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Doing It On the Side
31 minutes | Dec 22, 2016
Episode 15 [Season Finale]: Writer + Creating Your Own Path podcast host, Jennifer Snyder
Today I’m talking with writer, content and web strategist and podcaster, Jennifer Snyder. Jennifer’s first passion is writing, but she also loves her job working with authors and entrepreneurs to build their online presence at Winning Edits and then of course there’s her side passion, producing her popular podcast, Creating Your Own Path where she talks with her fellow creatives. SHOW NOTES: Creating Your Own Path podcast Jennifer's website Working part-time salaried job for Winning Edits doing content and web strategy. Used her English major working in marketing and PR, which she left in 2010 right at the heart of the recession to start a startup that she later shuttered. Wasn’t sure what she wanted to do next, had always dreamt to write for a living so decided to try that, but was hard to find work in writing without a lot of experience to show. She found that working alone, at home left her craving human interaction, so in 2014 she decided to start a podcast so she could connect and have conversations with interesting people. She found she loved it, even though it did push her out of her comfort zone. How in 2015 Jen “allowed the podcast to take over” in her life by doing a road trip of in-person interviews. Started with two test runs to LA and Portland, and then did a 6-week cross country trip - over 8,700 miles, 17 or 18 interviews. During that time she didn’t do any other freelance projects, invested a lot of time and money, some difficult family issues came up and found herself exhausted. Heading into 2016, she really wanted to be able to keep going with the traveling show, but she had to make the decision not to. Then a freelance job at the company where she now works, came up and it just made sense to take that job, but she had to reconfigure how to keep the podcast as a big, important part of her life. Discovering that now that she has the part-time job in addition to freelance work and the podcast — everything has equal weight which is overwhelming. We talk about how right now she’s in a transitionary phase, and it’s hard to know what will happen with the weight on each side. Thinking about how to having a reliable paycheck benefits her; she can choose to pay someone to edit, and she’d get help she needs but she would also be giving someone else a job! Finding balance between enjoying a regular paycheck, appreciating the variety of projects she gets to work on additionally in her freelance work and also the podcast AND knowing when she needs space for non-work activities and downtime. Jen’s husband is a good reminder when she might be working “too much” - when he comes home from work and she’s still working. Thinking ahead to the future of the podcast, trying new things and at the same time balancing with everything else going on in her life.
45 minutes | Dec 13, 2016
Episode 14: Ad Exec + Storyteller, Colleen Hindsley
Today I’m talking with ad exec and storyteller, Colleen Hindsley. Growing up the youngest of 6 kids in a big Irish-Catholic family, Colleen learned young how to get herself noticed in the family. And while people have always told her what a great storyteller she is, she never really thought about it as something special, until she discovered her side passion, crafting the stories from her real life and sharing them onstage. SHOW NOTES: Colleen’s episode on Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic podcast Catch Colleen at Happy Hour Story Hour, Mondays @ 7pm at The Duplex in NYC From Philadelphia, and a big Irish-Catholic family. Feels that while she “fell into her career” in advertising, she now can look back and see the threads that connected them all. How a vision of herself telling stories on stage came pretty much fully formed and led to her side passion in storytelling, even though she’d never heard of The Moth or the concept of storytelling in front of audiences. Her childhood as the youngest of six, was filled with lots of attention getting because she was the youngest, and her family was rich for stories. How Colleen got started with storytelling by just starting to tell a few people about her interest and then through a class at The Story Studio. Colleen started going to workshops and surrounded herself with other likeminded people who were exploring their interests outside of work. The acute grief she experienced after her father’s death led her to start thinking about what might be something interest she might want to explore; wondered if there was something more out there for her… at this time she was in a space of being open to new things, which is why she thinks her storytelling interest showed up — because she was open to it. We dig into the many, many values of having both a career and side interests. After seeing some early success within the storytelling community she set it all aside when her mother became ill and then died. How earlier this year, an accident led to her returning to make space in her life for storytelling again, but there was a lot of fear and "stuckness" around it. How her friend texted her about Liz Gilbert’s podcast opportunity, and she went for it and feels like it was meant to be because of the place she was in in her life. She was feeling stuck but also really open. Her experience in talking with Liz Gilbert for the podcast. Finding the ability to appreciate her innate gifts as a storyteller. Experiencing the discomfort and lack of ease around being a beginner with a new project she’s working on — a one woman show of her stories. Yet again I reference the Ira Glass video I love about being a beginner. On feeling “good enough to be” exactly where she is right now, and how that’s pretty good! When she was injured there was a lot of anxiety around her recovery, but she didn’t recognize that the seven week break was really helpful for helping her move to the next phase in her life until later, but now she can look back and see that it was. Also the choices she made during that stretch, limiting TV and trying to give herself space for something else, even though she didn’t know what it was yet…. really did help her move forward.
33 minutes | Dec 6, 2016
Episode 13: Publishing + Co-Founder of the Mid-Century Supper Clubs Potluck, Karen Finlay
Today I’m talking with Karen Finlay who works in publishing at travel media company Lonely Planet, who also runs the Mid-Century Supper Clubs Potlucks with her pal Jennye Garibaldi. Their 9th annual holiday extravaganza potluck is coming up this weekend in my hometown of Alameda, CA. It was an absolute pleasure to talk with Karen about how she and Jennye became inspired to host the first potluck and the joy she gets in bringing this event to life year over year. SHOW NOTES: Find the Mid-Century Supper Club on Facebook Get tickets for the Holiday Extravaganza Potluck (if they’re not already sold out!) Works at travel media company Lonely Planet; Karen loves publishing. Karen talks about her early love for all things mid-century, including the Betty Crocker. cookbooks she loved in the 70’s and the discovery of a mid-century supper club Flickr group that scanned photos from old cookbooks and then re-created the recipes. Her friend Jennye Garibaldi first suggested that the two of them host their own Mid-Century Supper Club potluck; started with 10 people at Karen’s house. Has since evolved and taken on something of a life of it’s own. Their 9th and biggest event yet coming up on December 10. It no longer fits in anyone’s house, there’s a DJ and band, and it’s at the Eagles Club in Alameda Mid-Century Holiday Potluck Extravaganza. To make this all happen — Jennye and Karen split up all the duties, from organizing, to decorating to producing the entire event. This year, they took on volunteers. Karen loves to see all the people come together over the food, and how it has created a sense of community… she recalls, “I love this night never ends. It just felt like magic. And it happens every time!” Karen talks about the recipes and all the efforts people go to in planning the recipes they’ll bring to the event — some bring beloved family recipes, other try and produce the goofiest/craziest old recipes. We talk about my own favorite family recipe, the Swedish Tea Log! Karen and Jennye encourage everyone to host their own potluck and would love to write a book about how to throw one and get people together. From the very beginning, they’ve also required that every guest bring a food item for donation to the local Alameda Food Bank.
31 minutes | Nov 29, 2016
Episode 12: Communications Consultant + co-creator of Not Parent Approved game, Stacy Katz
Today I’m talking with Stacy Katz a PR consultant who has also invented and launched a card game for kids with her co-founder Maximina Revis. Their award winning game is called Not Parent Approved, it’s for people (not just kids!) 8 and up and it’s available exclusively on Amazon. I loved talking with Stacy about her journey to developing this game, coming to consider herself an entrepreneur and the journey of reinvention she’s experienced along the way. SHOW NOTES: Pick up Not Parent Approved on Amazon Stacy on solo parenting by choice. How Not Parent Approved came out of a weekend of cancelled play dates and attempting to find a non-screens related pastime for 9-year-old boys. We talk about how kids today aren’t primed to play board games; they’re so used to the quick fix of apps. Stacy and her co-founder Maximina Revis (who comes from a background at Mattel), wanted to develop a game that would capture modern kids attention and also be something adults can find entertaining as well. Stacy and Maximina call their game inappropriately appropriate… like an “edgy Apples to Apples”. Producing a physical product can be overwhelming. Stacy talks about developing the game in stages, starting with a simple prototype using index cards and testing with kids at summer camp. Stacy talks about how important asking for help from others who have game experience has been. This is how they learned about the toy industry. How play testing impacted and changed the game for the better. Stacy on the entrepreneurial journey, including needing to switch manufacturers midstream. The two things that have kept her going are: Her intention is to bring joy, laughter and connection to the world - especially face-to-face. She’s not “anti-screen”, but she feels it’s really important that kids get “face-to-face fun”. People enjoying game keeps her going. Her son Bailey, in her darkest moment, told her “Mom, we’re not quitters. You can do this.” This always stays with her. How every step in this process, and stretching herself along the way, has proven something new to herself. She now considers herself an entrepreneur, which feels really big to her. How Stacy, as a single mom who works for herself, is making time for this major project: Hour by hour, one day at a time. She doesn’t strive for “balance”, but tries to just be real about what works in her life. A combination of “effort, faith and letting go” is how she’s approaching the game launch; if she does all these things then she will know she did all she could. Stacy who is 47 says, “The new normal is reinvention”, and I couldn’t agree more. Side projects are a fantastic way to explore other sides of yourself and can lead to amazing reinvention and journey along the way.
30 minutes | Nov 15, 2016
Episode 11: Educator + Founder of Curiosity Pack - learning-filled activity kits for kids, Lily Jones
Find out more about Curiosity Pack,learning-filled activity kits for kids.Lily’s Curiosity Forever podcast: What happens when a journalist and an educator come together to investigate how kids learn? This podcast! Kevin and Lily Jones interview education & parenting experts to find out everything they possibly can about raising awesome kids. How Lily transferred her experience as a kindergarten teacher and educational consultant to her side business. How Lily created her side businesses based on requests from friends who were looking for fun and educational things to do with their kids. How her own kids have inspired her products. The challenges in producing a physical product. How her side business grew out of really wanting something for “her”. Using Kickstarter to launch her product (while pregnant and then with a newborn!!!). For every 10 Curiosity Packs ordered, one gets donated. Making time for her business on top of her educational consulting work and being home with her two young kids. What’s up next for Lily with her side business. The number one thing Lily wishes she’d known earlier, before she started her business is to have known (believed) that “done is better than perfect”; she would have started a lot earlier. How she gets inspiration for new products that she KNOWS her people want to buy. Lily’s top advice for others who are trying to make room for side business on top a busy life includes sometimes thinking about what you actually enjoy doing—and doing some of that—to give yourself a boost. Lily chooses to take care of tasks in her business, even if she might rather watch Netflix, is by thinking about how great she’ll feel afterwards.
30 minutes | Nov 1, 2016
Episode 10: Dad, Business Owner + School Board Candidate, Jon Raj Destin
Today, in honor election day 2016, I have Jon Raj Destin who is single, gay dad, runs a marketing consulting firm, and on the side, he's running for School Board in his town of Albany, California outside San Francisco. Jon and I talked about how his passion for education and advocacy and his business and marketing experience led him to consider running for office, how much he’s learned about his community from this experience, how he and his son Sammy campaign together and much more. SHOW NOTES: Find out more about Jon's campaign Find out more about the town of Albany, CA Jon runs a marketing consultancy, but really considers fatherhood his full-time job. How he has always lived his life “based on passion”, what he finds interesting and most wants to do. Jon was born in communist Hungary, escaped as a little boy with his family and grew up as an immigrant to the United States. His early years led him to be passionate about education, starting with teaching as part of Teach for America after college Over the years, led to doing marketing, but never really gave up on education and being an advocate. Now as a dad, he is focused on quality education for his son -- which led to his current side project of running for school board in Albany, CA. With a laugh Jon says he “tends to jump into things that I find interesting and feel I could have an impact... maybe even before I really understand everything…”. Now as a dad, he is focused on quality education for his son -- which led to his current side project of running for school board in Albany, CA. With a laugh Jon says he “tends to jump into things that I find interesting and feel I could have an impact... maybe even before I really understand everything…”. He jumped into running for school board because he felt like his skill set (business background) really applied, and he thought he could really make an impact as the school district heads into a phase of using bond measure funds to build and re-build a number of local schools. How Jon is really enjoying the campaigning aspect, how he’s learning about the community and it’s needs. As a single, gay dad, he has also really enjoyed getting to know others LGBQ families in the community. Jon is experiencing broad support in the community — new residents like him, as well as 70 year residents. How Jon is integrating the campaign into his family life with his bow tie loving son Sammy Jon says, “frankly it’s never a good time, especially if you’re a parent, but you just have to make the time to do the things you love… because if you can show your child or your kids that you’re doing what you love, I think that’s a really important, great lesson”. Advice for others who might be thinking about running for a community office is that if it’s important to you, just do it.
26 minutes | Oct 25, 2016
Episode 09: Executive Director, Compass Education Group + Little League Baseball Coach - Bruce Reed
Today I have Bruce Reed who is a dad of two young kids, runs Compass Education Group, and on the side, he's a little league baseball coach. Bruce has a really interesting perspective and approach when it comes to coaching kids, and he takes much of the same approach in building and managing teams in his business — in both he looks for 3 types of personalities: The entrepreneurs, The artisans and The pragmatists. I love this way of thinking because it allows people to be recognized for the strengths they bring naturally, rather than being force fit to be something they’re not. SHOW NOTES: Compass Education Group As a kid he had great coaches that influenced him to stay involved in coaching. In college spent a semester abroad in Australia and helped get an American Football team started, later coached high school softball and baseball team in Japan. Bruce has a unique approach to coaching the little league kids:He thinks a lot about it before he even has a team of kids. 1. His goal is that he wants the kids to be future dads coaching little league versus being a high school all-star or pro player. 2. He thinks about how he wants to be remembered by the kids in the future. Value in writing down guiding ethics and guiding principles - become a shared narrative for the team and all this helps the team develop chemistry and success on the field. How he sees sports as such a great vehicle for learning and growth. Bruce lives by the definition of the word coach, it’s a very selfless role: Meets you where you are and taking you where you want to go. The four rules he works with his teams to live by that he helps the kids break down and they talk about them at the beginning of every practice, and why they are important and what they say… they also recognize each other for embodying these values. Dress like a ballplayer Run on and off the field full speed every time Respect every aspect of the game No selfish questions How he approaches teams in business is really the same - he borrows and swaps from his coaching role in business He looks for certain traits and behaviors in hiring; doesn’t matter the industry (or type of team) to him. The entrepreneur The artisan The pragmatists He uses coaching to bring these traits out in his team members. How finds the integration of work and coaching to be invaluable in making it all work together. Read more on Bruce’s coaching philosophy in sports and in the college preparation world.
42 minutes | Oct 18, 2016
Episode 08: Special Guest Expert, Melissa Dinwiddie - Artist, Performer, Happiness Catalyst + Creativity Instigator
Special guest expert and Creativity Instigator, Melissa Dinwiddie, is absolutely one of the most creative, multi-passionate people I know. She’s a visual artist, jazz singer, musician, former ballerina… I could go on! But believe it or not, she calls herself a former “non-creative person”! Melissa’s on a mission to change the conversation on creative expression and play, and she teaches people just like you and me to “turn the creative taps to ‘on’,” so you can live what she calls a “full color life”. SHOW NOTES: Melissa's creative sandbox community and programs, empower people to reclaim their innate entitlement to creative play. Whatever their creative outlet may be painting drawing making music, garden explore in the kitchen. Very creative at a young age, then by high school stopped seeing herself as an artist because she wasn’t great at drawing, then the same thing happened to her with music and then dance. Melissa chronicles quite a creative journey: Got into Juilliard, but couldn’t dance due to tendonitis, and eating disorder cropped up. Let Juilliard and went to UC Berkeley, but lost her way with dance and the arts, and went into academia instead. Creativity started to come up during her wedding plans and eventually found her love for doing arts and crafts, and she started making a little money with her art through client work doingKetubah art for Jewish weddings. The Ketubah art wasn’t what she loved to do, but she could make money at it, but then that fell apart which led to hitting rock bottom. Whether or not you consider yourself creative, every person needs “that thing” that fulfills them. How following passions, relationships — whatever it is, there need not be just one and sometimes it takes some time, it’s not always “love at first sight”. For people wondering how to find their passion, it’s important to know that for most of us it’s not a Eureka moment. We talk about my own story with graphic design and rediscovering a love for it now, as a small part of my life using tools like Canva, creating graphics for the podcast. Melissa’s serious, but “lighter weight relationship” with her jazz singing — is a way for other people to think about things they love doing, but don’t necessarily want to commit their life to. How she continues to work to let go of perfectionism, and play with her creative interests and have fun with them and not needing to be “the best” at them. All of her life is better for allowing this imperfection and playfulness in her life. How things that feel easy and fun just might be the things you should most pay attention to — a quote she heard “the things that come easiest to you and are most natural are your highest value offering” and these are things that really feed you. On the flip side is the erroneous belief that things “should” come easier to you — but many of these things are skills requiring time and practice. And just because they’re hard, doesn’t mean they should be a “stop sign”. Gregg Lavoy’s book Callings says that “blocks are not blocks to creativity, they ARE creativity”... the blocks are actually gifts to get you to you push through the amazing feeling on the other side. When you’re a beginner, it’s totally normal not to be awesome at it immediately. Feeling resistant to something that is calling to you is a classic hallmark of something to in fact pay attention to you. Ira Glass Taste Gap video. Something to be aware of is that as you’re learning your ability to see what is possible grows faster than your ability. Melissa’s “Golden Formula” for finding what you’re interested in is a combination of self awareness + self compassion, which she believes leads to everything good. Self awareness: Noticing everything around you that works for you, that’s good, that you are interested in. Self compassion: Being able to be kind with yourself when you notice these the things that call to you, or that you might need to let go of.
21 minutes | Oct 11, 2016
Episode 07: Brand Marketer + Campaign Volunteer & Fundraiser for Hillary for America, Sheila Normile Thompson
In today’s episode I’m talking with Sheila Normile Thompson. Sheila is a marketer by trade, but this campaign season she’s dedicated herself to getting Hillary Clinton elected president. I talked with Sheila a few months ago, before Secretary Clinton became the democratic nominee — and I wanted to bring Sheila on the show because while so many of talk in exasperation about the importance of this presidential election, most of that ends up being just talk because we have so much else going on in our lives, and also because we might not even know how to help. In this episode we talk about Sheila’s background working at Facebook, how she was inspired by Sheryl Sandberg, and how she came to become a volunteer and fundraiser on the Hillary for America campaign. SHOW NOTES: Sheila’s top 3 ways to support the campaign in a meaningful way, today. CALL: Phone bank for Hillary from the comfort of your own home. It's super easy. VOLUNTEER: Your local office can tell you the best way to help in your community. DONATE: Sheila will get credit for donations through this link. Or you can go to www.hillaryclinton.com How Sheila’s family’s civic engagement has influenced her. Sheila’s involvement with older sister’s campaigns for city council and Mayor of Independence, MO. Sheila’s background in marketing and branding includes working at Facebook as an early employee. Sheryl Sandberg’s influence on Sheila’s decision to get involved in the campaign How Sheila took some advice from Oprah to “Put the energy out into the world and something will happen”. Sheila on getting connected with her volunteer work on the campaign: “Don’t assume that you know where the links are going to come from, because the links come from really unexpected places”. How Sheila had to initially “call up her gumption” to get more comfortable in talking publicly about what she has been doing on the campaign, but has enjoyed sharing her passion with others.
26 minutes | Oct 4, 2016
Episode 06: Digital Exec + Founder of CubaOne a foundation taking young Cuban-Americans on trips back to their Cuban homeland - Daniel Jimenez
Daniel Jimenez works in digital consulting during the day, but he’s also started a foundation along with three business partners that’s taking young Cuban-Americans back to Cuba to visit their homeland. The first trip took place this past summer and they have two more planned this year. Daniel’s Big Goal is to “bring every Cuban-American who would like to reconnect with their heritage to visit Cuba to experience it.” SHOW NOTES: To learn more about CubaOne to participate in a trip, donate or partner with the organization. See photos from their recent Cuba trip on Instagram CubaOne trip participant Amanda Rabines' on connecting with her roots Where Daniel got the idea for the CubaOne Foundation; Birthright that takes young Jewish-Americans to Israel. 1,300 young people have applied to go on a CubaOne trip in just 3 months and Daniel and his partners have taken one group of people in June. Each trip costs about $2,500 so Daniel and his team are working on partnerships and taking donations. What goes on in the trip, experiencing the culture and also connecting with local peers who are doing things like building apps, and also meeting family members like grandparents and aunts they’ve never met before. Many of the trip participants reported the week was the best of their life, including Daniel who said “I think it was the best week of my life” - Daniel How they pick the trip participants — 10 people on first trip and with 1,300 participants it means they “can be more selective than Harvard”. They want to select people who have a solid understanding of what Cuba is today and a desire to gain insight from the trip and make an impact when they come back. Including artists like the Hip Hop Hallmark. Daniel’s big goal is to be able to bring all young Cuban-Americans to Cuba How he’s fitting CubaOne into his regular life— it’s his passion so it “doesn’t feel like it’s taking up time, it’s freeing time up” He and his partners have modeled the Foundation team after a Startup team — there are 4 people who each have specialty areas they lead Trips coming up in late October 2016 for the Havana Ballet Festival — participants will include dancers and artists, and then another trip over the New Year focused more on US-Cuban relations. MORE FROM PARTICIPANTS: Amanda Rabines' audio story from Miami's WLRN radio: First Time In Cuba: A Personal Essay From A Second-Generation Cuban Lissette Calveiros' essay for USA Today on meeting her grandmother for the first time: Voices: In Cuba, A life-changing reunion
27 minutes | Sep 27, 2016
Episode 05: Guest Expert Tara Gentile—author, speaker, entrepreneur and founder of the Quiet Power Strategy®
Today I’m talking with special guest expert Tara Gentile. Tara’s an author, speaker, and entrepreneur who works with other entrepreneurs, many of whom are building their businesses as side projects or transitioning side businesses to full time work. I first came across Tara when I was in my life coach training program a few years ago and looking for ideas to build my business, and I have been an avid follower ever since. She’s super smart and has a really fresh perspective in how she approaches business building. And be sure to listen all the way through, because Tara’s also got a new side project of her own! Find Tara at TaraGentile.com On how Tara journey to entrepreneurism started with quitting her original plan to go to grad school to become a religion professor, and then working in retail management at a Borders bookstore (AKA mini-business school) Tara’s used everything she learned at Borders in first entrepreneurial venture and started with a website business, which led to buying a second website business—and with time her business has evolved to where she is now How we tend to discount our previous experience, but how valuable previous experience in whatever jobs you’ve held over your life, are so important to how you can look at approaching your entrepreneurial ventures. How Tara helps idea-driven entrepreneurs, many who start their business on the side, find focus in their work—this is so important because for these types of businesses, as Tara says, “the message is the money”. Tara’s recommendations for finding focus in your entrepreneurial venture Give yourself the space Know what you will say no and yes to String the answers to these four questions together into a statement and this becomes your framework for what you will say no to, and what you will say yes to in your business: What do you want to create How do you want to connect with people Who do you want to create for How do you want those people to respond Tara’s new side project that came about because it’s something she’s been looking for since age 13 and how she realized recently she was the person to bring it to life! Tara’s Creative Live podcast, Profit. Power. Pursuit.
31 minutes | Sep 20, 2016
Episode 04: Office Manager + Watts of Maine, jewelry designer and entrepreneur Kylie Watts
In today’s episode I’m talking to Kylie Watts of Watts In Maine—her line of jewelry inspired by the fishing and lobstering culture of Maine. We talk a lot about the challenges of balancing a growing business on top of her full time job, how she often needs to move slower than she might like—because she just doesn’t have all the time in the world to run the business. Kylie’s website Kylie’s “Fur Baby” Catahoula Leopard Dog keeps her extra busy Her interest in fashion, jewelry led to her first product, a bracelet made from the brass lobster gauge Maine Makers, LL Bean, Seabags, rope bracelets Husband is from Vinalhaven, Maine How Kylie jumped in and started to reach out to stores very early on, starting with K Collete a store she admired in Portland How she’s chosen to focus on the product over trying to make the brand “perfect, and now working to refresh her brand and website and launch ecommerce (in Fall 2016) Launching a lobster gauge style ring in rose gold and silver and a new bracelet—follow Kylie on Instagram to keep updated on her product line On staying close to the way of life in Maine, fishing and lobstering and expanding beyond jewelry into other accessories rooted in the fishing/lobstering industry and Maine aesthetic
26 minutes | Sep 12, 2016
Episode 03: Advertising Copywriter + Winemaker, Ryan Cochrane
In today’s episode I’m talking to Ryan Cochrane, an advertising copywriter and winemaker on the side. Grab a glass of your favorite vino and settle in for my chat with him about how he got into winemaking, and how he juggles his business selling handcrafted California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir along with his advertising career. You can find Ryan at RyanCochraneWines.com or on Facebook Ryan learned winemaking from esteemed winemaker, Roger Nicholas of RN Estate in the Paso Robles area of California Making wine he gets his grapes from Santa Barbara County — Fiddlestix and Solomon Hills Talking about all those Santa Barbara County vineyards got me thinking of one of my favorite movies ever, Sideways — maybe check it out over a bottle of Ryan’s wine! Ryan balances his winemaking with his day job in advertising because he has a great, flexible employer, but he does continue to find it a challenge to make the time for selling his wine Sells the majority of his wine in California’s Central Coast and Los Angeles - he is distributing his himself so spends a lot of time hand selling to restaurants, wine bars and also attending events and pouring his wine. Ryan encourages people to be open with their employers and ask for the time off they need, because he’s found he comes back fresh and engaged and full energy to work which is a benefit for his employer and would be for any employer! Ryan and I talk about how employers could get more out of their employees by recognizing the multifaceted nature of their employees Was Gmail a side project? Here’s the real story... How we both have found that others at work are really curious and interested in our side projects How Ryan feels like he fell into winemaking because he got laid off - but what he really did was follow his curiosity. Read some more on this topic in this article about Liz Gilbert’s take on curiosity On discovering new interests later in life and being a beginner This year Ryan is making a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Solomon Hills Vineyards in Santa Maria and a PInot Noir from Fiddlestix in Santa Rita Hills
31 minutes | Sep 5, 2016
Episode 02: Product Manager + Founder of The Beautiful Voyager, the social network for overthinkers with physical symptoms from stress - Meredith Arthur
Today’s show features Meredith Arthur. It was so interesting talking with Meredith because she’s taken a topic that is deeply personal to her—Generalized Anxiety Disorder—and created a side project around it that is 100% about helping others. Meredith is fueling an important conversation on a topic that so often gets relegated to the therapists office, or worse, goes undiagnosed because medical and non-medical people alike don’t recognize the symptoms. Meredith on living in the Bernal Heights neighborhood in San Francisco Indian Pizza in Bernal Heights On being diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Meredith’s Huff Po piece on GAD that resonated with so many people, and let to starting her website Definition of an “overthinker” is someone who has physical symptoms as a result of thinking. While there’s nothing wrong with “thinking”, if you’re thinking so much that you are always trying to solve for everything are are having physical symptoms then you may be an “overthinker” Some physical symptoms of an “overthinker” include headaches, neck pain, tight shoulders, lower back pain Connecting the dots between the physical and mental stuff Meredith’s website for overthinkers with physical symptoms from stress, The Beautiful Voyager Anchor, audio-only social media platform https://anchor.fm/ Find The Beautiful Voyager on Anchor Managing GAD with medication (Lexapro) which diminishes symptoms as well as using meditation and other elements like a personal mantra she calls “Two Sentences” Create a mantra like Meredith’s “Two Sentences” that helps remind herself of the reality of her situation with a look forward The Beautiful Voyager's Slack channel
45 minutes | Sep 4, 2016
Episode 01: Software Developer + Improv Actor, Jason Leal
In today’s episode I’m talking to Jason Leal about how joking around with a roommate 16 years ago led to his side passion in improv theater, how improv has opened up his world in teaching him to stop listening to his natural instinct to “say no” and to instead “say yes to anything”.... and so much more! Jason's day job at Craigslist BATS Improv in San Francisco On being open to what might become your thing…. “The thing that you want isn’t necessarily going to look the way you think it’s gonna look” What Jason has learned to stop listening to his natural instinct to “say no” to instead … from “saying yes to anything”—in improv and in life How Jason, an introvert and someone who doesn’t consider himself a “natural born performer” finds comfort on stage Finding flexibility and a healthy balance between his time with improv and other aspects of his life Thoughts on budgeting time and prioritizing what you love, even when you’re really busy Stretching into new places (like taking a dance class!), feeling the fear and doing it anyway The biggest things Jason has learned from improv and how it’s broadened and changed his life; has taught him to say yes more, not need to be “great” at something before trying it How improv has taught him to judge himself less and trust his instincts more He no longer thinks that he needs to do his acting and improv full time to “do it well”; rather persistence is the key.
11 minutes | Sep 3, 2016
Episode 00: The Top 5 Benefits of Side Projects with Vanessa Soto, founder of The Side Passion Project
Today’s episode is all about why I started this podcast and what you can expect to hear on the show as I talk with guests who are pursuing side projects and side businesses on top of full-time lives. Plus, my top 5 benefits to side projects. A few years ago I got trained as a life coach with the intent to make coaching my new career—but what happened along the way totally surprised me. I found that during the process of my training and then through all the inherent trials and tribulations of building my coaching business on the side, even though I was super busy and very often full of fear for all the new things I was trying, instead of making me more overwhelmed at my day job, I found that instead—it all actually made me feel a whole lot happier there! I found myself suddenly full of ideas. I was enjoying my work again. I found myself wanting more and bigger challenges. I was feeling engaged—and it felt so, so good to see myself feeling capable and confident again. For me, finding new interests and a passion around a business I was building on the side made everything feel better. And this experience of mine, it got me curious about other people’s experiences with side projects. But when I went Googling, I found that while there are countless books and blogs talking about how to "quit your day job and follow your passion" (over 8.7 million entries!) or “how to start a side hustle and quit your day job" (half a million and counting)—there was no one out there acknowledging the reality that for most people, quitting a job is just not a practical or realistic option. Or, maybe we actually like what we do—but we also like other things. Or, maybe, like I found out myself—my day job uses parts of me and my side projects use other parts of me—and only by doing both, does it all kinda come together. I was sure that I couldn’t be the only one experiencing unexpected benefits of a side project—without wanting to quit my day job. And I wanted to have this conversation—and that’s what led to this podcast. So with the show, I’ll be talking to people with all kinds of backgrounds—but what they all have in common is that they’re intentionally seeking and finding fulfillment outside of their full time job or family role. When I’m talking with people, we’ll hear about their own personal backstory as well as the details of how they’re making their side project work in their life, and also why they do it. I mean, it’s not easy. To give you a little taste of the kinds of things we’ll talk about on the show, here are my own Top 5 Benefits of Side Projects—in no particular order. #1. With a side project you get to do work you absolutely love, without the added strain of requiring it to also support you financially. #2. I mentioned this one earlier, but it’s a really important one! You get to use different strengths and aspects of yourself in a side project than you do at work or with your family. None of these is more “important” than any other—they are all part of you. Humans are complex beings and that’s a good thing! #3. When I first started taking classes and then later my coach training, and now with my business and the podcast, my circle has grown exponentially. At heart, I am a true introvert—but through exploring my interests I’ve encountered so many new people who I feel so lucky to call my friends. Having a side project can expose you to a whole new community that can enrich and expand your life. #4. As a kid, I was creative, and confident about it. But along the way I let that slide. It started in high school when I deemed others in my art classes far more talented than me (even though the art school I was taking classes at offered me merit scholarships year over year!) and then it really settled in when I started working in advertising where there are very clear lines between who is literally “a creative” and everyone else, where I self defined as more the “creativity enabler”. When I started to really expand into my side projects I found that these roles and titles started to fall away—and I started to redefine my own creativity in a quietly confident way that feels so right. This is the case for many people—a side project can help you redefine yourself in new and different ways, without any need to “give up” other important roles you play in your life. #5. And for me this one is inherently related to #4, about redefining yourself. But this won’t be the case for all. The 5th way a side project can benefit your life is to help you open up or re-open creative sides of yourself. Liz Gilbert talks about this on her podcast episode with Brene Brown (Season 1, Episode 12). So many people have shut off their creativity from a very young age and live less rich, fulfilling lives because of it. It can be scary to delve into what you innately love to do when you’ve set it aside for a long time. But it is scarier not to. And another thing—creativity is not just painting or photography or I don’t know, acting on stage. Creativity exists in all of us. It’s who we really are—whatever that looks like. I’d love to hear what you think. Do these resonate with you? Have you experienced any of these? If you’re more of an aspiring side project-er… does one of these just make you go, YES, I want that? Let me know! Leave a comment at www.doingitontheside.com/vanessa or leave me a voice mail at (510) 863-0404. Be sure to download a copy of my Top 5 Benefits of Side Projects!
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