February 20, 2020
How do you design a book cover and icons that encapsulate the message of women breaking their good girl myths to unleash their power? Go behind the scenes as Majo, her editor from HarperOne and design collaborator Vanessa Koch from to create the book cover and special icons to her new book Break the Good Girl Myth available NOW for pre-order at –!
November 21, 2019
I’ve asked many of you a simple question: Have you thought about striking out on your own and starting your own business (freelance, studio, consulting, coaching, company, startup, etc.) in the future? About 98% of you say yes. So, then comes the follow-up question: Well, how come you haven’t started today?What do you think is the most common response? While there are many excuses around readiness, and enjoying the stability, prestige, and recognition of your current job, the most common reason you haven’t started: you’re waiting for clarity. Some “I don’t know’s” that are stalling you: I don’t know where to focus, I don’t know which interests to pursue first, I don’t know where or how to begin, I don’t know where my strengths lie, and I don’t know if this can make money. What are the strategies you’ve used to gain clarity? Here are some I’ve heard:JournalingMore trainingsMeditationVision boardingConversationsRetreatsNothing, just waiting!Now, these are all lovely and needed strategies, but they’re far, far too passive. Sorry. You need a little fire under your butt. A little pep in your step. A little sprinkle on your latte (too much?).The good news is there is a method to this ambiguous madness. Designers (inventors, creatives, scientists!) have been using a method for a very long time. Designers know that clarity doesn’t come from waiting, it comes from making. What if you could define a project for yourself, and break it into prototypes you can test, in order to get clarity about whether it’s the direction you want, and in order to course-correct from there? Clarity comes from taking action first. You start with action. And the most powerful action you can take is to make something, throw it at someone, and see how they react. Now, even prototyping and testing has its fair share of vulnerability involved, doesn’t it? What if people judge you? What if you are the laughing stock of the whole class as you run around naked in that nightmare which has now become real life? That’s why in order to move into this approach, we also need to strengthen our creative confidence muscle (by learning how to manage fear and resistance). It’s the combination of understanding our resistance (e.g., doing the inner work) with the actual, making and testing of our ideas (e.g., doing the outer work) that will get us results.I’m really excited to personally invite you to my second pilot of IGNITE – a 12-week program that supports female leaders in defining, testing, and ultimately sharing their creative ideas and gifts with the world while working full-time. You don’t need to quit your day job, take on a huge financial risk, or make a crazy career pivot to design your purpose. By sharing your gifts, you design your unique creative purpose and translate that into actionable steps in your career. IGNITE IS FOR...A female, creative professionalA leader such as a manager, lead, director, or executiveBetween the ages of 28 - 40 Someone who wants to make a difference and have an impactAn empathic woman who cares deeply for others and the world Someone who is willing to invest time and money into up-leveling themselvesIT’S NOT FOR...A founder or entrepreneur already engaged in your creative purposeA coachA college or graduate studentSomeone who is not working (e.g., unemployed)Someone who thinks personal growth is too “woo woo”Someone who isn’t willing to put in the work and take action to design a better life WHAT WILL WE DO?Stage 1: Lose Good Girl & Fear Mentality (CLEAR)In this stage, we clear good girl mentality, fears, and excuses and replace them with new,...
November 14, 2019
Hi Heroine,Imagine you worked so hard building a startup you really believed in and then it crashed. Would you keep going until you succeeded or give up?My guest today is Vanessa Larco who decided to keep going. When regulatory changes killed her startup she fled to Greece for two weeks, to swear off Silicon Valley forever. That’s when people there assumed, in her sad state, that she was a bride who had been left by a man at the altar – a wake-up call that lead her to stop mopping around and return the world of product and startups, which eventually lead her to receive an unexpected offer to become partner at a top venture capital firm, NEA. In fact, Vanessa is now one of the few female, Latina investors in Silicon Valley, which is a big deal. Women of color are the fastest-growing sector of the entrepreneurial market but they receive less than 2% of the capital because 99% of venture capitalists are men, particularly white men. There are so many products and services that never have a chance to get off of the ground because of the lack of diversity in this sector, which is why we need smart women like Vanessa on the inside. HIGHLIGHTED EXCERPT:Vanessa: I never thought I would be here.Majo: It sounds like it. Now, Vanessa, I know there are some listeners who might be thinking like “I could’ve never taken that role and would’ve felt like such an impostor”. Did you feel that or like you could learn it?Vanessa: Every job I’ve had, I’ve had major impostor syndrome and tons of anxiety, to be honest. I look back and realize I figured out a lot of things and there’s a lot of things I didn’t figure it out but I learned a ton in a very short amount of time. I’ve kinda just made peace with the impostor syndrome. I don’t think it ever goes away. I just think that now I’m aware of it and have the confidence in myself to be able to embrace it.
November 7, 2019
Have you ever felt like the deck was totally stacked against you and it just made you more determined to succeed? This is one of the main themes for my guest Cathy Heller. She gets really real and vulnerable so grab your favorite tea and settle in.Her story so clearly shows the heroine’s journey from the dark hopelessness of being told she couldn’t succeed, that her sister was the talented one. The only time her parents paid attention to her was to complain about each other. Even after having been dropped by two record labels she refused to give up. Instead, she was scrappy and figured out how to create contacts with the people choosing music for television, movies, and advertisements. In her twenties, she managed to build a business making multi-six-figures a year and ended up running an online school to help other creatives do the same. She wrote an incredible book that comes out November 12th so make sure to snag a copy of Don’t Keep Your Day Job which talks about designing a way to contribute to the world that is personal and relevant to YOU. Her perspective of purpose being the opposite of depression has helped thousands understand that as humans, we are happiest when we are contributing to other people. HIGHLIGHTED EXCERPTCathy: What I did have was a cautionary tale. I had two parents who were miserable and a mom who didn't want to be here anymore with 911 calls and suicide hotline calls from her. So that was the driving force of “Oh I will not put my dreams on the back burner because it doesn't work. And I will not be invisible anymore or else I will be broken forever. So I have to do this. My life depends on it”.Majo: So, you decide to move to Las Angeles to pursue a career in music. And at this point are you writing your own songs?Cathy: Not really, maybe a couple, like I started right around then. I came out here and started to ask questions like “How do you get a record deal?” and I thought that was the only way to make a living was to get a record deal. I just started trying to figure out how to do it. My husband says I have the will of a small country like if I'm going to do something I commit. I ended up getting a record deal at Interscope and it was amazing. I remember being like “OMG! I’m here.” I was actually sitting with Lady Gaga at Sunset Sounds, which is a recording studio. She was recording Paparazzi and I had just gotten signed. I couldn't believe it; they were asking me like what kind of coffee I wanted and I was like “Wow, I'm the next person to record a record.” And then I got dropped from the label about three months later.
October 31, 2019
Happy Halloween witches! We’re continuing with female archetypes (and stereotypes!) in old fairy and folk tales. We started with this series last season with the Queen and Princess Archetypes (make sure to check them out if you haven't already for context) and this is the last part of that series. Today, on the witch’s new year – Samhain, we are going to look at the witch and the hermit archetypes. They’re more connected than you might think.The witch needs very little introduction. She is in practically every fairy tale by the Grimm Brothers. She’s cruel, conniving, solitary and sometimes, connected to the evilest forces in the world. And in 1692, life imitated art in a big way. An entire community of settlers in Salem, Massachusetts decided that witches were real, and needed to be killed. But where did this idea come from? I caught up with my friend Becca Piastrelli to learn a bit more about how witches got the reputation they have today. Becca is the host of the Belonging Podcast and she and I have been circling on the new moon for years now."It’s a campaign that’s happened for centuries, many generations from basically the rise of Christianity and capitalism in Europe that specifically targeted women who were healers, and midwives and really powerful beings in the community. Ones that people respected and looked up to, maybe they even owned land. And it wasn’t just women, sometimes it was queer men or two-spirit or genderfluid folk. Anyone who didn’t fit the patriarchal paradigm. There was a very calculated campaign to turn the people against them in their earth ways. This is known as the burning time which in many ways is still happening today. Where you hear the term witch hunt in media or popular culture or even see how it’s displayed in media. It’s really something that has been embedded in our ancestral memory for many many generations. "As Christianity grew across Europe, the Church demonized these women and connected them to dangerous, evil forces. It was classic scapegoating. Talking to Becca got me thinking about scapegoating, and I realized, there’s a good reason for men to fear us. Women are connected to the Goddess...and to childbirth...and men are not.So how must it have felt - to be a respected, practicing healer and midwife one day - and called an evil witch - the next? That is why I believe when we meet witches in fairy tales, they are often alone. They live in solitude, in the forest - remember, that’s where the medicines were - scheming, angry and isolated. Basically, the happy midwife becomes a resentful hermit. Have you ever felt like a hermit, Heroine, all alone? The Hermit isn’t all bad - not at all. The bright side of the hermit is that she’s also a mystic. She goes into the forest for some much needed alone time - to reconnect with her spiritual side. She goes there to tend to the parts of herself that are precious, and need protection.But the dark side of the Hermit is avoidance and fear. Keeping people out because they might hurt you. It starts as a punishment for those who have wronged you, but ends up mostly, hurting you. I believe this split - between connected, centered, community-surrounded healer, and betrayed, mystical, and isolated witch - must be healed in each of us. Just think - have you ever been passive-aggressive? Have you said something underhanded, but in a nice way, and not understood why you did it? That has to do with the complicated origins of the witch. She wants to fully express herself - thorns and all - but she knows that patriarchy will cast her out and make her quiet if she does. Well, I want to reclaim the witch archetype within each of us, as so many others have been doing and continue to do today. A witch is creative, she’s complicated, and she’s been to the depths. So whether you’re cooking a large meal...
October 24, 2019
Hi Heroine, One of the things I’ve been thinking about lately is how the practice of astrology could help me step up as a leader. How could it help me broaden my impact and align with my purpose? And that’s a huge part of what my guest Debra Silverman opens up by applying astrology in a practical way to our lives. Debra holds an M.A. from Antioch University in Clinical Psychology and trained for her mental health credentials at Harvard University. What’s super interesting about astrology is that for thousands of years it was primarily practiced by men but in recent times, we’ve all seen the shift – women practice it far more than men – and Debra has been a driving force in training women to combine both their analytical and intuitive gifts in order to become astrologists. It’s really inspiring to see how she shifted from private practice as a psychologist for over 40 years to building a scalable business and school online that certifies thousands of mostly women. In other words, she’s kicking ass. In this episode, you’re going to learn about the Saturn return (if you don’t know what that is, you’ll so find out) and how much it affects you and your destiny, even if you don’t recognize it at the time.HIGHLIGHTED EXCERPTDebra: Don’t underestimate- I wish someone would have told me that if you have a passion, whatever it may be, something that you really pour yourself into- that does come into a reaping cycle eventually. Majo: I want to talk to you about that transition that you made. You were doing private practice as a clinical psychologist and an astrologer for multiple decades. Debra: That’s right, 38 years. Majo: And then you shifted to scaling and in large part because we’re in a special time as well with all the technology and tools. With so much of your business online, tell me a little more about the shift and how that happened. I hear the energetics of it but I'm curious was there particular characters or moments?Debra: Fate showed up and introduced me to Destinee Berman who I now have a meeting with every Monday morning. It’s karmic- fate has a file for each of us and if you open it you can see the destiny lines. So she opened mine and said “Have you ever heard of an online school?” and I didn’t know what she was talking about. She then helped me do a “skinny launch”- just my email list and in that first class there were 40 women and now it’s grown to thousands.
October 17, 2019
Hi Heroine,Today’s podcast episode is a minisode, where I share the three elements you need to become creative badass like the women who come onto the show. These elements will be helpful to each and every one of you. But I especially want to invite you to read closely if you are a creative female professional who is a leader at her company, what I mean is you’re in a senior or lead creative role, a manager, director, or executive. As you go into your work day after day, you’ve been asking yourself a few questions such as “Is this all there is?” “What’s next? What’s beyond this?” and “Am I making the most out of my potential?” and my favorite, “Could I start my own fill-in-the-blank” whether that’s a conference, a podcast, a book, a business... Even though you’re kicking ass at work, and you have a ton of responsibility, and you’re achieving and hitting milestones, deep down you feel like something is missing, something key, and you can’t put your finger on it. Of course, you have a ton of ideas of your own...brilliant ideas, and thoughts, and opinions, but you find yourself keeping them under wraps, to yourself, hidden...stowed away.Far too many women with incredibly creative ideas and skills aren’t tapping into them and putting them out into the world, whether it’s their art or creative problem-solving. And it’s painful– on a soul level – to be unexpressed.Think about it. What is the cost to you when you hold back your gifts and leave so much of your potential untapped? It’s a steep price.Funny story I’ve been sharing recently, I used to have to wear sunglasses at my 9-to-5! Yes, I wore sunglasses inside because I was far too sensitive and creative to be put in a cage. As a little girl, I was creative and for many years completely suppressed that part of myself because I became a “good girl” and studied what I thought would be the safe path and what my parents wanted me to do. After a lot of soul searching, I was able to start a six-figure business, launch a podcast where I interview award-winning artists and authors, and land a publishing deal with a top publisher and write a book...I would not have been able to do all that if I was still being a good girl. I made bold, professional moves towards my mission that would change my life and impact other people too. But here’s the thing, like the heroine’s journey, this does not happen overnight. It takes steps. And I want to share with you the three things that women need in order to start on this journey towards owning themselves as creative badasses. Ready?The first is you have to clear. What do I mean by clear? You have to clear out all the negative blocks, fears, and excuses that are getting in the way of sharing your gifts. The one that most just drives me crazy is “It’s not the right time to share my gifts.” Newsflash! If you’re waiting to feel ready, you’ll wait until your deathbed. You have to do the inner work to reprogram your mind to success. The second is you have to design. We do not discover our creative purpose, we actively design it. You need to define a creative purpose project that feels scary enough but not paralyzing. It needs to be something that is going to grow and stretch your creative confidence. This project is the physical embodiment of an idea that you have.The third is you have to ignite. You need to put that project out into the world, in front of people, learn to withstand judgment and feedback, not take it personally and move forward. Practice being seen and heard- this works through quick prototyping and sharing with people you trust.By having these three building blocks: the inner work, the design and the igniting through active prototyping and learning, you are going to be so much closer to being a creative badass than ever before. I’m designing a new program that blends the inner work...
October 10, 2019
Have you ever felt like you would like to take the leap into entrepreneurship but you imagined that it might be a lonely place? I speak to a lot of women who want to strike out on their own but feel the desire to be a part of a team as well. Ashley Sumner is helping solve this tension by providing an online and in-person community for female entrepreneurs with her friend Gianna Wurzl.The daughter of parents who both ran their own businesses, Ashley learned very early on the benefits of creating something you’re passionate about. She went to NYU for theatre before realizing what she really loved was connecting people. After working as a romantic matchmaker and later, community builder at companies such as Neuehouse, she met Gianna who had the other half of her idea for Quilt. Now, they bring women together in small groups of 8-10 in homes where they can work, learn, and grow together while exploring the concept of women supporting women.HIGHLIGHTED EXCERPTMajo: So it’s more of a mindset shift than an expertise conversation. So it’s like “Hey guys, we all don’t know what we’re doing and that’s okay because we can figure it out together. Ashley: Totally. We learn from stories. So we can get ten women in a room who all have a different story around money but when you hear someone’s story where maybe they’ve gotten themselves out of debt and how they did it. They’re by no means a financial expert but oftentimes those experts have a really hard time coming down to where people are and translating and understanding. So I think we often learn the most from someone who just completed a step right above us or right below us. A billionaire has no idea how to tell you to save five dollars on a cup of coffee. So, yeah, peer to peer. Majo: Peer to peer. I love that.
October 3, 2019
Discover your creative, feminine power with my free online quiz at http://majo.coHave you ever felt like you were in a costume, caged in a life that just isn’t you? In this week’s podcast for the first time in Heroine history my editor, Anne Hoffman, flips the tables and interviews me. It quickly gets raw and real as we dig deep. We talk about everything from loving rubrics in school to how I felt like I was wearing a costume when I worked an outwardly perfect cubicle job at a research organization in D.C. It was so much fun to walk through all the threads that led me to step into my creative purpose as a podcaster, writer, and women’s leadership coach. Highlighted ExcerptAnne: I think your story reflects this story that when you’re twenty or thirty you can’t really write anything because you haven’t lived enough and in your forties is when you write. I know you’re in your thirties but it’s like you did so much living and there’s a way in which, when it happening, you’re like “where is this going”. There are all these disparate experiences but look where it got you. It all sort of culminates in your book.Majo: Creativity is built from inputs. you’re literally taking all these threads from your life and mashing them together to create new things. It’s interesting to take all the threads of who we are and weave them into something.You want to discover your creative purpose? You design it. It’s about looking back …that’s how we live creative purpose, it’s not sitting around and waiting and feeling chronically “not ready yet”…it’s by active design and engagement, and that’s the creative process.  You create your life as much as you create a poem, a short story, a film, a podcast episode… Anne: I think for me and for a lot of other women you are the example of having the confidence to synthesize your experience into art or something greater than the experiences. Discover your creative, feminine power with my free online quiz at
September 26, 2019
Discover your creative, feminine power with my free online quiz at http://majo.coHave you ever had the urge to follow the opposite of what you learned in school? That’s a theme for my guest Ann Shen – an illustrator and author of Bad Girls Throughout History and Legendary Ladies, books that depict women as they are: complex, funny, dark and everywhere in between. In fact, her book Bad Girls Throughout History resonated so much that it has even been picked up by Universal Cable Productions to become a show. A daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, Ann calls herself a reformed goody two shoes who creates art that empowers women to be their authentic badass selves. She combines incredible artistic talent with a high degree of business sense and shows us that choosing your own path does not have to mean depending on your parents, spouse, or whoever to survive. While her professors in art school pushed the students to all create very masculine, serious art, she went in the opposite direction – her own style that markets to women in a really fun, whimsical way, and of course in the time of Instagram, this style blew up. You can find her empowering, delightfully illustrated, books on Amazon and in stores like Target so definitely check them out after you hear her story. Also as a heads up, Ann and I met and recorded at the lovely all-female co-working space The Wing in Los Angeles so the audio is a little busy and echo-ey at times and I apologize in advance, but I have a feeling that you’ll be so engaged in our conversation, you will barely notice! Plus, y’all know me: progress over perfection. Highlighted ExcerptAnn: The art school I chose to go to was very militant and demanding. Majo: Okay so what were people telling you was the right kind of work and what did you discover?Ann: So in school, it was very trendy at the time to think about editorial illustration as the career, like the ultimate career. And you do like New York editorial illustration stuff that’s like in the New York Times, The New Yorker, like just very serious, beautiful. A lot of it is conceptual or just technically very, it just looks a certain way. And most of it was a very male-dominated view. Majo: Okay, and what did you discover was like what you really wanted to do and move into?Ann: That’s my favorite question because it wasn’t something that was really presented to me as an option and then I discovered this later was I just wanted to do stuff for women. Stuff that I was interested in, stuff that was floral or decorative or representative. Like just having something that’s like “oh, this is just a beautiful painting”. It either had to be a beautiful fine art oil painting or it had to have like a really brilliant concept behind it for it to be considered “good” in school. And then I left and I was like “Oh, it’s good enough for it just to be a beautiful thing that brings people joy”. Discover your creative, feminine power with my free online quiz at
September 19, 2019
I’m so excited to be back and running for this Fall season. We have a lot of exciting interviews for you with incredibly creative, badass women including an extremely gifted illustrator Ann Shen who wrote Bad Girls Throughout History, as well as a renowned astro loger and businesswoman Debra Silverman here to ground astrology for us, and make it super practical and applicable to our lives as creative women. AND we’ll be continuing with the archetype series, looking at two archetypes that exist with yourself, including my favorite the Wtich. Also, doing something I have never done in three years of running the show. My editor Anne is going to interview ME for an episode. A lot of you have been asking me about my story, and who I am, and what I’ve been up to, and it’s true I haven’t really shared, I’m an introvert, I’m private, I’m a mysterious Scorpio you’ll always feel is a little inaccessible, so we thought it would be a fun experiment, plus she’s journalist and knows how to ask questions. So stay tuned for that! The new season will kick off next Thursday on September 26th and run until mid-November and I’ll also be sprinkling some bonus episodes throughout.Until then!MajoOh wait! Heroine, before you go, I have a really important question for you: Do you want to look back on your life in 40 years from now and feel like you didn’t live up to your greatest, creative potential? I’m pretty sure the answer is no. Yet perhaps you know in your heart of hearts that you are currently holding back your voice and gifts, that you aren’t as expanded as you could be, and frankly you’re feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and confused. You’re certainly not alone. Well, I want to help, and the first step I propose is you taking a free quiz that is on my website right now, that I’m really excited about cause I haven’t offered anything like this in the past, but what it’s going to do is help you identify your unique, feminine, creative power and give you one practical action step to channel this power in a way that elevates your leadership. It’s a quiz that’s going to give you something really tangible and a ton of clarity, I know that a bunch of lightbulbs and connections will set off for you when you take it so go ahead and take the free quiz at (MAJO.CO), discover your creative, feminine power, and how to best leverage it, because the world needs more women’s voices, perspectives, and above all, creativity, so after this is announcement is done, type this into your mobile or desktop browser MAJO. CO and I’m so curious and excited for you! Onwards.
June 27, 2019
This is our summer bonus episode! Last month I moderated a panel at The Assembly in San Francisco. I interviewed two guests: Adereni Fashokun - a Life Coach, Co-Founder and Sr. HR Business Partner at Amazon AND Lauren Harper - the Director of Marketing at Palm. The topic? Technology and mental wellness. Does that sound like a contradiction to you, heroine? Sometimes it does to me, too. Technology is increasingly a part of our lives. It can feel impossible to get away from it. A friend of mine once had her phone break down for an entire weekend. At first she was furious, and then fearful. But she and her husband had plans that weekend, and as she immersed herself in what they were doing, she forgot about her phone. She was able to lose herself in activities. To let go. It was a kind of mental recharge she didn’t know she needed. Once her phone was fixed, she reflected that she had felt better that weekend than she had in a long time. So how do we set limits with technology, so we too can experience this kind of mental recharge…. and still stay connected to the world? The guests on today’s show offer ideas you may have never thought about. I’ll share just one: turn off all of the alerts on your phone. All of them. No beep for a text. No on screen notification that you just got an email. My editor Anne is doing this now, and she says it’s made a huge difference in her ability to focus on what’s happening in the moment. Stay tuned as the Fall season will pick up in September. In the meantime, you can always connect with me on my website majo. Co (MAJO.CO) or on Instagram majo.heroine!
May 30, 2019
Earlier in this season we talked about fairy tales. Queens, specifically…. and waifs. The waif is a passive figure, like the stereotypical vision of Rapunzel. She sits, in a tower, waiting for someone to come and rescue her. (Quick note: This episode is from the archive and available when you subscribe to the podcast on or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also stream it live from any browser on As the writer and cultural critic Gloria Anzaldúa once said, “Nobody’s going to save you. No one’s going to cut you down, cut the thorns thick around you. No one’s going to storm the castle walls nor kiss awake your birth, climb down your hair, nor mount you onto the white steed. There is no one who will feed the yearning. Face it. You will have to do, do it yourself.” Some women seem to understand this inherently, and live their lives accordingly. Some of us struggle a bit more to accept this. American Photojournalist and New York Times Best Selling Author Lynsey Addario falls into that first camp. She’s a war photographer who works in conflict zones all over the world. Throughout her entire career, Lynsey has been willing to risk her life, her safety, and her creature comforts to pursue what makes her feel alive. She’s photographed women under the Taliban, documented misogyny in the Congo and been kidnapped in Libya. And she has also found love and become a mother. Lynsey’s story reminds me to choose to do what is meaningful …. To feed the yearning, as Gloria Anzaldúa says. Also, heroine, today’s episode wraps up the Spring season, though keep your ear open for a bonus episode or two dropping this summer. And don’t worry, we’ll pick back up in the Fall. Also, this episode happens to be the 100th episode of the podcast. Can you believe it? I write about my top ten learnings since I started the show three years ago on my blog and Instagram – tips that will help you, in starting to share your voice and becoming more visible. So make sure to check that out on my blog ( – AND on my instagram @majo.heroine. Remember that Majo is spelled with a “j” that Spanish “j’ as in José! A BIG THANK YOU & SHOUT OUT TO OUR BADASS PATRONS ESPECIALLY:  Bianca Wendt, an award-winning art director and graphic designer based in San Francisco and London. Learn more about Bianca and her work here. Pssst....don't forget to follow me on Instagram @majo.heroine for more goodies, inspiration, and updates when episodes drop – yay! Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters. MUSIC: Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs
May 23, 2019
Eileen Fisher is more than a strong, female leader. Eileen Fisher is an icon. Her clothes - and her signature style - soft, elegant, warm - are an entire way of life. But unlike many famous leaders, and especially many famous FASHION leaders, Eileen is not driven by ego. She is humble. Midwestern. The Devil Wears Prada...she is decidedly, NOT. Throughout our interview, I wondered, how can such a strong leader speak with such a down to earth realness? Perhaps it’s because Eileen is an example of how to succeed well. As her brand continues to grow, she continues to reinvent. Instead of defining her business by how much money it makes, her company’s new parameter of success…. is sustainability. Her new mantra is do the most good instead of make the most money. In a world where our political leaders deny climate change...and other painful truths such as a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body...all to hold on to power...I think we can all take something from Eileen’s example. Live your values, show up, try. And remember that integrity is the only real currency we have in this world. Alright, on to the show. A BIG THANK YOU & SHOUT OUT TO OUR BADASS PATRONS ESPECIALLY:  Bianca Wendt, an award-winning art director and graphic designer based in San Francisco and London. Learn more about Bianca and her work here. Pssst....don't forget to follow me on Instagram @majo.heroine for more goodies, inspiration, and updates when episodes drop – yay! Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters. MUSIC: Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs
May 16, 2019
What happens when you marry someone who becomes rich and famous? Perhaps you find yourself becoming a bit blonder, a bit more stylish, and less, well, you - to fit into his life. I think we’ve all done this to a certain extent. Changed ourselves to fit the needs of someone we wanted to fit with. (Quick note: This episode is from the archive and available when you subscribe to the podcast on or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also stream it live from any browser on But let’s say this all happens in the public eye. You and this man start a family. And after all this stretching and shifting, tragedy strikes. Nothing can insulate us from that. And then, he breaks up with you. And quickly takes up with someone new. That’s what happened to Justine Musk. She’s a writer, speaker and soul-blogger. She is also the ex-wife of tech billionaire and provocateur Elon Musk. When I interviewed Justine, I was reminded of why I do this podcast. Justine experienced something in the Heroine’s journey called the descent. In crude terms, Justine was kind of a starter wife. She herself has said this in an article she wrote for Marie Claire. But as we’ve seen with our examination of archetypes in fairy tales at the beginning of the season, this one is woefully inadequate. It’s an oversimplification as they do little to reveal the soul of the person. And the origins of Justine’s story don’t define her. It’s what she chose to do with her story...that does. And it’s the descent - the darkness in her life that revealed the light of who she is. Which I the truth for all great heroines. As the Sufi mystic Rumi once said, be patient where you sit in the dark, the dawn is coming. References: Check out Justine's blog at A BIG THANK YOU & SHOUT OUT TO OUR BADASS PATRONS ESPECIALLY:  Brigid Cabry Nelson leads Lettershop, an award-winning creative studio that serves a wide range of clients—from boutique retailers to large corporations—approaching each and every project with vigor and enthusiasm. Learn more about Brigid and her work here. Bianca Wendt, an award-winning art director and graphic designer based in San Francisco and London. Learn more about Bianca and her work here. Pssst....don't forget to follow me on Instagram @majo.heroine for more goodies, inspiration, and updates when episodes drop – yay! Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters. MUSIC: Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs
May 9, 2019
I can’t believe it’s been about three years since I first aired this episode with Roz Savage, the first woman to row solo across three oceans. Honestly, I remember feeling so nervous, not so much during the conversation, but more so in sharing the interview, as it was the first show that launched the podcast. Today, my editor, Anne, recut this so it’s lively, fresh and even more revelatory. (Quick note: This episode is from the archive and available when you subscribe to the podcast on or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also stream it live from any browser on Give yourself a second to really think about the fact that Roz rows across oceans alone. She sits in a small boat, day after day, with little besides the cold waves for company and the sea mist hitting her face. This is a woman who is comfortable with solitude….and freedom. But when Roz started rowing, she was, in her words, “just a management consultant” from the UK. did she get to that wide, open ocean? What drives someone to leave everything they’ve known for so long to achieve a distant goal? In a way, that’s really the central question of this podcast. How do we stop being good girls and start being the heroines we’re meant to be? How do we write our own stories, create our own myths? How do we activate our own potential - even when it goes against all of our social conditioning? Roz ended up leaving her ordinary life because she sat down one day and wrote herself two obituaries. It sounds morbid, but for Roz it was clarifying. In one version, she had lived life as a business woman, in control and with fancy clothes. In the other, well, I won’t give too much away. Let’s just say, in the other obituary, her clothes didn’t matter. References: Roz Savage’s book, "Rowing the Atlantic: Lessons Learned on the Open Ocean." Roz Savage’s website, A BIG THANK YOU & SHOUT OUT TO OUR BADASS PATRONS ESPECIALLY:  Brigid Cabry Nelson leads Lettershop, an award-winning creative studio that serves a wide range of clients—from boutique retailers to large corporations—approaching each and every project with vigor and enthusiasm. Learn more about Brigid and her work here. Bianca Wendt, an award-winning art director and graphic designer based in San Francisco and London. Learn more about Bianca and her work here. Pssst....don't forget to follow me on Instagram @majo.heroine for more goodies, inspiration, and updates when episodes drop – yay! Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters. MUSIC: Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs
May 2, 2019
Today, we’re going to sink deeper into the waif archetype to understand the true essence of the powerful fairytale and heroine Rapunzel. This episode is available when you subscribe to the podcast on (or wherever you get your podcasts). You can also stream it live from any browser here. Let’s bring back Kate Forsyth – an incredible novelist and fairy tale connoisseur – from the last episode. Kate argues the motifs we believe are passive in the tale, or that look passive at first glance, really aren’t. Here’s our convo. Majo: Yeah, I mean on the one hand her hair is kind of passive because it's dropping off the side of the building and it's being climbed on or it's being used but on the other hand – Kate: See I don't think that is a symbol of passivity, her own hair is the only form of ingress to her, it's the only way that people can reach her in her isolated state and in the end try and think of it more her hair is actually a symbol of her own strength that is being used against her. And once she's freed from that that is when she comes into her true power. It's not necessarily a symbol of passivity, in fact Rapunzel is not a passive figure, she sings with all of her strength and that draws the prince to her, she allows herself, she takes control of her life even though she is trapped against her will in this confined space. It's a misunderstanding of the fairy tale to use her as an example of female passivity. Majo: Yeah, that's really helpful, I love what you wrote, "Rapunzel's no passive maiden awaiting rescue. She was an active agent in events, an empowering figure. Though later versions increasingly drain the tale of it's subversive power." Kate: I mean that is exactly right, so the earliest versions are when she's at her most active. So what happened? Turns out the Grimm brothers, who were telling these tales in a very religious society, received a ton of backlash for the Rapunzel story. The story of lovers having sex in a tower was too racy (especially for children), so they stripped away the eroticism, darkness, and violence out of the original story. As Kate shares, The Grimm's were trying to make their stories more suitable for children but Rapunzel was never meant for children, it was always meant for young women on the verge of their own sexual lives. Because the truth is Rapunzel was proactive, clever, and resourceful. She was not waiting around. In one older version of the tale by Italian folk collector Giambattista Basile, Rapunzel is even more fierce, as she finds three acorns from the witch she then uses against her. Each acorn becomes an animal ally of sorts – first a dog, then a lion, and finally a wolf that devours and kills the witch. I was super into this version, and was going to go with it and be like, “See Rapunzel’s a warrior!” until I met Kate, who brought way more refinement to the conversation. Kate was attracted to the version written by 18th Century French, female writer Charlotte Rose De La Force. Because in that version, it is Rapunzel who heals the prince with her tears. The more I reflect on both versions, I do love what De La Force did to the tale...Rapunzel’s tears are not a sign of weakness, but of power. This got me thinking about something a friend once told me, “healing doesn’t happen through force, or action, it happens through relaxation, opening…release.” Tears are a form of release, sacred tears are the release that, like the rain, allow for new growth to happen. For centuries, we’ve been shamed for having tears, for being emotional, we’re called hysterical, when our feelings are a source of our intelligence as women, and I think that’s what Rapunzel is truly all about. Feelings, sadness, grief, and tears, allow us to release and move on, allow us and others to heal. Tears are a sign of compassion. In fairy tales, we’re so used to good versus evil, but Rapunzel not only heals the Prince, but she redeems the witch. Rapunzel moves the...
April 25, 2019
Today, we’re kicking off the first part of exploring the waif archetype, also know as the very passive maiden in the tower, the princess waiting to be rescued, and the good girl – an archetype I’ve long been fascinated with and am even writing a whole book about (coming out next year, still can’t believe it!). Today’s episode is available when you subscribe to the podcast on (or wherever you get your podcasts). You can also stream it live from any browser here. Some of you may be wondering why I’m focusing on fairy tales, when most of us haven’t thought about them since we were children. What do they have to do with you now? To help me answer this question, I invited Australian author Kate Forsyth onto the show. Kate has retold many fairy tales through her novels, including Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, and Rapunzel. I asked Kate if she thinks that reading fairy tales as little girls actually affects us as adult women. Kate says that yes, fairy tales help prepare us for what’s to come: I mean in a way the witches and the dragons and the ogres, these are metaphors that allow us to examine things like fear of abandonment, fear of not being loved, fear of failure, fear of death, fear of harm. And because they're generally told in a safe place in a circle of light around a fire, in the comfort of a mothers lap, while tucked up in bed, because the person listening to the story is safe, it enables them to for a while in their imagination do battle with these witches and these monsters and triumph over them. Now we know, neurologically speaking, that anything that we experience in our imagination acts in the brain as if it has actually happened. So when we feel that thrill of triumph at having outwitted the witch well our brain processes it as if we had actually done it. So these stories help us learn emotional resilience and intelligence, and if we were fed wonky stories, or if we didn’t fully integrate them as little girls, that will affect how we live and lead down the road. A few years ago, Kate completed her PhD on reimagining the Rapunzel archetype, which is why I specifically reached out to her. I thought she could better help me understand this maiden in the tower. In this episode, we go over the Rapunzel tale together, which is super important because some of you may remember it differently (I was shocked by the ending, which I had no memory of whatsoever). In her more reduced interpretation (as a trope for female passivity), Rapunzel represents this idea of feeling trapped, which is symbolized by the tower in the tale, as Kate shares: I mean fairy tales work at this kind of metaphorical or archetypal level and it's a rare human that does not find themselves trapped and disempowered by their circumstances in some way. And so in Rapunzel the tower stands in for anything that is tying back the human spirit, it might be fear, it might be an unhappy relationship, it might be ones own parents, it might be the school that you are forced to go to against your will, it might be a job that is making you deeply unhappy. It's a metaphorical tower and so for that reason it is the most memorable motif in the fairy tale. So what’s your tower right now? It could be internal or external. That’s my question to you. Or let me put it this way: what is the story you’re telling yourself, about how you’re trapped, and you have no choice to be doing this or that. Remember, an uncomfortable situation and relationship can be bizarrely comfortable because it’s familiar, so we forget amidst that cozy comfort, that we still have choice. Every day, every second, we are making choices. The first step to getting out of your tower is taking back your agency by seeing that you have choice. Rapunzel made choices. She was far more proactive than we think. I’m only scratching the surface of our conversation in this post, as you’ll need to listen to the episode ( and here) to get...
April 18, 2019
For the first four episodes of this season, we’re exploring the female archetypes (and stereotypes!) in old fairy and folk tales. First up – the Queen. To quickly recap – in the last episode, we learned about the sequel to Sleeping Beauty’s “happily ever after” in which she has to deal with her mother-in-law –  the evil Queen Mother – an ogre and wants to eat her twin babies. If you haven’t listened to that episode, go back and do so, otherwise this second part won’t make sense. Today, we’re going to sink deeper into this archetype to understand what’s going really going on – and in the process, learn more about ourselves.   Episodes are available when you subscribe to the podcast on (or wherever you get your podcasts). You can also stream it live from any browser here. So, I came across a 17th Century version of Sleeping Beauty called Sun, Moon, and Talia, and oh heroine, did this really put the Queen in perspective for me. It helped me see her in a completely different light. In this other version, the evil Queen isn’t the King’s mother, but get this, she’s the King’s wife. Yes, Sleeping Beauty– or Talia – is actually the “third” woman in this tale. That’s right, our homeboy King is a player. He already had a wife before he met Sleeping Beauty – it’s the part Disney doesn’t mention. He’s just doing what Kings did back then, sleep with whoever they wanted. So we begin to see that there’s a complicated relationship between the King and the Queen. At one point in the tale, when The Queen thinks he’s eating one of his own kids (the kids he would have had with another woman), she tells him, and I quote “"Eat away! for you eat what is your own." What the King replies is fascinating, and I quote “"Ay, I know well enough that what I eat is my own, for you brought nothing to the house." Oh snap. That’s a rude response. The tale writes, “And at last getting up in a rage, he went off to a villa at a little distance to cool his anger.” In other words, the King is annoyed that the Queen isn’t contributing “bread” to the table. This line could be interpreted many ways. Either he’s mad she hasn’t brought home the bacon or he could be shaming her for coming with a small dowry. But what options does a Queen have, locked in a Kingdom, in a patriarchal society, to go out and bring something to the house? Very little. In fact, in most of these fairy tales, the King is always quite mobile of course, traversing stretches of land, while the Princesses and Queens are confined within walls, or being ordered around to go from place A to B. It’s clear that the Queen is powerless in the patriarchy with her lead patriarch, very literally the King. At one point, when she confronts Talia who we know as Sleeping Beauty – the woman her husband is having an affair with –  she says, “Are you the weed that has caught my husband’s eye and given me all this trouble? So so, you are come at last to purgatory, where I'll make you pay for all the ill you have done me." Obviously, Talia’s not the problem – the King is the main issue here, lest this becomes an episode of Jerry Springer. Both Talia and the Queen are powerless in different ways. So, it’s obvious and quite justified – one of the ways the Queen has responded to betrayal, hurt, and feelings of powerlessness is to become a total Queen. Duh. In other words, she claims control because she’s been badly hurt. She’s wounded! When we see the full context of the Queen, we can see how she’s very connected to the inner victim...underneath Queen behavior is a feeling (and perhaps even a reality) of victimhood. Ok, now it’s our time to turn it to you. How have you felt out of control in your life, and how has that made you double down on becoming more controlling? For some of us, we grow up in chaotic households, so we turn to controlling what we eat. In my case, I grew up moving around a lot, not having control in where I’d live or what community so I doubled down by becoming...
April 11, 2019
For the next four episodes on Heroine, we’re exploring the female archetypes (and stereotypes!) in old fairy and folk tales. The first archetype we’re going to explore is one of my favorites – the Queen. Obviously the “evil” Queen is a common storytelling trope. But like all tropes, they’re simultaneously false and real. They’re real in that by learning and growing up around these characters, we internalize some of them. They’re false in that they’re still tropes, which means nobody is all Queen, or all Princess, all of the time – that’s a sweet oversimplification. We’re going to first explore how there’s some reality in this Queen archetype. If we think of these characters as part of our own psyche, who is the reckless Queen out to control and maintain power? Is this a part of you that’s loud in your life, or quiet? I was curious about the Queen archetype in the women in my life – so I thought I’d interview a mutual friend. Meet Dionna. Dionna: My name is Dionna McPhatter. I'm the co-founder of Nacci ( We do data driven storytelling that harnesses the power of data, data science, narrative and storytelling and design thinking to bring solutions to businesses. Majo: Do you feel like others perceive you to be like queenly or have this energy? Dionna: Yeah, I think so. I think there's plenty more to me, but yeah, I think that this wouldn't be hard for them to ... I mean, I have people that call me Queen D. So I think that has come out early and I never asked for that as a title. Majo: Do you have example from your own life where you were like, oh dang, maybe I was too much, maybe I was too powerful in this situation or too assertive or too queenly and I should've peeled back or that got me in trouble. Dionna: Trouble, no. I see it all as learning. I haven't felt in trouble in a long time, but I think the ... I've had times where I'm leading a team or I'm just on the team. So it was all of my peers and so, I didn't see myself as higher than them. But I just have a certain way that I communicate. And I got feedback that because I communicate with such clarity, that made people feel like I wasn't open to their ideas, right? There's plenty of times when I choose not to speak, so you know I don't really care that much or I'm in listening mode or whatever. But when I choose to speak about something, I am passionate, so that can deter other people sometimes. And then, when they're speaking, they can think that I'm not listening. I can really relate to Dionna, because I have a lot of the Queen archetype within me. And it manifests in a variety of ways – I want things done, when I want them, efficiently, and on my own time. I like to delegate, I actually have no problem with it at all. And being a Queen feels great most of the time, but I did notice that there’s a downside to it – people often don’t feel my warmth, or feel cared for, when I’m acting like a Queen. One time I was queening out, and dissatisfied by someone I hired to help handle my social media. I found myself getting irritated, and angry, and snappy at her. You know since my Queen is a total perfectionist, one who wants it perfect or not at all. And then she quit! I felt relieved, but also kind of embarrassed. I realized when I’m being a Queen, people obviously don’t want to collaborate. The impact of that of course, is that Queens end up lonely and isolated in their glass or ice palaces. They shut themselves off from the world. It’s hard for me to admit tell you about the times I Queen because she’s not a part of myself I’m proud of. Even now, I can feel how uncomfortable it is to share with you, because it’s an ugly dark part of myself (the shadow!) I sometimes wish would go away, especially when she’s acting out. So how about you? What is your relationship to this trait? Does it help you get things done? Do you value it? Do you feel trapped by it? Do you secretly resent it? Perhaps you feel don’t have enough of this archetype...
March 14, 2019
One of the reasons I started this podcast was to share women’s stories – showing us as complex, nuanced, and still very much in progress. But as we know, stories like this have only become available to us recently. I remember as a little girl, being bombarded by Disney Princesses, witches, and evil step mothers who were one dimensional and pretty flat. But a lot of these characters were based on older stories which were far darker, even more multi-layered and satisfying. Old folk tales that show us the full dimensionality of who we are as women. That’s why this season, we’re going to explore these older tales and uncover more about ourselves in the process. Have you ever felt like a major Queen, stirring up drama for yourself and those around you? Or have you ever felt like a waif, a kind of frail woman, who is too breakable to take on a challenge? For the first half of this new season, we’ll explore how there are more to these female archetypes (and stereotypes!) than what we see on the surface. We’ll talk about how by embodying and rejecting them, they play out in our personal and professional lives. Ok, so that will be the first part of the season. For the second part, my editor Anne Hoffman and I have curated and freshened up four interviews from the archive that relate to the theme of archetypes. You’re going to hear from record-breaking rower Roz Savage (she was my first interview ever), Justine Musk, a writer and the ex-wife of Elon Musk, design icon Eileen Fisher, and from New York Times Award-winning photojournalist Lynsey Addario. Even if you’ve listened to these episodes, I guarantee you will hear something new in them the second or third time. Also, I invite you to connect with me on my website that has a ton of free resources for you such as a Rituals e-Guide, Creative Confidence Playbook, articles, and also a free guided meditation. Check it out on (MAJO.CO). An episode will be released every Thursday as usual – and the season will run for eight weeks starting on April 11th. Onward!
November 8, 2018
For more tips and inspiration, go to my website and follow me on Instagram @majo.heroine You made it this is the last and final minisode in a four part series on boundaries. If you haven’t already done so, make sure to listen to the entire series from top to bottom, because it will give you a full picture on how you can maintain healthy, strong, boundaries to be more badass in a world that is clawing at your time and attention. In this episode, I want to introduce you to a four-step communication tool for speaking up when something is bothering you, when you feel someone has overstepped one of your boundaries, and you want to let them know that’s not cool with you. Because in working with and talking to hundreds of women, I noticed a pattern – after years of growing up in the patriarchy, when something bothers us, we don’t speak up. You know, It starts in our teens. Harvard researchers found that during adolescence, girls stop speaking from their experience, and expressing their true feelings and thoughts, even though they were outspoken as children. They literally lose their voices, become more quiet, and say “I don’t know” a million times, really as a way to hide. The researchers conclude “to say what they are feeling and thinking often means to risk losing their relationships...” Sound familiar? It starts in our teens but carries on into our 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond. The tool I want to introduce to you is called nonviolent communication – NVC for short. Started by a psychologist in the 60s, Marshall Rosenberg, this process will help to communicate to others about you need with less judgment. You might want to pause the audio and grab a paper if it’s helpful to take notes. Surely, you’ve been in a scenario, where you’ve felt triggered and want to respond, so what can you do? NVC consists of four simple steps: Step 1: State the facts – What events did you observe? Step 2. State your feelings – How did you feel? Step 3. State your needs – What is your unmet need? (Note: I like to give the option of stating your values here, if that works better in a professional context than your needs) Step 4. State your requests – What is your request? What do you want moving forward? I’m going to break it down and run through examples and tips. Step 1. What events did you observe? __________________________________________________________________________________________________ Example: “Last month, you authored the article about our project.” Notice here, that I’m sticking to the facts. It’s something that a third party objective observer would agree , and couldn’t be argued. Tips: So, you want to stick to the facts. “You seldom do what I want,” is an evaluation, versus “You did not attend the last three meetings,” which is more factual. You want to be specific. “She frequently attends,” is too vague, versus “She attended at least three times a week,” which is precise. You want to focus on observable behaviors. Memories about words people said can be subjective and distorted, so report on actions. Step 2. How did you feel? “I felt … __________________________________________________________________________________________________ Example: “I felt frustrated.” Tips: Focus on emotions and sensations. Most derive from these five: sadness, disgust, fear, joy, and anger. Avoid thoughts (e.g., "I feel like I didn't get a fair deal"), stories about yourself (e.g., "insecure"), how you think others are evaluating you (e.g., "unimportant"), or what we think others are doing to us (e.g., "misunderstood," "ignored"). Be vulnerable. It takes courage to state something plainly, but it’s powerful! Step 3. What is your unmet need or value? “Because I need/value …. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Example: “Because I need/value collaboration and equality.” Tips: Focus on universal human needs and/or cultural values. Under your feeling is an unmet...
November 1, 2018
I’m thrilled about today’s interview. Shiza Shahid co-founded The Malala Fund along with the youngest Nobel-Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. I’m sure you already know this, but just in case, Malala was the young girl in Pakistan who was shot in the head on her school bus by the Taliban for going to school, but she survived and became internationally recognized. So Shiza, who I speak to in this interview, was one of Malala’s early mentors. While in college, Shiza started a secret summer camp for girls in Pakistan, which is also her home country. Today, Shiza is a venture capital investor and many other things. Named one of Time's "30 Under 30 People Changing the World" and Forbes "30 Under 30 - Social Entrepreneurs," she’s also host of the USA Today news show "ASPIREist," which activates millennials to have a positive impact. In this episode, we talk about why empowering women around the world is so important and what Shiza sees as global trends as she travels to different continents. As a fellow immigrant, she shares how culture helped her shift perspectives, and what it means to reclaim your identity when you grow up cross-culturally. Highlighted Excerpt: Majo: You do so much. How do you stay grounded? How do you avoid overwhelm or do you just feel overwhelmed? Shiza: How do I avoid overwhelm? I think perhaps by  not comparing myself. I think a lot of the overwhelm comes from comparison. Now when we do good things we have to put it on Instagram and count how many likes it got, and I think a lot of that comparison causes dissatisfaction and unhappiness. Because if you go and truly help someone, the way that will make you feel will give you so much satisfaction, it will calm the fatigue and help with the overwhelm, so as long as you don’t go to that place of you know, “Is this good enough?Am I good enough?” and allow the satisfaction of doing your work become overshadowed by the comparison, which I think we’re constantly in the middle of particularly here in the West. I was in Pakistan for a while, and I realized that I didn’t buy anything for weeks, and I was barely on social media, and I came back to the U.S. and started getting hit by all these ads and all these things I felt I needed to buy, and information about other people doing other things. Majo: When you came back you started noticing that you were comparing? Shiza: Absolutely. I think that over here, there’s a lot of that comparison, even when you’re doing so called social impact work, you’re still comparing – Majo: Right. Like, who’s doing more social impact work. Shiza: Right. I think avoiding that. Getting outside this place which can really do that to you, and focusing on direct impact. Show Notes: Shiza’s parents and upbringing in Pakistan [3:20] On volunteering as a teenager in women’s prisons and her passionate activism as a young woman [5:36] Applying to college in the U.S. on a whim and her decision to go to Stanford where she was first exposed to technology and entrepreneurship, but still feeling connected to help women and girls back in Pakistan [6:58] The online diary of Malala Yousafzai (at the time, 11 years old), inspiring Shiza’s creation of a secret summer camp amongst dangerous circumstances [11:30] Joining McKinsey and receiving the news of Malala being shot [14:00] On co-founding and building The Malala Fund at age 22 and leaving the safe, predictable path [21:00] Witnessing Malala become the first child to win The Nobel Peace Prize and how it shifted stereotypes about what courage looks like [26:00] On the polarization of technology, tech utopianism, and how social media creates a divide and leads to a rise in extremism, as well as the need for a representative group of people making decisions [28:00] On being a global citizen and how that perspective-shifting encourages entrepreneurship [32:20] The...
October 25, 2018
For more tips and inspiration, go to my website and follow me on Instagram @majo.heroine This is the third minisode in a four part series on boundaries. Make sure to listen to the entire series, so that you can have those healthy boundaries that allow you to thrive as a modern woman, when there are so many demands on your time and energy. In this episode, I’m going to give you a process for clearing crap off your plate. We all have very full plates, don’t we? We pile it on there, because we’re ambitious, smart, modern women. In hundreds of women, I’ve seen us dry ourselves up and burn ourselves out and feel so overwhelmed and anxious because our plates are simply too full. It’s an epidemic that needs to stop. Here’s what you can do. Write a list of your commitments or things you said “yes” to but that you aren’t excited about or really meant to say no to. These also might be thought of the logistics and operations of life, that take away and claw at your energy from doing deeper, more meaningful work. These are things that may feel more like “shoulds” or obligations. Go ahead and pause this minisode if you need to, and grab a piece of paper, and then come back. Here’s an example list you might write: Host dinner for the family next Saturday Go to Cape Cod in July Write out the brief for Jackson Grocery shopping Create four columns, and write the following empowering VERBS at the top: ELIMINATE, DELEGATE, AUTOMATE, ASK FOR HELP. Your next step is to slot your different tasks into each column. The idea is to get all those annoying “should” activities of your plate and into one of these buckets. It’s amazing what eliminating can do – oftentimes, we think we have to do something, but do we really have to? Time and time again, I’ve seen that the real issue is that we’re afraid to say no and back out...make sure to circle back to the first minisode about how to no. Let’s define these for a second. Eliminate is obvious – take it off your list, and it ceases to exist. Delegate is when you request that somebody else do the task, instead of you. That’s pretty clear. Asking for help is different from delegating in that you’re still doing the task, but you’re doing it with someone, or having someone take a part of it off your plate. But what about automate? Automate is when you build a system that makes the behavior easier to do on a repeating basis. So, let’s take grocery shopping, a way to automate that, and cut down on your time doing it, is to use a tool like Instacart, in which you have a set repertoire of groceries that you get weekly, or signing up for one of those farm-fresh CSAs that deliver to your door. The point is, you’re not spending loads of time thinking about and doing it every week. Capeeshela? That’s it, if you care about living an empowered life as a woman on this planet, follow me on Instagram @majo.heroine more juiciness – and go to my website and get on my email list for more updates about my work and this podcast. You got options. Make sure to be in touch. Lots of love, onward!
October 18, 2018
Today, I speak with Dr. Robin Berzin. She’s the doctor, founder, and CEO of a wellness and medical practic, Parsley Health, that takes a whole mind-body approach to your health. Robin is on a mission to heal and reinvent American healthcare when less than 4% of CEOs in the healthcare space are female. She’s a real badass with a medical degree from Columbia University who has raised millions of dollars in venture capital. In this episode, we talk about how she dealt with being lost and confused after college, having a baby while fundraising for her startup, and how to build your creative confidence as a woman. Highlighted Excerpt: Majo: How did your yoga practice help you align into your purpose? Robin: It taught me to listen. It taught me to listen to myself. I think I was someone who was a little bit trapped in her head and I think a lot of us live with a bit of a concrete wall between our bodies and our heads and we don’t really pay attention to what’s happening in our bodies, and we live in our minds and we live in the past; we live in the future and we’re never present. And if you’re somebody who is like a grades getter, go-getter, and an overachiever in any way, whether that’s in sports or academics, you’re rewarded constantly for that, right? It’s reinforced in our educational system and it’s certainly been in mine growing up in Baltimore and going into this all-girls school that was very academically oriented and also athletically oriented. I wasn’t good at the athletics part but I was pretty good at the academics part. For me, yoga was this moment of literally just waking up to right now and I realized I had this huge concrete wall between my head and my body. And then in many ways, there’s kind of low-grade abusing myself living on really crappy food, not really exercising, partying at night, hating my job, being in a crappy relationship with a crappy boyfriend at the time, and I think yoga was just this kind of stillness. And then I started listening; and then I started looking back to undergrad and back in my life and starting asking the questions, “What do I want to do? What do I care about? What is interesting to me and how do I want to spend my time?” Show Notes: - On childhood, her early days as a “neat freak” and “good girl.” [01:55] - Working as a paralegal and stumbling on a yoga studio that would change her life. [04:42] - Losing her grandmother to colon cancer and her growing interest in medicine; winning the award for a paper in complimentary medicine. [09:17] - Her amazing experience working with Dr. Oz and Oprah’s team. [20:20] - Reaching out to Dr. Oz to get the job. [23:09] - How she learned to fundraise and how she managed after giving birth to her son. [26:04] - Her thoughts on starting a company – don’t overthink it, just do it. [32:02] - What she reclaimed during her heroine’s journey. [33:42] References: Majo's website – Robin's website – Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters.
October 11, 2018
For more tips and inspiration, go to my website and instagram @majo.heroine This is the second minisode in a four part series on boundaries. Make sure to listen to the entire series, so that you can have those healthy boundaries that allow you to thrive as a modern woman, when there are so many demands on your time and energy. Have you ever been talking to someone and then you felt completely drained? Maybe that person was in a terrible mood, or complaining, or qualifies for a personality disorder. Whatever, the case, you feel fried. In this minisode on boundaries, I’m going to give you a simple technique for staying grounded when you’re face-to-face with someone who feels like they might be sucking the energy off of you. Obviously, the most ideal scenario is for you to steer clear from energy vampires, or to cut the conversation short, and leave. But let’s say you’re locked in, and you’re like fuck, what do I do? The technique is this: drop your attention down to your feet, specifically the soles of your feet. Feel them make contact with the ground. Go ahead and do that now as you listen to this, bring your attention to your feet. And then take deep lower belly breaths. So, attention on the feet, and deep breaths while the person is speaking. The benefits of this simple move are amazing. You will walk away feeling less floored, and swayed by the other person’s emotions. If you’re an empath like me, you’ll feel less emotional contagion between you and the person. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself. That’s it, if you care about living an empowered life as a woman on this planet, go follow me on Instagram @majo.heroine more juiciness – and go to my website and get on my email list for more updates about my work and this podcast. You got options. Make sure to be in touch.
October 4, 2018
I am so honored to bring to you this conversation with a personal heroine of mine: Esther Perel. Esther is truly a thought leader in the space, with a perspective on modern relationships that is refreshingly original, insightful, and pretty un-American. Recently, she’s been stretching the bounds of her work beyond the bedroom, which is the focus of this episode. More about this episode: Can we apply something like couple's therapy to co-workers and how easily does it translate? In this episode, Esther shares how to bring the relational intelligence from our romantic lives (things like trust, empathy, vulnerability, etc) into our most difficult, stressful work relationships and creative collaborations, especially in the context of patriarchy and the #MeToo movement. Esther’s work practically saved my relationship with my husband before we got married– and her work really helped us see what sustains desire between two people over the long-term. Her celebrated TED talks have garnered more than 20 million views and her international bestselling book Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence became a global phenomenon translated into 25 languages. Her newest book is the New York Times bestseller The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity. Esther is also an executive producer and host of the popular podcast called Where Should We Begin? I know you will find this conversation fascinating and applicable to your life. Show Notes Esther shares about her childhood as a bold and extroverted girl, her experience as an immigrant and the daughter of Holocaust survivors, and getting by on the goodwill of people willing to help her. [2:48] Esther turns the table on Majo and asks why she felt pressured to focus on her career over relationships for so long. Plus, how Esther became a “disciple of people” and learned to navigate uncertainty while writing her first book. [7:43] Why Esther enjoys taking on difficult and taboo subjects, and her non-prescriptive approach to finding solutions. [11:35] The major problem with our current culture of experts. [15:43] Bringing her expertise to the context of work: Esther shares her insights as a cross-cultural therapist, and the big shift she’s seeing toward reliance on relational intelligence as the core of company success. [19:59] Why do 65% of startups fail? Co-founder breakups. Esther discusses the deep, intimate, and often turbulent relationship between company founders. [26:10] Majo shares two true scenarios with Esther for advice on how to navigate relationships. Scenario 1: A woman being constantly triggered by her male manager who refuses to listen to her advice. [30:51] Scenario 2: A woman feeling disempowered by a male CEO who favors his own ideas over hers. [38:24] On difficult conversations, what’s missing from the #MeToo movement, and how we reshape and redefine relational thinking through communication (not policies or rules). [43:23] “Patriarchy doesn’t just hurt women.” On polarized systems, masculine vs feminine, and the honesty required on both sides. [46:30] From the bedroom to the boardroom – more resources on translating the personal to the professional. [49:39] Resources: Majo’s website – Esther’s website – Esther’s event – “The Masculinity Paradox” on November 10 in NYC – Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters.
September 27, 2018
For more tips and inspiration, go to my website and follow me on Instagram @majo.heroine This is the first minisode in a four part series on boundaries. Make sure to listen to the entire series, so that you can have those healthy boundaries that allow you to thrive as a modern woman, when there are so many demands on your time and energy. By the end of the series, you’re honestly going to feel like you have so many more tools in your toolbelt to conserve your energy, so that you can channel it towards your creativity and calling on this planet. Because we ain’t got time, to be diddle daddling, OK? We need you to have those boundaries, so that you can function and be a badass. In this minisode on boundaries, I’m going to give you a simple template for saying no. SO SIMPLE you’re going to be like OMG, why did this take so long? LMK ask you this one question – How do you feel when you say yes to something, but you really mean no? Take a few seconds to think about it. What feelings come up when you agree to something you don’t really want to do, or care to do? When I ask most women this, they admit they feel resentful, bitter, annoyed, at the other person and themselves. It’s a radical concept but when you say YES when you mean NO so that you can please someone or not make them upset or because it’s easier, YOU LOSE TRUST IN YOURSELF. You essentially abandon yourself. That’s a big problem. The solution to this is to communicate what you want, to communicate your focus, and communicate your priority. Let’s take a really sticky situation. One of my clients wanted to quit her job forever, but was stalling because she didn’t want to set this boundary – to say no more to this soul-crushing job that was sucking the life out of her. She was scared of her boss’ disappointment, of her parent’s backlash etc. You know the drill. When we drilled down, it became obvious that she was nervous about not finding the right words, or screwing up in the moment, so we wrote out a script that she could practice and role play with her friends and roommates. That made it way easier. Based on the “sandwich” technique, she started and ended on a positive note, and shared her desire for the future as the filling of the sandwich. It looked like this: Positive: I’m grateful that I spent the last two years at this company as I learned so much. Desire: It’s time that I focus on transitioning into design that focuses on social impact and international development. Positive: Again, I want to reiterate that I’ve grown enormously through your guidance and appreciated all the autonomy you’ve given me throughout the years. Notice how she didn’t say NO to the job, but say YES to her the direction she wanted to move in. You can do this for anything – if someone asks you for your time, energy, or money, instead of saying NO, telling them what you’re saying YES to. I can’t go to Jamaica this year, because I’m focusing on launching my Etsy store. I can’t speak at your event on pickles, because I’m focused on almond milk this year. I can’t donate $100 to your campaign, because I’m donating my funds this year to animal right’s issues. Get it? So clear. Let people know what you care about, and they’ll understand you’re saying no to them, and they’ll respect you for it. They’ll be like dang, this woman knows what she wants. And if they’re pissed and you experience backlash, then fuck em’. That ain’t your problem. Your commitment is to yourself. Go get it, heroine. That’s it, if you care about living an empowered life as a woman on this planet, go follow me on Instagram @majo.heroine more juiciness – and go to my website and get on my email list for more updates about my work and this podcast. You got options. Make sure to be in touch.
September 20, 2018
Do you want to create more freely? If so, you might wanna shift your relationship to mistakes, and let go of some of that idealism. That’s the central topic of today’s show with actress Keiko Agena. You might remember Keiko for her supporting role as Lane Kim – the punk rock obsessed daughter of strict Korean-American parents on the show Gilmore Girls. I know I was pretty obsessed with Gilmore Girls back in the day. Recently, Keiko has been recurring on SWEET/VICIOUS, COLONY and the new Netflix release of 13 REASONS WHY. She’s also the author of a new Artist workbook called No Mistakes. In today’s episode, we talk about Keiko’s experience as an Asian American woman in the world of acting and Hollywood, why you don’t have to call yourself an artist, and the one thing she recommends you do to bring more creative freedom into your life. As a heads up: For the next eight weeks, there will be an episode dropping every Thursday – alternating between interviews and minisodes. The minisode series is all about boundaries, my favorite topic, so stay tuned for those too. Show Notes: ● On childhood, acting, auditioning and landing a role on Gilmore Girls show. [02:23] ● Transitioning from Hawaii to the mainland and realizing how being Asian American would impact her acting career moving forward. [06:06] ● The ease of temping in contrast to her discomfort and anxiety while on Gilmore Girls. [09:50] ● More on Gilmore Girls and newfound interest in drawing, arts, and creativity. [19:44] ● About her new book, “No Mistakes: A Perfect Workbook for Imperfect Artists”. She also talks about how what you do will label you eventually. [22:21] ● Her advice for creative women who want to unleash or discover their creativity. [30:50] References: Majo's website – Keiko's website – Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters.
June 14, 2018
Have you ever been knocked down, and had to dust yourself off to start again? Today’s guest, Jaclyn Johnson, talks about the career blows early on in her journey and the blessings that came from them. More about this episode: I couldn’t be more thrilled to bring you this CEO and powerhouse behind beloved conference and site for millennial working women, Create & Cultivate. She is also author of a new book, WorkParty, which is available for pre-order now. Jaclyn’s a real boss lady who has been named Forbes 30 Under 30, a “Self-Made Woman” by LA Times, and A Woman of Note by The Wall Street Journal. What’s most inspiring to me about Jaclyn is how much she truly believes in the power of creative, millennial women to change the world. In this episode, Jaclyn and I cover her journey of starting over again, what she means when she says it’s important to be “nice” at work, and whether we modern women can indeed have it all. Alright, heroine, this is the last episode of the season, and we’ll pick back up in a few months in September. Enjoy the summer, I hope you get outside and play, and don’t forget that you can follow me on instagram in the meanwhile to stay updated @majo.heroine –! Show notes: - Jaclyn shares about her childhood; very independent and ambitious, always wanting to explore, making her a little bit of a troublemaker. [02:11] - On her teenage years and her three jobs in high school [03:12] - How she interned her way to getting a job right after college because she graduated early. The massive disconnect she noticed between education and real life business skills. [04:35] - Jaclyn started blogging at a very early age, in 2007. She shares how she learned analytics from a friend and how she found out her blog had gained traffic. [06:12] - On moving to California after the recession hit, getting laid off three months after the move, and recovering from depression so that she could start her own freelance work as a social media marketing specialist. On partnering up with a girl who shared her co-working office space and their eventual business break-up [07:31] - How she got back on track, doing almost everything herself. What she learned from the past. [10:16] - On her book and what she meant by “be nice.” Insights about women having it all. [29:19] - How she reclaimed working for herself, by herself, and became successful after a crappy situation. [37:10] References: Majo's website – Jaclyn's website – Jaclyn's book – Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters.
May 31, 2018
Luvvie is an award-winning writer and 15-year blogging veteran known for her razor-sharp wit, and her take on all things pop culture, race, media, and technology. More about this episode: Her debut book I’M JUDGING YOU: The Do-Better Manual was a New York Times Bestseller and is a series of humorous essays that dissects our cultural obsessions and calls out bad behavior in our increasingly digital, connected lives. It passes on lessons and side-eyes on life, social media, culture and fame, addressing those terrible friends we all have to serious discussions of race and media representation to what to do about your fool cousin sharing casket pictures from Grandma’s wake on Facebook. Show Notes: -On Luvvie’s childhood in Nigeria, their move to the U.S. when she was nine years old, and how she adjusted to American culture. Her name was different; her accent was different. [2:55] -Her choice of psychology as a major in college, why she dropped her lifelong dream of becoming a doctor, but why she also didn’t think she would make a good therapist. [7:29] -On her experience after college, going into marketing internships while figuring out what she really wanted to do, including starting her now-famous blog back in college. [8:36] -Luvvie’s journey in becoming the marketing coordinator of a non-profit while developing her blog as a hobby; winning an award for “Best Humor Blog” in 2009. [13:20] -On writing recaps for the show, Scandal, by Shonda Rhimes which eventually garnered her attention online and grew her fanbase. [15:49] -How she came up with the idea for her New York Times Bestseller “I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual.” [19:48] -On feminism: why a lot of people – especially women of color – have a hard time calling themselves feminists. [25:58] -Reclaiming what it looks like to be a creative: writing, speaking, running a business, and hosting the Rants and Randomness podcast, and why you should let your work evolve with you. [41:45] References: - Majo's website: - Learn more about I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual – Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters. Don't forget to follow Majo on Instagram for book giveaways –
May 17, 2018
Do you get anxious? Let’s get real. We all do. And we need tools to deal with the worrisome thoughts and the uncomfortable feelings that naturally come up from living life. We need tools to help us put worry aside and step into a more positive state, the state of childlike, exuberant wonder. Enter today’s guest, Amber Rae, who is a total badass and who Mind Body Green called her "The Brene Brown of Wonder." More about this episode: She is an author of a book that was just released this week, Choose Wonder Over Worry: Move Beyond Fear and Doubt to Unlock Your Full Potential (Hello, who doesn’t want to do that? You can find out more about how to order the book in the show notes because honestly every woman needs to read this Now, ASAP). In addition to being an author, Amber is an artist and speaker who has been featured in The New York Times, TIME, Fast Company, BBC, ABC World News, Tim Ferriss's blog, and more. Previously, she helped launch six best-selling books with Seth Godin. Show Notes: -Amber shares about her childhood; how her mother has influenced her in so many ways and how she’s lost her father in a car accident at a very young age. [2:56] -Her very early interest in psychology and reading books related to the discovery of how the psyche works; her pre-puberty story and starting her own magazine. [8:01] -On dealing with the development of her physical body and her emotions; her high school life and the start of her wanting to be liked and approved by people. [10:53] -A brief description of her college experience and chosen course; her great dating relationships and her ending up with someone who broke her. [18:07] -Life after college; getting into tech; moving from San Francisco to New York upon the advice of her friend Ahmed Gupta. [24:19] -The high and low of her life; lowest was when she self-sabotaged her successful career/work; highest was when she met her soon-to-be-husband, Farhad. [36:56] -About her book, “Choose Wonder Over Worry.” [41:26] -About her reclaiming her truth and essence without denying any part of herself. [53:42] References: Majo's website – Learn more about Choose Wonder Over Worry – - LIVE Event w/ Majo & Amber: Book Passage Sunday, May, 20th @ 4pm in Corte Madera, CA --> - LIVE event w/ Amber: Women Catalysts Sunday, May 20th @ 7pm in San Francisco, CA --> Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters.
May 3, 2018
When we’re kids and teens, being called weird is an insult. But as we grow older, we realize so much of our superpowers come from allowing ourselves to be weirdos. Being weird is about following your quirks, strange esoteric interests, and inexplicable curiosities. Let’s face it: the best art and ideas come from the land of weird. More about this episode: This is the focus of today’s show with Laurie Segall, a Senior Tech Correspondent for CNN and Editor at large for CNN Tech. She’s also the host of CNN’s first CNN Originals – Mostly Human – an amazing six-part docu-series that explores sex, love, and death through the lens of tech. As an award-winning journalist, she specializes in understanding the impact of tech on our daily lives. Show Notes: -Laurie as a little girl: Weird and funny, a Southerner and of a Jewish background who felt she never fit in, loved talking to people who didn’t fit in. [4:35] -On her journey as a young journalist, her undercover mission with her father at a purity ball that led to her public declaration of her virginity. [15:20] -Laurie’s fundamental mind shift: “I want to work at CNN!” The steps she took to get to where she is now, starting out and doing anything she was told to do. [22:30] -On interviewing Ariel Castro’s daughter, realizing the power of technology to investigate, and doing a docu-series on “Sex, Drugs, and Silicon Valley”. [39:00] -Pitching “Mostly Human” to CNN President, Jeff Zucker: How Laurie used her experiences going into dark places to make the “Mostly Human” show possible and how people that surrounded her have contributed to her success through their suggestions and advice. [43:54] -Laurie’s realization about how people live their lives on social media, choosing how they portray life while masking the reality of pain and sadness. [49:45] -Her interest in AI and the creation of the Laurie bot shows the possibilities of the future through technology. Laurie shares how she has reclaimed her confidence and weirdness to be who she wants to be without trying to fit in. [56:12] References: Majo's website – Learn more about Mostly Human – Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters.
April 19, 2018
Gabrielle Guthrie is the founder of Moxxly, a company that is redesigning the breast pumping experience for the modern mama. In this episode, Gabrielle shares her personal and professional journey into becoming a designer-founder who has thrown her life’s mission into building a product that re-humanizes the experience of breastfeeding for women. Gabrielle and her two female co-founders use the best of product design, business, and engineering to give mothers their dignity back. More about this episode: Show Notes: -Gabrielle shares her life as a creative little girl who loves to make things, growing up with two older brothers and her father who raised them. [2:50] -The challenges she faced in high school, her rebelliousness, and her relationship with her father. [6:28] -On her experience of freedom in college but how she hadn’t been thinking about the next step. [10:36] -While working on a thesis, she and her project partner talked about starting a company that will help change the lives of women and the challenges women faced throughout their lifetime. [14:47] -On her journey into failure, eventually selling the company and what she learned from the experience. [25:50] -Her travel to China after the acquisition of her company and her rise again after realizing the root cause of the product’s failure, leading to a comeback and a better product. [31:50] -Some tips for those who feel passionate about something or are planning on becoming founders. [40:37] References: Majo's website – Learn more about Moxxly – Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters.
April 5, 2018
Today’s episode features writer, women’s advocate, and tech entrepreneur Kathryn Finney. Named one of the most influential women in tech by Inc Magazine, she’s the Founder and Managing Director of digitalundivided, which fosters economic growth by empowering black and latina women entrepreneurs. More about this episode: Kathryn talks about the courage required to find your tribe and take a leap when you feel there’s more out there for you. From her travels to Ghana during the height of the AIDS epidemic and deciding to become an epidemiologist, to starting one of the first fashion blogs and changing up all of her plans, Kathryn shares how she’s dealt with fear and challenges on her path to figuring out what she wants most out of life. Show Notes: -Kathryn as a little girl: Business savvy from a young age, she learned the value and power of making her own money. Plus, the examples of entrepreneurship that had an impact on her growing up. [1:58] -Challenges during her formative years, and Kathryn’s inspiring message on finding your own tribe and having the courage to take a leap. [7:42] -Her first trip to Ghana on a college fellowship, the humbling experience of contracting malaria, and how it all inspired her work. [13:35] -Her thesis on how the HIV AIDS virus impacted violence against women in South Africa, deciding to become an epidemiologist, and the events that changed her trajectory. [19:20] -Reaching a crossroads: Kathryn’s insights on sacrifice vs decision, and figuring out what you really want out of life. [24:20] -How Kathryn found herself running a non-profit organization and starting an influential blog. [30:35] -On teaching herself how to make money from her blog before there was a clear path to doing it, landing a book deal, and how Kathryn compartmentalizes fear. [35:50] -The TV deal she almost went through with: Realizing it wasn’t what she wanted, what she learned, and how she handled the backlash. [39:51] -The movement that emerged for Kathryn as a result of attending conferences and realizing there were so few women who looked like her. [49:53] -What Kathryn has reclaimed on her heroine’s journey. [55:58] References: Majo's website – Kathryn's website – Check out digitalundivided – Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters.
March 22, 2018
Jasmine Aarons is the founder of VOZ – an ethical fashion company with a mission to protect and promote the stories, livelihoods, and cultural values of rural indigenous women around the world. Jasmine has spent years working with artisans in South America, creating a collaborative design model with an inspiring ethical and sustainable vision. More about this episode: In this episode, Jasmine shares her journey to becoming a founder, taking us through the moments in her life where she wanted to give up, but didn’t. She talks about the “blessing” of being a novice, and shares key insights and moments of growth as a founder. Show Notes: -A precocious, creative little girl with an old soul: Jasmine’s childhood, plus the challenges she faced in her teens. [2:20] -How theater and performance saved her in high school, and how that training has aided her throughout her life. [7:26] -“It has never felt easy, but I’m willing to show up”: On Jasmine’s college years, being shameless about having a weakness, and the moments where she wanted to give up but didn’t. [9:20] -On the thesis that was the seed for her work today – Jasmine’s passion for culture and concern for ethical systems, and the inspiring mission behind VOZ. [12:45] -The journey to Chile that changed her life, and Jasmine’s insights on what it takes to be a founder. [19:10] -On dealing with the peaks and valleys of founder life, how the vision behind VOZ has grown, and Jasmine’s passion for celebrating feminine leadership and women’s stories. [26:35] -How VOZ champions sustainability, connection, and authenticity, and what feminine leadership means to Jasmine. Bonus: An inspiring story about one of VOZ’s artisans. [30:48] References: Majo's website – Learn more about VOZ and their vision – Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters.
March 8, 2018
We’re kicking off the new season with two returning guests. Elle Luna is a SF based artist and author, and Susie Herrick is a licensed therapist with over twenty years of experience. Together, they have co-authored a new and timely book: Your Story is Your Power, Free Your Feminine Voice. More about this episode: In this episode, they dive into the idea of taking back our stories as women. Elle and Susie explain what this means, why it matters, and how to get started. They share beautiful insights on bringing into awareness the conditioning and cultural messages hidden in our subconscious that affect us, and also teach us about the Enneagram, a powerful personality typology that will help you see your ego defenses more clearly. Show Notes: -What Elle and Susie were like as little girls. [3:02] -The stories and fairytales that capture us when we’re young, and how these apply when starting to look at our own stories. [5:19] -Our journeys as a labyrinth – spiraling into the center of our own stories, and bringing into awareness the hidden cultural messages that affect us. [9:22] -Bringing things into consciousness: “When a person has a coherent narrative, they have more capacity for relating to others.” [13:50] -On enneagrams, personality typologies, and what can be discovered about our growth and aspects of the self. [17:35] -Elle shares how she found and approached the center of her story. [28:39] -On feminine leadership and power, tending and befriending, and overcoming the fears that underlie our innate tendencies. [33:53] -Susie shares a beautiful, personal passage from their book. [43:16] References: Majo's website – Elle's website – Susie's website – Find their book, Your Story is Your Power - Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters.
March 1, 2018
Welcome to HEROINE, so glad you’re here with us. I’m your host Majo Molfino. What is this show all about? HEROINE features leading female experts and authors in creativity, leadership, business, feminism, and personal growth about their own journeys and what they’ve learned along the way. I’ve had the pleasure to interview Award-Winning Artists, New York Times Best-Sellers, CEOs and Execs – you name it. These women are legends, Badasses, Rule-Breakers, Risk-Takers. Women from all backgrounds and walks of life who are changing the world with their ideas and stories. Show notes: - Interview snippets with Isabel Allende, Eileen Fisher, and Luvvie Ajayii - Website:
December 7, 2017
Claudia Chan is a leadership expert, social entrepreneur, and founder of S.H.E. Summit, an annual conference that celebrates women’s leadership and gender equality. She’s also the author of the newly released book, This Is How We Rise. More about this episode: Claudia hit a breaking point in her thirties that led her down the path of “waking up” to what she truly felt passionate about. In this episode, she offers a framing of leadership where both men and women work together toward gender equality, and gets honest about the obstacles she’s still working on today. You’ll also learn her unique toolkit for reacting effectively when meltdowns arise. Show Notes: -Claudia as a little girl: Strong-minded and confident, the daughter of Chinese immigrants, and eager to become an adult. [2:20] -On her early desires to achieve success and prestige, the strides she made after graduating college, and internalizing her surrounding culture that seemed focused on material wealth. [8:02] -Claudia’s breaking point: “Waking up” to a life of purpose, and the steps she took to grow spiritually and as a leader. [12:39] -A new trajectory focused on caring about women’s issues and gender equality, and the crazy momentum women have right now in this “4th wave” of feminism. [19:23] -Inviting men into the conversation: How Claudia and her husband divide and conquer as co-CEOs of their family and life. [26:09] -Getting honest about how she takes care of herself while “doing it all” – Claudia dives into her book, sharing her strategies and tools. [33:10] -The internal obstacles Claudia’s still working on today, and her final words of wisdom. [37:51] References: Majo's website – Claudia's website – S.H.E. Summit – This Is How We Rise – Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters.
November 30, 2017
Do you ever rely on your intuition when you’re at a crossroads? Today’s guest has trusted in this power for most of her life, and it’s led her to where she is today. Joy Harjo is a poet, musician, and author, and an inspiring female figure among Native American artists and the broader poetry community. More about this episode: Joy hit a major crossroads while taking her pre-med courses, where she had to decide whether to follow the more conventional path or commit herself to what she truly felt connected to. You’ll love her profound insights on the importance of listening and following your “inner knowing”, along with her tips for self-renewal and honoring your creative side. Show Notes: -What Joy was like as a little girl, how she coped with the unique challenges within her family, and the important relationship she built with her ancestors. [2:20] -After music was literally taken away from her, the chance to attend an American Indian art school “saved her life”. [8:54] -On the challenges Joy faced as a young wife and mother, and her process of building a better life for herself. [12:30] -How she reconnected with art and started writing while attending medical school. [15:53] -“I know beyond knowing that this is the path I’m supposed to take.” How Joy found the courage to follow poetry. [21:06] -On connecting to your intuition (or “the knowing”), listening to the voices of your ancestors and your own spirit, and resisting the conventional path. [24:04] -How Joy stays fluid while creating/performing across a range of artistic mediums. [29:30] -Joy’s tips for paying attention to your creative impulses and making time for them. [32:50] -Joy shares about the importance of learning to listen, changing your beliefs to open up what’s possible, and picking up the saxophone at forty. [36:38] -“Perhaps the world ends here.” Joy closes by reading one of her gorgeous poems. [40:29] References: Majo's website – Joy's website – Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters.
November 16, 2017
A quick announcement about our holiday schedule so you know what to expect the rest of the season. As we take this short break, we invite you to explore our database of 70+ incredible, empowering interviews. Wishing you all a beautiful and happy Thanksgiving next week! Would you like to see future episodes in the coming year and continue to be inspired? You can now support the show directly for as little as the price of a cup of coffee. We're so close to our goal! Support the show & sign up for rewards at
November 9, 2017
Erin Benzakein is one of the nation’s leading farmer-florists and the founder of Floret Farms. Her recent book, Cut Flower Garden published by Chronicle Books, will teach you how to grow and cut your own seasonal blooms. More about this episode: In this episode, Erin shares what she’s learned about the importance of leveraging rules and structure, while making space for creativity and beauty. She is a great example of balancing feminine and masculine traits, following your intuition, and listening to the whispers of your inner voice. As a bonus, you’ll also learn about the magic of flowers. Show Notes: -On being an anxious and curious little girl, her love for growing things from an early age, and her dream of her own “little plot of land”. [2:17] -Dropping out of high school as an angry teen who couldn’t see a future for herself. [6:59] -Starting a family at a young age, always taking the path less traveled, and her lifelong struggle of listening to her inner voice. [11:31] -How a book inspired Erin to leave the city and start living her dream, and the beautiful partnership she has with her husband. [14:30] -Erin’s biggest challenges starting out. [18:33] -When things really started to click, and the fears Erin had to push up against along the way. [21:36] -How not liking to feel “held back” has fueled her love for learning and figuring things out on her own. [28:34] -“It’s okay to fail”: Erin’s insights on failure as a prerequisite for success. [31:51] -On the balance between the feminine/creative side and the masculine/business side. [34:14] -The importance of making space for creativity to grow and thrive, the magic of flowers, and what Erin has reclaimed for herself on her journey. [38:51] References: Majo's website – Learn more about Erin and Floret Farms – Get her book, Cut Flower Garden – Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters.
November 2, 2017
Jen Sincero is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of You Are a Badass, and most recently, You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth. After being fed up with merely scraping by for years, Jen decided to focus on figuring money out. She took a leap of faith that led her down the path to fully embracing money and wealth, and her latest book uncovers the mental blocks she had to overcome to let the money flow. More about this episode: In this episode, you’ll learn how to detach from the icky stigma of wanting more money, seeing it instead as the energetic exchange between people that it really is. Jen also shares her insights on the association between self-promotion and shame, especially among women. Her open, no-nonsense approach will motivate and inspire you to feel excited about whatever it is you have going on. Show Notes: -How being challenged by a second grade teacher who set firm boundaries was exactly the kind of attention Jen needed as a little girl. [2:40] -Jen in her twenties: college years, landing a dream job, being ignored in a male-dominated environment, starting a rock band – all while being unsure of what she was doing with her life. [3:38] -Falling in love with her drummer, writing her first book, and constantly reinventing herself. [8:03] -Jen’s lowest point of being broke and still clueless about what she was doing with her life, her first big break, and the power of being excited about what you’re doing. [11:22] -Powerful insights on the association between self-promotion and shame (especially for women). [16:10] -On exploring her sexuality while on her first book tour, writing a sex column, and helping people get over shame. [24:39] -Tired of scraping by, Jen decided to devote her time and focus on figuring out money by reading self-help books, going to seminars, and taking a big leap of faith. [29:32] -On the energy behind money, our attitudes toward our day jobs, and Jen’s insights on making compromises. [36:29] -Still unsure of what she was doing with her life in her forties, Jen “just kept doing the next right thing.” [42:40] -Looking back on the success of her books, You Are A Badass and others, and Jen’s final words of wisdom. [44:57] References: Majo's website – Jen's website – Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters.
October 26, 2017
Today’s episode features Academy Award Winning film director, Brenda Chapman. She was the head of story for The Lion King, co-director of The Prince of Egypt, and the writer and co-director of Disney-Pixar’s Brave. More about this episode: In this episode, you’ll learn about Brenda’s own heroine journey, how she began directing when she didn’t feel completely ready for it, and her resilience as one of the few women in animation. As an expert storyteller, she also helps us see how we can learn from characters and their flaws, and what they can teach us about our own lives. Share in the wisdom of a true feminist and gifted creative who trusted her vision and kept fighting for what she believed in. Show Notes: -Growing up in a small town in the midwest, Brenda spent most of her time escaping into the world of reading, drawing, and making up stories. [2:50] -How she fell in love with storytelling while studying animation at CalArts. [6:18] -How she got Disney’s attention, her defining moments there, and the circumstance that made her privately ashamed for years. [8:25] -Being one of a few female directors: How she stepped into her leadership, some of the amazing films she’s worked on, and leaving Disney for Dreamworks. [13:45] -The inspiration behind the story of Brave, a love story between mother and daughter. [18:05] -Working at Pixar, and how her biggest challenge made her a stronger artist, director, and creator. [26:24] -How the support of her colleagues helped Brenda through a dark time, and the surprising opportunities that poured in. [31:39] -How the heroine’s journey differs from the hero’s, and Brenda’s insights on the importance of using external metaphors to shine a light on internal obstacles. [34:47] -The flaw Brenda had to overcome/embrace on her own heroine’s journey, and her final words of wisdom. [39:07] References: Majo's website – Brenda's website – Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters.
October 19, 2017
Isabel Allende is a woman who fearlessly enters the imaginal realm and trusts where her instincts take her. The most widely read Spanish-speaking author in the world, her books have sold over 65 million copies worldwide. She received the Medal of Freedom from Obama and carried an Olympic flag with Sophia Loren. But that’s not all that makes her incredible. More about this episode: Isabel understands struggle, pain, and what it means to fight, and she passionately serves women and girls around the world through her foundation and work. In this episode, Isabel explains what really makes a heroine, sharing the darkest moments on her own heroine’s journey, and offers profound insights on feminine energy and how it can change the world. Show Notes: -Isabel’s somber and isolated childhood: Growing up in Chile after her father abandoned them, the death of her grandmother, and finding solace in reading and storytelling. [2:59] -How love and feminism saved her from her angry teenage years, disgusted by authority and male chauvinism. [5:12] -On having to flee Chile for Venezuela, Isabel’s insights on immigrants and refugees, and having “too much imagination” to be a journalist. [7:33] -Why Isabel sees stories as truer than truth, and how her twenties and thirties provided the necessary raw material for her writing. [11:08] -A passionate rebel heart – Isabel explains the key quality her female characters have, plus the survival stories of real women she’s witnessed through her organization. [14:02] -On sisterhood and female community, and the difference between the hero’s and heroine’s journey [17:03] -Isabel’s “dissent”: The darkest phase of her heroine’s journey, and her wisdom on trials making the heroine. [26:27] -The high price Isabel has paid for feminism, and how feminine energy can change the world. [31:57] -How Isabel has seen women and feminism change, and why you should never try to avoid pain. [36:08] References: Majo's website – Isabel's website – Check out the incredible work being done through The Isabel Allende Foundation – Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters.
October 12, 2017
Today’s episode features author, speaker, and creative evangelist Denise Jacobs. She’s spoken at Creative Mornings, Adaptive Path, TEDx, and more, and is the author of Banish Your Inner Critic, which dives into some of the most important subjects for creative women leaders today. More about this episode: In this episode, Denise breaks down creativity’s two opposing forces: creative flow and the inner critic. She shares her insights on how women are socialized to take on more than we need to, offers some of the most practical tips for producing and maintaining a state of creative flow, and provides an array of tools for managing your inner critic. Show Notes: -Denise’s self-consciousness about being extremely tall as a little girl, and how she found solace in reading stacks of books and developing a sense of humor. [1:36] -On being told by a teacher that she was a perfectionist (which she later realized was not a compliment), and becoming aware of her inner critic. [5:45] -The aha moment Denise had after swirling in self-doubt and fear while working on her last book. [9:38] -The teaching experience that helped her realize her passion for speaking to people and her gift for being on stage. [14:27] -Diving into her book: How creative flow and the inner critic interact, and practical tips for recognizing and dealing with the latter. [16:03] -How to train your inner critic and recognize when it’s showing up in subtle ways. [22:52] -On dealing with overwhelm, reframing situations in ways that empower us, and the importance of To-Don’t lists. [28:27] -On being aware of our comparison triggers in the age of social media, how women are socialized to take on more than they need to, and Denise’s final words of wisdom. [34:57] References: Majo's website – Denise's website – Find her book, Banish Your Inner Critic – Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters.
October 5, 2017
Purpose is something we all seek on the heroine’s journey, especially at breaking points when we may wonder where our lives are headed and what really matters. This is the central theme in today’s episode with Ruby Warrington, author of Material Girl, Mystical World and founder of The Numinous, a wonderful online resource that helps bridge the gap between mystical and mainstream. More about this episode: Ruby covers the definition of dharma (or “purpose”) and how we find our own, as well as how to strip away the layers of conditioning that can leave us feeling stuck. In sharing her journey of coming out of the spiritual closet and finding her dharma, Ruby also provides practical advice for enhancing our personal and professional lives. Show Notes: -Ruby as a girl: A talkative child who was enamored with the idea of expressing herself through words. [2:10] -Finding independence after high school, dreaming of working in fashion during her college years, and her first job at a print magazine. [6:29] -On landing her dream job and everything she thought she’d always wanted, and the stress, confusion, and anger that quickly followed in the form of an existential crisis. [9:44] -The critical point in Ruby’s journey that reshaped her future: taking up a new passion project after much self-reflection. [13:26] -On the imbalance that comes when we neglect our sense of mystery and wonder, Ruby’s vision for The Numinous, and how the universe intervened on her behalf. [18:45] -Establishing herself as a freelance journalist, turning points on the path to achieving her vision, and coming out of the spiritual closet. [22:48] -Diving into Ruby’s book, Material Girl Mystical World, and the concept of dharma. [25:40] -Spiritual tools and techniques that help strip away layers of conditioning to reveal our true purpose. [29:54] -Bonus story: Ruby gets personal and emotional about her hair – a metaphor around connecting to the inner, divine feminine. [35:55] References: Majo's website – Ruby's website – Check out The Numinous & find Ruby’s book, Material Girl, Mystical World – Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – Have questions about this episode? What are some of your challenges? Leave a message or send a text to 513-HEROINE. Submit an iTunes review for the show and then email us that you’ve done it at – receive a free audio training on personal branding & how to reach out to women you admire in return! Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters.
September 28, 2017
Margaret Stewart has spent her career focusing on designing user experiences that change the world in fundamental ways. As the VP of Product Design at Facebook, and formerly at YouTube and Google, Margaret sees design as creativity in the service of others. More about this episode: In this episode, Margaret opens up about her biggest challenges as a woman leader, breaking down some of the notions that tend to hold us back. Along with her inspiring managerial style, she shares insights on the tricky emotions of ambition and guilt, and her recipe for smart leaps of faith and taking risks that pay off. Show Notes: -Margaret shares about growing up as the youngest of 9 kids; an early maker and performer who often wondered what her role in life would be. [2:20] -On the bold move she made after college, her first jobs in the early days of the internet, and the pattern that emerged for her around risk-taking. [6:34]] -How women are socialized to be more cautious, and Margaret’s experience and wisdom in getting over that. [11:43] -Margaret breaks down some of the big risks and leaps of faith she took, plus her thoughts on the value of naivety. [16:35] -On ambition and guilt, dealing with negative critique, and Margaret’s biggest challenge. [20:56] -Majo and Margaret discuss: Feminine qualities in the workplace, and Margaret’s inspiring management and leadership style. [26:46] -What Margaret has reclaimed for herself on her heroine’s journey. [32:28] References: Majo's website – Learn more about Margaret – Rebecca Garza-Bortman's podcast Advice from Mom – Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – Submit an iTunes review for the show and then email us that you’ve done it at – receive a free audio training on personal branding & how to reach out to women you admire in return! Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters.
September 21, 2017
Elena Brower is an internationally recognized author, yoga teacher, and speaker. She wrote The Art of Attention, and most recently, Practice You, a gorgeous journal for self-reflection. Elena has contributed to The Huffington Post and MindBodyGreen, and has been featured in Yoga Journal and The New York Times. She’s a true pioneer in the world of yoga. More about this episode: In this episode, Elena shares about her journey and approaches deep, introspective truths as she and host Majo discuss the power of meditation and journaling. Elena offers her unique insights on the energy behind money, and years of wisdom on why self-care is so important. Show Notes: -Elena growing up – a gawky, intuitive girl who would look in the mirror and ask, Who are you? [2:42] -Her teenage years, what she studied at Cornell, first jobs, and living in Italy. [6:38] -Finding her calling, getting started with yoga, and Elena’s insights on teaching. [11:37] -On husting as a yoga teacher and opening her own studio. [14:39] -What Elena learned from running her own businesses, and how she found a way to make the money she needed to fund the life she wanted. [17:52] -On fear of success, sharing energy, and the unique perspective that makes her a good teacher. [26:04] -Elena’s tough-love wisdom on self-care and creating time for yourself. [29:37] -On her new book, Practice You – Elena shares some of her profound, introspective writing prompts. [31:38] -The powerful effects of journaling and meditation, and Elena’s final words of wisdom. [36:43] References: Majo's website – Elena's website – Get her book, Practice You – Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – Submit an iTunes review for the show and then email us that you’ve done it at – receive a free audio training on personal branding & how to reach out to women you admire in return! Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters.
September 14, 2017
Today’s episode features writer, artist, and designer Ash Huang. Her essays have appeared in FastCompany, Offscreen Mag, and Lean Out. Her novel, The Firesteel, won first place in the Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards. An early designer at Twitter and Pinterest, and currently at Adobe, Ash has also been her own boss over the years, giving her unique career insights to share. More about this episode: Along with the ups and downs of her personal journey, Ash talks about the importance of knowing the rules (and how they’re subjective), the paradox of structure, and what it means to be free in your work. If you’re a multi-passionate creative, Ash offers encouraging wisdom on changing things up. Show Notes: -Ash growing up: A creative girl who talked to animals, dealing with feelings of “otherness”, and her desire for unique self-expression. [1:57] -On loving her college years, graduating at the height of the recession, and her struggle to find a job. [6:30] -Ash’s insights on following the rules, and her growing desire to be more free in her work. [11:22] -The ups and downs of getting started as a freelancer. [15:57] -On working at Twitter in its early days. [19:12] -Learning about product design at Pinterest, and the onslaught of illness that forced her to step back and reevaluate her path. [23:49] -Ash’s reflections on cultural rewards, fighting against the system, and figuring out her authentic process. [29:23] -“My first brush with real art…” On writing her novel, The Firesteel, and departing from the Good Girl archetype. [34:08] -On Ash’s transition from freelance to Adobe, and the unsexy sexiness of having structure. [40:29] -On being multi-passionate and changing a lot through her twenties, and Ash’s final words of wisdom. [45:15] References: Majo's website – Ash’s website – Sponsor: TuneIn – Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters.
September 7, 2017
The new fall season kicks off with Aminatou Sow, host of the Call Your Girlfriend podcast where she discusses all things pop culture, politics, and feminism with her long-distance best friend. A fierce boss lady, digital powerhouse, and writer, Aminatou has been named in Forbes 30 Under 30 in Tech and amongst Women to Watch by KQED Arts. More about this episode: In this episode, Aminatou shares about being raised in a conservative Muslim family and her experience immigrating to the U.S. From working at a toy store when she had no other prospects, to becoming her own boss and a well-known podcast host, Aminatou has excellent advice for creative women working full-time who want to become more independent and level up in their leadership. Show Notes: -Aminatou’s childhood: Growing up in Nigeria in a conservative Muslim family that emphasized intellectual curiosity. [1:25] -Thoughts on her high school days, being a feminist, and wanting to live in America. [4:30] -College years and the pressure to achieve as a child of immigrants. [7:28] -The unexpected death of her mom, what she learned, and how she moved on. [14:10] -Living in Belgium and DC, struggling to find a job amidst the obstacles of being an immigrant, and the job that taught her humility. [15:30] -Landing her first “real” job… and then the recession hit – how panic and anxiety turned to hustle. [21:09] -How Aminatou redefined her path after being granted asylum and built a solid digital PR resume. [27:33] -How the Call Your Girlfriend podcast got started. [30:32] -The “weird ride” to becoming her own boss and Aminatou’s insights on the long game. [35:17] -Aminatou’s advice to women working full-time who want to level up in their leadership and gain more independence. [40:03] References: Majo's website – Call Your Girlfriend – Music by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs – Want to support women's voices? Go to & become a bigger part of the Heroine community. Check out our rewards for supporters
August 24, 2017
New Fall Season kicks off Thursday, September 7! You're in store for more amazing interviews featuring the real journeys of inspiring heroines. But don't wait for the season to start – connect with us now! Join us for Heroine's first Live Q&A call on Thursday, August 31. Go to to register. Ask a question, participate a little or a lot, or just listen in! Our lead host Majo will be sharing tips & insights on starting Heroine that you can apply to your own projects and ideas. Followed by a Q&A where you can ask her anything! Register at
August 3, 2017
In today’s bonus episode, Majo speaks with Kim Chambers, one of the world’s best marathon swimmers and the sixth person to complete the ultimate open water challenge “Oceans Seven.” She also set a world record as the first woman to swim thirty miles to the Farallon Islands through one of the largest concentration of great white sharks. Surprisingly, Kim only discovered swimming a few years ago. A daughter of farmers and a ballerina for many years, Kim talks about the value of learning discipline and a strong work ethic, and shares about the accident that changed her life – setting her on a new life course. Her journey reveals what’s possible when you choose to jump into the deep end and follow your bliss. Show Notes: -On growing up on a farm in New Zealand, dancing ballet, and how Kim learned tenacity at a young age. [1:32] -Defining moments from adolescence: Attending an all-girls school, witnessing the death of a friend, and more. [6:20] -Kim talks about the impact of travelling a lot with her family, and studying Human Computer Interaction at Berkeley. [12:15] -The perks of classical training and discipline, plus how having a routine sets a strong foundation. [18:32] -Becoming a “completely different person in the last ten years”: Kim shares about the accident that nearly required the amputation of her leg (and how it was the best thing that could have happened to her). [22:54] -On her newfound desire for freedom, feeling drawn to the water, and getting started as a swimmer. [29:58] -Kim’s relationship to water: Making friends with dolphins, talking to sea lions, feeling spiritual connections with islands, and swimming with great white sharks. [34:29] -How Kim relates to fear, her most challenging swims, and her advice to other women wanting to take a new leap. [42:15] References: Check out Kim's adventures at Music by Lucia Lilikoi – Go to and give us your feedback on the show so we can continue to delight you with Heroine – Receive an audio training on the Inner Critic as a gift in return!
July 6, 2017
A few months ago our host Majo attended a live conversation at the Women’s Building between SF-based activist Lateefah Simon and Gloria Steinem, who became nationally recognized as a leader and spokeswoman for the feminist movement in the late 60s and early 70s. She’s been an inspiration to generations of women who want to live life on their own terms. This episode is a compilation of some of the most interesting moments from the historic conversation, with Majo weaving in and out to provide context and insights. As a woman who’s been around the block and long-engaged in social and political activism, Gloria has powerful wisdom to share on the topics of feminism, sex, race, our current political climate, and how we can have an impact. Show Notes: -Introducing Lateefah and Gloria, and the setting for this historic conversation. [0:00] -Defining feminism. [2:34] -Gloria weighs in on why white, married women voted for Trump, and talks about the ways in which our minds are colonized. [4:48] -“If we look up, we feel disempowered. Look at each other.” [9:39] -Using empathy to design solutions: A story about sex-trafficking in Zambia. [14:34] -Gloria’s advice for affecting change and making an impact. [18:57] References: The Women's Building – Gloria Steinem – Akonadi Foundation – 94.1 KPFA – Music by Lucia Lilikoi – Go to and give us your feedback on the show so we can continue to delight you with Heroine – Receive an audio training on the Inner Critic as a gift in return!
June 22, 2017
A quick reminder about our summer schedule & feedback survey. Go to and give us your feedback so we can continue to delight you with Heroine. We want to hear from you! In return, we'll send you an audio training on the inner critic — it's a win-win!
June 1, 2017
Today’s bonus episode features Jenna Bott, Art Director for the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation, who worked on the visual identity for Sheryl Sandberg’s new book Option B. Amidst holding down full-time jobs and having three children, Jenna shares how she came to call herself a designer over a decade of freelance projects, working at a small agency, and landing clients like Lean In. She also talks about dealing with rejection and imposter syndrome, and what it means to be “paid to learn.” For anyone looking to bridge into what they really want to do, Jenna has fantastic insights and advice to offer. Show Notes: -Jenna growing up: A “visually particular” tomboy who didn’t identify as an artist. [2:32] -How she felt a strong pull to the arts in college, but went in a completely different direction, plus her one creative outlet and the job that sparked her love for design. [6:55] -Jenna shares the pivotal motivation and insights that came after a crushing rejection. [10:28] -On her decision to switch things up after becoming pregnant, and the internal challenges around embracing herself as a designer that she had to get over. [14:08] -Growing her freelance business while working full-time with three kids... how this hustle phase paid off when Jenna landed Lean In as a client. [19:59] Persevering through self-doubt by trusting her inner voice, plus great advice from one of Jenna’s mentors. [23:18] -On being in process and still figuring things out, and how she approached her work on Option B. [27:57] -Majo and Jenna discuss Sheryl and her new book: Her goal to normalize the conversation around grief, making it okay to talk about, and the importance of knowing how to comfort others. [31:51] -What Jenna has learned from her work on Option B, and her final words of wisdom. [34:40] References: Option B – Get the book – Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation – Music by Lucia Lilikoi – Go to and give us your feedback on the show so we can continue to delight you with Heroine – Receive an audio training on the Inner Critic as a gift in return!
May 25, 2017
Go to and give us your feedback so we can continue to delight you with Heroine. We want to hear from you! In return, you'll receive an audio training on the inner critic — it's a win-win!
May 11, 2017
Today’s short ‘n’ sweet episode is a quick announcement about our new summer schedule – it’s going to be a LOT lighter! Deep breath. Because here’s the truth – we could all use a little break and the chance to slow down. Majo shares the aha moment she had before coming to this decision, plus drops some teasers on the bonus episodes you can expect to see over the next few months. She also shares about how far her dream has come over the last year to create a podcast that brings women’s voices together.
May 4, 2017
Kristy Tillman was the Design Director at Society of Grownups and a designer at IDEO in Boston before making her way up to become the Head of Communication Design at Slack, a messaging tool for teams. This is a recent position for Kristy, who is real and honest about being “in process.” Her insights on building strong and diverse teams are powerful, especially if you’re considering becoming a manager. As a black woman in design, Kristy offers advice for those who feel like they don’t fit into the dominant culture of their company. She also talks about holding out for the right opportunities, the qualities that make strong managers and designers, and her unique formula for success. Show Notes: -Kristy growing up: From a precocious girl in a bike gang to a vulnerable teen who had to learn to become self-assured and independent. [3:20] -Figuring out what she wanted to do in her college years, internships at Nasa and elsewhere, and discovering her love for design. [10:21] -Some of Kristy’s bigger career transitions, and the unique approach she took with her application to IDEO that helped her get noticed. [17:40] -On her favorite projects at IDEO, building her own design teams, and the discomfort she’s occasionally felt as the only black woman in her work culture. [22:48] -On accepting uncomfortable situations, her love for building teams and bringing people together, and her advice for when you don’t feel like you fit into your company's work culture. [26:37] -Kristy shares insights from her first experience building and constructing teams and how she fell in love with it, plus her advice to anyone considering management work. [31:03] -How Kristy finally transitioned to Slack after the right role presented itself, and her unique recipe for success. [35:58] -On what the last six months at Slack has looked like and building the culture of a new team, plus what Kristy looks for in a designer. [40:42] -Kristy’s final thoughts, her 99U talk on “inviting yourself to the table”, and future goals. [49:12] References: Kristy’s blog – Her 99U talk: “Inviting Yourself to the Table” – Slack – Episode Sponsors: Lingo App – TuneIn – Music by Lucia Lilikoi –
April 27, 2017
The world of work has seen a lot of change in recent years, and it can be tough to keep up. What do these changes mean for your career and leadership? Alex Cavoulacos breaks it down and shares her career expertise in today’s episode. Named one of INC’s 15 women to watch in tech and Forbes 30 under 30, Alex is co-founder and COO of, a career platform and community helping millions of Millennials find inspiring careers. Alex talks about making the leap from her job as a consultant to starting this groundbreaking company, and dives into their book The New Rules of Work: The Modern Playbook for Navigating your Career. Alex also shares her productivity hacks, her genius approach to to-do listing, and how to create your personal brand authentically. Show Notes: -On her strong, self-driven personality growing up, and the grit and rigor she learned from her schooling outside the U.S. [2:43] -Some of the lessons she learned in school, like dealing with pressure and separating efforts from results. [8:47] -Alex’s college years: throwing previous training out the window, exploring new fields, and getting a clearer sense for how she wanted to go about impacting the world. [15:00] -How Alex met Kathryn and what drove them to get started with The Muse. [20:25] -The pain points that came up in deciding between staying at her job and taking a chance with The Muse, and how she ultimately made the leap. [28:32] -Diving into their new book, The New Rules of Work: The Modern Playbook for Navigating Your Career. [21:06] -The main difference Alex has noticed between men and women when it comes to career work, and how The Muse helps less-traditional workers be successful. [35:41] -On the importance of personal branding and how to create your brand authentically. [38:15] -Alex’s productivity hacks and insights, plus her genius approach to to-do listing. [43:48] -On saying no, the difference between an employee mindset and a leader mindset, and what Alex has reclaimed on her journey. [47:52] References:. – Get their book, The New Rules of Work, available now – Episode Sponsor: Lingo App – Music by Lucia Lilikoi –
April 20, 2017
Last year, Veronica Belmont hosted HBO’s Red Carpet Premiere for Game of Thrones. But after spending ten years as an online media personality, she decided to leave the world of video behind her and become a product manager. On today’s show, she shares about the ups and downs of being a freelancer, switching careers after ten years and embracing a new and unknown path, and how she’s becoming an expert in her new field. If you’re thinking about transitioning your role or industry and jumping over into something kind of but not really related, this is the episode for you. Show Notes: -Veronica growing up: A rough and tumble kind of girl who loved gadgets and tinkering with toys. [2:01] -Her fascination with computers and games, joining the punk rock scene in high school, and studying Audio Production at Emerson. [5:54] -Veronica’s first taste of feeling blocked because she was a woman, and how she ended up moving to San Francisco. [11:10] -The hustle phase: Using Craigslist for everything (even her mattress), facing lots of rejections, and landing an internship at CNET. [15:53] -Diving into her audio career, shifting from behind-the-scenes work to sharing her voice and co-hosting, and the leap to video. [23:45] -Going from a super high to a super low: Veronica’s huge opportunity to host the HBO premiere of GOT, and her mistake of reading all the nasty comments about it afterward. [31:36] -“It’s okay to know yourself well enough to know when you need a change.” Veronica shares about her decision to end all her contracts and stop video work. [34:39] -On freelancing, the podcasts she continues to work on and how they’ve evolved, and her transition into Product Management. [38:53] -The importance of becoming an expert in your domain, joining Bot Makers, and Veronica’s advice to people wanting to break into a new field. [42:32] -The tendency women have to disqualify themselves from new opportunities (while men seem to do the opposite), and Veronica’s words of encouragement. [47:55] -What Veronica has reclaimed for herself on her heroine’s journey. [50:45] References: Veronica’s personal website – Sword & Laser podcast – Growbot website – Music by Lucia Lilikoi –
April 13, 2017
Jaime Derringer started the blog Design Milk even though she wasn’t a designer – she was simply curating what she thought was beautiful. Today it’s one of the best-known design blogs out there dedicated to modern design – offering what’s new in art, architecture, fashion and technology, and more. In today’s episode, she and our host discuss the importance of having clarity on your hobbies versus your job, while still embracing all that you are as a creative renaissance woman. Jaime also talks about her depression and anxiety during her twenties, and shares the mindset shifts and energy management tips that helped her to leave it in the past. Show Notes: -Growing up: On being an independent girl who preferred the art store to the toy store, expressing herself with piercings and pink hair, and struggling to find herself. [1:52] -Why she chose to major in Asian Studies in college, even though it was a “useless” degree to her. [7:37] -On her depression and anxiety during her twenties, and the exercise that saved her. [10:22] -Moving around, becoming a mom, and how she got started with Design Milk. [12:55] -Jaime talks about how long it took to find a job where she felt comfortable, how she had to fake it ‘til she made it, and having the confidence to figure things out. [16:58] -On taking on new challenges, being multi-modal, and her hobbies for relaxation. [23:34] -Jaime and Majo talk about identity and wearing different hats, plus the big aha Jaime had that expanded her creative freedom. [27:03] -Some of the common pitfalls of working through big projects, plus tips on energy management. [32:09] -Jaime shares her final words of wisdom on increasing her capacity and what she’s reclaimed on her journey. [36:07] References: Design Milk – Jaime's personal website – Dog Milk – Adorn Milk – Find Jaime on Twitter: @designmilk @jaimederringer Music by Lucia Lilikoi –
April 6, 2017
Ashley C. Ford is a writer, editor, and speaker who has written and guest-edited for publications like The Guardian, ELLE, BuzzFeed, Slate, and many more. But only a few years ago, she had a very different story. After getting fired from all her part-time jobs at once, she hit rock bottom, but was able to find the inspiration to move forward after reading a self-help book. Soon after, she became friends with Lena Dunham, started writing for BuzzFeed, and is now a senior writer at Refinery29 while also working on a personal memoir. As a survivor of sexual assault, Ashley talks about letting go of shame and the relationship between personal hardships and creativity. She also shares her perspective on Black Girl Magic and what she’s reclaimed on her heroine’s journey. Show Notes: -Ashley as a little girl: A precocious, early reader who asked a lot of questions and was highly skeptical of adult authority. [2:57] -On hitting puberty as a young woman – “It’s not about us, it’s about the way the world starts to react to us.” [10:11] -Ashley talks about her father, who was in prison for most of her life, and how their relationship was further complicated after learning what his crime had been. [17:46] -On personal experiences relating to creativity, why Ashley struggled so long to figure out what she wanted to do, and how she ended up becoming a writer. [21:04] -Diving into Ashley’s transition to becoming a writer – from surviving on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to checking out all the self-help books at the library to getting a job at Buzzfeed. [26:57] -Some of the beliefs she had to let go of in order to lead, plus her beautiful perspective on "black girl magic". [32:05] -Ashley’s advice for making yourself more visible and vulnerable, her wisdom on shame, and what she’s in the process of reclaiming for herself. [38:25] References: Ashley's website – Episode Sponsor: UENO - Music by Lucia Lilikoi –
March 30, 2017
Today’s episode features a powerful interview with Jessica Bennett – a journalist who writes on gender, sexuality, and culture. She recently authored the book Feminist Fight Club, an office survival guide for a sexist workplace that’s packed with hilarity and insights on the subtle and sneaky sexism that still exists in modern workplaces today. Jessica talks about how women have been programmed to feel competitive with each other, whether it’s okay to cry at work, and shares practical tools and techniques for dealing with sexism at work. She also shares how she overcame imposter syndrome to write for big names like the Times, and how you can overcome self doubts too. Show Notes: - A “geeky” girl with unyielding ambition and lots of lofty goals. [0:00] - How she began to notice that the men around her were getting promoted faster and published more often, and how that led to uncovering an amazing story about women in the 70s who had felt the same frustration… [1:56] - Growing up in liberal Seattle, Jessica admits that she wasn’t always interested in gender issues, and shares how she came to form the first feminist fight club. [6:03] - Majo and Jessica talk about the subtle and insidious nature of sexism even in modern and progressive workplaces. [10:30] - Diving into the book, Feminist Fight Club: How we self-sabotage, dealing with imposter syndrome, and more. [11:13] - How women are programmed to feel competitive with each other: “It doesn’t have to be this way… we have the power to change this.” [15:52] - To cry or not to cry at work? Jessica breaks down the stigmas around crying. [20:29] - How communication and speech impacts the way we are perceived, and other stereotypes on how women are supposed to behave. [25:55] - On reclamation, and the importance of bringing humor into issues like this. [31:49] - How we can bring men into this conversations, the surprising thing that Jessica has reclaimed on her journey, and her advice to women. [35:26] References: Episode Sponsor: UENO - Music by Lucia Lilikoi –
March 23, 2017
What is creative freedom – and when do you feel it most? Shyama Golden is an artist and designer who has found a range of ways to express her artistry. As a daughter to scientist immigrants, her parents encouraged her to pursue something practical. But after ten years of taking that route, Shyama felt the time was right to let her artsy side shine. Shyama shares when she has felt the most and least creative freedom on her journey to becoming a sustainable artist – from her work in graphic and interactive design, to her paintings of families living inside of dinosaurs and a giant Sasquatch made of cats. This episode will get you wondering what phase of creative freedom you're in, and whether it’s time for a change. Show Notes: -Shyama as a little girl: an introverted, only child who liked trying new and “weird” things. [2:56] -On her immigrant parents, college years, and how the nature of her first job affected her creative freedom. [7:12] -How rejection and getting laid off turned out to be a blessing in disguise. [13:18] -From full-time work, to freelance work, to a sabbatical focused on making her own art. [17:28] -How a chance opportunity to participate in an art exhibit helped quiet her inner critic and revealed the positive power of deadlines. [21:58] -Deciding to move to SF for new challenges and opportunities, and the regret she felt initially. [27:09] -Shyama’s insights on sustaining herself as well as having mentors and patrons. [35:14] -The internal shifts Shyama has made to protect her creativity, plus her progress on Catsquatch. [40:38] References: Check out Shyama's work – Episode Sponsor: Adobe Creative Residency – Music by Lucia Lilikoi –
March 16, 2017
Interested in learning how to de-condition away from fear and towards bravery? According to Caroline Paul, girls are socialized to be fearful instead of brave — and it’s not doing us any favors. As one of the first women in the SF Fire Department and author of the children’s book, The Gutsy Girl: Escapades for Your Life of Epic Adventure, Caroline has great insights on the relationship between being adventurous and being creative. Caroline talks about how interacting with nature can help us cultivate bravery, and shares powerful insights on the relationship between fear and exhilaration. She also does a fantastic job of breaking down the cultural rituals between men and women, which can help explain why women sometimes feel uncomfortable in male-dominated workplaces. Show Notes: -Growing up as the shy twin: how being an identical twin uniquely shaped Caroline growing up. [4:52] -Discussing the research on girls during the pivotal pre-teen years, and what that time was like for Caroline. [9:39] -College years, being baffled by the idea of careers and what she wanted to do, and how she came to be one of the first women at SF Fire Department. [13:32] -Caroline shares about the early difficulties of working in such a male-dominated field, and the different cultural rituals between men and women. [19:35] -Being the first to volunteer for things, striving to out-brave the men and the backlash that came with that, and the different flavors of bravery. [26:25] -On why parents protect girls more than boys, and the revelation Caroline’s mother had that led her to encourage her daughters to be more adventurous. [29:24] -On Caroline’s book, The Gutsy Girl: Escapades for Your Life of Epic Adventure. [32:09] -How we begin the process of de-conditioning ourselves away from fear: Caroline’s advice to practice bravery in small steps, and her powerful final thoughts. [35:08] References: Caroline’s website: Get Caroline’s book, The Gutsy Girl: Caroline’s TED Talk, “To raise brave girls, encourage adventure”: Caroline’s New York Times Op-Ed, “Why do we teach girls that it’s cute to be scared?”: Episode Sponsors: UENO – Adobe Creative Residency – Music by Lucia Lilikoi –
March 9, 2017
On the heroine’s journey, a lot of our speakers find that they return to the magic, playfulness, and confidence they had as little girls. Linda Liukas is a beautiful example of this cycle. A computer programmer and children’s book author, she hopes to create a more diverse and colorful perspective of technology – starting with the poetry of coding. Linda’s coding book for children quickly became one of Kickstarter’s most highly funded children’s books, and her recent TEDx talk has garnered over 1.5 million views. Her unapologetic, girlish enthusiasm is contagious – she’ll get you thinking back to what you were like as a little girl and perhaps remind you of parts of yourself you’d like to reclaim. Show Notes: -Linda as a very imaginative little girl who loved role-playing with friends and tinkering on her dad’s computer. [3:51] -How she came to develop a brave and curious attitude towards technology, plus the hilarious story of teaching herself to build a fan website for her girlhood crush, Al Gore. [7:30] -Thoughts on identity: Linda talks about how pre-teen girls often feel like they have to define themselves in very binary terms. [13:20] -Linda’s decade away from computers and technology, what she did instead and why, and how she found her calling. [18:20] -The small steps that led to her true career, early opportunities, and the start of her children’s book. [21:48] -On getting swept up by projects, never graduating, and moving to New York to work with a new start-up. [28:34] -Dealing with self-doubt as her book started to take off, and the importance of taking time and creating empty space for deep work. [34:45] -Launching her kickstarter: How she dealt with imposter syndrome as she started to see huge success. [41:04] -On her TEDx talk and speaking more broadly about her work, plus Linda’s insights on being many things at the same time. [48:27] References: Hello Ruby website: Linda's TEDx talk: Episode Sponsor: Adobe Creative Residency – Music by Lucia Lilikoi –
March 2, 2017
Debbie Millman is a writer, educator, artist, brand consultant, and host of the radio show Design Matters (the world’s first podcast about design). In this episode, she shares her wisdom on dealing with criticism, what to do when you’re in an ‘inner critic storm’, and how to funnel your energy towards your one non-negotiable. More about this episode: She and Majo also discuss Debbie’s darker childhood days, facing rejection in her twenties, and achieving great success in her thirties as a brand consultant. More recently, she realized a connection to her true creative spirit was missing and that she needed to circle back to it. As a creative woman now in her fifties, Debbie’s wisdom and words of encouragement strike a powerful chord. Show Notes: -Debbie opens up about her difficult childhood, touches on her coming-of-age years, and shares how she was recently astounded by a picture of herself from when she was two. [5:01] -The evolution of her creative expression: From making perfumes and writing bad poems as a girl to editing newspapers and magazines in college. Plus, how her twenties came to be dubbed “experiments in rejection and failure”. [10:45] -On rejection and feedback, the idea of the “good girl myth”, and the parts of herself she disregarded in order to please her inner misogynist. [15:28] -Debbie talks about her success as a branding consultant, circling back to her creative roots, and how it’s taken a long time to feel comfortable in her own skin. [20:56] -On getting bullied by a design blog, taking responsibility for our choices, and achieving your one non-negotiable. [25:16] -“Well-behaved women seldom make history.” Debbie offers advice on making things happen for yourself. [32:27] -How Debbie deals with criticism and feedback today. [37:08] -Debbie and Majo discuss an issue many women grapple with, and how they each are working to overcome it. [43:11] References: Majo's website – Debbie's website: Episode Sponsors: Adobe Creative Residency – UENO – Music by Lucia Lilikoi –
February 23, 2017
Grace Bonney started the blog Design*Sponge many years ago, and today it’s one of the most trusted places online to go for creative inspiration. Her journey has had several points of big changes, like when she decided to pursue her blog full-time, when she came out as gay, and when she was diagnosed with diabetes. She’s an excellent example of how we sometimes must cycle through the heroine’s journey more than once. Grace is also the author of the recently released book, In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs, and shares Heroine’s mission to support and empower creative women from all walks of life. In this episode, you’ll learn the mistakes Grace has made in order to grow, and the lessons she’s learned as her business has evolved. Show Notes: -Grace growing up: A quiet and shy girl who struggled to feel like her natural self was accepted. [4:17] -Transferring to a small liberal arts college after feeling like NYU was too big for her, and how that shifted her path for the better. [10:22] -Dealing with pushback and criticism, coming out at thirty, and the importance of transparency. [14:30] -On her early career, the evolution of Design*Sponge, and some deeply-seated patriarchal beliefs that she had to unlearn in order to lead. [21:08] -Majo and Grace discuss misconceptions about women, like the false sense of competition, and Grace shares how a lot of her growth has come from making mistakes. [27:24] -On setting boundaries and letting go of guilt, redefining herself and her business, and the aftermath of being diagnosed with diabetes. [34:11] -Defining success in your own way: Grace shares what a successful day looks like for her. [40:12] -Digging into her book, In The Company of Women. Grace reveals the huge myth that almost every women she interviewed had learned to let go of. [44:19] -Discussing some of the most important messages to women in Grace’s book, including the encouragement to take up more space. [50:17] References: Episode Sponsors: InVision – Adobe Creative Residency – Music by Lucia Lilikoi –
February 16, 2017
Are you a fixer who loves taking responsibility and caring for others, but feel like you have too much on your plate? You’re not alone. Today’s episode features Tiffany Dufu, Chief Leadership Officer at Levo League and author of the new book Drop the Ball – a must-read for all of us trying to do everything ourselves and struggling to embrace imperfection. Tiffany’s gems of wisdom include the value of delegating with joy, a concept she calls “strategic chaos”, and the three attributes to look for in a partner before you build a life with them. She also talks about motherhood as the last frontier of dropping the ball. Show Notes: -Tiffany growing up: An imaginative “good girl” who experienced early on a sense of injustice that sparked a feminist spirit. [5:25] -Trying to be valued and liked in her teenage years, plus the benefit of experiencing failure at a young age. [9:59] -College years, realizing she had more options than she’d been shooting for, and how she got into the nonprofit world. [15:11] -On the specialness of millennials and the powerful meaning behind the title of her book. [20:33] -How Tiffany and her husband fell into default mode when it came to the division of domestic labor – and what they did when that didn’t work. [25:10] -How to delegate tasks in a meaningful way and other essential tips for busy women. [31:39] -Learning to live with chaos: An incredibly amusing story that resulted in restored balance at home. [36:49] -Exploring our social conditioning as women, and how to stay focused on what matters most. [42:40] -Tiffany shares why motherhood is the final frontier in “dropping the ball”, plus the three attributes any partner of yours should have. [45:30] -On our relationships with our mothers, having a greater sense of service, and Tiffany’s final thoughts. [51:52] References: Check out Tiffany’s website and find her new book, available now, at Episode Sponsors: UENO – Adobe Creative Residency – Music by Lucia Lilikoi –
February 9, 2017
Design is powerful magic – It can help solve some of the world’s most urgent, critical problems. Patrice Martin is co-founder of, an organization that works to improve the lives of people in poor and vulnerable communities through design. Patrice shares about her past struggles to be taken seriously as a petite woman, what she’s observed as a difference in creative confidence between men and women, and some of the incredible projects her team is focused on. Her conversation with Majo is living proof that design, when done well, can change the world. Show Notes: -Patrice shares a funny childhood story about persistence that anticipated one of her strongest personality traits as an adult. [5:05] -High school years: Finding her identity in art. [7:36] -Thinking of technology as a medium to create experiences, plus other formative experiences during college. [10:56] -Patrice’s experience at IDEO – applying a design lens to complicated questions and issues. [17:55] -Her transition to, the organization she co-founded that focuses on social impact and poverty. [21:46] -What she’s learned as a leader, how to set up an environment where people thrive, and her spot-on insights on the difference in creative confidence between men and women. [26:30] -Designing for good: Some of the exciting projects Patrice and her team are focused on. [34:01] -On the importance of being part of a community of mothers who are figuring out the work-life balance together. [43:35] -Patrice’s final words of wisdom and advice. [52:47] References: Episode Sponsors: Adobe Creative Residency – InVision – Music by Lucia Lilikoi –
February 2, 2017
This interview had our host in tears. In today’s episode, Majo speaks with Paralympic Gold Medalist Alana Nichols. Playing sports was like a safe haven for Alana, whose family life wasn’t always ideal. But at 17, she broke her back in a snowboarding accident that left her unable to walk again. As a lifelong athlete, this was devastating. Alana grappled with denial, depression, and isolation in college, until a magical moment turned everything around. Her story is about the power of practice, discipline, grit, and faith. And she shares powerful insights on gratitude – seeing what we have instead of what we don’t have. Show Notes: -Growing up as a confident, active tomboy who found her identity in sports at a young age. [4:13] -On always being a risk-taker and her dreams of playing Olympic Softball. [8:46] -Coming into her identity as a young teen, dealing with social pressures, and missing the presence of a mother who wasn’t able to be there for her. [13:48] -Playing sports in high school, being approached by colleges offering scholarships, and the accident that brought everything to a halt. [17:04] -Reflecting on that critical moment in her journey when everything changed, and her initial denial of it all. [22:18] -The hard transition Alana faced upon returning home after rehab. [30:05] -How taking a chance shortcut led to Alana’s magical moment when she was at her lowest point. [35:25] -Mourning her loss with grace, moving forward, and developing a new dream. [38:47] -Alana’s journey to the Paralympics and beyond, her insights on risk-taking, and final words of wisdom. [45:23] References: Episode Sponsors: InVision – Adobe Creative Residency – Music by Lucia Lilikoi –
January 26, 2017
In today’s episode, we speak with with writer, speaker, and soul-blogger Justine Musk, who has long been exploring the heroine’s journey in her work. She’s bold, honest, raw, and her story is an uncanny fit of the heroine’s arc. Justine found her true voice and power as a creative leader after rising up from her own personal underworld. She shares how we can look to myths for guidance and offers advice for putting yourself out there. Her insights on our relationship to emotions, what she calls “non-predatory” power and leadership, and why saying 'no' is so important as a woman will blow you away. Show Notes: -Justine’s early years: A small town, bookish girl who couldn’t wait to grow up. Early influences, teenage awkwardness, and learning to stand up for herself. [4:30] -Coming into her own in her college years, wondering where she belonged, plus her awareness of the disconnect between how people were perceiving her and how she perceived herself. [9:14] -The story of goddess Persephone and why Justine connects so strongly with her. [12:52] -The benefit in connecting to myth, “post-traumatic growth”, and Justine’s insights on dealing with pain. [18:33] -How Justine emerged stronger and more empowered after descending to her lowest point. [22:43] -Justine’s advice for putting yourself out there, plus why it’s important for women to be unconventional. [27:02] -Taking a closer look at feminine authority and leadership, and the power of saying ‘no’. [32:23] -On women’s relationship to emotions and feelings (especially in the workplace). [35:54] -Justine shares her excitement for an issue she’s exploring and what she’s working on now. [39:05] References: Check out Justine's blog at Episode Sponsors: UENO – Adobe Creative Residency – Music by Lucia Lilikoi –
January 19, 2017
Ever get the feeling that it’s too late to do what you love? In this episode, even our host admits to feeling that way sometimes, thinking it’s “too late” because she's already thirty. But thirty is around the magical time that artist and illustrator Lisa Congdon had her artistic revival. After working many years in education, she felt like a part of her wasn’t being fed. On a fluke she took an art class with her brother, and the experience changed her life. Lisa is best known for her colorful abstract paintings, intricate line drawings, pattern design and hand lettering, as well as her work as an author. She and Majo cover some topics Lisa hasn’t shared on a podcast before, including the unsexy parts of her work and challenges she still grapples with, and discuss why some women can be so afraid to step into their creative power. Show Notes: -Lisa’s early years: A young girl eager to please and figure out her place, her awkward teenage years, and the layers of self-doubt and insecurity she had to shed. [4:34] -“Is this really what I want to be doing?” Lisa’s insights on her early career and the creative outlet she sought to feel “fed”. [10:58] -The fluke that triggered her creativity and path to becoming an artist. [15:02] -On deserving to be a creative, exploring loneliness, and opening oneself up to the world. [18:34] -Some of the internal challenges Lisa faced, including thinking of herself as a victim. [24:41] -Lisa’s advice to Majo on coming out of the creative closet. [28:46] -What defines an artist? Plus, conflicting thoughts on sharing your work via social media. [33:33] -The unsexy parts of Lisa’s world as an artist. [37:24] -Still “in process”: Lisa shares things she’s never discussed on a podcast before, including her plans to connect her work with activism and some of the vulnerabilities she grapples with. [42:51] References: More on Lisa at Episode Sponsors: UENO – Adobe Creative Residency – Music by Lucia Lilikoi –
January 5, 2017
Starring in this bonus episode is returning guest, Elle Luna. Majo hosts a Q&A with the author and artist, who drops deep, timely wisdom that will help you reflect for the new year. Elle shares her profound perspective on the difference between 'should' and 'must', and why it's so important to be aware of our 'should's as women. She is an activator and a catalyst who will get your heart stirring and your mind bubbling with ideas. References: The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna Learn more about Elle at Music by Lucia Lilikoi –
December 29, 2016
A quick update from Majo during the break — including a preview into next year's interview lineup. Happy Holidays!
December 22, 2016
In this bonus episode, Majo hosts a Q&A with musician and environmental activist Ayla Nereo. Ayla is an incredible soul with an uncanny ability to listen to her surroundings and channel the inspiration she hears into musical form. Ayla shares insights on some meaningful topics, like the importance of listening, being vulnerable, and how we all possess a unique puzzle piece to the bigger picture of our world. Her advice is timely and will inspire you to speak up and share your own creative gifts. References: Learn more about Ayla at Music by Lucia Lilikoi –
December 8, 2016
How many fifteen-year-olds do you know have a mid-life crisis and stop to ask themselves, What really matters in life? Jesse Genet was one of them, and today she’s the Designer, Founder, and CEO of Lumi, a company that lets you easily brand your own packaging. Her journey to entrepreneurship started in high school – she basically petitioned herself out of her senior year and drove across the country to L.A. with nothing but a dream and her 1969 Lincoln convertible. Jesse is a perfect example of a perpetual learner, constantly putting herself in uncomfortable situations in order to grow. She offers great counterintuitive advice to women who are seeking to be more creative and take more risks, and as a bonus, she’s straight up hilarious. Show Notes: -Jesse Genet growing up – a serious girl who wanted to be taken seriously. [3:32] -Going through life phases early and fast, plus the turning point for her creativity. [7:32] -How Jesse deftly figured out a way to leave high school early, and other evidence of an independent spirit. [13:24] -On the benefits of being flexible, and choosing to view life with an opportunistic lens. [19:12] -“I always wanted to level up.” On constantly putting herself in uncomfortable situations in order to learn and grow. [21:34] -From a low year of being lonely and poor to creating a new path for herself. [27:21] -The ups and downs of being a CEO, plus Jesse’s insights on developing new skills. [34:18] -Jesse shares about her inner critic and offers advice to other women who want to be creative leaders and take more risks. [39:55] References: More on Jesse at Lumi website – Episode Sponsors: UENO – InVision – Music by Lucia Lilikoi –
December 1, 2016
You are human. You make mistakes. You aren’t perfect and you certainly aren’t a machine. We all know this, and yet so many of us hold ourselves to idealized standards of very disciplined people with high willpower. In a perfect world, maybe we’d actually be like that. But the truth is that even after you design your ritual and test it out, eventually it will morph, lessen, or decay altogether. This is completely natural. We have to design for the maintenance of our rituals as much as the creation of them. In this flash wisdom episode, host Majo talks to us about the importance of self-compassion and shares three things that have helped her develop a “reset” mindset when rituals fall to the wayside. Show Notes: -Check out and pre-order the new ebook: The Magical Effects of Morning and Evening Rituals, shipping on December 8 – plenty of time to order as a Christmas gift! Find it at and use the code “heroine” to get $10 off. -Music by Lucia Lilikoi at References: -You can read through the steps & resources outlined in this episode and the others in this series at Scroll down to the Rituals category. -If you’re a woman in the SFBA interested in joining my women’s group, let me know at Some of the incredible supporters of Heroine – Check them out! -Brigit Kang ( Brigit is a SF-based designer with a great eye for beauty who is now focusing on weddings. -Coleen Baik ( Coleen is an independent designer and artist who has worked with legends like Gloria Steinham and whose art has explored the heroine’s journey. -Daniel Steinbock ( Daniel is an incredible musician and philosopher with a beautiful mind. His album, The Blade, is to die for. -Greyson MacAlpine ( Greyson a very supportive product designer at UENO, our lead sponsor who you know is always looking to hire designers at -Kelsey Janda ( Kelsey is a very talented designer in the Midwest whom I recently bonded with. Her work is very cool and interesting, so for the designers listening, check out her work. -Mamie Rheingold ( Mamie is an amazing legend who is developing the coolest app called Universe that allows you to unleash your creativity and basically make whatever you want with an app. -Meredith Rom ( Meredith has her own podcast called Rising Women Leaders. If you’re into feminine spirituality, you’ll want to check her out. -Laura Porcelli ( Laura is my aunt and a very talented artist. She’s freaking dope and so is her work. -Rhiannon Griego ( Rhiannon is a soul-sister and a really incredible textile artist. She makes woven garments, beaded jewelry...I wore a pair of her earrings to my wedding. Her love for beauty and for our planet is really felt in her work.
November 23, 2016
A woman in complete service to what she does, who is even willing to die for her work, definitely fits the archetype of the heroine. Lynsey Addario is a photojournalist who has photographed women under the Taliban, documented misogyny in the Congo, and been on the ground in Afghanistan after 9/11. From capturing the lives of transgender prostitutes in New York to her continued work on Syrian refugees and those displaced by war, Lynsey seeks to do justice for her subjects by capturing the true essence of their humanity. Lynsey is also a New York Times bestselling author. Her memoir, It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War, is so filled with vivid details and vulnerability, including her very close call as a hostage in Libya, that Steven Spielberg will soon be directing a movie based on her life starring Jennifer Lawrence. Lynsey’s spirit and drive will inspire you to recognize the unique impulses and passions we all have inside of us. Show Notes: -Growing up with parents who encouraged her to express herself, follow her dreams, and learn things for herself. [4:19] -Receiving her first camera, becoming a self-taught photographer, and breaking into the business (which involved sneaking a shot of Madonna). [8:10] -How Lynsey found her calling early on, and the inspiring purpose that drives her. [12:53] -How she furthered her career by asking for an advance on the wedding she didn’t intend to have. [15:31] -Bringing milk and cookies to transgender prostitutes: Lynsey’s method of getting to know people before photographing them. [17:20] -Going to Afghanistan as an unmarried, American female photographer during a time when photography was outlawed by the Taliban. [22:07] -The unique barriers (and dangers) of being a woman photojournalist. [25:43] -The brutal week she spent as a hostage in Libya: Being groped and assaulted and constantly threatened with execution. [28:56] -Deciding to have a child after surviving the ordeal in Libya, plus Lynsey’s thoughts on living a “dual life”. [34:19] -“This job is not about me, it’s about the people I cover.” Lynsey shares how she’s able to continue her work despite the trauma and violence she’s seen. [38:48] -An incredible story of kindness from a young boy displaced by war, plus what Lynsey is working on now. [42:59] References: Lynsey’s Website – You can find Lynsey’s best-selling memoir (now in paperback!) on – Search “It’s What I Do” in books. Episode Sponsors: UENO – InVision – Music by Lucia Lilikoi –
November 17, 2016
Rituals are growing, evolving things with their own stubborn intelligence. That’s why the same exact rituals are hard to sustain over time. Since we are constantly changing with the months, seasons, and our environments, it makes sense to allow our rituals to organically change along with us. This approach is not only more realistic, forgiving, and practical, but it honors our naturally changing feminine energy. Majo described in Part 4 how to design your morning and evening rituals after identifying actions that aligned with your deeper desires. Now it’s time to anticipate and even welcome change. In this flash wisdom episode, Majo shares three principles that will help you add flexibility and fluidity to your rituals in a way that honors your body’s natural rhythms. Show Notes: -Check out and pre-order the new ebook: The Magical Effects of Morning and Evening Rituals. Get it through our Indiegogo campaign at – You’ll be investing in your own self-care while supporting women’s voices. -Music by Lucia Lilikoi at References: -You can read through the steps & resources outlined in this episode at, How to Evolve Your Rituals.
November 10, 2016
If you’re looking to understand your creativity and how it connects to your roots, this interview will surely spark some ideas and inspiration for you. Bethany Yellowtail is an influential Native fashion designer who shares her Crow and Northern Cheyenne heritage with the utmost sensitivity and care. When our host first stumbled upon her, Majo was struck by Bethany’s work and its beautiful celebration of Native American culture (without the ickiness of appropriation). They cover what it was like for Bethany growing up as one of the only Native girls in a mostly white public school, how she envisioned her brand and met her co-founder, and the inspiration behind her artist collective. Not only is she carving out an entirely new space in the fashion industry, but she’s doing so in a way that is positively impacting Native communities. Show Notes: -Bethany as a little girl: An old soul growing up on the Crow Indian Reservation. [4:43] -On her parents and Native heritage, and dealing with racist mentalities that still exist to this day. [8:52] -The extreme culture shock of her college years in L.A. and the emergence of her unique brand. [12:51] -Bethany’s business partner who arrived via “divine intervention” and the launch of their first ecommerce products. [17:26] -Her point of view around authentic native representation in fashion, plus the lessons she learned working for other companies. [21:21] -How Bethany’s work is a way of sharing her culture, and how she deals with criticism. [25:03] -On the theme of reclamation and how it relates to modern-day issues impacting Native communities. [31:39] -Bethany shares about the inspiration and vision behind her artist collective. [33:31] References: Bethany Yellowtail – Artist collective – Heroine Live! IndieGogo campaign – Music by Lucia Lilikoi – Episode Sponsors: UENO – InVision –
November 3, 2016
Ready to design your morning and evening ritual? Even if you’re not, this flash wisdom episode will help you go through the motions to see what happens. In the last episode of this series we identified actions that align with your deeper desires. The next step is even simpler: sequencing these actions into a ritual. A ritual is simply a structure with intention, something we make sacred through our attention and love. They provide a way to elevate the mundane (taking a shower) into a magical experience. In this fifth episode of the Designing Rituals series, host Majo walks you through the ritual designing process, inviting you stay experimental as you explore what works best for you. Show Notes: -Check out and pre-order the new ebook: The Magical Effects of Morning and Evening Rituals. Get it through our Indiegogo campaign at – You’ll be investing in your own self-care while supporting women’s voices. -Music by Lucia Lilikoi at References: You can read through the steps outlined in this episode at, The 6 Steps to Designing Your Ideal Morning Ritual.
October 27, 2016
Our speakers often hold up a big mirror, sometimes revealing traits within us that need to be developed or amplified. Eileen Carey is a super feminist who offers that experience as an outspoken, unapologetic woman with a thirst for power. An overachiever who doesn’t always follow the rules, Eileen is CEO of Glassbreakers, which provides solutions for companies that want to keep their employees diverse and engaged by tackling diversity at the corporate level. Eileen comes from a long line of strong, opinionated women, and she continues in their tradition. In her interview she shares her thoughts on the fluidity of gender, drops some tough-love for women who feel like they can’t completely be themselves at work, and talks about the difference between career and corporate feminism in a way that is refreshingly direct and authentic. Show Notes: -Eileen’s powerful upbringing: Coming from a long line of strong and rebellious women. [4:02] -On her independent and strong-willed personality, speaking up despite labels of being bossy or bitchy, and being comfortable with being controversial. [9:27] -College years and discovering her true passions, plus the elite job she found on Craigslist that opened the doors of power to her in Manhattan. [14:53] -Eileen shares about her thirst for power and how that guided her when the recession hit and her career became uncertain. [19:39] -On being the “token millennial” during Occupy Wall Street, plus stories of Eileen’s mom the “corporate feminist”. [24:53] -A lively discussion on masculine vs feminine in work cultures, and Eileen’s critical advice to jobseekers. [28:49] -The value of diversity – One of the main catalysts for starting Glassbreakers. [34:20] -The rock-bottom years: Eileen shares how moments of darkness in her life led her to make (good) drastic decisions. [39:13] -Eileen’s lifelong passion for feminist causes and her thoughts on Hillary being the most overqualified candidate. [44:55] -Some tough-love advice on work-life balance, what it takes to scale a huge company, and the importance of building amazing teams. [49:07] References: Check out Glassbreakers at Music by Lucia Lilikoi - Episode Sponsors: UENO - InVision -
October 20, 2016
Pleasure gets an interesting rep, don’t you think? Spiritual traditions all over the world have told us to “transcend” pleasure, or at the very least not get too attached to it. Our American culture built on puritanical principles makes us feel wary of anything that’s too pleasurable, or that comes through pleasure versus hard work. Layer on gender, and we have a whole other conversation about so many of us women (especially good girls) who feel guilty about experiencing pleasure. In this flash wisdom episode, Majo describes how our morning and evening rituals become the pleasurable bookends to our career work, revealing how pleasure and discipline aren’t mutually exclusive. Your biggest takeaway will be the three steps she outlines to help in designing rituals that are aligned with your deeper desires. Show Notes: ***Heroine Live! event on 10/27 – RSVP & check out other perks at -Check out and pre-order the new ebook: The Magical Effects of Morning and Evening Rituals (available at Use code “heroine” to get a special rate through Nov. 1! -Music by Lucia Lilikoi at References: -The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte
October 13, 2016
Many of our guests have had their fair share of obstacles they’ve had to overcome, but Nancy Douyon is on a whole other level. A user experience researcher at Google, Nancy found her way to happiness and stability only after bridging a new and bewildering culture, bouncing around foster homes and living on the streets, and coming to terms with her broken childhood. You won’t believe the magical, serendipitous encounter with the MIT Media Lab that changed (and potentially saved) her life, revealing an aptitude for computers and design at a young age. Another big theme from her interview is the struggle she faced with her mom and how she was able to heal that relationship – a true hallmark of the heroine’s journey. Nancy is real, resourceful, and she has an incredible story to share. Show Notes: -An inquisitive daughter of immigrants: Nancy’s early years in Boston surrounded by her Haitian culture. [4:33] -Feeling confused, behind, and like an outsider as she tried to bridge American culture, plus the remarkable outcome of running away. [10:35] -How she got connected to Computer Clubhouse, an MIT program where she learned to produce music, code, use photoshop, build robots, and lead her peers. [16:28] -The lowest point: Bouncing around between being homeless and different foster homes. [19:02] -The role of art and design as her only respite during a phase of anger and loneliness. [24:32] -How she chose to get revenge on the foster care system, and her struggle to afford college. [28:24] -Finding her passion, acknowledging her skills (despite stereotypes), and taking first steps to healing the relationship with her mother. [34:44] -Moving forward and making amends, plus her decision to “show love through technology”. [42:49] -How the earthquake in Haiti affected Nancy and her family, and the growth she experienced as a result. [45:33] -“Fight to be authentic” and other advice from Nancy for women on their own journeys. [48:23] References: Tech Social Impact Conference - *Nancy has been working on multiple support efforts in Haiti - visit her relief outreach page at: Music by Lucia Lilikoi - Episode Sponsors: UENO - InVision -
October 6, 2016
Here’s the truth nobody ever told you: rituals are really hard to hold down. A lot of people like to pretend it’s a snap to set rituals into place. When we hear about the daily do’s of others (especially successful people of today) it can be inspiring, but it can also make you feel kind of shitty if you’re struggling to nail down your own. We all make mistakes in how we approach and think about rituals— from the time we set them to how we relate to them after we “fail.” In this flash wisdom episode (part 2 in the Designing Rituals series), our host Majo proposes a key shift in our orientation and relationship to rituals with a feminine approach that honors all that is fluid and cyclical, and in way that promotes self-compassion. -Check out and pre-order the new ebook: The Magical Effects of Morning and Evening Rituals (available at Use code “heroine” to get a special rate through Nov. 1! -Music by Lucia Lilikoi at References: -The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna -Gretchen Rubin’s quiz: The Four Tendencies
September 29, 2016
Years ago, Majo (our host) invited Jessica Hische to speak at the first Women In Design event and she blew everyone away with her humor, honest vulnerability, and passion for her work. Jessica is a lecturer, illustrator, and type designer – hands down one of the most important designers living amongst us in our generation today. Her clients include Wes Anderson, Dave Eggers, Penguin Books, The New York Times, Tiffany & Co., the list goes on and on. She recently released her book, In Progress, where she shares her creative process, how her career unfolded, and how each opportunity leads to the next. Jessica and Majo may have only scratched the surface in this interview, but they cover a lot of juicy stuff plus wisdom and tips for the striving creative. Show Notes: –Growing up as a quiet art kid from a small town. [4:08] –On Jessica’s work ethic, the awkwardness of high school, and her book, In Progress. [10:13] –How her parents’ divorce made her a kinder person, and why “oversharing” is a huge part of who Jessica is. [14:53] –The shock of criticism: Being told she wasn’t “good enough” and how she responded. [20:16] –Dealing with competition in art school, doing lots of internships, plus a great pro tip for students. [26:30] –Going all in: The illustration promo she put together to get noticed, and how it paid off. [31:44] –On working insane hours, being upfront with her boss about what was important to her, and how hard it was to quit. [42:16] –Diving into freelancing full-time and being her own boss: How Jessica dealt with doubt and her biggest fear. [50:24] –Why Jessica likes to think of her life and career as a constellation, plus some great advice for creatives looking to attract business. [54:20] –The importance of being an accessible creative leader, speaking her truth, and maintaining humility without losing self-confidence. [1:01:08] References: In Progress by Jessica Hische
September 22, 2016
Now that we’ve finished the Creative Confidence series, we’re launching a new flash wisdom series called The Magical Effects of Morning and Evening Rituals. In this first episode, our host makes the case for why you must fiercely protect your daily rituals as a creative woman. So why is it even important to have daily rituals? Think for a minute of all the stimulation we have at our fingertips day to day: our laptops, iPhone, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Netflix, YouTube, the list goes on and on. Engaging in these great tools and platforms hour upon hour makes our brains tired in this sneaky, unnoticeable way. Establishing a daily ritual is a beautiful, joyful way to remain rooted, stay sane, and keep life magical. Join Majo (formerly Maria, she explains more about the name change in the episode) for the introduction to her six-part series on rituals, and learn four big reasons to fiercely protect at least 5 minutes of space and time for yourself every day. Also check out and pre-order her new ebook: The Magical Effects of Morning and Evening Rituals (available at Use the code “heroine” to get a special rate. Show Notes: -Check out and pre-order Majo's ebook at -Music by Lucia Lilikoi at
September 15, 2016
Before Nidhi Kulkarni co-founded Spitfire, she did what many of us do after graduating college – she found a good, safe job where she worked hard and burned a lot of midnight oil. But she soon realized she was only pushing herself to avoid the fact that she felt lost and creatively unfulfilled. When the chance came to take a creative side project to the next level, she took it and launched Spitfire Athlete, a strength training and weightlifting app of thousands of users that helps women build physical and mental strength. Nidhi and her co-founder have created a community of women that focuses on reconnecting with your body and building a confident mindset. What’s just as special is that they did it their own way, going against the “founder myth” that tells us we have to raise a buttload of money from VCs (most of whom are men). For you good girls with a passionate creative side project wondering whether to take the leap, Nidhi offers some wonderful advice. Show Notes: -Nidhi growing up: On being quiet and introverted, her love for sports, and testing her own limits. [3:38] -The teacher who helped change her trajectory and what it was like being the only girl in her programming class. [8:05] -Nidhi reflects on the reasons for holding herself back in the past, and why she forces herself to do things she’s afraid of. [12:46] -On practice, intimidation, and the rigors of studying computer science at MIT. [16:38] -Dealing with stress, the importance of rowing (exercise), plus -Nidhi’s brief encounter with “imposter syndrome”. [22:02] -After college: Nidhi talks about feeling lost for a while, working a lot, and the encounter that forced her to decide between taking a chance and playing it safe. [27:46] Starting Spitfire Athlete and a new phase of life. [34:12] -From a super high to a frustrating low: Nidhi shares why buying into the “founder myth” and following a prescribed set of steps didn’t work for them (and what they did instead). [38:03] -The vision behind Spitfire Athlete: Taking a unique and vital approach to women’s fitness by growing strength and confidence. [43:23] -Nidhi shares an incredibly moving success story from one of their users. [49:17] “Nothing compares to doing something that is fully your own.” -Nidhi’s advice to women with side projects they want to move forward. [51:04] References: Spitfire Athlete at Spitfire Athlete is a fitness app that helps women build their strength and power through structured training programs. The app features bodyweight and weight training programs for a variety of goals and sports from rock climbing to triathlons to powerlifting. The app has helped women around the world lift more than their bodyweight, learn how to do their first pull-up, and train to overcome anorexia. Training with Spitfire Athlete is about cultivating the athlete’s mentality — it’s not about what you look like, it’s about what you can do. The warrior’s mentality of strength, mental toughness, grit and dedication. Download their app: Music by Lucia Lilikoi at This episode's sponsors: UENO (, InVision (
September 8, 2016
This is the 10th and final #flashwisdom episode in the series, The 10 Blocks to Creative Confidence, and it’s all about being overly independent. Many of us (especially women) find it difficult to ask for help or fear being a “burden” to anyone. As a result, we’re so eager to achieve financial independence that we often choose paths that focus more on financial reward than heart. Join Maria as she talks about the harm in being overly independent, sharing her own examples of how she grapples with this today. Learn how pride, fear, and the inner critic prevent us from following our most meaningful path in our quest for independence. Do some gentle introspecting to uncover whether or not you’re comfortable asking for help or if you’re being blocked by a “make it on your own” mindset. Show Notes: -Download Maria’s free playbook and catch up on all ten blocks at -Music by Lucia Lilikoi at
September 1, 2016
Have you heard of the Broadway musical Hamilton? It’s a story of one of America’s founding fathers, featuring a score that blends hip hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway. It has won 11 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and our own President has seen it. In today’s episode we hear from one of the show’s stars, Ariana DeBose, a woman who had the courage to follow her intuition, drop out of school, and fulfill her dreams. Ariana is a young, passionate, multi-talented woman with many creative projects already under her belt. We talk about her challenges as an outspoken girl and one of the only students of color in her peer group, her encounter with anorexia and the pressure she felt as a teenager to be perfect, and what it means to her to be a true creator. Show Notes: -Ariana’s childhood: Her early love for cinema and how she connects that love to her passion for theater today. [2:55] -On being raised by a mother who treated her like an adult, never being afraid to ask questions, and her start with dancing. [10:24] -The challenge that took a self-assured teen out of her comfort zone, plus Ariana’s perspective on needing approval from others. [13:46] -Her struggles fitting in, always being the smart girl, and rubbing people the wrong way with her focus and ambition. [17:04] -“I thought I had to be perfect.” Ariana’s struggle with perfection and finding solace in dance. [20:31] -How her inner faith and intuition helped her fight the odds, drop out of college, and move to New York to become a dancer. [23:18] -How she came to realize the importance of being there for the creation of projects she worked on, and making her broadway debut. [27:53] -Lessons from the last six years: Not taking things too personally, knowing your own worth, and fighting stereotypes. [31:35] -On what it means to Ariana to be a creator, and how it felt getting the part in Hamilton. [36:20] -“What are some of the internal barriers women face today who want to create?” Ariana shares her insight. [40:31] Music by Lucia Lilikoi at Episode Sponsor: UENO at
August 25, 2016
In this flash wisdom episode, host Maria Molfino gets personal about the 9th block to creative confidence – Pressure. She shares about the pressure she once felt to repay her immigrant parents for their sacrifice, and how her “save the world” complex left her feeling stressed, angry, and unable to follow her true path. Listen to her story of the lesson she learned during her travels in India that helped reframe her perspective around pressure, and how small acts of kindness really can make a difference in the world and in yourself. Alleviate some of the pressure in your life by taking a step back and bringing this tendency into your awareness. Show Notes: -Download Maria’s free Creative Confidence Playbook at -Music by Lucia Lilikoi at
August 18, 2016
It’s not uncommon for girls who grow up in a patriarchal society to wonder if being a boy would be better; to see masculinity as more powerful than femininity. That was the case for Emily LaFave Olson, but a conversation with her mom led her to a realization that changed her life (and her perspective on the feminine). Emily is a fierce entrepreneur whose choice to take back her maiden name and become co-CEOs with her husband sets her apart as a woman unafraid to ask for what she wants. We cover a lot of ground in this episode, like how to manage the voice inside our heads that tells us we’re not good enough or smart enough, why women often struggle to ask for what they want, and how to get in touch with the inner feminine in a hyper-masculine world. Show Notes: -Emily’s childhood: Growing up close to her dad, a natural leader, and always believing she could do whatever a boy could do. [3:14] -Teaching herself to cook from magazines and beginning to see the world through the lense of food. [9:30] -College years, their first business, and feeling “not smart enough”. [13:12] -Why she had to reach out to her parents to help reconcile her inner critic and her huge realization about the power and strength of the feminine. [20:40] -Standing up to fear: When and how it clicked that she needed to change her name back and become co-CEOs with her husband. [25:57] -How to get what you really want, plus the importance of her husband’s participation in her vision. [30:55] -On internalized patriarchy, making Big Asks, and why women have a hard time demanding what we want. [33:52] -How to get in touch with the inner-feminine while surrounded by hyper-masculinity at work. [39:54] Music: Lucia Lilikoi at Episode Sponsor: UENO at
August 11, 2016
What is chronic stress? Unlike acute stress, chronic stress is constant and low-grade, wearing and tearing on the nervous and immune systems over time. You may not even realize you’re being affected, but studies show that chronic stress makes it harder for us to be creative, think outside the box, and be mentally flexible. In this flash wisdom episode, host Maria Molfino explains how this form of stress cripples our energy and willpower, inviting the inner critic to come out and play. Practice some compassionate self-inquiry to reveal the impact chronic stress has over your life and learn basic steps you can take to keep it in check. Show Notes: -Download Maria’s free Creative Confidence Playbook at -Music by Lucia Lilikoi at
August 4, 2016
A big piece of the heroine’s journey is reclaiming what’s been lost. For some of us, it’s our intuition, our creativity, or our sense of self trust. For Eileen Fisher, it’s been her voice and her courage to lean into difficult conversations. This design magnate has scaled an incredible organization that generates over $300 million a year in revenue, but she didn’t have an easy start or a path paved with roses. What makes her shine even more is her passion for sustainability, empowering women, and living life with purpose. In her interview you’ll learn the conditions she’s created for her success, her thoughts on purpose and embodiment, and the principles that guide her leadership today. Show Notes: -Eileen’s upbringing: Early desires for a simplified wardrobe, the subconscious influence of Catholic school uniforms, and making her own prom dress. [3:25] -How she used her math skills to help her in business and in finding creative expression. [8:23] -Falling in love with the concept of simplicity and putting together her first pieces. [11:47] -How a design-thinking mindset gave her the confidence to move her ideas forward. [16:12] -Eileen’s biggest challenges starting out (and how she overcame most of them through sheer resourcefulness). [17:31] -Overcoming her fear of communication and reclaiming her voice. [22:23] -On being a mom, getting divorced, and trying to run a business (the toughest part of her journey). [26:18] -The quality that allowed her to keep going during the hard times. [30:38] -Meaning, purpose, and other principles that guide Eileen’s leadership today. [33:12] -Beyond profits: The importance of sustainability, organic materials, and supporting women’s bodies. [39:15] -Eileen’s daily advice for supporting relaxation (which in turn, supports creativity). [45:33] Discover Eileen’s newest initiative, the Learning Lab, where she is creating opportunities for people to get enlivened and inspired through a focus on the mind-body connection, creative leadership, and purpose-driven living. With online and on-site workshops and events, the Learning Lab offers space to try on new ways to live and work that feel more integrated and authentic. Connect soon and sign up to be a part of Eileen's vision at Music by Lucia Lilikoi: Sponsor: UENO
July 28, 2016
We live in a culture that medicates feelings. Women are especially under constant pressure to restrain our emotional lives; we apologize for our tears, suppress our anger, and tone down our passion out of fear of being called hysterical. Join Maria in this flash wisdom episode about the 7th block to your creative confidence and expression: numbing feelings. Learn the consequences of this tendency, such as missing out on feelings essential to the creative process, and the important role feelings play in creative leadership. Maria offers empowering wisdom to help you bring this tendency into your awareness and leverage your feelings to great effect. Show Notes: -Download Maria’s free Creative Confidence Playbook at References: -Medicating Women’s Feelings by Julie Holland (NY Times, Feb. 2015) -Brené Brown: The Power of Vulnerability (TEDx Houston, Jun. 2010) -Music by Lucia Lilikoi at
July 21, 2016
Imagine graduating from college and flying to Europe for your first job as a journalist. Instead of things going as planned, you end up bartending in the red-light district to survive. That’s Andrea Mallard’s “fall from grace” story, but it’s not where her story ends. From making friends with the head pimp on the street to becoming Chief Marketing Officer at the inspiring and innovative company, Omada Health, Andrea’s journey is filled with personal insights about finding the creative confidence to lead on your own terms. In her interview she busts a few myths that keep you second-guessing yourself, shares her perspective on work cultures that support whole people, and offers advice on how to integrate work and home life. Show Notes -Maria introduces Andrea Mallard. [1:45] -The “lost year”: How Andrea ended up stranded in Paris and tending bar in the red-light district. [3:55] -The wake up call she needed to stand up for herself and land a job at Forbes Magazine. [9:59] -Analytic vs. creative and Andrea’s decision to be both, plus the epiphany that helped her get confident fast. [14:52] -The big secret around feeling like an imposter and how to stop getting in your own way. [20:02] -On sexism in the workplace, being a working mom, and how to integrate work and home life together. [25:00] -Why it's so important to be your authentic self at work. [30:52] -Andrea talks about being a leader on her own terms and shares a 100% unique example of creative confidence. [35:31] -The most exciting thing about working at Omada, plus Andrea’s advice to her younger self. [40:48] References: Omada Health: Music: Lucia Lilikoi at
July 14, 2016
Do you hold back from going after what you want because you’re too tied to how things will turn out? Host Maria Molfino shares how our attachment to outcomes is keeping us from the joy and pleasure of our creative process. In this short 'n' sweet episode, learn how to create space between your work and the results and maintain a healthy outlook around how other people perceive you and your own expectations. Show Notes: -Download Maria’s free Creative Confidence Playbook at -Music by Lucia Lilikoi at
July 7, 2016
Katie Dill, Head of User Experience Design at Airbnb, grew up with a creative background that was far from typical. So how did she land her dream job at a company centered around creating unique experiences for their users? Katie shares all about her journey, which often required her to step outside her comfort zone, and how she found her niche. Learn specific ingredients designers have that are useful to leaders, how she handles growing pains and tough feedback, and her wisdom on the relationship between luck and creating opportunities. Show Notes: -Katie’s outdoorsy upbringing as a talented problem-solver and trouble-maker. [4:30] -How she discovered her niche and figured out how to make a career out of it (despite feeling out of her element). [10:58] -On her transformative trip to Italy, where she learned how much there is to gain by going outside your comfort zone. Plus, how to talk yourself out of talking yourself out of things. [15:58] -Creating opportunity vs. Luck (and the relationship between them). [20:17] -The different types of designers at Airbnb, Katie’s own creative vision as a designer, and how being creative makes her a better leader. [24:48] -Do women have a secret superpower they need to unlock? Katie, Maria, and Linda discuss. [29:19] -Dealing with transition: How Katie used positive self-talk, self-reliance, and self-confidence to adapt. [34:43] -Her biggest career challenges. [41:44] -How Katie handles growing pains and critical feedback (including the toughest pieces of feedback she’s ever received). [46:35] References: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg Music: Lucia Lilikoi at
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