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International Women’s Day @ Embarc Collective: Living a Life Beyond Likes

Event Recaps


3 min read · Mar 7

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Embarc Collective

Embarc Collective celebrated International Women’s Day with Isa Watson, co-founder and CEO of Squad and author of the recently released book, Life Beyond Likes, and Danielle Jackson, host of the Friend Forward podcast and owner of TELL Public Relations. Life Beyond Likes digs into how to place less importance on what we see on social media and how to get in touch with what authentically brings each of us joy.

The dynamic conversation covered a range of topics, from the need for validation on social media to building real connections, and determining when a friendship has run its course. These topics can be particularly complex for startup founders working tirelessly to build their brands while battling burnout. Here are the key takeaways from Isa and Danielle to help you lead a purposeful life beyond likes.

Don’t conflate connection with consumption.

Social media was created to build stronger social connections, but research shows that has become far from the truth. What we often perceive as keeping in touch with a friend by engaging on their social platform is actually just an act of consuming their highlight reel and not time spent deepening a meaningful connection.

Key Takeaway: Friendships are an underrated source of joy and stabilizing force in life, and it’s critical to be intentional and present when cultivating an important relationship. Isa suggested calendaring time with friends as you do with your work schedule. Block one part of each week off as dedicated friendship time.

It’s time to resign our passive scrolling habits.

Many of us share a common felt experience around the scarcity of time—there are never enough hours in the day to do all of the things we want and need to do. Yet, the average adult in America spends 3.5 hours each day on social media. We scroll while we wait in line for coffee, stop at a red light, or in between tasks. Taking sleep and work into account, this amounts to about 40% of our waking free time spent on social media.

Key Takeaway: Take a break from social media an hour after you wake up and the hour before you go to bed. This helps focus your life on the present moment and brings a better sense of awareness of how you are showing up on social media. If you can, limit your social media time to 30 minutes or less a day.

Focus on building your squad—especially for founders.

Founders can easily fall into the comparison trap by sizing up their customers and funding against the perceived greatness and traction of other startups that social media so easily enables. This experience is incredibly draining. Focus your energy on relationships that support your path. It is critical to keep a close circle of friendships that can push personal growth and reinforce your success and accomplishments.

Key Takeaway: Take inventory of your friendships, curate the right group for you, and be straightforward with how you need your friends to show up for you.


Discover more best practices on how to live your Life Beyond Likes by purchasing a copy of Isa Watson’s new release here.

Stay up to date on future events by Embarc Collective by subscribing to our newsletter, The Weekly Collective, and visiting our public events calendar.

Read the research cited here and here.

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