Community Spotlight: Sunita Kumar

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Sunita Kumar has spent her career working in both New York and San Francisco, and after 15+ years with senior roles in brand management and digital marketing, now runs two companies of her own. She started with Catalyzing Insights which focuses on marketing strategy and research, and in 2013 applied her e-commerce knowledge to her own wellness company, creating content and products that support functional medicine and women's wellness. Sunita has an MBA in Marketing and Corporate Strategy, and an Engineering Degree in Applied Math.

Sunita will be leading a 2 hour workshop at Radiant on Metrics and Magic: Turning Your 90-Day Vision Into Reality this Thursday, January 18th, at 11am. We talked to her about how she uses her business experience to set herself up for success, and good health.

How do you practice wellness from the inside out?

This has evolved as I have gotten older. In my 40s, it means fueling my body with quality food and supplements, drinking enough water, and prioritizing sleep. In the past I used to do more vigorous exercise. I still do move my body, but spiritual practice, following my body's natural flow, and quiet time are key. 

How does nutrition tie into the work and coaching you do?

I became interested in human performance optimization and neuro-linguistic programming after finding myself frustrated with myself. Why couldn't I get out of my own way? What makes us all tick? Overall, moving people one step forward (inclusive of myself), is often all it takes to build confidence and momentum. With nutrition, it's much the same thing. As a woman with PCOS (hormonal imbalance) I became frustrated with the lack of solutions and information out there. My childhood passions have always been chemistry and psychology, so the business I have and am building will continue to evolve in those themes.

How do you start the year (or quarter) to set yourself up for success?

For me, I get really clear on what I want. Like many entrepreneurs I have more ideas than time, and am not good at prioritizing. So for me I pick the 1-2 things I know I want to get done in the next 3 months, and work backwards on what I will need to make it happen. That includes money, resources, metrics and time. I am increasingly becoming okay with making it just one thing. 

Why do you find the “metrics” so important when setting goals? 

Even as someone with a quantitative background, I avoided this area for the longest time. I still do... because it is often boring and scary. I think numbers are important because they are real. Even if you get an intuitive hit about a direction you should take, the business world operates in numbers. It forces you to translate ideas in to action. And if resistance comes up - you can deal with it - instead of ignoring it. Once I became involved in e-commerce, avoidance was no longer possible. That's why I am passionate about women getting together and talking about this stuff. There can be a middle ground between complete right brain visioning, and boring 5-year business plans. 

What do you think is the “magic” part when it comes to goal setting?

I am a big believer in left brain/right brain thinking. Even with an engineering degree and an MBA, I make many of my decisions via intuition. I think many women are the same. So I would say the "magic" is that when you give your conscious brain a "container" - it gets to focus on that and be quiet. And it lets your imagination, creative side, intuition, work on the how. The "magic" is how the two can work well together instead of fighting each other. Without stating the what out loud first, the brain gets tied up trying to do the what and how at the same time. So we often get overwhelmed and give up. 

What is it that makes you excited about Metrics and Magic?

I am passionate about doing this because I wanted to create something I was looking for myself. A supportive environment with like-minded self-starters. At Radiant, the community, location,  diversity, and "vibe" is great, so I wanted to create something to give back. As someone with a deep background in business, I felt much of the business coaching out there is not tackling the key issue. Women are spending a lot of money with people who have no real business background, and leaving without a real plan. This is a mistake I made. I also wanted to help other women, who may be intimidated by numbers, in a supportive environment. Ultimately my long-term business goals are enabling women with health and wealth, in whatever ways I can. 

Why Getting Started is More Important Than Succeeding by James Clear

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REBLOGGED post by James Clear

Read this on JamesClear.com

In 1991, Lindsay Davenport played in her first professional tennis match. She was 15 years old.

Over the next 20 years, Davenport would go on to have one of the greatest tennis careers in recent history. She won three different Grand Slam titles. She won the 1996 Olympic Gold Medal. She was ranked the Number 1 female tennis player in the world eight different times. In total, Davenport earned over $22 million in prize money throughout her career.

I had the chance to meet Davenport at the 2012 US Open. Later that night, she fielded some questions from our group and I asked her this…

“Lindsay, sports can teach people a lot of lessons. What lessons did you learn during your time as a professional tennis player that you didn’t learn as an amateur?”

Full disclosure: I had a personal motive with this question. I played baseball in college, but not professionally. So I wanted to know, “What did I miss?”

Davenport's first response was to talk about how she had to grow up fast. She mentioned the power of the media and learning to live her life in front of a crowd.

But then she shifted gears and talked about improving at her craft and the lessons of competition, hard work, and perseverance. Those things, she said, were learned long before she became a professional.

In other words, to learn about what it’s like to live as a professional athlete, you need to be a professional athlete. But to learn the lessons of playing sports, you just need to play your sport.

Excellence Isn’t Required for Growth

Our world is becoming more and more obsessed with comparison and validation. The style of thinking that is becoming dangerously common is “If you can’t be number one or number two, then you might as well not play at all.”

(This belief was actually celebrated in my MBA program, which may or may not surprise you.)

But according to Davenport, you don’t need to be a professional to learn the most important lessons in sports. You just need to bust your butt as an athlete, regardless of the level you're playing at. I’d say it’s that way in the rest of life as well. Mastering your craft isn’t nearly as important as pushing yourself.

To put it another way, you'll learn more from the process of pursuing excellence than from the products of achieving it.

It's More Important to Start, Than to Succeed

I think a lot of what people call intelligence just boils down to curiosity.

—Aaron Swartz

What if the choice to be curious was all that was required to become smarter, stronger, and more skilled? What if the willingness to try something new, even if it felt uncomfortable, was all that it took to start the slow march towards greatness?

  • Are you curious enough to get in the gym and try it, even if you’ll look stupid?

  • Are you willing to be vulnerable and put your skin in the game to start your own business?

  • Are you eager enough to improve your work that you’ll battle through the frustration of producing something mediocre?

It all boils down to this: Whether you’ll end up being the best or the worst, are you willing to start?

The more I look at things this way, the more I believe that the willingness to start is the littlest thing in life that makes the biggest difference.

Step onto the field. Stand up in the meeting. Raise your hand in class.

Get under the bar. Walk up to the podium. Ask the first question.

Take a risk, get started, and contribute something. To your team, to your family, to your job, to your community. Whether or not you end up being number one in the world is irrelevant. Most of the time, the value you provide isn’t nearly as important as pushing yourself to provide it. This is especially true at first.

Having the courage to start is more important than succeeding because the people who consistently get started are the only ones who can end up finishing anything.

Get Started: Life Isn't a Dress Rehearsal

I often write about what it means to live a healthy life.

I can't think of any skill more critical to the active pursuit of a healthy life than the willingness to start. Everything that signifies a happy, healthy and fulfilled existence — strong relationships, vibrant creativity, valuable work, a physical lifestyle, etc. — it all requires a willingness to get started over and over again.

Take note: being the best isn't required to be happy or fulfilled, but being in the game is necessary.

Life isn't a dress rehearsal. Only one person lives in the spotlight, but everyone benefits from stepping on stage.

Which stage will you step onto? What game will you play? How will you get started?

Community Spotlight: Flora Tsapovsky

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FLORA TSAPOVSKY

1. What are you working on here at Radiant Workspaces

Non-stop writing articles for the likes of San Francisco Chronicle, C Magazine, Tablet and more, and preparing for my upcoming creative writing workshops right here at Radiant Workspaces! They’ll touch upon essaying, creative writing for busy people and fashion journalism and will be a lot of fun.

2. What are you most passionate about?

I’m very passionate about what I do - about being curious and driven, on daily basis, to find the best story ideas and tell them in the most compelling fashion. I’m also very passionate about eating :)

3. How do you practice wellness from the inside out?

I’m not very good at it. I try to be present in the moment, sure, especially when I’m playing with my daughter or spending time with loved ones, and do my best to remind myself how unique these experiences are. Also - and I wish I could follow this practice more closely - a few pages of a good book before bed really do make a difference.

4. What songs/podcasts are on heavy rotation for you right now?

It’s embarrassing, but I only discovered podcasts this year. I like the ones that make you feel like you’re in on a mart conversation at the best dinner party ever. My current favorites are Pop Culture Happy Hour and Still Processing.

5. Where do you like to travel? What won’t you travel without?

I love going to remote or understated places - I love Portugal, because it doesn’t act like a tourist attraction while being the whole package. I like South East Asia, for its different pace and aesthetics. Last year I went to Cambodia and it was perfect.

I never travel without an eye mask for sleeping and a travel magazine - there’s something to be said about discovering exotic destinations and planning your next trip while already being on vacation!

6. From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?

On a gloomy day like today, I’d like to start with the savory porridge I once had at the Great Northern Food Hall in NYC. It has chicken, spelt and a poached egg - comfort on a plate. For lunch, a big crunchy salad with avocado. One can’t have a good day without an avocado. For dinner, perfect sushi from a place like Robin. And cold applesauce for dessert. I’ve been ending my meals with applesauce for the last 15 years.

7. Whom in the world would you most like to share a meal with?

My key girlfriends, who live in Israel. Some I’ve known for 7-8 years, some longer. There’s nothing like reflecting on past, present and future with intelligent women who knew you way back when.  

8. What movie, no matter how many times you’ve seen it, do you have to watch when it’s on?

It has to be Young Adult with Charlize Theron - hilarious, poignant, bitter-sweet, and thought-provoking.

9. What’s a personal opinion you’ve had and changed in the last year?

Brace yourself for cliche overload: I used to think motherhood is extremely hard and unrewarding, looking at it from the outside. Once I had my daughter, fourth months ago, I realized it’s pretty much the best thing ever, if you’re willing to get a little creative with your ideals and logistics.

10. Which modern technology do you value the most?

I’m not a gadgets person. I think the one thing that seriously changed my life is Google Docs - being able to work from anywhere, even on my phone, is priceless.

11. What’s one app you cannot live without.

I got three; Google Maps, as I’m extremely directions-challenged. Instagram, for making me look at reality creatively. And Shazam, for those ‘got to know the song!’ moments I constantly experience.

12. When in doubt your go to song is:

At 34, I still haven’t given up on the idea of an occasional dance party at home. Carolina by Shaggy is always a winner, scraping even the shyest folks off the couch.

Member Spotlight: Vanessa Blaikie

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www.romeryounggallery.com

IG @romeryounggallery

What are you working on here at Radiant Workspaces?

I am the co-owner and co-director of Romer Young Gallery, a contemporary art gallery in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco. Together with my husband, we founded the gallery with a commitment to featuring innovative, challenging and ambitious work by national and international artists working in areas of visual, conceptual, installation and performance art.

Though I continue to be one half of the gallery, I started working at Radiant Workspaces in the hopes of exploring some other ideas and projects that I might pursue independently. There are a few things bouncing around - one of which is me getting back into the studio and focusing on my own practice as an artist.

What are you most passionate about?

Art. Love. Family. Living a meaningful, wonder-full life. Going to sleep with a dream and waking up with a purpose. Raising compassionate, thoughtful little beings. Advocating for artists and those who have made it their passion and their purpose to bring beauty, meaning, moral uplift, edification, and a deep sense of connectedness to others and to the world.

In 1991 Felix Gonzalez-Torres, an incredibly inspiring Cuban-born American sculptor, photographer, conceptual artist and cultural activist made a piece called "Untitled (Passport)." It was a stack of white, blank, empty, un-inscribed pieces of paper. He described it as an 'empty passport for life' and invited the public to inscribe it with the best, the most painful, the most banal, the most sublime, and yet to inscribe it with life, love, memories, fears, voids, and unexpected reasons for being. The piece was a simple white object against a white wall, waiting to be engaged and acted upon. Its quietude speaks volumes to the power of art. I truly believe that art has the potential to unite and show people that what they have in common and what they share is more profound than what divides and differentiates them. It has the power to elevate empathy, awareness, and understanding as well as to celebrate love and generosity of spirit. My friend Griff Williams, and mentor in many ways, once said that a gallery serves not only as a market function, but as an important political and cultural purpose by providing a forum to amplify the ideas and agency of artists, writers and musicians. I could not have said it any better.

How do you practice beauty from the inside out?

If all the stars align that practice involves a balance of intention, meditation, mindful parenting, kundalini yoga, cold water swimming, cycling, being outdoors, surrounding myself with honest people who energize and inspire me, healthy food, more sleep, more laughter, more time in the studio, less technology, and 'doing small things with great love.' It looks like a long list in writing, but I'm working on integrating all those things into my life every week - even if it's only in small ways.

What songs/podcasts are on heavy rotation for you right now?

Music has been on heavier rotation than podcasts lately:

"Hearing" by Sleeping at Last (on endless repeat)

Lama Gyurme

Leonard Cohen

Lord Huron

La Dusseldorf

Emmylou Harris

Hildur Gudnadottir

Grateful Dead

Gordon Downie

Toots and the Maytals, Steel Pulse and Bob Marley with the kids

Podcasts:

NPR Fresh Air, A Piece of Work, HumaNature

Tricycle Talks (Tricycle Magazine)

SFMOMA's Raw Material

Modern Art Notes

The Conversation Art Podcast

Where do you like to travel?

I'm happy anywhere above the tree line with rock underfoot, sky above, and a cold, alpine lake; anywhere with ocean and sand as far as the eye can see. Iceland, Namibia, India, Mongolia, New Zealand, Bolivia, Japan and a return trip to Bhutan are on my bucket list. Closer to home: British Columbia, Hawaii, Tahoe, Yosemite, Mount Shasta. Montreal, home, always feeds my soul and New York City, home before San Francisco, is electric and always inspires me.

What won’t you travel without?

My boys. I love seeing the world with them and through their eyes.

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?

Breakfast: water with lemon, eggs and fresh fruit, and I love a really good coffee.

Lunch: green leafy salad loaded with a rainbow of fresh veggies and grilled chicken.

Snack: fruit smoothie with almond butter, coconut oil and chia seeds.

Dinner: (because I ate it last night and it was delicious) heirloom melon and kimchi, with a ribeye steak.

Whom in the world would you most like to share a meal with?

Right Now, the Dalai Lama and a baby girl named Devi.

When in doubt your go to song is……..

"This Must Be The Place" by the Talking Heads

Member Spotlight : Joyce Hu

Joyce Hu is the Marketing and Creative Director for Wildlife Works @wildlifeworks, the world’s only carbon neutral, fair trade factory protecting wildlife. Based in Kenya, Wildlife Works factory produces for ethical brands such as PUMA, Globein, Raven & Lily, Lalesso and more. Her 15+ years in fashion also includes founding thebookr.com @thebookr, the first online direct-to-talent booking platform; www.sustainablefashionalliance.com, a member-based group of sustainable fashion professionals; and most recently, marlinray.com @marlin_ray_ , beach accessories that serve up beauty, function and sustainability.

What are you most passionate about?

Sustainable Living:

My grandmother who raised me survived two wars in China so she doesn’t let anything go to waste. Without intending to be, she is the biggest climate change activist I know. That foundation set me on the right path to being a conscious consumer. I balance modern living with doing right for our planet and its global community by thinking twice about every purchase. One, do I really need it? Two, what is the more sustainable alternative and choose that. By the way, there is always a more sustainable alternative. The key is to slow down and take the time to think about where our products come from and especially where they go after we’re done with it. We have allowed the consumption industry to turn off our brain and hearts to the humans behind the creation and discarding of products. If we can all minimize and be more thoughtful and heart-ful with our consumption, we can give Planet Earth a moment to breath and heal. 

How do you practice beauty from the inside out?

Daily meditation and gratitude, outdoor and nature time, eating healthily, conscious living

What songs/podcasts are on heavy rotation for you right now?

How I Built This

99% invisible

Death, Sex & Money

Conscious Chatter

Ear Hustle

Here’s the Thing

Artists as of lately:

Peter Tosh

Champs

’98 Maxwell

Toro y Moi

Dancehall for my work outs! 

Where do you like to travel? What won’t you travel without?

 Kenya, Italy, Chile

Won’t travel without downloaded podcasts, which have saved me so many times when stranded in rural areas or long modes of transport

Long, wide light weight scarf/s for all situations, beach, light layer, pillow, head covering, etc

 From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?

Eggs for breakfast and fresh green juice

Lunch: salad with in season veggies and small cheese panini sando, light EVOO, salt, lemon and pepper

Dinner: Wild caught shrimp pasta (So hard to get good, sweet fresh shrimp!) with fresh garlic and tomato sauce

 Whom in the world would you most like to share a meal with?

Michelle Obama

 When in doubt your go to song is……..

Stevie Nicks – Stand Back

Without a DOUBT!  

Things We Love from the Radiant Team

I don't necessarily listen to podcasts a lot but when I find one I love, it's golden. My current podcast love is NPR's How I Built This. Every story is such an inspiration and as varied and unexpected the paths are for the entrepreneurs featured, the common theme is good old fashion hard work. Sounds like whoever works hardest (and smartest) wins. I like that as it's an empowering way to look at the world.

That also ties in nicely with a book I just finished, Carol Dweck's Mindset. She's a Stanford University psychologist that discovered the simple idea of mindset (fixed and growth). It's primarily focused on the power of belief that you can improve. A thought which makes everything a little more achievable doesn't it?

- Temi

My recent favorite thing is the app called RADIOOOOO . Described as a "musical time machine," the app lets you pick a country anywhere in the world and a decade then you select your mood and it plays music based off of your selection. It is a great way to change it up and discover music that you would not normally listen to. The current station I am loving is the 1990's Argentinian station I highly recommend !

-Mehr

I'm currently in love with Talenti Gelato Ice Cream. I'm going between two flavors; Mediterranean Mint Gelato and Sicilian Pistachio Gelato. Talenti uses natural, fresh ingredients sourced from all over the world to make their addicting flavors.  The best part is that there is no high-fructose corn syrup like so many other brands. I tell myself I'll have a scoop and end up eating a pint in one sitting. It's that addicting! If you are looking for a new ice cream brand to try, Talenti is the go to.

-Sysamone

It's been almost a decade and I'm still as excited as ever with audio books. Nothing will ever replace reading a book but when you're on the move; driving, walking or running, listening to a great book adds to the experience. Three recent favorites  - The Nix by Nathan Hill, Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, At the Existentialist Cafe by Sarah Bakewell.

-Tobi

Team Spotlight: Sysamone

Alohaaaaa Beautiful Radiant Community!!!

 

I’d like to e-introduce myself! My name is Sysamone (see-sa-moan) and I am the new Director of Community at Radiant Workspace. I’m very excited to be here!  I look forward to meeting all of you very soon.  I can’t wait to learn about your ambitions, challenges and how I can support your journey towards success.

A little but about my professional self; I currently run an early stage tech/startup called FilmHero. I am building a monetization engine (fancy for web platform)  for independent filmmakers to monetize their films more efficiently in our growing digital economy. Our mission is to spark dialogue & call to action for social impact through film. I also run a women’s community on meetup called Women Supporting Women. This group was created for women in all industries and career levels. We organize events in various event spaces monthly (Google, Yelp, Runway etc.). Our mission is to always create safe spaces for women to empower one another towards success by sharing knowledge, tips, resources etc.  Feel free to add yourself to the group and join us for our upcoming events

Every Thursday starting in July, I invite you to join our co-working sessions at Radiant from 10am - 3pm! Our Co-Working sessions are a safe place for you to bring your professional challenges to the table. It can be as simple as needing more page likes on social media to user testing for products for feedback. Every challenge & request is welcome and we do our best to provide you with multiple solutions or find the right resource & support from our networks to help you.

A little bit about my personal self; I am a single mother of two. I have a 9year old daughter and an 8year old son. They both love baseball and play in the same league. I’m a typical #baseballmom! We live over in the East Bay side of the Bay Area, in the little town of San Leandro. I love red wine and if you love it too...let’s playdate! Haha.

Temi, Tobi and I are super excited to combine our two powerful women’s communities under one roof. With our values in alignment we hope to make the Radiant Workspace community a safe space for women to connect, collaborate and create together.