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Women Realize Change Cohort

Spring 2019

A professional and personal growth opportunity for women social entrepreneurs who want the support of an awesome community of peers as they boldly and thoughtfully unleash their visions for a better world — and seek fulfillment and alignment in their lives.

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What might be possible if you could take the loneliness and self-doubt out of entrepreneurship? If you had a space to be truly seen and supported on your changemaking journey?

 
 
Photo by Val Vesa via Unsplash

Photo by Val Vesa via Unsplash

 

Today was a wonderful reminder of why being held and empowered in a space is so important. Whether we’re doing deep and vulnerable work or the tedious, having a sense of belonging and welcoming is essential to sustaining, well, anything.

— Alison W.

Is this cohort for you?

This program is for DC-area women and non-binary folks who have set out to make their social change-oriented passion project a reality — whether it’s an organization, consultancy, business, or creative venture.

You’re creative, entrepreneurial, smart, and emotionally intelligent. You deeply care about your community, society, and world, and want to make the positive impact that is authentically yours to make. You also want to feel fulfilled, alive, and balanced in the process.

I’m right there with you, since launching my purpose-driven venture last year. In my experience, having more freedom and autonomy is awesome, but sometimes it feels like swinging on a trapeze with the net far below. And even the most grounded among us occasionally get caught by imposter syndrome, perfectionism, fear of failure, or even fear of success.

We social entrepreneurs didn’t quit our day jobs to become hermits. We like people and want to have meaningful, fun, nourishing interactions with other humans as we move through our work week!

It can be tiring being the one to constantly initiate, plan, and hold space for others and yourself all the time. Even as things are going well overall, you’re still carrying a lot on your shoulders.

What might it feel like to have a space where you could share what’s on your mind and heart about your venture and really be heard, acknowledged, and supported on your journey?


Realize the change you want to see

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Join other purpose-driven, entrepreneurial women for a 3-month intentional, relational experience to grow your leadership on three levels:

  • Beneath the Surface: tap into your well of resilience and conviction, so you can quickly and consistently rebound after those rocky moments of self-doubt and reconnect with what you’re committed to building

  • Unleash Your Power: explore and own your authentic strengths so you can steer a course to come alive in your unique way, over and over again

  • Make a Splash: powerfully articulate your vision and put yourself out there for greater visibility and impact, while strategically embarking on an exciting new piece of your work using human-centered design methods

This is an opportunity to do the inner work that you need to do in order to move forward boldly, confidently, authentically, and successfully.

And to do it with the support of a community of peers who get it. People who will see you in your strength and potential, hold your vision with you, and celebrate your wins. People you’ll feel comfortable reaching out to when you hit a low point or a snag.

At the culmination of the program, you’ll have a chance to share your initiative with friends, colleagues, and the broader community at a Vision Showcase event.

This is a space to draw strength and inspiration in community — to be seen in your deepest vision for what you want to offer the world, as you grow into the leader you are becoming.

The three sides of the Realize Change wave:  Beneath the Surface | Cresting | Making a Splash

The three sides of the Realize Change wave:

Beneath the Surface | Cresting | Making a Splash

 

Sarah is such a clarifying breath of fresh air! When I was overwhelmed with my own internal indecision, her questions, patience and guidance helped me get laser focused on how to prioritize my next step. Our conversation has had a positive ripple effect of keeping my business aligned to my vision and mission to serve. I highly recommend her brilliance!

— Nina E.


The basics

When: April - June 2019

Full cohort sessions:

  • Fri, April 12 | 11 am - 4 pm | Opening Retreat* | Beneath the Surface

  • Fri, May 3 | 2 - 4 pm | Learning Circle | Unleashing Your Strengths

  • Fri, June 7 | 2 - 4 pm | Learning Circle | Making a Splash

  • Weekday evening in June | Vision Showcase Event

  • Fri, June 28 | 11 am - 3 pm | Closing Retreat* | Taking it All In

*Retreats include lunch catered by local immigrant and refugee entrepreneur chefs.

Small-group “pod” coaching sessions:

  • An integral part of the program is individualized coaching with Sarah Beller using Presence-Based Coaching methods

  • This is a time to bring the challenges and growth edges that are on your mind and heart, and receive real-time coaching support to work through them by accessing your inner and outer resourcefulness

  • Along with 1-2 other cohort participants who you’ll be matched with, you’ll have a monthly 60- to 75-minute small-group “pod” coaching session in April, May, and June

  • Hearing about the everyday challenges other changemakers are going through, and seeing where they draw strength and clarity, you’ll gain wisdom for your own work and know you’re not alone

  • These sessions take place virtually over Zoom

  • Your pod can be a “go-to” support system to share wins, name goals, and seek advice on a more frequent basis, depending on interest level

In July, you’ll have a 1:1 phone call with Sarah to celebrate your progress, offer your feedback on the program, and envision your next steps.

Where: Washington, DC

  • Retreats and workshops will be held in person in the Petworth / Columbia Heights neighborhood

  • Coaching sessions will be held virtually through Zoom

Your investment:

  • $860 paid in full

  • Payment plans available: $290/mo for 3 months, or $150/mo for 6 months

Registration deadline:

  • April 1, 2019


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No matter where you are in starting your venture, having a supportive, thoughtful, intuitive person to guide you through the process and identify issues you're having is really valuable. Sarah helped me recognize my strengths, needs, and fears that were keeping me from achieving my goals.

— Emma K.

What you’ll get out of it

It is my intention that you’ll come away from this three-month experience with:

  • Deep, inspiring, mutually supportive relationships with other women on changemaking journeys

  • Resilience skills to help you endure the inevitable highs and lows of fulfilling your vision

  • New solutions to help you get unstuck and grow your venture and your leadership

  • Clarity about your social change “pilot light” — what fires up your moral conviction

  • A compassionate, growth-oriented approach to issues of privilege, identity, and oppression

  • Unstoppable connection with your purpose & strengths, intuition & creativity

  • Intimate, informal conversations with seasoned women social entrepreneurs who are farther along in their ventures

  • A strategic, actionable prototype for an exciting new piece of your work

  • Experience telling your story and communicating your vision to inspire and motivate others


Join the cohort

Ready to grow your leadership, fulfillment, and impact? Sign up for the Women Realize Change Cohort today.


Still thinking it over? I’d love to have a conversation with you over the phone and hear more about where you’re at, where you’re looking to go, and what kinds of support would be helpful for you to get there.


Photo by Vernée Norman

Photo by Vernée Norman

Meet your facilitator

Last September, I picked nine cards out of my deck of Crazy Sexy Love Notes and lined them up on my coffee-table-turned-headquarters.

Breathe deeply. Pause. Listen to your body. Notice the blessings. Believe. You are loved. Offer your love. Risk it. Make waves.

Then I hit “share” on my big announcement: my new venture Realize Change was live, and after 15 years working in the non-profit sector, I was now an entrepreneur.

Over the next few weeks, I had coffees and phone chats with dozens of people, sharing my vision and figuring out how, exactly, I was going to go about making it work.

I was putting myself out there, keeping a sense of excitement and possibility, even confirming my first paying client!!

Then one day, I had a conversation that really threw me for a loop. This person was trying to be helpful and supportive, but unfortunately, the effect on me was just the opposite. I was hurt and fuming. I felt small and incapable.

And at that moment I faced a choice: I could fall into old habits of stewing and licking my wounds, waiting for some external circumstance to come along and cheer me up. Or, I could do things differently.

Here’s what I did:

  • Turning on “Roar” by Katy Perry, I summoned my inner tiger and actually, well, roared.

  • I looked at nice notes people have given me over the years and took in their sentiments, feeling grateful for these relationships, and for being seen and appreciated in my unique contributions to the world.

  • Then I took out a stack of notecards and penned my own messages of thanks to people whose kindness and trust in me were key to getting this venture off the ground.

But my fledgling resilience needed more practice to grow stronger and really “stick.” Over the course of the fall and winter, through leadership trainings, coaching sessions, reading, movement, and journaling, I continued to do the deep inner work I needed to do to be successful in my venture.

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There were rocky moments, profound moments, and exhilarating moments. Poetry ensued. I resolved on the deepest gut level to finally let out my authentic creativity, so that my soul could thrive. I put my coaching offer out there through listservs and workshops, and brought more and more clients on board. I adopted new money beliefs, and set income targets that sounded something like a salary. I shared 15 years’ worth of original songs with a packed house of friends and family, and with the entire internet. And, oh yeah, I took up the cello.

Among other sources of support, one of the most most helpful things has been a professional peer group called the Creative Changemakers Circle that my friends Kelsey, Gabriella, and I created for ourselves. We’ve met over video conference each month to celebrate wins, seek support and suggestions, and set goals with accountability. It has been an ideal antidote to the loneliness of solopreneurship, like having really close colleagues again, even though we’re pursuing our own handcrafted paths independently.

Now I want to offer all this to you. I’m bringing together the most powerful and effective tools I’ve found — along with years of facilitation, community building, innovation, and mentorship experience — to create an enriching, transformative experience for women with important and soul-centered social change visions that need to be realized.

As your facilitator and coach, I will see you as a peer. I’ll listen deeply, honor who you are today and who you are becoming, ask tough questions with compassion, and share insights and reflections about what I see working for you, not working for you, or possible for you in the future. I will help you find your “growing edge” where the most learning and empowerment can happen, and I will create space where you can envision the future you deeply desire. In the context of our sessions, you will identify the action steps you most want and need to take — and I’ll support you in holding yourself accountable and following through on them.

I truly believe that the world needs you, and your authentic contributions. In the words of my friend Rabbi Laura Bellows, “May the longing of your heart be met with the longing of the world for your unique awesomeness, your radiance, your struggles, your truth.”

Sarah is driven by a deep passion for making the world a better place. She has a gift of seeing the light in others and helping them to draw out their unique qualities. In her recent course, we delved deeply into ourselves to identify our passions and callings. I found the experience to be deeply transformative.

— Becky W.


Curriculum overview

What will the group sessions be about? Here is an overview of what you’ll experience:

  • Opening Retreat | Beneath the Surface: Tap into your well of resilience

    • Getting to know each other and setting group norms

    • Centering in your commitment & getting back on track when triggered

    • Practicing self-compassion

    • Meeting your “inner mentor”

    • Identifying your source of conviction for social justice

    • Lunch with inspiring women social entrepreneurs

    • Introduction to human-centered design project and Reflected Strongest Self assessment

  • Monthly Pod Coaching Sessions

    • See details above in “the basics” section

  • Learning Circle | Cresting Wave: Unleash your authentic strengths

    • Integrating your results from the Reflected Strongest Self assessment

    • Sharing out learning from human-centered design research

    • Introduction to prototyping and vision presentations

  • Learning Circle | Making a Splash: Put your vision out there

    • Workshopping each others’ vision presentations

    • Sharing out learning from prototyping exercise

  • Vision Showcase Event

    • A chance to share your vision in real-time with friends, colleagues, and potential supporters and connectors at an open house event.

  • Closing Retreat | Taking it All In: Celebrate, reflect, and plan for the next wave

    • Reflect on inner and outer shifts during the program

    • Celebrate each others’ progress and appreciate the cohort

    • Lunch with inspiring women social entrepreneurs

    • Vision for the next phase of developing your venture


Ready?

Ready to grow your leadership, fulfillment, and impact? Welcome!

Still thinking it over? Let’s have a conversation and see if it’s the right fit for you.