balance

Writer + Creating Your Own Path podcast host, Jennifer Snyder

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Today I’m talking with writer, content and web strategist and podcaster, Jennifer Snyder.

Jennifer’s first passion is writing, but she also loves her job working with authors and entrepreneurs to build their online presence at Winning Edits and then of course there’s her side passion, producing her popular podcast, Creating Your Own Path where she talks with her fellow creatives.

SHOW NOTES:

Creating Your Own Path podcast
Jennifer's website

  • Jen's big shift over the last year to working a part-time salaried job for Winning Edits doing content and web strategy.
  • Used her English major working in marketing and PR, which she left in 2010 right at the heart of the recession to start a startup that she later shuttered.
  • Wasn’t sure what she wanted to do next, had always dreamt to write for a living so decided to try that, but was hard to find work in writing without a lot of experience to show.
  • She found that working alone, at home left her craving human interaction, so in 2014 she decided to start a podcast so she could connect and have conversations with interesting people. She found she loved it, even though it did push her out of her comfort zone.
  • How in 2015 Jen “allowed the podcast to take over” in her life by doing a road trip of in-person interviews. Started with two test runs to LA and Portland, and then did a 6-week cross country trip - over 8,700 miles, 17 or 18 interviews. 
  • During that time she didn’t do any other freelance projects, invested a lot of time and money, some difficult family issues came up and found herself exhausted. Heading into 2016, she really wanted to be able to keep going with the traveling show, but she had to make the decision not to.
  • Then a freelance job at the company where she now works, came up and it just made sense to take that job, but she had to reconfigure how to keep the podcast as a big, important part of her life.
  • Discovering that now that she has the part-time job in addition to freelance work and the podcast — everything has equal weight which is overwhelming.
  • We talk about how right now she’s in a transitionary phase, and it’s hard to know what will happen with the weight on each side.
  • Thinking about how to having a reliable paycheck benefits her; she can choose to pay someone to edit, and she’d get help she needs but she would also be giving someone else a job!
  • Finding balance between enjoying a regular paycheck, appreciating the variety of projects she gets to work on additionally in her freelance work and also the podcast AND knowing when she needs space for non-work activities and downtime.
  • Jen’s husband is a good reminder when she might be working “too much” - when he comes home from work and she’s still working.
  • Thinking ahead to the future of the podcast, trying new things and at the same time balancing with everything else going on in her life.

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Publishing + Co-Founder of the Mid-Century Supper Clubs Potluck, Karen Finlay

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Today I’m talking with Karen Finlay who works in publishing at travel media company Lonely Planet, who also runs the Mid-Century Supper Clubs Potlucks with her pal Jennye Garibaldi.


Their 9th annual Holiday Extravaganza Potluck is coming up this weekend in my hometown of Alameda, CA. It was an absolute pleasure to talk with Karen about how she and Jennye became inspired to host the first potluck and the joy she gets in bringing this event to life year over year.

SHOW NOTES:

Find the Mid-Century Supper Club on Facebook

Get tickets for the Holiday Extravaganza Potluck (if they’re not already sold out!)

  • Works at travel media company Lonely Planet; Karen loves publishing.
  • Karen talks about her early love for all things mid-century, including the Betty Crocker. cookbooks she loved in the 70’s and the discovery of a mid-century supper club Flickr group that scanned photos from old cookbooks and then re-created the recipes.
  • Her friend Jennye Garibaldi first suggested that the two of them host their own Mid-Century Supper Club potluck; started with 10 people at Karen’s house.
  • Has since evolved and taken on something of a life of it’s own. Their 9th and biggest event yet coming up on December 10. It no longer fits in anyone’s house, there’s a DJ and band, and it’s at the Eagles Club in Alameda Mid-Century Holiday Potluck Extravaganza.
  • To make this all happen — Jennye and Karen split up all the duties, from organizing, to decorating to producing the entire event. This year, they took on volunteers.
  • Karen loves to see all the people come together over the food, and how it has created a sense of community… she recalls, “I love this night never ends. It just felt like magic. And it happens every time!”
  • Karen talks about the recipes and all the efforts people go to in planning the recipes they’ll bring to the event — some bring beloved family recipes, other try and produce the goofiest/craziest old recipes.
My own family's Christmas morning favorite recipe

My own family's Christmas morning favorite recipe

  • We talk about my own favorite family recipe, the Swedish Tea Log!
  • Karen and Jennye encourage everyone to host their own potluck and would love to write a book about how to throw one and get people together.
  • From the very beginning, they’ve also required that every guest bring a food item for donation to the local Alameda Food Bank.

 

 

Communications Consultant + co-creator of Not Parent Approved, Stacy Katz

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Today I’m talking with Stacy Katz who works in PR and has also invented and launched a card game for kids with her co-founder Maximina Revis.  Their award winning game is called Not Parent Approved, it’s for people (not just kids!) 8 and up and it’s available exclusively on Amazon.

I loved talking with Stacy about her journey to developing this game, coming to consider herself an entrepreneur and the journey of reinvention she’s experienced along the way.

Not Parent Approved  founders, Stacy Katz (left) and Maximina Revis 

Not Parent Approved founders, Stacy Katz (left) and Maximina Revis 

SHOW NOTES:

Pick up Not Parent Approved on Amazon

  • Stacy on solo parenting by choice.

  • How Not Parent Approved came out of a weekend of cancelled play dates and attempting to find a non-screens related pastime for 9-year-old boys.

  • We talk about how kids today aren’t primed to play board games; they’re so used to the quick fix of apps.

  • Stacy and her co-founder Maximina Revis (who comes from a background at Mattel), wanted to develop a game that would capture modern kids attention and also be something adults can find entertaining as well.

  • Stacy and Maximina call their game inappropriately appropriate… like an “edgy Apples to Apples”.

  • Producing a physical product can be overwhelming. Stacy talks about developing the game in stages, starting with a simple prototype using index cards and testing with kids at summer camp.

  • Stacy talks about how important asking for help from others who have game experience has been. This is how they learned about the toy industry.

  • How play testing impacted and changed the game for the better.

  • Stacy on the entrepreneurial journey, including needing to switch manufacturers midstream. The two things that have kept her going are:

1. Her intention is to bring joy, laughter and connection to the world - especially face-to-face. She’s not “anti-screen”, but she feels it’s really important that kids get “face-to-face fun”. People enjoying game keeps her going.

2. Her son Bailey, in her darkest moment, told  her “Mom, we’re not quitters. You can do this.” This always stays with her.

  • How every step in this process, and stretching herself along the way, has proven something new to herself. She now considers herself an entrepreneur, which feels really big to her.

  • How Stacy, as a single mom who works for herself, is making time for this major project:  Hour by hour, one day at a time. She doesn’t strive for “balance”, but tries to just be real about what works in her life.

  • A combination of “effort, faith and letting go” is how she’s approaching the game launch; if she does all these things then she will know she did all she could.

  • Stacy who is 47 says, “The new normal is reinvention”, and I couldn’t agree more. Side projects are a fantastic way to explore other sides of yourself and can lead to amazing reinvention and journey along the way.

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Educator + Founder of Curiosity Pack, Lily Jones

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With the holiday season just around the corner, today I’m talking with Lily Jones, a kindergarten teacher turned educational consultant who also runs a side business making super fun AND educational activity kits for kids called Curiosity Packs.  Lily’s kits are great kids 3-6, and her for travel pack which could come in especially handy for holiday travel is for kids up to 10.

I especially loved hearing about her “feelings kit” — perfect for the kid with Big Feelings   and her upcoming science and friendship kids which sure would have come in handy when my teenager was younger!

SHOW NOTES:

Find out more about Curiosity Pack, learning-filled activity kits for kids.

Lily’s Curiosity Forever podcast:  What happens when a journalist and an educator come together to investigate how kids learn? This podcast! Kevin and Lily Jones interview education & parenting experts to find out everything they possibly can about raising awesome kids.

  • How Lily transferred her experience as a kindergarten teacher and educational consultant to her side business.

  • How Lily created her side businesses based on requests from friends who were looking for fun and educational things to do with their kids.

  • How her own kids have inspired her products.

  • The challenges in producing a physical product.

  • How her side business grew out of really wanting something for “her”.

  • Using Kickstarter to launch her product (while pregnant and then with a newborn!!!).

  • For every 10 Curiosity Packs ordered, one gets donated.

  • Making time for her business on top of her educational consulting work and being home with her two young kids.

  • What’s up next for Lily with her side business.

  • The number one thing Lily wishes she’d known earlier, before she started her business is to have known (believed) that “done is better than perfect”; she would have started a lot earlier.

  • How she gets inspiration for new products that she KNOWS her people want to buy.

  • Lily’s top advice for others who are trying to make room for side business on top a busy life includes sometimes thinking about what you actually enjoy doing--and doing some of that--to give yourself a boost.

  • Lily chooses to take care of tasks in her business, even if she might rather watch Netflix, is by thinking about how great she’ll feel afterwards.

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