I Thought I Left Silicon Valley Because It Was Toxic And I Felt Alone

I have now been out of the Valley for 20 years and moved to Los Angeles to see if I could get away from the world according to tech. I started my career there in public relations and jumped right into the madness of it all. The energy was intense and you had to be fast on your toes. Sure, there was a lot of excitement with the amazing technologies and thought leaders taking stage with multimillion dollar launches, campaigns, and big, big, promises. It was hard for me to wrap my head and heart around all of what was swirling around me. I was young and impressionable. Sure, this was Silicon Valley. This was a city and culture, that was going to change the world with technology and smarts. So why did I feel alone as I started my career as a 22 year old in one of the most famous places in the world? To this date, I am still finding and feeling those answers. I am still working on a healing process that only I can understand and feel. But now, and this is the reason I am writing this piece, I am seeing how I have never been alone in the Valley, and that the culture of the Valley was not the “bad guy” and was simply space and energy, nothing more than a special place that I would take into my being and learn how to live with it. I went up to see the Valley for a very short visit. I met a few angels who literally seemed to pop right out of nowhere. I realized they were always there in those early days as well, sitting right there with me rooting me on. I just did not know how to see them or feel how they were there with me either leading the way or walking by my side. In those early years I was on auto pilot, or in fight and flight mode as many like to say. I was a high achiever climbing a ladder that never seemed to have a top to it. But I kept climbing even though the climb was not always a healthy climb. During this last trip I was hosted by a woman who has run her own PR agency since she was 26. We had only met in person two times prior to this visit but have stayed in touch via social media. She welcomed me into her house, helped me feel a part of her family, and cooked a wonderful dinner for me while we chatted about being a woman in high technology, working with the younger generation, the challenges and blessings involved...

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Acknowledging Our Personal Growth Is So Essential For Sense of Self

Since personal evolution is most often a slow and gradual process, it can be difficult to recognize the scope of the changes taking place in our lives. Yet it is important that we regularly acknowledge our ongoing growth and reward ourselves for the many wonderful feats of self-improvement we have accomplished. When we intentionally contemplate our progress, we need never feel that we are languishing between past achievements and the realization of future goals. If we look closely at our lives, we may see that much of what brings us pleasure in the present is representative of the ambitions of our past that we worked so hard to attain. At one time, the abundance we enjoy currently likely seemed like a far-off dream. Now it is simply reality–a reality we created through our diligence, passion, and unflagging determination. Whether our progress is fast or slow, we deserve to congratulate ourselves for our successes. To remind yourself of the insights you have gained with time, temporarily adopt an outsider’s perspective and carefully consider how your life in the present differs from the range of experiences you lived through in the past. Creating a written list, in a journal or otherwise, of those strengths, aptitudes, and inner qualities you now attribute to yourself can help you accept that you are not the same person you were one year ago, five years ago, or 10 years ago. Your attitudes, opinions, and values were likely markedly different, and these differences can be ascribed to your willingness to accept that you still have much to learn. If you have difficulty giving yourself credit for these changes, think about the goals you realized, the lives you touched, the wisdom you acquired, and the level of enlightenment you attained over the past years. Recognizing growth is neither boastful nor immodest. Evolution is a natural fact of life and becomes a potent motivational force when celebrated. Knowing that you are brighter, stronger, and more grounded than you once were, you can look forward to the changes to come. In acknowledging your growth, you build a sturdy foundation upon which you can continue to blossom well into the future....

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Statistics And Individual Feedback Continue To Show How Organizations Need To Support Important Causes

A recent release of Edelman’s annual ‘Trust Barometer’ made for a depressing way to start the year. It gave us proof (as if it were needed) that people have lost faith in the global elite. From global business through to government and media, trust is at an all time low. Seeing as though Edelman is a PR agency, it’s no surprise they know how to cause a stir. The report was timed for release just ahead of The World Economic Forum at Davos. And if anything is a short-hand for the global business and political elite, it’s Davos. But it’s not just Edelman that hoped to get Davos tongues wagging about trust. I too wanted the Trust Barometer to drive conversations amongst the world’s business leaders. Why? Because when a trust deficit leads to a dangerous narcissist ruling the free world and Britain scoring an own goal through Brexit, it’s clear we need to start working out how to claw back that all-important trust. But how can businesses regain respect? For me, the answer is clear. Businesses need to take more of a public stand on environmental and socio-political issues. Although there’s a long-held belief that getting political might alienate part of a customer base, now that we are living in these highly poloarised times, the old orthodoxy of keeping schtum or sitting on the fence simply doesn’t work any more. With the digital revolution came mass transparency. Social media has left businesses with nowhere to hide. This is why the everyday people who sustain businesses are now more interested in how a company acts and thinks, which is why the Trust Barometer itself argues for trust to be regained by companies taking a more of a societal role. Today, businesses must be more than just money-makers Part of that societal role lies in social purpose. It’s become de rigeur for businesses of all shapes and sizes to have a ‘purpose’. But that doesn’t mean it’s a fad. There are some very sound commercial reasons that underpin this shift in global business. On a personal level, I’m a huge believer in the idea that businesses should have a social purpose. It’s one of the fundamentals that shapes my businesses and the way I deal with my clients. But there’s scope to push this notion of businesses assuming a societal role even further. And that’s by getting businesses leaders to come out and take a stance on the world most important issues. From climate crisis to equal rights, 2016 saw the start of business behemoths taking a stand. Smirnoff was brave enough to collaborate with a street artist to build a body of work that championed US immigrants. Bud Light...

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Engage For Good

Such a pleasure to see more cause marketing advertisements during the Super Bowl. Now is a great time for companies to keep the momentum going where millions of eyeballs are glued to: the television. Here are some companies continuing to share their purpose. SoCal Honda Dealers ‘Causejack’ Super Bowl for Charity Airbnb Takes a (Super Bowl) Stand on Acceptance Airbnb’s Super Bowl commercial stressed tolerance and promoted a new hashtag: #weaccept. Following the ad, Airbnb is continuing the conversation on refugees, immigrants and acceptance with a $4mm donation to the International Rescue Committee and encouraging its users to continue to open their homes – and their minds – to people in need. SC Johnson, Conservation International Get People Under the Canopy SC Johnson, the maker of household products like Pledge®, Glade®, OFF!®, and Ziploc®, announced an acre-for-acre matching challenge to help protect the Amazon rainforest. For every $25 donation, SC Johnson will match donations up to 5,000 acres. The acre challenge is part of SC Johnson’s partnership with Conservation International to support the new virtual reality film Under the Canopy, which allows viewers to experience the wonder of the Amazon in 360-degree virtual...

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Technology and Medicine Changing The Way We Live

This is just a short piece to show you how the technology and medical fields are combining forces to help us all live better lives.   I have been in touch with, and freelanced with a lot of people and companies in Denver, one of the cities that is home to some of the hottest tech and medical start-ups in the country.   The city is even being touted as the next Silicon Valley.   The reason I am so interested in Denver’s tech start-up scene is due to the fact that the companies there want to combine business with social impact in a BIG way. Everyone I have met there is only looking ahead, especially those in the digital technology medical space. After working with some folks I decided that I might as well try to create a technology product that would be viable in the health sector.   And guess what, a public relations entrepreneur such as myself was able to do this.  After years of being in PR for world leading PR agencies and Fortune 100 companies, I realized that yes, I also can come up with a product idea and lead a lean team to see if we can get the idea funded.   I have never been on this side of the coin, and to be honest, it is helping me become a better PR entrepreneur. The company I have started is BabyWeConnect, a start-up that will focus on ways to connect an incubator baby with its parents while it is in the neo natal intensive care unit alone in a plastic box.   We have technology today that can be bought off the shelf that will allow parents to connect with their NICU babies 24/7.   This is so critical for both the parents and the baby.  Without connection early on the baby and the families may suffer what is called ACES, adverse childhood experiences. We are in the very beginning stages of forming the company and getting our team put together.   The main point I want to make in this post is that we all can make an impact in one way or another in our lives, in our world, and in the lives of others.   Technology is what the consumer breathes minute by minute.   So take some time to think about how you too may be able to create your own idea that involves health and tech. With the health industry being broken and needing more heart and soul, it would be awesome if you could join the movement in making our world a healthier place for all generations.   We are so connected these days that we...

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