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Joan Barnes holds audiences with rapt honesty, vitality and humility.  She entertains and teaches with humor and provocative storytelling.

Drawing on her personal journey of building two successful companies—Gymboree and The Yoga Studio—she regales with a back story perspective that touches deeply. 

“As an untried and young woman, building an unconventional service business without any real estate, operating out of rented Church and Temple halls—and even then a mere few days a week—I hardly imagined this business suitable for inclusion in the prestigious Silicon Valley Sand Hill Road venture community…yet, there we were, sitting in their Board Room.”

Her story recounts in painstaking fashion what every woman, and likely most men too, in their personal way surrenders on the way to making it all work.  Daunted and sometimes haunted, we struggle to find the elusive balance among work, family, creative existence and spiritual and physical personal expressions.  For Joan, the story is dramatic, and she pulls no curtain over her life's shadowy underbelly despite the national media's adoration and the confidence of her own Board of Directors.  Plus, her outer world seemed "so together."

She entices listeners to look inward, embrace their passions and identify their values as the defining sources of their entrepreneurial direction.