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#2020Goal: Keeping it Fundamental

Ready for a new beginning? Forget everything you think you know.

Author: Carolyn Walton Lynch, Founder, Mixolo

The 2010s will soon be a documentary on your favorite streaming platform or a music playlist. It’s a great time to take stock of life’s gifts, including lessons learned.

I try to seek out the joy in new beginnings. Of course, sitting with the hard stuff for a short time can be helpful, but I’m approaching the 2020s with a beginner’s mindset.

If you’re just beginning with Mixolo, feel free to follow some of the hyperlinks in this post to the blog archives and catch up on life with Mixolo so far.

After a transformative meditative hike last summer with one of Mixolo’s early adopter wellness hosts, Brielle Merchant, MHA, CHES, founder of Well with Brielle, I made a conscious decision to more fully embrace an attitude of openness to the discovery of new ideas without clinging to preconceived notions and views.

The author is hiking in park and posing in front of a creek.
I look so zen here, right? This is what happens when you Mixolo.

One might assume that an entrepreneur must surely already operate with this mindset. Even innovators can get stuck in certain beliefs or assumptions about things like what success looks like or how fast it should happen. Those expectations can cause us to overlook new possibilities and solutions.

In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”

- Shunryu Suzuki

Perhaps you’re more familiar with the similar scientific term, first principles, now a part of our zeitgeist and often attributed to that wunderkind, Elon Musk, and his approach to innovation. First principles challenge us to begin with the most fundamental elements of truth before drawing a conclusion.

NOT first principles or beginner’s mind: “That’s the way it’s always done” or “That’s already been done.”

This Mixolo “hike” has been both challenging and rewarding. This quest to convince the world to welcome the solo adventurer minus the stigma is gradually shifting social consciousness. In Baltimore, our Beta city, I can’t go anywhere without someone in the room knowing about or having participated in the Mixolo movement as a member or host.

Then there’s the occasional contrarian…

Yeah, no…not everyone is excited to recognize the changing demographics of our society or acknowledge the social exclusion that even the most confident of us can feel when navigating solo, regardless of relationship status. Convincing some people to embrace a solo identity - we define solo as self-determined – feels counterintuitive when our belief systems see being the “single” as somehow broken and incomplete.

And not every host is ready to accept that a welcoming and inclusive customer experience could be what sustains organizations engaged in events and hospitality and entertainment in our increasingly “Postmates” society. It is a fundamental truth that the solo consumer is rising and is being embraced by product companies as single-person households continue to grow exponentially in the US and beyond. Our early adopter hosts get it!

A beginner's mindset takes some work. One must first adopt a listener's mind. In order to manage the limiting beliefs and archaic business models that often lead to rejection (AKA pain points in startup life) of Mixolo, I remain open to exploring the underlying causes of fear or perceived limitations without judgment.

A fundamental truth Mixolo embraces is that humans thrive when they make meaningful connections in their pursuit of a life with, well, meaning. A less convenient truth is that social shaming and marginalization can lead to unhealthy isolation and disconnection.

Mixolo will continue to build a solution that promotes and encourages curiosity and a sense of adventure in the pursuit of lifelong learning through experiences. No more opting out of the things you really want to do just because you can’t convince a plus-one.

If you’ve been following Mixolo on our walkabout for a while, you know that I often point out that ideation and execution are false equivalents. Even so, I am grateful for all that has transpired, the good and the bad, for all our members and hosts that have either signed up, showed up or talked up Mixolo.

People walking and talking on a tour of a city.
Walk this way. People trust Mixolo. All are welcome regardless of relationship status. These people are practicing beginner's mind opening up to our oh so perfect strangers on cool adventures. Mixolo's Hampden Brew Walk is coming back this spring.

We've noticed few of our BIG competitors are talking the same talk, in some cases the exact same language, in their marketing content. We’re on to something. Something BIG. But do they really know the origins of this idea and the Mixolo ethos? Mixolo is not just counting heads that show up for an event. Mixolo is an experience, one of community and inclusion. #exstrangers #newconnections.

The gift of your presence since the beginning and this holiday season at our Mixolo Goes Out Events (meant to keep the platform going until more hosts see the light all of us are seeing), has been heartwarming and affirming. My beginner's mind says keep going.

That other quest continues, too, to attract funding and expand Mixolo’s operations and reach. We will get to yes eventually. And we will get to cities outside of Maryland and beyond. Please stay in the app or get in the app and hurry up and wait. Tell your favorite hosts to embrace Mixolo and book their events and experiences in the Mixolo app using our web-based host portal.

Look out for more events coming in January and February. Have you seen the Blackout Dining Event with the Mixolo host Chef Myeshia Cloud, founder of the magical ONCE Dining experiences? #nolightsrequired Now this will challenge our beliefs that food tastes better when we can see it.

We wish you all the best in the new year and can’t wait to see you out.

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