Monday, July 07, 2008

FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOUR FUTURE (How Can You Resist a Concept Like That?)

Gabrielle Bernstein reminds me a little of Elle Woods from the movie Legally Blond. She has long blond hair, is slight of build, puts her own twist on current clothing trends, and radiates a kind of big optimistic energy that is both light and grounded at the same time. With that energy, she communicates an undying belief in both herself and in others. It’s this last quality which makes Gabrielle such a compelling speaker. I know because I went to a lecture she recently gave as part of the Falling In Love With Your Future series.

Gabrielle started the lecture by playing a clip from U2’s Beautiful Day. She let us know that it’s one of the many songs that helps her shift her focus to what is positive and what is possible. And that idea – that at any time we can shift our focus to beliefs that support us and our goals – was at the center of her presentation.

One thing I appreciated about Gabrielle was her openness and honesty about her own journey, including struggles along the way. Gabrielle is someone who achieved outward success - including her own public relations firm - at a young age. In her mid-twenties, she hit a wall and realized she was looking for happiness outside of herself, namely through a fast-paced party scene. The repercussions caused her to pause and conduct some serious soul-searching and a quest for guidance.

Gabrielle gathered inspiration from different sources. One locus of growth was Marianne Williamson, an author and speaker widely known for helping people apply A Course in Miracles to their everyday lives. Another well of guidance was found in the gift of mentorship from women like author and radio personality Karen Salmansohn. It was this quest in her personal life which led Gabrielle to a next step in her professional life - the launching of the brand Falling in Love with Your Future as well as the website http://www.herfuture.com/.

In 2007, Gabrielle introduced the world to Falling in Love with Your Future: A Young Woman’s Guide to Passion and Happiness. Falling in Love has since taken the form of books, life coaching, and lectures and also holds at its heart guidance in the form of mentoring. To engage her network in the mentoring piece, Gabrielle created http://www.herfuture.com/ so that young women who wish to be mentored and women who want to mentor could find each other.

Curious to learn more about the woman behind Falling in Love, I paid a visit to Gabrielle at her headquarters in a rooftop suite in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood to get the scoop.

Q: Where does GB's strong entrepreneurial spirit come from?

A: Her mom, who did everything from manage rock bands to open a creative art studio for children. She did it all on her own.

Q: What was the evolution of the idea for setting up a mentoring bank for women and young women?

A: GB has benefited tremendously from love and guidance from women who have mentored her. She saw a need to spread that love and to form community amongst other women with the entrepreneurial mindset.When GB started WEN (Women’s Entrepreneur Network) she experienced how powerful it was to create communities of women. She also saw a need for all kinds of women – not just the extroverted networkers – to find each other. She sees Herfuture.com as a safe place for people to develop connections online and off.

Q: What draws GB to public speaking?

A: Five years ago, GB started to do public speaking at universities, addressing vocational topics and everything related to entrepreneurship. The young women in particular connected with GB, who found herself swimming in their emails.It became clear that being a public speaker was Gabrielle’s special mission. It’s something that brings her great job and leaves her with a big high.

Q: Where would GB like to see the Falling in Love brand a few years from now?

A: GB would like the brand to be international and synonymous with mentoring. She's like it to touch the lives of millions of young women.

Q: What is at the heart of the work GB does?

A: “Love!”Gabrielle will be offering the next lecture in her Falling in Love With Your Future series on Wednesday, July 16th, from 6:30 - 8:00 pm at The Hotel Rivington @ 107 Rivington St. in Manhattan. For more information, click here.
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