It Takes Two: How One Friendship and a Shared Dream Grew into a Community

My mom is an entrepreneur who has started multiple businesses in several countries in conditions that others would have found impossible. When it comes to getting anything going, she has a saying that she likes. “It takes two,” she says, “and then they multiply.”

This obviously applies to the growth of the human species but she usually brings it up in relation to other things—two concert bookings, two clients, two interviews, two auditions. She believes that there’s something powerful about having there be two of anything. One is just an experiment. Two is the start to a pattern. Maybe even a community.

The community surrounding iCadenza and Cadenza Artists was born from of a friendship. Jennifer and I met in middle school when we were just thirteen years old. I was initially struck by Jennifer’s creativity and her amazing way with words. She was able to articulate just the right thing at the right time, she didn’t take herself too seriously, she treated people with respect, kindness, consideration, and true empathy, and she loved music on a level that inspired me to spend more time on my singing and other musical activities.

She was willing to try anything, even when it was new and scary—like the time when our high school choir director asked her to compose a choral piece; Jennifer said yes even though this was something she had never done before, and she wrote a beautiful work that we later recorded. And of course, the Jennifer I met in middle school was incredibly passionate about musical theater. She knew everything about every musical I’ve ever heard of and many more that I hadn’t even known existed.

The idea for iCadenza came up on a casual phone call during our senior year of college. “This seems like a big area of need, and nobody knows how to address it,” I remember Jennifer saying to me. My wheels started quickly turning, I called her back with more ideas and suddenly, we were talking every single day and piecing together what iCadenza would become.

Flash forward nearly 10 years and what started as a friendship and a phone call has now grown to a significant community, which includes two companies, consisting of over fifteen team members, thousands of current and past clients, and thousands of other collaborators, partners, and friendly faces that we have had the privilege of working with over the years. I’m so deeply grateful for the opportunities that have sprung up and grown out of our initial tiny community of two.

Now, Jennifer is about to embark on a journey that is already a source of inspiration for both myself and so many others. Last month, Jennifer shared in a beautiful blog post that she has decided to step away from the day to day work at iCadenza to pursue her artistic dream of writing musicals. And she won’t just be writing any musical—in true courageous Jennifer spirit, she is going to be writing THE musical that she’s been dreaming to write for nearly fifteen years, on THE topic that most inspires her.

As many of you know, pursuing your artistic dream is scary on every level. When pursuing that dream means stepping away from a role that you have spent the last ten years filling, it requires a whole new level of courage and trust. Jennifer’s willingness to model what following her heart looks like is awe inspiring, as is her incredible trust in our team to carry the torch forward and sustain the community that we care about so deeply. Luckily for us, Jennifer will always remain a crucial part of it.

It’s hard for me to articulate just how proud and excited I am for Jennifer as she takes this huge leap. Ten years ago, Jennifer and I started what has become an entire world of its own, one that has far outgrown the two of us alone.

But twenty years ago, Jennifer and I started a friendship, and I have had the privilege of watching Jennifer grow into the extraordinary, visionary artist that she is. Yes, she’s an entrepreneur, coach, consultant, speaker, writer, educator, manager, and also a wife and daughter and sister. But to me, at her core, she is an artist and it’s so thrilling to watch her step into her artistic identity and passions fully and authentically, fears and all.

The cool thing about creating a community is that once you broadcast your values through your work, you then get to invite amazing people who share those values into your community. Finding “our” people has definitely taken time and effort, but it has been so worth it. When we have found those people whose most important values are aligned with ours, we can let loose and enjoy the work that we’re doing together, trusting that we are all rowing in the same direction. When this happens, the community becomes unstoppable.

We have been lucky to find people who have not only fit into our community, but who also have made it stronger. There is no better example of this than our colleague Lisa Husseini, who has stepped up as a leader at iCadenza in a major way during this time of transition.

We met Lisa nearly three years ago, and Jennifer and I immediately knew that we had met someone special. Lisa’s ability to quickly synthesize and process complex situations is uncanny, and her ability to develop and nurture her own expansive community through empathy and vulnerability is truly nothing short of a superpower. Her incredible love of people fuels her passion for helping them feel unstoppable in their lives and their career.

These skills combine into a truly inspiring, highly capable, and extremely impactful human being that is known for making miracles happen, getting people on the same page quickly, and creating countless connections that have changed lives.

Perhaps it is not difficult to see why we hired Lisa upon meeting her, even though we we didn’t have an opening. We wanted to be around her energy, and more importantly, we wanted our clients to experience it too. Over the years, Lisa has held several roles at iCadenza, most recently as our Director of Consulting. With Jennifer’s upcoming transition, we asked Lisa to step into the role of Interim CEO and she graciously agreed!

As a coach, Lisa has an extraordinary way of working with artists to help them recognize their blind spots and work through them. In this new role, Lisa is taking the reigns of not just our overall infrastructure and leading our team, but she is also taking full leadership of our coaching programs and partnerships. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to know that this transition will result in our growing iCadenza community experiencing the power of Lisa!

Next week, Lisa is going to be presenting a webinar on The 4 Big Shifts That Will Catapult Your Music Career in 2019. She will be talking about the biggest opportunities in our field. I encourage you to attend and take notes, not just for the invaluable contact but also to have an opportunity to interact with Lisa.

Communities come in all shapes and sizes. Ours, which began with a shared vision between two friends, has grown into a true home. Thank you to all of you who have been a part of our community for so long and I look forward to sharing this new, exciting chapter with all of you.

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