Yesterday I shared a look at my updated gallery wall with Simply Framed, a wall that definitely doesn’t shy from the bold or colorful. And while gallery walls tend feel very “one-and-done,” I touched upon the process of continually...
I wanted to spend today celebrating a handful of people who are spreading light around the world. As you know, I’m diligently penning my Five Minute Journal entries every day, and it’s helped me find gratitude and peace in a lot of areas where I’ve been tempted to feel anxiety or fear in the past. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with worldly issues, but these individuals proved that single people can bring about change. Working on this post was a great reminder of the many individuals who are helping pave a better future for people, bringing a little more hope into the world.
The list by all means can go on and on, but today it includes five people whose efforts and missions have particularly spoken to me. From clean water initiatives to education and innovation, the work has not been for the faint of heart…these people are rockstars! I hope you’ll join me in recognizing these social entrepreneurs, and tell me who else I should check out. Cheers, Kat
SHOP THE STORY / CLICK LEFT & RIGHT ARROWS TO EXPLORE
Boyan Slat has been an inventor since birth, and he started The Ocean Cleanup at the insanely young age of 17. As an inventor and entrepreneur, he’s created technology to solve societal problems. The Ocean Cleanup develops advanced technologies to rid world’s oceans of plastic. He came up with a system that acts like an artificial coastline, which catches plastic in the ocean with 100% natural powered ocean currents.
Slat is the youngest-ever recipient of UN’s highest environment award and has been recognized as one of the 20 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs Worldwide (Intel EYE50). Forbes also included him in their 30 under 30 edition in 2016.
Malala Yousafzai, a student and education activist, has done amazing things for girls’ rights and education. She actually started speaking out publicly about girls’ before she reached her teenage years in Pakistan, after she survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban when she was just 15. Malala then co-founded the Malala Fund, which invests in developing country education leaders and organizations in regions where most girls aren’t able to complete secondary education. She was the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.
Malala Fund strives to help girls complete 12 years of safe, quality education, without the fear of violence. Their work also supports girls’ decisions to delay early marriage, while building up their academic and life skills through mentoring programs.
You can donate HERE to help 130 million girls who are out of school complete the quality education they deserve. And if you have some time, you must read Malala’s entire story HERE; it’s incredible.
“For me, charity is practical. It’s sometimes easy, more often inconvenient, but always necessary. It’s the ability to use one’s position of influence, relative wealth and power to affect lives for the better. charity is singular and achievable.” Scott Harrison, the founder and current CEO of charity: water used to be a club promoter in NYC. After realizing he was faced with “spiritual bankruptcy”, he rediscovered his faith and sought to spend his life helping others. He hopped aboard a floating hospital service called Mercy Ships, where he put a face to the worlds’ 1.2 billion people living in poverty. He was changed; he saw the lack of clean water as the common thread to so many of the devastating issues around him, and vowed to help people access clean water around the world.
Currently, charity: water funds water programs in 24 countries around the world. With hand-dug wells, rainwater catchments, piped systems and more solutions, it’s able to focus on providing rural communities with clean water.
Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta co-founded the company, LuminAID after brainstorming up a solution after the Haiti Earthquake. You may have seen these LuminAID lights on Amazon; they’re awesome for camping. The girls majorly impressed all of the judges on Shark Tank with them, landing a deal with Mark Cuban after all sharks offered deals.
But the best part about these lights is that they’re amazing in a time of need, offering long-term lighting solutions for areas without power during an emergency. LuminAID solar lights pack flat for easy distribution, which makes it exponentially easier on the aid workers during an emergency.
LuminAID lights have been used in more than 70 countries (!) after huge disasters like Hurricane Sandy and the earthquakes in Nepal.
Peter Diamandis has a passion for space, longevity, and innovation. He founded the XPRIZE Foundation, which is committed to funding competitions that encourage major technological development that could benefit mankind. Diamandis is incredible at developing an idea, building leadership teams, developing a vision, and letting them run things. He’s known for bringing together world class talent around his ideas, and his impact around the world is beyond impressive. Forbes’ article published this week dubbed him ‘the author of technology’s future.’
So what’s this about XPRIZE? XPRIZE designs and operates large-scale incentive competitions, meaning: million-dollar contests that try to solve a serious problem that plagues the world. An XPRIZE must be a bold and audacious goal, one that seems to be unsolvable. It also must be be “winnable” by a small team, and that could be anyone from industry experts to high school students. Lastly, it must provide vision and hope for a better future.
Diamandis’ motto is, “The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself” and he sure found a way to incentivize playing our part in the bigger picture.
Check out the active prizes HERE, and donate HERE to help fund more crazy ideas that could lead to world-size solutions.
When I think about throwing a dinner party for friends, it sounds pretty overwhelming. But not because the desire to host and entertain isn’t there. It’s the opposite case; I recently kicked off a monthly supper club with my friends, and together we’re slowly navigating the casual dinner party waters. It only took us a month or two to find that timing the dishes’ cook times, setting a beautiful table and not being stressed out the ENTIRE time comes with lots of experience.
It’s easy to find stunning tabletops, inspiring centerpieces and gorgeous bar carts these days, thanks to Pinterest and Instagram. It’s easy to find checklists of anything and everything you should have on-hand when hosting your picture-perfect dinner party. But while those checklists are helpful, the reality is that you won’t always have ALL of the so-called “essentials”, (and you won’t always want to go out and get them).
That’s why I tapped entertaining guru Amanda Gluck of Fashionable Hostess for a little practical entertaining advice for us here today. Amanda makes it look SO easy to pull together pin-worthy spreads, so she was my go-to gal for some solid insider advice. Instead of having her share everything you DO need when hosting a casual dinner party, I invited her to share the five things you can actually do away with. Whether you have a lot of entertaining experience or not (*raises hand*), I think you’ll find this list helpful when planning your next get-together. Cheers, Kat
No. 1…A full set of silverware. A fork and knife will suffice, especially if you are eating casual. Make dessert finger-friendly, like cookies or brownies so you don’t need dessert plates or forks!
No…2. Place cards. While for large parties it’s great to assign seats so people will mingle, keep small parties casual and let people sit where they choose.
No. 4….Multiple courses. When I get together with friends or family, I put out all the food on on my buffet in my dining room with serving pieces and all at once everyone gets up and eats! I always encourage people to get up and take seconds too!
No. 5…You don’t need to do everything! Ask one guest to be in charge of dessert, another to bring a fruit salad, another to bring wine. You would be surprised but people love helping out!
SHOP THE STORY / CLICK LEFT & RIGHT ARROWS TO EXPLORE
Entrepreneurism is not for the weak of heart. And while yes sometimes becoming an entrepreneur is a well thought out, strategic plan, I’ve found in talking to other entrepreneurs, most of the time it just happens to you. It happens usually in a combustion of curiosity, desperation, frustration and passion; or at least that’s how it happened to me.
To be honest, I fell and then very reluctantly, jumped head first into entrepreneurism (read more about my journey HERE). I didn’t really think about what an entrepreneur actually meant. What it would mean to run my own blog, an e-commerce boutique and a design and consulting division. I didn’t think about the accountability and responsibility it would take day to day to lead a team, not to mention to succeed. You’ll find a lot of entrepreneur success stories, and you’ll read a lot of advice pieces. But what you can’t seem to find are the not-so-glamorous learnings from an entrepreneur that’s knee-deep in it. And the emotional side of it all? Well, that’s not ever talked about…like ever.
So today I thought I’d rectify that and share five things I wish I had known before becoming an entrepreneur. I hope this serves as a helpful collection of thought-provoking points, but more importantly I hope that this reaches all of the entrepreneurs out there that need to hear it. Because, together, we know that the struggle is real and the more we talk about and share our experiences the better we will be because of it. Truly, MKR
NO. 1… As an entrepreneur, you’re responsible for every single decision. I repeat EVERY SINGLE DECISION. From the smallest, most trivial questions to the craziest, largest things…you’re the one that calls the ultimate shot. Which at first sounds fun especially for Type A’s like me, but becomes an immense amount of pressure quite quickly, because let’s be honest one person can never have all the answers. TAKEAWAY: Surround yourself with employees and people that you trust to take some of the pressure off. Even in the beginning when you may not have employees friends, family, and other entrepreneurs can make great sounding boards especially when it comes to the big make or break decisions. And ask questions, like I said no one has all the answers so don’t be afraid to ask lots and lots of questions.
NO. 2… Only fellow entrepreneurs will understand what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. I’m not being exclusionary to anyone else hustling everyday but a CEO, COO, Vice President, etc., etc…they don’t have skin in the game like you do as a Founder. If the biz they work for goes under, they will find a new job, if your biz goes under…well let’s just say it’s not that easy. TAKEAWAY: As an entrepreneur, it’s crucial to find a group of fellow entrepreneurs for mentoring, support, and questions you have along the way. I’m in the process of joining an entrepreneurs-only group that meets monthly, and am actively involved with the founders of The Southern Coterie, as well as numerous other creative entrepreneurs in the Atlanta area. Don’t have an already established entrepreneurial group in your area? Start one yourself; think coffee and cocktails with a side of help and support whenever needed. And if you’re just beginning a great FREE resource is Score Mentors.
NO. 3…You’ll be kept up at night with the constant question of what’s next, what can you improve, what can you do to succeed, etc. A friend of mine, who’s also an entrepreneur, said it best, “it’s not my kids that keep me up at night—it’s my business.” And I can fully see how that would be the case. As an entrepreneur, the livelihood of everyone on your team depends on you, and that burden will never, ever go away. You also can’t leave your own business at the door like you can with a corporate job…it will ALWAYS follow you home and consume you at all hours. Personally, the question of scaling a business, knowing what growth really means (and that bigger isn’t always better), and all in all staying close to our mission statement and passion in everything we do is what keeps me up at night. And I know those questions may change but as an entrepreneur they will never go away. TAKEAWAY: Learn to enjoy that you have this burden to carry. Practice meditation. And try to unplug at night best you can. Wish I could provide more “answers” but I’m still struggling with this one friends.
NO. 4…Founders depression is real. I didn’t have a name for it before I read this spot-on article from Create & Cultivate about founder’s depression, and it was a breath of fresh air. No one ever talks about the self-doubt that comes with owning a business, so to know that other entrepreneur’s struggle with the same constant question…are you happier than before BLANK (before you left your job, before you grew, before you invested more money, before you expanded, etc. etc.)? The blank will always change, but the main question will not. It’s a serious question, and before starting WOM I would have balked at the thought. Of course I would be happier being my own boss, making my own hours, being able to be creative every day. But on the long days—when everything seems to be crashing down, and you’re responsible for all of it—it’s hard not to consider turning it all back in for the 9-to-5 you can leave at the door. TAKEAWAY: Talk to others, be open and honest about the good AND the bad and don’t make any rash decisions in the heat of the moment. We all have bad days, bad weeks, heck bad months, but that which does not kill you (or rather make you throw in the towel) will inevitably make you stronger.
NO. 5…Don’t compare your middle to someone else’s end. It’s really easy, especially in this digital world we live in, to play the comparison game. Just don’t. It will NEVER, ever make you feel better or more importantly it will never help you grow your business. We all have our own path, so be patient, don’t take shortcuts, and stay authentic. And above all else remember being entrepreneur is pretty damn amazing! TAKEAWAY: It’s about the journey not the destination
SHOP THE STORY / CLICK LEFT & RIGHT ARROWS TO EXPLORE