Aussie expat Peta Kelly seeks to tap millennial minds – and wallets? – with “radical authenticity.”
“I never know what to say when people ask me what I do. I do so many things. What matters to me is how: playfully, generously, consciously,” Paradise Valley entrepreneur Peta Kelly says. In January, Kelly published Earth Is Hiring: The New Way to Live, Lead, Earn, Give for Millennials and Anyone Who Gives a Sh*t, a New Age-y guide for “conscious entrepreneurs” that encourages readers to redefine success and fulfillment in spiritual, rather than material, terms. It’s all very feel-good and goop-y (evocative of Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle website goop.com). But is the Valley ready for its own Gwyneth?
Kelly is riding a wave in the sea change rippling through modern business. Millennial social media “influencers” have risen to prominence. Companies are taking stands on politically charged issues like gun control and climate change, adopting corporate social responsibility policies and implementing techniques like mindfulness that once would have been anathema to the capitalist establishment. Kelly says she started out in that culture as a perfectionist ex-pre-med student who made a mint selling multi-level marketing Isagenix dietary products in her native Perth, Australia. But, like many strivers, she began to burn out.
“My new work started to emerge and I followed the call to define this new paradigm,” Kelly, a bubbly and brash 29-year-old, says. “Taking radical responsibility for our alignment and vibration. Playing on Team Earth. Being human AF [as f**k] and leading with radical authenticity.”
Kelly fused her spiritual exploration with her marketing background to create a multi-pronged business: Jeaniius (a lifestyle blog), The Earthess Co. (an online community for the “modern Earth Goddess”), The New Way Live (a cross-genre festival), business webinars and motivational speaking.
She brings her Earth Is Hiring tour to the monOrchid in Phoenix on April 29 (earthishiring.com), which will include a cacao ceremony, book discussion, and meet and greet. Her goal is to encourage readers to take bold spiritual, political and entrepreneurial risks and embrace failure. “The process of creating is more important than the creation, to me,” she says. “If it’s not fun, risky, playful, new and fresh, then I’m missing the point.”
IT GOES TO 11
We didn’t make the top 10, but a trio of Valley cities collectively locked in 11th place on a list of the most entrepreneurial metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) produced by online industry magazine FitSmallBusiness.com. The triumvirate of Phoenix, Mesa and Glendale (shockingly, Chandler and Scottsdale were MIA) scored well on the survey’s 10-point metric:
Startup density: 92.1 per 1,000 employer businesses are startups
Rate of new entrepreneurs: 87 out of every 100 driven by opportunity, rather than necessity
New entrepreneurs: High “opportunity share”
Venture capital investment: $269 million
Tax-friendliness to small businesses: Score of 3.19 (highest score: 3.56)
Business as the primary source of income: true for 68.1 percent of entrepreneurs
Infrastructure and population: Ranked 25th
Annual total payroll: $74,203,773
Number of firms with paid employees: Ranked 15th, with 67,410 employer firms
Non-employer establishments: 316,042 non-employer businesses in the area
If Groupon and Yelp had a cyber-spawn, it’d look a lot like Elite Restaurants, the Scottsdale app that gives diners two free entrees at each of the 30 Valley restaurants in its stable – 60 free meals – for $10 per month ($99 per year). “We saw the need for a solution to bring about discovery and discounts to connect foodies to high-quality local restaurants,” says Matt Stein, a tech/marketing pro who founded the app in 2014 with business partner Brian Cowardin, a restaurant industry veteran. Download the app for free on iTunes or Google Play.