bucket spoke, I could then branch off and identify the smaller goals I wish to accomplish. The purpose of this exercise is then to break down your goals into small action steps, and also to help you identify perhaps which month you will work on each goal.

This comes back to that first step, accountability. Once you’ve identified and written down your buckets and goals, it’s crucial that you TELL. SOMEONE. Be brave, shout it out, or whisper them . . . but tell someone! If you are ready for a more public accountability opportunity, tell us in the comments! I’ll share mine, if you share yours!



Tools and Resources

Now let’s begin wrapping up and talk about tools and resources. Here are some of my favorites and I’ve personally used all but one of these.

Your Best Year Business Lisa JacobsOh my goodness, let me count the ways I adore Lisa Jacob’s Your Best Year (Business Version). I came across Lisa Jacobs in that way of the internet where you can’t quite recall how you first learned of someone, but I’m so thankful I did! Lisa holds no punches in this workbook that is part inspirational and motivational + business coach + planner. Lisa does a lot of work with money mindsets, which for a small business owner or female entrepreneur often is a tough area of one’s life. Lisa encourages you to look at things like what worked in your past year, what didn’t work. She also asks you to look at where you wasted money and time, and what opportunities were money and time well spent. She then suggests a weekly or daily check-in with your money and income, which feels a bit scary, but she says it works. I’ll let you know how it works for me later in 2018!




Your Best Year Life Lisa JacobsYour Best Year (Life Version) I do not have this actual copy in my hot hands, but based on the value and juiciness in the business version, I can confidently say that this is a fantastic resource. From Lisa’s site: “Your Best Year lovers rejoice! Beloved by 40,000+ online entrepreneurs, the best-selling Your Best Year: Productivity Workbook and Online Business Planner is now available as a LIFE planner. For years, people asked if the BUSINESS edition of Your Best Year would work for them too. They buy the book, skip over the entrepreneurial stuff, and apply the same proven systems and methods to their life goals to produce fast results. This year, things got a little more convenient and a lot more useful: A LIFE edition just for you! This book is for hard-hitting goal setters who are ready to create change. Here’s to Your Best Year yet!”




Rituals for Living DreamBookRituals for Living DreamBook was introduced to me by my dear friend Karyn. We researched and dug in, and both purchased different versions. I chose the DreamBook without the planner, and Karyn chose the DreamBook WITH the planner. Then we scheduled a weekend together, and she drove to my home (6 hours!) and we had an amazing weekend full of talking, reminiscing, goal planning and life designing. What a wonderful memory that will be for me. The DreamBook has you really look at your life in the past and forecast what you wish for it to be in the future, including setting goals and aspirations for 1 year from today, 3 years, 10 years and lifetime goals. It then simply helps you work backwards to identify which steps will be needed for each of those aspirations, and dictates transferring those to weekly action steps. Another favorite piece of the DreamBook is that it has weekly “Rituals for Thriving” to encourage proactively adding in those rituals (such as “get rid of things I don’t love” and “read for enjoyment”).


Desire MapThe Desire Map has been on my list of “must have” for soooooo long. I finally took the plunge and ordered it for my 2018 goal setting purposes. Some of my favorite things about this resource? First of all the covers . . . I chose the charcoal and gold option, but there are also options, one with teals and another with pinks. Gorgeous.  Danielle takes you on a deep dive about how you want to FEEL in 2018, which is a novel concept, isn’t it? Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map also has a fabulous feature by way of tear-off corners so you can easily thumb to your current page. Each month, the Desire Map lays out 15-20 feelings that you can ponder on, then choose 2-3 feelings that you wish to intentionally work on for the month ahead. For January, 2018, those options include: articulate, lion-hearted, presence, shine and community. Love those! Then for each week, she asks you to identify just three things to get done that week (JUST THREE! Imagine the lightened load if you only focus on THREE things!) and also provides space to specifically identify To-Do items that match prompts such as “do what lights you up” or “that which creates simplicity”.

Please note, there are some links which, if you make a purchase, I will receive a small commission that is at no extra cost to you. I do not recommend products that I have not personally used and you can be confident that I only bring the best to you!

If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to start the goal planning process, try this video from Jenny Blake or this article on how to set yourself up for success when setting your resolutions. Finally, one way to review your past year and learn how to set goals for your coming year, is to consider asking yourself a series of questions instead of focusing on resolutions. One of the contributing writers for I Am A Triangle recently published this amazing set of 15 questions that are probing, heartfelt ways to investigate ways you can better design your life in 2018.

Wrap Up

How do you prioritize goal setting for yourself? Do you plan out your year at the end of December, or are you like me and start that process in September (is that weird?).  What are your favorite resources for goal setting? Let’s chat in the comments!

Families In Global Transition 2017

I have learned SO much about community in the past few years! I realized it most poignantly when I began researching and putting together my opening keynote speech for the Families in Global Transition conference (March, 2017, held in The Hague, Netherlands). What I began to understand was that this obsession actually began at an early age. Because of our “other” status as a family of color in the early 1970s, as a family who chose to homeschool, and as a family who experience divorce, the need for intentional community was strong.

Community is not something simply nice to have, like a first class ticket.

Community is not something that we can take or leave, as you would choose sparkling water over still. NOT experiencing community is no longer an option for our physical, emotional and mental well being when identify as a globally mobile individual or family.

Community (and it’s more practical action – building a tribe) is that thing we can not afford to miss out on. A community is the very thread that brings us together to advocate on behalf of each other. It allows us to bring comfort to one another, and offer support – sometimes when we don’t know yet that we need it. Inside the sense of belonging that community brings, follows a set of resources, balance, and strength to do brave things in this world. -Naomi Hattaway

It gives me a feeling of safety, of belonging and of something in common with others. It makes me feel as though I would have someone to share my stories with, a friend to explore with, and a relationship to grow with someone else, outside of my immediate family.   I talk more about this in massive detail in my “Community Definition” blog post if you want to click over and read, and am also discussing it in a collaborative way with Emmy McCarthy inside our Redefining Communities project – which we are excited to be bringing to the world in 2018.

A record 232 million people worldwide are living outside their country of birth, and international companies continue to develop their business overseas – Source: United Nations 2015 official data

If this many people are moving in any given year, why on earth is it SO hard to find like-minded people in the new locations we find ourselves to be plopped down? Why are so many people googling “expat support” in record numbers? I think it’s simple. Unfortunately, we don’t walk around with beacons over our heads shouting out “I need a friend!”  Often our need for a friendship is so great that it causes us to become shy or quiet. Sometimes our need for a new friendship is so great that it might do the opposite and cause us to be boisterous and “Act Out” in our pursuit of finding our tribe. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a symbol of sorts — flashing blue above our heads — so others could seek us out? Wouldn’t it be nice if we had an instant opportunity to find our tribe, to locate our community?

Insert Families in Global Transition (FIGT) as one organization working to solve this problem! FIGT provides members with information and resources, ranging from webinars, updates on issues relating to the globally mobile, and the opportunity to develop and connect with networks of like-minded people. FIGT also shares research on themes critical to globally mobile families such as identity and belonging. The volunteer-run, not-for-profit also fosters and promotes cross-sector connections for sharing research and developing best practices that support the growth, success and well-being of people crossing cultures around the world.

This coming conference will be EXCITING as it will celebrate twenty years of growth in understanding and positively impacting the lives of the globally mobile community. The conference will be held March 8-10, 2018 at the World Trade Center in The Hague, the Netherlands, and will feature prominent speakers from the community (one of which is me, alongside many amazing and brilliant members of the Triangle community who will also be speaking) who will share their experience and expertise on the conference theme of “Diverse voices celebrating the past, present and future of globally mobile lives.”

Families in Global Transition

The three-day event and anniversary celebration will be packed with keynotes, round-table discussions and forums led by experts and researchers in the globally mobile field including headliners Robin Pascoe (CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS!), Sir Mark Moody-Stuart and Sean Ghazi. These sessions will analyze the past twenty years of our understanding of globally mobile lives and continue to build bridges in our mission to encourage tolerance and embrace diversity.

They invite globally mobile individuals and families, those who sponsor and support them, as well as dedicated researchers to join us in sharing perspectives on challenges and solutions related to a globally mobile lifestyle. Register today and take advantage of early bird pricing until January 15, by visiting the Families in Global Transition website.

This year, I will be speaking alongside the amazing Emmy McCarthy, on the topic of The Power of One: How to LEAD the change you wish to see in the world. Our session will utilize case studies as well as real-life examples from our years of community building and leadership, and will include attendee participation. We will bring to light the various ways in which ordinary citizens can utilize their global experiences and life education to affect change within society, provide leadership to their communities and help create opportunities to seek out others in operating in the same arena. We will explore the leadership models of noted experts and introduce a unique framework that works beautifully in today’s society – with support and a built-in network FOR our new leadership model as well as true value to the members of society being impacted by these leaders.

Please check out these posts if you want to learn more about the experience of attending a Families in Global Transition conference. They are beautifully written recap blogs from others who attended the 2017 Families in Global Transition conference

Carolyn Rizzo

Sarah Bringhurst Familia

Jane Barron

Mariam Ottimofiore

Marilyn Gardner

Nicole Blyth

Lisa Ferland

Lucille Abendanon

Hannele Secchia’s story via Jane Barron

Doreen Cumberford

Amy Clare Tasker

Cate Brubaker

Maria Lombart

Tone Delin Indrelid

Annalice Jane

Sarah Black’s Wrap Up Post 

Sarah Black

Rebecca Hilton

Community definition

There is this thing called “community” that I am extremely passionate about. For the past few years, I thought that my obsession with having it, finding it, and ultimately learning to create it, came from a place of not fitting in when we moved abroad, and then returned home. Only recently did I realize that my community definition started much earlier.

What I have since realized – from the time I began researching and putting together my opening keynote speech for the Families in Global Transition conference (March, 2017, held in The Hague, Netherlands) – was that this obsession actually began for me in my childhood. Because of our “other” status as a family of color in the early 1970s, as a family who chose to homeschool, and as a family who experience divorce, the need for intentional community was strong. I’m sharing the majority of my speech with you, in written form and would love to hear what you think in the comments!

Families in Global Transition Naomi Hattaway Keynote Speech

Community is not something simply nice to have, like a first class ticket. Community is not something that we can take or leave, as you would choose sparkling water over still. NOT experiencing community is no longer an option for our physical, emotional and mental well being when identifying as a globally mobile individual or family.

Community (and it’s more practical action – building a tribe) is that thing we can not afford to miss out on. A community is the very thread that brings us together to advocate on behalf of each other. It allows us to bring comfort to one another, and offer support – sometimes when we don’t know yet that we need it. Inside the sense of belonging that community brings, follows a set of resources, balance, and strength to do brave things in this world. -Naomi Hattaway

It gives me a feeling of safety, of belonging and of something in common with others. It makes me feel as though I would have someone to share my stories with, a friend to explore with, and a relationship to grow with someone else, outside of my immediate family.

The dictionary definition of community is this:

community definition

Let’s break down the definition a little bit.

First, “a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.” Think about you .. and your current location. This first definition could be described as your physical neighborhood. The homes that share property / lot lines with yours. If you live in an apartment complex or on a compound, it would be quite easy to describe your “same placeness” as a physical location. Or if you look at the last piece of the definition … having a particular characteristic in common, this could perhaps mean personality traits, or a life phase. We can find community with others whose children have left the nest, or frequent travelers who happen to be single, or even those among us who speak similar multiple languages.

The second definition then expands a bit on the concept of community by giving us the words “fellowship”,  “ a feeling” and “common goals”.  I also really like the point of the definition where it talks about having a joint ownership or liability inside of a community. Remember that — joint ownership and liability, we’ll discuss that later this morning.

Another word commonly used when discussing this concept around groups of relationships, or those who share similarities, is the word TRIBE. Hold tight to that word as well, we’ll come back to that.


When my family lived in the rural confines of Nebraska, we desperately needed community. As one of the few families “of color” in that same location, we needed community. Because we chose to homeschool during a time when it wasn’t yet popular, we really needed community.

I watched my mother methodically and intentionally create community for our family. She reached out and asked for connections. She started new relationships and consistently explored how we might be of service to others in our community.

Community has always mattered to me, I guess, from a very young age. However, not until we moved to New Delhi, India to start our life abroad, did the absolute importance of it really start to sink in.


When our plane touched down in Delhi, which was slated as a “hardship post” in 2009, I literally felt as though we were welcomed with open arms. This was due — in large part – to my husband’s tireless antics before we arrived (as he arrived India a LONG four months prior to our arrival) and the amazing Ellen Wereen!

When I landed with the children, our home was already staffed with amazing people, we had massages waiting for us after hauling in our massive suitcases (full of beef jerky, macaroni & cheese and all of the other things I knew we would be miserable without). My husband even set up a dinner with new friends – a fellow expat new to Delhi, and his family.

We also felt a very warm welcome into our new community because, when you have children attending a VERY large international school, the invite to be a part of a tribe is par for the course.

But the longer I lived abroad and the more people I met and got to know with different life circumstances, the more poignant the stories became. Life overseas is not always a warm hug with a double kiss on each cheek. It is not always an understanding nod, a lunch date invitation, or a cuppa extended with an offer to “sit here!”


After our three years in Delhi, we found ourselves suddenly in Singapore, in an attempt to heal my body from the long lasting effects of chikungunya. Unfortunately, my husband’s job didn’t quite find its way to Singapore, so we spent the next year living apart, with very infrequent time together as a family. We realized as a family that the long term separation was not a wise choice for our family, and so we — just as suddenly — repatriated back to the United States. I was quickly in a place where I was supposed to feel was home, and desperately missing my community, my tribe.

Knowing that I was struggling, my mother (who went on from raising me and my siblings to serving as a missionary in Kenya) shared a concept learned at MTI (Mission Training International) during a debrief from the mission field. You can read all about the I Am A Triangle concept if you’re not already familiar, by visiting the website or a story on the I Am A Triangle movement. The Triangle concept is a thread that runs through everything that I do today, and I’ve used each letter of the word Triangle to help demonstrate what my community definition is:

T // tribe

R // resilience

I // international impact

A // authentic, adjustment

N // navigation, nomadic neighbors

G // growth, “get out there”

L // longevity, do they “like” me

E // engaging, experience

What is the RISK for not finding community?

I asked Dr. Lori Woodring, psychologist and author of the workbook, “My Very Exciting, Sorta Scary, Big Move” – a workbook for children moving to a new home to answer this question for us.

“When an individual moves to a new location for a new job or assignment, it is vital for everyone to find their “community” or their “niche”. A certain level of culture shock and alienation is common among all of us who relocate.  No matter how much you prepare, it can feel incredibly isolating to suddenly find yourself in a new location/country/culture without friends, family and resources to rely on. Without reaching out and taking the necessary steps to immerse yourself into the new culture and find your own tribe, feelings of anxiety and loneliness can lead to depression. This unfortunately can begin a negative cycle whereby the more isolated and lonely you feel, the harder it is to go out and meet new people, which makes you feel more alone. If you do not feel settled and happy with your own tribe/friends/life it will also impact everything: your (and if applicable, your partner and children’s as well) overall happiness at home and satisfaction, productivity and success at work or school.



When individuals and families do NOT have a support system and a strong community around them, they often find themselves in the middle of early and unexpected repatriations, unsuccessful assignments and frustrating postings. The sheer expenses of moving families and individuals when a previous posting or opportunity doesn’t work out – QUITE BLUNTY — because of a lack of community – is staggering.

It goes beyond cost to the company or personal expenditure however. The emotional and mental impact of landing in a new community without proper support or repatriation without a net to catch you, is a high price to pay as well.

So, until now, we’ve been talking about we each need – individually. Me, me, me. I, I, I. Often times we look at our existence in this great big world in far too much of an insular way. What about me? When will I find friends? Will I survive? Will this ever feel better? What if we all turned the tables and instead of focusing on the I, we focus on the WE.

What can WE offer others?

Ubuntu is a beautiful — and old — concept from the Bantu languages of Southern Africa. At its most basic, Ubuntu can be translated as “human kindness,” but its meaning is much bigger in scope. It embodies the ideas of connection, community, and mutual caring for all.

I am what I am because of who WE all are. -Leymah Gbowee

Desmond Tutu’s take was more descriptive.

“Ubuntu is very difficult to render into a Western language. It speaks of the very essence of being human. When we want to give high praise to someone WE say, ‘Yu, u nobunto’ ::  ‘Hey so-and-so has ubuntu.’ Then you are known to be generous, hospitable, friendly, caring and compassionate. You share what you have. It is to say, ‘My humanity is inextricably bound up in yours.”


In unity is strength. In kindness is humanity.

Try something for me. Say the following phrase out loud. Seriously! Say it out loud: “I have experiences and wisdom to share with my community. I am what I am because of who WE are together.”

Bravo! Do you believe it?

Not only do you have things to share with your community, you NEVER know who might cross your path who is in a sad place, or feeling lonely or just needs a smile to pick them up. In order to put yourself in that position of giving of yourself to a possible new friend, you have to be out there .. literally crossing paths with people. If you find yourself better off “inside” and with quiet voices, seek out an online community where you can impact someone else’s life or provide support. The I Am a Triangle community is an excellent opportunity to slowly integrate the power of support back into your life.

The opportunities are endless and perhaps, with a bit more showing up and kindness — two things I believe very strongly in — we can start to be community builders, each and every one of us.


If you are willing to go all in, focus on the WE, and commit to building and creating your tribe on the move, keep these things in mind.

Remind yourself often, of the things you offer your tribe, your community. Replay the sentences in your mind: “I have experiences and wisdom to share with my community. I am what I am because of who WE are together.” Ask yourself, “How can I add value to this situation?” with every new opportunity. Keep your values, wisdom and offerings at the forefront of your mind — writing them down on post-it notes if you need to!

Stay Curious, Explore & Embrace the Challenges.

Go on hikes, take a trip to the market and get to know the cashier. Sign up for an art class even though you know you’re rubbish at it. Sit at the bar of the restaurant around the corner so you can be in “arm’s length” of another person who could become your friend. Pop outside when the mail carrier delivers your packages so you can ask where she goes for ice cream. You never know WHEN you’ll find a fellow tribe member, but you sometimes need to put yourself out there!

The Grass isn’t Greener, just a different shade.

It’s often difficult to leave a location you REALLY loved. As you seek out your new tribe and community, keep in mind that the grass is never greener on the other side, it’s simply a different shade. Also? it’s been said that the grass IS greener … where you water it. Don’t you just love that? When you put some intention behind creating community, the grass will always be greener!

Patience, a Smile and an Open Mind.

Ah .. the beauty of an open mind!! Walk into new opportunities with eyes wide open and a mindset of allowing new beginnings. A smile is worth a thousand words, it’s been said, and with just that simple act, you can open a world of possibilities!


What comes to mind as you’re reading this for ideas that you might have for ways you can get out into your community? Perhaps you’ve remembered a skill you mastered while living at your last post. Maybe you have always wanted to learn how to make a fabulous mixed drink, and you’re outgoing enough to bring a group of people together for a fun evening gathering for that purpose. If you have young children, then organize an afternoon playdate, where the littles can play and the adults can exchange favorite recipes. If you know a foreign language, your skills are likely needed for an upcoming volunteer opportunity.

Quite possibly, there is space for you to simply sit with those in need of human touch.


We are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world. You impoverish yourself if you forget this errand. -Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States


SEEK OUT the commonalities we share with each other. This is a big, sometimes scary and complicated world. Only by acknowledging our human connection with each other will WE start to effect change. Maybe your personal space rules say that you’ll only connect with 1-2 people. Maybe you’re a “the more people, the better” individual, so your connection results will be much higher. The point isn’t in the numbers, but in the intention behind the mission.

I have a feeling, that massive change will be heading our way in 2018. We can get an early start —- today, right now! I’m partnering up with Emmy McCarthy to explore the concept of Redefining Communities and we’re excited to begin this conversation. Pop over to read our collective thoughts on community and feel free to “clap us up” as it helps others find our work.

To community. To finding our tribe. To being on this journey, together.

If you’d like to listen to / watch my speech, here it is!


How do YOU define community? Is there a time in your life when you can point to feeling the strength of a community? Let’s chat in the comments!



Like a small boat on the ocean • Sending big waves into motion • A single word can make a heart open
I might only have one match, but I can make an explosion


The video embedded above is from The Piano Guys and their mashup of Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” with the old hymn, Amazing Grace. It’s absolutely beautiful, but the bagpipes at the end are what slay me every time! You can hit play and then listen while you read! The “Piano Guys” said this:

When we first heard Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” we were inspired by its message. In a world where we too often talk about our differences, we have at least one thing in common. We all struggle. Not in the same way, nor at the same level, but we all want a fighting chance. And we all share in one gift: The will to make the most of our lives. To take what we’ve been given and turn it into something better could be considered the sentient measuring stick of success. But to do so seldom is simple and more often requires we fight. Not against each other. But against the current threatening to drown the ambition in us.

There is tremendous purpose in struggle. It is when the struggle becomes so fierce that we must fight to swim or sink. John Newton, who penned “Amazing Grace,” worked on a slave trader ship and condoned inhuman atrocities. It was when his ship was on the verge of being torn apart in a violent storm when he called out for Grace. When his feet were once again planted on firm soil he determined to change. His covenant was written into these words, “I once was lost, but now I’m found; was blind, but now I see.”

Grace is the defining moment when we face and fight a monster poised to define us or destroy us.

I’m personally a bit obsessed with music, cadence, authenticity (as it relates to music, not when it’s used as the buzz word for personal branding) and melody. Interestingly enough, there is a grace note in music. Grace notes are an ornamental add-on to a note that then gets held longer and more attention. To hear what a grace note sounds like, Kainoa shares a tutorial. The Piano Guys also have this to say about grace and music:

For the Fight Song / Amazing Grace mashup, we chose the Scottish culture to depict the dichotomy between grace and struggle. Who else is tough enough and yet delicate enough to don a kilt in battle? And the Scottish pipe and drum are the ultimate conveyors of melody and cadence. One represents grace, the other the indomitable fight.

Is grace just for religion?

I personally have always associated the word grace with faith. Grace with church pews. Grace with religion. The more I learn about myself, about humanity and struggle, I realize that for me grace isn’t just about religion. I believe it has everything to do with our own internal power and the way that we stretch our muscles, but then also how we choose to then sit in stillness – to allow the rest of the work to be done.

Grace Finds a Home OprahI’ve always said that I don’t fully subscribe to the “woo woo” because it’s always felt to me that there’s not enough Do Do added to it. Absolutely, there is power in speaking your intentions out loud, and “putting it out into the universe” but there’s also a lot of power attached to the physical act of doing.  I want to learn more about how grace shows up and I desire to learn how to show up every day to fight but simultaneously also allow grace to come alongside me to wield its power at the same time. I have always been a doer. A fighter. Injustice fuels my actions often. As I choose to define the word, grace is the simple refinement of movement and effort, a quality of being consistently considerate, thankful and moving about with ease.

Choosing a word of the year

In years past, I’ve chosen ONE word for each year and let it define and shape my actions, choices and how I show up in the world. Last year, I chose the word Disrupt for 2017 and then broke it down into four main focuses. What a year 2017 was. Disruption was injected into almost EVERY facet of my life: my international community, our family with unemployment and another move, in my own personal relationships, and some scary health issues for our extended family. 2017 felt a bit heavy, a bit intense and was a lot of constant work.

When I started researching words for 2018, I intentionally wanted to sit a bit more with softness, gentleness and a renewed focus on myself and my nucleus of our immediate family. I came up with a long list of words. Some described traits I want to see more of in my life. Other words helped to define a type of lifestyle I want to realize for the future. Then there were some words that just landed powerfully. I wrote them all down and looked at them throughout my days for several weeks. I researched all of the definitions and one by one, crossed most of them out.

Grace was a word that kept reappearing to me in different forms and across many different channels. But it wasn’t quite the right fit. I shared my final three words on Instagram and Nilofer pitched in her thoughts and it got me really thinking!

Nilofer Merchant Onlyness



Nilofer Merchant Onlyness

Nilofer Merchant is the author of what is now one of my all-time favorite books. She released The Power of Onlyness: Make Your Wild Ideas Mighty Enough to Dent The World earlier this year and it is powerful.

She says:

Onlyness: your signature concoction of what matters to you, gives you clarity of purpose and enables you to focus on what matters. That is your path forward.

You’ll have to read the book, but here are some of my favorite nuggets:

  • Onlyness is driven by horizontal perspective (your ability to connect to those with common interests).
  • To crack the code of acceptance and belonging – the most fundamental of human psychological needs – you’ll naturally suppress the qualities that sets you apart.
  • Remaining silent means you never have the opportunity to join and support something you believe in.
  • To find “your people” you have to both signal your passions and interests, AND seek out theirs.
  • The former style of leadership was to hold an idea tightly behind a closed fist. New leadership is that idea on an open palm – which allows others to pick it up as if it were their own. The leader asks the questions, the followers joiners help the whole to arrive at the answer.
  • While it is possible to be a rebel without being a leader, you can rarely be a leader who achieves a dent without also being a rebel.

For most of us, we just want to feel heard – that’s what matters. It changes the very quality of our life. It changes whether or not we’re being witnessed in the world, or whether we matter to someone else. MY personal onlyness is a mashup of my journey and my passions. I am the only one who can make a dent in community building the way I am equipped. I am the only one who can bring people together, in ways shaped by the experiences I have had. I am the only one who has learned through cultural, racial and generational rules that now allow me to advocate for a better world. I am the only one who can create a trust bridge (*) in the explicit and very unique way that I can.

* A trust bridge is a person who acts as a connector, advocating for rules and norms, and creating the magnetic bonds that hold otherwise disparate pieces together. A trust bridge enables you to manage people you don’t see and don’t control. Because you have the cultural norms and related systems in place to let people help on another, you can allow others to take on more – to commission them. When someone’s capacity is wisely aligned with what they are commissioned to do, there’s a good chance you can trust them to take responsibility. Trust is an enabler AND a moderator.

An Onlyness Credo, from Nilofer Merchant

We must honor our journey, signal our passions and seek our allies.

We must give ourselves permission to have an original idea, even when no one else is advocating for it.

We’re going to have to honor the onlyness of ALL people we meet along the way – especially when we disagree with them.

We must reframe the questions people pose, and change the conversation to find new ways through.

We must learn how to lean on one another to build trust and scale our ideas.

We must learn how to galvanize those who might not experience what we know to be true by showing them value.

We must engage people to work with us, not by telling them the answers but by pointing toward a new horizon.

Onlyness … with a side note of Grace.

As 2018 barrels down on us, I’m embracing Onlyness as my guide and direction for the coming year. I still feel that grace has a place in my coming year, and when I recall the beauty of a grace note and what it can bring to a piece of music, I have decided to let grace be the add-on to my onlyness.

To again determine a more intense focus on particular areas of my life or businesses, I’ve chosen three additional words. Instead of quarters, I’m segmenting 2018 into three acts, three seasons. I’ll write more about those focuses as each season approaches, but in case you’re curious:

Season °1 // January – April: Hygge (HUE-gah)

  • simplicity and graciousness
  • identifying and creating rituals
  • contentment and enjoyment

Season °2 // May – August: Lagom (LAW-gum)

  • perfectly adequate and sufficient
  • just about enough and not too much
  • “sip your share”

Season °3 // September – December: Sophrosyne (suh-FRAHS-uh-nee)

  • excellence of character
  • soundness of mind
  • moderation and prudence

Onlyness with a Side Note of Grace is my Spotify playlist that I’ll be listening to (and adding to) all year long! I love having music to act as my anthem and these songs really provide meaning. If you have songs I should add, let me know!


Do you choose a word of the year? If you do, tell me in the comments what it is. I’d love to follow along your journey in 2018!

Easy Fix – The Conflicted African Violet

There is a pressure of emotions that I can’t quite figure out how to identify. I can feel an innate need to release because it all feels so incredibly heavy, but I’m not sure how to do that. I am in a bad mood, but can’t express why. I feel sad, but the tears don’t come. I feel incredibly bitter, but I can’t put words to the rationale behind it.

It’s not just the move, it’s unfinished projects. It’s saying yes to things I do not have any business agreeing to. It’s not stepping into what’s next for me and instead procrastinating with silly energy and time suckers. It’s looking around at my environment and being frustrated by the overwhelm of things not started, to-do lists not completed and tasks that feel like complicated fixes.

I lean over the island in the kitchen, pulling my hair up and back into a twisted and makeshift ponytail. It only stays that way for a second before my curls return to their wild and disheveled state. I realize I haven’t showered in two days, but it doesn’t matter so much since the only thing I’ve been focusing on these days is more purging and packing.

The African Violet sits – on the opposite counter with bright green leaves even though it’s not blooming. It hasn’t bloomed since I transplanted it into a lime green pot. A tiny pot, small enough it can sit on my counter and blend in with the others. The UPC code tag on the pot reads “Citronella”. I killed the citronella plant over 5 months ago. I bought it because I love the smell of citronella, and I loved the color of the pot. I put it outside with our deck furniture and very promptly killed it. So I transplanted the African violet … something I’d brought with me from the Virginia house, except during that move, I broke the pot that it lived in. Interesting that I was able to keep the African Violet alive but not the citronella plant.

Identity Crisis African Violet Naomi Hattaway

Every time I look at the African Violet in the pot with an identify crisis since it obviously calls for a citronella plant, I internally fret about the fact that I planted the damn plant facing the wrong way. The tag that labels it as “citronella” faces the same way that the plant leans … towards the sunshine that filters through the windows about 10 feet away.

I realized tonight that I could do away with the irritation that runs on auto-play by simply repotting the African Violet. The easy fix of shifting the dirt and the roots so that what faces the sunlight and the life giving properties is wholly aligned with the very identity of the plant itself. No label, no sticker claiming its identity. Just an African Violet – straining towards the light.

African Violet Easy Fix


What easy fixes are you ignoring? What consistently gets you down or frustrates you?

What could you do today to change your inner dialogue, or your physical surroundings?

Serendipity Conference

Guild F(o)Unders Lounge Recently I attended the Serendipity Conference in San Francisco, created by Anne Cocquyt and the team behind The Guild. Snippets of my takeaways are here for you to soak up! This photo was taken during the Founders Meet Funders session which was like speed dating, but with investors! We had an opportunity to share our pitch for our organization or business and then we received immensely valuable feedback and advice from each of the investors!

Lisa Wang, SheWorx

Meditation is great but you must also visualize. Until you can see exactly what you want to feel and who you want to be, there will always otherwise be a gap if you are only meditating. -Lisa Wang

Lisa Wang SheWorx

My all time favorite thing that Lisa said was in response to a question about how women should dress for a presentation, a pitch or for a meeting. Lisa quickly answered:

Wear what you want and what you feel comfortable and powerful in. You’re going to get judged regardless of what you wear, so make it something you love.

Some more of her nuggets and thoughts:

  • Not all great ideas will be funded. You need a great idea, a great team AND great metrics.
  • If you’re early to the market, you have to show that people want your service or idea.
  • It is always better to have 100 people adore you than 1,000 people KIND of like you.

Takeaways we can all learn from:

If you are pitching, or presenting, know which trigger words make you feel powerful and which trigger words make you feel lesser than. If you are in an interview scenario, be rock solid on your answers so that you can deliver the answer to the question YOU want to answer – regardless of what question they are asking.

Always do the research to find the human connection in those you are meeting with. What sports teams do they like? Did they recently post about a family trip to Bali? Discover how you can make a connection between your legacies, the impact you both desire, how your values and missions align.

We are currently valuing disruption in our industries and not valuing true impact.

When creating a slide presentation or pitch deck, the most important things to remember (and no more than 12 slides!) are your values, your numbers, your view of service and background of the team.

Patti Sanchez, Duarte

Oh my goodness, how I loved Patti’s session! She co-wrote Illuminate which I think is THE Bible for change and leadership inside of organizational and community change. I brought my copy of the book for her to autograph and it is a prized possession and something I reference often. I adore their way of breaking down the concept of innovating the S Curve.

Duarte S Curve

Two key snippets:

  1. Leaders must create the map for the clan.
  2. Stories ALIGN two people and cut out the judgment opportunities.


 Patti Sanchez Duarte
One of the things Patti said that really struck me is when she said that leaders (visionaries) are often so focused on the goals, the what’s next and the dreams that they then drop the ball during the final stage. In order to combat that and keep it from happening, she suggests leaders stay focused on the overall mission, and make a point to draw the clan into the big picture goal (or if the recent attempt / mission failed, talk about the WHY with the clan).
Origin stories are critical –  leaders and founders MUST tell how it all began, and tell it often!
Takeaway / Action Tip I plan to implement: If you need buy in and a commitment from your clan, consider launching a challenge or share your story and Origin story in mini-vision versions. Tell your story as a scene, or a thread.

Andy Raskin, AndyRaskin.com

Andy delivered a powerful presentation on storytelling and the importance of the promised land (read on to the bullet points for more on that:
  • Story is a protocol for inserting beliefs into other people’s heads.
  • Create a quiver of stories that relate to adjectives you wish to impart.
  • Create a world where people are telling the right story about  you and your community or business.
  • Don’t have your pitch or story start with a problem (causes defensiveness and a reaction/exposure).
  • Describe the process – who is impacted, describe them.
  • Who can we demonize? What is the old world / past? What is OUR change in the world? What big stakes can we share?


When telling your story:

1) Name the undeniable, relevant change in the world
2) Show what’s at stake (define thriving in great detail, what does winning look like, what does losing look like
3) What does the promised land look like? Tease the promise … aim for the “Yes, that’s true” response
4) Position capabilities as “magic” for slaying monsters
5) present evidence so you can make the story come true (showcase success and tell the story of those who reached promised land)
6) Make sure that the promised land gives direction to the team AND provides benefit to the world
The story isn’t just about marketing. The story is the strategy. If you make your story better, you make your strategy better. Ben Horowitz

Mark Reistra and Carrie Kibler, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati

Mark and Carrie presented on “popular ways to screw up your business” – great presentation title! Here are the bullet point takeaways:

  • poorly written business plan
  • ignoring corporate formalities
  • forgetting the importance of vesting
  • screwing up on the assignment of IP rights
  • having a large and disorganized founding team

You need to have  a team that is willing to hold hands and jump in the pool. -Mark Reistra

If you are creating an advisory board, make sure you have a good mix of helpers and important people … but then make sure you load up and then rely on the helpers.

  1. When in doubt, go with a Delaware Corporation
  2. TEAM, TEAM, TEAM (and it doesn’t have to be an equal pie!)
  3. Know the regulations
  4. Be creative with compliance
  5. Know your terms
  6. Maintain employee and consultant documentation
  7. Write down your intentions for each and every person who interacts with your company
  8. IP is your secret sauce – protect it
  9. Surround yourself with an amazing set of cheerleaders
  10. File your paperwork – and on time

When you are asking someone to introduce you, PROVIDE the 1-2 paragraph introduction language / text to make it easy on them.

Expand your network and connections as often as you can and THEN fit the puzzle pieces together.

(Note from Naomi: their session was pretty heavy and deep – if you want to go more in depth on any of their bullet points, I can discuss in the comments …)

Serendipity Conference
Another photo from the conference I’m spotted in (my back!). What do you think after reading my notes? Are there any pieces of the presentations that stand out to you more than others? Which ones resonate with you?  (If you want to learn more about Serendipity, read their piece on Medium.)

Najwa Zebian

The drum line stands at the ready near the back of the theater. The beautiful opener of Legendary Lane begins. Each speaker dictates the entrance they embrace, and determines the energy they bring to the stage. Throughout the Summit of Greatness conference, I watched as some individuals danced their way onto the stage, and others bounded and leaped their way to the stairs.

Najwa was different.

I could barely see her as the drummers made their way down the aisles. Her stature was slight and with the lights, the drums, the music, I only saw her as she took her first step onto the stage.

She stood in the middle of the stage, while the drummers continued welcoming her. She placed her palms together, and drew them to her heart.

She stood that way for quite some time. Then, she spoke.

Everyone sat enraptured, still and quiet. Nearly 1,000 attendees all glued to her every word. The only phones out and utilized were to snap photos or to quickly scramble to capture her words in the Notes app. No one breathed, moved or shifted in their seats.

We build “home” in other people. We invest in others like we do when investing money. Instead, value, dignity and worth needs to live with you and in you – not in others. -Najwa Zebian

After Najwa was finished, Lewis pulled up chairs so he could chat with her, and so the audience could ask questions. After being asked how to forgive and move on with a relationship, Najwa had this to say:

Thank you Najwa for your voice, your bravery, your vulnerability and your willingness to give words to those who feel they cannot speak. To learn more about Najwa, to order her books, or read the work she shares online, visit her website.


Najwa Zebain Signing

Brendon Burchard, Summit of Greatness

Success is the result of practices. -Brendon Burchard

Brendon Burchard

At the Summit of Greatness, attendees asked on repeat, “Who are you most excited to hear speak?” Many would rattle of their top names, but for me – I was unable to name just one. Some of the speakers I had never heard of before, and many I had been following for years.

Brendon Burchard was a speaker whom I was very familiar with as many of my friends and business buddies really loved him. I had never really connected though, as I wasn’t a big fan of his presence on the videos on his YouTube channel (silly me!).

However, my lack of connection with him wasn’t for not being successful or having an amazing story, journey and impact! Brendon is no joke. He’s consulted for and shared a stage with all of the big names: Oprah, Arianna Huffington, Dave Ramsey, Deepak Chopra, Dalai Lama, Sir Richard Branson, Steve Forbes, Tony Robbins, and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg to name just a few. Larry King named him “one of the world’s most successful motivation and marketing trainers.”

Brendon was the closing keynote speaker for the conference and as with the others, was ushered in with a ramped up version of Legendary Lane and the amazing drum line. But Brendon … unlike ANY of the other speakers, brought an energy, an excitement and a ridiculous amount of passion to his entrance. He jumped and danced and high-fived his way down the aisle. He approached the stage and paused for just a second – with his arms raised high above his head, soaking up the audience. Closed his eyes … and then danced for a full 60 seconds … using the entire width of the stage to jive with the drummers. In a full suit, I must add.

As I watched him, I kept thinking to myself – boy, was I wrong about him.

He captivated the stage and the audience for 45 minutes – and when I say captivated, I mean it to all definitions of the word. He told the story of love lost, heart break, a near death experience as a teenager, and with humor and passion – the story of a skydiving experience.

His new book, High Performance Habits : How Extraordinary People Become That Way has just come out and he gave us a sneak peek to the six top habits that high performing individuals master (the book released after the conference).

This – my friends – is a game changing book. It isn’t about high performance in business, or high performance in your entrepreneur life, or high performance in corporate or … any of that. It’s about high performance in the ONE life you’ve been gifted with living.

Seek Clarity Brendon Burchard

Make your goals an agenda item. Look at them EVERY day. Common sense is NOT common practice. Who do you want to BE? After Brendon’s life changing car accident, he realized that he wanted to be able to answer three questions every day. (1) Did I live? (2) Did I love? (3) Did I matter?

He went on to say that seeking clarity means asking yourself consistently, “Who do I want to BE in this specific situation?” The next question he posed to us on the topic of seeking clarity as a habit of success is “What skills must I master to hit the next level?”  Interestingly enough, Brendon said that in the massive study and research project he conducted for the book, they realized that strengths alone do nothing. Nothing! It’s about skills and master of those skills. Fascinating!

The final question he posed was pointed: “How do I serve?”

KEY TIP / CHALLENGE: Choose three words you want to be known for. If you don’t already know them, sit quietly for a few minutes – hand on heart. Think about those you have in your life, and the legacy you want to leave. What three words come to mind? Set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself throughout the day of those three values / traits.

Brendon Burchard Generate Energy

“Don’t wait for the energy, you have to summon it.” This goes back to the way Brendon entered the theater for his speech. He didn’t ask permission, he didn’t wait for it. He literally and physically summoned the energy that he wanted / needed. Interestingly enough, I discovered that he was REALLY sick the week of this speech — you wouldn’t have known it. He summoned the energy he needed and said (in a separate interview): “You don’t get to choose how you feel when you are in a leadership position, you have to summon the energy necessary for the job.”

This next statement he made at Summit of Greatness was powerful:

please be responsible Brendon Burchard

Brendon shared several examples of high performing individuals and their ability to release tension and instead set intentions. Those that are the most successful in their day, he said, are focusing on mastering energetic transitions. Between events, meetings, projects, intentionally release tension and set intentions for whatever is next.

KEY TIP/CHALLENGE: Next time you are leaving one meeting and about to enter the next, take time to go for a 5 minute walk or drink a glass of water. Stand up and close your eyes for one minute. Or, try Brendon’s RELEASE meditation technique (he starts on the “how” at the 6:03 mark, but the beginning of the video is gold).

Brendon Burchard Raise Necessity

Success IS required. He again went back to basics and reminded us that his message had nothing to do with business aspirations or entrepreneurial projects but our LIVES. When we go back to step #1 where we realize and seek clarity, we can begin to understand the answer to the question “When is it important to show up?”

KEY TIP / CHALLENGE: Success is required, not an option. It’s an absolute must. Suggested read: How Good People Make Hard Decisions by Rushwood Kitter.

Brendon Burchard Increase PQO

PQO = Prolific Quality Output. The definition of prolific is to be present in large numbers or quantities, plentiful, abundant, bountiful, profuse, copius. What is your primary field of interest? What matters the MOST to you? Decide to be ALL IN with that primary field of interest and ALIGN YOUR DAYS TO IT.

[Tweet “Holding yourself back serves absolutely no one. @Brendon Burchard via @naomihattaway”]

Brendon Burchard PQO
KEY TIP/CHALLENGE: KNOW what your field of interest is and align your DAYS to it.

Brendon Burchard Develop Influence

This was the most powerful part of Brendon’s time with us at Summit of Greatness. He asked us to put our phones down, close our notebooks and place our hands over our heart. “Close your eyes”, he said “Think of the ONE person who has been most influential to you in your life.”

Go ahead, try this for yourself! Close your eyes, wherever you are – and think of that one person.

Brendon then told us to open our eyes and said, “That person – undoubtedly – taught you how to think, challenged you and your character, and role-modeled the behaviors and showed you the way.”

KEY TIP/CHALLENGE: How consistently are you teaching others how to think? How consistently are you challenging others on their character, their connections? How are you role-modeling for others?

Brendon Burchard Demonstrate Courage

Oh, if only you could have seen Brendon share his story on courage. His version of a sky-diving experience had us roaring with laughter, crying and on the edge of our seats.

Courage means implementing, not intending. He spoke about intentions and the value of them, but real courage comes during the implementation OF the intentions. Impact not intentions. High performers act, they speak up for others, themselves and their beliefs.

KEY TIP/CHALLENGE: Showcase your life … don’t show it off.

After his speech, when I had the opportunity to have Life’s Golden Ticket ($1.99 on Kindle!) signed by Brendon, and the honor of a quick chat, I told him that while I’d known about him for years, I felt badly that I had dismissed his greatness. I went on to add that weirdly, I hadn’t resonated with him on video (his primary medium/platform I was aware of). I said “I just can’t believe I made that bad call, and missed out on so much, just because I didn’t allow myself to connect with you and your message early on.”  His reply?

“I’m glad we’ve connected now. You likely didn’t need all of the previous content. I’m really glad you were here today, and heard my message TODAY. We don’t always connect with each other early on and that’s ok.” He then added, “SO many people tell me I’m remarkably different in person. It’s hard to really be ME on video. I much prefer the stage.”

Thanks for the lessons, Brendon.

(If you want to see a sneak peek behind the “stage” of Brendon and his tour/speaking style, watch this)

((So fun to find myself at the end of Brendon’s backstage/tour video, can you find me below? Watch Here))

Brendon Burchard Summit of Greatness


September Snippets

gratitude day Lina Trochez

Image credit: Lina Trochez

September 21 is Gratitude Day (it’s also the International Day of Peace) and inside our I Am A Triangle community, an online social network for those living abroad (or who have in the past), we’re talking about peace and gratitude. Over the summer, I’ve taken on a gratitude challenge with one of my best friends. We are both using the Rituals For Living DreamBook system to help organize our days, and make sure our life goals are actually being accomplished … one week at a time.

Every day, I capture my gratitude. Some of the past entries for me have been: new connections, sleep, music by The XX, piano lessons, my brain’s capacity, new suitcases, local wine shops, Jeep bikini tops, a roof over our heads, changing habits, hot coffee and the space to drink it all *while* it’s hot, Haplo Groups, Todd being home this summer, Farnoosh, truth-tellers, colored highlighters, alarm clocks, Indian food, curly hair, Brene Brown, golf, having guts, zebra pants, distractions, my ability to negotiate, business boss colleagues, do-overs ….

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.  John F. Kennedy

The key to capturing gratitude is that you don’t have to search your brain for the big ticket items. It’s the small things, the little items, the unglamorous and the mundane. One thing I have learned this summer is … CLICK TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE.

Cate Brubaker Webinar I Am A Triangle Most Triangles find going “home” after living abroad is – much to their surprise – the most difficult part of their entire abroad journey.

But re-entry (or repatriation) doesn’t have to be a terrible experience!

With the right approach, your return “home” can actually be a positive and growth-filled experience that launches you into even bigger and better things.

I am excited to announce a collaboration with Dr. Cate Brubaker for a free LIVE webinar on September 25th, 2017. In the webinar, you will learn:

1. The #1 mistake returnees make in re-entry (and how to avoid making it yourself).

2. Five tips for turning re-entry into a positive, growth-focused experience that you actually benefit from.

Whether you’re planning your return, have recently returned or have been “home” for several months or even years, this free webinar is for you. If this doesn’t resonate with you, perhaps you have a friend or loved one who might be in this situation?


Dr. Cate Brubaker is the founder of Small Planet Studio, LLC, the author of the Re-Entry Roadmap creative workbook and the Study Abroad Re-entry Toolkit, host of the RELAUNCH! virtual summit, and leader of the Re-entry Roadmap Mastermind.


Inc. Naomi Hattaway Getty Images

Image Credit: Getty

When a journalist from Inc. contacts you and asks to write an article for the amazing online resource, you of course say yes! Suzanne and I had a long and amazing conversation and we talked about all things I Am A Triangle, Facebook Groups and what the future holds for our community. When we hung up the phone, I got a little pit in my stomach, because you never know what will actually MAKE an article! I am super pleased with this article and want to give mad props to Suzanne Lucas for honoring our community, my leadership decision and the reason for our move to Mighty Networks. Take a read and let me know what you think: CLICK TO READ: This Woman Built a Successful Facebook Community and then Shut It Down. Here’s Why

I’ll be writing soon about my experience at Summit of Greatness this past week where I had the absolute honor to listen to individuals like Tim Storey, Mel Robbins, Brendon Burchard, Esther Perel, Najwa Perel and more. It was ridiculously inspiring and was a needed reset for me as I go into the last quarter of the year. I also had the pleasure of meeting all of these productivity and mindfulness greats in person, as well as Laura Bretan – the amazing singer from America’s Got Talent, remember her? I can’t wait to download the things I learned and share them with you!

Until then, here’s one of my favorite songs playing on repeat:

I’m only human
I make mistakes
I’m only human
That’s all it takes
To put the blame on me
Don’t put the blame on me


What’s happening in your neck of the woods?