Passion Squared 2020 gratefulAF challenge hd

The 2020 gratefulAF challenge

           There is always something to be grateful for.

Three years ago we kicked off our annual gratefulAF challenge and had NO idea the impact it would make. Like, WOW. Each day I saw you, our passionate community, light up the world. A big shout out of gratitude to all of you who participated in 2017, 2018 + 2019 you sparked so much fucking joy for those your serve and love.

We are doing the challenge again for 2020 because gratitude changes fucking everything and we need this!

This is my personal story and why gratitude is the center of all that we do at Passion Squared and how it can help you with perspective, awareness and even possibly help change the chemistry in your brain (here’s a study!)

In early 2007 I was in the darkest place I have ever been in my life. So much so, that I was planning my suicide. But here it is, 20 fucking 20, and even with all the heaviness, confusion, grief and stress of this year, I am alive, living my purpose and empowering others to live their’s too. How did this happen? It all began with gratitude.

Of course, there is so much more to the story which I share in my book Follow Your Heart, but it was learning about the power of daily gratitude that made me realize that I had more to do on this planet, and that no matter how dark my head became, there was always something to be grateful for.

From there, I was able to keep perspective, and perspective allows me to get through just about any hardship, sadness or loss. It was this quote that changed it all for me, which is tattooed on my left arm to be sure I never forget that gratitude saved my fucking life.

         “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”  Melody Beattie

We created a simple challenge for you and one I hope you invite your community + teams to join in too. It’s called the gratefulAF challenge.

Each day in the month of November we invite you to practice a little piece of gratitude and kindness. And of course this year, even though things are so different, there are so many folks to share our gratitude with along with many people to help. It’s truly is the little things. You just never know who is in desperate need of your light + love.

Passion Squared gratefulAF challenge 2020 final sq


How You Can Participate

Start date: November 1, 2020 (but you can begin anywhere, anytime!)

1. Capture your gratitude
2. Post to your Instagram page or Stories (only if you feel inspired to do so)
3. Use #passionsquared
4. Tag @passionsquared /@ mention passionsquared if posting in Stories

Click here for the Instagram Stories graphic
Click here for the Instagram gratitude list template
Click here for the Facebook/Instagram/Blog post square size graphic

To use our gratitude gif’s for your Insta Stories or anywhere, search the term PASSION SQUARED under GIFS in Insta Stories or on
Passion Squared_GiphySticker_1_GRATEFUL_BK_GLITTER

Our intention is that after 30 days you will feel how much gratitude can change your perspective, your energy, your brain, your biz and your LIFE and you see the value of a daily gratitude practice.

How will you incorporate this challenge into your business and life? We would love to hear your gratitude ideas!

With love + a fuck ton of gratitude-
Nina @passionsquared

BTS of this blog + challenge
Total Time: 5 hours

Building the challenge
Developing the idea and daily themes 2 hours
Designing graphics on 1 hour
Editing 30 min.

Building the blog
Writing 30 min.
Editing/SEO stuff 30 min.
Proof reading 15 min.
Designing graphics on 15 min.

5 Biz Brand Life Lessons of COVID 19 with Nina Kovner

5 Biz + Brand + Life Lessons with COVID-19

In this class Nina shares her insights on what she see’s that is working with businesses, what opportunities you have to build trust and long term loyalty right now and what you can learn about yourself.

In this class you will learn:
Why clarity of brand matters now more than ever and how to find it
What building long term trust looks like right now
How the content you are sharing on the socials impacts your relationships with your clients
Why practicing healthy boundaries and honoring your process is critical to your long term mental health (to watch our class on Mental Health click here)

This is an HONEST AF class from someone who has been building businesses, brands and lives for over 30 years. Please watch with an open heart + mind.
If you have questions, please send them to


Passion Squared blog Clear Communication Is Kind (3)

Clear Communication Is Kind

         “Clear is kind, unclear is unkind.” Brene Brown


UPDATED March 20th at 4pm pacific
NEW Class- Business Boundaries Bravery class with Nina L. Kovner + Gina Bianca
Today our bestie Gina and I shared a class with some wisdom and ideas of how we can continue to navigate the coming days.
Click here to watch the class. 
We love you. Please stay close.

UPDATED March 18th at 5 am pacific
As of this moment, we have seen cities, counties and states shut down non essential businesses, which as you know, includes salons. It is just a matter of time when I anticipate all non essential businesses to be shut down.

We have created a Highlight on our Instagram to share resources, communications and community as we navigate this unprecedented time together. We will be sharing as much as we can, as the information comes to us, and providing more education, love and support. Click here to view the Highlight.

Stay close. We are all in this together. You are not alone. And we love you.

UPDATED March 15th 2020 at 2:45 pm pacific
Loves, as you know, things are changing by the hour. More school closures, more businesses, both local, state, national and global, shutting down, and I know you are feeling all kinds of fear and uncertainty. We all are. You are NOT alone.

My research, gut and experience tells me we will be in a mandatory quarantine very soon. And we will also get through it, together!

My recommendation as of today is to stay close to your local, county, state, federal and country officials for their recommendations and guidance so you can make informed, clear decisions.

Please take this time to review your plans, check in with your accountant, an employment attorney if you are an employer, and make the decision that is BEST for you, your team and community. As of today, we have clients that have chosen to close down their salons, but with careful thought, considerations and plans.

Also, please, hear me when I say, you will NOT go hungry, be evicted or have your utilities cut off. There are safety nets in place that are appearing by the minute. The health of your family, community, teams and self is what is most important right now, and that includes your mental health.

Please unplug in order to keep perspective. You need it right now more than ever. And if you need anything at all, we are here for you 7 days a week.

I also recorded a podcast after this post went up, you can click here to listen.

As leaders and small business owners, it is always our responsibility to be clear in our communication, intentions, vision and all the things.

Today, now more than ever, in light of the COVID-19 virus, you need to consider how you are creating clear communication with both your teams and clients around your sanitation practice and process, along with your appointment + time off policies (we call them agreements here at Passion Squared) and if you have chosen to adjust them.

This is not creating hysteria, it is helping to eliminate it.

This is a topic we have been discussing over the past week in our A School program, and one I wanted to bring to our larger community.

Fear is a natural human response to the unknown. You likely already know someone who has been impacted by this global emergency. Events cancelled, schools closed, travel halted; all of these things have an impact on our communities, clients, friends and family.

I personally have been impacted, as have several humans I know, both personally and professionally.

So what can you do right now? Here is my advice:

1. Review your current sanitation practices and determine if you need to adjust them.
2. Review your current appointment policies and determine if you need to adjust them.
3. Review your current time off/sick day policies and determine if you need to adjust them.
4. Create clear, simple, kind communications for your team and clients.

Some people fear cancelling appointments when they are not feeling well due to the fee and loss of money.
Some people fear public spaces due to anxiety and the potential of them getting sick.
Some people fear calling in sick because they may lose their job if they do.

We have seen some incredible leadership on this from people in our community and wanted to share their announcements, posts and emails to help you craft your own communications and statements.

Always be mindful of your brand purpose, promise and people along with using language that is most consistent with your brand.

Bluemilk Salon


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by bluemilk (@bluemilksalon) on



Gila Rut Salon 

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Gila Rūt Aveda Salons (@gilarut) on

Revolver Salon Denver

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Revolver Salon (@revolversalondenver) on


Facebook Post from La Pomponnee Salon, Client Letter from Radically Curly + A Fun Restroom Sign from Trianon Salon

Passion Squared blog Communication and Sanitation

And we even made a fun little TikTok

@passionsquaredSanitation is sexy @sarahadamshair 💦 ##yummy ##yummychallenge♬ Yummy – Justin Bieber

There are so many ways to communicate to ensure your clients and team feel safe, secure, protected and cared for. If you would like to share your ideas and ways you are communicating with your clients, we would love to share them. You can tag us on the gram @passionsquared or email us at

And before I go, please, I beg you, get your information and facts from TRUSTED sources such as the WHO and in the US, the CDC. Be sure if you are sharing any news articles or social posts, that you have done your OWN research and are 100% sure what you are sharing is coming from facts and not opinions.

Oh, and one more thing, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, be kind, compassionate, empathetic and remember, we will get through this, together.

With love- Nina @passionsquared