March 2019 Newsletter

Notes For Creating A More Impactful Life.

We spend all day in an atmosphere of stress and numbers only to come home to a TV screen of overwhelming news. Whether that be mass shootings or global warming, it is hard not to feel helpless. I know I am not alone when I am pondering ways to bring my skills to these issues. Over the last two years I started to notice a pattern in my thinking which center on two main questions:

How can I use my skills to make a dent in the world’s hardest problems? And how can I live my life inside and outside of work in a more connected and compassionate way?

I invest a lot of time into trying to answer these questions, which motivated me to create this newsletter.  I want to help showcase people’s efforts around the world who are leveraging business to tackle these challenges, and hopefully inspire some of my friends and readers to take these ideas into their own workplaces.

World Changing Ideas.

I've met with a few inspiring leaders recently who are challenging typical business and startup norms and are creating the change they want to see in the world.  Here are a few that I think you'll love too:

AnnieCannons - An amazing organization created by Jessica Hubley who is training up survivors of human trafficking to be software engineers. I admire the massive efforts this company has given in order to create a win-win-win situation for everyone involved. Not only does their business model improve women’s lives through skills and salaries, it also gives other businesses the opportunity to expand their development teams to include this diverse set of women. If you are looking for someone to help rebuild your website or need excess development capacity, shoot them a note!

WeWork - Lindsay Baker, Head of Sustainability & Well Being, doesn’t implement sustainable practices the normal “check-box” way. Instead, she takes bold leaps. WeWork is officially cutting out plastics and meat, an initiative that is estimated to save 16.7 billion gallons of water, 445.1 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions and more than 15 million animals by 2023. Think about the ripple effect these sustainable practices will have around the world.

Copia - I had the pleasure of meeting Komal Ahmad, the CEO of Copia, at World Changing Women’s Summit.  What can I say, she is just out of college and is already the CEO of a company that is addressing environmental issues. Props to her!  Her company is automating the delivery of leftover catering to shelters who need it, instead of it ending up in the landfill. And not to mention how refreshing it is to see a talented and determined female face in the startup world.

Marketers Who Are Thinking Bigger.

I love finding inspiring marketing campaigns. It helps me stay on top of my game, and think bolder. Here are some really cool examples I found recently of marketers pushing the envelope. 

Mailchimp Wi-Finders

Mailchimp recently launched an unscripted, original documentary series that tells the stories of people who have work while traveling and are transforming the world around them.  This was definitely a huge content investment, but I love how they turned a "case study" into a real story with meaning that is worth watching.


HBO Inspiration Room

A lot of us in marketing tend to keep it safe or stick to a script of how we create an event or experience.  I loved this campaign from HBO where they are celebrating Women's History Month in a super authentic way. They opened up a space in NYC where they told ordinary women's stories by publishing their real diaries entries, pushing the boundaries of storytelling and experience.  Read more here.

What I'm Reading.

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“Just as blood in the body must flow to all parts of the body for health to be maintained, money is useful when it is moving and flowing, contributed and shared, directed ad invested in that which is .  When blood slows down and begins to stop or clot, the body becomes sick. When water slows down and becomes life-affirmingstagnants, it becomes toxic. Accumulating and holding large quantities of money can have the same toxic effect on our life."

The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist is a book that reexamines people’s relationships with money.  This book pushed me to look at the world through an eye of sufficiency instead of scarcity and to look at the world as you AND me, not you OR me. 


--More Good Quotes--

“One of the great dynamics of money is that it grounds us, and when we put money behind our commitments it grounds them too, making them real in the world.  We can wish for better schools, a clean environment, and world peace; we can even volunteer, but when we also put our money behind those intentions, we become really serious about them.  Money is a great translator of intention to reality, vision to fulfillment."

“However we choose, we express ourselves in the way we send our money into the world, and with every dollar goes the energy, the imprimatur, of our intention.  The mind-set of scarcity and the longing for “more” lose their grip, and we begin to make different choices. Money becomes a conduit, a way to express our highest ideals. Money becomes the currency of love and commitment, expressing the best of who you are, rather than a currency of consumption driven by emptiness."

On A Personal Note.

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Business is personal.  Who I am in work is because of who I am and what I've experienced in my personal life. I do not believe that we should hide one from the other, as it does no good to yourself, your coworkers or your family.  I'm sharing this personal story with you because I wish someone had pushed me a year ago before it was too late.

My amazing, bigger than life father suddenly passed from a heart attack last month.  It came decades before we thought it would happen so no one was ready. It is obvious that you should spend as much time as possible with your loved ones.  But what isn’t talked about much is the fall out after death.

Clif, my father was a hobbyist, a foodie, a lover of "all things fine" and an avid collector of everything from knives to pool cues to leather. He put off health and long-term planning to keep the good times rolling.  I believe in the end, it was the stress of all the things he put off that killed him. 

If I could go back, I wish I had asked my parents about their future plans earlier. Gotten them to sign up for an online financial aggregator like Mint so we all could have a clear picture of all their accounts and savings.  Pushed my dad to go to the doctor for a thorough exam.  I wish I would have asked who could help sell all the collectibles and created a log of what everything is worth.   I wish I would have asked about the family members who depend on my parents and talked through how they wanted to handle those dependents if anything ever happened.  I know our parents don't want the burden of all that on their kids' shoulders after they are gone, and you don't want it either.  If I have one piece of advice, it is to start the conversation today and don't put it off.

He is greatly missed, but his big soul and potty mouth lives on with all those he loved. 

Until next time,


Tonantzin Brito