Professional Chronicles with Patricia Kathleen
Talking with Laura Khalil; Speaker, Teacher, & Podcast Host of Podcast titled Brave by Design

Talking with Laura Khalil; Speaker, Teacher, & Podcast Host of Podcast titled Brave by Design

September 22, 2020

Today I am talking with Laura Khalil. Laura is a speaker, teacher and host of the Top 100 Apple Podcast, Brave by Design, focused on helping women achieve incredible success in their careers and lives. She is a master storyteller, consulting with clients such as Twitter, GE, and Intel on how to use storytelling to improve the lives of their customers. Laura’s training unlocks the code to becoming magnetic to help ambitious women learn how to rise, lead with empathy, and live abundantly.


Key points addressed were  

  • Laura’s business and podcast both called “Brave by Design” and how she has used the core tenants of her public speaking and coaching advice platforms to influence her podcast narrative 
  • We also discussed Laura’s expertise in Podcast hosting and how she leveraged her skills based out of her former career in content marketing to become one of the top 100 Apple Podcasts on the market.

This podcast series is hosted by Patricia Kathleen and Wilde Agency Media. This series is a platform for women, female-identified, & non-binary individuals to share their professional stories and personal narrative as it relates to their story. This podcast is designed to hold a space for all individuals to learn from their counterparts regardless of age, status, or industry.

Chatting with Lauren Smith; Event Planner & Founder of Modern Collective

Chatting with Lauren Smith; Event Planner & Founder of Modern Collective

September 15, 2020

Today I am chatting with Lauren Smith. Lauren is a passionate event planner, connection creating expert, and lover of all thing’s events + travel.  Lauren helps busy entrepreneurs create in person connection with their online community so they can strengthen their relationships, provide incredible value and turn their community into raving fans. With over 10 years of event planning experience working with Canada’s largest financial institutions, Lauren brings countless unique and innovative ideas, and an impressive tool-box of skills to the table for her clients, spanning from an unmatched ability to pivot on the spot, to killer negotiation skills and the creative ability to think outside the box.


Key points addressed were  

  • The particulars of the event planning industry and how her company uniquely addresses the requirements in the industries she conducts events with
  • We also examined some stereotypes of the event planning’s industries’s past and how Lauren endeavors to redefine some of these attributes in the future


This podcast series is hosted by Patricia Kathleen and Wilde Agency Media. This series is a platform for women, female-identified, & non-binary individuals to share their professional stories and personal narrative as it relates to their story. This podcast is designed to hold a space for all individuals to learn from their counterparts regardless of age, status, or industry.

Talking with Renata Joy; Founder, Nutrition Expert, and Personal Trainer

Talking with Renata Joy; Founder, Nutrition Expert, and Personal Trainer

September 8, 2020

Today I am talking with Renata Joy. Renata is a personal trainer, nutrition expert, and the founder of Pure Joy Wellness—a community-based lifestyle brand that helps women over 50 improve their lives through fitness, nutrition, and self-care. A former Emmy-nominated television producer, Renata started Pure Joy Wellness to teach women the importance of taking care of themselves, and to show them how to regain their health and revitalize their bodies and spirits. She’s on a mission to change the conversation around aging, and to give women who have been left behind a voice. At 63, Renata is living proof that you can be confident and healthy at any age, and she’s created a space where women can talk about whatever issues they’re dealing with—everything from menopause, nutrition, and fitness, to supplements, skincare, and mental health.


Key points addressed were  

  • The philosophy and core values around Renata’s lifestyle brand and consultancy work  in her company Pure Joy wellness
  • We also discussed Renata’s current work and future endeavors with women over 50, a population that is largely underserved and under heard from in contemporary health venues


This podcast series is hosted by Patricia Kathleen and Wilde Agency Media. This series is a platform for women, female-identified, & non-binary individuals to share their professional stories and personal narrative as it relates to their story. This podcast is designed to hold a space for all individuals to learn from their counterparts regardless of age, status, or industry.

Speaking with Sheena Russell; Founder and CEO of Made with Local

Speaking with Sheena Russell; Founder and CEO of Made with Local

September 1, 2020

Today I am speaking with Sheena Russell. Sheena is founder & CEO of Made with Local, a health snacks company based in Nova Scotia. What started as a farmer's market table in 2012 has grown into a nationally-distributed brand known for delicious Real Food Bars and their innovative social-impact production model. You can find Made with Local's products in 1000 retailers all across Canada!


This podcast series is hosted by Patricia Kathleen and Wilde Agency Media. This series is a platform for women, female-identified, & non-binary individuals to share their professional stories and personal narrative as it relates to their story. This podcast is designed to hold a space for all individuals to learn from their counterparts regardless of age, status, or industry. 

Speaking With Ariel Garten; Founder of Muse: a tech startup that offers post-meditation brain feedback

Speaking With Ariel Garten; Founder of Muse: a tech startup that offers post-meditation brain feedback

August 27, 2020

Today I am speaking with Ariel Garten. Ariel is probably one of the most interesting people you will meet. She is a psychotherapist, Neuroscientist, mom, former fashion designer, and the female founder and visionary of an amazing and highly successful tech start-up Muse. Muse tracks your brain during meditation to give you real-time feedback on your meditation, guiding you into the “zone” and solving the problem most of us have when starting a meditation practice. Muse lets you know when you are doing it right. When Ariel is not reading brains (literally) or investing in, inspiring and advising other start-ups and women in biz, you can find her on stages across the world, from TED to MIT to SXSW. She inspires people to understand that they can accomplish anything they want by learning what goes on in their own mind. Ariel is also the co-host of the Untangle Podcast.


This podcast series is hosted by Patricia Kathleen and Wilde Agency Media. This series is a platform for women, female-identified, & non-binary individuals to share their professional stories and personal narrative as it relates to their story. This podcast is designed to hold a space for all individuals to learn from their counterparts regardless of age, status, or industry. 



*Please note, this is an automated transcription please excuse any typos or errors


[00:00:07] Hi, my name is Patricia Kathleen, and this podcast series will contain interviews I conduct with women. Female identified and non binary individuals regarding their professional stories and personal narrative as it relates to their perspective. This podcast is designed to hold a space for all individuals to learn from their counterparts, regardless of age, status or industry. We intend to transparently investigate the evolving global dialog regarding underrepresented figures in all industries across the USA and abroad by hosting these stories and conversations. We aim to contribute to the changing platform and representation of these individuals for the future. If you're enjoying this podcast series, be sure to check out our subsequent series called Roundtable with Patricia Kathleen, where we talk with a panel of guests regarding key topics that arise in these individual interviews. You can subscribe to all of our podcast series on iTunes, Stitcher or Pod Bean, as well as our Web site. Patricia Kathleen, dot com. And you can also contact me directly via this Web site or through my media Web site. Wild dot agency. That's w i. L. D e dot agency. Thanks for listening. Now let's start the conversation.


[00:01:30] My time will be off to the races.


[00:01:38] I said your name right? Ariel, Garten.


[00:01:40] You did. You're actually like the only person ever. So great job.


[00:01:45] I wonder if my little mermaid like, The Little Mermaid with Ariel. Is that how people like to say it?


[00:01:52] People say air-i-el. I say you say r-e-el, which is the right way, but nobody ever does it.


[00:01:57] So, yay, I'm glad. OK.


[00:02:00] Make sure. Yes. Hi, everyone, and welcome back. I'm your host, Patricia. And today I am sitting down with Ariel Garten. Ariel is the founder of Muse, which is a tech startup, a device that gives you Real-Time feedback during and post meditation. You can locate it online at w w w dot. Choose News dot com. Welcome, Ariel.


[00:02:23] Thank you, Patricia.


[00:02:23] It is a joy to be here. I am excited to climb through what you're doing. I'm really excited to have you on today for everyone listening. I will read a brief bio on Ariel.


[00:02:32] Before I do that, though, a quick roadmap of today's podcast will follow the trajectory that all of those in these series do. Namely, we will first unpack oriels academic and brief professional life so that we have a basis of a platform understanding where she came to developing news. Then we will look at unpacking news and the device. What it does, the data that it captures will also get into the nuts and bolts of her enterprise, which is the who, what, when, where, why and how. For all of you entrepreneurs out there, you guys like to hear about founders ship funding. We'll get into all of those logistics and then we'll turn our efforts towards looking at the ethos and kind of the philosophy behind the company. Then we will look towards goals that Orio might have towards the next one to three years. How she's kind of reconceptualizing goals, though, that dialog has changed for a lot of you. Given the recent pandemic, and it's interesting to hear for all of us about that change, and then we will wrap everything up with advice that RTL might have for those of you who want to get involved in what she's doing and perhaps emulate some of her career success. So a quick bio on Orio before I start peppering her with questions. Ariel Garten is probably one of the most interesting people you will meet. She is a psychotherapist, neuroscientist's mom, former fashion designer, and the female founder and visionary of an amazing and highly successful tech startup Muse. News tracks your brain during meditation to give you real time feedback on your meditation, guiding you into the zone and solving problem most of us have when starting a meditation practice. Mused, Let's you know when you are doing it right? When Orio is not reading brains literally or investing in inspiring and advising other tech startups and women and bears, you can find her on stages across the world, from Ted to M.I.T. to south by Southwest. She inspires people to understand that they can accomplish anything they want by learning what goes on in their own mind. Oriol is also the co-host of the Untangled podcast. So Orio, I want to climb through all of that. You have such a prolific history and and what isn't in your bio that I do know from our research is that you have even more history on the back end before Muse was in two realities. I'm hoping right now you can unpack some of your professional and academic background to develop like your own personal platform.


[00:04:57] Sure. So my whole life, I've been kind of split between arts and sciences when I was a teenager in high school. I excelled at the arts. I excelled at sciences. I had a job in a research lab doing embryonic stem stem cell research on knockout mice in the 90s. And I also had a tiny clothing line that I sold on consignment to stores in downtown Toronto where I lived. So I was always kind of parlaying between the world of art and the world of science. And back in the 90s, people would say, well, you can't be an artist and a scientist. You have to choose. You can't do both. And when I went to school, when I went to university, I chose to go for neuroscience because I felt like if you went to arts, you couldn't go back into the sciences yet to continue on with the sciences and then keep doing the arts on the side. So in university, I studied neuroscience at the University of Toronto. I also had an art gallery that I ran. And then as soon as I graduated, I opened a clothing store in basically the front of my house. I was just like, OK, I need to do this clothing thing because I've done the science thing for four years. Yeah. I then continued to work in research labs part time while I ran a clothing line that what I was selling across North America and a store retail store in downtown Toronto. All of this being entirely unable to sew. So it's like I'll just start a clothing line, even though I've no idea how to sew. But I love fashion and I can figure it out. And my family business was very, very small scale real estate. So I was also helping out the family business at the same time. So I was had these multiple career trajectories going simultaneously. I was fascinated by all of them and always kind of felt like I could do what ever I put my mind to.


[00:06:44] So in my mid 20s, I started collaborating with Dr. Steve Mann. He's one of the inventors, the wearable computer. And he had an early brain computer interface system. I began working in his laboratory, working on basically concerts that you made with your mind. These artistic endeavors with real scientific information from the brain and really started to marry. My art and science approached the world. And from there, I became inspired to take this technology that was letting you literally interact with the world directly with your brain.


[00:07:18] It was a brain computer interface and try to take it to market and create my own business. And that's how myself and my two co-founders, Chris Emeny and Trevor Coleman, created news.


[00:07:29] Fantastic.


[00:07:30] So you have two co-founders that kind of dropped us into the next question that I have, which is the top three tiers of logistics, which is co-founders funding and year you launched.


[00:07:43] So I started working in Steve's lab in 2000 to 2002, 2003. And in those early days, we were creating concerts using this early brain computer interface system. And I began collaborating at that point with Chris. Amy. Chris was Steve's master's student. And he was just the most brilliant engineer you could ever meet. And also had an incredible understanding about humanity and art and the soul. And so as I started to think that this technology could come out of the lab, I got together with him as the CTO, the company. And Trevor Coleman, who is my boyfriend at the Times, best friend. And the three of us founded Muz. But before founding Muse, we spent many years playing around and Trevor's basement and in Steve's laboratory, figuring out what this technology could do. And so probably 2007, we really agreed that, yes, reforming a startup. In 2009, we incorporated and had our first big project, which was at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. We the first funding that we had came in twenty twelve I reck. I was the CEO of the company and recognized that we would need to raise funds. We got paid for Olympics projects. We were able to bootstrap for many years. And when we started to raise funding, I went out first to New York that Boston, San Francisco to raise funds and ultimately probably. Or first. Yeah. First round is four million dollars from FEC in New York. And our very first investor was actually Chad Menteng, who was at that point. Google's jolly good fellow. He was the guy who started Google's meditation program. Also search inside yourself. Since then, yes, it was amazing. So since then, we've raised I personally raised eighteen point two million dollars as the CEO of the company from, I guess, 2012 until 2015. In 2015, I stepped down from maternity leave and brought in another CEO. And to date, the company's raised probably around 30 million dollars.


[00:09:54] Wow, that is amazing. What round are you guys on? Moving into Runcie. Brilliant. That's amazing.


[00:10:01] I mean, and it's it's an incredible. I think there are a lot of people that get to a certain position and phase out, particularly with that kind of longevity in a career. You know, you can kind of very few founders anymore kind of staying on and hanging around past that point. I'm wondering, in the beginning when you said you were going to I don't know if it was trade shows or in 2009 or 2012 when you started kind of getting out there. What was the gradual change of the product or was there a story like how did it you know, companies grow with funding traditionally on a lot of different levels. But I'm interested in before we describe the product of it as it is now, the device.


[00:10:44] What was the original product or device like?


[00:10:48] So this is pretty funny. Originally, we started with a technology and a technology that was in search of a solution. So we had this device that let you put an electrode on the back of your head. And by focusing or relaxing, you could change some element, sound, light, etc.. So initially we thought we were going to go after a thought controlled computing. As you shifted your brain state, it would allow you to control the lighting in a room or control, you know, a cursor on a computer screen. And we did a lot of demos and experiences showing people that you could literally shift your brain state and make music or brighten a light. The project that we did at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics let people in Vancouver control the lights on the and tower Canadian prime buildings and Niagara Falls with their brain from across the country. So we had tens of thousands of people literally interacting with the lighting on these massive icons with their mind. So when we came off the Olympics, we were on a high. And we're like, we can do anything we want. Yeah, we just succeeded at the Olympics. And so we went on to try to thought control everything. We made like a thought controlled toaster and which was really stupid. But it was a fun trick and a thought controlled beer tab, which is awesome to have at Christmas parties, but not really useful in real life. You'd focus on it. It would pour. You would relax or clarity. It would stop pouring. We made all sorts of great thought control, things like, you know, trying to grasp. But what is it that we're really going to do with this? And that's when we sort of had that light bulb moment that it wasn't about letting people control the world outside then. It was about the fact that this technology could actually show you what was going on in your own mind and give you real time feedback on your brain. Because as we were teaching people to focus and relax so that they could, you know, make a light bulb go brighter. What we're really doing was taking these internal states that were intangible and making them tangible and visible, showing you when you're focused, showing you when you're relaxed and doing so, essentially giving you BuYeo or neurofeedback to teach your brain and body to do that more. And that's when we kind of had the recognition that this was going to be most useful for the world as a meditation tool, because meditation is this amazing activity that is so powerful for you. But most people don't really know how to do it, and they're not good at it, per say, because you don't know what's going on in your mind. And there's nobody showing you what's going on in your mind and telling you when you're in the right zone and when you're not. And we have technology that could really do that.


[00:13:22] Well, there is a year when I feel like there was a year, it may have been a couple of years or a day, but where Silicon Valley began leading this or Silicon Valley like areas started leading this charge where they had meditation rooms developed in Google, you know, places like that where it felt like it took meditation out of this Eastern philosophy yogi realm and placed it like squarely into like productivity. Corporate America like this is now like a break room moment. And I'm wondering when your device when it switched over into, like, focusing on the meditation and inward movements and recognition moment and how well that paralleled with you think the industry kind of accepting this new form of meditation being just as important for productivity and things like that in the workplace as a break.


[00:14:14] We were so lucky. We completely followed that curve. So, as I mentioned, our first investor in 2012 was Chad Menteng, the guy who literally made Google's meditation program before 2012 when somebody would ask us what we were building. We felt like we had to say it was a cognitive trainer and are really like our early das. Our early pitches all had pictures of brains with like big muscles on them. Going like this is going to make your mind strong. It'll help you focus. And then people would do the demo. And on rare occasions I would be asked, like, is this meditation? And we'd be like, Do you like meditation? Yes, I meditate. I would be like, it is meditation. Just don't tell anyone. I was like, you know, we whispered background conversation. And then over time, I think for us, what I really kind of count is the tipping point was meditation being on the cover of Time magazine. It was around 2013. There was a photo of a woman on the cover of Time magazine, and Tom got in trouble because it was a very, you know, white woman doing this. But she was sitting there with his eyes closed and the lotus position meditating. And that, to me, really marked the moment when the world took notice. And all of a sudden you had big CEOs meditating and athletes meditating and celebrities talking about it. And then the you know, first the kind of vanguard corporate meditators like Google and then the slow trickle of every company having a meditation program that they'd offer to their staff. And we just, by chance, were entirely in tune with that wave and were able to capitalize on it from 2012 moving forward.


[00:15:53] Yeah, that auspicious. Right.


[00:15:56] I mean, I think it would have done well without. But like I said, when you mentioned into cognitive training and things like that, I think that's esoteric and confusing as well. You know, and it's funny when you have to fight against terms like that just to kind of make sure that you're alleviating communication gaps or bigotries. It's fun to kind of look at those things. So now let's get into the device. Let's talk about its structure. I mean, for everyone who's looking to get a picture of it, obviously, if you jump on w choose, you're going gonna get some of that. But if you can kind of describe for everyone listening right now briefly where it sits, what it looks like and how it outlook as an experience as a user. I come to your house. I sit down. We put this thing on me. What's going on?


[00:16:40] So news is basically like a Fitbit for your brain. So it's a slim little headband that sits on your head and it tracks your brain activity during meditation and gives you Real-Time feedback to know when you're focused and when your mind is wandering. So you slip on the news. It would connect to an app on your phone. You'd plug in your headphones. And then as you meditated, you'd be able to hear the sound of your mind through guiding sounds. And the metaphor we use is your mind is like the weather. So when you're thinking or distracted, you hear it as stormy and as you come to quite focused attention, it quiets the storm. So you're getting Real-Time feedback, letting you know when your mind is wandering and killing you back into the meditation zone and then reinforcing you for staying there, reinforcing you to that state of calm.


[00:17:27] Then after the fact, you get data, charts, graphs, scores, things that show you what your brain was doing moment to moment and really help you track the progress of your practice.


[00:17:37] Yeah, it is exactly like a Fitbit, and it's exciting.


[00:17:40] I mean, it it almost just lends to I don't know if it's the human mind or the American human mind or the entrepreneurial mind, but I already when you pitch it that way or when you describe it, I start thinking, oh, I get into training it more. I have areas I want to tap into immediately. It's like this, you know, nice little green pill that I could, like, do something and take and like focus and train or even like a muscle and focus on that. Do you find that people immediately, the people who congregate towards the idea are those that want to tap into certain resources in their brains most quickly? Or is it just the curiosity?


[00:18:17] A people come from both directions. So, you know, people who are performance oriented obviously love the performance aspect of it that you can measure and through measure improving.


[00:18:26] There are people who are very experienced meditators and they come at this more from the perspective of being a consciousness explore, of understanding the process of the mind, of being able to hone the observation of the mind through a new year on their internal state. So there's lots of different experiences that people get out of it. The app is completely customizable, so you can either use the Real-Time feedback during your experience or you can turn off all the feedback and just after the fact, see what your brain was doing through your own silent meditation. We also started with the brain and now have sensors for the heart, the breath and the body so you can hear the sound of your heart like the beating of a drum and be able to track its increases and decreases and really learn your heart's rhythms. You can find stillness in your body and track your movement. There's breath patterns and now there's also hundreds and hundreds of guided meditations that you can use along with the device to actually track your brain, heart, breath and body during your guided meditations as well.


[00:19:29] And are those developed by ever in in collaboration with your company Muse?


[00:19:34] Yeah. So we have dozens of top teachers from all around the world who build meditations for performance, stress, anxiety. We have a cancer collection that males currently testing for finding morning joy for sleep and on and on.


[00:19:50] Nice. What is so I want to you have a topic that you've addressed in the past and I kind of want you to enumerate on for our audience. What is the the mindset of an entrepreneur like it?


[00:20:03] How does that relate to the collection of the data that you've looked at? That's a fascinating question.


[00:20:10] So the mindset of an entrepreneur is different than the mindset of an average individual. And the mindset of an entrepreneur has to be one that A is willing to handle a whole lot of risk and B, is able to have emotional flexibility because being an entrepreneur, you have so many demands on you. And a lot of those are emotional demands. You know, you're you're at the high of success. You're at the low of your business crashing or at the moment before funding. So you need to be able to navigate all those smoothly. And you are typically not afraid in the same ways that other people are afraid that this goes back to the risk piece. So one of the things that I noticed in myself with the mindset of an entrepreneur was that I really believed I would be able to accomplish what ever I wanted. And, you know, occasionally I'd have thoughts that came and come into my mind, like we all do it, like, oh, that's gonna be too hard. You're not good enough. You know, somebody will judge you for it. But I was very easily able to overcome those thoughts. Was variable easily. Is able to say you're just a thought. That doesn't matter. I'm not going to let that hold me back. And I was able to move out into the world without really being held back by a fear that something wouldn't work without being held back by the thoughts in my own mind. I think that's a that's a fundamental feature of entrepreneurs, because the people who aren't entrepreneurs are the people who have a great idea and then just get overwhelmed by the thought of doing it, get bogged down in the feelings that it will work, get held back and not knowing what to do next.


[00:21:47] Yeah. And it doesn't work. We'll just move with it.


[00:21:49] So how would an entrepreneur. Most quickly utilize Muse? What would be, you think, one of the first steps of using it? Is it just articulating areas that they could tap into through meditation?


[00:22:01] Or what do you think, given, you know, the dialog you just created about the entrepreneurial personality and mindset? How would it be most beneficial or collaborated with using Muse right off the bat?


[00:22:14] Sure. So we have literally hundreds and hundreds of entrepreneurs that use Muse and top CEOs and CEOs will buy them for, you know, their top executives and muse together. So it's it's something that entrepreneurs have really tapped into. So one of the reasons is the idea that the thoughts in your head don't need to govern how you live. So most of us just have the thoughts in our head and we assume that they're supposed to be there, like this isn't gonna work out or I'm not good enough for, you know, this is gonna be too big for me. We just assume that that's the truth, because that's a thought in your head. As an entrepreneur, you learn how to move your mind away from those thoughts and overcome them by taking actions. And that's a big part of what Muse teaches you to do, Muse, cuz you when your thoughts are wandering and then gives you a cue to say, hey, you don't need to follow that thought, you can come back and focus on the thing in front of you.


[00:23:04] You can move your mind away from that and focus instead on something you care about or the task in front of you. So it helps you shift into that mindstate of possibility and lets you move out of your negative thoughts and into a neutral space. And it also significantly increases your productivity because every time your thoughts wander away, that's a little procrastination. That's a micro distraction. With music, get very good at saying like no distraction, back to focus, distraction, back to focus. And then on the emotional piece. What meditation teaches you to do is to ride your emotions without getting bogged down by them. So you might, you know, have just lost a big deal and you might, you know, feel a lot of emotion in your body. And what you learned to do with meditation is to observe that emotion, you know, see the sensations and feel the sensations that it brings in your body without ramping the thought cycle in your head. It's not like, oh, my God, I just lost that deal. Oh, my God, I feel terrible. Whoa, that's really bad. And cycle cycle down with meditation. You. You observe the sensations without getting sucked into the feelings in a way that's going to drag you down with a negative feedback loop between thought, feeling, thought, feeling, thoughts, feeling. So as an entrepreneur, it becomes an incredibly valuable tool to ride through the lows and to let yourself relish the highs.


[00:24:25] And I'm interested about the feedback that it provides through the app and collect collecting that data. What would the average user do with that feedback? Does it help growth? I mean, if you have the cues on obviously there should be some in the moment change and, you know, change of of mental status. But I'm wondering, accumulating that feedback. Do you see how quickly you are able to return to focus and meditation? What what would someone apply the feedback to and what all is collected?


[00:24:57] Sure.


[00:24:58] So when you do a mind meditation, what you're looking at is the times when your mind has wandered in the times and you return and. We celebrate the ability to notice that your mind has wandered and to return back to a place of focused attention and calm.


[00:25:15] We also reinforce and celebrate staying in that calm spot. So it's OK that your mind wanders all of our minds. Do what you want to do. Say like, nope, I'm going to come back to focus. And what you end up seeing over time is a graph that starts looking really jagged. You've got lots of distractions and your mind's bouncing all over the place. And as you progress in your practice, that curve gets smoother and smoother and lower and lower as you're spending more and more time and focus calm. So when you look back to your graphs, you can identify the things that trigger you, the kinds of thoughts that distract you or the sounds that might have been in your environments. You can become very aware of your internal state and you can also really acutely see your progress over time. And you can then also see, you know, OK, this was a great meditation today. What was I doing differently? What what does this mean? How do I reinforced this in the future? Yeah. With the heart meditation you're actually seeing when your heart rate increases and decreases moment by moment and you're learning the things that will get your heart to speed up, things that cause you stress and anxiety and things that get your heart to slow down. And by seeing the patterns of your heart, you learn the kind of relaxation and breathing patterns that get you into optimal HRB and an optimal, beautiful, smooth, sinusoidal rhythm and allow you to relax your body more effectively.


[00:26:33] Right. And when you say that I picture things that I'm more than likely, everyone listening has had glimpses into either the Buddhist monk that was hooked up to electrodes that kept, you know, his heart rate at a certain way, or the deep sea diver who she was, you know, controlling heart rate so that she could dove deeper and things like that. Is that kind of the area that you're headed towards in this kind of lowering of the heart rate or raising it back up? Is it this mind body connection and control?


[00:26:59] Yes. So you learn you learn that mind body connection and that mind body connection is called interception. It's the ability to sensitively understand your internal state. And there's studies that demonstrate that people who have improved interception actually have less stress because you're much more able to sensitively understand where your body is at. Check in on your body.


[00:27:21] And then if you notice stress, tension, increased heart rate, say, hey, I have an exercise that I've learned like a breathing exercise or guided meditation that I know will bring me back to that state of calm. So we start to become master self regulators, noticing where we're at. Having a set of tools to use at that moment, applying them and then shifting into the state that we choose to be in.


[00:27:42] Yeah. I love that. It's perfect master self regulators. You know, that's the call. I think the key right to everything. I'm sure nobody hears that and doesn't think that sounds fantastic. I'm wondering, you you talk a little bit in in some of your the numerous different speaking engagements you've had about how to be empowered in your own mind. And I you know that it's that's a beautiful statement, but it's more a theory than practical, you know, engagement for me. And I'm wondering, since this is kind of tying into that idea of being master over over one's own mind, body relationship, if you can kind of enumerate further on what you feel the empowerment to be empowered in one's own mind looks like in reality, like some of the benefits beyond being able to connect with stress and therefore lower it. You know that the mind body connection. But even further than that, some of the the practicality of what that looks like.


[00:28:41] Sure. So being empowered in your own mind to me means not being at the behest of the crazy thoughts that you consume most of us. Much of the time, you know, most of us just go through our lives with our brain generating a bunch of content in there that often makes us feel unhappy, like we're not good enough. Like things aren't good enough.


[00:29:03] And generally, you know, frustrated, not feeling great. Our brain is constantly telling us that makes us feel things that make us feel a little bit shitty. And frankly, there is no reason for that to be the, you know, existence of your life. There's no reason it needs to be that way. What you learn in meditation is to change your relationship with your thoughts. So rather than being sucked in by them and just listening to all the stuff it tells you and assuming that that's what you need to hear, you actually learn that you can rise above your thoughts. You can create metacognition, you can observe them, and you can make choices about where your brain goes. You can make choices about the contents of your own mind. And when you start to do that, you can now start to orient yourself towards the positive. You can now shut down those negative narratives that weren't serving you. You can now begin to recognize that the narratives that you had about yourself probably aren't true. And you can choose new narratives. It becomes an incredibly. Liberating way to live. And as you start to make better choices about the contents of your own mind, your body follows suit. You start to sort of shut down the negative narratives that keep you small and frustrated. You start opening yourself up to freedom and joy and possibility and the emotional experiences that come with it. And meditation, taking you out of your head and putting you in the present moment really brings an aliveness to your life, to the things that are right in front of you and the things that that are here and real rather than the problems that we worry about that probably will never happen. And so it's it's an incredibly empowered place to be.


[00:30:47] Yeah.


[00:30:48] And when you said, you know, and change the relationship with your own thoughts, a piece of me, I felt like a piece of that was a description or about as rather a piece of a description of happiness, you know, of the human condition to be had to change the relationship with your own thoughts is to change ones that are in disparate nature or causing discomfort. And so to change that back into something, it sounds like a control over one's unhappiness, which is exciting to the human condition.


[00:31:19] You know, across the globe, I think I don't think that's just approaches one particular genre of person, though. I'm sure that there are many that utilize it better than others. But changing the relationship with your own thoughts is is a power that I think a lot of people come to when they start meditation and don't realize that will be one of the benefits.


[00:31:37] You know, it's yeah, it's an extraordinary power. It makes such a difference in your life. You know, most of us are living in self created jails in our own mind, getting caught up in thoughts that truly create our own suffering. And it just doesn't need to be that way.


[00:31:55] Yeah. Who are the clients that that muse has so far reached? You talked about CEOs and people that are really looking at it, as you know. I mean, one of your a jolly good fellow. You know, he's he's brought it up with the Google meditation and stuff like that. But, um, who else do you have industries or populations that have really tapped into being clients? And who do you see it going towards next?


[00:32:18] Sure. So there are literally hundreds of thousands of people that use Muse regularly. And it's from, you know, moms and just awesome everyday people to corporate. So as I mentioned, you know, what CEOs do with their exact we have corporate programs in healthcare. So we have over 200 studies that have been done with Muse, both as a meditation tool and as a clinic. Great. E.g.. So we have a whole hospital systems that have been engaged in testing news. Mayo Clinic has written papers on breast cancer patients awaiting surgery using news. We have thousands of doctors and clinicians that recommend it to their patients. Oh, in an athlete's pro golfers, skaters, footballers, Olympic soccer teams, Olympic swimmers like really quite across the board. So we've we've been we've been very, very lucky that both from just average people who want to learn how to meditate to really top experts. All have been able to find value in the tool.


[00:33:27] Definitely. And I I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't be able to find value in it. Even children, you know, young not children, but adolescents and people who are just learning to have that dialog. I think that there's such an opportunity there with young minds that people don't necessarily look at. And to that end. I'm wondering how young the youngest age group that, you know, that studies with Muse have been done on?


[00:33:52] So Muse used to be able to be used for anybody, but now we are GDPR compliant, which is Europe's privacy standard. So we say Muse is not for anybody under 16. Certainly, I've seen no photos of people using Muse of their very young children, though, according to label. It's not not not not till over 16. There have been studies done using Muse in schools. The Denver school board did one. Kansas State University did a study of grade eight students using news, and they saw a 72 percent decrease in kids being sent to the principal's office after using use in their classroom.


[00:34:28] Yeah, and that's kind of what I was suspecting. You know, I think a lot about some of these different ailments that afflict children who tend to be disturbing in the classroom environment or group settings. And it's more just about the therapies applied to social therapies apply to these children are very much so the feedback that it sounds like news would provide. It's about being in touch with the thoughts and reading relationship with the thoughts, which we just clarified. And so that kind of feedback sounds like it will be instrumental. What is there when someone gets on? How much can they explore on your Web site? Like, what are the price points and how does one go about purchasing it? Where at what phase is all of that in?


[00:35:07] So Muse's in market and has been for since 2014. We now have. So we have two devices, Muse two, which gives you real time feedback on your heart, breath, body and brain during meditation. And then we have a new device that we just launched, which is Muse s one of the things that we noticed as people were using Muse before going to bed to help them sleep. And so we now built this beautiful purpose-built device that does all the same things as Muse two. And it also gives you guided meditations and Real-Time feedback in a way that's designed to help you fall asleep faster. So it's a very soft, comfortable band that you were in bed to help you fall asleep. And then we're building more and more sleep features that are going to be released over the next year. So Muse 2, is somewhere around two hundred and fifty bucks. And Muse S is somewhere around 350.


[00:35:59] Nice. So not going to break the bank. You know, I mean, not inexpensive. But for the feedback it's providing and given, can you use one device, I'm assuming for different family members or definitely individuals or does everyone. OK. So you can change application.


[00:36:15] Yes. So we typically see, you know, device. Mom brings the device home, dad starts using it. Kids start meditating. Now you have the whole family using the one device together.


[00:36:24] Absolutely. That's so exciting. I'm wondering to that. And given that you just came out with muse s. What goals does Muse have on the horizon between the next one to three years? And has there been any conversation of application between the global dialog about the pandemic and Muse, or has that kind of been something that it's just obviously addressing within the functionality of the device? Or has the company come out and kind of looked towards efforts as to have a dialog with that?


[00:36:51] Oh, we're definitely dialoging with it. So since the start of the pandemic, we've obviously seen a massive increase in Muse usage, both people purchasing new devices, buying them as gifts, and people who had Muse's really starting to use them very, very regularly. And so we're really looking to how we can build more support and content to help support pandemic specifically. We have a collection of actually free content available to anyone called our S.O.S. Com collection with guided meditations for dealing with uncertainty, working at home, cetera.


[00:37:28] And then we also have monthly challenges that we run with both users and nonusers where you can be guided through a week of support on a particular topic focused around coalbed. So it might be finding peace working from home. Kofman the mind and uncertain times, etc..


[00:37:48] That's fascinating.


[00:37:49] That's a great idea to a monthly challenge, you know, focused around things that are particularly found within it. That's an interesting take on it. I think that a lot of people have tried to get there but haven't quite gotten there with a lot of their business endeavors. Monthly challenges are interesting. And are there any other goals for with the company has that is aside from the covered conversation? Are you guys going to come out with new models? What areas are you reaching further into? I feel like and this might be incredibly naive, but like diet and certain things that are affecting, you know, that the greater health and relationships certainly would be kind of this trickle down effect that would happen when being in conversation with one's own thoughts and their thought relationship. But has there been any movement towards, like diet and exercise or using it, showing people the utility of using it and other major areas of their life?


[00:38:39] So on our podcast that I co-host with Patricia Karpas called Untangle, we approach questions like diet, relationships, etc. every single week with guests in those areas. So, you know, we try. Give you more information around how the brain and the mind work and how to kind of optimize them in relationship to all these topics. And then in our guided content, we also have content specific for different areas, performance, work from home. We've a mindful eating collection. We have lots of relationship collections. So we also try and the guidance to give you new insights, new tools to help with specific areas of your life. And then the thing that we're really diving into now is sleep, because people don't realize how fundamental sleep is and was.


[00:39:28] Sleep has really gotten disrupted. Also, as an entrepreneur, sleep gets disrupted as well because you sit there as you're falling asleep and you can't help but think about all of the problems of the day and the problems of tomorrow and that poor sleep and poor sleep hygiene and poor ability to fall asleep actually depresses your immune system and decreases your emotional self-regulation and cognitive function the next day.


[00:39:51] So for us, we're really looking at how we kind of help people optimize this 24 hour cycle, how you can fall asleep more effectively, stay asleep longer, have more restful sleep, and then be more cognitively and emotionally capable the next day. Do your meditation, you know, enhance them further, sleep well at night and feed forward. Absolutely.


[00:40:13] And it's key. I think Muz asks coming out sounds perfect. I mean, the populations that need sleep most are the ones that always receive it less. It's new parenting entrepreneurs, people making very heavy handed decisions. There was in 2005 a report came out that said the average American president and all of our history got about four hours a night.


[00:40:33] And it was like, no, I need them to get so much more than that. They've got very hands on the button.


[00:40:39] You know, it's a it was just daunting. These. The more important the position, the less sleep. And it was and it was a reverse dialog. It was in conversation to some of the most prolific people that they had discovered in the arts were these people that got massive amounts of sleep. Some of these founders that were coming out saying, I get like nine hours a night and I can't believe anybody wouldn't. And these were the people that were changing the world at the time. And it was this kind of dialog, a back and forth. The article was. But I think it's it's so crucial. Young parents, people like that, Warriors' in all places, you know, don't leave. You have to be the founder of a billion dollar company to be a wildly important individual. And those people in those high stress, high stakes environment are usually not getting sleep. And so I think that feedback is crucial. And I'm glad you brought up your podcast, because I'm wondering, I haven't had the opportunity to dove in and explore more. And so for everyone listening, join me in that endeavor. It's called Untangle. And I really want to climb into a little bit about that experience, how long it's been running. And also, do you bring users of Muse on to have like an actual conversation with a user?


[00:41:48] So the podcast actually started with Patricia Karpas. It was a podcast that she had started building. And when she joined our company as the head of content, I joined as the co-host. And we love doing it because we get to speak to experts, neuroscientists, meditators, top athletes, top artists and unpack the practices in their life that allow them to be effective. And my particular passion is talking to neuroscientists and through with them, unpacking how the brain works and then how we can use that knowledge and understanding the brain to be able to optimize our behavior and our functioning. It turns out that a fair number of the people I interview are users. You know, my my colleagues and peers and in neuroscience and in arts or athletics, they tend to actually also use music. And often I don't even know that.


[00:42:39] I interviewed B.J. Fogger, a top behaviorist, and when he got on the music, oh, my God, you make me use I'm like, oh, my God, you know that I made music crazy. And Dr. Stan Kotkin, he's a top relationship therapist. He was like, I love you. I'm like, oh, my God, you know what news is like? Yes, I use it every day. So it it ends up being kind of serendipitous and typically slightly embarrassing moment for me. I'm sitting here like, what am I supposed to wonder? But it's lovely.


[00:43:06] Yeah, absolutely. Well, that's exciting. I'm glad to know that. And I'm glad to know that you guys kind of interview people who you don't know have used it as well just to garner the information around it without this kind of marketing standpoint. And I look forward to getting on and I look forward to purchasing it because I'm sold. I'm all in. And I practice my station and I have for 10 years based on my spiritual following. So I I'm wholeheartedly looking to jump into this. I think it's important for people to understand that regardless of what you practice and how you do, you can always change your relationship with meditation. You know, there have been people who've meditated for 50 years that are constantly changing their relationship with it. And this device sounds like it could do that and should do that as well. I'm wondering if you can if you can answer our final question on this series is always one of my favorites and it's one that people usually think that they won't be able to answer.


[00:44:01] Perhaps, given that your life has been dedicated to research and and proffering up solutions, you'll be able to more easily than one often thinks. But if someone approached you tomorrow and it's important, we didn't get into it today. But you also have a lot of dialog about women in business. And I do want to ciAriele back around one day and pepper you with that, because that's the platform that we run a lot of our series off. Patricia Kathleen, podcasts. But if you were approached tomorrow by a woman or a female identified a non binary individual, essentially anyone other than a white CIS gendered man. And the person said, listen, I started my career off in this wonderful science and I've I've done a peripheral amount of work there. And I'm thinking about launching this new device, this tech device feedback company. So something remarkably similar, perhaps not identical to what you've done. But she was headed. They were headed that way. And they said, can you give me your top three pieces of advice? What would those top three pieces be?


[00:45:02] Knowing what you know now, sure, that's easy.


[00:45:06] So number one is you don't need to know everything. So I think as a founder or an entrepreneur, it can feel daunting when you start a business because you feel like, OK, well, I need to understand finance. I need in the case of my business, manufacturing, engineering, technology, neuroscience are logistics. There were so many pieces to this puzzle and I really only understood one piece. Got educated and learned myself several of those pieces like fundraising and being the CEO of a company, having ever worked in one myself. And then I was able to attract and hire individuals who knew how to do everything else.


[00:45:44] Experts in their own domain who understood manufacturing in China and logistics and customer care and whatever the role was. So tip number one is you really don't need to know everything. And frankly, there's very few things you do need to know because you can bring on the people that matter to do the job. Yeah. Number two is do not let your own thoughts of not being good enough or not accomplishing enough. Hold you back. We are all amazing capable creatures, but we are held back by the stories in our own mind. You know, the stories that say, oh, you know, we shouldn't take the risk because or people will think this of us or what if it just doesn't work out? And so it's normal for those thoughts to be there. But the person who becomes a successful entrepreneur is the person who is overall to able to overcome those thoughts, who is not held back by them, the person who takes the step and moves forward despite the thoughts and fears in their mind and body. And number three is lead with inspiration. So you may not know most of the things that you need to know to do this. Totally fine. But if you have an inspiring vision and you're able to articulate it and that inspiring vision is going to make the world better in some way, people will want to come along and join you and follow you and work with you and work for you and bring this vision to life together. So the most successful entrepreneurs are those that are able to see a vision that the world needs, that people agree is going to be good for the world and inspire people to come along with them.


[00:47:23] Nice. I love that. So I have. Don't. No one.


[00:47:29] You don't need to know everything. Number two, do not like negative thoughts. Hold you back. And number three, let lead with inspiration and let your vision inspire your audience. And I have to say that, as you said, those things as as silly or interesting as it sounds, I feel like if your device muse could speak, it would say that's exactly what it does. I think so. Yeah. I think that you've you've got the idea in tune and chip with what your craft and your knowledge have all developed in this embodiment of the device. And we are out of time today. But I really want to say I appreciate you taking the time.


[00:48:09] I know everyone is at once available and incredibly busy, you know, during this time of stay at home. And so I want to say thank you so much for all of your knowledge and time today.


[00:48:21] Thank you for the opportunity to share it. Much appreciated.


[00:48:24] Absolutely. And for those of you listening, we've been speaking with Ariel Garten. She's the founder of Muse. You can located at W w w dot Tewes Muse dot com.


[00:48:36] And until we speak again next time, remember to always bet on yourself. Slainte.


Chatting with Leisse Wilcox; Transformational Mindset & Success Coach, & Author

Chatting with Leisse Wilcox; Transformational Mindset & Success Coach, & Author

August 25, 2020

Today I chat with Leisse Wilcox. Leisse is a transformational mindset + success coach who helps high-potential women courageously become the vision of themselves they can’t stop dreaming about. A passionate speaker, dynamic thought leader, author, NLP practitioner, top podcast host, cancer survivor, mom of three, and taco enthusiast, her entire experience has been about coming home to her truest self and to call herself “beloved,” knowing intimately that changing the world starts by making the changes we want to see within ourselves, first.


Key points addressed were  

  • Leisse’s podcast titled “To Call Myself Beloved” and how it explores  and speaks to some of Leisse’s core tenants she has based her Coaching, advising, and speakership career out of
  • We also explored her book which was launched hours ago titled “To call myself beloved: A Story of Hope, Healing, and Coming Home” and how it not only unpacks what Leisse terms difficult conversations but also provides action items and real life utility for solving unhealthy and unhappy aspects of life.


This podcast series is hosted by Patricia Kathleen and Wilde Agency Media. This series is a platform for women, female-identified, & non-binary individuals to share their professional stories and personal narrative as it relates to their story. This podcast is designed to hold a space for all individuals to learn from their counterparts regardless of age, status, or industry. 


*Please note, this is an automated transcription please excuse any typos or errors


[00:00:00] In this episode, I speak with transformational mindset and success coach and author Leisse Wilcox. Key Points addressed where Leisse's podcast titled To Call Myself Beloved and how it explores and speaks to some of Leisse's core tenants as she has based her coaching, advising, and speakership career roles out of. We also explored her book, which was launched hours ago, titled To Call Myself Beloved. A Story of Hope, Healing and Coming Home and how it not only unpacks what Leisse's term terms as difficult conversations, but also provides action items and real life utility for solving unhealthy and unhappy aspects of one's life. Stay tuned for my fascinating talk with Leisse Wilcox.


[00:00:48] Hi, my name is Patricia Kathleen, and this podcast series contains interviews I conduct with women. Female identified and non binary individuals regarding their professional stories and personal narrative. This podcast is designed to hold a space for all individuals to learn from their counterparts regardless of age status for industry. We aim to contribute to the evolving global dialog surrounding underrepresented figures in all industries across the USA and abroad. If you're enjoying this podcast, be sure to check out our subsequent series that dove deep into specific areas such as Vegan life, fasting and roundtable topics. They can be found via our Web site. Patricia Kathleen .COM. You can also join our newsletter. You can also subscribe to all of our series on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Pod Bean and YouTube. Thanks for listening. Now let's start the conversation.


[00:01:45] Hi, everyone. Welcome back. I am your host, Patricia. And today I elated to be sitting down with Leisse Wilcox. Leisse is a transformational mindset and success coach. And a recent author, you can find out more about all of her services, as well as her book on her website. LeisseWillcocks dot com. That is Welcome, Leisse.


[00:02:09] What a pleasure to be here. Thank you.


[00:02:11] Absolutely. I'm so excited to climb through. I'm elated for everyone listening. Leisse's book just dropped today and I can I'm just cannot get enough of it.


[00:02:21] I can't tell you how excited I am to be this kind of baptismal moment of one of her first few podcasts to kind of climb through all of it. And I will do just that with you before I get to asking her questions. I will tell everyone who might be new to the podcast. I will read a quick bio on this. But before I do that, let me give you a quick roadmap for today's podcast, inquiry and line of trajectory in which that will follow. We'll first look at unpacking Leisse's story. So I'll ask her about her academic, professional and personal history. It pretends particularly close to her career at this point. And then we'll look at unpacking Leisse's career right now. We'll look at her coaching. I want to get into her podcast and then also, of course, her most recent book titled To Call Myself Beloved A Story of Hope, Healing and Coming Home. Her podcast, also under the same vein, is titled To Call Myself Beloved. And we will call kind of climate, too. We'll get first to all the logistics of those endeavors. So the who, what, when, where, why? And then we'll climb into some of the more specifics about the ethos and the philosophy. So we'll cover both aspects of that spectrum. And then we'll turn to as all of the podcast in this particular series, we'll turn to unpacking goals that list has for the next one to three years for herself. And we'll wrap everything up with advice that she has for those of you who are looking to kind of garner some of her wisdom and perhaps emulate some of her career success. So before I question her, I start peppering her with questions, rather a quick bio. As promised, onlies Leisse Wilcox is a transformational mindset and success coach who helps high potential women courageously become the vision of themselves. They can't stop dreaming about a passionate speaker, dynamic thought leader, author and LP practitioner, top podcast host, cancer survivor, mom of three and taco enthusiast. Her entire experience has been about coming home to her true self and to call herself beloved, knowing intimately that changing the world starts by making the changes we want to see within ourselves.


[00:04:26] First, an expert featured on Simple Habit and an entrepreneurial advisor with Startup Canada. Leisse's  intention is to guide people to come home to themselves, giving them permission to live authentically. Leisse's first book, To Call Myself Beloved, is available now, and you can watch her on season two of Amazon Prime's The Social Movement. So please, I can't wait to unpack everything. As I said, I am become positively giddy with new authors and particularly like I don't think I've ever had a guest on launch that day and I'm into your book.


[00:04:59] But before we get to all of that, I was hoping you can draw us a narrative however you see fit of your personal background. You know, briefly how your childhood spilled into adulthood, leading to you, to the endeavors that we will speak about today.


[00:05:14] Absolutely. That was an amazing intro, and I got to tell you, I was sweating a little because I was like, well, we are going to get very real here.


[00:05:20] And also, how much time do I have?


[00:05:22] This is like a major, major suitcase or series of suitcases that we're going to unpack. You know, my story that has informed that has informed my present. Absolutely. Without dictating my future. If I had a I had a really difficult childhood, as so many of us do. My mom left very, very early on and for a while it was just my dad and I. Which was amazing. And a few years later, he reconnected with somebody like our high school sweetheart and they kind of partnered up together and it felt like my dad died and it was like Cinderella story kind of living out in my real life with this new stepmother there who openly did not want me in her life. They had two more kids together. I was such an inconvenience to her life and her lifestyle that I really felt like I had to minimize my entire existence. And that might not sound like a big deal if I wasn't physically abused. And I was like, OK, right. I also wasn't loved. And she shut everybody out of our lives who did love me. So she created this weird dynamic, which is classic and narcissistic abuse that she isolated me. So I had nobody else to turn to for any help. And she the way that the environment she created, I suppose, was one that made me question my own sanity. And so it was just this really, really uncomfortable place where I learned that I wasn't a person of value and if I wanted to get the love I so desperately needed. We also desperately need, especially as kids. I was gonna have to radically change my personality. And so I learned how to put on all these masks and learn how to please other people. And as I say, like minimize my own existence and stop listening to my own intuition and only listen to what I thought other people would expect from me. Well, guess what? That's not a great way to live your life. It was survival mode for sure. And what that survival mode taught me as I grew up was that that's how we find love. We develop these patterns of attachment that when I would meet somebody who is like, OK, here's a person for whom I have to fight for their love. I have to prove myself. I have to be who I am not. Oh, this is familiar.


[00:07:31] This is what a healthy relationship dynamic looks like.


[00:07:33] So, you know, fast forward a few years. I got into a marriage and that just absolutely was so included by his family. And I absolutely felt like I was home for the first time. But the marriage itself, even through beautiful vacations and three wonderful children together and this picture perfect dream life, we had created you so lonely, it was so lonely inside. And one day I had this genuine wake up moment of, you know, we're our seven bedroom house. We're in this beautiful, tiny little town with beltless property, wonderful family around us. And I remember lying on the floor of my little girls, looking at my good looking husband in the kitchen and making coffee at our, like, Karara career, a marble bar. And I had this sinking feeling of like. If this isn't enough for me, what the hell is wrong with me? I had this moment of intuition. Hi yourself. God universe what everyone is. I heard this little voice and that little guiding voice was saying, none of this is enough for you because you are not enough for you. And in that moment, it really did feel like I woke up and I knew at that point that I had some painful decisions to make and some painful conversations to have. And ultimately, I ended the marriage right. I called time of death on the merits of this kind of already dead and started Life 2.0 in a brand new direction.


[00:09:11] That's amazing. I mean, I can't recall.


[00:09:14] You know, I've heard a lot of particularly for this series over the past three years, I've spoken to a lot of women and women, identified individuals, non binary individuals included in that. And I none of them have come to their point.


[00:09:27] And perhaps it's just not spoken about as much because it feels almost privileged. But this idea that, you know, you come to this ultimate success, you know, you had the money, the family, the the mate, all of it. And to realize at that point to be brave enough to call, to just say it's not it's not working on me is kind of amazing. I'm wondering first steps when you headed down because your book is about, you know, the lessons from this journey. Right. As you said yourself, the difficult conversations and this began, it sounds like this is the one of the first difficult conversations you posture to yourself in order to come to all of these realizations. And I'm wondering, did you first have a mentor? Where was the first place you looked to guide yourself? Because your book is about guidance and helping other people have these conversations. Who guided you?


[00:10:24] Google, which is why I wrote the book.


[00:10:31] You know, in fairness, I had like a new friendship at the time with a woman who was very spiritual and kind of one of those other worldly people. I mean, you live in California.


[00:10:41] Maybe you just grew up with these people. I didn't grow up with these people. And I bear in my life now, like, I totally get it now.


[00:10:46] But at the time, she was the first person who really started talking to me about there being another way or about, you know, increasing my faith in the process and trusting what was unfolding. And she's like the first person to ever use those words with me. And I remember I I had a lot of conversations with her which helped me feel like I wasn't crazy.


[00:11:05] I have an incredible art. I have an incredible extended family. But I have one aunt who is such a rock. And when I got through all the Google searches, like, what will happen if I stay? What'll happen if I go? How do I know it's time for divorce?


[00:11:17] Like, what is marriage supposed to feel like and other assorted Google phrases?


[00:11:22] You know, I phoned my aunt and I was like, I think I know what I have to do and I need to know if you will support me in this. And I don't know why I chose to have that conversation with her. I don't know why that was important for me to do. But, oh, man, am I ever glad that I did. Because it it kind of it kind of forged a contract. To be honest. So it kind of forged this emotional contract that I knew I had her support as my person to go and talk to. What's interesting is that, you know, you mentioned that this is the pain that we don't talk about because it sounds privileged and absolutely like you're familiar with Maslow's hierarchy of needs. When you have your physiological needs met, you have your physical needs met, your needs for safety and security. You have all those needs met. You're still having a human experience. And this is what's so fascinating to me is that pain is relative. So absolutely, you can call it a privilege because there is a lot of privilege in there. But we're still having a human experience and that human experience is rooted in our emotional health and our feelings. And I work with so many women who are like overachievers. Right. We're all high achievers. And we've learned through our lives that you do achieve, do achieve, do achieve. And if you want to achieve more than you do more. And suddenly so many women get to this point where they're like. Oh, I did everything right. I climbed all the right ladders and made all the right moves and made all the right connections. I have this list in front of me of all the things I was supposed to do and I checked us. So how can I feel like shit? And then that's wrapped in shame because you're like, well, I obviously can't talk about this because who am I to complain? Like, look at my life. And what we're not looking at is like, Sure. Look at the outside of my legs. Look at the outset of my world. But what does my inner world look like? And for me, it was like overriding that shame or feeling the shame and healing through it to allow myself permission to be like, listen, you do have a loving and supportive in-law family. You do have you know what? At that time, felt like a really huge group of friends and support. And you're not happy. And you've been to therapy and you read the books and not the podcast. The time that, you know, you you've taken all the steps to heal this. And, you know, I remember having a notebook full of things that we had tried to like, quote unquote, make marriage work. And Amber, getting to the final page in the notebook and being like, oh, shit, I know what has to happen. And what has to happen is that either he has to radically change his personality or I have to radically change mine.


[00:13:57] And like I had this visceral reaction as somebody who had had to change her entire personality for the first 30 years of her life.


[00:14:05] I was like, you know what? I think I'm done. I think I'm going to have this really, really painful conversation and make a decision that is, for the first time in my life, rooted in what honors my needs. And I'm going to act in a way that is actually advocating for who I am and what I need. And that was the beginning of this. Like, I get shivers still talking about it. It was the beginning of this, like, wild trajectory of tapping into more of that. Because no matter how difficult that was, once you rang the bell. You can't hear it. Right. And as a result, my piece is the most valuable thing I own. And I paid dearly for it. And I still wouldn't change that for the world.


[00:14:53] No, it's life shattering. And I think anyone who hasn't felt it are the only population that wouldn't get that. He who has gone through a life, regardless of, you know, judgment from the outside, which I like to abstain from altogether, but to to come out in adulthood to a sense of self knowing and peace and compassion wrapped within that for the self, you know, a lot of times in this world, particularly covered pandemic talk. People get into compassion, which I love. I want to help spread the word. But it begins with compassion for the self, you know, and a self awareness that, like you said, you know, once you've tapped into it, it leads onto more of that. And that actually feeds your society more than anything I think ever would. But it's so it's so powerful to hear you talk about that. I do want to start climbing to you. So I first want to look at the podcast because the book launched just today. And I want to kind of unpack the book after we've talked a little bit about the podcast. And I want to start off with some of the nuts and bolts of it. So when was it launched? I have down I saw the last up with the first episode is last August. I'm not sure if that's accurate. So if it was launched a year ago, what the impetus was for it. Did you take any funding or capital? How did you get going with it? Did you have a guest host? Did you have an idea as to how many you were going to release? How did you know about any or end or all of it? Or did it just all come to fruition naturally?


[00:16:18] You are not going to like the answer I'm going to give you because I Googled it once again and I Googled it, though very honestly.


[00:16:24] I remember August sounds about right, but I can't quite remember. I there's somebody who's, you know, used to be actively in my life is now kind of on the periphery of my life. But I have a lot of respect for her. And there've been so many moments in my life where she's such a boss and she's just kind of popped in and be like, oh, you should start a blog. And I'm like, OK, so I write a blog. And then she'll be like, you know, people aren't reading long form content anymore. Usually start an Instagram account. So I like durin Instagram into a microblog. And she popped up one day. She's like, you need a podcast like you, you need a podcast, period. And I was like, I don't want I don't want to do this. I don't have a podcast. What would that be like? And fast forward a little bit, which we can unpack this, too, because it's the third major cataclysmic event of my life, which is also the third in the book. I got a breast cancer diagnosis at age 36 and I had like a week before my 37 birthday or something like that. And it was during chemotherapy that I a decided, well, I have some time.


[00:17:28] And now I guess I can to write a book proposal up. I'm wondering how I'm going to fit that into my schedule.


[00:17:34] And I also use that that time, four months of chemo to research. I literally did. Google had. Casts. I just like went through a checklist and I follow that I ordered a podcast kit from Amazon. People are always shocked to hear this, but I read in a podcast kit, you know, I ended up meeting somebody locally who's a musician, really talented. And I was like, oh.


[00:17:56] You literally sound like John Mayer when you play guitar. Would you would you write a song for me? Europium song for me.


[00:18:03] And he does on my audio. And I chose to do a solo show because the effects of the work we're talking about, I have a in a former life, I have a background in Montessori education. I am naturally an educator. So for me, you can see that went from the classroom to a parenting column to a blog, to Instagram, to a podcast, to a blog. And the podcast effectively is my blog. So I don't have a co-host. It's just me. It's a solo show. I've had one guest on to one episode when I did like Life Coaching Session. But otherwise it's me because I feel like I have a pretty unique standpoint on emotional health and how to genuinely feel your feelings and how feeling your feelings at their core is what changes the manifestations of all the shit you don't want in your life. You know, we experience something. I really. Oh, can you believe this happen? And I was like, yes, let's trace that back to what is actually happening internally. Heal that and then blammo that so naturally starts to disappear.


[00:19:08] So basically, I'm so arrogant that I'm like, what I have to say is so interesting. I'm just going to deliver this product. In fact, it was a hard fought for.


[00:19:18] I don't think it's arrogance when you've gone through the kind of battles that you fought for. Those are badges, you know. And to think that other people wouldn't glean information from them, I think is largely what's wrong with women across the world. And there's nothing wrong with women across the world. Let me clarify and quantify that's put on my tombstone. What I mean is there are a lot of unification factors that I find with oppressed populations. And when I look at women, I've been studying women, female identified, non binary individuals for the better part of 20 years. And throughout feminist lenses and all different kinds. And the truth is, is that one of the narratives in the threads that is in common with all of us is that even those of us that become successful not speak about those stories, they're not important enough and they're not applicable enough. And so I think to fly in the face of that is so very, very important. But there's still even a small dialog with you. You know, as a joke saying, you know, and I'm arrogant enough, like, no, it should be an end. Women need we need to hear each other's stories. You know, the whole point of this particular podcast for any of you that haven't listened is everyone who says there's two people in this world, ones that say, oh, my God, they're so fantastic. I can't believe you're doing that. And then the others say, what is it for? What are you doing? And it's just the difference of people that understand women. Women identified Banan by individuals. We need to hear each other's stories. It's been completely isolated and cut out of rhetoric from marketing to cinema for so long. We don't understand how deprived our own personal narrative is, not gleaning the stories of any other people like us. And so I love that you've done that. And I. I mean, it sounds so stressful for me. And I love the idea that you've described it as arrogant because the concept of taking your own podcast, which is I love your narrative because it is this I'm the most recent one for anyone who hasn't. Listen, jump on really quickly because she narrates one of the chapters in her books that we'll talk about. But it's you have these moments you have to really design and then get into these specific you've got lessons that you're delivering, you know, and you're coming out with these and they're all between 20 and 40 minutes. And that's a lot of work. It's a lot of dialog. It's a lot of choreography, especially when you need it to be fluid. And so I have to commend you on that level. And to that end, I want to talk about you. You release, give or take, it looks like once every two weeks. And I wanted to talk to you about what made you decide that. And I have to say, before we get into that, as a side note, as a total nerd who loves them on a story program, you Googling things is so much right. The self fed that is Monta or any of you out there. I have four children who all went through the Montessori school and they all like it's a very self led education model. So the fact that everything in you, everything in your life has been this self led model, it does not strike me as odd at all that you're Moniz's.


[00:22:12] But I want to climb into. What? Who.


[00:22:15] How did you decide for your own. Was it a conversation with your personal schedule? Like once every two weeks you release. And how do you develop the choreography of what you're going to talk about? How do you curate that?


[00:22:26] So I am currently a solo printer. Right. Like I'm the queen. I run the show. I have three little girls. For the last entirety of their lives, except the last five months, I have had them in my custody. Eighty percent of the time. With like minimal financial support. So the stuff that I have done in four and a half years with three kids in tow. Frankly, I am clapping for myself because it really is remarkable. And the. That's from a brand. You know, when you're an entrepreneur, you wear so many different caps. Right. Like you were the genius cap where you really shine. Then you got to put on like the CFO cap, which is not as much of a strength area strength for me. And then I've got a strategy hat. And so strategically, I'm also very Dutch and I'm very much a Taurus. So when I put on that strategy cap, it is like is rooted in the earth. And that root tells me what is the intention behind what you're doing? What will this lead you to or what will it return? I'm really very spiritual. So what it leads me to. There are so many options in front of me. Most of those options are. Who knows? But I trust my gut to go for the podcast. I only do it once every two weeks because it is very difficult to turn a profit and to convert with a podcast. I think. And so I have to balance out. And I've looked at sponsorships and like I don't want to do sponsorships online. That, frankly, it seems like it's going to add an additional layer of effort on my behalf. And frankly, I look at what is the content? What what is the intention? Why am I creating this? Who am I serving? What am I doing? And how does it align with my value? That's my feel today. I use online literally every decision of my life, especially in my business. And so for the podcast, I believe it's very important to have the podcast as one of the moving pieces of my business. But there's only so much energy I can give it. If somebody else was footing the bill or if they was really converting a lot of clients back to private clients, it would absolutely be at least once a week, if not more. But right now, it's like I really want to have it, but I'm also keeping my eye on it to make sure what I'm doing is actually worth my time.


[00:24:41] Yeah, and those are really good points. I have to say, I get asked to speak a lot about developing podcasts because I've done so many that I know four years ago that I was a little podcast maven. But and what I quickly surmised and kind of speak to and advise you on is everything that you've spoken of. I think that the most important thing is consistency, tone and rhetoric and authenticity as well as like really having a point. And yours are so polished, like, you know, you kind of just quickly prattled off. But you have this original sound music, you know, to your podcasts and then and these sound quality of them, like everything sounds so amazing. And I think that people need to realize that it's still the Wild West. So I realize that I'm speaking to rules I've made up for my own kingdom. But within that, as far as podcasts go, I think consistency and tone. You know, you can have a change in the podcast, but to go from one week to one kind. And then for another, which another is very jarring. And then there's this idea that, you know, people can just not release or stop or do whatever you some random Thursday. And that seems a little immature as well. You know, and just holding yourself accountable, sponsorship, like you mentioned, is another big one. I myself am not attached to it. But funding is not an issue for me because the majority of my projects are self-funded.


[00:26:00] But as you've mentioned, a lot of people think that it's going to be this cash making machine and sponsorship in partnership or a ton of work. They frequently align you with a brand that may or may not be in sync with your brand.


[00:26:11] There's just a lot of things that decimates my brand. I'm so authentic that if I start talking about paper towels, my brand is dead and like the me-ness of me is dead.


[00:26:24] Yeah. And I like your Yankee. I like that whole concept. I was just seems that Yankee know how and you're in Canada, but either concept of ingenuity and kind of like out of the box off Amazon. And then I met a friend and they wrote the music and that that's really what you can do with podcasting. And I encourage people to get on and listened to Leisses because it is a sense of professionalism that is astounding that you did. I for sure assumed that your publicist with your book had hooked you up with an entire crew. So it's hats off to you. It sounds amazing and I love it. I want to turn now to unpacking and to call myself beloved. A story of hope, healing and coming home. The book it just launched today and everyone who has listened to me before knows that I'm an absolute bookworm. But I haven't read it as it came out today. And I am excited. Excited because this will be what I call an airplane conversation. So if I just met you on an airplane and we and I had you quarantined for an hour and a half next to me, I would be able to ask you all of these questions, hopefully without you getting away or putting on your headphones.


[00:27:21] I just, like, leaned closer because I'm so excited about this.


[00:27:27] Oh, I love it because I don't know anything about it. And so this is very off the cuff, which is my favorite kind of conversation. I'd love research, but I do far too much of it. OK. So I first want to talk about this. My introduction to the book was through whatever we could grab Off-line. And I want to read a quick line that I found to myself that kind of explain to me what the book was about and you can tell me if it's correct or not. So it says, To call myself beloved is informed by lessons learned through navigating the most cataclysmic events of woman's of one woman's life and realizing throughout each one that I am still OK. So we've kind of climbed through some of that. You know what you said earlier and things like that. But that for me, kind of gave me the impetus of what I expected the book to be about. I then listened to the most recent podcast, which is about one chapter of that, and it's called The Myth of Competition. And this actually speaks to a great deal of my heart. And I think a lot of people that listen to this podcast series will identify with it. So I first want you to hear what I would like to hear from you. Before we unpack, I want to talk about the myth of competition and all of the other chapters. But when you were writing it, did you keep your audience in mind or did you just read it for yourself? Because you do have this kind of self-serving platform, which is a plausible. But I want to know if you did keep your audience in mind, who was that audience? And as you were composing it, how did how were you speaking to them? How did it help transform her build the book?


[00:28:54] Well, until very recently, I used to introduce myself as a professional human and real ethical because frankly, that's what I am. My dream has always been to get paid to be me again. I spent so much of my life, arguably the first half of my life denying who I was and proving who I was and hiding who I was.


[00:29:12] That now I'm like, Oh, no. Here I am. It took so much.


[00:29:16] I'm so happy to be this person. I love this person so much. Let me share that. And let me see if what kind of opportunities arise. And the cool thing is, lots of opportunities have arisen from that place of genuine authenticity. So, yes, the book. I absolutely kept my audience in mind because I am also my ideal client. I'm very passionate about the fact that just like we said, if I'm having this feeling and I'm really struggling and I can't even Google the answer, I can't figure it out.


[00:29:49] Oh, man. If I can't figure it out, there about to be thousands, if not tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of other women who are struggling this that for some reason don't have the right genetic makeup that compels them to figure it out. So all this stuff I figured out, I went back to school for coaching. I read every book. I did all the things. I saw so many therapists. I ended up creating this incredible healing modality for myself that I started to use of my clients. And I watched how it was affecting my clients lives in this earth. Shatteringly simple way. You know, all of my clients this week, for example, I got on the phone with them and they're like, I am not doing well. It has not been a good week by the end of the conversation. Fifty seven minutes later, they're like, oh, my God, this is a dramatic difference. I feel so much better. I thought I felt stuck. But actually what I see now from talking to you is that I'm not so trapped. I have so many options. So I am my ideal client because those are all pain points that I, I had so close to me. So when I was writing it, it was really important to me, too. Like when it says like somehow I wrote about like, it's just one woman's life. I'm just a woman. Like, I'm just a person living a life as a human on this planet. And I was an episode on my block that's got to be where the female empowerment brand, because when you start to scratch the surface on the female empowerment brand, like you are not going to like what you find in so many that people who are championing themselves as just regular people.


[00:31:23] Are not. So let's take a look there. They're not just regular people, and I feel like I just kind of a regular person living a life.


[00:31:30] And so, again, to write from that place of wealth, here are the three things that ultimately tried to define my life childhood abuse, a really painful divorce, and then this experience with cancer that the treatment for which included chemo, full hair loss and a radical mastectomy. If I remove both of my breasts and what I learned through each of those things was how to heal and not only how to heal from trauma and pain, but how to come home to. So when you read in the space of like, all you have to do is self lollypops. Just love yourself. Just take care of yourself. Just start to prioritize. I'll just set boundaries. My personality is like, yeah, but how? Like tell me how to do that. Nobody is telling me how to do that. They're just creating a listicle. Is that gets great MCO ratings. And so suddenly I was like, well fuck it, I'm going to write this manual on how to do this. So the book is divided and I would call a book like a self love manifesto because it's almost 400 pages and it's literally a compendium of everything and every healing modality, mindset, HAAKE technique that I learned about spotted figures. And it's divided into these three sections, understanding where you've come from, making peace with where you are and then healing forward. And each section opens with one personal essay. So, like, here's a glimpse of what my childhood was actually like. People think because I had such like an engaged Instagram audience, that I must be like very extroverted and very public. I'm insanely private, like I'm an insanely efforts. And so this is a big deal to them actually sharing stories of what it was like in childhood. And then, you know, the second part opens with what does divorce actually feel like? Because if you want to polarize a room real quick, just ask for people's opinions on marriage and divorce, and you will find you'll find basically it's always the woman's fault.


[00:33:22] There a lot of things in the marriage. Yeah. Oh, yeah. And that was it was just so it was so intense.


[00:33:28] Divorce was literally the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life. And that includes cancer. It was way harder than cancer. And then just as I was building momentum and doing all the right things and navigating that divorce, a lot of grace and kindness and compassion. I got breast cancer, like I got breast cancer the day my ex-husband got married and I was like I was so ready to give up. I was ready. I was like, I'm out. My life is a Kafka novel. And I've read it. And I don't like how it ends. I'm not gonna be this beetle trapped in my back because that's stupid. I don't know what I'm gonna do. And I came home from one of my appointments. There are many, many, many appointments at the very beginning of cancer. And I was so young and no family history that the treatment was going to be super aggressive. So I came home from one of my appointments. I hadn't picked up my kids from school yet. I was just like once again, once again lying on my living room floor. A different house was one I bought by myself, lying in my living room floor rage, screaming like primal rage. But that anger that you're never, ever allowed to feel, particularly as a woman. Like, I was just rage screaming. And I was screaming out like, how the heck am I going to do this? How am I going to do this? Yeah, I wouldn't you know, it. This little voice came back. Again, and the voice this time was like you were going to make this beautiful. And I remember like stopping and being like, what? And I heard it again. You're gonna make this beautiful. And it was in that moment where I was like, oh, my God. The only expectations I have to meet are the ones I set for myself. So I actually get to defy what anybody else's expectations of are of my cancer experience. And I'm going to make it my own. And I'm going to make it so fucking beautiful. Nobody's gonna know what to do. So from that, it was such a turning point that I realized I'm sure you read The Alchemist by Paulo Pueblo. If you're a reader, that's my favorite book. And I remember going through that process of deliberately making everything about the cancer experience and single parenting. And I was like, this is emotional alchemy. This is taking this dark, painful, really heavy stuff. Allowing enough trust and flow and expertize and intuition to consciously transform it into something beautiful and golden. So to kind of answer the question a very long way. That's the third part of the block. It's full of how you do that. You know, it's very easy to be like if you want to heal and move forward, all you to do is forgive your parents. Do you know what it's like to forgive your parents? Do you know what it's like to forgive an ex-husband who doesn't treat you very well? That's hard. Do you know what it's like to forgive people who you thought you could trust? And then they violated all your trust. So in the book, it's I am so proud of it because it's like. Lots of personal essay, lots of anecdotes. There's so many little funny examples, just like it feels like you're kind of talking to your girlfriend on the couch because it's just kind of a casual conversation. We're intensely practical hands on information that anybody can do, that anybody can just teach themselves how to think. Definitely.


[00:36:40] And as a single mom of three, when I say things like it's lifestyle friendly, you better believe it's lifestyle friendly because, like, ain't nobody got time to get up an extra hour and a half to do a workout and make a great movie and then a bulletproof like, I'm like, no, I can't do that right now. So just tell me, how do I teach myself how to think differently?


[00:36:58] I wrote the tome on it. That's amazing. I love. I'm obsessed with anyone who knows.


[00:37:06] Mayors had the unfortunate experience of hearing me ramble on either in front of a crowd or not. I'm obsessed with action items and utility and and it's because I get lost very easily personally in despair. And, you know, and I look at really, really hard subjects and I don't mind doing that as long as we've got a ladder out what path towards that ladder. And so this this call to to action that you have that, you know, you've insisted on fitting into schedule and things like that is kind of. And it's I'm I'm obsessed with the concept. A lot of books that kind of dove into narrative and things like that. We'll tell you how that particular person kind of came out of it. And frequently it'll be like time passed and things changed and fell in love again or something. And I'm like, this is not a solution, you know, with the dot, dot, dot.


[00:37:55] I what what the hell is happening in the dot, dot, dot that nobody will tell me.


[00:38:00] Yeah, exactly. And so I can't I cannot wait to kind of pull it up and and look at your action items because it sounds like it's it's built that way because that's how you're leading, you know, a lot of your coaching. If you're coming out of fifty seven minutes saying this is a lot better, you know, that does not happen just from saying so my life sucks. You know, it it comes finding solutions out how we can toxify like it was will end.


[00:38:26] Because, you know, I really believe that all of us are soul children and we just, you know, live in bigger houses and drive fancy cars. But I think we all stay kids. And because I have these little girls, my inner child got so neglected as a kid that my inner child was so alive and well because she's fostered in this incredible environment that we've created as a little family, that I didn't want the book to be preachy either.


[00:38:50] So all of those action items I like sometimes if you say homework, people actually do get triggered or really these are activities they get.


[00:38:58] They kind of get put off.


[00:39:00] So I was like, well, listen, I love tacos. If you look at my branding at all, it's a very common thread that weaves itself in I love tacos. When I went to California, eight tacos, like all the way up the coast from California to L.A., but to Seattle.


[00:39:13] Yeah.


[00:39:15] So each of the activities or whatever.


[00:39:17] No, no, no. I was just saying you're right. And I mean, tacos are like more than our air state flag like me very well anyway.


[00:39:26] And so each of be like activities or the action items in the book are called taco activities because everybody likes soccer. And so it like sparks this like Tuckerton. It is so cool.


[00:39:35] Oh, not to forgive my friend, ok. It's like it's so it's very unhealthy because I, it's like I make it a very safe environment for you to trust me.


[00:39:45] And then all of a sudden you're like, oh my God, I'm doing the work and doing the work. And I am really proud of that.


[00:39:51] Absolutely. As well you should be. I think that that's exciting and finding those things. It's interesting you talk about creating a safe haven within, you know, your family, where you're it's it's dancing a fine line. When p when adults you I think you've been the first adult in the past few months has talked about being a child that hasn't irritated me. And I myself felt a little robbed of a childhood, you know, and for it for loving reasons. I came from a beautiful family of six children and it was crazy and dynamic. But my parents definitely did, you know, all that they could. And and I and when people talk about really their childhood, I'm like, oh, so your children hate being them, like, because you get to be the kid in the situation or there's those adults that like, I guess living out their dream. And so their kids are like having to make dinner.


[00:40:35] And I think like what's why are you taking out your problems on the next generation?


[00:40:38] But I like the way that you describe this environment where you're like we all get to kind of feel safe and experience and you're fostering that inner child without, like robbing it of your children, I think is so cool.


[00:40:49] Yeah. And like, my kids and I are not friends. We are not friends. I'm definitely their mother. They are definitely my children. But there it's so Medda because. I am the mother that I didn't get. I am the mother naturally, that I need it. And through my Montessori education, I totally started reparenting myself. And all of this healing is like it's essentially me re mothering myself and against all odds, because, trust me, I heard a lot of negative feedback and a ton of judgment when I when I did get divorced, people were like the worst thing you can do for your kids, you're gonna ruin their lives. And I'm like, well, not like I'm a really good mom. And that's just not that's just natural to who I am with my clients is the same thing. It's a very mothering energy. I'm not going to be like, oh, good. Did you set a goal this week? No. Like, let's be real. Like, what are you actually intending to do? I'm not your hype squad for my kids. I'm like their back them. Right. There's a lot of structure. There's there's this firm ness with a lot of flexibility. But there are these meta moments because we'll be sitting around writing like song parodies, like taking one of the new tillers with songs and making it up. But our cats instead, we're like watching a movie or something. And we all have this moment where it feels like all four of us are systems. Sometimes I'll go take them out for ice cream before dessert.


[00:42:07] First I'll be like, Oh, you do? Don't tell our mom, because there are those moments of like it's so insanely joyful and playful that none of us can believe that I'm your mom. But trust me, there's like so much mutual respect. Everybody is very, very clearly aware of, like, who the mother is.


[00:42:25] It's like it's a beautiful balance. I like the description that you have. You know, I can't wait to kind of unpack it even further in your book, and I feel the same way. I think there's a way to experience such a think, complete companionship with your children, but always remain. I always tell my kids I'm not your friend. So it's not supposed to be fair friendship.


[00:42:45] Frankly, this actually isn't a democracy. So thank you.


[00:42:48] I've heard what you had to say, but ultimately I make you assertion and I don't know what you like. I think, again, this is yes, this is rooted in my own past with the way that I apply emotional alchemy to it is like I was never, ever allowed to be myself or I felt punished and shamed and exiled for being myself. So with my kids I'm like. What do you like? What makes you happy? Let's do that. You want to do dance? OK, cool. Let's explore that. You know, you want to do karate, whatever. Let's explore that, because it's what makes you feel. I have no expectations of my children other than they are showing up as kind, lovely individuals and whatever that means for them. You know, if they're being of service and they're treating other people with respect, that's cool. They each have their own nuances and passion and style of clothing and and interests and hobbies.


[00:43:39] And to me, that individuality, while live, is the purpose of relationships to be completely whole on your own and independent while sharing an interdependent existence. Yeah. Grunting Right. And that is definitely the little environment that we've created in our home is gorgeous.


[00:43:58] That's got to be your next book. I mean, I'm putting it out there. There you go. Well, it's amazing.


[00:44:04] I love it. And I love the dynamic. It's like I said, I'm very sensitive. When things get described, I get like. But that it sounds wonderful. I love the idea of it. I want to climb into one of your chapters because it was narrated. I felt like I read it online and on your podcast, The Myth of Competition, because it really taps into something that we've actually had a lot of conversation on this particular podcast about. This was something I've looked at and a lot of different angles from a lot of different angles through a lot of different lenses in the past. And them if I would be so bold as to quickly just tell you what I heard from it and when listening to the podcast, is that there is this concept that we are all aware of, of women, that we get pitted against each other. And then you unpack it in a more interesting way. I haven't really heard this before, at least not that I can remember reading this kind of angle, but you get into the perception of what competition is. And Dina. And the takeaway for me was there will always be someone better and worse than you. So competition truly doesn't exist and it doesn't foster you in the way that you think it will. It delineates you from your society, from your fellow sisterhood. It can you know, it can actually slow things down. And it actually removes you from the goal that you're probably headed towards in the competition like circus anyway. And so I wanted to kind of talk about how you came to this chapter. Like, it's such a pivotal, crucial thing. It feels like the conversation, even as I tried to make it simple, is still so complex and dynamic per individual. How did you come to writing about this and what kind of made you come to the realizations you came to with it?


[00:45:36] So I have been basically single for about five years. Like, I've dated a couple of people since. Since my marriage ended. But ultimately, I've been single for five years. And while that has been a massive pain point for me over the past few years, because, like, oh, my God, I didn't think I was ever going to be single, like I.


[00:45:52] Where is this football player I've been dreaming about what five years is talking to? It has done.


[00:45:59] It has enabled me not only to be with my family and create a business and all the rest of it go through cancer. It has enabled me to use my thoughts. So I think about this stuff all the time. But because I spend a lot of time in solitude, it actually allows me to kind of tap into the cultural knowledge of what we're experiencing or what we're being told. I have a love hate relationship with Instagram because that's how I created my business. But also, there's so much bullshit on Instagram. Like, it pains me to watch it happen. And so for me, it's like when you start to strip it back and you strip it back and you strip it back. We are a we are animals. We are social animals at that. And so we are naturally inclined to always look to the group to see that what we're to see if what we're doing is in line with what everybody else is doing, because that means we're being accepted or we're not. And if we're accepted. Cool. You get to live. And if you're not accepted. Oh, you're dead. And so I to ignore competition is so stupid to me. It's like, wait a second. We're kind of wired in our DNA to have this litmus test of, like, is what I'm doing. OK. OK. So that's part of us. But the other part of us has to zoom out and realize, yes, we're social animals, but we've also really evolved as a species. So while we are looking out to make sure we're surviving, we actually have to look in and see what am I doing, why am I doing it? And like, what's the whole purpose behind this? If you spend your time looking at what everybody else is doing, you're only witnessing a moment in time. Right. And, you know, like, success is a long game. You can't you can't measure yourself. You can't measure your words and your progress by anybody else's standards other than your own. Because we're all just comparing weird moments in time and that each of us is walking this individual path. Why the hell would I look at anybody else's path, see where they are and why would I internalize that to make that like a metric of my success as my own? So if you understand that, like. Success as my own in this moment and that moment is like a series of moments over a long period of time. There's always gonna be somebody who's doing way worse than I am. And there's always going to be somebody who's way far ahead of me.


[00:48:18] So to me, it seems pretty stupid to do any of that.


[00:48:22] And instead take all that energy and all that focus and be like, OK. Was this my best? No, it wasn't. OK. Then how could I have done that better? Or what would I tweak to make that smoother? Or is this my best? You know what? Given what I had at the time, the resources that I had, this is my best. Look, I'm going to stand confidently in that. And it's so freeing. Just to be at peace with who you are and what you're doing that I really wanted to frame it for people as like competition. Isn't this you really only have to be to value what you're doing and why?


[00:48:56] Yeah, and I love it because it unpacks it. I think a lot of people have different terminology. You know, people who have a really positive relationship with competition don't actually mean the same thing by that word. As someone who has a negative relationship is where I get very into people like defining their terms. Yes. Least this chapter seems to really define the way that you have started to look at and use these words moved beyond them. And I think that that is so crucial. You know, when you're having particularly self dialog, you really need to ask yourself what you mean by those words. And if you're comparing yourself with somebody else, what they mean by those words and if they give you they haven't defined themselves. You can't possibly believe that you're speaking about the same thing.


[00:49:34] Well, then the second part of that chapter is like, I been controversial.


[00:49:40] But the second part of that chapter is that like collaboration over competition. Is like even more of a myth. And I would argue is rooted in such patriarchal roots that it just it makes me want to vomit because I feel like living in this Instagram generation is Instagram culture that we are told over and over again like, don't worry, girls, that we know we put you against each other for so long. But now all you do is collaborate. And then you don't have to feel, though, that bitter pain of rejection from somebody doing better you better than you.


[00:50:10] And to me, I am like I don't even have a good analogy for it. I feel like I'm like a mere cat looking up, being like, is anybody else hearing this shit? They show me a room full of men.


[00:50:22] Show me a fuckin cafe table with two men where they're being told that, OK, boys, you just need to collaborate instead of compete. No, it doesn't exist. That that's not a thing. And it's like, OK. So if that conversation is now a movement for women to champion collaboration over competition, what I hear is playing nice girls. We don't want you to Slainte nobody's feelings to get hurt. You really can't handle it. So why don't you just work together? And I'm like giving middle fingers all over the place. And like, if you want to collaborate for your brand because it's good for your brand or it's good for your soul.


[00:50:57] I work with people sometimes because I love working with them and it's so fun. I don't care what the outcome is. I just want to be in that energy. That's a fucking awesome collaboration. But if something isn't good for my brand, just because I think somebody else might do it better than me. Does that mean I'm gonna then work with her to get ahead? It's like it's so condescending and it's so misogynistic that I like a want bar. Right. I'd like to see it on.


[00:51:26] Well, and it's wrapped in this beautiful you know, it's wrapped in this message of like women lifting up women. You know, that's bullshit. Drag and all of that. And I think that you're right in saying that one must now collaborate. It's just silly as saying one must compete in. And eventually exclusive. Yeah. And they've taken, you know, a word that didn't used to mean, you know, your week and then called it week like collaboration used to be how NASA was built. It wasn't how, you know, we have the population that couldn't get ahead because of, you know, hundreds of years of misogynistic implementation at micro levels, you know. Oh, it's crazy. I want to turn I could talk all day.


[00:52:07] I could have you unpack every chapter, read it, and we'll do just that, too.


[00:52:14] I love asking coaches and people who have done so much self dialog and then turned into, you know, advisers and and mentors of that nature.


[00:52:24] I am obsessed with how you look at goals yourself. So I want to first know as a business person. Do you have one to three your goals for your business endeavors? And second of all, do you use the same structure in which you advise your client tell when it comes to looking at the future or goals or whatever terminology you want to supplement if you hate the word goals.


[00:52:44] Yeah. So I think for me, interestingly, like today's book launch day for me. Right. And I, I had ordered a bunch of copies in advance for pre sale and they arrived a few days ago. And so the from the time they arrived to today has been such an emotional time because you're confronted with it. And I read about this in the book, like the failure, the fear of getting what you want. Suddenly it's like, oh, my God, I've been focused on writing a book, even if on the back burner on my periphery. I've been focused on writing a book for four years. I did it. It's in the world. Last time I checked, it's like number three already arms in self esteem. Like I think it's going to be a bestselling book now to go back into it.


[00:53:27] And at first that, you know, the roller coaster of emotion is like, oh, my God, what do I do now? And the flip side is like, oh, my God, what do I do now?


[00:53:37] So for me, the next one to three years are so interesting because today was the pinnacle of what my goal was, was like. Right. I look today I'm like, I did it. Oh, my God, I did it. Like I created this brand. I started hiring people to run Facebook ads and build online course or build the ads to promote the online courses. You can work with me privately. I have a Quantcast I have a book I do speaking as soon as I can get back on a stage. It's like. Oh, my God. What is next for me? And so I don't know what that looks like. Really, what it feels like is more freedom, more thought leadership. I feel like all this self dialog, all of this work. All this granular attention to the emotional experience we're having. I really feel like my purpose on this earth is to change the global conversation on emotional health and self-love. And to me and this answers the second part of your question as to how I support clients with their goals. I'm so intention based. And, you know, the spirituality component ties them because I know what I want this to feel like. I know what I want how I want to honor my family. I know the level of financial freedom that feels really good for me. I know how I want to be of service to not only my local community, but my global community. And if I'm really clear on that intention, which I am, and if if that intentional why and so beautifully with my values, which it does. Then I almost don't really care what happens next, because I know it's good thought, leadership to me is always possible on my radar. I'm going to be on this TV show. We're shooting it in October. And it's called the Social Movement. It's getting like 60 people together. We're divided by expertize and we're given four days to solve a major problem like education, pendent, how to stop a pandemic. And then we pitch those ideas to a team of investors. So part of me is like, oh, man, what if I get, like, my own Netflix docu series to come out of that or wouldn't wouldn't it be cool? I get on my own Amazon mini series that's just sharing what I know about the emotional experience. I don't know, but I know that it's gonna be so fun.


[00:55:56] It's going to be like lots of work and also lots of fun.


[00:55:59] It sounds like it. I love that and I love that. You know, it came and you had a very clear thought that was just also based out of intention like that faith and knowing what that framework for yourself and understanding that, you know, you could move forward out of that confidence and grace. I think that's everyone's goal is to feel like, you know, that regardless of how clear their goals are, they will be obtainable because they've developed this platform. Well, I wanted. We've got like a few minutes left. And I want to finally climb into my last question, which everyone knows I ask on this particular series, and I'm excited to find out what yours is going to be, your answer. But so if you were walking tomorrow outside of Toronto on your beautiful lake community at a safe social distance and someone ran up to you and it was a woman or a woman identified or non binary individual, they said, listen, I am so good, least I found you. We have someone in common. They've told me to come and talk to you. I have undergone this, you know, like this litany of personal difficulty and triumph from that. And I'm getting ready to kind of pull myself up and pivot and start this huge empire for myself. And it's going to be based on all of my knowledge and all of my findings. What are the top three pieces of advice you would give that individual? Knowing what you know today?


[00:57:19] That's a powerful question. I think it would be. Trust yourself.


[00:57:26] Don't pay more attention to what you have to say than what anybody else has to say, and I appreciate that. It is a long game, and just because it's a long game doesn't mean that you're failing. It just. Sometimes things take more time than you think. And if you can keep yourself present and really, really be in the process without focusing so much on the end goal.


[00:57:55] Beautiful. So I've got trust herself. Appreciate that it's a long game. And stay in the process. Stay present. That's great. All of those, you know, speaking to self-knowledge and then endurance and looking at like the true livelihood of everyone's struggle. And then obviously staying present, which I think a lot of your advice does. I am so thankful for you speaking with us today. It's been such a pleasure for me. And we're out of time. But I just wanted to say I really appreciate your candor. I know that your empire is developed on it, but I feel like you stay present with that. It's very easy. I think when you write as much as you do when you podcast's and things like that to fall into these like very Klip things that we say over and over again.


[00:58:39] But I listen to a lot of information on you online before we spoke. And I've never heard anything that you've given me today. So I just want to say thank you for that. It's it's really appreciated. Your authenticity is amazing.


[00:58:50] Thank you. And what an opportunity to be here. I wish we weren't coast-to-coast because like I want to go for tacos with you or like go get coffee right now. What an amazing opportunity to be here and share the space from across the world.


[00:59:03] Absolutely. And that will happen one day. We are absolutely getting tacos. Soul Sisters, for sure and for certain.


[00:59:12] But yes, I appreciate it. And for everyone listening. Thank you so much for giving us your time. I do appreciate all of you. And we've been speaking with Leisse Wilcox, who's a transformational mindset and success coach and author. You can find out more about her book, her podcasts and her coaching different courses and things like that on her Web site. Leisse Wilcox dot com. That's Leisse i. S s e w i lcross dot com. Her book is called To Call Myself Beloved. A Story of Hope, Healing and Coming Home. Jump online. Grab it off and we will come back around. I always serve. I, I know my audience is like, how could you not have read it. I will grab Leisse back up again before COVID ends and so that she's somehow still at home and I'll trap her into having a conversation with me. Guaranteed.


[00:59:58] With pleasure.


[00:59:59] Yeah, absolutely.


[01:00:00] So thank you everyone for giving us your time again until we speak again next time. Remember to stay safe and always bet on yourself. Slainte.


Talking to Stormi Scott; Business Development Manager

Talking to Stormi Scott; Business Development Manager

August 20, 2020

Today I am talking with Stormi Scott. Stormi is the Business Development Manager for Leverage, a software and education platform designed to help small business owners and property investors make more informed and empowered financing decisions. Stormi began her career at one of the largest financial institution in 2016 and through hard work and determination, she advanced herself within the banking system and became a Branch Manager at a Regional Bank. 


During her time in the banking industry, Stormi saw firsthand some of the struggles business owners face when seeking financing and her experiences inspired her to want to help create a system to empower better outcomes for all small businesses seeking financing going forward. With Leverage, Stormi hopes to provide small business owners, entrepreneurs, and property investors an advantage in the financing process - and empower them to start their funding conversation like never before.


This podcast series is hosted by Patricia Kathleen and Wilde Agency Media. This series is a platform for women, female-identified, & non-binary individuals to share their professional stories and personal narrative as it relates to their story. This podcast is designed to hold a space for all individuals to learn from their counterparts regardless of age, status, or industry. 


*Please note, this is an automated transcription please excuse any typos or errors


[00:00:00] In this episode, I speak with business development manager at Leverage Stormi Scott. Key points addressed were Stormi professional history in retail and banking industries that brought her to her work with leverage. We also address some interesting fundamentals in the world of business, credit and financing that are largely unknown by the communities in which they are meant to serve. Stay tuned for my informative talk with Stormi Scott.


[00:00:30] Hi, my name is Patricia Kathleen, and this podcast series contains interviews I conduct with women. Female identified and non binary individuals regarding their professional stories and personal narrative. This podcast is designed to hold a space for all individuals to learn from their counterparts regardless of age status for industry. We aim to contribute to the evolving global dialog surrounding underrepresented figures in all industries across the USA and abroad. If you're enjoying this podcast, be sure to check out our subsequent series that dove deep into specific areas such as Vegan life, fasting and roundtable topics. They can be found via our Web site. Patricia Kathleen .COM, where you can also join our newsletter. You can also subscribe to all of our series on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Pod Bean and YouTube. Thanks for listening. Now let's start the conversation.


[00:01:27] Hi, everyone, and welcome back. I am your host, Patricia, today I am excited to be sitting down with Stormi Scott. Stormi is a business development manager at Leverage. You can find out more about the company and everything we talk about today at leverage calc dot com. That is l e v e r a g e c a l c dot com. Welcome Stormi.


[00:01:49] Hello. Thank you so much for having me today.


[00:01:51] Absolutely. I'm excited to claim through everything that you're doing at leverage for everyone listening. This podcast will follow the same in the series with the trajectory and the inquiries based out of the similar direct trajectory, namely a roadmap for that will be. We'll look at stories, academic and professional background, and then we'll turn towards unpacking her work as a business development manager at Leverage and what leverage is we'll get into when it was founded. The transitions, how it's grown, all of those things. And we'll talk about funding for it and it being a financial company, it's quite interesting. Then we'll unpack Stormi's goals and plans for the future. We'll look at how those have changed, perhaps with the most recent COVID 19 pandemic wrap everything up with a half an hour with advice for me has for those of you who are looking to get involved or perhaps emulate some of her success before I start peppering her with questions. A quick bio on Stormi Stormi. Scott is the business development manager for Leverage, a software and education platform designed to help small business owners and property investors make more informed and empowered financing decisions. Swarmy began her career at one of the largest financial institutions in 2016, and through hard work and determination, she advanced herself within the banking system and became a branch manager at Regional Bank. During her time in the banking industry, Stormi saw firsthand some of the struggles business owners face when seeking financing, and her experiences inspired her to want to help create a system to empower better outcomes for small businesses seeking financial financing. Going forward with leverage, Stormi hopes to provide small business owners, entrepreneurs and property investors an advantage in the financing process and empower them to start their funding conversation like never before. So start me. I'm excited to kind of climb through that. I think that now is a really appropriate time to be talking about the work that leverage is doing. But before we get into that, I'm hoping you can draw our audience kind of academic and professional background of who you are and who you have been up until your point of working as a business development manager for leverage.


[00:03:57] Yes. So let's just dove right into that. So I come from a family that had very little money growing up. You know, I had to be very, very independent and grow very fast. I learned at a very young age that if I wanted something more out of life, you know, I really would really have to rely on myself. So I got my first job at the age of 15 at Subway, which I have to tell you was the biggest deal to me at that time to earn my own money, you know, and at that time, I actually did have to pay rent to help my mom with like household expenses. But I didn't mind that whatsoever. You know, I continued working throughout my high school, and once I graduated high school, I actually landed a job at a family owned department store. And I continued by getting promoted. And that's what everyone was going off to college. And I just made the decision at that time not to. And really because at that age, you know, I was making good money and I actually had people who worked under me at the time who just graduated from college, who couldn't get a job in their field. And, you know, they would tell me about the struggle that they went through, having all of the student loans and having to pay them off. And, you know, I just decided that if I continue to work hard, I could get where I wanted to. You know, my my experiences and, you know, I did take classes here and there. But, you know, then I did get into like you said, I started my career in banking and I started off working for one of the largest financial institutions. And I found such a passion for helping people with their finances. And one of my favorite parts of my job was actually teaching financial education classes. I went to different businesses and talk to their employees, and I taught at different schools in organizations like Dress for Success and Homeless Shelters. You know, I just I just loved providing that, you know, free financial education because we don't get taught that and, you know, throughout our school years, I just think it's so important. So I then became a branch manager. I actually I'm originally from Iowa. And a couple of years ago, I made the loans to the East Coast, and that's when I became a branch manager for a regional bank excuse me. And that's when I really started working with small businesses. And, you know, I meant many business owners and belt really great relationships. And I just learned the struggle that business owners face when it came to obtaining. Saying, first off, some business owners just honestly didn't know what business credit.


[00:06:31] You know, that that was even a thing which was kind of shocking, but it was true. So it was all about educating them and learning kind of how to build business credit, which is great. Being able to help them do that. But the part that was kind of frustrating for me was when I had a business owner apply for any type of funding and they were being declined or they were being approved for like only a portion of what they would apply for. And that, unfortunately, happened a lot. It was mainly just due to the fact that my finance institution at that time, they are a very, very conservative lender. So you really need to fit in that bank box to be approved. And what I mean by that is, like you really have to meet the requirements. And of course, that's not the case everywhere. Every lender has different loan options, different requirements that you need to meet. But anyways, I wanted to just always be on the side of supporting and educating business owners and entrepreneurs. And I didn't want to do that bad guy delivering bad news. I mean, if anyone is listening and has ever gone to that financing process and got I got a no, it's a horrible feeling. And, you know, so I sat there and I was like, is this really what I wanted to do with my career?


[00:07:46] Or do I want to get into a position where I am able to go out kind of on my own and help more people? So my father in law has a family owned business in the real estate world and in software. And so I decided to get involved with a software company because I loved what it offered business owners. And I didn't really want to stay in that corporate world and limit my career. So when I had the opportunity, I became the business development manager for the financing software. And here I am.


[00:08:17] Yeah, absolutely. So I want to be clear. Going back over as a quick description and I'll have you kind of unpack it for us as well, looking at leverage. But it's a software and education platform designed to help small business owners and property investors make more empowered financing decisions, according from your bio. Yeah, and and I want you to kind of unpack the the real terms of what that means and what it looks like and point to examples and things like that. Before we get to that, I do want to cover the logistics for everybody listening. This podcast series started three years ago with founders and entrepreneurs. And so we always cover the same top three, which was when was it founded? Who were the founders and how long have you been working there?


[00:09:01] Yeah. So a little bit of background on the company. So, John, my father in law, like I said, he's a very successful real estate developer and had when he was actually creating  the software, he had plenty of like venture capital, capital and investor interest in the software. But he truly just decided to self-funded to maintain 100 percent ownership and keep it a private company so he could really keep it family owned. And, you know, that really gave us a lot of flexibility with what we offer and for us to have our mission be our own and not have to answer to, you know, to anyone. So we really like that. And we allowed it allowed us to determine where our product is a best fit and like enter the market. So I personally started with leverage back in December of this year, and leverage was really created to level the playing field for everyone who was going for business, finance or commercial property financing. So our mission is all about empowering people for the financing discussion because we know that or in five businesses fail within the first five years due to not getting the capital that they need. So, you know, we we all know how it goes when you initially start that conversation with the lender and the feeling that people get. And even for the most experienced bah bah, we're it's a little bit of trepidation all the way to absolutely dreading it.


[00:10:26] And it's like, why is that? And it's because, like, you're going and not knowing what the lender is going to say.


[00:10:32] You walk and having no idea of the outcome. So how it started was John actually partnered with a commercial banker to write the algorithm for the underwriting and our calculators that we offer. So our original platform was created in 2016 and it was named commercial loan success. And that actually had thousands of customers who vetted over a billion dollars worth of deal flow through that original form over the years. But that platform really was for that experienced borrower who, you know, that experienced business owner who was connecting to a traditional bank. And we know that many, many businesses cannot get a loan from like a traditional bank due to, you know, this or that. So we wanted to create leverage, which is our platform now that allows business owners and property investors at any point in their career. You know, if you're. Starting out or you've been in business for 30 years, either way, you have the ability to determine if you are pre qualified for the financing that you're seeking. And what was really cool that I loved and like when I got involved was, you know, we got told by third party reviews from the software that, you know, it's a look under the hood of commercial underwriting and that has never been done or seen before. You know, most people don't realize how a bank underwrites you. You know, how does your commercial loan long get underwritten? Like what factors determine how much they give you? You know, people just don't know. Patricia, you are such an experienced business owner, like have you ever been through the process and you know.


[00:12:09] Yes, absolutely. I mean, I do have a familiarity in this just because I'm not a young entrepreneur anymore, but I do understand that the actual ignorance of what's entailed and things that are considered is daunting to people and not really thought of until they go and do it. And once they do have the information, it's usually based on things that they wish they had altered or changed prior to applying for loans. And I'm guessing that that's what your company has gone in and kind of solved then and suggested. Do you guys suggest that people get on and find out what their business credit is prior to even thinking about a business loan just out of ways to fix it? And curiosity? I'm thinking of these ways that people credit karma in places that help you clean things up. Does your company advise to that end as well?


[00:13:03] So no matter what with anything. I always recommend that a business look at their credit. I mean, it's actually kind of shocking because like I said before, and my banking for talking to business owners and they had no idea business credit was even a thing. And when I looked into it further, it was like half of all the small businesses didn't even know that business like you have a business credit score. And it's like, why is it important? So definitely because obviously building business credit is so important and part of growing your business, you know, a good business credit score can enable you to move easily to acquire financing. And it also like increases the value of your company and all. And another reason, protecting your personal credit. So the first step is always ensuring if you want to finance the financing process to go very smoothly for you, start with your business credit. Really see all your business credit reports. You can go to the three credit bureaus for business as Experian, Equifax, and of course, of course, that in Broadstreet I always recommend, hey, you can go in there, get your business credit report, see what's on there, see what's affecting your credit. You'd be amazed. I mean, it goes as well as personal credit. You'd be amazed if you see any errors that are just sitting there and nobody knows the look and pull it. And then you just find this area that's been affecting you and that's why you can't get business financing. So definitely. Yes, start there.


[00:14:33] Yeah. When someone arrives at your site, how are they already in need of business financing or do you have people that are also just kind of perusing educational basis of how to kind of look at business financing and business credit?


[00:14:49] Usually they're ready to take that step. They're ready to find financing, especially with the with the business calculators. You know, you're able to go and see if you qualify for a loan line of credit, Tahmoor equipment, like whatever you're trying to jail. But what about another thing that I do find for our property investor calculators is that if you are a property investor and you're thinking about getting involved in a property, are screeners are going to be able to allow you to know if you're able to get financing for that building, which is so valuable. So you don't want to get involved in a transaction and find out you're not going to be able to get financing for that property. So that kind of you know, you can go in and sanity check a property as much as you like before getting involved. So that's kind of where that educational piece would fit and suit bound for that property investor.


[00:15:41] Right. Do you find with them? I mean, you mentioned property management. And I think anybody who's been on the news over the past three months has recognized that it's kind of a tenuous time. What have you guys spoken to the COVA 19 pandemic opening properties and, you know, some of them were major cities and having, you know, a fluctuating rent coming in and things of that nature. People not able to provide rent. The government stepping in a little bit later. Landlords taking the bill for that. Do you have any have you implemented any new verbiage or considered any new systems given there, like the recent state of affairs in dealing with property management, things like that?


[00:16:20] Yeah. So actually, I'm glad that you brought that up. So we heard from a lot of a lot of businesses, a lot of property investors who had who had a lot of issues. And one thing that we did on the property side is we actually added refinancing calculators to all of our property calculators. So therefore, that's what a lot of people were doing. They're like, OK, I'm not going to be able to get rent, what am I going to do? And they want to park cash from their building. So they went in and tried to see if they could refinance a out cash to kind of weather the store.


[00:16:53] And then when it came to the business side, a lot of businesses were like, I'm going to you know, I'm applying for the BPP. I'm trying to see if I can get help from the government. And we were just I was sort of saying, hey, like you came out. Wait. You have to be proactive like it's your business if you are needing financing now to kind of bridge that gap. With everything going on right now, it was hard, though, because we had a lot of people who came to us and was like, why went to my lender that I banked with and been with for years? And they're not able to give me a loan right now. So that was a huge hard part was we didn't know who was lending and what the rules were. They were constantly changing. So we actually dropped Cauvin.


[00:17:37] We partnered with a loving capital because we wanted to create a database which is called Leverage Connecting, and we wanted to create that database for those people who were struggling to find the lenders that were lending.


[00:17:51] And we were just saying, go and see if you can see, you know, trying the software green. And if you can, you can for a digital platform, connect with a lender that is ready to lend to you and find you really faster.


[00:18:06] Nice. Do you have. Do you have areas of aid when someone comes in and discovers that their business, credit or lending capital isn't what they wish that it was? Do you have affiliates or people, other companies that you work with in order to help people kind of repair their credit?


[00:18:26] So we don't have that like we don't work with any other companies at this time. But we do have a really good resource center. So it's kind of like, you know, different articles, different blogs and different. I'm just giving free education on kind of what your first steps are. And I always like to provide my information. If anybody wants, like, a 30 minute consultation with me and sit down and kind of look to see where where things are at.


[00:18:52] I'm always happy to do that because that's what I enjoy doing, right? Yeah.


[00:18:58] I mean, to look at what you said, to look under the hood of the underwriting community. What can you kind of illuminate for everyone listening today about what that entails? When you're looking at business, credit and business loan industries.


[00:19:13] Yeah. So let's kind of go back in the day like you were really able to sit with the decision maker. You know, you could walk into a bank and sit down with, like the head of commercial lending and do a transaction. And that person you were sitting with had the authority to pretty much give you the deal right now with, you know, oh, and everything. Like, so much has changed. And you have that relationship banker, you know, out in front to do all the paperwork. And then the underwriter is just completely a ghost, in my opinion. You know, the banker will advocate and fight for your loan. But they do not make the decisions at the end of the day. You know, you have a customer comes in and applies for an eighty thousand dollar loan and they're like, oh, you know, we can only approve you for 50. And then the customer sitting there like, why? And you can't have you don't have any communication with that underwriter to really provide a solid answer. And I can't tell you how many other customers I would come to me in my drinking days who would go to try to get something from a different financial institution. And they didn't receive they just received a letter in the mail saying, oh, your your transaction has been declined. And that was no reason. So I just think, like, a huge, huge, huge problem is the miscommunication of what they were really needing from from the customer.


[00:20:37] And I mean, I feel like the two biggest reasons that it's difficult for people to get approved for a bank loan is just them themselves walking in not prepared, you know, not knowing what they need and how much they really think is realistic for their business.


[00:20:53] People come in with unrealistic expectations. And when you go in for getting any type of financing, you never want to walk into a situation being unprepared and not knowing the outcome especially like, women.I feel like it is so much harder for us to dive into something completely blind and not knowing what will happen in the at like we as women would probably not do it. We're like, no, thank you. I'm good. I'll use my personal credit credit cards, which is horrible. Horrible idea, but true because, you know, you're going into a financing system that at times are stacked against you.


[00:21:30] And so you need to level the playing field and navigate that system with confidence. So that's why, you know, we have the technology now that's available to you. And we just with leverage, we want to answer a simple question like, are you financeable, yes or no? And if it's a yes, you know, and maybe you're having a bank tell, you know, you need to feel comfortable with going to the next lender because like I said before, every lenders are different. There's so many different alternative lenders out there. You know, you can get the financing you need, but you we have to say no because you don't fit their aren't requirements. And, you know, maybe you've only been in business for a year and a half and they need you to be in business for. Two years and, you know, you never know what they're looking for.


[00:22:12] And I mean, now, if you are not getting financed instead of, like, bearing embarrassing yourself in front of a lender, you can take the steps inside the software to become finance. Also, you can go back in the software and see where things must improve to realistically move forward before speaking to a lender. So maybe you need more revenue, maybe a cosigner come into play. If it's credit on, if you have high expenses, like how much do you need to cut back on your expenses, do that. That question is answer within the software. So really, just doing what you can do on your end to be fully prepared before going and speaking to a lender is going to change that conversation and you are going to have such a better outcome. And I always like to say, like, nobody knows the outcome when you're going in and putting your dad into the software because, you know, you're at home, you're at your office desk and you run an analysis. And if you're prequalified, like you go out, when you get freaking empowered, you take that report and give it to that lender. And what we tell our customers is to say, I use a third party software that tells me I'm qualified for this loan. Would you like to continue the conversation with me? And that's pretty much just saying, you know, can you do this deal? Yes or no? And you, the borrower, we're just completely turned the table around because that wonder why you're coming in as one of the most prepared borrowers. And that's not like us. You know, asset leverage saying no. But that's actually feedback that we've received from banks because, well, they've hit up our customer service line being like, where can we get more of these leverage customers? Because they're coming in prepared. And it's making light on them easier, right?


[00:23:55] Yeah. And I think it's crucial to remember that banks are as humaine or as responsible or exploitative as we make them. Yeah. As people. And they haven't been required to be they've been draconian. You know, two thousand eight pointed that out. But even since the repair and things like that and that industries is far from good. And I think that companies like this that return information, education and power back over to the borrower is crucial in moving forward with their financial systems. On the whole. I'm wondering, how does your model work personally with the software? Is it subscription? Is it a one time purchase? How does all of that happen with the and other aspects of tools for free? The calculators. How does all of that play?


[00:24:41] Yeah. So when John was actually pricing the software, how many people actually were telling him to put a one in front of the prices just because like because of the value of what you get from from the calculators. But he didn't want to do that because we didn't want price being a way of getting people into the software and becoming empowered. So it is on a subscription base. So for fifty seven dollars a month is a monthly plan. And that's great for anybody doing like a short one term financing transaction with no additional financing or refinancing predicted.


[00:25:15] And that is a pay as you go cancel any time. And then we also have the one 97 four annual plan. And that's perfect for that person who wants to like sanity, China's new financing opportunities. You will be doing more than one transaction in the year.


[00:25:31] It allows you to preserve your dashboard of data for refinancing purposes. And that plan does include like a 30 day. No questions asked. Money guarantee as well with our software. So anybody who is looking at business or business finance calculator is a cash flow tool that really determines that first reaction of a lender. So you go in and how you use as you input your business information, your expenses, revenue, any add backs that you can put back and you can pretty much string that software green, that means your business is lendable and you can walk into a bank feeling confident. And like I said before, if it's not green, you can really see where your numbers must improve to realistically afford. And then with our property calculators, we have three different ones, multifamily, commercial and mixed use.


[00:26:23] And they all have refinanced calculators, the tops of them, like I said, due to Coalbed. And those actually do really, truly do prete underwriting for those properties. So it really depends on who you are and what you're looking to do for those those type platers. It's an awesome tool for anybody who is looking to invest in commercial property to determine if you're able to obtain financing for that property. Like I said and in addition to that, with each calculator also provides you a leverage report, which is just personalizing financing for containing the transaction metrics that lenders are looking for to initiate and completely jump start that funding conversation. And when a lender receives a leverage report. Look at it and understand it and read exactly what you're wanting to do. Less than two bet. So really, like I said, yes. An opposition gets going.


[00:27:18] Absolutely. I'm curious, what are the plans for leverage for the next one to three years? Is there going to be growth within the utility? And also, before I let it go about the conversation. I mean, it begs the question, especially with the breach some four years ago. Do you guys sell information even anonymously about your accounts or do you share it with other people, lenders, things of that nature? Is it all private and confidential?


[00:27:43] It is all private and confidential. We are a cloud based software, so everything is protected with your username and password. And one thing that we really wanted to be clear about was that when it comes to when you connect with a lender like that, is you connecting with them? We are completely not in the line of loan detail. So once you utilize our software and take that leverage report and then from there it's on you. We don't want to be involved in any other life long process. But so far, our goal is so what?


[00:28:21] With leverage. We've only been in the market for a couple of months now with this new platform leverage. Calkin and you'll like it. This is the sister app from the original, you know, and it's been getting a lot of good traction. We figure that we can be over a thousand users by early fall and hoping for 10000 by next spring and just kind of continuing from there. And some may say that's a little ambitious by our platform is really unique. And, you know, there is nothing in the marketplace that allows business owners the ability to become prequalified. You want to go out and buy your first home without getting prequalified first. Right. So same same kind of thing. But what that also comes like our challenges. You know, when you have a product that no one's really searching for because they don't know what's out there, you really have to you know, it's my job as the business development manager to really organically spread the word. You know, I work on that every day, connecting to people, making connections with people to just helps spread the word of what our software can do. And in an expanding and other goals that we have. We definitely do want to expand into developing some more calculators. There are some unique calculators that we want to kind of get into for different business settings that we can create to serve and empower those businesses like company on building, self-storage, mobile, home, park flippers as a flipping is huge right now. But our our property circulars are really geared toward commercial properties. So that's five units and up. It's not that residential. Wanted to add those flippers. So that's definitely what we want to get into for sure.


[00:30:05] This sounds wonderful. It sounds advantageous since it's going to be a busy ride. Yeah. Closing in Stormi towards the end of the podcast and I have my final question that everyone who listens to this series knows. I always ask and that is if you were out and about this a social distance tomorrow and you bumped into another woman or female identified by another individual who said, listen, you know, I've I have gotten a really great footing in the occupational industry. I've I've done a lot of different career paths. I started off in retail, managing people. I went on I did a bunch of the banking information industry and I now I'm gonna kind of go into this and family run and bad business, credit, financial enterprise.


[00:30:51] What are the top three pieces of advice you would give the individual knowing what you know now from your endeavors?


[00:30:57] That's a really good question. I would have to say for me, giving advice throughout kind of going around that the same career path is really just getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Like if you don't get out of your comfort zone, you might find yourself staying in one place and never seizing different opportunities because you are scared. Like, if I didn't do that, I would not be where I am today. And I really, truly believe that being that discomfort brings engagement and change. And it means that you're doing something that others are and do not be scared of failure if something is not very new to you. Like go out and treat failure as an asset and learn from it. And when you go out of your way to experience new things or when you let things happen to you, you gain so much in terms of personal development. So my advice is get out there and show up for yourself.


[00:31:56] Nice. I love that. I've got to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Do not be scared of failure. Use it as an asset and get out there and engage. You'll love it.


[00:32:11] That's so wonderful. Well, Stormi, we thank you so much for taking the time to meet with us and discuss leverage. I really appreciate it. I think it's been eye opening and kind of considering these aspects of business, credit and lending. And I'm hoping that everyone in the audience found as useful as I did. I appreciate your time today.


[00:32:29] No, thank you so much for having me. And like I said, if anybody wants to reach out to me, please reach out to me personally. My email stormi s-t or am I that Scott ncdot at leverage kelts and that's c a l c dot com. I'd be more than happy to talk to anyone.


[00:32:46] Yeah, that's fantastic. I love that little personal reach out and I'm sure there's plenty of people that need your advice. So thank you again. And for everyone listening, thank you for giving us your time today. We've been speaking with Stormi Scott, business development manager at Leverage. The company's Web site is again leveraged seei l.c dot com. Until we speak your next time. Thank you for your time. And remember to always bet on yourself. Slainte.


Talking with Ahiyana Angel; Founder, Author & Podcast Host

Talking with Ahiyana Angel; Founder, Author & Podcast Host

August 18, 2020

Today I am talking with Ahyiana Angel. Ahyiana is the Founder of Mayzie Media and host of the personal growth podcast Switch, Pivot or Quit. A traditionally published author and speaker, Ahyiana and her work have been featured by Apple, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Girlboss and more. Quit Playing Small is her latest highly buzzed-about book that's a must-have for morning routines.


Key points addressed were  

  • Ahyiana’s professional chronicle that took her from a prolific PR and jewelry design career into writing 2 books, hosting an influential podcast, and launching Podcast Production company Mayzie Media
  • We also discussed Ahyiana’s advice when it comes to the particulars of book writing and publishing and the various experiences she encountered producing both of her books



*Please note, this is an automated transcription please excuse any typos or errors


[00:00:00] In this episode, I speak with founder, author and podcast host Ahyiana Angel. Key Points address whereAhyiana's professional chronicle that took her from a prolific PR and jewelry design career into writing two books, hosting an influential podcast and launching a podcast production company, Mazey Media. We also discussedAhyiana's advice when it comes to the particulars of book writing and publishing and the various experiences she encountered producing both of her books. Stay tuned for my invigorating talk with Ahyiana Angel.


[00:00:37] Hi, my name is Patricia Kathleen, and this podcast series contains interviews I conduct with women. Female identified and nonbinary individuals regarding their professional stories and personal narrative. This podcast is designed to hold a space for all individuals to learn from their counterparts regardless of age status for industry. We aim to contribute to the evolving global dialog surrounding underrepresented figures in all industries across the USA and abroad. If you're enjoying this podcast, be sure to check out our subsequent series that dove deep into specific areas such as Vegan life, fasting and roundtable topics. They can be found via our Web site. Patricia Kathleen ARCOM. You can also join our newsletter. You can also subscribe to all of our series on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Pod Bean and YouTube. Thanks for listening. Now let's start the conversation.


[00:01:34] Hi, everyone, and welcome back. I'm your host, Patricia.


[00:01:37] And today, I am so excited to be sitting down with Ahyiana Angel. Ahyiana is the founder. She's a founder, a podcast or and an author. You can find out more on one of her Web sites. I'll have her bring in the other one later in the podcast at w w w dot. Switch, pivot or quit dot com. Welcome, Ahyiana.


[00:01:57] Thank you, Patricia, for having me.


[00:01:59] Absolutely. I can't wait to unpack. I know that our audience has written and we were talking off the record about a great deal of aspects of different endeavors that you've kind of climbed through recently. And I can't wait to look at that, namely your book and the process of writing that and getting it published, as well as looking at your podcast. It's got a prolific history and following, as well as your Web site, some of the core tenants in the ethos behind what you do and for everyone who's listening who might be new to the podcast. I will read a quick bio on Icona to kind of give you a platform before I ask her to kind of expand on that herself. But before I do that, a trajectory in which the line of inquiry for today's podcast will come from a road map for all of you to follow. I will first ask Ahyiana to kind of unpack her personal, professional and academic history as it relates to the work that she's doing now. We'll then dove straight into unpacking her professional chronicle. So we will look at all of her endeavors, writing the book, her website, as well as her podcasts and anything else she's involved in this kind of forming the ethos of her brand, her business, and perhaps her future endeavors will then turn to looking at goals that I own a house for the next one to three years, with all of her work spanning across all of her different activities. And then we'll wrap everything up with advice at Ahyianami. For those of you who are looking to get involved, perhaps emulate some of her career success as promised. A quick bio on Ianna. Before I start peppering her with questions, Man Angel is the founder of Mazey Media and host of Personal Growth podcast Switch, Pivot or Quit, a traditionally published author and speaker,Ahyiana and her work have been featured by Apple, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Girl, Boss and more Quit Playing Small. Is her latest hype highly buzzed about book? That's a must have for. Morning routines and we'll unpack all of that. Ianna, before we get to the book and all of the kind of exciting things you're doing. I was hoping you could draw some a stage or a background platform of your personal history, your academic history and your professional history as it leads to and pertains to what you're doing now.


[00:03:59] So that's a great question. I haven't I haven't had it posed like that.


[00:04:05] So my personal background is that I am from California, born and born and raised, and I am the oldest of four siblings, which I think plays into. I think you could say my leadership tendencies. You know, you have to become a leader early on in the household when you're the oldest. Right. And have a lot of responsibility and all of those things. So I think that's a part of that foundation has helped me to sort of navigate all the different challenges that have come our way. And not that there's been a ton. It's just life happens. Right. So my undergrad, my undergraduate degree in business administration and my concentration was marketing. But funny enough, I was one of those people. And this ties into sort of my whole growth getting to where I am now. I was one of those people who heavily consulted with my parents, namely my father, about my career choice, what I was going to do. And he obviously wanted me to do something. I was going to make any money, but also that I would be remotely interested in. So when I first initially went to college, I thought that I was going to be in a physical therapy program. I thought that that was gonna be my route that I was going to take. And then I got into my very first physics class and I was like, girl, this is not for you. This is not going to work. So science wasn't my thing. So then I said, okay, I'm gonna go to the College of Business. And I thought, OK, I see my dad. He's in that whole tech sort of I.T. space. And so I said, OK, I could do this, I can make good money. And then I got into the first class and all these zeros and ones and I was like, this does not make any sense to me. So once again, I had to switch things up and I ended up finding myself in marketing because for me it was a nice compromise between doing something that was business related, but also creative. And I just found myself feeling like this could open up a ton of different avenues for me. And I really didn't know where it was going to take me. So I ended up taking internships and marketing spaces. I had an internship at Showtime Networks through this amazing program called the T. Howard Foundation. And I also ended up getting an internship at the game show network just as I was graduating my senior year. And that's what introduced me to PR. And so when I was introduced to PR, I didn't really know what I could do with it. But I quickly realized that there were a lot of crossover with the skills that I had and the skills that were required to succeed in that field. So I ended up staying in that field and eventually making my way to New York from L.A. to New York and working at the National Basketball Association, doing sports entertainment PR. And so that was very exciting at the beginning, that the first three years. It was just like this amazing experience. It was a dream job. It was a dream company to be working for. But then eventually, this is where it comes back around. I started tapping back into how I really felt, what I really wanted to be doing and what was in like an alignment with me as a person as I was starting to get to know myself. And in the midst of that, I realized I wanted to tap into my creativity more. And so I did just that. And I started a jewelry line while I was working my nine to five. And it did really well, like our stuff. Our jewelry was worn by beyond, say, and like Lauryn Hill and some amazing people. But what that did was that introduced me to the idea of entrepreneurship and what could be possible with it. It also introduced me to other people who were doing it successfully. So eventually I got to a point where I said, you know what, I want to do something more. I feel I'm feeling I'm having this strong tug that there's more that I should be doing. I just don't know exactly what it looks like. And then that's what led me to making the transitions, because at a certain point, I felt like I had checked all the boxes. I had done everything that was expected of me. So now was time for me to start to venture into the space of what do you really want? What really feels right to you? And so that's sort of how I started coming into this journey of creating the switch, pivot or equip podcast and doing writing and doing all the other things that I do now.


[00:08:38] It's interesting because your story, you know, a lot of people think that they quit something when they're miserable or whatever, but you've got this magnificently successful career. And then you've got this magnificently successful moonlighting endeavor with the jewelry. And you still chose to kind of switch and ask to have that internal dialog about self happiness and things like that.


[00:08:57] What do you think promoted you continuing on? You know, you have two forms of success that you came into. But this is this persistent issue that you have with kind of re dialoging with yourself about what makes you happiest and things like that. Do you have an impetus that kind of caused you to continue to question or do you think it was just kind of an inborn thing?


[00:09:18] I think it was kind of an important thing, I think I'm just that type of person that's always looking for freshness. That's always. It's not that I'm not settled in spaces. It's just that I feel like I could be doing more. And it's not that perfection or, you know, really driving yourself and not really ever appreciating your accomplished accomplishments type of. I feel I could be I could be doing more. It's more along the lines of what's out there. This is a huge world with a ton of options and possibilities. And the more that I get introduced to things, the more that certain things may piqued my interest or I may feel called to a different direction. Or I may feel like I could be of service or I could really succeed in a certain space, or I start to see and learn things about myself that I didn't know before, which helps me to get interested in how I could pull more of that out. So I think it's more of an internal thing versus something that's coming from the outside in making me think that I need to, you know, switch favorite or quit.


[00:10:24] Yeah. And they talk I mean, a lot of people talk about the mystique of entrepreneurs, you know, and the spirit of entrepreneurism kind of being something that's just this hunger within or things of that nature. So it doesn't come with that. OK. So I'm curious, you switch out of both of these endeavors in the jewelry and the PR. And I'm wondering what happened. First, you have this prolific podcast. You have, you know, hundreds of episodes. And did that happen? Did you immediately develop this brand? Did you write your first book? Which Endeavor Came First?


[00:10:57] So while I was working, I was working also on my first book so I would wake up an hour earlier than I needed to get ready for work, which I hated because I'm not really a morning person. And I would work on this book. I would be writing and I'd be half asleep writing, but I had this goal to finish.


[00:11:17] So it took me about nine months of working on this book while still working in my full time job. And once I was done with the book or I felt like I was in a place that it was done. That's when I started entertaining, putting in my notice and just really taking this series in terms of trying my hand at becoming an author. And for me, it wasn't about entrepreneurship. It was more about finding my happiness. You know, I was no longer satisfied doing what I was doing day to day. It wasn't making me happy. And so I said, I need to figure out what's going to make me happy and I need to go in that direction. And I don't know what that's going to look like. There was a ton of uncertainty, but I was open to it because I also had confidence in myself. I said I can't control everything. I don't know everything that's going to come our way. Or what I do know is that I can give my best. And I know the things that I'm skilled at and I can use that to make this a better situation. So the book writing came first and then I quit the job. Then luckily, I was really, really extremely blessed to have an opportunity about four months after I quit the job to get a traditional book publishing offer. And I was completely novice to all of this. I didn't even know when I got the offer. I called my editor and I was like, is this like, good?


[00:12:40] Like, is this something I should be like doing? And she's like a yarn. Are you kidding me?


[00:12:44] So many authors that I'm working with right now who would kill to be in your position? I was like, OK, I'm happy. OK, this is good. This is good. So for me, it was a process of just taking things as they were coming and doing what I knew I needed to be doing and following sort of like that internal voice as well. Because when I first quit, I didn't know that I was going to get this publishing deal. But I remember having a conversation with my dad and I was deciding on investing in this. This editor.


[00:13:12] And it was a lot of money at the time, seeing as how I had just quit my full time job. And so I was like, you know, should I do this? And he just asked me a question. He was like, Do you believe in yourself? Do you believe in this project? And I was like, Yeah, of course I do. And he's like, didn't do it. What decision is there? If you believe in it, do it. And I was like, OK, I'm gonna do it. And that's sort of like what kicked off all all the other things falling in place. And then eventually, once I wrote the book once again, I was very, very fortunate to have the book come out a little less than a year of me starting this process. Usually it takes minimum a year for a book to be published. And so for me, it came out. I did this book tour and I was starting to realize how people were gravitating to my story and the changes that I had made in my life and the decisions that I made, because I also not only left my job and rurals, this book, I left my job, wrote this book, or got an opportunity to get it published. But I also left New York and went to London and lived there for about four months. Traveled around and had some amazing experiences, so people were like, how are you doing this? And I want to do more of what you're doing, maybe not follow the exact same path, but I'm interested in shaking up my life, basically. And that's what eventually brought me to the podcast and to switch, pivot or quit, because I realized that I was uniquely qualified to tell that story, to tap into what that looks like and to be that person to help share those stories with other people. The stories that I would have wanted to listen to when I was sitting at my desk on Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan trying to figure out what the heck am I going to do next? So that's how I got to the podcast. And this switch proved that a quick conversation, because I knew how it felt to be having these feelings. But you don't exactly know what to do with it. And then you don't know what other people are doing and your peers may not be experiencing the same thing at the same time. So then you start to feel isolated and alone in these feelings as well. So I wanted to create a conversation that let people know that they weren't, you know, going crazy.


[00:15:22] Yeah, absolutely. Really quickly, before we drop into the podcast and some of its particulars, what how did you find your editor for the first book? Did you do a search?


[00:15:30] Did you have a referral? We've had a lot of people write in. Namely, people who want me to ask authors to come on this show. Asking about locating it can be a predatory situation. Finding an editor. Finding a publisher. You know, self publishing. And we can climb into that later when we talk about your second book. But I want to get into how you personally found your first original editor and how you knew whether or not the price was fair. You talked about having this long conversation with your father about it, but how did you find that individual and how did you deduce that they were legitimate and fair?


[00:16:00] Sure. So what even brought me to an editor was when I was maybe three quarters of the way done with the book. I started querying agents and the query process can be a bit daunting and intimidating as well, because you read all this stuff that says tons of people query these agents and their query letters and all the time, and then some agents don't even accept unsolicited queries. So you also it's a combination of you having to find the right agent who represents the projects in your genre, as well as them being interested in what you're pitching. So you have to pitch them and they have to believe in you because they ultimately have to sell the project. Right. So I had gotten quite a few responses where people were interested. But I remember this one rejection. I was sitting in a hotel room in Miami at the NBA finals in the office room, basically working. And I checked my personal email and I got a rejection from this agent and he basically said, I love this story. I love where it's going. But I unfortunately, I can't take this to my editors sees me. He said, I can't take this to my editors right now as it is. That crushed me. But what I have to do is take a step back and realize, OK. So he's saying it's a good project with potential. It just needs to be cleaned up and tightened up by an editor. So that's what brought me to actually hiring my own editor, because unfortunately, publishing is very similar to the music business right now. You see all these indie artists that you picked up or labels want to pick them up? Well, it's the same thing with publishing. They want you to come to the table with a project that's pretty much ready to go, ready to hit the shelves, ready to be sold and ready to be pushed. So I had to hire my own editor and that's where the process came in and the conversation with my dad. But how much do you believe in this project? So what I did was I started doing the research about editing, what types of editing, because I didn't even know that there were different types of editors who edit for different things. Right. And so I started to realize what type of editor I needed. And then I also started to get an idea of what type of fees editors were charging. This editor that I decided to go with. She was a recommendation. A quick other little note that I think I should mention only because it was very random, but it worked out in my favor. I was at work doing some research, found this thing called office hours. I don't even know if they do it anymore, but it was where professionals lend their time and their expertize to people just simply for nothing because they want to do good. So you can sign up. And so I did that and I got in touch with this woman who was an agent. Her and I ended up becoming friendly. We met up for drinks one evening and she is what I told her everything that was going on, my process. She's the one that told me about this, Ed, that ended up going with. She told me about the Ed come to find out that Ed and I also had another mutual friend. So at this point, I felt comfortable with her that she wasn't going to, like, take my money and run or, you know, that she was a reputable person. And she was also on a higher end because she had worked at a lot of the larger publishing houses and still was working with them. So she was not just an editor who says, hey, I can edit your work for you. She was someone with a proven track record. So that's why the price point was there as well. So when I ended up hiring her, it was actually a great process and an easy process, working with her and her, giving me the feedback. We met up in person a few times. So that's nice. If you're in the same city as a person or you can meet on Zoom. But I think the main thing is you need to do your research and you need to see who else is vouching for this person, because it can be a situation where someone tells you that you're an editor, but maybe they're not qualified to edit your work. That's the other thing. Just like with an agent, you want to make sure that the editor that you choose, that they are also interested in the genre, that you write it because you don't want to get a sci fi editor and you're doing a romance novel. They may not edit the same way or see the potential or see where you're trying to go with it. So I know that that was a lot, but I really want to share the full process because there's layers to getting to where you have to actually or where you actually want to be, right?


[00:20:35] Yeah, absolutely. And no, I think it's wildly useful information. I know a ton of entrepreneurs and savvy business established people like, you know, looking at writing books. And it's an area that just keeps transforming itself and needs to be discussed before we let it go. I do want to ask you personally, did you the utility of your editor and did they indeed edit your work? Did they guide the refinement? What kind of a role did they play for you?


[00:21:01] Absolutely. So she went through and she did the editing for the words Escape Me right now, but she did the editing for this specific, like sentence structure and everything. And then she also did the editing for the continuity in the story, like I remember, for one example. Couple different places in the novel. I mentioned a cab, but then I mentioned a taxi in another place and she's like, you have to be consistent if you're going to call it a cab. Call it a cab. If you're going to call it a taxi. Call it a taxi. And those types of things I would have missed. I didn't know the importance of that. But that's the kind of attention to detail that she had. And also she in her note, she asked questions. Maybe you want to think about adding this. Maybe you want to think about fleshing this out a little bit more. It feels like there could be more to this portion to paint the picture. You know, so she was really, really thorough. She was very thorough. And I appreciated her for that. And her name is Ricky Reynolds. If anybody is thinking maybe she could be the girl for me, too. She and she's really amazing. And she's no nonsense in the sense that she's not here to be your best friend. She's here to do the best work possible. And she's serious about editing your work really well.


[00:22:16] Nice. That's a great shout out, Rakeysh. So I want to turn now I want to pivot to looking at your podcast. It sounds like it came about, you know, with the advent of your first book.


[00:22:28] I want to know, can you kind of cite a rough year or time period in which it was launched and the scope of it when it was launched, if you had a clear, concise idea or if you just wanted it to accompany your current endeavors, what was the whole motivation behind launching it and kind of the structure? Oberon's the original launch.


[00:22:46] Sure. So I launched in twenty seventeen January twenty seventeen, if I'm not mistaken. So it's been about three and a half years that I've been doing it. And when I launched, I was running a program running a platform on social media by a different name. And so I thought this could be a good continuation of those conversations via the podcast. But I also was a podcast listener, so I knew that I wanted the structure to be in such a way that. You knew what you were gonna get when you started listening to an episode, just how, you know, you ran down at the top of the show, what people can expect to listen to. That's what I liked to hear when I was listening to a podcast because was nothing more frustrating than looking at a podcast title, being 20, 30 minutes in. And they're still talking about their weekend with a all these, you know, things that don't matter to me, you know. And so I said, I want to have a very tight structure and I want people to get the most that they can get, the most goodness that they can out of these podcast episodes. So I'm not here for the fluff. I do not want the fluffy stuff at all. So for me, I knew exactly where I wanted to take the podcasts and the conversations. When I started it, I, I did have some hiccups in the beginning because it was called it had a different name and switch privative quit was just a segment. And then I realized, no, this is with this switch, pivot or quit name is really speaking to the real conversation that I want to have. The overall theme of everything. So this needs to be the name of it. So I ended up switching the name a few months in. And for me. I just wanted to create a conversation that would be beneficial to other people. And I realize that with so many people coming to me asking me about my story on my journey, people wanted to hear these types of stories. So I just knew that I had to be the person to tap into them. It wasn't like I had this, you know, extreme grand thought out marketing plan as to how I was going to use this podcast. Really, this podcast was just a channel for me to be helpful to other people.


[00:24:54] Yeah, so I and I've listened to episodes. I went back in your history to listen to some old ones and I've listened to the most recent ones. And and you do have this as you said, you've kind of created everything around the ethos. And I'm curious about the curation because you still have a lot a huge arena that you can draw from and you're still going to have to edit it down, as it were. You know, you've spoken to people about utility, about efficacy of their work schedule. You bring on women, or at least the ones I listen to where women are female, identified individuals with them. All of these different caveats as to, you know, how to increase your span and climbing in the workforce. A lot of people talk to I listen to one where you had two women on and one was advising that you start, you know, taking meetings with people and writing those those meeting notes down for yourself so that you keep them accountable. All these little tidbits that people can kind of incorporate into their wife. But I'm wondering how you curate who you bring on. I mean, how do you compose? Because you bring specialists on or people from different fields that have these really great pieces of advice for all umbrella. But how do you yourself compose that? Do you sit down on a monthly or weekly ledger? Do you let it kind of play out organically? How does that work?


[00:26:05] I actually let it play out organically. You would think that I have a much more like.


[00:26:11] Involved scheduling process or anything, but no, I think that a part of the beauty for the Switch to Quit podcast is the organic nature of it. I truly speak to people that I'm interested in hearing their story. Someone may have a great switch, private equity story, but if it doesn't move me and if I'm not interested, then unfortunately I don't want to hear from them because I don't think my audience will want to hear from them. I want to hear from people who I would have wanted to hear from or who have something to say that I think would have been useful when I was in the midst of transition. That's simply what it comes down to. That is the guiding light for the podcast. It's like so many people now are pitching to be on podcasts because they think it's a great way to market yourself and get yourself in front of other people's audience. And while it is, it has to make sense. People people who don't take any time to listen to our podcast before they pitch me, they pitch a man to me and they don't even realize I've never interviewed or spoken to a man on the podcast. Never. Never. So you could save yourself some time, you know. But what happens is people just get so caught up in the me, me, me of things that they don't think about. I'm trying to serve an audience here. I don't care about what your story is. I don't care about what your product that you're selling is. If it's not going to be beneficial for a group of people, if it's not going to be beneficial, I don't care about it. So that's really what my process looks like. I don't have some extreme process. I don't vet guests like, you know, get on the phone with them first and ask them 90 questions. No, it's about the feeling that I get. And do I think you're coming from an honest and authentic space? Do I think when I ask you questions, you're gonna give me cookie cutter answers or do I think you're gonna give me the raw answer that you didn't think about before a day before getting on this podcast interview? You know, I want people to come from a very honest and genuine and raw space so that other people can really connect with what they're saying, what they're sharing, because we're all trying to figure this life thing out.


[00:28:15] We don't have perfect answers for everything. But what we can share is our experiences. What we can share is what we've learned from our experiences. And if you're not willing to share that in an honest way, I don't want to talk to you. That's just what it comes down to.


[00:28:29] No, and it's marketing, too. You know, I always say I tell a lot of people I speak on a lot of podcasts about, you know, how how to start out podcasts and things like that, because I have so many and I say it's still the Wild West and confusing for people.


[00:28:42] You know, a podcast can take any form, it can be any length. They can do anything it wants. But the truth is, is that the true divisive line is that you have some podcasts that are truly about marketing and then you have others that are investigating something. Any number differences. And I think that some people get confused and try to go with their marketing agenda onto an investigative platform. And that's where the disparity can come up that you're talking about. And I truly agree to its podcast. For me, one of the most beautiful things about them is the transparency. It's supposed to hostile rhetoric, you know, and it's supposed to do so without having to have a degree in broadcast journalism. Anybody add up and share their story and their voice and it becomes authentic and real and some you tenuously a whole new genre of media that no one really knows what to do and how to classify it. And I love it for all of that. And so I think the marketing I feel like we just need channels for the marketing. So it kind of stays separated a little bit from the more authentic and real voice that you're talking about. Is that when you started just for people who are out there and listening about some of the logistics, how did you decide how many episodes you were going to release a week? How did you decide some of those earlier things? Did it change as you started doing? You know, if you started classing over into the hundreds mark? What episode do you know roughly are you on right now? And what's been some of the like the transformation that's happened with it?


[00:29:58] Sure. I think I'm about to 60 something right now. Two hundred and sixty something. I started off doing twice a week, so I used to do well. It was once a week and twice a week, sort of like this short timeframe. They blended together. But I started off doing weekly episodes because I at first I thought I could do like every other week. But then I quickly realized, like, why would you hold back? Go full throttle. And these are conversations that need to be heard. And if you really want to get people engaged in this conversation, you have to keep showing up for them. You can't give them too much time off. Right. So that was me trying to introduce the podcast and the conversation to people. Then I started doing this thing called Seven Minutes Sunday, because at the time I was having these musings that I really wanted to share in the podcast wasn't about me and my voice. Right. So I was from the beginning, I was interviewing people that it was very interview heavy and it wasn't about telling my stories so much so or giving my perspective so much. So when I started the seven minute Sundays is because more people wanted to hear from me and my thoughts on different things. So I started sharing those on Sundays because Sundays were the days that I dreaded the most. Right. A lot of people call the Sunday Skerries all these different things. Right. I have to go back into the week. Oh, my gosh. I don't feel like doing this. Or like, I just want Sunday to never end. Right. So I started off with that mindset of if we're talking about a switch, pivot or quit, we're talking about people who are in the midst of transition or entertaining a transition. So they may be feeling that way on a Sunday. Right. So what can I do to help serve them on a Sunday? To give them something to be motivated to go into the week or maybe shift their outlook on things or give them something to be excited about or positive about? So I started doing seven minute sundaes, did those for a while. Well over a year. And then eventually I got to a point more recently.


[00:32:00] So about two years, I would say to two and a half years I did weekly episodes without fail. And then I got to a point where I realized that especially some of my new listeners, they were having a hard time keeping up. You also have to pay attention to the landscape. Like you said, podcasting is still like the wild, wild west. You have some shows that are daily. You have some shows that are multiple times a week. You have some shows at their frequency is really, really high. Right. They have a loyal listenership. You have to pay attention to your listeners and your audience and who they are, what they have going on in their life. I realize there are a lot of working mothers in my community of listeners, and a lot of times people can't make the time to listen to a podcast like they want to. The intentions are there. The intentions are good, but sometimes they just can't make the time or now they're being torn because there's a lot of different options of things that you can listen to. And, you know, before when I first started, I feel like it wasn't as many options. Right. So now there's more options. There was more voices in the space. So they have to decide where they're going to go and how much time they're going to devote to these different podcasts. So I started to pull back and I started to do every other week for a little while because I wanted to give people time to catch up. And I wanted to give people time to actually listen. I'm not producing this stuff just to say that I produce it. I did it. I'm producing it so that it can bring value into your life. But if you don't have the time to listen to it or if you haven't had the time to catch up and I just keep producing more episodes, is it really benefiting you? So that's where I have sort of gotten to at this point. Right now I'm doing weekly episodes for like the next two month months because I'm also incorporating older episodes. I'm doing reboots so that people who haven't been listening from the beginning can tap back in to some of the great conversations that were had way early on and that are still relevant.


[00:33:51] That's very clever. And I've talked to a lot of people that have done this, the idea of kind of, you know, and they've they've edited down, they've spliced it back in. They've come back in with commentary. And it's some of my most favorite work with some of the most prolific podcasters I've spoken to, because you grow as a podcast or any way and to reflect back and say, you know, at this point and I'm not sure how you're doing yours, but this kind of editorial content and weighing in on yourself or the other previous formats is I think I love it. I do. I mean, I'd love it for someone else. You know, people ask why I'm not doing it. And I'm like that nerve wracking, you know, looking older version of me. I'm always like who is she.


[00:34:29] I know right. Ha!


[00:34:33] I love the idea and the ones that I've listened to, there's nothing better than someone going back over their older work and giving you a latter day commentary on it. It's just a beautiful thing, particularly for me, for a female voice, because the female mind has always been so reflective in my life. I wanted to ask you about. We have a lot of people who write in, and because you're such a prolific podcast and you have such a like a wonderfully bird's eye view of everything, you have this PR background and things like that, sponsorship and partnership and all of these things, again, still very undocumented. I've spoken to a lot of people who have gone. I spoke with someone who had three episodes out of a podcast and immediately was acquired and she was on her history in PR and marketing. And she just started reaching out like with this ferocity, you know, and it was just responded to by these major conglomerates is with excitement. So there are people that want to do as such and at least receive some kind of compensation or partnering with people but don't know. How did you yourself how long did it take? Did you have you reached out? You have sponsorship or partnership? If so, how long did it take you to do it? And who advised you? How did you know how to reach out to. How did you find your applicable partners? How did all of that work?


[00:35:46] So I was podcasting well over a year before I started doing hosts read ads. So there were ads running on my show, but they weren't read by me.


[00:36:00] So that it wasn't about. It wasn't until about a year. And then I started doing that and they started coming my way. Actually, I had a agency come to me and want to represent me, and I was like, OK, we could do this. And so that's where I sort of started my introduction to it. But for me, I knew that there was potential to incorporate ads and to be able to generate revenue in that way. But it wasn't a focus of mine. And I think that that was beneficial because. It didn't make me alter my content early on to please a certain audience. You know, my ah, my content was already flowing. It was already in the vein that it was going to be in. Once these people came on board. And so it's like either you like what I'm doing and you want to be a part of it or you don't. And we would never have a conversation if you don't. Right. So it's fine. So for me, it was a very natural progression. But I do think that a lot of people start podcasting because they think that it's going to be a money maker. And I think the thing you have to realize is that the average podcasts and numbers have probably changed a little bit. But the average podcasts, let's just say you're somebody who starts a podcast. Nobody knows you. You're trying to build traction with this podcast. You're probably gonna get less than 200 people listening per episode. That's normal. And so many people see some of the larger podcasters and attraction that they have and they start podcasting thinking that that's where they should be going. That's what they should be aiming to do. But what you have to realize is sometimes people that come into this space who are able to do large numbers like that, either they've already been in the space in another way, showed up on another show, whatever, they have some history. They may be already have some type of celebrity or following some type of fan fair behind them, and they're able to transfer that over. So I say don't put pressure on yourself to get advertisers from the beginning because you want to make sure that you maintain the integrity of your show before you start looping other people into the conversation. Podcasting is a very intimate experience. We all know that it's just like you and this person. It feels very one on one. So before you start bringing in an advertiser and potentially tainting that relationship, you want to make sure that the listener has a chance to get to know you first before they start getting to know all these other brands that you're potentially working with. And that's just how I feel being on the indie side. I know when you go into a space where you get acquired by a larger network or things like that, you don't have as much say. So it's about the money. It's about the dollars. What how can we do numbers? How can we get more advertisers and. Right. So those are the things that you need to be mindful of as well as well. It's like where are you showing up in the podcasting space? Yes. And yet I kind of like my I don't answer your questions.


[00:39:05] It does. No, it does. And I think there's a lot there's a lot to explore there. And, you know, you can Google it and it comes up with kind of a bland stereotypical like here's how here's what you want, pictures which want to do. But I always like to encourage people as well to really think about the tradeoff.


[00:39:18] I am very protective, creative property, you know, and also ID if you know, if you have someone if you're going with them, there is these like as you kind of mentioned, I'm not sure if it's the same thing, but there's these kind of conglomerate agent type people that, you know, if you have a certain amount of listeners or you're in a certain genre, want to attach ads. But then you have to ask yourself whether or not you identify with those ads. I like you. I'm in a huge space with female film identified, not binary individuals. There's a lot of major companies that have A.I. rhetoric for trans communities. And, you know, my podcast was inadvertently attached to that. Then I would immediately not service that community. Or so you have to be a little bit more cognizant rather than just kind of looking for getting funding. You know, I think that it's hysterical. The idea of of of making money off of it is you probably not in the right game. I'd say play like the craps tables in Vegas before asking if you're looking for money, like that's your better odds are over there.


[00:40:15] Yeah. What we didn't touch on and what I should say is that in order to in order for a typical advertiser to be interested in you like the big box guys. Right. That it may lead the B to C, people like Casper Madres, all these different people we regularly see show up in the space. Right. Those people want you to have them. They do it by cost per thousand CPM. And that means that you have to have a minimum of, let's say, two thousand, not even 1000, let's say a minimum of two thousand people listening per episode. And what did I tell you before? Sometimes it's hard for most people to get two hundred people listening, let alone two thousand. And that's not to be negative. And it's not to bring you down and shoot your dreams down. It's just to say, let's be realistic. Realistically, this is what these people are looking for, because this is industry standard, if you will, even though it's the wild, wild West and it's what makes sense for them to try and get there are a wide. So you have to be mindful of what you bring to the table and what they're looking for you to bring to the table before you start trying to enter these conversations about potential advertising sponsors, because you might be getting in over your head if you do it too early, especially.


[00:41:34] Most definitely. And there's coaches, there's all sorts of things out there now for podcasters and things which again, I encourage people that invest heavily, you know, really look at people's background as much as they're going to be looking at yours and your numbers. Quickly switch over to talking about your most recent book. Before we run out of time. Quit playing small. Yes.


[00:41:57] There for people who are watching the vodcast. It's right there. We were talking you gave me like a little bread cart before we started recording. And you talked about the cover art. So I want to start with that. What is the story behind that?


[00:42:09] So I actually went to ninety nine designs and had this cover art drawn up.


[00:42:16] What I did was I found someone who creative projects similar to what the feel was that I wanted to go for. They had a little fun. They had a little creativity. But the thing that I think people think they can do, especially self publishing, this book is self published. This is my second book is self published. But I always knew from the very beginning that when you're self publishing, you want your book to be able to sit on the shelf next to a traditionally published book. And no one can tell the difference. That's what the goal is. So I knew with my cover, I wanted it to give a certain feel. I wanted it to pop. Had you ever been in a bookstore? Most of us don't go on bookstores as much anymore. Right. But if you're walking them out and you see something and it pops out to you and then you look at the back cover. Right. I knew that it needed to pop. I knew I didn't know anything about the color combination that I wanted or anything. I just gave the designer direct. I told him told her what projects that I like that she had done. And then I told her what kind of look and feel I was going for. And I also told her what the vibe was of the book. What type of content we were delivering. You have to sort of like basically give this background or what you're looking for the designer to create because you can't just say this is the name of my book, create something. You have to give them an idea of what the feeling is that you want the reader to have when they look at the book. This book is supposed to be for your morning routine. Right. Daily inspiration for your morning routine. When you look at this, I want you to feel happy. I don't want you to feel like home. I'm going to pick up that book off my nightstand. I want you to be excited, like, oh, look at this. These big red lips, it just gives me fire and energy. Let's go for the day. Where am I gonna flip to? That's how you want to look at it. And then you also want to be conscious of with a cup with the back cover, looks like as well. What's going to make it pop? Have your picture on it. Have a great picture. A really high resolution picture this side, the spine of the book as well. When this is on a shelf and you can't see the cover, is this still going to pop out to you at least enough to where it catches your eye a little bit? So all of these things are important when you're talking about the cover of a book. You can work your hardest and put the most amazing content in your book. But if the cover does not speak to people, nobody is going to open it and you want them to open it.


[00:44:49] Yes. Absolutely, and also I love that those pieces of information. It's so true. I mean, we haven't even talked about the kind of the core aspects of the book. And we've already climbed through like a great deal of the ethos of it. You know, I can kind of get a feel for all of it. It also strikes me, as you know, you've kind of zoned in on an audience with the art alone, whether or not you intended to. It feels directed towards my people, you know, feels it towards women of a certain caliber of a professional statue. Those types of things without even reading the verbiage, you know, the colors, the art, everything that you're talking about. It does speak to all of that I want to climb into. Well, when you were writing it. Who were you writing it for? What did you keep your audience in mind? And what are they like them? Five main key points. If you were forced to boil it down or are less than five that you want people to take away from it.


[00:45:37] So when I was writing it, I was definitely writing it for my switch, pivot or quick audience on that podcast we talk about, we ask guests about their morning routine. I've talked to them before about my morning routine. We talk about staying motivated and just things that are going to make you continue to go throughout this journey. We talk about the fact that our careers, our lives are a journey. Right. So I wanted to create something that would accompany people on that journey. It didn't have to be. This is the other thing. Like you guys may have figured out about me by now. I don't like the fluff. Right. I can't stand when you're reading a book and you're like this far in. And you still haven't gotten to the meat of what they're trying to tell you. It's like, no, I just give me the goods. Like, that's all I need. So I decided I want to create. I wanted to create something that would be able to kind of like smack people in the face, sometimes, lift them up other times. Tell them grow. Get it together sometimes. Give them a little hug. Other times, you know. So all of these entries are super, super short. Like, it's very, very, like approachable in the way that it's position. And that's because I also knew that my audience was ambitious women who are out there on the go trying to get things done. Sometimes their morning routine cannot consists of an entire hour. They may have fifteen minutes. And if they can spend two of those minutes reading something from this book, getting their mind right and getting them positively pushed in the right direction, then I did my job, you know. And so when it comes to like, what do I want them to walk away from this book with? I want them to walk away encouraged. I want them to walk away inspired. I want them to walk away feeling like they can. I want them to walk away understanding that a lot of this comes from what I've learned off of my journey. So you're not alone in the things that you're experiencing or even things that you're thinking. Right. So I just want them to feel like they're a part of a community and that somebody gets what's happening with them.


[00:47:48] Yeah, that's wonderful. I love that. It's I mean, how could anyone not want that? You know, I do love the concise. I do. I get very into these, like, grabby. You know, I do like the novel as well. But I think that right now, especially for that genre, you know, getting these really quick tidbits of like empowerment and structure and just things to kind of set the intention for the day and really requestion and reorganize like you're talking about is amazing. I want to turn now really quickly to. You have so many things that you've done thus far. And so I love asking people, particularly of your candor, because I'm curious as to what the next one to three years do. You look at your life that way? Do you. Do you put it in form of format? Do you do vision boards? Do you just say forget it? I'm taking it as it comes. How do you set up your goals and what do those goals look like for you?


[00:48:37] You know, I wish I could tell you guys that I'm more of this goal oriented person that just breaks everything down and goes, what? I do write things down and I do write some goals down. And I have an awareness of what I want and where I want to go. But I don't dwell on it. I don't stress myself out about it. So for me, a lot of I have those goals and those things that I identify with. A lot of it is. I just have faith that I'm gonna be OK, that things are going to work out in my favor. I say every morning I got this from Jen and Cheryl. I say I receive all the good that life has to offer me. That is how I move. So I feel like if I'm moving in, that space is really is it is really hard for a ton of bad things to just be, you know, and I and I'm going I don't have the time to let my mind swirl and worry about what's not going right and what's not happening. It's like, let me focus on the positive. And in the back of my mind, having an idea of where I want to go with things. So for me, I want to continue to build amazing media. That's something that I know. But I'm even pivoting in the way that I'm structuring mazy media, in the way that I'm going about doing the work that I do with Mazey media. But the only way that you can pivot is if you start somewhere. I had to get started in order to see some things that I would potentially want to do different. So I'm a big person that loves I'm big on action, I should say. So I think that's why sometimes I don't get stuck on the goals in writing everything down and all this stuff because I'm too busy doing I'm doing well all the time. Somebody else is set their thought about a vision, board it, it and everything else. I'm done. And I now I figured out what works and what doesn't work. Right. So sometimes I think we can hold ourselves back and we can play small when we try and do too much planning. Right. So for me, that's one of my big goals, is expanding mazy media and really digging more into the corporate side, because I think that there's a lot of conversations that can be had over there that are not being had internally. So I'm digging way more into that now, working with corporations, a lot more to develop conversations via a podcast. And I'm also working with more original content now, working on developing a lot more original content for the mazing media platform. And when I say original content content that has come from within the company and not outside the company, somebody bringing it to us saying, hey, we want to see if you would want to, you know, help us produce the show that we're already producing. And then I'm also working on just speaking of quit playing smart, there's going to be a podcast for this. There's going to be a podcast for this with quick doses of inspiration. So I'm working on that as well. That'll come toward the end of the year. And I'm just working on obviously just trying to be the best version of myself. That's what I'm always trying to do. And I feel like as long as I'm working on being the best version of myself, nothing but goodness is going to come from that or as a result of that, absolutely good intention to the light of enlightenment.


[00:51:44] I love it. All right. So we're fine. We're wrapping up at my final question. Ask every guest, and I can always ask you, because you're your last book was based on advice. And so I'm wondering if you walked up to someone in a safe so so distance in a Gardiner Park tomorrow. And for the sake of this question, it's a female woman identified or non binary individual. And they said, listen, I'm so glad I found you. We have a friendship of a mutual friend in common. She's recommended I talk to you. I've had this prolific career and I had, you know, a side hustle that did very well as well. And I've decided that even though both of them are going swimmingly, I was going to pivot and go on into. I've started writing a book and doing these things, but I really want to just change into true answering of my happiness and kind of developed my kingdom within that. What are the top three pieces of advice you would give that individual? Knowing what you know now?


[00:52:37] That's a great question, I would say. One thing that I have learned and that I share with people at the end of the quit playing small workshops that I do. Is your greatest success, Lives behind your greatest fear.


[00:52:53] And I realize that I learned that because the things that I may have been intimidated to try or to do, those are some of the things that have made me felt feel the most proud and have given me like the most boost in my person and feeling like, wow, you're really doing something. You know, you're really making some kind of headway or making some type of difference. So I would say that. I would say. Really start to know and understand yourself, because when you know and understand yourself, it's easier for you to make decisions. It's easier for you to identify where you're going and where you want to go. Just like what we talked about before, having these goals and winding down and all of that stuff. If you don't know yourself, the goals that you identify may not be in alignment with who you are and what you're truly capable of achieving. So I would say really start to explore and get to know yourself. And then finally, I would say. Back away from the comparison game because nobody else has lived this life before you. You are the first to do it. You are uniquely in only you. So who are you comparing yourself to realistically? This person that you maybe compare yourself to or these people you don't know their background. You don't know their history. You don't know their story. You don't even know what lies ahead of them. So if you really thought about it your while you're sitting here comparing yourself to them, would you really want to change positions with them? I wouldn't I wouldn't, you know, so I think so many of us get caught up in. I want to do this or I think I want to do a version of this. And so until I was over here doing it and it looks great while they're doing it, so maybe I should try and do like them. And then when I try and do like them, I'm not getting the results that they're getting. My results don't look like their results do. I'm a failure. No, your you your results look perfect for you. You actually have nobody to compare to because there isn't another Aiyana Angel who live this life 100 years before me. And I'm comparing myself to what she did back then. No. Just doesn't exist. It's not realistic. So that's what I would share with someone who walked up to me six feet away and asked me that question.


[00:55:30] And I love your last point because it speaks so much in the face of this whole, like, competition value culture that we have, which, you know, you got to you have the best competition.


[00:55:39] Who's your next competition? Who you fighting against this idea of like. OK. So really quickly, I have your greatest success lives behind your greatest fear. Number one, which I love. I think that that one can sit on so many different planes with so many different areas of one's life.


[00:55:54] Number two, know and understand yourself.


[00:55:57] It will create fluidity between your reality and your desires. So truly knowing and understanding yourself. And number three, back away from the comparison game.


[00:56:06] Absolutely awesome. I love those so much. I know we are out of time, but I wanted to say I know you're horrifically busy and beautifully busy at the same time.


[00:56:15] So grateful that you took the time to sit down with us. You have your own thing going on your own podcast. I want everyone to attach themselves to that. Have a listen to several episodes at the very least, and check out your books really quickly. Will you give us the name of both of those?


[00:56:33] Absolutely. Thank you so much Patricia for having me. This has been a great conversation. Great. In that your questions were just so thoughtful. So thank you. Everybody can find me at Yana Angel dot com and that she's h why I a in a angel dot com. My very first book, the one that talked about early on, was a novel and it's called Preseason Love. And my second book, which I self published, is called Quit Playing Small and it's available on Amazon everywhere now. And be sure to check out the switch, pivot, a quick podcast. And if you are on Instagram, you can follow me at a Yanta Dot Angel on Instagram. I tend to hang out there. We go live sometimes and I just talk my talk and do my thing. So hang out with me.


[00:57:21] And for everyone listening. Thank you so much for giving me your time today. I really do appreciate all of you. We've been speaking with Ahyiana Angel. She's founder, podcast and author and another one of her Web sites, W WW, Dutch Switch, Pivot or quits. All of the others that she mentioned as well.


[00:57:37] Thank you for giving us your time today. And until we speak again, remember, just stay safe and always bet on yourself. Slainte.


Speaking with Louisa Deasey; Best selling memoirist, editor and non-fiction writing coach

Speaking with Louisa Deasey; Best selling memoirist, editor and non-fiction writing coach

August 13, 2020

Today I am speaking with Louisa Deasey. Louisa is a twice-published bestselling memoirist, editor and non-fiction writing coach. Over the past twenty years, Louisa has worked as a magazine editor and features journalist, ghostwriter, newspaper columnist, digital copywriter, online editor and media and publicity consultant to major brands, personalities and experts in the health, travel, lifestyle, design, medicine and psychology space.  


This podcast series is hosted by Patricia Kathleen and Wilde Agency Media. This series is a platform for women, female-identified, & non-binary individuals to share their professional stories and personal narrative as it relates to their story. This podcast is designed to hold a space for all individuals to learn from their counterparts regardless of age, status, or industry. 



*Please note, this is an automated transcription please excuse any typos or errors


[00:00:00] In this episode, I speak with Best-Selling, memoirist, editor and nonfiction writing coach Louisa Deasey key points addressed where Louisa's incredible journey throughout writing her first memoir titled Love and Other U Turns. We also looked at these self-taught and honed education and subsequent skill set that Louisa developed in order to write her following and Best-Selling memoir titled A Letter from Paris. We also examine how Louisa used her education and self-taught knowledge in order to develop her online memoir, a nonfiction publishing programs that she now offers online. Stay tuned for my enthralling interview with Louisa Deasey.


[00:00:44] Hi, my name is Patricia Kathleen, and this podcast series contains interviews I conduct with women. Female identified and non binary individuals regarding their professional stories and personal narrative. This podcast is designed to hold a space for all individuals to learn from their counterparts regardless of age status. For industry, we aim to contribute to the evolving global dialog surrounding underrepresented figures in all industries across the USA and abroad. If you're enjoying this podcast, be sure to check out our subsequent series that dove deep into specific areas such as Vegan life, fasting and roundtable topics. They can be found via our Web site. Patricia Kathleen .COM, where you can also join our newsletter. You can also subscribe to all of our series on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Pod Bean and YouTube. Thanks for listening. Now let's start the conversation.


[00:01:42] Hi, everyone, and welcome back. I'm your host, Patricia. And today I am elated to be sitting down with Louisa. Deasey Louisa is a Best-Selling memoirist, editor and nonfiction writing coach. You can find more about all of her work as well as the services she offers on her web. W w w dot. Louisa Deasey. Dot com. That is l o u i. S a d. A s. E y. Dot com. Welcome, Louisa.


[00:02:09] Hello. Thanks for having me.


[00:02:10] Absolutely. I'm excited to climb through everything that you're doing. We were talking off the air and I told you that we've had a lot of audience and listeners right in over the years and talk about writing coaches and people who can advise about writing rules a great deal in our past. I know that everything that you share with us today is going to be received in the highest regard. Oh, that's good to know. Absolutely. For everyone listening who is new to the podcast, I'll offer up a quick roadmap of the direction of my inquiry's will head. And then I will read a bio on the so that everyone can garner a brief sense of her background before I start peppering her with questions. So the roadmap for today's podcast will first look at Louise's academic and professional background, leading her up to the services that we will then unpack. Then I will turn towards, of course, unpacking Louise's suite of online memoir, a nonfiction publishing programs, where I know a few of those are currently being used up and changed a bit. Then we'll look at unpacking the goals that Louisa has for the next one to three years, professionally and personally. Those have changed a lot for a lot of people in regards to the current climate of the Kovik 19 pandemic. And then we'll wrap the entire Adva podcast up with advice that Louisa may have for those of you who are looking to get involved with some of her services or perhaps emulate some of her career success. A quick bio, as promised on Louisa. Before I start peppering her with questions, Louisa Deaseyis a twice published bestselling memoir list editor and nonfiction writing coach. Over the past 20 years, Louisa has worked as a magazine editor and features journalist, ghost writer, newspaper columnist, digital copywriter, online editor and media and publicity consultant to major brands, personalities and experts in the health, travel, lifestyle, design, medicine and psychology space. More recently, Louisa has created a suite of online memoir and nonfiction publishing programs for writers at every stage of the publishing journey. Her work has been featured in Vogue Body and Soul, The Guardian, Cosmopolitan, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and Hundreds More Publications. She is currently at work on her third memoir. So, Louise, I cannot wait to unpack a lot of that with you. I'm excited. I haven't had anyone who actually self identifies as a memoirist on and I cannot wait to climb into that with you. I find it such a valid and noble profession. But before we get to that, I'm hoping that you can describe for all of our audience members listening and those watching on a vodcast a little bit about your academic and professional background leading up to where you are now.


[00:04:51] Sure. So. Well, I went to high school, which is pretty normal here in Australia. Then I took a year off and just worked. I lived in a share house and I worked and I did a few little short courses in acting and drama. And then I started an arts degree, which I think it's the same in the US liberal arts. I thought I wanted to do drama and acting. I can't believe I've never even noticed how much I loved writing. But it wasn't until I was in my third year of my arts degree that I realized I actually loved writing about the place that I was studying rather than being in them because I didn't really like people looking at me. So I had a bit of a switch and I ended up doing a double degree in literature because I'd accidentally taken on too many drama subjects before I realized that I didn't really want to do that. And then because I realize sort of it took three years of writing essays for me to realize that I actually love that part of studying. I applied for a really well at that time. It was really prestigious writing postgrad writing degree in Melbourne. And I thought I didn't get in because I looked in the newspaper on the wrong day. So I applied to work on a cruise ship because I thought, well, look, I will just travel the world and write about that, you know, Harry instead. And I literally made it through to the third round of interviews for this job. Crystal Cruises or whatever it was. When my aunt called me and said, congratulations, I just saw your name in the paper for the riding college. So I had actually got in. So I had to cancel that at the last minute. And I started this writing postgraduates. To you, to you, that's called Tife. I'm not sure what that is in the US, but it's more hands on than university. And the whole reason that that's cause it was RMIT, which is Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, professional writing and editing. And I think the reason that it was so highly regarded was because the teachers in the. It wasn't academic. It wasn't philosophical. It was actual hands on how to get published, which, you know, I don't know. That was just sort of the Holy Grail when I was at university, nor one, you know, they talk about writing and publishing, but no one could actually tell you how to get published. Yeah, it did. I started that course. And I loved it. But I ended up being quite disappointed because it wasn't all that it was sold to me to be. And I sort of thought, wow, well, look, this is one of the best publishing courses in Australia, even though it's not very good. And I got a lot of sort of the wrong advice in that course.


[00:07:45] And I ended up sort of staking out a lot of stuff on my own. And remember, this is before the Internet was, you know, the Internet existed, but it wasn't big. It's 2001. And part of the costs was a topic called industry overview. And we needed to do a few hours. So I think it was two weeks on site at a publishing company. So other a newspaper or a book or magazine publishing company and all that that caused told me to contact with these tiny little publisher in Melbourne and see if I could get a couple of weeks unpaid work there. And I didn't want to work at that tiny little publisher. That just sounded miserable. And I didn't want to work that. I wanted to work for magazines at that time. That was my passion. And all the magazines, all the women's magazines, offices were in Sydney. So I bought a copy of the reader's marketplace, which was like this like fifty five dollars an hour. Remember, saving up my waitressing money and buying it and just going through the list of phone numbers and calling every single women's magazine until I could get someone that would take me on for a couple of weeks work. And then I went back to RMIT and I said, OK, I've got two weeks at Elle magazine, I've got two weeks at Bay magazine. And they were like, what are you talking about? They don't take interns. And that's it.


[00:09:01] Yeah, they do. I just tend to call fifty so fifty seven times.


[00:09:06] And then so I flew up to Sydney and did that and that was I guess you'd say I was off to the races because I got my first byline in that work and I'm sort of simplifying it now. But that really taught me that, you know, I just there's only so much that you can learn at university and and time. You know, you really have to do it yourself in a lot of ways. And the other thing is the people that are teaching you often, there's a reason that they are teaching, you know, that they've obviously had their career or they're having a break or so. I just found a real gap between what I was being taught and what I really wanted to do. And I learned so much as soon as I actually started working in, like I think it was the following year, I got my first job at a newspaper back in Melbourne and I learned more about writing for publication in a week. They have had it five years at university. Yeah, it was just really interesting to me. The gap between academic learning and actual actually being inside a newspaper or magazine office.


[00:10:14] Yeah. In the States, we call that on the job training. Oh, T.J.. Yeah.


[00:10:20] Yeah. And I think it's so true, though.


[00:10:23] I mean, I can't say it enough and I'm a big I'm really big on internships or any type of apprenticeship, things of that nature. There are so many fields that I think do this as well. Computer I'm married to an original Silicon Valley computer nerd. A lot of people asking to me know that. And the most hysterical thing for me, and I think it might be changing right now, but it's not nearly quickly enough.


[00:10:48] Computer programing, as studied in university, has absolutely nothing to do with the code that is written that affects you die and changes the range. They are very likely ayari. And that's the same thing with writing. I think you're right in literature and all of my university degrees. And what I love about university is that you do study philosophy and theory, but there's absolutely no practicality. There's no applicability in that knowledge. And I think that writing is a crucial one. And I think your story also brings up a really interesting point, which I've always described. There's a certain amount of entrepreneurship, even to the writers of old to going Artley, Walden, you know, all of those things. That is a very kind of like gusto, greedy. And I think that people leave that out when they talk about writers, you know, and what it's really necessary to be a writer and successful. You running off to city, you calling fifty seven times.


[00:11:44] I would have been more than that, but yeah, it's so interesting that you say that I have all of this. I have all three of Steven Pressfield books. Have you read the war of arson, Tony? And I love I love these books and hate. I love. I think it's in the war about. He says, find you. You know, there's nothing braver and more entrepreneurial than sitting at a blank screen and, you know, trying to put your heart out there and in a way that's palatable for the world to rageous story. He says, find yourself an entrepreneur to chat to for some motivation. I know why that is so true, because it's very similar. You're putting yourself out there. You trying something that's never been done before? Yeah. Yeah. I totally agree with you there.


[00:12:30] And you have to have a certain amount. It's it's a crazy tightrope for.


[00:12:34] Right. For authors. I find you have to care deeply about your audience, but you also have to have this kind of devil may care genessee quar about like I'm just going to put it out there. I don't care what anyone says, like, here it is. Here's me, you know, because if you worry too much, you don't release it. You don't put it out. And if you if you don't worry enough that you're not capturing your audience in the way that you ought to. You know, this is kind of given take is so difficult. I'm wondering, how did your career after you kind of launched into doing all of these, you got your first byline from this, you know, very greedy, like something tiny. Yeah. So how did that kind of launch into did you start to pepper into taste as to know which areas of writing you were most suited towards? How did you find, like, your memoir this moment?


[00:13:20] Well, it's so funny because I didn't actually know that I loved memoir until a few years ago. But I say that, you know, I've simplified it a lot. But I you know, I went to Sydney. That was actually a six month process when I was working, interning, trying to get a job, a paid job, because I was working like 40 hours a week at a restaurant in Corkle by Sydney while I was doing days unpaid at these offices. And my Driton, the thing was back then, because it wasn't there was no you know, the Internet wasn't as big as it is now. You had to actually be working on staff to say the stop job ads in Pacific publications and all of those places. And nothing came up in the times that I was there. And I made some contacts and I was like, can you please let me know if something comes up? And I ended up running out of money and just being exhausted because I was working so much because Sydney is so expensive. I came back to Melbourne and got a waitressing job here in Melbourne and then just started sending out because again, no Internet sending out kulla photocopied packs of my tiny little byline. So I think by then I had had a review of a film, an essay, a first person essay, which is Memoir in Runner's World. So I used to run quite a lot. And maybe one other thing and. Oh yeah, quiz. I had a quiz published in Playboy magazine and I would send out these color coordinated packs and that must've cost me so much money because it was all my past. And eventually I got a job. I think it was eight or nine months later at the Herald Sun, which is our major daily newspaper. And I actually had a hiring freeze on at the time, which I didn't know. But now I'm glad I didn't come after got the job there. And that was fantastic. That was a baptism of fire. And I got mobile ones there. And what I found that I really enjoyed writing about was health and wellbeing and psychology, because I think I knew the health editor from school and she'd said, if you want to write a couple of columns, you can do that. And just a bit like you. I loved interviewing people. So I think one of my first articles was on iron deficiency or something, and I had to find a medical expert to interview on why women have less often than men typically. Well, something like that. And I just love the whole process of putting together a story and formulating the argument, getting experts to give you information. That's something. And I'd seen in my time at the magazine offices that freelancers, you know, that you could freelance the health magazines or women's magazines on health topics and get paid quite well. I think in feature articles, this is still when we have print. But, you know, people read print, so you'd get maybe a thousand dollars for a health feature. So I made it my goal to to make a living writing health features and psychology features. There's a magazine in Australia called Good Medicine, and I pitched to them. I just pitched lots of articles and I'm still waitressing. And then I eventually quit the Herald Sun because I didn't want to do news journalism. I found it quite. I really couldn't. I just couldn't handle it. I was there when the Bali bombings happened, which was a major news story here in Australia because Bali is so close to Australia. And yet I just I couldn't take it. I'm not I'm not cut out for news journalism. So I'm trying to fast forward, so after that, I started freelancing, I loved writing about health and psychology. I loved interviewing people at sort of the same as, you know, it just it felt feels like such a privilege when people opened up their lives to you. And, yeah, it's very mutually inspiring. And I, I find the whole process of interviewing very interesting. I think I was working for an architecture magazine and I interviewed this architect and I could see him actually transforming in front of my eyes when I was interviewing him because he was he was considering something he'd never considered before just because of the way I'd framed the question. And I've always found that really interesting. So then miraculously and I'm making it sound quick. But this took a few years. I've gathered enough work to actually just be living off my freelancing. So I no longer needed to waitress. And I met this comedian who he lived out of his car and he excellente basically just performed in outback rough pubs around Australia. And I fell in love with him really quickly and basically moved him to his car because I was like, well, I can write from anywhere. And at that point, I was making enough money and it was just a huge adventure. And so I went traveling with him for about a year. And that was sort of when my career took off in terms of freelancing. So it was quite strange. I got all these weekly columns, fashion columns. Would you believe in a in another newspaper called The Age? And I was traveling with him through these really, really rough redneck sort of places and having to write sometimes from the front seat of the car or lack of a room at the back of the pub. And eventually I came back to Melbourne because, yeah, I couldn't I could only leave out of the car for so long. I missed Melbourne. And I'd always thought, like, I sort of thought, well, wait, I'm always looking for the next thing. And I sort of thought, well, the only thing that is left for me now is to write a book, because I had been freelancing at that point for two or three years, I think, which I loved. But I just wanted to do something bigger. And I always wanted to write a book. And I think I was getting close to 30 years old and I didn't. It's those those significant voices that make you sort of think, oh, yeah, I've got to do that thing that I always said I'd do. So I started writing a book about traveling around Australia with GM, which was a memoir travel memoir, because I always loved reading travel memoirs as well. Mm hmm. And long story short, and I sort of talk about this a lot in a lot of my memoir, blogs and trainings and things. But, you know, it took I didn't know how to write a book. Crooner's knows how to read a book when they stop. And I had a really, really. So I had a few really fortuitous connections. A woman on the street introduced me to her literary agent, like who was one of the top literary agents in Australia. That was a very amazing fluke. But I also had the most brutal rejection that you could actually imagine. One of the top publishers in Australia, a great arrange to meet with me. She contacted my agent. She said she'd been reading my manuscript. She agreed to meet with me at a cafe and she flying down to Melbourne from Sydney. And I thought, wow, she's going to offer me a book deal. And I told my family, my friends, and after an hour of her telling me how bad my writing was, why I'd never be published, I had to actually say, well, I might go now.


[00:20:48] Yeah, what a malicious moment.


[00:20:51] It was pretty awful. It was really awful. It took me six months to get over that. I couldn't even look at the manuscript. I was just humiliated, absolutely humiliated.


[00:21:00] Well, at that point, I wonder, looking back now that you have success under your belt, what was the point of her make going to such effort?


[00:21:08] Well, this is a thing I didn't know at the time. You know, I was so naive, which I sort of think you have to be to get anything done. It took another year when I did actually sign the book deal for that book. And I met with my new publisher and she gave me the background to that particular person and said, you know, she's she's been put on on leave for bullying. She's got a mental disorder and various other things. And I was like, oh, my God, because I never I thought I would go to the grave without knowing why she had flown down to basically put me down for an hour in a cafe.


[00:21:50] The power hierarchy in publishing is ridiculous. I mean, it's all right up there with my mother, most antiquated, you know, DHT and subject kind of. Ships that happen. And I is I am excited about it being overturned and we can get into this later.


[00:22:04] I've spoken to a lot of authors that self publish because that did this system, it was abusive at its finest.


[00:22:11] So abusive. I'm wondering, are you describing the beginnings of love in other U turns? Yes. Yeah. Oh, my God. That book was published. Yeah. So after I got over the brutal rejection and everything.


[00:22:25] I actually rewrote the book and then pitched it on a cold pitch Friday. And it was like she called the publisher, called me on the cheese day and offered me a book deal and I just cried. And it was published, I think, six months after that, which is pretty quick in publishing, really fast.


[00:22:42] What caused you to, like, finally kind of regroup after six months from your lashing and think. No, no, this is good. I know so many people that would abandon a piece of work with that kind of abusive moment in their life. You know, it doesn't. I would have abandoned it.


[00:22:56] And yet, my friend Dave. He's no longer alive. I ran into him just on the straight and. Hey, hey. I'd gone to school together and he was there. And the other student who studied literature in our country, high school, and he was a good four A's, like a sole friend. You know, I hadn't seen him for about five years. And I ran into him on the street and just said I said I wrote a book. But it got no love lost or something. And, you know, I just vaguely told him the story, but I was still crushed. And he said, you wrote a book, you write, you actually finished it.


[00:23:28] You got to pick it up.


[00:23:29] And he was determined. He took it on like it was on him. But I get that book back to a publisher. And if it hadn't been for him so passionate about getting me. And he looked at it and gave me feedback and he was like, you need to stop the story here. And he was so passionate. And he was actually dying of liver cancer at the time. And he passed away before that book was published. He was only thirty two, but if it hadn't been for him, I wouldn't picked it up. But he was just so determined like you wrote it and you finished it. You can't just chuck it out. And I think about that now. And I think that's how I want to be for other people, because it is I think it's just it's a tragedy when people get so crushed by rejection that they just put it away. And I've seen that happen. And it's.


[00:24:18] It takes a long time to finish a book. It really does. Just labor.


[00:24:23] And bless Dave for knowing that, you know. Yes. You, too. I think you're right. I think voices of encouragement are so necessary. People don't realize, I think, how important that they can be, you know, from outside. So after you had your initial success, did you immediately catapult you into a letter from Paris or did you take some time? How did that play out, the aftermath of success?


[00:24:50] No, sir. This is sort of a complicated I mean. Yeah. So the book so I love another U-turn came out.


[00:24:59] It was a very odd time in my life because my mom died at the same time.


[00:25:06] And also publishing had switched completely online. So everything that I used to do for money, which was pitch FHA radicals, I went down from first the word count stopped. So we went from a nineteen hundred word FHA to 700 words. So that means if you getting paid by the word, you're now getting three hundred and fifty dollars where you used to get twelve hundred. So it just became less and less. It was harder and harder to live off freelancing. And I knew that I had to retrain in the digital world, but I had no idea where to start because, you know, and a lot of people that I had worked at the Herald Sun with or had who'd been freelance journalist or had been journalists, it was a really hard time. Everyone was like, you know, they just suddenly lost their jobs. I know a woman who started a funeral home after losing her 20 year job, you know, in this type of some editing, because she was like, well, that's never going to you know, there's always gonna be a need for a funeral home. Yeah, but I sort of and I saw some of the bloggers coming up, and I think Sarah Wilson had just started blogging in Australia. She's the I quit sugar lady. And I could say that some of these people were really taking on the digital world and harnessing that. But I have no idea where to start. Like, I'm such an on tech savvy person, like, you know, and I didn't know anyone who did it. And I ended up taking this. And the thing was, my book came out and I talk about this a bit later, but I had no idea what I should have done when that book came out to really make it a success. So a lot of people don't know when a book comes out. You know, you basically get three months, if you're lucky of time, chop shop shelf space. Yeah. And you've got to do with many interviews, as much publicity as you possibly can. I had like a website that was stuck in the 1970s. I had to ask people to actually update it for me because it was all hyped, humoral card. I didn't even know I couldn't even update my website, wasn't even a word press or anything was on some something that I don't even know. Yeah. So, yeah, I was really shocked. The book came out and it sold a few copies and then by October that year it was like I'd never done anything and I was starting from scratch again. And so I was really crushed, actually. It was quite depressing because I sort of thought, well, I spent so low on this book and, you know, these are these things that people don't tell you about publishing, but you need to be stuck thinking a year ahead. You need to be doing your publicity count down. And then this is the full podcasts really were a thing as well. And I do do a lot of radio interviews, but. But because I did I had this weakness in the tech sphere.


[00:28:05] I didn't have a good website. I didn't know how to how to set up a blog. I yeah, I didn't know how to do any of that. I basically went back and got a corporate job at an accounting company because they would take they taught me how to do web editing. And I had to use like six different content management systems.


[00:28:25] And I learned a lot. But it was the most boring job I've ever had.


[00:28:31] Yeah.


[00:28:32] Yeah. But, you know, I just I needed to get a job and I needed to learn how to use the Internet, you know, digital publishing. And so I was sending out seven weekly tax newsletters at these incredibly boring job. I don't think I really lasted like three months. That got I learned a lot. And then I went to Byron Bay because, as I said, my mum had died not long. You know, maybe a year and a half earlier. And I still very, very wounded from that. So I sort of packed up all of my things and moved to Byron Bay and just sort of lived in this shed that overlooks the forest, which didn't cost very much money and started writing digital copywriting. So I, I transferred the skills that I've been doing as a journalist to that and got quite a lot of stuff published. The only difference is your byline isn't on it when it's copyrighting. And at that point, I started writing a fiction novel. Sorry, this is such a long winded way now.


[00:29:33] Love. Yeah.


[00:29:36] So I started writing a fiction novel because I thought that was the other thing. So publishing a memoir. It was actually also quite a bizarre psychological process when Love another U-turn came out, because, as I said, my mum had just died and I was doing all these interviews based on the person that I was when I wrote Love of a U-turn. So it's all these free wheeling and it's a quite a funny book. Quick. It's it's all about the wackiness of outback towns and how I liked not having many possessions and just living out a car. Banks are free in Australia, but after my mum died, I, I really changed. My character changed. I think everyone loses a parent without changing a lot. And so it was quite hard doing those interviews and trying to be all cheery and promote that book when I had changed so dramatically. So I thought, well, gee, I don't think I can write in another memoir because it's just so personal and, you know, people are asking me about my relationship with Jim when really. And saying, you know, your mom must be your parents must be so proud of you. And I hadn't even properly grieved. And it was all just was really hard. It's it's very hard for me writing a memoir because it is so personal and you need to have a lot of. Not protective, but you need to know what you're doing. And I didn't know what I was doing. I hadn't. I didn't really know anyone else who published a book. I though the lady on the street who'd interviewed, introduced me to the literary agent had sent me some great advice. But aside from that, you know, I there were no writing coaches at that point. There were. Yes. So I moved to Byron Bay and I started working on a fiction novel, which was sort of a thinly veiled fiction. It was about trauma and grief and processing, sort of what I was processing. And the only way I could write it was to make it a fiction, even though it really wasn't. It was all just a metaphor. And then I sort of did what I needed to do in Byron Bay. And I came back to Melbourne about a year later. And, yeah, just just went back to work. And I was pitching that fiction novel around. I ended up going to the US, going to this incredible writer's retreat because I wanted to get it to a publisher in the US because I thought, well, the reason my book Eleven of a U-turn wasn't a success is because it was only published in Australia. That's such a small market here. But that didn't really eventuate. And then that book was sort of messy. And I think I really didn't. I'm not supposed to write fiction. It's not. I didn't have the genre right. I didn't even know if it was a thriller or a romance or what or like a supernatural. It was just it was a bit of everything. That book was kind of my therapy writing that.


[00:32:32] Well, yeah, it sounds cathartic. Maybe maybe not being published in any way.


[00:32:40] And so I came back to Melbourne and I just got lots of different jobs editing and ended up working in media, sort of media training and marketing for Melbourne University, which is really big. But it's I think it's one of our biggest universities. And I loved that job. And, you know, I really just threw myself into my work and thought, you know, like a cat published a book. But I'm probably never gonna do that again, even though I wanted to. I sort of stuffed that down because I'd been so disappointed with what happened with love. Another U turns anyway. Long story short. I had just finished a year working at Melbourne Uni and I'd quit because of something really awful that happened there. We've with this boss and I received this email from a woman in Paris about my father. And so my dad died when I was very young. And she said our grandmother died yesterday. And in her apartment, we found a stack of letters written in nineteen forty nine about a man named Dennis in Deasey Are you any relation? Is he your grandfather? And that was my dad. And I said, well, I wrote because this was on Facebook Messenger. She contacted me and I said, nineteen forty nine. That's right. So she was telling me he'd been in London. I didn't know any of this stuff about my dad. I didn't know that he'd been in London when he'd he'd been to France. I knew that he'd had a French wife, but I didn't really know when or how or how that had connected. And basically, as soon as she started e-mailing me and she sent me all of these translations of the French letters that her grandmother had written and she said, you know, grandmother was talking about your father until the day she died. And they actually sent me a recording of her in the hospital talking about my death. And this had been 36 years since he died. And I just couldn't. It was all a bit crazy. And I remember thinking in the pit of my stomach, if I'm going to have to write another book.


[00:34:54] I just I was like, man, but I've done it.


[00:34:57] And it was so hard. Yeah.


[00:35:00] And I think this is sort of where why and where the whole memoir coaching and the courses that I do now, where it will come from. Because at that time as well, a good friend of mine, she'd won a competition, a writing competition for a piece of memoir she'd written about running away from. So she her dad was a Vietnam vet and had very serious PTSD. And so she and her siblings and her mom had had to run away from home because he was very violent. And she'd want to competition for this pace. And long story short, that led to her publishing contract for that book. But she'd never published a book before either. And I saw her going through everything that I'd gone through with Love, another U-turn. So she didn't know that she would have to organize the launch event and do as much public. She felt the publisher was going to do everything. You know, she she really didn't know anything about the promotion. She was really upset and kind of stressed and. Yeah, that sort of thing. And so, like, I sort of took it on myself to try and educate her for what she should be doing up to the launch and that sort of thing. And then. Yeah, we just talked a lot through through the launch of her book and everything. And that was when. I was working on a letter from Paris, but I was determined that I would not write the book the same way that I did love another U-turn. So I didn't want to write the whole manuscript and then stop pitching it. I was like, I need a deadline. I need an FUC advance. I need you to pull this stuff. So I was really, really strategic, which I'd never been before. And I pitched, I wrote, I got things published. I used that to leverage publishers interest, which then led to a documentary. There's a show in Australia called Australian Story, which is documentaries of I don't know if you've ever seen it. I have. OK. Well, one of the producers of from Australian Story contacted me about this story about my dad, which I've been how to make. Leveraged into the contract for a letter from Paris. Because I really want to. Yeah, yeah. And I'm shortening it. There are a lot of very stressful phone calls and emails. But I was determined that I would have a deadline and a contract before I sat down to write that book. So I worked on a letter from Paris. And it was it was a bestseller when it came out in Australia two years ago and it's still been up and down a bestseller here, and it's come out in the UK and the US and Canada as well. But the reason that I'm sharing that isn't too advanced. It's because I was very, very specific and determined and strategic in everything that I did with Boris. How I pitched the book, how I avoid it to how it was published. How I went to the editor, what I did pray, publicity, all of that sort of thing, because I had had such a bruising experience with love and other unions. And the thing is, most people don't get a second chance to write a memoir or publish a memoir. So I was very lucky. But this is what led me to create these courses. And so the coaching that I do with authors is because what I saw I saw what happened with my friend Bruce. I know what happened with me. And so many people think the story's over when you sign that book to Sharon. And I know what you're saying about self publishing as well. If you actually if you want a lucrative publishing contract, self publishing is the way to go. And if you've already got a platform and you've already got an audience, you might be better off self publishing. But for a lot of people, like it was to me, you want to be traditionally published because that's, you know, this it's pretty amazing to have the backing of a traditional publisher. And it's you know, it's one of those dreams you want to be published by a publisher. And, you know, they do things that. I mean, just the quality of working with the editors on a letter from Paris taught me so much that I would have learned if I'd, you know, I would never of self publish that book anyway, because it's too important to me that it be produced in a really quality, beautiful. I just really wanted it to be traditionally published, but I understand that a lot of people. If if the purpose is to make money, then I would say sure. So publish or even spade, if you want to be speedy.


[00:39:55] No. And I also think there's a great deal more to be learned. I think both processes have education.


[00:40:00] But certainly the old still old school, there was, you know, a valid moment in that two to be had. And I think that there is there's a great mystique. It's just like academia. It's just like any race. You know, there is still a great deal of pride that one should take out of executing those systems. And it sounds like, you know, your qualifications. What I love about the difficulty in this journey that you've just unraveled for us is that you couldn't come from a more qualified source, you know, to have love another U. Turns and then a letter from Paris and and being on this bestseller, you know, international list is amazing. And I love. I don't really trust teachers that haven't had some kind of a struggle.


[00:40:46] Well, that was the thing.


[00:40:47] That was the thing with me and I, you know, and that was what made me so angry, actually, when I was at uni was none of those teachers had been published. And I was like, what do you know, except for, you know, bizarre academic journals. But I was like, but I want to see your book in a shop.


[00:41:03] Yes.


[00:41:04] And I want to hear the story. The difficulties are, you know. Yes. This horrible moment of someone flying from Sydney to kind of train crash you until this friend uplifted you and all of that back and forth.


[00:41:15] And yet I'm wondering. So we're getting to your Web site and kind of crawling through the suite of online services that you have. Can you kind of crawl? Anyone who hasn't visited your Web site yet or knows anything about it? What are the different services that you offer your clients?


[00:41:34] So it's it's funny that we're doing this podcast now because I'm actually raised configuring a few things because what I've realized. So I always wanted to offer memoir coaching and courses to show someone step by step how to write a memoir, because I know how overwhelming, how overwhelmed I felt at the beginning of a letter from Paris. I was like, how do I even put the sample chapters together for a publisher? How do I know? Because it's such a personal thing. You write, it's so overwhelming to go well, how do I, you know, jump into my entire life story and pick out the most relevant or interesting peso's to this story. And so I sort of came up with a process and a method for that finding the quote which know most storytelling. You would find the same with documentaries. You finding a hook, you finding where the story actually begins like that is more crucial than anything. You're finding the universal themes, finding the they really unique personal aspects to the universal themes. So I'm always sort of obsessed with finding like creating a mathematical or strategic formula to something to make it less overwhelming. So I originally started I created a course called Memory Academy, which was a six month step by step course for writing your memoir and getting it ready for a publisher. And I've had a few people take that course and I realized that it sort of needs to be three courses because it's very layers. There's three layers to writing and publishing a memoir is the actual writing of it, which anyone can can do. I love writing and craft is really fun to study. Yeah. Great to sit in your room and write a memoir. And this is something that I noticed with my students who took the program last year, which I'm really doing is if I hadn't got over their visibility issues, if I hadn't won, one of my students didn't even have a website that had her name on it. She was too scared to use her real name for any of her published paces. And I realize visibility is one of the biggest aspects of writing and publishing a memoir. So I sort of have to put that into a separate program, which is all. And I didn't realize that I'd done all of this with you. So all those years that I spent pitching articles and following up and writing freelance articles. That was me getting comfortable, being visible, pitching and following up. So I created a another smaller program, which is all about getting getting published and getting visible because that is actually going to lead to your book deal anyway. So, you know, if you want to be traditionally published and if you want to self publish, you really need to get visible, too, because you'll sell more books. So I separated that. And then this is the new program that I'm working on, which I'm really excited about, because it's everything that I was just sort of. Describing to you about my friend Bruce and then what I went through with love, another U-turn, which is people who signed the book deal, right? That's amazing. That is a huge accomplishment. But there's actually a six to 12 month process that they need to go through to ensure that that book sells for longer than two months, because that might be the book. The only book that they ever publish and you want to give it the best chance of success. And self care is a huge part of that process because otherwise, how are you going to go on TV or radio or podcasts and talk about your incredibly personal, sometimes traumatic story? Because a lot of memoirs are about very traumatic experiences or Newtons. You know, sometimes if it's a travel memoir like Love, another U-turn, that is a happy that is a really happy story that I wrote. But, you know, for example, with a letter, letter from Paris, I did a lot of talks, library talks. I did some events in Sydney at the Ambulance Française, because my dad was connected with the aliens from sides. And I had complete strangers coming up to me afterwards and asking incredibly personal questions about my family. And if I hadn't been prepared for that and if I hadn't done it all before, I would have just fallen apart. And I still was extremely exhausted after promoting that book, but. I had all these methods in place and I knew what I was getting into. And I think there's a real gap there. People think as soon as I've signed the book deal, that that's that's a fantastic I'll just hire a public system. I can take care of the rest. Yes. Or you actually have to do a lot, particularly with memoir, because you you are the story. It's not like I didn't invent with a really well-known historical fictional son. Attach a list of documents. You've heard of her. She's hit the bestsellers in the in the US with her latest book, The Paracel Orphan. And we didn't have into the library. And, you know, she had always it was the same library that I'd done an event at two or three months earlier. And she had members in the audience asking her questions and she looked so relaxed and so happy. And I realized, oh, my God, it's because she didn't because hers is a fiction. And I was like, oh, man, you have to be so different.


[00:47:16] And she wasn't, like, absolutely ruined after the event and, you know, just meeting. And I never thought about that. She's just discussing the story. She told you she's not discussing her history.


[00:47:29] I would feel personally, I would feel sorry personally, sort of pried open after every media appearance or event, which is fine, you know? And they will. And I did certain things to strengthen myself before that. And there were questions that I wouldn't know, that I wouldn't answer them, but I'd sort of come up with because I've worked as a journalist. Sort of come up with deflecting ways to turn them back. But, you know, it's all this stuff that people don't know. And I really want to educate people because. Yeah. A bit like the legacy project thing. If this memoir if this book is the only book that you ever have published, you want to give it the best chance of success. And you you owe it to yourself as well to to really look after yourself and really promote it to the best of your ability, your ability, and make it a really joyous, glamorous, wonderful thing because. Yeah. I mean, a lot of memoir groups on Facebook, which is sort of showing me how. How damaging that whole launch process can be if people aren't prepared properly. So that's that's the new program that I'm working on. How long is it? How long does it last? At least six months. I haven't. Yeah. Yeah, I haven't completely fine tuned the the material yet, but it has to be at least six months. I'm thinking of possibly extending it to 12 because most most publishers give you at least 12 months lead time before the book comes out. Yeah.


[00:49:08] And it's it's more to cover not just the marketing and the publicity, but self care. And you know what you want what you want to say. Media training from that perspective of, you know, if this is the only book that you publish. If if this is what your children and your grandchildren are going to hear about your story, what would you like them to take away? So, you know, I like politicians. Get trained to. Sure. Your press conferences. Authors may need that sort of training as well.


[00:49:42] Absolutely. Well, given that you're revamping a couple of things right now and kind of extending into its proper time, length and category, sectioning with the three different courses, and what are their goals and plans do you have for yourself moving forward?


[00:49:56] Are you looking at any new works yourself or are you kind of honing in on this some coaching role, this advisory role that you have for the next few years? What do you see for yourself?


[00:50:06] So I'm always I'm always thinking of the next project. At the moment, I'm actually working on a proposal for my third memoir, which is actually a Joel memoir with my dad. So as I as I worked through a letter from Paris, I found his manuscript in the library. I found a memoir that he'd written. And this is part of the reason I'm so passionate about memoir. And even though he died when I was six through writing his memoir, I feel like I've got a relationship with him. I know my dad again. So I really am so passionate about the value of memoir in terms of writing. You know, if he if he hadn't left his memoirs, I wouldn't know so much amazing stuff that happened to him that, you know, even things about this character that I've just really, really been important to learn. So I'm working on a proposal for that to be published as a follow up to a letter from Paris. I've been transcribing all the material because it's suddenly pipe up at the library. So over the last year, I've been transcribing it and into digital files and now I'm just polishing it because it's sort of from the 1940s and 50s. So, yeah, it's pretty, pretty fun to work on that. And also working on. Yeah. I'm really excited working on these memoir programs. I have one of my programs that I'm not revamping. That's just there. Evergreen for anyone is for beginners and that's a memoir journaling program. So that's a 30 day program because I couldn't have written any of my memoirs without my journals. And it sort of teaches you how to write in sort of how to ask yourself those questions that are going to get you writing in a way that you can then use for for a future published book if you want to turn things.


[00:52:02] Yeah. Yeah, I love that. I love the call and response that you're having with your with your father as well.


[00:52:07] You know, I'm I'm a big believer in closed doors and death being maybe one of the most astute ones that we're faced with in this sphere, not closing conversations in relationships. You know, I think it it's it's very finite. To view it that way. And I love the idea that you're having this newfound conversation in relationship with your father all these years later. It's amazing.


[00:52:30] It's set a work of love. It is. So I mean, I was working on it yesterday and I I published a couple of the chapters from his first trip to Paris in 1940. I was just like, Ma going out. This is this is incredible. It's like a Paris that is from a made up story buttons because it was in his diary. I knew that it was true. And I just.


[00:52:53] Yeah. Yeah. The Paris. I want to go to everybody from Paris. I want to be there. I can't.


[00:53:00] You know, I can go and read some of the stories. I want to go back to Simone de Beauvoir as Paris like I want.


[00:53:05] Yeah. That this is like. Have you seen Big Night in Paris, the Woody Allen film? Yeah. This is like that. It's like, you know, he's just walking into a cafe and people are like, oh, god, my car coming. I will, I will take you somewhere better. And just hopping in the car with people and.


[00:53:21] Yeah. Yeah.


[00:53:22] Absolutely brilliant. Well I cannot wait for it to come out at all. And Louisa, I am sorry to say that we are wrapping it up on time because we could I could sit here for our days with you.


[00:53:36] I probabley talked way too much.


[00:53:37] No, not at all. I'm not editing any of this out. Am I going to let my team do it either. I want to know. I this is my final question. I wrap everything up for those of you listening the same question. It's my favorite. She's never going away. I'll never stop asking it. If you were in a park or a garden somewhere in beautiful Melbourne tomorrow to socially safe distance given the pandemic and a young woman or female identified or non binary individual walked up to you. So anyone other than a straight, white, cis gendered male and said, listen, I you know, I went to university, I would do this writing program. I think people have it wrong. I don't think there's enough application applied there in a mean I'm going to launch out on my own. I'm going to write my memoirs, and then I'm going to get them published and I'm going to do all of this and I'm going to use the grit and determination that doesn't hasn't been taught to me before. What are the top three pieces of advice you would give that individual knowing what you know now?


[00:54:34] It's so funny because I did actually run into a. A girl who sounded very similar to that at a bookstore a few months ago, and she was so sweet and asking me questions because she wanted to be a writer. The first thing I would say is. Persevere. It's like it's like what what Dave said to me. You have to persevere.


[00:54:57] You probably get rejected the first 10 or 20 times. So perseverance is more important than having a quick win.


[00:55:07] The second thing is to always be learning. So I take everything as a learning opportunity. Even the most brutal rejections or feedback try to take the good and drop the bad because you can't take it personally or you'll just be wounded. So I try and just treat everything as a learning experience. And lastly, only speak to people who've been published in terms of advice, if that's what you want to do. Just get your advice from people who've been published. Don't be listening to, Someone whose Aunt Jenny, maybe Wrote a letter once 50 years ago. That was maybe put in a newspaper. Yes. Find some people that you can model or and even if you can't talk to them, read on their blogs, listen to their podcasts. We're sort of lucky in the Internet era, we can find mentors and not even make them. And learn all their best stuff. So, yeah. I my three pieces of advice persevere. Take the good. Drop the bad. When you learn and find someone that you can model what you want to do. Find someone actually published that you can model.


[00:56:28] I love this. Three pieces, especially the last one. Only speak with people who published about publishing like I love them.


[00:56:33] I shouldn't have this now. I believe it is last or. I know. I agree.


[00:56:40] Thank you so much for speaking with us today, Louisa. I appreciate it so much. And I know that everyone listening will as well.


[00:56:47] Thank you, Patricia. It was really good.


[00:56:49] Yeah, absolutely. And for everyone listening. Thank you so much for giving us your time. I have been speaking today.


[00:56:55] I've had the brilliant opportunity to speak with Louisa, Deasey and you can find her at w w w dot. I'm going to spell it out. L o u i s a dea s e y dot com for all of her services, as well as information regarding all of her bestselling books and works. And thank you again for giving me your time today.


[00:57:15] And until we speak again next time, remember to stay well, stay safe and always bet on yourself. Slainte.


Chatting with Maggi Thorne; Athlete & Motivational Speaker

Chatting with Maggi Thorne; Athlete & Motivational Speaker

August 11, 2020

Today I am chatting with Maggi Thorne. Maggi is an American Ninja Warrior 5X competitor who was the 2nd Mom up the warped wall and first to beat the salmon ladder, NBC Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge 2X championship competitor, and a previous Mrs. International 2014. In 2013 she placed 2nd at The World’s Toughest Mudder running 75 miles and completing 330 obstacles in 24 hours. Maggi served as a Global Ambassador for feedONE traveling the world in an effort to further feedONE's mission of helping others with the gift of a nutritious meal. Recently she created a BOW patch with the Girl Scouts to inspire female entrepreneurship, empowerment and community engagement, which thousands of scouts have earned since 2019.


This podcast series is hosted by Patricia Kathleen and Wilde Agency Media. This series is a platform for women, female-identified, & non-binary individuals to share their professional stories and personal narrative as it relates to their story. This podcast is designed to hold a space for all individuals to learn from their counterparts regardless of age, status, or industry. 



*Please note, this is an automated transcription please excuse any typos or errors


[00:00:00] In this episode, I speak with elite athlete and motivational speaker Maggi Thorne. Key points addressed were Maggi's history as a track and field college athlete and the subsequent career that followed it at the University of Nebraska. Maggi explains how both of these opportunities led up to her becoming one of the most famous American ninja warriors to date. We also unpack the ethos behind Maggi's brand and how her phrase never give up serves not only as a guiding light for her present and future endeavors, but also remains a constant theme throughout her past, which was riddled with obstacles itself. Stay tuned for my fascinating talk with Maggi Thorne.


[00:00:42] Hi, my name is Patricia Kathleen. And this podcast series contains interviews I conduct with women. Female identified and non binary individuals regarding their professional stories and personal narrative. This podcast is designed to hold a space for all individuals to learn from their counterparts regardless of age status for industry. We aim to contribute to the evolving global dialog surrounding underrepresented figures in all industries across the USA and abroad. If you're enjoying this podcast, be sure to check out our subsequent series that dove deep into specific areas such as Vegan life, fasting and roundtable topics. They can be found via our Web site. Patricia Kathleen .COM. You can also join our newsletter. You can also subscribe to all of our series on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Pod Bean and YouTube. Thanks for listening. Now let's start the conversation.


[00:01:39] Hi, everyone. Welcome back. I am your host, Patricia. And today I'm elated to be sitting down with Maggi Thorne. Maggi is an athlete and motivational speaker. You can find out more regarding her, her services and all the information we talk about today on her website. W w w dot. Maggi Thorne dot com. That's w w w . m a g g i t h o r n e . com. Welcome, Maggi.


[00:02:05] Hello. Thank you so much.


[00:02:07] Hi. I'm excited to unpack everything through. We're talking off the record and I have your famous in my household. I have four children that worship American Ninja Warrior as well as all of the other games that you've been involved in with your story. And so I can't wait to kind of unpack that. You're there, our first ninja warrior on the show. So I'm excited to kind of climb through everything with you.


[00:02:25] Oh, I love that you just climb through everything, because we are certainly going to unpack some obstacles today. So thank you for the opportunity.


[00:02:31] You bet. For everyone listening who might be new to our podcast, I will read a bio on Maggi to give you a brief background before I start asking her to unpack her history with us herself. But prior to doing that, a roadmap for today's podcast and the trajectory of inquiry that we'll be following. We'll first look at Maggi's academic and professional background as it pertains to where she is right now. And then we'll look at unpacking all of her endeavors. We'll look at. I'm packing her athletic endeavors with American Ninja Warrior, Spartan race, things of that nature, as well as her professional life and getting into motivational speaking, some of the ethos and philosophy that motivates both of those things that she's kind of known for. And then we'll look towards goals that Maggi has for the next one to three years. This is an area that's changed for everyone. Given the pandemic climate that is upon us, as well as for Maggi herself, given her history with them competing and all of her activities, we're up everything up with advice that Maggi has for those of you who are looking to get involved or emulate some of her dynamic success. So, as promised, a quick bio on Maggi before I start peppering her with questions. Maggi Thornee is an American ninja warrior, five time competitor. She was the second mom of the Warped Wall and the first to be to beat the Salman letter, MBC Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge, two time champion competitor and a previous misses International 2014. In 2013, she placed second at the world's toughest mud rent motor running seventy five mile, completing three hundred and thirty obstacles in twenty four hours. Maggi served as a global ambassador for Feed One, Traveling the world in an effort to further feed one's mission of helping others with the gift of a nutritious meal. Recently, she created a BO patch with the Girl Scouts to inspire female entrepreneurship, empowerment and community engagement, which thousands of scouts have earned since 2019. Maggi is a previous Governors Award winner for inspiring community engagement and her American Association Heart of Gold Award recipient. Professionally, she speaks to hundreds of thousands on inspiration and never giving up. In addition to engaging volunteers globally, a mother of three, she and her kids love serving, being active, traveling together and in her spare time, she loves to eat chips and salsa. So I have to say, as possibly one of the most fantastic things to just kind of put out there about yourself. Thank you. I love for your career and everything that you've done and a lot of the particulars that I have to inquire with you about. I'm wondering if you can kind of give us a general background of your academic and professional history prior to becoming the American ninja warrior that kind of propelled you into this.


[00:05:12] One of the biggest misnomers about myself and any success is people say, oh, man, anything you do, you're successful at and you have the golden touch. But they don't really realize is where I started at. And to jump back to the good old days of the 1980s that we all love to be nostalgic. I was born in San Diego and grew up in a low income home. We lived with another family and I actually never played sports growing up at all. I wasn't an evolved child. I did Girl Scouts. I was a Girl Scout and loved that time as a Girl Scout. But it wasn't until a teacher in high school at the age of 14 who thought I looked fast in PE and gave me an opportunity to become a California state champion. I became one of the top runners in California. Or that ties in for me academically is both of my brothers were high school dropouts, the highest grade completed, and my family was high school. So college wasn't something immediately on the radar for me as a kid. And I thought I was going to enlist in the military and become some kind of Air Force person who would serve our country. And it turns out I got to be a professional athlete later in my life who ended up having a college degree. And that was the first person in my family who ever had a college degree, which was just of all the accomplishments, if I look back. A school was a huge challenge for me. I really struggled with it. I didn't have a lot of academic support, support and really looking at the academic history of my family around me. It was a little hard to be motivated when you think, well, both my brothers dropped out. There wasn't a huge push for me to go further academically. So it started to be a series of choices that I really had to realize. I'm going to write my own story that I'm going to have to choose where I end up. There's nothing else around me that is going to determine my path but me, I decide. And so that played a huge role into a lot of decisions I made going forward.


[00:07:12] Yeah. I mean, being a trailblazer that early on was something is, I think, college. You know, for those that don't come from a family of it is daunting, you know, that the prospect of anything at that level without having someone to kind of refer you as to, you know, the process, even silly things, financial aid forms, you know, those used in the day. Things have gone electronically. But it was that kind of thing. When you don't have anyone who's done it before, it can seem almost intermountain insurmountable. What did you end up majoring in?


[00:07:45] Well, I wanted to be a PE teacher, and two weeks after I got to the University of Nebraska, they unfortunately dropped that major. And the only other thing I could do was get a bachelors degree in community health without entirely starting over my academic career. I had a huge support system at Nebraska that was actually one of the top reasons that I chose Nebraska. It wasn't just that I got a full ride or they had a great check her room, which they absolutely did. But I had to take a step back and look at the academic support that they had. And it was off the charts. They have more academic all Americans than any school in the country. And that's even over Ivy League schools. And, you know, you're surrounded by cornfields and counselors. So they really help set the table for that. And then being able to decide that degree.


[00:08:29] What was that experience like as a college athlete? I haven't spoken to too many, particularly guests on this show that speak to the experience. We've heard stories in the news where things, you know, on Olympic teams and things like that can be horrific. And I've also heard stories of camaraderie. But for you, what was that experience like?


[00:08:47] Number one, I love my experience in Nebraska from the moment I stepped on campus for my recruiting trip. It was so welcoming. I do remember I'm a pretty sharp, quick, funny story. They got me a sandwich after I got off the airplane. And unfortunately, there had been a hair in my sandwich. And I think they thought I was never going to sign as a recruit. After that, they were mortified. When this big, long hair came out of their mouth.


[00:09:11] But from day one, they're like, we're so sorry. We'll make you right.


[00:09:14] And I remember walking around, everybody said, how are you? But then they stopped. They keep moving past you to mention it. They were really invested in your life. They knew. How's your family doing? Whereas when I was a student athlete, my brother had died by suicide. And the support I got from people, everyone writing personal notes, you know, not just a group card, but. Other people were on academic staff pulling me and my coaches. Do you need any support? Are you OK? So I really had an amazing experience there. There were things that were hard. Absolutely. There's things that we did as an athlete that we got push. But I think that it's shaped part of who I am. I had a coach that was from Russia. And at the time, I got so hard on me because there are other athletes. If it was snowing or raining, you know, we're in Nebraska. And I would see them not having to practice inside or outdoors. When we were or, you know, they would get some back out of the meat if it was snowing. But one day, because I was complaining I was being such a big baby. He goes, Maggi Easterday was big truck championship was run. Yes, Vector's absolutely. I'd run. If today was a national championship. Would you run? Yes, that was. He goes then today you run and every day you run like a champion regardless. I was like, OK, I think I just like five accents. He's Russian and he was fantastic. But I remember that because I think one of the reasons I've become successful is it wasn't deciding to be my best when it was always convenient or it was the most opportune time. It was learning to be my best when I was at my worst consistently, and that some people might have to wrap their head around that for a little bit. But my time at Nebraska shaped me for ever. It launched me into careers and what I did next, which will probably talk about in a second. But I love Venus student athlete, the discipline. That was a part of it. I was in the weight room by five thirty in the morning that I was in class and I took a power nap for 30 minutes every day and then I was practicing again. So I spent six to seven hours or whatever. Was NCW allowed? I don't want to. I'm sure we stuck to that. But I spent you know, I was a part time, full time job, if you really want to say it, being a student athlete and then working and then doing your academics. And then I also served on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. So there was there was a lot involved that it taught me how to have practical life skills that really applied to the real world.


[00:11:45] Yeah. And for the real world, you encountered, particularly right in your future to come, this one can be taken on a lot of levels. I think there are a lot of people that it's a it's an interpersonal dialog. That word conjures up different things for anyone that it's asked to, you know, and for athletes, it's a very special relationship with the word discipline. So I'm wondering, after you came out of college, what did you go into next? What was your first kind of professional encounter?


[00:12:13] When I was a student athlete, I had one class left before I graduated. And at that time, I actually thought I was going to end up being a personal trainer. And I was going to enroll in graduate school to get a graduate degree in nutrition and health science. I wanted to do nutrition counseling at the time, but I had that one class and then I had free time. And even as a student athlete or, you know, a college senior, I was so uncomfortable having so much free time, I thought I should really get a job. So I asked my coaches if they knew anybody on campus that needed worker. And it turns out the facilities and construction crew needed a worker. So I started as a student worker for Nebraska athletic department, picking up trash. I used to vacuum suites.


[00:12:57] I'd set up tables. And this turns out 10 years later, I ended up managing 340 million dollars in projects and designing and managing the facilities I used to clean. So that's in a scope of it. So I'm going to go back to literally no. How did that really happen? I was this do when I was a student worker on the grounds crew. They had a secretary that was gone one day and I was the only female. So they brought me in to answer phones. Yet we can all chuckle at that one. Only girls can answer phones, which isn't true. One of her puts, but there was a group of guys talking about projects and I had an idea. And so I spoke up. And I think it's so important for people to do that, to not think that you're not qualified enough, you're not good enough, your ideas aren't good just because you're not a person standing in the room with the suit. I mean, I had a T-shirt and jeans on and they all looked at me and then one of the persons who was in charge of that department said, I want you to start coming and bringing a suit and still bring your grounds to float, browse through clothes. And he would just give me projects, no instruction on the projects. You just tell me something to do and see where I would take it. And that's how it really started. It was because someone missed a day of work, which I'll say to this day, I can't transfer a phone call. There are so many notes that we could people they were out. They were busy like too many buttons. But eventually he asked me, said, what do you want to do with your life? I said, well, I'm not I'm not super sure, but I know I will never spend every day in an office wearing a suit. And I spent the next 10 years in an office wearing a suit. So I learned never say never. You have to open yourself up for opportunity because that could change the world literally can't count ourselves out. But it came down to. There was a one day when I think this is the day that I really got hired. We were working on the Nebraska football lounge. We were redesigning it. And it was a meeting that I wasn't even invited to. I'll see it right now. But I was hungry for it. And so what I did and keep in mind, you heard what my degree is. I had a bachelor's degree in community health. I never had any experience in construction, architectural design, engineering. But every day when they left office, I sat down and I taught myself how to use every single program that they used AutoCAD, 3D design, Photoshop, all of the Microsoft programs. And then I taught myself how to read for plants. And so it came down to that meeting. And my boss and they had a intern get a master's degree in architectural design. And I walked into his office with the floor plans and I said, are you ready to go? And he he didn't want to tell me no. So he's a. Yeah, sure. Come to the meeting. He was being so kind. And when we showed up, the thing that happened is I was prepared. No one had asked me to be prepared. No one told me what to do. If you want something, you've got a deal to figure it out. You can't sell yourself short. I didn't have the degree. So that was the day I think I got hired because the there is the principal of a firm who said, does anyone else have any other comments on the drawings? And no one expected me to say a thing. And I pulled up my floor plans and I said, I actually have some comments. And everybody, again, they looked at me. And after the meeting, they came up to me and said, I have to tell you. Nobody ever catches things like that except me. And he's a senior principal of a firm. And so my boss looks and eventually, six months later, I had to compete for that job against that intern that had a master's degree in architectural design. And I had a bachelors degree in community health and I got hired. So I spent my next 10 years doing that. And it was amazing. All the cities that got to use this student athlete, I got to create awesome environments, build an arena, expand a football stadium, build a volleyball arena. So if anybody ever wants to tell me, I can't I'm not equipped. I don't have the degree. My family was too poor and really the wrong person to say that, too.


[00:16:59] Yeah. Absolutely stacked against you. And those software, not for nothing but AutoCAD.


[00:17:04] I mean, when my partner in life is, you know, one of the original Silicon Valley computer nerds and I feel like I've touched almost every software piece out there. AutoCAD is my least favorite. It's not friendly. It is like in the arts. It is like too much there, too much utility. So teaching that to yourself is I mean, the grit that is required with that alone is is astounding. So you you went onto it. You were you were an employee through this department of the University of Nebraska for ten years. Yes. And universities are an interesting umbrella to work under because they're kind of their own microclimate. But they have a lot of the similarities as far as the aspects and the software and things like that. But they have their own hierarchy. I think, you know, I worked for the University of Utah for a spell and it's just its own microclimate. I tried to explain it to people like, you know, there's it's you have the professional industry and then you have the university bubble as well. And everything functions under boards and committees. And this and there's a lot of different boxes that get checked for things.


[00:18:04] So it's it's it's a lesson, I think, in patients as well as process. Right. They sometimes when I think about universities. So what happened? What caused you to leave the job?


[00:18:16] I love that job and I actually loved it so much that sometimes I would really choose it over friends or family in gatherings and there's a lot of things that got pushed aside. And I started to have this whole of every day. You know, we're building the east stadium expansion. And I watched it go up from the first piece of steel that went in. And I love something being built from the ground up. My heart space is on a job site. But as I watched it construct, I'd walk over this bridge every day from where I parked. And it's like that start to say, don't just build buildings, build people. And every single day I was on a job site and I felt it. And eventually, unfortunately, my best friend in the world, she was the maid of honor at my wedding when I had got married. She died by suicide. And she was the second person who in my life, my brother had in 2005. And then she died in 2011. So within 10 years, I lost two people to suicide. And the day of her funeral, I was standing over her casket. And I thought, I can have all the success in the world. But what if I lose people, I get. It just doesn't matter. I could put my name on every building in the city of Lincoln, Nebraska, on. I've been a part of so many, quote unquote, important projects, but when you're a part of building someone's life. That's it's amazing, there's nothing that compares to being able to just share love and empower someone. So I made a commitment that day that I was going to love people. So I thought about three years we were in the middle of the biggest capital campaign that had ever existed for Nebraska athletics. And I wanted to be committed to what I was assigned. I was at the helm of a lot of the projects with my boss, John Ingram, who's fantastic and definitely inspired me in so many ways as a male leader supporting a female in a male dominated industry. But I had told him, I said, I think I'm going to leave eventually. And it's really my passion to go love people and build people and not buildings. And he knew that. So I started getting involved outside of work in Mrs. International. I wanted to take the skills that I had.


[00:20:34] And I learned over time because as a part of Nebraska athletics, that role grew a lot, whereas a part of hiring committee is a part of the rebrand for the entire athletic department. When we made our move to from the big twelve to the Big Ten contracts, you know, I ended up leading our recycling initiatives as a university. So there's a lot of things that I'd never had experience with. Yet there I play and I bet you these are skills that can translate and impacting lives. And how do we do that? And so I wanted to find platforms. I had a marketing background. Now there are things I knew how to do. You didn't know how to do makeup to save my life. I used to call eye shadow I powder. I mean, it took me like an hour in several minutes of tears to, like, not get my eyes glued together, putting my lashes. So patents was a great platform. But then I also felt like it was going to teach me how to speak well from that platform. And if you really want to impact lives, you need to sharpen those skills in 30 seconds. You should be able to tell anybody what you want to do with your life and how you're going to do it quickly and concisely. I think that's important for people to know that to always have an elevator speech because you need to live ready if you want to live with purpose. So I ended up competing for Mrs. International. I got top 10 my first year. And what I did was I stood back as I watched the other girl get crowned, because at that time I thought, well, I'm ready. You know, that was the athlete in me. I'm ready. I'm going to win.


[00:22:06] I didn't realize how ready I wasn't. So I just stood back and I was watching everything unfold on stage. And that's kind of how I learned. If you'll hear this theme over time, as I just learned and invested. So the next year I came back and I won. I wasn't a pageant girl. It had been about 15 years since I had done was as a teenager. And I'd also spent the last decade having babies. I have three children. So I decided to become a professional runner that time, too, because that makes sense. Let's do that. It really set the stage. This is all before American Ninja Warrior. They started to tie in together, but I really wanted to broaden myself to be able to have a broader audience and a broad impact and see how it could uniquely and creatively impact lives. Yeah.


[00:22:59] And it sounds like it. It all sounds very like a path that makes sense, you know, now that you're kind of unpacking it as to what you became, even the public health aspect of it, because, you know, I mean, what you went on to do, which is kind of affect public health. How did you first come into contact or how did American Ninja Warrior enter your radar zone?


[00:23:22] In college, I was roommates with Jesse Graff, which for you as a Ninja Warrior fan and for your kids. She is one of the top female. She she's absolutely amazing. And so people don't really realize we've actually been friends for 17, 18 years now. So we were roommates. I knew she had competed on American inj work. And I had someone tell me all you should do that. So I talked to Jesse and I applied. And the first year I really thought I was going to go out and crush it. Jesse was by my side. She helped me train. She flew out to Nebraska. She was trying to make sure I got ready and she had not competed. That year is actually an off year for her. But I went out and I fell on the very first step. My very first year. And they aired it. Luckily, the girl at this planet. Yep, yep. Yep. Little did we know five years later happened again, but in a much more traumatic way. But I applied the next year for Ninja Warrior and I actually got rejected. And then I applied the next year for Ninja Warrior and I got rejected again. So I was three years into it. And I can't tell you how many people at this point. My journey on the outside. It wasn't making sense to anybody. You're doing pageants for your in races now you're doing American means where and you're getting rejected and yet you're still going for it. Clearly, they don't want you.


[00:24:36] You should give up. And if anybody knows me, they think about my brand. It's never give up. And I believe that with every part of my fiber and my being and my soul and I believe that for people, if you have to know who you are and your passion so much that it's such a part of you that you can tell people, I'm going to continue it. I was not supported at that time. I will just say that it was a really challenging journey to keep going. So four years into it and came back as the top female. So I went from one of the worst to one of the best and the only one who had beat crank it up. And all those people who said you shouldn't do this shit is not right. How did you do it? And so it was just it was really important, as I learned, started to learn as a teenager, that I had to make a choice for my own journey and and also for me, knowing what God wanted for my life and that path and where it was going to go. So Ninja Warrior has been such an amazing platform to reach families, empower women. Bill, people in a real way of overcoming obstacles above and beyond.


[00:25:47] Of course, I remember when you were first the first time I saw you on, and I'm not sure which year it was for you, but I remember when I first saw you on watching it with my little girls. They were we were talking about. They had mentioned your story and they were talking about how you had three young children and you were a single mom. And. And I kind of paused. And the only thing that really big I've I've just met so many prolific, wonderful, amazing women in my life. It wasn't shocking. I just thought, I wonder when she sleeps, because if she's training for this and working and I'm a full time parent as a single parent would be. It seems to me like you would need some kind of help with some of it. What kind of aid did you have during that time period? And can you kind of describe your training routine? Was it similar to training in college? I mean, you have to do kind of design your own training. I would think the circuit, even if they're shared, prolific, you know, passes and things like that on line between the different ninjas, you're designing your your schedule, your training time, your routine. What did life look like during that time period when you went from, you know, unknown to the top female ninja warrior?


[00:26:57] It was really challenging. I, living in Nebraska, do not have any family here. So it was really hard to do it. I mean, there's there's no way to put it. And one time I actually got asked an interview. What do you like about being a single parent? And I didn't realize I was going to react this way, but I about had it like a nervous breakdown in front of them, like no one had ever asked me not. It hit me in such a way that I just I started sobbing. And I looked at them and I said, I hate it. I don't like this like it's not what life's supposed to be like. And they're like, just once you take a second, what's different, Krista? Because it was it was an in-person interview, actually, by the TV show. And I don't think they realize, you know, the number one I told the show, I never want to promote divorce. It was the hardest decision I ever had made. And I can't express enough the amount of counsel that I had surrounding that. If you can really work it out, why in both parties are willing. I want to encourage. I just need to say that now. And number two, it wasn't training like an athlete because I it was really hard to have set schedules. You know, my kids came first. So if I'm dropping off or someone says, hey, we've come have lunch with me today, mom, I forgot my bag. We bring it to school, you know. And then I freelanced for work doing what I could and find sponsorships. And so for me, really, it was the minute they went to bed is when I got to train. You know, if I could fit in an hour during the day or 30 minutes during the day, no one else will. Maybe I can give the rest of it. And tonight. So I didn't have these dedicated training sessions and then tried. The most difficult part for me was I. There is no ninja gym here.


[00:28:44] The entire time time I competed on American injured warrior. So all the equipment I trained on, I got from thrift stores attire I found on the side of a road, a truck tire. Really, if someone wants it, you can make it work. I just had to figure out how to adapt once again and thankfully my kids all of being active. So when I did travel, people notice like I'm a package deal. There's a really hard line in the sand. And if my kids can't be involved, I won't do it. And I have to trust God to, like, say no to some really hard thing sometimes that given the wow, that would be so financially good for the guy. It just might not be the best with your kids around him, like. Well, then it's a. because we are. I mean, you know, as a parent, you get such a short window of time and I'm just not willing to trade that.


[00:29:39] Absolutely. I wonder, though, when you talk about doing it on your own there, not being an engine there, the micro muscles, did you have to learn more?


[00:29:48] Did you study more about getting into because it feels like so looking at some of the obstacles over the years, especially how they've changed and things like that, it feels like you have to kind of fine tune in different regions. Jesse Graf is talking about it. I think a shoulder injury or something, or maybe it was someone else and they were talking about like slowing down their reps of their pull up so that they could get an absolutely perfect form so that the micro muscles and all that whole area would rehab correctly. And I think of in terms of the different obstacles, how would you get your body ready for the task at hand and get to the place that you did so prolifically without testing any of the courses or the activities themselves out? Did you find yourself studying anatomy or were you just doing what you could and hoping that there would be some kind of cross pollination effect?


[00:30:34] There's probably a mix of it. Jesse's always been a huge influence. And even to the point of what you just said, she's actually the one who taught me, hey, this is how you really do a pull up focus on these mechanics. So she's just always been a huge influence and have competed as a ninja.


[00:30:51] But also I think that's where being a track happily came in. I was a hurdler, which is a really it's a technical event. You have to even as you warm up, what's your mechanics go slow. Repetition, repetition, repetition. So repetition was very important for me. And what I learned to do was say flexible, build the muscle groups, especially I'm an older athlete. I mean, people to remember, both ninjas are in their early 20s. I am now thirty nine years old. So I had to make sure I don't want to throw myself eight feet in the air and catch something and rip both of my shoulders up. So that was something that was so important for me to make sure to build all of those groups, the dynamics, the functions. I didn't have a warped wall. Well, what muscle groups am I gonna use in a worthwhile what will most replicate it? And then absolutely, we spent a ton of time on playgrounds. I mean, people want to ninja Werdum, go swing around in a playground. So that was always super fun for us. And then I did have lots of opportunities to get out to ninja gyms as I was starting to speak. My kids will come with me. And so I would train on the road and try to get in some time in competitions. I will say, yeah, there's ways where I could see where it affected me, where I wasn't as fluid or I couldn't be able to cast myself as well on a laschet. And those are just things that eventually an owner of a gymnastics gym here in Lincoln, Nebraska, gave me a key to his gym just so I could try to practice Lachaise. And you can get creative. Yeah, yeah.


[00:32:20] And you have to. And it sounds like you've honed in on that skill your entire life. I'm wondering, you're starting to speak. You know, you're you're starting to compete. You didn't get in then you are. You got in on the walk on line for Ninja Warrior. This is prior to you taking the title. I'm wondering.


[00:32:39] You're starting to do public speaking and things like that. Recovery wise, like I think a lot of ninjas are starting to speak more about this. But in the past, I had a friend who is an Olympic hopeful in gymnastics, and she talked a lot about like the devoutness of her gym, about recovery after meats. And it's the reason why she thinks she went so far and a lot of fellow athletes that didn't have the same focus on that. And I'm wondering, how do you personally come at recovery? Because it kind of plays into your story as it lies now. But back then, when you were just beginning this first few years in seasons and things like that, what was recovery like for you? Like you trained nonstop? And then how long did you spend in recovery? Was there rehabilitation that had to take place? How did that all work for you?


[00:33:25] As a student athlete, it was a high priority. I will say I had to learn for ninja word because I was doing different muscles in different groups. I mean, I spent 10 years turning left and jumping over sticks. So there's a little bit of a different dynamic. But after practice and I think it's one of the reasons when I was a Division one athlete is I was an ice bath. Every day I made sure to do my cool down a stretch to eat right. I hydrated. I got sleep. So translate you had to binge warrior. I struggled to learn what to do, what was right or what my shoulders needed. And there were points where I didn't know when to stop. And now I've learned to listen to my body. But I did get to the points where I hurt my shoulder so that I put on or take off a sports bra was just about excruciating for me. And some days even just lifting my shoulder up. And that's when I started to make sure, as you mentioned earlier, building the muscle groups around, like it's basically building a body of armor around you for when you compete. And then I have to know when to say no on things. You know what? I did just spend eight hours in a car, and this course looks fun. And I want to play with all my friends, but I think I need to say no right now unless I'm dedicated to spending the next forty five minutes to warm up. So you learn. Sometimes the hard way.


[00:34:45] That rotator sounds bad. Not for arms up like that. That's a no. There are a lot of activities that would be limited with that. So I want to get into your kind of the pinnacle of the American ninja where as where as well as the Spartan Games. So for people who are listening that maybe haven't seen the show or been living in a cave somewhere. American Ninja Warrior is this multiple obstacle course. How would you define it if someone was like, I've never heard about what it do? What is that? Whatever you want.


[00:35:17] For American, each word and the one thing I'd say, it's a family friendly show, that is stories of people who are not only overcoming obstacles in their life, but they have an opportunity to do it on a global platform to overcome obstacles, literally physically in person as people cheer them on. And that's what it is. A who we all debate about. This is an injustice for it. Yes, I do believe it is a sport, but it's also also this blend of it's something that you can turn on and, you know, you never have to worry about it with your family. And I've appreciated that as more. But there's these feats of physical strength that you can tell.


[00:36:01] You see it in my eyes when I compete like my knuckles are white. And I'm holding on with everything I have. And you feel it. I think you feel it as the audience member where you're like, oh, just hold on.


[00:36:12] Oh, you can oh, you can do this.


[00:36:15] And then they make it through. And that's like everybody's chairman of the Libyans are with you. And you know that as an athlete, you know that you're part of something that's so much bigger than stepping onto a TV show. And that's such a core responsibility. I think I just took it long there. But when people ask you to talk about it and nerd out a little bit because I love it so much.


[00:36:34] Absolutely. And from that, your family, you're kind of ninja warrior family spilled over into the Spartan Games, right? You were on a team of people that was formerly ninja's.


[00:36:44] Yes, we were Team Ninja for the Spartans show competed for two seasons. It was such a cool experience and I will say things like Spartan or I haven't competed on Titan games. But those are actually more up my alley. I love brute strength, mud, grit. Not that you don't have great ninja. But it's definitely different with Spartan or something like a Titan games. It was more suitable to my comfort zone. Believe it or not, too. Yes. I want to have six people stand on my shoulders and a tilted wall.


[00:37:19] So it's fantastic. It really actually does. I loved it.


[00:37:24] Yeah. It's it's I think it defines a personality type. For sure. You know, and it's it is uniquely different hormones. Like it's the same thing right there. UPS, of course is another very, very different Rehov.


[00:37:34] So different. Yeah. Spartan it was brutal. We were just exhausted. And I think people saw that in our last race. We actually competed back to back nights and got home at seven a.m. and had to be back on set at four p.m. after we competed night after night and then compete again. And yeah, it's we were tired.


[00:37:58] Yeah. It's an indoor as it looks like an endurance game. You know, Ninja Warrior feels like there's a lot of technicalities that can go wrong and and your your run early. But the Spartans, it seems to just leave it all out there on the course, as they say. I'm wondering if so, let's Kleman to you had kind of this now very famous moment in you finished. You know, you became this this titleholder for how far you went up until that point. Can you kind of describe the run? Is it Oklahoma City that that run happened in?


[00:38:30] Oklahoma City in 2019 for American Ninja Warrior.


[00:38:35] It was my fifth year competing in the show officially and I was excited, but I'd also say I was probably the most relax I had ever been. I was really, really intense there before from Minneapolis and my training to the point that maybe overly intense. So going into this year, I thought, you know, I'm just going to really. Soak this in news in God's hands. But on the prelims night had actually fallen and saved myself by like two pinky fingers or I mean something ridiculous. And I didn't realize I could he'll hook my leg up to pull myself up up on the diving boards. But then what happened? Actually, the next night and finals going into it on the same obstacle, the diving boards, I tripped and I face planted. And with the diving boards are is there pieces of steel that are covered for traction, traction, not padding. And what that caused was a brain injury. So we didn't know it at the time. And I don't remember most of my run. I've tried to get parts and pieces of it and I got to experience it with the rest of the world. So I didn't see it before it aired. No one had video of it. The producers, you know, they don't share film with us. We don't get to see our runs or how they edited it.


[00:39:57] So watching it was really emotional. I watched it first in public. There was a watch party and I tried to actually not really watch it. And then immediately after I was in Virginia, I went to my hotel room and I watched it.


[00:40:10] I just cried because, as I said, I had spent the last oh, it was four or five months as an outpatient at a brain trauma hospital in about 20 hours a week of rehab, doing speech and cognitive physical PTO t. I ended up having a psychologist or a therapist and then vision. So pretty much almost everything that they had in the unit was a part of my life. And so those emotions were just felt so strongly because not only did I go to the E.R. that night from set, but I went to the E.R.. That's. Oh, Thursday, I had a friend come and check on me because I don't even remember driving home for no Oklahoma City, one of my friends found someone else to drive. Me and my kids got us home. I was another person we had been training with. And there was this terror van and the leg. The last thing I remember is being on stage for the starting line. And then I was standing in my kitchen in Lincoln, Nebraska. So it was so surreal and confusing. And I finally got to see why I had been so miserable, so to speak, for so many months and. Then just started to talk about it because I didn't realize how many people are actually affected by being in by brain injuries, but the number two, it also forced me to stop in such a real way and think about how fast I was going in every area of my life. And I can say right now, I think it's actually a gift. I had a brain injury because I didn't prioritize self care. You asked me about that. How how were you a single mom? I was training 40 hours a week, working for an hour as weak as parenting, you know, 40 hours a week. I, I did. I was living in a constant state of survival mode. And I think it was such mercy and grace that God's like, I love you too much to let you keep living like this. So it's it's such a gift for me today to slow down and make sure. I continue to build in arrests and slowing down and say no to something so I can allow for other yesses in my life.


[00:42:28] And I think that sometimes as simple or maybe even trite as it sounds, slowing down can require more discipline. You know, for someone who is prolifically moving through life, young parents, people who just are constantly juggling things, actually taking space and holding still and really continuing thought through, thinking about things like self care can be much more nerve wrenching, you know, than running a marathon because it's, you know, motion stays in motion is constant and things like that.


[00:43:01] But when you stop and you question can be a daunting place, even if you're doing well, you know perfectly well with all of these wonderful titles and this incredible career to sit and actually really question yourself and re identify and revisit those conversations. Is it can be a lot, you know, to handle brain injuries. I just spoke off the record. I do have a colleague and friend who suffered from one. And I think you mentioned in a prior interview that I read of yours that it's incredibly painful because it's not seen on the outside frequently that the individual looks incredibly normal. But the suffering on the inside and the therapy is particularly with my colleague and friend. She post and recovery from the actual therapies themselves sometimes would take her a day and a half, you know, just to kind of reorient it was a very painful recovery process. It wasn't just laying in bed, taking time, getting well. You know, all of that was amazing. Has have you incorporated that kind of dialog and conversation into your public speaking now? Do you think it will change how you go on to relate to your audiences and what you do?


[00:44:17] It absolutely has impacted it in a great way were a lot of people. They want to know how can I survive something traumatic? There's a lot more to my story.


[00:44:29] People want to dig deeper. It's probably on some interview somewhere. But I had a history of trauma from the time I was like five years until adulthood of different things that happened from rape, assault, abuse. And so that brain injury. It really literally forced me to sit still in the very first day I ever had and sit still, which I can't tell you the time I remember doing it before, that I legitimately can't tell you what I told you. I rested before that I screamed and it was so scary. And the next day I went into the hospital and told them, I think I'm on the verge of an emotional breakdown. But I said it in such a casual way they didn't know what to do. And I was like, listen, I'm not vulnerable. I'm an athlete. I'm trying to tell you I need help. And I will absolutely advocate for that in such a real way to not burn both candlesticks, you know, from both ends, I guess. Success is success. But if you can't have peace in your life, it's really all for naught. Kind of is what I believe. And I echo with what your friend said. For me, my vision was the hardest hit. I hit on the right side of my face. It affected some of my nerves and my eyes didn't communicate with each other. So it forced me to not be on my phone. I couldn't even answer an email. I couldn't look at technology. I physically couldn't handle the scroll of a screen. I had to reach out and ask for help. Being away from my technology. Yes, away from my emails. Gifts in it. It really restructured my entire life. And I know I still do have effects. I talk about it a lot less because I get that people say, Oh, you're so strong.


[00:46:13] Can you come back?


[00:46:14] You look amazing. And I just want to be healthy. I can't focus on that. I called the producers before I told anyone else I was going to announce. I said, you know, this is what I'm going to say. I'm so grateful for American injurious. But like, I'm I can't even think about anything beyond recovery right now because I was at the point where I was literally losing my vision. I wasn't having double vision, but my eye therapy was so aggressive I would go home and not be able to see for forty five minutes. And that was Harry. So I, I want to make sure that first and foremost, I'm the most physically healthy mom I can be because I can go out and train like I know to train. Know how to do well. But if I do that and then get hurt again, then. So my health is such a Purdie and I want to advocate for that for all people to build that in behalf phones. It's great. So, um.


[00:47:12] Yeah. And it's honorable. I think that, you know, this is the athletic spirit is celebrated, but sometimes I think just one piece of it celebrated just that moment on top of the mountain. You know, sometimes maybe the training and the climb up. But there's another piece of that.


[00:47:28] You know, there's another there's always growth. And I think that the story of the athlete that has for any reason, injury or not, kind of hit the the moment where they're they're moving on to something else. It's another pivot, you know, that that's equally as as celebratory. The story is, you know, continuing. You're not ceasing to exist because you're not on American Ninja Warrior 20, 21 or whatever. And to that end, I want to ask you, what is your your future? Have you thought about the next one to three years? I know a lot of times in recovery, even a therapist will encourage you to just keep your sights on this one goal. And so if if it isn't out there, I don't want to encourage you to not to have one. But have you thought about, professionally speaking, more any of those types of things for the next one to three years for yourself? What do you see?


[00:48:16] Within the last couple weeks, I've definitely set goals for what the next one to three years look like. I will say before that. That's the number one question I got from everybody when I spoke. What's next? What's next? What's next? And I had to be OK telling everybody. I don't know yet. And that was my answer for awhile. My next thing is to not have a next thing. And I think that's actually what is going to set me up best for what will eventually be a next. And that sounds like a big tongue twister riddle, but it was so important to not have a nexus for a little bit and be OK with that. Well, now. Yes. I want to continue and I will continue to speak and engage with people on a global scale, including Girl Scout partnerships. Empowering youth to be healthy. Goal setting individuals. Writing a book is on the table for me. Has been for a long time. I know God told me that for a while that I just need to be able to focus enough to get something specific. But most immediately, I'm actually applying for a master's degree in biblical studies with Colorado, Christian University. I want to know why not get a brain injury and go back to school? That sounds about right. So that's it. I am going to be focusing on is I'm going to be searching for scholarships to go back to school as a single mom and get a master's degree. I think it will be important for my kids to be a part of that process as well. And then I think it will honestly help me as a TBI survivor. It is going to be challenging. I do still have cognitive challenges, but I think it's going to be healthy to face them. I don't want to live in fear of them or worry or or be scared. I think that I'll continue to need the right people to support me as I try to get a masters degree. And it's going to be exciting. And then I'll have something I'll be launching in the next couple months. I'm partnering with some media teams. So I think ultimately my goal this is going to sound weird is to like a race myself and not have Maggi Thorne be the brand. But something else exists that last beyond me that can pass on as a legacy for other people where it becomes their own thing. And they're not just how I go to your page and it's so inspiring. Yes, I love it and I appreciate it. What can I help other people make their own? And that becomes their legacy within themselves. So that's a goal.


[00:50:44] That's a beautiful thing. I love that. And I love legacy. And I think it's I think as parents, you get to a point where you start to actually think about it. You know, you have this this breath. And I say the second, you know, you come up as a parent. You know, when you the toddlers are sleeping through the night. You have like a year. And you start saying, what am I going to do with my life? And then you immediately become enveloped with, like, what's my legacy? What am I leaving on Earth? There's never, ever an expectation or break for me anyway. And so I. Yours is beautiful. I love that. We're running out of time. But I do want to ask you, Maggi. What do you if if you ran up to someone next tomorrow and safe social distance at a Gardiner Park. And it was a young woman and she said, listen, we have a friend in common.


[00:51:33] And they said, I've got to come talk to you. I've had this wonderful career as a student athlete. I then spent the next decade involved in this area that at the beginning I didn't necessarily have the training for became prolific at. And I was very proud of all of those things. But I'm going to actually pivot now and do this wonderful, you know, obstacle course slash television show and hope for the best. What are the top three pieces of advice you would give that individual knowing what you know now?


[00:51:58] I would ask her or him what, number one? Why do you want to do it? What's your purpose behind it? Because the training and commitment for it is so hard. If that is it behind it, it's gonna make it all that more difficult. So I'd really want to know that first and have a compass of Wohlsen here. Here's where you go from there. And being able to make it, it's 24/7 training. And what I mean with that is your rest is training your waters, training your nutrition. The people you surround yourself with is training. It's a full time commitment. It's not something you turn on and off during the day to the point that I stop wearing high heels for a while because it was to impact like my legs couldn't handle it. And again, I'm older. But there's those three things. Why do you want to do it? Letting them know it's a full time commitment and then building a really solid foundations are able to get the experience and have the best experience possible. As if if I think if you go into it and I'll say this for anybody, anything you go into. If your expectation is is just to win, I think you walk away with a loss. You have to walk into it with purpose and passion, because if you don't win, but you still know, you give everything you've got. That's a victory. Absolutely.


[00:53:31] Yeah. A thousand percent, I think with everything in life, two measurements are, you know, first of all, usually not constructed by the person competing in them. So developing your own son's very solid. So loosely, I have no one know your purpose in why training is hard. So you need to know where all of your passion and purpose is coming from and what they are identified. Number two, training is 24/7, 365, encompassing all aspects of your life. Remember that. And number three, build a solid foundation for the best experience possible. And the goal isn't just to win. I love. That's why you're the pro. Good job. Thank you very much.


[00:54:08] I'm so thankful that you spoke with us today. Maggi, we're out of time. But I just wanted to say again, I really appreciate everything that you've you've given us today. And I know that there's a lot of personal narrative tied into your professional story. And I really do appreciate your candor and honesty.


[00:54:23] Thanks, Patricia. I appreciate what you're doing to educate, empower and equip people across the nation and globally.


[00:54:29] Absolutely. For everyone listening, we've been speaking with Maggi Thorne. She's an athlete, motivational speaker. You can find out more regarding everything that she is doing on her Web site. W w w dot. Maggi Thorne, dot com. That's m a g.g i t h o r and e dot com.


[00:54:48] Thank you for giving us your time today and until we speak again next time. Remember to stay healthy, stay safe and honest. But yourself. Slainte.


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