There are many traditional business practices that could use some modernization, and business networking is one of them. Thanks to the work of professionals like our latest guest Kristin McGinnis, the days of small talk and elevator pitches in a conference room are on their way out.
Kristin's work is all about bringing our values and purpose to the forefront of our conversations, and cultivating meaningful connection and authentic conversation in the world of networking and beyond. Listen to our latest episode to learn how to leave the small talk behind, create spaces where everyone can be seen and heard, and set the stage for great conversations to happen.
Credits: Raechel Sherwood for Original Score Composition.
YouTube Channel: Uncover The Human
Alex Cullimore: How is it going, Cristina?
Cristina Amigoni: Good. Waking up. Wake up. Hello.
Alex Cullimore: I have been doing that exact movement all week. It's been just – April was – That was a time. That was very tiring. And now it's going to be the same.
Cristina Amigoni: April was a time, yes. And May is – Can it be July? Can we do the European thing where we just take July and August off? July, because of Northern Europe. August because of Southern Europe. And we take both. Our clients will be super happy.
Alex Cullimore: Perfect. I think we should do both. And I think we should be there. You're going to love that. By the way, we're on a two-month sabbatical.
Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, yeah. You're self-sustaining by July. We can get you there. Here's a task list. We'll be back. Let us know how it goes when we're back. Not during.
Alex Cullimore: And during those months, we can go to some of these events with Kristin McGinnis, who is our guest this week. And she's got just a plethora of incredible things to be part of. I’m just impressed by the sheer volume alone, much less the actual quality of all of the things that she has put together here. Just incredible ways to get in touch with yourself so that you're not doing what we're doing and just slapping ourselves in the face to stay awake.
Cristina Amigoni: Yes, indeed. Yeah, it's really amazing what she's created and where she's standing up and growing. I love the fact that just even calling a business, conscious business connections, it's now something that people are seeking out. And it's so successful because it's so needed. It's no longer this taboo. Like, "Well, consciousness and work? What are you talking about? There's no consciousness in business. It's all about that bottom line and dollars."
Alex Cullimore: Yeah. And she even talks about the eternal bottom line. People, planet, profit. Make your business successful while building the people and building the planet around you. And she's got just incredible ways of visualizing and thinking about these things. It was a super fun conversation. I love her community. I think we should definitely join up. And I hope everybody else feels similarly.
Cristina Amigoni: Yes. Definitely looking forward to meeting her in person.
Alex Cullimore: Please enjoy this conversation.
Cristina Amigoni: Enjoy.
Alex Cullimore: Welcome to Uncover the Human where every conversation revolves around enhancing all the connections in our lives.
Cristina Amigoni: Whether that's with our families, co-workers, or even ourselves.
Alex Cullimore: When we can be our authentic selves, magic happens.
Cristina Amigoni: This is Cristina Amigoni.
Alex Cullimore: And this is Alex Cullimore. Let’s dive in.
Cristina Amigoni: Let’s dive in.
“Authenticity means freedom.”
“Authenticity means going with your gut.”
“Authenticity is bringing 100% of yourself not just the parts you think people want to see, but all of you.”
“Being authentic means that you have integrity to yourself.”
“It's the way our intuition is whispering something deep-rooted and true.”
“Authenticity is when you truly know yourself. You remember and connect to who you were before others told you who you should be.”
“It's transparency, relatability. No frills. No makeup. Just being.”
Alex Cullimore: Welcome back to this episode of Uncover the Human. We're joined this week with our guest, Kristin McGinnis. Welcome, Kristin.
Kristin McGinnis: Thank you, Alex. A pleasure to be here.
Cristina Amigoni: Welcome.
Kristin McGinnis: Hi, Cristina. Thank you.
Alex Cullimore: Tell us all a little bit about yourself. What do you do? What do you get into? What are you up to?
Kristin McGinnis: My story. All right. Where to begin? There are so many things. Well, I start a little bit in the beginning. I am a Colorado native since a lot of your audience is in Colorado and a lot of your guests had been from Colorado. I am one that was actually born here. And I grew up in the Wash Park area, and absolutely loved it. I’m actually the fifth generation on my dad's side. My great grandfather was the Mayor of Silver Plume, which is the town right before the Loveland Ski area, right after Georgetown when you're heading up the hill. That's my claim to fame. A lot of history in Colorado. I really loved growing up here.
And I went to Colorado State University. Go Rams! And joined the hospitality program there. I had originally – I’ve done a lot of career changes. I’ve done a lot of souls searching and bouncing around of what I was doing with my career. I originally started in the pre-vet program and then decided that that wasn't the best fit for me and decided to go into hospitality management. Still that hard of service. Instead of serving animals and serving in that way, I wanted to provide that experience element to those us serving within the hospitality field.
I went to that for around 10 years. Was a restaurant manager, and event coordinator. Found some really great weddings with some event companies that I worked for here in the Colorado and Fort Collins area. And that led me to an opportunity to move to anywhere I wanted in the country with this restaurant group that I was with. And I chose Las Vegas.
I was in my late 20s. Perfect time to be in Las Vegas. I pretty much just worked and slept on weekends. Had a little bit of fun. But really great experience. Great time to be there. And lived there for five years. And because all I did was work and sleep, I miss out on a lot of life. I missed out on weddings, and baby showers, holidays sometimes. We're open. Vegas never shuts down. Working New Year’s Eve, Christmas, and Thanksgiving. That was just hard on my personal life and my well-being.
I decided to go back to school and get my MBA. I got my MBA in sustainable business. The BP Oil spill had just happened. The Al Gore movie had just come out. Leonardo DiCaprio had one. And I’ve always been an environmental person. Being from Colorado always cared about wildlife, our environment. And I decided to – The Green Movement was just starting to come about with that terminology and climate change. And so, I researched schools. And I got one of the first green MBAs available in the country. And decided to pursue what was really in my heart. And succeeded and graduated with that MBA about 10 years ago now.
I’ll pause on the story and let you ask what other questions you have that we can fill in there.
Cristina Amigoni: Very fascinating. Rare Colorado native. You are unique for that one. A lot of people just come to Colorado. And it's really cool. I like the green MBA twist. I didn't know that was a thing. And it makes sense that it is. That's really cool. Where did you study for your MBA?
Kristin McGinnis: At Marylhurst University. It was all an online degree. Marylhurst is outside of Portland, Oregon. It was an accelerated a year and a half online, self-paced, which is more my style. I’m a learner. This is not my actual background. I actually have a bookshelf behind me with all the books that I’ve read. It's a bright, fresh background for you all. I’m a soft starter and a learner. And it was the perfect kind of course for me. And filling in and mixing business with environmental sustainability. My emphasis was on natural and organic resources. A lot of emphasis on how we consume and produce our resources. The plastics in the world. Doing cost-benefit analysis. But it's really interesting things in how we make decisions in regard to what we are consuming. And then there's also an element within that emphasis on organic food production. Just really fascinating. And it's been a wonderful education for Marylhurst.
Cristina Amigoni: Very much needed.
Kristin McGinnis: Yes.
Alex Cullimore: Yeah. Let's put you in touch with our tiny home sustainability friends. We have a friend here that runs a company and builds tiny homes. And they focus on everything very sustainable. So, we'll have to get you to touch them because that's a fascinating space. And definitely necessary obviously.
Kristin McGinnis: Yeah, absolutely. The Tiny Home Movement is great. And it shows us how much we don't really need – We don't need so much space. How much more effective we can be with our environment and our living quarters. I love that. I love that.
Alex Cullimore: You talked about your hospitality background, which makes a lot of sense because I know now, that you're doing a whole bunch of events. I was impressed just when we talked last time. The number of events that you have going on makes a little more sense since you've done a lot more hospitality stuff. What have you gotten into recently? You've got a whole business.
Kristin McGinnis: I do. I do. Thanks for asking, Alex. Yes. After I graduated with my MBA, I started working for a finance company. And we focus on life insurance and estate planning. Through that, we are helping people perpetuate their values and what's really important in their life. And that has been really fulfilling to me. I’m very much a values-based person and want to help people uncover their values and their authenticity in the world.
Through that, I've served on a few different boards. I’ve served on the board of Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable, where we focused on planned giving efforts for philanthropic organizations, and non-profit organizations. And now I’m on the board for the Denver Foundation. The Denver name really helps out. And helping a lot of non-profits through what the Denver Foundation supports.
All those paths led me to a lot of additional self-discoveries and to decide to start my own business. In 2021, I started my own business called Conscious Business Connections. And through my own personal path, through the last five years of self-discovery, working with coaches, and developing my yoga career, even more, I was just meeting so many amazing people. Being in the sustainability world, like you're talking about, Alex, like just so many amazing people doing amazing things with their creativity and their imagination and bringing that into the business world.
In order to bring all those people together, I’m like, "There's some magic that I can bring to the world. I’m a systems person. I’m an organized person." I started Conscious Business Connections last year. And there are four buckets that we fall into: education, events, support, and referrals.
To answer your question, that was a long answer to your question, Alex is the event piece for Conscious Business Connections, I’ve hosted around 70, a little bit more. It was around 70 events in one full year, from April to April. And it was the coming back year. It was 2021, after the pandemic year. People were starved for connection. Wanting to get back into the community in some manner. A lot of those events were a little bit smaller last year. Getting people comfortable and where they wanted to meet, and all things like that.
I hosted a lot of in-person events and some virtual events all with an element of mindfulness. And anytime I can, I host those events out in nature. A refreshing change to a lot of the networking groups that many professionals and salespeople or business development people are in. They're typically a happy hour or a big conference. Not always best for people that are more shy or coming out of a pandemic, that kind of situation. They didn't want these big crowds.
And so, they really appreciated that intimacy and that safe space that I create. And most of all, just being able to be seen, heard, and felt. And the authentic conversations that come from that were just absolutely beautiful. Those are kind of the events that I’ve learned.
Alex Cullimore: That's wonderful. Yeah, I was just thinking about the shy people and the networking, the traditional networking events, and how that's one of the things that, with the pandemic, I was actually glad that they went away. Because I’ve always found very – It was just difficult. It's difficult for me to go to a networking event with hundreds of people. And you're standing in some either restaurant bar, big room, and you're trying to figure out, "Who do I talk to? Who do I not talk to? I don't want to do small talk. But how do I get past that?"
And so, whenever I used to go, it was that pressure of like I have to go because it's part of the journey. I don't want to be here. So, I’ll go with a friend or two and then just stick with them. Then at the end of the evening, it was like, "Why are we here?"
Kristin McGinnis: I hear you. That's what I would experience too. And what I see is a lot of those people that already know each other, they're just at the networking event together. And they don't really break away from that mole very often and their little sub-group within that event. It's challenging.
Like you said, "Why am I here?" I’m fairly extroverted and not too shy given the circumstances, and happy to go up to people. But I like to create events where everyone feels seen and heard. And then afterward, we can know who we want to meet and know like, "Oh, they said this." Or they're in this industry. Or something else that's not a small talk conversation where I know that'll be a great connection for me. That's what my events provide. And people have given me really great feedback. And a lot of great connections have been made. I’m proud of that.
Alex Cullimore: That's really cool. How do you get people to open up beyond the small talk level? Do you have favorite ways to open new groups?
Kristin McGinnis: Well, it's always kind of setting the stage and kind of agreements for what we're building and creating together and what the conversation will look like. Making people feel comfortable. Explaining what it is we're doing, versus just diving into something. It's always kind of setting the stage step.
And then after that, I usually provide question prompts. Because how many people have been to an event? And people come to you and the first question they ask you is –
Cristina Amigoni: What do you do?
Kristin McGinnis: Yeah, exactly.
Alex Cullimore: Where do you work?
Cristina Amigoni: Work worst question ever, by the way.
Kristin McGinnis: Exactly. And it just gets old. And we just get stuck in the cycle of our elevator pitch, which is important. It's nice to be able to tell your elevator pitch. But having different prompts that break us out of that automatic, robot-style networking. Provide them questions or answer the question-type style questions. And then we get to just some really interesting conversations throughout that exercise. And then following. Because it's not just what you do. And that eventually comes out anyway. We're expressing our gifts through our work. And that's a beautiful thing. And we want to know how we're doing that. But starting from a different foundation.
Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. And it definitely happens, eventually, the conversation over what we do. If we're proud of it. And it is about sharing our gifts does come up. It's just it doesn't come up – It's not a barrier for connection. It's a reason for connection beyond the initial questions and the initial sharing, I find.
Kristin McGinnis: Right. And I try to get to the why as quickly as I can. Or allow that to shine. A lot of people – Like, Simon Sinek's the why of the why. It's just a continuous process of exploration together and exploring that in that space.
Within the company, within Conscious Business Connections, I now have a private networking platform. And it's always been my vision. I finally found one that was perfectly suited, because I’ve had this in my mind. I just haven't found the right one. It wasn't thousands and thousands of dollars. And the last thing I want to do is transfer those costs onto members.
But this networking platform, like your tagline, actually identifies you not by your job title. But it identifies you by what your why is in the world from a philanthropic sense. What do you want to see more or less of in the world? Do you want to see less poverty? Do you want to see better education? Do you want to see cleaner oceans and welfare?
Within the platform, even now it's identifying how I can connect with someone based on that. And I can see, "Oh, they're really passionate about safe and healthy, clean water for our communities." And then I can approach them on that. Just fun different avenues and ways to connect on a more meaningful level.
Alex Cullimore: That's super cool. I’ve never heard of establishing it that way. But that's a great framework for people's best philanthropy. It's a cool way of getting to people's values as well. It's just what really means something. And why does it mean something to them? It's an explanation by everybody.
Kristin McGinnis: Right. And some people are working directly in that field. Or they do that on their part-time with their volunteer work. Yeah, it's just a fun way to get to know somebody on a more meaningful level.
Cristina Amigoni: Well, it makes me wonder how often that answer changes, not radically. But it gets redefined or refined by having to answer that question and having to talk to new people about it. It also may be weeding out the ones that are just pure business or pure opportunistic in a way. It's like, "Oh, it's a networking connection for me to sell them whatever I provide." I don't really care what people do, or why they do it, or who they are as humans." And this allows that weeding-out in a way.
Kristin McGinnis: Absolutely. Since I started the business, I’ve said I wanted people to self-select. If they're just there to talk about themselves and just to sell their product and have you fit into their box. One of the rules of my group – I don't really have rules. I call them agreements. It's earning the right to talk about yourself by asking questions first. If someone comes to an event –
Alex Cullimore: I like that one a lot.
Cristina Amigoni: I like that one a lot. Yes. That's such a great way to provide that safe space just off the bat.
Kristin McGinnis: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. It doesn't feel – We've all been sold to. And it just doesn't feel great. I mean, some people might be good at doing that, but then it feels manipulative. And then at the end of the process, you don't feel great. We want to build that relationship first and foremost. And so, asking questions about what someone's interested in. Getting to know them as a person and seeing if your product might fit. Versus, "My product is for everyone. Or "My services for everyone." That's not the case.
Alex Cullimore: I like that a lot. Yeah. It is a good model just for human relationships as well. Just think about asking questions first. How do you get to earn the right to talk about yourself by making sure you understand things about other people? It's a great way of describing it. I love the wordage.
Kristin McGinnis: Exactly, exactly. And so, at my events, that's what we talk about. I kind of get a little handout when we talk about that. That's not something they're used to. I mean, people don't know what they don't know. And they're not always taught these skills. They're taught different modes of being. And so, it's a way – I describe it as conscious business development. And educating people on that.
If you've always typically done that, that's fine. But let's try it in a new way. And let's try that on precise. See how that feels. See how that might change the relationships that you're building and the business transaction that is coming from that. It's all about influence. Not telling people what to do. But influencing. That leading by example. And showing them a fresh perspective and this fresh way of doing business.
Alex Cullimore: Super necessary. And it was a great framing for it, too. Let's try this out. Let's try this on precisely and see what happens differently. What kind of things led you into understanding like the conscious space and leading with values? And what led you to those ideas now that you're leading others?
Kristin McGinnis: Great question. When I look back on it, I believe one of like the first books that I read in high school was The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. That was one of the first books I read. I mean, that's a long-time one. I’ve always been curious about leadership. And that's why I went to hospitality management. And then I read like 360 Degree Leader and Leading from the Middle. I don't wholeheartedly believe in that book. I don't believe that just because you're the CEO, you're the only one that can lead. You can lead from any level of your organization. You can have an impact. You can have influence. And it's all about who you are choosing to be at that moment. And you can inspire from any level of your organization.
I’ve always just been a reader of leadership. And when I stepped into my management roles within the hospitality industry, I always led that way. And always wanted to make sure my employees had a voice. And you can learn so much by talking to the dishwasher or the busboy. They're not just – I don't like that word, just. They're not just a dishwasher. You're an integral part of the restaurant in that whole environment there and that whole ecosystem.
Understanding that everyone's role is extremely important within an organization, whether it's a restaurant or a corporation. Listening to what they have to say. And, gosh, one example I have is my corporate job. I still have a main office building in the Denver Tech Center. And one of the most inspiring people in that building is the – I don't know if the janitor is the right word anymore. But he's the one that likes to take care of everything, all the cleanliness in the building. Puts the patio furniture out. And he's always singing. And just being around his energy every morning when you walk in to hear someone just singing and enjoying their job so much, it has an influence, and it has an impact on your happiness and your quotient that day and your productivity. And it all kind of percolates from there. Inspiration is so important as a leader. And I just continue to embody that as much as I can and learn from others and lead by example.
Cristina Amigoni: That's wonderful. And saying that you don't like the word just is our love language. We have prohibited words. And just is one of them.
Alex Cullimore: Just is top of the list.
Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. Just is top of the list. Should is another one. You don't use it. And when you do, that's a red flag. Nothing is just. Nobody is just something.
Kristin McGinnis: Amen. Amen.
Alex Cullimore: Kristin, I love that example of the building manager, the janitor whose energy is – It means it's not even just the jobs that he's doing. It's the energy that he brings and what that does to you. The splash effect of that. That alone is its own connection beyond the just.
Kristin McGinnis: Absolutely. And there are so many examples, the connection to compare, contrast to nature. I mean, if you look at nature, every single organism has a role, within the soil, within the air. Every organism. It's the same within an ecosystem within a business. We need to have leadership in a way. We need to have structure. But no role is more important than the other. Everyone has their integral piece to play. And together, that's how there's a success. That's how we have progressed forward.
Cristina Amigoni: So true.
Alex Cullimore: Then conscious business connections then become its own layer of connecting even other organisms. It's it's own like connective tissue of ecosystems.
Kristin McGinnis: Yeah. I like that. Yeah, I never could explain that in that way. It's great. It's its own ecosystem. And it's evolving and growing. And what I continuously do is just listen to what members want, need, and desire. And I am the glue. I’m the hub. And I love connecting people and providing those pieces.
Bringing on different thought leaders and coming to speak to the community. I am having an attorney come and speak to us next week on the benefits of your legal structure and how that will affect your marketing and your overall vision and expression of your values as your business. If a B corporation is right, all these different kinds of legal structures we now have are further expressions of our values. Really great thought leaders coming on to show us and illustrate different ways of running our business in a more conscious way.
Cristina Amigoni: That's awesome.
Alex Cullimore: That's great.
Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, I really like that angle, that like every decision is an expression of your identity. It's not just a business decision or a practical decision. There's a reason. Or there should be. Should.
Kristin McGinnis: It's tricky. It comes out every now –
Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, I know. It's more of a conscious decision to think about it as opposed to just go with the practical, or tactical, or somebody else had to do.
Kristin McGinnis: Exactly. And I’m thinking about what you said, like the prohibited words. I mean, they sneak out every now and again. I mean, I have my list. And we're actually talking about this at our member’s meeting later this month. Like those with should definitely be on my list. I work to abolish that word for the last few years. And these words that we talk about, they just inflict personal guilt, or shame, or some regressive type of frequency where it's not honoring our best self.
The more the language is the direct reflection, and when we're using that language, it allows us to manifest what we want more in our life. More abundance. More joy. More prosperity. I think our language is extremely important. Those are some of the skills that we model and practice together.
And again, it's a practice. And so, providing a stage for people to come on and practice, it's not just a one-sided teaching conversation. I believe everyone is a student and a teacher. And we all have something to share. And we all have something to learn. And we can grow together.
Alex Cullimore: We're looking at it. How would you define consciousness in business then, too? It sounds like a lot of these are getting more to like the purpose of what – I love the idea of like exploring language and how that's expressing your own conscious thing. Do you have a kind of umbrella idea of how you consider conscious business?
Kristin McGinnis: Conscious business is one that considers the impact of their decisions on the environment, on the people within the inner organization, fostering peace and well-being. And also, considering the bottom line. It's a triple bottom line approach. Just like with sustainability, people, planet, and profit. But then it's also your self-awareness. That is the missing – Or the additional component that brings it from sustainability to consciousness is how you're showing up. Who you are being? And understanding your behaviors not only as an individual, but your behaviors as a business.
Just as we have our inner world within us, and we express that through our behaviors. Our business has that inner working that maybe the client, the consumer does not see. And it's expressed. And so, it's that alignment of those values and integrity that's shown through the business.
Alex Cullimore: I love that. And it's true. It's not just us. The business has it too. Has a consciousness.
Kristin McGinnis: Yes. Has its consciousness and has its personality. One of my wonderful members, she explained to me to talk to your business as its own additional person. You've got a meditation. And talk to your business and have that conversation with your business. And it makes sense. It's an interesting concept. We think we're just building something that's lifeless. And your business is full of life and full of energy. And how is that being expressed?
Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. I think that's what's starting to come out with the great resignation, is people are responding to and reacting to the consciousness of businesses.
Alex Cullimore: You're getting your own purpose. Getting the purpose of the business. And then understanding whether you're part of that business that you would want to talk to. And we have another friend named Sam Moore who started his business based on the philosophy you could create a business around being basically the person that you want it to be. And that's how you can align your decisions and make sure it's becoming what you envision it to be is kind of considering it almost its own person. And I love this idea of like having this also as an externalized conversation you can have with your business. This is such a living entity. It now has its own – Basically, its own collective consciousness.
Kristin McGinnis: It's not about just a factory building widgets and just throwing that out there. Even that, we need to now look at if those businesses still exist. But this shift from the industrial revolution to the technology revolution, now it's consciousness revolution, which is beautiful that technology has allowed us additional platforms and ways to communicate with one another.
And the consciousness really comes from that diversity element of understanding all of the interconnectedness and all of the ways we are different, which then also brings us together with this understanding that we are interconnected. And I think without that technology piece, we wouldn't be here in the way we are today.
Alex Cullimore: That's a great way of putting it. And I think diversity is obviously a hugely important angle in any business. And it's becoming more another one of those kinds of like consciousness. It's becoming more important than people actually address it and are conscious about stating how they're going to do this, which becomes kind of an interesting thing sometimes in places like Colorado where there's not necessarily just by population, a lot of diversity. There are a lot of companies to even find that. And I think that it comes in on to narrow a definition of what diversity can be, what diversity is, and diversity of thought, diversity of every token we can decide to throw on it on top of that. And how do you see that playing in your community and in Conscious Business in general?
Kristin McGinnis: Well, I think – I mean, you're right about the Denver community. And other communities around the United States are – There are pockets where there's a lot of diversity. And there are pockets where there's not. And again, I feel that's where the global element comes in. While the majority of Conscious Business Connections is in Denver. Most of the members are in Denver because that's where I am. And people want that connection and in-person experience. Beautiful. But it's really opening the community to a global. That's why I have virtual events. I have global members. I have more than a dozen that are outside of Colorado. And I even have a member in India.
Opening that up and having pockets where it's we need to understand our own community and how we're affecting it. Our own neighborhood, our own suburb, our own city. But then we also need to talk and then understand how global businesses are running. Because it is a global world now. And it opens up the conversation to more understanding with different backgrounds. Just getting to the heart of who we all are. But honoring that culture and diversity at the same time.
Alex Cullimore: It's one of the interesting parts that always seems missing sometimes on diversity initiatives, is there's really ultimately, I guess, you could boil it down to getting to know people on their why level. And things like your philanthropy example are a great way of doing that. This is what we're really getting towards. Everybody has a why. And maybe it's somewhat influenced by their own culture. But ultimately, everybody's kind of an individual on this. And opening that mindset towards, "Hey, how do you just understand people as an individual?" Rather than trying to create some kind of script, you throw out for a different person you come across. How do you just get to the person? That's a really interesting approach.
Kristin McGinnis: Yeah. That's certainly one side. And then it made me think of just the innovation opportunities that exist. I mean, speaking to someone in Australia and understanding what sustainability initiatives. Or what they did there for their community to build something. We have so many ways to provide solutions to a lot of things within our environment. And the technology is just amazing that we can do that in an instant now and gain that knowledge from another community and how they solve this problem. It's all about collaboration and connection with other humans. And seeing –
But from to point that you added on, too, Alex, it's seeing them as human beings and letting all of those labels, and everything fall away. Seeing them as a human. And let's get down to the root of what we really all want. And what I feel is just more harmony, love, and peace balance within our life. More time with our families. While business drives everything forward, we also want just to be able to love and enjoy our lives. And how we can do that in the most effective and healthy way possible.
Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. That's beautiful. You've mentioned virtual events and in-person events. How often do your members come together for events? Or how often do you have events?
Kristin McGinnis: I have a member meeting every month. And I alternate in-person and virtual. We can capture all of those – people that are outside of the Denver area.
As we grow, I’m sure I’ll have additional chapters and we'll have more in-person events, whatever community that is. And we have a virtual networking event every other month in addition to a few wellness events per month. As I mentioned, anytime we can, we get out in nature and meet in that way. They aren't as structured as the other two events. It's the basis of either yoga, paddle boarding, or hiking events. Again, incorporating mindfulness. We even did some tennis events last year. Those will come back. I have a golf event coming up later this month. We're going to be on the golfing range and take some mindful swings together. And it's all awareness itself and how you're showing up what that self-talk is doing, which is not often talked about in the business world. Because it takes a lot of vulnerability among someone, you're trying to maybe work with to show that vulnerability. But I believe seeing this in action, it actually creates stronger relationships and stronger partnerships among people that have decided to partner based on who they've met in an event of mine of Conscious Business Connections.
Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, it's definitely bringing the human back to relationships, but also just life in general, whatever we're doing. Whether it's swinging golf clubs or doing something else. And it's true. Especially in the business environment, it's getting a little bit better. But it's still very much an avoided place to get that vulnerability, to share struggles, to share the self-talk. To even be aware that there is self-talk. I think it's a big jump for many people. Like, "What self-talk? I’m perfect." Or things happen to me. I don't have any place in how actually the outcome comes in.
Kristin McGinnis: 100%. And that's why I was drawn to your podcast in the name. I love to uncover the humans. Yeah, how do we uncover the human? We're all wearing so many social masks within the business world. We get dressed. We show up to the office or your place of work as one person. And then you're a completely different person because maybe you're not accepted. Maybe you can't wear that type of clothes. Or you need to cover your tattoo. You need to hide your true self to fit in with this.
And I’m not saying that that's – It depends on the environment, of course. There needs to be a balance between an understanding of those. And there needs to be attire agreements and things like that. And I love seeing how much that has changed over the last decade. Allowing people's personalities to shine through their work and not having uniforms and things like this as much. It's beautiful to see people's personalities shine. And that allows for more of those conversations to come up.
Alex Cullimore: I never really thought about it before, but we really created a negative feedback loop for a while there. And I think hopefully starting to break some of this. But there's kind of that – There was, for a long time, the idea of work-life balance which created this separation between your work-self and your life-self. And so, we're already like in this distance. We create all these masks we're supposed to put on at work. And then we do things like go to networking events where our first question is, "What do you do?" And we create our identity based on work where we're hiding all of our identities. We just make sure we're just squishing that all into the smallest box possible before engaging in. Like, "Hey, what if we were people all the time?"
Kristin McGinnis: Yeah, great points. And I think the more we talk about it, the more we're not putting ourselves in that box of what do we do. I think, like to your point, Cristina, that's why the great resignation has happened. People are like, "Is this really the world we want to create? Where do we just continue to buy into these systems of, "Okay, you go to school, you go to college. You get this type of job. I’m an attorney. I’m a banker. I'm a – Let's label everything based on that." And we just continue to buy into these systems because it's the easy button. And people are now questioning that. And I think it's a wonderful process and transformation that our societies are having. We're asking more questions.
For example, my neighbor's daughter went to school for environmentalism. And she got her dream job at the EPA. And it turns out she doesn't like it. It's the dream job. It's like, "I’m going to make so much impact in the world." And there's all this corporate structure stuff that isn't really working. And so, then people aren't staying at those organizations.
I’m really proud of all the organizational psychologists that are going into the companies too – I don't think leaving all these corporations is the answer. We need them. And they're doing many things very well. But we need to just have a shift in that consciousness and how we are acting at work and how we are acting amongst one another, and like really have huge, huge strides in what we're doing for the world.
Alex Cullimore: Yeah, it is exciting to see the change. And it's one of those like we're moving the needle and we're doing all these things to move the needle. And there are definitely some wins that are coming through. It's a good energizing point of realizing. There is change. We may not see all of the changes that we want in our lifetimes. But there is definitely movement.
Kristin McGinnis: Absolutely. Yeah, it's an exciting time to see, because we're on this cusp. It's just starting in a way. And if we see – I mean, if we look at how quickly the Green Movement caught on. When I first had my MBA or when I was in Las Vegas and circa 2010, there were no recycling bins. But they were just starting. It's just like now they're everywhere. And it's only 10 years. What can we achieve with the consciousness field and this self-awareness, and personal development side in this next decade as well?
And so that's why I created this because it's like now it's the forefront. It's starting to be a term that's more used in our societies. And people are drawn to that. What is that? And people are open to more self-discovery. And now we can come together, and we can have these conversations and move the needle forward.
Alex Cullimore: Yeah. And you talked, too, about like how language kind of defines how we interact with the world. It is one of our expressions of whatever is going on inside. And thinking back to the idea of like identifying ourselves with our work, saying, "I am an attorney. I am whatever." What would you guys, both of you, open question – How would you rather say that? How would you rather talk about both who you are and what you do? It's totally open-ended. What can we do better to like to change the language around how we even talk about ourselves?
Kristin McGinnis: I mean, it's May the 4th. I always think May the 4th be with you. It's Star Wars Day. I always think of Yoda in the I am statement as it's just a bigger question. The Yoga community just ask you to sit with that terminology of I am. We don't need labels. You don't need to even define yourself as a human, or a daughter, or whomever. You're just energy. You're life. I am. And just sitting with that concept from a Yoda or a yoga perspective.
Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, I love that. The I am. And then catching ourselves when we tend to say, "I am this." Or "I am that." Knowing that that's limiting, and it's also learned behavior that's become muscle memory. But even saying anything from I work as, or I work with, or even taking the word work out. I help organizations humanize their practices and their processes. Or whatever it is the answer. I actually don't know how I would answer that question. I think I avoid it most of the time.
Kristin McGinnis: Yeah. The labels pigeonhole us into something. And then we feel like we need to continue to put that mask on to fulfill that role. And we miss out on the whole life experience. If you define yourself just as a mother, you just get stuck in that. To be a true expression is just to be a true expression of love in yourself and just being out there expressing that. At the root of it, we're all – You think about a two-year-old or a three-year-old, they're just a bundle of love. And that's who we all are out our core. We just express our creativity through our imagination and how we want to create things in the world.
Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, it reminds me of John Lennon's quote or the John Lennon meme that's out there, where he says when he was asked who do you want to be when you grow up? And his answer was I want to be happy. And the teacher's answer is like you didn't understand the assignment. And his answer is like, "No, you didn't."
Kristin McGinnis: Yup. I love that. Good reminder.
Alex Cullimore: I like the idea of just being – I mean, you are always just being. And that kind of goes back to values work as well, and that will change over life, which means you have to be consistently on top of understanding your own values and your own philanthropic interests. But that is what then creates even more energy than the energy that you are. That is where you most come alive and most interact with the world. It's an interesting way of defining both yourself just as energy and as what gives that energy even more energy.
Kristin McGinnis: Yeah, our values do shift over time, decade to decade, and from our experiences. And I think, as humans, we all kind of have that root. It might get lost at times through different programming and through different experiences. But we really are just here to be expressions of love for one another.
Cristina, good reminder of John Lennon’s visit. He, Bob Marley, like, all these leaders, they're just – And why are we drawn to those people so much? It's because that's what they're expressing and teaching us.
And I was at the Trevor Hall concert at Red Rocks last week, and just being in community with people that are just shining their hearts, and just beaming with love, and just being themselves, and dancing and expressing in that way. To me, that's life. That is like the cherry on top of like what I want to experience. And being in that environment, it's just so – It's so beautiful.
Cristina Amigoni: That's so true. So much energy in moments like that. And in realizing, like being conscious and aware of what we're experiencing at that moment, as opposed to just, "Okay. Yeah, went to a concert. Went to work the next day. Just one of the things I did."
Kristin McGinnis: Yeah. There's so much power within music and within that kind of energy together, that collective energy being in a concert. I think – I’ve been giving thought to this. The Denver community is just a really, really special community. I think there are a lot of just genuine open-hearted people here. And I think I was reflecting on it as I was traveling a little bit last week on the East Coast. and I love the East Coast as well. But the fact that we have so much live music here, and we are a lot – I think that just brings a lot of elements to the Denver community– And music is one of the most beautiful gifts that we have as human beings that we've created. It really allows us to shine our soul in that way. And Denver really values that. And I think that reflects in our behaviors and who we are as human beings.
Cristina Amigoni: Very true. A couple of final questions for you. One, where can people find you and your community?
Kristin McGinnis: Yes. I have a website. And that has like the most comprehensive information, a listing of the events. The URL is consciousbusinessconnections.org. And you can also find me on Instagram @ConsciousBusinessConnections, and on Facebook at the same handle. And that's the easiest way. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. It's K-I-R-S-T-I-N. And I chose to handle keepinglightson.org because I’m here to help people stay inspired and to make money with their gifts. Keeping lights on in terms of the light energy within us and the lights in terms of lighting our homes. We all need to make money with our gifts and keep our internal energy lights on.
Cristina Amigoni: Wonderful handle. I really like it.
Alex Cullimore: Yeah.
Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, the great meaning behind it.
Alex Cullimore: And so, my final question then as well, what is your definition of authenticity?
Kristin McGinnis: My definition of authenticity is becoming your true self. Rediscovering your true self. As we talked about, letting go of those social masks. It's a lot more comfortable in certain circumstances to keep that mask on. And so, we often do that. And that's fine. It's perfectly okay wherever you are. But really, the authenticity is being brave enough to take off that mask. Show some vulnerability. To be honest in your responses if you don't like something. Not being a people pleaser or being codependent. It's about being true to honor. Honor your own truth, your own values.
Yeah. I mean, it goes line in line with a little bit of consciousness and integrity as well. There are just little tweaks in those definitions. But really, it's about just honoring your authentic self. And for me, that's how we talked about. It's your true self when you were two, or three years old before society's programs started having you conform to that. Who do you need to be at school? Who do you need to be in the workplace? It's that true authentic. It's your soul, truly.
Cristina Amigoni: That's beautiful. And I don't know if either of you has felt this way doing all the self-work and the authenticity work and finding ways to be yourself in more and more settings in your lives. But actually, lately, I’ve started to realize that by building a life where it's easier to be our true selves and it's easier for me to be vulnerable, and I recognize when I’m not, there are some settings where I physically feel the armor come on. And it's almost like I see the mask. And I see the armor. And then like as it's coming on, I’m like, "Oh, God. The armor is on." How do I remove it little by little? Because it's almost too late to just strip of it. You're in the role already. And so, it's more about like now I’m conscious about this barrier that's around me. It's like it's transparent, but it isn't anymore.
Kristin McGinnis: that's great self-awareness. And I feel like we need that protection every now and again. There's something real coming up for you. It's coming from an external place as a pattern that's been within you. Or it's a true external threat. And that's okay and something to look at. I think it's in The Four Agreements. Don Miguel Ruiz says, "Anyone who shows you your wounds is giving you a great gift." Because then you can understand yourself more. And understanding it, if it is a truly uncomfortable situation, maybe your body is your intuition. It's your wisdom. And it's a great tool to work from. And we need that fear.
Actually, I have a tattoo on my arm I got last year. You can see it. It's alchemizing fear to love. Because every action in life is either coming from fear or from love. And we need that fear. There's a healthy fear. But then there's a chance to dive into that, is how can I shift that fear into something more loving? And that might be walking away from a situation. Or it might mean expressing a little more vulnerability and growing into that circumstance.
Alex Cullimore: That's a whole other podcast topic. That's wonderful –
Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, definitely is.
Kristin McGinnis: So much to talk about, especially with like-minded and like-hearted people. We just go on and on for days. It's wonderful.
Cristina Amigoni: Yes. We'll need to uh start attending some of your events.
Kristin McGinnis: I forgot to mention, I also host immersion destination retreats. Last year we went to Mexico. To Mexico. It's a hidden gem, and where I talk about it may not be hidden for much longer. But really, wonderful community. And, really, we immerse within the culture there to really understand who they are. But kind of how we were roping into that conversation about diversity. It's not about just going and taking from that community. It's about giving back to them. Getting to know them. Understanding them. Helping with the community service project in some manner. And the people that attended, I just can't begin to tell you how many transformations they had through that experience.
I plan to do more of those as I have more time to plan those. And a lot of people are asking for some. I hope to be able to deliver one later this year, whether it's in Colorado, or if we truly immerse, I’m into a different culture, which is my ultimate goal of what those retreats are about it. It helps us uncover our authenticity and our true selves. And that one was through looking at our genealogy. The whole theme of that was dia de los muertos. Uncovering your true nature through an understanding of your genealogy of your ancestors and where you came from.
Alex Cullimore: It sounds like a wonderful experience.
Kristin McGinnis: Yeah, that was great.
Alex Cullimore: All these are fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing so much of them with us. I hope everybody is also inspired to go join those. Those all sound incredible. But thank you so much, Kristen, for setting up this entire community. And thank you so much for joining us and sharing with us.
Kristin McGinnis: Thank you for having me as your guest. It's been such a joy. Thank you, Alex. Thank you, Cristina.
Cristina Amigoni: Thank you.
Cristina Amigoni: Thank you for listening to Uncover the Human, a Siamo podcast.
Alex Cullimore: Special thanks to our podcast operations wizard, Jake Lara; and our score creator, Rachel Sherwood.
Cristina Amigoni: If you have enjoyed this episode, please share, review and subscribe. You can find our episodes wherever you listen to podcasts.
Alex Cullimore: We would love to hear from you with feedback, topic ideas, or questions. You can reach us at podcast wearesiamo.com, or at our website, wearesiamo.com, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook. We Are Siamo is spelled W-E A-R-E S-I-A-M-O.
Cristina Amigoni: Until next time, listen to yourself, listen to others, and always uncover the human.
Founder and CEO, Conscious Business Connections
Kristin McGinnis transformed her life through yoga and a blend of spiritual practices.
Today, she uses this wisdom and a practical spirituality approach to create unique experiences for others to blossom into their authentic self.
As founder and CEO of Conscious Business Connections, her mission is to teach, empower, and influence business people around the world to lead in a more conscious manner – serving people, planet, profit and self.
By fulfilling this mission, individuals and businesses will thrive, creating a more joyful, harmonious and sustainable world for the greater good of all humanity.