Last Thursday night I celebrated ONE year of Foster Inc.. As I looked back on the year, I realized what an incredible journey it has been. From the people that came into my life, to the women that signed up and believed in me from day1, I couldn't have asked for a better year. It was honestly, all I had wished for and hoped it would be.
About 15 months ago, I realized that I had lost something... that spark in me that got me excited to get out of bed and go to the office everyday... my passion for what I had been doing for the past 12 years, was dead and gone... and nothing was going to bring it back. I knew I needed something more.
On my usual walk from the train to the office, my mornings began at my favorite spot - Birch Coffee. Always greeted with a smile from the barista's, this was a place where everybody knew your name... and not just because they wrote it on your cup each day (Birch Loves Hayley). The atmosphere and the vibe are a direct reflection on the two awesome guys that own it - Jeremy and Paul. Over the course of the 7 years since they opened, we had become good friends and would shoot the shit whenever they were around. On this one morning in particular, I happened to mention my loss of passion to Jeremy. He said to me, 'Hayley, if you need a coach, I've got a great guy for you - John O'Connor.' Numbers were exchanged and I couldn't wait to give John a call. Of course, when we met for the first time, it was at Birch and our 30 minute intro meeting went on for about two hours. John and I both felt the connection that day (he also happens to share the same birthday as my dad... a sign?) and that was the beginning of a beautiful mentorship. Fast forward one year, and all of these amazing men showed up to celebrate my day with me and I am beyond grateful for all of them. I may not be able to visit Birch Coffee anymore on my way to the office each day, but my recurring monthly home delivery does the trick every morning in my French Press. I'm truly passionate about my Birch.
There are so many ways that people use the word passion these days. Passion as it relates to love. Passion as it relates to sex. Passion as it relates to kids and coffee. We are passionate for the sports we enjoy. But what does it mean to be passionate about the work you do? Sadly, there are so many people that have a passion but they don't pursue it as their career for a multitude of reasons. But here's what I have to say about that.... it's Bullshit. Your passion is what makes You... YOU. It's who you are and who you were meant to be.
Everything I had done in my life, every decision I made had guided me, educated me, and led me to where I am today.... I am a helper, a fixer, a Fosterer. This is my passion. Mentoring driven women. Forming, fixing and fine tuning businesses. Connecting. Educating. Inspiring. And empowering women to find their purpose and pursue their passion.
While I only have a year under my belt, I can tell you that when you follow your heart, build a business based on your passion, there is a fulfillment you feel each day... an energy that gets you to jump out of bed every morning to do something you truly love. It's indescribable. Oh wait, no it's not. The word for it is.... PASSION.
It's your passion that will move you to do things you've never dared to do. To step outside of your comfort zone. To push yourself to new heights and new limits. To go out on a limb... and ask people to do things for you and join your cause.... and they do it because they can feel the energy you put off and see your vision. They can feel your passion.
In planning this event, I knew I wanted women business owners and leaders to say a few words to the audience and tell their stories of motivation, perseverance and share their passions. I reached out and asked, and they all said YES!!! Carrie Kerpen who dared to throw a sponsored wedding, leading her and her husband to start their business - Likeable Media. Jema Valle of Date Night Planners who was encouraged by a well known entrepreneur NOT to pursue her passion but pushed on in spite of everyone else and is bringing love back to relationships One Date at a Time. Nicole Meyer of Nibbles by Nic, the blog that she poured hundreds of thousands of hours into and overcame being hacked by changing her focus on the business to offer more than just a food blog but to provide her network with cooking and hosting workshops. Elisabeth Cardiello of Caffe Unimatic and Legacy Out Loud discovered upon the passing of her biggest mentor - her father (one of the things we bonded over in addition to coffee and Crossfit) - that he had a warehouse with thousands of custom made coffee pots from Italy - the business they should have started together. was now hers to give her father... and her... a legacy.
When passion meets passion amazing things happen. Through John, my coach and mentor, I met Dominick Q - well..... I obsessingly watched his hilarious Video Blogs on his YouTube channel and then stalked him on Facebook before emailing him. From the first video I saw, I connected with Dominick - his personality, his self-deprecating humor and his incredible video production and editing skills. I knew I wanted this guy to be my speaker at my Anniversary event. Without hesitation, I reached out and asked.... and he said YES. His passion for coaching was on par with my passion for Fostering. We knew from our first discussion that this connection was meant to be. He came, he delivered an amazing presentation and had us all entertained. If you'd like to view his presentation, you can do so at: https://dominickq.leadpages.co/hayley
With just a week before my event, my speakers lined up, my guest list growing by the day, I felt that something was missing. With the keynote focusing on Video, I realized I needed my own crew to capture the night. A few months earlier, the Birch guys had asked me to film an episode of their series 'Stay Regular'. The production crew I met on the set that day blew me away. With nothing to lose, I shot (pun intended) Ben Kanes of Sight Sense Production an email. The planets were certainly aligned, and I signed up him and his partner, John Welsh, for the event. All of the good photos above are credited to them. The bad ones are from my cell phone. Video to follow shortly.
Special thank you to all of the vendors, my Foster women, friends, family and everyone else that came out to celebrate and have a good time. Very very special thank you to this man.....
......my amazing partner in life and in love, without whom none of this would have been possible. Your unwavering support and guidance got me through it all.... from late nights working on spreadsheets to advising and listening to my ideas and dreams and most of all.... believing in me. You gave me the strength and courage to take those first steps. I am forever grateful. Thank you.
All in all.... an inspiring, educational event in a room filled with amazing women pursuing their passions and taking the time our of their lives to connect and engage with other women doing the same. So I will leave you with this... take a deep breath, close your eyes, dig deep and find your thing... find your passion and let the planets align. Start pursuing that thing that fills you up, makes you smile and completes you. Go live your passion. It's who you are! It's what you're meant to be doing. Go and foster the shit out of it.
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