Molly McKinley discussed building an intentional business,
and life with the launch of her new startup – Intentionaliteas.
Setting the Scene
About three years ago a woman approached me on a convention showroom floor and said “I have had three people ask me today if I have met Bondilyn Jolly, so I figured I better come meet you!”, and so began my relationship with the fabulous Molly McKinley.
At the time of our initial meeting, Molly was serving as the CMO at AdWerx and I was immediately captivated by her enthusiasm and surprised that with so many mutual relationships that it took the two of us so long to connect. She has since reinvented herself a few times over, most recently launching Intentionaliteas, her first personal business venture. I’ve followed this endeavor closely since the beginning and continue to be impressed with Molly’s focused business vision that aligns so perfectly with her spiritual beliefs and life mission…
to live with intention.
Let’s get to know the person behind the professional…
BJ: So many professionals, especially those launching a new business venture, struggle with work / life balance. Your entire business initiative is focused on the idea of living a life based on intent. What’s your secret?
MK: My secret to balancing life and work is a dedicated yoga practice. I start each day sitting in meditation which helps create focused, intentional effort for everything that follows. I want to build a business of “right living”, so every day I set an intention to do just that.
BJ: One of the connections that you and I have is our strong belief in daily meditation and the benefits of taking time to connect with the greater collective conscience. How do you feel that your spiritual practice has impacted and influenced who you are as a business professional?
MK: My spiritual practice is constantly evolving. I’m very in love with nature and the creative feminine spirit that weaves all of Life together and I tend to follow the flow of things, so my career on the outside may seem disjointed, but really has been built from one thing to the next despite touching numerous verticals.
BJ: I completely understand. Where I originally started in my professional career and where I am today is the result of being open to ideas and opportunity, and trusting in an organic process of evolution. I admire that you can do the same, because so many professionals tend to be rigid in their focus. One of my favorite sayings is “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.”.
MK: Exactly! Flexibility is important and a secret to success and happiness. I start each day with meditation, often outside, which allows me to connect to the natural rhythms of life. This practice has had a profound impact on my happiness.
BJ: I’ll always remember the day you called me to tell me how your vision for Intentionaliteas came to be. We discussed the fears of starting a new business.
What has been your greatest fear?
MK: My fear is not being good enough, smart enough or able enough to pull this off. I don’t sit with it often, but imposter syndrome can be a nasty voice to work through.
BJ: Luckily, you have amazing loved ones in your life to lean on during times of struggle or disbelief.
MK: Definitely. My family always believes in me, and I thank them for that. Building a business is tough work and takes a lot of patience from everyone involved. I have to thank my kids for understanding that we are living on a budget for a while, and my wife who is holding down the fort financially until we see growth. Everyone is affected when someone follows their dreams.
BJ: Agreed. I have also been lucky to be surrounded by a strong family environment through my years of growing my company, and I truly believe I could have never done it without their love and support. You’ve also had some wonderful mentors throughout your professional career. Anyone in particular that you’d like to mention?
MK: I would have to say the most impactful mentor has been my yoga teacher, Dharma Richards. The training I’ve experience has changed the way I approach business and my outlook on life.
BJ: You and I have both worked inside of the software technology sector, which isn’t especially known for being overly “mindful”. How do you feel technology aligns where you are in your business today?
MK: Technology bridges the distance gap. We can have virtual coffee meetings with video that are personal and connective, just like you and I are doing right now. Slack and other social media channels can drain time and energy like no other technology, so I have to be very mindful to time block social posting so I don’t get into a rabbit hole and waste time.
BJ: That’s great advice. I try to encourage both my family and my staff members to block out time for social engagement, and not allow it to decrease productivity or stand in the way of other responsibilities. With two teenagers in my house, it’s a constant battle, as I know that you know! Speaking of productivity, what tools help you to be most productive in your daily life?
MK: I like to use Trello to manage my tasks and Dropbox to manage my files. I also rely heavily on text, email and Facebook Messenger to connect with people both personally and professionally.
BJ: If you could create a tool to help you be more productive, what would it be?
MK: [Laughs] I would hire an assistant. Does that count?
BJ: I don’t think you get to take credit for the creation of that idea!
If you could give advice to yourself at the start of your career, what would you say?
MK: What’s the worst thing that can happen? If one business venture doesn’t work, I can always try something new. Nothing is finite, the Universe is in constant flow, so don’t be afraid to trust your wings. That’s the only way we can learn to fly.
BJ: That takes us back to that idea of flexibility and allowing ourselves to be open to ideas and opportunity. It also reminds me of the Pink Floyd song “Learning to Fly”!
MK: Well, my personal mantra is “Everything great starts as someone’s daydream.”, so what do you have to lose?
BJ: You only stand to learn. Coming from the creative field, I know you’ve had to overcome some challenges over your career. Care to elaborate?
MK: Like so many other creatives, I’ve had the challenge of being taken seriously. I speak the language of love, service and gratitude which is not always heard at the conference table when most others speak the language of data and numbers. But in good business, both work together and must be considered together. Most of the time, I feel like I’m the only one advocating for the customer and the experience they have with the brand.
BJ: Do you have any advice that you would offer to our listeners who may be looking to follow in your creative footsteps?
MK: Trust your wings. Every opportunity is a chance to learn and grow. Release the definition of failure so we can release the attached fear with doing. It all builds and will connect to unexpected places.
BJ: That’s great advice. Continuing with advice, can you recommend one book, blog or podcast for our audience?
MK: You mean other than my podcast “Afternoon Tea” [shameless plug]? I like “Conscious Capitalism” by John Mackey. It validates the idea that doing good in business is good for business. I believe this is true.
BJ: 100%. It’s all tied to our karmic action, the yin and yang of life. I’m so happy to have a friend and colleague like you who shares, and practices, this belief every day, in everything you do. Thank you.
10 Fun Facts About Molly
1.) When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
MK: I wanted to own a store/tea house that trained homeless people a new life skill.
2.) What’s the most used app on your phone?
MK: Sadly, Facebook.
3.) What living person do you most admire, and why?
MK: My wife, because she is the mortar of our foundation. Things fall apart without her. Her stability allows me to fly.
4.) What’s your favorite meal?
MK: Margarita pizza, Caesar salad, red wine.
5.) What’s your favorite place on earth?
MK: Under my tree, or perhaps the beach. I think clearly in both places.
6.) What’s a skill you WISH you had?
MK: I wish I could play an instrument well.
7.) Do you have any words or phrases that you overuse?
MK: I’m sure I do!
8.) What’s your favorite way to relax?
MK: I like to take a nice salt bath and read a good book in the water.
9.) What is your current state of mind?
MK: I’m relaxed and free. I’m living in a place of trust and faith and am enjoying this moment professionally.
10.) Any famous last words?
MK: Don’t be afraid to make a living with what you love. So many people are wasting hours doing something that depletes them. I just don’t think we were designed to live this way.
BJ: If our audience leaves with only ONE takeaway from this interview today,
what do you want it to be?
MK: Take time to slow down and to be more intentional about the life you are living.
Connect with Molly
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