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Meant For It

A podcast for sharing stories about finding the path you were meant to live. We bring you Inspiration for careers that are better for you and the world. Alongside explorations into high growth career paths and industries, we reveal roads less traveled and career choices focused on helping others. If you are seeking inspiration or a new perspective, subscribe to hear weekly conversations with those who have followed a calling or taken a career leap. We interview business owners, entrepreneurs, writers, professionals, dreamers, seekers and others boldly questioning the status quo to give you the "why not" or "what if" moments. Follow us on Instagram @meantforit or reach out to contact@meantforit.com and please subscribe for weekly episodes!
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Now displaying: 2021
Oct 10, 2021

Sofia Ramirez Shares How Tend, a Digital Personal Finance Platform that Just Launched in the USA and Mexico, is Modernizing and Simplifying finances While Building Community.

In our conversation, Sofia shares how Tend plans to make banking easier for young people through transparency, debit banking with cash back services  and less costly international transfers coming soon. Tend launched recently in the USA and Mexico with plans to expand further internationally. We also discuss Sofia’a career milestones that led her to Tend, her career in marketing and finance, and her advice for others who are interested in similar paths. If you are interested in how to disrupt established industries with modernized and enhanced services based on community needs, we think you will love this conversation.

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Sep 27, 2021

Rachel Praetorius shares the career path that led to her dream job as the Director of Sustainability for Amazon Devices and Services.   Rachel started as employee number 1 at Amazon's Lab 126 Program Management Office and eventually moved into her current role. If you are interested in sustainability programs at Amazon, or what it is like to work as a sustainability lead for a tech company, this conversation is for you!

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Aug 25, 2021

Dr. Leana Wen, emergency physician, former health commissioner for Baltimore, professor of health policy and management, contributing columnist for The Washington Post, CNN medical analyst, and author shares stories from her new memoir, Lifelines: A Doctor's Journey in the Fight for Public Health. Dr. Wen has an incredibly inspiring immigrant story of struggle, sacrifice and tremendous achievement. In our conversation, Dr. Wen shares how the early hardships she experienced shaped her character and her career goals. If you are looking for an inspiring career story, Dr. Wen’s path is guaranteed to lift your spirits. We also discuss some of the innovative programs Dr. Wen led during her time serving as Baltimore's Health Commissioner.

This is a must listen episode! 

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Jul 20, 2021

There is no doubt that Christina Dorr Drake was meant to be a co-founder of Willa’s Oat Milk. Christina grew up drinking her grandmother’s special recipe of oat milk. When Christina and her sister, Elena Dorr Zienda, realized the market was missing an oat milk that was both delicious and nutritious, like the one they had as kids, they saw the opportunity and went for it. Christina and Elena decided they had the recipe, experience and complementary skills to launch their own brand and they lovingly named it after their grandmother. Christina’s background in marketing and strategy for food brands combined with Elena’s experience in food manufacturing and distribution gave them the skills and confidence to launch Wila’s Oat Milk. 

In our conversation, Christina walks us through how they actually started Willa’s.  We discuss how they handled packaging, manufacturing,  distribution channels and the ways Willa’s has committed to creating organic, nutritious products with sustainable practices. We also discuss the quick sales channel changes the co-founders had to make when their launch coincided with Covid. Today, Willa’s future is looking very bright. Oat milk is currently the second most popular plant based dairy product, and demand continues to grow. Listen to hear an inspiring startup story and you may be inspired to start something new in your life. 

Willa's Oat Milk

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Jun 10, 2021

Claire Bidwell Smith is a grief counselor and author. Claire’s path to her current profession came from losing both her parents to cancer while Claire was still young. At first, Claire was in shock and tried to run from the overwhelming grief and anxiety she was feeling. Eventually, Claire decided to become a therapist and worked in private practice for over a decade. Claire went on to write three books about dealing with grief, anxiety and loss. Today, Claire is continuing her work to help people with grief by speaking widely and  working with organizations devoted to helping people find end of life and grief support.

In our conversation, we discuss how Claire found her way to becoming a therapist and writer. Claire shares the experiences that changed her and we talk about some of Clarie’s adventures while researching for her book, After This, an exploration of what happens when we die. If you have faced grief, or want to prepare yourself for dealing with grief that eventually reaches all of us, you don’t want to miss this conversation.

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Jun 3, 2021

Cheryl Saban’s extraordinary life is a beautiful tapestry of diverse experiences, different careers, and helping others. In the latest chapter of her life, Cheryl is focused on her glass blowing business and her philanthropy work.  Through the Saban Family Foundation, Cheryl and her husband have donated $420 million to 1000 organizations and causes focused mainly on children, education and women's health including the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, The Rape Treatment Center and Birthright Israel. At Saban Glass, Cheryl fulfils her artistic calling by immersing herself into the process of creating exquisite glassware. Cheryl has published books, written for television and holds a doctorate in psychology. 

Life was not always easy for Cheryl. In her early twenties, when Cheryl was a single mom struggling financially, she went to a free clinic in Los Angeles. In our conversation, Cheryl recalls being moved by the kind treatment she received there, and also convinced of a need for free community clinics. Through the Saban Foundation, Cheryl has donated $10 million to the Los Angeles Free Clinic, currently named the Saban Community Clinic due to the generous support of the Saban Foundation. In our conversation, we discuss some of the full circle moments in Cheryl’s life, major milestones and Cheryl shares advice on making major life choices.

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May 21, 2021

#168 How Kristen Berman is Helping Companies Understand the Psychology of Consumer Behavior

Kristen Berman, Co-Founder of Irrational Labs, fell in love with behavioral economics instantly. While Kristen was a Product Manager at Intuit, she met behavioral economist Dan Ariely and knew she was meant for this type of work. Kristen emailed Dan to offer help on projects. Dan agreed and they worked on several projects together including building Google’s behavioral economics team. Today, they are partners in Irrational Labs taking on a variety of projects that help companies design strategies and tactics that encourage consumers to change their behavior and improve habits. A recent project involved helping Tik Tok design nudges that decreased the sharing of misinformation by about 24%.

In our conversation we discuss the type of work Kristen does, the field of behavioral economics and how Kristen is living her own behavioral change experiment by sharing a home with a group of friends in a community living arrangement.  If you are curious about human behavior and behavioral change, you will love this conversation.

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May 12, 2021

After going through breast cancer at 42, Dara Kurtz gained the courage and insight to completely change her life and career. Dara started the Crazy Perfect Life blog and self published her first book, Crush Cancer. Today, Dara continues to blog to her 195k followers on Facebook, write and take on a growing number of speaking engagements. Dara’s second book, I am My Mother’s Daughter, is a love letter to her mother who she lost to cancer too early, when Dara was only 28. 

In our conversation, Dara shares her story and the milestones along her path to creating a job and lifestyle that feels like a ‘joyful playground’. It was not an easy path. Losing her mother shattered Dara's world, and then getting diagnosed with breast cancer while her two daughters were still young was Dara's greatest nightmare. Dara bravely made it through to the other side, and along the way, she learned how gratitude and mindset can change everything.  If you need inspiration to overcome a challenge, or get the courage to start on working on a career switch, this conversation is for you.

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May 2, 2021

Aundrea Cline-Thomas was meant to tell stories. An award winning journalist, Aundrea’s dedication, integrity, humility and work ethic has already paid off. Aundrea received the 2017 Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists Broadcast Journalist of the Year Award and has won two regional Emmy awards for her reporting. We think Aundrea is just getting started. 

In our conversation, we discuss how Aundrea landed her first job, advice for people interested in jobs within broadcast journalism and the major career decisions that led to Aundrea's current role as a reporter for CBS NY. We also discuss how Aundrea’s cultural background as the daughter of African immigrants, has influenced everything about the way she lives her life.

Apr 11, 2021

Eve Rodsky’s goal is to change how families think about the distribution of household and care work. In other words, Eve’s work revolves around reversing thousands of years of cultural norms that expect women to manage almost all the childcare and housework. It started one day when Eve was crazy busy juggling a new born, a toddler, an exhausting to-do list, and a demanding job. On that fateful day, Eve’s husband sent a text message, "I'm suprised you didn't get blueberries." The blueberry request is this moment, now frozen in time, that eventually led to what Eve did next. Eve decided to start the “Sh*t I Do” spreadsheet to understand the scope of work that most women manage; which includes an enormous amount of “cognitive labor”. As a Harvard Law School graduate and organizational consultant, Eve addressed this household problem with the same intensity, and using the same set of skills she used  in her day job as a mediator. Eve started to ask around and collected thousands of tasks and responsibilities women manage in their homes.

Eve’s research eventually led to “Fair Play”, a  book devoted to helping partners divide the 100 most common household and caretaking responsibilities. Today, Eve is leading a movement devoted to advocating for policy and cultural changes related to who owns the cognitive labor for the housework and childcare responsibilities in a family. 

In our conversation, Eve shares her story and what she has learned during the last 9 years while researching the gender division of labor. We have a lively discussion on why it is so important to shift cultural expectations for care and housework. We also learn about Eve’s early influences and why men, women and society devalue women's time.

Learn more about Eve

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If you enjoy this episode, download our conversation with Caitlyn Collins on Making Motherhood Work. 

Apr 2, 2021

Today I Noticed is a creative mindfulness practice started by Willow Older and Deborah Huber. On their Instagram feed you’ll find their often whimsical, sometimes touching observations—which combine words and sketches—that capture the ordinary, yet magical, moments of daily life. In our conversation, Willow and Deborah share how Today I Noticed started unexpectedly during a day trip to San Francisco. They talk about how their lives have changed—for the better!— since they started noticing and recording what’s happening around them and within them.

Turns out the prompt, “Today I noticed” is a simple yet powerful reminder to slow down and appreciate the sweet, silly, everyday moments we all experience but rarely notice. Willow and Deborah have discovered that doing so helps us feel happier, nourished, and grateful. Today, nearly three years into their noticing adventure, the "partners in creative crime" are leading corporate workshops, building a global online community, and pursuing a variety of publishing projects to inspire others to dial-up their joy by strengthening their own noticing muscles. 

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Mar 15, 2021

Growing up in Catalonia, Spain with parents who exposed Anna Schlegel to engineering and art infused Anna with an adventurous spirit and a strong work ethic. Anna’s graduate studies in languages led her to a translation job in Silicon Valley where Anna started her own translation company in San Francisco when she saw a gap in the market. Eventually, Anna’s translation skills led to a job in localization for Cisco. After several jobs in high tech, Anna landed at NetApp.

At NetApp, Anna’s skills blossomed and she was  offered more responsibilities and promotions due to her growing abilities and commitment to constant learning. As you will hear in our conversation, Anna is a true believer and practitioner of immersing and training herself in new fields such as management, technology and innovation.  Based on Anna's performance and growing responsibilities, her mindset and career strategy is working. Anna's job success led to her current role as VP of Global Portfolio to Market where Anna is managing four different teams. In our conversation, we discuss Anna’s career path and how her international perspective and early influences shaped her work ethic. We also discuss Anna's drive to learn, how Anna is contributing through volunteer work and how to put yourself in a place where the  opportunities find you.

Learn more about Anna here

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You can reach us at contact@meantforit.com

For guest ideas: pr@meantforit.com

If you enjoyed this episode, please  subscribe and share it with a friend. On your iPhone select episode, click “details,” click on the 3 dots to the right of play, and text or email it to a friend.

To write a review on your iphone, after selecting the podcast, scroll down till you see "Write a Review" and tap.

 

Mar 7, 2021

Shelley Zalis is the definition of a trailblazer. As the founder of OTX, a pioneer in the online market research space, and a founder of The Female Quotient, Shelley has consistently led with innovation and courage. In our conversation, Shelley walks us through her career milestones and the “heartbeat moments” that guided the most important decisions in her career.

While most people conform to the status quo or find ways to work around traditional norms, Shelley’s character and life experiences blended in ways that gave her the courage and wisdom to follow her instincts, question the norms and eventually successfully strike out on her own. Shelley shares the story of her first jobs in the market research space, her biggest milestones and we talk about the two mentors who were the biggest influences in Shelley’s career. 

Shelley tells us the story of how a visit to the CES Conference with a group of friends gave her the idea that evolved into Shelley’s current role as founder of The Female Quotient. There are people in this world who are forces of energy that inspire you to act boldly and follow your heart.  Shelley is one of those people.

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If you have ideas for guests please send a note to contact@meanforit.com

If you want to hear more conversations about ways to improve our workplaces download these episodes:

Making Motherhood work with Caitlyn Collins

Brigid Schulte, Writer, Director Better Life Lab

 

You can reach us at contact@meantforit.com

For guest ideas: pr@meantforit.com

If you enjoyed this episode, please  subscribe and share it with a friend. On your iPhone select episode, click “details,” click on the 3 dots to the right of play, and text or email it to a friend.

To write a review on your iphone, after selecting the podcast, scroll down till you see "Write a Review" and tap.

 

Feb 26, 2021

Solving the problem of food waste and creating new products based on upcycled food was the type of project Caroline Cotto was meant to work on. As someone who has intentionally sought out challenging experiences since high school, Caroline is determined to live on the side of impact and adventure.  Today, Caroline is the COO of Renewal Mill, a next generation ingredients company that's reducing food waste by upcycling the byproducts of food manufacturing into high quality ingredients and products. In our conversation, Caroline shares how her career decisions, family influences, traveling and love of food led her to Renewal Mill.

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If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with a friend and please subscribe for future episodes.

Podcast co-hosts Polina and Amber

 

 

Feb 22, 2021

Annette Ross was meant for love. After overcoming a tragic accident during the birth of her second child that left Anette unable to walk, Annette went on to create a beautiful life with five daughters and the love of her life. In our conversation, we discuss how Annette adjusted to life and how her love for her family has always carried her forward.

Annette shares advice on navigating through life in a way that keeps joy and gratitude at the forefront, while also being open to opportunities and accepting challenges. 

You can learn more about Annette by reading her memoir, Where Fairytales Go or by watching the HBO documentary, Any One of Us.

We were honored to host Annette and inspired by her beauty and strength.

Reach out to us: contact@meantforit.com

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 13, 2021

Dr. Vijayeta Sinh, a Clinical Psychologist and founder of TherapyCouchNYC, shares how her background and love for psychology led her to pursue a doctorate and career focused on helping people live their best lives. Vijayeta is motivated by using her training to help her clients understand how their patterns may be holding them back and limiting the quallity yof their relationships. Listen in to hear Vijayeta’s perspective on the ways therapy can enhance our lives.

Dr. Vijayeta Sinh has 15 years of experience, a Ph.D. from Columbia University and is a Supervising Psychologist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, and Teachers College at Columbia University. Born and raised in India, she is fluent in Hindi and has a deep understanding of the ways cultural and social issues relate to work, career, marriage, and parenthood.

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Feb 10, 2021

Hannah Davis has a dream job as the Program Director for the Techstars Sustainability Accelerator, a three-way partnership between Techstars, The Nature Conservancy, and mission-aligned investors.

The startups accepted into the Techstars program are able to access the mentorship and expertise from the Nature Conversancy, alongside the Techstars network of over 7,000 mentors and 2,500 portfolio companies.

In our conversation, Hannah shares the day-to-day responsibilities in her role, how Techstars operates and how Hannah got on the path of community-building roles. If you are interested in similar career roles, Hannah shares advice on how to dive in and get involved. We also discuss the tradeoffs with dream jobs, the value of vulnerability when resolving conflicts and why Hannah is optimistic about the future of our world.

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Feb 6, 2021

Adventure and people lover, Laura Fravel had a dream job producing television broadcasts and digital content for National Geographic, and later, after moving West, as an independent producer for outlets such as Discovery Channel, The New York Time and Amazon. In our conversation, we discuss Laura’s second shift from storytelling for media and brands, to helping solopreneurs, entrepreneurs and thought-leaders tell their story. While Laura loved the first half of her career, personal circumstances and new priorities led her on a different (more fulfilling) path. Reflecting on her career, Laura commented, “I think at different points in our life we might be meant to do different things for different people.” 

We discuss the turning point that led Laura to becoming a brand strategist and the story of how Laura created her business. We also cover Laura’s favorite business resources, a few lessons Laura has learned while building her own brand and Laura’s advice for outsourcing housework and technical support.

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Jan 26, 2021

Dr. Eliza Nemser is an earth scientist working on climate solutions at the intersection of science, policy, and politics. In our conversation we discuss how Eliza fell in love with earth science and the path that led her to becoming a co-founder of Climate Changemakers. If you are curious about what it is like to be a geoscientist or how to start an organization focused on community organizing, this episode is for you.

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Jan 21, 2021

If you have had issues receiving or giving performance feedback (who hasn't?), this conversation is for you. Therese Huston’s role as a Cognitive Scientist at Seattle University involves finding ways to help professionals do their best work. Therese’s third book, Let's Talk, focuses on how to deliver feedback and create conversations that lead to growth and stronger relationships.

Although you have probably read about this topic before, ‘Let’s Talk’ is different because Therese’s unique style of writing and communicating her findings is truly easy to understand, remember, and apply. ‘Let’s Talk’ could be an excellent handbook for every manager interested in delivering feedback in ways that create psychological safety, propose constructive solutions, and instill a collaborative framework.  In our conversation we discuss different feedback styles, how to listen and set good intentions, how to set up two-way conversations, tips for creating psychological safety, best practices for frequency of feedback, and surprising research about the praise to criticism ratio.

This conversation is filled with actionable tips and advice for managers, parents or anyone who wants to get better at sharing feedback. We also recommend our podcast conversation with Therese Huston from 2016 on her book How Women Decide: What’s True, What’s Not, and What Strategies Spark the Best Choices. In podcast episode 21, we discussed high-pressure decision making, the gender myth, and tactical advice that may help you when you’re stuck trying to make your own decisions. 

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If you enjoyed this episode, please  subscribe and share it with a friend. On your iPhone select episode, click “details,” click on the 3 dots to the right of play, and text or email it to a friend.

To write a review on your iphone, after selecting the podcast, scroll down till you see "Write a Review" and tap.

Jan 17, 2021
Kelley Higney, Founder & CEO of Bug Bite Thing, is an unstoppable force also known as a "mom on a mission." When a relocation to South Florida, led to constant mosquito bites for Kelley and her daughter, Kelley started searching for solutions. After many failed attempts to help her daughter with the bites, Kelley discovered a little-known tool that uses suction to help remove insect saliva/venom from under the skin. Kelley was amazed to find that the product worked and quickly realized it was an opportunity for a business.
 
Kelley secured the exclusive distribution rights for the product in the U.S. and started her company, Bug Bite Thing. Then, Kelley made a bold and strategic decision to sell her house and move into a rental so she could afford to start her business.
 
In the early days, Kelley started by selling her product at bake sales, school events, online and through Amazon. Eventually, word of mouth created buzz around the product and Kelley was featured on the local news. As sales expanded and Kelley’s marketing skills evolved, one of Bug Bite Thing's social media posts caught the attention of a producer of the hit show 'Shark Tank.' This led to a successful appearance on the show and Kelley and her mother, Ellen McAlister, partnered with inventor and entrepreneur Lori Greiner. Then, things really took off. Kelley leaped into a new level of sales and took on the challenges of quick growth. 
 
In our conversation, we discuss Kelley’s path from discovering the product now known as Bug Bite Thing, to early sales and how Kelley is managing her business today. If you are interested in entrepreneurial stories, you will love this episode and Kelley’s advice for people who want to pursue their own entrepreneurial dream.

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Get yourself a Bug Bite Thing

 

Jan 14, 2021

Brigid Schulte is the Director, of the Better Life Lab, ”working to change policy, practice and culture so that all people can make real choices about how to combine their work, life and caregiving responsibilities - and have time for joy.”

Previously, Brigid worked as a Staff Reporter for the Washington Post for 16 years where she was part of the team that won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. Brigid is also the author of Overwhelmed: Work, Love & Play when No One has the Time.

In our conversation we discuss Brigid’s career path, affordable childcare options and paid family leave that can help families that are drowning from the costs of and demands of managing full time jobs and raising children.

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Jan 9, 2021

This is the story of two friends with a vision for a  business and an ability to get things done. Inspired by entrepreneurship and motivated to empower women and girls, Edwina Govindsamy and Ariel Gough started Bailly, an eco and health conscious fragrance line. With backgrounds in marketing and healthy ambition, Edwina and Ariel dove in and started figuring things out. In our conversation, Ariel generously shares the roadmap of how Baily progressed from idea to reality. We discuss what Ariel learned about sourcing ingredients, packaging, sales growth, managing finances and other strategies for growing and managing Bailly. 

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Learn more about Bailly

 

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