A public service announcement to the Living Uber Entrepreneurial Community:
Be advised that Gina Begin (pronounced Beige-in) is going to be a regular guest of The Intrepid Entrepreneur Podcast. Gina is chock full of authentic, hair-on-fire-level passion. She’s a connector. She’s a master of building community and getting others completely STOKED to join movements.
And speaking of movements. … Not just anyone decides to take on founding an entity like Outdoor Women’s Alliance, a non-profit media company in the active outdoor lifestyle markets. It has vision. It has a tribe that’s growing and growing. Gina, my friends, doesn’t know what it means to think small. Small is not part of her vocab. That’s reason No. 1 why we need Gina’s energy and vision as a fixture in our community….
This podcast would be best absorbed on a road trip to a place that completely, wholeheartedly lights you up! If you don’t have that luxury, listen in wherever you are, and sit back and watch as you start to jones to hit the road and get after it!
Need more reasons? Download and listen to the podcast. … You’ll be a believer too!
Outdoor Women’s Alliance (OWA) is the world’s first non-profit media organization that encourages, educates and engages females in adventure sports.
The work that OWA does targets women of all ages. The vision is to engage and connect female athletes and brands to promote active participation and recognition for women worldwide. In sum? OWA changes lives – it offers perspective and choice to women, choices that are very different from what they are used to. It offers a community of like-minded women enamored with being in the outdoors; it enables women to build the confidence in themselves that can ONLY come from being in the outdoors. And to Gina? One of the most important facets is the fact that women can get confidence and strength from “outside” influences. That changes lives. ….
Part of this comes from the fact that Gina was raised by a tribe of entrepreneurs – literally every single person who had a career who she knows about in her family has been an entrepreneur. …
Prior to, and during, the launch of OWA, Gina also worked as a freelance photojournalist and writer and, also, was a partner in the “Most Epic Trip.” Don’t know what that is? I didn’t either. I went here and learned that the Most Epic Trip was essentially a blending of outdoor athleticism and environmental stewardship through a five-month rock climbing tour. See? Small thinking? Nowhere.
Prior to my eye-opening podcast interview with Gina, she and I didn’t know each other all that well, but she’s worked with my company Verde Brand Communications for a few years now on a project basis, as well as some of our clients like Outdoor Research. Having gotten to know her a bit better, I have to say that I am completely in “fan girl” mode.
Well, I managed to live out of my pick up truck with my dog Jake (true story, not a terrible country western song) for about six months. Gina? Well, she just kind of kept on truckin’ – so much so that her Mom actually asked her (I think recently) “When are you going to get a job, honey?”
Oh mom, really?
She loves to be road tripping, but more recently, she’s found a bit of a draw to a home in Nelson, BC. That doesn’t mean that the drive to, well, drive isn’t there anymore. She’s just trying to balance it all.
She’s smitten. There’s no turning back for Gina. She is completely enamored and authentically cuffed to the passionate life that one can only know living close to the wild locale that inspires you.
That’s what keeps her creative and THINKING BIG!
Gina and her vast team of volunteer, amazing content contributors are covering our markets, gear, travel and outdoor experiences in a way I’ve never seen in our spaces. Please check out OWA and immerse yourself in editorial that you cannot find anywhere else.
Interested in reading about the darker side of being a female pro athlete in our spaces? Curious as to why you need your thunder thighs to get through a good honest day’s work tele skiing? There’s so much more, too – I can’t even begin to capture it all here, nor do I want to influence your thoughts on the content they are creating for us. Just go dive in and share!
Bravery in Business Quote:
KCO’s personal favorite? “Go Conquer!”
But Gina’s also been known to say: “I will travel for adventure!”
“Learning from other women; instilling confidence in women of all ages, participating in a community that builds up women of all ages – that’s what Outdoor Women’s Alliance stands for.”
Habit for Success?
Staying close to the mountains – being able to immerse herself in climbing and skiing and being in the mountains is what brings Gina creativity and inspiration.
My way of thinking about work changed when I was laid off, along with several others, from a job that said they hired me for my expertise (but never took the time to look at a single one of my project ideas), and paid me as an hourly worker, but expected me to work as a salaried employee (without the compensation). At that job, I was handling several national accounts, including one that is a household name, with the excitement that an entrepreneur has for their own business. I thought it was going to be a lifelong career.
The day after the job was taken away from me, I got into my car, drove to the Florida Keys, then turned north for Nova Scotia. That long trip gave me a lot of thinking time. I thought about all those unpaid hours and passion I poured into someone else’s dream, how the eggs were all in their basket with my financial future, how many days I cried after being talked down to just because someone else was tight on their deadline and needed someone to take it out on, and thought — never again.
And I gotta say, so far, so good.
Coolest Expansion Idea:
Oh man. Ha ha — so many! I can tell you what we’re working on right now: We have had huge demand for local chapters, so we’re getting back to our roots. OWA was started as a local group in Salt Lake City; now we have chapters along the western part of North American, with the next round of expansion in the works. Each of our teams has a carefully chosen leader (we go through a thorough application process for each one) who is trained about OWA and about being an “adventure facilitator” for women in their area. They are there to encourage other women to lead activities, start discussions, share their goals, and also to work with other organizations in the area with events and activities. The Grassroots Teams have already produced their own gear guide, completely on their own steam. This is what we were hoping for; these teams are there to let women take on projects in the outdoor world and be part of what they love in a much more direct way.