Startup Sessions Interview: Thriving as a Creative Entrepreneur

I was recently interviewed by Michael Knouse of The Startup Sessions, and it was truly one of my favorite interviews of this year. This guy has a heart of gold! 

In this episode I give a ton of actionable advice about thriving while doing work you care deeply about. I give you permission to be the creative super hero you were always meant to be — No permission slips required! 

The Startup Sessions Episode 32: Thriving as a Creative Entrepreneur

Michael Knouse is a great guy doing amazing work! He’s an entrepreneur, startup coach and show host at The Startup Sessions. His show is near and dear to my teachings of creating a business with soul and freedom.

The Startup Sessions is more than a show, it’s a movement dedicated to the changing world of work. It’s about creating an extraordinary life while building a meaningful business. It’s about becoming a creator, a leader, a teacher, a giver, and a doer. It’s a quest to have the adventure of a lifetime while creating your unique path and blazing a trail.

Watch the episode & join the conversation
on The Startup Sessions post!

Thank you for having me, Michael. It was a true joy to share and reflect ideas with you!

Starve the Doubts [Interview]


I recently had an awesome chat with Jody Maberry & Jared Easley for the Starve the Doubts podcast! Really fun & jam packed with great questions & insights you are going to LOVE.

We talked about everything from favorite concerts, hugs vs high fives, to (my favorite) feeling the fear and following your heart anyway. Hit play below, or click here to check it out on the Starve the Doubts site (and read their summary post about it)!

[soundcloud url=”″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”300″ iframe=”true” /]
Starve the Doubts with Jody Maberry & Jared Easley

Thanks for having me, Jody & Jared. This was a blast, and you two are pros!

Opening Keynote at DATA 2014: Design, Art and Tech Awards

I’m thrilled to announce I will be delivering the opening keynote at DATA2014; a summit that epitomizes the work I do celebrating creativity and innovation!

DATA2014Design, Art + Technology Awards
Interactive Exhibition and Creative Technologies Summit
May 7-8, 2014 ~ Pittsburgh, PA

DATA 2014 is a national celebration of creative technologies in Pittsburgh, PA.

Founded at the intersection of Design, Art and Technology, this two-day event is an opportunity to engage with folks from all around the country on the newest trends in creativity and innovation. DATA is an event like no other — a mash-up of networking, interactivity and new ideas — showcasing the year’s most innovative art and technology projects, experiments and achievements.

The DATA conference brings together artists, entrepreneurs, geeks, investors, makers, innovation leaders, students and regular ole folk to be inspired by each other, discover new opportunities, and find out what’s next. Topics span the creative tech gamut, including design, gaming, film & television, robotics, mobile applications, education, edutainment, new media advertising, industrial design, architecture, animation, social networks, music, fine art, and much more. This day-long think tank is packed full of workshops, panels and talks on the newest and most exciting innovations and ideas!

This is going to be an incredible event! I recently discovered Penelope Trunk of Brazen Careerist will be speaking, too. I’ve known of her work for a long time, and am looking forward to seeing her keynote.

If you’ll be at DATA2014, please find me – or send me a tweet @WilloLovesYou – and say hello!

UPDATE: A short documentary video, and a few photos!

DATA2014 DATA2014


Click here to view more >

My talk was focused on how we are rapidly evolving individuals, we must develop compassion & courage to birth our big ideas into the world!

Don_t get tsunami_d by the fear


Also! Audrey Russo, the President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Technology Council, and I were also on an episode of Our Region’s Business while I was there:

Our Region_s Business

Pittsburgh is awesome!

Portland-bound for Pioneer Nation! #pdxpioneer

I’m thrilled to be contributing (a keynote) at the inaugural Pioneer Nation!

Pioneer Nation

March 26-28, 2014
Portland, Oregon

The world is changing as more people choose to work for themselves. We’re inviting independent entrepreneurs, small business owners, and freelancers to join us for an all-new adventure.

Put on by my friend Chris Guillebeau — who’s pioneered several amazing books and the World Domination Summit (WDS) — Pioneer Nation is specifically designed for creative entrepreneurs, small business owners, and freelancers. YES! That’s my jam.

Pioneer Nation

I work with Creative Entrepreneurs and passionate individuals who want to thrive in all areas of their lives. This means that our work starts with Clarifying their Vision & Goals, and then often translates into my supporting them with the tech and business aspects; effectively helping them take their creative ideas to the next level. These principles will be at the core of my keynote, and I’m super excited to see what fun conversations are ignited as a result!

Portland is also one of my favorite towns, too, so I’m stoked to be back there; surrounded by Badass Activators & Conscious Creators.

If you’ll be in Portland, I would love to connect with you! I love meeting new people, and have made so many incredible friends from WDS, that I know Pioneer Nation will be just as amazing in that regard. Can’t wait!

Please find me — or send me a tweet @WilloLovesYou — and say hello!

Hugs & high-fives,

UPDATE: Pioneer Nation was so much fun! Below you’ll find few fun tweets & photos from my talk. Video should be up soon, too!

UPDATE 2: The video has been posted! Click here to watch it AND get a free download of my Systems to Support you & your business!

Embodied Leadership: Practical Tools for Tangible Change [ Microsoft Workshop ]

Embodied Leadership = How you’re showing up

Microsoft Willo
Delivering my talk/workshop, “Embodied Leadership: Practical Tools for Tangible Change,” at Microsoft’s ‘Make it Happen’ Career Conference

How are YOU showing up in your life?

I do Heart-Centered Coaching. I work with Creative Entrepreneurs and passionate individuals who want to thrive in all areas of their lives.

This means that my work starts with Clarifying their Vision & Goals, and then often translates into supporting them with the tech and business aspects; effectively helping them take their creative ideas to the next level.

So, while I’m coaching & consulting, we’re not just looking at the tasks and to-do lists, but we’re going deeper, and looking at all the aspects that are going to enable us to BECOME and CREATE what we want to see in our lives.

What does being a Leader look like for YOU?

Leadership in your life doesn’t have to mean leading teams, or becoming the CEO. It’s about TAKING THE LEAD in your life.  Recognizing that you have a choice in how you CHOOSE TO SHOW UP.

It’s accepting 100% Responsibility for who we are now, and the willingness to get curious and discover where we may have room to grow.


Learning Edges = Opportunities for Growth

What are your learning edges? 

When we lean into our Learning Edges – our opportunities for growth – we’re opening ourselves up to more of what we want in our life.

Who you want to become starts with EMBODYING it today. Right here, right now.

A helpful framework for this can be to begin by looking at it holistically:

  • PHYSICAL: How we’re taking care of ourselves, our health, our bodies.
  • EMOTIONAL: How happy we are, and what our heart is saying.
  • MENTAL: How clear & focused our minds are. If we’re feeling lost or overwhelmed, and where we may need more structure.
  • SPIRITUAL: And lastly, how connected are we feeling. Are we clear on our purpose, and are we fully engaged; recognizing our actions are serving more than just us. We need to feel like we’re a part of something and making a difference.

What aspects of you/your life, if you gave it a little more intentional energy and focus, would greatly improve?

What’s the first step you will take?

Microsoft Website

Wednesday, March 26th, I delivered a talk/workshop, entitled “Embodied Leadership: Practical Tools for Tangible Change,” at Microsoft’s ‘Make it Happen’ Career Conference.

Sponsored by Silicon Valley Women at Microsoft, this conference supports professional and leadership development for Microsoft employees in the Bay Area. It focuses on insight and strategy to make ideal careers happen – YES! My favorite.

Thank you for having me, Microsoft!

Mentoring, speaking and supporting other awesome women!

I met Julie Ann Horvath at the Farmhouse Conference and she’s amazing! She’s not only a designer at GitHub, but she’s the Creator, Organizer & MC of Passion Projects; a monthly event where she invites badass women in tech to come in and share their awesomeness.

Passion Projects

Passion Projects

Tonight my good friend, Laura Gluhanich (aka @lauraglu) will be speaking on Your Presence Is A Present , and I’m looking forward to seeing her rock it.

Additionally… this weekend, Julie is putting on GitHub’s First Public Speaking Workshop For Women, and I’ve been invited to be a mentor/contributor!


I’ll be there, with several other (incredibly awesome and admirable) women, mentoring, working and hacking all day. We’ll be talking about things like writing a proposal and personal bio, writing in general, talk outlines and flows, how to handle Q&A or discussion formats, how to have (or fake) confidence whilst on stage, and how to show your passion.

I absolutely love what a champion Julie is for supporting women in the creative/tech industry, and I’m super excited to meet all the other rad women flying in from around the country for this awesome event!

Kimber Simpkins and the journey to FULLY loving our bodies (+ book giveaway!)

A few years ago my dear friend Mati moved to the East Bay, and discovered yoga classes led by Kimber Simpkins. I’m so grateful she did!

Kimber SimpkinsKimber guides her students through a yoga practice that is so deeply nourishing, spiritually insightful and profoundly healing, it helps open a whole new level of love and appreciation for our bodies.

She has a beautiful voice, too, that she shares with us by opening and closing her classes with a song or chant, and many of the readings and thoughts she’s shared during her classes still continue to ripple through my life and my coaching practice. Mati & I were both blown away and immediately hooked!

Recently Kimber has written and released a gorgeous book about her journey; sharing how she was able to overcome the demons of perfection and hunger through yoga.

Kimbers Book

Full: How one woman found yoga,
eased her inner hunger, and started loving herself

Win a free copy!

The healing messages in this book need to be shared far and wide. Graciously, Kimber has offered up 5 copies to giveaway here… would you like one?


Simply leave a comment on this post, or email me directly. The first 5 of you win a free copy!
(We will mail it to you for free, or you can choose a Kindle version.)

We’d also appreciate if you would share this post/giveaway to help us spread the love.
Here’s an easy click-to-tweet:

Discovering #FullbyKimber, a new book by @kimbersyoga. Win a free copy & learn more on @WilloLovesYou’s post: #BodyLove #Yoga

Really you can share the love in whatever way you’d like. If it speaks to you, and you know there are men & women in the world who need stories like this to find their way back to loving their bodies, pass it on.

What’s your relationship with your body?

Now that Kimber has shared her story, she’s on a quest to gather stories from other women, about their paths to falling in love with themselves and their bodies. YES!

Given that this is one of my favorite inquiries – both at the core of my Creative Sustainability video series, and the ecourses I’ve co-created: ReConnect & Feel Alive – I was delighted when Kimber reached out to share my story.

Read my interview with Kimber over on her blog »

– – – – – – –

Thank you for all of the transformational and healing work you are sharing with the world, Kimber! You are a true gift, and I’m so incredibly grateful you are in my orbit. <3

If you missed the giveaway, you can order Full on Amazon. And if you’re in the Bay Area, I highly recommend traveling to Oakland or Berkeley to take a yoga with Kimber. She’s amazing!

Related posts:

Embrace your life as ART

Create YOU

At the end of last year, Whitney Freya reached out and interviewed me, along with 20 other awesome artists and teachers, for her CreateYOU Telesummit.

Our conversation was so incredible, we both felt like we could have talked for hours!

Whitney & I both support, coach and guide artists. And while we have different styles, the beautiful parallel we identified is that we recognize there’s a deep healing that happens when we tap into and release our creative gifts, which then ripples healing out into the whole world.

We talked about personal creativity, and how this is shifting for all of us right now. In particular, I shared how emotional intelligence is becoming a global imperative. We are more ripe than ever for cross-cultural healing, and we must step into our wholeness through acceptance and compassion.

Overall it was a really juicy conversation, and you can listen to it just by registering for her CreateYOU Telesummit (which is 100% free)!

Some of my other favorite contributors she interviewed include:

  • Julie Daley, who is a darling friend who I had the most brilliant conversation with on New Year’s day that is still rippling through my life. Talk about a healer… this woman! So honored to have her beauty and wisdom in my life.
  • Flora Bowley, who is an amazing painter, and the conversation she had with Mati for our ReConnect course was one of my favorites… so inspiring!
  • MeiMei Fox is a brilliant woman, and a force of nature, whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a few times. The last time was here in SF, celebrating hew new book, Bend, Not Break with Ping Fu.

Register here and listen to these rockstar women, and others share their words of wisdom for stepping into, and fully embracing your role as the ARTIST!

Thank you for having me, Whitney, and thanks again for the book recommendation; I’m really enjoying ‘Awakening Shakti‘! 

Keynote Speaker: Women Entrepreneurship Retreat 2014

Women Entrepreneurship Retreat 2014

I’m thrilled to announce I will be delivering a keynote at the 3rd annual Women Entrepreneurship Retreat!

Friday, April 11 – Sunday, April 13, 2014
Ben Lomond, CA (near Santa Cruz, ~1.5hrs from SF)
Register Now

Capped at an intimate max of 55 rad women, this retreat is geared toward entrepreneurial women starting and/or running smaller organizations (this includes sole proprietors and freelancers).

This year’s theme is Guerilla Business Tactics for Women. Essentially, the art of doing more with less.

“Your competitors are bigger, better funded, and more established than you. That’s when you use every secret, hack, and shortcut you can get your hands on.

Among other things, we’ll talk about secrets for establishing credibility, covert tactics for getting access to the right people, and quick and dirty hacks for doing all sorts of thing you thought you had to pay big money for.

Each of the workshops and keynote talks will address a critical area of business, through the lens of guerrilla tactics. You’ll leave the weekend an empowered rebel, armed with unconventional tools and techniques that aren’t taught in business school. I bet you even have one or two tips of your own to share, don’t you?”

My keynote will be focused around a topic I help many of my coaching/consulting clients with, “Structure & Focus: Implementing Systems for Success.” I’m looking forward to learning and connecting with all the other amazing ladypreneurs there, too!

Join me at this beautiful retreat center in the mountains north of Santa Cruz.

Claim your spot & register now! 

MCing TEDxFidiWomen 2013

On December 5th, I was on stage for two big events.

The first of which is I had the honor of MCing TEDxFidiWomen 2013!

Willo MC Ignite MakeAStandLemonade

This is me introducing 9yr old speaker, Vivienne Harr, who has raised
over $100,000 with her Make A Stand Lemon Aid to help end child slavery!

I had first attended TEDxFidiWomen, in 2011, which synchronistically led to this post about Jennifer Sherman’s inspiring talk, my launching my “Ladypreneur: Women Winning at Work” tumblr, that was then featured in Glamour! Not to mention all of the amazing women I met, and whose words and wisdom impacted me that day.

One of them being the ever-awesome SARK, who I’d met & spent time with way back in ’97 (which is also when/how I met Andrea Scher!), and I was able to relay to her that – inspired by her bio in Creative Companion, that I read while I was living in Boulder – I too now “live in a Magic Cottage with my cat in San Francisco!” :p

The next TEDxFidiWomen I attended (2012), I contributed by designing an animated timeline of ‘Key Events in the Women’s Right’s Movement,’ that played throughout the day in the gallery:

TEDxFidiWomen timeline

As you can see, I’m a big fan, so I was honored to support and contribute again by MCing the event! All of the speakers were *amazing* (you can watch all of their talks here!), not the least of which was the fabulous 9-yo Vivienne who’s on stage with me in that photo above.

In fact, super cool is that I know Vivienne’s parents from way back before they were even married! We were friends in 1998, when Eric was speaking at the Learning Annex, and I was the Events Coordinator there. It was so awesome reconnecting with him & (his now wife!) Alex, and meet their super cool kiddos! So neat how life works that way, huh?

On December 5th I was not only on stage all day MC’ing TEDxFidiWomen, but after dinner I hopped in a cab & cruised over to the Brava Theatre where I hopped on stage and delivered my first Ignite talk! I’ll post about that, with the video of my talk, when it’s published. It was two exciting events in one jam-packed-with-awesome day!

I already have 4 exciting speaking events lined up this year, not to mention my own events/retreats (details coming soon!)… and, yes, I’m definitely planning on delivering my own talk at TEDx as well. Considering how much joy, knowledge and opportunity* they’ve brought my way, it’s about time, huh? :)

*In 2012 I also supported sweet Tanya Geisler by designing keynote slides to accompany her brilliant words of wisdom, and we’ve been working together ever since!

Big thanks & kudos to my awesome friends Michelle Fetsch & Gretchen Sweet, for putting on another great year, and here’s to an awesome year ahead!