We had the good fortune of connecting with Hilary Bilbrey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hilary, what role has risk played in your life or career?
If you aren’t a little afraid, you are living in your comfort zone and no growth can happen there. Healthy risk-taking is one of the primary ways that I push myself and my clients to become better versions of ourselves. Healthy means we are not knowingly putting ourselves in a catastrophic situation or one that could cause us harm, physically or emotionally.
When we take a risk and find our way through to the other side, we come out more confident, more trusting of ourselves and more empowered to take on the next challenge life will inevitably throw at us. One of my favorite “risks” was when I hiked the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim. You see, I am afraid of heights. For those who don’t know, it is a 24 mile hike with more than a 5000 foot descent and ascent, Some of the paths are narrow and held up by rebar. Each step takes your breath away with beauty and fear equally, at least it did for me. Finishing that trek left me feeling like I could do anything I dared to dream. It gives me the courage to make asks in my business I never would have made before, and there is usually a pay off.
I encourage my clients to do the same thing. What are you afraid of? How can we conquer that fear and show it who is boss?
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
When people ask me what I do, I tell them to sit down and get comfortable. Ha! I have leveraged a very active body and brand into being an entrepreneur with more than one company. As a solopreneur, I run a consulting, coaching and speaking business called Live Inspired! I work with individuals and organizations to help them articulate their brand promise and align their actions with their values. Organizationally, we work on mining the needs of the employees to create higher trust relationships and engagement.
I am also cofounder of the DH Effect with Sonja Montiel, a consulting business and podcast aimed at helping people become aware and act on their ability to decide how they will respond to life. We are currently launching programming for school communities aimed at creating personal accountability, high trust relationships and belonging. We will be working exclusively with faculty, administrators and parents with the outcome being higher family engagement and a more positive place for kids to thrive. Katya Armistead, Dean of Students for UCSB will be joining our team and adding her expertise as a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice specialist to the program.
My third business, RSP (Ready Set Pivot) is cofounded by five other women, and aims to guide bold, unapologetic, Gen X women through change with experiences designed to help them fully embrace their next chapter on their own terms. In RSP, my main capacity is in curriculum development, delivery and efficacy.
When you take away the titles and certifications, my business is really just helping people show up as the best humans they can be. While this may seem service-oriented, and I do truly love to serve, for me this is packed with idealism. I believe we humans have an unlimited capacity for love, kindness, joy and inspiration. The world needs each and every one of us to shine our gifts, and my mission is to give people the confidence and scaffolding to do that fearlessly.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First thing is first…the ocean views! I love the Ray Miller Backbone Trail in LaJolla Canyon, but any of the trails along Malibu are spectacular. Afterwards, I would grab a beer and shrimp at Neptune’s Net. If we are in the mood for people watching, we would drive down the PCH to Santa Monica and walk from there to Venice Beach, popping into any of the fun places just off the beaten path for a quick drink and a bite.
The next day, I would hit any of the wineries that are in the area and fun to hang out. Stonehaus is closest to me, but I love the atmosphere at Old Creek Winery in Ojai or anywhere in Santa Barbara. I love to be spontaneous, so whatever pops into our heads that day, I am likely to explore.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Who doesn’t deserve recognition in my story?
I would like to give a shout out to Sonja Montiel, my cohost of The DH Effect for being the best collaborative partner and sister-friend I could ask for. When I hesitate or start to step back, she picks me up – even when I am kicking a little, and finds a way to get us to the next level. She makes our dreams become reality. I have never met anyone else who can trust so thoroughly and shone so brightly.
Also, I have the most amazing friends and family who believe and push me to achieve, even when my belief slips. In the last few years, I would say thank you to Jen Buzza and or WorkElevation crew, my Read Inspired Wolfpack and my husband and kids (Jeff, Breck, Jake and Breck) for giving me the background support I needed to move forward in my business daily, even when it was hard. Extra shout out to my mom and dad too for being my biggest cheerleaders.
Lastly, I would like to shout out the company I cofounded with 5 other kickass women, RSP (www.rspexperience.com). While we are supposed to be the ones helping guide women through change, I know that I am a better human, coach and business leader because they have each pushed me to elevate my game. I am so grateful to each of them.
Instagram: @hilary_bilbrey; @decided_heart_effect; @readysetpivotrsp