I've been wanting to do this for awhile now - I've come across so many amazing women from different walks of life who have taken their careers into their own hands.
Given that it's Women's History Month, I thought it was the perfect time to highlight a few of these women I've met along my journey.
Today I'd like to introduce you to Nina and Mary from Boldly + Co, who developed not only a productivity methodology to keep us sane but gorgeous products to complement that methodology.
How did Boldly+Co. come to life?
Boldly + Co. came to life when She-E-Os, Nina Ferraro and Mary Manthei, joined forces after realizing how ineffective so many individuals are at managing and maximizing their time. After years of researching and developing their proprietary methodology, they realized that this was about far more than just managing and maximizing time - it was about overall wellness, mental health, and a positive mindset. In late 2018, Boldly + Co. officially launched with their 2019 line of planners and coordinating products.
What is the mission behind the business?
Our mission is to teach individuals and companies lifelong skills that help them balance their busy lives, reduce their stress and anxiety, and help them become their best.
How did you go about setting up the business and gaining funding?
Boldly + Co. operates as a for-profit LLC. We initially started Boldly + Co. with our own time and money; however, we understood that we couldn't fully finance the business by ourselves. So, we took three helpful steps: 1) we launched a successful Kickstarter campaign; 2) hosted a local launch party; and 3) raised a small amount of private funds.
Tell us about your productivity method and how you developed it?
Our proprietary method is first and foremost rooted in teaching. We realized that so many planners are actually glorified notebooks - they don't really help anyone other than to create a generic "to do" list. So, instead of being just like the rest, we root ourselves in truly teaching how to plan masterfully (which is a skill and knowledge set that not many people have). We not only teach you how/when/why to plan within our Boldly Go Productivity Planner, but we also educate you on a number of other things that allow you to truly zone in, focus, and be your most productive.
Some examples are:
1) multiple ways to plan so you are taking action on the right types of things at the right time for your brain and body
2) how to shift unhealthy behaviors into positive ones
3) how to master your mindset. Our method was developed out of sheer necessity.
Years ago, our She-E-O - Nina - was working no less than 70 hours per week and traveling full-time for work. She was extremely stressed, anxious, and on edge, and she realized it was causing her to become a negative and unhealthy version of herself. In a moment of vulnerability, she understood that she needed to make some serious changes in how she planned out her weeks and balanced her health. So, she began researching topics on everything from psychology to productivity to positivity. After two years, she had enough knowledge to develop the bulk of the Boldly Go methodology in use today.
Are there any challenges in being your own boss?
Yes! The challenges that exist are wonderful ones, though, and we are grateful to have them. A primary challenge is loving the work that we do, which means we want to work as much as possible. Considering that we teach how to balance a busy life, we must constantly keep ourselves in check. Another challenge is the flexibility that exists with working from home. When we operated in the corporate world with set days and times that we were required to be in an office setting, flexibility was a dream. However, now that we have it, it's easy to put other things in front of our business that we would have otherwise ignored or pushed back - family life, taking care of chores at home, and so on. It's interesting to have two opposite challenges - working all of the time vs. having too much flexibility. Thank goodness for our planner!
How do you feel about the expansion of wellness into the corporate environment?
While we believe wellness awareness is on the rise, there's still an obvious disconnection between what corporations and leaders "talk" and what they actually "walk." Corporations and leaders often say: "We absolutely believe in a balanced employee that isn't overworked, but remains productive, and is also healthy in all areas of life." However, what they actually do is far different. Corporations and leaders don't have the knowledge of how to teach wellness as a lifestyle that starts right there in their office, nor do they know how to enable it. For example, a manager may say: "I don't want you to work tonight - rest and recharge for the next day," yet they expect the employee to answer emails 24/7, respond to chat messages, and text at all hours. The digital bombardment that is experienced (and expected) is a true harm to wellness and productivity. This is where we come in. Boldly + Co. teaches corporations, leaders, and individuals how to treat and act on all these things - productivity, focus, balance, wellness, etc. - just as they would introduce project methodologies in the workplace.
What is the importance of brand authenticity to Boldly + Co.? I
t's everything! One thing that we wanted in our brand was something that exuded sleekness yet was full of bold, beautiful colors. When we were in the corporate world, we were both often confined to boring templates and tools and extreme creativity was frowned upon. But for us: it inspires us! Keeping our brand our own - bright, bold, and beautiful, yet refined, means the world to us.
What does the future for Boldly + Co. look like?
Ahhh... our favorite thing to do: dream about what the future holds! The future of Boldly + Co. lies in sharing our teachings with as many businesses as possible, in an effort to shape our workforce for the better. We want people to feel alive, excited, productive, and positive every day because they learned the Boldly way.
For more on Boldly + Co, go to www.boldlyandco.com