Hope Katz Gibbs, co-author, Your 2021 What’s Next Journal

December 2020: A Note from Hope, co-author, Your 2021 Whats’ Next Journal — I love writing books! Their titles always jump out at me when the idea to create this one pops into my head. Some are inspired by a good friend, such as Your 2021 Whats’ Next Journal, when superstar Cynthia de Lorenzi asked me “What’s Next” during a phone call.

Others come when I’m taking my daily walk, or when I am contemplating something I’m struggling with. I write each big hairy idea down on a piece of colorful construction paper with a few notes, then file it away knowing that when the time is right they will come to life.

Some upcoming titles include:

  • Walking on the Beach with Natalie: 52 lessons from the souls who shaped our lives. This tribute to my aunt, who gave me the courage and the support I need to become the best version of myself. It is an invitation to dozens of others to share stories of the people who did the same.
  • Collabor8: Eight case studies on masters of the art of working together. In collaboration with the amazing Cynthia de Lorenzi, we will feature folks who know they can’t be successful without a lot of help from their friends. We’ll share their secrets so you can embrace this powerful strategy, too.
  • F*CK That Guy: 365 Days and Ways to Mend a Broken Heart, a daily journal that I’ve been keeping in my mind for several years. Perhaps 2021 is the year Inkandescent will publish it.

Today, though, I am thrilled to announce that this Journal is ready for you to dig into! Click here to learn more about what you’ll find in the Journal, and meet the 12 trailblazers that we will be featuring each month.

Our goal is to inspire you, introduce you to other women in our network, and most importantly to help you connect deeply with yourself. Personal growth and true happiness is indeed an inside job. We are thrilled to be on your journey with you!

Scroll down for a little more info on me and my background, including another book that is a passion project, PR Rules: The Playbook. You’ll also find an interview that Cynthia did with me about What’s Next for Inkandescent™ Inc.

About PR Rules: The Playbook, by Hope Katz Gibbs with Kathleen McCarthy, design and illustrations by Michael Glenwood Gibbs

So you have started a company, and you have big ambitions for it — but you do not have a PR budget to match. Here’s the question: should you blow your marketing budget trying to get featured in The Wall Street Journal? Throw a party and hand out discount coupons to attendees? Or skip PR and marketing altogether and trust that word of mouth will be sufficient to let potential customers know about your business?

The answer is none of the above. The simple fact is that many small-business owners cannot afford to hire a PR agency, Hope realizes. So they need the most affordable, least time-consuming way to promote their business. That is why she penned PR Rules: The Playbook The Entrepreneurs Guide to Supersizing Your Small Business With the 8 Steps to PR Success, available for sale in the 

The 200-page interactive guidebook offers her trademark 8 Steps to PR Success, which any small-business owner can immediately put into action. “Being quoted in the news is no longer enough to get a company the visibility it needs to grow,” insists Hope, a journalist and PR specialist, who has helped hundreds of business owners increase visibility since founding Inkandescent Public Relations in 2001.

Packed with easy-to-follow tips, suggestions from experts, and thought-provoking exercises, PR Rules: The Playbook is a hands-on primer to help you create and manage a strong PR and marketing campaign.
Now, every entrepreneur who wants to take a DIY approach to PR can take a page from The Playbook.

Beautifully crafted with hundreds of illustrations by award-winning designer/illustrator Michael Glenwood Gibbs, the book has three sections:

Part 1: Understanding the PR Playing Field. What is the difference between PR, marketing, advertising, social media, and sales? Eight well-known experts in each industry explain the tools of the trade.

Part 2: The 8 Steps to PR Success. Discover how to create a stunning website, master the art of newsletter writing, get in the news, and more with hands-on exercises you can play with, master, and apply to your own business.

Part 3: Case Studies and Inkandescent Insights. Learn from eight successful entrepreneurs, including the Life is good, Inc., co-founder Bert Jacobs; Tony Award-winning playwright Ridley Pearson; questionnaire creator Helen Fisher; and Fast Company magazine co-founder Alan Webber, a 2014 candidate for governor of New Mexico.

The difference between a successful PR campaign and one that falls flat is finessing the tools with style and grace while knowing what to do each day to maximize your visibility, she concludes. The result: your business glows and grows.

What’s Next for Hope and her PR firm, Inkandescent™ Inc.? That’s the question my dear friend and business partner Cynthia de Lorenzi asked me several months ago when we first began talking about joining forces around the project I launched in 2008, Truly Amazing Women, LLC.

I’ve long trusted Cynthia and have paid attention to the questions she asks since we met over lunch in Washington, DC, back in 2004. We were introduced by our mutual friend Kristina Bouweiri, founder of Reston Limousine, and one thing both Cynthia and I know about Kristina is that when she suggests you meet someone who will change your life — she is always right!

In the years since, Cynthia and I have watched each other’s businesses grow, knowing someday we’d find the right time to collaborate. When the pandemic arrived in March — we knew there was no time to waste. Although I’d moved from DC to Southern California last summer to study positive psychology at Claremont Graduate University, I had begun looking for a new home for Inkandescent™ headquarters. Cynthia suggested her town in southern New Mexico. I said, why not!

On July 1, I rolled into town driving a 15-foot Uhaul carrying all my worldly possessions — and a month later, we are launching our big hairy idea. With this August issue, we believe this is the next phase of a beautiful partnership between Success in the City and Inkandescent Women.

Scroll down for our interviews of Cynthia’s Q&A with me — and be sure to check out my interview with her. We invite you to join us as we endeavor to bring masses of women together to inspire, educate, and support them in their journey! We’ll talk with you soon. — Hope

Why Big Hairy Dreams Are My Favorite Kind

Illustrations by Michael Gibbs

Cynthia: Tell us about your business/industry and its before the pandemic hit in March 2020. 

Hope: I was living in Claremont, CA, after having attended the positive psychology program at Claremont Graduate University, and I was looking for my next step in my work as a journalist and as the owner of The Inkandescent Group, LLC.

I planned to turn my PR firm and publishing company into a distance learning company and offer women/women classes through Inkandescent Women magazine, yoga, and other wellness classes through Inkandescent Health & Wellness magazine.

And my big dream was to launch a third online magazine for kids / by kids,, and invite retired teachers to teach K-12 curriculum through our portal, Inkandescent Learning. 

Cynthia: Where were you personally in your life when COVID-19 arrived in the US? What were your short and long-term goals at that time? 

Hope: I changed my life last summer when I signed divorce papers, got into graduate school, and moved from Virginia to Southern CA to study. It wasn’t easy, but it was important for me to do. The hardest part: struggling to make peace with the painful pangs of empty nest syndrome. My kids, Anna (24) and Dylan (21), are all grown up, awesome, and doing really well on their own — so mission accomplished on the parenting front! But in my heart and guts, I missed them dearly.

When word of COVID-19 arriving in the US, my son was on spring break from his third year in the architecture program at the University of Virginia and called to ask, “Do you want me to come to California?” I don’t think a second passed before I said, “YES!” He arrived on March 20, thinking he’d stay for about a week. He’s still with me, planning to spend next semester studying online from my house. It’s a bit of a long story, but as a family, we decided it was best for us all to stay put where we are and ride out the pandemic. The fun news: To ensure he has the computing power to keep up with his coursework, Dylan is currently building his own computer part by part, proving yet again that necessity is the mother of invention.

Cynthia: What are your thoughts now about your industry, your business, your personal life, your heart?

Hope: In July, on your encouragement, I moved to New Mexico so we could work together to collaborate — and so I could see a new part of the country that you explained as one of the most magnificent spots you’ve lived. As always, you are right! There is nothing quite like watching the sunset in Las Cruces.

And, because I have been dreaming and scheming about turning my firm into a distance learning company since 2017, I am excited to be putting my big hairy dreams into action.

Tragically, the reality of the global pandemic seems to worsen daily — there are more than 4.2 million cases of the coronavirus in the US as I write this at the end of July 2020, and 16.2 million worldwide. I’d very much rather this not be happening. Not only does the future look uncertain in all ways, but I’ve had several days where I have mourned the loss that we all are about to experience for the foreseeable future. It’s breathtaking, daunting, and sometimes takes all my strength to push away dark visions of what may be on the horizon.

Yet, the yogi in me stops those patterns and pulls me back to my breath, back to center. And, the Pollyanna in me who always looks for a silver lining sees an opportunity for all of us to come together in brand new healthy ways — for ourselves, our families, our communities, and the planet.

At Inkandescent™ Inc., that means we have the opportunity to reach even more people who are working and learning online. My mission and goal have long been to create a worldwide community of people hoping to expand their hearts and minds around educational offerings that will benefit women, teach wellness, and support kids.

With your help, Cynthia, I am excited to be launching our big ideas and reaching millions of like-minded folks everywhere there is an Internet connection. (And, to try to get more people online so they can benefit as well. More on that plan later!)

Cynthia: Now the big question — What do you see coming next? 


  • For your industry: For folks teaching classes at a distance, we have our work cut out for us. There will be many players popping up to lend a hand, and there will be a weeding out. I’m planning to create a high-touch platform, has creative innovative partners, and will reach as many people as possible — as teachers and students. For the PR industry, I see more of us using education to help people learn, grow, and connect. Spin doctors and those spreading false news will be a thing of the past.
  • For your company: We are growing by leaps and bounds, one baby step at a time. A quote rings in my head shared by my dear friend Kevin Jolliffe years ago when we worked on the staff of New Miami magazine: “Slow and steady wins the race.” To that end, I’ll have a big announcement to make next month about a project I’ve been hoping to take on since the start of the year. I patiently await spreading that news!
  • For yourself: I am thrilled to be in this time, place, and phase of my life. While I am sad that I have divorced my best friend (the topic of my upcoming book), I am finally settling into a place of inner peace and calm. It has taken two yoga teacher training programs (Kundalini and Yin) and 9 months of Martha Beck life coach training to get me here, but I feel stronger and more focused than I have been in years. It’s a great feeling!
  • For the country: I am so sad that we have gotten to a place where we are pitted against each other on many issues (face masks, Black Lives Matter, #metoo, our choice of the president). But I also believe that being pushed into darkness provides the opportunity for there to be a great light. I have long known that the only person I can control is myself and that the best thing I can do with my life is to radiate love, kindness, and positivity. Spreading light is the mission for the Inkandescent™ Group, and what I am seeing so many people embrace in the US and around the world.
  • For the world: While it seems lofty, I am trying to put into action what Mahatma Gandhi taught us. Powerfully paraphrased as, “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” what he wrote was: “We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” I’m hoping we all can embrace this philosophy around the world.
  • For women: Look out, world, because women are about to band together in brand new ways. While men always seem to have each other’s backs, we are embarking on a new phase of unity in business and finance. The partnership of Success in the City and the Inkandescent Women is one example because Cynthia, you, and I know, together, we are stronger. We are inviting women everywhere to join us — online, in business, in our hearts. There’s nothing more special than the friendship girlfriends share. From my best pal Stephanie who I met while in undergrad at the University of Pennsylvania (1984!) to my roommates in graduate school (beautiful Raven, 22, getting her masters in math, and Veronica, 24, getting her Ph.D. in organizational behavior) and the thousands of heartfelt friendships I’ve been honored to make in between — our connections represent the change we wish to see in the world. I invite you to come to play with us! Start here.

Questions, thoughts, ideas? Send Hope an email.