Wise Women Wednesday: Ciera Krinke

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Q. Who are you? What is your background? 
A. My name is Ciera Krinke. I am originally from San Diego, CA, but now call Bozeman, MT my home (and I have zero plans to ever leave!). My background…oh man…how long do you have? In all seriousness, my background is pretty varied. When I got out of college I went straight into the hospitality industry, working at some of the most high-end hotels in the nation. I always tell people that this was, honestly, the best job that I could have had out of college because a.) it taught me how to deal with people (happy people, angry people, drunk people, etc.), b.) I learned the importance of exceptional customer service and c.) I learned what it meant to go above and beyond what is expected of you. Following hospitality, I kind of fell into start-ups. The first was a luxury travel company, and from there I would go on to work at nonprofit startups, healthcare startups, hospitality startups, etc. During this time, I also started to get really interested in building websites, and so I basically taught myself how to use WordPress, and started building sites for friends and family. So, fast forward a million years (just kidding, I’m not that old), and now I own my own start-up consulting business, in addition to being a Squarespace web designer and the Director of Marketing for a nonprofit.

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Q. What is your work?
A. I am the owner of C. James Innovations (a start-up consulting firm), a Squarespace web designer, and the Director of Marketing at the nationally recognized nonprofit, Heroes and Horses.

Q. What is one project you are excited to be working on right now?
A. This is going to sounds cheesy, but I honestly love working on all of my web design projects. But, that is primarily because I ONLY take on clients that I really want to work with. I’m lucky enough to not be in a situation where I need to say ‘yes’ to every opportunity that comes my way, and, because of that, I can be picky. The web design projects that I enjoy the most are for startup companies. I love being a part of something that was once just an idea, or a concept, and helping to bring it to a reality.

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Q. What is one thing you've done recently that's scared you and took courage, but you're glad you did?
A. I hiked Sacajawea Peak (this means nothing to you if you aren’t from Montana, so I’ll just tell you that it’s hard as f*!k) at 7 months pregnant. I don’t know that I was being courageous, per say, because I actually had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I’d like to think it took a relatively decent amount of balls to complete it.

Q. What is the work you most want to be doing and are you doing it?  If not why not what's stopping you? 
A. Working with new entrepreneurs…people who have amazing ideas, but are feeling stuck on where to go from there. Inventors, forward-thinkers…those are the types of people who are going to change the world.

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Q. What would you tell your high school or college self?
A. To not go to college right away. I had no clue what I wanted to do, and felt like I had to go to college because it was the logical next step in life - but I think if I would have waited a year I would have had a much better sense of self, and what I wanted to do. So, I guess maybe the bigger message I would tell my younger self is to not do things just because you think that is what you are supposed to be doing. Build your own path.

Q. What's one piece of advice or motto you love and use in your daily life that you would like to share with my sweet readers?
A. We are all going to die. Okay, okay – that might not have been what you were expecting, and I am sure that sounds pretty morbid, BUT, I believe that thinking about our own mortality can actually be an incredibly useful tool. Why?

1.) It can help us figure out what really matters (or recognizing what really doesn’t matter)

2.) It reminds us that we don’t have much time

I’m certainly not suggesting that we all sit around and think about our impending deaths all day, but that we use it as a tool to help us move forward, and to make the most of the time that we do have.

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Q. What keeps you creating when you don't feel like it?
A. Taking walks. There is something about walking that allows my mind to go to this other place, and it’s usually in that place where I find my “ah-ha!” moments, or my creative inspiration.

Q. What's your favorite yoga pose? 
A. Bridge pose.

Q. How do you live a life of abundance?
A. By deciding what abundance means to me. It doesn’t really matter what it means to everyone else – it matters how you define it.