May I Ask “What if?” and What is Cinco de Mayo?

Embrace Change May Brigette Iarrusso

Happy Cinco de Mayo - wait, what is this day? I watched a video that clarified an often misunderstood holiday. And, gives guidance on how to drink your tequila and celebrate without being a jerk! It’s a nice short history of this important holiday and how it’s one more reason to celebrate and give thanks for our cousins just south of us! How to Celebrate

There is a sweet little one minute clip and a short blog from the training on Entrepreneurial Mindset and Leadership. 


April was an exciting month and I am grateful to the value-driven business leaders and entrepreneurs that I got to work with. I continue to be filled with optimism and excitement at the willingness of my clients and colleagues to question the status quo, and even themselves. And always ask the question: “What if ……..”

  • We can do what we love and make the world better?
  • We can actually be the change?

  • We can make a difference and make a profit?

  • We can help others by empowering rather than victimizing them?

  • We don’t have to play by all the rules?


I got to support 10 inspiring and powerful Women-Led Independent Digital Media Startups in Sao Paulo in collaboration with Chicas Poderosas, a startup accelerator that is part of New Ventures Labs founded by Mariana Santos.

Women Leaders Get Big Pants
Brigette Iarrusso May 2018
Women Leadership Week - Chicas Poderosas NVL

We did some deep work disengaging from narratives and limiting beliefs that keep us playing safe and small in the world. As women on a mission to make social change, we need to find a powerful community of other changemakers who believe in us and our work. And, continue to do the deeper work within ourselves to uncover the truth about our value and our potential.

Business is part strategy and part mindset. Yes, we need to test our product, know our client’s needs and have a clear niche to articulate our brand position. And, we also need to fully own and believe in what we offer and transmit that to others. When we embody and own our full worth, others will too.

Embrace Change May 2018

Later on that week, I got to deliver a workshop on “Disrupting Traditional Leadership” to a receptive and open-minded group of CEO’s, Business Executives and Founders in Sao Paulo.

We dug deep and explored where our ideas about leadership and power come from. And played with the possibility that if we lean in and listen more, and advise less, we can unleash more potential from our people.  What would happen if you stopped trying to solve every problem? And got really curious about what your people had to say before you brought your own ideas?

I returned to SF and the following week delivered the same talk to a group of Brazilian CEO’s visiting SF trying to understand some of the Silicon Valley Secret sauce that empowers innovation and risk-taking, as well as the capacity to learn from our mistakes, re-launch and try again until we get it right.

I am grateful to the entire team of StartSe SF and Sao Paulo for their partnership and collaboration around these events.

They are an international startup accelerator that is really walking their talk, and empowering  and investing in Brazilian startups to find solutions that will help people and planet.

Muito Obrigado!

Brigette Iarrusso Leading a Group


I had the honor of sitting on a Panel with Daisy Ozim of Resilient Wellness and Barni Qaasim of Devlabs, two organizations that are leading the way around decolonizing social innovation. I learned a lot from these two powerful women of color, and its worth listening to the recording to hear about the important work they are doing to solve some of the worlds biggest problems disproportionately affecting communities of color and indigenous peoples in the global South.

Ignite Institute Panel on Decolonizing Social Innovation


I want to continue to give credit and thanks to Chris Wilson and Mike Sagun of the Unstuck School for creating the space to talk about important topics that support us in getting unstuck and moving toward a life that is in alignment with our core values and purpose.

UNSTUCK School Crowdcast Episode 2DIALOGUE LAB

And finally, I was able to be a part of my dear friend and colleague Reva Patwardhan’s maiden podcast Dialogue Lab: Social Impact + All the Feels.

+ EPISODE 1: Brigette Iarrusso-Soto on What We Do With Love + Anger.

“I've got a radio, I've got a generator, I've got dominos, and I've got chicken nuggets, and I'm staying with my people, and we're not leaving this island.”

“That’s Brigette, talking about her uncle’s resilience in Puerto Rico.

Brigette is kind of a social impact dynamo. She once helped build a program that helped indigenous people in Peru and Mexico hold oil companies accountable.

She is also one of those people who deeply gets how love and anger go together, like chocolate and peanut butter. You can listen to her interview here.”


It’s been a powerful period of growth and learning. I am eternally grateful for the people I get to call friends and comrades in this journey. As always, I am keenly aware of how privileged and blessed I am to get to be able to do this work. And, I am more committed than ever to finding ways to make my coaching and content accessible to groups that have less access and fewer resources.SF SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

During the month of May, I will offer a free workshop as part of SF Small Business Week.

Monday, May 14 at 8:30 am - 10:00 am455 Market Street, Suite 600Entrepreneurial Mindset: Embracing change and finding your flowFree Conference RSVP


I want to encourage women entrepreneurs to check out the amazing speakers and events offer by Women Entrepreneurs of Berkeley.

My good friend Tet Salva of MomWarrior will host a lunch and learn with Women Entrepreneurs of Berkeley next Wednesday March 16th at 12 noon.

Facebook event page


And, she is also hosting an amazing networking event at Pandora on Wednesday May 23: Eventbrite

Brigette Iarrusso

Brigette Iarrusso is passionate about connecting and accelerating diverse purpose-driven entrepreneurs and transformational business leaders. She delivers coaching, training, and leadership development programs that empower people to initiate positive change and contribute their full value. Her work spans three continents and ten countries. Brigette’s work includes social enterprises, accelerators, non-profits, government institutions and academia. 

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