Shawnna Stiver - Kind Co.
Shawnna Stiver is the Founder and CEO of KindCo. - a media company committed to spreading positive, feel-good stories to people all around the world. They honor mission-focused companies and people by facilitating awareness, creating opportunities for collaboration, and educating those who wish to empower. It’s a single platform connecting kind-hearted people to brands that make a difference, and it’s filled with inspiration and goodness.
With so much negative news and media, Shawnna found it challenging to find the good in the everyday noise. She wanted to create a way to bypass the negativity and offer a clear path to a more positive future. There was one problem though, she didn’t know where to look. Enter Kind Co. - out of her desire to cut through the noise she created a platform that combined her passion for writing, joy and her desire for connection and kindness. Today, Kind Co. has become just that and more.
Shawnna and I connected last year and it’s been so wonderful to watch her launch Kind Co. and grow it to what it is today. Through her platform she is making a positive and kind difference in the world, and I’m so excited to introduce you to Shawnna and Kind Co., and for you to follow along and learn more!
I'd love it if you'd introduce yourself, what you do, and what you're working on.
Hello! My name is Shawnna Stiver and I'm the founder of Kind Co., a media company committed to spreading positive, feel-good stories to people all around the world. In addition, we aim to connect people to companies that are doing business for positive change.
How did you get started?
I've been a storyteller my entire life, when I was a child I wrote chapter stories that always ended with a cliff hanger (you'd see it coming after maybe chapter 3, ha!) And I found that I was able to make a good living by combining my ability to write with marketing, but it wasn't something that personally inspired me or left me feeling fulfilled. I was in the running for a job working for a company that was attempting to solve some of the big issues affecting people (clean water, poverty, etc.) and when I didn't get the job it was ok, but I felt like I had stumbled onto something that lit a fire for me. How could I write about those types of companies that are doing mission-focused, do-good work to inspire others? Thus, Kind Co. was born.
What inspired the work that you're doing?
It really revolves around this idea that I need to feel personally aligned with the work I'm creating in the world. I don't care about a company's bottom line if it's not helping a mission or cause that I can feel really good about. In some small way I want to be able to make this world a better place than I left it.
What is your biggest passion? Do you feel like you're living your passion and purpose?
I think it's two-fold, I want to inspire others through my words and I want to make a difference. And I hope that that in turn causes a ripple effect of others doing the same exact things.
What is your joy blueprint? What lights you up, brings you joy, and makes you feel the most alive?
I regularly say that when I'm interviewing someone for a story, it feels like an out of body experience for me because I'm lost in what they are saying and how I can craft that into a story that moves people. Connecting in a genuine way with someone, whether it be through conversation or a podcast or a speech is one of the things that makes me feel inherently alive. Random acts of kindness light me up, children that haven't been molded into anything yet light me up when they're being completely bold and authentic and innocent. Other people experiencing joy in turn brings me joy. (I'm going to hit send on this email and then remember a million other things that light me up! :))
How do you live intentionally? Are there tools/resources/practices that you rely on to help you stay mindful and grounded?
There are so many good thought leaders that inspire me on a regular basis: Brene Brown and her work on vulnerability, Danielle LaPorte and the Desire Map (a process for figuring out how you want to feel every day and then aligning yourself to things that evoke that feeling), Lewis Howes and his School of Greatness podcast, all of Gabby Bernstein's books on spirituality and Rachel Hollis' kick-ass thoughts on unapologetically being who you were born to be. On a ritual level, I use essential oils daily and I try to meditate for at least 10 minutes through the Calm app. I also try to weekly set intentions and I have a go-to playlist of music that pumps me up and reminds me of what I'm attempting to accomplish.
What would your younger self think about what you're doing now?
She's a badass haha :) I err more on the side of being introverted and growing up I was (still am) very sensitive. I didn't discover until I was an adult that there's such a thing as a highly sensitive personality type, which fits me to a tee. I feel my feelings very strongly and I'm more intuitive and empathetic than the average person. I grew up thinking that this was a handicap. And now I know that it's part of my super powers. I'm very good at creating a space for people to feel comfortable opening up, being vulnerable, and aspiring to be the best version of themselves possible. My younger self would be so proud of and inspired by that realness and that genuine authenticity that I carry with myself every day.
Do you have a go-to mantra or affirmation?
Several! Happiness is a moment by moment choice that is always within reach. I'm a person who deals with anxiety and it's helpful for me to remember that emotions are just feelings, they don't define who I am and they aren't ME. They are like waves that leave as quickly as they came and if you can just simply hold on through difficult moments, wait for the tide to turn and the clouds to clear the sun always shines again. I also think that it's extremely important to remember that nothing can bring you peace and happiness but yourself. It isn't found in a job, or a person, it's found within and it's always there if you can dig through the layers of doubt and fear to find it. One of my favorite mantras is from Ralph Waldo Emerson, "do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
What is your biggest dream?
My biggest dream is to give a TED talk that inspires millions of people to be kind and to create a world that has more peace, positivity, kindness and service to others.
Joy Corner is a new interview-style blog series brought to you by Seek The Joy Podcast. Our mission continues to be a desire to share your stories, truths, joys and inspiration in your words. We invite you to join our corner, and share your joys, passions, and moments of inspiration as we continue to seek the joy, together. Join this series here