HOW I WENT FROM BROKE DANCER COLLECTING UNEMPLOYMENT,
to running a fun and successful business, using my talents daily…
The story starts in 2011 with a dream and a leap. [Truth: If you want to change something, you have to take action.] Though in some ways the story really begins a year later in 2012 when I took a course on how to build a business by a woman named Marie Forleo.
Through this class called B-School I quickly learned the fundamentals of running a business well.
And through B-School, I went on to meet almost every pivotal person who became a coach, mentor, expert, best friend, employee, or partner. And, I accidentally became a business coach.
See, I’d launched a business as a fashion stylist, but when half the Q’s became “how can I do what you’re doing?” … I decided to partner with Marie in 2013 and coach 14 women through B-School. Then again the next year over 100, then over 200.
I WATCHED IT TRANSFORM THEIR LIVES
and take their dreams to the next level.
And I also heard what they continued to seek and struggle with. It’s the same thing I was searching for — how can I build an empire, sustainably? How can I be ambitious, and have ease? How can I do this thing I love, but not be a crazy exhausted person?
No one was teaching what our hearts were yearning for, so I went on a journey that became Elegant Excellence: the rare business path of less hustle, and more life.
That duo — B-School + Elegant Excellence — is my recipe for success, and that of now hundreds of other women. What’s the secret to building a great business and a life you love? Now you have it.
ASKED TO TEACH Biz Foundations…
Along the way I’ve been asked again and again to create a class on how to launch, start, grow, scale a business. That course already exists!
Marie has spent almost a decade now drilling down the perfect business course — that almost everyone I admire in business has taken. You didn’t need that from me. So I did something better. I partnered with her, to offer you both our programs for around $1,000 off.
She kills it with B-School, and I’ve changed the game with Elegant Excellence. Between the two of us, you have six months of holistic proven wisdom and mentorship from two creatives with no business background who’ve built 7-8-figure businesses, and LOVE helping others do the same.
WATCH HILARY & MARIE’S INTERVIEW
Listen-in as Marie & I chat about my personal experience inside B-School when featured as one of her alumni success stories.
And there’s more! With B-School + Dean Street you get these exclusive bonuses
Elegant Excellence Textbooks Shipped Today:
Available exclusively during the Get Paid to Be Creative webinar
We have your Elegant Excellence textbooks ready to ship out to you as soon as you send us your mailing address! Not only do you get my two favorite business books, you also get all of the Elegant Excellence course worksheets printed in a beautiful workbook. This is the first year we’re offering the printed workbook!
$100 Gift Certificate to Dean Street Society
Available exclusively during the Get Paid to Be Creative webinar
That’s right! Along with your Elegant Excellence textbooks, we’re sending you a $100 gift certificate towards the purchase of any Dean Street Society program through 2018. All of the details on how to redeem will be on the back of the postcard that we’re mailing to you.
Happy Hour Coterie Recordings:
Expires Monday, February 26th at 11:59pm EST
Includes 6 pre-recorded group coaching calls throughout B-School. In this content-rich series I share my insights on every B-School module, how I applied them to my business, and what I have learned since or done different. These calls alone were previously sold for $800.
Dean Street B-School Crew
Expires Thursday, March 1st at 6pm EST
Our Facebook community is 4 years strong, and already has 461 members. We call this tribe the Happy Hour Coterie, it’s a place to come grab a drink and jam with like-minded friends about business and life.
Expires Thursday, March 1st at 6pm EST
You receive front row seats to my signature program — and virtual, online retreat — Elegant Excellence [“The rare business path of less hustle, more life.”] Keep scrolling to learn more …
FROM STRUGGLING to surviving to thriving …
B-School was a huge leap of faith. It was a big investment for me, and possible only because I did the payment plan and used my credit card [which I almost never do]. But I had been following Marie for 2 years and knew she had something powerful, different, and practical to share. So I said “yes!” — and she exceeded my expectations!
Sure, I was scared, but I promised myself I’d make back the investment by growing Dean Street Society using the knowledge I gained in B-School. The truth is, I made the money back in the first 6 months, if not sooner — and have gone on to make over 7-figures. I can directly link my growth to putting B-School principles into practice. Needless to say, B-School was one of the smartest business decisions I’ve made.
I also learned quickly that as rewarding as my work was, it was, well, a lot of work. I figured that if I just worked a little bit harder, for a little bit longer, things wouldn’t feel so bananas all the time. After a few (failed) attempts to hustle my way towards ease — when the finish line never appeared — I knew I needed to establish a paradigm-shifting approach to being an entrepreneur. I set forth to save my own heart from overwhelm, burnout & shame. I loved my work, my clients, my team, my family, and myself too much not to.
Through trial & error, ambition & surrender, grace & gumption, I created Elegant Excellence — your gift with B-School.
The rare business path of less hustle, and more life.
Let me guess. You started your business because you wanted freedom?
Freedom to make money using your real talents. Work from anywhere. Call the shots. Feel fulfilled. Enjoy your life and the people you love more.
So you studied the business courses, built your website, and your dream took flight.
But instead of freedom, you realized slowly (and sinking-ly) that you’re actually trapped.
Your fantasies of speaking to big audiences, a huge Instagram following, and casual afternoons working from coffee shops have taken a backseat. Never-ending to-do lists, launch cycles, and credit card debt seem to control your days, and you’re starting to worry there’s no way out.
You wonder: Maybe that’s just entrepreneurship? Maybe #GirlBoss (or dapper boss) or Crushing-It-CEO is synonymous with exhausted, anxious, hustler for life?
If you can empathize, here’s a new story:
There is a way out.
I couldn’t find it taught anywhere, so I’ve carved it out for myself.
An imperfect journey – but wildly different enough that people notice.
“You’re a different person than you were six months ago” they say.
And I feel it. Peaceful mornings. More calm in the storm. A better leader.
More daily joy.
I’m hustling less, and living more.
You may have mastered the basics of business, now it’s time for the balance.
Because you want to be more than a successful founder, executive, and entrepreneur.
You want to be successful at your life.
That’s what I’m here to help you do. Together. Today.
You do not have to choose between a life of accomplishment and adventure,
or one with white space and deep relationships.
You are called to both.
Let me show you how …
what is …
Elegant Excellence is a belief system rooted in savvy action. A fundamental shift in how we approach our business and our life as creative entrepreneurs.
In 4 weeks, we’ll lay a new foundation for the way you work and live.
This is not a “How to start a business course”. Whether you’re about to launch or ten years into your successful venture, we sink into the foundation of your head and heart — how to shift your mindset, prioritize, lead with grace, stop chasing and start choosing those things you want to be and feel.
Together, we’ll explore the art and science of spacious business.
This isn’t a feel-good fluff course. We get into the technical nitty gritty. I teach launch equations, financial breakdowns, and bring in an all-star lineup of experts on everything from managing your team to next level launches. You’ll get action steps, detailed game plans, and a community of whip smart make-it-happen colleagues and experts.
It’s time to stop waiting for things to get easier, and start intentionally creating ease.
There’s no “magical tipping point” that will suddenly make running a business less stressful. Some of the biggest industry names I know are still struggling with staff turnover, credit card debt, and exhaustion.
That’s why Elegant Excellence is my commitment to discover, model and teach a better way. It’s your invitation to both a vocation that fulfills and inspires you, and a life that prioritizes breathing room, relationships, health and your joy.
These are the lessons that changed my life – all while growing my revenue by 500% in 2015.
While my journey is far from finished, Elegant Excellence is completely transforming the way I work and live. I’ve learned how to make space for joy and adventure, including a recent 4 month sabbatical across Europe. How to prioritize being present for the people in my life, and staying happy and grounded amidst the inevitable storms of business.
It’s all shifted. And it continues to change everything.
I promise, you can create this life too. But you must take action.
I want to turn everything I’ve learned and implemented over into your hands, so you can stop dragging yourself through your deadlines, your launches, your days.
All you have to do is say yes.
Stop feeling enslaved to the business you started.
It’s time to make freedom your real story behind the scenes.
What Our BRILLIANT Elegant Excellence Alums Say:
Tripling my revenue and taking a vacation
My business is projected to triple its revenue over last year. My husband quit to start working with me. I’m going on a European retreat and scaling back this year. PIus I finally hired fulfillment to do my dirty work while I’m taking a vacation. #winning
IRINA HUBBARD | DESIGNER | CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
HEAR MORE FROM OUR STUDENTS | click open / close ⌄
Elegant Excellence has saved my life. Not "changed". Saved.
In early February, I ended up in the hospital a third time for what the doctors thought was me creating an onset of Crohn’s disease INDUCED BY WORK STRESS AND NOT SLEEPING. I am so lucky that it wasn’t Crohn’s — turned out to just be my appendix getting inflamed again. Oh, and we hit $1M in sales. I left the hospital my doctor said “You are going to kill yourself if you do not change your habits. I am not joking”. I was like “Sh*t. I need to do something.” But how? Elegant Excellence has saved my life. Not "changed". Saved.
I bought ElEx when I was desperate for a change. Desperate to feel less insane and stressed. Desperate to do less. Desperate to take care of myself for once. I dove into the course. Watched every video. Did every worksheet. It was my lifeline. I was determined to not end up in the ER again. To learn how to start changing. Since then, my life has completely changed. It’s taken a few months for everything to REALLY sink in.
What’s crazy is our business has EXPLODED. I mean, we were already doing amazing. Truly. But it’s just picked up so much ease and momentum. It’s incredible to me. I work so much less, we make so much more, and everything feels so different. I no longer panic. I don’t freak out at my boyfriend. I feel like a real CEO. ElEx saved my life. I’ll be implementing and learning from it for years to come. I go back to it all the time. Thank you Hilary Rushford.
MARIAH COZ | BUSINESS COACH | MASSACHUSETTS
Thanks to Hilary, I’ve been able to take my first vacation in 5 years
Going through ElEx, I was surprised how much I didn't know about myself. I started my business at 21 and never really took the time to stop and look inward. I just kept running in circles with no end in sight. ElEx helped me understand how I work best with other people and also what works best for our team. Thanks to Hilary, I’ve been able to take my first vacation in 5 years, I always sleep 8 hours a night, and I'm okay asking for help.
TRISTA MORRISON | BOUTIQUE OWNER | MISSOURI
ElEx affirmed who I am, has provided a community of fellow entrepreneurs to communicate with and tools to help me do the thing I've been called to do
Going through ElEx with Hilary reminded me that I was indeed truly divinely designed, and that there is no shame in wanting something different than the 9-5. ElEx affirmed who I am, has provided a community of fellow entrepreneurs to communicate with and tools to help me do the thing I've been called to do — use my gifts to give back. I feel better equipped and certainly more knowledgeable to finally take the leap to pursue what's been on my heart.
RACHEL LOWEN | HEALTH COACH | CHICAGO
ElEx helped me feel free and okay not to put so much pressure on myself.
When the wholesale component of my handmade products biz started blooming in 2013, I was convinced I could do everything myself and I wasn't ready or willing to outsource. I became completely burned out. I also happened to get pregnant. I spent a year and a half raising my son, floating by on my biz with money I had saved up. Going through ElEx helped me feel free and okay not to put so much pressure on myself. Just stopping to take note of what success really meant to me was game changing.
DANELLE WILLIAMS | HANDBAG DESIGNER | IOWA
I was looking at my business as a job
While taking ElEx, I begun to understand that I was looking at my business as a job and not a purpose filling work.
RENEE PENA LOPEZ | EDUCATIONAL THERAPIST & TEACHER | NEW YORK
Thanks to Hilary I now look for what gives me the biggest return time-wise, mentally, and financially — and this made all the difference in the world.
Prior to ElEx I was overwhelmed, stayed up late and worked tons of hours without making much progress. I have a toddler and I was not fully present because I was so tired. It was awful. Taking Elegant Excellence was a game changer! I changed my business focus and model. I now work about 2 hours a day instead of 6 hours after my child goes to sleep. I moved my travel blog to Instagram, I started making mini-trainings for my fellow coaches, and I got 3 new clients after cutting my hours! Thanks to Hilary I now look for what gives me the biggest return time-wise, mentally, and financially — and this made all the difference in the world. I feel free now! I’m so excited to continue putting this into practice.
YVONNE WALLACE-WILSON | MONEY COACH | NEW YORK
ElEx gave me permission to take more time for exploration.
I was in my second year of business, seeing an increase in sales, getting overwhelmed by many small orders. Plus, I'm a homeschooling mom of 8 and I never really a chance to take a break. ElEx gave me permission to take more time for exploration. Taking a hard look at my priorities was just what I needed. I am now taking more time for my family and for self care... more time for life. I am feeling so blissful lately!
DONNA BUCHANAN | FINE ARTIST | MICHIGAN
What’s inside Elegant Excellence?
In-depth video classes with moi, spread throughout four chapters and weeks
A beautiful printed workbook to help you make big shifts in the best ways for you
An online community to connect with one another throughout and beyond
24/7 lifetime access to our comprehensive membership site where you can press play on your own schedule
Week 1 / Chapter 1: YOUR FOUNDATION
I believe you started a business to help other people … but you have to put your oxygen mask on first. The Foundation dives deep into who you are, what you want, your strengths, and making aligned decisions all along the way from one year out, to three, ten, and beyond.
Unlike most courses, we don’t begin with your business model. We begin with you. Because if your business is not set up to be uniquely sustainable for you, it will always be a struggle.
Week 2 / Chapter 2: YOUR FREEDOM
Now that we’re clear on your vision, we move into action, with micro habit shifts that make a huge macro impact on your life. We’ll talk essentialism, overcoming overwhelm, breaking our habit cycles, and making our freedom a true reality.
Your beliefs beget your behavior. And I promise you can change both, even after years of being stuck thinking or acting a certain way, more readily than you imagine. [I experienced some huge breakthroughs on sabbatical I can’t wait to share with you as inspiration and examples.]
Week 3 / Chapter 3: YOUR FIRE
Once we’re clear on where we’re headed and why, we can move onto the how — as in how to craft a profitable business to support your life and goals.
I get incredibly honest pulling back the curtain to share my own profit pies over the years, breaking down my expenses, my launch maps, my systems, the two shifts that made such a difference for me, and more.
Week 4 / Chapter 4: YOUR FRATERNITY
Finally, we know it takes a village — both internally with employees, leadership and management, and externally with coaches, experts and support systems.
It’s impossible to go it alone, yet human relationships can also feel impossibly complicated! I share vulnerably about this most challenging aspect of business for myself and many of my peers, as we talk behind closed doors about what it really means to be a CEO.
Wait, wait … there’s more!
BONUS #1 | Dean Street Society Virtual Retreat
Two days of curated content, dynamic teachers, and space to rest and play.
Whether you want to meet up virtually in our private group, or book a conference room at a boutique hotel downtown with one or a few Elegant Excellence students located near you. (Or travel to a hotel or AirBnB of your choice, anywhere in the world!)
You can tune in on your own schedule, online, for community, time to create, play, and rest. It’s a virtual retreat complete with teaching from Hilary and a carefully curated coterie of brilliant guest teachers. Here’s a look at the caliber of speakers available for you to watch (you will receive all 12 of these classes):
You get all of these recordings!
BONUS #2 | Weekly Guest Experts Inside Elegant Excellence
Alongside Hilary’s video teaching, hear from one of her trusted experts along with each module. Elegant Excellence guest experts included:
BONUS #3 | Class materials at your front door!
The moment you join we’ll pop your home address on a package containing our two class textbooks (two of Hilary’s favorite must-reads) and your Elegant Excellence workbook, and they’ll be headed your way.
PS. This means when you join Elegant Excellence with B-School, you’ll have a couple of months headstart — you’ll be primed & ready from day one.
How do I access the course materials?
As a part of your membership you’ll receive 24/7 access to our Elegant Excellence membership site. Each week video classes and stylish printable worksheets will be unlocked. You can press play anytime that’s best for you, and come back to the content anytime. It will never expire, only be locked during the next live session to roll out, so you can always revisit it.
You’ll also receive a package in the mail after sending us your address. It will contain two of Hilary’s favorite books, as well as your Elegant Excellence workbook.
Is there a refund policy?
B School has a 30 day refund policy, so you can rest easy and make sure it’s right for you. Our students rarely (less than 1%) ask for a refund because the quality of what you’ll find inside is so good, so life transforming, that you’ll want to keep your access for the lifetime of your business!
Is Elegant Excellence right for me?
Are you looking for that one class that solves every problem in business? Teaching you how to grow your list and file your taxes and market on Pinterest and find a business coach? This class is not for you.
The #1 missed expectation I find in any course, is people who want a one-stop solution for everything. If one course or person promises to be an expert in every area of business, run!
Are you looking for a Cinderella story? A Ted Talk worthy overnight “everything clicked” moment where you never struggle again? This class is probably not for you.
The #2 missed expectation with any class, is thinking anyone can make deep change feel effortless.
What this class DOES do is help you lay a foundation that makes your business sustainable and enjoyable! It isn’t necessarily glamorous or loud. It’s the subtle shifts that have the people in your life saying “You seem happier than you were six months ago …” It’s the foundation we all need whether you’re about to launch or are ten years in — it’s neither merely beginning nor advanced business, but advanced life.
If the word “hustle” makes you feel tired.
If you desire a life with more white space.
And you’re a business owner. Welcome. This is for you.
What Our BRILLIANT Elegant Excellence Alums Say:
click open / close ⌄
I wanted to take a step back and lay a better foundation through Elegant Excellence.
Living the double life — employee by day, entrepreneur by night. I was feeling pulled in a million directions only 6 months into my business. I wanted to take a step back and lay a better foundation through Elegant Excellence. I started to give myself more white space, more breathing room. I let go of saying yes to everything and started to make more time for what really mattered. Elegant Excellence is such a beautiful reminder that we started our businesses for more freedom. This course helps those who have lost sight of that and need to rediscover that desire again.
SHANNAN SCOTT | HIGH-PERFORMANCE COACH | TORONTO
ElEx gave me courage and strength to make the decision to walk away from corporate environment and begin my own business.
Before and during ElEx I had a full-time job as executive in corporate environment and had no life. I was frustrated working 24/7, feeling completely defeated. ElEx gave me courage and strength to make the decision to walk away from corporate environment and begin my own business. ElEx showed me what I was capable of and I’m so grateful for having the freedom to say no, to take time off, to have balance and plan for white space daily and weekly.
CINDY PORTER | GRAPHIC DESIGNER | TULSA
I allow myself to focus on the pieces of my business that are in line with my vision and profit.
As a result of working with Hilary inside ElEx, I went from working 6 days a week, lots of stress, fear and panic to now, where I allow myself to focus on the pieces of my business that are in line with my vision and profit.
TAMARA PENNA | FLORIST | VANCOUVER ISLAND, BC
I’m on track to triple my revenue!
After realizing that I wasn't prioritizing what needed to happen vs what I felt I had to do, I’m on track to triple my revenue! Hilary opened my mind to the idea that I needed to really live how I wanted my business to feel and not just hope one day that I would get there. Elegant excellence and grace can exist in your business and it doesn't have to feel like a pipe dream to get the creative space you need. I’m a true testament to that!
MICHELLE TO | BRAND STRATEGIST | VICTORIA, BC
Empowered. More confident. More patient that it will take time, but that I CAN do this.
Empowered. More confident. More patient that it will take time, but that I CAN do this. I began to see my business as a series of steps, possible outsourcing — creating a team structure — instead of all the pressure being on me to be "good enough" before seeing "success."
TARA PATTENGALE | PHOTOGRAPHER | RICHMOND
I love the community and Hilary's personality. It is fun. light, but down to business and not sugar-coated.
I was so scatter-brained. Trying to do so much and having very little return. I was working on my business during my full-time job — I could easily spend 14 hours + a day working, and making no progress. While I still have not had time to make it through the course, it has given me a new frame to look through and especially "essentialism" has caused me to really access before I say 'yes' to things. I love the community and Hilary's personality. It is fun. light, but down to business and not sugar-coated. Best combo to have in my opinion!
SAMANTHA SCHMUCK | HEALTH COACH | MICHIGAN
The biggest way my life changed going through Elex was clarity!
The biggest way my life changed going through Elex was clarity! Clarity about what I wanted my life to be so that I could focus my energy instead of having all these ideas that I was chasing after. I saw that some of my ideas weren't actually going to help me have the life I really want so I could let them go with peace and not with an attitude of failure or giving up.
JESSICA MCCLENDON | INTERIOR DESIGNER | LOS ANGELES
Hilary’s teachings and worksheets somehow tapped into the heart of what I want.
I've been in business for 9 years and after switching from a brick-and-mortar to a home-based model 3 years ago I’ve been working way more hours than I wanted to. Going through ElEx, I really gained a great deal of clarity on what I want for my business. I haven't had that in years. I've put together vision boards and vision statements in the past, but Hilary’s teachings and worksheets somehow tapped into the heart of what I want.
UMA STEWART | DESIGN DIRECTOR | NEW JERSEY
Stop waiting for the life you really want. Choose now.
Who is this Hilary dame?
Four years into business, over a million dollars in revenue and 100K in my community, I was a CEO of a company that had “popped”, lots of buzz, an inbox full of delighted students — while I dreamed endlessly of a break.
Fresh out of college I had the gumption to audition for a Broadway tour, booked it, had the courage to say yes and move to NYC, where I went onto perform for years with the Radio City Rockettes. Then I did something crazier, and launched a business as a fashion stylist.
(Along the way I racked up encouragement — features in Better Homes and Gardens, Cosmopolitan, Nordstrom, styling magazine covers, shoots in Nantucket, hosting a show for Hearst media, plus thousands of clients in style and business.)
It took around three and a half years? Four and half? Yesterday?
I suppose it’s hard to quantify exactly when you changed, or stopped, or if you’re still healing. Old habits still creep in. And the more I grow (not my numbers, but my thoughts and emotions) the deeper I want to go in becoming someone truly elegant and excellent.
Fun facts include: Unapologetic Taylor Swift living room dancer. Dreams of 5-ish friends on a boat off the coast of Croatia for three weeks. Smitten Aunt Hil to Devon and Henry. Gets lost in a good book easily. Serious college football fan. Loves Main Street in a small town, vintage shops, long unhurried dinners with great friends, small details and big ideas. Desires at the end of my life to be remembered more as a brilliant friend than a genius business owner.
When Beau and I were sitting in Italy over drinks he said, “I always wanted to be described as a couple that’s elegant — the way they carry themselves, treat people, what they speak about, how they dress — not flashy but elegant”. We’ll take that over hustlers, fast-walkers, big-talkers, fancy personas any day. Excellent. And simple.
Why did I create Elegant Excellence?
Because I’ve been right where you are. The first few years of my business were spent juggling every. little. thing.; pulling all-nighters, saying “yes” to every opportunity, desperately tinkering with my website code at 3 AM before launch day … you get the picture.
And I kept waiting.
For it to get easier. To be less anxious. Fly off the handle less. Be perfect so no one would ever want to quit my company. Heal from these exhausting few years. Until I got tired of being tired. And I decided to stop waiting and start changing.
On the outside it looks easier. It’s hard to share honestly sometimes without sounding like a downer, woe is me so I only share so much on Instagram — not trying to look perfect, but not wanting to sound like a complainer when I discuss the reality of business.
But inside I’ve been burning out fast. And just as often, hearing stories of the same.
Listening to my colleagues talk, I became more determined this wasn’t freedom.
It was captivity. And I could quit (I guess, though the thought doesn’t really cross my mind as an option) or I could forge a better path. So I got to work, hiring experts, opening up to mentors, reading the most powerful books on life design and entrepreneurship, testing to find what worked for me. It’s been a long learning road, with miles to go, but the results have been … breath.
I can finally breathe.
A different story than just six months ago or six months before that …
Not just while on the sabbatical I made possible, but as I shifted back into daily life at home, things are changing.
There’s more hope, not from a place of wishing, but because I’ve done the work to change my story.
More revenue, more margin, less feeling broken, less sprinting. Less hustle, more life …
It’s my dream from day one, finally coming to life …
Let’s do the same for you, shall we?
Your Purchase Will Help Us Fund A Well With Charity Water!
We’re partnering with Charity Water to donate a portion of sales from anyone who purchases B-School or Elegance Excellence through this page to build a well in Africa!
- What if by women building their business, we helped women in poverty build theirs?
- What if by women choosing education, we helped underprivileged women get theirs?
- What if women could make women they’ve never met feel more beautiful?
That’s our heart, and that’s why we’re committed to building a well. Invest in them alongside us when you invest in your business today.
Deep breath. This is going to change everything.
I fully believe in the power of this work given my personal experience with the B-School course content and may earn a referral fee if you purchase through my link.
© 2018 DEAN STREET SOCIETY | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.