Lessons from a Thriving Power Couple, With Farzan and Jennifer Dehmoubed of Lotus Sustainables

Personal growth work — We are always practicing personal growth. Our latest endeavor, which we did with our entire company, was The Happy, Healthy, Wealthy 9 Week Challenge created by our advisor Jim Bunch as part of his Ultimate Life Program.

As a part of our series about lessons from Thriving Power Couples, I had the pleasure of interviewing Farzan and Jennifer Dehmoubed.

As California proposed a bag ban in 2016, wife and husband team Jennifer and Farzan Dehmoubed stepped into action to create a meaningful business with impact. They’re on a mission to eliminate single-use plastics from shopping. With the average family using more 1,500 plastic bags per year, their company has already eliminated the need for more than 400 million plastic bags. Lotus Sustainables is a proud partner of 1% for the Planet. Thank you so much for doing this with us!

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you two to your respective career paths?

Jennifer: I grew up in Maryland and got my degree in Dietetics from University of Maryland while Farzan, who grew up in Toronto, received his Master’s Degree in Applied Finance from Macquarie University in Sydney. Before starting our bag company, I was a high school math teacher and Farzan ran a marketing company.

Just before getting married in 2015, we put our hearts together and asked ourselves “what is our vision for our marriage?” “what is the legacy we want to create?”.

At the time, we were working long hours in completely separate industries, coming home exhausted each night only to repeat the next day. Upon posing these empowering questions, it quickly dawned on us that our vision was to co-create something meaningful together. A business with impact.

Before you know it, California was proposing a bag ban in 2016 and we were on a mission to help clean up this planet and eliminate single-use plastics from shopping!

We weren’t expecting the Lotus Trolley Bag endeavor to become a full-time job or to become a national success. We started the company as a small, part-time side-hustle. We expected our first shipment in 2017 to sell out in five months; we ended up selling out in 8 days! Which resulted in a big Uh-oh! But for my husband and business partner, Farhan, that was the turning point. Knowing that there was such a demand for this product, we decided that it was time to go full force and there was no turning back.

We spent every waking hour of every day on this, and left our jobs completely behind. For me, it meant giving up health benefits and a salary and saying goodbye to my students for good at the end of the school year, which was hard. But we had faith and made the leap.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you two got married?

Jennifer: Farzan and I are both avid beach volleyball players, we met on the beach playing ball. He really liked my sets! We’ve been together for nine years, married for five. We are two individuals with a passion for love, life & the earth (and we still try to sneak in a volleyball game when we’re not working).

Farzan: The opportunity to be featured on Good Morning America’s Deals and Steals segment and having to fulfil over 15,000 packages from our HOUSE in less than 3 days. The orders literally filled our living room, kitchen and entryway floor to ceiling. Friends and family pitched in around the clock to make it happen, but it was definitely one of our most memorable experiences.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When we first started selling our Lotus Trolley Bags on Amazon, we surprisingly sold out of 5 months of inventory in just 8 days. The demand for this new patented concept was absolutely amazing and blew us away. This forced us to go back to our manufacturer and quickly reorder the same set of bags but with twice the volume. However, we were naive and thought the quality would be equal to our first order. Unfortunately, it wasn’t because they subcontracted the manufacturing to another factory that went rogue. Two-months later when our inventory arrived, we were devastated to see the shoddy workmanship. We invested everything we had, and it wasn’t even sellable! We learned a very important lesson that day. Always make sure you do 3rd party inspections at the factory before your product leaves the warehouse. At the time we were horrified. But looking back we can laugh at the misstep knowing that for only $200 in inspection fees we could have avoided thousands of dollars in losses. Now we know better.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Jennifer:: What began as heartache from the harsh realities of plastic pollution has turned into a purpose-driven brand. It’s our mission to spread love to Mother Earth and her inhabitants. We set out to eliminate plastic from shopping, and along the way, a give back program was born. Our brand now supports three categories close to our hearts: plastic pollution reduction, social justice advocacy, and climate change relief. We are a 1% For The Planet member and also applying to become a B-Corp. We want to use our business for good and help show people that going sustainable can be easy and good for you.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

Farzan: The Lotus Produce Bags are our newest product. The average person uses over 500 reusable produce bags per year for an average of only 12 minutes. One set of our Lotus Produce Bags replaces all that waste. They are high-quality, BPA free, washable and multipurpose. We’ve been amazed at the response to this product. We are also launching the Lotus Cart Clip. This is a phone holder made from silicone and recycled plastics that attaches to the shopping cart handle to hold your phone & e-grocery list for a hands-free streamlined shopping experience. No more fumbling with your phone to check your grocery list. It seamlessly attaches to the cart and you have your whole list right in front of you. With our Lotus Trolley Bag, our Lotus Produce Bag and the new Lotus Cart Clip, our customers can check in and out of the store in record time. Faster, easier and more organized.

What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?

Farzan: Make sure you speak about purpose before profits. Empower your employees and share your overall vision and mission as often as possible.

How do you define “Leadership”?

Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. I think the key to leadership is having a very defined vision and mission behind what you do. Your team needs to have a common goal and it’s up to leadership to guide and empower the team in the right direction.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Farzan: I’m grateful for all our advisors. Mission driven leaders from companies like HydroFlask, Seventh Generation and Burt’s Bees. You don’t always need to reinvent the wheel. Working with people that have been there done that can be such a benefit to any leader. I highly recommend starting a Board of Advisors even if it means giving up equity. If you pick the right advisors, it will pay off.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Our biggest accomplishment is to have helped eliminate over 415 Million plastic bags from entering our environment with the sale of our Lotus Trolley Bags and our Lotus Produce Bags. The average family uses 1,500 plastic bags a year and that’s a statistic we work hard every day to change.

What are the “5 Things You Need To Thrive As A Couple”? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Gratitude — we keep a gratitude journal together and feel so thankful everyday for all that we have and are able to create with.
  2. Quality Time — Regular Romance & Laughter are key! Schedule in Quality Time.
  3. Celebrating the wins, both big and small
  4. Personal growth work — We are always practicing personal growth. Our latest endeavor, which we did with our entire company, was The Happy, Healthy, Wealthy 9 Week Challenge created by our advisor Jim Bunch as part of his Ultimate Life Program.
  5. Being in Service (to others, to the earth, to animals, to art, etc.). I enjoy tutoring and mentoring high school students, fostering senior dogs, and creating sacred space for women to connect and heal. Farzan is a wonderful mentor to other entrepreneurs and loves to volunteer at the men’s homeless shelter.

You are people of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Ending racism, honoring the earth in every aspect, spreading love.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Farzan: My favorite quote is ‘If it was easy, everyone would do it.’ In entrepreneurship and business I find that to be very true. With Lotus Sustainables we’ve worked tirelessly almost every day to get to where we are today. It takes dedication, drive and determination. That’s why I always recommend entrepreneurs to do what they love. It’s going to take over their lives and they may as well love what they do.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

Farzan: I would love to have lunch with Manoj Bhargava. A successful entrepreneur who was the CEO of Five Hour Power that went on to use his wealth to create inventions that benefit the poorest populations in the world. He is someone I admire and respect greatly as a philanthropist. I highly recommend everyone watch his documentary called Billions in Change, the film is truly inspiring!

How can our readers follow your work online?

Follow us @lotustrolleybag (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok) or email me at farzan@lotus-sustainables.com . Visit www.Lotus-sustainables.com for more information.


Lessons from a Thriving Power Couple, With Farzan and Jennifer Dehmoubed of Lotus Sustainables was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Reno R Rolle Sr & Lynn M Rolle of BoKU Superfood: “How Extremely Busy Executives Make Time To Be

Reno R. Rolle Sr. & Lynn M. Rolle of BoKU Superfood: “How Extremely Busy Executives Make Time To Be Great Parents”

Being fully present is a great strategy for raising children but also for ourselves. I believe many of us spend entirely too much time and energy worrying — about things that will likely never happen or are completely out of our control. If we remain present and focus only on the things we can change, we’ll spend less time watching the news and worrying about politics and other matters that are clearly out of our hands. This simple discipline will potentially free up hours that could instead be spent with our children.

As a part of my series about “How extremely busy executives make time to be great parents” I had the pleasure to interview Reno R. Rolle Sr., Co-CEO, Founder & Chairman of the wellness brand, BoKU Superfood and his wife Lynn M. Rolle, Co-Founder and CEO.

When they realized their son was having difficulty focusing in school and wasn’t “behaving properly,” the superfood and organic lifestyle/personal care brand was born! While on the hunt for an alternative to prescription drugs, they began to experiment in their kitchen with superfood concoctions. In doing so they found the most potent foods and created products that not only fueled and nourished the body, but tasted delicious as well.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us your “childhood backstory”?

“I was raised by the son of a janitor in a family of 5 children. I was Involved in sports and actually beat Olympian Carl Lewis in a foot race when I was 10 years old (more below). My parents divorced at 15 years old. I was an honor-roll student in high school that seldom studied. I had nothing and wanted everything.”

Can you share the story about what brought you to this specific point in your career?

“Our son Reno Jr. inspired us to discover superfoods in a quest to avoid prescription drugs when he was diagnosed with ADHD back in 1995. I founded the Home Entertainment division for National Lampoon in 2003 and was making movies when I was contacted by an icon in the infomercial business who asked me to “Think of a deal I couldn’t possibly say no to” and take the CEO position in his global company based in Bradford England. After an incredibly tumultuous start, we co-created a NY Times #1 Best Selling Book. This book remained #1 for 21 weeks in 2005 and outsold every book, in every category, except Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince. The success of this book spawned the birth of Boku International, our family owned Superfood company.”

Can you tell us a bit more about what your day-to-day schedule looks like?

“I wake up early to a BoKU superfood breakfast and generally try to squeeze in some form of exercise/movement. I often walk or ride my bike to work at BoKU Superfood HQ, which is just 6 minutes away from our home. I spend my day primarily developing growth opportunities for our business and supporting my amazing wife and Boku CEO, Lynn.”

Based on your experience or research, can you flesh out why not spending time with your children can be detrimental to their development?

“My father was largely absent during my entire childhood. He acknowledged this later in life with great disappointment and regret. He never attended a single track meet, football game, school or social event. I grew up resenting this a great deal and it put tremendous strain on both my relationship with him and my mother, who was left filling his role as disciplinarian. I developed anger and other emotional issues that I was later able to tie directly back to my father’s lack of presence. We are all shaped by our experiences and environments, especially during our formative years when we are most impressionable.”

On the flip side, can you give a few reasons or examples about why it is so important to make time to spend with your children?

“Children are an incredible blessing but at the same time an enormous responsibility. As parents, we owe it to them, our communities and humanity in general, to do our absolute best in guiding them to become the best version of themselves. This takes TIME. If we can’t make the time that they need and deserve, then we shouldn’t take the time to make them.”

According to this study cited in the Washington Post, the quality of time spent with children is more important than the quantity of time. Can you give a 3–5 stories or examples from your own life about what you do to spend quality time with your children?

“I’ve learned that one of the best things to do during time with children is to simply listen. It’s natural to want to talk a lot as we feel inclined or obligated to teach. However, one of the best kept secrets is that children also teach us. I always liked asking questions and then allowing the conversation to be guided by my listening. Another great way to optimize time spent with children is to empower their decision making. Rather than lecture on all the reasons something they wanted made no sense, I would ask them to weigh the pros and cons — then decide for themselves. It’s a completely different experience when they are part of the process. Finally, remembering that the best thing in the world to have is fun. Not just for children but for us big kids too. I always tried to create fun experiences and be a part of them with my kids. It would be very hard for them not to associate fun and happiness with their Dad.”

We all live in a world with many deadlines and incessant demands for our time and attention. That inevitably makes us feel rushed and we may feel that we can’t spare the time to be “fully present” with our children. Can you share with our readers 5 strategies about how we can create more space in our lives in order to give our children more quality attention? Please include examples or stories for each, if you can.

“1. I was very fortunate to home office during some of my career. This should be a valuable, increasing trend post COVID and the benefits should not be discounted. Proximity is important and being under the same roof, while offering its own challenges, also brings enormous up-side. Beyond simply being close, I often recruited my kids to help with some of my work related projects. I would share detailed business related issues and treat them as if they understood, always inviting them to play-up and participate. I would read aloud my business correspondence, share letter drafts with them for comments and opinions, share ideas and project updates, etc. Getting the kids involved strategically offered numerous benefits. Not only did they understand why I needed quiet when the phone rang or for them to behave a certain way when I was working, it also instilled a sense of responsibility and participation. They played an active role in my work and OUR success. We would celebrate wins together. They related great vacations and travel to success and accomplishment at work. This, I believe, helped inspire work ethic and creativity. To this day, we bounce ideas off of each other constantly. My son Reno Jr. has become very successful developing his ideas and formulations at BōKU. My daughter Ryann does not hesitate to implement new ideas and strategies to enhance operational efficiencies.

2. Being fully present is a great strategy for raising children but also for ourselves. I believe many of us spend entirely too much time and energy worrying — about things that will likely never happen or are completely out of our control. If we remain present and focus only on the things we can change, we’ll spend less time watching the news and worrying about politics and other matters that are clearly out of our hands. This simple discipline will potentially free up hours that could instead be spent with our children.

3. I also believe many of us have a tendency to care way too much, about things that matter less. We get carried away and forget that sometimes it’s ok to say “no.” We get wound-up in projects that make no sense and only end up robbing time and resources. If we learn to better prioritize, we can wipe our schedule clean of these time robbers that only seem important, but in the grand scheme — amount to nothing. Especially when compared to the value we would derive from spending this time with our children. We need to care — but not that much.

4. Nutrition plays an enormous role in how we function. So much of what we eat and drink is poisoning our bodies and undermining our incredible ability to fight sickness and perform. Toxic food can fuel toxic thoughts and behavior. If we don’t eat well and fill ourselves with bad food, we’re not going to look or feel our best. If we’re sick and miserable, how will we provide for our children and others around us. Taking good care of ourselves is not selfish, it’s necessary.

5. Consume less processed, isolated caffeine and move your body. Good sleep is essential and will have you waking up earlier and rested. Getting up early means less rushing and more time.”

How do you define a “good parent”? Can you give an example or story?

“A good parent in my opinion, is one who leads with constant gratitude for the gift that children are. Remembering at all times that they are like clay in a sculptors hands. We have the responsibility and privilege of shaping them into pretty much anything we desire. A good parent is also one humble enough to know that we must be open to constantly learning and changing. Just because our parents did it, or it worked for us, doesn’t make it the best approach for our children. They are individuals with their own unique gifts and stories. The goal of a good parent should not be to make clones of ourselves but to nurture and respect the individual potential of each child and provide the best possible environment for them to flourish.”

How do you inspire your child to “dream big”? Can you give an example or story?

“My kids always knew that dreams are everything. If you can dream it, you can achieve it and there are no limitations! By dreaming out-loud and being inclusive, my kids have experienced my dreams as an entrepreneur and watched them become reality. I inspire them to dream by including them in mine and allowing them to live the magic of manifestation. 15 years ago, I dreamt of one day occupying the flagship property on 2 acres at the gateway to our town in Ojai, California. I shared this dream with my wife and kids. At the time, we could barely pay our mortgage and had no idea how we would ever possibly afford this property or what we would do with it, even if we could somehow get it. I didn’t know the answers to these or other questions but I kept on dreaming. In 2015 we experienced a growth spurt and needed a larger facility for BōKU. I immediately thought of the beautiful property I had been dreaming of for years. Through a miraculous series of serendipitous events, two years of arduous negotiating with Billionaires and a healthy dose of pure magic and good luck, I made one of the most incredible deals of my life and we experienced this as a family.”

How do you, a person who masterfully straddles the worlds of career and family, define “success”?

“Happiness.”

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to be a better parent? Can you explain why you like them?

“I find inspiration anywhere it’s hiding. As an optimist, I look for good constantly, observing others and seeking mentorship. Master Key to The Riches is one of my favorite books. It taught me that climbing the ladder of success requires both hands reaching out — one reaching upward for help from someone higher on the ladder and the second reaching down to help someone lower on the ladder, who aspires to be where you are. Mentors are incredibly important and most often want to help us as much as we want them to.”

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Nothing beats a failure but a try” — Uncle Sonny. My Father’s older brother said this constantly and it really inspired me to try. No matter how daunting or seemingly impossible the task might be. When I was 10 years old, I joined the Willingboro Track Club founded by Evelyn and Cleve Lewis (Carl’s parents). We began running the 100, 220 and 440 yard sprints (this was before meters). I honestly believed I had some handicap because the Lewis kids were so much faster than me. Of course I had no idea that I was racing the boy who would later become the fastest man in the world and win multiple Olympic gold medals. One day Mrs. Lewis announced that we would be timed running the 880. I was able to calculate in my head that this would be two laps and lined up for my routine humiliation. One difference is that this race began standing. I didn’t have to crouch down in the starting blocks, which I found very awkward. A standing start in contrast, felt good to me. I took off when the gun sounded and watched Carl immediately gain a huge advantage as he shot out nearly half a lap ahead of me. I did the only thing I knew, which was to keep running as fast as I could. After one lap something miraculous happened (no Carl didn’t trip and fall), I looked up to see that I was actually gaining on Carl! He was a sprinter and completely ran out of gas after one lap. This inspired a burst of energy and hope as I pumped my arms and legs even harder, running as fast as I possibly could — right past Carl and across the finish line. This may have seemed insignificant but it was anything but — to me. I overcame what seemed like an impossible obstacle and won that race because I didn’t quit and wasn’t afraid to try, despite seemingly insurmountable odds. This lesson has shaped so much of my life and my personal mantra “Life is a two lap race. Never quit.” Anything is possible if you try and don’t quit.”

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

“My dream is to share our health forming superfoods and positively impact as many people as possible. Especially the underserved people living in food deserts all over the world. The work we do at BōKU is incredibly important. While we share the most nutrient dense, health forming foods on earth, the most powerful aspect of what we do, goes largely unspoken. It’s estimated that nearly 60% of all produce cultivated in North America is wasted. Wasted water, labor, soil depletion, chemical pollution — the environmental impact of this incredible inefficiency is astounding and destroying our planet. Fresh produce is rushed around the world in fuel-hogging refrigerated containers, racing against time as the food begins rotting from the moment it’s picked. Only the pretty ones make it to store shelves, where consumers pay artificially inflated prices designed to off-set the enormous waste. At BōKU, our plant based, superfood ingredients are harvested fresh, gently dried at low temperature and powdered. This simple process not only captures the nutritional potency at its peak, but essentially removes perishability from the equation, because the shelf life of these dried powders is YEARS compared to fresh produce that lasts only DAYS. Without this race against time, we could literally load our superfoods on the back of a turtle and feed hungry children on the other side of the world. The potential to make a positive difference with our superfoods is so powerful for both the health and wellness of people AND our planet, it has gone beyond my dream and now forms my purpose. While experts describe what we do as the future of food, it’s remarkable to consider that the ancient superfoods we specialize in, have been revered in cultures all over the world — many of them since the times before Christ. There is clearly a growing trend — back to nature and rediscovering the gift of superfoods. This is the movement I would inspire.”


Reno R Rolle Sr & Lynn M Rolle of BoKU Superfood: “How Extremely Busy Executives Make Time To Be was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Emily Maultsby: Five Things We Can Do To Develop Serenity And Support Each Other During These…

Emily Maultsby of Emily Rose Gems: Five Things We Can Do To Develop Serenity And Support Each Other During These Anxious Times

My business isn’t really about jewelry, it’s about self care, and using the natural world around us to promote our own happiness. I want people to think about my collection as a “toolbox,” a set of natural tools, that can be used for emotional regulation. Each one does something different. I design my jewelry so that the stones that work well together can be combined. And all of it is meant to enhance your life.

As a part of my series about “How To Develop Mindfulness And Serenity During Stressful Or Uncertain Times”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Emily Maultsby.

Emily is a “jackie-of-all trades” creative, wife to a photographer turned software engineer, mother to three young boys. She started her own business [Emily Rose Gems] as an answer to the dilemma that faces all mothers: the desire to be with her family, while also finding some meaningful existence that gave her a way to help others outside her home, while making connections and finding strength in mastery.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

My own personal history of mental health challenges and treatment, using hundreds of hours of group therapy and training in DBT has given me tools that I want to share with others and my gemstones are the way I do this.

DBT’s main goals are to teach people how to live in the moment, develop healthy ways to cope with stress, regulate their emotions, and improve their relationships with others. I have extended this concept to use gemstones as a constant reminder to return to the present — and look good too.

My business isn’t really about jewelry, it’s about self care, and using the natural world around us in a way that promotes happiness.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

Building a real community where we share our life experiences and how each of us relates to the gemstones in similar ways makes me feel part of something bigger.

I designed this one rose quartz ring when I started. The combination of the style and gemstone of the ring was to emphasize the stone’s innate power of encouraging self-love. I thought to myself “I’ll never wear this ring, I’m designing it for someone else.” But when I got the sample and put it on, it awakened my feelings of inner beauty and self-worth. The effect was magical. Such a specific and clear message. I fell in love with that ring that day, and since I have started selling that ring, and heard from customers that they have had that same experience with it, it just blows my mind.

What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?

I’ve joined together with true friends, one located in India, with whom I can share a cohesive vision. Work with people who share your passion, and who you simply like and trust..

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

I loved the combination of science, photography and medicine in “The Hidden Messages in Water” by Dr. Masaru Emoto. I found his message inspirational, that something so simple, water, could actually be mystical and powerful. I also admired his bravery in dedicating his life’s work to this avant-garde study. He followed his heart, regardless of being labeled foolish. My passion is the power of gemstones.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. From your experience or research, how would you define and describe the state of being mindful?

Being mindful means finding peace and joy in small moments. Doing one thing at a time, and doing it well.

Trying to remain in the present moment is hard. My business is built around a method that I have developed to enable me and others to achieve mindfulness.

I associate each gemstone ring, necklace and pendant with an emotional intent. If I wear the gemstone on my hand, it is a constant reminder of that intent. If I wear the gemstone on my neck (or chest) then I find it more soothing and protective. Each time I touch or see the gemstone(s) it brings me back to the present.

This might be intuitive to you, but it will be instructive to spell this out. Can you share with our readers a few of the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of becoming mindful?

Let me go back to something I mentioned earlier, how I used DBT as a tool to achieve balance.

According to the Linehan Institute: “Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Its main goals are to teach people how to live in the moment, develop healthy ways to cope with stress, regulate their emotions, and improve their relationships with others.” I have extended this concept to use gemstones as a constant reminder to return to the present — and look good too.

Mindfulness shares a core with the objectives of DBT.

When I am mindful, my anxiety dissipates. I slow down and experience life as it is happening, growing appreciation for the small things around me. I find satisfaction, and feel more complete. I find that every day activities, washing my face, making the bed, doing the dishes, become a healing ritual. The busy pace of the modern world can blind us to how important this is.

Ok. Here is the main question of our discussion. The past 5 years have been filled with upheaval and political uncertainty. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the pandemic have only heightened a sense of uncertainty, anxiety, fear, and loneliness. From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to develop mindfulness during such uncertain times? Can you please share a story or example for each.

Here are the first five steps I take every day that support my own quest for mindfulness. With a little practice, one can learn to live most of their days in a mindful state. The stress of the last year has made this incredibly important for me and for others.

1. I Wake up and stretch. Check in with my body, how does it feel?

2. I make the bed. And not in a hurried way, but actually make it. With extra pillows even. Make it look nice, so that at the end of the day, I will feel like someone wanted me to feel special when I put my tired body back into bed. I think about my future gratefulness, and about the good rest my bed gave me.

3. I wash my face and brush my teeth. I think only of the way it feels to rub away sleep and polish myself clean. I use products that feel and smell good and bring me joy.

4. I dress in clothes that make me feel happy. Natural fabrics that feel good to wear. Clothes that make sense for my day, but also make me feel put together and confident.

5. And finally, I put on some gemstones! I put a couple of rings on my left hand — which according to ayurvedic medicine is my “feeling” hand. I choose stones with my gut, my sacral chakra, letting it guide me toward colors and shapes that stand out to me, begging to be held. Throughout my day when I need a distraction, or a moment of peace, I will look down at my hand, and feel soothed.

From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?

Begin by listening. Don’t reply with your own story, or advice. Just listen, and validate. Say “wow, that sounds really hard. I’m here for you. Tell me what you need.”

Next, encourage their inner artist. By helping people make art, especially my kids, they can find mindfulness and peace. Sometimes people just need to be handed the right tools: a rock and a sharpie oil paint marker are a great combo to help someone calm down and focus.

Third, I’ll use nature. Offer to go for a walk in the woods, assist with gardening, foraging, going to the beach. Even just sitting together under a tree.

Fourth, gifting a gemstone. Sometimes you can’t get out into nature, so for those times, hand someone struggling a gemstone to hold. Shells and rocks work well too if there isn’t a gemstone handy.

Fifth, I encourage them to do something nice for someone else. Sometimes we get so stuck in our own troubles, that we forget that so many of us are struggling. Bake cookies or muffins and share them with a friend. Get out of your own head and reach out.

What are the best resources you would suggest for someone to learn how to be more mindful and serene in their everyday life?

That’s exactly what I’m trying to accomplish. The gemstones are the natural resources that can be used to make mindfulness easier and “more natural.”

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

My quote is actually printed on the inside of my boxes. “Wear it in good health.” This is something I started saying to customers at fairs, when I first started selling my jewelry. I felt that it encapsulated my mission, which was to encourage people to focus on their health, and to instill the stones with their hopefulness and faith. By charging gemstones with our positive intentions they become a catalyst for our healing.

I subsequently learned from my dad that his mom used to say this in Yiddish “trog gezunterhait” when giving a gift. She passed away when I was just two. I love to believe that was more than a coincidence.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

My business isn’t really about jewelry, it’s about self care, and using the natural world around us to promote our own happiness.

I want people to think about my collection as a “toolbox,” a set of natural tools, that can be used for emotional regulation. Each one does something different. I design my jewelry so that the stones that work well together can be combined. And all of it is meant to enhance your life.

What is the best way our readers can follow you online?

I’m on instagram obsessively. @emilyrosegems

I also have a website, of course www.emilyrosegems.com

And look me up on clubhouse! I love to chat.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

Thank you so much for this opportunity!


Emily Maultsby: Five Things We Can Do To Develop Serenity And Support Each Other During These… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Women In Wellness: Adora Winquist on the Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s…

Women In Wellness: Adora Winquist on the Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s Journey Towards Better Wellbeing

Not everyone is going to like you or want what you have to offer. That’s the beauty of life. There is something for everyone out there and that something doesn’t have to be from you. It feels great when it is. Enjoy each win and take the accomplishment in fully before moving on. When that customer or client isn’t interested, onward. Better is to come.

As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Adora Winquist.

Adora Winquist is a visionary in the nascent field of Quantum Alchemy, an evolutionary transformative path for self-mastery which facilitates healing at the DNA level using an amalgamation of plant and vibrational modalities.

Adora is devoted to offering global ceremony, activating and uniting all kingdoms of life on the planet: plant, mineral animal, and human. She is dedicated to the awakening and evolution of the consciousness of humanity.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

I was born in upstate New York and from as early as I can remember I loved nature. I spent as much time surrounded by it as possible . As a child, I spent a great deal of time outside, alone with the scents and sounds of the meadow, the forest, the lake, and the creek in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. I felt more comfort and connection from the natural surroundings than with most of the people in my circle of family and friends. The plants, trees and stones seemed alive and able to communicate with each other. And with me. So, it was no surprise when as an adult, I was drawn to their spiritual and healing properties. I especially enjoyed blending various concoctions, including a variety of odd food dishes, as well as my mother’s cosmetics, which I stirred into an expensive and fragrant paste of powder, makeup and perfume. It was a prophetic start.

A turning point occurred in the early 90’s when I was studying metaphysics in Hyannis, Massachusetts. To cure a recurring and debilitating case of bronchitis, I blended eucalyptus, thyme, hyssop, and ginger into a powerful herbal tea. That potion worked quicker than all the physician-prescribed medications I had taken in the past. This marked a moment that I became firmly hooked on formulating effective herbal products, and led to making teas and tinctures for family and friends for every complaint and condition that arose. I experimented and stumbled upon my dearest passion: essential oils.

Travel to India and Egypt activated a deeper education and understanding of esoteric practices and aromatherapy, studying from leaders in these fields. I pursued numerous certifications in vibrational medicine and aromatherapy from globally-known organizations including Rutgers University and the Barbara Brennan School for Healing. A new life path and inspiration arose leading to multiple businesses, clients and students and speaking engagements.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?

The journey of entrepreneurship is rich with experience. The stories and lessons are voluminous and offer such an abundant opportunity for growth and greater understanding, of ourselves and human nature.

Commitment, Trust & Patience. These three power words hold a tremendous amount of energy, seeded in our belief systems, family heritage and the collective consciousness. These seeds root and expand in our lives through experience, imagery and emotional response that carries both a negative and positive charge.

Essentially until we can commit to ourselves, our own healing journey, our own process of self-awareness, self care and the commitment to being here, in this body, on this planet, in this time…until we can really commit to those aspects, how can we commit to anything outside of ourselves?

How can we commit to that goal of writing a book, starting our business, getting into better shape, finding a new relationship, or rekindling an existing one? It all starts with that internal connection and commitment to our authentic self.

About 10 years ago, when I was living in New Jersey, a group of friends and business associates said, “Adora, you really need to create a product for commitment…something about committing and how important that is.” I told them it was a great idea and that I was on it!

Well, I didn’t make that product until last year. It took me 10 years to make the product that people were requesting from me. From a sales perspective, that’s not very smart, right? People were literally telling me they wanted to buy a product from me, and I didn’t make it until 10 years later. But what I realized in that process is that I wasn’t ready before a year ago to create it. I hadn’t come to that place of deeper commitment to myself because the beauty of this human embodiment is that there is always another layer and level to explore within. We are all coming to different and new levels of self discovery. There is always more to learn, grow and expand into new levels of commitment to ourselves.

I realize now that the timing was perfect. These lessons have gifted me the truth and trust that all timing is in fact, perfect.

Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I’d like to say that the biggest mistake I made was at the very start of my business, but it wasn’t. It did not come until well over a decade later when I decided to expand exponentially. As an entrepreneur one is faced with many decisions to make and problems to solve, simultaneously. The greatest error I made and with that the richest opportunity for growth, was not trusting that I was enough. To some degree, I felt I needed to be more to be successful: more education, more awards, more titles, more, more, more.

Decisions in hiring an executive team and allocating C-level leadership positions and equity are not the easiest, and yet for the sustainable growth and success of a business they are in fact a requirement. Ultimately, I realized that even though another person may have all the appearance of a higher business pedigree through education or experience, it does not necessarily mean that they are better suited to lead or partner with. It is truly what is within us that determines our triumphs, personally and professionally.

I believe that entrepreneurship is a spiritual journey. All the unresolved aspects of our personalities, surface in a business environment just as they do in our personal relationships. Everyone has heard of the old adage, “It’s just business. Not personal.” The truth is everything is connected. The health and harmony of our home life bleeds through to our professional lives because we are all connected. We are complex individuals. Our thoughts, feelings, desires, and pasts directly correlate how we interact, make decisions and move through the world with both desired and sometimes undesired outcomes. And yet, these experiences offer us the opportunity to learn from the past, improve our outlook and decision making and blow open the next glass ceiling in the story of our success.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

There have been so many guides, teachers, mentors and allies along the way. I would have to say, my father. When I was young he taught me discipline, drive and integrity. He forged a belief deep within me that I could do anything. There were many years where we butted heads and disagreed on almost everything. And then we became friends, allies and sources of inspiration for each other. He understood the adversity I faced as a single mother from his own childhood. He also understood my ambition, perseverance and my heart. He was my first investor and my staunchest support. He made me laugh harder than anyone else on the face of this Earth. I hold the intention that everyone has this level of support in their own journey of business and life.

Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?

The focus of my work through the decades has primarily been on one major theme: to elevate the consciousness of humanity. What does this mean and how do we do this? Essentially, as our consciousness evolves we become more enlightened with a greater understanding of ourselves, human nature and the ever changing world around us. To awaken to these new levels within, we search the inner recesses of ourselves to love, forgive, and forge compassion and healing from the places of trauma and recurring obstacles that surface along our journey of life. This transformative process allows us to garner greater wisdom from our experiences, our decisions and their ramifications.

My new book, co-authored with colleague Dr. Lulu Shimek, offers a more in depth articulation of how we can heal at the DNA level and transform these aspects of our existence with plant & vibrational medicine. This type of alchemy offers us tremendous support and acceleration on our journey of greater wellbeing. We have an infinite opportunity for healing in our lives, resulting in our ability to give and receive love, experience enhanced vibrancy and deeper intimacy and communion with ourselves, the earth and the divine source that exists all around us. This book offers a vast resource and guide to the journey of self discovery and self mastery.

Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.

Presence-Our ability to be present in the moment is the great gift we can give ourselves. The conscious now is filled with infinite potential for centeredness, clarity and deep connection with ourselves and others.

Intention-Our intention, whether it positive, negative or one of indifference focuses energy to specific outcomes in our lives. It is the sculptor to the clay of our desire. Be clear and mindful of what it is that you want to create in your life and then invite in your intention.

Meditation-A consistent practice of meditation increases our resilience to stress, harnesses the monkey mind, and allows us to find stillness and reverence in silence.

Essential Oils-As the most potent form of plant medicine, essential oils offer us both biochemical and vibrational medicines to heal our body, mind and spirit

Exercise-A weekly exercise routine benefits both our minds and bodies. We reap the rewards from the respect of our vitality, cardiovascular health, mood boosting brain chemicals and physical stamina.

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

At this stage in my work, I love the synergy of creating both essential oil based products and healing content. The latter of which is offered both complementary and paid and therefore inclusive to all seekers of betterment in their life. My latest collection, the Elixirs 4 Quantum Living, offers an aromatic means to balance energy, sleep and mood. It is the first collection of nanoparticle essential oil formulas synergized with nanoparticle CBD and gem essences. Quantum Living is shifting from the perspective of surviving to a life of thriving, transforming limitations to freedom and the fulfillment of our greatest self-expression. Practicing an intentional daily habit with these oils and then combining with our complimentary meditations offer a great resource to deepen one’s journey of healing and empowerment.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

Creating something that has never existed before doesn’t happen overnight. It takes patience, drive, perseverance and the capability to multitask, and pivot. Over and over again.

It will take more resources than you can even imagine. You have a dream and a passion that turns into a plan. And of course you have a budget. The plan is never a straight line. It is curvy and iterative. The budget multiplies in a moment. In the way every living creature has different needs in the moment, your business is alive and requires more time, energy and funds than you may think.

Your business, project or any relationship can consume you entirely if you let it. The journey of the entrepreneur is not for the weak of heart. As any relationship in life, it needs to be nourished, but it can be consuming. Having healthy boundaries is key for success.

People do not always have the best intentions, whether subconscious or conscious.

Discernment is one of the greatest skills to learn in life. Take the time for detached observation, and for objective decision making and always listen to your gut!

Your product, service, message or beliefs aren’t for everyone and that is perfectly ok.

Not everyone is going to like you or want what you have to offer. That’s the beauty of life. There is something for everyone out there and that something doesn’t have to be from you. It feels great when it is. Enjoy each win and take the accomplishment in fully before moving on. When that customer or client isn’t interested, onward. Better is to come.

Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?

Mental health is close to my heart. From my own personal journey of healing and challenges with anxiety and depression, and those of my family origin, I identify greatly with the host of challenges and suffering that is held within the vast range of mental health and wellbeing. As a Marine and Korean War veteran, my father experienced PTSD, although it was not spoken of or certainly understood for most of his life. This led me to work with the Veteran community here in North Carolina, teaching veterans how to make their own medicine with herbs and essential oils for a variety of purposes including sleep, mood, pain, and energy. My mother experiences bouts of debilitating depression in her life. This has built a great level of compassion and understanding within me. I am passionate about our birthright and potential to heal deeply, feel better, and the freedom to express ourselves in healthy ways so that we can live an abundant joyful life.

Essential oils work in a multitude of ways, but the most immediate and sustainable way is inhalation. This is because of the proximity of the nose to the brain, specifically the limbic system, which regulates so much of our physiology including mood, memory and emotion. Uniquely, in part due to their molecular size, essential oils pass through the blood-brain barrier, providing important phyto-nutrients throughout our body. This aspect, along with their vibrational nature, allow us to clear old dysfunctional patterns and re-program healthier new ones. This brings healing through the nervous system down to the DNA level of our cells for quantum shifts on our generational healing: past, present, and future. This is a complete game changer in the world of wellness.

The right essential oils (quality as well as variety) in the correct formulation have the ability to literally shift our mood, thoughts, conscious awareness, and therefore our overall physiological response. This makes essential oils perhaps one of the most effective ways to balance stress response and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

IG @adorawinquist

FB @adorawinquistmodernalchemist

Youtube Adora Winquist

Twitter @adorawinquist

Linkedin Adora Winquist, LLC

Pinterest @adorawinquistalchemy


Women In Wellness: Adora Winquist on the Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Elizabeth Pishkur of Edit and Organize with Elizabeth: 5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living…

Elizabeth Pishkur of Edit and Organize with Elizabeth: 5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy

Decorate your bedroom with pretty bedding and keep clutter off the floor. Add a basket for throw pillows and a bench to put clothes on. Your bedroom should be warm, inviting and uncluttered to ensure a good night’s sleep. Also, it is the space that you see first thing every day.

As part of my series on the “5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Elizabeth Pishkur.

Elizabeth Pishkur is the owner of “Edit and Organize with Elizabeth.” Her passion for helping friends and family design and organize their living spaces turned into a thriving business. A graduate of Indiana University, she brings Hoosier hospitality to every project she works on.

Thank you so much for joining us in this series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Ever since I can remember I have loved to decorate, design and organize. As a young girl when I played “house or “school,” it really was just setting up my house or school room. That was my favorite part. I loved to decorate, redecorate and move furniture in my room. I’ve carried that love into adulthood. It’s important to me to have my home free of clutter. After having my first child, I put my career of being a Human Resources professional on hold. When my youngest was off to Kindergarten, I decided it was time to make a career out of doing what I love…designing and organizing spaces.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

The most interesting thing that has happened to me since starting this career is definitely learning how to work with different personalities. I love finding what works for each individual client and what makes their space work for them.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

One client I worked for kept her dog’s grooming essentials in a drawer in her bathroom. My project was to edit and organize the bathroom. I accidentally mixed the client’s and the dog’s stuff together. We both had a good laugh about it, once she told me about my mistake. After that I learned to never assume anything.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I am currently working on an exciting project. A busy, young couple with young children moved into their dream home two years ago. They are minimalists. However, they have had no time to set up their home in a way that functions for their family. They hired me to organize their kitchen and pantry, but they decided they needed me to organize their entire house. They are feeling less stress now that their main floor is organized. Plus, they are committed to keeping their space functioning now that I’ve given them the tools to do so. It can be so overwhelming on where to start with a whole, home project but hiring a professional can be really motivating and change the feel of your home.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My favorite “Life Lesson Quote” is ‘Be Yourself; everyone else is taken.’ — Oscar Wilde. I truly believe I have gotten to this point in my career because I am my authentic self. Being happy with yourself can lead to stronger personal and work-related relationships. Building a strong rapport with my clients is essential in making a project successful.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I am so grateful for my late mother. She did not have much growing up and had to share a three bedroom house with her parents and eight siblings. So, when she and my father built their dream home, she made it her mission to make it feel warm and inviting. She spent countless hours designing and decorating every room. Our home was always clean and free of clutter. It wasn’t just a house, it was a home. I have so many wonderful memories of that house. When my husband and I bought our dream home, I made it my mission to make it feel just as warm as the house I grew up in. Now I want my clients to feel the same way about their homes.

Thank you for that. Here is the main question of our discussion. What are your “5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Five Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark Joy

  1. Keep clutter to a minimum. For example, keeping kitchen counter space free of dirty dishes and small appliances can reduce stress as the kitchen is the most popular room of the house.
  2. Add small touches. Candles, framed family pictures, comfy throw blankets and live plants can be an easy way to add warmth to your space.
  3. Edit your closet twice a year. Keep only clothes that you are currently wearing. A good rule of thumb is to get rid of anything you didn’t wear during the last season. I had a client who was so thrilled with the editing and organizing of her closet that she actually enjoyed putting her clean laundry away afterwards.
  4. Add artwork or a new paint color: This is an easy way “decorate” blank walls and another easy way to warm up your space.
  5. Decorate your bedroom with pretty bedding and keep clutter off the floor. Add a basket for throw pillows and a bench to put clothes on. Your bedroom should be warm, inviting and uncluttered to ensure a good night’s sleep. Also, it is the space that you see first thing every day.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I believe every person in this world deserves to have a roof over their head. It saddens me that we as a country cannot find a solution to keep people from living on the streets. I think if everyone had a space to call their own, the world would be a much better place.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them 🙂

I would love the opportunity to have lunch with Joanna Gaines. I admire how she has grown her business while also raising a family and maintaining a marriage. I love her down to earth personality and approach to her design.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Instagram: @editandorganizewithelizabeth

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Edit-Organize-with-Elizabeth-100956682019434

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!


Elizabeth Pishkur of Edit and Organize with Elizabeth: 5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Female Disruptors: Designer Rinat Brodach On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry

WORK FROM THE INSIDE OF YOU — it took me awhile to get to a place in life where I was able to work from my inside place and not be distracted! I know with social media it’s hard not to look how green your neighbors’ grass is and see that their progress might be further along than yours. That is you being influenced from an outside source and that is not relevant to your work! It won’t make your work any better if it comes from a place of jealousy and stress! It takes a lot of self discipline to ignore that — and this ties back to having faith in yourself, to trust that authentic place that is inside of YOU and see that power you hold when you work from your inside and reflect outwards!

As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rinat Brodach.

Rinat Shayna Brodach is an Israeli American New York based fashion Designer. She was born in Israel to a family of Moroccan and Eastern European descent.

At an early age, Rinat knew that she wanted to be a fashion designer. Her curiosity of the draping and movement of fabric led her to further exploration of fashion. In her early childhood she used fashion as a mode of expression and continues to do so today.

After serving in the Israeli Air Force and powered with a stronger sense of self and direction, she moved to San Francisco in 2005 to attend the Academy of Art University. There she received her BFA in Fashion Design.

During her senior year, Rinat’s thesis collection was honored with a yearlong scholarship in Paris. In 2010 she moved to Paris to attend The Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. That same year Rinat had her work published in Emerging Fashion Designers 2 by Sally Congdon-Martin. She remained in Paris for one more year working in the fashion house of Steffie Christiaens, among others, before returning to the United States in 2012 where she settled in New York City to start her own brand.

Rinat’s work stems from her extensive knowledge and training in draping that allow the woman beneath the garment to stand out and draw us in, while effortlessly and selectively enhancing a woman’s figure with designs that capture a gentle interplay between androgyny and sensuality. Her spirituality is the identity woven into each garment that exposes the light within the dark. An inside-out philosophy encapsulates her expertly finished garments held captive by the world that inspires her. Rinat Brodach remains committed to her philosophy of truth through expert finishing, draping, and connection to the soul throughout all of her collections.

www.RinatBrodach.com

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’?

I have always seen disrupting in a positive light — I always strive to create a visceral feeling with my work, and disrupting an industry means you have been heard and are able to get a reaction and touch people with your message!

Can you share some examples of what you mean?

4 years ago I started to break away from hiring the usual professional models for my runway shows and lookbooks, and I started using REAL people — since real people wear my clothes. I try to show a rainbow of humans in my clothes — different genders, different body types from short to tall and skinny to plus size, as well as different ages. I put a man in a skirt and sent him down the runway, I sent a 70 year old woman down the runway just at the end of the show — there were gasps in the audience and a lot of reaction in the media, it was not expected! This was the starting point of my transition to designing GENDER FREE clothes.

In 2017 I sent out invitations to all major fashion publications for the brands FW runway show… The collection was called “Diagnosis” inspired by my mothers battle with cancer at the time, the invitations were these plastic tubes that are used in hospitals to draw blood and I filled it with water and red glitter and put a sticker on the tube that normally would have patients info but what was on sticker was the info for the runway show. Then, I put them in a “Hazard” bag from the hospital that I was able to get via a friend and it was sent out to the media.

I got a call from a NYPD detective as a major magazine called 911!!! I was so happy and slightly proud that I was able to create disruption and have someone feel that sense of fear that I had with my mothers battle! And having the NYPD work on solving this for 2 days hahahaha !

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

I know this sounds so cliché but NEVER LOSE FAITH IN YOURSELF!!! 4 years ago I was working all these side jobs to survive, I was in a bad financial place and depressed — I thought it was the end of the world and couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. But I kept moving towards making my dreams come true with whatever I could afford, I started to dig deeper into my creativity and found myself making magic with simple materials. I was very proud of the collection I made, and told myself that I could do anything! It’s all about how much you believe in yourself.

WORK FROM THE INSIDE OF YOU — it took me awhile to get to a place in life where I was able to work from my inside place and not be distracted! I know with social media it’s hard not to look how green your neighbors’ grass is and see that their progress might be further along than yours. That is you being influenced from an outside source and that is not relevant to your work! It won’t make your work any better if it comes from a place of jealousy and stress! It takes a lot of self discipline to ignore that — and this ties back to having faith in yourself, to trust that authentic place that is inside of YOU and see that power you hold when you work from your inside and reflect outwards!

BE PRESENT — We are just humans, having worrying thoughts, fearing the future, listening to the voices in your head that ARE NOT REAL, they are your ego’s plan to sabotage your life purpose! Be present, and ask yourself what is your purpose at this moment? What are you doing at this moment? Are you cooking dinner? Are you going for a run? Are you trying to fall asleep? Are you creating a new line of clothes? When these thoughts of your ego try to sneak in, bring yourself back to the present moment and say it out loud: “In this moment I am sewing samples for my new collection.” When you are present and focused on the present moment you’re allowing magic to take place!

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

Yes I am FAR from being done — as a Gemini I always have something I would like to express! At the moment we are continuing to march to our own drum beat and breaking free from the traditional fashion calendar with drops of new clothing every few months (instead of twice a year like “traditional” collections..

And we will always continue to push our brand’s message of Gender Freedom — unlike other brands attempting to tap into trends with bland unisex, “gender neutral” or “genderless” clothing, we want to be truly gender free — instead of ‘neutralizing’ the wearer, we make clothes that empower them to freely express their own unique gender identity.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

At the end of the day it is still a “man’s world” in fashion. I still feel like sometimes I am not being taken seriously as a creator because I’m a woman — people forget that this is about the work, not who you are!

At times I feel like I need to work harder to prove myself, especially with the world today that is so consumed with social media and politics that forgets the focal point — the work!

Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. Book by Eckhart Tolle

This book helped me shut down all the unnecessary noise in the head and around… and taught me how to be in the present moment and not let the ego sabotage and self destruction on moving towards working on our true life’s purpose. It helped A LOT from the perspective of working from the inside out and not let the outside affect the way we operate.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I’d like to think that I’m already part of the movement to free people from labels! My mission in life is to create clothing for ALL people, spreading the joy of creative freedom and curiosity by creating garments that anyone can use as a tool of self-expression. My clothes are tools that empower ALL people to project confidence and explore new ways of expressing their true selves regardless of gender, body type, ethnicity, or ability. We want to create clothes that literally embrace the wearer and empower them to present themselves in ways that connect — and evolve — with their own unique gender or social identity.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My favorite “Life Lesson Quote” is from my father, “You make your bed and you sleep in it!” I have learned so much from mistakes, and in business it’s all about making decisions — so, you make a decision and now must accept its consequences… You need to own up to your responsibility, good or bad!


Female Disruptors: Designer Rinat Brodach On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Author Dr Sarb Johal: 5 Ways That Businesses Can Help Promote The Mental Wellness Of Their Employee

Author Dr. Sarb Johal: 5 Ways That Businesses Can Help Promote The Mental Wellness Of Their Employees

Connect — The psychological literature shows that the biggest protector in times of crisis is social connection. Staying connected helps us to feel cared for and part of a supportive social network, so it’s important that we do everything we can to stay in touch with the people we know and love. Remember, social distancing really means physical distancing. If your movements are currently restricted, attempt to connect with others, either online or by picking up the phone. Even in lockdown, you can still talk to your neighbor over the fence or say ‘hi’ to people on your walk, provided that you stay an appropriate distance away and/or wear a mask.

As a part of my series about the “5 Ways That Businesses Can Help Promote The Mental Wellness Of Their Employees” I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Sarb Johal.

Dr. Sarb Johal helped develop New Zealand’s world-leading communications response that saw Covid-19 stamped out. Since 2009, he has helped the New Zealand and UK governments, as well as the World Health Organization, develop psychosocial responses to some of the major crises of the last decade, including the H1N1 pandemic, the Canterbury earthquakes, and the Christchurch mosque shootings. He is the author of Steady: A Guide to Better Mental Health Through and Beyond the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive into our discussion, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

I became a psychologist by accident — which is not an uncommon experience of many psychologists. I originally started a Business Economics and Accounting degree — but it rapidly became clear that this wasn’t what I thought higher education should be about when they essentially said, “here is your book-list, you’ll be tested on them at the end of the term.” I would not find that particularly stimulating.

But I had chosen Psychology as my minor subject, and I was spending all my time reading about that. I realized although I’d never studied psychology before, it was what I had been looking for. So I ended up having to drop out of University and starting again the following year. I completed my degree, followed immediately by my Ph.D., (having enormous fun making ends meet financially by DJ’ing in nightclubs as a sideline throughout my time studying — meaning I left this phase of my life with almost no debt). I went on to further study for a second doctorate in Clinical Psychology from 2000 to ’03 at University College London, and then moving to New Zealand in 2005.

I have had a very diverse and unusual career in psychology, mainly because I have followed my interests rather than any specific traditional career path. Although I may not have as much money or status as if I had followed other paths, my career has been very satisfying and seemingly influential in its own small way. I once went to a seminar where the speaker advised us to not be afraid of the random walk career’. This really resonated with me. I think that when we set off on highly targeted career paths, they may satisfy in their own right, but we might cut ourselves off from equally or potentially even-more rewarding alternative pathways. I have walked on several alternative pathways, and I have loved it.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

I think that one of the most interesting things is a realisation of how influential you can be and then getting comfortable with that flexing your influence responsibly. When the Canterbury Earthquake sequence began in NZ in 2010, many of the documents circulating around the Government indicated they thought that the recovery from the earthquakes would be complete within two years. Starting to push back against this timeline in my advisory work was difficult, and I was a lone voice. However, over time, this started to move. Eventually I gave voice to my projections based on extrapolating from other disasters that it would be likely that we were looking at a 10–20 year timeline. I said this in a documentary screened on national TV and I was anxious about how this would be received. In fact, I received nothing but positive feedback for saying this out loud and publicly.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

As a Ph.D. student at the University of Cardiff in Wales, I remember giving a presentation to the whole Faculty one day. It was a big deal, and I wasn’t exactly nervous, but I knew important people were going to be present. I remember blanking out in the middle of saying a word as I was presenting. I literally froze physically, in mid-gesture (I talk with my hands a lot), having locked eyes with a good friend and fellow student in the audience. I held his gaze, and he held mine. He smiled. Then, as my predicament dawned on him, a frown spread across his face. I remember he stopped it, smiled again and began to nod his head.

In the meantime, my own internal dialogue was racing away: “You’ve stopped in the middle of a word. This probably looks very odd. I’ll just keep looking at Matt — wait, he looks worried. Oh, now he’s nodding at me. Right, I’m sure it’ll come back to me. Any second now. OK, you can breathe, just breathe and it will come back. Ah, that’s right, that’s what I was saying. Carry on.”

All this happened in the matter of a few seconds, and yes, it looked odd. But I picked up from the middle of the word, completed it and the sentence, apologized, and remarked on how odd an experience that was for me and probably for the audience too. That got a small laugh, and I carried on.

What did I learn from this early episode in my career in which I have made countless presentations and media appearances? Stuff happens. Remember to breathe and wait, and you’ll most likely get through it. Don’t pretend the mistake or whatever happened actually happened. Pause, reflect briefly, and move on. The audience wants you to be great, but most of all they will recognise you are human. Forgetting what you were going to say is all too human. I realised that my forgetting probably deepened the engagement of my audience, as it went off-script for what could have been a dry academic presentation. From that day forward, I have tried to embrace my mistakes. It is not always easy, but acknowledging them connects you to your audience in deeper ways than mere knowledge transfer.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

One of the most influential people in my career was the late Professor Alan Clarke, who taught me when I read for my Bachelor’s degree in Hull. Not only was he a renowned psychologist in revolutionising the education and care for those with learning disabilities, but he was a kind soul who took me under his wing. His gentle but determined pursuit of intellectual rigour, depth and balance inspired me deeply.

He also offered me wise and practical advice. I remember making an appointment to see him one day, asking his advice on several choices I needed to make as I approached the end of my degree. Although I had been offered a place for further study at the University of Hull, he advised me to move away and experience other places, as he thought it now only good for my career, but for my own personal development. He also gave me some of the most useful advice of my career: “Be nice to the porters and the secretaries wherever you work — they are the people who will most likely earn less that you, but can both make your life hell or very pleasant depending on your own attitude and behaviour.”

What advice would you suggest to your colleagues in your industry to thrive and avoid burnout?

After what has been a very busy year, I am starting to reduce my commitments and trying to do less, and spend more quality time doing them. Burnout for me has started to show itself in weight gain — the heaviest I have ever been in my life, and a sense of lethargy and irritability which challenged me in deep ways, where I recognised that I definitely was not practicing what I was preaching. For me, starting to change this has been relatively simple, but very powerful in only just a few weeks.

Here’s my five suggestions. First, stop working in the evenings and on weekends, if your formal work pattern allows for that. Essentially, stick to as close to a 35 to 40-hour week as possible.

Second, eat less, and eat less often. I have restarted the intermittent fasting schedule I was using when I was training for ultra-marathons: 16 hours fasting, with an 8 hour feeding window. I also have effectively mini-fasts within this window, where I try to only eat three meals, with nothing in between times. I use the Zero Plus app to help me track and stay accountable on this part of my plan.

Third, drink less coffee and more green tea. To be honest, this has felt quite easy now that other parts of my weekly routine are falling into place.

Fourth, go to bed earlier. Sleep not only helps you rest and repair, but it’s also time you are not eating. I was terrible over the last year for late-night eating after I’d finished whatever work I needed to complete, and that continued to make me feel far less than great, both physically and mentally.

Fifth, find exercise that you love, and use that as your base to explore more physical activity. I was late in life to running, and I recognise right now that I’m probably too heavy to run in a way that I would find satisfying. I also tore my right calf twice just walking last year — that’s how hopelessly out of condition I was. So, I’ve started walking further and faster, and have bought a spin bike, an Apple Watch and joined Apple Fitness+ for HIIT, functional strength, and spin bike routines that match where I am at right now. Until I can start running again.

All of this is paying dividends. My mood is much lighter, I’m still getting stuff done, and I can feel myself getting back in shape slowly but surely. Work less, play more. Works for me, and I can highly recommend it to others too.

What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?

A fantastic work culture doesn’t come from fancy mission statements and values written on walls. It doesn’t come from transformative workshops, or great speakers coming to energise your workplace. A great work culture comes from small actions, repeated over time, that spread through the workplace so that people are not just talking a good game, but they are acting on these words too, every day, in ways both big and small. But it starts small, through influential and connected workers who then act as models for the rest of their network. And before you know it, you have the seeds of a positive work culture taking root. Notice and nurture this. It’s easy to miss, but amazing when you can help it to bloom.

Mental health is often looked at in binary terms; those who are healthy and those who have mental illness. The truth, however, is that mental wellness is a huge spectrum. Even those who are “mentally healthy” can still improve their mental wellness. From your experience or research, what are five steps that each of us can take to improve or optimize our mental wellness. Can you please share a story or example for each.

One useful framework is the Five Ways to Wellbeing. These are five simple actions you can do every day to boost your mental health, pick up your energy or pull yourself out of a rut. They don’t cost anything but the rewards can be priceless. When done regularly, the Five Ways are scientifically proven to lift your everyday wellbeing.

The Five Ways are:

1. Connect — The psychological literature shows that the biggest protector in times of crisis is social connection. Staying connected helps us to feel cared for and part of a supportive social network, so it’s important that we do everything we can to stay in touch with the people we know and love. Remember, social distancing really means physical distancing. If your movements are currently restricted, attempt to connect with others, either online or by picking up the phone. Even in lockdown, you can still talk to your neighbor over the fence or say ‘hi’ to people on your walk, provided that you stay an appropriate distance away and/or wear a mask.

2. Give — Doing something nice for a friend or stranger gives a lovely boost to both the giver and the receiver. It could be as simple as paying a compliment, saying thank you, or volunteering your time for a worthy cause. Make giving a regular part of your day, and you’ll find it brings incredible rewards, from unexpected conversations to new friendships, or a renewed sense of purpose. When your wellbeing becomes linked to that of your community, you’ll feel an even deeper sense of connection and belonging.

3. Notice — One of the best ways to activate your internal brake or calming system is to practice mindfulness. This means slowing down, savouring the moment and realizing what is happening all around you. Use all five senses: what can you see, touch, taste, smell and hear? There is joy in simple things, if only we pause long enough to notice.

4. Learn — Consciously seek new experiences, like trying a new class (in-person or online), cooking a new recipe, reading a book in a different genre, or listening to the stories and experiences of people from different backgrounds. Set a challenge that you will enjoy mastering and do a little each day. YouTube is full of how-to videos on everything from changing a bike tire or planting a vegetable garden to learning instruments and foreign languages. Learning something new will give your confidence a boost, bring you satisfaction and give you something new to talk about with friends and loved ones, even if you’re in isolation.

5. Stay active — Exercise is proven to improve your mood but you don’t need to buy expensive equipment or sweat it out doing burpees and push-ups unless you want to — and if you do, that’s great! The key is finding an activity that you enjoy and making it part of your day, like brushing your teeth. Step outside and go for a walk or a bike ride, turn up the music and dance or get in the garden and dig. Focus on making movement fun, notice how great you feel when you’re done and you will want to exercise again tomorrow.

It might help to think of these Five Ways as the mental health equivalent of the 5 a day fruit and vegetables rule. At the beginning of each day, make a plan for how you can tick off as many of the five ways to wellbeing as you can. Review your list at the end of the day and see how many you completed.

Much of my expertise focuses on helping people to plan for after retirement. Retirement is a dramatic ‘life course transition’ that can impact one’s health. In addition to the ideas you mentioned earlier, are there things that one should do to optimize mental wellness after retirement? Please share a story or an example for each.

There’s no magic secret to good ageing — the research says growing old well comes down to a lifetime of health impacts. The basics of housing, economic well being, satisfaction and status at work have a large influence on our wellbeing when we retire.

The New Zealand Health, Work and Retirement Longitudinal Study found people were more likely to age with good physical, mental and social health if they also had greater economic well being, satisfying and higher-status work, home ownership, and housing satisfaction. Older people with poor physical, mental and social health were more likely to be experiencing economic, employment, housing and care problems. They were more likely to be in situations that could worsen poor health and were more likely to have high healthcare needs in the future.

It’s also important to maintain an active lifestyle as we enter our 50s. This is when we face challenges such as muscle mass loss, but also social connection challenges such as empty-nest syndrome, or perhaps life challenges such as divorces and separations. Maintaining a good friendship circle can be challenging, but it seems to be important for our health and wellbeing into retirement. So, pursue your interests, and make sure that at least some of these are social. It will stand you in good stead in later life.

How about teens and pre teens. Are there any specific new ideas you would suggest for teens and pre teens to optimize their mental wellness?

It’s been a challenging time for children and pre-teens in this Covid-19 environment. For many, they may not have been to school much at all over the past year, relying on online classes for school instruction and interactions. For pre-teens and teens, one of the biggest things that may have missed out on is social interaction with their peers. It’s a time in their development where they are paying more attention to what their peers are doing as they develop their own identities separate from their family of origin.

I know people will worry about scholastic achievement for their children and their schooling, but make sure you don’t neglect finding ways for them to connect socially with their friends, and to connect with them in ways that are safe, but engaging too. But they’ll also be craving attention from you, too. In a year when we have thrown screen time guidelines out of the window in order for us to connect with each other or just soak up time and attention, perhaps it’s time we started wrestling back a bit more control of passive screen time, and at least make sure we are spending more active time together with our pre-teens and teens, both with and without screens involved.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?

It may sound slightly strange to choose fiction, but I’m a great believer in reading widely in order to understand and relish the richness of the human experience. While I was finishing up the writing of my Ph.D. I was also reading, “A Suitable Boy” by Vikram Seth, published in 1993 — one of the longest novels ever written in English. Although I was born into the Sikh faith, the 1970s and 80s were a tough time to be a south Asian kid in London from an immigrant family. The racism I experienced at school was direct, personal, confronting and scary, including experiencing significant bullying in my pre-teen years. As a result, I was reluctant to own this identity and really didn’t explore it very much until well into my 20s. Reading this book was a fascinating insight into a rich and diverse world set in post-partition post-independence India. It offers interesting personal stories with a parallel commentary that is both satirical and earnest in describing the events of the time.

It was a wonderfully rich re-introduction to the wider world to which I belonged, but had not yet found my place. My exploration of this part of my identity continues.

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would love to see a movement of reducing snacking on processed foods in modern life. I know it sounds like a small thing, but I think it could have profound effect on how we view food, feed ourselves, allocate resources more wisely for food production in the context of climate change and food poverty, and on metabolic disorders such as diabetes and the load that these place on health systems — which is growing rapidly. Encouraging adults to eat just three times a day and drinking water and not eating in between meals is a first world problem. But by adopting this feeding lifestyle, we can also affect how food is produced and distributed around the world as we change demand, and how food producers see the market. And I think that if we are wise, we can then start to make sure that the food we produce can make its way to where it is truly needed, rather than expanding the waistlines of those who are immersed in the modern western diet and lifestyle.


Author Dr Sarb Johal: 5 Ways That Businesses Can Help Promote The Mental Wellness Of Their Employee was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Women In Wellness: Nancy Anderson of Move Your Bump on the Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help…

Women In Wellness: Nancy Anderson of Move Your Bump on the Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s Journey Towards Better Wellbeing

When you choose the path of entrepreneurship, you will work really hard, every day. Weekends and holidays don’t exist. Double down on self-care strategies so you can really give it your all.

As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nancy Anderson.

Nancy Anderson is a certified fitness trainer, nutrition specialist, prenatal and postnatal expert, and the founder of Nancy Anderson Fit and Move Your Bump — virtual fitness platforms that provide moms with exercise and nutrition resources during all stages of pregnancy. After 15 years in the fitness industry, this mom of two is on a mission to help moms and moms-to-be live their best and healthiest lives possible. Nancy’s global community is growing on the regular, reaching tens of thousands of women in over 81 countries.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

I’ve been in the health and fitness industry since I was 18. At the time, I remember assuming it would never be more than a side hustle. Then when I was in college, my father committed suicide. After that I felt incredibly lost, so I started running as a way to help myself feel better and move through my grief. Eventually I started training for and entering marathons. During my first official half-marathon, I had this “aha moment” where I realized that this was my calling. Health and fitness helped me heal, and I knew that it was my duty to share it with others. So, I went back to school, got my masters in Kinesiology, and got into fitness full-time.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?

Every month I am overwhelmed and fulfilled with the number of clients who I get to watch transform before my very eyes. It’s incredible how much of a trickle-down impact taking care of your body can have. It truly shows me every month that I was born to do this work. Some of the clients that stand out the most to me are the ones who were severely struggling with pain and extreme diastasis or pelvic floor dysfunction.

For example, I had a client last year who was a mom of twins and had severe diastasis all the way down her core: the top, middle and bottom of her line alba had diastasis with a five-centimeter separation the whole way down. She was in pain, she didn’t feel like herself, she could not do daily tasks without discomfort, and she was told her only option was surgery, which she did not want to go through

I told her that we were all in to do everything we could to help her heal. We got to work, and watched this mom transform in every way. Her sex drive came back, her confidence came back, her aches and pains were eliminated (which was life-changing for her), and her diastasis healed completely through our protocols. She was able to avoid the surgery that she didn’t want and couldn’t afford.

She went from what she described as “rock bottom, to thriving” with the support of a community that believed in her and experts who knew how to help her. It’s just one of many stories like this that we see, but this mom specifically stood out to me because of just how much helping her heal impacted her entire life — not just how her body looked in the mirror.

Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Early on in my career, I thought I had to appeal to everyone. That meant I trained everyone — high school athletes, older adults recovering from joint replacements, celebrities — anyone and everyone under the sun, basically. The real problem is that I was still trying to train everyone even after I realized that the market I gravitated toward and felt the most inspired by was prenatal and postnatal women. It took me a long time to really just own that and move into that niche exclusively. Once I did, so many business opportunities presented themselves. It was like night and day.

The lesson I learned from this is that you should be completely dedicated to and focused on your chosen audience, but realize that your audience isn’t and will never be everyone. The sooner you understand this, the better you’ll be able to serve your community.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

First, I have to give a shout out to my husband. He has unwavering belief in me. Whenever I talked about how I was going to do something big and help millions of women, my husband’s response was always, “I know. How can I help?”

I’ve also had the pleasure of training a lot of really empowering women. Alli Webb, the founder of Drybar, comes to mind. As her friend and personal trainer, I was beyond inspired and honored to watch her journey from being a stay-at-home mom to heading back to work and eventually creating a multimillion-dollar brand. This woman literally changed the hair care industry, and I remember thinking that if she could have such a huge dream and accomplish it, then so could I.

Countless other women have served as maternal or big sister figures to me. It takes a village to build a company and I wouldn’t be where I am nor where I’m headed without the support and inspiration I’ve had along the way.

Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?

At Move Your Bump, my team and I join forces with everyone in mom’s corner — including her medical team — to help her, her baby, and her family have the best experience possible. We believe every mom deserves to live in a body that she feels at home in, whatever that means for her. We are raising the standard of pre and postnatal care to include a range of research-backed resources and lifestyle strategies, from pregnancy exercise and nutrition to C-section recovery and ab rehab.

Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.

  1. For women trying to conceive (or even before trying to conceive) — now is the time to get your nutrition in check via a sound diet and supplement routine. You want to go into pregnancy with a deep well of nutrients for you and your baby to draw from. This helps optimize development and minimize complications.
  2. The better your core function is, the easier it is to handle the normal demands of pregnancy and recover from postpartum challenges like ab separation, stress incontinence, and general aches and pains. Just about all of us could use some professional help here, as we live in a world where sitting in chairs takes up a majority of our day. My tweak here would be to seek out resources and learn some exercises even before you’re pregnant that can help you assess and improve your posture, core activation, and pelvic floor function.
  3. For women having normal pregnancies, the research is crystal clear: exercising throughout every stage of pregnancy is safe and beneficial. For you, exercise helps minimize pregnancy weight gain, reduces the risk of complications like gestational diabetes, and prepares you for labor and delivery. For your kid, the benefits of pregnancy exercise extend well into childhood and beyond. So, get moving! I recommend following a program from prenatal-informed professionals that includes resistance training and interval training.
  4. Postpartum, your workouts will look different as your body heals and as you adjust to life with your new baby. Give yourself the grace to navigate your new schedule with patience and self-compassion. Even just 10 or 20 minutes of walking, ab rehab, or breath work can go a long way for your physical and mental health. Don’t rush the process!
  5. Core and pelvic floor dysfunction is easily one of the most overlooked and misunderstood issues facing moms. Once a woman is postpartum, she’s always postpartum. So whether you’re one month, one year, or one decade out from pregnancy, take some time to check in with your posture and core. We can’t fix things like strength or pain before we correct alignment and motor recruitment, so team up with a women’s health physical therapist or other professional who can offer some individualized guidance.

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

My movement is my mission — and it’s a big one! I’m here to elevate the standard of care for women pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy, and after pregnancy. This mission is a pure reflection and consequence of my belief that women deserve to have access to affordable experts that help them prep for, thrive during, and fully recovery after pregnancy. Realistically, we just don’t have that yet. But we’re not going to sit around and wait for Western society to create a more optimized and comprehensive support system for women in these incredibly important phases of life. We’re going to go out and create that support system, and that’s really what we’re doing right now through Move Your Bump and some other projects coming down the pipeline.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

  1. Say no to almost everything. Your time is your biggest asset. Listen to your gut and prioritize the things that are truly going to help you move toward your goals, then delegate or discard the rest.
  2. Outsource what you’re not good at (see point 1) but be wary of self-proclaimed “experts.” Take the time the vet the people you hire to help you.
  3. When you find your ride or dies — the people you can truly trust — take care of them. You cannot do something this big alone.
  4. When you choose the path of entrepreneurship, you will work really hard, every day. Weekends and holidays don’t exist. Double down on self-care strategies so you can really give it your all.
  5. Use your own capital to better maintain control, so you can deliver a product and service you are consistently proud of.

Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?

Mental health really speaks to me. From a personal experience, I struggled with debilitating postnatal anxiety after giving birth to my first baby, which I think is dismissed a lot. So many of my clients experience mental health issues related to their motherhood journeys, too. My father also had bipolar disorder and struggled with depression, so this topic really hits close to home.

I think this area is really underserved in so many ways. Conventionally, we seem to take a symptomatic approach to mental health issues rather than really taking the time and doing the hard work to figure out why these mental health issues are occurring, which can be different for each person. This is also where the research and my professional experience tell us that health and wellness truly have a full-circle impact. Exercising and eating right isn’t just about looking the way you want to look, although that’s definitely important and laudable. Moving and fueling our bodies properly has a trickle-down effect on every single other aspect of life — relationships, energy, finances, mental health, and so much more.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nancyandersonfit

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nancyandersonfitness

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nancandersonfit

Thank you for these fantastic insights!


Women In Wellness: Nancy Anderson of Move Your Bump on the Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Female Disruptors: Nicole Iacovoni On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry

The very best advice my mom ever gifted to me was after she died. Her advice was unspoken and I came upon it as a result of the deep grief I experienced from losing her. My mom was a young 58 years old when she died and her death came quickly and unexpected. She was diagnosed with advanced stage cervical cancer on January 1, 2021 and just 36 days later, she died. I sat at her bedside for twelve days leading up to her death, and in those moments, she shared with me all the things she wished she still had time to do. Her passing taught me how precious and impermanent life is, that every day is a gift, and the purpose of life is simply to experience it fully. Because of that “advice”, I take more time to appreciate the world around me, express love and forgiveness to the people in my life, and live in the moment rather than worrying about the future. In a way, her death gave new meaning to life.

As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nicole Iacovoni.

Nicole Iacovoni is a Financial Therapist & Licensed Couple’s Therapist with 17 years experience who teaches ambitious women entrepreneurs how to make tending to their finances feel fun and flirty instead of boring and overwhelming. Through her trademarked program, Money Therapy, she helps entrepreneurs make more profits, manage their money with Beyonce-level confidence, and transform their toxic relationship with money into a steamy love affair. Nicole has been featured in CNBC, Business Insider, and Up Journey. Get comfy and cozy with your money at www.nicoleiacovoni.com.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

I became a financial therapist by complete accident. About 3 years after starting my private practice as a licensed couple’s therapist, I decided to expand my business into a full service wellness center, but I made the mistake of growing my business too big, too fast. I took on an enormous amount of debt ($87,000 to be exact) and business was so slow in the beginning that I was losing money everyday. I found myself in the midst of a financial crisis, doubting my ability to make good financial decisions and pained by constant financial stress. Then, I realized that my inner dialogue about money sounded a lot like a transcript of couples fighting in my office. It became clear that my relationship with money was toxic! So, I began applying the techniques and strategies I use in couple’s therapy to my relationship with money, and miraculously paid off all my debt in two years and multiplied my income x5 in eight months. I knew I couldn’t be the only entrepreneur who had complicated feelings about money that undermined financial success, so I created “Money Therapy” to help other entrepreneurs heal their relationship with money, make more profits, and manage money with confidence.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

Women face unique obstacles to financial security (they live longer than men, while earning less than men over their lifetimes), and yet a whopping 58% of women outsource their financial planning entirely to their male partners or male financial advisors (only 33% of financial advisors are female). By doing so, women are disempowered to make financial decisions that are in their own best interests and are stripped of having control over their finances. I teach women how to gain financial confidence, overcome the psychological and emotional barriers keeping them from financial success, and empower them to “fire” the men managing their money so they can reclaim their financial power. Naturally, the men who are accustomed to having control over women’s money find this disruptive, but women deserve to be in charge of their financial lives.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When I got the idea to expand my private practice into a full-service wellness center, I decided to move into this new, huge, beautiful building. It was ridiculously expensive, but I was convinced that if “I built it, they would come”. I took out loans and invested personal savings just to get into that space, and I was certain that clients would be lined up waiting to work with me, eager to hand over their money. That is NOT what happened in reality! Growing my business was a slow process, and I learned that people didn’t really care about the building we were in. They cared about the quality of care they received, the results they got from working with us, and that they needed our services to be affordable. Making the mistake of overspending on an atmosphere designed to impress taught me that it’s always best to have the money in hand before making a big investment (instead of going into debt and worrying about how you’ll recover the money) and that the most important thing to growing a business is being incredibly good at what you do. That mistake taught me to be more intentional about what I spend money on and to consider my personal values when making big buying decisions. I realized that it’s not just about how much money you make in your business; it’s also about how much money you KEEP! Because of that experience, I’m incredibly thoughtful about what I choose to invest in to grow my business.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

As a self-help book junkie, many of my mentors have been authors who have experienced their own business and financial success. Authors like Jen Sincero, Kate Northrup, and Barbara Stanny have been so inspirational to me. I also learn so much from other female entrepreneurs in the online world, like Amy Porterfield, Marie Forleo, Susan Hyatt, Melissa Cassera, and Alexandra Franzen. I’ve taken many of their classes, which have taught me how to be a better business woman, writer, and human being. The mentor that made the greatest impact on my life is Jessica Dolgan, the owner of Integrative Therapeutic Solutions in Denver, CO, which is the group mental health practice I worked at prior to starting my own private practice. Jessica has this amazing business acumen, and she had a magical way of helping me believe I had what it took to be my own boss and serve people in meaningful ways through my work as a therapist. Seeing her success in private practice inspired me to take the leap, and now that’s what I try to do for the women I work with too.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

To me, “disruptive” means to challenge the norm and question whether the way we’ve always done things is the best way or not. Sometimes we’ll find that the way we’ve been going about things is the best way and there’s no need to fix what isn’t broken. But in most cases, there’s room for growth and innovation- a new and better approach. And people, circumstances, and the world are always changing, so there’s a need for constant disruption and ongoing change. There’s a need to constantly examine what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, how we’re doing it, and if it’s working. Some people love and embrace change while others despise and resist it, so disruption is simply a matter of perception. If you accept the truth that everything is always changing and that’s the natural way, disruption will be viewed positively. If you reject the idea that everything is always changing and try to keep things the same, you’ll view disruption negatively.

For example, the finance industry is largely dominated by white men who hold a tremendous amount of power. Stock brokers and financial advisors make an enormous amount of money from women who lack strong financial literacy, because they can persuade them to invest in products that financially benefit the advisor (at the expense of women’s financial security). When women gain financial confidence and take control of their own finances, this causes a disruption in the financial industry because financial advisors can no longer take advantage of them. Naturally, these men don’t want to lose power or money, so they see the disruption as a negative, but for the women who get to keep more of their hard earned money, the disruption is incredibly positive.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

My mother was a beautiful person who was a great listener but never said much in return. But the little she did say was meaningful and important. The best words of advice I’ve ever received have all come from her. Interestingly, I don’t think she knew she was giving advice!

For the longest time, I’d always wanted an Audi Q7, and I finally found myself in a position to afford it. My mom was so excited for me when I got it because she knew how much I wanted it and how long I’d waited for my dream car. A couple years after I bought it, the pandemic hit, and I started feeling like the Audi was an expensive, unnecessary luxury. I kept thinking about all the people who lost their jobs and couldn’t even put food on the table, and there I was with a $55,000 car parked in my garage. I remember talking with my mom about trying to sell it. She looked at me with a frown and said, “Nicole, you love that car and you worked hard for it. You deserve to have nice things.” I knew she was right and that part of me still had unresolved limiting beliefs about money and what I deserved. I kept the Audi, and I often find myself expressing gratitude and appreciation for the financial security that makes it possible for me to have it. Because of my mom’s advice, I’ve come to notice that feel a little bit happier every time I get in my Audi, and that makes it money well spent.

My mom also told me on several occasions throughout my lifetime that she “gave me life so I could live it”. Anytime I was questioning what to do next or whether or not to take the leap, I thought about what she said. It felt like she was telling me to live my life as fully and richly as possible, and that’s what I try to do everyday. There have been so many times I doubted my ability to do something. I doubted my ability to start and run a successful business. I doubted my ability to be a good mother, grow a garden, make good financial decisions…the list goes on and on. But each time, I would think to myself, “Mom gave you life. She made sacrifices for you. You have to give this life all you’ve got and take the chance you’ll fail. You’ll never know how great life can be if you sit on the sidelines instead of living.” Her advice motivates me to go after my dreams and that’s paid off tenfold.

The very best advice my mom ever gifted to me was after she died. Her advice was unspoken and I came upon it as a result of the deep grief I experienced from losing her. My mom was a young 58 years old when she died and her death came quickly and unexpected. She was diagnosed with advanced stage cervical cancer on January 1, 2021 and just 36 days later, she died. I sat at her bedside for twelve days leading up to her death, and in those moments, she shared with me all the things she wished she still had time to do. Her passing taught me how precious and impermanent life is, that every day is a gift, and the purpose of life is simply to experience it fully. Because of that “advice”, I take more time to appreciate the world around me, express love and forgiveness to the people in my life, and live in the moment rather than worrying about the future. In a way, her death gave new meaning to life.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

I’m on a mission to empower every woman to take an active role in her financial life and use her financial power as an unstoppable force of good in the world. When women have money, they have power and influence and can make the world a better place. When women have money, they can take time away from work to raise the children of our future and walk with parents who are dying (like I had the honor of doing with my mom). When women have money, they can pay for their kids to go to college, start a non-profit, save endangered animals, or fund advocacy projects. My goal in life is to shake up patriarchy and help give women the financial power they need to live life on their own terms.

My life’s work is devoted to teaching as many women as I can how to heal their relationship with money, make more money, and manage it strategically, and I’ll continue doing that through online programs, one-on-one coaching, and a book I’m working on called, Money Therapy: How a Couple’s Therapist Became Her Own Client, Started a Love Affair with Money that Transformed Her Life & Now Teaches Others How to Do the Same.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

From a financial standpoint, women face unique obstacles to financial security that men don’t experience. Women earn less money than men, live longer, and need to take more time away from paid work to care for children or aging parents. Women are often burdened with unpaid work and carry the mental load of running a household and raising children, which keeps them from earning the money they need to have enough financial security to retire and support themselves for the rest of their lifetime.

Because men are often the breadwinners, they hold more power than women and make most of the financial decisions. This puts women at great financial risk because their male partners may not be making financial decisions in their best interests. But it’s difficult for women to create significant change in the patriarchal system because many men don’t want to give up their breadwinner status to help raise kids or co-manage the household. A lot of men also don’t want to give up their power over financial decision making, which results in women having to choose whether their financial well-being is worth fighting for, especially if it means risking damaging their relationship.

Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?

When I was in the midst of a financial crisis, I read many books about money and personal finance. One of my favorites is “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. The book taught me that the thoughts I had about money were just as important as how I behaved with it, and it gave me a new framework for approaching my finances. I stopped focusing on how much money I had and what I should do with it, and instead, starting focusing on my beliefs about money and how I felt about managing my finances. That mental shift helped me identify the deep inner work I needed to around money and gave me faith that improving my money mindset would improve my financial situation.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would love to inspire a “date your money” movement where women treat their relationship with money like a romantic relationship and have weekly “money dates” to make tending to their finances feel fun and flirty. When women treat their money with respect and appreciation and make time for tending to their finances, they gain financial control and confidence and improve their financial lives. Most women have complicated feelings about money. They feel confused, overwhelmed, and anxious about money, and these feelings can cause them to avoid even looking at their finances. When women avoid and neglect their money, financial problems grow bigger and more out of control.

My life’s work is to help women see money in a new, healthier way. By teaching women to personify money, give it a character, and treat it like the object of their affection, women are able to make sense of their finances and eliminate the overwhelm. My trademarked “Money Therapy” program shows women entrepreneurs how to see their money as a “lover, not a fighter” and get in the habit of setting aside time to tend to their finances, much like couples set aside time for date nights to connect, laugh, and play together. When women learn how to make their finances fun, they look forward to managing their own money and enjoy the many benefits of being in financial control. This is a movement I would love to see spread around the globe.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Wayne Dyer said, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” There have been countless times in my life when changing my perception led to positive life changes. When I changed the way I looked at money, my financial life changed, and that was one of the best things I ever did. Changing my perception of money led to financial vitality and gave birth to a whole new business. My work as a financial therapist brings so much meaning, purpose, and joy to my life, because teaching other women how to change the way they look at money transforms their financial lives for the better too.

How can our readers follow you online?

Start “dating your money” and make tending to your finances feel fun and flirty at www.nicoleiacovoni.com.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!


Female Disruptors: Nicole Iacovoni On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Female Disruptors: Tricia Sugita of FlyQuest On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry

Focus on your own game. I say this a lot, especially when I play League. If you’re hung up on what your jungler is doing as a mid laner, you’re distracted from your own game. This leads to missing CS, TPing or roaming late, and ultimately not playing at your 100%. This applies to other facets of life, too. If you’re too concerned about what another colleague or department is doing, then you’re not 100% focused on your own job. Trust others to do their jobs, as that will make you the most productive.

As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tricia Sugita.

Tricia Sugita is the CEO of FlyQuest. She started her career in esports, competing in and streaming StarCraft II, then interviewing and hosting major esports events, eventually becoming the Global Director of Esports at Azubu.tv. Tricia then joined Immortals and LA Valiant as the Head of Partnerships, securing major partnerships from AEG Worldwide and Omen by HP. At FlyQuest, Tricia uses her decade of industry experience to build a new kind of esports organization that reflects her core values of kindness, grace, and strength.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

Thank you so much for having me! I grew up with two older brothers and have been playing games since I can remember. I started competing professionally in Starcraft II over a decade ago and then branched out from being a competitive player to an interviewer and host at the major esports tournaments. I joined Azubu.tv in 2014 as the Global Director of Esports, which opened a whole new world of intriguing esports management. Azubu was a very successful stint; I negotiated multi-million-dollar contracts with broadcasting partners and increased web traffic to over 12 million unique monthly visitors. Three years later, I joined Immortals and LA Valiant as the Head of Partnerships, and then moved to FlyQuest as COO in 2019. I was promoted to CEO early last year and could not be happier to run this fantastic team.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you are doing that’s disruptive?

From the start, I knew FlyQuest had to have a clear vision. We’d spent so much time being defined by other brands, other entities, that there was this void when it came to our identity. Many of the world’s greatest companies began with a clear vision, and I wanted FlyQuest to be no different. I felt there was room in the esports and gaming space for an organization that leaned into gratitude, empathy, optimism, and inner strength, values that I personally hold dear.

To that end, I created and developed the company vision of “Showcase Greatness,” not only the belief that greatness already exists within everyone but also a call-to-action for FlyQuest to help people find and showcase it. We’re incredibly passionate about competitive success and support our teams with everything we’ve got. Additionally, “Showcase Greatness” allows FlyQuest to stand out from the esports pack because it allows us to define organizational success as more than just wins and losses. There are many areas we can showcase our greatness — environmental causes, building a community, anime, fan engagement — that aren’t limited to our results in professional League of Legends. Showcase Greatness applies to all our activities, programs, and pursuits.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When I streamed on Twitch.tv I used to host Bear Cups tournaments for the community. I hosted, casted, administered, and financed Bear Cups for Starcraft and League. I used to run them on the weekends because I had work during the week. Some days my stream ran for more than 16 hours, back-to-back on Saturday and Sunday. During one of the Bear Cups there was a break between matches, so I went to lay down and rest my eyes for a bit in another room. I ended up sleeping for hours, and my stream was on, only streaming an empty chair. My chair-only streams became a meme, and every time I would leave my seat for a short break during the stream, it’d be “Chairtime.” The chair became the star of my streams. While this event became a fun meme, I realized that I needed to take care of myself. I was doing too much. I had a full-time job, yet I streamed every day after work and ran Bear Cups on the weekends. I learned the importance of taking care of myself and balancing work. I limited the number of competitors in my Bear Cups, and the tournament became easier to manage. Most importantly, I received wonderful help from my stream mods and helpful volunteers from the community to manage Bear Cups. Shoutout to my Bearcubs!

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

I had the opportunity to work for Jason Katz at Azubu. He is super-intelligent, and I learned a lot from him. While he’s known for being very tough, he told me that I could do anything I put my mind to, whether it be the CEO of a company, own my own company, or whatever I wanted to do. I am very grateful for his mentorship.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

To me, being disruptive just means going against the norm. We are disruptive when we say our philosophy is “Showcase Greatness.” I believe that greatness exists within everyone, and I want to serve humanity and help others be happy. It is important to use your platform responsibly and find ways to help others. It’s very much a privilege that I am able to work towards my vision through FlyQuest.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

Focus on your own game. I say this a lot, especially when I play League. If you’re hung up on what your jungler is doing as a mid laner, you’re distracted from your own game. This leads to missing CS, TPing or roaming late, and ultimately not playing at your 100%. This applies to other facets of life, too. If you’re too concerned about what another colleague or department is doing, then you’re not 100% focused on your own job. Trust others to do their jobs, as that will make you the most productive.

You don’t ask, you don’t get. It’s essentially my mantra now and my advice to everyone. My older brothers would make me order my own ice cream and french fries from McDonald’s (I dip my fries in ice cream). I wasn’t even in elementary school yet, but my brothers told me that if I couldn’t order the food myself, I wouldn’t get it. I’m not afraid of rejection. If you ask and don’t get, at least you tried. No regrets.

You can only control what you can do, not what others do or say, so give it your all!

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

My priority is to share our vision, so everyone knows that what we do has purpose and ties back to our vision.

One of the ways FlyQuest strives to showcase greatness is through environmental causes, called Go Green initiatives. We just announced our most recent quest for Spring Split 2021 — BeeQuest — and we challenged ourselves and family/friends to make a difference. This season’s quest highlights the essential role bees play in the planet’s ecosystems. Our BeeQuest initiative supports The Bee Conservancy, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the bees and their habitats.

Our quests are also going beyond environmental causes this year. In February 2021, we welcomed Joedat “Voyboy” Esfahani into the #FlyFam as a streamer under the FlyQuest banner. To showcase greatness together, we’ll raise awareness around social issues such as mental health, a passion point for Voyboy. He embodies the FlyQuest values of positivity, thoughtfulness, and generosity, and we look forward to shedding light on topics that are not always top of mind for the gaming industry. FlyQuest strives to pave a way forward for teams looking to establish their brand beyond a legacy of winning.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

At FlyQuest, we believe that esports is for everyone. FlyQuest is continuously innovating and establishing a safe, wholesome community for everybody to participate in. I believe our diverse background gives us perspective that helps us identify and create opportunities that have not already existed in esports. Also, there are plenty of women at all levels that make a difference in esports. I think it is easy to characterize the industry as a male-dominated industry; however, you will see many of the management positions and avenues in organizations are staffed by women. The disruption is already happening, even if it’s done in ways that aren’t readily visible.

Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?

Michael Jordan, The Last Dance is awesome, and I highly recommend it. Often people only see the result. Jordan is the GOAT, but it came with a lot of sacrifices. It’s obviously impressive and extremely entertaining to watch him as a player, but I find his journey more fascinating. Understanding the time and dedication he invested to become the greatest makes me appreciate his success more. Being the best, working the hardest, achieving success — all of it takes a lot of discipline, determination, and talent. It’s definitely not easy to be the best, but these stories motivate me to do my best. There are many people, books, art, and more that inspire and humble me, but to name a few: Kobe Bryant’s Mamba Mentality, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, Start with Why by Simon Sinek, my Mommy, and more!

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Showcase Greatness! Believe that greatness already exists within you and help others in their journey to find and showcase it. Greatness exists in all forms, and the sky’s the limit! As an esports organization, FlyQuest is dedicated to showcasing greatness competitively. Additionally, FlyQuest is showcasing greatness beyond winning. We launched our #GoGreen initiative to facilitate ways for us to address important environmental issues together. We’ve planted over 10,000 trees with #TreeQuest, became Champions of the Reef with #SeaQuest, and qualified for League of Legends World Championship. We continued to advocate that everyone can affect real change for our planet through #WorldsQuest. No one expected an esports organization to work on more than a winning brand. We’ve only dipped our toes in the space and will continue to build something that truly makes a difference.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

One of my favorites comes from Mokichi Okada, “Gratitude gives birth to gratitude and ingratitude creates more ingratitude,” and I try to embody this in everything I do. I also follow the quote by Dumbledore — “We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.” I always want to do what’s right, no matter how hard.

How can our readers follow you online?

You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @megumixbear and on LinkedIn here. Learn more about the FlyQuest team on flyquest.gg and stay up to date with us on Twitch, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!


Female Disruptors: Tricia Sugita of FlyQuest On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.