Wisdompreneurs convenes at Esalen Institute 2016!

I am SO excited that we get to be at Esalen Institute October 10/9-14 2016!

50 Wisdompreneurs will convene in Big Sur for five days!

Echoing and mirroring the day long Intensive we are presenting in collaboration with Wisdom 2.0 in February!

Where we will take the day in February and dive into 9 (of many) pathways that we face as wisdom practioners, entrepreneurs, the intersection of both and most importantly as human beings being for a week long exploration in community, connection, wisdom and entrepreneurship.

Exploring the depths of these pathways, as well as an invitation to dive into the ocean itself, the natural hot springs, into what this sacred land, its community has held and offered for decades.

I first came to Esalen as a child, and returned at 27 spending a year there studying. I then met my second Teacher and this magical place became my second soul home for almost 20 years. 

This is long awaited dream of mine has birthed itself into REALITY!  YES!


SHIFT EVERY DAY continues!  Are you interested in:

Finding your purpose? Aligning with your purpose? Purpose driven work?

A fireside chat with Wisdompreneurs founders? The real real behind the curtain look at what Paul Zelizer and I have walked together? Not just the pretty picture, the oh my goodness you what??!! Real.

Accessing, Utilizing and Implementing Inner Wisdom?

Outta the box conference schwag?

I could go on but... again, we've got this kickin' website where you can read all about it! ‪#‎Stefanday‬

As I mentioned previously, additions to this incredible line up abound! Including Mark Nicolson and MORE!

As of Monday our event site will be updated every day.

Yesterday I started writing as promised (every day is what I wrote on the 31st...) and then I realized, no I need to step away from the computer, away from the push and the press, away from my fear that whispers and shouts KEEP AT IT!

And walk my dog.I planned to have company but instead I went alone. I met a woman on the trail with her two adorable pooches. We ended up on a mission to rescue a Chihuahua, a long story for another day. At least I did not sing my Chihuahua song, that I sing whenever I meet Chihuahuas.

And that I sometimes sing whenever Chihuahuas are mentioned that starts out with I Chihuahua, I, I, Chihuahua... Oh I...

If you haven't heard me sing that song, count your blessings unless of course you are a Chihuahua because yes, they seem to kinda like it or that's the story I tell myself any way.

Thinking of you sweet Lisa Marie and Rose, Lotus Blossom and, of course, George Harrison.

She (this cool lady I met), her two pups, Linus and I start walking and we start talking and she says what do you do and I say, I trip over my words.

What do I do. What don't I do is what I'm thinking. Which business should i tell her about? Wisdompreneurs? LifeBeforeDeath? Mariposa Search? Spiritual and Fabulous? Posibilitz? Loving all of the ideas and visions and also judging myself for not having one thing - ah the luxury of what I imagine having just one business card would feel like. But I'm not that, it's not in my DNA, literally.

She catches my trip and says, are you in transition? I mean, I am so I maybe you are too?

We walk, we talk, I tell her about my endeavors, she listens, really listens. then she says, I am a writer. I used to write to Entrepreneur.com. I'm also a vegan chef and I do catering, I'm also, and and and...

I fall in love.

There are others like me. I know this and I need to continue to be reminded of it a lot.

Plus, I want to connect with Entrepreneur.com, I need a personal chef given that I've become, am becoming, am desperately trying to embrace (because i care and I want to) veganism. I am in dialogues with caterers, I am working on press releases (with the help of Ginger Murray). She does even more and everything she does, I need and want.

Yet another angel, crosses my path. Yet another alignment. Yet another yes from the universe. I commit and the stars align. Again and again and again.

So I'm glad I walked my Wisdom of Wellness talk yesterday, the first day of this new year. Versus staying put at my computer, listening to fear tell me myself and I what I 'should' do given that it was the first of the year, that I said I would, that if I was really on top of it....

Whatevs fear. I love you and I'm going with being on a mission... or perhaps many, just like my folks. Cue nod to Patricia Novick and Al Raby. You are/were two cool crazy cats.

Wisdompreneurs Presents: SHIFT2016

Wisdompreneurs Presents: SHIFT2016

Are you Ready?

If so... BAM!

Shifting the Paradigm - FOR REAL

Are you interested in:

Diversity and Inclusion?

The fact that none of us are getting out of here alive, facing that fact and awakening to the truth that we can choose to be more here now every single moment?

Social impact and leaving a trace?

The wisdom of wellness/balance and sell-care?

Infusing creativity into your personal and professional endeavors?

Gaining more tools inner and outer as a wisdom practioner, entrepreneur - let's face it - as a human being on planet earth?

Attending the launch of our first book?

The dark side of enlightenment?

I could go on but... we now have this kickin' website where you can read all about it!

Thank you Stefan Day for being a complete an utter rockstar, cohort, sanity port, crazy ass, anchor, hard working, full of heart, care and incredible wisdom teacher!


Additions to this incredible line up abound! Get ready for more and more and more and MORE every single day. Ain't no stopping us NOW!

Now for the thank yous!

Thank you to all of our sponsors (not it's not too late, so contact us if you want to play!), partners, catalysts and contributors...

and mostly to our community. There is a Rumi poem, in it there is a line, "that was for THIS" YOU are the THAT this is for.

Of course a very special thank you to Wisdom 2.0 for inviting us to play, we are truly honored.

To you, Paul Zelizer, the wind beneath my wings and the wings to my wind. YOU are the Co-Founder for me.

Entrepreneurial Collective Impact, Not an Oxymoron

Many of us are proud to be Wisdompreneurs focused on making the world a better place through our own self-created entity. Many of us also have a desire to work together to make an even bigger impact, such as addressing diversity and health issues globally. Yet the idea of entrepreneurs working collectively together can be akin to herding cats to some. This is well summarized by the folks at Collaboration for Impact:

"No single policy, government department, organization or program can tackle or solve the increasingly complex social problems we face as a society. The approach calls for multiple organizations or entities from different sectors to abandon their own agenda in favor of a common agenda, shared measurement and alignment of effort.” The approach is known as collective impact.

So, what are examples of collective impact? WaterFire in Providence, Rhode Island transforms a million people each year in a profound ritual of cultural healing through art and music. Gil Penalosa helped establish Ciclovia in Bogota, Columbia, sparking an international movement where miles of streets are closed to cars to allow people the freedom to walk and bike.

The Downtown Project in Vegas, where Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh committed $350 million of his own money to revitalize a downtown, was initiated with the intent of becoming the coworking capital of the world and living laboratory for an ‘empathy machine’ that created a culture of connecting.

In Pittsburgh, Bill Strickland, went from at-risk teen to founding a national model for personal and economic healing through youth arts education and adult job training. His National Center for Arts & Technology is now in six cities, partnered with numerous organizations and companies in each location. 

There’s even Burning Man, a crowdsourced city with no wi-fi or cell service where 70,000 people either walk or bike - where else does that happen? All were started by individuals with a social and entrepreneurial mindset, and all require a tremendous amount of shared effort.

There are many of us who want to be the next founder of such collective impact efforts. The question is, who are you, where are you, what is your vision and how can we collectively help?

We would like to know, as we are not only looking to help pilot the next great collective impact effort, but to also integrate, learn from and grow the other existing collective impact efforts, including the ones previously mentioned.

We’d like to find out what would happen if the collective impact initiatives... collectively impact together.

The Importance of Mindful Culture for Start Ups

Credit: Pexels.com

One of the biggest trends of the past decade in the start up space is the Lean Start Up movement. Through a combination of careful observation and research, leaders like Eric Reis and Steve Blank have helped map out an approach to launching an enterprise that increases success and decreases the time spent flailing around.   I think that’s a great thing – unless you LIKE failing around. J
This is a huge service to the startup world. We now have a road map to better organizing the conversations and iterations that lead to a profitable company.

And yet, much of the conversation in the start up world reminds me of the culture at Google that Search Inside Yourself author Meng Tan describes. Meng talks about how Google and other tech companies were constantly “looking outside ourselves” for increased effectiveness and profitability.   As someone with a lifelong interest in awareness practices, Meng couldn’t help but wonder what kind of benefits would be available to companies if they would consider the research about “searching inside ourselves first”.

For instance, research done by TalentSmart when they placed emotional intelligence alongside 33 other important workplace skills found that emotional intelligence is the strongest predictor of performance, explaining a full 58% of success in all types of jobs.

Because of results like these, the conversation about self-awareness and emotional intelligence in larger business settings are rapidly growing. Google has Search Inside Yourself. Linked In has it’s Compassion in Business project. Arianna Huffington has launched GPS for the Soul.

Yet the conversation in the startup world about the importance of awareness and Emotional Intelligence practices seem to be lagging behind.

Business leaders like Arianna Huffington and Seth Godin have begun the conversation about the importance of mindful attention to the cultures we create in start up.   However, on the front lines of the organizations teaching and mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs – incubators, accelerators, entrepreneurship programs at universities and the like – practices like Emotional Intelligence are rarely mentioned. How many programs do you know where start up leaders are taught that Emotional Intelligence and similar practices are among the single biggest factors about whether a start up fails or thrives?

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said:

Daily mindfulness and compassion will make you a healthier, more productive person. Additionally, the people you work with are going to respond better and do better work. The outcome is going to be a superior product or service, a happier user or client, and in the best case—a positive global impact.

A positive global impact. That’s the vision of the startup community that I serve. And in order to take the next step towards that, I believe it’s essential for the start world to make it a priority to deepen our commitment to and awareness of creating more mindful culture in start ups. It’s something I’m saying yes to with every cell in my body.

Bio: Paul Zelizer runs a global business as a business and marketing coach for wisdom/awareness based entrepreneurs.   He is also the co-founder and CEO of Wisdompreneurs, a start up that brings easy to implement mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence practices to the entrepreneurial world as well as more entrepreneurial skills to transformational leaders.   Paul’s website is www.paulzelizer.com and Wisdompreneurs is at www.wisdompreneurs.com

This post was reposted with permission from http://www.awakenedcompany.com/the-importance-of-mindful-culture-for-start-ups/.  We are very excited about the work that The Awakened Company team does!

What Makes A Great Book Cover

As a publishing consultation in the self-help, wisdom and entrepreneurial industry I would say that one of my biggest gripes is the quality of book covers that I see on the market today.

With the rise of self-publishing, it is not only the quality of content of books that has taken a hit, but also their appearance too.

The challenge is, you may have poured your heart into writing your book, but without a well thought out cover that connects to your readers, it is likely that you won’t be able to enter the market as a serious contender. So, in this blog post I will explore some of the key mistakes that authors make before highlighting what makes a good book cover.

(At the end of the post we’ll also be announcing the Wisdompreneurs design competition for our new book. 'The Wise Entrepreneur', so stay posted if you are a designer as this one caries both a cash prize and some high leverage exposure for you as a designer.)


1 – Dated

One of the biggest mistakes I frequently see is that the cover belongs in the eighties. When designing a cover you need to consider that the fonts, colors and images aren’t out-dated. I recommend copious research on current books that are selling well. Look at the Amazon top 100. See what you notice about the designs. Sketches and hand drawn images are rarely used these days. Simple images are preferred.

2 – Clichéd

For the personal development industry there is a tendency to over rely on images that represent transformation. Personally, if I see another butterfly on the front of the book I think I might develop a twitch! Then there is the image of the man sitting in the lotus posture meditating. Also the one where the woman has her arms in the air jumping for joy (the last one was my first book cover ten years ago, so I am definitely not guilt free in this one)!

I’m sure you have seen these images a thousand times by now and they don’t make your book feel like it is anything original.

Steer clear of any images that seem to have been over-used and if you are not sure, check out the all time bestsellers in your genre to make sure it hasn’t been done before.

3 – Personalised

I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve been coaching someone and they show me the image for their book.

“Why that one?” I ask (voice heavy with curiosity).

“Oh, it’s personal to me. It represents my own transformation so I have always wanted it to be my book cover.”

The challenge is that your book cover needs to deeply connect with your audience. If you make it about you, you have missed an opportunity to show them that the book is about them. Images that are personal to you are definitely not the way to go for the front of your book.

4 – Wrong Genre

You have a guilty pleasure for reading romance novels and you really like the style of the cover, so you decide to use a similar kind of design for your self-help book. OK, so this one might seem a bit extreme but you’d be amazed how many people say something like, “I decided to make my cover a bit sci-fi like so my book would seem futuristic.” Bottom line is, it doesn’t work. You have to match the design of your cover to the genre you are writing for. Publishers are really strict about this for a reason. If your book makes it to the bookshop, it has to sit alongside other books of your genre and it has to fit in. These conventions are in place for a reason. Often people think they can rebel against them, but they are one of the basics of publishing. They work! So do plenty of research in the genre you are publishing in so that the cover of your book gives the right message to your audience.

5 – Too Busy

You need to keep images clean and simple. Ten different images morphing and changing into one another don’t make a good book cover. (I’ve made all these mistakes myself in one form or another! I’m thinking of my second self-published book and cringing as I write this!) So, stick to simple single images or well-designed text with no image.

6 – Inappropriate for Thumbnail

With number 5 in mind, you also have to imagine your book cover as a thumbnail. How will it look when it is shrunken down to fit on Amazon, for example? This is a huge consideration when it comes to sales, because if it doesn’t work as a thumbnail, nobody will buy it.


In summary, simple clean designs with clear modern fonts that are specific to the genre in question work these days. Single images that work in tandem with the text and are well blended to create a cohesive whole.


See below the cover for my book, Write an Evolutionary Self-Help Book. Although I was happy with the initial design, it felt a bit rough and unsophisticated for my audience. I wanted something classier. Ann Lowe, who is a top designer in the Wisdompreneurs tribe, designed the second one.

The Wise Entrpreneur Cover Design Competition – What We Are Looking For:

We want a clean, modern cover that reflects the intersection between Wisdom and Entrepreneurism. This book is a collaboration between Wisdompreneurs co-founders Paul Zelizer and Alison Raby, and Wisdompreneurs Publishing CEO, Sasha Allenby. It also has contributions from 100 leading names in the wisdom/entrepreneurial fields. There are some serious ass kickers in this book and we are really honored to be sharing the stage with some very high profile contributors.

It will be launched at Wisdom 2.0 in Feb 2016 (over 3,000 people are expected to attend). It will also be launched to the Wisdompreneurs tribe (currently sitting at 10,000 pretty active members). It has an extensive marketing plan behind it. In short, it is going to put your design work in front of a lot of high leverage people. Your work will literally be the face of a new and innovative company that is already establishing itself with integrity and success in this field.

If you win this competition, in addition to the high volume of exposure you will get when the book launches, it also carries a $300 cash prize.

You will also be invited as a guest speaker on our Google Hangout to share your knowledge about what makes a good design, creating more expose for you and your brand.

The design spec for the front cover is 6 x 9 inches.

Title: The Wise Entrepreneur

Subtitle: Daily Resources to Increase Your Impact, Success and Sense of Meaning

Authors: Paul Zelizer, Sasha Allenby, Alison Raby

Forword: Please leave a space for the name of whoever is doing our forward (TBC).

We would initially need you to design the front cover by 15 Oct 2015 and completed back cover and spine by Dec 2015.

This contest is open to our community members. If you would like to participate, please feel free to join our community where you can find out how to submit your entries.

All entries will be judged anonymously so you can reassured that there will be no favoritism within the tribe!