Move the Crowd with Rha Goddess

Today my guest is Rha Goddess, founder of Move the Crowd.  

Rha is a cultural innovator and social entrepreneur who brings over two decades of transformational “crowd rockin’” in the name of social change. As a world renowned performing artist and activist, her work has been internationally featured in several compilations, anthologies, forums and festivals. In her 30+ year tenure as a creative organizer Rha has shaped the face of racial justice and equality, electoral politics, offender aid and restoration, mental health and youth and young women’s empowerment. Rha Goddess was a featured presenter at the fantastic Emerging Women May 2014 Power Party in New York, NY.

In today’s episode, Rha and I spoke about:

  • Her work with Move The Crowd and how she is creating a league of extraordinary creative entrepreneurs
  • What she means by culture, and how our culture is shifting to a more collective, creative and diverse expression
  • Working with the ‘Global Diaspora’ 
  • Limiting beliefs common among entrepreneurs and her 6 steps for working with them
  • And finally, her sage advice for the Emerging Women everywhere


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Chantal Pierrat: You’re listening to Grace and Fire, brought to you by Emerging Women. Today my guest is Rha Goddess. Rha is a cultural innovator and social entrepreneur who brings over two decades of transformational “crowd rockin’” in the name of social change. As a world-renowned performing artist and activist, her work has been internationally featured in several compilations, anthologies, forums, and festivals. In her 30+ year tenure as a creative organizer, Rha has shaped the face of racial justice and equality, electoral politics, offender aid and restoration, mental health, and youth and young women’s empowerment. With Emerging Women, Rha Goddess was a featured presenter at the fantastic May 2014 Power Party in New York, NY.

In today’s episode, Rha and I spoke about: her work with Move The Crowd and how she’s creating a league of extraordinary creative entrepreneurs; culture, what she means by culture, and how our culture is shifting to a more collective, creative, and diverse expression; working with the global diaspora; limiting beliefs common among entrepreneurs and her six steps for working with them; and finally, her sage advice for Emerging Women everywhere. Here’s my conversation, “Move the Crowd,” with the strong and powerful Rha Goddess.

Hello, and welcome, Rha Goddess! How are you?

Rha Goddess: I’m well, so well. Thank you so much for having me.

CP: Every time I talk to you, I smile and laugh before we even say anything. Why is that? [Laughs]

RG: I feel the same way! [Laughs] I feel the same way. I just think it’s the kindredness, you know? [Laughs]

CP: Yes! I’m just always so inspired by your spirit, which is interesting because you are an amazing business woman. You have this business called Move The Crowd—which we’re going to talk a little bit more about, and your philosophy—but you’re also a poet, a writer, a performer—a slam poet, nonetheless. In fact I was talking to one of our speakers, Dominique Christina, who’s the Women [of the] World Slam Poetry Champion two years in a row, and she said you started this whole thing! That you actually created this women’s slam poetry genre. And I’ve heard a couple people say that.

RG: I don’t know if I created it, Chantal, but I will say that I’ve had the privilege of being one of the early players in the field, and I’m so blown away to see the way that the movement has blossomed, certainly over the last 15+ years. And Dominique is world-class in every sense of the world. I’m so happy that you all are continuing to engage her through Emerging Women, and again, I adore her. Amazing, amazing.

CP: Yes, you know, it’s curious that you are, as an artist, as an activist, a humanitarian—usually when people are humanitarian, they’re sort of creative types. They don’t actually start companies that help people build businesses. It’s not a natural paring, or maybe it is. Maybe it is and this is the future of business. So maybe you could talk a little bit about your history and how you came to be starting Move The Crowd and to be a leader in this genre.

RG: Absolutely. And before we sort of move off to the creative thing, I think there’s a little bit of a mythology out there in the assumption that all creators are not entrepreneurial or all artists are not entrepreneurial. Artists are incredibly disciplined individuals. And you have to be, right? If you just think about, listening to Dominique, read her work, and what it [takes] to bring that level of lyrical brilliance, right? It’s three minutes, right, or five minutes or less. It takes incredible discipline and incredible fortitude to be able to do that. So as much as I know we joke and often we talk about it in the context of our work that’s created as well. We have this perception of not being entrepreneurial or not being so disciplined in ways that would lend themselves to our entrepreneurship. It’s actually quite the reverse.

For me, Move The Crowd is really an integration of everything I’ve done over the last three decade, three-plus decades. The company combines my passion for leadership development, for economic empowerment and personal growth with my commitment to cultural innovation and vital transformations. This was everything I loved in one place. And the mission of the work is really to leverage this movement aimed at fostering a new way of handing our business, and that’s what’s most exciting to me.

I agree with you that it’s not necessarily a normal thing you would see on an artistic resume, but what I will say is that as an artist, I have always been dedicated, committed to, and at work around culture. And capitalism is a culture. [Laughs] We talk a lot about it as an economic system, but it also is a culture. So culture shifting has always been a part of my work. So in that sense, I’m actually right at home fostering this new way of doing business.

CP: I’m interested—what do you mean by “culture”? It’s such an interesting word. Is it community? Is it arts? What is it?

RG: That’s a great question. So part of what we know about culture in the sort of traditional sense are rituals, customs, ceremony, food—these different dimensions of how we move in our lives. But it also is attitude, beliefs, perceptions, lexicon, behavior. And when we talk about shifting culture, those are the places that we really go to work.

And within the landscape of rituals and customs and traditions, there are certain things that foster and liven and empower communities, and there are certain things that challenge and disempower and disenfranchise communities. And there are rituals and customs and traditions that operate in that way as well. And so when I think about culture, it really is about the celebration of our humanity and it is about strengthening the kinds of traditions that enable more of us to thrive from a global perspective.

CP: And then, when you say “culture shifting,” what do you think we’re shifting out of and into right now, as a culture of business leaders and entrepreneurs?

RG: It’s interesting because I think we can speak about it in the entrepreneurial context, but I actually think there’s a larger global shift happening for us as a global community. And I describe it as one of moving out of the age of celebrity and into the age of citizen.

CP: Ha, yes! And not a moment too soon!

RG: Right, right! And what we know about the age of celebrity is it’s been a lot about iconizing and idolizing people and certain types of behavior and certain ways of operating in the world. It’s been a culture that has bred an incredible level of disparity, the haves and the have-nots, the beautiful people and the not-beautiful people, the worthy folks and the not-worthy folks. We can go on and on and on, and it’s really bred, underneath it, these cultural wounds of scarcity and separation.

And I believe that the shift is into the age of citizen. I believe that more everyday people are far less interested in watching celebrities unravel and are much more interested in figuring out how they make their own unique brand of contribution to the planet. I think this new age is less about personal upward mobility and more about quality of contribution, and how do we not just have the right to “succeed,” but how we have the right to make a difference. And that is what I believe we are now organizing ourselves around in this new cultural paradigm.

CP: And when you say “the age of the citizen,” and talking about being able to express our uniqueness, are you talking about that also in terms of—because what I’m seeing is a lot more [of a] collective, relationship-based movement, as well. Is there room for that in this expression of the citizen? Or is it more—

RG: Absolutely. I think the fundamental opportunity of this new age is about unifying. But I do think that within that, understanding, what is it that we each have to offer? What is it that we each have to bring that makes a collaboration so exciting and so important and so necessary and possible? So it’s this combination of, how do we work together, how do we understand—you know, if you think about any of our indigenous traditions, there were women who brought the tomatoes, there were women who brought the corn, there were women who brought the beans. Do you know what I mean? That was what made the stew possible, the beauty and the brilliance of our uniqueness coming together in this collaborative way.

CP: Yes, I feel like it’s something that is held in the feminine, that our expression, our personal, individual expression, is also rooted in impact and giving and connection to others. Whereas in the masculine, the individual expression has more of an individual purpose to it, which is wonderful as well, it’s just a very different feel. And I think that collective community—it feels like it’s definitely coming from this rise in the feminine and more of a different approach than we’ve had in the past.

RG: It’s our gatherer energy. We are communal by nature. That has been—our role throughout the centuries has been to care for the tribe. So we’re always looking to the left and to the right [laughs] and it is ingrained in our being.

CP: Tell us more about who you work with in Move The Crowd. I always thought that it was interesting that you seem to work with—and I’ll use this word—underrepresented clientele, people that are new to business, or a lot of people of color, younger people, Millennials. Tell us more about your clients and why you chose to work with them in particular.

RG: It’s so interesting because I would say, Chantal, that we were the global diaspora, particularly of creative and cultural entrepreneurs who are looking to stay true, get paid, and do good. They’re looking to marry values with economic sustainability and social impact, societal impact.

And I’m conscious about the reframe because I think that we as a nation are carried, still, from the very outdated perceptions about what the population of this nation looks like. It is rapidly changing, whether we are looking at the demographic shift that’s happening with Millennials right now, whether we are looking at what has been called Census 2050 and quickly changed to Census 2040, this idea of “majority minority,” and all of these conversations. But they’re all pointing to the fact that we are undergoing a rapid shift in terms of the makeup of our country.

And I think that what we feel most proud about is that we get to help lead the way for more culturally relevant and creatively engaging professional development experiences. So we want to speak to the diaspora. It is our commitment to speak to the diaspora. And we also want to engage the multiple intelligences. So we’re not just interested in people from the neck up. [Laughs] We want the whole being involved in terms of how we engage.

And our choice to work the creative and cultural entrepreneurs is because when we think about, again, this opportunity to really change the game and foster a new way of doing business in the world, we recognize that culture has been one of the landscapes that has been least activated and least touched. There’s been a lot around policy, there’s been a lot around regulation, there’s been a lot around some of the traditional organizing within the context of economic development. We think that that’s phenomenal work that’s been happening, but there hasn’t really been the cultural will to really look at, what does it take to foster an economy that can work for all people? And I think that’s our commitment. We want to serve people who carry that commitment and who want to build ventures enrich the planet, as opposed to take from it.

CP: Right. It’s funny, I think the diaspora is going to shift. Sometimes when I look at some of these TV anchors and I’m just like, “Oh my God,” and they’re super conservative and they just seem so outdated. It’s funny to think that the people that you’re working with would be the diaspora, you know? It feels like the future.

RG: Yes. It’s the future and the present, right? The face of the new America is wildly diverse. It is multifaceted. It is multicultural. It is multi-perspective. It is multidisciplinary. We are becoming so much more out-of-the-box, and I think it’s exciting. And our commitment to serve people who are playing on all of these edges is exciting to us.

CP: And tell me a little bit more about what you mean when you say “move the crowd.” Movements—you know, just the concept of movement and how this plays into it.

RG: You know, we say “move the crowd,” we mean just that. [Laughs] And it’s really about transforming the mythology that success only belongs to a chosen few. I believe personally that there’s far too much beauty, brilliance, intelligence, and magnificence in the world that we all can’t thrive. For me, in the age of the citizen, it is about providing opportunities where more people can achieve their own unique flavor of success.

And again, like I said, I think it’s rooted in contribution and less in just personal acquisition. And so for me, this idea of demystifying success and this idea specifically supporting the creation of more passion-driven, value-centric, and economically sustainable businesses is really the name of the game for us.

CP: You know, it’s just such a compelling name, and it make sense when you’re talking about cultural shifts. When I think of movements back in the ’60s and the ’70s, they all had a political agenda: “We need to change policy.” And I feel like movements now are more cultural, and that they are just as powerful as changing policy, if not more so because the perspective changes.

And when the perspective changes, demand changes, the economy changes, as opposed to just—which, believe me, I’m so grateful for a lot of the policies and the laws that we have, so I don’t mean to say anything negative about what’s happened. But this concept of movement is shifting in a more of a cultural direction right now. That’s what I see. You’re in a really sweet spot here.

RG: Thank you for saying that. And I do want to say humbly that we do feel that. I think, and this is [something] my beloved Alan Jenkins, who is the executive director of the opportunity agenda would say, we need to move hearts, minds, and policy. I think that we particularly see the hearts and minds piece coming from a context of culture.

I agree with you that we also don’t want to take away from anything that’s come before us because I do think our movement builds on the legacy of work of people who are committed to triple-bottom-line businesses and people who are committed to a more just, harmonious, and sustainable planet. And I don’t think that that movement is new at all. There’s a long legacy of work that we’re building on there.

But the other thing I will say I think is distinct about our movement in addition to the culture piece is the practical. That’s also, how does philosophy meet everyday actions? And I think more and more the movements that are engaging folks today are really thinking about, how do you take it home? And how do you put it on the ground in your life? And, really, how does it become tangible for you as a place to come from?

CP: When you talk about the future—and I really appreciate that practice, by the way. I don’t want to skim over that. I think there’s a lot of theory and concepts out there, and once again, it’s a nice way to bring it into the body, bring it into actual practice and everyday and usefulness. Very, very important, especially when there’s so much concept about what the new economy is and what’s the right business approach. So I super appreciate that.

And now, when you say the “future economy,” what does that look like beyond triple bottom lines? Give me some hard—it is capitalism? Is it socialism? What are we talking about?

RG: I can’t hold any one of those frames with any sense of conviction, quite frankly. If I’m going to call it and we get our way, we’re moving toward an economy of transformation. And from my perspective, some of the attributes are that we’re going to move from a place of being far more creative and cooperative than competitive. We’re going to move from a place of being far more relevant to addressing the needs of our global society as opposed to the agendas of a select few. We’re going to move to a place of being far more interconnected versus isolated and siloed.

And we’re going to engage in multiple currencies. Money will be recognized as one currency, but it’s not going to be the only currency, and it’s certainly not going to have the kind of hierarchical ranking that it’s had where it’s literally been put before humanity. I think our humanity is coming back into the center, and I think that there are other currencies and resources and capacities that are going to be valued just as much as we currently value money.

So I think there is going to be greater balance and greater integration in the future economy. And I think more people are going to participate from a place of being healthy versus from a place of being broken. We don’t really, in my mind, talk enough how wide the gap is, how really wide the chasm is between people who are thriving and people who are not, and how rapidly that chasm is getting bigger and bigger by the day.

I just recently had the privilege to give a commencement address at the ceremony for the School of Graduate Studies for Marlboro College. And I talked about the fact that the economists’ indicator says that 43 percent of the 150 countries that they watch in terms of really understanding the global landscape of civil unrest, that 43 percent, 63 of those 150 countries have had social unrest this year, just this year. So there is a way that we are really working to unearth the ingrained inequity that has had our world economy on lock for a very, very long time. And I think that all of this upheaval is making a way for a new economy. And I believe and hope, again, if I have my way, that these elements are going to be incorporated in what we see in the future.

CP: Cool. May it be so, sister. Dang. We need it. I’m ready, I’m ready. What do you think are some of the limiting beliefs that tend to hold people back from being successful and thriving in their businesses? What do you see out there?

RG: Funny, the most common form—there are three I’m going to name. The most common one is, “I am not enough.” And you can fill in the blank. Smart enough, capable enough, strong enough, connected enough, clear enough. This way that we individually perceive ourselves as somehow being deficit to whatever it is that we want to make manifested in the world. And that is uniformly, across the board, happening. Again, this is sort of a piece of culture, in recognizing and understanding the prevalence of how culture operates.

The other thing that we uniquely see across the board is this belief that if we do what we love, we’ll starve. That somehow [laughs] we cannot have passion and love living next to our money, that in some way, shape, or form, we must sell out in order to make a living. And then I would say the third—we call these the “greatest hits,” by the way, at Move The Crowd. We listen for what we call people’s “greatest hits.” [Laughs] You know, the things that operate all day long that are on heavy rotation in your life.

CP: [Laughs]

RG: We call them your greatest hits. But I would say what’s probably the third most common greatest hit is that people won’t like us, the fear that if we get too successful or too good or too amazing or too wonderful, that we’re going to lose people. And not just the external scrutiny that we’ve come to see, the sort of great American past time of ripping people down in the public form. But we’re going to lose people we love, like our spouses or our parents or our brothers and sisters or our closest friends.

And those three fears tend to keep so many of us paralyzed and not really going for what it is that we know we’re being called to. There are others, but those are the three most common that we encounter in our work.

CP: And do you see some playing out more prevalently in some of the women that you work with?

RG: Yes, I’m going to say the last one, certainly.

CP: Wow, interesting!

RG: The fear of loss. Fear of loss. And again, not that we don’t see the other two. We absolutely do, and again, those play out universally, but there is something about our belief that if we stood in our full power, we would be alone. That tends to keep a lot of us stuck or small.

CP: That is just so deep, I don’t even know where to—I mean, because it’s ringing, it’s deep down there. That is not something I want to put on my list of my greatest hits, but yet as you say it, there is something—I mean, I’m resonating with it. I’m definitely resonating with it. It’s just an interesting concept that I haven’t—so the idea is, just to dig a little bit more into it, is that people won’t like us anymore? Or that we will forget them and move on? Or we will be a different person?

RG: Yes, it’s so funny. I think it’s less that we’ll change. It’s more that the people around us will see us grow and evolve, and they will change in reaction to what they see. Because they’ve become very comfortable with us being a particular way. I’m talking to my women who are the super givers and nurturers and caretakers, and for those women, anything within a 20-mile radius of them has it pretty good. [Laughs]

CP: That’s right! OK, I get that now.

RG: And if you become more committed to building your own vision and your own passion, it means you’ve got less time to help everybody else work their thing out. Fixing and caring for and taking care of can sometimes also be a way that we condition ourselves to believe we get love or we need to get love. We need to do these things to get love. And so often it’s like, “Who will love me if I’m not running around doing all these things for people?” It’s sort of this way that we set up this quid pro quo.

So standing in our power means setting boundaries, sometimes. Standing in our power means being willing to go for the bigger piece. Standing in our power means being to really be rigorous about the question of why we’re here and what it is we are to contribute, whether if it’s a societal framework or not. And so I think that for women it’s difficult because we provide that connective tissue for so much of what’s around us, that when we make a shift, everybody does feel it. And there’s a lot of concern about what that means.

CP: Right. I’m curious to see [if] you yourself—because, God, you seem so invincible and strong. When you talk, you never—for instance, there are some women who have this have this habit of [upward inflection] ending with a question? You never do that. You are like, “I’m saying this, and I’m putting my foot down.” Like I feel you rooted in every sentence you say. Have you ever had limiting beliefs early on in your journey? And how was your way out?

RG: I mean, had? [Laughs] I believe to be human is to have them. And to have them is to be human. What I will say that I’ve done, and what has made a difference for me, has been 1) being willing to confront them head-on and really smoke them out.

We have a whole body of work that we do in our curriculum with entrepreneurs where we really go in, we go into the garden with the shovel, digging for the weeds. [Laughs] We’re coming to pull the weeds! For some of us, it’s like you walk in our garden and it’s really apparent. They’re growing wild and free and crazy. For others of us, we’ve got a beautiful oriental rug on of them, we’ve got a gorgeous couch or chaise lounge, a beautiful lamp. They’re hidden and they’re not conscious.

And so the first piece of work [is] we really walk folks through a six-step process, but the first piece of work is the awareness piece and really being willing to be lovingly rigorous with identifying what those conversations are. And the value to that is that when they come up, you actually can see them operating.

And you can’t do anything until you see, right, Chantal? We can say whatever we want to say, but the truth is you don’t see until you see. And the first opportunity for liberation is awareness. And once you can see them operating—I know for me, once I could see them operating, I actually could slow it down a little bit and go, “Whoa, I’m doing that thing again,” or, “Whoa, I’m saying that thing again to myself.” And then what I really asked myself was, “Was that what I want to do here?” Or, “OK, I see myself doing that, I forgive myself,” [laughs] “and now I’m going to do something different or I’m going to course-correct.”

[So it’s about] this awareness piece and also the acceptance piece, which needs to come before the opportunity to sort of move, to accept that, “Sometimes I can be worse to myself than my own worst enemy with some of the things I say to myself.” And the opportunity to accept that and face that and confront that and start to heal that and forgive myself around that. Pivotal. Pivotal. Because, of course, the first time we see it, the next knee-jerk thing that we want to do is to beat ourselves up about it, which only makes us feel worse, which only digs the hole deeper.

And so there is a real process, a real step-by-step process that was completely life-changing for me—it’s what we teach in our work—to shift it, and it’s what I have, over time, been able to practice. So my conviction doesn’t come from this place of not being human or being better than anybody else. It comes from hours and hours and years and years and decades of practice.

CP: I really appreciate that step, practicing the step of forgiveness and that you didn’t just gloss over it. Because it’s so easy, especially in this—you know, when you really want your business to work and something comes up and it’s so easy to just go to the positive, “No, I can do it, I can do it!” and just push away. Once I’ve got the awareness, I’m moving into this positive affirmation manifest mode.

RG: Not so fast.

CP: Right. I really appreciate that you’re slowing that down and bringing in the, not just the awareness, but the step of self-forgiveness and the acceptable.

RG: Yes. I’m going to give you the six steps, just because we’re here and whoever may be listening, this may be helpful. The first step is awareness. The second step is acceptance—also really important. That’s where you talk about the pushing away. “It’s not me, I’m just [overreacting], or they’re just overreacting.” All those reasons that we want to distance ourselves from the unpleasant, especially as women because that’s our conditioning. So second step is acceptance. How do you be with it? Really confront it and be with it.

Third is forgiveness. And then the fourth is new vision, which is about the new commitment. So, “OK, I’m clear, I don’t want to do that anymore. Here’s what I do want to embrace. Here’s what I do want to believe. Here’s what I do want to hold on to.” Right action [is] step number five. And then step number six is celebration.

CP: Oh, nice.

RG: And I can’t tell you how important the last one is. Because we get it, and we’re on to the next and on to the next. And then we kind of look up and wonder why we don’t feel acknowledged or don’t feel appreciated or don’t feel taken care of. And I’m going to say, be it big, be it small, celebrate every single victory, because you see your progress and you get to own your progress. So when you’re back in those situations, you get to go, “Wait a minute, time out. I’ve got a new commitment.” Or, “I’ve got a new attitude. We ain’t doing that.” [Laughs]

So even in the celebration, it gives you greater capacity to course correct when those situations arise again. And you can be tempted to go into old habits, always stopping or always thinking or always being. So awareness, acceptance, forgiveness, new vision, right action—so you act consistent with the new vision—celebration.

CP: Nice. One of the things that you are strong about in your business philosophy is authenticity, and that authenticity actually will augment your business. And I would like to hear a little bit more about that, especially in the context of the actual business of selling and marketing.

RG: Yes. So another cornerstone of our work is something we call an L3. And I think you remember when we did the wonderful Power Party in New York with Emerging Women, I walked your gorgeous women through a mini-version of this work. The L3 stands for how you live, how you love, and how you lead. And it is our way of getting to the heart of your vision, your mission, and your purpose.

So when we talk about authenticity, the question that we ask in our work is, “What is the context that guides how you live, move, and have your being in the world? And to what degree have we had an opportunity to really touch the true essence of who we are, of ourselves?” Because that’s what gives you access to authenticity and integrity.

And so when you start to think about it in a sales paradigm—it’s so fascinating that you’re asking this question because our theme of the month this month is “represent” [laughs] and it’s a combination of the L3 and USP. [Laughs] Right? And actually, when we teach USP—which is Unique Selling Propositions, so funny that you should ask this—we begin with having out entrepreneurs develop their L3.

Because the authenticity of your being, your core being—and I’ll sort of give you the elements of the L3 so this will make sense as we turn to the USP part. The core elements of the L3 are: how you live, [which is] about what you value, what’s most important to you on the planet, the kind of world you want to see, the kind of values you want to live by. How you love is about your gifts, what you’re here to bring. So it’s the unique combination of your talent, your skills, and your abilities. And then how you lead, which is about your purpose, is about what you’re here to effect on the world. What is the passionate impulse that’s guiding you toward that opportunity or that challenge that is facing humanity, that you want to be the one to engage in an address?

And so your L3 is like a thumbprint. There are no two L3s alike. And we walk our entrepreneurs through a process where they actually develop a declaration. So it’s the articulation of the essence of who they are. And when you come from that place, you being to look at, “Well, why am I creating this offering? What is the impact that I want to have in the world? Who are the people I most want to serve?” So you’re asking different kinds of questions than, “Do I look good? Is my logo hot?” [Laughs] And I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a hot logo, let’s be clear! I’m not saying you shouldn’t have awesome coloring.

But the interrogation comes from a place of spirit as opposed to ego. And it’s less about looking good and more about making a difference and having an impact. And when you sell from that place, right from the love, how you love, what you have to offer and what you want to impact and your values, what you care most about, and the intersection of those three things, you have the opportunity to strike a chord for people who care about what you care about, with people who need what you have to offer, with people who are passionate about and part of the difference you want to make.

And so you attract people from that place. Your speaking looks different. Your market copy looks different [Laughs] Do you understand what I’m saying? When you’re coming from that place, you’re inviting people as opposed to manipulating people to engage with you. And you’re also honoring whether or not it’s a match. So you’re interviewing your clients as much as your clients are interviewing you. Why? Because you don’t want to make any promise you can’t deliver on. That’s the authenticity, that’s integrity. That’s coming back to your values.

So if that is ingrained in how you market and how you sell, you have a different experience of the process. And your client, or your prospective client, has a very different experience of you and what you have to offer in your company because you’re coming from that place.

CP: Right. Well, it’s just so interesting, that concept of interviewing your audience instead of pushing information out. It’s more of a co-creation.

RG: Yes!

CP: And I think that’s part of the new economy that you’re talking about. This is shifting. I see it happening. And the people [who] are doing that, I’m like, “Oh, I like this! I can’t really put my finger on it, but I like it.” I feel invited, somehow.

RG: Yes, it’s about partnership. It’s about partnership. Business is about partnership. It’s about being in relationship, in relationship to everything and everyone in a way that honors and uplifts and expands the quality of experience for everyone and everything involved. That’s a place to come from when you’re building your business.

CP: We are at the end, so I’m going to ask you one more question here as it pertains to women in our Emerging Women audience. Our audience is, in general, I’d say we’re about 60 percent entrepreneurs, but 40 percent executives—people that work for bigger companies. I have a hunch that a lot of those executives, or a percentage of them, actually want to leave their jobs and become entrepreneurs. And we’ll be finding out more about that.

But what advice would you give for somebody who is in that situation, whether they’re an entrepreneur now and they want to change their business, or they’re an executive and they want to become and entrepreneur, or they’re a woman who’s ready to make a huge change but there’s a lot of fear. I know I went through this when I left my fabulous, fabulous job and mentor to start Emerging Women. I would have loved to have heard from you the advice that you would have given me at that time. And I think there are a lot of women in this position.

RG: Yes. There are three things that I’m going to offer up as a way to begin to make the turn. The first thing I want to invite you to do is to carve time and space to nurture the dream. Write about it, draw about it, paint about it, support yourself in being able to help crystalize and bring into manifestation. And we talk about the different ways that we can kind of take things from the ethereal into the material. It’s through writing, through speaking, through sharing, through articulating, that things begin to be make manifest.

So first thing is to create space. It can be a weekend—doesn’t matter. But you’re carving time for yourself, and that time is specifically earmarked to nurture the idea, to nurture the dream. If you’re sharing the dream—this is really important—you are only sharing it with people who you know are going to be good stewards—you know what I’m saying—of what you’re creating.

CP: Yes, very good feedback, thank you.

RG: Do not cast pearls—we all know that saying. [Laughs]

CP: Before the swine!

RG: Do not cast pearls, right? So if you have confidants who can hold the dream with you and be your cheerleaders—a lot of women are forging sacred circles now, and I’m so thrilled. I mean, in every facet of our community, women are forging sacred circles, and I’m going to say that this is a perfect place where you all get to be the keepers of each other’s dreams here. So that’s the first thing. Create space to cultivate the dream. If it makes sense in circle and community, lovely.

The second thing I’m going to say is begin to show up in your present scenario as your whole self. And I say that because oftentimes, Chantal, what happens is people get mad at their jobs. Do you hear what I’m saying? And when you’re mad at your job, you show up a particular way, don’t we? The opportunity is to outgrow the experience of the job. And you don’t do that by constricting. You actually do it by expanding. So the opportunity is to actually excel in such a way that you actually outgrow the experience.

It may sound counterintuitive to do that and cultivate the dream, but you’ll begin to see what I mean when I give you the third one. Because if you see excelling at your job as preparation for running your business, there’s a whole other opportunity and skills that you get to bring to bear. Within excelling at your job, you do want to start to think in an entrepreneurial way. And I’m going to say to you that probably most of your executives are already starting to think in that way, if they’re not already, because, certainly, they’ve achieved a certain level of success within the structure.

But you do want to begin thinking about, “What is your unique brand of leadership? What is your unique brand of contribution? And how are you delivering that in the context of the company, and how is that currently benefiting the company in the context of the things that the company holds near and dear?” So as you begin to—and you’re also results-oriented.

Again, like I said, your executives might guess this, this is all, “Amen, amen, amen.” But, if for whatever reason some of your executives are hearing this and they see the opportunity to re-shift or recommit or recalibrate, you’re about the results. You’re honoring, of course, in the process. You’re honoring, of course, in your leadership. You’re honoring, of course, in your work. And you’re also very much committed to what it is that you want to deliver. Because these are the things that are going to serve you in whatever it is that you’re building, whatever it is that you’re creating.

And then the third thing I’ll give you—I’m only going to give you three, there’s many more I could give you, but three is what I think makes sense in this context—write the resignation letter. Date it. Hold it. You’ll know exactly when it’s time to hand it in. But write the letter, because universally, it’s symbolically recognizes your full intent to make that pivot.

CP: Fabulous. That’s a strong one. Thank you so much, Rha!

RG: So welcome! My honor and my privilege, Chantal. Just to your amazing women, thank you for all that you’re already doing to make our world better.

CP: Right back at you. Thank you so much.

RG: Thank you!

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Chantal Pierrat

Founder & CEO
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