You are dreamers, artisans, and difference-makers. You are creatives, entrepreneurs, and adventurers. You are believers in the world’s best future. Welcome to our community blog.
Julia is planning to open a socially-conscious coffee shop in her city. She has big heart to use her business to impact her community and the world for good. She started making lists of of all the things she needs to do to get started. She thought her lists would give her more clarity in how to move forward, but as they keep growing, she’s finding it hard to figure out what to do and how to spend her time and money in the best ways. There are so many unknowns at this stage of the process that she has no idea how to move forward. She thinks she needs a business plan. We disagree.
After grad school I packed up my 1999 Toyota Camry and made an epic road trip from Southern California to Boston, MA to work with a group of passionate and dedicated neighborhood leaders. The Millennium Ten Steering Committee in Codman Square was made up of residents, non-profit leaders, CDCs, hospitals, and businesses and was acting as a backbone agency with funding to develop a neighborhood-based plan. Over the next 2 years we created - through trial and error - a grassroots community vision plan for a neighborhood in Boston with measurable outcomes and an action plan that was ripe for implementation.
Jeremy Logeot, saw that young adults were struggling to make ends meet, let alone plan for a stable financial future. So he decided to do something about it by creating Young Money Savvy. He’s in FLDWRK’s Launch Program and we’re thrilled to share a part of his story! (For the full thing, join him and other purposeful entrepreneurs December 7th at Pitch Night)
When we sat down with our coworking member Grace Kim, we were reminded of the importance of empowering others to pursue their dreams even in the midst of tragedy and hardship. That’s the mission of the Dragon Kim Foundation– they fund and create programs that enable children to explore and pursue their passions within academics, athletics, and the arts. This idea, however, was not Grace Kim’s. It was Dragon’s – her son who tragically passed away in a camping accident. Grace and her husband, Daniel, took their grief and honored their son by forming the The Dragon Kim Foundation.
We love hearing how women are actively engaging in their communities, so when we heard of Empower HerFuture and the work the organization has been doing, we knew we had share their story. Madeline and Marie-Nicole started Empower HerFuture in the Fall of 2016 to help young women identify their unique value and abilities as leaders in their communities. We asked them to share the heart behind the vision and why they got started.
I don’t get this exact question a lot. It’s more subtle than that. I get it as an assumption. Whether I’m working with a new startup or a more established organization, I regularly hear the following reactions as we draft mission statements:
“We’re not describing everything we do or telling our customers what to expect.”
“It doesn’t say anything about how we’re different.”
“It’s not catchy enough.”
All those things are important, but they are not your mission. Here’s the fundamental shift…
When we changed our name to FLDWRK, one of the reasons we loved it was because it represents being out in the world, observing and interacting with people and creating solutions that meet their needs.
We know this doesn’t just happen where we are in California…so we’re going global. We’ve developed a program that can be accessed from anywhere to give you the resources you need to take purposeful action on your meaningful idea and implement solutions that meet the needs of people wherever you are.
This story begins on January 6th, 2017. My husband and I had just returned from visiting family and friends back in Chicago for the holidays. With the warm sun on my face and palm trees in view, I was happy to be home. But more than that, I was excited to get back to work. It’s true, I really was!
It was the Friday morning staff meeting and, per usual, the team exchanged general pleasantries. As I talked with our faithful leader, Brandon, he shares the news that “Hey, we are changing the company name.”
What does it mean to learn from your community? Theoretically, this sounds great. Practically…it can be tough to know how to do this! Community can be spread out, diverse, fractured, connected; often it looks a little different for each person.
At FLDWRK we talk a lot about MVP and we don’t mean Most Valuable Player (although we do believe you all are the real MVPs – seriously). But as we use it in our startup programs, MVP means Minimum Viable Product, Program, or Service. So let’s dive a bit deeper to understand what this really means and why it is important.
On a Sunday in Pasadena, California, two humans sat facing each other on tufted leather couches: a 50-something male, Founder and CEO of a 16-year-old, multi-million-dollar financial technology company, in his pajamas, and me, a then 20-something female Founder and CEO of a personal and organizational development start-up, The Glow Effect.
So it has happened. Wayfare is officially FLDWRK (pronounced Fieldwork). We had a party to announce the new name and loved having so many people celebrate with us in both the Fullerton and Costa Mesa spaces. Thank you to all who came!
Now that the name is out there, we’d like to give you some info about why we chose the name FLDWRK. So let’s jump right in.
According to the Strengths Finder 2.0 (of which I am a huge fan), my top strength is Achiever. So when a day goes by where I haven’t achieved all of the things that I set out to do in a day, I have a hard time feeling like I have accomplished anything at all. This tends to be a problem for me because as the cofounder of a small, but growing organization, I know what it is like to have an entire day go by and to be left wondering where all of my time went! At the end of the day, even if I’ve been productive and I’ve clearly made progress in several small areas, if I spent very little time executing on my primary objectives it can feel defeating.
One of my favorite movies is Disney’s “The Kid”. In the scene where big Russ is trying to explain his job as an image consultant and little Rusty is trying to understand what that means, he looks up and in a childish, drawn out tone says, “But what do I doooo?”
This very phrase and in Rusty’s tone went through my head about 1,000 times as we started exploring re-articulating our mission statement. I was newly hired as the Executive Director of Mika Community Development Corporation but had been a part of the organization for 11 of our 12 years. Our work wasn’t changing but we needed to clarify and focus the most core part of our work, our mission.
I’ve heard it said that if there is a choice to be right or be kind, choose kindness. I love this sentiment and often encourage my kids (and myself for that matter) to think in this way. But in reality, don’t both matter? Truth without kindness tends to fall on deaf ears, and kindness without truth really isn’t kind, its flattery. True kindness comes from a desire for the best possible outcome for everyone involved. This usually entails working together. Not just tolerating someone who is occupying space in close proximity to you, but actually doing work in cooperation with one another.
From people on your team at work, to people you rub shoulders with in a shared workspace (yay coworking!), to working with and advocating on behalf of others, working together is important. As we identify needs and consider how to help, it often means working with people who are different than us. This could mean working with the person or people responsible for the problem you are trying to solve. It could mean joining someone very different than you who feels called to the same work. It could mean working to keep relationships in tact even when we disagree on a lot. We all encounter moments when differences come to the surface and we need to work together to make progress.
If working together is important, how do we accomplish the important work? These two phrases may help.
In this series, entitled Building Creation Economies, I’ve talked about The Confounding Merger of Work and Leisure and What is Work?. Now, let’s look at what it means to be a creator. I propose three components.
In the book of Genesis, we’re told a story about work. We’re introduced to a creator God as he’s performing his initial acts of work in our world. First, he created the original structure and foundation of everything–heavens and earth, light and darkness, and water, sky, and land. Then came vegetation, sun, moon, and stars in rotation, creatures of the sea, birds of the air, and beasts of the fields.
He called them good.
Then he did something different.
On a Sunday morning in February of 2013, I began a journey that has been transforming the way I understand my life and work. In a profound spiritual encounter, I was called out of an 8 year career in banking that had brought comfort and control to me and my family, and God gave me two objectives: 1. Have my identity rooted in him, and 2. Live a life of adventure.
As I began the transition out of my job and into an unknown adventure where I would begin challenging my previously held understanding of work, a cultural transition was happening in the entertainment industry, which was also challenging my understanding of leisure.
The light streaming into the beautiful shared space was the first thing I noticed. The natural light from the atrium created this warm glow, but the most impressive light came from the passionate people who worked at FLDWRK and I only noticed it more and more as the internship continued.
What even is an internship? A part time job before an actual job? An internship is not about showing off your strengths, it’s about learning and cultivating them.
It’s obviously no new concept that the way we eat has incredible implications on the way we perform and feel, but fueling our body with foods that increase our overall mental and physical health can often seem expensive or inconvenient.
But how much more costly and inconvenient is it when we’re not able to perform effectively because of a lack of energy or drive?
At FLDWRK, our vision for the common good doesn’t end with providing coworking space and great coffee. We believe in living out of your full self. This concept of your full self is one that encourages the idea that our work, soul, and physical bodies should ideally be in this symbiotic dance: each one actively working towards the fullness of the other. In a quest to learn more about bridging this relationship, I thought, “What better place to start than in the fridge?”
At FLDWRK, we believe in the world’s best future. We also believe the world’s best future involves books. Real, smell-good books with covers and pages, marked with a heavy amount of highlighter ink. However, we recognize that finding the time to sit down and read often requires more time, energy, and commitment than you can afford.
After a two month labor of love, we couldn’t be more excited to share the new FLDWRK website with you today. Somewhere in the midst of two years of growth, building products and systems, refining FLDWRK’s business model, serving our members, and consuming copious amounts of coffee, our website and branding took the back seat. As our staff and membership has grown, it has become a top priority for us to create a new website that represents the dynamic, dimensional identity of our community today.
#####Mentorship: Young Adults and Recent Grads
So, you’re in your senior year of college. Or perhaps you’ve recently graduated. Congratulations! Now what? If you find yourself not really knowing what’s next, here are a few options for you:
Keep going to school…and rack up more debt trying to figure out what to do.
Start the job search for something you think you might be a good fit.
Seek guidance from people who have been there and are passionate about helping you find the best fit for your life. A.K.A. Get a mentor.
I used to carry business cards—lots of them. I’d exchange them with people at conferences and during meeting introductions. Instead of actually communicating with each other again, though, I regret to say a lot of business card passing was just an outdated exercise in corporate traditionalism.
“I might as well have just handed you a quarter, but instead, here’s a reminder of my name and inflated title.” Anything important or actionable was directly entered into our phones.