The Blog

Introducing you to my new COO…

by Leonie Dawson on April 13, 2015

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Hey darlinghearts,

So… I wanted to introduce you to someone.

Someone really important.

My new Chief Operations Officer, Grant Andrew.

I’m on bedrest at the moment after my operation, so I recorded it from there. And I sprung the interview on Grant after we finished hiring interviews for a new graphic designer so it was midnight his time. So we were both a bit knackered, but we needed to get it done now, because something really exciting is happening this week (more on that in a second).

It is long as fuck. And sometimes the audio is a bit sketchy (but clears up really quickly).

I feel like it’s really important to introduce Grantacular properly to you because this business/company/thing we do is so ding dang important to me. And so bloody personal. And it’s really about this beautiful, deep connection between me and you, that dear friend I’ve been writing to for almost eleven years.

And I’m really excited because I’ve got this joyful, kind soul who is coming into this to create even more delight and goodness for everyone. And I know you’ll adore him just as much as me, my team (and even my hard-to-impress husband) do.

What you’ll learn:

It’s a bit long-winded + Chatty Cathy because we can’t do it any other way. But I think you’ll probably find it useful, because it’s very much behind-the-scenes in a business, how we work + what we’re working on.

We talk about:

  • how I hired Grant
  • why I hired a dude
  • the creative process
  • the importance of setting priorities
  • increasing our environmental + social consciousness
  • our next evolution as a company
  • our next vision/mission.

Things We Reference:

IF YOU DON’T WANNA WATCH, HERE’S SOME DOT POINTS:

Grant is:

  • a singer/songwriter (check out Grant Andrew on Spotify!)
  • a Pisces who cries a lot (we adore this about him)
  • a muchos dedicated papa bear + husband
  • an awesome combination of skills + past experience (he’s been CEO of a tech company, CEO of a non profit, manager of 200+ people at Citigroup, a school teacher + more!)

I hired him because:

  • He complements my brain beautifully + looks at the business in a different way to me
  • He has the same heart + soul-centered values as I do
  • He’s a bloody wonderful creative coach for me + pushes me to create more
  • He’s helping me create more bandwidth so I can create more free goodies + things for the Academy
  • He’s a brother from the cosmic womb
  • He’s bloody great at team management, brainstorming + strategising
  • He gives SO much of a shit. Almost too much of a shit sometimes! He wants to do great work and build our company from “good to great” as Jim Collins would say — having a lasting impact on the world in a wonderful way.

Just some of the things we’re creating:

  • For 2016 we will have a product range including Life + Biz workbooks, weekly diary and to-do list pad.
  • All of our printed products will use recycled paper + eco ink.
  • We are redesigning the Academy membership site and will have that launched soon.
  • We will continue concentrating on the Academy as our sole focus to make it the most powerful, soulful, productive experience possible for our dear Academy goddesses.
  • Lots more programs planned for release to the Academy!
  • We are undertaking B Corporation assessment to walk our talk in all areas of the business – improving our environmental impact, social consciousness + philanthropy.
  • We will be partnering with Room To Read to provide scholarships to girls + building schools in third world countries.
  • Basically, it’s Operation Delight around here. Delight our team, delight ourselves with our work, delight our customers and delight the world.

And DRUMROLL… That exciting news for this week I referenced before!

This week, the US part of our team are all flying into Colorado for a team retreat together. Grant, Erin, Joyce + Amber are going to be doing a bunch of work + planning + connecting in person for the first time… and also having a MASSIVE AMOUNT OF FUN.

I’ve ordered stacks of photos. And we’ve got a videographer there as well.

And it’s going to be magical/ridiculous/heart-warming.

You can watch/play along on social media:

Okay darlinghearts, hope you liked this.

Make sure you make Grant cry by commenting here.

Hahahahahahahahaha!

Love you guys OODLES + POODLES, and I am SO EXCITED for what is next!!!!

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Hola lovelies!

A note about a few things.

The first three: what I’m making in the creation station + other Academy news. Incase you’re a member, I don’t want you to miss this. And if you’re not a member, it might be of interest.

The last one: deeply personal. As personal as it gets. FALLOPIAN PERSONAL. Mwahahahaha.

Dudes, shut your eyes. Or open them. I don’t really care. WOMAN PARTS! WOO!

{Also: above is my new creation station. SQUEE! I’ve also got a big art desk under the windows to get messy on, and a reading room with a couch + bookcases to study + dream in. A space of one’s own! What a blessing!}

FIRST: A NEW THING!

CBWC ad

Late last year, I did a rare live event as the keynote speaker for Cairns Business Women’s Club.

Some beautiful Academy members were there in the audience too. We had a lot of giggles and invented something called toteming and were highly inappopriate and hugged and shared essential oils like the hippies we are.

Santa was there too. Handing out Victoria’s Secret undies for some very surreal reason. So I photobombed him.

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(Thanks to the lovely Azure Photography for all these photos!)

Also, photos of me and my hands talking a lot:

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Full video recording, audio recording + transcript is available exclusively in the Academy + will not be sold separately.

I know there is a lot of interest to make my programs available separately.

At this stage, I have no plans to do so. The thing I love most about the Academy is that I get to share everything I have with the women in it, to support them in as many ways as I can. It’s something that works really beautifully for me, and for the thousands of women who are in it (many of whom have been in there since the beginning almost FIVE years ago!)

I’m sorry to disappoint. I just wanted to share the reasoning behind why I do what I do.

I love being generous + helpful. The Academy is a beautiful, resonant way for me to do that.

Anywaysies, what was the talk about, you ask?

It was chockfullatha lessons I’ve learned along the way of growing my company from being that funny hippy happy blogging hobby I did at night to being the CEO of a mini empire of awesomeness.

It’s:

  • super heartfelt
  • pretty ding dang funny (I have to say!!! :D)
  • piles a bunch of practical lessons that I really think any woman who wants to create success in her life + business should take heed of.

It’s also about how to create success + happiness in business + life on YOUR terms in the way that delights YOU and your soul. You don’t have to make it look like anyone else’s.

MOST IMPORTANTLY:

I also manage to say boobs + vagina in it. BONZA.

AND do my best Will Ferrell impersonation.

I feel like these are my crowning achievements.

THING #2: NEW ACADEMY MEMBERSHIP SITE

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Also happening in the creation station: the long awaited shmancy polished new Academy membership site, filled with cool features + even better ways to see + use all the beautiful resources available there.

My beautiful team are starting testing of the new Academy membership site next week. Design is complete, coding has happened, time to test test test.

Keep your eyes peeled in the next six weeks or less for this bright, beautiful baby to emerge into the world.

We have some HUGE plans for the Academy to make it even more incredibly supportive and inspiring for you. I’m so freaking excited!!!!!!

THING #3: THE 2016 PRODUCT RANGE

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This year… the Create Your Shining Year workbooks are going to have companion products as well:

  • 2016 Weekly Planner
  • Desk Pad (to organise daily goals on).

We’ll also be:

  • splitting up the printed Life + Biz workbooks into two separate books as per popular request
  • making the Yearly Wall Planner even BIGGER
  • looking at ways we can make the digital workbooks even more interactive.

And there’s a few more exciting improvements in the works at all… will share them as soon as they are finalised!

All in all: it’s really exciting, delightful times around here.

I hope you adore and find useful what we create as much as we do!

THING #4: HAPPY OSTARA/EASTER/SOLSTICE, DEARESTS

It’s a special season for me… this being the one both my daughters were born in and my eldest was named for.

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On Tuesday, I’ll be undertaking my next initiation as a woman.

I’ll be having surgery to remove my fallopian tubes to prevent any potential pregnancies (and therefore impending hyperemesis gravidarum).

My sweet body (and heart) has taken a long time to heal from that illness, and I know it needs that deep reassurance that its time for conception and childbirth is over now. If I didn’t have HG, I might be more open to more children, but I’m not able to sacrifice my dear body and spirit again, along with nine months away from my family as I wrestle with that great demon of an illness.

I’m also really, really okay with my childbearing days being behind me. There’s still a whole lotta childrearing to go!

In a way it feels beautifully symbolic… I get to keep all that wonderful creative energy instead just for the conception and birth of other creative projects (teaching programs, books, artwork). So beautiful and exciting, right?

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So thank you, dearest fallopian tubes, for the perfect gifts of my two daughters. And I lovingly give you back to the earth so that more gifts can grow.

I’m wishing you love, gentleness + miracles come true.

Always love,

Opposites Attract (Thank God!)

by Leonie Dawson on April 1, 2015

opposites attract coloured

“What are you doing now?”

he asks me, blue eyes flashing, eyelids crackling, knowing light alight.

“Oh… I’ll just stay up, I think. I’m going to get some work done. I wanted to get this done.”

“Really?”

He looks at the clock.

“You think that would be a good idea at this time?”

“Yeah… it takes me ages to fall asleep at the moment. My brain is going too fast. I have so many ideas!”

“I know, I know honey. But why don’t you just lie in bed anyway? It is good to lie in bed. It is good to relax your body and your mind. It can feel like a wonderful thing to do that.”

And he kisses me, and he walks away.

He leaves me to make up my own mind.

Doesn’t push me too far, doesn’t spend his time trying to convince me, doesn’t push like a bulldozer.

That’s what I do.

That’s what I’m healing.

And of course, he has his own stuff that he’s not perfect with. Stuff he’s healing and learning about.

But that’s his story. He gets to share that with whoever (or nobody) as he pleases.

I joke often about the very private man who married the world’s winning blabbermouth, incapable of keeping a secret to save herself. The one who has been blogging about every spare feeling she’s had since 2004.

But this is not really about that.

This is about the fact that he went to bed, head falling into pillow, looking up at the ceiling, waiting for his body to soften and float away.

And how he loves that great time of softening.

The man who is okay with the non-doing. The empty space.

Who married a woman who is not.

And he teaches me.

Me, this hyperactive must-do-all-the-things-er. This can’t-sit-still. This must-run-and-jump. This eternal seeker of achievement.

He says:

Come. Let’s just rest. Let’s just perfect the art of nothing. There is great joy here too.

So I follow him to bed.

Stare at the ceiling, head whirring, tapes unpooling from the records of the day.

And he begins to snore long before I do.

But still, this empty, dark space is a cure I didn’t know I needed, leeching the adrenaline and the stories from my bones.

No work, no shimmering white screen clutched before me, no one-last-thing-ticked-off-the-to-do-list.

Just me, and the great softening.

A glacial warming.

Just what is needed.

To softening, and beyond,