Category Archives for "Front"

Forget Work/Life Balance. Go for Blend.

Salad-flickr-300x182This post originally appeared on Unsectored

I often like to mix tastes – raisins in a kale salad, sea salt on chocolate – which may explain why I have such an issue with the idea of Work/Life Balance.

Work/Life balance implies that you have two big pulls on your time that just can’t overlap (there’s even a slash in between!).

So many world changers have told me that Work/Life balance is one of our biggest challenges.

As a new mother and the Founder of GatherWell, the Think + Do Tank for Practical Idealists, I can relate – raisins aside.

Like you, I’m motivated by suffering in the world, my wish to help others and my belief in the possibility of a better, more just and equal society. I’m also deeply motivated by my wish to be a good Mom and keep my marriage healthy.

At times my stress level has been out of control. It’s compromised my ability to be who I wish to be.

Having worked through those times, I’ve come to believe that a deep reframe of the work/life balance question is in order.

What if, instead of constantly trying to share between two buckets of “work” and “life”, you could swim in one big bath? What if you reclaimed your work as part of your life, instead of a competitor with it?

Stop endlessly breaking down your day into smaller and smaller bits of time and trying to cram as much as possible into each. Experiment with finding a natural flow between the different pieces of your life. Look for overlaps. Look for blend instead of balance.

Here are my top two practical ways to start creating blend right now:

Method #1. Make Your Salad: Look for opportunities to intentionally mix what you need to feel rejuvenated with your passion for creating change in the world.

Have a meeting? Why not do it while going for a walk.

Need new partners? Look for people you’d actually enjoy hanging out with in your free time. Working with people you genuinely enjoy will not only mean you feel more relaxed, it’s also likely to make you more effective.

Method #2. Find your “Gold Star” Activities: Focus not just on what issues you are working on, but the kind of work you are doing. Even if you are really passionate, if you aren’t well matched to the task at hand it will drag you down. Too often passionate people feel like we have to be all and do all for our cause. The truth is, just like everyone, there are some tasks you are better suited to then others.

The more you are working not only on what you love, but in the way you love, the more blended you’ll feel.

Try these methods. Invent your own. Find ways to feel so alive when you’re pursuing your passion that the work itself rejuvenates you.

Photo Credit: Seth Anderson

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 2.23.14 AM

You want it all – to be able to serve populations you care about & earn a living (even enough for your dreams!) Right?

Problem is, you’re struggling to figure out what your contribution could be that would allow you to make enough money as well as be as greater service. What would that look like??!

Find out. Serve & Earn is for Practical Idealists like YOU who are on a mission to do good in the world AND earn enough for the good life.

Whether you have a small non-profit or social purpose for-profit, or you’re considering starting one, you need to get clear on how you’ll achieve these two goals at the same time.


Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 11.40.34 AM


  • Knew exactly who you’ll serve, and see who will pay for it, and what the difference is

  • Tested out your new business model to know precisely what is resonating and what is not – in a way that costs nothing

  • Had a supportive community that champions your every effort

  • Knew which ideas to keep and which to ditch so you can be super-focused and stop trying to guess at your next step



  • Pre-workshop homework using the Two Views Process (TM) to make sure you are CRYSTAL clear on who your clients are, who your customers are, and how they relate

  • TWO live group coaching calls where Cynthia Jaggi, GatherWell’s founder, walks you through exactly how to think about those you want to serve and those who can pay for it

  • One session where the entire focus of the braintrust is on YOU – yup, you get the other Practical Idealists helping you get on the move!

  • You’ll not only start to test YOUR model for combining serving & earning, you’ll also learn a PROCESS for testing any new idea (and Practical Idealists are always having new ideas!)

  • One-on-one help in the private Facebook group for a full week where we’ll tweak your work and make sure you’re creating the exact perfect offering for your clients, your customers and YOU. This will be a SMALL group so you will get LOTS of individual attention.

Get ready for clarity, connection, creation and action.

 Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 11.40.34 AM

About Working with Cynthia

Cynthia 2013-81 - Version 2

Here’s what people who’ve worked with me have to say:

Oraibi2-150x150“You will be hard pressed to find a higher level of competence then what Cynthia can offer. Her work ethic is impressive, her dedication is humbling and her ability to find the best solutions to the most daunting tasks is simply incredible.”Oraibi Voumard, Ecological Design and Build



Sunny“Cynthia is truly a visionary when it comes to social enterprise and leading a dynamic change in the industry.” Sunny Youn, Chief Cheerleading Officer and Product Technology Advocate


Allison ”She…develops great ideas that help us think differently about what kind of content we should create to better serve the Idealist community.” Allison Jones, Editor at



“She uses every opportunity to coach people to go beyond what they think is possible. I was very lucky to have Cynthia as a mentor, it is an experience that was pivotal in my career.” Lauren Kane, Director of Operations at Golden Seeds and Build



solomon“Cynthia is a great thought partner, innovative, problem-solver, and a leader in the non-profit sector. She brings energy, passion, and enthusiasm to her leadership role. She channels her efforts to building collective impact strategies to resolve pressing issues.” Solomon Belette, Consultant and former CEO, Catholic Charities of the East Bay


“Cynthia is a visionary; highly skilled in developing concrete frameworks for innovation and organizational change.”Cristina Hernandez, Division Director Education & Workforce Development, Catholic Charities of the East Bay

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 11.40.34 AM



“Really cool activities that don’t take much time or equipment, and are super portable.”


The weekly experiments in leadership and life give you a new perspective. They help you increase your impact or your well-being. Right where you are, in under 15 minutes.

Do one now


Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 1.17.51 AM 

About the GatherWell Network

Our network of uncommon allies aims to make the biggest possible impact for organizations working with Practical Idealists. Whether academic institutions, non-profits, for-profits or media organizations, all are working for good.


We empower our members to:


Innovate with minds that may bring a different perspective on how to solve a social problem (or what the problem even is!)


Increase their impact

Member organizations get support from each other in further developing organizational capacity and programs. Since all the organizations work on social and environmental issues, they often provide services or have connections that are useful to other members.


Increase their reach

Member organizations share messages about events, campaigns, products and services with each other and their audiences. Since members come from different sectors these are often new audiences that otherwise would be hard to reach.


Our network is about adding uber-value to its members!

If you’re interested in applying if we open for new members, please complete the form below.  We’d also love to hear what would be most valuable to you from a network like ours.


Our inaugural members:

Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 1.20.22 AM


The GatherWell Academy is exploring new offerings of free curated courses to help you live a full life – one full of health, sustainability, connection and creativity. The courses would organize courses using insights from behavioral psychology to help keep you motivated. Sound interesting? Tell us what you’d like us to create: