Do I quit or do I keep going? Join Ann Friedman in a series of intimate, revealing conversations with guests Rebecca Traister, Soledad O’Brien, Samin Nosrat, Hillary Clinton, and others about the moments in their lives when they faced that question. Whether it's a relationship, a career, or some other ongoing personal struggle, the answer is never easy. But the wisdom contained in these honest assessments will resonate with listeners going through similar moments of truth in their own lives.
In 1999, Antje Danielson wanted to start a car-sharing company. But she was a scientist, not a businesswoman, and she knew she couldn’t do it alone. After launching Zipcar with her friend Robin Chase, Danielson had to come to terms with one of her biggest mistakes: asking a close friend to become an equal partner in her company. Danielson tells host Ann Friedman what happened when Chase fired her, and why her choice to walk away ultimately saved the company.
In 2012, Ellen Pao was fighting discrimination on two fronts: in the courtroom, where she brought a gender discrimination lawsuit against her former employer Kleiner Perkins, and at work, where she attempted to change the culture of Reddit as its interim CEO. Before the end of that year, Pao both lost her case, and resigned. She talks to host Ann Friedman about her decision to keep working to change the tech industry, even after everything fell apart.
When Charlotte Cho moved to South Korea, she didn’t have a professional passion or much of a plan. But she did discover the power of the 10-step skin care routine. Now, she’s the founder of Soko Glam, one of the largest retailers of Korean beauty products in the United States. Cho tells host Ann Friedman about how she learned to invest in her company, and herself.
Years before broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien delivered the news to millions of Americans, she was an entry-level reporter in San Francisco. To become the news anchor she wanted to be, O’Brien had to make strategic decisions. She talks to host Ann Friedman about what happened when that first on-air position — which was her dream role at the time — started looking like a dead-end job.
Jessamyn Stanley didn’t set out to be a yoga instructor. But after a death in her family, yoga became one of the few tools that helped her cope with depression. Stanley talks to host Ann Friedman about how she unexpectedly came to the practice, how it forced her to address things she didn’t even know she needed to change, and how she became someone who leads other yoga practitioners on their own journeys.
Samin Nosrat built her career and her identity as a chef. She studied cooking in Italy, worked at the revered Chez Panisse, and launched her own pop-up catering company to overnight success. But none of this was what she actually wanted to do. Nosrat wanted to write. She talks to host Ann Friedman about how scary it was to push the reset button on her life.
The night Glennon Doyle stood in front of an audience to announce the release of Love Warrior, a book about repairing her relationship with her husband, was the same night she met the love of her life — soccer star Abby Wambach. In the months between their fateful meeting and her book tour, Doyle had to decide: Would she follow her heart to be with Wambach, or make the “safe” choice and stay in her marriage?
When the Olympics announced in 2012 that women’s boxing would be an official event for the first time in history, Claressa Shields started to prepare for a match that could change her life. But when the president of USA Boxing told her she wasn’t old enough to compete, Shields’ dedication to the sport was thrown into question. She tells host Ann Friedman about how close she came to giving up her dream.
In the fall of 1965, 18-year-old Hillary Rodham left home and moved almost 1,000 miles away from everything that was familiar. Far from her parents, and far from her small Midwestern community where she was an academic superstar. And she began her first year at Wellesley College, a place she never expected would bring out her deepest insecurities. What happens when you’re afraid you can’t hack it, and you’re tempted to just give up?
Cameron Esposito had always looked at her career in comedy as if she was running a small, DIY business. But when she was approached by Seeso, an online streaming network, to make a TV series based on her life, she felt that Hollywood was finally taking notice. Esposito tells host Ann Friedman about launching her series, getting rave reviews…and how she coped with the fall out after the network shut down.
Amanda Nguyen was appalled to find that the laws around the preservation of her rape kit would make it difficult for her to seek justice after her sexual assault. Outraged, she marched onto Capitol Hill, determined to get Congress to listen to her story and change the laws. But she was ignored again and again. Nguyen tells host Ann Friedman the story of how she eventually caught the attention of the people in power, and “penned her own civil rights into existence.”
When journalist Rebecca Traister quit her full-time job after she got pregnant, she had a plan: she was going to write her second book while spending time at home with her first child. But she didn’t prepare for the writer’s block, financial insecurity, and postpartum depression that also marked her first year as a mother. Traister talks to host Ann Friedman about how she lost herself to a book and a newborn, and how she found her way back.
Audri Scott Williams’ announcement to run in the 2018 primary election wasn’t just historic because she was running in Alabama’s notoriously conservative District 2. She was part of a wave of over 70 black running for office in her state that year. But Williams was accustomed to being on front lines of political change. She tells host Ann Friedman about integrating her elementary school in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and how that moment would shape how she faced the long odds of her political race.
Ever since childhood, Kathleen Hanna loved singing. When she and her friends started the band Bikini Kill , she used her voice to challenge the male-dominated punk scene and center the women around her. But her success came with unexpected consequences. Hanna tells host Ann Friedman the story of what it was like to be declared the face of Riot Grrrl, and how the community she advocated for eventually turned against her.