Author Archives: michelle

Building Something That Moves & Affects People

Meet Kristine Carlson and Susan Burton.

These two brilliant women met in such a unique way at the last Greater Good Party. It was our fourth party in Los Angeles after returning from hosting in San Francisco and New York (with amazing co-hosts Trevor Henley & Thea Vaughan).

After Kristine both made us laugh and touched our hearts with her story, Susan, a Purpose Prize Winner in 2012, shared her story of starting A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project (and an entirely new life) where she and her team help to empower, organize and mobilize formerly incarcerated people as advocates for social change and personal transformation (it’s incredible work and her book is Becoming Ms. Burton). 

As all who speak at GGP do (authors, artists, activists, creatives, poets, corporate execs, relationship, and emotional intelligence experts, singers, painters, actors, actresses, healers etc. alike), she shared her story of finding purpose/of it finding her after spending her own time in jail for drugs after losing her young son in an accident.

She was midway through sharing when she turned to Kristine, seated in the front row, and let her know that her late husband’s Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff books had brought her tremendous peace while she was in jail [when I asked each of them to speak, I obviously had no idea].

The hug that followed was all parts human and tender and was/is a beautiful example of the magic and of the unexpected at each GGP regardless of where we do them. 

GGP LA: The next is this Sunday! Our biggest yet and talks by five presenters/storytellers around the theme, this time, of story, specifically, “We are all part of a greater story.”

GGP AUSTIN: Coming February 23rd with co-hosts Amanda Russell & Matt Calhoun!

The Greater Good Party: breathing life to optimistic endeavor…


am
grateful
every day for the opportunity, alongside the generous souls who come to share, to spark individuals, families, couples, and communities to take their passion project (likely a LONG time on the back burner of their lives), to the front burner. 

Because the world is awaiting our move; our movements…

What movement are you going to make a move on?! Maybe finally or for the first time OR continue to make a commitment to?

And remember one important thing: Your building of something that moves and affects people will come in how moved YOU are in the creation of it. What are you most ecstatic about making a part of your legacy?

Make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…enjoy your business, enjoy your life! 

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light
Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur 

If Asking What’s Next, Read This

More than ever in this modern life we are living in whatever city or country we’re in, we’re being asked to equally protect Mother Nature as go and get lost in her — more time listening to the quiet of leaves under our feet to finally and/or to continue to hear the voice of the most true part of ourselves.

What’s she saying?
What’s he telling you?

The souls inside the human body suits we don are actually quite LOUD (and they hold the key to our true purpose work and meaning in life), but we’re on our phones so much we’re ironically never available to answer *their* call.

Nature is the world’s soul. We have to be more connected to it to hear ours…and, as importantly, to help our kids hear theirs.

If you’re trying to figure out what’s next for you, connect back in with Mother Nature (and your soul). Oh your soul… 🙂

Make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…enjoy your business, enjoy your life! 

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light
Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur 

Creating a Category

Inclusivity versus exclusivity…♥️

A big public thank you to everyone who attended the Greater Good Party in LA this weekend! To those who shared their brilliance –THANK YOU and to those who showed up because a friend recommended that you come, we invited you as new friends or if you heard about it online, THANK YOU for trusting that friend, your gut, us or whatever small but interesting something you may have known about GGP prior.

Even though we’ve shared quite a bit about GGP here (what it is and why we started it, for example), it’s hard to really “get it” until you’re a part of one (it’s unique to the events you’ll find out there, so there’s no “category” — we now understand that we’re in the process of creating one).

One thing that makes Josh and I laugh (and, really, the room laugh when we share this each party — this is our 7th) is that more often than not when someone attends their first GGP, they don’t exactly know or fully understand what the party is about, but they *do* know or feel that they need to be there.

I’ll never forget getting up to welcome everyone at the very first party a year and a half ago and saying what we were all thinking — “Welcome everybody! Now I can tell you what the hell you’re doing here!”

To those who attended on 12/2, we just sent you the recap and contact info of our presenter lineup, as promised, as well as info about interim smaller gatherings we’ll be experimenting with (we heard that you needed something in between the larger quarterly parties so we’re going to test out a new idea next week).

For those outside the GGP, this photo of people raising their hands is of all the new folks at GGP. When we asked who was new and saw this happen (I told everybody to keep their hand up so I can take this photo), we were so pleasantly surprised! One of our goals was to make sure that the Greater Good Party, hosted here or in other cities, wasn’t an exclusive group, but an inclusive one.

Make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…enjoy your business, enjoy your life! 

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light
Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur 

What I Chose After Two Deaths

I remember a colleague in the industry asking me about a year and a half after my brother’s tragic passing if my business had grown (that she had this “weird” feeling it had). 

I told her she was right and we proceeded to talk about that…that you can be heartbroken but fill that partially broken heart by helping to fill others’ lives/hearts.

I always got that intellectually, but never really got it in my bones or understood it emotionally as much as after opening myself up vs. closing down after loss…and then doing it again after my Mom’s unexpected passing two years later.

The reason that a business, a marriage, a motherhood or friendships can continue to grow or blossom, I now attribute to one thing — and that’s what you see on this post it, which was not written by me, but by Nolan (13).

I’ve never really talked about openness in an outright fashion with him, however, he has lived the experience with me which doesn’t mean it’s always been pretty or hasn’t been confronting to him. 

I’ve never hidden my tears, nor how I feel about any uncomfortable thing (or any wildly ecstatic thing, for that matter, p.s. spoiler alert: opening vs. closing down brings ecstatic feelings eventually). 

Losing my Mom after Dino only gave me more room, or more of a chance or opportunity to test this out some more, the ‘can I stay open’ bit…can I? And it’s not just open as in sharing, it means open as in expanded or expanding opportunity, continuing to say yes to your creative projects, to meaning and to living life larger than you maybe had before.

I am open.

So often when we lose anything, a job, a friend or family member, we can feel (especially at first), in the first months or years that we want to close up, that we want to hide or we don’t want to show how messy we can be inside of the feeling body we’ve been given…

But to choose to stay open or optimistic, even a crack at first, doesn’t simply help you heal, but helps others connect to you [relation-ship] and connect back to themselves and humanity (which today, we need more now than ever). 

I am open.

That was Nolan’s intention yesterday morning. As I shared the other day, he writes his intentions on Sunday nights or, sometimes, Monday mornings. Yesterday though, we forgot to write it on his dry erase board, so as we were leaving the house, I grabbed a sharpie and a post-it note and had him write his chosen intention on the way to school.

Not that he really needs the reminder, however, I still play his mom and reminded him to write something that might be helpful for his last final and, of course, for how he wants to feel the rest of the week. 

This is what he wrote down and now I have it as a reminder in the car from my own week ahead.

Life intimates life, doesn’t it? And our kids imitate us.

They may or may not listen to our words all the time, but they feel us and see us and boy do they watch intensely… 

They do absolutely understand what we’re trying to teach them, but it’s more through our actions and the decisions we make for our own lives than those we make for theirs. 

I am open.

I will stay open.

And the world will open —

Make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…enjoy your business, enjoy your life! 

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light
Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur