Scenes from the Salon

by Susan Vagnoni Murphy

Have you been to your Salon this week? So, do it! Society

Not the salon that gives you a bang trims and some foils. This salon is a place where women find pathways, support, accountability, and community.  A safe place to make things happen that have been sitting in their hearts and heads for far too long.

So, do it! Salon

L-R Cj Staples, Susan Murphy, Chrissy Rasmussen, Amanda Lathrop, Kelly Pratt.  Photo by Jen Frieden

I have been a part of the So, Do It! Salons since last year in February when Kelly Pratt launched this wonderful society to help women achieve their “IT.” We have just started our new winter session and I thought it would help to take you along with me on the journey to truly get the feel for a salon society.

To be clear, here is a dictionary definition of the origin of the type of salon I am referring to:

“An assembly of guests in such a room, especially an assembly, common during the 17th and 18th centuries, consisting of the leaders in society, art, politics, etc.”

photo by Jen Frieden

The assembly in my salon are women who lead with their intelligence, their intention, their hearts and their determination. They often find themselves isolated in business or by other circumstances and need a place to share ideas and develop something they keep coming back to, but never seem to get off the ground.

We start with a set of ground rules including respecting each member’s right to speak, refraining from criticism and sharing comments of value only when asked to do so. Kelly is our Salonnière and facilitates, mentors, and educates as she guides each session.

Each salon has up to 9 members, including the Salonnière, which allows everyone time to speak and listen. In my past salons there have been wonderful achievements with books being written and published, art shows completed and presented in galleries, new businesses directions found, and websites published. Some of the intentions in new salon include: refining a screenplay, becoming a photographer, researching and writing a family history, and launching a play production.

L-R Kjiersten Kinney, Michele Jacobson, Kaisa Taibale, Kelly Pratt, Deb Williamson, Susan Murphy, Melanie Smith, Chrissy Rasmussen  photo by Lisa Venticinque

One thing our salon is NOT – it is not elitist. Women from all walks and all backgrounds are invited to the community which includes a thriving online component to keep resources and support flowing.

I will keep you posted on our progress throughout our salon now that we have all made the first step to bravely say out loud what we want to realize in this world.

Susan Vagnoni Murphy is a writer, marketing expert and owner of The Humane Marketer, actress and is a founding member of the So, do it! Society.  You can learn more about Susan at and

Lisa Sonora :: Guest on Talk2Think!

Lisa Sonora to be our guest on Talk2Think Tuesday February 20th.

I have learned to pay attention to signs, synchronicity.

Gorgeous Genius Retreat 2018 in Mexico (l-r Lisa Sonora, Joy Agcongay, Emily Cline, me, Suzy Foy)

I had an inspiration to reach out to Lisa Sonora a couple days ago.  Lisa is someone who’s been an inspiration to me since 2009…  We’ve kept in sporadic touch and I’ve watched her growth and journey…  Yesterday she responded, we set a time to talk.  This morning this photo popped up in facebook.  Then Lisa called!


OK! I hear you, Universe!!

Lisa and I had an amazing conversation – she, from her cottage in Mexico (warm and sunny) me from  Minnesota (freezing  with wind chill warnings but cozy in my loft).

We’re both on a mission to serve women who have gifts to share and are ready to DO IT!

Psyched to have her as a guest on the Talk2Think Zoom call on Tuesday Feb 20!!  Join us at 11:30 CT at

Lisa Sonora, one of the coolest people I know,  is an American artist and creative entrepreneur living in Mexico, her dream is to live in a world where following your heart’s desire is considered practical, and making a living from your gifts is a no-brainer.

Loving Where You Live

I Love Where I Live.

And it’s so great to be noticed for making a difference… I love where I live – From the City of Saint Paul MN to the West 7th/Fort Road neighborhood of to the artist community of the Schmidt Artists Lofts… So I was really please when Jerry Rothstein wanted to write something about what we’re doing in the So, do it! Salons and Society this month…

And you can come join us for an open house at the Schmidt Artist Lofts on January 19th to find out more… In fact, one of the women we’re  shining a spotlight on at the Women Who Make sh!t Happen – So, Do it! Society Showcase that night, Joan Mathison, is all about LOVING WHERE YOU LIVE...   click here to find out more… see you on the 19th! 


So do it! Salons

Summer Salons

It’s the beginning of August and you suddenly think!

“OMG! Summer is almost over and I really wanted to _______ this summer!”

A summer salon is the answer. Just enough time to pay attention to something important.  You’ll get to the end ofyour summer feeling great and ready for fall.

Your Salon meets every other Thursday

Your Choices:

Morning Salon 7:30 – 9:30 am

(Focus Time 9:30 am – 11:30 am)

Noon Salon 11:30 – 1:30 pm

(Focus Time 1:30 – 3:30 pm)

Evening Salon 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Focus Time: Stay after your Salon for additional FOCUS TIME. Plus the Thursday in between is set aside as an additional focused work day – either virtual, through the online Society,  or in-person.

This Trimester’s Salon dates are:

May 10,

May 24,

Jun 21,

Jun 7,

Jul 5,

Jul 19,

Aug 2,  – Beyond the Salon Celebration with the other Salon Members (time tbd)

Click here for more details.



Our first salon will focus on what your IT is… the project that you want to focus on for the next three months.  And how to get you there.

A couple of things to start with:

  1. Read the blog post below: about Thinking Differently and about my “why.”
    • The concept of the Golden Circle and starting and acting from the “inside out” has changed how I move through the world.  And how we’ll be conducting our salons!
  2. Next, watch Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk at the bottom of this page.  And, if that inspires you
  3. Pick up START WITH WHY  by Simon Sinek.  Lots of food for thought — about business and life in general.

Simon Sinek discusses the principal behind every successful person and business. A simple but powerful model for how leaders inspire action, starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?”

Thinking Differently

What’s Your Creative Rhythm? or Your M.O.?

When I talk about “creative Rhythm” I’m talking about the way you do your best work. How you honor your own natural instincts, your own rhythm, your Modus Operandi.

Your M.O. is your Modus Operandi.

Modus Operandi is a Latin phrase, approximately translated as method or mode of operation. Habits of working, particularly in the context of business, but also more generally.

Are you honoring your Creative Rhythms? Your MOs?

At my First Grade conference my mom was told

“We love Kelly. She’s always happy and involved in a lot of things. We always know where to find her because of the mess surrounding her.”

Guess what. Nothing has changed. My MO was an “active girl.” Now I’m an “active woman.”  Not in the sense of being caught in the “cult of busy” but in that “I have so many fun things going on I don’t know what to do next!”

But knowing what my M.O. is doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges. Society doesn’t always see my style as positive.

I might be seen as

…impulsive, flighty, can’t seem to settle on one thing. She has too many projects going at once and doesn’t have a steady job history. She tends to procrastinate and wait ’til the last minute.

OR as:

…spontaneous, interested in what’s going on around her. She’s creative, an idea factory, and always has lots of irons in the fire. As a result her career and experience is rich and varied.

She doesn’t dive in immediately, but works in her head, in her journal, in her sleep, and in the shower, and then, when time is of the essence, SHE GETS IT DONE! Edits the work, and voilà! Job well done.

I’ve struggled with this issue. Bosses can’t see that you’re “working in your head.” I’ve had conflicts with a business partner because she didn’t understand my “work style.” And don’t get me started on cleaning house!

Then in 2008 during Martha Beck Coach Training I was introduced to the Kolbe Action Modes. And it allowed me to, for the first time, know how to DO MY BEST WORK!

“The Kolbe A™* Index/Instinct Test is a graphical representation of an individual’s instinctive method of operation, or modus operandi (M.O.). The numbers in each Action Mode represent different points on a continuum, rather than relative values. Each point on the continuum indicates a positive trait. There is no such thing as a negative or “bad” Kolbe Index result.”

Four Action Modes®*

  • Fact Finder – the instinctive way we gather and share information.
  • Follow Thru – the instinctive way we arrange and design.
  • Quick Start – the instinctive way we deal with risk and uncertainty.
  • Implementor – the instinctive way we handle space and tangibles.

Turns out I’m a 5-4-8-3: 5 (Fact Finder), 4 (Follow Thru), 8 (Quick Start), 3 (Implementer)

Here’s some of the advice it gave me in the report:

  • Communicating requires conative action

  • Ad lib. Improvise. Do presentations with only bottomline notes. Over preparing takes you out of your stride. Say it rather than write it.
  • Don’t get caught up in the mechanics of a presentation. You are able to read audiences well, but following a script or getting locked into an audio-visual format limits your ability to go with the flow.
  • Communicate your goals to others so that they may buy in; they need to know where you are heading.
  • Recognize that others need to put your brainstorms into context: those with more Fact Finder need details and those with Follow Thru intensity need to put your brainstorms into context.
  • Your forte isn’t in doing Implementor demonstrations, though you may enjoy using props to show a craftsperson what you want.
  • Humor goes a long way in bridging conative gaps. Communicate the commitment you are willing to make and the talent you offer without placing a value judgment on either yours or others’ forms of contribution.

It told me that I do my best work – that my MO – was to let ideas simmer, to percolate, and to do them when the time is right. (Notice I didn’t say “at the last minute”) Now I enjoy the extreme focus I get when I’m in “flow” on a project, not the built up stress of “shoulds” I used to put on myself…

This is what I mean when I talk about your CREATIVE RYTHM. What’s yours? What is your MO??

* Click this link to find out more about the Kolbe A™ Index and explore all the other “Science of Human Actions, Reactions & Interactions” at Kolbe.

Note for our So, do it! Salon members:  This is our topic this week.

Those of you who have the PLUS, or PLUS PLUS Salon Packages should have already gotten your Kolbe A Index. If you haven’t let me or Melanie know in a direct message here or by emailing

The rest of you are always welcome to to upgrade to either the PLUS or PLUS PLUS packages at any time. They both include the Kolbe A assessment and one-on-one time to work on your project.

Again, contact Melanie at and she’ll make it happen!