Ruth Ann Harnisch, Founder & President

Here’s where I sound off! Whether I’m sharing fresh insights or channeling
righteous rage, this is the place I’ll be pouring my heart out to you. Updated
fortnightly if not more frequently.

Ruth Ann Harnisch, Founder & President

Here’s where I sound off! Whether I’m sharing fresh insights or channeling
righteous rage, this is the place I’ll be pouring my heart out to you. Updated
fortnightly if not more frequently.

In 1998, when I founded the Harnisch Foundation, my intention was to be a good steward, leveraging money, skills, and connections to help make life a little better for others.
Ruth Ann Harnisch
In 1998, when I founded the Harnisch Foundation, my intention was to be a good steward, leveraging money, skills, and connections to help make life a little better for others.
Ruth Ann Harnisch

2 years ago

Issue 5: The “So What?” Segment

Dear Reader,

The tab at the top says “Ruth Ann Writes,” but Ruth Ann hasn’t been writing. More accurately, I’ve been writing, but not finishing.  If you write, you understand. All procrastinators understand. The longer we put something off, the “better” we think it has to be. So we put it off longer, lather, rinse, repeat.

While not-writing, I’ve been amused to see how many others whose work I read regularly are writing about not writing, or not doing whatever it is they promised themselves – and maybe others – that they were going to do.  As I was writing this, Melody Joy Kramer shared her own struggles with living up to her own expectations. She tells us: What I'm trying to say is: Don't be too hard on yourself. Set the bar at a more manageable level. I will try to do this too.

I don’t know if Melody succeeded at setting the bar at a more reasonable level for herself, but her words helped me to adjust my own expectations. I’ve helped many authors get out of their own way in order to meet their deadlines, so I’ve experienced a combo platter of amusement and pain as I miss my own deadlines. I stumble on the same blocks I’m so great at helping my coaching clients overcome. Oh well, “we teach best that which we need to learn most.” Now that I’ve completed the “feeling terrible about my failure to keep my promises to myself and others” portion of the program, I’ve moved on to the “So what?” segment.

My clients know I love that quote from Madonna in a pre-Kardashian age, 1985. Back then, no respectable woman posed naked.  If your nude pix were leaked, your career was derailed, not made.  Madonna had posed in her youth, and when she became famous, the photographer sold the pictures. Confronted by reporters with the shocking news, she said, “So what?” She was supposed to be ashamed! Apologetic! Repentant! And all she gave the world was, “So what?”

For a modern take on “So what?” (minus the nudity), check out  Linda Cliatt-Wayman’s talk at TEDWomen2015. After she spoke, I heard many women repeating her refrain: “So what? Now what?” No matter where you find yourself stuck, blocked, failing, or disappointing yourself or others, you can decide right now to speak those words to yourself. Whatever happened, happened. So what? Now, what are you going to do about it?

I didn’t write as frequently as I said I would.

So what?

Now what?

Ruth Ann Writes.

Now, and whenever she feels moved to do so again.

Read: Melody Joy Kramer 

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Are the metrics that we use to gauge our personal and professional development the right ones? This is the central question Melody posed (and answered) in her recent musings on adding value. The two minutes it will take you to read it are worth it. Trust us.

Watch: Linda Cliatt-Wayman at TEDWomen 2015

Another take on "so what, now what?" showcases the power of accepting one's reality, pivoting accordingly, and paving a new path forward. We are big fans of resilience and tenacity. Can you tell?

Attend: an Omega Institute Workshop

The Omega Institute is renowned for being equal parts respite and a vortex of personal and professional growth. Which is why its the perfect place to identify the tools you need to meet your goals and integrate wellness. There are a number of amazing workshops coming up at its Women's Leadership Center this fall, but we've got our eye on this one.

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Ask: Ruth Ann a Question

Have questions about philanthropy? Looking for ways to maximize your impact? Want the latest on girls & women? Ask our Founder Ruth Ann below. Check back as she'll respond in a future post.

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Engage: Take A Breather

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 11.11.33 PMLooking for a space to work, write or nap in this crazy city? With Breather, you can rent a relaxing space for a half hour at a time and get a moment to yourself. The only thing you'll need to access Breather is your smartphone. Just reserve a space and unlock the door with a unique PIN code when you arrive. Currently, Breather rooms are available in Montreal and New York, but they have plans to expand to San Francisco and other places in the near future.


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