To My Team, At the Completion of a Crazy Year of Growth
In 2016, my business (a brand arthouse and agency) grew by 300%. In December, we met for two days at a house in Sonoma County to reflect on the year, solidify our relationships, and plan and imagine into 2017. I thought for a long time about what I would say to kick off our first time being in person together (with, alas, our British contingent tuning in via Google Hangouts.) Here is what I said, edited slightly for the page.
This business has been an incredible opportunity to live my truth. I feel like I’ve had such a journey already, even at 35, and I feel like it’s a blessing to be able to take all of the gifts I’ve received, lessons I’ve learned, and the the lessons I’ll still be learning and give that back in any way that I can.
What I know is that the best way I can be of service is to be truthful. For me that means doing what I love, doing what I’m passionate about, and doing the work that matters to me. And the work that matters to me is work that’s creative, celebratory, ruthlessly honest, bold, courageous, and interested in reveling in what’s here — as humans on this planet, in this time. (Which, as we know, is always changing.)
I’ve gone about this several ways. I’ve gone about this as an artist and performer, writing shows about my experience in the hope of sharing my truth and inspiring others, and I’ve also tried to bring it into my professional life through my values. Trying to be a good person, in integrity, and as truthful, honest, and creative as I can be. It sometimes works out better than other times, but that is my intention.
I feel like House of Who chose me as much as I chose it. And my vision for us at the largest scale, is that it is a vehicle for truth and creativity. I believe deeply that there’s value in working from the inside-out as well as the outside-in. It’s very easy to get tossed around in this industry and swallowed up by things that are actually antagonistic to some of those values, like greed and money and vanity and fear and feelings of lack. I recognize that in some of the work we do we have to face those things and make choices. We have to make really clear choices about what clients to take, what kind of work we’re doing, when do we write this and when do we write that, when do we push back on the client? These are very practical things that I am always wrestling with professionally.
What is my purpose here on earth?
What am I doing day to day?
How am I pouring my coffee and chopping my wood and carrying my water?
So my vision with Who is I want to create, immediately, a workplace full of amazing, creative people who also believe in truth and integrity, craft and creativity (I say creativity twice because that’s extra important).
A little wider, I want to create a company that can both professionally, creatively, and financially support those people.
A little wider out, I want to have a company that brings the values that we all stand for and the work we love to do out to our clients, and therefore out into the industry, and therefore, making an impact on the world through one of the greatest vehicles driving this globe, which is commerce and the economy.
Because we are working from the inside-out, those choices are always nuanced. It’s always subtle, and there is compromise, but my vision with Who is that we continue to move closer and closer to creating work that is kickass, creative, in integrity, and as truthful as possible. I want to see an economy driven by creativity and the human spirit, rather than by greed and fear. I want to see commerce and a world orbiting around connection and compassion, rather than disconnection and hatred. I might spend my life doing this and I might never see it in my lifetime, but this is my vision, and I see House of Who as being the damn finest vehicle that I could create to try and take that vision out into the world.
And as part of that changing of the world, I want to give every human being the opportunity to wake up to their own truth, find their own voice, and celebrate that, so they can have the same kind of experience in any small way I know that I’ve had, which is one of gratitude and joy and celebration — and eventually peace.
So my point is: my vision is to create peace on earth.
And I know it’s fucking big and it’s fucking crazy, but that’s what I’m here to do in my small way.
So that’s my vision. And I hope that you can at least relate to that vision. I hope that in some way my personal vision and my vision for the company can overlap with your vision and your life and the world you want to create. Because otherwise, you’re probably at the wrong company (but I don’t think that’s the case!).
My hope is that you’ll hop on board with that vision, and that the company fulfilling that vision will be a catalyst and support you in your own vision. And that in some way, participating in a business that is being run by a leader who personally has that vision for her company and herself and the world, that that will actually facilitate each and every one of you finding what you need to find in this lifetime and propelling you forward to achieve your largest vision.
That’s my truth, that’s why I’m here, and I hope that you will continue to think about your vision and hold that with you as you go through this retreat.
Want more of the behind-the-scenes of my business? Check out Arthouse of Who, and specifically, the ArtistCEO podcast, where we capture the journey.