Syann Stevens

JSJ International Inc., dba TrikleTrade

How can women help each other in business?
I’ve had several different jobs and professions, and some in which I am still passionate about, before I co-founded TrikleTrade. In the onset of each avenue I embarked on, my female and male counterparts started from scratch right along with me, while we pursued the same directions. As our paths developed and I got older, I noticed that nearly all of my male peers had succeeded at what we set out to do and only a few of the women. More often than not, in the rare times I saw a woman in power, I saw her giving the opportunities to men, when the female was equally talented if not more so. How can we as women help each other? If you are in a position to open a door for a well deserved, talented woman who is standing there taking risks to accomplish her dreams, support her. Don’t think twice about it. We all have our struggles, but being a woman who starts her own business, company, or is an independent contractor, and she finds success in that, it should be supported and celebrated. Lets start making it easier on each other instead of more difficult. The only way we can do that is if we come together as a greater community with a common goal to give equal opportunity and non-judgment to both women and men.

What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about community! I am passionate about movement, art, creativity, connection, people, and how we can find innovative ways to support and change the way we view and do things in our community for the greater good.

How do you “live your values?”
Each morning I wake up and do twenty minutes of Pranavayus and meditation. This helps me to find my center and become grounded before I navigate my day. It also helps me to make decisions from an authentic and clear place rather than being reactive. When I can show up in this way for myself I can show up for the people around me, which hopefully allows the day to flow with more ease.

What can’t you stop talking about?
Things I can’t stop talking about: health, wellbeing, community, the idea of paying it forward on a larger scale with small acts of kindness, yoga, my dog Elbow, music, dance, books, ideas, business, accomplishments of my friends and family.

What would be impossible for you to give up?
I could never give up family or friends. I believe our relationships are why we’re here. We learn so much from others, far more than we would learn on our own. And in that breath, I could never give up my alone time! I need it to recharge. I could also never give up movement. My body craves it and I don’t feel like myself when I’m not able to get an asana practice or dance class in a few times during the week.

How do you want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as someone who took risks and challenged herself to do things she knew she was afraid of, whether it was business, travel, art, new and unexpected opportunities, or relationships. I want to be remembered as someone who loved well.

What inspires you in your business?
I have the privilege of working with talented and driven business partners and board members from varying backgrounds. I also have the privilege of partnering with inspiring leaders within their fields and introducing and working with various nonprofits across the country through TrikleTrade. All of these nonprofits and field leaders are doing work that has great impact within their communities. It’s an awesome opportunity that I’m incredibly grateful for. Every day I have the possibility of creating a new adventure because of the people I get to form meaningful working relationships with. That’s pretty cool. The people I get to work with inspire me.

What most excites you about your work & the contribution you can make?
Trikletrade’s intention is to use the Internet as a platform for social change. We want to be able to connect communities through our common needs and then pay our neighbor’s generosity for us forward. For example: A nonprofit in the Missoula, Montana community needed a laptop to accomplish their goals and keep their after school program thriving. They posted this need on the TrikleTrade platform. Another TrikleTrade member saw this, reached out, and donated the laptop. In return, this nonprofit answered the need of another Missoula nonprofit. The request was for blankets for a children’s shelter. The kids from the after school dance program hand-made blankets and donated them to the shelter. This all happened because they found each other on the TrikleTrade website and believed enough in the idea of paying it forward that they put it into action. The smallest things are sometimes the things that have the biggest impact. People who create stories like this excite me. This makes me happy beyond words.

How do you accomplish goals?
I have a tendency to operate in two ways if I’m not paying attention.

The first is to take everything to an extreme and bite off a bit more than I can chew. Now, when I catch myself doing that (or a family member or friend kindly points it out), I take a deep breath and start to write down goals that are realistic and help me get to where I want to be one step at a time, so I don’t burn out. I’ve learned the hard way that rest is equally as important as the doing aspect. It helps me connect with my creativity.

The other reaction I tend to have is to procrastinate. I’ve learned through yoga practice that this procrastination is a sign of resistance. Wherever I resist in my life is exactly where I should gently be exploring, because it’s usually where I learn the most about myself and eventually grow because of it.

Setting realistic goals that move me farther in my career each day, exploring resistance, and rest are key to accomplishing my goals.

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give the child version of yourself?
The child version of me loved to sing and choreograph dances in her driveway, sometimes in the middle of winter while shoveling the snow. I would tell that girl to stick around. She’s imperative to the success of my adult life. I would also tell her to not worry so much, life may not lead you where you were determined to go, but that’s okay. Your determination is going to send you on an awesome and unexpected adventure.

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