The NextFem Podcast | Real-Talk with Successful Women

Practical Wisdom for the Modern Woman
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The NextFem Podcast | Real-Talk with Successful Women







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Jun 15, 2021

My guest today is a dear friend and one of my favorite people, Dr. Linda Alvarez. Linda is the Co-Founder
and CEO of LEVELLE, a sports nutrition products start-up tailored to female endurance athletes based on
scientific research.
LEVELLE envisions a world where female athletes no longer need to compromise on nutrition for the
sake of performance. LEVELLE was the winner of the 2020 Cornell University Metro NY Shark Tank
competition, where Dr. Alvarez is now earning her MBA.
Shout out to Linda Alvarez and

Jun 8, 2021

Hey NextFem Nation! Did you know...According to Glassdoor, most employees value
appreciation as the number 1 employee benefit and salary as #8?
Today I sit down and chat with Cheri Torres and Jackie Stavros about the power of appreciation
for fostering positive change in business and leadership.
Cheri Torres, Ph.D is a catalyst for change. Her approach is grounded in neuroscience, positive
Jackie Stavros is a professor at Lawrence Technological University - LTU and has worked in
over 25 countries using Appreciative Inquiry.
Their latest bestselling book Conversations Worth Having has been featured in Fast Company,
Forbes, HR Magazine, SmartBrief, and Training Magazine among so many others.
I love these people. Grab the full show notes at episode200. OK so with that,
let’s welcome Cheri and Jackie to the show! Cheri and Jackie, are you ready to become the

May 25, 2021

Join me and my very special guest - actress turned entrepreneur Melissa Bolona - and creator
of Beauty & the Broth.
Beauty and the Broth is a bone broth startup on a mission to disrupt your beauty/wellness
Providing a direct to door model of bone broth. You can enjoy bone broth anytime and
anywhere. In fact I was able to order Beauty and the Broth to Kauai.
In this episode, CEO and Founder - Melissa shares how her journey to wellness, had her create
Beauty & The Broth. Why, one cup of broth a day can improve skin elasticity, decrease brain fog
and curb cravings and the moment her business punched her in the gut and what she learned.
Shout out to @MelissaBolona

Mar 2, 2021

Jennifer Trainer is an award-winning journalist and author of 19 books that have been translated into ten languages. She wrote the first story about Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art for The New York Times and was one of a handful of co-founders of the museum. She is currently Director of Hancock Shaker Village in Hancock, Massachusetts.


Jennifer’s, captivating new documentary MUSEUM TOWN traces the remarkable story of how a small rural Massachusetts town went from economic collapse to art mecca. 


In 2017, MASS MoCA became the largest museum for contemporary art in the world—but just three decades before, its vast brick buildings were the abandoned relics of a massive shuttered factory. 


MUSEUM TOWN captures the meeting of small-town USA and the global art world.


In this episode, Jennifer takes us into her remarkable adventure as champion, steward and guardian of Museum Town. Her story like any great artwork is soulful, thought-provoking and unforgettable.

Dec 28, 2020

Hello everybody, welcome back to the NextFem podcast.
My guest today is Alma Adrovic. Alma has touched the lives of hundreds of millions of women,
and while you may not know her name, you won’t have escaped her work or influence. Alma is
widely credited for dragging workout wear into the fashion arena, when as employee #6 at
Lululemon, she designed the Wunder Under®, the legging that started it all. After Lulu, Alma
joined Nike, whereas head of design she created the court attire for Serena Williams.
Today Alma launches her ultimate passion project - LOLA, a fit obsessed, size-inclusive
activewear company. In this episode, Alma and I sit down and chat about her journey and hopes
for LOLA, a very different kind of company.

Oct 19, 2020

You’ve probably heard that we all have a book within us just waiting to be written. While that may or may not be true, that book will never get written without intentional thought regarding your purpose, audience, structure, and title. That’s where today’s guest comes in. If you’ve ever given any thought to writing your book, you can’t miss this episode. Join us!


Dr. Cori Wamsley helps leaders write books and boost their visibility as authors so they can get booked, get more clients, and make more money. Her bestselling book, The SPARK Method: How to Write a Book for Your Business Fast, helps make writing a book simple and fast so business owners can get their ideas out there to their ideal audience and make an immediate impact. Dr. Cori is a coach, editor, speaker, and author who empowers business owners to get their message heard. She has also self-published seven fiction books, including Confessions of the Editor Brigand, and a self - illustrated children’s epic poem, The Knight and the Ninjas. She co - authored the children’s book, Monkey Mermaid Magic, with her daughter, London, and also illustrated it. Dr. Cori has 15 years’ experience as a professional writer and editor, including ten years with the Departments of Energy and Justice and four years as the executive editor of Inspiring Lives magazine. 


Key questions to ask yourself


If you plan to write a book, there are two key questions to ask yourself before writing: “Who is my audience? and, What do I want them to get out of my book?” This process ensures that you, as a writer, have a point to your writing and it doesn’t become an information dump. Your writing should have a flow and purpose as you partner with your audience in providing what they need. As a writing coach who primarily works with business owners, Cori helps them go through these important steps before the writing begins. With each book she writes, she sees her writing as a gift she gives to her audience. 


Who should write?


The most important prerequisite for writing a book is that you are actively interested in the subject. You are creating something that will be a lasting part of your brand. A writer should have an internal drive to help people. The interest and drive you have to help and partner with your audience are the telltale signs that you need to write a book. 


“Progress - tinating”


Cori explains the origin of this word that she created in the attitude of one of her book characters. The word symbolizes a combination of being lazy in putting something off until later, but it also has an element of efficiency in thinking ahead to accomplish a task. In other words, “progress - tinating” means you are procrastinating for a good reason, one that makes it all worthwhile in the end. As Cori applies this term to those who might be thinking about writing a book, it means there could be a good reason that you are putting it off until later. If you find yourself in this situation, ask yourself if writing a book is what you really want to do and if you’re ready to step into the position of a leader.

Are you ready to write?


Writing means stepping into your role as a thought leader. You have to ask if you’re ready to stand behind your words and share this story. If the answer is NO, then Cori says you might not be ready to write that book yet. One challenge is picking the idea for your book. She suggests identifying who you want to serve and what the market is like for your book. One hack is to look for other books in your niche and see if there is a spot for yours. Cori shares an example of how she helped a client through this process.


How Cori helps business owners write


Cori realized that business owners aren’t trained in the writing process, even though many of them feel that they have a book to share. Since this is her forte, Cori learned that she could help them write their book so they can get back to their business. Writing a book can be an evergreen marketing tool to raise your visibility in your field. 


The balance between personal and useful


Some business books are purely anecdotal, which means they are heavy on the personal stories and too light on the information and action steps. On the other hand, some books focus on information and analytics, and their lack of personal connection to the author leave the reader feeling cold. Even though there are different ways to structure a book, there has to be a balance between the personal and the useful. Some of Cori’s clients tell their personal story up front and then teach concepts for the remainder of the book. Others incorporate a personal story and application in each chapter. As a writing coach, Cori gives suggestions to her clients but leaves the structure decision up to them, because the book has to feel authentic to the writer. A writer has to trust themselves in what to share, and it’s important to share some personal stories because it helps the reader see who you are and form a connection with you.


The writing space


Most writers have a favorite writing spot. A good writer has to be open and vulnerable, giving themselves permission to spill everything onto the page. Cori advises people to set up a writing routine and a personal space that suits them. It has to be a place where you feel at home and your creativity can flow. Being creative means opening up and being vulnerable, and the writing process requires similar techniques as relaxation and stress relief. The mood you’re in when writing is reflected in what you write, and your tone will come across loud and clear. 


How to title a book


Cori says to wait until the book is fully written, or until at least a few chapters are written before coming up with your title. Titling a book too soon can hinder your writing and send it in a specific direction as you tailor the writing to fit your title. She suggests using a generic title in the beginning and then refining it later when you’ve created the context for the book. 

Highlights of this episode:


  • 2:08 - Key questions to ask about writing
  • 4:10 - Who should write a book?
  • 5:50 - “Progress - tinating”
  • 7:52 - Being a thought leader
  • 10:03 - Picking the idea for your book
  • 15:32 - How Cori helps business owners write
  • 19:35 - The balance between personal and useful information
  • 24:34 - The writing space and routine
  • 31:07 - How to title a book
  • 33:10 - Speed round of Cori’s book titles
  • 40:27 - Fem Five


Resources mentioned:


Connect with Cori:  Find her free gift about choosing the perfect topic for your audience!

Find Cori’s Facebook group, Write That Book, Build Your Business with Cori Wamsley


Be a Boss and Fire that B*tch: Quiet Your Inner Critic & Finally Believe You’re GOOD ENOUGH by Stacy Raske


The SPARK Method: How to Write a Book for Your Business Fast by Cori Wamsley



Fem Five:


Favorite book to recommend for women? “Be a Boss and Fire that B*tch by Stacy Raske.”


Favorite self - care hack? “Listening to myself more and being more creative.”


Best piece of advice and who gave it to you? “A friend once told me that I get to choose.”


Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now? ”Brene Brown.”


One piece of advice you’d give your five years younger self? “Stop worrying. You’ll be OK.”

Oct 12, 2020

If you’re interested in women’s leadership, you don’t want to miss today’s show. My guest has years of experience as a journalist and an entrepreneur, and she has her finger on the pulse of women’s leadership as it grows and develops. Join us!


Eleanor Beaton is an internationally - recognized expert in women’s leadership and an advisor to growth - oriented women entrepreneurs. She has served as chair of the Visiting Women’s Executive Exchange Program at Yale School of Management and sits on the board of directors of two Canadian venture capital organizations. Eleanor is also the host and executive producer of a top - ranked podcast for women entrepreneurs, Fierce Feminine Leadership. A former journalist reporting for the CBC, Globe and Mail, and Canadian Business, Eleanor was a finalist for a National Business Book of the Year, Canada’s top business book honor. She has won national prizes for her journalistic work, covering key issues related to women in leadership. 


Those internal conversations


A big player in the internal conversations we hold about our value stem from the ongoing socialization about what’s appropriate for women leaders to express and how they are allowed to express themselves. For a woman, expressing her expectations, dissent, and ambition is affected by what society allows. There are unique challenges for women in leadership so they are seen with authority and confidence. When we make ourselves wrong so that we fit into an established system, the less sustainable our success becomes. As Eleanor has studied this problem, she concluded that every woman must create her own criteria and boundaries that outline how she will show up with intention. 


The new frontier


The business world has become a battleground of transformation for women. We see it in the exodus of women from the business world as more and more women follow the path to entrepreneurship. Traditional business systems aren’t working for many women. The way we determine and measure business success has been largely shaped by men, as the majority of business books are written by men. Women are starting to assert themselves and take their power back in different ways. The business world is a playing field where women can have autonomy and make a difference in shaping and developing something new. 


The struggle for women


Most women who start businesses will start service - based businesses because they have a deep, personal connection to their skill set, and many of them go into coaching or consulting. The aspects of developing a business feel deeply personal, and they are challenging; they include establishing boundaries with clients, negotiating price points, and closing a sale. The ways in which women will advocate for their business can vary greatly with the ways they are comfortable advocating for themselves. 



The biggest surprise of 2020


Women have discovered and refined their purpose in 2020 because we’ve had to. We’ve had to change our normal coping mechanisms, and we have been forced to look inward and ask questions about why we are here, how we want to relate to people, and what we want to accomplish. Eleanor explains that the two biggest issues for women are access to networks and access to capital. She identifies another issue as access to a success narrative that reflects what we really want. Reshaping the narrative is a look at what we are learning and who we are becoming and not just a look at the external metrics. Women are looking to show up with resilience, grit, and determination to ensure that there is a richness to the process that we can enjoy. 


The power of niche


When Eleanor started her business, she realized that she was doing a lot of things to try unsuccessfully to manage her time. She realized that time management wasn’t the issue, but it was a deeper, structural issue in an effort to create more stillness. Niching isn’t just a marketing tactic, but it’s a structural tool that women entrepreneurs can use to reduce the things we have to do and find more time to be. Eleanor shares a personal example of niching down from her business journey that enabled her to do less and focus more. Whether in business or personal life, too much stuff can suffocate us and erode our spirit. 


Speak to your people


Fear is often what holds us back from what we need to focus on. We fear that our focus isn’t enough and that we will somehow be insufficient. There is a cultural expectation that tells women not to focus on a niche like it’s something not important enough and deserving of our focus. Eleanor explains that part of the problem with having focus is that it means you have boundaries, and our society isn’t accustomed to women who have boundaries. There is an internally - generated worry that clear boundaries will impact us negatively. We should never feel guilty when we need to say NO.


The importance of peer support


It’s vitally important to spend time with women who share and understand your same level of devotion. Having relationships with people who have similar goals and perspectives can be healing. Relationships and communities are extremely essential for women entrepreneurs, maybe more so than for other groups of people. Those who resonate with you give you support to be understood and to justify your effort. 


Highlights of this episode:


  • 4:24 - Internal conversations about our value
  • 13:13 - The battleground of transformation for women
  • 17:56 - The personal struggle for women
  • 20:32 - The biggest surprise of 2020
  • 22:15 - Reshaping the narrative of success
  • 26:41 - The power of niche
  • 39:05 - Speak to your people
  • 44:30 - Eleanor’s work around peer support
  • 49:28 - Fem Five


Resources mentioned:


Connect with Eleanor:   

Find out how to get Eleanor’s free webinar on Wednesday:  

Find Eleanor on Instagram: @EleanorBeaton

Find Eleanor’s podcast: Power + Presence + Position


Diana, Herself: An Allegory of Awakening by Martha Beck


Fem Five:


Favorite book to recommend for women? “Diana, Herself: An Allegory of Awakening by Martha Beck.”


Favorite self - care hack? “Hot baths. They cure most things.”


Best piece of advice and who gave it to you? “A social worker once told me that the circumstances of your life will always support the decisions you make.”


Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now? ”Bozoma Saint John, Chief Marketing Officer for Netflix.”


One piece of advice you’d give your five years younger self? “Slow down and enjoy the process. All the things you want will come to pass.”

Sep 28, 2020

Perhaps nothing else signifies the spirit of the true American entrepreneur than the story of a family business that has survived for almost 90 years. Those 90 years have brought incredible advances in machinery, technology, and the way America does business and manufacturing. Join us to hear my guest’s amazing story!


Janet Wischnia is the former CEO and founder of American Blossom Linens and owner of Thomaston Mills, the manufacturing arm of American Blossom. Since Janet was four, she’s been involved in the family business, which was started by her grandfather in 1931. Her father started out with one retail linen store in downtown Philadelphia, and Janet learned at his side about the textile industry from the ground up, including manufacturing, marketing, and even sweeping the floor. In this episode, Janet shares how American Blossom has continued to evolve and thrive over eight decades, providing linens for hospitals and the hospitality industry. Janet began recently selling linens directly to online buyers because she recognized the demand for sustainable products. Janet shares why buying organic and caring about people, products, and the planet make a huge difference in the way you do business. 


Made in the USA


You’ve heard the #1 argument against buying American products: they are more expensive. Janet agrees. Her company is committed to using organic, American - grown cotton. Even though that makes her products more expensive than cheaper linens, people are becoming more environmentally aware as they look for quality and sustainability in the products they buy. There is a return to the solid philosophy of spending a little more money to buy something that will last longer than a cheaper product. The minimalistic movement also contributes to the popularity of American - made products in that if people have fewer things, they want them to be of the highest quality so they will last longer. 


Challenges and opportunities


Janet says that the biggest challenge for her has been her lack of knowledge about retail marketing because it’s very different than business - to - business marketing. She had to learn about digital advertising for the retail arm of American Blossom. The company has raised its visibility by learning and utilizing SEO, Facebook and Google advertising, and influencers. Janet has witnessed these new strategies slowly starting to work to increase sales. The year 2020 and the global pandemic have brought a renewed interest in buying American and people being more committed than ever to making their homes into places of comfort. Spending more time at home makes us want to have quality items at our disposal.


2020 growth


Many factors have contributed to 400% growth in Janet’s retail business this year. Although their sales to hotels and hospitality venues have been down, they have seen an explosion in retail business, partly because they have diversified their products into different markets. Regarding the pandemic, American Blossom has developed a new fabric with which to make isolation gowns for healthcare providers. Unlike other businesses that have seen declining sales this year, American Blossom continues to grow and keep itsr employees’ jobs safe.


Tending to the business


Taking care of a family business is like tending a garden. Janet learned early from her father and uncles that you can’t ever rest on your laurels as a business owner. Things are always changing in the world of business, and you have to change to keep up. The biggest change over the years has been advancements in technology. From doing everything by hand and on paper to doing almost nothing on paper, there have been big changes in the textile industry. Early on, there were no emails, but telegrams. Carbon paper was used to make duplicate copies of important papers and receipts. We do everything via the internet today where there was much more face - to - face interaction back then when the world moved at a slower pace. Janet has changed and grown with the times, but she says the danger of advanced technology is losing the human element. 


Managing a business during COVID-19


American Blossom has factories in Georgia and South Carolina, and their home base is still in Philadelphia. The company has followed CDC recommendations for wearing masks and allowing many employees to work from home. They have had to change procedures in factories to keep workers socially distanced from each other. Their commitment to doing what it takes to keep their factories open and keep their products available have kept their workers on the job during a time when many have been laid off. Janet is committed to doing the right thing for her employees because it’s what her father and grandfather taught her to do. 


Janet’s product


American Blossom makes bedding out of 100% organic, USA - grown cotton from Texas. They make sheet sets in all sizes and duvet covers, and they will have blankets in a few weeks. Their cotton is grown with no pesticides or herbicides and is a non - GMO product. This produces a product that is heavier weight than average sheets. Their sheets are generously sized, and every queen and king sheet set comes with four pillowcases. They are available in three colors: white, natural, and latte linen, all produced with no colors or dyes. 


Highlights of this episode:


  • 14:10 - Made in the USA
  • 19:25 - Challenges and opportunities
  • 24:10 - 2020 retail growth
  • 26:40 - Tending the business through changes
  • 31:40 - Managing a business during COVID
  • 34:05 - What Janet thinks about big companies like Amazon
  • 39:15 - Janet’s product
  • 44:45 - Fem Five


Resources mentioned:  Use code “NextFem20” for 20% off your purchase!

Find American Blossom Linens on Facebook and Instagram.


The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham 

One Up On Wall Street by Peter Lynch




Fem Five:


Favorite book to recommend for women? “The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham and One Up On Wall Street by Peter Lynch.”


Favorite self - care hack? ”Spin class.”


Best piece of advice and who gave it to you? “My father and my husband have both told me to keep trying and don’t give up.”


Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now? ”Maria Shriver.”


One piece of advice you’d give your five years younger self? “Everything is going to be alright.”

Sep 14, 2020

If you love podcasts, the chances are that you’ve wondered what your friends, celebrities, and cultural influencers are listening to. What if there was an app that could connect you with other podcast lovers and allow you to follow each other, discuss podcast topics, and make recommendations? If this sounds too good to be true, then you need to hear today’s guest and hear about the wonder that is Goodpods. 


JJ Rambert is an entrepreneur, podcast and TV host, bestselling author, and mom. For 13 years, JJ hosted MSNBC’s show Your Business and its second longest - running program and corresponding podcast, Been There Built That. She’s interviewed thousands of entrepreneurs and business leaders to discover what works and what doesn’t work in growing their companies. Her guests have included the likes of Neil Blumenthal of Warby Parker, John Foley of Peloton, and Bobbi Brown, amongst many others. JJ is more than a journalist. She’s a two - time co - founder who, with her brother, Ken, launched both Goodpods and Goodshop. Goodpods is an app where people can follow their podcast - loving buddies to find out what they’re listening to, discuss favorite shows, and interact with their favorite podcast hosts. JJ has business in her blood; in high school, she worked for her mother and brother in their startup, JOBTRAK, which they sold to a decade later. JJ is an angel investor and author of two books: the best - selling It’s Your Business and the children’s book, The Startup Club. JJ received her MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and her BA from Duke University. She currently resides in Brooklyn. 


Navigating twists and turns


JJ left CNN to start her first company, Goodshop, with her brother. Six months later, MSNBC called because they needed a host for a new show called Your Business, about small business entrepreneurship. What was billed as a six - month gig turned into a lengthy 13 - year stint for JJ. Her family instilled the entrepreneurial spirit into her, as the Rambergs boast several generations of business - minded entrepreneurs. Like the tradition set by her family, JJ learned the importance of social justice and community service as she juggled her journalistic endeavors and entrepreneurship in her early years. To add to the craziness, JJ got married and had three kids in successive years; they are now 10, 11, and 12. 


Building a solid team


Many entrepreneurs are overwhelmed with starting their businesses and building their team. JJ was fortunate to have a partner, her brother, Ken, whom she trusted unconditionally. Other team members were hired along the way. Goodpods has become a true family affair, with her sister and nephew now becoming involved. JJ says she works with the smartest people she knows, and they just happen to be her family. 


Working in the family business


You would expect unique struggles to crop up with any family business, but JJ says it’s been an easy process, despite the caution some would advise. Working in business with your family and keeping your business and personal lives separate are definitely challenging. JJ says their family system works seamlessly in all aspects of life. They just don’t encounter conflicts like other family businesses often do. 


Becoming an author


JJ wrote her first book, It’s Your Business, as a companion to the MSNBC show. The book highlights the many things they had learned through the show and put into practice at JJ’s first company, Goodshop. JJ’s real pride and joy is her children’s book, The Startup Club, which she wrote with her sister. They wrote the book because they were both raising kids and couldn’t find any books about kids becoming entrepreneurs. They wanted to teach their children the spirit of entrepreneurship in a fun story because kids are naturally inclined to entrepreneurship. 


JJ’s focus on Goodpods


Since Your Business ended last December, JJ has focused on Goodpods, the family business that launched recently but has been in the works for years. The idea of the app is that you can follow friends and influencers to find out what they are listening to. Like social media platforms, you can pick who to follow and see their feed detailing what podcasts they enjoy. The app makes it easy to recommend podcasts to friends and family directly and gives you a larger network. The app highlights the beauty of podcasts and helps you curate your listening, along with making it simple to have discussions with other people. Unlike many apps, there is no extra stuff to distract you from the reason you listen to podcasts in the first place. JJ’s biggest dream for Goodpods is to get people talking about great things in the interesting world of podcasts. 


What’s next for JJ?


JJ is fully committed to making Goodpods the best place for knowing what the people you care about are listening to and talking about. Her goals now are to take the features that are in the app and make them even more useful. JJ wants to take what they have already developed and ramp it up to the next level. She says the whole idea is to connect people, create community, and find out what people want to listen to.


Highlights of this episode: 


  • 8:03 - The six - month job that lasted 13 years
  • 10:53 - Why philanthropy is important
  • 12:08 - How JJ thrived as a journalist, entrepreneur, and mom
  • 13:03 - How JJ built her team
  • 15:24 - Struggles in a family business
  • 17:30 - JJ’s books
  • 21:06 - Fully focused on Goodpods
  • 33:43 - What’s next for Goodpods?
  • 37:22 - Fem Five


Resources mentioned:


Email JJ:


Find JJ on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram: JJRamberg or Goodpods


Visit for this episode to learn how to earn Goodpods swag from JJ!


Getting There by Gillian Zoe Segal



Fem Five:


Favorite book to recommend for women? “Getting There by Gillian Zoe Segal”


Favorite self - care hack? ”Running. It fixes most things.”


Best piece of advice and who gave it to you? “My friend, Courtney, told me to go into things knowing that it will be hard. It’s just part of the journey.”


Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now? ”Samantha Skey, CEO of SheMedia”


One piece of advice you’d give your five years younger self? “Stop drinking soy chai lattes in the morning because they are really bad for you!”

Aug 31, 2020

If you want to raise your visibility by being interviewed on TV or by print journalists, this is the episode for you. Join us to learn more!


Annie Scranton is the founder and president of Pace Public Relations. Annie and her team focus solely on media relations, getting their clients placements on traditional news outlets on TV, radio, print, and digital. On any given day, Pace PR has multiple clients on national TV, which isn’t easy to do. Acting as a guest booker for major media networks like CNN, FOX News, CNBC, MSNBC, and ABC, Annie’s brand of public relations combines her unique understanding of behind - the - scenes TV and her unparalleled list of contacts. In this episode, Annie shares how she was able to go from trial to triumph and rebuild after a setback, her secret sauce to getting her clients booked on TV with media coverage to build their brands, and what a personal brand is and why it’s important to have one. 


Who should be on TV?


Annie says that it takes a telegenic person to be on TV, and what she means is someone who comes to life on camera. Even in TV news, someone’s performance element is almost as important as what they actually say. It takes substance and an interesting point of view to be a good guest. If you hold opinions that match with 99% of the population, then it’s harder to get booked on TV, but a counterintuitive perspective or unique point of view will get you booked faster. How you relate to viewers is important because TV doesn’t offer many second chances. That first TV interview is vitally important because the competition is fierce. In appearing on any TV show, you have to put in the work to understand the brand and ask how you can fit into that conversation. It takes reframing your thinking to understand the tone and learn what’s important to the producers. 


Why public relations?


A layoff from one show at age 28 led Annie to launch a job search that changed her life. A publicist offered her a job if she could get his client booked on a national TV show, which she accomplished in about five minutes. Annie calls this her lightbulb moment of recognizing her special currency in understanding the networks and how they operate, along with the necessary high - quality connections to people in the business by building her brand.


Going all in


Even though she still worked at a TV network for a time, Annie kept doing PR work on the side. It became so busy that she couldn’t do both jobs well, so she used her nest egg to take the leap of faith and start her own business out of her studio apartment, with her phone and computer. She slowly added more staff members as her business grew organically. 


What is PR?


The specialty of Annie’s company is media relations, which means she helps her clients get featured in the media, including TV, radio and podcasts, and interviews for newspapers, magazines, and websites. PR is figuring out what is interesting about a client’s business, product, or brand, and how those qualities can be made relatable to a producer, editor, or journalist. Another critical component is that the client has to be interesting to the readers or viewers. Those placements are beneficial to the clients in growing their business, raising money, and booking speaking engagements. 


Personal branding


Everyone can benefit from personal branding because there is more competition than ever before. Whatever your industry, there are many others with whom you’re competing for business. You must be able to articulate what sets you apart as unique and the best choice. More success will follow, and you’ll have a more fulfilling career and more happiness. Distinguishing and differentiating yourself is essential in today’s world, especially for women, because women don’t usually advocate for themselves as strongly and confidently as men do. 


Dealing with jealousy


Annie’s viewpoint is that if someone is competitive and jealous of you, that’s on them. You need to conduct yourself with dignity, respect, and fairness, and nothing else matters. Haters and backstabbers will always exist, but you have to have faith in yourself, your work, and your values. Annie explains how she helps clients better understand themselves and their brand to build the confidence they need to survive and thrive. 


How you pitch yourself


Pitching yourself means presenting a solution that interests others. In pitching yourself to the media, you can provide them with an interesting angle or story idea that gives a solution to their daily task and deadline. In pitching yourself for a promotion, highlight the benefits to the company so that you become a solution to a problem. Present how you what you’re asking for will affect the company’s bottom line, along with being useful and helpful. Annie explains how the pitching process has changed during the coronavirus pandemic. 


Stand out from the noise


Annie stresses the need to know your audience. Right now, every pitch needs to tie into the pandemic or the general election to be relevant to cable news. The luxury lifestyle retail space is still relevant in certain places, but can still be tied to the pandemic if you pivot to more of a thought leader capacity. A thought leader is an expert in their industry who has insights into trends and forecasts. Thought leaders also point out strong examples and lessons to be learned. They are able to contextualize what they have learned, so it’s interesting, useful, and helpful to others in that space. 

Highlights of this episode:


  • 2:18 - Who should be on TV?
  • 7:24 - Understanding the brand
  • 8:34 - Annie’s journey to public relations
  • 12:48 - Becoming a PR agency
  • 15:16 - What’s useful about PR
  • 18:34 - Doing things the smart way
  • 22:18 - Why personal branding is important
  • 28:42 - Combatting competitiveness
  • 34:10 - The importance of your pitch
  • 40:35 - How we stand out
  • 42:49 - Become a thought leader
  • 44:50 - Fem Five


Resources mentioned:


Find Annie on Twitter:  @AnnieScranton


The Truths We Hold by Kamala Harris


Fem Five:


Favorite book to recommend for women? “The Truths We Hold by Kamala Harris”


Favorite self - care hack? ”Meditation every morning and working out whenever possible.”


Best piece of advice and who gave it to you? “My mom made me believe that I could do and be anything I wanted.”


Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now? ”Gloria Steinem, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Hillary Clinton, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.”


One piece of advice you’d give your five years younger self? “Don’t stress as much. It’s not worth it. LIve your life with authenticity and integrity. Things will work out.”

Aug 17, 2020

Have you felt like you have a big idea to share but don’t know how to communicate your message in a clear and impactful way? My guest has much wisdom to share. Join us!


Dolores Hirschmann is an internationally recognized strategist, clarity coach, TEDx organizer, speaker, and author. She is also the host of her own YouTube channel, Clarity TV. In this episode, Dolores shares how she is able to guide her clients to clarity to define their core idea and reach their next level of growth, the secret to transforming fear into bravery, and why purpose is a daunting word, and there is a better way to think about it. 


Clarity of life’s work


Dolores works mainly with service business owners who want to serve the world with clarity and purpose. She asks four specific questions: What academic puzzle pieces do you have? What would you do for free all day long? What is a problem that the world has? How are other people attempting to solve that problem? It’s at the intersection of the answers to these four questions that you’ll find your life’s work. 


The practical side of purpose


Some people are gifted with the purpose of unveiling the brilliance in others, being a mirror for those who have lost their spark. Many of us get lost as we build our lives with puzzle pieces, and we get stuck. In the practical aspect, Dolores reminds women what they are becoming, and that where they are is simply a place on that path to becoming. It’s each person’s challenge to be powered by their purpose, independent of the situation around them. Dolores shares a story of a client discovering purpose and anchoring in the being of who she is. 


Stepping into your capacity


We sometimes get stuck in a lack of trust mentality because we feel that we can’t handle the consequences if something goes wrong. There are core beliefs that will allow us to delegate control. Going through the 2020 pandemic has helped each of us understand our resiliency and our capacity for survival in new ways. Connecting with that strength allows us to let go in delegating tasks. Another core belief is that if we aren’t involved, something won’t be done well. We feel that everything is in our control, and the opposite of that is the belief that our capacity is limited when we feel disconnected from the world. 


Divine timing


Dolores has learned to trust that the puzzle pieces of her calendar will all fall into place. Numerous times she has seen meetings or events have to be rescheduled in ways that work out better than the original intent. Now, Dolores smiles when something reschedules itself, and she never gets upset about it. She says it feels like the universe has her back in the way divine timing seems to work things out. Divine timing and delegation are totally connected in that you can trust that things will fall into place.


Intentional bravery


We can leverage our fear and transform it into intentional bravery. Fear is what keeps us from taking the action that is in front of us. Dolores uses the analogy of the saboteur and the snowflake in how some truth is present in every fear that seeks to sabotage us. We have to allow fear to play its role in protecting us as we move forward to take action. Her work focuses on the steps of clarity, action, and impact. Clarity alone is nothing if it isn’t followed by action and impact. 


The secret to a good TED talk


Dolores instructs her clients to find the right TED Talk for them, and the next step is not talking about what you do, but what you stand for. She advises clients to talk about the bigger essence of the work they do. There are two parts to a great TED Talk: the work the speaker has done to extrapolate the bigger idea behind their work, and the way it’s beautifully communicated. 


Highlights of this episode:


  • 4:49 - How Dolores works with clients on clarity and purpose
  • 15:12 - Translating purpose into practicality
  • 24:00 - A client story of discovery
  • 27:01 - Stepping into your capacity
  • 33:06 - The calendar game and divine timing
  • 40:50 - Intentional bravery from fear
  • 49:26 - Courage is a muscle
  • 50:29 - The secret to a good TED Talk
  • 54:30 - Fem Five


Resources mentioned:  Check out the free resources on Dolores’ website.  Find Dolores’ free gift of a clarity call.


Untamed by Glennon Doyle


Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl




Fem Five:


Favorite book to recommend for women? “Untamed by Glennon Doyle”


Favorite self - care hack? ”Outdoor anything at least once a day.”


Best piece of advice and who gave it to you? “When I was learning to drive, my therapist told me not to worry and that I could drive at the speed I wanted because no one would use their car to push me to go faster.”


Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now? ”Elizabeth Gilbert”


One piece of advice you’d give your five years younger self? “Just play. Don’t sweat it. It’s just a puzzle piece.”

Aug 11, 2020

Today’s show introduces you to someone who blends her passions perfectly into the artwork that has become her creative outlet. Her story and her life’s work are inspiring on many levels. Join us to learn more. 


Stephanie Bell May is a world-renowned artist and leader in her transformational work called The Art Experience. Stephanie discovered her passion for art as a young girl growing up in Mexico City, where the museums are flooded with a rich history of early and mid - 20th century artists with strong political motives, like Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Tina Modotti, and Rufino Tamayo. These masters strongly influenced Stephanie’s vision and played out in her early work. Following years of public exhibition and recognition, she pursued a new visual path where she began to explore issues of female equality and human rights. In this episode, Stephanie and I talk about how her upbringing in Mexico and her studies in Buddhism and psychology shaped both her early work and her projects today. We also discuss the wild inflection point that transformed her and led to the creation of The Art Experience, and how her own marriage led to the awareness of cultural expectations of her as a woman and the knowing of her own soul in its truest form. 




Freedom can mean many different things; the meaning is derived from how cultures value it, and this concept is the overriding theme in Stephanie’s observation and expression. She explains how freedom of expression shows who we are, intellectual freedom gives us opportunities to explore ideas and educate ourselves, and spiritual freedom relates to how we view our existence. Freedom in a different sense means how we find our true selves without social constraints. Stephanie explains that the peace found within that freedom is everything; there is no higher achievement in life. 


You can’t un - wild yourself


Once you know your wild, you can’t go back to being restrained. We are born as an incredible self that is constantly being left behind as we grow and allow society’s constraints to shape us. We are told to speak and act in certain ways that are acceptable within social norms, especially as women. We’ve been told to be less than our true sexual self and less than our true expressive self, along with being quieter, less demanding, and more accepting of the way things are. Stephanie explains how this un - wilding leads to an unspoken unhappiness that many women feel within their lives. 


The ugly truth


When we don’t align with society’s norm, we feel that we either have to rebel or suppress ourselves and conform. It’s a dilemma that we each face. We have to remember our pure self and understand the value of our real, authentic, wild self. Stephanie shares how she and her husband checked all the boxes and hit all the markers for success in life, yet they realized that they weren’t happy and were tired of pretending. Stephanie found herself wanting more than the traditional role of wife and mother, and her husband felt the same way regarding his suppressed homosexuality.


No more pretending


One day, Stephanie’s husband went on a trip and fell into cataclysmic love with another man. Stephanie later observed how they loved each other and never wanted to be apart. She knew their relationship was right, even though it was hard for her to let go of the facade of ideal life and family that they had carefully crafted together. Being gay was her husband’s worst nightmare, and she saw the struggle, trying to help him survive and be happy and fulfilled. Even though she looked at him as her partner and the father of her children, fear and anxiety set in as she faced the questions about why they weren’t the couple that everyone thought they were. 


Handling the chaos


Because her children were still young, Stephanie had to carry on in front of neighbors, friends, and teachers without anyone knowing what was going on inside. Cataclysmic changes were occurring as she entered a time of spiritual, emotional, and mental gymnastics to get to a point of stability. She learned to meditate and use yoga, exercise, and therapy to save herself. It took a dramatic, life - changing moment for her to realize that she had the answers and peace within herself. It was a rebirth and a surrender that became the starting point to remembering who she is as a person. 


Freedom as a sexual being


With her newfound freedom in giving up social constraints, Stephanie decided to experiment with sexuality to find her real, original self. She explored a new way of being by reading books and learning about receiving instead of always giving. Learning to ask for what she wanted and needed in all aspects of life had a healing effect on her soul. Freedom came to Stephanie to explore life and expression in all planes of her life. 


The evolution of art


A complete evolution occurred in Stephanie’s art as her regular life was changing and evolving. She found her voice as an artist in a bold, new way. She threw off social constraints in her art just as she threw them off concerning the expectations in her personal life. As she slowed down the creative process, she found more beauty and fulfillment in the creation of her art. Finding the line between successful art and unsuccessful art, which she attributes to her study of Buddhism,  helped her understand creativity in a new way. 




The role of art for women


Art goes hand - in - hand with creativity, creation, giving birth, and womanhood. It’s all connected, and sexuality is the driving force behind all that we create. Making art becomes an incredible adventure. After all that Stephanie has gone through, her art became the expression of feminine roles, oppression, finding herself, and returning to her wild. 


Highlights of this episode:


  • 3:57 - Freedom: what it means
  • 8:14 - Discovering your wild
  • 19:20 - The ugly truth about who we get to be
  • 27:36 - A cataclysmic love that changed everything
  • 38:15 - Handling the chaos in the aftermath
  • 46:24 - Finding freedom as a sexual being
  • 54:05 - The evolution of art
  • 1:07:48 - The role of art for women
  • 1:15:12 - Fem Five


Resources mentioned:


Stephanie’s website:

Find Stephanie on Instagram: @SBellMay


Visit to find out more about Stephanie’s BOGO offer on in - person or Zoom art retreats.


Infidel: My Life by Ayaan Hirsi Ali


Fem Five:


Favorite book to recommend for women? “Infidel: My Life by Ayaan Hirsi Ali”


Favorite self - care hack? “Swimming in the ocean on a daily basis.”


Best piece of advice and who gave it to you? “A Buddhist therapist said that emotions are like waves; just as easily as they come, they go.”


Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now? ”AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) and other prominent female world leaders”


One piece of advice you’d give your five years younger self? “Feel the guilt, but keep going.”

Jul 20, 2020

Inclusion and diversity are buzzwords in today’s world, but the concepts behind them have always been important. The difference is that people are paying attention in ways they haven’t before. Join us in today’s show to learn more about bringing true inclusion and diversity to the workplace. 


Jennifer Brown is an award - winning entrepreneur, dynamic speaker, author, and diversity and inclusion expert. Jennifer is passionate about social equality and advocacy, and she’s committed to helping leaders foster healthier and more productive workplaces, ultimately driving innovation and business results. Jennifer’s body of work is informed by more than a decade of consulting with Fortune 500 companies. She creates a compelling business case for leadership to embrace the opportunities that diversity represents, along with empowering advocates at all levels to find their voice and be a driving force in creating more enlightened organizations. Jennifer has written Inclusion: Diversity, The New Workplace & The Will to Change to help companies become more welcoming and accepting of every race, orientation, and culture that walk through their doors. 


The dichotomy of being both privileged and marginalized


Jennifer has risen to the top of her field by advocating for those who didn’t have a voice. As a member of the LGBTQ community herself, Jennifer has several friends who were among the first in their role to come out publicly. She was able to watch corporate cultures evolve through the lower - level leadership of her courageous friends, and she welcomed the opportunity to be part of the community that was pushing necessary change. From the beginning, she understood that she had to speak the executive language and present diversity and inclusion from a business case. Even though she focused on her own marginalization in the early years of her career, she now realizes the extent of her privilege because of how she looks and presents herself as a white woman.


Being an inclusive manager


Inclusion doesn’t just happen. Jennifer explains that you can call yourself a feminist and be politically progressive, and you still can be that manager who hires people who all look the same. Any working manager has many points of failure in the workday when it comes to diversity and inclusion. The important steps to change can only begin when we recognize the places where bias creeps in, and then we make the conscious choice to do one thing differently. Jennifer says it’s a small tweak to the mindset to learn to pay attention to different aspects of diversity and inclusion. 


Bring your full self


We live in a culture where women have certain roles and expectations in the business world, and they are judged negatively when they function outside those roles. Jennifer says we need to break out in intentional ways to find our voice and fulfill our destiny. In coming out as an LGBTQ woman, Jennifer had to navigate a path for which there was no script. She learned to depend on herself and accepted the gift that comes with truly discovering who she is as a person. 


Don’t play the Pain Olympics


This is Jennifer’s way of denouncing the hierarchy of oppression. She’s been told that she is just another white person propagating the same harmful system and that she shouldn’t be running her company. The basis for this denouncement is the assumption that she doesn’t know enough about race and ethnicity to understand and be a voice for the marginalized. Her company focuses on the workplace as a place where everyone can manifest their true selves, but the current level of anger and frustration make that a difficult task. She holds fast to the concept that her work is important in holding space for people to come into the conversation. Jennifer explains how intersectionality is demonstrated in the fact that a white woman’s experience is different than that of a woman of color. 


Confronting the shame


Leaders send a strong message by the way they lead. It’s their experience that allows them to connect with and understand the need for diversity. In Jennifer’s work, she sees that people have shame around inclusion or don’t want to address the topic in personal ways. Leaders are challenged in their thinking about diversity and inclusion, but those who can be authentic and connect to diversity on a personal level can truly be the change. This allows for belonging, which has become a big part of the diversity and inclusion conversation. 


Highlights of this episode:


  • 3:50 - Being both marginalized and privileged
  • 12:28 - Being an inclusive manager
  • 19:15 - Bringing your full self to work
  • 23:58 - The Pain Olympics
  • 28:06 - Intersectionality defined
  • 34:33 - How leaders send a message
  • 41:58 - Fem Five


Resources mentioned:


Find Jennifer’s podcast: The Will to Change

Connect with Jennifer on Twitter: @JenniferBrown

Connect with Jennifer on Instagram: JenniferBrownSpeaks

Connect with Jennifer on LinkedIn and Facebook: Jennifer Brown Consulting


Visit for Jennifer’s free gift, a free assessment of your inclusion journey

Inclusion: Diversity, The New Workplace & The Will to Change by Jennifer Brown

Fem Five:


Favorite book to recommend for women? “Earn It by Daniela Pierre-Bravo and Mika Brzezinski”


Favorite self - care hack? “Hot yoga”


Best piece of advice and who gave it to you? “Someone once told me to say yes and figure out how later.”


Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now? “Azure Antoinette, who is called The Maya Angelou of the Millennial Generation.”


One piece of advice you’d give your five years younger self? “Keep going, and believe in your vision. Keep maintaining what you’ve built, and wait for the moment it will be appreciated and seen.” 

Jun 29, 2020

Bragging about yourself and your accomplishments isn’t always the best strategy for personal relationships. However, in today’s business world, bragging is an essential skill to advance your career, even though most women experience discomfort in touting themselves. If you need to learn how to brag better with style and professionalism, then today’s show is just for you. 


Meredith Fineman is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, podcast host, and women’s advocate. She’s also the founder and CEO of Fine Point, a leadership and professional development company, and a freelance writer with bylines from Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Best Company, and many more. Meredith’s other endeavors include hosting It Never Gets Old, a podcast on secondhand and sustainable fashion, and writing her book, Brag Better: Master the Art of Fearless Self - Promotion. In this episode, Meredith and I discuss how the workplace is shifting amid the global pandemic, and how to combat job insecurity by advocating for yourself with a Brag Better skillset. We also talk about the need for self - advocacy among the qualified quiet and the importance of using privilege to advocate and champion for the underrepresented. 


Women and bragging


Meredith begins by explaining that bragging, especially for women, hasn’t always been the cool thing to do. Instead, women have been told down through history to look pretty and be quiet. Meredith is passionate about women learning to tout themselves, despite the fears and inherent dangers. Her demographic is the qualified quiet, those men and women who have done the work but don’t know how to talk about it. Her book is for men and women because the world needs to hear male voices speaking up and advocating for women as strong allies. The truth is that everyone needs to learn to brag better instead of feeling ineffective and awkward. Better bragging is for everyone. 


Why bragging is difficult but necessary


Especially during this global pandemic, it’s more important than ever to know how to brag better from home.  Bragging is necessary for your career because you must turn people’s attention to your work to get the recognition you deserve and to propel your career forward. We are in an extreme emergency situation right now, and this time of fear, uncertainty, and incredible joblessness forces us to be more explicit than ever before. Many of our normal tools are lost as we work from home, so we have to hone other skills. Depending on your goals, Meredith shares advice about asking for a raise or asking for an appointment to a panel with focused bragging. Focused bragging includes strategically offering up yourself and talking about your background and skills to get what you want and propel your career forward. 


Do it for others


Bragging also requires that you’re committed to lifting someone else up when possible and not being jealous of them. Meredith explains how we can be strategic in the way we brag for others, and she uses the example of the racism crisis in America right now. Speaking as a white woman of privilege, she believes that our duty is to highlight other people and share our voices to expand their reach. Elevating your voice and advocating for others is a way to use your power to speak up for those who aren’t usually regarded with the same level of respect. 



Meredith’s sensitivity


How did Meredith develop a lens of sensitivity? As the daughter of DC journalists, she grew up with a liberal background, and her Jewish heritage gave her a feeling of other - ness and white privilege. The history of Jewish people gives them a right to speak up for all oppressed people, so advocating for others was a natural progression.  Growing up with diversity everywhere helped Meredith know that she wanted to educate herself about speaking and writing to highlight the perspective and opinions of others. 


Key elements of Better Bragging


Better Bragging is about stating the facts of your accomplishments in a strategic, cohesive way to get what you want. Bragging is less about the word choice and more about the sentiment. The three pillars of Better Bragging are proud, loud, and strategic. Being proud is the most difficult for most women because we are too hard on ourselves. Being loud isn’t about your volume, but it’s about consistency and repetition. Being strategic means working backward from what you want as the end result, and often it means applying PR tactics to yourself.


Thirty seconds or less


Since the pandemic, Meredith has added a fourth element of Better Bragging. It’s important that you are explicit in your bragging, not leaving any room for inference. Your message needs to be distilled into a pitch of thirty seconds or less. People have short attention spans, so it’s necessary to be very specific and concise about what you mean. Meredith shares an exercise she uses to help clients be specific and concise like never before. Another tip is to reduce your pitch to two sentences, and even then, she helps clients eliminate words that don’t add to the message. 


How to use LinkedIn


There are many benefits to LinkedIn, even though many people don’t see them. There are canned and cheesy messages sent by people who communicate in great volume and play the numbers game, but the platform has many opportunities. Meredith advises clients to put their email addresses high up on their profile in a visible place. She also explains how she handles networking and connections on LinkedIn to maximize the platform as a useful resource. 


Highlights of this episode:


  • 2:15 - Pitfalls in bragging for women
  • 6:27 - Why bragging is difficult but necessary
  • 15:55 - Bragging for others
  • 20:30 - Where Meredith got her sensitivity
  • 25:13 - Key elements of Better Bragging
  • 30:39 - Distilling your message
  • 35:10 - Recommendations for using LinkedIn
  • 46:25 - Fem Five


Resources mentioned:  Get a free chapter of Meredith’s book!


 Brag Better: Master the Art of Fearless Self - Promotion by Meredith Fineman


The Witches are Coming by Lindy West


Wow, No Thank You: Essays by Samantha Irby


Dear Girls by Ali Wong


Leapfrog: The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs by Natalie Molina Nino


Fem Five:


Favorite book to recommend for women? “The Witches are Coming, Wow, No Thank You, and Dear Girls.”


Favorite self - care hack? “Putting parental controls on my phone (for me), and turning it completely off at night.”


Best piece of advice and who gave it to you? “My best friend told me that 100% of nothing is nothing.”


Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now? “Kimberly Drew, Tarana Burke, Brittney Cooper, Jamia Wilson, and other prominent black women.”


One piece of advice you’d give your five years younger self? “Stop buying expensive handbags!”

Jun 2, 2020

Today’s episode brings clarity to the frustrations that many women feel in their careers. Are you working independently, but struggling to get the recognition you deserve? Do you understand the value of relationships in the workplace? My guest today puts it all in perspective, and she shares the nuts and bolts to help you take effective action steps. 


Dr. Rosina Raccioppi is CEO and president of WOMEN Unlimited, an organization that for over 25 years has worked with hundreds of leading corporations focused on creating corporate cultures that nurture the development and advancement of talented women. Their three-pronged approach of mentoring, education and networking allows corporations to accelerate the leadership pipeline of high potential women. In this episode, Dr. Raccioppi and I talk about her book, Relationships Matter: How Women Use Developmental Networks to Step Into Their Power and Influence. We also discuss the challenges and opportunities in the workplace for women. We pinpoint what it takes for women to move up the career ladder, and why it’s not just what you know, but who you know and who knows your work. Dr. Raccioppi explains how WOMEN Unlimited’s programs guide women to the C-suite and help them stay there. 


Independence vs. Relationships


From the beginning of a woman’s career, there are moments of key inflection points where a leader or mentor’s influence is critical and impactful. In 2019, for the first time ever, women made up over half of the professional workforce in organizations. What Rosina sees from young women starting out is that their independence keeps them from building key relationships and seeking out support in their careers, so they rely instead on their own capabilities. This is a big mistake. Those key mentoring relationships are crucial as leaders provide guidance and feedback that allow women to continue to evolve their capabilities as they grow their careers. 


Painful feedback


Rosina shares a personal example from her career when she learned a hard lesson through feedback. Her manner is extremely direct, and that was good and effective until it wasn’t. People had told her that there were issues with her somewhat intimidating communication style, but she would blow off that feedback. One day, a colleague made a statement about her direct leadership style that shocked her and caused great reflection. Rosina looks back on that feedback as a gift that gave her insight and realization that have helped her learn to find innovative solutions and to listen to others more fully. This lesson has helped her become more inclusive as a leader. Listen to learn specific techniques to get the feedback you need and deserve.


Why Rosina wrote her book


We’ve all heard about mentoring as a leadership skill, but WOMEN Unlimited takes it a step further. Their platform is based on mentoring education and networking. The content is bookended by the relationships created by mentoring and networking. For women in the workplace, these relationships are crucial to success. Rosina built upon existing research about how women used mentors, but she took it a step further to see how those mentoring relationships were developed. Rosina says, “Mentoring turns learning into leadership.”


Using a crisis to your advantage


Generally speaking, during the pandemic crisis, men are looking to make strides to stand out in the workforce while women are hunkering down to get the work done. With any organization, during a crisis, you have to figure out how to be profitable and take care of the customers. The important thing is to map out a path forward for the organization to preserve revenue. Rosina says that successful women will stay engaged and embrace the leadership role even during a crisis. 


Building a network


Think about the people who will help round out your perspective. Those who impact the customer are the ones who matter most in an organization. Rosina says to think about how to frame the work you do in ways that are important to the customers. You want to stay in the game, be relevant at the table, and create an impact for the customer. If you aren’t doing that currently, then take a good look at your role and what it should be. 


How to find a mentor


It doesn’t make much sense to approach someone and ask them to be your mentor. Being a mentor is a vague concept to many people; they just aren’t sure what that means. Rosina encourages people to create a board of directors group of 3-4 people who will challenge your thinking and help you grow. Don’t look for people who will tell you what you want to hear, because that won’t help you grow. Often, someone in a different department in your organization is the best person to expand your thinking and round out your perspective. Start with one person, and add others that give you a diversity of perspective on how you want to move forward. 


Highlights of this episode:


  • 4:21 - Key inflection points in a woman’s career
  • 6:00 - The feedback women need
  • 11:37 - An example of impactful feedback for Rosina
  • 18:44 - Why Rosina wrote her book
  • 26:00 - Using a crisis to your advantage
  • 27:34 - Building a network
  • 29:46 - Advice for women who need a mentor
  • 35:12 - Fem Five


Resources mentioned:


Visit for this episode for your chance to receive a free signed copy of Rosina’s book, Relationships Matter: How Women Use Developmental Networks to Step Into Their Power and Influence.



Fem Five:


Favorite book to recommend for women? “My book, Relationships Matter.


Favorite self-care hack? “Exercise and taking time for me.”


Best piece of advice and who gave it to you? “My mother helped me see that the only thing I can control is me.”


Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now? “I can’t name just one, but it’s all the women who are CEOs in traditionally male-dominated industries.”


One piece of advice you’d give your five years younger self? “Push yourself even further than you think you can go. Don’t be afraid. There will always be a net to catch you.”

May 18, 2020

Whether you own your business or work for someone else, communication is the key to PR. Never is the importance of communication highlighted more fully than in times of crisis. If you want to know more about PR in the time of a global pandemic or just want to make it through any other type of PR crisis, join me for today’s conversation. 

Adele Cehrs is CEO and founder of Epic PR, When+How Agency, and a bestselling author. Beginning her career as a journalist for George magazine and the Asbury Park Press, Adele cut her teeth on marketing and PR on Madison Avenue and K Street. In her 16 years at the helm guiding Epic PR’s success, Adele became a renowned authority on how organizations can get into the news and get out of the news. Today, Adele is heralded as a crisis communication expert by the Wall Street Journal. She works with companies such as Lockheed Martin, DuPont, and Verizon, and helps their executives and leaders navigate the ups and downs of tough customers, hostile rooms, and challenging situations. In this episode, Adele shares actionable steps for staying cool in a crisis, and how to make rapid decisions without losing sight of your long – term goals. She also shares an actionable framework for reading people, navigating crisis situations, and negotiating to win. Whether you’re in management, HR, or sales, effective communication is crucial to success. 

What makes a good PR person?

Adele says that it’s tough to be a good publicist if you haven’t spent time in a newsroom. You really need to spend time on the other side of the fence to understand the intricacies of how the media works. This experience gives you a decided advantage. Getting caught up in the glitz and glamor of PR will make you lose your creative edge, but Adele has been able from the beginning to work with celebrities without being awed by the spotlight. Her experience working for JFK, Jr. at George magazine gave her the foundation for later success and gave her much empathy for the celebrity experience. 

Becoming a crisis communication expert

Adele helps people get into and out of the news. Becoming a crisis communication expert was an accidental journey that began when she was at a PR firm, and a crisis arose with a client. Adele came up with a strategy, and the firm used it. She loved that feeling of solving the problem and alleviating the crisis, and she was hooked on crisis communication from that point forward. Being naturally adept at gauging possible outcomes and predicting human behavior, Adele was able to merge her interests of journalism, messaging, human behavior, and emotions to form a fast-paced career that she loves. In addition, her personal 9/11 experience taught her how she could be calm and thoughtful in the middle of others’ crises. 

From Epic PR to When+How 

A unique and unlikely partnership was born when Adele met Chip, a former FBI hostage negotiator. She became curious about the language of crisis communication, and she and Chip teamed up to teach a master class together. They realized that they made an unprecedented team of crisis communication firm meets FBI hostage negotiator. Their skills merged into a unique perspective in that she helps people with career suicide moments, while Chip’s experience is in helping people in a real suicide crisis. It’s become a partnership that works well as they each bring their interesting gifts, strengths, and skillsets to the table. 

The nuts and bolts of effective negotiation

With When+How, Adele and Chip are launching the idea of behavior-based crisis negotiations regarding the different personalities that show up in a crisis. They have identified 12 different personality types. One of these types is the Quick Draw, a person who has too many ideas and makes decisions too quickly. With their new system, When+How identifies your personality type under stress, how other people see you and react to you, and how you can improve your reactions and modify your behavior.  

Turn those triggering situations around

We all are triggered by certain people, their behaviors, and how they speak to us. Adele shares an example of a business colleague whom she finds extremely triggering, especially with his brusque and misogynistic manner. She’s taken that situation to change her perspective, using these interactions to learn about herself and grow, removing herself from the caustic situation without relinquishing her power. It’s a matter of wanting the knowledge more than the pain. The key in many business relationships is not to personalize these triggering interactions, but to look at these moments as plot twists in your journey. Figure out how you can grow and become better because of those triggers. 

Compete with yourself

For a competitive person like Adele, the key she’s found is to compete with herself and not other people. She tries to set 12 – 15 goals on a yearly vision board as a way to inspire her to reach every day for those larger goals. However big or small those goals are, she says to look at them every day and feel great satisfaction as you achieve them. It’s easy during a crisis to lose focus on those goals, but they can keep you grounded.

Applying Adele’s work to real life

Check out Adele’s website for free resources about communicating during a crisis. She says to look at any crisis as an opportunity for your company to take risks. A year from now, people everywhere will be receiving awards and recognition for the risks they took during this global crisis. Use any crisis as a chance to get ahead and take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. 

Highlights of this episode:

  • 7:24 – What it takes to be a good PR person
  • 18:52 – Journey to becoming a crisis communication expert
  • 24:12 – A transition and an unlikely partnership
  • 29:55 – Nuts and bolts of effective negotiation
  • 38:24 – How to learn from what triggers you
  • 49:03 – Competing with yourself
  • 59:12 – Applying Adele’s work to real life
  • 1:04:28 – Fem Five

Resources mentioned:

The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth by M. Scott Peck

The Fem Five

1. Favorite book to recommend for women?

  • The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth by M. Scott Peck

2. Favorite self-care hack?

  • Exercise

3. Best piece of advice and who gave it to you?

  • “A former boss showed me why I should work for my own success and not the success of others.â€

4. Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now?

5. One piece of advice you’d give your five years younger self?

  • “Make decisions that will make you happy.â€

Last Time on The NextFem Podcast

Creating A Company That Puts Its Values Into Practice – with Shannon Adkins

Subscribe to the show on iTunes. (Android here).

Thanks SO MUCH to everyone who took the time to write a review on iTunes! If you write a review this week, send a screenshot to and we’ll give you a shout-out!

The post Communication and PR During the Global Pandemic – with Adele Cehrs appeared first on NextFem.

May 11, 2020

What kind of difference would it make if a company were run by women who are committed to authenticity, transparency, and connection? What if that company’s leadership put their values into practice, developing a workplace culture where diversity, self-expression, and creativity thrive? If this sounds like a place where you would love to work, then you’ll want to hear more from today’s guest. 

Shannon Adkins is CEO of Future State, a woman-owned, employee-owned consulting company that she returned to revive after a downturn. Future State works with Fortune 100’s and non-profits, treating their clients as the smartest person in the room, making them feel cared for and collaborated with. Shannon originally planned to be a women’s rights lawyer, but when the dotcom boom hit, she found herself working for a small company full of wacky women with magical powers who were not playing by the rules, and a new passion was born. In this episode, Shannon shares how she was able to build and create a team and company culture focused on leading with heart, the roles of empathy, intuition, and transparency in business success, and the 21st-century skill sets leaders need to rise to the occasion during times of great change and ambiguity in order to rewire organizations and people for adaptability. 

Future State values

When Shannon says that Future State is a woman-owned company, what she means is that 100% of the C-suite and board members are women. To go a step further, Future State is also owned by several hundred employees, 87% of that ownership being held by women. What makes the company unique is the deep commitment to community, team members, and sustainability. Shannon explains that it’s important that people can work for Future State and take good care of their families, sit on managing boards, and experience success. The leadership at Future State is committed to using best management practices in several key areas.

Practical application of values

It’s important to Shannon and the other Future State leaders to create a culture of care, connection, authenticity, and transparency; they are committed to these values, which means a lot more than merely saying you hold them. Because the company is employee-owned, Shannon answers to the shareholders, who just happen to be Future State employees. She strives to be an open book to the team members because it’s their company. This foundation of trust allows Future State to reassure their employees in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic that the company will survive and thrive on the other side. Even though challenging decisions and policy changes have happened, as with any company’s growth, the leaders have remained authentic and transparent while holding their commitment to the company’s purpose.

Empowering employees

Shannon believes the key to empowering employees is role modeling. As she stepped into the CEO role, her authenticity and transparency freaked some people out because she was so frank and open about asking people to contribute answers and solutions to problems. She believes the answer is to share more with team members, so they are in on every decision and every problem, even the minute details of banking and company finances. 

Downsides to being a woman-owned business

It’s not only that women compete with each other and bring each other down, but it’s true that women have higher expectations of each other than they do of men. We tend to have less tolerance for missteps, mistakes, and struggles. Shannon had to learn to let go of the fear of hurting people’s feelings, even though she doesn’t do it intentionally, but it’s something that comes with any leadership role. That fear was just one of the limiting beliefs she had to overcome as she learned to listen to the people around her. 

Unique employee interviews

In interviews, Shannon likes to get a sense of people’s aspirations and how they see the company. It took a certain amount of selling the company’s values and vision for the future,, because it’s difficult for someone to come in from the outside and immediately catch sight of that vision. Shannon shares a story of how showing up to an interview in leather pants in a moment of self – expression made all the difference in an interview for her. 

Embracing diversity

Diversity is more than just a buzzword at Future State. Shannon says that leaders have to be curious about the things that trigger them, like disharmony, for example. A leader has to learn to integrate different voices into the organization and listen to those who are different than they are. A culture of growth won’t happen if everyone thinks and speaks the same way, so there is value in varying opinions and voices. Disharmony becomes unproductive when people don’t agree on the vision and the path ahead. Diversity means differences of opinion can still keep you aligned with the overall vision. 

Handling differences and suffering

Through her personal experience with her mom’s early Alzheimer’s diagnosis, Shannon developed a philosophy that life is for living, and that there are no guarantees. She learned to step up and do what she wants instead of toughing out a bad situation. In doing so, she formulated a policy about allowing herself to suffer. She vowed that she would quit any job at which she suffered for ten days in a row. This philosophy has led to a proactive approach to anything that brings her suffering, either by having a necessary conversation with someone or deciding on another way to take action. 

What’s next for Future State?

The company remains committed to transforming the world of work and creating organizations where human beings can be self-expressive and creative while they work on meaningful projects. Future State wants all of their work to be purpose-driven for their clients. Shannon says they recently added 15 people to make the team number about 100, and they are committed to creating wealth opportunities for their employees-owners. The leaders there want to be role models while keeping the company human-centered, responsible, agile, and purpose-driven. 

Highlights of this episode:

  • 5:48 – Future State values
  • 8:16 – Practically employing the values
  • 14:22 – Empowering employees
  • 20:25 – Downsides to a woman-owned business
  • 27:47 – New employee interviews
  • 38:05 – Embracing diversity
  • 41:54 – Handling differences and suffering
  • 51:30 – What’s next?
  • 55:27 – Fem Five

Resources mentioned:

  • Find Shannon Adkins on LinkedIn
  •  Get Shannon’s free webinar series on Leading From a Place of Resiliency
  • Untamed by Glennon Doyle

The Fem Five:

1. Favorite book to recommend for women?

  • Untamed by Glennon Doyle

2. Favorite self-care hack?

  • “Snuggles with the dog.â€

3. Best piece of advice and who gave it to you?

  • “Meryl Natchez told me the first thing I need to do is to ask for feedback.â€

4. Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now?

5. One piece of advice you’d give your five years younger self?

  • “Trust yourself.â€

Last Time on The NextFem Podcast

Trust Your Body to Tell The Truth – with Lyn-Genet Recitas

Subscribe to the show on iTunes. (Android here).

Thanks SO MUCH to everyone who took the time to write a review on iTunes! If you write a review this week, send a screenshot to and we’ll give you a shout-out!

The post Creating A Company That Puts Its Values Into Practice – with Shannon Adkins appeared first on NextFem.

May 6, 2020

If you’re looking for answers as to why your body doesn’t respond to those trendy diets and restrictive eating plans, then this is the show for you. It makes sense that each person’s body is different, and therefore, the way we metabolize foods can lead to either weight loss or weight gain. The shocking truth is that many of those healthy foods you are eating may be the reason you aren’t losing the weight you want to lose. Join us for today’s show to learn more.

Lyn-Genet Recitas is a nutritionist whose work has transformed my life in many ways. She’s a NY Times and international bestselling author of The Plan and The Metabolism Plan, groundbreaking anti-inflammatory nutritional protocols which have been published in over 15 countries. Lyn-Genet has been featured on Dr. Oz, Huffington Post, Thrive Global, CBS, NBC, FOX, Women’s Running, More magazine, and more. Her work has helped hundreds of thousands of men and women reach their best health by finding their chemical responses to food and not counting calories. In this episode, Lyn-Genet shares how to rev up your metabolism at any age under any conditions, how hidden stress and many of the foods typically labeled as healthy, like Greek yogurt and salmon, could be causing inflammation and weight gain, and why lowering inflammation is the key to mental, emotional, and physical vibrancy. 

Your body tells the truth

Every food has potential health benefits and risks, and these results can vary from person to person. Simply put, many foods have compounds that aren’t going to work for your body. Spinach is an example of a healthy superfood that has two compounds that can be reactive for many people regarding thyroid function and the neurological system. When we gain weight while eating healthy foods, we become distrustful of our bodies. The reality is that your body’s response will tell you which foods work and don’t work for you.

Age and weight gain

You’ve heard it stated as a fact that metabolism slows down as you age. Lyn-Genet’s work debunks this myth; the truth is that your body’s responses to food and exercise change as you age.  Her work is all about analyzing how the body responds, and as we age, we lose digestive enzymes. Foods that worked well for us in our 20s and 30s may not work for us in our 40s and 50s. In The Plan, Lyn-Genet helps you analyze your body’s response so you can make an individualized plan that works to empower you and help you find success in the quest for a healthy weight. 

Figure it out

Lyn-Genet’s plan begins with a three-day cleanse in which you reset your body and rapidly lower inflammation. There are generous calorie goals for men and women, and people experience anywhere from 5-14 lbs of weight loss. The key is to measure the body’s histamines produced in response to inflammatory foods, which cause short-term water weight gain. As new foods are introduced, weight gain is measured. The truth is that even healthy foods like turkey can turn out to be a culprit. The traditional weight loss process can cause self-esteem issues in men and women as they try so hard to lose weight with the wrong methods. Empowerment comes from making the choices that are best for your body, and that’s where Lyn-Genet can help. 

Shame and stigma

We’ve all felt the guilt from eating the wrong foods, the ones Lyn-Genet calls fun foods. The truth is that so-called healthy foods can affect our bodies in negative ways much worse than what we consider cheat foods. Cucumber and pineapple can be inflammatory for you, while a ballpark hotdog and a beer might help you lose weight. Bread can be a healthy food for some people while it incites inflammatory responses in others. We are not all the same, which is why Lyn-Genet’s system brings success and transformation to many people. 

Interrupting the inflammation

Lyn-Genet is a believer that joyful foods can and should be enjoyed. With a specific person, it could be cottage cheese and cantaloupe that cause weight gain, and not the occasional ice cream treat. Lyn-Genet says that every person is eating at least three healthy foods that are causing inflammation. Unfortunately, as we age, that number increases to six foods that we think are healthy; in truth, they are increasing inflammation and making us feel sicker as we gain weight with age. Identifying and removing these foods from our diets allows our bodies to heal. When we make digestion easy on our bodies, we will be at our healthiest. 

The vicious cycle

The body reacts to reactive foods with a histamine response and short-term water weight gain. A cascade of other responses follows, like higher levels of cortisol and long-term fat storage. This skews hormones in women, and estrogen dominance causes irritability and carb cravings. Next, the thyroid is attacked and can’t control metabolism as it should. This happens all because we are eating foods that don’t work for us. Our gut function is affected, which affects our overall immunity and serotonin levels. The final result is an increase in depression and anxiety.

Food propaganda

In most traditional diets, you are told to eat or not to eat certain foods because they work for 60-70% of the population. That doesn’t mean it will work for you. The inflammatory response you have to a food or exercise can last for up to 72 hours. Many people are eating a vegetarian diet because they think it’s a healthier way to eat, when it may be causing inflammation for them. Lyn-Genet cautions us about the studies we read; they are misleading because they don’t represent everyone, and they are usually funded by a company with a vested interest. Be cautious about the research you read.

The food connection

Are depression and anxiety connected to what you eat? Lyn-Genet says that there is a definite connection and that inflammation and illness always go together. The body’s inflammatory response will affect your mental state. For you to feel better, you have to lower inflammation, and that means identifying and removing what causes the inflammation. Only then will the energy of life and joy return. We have to be committed to nourishing our bodies. 

Hidden culprits

Eating out at most restaurants will subject you to hidden culprits in your food. Restaurant meals are notorious for too much salt, which leads to hypertension and major carb cravings. Another culprit is soy since most restaurants fry with soy oil. You must be mindful and understand your body as you go out to eat. If you think that vegan restaurants are superior in health, you should know that many ingredients in vegan cuisine are highly reactive, like quinoa and roasted nut butters. Rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca can all be featured in vegan and gluten-free dishes, and they are highly reactive components. Lyn-Genet says that the starch from any food is the most inflammatory part of that food. Surprisingly, french fries can be healthier than a baked potato because the fries are soaked to remove the starch, and if they are fried in a good oil, then the antioxidant capacity of the potato is increased. Keep in mind that almond flour and coconut flour are very low on the inflammatory scale, so look for these ingredients in vegan and gluten-free dishes. 

Highlights of this episode:

  • 11:58 – Our habits around healthy foods
  • 15:32 – Age is just a number
  • 20:10 – How The Plan works
  • 24:30 – Shame and stigma around our food
  • 26:49 – Interrupting the inflammation
  • 31:15 – Why the body reacts to certain foods
  • 34:33 – Food propaganda
  • 39:05 – The food connection to depression and anxiety
  • 44:00 – Salt: the dominant flavor
  • 46:42 – Dangers in vegan and gluten-free foods
  • 52:16 – Fem Five

Resources mentioned:

  • Find Lyn-Genet on Facebook and Instagram
  • Visit to get Lyn-Genet’s free cookbook of recipes with low inflammatory foods. Lyn-Genet wants to see your creations. Send pictures of what you make to  

The Fem Five:

1. Favorite book to recommend for women?

  • The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics by Gary Zukavâ€

2. Favorite self-care hack?

  • Tequila

3. Best piece of advice and who gave it to you?

  • “I gave myself the best advice when I told myself to tune out the naysayers.â€

4. Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now?

5. One piece of advice you’d give your five years younger self?

  • “Spend less time worrying about your appearance, and make sure you’re happy. That’s when you’re the most beautiful anyway.†

Last Time on The NextFem Podcast

Attract More Positive and Live Your Best Life – with Kristine Fredheim

Subscribe to the show on iTunes (Android here).

Thanks SO MUCH to everyone who took the time to write a review on iTunes! If you write a review this week, send a screenshot to and we’ll give you a shout-out!

The post Trust Your Body to Tell The Truth – with Lyn-Genet Recitas appeared first on NextFem.

Apr 27, 2020

Today’s show is about a topic that matters to all of us. We’re discussing how to leave the negative behind, attract more positive karma, and shine brighter as we move toward our life’s purpose to live our best life. Don’t you want to learn more?

Kristine Fredheim is an acclaimed psychic medium, spiritual advisor, and author. With a Master’s degree in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, she launched Soul Life in 2014 to help people connect with their spirituality, find hope, and achieve their full potential. At a young age, Kristine discovered her ability to see the past, present, and future, as well as to connect with loved ones who have passed on. With these experiences and insights, Kristine authored two books entitled Behind My Face and The Ring of Power. She’s been a regular contributor to Huffington Post, and she’s been featured in Elle, O Magazine, Teen Vogue, and on The Jenny McCarthy Show, among many others. In this episode, Kristine shares how she came to recognize her spiritual gifts, how to tap into your own intuition to better your work and personal life, how her father came to be her spiritual guide, and her relationship and promise to Marilyn Monroe. 

Soul agreements

From her research and training, Kristine has learned that before we are born, we make agreements with our guides about what we are supposed to come to earth to learn, what we’ll do, how to work on our karma, and to make a plan for our life. Out of her own tumultuous background, Kristine discovered that if you don’t work through your difficult situations, then you’ll continually attract the negative aspects of past wounds. The darkness of those wounds is released when you address it, and we agree to this before we enter our life. A soul agreement is not about a person’s worth but is about becoming brighter through the lessons we learn. 

Becoming a medium

Kristine recognized her unusual gifts early on, but she had to set an intention about how she would use them. She went to medium school, opened Soul Life, and marketed her practice to clients in North America, even though she is a native Norwegian who still resides there. She desired to reach a broader clientele than the narrow niche of her Norwegian culture. Now she focuses on helping clients find clarity on how they can improve their lives. She explains why it’s important to observe the rules of etiquette and consent in the work she does, simply because soul work is so intensely personal.

Attracting clients

Kristine has noticed that the clients who are attracted to her are usually going through similar experiences to her own. Helping them brings clarity to her life as she magnetically attracts those with similar needs. Because most people find spirituality to be weird and something to fear, Kristine created a brand that is relatable to people and their everyday problems and needs, and she did this with the help of a great marketing team. 

Alternative modalities

Intuition was the spiritual buzzword just a couple of years ago in the world of spirituality, but now people are more curious about their soul family, a soulmate, and the science behind what happens to our souls when we die. Kristine’s research shows that some souls stay earthbound as ghosts instead of stepping into the light. Others have their guides meet them and send them home to the light.

Kristine’s tarot cards

Kristine has created several varieties of tarot cards in memory of her mother, who helped introduce her to spirituality. After her mom passed, Kristine wanted to honor her by creating something beautiful in her memory. Her cards are unique and traditional with a fresh, new look. She explains how the cards are used as a tool in conversation with your spirit and your subconscious. 

Medium school

Kristine went to school to be a spiritual medium. Even though that might conjure up visions of something you’ve seen in a movie, Kristine says that it’s a real school for which she had to apply and be chosen for, based on her interests and skills. She knew that in order to pursue a career in spirituality, she wanted to get the education and certifications to be as professional in her field as possible. She learned about chakras, readings, channeling, spirit conversations, business skills, tarot cards, and much, much more. 

Neuro-linguistic programming

Kristine has a Master’s degree in neuro-linguistic programming, but she doesn’t use it regularly in her work. Her education and skills only come into play when she teaches clients how to use specific techniques to release their emotional traumas. Reframing a traumatic experience is one example of a technique used in NLP. Kristine explains that NLP is basically how the brain works to help you have a better life in spite of past trauma. It’s simply a faster way to clear through the hard stuff than therapy when it comes to dealing with issues. 

A typical session with Kristine

When Kristine schedules a session with a client, she knows nothing about them ahead of time. She talks to them through Skype or FaceTime audio so she can choose her eyes and channel. Her father is her spiritual guide, so he tells her everything she needs to know to help her client have a better life. Kristine then relays his message to her client. A typical session with Kristine lasts about 45 minutes. 

Kristine and Marilyn Monroe

We are all connected to our soul families in the spirit world, and Marilyn Monroe is in Kristine’s soul family. Kristine and Marilyn have had multiple previous lives together, and they remain connected today. Marilyn was one of the first spirits that Kristine saw as a baby, and she felt recognition and comfort with her right away. Marilyn came in and out of Kristine’s life throughout her upbringing, and her parents didn’t try to squelch the relationship when Kristine explained it to them. Kristine feels that one of her life purposes and a soul plan before her birth is for her to clear Marilyn’s name and reputation during her lifetime. She remains committed to this goal today. 

How to cultivate intuition

If you want to be in touch with your soul and your intuition, it’s important to have a daily practice where you ground yourself with yoga, meditation, and reading to learn more. Kristine recommends using a journal to write down your intuitive experiences and learn to trust the relationship between you and your intuition. It needs to be an intention about which you are honest. Kristine says if you tell the universe your intention, then you’ll get the help you need. 

Highlights of this episode:

  • 10:37 – Soul agreements
  • 14:56 – Becoming a medium
  • 19:01 – Attracting clients from faraway places
  • 27:28 – Alternative modalities
  • 33:13 – Kristine’s tarot cards
  • 39:15 – What medium school is like
  • 41:21 – Neuro-linguistic programming
  • 44:52 – A typical session with Kristine
  • 51:32 – Kristine and Marilyn Monroe
  • 55:26 – Cultivating intuition
  • 57:25 – Fem Five

Resources mentioned:

Find Kristine Fredheim and Soul Life Magic on Instagram

Find Kristine at or

Free gift:  A deck of Kristine’s Pink Tarot Cards to the first five listeners who email their request. Find out more at

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

The Fem Five:

1. Favorite book to recommend for women?

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

2. Favorite self-care hack?

“Alone time away from my phone just to read or be alone.â€

3. Best piece of advice and who gave it to you?

“My grandfather told me to do whatever the f**k you want.â€

4. Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now?

Reese Witherspoon

5. One piece of advice you’d give your five years younger self?

“Stop wasting your time on stupid little boys!â€

Last Time on The NextFem Podcast

Closing the Leadership Gap for Women In Business – with Laura Kahlil

Subscribe to the show on iTunes (Android here).

Thanks SO MUCH to everyone who took the time to write a review on iTunes! If you write a review this week, send a screenshot to and we’ll give you a shout-out!

The post Attract More Positive and Live Your Best Life – with Kristine Fredheim appeared first on NextFem.

Apr 20, 2020

If you want to hear a fiercely passionate advocate for women in the workplace, then look no further than today’s show. My guest shares nuggets of wisdom about the roles of empathy and confrontation in helping women bridge the corporate gender gap, and so much more.

Laura Khalil is the #1 transformational speaker helping Fortune 500 companies close the leadership and wage gap for women in business. She’s an executive coach who shares courageous leadership skills to help women succeed inside and outside the corporate world. Facing many of the challenges that confident, assertive, and driven women deal with in the workplace, Laura launched her marketing consultancy in 2013. Determined to thrive, she quickly learned that the traits that penalized her as an employee were her greatest assets as a leader, and she went on to work on global initiatives with name brands like Twitter, GE, Intel, and more. In this episode, Laura shares how her early years as an outlier influenced the work she does today, how women can create male allies, and how to develop the habit and muscle of courage to achieve your dreams. 

How to deal with triggers

Most women in the workplace have been told that they should smile more. It’s a specific statement that we can readily admit becomes a trigger. The truth is that every man and woman has both masculine and feminine energy, but women are ridiculed if their masculine energy is dominant. Every woman knows what it feels like to be triggered and feel the freeze. Laura says that instead of trying to respond to triggering statements, we should redirect that energy back at the person by asking them a question about what they said. Simply asking them what they mean flips the spotlight on them and forces them to be self – reflective about what they said to you.

Being judged by other women

Your perceptions of what you see in the outer world is a reflection of your inner world. For instance, when someone asks a woman why they are so emotional, they are simply manifesting their own emotions. Laura says to imagine their face like a giant mirror, and they are really asking themselves the question. When we disconnect from that energy, we can see their judgment as their way of getting love and attention because they never learned more resourceful ways to do it. 

The gifts in being an outlier

Laura’s story proves that she was an outlier during her time in Silicon Valley. She says that being an outlier accelerates the neural pathways to empathy. The truth is that we’re all doing our best. We are too focused on what others think of us, and they don’t think of us as much as we assume they do, so we should focus on ourselves and being a better person. Sometimes we find recurring situations because we need to work on skills to help us reach our highest potential. Laura learned through her time in Silicon Valley to ask what was going on with herself with her fears and limiting beliefs. 

Becoming the #1 transformational speaker

Laura admits that this title is aspirational, but her work goes far beyond inspiring others. She gives people tangible takeaways that her clients can use to experience immediate and prolonged improvement. She says that everything you do has to have a level of certainty and that your greatest gift to the world is how you serve others. With an intentional focus on authenticity, Laura readily admits her failures rather than trying to portray a picture-perfect world that isn’t real. 

Why you have to practice

When Laura first began doing public speaking engagements, she learned the value of practicing in a low – stakes environment where mistakes don’t matter as much before delivering quality information where it does matter. She says that nothing is in your way, but every experience is a step on the way to where you need to be. Her advice is to learn to see the divine design for your life. Every person is here on this earth for a reason and needs to share their gifts with the world.  

Employee engagement

Why do employees disengage? Laura says it’s because they don’t feel safe in the work environment, or they feel disenfranchised. Psychological safety is important in every organization, and when it doesn’t happen, then people look at their role as just a job. Studies have proven that people will run through walls when they feel validated, seen, and heard, but when they don’t feel valued in these ways, they will fly under the radar and just get by until they find something else. Organizations need to learn that empathy has to be a priority because it improves employee engagement, innovation, and profitability. 

Dealing with workplace harassment

Workplace harassment is a trauma that must be healed. Women are more likely to leave the company due to harassment. The bottom line, Laura says, is that HR isn’t there to protect employees, but to keep the company from getting sued. Women leave because they feel that no one is on their side. They feel ignored, retaliated against, or pushed out. The solution is for women to learn to train people in how we want to be treated, and we do this by confronting them with questions. Speaking up for ourselves will help us learn to empower ourselves. Laura calls this situation a call to courage. 

What we suppress

Depending on how we were raised, we may have learned to minimize our accomplishments. This occurs because we weren’t taught to acknowledge our achievements. The result is that we minimize accomplishments in others. When you are taught that praise is a burden, then you are quick to suppress that in others. Even though this results from our childhood experiences, we can learn to make better choices to have a better future by breaking the cycle. Mastering your destiny means staying grounded and planting your legacy in how you serve people in the future. 

The inclusive workforce

A double standard exists for women in the workplace. Performance reviews are biased. Women are evaluated more on personality traits, and men are evaluated on the work they do. Surprisingly, this bias also occurs from women to other women. Laura says that women need specific feedback on their work that they can use to move forward. Every woman in the corporate world should find a male mentor or sponsor in their organization. The truth is that most men want to help women in the workplace and be an ally for them, but they don’t know what to do.  

Highlights of this episode:

  • 17:56 – Being triggered by being told to smile
  • 24:04 – When the judgment comes from other women
  • 28:05 – The gifts of being an outlier
  • 35:50 – Becoming #1
  • 41:25 – Why you have to practice
  • 44:33 – Employee engagement and empathy
  • 54:11 – Workplace harassment for women
  • 1:02:00 – What we suppress
  • 1:10:32 – The inclusive workplace
  • 1:16:03 – Fem Five

Resources mentioned:  Find Laura’s podcast and how to join her free weekly Facebook training

Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

The Empathy Edge: Harnessing the Value of Compassion as an Engine for Success by Maria Ross

Fem Five:

1. Favorite book to recommend for women?

Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.â€

2. Favorite self-care hack?

“Self-pleasure. I get into my body with a daily dance party.â€

3. Best piece of advice and who gave it to you?

“A therapist once told me that I have to learn to take care of myself first.â€

4. Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now?

Cindy Eckert of The Pink Ceiling

5. One piece of advice you’d give your five years younger self?

“Be kinder to yourself.â€

Last Time on The NextFem Podcast

Leverage Wellbeing for Success with Megan McNealy

Subscribe to the show on iTunes (Android here).

Thanks SO MUCH to everyone who took the time to write a review on iTunes! If you write a review this week, send a screenshot to and we’ll give you a shout-out!

The post Closing the Leadership Gap for Women In Business – with Laura Khalil appeared first on NextFem.

Apr 13, 2020

Using the big-boy approach to marketing can leave you feeling squeezed out like a misfit, and there’s a good reason for that. Tapping into your higher self and allowing your feminine power to shine will bring authenticity and contentment. If you’re a healer, teacher, coach, or mystic who knows in your heart that you are meant to do big things, then you’ll want to check out this episode. 

Julie Foucht is an author and Art of Feminine Marketing coach. Julie teaches female entrepreneurs that it’s OK to do business their way and that success, freedom, and impact are inevitable when business is fashioned from a feminine intuitive, soul-whispered state-of-doing and a dynamic, heart-centered marketing strategy. In this episode, Julie shares how her early years shaped her path to becoming a marketing expert, and why traditional marketing stifles the natural creativity and innate power in many women. She’ll explain why a feminine marketing plan is not only exhilarating and sexy, but is also efficient, feels better, and is more nurturing for prospects and attracts exactly the right clients and a greater flow of income. 

The journey into marketing

After being raised with the mindset that women can’t take care of themselves in the world, Julie took professional development courses and launched into life coaching. Her overriding desire was to empower other women so that no one she touched would feel trapped in an unsafe place of abuse simply due to the lack of money. Julie established herself as a life and business coach in 2005, and she’s never looked back. 

A conversation with money

Do you talk to your money? Julie does, and money told her that charging for her spiritual gifts is a divine imperative. There is nothing wrong with a woman making money while making a living, and Julie says that women have to open themselves up to abundance to do their best work. Whether we like it or not, money is an energy with a lot of meaning in our society. She tells about a personal experience of building a true partnership with money instead of allowing it to be an obstacle in life. The key is learning to be in alignment with your source. 

Proving herself

Julie dealt with a huge childhood wound of feeling defective and unable to make her way in the world. She has spent her life proving the wound wrong. In marketing, Julie had to prove that she could make it in the world of business, and she’s ended up outperforming others as she got in touch with a deeper power. She has grown into a wisdom-keeper and the strong, capable woman she is today. 

Feminine Essence Marketing

Women tend to bully themselves when their masculine energy is lowered, and when feminine energy is lowered, they become manipulative. Successful marketing models don’t work when we bully and manipulate ourselves. Julie teaches her clients to connect to their soul and highest selves. She uses guided meditations to figure out her next steps and talk to the energy of her business. 

Battling imposter syndrome

Operating in the spiritual plane comes in handy to combat imposter syndrome, which is a monster every successful woman faces. The coach’s job is to channel divine guidance and wisdom and not place limits on the client’s journey or impact. The coach should channel the wisdom so that clients can do what they are meant to do. Most often, imposter syndrome is a protective mechanism that women use to limit themselves and give excuses as to why they can’t accomplish certain goals. Julie says that imposter syndrome and the terrible things that are said of strong women are just ways to keep a magic woman down. 

The nutrition connection

We don’t usually think of there being a connection between nutrition and business success, and we aren’t taught to listen to our bodies well. It’s important to recognize and learn what our bodies want because my body is a tool. When it doesn’t work properly, then I get the wrong signals. We have to treat our bodies as a vital piece of machinery that must be cared for and maintained for optimum performance. We have to listen to what our body tells us, and the best way to keep the body functioning optimally is through proper nutrition. 

Our operating systems

Julie explains that ideas come to us, wanting to be born into the world. Women are taught the masculine way of doing business, which is to act on an idea at full speed ahead, but operating in the feminine means that ideas are revealed a layer at a time as they unfold. Operating in ebbs and flows of ideas and revelation is the feminine way, and it’s very different from the masculine freight train mode. 

A blend of masculine and feminine

To explain the partnership between the masculine and feminine, Julie uses the example of how she plans and markets her annual live event. She uses a masculine approach at times but listens to her highest self and intuition. It’s a piecemeal approach of different systems, but Julie is committed to listening to the messages she receives from her highest self above all. In marketing strategies with a blend of the two approaches, Julie says the key consideration is what your audience needs to know. 

When you don’t fit in

When Julie is faced with negativity about not fitting into the mold that others create for her, she relies on her tribe of people, those whom she calls her posse of support. She admits that there are scary moments, but she has become more comfortable and more affirmed with allowing more of herself to shine. She advises clients to bring more of themselves into the marketplace; the right tribe will be attracted to you, and those who aren’t helpful will be repelled. 

Highlights of this episode:

  • 9:04 – How Julie got into marketing
  • 11:51 – The double-edged sword of money-making for women
  • 19:40 – Proving the wound wrong
  • 23:50 – Feminine Essence Marketing
  • 33:13 – Combatting imposter syndrome
  • 38:45 – The nutrition connection
  • 44:14 – Pitfalls for women
  • 48:37 – Feminine marketing strategies
  • 53:22 – When you don’t fit in
  • 1:00:05 – Fem Five

Resources Mentioned:   Check out Julie’s free gift, The Art of Feminine Marketing Guidebook download.

Find Julie’s Facebook group, Feminine Marketing Magic

Love-Based Mission: How to Create a Business That Serves Your Soul by Therese Skelly

The Fem Five:

1. Favorite book to recommend for women?

Love-Based Mission: How to Create a Business That Serves Your Soul by Therese Skelly

2. Favorite self-care hack?

Dancing, because high-vibe music raises your vibration.

3. Best piece of advice and who gave it to you?

“Money spoke to me and told me that my ability to make more money depends only on my willingness to open and receive more.â€

4. Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now?

“Mama Gena†(Regena Thomashauer)

5. One piece of advice you’d give your five years younger self?

“It’s only going to get better, so keep going.â€

Last Time on The NextFem Podcast

Leverage Wellbeing for Success with Megan McNealy

Subscribe to the show on iTunes (Android here).

Thanks SO MUCH to everyone who took the time to write a review on iTunes! If you write a review this week, send a screenshot to and we’ll give you a shout-out!

The post Allow Your Feminine Power to Shine – with Julie Foucht appeared first on NextFem.

Apr 6, 2020

If you love inspiring comeback stories, then this show is for you. My guest shares the details of her health breakdown due to the stress of her busy corporate career. Instead of taking her life, this crisis got her attention and motivated her to take a hero’s journey to wellbeing. 

Megan McNealy is the bestselling author of Reinvent the Wheel: How Top Leaders Leverage Wellbeing for Success, and she’s a wellbeing thought leader for the world’s top executives. In this episode, Megan and I discuss the mistaken belief pervasive in our workplaces that doing well is more important than being well, how to achieve your best self and harness the power of your own well – being wheel to manage stress and start a healing path, and how she was able to heal her body while working full – time and managing a family. If you keep putting well – being on the back burner because work takes priority, then you’ll get a lot from this episode. Megan proves that it’s possible to heal from chronic disease and failed relationships and bounce back to create a vibrant life at home and work. Check out this episode to discover how well – being drives, promotes, and accelerates success.

Curiosity is the key

Having an autoimmune disease that is supposedly incurable is a tough situation to handle. Megan had to determine within herself to find her own healing since doctors gave her no other hope. She viewed the disease as a visitor that had a specific message to tell her, and then she believed that the disease would go away. Curiosity was the impetus to help her uncover the layers of knowledge she needed, so she read every book, researched every theory, and interviewed every healer she could find to discover truth. She created a wheel of every action that worked for her. See our Resources section to download it for free.

Wellbeing drives success

In just one example of the elements of well – being, we know that sleep is essential for our health. The body gives us messages that are unique to us. Rheumatoid arthritis froze Megan’s hands into fists constantly to the point that she couldn’t function normally. She saw it as the outward manifestation of how she was on the inside, scrunched up and immobilized by stress and anger. Megan learned that well – being drives success and is foundational, instead of something that hinders and destroys your career. She discovered that prioritizing health and well – being led to an unprecedented blossoming of her career.

Stories of success

Megan’s book features the healing stories of many famous people who have excelled in specific areas of wellness. Through her niche market of working with executives, Megan identified leaders who used their journeys to well – being to leverage their success. Her purpose in writing the book was to help others feel less lonely on their healing journeys. She was able to include stories from heavy hitters and endorsers who were happy to help share their success in well – being.

Living an extraordinary life

Megan’s words are extraordinary. Whether it’s a conversation, night out, date, or work event, she owns this viewpoint that she won’t take part if it isn’t extraordinary. With all that she’s been through, Megan has really high standards for her busy life of juggling an executive career, a demanding side hustle, and life as a single mom. She is determined only to fill up her free time with things that are extraordinary so that she doesn’t waste a single moment on the mundane. 

Protect the asset

Recently, Megan called several of the executives that were featured in her book to see how they were spending time during the coronavirus pandemic. All of them were doing something productive to protect the assets of themselves, taking care of themselves in ways like walking, jogging, or exercising in the fresh air. When we face a stressful time, we’re tempted to think it’s the worst time, but successful leaders pivot from that mindset to turn difficulties into the best times for their businesses. Megan calls their viewpoint a different vibration. Another trait of these leaders is that they have figured out what brings them joy, and they incorporate those activities into their daily lives.

Learning to relax

Achievement-oriented people have a difficult time meditating and focusing on just breathing. An activity of moving meditation, like painting, can help someone really sink into who they are. It becomes a chance to be with the best part of yourself and ground yourself in quiet moments of joy and gratitude to find well – being. Relaxing is hard for people who are used to doing things all the time. Painting, journaling, watching the sunset, and observing the hummingbirds can be moments of pure joy that revive your soul and spirit. 

Megan’s wheel of wellbeing

Megan took all the knowledge she gleaned from books, doctors, healers, and experts, and put each element of well – being on a wheel. There are 18 different elements divided into three sections of six items each for the body, mind, and spirit. Examples of the elements would be sleep for the body, speaking your truth for your mind, and savoring spirit-lifting hobbies for your spirit. These elements impact your personal and professional life, and each one is equally weighted. Any one of these items can bring you down if it is ignored, and any one of them can boost your wellness in impactful ways. 

Alignment, not martyrdom

Our culture expects us to sacrifice well – being for martyrdom. Why do we listen? Megan believes her life is a three-legged stool of herself, her children, and her partner, and that all three legs have to be balanced and in alignment. She wants her daughters to see her thrive and be well because she owes it to them to show them that the sky’s the limit when it comes to their well – being and their achievement in life. The truth is that women can only best serve others in their lives if they take the best care of themselves and find alignment. 

Highlights of this episode:

  • 10:37 – How Megan healed herself
  • 13:54 – Foundations of well – being
  • 24:58 – Healing stories of successful leaders
  • 28:51 – Why Megan does only extraordinary things
  • 31:45 – Protect the asset, change your vibration, and look for joy
  • 39:03 – Difficulties for achievement-oriented people
  • 45:12 – Megan’s revolutionary well – being wheel
  • 50:44 – Why our culture expects martyrdom
  • 1:00:03 – Women need to honor themselves
  • 1:00:33 – Fem Five

Resources mentioned:

Find Megan on LinkedIn or Instagram, @meganmcnealy

Email Megan:

Find Megan’s free gift, her wellbeing wheel:  

Untamed by Glennon Doyle Melton

The Fem Five: 

  1. Favorite book to recommend for women? Untamed by Glennon Doyle Melton

2. Favorite self-care hack? “Hydrating myself. I drink a lot of green tea.â€

3. Best piece of advice and who gave it to you? “From Oprah, I learned to ask how I can serve others.â€

4. Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now? Kara Goldin, CEO of Hint

5. One piece of advice you’d give your five years younger self? “You will be healed.â€

Last Time on The NextFem Podcast

Don’t Let Anxiety Call the Shots – with Dr. Kathleen Smith

Subscribe to the show on iTunes (Android here).

Thanks SO MUCH to everyone who took the time to write a review on iTunes! If you write a review this week, send a screenshot to and we’ll give you a shout-out!

The post Leverage Wellbeing for Success – with Megan McNealy appeared first on NextFem.

Mar 23, 2020

Everyone deals with anxiety in life, but there are many steps we can take to take control. In today’s show, we are covering all the bases about what we are doing wrong in letting anxiety call the shots. The truth is that there are specific principles to follow to live your best life and manage every anxious situation. 

Dr. Kathleen Smith is a licensed therapist, mental health writer, and author of Everything Isn’t Terrible: Conquer Your Insecurities, Interrupt Your Anxiety, and Finally Calm Down. She’s a freelance writer for Everyday Health, and her writing on mental health topics has appeared in New York Magazine, Salon, Slate, Bustle, Lifehacker, and many other publications. Kathleen received her Ph.D. in Counseling from George Washington University, where she teaches at Trinity. She also runs her private therapy practice in DC. In this episode, Kathleen shares numerous, helpful ways to cope with our anxiety-ridden times with smart and practical antidotes. She also shares her top technique for taking charge of your anxiety and shedding anxious habits. She shares how to build a more solid sense of self in an increasing anxiety-inducing world, along with tools that anyone suffering from anxiety can use to finally calm down.

Mindset shifts

There are things we all do that add to our anxiety, and most of the time, we are completely unaware. Kathleen says we borrow standards of success from the world around us and borrow solutions from experts or family without using our brains to think for ourselves. We act as if our anxious imaginings are a reality, and we try to make other people act more mature instead of acting mature ourselves. We avoid situations where rejection and disappointment are possible, and we convince ourselves that another person must change in order for us to calm down. Do any of these sound like you? Most of us distance ourselves or avoid certain situations, try to control others, and create a triangle by pulling in a third person to calm us down. 

Be less anxious

Developing your own principles and describing who you want to be each day will help you be less anxious. Kathleen says you should write these things down, so you have something tangible to look at when you begin to freak out. Identify who your best self is in anxious situations, and even though you may fail more than you succeed, try to be that person every day. 

Kathleen’s new book

Kathleen wanted a book to hand to her therapy clients to highlight her work. She’s put together a collection of 18 stories based on client experiences that remain confidential. The book tells the stories of young people who are striving to calm down and grow up in their relationships. The book is humorous, practical, and helpful, and it’s based on the Bowen theory that anxiety is best analyzed by how we interact in relationships. 

Key themes in Kathleen’s book

Three key themes sum up Kathleen’s work. Observing means to pay attention to the ridiculous things you do when you’re anxious. Be curious, but don’t blame or shame yourself as you become more observant. Don’t avoid all the people who make you anxious, because you won’t have opportunities to practice calming down. Look for opportunities to try something different in your relationships and practice managing the anxiety you feel. Evaluate by asking yourself who you want to be. Always strive to be your best self, which to Kathleen means the most mature version of yourself. One focus of the book is to work on your relationships with your family because that’s the hardest place to manage anxiety and be mature. 

Rekindle relationships

Many relationships need to be rekindled, especially within our families. Kathleen explains the importance of rekindling intergenerational relationships because young people today are less connected to previous generations than ever before. It’s beneficial in many ways for us to have meaningful and strong relationships with people both older and younger than we are. It often takes a challenge or difficulty for us to realize the importance of those family ties. 

Be an adult

Kathleen says that it takes a lifetime to learn to manage anxiety and take yourself off anxious autopilot mode. The work of being human is a lifelong process, and you will eventually arrive at the place where functioning as a healthy and mature adult feels more normal than it did before. Most of us can honestly identify how we act as mature adults and how we act childish, petty, and manipulative.

The media influence

Much of our thinking is informed by the media, like the music we listen to and what we watch. Most love songs don’t portray a healthy, mature relationship. If we listen to those, we don’t get a template for love but a template for ruining our lives. Kathleen explains why we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves when we react in immature ways, but we should focus on the small victories in our growth and development. 

Parting advice from Kathleen

The unpleasant truth is that learning to handle disappointment and rejection is a useful tool. Any small steps we take toward that skill will help greatly in managing anxiety. When we’re younger, we learn to blow disappointment and rejection out of proportion, but we need to train our brains that these are manageable experiences. Other tips for coping with anxiety include getting to know your anxiety well, even to the point of giving it a name. 

Highlights of this episode:

  • 9:24 – Anxiousness and mindset shifts
  • 11:46 – How Kathleen devised these mindset shifts
  • 13:06 – How we can be less anxious
  • 13:50 – Kathleen’s new book
  • 20:25 – Key themes in Kathleen’s book
  • 31:38 – Rekindling relationships
  • 34:00 – Tips on adulting
  • 38:38 – How our thinking is informed by media
  • 43:10 – Advice for 2020
  • 47:25 – Fem Five

Resources mentioned:

The Fem Five: 

1. Favorite book to recommend for women?

  • Growing Yourself Up: How to Bring Your Best to All of Life’s Relationships by Jenny Brownâ€

2. Favorite self-care hack?

  • “Taking a walk around the block. I feel like it’s important to get into nature.â€

3. Best piece of advice and who gave it to you?

  • “A mentor once told me that I am responsible for my own distress.â€

4. Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now?

5. One piece of advice you’d give your five years younger self?

  • “No amount of success is going to make me calm down.â€

Last Time on The NextFem Podcast

Integrative Skin Care for Overall Well-Being – with Lori Bush

Subscribe to the show on iTunes (Android here).

Thanks SO MUCH to everyone who took the time to write a review on iTunes! If you write a review this week, send a screenshot to and we’ll give you a shout-out!

The post Don’t Let Anxiety Call the Shots – with Dr. Kathleen Smith appeared first on NextFem.

Mar 16, 2020

Is the health of your skin connected to your mindfulness and well being? No one would be a higher authority on the subject than someone who has spent their career in senior-level leadership in the beauty and skincare industry. My guest today shares what she’s learned about integrative beauty and skincare, and how a personal health scare led her to an unexpected new endeavor.

It’s been said that Lori Bush shines from a mile away, and not just because of her fabulous skin. During her tenure as president and CEO of Rodan and Fields, Lori took revenue from zero to one billion. She also served as president of Nu Skin, Worldwide Executive Director of Skincare Ventures at Johnson & Johnson, and VP of Marketing for Neutrogena. She went on to become Chairwoman of the Board at Avon. Now, calling on her 30+ years of expertise in beauty and skincare, Lori’s latest venture, Solvasa, is an integrative beauty line dedicated to empowering everyone to live long and beautifully by caring for their whole selves. In addition to her legendary career, Lori is also a bestselling author of a beauty wellness book called Write Your Skin a Prescription for Change. She also helps young female entrepreneurs through seed funding. In this episode, Lori and I discuss her path to the C – suite and how she was able to grow her business so quickly, why she left, and how she was able to scale her startup to become the #1 largest independent premium skincare brand. She also explains why well being and the joy of missing out are critical to leadership success. 

Breaking into the C-Suite

It turned out that Lori was the keeper of all pet projects that a CEO or owner wanted to be done, but no one else wanted to touch. Because she loved the challenge, these projects always ended up in her lap. She went through a time when she wasn’t getting higher-level promotions, and she was operating in autonomous areas, which led her on the journey to ultimate leadership positions. When she became frustrated with her lack of promotions, she was told that she didn’t have a promotable resume because she had spent her time focusing on doing the things she loved. After a long career path, it was in the early 2000s that Lori finally found herself in the C – suite with Rodan and Fields.

A breakout experience

Before Lori’s opportunity opened up with Rodan and Fields, she accepted the position of president at NuSkin, where she explored the direct – selling model of business and found it an outlet for much innovation. She took on a chief marketing role and had an amazing experience that became a breakout role for her. She joined her first board of directors and got boardroom experience that prepared her for higher leadership.

Feeling the conflict

For almost everyone with a long career in business, they have experienced the conflict in leaving one job for another. Lori had a vision, but she found that NuSkin was going in a different direction. She even questioned whether she had value any longer in the company. She didn’t agree with the approach they were taking in international expansion and the interface between different aspects of the business. Lori threw what she calls a little bit of a tantrum at a male-dominated meeting. She felt like she and the company were strategically misaligned, and she knew that it was the beginning of the end. Looking back, she calls it a happy firing.

Opportunities and revenue growth

When Lori joined Rodan and Fields, the company was already established as a brand and had been acquired by Estee Lauder. Lori had discussed with Rodan and Fields the possibility of making their company part of Johnson & Johnson. As they decided to pivot into direct selling, Lori was asked to run this new aspect of the business from the ground floor. Lori calls it an exercise in agility, as they began with an idea and recognized the power of word-of-mouth. Things came together at just the right time to be profitable as the timing of the economy and the product – value proposition combined with the social media effect to explode the business.

How business helped Lori beat cancer

As the leader of a company, your values are practiced, promoted, and rewarded. Lori had aspects of wellness that were missing in her life, and she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Lori stepped down from active management in 2016 at the same time she discovered a lump that had been missed by mammography. She admits that she used to think that meditation was for those who had nothing better to do with their time, but she feels very different now. A new opportunity opened up for Lori through her reconstructive surgeon and his skincare products. Together they identified stress management and mindfulness as missing elements in the skincare world, and their new company, Solvasa Integrative Beauty, was born. 

Highlights of this episode:

  • 9:33 – Breaking into the C-suite
  • 14:43 – Lori’s breakout experience
  • 20:15 – The conflict in leaving one job for another
  • 29:07 – The Rodan and Fields opportunity
  • 36:39 – How business helped Lori beat cancer
  • 48:23 – Fem Five

Resources mentioned:

Fem Five: 

1. Favorite book to recommend for women?

  • Hardball for Women: Winning at the Game of Business by Pat Heim and Susan K. Golant

2. Favorite self-care hack? Intermittent fasting.

3. Best piece of advice and who gave it to you?

  • “The head of business development at Johnson & Johnson told me that at some point in my life, I would need to start my own business.â€

4. Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now?

  • “I want to honor collectively all the micro-entrepreneurs who are the CEOs of Rodan and Fields.â€

5. One piece of advice you’d give your five years younger self?

  • “Take a little time out to be more in control, mindful, and productive.â€

Last Time on The NextFem Podcast

Let Go of Your Masks to Connect Authentically – with Stacy Raske

Subscribe to the show on iTunes (Android here).

Thanks SO MUCH to everyone who took the time to write a review on iTunes! If you write a review this week, send a screenshot to and we’ll give you a shout-out!

The post Integrative Skin Care for Overall Well-Being – with Lori Bush appeared first on NextFem.

Mar 2, 2020

Trauma survivors are everywhere around you. Some hide their stories in shame and guilt, and they cannot move forward from what’s happened in the past. At the other end of the spectrum are those who find empowerment and freedom in sharing the truth of their story. They become the strong voices who shed the shame and suffering to live in a new truth, using their story to help others climb out of the darkness. 

Stacy Raske is a bestselling author of Be a Boss & Fire that B*tch: Quiet Your Inner Critic & Finally Believe You’re GOOD ENOUGH. She’s a speaker who helps high – performing women lead with soul and scale their businesses with ease and authenticity. As an Iraqi War veteran recovering from trauma and self – doubt, Stacy has taken what she’s learned and distilled it down in a powerful toolkit that is simple and actionable. Stacy has helped hundreds of women ignite their souls and allow their light to shine by releasing stories and doubts that slow their success. In working with Stacy, they fully embrace their power and finally find the success they truly desire. In this episode, we talk about how trauma and recovering from trauma fuel success, along with disrupting the saboteur, breaking free of learned stories. We discuss how we all wear a mask vs. truly connecting with our authentic selves, and how to let go of those masks, integrate the badass, and take our careers and lives to the next level. 

Don’t reject your feminine energy

Your body wants to heal itself from trauma. Stacy explains how powerful it is to get in a relationship with your body to bring massive transformation. Feminine energy is expressed when we are in our bodies, and masculine energy is when we’re in our heads. We have to achieve balance and lead with our souls. Since women associate feminine energy with powerlessness and being victimized, we are wrongly programmed to reject feminine energy when we experience trauma. 

You need more soul

Being the Soulful Success Coach is at the core of what Stacy does in her work with alpha, high – achieving women. She teaches that having more strategy is not the answer, but having more soul allows a woman to get in touch with herself. A strategy that comes from chasing the external stuff will fall into place as you align yourself and bring yourself as whole to your business.

Trauma issues

For Stacy, her relationship with her husband has been the best teacher about trauma. She has realized how our subconscious operating system attracts partners who trigger our deepest issues in our relationship with our parents. Stacy’s husband has helped her through her issues with her father, and another gift in her relationship is that her husband is a perfect mirror reflection of herself. Unfortunately, people who grow up with trauma tend to be the worst aggressors, which is a safety mechanism. She explains that her safety default was to be the asshole who was verbally abusive to people before they could hurt her. As her body responded to her mindset, she encountered frustrating physical symptoms. Stacy knew that she had to focus on improving both her emotional and physical health.

Sensitivity is a superpower

As Stacy sought to self – medicate, she realized her desire to control everything was causing great internal chaos. She had no tools and techniques to handle what she was feeling. In contrast, now she teaches clients that their sensitivity can be their superpower if they only learn to transform their relationship with it. Part of going through trauma is receiving the tremendous gift of sensitivity.

Deciding to write a book

As her body suffered to the point that she couldn’t walk without a cane, Stacy threw in the towel and made a major reset. She lost 100 lbs. and got off all her medications. She transformed her health and allowed her entrepreneurial spirit to take over. She then had to face all the questions that come with limiting beliefs about her worth and her role. Stacy says that many women build their businesses backward because they show up in scarcity mode, only thinking about how they can make money. All of these experiences led Stacy to write her book as the universe divinely paved the path of her transformational journey. Stacy teamed up with a writing mentor to structure her book with a framework of safety, and the entire process took only five months from start to finish. 

Learning to let go

Stacy learned that people give their opinions and input about you based on their own story, programming, and paradigms. She had to get clear on boundaries as she stepped into the limelight and became a public figure. Her goals in writing her book were to share her truth in profound ways that she had never done before. The writing process turned out to be healing and cathartic for her, whether or not anyone else ever reads the book.

Sharing her story

Stacy values transparency in being able to share her story. She recognizes that her story is unique to her, but many others struggle with trauma and share similar experiences. For her not to step up and share her story would give too much power to the trauma. Her focus is on sharing her story and using it for good. In doing so, she gives voice to those who aren’t yet giving voice to their stories. Her openness helps those who are still caught in the toxic struggle and are hiding behind their masks, trapped by fear and rejection. 

Break the cycle

To overcome the trap of fear and rejection, we have to build a relationship with ourselves. Our businesses can’t be successful if we still have this internal conflict going on. We have to embrace our identity as whole, even the ugly, dark shadows. Then we can love, embrace, and feel all the emotions of who we are. We’ve mistakenly been taught that we have to prove our worth through suffering and struggle, but we can identify as whole, break the paradigm, and rewrite our story.

The Sass Evolution

A big focus for Stacy moving forward is to take the principles she has learned and use them to help people take their businesses to the next level. As the Biker Business Coach, Stacy knows that finding your inner rebel can be the integration piece. She’s busy creating tools to help people embrace their alpha female energy and leave good girl mode behind. 

Highlights of this episode:

  • 20:10 – Healing and transformation for trauma survivors
  • 27:11 – Becoming an author and a successful business strategist
  • 32:37 – Stretching and growing
  • 36:04 – The physical manifestation of the emotional burden
  • 38:58 – How Stacy’s book came to be
  • 44:25 – The structure of Stacy’s book
  • 46:22 – Learning to let go
  • 50:23 – Stacey’s quirkiness in sharing her story
  • 56:45 – Overcoming fear and rejection
  • 58:43 – The Sass Evolution
  • 1:01:12 – Fem Five

Resources mentioned:

The Fem Five: 

1. Favorite book to recommend for women?

  • “My book, Be a Boss & Fire that B*tch: Quiet Your Inner Critic & Finally Believe You’re GOOD ENOUGH.â€

2. Favorite self-care hack?

  • Meditation first thing every morning.

3. Best piece of advice and who gave it to you?

  • “I’m not exactly sure who told me that the only thing limiting me is my mind.â€

4. Female CEO or thought leader you’re into right now?

5. One piece of advice you’d give your five years younger self?

  • “It’s only as hard as you make it.â€

Last Time on The NextFem Podcast

How to Be Great Partner and Co-Founder – with Julie Weber

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The post Let Go of Your Masks to Connect Authentically – with Stacy Raske appeared first on NextFem.

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