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  • Writer's pictureDeana Brown Mitchell

Bittersweet but Rewarding Journey...

Updated: Jun 18, 2021

Ten years ago today, June 17th, Realize Colorado was born and continued to be my whole world until sixteen months ago. The meetings and events industry changed drastically in a moment's notice. No more travel, no more conventions, no more corporate incentive trips, no more gathering face to face...

After painful consideration, I closed that chapter for good in August 2020.

Although it was a hard decision, it led me to 2 new ventures I that I am excited to finally share with you...


In March 2020, the Realize Foundation was born with the mission of reducing suicide statistics in our world. The idea was for Realize Colorado to give back by creating CSR/teambuilding events that would create awareness for mental health.

Little did I know how much more this would be needed due to the pandemic. After closing Realize Colorado, we instead started the #SaveALifeChallenge and #HaveTheConversation.

Each month we focus on a different audience for education and awareness for two reasons: (1) in the hopes that we can help people suffering with suicidal ideation in that demographic and (2) to help the friends and family of those people to understand more about what their loved ones are going through, recognize the signs, and learn how to listen and be supportive in order for the person with ideation open up and get help.

  • May was Veterans

  • June is First Responders

  • July will be Youth / Parents

  • August will be Loss Survivors

  • September will be Lived Experience.

I hope you will join and share the message so that we can help and reach all that are struggling. Anyone can watch the videos for free anytime on our Facebook, YouTube or Linkedin Pages.

Subscribe to our mailing list at

Donate if you are able, it will save lives!

If you, or anyone around you is struggling with suicidal ideation, here is the National Hotline available 24 hours a day.


Back in May 2020 I saw a Facebook ad for The Virtual Event on Virtual Events. Intrigued by what a successful virtual event might look like so quickly after the pandemic hit, I signed up and prepared to spend 3 whole days learning what they had to offer. I was blown away by the networking and strong connections I made during that event. After showing up to understand something that might help save my business, I walked away with a whole new set of ideas.

After 3 decades, It was clear that my passion was no longer with events, but with helping others discover what I had learned when I had no work to keep me busy and no travel to keep me moving... I was not OK. Working 24/7 for decades had been my coping mechanism and I needed to address all the things I had ignored for so many years.

You see there were scars from my past that I had locked away, and they were showing up once again in the form of depression and anxiety.

Admittedly, I was not alone. COVID-19 made sure that people who were consistently strong & driven leaders, parents, teenagers, bosses, employees and every other position on the planet were experiencing similar issues.

So I did the only thing I knew to do!

Start another business!

This was an endeavor that would not only help me and keep me focused on the future, it would also help others. I began to become thankful for the scars and learn how I could use them to be stronger for myself and also for other humans with similar struggles.

Although 2020 took everything I had worked for my whole career, I am grateful that it brought me to this new journey that is my true calling in life. It taught me that self-care is not 'woo woo' but absolutely necessary to be successful in business and life.

When we take the time to take care of ourselves, we can thrive in ways we never imagined. The sleepless nights and the daily stress does not have to be normal.

We have an unique opportunity right now, a blank slate to make the changes we want to see in our lives. To change careers, or to continue on the same path with more awareness. To spend more time with family, to work more from home, to practice

self-care as a priority.

My wish is that we can all dream big and decide what the next years of our life will look like. Move forward with a plan that brings you joy!

The new venture is called Genius & Sanity. A coaching & consulting business for entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to reach the next level personally and professionally.

Our Scars to Stars program is to help people who are overcoming any obstacle in their life. They need a supportive community to lift them up and let them know that they matter and they are enough. Watch for our next event in August!

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