This is all a reductionist exercise, of course, as nothing could fully capture everything that I learned or the ways I grew that week. Plus, as with all “mountaintop experiences,” I’ll likely be processing it for years or decades.
In today’s final reflection, I’d like to shift away from what I experienced and consider more closely what I was able to observe about the business that Katy’s running.
Most of you who read my work regularly will know that along with all the health, wellness, creativity and parenting stuff, I am smitten with entrepreneurialism. I used to work at a business school with undergraduate and graduate programs and I’m married to a business owner. I am fascinated by the process that takes a person from, “Oh, I have an idea!” or “I see a need here,” to owning and operating a business. So beyond all of the amazing educational and personal growth opportunities that RES Week afforded me, I also loved watching Katy’s business in action.
A Business That Is Truly Value-Driven Looks and Feels Different
Before her recent rebranding, Katy’s public face (Facebook page, Twitter handle, etc.) was “Aligned and Well.” She published a book of the first five years of blog posts entitled Alignment Matters. Alignment is a big deal for her and her practice is predicated on twenty-five alignment points in the body – a grid, if you will – that, when restored can promote ease of movement and better health.
But alignment for Katy transcends movement and is something she strives for in her daily life. Scroll through her Instagram feed and you’ll start to see what I mean. She’s walking to work. She’s getting outside. She’s fostering community. She’s living the values that she’s advocating through her work.
And because of all of that, her business runs a little differently than most.
For example, let’s talk about Sequim. I live within ten miles of the busiest airport in the world. From Atlanta, I can get anywhere with ease. Still, getting to Sequim is a pain in the bum. I flew, I ferried, I rented a car, I traversed rural Washington. I went way outside my comfort zone. And, on the way there, I may have mumbled a bit about how nice it would be for Katy to offer teacher training somewhere people can actually travel with ease.
But then, once I got there and settled in, I realized how utterly consistent with Katy’s value system the training in Sequim is. She’s pumping dollars into a community that she loves. The thirty of us dropped our dimes at businesses owned by her friends – like the lavender farm where she helps with some of the farming – in a community she’s intentionally cultivated. When it was time for our practical testing, she posted on social media soliciting for volunteers from the local community. And they showed up.
By being in Sequim, Katy and her husband, who is also an instructor through the company, were able to switch off their childcare responsibilities. These Instagram pictures of Katy out for a “date” with her four-year old son were taken one of the evenings we were in Sequim. During one of the most intense days for her professionally, when she had all her instructors and a new crop of certifying students in town, she went on a mommy and me date with her kid.
I’m not sure at what point during the week I had this epiphany, but at some point I just felt really, really good about what I was witnessing. And that made me feel even better about having spent so much of my time, energy and resources with this business.
I feel pretty confident in saying that Katy’s not going to become one of America’s wealthiest CEOs through her blogs, podcasts, teacher training, and books. Nutritious Movement™ is not likely to franchise, be acquired by a big box gym, or do any of the things we culturally associate with business “success.” But it would be inaccurate to call her lifestyle as anything but successful. She’s grown a business that is firmly rooted in the values she advocates, lives and evangelizes. As a result her immediate community benefits, her children see parents who work hard and share responsibilities, and thousands of people experience life and health differently.
It’s a cool thing to witness and, travel challenges aside, I can’t wait to visit Sequim again.
Right, so, that’s the blog post. And, that’s the end of my series on my takeaways from my RES Week. Only there was no point during any of the three posts to talk about THE MOST AMAZING HAMBURGER EVER.
There’s this restaurant in Sequim, Nourish, that’s 100% gluten free and largely sourced by local farms. I ate there at the end of my stay and by that point many of the names of the providers were names I recognized from driving around. The menu is expansive, inventive and totally satisfying.
I texted her last week. I’d snagged some Chebe mix and was trying to re-create the Nourish burger. I came close, but it just wasn’t the same.
So forgive me for the long post. I just had to work this burger in somehow. And, if you ever find yourself in Sequim, get to Nourish. Truth be told, the travel was all worth it for that meal alone!