Meet Sona Mehring, CEO and Founder of CaringBridge, a no-cost, social network that keeps families and loved ones connected during any type of health event. CaringBridge's personalized online sites include support for coordinating care and organize helpful tasks, such as bringing a meal, taking care of pets and other needs. Learn what inspired Sona to create this unique online space.
(DH) Share a bit about yourself and where you're from.
(Sona Mehring) I was born and raised in a small-town in central Wisconsin. I’m the youngest of three with two older brothers.
Tell us about your business or the company where you work, and how you got started.
I’m the CEO and Founder of CaringBridge. I started CaringBridge out of a personal story. Good friends had a very premature baby and needed to communicate with everyone. To help, I created a website – in fact the same night their baby Brighid was born, the first CaringBridge site was born. It instantly eased the communication burden – but the wow factor was the tremendous ability to connect everyone on an emotional and supportive level. We were literally connecting the hearts behind the keyboards.
How do you deliver happiness to your employees, customers and/or colleagues?
We have a positive environment where loving what you do and being great at it are priorities.
What about DH, the book and/or the movement, inspires you the most?
I am a very glass half FULL kind of person. To me, there is always a positive side. It’s much better to look for opportunities than tear down what won’t work. The theme of Delivering Happiness aligns with that outlook.
Within CaringBridge sites, every minute of every day is someone who, even through tremendous challenges, is approaching things in a happy and positive way. I find those stories extremely motivating on a personal level. We all have ups and downs in our lives and different crosses to bear. When I personally have one of those ‘downs’ or the cross seems too heavy – looking towards happiness always turns it around.
Why is happiness important to you?
Happiness = Joy = Joyful Life
Is there a person, experience, or event in your life that was pivotal in shaping your outlook on happiness?
So many CaringBridge stories have impacted me. People with CaringBridge sites sometimes have very trying experiences but are almost always friendly, upbeat, loving and positive. These ordinary people show extraordinary grace and happiness.
What makes you really happy?
Personal life: Anything involving my kids – there is a special happiness in seeing your children do absolutely anything – even sleep! Business life: Leading a team to great accomplishments and having fun along the way.
What's your advice to someone who wants to start making happiness a priority but doesn't know where to begin?
Just start smiling and laughing out loud.
What’s your favorite happy and/or inspirational quote?
The more you give, the more you get.
What's something weird that makes you happy?
Mowing the lawn!