Late one evening, Daria Musk found herself playing a gig in a little café to an audience of no one. Continuing to play despite the pit in her stomach, Daria did what she did best… she performed. When a couple wandered in after a date night, Daria braced herself for that impending awkward moment when they realized they were the only people in the audience and quickly made their escape. However, this couple surprised her. They weren’t like the others before. Instead, they sat at a table right in front of her, listened intently, eyes closed, holding hands, rocking to the beat. Daria felt like she had become a part of their adventure that night, and she was treating them to a private concert for their ears only. After a while, the couple got up, thanked her and without Daria knowing, dropped a $50 bill in her tip cup. When Daria discovered the money it was a turning point for her. Not for the actual cash, but for what it meant: it felt like the universe gave her a sign. The tiny bit of encouragement ignited Daria’s inner-strength and inspired her to keep reaching for her dream of becoming a successful musician, even without any contacts, cash, or connections.
Soon after, in the summer of 2011, Daria Musk found another spark of inspiration when she discovered Google+ and found a whole new way to perform for a global audience. By inviting her fans to interact with her while she played live concerts via Google+ hangouts, Daria’s big dreams and entrepreneurial spirit intersected with the vibrant fanbase she had so eagerly been seeking. Through her innovative use of social technology, this girl from the woods of Connecticut turned into an instant worldwide hit and an inspiration to music lovers and social media fans alike. Since her first Google+ hangout, Daria has played to an international fan base of over two million people and built an incredible community of fans, who she affectionately calls her G+niuses. But she didn’t stop there. Daria’s experience became the inspiration for Google to create “Hangouts On Air” broadcasts, which will serve as a live platform for Daria and others who dream of hearing their voice amplified around the globe.
Amplifying the Good
So, where does Daria’s story intersect with CO-OP credit unions? In 2013, Daria was invited to speak at the THINK Conference in Chicago, an annual event dedicated to inspiring innovation and creativity for credit unions. Prior to her appearance, Daria knew nothing about CO-OP credit unions and even less about finances. However, following her impassioned talk, she realized that she and credit unions share a common vision of bringing together communities and inciting change. She learned that credit unions are the only financial institutions that operate like banks but are not-for-profit. It’s a business model built not for shareholders, but for the good of the people who bank there. Every dollar goes back to supporting their members and communities, bringing about positive change. Daria realized that credit unions are the perfect partners for people just like her. The dreamers. The underdogs. The innovators. Just like Daria herself, credit unions believe in the power of like-minded people coming together to break new ground and amplify the good. #innovatebanking