Hello my friends, today my guest is Nathalie Molina Niño. Never having met before, I was interested to interview Nathalie because she has some very different perspectives and experience in life from me. She’s Latina, originally from Ecuador in South America, who came to the United States. She was raised here, learned english perfectly, spent time as the family’s interpreter in some ways, and describes in this interview the experience of feeling like she didn’t belong here, but reframes an experience that is so common and so disempowering one where she feels she belongs…everywhere.
Today Nathalie is an impact investor, focused on making a catalytic impact on women in the world. Nathalie’s book, Leapfrog: The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs, is a book that she wrote following her own advice. I think especially if you are interested in entrepreneurship, that you’ll find something valuable in this interview and my invitation is to listen to see what’s probably a different perspective from one that you’ve had before, or at least from many, many of my guests so far.
00:04:27 – What’s life about?
00:13:46 – Why did you write this book?
00:21:21 – What does Leapfrog mean to you?
00:30:25 – Co-authors and Ghostwriters.
01:20:40 – Lightning round.
01:43:04 – How to connect with Nathalie.
01:44:00 – Writing advice.
Leapfrog: The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs
Eat A Little Better: Great Flavor, Good Health, Better World – by Sam Kass
The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life – by Twyla Tharp
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It – by Michael E. Gerber
Nathalie Molina Niño on LinkedIn
Bryan: 00:00:00 A question asked, courageously answered honestly, and lived authentically can change your whole life. For me, that question was, how can I use what I have, what I love and what I know to bless the lives of others? This school for good living and this podcast are one answer to that question. Hi, I’m Brian Miller. I know that the world can work for everyone, but that it won’t until it works for you. I’ve created this to help you make the difference you were born to make. It’s a series of conversations with thought leaders who are moving humanity forward and in each episode I explore their lives and the work they do. I also ask them to break down how they’ve gotten their books written, published, and read. This podcast is all about exploring the magic and mystery and sometimes the misery of the creative process. So if you have a mission, a message, and a motivation to share it, this podcast is for you.
Bryan: 00:00:50 Welcome to The School For Good Living. Hello, my friends today, my guest is Nathalie Molina Nino. You ever meet somebody who has a totally different perspective on life and spent enough time with them to have some of that make a difference for you? You know, I spent, I don’t know, close to two hours talking to Nathalie and she was one of those people from me. We were introduced through a common friend, we’d never met before, but I was interested to interview Nathalie because she has some very different perspectives and experience in life from me. She’s Latina, originally from Ecuador in South America. Who came to the United States, raised here, learned english, perfectly, spent time as the families, um, kind of interpreter in some ways and describes in this interview the experience of feeling like she didn’t belong here, which is a common experience that many of my guests have shared, but decided that she belongs everywhere. And I love the way that she just reframes, you know, an experience that is so common and so disempowering. Today, Nathalie is an impact investor, focused on making a catalytic impact on women in the world. A technologist and coder by training. She’s a consummate entrepreneur and a storyteller at heart. Passionate about telling the often untold stories of women change makers. So Nathalie’s book Leapfrog, The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs is a book that she wrote following her own advice. I love this advice. She says, don’t follow your passion. These cheesy cliches that come through in Instagram feed that in reality are horrible advice for so many entrepreneurs, especially entrepreneurs that don’t have health insurance or who maybe are women or of color or other things that in some real ways are disadvantages in our society not having access to capital. So her advice is not follow your bliss, it’s to start a business based on something that pisses you off, something that makes you angry, something you want to change and that is exactly what she’s done. Becoming an impact investor, targeting high businesses that economically benefit women. She cofounded the Center for Women Entrepreneurs at Columbia University, inside Barnard college. She says that so many of the things that are written about in business books or the popular business media in reality don’t apply to many entrepreneurs, especially women and people of color. She today is the CEO and founder of Brava Investments. She’s a serial entrepreneur having launched her first tech startup at age 20. She now resides in New York city and has been featured on the Forbes 40 over 40 in this conversation, as with pretty much all of my conversations, we also explore her creative process, her writing process and why she has pursued a vastly different array of things in her life and how they all weave together, which is interesting. Reminds me of that saying that life can only be made sense of looking backwards and maybe these things aren’t so different after all. So I think especially if you are interested in entrepreneurship, that you’ll find something valuable in this interview and my invitation is to listen to see what’s probably a different perspective from one that you’ve had before or at least from many, many of my guests. So with that, please enjoy this conversation with Nathalie Molina Nino. Nathalie, welcome to The School For Good Living.
Nathalie: 00:04:23 Thank you. I have to say I only heard about it recently, but I’m excited to be here.
Bryan: 00:04:27 Yes. Natalie, tell me what’s life about?
Nathalie: 00:04:31 Period. That’s the end of your question.
Bryan: 00:04:34 Let’s just start there.
Nathalie: 00:04:34 Wow, that’s big. Uh, you know what I think life is about, I think life is about leaving this place a little bit better than we found it.
Bryan: 00:04:49 Beautiful. It’s like a, who’s that? Sounds like a boy scout. Is that, is there somebody, there’s a nature group that says that.
Nathalie: 00:04:55 When you leave no trace.
Bryan: 00:04:58 Yea. Take only photographs. Leave only footprints. Take only photos.
Nathalie: 00:05:01 Oh really? That’s funny. I don’t think I had heard that before. Yeah. Um, yeah. No, I think we have to leave. Leave our mark, but done in hopefully a way that’s incrementally better.
Bryan: 00:05:11 Yeah. Well, I was going to jump to this later, but we’re right here. Um, you talk about a question that Melissa Silverstein, founder of Women in Hollywood likes to ask. What cave paintings will survive us and tell the world what we cared about and what we fought for. How do you like to answer this question?
Nathalie: 00:05:30 You know, I think that when it comes to those cave paintings, I want to know, I often say this, when people ask me what sort of work I do, or even what sort of investing I do, I say outcomes over objects. I think we spend too much time on objects and we don’t focus enough on outcomes. But I will say this, that when it comes to this idea of what cave paintings are we leaving behind for people to remember us, I think that it’s more than just outcomes, right? I think there has to be left with the future generations traces of how hard fought the progress was, right? Traces and even blueprints of how to build movements of how to create change. Because I think that the mistake that we’ve made in the past is that in focusing too much on the end result, right? We’re now left without some of the tools, right? And so when things, when we see progress regressing, when we see, you know, so much forward movements or it to feel like backwards movement, it would be amazing to have more of those blueprints. Right? And I’m talking about more than just MLK and Gandhi, right? There are so many people, especially women, especially women of color who are a part of these movements who made forward movement possible and whose stories and, and more than just story stories, they’re tactics, they’re tools. All of the things that we desperately need now, right. Have been erased. And I think that to me, the cave paintings have to include not just legacy progress, but also really clear insight into how it was done.
Bryan: 00:07:33 Yeah. Well, you do a lot of different work, right? Will you do many different things over the years? You’ve done many things. Um, when somebody asks who you are and what you do, or maybe somebody introduces you before a speech, you give or something, how do you like to answer that question? Who are you and what do you do?
Nathalie: 00:07:56 I settled on, it changes, not surprisingly, but I’ve really settled on this idea of being a force for a catalytic change for women because I think that I love the idea of a catalyst. I love the idea of being that little ember that sets other fires off. Right? Um, there is a tradition in my culture. I am, um, native American from South America, from the Andes, and I actually learned about it later in life. And I think that a lot of the Native American cultures have the same mythology, right? Which is this idea of, I think in North America, maybe it’s the eagle iconography in Latin America, in South America. It’s the condor, right? And the condor generational, which happens to be my age group. Um, we’re the group that took flight and that tend to speak a lot of languages and have lived in a bunch of countries. And it’s funny because I learned about all this after I had learned a bunch of languages and lived in a bunch of countries.
Bryan: 00:09:04 Um, hey, that’s me. It’s like the prophecy fulfilled.
Nathalie: 00:09:07 It’s funny. Yeah. Somebody was like, of course you’re such a condor. And I was like, what does that mean? And they kind of explained this mythology and it ties to that thing that we all remember right when people thought it was the mythology was the end of time. It’s, what was it? Like 2012, right? Yeah. And it was just the end of the calendar and an era. Right? And um, but the condor generation was meant to be the generation that kind of laid the groundwork for what was to come. And so for me, this idea of being a catalyst is something I identify with deeply because if there’s any truth to the idea of our generation being that condor generation, that, you know, generation that took kind of took one for the team in some respects, right? Because as exciting and sexy as it might seem to learn languages and live all over the world, it’s a lonely prospect, right, to do that. Um, and it’s probably pretty aimless if you’re not doing it with something in mind. And for me, it has always been with the idea of being a kind of bridge. Right? And even before I understood that about the culture, right? As a kid, I was the bridge. I was the, the, you know, the perfectly English speaking kid in a family of immigrants who sometimes had to be the one that spoke on behalf of the family or talked to the customer service agent or you know, navigated forms in a language that was foreign to everybody else. But that I understood better. Right? I mean, a lot of the times, immigrant kids, that first generation, you have to be that bridge into the new culture. And so whether I intended for that to be the case or not, I was acting as a catalyst or as a bridge, you know, from that, from the moment I was born, I would say.
Bryan: 00:10:42 So what I’m hearing in what you’re sharing is that although this was a role that to some degree you inherited that it’s also one that you’ve embraced.
Nathalie: 00:10:51 100% I think you have no choice. Sorry. I joke that when, and people fall in these two camps, often I think that when you are multicultural, you can fall under the paradigm of I don’t belong anywhere, right? Because I go, I go, for example, to Ecuador and my Ecuadorian family thinks I’m too quote unquote Americanized. Right? Um, and here I’m everybody’s sort of token Latina friend and so.
Bryan: 00:11:19 Why, why do they say that by the way, when they say you’re too Americanized, what are they looking at when they say.
Nathalie: 00:11:23 There are so many things, so many things. I’m, I’m, I’m too aggressive. I, you know, I spout off feminist diatribes on a regular basis. I make alter boy jokes among the Catholics. I mean, there are many, many things that I do to stand out and not intentionally, right. Um, and, uh, and it’s great that you have the choice of either saying that means I belong nowhere. Right? Or it means, and this is the choice that I made. I belong everywhere. Yeah. I have this cultural sort of agility to be able to fit in all these different places in the same way that I grew up biculturally, you know, that that same muscle is the one that I exercise when I’m suddenly finding myself living in Mumbai or in Yokohama or in Madrid, right. Um, and so I guess to your point about you inherited something and you can decide to sort of, you know, make lemonade out of those lemons. I think that’s part of what this is. It’s like you could either take it in and be victimized by it or you can take it and make it your asset. And in my case, learning how to be a bridge early on, I think is what was ultimately training for me now to be a true catalyst.
Bryan: 00:12:37 No, I can see that. And I think not everyone perceives that there’s even a choice to embrace what you know is been inherited. But this is something I hear a lot about people saying, you know, I feel like an outsider. I feel like I don’t belong. I feel like I haven’t found my tribe, you know, and I’m to the point that I’m starting to wonder if it’s a universal human experience, you know, regardless of culture or geography or time, you know, it seems to be a very common experience.
Nathalie: 00:13:07 It’s an uncomfortable place. But I feel like that’s where change happens, right? I mean, I can’t remember if it was the Einstein quote, but it was about how genius was defined. I’m not going to get the quote right, but the premise was that genius is defined by seeing the same thing that everybody sees, but seeing it differently, right? And I think that that’s what the outsider’s mindset is, right? You’re forced to see things from a different perspective. And I think that that’s where the goodness comes from. That’s where innovation comes from and that’s where progress and change comes from. It’s not comfortable, but it’s sort of what I think is needed, um, to do the sort of big, big work that has to be done right now.
Bryan: 00:13:46 And speaking of that big work that has to be done right now, um, your book Leapfrog, um, I understand is a part of the way that you’re engaging in that work. Right? So the, the complete title Leapfrog the New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs. Tell me, why did you write this book? Who did you write it for and how did you want the world to be different because of it?
Nathalie: 00:14:10 So I mean there are a few different reasons that I would say that. The thing that probably motivated me throughout the whole process was I, like any entrepreneur have consumed every business book out there. Right. And what I realized is that as a woman, as a woman of color, as an immigrant kid, and as frankly part of the, I don’t know, over 90% of American families that don’t have, you know, $5,000 in their bank accounts growing up, right. This idea that is so often doled out or these ideas that are often, you know, pushed out by business media didn’t apply to me. Um, so that chapter about raising your friends and family round, like what? Like who are these friends and family, you know, when you’re growing up in LA among immigrant families for example. Um, there were so many things that I basically just kind of tossed and I got used to reading business books and just become accustomed to the idea that 95% of the content was not for me. And then filtering sort of all of that and finding the thing that did actually apply and finding that nugget and saying, okay, and being satisfied with the idea that 5% of the content being pushed out there maybe was relevant to me and the rest was throw away. Right. And after decades of that, um, it, I think became normalized. And I think that collectively it’s become normalized. And I don’t know, I think that, you know, when I left tech, I left tech after 15 years deep in the world of tech, pretty burnt out. Um deciding I wanted to pay it forward. And I cofounded the Center for Women Entrepreneurs at Columbia University that sits inside of Barnard, the women’s college mainly because I wanted to pay it forward. I wanted to have the next generation of women entrepreneurs to have it a little easier than I had it. And in getting to know their stories and in sort of relating to how that new generation is coming up, I started to see that the same experiences were just being replicated again and again and it was in watching and almost seeing myself in them that it hit me that that’s not okay.
Bryan: 00:16:23 What were some of the experiences that you see or what are they.
Nathalie: 00:16:27 Yeah, you know, obviously lack of access to capital. Um, one of my favorite stories that, I don’t know if I mentioned in the book, but I definitely include her in the book, is Kathryn Minshew from the Muse who went through Combinator and went through an inordinately painful process to raise her first seed round. And one of the many, many stories sort of from that experience was a time when she was in the typical meeting with the 12 angry men, you know, pitching her company and they got to the Q and A part of her pitch and they started to ask her questions and one guy raised his hand and said to the two female founders, have you considered adding a male founder to add some legitimacy to your venture? And it was like not, this is not 20 years ago, this is a couple of years ago. And not only was he fully confident that that was an acceptable question to ask, but not a single one of his colleagues elbowed him and said, dude, what are you just saying? What did you just say? It was just totally fine. And in seeing how normalized that was, you know, she did the only thing that she could do in that situation, which is say, a thank you for your input. Uh, next question, right? Like what are you going to do? You’re not in a position of power there. Um, but she’s thankfully gone out, you know, and publicly talked about these stories. And so I just realized that we had been putting up with the scraps for too long and I wanted to write a book where this business of 5% of it maybe is relevant to you is not the case anymore. Right. And, and then when I started to look at the numbers, when I realized that women were starting more companies than men, that eight out of every 10 of those companies started by women or started by a woman of color, I started to realize, holy shit, like we’re the majority. 95% of books should be relative and you know, relevant to our experience because we actually represent the majority of the innovation and sort of the new entrepreneurial activity in this country. And instead we’re still putting up with the scraps.
Bryan: 00:18:36 Yeah. It’s sounding to me like mainstream media. I mean, if you look at film and television that so much of it is this hetero male, white, you know, kind of, and that’s not surprised.
Nathalie: 00:18:50 Not at all representative who’s buying all the theater tickets, right?
Bryan: 00:18:53 Yeah. There’s, so this is not, um, yeah, it’s not particularly surprising to me, but it is the first time that I’m really becoming aware that Oh hey, that phenomenon is happening in business writing, you know, entrepreneurship discussions as well. But here it is.
Nathalie: 00:19:09 And it’s, it’s pervasive, right? I think about just today I was scrolling through Instagram and I found no fewer than I think three or four of these follow your passion, follow your bliss and everything will magically resolve itself. And women are getting fed these lines, you know, women who are struggling to pay their rent and don’t have health insurance. And it’s like, no, no, do not follow you’re bliss. Start a company that solves a problem. Right. And then you’re more likely to actually have that company succeed. You know, I joke and I’m like, what if your passion is ponies? What are you gonna do to start a company about pony? Like you have children to feed, you have rent a pay, you have a family to support, please throw away the follow your bliss and everything will magically resolve itself. That’s where people with trust funds and the majority of American women do not have that sort of a safety net and we need to be giving them advice. It’s actually relevant to them and things that are real case studies, you know, that don’t hide the origin story that is actually about privilege and safety nets and all sorts of things that are, that are totally fine, but just not representative of the majority’s experience. Right.
Bryan: 00:20:15 Yeah. Well that stat that you just said about, if I understood, eight of every 10 business being started.
Nathalie: 00:20:22 So most businesses in the US are being started by women and eight out of every 10 of those, is started by a woman of color.
Bryan: 00:20:29 I had no idea. That’s amazing.
Nathalie: 00:20:31 And it’s funny because even in the nonprofit sector, right, which, which I often take issue with you here and watch this sort of narrative of like, we’re going to empower these black and brown women and we’re going to teach them to be entrepreneurial and we’re going to give them the tool. And it’s like, well, hang on a second. They’re the single most entrepreneurial people in this country. We need to be taking cues from them. And what we mean to be doing is taking the obstacles out from their way, right? And these business owners, we’re not giving them and these, you know, double standards about how both capital and resources and influence and media and so many things that help a business get up off the ground that they’re not getting access to. What we need to do is sort of just unleash all of these things and just remove obstacles, which is ultimately I think what the book was designed to do. Right?
Bryan: 00:21:21 Yeah. Well, and the title, tell me what does Leapfrog mean to you?
Nathalie: 00:21:26 Is very personal. Even though it’s a term that you know, is deeply entrenched in the tech world. A friend of mine actually recently sent me a transcript from a speech that JFK gave, um, during the race to the moon, right. And about how we need to leapfrog, um, technology and science in order to get to these big, big goals like getting to the moon. And so it’s a, it’s a, you know, not a new term, but the way that I’m using as it is, I’m saying, okay, so in South America, for example, in Ecuador, I remember seeing a farmer who never had a landline in his home, suddenly walk around with two smartphones in his pockets and he was using Whatsapp and he was asking me to pay him on Zoom. I mean just from one generation to the next, less than a generation white from no landline to two smartphones. And I thought that’s what we need, right? When the World Economic Forum says it’s going to take 107 years for women to get to gender parody, we cannot follow the usual path to progress. We have to leapfrog the same way that we aspire for. For example, the developing world to lead frog technology. We need women to leapfrog over and across all of these sort of standard well trodden paths towards progress and multigenerational wealth and all things that take sometimes decades to happen. We have to equip them with the kind of tools that say, you know what? We’re not going to wait 10, 20 years for this to happen. We’re going to see this happen, not just within your lifetime, but you know, within the next five to 10 years. Right. And I think that’s the thing is anybody with power influence in capital got there because they took shortcuts unapologetically. Right. Whether they were conscious of that or they were unconscious for that, they just happen to have been born in the right zip code. Right? Yeah. And I think that there’s no shame in taking shortcuts, right? Everyone who has made any progress has done it. And I think that there’s, um, there’s a, there’s work to be done there, both on the part of we who support people in progressing and in creating sort of just societies. But there’s also work to be done within our own communities of color. So for me, one of the things that I observed is that in naming the book, I wasn’t able to use the word shortcut as much as like I hang my hat on it a lot. And it was because we tested the word and it turns out that the word, uh, tests really poorly around my target audience, which is mainly women, entrepreneurial women and especially women of color. And it turns out that the word that they most equate with the word shortcut was cheating, which was really disappointing to me, right? Because it tells me that we have this collective trauma that we’re so concerned with being mistaken for the affirmative action candidate or the token this or you know, you only got there because of the color of your skin or your last name or whatever else and not being deserving of the things that we fight and work so hard for that we are so adamant about following the rules exactly to the tee. You know, that we don’t want to be accused of skipping steps of cheating and we forget how ubiquitous shortcuts are and how important they are to anyone’s success. And so somehow we’ve gotten these two things, we’ve completed them. Um, and so that’s a really big part of not just the work of the book, but I would say my work in general, which is that we need to unapologetically embrace the shortcut and take a cue from those people who have taken them before us. Right. And I’m not going to malign people with trust funds. I’m going to take note of how they succeeded and make sure that the people who don’t have access to those blueprints get them. Right.
Bryan: 00:25:14 Yeah. And that seems to be exactly what the book is, right? 50 hacks, 50 hacks that you, shortcuts collected from your own experience, decades over decades of being an entrepreneur and then a lifetime of learning and putting them between two covers in, in the way that you, in, in the way that you have. Tell me.
Nathalie: 00:25:36 Telling the story of 63 other people who did it too. Cause I kind of don’t want people to just take my word for it. Right. I want people to see models that they can copy and replicate and be inspired by.
Bryan: 00:25:49 Yeah. And that’s part of, for me what makes the book very readable is that it is both your voice as kind of a narrator that might not be the best term for it, but you’re a guide in the, through the book. And then you’re showing us the examples of, of a wide variety of people who’ve applied, you know, these principles that, that you’re pointing to in the book. Tell me, how did you decide how to structure the book? Like why are they in the order they’re in? How did you decide what to include and what did you leave out that now you wish you’d put in or maybe it was questioned at the time and you decided to leave out.
Nathalie: 00:26:29 Yeah, that last question’s a tough one. Um, so how, I’m going to start with, you said structure, um, sequence sequence. So the structure was actually a moment of genius on the part of my agent. So it’s funny and I want to say if this was maybe 2015 maybe. We, I had been working with an agent who, I am the organizer of TED X Barnard. We have had people like Barbara Corcoran and all sorts of amazing speakers. And she was a book agent in New York City from the Black Agency, which for those people who are creatives, they will recognize the Black Agency because they represented the woman who wrote The Artist’s Way, for example.
Bryan: 00:27:18 Oh Julie Cameron.
Nathalie: 00:27:18 Yes. A book that I love. And also just the business of that book is interesting to me. Right. I don’t know that that book is a household name. Um, but among creatives.
Nathalie: 00:27:28 You’re not in the creative world without knowing that. Right. And that’s what I love. I love it when a book is, it knows its audience. It is perceived as a Bible among that audience. Right. And it may have never made it to the New York Times Bestseller list or it may not made it to be a household name, but among the people for whom it was built, it’s a tone. Right. And, and that’s what I really wanted. And so they understood that sort of long tail of books. And I really wanted that for this book. And, um, so Joy Totele is my agent. And she looked at the, she is the one who encouraged me to even think about writing a book. And she said to me when she finally saw the sort of end result of, you know, much much work with between me and my co writer, she said, you know, the content is fine, structurally though this will be confused with a whole lot of other books that will be perceived as women’s empowerment or you know, just to too similar to a number of things that she had seen sold in that last year that weren’t even on shelves yet. And she said, you’re going to have to differentiate this book. And I think that one way to do that is by structure. And so the folks from 37 Signals had written a book called Rework.
Bryan: 00:28:43 Yes. Jason fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, yup.
Nathalie: 00:28:47 Yeah, yeah. I am an old coder. So that’s, I knew them from like my geek, you know, days. And she mentioned them to me and I was like, I know exactly who they are. And then she mentioned the book and I didn’t know the book. She sends it to me. I remember the day that I opened it up and I was like, this is it. If this is the structure she wants me to use, first of all, I don’t care about structure. As long as the content is there. And, and I’m true, you know, and authentic in what I’m communicating. Structures are irrelevant. And if she says that this is the structure that are, that will sell. I love it. I love it because I’m thinking of my audience being busy working moms who have companies the most demanding thing that you can do all your job, you know, while you, while your mom especially. Um, but it also gives you the flexibility. So many women leave corporate to be entrepreneurs where they’re working twice as hard as they did in the corporate environment, but they’re doing it on their own schedule, on their own terms. And I thought, you know, that woman is going to have a really hard time finding a long stretch of time to read a book. I love the idea that she could read a three page hack or a chapter, right. That it could be done out of order that she could read, you know, from middle to end to back to the beginning. And that’s fine.
Bryan: 00:29:55 And not only read it, but understand it, digest it, apply it.
Nathalie: 00:30:01 Totally. Yeah. And so I, as soon as I saw that book, I was like, this is it. I love this. And if she’s saying that this is going to give her a tool and give, you know, make it easier for her to sell the book even better. So it was really her, you know, and it was me just being open and realizing that what mattered to me is that the content be authentic and I’m totally open to structuring it and shaping it however you know, the marketers think is best.
Bryan: 00:30:25 Yeah. Well this is one thing I’m always curious about with books that have coauthors is how fully do you feel your voice came through in the final product and how, how fully do you feel this book is an expression of your original intention?
Nathalie: 00:30:41 Yeah. First of all, let me just say Sarah Grace’s a genius. Um, she has worked on so many books as a ghostwriter. I imagine, I probably can’t name them because she’s a ghostwriter. She has been. Um, it was important to me that if we were going to be writing a book on this subject matter that my co-writer and collaborator would be named. And at the time she hadn’t ever been named, even though she had worked on, she has an amazing body of work and that was really important to me.
Bryan: 00:31:09 Why was that important to you?
Nathalie: 00:31:11 Because I would feel like a hypocrite writing a book to support women entrepreneurs and then not naming the woman that was going to help me shape the thing. Right. And not giving her credit and not giving her sort of her do. Um, I, you know, try to live values whenever, whenever we can.
Bryan: 00:31:28 Well, and that’s a big deal, right? Because my understanding is the nature of things like royalties get shaped by whether somebody’s a named author, whether it’s a co-authorship, whether it’s a width, whether it’s just a ghostwriter, that kind of thing.
Nathalie: 00:31:40 Yes, it has to be the font has to be a certain percentage size. In fairness, this was my book and I pushed the woman who was so helpful in writing the, um, proposal and shaping it. And so in a way, Sarah sort of came after in the business negotiations, but not in my mind. Like Sarah was an essential part of this book from the beginning. And so as the book deal came together, I then added her into my contract with her, right? And then it was my, um, mechanics to say, we’re going to share some of the royalties, but the book and the, you know, everything related to the agent, the negotiation with random house, it was all with me. And then I brought her in every single step of the way I brought her in. Right. Because I knew that I couldn’t do this without her. I had just launched my last company. I’m only an insane person, decides to write a book when they’re also launching a company. But I am obviously an insane person, but I’m an insane person who knows that asked for help and, and Sarah was so critical to that. I love the work that she’s done in the past. Um, but in terms of my voice, you know, what Sarah did is she attended a bunch of my talks and, and we’re, we’re friends. We’ve known each other for years. But in the process of putting this project together, she attended talks. She even came to a summer camp that I have every summer. I teach high school girls between their, uh, their rising juniors and rising seniors. And we have a summer camp that I built, which was basically the summer camp that I wish that I had gone to when I was a kid. Um, she came and she watched me teach.
Bryan: 00:33:15 And you do it every year?
Nathalie: 00:33:16 Every summer. Yeah. Yeah. We’re about to do our eighth and girls come from all over the world. Um, and she watched me, so she watched me in the classroom. She watched me give speeches. Um, she was such a student of my voice and she delivered so far above that what ended up happening at the very tail end of this process is that she captured my voice, my speaking voice so well that I thought it was too folksy. And too, you know, my writing voice is a little different than my speaking voice. Right? You’re a little more casual when you’re speaking. And then when I myself am writing my words and putting them on the page, I’m going to tighten it up a little. Right. Totally. And so what was funny is that the end result, maybe not the end result, the almost end result was a book that was entirely in my spoken voice. And I was like, okay, that’s too much.
Bryan: 00:34:09 That’s interesting.
Nathalie: 00:34:09 So I ended up spending a whole editing process just kind of reigning in what ended up being my own voice, but just tightening it up. Right. Because she captured it so well, but it, but it, but what she captured was my spoken voice. Wow. Um, so there is no question in my mind. I mean, we were, we collaborated a ton. She’s a brilliant business person. And so she had all sorts of ideas that she contributed. Even a couple of the people that are in the book, um, are actually her people. Cause we needed examples of somebody who would illustrate this point really well. And while the vast majority of them are all my people, my friends, my colleagues, there were a couple where we struggled to find the perfect example. And she was like, I know somebody and you know, um, but for the most part it was definitely, um, very true to my original vision, my, my experiences. Um, there was a time where she pushed back on one thing and it was, I cannot remember what chapter it is, but she did it for good reason. And it was a time when after a series of edits and after a series of reviews, a moment where we, you know, when you’re speaking a book, which is what we did two hours a day for seven months, we recorded those voice conversations and then we transcribed them and then she somehow architected that into a book. Um, which is why I say Sarah is a genius. Uh, but one of the things that happened a lot is that because she and I are so aligned, I would just say et Cetera, et Cetera, sometimes knowing that she would fill the blanks right and do it well. And there was one time where the filling of the blank was, uh, the idea of places where you can find resources and it was like your local Better Business Bureau, your SBA, your local, you know, um, church Y blah, blah, blah, blah. Um, and church ended up putting, I said, et Cetera, et cetera. At church ended up being what got put in. And when after a number of different reviews, I think the copy edit, maybe even the legal review, it came back to me and I noticed and saw right where some of those blanks had been filled. And I noticed that the spot where I might’ve said, place of worship was actually filled by the word church. And I immediately called it out and I was like, Sarah, why did we choose church? There were a lot of different things we could have chosen. Why would, why would we pick Christianity as the default. And she said immediately, she goes, you’re totally right. Nobody caught that. It should have said place of worship. And I said, well, but a number of people reviewed it and nobody raised the flag. Nobody thought it was problematic. That’s interesting to me. And she was like, listen, I get it. I understand your point. It should’ve been place of worship. And I was like, no. It was like this itch. I couldn’t scratch. I was like, you know the fact that no one found that problematic talks about that universality, right, of one paradigm. And I thought, what if we just do the exact same thing that you and everyone else had no problem with? We pick one, we just pick a different one. What if we pick synagogue or what if at a time in a country where we have a Muslim ban, what if we pick mosque? Right? And Sarah, I think rightly point pushed back and said, I get what you’re doing here. Yeah, I’m aligned with your values. But that’s going to draw needless attention to something that is not the point of the book. It’s going to potentially even, how do you feel about the sirens? It’s a, it’s going to potentially even create and stir up controversy and problems that are not at all in service to what you’re trying to do. Right. It’s going to be distracting. She said, and I think that she was potentially right. There was a risk that that’s exactly what would happen, but I also feel like living in a country with the political climate like this one, these are tiny little battles and if it ended up creating controversy, if I ended up having to deal with some sort of an aftermath, that’s a small price to pay for a woman who was raised Catholic in a predominantly Christian society that is decided to ban Muslims. Like my price of a little bit of controversy and a little bit of heat is nothing compared to what a Muslim American family has to deal with today. Right. And so I thought this is a tiny, tiny gesture and potentially meaningful one. No one had a problem with us picking one when it was church. So there shouldn’t be a problem when we pick mosque. And so that was one moment where we had a little bit of tension and I totally understand her reasoning for pushing back. Um, but it was also the only moment where I exerted my veto power. Every other part of the process was fully collaborative. Interesting. And I would say that was a collaboration too. It was just, it was the only time where I think she really disagreed and uh, you know, and in the end, you know, we, we that one time realized, okay, well if a call needs to be made that it needs to be Natalie’s call. So I made it.
Bryan: 00:39:25 Yea. No that, that’s interesting. And hearing you share about that, I mean to me like so many things come up just listening to you share your experiences, including the magic of the creative process where there often is a leader who has the idea for the project or has this concept of, you know, how he or she wants the world to be different or contributed to. And you start off on this, but you’ve invited someone else in, you know, and then to think about the, I would say generosity and that might not be the right word, but of another person to spend two hours a day, you know, speaking to understand, capture, organize another person’s thoughts and collaborate and then to make them coherent and all this. It’s like, it’s really a beautiful thing and I think there is a way in which it is, it is like magic, you know, when it all comes together.
Nathalie: 00:40:19 Completely. I mean what we ended up doing was lumping, and there was a part where there were, there was a time where there were four sections or were at a time when there were six. We were trying to make sense of like what clumps make sense. And then we finally nailed down these five sections where it felt cohesive. It felt like these things all sort of aligned with each other. And then we have no names and we struggled to figure out what these five sections get called. And there were so many people consulted. And it was really, really tough. And it was like down to the wire. And finally one day as always happens I think with the creative process in the shower.
Bryan: 00:40:58 Yup. It’s amazing how water…Right? The shower in particular – sometimes bad, sometimes swimming. But there’s something there.
Nathalie: 00:41:03 Something there. I was in the shower one day and I said I want whatever it is the same way that I, I insisted that it come out as a paperback, again because I’m envisioning this busy woman that I want to read in small chunks to be able to roll up this not precious thing and sticking in her diaper bag and maybe it’s going to get some poop on it and that’s not the end of the world. Everything will be fine. And I want it versus the shiny, hardback, you know, precious like be careful sort of thing. Um, I had said all along that I wanted it to be simple. I wanted these category headings to not feel heady. And then I really started to think of what are these like easy, simple, but also familiar expressions or maybe even figures of speech. And then I was like, ready, set, go, ready, set, go. That’s it. It’s already set go. And then what I loved about the fact that we had five sections is that there was never a moment where I thought, well, how do we cram these five sections into three? It was more of ready, set, go. And the whole point of the book is we don’t stop where everyone else stops. We don’t leave you at the point of where you’ve launched your company and then leave you on on your own. We go that first and second step further by saying, ready, set, go, then fund, then grow. Um, and it just felt so simple and like, oh, I think beautiful things so obvious. Yeah. In some ways. Um, and yeah, that was like right, right towards the end.
Bryan: 00:42:40 That’s awesome. That’s, that’s really, that’s really cool. And you know, I’m thinking of people who are listening to this now and about how I think there are, there are people who are in the creative process right now. They might feel stuck, they might feel they’re struggling, you know, and if, if nothing else, you know, I hope they take away this like some encouragement from the idea of A, it’s a process you know, B, you’re not alone. You can ask for help. I think many people get stuck even being willing to ask for help. Other people are willing to ask for help but then they maybe don’t allow themselves to receive it. So your example of doing both, you know that and then, and then, uh, part of what is in there for me too is this idea that there was some urgency with a deadline that gave, that helped, you know, create whatever creative pressure that ultimately was resolved. And then here’s a really beautiful example of when you knew your audience, you know, you knew you wanted it in paperback, you know, which you didn’t mention this, but of course the paperback is also less expensive.
Nathalie: 00:43:45 I’ve gotten messages and it like, it chokes me up. I had a woman send me an Instagram message saying, because I haven’t really talked about this much and certainly hadn’t, you know, when I first launched it and saying, you know, the idea that this book is less than $20 is material for me and my family’s budget and I just want you to know that I see it. I noticed it and I appreciated it. And it was just like I got that message and I got all choked up and I thought, yeah, that’s exactly why we did it.
Bryan: 00:44:11 That’s really cool because when we put these things out into the world, we never know, you know, who will receive it. Yeah. The impact it will have. And uh, I imagine that must be really gratifying to hear that.
Nathalie: 00:44:32 Cause that’s one woman who, you know, took the time to tell me and how many others, you know, don’t have the time to be writing and other and finding her Instagram account and sending her a message. But I, I so appreciated it. It hit so many nerves for me. And it reminded me that this is when you know your audience and you’re working with people who are experts in their fields. Right. Be it Sarah Miko writer, be it Random House, the publisher, Tarsha Parage. Be it, you know, Joy, my agent, they all had amazing things to contribute. But the thing I knew, right, the thing that I just had to sort of keep as my true north is, is who I was talking to.
Bryan: 00:45:10 That’s awesome. Well, let me ask a few things. Um, as I read your book that stood out to me and I wanted to know more about, um, one of them is, and you talk about this early, but you’re Abu Lita, right? And what she taught you. Yeah. Will you talk a little bit about that here?
Nathalie: 00:45:32 Yeah. Gosh, by the way, I realized there was one answer, one question I didn’t answer and that’s what I left out. And I would say, to segue into this question, Abu Lita’s stories. There were so many. Um, there were so, so many that that I think I left out because they were more life advice, you know? Um, and the challenge with a book like this is making sure that even the things that are fundamentally, um, personal and emotional, um, you want them to be, I wanted it to be a hardworking book. I wanted it to immediately map to something that people could make actionable. Um, and I also am sensitive to the idea that the book might not be taken as seriously if it was perceived as self help. So that was another reason, right? Um, as a, as a woman, as a writer, I want to believe that, you know, people are evolving and things are progressing, but the reality is, is there some constraints that we just have to work within, right? Even as an investor, um, I recently had a conversation and, uh, we were comparing the names of people’s thesis and sectors, right? And so Deval Patrick at Bain Capital, love him and his work. Um, one of his verticals is, uh, health and wellness, right? And nobody thinks twice about that. You know, this is, this is a very well respected former governor, right? Who is now investing with Bain Capital and people think health and wellness and they think, you know, a man is investing in health and wellness. How progressive of him, right? A woman invest in health and wellness and people assume it’s curly Q fonts and yoga pants and things that the investment world might perceive as fluffy, right? So I don’t call it that. I call it healthcare. And people are like, wow, that’s a little dry. That’s it. You know what? I have to work within the constraints of our culture and Deval Patrick might get a pat on the back for investing in health and wellness. I will be taken less seriously if I call it that. Right? And so I think that there was some of that that gave me pause where there were stories about my grandmother that I really wanted to include and I thought, I’m going to just include the ones that are directly relevant to something that I can make actionable in a business context. Right. Which maybe my second or my third book will have a little more leeway there. But, um, what I learned to go back to your last question is, um, I learned a lot from my grandmother and the story in the opening of the book is one that I’ve noticed that I’ve gotten so much feedback on. Um, to your point, you never know how things are going to land. That story has landed, um, with a lot of people in really meaningful ways. I have had women come up to me with tears in their eyes and say, this story reminds me of my grandmother’s. And the story is essentially a story of a time that my grandmother who worked 24/7, um, doing odd jobs, she was a seamstress in the sweatshops of Los Angeles, and she would bring her work home or she would just do side hustle work making wedding gowns and Quinceanera dresses for the local community. Um, and then she made beautiful things, you know, and I was a little kid and I watched my grandmother make beautiful things. And one day I asked her to teach me to sew. And you would’ve thought that I had insulted her in some massive way because she stopped everything she was doing. And she looked at me and she said, yeah, I’m, I’m not gonna teach you to, so I’m never going to teach you to so, and in fact, I don’t even think that’s the word she used. I think she said you will never learn to sew. So it was like, not only am I not going to teach you, but it’s kind of like over my dead body. Wow. Are you going to learn to sew? Which again, I didn’t understand. All I saw was good, honorable work and work with your hands.
Bryan: 00:46:23 And how old were you at this time?
Nathalie: 00:46:23 I was probably like seven or eight, you know, pretty innocent question on my part. You see somebody making beautiful things. You say, can you teach me to do the same? But for my grandmother it meant so much more than that. And she said, you know, you will never learn to sew because you will never make a living using your hands. Because for her, having to work as a seamstress and having to work herself to the bone was a necessity. And you know, she was damned if I was going to have to do the same thing. And it was definitely my job to propel the family forward and to do what ultimately amounts to a leapfrog. Like I was going to propel our family forward and it was not going to be by handing, having her hand down, you know, her profession, I was going to skip steps. And I was going to end up in rooms that she would never dream of being in. Yeah. And I was going to accomplish things that were beyond her wildest dreams. And I have, and I think that what she said to me in that moment, which I think that a lot of, you know, our elders sometimes do is she, she lit a fire under me and she made it seem non-optional. Like this is your job. Yeah. Um, and we’re all banking on you doing this, right. And I think going back to our earlier conversation, right, as I could see that as a burden and a weight, and I think it can be for a lot of people or you know, I could frame it as just this is my job. This is why I’m here and, and I think I, you know, I’ve, I was fortunate enough to frame it that way because I saw the joy that comes from that sacrifice, right. Because my grandmother is what made all of our lives possible. And so she could have seen that as a burden. She could’ve seen that as an, as a job, but instead she created a whole life. And all of our lives out of it, she wove something really beautiful out of that responsibility.
Bryan: 00:46:25 Oh, that, that is, that is amazing. Um, and my understanding is that your family then went on to own some of the factories, right? So this was, uh, in steps and you’ve, like you’ve said, taken and built on that success and that sacrifice in some, in some pretty remarkable ways. So one of the, the twists and turns of your life journey that might not, your grandma might not have expected, you probably didn’t expect, but ultimately you followed was this decision to go study playwriting.
Nathalie: 00:52:03 That’s a very nice way of saying most people thought I had fallen and bumped my head.
Bryan: 00:52:08 So tell, tell me what was that decision about?
Nathalie: 00:52:14 It was a lot less crazy than it sounds right. Because on paper it sounds like the engineer who’s, you know, who studied environmental engineering, who went into tech for 15 years, ran away with the theater circus and decided to go and do playwriting right at Columbia. Um, all of those things are true. But the reason I did it is because I, and I, I, I advise women and anyone really looking at what their path needs to look like to do this. And that was that I tried to look at the through line of all of the moments of success and happiness and especially, you know, professionally sort of what was my superpower, you know? And those are difficult conversations to have with oneself. Because one of the things that I had to realize is that my superpower was not being an engineer. I PRI, you know, I pride myself on being a coder and being analytical, but you know what the reality is, is I was constantly throughout my entire career surrounded by people who were better at it than I was. So then how did I thrive?
Bryan: 00:53:23 Well, if you’re not going to be an engineer, can’t you at least be a doctor
Nathalie: 00:53:26 or a lawyer? Yeah. These are the options when you’re an immigrant kid. Yes. Um, and, and so, you know, they’re not easy realizations or things to sort of be open to, right? Which is okay. That thing that I so strongly identify, I’m kind of mediocre, turns out. Right. Okay, fine. Next. Right? So what is, what is the connecting thread? What is the thing that makes me happiest and what are the moments fueled by when I’ve been successful? And I realized that in, in my case, it was storytelling and I was that engineer when you were surrounded by engineers who could code from here to the moon but couldn’t present in front of 50 people. Um, I was the one who could, I was the one who had that fluidity with language, with explaining deep, deep tech to laymen, um, which is ultimately storytelling. And so I thought when I left tech, if I’m going to do anything on a sabbatical, I’m not wired to be the kind of person who goes to a beach and hangs out for a year and you know, recharges my batteries that way. My way of recharging my batteries and becoming sort of whole again was to occupy myself with something radically different. And I thought, you know, storytelling has always been my gift, but I was a halfway decent storyteller surrounded by mediocre storytellers, right? So I was kind of a big fish in a little pond. And so, yeah, among, you know, engineers, it was a good storyteller, but plop me into the middle of a room with real storytellers, right? The best in the world. And I would very quickly realize my limitations. And so I thought that’s probably about the scariest thing that I could do is just parachute myself into a room with the best storytellers in the world. And so that’s what I did. And thankfully Columbia has a sense of humor and they let me in, um, because they definitely had no academic reason to let me in. And next thing you know, I’m, yeah, I’m, I’m in the playwriting program at Columbia and I’m studying alongside some of the best in the world. And in the summer of 2013 I find myself, I’m nominated by Columbia to be the playwright in residence at this thing that for people who are in the theater world, they might recognize. But for those in the business world, it’s basically an incubator, right? Or an accelerator for, for the Great American Play musical film. And it’s a started by the New York, the owner organization called New York Stage and Film, and it’s called Powerhouse. And it happens every summer upstate in Poughkeepsie at Vassar. They take over campus and they invite people to bring their unfinished works. Um, and so that summer, Stevie, Steve Martin and Edie Brickell were they’re working on their musical and all these other amazing people were there. And then about halfway through my time there as the playwright in residence, this guy shows up who I don’t recognize who’s super antisocial, who’s not talking to anybody in the corner with his headsets banging away at what seems to be something very urgent. He didn’t talk to any of us. And it turns out, I found out later it was because his cast was arriving in a few days and he hadn’t finished writing the first act yet. And so he was scrambling to, you know, get something finished so that when the performers arrived, they had something to rehearse and it was Lindeman Well. And he was working on what was then called Hamilton Mixtape. Um, and so my friends call that my, um, Forrest Gump years where I just randomly landed in the strangest places with the most interesting people in the world. And you know, it was probably the best thing that I could have done to sharpen my business skills is to spend a few years working on being a storyteller.
Bryan: 00:57:13 That that’s really remarkable because obviously you came back to the business world, but was that your intent when you went to study playwriting or did you think you were following a different path entirely?
Nathalie: 00:57:24 That’s a great question. Um, I have to say as a, as a type a personality and as a Latina who’s family need you to have a plan, you know, not nevermind a five year plan, like, you know, a multi-tiered 20 year plan is the minimum. Um, the biggest challenge for me in deciding to go back to school and just study, play writing was to embrace the words. I don’t know because whether it was my business colleagues who all thought that I had again fallen on my head and run away with the theater circus to even the people who are in my family and my friends who just worried about me, who just said, you know, you were kind of at the top of your game and now you’re studying theater. Like what the hell is going on? Right? What’s your plan? And I was very tempted to come up with some answer that would at least appease them because I think that we’re human. We want to please people, you know, we don’t necessarily thrive in ambiguity at all times and that was the challenge for me was to really be okay with being at that lunch with that friend who cared about me and who was concerned and just be comfortable saying, I don’t know. I don’t have a plan because I really didn’t. I knew that storytelling was, if I had a super`power that was as close to it as I had gotten, if I was going to strengthen, strengthen that superpower, I knew that hanging out with New York theater people was the way and the place to do it. But it was really just kind of a pursuit of something that I knew I was already good at, that I could be better at without necessarily knowing where I was gonna land and I always want to be honest when I tell that story because I think that it’s very easy and I think we all do this, that once there’s the end of the circuitous path has arrived or you sort of landed someplace meaningful, going back and telling the story, no matter how circuitous the path was, it’s always sort of a neat and tidy story. And people believe that you sort of knew where you were going to land and I had no idea where I was going to land and that’s okay. And that’s part of the process.
Bryan: 00:59:38 That’s like that saying, is it Kierkegaard? I don’t know who it’s attributed to but about life can only be lived forward, but made sense of looking back. And then what Steve Jobs says about connecting the dots, looking back. So yeah, it’s, we can construct this really tidy narrative, you know, after the fact. But having the courage or the willingness to follow, you know, what interests you or what you feel called to do or what scares you. Um, I really admire that. And, and one of the things that I love and what I’m hearing you share here is that you were aware of your strengths are, you’re aware of your gifts and you want it to go refine those. Where I think for many people in our society, a tendency, and maybe this comes from schooling or the way we parent, I don’t know, is to become aware of our deficiencies and attempt to compensate for those as opposed to recognizing what we’re good at or what we enjoy. And then going all in on that. So, plus, what I love in what I’m hearing you share is, to me, this does seem a little bit, this might be, this might be a little dramatic, but it still seems this way is a little bit shamonic too, where you go out, you know, you leave the familiar, you leave the comfortable, the known, you go out, you have an experience, you learn something, and then you bring it back and you share it with others. It’s, I think it’s really cool.
Nathalie: 01:00:54 It’s funny that you say that because my thesis, um, in order to graduate, right, um, at Columbia I had to write a play. Um, it was actually a first act of a play that was then performed in a workshop setting. Um, I had some of the most amazing people support me through that process. But one of the things that I found as I was writing it was that I was falling into conventions that I had already experienced. And so this is going to be one of those moments where I’m terrible with names and it’s going to show the guy who Sorkin wrote writer for the West Wing. Aaron Sorkin. Aaron Sorkin, I was writing a political drama that people kept complimenting and saying that it reminded them of the West wing. And every time they would say that intending to compliment me, my eyes were rolled back as far as they possibly can in my face because that is not what I was going for. I’m not trying to copy. And so in order to blow that story up and to do something that was uniquely mine and somehow resist the temptation to follow something that I had already experienced, I ended up drawing from some experiences that I had had in the Amazon Rainforest, uh, with plant medicine. And I spent nearly two years studying Iowaska as a scholar, which anybody who listens to this and knows me will probably wonder if I’m telling you the truth. But it’s true. I’ve actually never tried Iowaska, but I studied it for two years. Scholarly research, you know, it’s, it was, it was pretty hilarious. And then I introduced the concept into the play, which was like throwing a grenade into the middle of a play. No longer got accused of being in any way similar to the West Wing. Let’s be super clear. Because then this otherwise political drama turns into more of a shamonic experience. And it was a funny way to end my time at Columbia studying theater because I started off as a business woman learning to study playwriting. And I ended up really tapping into the things that it turns out I cared most about, which was fundamentally the culture from which I come. Things like Iowaska from the Amazon in Ecuador where I had lived. Um, and then also the, the madic, the repetitive, the madic, um, structure of women in power and exploring it. Um, ultimately that’s everything that I wrote while I was at Columbia was some sort of an exercise in working out these ideas of, of women in power in that relationship. Not where I thought I was going to land. Coming out of tech.
Bryan: 01:03:37 Then I think of that saying too, there are no straight lines in nature, right in life. Very seldom do we draw a path from here to there and get there in an enjoyable way. We might will power struggle or whatever, but now I, I’m really, I’m really touched by, by your willingness again to do this and it doesn’t surprise me given some of the other things you share about in the book, including one about you talk about trusting your intuition at one point and going and having an exam that helps you become aware. Will you talk a little bit about about that experience and then, and then I actually want to ask you from that about intuition.
Nathalie: 01:04:17 Yeah, sure. I will say this. Part of the reason I talk about that is because it’s not, I don’t, I don’t want to use the word natural. It doesn’t come easily as someone who is very well trained to be analytical. I’m the same way that I think that I learned from the experiences of my family in manufacturing and in the sweatshops of Los Angeles, and tried to go to clear the opposite thing, right? Where I’m like, let me go into tech, let me work in an office setting. I mean, you know, uh, never be in the same place for more than two consecutive weeks. Like, let me do something that seems polar opposite to what I grew up with. Um, I think in some ways my forcing myself to become an incredibly analytic person was in some ways possibly a reaction to South American magical realism, right? And a grandma who took you as a baby to see the witch doctor because she thought you had evil eye and all these things that I was, you know, fully convinced were ridiculous. Well, if you asked her, she’s passed, but if you had asked her, she would have told you, well, did you get better? And of course they did. Yeah. That’s all she cared about. Um, but you know, I think that my analytical nature was in some ways of rebellion, you know, to that. And so it’s not easy and it doesn’t necessarily come easily for me to say, hey, follow your intuition. Even though I think that that, you know, is increasingly something that you hear for me personally, it doesn’t come come easily. And so it was an interesting thing. Yeah. To be 20 years old in Boulder, Colorado, having started my very first, you know, tech company, um, having the pressure of both being in school and running a technology company in 1996 when you know, tech startups, we’re just beginning to really be a thing as we know them now. Um, and to find the really inconvenient piece of information, which was that I had cervical cancer. And to have a doctor tell me that I didn’t need to have this exam because I had just had my annual a few months earlier and I wasn’t do. Um, it’s very easy to be like, Oh, you know, here’s somebody coming from a place of authority. You’re supposed to have these annual exams. I’m coming in like six months in. I’m not due. It was very easy to just sort of take no for an answer and be polite. Um, and it was maybe, you know, my first example of sort of advocating for, for myself and maybe also as much as I tried to wean my trust in my intuition out by being an analytical engineer, right? Those are the moments where you realize that the thing that you were raised around and to be, and maybe even just your nature is strong enough that it somehow manages to overpower all the other tendencies. And I, I found myself pushing back and telling the doctor, I don’t care that I’m not due for my annual exam. I need to have the exam again. Um, and she did. And sure enough, I had, I had cervical cancer. And so, um, you know, that stubbornness ultimately saved me. Um, and I go back to that story a lot, maybe not enough because I do value these analytic qualities that have served me so well in my career. Um, but it’s telling the story of my grandmother in a business book, right? It’s, it’s those sorts of things that are ultimately allow me to maybe coexist with these two things where you can benefit from all of the wonderful things that come from being analytical and being structured and being all the things that maybe the modern business world needs you to be. And yet also still be rooted in those things that are fundamentally very human. And in my case, very, very aligned with, with my culture. Um, and so, you know, I never thought about it, and it’s funny that you frame the question this way, but I guess that ultimately I wrote a business book that has a pretty healthy dose of little bits of intuition sprinkled throughout. And I don’t know that I did that intentionally. I think that I did that as a way of just putting the human flavor and my story into things and I don’t know, well, I don’t know that I realized that my story so many times. Threaded into it is, is these stories have been to have moments of intuition. If you had asked me, what’s your experience with intuition? I would immediately rattle off stories of my mom and my grandmother and my aunties. I don’t think that I would think of myself.
Bryan: 01:08:49 What is intuition? What do you think it is? How do you describe it?
Nathalie: 01:08:54 So funny that you’re bringing all these things up for me. Uh, last year, um, my Thea, my aunt, my great aunt, so she’s the youngest, uh, sister of my grandmother’s generation. She was diagnosed with cancer and it was right around Thanksgiving. It was right after Thanksgiving. I had just, so maybe this was two years ago now. Um, I had just spent the Thanksgiving break at my place in Ecuador in the Andes, locked up, working on like the final edits in my book. Um, I left and then like a few days after I left, I got the news that my aunt had gotten sick, um, and she had cancer and it was thoroughly inconvenient for me to a few days after having left Ecuador even consider coming back. And what I was told is that she would have months, not years, that it had metastasized, that it was definitely a tough situation. There was still chance, there was still hope, but you know, I should definitely plan on coming home for the holidays. And so I set out to make plans to come back for the Christmas holiday. And then there was something in me somewhere that said, I don’t want to see her sick. It’s really inconvenient, but I feel like I need to go. And I stopped and dropped everything that I was doing. And literally, I dunno, a few days after I had just returned, I went back to Ecuador. Um, and while I was there, she took a turn for the worse and we ended up putting her under hospice and though she was sick, she was joking, she was pleased to see me. She was my aunt. She was all the things that I knew my aunt to be and I got to be there when nobody else was there because everybody else had planned on coming home for the holidays. We have family scattered all over the world and you know, especially for the family living here in the US everybody was like, okay, the ending of a sick, we’re all coming home for the holidays. And as a result, there weren’t very many people there except for my family members who live and exist with her every day and she didn’t make it to Christmas. Um, and there are a lot of people in my family that regret not following my lead. And all I can think of is that’s what intuition is. It’s that momentary battle for me. Maybe for some people it’s not a battle for me. It is for me, it’s here’s this really inconvenient thing that you, you maybe could do, I don’t know why it popped into my head, but it’s inconvenient. It is nonsensical. It is a little alarmist. Everybody is saying that she’s going to be okay. And here you’re acting like, you know, the, you know, whatever three fire alarm has been sounded. And there was even that concern that like the perception that people might think that she’s sicker than she is if you drop everything and go back, Nathalie, you’re just creating concern for people. Right. And so, and then I started to whittle down, I’m like, okay, so the reasons I’m not doing this is because it’s A, inconvenient B, going to be perceived poorly by others possibly. And basically all these things that I know to be BS, I’m going to not do something because it’s inconvenient or because people are perceived at the wrong way. And I thought, you know, none of those reasons are valid and what I’m left with is just a sense that I should do this. And my aunt has been there for me in incredibly inconvenient times and has bent over backwards to be an amazing human and a support for me. The least that I could do is be a little inconvenience to go and see her. And so I didn’t know, I can’t tell you that. Like I knew she wasn’t going to last through Christmas. Like it was just, I needed to see her right away. And I was the only family member who doesn’t live in Ecuador who got to spend that last bit of time with her. And I think about those moments. And, um, I guess that’s how I would define intuition as it’s creating a pattern from to your point, that moment where I thought that I needed to have my annual exam done early to that moment when I thought I needed to see my aunt for no, you know, rational reason. Um, it’s those moments and it’s remembering them and I think it’s maybe tying them together and trying to see what’s similar about those moments. And I have to say super grateful that you even brought this up because I think that that exercise, it’s easy to forget and even to connect these things I wouldn’t have, I wouldn’t have connected those things today or know I haven’t before.
Bryan: 01:13:37 Yeah. Well, and I think, I think there’s a lot of people listening. I mean, first of all, I think there’s a lot in life we don’t understand. Right? And there’s a lot that as much as our society has been blessed by our tendency toward materialism, empiricism, you know, being able to mechanize like all of this cause and effect, very rational, linear, logical, like all of this that that’s in and of itself. Although it can bring material, progress and success, it doesn’t necessarily bring fulfillment, satisfaction, you know, sense of connection or meaning in this kind of thing. And so that is again, part of what I’ve been impressed by and in reading some of what you share in your book is, is about how you do listen to this aspect of yourself. You do not only listen, but you follow. And I think it’s something that many people want to do, but they either feel they don’t know how or they don’t have the courage, you know? And so that’s this next question then about, okay, now we’ve heard a couple of amazing examples of where you have cultivated. You followed your intuition and been, I would say, rewarded for it. You know, what a blessing. How can others more, I don’t know, the word is more easily or more fully follow or trust their own intuition. What do you, what do you say about that?
Nathalie: 01:14:55 You’re either gonna laugh or love my response or, or maybe hate it. Um, when I think of what gave me the room to stand up to a doctor and say we need to do this exam again. Right. Or the ability to be inconvenienced and get back on a plan and go back to Ecuador. In both cases I see privilege and I see, yes, basic needs being met. Right? And so part of why, and part of why I think it seems very tactical and it seems very pragmatic, but it’s so much heavier than that. For me when I talk about my theory of change and how I have a more systems thinking approach to how we invest and create multigenerational wealth. And just like basic, basic things like taking people out of survival mode. Part of my motivation isn’t just because we need to have a society of people who can afford healthcare, who can afford roofs over their heads and education and all these basic things. But it’s because I see that because those basic needs were met for me, I had the privilege and, and the benefit of being able to exist at that level, right? Where I could have the space to be concerned and to push for that second exam or to be able to afford that trip back to Ecuador immediately afterwards. And I think that if we want people to exist at that level, and why wouldn’t we want that for everyone? We need to make sure that we are clearing their minds and their anxieties about just the basic things that we need for survival. And I think that, you know, I wish that I could give sort of a formula, but I think that so many people are in survival mode. That what an amazing thing to see an entire generation of people are entire communities of people raised and pulled out of survival mode to be able to exist on that plane. That’s the real end game.
Bryan: 01:17:11 Yeah. I think that that’s a different planet. I mean, to even begin to imagine that it’s, you know, I think I mentioned this to you in email button. I had the opportunity yesterday to visit Charity Water and in interview Scott there and one of the little on the boards that gave stats and messages talked about the fact that there are more people on the planet today with cell phones than toilets. I thought that, I mean that’s shocking. I’m not even sure what to make of that because you know that they can afford a cell phone but not a toilet and what the implications of that are. But at any rate, I, I agree. I could go, I could go sideways on this for awhile too, because I think about this utopia, which as we know utopias don’t exist, right? But we also know that the way we’re living as a global society is not working. You know, and whether it’s in the developed developing world where people do lack something as basic as a toilet or clean water, or here in the developed world where rates of suicide, you know, are still rising or addiction to opioids. Or still clean water right here in America, which is really remarkable. So there’s no, yeah. Anyway, I could, I could go sideways on that for awhile, but in the interest of time I want it. I want to move us to the, when I started calling the enlightening lightning round. So if you’re open to that and then I’ve got, and I didn’t, there were a few other questions I didn’t ask about your dog. I understand your dog past.
Nathalie: 01:18:44 Yeah. Thank you for, thank you for, um, mentioning it. Yeah, that was another moment, right where the vet said that we had, um, weeks and it turns out we had days and um, in a moment, just like the one with my aunt, um, you know, a friend of mine has a beautiful house by the Lake, by Lake in, uh, in the Catskills. Um, and I just hadn’t thought of it. Like I hadn’t thought that it was so urgent. I was focusing on taking care of her and the vet appointments and the drugs that she was taking and all these different things. Um, and then the weekend flew by and then it was Sunday and it was Sunday night. And my friend said, why don’t you go to the Catskills and spend time at the house next weekend? And I was like, you know, that’s a great idea first of all. And second of all, I don’t think I’m going to wait till next weekend, anything. I’m going to take her now. And I made a reservation for her car, uh, that night. And first thing, Monday morning we hopped in that car and we went to the Catskill and we spent three days with her frolicking, um, you know, in the hills of the, you know, I keep wanting to say Poughkeepsie for some reason of the Catskills. And um, she was starting to lose mobility, um, but she gave it, you know, one last hurrah and she had a blast. And I was all by myself with my dog in a beautiful house by lake for three days. Wow. And then last Monday we lost her and it was, you know, if I had believed right, the analytical mind and the tests and the X-rays and everything that said that she had weeks, I would have missed that.
Bryan: 01:20:23 Well good for you. I’m sorry. I’m sorry about that. I know. Is it a chow?
Nathalie: 01:20:31 Third chow. I’ll never have another kind of dog. I know. You should never say never, but they’re snooty. They’re independent. They’re stubborn. I mean there’s what, what is there not to love?
Bryan: 01:20:40 Beautiful. Well and I didn’t ask about the motorcycle or the accident or the trade you made of coding for a car and all this. There’s a lot of people can read the book, right? People can read the book. So let me, let me shift to a few questions that um, people might find interesting and valuable also. Hopefully they’ve found everything we’ve talked about. Interesting and valuable is a little change of pace. So, okay. The first question here invites you to please complete the following sentence with something other than a box of chocolates. Life is like a?
Nathalie: 01:21:19 Salsa dance.
Bryan: 01:21:20 Okay. Next question. What something at which you wish you were better?
Nathalie: 01:21:27 I wish that I was better at being vulnerable.
Bryan: 01:21:34 All right. Next question. If you were required when I asked you to get over the horror of this question, first of all, but if you were required to everyday for the rest of your life to wear a tee shirt with a slogan on it or a phrase or a saying or quote or quip, what would the shirt say?
Nathalie: 01:21:56 It would say you are the source of your own supply.
Bryan: 01:22:01 Number four, what book other than your own, have you gifted or recommended most often?
Nathalie: 01:22:10 I just gifted you one of my two and I have to say one of my two favorites. Otherwise, my friend Sam Kass will kill me a cookbooks, which is La Latina written by a chef, Grace Ramirez. Beautiful book. By the way. It’s such a great, you can picture the book on the shelf of your grandmother’s kitchen and it’s just stunning. Um, but I will say this, the other, the book that La Latinas, you know, and Sam Kass’s book eat a little better, have only been around for for a little bit. The book that if I look back, um, I recommended more than any other book is, uh, Twyla Tharp’s the Creative Habit.
Bryan: 01:22:48 Why that book?
Nathalie: 01:22:49 Uh, it’s, you know, she didn’t write it to be a business book, but I think it’s an essential business book and it basically demystifies creativity. Um, it frames it as a muscle, not a miracle, like lightning striking, which I think is a lot of times how people perceive creativity. Um, and you know, my favorite line from her book is that she talks about how if creativity was just something that comes only when you’re inspired. How the hell would I show up every morning at eight o’clock to a room to rehearse with, you know, 40 ballet dancers every day at eight o’clock like clockwork if I’m not inspired, I don’t have the option of just on Tuesday, not feeling inspired, like creativity shows up everyday at eight o’clock. And I make sure that it does because I exercise that muscle and she talks about having rituals and all sorts of things that help her develop that muscle. And I think that, you know, you can’t be successful in business without being creative. Whether you’re doing it as an entrepreneur or you’re doing it in a corporate setting, or you’re an artist and your business is your art, right? Or you’re an athlete and your business is your career. You cannot do it and do it well. And in my opinion, do it and have fun without creativity. And I think for all of us, sometimes the batteries run out right? And I think that what I love about Twyla Tharp’s book is it kind of teaches you how, how to recharge.
Bryan: 01:24:12 No, I, I love that in that something that reminds me too of what, um, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about in Big Magic about just that the, what is it the muse, the muse finds you at your writing desk at five in the morning. That’s where the muse finds you.
Nathalie: 01:24:30 All you have to do is show up.
Bryan: 01:24:31 That’s pretty beautiful. But then somebody that I just interviewed for this show today, just this morning, I love his statement. Steve Havelena says, I don’t wait for inspiration, I ask for it. And then he asks for it by putting himself in action. And it’s like, that’s really cool.
Nathalie: 01:24:49 That’s like the artist’s way, right? Showing up every morning and doing your daily pages.
Bryan: 01:24:54 I did that for almost five years. Didn’t miss a day. Totally changed my life. Was awesome. So, um, this, by the way, so you say one of my two all time favorite books for entrepreneurs. You mentioned in your book, Twyla Tharp’s the Creative Habit, which you’re mentioning, what’s the other one?
Nathalie: 01:25:14 E-myth Revisited.
Bryan: 01:25:16 Oh yes. It’s a classic.
Nathalie: 01:25:18 Love, obsessed with that book. Especially like the bigger the ego, the more somebody thinks they’re a special snowflake and their business is so unique, the more I must have them read this book because they’re offended by the idea that I’m giving them a book about franchises, right? It feels like the most base in their minds, right version of a business. And yet I quote Kat Cole, who is one of my dearest friends in the world. She was the CEO of Cinnabon and now she’s the president of the parent company that owns Cinnabon and Auntie Anne’s and Carvels and recently about Jamba juice among others. Um, and Kat talks about franchises as a, of being in business for yourself, but not by yourself, which I love. Um, and you know, franchises get a bad rap because people immediately think McDonald’s. But a franchise can be anything, right? It can be gyms, it can be tutoring classes, it can be any number of different things. It’s not what you’re selling. It’s the fact that you are basically building a business that entrepreneurs can kid essentially, right. Um, replicate. Yeah. Um, and what I love about that book is that it takes stories of people who were flailing at their businesses and it shows you through basically consulting engagements or case studies, right? How they not just recovered but then figured out how to thrive. And it’s very human, right? It’s about people’s disappointment, getting in the way of really seeing the big vision or it’s about really tactical things, being able to get you unstuck. So it’s a combination of deeply human problems and also really pragmatic, practical things. I love it. It’s a huge inspiration for me always.
Bryan: 01:27:10 Yeah. That book comes up a lot for sure. Okay. Next question is about travel. So you travel a lot. What’s one travel hack, meaning something you do or maybe something you take with you when you travel to make your travel less painful or more enjoyable?
Nathalie: 01:27:27 Well, today’s a crappy time to ask me that question, but the answer to that for the last 23 years has been my dog. So dogs, I’ve had three dogs consecutively. Um, and that, that’s it. You know, that’s the thing that sort of has kept me sain every morning, taking a hike, you know, here or wherever I happen to be. Um, and then also clearing my schedule. So before 10:00 AM I don’t do business, um, I’m not a morning person. Um, so it’s really a service I’m doing for everyone else as well. Um, and just being really strict about how that’s my, that’s my hiking with my dog time or that’s my meditation time. Um, that’s the time that I get to make sure that my head’s on straight.
Bryan: 01:28:11 I like that. Hmm. Trying to think what my life would look like if I didn’t do any kind of business before 10:00 AM, but okay. Um, what’s one thing you’ve started or stopped doing in order to live or age well?
Nathalie: 01:28:26 I’ve started sleeping more.
Bryan: 01:28:31 You’ll live longer.
Nathalie: 01:28:33 And hopefully smarter. Stay smart. Um, yeah, so that’s one thing that I have and I have the good fortune of having absolutely no problem sleeping. It’s just that if you clocked the amount of sleep that I actually got during, for example, my dot com years and all of that. Um, there just wasn’t, I didn’t make room and time for it. Um, but thankfully I’m not an insomniac. I don’t have any of those things that sometimes inhibit people from, from sleeping. It was just a choice. I chose not to make room for it in my life and now I am choosing to make room. Um, and then something that I have stopped doing is I have stopped doing things to be polite. I’ll give you one example. In 2009, I stopped drinking. I’m not an alcoholic. I never drank excessively. But I realized one day when I took inventory, I started to meditate quite a bit in 2009. And that’s part of what inspired me when I took inventory of the number of alcoholic drinks that I had any given week, 90% of them were done entirely to keep someone company and be polite. Meaning I never liked wine. I’m so sorry cause I’m about to alienate half if not 90% of the people listen to this podcast. But I never liked wine. It’s just, it was not my thing. Never liked the taste of it, but you better believe I was happy having some white wine at lunch with my clients, you know, or at dinner or at the, you know, happy hour meeting that I managed to squeeze in with somebody who was really hard to get time with. Of course I’m going to have a cocktail with you. I did a lot of the drinking that I was doing, only to be polite and I realized I’m not going to do that. Um, and so I took inventory of things like that. Drinking was just one, but there were a lot of things that I was doing in my life to be polite, to not stand out, to not create waves. Um, and I stopped and it’s made for a pretty interesting life. People think of me as pretty opinionated now. I think people thought of me as more diplomatic and nice and you know, all of those things that people want you to be. I think I’m probably considered less those things now. I’m perhaps considered a little, a little more blunt, a little less nice.
Bryan: 01:30:46 I would say strong.
Nathalie: 01:30:48 I hope so. I hope that’s the case. Um, but yeah, it’s, it’s really clear to me that that’s, that’s one, that’s a litmus test, right? Am I doing this cause I really want to do this or am I doing this to be nice?
Bryan: 01:30:58 Yeah, I deal with that for sure. Well, it sounds like something probably happened in 2009 but um, in the interest of time, I know we’re actually at the time that we’d said you’ll care to keep going for a while longer. Okay. Yeah. So I might come back to that, but because interest, interestingly for me, I find it interesting. I actually stopped drinking almost coincidentally, like almost at the same time I started meditating as well. Interesting. This was about six, seven years ago, and for me it was, I just find my life works better when I don’t drink. Like I’m less of a jerk. To be honest. I think I’m impulsive enough and I have enough of a melancholy side. I think I probably would have ended my life. Yeah, I’m surprised at how many, how many suicides are under the influence, you know, just because of that lowers tolerance. I’d never really thought about it, but looking back at my experience, I could totally see that. Yeah. And again, it’s not like a moral thing. It’s not a religious thing. I’m fine if other people drink and, and that.
Nathalie: 01:31:59 I’ll even drink every once in a while someone will celebrate something, I’ll have a drink again because I, I have the good fortune of not being an alcoholic and so I have, I have the luxury of being able to do that. But it’s funny about your meditation coincidence because what I found was that I was really getting in the zone. My practice was developing. I felt good about my daily meditations. And then what I found was in the evening, it almost felt like I had made progress in the morning. And then in the evening when I had alcohol, I was reversing all of the good work from the morning where I had done all of this work to be present. And then I was waiting till the evening to then numb myself and be the opposite of present.
Bryan: 01:32:38 That’s interesting. And, and then on the other exploration of this conversation too is this whole thing about why is alcohol legal and other substances aren’t. And then we know if you look in that you can find a whole, a whole history of race and class and things like this. But yeah, that’s probably for another podcast.
Nathalie: 01:33:00 But an interesting one. Yeah. I advise a company called the People’s Dispensary that is, um, for women and I think one queer man, um, and the women are all women of color. And it, it makes me happy to know that that’s a thing because I think that the cannabis industry is not doing the sort of reparations that it needed to do with the precise community that, you know, the drug laws most suppressed.
Bryan: 01:33:29 Well, and even in Denver to decriminalize, you know, siliciden is like, yeah, yeah. Something’s going on in the Rocky mountains, so. Okay. Um, number seven, what’s one thing you wish every American knew?
Nathalie: 01:33:47 And by American we’re talking about people in the US correct? Yes. Okay. That’s a pet peeve of mine.
Bryan: 01:33:55 What would you, how would you say every citizen of the United States. Okay, so let’s, I’ll reframe the question in down. Don’t edit that out. Leave that in. So here’s the reframe rephrased question. What’s one thing you wish every citizen of the United States knew?
Nathalie: 01:34:12 Spanish?
Bryan: 01:34:12 I actually really also wish every American knew at least a second language. Just any second language.
Nathalie: 01:34:20 Yeah, I know. Me too. I’m going to just go ahead and show the bias. I say Spanish, but yeah, I agree it would be any, any second language because I think that what you learn with languages is so much more than just the language. You learn a culture, you learn a different, you know, world view. Um, you know, there are reasons that certain languages don’t exist in certain languages because it’s connected, it’s connected to values, it’s connected to how, how that culture sees the world. Uh, yeah, I think it forces people to, to think very differently and to maybe even rewire their brains.
Bryan: 01:34:54 I think there are many US citizens forget that almost all of us are immigrants. Or where at some point. Yeah. Yeah. So, okay. Um, what is the best relationship advice you’ve ever received and successfully applied?
Nathalie: 01:35:13 Oh, I love that one because it was the one story that I left out of the book that was advice from my grandmother, uh, because I didn’t think it had a place in the book, but it has a huge place in my life. My grandmother was one of those people that you could bring any broken animal to and she would fix it. Yeah, I would do that all the time was a little kid. And one time I brought her a pigeon with a broken wing. And my grandmother of course set out to fix it and the pigeon took many, many weeks to recover. And finally ended up being fine. It started to fly around the house and my grandmother sat me down and explained to me that it was time to release the pigeon. And I was like, put the pigeon is ours. And she’s like, the pigeon is not ours, we have to release the pigeon because the pigeon has a home and the home is out in the wild of Los Angeles.
Bryan: 01:36:12 This pigeon has to get back to it’s overpass.
Nathalie: 01:36:15 Yes, it’s, I probably has a family. It probably has, you know, kids, who knows. And she told me this whole story and I wasn’t buying it and I had all these like, you know, logical arguments for why like the pigeon is now used to living with us and the pigeon likes our food and the pigeon, you know. And finally I appealed to her softer side and I said, but I love the pigeon. And my grandmother said, people and pigeons, whatever she meant, you know, but um, they’re like water and you don’t hold them by squeezing them. Otherwise they slip through your fingers, you hold them the way that you hold water with your hands cupped open. Um, and I don’t know why, but like little Nathalie somehow got that. Um, and so we walked over to the porch and she handed me the pigeon and I put all my strength into basically throwing the pigeon up into the air and watching her do this huge, huge, beautiful flight, you know, sort of around these palm trees that were near her house and go incredibly far where we could barely see her and then proceed to turn around and jet right between us, past us and back into the kitchen where her food was. So we had a pet pigeon for years.
Bryan: 01:37:48 Oh my gosh. That is not how I thought that story ended.
Nathalie: 01:37:51 She did not go away. She decided she wanted to stay.
Bryan: 01:37:54 There are so many takeaways for relationships from that story. That is great. Well thank you for sharing that. What’s the most useful thing you’ve ever learned about money? Well, maybe the most important thing.
Nathalie: 01:38:12 Sure. The most useful thing actually that I learned, and it’s funny because it was so recent and I think that on some level maybe I understood it, but I didn’t understand it until I heard it truly articulated by Nellie Golan who wrote this book called, um, oh my gosh. Nellie Golan, the Spanish version is called [inaudible] and in English it’s called Self-made. And the reason she called it Self-made is because she had access to mountains of research through a series of business relationships she has with a couple of big corporates that said to her that the studies, similar to my study around the word shortcut, how it didn’t test well with my target audience. The word entrepreneur doesn’t test well among women and people of color.
Bryan: 01:39:04 Well, first of all, it’s just so damn hard to spell.
Nathalie: 01:39:07 First and it’s, and it’s lofty. It’s French and it’s French damn French. Um, I think that what we learned is that, you know, that woman who cleans seven houses but doesn’t see herself as the CEO of a janitorial company, right? She might not see herself as an entrepreneur, but if you ask her, are you self-made? Hell yeah. She’s self-made. Yeah. And so, anyway, what I learned from her from Nellie and from her book, Self-made, is that massive segments of our population, myself and my family included growing up, saw an income as the way to create legacy and, and multigenerational wealth, and didn’t realize that all incomes do, no matter how big they are, right, is help you survive. And what really creates a legacy and the ability to make change within your own family or your community, or even bigger, is this idea of investing right? Of that idea of setting stuff aside that’s not functioning as a day to day in the day to day economics of your life. Um, and it’s only that stuff that you set aside and that you truly don’t transact with, but you invest with. That’s if you care about leaving a legacy for your grandkids. If you care about leaving a legacy in the world, if you care about making change, like it’s about moving away from the transactional and into the investing mindset. And I think that, you know, for, for the finance world, for even for that matter, you know, families with wealth, that’s the thing that they’ve learned. And I just think that there are larger segments of the population than any of us realize who have not learned that fundamental simple concept. Yeah. Um, even like I said, I thought I had learned it and then it wasn’t really until I saw example after example in, in Nellie’s book and, and in sort of getting to know her that, you know, we were talking to large populations of women who are blue collar workers or who were in the manufacturing world as entrepreneurs and who hadn’t gotten that concept right. They were working to survive. They were, even their businesses were working to survive. Um, and it was just that one reframe that changed everything for a lot of people. Um, and I think, and yeah, that’s probably the thing of this, this is a horrible lightning rod. I’m very long winded answer.
Bryan: 01:41:37 No, that’s a great, it’s a great, and I probably don’t set that up as effectively as I could cause the lightening is intended to be. Yeah. I’m going to have to rethink the whole thing because it’s intended to be, I ask a short question. You can answer however long you want but, but then I get so interested in your responses because even on that one, like I am also, I’m interested in how many people don’t seem to perceive, you know, to your point that there is a difference between your income and your net worth. And just in the same way that I think a lot of people don’t see the difference between revenue and profit of a business, but the differences is different as night and day of both of those. So, no, that’s, that’s pretty big. Okay. So that, Oh, and I do want to say this here. I like to put this at the end of that enlightening lightning round to make sure that I say it. Um, two things first, um, as an expression of gratitude to you for making time to come and share your experience and your wisdom with me and everyone listening. Um, one thing I’ve done is I’ve gone on kiva.org and I’ve made a $100 micro loan on your behalf to a woman in Ecuador named Pamela, who will use this money to buy pigs and potatoes and feed and carrots.
Nathalie: 01:42:52 Oh, that’s so amazing. Kiva near and dear to my heart. Um, and I know the founder just joined aspiration bank that my partner has invested in. Um, so it’s a small world.
Bryan: 01:43:04 Yeah. Kiva’s pretty remarkable. And then the other thing that I want to do here to make sure I don’t leave it until the very end, although we’re almost almost at the end, is if people want to connect with you or people want to learn more from you, what would you have them do?
Nathalie: 01:43:19 I would have them go, uh, to Leapfroghacks.com. It is both the book website, but as well as my page is there. And so all of my socials are there. Um, as well as, this is my favorite part of the page is there is a section that allows you to see all of the people that are profiled in the book and also to see what hack they’re in and to get a sense of who this group of misfits is in sort of, you know, what they stand for and what they’re working on. Most of them have allowed me to put their LinkedIn connections there so that people can actually conceivably interact with all the people in the book.
Bryan: 01:44:00 That’s a cool idea. I haven’t heard of anybody doing that before. Yeah, that’s really neat. Well good. Okay, that’s awesome. So the last, the last few questions I have are more specifically related to the creative and and also maybe a couple about the marketing and promotion of the book because I know it’s pretty common for somebody who wants to write a book to think that the finish line is completing the manuscript or even getting it published. But as we know, in many ways that’s really just the starting line. I do. I want to go back to the thing earlier about the playwriting and the storytelling. Just to ask if there’s a piece of insight that you’ve learned about how to effectively use story. Is there, I mean I know you got a degree in this and you spent years, but is there like one thing that somebody listening could take away and apply when it comes to using storytelling effectively?
Nathalie: 01:44:52 Totally. And I would say the one thing, because it cascades into many, many others, but it’s a, it’s a, it’s a mindset and it helps get you in the right mindset. And that is simply to remember that the brain is wired to remember stories. And so whenever you’re tempted to anchor, there’s nothing wrong with charts and graphs and all the analytical, analytical things that help us survive in business. But the best charts and the best graphs tell a story, right? And so I think that if we remember whether it’s building our pitch, you know, a decks or standing in front of somebody for five minutes until you right rattling off some data isn’t what’s going to get you the second meeting. Right? Telling people a story that they’re going to remember is ultimately what’s going to do it for you. And so even in the most analytical situations with some CFO in a room somewhere, you will hear me say, what’s the story? And I think if people think that way, it opens up a lot of doors.
Bryan: 01:45:56 Yeah, no, I agree. In fact, I was just listening to a podcast yesterday that was talking about the power of story. And I think we all know that at some level, but the thing that opened my eyes in this podcast, it was Reid Hoffman’s Masters of Scale. And he was talking about how when you really get down to it, entire cultures have these origin stories, these myths. So whether it’s our own life as an individual, whether it’s the company that we’ve started or were a part of, or whether it’s, you know, a religion or a whole culture, stories are this inescapable, you know, aspects. So to learn them how to use them is, is powerful. It’s like the water we swim in.
Nathalie: 01:46:38 I mean, even at the beginning of this conversation, you know, someone who doesn’t fit in her home country. I keep mentioning Ecuador, I’m half Colombian before my mother kills me. I’m half Colombian, half Ecuadorian. Just spent a lot of my childhood in Ecuador. Someone who felt like she didn’t fit in her sort of ancestral home and didn’t fit in Los Angeles. Like that’s the makings of a troubled childhood and probably a, you know, a very troubled adult. Um, and it was a story that ultimately saved me. Right. It was a reframing of my experience and now even as an adult, right? Identifying as a part of this condor generation. I mean, yeah, it’s, the stories aren’t just how we sell things. It’s how we survive, I think. And cope.
Bryan: 01:47:17 Yeah. Agreed. Well then on that topic, um, I just read this book called the body keeps the score about PTSD and part of what the author says, who is an amazing, he’s been in this world for like 40, 50 years that he talks about. One of the phenomena that researchers have found is people with PTSD seem to have difficulty putting their experience into some kind of a narrative they can even understand or that empowers them and it’s like, that’s interesting. That is a part of healing often that’s so crucial to to becoming whole again. So anyway, kind of a side.
Nathalie: 01:47:54 No, I, I love that. And by the way, the reason I love that is because I have been saying for a while now that women live in a world that is not designed for us to thrive. The workplace is not designed for us to thrive. You know, business is not supporting us. 1.2% of all venture capital for example, goes to women of color. The group that as we discussed before, is the single most entrepreneurial group in the country. All of these things are work against us and we can see that as a disadvantage or we can see the fact that we have to navigate these worlds that are not designed for us and survive in those worlds. It makes us in some ways multilingual, multicultural, right. And I think that we can either frame that as something that forces us to expend a bunch of energy in environments that we’re not welcome or we could. And it is that that is true. It’s not to take away the truth of that, but I think that in addition to that, it can also be how we collectively, women in modern society cultivates a super power out of it. Right? It makes us more agile. It makes us people who can navigate all these different worlds, whether they be family, the workplace, politics, all these different places. Um, against all odds, we manage to function within these frames that aren’t really designed for us. And it gives us potentially strength more than any time I think we really need. Yeah.
Bryan: 01:49:26 So, okay, last couple of questions that I, and I won’t, but I really want to ask you about what the hell is going on with all this abortion stuff, you know, but I want to keep them on the creative, right. Maybe that’s part two along with the psychedelics and other sorts of things. Okay. So the last questions that I’m putting my notebook down. This is really the like down the stretch. So I know I want to ask a question about what you’ve learned that might help others successfully complete their creative project. So I want to ask something about that and then I also want to ask about marketing and promotion, what you’ve learned as a creative, I don’t know if you think of yourself exactly as a creative, but I do because you’ve written a book. So maybe we start with that, the creative process. What’s the question there? What have you learned that might be useful to others who are at the beginning of or, or maybe feel stuck in the middle of their creative journey?
Nathalie: 01:50:27 I also wrote some plays. So yeah, I definitely consider myself a creative. I will say this, when it came to crunch time for the thesis at Columbia and I had to finish that one final project, I had finished plenty of others before that, but when it was really like the pressure was on and you have access jurors who are going to show up at a certain time to rehearse and do a thing, and here you are and you’re writing the pages and they’re not even done yet. And it’s like cool. You know, that to me is the part that’s tough about pressure. When it’s pressure you put on yourself, that’s one thing. But when other people are expecting right, for impacted by you, um, I, I cheated a little, and I probably shouldn’t say this on a podcast, but I ended up trying Adderall for the first time in my life and it worked. I understand.
Bryan: 01:51:24 What do you mean when you say it worked? It worked to help you focus.
Nathalie: 01:51:28 I’m not suggesting this by the way. There’s an end of the story. Trust me, I’m not coming on your podcast to tell everybody to get on Adderall, but here’s what it did to me. Um, I know some people have different side effects and everything. For me, all it did is when you sit down for five hours sort of, you know, work, stretch, and out of that five hours you have 45 minutes of being in the zone where you are your smartest, your most creative, your most prolific. And it just goes and you’re in the flow. What Adderall did for me is it gave me like eight hours of being in the zone, right?
Bryan: 01:51:55 So what’s the downside of this?
Nathalie: 01:51:56 The downside is I used a drug and I realized that that’s not sustainable. And so when it came time to writing the book, it was very tempting to be like, I’ve launched my next company. Only a crazy person would also sell a book and be on deadline for a book and all these other things, like the pressure was also on, and it was very easy for me too. Um, break my own promise to myself, which was after that experience, I said, I’m not doing that again.
Bryan: 01:52:25 No, because of course I thought you had a prescription.
Nathalie: 01:52:27 No, I did not. Um, and I, as a result, I was like, I’m not, I don’t apparently have an addictive personality, but here I was, I found what apparently seemed to be perfect drug for me. Right? And I was like, Ooh, that’s too scary. Too dangerous. I cannot revisit that again because I can definitely see that becoming a habit. Maybe not chemically, but certainly, you know, just positive rewards. And so when it came time for the book, it was very easy for me to break that promise and be like, alright, you know, Adderall, we’re back. Um, and what I found worked instead was this idea of working in partnership. So whether it’s a co-author or it’s just an accountability buddy, or it’s someone else who relies on you to bring it the way that Twyla Tharp has to bring it every morning at eight o’clock when she goes to rehearse, that’s what you need. And that’s different than just an accountability buddy that tops you go to the gym every day, right? Um, that’s somebody that you’re truly collaborating with who has some skin in the game, who if you don’t show up for them, you know, you’re not being a good friend or a good partner or whatever else. Um, something that really tugs at the core of who you are as a human being that bailing on that. Right. Um, and, and for some people, pressure like that maybe is, is the opposite of helpful. But for me, um, the pressure helped but also the not being alone helped. And when it comes to the creative process, I tend to revert to being alone with all things. Um, it wasn’t until after I wrote the book that I ended up having a friend of mine coach me with a speech ones cause I coach people on speeches. I coached Barbara Corcoran on her TED talk. I have done a lot of that. And yet I had never allowed anybody to coach me because my creative process of thought has always required isolation. And the biggest learning for me with the book was that I thought isolation worked for me and it did allow me to produce a lot of things. But the way that I upped my game and got to the next level was by putting my big girl panties on and realizing that I’m actually better in partnership.
Bryan: 01:54:42 I think we all are, honestly, you know, as much as we have this, I would even call it a myth of the, the creative genius working in solitude, you know, banging away at the keys. And it’s part of what I think is fascinating about film. It’s part of what is fascinating about books. Even musical though, I’m not a musician, you know, that it really is this collaborative effort and when it works, when it, when it comes together, it’s really beautiful. So I love that. So how, so then, inviting people to really consider how they can create even maybe community, you know, or at least an accountability structure or something to help support them on this journey that can be so emotionally difficult.
Nathalie: 01:55:28 Yeah. And in my case, right, it was me, my agent, my co writer, and 63 other souls. It’s definitely a community.
Bryan: 01:55:36 That’s really cool. Okay. So then onto this question of marketing and promotion and uh, by way, and I wish I remember who pointed this out to me and I don’t right now, but I love this idea. You know, because I think for many creatives, there’s this sense of selling out, and I don’t want to do that and then call this, but of course we want our work to reach people and make a difference. And, and, and so the thing I forget who said was somebody pointed out that when you look at the cover of a New York Times bestseller, it doesn’t say New York Times best writing author. It says New York Times bestselling author, right? And, and so there’s this, this concept of not only getting your work done, but now getting it out in front of people, getting them interested enough to read it and apply it and have it make the difference that it can. What have you learned about marketing and promoting your work that’s made a difference?
Nathalie: 01:56:30 So I studied a lot of trajectories of books, uh, not just for my book but, but for a number of friends and colleagues that I’ve worked with on their books. And one of the things that I discovered and you know, the New York Times intentionally make the criteria opaque and the algorithm and the criteria changes all the time. But nonetheless, and I think I would stand by this, um, because I did such deep work. Um, what I found was, and maybe this goes back to your question that the short answer, your question to your question is that when it comes time to thinking about promoting and sort of exposing the work, right, um, to as many people as possible, what served me the most was being really clear. And this was the same thing with writing it on who my audience was. And what I learned in studying the trajectory of a lot of other books is that the New York Times, like any big institution in this country doesn’t value the exposure among anybody that they perceive to be not mainstream media which let’s be really clear cause I will not use coded language, black media, Latino media. If you compare books by media impressions and I give you a book that had all of the normal um, things that a book requires around book sales, but that isn’t the only thing they require. It requires book sales and then it requires a certain amount of media attention, right. If the media attention that book caught was in terms of volume and just the math of it was let’s use random numbers, 500,000 I should say 100 million, right? Or you know, media impressions and they were all from mainstream media, which is to say predominantly white media. The morning shows on the main networks and so on. Then that formula of X amount of books sold with X amount of media impressions from mainstream white, predominantly white media. We’ll get you on the New York Times bestseller lists. Now you take the equivalent sales of a book and then you couple it with a billion media impressions twice as much, but they’re from Univision, Telemundo, BET and that book will likely not make it on the New York Times bestseller list so people can argue me with me with the numbers, maybe the numbers have shifted. I looked at enough books and I looked under the hood of the promotion of a lot of these books and I saw a lot of patterns that looked a lot like that, which to me means that the New York Times bestseller list is interested in a certain kind of audience. And here I was writing a book about women entrepreneurs and especially women entrepreneurs who don’t see themselves in most books, which is women of color. And so I made the decision that that way of promoting wasn’t going to be what was for me. I was going to go the artist’s way route. I was going to go the long tail. You know, I did have a big first month and I did do the morning shows and Random House were incredibly supportive and making sure that that first month, which was so important was successful. But I wasn’t gonna quit my job and go on tour. But by my job, meaning my company. Right. Um, and I wasn’t gonna play to an audience where the viewers and the listeners and the, you know, the people who ultimately make those show successful are not my target audience just to get this thing right, which might be more useful with another book on another topic. But, but I was really clear on what my true North was and I made that commitment to Random House as well. When I submitted the proposal, I said, I know who my target audience is and guess what? I’m connected to people who are connected to them, right. From Nellie Golan, who is a dear friend who had a list of like half a million Latinas who know, who are actively engaging with her in her newsletter and her videos and everything. Like you better believe that Nellie Golan was going to support me in this book and we were going to do a two part webinar series and we were going to do all sorts of things promoting to that list. And so I convinced Random House that A, I knew my target audience and B, I knew how to reach them and I didn’t spell it out, but I made it very clear to them that when it came time to prioritizing where I was gonna spend my energy, which press interviews I was gonna do, which podcasts I was going to interview with, I made it really clear to them that I was going to prioritize the place where my audience already was. And if forced to choose between that interview at Fox news and that interview with BET, in a perfect world, do you get to do both? And you know, more promotion is always better. But in a world where I have to choose between one or the other, let’s be super clear. And I made it very clear to Random House that I would be choosing B, even if B wasn’t going help get the book on the New York Times bestseller list. Right. Um, and they were okay with that. I have to say, um, which I kind of appreciated. Yeah. Um, at the end of the day, BET still sells books. Right? Yeah. Um, and the fact that we have a dominant culture that doesn’t appreciate black and brown media is not a problem that I’m going to, you know, tackle. But I am gonna make sure that, you know, the next successful entrepreneurs do come from that community. And so I think that, you know, as, as easy as it is to get wooed by this idea of things like the New York times bestseller list and other things that required that you do certain formulaic things. I would encourage creatives that are thinking about doing something like writing a book to a study of the ecosystem. Much like I did, figure out what price do you have to pay to get the accolades, the awards, the number ones that, whatever things that have been historically your measures of success. Make sure that you dissect what price you really have to pay to get those things and make sure that you’re super comfortable paying that price. And if you are, God bless, great. Um, go get it. Um, get it done and be satisfied with the work that you did because those are not easy things to accomplish. And it’s not to diminish them at all. Yeah. But if it turns out the price that you have to pay A isn’t something you can stomach and B doesn’t actually serve your audience. There is a way much like my book that you can still thrive in this context. But kind of doing it your own way. And the way to do that is obviously by still hacking the system, like I’m still selling books. Right. And the other thing that I did that, I don’t know, it’s definitely not in the book, but it’s in a lot of press that I’ve done is that proceeds of my book go to an organization called vote on lead, which has gotten more women into elected office than any other organization in the country and specifically more of women of color into elected office. They trained Stacey Abrams and all sorts of other amazing women that we now know very well. And you know, when I think about how I promote the book and when I think about staying up that extra hour, when I think about going that extra mile or you know, making an effort to make time for press, it is very helpful for me to know that the salve for some of the nightmarish things that I see in the news every day is perhaps another few books getting sold and another few women getting elected. And there’s now a direct correlation to that. And nobody, no, that isn’t something that had to happen by design. It’s a connection that I made that anyone can make. And if you need that, if you think, if you feel like, I know I’m going to be tired after six months of promoting a book and it’s going to be tough to sustain and I’m going to need some extra motivation, we’ll guess what you know, for me a little bit, you know, more cash in the bank account was not going to be the motivation that was going to keep me going. Knowing every time that I look at the news that a lot of these problems will hopefully be solved by getting more women into elected office that’s what keeps me going.
Bryan: 02:04:44 I really admire that level of integrity, you know, and, and care about, you know, why you even wrote the book in the first place, you know, and what you wanted it to do and remaining, you know, very clear about that all the way through not only the creative process, but then after the fact as well. Right. I think that’s really cool.
Nathalie: 02:05:01 I mean, part of it, you know, I thank you for saying that. I don’t know if it’s integrity as much as it’s like, it’s like a productivity hack, right? Like it’s how people say, you know, the alarm when it sounds on my phone is too easy to press the snooze button on, so I’m gonna put it over by the mantle in the kitchen because it’s going to force me to have to get up out of the bed and turn it off. Is that integrity or is that hacking your own productivity? For me, I knew that the chances of me still being interested in promoting the book six months to eight months, even a year in, we’re pretty slim. I was going to wane after awhile. But connecting it to something as meaningful and as powerful as getting women into elected office was going to be the, uh, the way that I created some sustainability.
Bryan: 02:05:43 No, that’s smart. And that’s that, uh, advice, you know, know thy self, what your life is about, what you really want.
Nathalie: 02:05:51 Yeah. Know when you’re lazy, find ways to hack it.
Bryan: 02:05:56 Hmm. So you, you have, you’re quoted in Tim Ferriss’s Four Hour Work Week. Yes. How did that happen?
Nathalie: 02:06:03 That’s random. Right? Um, it happened because I complained a lot of things happen this way. Um, his, it wasn’t really a complaint as much as I read his first version of four hour work week and it had a section of, I dunno, a paragraph about outsourcing things to India. And at the time I was managing a company that we had acquired in India. 1,600 people in Mumbai actually had an apartment North of Mumbai where I spend a lot of time and provide and um, I was intimately, you know, not as well as somebody who’s from India, but I ha I was intimately familiar with the business of doing business in India and I thought that he had come really short that first version of the book. It’s saying anything insightful. So when the next book was coming out, I don’t know, I think I must’ve, I think we must know people in common, but somehow it came out that he was doing a little bit of crowdsourcing around certain topics. And so if you are an expert at certain things, please contribute. And I was like, hell yeah, I’m going to tell you a little bit about what it actually is like to outsource things to India. Um, cause I just, I, I thought the first version really fell short of being as great as it could be. So I submitted my contribution and then he incorporated it into the book and sent me a copy of the book and I think, you know.
Bryan: 02:07:16 Wow, that’s pretty cool.
Nathalie: 02:07:17 Yeah, it was just, I didn’t get paid. It wasn’t anything like that. It was just, um, you know, it was such a popular book and I felt like there was something that could have been better and I had an opportunity to do it so.
Bryan: 02:07:28 That’s great. Well, good. Well that, that brings me to the end of the questions I have for you. I just a, I suppose the last one, and I actually liked to, and not that this was a coaching session, but I liked it and my coaching sessions with this question.
Nathalie: 02:07:43 In some points it might touch with my shamonic tendencies, all sorts of interesting thing.
Bryan: 02:07:48 Revisited your intuition, talked about your childhood experiences. Yeah. So we covered all that. Um, and this is a question that I’ve borrowed from Michael Bungay Stainer who wrote the Coaching Habit and he ends, uh, he encourages people to end their coaching sessions with this question. What was most useful for you here today? We could riff, we could expand that to include what was most enjoyable for you. This is about four. I don’t know how long this will be edited. Probably not a lot shorter than it is now, but this is about a two hour and 10 minute interview. So I’m asking this question for those listening with the knowledge, this is about 130 minutes of conversation. So what was most useful or what was most enjoyable for you in this conversation today?
Nathalie: 02:08:32 I think that it takes a third party to sometimes see patterns that we are too close to our own experience to see. And I think that that was probably the most enjoyable part is that, I don’t know that anybody has called me intuitive. And I think that I walked away from thinking that I’m actually, you know, and not that bad at it. Um, and I think that connecting those dots is always useful and it’s really helpful to kind of see that from another person’s view. Um, and it also helps me understand how the book is landing, right? The fact that those are the things that you pulled out of the book, um, is also telling. Um, and you know, I’ve gotten a lot of men tell me that the book is not gendered and the advice is not gendered and that could really be useful to anyone under any circumstances. And I appreciate that. Um, but it’s one thing to hear that said and it’s another thing to sort of see it in action.
Bryan: 02:09:35 Yeah. Awesome. Okay. Well with that we will conclude and I thank you again for devoting so much time to spend with me and with anybody who’s listening. I, I’ve enjoyed this conversation.
Nathalie: 02:09:49 I have too.
Bryan: 02:09:50 And I think people listening will enjoy it and I think they’ll benefit from it, so, so thank you.
Nathalie: 02:09:54 I hope they enjoy it nearly as much as I enjoyed it.
Bryan: 02:09:59 Despite living in an age where we have more comforts and conveniences than ever before. Life isn’t working for many people. Whether it’s in the developed world where we’re dealing with depression, anxiety, addiction, divorce, jobs we hate, relationships that don’t work, or people in the developing world who don’t have access to clean water or sanitation or healthcare or education or who live in conflict zones. There’s a lot of people on the planet that life isn’t working very well for. If you’re one of those people, I invite you to connect with me at goodliving.com. I’ve created life’s best practices, breakthrough coaching to help you navigate the transitions that we all go through. Whether you’ve just graduated school, you’re going through a divorce, you just got married, you’re headed into retirement, you’re starting a business, you just lost your job, whatever it is you’re facing. I’ve developed a 36 week course that you go through with me and a community of achievers and seekers who are committed to improving their own lives and the lives of others. So through this online program, you will have the opportunity to go deep into every area of your life. Explore life’s big questions, create answers for yourself in community, get clarity and accountability. If that’s something you’re interested to learn about, I invite you to contact me directly at [email protected] or by visiting goodliving.com.
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