Denver Startup Week 2022 Speaker

It was wonderful to be invited back as a speaker for my third year at Denver Startup Week. In September, I hosted one of my keynote programs, Financial Friends: Why You Need Them + An Event to Find Them, at Capital One Cafe. They captured their favorite clips of the week, including an interview with me and highlights from my session. I love seeing smiling faces having 1:1 healthy, wealthy money talks and finding Financial Friends. Check out the video here.

Denver Startup Week: 100 Women Talking Money (Startup Edition)

One of my favorite events with The Pledgettes is our 100 Women Talking Money series. I am very excited that we are bringing this event to Denver Startup Week on Monday, September 14th. To serve the startup community, we’ll tailor our convesration to working in and working on startups. Jenn Uhen will be facilitating this session and BGSD created the content.

More about Denver Startup Week:
Built by the community, for the community Denver Startup Week is a celebration of everything entrepreneurial in Denver and is the largest free event of its kind. In 2020, we will host the first ever virtual Denver Startup Week to come together, celebrate a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in Denver and beyond, and showcase and build the city’s culture of innovation. Now is the time to get involved as we look forward to Denver Startup Week 2020

More about the 100 Women Talking Money Session at Denver Startup Week:
Women, we know the statistics:
Women receive 7% of venture funds.
Only 25% of women-owned businesses seek business financing.
Denver is the #1 city for women to start a business.

The best way to change the statistics is to talk about money openly. In this interactive session, you’ll have five 1:1 money conversations with other women. We all have something to learn, and we all have something to share.

At the start of each of the money conversations, you’ll be given three conversation starter prompts, and you take it from there. You’ll get to ask questions, share experiences, and go more in-depth with the conversation.

It’s our goal that you will exchange contact information and keep the conversations going beyond the event.

Sample conversation starters include:
What would you do if you earned a $1 million investment?
What were the best investments you made in your business?
How has your money mindset evolved with your startup?
Where do you look for financial advice?
How have you celebrated financial milestones?
What has been your biggest financial fail?
What is your first memory of money?

This is a judgment-free zone. We welcome women wherever they are in their financial journey. We believe everyone has something to learn, and everyone has something to teach. We celebrate starting a money conversation with the same enthusiasm as achieving a big financial goal!

Join us as we meet new friends through financial chats.

Shifted Perspectives: TARRA Masterclass

This collaboration is an exciting one because I get to collaborate with:
– industry experts, who will be guest lecturers as they coach participants through a specific challenge
– engaged co-participants, who will share their experiences and offer advice
– an experienced facilitator, Meridith Marshall, who has lead intimate events and masterminds
– and a community-driven organization TARRA.

If you want to be part of something from the start and grow your business, please visit for more details and complete an application.

TARRA Co is holding space for Microbusinesses to thrive

You know when you find your people and you want to work with them again and again and again. That’s how I felt when I first met Kate Bailey and the TARRA team. I have joined their team as Director of Programming to collaborate on a multiple series of events as they continue to build their community.

In the Sustaining Small series, I’ll be speaking at the next event on September 10 with one of my favorite topics: GOALS!

Sustaining Small is a monthly series for artisans, creatives, designers, writers, retail and other microbusiness entrepreneurs, who want to engage in dialogue about what it means to thrive. 

We gather each month for meaningful conversations, education and workshops about how to maintain, manage and create a microbusiness and creative livelihood that feels authentic to you, your vision and how you want your life and profession to integrate. 

These monthly dialogues are meant to be a space of community building, support and learning. We are here to help you get clear about what you want, how to achieve it and ensure longevity for your vision.

Sustaining Small is a safe space where you get to ask the questions you haven’t asked, discover new ways of thinking, uncover key resources and tools, and find out what other creatives in the community are doing to “sustain small.”

I hope to see you there!

Calling all Creatives: Find Your Path in the Evolving Design Industry

I have always had a special place in my heart for creatives and the unique career challenges they face: from articulating their value and being paid their worth.

I have partnered with AIGA Colorado and TARRA to facilitate this three part workshop series. You can attend one or all three. These workshops will be limited to a small group to have discussions. Each participant will have the opportunity to find their unique dream career path and goals.

The first workshop is on May 5th. We’ll be talking about external factors like future design trends and DIY’ers. And we’ll get into some internal factors like building your network and skills. I am excited to facilitate this conversations to learn more from the creative professionals participating and share tools to create a clear path forward.

Learn more about these events at

Repost: Fast Company’s “8 smart ways to keep networking while you’re stuck at home”

Well, a global pandemic came in like a wrecking ball disrupting virtually every routine. Now that we’re settling into the new normal, make sure you are finding strong ways to strengthen and build your network. Use this time to stay connected and get connected.

Fast Company posted this great article with eight ways to keep networking. I’m definitely spending the time to check in with people with a quick text or engage with great communities via video.

How have you stayed connected while staying at home?

Always be preparing for your Performance Review

You know that time of the year when you are responsible for coming up a with a list of everything you have done this past year to exceed expectations in your role and contribute to the success of the company? Instead of staring a blank piece of paper for hours on end, track it throughout the year.

I would keep a folder in my email called “Go You.” Anytime a client, team member, or peer would give me props or a meaningful thank you, I’d add that email to the folder. Anytime I would finish a big project; I’d shoot myself a note with some highlights and add that to the folder. If there was a qualitative or quantitative thing I did, yup, it went in the folder.

When it was time for my performance review, instead of staring at a blank sheet trying to remember the top three things I did in the last year, I had a whole folder to remind me. By preparing throughout the year with this “Go You,” folder, I was also more prepared to articulate the value that I contributed successfully negotiating raises and promotions.

And, one other side effect of having this folder. If you’re having one of those crummy days when you are feeling lost in your role, review these highlights to remind yourself of your value and accomplishments at work.

Your Elevator Pitch should be about the Value you Bring

“I’m new to town and looking for opportunities.”  Eek!  That opening line is bound to shut some new connections down before they even get to know you. 

“I have 20 years of experience designing viewbooks for private schools and want to grow my network in the private school community.” This elevator pitch is a stronger opening. This statement shows the value that you provide, the challenges you can help others solve, and your reason for launching into your elevator pitch. 

The goal with an elevator pitch is to share enough about yourself briefly that people will think about you.  They will think about you if they hear that someone is hiring.  They will think of you if someone is talking about a project they need to complete at work.  They will think of you if they are talking to someone who does something similar to you. 

If you’re at a networking event, it’s apparent that you have a reason to be there.  People won’t be shocked to learn that you are looking for new clients, trying to connect more with influencers, or adding to your tribe of people like you.  And, they are at the networking event for a reason too.  Don’t be shy about why you are there and also learn why others are there.

After you have shared a strong opening line, get ready to share more with be prepared to answer some of these questions:

1 – Why did you come to this event tonight?  Here is a great chance to offer some more personal details.  “I moved to Denver a few months ago.  I have a strong network in my old city and want to build a strong network here.”  Maybe you are looking to build your network because you have clients that use you for branding work and now they need help with Powerpoint Design (which you don’t do), so you need a group of referrals. 

2 – How do you find your clients?

3 – What’s your process for solving <XX> challenge?

4 – When have you been most proud of work you’ve done?

These are authentic conversations that will help you build a solid network of people that will refer work to you, collaborate with you on future projects, or may even hire you. 

2019 Goals Check-in

In several conversations I’ve had lately; people have commented on my intentional living. I love how my husband and I are flexible with the opportunities of what we can do in life now and open to when unique projects come to us. Because of this flexibility, I sometimes don’t give enough credit to the structure that allows us all this freedom. We actively work on Goal-Setting and schedule Check-Ins for our goals.

On January 1, my husband and I were sitting in a hotel room talking about the future. What are our hopes and dreams? What do we want our lives to look like at key milestones? We have one big goal we’re working towards together that we plan to achieve in the next 7-9 years. If we were a company, that would be our Mission. And each year, we identify annual Goals (corporate speak: our Strategies) with Actions underneath each of them.

If you have created 2019 Goals; we’re halfway through the year. Dust off those goals and check in.
1 – Celebrate where you are! Which key milestones did you hit?
2 – Update your Strategies and Actions to ensure you hit your 2019 Goals. What’s working that you should do more of this year? What didn’t work that you should stop doing now? Are there any new Strategies or Actions that will get you to achieve your goals?
3 – Are there any new Goals that you want to add to focus on during the second half of the year?

Here’s a straightforward layout that I use for our Mission/Goals/Actions.
What’s your Mission? Your Mission is a Long Range Goal or something you want to achieve in the next 5/10/20 years. What do you want life to look like then (the more specific, the better)? Your Mission can be reaching particular levels of Work Life Blend, hitting monetary income or net worth levels.

What are your 2019 Goals? These should be strategies that will get you closer to your Mission. I have four buckets for my 2019 Goals: My Personal Goals, My Professional Goals, Our Joint (my husband and my) Personal Goals, Our Joint Professional Goals. Here are some of the type of goals:
– An Income Total
– A Net Worth Increase
– A Professional Lifestyle (around the kinds of projects we say yes to)
– A Personal Lifestyle (about what our Work-Life Blend looks like)
– Healthy Habits
– Developing New Skills

What are clear Actions you can take to hit those goals? Break down your goals with some milestones and actions. For our Income Goal, we divided the total by 6 with a milestone every two months. For our Net Worth Goal (which is linked to our income goal), we identified some significant actions of paying down debts, selling some assets, and reducing expenses. One of my health goals has a list of the 52 weeks in the year, so I can make a quick note of what I do each week. If you are working on creating new habits, I recommend using a tracker. I like the Best Self Habit Roadmap and you can use code BGSDSelf for a 15% discount.

Finally, embrace all the freedom that structure gives you! Be intentional in how you want to achieve your goals. It becomes real and achievable when you write it down and have a plan to get there.

Adding Value Every Day

If you would ever thank one of my favorite Creative Directors for his contributions, he would always reply, “Just adding value.” And it was true. Every big idea or quick insight was adding incredible value to the project and our clients. He certainly taught me the concept of adding value at every opportunity. That quip seemed like an off-handed casual comment, but it was one of the best lessons I learned.

I challenge you to think about every project or team you are on. Take a minute to write down all the ways you add value to that team. Celebrate those!!

Now, take another minute to write down what the team needs to perform at a higher level. Are some of those ideas you can take on?

Here are some ways to add value to teams/projects:
– Share your notes from team meetings. Call out the highlights and decisions at the top and the action items at the bottom. (Organization)
– Thank someone for their specific contributions. (Gratitude)
– Share an article or podcast that has relevant information your project or a challenge the team is facing. (Inspiration)
Refocus the conversation around the decision at hand. (Efficiency)