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Adventures in Branding

The Adventures in Branding podcast is here to inspire you to find your brand magic. From business brand to personal brand, these Clusters of Awesomeness will talk you through about the good, the bad, and the ugly of being a human. Get ready to make the impact you were born to rock. Follow me, Melanie Spring, and my collection of hardcore co-hosts around the world as we share our experiences on the road of branding. The twists, the turns & everything in between - building businesses and living the adventures. This is the podcast for kickass humans who crave change, push limits, and light fires. Melanie is your Chief Inspiration Officer & it’s her job to spark the magic.
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Dec 13, 2017

Holly Gerberich is one of us.

She’s a Kickass Human who is ROCKING her brand, taking names, and leading a kickass life.

As the head of strategic marketing at Gerberich Growth Strategies, Holly is focused on helping businesses grow and creating tailor-made strategies to get them to the next level. A DCer of over 15 years, she connected marketing and growth before big brands like Coca-Cola even realized they were related.

In this week’s podcast episode, Holly Gerberich lets us in on working with crazy human beings who feel things, taking a step back to see where you are, and the importance of having business goals. Holly drops some truthbombs for business owners who are trying to grow and goes through how marketing can light a business on fire- or make it fizzle.

Listen in to find out the secret of Holly’s master growth strategy superpower, how she brainstorms crazy into tangible in her business, and where her ideas come to her. Also, Holly and I dig deep into how the universe can take charge - bring you to places that you never thought you would end up, and sometimes name your dog FOR you. Ernie and Bailey - thank you, Universe.

If you want to know how NINE dogs, meditation, and TEN Oscars events have changed Holly’s life, you’ve got to listen in. HINT: It’s the plot of a Seinfeld episode and a life exercise of knowing how to be in front of the right person at the right time.  

You need this wisdom in your week today - your brain and your business will love you for it. Get her wisdom in your ears - HIT PLAY.

Dec 6, 2017

Strother Gaines is full of glitter and wisdom.

He’s the head unicorn of But I’m a Unicorn, Dammit, LLC, an entrepreneurial coaching company helping humans who want to build their next step. When I asked the Kickass Humans Club who should be on the podcast, Sarai Johnson, one of our recent Rock Your Talk-ers put her hand way up and suggested Strother saying “He’s AMAZING!” spoiler: she was right.

Strother is a Kentucky-born triple threat who is keeping busy as an entrepreneur, the artistic director for TBC immersive - a new theater company in DC, and the event director for “Network Under Forty”.

Oh - and one of his drag queen names is Joann Fabrics. (Like, the fabric store… Yeah, I love him.)

In this week’s podcast episode, Strother Gaines lets us in on the phone call from the IRS about his LLC’s name, “But I’m a Unicorn, Dammit, LLC” and how to network without being an asshole (this was fun). His bits about growing up in the rural south, coming into his own, and the glory of Southern Queens are what make Strother such a fabulous human being. He shares HIS story, which helps others share theirs. BRILLIANT!

Ever wonder what the difference is between  jackhammer careers and hummingbird careers? Maybe you’ve wondered how a career trajectory of cross pollination led him from being segway tour guide to entrepreneurial coach? Well, you get all of that and more - right here on the podcast.

My favorite part? Strother brings Joann Fabrics to the podcast - including the family inspiration for her and how he gets himself into character. (HINT: It’s a very specific swear word with southern flair.)

Nov 29, 2017

Jennifer kills it on her FIRST TIME on a podcast.

Jennifer Vallina is a master of saying “sure” and jumping right in. She accidentally started a successful business, One Sock On Photography, from scratch in a brand new industry for her - in the most political city in America. It’s a photography studio that has been featured in the Hirshhorn Museum (her kickass cards were in the gift shop!) and grew from Jennifer’s passion for finding the beautiful essence of everything - especially the overlooked. Her business tagline is “Capturing the beauty of the world overlooked” and Jennifer does that through her lens.


This week, we hear how Jennifer’s life has been changed over and over again by just saying “Sure.” From her drive for accessible art to finding the arts scene in a city known for politicians. We also get to hear about how she found the love of her life at a bonfire on a cold night - right after she had given up on dating FOREVER. Jennifer gives some solid advice about humor in relationships and some rad fruit puns (This is a big deal, says the woman who is awful at being punny.)

We also get the inside scoop about the reason for her brand’s name (hint: it has to do with dressing for the East Coast winter.) Jennifer also shares about losing the job she loved most, her ongoing love of dance, and slowly building a business from nothing. Listen to hear her wisdom on trying to not give away all your secrets (another thing I’m terrible at doing.)

At the end, Jennifer speaks to knowing her brand down to the shade of green and how her business is built on being the photographer who won’t automatically airbrush the bumps and bruises of life.

Nov 22, 2017

Joe Natoli is the UX guy.

He’s done it all - from running a print design firm to jumping on the user interface design platform when the internet was small enough to start with a lowercase “i”. After 26 years of coaching clients and corporations on how to build stuff that humans can intuitively use, he’s written a book to complement his course - which has reached over 55,000 students. Joe also confessed he might move into my living room and never leave.

In this week’s podcast, Joe lets us in on his early adoption of the internet as more than just a “passing fad”, his definition of UX, and how communication is the heart of design. We also get to hear about his growth, riding the Dotcom boom, and how purpose should drive what creatives do. Joe also shares wisdom on how language can encourage listening - and when to pull a “Tom Hanks”. (Yeah, you’ll have to listen to find out.)

Joe found his calling while running a UX design firm. He watched the room light up as he got clarity on why humans get stuck at design roadblocks - including the frustration of an espresso machine.

At the end of the episode, we even get to listen in on his philosophy on the ups-and-downs of life - and the power of seeing value manifest itself. Listen in to get the whole conversation.

Nov 8, 2017

Borzou Azabdaftari is a design genius. He’s transformed his family’s business from an ‘80’s printing place into the modern marketing agency - The Falcon Lab, It’s a creative and digital print agency with the motto of “Make cool sh!t”.

This week, we dive into his recent lab move, how the “Make cool sh!t” tagline grew on him, and how his spouse uses crazy competition to drive ambition. We also get to hear about the new location, how he updated his family business, learned how to run a business from scratch , and what he would tell his 18-year-old self. Also, why he got married over Thanksgiving weekend.

Because of his recent office move, we even get the inside scoop from Borzou as he passes on some straightforward advice about construction projects, contracts, and leases. He learned a lot over the course of moving The Falcon Lab to its new home near Tyson’s Corner, fortunately for you..

At the end of the episode, we even get to listen in on his philosophy on how to live - AND figuring out how to find what you love. Because the secret is there are no secrets.

Oct 25, 2017

“I have a newfound passion for curiosity.” - KiKi L’Italien

KiKi L’Italian is a powerhouse. If you couldn’t tell by her amazing presence and bold lipstick, then you’d definitely understand who she is when she calls herself the “Oprah of the Association industry”  and the curator of the curious. KiKi is CEO of the digital marketing agency, Amplified Growth, and founder/owner of Association Chat, which is a community for association members.  

This week, we discuss how she turned her hobby into a business, why weird is better, and reframing what generosity means. We also talk about the tactics KiKi used to exercise her curiosity and you get to hear her seriously gush about her daughter, Margot, at the end.

We even find KiKi’s personal brand during this episode - and in case you didn’t already know: KiKi is larger than life. She loves music, is a runner, likes to cook, is curious, generous, and a very thoughtful human.

 

Oct 11, 2017

“When you get out of your comfort zone, that’s when great things happen.” - Ati Williams

There are so many great things I could say about my dear friend, Ati. The last time I saw her, she had just shown us The Poopy Dance in front of a live audience on the Rock Your Talk stage, which is absolutely as impactful as it sounds (scroll down for a piece of the action.) Ati is a mother and entrepreneur. She attributes a lot of the innovative solutions she has used to build her real estate company, DC HomeBuzz, with her Kenyan upbringing.

In this episode, we discuss rocking your personal brand, what motherhood has taught Ati about being a leader, and how to properly answer the dreaded: “So tell me about yourself.”

THEN, the tables turn and Ati surprises me with a few questions. Listen to this episode of Adventures in Branding to find out how I found my personal brand, what are some of hiring tactics, and what really happened in Bali.

Sep 27, 2017

Meet my neighbor, Michelle Lim Warner. Michelle owns DCanter Wine Boutique on Barracks Row here in DC with her husband. Together they are creating a powerhouse in the wine lifestyle market.

We hadn’t seen each other in awhile so it was great to do some catchup here on the podcast. She and her business have been undergoing some serious growth! Michelle has been branding her business like a branding pro - so much so that all of her new hires are so excited about the culture they have created together at DCanter - and the crazy part?! They were all customers FIRST!

This week, we talk about growing your team, using your growing team’s talent to help catapult your business, manifesting a work/life balance, and the commitment it takes to own a business with your spouse. First tip: take walking meetings! Listen in to find out why.

Sep 13, 2017

“I stopped waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel and lit that bitch on fire.”

 

It’s my birthday today and I have to admit that I am enjoying the heck out of getting older. One year ago today I was preparing for a year of change. I was working out how to end a relationship, blow up my business, and unbeknownst to me, getting ready to dig deep into why I’m on this earth.

 In celebration of this last year of blowing things up, here’s my birthday wish for you: I want YOU to light a huge blaze. I want you to make a decision to SHOW UP every day - beginning today.

 My birthday wish is for you - the person who feels lost and empty, the human struggling to find out who you really are, the one who’s really trying to show up and show off. It’s time to light that shit on fire. My wish for you is to start showing up and showing off.

So, what are you waiting for? All it takes is one decision and one step.

Aug 30, 2017

“I want to build relationships and foster community - and I want to use stories to do that.” - Stuart Jones

This week, I’m talking to my good friend Stuart - a people person, videographer and photographer from Raleigh, North Carolina, and the current producer of this podcast. In this episode, we take some interesting turns - creating your own opportunities, being unconventional in the way we apply for jobs (and the way we post for them too) #noresumes, roadtrips to see Rob Bell, and the importance of sharing your story.

Aug 23, 2017

Each of us has a story. A lot of us just think that our story is insignificant. I’m here to let you know you couldn’t be more wrong. Whether you’ve been through the big things or the small things, it doesn’t matter. Someone else has gone through them as well. And some of us are going through them. And some things are still yet to come for some us. But you would never know who needed to hear exactly what you have to say until you say it.

 

It’s no secret - I’m a BIG fan of stories. I love sharing them and I love receiving them even more. The last couple of weeks have been amazing with 6 sets of women on HERadventures. Storytelling is one of the biggest drivers for why I do a lot of what I do, and the biggest inspiration for Rock Your Talk.

 

I can think of fewer things in life than helping someone organize their story and helping them get the hint of courage they need to be able to get on stage and tell it to the world! In honor of stories, being back to Adventures in Branding, and the launch of the second Rock Your Talk, I made a whole episode all about stories and the impact your story can have on someone else.

 

Aug 16, 2017

“The oral storytelling of our family is very rich.” - Louise

The bond between a mother and a daughter is a powerful bond. Especially in a big family filled with men.

In our final episode of this HERadventures series, Mary & I got a chance to sit in Baltimore with powerful mother-daughter duo, Louise and Paula. Louise is a mother of five children, is an attorney mediator, and the co-author of Being Relational: The Seven Ways to Quality Interaction and Lasting Change with her husband, William Senft. Her daughter, Paula grew up listening to her grandma sharing stories and is currently Associate Director of Admission at Friends School of Baltimore.

The stories of how the previous generations have influenced both women is astounding. Growing up in a sea of men has brought Louise and Paula closer - and allowed them to create a girl-gang within their own family - and made them stronger women together. It’s beautiful to listen to the emphasis they place on making sure their grandparents’ stories make it to the next generation and the work they do to keep their family’s history alive. Listen in to get inspired to start collecting your own family’s stories.

Aug 9, 2017

“Just do something every day.” - Caprece

How many of us have had friendships lasting more than 30 years?! Goodness, I hope to find that kind of bond. Hanging at Mary’s studio in Baltimore,  Mary & I chatted with two icons of Baltimore’s artists scene: Caprece & Sehar.

Upon meeting, I told Caprece I wanted hair like hers - I had to stop her from taking it off and giving it to me. These women were creative forces and were wearing it - literally. Caprece shares stories of her world travels, ambitions for her family, and how she keeps herself motivated. Sehar is a designer who has been molding and creating textiles for years as founder of Urban Masala, a globally-inspired wearable art company, and is finally learning the value of taking care of herself.

Not only have these women seen each other grow and develop over 30 years of friendship, they still find ways to encourage each other to continue creating. They also make it a point to curate a thriving scene for other artists in their community and share a beautiful view of the future. Listen in to shut the door on fear & soar.

Aug 2, 2017

“We are natural born leaders.” - Felicia

I love Baltimore - it’s a city with grit, fierce determination, and a history of diversity. Just 45 minutes away from DC, it has its own character - including incredible women with the same grit and determination. Mary & I wandered the Great Blacks in Wax Museum and snapped photos in Graffiti Alley before meeting at her natural light studio in an old factory building near Druid Hill Park.

Much like Baltimore, the women we met had the same grit & determination. Our first set of women were two entrepreneurs and long-standing friends, Sarita and Felicia - what a way to kick off the conversations in this incredible city. Sarita is a owner of SparTea, a day spa for girls in Townsend, MD, mother of four, and breast cancer survivor. Felicia is a people-builder, public speaker, and entrepreneur coach.

Sarita and Felicia lift each other up both as mothers, women, and entrepreneurs. Both lost their mothers at young ages, and although that gave them a significant bond, we learned how Felicia pulled strength from Sarita’s battle with breast cancer and how they both became better women through the fight. Listen in for the laughter, tears, and love.

Jul 26, 2017

Thank you is a powerful word.” - Maritza Lizama

Raise your hand if you have a friend because you’re from the same area of the world. Isn’t it amazing how we can bond because we understand each other’s culture and speak the same language - figuratively and literally? Similar backgrounds can give us a deeper understanding of another person while also learning more about ourselves.

Mary & I sat down in DC to chat with my dear friend, Maritza Lizama and her unstoppable friend, Pamela Nieto, to talk all things gratitude, relationships, and... retro phone bills?!

Maritza and Pam met five years ago as industry colleagues and quickly gravitated toward friendship. They found their similarities extended beyond similar cultural background and industry peers. Their drive, determination, and spirituality bonded these two in a way that makes you want to hug their faces. Maritza and Pam are the epitome of what it means to build your tribe. These women lean on each other, support each other professionally and personally, and even make time to get some serious booty-shaking in between their busy lives.

Listen in and get reaquainted with the power of gratitude, mentorship, and the love and strength of our mothers.

Jul 19, 2017

“You know how in your life you have two special people?

Yeah, my sister is like number one.” - Natalie Poitevien

Sisters go one of two ways - they’re either SUPER close or not at all. There’s not usually a middle ground. Generations of my family’s sisters have shown me that, including my own. When my previous trainer, Natalie, said she was going to bring her sister on HERadventures, I was SO excited to hear about the closeness of the two of them. And it’s WAY more close than I expected.

Natalie and Shaneya didn’t choose their bond, but they definitely chose (and choose daily) to embrace it. Even if their significant others end up in second place. These two have each other forever.  

Mary & I chatted with Natalie and Shaneya in Washington, DC about their unconventional family tree, growing up in Brooklyn, and their hopes for the future. Natalie is a fitness coach and Shaneya is a senior stylist. This episode of HERadventures includes many laughs and a reminder that real sisters host “ugly face” competitions.

Jul 12, 2017

“Stand in the light that’s shining on me and through me” - Kimberly Y. Moore

Not many of us get to manifest the human we’d like to work with only to have that person show up within 24 hours, but that’s the story of how Kimberly met me (Melanie). In the first episode of this season's HERadventures, you get to sit with me & Mary  in Washington, DC as we get to know Kimberly Y. Moore.

We learn of the woman behind Go Together, a community building platform that matches carpooling services for students, and the adventure her life has been. It all begins with the fierce determination of a nine-year-old who changed her birth name. Then we learn about using a fashion show as a weapon against segregation along with finding the strength necessary to accept opportunities as they arrive - even in the form of jobs we are overqualified for.

Kimberly’s journey has been one of growth, inspiration, and developing routines that remind herself she’s enough - and goodness, don’t we all need that?!

 

Apr 19, 2017

How positivity, faith, and a little bit of sassiness can turn any situation around.

“I’m not everybody’s cup of tea, but I’m somebody’s double vodka.” – Wilma Jones

How often do we walk through life “dulling our shine” because we’re worried we’re too big of a personality? That we’re too loud or use too many swear words? How often do people tell us that we need to do less, be less, say less? Well you’ve heard me say it again and again: you are beautiful, you are loved, you are enough.

You are not too much.

When Wilma Jones walked into HQ, I knew she was a special person – she’s living her personal brand like nobody’s business. A mutual friend introduced us (Maritza Lizama, who will soon be coming to your ears in the next installment HERadventures) and man, am I glad she did. This woman is such a funny, positive force of energy and I can’t wait to sit down with her again.

Wilma is not too much.

As you’ll hear in her own words, Wilma is a big proponent of “positive psychology” and that above all, positivity breeds positivity. She calls it a “virtuous cycle” – a phrase I’m TOTALLY using from now on. (Another term of hers that I love: “celestial bootcamp”, which you’ll hear about later in the episode.)

Wilma shared her incredible story with me – how she went from feeling stuck and miserable in her marriage to being an empowered single mother and author. We bond over a mutual search for positivity and self-improvement, and she shared with me the secret to her success: being happy and grateful for where you are.

I can’t wait for you to hear this episode – I had so much fun recording it and can’t wait to have her on the podcast again. Grab yourself a cup of tea (or double vodka) and get ready to be inspired!

Apr 12, 2017

Honoring the differences and embracing the value in creative tastes.

What do you do if you’re stuck in a job that you love? You like your coworkers, you do meaningful, important work, and you’re really good at what you do. But you just feel… stuck.

That’s exactly where Monica Kang, Founder & CEO of InnovatorsBox®, found herself about a year ago. She was pursuing an crazy-badass career, and she truly loved her job, but she felt like she had massive creative energy that wasn’t being expressed or put to use.

Her situation isn’t unusual — as you’ll hear her share in the episode, a recent study found that 87% of professionals worldwide are feeling “stuck” and lacking a creative outlet in their jobs. What?! Why is that such a high number?

It could have a little something to do with negative ideas surrounding “creative” or “creativity”. A lot of people think of it as a “fluffy” word that is somehow inferior or not characteristic of a “serious career”. Monica explains that simply isn’t true. Creativity isn’t just glitter and sparkles. Creativity can be expressed in all types of activities and pursuits. From painting to your morning jog, you use creative abilities in many areas of your life.

Monica started InnovatorsBox® as a way to combat these negative stereotypes of creativity. Through her awesome workshops, she helps others discover their own tastes, abilities, and most importantly, differences in creativity – and how to manifest all of these in their professional and personal spheres.

I hope you enjoy listening to this conversation as much as I enjoyed having it – Monica is a kickass human, filled with loveliness and sunshine. She also happens to be crazy smart and inspiring. She’s my type of people -- she even referenced one of my favorite quotes by Jim Rohn: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” I want her to be one of my five!

Apr 5, 2017

You can’t do epic shit when you’re sitting in a comfortable space.

"All good things are wild and free."

I saw that on a billboard on my way to the tattoo artist in Bali. I hadn’t been sure what to get on my arm, but I was literally given a sign that this should be the phrase. Not only did Bali shake up my physical self – #alltheyoga – it shook up my mindset. I came back from my trip feeling invigorated, fresh and ready for a big, big change. Shortly after I got home, my friend Kris made me realize something:

For someone who always says “there is no box”, I’ve been living a pretty comfortable, boxed-in life.

I love my job. I love my house. I love my dog (most of the time – he is a monster, after all). I have the best team and the best clients. I’m generally really happy with my life. And it’s exactly this “comfort” that’s put me in a box.

Last year during the podcast’s “Finding” series, Rebecca and I talked about “Finding Uncomfortable”. How you can’t experience growth or development when you aren’t pushing any limits or testing boundaries. Being comfortable is dangerous – we run the risk of staying stuck in one place because we’re afraid to upset the balance.

But what if we stopped being afraid?

What if we busted out of our comfort zones and pushed ourselves to do the extreme? How would our lives be different? How would they be BETTER? Don’t you want to do something crazy? Be wild and free? This is what I took from Bali: All good things are wild and free. Instead of putting up random limitations on my own happiness, I’m taking chances, exploring outside my comfort zone, and getting out of the box.

I’ve flirted with the idea of being “bicoastal” for a while, and I decided that 2017 is my year to make it happen. I’m going to live for half the year in DC, rocking it with my team face-to-face, and for the other 6 months, I'll put my place up on Airbnb and live in California. It’s been my dream and now I’m actually going to do it. Wild and free.

This week I challenge you to free yourself from whatever box you may be living in. It doesn’t have to be a big change – it can be something as tiny as giving yourself permission to dream. And dream bigger! It’s scary and nerve-wracking… but that’s also a sign it’s worth your time.

However you choose to define it: be wild and free.

Mar 22, 2017

Let go and come back to your heart-space.

One day last week, I really needed a hug.

Nothing seemed to go right. Even tiny things felt like giant, annoying frustrations. Punching a wall was looking better and better. But suddenly I realized – I needed a hug. So I asked for one.

Luckily, I work with the best humans, so Gisell and Cheney were on hand for a warm-and-fuzzy group hug. We all went back to our workspaces feeling just a little bit better about life, and it all came from the power of human contact. A simple human touch made all the difference in the world. I just needed to ask for it.

Later that day, I got to talk to my friend Chris about what had been going on. He told me to come home – to get out of my own head. Of course I was having a crappy day – I was painfully homesick for my heart-space and wasn’t asking for the thing(s) I needed to get me home.

So many of us don’t take the time to examine what we need on a daily basis. We get caught up in the anxieties of the day, whether it’s running a business, raising a family, or picking out matching socks (everything is relative). We forget that we’re human beings, not human doings. Going up to Brainland is necessary and helpful, but sometimes we forget to come home to our hearts. Human beings live in their hearts, not their heads, so when we forget about the “be’s” and focus on the “do’s” we’re bound to get a little out of sorts.

The trick is to identify what we need to get home and ask for it.

What I needed was a simple human touch, so I asked for it. Maybe you need some time with your favorite book or a mug of your favorite tea. If you need space from someone else, ask for 30 minutes of ‘me-time’. Ask for what you need, even if it comes from no one but yourself. Give yourself permission to come home.

I’m in Bali doing exactly that – coming home to my heart. Giving myself the time and space to heal. My team is helping me take of everything while I’m gone – all I had to do was ask them. It’s scary to give up total control, to ask for help, but I promise you, you’ll feel amazing when you do. Come home, and when you do, send me a love note telling me how you got there.

Rock your week, super-lovely humans!

Mar 15, 2017

What the world needs now is love (sweet love).

I had every intention of recording a very different podcast episode this week, focusing on Rock Your Talk (now rescheduled for June 15th). But when I pressed record, I couldn’t help but talk about the state of affairs between humans.

Whether we admit it or not, none of us likes to be “wrong”. Wanting to be right, wanting to be the best is a part of the human genetic code. It’s harmless when we’re debating pop-culture facts or the answer to a math problem. But when we start applying the words “good”, “bad”, “right”, or “wrong” to race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, that’s when we need to take a step back and look inside ourselves. 

What’s going on in our hearts that makes us want to take someone else’s down a peg?

Recently it feels as if everyone is against everyone else. Fear and hatred keep seeping into the conversation like a poisonous slime. But it doesn’t need to be that way. I’ve found that there’s tremendous power in holding each other. Physically, in an embrace, but also holding space for someone and filling it with love. Instead of asserting your “rightness”, hold out your hand and leave yourself open to the beautiful colors, faiths, and personalities of the world. If we extend our arms and start manifesting that love together, we’ll all be better for it.


I think somebody needs a hug. And that somebody is US.

Mar 8, 2017

Break up your story into bite-sized pieces.

All stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. But sometimes, when we tell them, we skip around, play with the timeline, or leave a few background characters out. When you share your story, you don’t need to make it a captain’s log of your life. You don’t need to tell people when you ate breakfast or how much butter you used on your toast.

Share your story, not your inventory.

To get the most out of telling your story, focus on the pivotal points. The supernovas. The lightbulb moments. Last week, I chatted with a client, Marshe’, who told me her story. Together we crafted a talk based on one particular pivotal moment in her life and focused on how that moment shaped everything that came after.

People need to hear your story. The whole story, but not every little detail. This week, I discuss the key points in our lives and how they make the most impact when we share our stories with others.

What’s your pivotal moment?

Mar 1, 2017

Anything that could possibly be happening right now is happening. And it feels. Like. Shit.

I woke up Sunday morning with a huge weight on my heart. I had a friend say something to me that stung, even though I know she meant nothing by it. I needed to work through it… so I did it on the podcast. Yep - I worked through my own muck, my own expectations, my own pressure on a public podcast for all the internet to hear. And now you get to listen and/or watch me find the truth on the other side of it all. Here’s what I discovered:

We’re all on a journey. We all have our own journeys and our own spaces that we’ve been given. Unlike disgruntled people in a crowded airport, though, we’re all here to help each other. So, let’s not compare our journeys. Let's blend our itineraries and shoulder the burden of our baggage together.

I recently received the book Rebirth from a close friend. In it was a conversation about why suffering is allowed. Why pain has a purpose. The book said that we may be asking the wrong question of ‘why’. Why has this negative thing happened to us? But maybe instead we should ask the question ‘Now what?’

I’m here to tell you that you’re right where you’re supposed to be. You don’t have to do this life on your own. Your journey is not about you. My journey is yours. Your journey is mine. I’m walking with you. When you stand, I stand with you. This pain isn’t yours to suffer alone, and it doesn’t matter why it’s present.

So, now what?

Feb 15, 2017

The lovely people behind the scenes typically don’t get enough thanks. This week we have Tony Porreco, our podcast producer on the show - and after the Crew saying “sorry, Tony” over and over, it was time to bring him in for an interview. All you kickass humans now get the chance to hear his voice!

Although he was just as nervous as I was about starting the Adventures in Branding podcast, we realized how much we needed each other to produce the deliciousness you hear every week. And thanks to Tony, he always makes everything sound way better on the podcast and I never have to worry about how I record it, much to his chagrin. His production skills are on point. 
 
Music is how Tony got started in podcast production. He used his guitar skills to put together the Adventures in Branding intro. He took my direction as “Approachable Badass” and created music that captures exactly that brand. Tony ended up bringing his guitar the day we recorded this to record the chorus of a Robbie Williams song. More on that soon.
 
Most people only dream about jumping off the cliff of entrepreneurship. If you’ve listened to this podcast long enough, you know I was pushed off the cliff 8 years ago. Tony recently got fired after 6 years from a job he hated. And he’s taking it as HIS push off the cliff in order to figure out what he wanted to do next. Now he’s thinking of himself as a brand. Listen in to find out how he describes his own brand. He’s even in a band that sounds like Deathcab with a Farmer’s Tan.  
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