Reboot Your Life and Reboot Partners, LLC offer personal, professional, and corporate consulting and sabbatical coaching.

Reboot News

July 18, 2014

July Newsletter – Passionate Volunteering

We talk in our upcoming book, The Retirement Boom, about the things you might want to do in your next chapter of life that relate to your passions.  And for over 1600 volunteers who came together in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for a long weekend in July to mentor and assist 150 folk artists from over 62 countries for the International Folk Art Market, the Boomers are out in force following their passions!  Many served in the State Department or Peace Corp, while others are teachers, lawyers, executives, communications, retailing and marketing specialists, and collectors of folk art from around the world.  Many have volunteered year after year at the market.These Boomers, making up over 70 percent of the market volunteers, have a passion for giving back, and for helping the folk artists reach economic sustainability. We Reboot Partners have been active in the Mentor to Market program from its inception, this year mentoring over 60 folk artists new to the Market. In a two-day training session, we taught artists marketing, selling, display, telling their story, how to photograph their art with a smartphone, and how to cost and price their goods.

The mentors included former CEO’s, a prominent journalist, business men and women, and others from all walks of life. All were Boomers in some stage of retirement, who wanted to leverage their skills and contacts to help these folk artists. Over half the volunteers came from out of town.  The positive energy on all sides was palpable.

Go to www.folkartmarket.org to get a glimpse of what happens in two and a half days at the Market that resulted in total artist sales of over $3 million, 90% of which goes back with the artists to help in their communities.

HOW TO MATCH YOUR PASSIONS TO GIVING BACK  

  • Research events, non-profits, issues, organizations, and people that you want to be associated with…not just locally, but nationally or internationally that reflect your passions
  • Volunteer to help with a project, event, or short-term plan to test out if you like it
  • Create your own alliance, effort, or event if the passion is not being served
  • Learn from others what works and how your skills and contacts can be leveraged

Join us for one of our last two 2014 Reboot Your Life Retreats in Sag Harbor on August 15-17 or Cape Cod (Orleans) on October 10-12 to explore your passions and find ways to follow them!

April 16, 2014

April Newsletter – Volunteer Travel Trip to Morocco!

In our book, Reboot Your Life, we often talk about the idea of volunteering when traveling or on sabbatical.  Recently, Reboot Partner Cathy Allen, along with her husband and nine others, went on a two week trip to Morocco – as part one of many Passport to Folk Art Trips led by the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market to the countries of the folk artists represented in the market.  All of the Reboot Partners have a strong connection to this incredible Folk Art market and volunteer every year to mentor and assist the artists (as depicted in on our blog.)  These special trips are a chance to meet the folk artists and their families in their own villages – to get to see more of their work up-close as well as the environment where they create it – and to combine important volunteer work with a fascinating travel experience.

Cathy and the group got to experience the diverse climates of the region – from snow in the High Atlas Mountains to sweeping sand dunes in Erfoud to 90 plus degree weather in Marrakesh. They explored the winding narrow alleys of the Fez and Marrakesh medinas, rode camels to and from a tent camp in the Sahara, and toured palaces and museums and kasbahs from the 8th century forward.

Part of the Market volunteer effort is to get the senior government and corporate leaders in the host countries to support their artists as well as focus on economic sustainability and preservation of the traditional arts, and the trip was a great success in that goal. Cathy met with a number of women leaders in the country when she spoke at the Moroccan Women Corporate Directors meeting, and with the head of the International Women’s Forum in Casablanca.  The group got commitment from a number of senior people to help with Moroccan folk artists.

The most exciting and rewarding part of the trip, however, was meeting with the artists and seeing their work….and of course, supporting them by buying their art!  The group went to Sefrou to visit Amina Yabis and the Women’s Button Cooperative. Amina knew that Moroccan women needed to have access to the cash economy and economic life of their community to participate in public life outside of the home. She established Golden Buttons with the help of the US Peace Corps to develop a literacy campaign for women and girls (half in Morocco are illiterate) to learn to read and write Arabic.

They also met with Fatima Akachmar of Cooperative Adwal in Rabat El Kheir, created to preserve the weaving tradition. Supported by the Moroccan Ministry of Artisans, they formed a cooperative where many women from the community, all single, divorced or uneducated, have been recruited to train to become master weavers.  The trip was full of these artist visits as well as to the medina and souks of Marrakesh.

Nine rugs and lots of beautiful folk art later, Cathy and Paul struggled with their bags home. Two former Reboot Your Life retreat attendees were on the trip as well and all were amazed at the quality of folk art, the friendliness of the people, and the beauty and variety of the landscape.

It was a wonderful example of how you can combine travel interests, nonprofit volunteer work, and a love of being with friends into a combined package!

July 9, 2013

July Newsletter – Volunteering Sabbaticals at the Folk Art Market

We often write and talk about the people we have interviewed for our book, Reboot Your Life, or who have attended our Reboot Your Life Retreats, taking what we call “Volunteering Sabbaticals.”  Many used their sabbaticals to get involved in nonprofits, to travel on social-giving vacations, or to give back in their local communities.  For example, Betsy, an orthopedic surgeon, spent part of her Reboot Break on a month-long medical volunteer project.  She said, “The work of this trip was the reason I went into medicine.”  Our newest book research on the Baby Boomers echoes that sentiment.  Whether it is the Millennials or the Boomers, people are interested in finding ways to help others by donating time or money. Giving back is a national pastime!

Sita Devi Karna, Janakpur Women's Development Center ©Bob Smith

Sita Devi Karna, Janakpur Women’s Development Center  ©Bob Smith

One of the ways we Reboot Partners love to give back is through the Santa Fe International Folk Market (www.folkartmarket.org).  Held the second weekend in July in Santa Fe, New Mexico, it is an amazing event.  Over 150 folk artists from over 60 countries submit their folk art to a jury of experts to be invited to participate in this three-day Market.   The artists take home 90% of their sales to support their families and communities, as well as learning to sell to collectors, museum buyers, retailers, wholesalers, and people who just love their handcrafts.  The Market supports the ability of the artists to maintain and preserve the traditional arts of their culture and country, while enabling them to share their work with the world.

Three years ago, with a small grant, we Reboot Partners along with several other friends created the Mentor to Market program to help educate and train the artists in marketing, retailing, pricing, social media, and other skills to help them become sustainable in their arts.

Catherine Allen at Mentor to Market  ©Jane Bernard

Catherine Allen at Mentor to Market ©Jane Bernard

This year, Catherine Allen is piloting a new hands-on sales coach effort for the artists – Rita Foley is one of the official photographers, and Nancy Bearg and Jaye Smith are mentoring artists from South Africa, Afghanistan, and Cuba.  The Honorable Melanne Verveer, former Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the US State Department, will be speaking to the artists and volunteers about the new Alliance for Artisan Enterprise program she started with Secretary Hillary Clinton.

We are thrilled that a number of Reboot Your Life Retreat attendees are joining the over 1500 volunteers this year who make the market possible by helping with everything from putting up booths to counting money to assisting the artists.  Come join us this year or next, and use your time off from work to give back to these extraordinary artists!  Or look for an opportunity near you!

September 5, 2011

Reboot Your Life featured on Frontline Security

Red Cross volunteer helps out in New Jersey. (Photo: FEMA)

Co-Author Nancy Bearg illuminates the joys of volunteering in her new article, “Helping Out in Times of Crisis” on the Frontline Security website.  Nancy highlights Rita’s story of taking time off from work specically to volunteer in a deeper way:

“Though I contributed financially to several non-profit organizations and was on the board of one, I started to crave spending more time on work that seemed so important to me.  When my company announced that it was moving its headquarters to another part of the country, it was the perfect time to take a sabbatical. I immersed myself in microfinance… I was soon asked to become chair of Pro Mujer, a non-profit organization that gives $170 loans and business training to women in Latin America whose families earn under $2 a day… Since I wasn’t working at an 8-6 (or 24/7) job, I had time to travel to meet the women in the ­programs in Bolivia, Nicaragua, Peru, and Mexico, and to help start a program in Argentina. My life is so enriched by all the amazing South American women I met on that sabbatical.”

Nancy also reminds us that the fact that many companies give paid corporate sabbaticals to employees who want to give back, and that even if there is no formal program, you may still find your own company receptive to paying them for such a sabbatical.

Read the full article here and then ask your own company about paid volunteering Reboot Breaks!

April 13, 2011

Reboot Your Life article published in the Sun Sentinel

Are you finding yourself feeling disheartened by recent tragedies in the world?

Check out Co-Author Nancy Bearg’s article in the Sun SentinelVolunteerism: For many, It’s an Everyday Tradition – about how to take time off work to volunteer and give your time and energy to people in need.