The Innovative Mindset

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In-depth interviews and discussions with entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and creative peak performers on how to foster an environment of innovation. We go deep to help you innovate, grow, and tap your creative genius.

Izolda Trakhtenberg


    • Dec 9, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekdays NEW EPISODES
    • 44m AVG DURATION
    • 164 EPISODES

    Listeners of The Innovative Mindset that love the show mention: take responsibility, innovative, paul, talent, creative, variety, thoughtful, deep, away, heart, questions, voice, host, guests, love this podcast, listening, great, thanks, amazing, izolda trakhtenberg.



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    Latest episodes from The Innovative Mindset

    Let‘s Talk ”Loud!” - How to use your voice to carry your message - Speak From Within Chapter 5

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 9, 2021 12:24

    Is it the volume of your voice that carries your message, or is it something else? This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset In this episode, chapter 5 of my book Speak From Within I explore how to increase your volume without straining your voice. I give you some fun and simple missions and techniques to improve your authority and projection when speaking to audiences of any kind in rooms of any size. Links  Lea Michele's Don't Rain on My Parade JAMA article on vocal folds * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love! ** I'm also an Amazon affiliate so if you purchase a book or other product through the links on this page, I might get a small commission.

    How Compassion Can Unleash Your Creativity

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 8, 2021 19:54

    What does compassion do for your creative output? How does a lack of compassion stifle it? And what can you do about it? Today's episode explores the notion of scoffing and how it can smother your or someone else's creativity. This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love! ** I'm also an Amazon affiliate so if you purchase a book or other product through the links on this page, I might get a small commission.  

    Unlock Your Ingenuity with this Simple Creative Practice

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 7, 2021 10:28

    It doesn't take more than a minute to supercharge your creativity every morning. This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset Spend no more than a minute every morning, and you'll be amazed at how you improve your creative thinking and doing skills. The App I'm using is Sketchbook (iPhone) - https://apps.apple.com/us/app/sketchbook/id883738213 The Hashtag to use so we can support each other's creative growth: #dailydoodlesiwthIzoldaT My doodle from this morning. (Remember, this should take no more than 1-2 minutes to create. It's just what you imagine and not a finished product. And remember to sign your work. * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love! ** I'm also an Amazon affiliate so if you purchase a book or other product through the links on this page, I might get a small commission.

    Lane Stowe on Applying His Creative Talents to His Business Career

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 6, 2021 64:48


    How to Combine Being a Creative with Success in the World of Business or Contracting This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset Lane Stowe is a 1990 Graduate of the Ithaca College School of Music. He's the current bass vocalist with the Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet. He's also a freelance musician who has worked with Natalie Cole, Orleans, New York Voices, Jack DeJohnette, Kathie Lee Gifford, and Joe Piscopo among others. He grew up in Woodstock NY, where he was influenced by musicians such as Tony Levin, Mike Manieri, David Sanborn, Paul Butterfield, Levon Helm and many others. Connect with Lane https://www.facebook.com/thelanestowemusicpage https://www.facebook.com/HGWTradioshow * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love! ** I'm also an Amazon affiliate so if you purchase a book or other product through the links on this page, I might get a small commission.  


    How Your Childhood Can Increase Your Ability to Be Mindful

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 3, 2021 10:17

    How Your Childhood Can Increase Your Ability to Be Mindful This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset In this episode, I explore how your childhood experience affects your ability to be mindful and present. * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love! ** I'm also an Amazon affiliate so if you purchase a book or other product through the links on this page, I might get a small commission.

    How to Capture Your Audience‘s Attention with Your Voice - Speak From Within Chapter 4

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 2, 2021 21:35

    On Being a Siren - Listen to Chapter 4 of My Book, Speak From Within This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset Learn how to engage your audience with your voice and body language in addition to the words you say.  Links in the episode Speak From Within Book - https://izoldat.com/speak-book/ Warm-up video - https://youtu.be/zg7tjwnliig Breathing technique refresher - https://youtu.be/gotwRRy7KBE Speak From Within book on Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Speak-Within-Inspire-Motivate-Audience-ebook/dp/B07G4FTNJ4/ * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love! ** I'm also an Amazon affiliate so if you purchase a book or other product through the links on this page, I might get a small commission.

    How to have compassion while eating great food Vegan On The Fly restaurant review

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 1, 2021 8:39

    How to have compassion while eating great food Vegan On The Fly restaurant review This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset This brand new midtown Manhattan spot aims to compete with some of the big-name non-vegan joints on the same block. See how it does in today's Compassion Wednesday review. * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love! ** I'm also an Amazon affiliate so if you purchase a book or other product through the links on this page, I might get a small commission.

    How to lead groups of creatives in a business setting

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2021 33:17

    How to lead groups of creatives in a business setting This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset If you are the manager or leader of a group of creatives, how do you inspire them and engage their ingenuity? This episode will give you concrete ideas on how to make that happen.  * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love! ** I'm also an Amazon affiliate so if you purchase a book or other product through the links on this page, I might get a small commission.

    Ironman Triathlete and CEO of Adapt Media Agency, Derek Peterson, on Embracing Change

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2021 54:23

    Ironman Triathlete and CEO of Adapt Media Agency, Derek Peterson, on Embracing Change This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset As the founder of Adapt You & Adapt Media, Derek Peterson is committed to helping people & businesses do one thing – CHANGE.​ At age 13, Derek's journey as an entrepreneur began with the neighborhood phone directory and cold calling 120+ homes to pitch his lawn care services, with equipment he didn't yet own!   After graduating with a degree in Marketing, Derek headed into “big corporate” and worked at ADP, Covidien and Allergan From 2012-Present Derek founded and ran 3 highly successful organizations.  Through both personal & professional journeys, Derek has become fascinated & committed to helping people/businesses execute the change needed to grow and thrive. Through this passion, Adapt You & Adapt Media were born. ​ With the top-ranked “Adapt You” Podcast & focus on impacting others, Derek helps his personal coaching clients tap into who they are, what they want & who they wish to become.​ Connect with Derek www.adaptmediaagency.com * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love! ** I'm also an Amazon affiliate so if you purchase a book or other product through the links on this page, I might get a small commission.

    How to Increase Mindfulness by Figuring Out Your Relationship with Your Resources

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 26, 2021 10:18

    How to Increase Mindfulness by Figuring Out Your Relationship with Your Resources This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 Connect with me. FB author page: https://www.facebook.com/IzoldaST IG: https://www.instagram.com/izoldat/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Izoldat LI: https://www.linkedin.com/in/izoldat/ Website: https://izoldatauthor.com/ * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love! ** I'm also an Amazon affiliate so if you purchase a book or other product through the links on this page, I might get a small commission.

    Speak From Within Chapter 3

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 25, 2021 20:17

    Does Anybody Hear Me? Speak From Within Chapter 3 This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 Enjoy the full chapter 3 of the book that will help you learn the techniques of engaging with and listening to your audience. Connect with me. FB author page: https://www.facebook.com/IzoldaST IG: https://www.instagram.com/izoldat/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Izoldat LI: https://www.linkedin.com/in/izoldat/ Website: https://izoldatauthor.com/ * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love! ** I'm also an Amazon affiliate so if you purchase a book or other product through the links on this page, I might get a small commission.

    How to Have a Compassionate Holiday Season

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2021 10:51

    How to Have a Compassionate Holiday Season [Note: Construction workers are doing their thing right outside my studio. So, I'll be recording many of my solo episodes on the elements of innovation in my car. Sorry if the sounds of New York City make you wince and even sorrier if they make you envious. :) ] This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 My socials are: IG: https://www.instagram.com/izoldat/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Izoldat LI: https://www.linkedin.com/in/izoldat/ * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love! ** I'm also an Amazon affiliate so if you purchase a book or other product through the links on this page, I might get a small commission.

    How to Successfully Lead Creative Groups

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2021 20:55

    What to do to lead groups of creatives [Note: This episode was recorded in my car because construction folks are running jackhammers right outside my recording studio.] This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 What are the things you must be aware of in order to lead and manage creative groups? Is it different than leading other types of groups? I detail the steps and processes in this episode. Stay tuned for next week's Creative Tuesday for an episode on how to do it in a business setting. * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love! ** I'm also an Amazon affiliate so if you purchase a book or other product through the links on this page, I might get a small commission.

    What Movies and Shows That Bomb Teach Us About the Culture of Innovation

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2021 29:23


    What We Can Learn About Success From Movies and Shows That Bomb and Hit We can learn many lessons about how a movie production is run. It is often a well-oiled machine? But what happens when it isn't? Or worse, what happens when the powers that be lose their vision? What should leaders do to course-correct? What should people lower in the hierarchy do? This week's innovation-focused episode explores the answers to these questions. This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 Books, Movies, and Shows I mention in the episode Dune (the 1980s movie), Dune (the books) The Expanse (the TV series), The Expanse (the book series) League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (movie) and the Graphic Novel Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe (book), (movie) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (book), BBC Series Daniel Coyle, The Culture Code * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love! ** I'm also an Amazon affiliate so if you purchase a book or other product through the links on this page, I might get a small commission.  


    How to Improve Your Ability to Be Practical By Being Mindful

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 7:05

    How to Improve Your Ability to Be Practical By Being Mindful This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love! ** I'm also an Amazon affiliate so if you purchase a book or other product through the links on this page, I might get a small commission.

    Speak From Within Audiobook, Chapter 2 part 2 - Fear

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2021 15:42

    Keep learning about how to deal with your fear of standing up in front of people and speaking to convince, inspire, and motivate. This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 Find the auxiliary exercises so you can make even more progress here: https://IzoldaT.com/speak-book. * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love! ** I'm also an Amazon affiliate so if you purchase a book or other product through the links on this page, I might get a small commission.

    How This Compassionate Practice Will Help You and Your Loved Ones Shine

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2021 14:52

    How This Compassionate Practice Will Help You and Your Loved Ones Shine This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 Books I mention Speak From Within** * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love! ** I'm also an Amazon affiliate so if you purchase a book or other product through the links on this page, I might get a small commission.  

    Musician and Admin Pro Valerie Higgs on Balancing Being a Creative with a Day Job

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2021 75:51

    Valerie Higgs on how to balance your creative side and your business side to grow and succeed This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 Valerie A. Higgs is an Administrative Professional by day and a pianist and music director by night. Currently based in the Washington, DC metro area, she has music directed productions at theaters such as the Ritz Theatre Company in South Jersey, the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, and the TADA! Youth Theater Company in New York. Valerie teaches piano online; accompanies for area auditions and competitions; regularly MDs at Ovations Theatre in Rockville, MD, and is a member of the DC Tango Orchestra, the Da Capo Tango Quintet, the Tango Reo ensemble, and sings with the Philosopher's Tones. Connect with Valerie Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/PianoWithValerie/ Twitter: @vahiggs Instagram: @vahiggs Main website: vahiggs.com For lessons: higgspianostudio.com * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love! ** I'm also an Amazon affiliate so if you purchase a book or other product through the links on this page, I might get a small commission.

    Petra Mayer 2

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2021 85:15

    Petra Mayer, NPR Books Editor, and my good friend. Encore Episode. Petra died suddenly and tragically on November 13th. In tribute to her, this is an encore of the interview she did with me back when the show was called the Creative Mindset Podcast. If you want to know this wonderful, creative, talented, generous, and kind person, listen to this show. You will also learn a ton about writing, publishing, and being creative. --Original show notes-- NPR Books Editor, Petra Mayer  Petra Mayer is an editor (and the resident nerd) at NPR Books, focusing on fiction, and particularly genre fiction. She brings to the job passion, speed-reading skills, and a truly impressive collection of Doctor Who doodads. You can also hear her on the air and on the occasional episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour. Previously, she was an associate producer and director for All Things Considered on the weekends. She handled all of the show's books coverage, and she was also the person to ask if you wanted to know how much snow falls outside NPR's Washington headquarters on a Saturday, how to belly dance, or what pro wrestling looks like up close and personal. Mayer originally came to NPR as an engineering assistant in 1994, while still attending Amherst College. After three years of spending summers honing her soldering skills in the maintenance shop, she made the jump to Boston's WBUR as a newswriter in 1997. Mayer returned to NPR in 2000 after a roundabout journey that included a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and a two-year stint as an audio archivist and producer at the Prague headquarters of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. She still knows how to solder. Useful Links  The most recent Concierge, which links to all the past years:   https://apps.npr.org/best-books/#view=covers&year=2019 A couple of summer polls:  https://www.npr.org/series/729710522/summer-reader-poll-2019-funny-books and  https://www.npr.org/series/617220176/summer-reader-poll-2018-horror Life Kit/How To Write A Book:  https://www.npr.org/2020/04/27/845797464/if-youve-always-wanted-to-write-a-book-here-s-how Reading the Game: https://www.npr.org/series/510664099/reading-the-game NK Jemisin on worldbuilding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6xyFQhbsjQ or find the PDF here: http://nkjemisin.com/2015/08/worldbuilding-101/  

    How to use transformation as an element of innovation

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 12, 2021 8:39

    Mindful Friday - Transformation This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love! ** I'm also an Amazon affiliate so if you purchase a book or other product through the links above, I might get a small commission.

    Dealing With The Fear - Speak From Within Audiobook, Chapter 2 - Fear

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 11, 2021 19:55

    Learn how to deal with your fear of speaking to people to convince, inspire, and motivate. This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 Find the auxiliary exercises so you can make even more progress here: https://IzoldaT.com/speak-book. * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love! ** I'm also an Amazon affiliate so if you purchase a book or other product through the links on this page, I might get a small commission.

    This is the way to drive effective innovation

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2021 9:25

    Unlocking vision-driven innovation. In this episode, I explore and unlock the key to innovation that will motivate you and your colleagues to stay on the cutting edge of innovation. This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 Innovation assets I mention* Tamsen Webster's Find Your Red Thread   * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love! ** I'm also an Amazon affiliate so if you purchase a book or other product through the links above, I might get a small commission.

    A Preview of an Exclusive Creative Exploration You Can Participate in for 2022

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2021 11:30


    How Creative Cohorts Help You Create and Innovate In January, three colleagues and I will embark upon a creative voyage. You can join us and awaken your unique creative genius. In today's episode, I preview what we'll do and how we'll do it. Hint: It has a little something to do with this book that's helped so many rediscover their inner creative. Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way.** This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love! **I am an amazon.com affiliate so if you buy the book through the link above, I might receive a small commission.  


    Communicative Leadership Executive Suzanne Bates on What Leaders Need to Innovate and Succeed

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 8, 2021 46:49

    Communicative Leadership Executive Suzanne Bates on What Leaders Need to Innovate and Succeed This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 Suzanne Bates is Managing Director and Partner at BTS, a global leadership firm based in Sweden. Suzanne came to BTS in an acquisition – as founder and CEO of Bates, she pioneered new approaches to communicative leadership, including the first research-based assessment of executive presence, and a breakthrough model of how teams perform. Suzanne is an innovative entrepreneur who came to business through a circuitous route as a television news anchor and reporter. She's the author of four books on leadership, including Speak Like a CEO, a McGraw Hill Business Classic. Connect with Suzanne https://twitter.com/ceocoachbates https://www.linkedin.com/in/suzannebates/ www.bates-communications.com Suzanne's Books** Speak Like a CEO All The Leader You Can Be Discover Your CEO Brand Motivate Like a CEO   * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love! **I'm also an Amazon.com affiliate, and if you get any of the books above, I might get a small commission.

    How to Use Mindfulness to Focus - Full Circle

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 5, 2021 8:13

    Mindfulness Practice - Full Circle This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love!

    Speak From Within - Chapter 1, Expression

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 4, 2021 10:11

    Learn about how we can express ourselves with confidence and deal with our fear of public speaking. This audiobook read will not exist anywhere but this blog and website. Chapter 1 Expression. This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love!

    What should guide your career, gig, and freelance decisions?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 3, 2021 10:05

    How Compassion Will Improve Your Business if You're a Freelancer, Consultant, or Future Employee This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4     * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love!  

    This practice will build your creative skills like nothing else

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2021 12:47

    Try this creative practice. It works like a charm to build your skills! This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love!

    Wildlife Photographer Lisa Roberti on Wildlife Conservation

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2021 64:36


    Wildlife photographer, conservationist, and Safari Girl Lisa Roberti on conservation, photography, and how to plan your best safari This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 Lisa Roberti, the Safari Girl, has been traveling to wildlife-rich areas around the world for over 27 years. While not a professional photographer, her goal is to use her photographs and experiences about her travels to encourage others to travel so that together, we can preserve the wild places for generations to come. Lisa has a wildlife-themed online store, is currently writing her first book, "Safari Tales" and has a self-study course on how to plan your safari to get the trip of a lifetime. Connect with Lisa Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lisamroberti/ See some of Lisa's amazing photos below.         Episode transcript [00:00:00] Lisa Roberti: How often do we just stop and breathe and just be in the moment and play watching lion Cubs playing it. It's just fascinating. They're just, they're totally in the moment. Just like children. [00:00:17] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Hello and welcome to the innovative mindset podcast. I'm your host. Izolda Trakhtenberg on the show. I interview peak performing innovators in the creative social impact and earth conservation spaces or working to change the world. This episode is brought to you by brain FM brain FM combines the best of music and neuroscience to help you relax, focus, meditate, and even sleep. [00:00:38] I love it and have been using it to write, create and do some of my deepest work because you're a listener of the show. You can get a free trial head over to brain.fm/innovative mindset. To check it out. If you decide to subscribe, you can get 20% off with the coupon code, innovative mindset, all one word, and now let's get to the show.[00:01:00] [00:01:02] Hey there and welcome to the innovative mindset podcast. My name is Izolda Trakhtenberg. I am super happy that you're here and I'm also incredibly honored and thrilled and happy to share with you. This week's guest. She is fabulous. Lisa birdie, the safari girl has been traveling to wildlife rich areas around the world for over 27 years while not a professional photographer. [00:01:24] Her goal is to use her photographs and experiences about her travels to encourage others to travel so that together we can preserve the wild places for generations to come. Lisa has a wildlife themed online store and is currently writing her first book called safari tales. I can't wait to read it. She also has a self study course on how to plan your safari to get the trip of a lifetime. [00:01:44] Lisa, I'm so grateful that you're here. Thanks so much for being. [00:01:48] Lisa Roberti: Izolda thank you so much for having me. It's such an honor to be on your show. Thank you. [00:01:54] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Oh, it's my pleasure. I'm first of all, I, I love ever since somebody gave me, [00:02:00] uh, my parents gave me a codec extra one for my 12th birthday. I have been an avid photographer and I love taking all sorts of photos. [00:02:08] And I'm wondering for you what got you started in photography and, and having photography be your way of getting the message out your message out and the message for animals and the natural model places. [00:02:23] Lisa Roberti: So when I was really young, I was about fifth grade. I've always had a passion for animals. I've always loved animals. [00:02:30] And the camera was just a way to get closer, to like really watch and see and look at there, look at behavior and then also to share it with people. You know, you see, you could tell stories, but they say a picture's worth a thousand words and video also. Um, and it's just, it was just really my way to get closer and to experience. [00:02:54] And remember with detail, everything that I got to experience with [00:02:58] Izolda Trakhtenberg: animals. That's so [00:03:00] amazing. I love that you said that it was a way to experience the animals and, and yet there's this wonderful, uh, sort of quote or meme that says take only photographs, leave only footprints. So the experience doesn't sound like it is diminished at all. [00:03:16] If you don't have any other contact with the animals other than being the photographer. [00:03:22] Lisa Roberti: Oh, I'm so glad you said that, um, wildlife photographers can, can really get a bad name. There's so many out there that. Their main goal is the photograph. Whereas my main goal is the two record to witness and record natural behaviors of the animals. [00:03:46] Um, you see a lot of photographers out there not, and I'm glad to say it's not the majority, but there's a few that they will really harass the animal in order to get quote unquote, the picture. They want to get a [00:04:00] reaction. They want to get whatever. And to me, that's, um, that's just harassment and it's not good clean wildlife photography. [00:04:08] I am there to witness and report. I'm there to see natural behavior. Like what is their life without humans in the way. And to me, that is, what's so beautiful and there's so much to learn from animals, um, and, and watching their behavior and just in, in, in watching them interact with, with other species and within their own species. [00:04:30] It's, it's just, it's amazing [00:04:32] Izolda Trakhtenberg: to watch it. Well, I appreciate you saying that. And that brings me to a question. What have you learned? You say there's so much to learn. I agree with you. I'm I'm sort of, I feel a little bit like I'm going to be like, yes, yes, yes. This whole, this whole chat. And yet you've, you've got obviously a lot more experience than I do photographing wildlife in the wild. [00:04:56] What, what has been the biggest lesson that you've [00:05:00] learned from observing and from having those experiences with animals in the wild? [00:05:07] Lisa Roberti: So I, the biggest experience that's, that's a hard one. I would say that. For me, observing them, you see that they all have personalities. Like we, we tend to put them in a bubble, right? [00:05:22] This is lion behavior. This is elephant behavior. This is, you know, but each animal has its own unique personality and they all have stories. I've been privileged to go back to the same locations, time and time again, where I've been able to see the animals and watch them grow up, if you will, and, and know them by their human, you know, English names. [00:05:44] And, um, and it's just, it's just fascinating to see them have their own personalities living in the moment. Um, you see the tenderness, you see the fierceness, you see them, [00:06:00] um, just being raw and it's, it's such a reminder. We w in our lives as human beings, we're, you know, we have the cell phone being in and we have so much going on and. [00:06:11] How often do we just stop and breathe and just be in the moment and play, or, you know, watching lion Cubs playing it. It's just, it's just fascinating. They're just, they're totally in the moment, just like children, like they don't have the, the phones being, they don't, they don't have the responsibilities to worry about. [00:06:32] And I think as we grow up and as we adults, we lose that and watching animals, I'm just watching them in their natural environments and, and seeing their, their triumphs and their, their failures and, and it, yeah, it's just, it's hard to put into words. I hope I didn't okay. A job there. [00:06:53] Izolda Trakhtenberg: No, you did great. It's it is interesting to me that there are times there was a, I don't know [00:07:00] if you remember the movie, a fish called. [00:07:03] Did you ever see that movie with John Cleese and Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Klein. Did you ever see that movie? I do not. I have. Nope, no worries. No worries. Eh, th th the movie itself is it is wonderful, fabulous. Kevin Klein won the Oscar, and there was a sort of a, kind of a sequel using the same actors. Uh, they did another movie and it was called fierce creatures, and it was about a zoo. [00:07:27] And this, uh, this woman came in to sort of make the zoo more efficient and. Uh, she had, there was a gorilla at the zoo and she had this incredible experience of just seeing the gorilla as another being on the planet and, and the, the people who are in the Zuora desperately trying to save the zoo, which was, uh, supposed to be a very sort of humanitarians or whatever, whatever, but they, they looked at each other and they went, ah, she's gotten it. [00:07:56] She understands now that that is something she didn't know before that she couldn't [00:08:00] have known before she had that experience of, of connection. And so that makes me think of what you were talking about. That it's hard to explain that connective moment between us seeing animals in the wild and understanding. [00:08:17] Their inherent value. And I'm wondering if you have any thoughts on how we could increase those experiences or, or make them more accessible to people so that more people understand the inherent value of, of the other beings. We share the planet with [00:08:37] Lisa Roberti: that. Yeah. And that's exactly what, um, my mission is I after COVID, so I've been, you know, traveling to Africa and taking photographs, um, for 20 something years, 27 years. [00:08:51] And I, and I really haven't done anything with them. And after COVID happened and tourism got shut down, um, W w [00:09:00] became aware of all of the problems in the wild places, um, how much poaching increased, how much the land grabbing was happening, um, and how we were losing more and more wild places because without tourism, the value of the land to the locals went down. [00:09:22] Tourism brings jobs to the local, um, people, um, they have jobs and lodges, they have shops, they have mechanics, they have Rangers, they have, and, and, and the, the tourism money also pays for Rangers. So there was a lot more poaching and there was a lot more, um, um, like I said, human wildlife conflict because the value had gone down to the local people. [00:09:46] Um, it wasn't bringing in money anymore. And so as. Uh, safari goers, a person who loves to go to wild places and loves to be with the animals. Um, I've decided [00:10:00] to, I'm using now my photographs and my stories to try and get people, to see how amazing it is to go, whether it's Africa or somewhere closer to home, to these wild places to support them. [00:10:14] Um, it, it has to be sustainable. I mean, we don't want to like destroy them with, with. Thousands and thousands of tourists, it has to be a sustainable practice, but people, tourism brings value to the land and it brings value to the people that are living around these beautiful wild places. And so I've actually, um, I'm actually working right now on a interactive guide to help people plan their safaris. [00:10:42] And, um, and, and, and the reason I'm doing that again is I'm really hoping that if people want to go on safari and they, they can plan a safari that meets their expectations and they go, and they love it in there. They're just so enthralled by it. And they're going to come home and they're going to tell other [00:11:00] people, and that way we can really preserve wild places and preserve the value for everybody. [00:11:09] Um, I can't even imagine a world where there's no wild elephants or wild lions, and we're getting there. We're really getting there. These animals are disappearing at unknown. I mean, just such fast, such as fast space. And I tell everybody, I talked to him like, if you really want to see wild animals in the wild, you have to go and you have to go now. [00:11:34] And the more people I believe, the more people who go and get to experience that amazing, like seeing what it really is like seeing life, how it is for these creatures, that they will gain value and people will understand the incredible value they have on them, the planet, the world, everything. And [00:12:00] I think, you know, there's a lot of really great, um, places out there that are doing a great job. [00:12:05] I mean, there's so many TV channels that you can find beautiful documentaries about these beautiful Sentium beings. And so you can, you can get it, you it's there and people are, are beginning to see it. And there's so much more, um, you know, there's so much more activity going on to save these animals now, which is, which is fabulous. [00:12:29] But me personally, I think actually being there in person is so different than watching it on your TV screen. It's just smelling the smells and hearing the sounds and seeing these creatures and watching their lives unfold before your eyes. It's just, you've been, you know, it's just an experience that stays with you and, and gets into your soul [00:12:55] Izolda Trakhtenberg: for life. [00:12:59] I'm taking all [00:13:00] of that in for a second. Yes. Yes. See that's this is me going. Yes. Yes. Lisa, keep going. Yes, absolutely. Yeah. It, you know, it's fascinating. I remember when I w when I was in South Africa, And we went, we went on a photo safari and we were in this little mini van and we pulled into this little, it, it was almost like a natural driveway. [00:13:24] It was this little natural sort of bordered, uh, drive in if you will, where I guess they took people a lot. And there was a, there were a couple of prides of lions hanging out. And first of all, I found out male lines kind of lazy that's for sure. But, but what was really interesting and, and I'm going to, I have a question in here somewhere, but it was really interesting to see what the lionesses did. [00:13:49] They started walking around our little van, just circling around it and circling around it. And one of them went and laid down behind the [00:14:00] little minivan and there was no way for us to leave and we were all going. And they're thinking you have got to run out of gas sometime, you know, and it was really interesting because we, you know, and the, and our driver was like, it's going to be fine. [00:14:12] She'll move. Everything will be fine. And it, and of course it was, but what it did for me is it really made me go, I am in a different place now and agave me this wonderful moment of awareness of my role. You know what I mean? Because, because I am not the king of the jungle, you know, people are not the Kings of the Jew. [00:14:36] This was very, it was very, eye-opening like, oh yeah, there a, it's sort of like a plate, your place in the universe kind of situation. So I'm wondering when you are out on safari and you're having these incredible experiences, how do you feel? You've said that they're magnificent and amazing, but how do you feel when you are there in that moment, observing and photographing these [00:15:00] incredible beings? [00:15:02] Oh, gosh, [00:15:03] Lisa Roberti: I've had so many incredible experiences. I've seen births, I've seen animals take their first steps. I have seen animals fighting for their lives. I've seen so many things and, and it's every, every moment is just, um, a moment of, of wonder and awe. And, you know, you would think I've been, I I've spent over 40 weeks just in, just in Africa, in Safin, wildlife, rich areas in Africa, plus, you know, all over other places around the world and it I'm still in awe, I'm still in wonder. [00:15:40] Um, I could, you know, I don't get bored and you see different things all the time. You see. Yeah, [00:15:49] Izolda Trakhtenberg: you just, [00:15:51] Lisa Roberti: I feel like I feel so special to be able to witness the, these [00:16:00] lives, you know, to, to actually to be there, to, to see what's happening. I've cried, tears of joy and tears of sorrow. I I've, you know, I've and I'm not going to say I've seen, you've never seen it all right in nature, but I I've just, I've seen so many things and, and, and, you know, even watching, uh, like you said, a PRI a coalition of male lions laying under a tree in the shade, sleeping. [00:16:25] And even that even just, just watching them breathing. I know it sounds crazy, but it's just this, this huge thousand pound animal lane right there, like 10 feet away from you while you're safely in your vehicle. [00:16:45] Izolda Trakhtenberg: That's just [00:16:45] Lisa Roberti: life for them. And, and you wonder you, like what, what does he dream about? What does he think about, you know, and it's crazy, but [00:16:55] Izolda Trakhtenberg: it's, it's [00:16:56] Lisa Roberti: just, it's just amazing. [00:16:57] And, and then when you see, [00:17:00] like, when you see, um, and I don't want to get into the sad stories, but I witnessed something that was incredibly sad. We had been following a very young lion Cub, um, and his pride for days and days and days. And then I witnessed him being killed by a herd of Buffalo. And you see the mother lioness and I mean, there was. [00:17:26] It was a herd of probably a thousand Buffalo. And this lioness was trying so hard to get to her Cub. And the Cub was just too, too small. It couldn't run away in time and to watch this lioness and trying to get in there and trying to, to protect her Cub and, and watching [00:17:46] Izolda Trakhtenberg: this, this defense's [00:17:47] Lisa Roberti: little creature being killed and it's, you know, and it's, it's nature and it's sad and I'm crying. [00:17:53] I'm bawling my eyes out. I couldn't even take pictures because it was like, this was one of my earlier trips and I'm [00:18:00] like, I, I just couldn't do it. And then, and then after finally, you know, the herd of Buffalo finally scattered and the fi the mom lioness, she kept searching and searching and searching for her Cub. [00:18:14] And she finally found the lifeless body. And it, and again, I don't need to get into a sad story, but it's, it's part of [00:18:22] Izolda Trakhtenberg: seeing. That [00:18:24] Lisa Roberti: these animals, and this is probably going to raise a lot of people's hair on the back of their necks. They have emotions, they care. She th the looks on her face, her behavior when she found her dead Cub, it, it was heartbreaking. [00:18:41] It was, um, and, and just to witness that and to see the lives of these animals. And again, this was all nature. It wasn't human impacted at all. And to see that, that the vulnerabilities they have, and then to witness the other side though, too, like I've seen [00:19:00] animals being born. I've seen animals taking their first stops, and it's just, [00:19:06] Izolda Trakhtenberg: it, it it's so [00:19:07] Lisa Roberti: incredible. [00:19:08] I don't even remember what your question was on a tangent, but it, and I'm just so into the moment. And it's just, it's an experience that goes into your soul, that. That stays with you forever. And even if it's just, like I said, lion, sleeping under a treat shade tree or witnessing something so intense like that or witnessing, I know everybody wants to see a, uh, see a kill or a hunt or whatever. [00:19:38] And, um, it doesn't have to be that intense. It's just every part of their lives. You see how every moment it's a life and death moment for these beings. And, you know, as humans, we should say, as humans in America, most of us don't live that way. I know there are some times where, where there is, but, you know, [00:20:00] we, we live sheltered lives. [00:20:01] We don't, we, or I should say I, because I know there are people on the planet, humans on the planet, and especially right now that are fighting for their lives, but there's so many of us that, um, you know, we get up, we go to work, we go to the grocery store and we don't think about life and death. And, and when you're there and you're witnessing it and you're seeing these animals of prey and the predators fighting every moment of their lives for survival, but also having empathy, um, seeing elephants grieving over a lost one and just put morning skulls of long lost elephants that they probably didn't even know. [00:20:44] I mean, there's so many levels of, there's so much [00:20:47] Izolda Trakhtenberg: depth to it, to every [00:20:50] Lisa Roberti: being and you have to see it, I think to really appreciate [00:20:55] Izolda Trakhtenberg: it. [00:20:59] [00:21:00] Thank you for sharing all of that. Wow. Wow. And yes, you shared a sad story, but it was such a profound one and it's, and it's true. I mean, even just looking at my domestic kitties at home, they have emotions. Obviously they have emotions, they are thinking and feeling beings and, and there's no doubt in my mind that every animal has that same level of, of sentients the thing that I, the thing that I personally struggle with is how, how do we raise that? [00:21:37] I know you said. Uh, and by that, by that, I mean, awareness, I know you said you have to experience it, but, but let's, let's face it. Most of us here in the USA, at least, uh, aren't going to go on safari. I, it would be cool if we could, but what else, what innovative ways could we experience this kind of connection that [00:22:00] you're talking about or close to it? [00:22:02] The park go, you know, [00:22:06] Lisa Roberti: watch your animals, watch your pets. Like you said, it all that like, even a lot of people have pets, but a lot of people don't really see their pets. They don't really see, like we are their life. We are their entire life. Like when you leave and you come back and look so excited to see. [00:22:30] You know, it's because we have every, you know, we have phone calls to people and we have all these other things and these and the animals, they just have us. And some people, sometimes we forget that and you can just look at your, your kid or your dog, or go to the park and, and, and just observe, um, birds even. [00:22:51] Um, or if you're lucky enough to live somewhere where there's Fox or, um, some other type of, of wildlife that you can safely [00:23:00] observe. Um, birds are probably the easiest and suburbia. Um, but you could just, I have a bird feeder, and again, that might raise a hair on some people's necks thinking that, you know, some people think that bird feeders are bad, but I have a bird feed of her right outside of my office. [00:23:17] And it's fascinating to watch the behavior at the feeder. And you just can learn so much about. Um, and I can't pick out individual birds. I mean, I know species and stuff, but like, I, I, you know, I wouldn't know, oh, this is the one that was here yesterday. I can't do that. But like watching, just, just watching them and taking a moment to stop all the noise and just breathe and take in nature just really puts you in a different space. [00:23:48] It, it, it brings you peace. It brings you like stopping for a moment, like stop and smell the roses, right. Just stop and be in nature. And you can do [00:24:00] that any almost anywhere in the world. And again, there's a lot of places you can, but you know, in, in the United States, especially, I mean, even, even big cities have parks, [00:24:11] Izolda Trakhtenberg: you know, and you could go to the park, [00:24:14] Lisa Roberti: you know, if you ha if you have, if you're lucky enough to have a backyard, You know, just sit in your backyard and just take a few moments to breathe, to hear, to listen, to smell, you know, listening to the birds, listening to the, the cicadas right now. [00:24:33] But it is it just, it really, if you just breathe it in and take a moment [00:24:39] Izolda Trakhtenberg: to just be, [00:24:42] Lisa Roberti: and forget about all the noise around you, meaning human noise, like meaning like all your to-do list and everything you have to do, and just, [00:24:53] Izolda Trakhtenberg: just enjoy the beautiful beauty of mother nature.[00:25:00] [00:25:02] Yes. See again. Yes, yes, yes, yes, absolutely. Yeah. I, you know, it's funny. I talked to my clients about that when I, when I'm doing coaching, we talk a lot about going for walks. That's a big one, go for walks and don't just look down. Look up. See what else is there? Say hello to the trees, all of those sorts of things. [00:25:21] Yes. It's C were, were, were mutual admiration society lease. I like that. Um, so, so all of that is, is really good. As far as bringing awareness, how do we bring awareness? And it can start small. I agree with you. Go outside, breathe. Look up, look at, look at the critters. Look at the plans. Look at the trees. [00:25:43] Spend some time in nature when we don't anymore. So many of us, I think we pass the tipping point relatively recently, where more of us live in urban areas than live in non-urban areas all over the planet, which is amazing. Cause that's a lot of planet. And so the question that I have for you is [00:26:00] going out for a walk is great. [00:26:02] Build a, starting to build that awareness is terrific. If I am at that place, if I've gone for my walks and I've figured out that this is something I want more of. What happens I noticed with people is that they go, oh, this is cool. I want more. So what's the next step for someone who wants in, in your, in your opinion, since you spent so much time traveling to these wild places, what's the next step for someone who's like, okay, I've got this awareness and now I want to do something else. [00:26:30] They may not have a lot of money, but, but something, what would you suggest someone do if they want to increase that connection? Okay. [00:26:41] Lisa Roberti: So the, so there's, there's a two part answer here. Um, if they want to do it too, for, for their own, for their own enjoyment, um, They're in most places again, around the United States, um, S you know, you could take a Saturday [00:27:00] afternoon and do some, do some, just Google homework about beautiful, um, bigger parks that are around or hiking areas that are around with, within a, you know, take a day trip or half a day trip. [00:27:13] Um, I live, I live in the cornfields and I haven't even seen a squirrel. I've lived here for two years and I've never even seen a squirrel. Um, but within, you know, a couple hour drive, I can get, um, to some, some beautiful areas and, and, and hike, and that doesn't cost any money or, or very little money. If there might be an interest entrance fee for the, for the park, of course, in the United States, we have some beautiful, um, national parks that, uh, people can go to. [00:27:44] And that, you know, if it, if it requires traveling and hotel stays, of course, that's going to add, um, Uh, an expense, but there's a lot of things you can do that, that don't. And that's the one part that's part, one of how do you get enjoyment out of it? Part [00:28:00] two, um, to learn more in everything is to start getting involved, um, and, and be aware of laws that are coming into play, um, that protect animals, um, even, you know, on cold rainy, you know, when, when, when winter comes and it's dark at four o'clock in the afternoon, there's great. [00:28:24] Documentaries about animals and wild places and that you can watch and immerse yourself that way. Um, there's a website that I would love to share. It's called explore.org, where they have live cams from all over the world and you can't, and, and it's not only wildlife. They even have like, um, where they're breeding puppies, um, for service dogs. [00:28:50] And you can see the puppies being bred for service dogs. And it's an amazing, um, non-for-profit, that's trying to help people connect [00:29:00] that, that can't maybe go to Africa or Alaska or Costa Rica, or, you know, any of these beautiful places. Um, and it's, and you can get, you can get lost and you can see it. And, um, and it's, it's amazing, but I, I would say the more you can get outside, just even around your house, Um, the more connected you you'll feel and the more at peace [00:29:26] Izolda Trakhtenberg: to absolutely. [00:29:29] And, you know, it's interesting during COVID times, that was one of the things that saved me was being able to step outside because you do go a little stir crazy when you're, when you're stuck in doors. So, and it doesn't have to be around a lot of people, if you can just go for a solo walk or something like that is amazing. [00:29:47] And, and yet there's, there's so much awareness we can build and so much appreciation we can build. And now, honestly, I want to go to the next step. [00:30:00] So let's say. You've gotten you've you've you've watched all the documentaries. You've read books. You've done. Let's say you want to go on a safari. What is a safari? [00:30:11] What? I know what I did. We went on a day trip, but I was there for work for NASA. So I wasn't on a safari. We just went on a day trip to see lions and hyenas and zebras. So it wasn't quite the same. But what, when someone says a safari, what are they saying? And how, how does one do that? What do you do to go on safari? [00:30:31] And what is it? [00:30:33] Lisa Roberti: So great question. Um, usually people talk about safaris in terms of Africa. Um, you can go to wildlife, rich places, anywhere in the world. Alaska happens to be one of my favorite places, but when people talk about safari, it's usually going to one of nine to 11 countries in Africa, and I've been to seven, um, safari rich, uh, places in Africa. [00:30:57] And I think people would be really surprised to [00:31:00] understand the amount of diversity of things that you can do when you go to Africa. Because a lot of people, and even my sister, I took her on safari and now she is absolutely hooked. She was like, you know, I think it might be boring just to drive around and look at animals. [00:31:16] And then she went and she can't get an off now she's this is. She's leaving in a couple of weeks for her third safari, but you can, um, you can do so. First of all, there's cultural. So you can do cultural visits and learn about the, the, the cultures. You can do conservation, where you learn about human wildlife conflict, and what's being done to help prevent that you can, um, do traditional safari would be where you're in a vehicle and you're driving around and you're stopping. [00:31:47] And you're looking at animals and watching behavior. You can do walking safaris, you can do balloon safaris. You can do horseback safaris. You can do, you can go on in some places. [00:32:00] You can go on ATVs. You can go fishing. You can like if you go to east Africa, you can. Part safari park beach, you can do. Um, whale-watching um, if you're in Southern Africa, you can tie a safari with wineries and, and wine businesses and Cape town. [00:32:18] Um, so I think there's, there's such a diversity of things that you can actually do on safari. And that's actually why I created this, this planner that I've created. I, and it's to help people realize all the opportunities and help them kind of narrow down what they actually really want on safari. The other thing too, is there's so many different places to go and so many different seasons. [00:32:43] And what do you really want to see, um, as far from, as far as animal life, because if you really want to see a rhino, there's certain places you can go where your opportunity is much greater to see a rhino. Then if you go to other places, um, and of course it's nature. So you're never guarantee. [00:33:00] Any citing, but, um, there's places where you can go where you really raise the, the opportunity or the possibility of seeing what, what you want to see. [00:33:10] And so I created this, this planner to kind of talk about all these different things. And, and also the other thing is a lot of people, you know, have a four seasons dream, but they have a best Western budget. And what do you do if, if you have that, if you're upside down and what you really want to do and what you can afford and, and how do you then not be disappointed. [00:33:33] And, um, so just things like that, you know, I, I discussed that. And then what if you have mobility issues or special eating requirements, um, how do you get around that? And then also just right now, traveling during COVID, I I've been on safari multiple times throughout COVID, I've been to Africa, um, Alaska and other places, and it's doable. [00:33:57] It's challenging and you need to know what to look for [00:34:00] to make sure you can navigate through and that you don't get stuck somewhere because you don't have the right tests or you don't have the right documentation. Um, so there's, there's actually a lot to go into it, but it's fun planning. The safari should be exciting and fun and something to look forward to. [00:34:20] Um, it's, it's part of the journey. Obviously the best part is actually being there, but it's part of the journey of, of, of getting to live your dream. I remember I had always dreamed of seeing animals in the wild, like, you know, went to the zoos and everything and I thought, oh my God, how amazing would it be? [00:34:41] And when I first started planning my first safari, it was. Oh, God, it was like the dream finally coming true. And it was so exciting to look at all the different opportunities and to see all the different ideas and the things that you could do. And, um, yeah, so that's, and then, and [00:35:00] then finding reputable companies, um, to work with, um, there, I've heard a lot of disaster stories of people, um, and it's, it's easy when you know what to look for. [00:35:14] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Cool. I want to go on his Fari again. That's cool. Yeah. You know, and it, it is so interesting to me. I love, I love Alaska also. I've been, and it's, it's in many ways. It's like, uh, it's just, uh it's so it's so different than anywhere else I've ever been. And so when I'm looking at this, when I'm thinking about, oh, I want to plan my safari and I want to go travel and I want to see wild places. [00:35:43] How do we do. Consciously, how do we, what, what, what do we need to do to, like I said, you know, take only photographs, leave, leave only footprints. I guess that's like an eco-tourism thing. What are your thoughts on that? What innovative ways could we, as people who [00:36:00] want to go on safari to, to, to commune with nature and to be, and observe these animals and nature, wherever we're, wherever we go, how do we do it? [00:36:11] Responsibly? [00:36:13] Lisa Roberti: Great, great question. And. That all ties into the company and the lodges. Um, there are a lot, there's a lot of choices out there when you go on safari. I, I just, um, picked up, uh, like a safari magazine and it's just pages and pages and pages of advertisements for different companies and different lodges and different everything. [00:36:40] And with the internet, now you can really do a lot of research and find the, the lodges that are eco-friendly, um, that are doing the right thing. Um, you can like there's, there's conservancies out there where they really limit the number of [00:37:00] people to make sure that there's, that there's not so many, um, people in a, in a small area so that the wild places are staying. [00:37:11] Christine. And, um, you can do that. There's, there's a lot of mass tourism, um, places. And then there's the, the eco-friendly places. And one thing that, um, most of these countries in Africa I've done actually better than first rule countries is most of them now have outlawed single use plastic and things like United States is not even talking about doing that. [00:37:36] Right. And, um, so just even supporting these countries and, and, and what they're doing is, is a big, is a big step, but yes, there are eco-friendly lodges that, um, where you, where you go in, or you can, like I said, you can do the research and they tell you about all the steps that they're doing to recycle, reuse, [00:38:00] um, the, the water systems. [00:38:02] They have the purification systems. They have to make, um, the least amount of impact on the land. As possible and those types of places, um, they're becoming more and more and more. It used to be few and far between, but now that people are becoming more aware of the environment, um, they, that's a big selling point for a lot of these places. [00:38:30] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I it's [00:38:30] Lisa Roberti: also, sorry, also, I'm sorry. It's also your, um, like if you do decide to go travel with a group or you decide to go on your own, who, the, the company that you book with, whether you book direct through lodges or you book through, um, uh, Africa specialist, those there's different levels there too, where some of them are more concerned about that. [00:38:54] And then others are more concerned about just pushing lots of people through. And again, you, you can tell. [00:39:00] If you're in, if you're familiar with eco-friendly, anything as you're, as you're reviewing and previewing, you can see, um, what they're doing, um, for eco eco-friendly they'll they'll offer carbon offset. [00:39:16] Um, I know even United airlines is doing carbon offset now. Um, they will, um, yeah. And they'll talk about it because that's a big point for a lot of people. So it's, it's out there. It's a little bit harder to find it's becoming easier and easier to find. Um, but even like I said, these countries even stopping single use plastic, you know, they're, they're, they're, they are trying really hard to preserve and make their countries more beautiful and pristine. [00:39:55] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Oh, that makes me so happy to hear that. It really does. I mean, I, I, cause I worry about [00:40:00] that. Not, not, not, I, you know, I'm not, I'm not trying to insult any, any developing nations or anything like that, but I want to be sure as, as you know, as a vegan, as someone who's, who tries to be very eco-conscious, I want to again, leave the smallest footprint possible. [00:40:18] So, so that's something that we we can do is we can look for these eco-friendly and, uh, environmentally conscious places to stay or trips to take. And I think that that's amazing. So if I what's the number one piece of advice you have for someone going, what, what's the thing that they absolutely either need to know or need to do. [00:40:44] Lisa Roberti: I think they need. I think the biggest thing that I've, I've seen and heard is for them to really understand what they want. What do you really want out of the safari? [00:41:00] What is your dream? What are you when you close your eyes? And you're like, I want to go on safari. I can't wait to go on safari. What does that look like? [00:41:09] And then making sure that what you book matches that or exceeds. Um, and that's where booking with somebody with a lot of Africa experience is critical because you may have these beautiful visions in your mind. Like you, you want, uh, uh, responsible tourism, you, you want minimal impact. Can you imagine if that was what your goal and ideal was? [00:41:38] And then you get there and you're in a lodge, that's got 200 rooms and it's just waste everywhere. Like that would be devastating to you. So really understanding what it is that is important to you, what your dream is, and then making sure that your booking [00:42:00] matches that and exceeds that so that when you go it's everything you've dreamed about and so much more and so much. [00:42:10] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I love that. And I have a tough question for you right now, because that part was great. The part that I'm, that I get concerned about is what we can do. Some, some of the practices that I have read about and, and, and heard about are abusive to the wildlife and, you know, and, and sort of tourists, you know, like elephants painting or, or, you know, or any, they can't, that, that, that can't be real. [00:42:42] That can't be something that is, that is the elephant. When you know what I'm going to grab a paintbrush and I'm going to paint a cat. I cannot imagine that that's something they elephant decided that she wanted to do. So. So how do we, is it, do we vote with our dollars? How do we, how do we [00:43:00] avoid practices that could be abusive to the, to the very animals we want to see and protect. [00:43:07] Lisa Roberti: Awesome. Question. Thank you so much for bringing this up because this is, this is something I talk about all the time. So almost any experience where, and I'm going to say almost because this is not a hundred percent true and I'll explain the caveat. So almost any experience where you can be hands-on with an animal is led with abuse. [00:43:35] Um, so, and I'm, I'm. In South Africa, and this is changing. Thank God that they're changing the laws over there in South Africa, they, they used to have this thing where they would get tourism, tourists to pay big money, to come and raise the orphaned lion Cubs so that they can return them into the wild where what they're actually doing is they're raising these Cubs. [00:43:57] They're getting money income from the tourist [00:44:00] pain to play with these Cubs. And then when the Cubs got big enough, then they would go into canned hunts and they'd be slaughtered. And of course they weren't telling the people that there's also opportunities where you can, um, walk with cheetahs. And again, that these animals are, um, abused and tortured in order to. [00:44:21] Betaine quote, unquote enough to do that paint, brushing with elephants or painting the elephants painting or playing basketball. Um, the pictures I have seen in the stories of the abuse that these animals endure, the whipping, the everything that they go through to learn and to hold a paintbrush and to do these things. [00:44:42] And, and of course there it's being touted as, um, a sanctuary. And it's just not anything that it, if you ever see an, an animal doing something that it is not in its normal repertoire, it's been [00:45:00] abused to do that. And, um, and I say almost always, there are several places that, uh, Where you do have opportunity, um, to, to be a little bit more close, where it truly is a sanctuary and these animals aren't abused. [00:45:17] One is Sheldrick, wildlife trust. Um, routinely also has one in San Bruin is again elephants where they take orphaned baby elephants. And the elephants are orphaned due to poaching, um, human wildlife conflict, or natural deaths. And they raise these babies and then they reintroduce them into the wild and they have this huge success. [00:45:37] And in order to raise money, they do allow people to come and view the babies. And, um, and so there's it in one hand, you're like, oh, is this, is this one of those bad things? Or is this one of those good things? And it's sometimes even for me, I have to do a lot of research. To, to make sure that I'm only supporting the ones that are actually [00:46:00] doing good work and, um, shelter glide, wildlife trust is one in Nairobi, Kenya. [00:46:05] And then, um, drafts center is another one where you can actually feed the giraffes. And again, my normal checklist, that would be an absolute no-no. But because I did the research and I did the homework to know that these are wild drafts, they're accustomed to people. It was it's, um, it's a draft subspecies. [00:46:27] It's very endangered Rothschild giraffe that they had, um, brought in to try and repopulate them. And they do reintroduce them back into the wild. Um, and it's like, what steps are they're taking? What measures are they taking to make sure they're not getting too used to humans? Um, and that we aren't impacting their normal lives. [00:46:45] Like it's not normal for a human to feed a giraffe. So like where is that line? And in some places, the line is a little blurry. Giraffe Centre because they're doing really good work. The animals are not abused [00:47:00] in other places is so it's so crystal clear that this is just bad and such a case as like you pointed out the elephants that are painting, like they are just absolutely abused. [00:47:11] They're performing things. They don't normally perform. Um, when you're feeding the draft giraffe center there they're eating. Like they would normally eat, they're reaching out with their tongue and they're grabbing it as if it were a leaf on a tree, you know? So it's not, they're not doing something that's abnormal taking it out of a human hand. [00:47:28] Yeah. That's abnormal versus an elephant, you know, holding a paintbrush and painting strokes. That's just not normal behavior. So it's it's. Yeah. And I've had to research there's, there's an elephant sanctuary. Um, In Indonesia that I'm interested in and visiting, but I'm still on the fence about whether this is a true sanctuary or not. [00:47:52] And I'm trying to do a lot more research and sometimes it's really hard to know. Um, and, and of course we [00:48:00] don't want to contribute to abuse of any kind. [00:48:05] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Completely and absolutely, totally. And for sure. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, for sure. And it's interesting, uh, many years ago, uh, I was part, uh, I was a volunteer at the national zoo for the golden lion tamarin project and it was reintroducing them into the wild and they weren't in cages. [00:48:24] Right. So, so our job was to, uh, sort of make sure that they're the key where they were was, was okay for them to be, and we would sort of leave food where they might find it, but they weren't in cages. They were above people's heads. Right. And, and sort of running around in, in the trees and along the ropes and things like that to get. [00:48:47] To be used to being outside so that they could be reintroduced back into the wild and south America. What was interesting about that is how much, and I'm not a zoo fan. I will be very honest. I do not. I do [00:49:00] not like zoos animals don't belong in cages. I, that I have to say, but being part of that project for me was eye-opening because the people, the individual people I was working with cared so very much about making sure that these endangered beings would have a real chance at living in the wild. [00:49:21] And that's something that, that we have to remember that that wa as soon as they are, um, in connection with, with human. Beings that that changes. And so I'm wondering, what are your thoughts on rehabilitation or no reintroduction, I guess I would say of animals back into the wild. Can, can that happen in a way that is really safe and good for them? [00:49:51] And, and how do we weigh that if, if not doing the rehabilitation and helping them would just end up in their [00:50:00] deaths? [00:50:01] Lisa Roberti: Yeah. So I'm going to go back to David shelter, wildlife trust out of Nairobi. Um, they have successfully, and I don't know the numbers off the top of my head. I, um, they have successfully reintroduced, I think it's over a hundred elephants. [00:50:20] Um, and. The success stories are incredible because again, they take them when they're babies, they stay in Nairobi national park. When they get, um, Nairobi national park, doesn't have elephants, um, it's too small, but they have these baby elephants that are cared for by humans. And then when they get big, they bring them into, they have three different re-integration units and then it is, they slowly reintegrate themselves into the wild herds. [00:50:49] And again, there's people taking care of them, giving, making sure they're being fed, making sure they're being cared for. And then the wild herds come in and they slowly, um, in some of them can take 10, 15 [00:51:00] year before they, they actually become wild. And it's amazing because now they've had females that have been reintroduced in the wild who have gone off in the wild herds, actually having babies with wild elephants. [00:51:13] And because they supply water sources, a lot of times they will come back. Um, and it's really interesting. And again, this is a huge success story. Um, they've actually had, and again, it goes to the intelligence of wild animals. They've actually had a wild bull who, who was meeting with one of the ex orphan females was speared. [00:51:38] And two of his bull buddies, you know, to show us three male, um, bull elephants actually came into the re-introduction unit looking for help. Wow. [00:51:49] Izolda Trakhtenberg: And, [00:51:49] Lisa Roberti: and of course they were cared for and everything by the veterinarian staff there. Um, so in some cases that, that re-introduction, it's, it it's phenomenal [00:52:00] and they've shown it time and time again, like with elephants it's possible with the monkeys. [00:52:04] I hopefully that, that the tamarins, hopefully that was a success story and that they were able to do that. They've done it with Eagles. They've done it. Um, the, the ones that I've never heard a success story of is, um, predators, because how do you take. And teach it how to hunt. How do you take a Cub and teach it how to hide? [00:52:26] How do you take, you know, and, and I've never heard of a successful, um, re well, actually that's not true. Um, gosh, there's the famous story and I'm, I'm drawing a total blank right now. How can I about the, the man and wife who rescued the three lions? The Cubs? Oh yeah. [00:52:44] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Three. Yes, yes, yes, [00:52:45] Lisa Roberti: yes. And they, and they successfully reintroduced them into the wild and man, it took them a long, long, long time to do that. [00:52:54] Um, so I think it's, I think, gosh, the more wild animals that, that are [00:53:00] impacted by human wildlife conflict that we can save and bring back into the wild, I man, those people, they have hearts of gold and they work their tails off and they're so passionate and I would love, I would, gosh, I would love to be involved with something like. [00:53:19] Did I answer your question? Yes, [00:53:20] Izolda Trakhtenberg: yes, no, you, you, you absolutely did. It's really, you know, that, that, that notion of how, how we, we can participate, but do so in a non invasive way to help these endangered beings that wouldn't be endangered. If not for us anyway, is something that I, I need to. Go further, you know, I need to, personally, I need to, I need to look at that more. [00:53:56] How can we do that in a noninvasive way so that [00:54:00] we're helping and not hurting the wild places and the wild beings that are on those places are in those places. You know? And, and I think it's, I think their names were the, was it the Adamson's Georgia? Yeah. For born free and, and, and there are other, there are other people who spend their lives dedicated to. [00:54:21] You know, preserving these wild places and, and helping animals. So, so it's not, it's not hopeless, but wow. We, we, you know, I think we all could do more to participate in helping, especially since there are people out there who are participating in hurting those places, so, and, and those animals. So we, you know, and, and do you have any recommendations about if somebody wants to get involved and help, uh, do you know of any places that, that someone could go, you know what I would like to get involved in a reputable place that's, that's working to preserve wild places [00:55:00] could be in the USA, could be in other places, doesn't matter. [00:55:02] Where would you send someone? [00:55:05] Lisa Roberti: So a lot of these, um, and this is, this is where it gets really kitschy again, because. A lot of the places, they can't just take regular volunteers, like people, untrained people. Um, there's a lot of reasons for that one day and I'm, and I'm going to use shelter again because they are such a success story. [00:55:31] So they don't want the elephants getting used to people. They get used to their candlers, their keepers, um, and they were specific jackets, specific coats. They all wear the same style and color of coat. They wear the same clothes they wear the same. So the elephants aren't necessarily making a generalization about humans. [00:55:54] So they don't allow. Um, volunteers and, and, and, you know, as a person who wants to, [00:56:00] it's like, oh, come on. But I'm a good person. Just let me come and help. But they, for the safety and the sake of the animals, they can't do that. And there again, there's, there's, there are places that will allow you to volunteer. [00:56:12] Um, and there's, there's a couple companies and I, and I'm sorry, I don't know the name off, off the top of my head. There are a couple of companies that actually set up volunteering, travel, where you actually go and you volunteer. And a lot of them are more for, um, like kids, like schools, like where you can go and volunteer at schools, which is also imperative because the, you know, these children, if they grow up to see the value of the wildlife and the wild places, they're going to help preserve it. [00:56:41] Right. So that's, that part is really also very important, but, um, there's not a lot of hands on true animal volunteering. W really wild places like Africa, Alaska, stuff like that, but that doesn't prevent people from getting involved [00:56:59] Izolda Trakhtenberg: at [00:57:00] home. [00:57:01] Lisa Roberti: Um, you know, there's some great opportunities, like even just like preserving in parks, keeping the parks, clean, volunteering at animal shelters, um, doing that kind of work. [00:57:13] It's hard work and it can be heartbreaking, but it's so rewarding as well. And just, you know, let's start with, and again, I'm a huge Africa. Uh, lover, but, but sometimes we gotta start at home too. Like what can you do at your, your park across the street or across town? Is there something that, that can be done to help preserve that too? [00:57:37] You know, let's do a trash cleanup day. Let's do a, and there's lots of volunteering opportunities at, at animal shelters. Um, but there are a few in, in Africa, um, that, that you can find. Um, but they're, they're not as wide as, as it would be nice if they weren't just because again, for the safety of the animals, they can't just [00:58:00] open it up to. [00:58:02] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Sure. Absolutely. And I think that the notion of I'm going to go volunteer with animals, you know, that that's something that would take a lot of study and you'd, you'd have to spend a long time getting prepared for that, but there are people, if they have a passion for it that do pursue something like that and, and can eventually, and I think you're absolutely right. [00:58:23] And I agree with you wholeheartedly, this notion that we can do something here, you can do something in your, in your backyard. You can do something in the park, you can do something in the animal shelter. There are lots of ways to participate in elevating awareness and in helping that don't necessarily mean you get on a plane and go to another place. [00:58:42] You could do it across town or even across the street. So I, your, your point is well made and well taken. Lisa, I really appreciate you saying that because yeah, I think we can, we can do it. It doesn't have to be a grand gesture to be a really important. Anyway. Well, it's, [00:58:58] Lisa Roberti: it's like they say, you know, [00:59:00] and I don't remember exactly how the proverb goes. [00:59:02] If that's the right word, you know, walking down the beach and you're throwing one starfish in when there's a thousand starfish and it's like, you can't save them all, but that one act is really important to the one that you did save. [00:59:14] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Exactly. And the last line of that story is it made a difference to that one. [00:59:17] Yeah. I love that story. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I could keep you here for the next, I don't know how long, because this is fantastic and I really appreciate you taking the time, Lisa and I do know that you have a life to get back to. So I was wondering if you know, you're doing this, this document for all of the, uh, for people who want to plan a safari, what does I think is great, but also if people want to see your photographs and learn more about the work you're doing, would you mind sharing your social channels? [00:59:47] Where could someone who wants to go find you find. [00:59:51] Lisa Roberti: So I'm on Instagram and Facebook. And it's Lisa M as in Mary, just the initial we set em, Roberto, R O B E R T. [01:00:00] I, um, I also have a YouTube channel that I'm just starting out, but I, because I don't have enough followers, I don't have my, my, my pen name yet. [01:00:08] Um, but you can just search for me there. And in there I do a lot of different travel stuff and lodge reviews and, um, things like that. And I'm just starting on, on that. I also have a Facebook group, um, called wildlife travel and con and conservation. Um, and that's a place where I talk about, um, animal conservation laws that are coming up wins. [01:00:29] Um, devastations and also talk all things travel, um, to wildlife, rich places around the world. It's not just Africa, but it's. [01:00:37] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Fabulous. Thank you so much for sharing. And I'm going to put all of that along with some of Lisa's fabulous photographs on the show notes page. You're going to want to check that out for sure. [01:00:47] And, and learn more about the incredible work Lisa's doing and. Just see the photos. They're so beautiful. I love them. You sent them to me and I'm like, these are awesome. So, [01:01:00] and you know, and, and you have a really amazing, I, I really just, you, you, you are able to capture such life and such spirit in, in every photograph that I've seen you take is wonderful. [01:01:14] Thank you so much, my, oh no, thank you. I appreciate it. Cause I can't go necessarily to Africa, but boy, I'm going to watch you guys. So I, I know that's kind of silly cause I'm going to go to Africa again for sure. And I and Costa Rica. And I want to go back to Alaska. There's so many places, you know, so many places to go, but I want to, I'll always try to do it responsibly. [01:01:36] You know, with enough money to actually go, that's always a good thing. Uh, so I have just one question that I ask everybody who listens to the show. You know, the question, the try, you listen to the podcast. So everyone, everyone who comes on the podcast knows this question. Here's this question? So here it is. [01:01:53] If you had one thing that you wanted to say, because you had an airplane C I T, and [01:02:00] because I'm not thinking about it, I said it wrong. If you had an airplane that could sky write anything for the whole world to see, what would you say? You know, [01:02:08] Lisa Roberti: I, I knew this question was coming. I don't like, ah, and I, and I'm like, what's, what's the few words, cause it's behind an airplane. [01:02:15] So, you know, it's gotta be short, it's sustained. And I'm like, okay. So really the quick short spend time in nature. [01:02:26] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I love that it's, it's [01:02:28] Lisa Roberti: simple. It's so important. And it really, I think the more people spend time in nature, the more people will love it. And then people are going to want to preserve it. [01:02:38] Because they're in it and they love it so much. [01:02:41] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Ah, that's a great, yeah, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And you will, I mean, the second you spend time breathing chlorophyll, rich air because you're out in your trees, it's going to change you. So I love that. Wow. Thank you so much for that, Lisa. I am so grateful that you took the [01:03:00] time to be here and I'm super excited for people to learn more about you and more about your work. [01:03:05] Thank you so much. Thank [01:03:07] Lisa Roberti: you so much for having me. It was such a pleasure chatting with you and, um, I really appreciate your time. Thank [01:03:12] Izolda Trakhtenberg: you. So it was all my pleasure. This is Izolda Trakhtenberg for the innovative mindset podcast. You obviously need to go check out Lisa birdie and her amazing work and all of the wild places she talked about. [01:03:24] Eventually. I think you should do. You should do that too. If you're liking the show, do me a favor, tell a friend, tell a friend about the show and tell a friend about all of the cool, innovative stuff we're talking about until next time. This is his older Trakhtenberg for the innovative mindset podcast, reminding you to listen, learn, laugh, and. [01:03:43] A whole lot. [01:03:49] thanks so much for joining me today. I really appreciate you being here. Please subscribe to the podcast if you're new and if you like what you're hearing, please review it and rate it and let other people know. [01:04:00] And if you'd like to be a sponsor of the show, I'd love to meet you on patrion.com/innovative mindset. [01:04:07] I also have lots of exclusive goodies to share just with the show supporters there today's episode was produced by Izolda Trakhtenberg and his copyright 2021 as always, please remember, this is for educational and entertainment purposes. Only past performance does not guarantee future results, although we can always hope until next time, keep living in your innovative mindset. * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love!


    The Innovative Way Lisa Roberti Addresses Wildlife Cosnervation

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2021 64:36


    Wildlife photographer, conservationist, and Safari Girl Lisa Roberti on conservation, photography, and how to plan your best safari This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 Lisa Roberti, the Safari Girl, has been traveling to wildlife-rich areas around the world for over 27 years. While not a professional photographer, her goal is to use her photographs and experiences about her travels to encourage others to travel so that together, we can preserve the wild places for generations to come. Lisa has a wildlife-themed online store, is currently writing her first book, "Safari Tales" and has a self-study course on how to plan your safari to get the trip of a lifetime. Connect with Lisa Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lisamroberti/ See some of Lisa's amazing photos below.         Episode transcript [00:00:00] Lisa Roberti: How often do we just stop and breathe and just be in the moment and play watching lion Cubs playing it. It's just fascinating. They're just, they're totally in the moment. Just like children. [00:00:17] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Hello and welcome to the innovative mindset podcast. I'm your host. Izolda Trakhtenberg on the show. I interview peak performing innovators in the creative social impact and earth conservation spaces or working to change the world. This episode is brought to you by brain FM brain FM combines the best of music and neuroscience to help you relax, focus, meditate, and even sleep. [00:00:38] I love it and have been using it to write, create and do some of my deepest work because you're a listener of the show. You can get a free trial head over to brain.fm/innovative mindset. To check it out. If you decide to subscribe, you can get 20% off with the coupon code, innovative mindset, all one word, and now let's get to the show.[00:01:00] [00:01:02] Hey there and welcome to the innovative mindset podcast. My name is Izolda Trakhtenberg. I am super happy that you're here and I'm also incredibly honored and thrilled and happy to share with you. This week's guest. She is fabulous. Lisa birdie, the safari girl has been traveling to wildlife rich areas around the world for over 27 years while not a professional photographer. [00:01:24] Her goal is to use her photographs and experiences about her travels to encourage others to travel so that together we can preserve the wild places for generations to come. Lisa has a wildlife themed online store and is currently writing her first book called safari tales. I can't wait to read it. She also has a self study course on how to plan your safari to get the trip of a lifetime. [00:01:44] Lisa, I'm so grateful that you're here. Thanks so much for being. [00:01:48] Lisa Roberti: Izolda thank you so much for having me. It's such an honor to be on your show. Thank you. [00:01:54] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Oh, it's my pleasure. I'm first of all, I, I love ever since somebody gave me, [00:02:00] uh, my parents gave me a codec extra one for my 12th birthday. I have been an avid photographer and I love taking all sorts of photos. [00:02:08] And I'm wondering for you what got you started in photography and, and having photography be your way of getting the message out your message out and the message for animals and the natural model places. [00:02:23] Lisa Roberti: So when I was really young, I was about fifth grade. I've always had a passion for animals. I've always loved animals. [00:02:30] And the camera was just a way to get closer, to like really watch and see and look at there, look at behavior and then also to share it with people. You know, you see, you could tell stories, but they say a picture's worth a thousand words and video also. Um, and it's just, it was just really my way to get closer and to experience. [00:02:54] And remember with detail, everything that I got to experience with [00:02:58] Izolda Trakhtenberg: animals. That's so [00:03:00] amazing. I love that you said that it was a way to experience the animals and, and yet there's this wonderful, uh, sort of quote or meme that says take only photographs, leave only footprints. So the experience doesn't sound like it is diminished at all. [00:03:16] If you don't have any other contact with the animals other than being the photographer. [00:03:22] Lisa Roberti: Oh, I'm so glad you said that, um, wildlife photographers can, can really get a bad name. There's so many out there that. Their main goal is the photograph. Whereas my main goal is the two record to witness and record natural behaviors of the animals. [00:03:46] Um, you see a lot of photographers out there not, and I'm glad to say it's not the majority, but there's a few that they will really harass the animal in order to get quote unquote, the picture. They want to get a [00:04:00] reaction. They want to get whatever. And to me, that's, um, that's just harassment and it's not good clean wildlife photography. [00:04:08] I am there to witness and report. I'm there to see natural behavior. Like what is their life without humans in the way. And to me, that is, what's so beautiful and there's so much to learn from animals, um, and, and watching their behavior and just in, in, in watching them interact with, with other species and within their own species. [00:04:30] It's, it's just, it's amazing [00:04:32] Izolda Trakhtenberg: to watch it. Well, I appreciate you saying that. And that brings me to a question. What have you learned? You say there's so much to learn. I agree with you. I'm I'm sort of, I feel a little bit like I'm going to be like, yes, yes, yes. This whole, this whole chat. And yet you've, you've got obviously a lot more experience than I do photographing wildlife in the wild. [00:04:56] What, what has been the biggest lesson that you've [00:05:00] learned from observing and from having those experiences with animals in the wild? [00:05:07] Lisa Roberti: So I, the biggest experience that's, that's a hard one. I would say that. For me, observing them, you see that they all have personalities. Like we, we tend to put them in a bubble, right? [00:05:22] This is lion behavior. This is elephant behavior. This is, you know, but each animal has its own unique personality and they all have stories. I've been privileged to go back to the same locations, time and time again, where I've been able to see the animals and watch them grow up, if you will, and, and know them by their human, you know, English names. [00:05:44] And, um, and it's just, it's just fascinating to see them have their own personalities living in the moment. Um, you see the tenderness, you see the fierceness, you see them, [00:06:00] um, just being raw and it's, it's such a reminder. We w in our lives as human beings, we're, you know, we have the cell phone being in and we have so much going on and. [00:06:11] How often do we just stop and breathe and just be in the moment and play, or, you know, watching lion Cubs playing it. It's just, it's just fascinating. They're just, they're totally in the moment, just like children, like they don't have the, the phones being, they don't, they don't have the responsibilities to worry about. [00:06:32] And I think as we grow up and as we adults, we lose that and watching animals, I'm just watching them in their natural environments and, and seeing their, their triumphs and their, their failures and, and it, yeah, it's just, it's hard to put into words. I hope I didn't okay. A job there. [00:06:53] Izolda Trakhtenberg: No, you did great. It's it is interesting to me that there are times there was a, I don't know [00:07:00] if you remember the movie, a fish called. [00:07:03] Did you ever see that movie with John Cleese and Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Klein. Did you ever see that movie? I do not. I have. Nope, no worries. No worries. Eh, th th the movie itself is it is wonderful, fabulous. Kevin Klein won the Oscar, and there was a sort of a, kind of a sequel using the same actors. Uh, they did another movie and it was called fierce creatures, and it was about a zoo. [00:07:27] And this, uh, this woman came in to sort of make the zoo more efficient and. Uh, she had, there was a gorilla at the zoo and she had this incredible experience of just seeing the gorilla as another being on the planet and, and the, the people who are in the Zuora desperately trying to save the zoo, which was, uh, supposed to be a very sort of humanitarians or whatever, whatever, but they, they looked at each other and they went, ah, she's gotten it. [00:07:56] She understands now that that is something she didn't know before that she couldn't [00:08:00] have known before she had that experience of, of connection. And so that makes me think of what you were talking about. That it's hard to explain that connective moment between us seeing animals in the wild and understanding. [00:08:17] Their inherent value. And I'm wondering if you have any thoughts on how we could increase those experiences or, or make them more accessible to people so that more people understand the inherent value of, of the other beings. We share the planet with [00:08:37] Lisa Roberti: that. Yeah. And that's exactly what, um, my mission is I after COVID, so I've been, you know, traveling to Africa and taking photographs, um, for 20 something years, 27 years. [00:08:51] And I, and I really haven't done anything with them. And after COVID happened and tourism got shut down, um, W w [00:09:00] became aware of all of the problems in the wild places, um, how much poaching increased, how much the land grabbing was happening, um, and how we were losing more and more wild places because without tourism, the value of the land to the locals went down. [00:09:22] Tourism brings jobs to the local, um, people, um, they have jobs and lodges, they have shops, they have mechanics, they have Rangers, they have, and, and, and the, the tourism money also pays for Rangers. So there was a lot more poaching and there was a lot more, um, um, like I said, human wildlife conflict because the value had gone down to the local people. [00:09:46] Um, it wasn't bringing in money anymore. And so as. Uh, safari goers, a person who loves to go to wild places and loves to be with the animals. Um, I've decided [00:10:00] to, I'm using now my photographs and my stories to try and get people, to see how amazing it is to go, whether it's Africa or somewhere closer to home, to these wild places to support them. [00:10:14] Um, it, it has to be sustainable. I mean, we don't want to like destroy them with, with. Thousands and thousands of tourists, it has to be a sustainable practice, but people, tourism brings value to the land and it brings value to the people that are living around these beautiful wild places. And so I've actually, um, I'm actually working right now on a interactive guide to help people plan their safaris. [00:10:42] And, um, and, and, and the reason I'm doing that again is I'm really hoping that if people want to go on safari and they, they can plan a safari that meets their expectations and they go, and they love it in there. They're just so enthralled by it. And they're going to come home and they're going to tell other [00:11:00] people, and that way we can really preserve wild places and preserve the value for everybody. [00:11:09] Um, I can't even imagine a world where there's no wild elephants or wild lions, and we're getting there. We're really getting there. These animals are disappearing at unknown. I mean, just such fast, such as fast space. And I tell everybody, I talked to him like, if you really want to see wild animals in the wild, you have to go and you have to go now. [00:11:34] And the more people I believe, the more people who go and get to experience that amazing, like seeing what it really is like seeing life, how it is for these creatures, that they will gain value and people will understand the incredible value they have on them, the planet, the world, everything. And [00:12:00] I think, you know, there's a lot of really great, um, places out there that are doing a great job. [00:12:05] I mean, there's so many TV channels that you can find beautiful documentaries about these beautiful Sentium beings. And so you can, you can get it, you it's there and people are, are beginning to see it. And there's so much more, um, you know, there's so much more activity going on to save these animals now, which is, which is fabulous. [00:12:29] But me personally, I think actually being there in person is so different than watching it on your TV screen. It's just smelling the smells and hearing the sounds and seeing these creatures and watching their lives unfold before your eyes. It's just, you've been, you know, it's just an experience that stays with you and, and gets into your soul [00:12:55] Izolda Trakhtenberg: for life. [00:12:59] I'm taking all [00:13:00] of that in for a second. Yes. Yes. See that's this is me going. Yes. Yes. Lisa, keep going. Yes, absolutely. Yeah. It, you know, it's fascinating. I remember when I w when I was in South Africa, And we went, we went on a photo safari and we were in this little mini van and we pulled into this little, it, it was almost like a natural driveway. [00:13:24] It was this little natural sort of bordered, uh, drive in if you will, where I guess they took people a lot. And there was a, there were a couple of prides of lions hanging out. And first of all, I found out male lines kind of lazy that's for sure. But, but what was really interesting and, and I'm going to, I have a question in here somewhere, but it was really interesting to see what the lionesses did. [00:13:49] They started walking around our little van, just circling around it and circling around it. And one of them went and laid down behind the [00:14:00] little minivan and there was no way for us to leave and we were all going. And they're thinking you have got to run out of gas sometime, you know, and it was really interesting because we, you know, and the, and our driver was like, it's going to be fine. [00:14:12] She'll move. Everything will be fine. And it, and of course it was, but what it did for me is it really made me go, I am in a different place now and agave me this wonderful moment of awareness of my role. You know what I mean? Because, because I am not the king of the jungle, you know, people are not the Kings of the Jew. [00:14:36] This was very, it was very, eye-opening like, oh yeah, there a, it's sort of like a plate, your place in the universe kind of situation. So I'm wondering when you are out on safari and you're having these incredible experiences, how do you feel? You've said that they're magnificent and amazing, but how do you feel when you are there in that moment, observing and photographing these [00:15:00] incredible beings? [00:15:02] Oh, gosh, [00:15:03] Lisa Roberti: I've had so many incredible experiences. I've seen births, I've seen animals take their first steps. I have seen animals fighting for their lives. I've seen so many things and, and it's every, every moment is just, um, a moment of, of wonder and awe. And, you know, you would think I've been, I I've spent over 40 weeks just in, just in Africa, in Safin, wildlife, rich areas in Africa, plus, you know, all over other places around the world and it I'm still in awe, I'm still in wonder. [00:15:40] Um, I could, you know, I don't get bored and you see different things all the time. You see. Yeah, [00:15:49] Izolda Trakhtenberg: you just, [00:15:51] Lisa Roberti: I feel like I feel so special to be able to witness the, these [00:16:00] lives, you know, to, to actually to be there, to, to see what's happening. I've cried, tears of joy and tears of sorrow. I I've, you know, I've and I'm not going to say I've seen, you've never seen it all right in nature, but I I've just, I've seen so many things and, and, and, you know, even watching, uh, like you said, a PRI a coalition of male lions laying under a tree in the shade, sleeping. [00:16:25] And even that even just, just watching them breathing. I know it sounds crazy, but it's just this, this huge thousand pound animal lane right there, like 10 feet away from you while you're safely in your vehicle. [00:16:45] Izolda Trakhtenberg: That's just [00:16:45] Lisa Roberti: life for them. And, and you wonder you, like what, what does he dream about? What does he think about, you know, and it's crazy, but [00:16:55] Izolda Trakhtenberg: it's, it's [00:16:56] Lisa Roberti: just, it's just amazing. [00:16:57] And, and then when you see, [00:17:00] like, when you see, um, and I don't want to get into the sad stories, but I witnessed something that was incredibly sad. We had been following a very young lion Cub, um, and his pride for days and days and days. And then I witnessed him being killed by a herd of Buffalo. And you see the mother lioness and I mean, there was. [00:17:26] It was a herd of probably a thousand Buffalo. And this lioness was trying so hard to get to her Cub. And the Cub was just too, too small. It couldn't run away in time and to watch this lioness and trying to get in there and trying to, to protect her Cub and, and watching [00:17:46] Izolda Trakhtenberg: this, this defense's [00:17:47] Lisa Roberti: little creature being killed and it's, you know, and it's, it's nature and it's sad and I'm crying. [00:17:53] I'm bawling my eyes out. I couldn't even take pictures because it was like, this was one of my earlier trips and I'm [00:18:00] like, I, I just couldn't do it. And then, and then after finally, you know, the herd of Buffalo finally scattered and the fi the mom lioness, she kept searching and searching and searching for her Cub. [00:18:14] And she finally found the lifeless body. And it, and again, I don't need to get into a sad story, but it's, it's part of [00:18:22] Izolda Trakhtenberg: seeing. That [00:18:24] Lisa Roberti: these animals, and this is probably going to raise a lot of people's hair on the back of their necks. They have emotions, they care. She th the looks on her face, her behavior when she found her dead Cub, it, it was heartbreaking. [00:18:41] It was, um, and, and just to witness that and to see the lives of these animals. And again, this was all nature. It wasn't human impacted at all. And to see that, that the vulnerabilities they have, and then to witness the other side though, too, like I've seen [00:19:00] animals being born. I've seen animals taking their first stops, and it's just, [00:19:06] Izolda Trakhtenberg: it, it it's so [00:19:07] Lisa Roberti: incredible. [00:19:08] I don't even remember what your question was on a tangent, but it, and I'm just so into the moment. And it's just, it's an experience that goes into your soul, that. That stays with you forever. And even if it's just, like I said, lion, sleeping under a treat shade tree or witnessing something so intense like that or witnessing, I know everybody wants to see a, uh, see a kill or a hunt or whatever. [00:19:38] And, um, it doesn't have to be that intense. It's just every part of their lives. You see how every moment it's a life and death moment for these beings. And, you know, as humans, we should say, as humans in America, most of us don't live that way. I know there are some times where, where there is, but, you know, [00:20:00] we, we live sheltered lives. [00:20:01] We don't, we, or I should say I, because I know there are people on the planet, humans on the planet, and especially right now that are fighting for their lives, but there's so many of us that, um, you know, we get up, we go to work, we go to the grocery store and we don't think about life and death. And, and when you're there and you're witnessing it and you're seeing these animals of prey and the predators fighting every moment of their lives for survival, but also having empathy, um, seeing elephants grieving over a lost one and just put morning skulls of long lost elephants that they probably didn't even know. [00:20:44] I mean, there's so many levels of, there's so much [00:20:47] Izolda Trakhtenberg: depth to it, to every [00:20:50] Lisa Roberti: being and you have to see it, I think to really appreciate [00:20:55] Izolda Trakhtenberg: it. [00:20:59] [00:21:00] Thank you for sharing all of that. Wow. Wow. And yes, you shared a sad story, but it was such a profound one and it's, and it's true. I mean, even just looking at my domestic kitties at home, they have emotions. Obviously they have emotions, they are thinking and feeling beings and, and there's no doubt in my mind that every animal has that same level of, of sentients the thing that I, the thing that I personally struggle with is how, how do we raise that? [00:21:37] I know you said. Uh, and by that, by that, I mean, awareness, I know you said you have to experience it, but, but let's, let's face it. Most of us here in the USA, at least, uh, aren't going to go on safari. I, it would be cool if we could, but what else, what innovative ways could we experience this kind of connection that [00:22:00] you're talking about or close to it? [00:22:02] The park go, you know, [00:22:06] Lisa Roberti: watch your animals, watch your pets. Like you said, it all that like, even a lot of people have pets, but a lot of people don't really see their pets. They don't really see, like we are their life. We are their entire life. Like when you leave and you come back and look so excited to see. [00:22:30] You know, it's because we have every, you know, we have phone calls to people and we have all these other things and these and the animals, they just have us. And some people, sometimes we forget that and you can just look at your, your kid or your dog, or go to the park and, and, and just observe, um, birds even. [00:22:51] Um, or if you're lucky enough to live somewhere where there's Fox or, um, some other type of, of wildlife that you can safely [00:23:00] observe. Um, birds are probably the easiest and suburbia. Um, but you could just, I have a bird feeder, and again, that might raise a hair on some people's necks thinking that, you know, some people think that bird feeders are bad, but I have a bird feed of her right outside of my office. [00:23:17] And it's fascinating to watch the behavior at the feeder. And you just can learn so much about. Um, and I can't pick out individual birds. I mean, I know species and stuff, but like, I, I, you know, I wouldn't know, oh, this is the one that was here yesterday. I can't do that. But like watching, just, just watching them and taking a moment to stop all the noise and just breathe and take in nature just really puts you in a different space. [00:23:48] It, it, it brings you peace. It brings you like stopping for a moment, like stop and smell the roses, right. Just stop and be in nature. And you can do [00:24:00] that any almost anywhere in the world. And again, there's a lot of places you can, but you know, in, in the United States, especially, I mean, even, even big cities have parks, [00:24:11] Izolda Trakhtenberg: you know, and you could go to the park, [00:24:14] Lisa Roberti: you know, if you ha if you have, if you're lucky enough to have a backyard, You know, just sit in your backyard and just take a few moments to breathe, to hear, to listen, to smell, you know, listening to the birds, listening to the, the cicadas right now. [00:24:33] But it is it just, it really, if you just breathe it in and take a moment [00:24:39] Izolda Trakhtenberg: to just be, [00:24:42] Lisa Roberti: and forget about all the noise around you, meaning human noise, like meaning like all your to-do list and everything you have to do, and just, [00:24:53] Izolda Trakhtenberg: just enjoy the beautiful beauty of mother nature.[00:25:00] [00:25:02] Yes. See again. Yes, yes, yes, yes, absolutely. Yeah. I, you know, it's funny. I talked to my clients about that when I, when I'm doing coaching, we talk a lot about going for walks. That's a big one, go for walks and don't just look down. Look up. See what else is there? Say hello to the trees, all of those sorts of things. [00:25:21] Yes. It's C were, were, were mutual admiration society lease. I like that. Um, so, so all of that is, is really good. As far as bringing awareness, how do we bring awareness? And it can start small. I agree with you. Go outside, breathe. Look up, look at, look at the critters. Look at the plans. Look at the trees. [00:25:43] Spend some time in nature when we don't anymore. So many of us, I think we pass the tipping point relatively recently, where more of us live in urban areas than live in non-urban areas all over the planet, which is amazing. Cause that's a lot of planet. And so the question that I have for you is [00:26:00] going out for a walk is great. [00:26:02] Build a, starting to build that awareness is terrific. If I am at that place, if I've gone for my walks and I've figured out that this is something I want more of. What happens I noticed with people is that they go, oh, this is cool. I want more. So what's the next step for someone who wants in, in your, in your opinion, since you spent so much time traveling to these wild places, what's the next step for someone who's like, okay, I've got this awareness and now I want to do something else. [00:26:30] They may not have a lot of money, but, but something, what would you suggest someone do if they want to increase that connection? Okay. [00:26:41] Lisa Roberti: So the, so there's, there's a two part answer here. Um, if they want to do it too, for, for their own, for their own enjoyment, um, They're in most places again, around the United States, um, S you know, you could take a Saturday [00:27:00] afternoon and do some, do some, just Google homework about beautiful, um, bigger parks that are around or hiking areas that are around with, within a, you know, take a day trip or half a day trip. [00:27:13] Um, I live, I live in the cornfields and I haven't even seen a squirrel. I've lived here for two years and I've never even seen a squirrel. Um, but within, you know, a couple hour drive, I can get, um, to some, some beautiful areas and, and, and hike, and that doesn't cost any money or, or very little money. If there might be an interest entrance fee for the, for the park, of course, in the United States, we have some beautiful, um, national parks that, uh, people can go to. [00:27:44] And that, you know, if it, if it requires traveling and hotel stays, of course, that's going to add, um, Uh, an expense, but there's a lot of things you can do that, that don't. And that's the one part that's part, one of how do you get enjoyment out of it? Part [00:28:00] two, um, to learn more in everything is to start getting involved, um, and, and be aware of laws that are coming into play, um, that protect animals, um, even, you know, on cold rainy, you know, when, when, when winter comes and it's dark at four o'clock in the afternoon, there's great. [00:28:24] Documentaries about animals and wild places and that you can watch and immerse yourself that way. Um, there's a website that I would love to share. It's called explore.org, where they have live cams from all over the world and you can't, and, and it's not only wildlife. They even have like, um, where they're breeding puppies, um, for service dogs. [00:28:50] And you can see the puppies being bred for service dogs. And it's an amazing, um, non-for-profit, that's trying to help people connect [00:29:00] that, that can't maybe go to Africa or Alaska or Costa Rica, or, you know, any of these beautiful places. Um, and it's, and you can get, you can get lost and you can see it. And, um, and it's, it's amazing, but I, I would say the more you can get outside, just even around your house, Um, the more connected you you'll feel and the more at peace [00:29:26] Izolda Trakhtenberg: to absolutely. [00:29:29] And, you know, it's interesting during COVID times, that was one of the things that saved me was being able to step outside because you do go a little stir crazy when you're, when you're stuck in doors. So, and it doesn't have to be around a lot of people, if you can just go for a solo walk or something like that is amazing. [00:29:47] And, and yet there's, there's so much awareness we can build and so much appreciation we can build. And now, honestly, I want to go to the next step. [00:30:00] So let's say. You've gotten you've you've you've watched all the documentaries. You've read books. You've done. Let's say you want to go on a safari. What is a safari? [00:30:11] What? I know what I did. We went on a day trip, but I was there for work for NASA. So I wasn't on a safari. We just went on a day trip to see lions and hyenas and zebras. So it wasn't quite the same. But what, when someone says a safari, what are they saying? And how, how does one do that? What do you do to go on safari? [00:30:31] And what is it? [00:30:33] Lisa Roberti: So great question. Um, usually people talk about safaris in terms of Africa. Um, you can go to wildlife, rich places, anywhere in the world. Alaska happens to be one of my favorite places, but when people talk about safari, it's usually going to one of nine to 11 countries in Africa, and I've been to seven, um, safari rich, uh, places in Africa. [00:30:57] And I think people would be really surprised to [00:31:00] understand the amount of diversity of things that you can do when you go to Africa. Because a lot of people, and even my sister, I took her on safari and now she is absolutely hooked. She was like, you know, I think it might be boring just to drive around and look at animals. [00:31:16] And then she went and she can't get an off now she's this is. She's leaving in a couple of weeks for her third safari, but you can, um, you can do so. First of all, there's cultural. So you can do cultural visits and learn about the, the, the cultures. You can do conservation, where you learn about human wildlife conflict, and what's being done to help prevent that you can, um, do traditional safari would be where you're in a vehicle and you're driving around and you're stopping. [00:31:47] And you're looking at animals and watching behavior. You can do walking safaris, you can do balloon safaris. You can do horseback safaris. You can do, you can go on in some places. [00:32:00] You can go on ATVs. You can go fishing. You can like if you go to east Africa, you can. Part safari park beach, you can do. Um, whale-watching um, if you're in Southern Africa, you can tie a safari with wineries and, and wine businesses and Cape town. [00:32:18] Um, so I think there's, there's such a diversity of things that you can actually do on safari. And that's actually why I created this, this planner that I've created. I, and it's to help people realize all the opportunities and help them kind of narrow down what they actually really want on safari. The other thing too, is there's so many different places to go and so many different seasons. [00:32:43] And what do you really want to see, um, as far from, as far as animal life, because if you really want to see a rhino, there's certain places you can go where your opportunity is much greater to see a rhino. Then if you go to other places, um, and of course it's nature. So you're never guarantee. [00:33:00] Any citing, but, um, there's places where you can go where you really raise the, the opportunity or the possibility of seeing what, what you want to see. [00:33:10] And so I created this, this planner to kind of talk about all these different things. And, and also the other thing is a lot of people, you know, have a four seasons dream, but they have a best Western budget. And what do you do if, if you have that, if you're upside down and what you really want to do and what you can afford and, and how do you then not be disappointed. [00:33:33] And, um, so just things like that, you know, I, I discussed that. And then what if you have mobility issues or special eating requirements, um, how do you get around that? And then also just right now, traveling during COVID, I I've been on safari multiple times throughout COVID, I've been to Africa, um, Alaska and other places, and it's doable. [00:33:57] It's challenging and you need to know what to look for [00:34:00] to make sure you can navigate through and that you don't get stuck somewhere because you don't have the right tests or you don't have the right documentation. Um, so there's, there's actually a lot to go into it, but it's fun planning. The safari should be exciting and fun and something to look forward to. [00:34:20] Um, it's, it's part of the journey. Obviously the best part is actually being there, but it's part of the journey of, of, of getting to live your dream. I remember I had always dreamed of seeing animals in the wild, like, you know, went to the zoos and everything and I thought, oh my God, how amazing would it be? [00:34:41] And when I first started planning my first safari, it was. Oh, God, it was like the dream finally coming true. And it was so exciting to look at all the different opportunities and to see all the different ideas and the things that you could do. And, um, yeah, so that's, and then, and [00:35:00] then finding reputable companies, um, to work with, um, there, I've heard a lot of disaster stories of people, um, and it's, it's easy when you know what to look for. [00:35:14] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Cool. I want to go on his Fari again. That's cool. Yeah. You know, and it, it is so interesting to me. I love, I love Alaska also. I've been, and it's, it's in many ways. It's like, uh, it's just, uh it's so it's so different than anywhere else I've ever been. And so when I'm looking at this, when I'm thinking about, oh, I want to plan my safari and I want to go travel and I want to see wild places. [00:35:43] How do we do. Consciously, how do we, what, what, what do we need to do to, like I said, you know, take only photographs, leave, leave only footprints. I guess that's like an eco-tourism thing. What are your thoughts on that? What innovative ways could we, as people who [00:36:00] want to go on safari to, to, to commune with nature and to be, and observe these animals and nature, wherever we're, wherever we go, how do we do it? [00:36:11] Responsibly? [00:36:13] Lisa Roberti: Great, great question. And. That all ties into the company and the lodges. Um, there are a lot, there's a lot of choices out there when you go on safari. I, I just, um, picked up, uh, like a safari magazine and it's just pages and pages and pages of advertisements for different companies and different lodges and different everything. [00:36:40] And with the internet, now you can really do a lot of research and find the, the lodges that are eco-friendly, um, that are doing the right thing. Um, you can like there's, there's conservancies out there where they really limit the number of [00:37:00] people to make sure that there's, that there's not so many, um, people in a, in a small area so that the wild places are staying. [00:37:11] Christine. And, um, you can do that. There's, there's a lot of mass tourism, um, places. And then there's the, the eco-friendly places. And one thing that, um, most of these countries in Africa I've done actually better than first rule countries is most of them now have outlawed single use plastic and things like United States is not even talking about doing that. [00:37:36] Right. And, um, so just even supporting these countries and, and, and what they're doing is, is a big, is a big step, but yes, there are eco-friendly lodges that, um, where you, where you go in, or you can, like I said, you can do the research and they tell you about all the steps that they're doing to recycle, reuse, [00:38:00] um, the, the water systems. [00:38:02] They have the purification systems. They have to make, um, the least amount of impact on the land. As possible and those types of places, um, they're becoming more and more and more. It used to be few and far between, but now that people are becoming more aware of the environment, um, they, that's a big selling point for a lot of these places. [00:38:30] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I it's [00:38:30] Lisa Roberti: also, sorry, also, I'm sorry. It's also your, um, like if you do decide to go travel with a group or you decide to go on your own, who, the, the company that you book with, whether you book direct through lodges or you book through, um, uh, Africa specialist, those there's different levels there too, where some of them are more concerned about that. [00:38:54] And then others are more concerned about just pushing lots of people through. And again, you, you can tell. [00:39:00] If you're in, if you're familiar with eco-friendly, anything as you're, as you're reviewing and previewing, you can see, um, what they're doing, um, for eco eco-friendly they'll they'll offer carbon offset. [00:39:16] Um, I know even United airlines is doing carbon offset now. Um, they will, um, yeah. And they'll talk about it because that's a big point for a lot of people. So it's, it's out there. It's a little bit harder to find it's becoming easier and easier to find. Um, but even like I said, these countries even stopping single use plastic, you know, they're, they're, they're, they are trying really hard to preserve and make their countries more beautiful and pristine. [00:39:55] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Oh, that makes me so happy to hear that. It really does. I mean, I, I, cause I worry about [00:40:00] that. Not, not, not, I, you know, I'm not, I'm not trying to insult any, any developing nations or anything like that, but I want to be sure as, as you know, as a vegan, as someone who's, who tries to be very eco-conscious, I want to again, leave the smallest footprint possible. [00:40:18] So, so that's something that we we can do is we can look for these eco-friendly and, uh, environmentally conscious places to stay or trips to take. And I think that that's amazing. So if I what's the number one piece of advice you have for someone going, what, what's the thing that they absolutely either need to know or need to do. [00:40:44] Lisa Roberti: I think they need. I think the biggest thing that I've, I've seen and heard is for them to really understand what they want. What do you really want out of the safari? [00:41:00] What is your dream? What are you when you close your eyes? And you're like, I want to go on safari. I can't wait to go on safari. What does that look like? [00:41:09] And then making sure that what you book matches that or exceeds. Um, and that's where booking with somebody with a lot of Africa experience is critical because you may have these beautiful visions in your mind. Like you, you want, uh, uh, responsible tourism, you, you want minimal impact. Can you imagine if that was what your goal and ideal was? [00:41:38] And then you get there and you're in a lodge, that's got 200 rooms and it's just waste everywhere. Like that would be devastating to you. So really understanding what it is that is important to you, what your dream is, and then making sure that your booking [00:42:00] matches that and exceeds that so that when you go it's everything you've dreamed about and so much more and so much. [00:42:10] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I love that. And I have a tough question for you right now, because that part was great. The part that I'm, that I get concerned about is what we can do. Some, some of the practices that I have read about and, and, and heard about are abusive to the wildlife and, you know, and, and sort of tourists, you know, like elephants painting or, or, you know, or any, they can't, that, that, that can't be real. [00:42:42] That can't be something that is, that is the elephant. When you know what I'm going to grab a paintbrush and I'm going to paint a cat. I cannot imagine that that's something they elephant decided that she wanted to do. So. So how do we, is it, do we vote with our dollars? How do we, how do we [00:43:00] avoid practices that could be abusive to the, to the very animals we want to see and protect. [00:43:07] Lisa Roberti: Awesome. Question. Thank you so much for bringing this up because this is, this is something I talk about all the time. So almost any experience where, and I'm going to say almost because this is not a hundred percent true and I'll explain the caveat. So almost any experience where you can be hands-on with an animal is led with abuse. [00:43:35] Um, so, and I'm, I'm. In South Africa, and this is changing. Thank God that they're changing the laws over there in South Africa, they, they used to have this thing where they would get tourism, tourists to pay big money, to come and raise the orphaned lion Cubs so that they can return them into the wild where what they're actually doing is they're raising these Cubs. [00:43:57] They're getting money income from the tourist [00:44:00] pain to play with these Cubs. And then when the Cubs got big enough, then they would go into canned hunts and they'd be slaughtered. And of course they weren't telling the people that there's also opportunities where you can, um, walk with cheetahs. And again, that these animals are, um, abused and tortured in order to. [00:44:21] Betaine quote, unquote enough to do that paint, brushing with elephants or painting the elephants painting or playing basketball. Um, the pictures I have seen in the stories of the abuse that these animals endure, the whipping, the everything that they go through to learn and to hold a paintbrush and to do these things. [00:44:42] And, and of course there it's being touted as, um, a sanctuary. And it's just not anything that it, if you ever see an, an animal doing something that it is not in its normal repertoire, it's been [00:45:00] abused to do that. And, um, and I say almost always, there are several places that, uh, Where you do have opportunity, um, to, to be a little bit more close, where it truly is a sanctuary and these animals aren't abused. [00:45:17] One is Sheldrick, wildlife trust. Um, routinely also has one in San Bruin is again elephants where they take orphaned baby elephants. And the elephants are orphaned due to poaching, um, human wildlife conflict, or natural deaths. And they raise these babies and then they reintroduce them into the wild and they have this huge success. [00:45:37] And in order to raise money, they do allow people to come and view the babies. And, um, and so there's it in one hand, you're like, oh, is this, is this one of those bad things? Or is this one of those good things? And it's sometimes even for me, I have to do a lot of research. To, to make sure that I'm only supporting the ones that are actually [00:46:00] doing good work and, um, shelter glide, wildlife trust is one in Nairobi, Kenya. [00:46:05] And then, um, drafts center is another one where you can actually feed the giraffes. And again, my normal checklist, that would be an absolute no-no. But because I did the research and I did the homework to know that these are wild drafts, they're accustomed to people. It was it's, um, it's a draft subspecies. [00:46:27] It's very endangered Rothschild giraffe that they had, um, brought in to try and repopulate them. And they do reintroduce them back into the wild. Um, and it's like, what steps are they're taking? What measures are they taking to make sure they're not getting too used to humans? Um, and that we aren't impacting their normal lives. [00:46:45] Like it's not normal for a human to feed a giraffe. So like where is that line? And in some places, the line is a little blurry. Giraffe Centre because they're doing really good work. The animals are not abused [00:47:00] in other places is so it's so crystal clear that this is just bad and such a case as like you pointed out the elephants that are painting, like they are just absolutely abused. [00:47:11] They're performing things. They don't normally perform. Um, when you're feeding the draft giraffe center there they're eating. Like they would normally eat, they're reaching out with their tongue and they're grabbing it as if it were a leaf on a tree, you know? So it's not, they're not doing something that's abnormal taking it out of a human hand. [00:47:28] Yeah. That's abnormal versus an elephant, you know, holding a paintbrush and painting strokes. That's just not normal behavior. So it's it's. Yeah. And I've had to research there's, there's an elephant sanctuary. Um, In Indonesia that I'm interested in and visiting, but I'm still on the fence about whether this is a true sanctuary or not. [00:47:52] And I'm trying to do a lot more research and sometimes it's really hard to know. Um, and, and of course we [00:48:00] don't want to contribute to abuse of any kind. [00:48:05] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Completely and absolutely, totally. And for sure. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, for sure. And it's interesting, uh, many years ago, uh, I was part, uh, I was a volunteer at the national zoo for the golden lion tamarin project and it was reintroducing them into the wild and they weren't in cages. [00:48:24] Right. So, so our job was to, uh, sort of make sure that they're the key where they were was, was okay for them to be, and we would sort of leave food where they might find it, but they weren't in cages. They were above people's heads. Right. And, and sort of running around in, in the trees and along the ropes and things like that to get. [00:48:47] To be used to being outside so that they could be reintroduced back into the wild and south America. What was interesting about that is how much, and I'm not a zoo fan. I will be very honest. I do not. I do [00:49:00] not like zoos animals don't belong in cages. I, that I have to say, but being part of that project for me was eye-opening because the people, the individual people I was working with cared so very much about making sure that these endangered beings would have a real chance at living in the wild. [00:49:21] And that's something that, that we have to remember that that wa as soon as they are, um, in connection with, with human. Beings that that changes. And so I'm wondering, what are your thoughts on rehabilitation or no reintroduction, I guess I would say of animals back into the wild. Can, can that happen in a way that is really safe and good for them? [00:49:51] And, and how do we weigh that if, if not doing the rehabilitation and helping them would just end up in their [00:50:00] deaths? [00:50:01] Lisa Roberti: Yeah. So I'm going to go back to David shelter, wildlife trust out of Nairobi. Um, they have successfully, and I don't know the numbers off the top of my head. I, um, they have successfully reintroduced, I think it's over a hundred elephants. [00:50:20] Um, and. The success stories are incredible because again, they take them when they're babies, they stay in Nairobi national park. When they get, um, Nairobi national park, doesn't have elephants, um, it's too small, but they have these baby elephants that are cared for by humans. And then when they get big, they bring them into, they have three different re-integration units and then it is, they slowly reintegrate themselves into the wild herds. [00:50:49] And again, there's people taking care of them, giving, making sure they're being fed, making sure they're being cared for. And then the wild herds come in and they slowly, um, in some of them can take 10, 15 [00:51:00] year before they, they actually become wild. And it's amazing because now they've had females that have been reintroduced in the wild who have gone off in the wild herds, actually having babies with wild elephants. [00:51:13] And because they supply water sources, a lot of times they will come back. Um, and it's really interesting. And again, this is a huge success story. Um, they've actually had, and again, it goes to the intelligence of wild animals. They've actually had a wild bull who, who was meeting with one of the ex orphan females was speared. [00:51:38] And two of his bull buddies, you know, to show us three male, um, bull elephants actually came into the re-introduction unit looking for help. Wow. [00:51:49] Izolda Trakhtenberg: And, [00:51:49] Lisa Roberti: and of course they were cared for and everything by the veterinarian staff there. Um, so in some cases that, that re-introduction, it's, it it's phenomenal [00:52:00] and they've shown it time and time again, like with elephants it's possible with the monkeys. [00:52:04] I hopefully that, that the tamarins, hopefully that was a success story and that they were able to do that. They've done it with Eagles. They've done it. Um, the, the ones that I've never heard a success story of is, um, predators, because how do you take. And teach it how to hunt. How do you take a Cub and teach it how to hide? [00:52:26] How do you take, you know, and, and I've never heard of a successful, um, re well, actually that's not true. Um, gosh, there's the famous story and I'm, I'm drawing a total blank right now. How can I about the, the man and wife who rescued the three lions? The Cubs? Oh yeah. [00:52:44] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Three. Yes, yes, yes, [00:52:45] Lisa Roberti: yes. And they, and they successfully reintroduced them into the wild and man, it took them a long, long, long time to do that. [00:52:54] Um, so I think it's, I think, gosh, the more wild animals that, that are [00:53:00] impacted by human wildlife conflict that we can save and bring back into the wild, I man, those people, they have hearts of gold and they work their tails off and they're so passionate and I would love, I would, gosh, I would love to be involved with something like. [00:53:19] Did I answer your question? Yes, [00:53:20] Izolda Trakhtenberg: yes, no, you, you, you absolutely did. It's really, you know, that, that, that notion of how, how we, we can participate, but do so in a non invasive way to help these endangered beings that wouldn't be endangered. If not for us anyway, is something that I, I need to. Go further, you know, I need to, personally, I need to, I need to look at that more. [00:53:56] How can we do that in a noninvasive way so that [00:54:00] we're helping and not hurting the wild places and the wild beings that are on those places are in those places. You know? And, and I think it's, I think their names were the, was it the Adamson's Georgia? Yeah. For born free and, and, and there are other, there are other people who spend their lives dedicated to. [00:54:21] You know, preserving these wild places and, and helping animals. So, so it's not, it's not hopeless, but wow. We, we, you know, I think we all could do more to participate in helping, especially since there are people out there who are participating in hurting those places, so, and, and those animals. So we, you know, and, and do you have any recommendations about if somebody wants to get involved and help, uh, do you know of any places that, that someone could go, you know what I would like to get involved in a reputable place that's, that's working to preserve wild places [00:55:00] could be in the USA, could be in other places, doesn't matter. [00:55:02] Where would you send someone? [00:55:05] Lisa Roberti: So a lot of these, um, and this is, this is where it gets really kitschy again, because. A lot of the places, they can't just take regular volunteers, like people, untrained people. Um, there's a lot of reasons for that one day and I'm, and I'm going to use shelter again because they are such a success story. [00:55:31] So they don't want the elephants getting used to people. They get used to their candlers, their keepers, um, and they were specific jackets, specific coats. They all wear the same style and color of coat. They wear the same clothes they wear the same. So the elephants aren't necessarily making a generalization about humans. [00:55:54] So they don't allow. Um, volunteers and, and, and, you know, as a person who wants to, [00:56:00] it's like, oh, come on. But I'm a good person. Just let me come and help. But they, for the safety and the sake of the animals, they can't do that. And there again, there's, there's, there are places that will allow you to volunteer. [00:56:12] Um, and there's, there's a couple companies and I, and I'm sorry, I don't know the name off, off the top of my head. There are a couple of companies that actually set up volunteering, travel, where you actually go and you volunteer. And a lot of them are more for, um, like kids, like schools, like where you can go and volunteer at schools, which is also imperative because the, you know, these children, if they grow up to see the value of the wildlife and the wild places, they're going to help preserve it. [00:56:41] Right. So that's, that part is really also very important, but, um, there's not a lot of hands on true animal volunteering. W really wild places like Africa, Alaska, stuff like that, but that doesn't prevent people from getting involved [00:56:59] Izolda Trakhtenberg: at [00:57:00] home. [00:57:01] Lisa Roberti: Um, you know, there's some great opportunities, like even just like preserving in parks, keeping the parks, clean, volunteering at animal shelters, um, doing that kind of work. [00:57:13] It's hard work and it can be heartbreaking, but it's so rewarding as well. And just, you know, let's start with, and again, I'm a huge Africa. Uh, lover, but, but sometimes we gotta start at home too. Like what can you do at your, your park across the street or across town? Is there something that, that can be done to help preserve that too? [00:57:37] You know, let's do a trash cleanup day. Let's do a, and there's lots of volunteering opportunities at, at animal shelters. Um, but there are a few in, in Africa, um, that, that you can find. Um, but they're, they're not as wide as, as it would be nice if they weren't just because again, for the safety of the animals, they can't just [00:58:00] open it up to. [00:58:02] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Sure. Absolutely. And I think that the notion of I'm going to go volunteer with animals, you know, that that's something that would take a lot of study and you'd, you'd have to spend a long time getting prepared for that, but there are people, if they have a passion for it that do pursue something like that and, and can eventually, and I think you're absolutely right. [00:58:23] And I agree with you wholeheartedly, this notion that we can do something here, you can do something in your, in your backyard. You can do something in the park, you can do something in the animal shelter. There are lots of ways to participate in elevating awareness and in helping that don't necessarily mean you get on a plane and go to another place. [00:58:42] You could do it across town or even across the street. So I, your, your point is well made and well taken. Lisa, I really appreciate you saying that because yeah, I think we can, we can do it. It doesn't have to be a grand gesture to be a really important. Anyway. Well, it's, [00:58:58] Lisa Roberti: it's like they say, you know, [00:59:00] and I don't remember exactly how the proverb goes. [00:59:02] If that's the right word, you know, walking down the beach and you're throwing one starfish in when there's a thousand starfish and it's like, you can't save them all, but that one act is really important to the one that you did save. [00:59:14] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Exactly. And the last line of that story is it made a difference to that one. [00:59:17] Yeah. I love that story. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I could keep you here for the next, I don't know how long, because this is fantastic and I really appreciate you taking the time, Lisa and I do know that you have a life to get back to. So I was wondering if you know, you're doing this, this document for all of the, uh, for people who want to plan a safari, what does I think is great, but also if people want to see your photographs and learn more about the work you're doing, would you mind sharing your social channels? [00:59:47] Where could someone who wants to go find you find. [00:59:51] Lisa Roberti: So I'm on Instagram and Facebook. And it's Lisa M as in Mary, just the initial we set em, Roberto, R O B E R T. [01:00:00] I, um, I also have a YouTube channel that I'm just starting out, but I, because I don't have enough followers, I don't have my, my, my pen name yet. [01:00:08] Um, but you can just search for me there. And in there I do a lot of different travel stuff and lodge reviews and, um, things like that. And I'm just starting on, on that. I also have a Facebook group, um, called wildlife travel and con and conservation. Um, and that's a place where I talk about, um, animal conservation laws that are coming up wins. [01:00:29] Um, devastations and also talk all things travel, um, to wildlife, rich places around the world. It's not just Africa, but it's. [01:00:37] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Fabulous. Thank you so much for sharing. And I'm going to put all of that along with some of Lisa's fabulous photographs on the show notes page. You're going to want to check that out for sure. [01:00:47] And, and learn more about the incredible work Lisa's doing and. Just see the photos. They're so beautiful. I love them. You sent them to me and I'm like, these are awesome. So, [01:01:00] and you know, and, and you have a really amazing, I, I really just, you, you, you are able to capture such life and such spirit in, in every photograph that I've seen you take is wonderful. [01:01:14] Thank you so much, my, oh no, thank you. I appreciate it. Cause I can't go necessarily to Africa, but boy, I'm going to watch you guys. So I, I know that's kind of silly cause I'm going to go to Africa again for sure. And I and Costa Rica. And I want to go back to Alaska. There's so many places, you know, so many places to go, but I want to, I'll always try to do it responsibly. [01:01:36] You know, with enough money to actually go, that's always a good thing. Uh, so I have just one question that I ask everybody who listens to the show. You know, the question, the try, you listen to the podcast. So everyone, everyone who comes on the podcast knows this question. Here's this question? So here it is. [01:01:53] If you had one thing that you wanted to say, because you had an airplane C I T, and [01:02:00] because I'm not thinking about it, I said it wrong. If you had an airplane that could sky write anything for the whole world to see, what would you say? You know, [01:02:08] Lisa Roberti: I, I knew this question was coming. I don't like, ah, and I, and I'm like, what's, what's the few words, cause it's behind an airplane. [01:02:15] So, you know, it's gotta be short, it's sustained. And I'm like, okay. So really the quick short spend time in nature. [01:02:26] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I love that it's, it's [01:02:28] Lisa Roberti: simple. It's so important. And it really, I think the more people spend time in nature, the more people will love it. And then people are going to want to preserve it. [01:02:38] Because they're in it and they love it so much. [01:02:41] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Ah, that's a great, yeah, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And you will, I mean, the second you spend time breathing chlorophyll, rich air because you're out in your trees, it's going to change you. So I love that. Wow. Thank you so much for that, Lisa. I am so grateful that you took the [01:03:00] time to be here and I'm super excited for people to learn more about you and more about your work. [01:03:05] Thank you so much. Thank [01:03:07] Lisa Roberti: you so much for having me. It was such a pleasure chatting with you and, um, I really appreciate your time. Thank [01:03:12] Izolda Trakhtenberg: you. So it was all my pleasure. This is Izolda Trakhtenberg for the innovative mindset podcast. You obviously need to go check out Lisa birdie and her amazing work and all of the wild places she talked about. [01:03:24] Eventually. I think you should do. You should do that too. If you're liking the show, do me a favor, tell a friend, tell a friend about the show and tell a friend about all of the cool, innovative stuff we're talking about until next time. This is his older Trakhtenberg for the innovative mindset podcast, reminding you to listen, learn, laugh, and. [01:03:43] A whole lot. [01:03:49] thanks so much for joining me today. I really appreciate you being here. Please subscribe to the podcast if you're new and if you like what you're hearing, please review it and rate it and let other people know. [01:04:00] And if you'd like to be a sponsor of the show, I'd love to meet you on patrion.com/innovative mindset. [01:04:07] I also have lots of exclusive goodies to share just with the show supporters there today's episode was produced by Izolda Trakhtenberg and his copyright 2021 as always, please remember, this is for educational and entertainment purposes. Only past performance does not guarantee future results, although we can always hope until next time, keep living in your innovative mindset. * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love!


    Mindful Friday - Romance

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 29, 2021 7:51

    Nourish an intimate and romantic relationship from within and from without. This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 Connect with me Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/izoldat/ * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love!

    Speak From Within - Intro to how to engage, inspire, and motivate your audience

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 28, 2021 11:33

    Every Collaboration Thursday! I'll be reading you my book on how to communicate and present like a pro. This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 Connect with me https://IzoldaT.com * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love!

    A way to show compassion to yourself, others, and the whole planet

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2021 7:45

    Try this. It's fun, and it shows great compassion while also being creative. This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love!  

    How to create your own creativity crucible

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2021 9:07

    Try this! Tell a Story in a Super Cool Way. This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 It's cool, and it works! We all tell stories. We can all write stories. It helps we have some constraints to help us dream and cook those stories up. This exercise will help you do that! * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love!  

    Climate activist and award-winning actor Aria McKenna on the crucial story of our time

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2021 65:06


    Aria McKenna on storytelling and world-changing for the climate and the environment This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 Aria McKenna is an actress, writer and producer turned climate advocate. She founded Global Cooling Productions and is in development with several mission-driven projects. She trained with Al Gore as part of his Climate Reality Leadership Corps and has studied, worked, and presented with organizations such as The American Sustainable Business Council, Citizens Climate Lobby, American Renewable Energy DAY, EarthX, and the Cooperative Impact Social Innovation Conference. She is currently working with the Healthy Climate Alliance and the Planetary Restoration Action Group to advocate for an emergency three-pronged approach to restore the climate to safe levels. Connect with Aria Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/revolutionearth/ Website: https://www.ariamckenna.com/index.html Petition on Climate change  Global Cooling Productions' Patreon  Episode transcript [00:00:00] Aria McKenna: I feel like there is an incredible power in storytelling and that the media can be used to help pull people along and to engage them long enough to get them to have a deeper understanding of the situation. And to care deeply about changing it. [00:00:29] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Hello and welcome to the innovative mindset podcast. I'm your host Izolda Trakhtenberg on the show. I interview peak performing innovators in the creative social impact and earth conservation spaces or working to change the world. This episode is brought to you by brain FM brain FM combines the best of music and neuroscience to help you relax, focus, meditate, and even sleep. [00:00:49] I love it and have been using it to write, create, and do some of my deepest work because you're a listener of the show. You can get a free trial head over to brain.fm/innovative [00:01:00] mindset. To check it out. If you decide to subscribe, you can get 20% off with the coupon code, innovative mindset, all one word, and now let's get to the show. [00:01:13] Hey there and welcome to the innovative mindset podcast. My name is Izolda Trakhtenberg, I'm your host, and I'm thrilled that you're here. I'm also thrilled and honored and think this is so important. So you need to know that to welcome my guests this week. Aria McKenna is an actress writer and producer turned climate. [00:01:32] Catnip to me, as you know, she founded global cooling productions and is in development with several mission-driven projects. She trained with Al gore as part of his climate reality leadership core and a studied work and presented with organizations such as the American sustainable business council. [00:01:49] Citizens' climate lobby, American renewable energy day, earth X, and the cooperative impact social innovation conference. She's currently working with the healthy climate Alliance and the [00:02:00] planetary restoration action group to advocate for an emergency three pronged approach to restore the climate to safe levels, such important work aria. [00:02:09] I'm so glad that you're here. I'm so glad that you're doing the work that you're doing. Welcome. [00:02:14] Aria McKenna: Thank you so much. It is great to be here. I have really been enjoying doing my research on you and seeing what amazing work you're doing and the commonalities we have with the voiceover background as well. I really love your, oh, [00:02:31] Izolda Trakhtenberg: thank you so much. [00:02:32] And we have another commonality. I worked for years for the globe program, which was a, it's a joint NASA NOAA NSF program. K through 12, designed to teach students all about, uh, the environment, the earth. And it was, the idea was started by Al gore in his book earth in the balance. So we sort of have Al gore in common as well. [00:02:53] Oh, [00:02:53] Aria McKenna: wow. I love that. Yeah. I know you've been doing some education. I also did some educational outreach [00:03:00] with the Cleo Institute. Ah, fabulous. [00:03:04] Izolda Trakhtenberg: It's such important work. It really is. And, and, you know, I want to just, I want to jump right in and I mean, obviously this is important work and we know that the G 20 summit is happening at the end of the week in Rome. [00:03:19] So I want to talk to you about what, what importance you think the these countries can play in bringing the climate back to safe level. [00:03:31] Aria McKenna: Yeah, no, thank you. Um, it is absolutely huge and so important that we get countries on the same page together to create a collective action plan that actually has the power to restore the current. [00:03:53] Um, as part of a healthy climate Alliance and the political, the planetary [00:04:00] restoration action group, we are working to help forward the mission of educating people about the difference between climate restoration and reducing climate change to less than two degrees, which right now is what the United nations has agreed to. [00:04:21] So we know that there has been some work in, in this direction. It's wonderful to get countries on board, agreeing to a goal, to deal with the climate. First of all, you know, let's just say that first. Um, but right now their goal is to reach net zero by 2050. And we know that carbon dioxide and methane do not just automatically disappear from the atmosphere on their own. [00:04:55] So we are continuing to put greenhouse gases [00:05:00] in the atmosphere. And so it's going to keep on warming and we know that warming is leading to extreme weather. Uh, what happened with hurricane Ida caused $95 billion. Just that one. So we need investments in turning this around. So what we're advocating for is a three-pronged approach to restoring the climate to safe levels. [00:05:31] Those are levels that are pre-industrial levels that humans have lived safely within for, for some time. So if we actually brought carbon dioxide down to 300 parts per million, then that is actually known to be safe. Uh, right now we've got, uh, three 50 has been a goal where we know that if you go [00:06:00] beyond three 50, it's not safe. [00:06:03] So we actually have the power, not only to reduce our carbon footprint and to reduce the amount of methane we put in the atmosphere, but we actually have the power to draw those greenhouse gases down. And as we draw them down, we help reduce warming. So those are two major steps that need to happen to move us toward climate restoration. [00:06:30] And then the planetary restoration action group has introduced the third step, which is the emergency mitigation that we need to do in response to how quickly the Arctic is melting. So right now we're looking at massive sea level rise, which is a serious environmental injustice situation, especially when it comes to small [00:07:00] nations of Florida is, is, you know, half of Florida is going to be gone. [00:07:05] So we need to deal with sea level rise as well. So if we just have goals to reduce warming, we are not doing anything to reverse sea level rise or to. Or to deal with the, uh, massive injustice that is thrust upon small countries around the world. So we are advocating for a three pronged approach that deals with the emergency situation of an escalating crisis that has completely disrupted our weather systems and led to flooding, uh, droughts, fires, uh, all around the world. [00:07:51] So, um, you know, we really need to change that goal, create a positive vision for the future and to really pull, [00:08:00] pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and create a plan to turn the situation around so that we can have a safe planet for our children. [00:08:12] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Wow. Um, I'm taking all this in. Cause it's it. And here's the thing I've worked in earth science when I worked at NASA for years. [00:08:24] And so I understand all of this and I, and I get it and yet it's still, it's still overwhelming. And so the thing that I come up against, whenever I'm talking to anybody about climate change and the climate crisis is how do we get people to think long-term about this? Because we can look at today's weather and go, oh, it rained today, but it didn't rain yesterday and it's not going to rain tomorrow. [00:08:50] Those changes are easy. But when we're looking at the climate, we're looking at long-term trends and patterns and how do, how do we come up with, and, [00:09:00] and what are your thoughts on this? How do we come up with innovative ways? To get people to understand the causality there that the climate changing is what's causing some of these extreme weather events and, and wildfires and all of these other catastrophes that you mentioned just a minute ago, how do we get that causality to connect in people's minds? [00:09:27] Aria McKenna: I think that's an excellent question. And I have so many different things that pop into my mind in response to that. Uh, one of them is the importance of keeping these things in people's mind, because exactly what you say. We have these disasters and when it's on the news, people go, oh my God. Wow. Oh, I can't believe that. [00:09:53] And of course, if you're personally affected by it, that that's, that's, uh, affecting you on a whole nother level. Right. [00:10:00] But once it goes away, You go on to other things, you start thinking about other things you think about, you know, what am I going to eat? How am I going to take care of my kids? What am I going to do about these immediate things that are right in front of me? [00:10:16] So we need that kind of long-term engagement that helps to educate people and emotionally charged them to take the kinds of actions that will actually make a difference in the world. Right? So for me, personally, my personal approach to this is that I feel like there is an incredible power in storytelling and that the media can be used to help pull people along and to engage them. [00:10:58] Long enough to [00:11:00] get them to have a deeper understanding of the situation and to care deeply about changing it. So, you know, I've got some projects that I'm working on. I'm not going to go into full detail, but I do want to say that I think that when we tell stories, people, people care about people and they care about their children. [00:11:29] And, and so many people care about the planet that we live on. Right. And that's across political divides. Unfortunately, the issue of climate has absolutely been politicized. There has been a lot of misinformation propagated by the fossil fuel industry and, and other industries that, that gain to profit. [00:11:55] Right? So we're fighting a lot when it comes [00:12:00] to focusing on climate, some people are gonna hop a board, they're gonna get the connections and they're going to take action in response to those connections. But there are other people who might not get the connection ever, honestly, It might take them a lot longer. [00:12:23] And the good news is that I think there are multiple ways in because the same things that are affecting the climate are also affecting our drinking water. They're affecting the air that we breathe. They're creating childhood cancer. They are, uh, affecting people's breathing asthma emphysema. There are so many direct causalities and environmental injustices tied to [00:13:00] the fossil fuel industry. [00:13:02] That I do think that when we educate people about these issues as well, we end up getting double benefits. So I think that the, one of the things that's difficult with us when it comes to the news cycle is you talk about how many people are affected when it's a statistic. And when it's an overwhelming statistic, we shy away from it. [00:13:26] It feels overwhelming. There's nothing we can do about it. But if you tell a story about one person and how they're affected, and people care about that person and they can make connections to their own lives and how they're being affected that I think has more power when it comes to. Energizing people and inspiring people to make personal changes. [00:13:55] Does that make sense? [00:13:57] Izolda Trakhtenberg: It does. It does. Absolutely. It's [00:14:00] just the thing that, the thing that I'm concerned about as I think about what you're saying, and as I take it in is, again, that notion of, if somebody is going through surviving through a hurricane, are they going, oh, well this is due to climate change or are they going, oh, let me get to higher ground or lower ground or whatever it is I need to do to protect myself and my family. [00:14:24] Right. And then later that connection that you're talking about has to be restated or reinforced because they might not know. And so what do we do? Oh, hold on one sec. [00:14:44] I had to cough there for a second. Didn't want to cough. What do we do? To, I don't want to say befriend, but to align with these industries that traditionally either don't [00:15:00] care or don't see that, that the work that they're doing is causing. These grave and big changes on a planetary scale, right? The fossil fuel industry, isn't going anywhere for the foreseeable future. [00:15:15] Is there a way in your mind to get them to change their practices? I mean, I know farmers who are stopping doing dairy production, cow, you know, keeping cows and cows are some of the biggest methane producers. And there've been new farmers in the news recently that have said, you know what, I'm going completely vegan. [00:15:37] I'm just going to go to plant farming, things like that are happening. Do you think it is possible for the fossil fuel industry to pivot? And if so, what would it take for them to start looking at new ways, more sustainable ways of treating our home planet? Kind of. [00:15:56] Aria McKenna: Well, I think that's where the [00:16:00] international community comes in for one thing right now. [00:16:04] So many governments are subsidizing the fossil fuel industry to the tune of billions and billions of dollars. Right? [00:16:11] Izolda Trakhtenberg: So, [00:16:14] Aria McKenna: and they're not giving the same kinds of funds to clean energy in general, you know, at least in this country, it's not par or it hasn't been in the past. So those are things that we need to change. [00:16:29] And fortunately, the cost for electric, uh, you know, uh, solar energy, wind, energy, electrification, all of these things, the costs have gone down so much that right now, there is so much financial incentive to actually change their ways. So it's actually, I'm trying to remember where I had read this. Oh shoot. [00:16:58] There was, um, [00:17:00] a recent, there was, there was a meeting and it had to do with the fossil fuel industry and they actually ended up coming to the conclusion. There were some, oh, I don't know if I tell the story properly. I'm sorry. Um, but, but the bottom line, I'll just say that they had come to the conclusion. [00:17:21] They realized that it was no longer in their financial benefit to continue business as usual. And there were some stakeholders who actually drew a line and said, no, we have to change. [00:17:35] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I love that I, that gives me some hope. It really does, you know, and you know, it's interesting what you were saying about, I have so many questions. [00:17:43] Uh, well, you were saying about storytelling is so true that if that, if we talk about, uh, climate change on a, on a global scale, or even on a city scale, when I work with kids and we'll talk about, uh, Cape town and then breaching getting very close to date day zero, where they [00:18:00] have no more water supplies and they, they keep pushing it back because the rain comes just enough. [00:18:07] The kids themselves, I was working. Remember I was working with a bunch of sixth graders. They got it. And then they went, can we ship water to. And it was a really interesting question, because then we talked about what it would take, the, the resources it would take to ship water from at this point, this was Washington DC to Cape town, South Africa. [00:18:28] And could we ship enough and all of that. And, and so talking about these stories, got the kids really interested in what they could do. They're tomorrow's decision makers. And I know that you, as you said, love stories and you started as an actor and you've transformed your mission. It sounds like to tell stories about the planet about climate. [00:18:52] And I'm just wondering, how did that happen? What made you go from I'm a performer [00:19:00] on stage or screen to I'm an advocate and an activist on behalf of the planet and the. [00:19:07] Aria McKenna: Yeah. No, thank you. Um, I'm I'm glad you asked that. Um, I'll just say to, to start off, I'll say that I grew up in Florida and Florida is absolutely beautiful. [00:19:24] I'm I'm I'm partial. Okay. We've got these incredible beautiful crystal clear Springs. We've got these incredible lakes. It's, it's a water place. Obviously we're a peninsula. I grew up in the water, swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. Uh, so these things are really important to me. I've always loved nature. Uh, it it's been a solace to me, so I actually was, you know, play, uh, down in key west. [00:19:54] I was playing Betty in summers in, in, uh, Betty summer vacation [00:20:00] and I was Snoopy diving. Um, and a, a diving, Snoopy diving. It's amazing. You don't have to get a scuba diving certificate. All you, you can be in your bathing suit and you put a snorkel on and the snorkel goes all the way up and it connects to a boat that's filled with oxygen. [00:20:25] So you just breathe the air and the boat just, it's like a little raft and it floats above you. So you can go way down. And I was exploring, uh, the world's third largest coral reef there. It was so beautiful. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life to be down there and to feel like a fish. [00:20:47] It was, it was incredible. And I was down for about a half an hour. And when I came up, I just was like, oh my God, I'm so affected by this. This was so beautiful. [00:21:00] So incredible. And the guy. Told me that the water, her warming, he's the first person who told me about global warming. And he said that those coral reefs were dying because of the warming oceans. [00:21:20] And it just devastated me. I couldn't believe that something like this was going to be wiped out and I'd always wanted to have a daughter. It was just one of those things that was in me. And I remember that was one of my first thoughts was someday when I do have a daughter, is she going to be able to experience this? [00:21:46] This is something I would love to share with my kids, but this, this could be gone by that. So that just affected me a lot. And, but I, I went on, I did the [00:22:00] play, I moved to New York city. I started my career and moved there right before September 11th, which was a pretty intense time. Um, but the entire time I was up in New York and I remember there was the Gulf oil spill that happened, and that was absolutely devastating. [00:22:22] And meanwhile, being up in Brooklyn, I found I was having a lot of difficulty breathing, uh, because of all the traffic and, uh, you know, just the, the air pollution. And there was an oil spill up in the Queens area and I was living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and every time I went over to the water, I struggled to breathe just because of that. [00:22:47] So I had health repercussions and. I also simultaneously was seeing the Gulf of Mexico be absolutely devastated and destroyed. And that was my childhood [00:23:00] playground, you know, so just seeing so much, you know, my health being robbed by the fossil fuel industry, uh, the devastation and the goal, knowing, you know, seeing sea turtles that I knew were, were being devastated by, uh, the, the horrible oil spill. [00:23:20] So just the passion kept building in me. And, you know, after I moved to New York, I also had my daughter, my daughter Phoenix was, was born, um, after I moved to New York. So of course, as a mom, your sense of responsibility for the world that they're living in. Just becomes so much greater. So it, you know, it was a struggle back and forth for some time. [00:23:51] And I just, it just, I was getting work in TV and [00:24:00] I just started feeling like, what is the impact of the work that I'm doing? This is not having the impact that I want to have. I felt like I was being cast in things that just perpetuated fear in people and that didn't really have lasting redeeming value. [00:24:20] And then what was most important to me was to have a safe planet for my daughter into the future. And I felt like I just needed to stop standing on the sideline and I needed to get involved and I needed to figure out what it was that I could do. And so in that process, that's when I had this epiphany and I was like, you know, what, what if I created a TV series that. [00:24:48] Uh, dug into these issues that focus on the issues that matter to me and give me that opportunity to create work that I could [00:25:00] really be proud of. And so, but I didn't know nearly as much as I know now then. And so that started a process of, okay, I've got a research, I've got to learn a lot in order to be able to create the series. [00:25:16] And the series that I was working on is, is very much focused on what could that beautiful future world look like if we could turn this around. And so I had to do research into what would it take in order to. Transform this horrible trajectory that we're on right now and turn it into a much more positive trajectory. [00:25:47] So that's when I started, uh, trained with Al gore, I did the climate reality leadership Corps and that just led to all kinds of other things. And I think one of the things that has been, [00:26:00] uh, really inspiring and taught me a lot is working with the American renewable energy day. It's like a week long summit. [00:26:09] Uh, I went there, I had been invited to be on a panel, um, and. There are so many people they're doing incredible work. People who really need to be supported as well. And that's really where I learned what it would actually take technologically scientifically all the fat. Um, and then of course, we've got the cultural and the society, uh, aspects as well in order to support the types of leadership decisions that we need. [00:26:43] Um, and the industrial decisions that we need. Um, you know, sorry. So I've learned a lot in the process, so that's, that's basically where that started. [00:26:55] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Wow. I, you know, those kinds of things, [00:27:00] those kinds of epiphany's obviously it changed, it changed the trajectory of your life and it's changed how, how you're working in the world, which I, which I think is incredible and amazing. [00:27:13] And I love and. I keep coming back to this. How do we do it? You know, you're a storyteller. What, what role do you see? Art storytelling, music playing in change, opening minds, changing minds. I'm not sure exactly what the right way of asking the question is, but I mean, music makes me cry on a regular basis. [00:27:39] It can also inspire me. How can, how can music do it? How can storytelling do it? How can art do it? How can we use them to inspire people, to look at the earth and the climate in a different way than they otherwise might? [00:27:59] Aria McKenna: I think the [00:28:00] important part of it is that they help us to reconnect with our humanity and that ultimately caring about the planet, caring about the next generations, caring about other people on the planet. [00:28:16] You know, we need to be connected to our humanity, to our hearts in order to care enough, to do some lifting, you know, to understand that, you know, honestly, our, our personal choices are connected to this, but also what's really important is who we vote for. Um, You know, we, we need leadership. That's going to take us in the right direction and we need an educated populace in, in that. [00:28:53] So, you know, my, my part of it, when it comes to storytelling, um, I'll just talk about, without going into too [00:29:00] many details, I'll say that I have a character in, um, one of the main stories that I'm really looking for, that I, that I started working on back then, that I'm in development process with, uh, that character, first of all, is a conservative. [00:29:19] So that is, you know, a party that, uh, unfortunately there are some people within the conservative party who have been spreading a lot of climate denial. And so she starts the story off this as being really uncertain. She doesn't know what to believe and, and what to think, but she's an intelligent, compassionate, human being. [00:29:44] And so as that character gets educated, that also educates the public. Um, and I'm, I'm hoping that we've created a character that a lot of people are going to be able to identify with as [00:30:00] well and care about. Um, I think when people can see themselves in somebody else, then that helps open their heart up to another way of thinking and having some compassion, uh, getting over their prejudgments. [00:30:22] And so. I feel like that's really important to me in the storytelling as well is to create characters that both sides can identify with and not to paint people of the conservative party, for instance, in a bad light to, to understand that we're all human beings and that we all have our strengths. We all have our weaknesses and we all have room to grow. [00:30:59] You know, [00:31:00] we have opportunities for redemption. And so, so, so that's, that's one way in that I really personally identify with, and that I'm really looking forward to getting out there and being able to move to fruition where I can have some, some deeper, more public conversations about the details of the story that I've, that I've been building. [00:31:26] But I do think that also on a personal level, the more individuals start having those conversations about their own experiences, the way they're effected by the climate prices, the way they are affected by pollution, et cetera, and the things that they are personally doing in order to turn this around, hopefully that also will help give people that impetus and help bring people together at a time where people are unfortunately incredibly divided. [00:31:58] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Yeah, absolutely. [00:32:00] They, they, they, there is this incredible division. Among, uh, people who believe one way, people who believe in other way, but, but the sort of looking at it, it's funny coming back to Al gore and inconvenient truth, looking at the objective truth, we can look at the numbers and save things have been happening. [00:32:18] They've been happening, especially in the last 50 years. Looking at the global mean temperature change since 1870 to today is that it's the numbers tell a very stark story. And yet if you say to me that, uh, the UN or the G 20, whoever it is said, oh, we're going to be okay with a two degree, uh, rise in temperatures where we're looking at it for that. [00:32:48] Then how, because I, if I'm, if I'm somebody who doesn't know two degrees doesn't seem a lot, but it is right. It changed so much changes even with that two degrees. [00:33:00] So how do we get that? Notion across that, that any change going up is going to make a lot of difference, not only to us, but to the plants and, and the animals and all of the ecosystems on the planet. [00:33:21] Aria McKenna: That is an excellent question. I really appreciate that. I think that, well, for one thing, you know, let's be clear, it's not two degrees Fahrenheit. It's two degrees Celsius, which is a bigger number, but also unfortunately there have been. So many natural disasters that we've been seeing lately. And fortunately, they are finally starting to talk about it on the news. [00:33:55] It has taken so long to get them to this point where they're [00:34:00] actually speaking about it in solid terms for so long, we've had, you know, 98% consensus on manmade, global warming, and yet they've been presenting it as if it's a 50 50 concept. And we're really not sure let's talk someone who thinks this and someone who thinks that and give them equal weight in the discussion. [00:34:22] And, and of course they don't have equal weight. So we know that. Um, so fortunately some of the mainstream news narrative is finally starting to change. I really wish they had done this a long time ago. Sure. But I am hoping that that does make an impact. I think that the awareness and the concern about these issues definitely is on the rise. [00:34:49] And as more people are affected by it, and mainstream news media is starting to have more conversations about this. Hopefully that's definitely going to help people [00:35:00] understand, okay, we're starting to experience this right now. You know, I have a crop. This crop is dying because it's not getting enough water. [00:35:08] Or I have a crop it's completely devastated because we experienced this flooding. I mean, the flooding up in New York city that happened recently, I could not believe how quickly that came back came, came down. Hmm. I mean, it was insane to watch a video of someone who started filming outside their window, just as it kind of started. [00:35:38] And within a matter of minutes, they had cars just starting to float away on the street right next to them and bang into houses next to them. So I think that unfortunately it is taking a real life, wake up call in order to get people to pay attention. [00:36:00] So they're going to need to start connecting the dots with who they vote for the policies that they support and start taking some more responsibility in how people show up to the voting polls in order to make a difference for their children's future for one thing. [00:36:16] But, you know, let's be clear. It's not just our children's future. Our future, it's our present. It's our, now it's everything. It's our food systems. It's our health. It's, [00:36:29] Izolda Trakhtenberg: uh, [00:36:31] Aria McKenna: you know, when you have people, you have, you know, I read some time ago about a bacteria that because of the warming started affecting these cows and they just keeled over. [00:36:48] I mean, just, I will check it, remember the exact number. It was like hundreds or thousands of cows that just died because of the heat. So these types of things are happening. [00:37:00] And we just need to shine more of a light on it. My friend, Betsy Rosenberg, uh, actually has something that she's working on called green TV. [00:37:12] Uh, just wanna throw that out there too, because she's been trying for years and years to get the mainstream news media to pay more attention and start covering climate on more of a regular basis. And now she's having the opportunity to have those conversations to start shining a light on the things that are happening and on the. [00:37:32] Solutions that we have at our fingertips and the people and the companies who are working to forward those solutions. So you may just need to put a lot more support behind those solutions, stop funding and fueling and supporting all of the things that are contributing to the problem. Start voting for politicians who are actually gonna make a difference. [00:37:53] And then people who are into agriculture. This is one of the things that I love so much [00:38:00] is that regenerative farming and getting rid of industrial agriculture has. Enormous potential for being able to draw down carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. And then it has the by-product of making the soil healthier, making them more resilient to droughts and floods, uh, helping to regulate our weather systems. [00:38:32] I mean, it's, it's like a miracle, but the other thing that it does is when you're not using the industrial fertilizers, then you don't have this, this runoff with. So what happens is with industrialized agriculture, they're using. These chemicals that actually contribute to global warming just through the creation of produce even is [00:39:00] contributing to global warming because of industrial agriculture. [00:39:03] But if you have regenerative farming techniques, then when we are growing our produce, not only are we reducing our carbon footprint, but when it rains, we don't have as much runoff. And the runoff that occurs is not putting fertilizers into our waterways. Those, the fertilizers that go into our waterways, then go down into the oceans. [00:39:25] The Gulf of Mexico right now has fish kills thousands of miles long. Because of industrial fertilizers that have made its way from agricultural systems into the waterways and created massive algae blooms that have absorbed all the oxygen and killed our wildlife, killed our fish. So that affects fishing industry. [00:39:50] Which affects the economy, which affects people's food supplies. So it's a big circle. And the more we understand that circle [00:40:00] and we understand what the solutions are, the more people will get on board and say, yes, of course, I'm going to switch my farm to being a regenerative farm system. That's more compassionate, more humane creating food that has more vitamins, more nutrients in it. [00:40:19] And that basically makes me happier because it's, it's a system that's more respectful of nature and its systems, and that can take care of itself better. It's it's wonderful. Really, the more we learn. [00:40:39] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Yeah. Before we started, before we started recording this episode, I said that to you didn't I was like, yeah, I'm going to be saying yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes, absolutely. To pretty much everything you say. It's interesting though, the soil is a carbon sink and we get that. I understand the soil as a carbon sink and certainly global climate [00:41:00] change with the permafrost melting. [00:41:02] There's a lot more methane and CO2 being released back up into the atmosphere. So there, there, there, I, your point is well taken that it's a cycle we can look at. Uh, animals versus plants breathing, right? Plants breathe in CO2, breathe out oxygen. We breathe in oxygen and breathe out CO2. So there's a lot of, there are a lot of these systems, these cycles that go on and I make no secret of the fact that I'm vegan. [00:41:25] So thinking about the notion of the fish in the ocean, I want to leave the fish in the ocean there. And I understand that there are that there are industries that, that, um, that slaughter animals and, and have animals as part of the food and eating process. And yet when we're talking about some of these processes, like regenerative, agriculture, and planting for the soil that you have, rather than the soil that you want so that you don't need fertilizer, we're talking about [00:42:00] a real shift. [00:42:01] Right. We, in order, in order to shift our awareness and our focus to looking at the biome, looking at the bias, fear, the whole planet and seeing what needs to happen, what we need to do to make these changes. It takes, it takes a, it takes a massive shift in the minds of everybody, people who farm and people who eat. [00:42:24] And if we're not farmers, we're all eaters. So how do we do that? Right? What can, what can an average person do? And you said vote and that's great. But today, right now, if I am Jane Q public, and I want to start doing something, what's your thought, what, what can I do right now today to make a difference? [00:42:47] Aria McKenna: That's an excellent question. Um, I mean, for me personally, I think the biggest difference you can make is that if you can, uh, switch to solar panels, if you can. [00:43:00] Get off your gas, guzzler and switch to an electric vehicle. Uh, those are the types of things that of course make a really big impact. Uh, you get to dramatically cut your carbon footprint, and I've certainly heard people out there say, oh, but you know, there's problems with, with battery storage. [00:43:23] And there is, there are, it's not perfect. There, there are costs to mining. There are issues, but on the whole, you are still making a dramatic impact, not only on your carbon footprint, but you're also reducing dependence on something that is constantly polluting. So to create that initial device, there can be some costs to that, but then once you've got it made, it's just constantly generating electricity without continuing.[00:44:00] [00:44:00] To add to the problem while that electricity is being generated. So it's a, it's a huge shift in the right direction. Um, I do, I'm going to be perfectly transparent here. I was vegan for seven years and I created, I developed, created, I developed some. Issues. And so I had to stop being vegan. So for me personally, I think they're just, people have different bodies and need different things. [00:44:28] And I hated it so much when I was told I had to start eating meat again, and I, and I fought against it, but I did start feeling better after I made that switch. So that's for me. And so, because of that, I'm so supportive of regenerative agriculture as well, because not only is it much more compassionate to the animals, but it also drastically reduces the carbon [00:45:00] footprint of those animals. [00:45:02] When you do eat. If, if you are a mediator, so you can reduce your consumption and you can also be really conscious of where that food comes from, whether it's produce or whether it is animal and, uh, how that food is treated. It's not, uh, easy necessarily to find all those sources, but grass fed for instance, is definitely better than something that isn't grass fed. [00:45:32] Uh, you know, so that those are the personal choices that I, that I've had to make. Um, so yeah, uh, and also of course, recycling makes a difference. It's not being utilized at the scale that it really should be utilized at. But you definitely just want to have that consciousness, you know, the whole reduce, reuse, recycle, uh, that does make a [00:46:00] difference. [00:46:00] And I'm not sure what else to say there right now. [00:46:05] Izolda Trakhtenberg: It is interesting. Isn't it? When, when, when someone says, Hey, what do you think puts you on the spot? It can be a little bit challenging, but at the same time, if we were to make some of these things habits, it would change today, but it would also change in the longterm. [00:46:21] And one of the things that I advocate for is very simple. When you wash your hands, get your hands wet. Turn off the faucet. Don't keep the water running, you know, simple things like that. Every, I think it's every minute the water runs down the sink. It's eight, it's eight gallons of water. That's crazy to me. [00:46:39] I know it's crazy. We can, we can do the same when we're brushing our teeth. We can water our plants, uh, in the evening or in the early morning before the water will evaporate because of the sunshine. There's a lot of, there's a lot of stuff that you can do today right now. Yeah. That won't make that won't make a, [00:47:00] a huge dent in your time, but will make a huge dent in saving water, for example. [00:47:07] Aria McKenna: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. It's it's that thing or the more, you know, the more you're able to do, and there are so many different areas that are affected by this. So in general, like one of the areas I think is really important is just being a conscious consumer, learning about the companies that. Bye from. [00:47:27] There are some companies that are, you know, have zero waste facilities that are powered a hundred percent by clean electricity when they are operating. Uh, you know, so things like that make a, make a huge difference. Just reading, reading, reading, uh, and buying glass containers instead of plastic, whenever possible, those types of [00:48:00] choices make it make a big difference. [00:48:02] Not wasting papers. You know, things [00:48:06] Izolda Trakhtenberg: like that. Absolutely. There, I mean, there are things, you know, maybe what I'll do is put together a list of certain things and put them in the, in the show notes. So that if you're interested in knowing more about the things you can do right now today to start making a difference, you'll have them in the show notes. [00:48:22] If you're listening to this, I do want to ask you something aria that I, that you mentioned something that I was like, oh, this is so cool because I don't tend to have a very I'm, I'm an optimist, but I don't tend to have a very positive vision for the future, unless things change drastically. And you said that a positive visit vision of the future is something that you want to promote that it's possible. [00:48:43] And so I was wondering how. Can that happen? How can a positive vision, because I don't know if you know who Wendy Hapgood is. She is the co-founder and director of the wild tomorrow fund. And she was on the podcast a few weeks ago, and she was talking about the same thing that, that we want to be [00:49:00] looking at a positive vision for the future, as a way of, of bringing more people into awareness about, about where we are with wildlife and the planet and, and the environment and climate. [00:49:13] What do you think that a positive vision for the future can do to mobilize people and, and to, to sort of bring all of us out of a certain sense of apathy and hopelessness? Excellent [00:49:27] Aria McKenna: question. [00:49:28] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Um, [00:49:31] Aria McKenna: um, well, I mean, I, you, you said it for, at first, I mean, whenever you're feeling hopelessness, that obviously does create a sense of apathy, which disempowered. [00:49:44] Right. And unfortunately the environmental movement for some time in order to make people aware of what a serious situation we're in, the environmental movement has painted some pretty dire pictures of the [00:50:00] direction we're heading, because unfortunately that has been the direction that we're heading. So they've been perfectly honest and they've been trying to mobilize people through fear. [00:50:09] And I think that's very understandable, but unfortunately it hasn't been yet. And I think it's done more to turn people away from the movement because people don't want to be bombed out. We're we're living in a very overwhelming world right now. There are a lot of things to be concerned about and to be afraid of. [00:50:32] I hate to say that, but, but it's true. So when you add one more thing to it, and it's something that seems a little far down the road, it's, it's not going to be as important to you, or you're going to turn away from it because you're trying to protect your health. You know, you're trying to protect your mental health. [00:50:50] So I it's, it's a shame, but I think that has been the direction we have gone. And that's been the reason why we haven't been as successful as we [00:51:00] absolutely need to be. So. It does take some concerted effort to change that dynamic. And so there were two things I'm involved with that I think are helping to move things in the right direction. [00:51:14] And one is the work with the healthy climate Alliance and with the planetary restoration action group, because they are focused on changing the goal of the United nations from let's reduce the devastating warming that we're experienced to something that might be survivable. If we're lucky to let's actually restore the planet, let's restore the climate. [00:51:38] Let's create something that we can be proud of to hand down to our next generation. We have to focus on what we want when we're creating those goals. And fortunately they have enough scientists. They have enough technology to have enough understanding to create a strategy. To actually deal with that. [00:51:59] [00:52:00] And to be honest with what kind of strategy it is that we need in order to turn this thing around. So, you know, so that's, that's one thing, um, I just wanted to say really quickly, uh, Peter for Koski has been such an inspiration to me. He's the one who brought me into the healthy climate Alliance. And he founded the foundation for climate restoration and he's one of the most optimistic, hopeful guys that I know who happens to be in the environmental movement. [00:52:31] And so that's been incredibly helpful to me because I think that being an environmentalist can be incredibly difficult. Sometimes there have definitely been times I've felt that kind of apathy and futility and frustration and fear about the direction we're heading. Yeah. So, um, so, so that's one thing I just wanted to say that I think that the work that they're [00:53:00] doing is incredibly important to it adequately understands the danger of the situation that we're in while also creating a vision for the future by changing our goals. [00:53:12] To let's reduce it from less, let's reduce damage to let's prevent let's restore let's regenerate. Let's get our ecosystems back. Let's focus on the natural systems, the technological systems, everything it is that we can do to help turn this situation around and respect the earth and protect our environment. [00:53:36] So I think that's incredibly important. And then the other thing is that through storytelling, that's what I'm focused on with, with revolution earth, with my TV series is to, uh, have an equal recognition of the dangerous situation we are currently in while also creating a beautiful, hopeful vision [00:54:00] for the future that we can all work [00:54:01] Izolda Trakhtenberg: toward. [00:54:06] I feel like going and seen. Wow. Yes, yes, absolutely. I that's just lovely and I can't wait. I can't wait to, uh, to, to watch revolution earth when it comes out. That's going to be amazing. Uh, thank you, aria. I'm so, so grateful that you took the time to. Beyond the show and to talk about what, obviously to me is a very crucial and critically important subject climate change and, and saving the planet. [00:54:37] Let's face it let's, you know, and, and actually, you know, it's interesting to me is that it's not saving the planet. The planet will be fine for another four and a half to 5 billion years. It's not the planet we're saving. The planet has gone through lots of changes. It's the plants and the animals that live on the planet, including us, that we are working to save. [00:54:55] And that's something that we need to keep in mind. Whenever we say, save the earth. Now the [00:55:00] earth will be fine. I'm selfish. I want the planet for, for me, for my cats, for the elephants, for the tigers, for the dolphins, for the birds, for the plants, for all of us. And, and I want it to be healthy for that. [00:55:14] Cause the planet, the earth will be fine for billions more years. So it's interesting to me that we think about it in those terms and it's important and I'm so glad that you're doing. To tell these stories, aria it's. So it's crucial. And, and I think it's going to be critical to our survival. So I'm, I'm grateful to you. [00:55:34] And I, I, I wanted to, if you wouldn't mind, uh, people learn differently and I know all of the information about where people can find you is going to be in the show notes, but I'd love it. If you would just list where people can find Arya, McKenna, and the incredible work that she's done. [00:55:49] Aria McKenna: Uh, thank you so much is older. [00:55:52] Uh, first of all, really great to be on the show. I'm so happy to meet you so impressed with the work that you are doing. [00:56:00] And, um, so yeah, I would say, please go to global cooling productions.com. You can learn more about the production company that I am launching in order to, uh, produce these projects that I'm working on. [00:56:18] And I would really appreciate it. If you went and supported my. Patrion page as well, which is going to be in the show notes and, uh, yeah. And, and reach out to me on Facebook, uh, you know, just all those links that will be below. Please do I appreciate the follows, uh, any contributions that that can be made would be greatly appreciated to help continue the work and, uh, yeah, just thank you so much for having me on the show and we will be putting together and open. [00:56:59] [00:57:00] As well, we don't have the site up point yet. Uh, but by the time this episode airs, there probably should be an open letter online, uh, to support, uh, that would go to members of the and also, uh, various world leaders at cop 26. So we really would love to get some, some public support for changing the international goals from less reduced, dangerous warming. [00:57:32] To less actually restore the climate and utilize the technology and the organizations that are already out there that are already existing, that are doing amazing work to restore the soil, restore the oceans, uh, through ocean permaculture, to reduce ocean acidification and help draw down downward carbon dioxide there. [00:57:53] Um, you know, there's so much that can be done that is being done by amazing people and [00:58:00] going there and supporting means so much to, to all of us and to our children. [00:58:07] Izolda Trakhtenberg: And that is that. Yes, absolutely. And there's, this is something that you and I talked about before. I feel a little bit like I'm about to shill for you, but I'm going to do it anyway. [00:58:18] You and I talked about this before we started recording the episode and that is that people who do the work that you're doing on behalf of the climate, or about, uh, on behalf of wildlife or on behalf of the plants or whatever it is trying to restore, trying to save, trying to nourish and nurture. A lot of people think, oh yeah, I'm doing it for the love of the game. [00:58:41] And other people will say, yes, you're doing it for the love of the game. Good for you. But honestly, let's, let's be very real. You still have to pay your rent, even if you're doing it for the love of the game, you still got to buy Catlett or at least I do. So, uh, I feel a little bit like this is a telethon, but it isn't so seriously if [00:59:00] it, you know, when you, if you're listening to this and you're kind of going, oh, should I have that latte? [00:59:06] That that latte could go to, uh, to some, to some activists, somewhere who was doing the work that will help all of us. That's something to think about. And, uh, I'm gonna, I'm going to shut my mouth on that now, but it's something that I really I've been thinking a lot more about recently that notion of, for the love of the game does not mean you are independently wealthy. [00:59:27] So anyway, [00:59:29] Aria McKenna: thank you. I absolutely. Yes, this is [00:59:31] Izolda Trakhtenberg: true. Absolutely. I mean, it, it just is we're, you know, those of us, uh, who shine the light, like me and, and other people I know who are in the podcasting space, for example, you know, we ha I have an opportunity to talk to people like you who are doing this incredible work, but I always feel like. [00:59:47] Yay. And you know, you aria and I, and in so many of us, uh, so many other activists in one way or another, still have to buy cat food. Uh, so anyway, uh, but I, I have just [01:00:00] one more question cause, cause you and I could keep talking and talking and talking to you and you'll have to come back after the launch of the whole global cooling productions or maybe when, when revolution earth comes out. [01:00:10] I'd love to have you back to talk about it some more. I have. Oh good. Yay. I have one more question that I ask everybody who comes on the show and it's a silly question, but I find that it yields some profound answers. And the question is this. If you had an airplane, a, an, uh, an environmentally friendly airplane, uh, that could sky write anything for the whole world to see, what would you say. [01:00:36] Oh, [01:00:37] Aria McKenna: bye. That is a fantastic question. How to answer that? Oh my goodness. Um, geez and environmentally friendly airplane. First of all, that would be fantastic. I'm looking forward to that. Um, you know, it's, [01:01:00] it's interesting. This is going to sound, I feel like this is going to really sound [01:01:05] Izolda Trakhtenberg: hokey. I love hope. [01:01:08] Aria McKenna: I just, I feel like what connects all of this, the work that we're doing is, is just fueled by, by love, you know, love for self love for others. [01:01:24] Love for the planet, the, you know, the animals, the ecosystems. If there was a way to just kind of spread that and, and connect people more deeply to, uh, uh, a constant sense of love and appreciation. I don't know if there are three words, you know, words that I could put up there that would just make that magically happen. [01:01:51] Um, but you know, love yourself and, and, and love others, you know, and the more [01:02:00] we can connect with that, I think the more compassionate we are and the more we can hear each other, uh, the more, hopefully we'll be able to come together and start working together again to make the world a better place. I don't know if there are words that magically make that happen, but I do feel like that's what connects all of this. [01:02:23] And hopefully something that everyone can agree on. [01:02:27] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Totally. I, I agree with you and the words that came to me when you were talking were two words and it was just, they were just spread love, spread love, man. Oh yeah. I love that though. That's what I, when, when you were talking, I'm like, oh, I think she's talking about spreading love. [01:02:43] I think that's great. Thank you. Yeah, my pleasure. My pleasure. Normally I don't, I don't come up with these answers, but there are times when they pop me on the head when Edna, the librarian who lives in my head, pops me on the head goes, this is what you were thinking. Okay, great. Thanks Edna. [01:02:59] Aria McKenna: So anyway, [01:03:00] thank you. [01:03:00] All right. So [01:03:02] Izolda Trakhtenberg: REO, once again, thank you so much. I appreciate you being on the show. [01:03:08] Aria McKenna: Oh, thanks. Thank you so much for having such a pleasure to speak with you and also to explore all your wonderful resources that you have. Yeah. Thank you. I [01:03:21] Izolda Trakhtenberg: appreciate that. I, yes, I have many resources go to the website is all the t.com. [01:03:26] You will find them all. This is the innovative mindset podcast. If you've enjoyed the episode and I am sure you have, first of all, remember to turn off your water while you're washing your hands. That's very important. Get involved and. Much more involved and really pay attention to the work that aria is doing. [01:03:46] She's doing some incredible work. She, and those like her are doing some incredible work. So please get involved with that. If you're enjoying the show, tell a friend, subscribe to it, have them subscribe. Let's all. Talk about how we can be innovative [01:04:00] to move into this new and uncertain future stronger and better together until next time. [01:04:06] This is Izolda Trakhtenberg for the innovative mindset podcast, reminding you to listen, learn, laugh, and love a whole lot. [01:04:19] thanks so much for joining me today. I really appreciate you being here. Please subscribe to the podcast if you're new and if you like what you're hearing, please review it and rate it and let other people. And if you'd like to be a sponsor of the show, I'd love to meet you on patrion.com/innovative mindset. [01:04:37] I also have lots of exclusive goodies to share just with the show supporters there today's episode was produced by Izolda Trakhtenberg in his copyright 2021 as always, please remember, this is for educational and entertainment purposes. Only past performance does not guarantee future results, although we can always hope until next time, keep living in your innovative mindset.[01:05:00]


    Do this to get more mindful and build your awareness muscle

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 22, 2021 5:27

    It's so simple, and it works so well! This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 This technique will unlock your mindfulness abilities and get you started. * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love!

    Here‘s a way to build a community and collaborations that works

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 21, 2021 10:26

    Want to build a community? Do this. This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 It's simple, and it works. I just did it, and I love how it's growing! * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love!  

    Compassion - show yourself some

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 20, 2021 8:46

    You'll never get it all done. This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 Do you ever feel like you'll never get it all done no matter how hard you try? In this episode, I go deep into my own issues around feeling like I have to get it all done. And I give techniques on how to deal with it. * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love!

    Access your inner creative with this simple tip

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2021 8:44

    Access your inner creative genius with this simple tip. This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 In this episode, I detail how to spark that creative genius when your muse plays hide the inspiration. * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love!

    How Slowing Down Can Help You Go Faster

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2021 19:03

    In this week's show, I explore how slowing down can help you get more productive and creative. It's counterintuitive, I know. We tend to think that to achieve more, we have to do more. But oh my stars, that isn't always true. Do you have to do something? Sure. Do you have to do everything? Nope. Here's how you can get more attention so you can give more attention. First, try the one-minute breathwork assessment. Try it for a week. Note how you feel before you do this 53-second exercise and then note how you feel afterward. You can find the video on the Back To Basics Meditation page. You'll also find a link to an easy little assessment you can do for yourself. You'll see the proof with your own eyes. It's super easy. Click the link to the document. Make a copy of it for your own use (Go to File and select Make a Copy) Enter how you feel (the date and time will appear automatically right next to your feeling). Do the super short activity video. Enter how you feel (the date and time you do it will appear again) After a week or two, evaluate the difference. I'm betting you'll see one. Here's what the document looks like. Get in touch and let me know what differences you notice in how you feel before and after. I'd love to hear from you. Connect with me https://www.instagram.com/izoldat/ https://www.instagram.com/innovativemindsetpodcast/ https://twitter.com/IzoldaT https://www.linkedin.com/in/izoldat/ https://IzoldaT.com https://podcast.izoldat.com Episode Transcript [00:00:00] That's one of the best reasons to slow down. You begin to notice things again, instead of letting them streak by you. You actually have enough attention to pay attention. [00:00:16] Hello, and welcome to the innovative mindset podcast. Izolda Trakhtenberg on the show. I interview peak performing innovators in the creative social impact and earth conservation spaces or working to change the world. This episode is brought to you by brain FM, brain FM combines the best of music and neuroscience to help you relax, focus, meditate, and even sleep. [00:00:36] I love it and have been using it to write, create and do. Deepest work because you're a listener of the show. You can get a free trial head over to brain.fm/innovative mindset. To check it out. If you decide to subscribe, you can get 20% off with the coupon code, innovative mindset, all one word. And now let's get to the show.[00:01:00] [00:01:01] Hey there and welcome to the innovative mindset podcast. My name is Izolda Trakhtenberg, I'm super thrilled that you're here and I'm excited to talk to you about this week's topic. It's about a surprising thing that you can do to increase your overall productivity, creativity, and sense of wellbeing. And here's the surprising thing it's slowing down. [00:01:25] I believe that we're so busy with what we should be doing, that we don't really think about what we want to be doing. And I'm recording this episode the day after the big Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram crash, or whatever it is that happened. And it was amazing to me how often mindlessly, I was going to Facebook and to Instagram to check in, even though I knew. [00:01:50] But there was nothing going on there that there was nobody that the sites were down, but it didn't seem to matter. There was a mindless sort of, oh, let me see what's going on. [00:02:00] And so when I slowed down a little bit and started thinking about it, it changed a lot. For me, it changed how I was looking at. [00:02:10] Downtime, slowing down time. And, and the question to ask is what if you took that time, how would it be? What might you do if you were slowing down? Would it be okay? Does it work. Are you feeling pressured and pushed into directions? You don't want to go and therefore don't really take the time. Right. So, so let me ask you, what did you do with the time that you couldn't be on those platforms yesterday? [00:02:38] I mean, I spent more time on Twitter, but I also spent more time looking at the cool art on the walls of the study room at the New York public library, which is where I spent the day where. And I see, I find a need, a change of venue to create as well as my trusted brain FM app. I have to admit that, but yeah, I take the time to [00:03:00] go take the subway and go to the library and I go outside of my home. [00:03:06] So I use the subway ride to chill out and I used to try to listen to podcasts or send emails or read emails, but I've stopped doing that because I can't hear much because of how loud it is. And it's hard to write. So nowadays, when I ride on the subway, I daydream, I imagine I come up with new ideas or even. [00:03:24] I meditate. And how hilarious is it to spend 20 minutes in deep meditation and forget where you are to open your eyes and see a guy speaking with deep love to his cup of coffee, surrounded by people in various stages of napping or yapping, but it lets me be here now. And that's a cool place to be. The other day, I noticed the core graffiti, some enterprising artist has painted in the dark tunnels in the space between stops. [00:03:49] There are miles of darkness and there are sometimes small lights that punctuate the darkness to sort of illuminate the space maybe for workers or something like that. And someone or [00:04:00] a number of someone's painted cool art right below the lights on one of the lines. You see a sort of movie unfold as you look at the lid spots. [00:04:07] Two people meet, try to be romantic decide they can't be, and instead become friends. And I'm not sure if it's there still, because since periodically someone from the subway comes along and paints over the art to base it black, but it's super cool when you notice it. And if I didn't take the time to slow down, I would have never noticed it. [00:04:26] And that's one of the best reasons to slow down. You begin to notice things again, instead of letting them streak by you, you actually have enough attention to pay attention. And I wouldn't see any of that if I didn't slow down and I love art where you find it, right, art, illuminates life for us, it highlights the bizarre, the fun, the tragic, the on inspiring the human condition. [00:04:52] And so when you take the time to slow down even a little bit, you get to take in. All of this other amazing and cool [00:05:00] stuff. And it also gives you time to imagine, to get new ideas, new thoughts, new insights. So I wanted to talk to you a little bit about different ways to slow down. My favorite of course is meditation, but you don't have to do that unless you want to. [00:05:15] And I'm going to talk to you a little bit more about that in a sec. You can doodle, you can daydream, you can take time off social, right. And taking time off social does something very interesting. It helps you stop consuming content. So your brain is more free to create it. And I don't mean create content for necessarily posting on social media or whatever, but creating new ideas, new creative ways of doing something. [00:05:41] Thinking about something of what you're going to cook for dinner. It doesn't matter what, what the creation is. It lets you be creative. Instead of watching other people be creative or listening to other people be creative. And it also helps you stop the comparison game, right? It gives your eyes and your ears arrest. [00:05:57] It helps you stop comparing your life to. [00:06:00] Because you're the only person living your life. You're the only person telling your story. So giving yourself permission to do that is an incredible thing. And one of the ways to do that is to take a little time to slow down and not consume content as much as so many of us do myself included. [00:06:16] Right. It also resets your mind, right? So going for a slow walk, it gives you time to sort of breathe and be and chill out and you can also do. One minute slow down to breathe, right? It's a way of filling the, well, it gives you the opportunity to do that. Very thing to just sort of go, okay, that's it. [00:06:36] I'm going to slow down and. I'm going to give you a mission, right? If you meditate, keep doing that. If you don't consider starting, and I'm going to talk to you about that right now. So how do you start? If you, if you don't meditate, how do you start doing it? How do you get into that space? Well, I've created a start where you are a meditation and that's great. [00:06:58] If you're already set, if you [00:07:00] already know where you are, that's terrific. But if you don't, if you're a little bit lost, then it becomes tougher to figure out exactly what to do and how to do it. And this is where I come in. So meditation, why, why do people meditate? We've sort of talked a little bit just about that earlier. [00:07:17] Right? Slowing down is beautiful, but it also, there are lots of reasons, right? If you're a monkey, you might do it because it's a way of getting closer to God or closer to whatever you hold sacred. If you're a lay person, you might want to do it because you want a greater sense of peace in your life. A greater sense of patience, a little bit more stability, that kind of thing. [00:07:33] And that's the whole point, since we're talking about how you can be more productive and creative. Yeah. Slow down. Meditation helps with that because it gives you space in your mind and your body and your heart and your soul to have that well, be filled with something that's positive and creative and maybe even productive, but at the very least positive and creative. [00:07:54] So there are lots of different reasons. There are people, like I said, who use meditation for [00:08:00] opening up their creative channels. Some people use it for developing better relationships, you know, with yourself as well as with other people in your life. For me, meditation has been about being creative without meditation. [00:08:11] I wouldn't have read it written seven books, but it's also about learning about yourself, you know? What the lessons are that you need to learn to know yourself better and to also be connected to something greater than yourself. If you, if you take that time, in my case, if you knowing myself better, that's about the earth and all the critters on the earth. [00:08:33] Right. But it could be whatever it is that makes you feel like you're connected. It's also way first and foremost, for me to get back into myself, finding that space within me, that helps me reset. And especially if I'm. I use a lot of breathing techniques to help with that, to help with being stressed, to help with releasing some of that Trent stress or anxiety. [00:08:56] I feel with my history, I have a lot of reasons [00:09:00] to be anxious. And I work through that often because as a, as a survivor of child abuse, as an immigrant, as someone who lived in a war zone, as someone who overcame a huge public speaking phobia, there are lots of reasons for me to be. And sometimes that anxiety rears its ugly head. [00:09:19] And I need to have tools in my toolbox to figure out how to deal with it and how to release the anxiety and as much as possible, the stress, right? That's the whole point of that. But again, it depends on who you are and what you want out of it, but a lot of it is going to end up, use it for what works for you. [00:09:39] If meditation is something that works for you, it's going to work for you. If it doesn't. Then my suggestion is. Keep trying until it does, but you're going to have to make your own way. Whatever meditation means to be. There are some tried and true techniques that work, there are some tried and true techniques that you start with. [00:09:55] And in the show notes, I'll, I'll give you a link to a meditation. That's [00:10:00] all about. The really simple breathing exercise and your mission to begin a very easy practice. It does not have to be a huge, I'm going to sit for half an hour, a day kind of thing. It just doesn't to begin with. You can do something very simple and very easy, and there are lots of different ways to meditate. [00:10:20] And we're going to talk about that in the weeks to come, but at its root, most of the time meditation is going to have some sort of breath work. When we do that, right? It's going to be with just simple breath work and, and meditation exercise. And as you develop your practice, you're going to have to see what works for you, because what I'm doing might not work. [00:10:44] There are apps you can use. There's calm and Headspace and balance. And my current favorite brain FM, there's listening to music. Vegging out as long as you've edge out without falling asleep, that's kind of meditative. And in fact, I dare say that there are gurus out there, [00:11:00] meditation teachers out there who would say that if you do anything mindfully that washing dishes can become a meditation, Allah tech, not Hahn, certainly something like Tai Chi is a moving meditation. [00:11:10] Things like that. There are lots and lots of different ways to meditate and that I'm developing and I'm going to be releasing meditation packs of different sorts of meditation in the coming weeks. But for today, we're just going to do a very back to basics kind of thing. Right. We're going to just breathe and that's your mission, right? [00:11:30] So here's, here's what I'm going to ask you to do in the show notes. There's a link to a little YouTube meditation that I developed. That's all about breathing. Very purposefully if you will, for even less than a minute. And here's the mission, the mission is that I'm going to ask you to go to the Google doc that I have. [00:11:55] There are two things to do here. I know more than one is, can be confusing, but the reason I'm [00:12:00] doing this, because there are two different things for you to do here, right? Developing an assessment or evaluating for yourself, how you feel before you meditate and how you feel after you meditate. And since breathwork is the root of meditation, we are going to do a very simple breathing meditation that takes less than a minute, but here's the thing. [00:12:24] If you go to the Google doc and you can see the image of what the Google doc looks like in the show notes, if you go to the Google doc, there's a little thing that says, how do I. And you're going to make a copy of that Google doc. So you can do this for yourself and you're going to write out how you feel. [00:12:42] Do you feel stressed? Do you feel anxious? Do you feel good? Do you feel hungry? How do you feel? And then. Once you do that a little date and timestamps is going to show up. And once that date and timestamp shows up, that's the before, right. And then do the breathing exercise in that little YouTube video. [00:12:59] So click [00:13:00] on that link and you're going to see that that actually gives you another sort of minute of that breath work that we were just talking about. And after you've done with that, go back to that Google doc and then. Type in how you feel now. So you're going to have a, before I do the breath work and after I do the breath work kind of thing happening, and the link to the YouTube video that does this little 53 seconds of meditation is right there in the Google docs. [00:13:31] So all you need to do is go to the Google doc, go to. Got to make a copy, make a copy. Cause you can't add anything into the, into that file so that lots of people can use it, but then you'll get a way of assessing for yourself. Does it make a difference? Right. I'm very practical when it comes to this stuff. [00:13:47] I love having the notion of does it make a difference and can I measure it? So that is what we're going to do. Right. [00:14:00] And w the way to look at meditation to begin with is that right? You, you have to give yourself permission to stop the rush every once in a while, take a minute and breathe. And so that's what this, this sort of test for yourself is going to be right. [00:14:17] You're going to write down how you feel beforehand, and then you're going to write down how you feel afterward, just so that you can have this notion of. Breathing and meditating and see if it makes any kind of difference for you. Try it for a week and note any differences for yourself. And I'm going to bet that you can just see some and you'll notice how much even a minute of sewing down will help you feel better and think better. [00:14:43] And if you decide that you want to go even further, then I'm going to invite you to go to yet a third thing to do. I can't believe I'm putting so many things in the show notes here. But there's a, there's a back-to-basics meditation that you can grab for yourself. And it's just just an MP3 file of me [00:15:00] talking you through this back to basics meditation. [00:15:03] What does it take to get to very, very beginning of breath work and you can feel free to grab it. It's yours for the keeping it's right there on that page. You can just grab it. And in fact, what I think I'm going to do now that I think about it is I'm going to put the link to that Google doc and the link to that YouTube meditation right there, so that you can have all three in one place. [00:15:26] And you'll notice that one of the things that happens when you do this before and after. Breathing assessment. You're going to notice changes in how you view everything. And once you notice those changes, you're also going to notice that you have more awareness to some of that, that stuff that let's use slow down, and some of the stuff that's going on around you, that you've been too busy and too stressed to notice. [00:15:48] That's really cool and really beautiful. So I'm going to invite you to do that and see. What it does for your productivity, because if you approach this stuff from that place of, I feel [00:16:00] peaceful and I don't feel stressed and rushed, you won't forget things as much. You'll have an easier time completing things. [00:16:06] You'll have an easier time of conceptualizing things, which means you're going to be able to see the whole picture, which is a beautiful thing when you're trying. Productivity to be part of your life. And you'll also see inspiration. And that's where that creativity thing, that creativity piece for me happens most when I slowed down enough to see it, to pay attention to it when it happens. [00:16:28] So if I, if I believe, and I do that, that innovation happens when. Someone who's creative sees a problem that they can solve and comes up with this really cool creative way of doing it. That's innovation. Well, if you want to innovate, if you want to create something, no one's ever created before first, you have to have the mental and sort of heart emotional space. [00:16:52] To be open to the inspiration, which is what a really easy, simple meditation practice will allow you to do. I hope that [00:17:00] you've enjoyed today's episode. I know that it's a lot of stuff to think about. Please head over to the back to basics meditation page it's is old, a t.com/back to basics. Made it back to basics meditation. [00:17:12] Oops. I said the wrong URL is older t.com/back to basics meditation. There, you will be able to find a Google doc that lets you do that. Evaluation the link to the YouTube video. That is the less than a minute of breathing. That's the thing to do when you're doing the before and after, and also the back-to-basics meditation, the exact, how the heck do you start a meditation that will help you? [00:17:38] Into that space of breath, breath, work, and breathing. I hope you've enjoyed the episode. I'd love for you to let me know what you think. If you're doing this for a week or even a few days, and you notice a difference, please let me know. Drop me a line is older@hisoldat.com. And if you're enjoying the episodes themselves, please rate and review the show, tell a friend [00:18:00] about the work that we're doing here and the cool stuff that we're exploring until next time I remind you to listen, learn, laugh, and. [00:18:07] A whole lot. [00:18:13] Thanks so much for joining me today. I really appreciate you being here. Please subscribe to the podcast if you're new and if you like what you're hearing, please review it and rate it and let other people know. And if you'd like to be a sponsor of the show, I'd love to meet you on patrion.com/innovative mindset. [00:18:31] I also have lots of exclusive goodies to share just with the show supporters. Today's episode was produced by Izolda Trakhtenberg and his copyright 2021 as always. Please remember, this is for educational and entertainment purposes. Only past performance does not guarantee future results, although we can always hope until next time, keep living in your innovative mindset.[00:19:00]  

    Build Your Awareness Muscle With This Easy Tip

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 15, 2021 6:11

    Build Your Awareness Muscle With This Easy Tip This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 Episode Transcript   Hey there and welcome to the innovative mindset podcast. I'm your host. Izolda Trakhtenberg welcome to mindful Friday. If that's, when you're listening to the show, if not, then it might be mindful Monday or mindful Tuesday. I wanted to talk about awareness in last week's mindful Friday, we talked, uh, I talked a little bit. I explored what it means to start building that. And this past week, we've been talking about ideas. And how does having an idea give you the potential to change the world? Right. If you listen to the idea of when it comes up, if you, if you note it down, if you follow it, if you find collaborators. If you have compassion, it can definitely help. There are lots of layers to this, but it's really important to keep thinking about it in these terms, because that's how it's done. Right? You find your creative genius inside yourself. You listen to the ideas that pop up out of your subconscious and then you. Find the team, you build the team collaborators, but before any of that happens, you have to have the awareness to be present and ready for whatever idea will. And I talk about meditation a lot and it's hard because we're not all able to find the time to sit down and meditate for half an hour a day. I try to find that time, but it's sometimes really difficult. I have to admit I'm up to 15 minutes, twice a day. And, uh, there are times that I'm like, hurry up, hurry up. And I have to be okay with that. Right. And waiting for the little alarm to ring, to tell me that my meditation time is over. I don't know if you watch the TV show, billions, but all of the main characters meditate. That's one of the things that they do because they realized that it gives them an edge, right. That, that ability to be agile. Happens when you meditate, you're more agile, you're more aware you're more present and you're able to respond better and faster if you're in that mindful state. So when Bobby Axelrod from the show, billions needs to be mindful. He meditates beforehand. So yes, I am going to advocate for meditation almost every mindful Friday, for sure. But what if you just don't have time? So here's a really great. Easy way to build some mindfulness into your commute. Right? And I'm not a, if you're driving, I'm not saying you need to close your eyes or anything, please don't drive safe. All of that. Absolutely. You must drive safe. You must stay aware of what's happening on the road around you. But I am going to ask you to start thinking about when you're at red lights. For example, if you're, if you're driving to work and you're at a red light, uh, let the red light guide. So while the red light is red, breathe in for a count of four and breathe out for a count of four and breathe in for a count of four and read out for a count of four. And then when the light turns green go, and hopefully you're not stuck in traffic. I know, uh, And if you're walking or if you're commuting, commuting is beautiful. If you happen to take the subway, you can look at the lights that pass through the windows and just notice each light. You don't have to do much of anything else with it, but it's a way of getting into that mindful meditative state without having to sit on a cushion and breathe rarefied air. If you're walking count, you remember that, uh, uh, It's a horrible little thing, but it's like walk a step on a line, break your father's spine thing, and step on a crack break your mother's back. I mean, they're horrible. They ha they are horrible, uh, little sayings, but kids play like that. Right. So, but you can use that. You can use that as part of. Mindfulness training. Just notice each line and notice whether or not you stepped on the line or off the line and just pay attention. Right? That's all I'm asking you to do is pay attention to each the lines and the sidewalk, or if you're taking a bus, uh, notice the colors of the trees and as you pass by them, and if there aren't any trees, then notice, find something else to notice because the more we build that awareness muscle. So you can improve your skills, your awareness skills, the easier it will be when you need to innovate. When you need to create, when you need to access that ingenuity, it will be easier on you. To do it if you've already built that awareness muscle. So this is a very short episode today, but I want to encourage you on your morning commute or evening commute. And if you're working from home, by the way, as many of us still are that's perfectly. Okay. You can do the same exact thing by looking at what's outside your window and look at it for 10 seconds. And then close your eyes and see if you can remember what you saw. That's another way of building that awareness muscle. It's a great exercise. And in fact, I'm going to put something in the show notes about that. All right. I hope that you enjoy today's episode. This is his older Trachtenberg reminding you that if you're liking the show, if you're liking this new five day a week format, I'd love to hear from you comment, rate and review. Tell a friend, uh, we'll see how long this goes. I'll be honest with you. Uh, I love talking to you about this stuff because it is my passion. I think this creativity and ingenuity and innovation is how we're going to change the world and save the world. I really believe that with all of my being, so I hope that I will be able to. Growing this podcast and this conversation really, uh, on how we might change the world for the better for all of us. If we are all creative, curious, compassionate, collaborative, and mindful until next time, this is Izolda. Trakhtenberg reminding you to listen, learn, laugh, and love a whole lot.   * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love!  

    Improve Your Collaborative Skills By Knowing Who You Are

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2021 8:16


    Improve Your Collaborative Skills By Knowing Who You Are This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4   Your gift! The Idea Document. Head over to it, make a copy of it, and keep track of your ideas! Episode Transcript Hey there and welcome to the innovative mindset podcast. My name is Izolda Trakhtenberg and I'm thrilled to welcome you to collaboration Thursday. So let's talk about collaboration. What does it mean in the simplest terms? Of course it means working together as a unified team to achieve a goal. Right? So you work with other people in order to achieve the thing you're trying to achieve. When you have a lots of personalities, that can be a challenge. So you need good communication skills, uh, for sure, to be able to collaborate well and effectively, but you also need to know who the people are, what their skill sets are, and also who they are, how they operate innately. And. There are these personality traits that I've been thinking about a lot. And there are other people who talk about them too. There are lots of tests that you can take, you know, you can, you can do the Myers-Briggs or, or discuss or whatever. All of those things are absolutely valid. Uh, I think, and yet to me, they break down into some very basic form. Uh, I mentioned this yesterday in the compassion Wednesday episode, but I want to go a little bit deeper into it. A specialist. What is the specialist? A specialist to someone who is great at the one thing, right? Albert Einstein, Mozart, they were specialists. They were amazing at the one thing they were great at and maybe not so great at other things like, uh, paying the bills or. I don't know, picking up after themselves, I guess. I'm not sure what, I'm not sure that, uh, I don't know exactly what kind of housekeeper boats art was, but I imagine he was so full of the one thing he was great at, which was music that he let everything else sort of float away. So that's what a specialist is the opposite of that, or along the continuum of that is the generalist. And the generalist is someone who may not be grand at any one thing, but they're really very good at a whole bunch of things. And that person is able to see assess, evaluate. Different, uh, ideas, notions factors, components of things, and then see a way to make them work together. So you can have the specialist. Who's great at the one thing, but maybe not great at other things. And the, the generalist who isn't great at the one thing, but is really good at lots of other things or lots of things I should say. Then you have the visionary versus the implementer. This is sort of the grid that I've developed and the visionary is. The person who can see the whole lay of the land, right? They can, they have the idea, they can see all of the different parts, but they may not be the person who can implement it to make it actually go right. So they can envision the engine, but they may not be the person who builds the engine. That job falls to the implementer, the implementers, the person who's got the skills to actually make it happen. Right. And if they don't have the skills to make it happen, then they know how to form a team. Of people who will have the skills to make it happen. Right. I know it sounds kind of confusing, but we need all of these kinds of people on projects in order to make them go. You need the visionary, you need your Elon Musk, right? He's the visionary, he's the one who's going to be out there with, with the huge ideas. The Steve jobs is another one. But you also need the implementer. You need the person, the Tim cook, let's go with apple. The Tim cook is the one who's gonna be the implementer. He, he may not have the vision, uh, of huge revolutionary change for apple, but he certainly knows how to implement the things that that need to be done in order to keep apple being one of the biggest companies on the planet. And he also knows how to build a team of people that will, uh, that will help him do all of that. As I said, specialists or people like, uh, Mozart and Weinstein. One of the things that I think a generalist does is they're able to do a lot of different things. And when I think of a generalist, I think of. Oprah is one of those people who she's got a lot going on. Right. She can write the story. She can act, she can produce, she can direct. She can do just about anything. She's a journalist she's she has many, many, many different skills. And I'm not saying she's not great at them, but she's not known for the one thing that she knows how to do. She's got. That she can draw on. And that is really important because when she needs any one of those strengths, they're there and she knows herself well enough to know that if she's not the person with the, the unique, uh, special. Skills she'll find that person and she will have them do the work. That's one of the gifts of the generalist is that, you know, when you're not great at something and it may be frustrating, but if you collaborate with those who are specialists, if you find them. Communicate to them, what you need from them. Then the specialists will be able to do the thing they're great at so that the generalist doesn't have to be the person who actually does it and all together, those four can work in, in that collaborative. To create the project that needs to be created in order for things to work. I'm going to delve much more into this in the coming weeks and months, because I think it's really important for us to think about who we are and I'm in the middle of developing a, an assessment so that you can figure out. Am I a specialist or am I a generalist? Am I a visionary? Or am I an implementer? And once you know that it'll be a lot easier to know what role you will best play in any kind of collaborative or project situation, but you need to know what that is. And I'm going to have that available, hopefully within the next few weeks, maybe by the beginning of November, so that you'll be able to take a, an assessment and figure it out for. It won't be long, but it will be illuminating. I am sure because it will give you in some ways, permission. To play to your strengths because there are times when we don't do that, we go, oh, but I want to be great at the one thing. And maybe we're not. And we have to be okay with that because if you're a generalist trying to live the life or the, do the work of the specialist, you're going to be knocking your head against the wall a lot. And in many ways, vice versa. So at some point it becomes better, more optimal, and we'll give you a better outcome if you. No, who you are, know your skills, know your strengths, and then find the people who will compliment what, you know, how to. In a way that will be substantive and will help you get the job done without you needing to get a bruise on your forehead. From, as I said, knocking your head against the wall. I hope you enjoyed today's episode. This is his older Trakhtenberg. I'm reminding you. If you are enjoying this podcast, this new, shorter formed, uh, Tuesday through Friday. Please, please please rate and review it. Tell a friend, these are short and sweet episodes are pretty much never going to be longer than about 10 or 12 minutes. I just want the Tuesday through Friday to be something that is actionable in the four CS that creativity and compassion and curiosity and collaborations. And of course Fridays are mindful Fridays, so we're doing everything. And then the long form, of course, the long form Monday morning shows that are the interview shows are going to be a continuing they're not going anywhere. Having said interview shows. I do have one more long-form me episode this coming Monday. So I hope that you will stay tuned for that. It's all about how slowing down can make you faster until next time till tomorrow. This is Izolda. Trakhtenberg reminding you to listen, learn, laugh, and love a whole lot.   * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love!


    How Compassion Can Help You Complete Complex Projects

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 13, 2021 7:41

    Compassion Wednesday This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. I've used these techniques to get featured in magazines, newspapers, and podcasts. They work! https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 Episode Transcript Hey there and welcome to the innovative mindset podcast. My name is Izolda Trakhtenberg. I am your host, and I'm really happy that you're here. I want to talk to you about thinking differently about compassion today. This is compassion Wednesday. I'm super, I'm super excited about this because I'm going to talk to you. I'm going to bringing back a, a topic that. Addressed a few weeks ago with the co-founder and the director of the wild tomorrow fund Wendy Hapgood. The wild tomorrow fund is, uh, an organism, a nonprofit organization that does wildlife conservation and habitat reclamation in South Africa. And what their goal is, is to provide habitat for the species, especially endangered species, but the, the indigenous species of animals that live in Southwest. And they're not just going, okay, we're going to, we're going to fund or support anti-poaching efforts because yes, that is important. And in fact, Wendy told me that the very first thing that they ever did was that they were at first raising funds to buy. Replacement boots for the Rangers that are trying to keep the animals safe, which I think is an incredible thing. You don't think that they're going to need boots, but yeah, of course they do. They need boots, they need clothes. They need whatever Rangers need in order to do that very important job. But then when he talked about how they thought, when they were developing, while tomorrow fund even further, they thought, okay, saving the animals is great, but we need to say. Uh, and reclaim land for these animals to live. Right. So that's one of the reasons. Wildlife conservation. Isn't just about wildlife conservation or as, as in saving the animals, Wendy and John, her co-founder decided that what they were going to do was figure out a way to reclaim habitat, to reclaim land, to make sure that there was dedicated land for these animals to live. They have, they have a habitat, they have a range, these animals that they need to have a freedom to move. In order to thrive. And one of the things that Wendy told me recently was that they've just had baby giraffes, born, and animals do not reproduce if they feel stressed. So, uh, if they don't feel stressed or threatened, they're more likely to reproduce. So that should tell you that having enough habitat for these drafts means that these drafts are reproducing on their own and they're getting to live the way they were meant to. And so in order to look at, at this, we have to look at things differently. We have to sort of turn things on their head, right? You can't just go, I'm going to just save animals. That's my entire goal, because just saving an animal, it means nothing. If that animal doesn't have. Water, fresh water, clean water, a food supply of some sort, whether it's a, a predator or an herbivore, doesn't matter, they're going to need food and, or access to food, I should say. And they're going to need that range that I was just talking about that, that place to live. Right. So without those. The animals will not survive. And so Wendy and John and their team at wild tomorrow fund went, okay, we need to think of this differently. And when you have compassion, your tendency, your instinct, I think, is to just go fix the thing, right. Let's save the animal. And that is a very important part of it. But if you're going to look more long-term, you're going to have to look at how. That compassion needs to ripple out into different ways of assessing and acting on the. So when you feel the need to look, uh, to look into something like we talked about yesterday, with curiosity, when you feel the need to look at something and you have an idea, the idea, can't just be the one thing. It, you have to end up looking at what kind of infrastructure you're going to need to establish and foment in order to. Let this compassionate idea that you have grow, right? You don't, it won't grow in a vacuum and it can't be single-minded. You're going to have to look at different ways of doing what you're trying to achieve in order for it to work. And so. Compassion is a great motivator. Absolutely. That feeling the feelings that, that you want to help in some way, especially those who are less fortunate, uh, endangered species, children, uh, abuse survivors, so many different, uh, beings, the habitat itself, the environment. There's a lot of, oh my goodness. Just thinking about it as a little overwhelming. You know how I like to say small steps are still steps. So even taking a small step is a, is a good thing. Uh, and sometimes especially a small step is a good thing because you don't want to overreach, but yet you want to be sure that you're paying attention to the, the rivulets to go out, not just in the straight line of I'm going to go save that animal, but all the way around. To habitat to food supply, to access, to clean, fresh water, uh, to being free from being hunted. If, if it's a critter, there are lots of different things that we need to look at as part of our compassion up as part of our purpose driven mission. And you have to think of it in those terms, it cannot be the straight line you're going to need to have, you know, the straight river goes on one direction, but there are lots of tributaries and you need to pay attention to that. And that brings me to the notion of visionary versus implementer and specialist versus generalist. If you've, if you're a longtime listener of the show, you've heard me talk about this before. It's really important. And I want to address that a visionary will have the one vision, the implementers, the person who's going to have to go figure out all the different rivulets, right. Specialist will have, uh, uh, the one talent and the generalist will have the capability of doing multiple things at once, or at least have, uh, at least. Expertise of a number of different, um, factors in what you're trying to achieve and the way those, those interplay with one another is what's going to make projects succeed. And I'm going to talk a lot more about that tomorrow when we do communication Thursday, but I wanted to at least put that bug in your ear. So you come back tomorrow. And we can go delve deeper into the difference between a specialist and a generalist and a visionary and an implementer, and how those working in concert, we'll get you in from the spark of an idea, to being curious about how it could work to developing a plan and then implementing that plan. And having a go to fruition and tomorrow we're going to talk about mindfulness mindful. Friday's going to be about how you build the awareness, not just the curiosity, but the awareness that the idea is there to begin with. Now. All righty, I am super excited that you were here. If you enjoy this episode, drop me a line and let. And, uh, and, or leave a review of the show. I would love it. Tell a friend, all of those things. I am giving you a 42 things that I'm asking you to, but it wouldn't have seriously. It would, it would mean the world to me. If you were to leave a review for the show, I would really appreciate it until tomorrow. This is Izolda. Trakhtenberg reminding you to listen, learn, laugh, and love a whole lot.   * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love!

    How Curiosity Will Ignite Your Inner Innovator

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2021 14:48

    Creativity Tuesday. This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4   [00:00:00] Izolda: Hey there and welcome to the innovative mindset podcast. My name is Izolda Trakhtenberg, I'm super happy that you're here and I'm also happy to talk to you about creativity today. Creativity, Tuesdays are going to be a thing from now on, and I'm really excited to do this in part, because I want to really get down into the nitty-gritty of the four CS that's creativity, compassion. [00:00:28] Collaboration and curiosity and curiosity and creativity, they go together. And I actually looked up the exact definition of curiosity in the dictionary, and it's really very simple. It is the desire to learn or know about something being inquisitive. And so the question then becomes. What is curiosity's role in creativity? [00:00:56] Curiosity is the thing that gives you the need to follow the thread of [00:01:00] an idea. Right? So if we think of creativity as following the spark of the idea, the, the, the notion that you decide you want to do something, curiosity is the need to know about it, or to learn about it, to see where it's going to go. [00:01:15] So that need to follow the thread of an idea because. Really important. But before that you don't want to discount the idea or the thought when it pops up, instead of. You can get curious as to why it bubbled up in the first place, what it is and if applicable, what problem it solves. If your idea's creative in nature, it can go one of three ways. [00:01:39] It can simply exist and be part of the world's stories. It might be a painting or a piece of music or an interpretive dance or performance art that adds to the human experience and the human condition. Right? If you, if you decide to write a book or a short story or a poem, it is part of that human experience. [00:01:58] And it becomes [00:02:00] an excellent opportunity to get creative and curious about what that notion is trying to tell you if you're an artist of some sort and, you know, I believe that we're all artists in one way or another, you'll need to figure out for yourself whether or not this idea, this seed of creativity is something you want to pursue. [00:02:17] If you're curious, of course you want to pursue it. You might have to rearrange your schedule or figure out a way to pursue it, but pursue it. Yet you have to figure out for yourself whether or not it meets one of the other two criteria. The next criterion is you might be interested in making an impact. [00:02:38] You might be interested with this idea in sort of affecting people or situations or the world at large. You might want to get them thinking or doing things differently. The last has. Driven creators and innovators and adventurers for ever. I'll have a lot to say about this, but, but this [00:03:00] one is super important. [00:03:02] Let's look at why. And here's what I mean by that. If you are a creative and you have a mission, if you're trying to solve a particular problem, all of a sudden you slide into. Being an innovator, right? To me, an innovator is a creative person with a mission. And so you might want to solve the problem to make things easier or to help, right? [00:03:34] You want them, you might want to make money and making money is great. No question. But there can be something infinitely, more satisfying because you're compassionate about something or you're solving a problem to help yourself. But also others. The inventor of the, uh, electric washing machine remains unknown. [00:03:53] The actual person, various people hold patents for various parts of it and various advances. But let's [00:04:00] look at the notion of going from beating clothes against rocks, to putting them in a drum and rolling them around to putting in paddles inside the drum so that the clothes get agitated even more and get cleaner to all of the various types and iterations until we come to the modern washing machine, then pretty much do everything. [00:04:22] And here's, here's an example of why this kind of innovation and creativity can be a really beautiful thing as far as helping others and, or solving a problem. I was standing in line the other day at, uh, the kitchen bus at union square and in Manhattan, uh, they were, they're giving out free slices of vegan cheese pizza, and I was waiting to get my slice of vegan cheese. [00:04:48] Cause they've released a new vegan mozzarella and it's fabulous. And I started talking to the woman in line behind me. Then she was upset because there's too much technology. She said, it's too much. It's going too [00:05:00] fast. And then she said something I found very interesting. She said, Technology's going to take all our jobs. [00:05:06] And that actually gave me a wonderful opening. And I said, but what about the jobs nobody wants to do? Let's take, for example, uh, uh, look at all of the garbage on these New York city streets. What if there were robots who went around and picked up all the trash, then people wouldn't necessarily need to be the ones doing it. [00:05:26] And robots would probably be doing a better job and they also wouldn't necessarily mind. I, this is my own judgment here. I do not like the notion of being a, uh, a garbage picker-upper. They made, there may be people who love it, it's it, it is not for me. And I imagine some jobs are not jobs. Any human is going to want to do so getting a robot or some other tech to do, it might be a beautiful thing. [00:05:53] And her eyes lit up. Like it was Christmas morning. She said, you mean we'd have garbage pickup that worked. We wouldn't [00:06:00] have bags and torn stuff all over the streets because robots are do it. I told her sure it was possible. I mean, maybe not today, but someday. And she loved the idea. She'd been thinking about all the jobs that would be lost, but she hadn't been thinking about the fact that some of those jobs are jobs that we humans don't want to do and robots wouldn't mind doing it all. [00:06:20] So that notion of. Solving problems and creativity becomes really. And she said you've changed my mind. And I was actually surprised about that, but she, she did, she, she asked a question that I thought was a Stute. She said, but how are those people going to make money? And I said, well, wouldn't it be cool if they didn't have to pick up garbage and were therefore freed up to follow a different path, maybe they want to be a writer. [00:06:46] Maybe they want to drive a bus. Maybe they want to have their own business delivering roller skates or electric bikes to houses. So the people who want them don't have to go hunting for them, but can just have. Delivered. I'm not sure what they could do, but it seems pretty limitless. [00:07:00] And I'm not saying everybody has to become an entrepreneur, but some of these jobs that we don't really want to do, I'm assuming here, I admit they could be moved away through new inventions and new innovations. [00:07:10] And then those people who'd been doing those jobs can do something else. And what that is, I'm not. And of course we'd have to look at the infrastructure of things like that. And of course, we would have to take care of the people whose jobs would no longer be to pick up garbage for example. But what if we made that change? [00:07:27] What if we looked at this all a little differently? How cool would that be? If somebody is innovation, somebody's creativity. Being driven by wanting to solve a problem, allowed people the freedom to pursue different kinds of work or pastimes, right. Anything that helps us save time. Because remember time is, is finite, right? [00:07:53] We all only have so much time. And so if something comes along that allows you to save time, like [00:08:00] the dishwasher, for example, right? You doing dishes by hand is one thing, loading the dishwasher, having to do all the work and then just taking the dishes out and putting them away. That's that's an hour or so that's saved, right? [00:08:12] That's that's yours. And we don't tend to think of it. If we have a dishwasher, we don't tend to think of it as, as a big deal, but it's a huge deal. Remember if you ever lived in a time where you didn't have a dishwasher or a place where you didn't have a dishwasher, it is a big deal. So, and there are still parts of the world, certainly where there are no dishwashers. [00:08:31] So when we look at this sort of thing, when we look at the innovations that come in and help people save time, so that those people are then freed up to do other things. That's a really big deal. And in fact, I was just talking to a couple of podcast guests who are going to be on the show soon about the little sun. [00:08:51] Uh, it's a, it's a solar powered light. It's called a little sun shaped like a flower. It's really cute. And the reason this little [00:09:00] sun is a beautiful thing is because the person who and I can never remember his name, he's an architect who lives in Iceland, but I just can't remember his name. I'll have to put it in the show notes, uh, Elias somebody, anyway, he invented this little solar powered light, and every time you buy one, they send. [00:09:18] To somewhere in Africa that does not have a light infrastructure. They don't have in indoor lighting. And so people who want to read at night or who want to do, do things at night after working, if they want to hang out and play a game or read or learn or study or work or work, even they can now do it because that little second. [00:09:39] Is solar powered. So you charge it during the day. And then in the evening you have light and in an area of the world where there isn't that kind of artificial light happening. Uh, that's a huge, huge deal. It saves people a lot of time and it actually doesn't save them time. It gives them time. It [00:10:00] gives them time to be able to go ahead and. [00:10:05] Do things that would otherwise be impossible. And so this notion of being creative, this guy's an architect, the guy who started it, he's an innovator because he's doing it. You know, he's being creative with a mission. He got curious about what, what kind of thing he could do to help people who don't have a way of seeing at night? [00:10:27] How cool is that? That, that he got curious about it and he didn't stop. Right. When the idea came to him, what if I did that? What if I created something that would help people in parts of the world that don't have artificial light for nighttime? What if I did something to help them see and he didn't go, yeah, that'll never work. [00:10:45] Instead he went home. Okay, let me pay attention to this. Let me get curious about what I could do. And that brings me back to that notion of curiosity. What do we need to do? To [00:11:00] follow the curiosity to follow the idea. I mean, what do we need to do? How, how do we keep space? Well, being mindful about, or being aware that the idea has come and honoring that instant is really important. [00:11:16] So here's my mission for you. As I, as I said earlier, you know, I believe that we are all creative people. We are all innately possessive of our own unique creative genius. And so you have ideas, ideas come to you, and I'm going to ask you to either go to the idea document, and I'm going to put a link to it in the show notes that I developed. [00:11:40] Uh, it's it, it's yours for the keeping, right? You can go to the idea document and add your ideas in, and it's not my idea document. You would actually make a copy of it, grab it and use it to your heart's content. It's it will be yours. Cause you'll make a copy. That's going to be your personal copy, but it gives you the opportunity to jot down [00:12:00] your ideas and or you could keep a notebook, whatever it is you must for the next week. [00:12:07] Jot down those ideas in the idea document or a little notebook or a piece of paper or on your phone and your notes app. However you do it. If an idea comes to you instead of going, no, no, no, I don't have time for that right now instead go, okay. This idea came, whatever it is, it could be. I know what I want for dinner. [00:12:25] It could be, I figured out how to do, uh, flying cars. It doesn't, it doesn't matter. What matters is that you, instead of going out, I don't have time. Stop what you're doing and note it down, jot it down, uh, recorded into your, into your voice memo app on your phone, whatever it is, note down, whatever ideas you have and at the end of the week, go through and listen to, or read your ideas and see if any of them have merit. [00:12:58] If any of them [00:13:00] spike your curiosity. Having the idea and getting curious about it is the first, there are the first two steps of unleashing your inner. Ingenious innovator. And that is what we're talking about here. Creativity doesn't happen in a vacuum. It happens when the idea strikes from inspiration from without, or from your subconscious or from a dream doesn't matter. [00:13:25] But then you have the curiosity about it to see where it will take you and that desire to know or learn about something is what will propel you forward to make curiosity and creativity a bigger part of your. All righty. So you have your mission. I'm going to put the idea documents, uh, in the show notes, the I, the link for the idea document in the show notes, and I hope that you've enjoyed today's short episode. [00:13:51] I am Izolda Trakhtenberg and I will be back tomorrow to talk about compassion. I have a feeling we're going to be talking about the wild tomorrow fund and the. [00:14:00] Amazing people who run it. Uh, Wendy Hapgood was just on the show a few weeks ago. And I'm going to talk a little bit about what they're trying to do and the difference between, uh, or actually the relationship between wildlife conservation and habitat reclamation, because compassion Wednesdays are just as important as creativity, Tuesdays and collaboration, Thursdays and mindfulness Fridays. [00:14:24] So we're going to have a whole bunch of different ways of looking at innovation and. I will talk to you tomorrow, but if you're liking this episode, I would love it. If you would review the show, tell me what you're thinking, and if you really love it, tell a friend until next time, this is his older reminding you to listen, learn, laugh, and love a whole lot.   * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love!

    How Bob Lesser‘s Peak Performance Formula Can Turn You Into a Peak Performer

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 11, 2021 56:24


    Bob Lesser, Author, Coach, Psychotherapist on His Peak Performance Formula and How it Can Help You Become a Peak Performer This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. https://izoldat.krtra.com/t/so6Aw0yCuva4 Bob Lesser is a founder, psychotherapist, and executive coach. From 2010-2017 Bob founded and led Mott Hall Charter School, an innovative public school serving low-income students in the South Bronx section of New York City. The school combined rigorous academics with cutting-edge social and emotional health supports enabling its students to defy the odds and attend top, college-bound high schools in New York and beyond. During that time Bob managed a rapidly growing organization that tripled in size over three years. Bob is also a trained psychotherapist and executive coach working primarily with start-up founders in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, Boston, Canada, and elsewhere. He studied management, negotiation, and leadership at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government where he holds a Master's Degree and obtained his BA in sociology from Vassar College. Bob lived in Vietnam where he studied meditation and Buddhism. He lives in Oakland, California with his wife and three children. Connect with Bob to Learn More About Peak Performance Twitter - @lesser_bob Instagram - @bob_lesser www.boblesser.com https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-951412-20-3   Episode Transcript [00:00:00] Bob Lesser: The purpose helps us clarify what really matters. And it points us to what we should be using our skills and talents for. It gives us courage to act in conditions of uncertainty and difficulty, and it functions as both. This kind of it's sort of a grounding for us, but it also helps us move forward. So it's kind of like our north star. [00:00:25] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Hello, and welcome to the innovative mindset podcast. I'm your host Izolda Trakhtenberg. On the show, I interview peak performing innovators in the creative social impact and earth conservation spaces or working to change the world. This episode is brought to you by brain FM brain FM combines the best of music and neuroscience to help you. [00:00:43] Focus meditate and even sleep. I love it and have been using it to write, create and do some of my deepest work because you're a listener of the show. You can get a free trial head over to brain.fm/innovative mindset. To check it out. If you decide to subscribe, you can get 20% [00:01:00] off with the coupon code, innovative mindset. [00:01:03] And now let's get to the show. [00:01:09] Hey there. And welcome to the innovative mindset podcast. My name is Izolda Trakhtenberg. I'm your host. I'm super happy that you're here and I'm really excited to speak to this week's guest. You have got to hear this. This is so cool. Bob lesser is a founder psychotherapist and executive coach. From 2010 to 2017, [00:01:28] bob founded and led. Mott hall, charter school an innovative public school, serving low income students in the south Bronx section of New York city. And you know how much that is close to my heart since I'm a new Yorker. Now the school combined rigorous academics with cutting edge, social and emotional health supports, enabling its students to defy the odds and attend top college bound high schools in New York and beyond. [00:01:50] Yes, I'm all about education. So this is thrilling for me. During that time, Bob managed a rapidly growing organization that tripled in size over three years. [00:02:00] He's also a trained psychotherapist and executive coach working primarily with startup founders in the San Francisco bay area, New York city, Boston, Canada, and all sorts of other places. [00:02:10] He said he management negotiation and leadership at Harvard's Kennedy school of government, where he holds a master's degree and obtained his BA in sociology. From foster college, Bob lived in Vietnam. Wow. Where he studied meditation and Buddhism also. Wow. He lives in Oakland, California with his wife and three children. [00:02:27] Bob, thank you so much for being on the show. Welcome [00:02:29] Bob Lesser: pleasure. Or that, that guy that you just introduced. Sounds really interesting. I'd love to hang out, hang out with them. [00:02:35] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Let's go have a cup of coffee, [00:02:36] Bob Lesser: hard to, hard, to hard to believe, but that's me. My hair at all. [00:02:41] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Yeah. I, you know, all at once it can sometimes be a little like really. [00:02:45] Okay. I guess that yes, I did that step into that power. Right. So I I'm, I am excited beyond. Imagining talking to you about everything that you've done. I'm a huge proponent of education. I was a NASA master [00:03:00] trainer working in schools all over the world for many years. And I, I want, I'm dying to find out from you how you combined. [00:03:09] The flow of I'm going to start an innovative public school working with low-income students to being an executive coach for fortune 500 companies. Where, how did that start and what led you down that path? [00:03:24] Bob Lesser: Yeah, it's a, it's a great question. And I think it's, it's kind of the crux of it is, has to do with purpose and has to do with. [00:03:33] Identifying sort of the essence of who I am and the impact that I want to have. And so, you know, like most of us, you know, young getting out of college, you know, trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, or at least, you know, the next few years of my life. Following following my passions, I'm a native new Yorker. [00:03:52] I came back to New York city and, and participated in a very cool fellowship in New York city government called the New York city urban fellows [00:04:00] program and worked in city government for the first, the first part of my career first at the New York city correction department. And then for the New York city police department and ultimately from the New York city department of education. [00:04:12] Where I worked with aspiring school leaders who were founding schools, founding new schools, founding charter schools. And we're creating these innovative new school models. And I got into my, into my head that I could do it just as well or better than the folks that I was I was working with and supporting. [00:04:31] And so I pulled together a team and we wrote up a charter application and. We got approved and we opened a school and that school was my hall charter school, which, which coincidentally is, is celebrating its 10 year anniversary this year. And yeah, and so so I did that and I did it and it was really hard. [00:04:51] It was, it was, it was harder than I ever thought it would be. And it really kicked me out. And while I think I did a great job, I also know that [00:05:00] I was quite exhausted by, you know, the, the fourth year, the fifth year. And I was kind of running out of gas and I knew I needed to hand it over to somebody who had, you know, sort of like hand the Baton to somebody who had more energy and, and, and, and, and, and, and endurance and more passionate about. [00:05:17] Than I had. And, you know, I found a great successor and transferred, you know, transition the leadership of the school over to her, and she's still there and doing an amazing job. And when I was really soul searching about, well, what, what, you know, what's next for me? And what about this experience is you know, was essential. [00:05:36] What I determined was that it was, it was that process of start. Creating something from nothing. That was what my passion was and, and what kind of, what my sort of deeper purpose was, was that sort of create that, that, that component of creativity, you know, taking an idea and making the reality and doing the heavy lifting of getting it up and running. [00:05:57] And so that's how I transitioned over then to working [00:06:00] with with founders as an executive coach. And working primarily now with founders of startups mostly in the, in the tech startup space, because that's, you know, that's obviously, that's sort of where the, the sort of the, the, the startup ecosystem is still working with some education leaders and organizations. [00:06:17] But primarily we're working with some of the kind of best and brightest minds in Silicon valley helping to, you know, get these amazing ideas that they have for changing the world off the ground. [00:06:30] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Yea, all of that. I I'm going gonna, I want to take a second and, and sort of so-called have that in because every word that you just said was music to my ears. [00:06:40] And first of all, kudos to you for realizing when your work with the school was done and passing the Baton. I think that's, that's very self-aware and, and I'm grateful that you. That you did that because it allowed you to go to this next place. And you said, you're going to, you're you're moving into, or you've moved [00:07:00] into working with tech startups who want to change the world, which again, music to my ears. [00:07:04] And yet I can't help thinking that there, that that word that you used early on purpose is really a part of. The sort of the foundation of what you do. And it seems like it was that way with students and it seems like it could be. And is that way with the founders that you're working with in Silicon valley? [00:07:24] Can you talk a little bit more about what you mean by purpose? Is that an internal purpose or is it the purpose of the startup or what you want for other people to experience? How does all of that flow and what do you bring to it? And. [00:07:40] Bob Lesser: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. It start, it starts off as a very individual thing is, is what is my purpose? [00:07:45] What's my why. And the way I, I define it is it's really the expression of what's most deeply meaningful. You can know who you are at your essence. We've we all have this sort of deeper level of purpose of, of kind of [00:08:00] who we are at our essence. What's most deeply meaningful to us. And you know, it, it purpose helps us clarify what really matters and it points us to what we, what we should be using our skills and talents for. [00:08:14] Right. It gives us, it gives us courage to act in conditions of uncertainty and difficulty, and it functions as both this kind of it's sort of a grounding for us, but it also helps us move forward. So it's kind of like our north star. And so knowing, knowing our essence, knowing who we are at our essence and how we want to express that in the world is in my mind, that's required for anyone that wants to do anything. [00:08:41] And, you know, starting, starting a company, you know, that it has never been started before in you know building and creating a product that's never been created before creating anything that's never been, been done before, or, or even that you've never done before is going to be hard. And so having this strong sense of grounded. [00:08:59] [00:09:00] Of this is part of this is deeply personal and meaningful to me and, and it's, it's on purpose for me. So it starts with that and it starts, and that's often where I start with the founders that I work with is helping them to clarify their purpose and articulate their purpose. Purpose also extends to organizations, organizations need to know why they exist. [00:09:22] They need to know, you know, kind of who they are at essence and so far. So great organizations have well articulated purpose statements and, and purpose has kind of for many organizations supplanted, the old mission statement, you know, the sort of, you know, we exist to blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. [00:09:41] Versus. Our purpose is, this is, this is why we exist. This is our why, this is why we do this work. As one request an organization, this is the impact that we seek to have. And so it's, it's very powerful for organizations as well, to know who know who they are, know what impact they're trying to have [00:10:00] and be able to clearly articulate that for both their employees and their clients or customers or people they serve. [00:10:07] Izolda Trakhtenberg: And I would imagine. Extending that to the community, the organization is in that, that, that, that knowledge of purpose serves a bigger ecosystem than just the organization or the company. Can you talk a little bit about. If, if there is, because one of the things that I do when I work with people and companies and organizations, we talk a lot about compassion. [00:10:32] That's that's in intwined with purpose and compassion to me means that you're not just thinking about yourself or your organization. You're thinking about how you. Everyone in that ecosystem for you, when you work with a founder who has this vision to make these changes, how much of the extended family, if you will, are you focusing on or is it first an internal process and then maybe someday they'll get to that other place.[00:11:00] [00:11:00] Bob Lesser: Yeah, that's a great question. I, I, I would say that. The vast majority of ones, you know, sort of, if you take sort of everyone, who's sort of thought about their purpose and has a kind of well articulated sense of, or even a, you know, half halfway, half baked, you know, articulated sense of that purpose. [00:11:20] It, their purpose has to do with with the community with others. Very rarely is one's purpose solely focused on. Themselves. Okay. And you know, you'll see this, you know, sometimes you'll see this with elite athletes who are sort of, you know, training for themselves training training for, for their own sort of to achieve their own highest potential. [00:11:39] But very often you'll hear them talk about how they want to be an inspiration or a role model for others. They want to show they want to show that, you know, someone from this city or this town or, or, or this, you know, th this background. Can make it and so, so very, very often I'd say more often than not, there is a component that [00:12:00] involves being of service to inspiring helping others in, in one's purpose. [00:12:07] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I'm taking all of that in for a second because I, it, the Olympics just happened and we just had all of these people when all of these metals and so many of them. When they were talking about having one we're talking about, you know, winning it for the team or for their country, it's always something that is, that is greater than themselves. [00:12:29] And when you do the work you do and. Everything I've read about you. Doesn't say that you were specifically with athletes, you're working with founders, but it's still, they're still trying to be the very best. And so I know we're going to talk a little bit about the book that you've written, which I'm excited to delve into, but the big thing, I there's something about the words. [00:12:51] Cause I talk about this also peak. That just inspires me. It's also, like you said, it's [00:13:00] grounding, but also it lets you fly a little bit because it means that you've, that you've got this vision that you want to achieve someday. Can you talk a little bit about what it means to be a peak performer, physically, mentally, professionally? [00:13:12] What does peak performer mean to you? That you are spending so much of your life and your work studying it and working. [00:13:20] Bob Lesser: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. My definition of peak performer is, is maybe a little different than, you know, some of the others are some, some, you know, what, what sort of, how it's talked about in the field. [00:13:30] I defined peak performer as, as being your best, not being the best necessarily, but being your best, really living up to your potential. And it's, and it sort of has two parts to it. One is it is about achieving results or, or, you know, sort of meeting your goals, but it's also about 50. And being, being, and feeling fulfilled. [00:13:54] And I, I, you know, I kind of believe that one without the other ultimately is kind of [00:14:00] flimsy and on some level is empty. So just achieving you know, without a sense of fulfillment, still feeling like you're not enough or still feeling like you haven't really done what you've been put on earth to do is, is not going to be that satisfying being just fulfilled and sort of feeling great and, you know, You know, feel happy and I'm hanging out on the beach here and, you know without achieving your goals, the things that, you know, you know, you are capable of or you believe you're capable of, or you're, you wonder if you're capable of is also going to ultimately feel this, you know, maybe hedonistic and, you know, at the end of the day, Kind of get boring. [00:14:35] So it's, it's both of those things. It's achieving your goals that you set for yourself feeling feeling you know, kind of optimal fulfillment and being, being the best that you can be being your best. And that's how I think about peak performance. And I think most, if not everyone wants that. [00:14:56] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Sorry, I'm taking all that in that last sentence made me go. Hmm. [00:15:00] I wonder if they do I do, because, because there are lots of people, you know, I've heard, I've heard therapists say this before that in any moment whoever's doing the, they might be doing the most awful thing, but they are doing the very best they can in that moment. [00:15:14] And so, so that, so that I get, but at the same time, I wonder sometimes. How, how do you know if you're being a peak performer is somebody who's spending their life on the couch, watching jeopardy and eating Cheetos. Being a peak performer, if that's what they want to do, like if their goal is I'm just going to chill through my life all as well. [00:15:39] Is that them being a, be a peak performer or is that them being a little lackadaisical about the goals they might have? [00:15:47] Bob Lesser: Yeah, it's a, it's a kind of a slippery question because if it is truly that person's goal. And if, if I sort of, before I get into [00:16:00] goals, I talk about vision and vision for me is one of the, is one of the peak performance pillars. [00:16:06] There are three peak performance pillars. There's purpose, there's values, and there's vision. Vision is about where we want to. And in our life, it's, it's the, it's the destination. And the more clear we can be about that, the more, more able we are to design our lives and our actions and behaviors to get there. [00:16:28] So if that is really, truly Aligned with an in support of one's vision, if, you know, hanging out, you know, sort of on a couch and, you know, eating, what are they eating? Doritos [00:16:40] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Cheetos. [00:16:43] Bob Lesser: Yeah. Well, if you know, if they're snacking and that, and they're doing that, you know, you know, for, you know, large parts of the day, and that is, is somehow aligned with their ultimate vision, then yes, I would say, and they're feeling fulfilled and they're achieving then. [00:16:56] Yes, I would say they are, they are being a peak performer under [00:17:00] my definition. However I would say we, there, there, and this, this is, this is what I, I, I termed the performance paradox. There are a number of ways in which we work against ourselves from really getting what we want, achieving what we want and feeling fulfilled. [00:17:20] And we can, in some ways, fool ourselves or talk ourselves out. Doing the things that will actually get us what we want or even, or even really being honest about what we want. And so there, there are ways that we're, it's, it's, it's, we're, we're kind of built in and I have sort of five major ways that I think about this. [00:17:43] We're kind of built to kind of work against ourselves and work against our achievement of what it is we really want. [00:17:51] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I that's there. Believe it or not. This reminds me of a Terminator movie. I am a huge that my, a friend of mine coined the [00:18:00] term cinephile nose tele parable. That's what it is. I am a cinephile, but he quoted, he, he coined the term tele parable because I use movie quotes. [00:18:08] To give lessons a lot. And there's a moment in which Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator says, you know, you humans, it is in your nature to destroy yourselves. And what you said kind of sparked that for me, because I I'm sitting here and I'm going, is that part of it? Is it, is, is it that, or is it fear? [00:18:27] Like what keeps us from acting in our own best interests in, in that. [00:18:34] Bob Lesser: Yeah. Yeah, I love it. I don't think it's, it's this sort of death wish that, you know, sort of Suman Freud talked about early on in his, in his, in his theory. I think it's actually more maladaptive mal adaptive survival mechanisms that have not evolved with us in our, in our modern world and our sort of vestiges of, you know, sort of the old. [00:18:58] When we were, you know, [00:19:00] evading the, the saber tooth tiger. And when we had predators and when we were, when we were really you know, it was all about survival and, and, and our lives were literally in danger. You know and, you know, for most of us, that's not the case anymore, but our minds and our nervous systems have really not evolved to kind of to meet, meet the demands of the modern world. [00:19:22] And I think, I think it's mostly, I think it's, it's more of that. And if, if you want, I can, I can also, you know, kind of quickly go over these sort of five things that I think sort of stand in our way of really really, you know, sort of being a peak performer, achieving what. The stage [00:19:38] Izolda Trakhtenberg: is yours. [00:19:38] Absolutely. I'd love to hear them. Are you [00:19:40] Bob Lesser: kidding? All right. Wonderful. So the first, the first one is the unconscious mind. This is our unconscious mind. This is where, you know, 95% of the action is happening in our mind is unconsciously out of, out of conscious awareness. We, we don't know it at times. It, it sort of peaks up and become semi-conscious and we have [00:20:00] some, some idea of it, but mostly it's happening out of our conscious awareness. [00:20:03] These are our organizing patterns. This is where our, our self-limiting beliefs live. You know, it's, it's, I'm not good enough. You know, I'm unworthy, I'm unlovable. You know, the world is unfair. That's where all that stuff lives. It's where our internal saboteurs live. You know, and this sort of, you know, sneaky, you know, and insidious thing called imposter syndrome that many of us face. [00:20:25] So that's where all of that stuff kind of lurks and it lurks again without our awareness and without our consent and, and it's, but it's there and it's sort of running us you know, personality experts believe that our, our personalities are mostly. Defined by the time we're about five years old in terms of our sort of basic organizing patterns and beliefs about the world. [00:20:46] So essentially, you know, that means we have a, five-year-old running the show and that's kind of scary to think about, you know, I know at five, at five years old, I was, you know, I was eating dirt. So, you know, So that's the first one, [00:21:00] our unconscious mind. The second one is our self-conscious mind. This is to the X, the extent to which we value and probably overvalue other people's opinions. [00:21:10] And we are so concerned and worried about what other people will think. How we will look about belonging to the in-group that we it, it, it keeps us from doing things that we want, that we think where we may look dumb, or we may look, you know, we may be rejected. And it also, when we become overly, so self-conscious when we are trying to do, to do, to do something, to perform it impedes performance. [00:21:35] We we've all been there where, you know, once you start sort of, you know, wondering what other people are thinking about, you, you know, you start, you know, it really messes up. Right. So that's the second one. Self-conscious mind. The third one is, is squarely the sort of biology physiology that I was talking about. [00:21:50] You know, we're designed to conserve energy as, as animals, as, you know, as a, as a species like other animals are, we want to conserve energy. [00:22:00] We don't want to expend energy when we don't have to. So that is, that is. We may want to sit on the couch and eat Doritos instead of, you know, go out for that run or, you know, do the thing we know that's going to be really hard. [00:22:10] And so we need to be able to push through that that energy con conservation, because most things that we want to do in life that are going to be really fulfilling and rewarding are also going to be demanding and challenging, and we're going to require us to expend some energy. The other part of that is, you know, this is sort of the. [00:22:30] No human capacity to worry. Have anxiety stress out that animals, you know, don't have other animals don't have that we have. And it really makes, keeps our nervous systems kind of on high alert. You know? So there's this, this, you know, the stress response system is, is sort of is, is, is, is primed to activate you know, when we get cut off in traffic it's as if the saber tooth tiger is like, is coming to. [00:22:57] And, and when, you know, when, in fact it's not. [00:23:00] And so so the, the way that our stress response system is sort of is, is, is, is overactive for, for many people, unless somebody, unless you've really trained yourself through meditation and yoga and breathing and, and practices of that, of that nature you are often getting hijacked by your by your amygdala and the stress response. [00:23:21] System is again, running, running your responses rather than your rational mind. So that's the third one. The F the fourth one is I call the hedonic treadmill. And this is a psychologist Barry Schwartz talks about, about this in his book that the paradox of choice and this to me, the, so the hedonic treadmill is this notion of how we, our brains are wired to be attracted, to shiny the shiny new object, right? [00:23:47] Novelty novelty is one of the. That our motivation system works. It's how we become excited about things is when they're new and novel. That's great for getting out in the world and sort of finding food and, you know, you [00:24:00] know, you know, kind of inventing tools that are help us survive. But we also quickly get disinterested in things. [00:24:07] And we get excited about the next. And we get disinterested in that and we get excited about the next thing, and we get disinterested in that. And that's this treadmill, hedonic, treadmill metaphor. And what that does is it makes it hard for us to sustain our focus on things that matter. When things start getting feeling a little mundane or boring, we've got to put in repetition to do things and to become really good at, we got to, we know we have to put in, you know, we've got the 10,000 hour rule. [00:24:35] It's it's, it becomes hard to stay focused and interested in things. Are meaningful to us, but because of the way our brains work become boring. And our minds you know, men in Buddhism, there's this notion of the monkey mind, the way our minds work, our distracted mind. It's very hard to focus very hard to kind of keep our minds on one thing. [00:24:58] And [00:25:00] and to not give into this, this hedonic treadmill of, you know, the next shiny new object that we're ultimately gonna get. The last one is this the way our minds are wired for negativity. This is something that, you know, neuroscientists have dubbed the negativity bias. We are much more attuned to and amplify negative things. [00:25:21] Things that are pretend may be potentially harmful to us. Maybe threatening to us than we are to, you know, the good things. So this is, you know, we're walking through the forest and we're much more attuned to, you know, that twig that looks like a snake, you know and stepping out of the way of that and looking for, you know, looking for anything that might be dangerous than we are noticing the beautiful flowers that you know, can sort of leave us in. [00:25:48] And so this, this negativity bias really over it has this, over-index some things that may be dangerous or harmful. It leads to anxiety, risk, aversion and pessimism that [00:26:00] you know, is not so helpful to us in our pursuits. When what we really need is optimism, especially when things are getting checked. [00:26:08] So those are, those are the five, you know, performance paradoxes that I kind of outlined the ways in which, you know, we are in many ways designed to work against ourselves and what it is we really want. [00:26:23] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Wow. Wow. Okay. So much, so much. I, I, I appreciate you outlining them and I, a lot of this. First of all, it's so succinct and I'm really grateful that you have it so well down. I'm excited to talk about the book and and see more about how you detail these things. I have a couple of questions though, about, about these five and about something that you said. [00:26:52] About the five-year-old the, the, the emperor, the five-year-old emperor of your, of your brain. [00:27:00] When you talk about that. Cause I do want to talk about these five pillars, but there's this is, this is something that I wonder about children who go through. For example, if, if we're in that space of child abuse or some other kind of, of trauma of children in war zones, what kind of challenges, extra challenges do those children then have to get past? [00:27:24] Not just the inner five-year-old, but the trauma that they survived in order to become peak. [00:27:31] Bob Lesser: Yeah, it's a great question. I mean, they, they, they certainly are going to have organizing patterns, limiting beliefs about themselves in the world that are going to impact how they behave. The actions they take, the actions, they don't take the, the, the relationships with others. [00:27:51] And You know, not to say that it's going to be, you know, impossible for them. Cause you know, certainly people who have suffered trauma have gone on to [00:28:00] be, you know, perform at the highest selfless to become, you know, to be elite performers. But it's, it's, you know, they're gonna, they're gonna struggle. [00:28:08] They're gonna suffer in the ways that we all do, but maybe more. And you know, so it does, it does go back to this sort of ultimately the question becomes what are their core beliefs about themselves and what are their core beliefs about the world? And You know, how will that enable them or get in the way of their doing the work to get what it is they want in life and to feel fulfilled doing it. [00:28:34] So that would be the, sort of the big question that I would have, or I would look at with anyone who has suffered a trauma early. Early in life is, you know, are they are they able to do still do the things that are necessary to achieve their goals and, and feel fulfillment? And a lot of that does come down to, you know, their, their perceptions in themselves or perceptions of others, or ability to have re have healthy relationships[00:29:00] their ability to stay the course when things get difficult and be consistent, you know, the consistency required. [00:29:06] To do anything worthwhile and challenging. So, you know, certainly not not impossible, but you know, it's, it's it's, it's hard, you know, it's hard anyway. And especially if you've had trauma, hopefully they've been able to get support and get help and, you know, be able to, to, to come to terms, you know, with with what happened and maybe use it as. [00:29:26] You know, I think, I think you see that in a lot of elite performers who have had early hardship is they've been able to use it as fuel to help motivate them and to keep them going and to sort of, you know you know, and it's, it's, in some ways, you know, built their resilience and their, and their, and their they're on their toes. [00:29:43] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Yeah, it's so interesting that you, that you said that, that, that that's this notion of using it as fuel because these pillars that you're talking about, I can see the self-conscious part of that and the sort of the expectation of being cared for as a baby, all of a sudden that's [00:30:00] not there. Right? So how people think of you and how you think they think of you is, is an unstable foundation. [00:30:07] So that's why I was wondering about how someone who has survived trauma. Deal with these five pillars and, and still perform at a peak level. I wonder the other one that I, that sort of was like, Hmm. What about people who have attention deficit issues? How do they deal with those issues to then sort of climb up and become peak performers? [00:30:34] Bob Lesser: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I mean, hopefully, you know, they have been able to find ways to manage their ADHD. They've maybe they've found, you know, a meditation practice. Maybe they found medication that has worked for them. Hopefully they've chosen endeavors that are well sort of, well-suited to you know, to sort of you know, maybe more distractable. [00:30:57] And, you know, have maybe gravitate it to something that, you know, [00:31:00] maybe, you know, that's like sort of like startup entrepreneurs tend to be people who are like interested in a lot of things and you have to be focused on a lot of different things when you're starting and leading a company. And, and so, you know, hopefully they found pursuits that are. [00:31:14] You know, sort of you know, not impeded, not overly impeded by, you know, their, their challenges in focusing. And you know, and yeah, it's, you know, you know, again, you know, I think. These, these couple of questions that you have you know, we're all, we are all flawed. We are all, you know, challenged, we all suffer. [00:31:37] So, so it is, it is the human condition and it is about figuring out. How to work within the constraints that we have to meet our highest potential. And we all have constraints, you know, I am never going to be an NBA basketball player because I'm five, seven. Right. So, you know, and I'm never going to be an astronaut because I'm too old [00:32:00] right now. [00:32:00] So these are real constraints. So when we talk about one's potential, we're not talking about, you know The sort of, you know sort of potential without constraints. And I think that's important is for us all to understand who we are, what the constraints are that are, are kind of, you know, sort of you know, that we're, we're working with. [00:32:19] And so the question becomes, how do we maximize ourselves, given the constraints that we face, given who we are. And, and, and not, you know, deny those things or not be ashamed of those things, but to really know, like, this is a constraint I have, so I got, I have to work with, you know, I have to work with it. [00:32:37] Izolda Trakhtenberg: And that goes back right to the very first thing you said, which was, it's not about being the best, it's about being your best. Right. And, and I, I love that. And it ties beautifully into this idea of, of what you said about vision values and purpose that having that amalgam and then being able to work through. [00:32:58] And with it allows you to get to [00:33:00] that place, which dovetails beautifully into talking about the peak performance formula, your book. I would love it. If you would talk a little bit about, let me, let me just give the whole title because I love it. I think it's so wonderful. The peak performance formula, achieving breakthrough results in life and work. [00:33:17] Yes. You're again, you're singing my song, Bob. So I would love to hear from you a little bit about. First of all, what prompted you to write it? And second of all, what is it that you want the book to do for the people who read it? [00:33:34] Bob Lesser: Yes. Well, what prompted me to write it was really, you know, I, you know, work with my clients is an executive coach. [00:33:42] And prior to that, as a psychotherapist and, you know, do this really. Intentional work that you know, yields great results helps people to be their best and developing tools and techniques throughout the years that have been really effective in helping people deal [00:34:00] with the. Unique, but not but unique, but also somewhat universal challenges that that, you know, these, these founders and executives and leaders you know, we're facing and. [00:34:13] I wrote the book because I wanted to make it accessible to a larger audience, not just, you know you know, the, the, the you know, the, the tech, startup CEO, or though, you know, leader of the big organization you know, that I'm working with to my executive coaching practice, but I want to make it accessible to really anyone, anyone who's trying to get better at anything, whether that's, you know, a student who's trying to get their grades up in school, you know, The new college grad, that's trying to figure out how to, you know, kind of, you know what to do with, with, you know, the sort of next phase of their lives. [00:34:43] A manager in a company who is trying to move up somebody who's thinking about starting their own company you know, really anyone who's like, you know, I need some tools and tactics to to, to. Achieve the things that I, that I want to achieve. And I, and I want to do it in a way that [00:35:00] is about me, what matters to me and will bring me fulfillment, not what society says or thinks I should do. [00:35:06] So, so that that's, that's why. To sort of make it, make it try and make that more accessible. And the set was the second part of the [00:35:15] Izolda Trakhtenberg: question. What is it that you want readers of the book to get out of it? Like what, what is, what is your desire for someone picks up the book reads it? What do you want them to have that they didn't have before they picked up the book? [00:35:31] Bob Lesser: Yeah, I, I think it's, it's a sort of tools and tactics to, to allow each individual reader to become a peak performer in their, in their own lives. And, and, and, you know, make the kind of you know, breakthrough achievements that maybe have. Holding the things that have been holding them back or or things that they've been, you know, really wanting to do, but just, you know, you haven't had the tools to do that to really provide those, [00:36:00] those sort of tangible tools and tactics to allow people give people some tools to really know themselves, better understand themselves better. [00:36:07] There's a lot of that in the book of, you know, helping them, giving them guided exercises to. Define what their purpose is to articulate their core guiding values, to to articulate their vision from, for themselves and where they want to go in their lives. So, so, so that sort of self knowledge, then those tools and tactics to, you know, to be one's best to, you know, transform, you know, the imposter syndrome, if that's something that they face to. [00:36:39] Con be able to come to see failure as, you know, not somebody to be scared of, but actually something to embrace to, you know, really make sure that they are doing the sort of baseline things that we know will help anyone trying to do to do anything important in their lives around physical health and energy [00:37:00] management training one's mind. [00:37:02] To again, overcome some of these performance paradoxes that we talked about in the beginning and to sort of master the techniques that they need to master in whatever endeavor it is that they're that they're pursuing and to, to, to, you know, use tried and true tools and tactics to do that. [00:37:20] Izolda Trakhtenberg: You keep stopping me. I kind of go, ah, I need to take all this in because there's so much there's so, so much rich stuff in, in, in what you're saying, something that I'm really curious about with, within that. I love that it's tactical. I love books that, that don't just go, let me just strategize for you. [00:37:39] And then you go and try and do it all by yourself. So I'm so glad that that's, that that's in the book. Something that I. That I'm wondering about is when, like you've said this a couple of times already, not in these words, but that we have a tendency toward entropy that we kind of don't [00:38:00] work at our best within the book. [00:38:04] What are the steps? Someone who has that tendency to sit on the couch and eat Cheetos and then dream about doing more. What's the first step? What do they do for. [00:38:16] Bob Lesser: That's a good question. I mean, I, I start, the book starts with. Because I think, I think purpose is this really, this sort of motivator, the purpose gives us motivation, the stronger our purposes. [00:38:28] The more motivated we will be, the more motivated we are, the more energy we will direct to do something. It'll get us off the couch, the stronger our purposes. And, you know, you hear these stories about, you know, parents were able to lift heavy cars up, you know, you know, to save their children, you know, this sort of the strength. [00:38:46] It, that comes from purpose, the motivation, the energy that comes from purpose. So I like to start there because that is a sort of an Energizer. And then, you know, I, I do think [00:39:00] You know, vision coming, you know, really helping people sort of co if they, if they don't have that strong vision from themselves. [00:39:06] Cause that's that you know, Lewis, Carroll, the author said, you know, if you don't know where you're going, any road, any road will do. And, and so, you know, we need to know where we're going, where we want to go. And once we know that once we have a, a as clear a picture of where we want to go, what we want in life as we can, then we can start to set some goals around it that are based on you know, this, this, this real, you know sit this real sense of like, wow, if I could, you know, if I could just make it. [00:39:37] You know, how great would that be? And so, so then, you know, so you've got the, you've got purpose, you've got vision and then values are the beliefs that drive our behaviors. And so once we begin to, you know, we, we know who we are, what's deeply meaningful to us or energized around that. Our purpose, we have our vision, which is telling us, you know, Hey, this is kind of, this is where I want to [00:40:00] go. [00:40:00] I've got some now some concrete goals that are gonna are gonna make sure that. I'm getting there, then our values become about what are the behaviors that are going to, if I do those things day in, day out, I practice those behaviors day in, day out. They're gonna, they are gonna you know, kind of like the oars of you know, of a, of a canoe. [00:40:20] They're going to row me in that, in that right direction. They're going to be the thing, that sort of guy that keeps me moving in that right direction through these, through. Practice of these core values. So that's how the kind of the peak performance formula works in practice. So purpose, vision values. [00:40:39] Come together to give us this really strong foundation. And then, and that's the first part of the book. And then the second part of the book is about these sort of tools and tactics. And these are these things, you know, you know, I break down into sort of three categories, you know, physical, the physical. [00:40:54] The second is that is, is, is the ticket. And the third is, is, is the mind [00:41:00] training the mind? So the physical is, is stuff that we, most of us know about. But we need to be reminded about, about the optimal amount of sleep to get that kind of diets. We should be eating the ways we should be moving our body and the amount of exercise we should be getting the ways we should really be managing our energy to optimize that energy for the things that are important. [00:41:20] That the technique piece is giving people some, some tools through a method called deliberate practice. Your PR you probably need to get better at you're at some technique. So if you know, part of my goal or vision is maybe to, you know, play competitive tennis I'm going to need to work on aspects of my game. [00:41:38] I'm going to need to, you know, practice my, you know, my serve or my overhead, or, you know, whatever shot needs improving or shots need improving. So I, I need to I need to design some deliberate practice in order to actually get better. At the, at my craft. And so, so that section of the book really addresses some best [00:42:00] practices and how to improve your technique and whatever it is you're trying to improve. [00:42:04] The third, third piece of this is, is training the mind. And this, this, again goes back to a lot of the performance products stuff that gets in our way. And this is through, you know, through things like meditation. Practice, you know, I'm a big proponent of, of meditation because of the, you know, the, the incredible benefits that it has and the scientific data that is now available, that backs up the benefits of meditation in terms of, of, you know, what it can do for our nervous system, our immune system how it can help us focus and constant. [00:42:35] Better. And so it's really this mental training. That's important in order to kind of, and, you know, and, and to overcome the negativity bias, to be able to practice optimism and learn to I learned optimism. So things of that nature tools of that nature that are gonna help us to have some control over our minds to, you know, kind of make sure that we're able to stay on the [00:43:00] path of, of, of our, of our vision. [00:43:06] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Again, I'm thinking I want to take all of that in. Ah, wow. So it's, I mean, yay. This is so exciting and it's, it takes me back to something. That I'm that a lot of times when I work with my own clients, we talk about the, the foundation, which is you have to remind yourself that you deserve to be here. You know, that, that that's so much of it. [00:43:32] And as a meditator, I that's, that's part of my daily meditation. Right. So when I'm, and I'm gonna use myself as, as the The research tool, I guess when I'm meditating, when I'm in that space. And if I'm trying to do my vision and purpose and values, and I'm trying to get to a place where I feel like I can act on the things that you're talking about, the tactics, the actual step-by-step stuff [00:44:00] that you detail in the book, how do I remain consistent? [00:44:06] What does someone need to do? If, if for example, they're not having results yet, or, or it's taking a long time or things are moving slower than they might want or need. How do you maintain a consistent level of the practices that, that you outline in the book? If you are someone who's, who doesn't have Bob lesser as a coach to sort of talk through it. [00:44:30] So you're the you're, you know, Jane Schmoe and you are. Trying to work through and develop these, this, the values, the vision and the purpose. [00:44:41] Bob Lesser: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. That's it. It's a good question. There's a couple things. So one of the things I talk about in the book is an as again of practice practices of high-performers one of them is to build. [00:44:52] Around you that will support you. And, you know, the team is going to look a little different depending on, you know, what it is you are trying to achieve and get [00:45:00] better at and and, and optimize. So, but we all need, we all need a team. We all need a support. We all need support. Nobody does it alone. That team part of that, part of what that team does is hold you account. [00:45:10] As well as support you. And, and so having a team in place that will help you to stay on track, stay on the path that when things aren't working, we'll brainstorm with you, what's not working, what do we need to do differently? And and, and so, so thinking about yourself, just like athletes, do athletes have their, you know, tennis players have their teams of, you know, Their coach, their physiotherapists, their acupuncturist, their dietician they're right there. [00:45:36] You know, their fitness coach. They've got all these people that are specialized to help them be the best tennis players they can be. Right. What I'm suggesting is that we all need that in our lives. We need our own sort of personal teams that will help us be. You know, w person that we can be the best, you know, whatever it is, you know, fill in the blank that we want to be. [00:45:58] So part of it is, is, is [00:46:00] really formulating that team and, and, and using that team. And then the other piece is at the very end of the book, I include a 30 day peak performance challenge which walks the reader through how to implement the concepts in the book over a 30 day period on anything that they want. [00:46:17] They want to get better at anything they want to make sort of breakthrough performance in and what that does. And the reason I included that is because it's both showing people how tangibly and practically to implement these concepts and day-to-day life. And it also helps to make it. Doing this over 30 days is gonna, is gonna start to build these practices as habits. [00:46:42] And, you know, it is checking in on purpose, going back to purpose. It is checking in on your values and make sure you're doing those behaviors. It is checking in with your vision. And, and it is also making sure. The goals that you have said are are the right goals and that you are monitoring and measuring them. [00:46:59] And so I [00:47:00] include a process that's taken, actually taken from Google and w what Google uses to manage its its own performance. Called objectives and key results. And I've adapted that to personal use so that you are basically setting goals for yourself. And then you're breaking those goals down into, into monthly objectives and key and key results that are kind of the measurable indicators that tell you the, what progress you're making towards achieving those objectives. [00:47:32] And you score yourself. On them and, and it's as great tool for staying. Seeing where you're where you're not on track, where you're maybe behind and where you need to pick up the pace on things. So that's a, that's a very concrete tool that I offer and I use myself that I've been doing for years that really has helped me stay consistent. [00:47:53] Because every week I'm looking at my goals, my objectives for the month that are based on my goals for the year that are based on. [00:48:00] Long-term vision for myself. And I score them and I say, yeah, you're doing, you know, you're on track this week or, Hey, you're, you're behind schedule and you have to pick up the pace. [00:48:09] And I used that process to, you know, to kind of, you know, stay, stay on, you know, on track, you know, month by month till I hit six months. And I revisit my annual. To make sure that it's still relevant and see if anything has changed or if I want to make any modifications. And then I keep going and hopefully by the end of the year, I'm a step closer to achieving my vision. [00:48:33] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I love that. I love that. That's again, to me, consistency is so important because you can have the absolute best intentions, but, but if you're not consistent with it, then. Then you're going to have a lot of extra challenges, I think. Yeah. [00:48:49] Bob Lesser: I, and I, and I actually just won one saying that I really love is that elite performers are not consistently great. [00:48:57] They're great at being consistent. And [00:49:00] so. Consistency showing up day in, day out is, is the name of the game. And so I'm glad you brought that up because that, that is, you know, it's not about these heroic performances or, you know you know, going, you know, all 110% all the time. It's about showing. You know, doing our best day in day out and being consistent and by being consistent is going to be how we become better and ultimately great at something [00:49:31] Izolda Trakhtenberg: 10,000 hours. [00:49:32] Yes, absolutely. And that's, that's the epitome of consistency. You have to do it for 10,000 hours on Malcolm Gladwell. We love him and we hate him at the same time. Bob, I'm so grateful that you. Took the time to chat with me about your work and the book. I'm super, super excited about it. I would love it if you wouldn't mind. [00:49:53] Cause I'm sure, you know, someone's listening to this going, I need this book. I need to know more about [00:50:00] Bob Lester and the work he's doing. How does someone connect with you? What, where are the places that someone could find you and also where can the book be found? [00:50:09] Bob Lesser: Yeah. Awesome. Yeah. I mean, you know, I'm on social media. [00:50:12] You can find me on Instagram at, at Bob underscore lesser. I'm also on Twitter at lesser underscore bomb. So you can find me both of those places. And you can also go to my website to learn a little bit more about me and my work and. Read some, some articles that I, you know, kinda my new, my new stuff. [00:50:31] And that's www.boblesser.com. The book can be ordered it's out and can be ordered on Amazon Barnes and noble bookshop and indie bound. So, you know, any anywhere, you know, where you prefer to, to, to buy books, those are all the online sources. And the name of the book is the peak performance formula achieving breakthrough results in life. [00:50:53] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Fabulous. And I'll put the links to everything in the show notes so that we don't have to be typing furiously down [00:51:00] everything. So writing it all, noting it all down. Whenever somebody says to me, you know, oh, can you spell that for my name? For example, I'm always like, oh, you don't want to do that. Let me just send it to you either that, or I say write small because my name is very long. [00:51:14] Once again, Bob, I'm so grateful that you took the time to be here. I have just one last question that I. Everybody who comes on the show. And it's a silly question, but I find that it yields some profound results. And the question is this. If you had an airplane that could sky write anything for the whole world to see, what would you say? [00:51:41] NEF said. All right. Well, that's, that's about the most succinct I've had there. That's yeah. Three, three words. That's good. Cause you can't, you can't. Too many words. So there you go, Bob. Thank you once again for being here. I really appreciate it. [00:51:59] Bob Lesser: Although my pleasure. [00:52:00] Thanks for having me. [00:52:01] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Wow. So you have gotten it from Bob lesser. [00:52:04] You're going to need to go out and get the peak performance formula. Be consistent in your practices. Figure out your vision, your purpose, your values, and live your best life and do your best work. It's really the way it's all about. I am. Izolda Trakhtenberg for the innovative mindset podcast. And I'm hoping that you enjoyed the show. [00:52:24] I'm hoping that you are enjoying your day, and I'm hoping that if you do like what you're hearing. Drop a review, tell a friend about this episode so that more people can learn about Bob and the incredible work he's doing to help people be peak performers until next time, remember to listen, learn, laugh, and love a whole lot. [00:52:49] thanks so much for joining me today. I really appreciate you being here. Please subscribe to the podcast if you're new and if you like what you're hearing, please review it and rate it and let other people. [00:53:00] And if you'd like to be a sponsor of the show, I'd love to meet you on patrion.com/innovative mindset. [00:53:06] I also have lots of exclusive goodies to share just with the show supporters there today's episode was produced by Izolda Trakhtenberg and his copyright 2020. As always, please remember, this is for educational and entertainment purposes. Only past performance does not guarantee future results, although we can always hope until next time, keep living in your innovative mindset.  


    A Birthday Routine to Make Your Year Amazing

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 8, 2021 17:37

    Mindful Friday On my birthday, I follow the same routine as other days. I wake up and meditate. Then, I do yoga, and I journal. However, the journaling I do on my birthday is a bit different. Instead of my usual ramblings, I do a check-in. I try to answer the following questions. What went right this year? What could I have done better? What lessons have I learned? Which of the goals I set for myself for this past year have I accomplished? Which are still works in progress? What am I grateful for? What do I hope to learn this year? What are my goals for this coming trip around the sun? What is the biggest adventure I can have? After I'm done journaling, I light a candle, make my wishes, and set my intentions for the coming year, and I blow it out to send the wishes out into the world. Do you have any birthday routines or rituals? What are they? I'd love to know.

    Peter Shankman, Futurist, Author, Corporate Keynote Speaker

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 4, 2021 35:13


    Peter Shankman Discusses How He Innovates With ADHD As His Superpower  This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset It's also brought to you by Gloria Chou's PR Starter Pack. If you want to get featured in the media, this is your best first step. What a great episode! Peter innovates and moves faster than normal. We dig into how he does it and we can do it too. The New York Times has called Peter Shankman "a rockstar who knows everything about social media and then some." He is a 5x best-selling author, entrepreneur, and corporate keynote speaker, focusing on customer service and the new and emerging customer and neuroatypical economy. With three startup launches and exits under his belt, (most notably Help a Reporter Out) Peter is recognized worldwide for radically new ways of thinking about the customer experience, social media, PR, marketing, advertising, and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and the new Neurodiverse and Remote economies. In addition to his passion for helping people and companies find success, some of Peter's highlights also include: Founder of HARO - Help A Reporter Out, which became the standard for thousands of journalists looking for sources prior to being acquired three years after launch Futurist-in-Residence at Epic Marketing Consultants, focusing on the customer experience of tomorrow Faster than Normal - The Internet's #1 podcast on ADHD, focusing on the superpowers and gifts of having a "faster than normal brain,” which has helped thousands of people all around the world realize that having a neurodiverse brain is actually a gift, not a curse. The ShankMinds Breakthrough Network, an elite, online mastermind of thought leaders, business experts, and change-makers Peter is a worldwide influencer and/or spokesperson for several global brands including Sylvania, National Car Rental, Manscaped.com, Sealface, Thule, and many others. Finally, Peter is a father, a 2x Ironman triathlete, a class B licensed skydiver, and has a pretty serious Peloton addiction. When he's not traveling around the world speaking to companies big and small, he's based in NYC with his seven-year-old daughter and 20-year-old cat, both of whom consistently refuse him access to the couch.  Connect with Peter LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/petershankman/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PeterShankman Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/petershankman/ Website: https://www.shankman.com/ Episode Transcript Peter Shankman [00:00:00] Peter Shankman: You know, at the end of the day, if you don't like where you are, you can move. Cause you're not a tree, but sometimes that takes time and that's fine. But the only thing I have a problem with is, is if you're spending the few hours of free time, you're not making arrangements to change down the road, but rather bitching about your situation. [00:00:18] Then I kinda have a problem with it because you have the opportunity to at least start the process. [00:00:27] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Hello and welcome to the innovative mindset podcast. Izolda Trakhtenberg. On the show, I interview peak performing innovators in the creative social impact and earth conservation spaces or working to change the world. This episode is brought to you by brain FM, brain FM combines the best of music and neuroscience to help you relax, focus, meditate, and even sleep. [00:00:48] I love it and have been using it to write, create and do. Deepest work because you're a listener of the show. You can get a free trial head over to brain.fm/innovative mindset. To check it out. If you [00:01:00] decide to subscribe, you can get 20% off with the coupon code, innovative mindset, all one word. And now let's get to the show. [00:01:12] Hey there and welcome to the innovative mindset podcast. My name is Izolda Trakhtenberg. I'm your host and I'm super happy. You're here. I'm also really happy and honored to have this week's guest. The New York Times has called Peter Shankman a rockstar who knows everything about social media and then some he's a five-time bestselling author, entrepreneur, and corporate keynote speaker. [00:01:34] Focusing on customer service and the new and emerging customer and neuro-atypical economy with three startup launches and exits under his belt. Most notably help report her out. Peter is recognized worldwide for radically new ways of thinking about the customer experience, social media, PR marketing, advertising, and ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. [00:01:57] And the new neurodiverse and [00:02:00] remote economies, in addition to his passion for helping people and companies find success, some of Peter's highlights also include founder of HARO helper reporter out, which became the standard for thousands of journalists, looking for sources prior to being acquired three years after launch futurist in residence. [00:02:17] Epic marketing consultants, focusing on the customer experience of tomorrow, faster than normal. The Internet's number one podcast on ADHD, focusing on the superpowers and gifts of having a faster than normal brain, which has helped thousands of people all around the world realize that having a neurodiverse brain is actually a gift, not a curse. [00:02:39] The Shank Minds, breakthrough network, an elite online mastermind of thought leaders, business experts, and change-makers. Peter's a worldwide influencer and a spokesperson for several global brands, including Sylvania national car rental, and many others. [00:03:00] Finally, Peter is a father, a two-time iron man triathlete, a class B licensed skydiver, and has a pretty serious Peloton addiction. When he's not traveling around [00:03:10] speaking to companies big and small, he's based in New York City with a seven-year-old daughter and 20-year-old cat and dog. All of whom consistently refused him access to the couch theater. I'm super thrilled that you're here. Welcome. Peter Shankman: Hey, great to be here. Thanks. Izolda Trakhtenberg: I am. I'm a big, huge fan. I have read faster than normal before, and I just got a copy for my husband because the audiobook is out and cause he's not a big reader. [00:03:37] He has ADHD and he's plowing through it and loving it. And he now of course from the movie up, keeps going squirrel. So, at all sorts of times, I want to jump right on it. If that's okay with you. You, it's been said, have an incredible imagination and incredible intuition. And [00:04:00] I'm wondering, how does, how do those, those parts of you relate to ADHD if they do and how do you use them to make it your superpower? [00:04:11] Peter Shankman: Oh yeah. That's interesting. I think that, you know, people would say anything. I think that, that for me, a lot of it. When you have a faster brain, you have a couple of options. You can try to slow down to match everyone else. Or you can accept that that's really, really hard to do, and you can sort of learn to, to speak slower than you think. [00:04:32] So what do I mean by that? I will sit there and come up with 15 ideas in five minutes because it's fun. 13 that might be beneficial to, there might be terrible, whatever, but I will spend time to sort of understand. What's going on and then present the top couple of ideas of the world. The difference is, is that I've accepted that no matter how calmly I do that, that'd be really think that he is crazy. [00:04:55] And so the goal is to learn, not to care about [00:05:00] what people think and never let that prevent you from doing something fun or doing something that you want to do or creating something, something, something new. [00:05:07] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Okay. So within that people might think it's crazy, but you come up with the idea and I'm wondering, are you in that moment trying to solve a problem that you've seen or is it just the ideas of rapid-fire and how do you reconcile the two? [00:05:21] If for example, you come up with an idea that someone else might think is crazy, but it's [00:05:26] Peter Shankman: not okay. You know, it it's, it's sort of stealing yourself in the fact that when you present the idea, there's going to be at least one person that knows what the hell is wrong, you know, but, but then understanding that, that, that, that the situations and the ideas that you presented in the past that actually benefit, you know, I have a little bit of a positive track record in that. [00:05:45] And I've had several ideas of the past that have actually turned into, you know, great companies or, you know, a million multimillion dollar exits, things like that. So that gives you a little bit of credibility. The key though, is to keep moving forward. The thing about ADHD is that is the [00:06:00] forward motion. [00:06:00] Whether you're in, whether you are, you see you and your entrepreneur forward, motion is thrilling. And if you're not going forward, even if you're just standing still, it kind of feels like you're going backwards. And that's a problem. So for me, it's always about forward motion. If I have an idea and it doesn't work, I try and do it right. [00:06:14] That is where I try another one. And they're going to be ideas of work. It happens all the time. So the key is to keep moving forward. [00:06:22] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Okay. And yet there are times when ADHD is something that allows you to think laterally, to look at things from a different angle. How does that align with the forward motion that you're talking [00:06:32] Peter Shankman: about? [00:06:33] There's several ways. I mean, I mean, the, the, the premise of you know, just this morning, I was on a call with a client and, and, and the client was coming back and forth on an idea that they just, they didn't see it working and see it working. And rather than try to sort of convince them that what I said, what if we take it? [00:06:45] What if we go 45 degrees to the left and look at it? And all of a sudden, oh, okay, well maybe that, you know, it's all this stuff that I got in trouble for in school. Right? Speaking, out of turn you know, cracking jokes. [00:07:00] Disrupting the class. Cause I talking about something that completely come up with something completely different type thing. [00:07:04] All of that has sort of given, allowed me to, to, to use that to my benefit as a, as a, you know, as an adult. The key is to be in an industry to be in a place, to be in a world where, where creativity is, lauded is not pushed down and, and, and, and, and thrown away. You know, I know that some ideas I'm gonna, I'm gonna put the effort. [00:07:22] We're not going to do that and that's not going to happen. And sort of once you realize there's gonna be people like that, and you just move on, you find your people, you find the people who, who, who appreciate what you can bring to the table. I heard a great quote once cause there've been times that I've had to let people leave my table because we just didn't, you know, they couldn't understand my speed. [00:07:43] I couldn't understand their non speed. And I heard a great quote. Just because we're no longer friends doesn't mean I wish you ill. I don't want you to starve. I just don't want you to eat at my table. Right. And if [00:08:00] you are creative and your, and your brain does work differently, occasionally you have to realize that not everyone's gonna think like you, and if you spend your entire life focused on the fact that that things you do are not. [00:08:12] Always going to be understood or are not always going to be accepted or, you know, you're not, you're going to be asked. Why aren't you normal things of the day. If you spend your entire life being upset about the fact that's happening, you're never gonna be able to grow. I think Winston Churchill said, you'll, you'll never reach your destination if you stop to yell at every dog barks. [00:08:29] Right. So sometimes you just have to make it on your own and, and, and, and move forward and understand that. Yeah, here we go. And it's, it's, I've found. That's a great success in that. It took a long time and a lot of a lot of therapy. But in the end I realized that, you know, the idea that I've had, some of them have been very beneficial, so it'd be great. [00:08:48] Some of them failed, but I will never stop continuing to do that. [00:08:55] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Yeah, nor should you, I mean, there, there are certain ideas, certainly heroin is one of the ones that I love help a reporter [00:09:00] out. I've used it myself and continue to use it. And th th that, that begs the question that you've had these successful companies, some of them have been multi-million dollar ends, it's you? [00:09:10] And then you're moving forward when you're doing that. There are times, and I've, I've, I've been lurking on your blog. You talk about feeling like an imposter. Okay. So what was that? God? Yes. Okay. So, so how, how does that work? Is that, is that the ADHD brain, is that your personality? And if so, w which, which would, whichever one it is, how are you making those work for you? [00:09:34] Peter Shankman: It's a little bit of everything. I think there's a part of it that. No matter how I could give a speech to 30,000 people and get a 30,000 person standing ovation. If one person doesn't stand up, that's the person I'm gonna focus on. Oh my God, everyone hated it. It was terrible. Let alone the fact that, that my eyes are literally telling me the 29,999 people like. [00:09:54] Right. There's always been a little bit. And again, that's something you have to work on constantly because a lot of times, you know, [00:10:00] growing up with ADHD, growing up with, sit down, you're disrupting the class disease and growing up with you're wrong and you're weird. And why are you so stupid? And why are you so strange? [00:10:06] You know, no matter how much success you have that tends to stick in your brain. And that tends to pop up the most inconvenient times. It's taken years to get over that, but every little bit of success, I have everything that I do that tends to benefit, you know, from that I tend to to learn a little bit more and chip away a little bit more at what I call junior high school, Peter the guy who, who, who took all that shit seriously. [00:10:28] You know, the, the PERT example, we're talking about the triathlon. I ran this Sunday, my friend my coach and my friend was at the finish line. He grabbed this photo of me coming across and my. Oh, my God, I am disgusting. I'm sweaty. I'm gross. I still have 25 pounds to lose. I don't look like a triathlon or triathlete. [00:10:45] It looks some fat guy who just got, and then I had this moment where I saw the finish line sign behind me and realized, no, maybe just a guy who just did this race and that's a shit ton more than most people did today. And once you own that, right. And it was this wonderful feeling of release and feeling of, of, of, of freedom that, [00:11:00] yeah, I did just do this and I can, I can appreciate myself for what I do. [00:11:06] And it it's, it's hard to get there because you know, you sit there a lot of times with your, with your, with your, your, your ADHD and, you know, your concept that, that today's the day when I wake up today is absolutely the day of the New York times gonna have written a huge article about about what a fraud I am and everything I've done is just been locked. [00:11:21] And then when they don't, it's obviously, because I'm not important enough to be written up by the New York times, you know? So there's this constant battle with yourself, but. You know, you do what you can do and, and, and you, every day, you chip a little bit more away at it. Yeah. [00:11:37] Izolda Trakhtenberg: It's so fascinating that you say that because again, my husband has add, and he, and I talk about this a lot about the notion that no matter, no matter what he does, he doesn't think it's good enough, no matter how he's an artist in a clown. [00:11:50] And he always comes back with stories of not thinking that no matter how well he did. It just wasn't good enough. And on some level it might lead him to strive, but there are times [00:12:00] when he just gets down on himself and it's very hard for him to motivate himself and it's impossible for me to motivate him. [00:12:06] So do you get to those places where you actually just stop and go, you know what, I just can't today or are you always going, no, this is it right? Yeah. There [00:12:14] Peter Shankman: all the time. And you know, I have ways to make sure that I am like don't let them. Perfect. You know, let it affect me as, as little as possible, but that way I I, I, exercise is massive, right? [00:12:26] I have to exercise. I have to work out. I have to get that brain chemistry growing in my brain every single day. I was up at 4:00 AM this morning. I was on the bike for an hour. It just, it gives me the, the chemistry I need to, to quiet those demons. Right. For lack of a better word. It's certainly not easy to do, but you know, if I don't exercise my day, And so the key is to find a way to build that into everything I needed. [00:12:58] My dad you know, it's not, [00:13:00] it sounds easy, but you know, when, when you've had it, when you worked late or you had a late dinner or whatever, you know, you get to bed at midnight and it's 4:00 AM and you have to wake up and work out. It's it's difficult, but I know what will happen if I don't. And I certainly don't want that. [00:13:17] So, you know, I it's, I've heard it's called playing the tape forward. Alcoholics talk about it a lot. The premise of that you know, okay, I'm going to have this one drink, well, if have this one drink where I'm going to be in 12 hours and it never ends well when you think of it that way. So the key is to not think about it that way, the key is to not have that first drink. [00:13:35] For me, it's sort of the same thing. If I don't. It'll be 6:00 PM or 4:00 PM and 12 hours we'll have passed either way, but what kind of a damn right, will it be a better day or a worse day? And so that easily enough to get me up. And again, this is enough to get me, but not all the time. I'm not perfect. [00:13:51] You know, I will sleep in every once in a while ago. And honestly, Ben and I will, I will, I will scale workout. The key is not to not to get into such a rut where you [00:14:00] are, where you are without one MIS becomes a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 weeks cycle. That's you, you know, you don't want to so was one of the reasons I rarely drink anymore is because I would, I would, I would, you know, I wasn't going to have to get drunk, but I, oh, I'm going to client event free. [00:14:14] Great. I'll have four drinks. I'll have five drinks. I wasn't getting drunk, but I. You know, I come home a little, hung up, not hung over, but you know, I'd be a little dehydrated. I wouldn't wake up the next morning and workout. Well, I'm not okay. I might as well. You know, I blew it. I blew the workout this morning. [00:14:27] I might as well get a bacon, egg, and cheese at Suffolk degrees or two of them. Well, I do want my breakfast sized back and let's just get dinner. I'll have a pizza. I'll start tomorrow. All of a sudden it's two weeks later, right. Have gained eight pounds and I'm sitting there what the hell just happened. [00:14:38] So, you know, was a great line from the movie war games where the computer realizes that line wards is the only winning. And for me very often, the only one who move is not to play, I have I heard another great quote, read something like the demons in my subconscious are too hard to be there for us simply [00:15:00] must not. [00:15:02] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Oh, both of those quotes are fantastic. Yeah. I love it. I loved it. First time I saw war games and heard Whopper say that, you know, interesting game, the only way you move is not to play. What's interesting. What was that? Yes, I, yes, exactly. Favorite and. Here's the thing. There are times when we're in situations where, you know, there are people with ADHD who are in jobs that they hate, or, or, you know, are doing the nine to five when, when they're not suited for it. [00:15:27] They're neuro-typical how, what is your, what is your guidance for someone who is, who perhaps hasn't gotten to the point where they want to be an entrepreneur or whether they want to start their own business or where they can be on their own? What do you tell someone who's in that nine to five, who might hate it is not well suited for it because of some of the neuro-typical situations in their lives. [00:15:47] What are your thoughts on that? [00:15:48] Peter Shankman: I think the first thing to understand is that I'm there. I would never judge anyone on what's a job they're doing or how they're living their life. Is, are they happy if they're not going to have the, to change that? You know, there are people, I, you have these, you have these [00:16:00] sort of entrepreneur gurus. [00:16:03] I can't stand it. You know, if you're not happy, you hate your job. You should quit go out on your own, you know? And if you have to work 22 hours a day, so you just told someone to, you know, give them some of the recipe to kill themselves. That's not recommended. Right. Right. So I'm not going to say, oh, you're a miserable job. [00:16:16] Quit. We don't have that opportunity. Right. And, and it's, it's really privileged to mustard. Everyone can do that. So I don't think that way, but I do have everything is that if you understand that you are not happy where you are, you have to start making the correct arrangements so that at some point down the road, You can quit so that you can change your life so that you do, you know, at the end of the day, if you don't like where you are, you can move. [00:16:44] Cause you're not a tree, but sometimes that takes time and that's fine. But the only thing I have a problem with is, is if you're spending a few hours of free time every day, not making arrangements to change down the road, but rather bitching [00:17:00] about your situation, then I kind of. Because you have the opportunity to at least start the process, right? [00:17:08] So if you're miserable and where you are look to things and don't just look for a new job, because it's better than your old job, look for something that will truly make you happy and then work backwards and figure out how to get there. Again, it's not easy. I don't expect you to do it tomorrow, but it is doable. [00:17:21] I didn't become an entrepreneur until I realized I could. I didn't think that's what you did. Both of my parents were teachers. I didn't know anyone was entrepreneur. I figured you worked for someone else. You've worked 40 years. Got a gold watch and retire. I got laid off from America online and my first job out of college and sit in the parking lot, went what the hell just happened? [00:17:38] And I realized I'm going to try it. I'm going to go out on my own. I know how to do PR. I learned from me, well, I'm gonna try it without what's. The worst can happen when it, I literally said when it fails, I'll get a job. Not if it fails when it fails, I'll get a job. It's been 98 to almost oh eight, 18 and almost 24 years later. [00:17:53] And I haven't had good job. So I've been incredibly lucky. That being said there been incredible highs, incredible lows. [00:18:00] But yeah, if you're miserable where you are, figure out what you can do and how you can improve your current situation to get to where you want to be. [00:18:12] Izolda Trakhtenberg: That makes a lot of sense. I I'm going to, I'm doing rapid fire because I know we don't have that much time. [00:18:17] I would love to know from you, you talk about in faster than normal, your fabulous book. You talk about how your body, and I don't know if it's actually all ADHD people, but you say that your body does not produce enough dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline. And I'm wondering how those. Okay. So how does that, how does that relate? [00:18:36] What, what is, what is, what does that do for you and how do you address that issue? [00:18:41] Peter Shankman: So a combination of domains, serotonin adrenaline allows you to focus. It allows you to sit down and do the things that you don't necessarily love to do. So I'll give you an example. In school. I was the class clown, and I would get in trouble for me in the class. [00:18:54] Clown. Why was the class well in the subjects that I loved English. [00:19:00] In social studies. I was never the class clown. I paid attention like the greatest dude in the world, in math, in science and things I wasn't good at. I was the class clown. What I realized 30 years later is why I was making jokes and cracking up and cracking jokes and cracking wise because when I made a joke and other students laughed, they laughed at something I did, which actually gave me a dopamine hit. [00:19:23] And all of a sudden I could focus. Of course I was getting in trouble. But I was actually, if you look at it, the big picture I was getting in trouble because I wanted to learn now I've since learned better ways to get my domain, get my adrenaline and get missing and turn it into meetings with bad jokes. [00:19:41] But the logic is sound right. It is the same thing. You know, we all know every single one of us, there's not a person in the world who understand, who doesn't understand that texting while driving is dangerous and will kill you. Here's how so many people still do it. Why? Because every time we hear a text, [00:20:00] every time we see a message, every time we get a tweet or reply, whatever our brain actually releases domain it's addiction. [00:20:09] So no different, if don't mean, it gives us that focus chemical and that ability to be happy then. Yeah. Obviously you're going to want it and you're going to look for it. So the key for kids today in school, we now understand how to find a better way to get it. I've spoken to schools where they've installed something called bouncy bands. [00:20:27] They're these little bands that sit on the, on the legs of the chair and the kids can bounce their legs without making any noise. And just that gives them some adrenaline kids are allowed to get up, go to the back of the room, right, hang out and and just, you know, work, standing up whatever little things more recess, less carbs at, at, at lunch things. [00:20:44] Izolda Trakhtenberg: You know, what's interesting about what you just said. It bringing up education in my mind, the whole, the whole education system. If I were queen, I would redo it because sitting kids who have such incredible amounts of energy down for so many hours a day, I think is a mistake. [00:21:00] I worked at NASA as an educator for many years and I watched it happen. [00:21:02] I watched kids be bored and they weren't, it wasn't necessarily that they were ADHD. Necessarily, I don't know what their diagnoses, and I know you don't like that word what their, what their state was, but at the same time, I think so many children have trouble with that. And so if, if we, if you were king and I were queen, what would we do? [00:21:21] How would we address kids today? And the education system to help them learn better in ways that work for them, whether they're neuro-typical. [00:21:31] Peter Shankman: Well, you have to, I mean, it's tough because you know, one teacher, 30 kids, you can't make three different ways of learning, but what you can do is you can level the playing field in your, in your favor, right? [00:21:40] So you can create you can create Situations where kids don't come in as entirely high energy. Right? So the premise of the kid wakes up instead of the kid waking up eating two bowls of chocolate, frosted sugar bombs, and sitting in front of television for 45 minutes at school, wake up, have a couple of hard boiled eggs, have some protein.[00:22:00] [00:22:00] Walk to school run around for 45 minutes, go to the school. You've got, you know, have a zero period class that's recess, let the kids work out exercise first, then bring them into school. They did a study in Texas with a school district in Texas, where they did exactly that they, they gave them 90 minutes of recess a day as opposed to 20. [00:22:16] And they upped they, they changed the carb. They dropped carbs in breakfast and lunch by 70% and upped protein by 50% like that. And they saw a 29% decrease. ADHD outbursts in boys and 20, not a 24% increase in girls getting involved in the class discussion. Those are huge numbers. They really are. [00:22:36] Right. So it's those little tiny things that you can do that really do make a huge change. [00:22:41] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Fascinating. I did not know about that study. I'm going to have to go look it up and I'm gonna swing it right back to you and ask you about something you said in, in your book. Again, you said that skydiving, which you are a master skydiver, which I think is great. [00:22:54] It gives you a productivity high. I would love to hear from you. What about a dive? I've been skydiving [00:23:00] once I loved it and I want to do it again, but what about it is your rush? What, what is the productivity high? That's kind of. Well [00:23:07] Peter Shankman: don't mean you're basically jumping on a plane, you're doing something. [00:23:10] Every single molecule or brain says dumb ass. You don't need to do this. The plane can land. And you're literally fighting against that. The second you enter the atmosphere. Second, you jump out of the plane. You're in, you're in air. You're in freefall, your body. You have two choices. I can open my parachute live, or I cannot have my parachute and die. [00:23:23] That's it. There are no other options. It is the most free you'll ever get. And when that parachute opens and you've quote unquote to fight death, I hate that term. But when you, when, when the parachute opens and you've slowed down and the world comes back into focus and you know, your hearing comes back and it's no longer just the wind and, you know, you. [00:23:41] You have this feeling of euphoria and that is all the domain serotonin and adrenaline firing at once. And so I, and that just doesn't go away. That needs to dissipate over time. So I will drop my parish. I will, I will land, I'll put a parachute full, you know gathered up, throw it in the corner of the, of the, of the, of the hanger, pull out my laptop lean on the parachute and then, you know, write 10, 20,000 words in [00:24:00] an hour, right? [00:24:00] Because I'm so high with, I double triple, quadruple the amount of those chemicals in my brain, that focus is. The easiest thing in the world and I'll do it and I'll get it done. And it's interesting because I was dating a woman once years ago, 20 years ago, it was a PhD candidate or double PhD, something way too smart for me, we should not have been dating. [00:24:21] And one of the things she was doing was like, she got paid the government, she got government grants to FICO, came to rats to learn about addiction and pathways and things like that. And, and I'm like, so you get free cocaine. She's like, yeah, let's just table that discussion right now. But the point was. [00:24:34] She took my blood once and she said, I want to, I want to take your blood and see how you are after a jump. And she goes, yeah, yeah. It just comes back a week later. She's like, yeah, you're basically half a molecule off from being a full, a full on cocaine addict. I'm like, I don't do cocaine. She's like, no, it's the same exact chemistry. [00:24:47] I'm like, huh? I'm like, so instead of if I need to focus, I just to go to cocaine, she goes, Peter, you're really not listening. But the premise was that I was getting that same high, but the difference was I was getting it naturally. When you do [00:25:00] cocaine, as I actually taught me The brain fires all those those receptors at once. [00:25:05] Because it doesn't understand what's going on. When you're skydiving, even though you need all those receptors to just keep you alive, the brain is still smart enough to keep some in reserve. It's why after I finished skydiving and finished writing 20,000 words, I could still drive home. I don't know crap. [00:25:22] I don't need to immediately do it again. Right. My body is able to process that keeps on the don't mean for later we turned some of the serotonin things like that, as opposed to illegal drugs, which are, you know, drugs period, which, which don't do that. They just, oh, send it all. Okay. Now you're empty. Right? [00:25:35] It's the equivalent of, of, of being in a helicopter and having 10, 10 minutes of reserve fuel in case in times of war. So, you know, your body is very smart that way, and if you can figure out how to adapt it for me, it's skydiving or running or exercising or public speaking, you know, my. Knows me so well that when I do a corporate keynote, she will attempt to get me back in my seat, on the airplane home within two hours of my coming off the stage, [00:26:00] because that's around the time that I, that I started to come down from the high. [00:26:03] Right. And if she times it well, and there are no delays, I will sit down that plane and I will fall asleep until we get home. And it's the greatest feeling in the world. It's the deepest sleep I'll ever get. [00:26:12] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I it's great to have someone that knows you so well. And that actually brings me to my next question. [00:26:17] Are you one of those people who you're able to start the project and then see it through, or do you get into what my husband and I call shiny, pretty producing things syndrome and go, oh, the next thing squirrel. And then you move on and if so, what kind of support do you have or need to stay on track? [00:26:33] Yeah, [00:26:33] Peter Shankman: it's a dos attention deficit. Ooh, shiny. I have, what I have is a very, very, very powerful calendar. There is not 20 minutes out of my day that is not scheduled. It was brutal during the beginning of COVID. All my keynotes, which went virtual. I had a keynote in Stockholm. Okay. Well, I know I'm taking most of my day to fly there. [00:26:51] I'm going to sleep. I'm waking up the next morning. I'm speaking, I'm spending the day there next morning. I'm flying back home. That's three full days, right? That's 14 hours on a plane and round trip. That is [00:27:00] a. You know, a lot of scheduled time where I can right now that same keynote that would the 45 minute keynote that we want to take three days. [00:27:06] Now it takes about 45 minutes. So I'll do it at 4:00 PM or 7:00 AM or whatever on a, on a Tuesday at my apartment. And I've done it 7 45. I've just done all my work for the week. And I'm like, okay, well, got a lot of free time. Huh? I can start another company or maybe try meth, you know, it's like, yeah. So one of the things I realized, right, beginning of COVID is I have to schedule shit. [00:27:30] Doesn't matter if I have nothing to do, I'm going to schedule something to do. So I spent a lot of time. I bought kettlebells, I've gained 16 pounds of muscle in the past two 14 months, because what the hell else I'm gonna do? Right. But I made sure that my schedule was full and. You know, it's again, it's putting these rules in the plate. [00:27:46] I don't allow myself to ever say, oh, watch it on Netflix. No, the only time I allow myself to watch Netflix or Hulu is when I'm on the bike. Because if I allow myself to do it once I will watch Netflix and Hulu every day and that's it, I will never get anything done. So I only allow myself to do it when I'm working out, because I know I can't do that [00:28:00] forever. [00:28:00] So it has to be about putting these rules into place. Same reason I don't same reason they don't you know, that I have, I have two sides in my closet and they're labeled, right. I wake up in the morning. Okay. Am I on the road today? Am I speaking somewhere? Am I on TV? No. Okay. T-shirt and jeans. Oh, am I traveling? [00:28:16] Am I, am I, or am I, am I speaking somebody? Okay, great button down. Shirt, jacket, jeans. That's it. My sweaters, my best, my scarves, all that stuff. It's in my daughter's closet. So I have to see it because God's been ahead of look at the stuff. Oh my God. What should I wear? I know, I remember that sweater. [00:28:27] I'm like Largan. That's what I wonder how she's doing. I should look her up, you know, it's it's three hours later. I'm naked the living room on Facebook. I haven't left the house. [00:28:35] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Oh, it's like your it's like I'm living with you instead of that's when that's exactly. It's exactly how he does things. And, and it's interesting because that notion of decision-making. [00:28:47] What you, it sounds like you have developed specific processes to, to address the fact that you have sometimes issues, either making decisions or getting onto the next thing. Do [00:29:00] you detail them somewhere? Are there places where if someone goes, okay, I want to know how Peter Shankman does it, where can someone go if they are interested in finding out more about your process and how you've managed to make ADHD [00:29:12] Peter Shankman: or superpower? [00:29:13] So I occasionally. Now for halibut coaching. I have a site for that called shank minds.com/adhd coaching. Love coaching. I'm not, I don't call myself a coach, but I occasionally help people. I talk about this stuff all the time on at shankman.com. I talk about it on any of my social channels all the time, which is at Peter Shankman and all the channels. [00:29:32] I encourage people to email me. You are welcome to, to reach out if you want to go for a run or, you know, the only thing I will not do is sit down with you for a meeting, but you want to go for a walk and talk. You wanna do an Aaron Sorkin style Westwind meeting. We walk 25 blocks and you know, never stopped. [00:29:44] I'm happy to do that. I I'm always, you know, what I used to do when I'd go to the airport is if you really want me bad enough, you will take a ride to the airport with me. Right. We'll take New Jersey transit from the city to, to the airport. And you'll have me for about 40 minutes. Talk about what you want. [00:29:57] Right. And, and you'd be amazed how many people would do that. So yeah, for me, [00:30:00] it was really about about Knowing what works for me, understanding that it might not work for everyone else, but happy being happy to share what I do. [00:30:11] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I love that. And I'm so grateful that you said that because I'm at some point going to take you up on that. [00:30:15] I won't, I won't run, but I'll walk. So I have just a couple more questions if that's okay. I wanted to ask you about new ideas. They come to you fast and furious. Where from what does your brain do differently in that way? And how do you file them? Or do you just remember the. [00:30:32] Peter Shankman: I write them down. I write everything down. [00:30:33] When I run, when I exercise, I use my apple watch. They make, they make notes. They make memos. This morning on, on, on the Peloton at 4:00 AM, I came up with two video ideas. I put them both on this to remind me in three hours to try this or that, you know, as long as it's written down somewhere, I can then translate it three hours later. [00:30:47] When it reminds me I could transfer it to a Google spreadsheet or whatever. And I'm able to, to keep this on when I need to do okay. I gotta write, gotta create something this weekend went, oh, look, all this stuff I have. Right. So, so. Everything because you know, some of the greatest lies in [00:31:00] the world you know oh, I'm only five minutes away is right. [00:31:03] You know, those great, great lies the checks in the mail. And I'll remember it when I wake up. [00:31:08] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Oh, absolutely. I never do. And I keep, I do keep a journal right by my bedside so that I can write first thing in the morning. That is so important to me as someone I don't have ADHD or add, but I do forget, and I get lots of ideas. [00:31:20] So I think I'm so glad that you said that about writing everything down. I think it's such a fantastic way of, of making sure that the things that you think are important, actually get down and kept. And kept as important. I I'm so grateful. I know this has been fast and furious. I am so grateful that you took the time to join me on the show. [00:31:39] And I'm going to put everything in the show notes as far as where people can find you. And I have just one last question that I ask everybody who comes on the show. And it's a strange little question, but I find it comes with some profound answers. And the question is this, and you as a skydiver will have a particular opinion on this, I think. [00:31:55] And that is this. If you had an airplane that could sky write anything for the whole world to see. [00:32:00] What would you say, [00:32:08] Peter Shankman: love yourself? [00:32:11] Izolda Trakhtenberg: That's beautiful. Thank you, Peter. I really appreciate it. I appreciate you being on the show. Thank you so much. My pleasure. This is all the Trakhtenberg for the innovative mindset podcast. I'm super grateful that you joined us. This has been a fabulous, I'll be a quick conversation with Peter Shankman. [00:32:26] Maybe we'll be able to get him back on the show again, to talk even further about the ADHD brain and how you can use it to innovate and create and be creative until next time I remind you to listen, learn, laugh, and love a whole lot. [00:32:43] Thanks so much for joining me today. I really appreciate you being here. Please subscribe to the podcast if you're new and if you like what you're hearing, please review it and rate it and let other people know. And if you'd like to be a sponsor of the show, I'd love to meet you on [00:33:00] patrion.com/innovative mindset. [00:33:01] I also have lots of exclusive goodies to share just with the show supporters. Today's episode was produced by Izolda Trakhtenberg and his copyright 2021 as always. Please remember, this is for educational and entertainment purposes. Only past performance does not guarantee future results, although we can always hope until next time, keep living in your innovative mindset.       * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. I'm also a PR Starter Pack Affiliate. I use Gloria's methods to get featured in the media often. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love!


    Norm Snyder, CEO of Reeds, Inc. on Innovating in the Ultra-Competitive Soda Industry

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 27, 2021 74:37

    Norm Snyder Discusses Innovating in the Ultra-Competitive Soda Industry This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset Norm Snyder joined Reed's Inc. in September 2019 as the Chief Operating Officer. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer in March 2020. Prior to joining Reed's, Norm served as President and Chief Executive Office for Avitae USA, LLC, an emerging premium new age beverage company that markets and sells a line of ready-to-drink caffeinated waters. Prior to Avitae, he served as the President and Chief Operating Officer for Adina For Life, Inc., President and Chief Executive Officer of High Falls Brewing Company, and Chief Financial Officer, and later Chief Operating Officer of South Beach Beverage Company, known as SoBe. In prior experience, Norm served as Controller for National Football League Properties, Inc., and in various roles at PriceWaterhouse during an eight-year tenure. Norm earned a B.S. in Accounting from the State University of New York at Albany. Connect with Norm https://drinkreeds.com/ Drinkvirgils.com Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drinkreeds/ Episode Transcript [00:00:00] Norm Snyder: I have one prerequisite for people that come to work for us. You want to be there and it's just not a job, right? You want to be there to make a difference. [00:00:13] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Hi, and welcome to the innovative mindset podcast. I'm your host. Izolda Trakhtenberg on the show. You get my conversations with peak performing thought leaders, creatives, and entrepreneurs. We explore how you can innovate through creativity, compassion, and collaboration. I believe that innovation combined with compassion and creative thinking can save the world and I aim to bring you ways. [00:00:35] You can do it too. If you're enjoying the show, I'd be super grateful. If you could support it by buying me a cup of coffee, you can buy me a cup of@buymeacoffee.com slash Izolda tea. And now let's get on with the show. [00:00:57] Hey there and welcome to the innovative [00:01:00] mindset podcast. My name is Izolda Trakhtenberg. I'm super happy that you're here and I'm so honored and happy to have this week's guest on the show. Check this out. Norm Snyder joined Reed's incorporated in September of 2019 as the chief operating officer. He was appointed chief executive officer in March, 2020 prior to joining Reed's norm norm. [00:01:21] I love that norm served as president and chief executive officer of Avita USA, LLC, and emerging premium new age beverage company that markets and sells a line of ready to drink caffeinated waters prior to a VTA. He served as the president and chief operating officer for Edina for life. He was president and chief executive officer of high falls brewing company and chief financial officer. [00:01:44] And later chief operating officer of south beach beverage company known as Sobe in prior experience. Mr. Snyder, norm served as the controller for the national football league properties that tells us something about norm and in various roles at Pricewaterhouse during an [00:02:00] eight year tenure norm earned a BS in accounting from the state university of New York at Albany. [00:02:05] Wow. You have quite the resume norm. Thank you so much for being on the show. Welcome. [00:02:11] Norm Snyder: Thank you. Good to be [00:02:12] Izolda Trakhtenberg: here. I am. First of all, you have such a wide range of experience and you began. As an accountant, which I think is so it's so fascinating because accounting is in many ways, everything, knowing where you are, knowing where you want to go and knowing the sort of the, the numbers behind it is, is incredibly fascinating to me. [00:02:37] And I'm wondering, how did you get from? I started in accounting to, I am the CEO of one of my favorite beverage companies reeds. Cause I love the ginger beer and ginger ale. How did that [00:02:48] Norm Snyder: happen? Well, you know, it kind of goes back to the, before I went to school and, and figuring out what I wanted to do and I, I always had a pension for business [00:03:00] and, but I also thought I wanted to be a lawyer. [00:03:03] And somehow I threw that into a cup and shook it up and threw it out and accounting came out. And I thought, you know, the, the real basic premise behind it was, is it exactly you touched on if I understand the, you know, the numbers guide, every business, I understand where all the numbers are coming from. [00:03:21] It would be a great way to learn. It would be a star. So, you know, I spent the formidable part of my career, really working with big fortune 500 corporations and really got to see a lot how they operated and really use the numbers, how to, how to dig in and understand that. And then when I got on the business side, I loved it even more. [00:03:41] So I knew that, you know, businesses where I really wanted to be and, you know, in an operating role. And as I progressed, I just, I loved it more and more. And then I found at the end of the day, it really gave me a competitive advantage, being a CEO that understood [00:04:00] numbers and how things work. So I always felt like when it came down to financial negotiations, nobody could, nobody could top me. [00:04:06] So it was kind of a stepping, stepping stone or a ladder is how to start and where I wanted to go. Then once I got into that side of the business, I fell in love with it. And I just, you know, I knew that was that's where I wanted to be. And, and that's where I am now. [00:04:24] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Oh, that's fascinating to me, this notion of having a springboard and then you innovated from there and you develop this incredible career from something that is as basic as numbers, but they can be really complicated and. [00:04:40] It's interesting to me because reads is I am going to be very I've. I've been drinking reads since the nineties, when I first heard about it and, and started, it was only available like in the natural health food stores type places, it wasn't widely available and yet you've been innovating and making it so much more [00:05:00] prevalent everywhere. [00:05:00] I would love it for, for those of you listening, who have not heard about reeds, you need to go out and get it's so good if you, especially, if you like ginger, but norm I would love it. If you would talk a little bit about reads where it was when you started and where it is today. And if you could tell just a little bit about what the company is, I would love that. [00:05:19] Norm Snyder: Well, let me just, let me, let me say a couple of things before I answer that. Number one. I started drinking it in the nineties too. So, you know, I've been in, I was a consumer long before I became involved with a company. The other thing too is, you know, throughout your career and I'll, I'll say this to any young people that are looking for advice, I've also had great mentors. [00:05:41] And one of the reasons why I'm here ironically, is a guy that I started working for over 30 years ago in NFL properties, named John bellow. And, and you know, if you look at spots on my resume, there's a lot of spots that he was involved with. And, and he has been very instrumental in my career in terms of [00:06:00] learning and pattering pattern things of him. [00:06:04] So that's important too. Now reads reads is a, a great company. And one of the things that I love about it and this, this is what makes me feel good when I wake up every morning. And I talk about. You know, we just came out with this campaign called Reno reads is real or reads. I got to make sure I get this right. [00:06:25] You know, real real is always better. That's it? And we, if you take a look at our ingredients panel and if you know how we make our products, they are so far superior than any of our competitors by far. And that makes me feel really good because we're offering consumers, you know, the best ginger beer, the best ginger ale, you know, the best craft sodas that we have. [00:06:52] And, you know, Reed's was, it's a 30 year old company started by a gentleman in Southern California named Chris Reed who had this [00:07:00] idea and he loved ginger. And that the world really knew nothing about ginger, except for maybe, you know, in a Chinese food menu. Right. And all the great properties that ginger has. [00:07:13] And created this all natural, better for you drink. And which started because if you go back in 30 years ago, the only, the only, the only channel that would carry such a thing was that were natural stores. Right? And then it morphed into grocery stores because groceries as natural stores became bigger and started stealing business from grocery stores, grocery stores said, wow, we've got to start offering more natural products, right. [00:07:39] And you know, most mainstream grocery stores today have a fairly large section of natural products or have natural products that are interspersed within the regular categories. So we kind of morphed off into that. And you know, we've been growing ever since because obviously [00:08:00] as people become more educated and understand the great properties that a lot of these products have and become more knowledgeable. [00:08:09] And want better for you products. You know, it's the classic supply meets demand scenario, and we've been able to fill that gap. [00:08:19] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I'm taking all of that in for a second because it's in many ways looking at it from, from an economics standpoint, that whole idea of supply and demand is it's as old as time. [00:08:32] And yet there are some innovations here that are, that are fascinating to me because the innovation, when Mr. Reed started the company was all natural ingredients as specially focusing on actual ginger instead of this sort of, oh, ginger, if you will. And, and that was different. That was really different. I remember thinking that when I first started drinking it and that, that it tasted like ginger, not [00:09:00] fo ginger, if you will. [00:09:01] And so. How does that work when you're starting something like this. And I know you haven't been with the company all that long, but, but you're still innovating. You're coming out with new campaigns. How does, how does somebody decide, you know what, I'm going to do things in a way that people aren't thinking about like all natural ingredients, actual, fresh ginger in the sodas, instead of fake ginger or whatever, what do you think the mindset has to be of someone who takes that kind of chance? [00:09:32] Norm Snyder: I think they truly believe in and stayed true to their convictions of this is what they want, and this is good. And I'm spin up persevere and educate as many people as possible. And hopefully they'll feel the way I do. I mean, obviously anybody that takes that type of risk, right. And anybody that creates something that sticks for 30 years has done something pretty tremendous my view. [00:09:56] And so one of the things we, we, we, we [00:10:00] haven't deviated. From its founding guiding principle that Chris started. And that's why, you know, it came back to this whole thing. That real is always better than, you know, 30 years we're still doing it the way he did it and his garage or his kitchen. Right. We were still using organic, real ginger that we import from Peru. [00:10:28] And we still make it the same way and we still make it the, what he refers to as the Jamaican inspired recipe, which is fruit juices. So we use pineapple, lemon, lime and honey. Right. And you know, what I've tried to do is just improve the efficiencies of how we put all that together. Right. And not deviate, but as you mentioned, innovate, so. [00:10:53] That's a great next step in you know, what, how we innovate is because if you look at the ginger beer category [00:11:00] relative to other beverage categories, it's, it's, it's kinda small. And, and a lot of competitors saw the successor reads as an up comment and obviously that takes market share. And if you look at, if you look at ginger beer consumers you know, it's kind of a mix and it's, it's, it's used as a mixer, obviously with the popularity of Moscow mules and dark and Stormys, and that's quite frankly how I met reads with overall Moscow over a few Moscow mules [00:11:30] Izolda Trakhtenberg: in [00:11:31] Norm Snyder: those special copper cups, but those copper mugs, right. [00:11:34] And then. But you have some folks that like, drink it, like I use the Jamaican inspired recipe. We had to make a woman that worked for us and how everybody makes their own home version. But, you know, they, they drink it like a soda. So it's a mix that, you know, people that drink it like a soda they use it as a mixer, actually, there's people that drink it because of that helps their digestion. [00:11:58] It helps them, they have [00:12:00] nausea. You know, we have a lot of like cancer patients, believe it or not that reach out to us because it helps them. So you know, kind of, that's sort of very limited type of audience. So, you know, one of the things that we thought of, which was kind of a natural is the ginger ale category, which people drink, drink ginger ale the same way. [00:12:21] I mean, my grandmother gave it to me one in an upstairs upset stomach and my mother gave it to. If you go to the hospital, they give it to you. Right. But it's a much broader category. It's not as you know, you don't have quite the ginger burn that you do in ginger beer. But we sent cheese. Why aren't we in the ginger ale cannon? [00:12:39] I mean, and as we peel back the onion a little bit, we found once again, that nobody's really using fresh ginger or real ginger, they're using ginger flavoring, ginger extracts. So we took that formula and applied it to our ginger ale. And again, it's one of our it's, it's probably our fastest growing product right now. [00:12:59] [00:13:00] And you mentioned that you would be drinking your zero calorie, ginger beer. I've been drinking like zero calorie, ginger ELLs, like they're going out of style. Right? I just love the flavor. You know, it's, you know, it's, again, it's a great product. We took the foundation of our ginger beer and created this. [00:13:19] You know, a great way we have innovated. Then we took it a step further and we came up with mocktails. Cause we found out that a lot of folks said, Hey, I want to go out, but I don't want to feel like I have to have an alcoholic drink in my hand. So, you know, and, and if I think in your, in your neck of the woods in Brooklyn, there's been non-alcoholic bars that have popped up, right? [00:13:39] People would go off that want to have fun and socialize, but don't want to feel like they have to drink. So we came up with these ginger rail based mocktails, surely temp on our versions called Shirley tempting and then transfusion, which is you know, which has been a very popular drink. So obviously if you want to mix it with alcohol, you can. [00:13:58] But if you don't, you have a [00:14:00] really great, healthy zero calorie beverage that you can enjoy and, and not feel like you have to have to have consume it with alcohol. So I think that's a great sort of three step, how we've really pivoted and innovative to give folks. A great quality product. It's all natural, but that they can drink at the, at the occasion that they'd feel the most appropriate. [00:14:23] And the reactions then really, really possible. [00:14:27] Izolda Trakhtenberg: And I'm so glad that you said that because I am not a huge drinker and I'm usually the designated driver, you know? So, so it's really nice to be able to go. I would like something that, that is going to taste great. It's going to, this is going to sound a little weird, but it's gonna look good if you see what I mean. [00:14:47] I [00:14:47] Norm Snyder: don't want to feel out of place. Right? You want to feel like you're you're, you're, you're, you're you're you fit in with everybody. And then that's the beauty of these things. And you know, one of the things that I do and I love part of my job is so [00:15:00] I, we have six production facilities across the country. [00:15:03] Every production run that they do, they should product. So my office looks like a collection of bottles, right. And I have a mini refrigerator and I drink, I try and both warm, ambient temperature and cold, but I drink multiple products every day from different locations where they're produced to locate for quality, be for consistency. [00:15:25] But I mean, I want to drink this stuff cause I want to know if a consumer says something, but I can say, look, I had that this is what I believe. Or, you know, do I detect there's an issue because if there's an issue we need to fix it. So I do that every day. I mean, I drink multiple products every day, seven, you know, all the time in the office, but I, but I have a collection of all of our production stuff, so I know what's going on and I know what our consumers are picking up. [00:15:55] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I love that. I, you know, it's funny going, going into a bar or [00:16:00] pub and ordering something, nonalcoholic feels sometimes I've had people say, oh, you must be in AA. And I'm like, no, just didn't want to drink. And so, so this it's, it's a weird way. It's a weird way of passing actually, because fewer people will talk to you about that sort of thing. [00:16:20] Not that it's any of their business, but yet something that, that is interesting to me about what you just said about making sure that the consumer experience is a positive one. That's, that's one of the, that's one of the results, right? Is that people feel more comfortable drinking it and something else that I would love to ask you about, you said, That you check in as far as whether or not things are going well from all the production facilities. [00:16:49] And I like to say that an innovator is a creative thinker on a mission. And it sounds to me like you're embodying that this notion of checking in, of being very [00:17:00] practical. Can you talk a little bit about what those steps are? How does that, how do you keep innovating while staying very practical in the evaluation and assessment process? [00:17:13] Norm Snyder: Well, because the innovation is the fun part, right? It really, it really is. I mean, you can, you can come up with a wackiest ideas and it's like a release, right? It's like, you can get all this stuff off your chest, off your mind. I mean, I'm like, it's kinda funny. It's ruined me forever being in the beverage business. [00:17:35] Cause I can't go into a store and just buy stuff. I've got to go to the beverage section. I got to go to the coolers. I got to check out what's going on. You know, I look at there's all this scan data. So it's syndicated data that either Nielsen or IRI puts out that shows by category what's selling. [00:17:53] What's not selling by package. I mean I love data too. So it's kind of like, see you assimilate all this stuff that [00:18:00] you're seeing, that you hear people talking about. I have I have three 20 year old children. Well actually I have five but three that are in their twenties and I'll watch what they drink and what their friends drank and what they talk about. [00:18:12] Like I said, when I go into stores, I, no matter what I'm doing, if I'm going on mission a, I always end up in the beverage outlet, check out what's going on. So it's the fun part is the innovation thinking, this is what I think people want. We do a lot of research this based on what the research tells us people want. [00:18:30] So we'll put together a product concept. This is what it becomes a little bit more formal, but a product concept, and then work with our R and D department to create something. And then the fun part is that, that first time that you taste it and does that product really reflect what you're trying to do. [00:18:50] Right. And sometimes you get there very quickly and sometimes it takes a dozen iterations. And sometimes you just say, can't get there. Can't get there. No, [00:19:00] one's gonna, no, one's going to drink this. So that's kind of the fun part. Because it's part science part our, you know, part into it in intuitive and, you know, and I do it with, you know, a lot of people within our organization. [00:19:14] Right. So it's just not me. It's everybody. And it's kind of like free flow. I've got to make sure I said that slowly free flow thinking where people can just kind of like, say what's on there. Right. And you know, you watch trends and you have data and you do other stuff and you try to put it all together and come up with a decision that makes sense. [00:19:35] But you know, we do that on the premise of who we are and what are our, what are our key values, right? It has to be within those because what if we deviate from what our values are then who are we really? Right. So we try to, we try to stay within that sort of bandwidth of who we are and what we want to be. [00:19:56] And, you know, some, like I said, sometimes it just feels really good. It's [00:20:00] like, boy, we nailed this. And sometimes it's like, well, it could be a stretch, but does it work? And sometimes we come back and just say, that's not us. So it's the fun part of the job. And it's the part that's unstructured and very loose and very flowing and it's fun. [00:20:15] And you know, I'm really, I'm really proud that as an organization, we have no shortage of really good ideas. And, and, and like, you know, we, we've got the next two to three years covered, right? Not saying that if we, if something new comes up that we could react quickly, but we have that, we have that many ideas that are, that are good. [00:20:37] Izolda Trakhtenberg: That's fantastic. And I'm, I'm struck by the notion of including everybody that it's not just you making the decisions, it's you working with your team with, with the people who make up the company. And I'm wondering that that's in many ways, an innovative thing. Also, I'm wondering if you could talk a little bit about [00:21:00] how you structure that if there is a, you said it's free flowing, but there has to be some sort of a, almost a process when you're doing something iteratively like that. [00:21:10] How do you do that? [00:21:11] Norm Snyder: Yeah, what we we've, we've developed, not that we want to be burdened with structure. But at the same time, it just can't be shooting from the hip. So we develop. Can can you to develop processes once we get to that formal stage of, yeah, let's do this. But so my job is which is hire as many good people as possible. [00:21:33] Right. And let them do the work and let me take the credit. Right. My, my job is to really kind of, I'm almost like the, the conductor in the orchestra and there's different sections and there's people with different strengths and different weaknesses. And after you work with folks, you get to, you get to know what their strengths are. [00:21:53] So, you know, when something comes up like this person or that person, or this group of people are the ones that [00:22:00] I'm going to listen to a little bit more, that's shut other people out because you know, there's been good ideas that come from from people, you know, you don't expect, but, and it's sort of it's, and I'll tell you, it's kind of spontaneous because. [00:22:14] I'll start on one project and it all either be bogged down or something else will come up and then I need a break and I'll just say, all right, let's cut. Let's taste. Right. Let's taste. We've got a bunch of stuff that we've been working on. Let's taste it and we'll sit there and you gotta be careful because you can't, once you taste too much, your taste buds become severely ineffective, as well as your ability to smell. [00:22:40] So you really got to kind of measure yourself, but it could be spontaneous. Like let's do it, or let's talk about this. Or then we, or we schedule, you know, we have we, we have weekly meetings and deal with all these things and a lot of it starts, but then we may say, let's just have a meeting dedicated to this one topic on X date.[00:23:00] [00:23:00] Right? So we, there is a little bit of spontaneity largely because of my schedule, but I think it works well. And sometimes people say, Hey, I've got this. What do you think? And I'm like, let's do it right now. So that, that makes it kind of fun too. But once we get serious, we do have a very documented process and we have people that are responsible for aspects of that development. [00:23:24] And we fine tuned it over the line. We have fine tuned the process over the last year and it's gotten really good, really good. Like we're working on a couple projects right now. And because of that, I think we're ahead of the game ahead of where we, where we should be, because we've done a real good job of tracking ourselves and communicating. [00:23:48] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I'm sorry. I'm pausing because I'm, I I'm taking all of it. Tracking yourselves and communicating those two are so collaboration to me is, [00:24:00] so it's people say it's a buzzword, but I think it's so important where everybody feels like they can contribute. And also that they're valued and valuable. So, so communicating their ideas, communicating through the process is fantastic. [00:24:13] But tracking that, that to me as, as, as more of a creative thinker, the notion of tracking things like that makes my head explode. Just because it's, it sounds like there potentially so many details. Can you talk a little bit about what the, what the ideas are behind traffic tracking and what it is that you're actually tracking? [00:24:35] Norm Snyder: I think you just answered the question. There's so many details, right? I mean, at the end of the day we build it forward, but I'm going to do it. I'm going to reverse engineer because I think this is easier to explain. Say you, you have this great concept and you know, right now everything's on cycle, right? [00:24:59] So [00:25:00] the, sell it into a channel or, or a retail chain, you know, they have their meetings on X day and then they make changes on Y date. Right. And they're pretty, I mean, think about this. Cause you're dealing with hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands of products and you just can't like do it every day and every week. [00:25:21] So they have these fixed periods. So you know what those are and see your work backwards. And you say, okay, we're going to launch X, Y, Z product at this retailer because this is where we really feel like we have to start. So, you know, the date that you can present, you know, the dates that, that they'll do resets at store. [00:25:41] Then you kind of work backwards and say, okay, what do we have to do to get to that point? Right. What are all the steps? And it's, you know, it's, it's starts at concept. The first thing is the liquid, you know, what's the liquid look and taste like, right. And what do you want that liquid [00:26:00] back to that whole, you know, that whole product brief, what does it represent? [00:26:05] And then you kind of go forward into, okay, when do we, you know, final product approval. And then from there artwork and labeling package configuration, and then you've got to produce it. So you have to have all your, you know, source all your raw materials and just about every piece of raw material, except for the liquid itself is branded. [00:26:28] And then, you know, legal, is it, you know, are we infringing in anybody's intellectual property? If not, is it available? Can we can. And then what sort of campaign are we going to have behind it? And then when are we w you know, when do we go, when do we actually scale up to a full production mode? And when can we have that product in our warehouses and when can we ship it? [00:26:51] So it's, you know, all these various aspects, which involves every department, right? Sales, marketing, [00:27:00] operations, finance. So it's a multi, multi departmental collaboration and meeting where we're tracking and making, checking the box. Do we have that covered? Do we have that covered? Do we have that covered then? [00:27:14] What's the timing? I mean, because depending on the package, if it's a specialized package, we may have to, we may have to put something in at the plant that produces it because they can't produce that package. So, so all these questions, you know, and, and where are you sourcing the ingredients and what's the lead times, right? [00:27:33] So. Yeah, and you want to kind of time it, right? Where you have product packaging, you know, artwork that you can share to sell it in and they can taste it. And then to be able to put a final product on their shelves the day, the day that they want it. And that's the process. And if you don't document it, you're going to miss something. [00:27:57] So, and it, you know, we have someone that [00:28:00] leads to that process that brings everybody together, then holds them accountable as to where do we stand with this? You're supposed to get back to us on that. Where do we stand on this aspect? Where's that aspect. And you know, again, it, it, it, it brings, you know, it brings the organization closer together. [00:28:17] I mean, we're not a big organization and, and you know what, not just, not just brands, make organizations successful it's people and how they, how they play off and interact with, with one another. So, you know, you can understand like what, you know today. I remember when I was a little kid and the Beatles were popular right. [00:28:37] Today, you put on a Beatles record and it sounds contemporary, right? Like they haven't lost anything. And, you know, granted they wrote great music, but together as a unit, what, what just, you know, one plus one plus one plus one was like 24 and I believe it, I believe organizations are the same way where if people click [00:29:00] together intellectually, if they, if they collect together spiritually, if they click together on so many different levels, you're more powerful. [00:29:09] Right. And, and this process really brings out the best in an organization. [00:29:17] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I love that you use the Beatles analogy. I mean, I agree the Beatles solo band on the run is a great album, but nothing can compare that they did solo two rubber soul and revolver. So I slightly completely take your point. And, and it's interesting to me how everybody, every person in your organization sounds again like, like they're encouraged to contribute and then also need to contribute. [00:29:43] And that you, someone who is an implementer, someone who is, or maybe an integrator who goes, yes, this is my job to make sure that that everybody is on track. And again, that's one of my challenges I sometimes take on too many projects. Have you ever found that happens [00:30:00] with the course? [00:30:01] Norm Snyder: How do you handle that? [00:30:04] It's difficult. That's that's something that you have to watch very, very carefully, but it's something that C C w. I have one prerequisite for people that come to work for us, you want to be there and it's just not a job, right? You want to be there to make a difference and you could be the guy that mops the floors, but you're going to make a difference. [00:30:26] Right? And I want everyone to feel empowered that they do make a difference in quite frankly, they do, because if one employee doesn't do their job, the whole company suffers. Right? So there's nowhere to hide. And I don't mean that to add pressure to people, but it kind of, it sets the, it sets the bar high, where I want you to be, want to be here. [00:30:49] I want you to want to make a difference and I want you don't want to contribute. And when you have people thinking at that level you get great results and then, but you're right. But then the negative side is [00:31:00] you gotta be careful that people don't take on too much because when they do that's when errors occur and errors, aren't good. [00:31:09] Because obviously it adversely impacts the company, but it adversely impacts that individual. Right. And I, you know, I also believe that look, I've, I'm a hard worker. I've worked hard my entire life. My family accuses me of being a workaholic. And there's been many Fridays when we're supposed to do something to grow some place and dad's still at work or on a phone and everybody's angry with him. [00:31:35] But I also believe that you need time off to refresh your batteries and to have fun and enjoy your family or whatever you want to do during your time off. So I really encourage that as well. But when you're here, I want 150%. Now I want you to want to be here, but you're right. That, that the tough part is I've had several employees. [00:31:56] I've had to, it's kind of funny. I've had to admonish and [00:32:00] say, I don't want you doing that. I want you to doing this. This is where you're the most effective. And I don't want you burnout. Or I had one employee. I told him if I saw an email from him after 11 o'clock at night, I was going to fire him because he was burning the candle at both ends. [00:32:18] And I'm like, I don't want you doing that. So that, that, that's something you have to watch. And then, you know, I never thought about it to you brought that up, but that's something that you definitely have to watch is that people get so caught up in it and they take on too much. And it's, and it's not that a desperation because they want to, and they can. [00:32:38] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Sure, but it doesn't matter does it because they can still burn out. Even if you care about something you can still burn out. So, so balance in all things I think is, is the way to go and something that I, speaking of balance, this is a weird transition, but here it goes. One of the things that I noticed as far as the packaging of reads, and this is because I'm a [00:33:00] artistic type person and I love colors from very early on. [00:33:03] I remember thinking, wow, the ginger ale is more yellow. The ginger beer is more green and then there's always an orange accent. This is yes. I noticed these things in here. It is. So, so I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about the design, how, if, you know, because you weren't at the company yet, but how did that all happen? [00:33:24] What w what were the colors chosen? I know that they're white, yellow, orange, but, but how does that all translate into how you're innovating now with the, with the way the product is presented? [00:33:38] Norm Snyder: I think we've, I mean, obviously we, we like that to sign cause we, we, we, we stay with it. I just think it sort of reflects that whole motif, you know, the Jamaican inspired ginger beer. [00:33:49] I think that's what if I had to put my finger on it, it kind of comes down to that and it sends off that whole sort of tropical image, [00:34:00] which is reflects that, you know, the style of the, of the Jew, our ginger beer, and then something that like, if you look at now, we really use the Palm trees and our ginger ale and our mocktails. [00:34:11] So we've kind of stayed true to that. And it just feels, you know, colors in the, in the whole creative element. Yes, I guess there is a bit of a science to it, but I look at a more of what's appealing to the eye and where, and where does your eye go and what, what does it catch and what does it reflect? [00:34:31] And, you know, obviously there's, you talked to a designer and they're going to tell you, you should paint your kitchen, this color, because it, it creates appetite and, and vibrancy. And this room, you want this color because it creates that and bedrooms, you want this color because you want them to be serene and comfortable. [00:34:48] And I think labels are kind of the same way. Right? And it just stayed on that whole sort of Jamaican slash tropical theme of who we were. And [00:35:00] the roots of it's really in the ginger beer. Right. And again, we haven't, you know, we've made it more contemporary, but we haven't deviated from that basic story. [00:35:13] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Yeah, cause it works right. And it's instantly recognizable and that's something, that's something that was great for me again, when I started drinking reeds in the, in the nineties was that you could, oh, I could always find them. And, and I, I don't know how quite it was quite how to say it, but I'm just going to say it, it feels to me like the, the beverage industry is really crowded. [00:35:36] You've got the, the big giant. [00:35:38] Norm Snyder: Oh yes, it is. Yes. You know, you know, let me come back that for a second. The two things that are really haven't talked about is we've sort of dominated the conversation with our reads portfolio, but we also have another perhaps of portfolio called Virgil's. Right. Which is, you know, we bought it in 94, so that's [00:36:00] 27 years. [00:36:00] So it's, you know, it's in the same age group is reads and again, it's, it's. But the same basic premise, all natural non-GMO. And we haven't talked about, you know, this aspect where a lot of consumers now, and the trends are, are no sugar, right? Zero calorie, no sugar. They're keto friendly, certified keto friendly. [00:36:25] You'd mentioned you, you know, you consume the zero sugar, ginger beer. And I talked about the zero sugar ginger ale, but, you know, I drink a lot of I drink all of our stuff, but we've. Well actually reads had it. We brought it back, our doctor better, which is a pepper flavored item, but we have a great, you know, root beer among other flavors. [00:36:47] And you know, we have this proprietary sweetening system, that's all natural that tastes gray and has no aftertaste. So one of the things about [00:37:00] zero sugar items, people tend to plug their nose and they can taste it because it's zero sugar, but it has a bit of an aftertaste. And our son doesn't and we haven't really spent a lot of, and so in terms of innovation now, we're, we're looking for something that has mouth feel and flavor that emulates a full sugar drink, but has no calories and is all natural. [00:37:26] And, you know, again, that's a big part of our innovation. We're seeing a lot of growth at our zero sugar line, both reads and Virgil's, but you know, we think we have the best tasting zero sugar product, you know, on the market. And that's another thing where we've, I think done a really good job job of innovating. [00:37:48] And again, staying true to who we are all natural, but trying to give the best experience to our consumers as possible. And like I said, I drank these every day and sometimes [00:38:00] I drink and I'm like, I have to look at the, I have to look at the label and say, damn, did we do we put sugar in this all of a sudden, because it tastes that good in the muffins that good. [00:38:09] So those are two things, you know, virtuals and the zero sugar line, which we have across our entire portfolio. And we use, which I think gives a far superior taste and a taste. That really is the closest thing in the marketplace in Miami. That you can get to a full sugar equivalent. [00:38:31] Izolda Trakhtenberg: It's so interesting. [00:38:32] You're talking about mouthfeel. And one of the things I, I, my husband accuses me of being a supertaster because I can taste certain things from a mile away and what I don't like, I definitely don't like if you know what I'm doing, and what's interesting to me about drinking breeds, first of all, I'm vegan. [00:38:50] And so the zeros, I know the other ones aren't vegan, but the zero sugar are vegan. There's no honey in them. And, and that makes me so very happy because now I can [00:39:00] drink reeds and again, and so what, what's fascinating to me about what you're saying this notion of, as I said, mouthfeel, is, is that it is about the experience, not just of drinking the drink, but how you feel after you've drunk it. [00:39:16] And that's a, and maybe because I'm not as familiar with the beverage industry as, as I could be. I didn't think that that was something that a company would be thinking about. I would think that it would be, and this correct me if I'm wrong, that it would be more like, oh, you know, our products, you like our products, you buy our products. [00:39:35] Yay. But mouthfeel is a post experience thing. Can you talk a little bit about what it is that you're trying to, what it is, what mouthfeel is just for clarification and also what it is that you're trying to achieve with the drinking experience for the person who's opened up a bottle of reeds? [00:39:55] Norm Snyder: Well, let me, let me just make a comment about supertasters. [00:39:58] They scare me, but I love [00:40:00] them at the same time, because it's a unique group of people. And I can tell when people comment I'm like, that must be a supertaster because they have the ability to taste things in both positive and imperfections. The vast majority of people don't taste. So that's always good. [00:40:18] And w we actually, we have a couple of supertasters in our office, which I love to bring them in to taste stop, because they can pick up imperfections that most people can't. So that's a great skillset. So mouthfeel the best way to describe it, describe it as like, so take a glass of water and take a chocolate milkshake. [00:40:37] Right. And those are like two extremes and how they're going to feel in your mouth. And it, and a lot of mafia is about what you perceive it to be. Right. So when you think about children and all my kids were really finicky eaters, it wasn't so much about taste. It's how that, that food felt in their mouth. [00:40:58] Right. [00:41:00] So, so if mom feels such an important aspect of it, and again, a lot of it's perception, but so. In a typical beverage and let's go back to before zero sugar diet sodas were, were there the best way to describe it, let me see if I can get this right. So the flavor is the music, right? But the sugar is the amplifier, right? [00:41:30] It takes it up a notch, it makes it loud. It makes it bold and it really gives it that mouthfeel. So you know, if you say you're vegan, I've been on a couple of these podcasts and other things with some other great entrepreneurial people in the food and beverage space. And when they talk about zero sugar for baking fill and mouthfeel are important because that's what you can't use, like Stevia at a banquet. [00:41:57] Right. It just, it's just awful. [00:42:00] So. When you think about sugar, not only gives it that flavor, that amplification of those flavors and makes it pop it gives it that mouthfeel that you expect that again, that you feel like you're like, you could almost chew it, but you don't bite into with it. It tastes that good. [00:42:17] And it's that satisfying? It's not just like, Kool-Aid, it's just not like flavored water. That's the big distinction between, you know, our craft sodas and our ginger beers is that mouthfeel. And when you take sugar out, right, and we use cane sugar. So cane sugar direct to me has better mouth feel than just regular sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, which the mass majority of mainstream beverages use. [00:42:43] You take away that. And with the zero sugar, you can get the flavor, but then it tastes like flavored water. So you need that mouthfeel, that sort of bite to it. Makes it feel like you're drinking a full sugar because it's not just the flavor, it's the feel. [00:43:00] Right. And we've, that's we really taste, you know, mouthfeel when zero sugar, not just flavor, but sweetness and mouthfeel. [00:43:10] It, does it feel light? Does it feel too heavy? Does it feel right? And we spent a lot of time on that and developing our zero sugar because we want it to emulate a full sugar taste. Most consumers have basically said, okay, I'll deal with a compromise on flavor. I'll compromise on mouthfeel. Cause I don't want sugar, make it to overstay. [00:43:35] Say I'm going to pick and choose where I get my calories. I'm going to pick and choose if I want sugar where I'm going to get it from many, say I don't, I want to eliminate sugar entirely from my diet. So we want to give them. That product that they feel like they're having that indulgence. Right, right. [00:43:54] Without the negative things that they're trying to avoid. And why should you have to, why should you have [00:44:00] to plug your notes are chunked down and just say, okay, the zero sugar, I'm going to accept it. Right. And we want to say to our consumers, or to all consumers, you don't have to compromise. You can have your cake and eat it too. [00:44:14] So to speak, right. Zero [00:44:16] Izolda Trakhtenberg: sugar cake. Yeah. [00:44:18] Norm Snyder: Look at, I drink and that's what I drink. Zero sugar. So I'm, you know, personally motivated because I want drink the best thing and I can drink and have the best flavor. So we really take that very serious. And that's what, again, stay true. Who do we are the best tasting, all natural, bold flavors, real as possible. [00:44:40] And when we develop products, that's the goal. And ML feels important because like I said, I've, I've opened a can of something I've drank it, like our black cherry. And I'm like, my God, this tastes so good. And I know what the answer is, but I still look at the back of the can to make sure it doesn't say sugar. [00:44:59] Right. [00:45:00] And that's, I want, you know, and I want to feel that way about all of our products and that's our, that's our goal for, you know, for, for zero sugar products, make them feel like they're full sugar, then there's no compromise in the base. Fabulous. [00:45:19] Izolda Trakhtenberg: That's awesome. And it's interesting to hear you talk about it with, with such passion about, about these products, because otherwise, why do it right if you're not going to, if you're, if you're not going to be really, really in love with, with the work and. And this is something that I, I love the way you described it. [00:45:45] It feels almost like drinking. The drink is a tactile experience in addition to being a taste experience with. Yeah, it is. It really is. It's fascinating. [00:45:55] Norm Snyder: I mean, even like look at our products are carbonated having the right carbonation [00:46:00] because that matters because people that like, I, I drink, I love carbonated products. [00:46:07] I drink sparkling water. Right. I drink our sodas. I love carbonation. And I'm very particular about carbonation. Carbonation is almost like sugar. It's like the tone, right? It's the base of the trouble, the music, if it's right, it makes everything perfect. If it's off it, throws it off and you know, that's another, another element of mouthfeel. [00:46:32] And then the attribute of the product that. We spend a lot of time in like sometimes when we do our samples, our samples lab can't get the carbonation level that we want. So we try to do our best with that, but it just shows you how important that aspect is too. And that we really watch and that's, and that's, you know, the thing I do when I open our product. [00:46:57] Oh, easy. Does that twist open? Does it [00:47:00] make that pop? When I poured in, does it, you know, do we get that? Do I see the level of carbonation and fall? Cause that's another really important attribute of our products. When we develop to make sure that they're in the range of carbonation that we think makes the most sense to really accentuate the flavor. [00:47:18] So it's really, I mean, it is, we are very passionate about it. You're right about it. And it's just not me. It's everybody in the organization. When we taste and we drink our stuff, but those are the things that. At that level and want to make sure that we have an absolutely perfect. So when consumers open that they feel the same way and there's, there's nothing more pleasurable when you get, when you get an email receiving an email from a consumer about your product and how they love it. [00:47:46] But at the same time, there's nothing like a kick to the gut when somebody has a bad experience. And I'll tell you what, when they have a bad experience, they reach us. We reached back out to them to try to make it better, to try to get, you know, get their input, maybe [00:48:00] clarify something, maybe, you know, sometimes somebody misinterprets what a product really is. [00:48:05] And you have to kind of help them get there. But, you know, that's that these are important aspects that we're very customer centric and want and are committed to put in the best quality products. And we take every aspect of those products very soon. [00:48:23] Izolda Trakhtenberg: And that makes sense, right? That, you know, no company has anything without its clients and customers, you vacuum. [00:48:29] So, and that's something that, that brings me to my next question. Cause norm, I'm going to keep you here for the next eight hours. I'm fascinated by the fact that people have their favorites, right? They, they might have their favorite as far as reads. They might have their favorite as far as Pepsi or Coke or whatever. [00:48:44] And REITs has this reputation for being a cut above. But how does that affect the average person who wants to drink are the people who you're serving as a, as an organization, as a company. Are they people who are more discerning in a certain way, or are they people who are [00:49:00] healthier or who want to be healthier? [00:49:02] How does all of that break down when it comes to what we were just mentioned a little while ago, there's pretty crowded beverage industry. [00:49:11] Norm Snyder: Well, I think they're definitely discerning and you know, some are kind of sewers that love our product. You know, we're still, we still have growth with all of our full sugar line in today's day and age, which to me, I find amazing. [00:49:29] I think most people are driven by healthier on natural. And I think that's really probably the mindset of our consumer. They want natural ingredients. They want healthier products. They don't want preservatives. They don't want artificial colors, artificial flavors. They don't want high fructose corn syrup if they're drinking sugar. [00:49:52] So I think those are the things that they clearly read labels are. I think our consumers are label readers, which [00:50:00] I think is great for us because they know what they want and they're not going to compromise. And I think that the trends are going that way. I think those are the you know, Where people want and they, you know, and when they indulge, they want to indulge in something that's good for, you know, that's good. [00:50:16] Not just something that's crap, that's artificial. So I think people are more, more educated obviously, and they know what they want in their diet, but they still, everybody still wants things that tastes good. Right. I mean, that's one thing that hasn't changed. So if you can deliver something that tastes fabulous but it's healthier and it's all natural. [00:50:38] That's, that's our consumer. But in terms of flavors, everyone's taste buds are different. You know, you could taste something and I could taste it and we taste two totally different things. So that's what you have to be careful. That's why I called you. We can't be the empire that listens to the crowd. [00:50:55] No, because the empire in a good day, when he makes 50% of the people happy. Right. [00:51:00] So we can't, you know, you're not going to make everybody happy with every flavor. Sure. People taste things differently and that's how they pick their flavors. But you hope that the flavors that they like that you satisfied it just, you know, the flavor spectrum and how people taste. [00:51:16] It is wild. And even when we do our tasting, how people react to what they pick up on, but I mean, you can't criticize people because that's what they perceive and that's what they taste. Right. And you can't tell them what they taste. So that's always the big challenge. So it's kind of like stick to what you're trying to, what you're trying to produce, whether it's an orange or vanilla cream or a root beer, that's our best. [00:51:40] And you hope that people like it, but you can't be. And then you can't get frustrated because people may have, I mean, cause what if somebody says, Hey, I bought this, this and this, I love this, but didn't like that. Well, you know, maybe you don't, that's not the flavor. Doesn't jive well with your, your, your taste buds.[00:52:00] [00:52:00] So you can't let that discourage you too much because you're never going to have people like everything across the board, as much as we strive to, it's just not going to happen. So you know, we try to whatever flavor it is, this is what, we're one of them. This is what we want to achieve and we're going to make it the best tasting. [00:52:20] So the people that like that will love our stuff, but you know, coming kind of back, I think that's where the trends are going. You know, obviously we talked about the non alcoholic beverage options, which is growing. We talked about all natural. We talked about zero sugar. And I think people just want healthier, better for you products. [00:52:38] And then. And in the case where our ginger beer is where we're using ginger, you know, there's some efficacy with ginger, right? And that's, I think what sets us apart with our ginger rail and our ginger beer is we're getting, you're getting real ginger and those products and real ginger has a lot of great properties that we hear from our [00:53:00] consumers all the time, all the time, why they drink our product and how grateful they are, that it exists. [00:53:06] And that, you know, we used real ginger in those products. [00:53:11] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Yeah. I mean, I love it. When I go on the few occasions, I've had to go sailing in my life. I bring reads, frankly. I know I sound like a commercial for you all, but, but I bring it because to, to stave off being seasick, it's wonderful for that. So, so yeah, absolutely. [00:53:28] I, I understand. And I love what you just said about perception and how. Your perception of what you're tasting is so unique to each individual person. I think that's, I think that's so important and, and you know, to me, something that's good for you and tastes bad is medicine and something is for you and tastes good. [00:53:48] Doesn't necessarily have to be that way. It can be something that you're just enjoying and, and yet, you know, we've just, we're, we're sort of coming out of this pandemic where a lot of people [00:54:00] have had all sorts of obviously obviously big issues and Reed's play has played a role. I'm sure in many people going, okay, I need my comfort and this is, this could be my ginger ale and my ginger beer. [00:54:13] What has gone on if you, if you can talk about it a little bit, what are some of the challenges that Reed's faced during the pandemic and, and the, how have you dealt with them and, and, and where are you going next with respect to this new future that we're going to be living. [00:54:30] Norm Snyder: That's a great question. I was thinking about this. [00:54:31] So I went out and I was at a one of our production locations yesterday. So traveling back, you know, you got a lot of time to think. So I'm thinking about that. And I'm like, man talking about the economy of two worlds. So during the pandemic, we actually benefited because people I think went back to brands, they could trust brands that reflect quality and brands that were healthier. [00:54:59] [00:55:00] And we had a really good year right now. What I didn't really see coming post pandemic. And I don't think anybody did for that matter was what's going on with the supply chain and transportation in this country. There's so much pent up demand. Right. And then with people losing jobs like I was in I was in And Philadelphia last night at the, at the airport and the place was jam packed. [00:55:29] Right. And I'm watching it. And I just, I love, I love seeing stuff happened and I've got a chance to talk to the manager. And you said, our business is up 30% over last year. Our staff has done 40%. I'm thinking, wow, that's, that's gotta be really taxing. So the point is the big challenge this year, which we had some issues that we, we, we, but we worked it [00:56:00] out. [00:56:00] Supply chain is, is just been very difficult to manage. I mean, for example, you can get cans in the United States. Every Ken manufacturer is at capacity. So people are importing cans from all over the world. Well guess what happens with that? There's all the ports of this country are congested. So. [00:56:21] What would normally be a four month lead time could be a seven, eight month lead time because we ordered something from Europe and it sat sad. The Pacific sat in the ocean for two months before it could even get a dock time. And then once you get a dock time to get through customs and get unloaded. So the supply chain it's been probably the most difficult I've seen in my entire career by far transportation. [00:56:47] I talked about the port congestion. I think I read something for every truck. There's 12 loads to go on that truck. Wow. So, you know, it goes back to what I talked about supply versus [00:57:00] demand. Our transportation costs have gone up of double of double. Wow. And it's like, wow, where did this come from? [00:57:09] Now? They're starting to come down and. Things are starting to look like they, by the end of the year, it could become more normal or at least in the first part of next year. But so requires you to plan things out more or you know, which we use for a raps in cardboard for containers have longer lead times. [00:57:31] There's been a shortage of steel for caps to put on your bottles. There's been a shortage of carbonation because the primary supplier carbonation or ethanol plants, and when nobody's driving, no one's using ethanol, right? So the by-product of that. So carbonation is even gone up. What's gone up with pallets that you stack your product now. [00:57:50] So virtually every aspect of our supply chain has been impacted. And we didn't see this during COVID, you know, we saw some tightening [00:58:00] labor is the other aspect to production facilities are having a hard time hiring people. So it's, it's really touched every facet of our business. So postcode, the post COVID year has been believe it, or not much more challenging than during the pandemic, which I thought once we got through the pandemic, the biggest challenge is going to be changing consumer preferences and tastes and how they shop. [00:58:28] And that would be enough to challenge us. That's really been, the supply chain has been turned sideways, right? And so when people ask me what keeps you up at night? That's what keeps me up at night, pasta transportation. And snafoos in our supply chain because as good as our people are, we have to think out longer periods of time to avoid issues. [00:58:56] And we've had a few, we've had a few of them [00:59:00] and it's really unfortunate because it's like, man never had to deal with this before. Not even close, like, as you get older and remember my parents talk about certain parts of life and yeah, I remember that, but we got through it, remember that and we got through it. [00:59:16] But now this is the most unique I've ever seen, but you know what, we'll power through it. I mean, it's not like we're defeated and, or are hanging our heads down and say, we can't do it. We just work twice as hard. And we know that it's going to return to some aspect of normalcy, but it's been a bigger challenge than most people think. [00:59:38] And if you pick up any financial press, it's in the paper every day, right. And look, every head impacts every aspect. I mean the buy cars, you can't buy a car, try renting a car. You can't even rent a car today. Right. Cause there's not available. Right. I tried to buy a steroid receiver. I couldn't find the, the brand and model. [00:59:57] My wife wanted a new washer and dryer, [01:00:00] but we got the last one in the store. The model that she, it, otherwise we had to wait like two months, right? If you want to buy faucets faucets, you must have were out of stock. I mean, so it's impacted virtually every consumer category. There is imaginable this whole supply chain. [01:00:17] So it's, it's been, it's been a struggle. Like I said, we'll power through it and we're not complaining, but it's, it's definitely changed how we, how we do business. [01:00:31] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Oh, sure. I imagine, I mean, whatever supply surplus there was pre pandemic got used up during the pandemic. And now all of a sudden, if you didn't have a supply surplus to carry you for two years, yeah. [01:00:44] You're going to be short. And, and who did, you know, no one ever thought during, during the pre pandemic or even during the beginning months, no one thought it was going to be this long. And so having to stay agile and having to stay sort of light on your feet[01:01:00] is, has become so important for so many companies. [01:01:03] And moving, as I said, moving into the future, it's going to be fascinating to see how we all do. If, and when something like this ever happens again, how will we plan for it? And, and that sort of leads me to my next question. And I w I promise I will, I have like a bunch more questions, but I will, I will, I will absolutely stop soon. [01:01:24] I, I was just wondering, what's your vision for reeds moving into the future? What is your vision for this company? [01:01:32] Norm Snyder: Well, you know, I, I think we, we've probably talked about this before we w we went on air that the thing that I've seen that I'm really proud of, but it feels good too, is that we're pivoting that we're, we're kind of, you know, the, where we're, we're migrating from, you know, the, what I'll call them all natural ginger beer company that kind of played in one [01:02:00] category to something that's much more. [01:02:04] Resonates with a much larger group of consumers that really satisfies their demand, but stays true to who we are. And it's been a subtle pivot, but you can see it in the products that are ordered. You can see it on what, you know, what's selling and what's not selling can see it in consumer feedback. [01:02:23] So I think, you know, the, the vision is continue to produce great tasting all natural beverages and, you know, that are both ginger base, but also our craft, our craft sodas that are healthier that we have, you know, continued to develop great zero calorie, zero sugar products. But, you know, to really look into maybe additional categories, either in the beverage or the food space, but to be sort of that company. [01:02:57] That really puts out [01:03:00] premium high quality, better for you all natural products. And you know, just like we were able to leverage and successfully grow our business, you know, on the whole premise of ginger, you know, there's other ingredients out there that, Hey, why can't reach, do that too? Right. So, you know, the future is, you know, being that company that really represents that product that consumers can trust that they enjoy drinking and they, they know comes from the finest ingredients source throughout the world. [01:03:37] And, but also that, you know, we, you know, and we've talked about this too, and it's the first time I touch on this that, you know, really looking at as most companies are that have a, a conscience. You know, aspect of our day-to-day living. And part of that's going to be sustainability, you know, that we're looking into in digging deeper, but, you know, just being a company that, [01:04:00] that reflects the times that we live in, that, you know, doesn't just die and go away because they stayed true to what they used to be. [01:04:10] I mean, there's so many great examples of that. So many products and companies when I was growing up that were like the big, big players that are just barely hanging on today. Right. And I don't want to be that company that doesn't recognize what consumers want and what are the current trends, but to be on the forefront of that. [01:04:30] And I think we've really done a good job of pivoting to do that. Right. And that's where I get that sense of what's going on in our company. And I really liked that feeling that we're, we're putting out products that people want and that are happy to have in their hands. But also enjoy tremendously, right. [01:04:49] And that are relevant to today's consumers. And that's what I want to be. I want to continue to be that way and, and, you know, start from this great idea that really was [01:05:00] innovative, ri

    Gene Baur, Co-Founder of Farm Sanctuary and Bestselling Author

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2021 49:35


    Gene Baur on the Animal Rights Movement, Big Agriculture, and Critical Thinking This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset Gene Baur has been hailed as “the conscience of the food movement” by Time magazine. Since the mid-1980s, he has traveled extensively, campaigning to raise awareness about the abuses of industrialized factory farming and our system of cheap food production. A pioneer in the field of undercover investigations and farm animal rescue, Gene has visited hundreds of farms, stockyards, and slaughterhouses, documenting the deplorable conditions, and his rescue work inspired an international farm sanctuary movement. He played a key role in the first-ever cruelty conviction at a U.S. stockyard and enacting the first U.S. laws to prohibit cruel farming systems. Gene has published two bestsellers, Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food (Simon and Schuster, 2008) and Living the Farm Sanctuary Life (Rodale, 2015), which he co-authored with Forks Over Knives author Gene Stone. Through his ongoing writing, activism, and speaking engagements, Gene continues working to expose the abuses of factory farming and to advocate for a just and sustainable plant-based food system. Connect with Gene https://www.farmsanctuary.org/ https://www.instagram.com/genebaur/ https://www.instagram.com/farmsanctuary/ Other links https://www.localharvest.org/csa/   Episode Transcript [00:00:00] Gene Baur: A lot of the information we receive is more marketing than accurate descriptions of reality. And so I think just the first thing is to be discerning and to recognize that just because we read something doesn't necessarily mean we should believe it. [00:00:20] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Hello and welcome to the innovative mindset podcast. Izolda Trakhtenberg on the show. I interview peak performing innovators in the creative social impact and earth conservation spaces or working to change the world. This episode is brought to you by brain FM, brain FM combines the best of music and neuroscience to help you relax, focus, meditate, and even sleep. [00:00:40] I love it and have been using it to write, create and do some. Deepest work because you're a listener of the show. You can get a free trial head over to brain.fm/innovative mindset to check it out. If you decide to subscribe, you can get 20% off with the coupon code, innovative mindset, all one word. And now let's get to the show.[00:01:00] [00:01:00] Yes. [00:01:04] Hey there and welcome to the innovative mindset podcast. My name is Izolda Trakhtenberg. I'm your host and I'm thrilled. You're here and I'm so honored to have this week's guest. I've got to tell you about this gentlemen. I'm so I'm a little nervous. I'll be. Yeah. But here we go. So gene Bauer has been hailed as the conscience of the food movement by time magazine, since the mid 1980s, he's traveled extensively campaigning to raise awareness about the abuses of industrialized factory farming and our system of cheap food production. [00:01:33] And you know, how close to my heart that is a pioneer in the field of undercover investigations and farmers. Eugene has visited hundreds of farms, stockyards and slaughterhouses documenting the deplorable conditions and his rescue work inspired an international farm sanctuary movement. He played a key role in the first ever cruelty conviction at a us stock yard and enacting the first us laws to prohibit cruel farming systems. [00:01:57] Yes, Gina's published two [00:02:00] bestseller. Farm sanctuary, changing hearts and minds about animals and food. It's by Simon and Schuster and living the farm sanctuary life in 2015, which he co-authored with forks over knives, author, Jean Stone, through his ongoing writing activism and speaking engagements. Jean continues working to expose the abuses of factory farming and to advocate for adjust and sustainable plant-based food system. [00:02:23] Again. Yes, Jean I'm so grateful and honored that you're here. Thank you so much for being. [00:02:28] Gene Baur: Oh, thank you. It's old. It's great to be with you. And I, and I love talking about these issues, so I'm very, very much looking forward to this. [00:02:35] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I, I have so many questions, but I really want to start at the beginning. [00:02:40] What, what did it for you? You know, there's, there's a moment at which you decide the kind of person you're going to be and who you're going to stand up for. What was it for you that made you think to yourself? You know what? I'm going to do this. This is going to become my life. [00:02:55] Gene Baur: You know, it, it, there was really never any one moment. [00:02:58] It was a [00:03:00] series of moments. And I think the initial thinking was, I just don't want to cause unnecessary harm in the world. And it started actually even before farm sanctuary, you know, I was born in 1962, so I grew up with Vietnam on television. I grew up during the cold war about all these worries and stories about, you know, The violence, the violence in the world just bothered me and I didn't want to be part of it. [00:03:23] So as I learned about the food system, I came to recognize the enormous violence there and you know, in high school for a short time, I stopped eating animals. When, when I had come home once and my mother had made a chicken dinner and I saw the light, the bird, you know, full legs and wings attached on his or her back on the plate. [00:03:45] And that turned me off from eating meat for a while. But that, that vision kind of faded over time. Then I got back to the old habit of eating animals. And then in 1985, I traveled around the country. I started spending time with activists, learning more about [00:04:00] factory farming and recognizing it was possible to live with. [00:04:03] Killing and eating other animals and that, and I went vegan. And then in 1986, you know, I felt that people just are unaware of what is happening in the food system. And people are unwittingly supporting violence and abuse every day. And you know, our original thinking was that if we could. Document and expose what was happening and show people they would decide not to eat out. [00:04:26] So that was kind of the simple thing. And this is in 1980. And so we started going to farms and stock yards in slaughterhouses to document conditions. And we would find living animals thrown in trash cans or on piles of dead animals. So we started rescuing them and that's how the sanctuaries began. But at the time we didn't really have. [00:04:45] Like a five-year vision or a 10 year vision. It was just a series of events. You know, like finding Hilda, for example, a sheep could have been left on a pile of dead animals that then led us to recognize how Hilda and other [00:05:00] farm animals could become ambassadors, because people wanted to hear her story. [00:05:03] We wanted to hear about where she came from. And then we could tell that story and educate people about the abuses of animal agriculture. And so it's been a whole process. You know, and, and that process continues. When we started, there were no other farm sanctuaries. So we were the first and there are now hundreds around the world, which is great, but we also, I think, need to critically evaluate how can these sanctuaries have the biggest impact possible. [00:05:29] And ultimately, you know, we said this in the early days, and I'll say it again today is ideally we would love to put ourselves out of business. You know, it would be. If there was no need for sanctuaries, right. But, but there is at this time because billions of farm animals are exploited and treated horribly and we need to speak out against that. [00:05:50] We need to model different kinds of relationships with that. Yeah. As friends, not food, which, which I think is one of the key messages of farm sanctuary is [00:06:00] that these animals deserve respect. They deserve to be treated with kindness and doing so as good for the animals. And it's also good for us. So, so, you know, it's an ongoing evolution. [00:06:11] And in addition to trying to inspire individual choices we are recently. Re-engaging in efforts to change the food system, which I think can have significant. [00:06:26] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I'm taking a second to take it all in. Wow. Okay. So I, first of all, yes. And thank you. That's actually that recognition of what I was eating of, what I was putting in my mouth is what made me go vegan many years ago and something that I'm hearing you say, and I love that you're hearing that you're saying it this way is. [00:06:48] You're not talking about eating meat, you're talking about eating animals, even that I don't know if it's a conscious choice on your part, but even that is an awareness raiser. So I'm wondering [00:07:00] when you do that, when you speak to people, when you're doing not, let's talk about the direct action later, because I'll get so angry, I'll have to run out of the room and scream for a minute. [00:07:09] But when you're speaking to people and you are trying to open hearts and. How conscious are you of your mindset of what you are trying to educate them on? [00:07:25] Gene Baur: You know, it, it really depends on the particular venue and, you know, here, we're just sort of talking like friends, you know? And so when I say animals, Honestly, I wasn't even conscious of that. [00:07:36] I was just expressing, you know, the humans are eating other animals and it's something that we need to critically evaluate. Right. But you know, when I've done media, I will sometimes also talk about eating animals. And I think that puts it in very stark terms because people don't think about the animals. [00:07:54] And so I think it's a habit I've somewhat gotten into. Being particularly [00:08:00] conscious of it, at least at this point over the years, it has been something that, you know, I've thought a lot about and how do we best reach people? How do we best connect with people? How do we build bridges of understanding instead of putting up walls that cause people to say, don't tell me I don't want it. [00:08:17] Right. And I think this is one of the things actually that sanctuaries do. And it would tie into the idea of talking about eating animals or not eating animals is that at the sanctuary is, are clearly animals, individuals, cows, pigs, chickens. They're not that different than cats or dogs or even humans. [00:08:37] And so the sanctuary world. Yeah. Affords us the opportunity to talk about animals as individuals in a fairly robust and impactful way, and that then can be applied to the food system and the lives that animals and humans experience at sanctuaries are very different [00:09:00] than those that are experienced in the food system. [00:09:03] And at the sanctuary. The animals are our friends. We interact with them in positive ways. There has been research done to show that when we interact with our dogs or other animals in positive ways, like petting our dog, for example, it helps to lower our stress levels, lower our breath, blood pressure. [00:09:21] It's good for us. And it's good for the animals. And I would say the same thing about sanctuaries is that these are a, win-win when good for us. Good for other animals. Whereas you compare that to the factory farming system. And I sometimes ask people to consider what it would be like to work in a slaughterhouse. [00:09:40] You know, this is something that is obviously horrible for other animals, but I would also. Suggested it is bad for people and it causes us to lose our humanity and our empathy. So, so the factory farming system is bad for everybody involved, I believe. And I think in the vegan animal rights [00:10:00] movement, there has been a recent sort of evolution towards looking at the system more holistically. [00:10:06] Looking at, in some cases, people who are participating in these violent acts as cogs in a wheel and have in many cases, sort of disempowered individuals without agency who are in some ways, even acting outside of their own interests outside of their own values and, and humanity and, you know, figuring out systemic. [00:10:28] Yeah. How do we replace our current violent extractive system with one that is based more on mutuality. One that is good for us. Good for other animals. Good for the earth. Because if you step back and think about it, you know, the way we grow food and consume in this country today, we're eating food that is making us sick. [00:10:50] It's been estimated. We could save 70% on health care. By shifting to a whole foods, plant-based diet 70%. We could prevent [00:11:00] millions of premature deaths every year. We could also save enormous amounts of land and biodiversity and ecosystems by shifting away from animal agriculture to plant based in the S. [00:11:13] 10 times more land is used for animal agriculture versus plant-based. And then of course, animals who are not being exploited and killed also do better when we're not eating them. So this is a win-win across the board. And I think right now we're at a position, especially with concerns about the climate crisis and the loss of biodiversity on the planet that we have very compelling reasons to argue for a plant-based foods. [00:11:40] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Oh, absolutely. And for sure, it's interesting to me what you said about the people. It's almost like in order to be able to do that horrible job, they have to make themselves inner to the violence they're doing every single second. That must absolutely. Change [00:12:00] them on some fundamental levels. And yet the notion of going macro with it, like you were talking about just a second ago of changing the food system itself. [00:12:10] Yes. It's good for the environment. Yes, it's, it's obviously better for, for the animals. If we're not. Exploiting them and killing them and eating them. But the question becomes for me, how, how do we, is it, is it lobbying efforts in, in government? What, what do we need to do? What do you, what are you thinking of doing and what do you think the average person can do? [00:12:33] To make inroads to making those changes. [00:12:37] Gene Baur: Yeah. Yeah, no, it is a big question and it is a multi valence to response. I think that we need to make individual changes in terms of how we eat so that we are not subsidizing this system by buying factory farm to animal products. Because when we buy those products, we're in a sense voting with our [00:13:00] dollars to support those systems. [00:13:02] But we also have a government that is supporting the factory farming industry to the tune of billions of dollars every year. So one of the first things I think we need to focus on. Is taking the government support away from growing feed crops. For example, you know, corn and soy that are grown in the U S are used largely to feed farm animals. [00:13:26] And those crops are heavily subsidized in a variety of ways. So I think we need to stop supporting and enabling this harmful and inherently inefficient. So that's one of the first things is to stop subsidizing irresponsible practices. Also, our government has done a lot to promote the consumption of animal products, including through the school lunch program, where for decades, a school kids have been given a glass of cow's milk as part of supposed nutrition. [00:13:58] But really, yeah. A [00:14:00] large part marketing and promotions. So I think our government needs to stop promoting animal foods the way it has been doing. And so there's going to be, I think, systemic. Policy matters. There's going to be personal matters. And I think there's going to be a business element to this where, you know, today we are seeing enormous investments in plant-based meats and in companies that are developing alternatives to, to meat from. [00:14:27] Living feeling animals. And I think those are very positive steps. So business is gonna play a role. Individual choice is going to play a role. And the government also, I think, is going to play a very important role. And part of it is stopping, you know, enabling our current system and instead enabling an alternative and the alternative could look a variety. [00:14:50] And I sort of see kind of bi-modal food production in the future. We sorta see it today to where you. Large scale mass [00:15:00] production and that's the dominant system. So I think in order to shift that it's really good that you have companies like beyond meat, impossible, and others who are looking to slot in a plant-based burger instead of a meat burger. [00:15:16] But in addition to that, I think there's going to be a more grassroots. It's a ground up push to even grow one's own food. Yeah. A robust urban farming movement. Now there's a food, not lawns movement now. And we can grow a lot more food than we sometimes believe by local urban agriculture. So I think there's a lot of growth in that space as well. [00:15:39] So there are good signs and these sorts of shifts should also be supported by government policies. [00:15:49] Izolda Trakhtenberg: You're singing my song. I love it. So there, there are so many things here that as a, as a former NASA staffer, I, I think about in terms of [00:16:00] how much of our land is being used for agriculture and is that land being used for the best form of agriculture. So what you said about plants like corn and soy that are mostly being grown to feed them. [00:16:15] Animal agriculture practices, I guess, is the best way to put it. How, how would they transfer if, if the government went okay, let's do this. Let's transfer over from corn and soy to more, plant-based that, that, that is designed to feed people, not animals. I'll put it that way because that's the best language I have in the moment. [00:16:37] How would we make that shift? How would we get farmer buy-in to be able to do that? [00:16:43] Gene Baur: Yeah, well, a lot of this crop land is now owned by banks and financial institutions. So the reason that they have invested here is because it's profitable. So if we had government programs, for example, that did not incentivize. [00:16:59] Crop [00:17:00] land for feed, but instead incentivized crop land for food that would do a lot to shift acres that are growing corn and soy to feed animals into peas or corn or soy or other crops people. But, but one of the other sort of fundamentals. Issues we have with animal agriculture is that it requires enormous amounts of land, enormous amounts of resources which for a small number of people can be very profitable because if you're selling corn and soy and you have crop insurance and you're basically guaranteed a profit you keep doing it. [00:17:40] And that's kind of, what's gotten us to where we are today and it's been driven by this belief and this bias. That animal foods are somehow preferable to plant based foods. So that's a bias that has driven agriculture, and it's been supported by the increasing profits that, you know, crop producers and [00:18:00] feed producers and the machinery of agriculture has benefited from. [00:18:04] And this also includes the pesticide companies, the petrochemical industries and, and, and so it's a massive industry. It's a massive company. But removing the, the federal and other subsidies that make crop production for animal feed profitable. And instead just doing that actually would have a big impact. [00:18:27] And, and, and another part of this has to do with exports because, you know, Grow all these crops and what cannot be sold in the U S is an export. And so you also have international dimensions to this. So it's, it's a big, big machine and it has to be addressed over time in various ways, but. [00:18:46] Stopping the funding and then enabling of our current system is, is huge. And and if that happened, I think you would see a natural shift towards growing crops to feed people instead of [00:19:00] growing feed for farm animals. But it's going to require a shift because, you know, instead of, you know, A million acres, you could now use maybe a hundred thousand acres to feed as many people, which means you have all that extra land that could potentially be rewilding or used for other more healthy purposes. [00:19:20] But what it means is that whoever's now pro. From all that extra land would, would, would have to have a different business model. And so there's a lot tied up in this, but the feed side is enormous and that's an important place, I think, for us to try to work on policies, to discourage this, this ongoing irresponsible and frankly, inefficient practice. [00:19:44] It's only profitable because of government programs. [00:19:47] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Yeah. And that's the thing that I'm wondering about with, with government subsidies. For agriculture in that way, I keep coming back to lobbying Congress. I keep coming back to changing the minds of [00:20:00] people who represent South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, some of the. [00:20:07] Big farming states that are designed to th their, their practices are designed to keep this machine going. And so I keep coming back to which way do you address the problem? Do you address, do you address it as, as lobbying Congress? Do you address it grassroots with the, with the farmers or the banks? How, how do we innovate away from the current practice? [00:20:30] If there's so much it's like a locomotive there's so much force going in that particular direct. [00:20:37] Gene Baur: Yes. Yes. I think you do all of that. And I think from the standpoint of a lobbying, you know, at this point, you know, the vegan perspective, the Amorites perspective is very much a minority point of view. [00:20:50] And we're up against very entrenched, very embedded, very powerful agricultural interests who not [00:21:00] only have. Lots of money and lobbyists, but members of the agriculture committee and key members of Congress representing agricultural states have disproportionate power to maintain the status quo because it is profitable. [00:21:16] After spending time in Congress, then they go work at an agribusiness company and they come back and forth. You know, the USDA secretary today, Tom bill sack. And he was the secretary under Obama and he was better than Sonny Perdue who was under Trump. But when Villsac left the USDA in 2016, He went to work with the us dairy export council and was working to promote dairy exports around the world. [00:21:44] And then when Biden was elected, he came back and he's now the USDA secretary again. So that gives you an idea of the kind of entrenched industry interests throughout government. And there are cultural biases. Towards this idea that drinking cow's milk is [00:22:00] somehow beneficial and healthy. So that's a belief system, but I think we need to challenge you at the government level, but also culturally throughout the country and the world. [00:22:10] And, and then we need to be working on the machinery of the system. So it's a cultural thing and it's a structural thing. And I think it is important to lobby but we need to be realistic about what we're up to. And one of the issues that really concerns me right now. And it's one that I'm not terribly optimistic, we'll be able to, to, to remedy from a policy standpoint, although we're going to keep fighting away and raising awareness and trying to battle these kinds of subsidies, but you know, the concern about the climate crisis what agribusiness is very good at doing is greenwashing and parlay. [00:22:49] Concerned about the environment to benefit their own interests. And they're doing that right now with methane digesters and with, you know, this idea that if you take [00:23:00] these manure, lagoons and factory farms, which again, these places can find. Thousands of animals. They produce enormous amounts of waste, too much waste for the land to absorb. [00:23:09] So putting these cesspools and in a sense of greenhouse gases. So the solution industry has, and this is now tied to the oil industry as well is to take that waste and turn it into methane, which is entered this methane and you digest it and you turn it into energy and on the surface, that sounds good. [00:23:29] But when you step back, What these methane digesters ultimately do is they further entrench industrial animal agriculture by tying it now to the industry grid or to the energy grid. And if you look at the amount of greenhouse gases coming from animal agriculture, most of it like about half of it comes from the feed industry, not from the manure, which is about 10% of it. [00:23:55] So if you really wanted to deal with the greenhouse. Gases and the climate [00:24:00] crisis, you would not be constructing maneuver lagoon or rock methane digesters at these factory farms. But that is what the government is currently supporting. And, and it's it's, so it's a financial misstep and it's also a greenwash cause now these industries can talk about how they're ecologically aware when in fact what they're doing is very harmful still. [00:24:21] So. Again, that's an example of how our entrenched system is working, where certain interests are able to actually parlay a genuine concern. To a policy that actually enables irresponsible practices to continue. And so that's what we're up against. So we just need to be calling this stuff out and encouraging consumers to make changes supporting businesses that are making changes. [00:24:50] I think we do need to lobby but we also need to do a lot more, right. [00:24:58] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Taking all of that in. Wow. [00:25:00] Yeah. It's interesting. You know what you said about the land being able to take in these manure lagoons? I worked when I was at NASA, I worked in, in soil science and looking at the soil itself. The soil can do a lot as far as carbon sequestration and looking at this notion of filtration, but it certainly can't do as much. [00:25:24] Manure, you know, as much manure as is produced. So if we don't try to do it that way, if we, or if that's one arm. The grassroots way of doing things. If I'm a, if I'm a person living in the USA and I want to build awareness is there. And I have no idea if there is, and maybe we should create one. Is there any kind of a database or a website where I can go to start learning about some of this to start seeing companies that are practicing this greenwashing as you put [00:26:00] it, is there anywhere where we can get better educated on this? [00:26:04] Gene Baur: Yeah, that's a really good question because a lot of the information we receive is more marketing than accurate descriptions of reality. And so I think just the first thing is to be discerning and to recognize that just because we read something doesn't necessarily mean we should believe it. I think a lot of the important progress is going to happen at the local level. [00:26:28] And the reason I say that is because when you're. In a local area, you see what is happening and it's harder to be misled. You know, the further removed you are from the source of your food. The easier it is for those that are marketing that food to tell you stories that may not be accurate. So I think, you know, I've been very encouraged by what I've seen in recent years. [00:26:50] And I, you know, before the Corona virus pandemic, I did a fair bit of traveling and I would visit urban. And see what is happening in [00:27:00] communities. And I have been very inspired and impressed by, by the work of groups like Harlem grown in New York or green Bronx machine in New York, you know, both that are enabling the youth to learn how to grow their own food. [00:27:14] Ron Finley in Los Angeles is doing the same thing. You have a grow where you are an urban farm in Atlanta, eco suburbia, a veganic urban farm in Mesa, Arizona. So you have all these like local farming operations that are producing healthy food in sustainable plant-based ways. And also building soil w and, and, and creating a relationship of mutuality with them. [00:27:39] Instead of one of extraction, you know, because when we look at the factory farming system, you know, you have a lot of corn, for instance, that's grown in the Midwest. So there's all these petrochemical fertilizers that are added to get that crop to grow. And then that corn is transported. Sometimes it's used in Iowa, but sometimes, you know, in North Carolina, for [00:28:00] example, to feed pigs. [00:28:01] So you have all these nutrients, all this corn, all this material. It's now being dumped in North Carolina, fed through pigs and you have all this maneuver. So there's this massive imbalance. Whereas if you have, you know, local food produced in a responsible way for a local market you know, it's just more connected. [00:28:20] The food is fresher. The food is healthier and people know what they're getting. So I would encourage people to join a local CSA co what's a community supported agriculture program. And the nice thing about these structures is that consumers. Invest in the program with the farmer. So at the beginning of the growing season, the farmer has the capital. [00:28:41] They need to get seeds and whatever else to begin to plant and to grow. And over the course of the growing season, the farmer and the consumer share in whether it's been a bumper crop or not a very successful crop. And the consumer understands buying in [00:29:00] that, you know, You know, a certain amount of food, it might be more, it might be a little less depending on how the season goes. [00:29:05] So that's a way to spread out risk for farmers and to share that with consumers and also for consumers to get closer to the production system and understand farming more. So growing food locally is huge. There's also, I think, an opportunity to transition lawns. So for people who live in the suburbs or who have homes with gardens or with, with lawns, You know, how about a whole different industry, right? [00:29:31] Growing produce instead of just instead of a gardener coming and mowing the lawn and, you know, putting down fertilizer in some cases what if the gardener actually became a gardener and now this could be the homeowner, or it could be a service where instead of just mowing the lawn. They're growing produce. [00:29:49] So every week there's a box of, you know, fruits or vegetables or whatever that could then potentially be sold locally or bartered or traded with other neighbors. [00:30:00] So, so that's another, I think food, not lawns movement that could be very positive locally. And then I think at the local level, you can work on maybe city zoning policies to make it easier to grow, produce in your neighborhoods and, and maybe policies around why. [00:30:18] Maybe tax incentives or tax breaks for people who are growing food instead of having a lot. So those are some concrete policy, examples of ways to enable more of this type of activity in various communities. So, so those are just some thoughts, but I think local is going to be huge. I think we do need to work on federal policies. [00:30:40] But doing that. I think it's going to take some time for us to develop the kind of support base to be able to take on animal agriculture and, and another, you know, speaking to innovation. One of the things that I think is happening, you know, in recent years. And it's very positive is that the vegan movement, the animal rights movement [00:31:00] is coming to recognize more common ground with worker movements, with small farmers, with environmentalist's, with health advocates, and you put all these together and you find common ground. [00:31:13] And, you know, as a vegan, I'd love it to be all vegan and it might not be all vegan. Less meat. You know, so, so finding common ground with diverse interests and then promoting certain policies at the federal level, we might have some success. [00:31:34] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I really hope so. [00:31:37] Gene Baur: No. And then methane digesters is a good example of that, right? Where you have small farmers, you know, you know, whether they're vegan or whether they're raising a small number of animals, they would also begins to manure lagoons. So that's one of those examples where we might not agree on everything, but we can agree that these methane digesters should not be allowed. [00:31:57] We could potentially agree on certain crop [00:32:00] insurance. Federal subsidies, we could potentially agree on consolidation, you know, cause one of the things that's happened also is. Fewer and fewer larger farms producing food. So I think we need a more diversified food system. So those are the kinds of policy areas where I think we might have some opportunities at the federal level working with a broader coalition of aligned interest. [00:32:26] Izolda Trakhtenberg: That would be such an incredible feat and obviously an important one. That notion though of changing changing mindsets of, of people aligning themselves with, with other, with organizations, aligning themselves with other organizations who are working. At on parallel tracks, maybe if not the same track, there is no centralized body that says, Hey, let's do this together. [00:32:53] There is no movement, one movement that, that does that. And so it makes me, it makes me wonder [00:33:00] how do we broaden the minds of people who again, want to be involved who want to align themselves with these various movements, but don't know how to reconcile. The differences, like you said, for example, now it might not all be vegan. [00:33:15] And I know, I know lots of vegans are like, if you're not vegan, you're not worthwhile. And that, that is concerning to me because it you're cutting off your nose to spite your face at some point. So how, how would you encourage people to, to come together in those kinds of situations where they have what they might consider to be insurmountable? [00:33:39] Gene Baur: Yeah, no, I think it's important to try to find common ground and the build and then build from there. So in the case of a small, a farmer who is raising animals for slaughter, for example, now we would disagree. On the idea of killing animals for food. So that's obvious. And so we need to [00:34:00] accept that, but instead of focusing on that and, and creating more division around that particular problem, we can focus on the idea of local food. [00:34:11] We can focus in on the idea of. You know, no more subsidies for big ag. We can folk, we should find common ground and focus on that and build from there. And then my belief is that when you engage with people who may actually have a different perspective there's an opportunity for learning and and this can go both ways. [00:34:32] There are certain, yeah. Experiences different people have, and we can learn a lot from each other when we pay attention and we don't have to agree on everything, but if you can find common ground and build from there, I think that's the most important thing. Instead of looking at the disagreement. [00:34:47] Yeah. And continuing to pound on that. And in the vegan world, sometimes we tend to do that. And I don't think that it's necessarily helped. I understand the idea of holding onto a certain [00:35:00] ideal and I hold onto the ideal, but, you know, I can't control it. I can only control myself and I can try to encourage others and nudge others, but people, you know, have to make their own choices at the end of the day. [00:35:13] And if we can work with folks with aligned interests and, and we have an awful lot of opportunity. When we look at the factory farming industry and the harm, it causes to small farmers, to consumers, to rural communities, to urban communities to our health to animals, to the earth. When we look at all the harm, this industry causes indigenous populations, you know, around the world. [00:35:37] So there's so many ways that we can find common ground. When we look at the food system and specifically the factory farming. And so I think focusing there and then preventing. Again, government policies and subsidies that enable that abusive industry. So that to me is a very good starting point. And, and then once we [00:36:00] hopefully are able to stop subsidizing, irresponsible, unjust, inhumane animal, agricultural practices, we can then start looking at ways to reinvest that government money. [00:36:13] And, you know, some organizations like ours would only want to support, find funding plant-based alternatives. So that's where we would go a little further than some of these other allies, you know, who might be against the factory farming industry, but would still be for, you know, eating animal products, maybe fewer animal products. [00:36:33] So I think that's where the common ground is with those groups and individuals that we might not agree completely on. Less animal products is I think a very good comment. [00:36:44] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Yeah, this friend is, she works with farmers and she, and I have to keep focusing on that common ground instead of on, on where we diverge. Ironically, she's the one who told me what happens to dairy cows in wa and that's when I went vegan. So [00:37:00] so this notion of being able to. In some ways agree to disagree is your point is well taken. [00:37:07] I wonder if, if I could talk to you about this, this other notion, you said something about the protein and the nutrients. From from directly from plants versus from animals. There's, I've always in my head had this notion that there's, that there is a nutrients once removed situation happening. When you, when you try to get nutrients from, from eating an animal, I don't know what your, what your education level is on this, but could you talk a little bit about that notion that, that, that. [00:37:39] Primary nutrients from plants versus what nutrients we might be getting from animals, especially animals. Who've, who've been factory farmed. [00:37:49] Gene Baur: Yeah. You know, I don't have a whole lot of kind of academic knowledge in that space. You know, what I do know is I've been a vegan since 1985. I'm almost 60 years old now and [00:38:00] I, I get everything I need nutritionally from eating plants and no animals. [00:38:04] And I do know that. Eating animal products. The way we are in this country is causing enormous health problems. I know one of the primary nutrients we do not get in in this country is fiber and animal products have no fiber, whereas plant foods, whole plant foods. Full of fiber. So there there's some basic things I know in terms of the nutrients directly from plants. [00:38:29] I think it makes sense just from an efficiency standpoint, you know, to eat the plant directly from the earth instead of taking the plant and feeding it to an animal and then eating the animal. And I have also heard that, you know, the animals get their nutrients from the plant. So might as well go right to the plants. [00:38:46] So, so that all makes sense to me, although I'm not again, deeply knowledgeable about that nutritional question. But what I do know is I've been a vegan a long time and it works, and I know some of the best athletes in [00:39:00] the world have performed at their best eating a plant-based diet and people like Carl Lewis, for example, You know, did his best times as a vegan. [00:39:10] So, you know, we can perform at a very high level eating plants instead of here. [00:39:15] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Yeah, I love that documentary. I think it's called agents of change about ventures. Game-changers yes. Game-changers. I always get the two confused game-changers about, about the peak performing athletes who are all vegan plant-based I thought that, you know, if that's not going to inspire you to think about health as a vegan, I'm not sure will. [00:39:36] What will so I have just I know you, you have to go and I so appreciate you taking the time. I have just a couple of other questions. Can you, can you be a futurist for a second? And talk to me about your vision for 2040. What, what do you see? How do you see us doing, as you can talk about the climate crisis about. [00:39:57] You know, animal agriculture, [00:40:00] plant-based movement, veganism, anything. Where do you see us as a society and as a planet 20 years? [00:40:07] Gene Baur: Oh gosh. It's really hard to know exactly. But what I'd say is that it, it appears to me and it feels to me like there's a convergence of it. Yeah. You know, whether it's the ethical treatment of other animals, whether it's the destruction of the, by the, the ecosystems and the earth and, you know, the climate crisis whether it's our own personal health, whether it's our own emotional health and community health, you know, all of these things can be pinned to the factory farming industry, which is a contributor to them. [00:40:36] And the solutions are in eating healthier. A plant-based diet that is produced in a more sustainable eco-friendly way. So I think, you know, where things currently stand, there's an awful lot of investment in large efforts to replace animal foods in our fast food industry, in our mainstream food system. [00:40:59] And I think those are [00:41:00] positive. But I also am a very strong proponent of a more grassroots, localized food system where you have. You know, food, not lawns efforts, you have urban agriculture. You have people growing their own food. You have community gardens, you have community supported agriculture. [00:41:17] So I, I think that a robust grass roots food movement to me is something that really feels good. You could even have like rooftop gardens. You could have vertical farms and in some urban settings, so local food fresh. Plant food produce locally to me is, is great. And so that's the bi-modal system. [00:41:40] Again, you have this kind of localized versus a more industrialized plant-based options that will replace meat and current in the current machinery. So those are the two kind of. Parallel pushes happening and, and I support them both. Although, you know, as an idealist, I I'm a [00:42:00] bigger fan of the locals. [00:42:02] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Yeah, absolutely. The thing, the thing that that's always interested me about what you're saying is that you have to want to, right. The, the person who's got a, who lives in Brooklyn, New York has to want to, there's no lawn. I have no lawn. Right. So I have to want to go. To the closest a community garden. And I have to want to work in the soil and I have to want to tend the crops that I'm growing it. [00:42:28] Even if it's like a 10 foot by 10 foot plot, what would we do? How, how do we encourage people to even begin to think about it? Because I, I grew up in Detroit, even though I wasn't born in the USA, but I grew up in Detroit and the urban farming initiatives there. Blow my mind and, and people are, are really because, and it's because so much has been abandoned there that there are these plots of land doing nothing. [00:42:53] So people have started doing it. They've started these urban gardening and urban farming initiatives there, [00:43:00] but in a, in a, in a place like Brooklyn, there's not too much. That's abandoned. How do we talk to people in those areas and say, Hey, this is a possibility for you. Where do we need to start [00:43:11] Gene Baur: with. [00:43:12] Yeah, no. In places like Brooklyn, where, where land really as it, or is it a premium? It gets a lot tougher, you know, but there is, I think, a growing hunger for green space for open space and opportunities for gardening, even in very small plots even container gardening, like, you know, on the back porch, for example, you can sometimes have a container to grow some herbs if nothing else. [00:43:35] But you know, In addition to like the physical limitations, which I hear and understand are significant in places like Brooklyn, there are also just, how do you get people to want to do this? Part of it is just by seeing others do it. You know, we are social animals and if we see somebody else doing something. [00:43:52] You know, there's a good chance we might start doing it. So the more that this happens, you know, like in Detroit, as you were describing, I think the more [00:44:00] it will pick up momentum because I believe that being with the earth, having our hands in the soil is actually healing and it feels really good. So once people start doing that and they recognize how beneficial it is, I think more and more people are going to want to do it. [00:44:16] And in places like Brooklyn, you know, again, land is very limited. So maybe rooftop. Or one of the possible options public spaces, you know, some parks, you know, might be made available to have some, some gardening space. But I think expanding green spaces and adding food production in some of those could be a solution. [00:44:37] There are food forests. So, you know, Trees that are producing fruit. For example, in some of these green spaces could be another part of the solution. So it's going to be multi valence. It's not going to be one thing or another. It can be a variety [00:44:49] Izolda Trakhtenberg: of things. I, again, I hope so. I keep saying to your responses, I keep going. [00:44:55] Yes, I hope so. Yeah. And it's interesting to me, rooftop gardens do a [00:45:00] lot to cool the buildings, so it saves energy. In that way, too. And, and I hope that that keeps going and growing because there is an initiative to have that, to address the urban heat island effect in, in these urban areas. I would love, I, first of all, gene, I know you have to go, but I would love to find out from you and I'm going to put it in the show notes also. [00:45:20] Where, if someone, if someone wants to follow your work, where would they go to find you? And I'll put the links in the show notes, but I like people learn differently. So if you could say where someone would be able to locate your work and what you're doing, I would love to have that information. [00:45:36] Gene Baur: Yes, absolutely. [00:45:37] Well, you know, we have at farm sanctuary, we have a website, farm sanctuary.org. We also have an Instagram account, a Twitter account and a Facebook for farm sanctuary. And then also I have my own Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for Jean Bauer. So people can go to either or both of those to keep in touch with us and to track our work. [00:45:59] Izolda Trakhtenberg: [00:46:00] Fabulous. Thank you so much for saying that. And I will put all of that and game-changers. Do engagements have changed? I don't know why game changers and, and csa.org is the community supported agriculture link. I'll put all of that in the show notes so that if you're interested in finding out more about gene Bauer and his work farm sanctuary how to get involved in a CSA, you'll be able to do it from the show notes of the page. [00:46:23] Jean I'm. So. So grateful that you took the time to be here. I really appreciate it. I have just one last question and it's a silly question, but I find that it yields some profound answers. And the question is this. If you had an airplane that could sky write anything for the whole world to see, what would you say? [00:46:44] Gene Baur: Wow. I mean, probably kindness. I think kindness is one of those really important kind of unifying values. I don't think anybody says it's bad to be kind. I mean, they might, they might say, oh, you're being idealistic or you're [00:47:00] not being realistic for instance, but nobody, I think disagrees with the aspiration of kindness. [00:47:06] So kindness matters. Be kind. I think that is one of the most important things for us to aspire. [00:47:13] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Fabulous. I love it. I love it, Jean, once again. Thank you so much for being here. I appreciate you taking the. [00:47:20] Gene Baur: Absolutely. Thank you so much as all the great talking with you. [00:47:23] Izolda Trakhtenberg: This is Izolda Trakhtenberg for the innovative mindset podcast. [00:47:26] If you've enjoyed this episode, and I know you have share it out, tell your friends this is important work, gene Bauer and the farm sanctuary movement. They're doing incredible work on behalf of the whole place. All the animals, including us. I hope that you've enjoyed the episode and this is me reminding you to listen, learn, laugh, and love. [00:47:50] Thanks so much for joining me today. I really appreciate you being here. Please subscribe to the podcast if you're new and if you like what you're hearing, please review it and [00:48:00] rate it and let other people. And if you'd like to be a sponsor of the show, I'd love to meet you on patrion.com/innovative mindset. [00:48:08] I also have lots of exclusive goodies to share just with the show supporters there today's episode was produced by Izolda Trakhtenberg and his copyright 2020. As always, please remember, this is for educational and entertainment purposes. Only past performance does not guarantee future results, although we can always hope until next time, keep living in your innovative mindset.   * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love!


    Wendy Hapgood, Director of the Wild Tomorrow Fund on How They‘re Saving Wildlife

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 13, 2021 48:50


    Wendy Hapgood Discusses the Ways the Wild Tomorrow Fund is Innovating how Animals are Saved This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset Wendy Hapgood is the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Wild Tomorrow Fund, a wildlife conservation charity dedicated to saving threatened and endangered wildlife and their habitats. Wendy believes that biodiversity loss and climate change are the two most critical issues facing our planet today. In 2015 she left Wall Street behind to dedicate her life to the protection of the environment and biodiversity. She completed her Master's Degree in Sustainability Management at Columbia University's Earth Institute where she studied climate change science and policy, researched the intersection of poverty and rhino poaching, uncovered illegal ivory in New York City, and studied new methods for financing the green economy. Connect with Wendy www.wildtomorrowfund.org Instagram: www.instagram.com/wildtomorrowfund/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/wildtomorrowfund Twitter: https://twitter.com/wildtomorrow Episode Transcript [00:00:00] Wendy Hapgood: But I feel like when you are really emotionally connected to this project and it was truly an emergency, I think it really pushes you to do what you think is impossible. [00:00:15] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Hello and welcome to the innovative mindset podcast. I am. Izolda Trakhtenberg on the show. I interview peak performing innovators in the creative social impact and earth conservation spaces or working to change the world. This episode is brought to you by brain FM, brain FM combines the best of music and neuroscience to help you relax, focus, meditate, and even sleep. [00:00:36] I love it and have been using it to write, create and do some. Deepest work because you're a listener of the show. You can get a free trial head over to brain.fm/innovative mindset. To check it out. If you decide to subscribe, you can get 20% off with the coupon code, innovative mindset, all one word, and now let's get. [00:00:59] Hey there [00:01:00] and welcome to the innovative mindset podcast. My name is Izolda Trakhtenberg, I'm your host, and I'm really happy that you're here. And I'm also thrilled and honored to have this week's guest. And you'll understand why as soon as I tell you a little bit about her, Wendy Hapgood is the co-founder and chief operating officer of wild tomorrow fund wildlife conservation, charity, dedicated to saving, threatened, and endangered wildlife. [00:01:22] And their habitats. And that last part is a really important part of what Wendy and her group, what they're doing when he believes a biodiversity loss and climate change are the two most critical issues facing our planet. Today in 2015, she left wall street behind to dedicate her life to the protection of the environment and biodiversity. [00:01:41] She's singing my song. She completed her master's degree in sustainability management at Columbia university's earth Institute, where she studied climate change science and policy research, the intersection of poverty and rhino poaching uncovered illegal ivory in New York city and studied new methods of financing. [00:01:59] The green [00:02:00] economy. Ah, Wendy, I'm so honored that you're here. Thank you so much for being here. Well, Thank you [00:02:06] Wendy Hapgood: so much as older for having me. I'm really excited to be on your show. Wow. [00:02:11] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I you're, you're you're living my dream life in many ways. It's exactly the kind of thing that I have always wanted to do. [00:02:18] So I'm so glad that you took it and ran with it and are doing it right. I love you. You left wall street and you, you went, that's it. I'm changing my whole life around and I'm doing this now. I'm going to dedicate my life to saving wildlife and saving protected lands. What sparked that for you? What, what made you go? [00:02:36] Okay. You know what? I'm making that change. I'm going to totally transform the way I live and I'm going to innovate things on my own terms. Yeah. [00:02:43] Wendy Hapgood: I mean, it was a really big jump. And I have to say that this feeling grew within me, that sort of, it happened over years where I had the sneaking feeling of, you know, unhappiness or just dissatisfaction with, with life and what I was doing with my life. [00:02:58] And I was successful [00:03:00] in finance. And I loved, I did like my job and the people I worked with and customers, but there was something really missing for me, which was sense of purpose. You know, I absolutely love animals and I feel like probably a lot of your listeners have pets that you just adore and it really starts there and, you know, hiking and. [00:03:19] Starting to feel that I needed to do something about what I was seeing around me in terms of environmental destruction and climate change. And you know, people talk about ecological grief, starting to feel really sad about what was happening to the planet and knowing I wasn't helping. I really big moment was I was actually working in Tokyo, Japan, and I was there for the big earthquake, which resulted in a nuclear crisis. [00:03:46] So being on the ground in Tokyo and living there and worrying about if my boss water was contaminated, which by the way it was and you know, it just, it was such a hosted apocalyptic scenario that I was living and [00:04:00] what really shocked me. How a lot of people weren't that concerned. They, after it went well and people from outside of Japan and friends, weren't, well, no one died, you know, after this nuclear crisis. [00:04:13] But whereas I couldn't stop thinking about how we poisoned the earth forever and that wasn't being spoken about. And it really was a sort of symbolic moment. And I felt complicit in it as someone living in the city using, you know, that's all the power being generated for that's what the nuclear power was needed for. [00:04:33] So I felt really complicit in this poisoning of the earth. And I felt very guilty about when I left later that year to, to, to come to New York about not being here. Both people that were, you know, refugees, internal refugees from that crisis and thinking about how we poison the land and, you know, I saw it with my own eyes up Mishima. [00:04:53] So that really was a huge moment in my life. I was thinking, what can I do? And how can I help. [00:05:00] Being a part of the destruction. Then in New York, I met my now husband, John Stewart, who is the other co-founder of wild tomorrow fund. He was in a similar place in life. He was an advertising executive here in New York. [00:05:13] It creative director also loved animals and was in a place like me. What next to do in life and actually make a difference and help animals in nature. So that was nice. I don't think I'm not sure I could have done it all on my own. Definitely helps to have a partner and to embark on this big journey together. [00:05:32] So that's what we did in 2015. And then personally, I felt like I needed a little more background and I love studying. So that's, I went and did my masters at Columbia, which was Columbia university, the earth Institute. Gave me, I felt like a little more confidence and background in, in sustainability and environmental problems and climate change science and all kinds of really fascinating things. [00:05:55] So that helps me on my journey as well, to feel ready, to really [00:06:00] switch careers and focus a hundred percent on saving the planet. [00:06:07] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I'm taking that all in. I sometimes take these little pauses cause I'm like, I'm overwhelmed. That's amazing. So, so here you are. You've, you've made the decision and you came out of with your masters. And w I'm I'm so fascinated. What did you do next? How did you, how did you decide, you know, what we're going to buy land in South Africa and what were the steps that you took to make that start happening? [00:06:35] I imagine the bureaucracy is monumental. [00:06:38] Wendy Hapgood: Well, again, I think we took it step by step and when John and I started Walton were fun. But we also felt like buying land and saving habitat as much as we knew that that was the really big overarching issue in the same way that climate change kind of hangs over everything. [00:06:55] Habitat loss also kind of drives so much of the [00:07:00] environmental loss and destruction we see today. But that, that, that would be a huge thing to start with. So when we started well, tomorrow flung, we started in 2015. Really just with small things, we were asking friends, family for $50 to buy boots for Rangers, because what we saw on the ground in kazoo, in a town, South Africa, which is where we're focused. [00:07:23] Was that government reserves in particular were super under-resourced they're in charge of protecting incredible biodiversity, some of the last big tusks elephants in the world. Really under-resourced trying to fight the rhino poaching crisis and, you know, here's these amazing. People who very dedicated boots on the ground, but they don't have good boots. [00:07:45] So from New York, we're like, well, what, well, we can, we can help with that. You know, or like really bad, basic things. Like they couldn't go out on patrol if the tires had punctures and of their, you know, for their patrol [00:08:00] vehicles and their budget was didn't allow them to purchase more that month, you know? [00:08:05] So it was like a week. Fundraise for that. And we can involve people in New York who would love to, you know, it's very direct impact to say, if you give, if you can give us $50 donation, we will personally have our team on the ground, buy those boots and deliver them. So that's how we started. Nice and small step-by-step. [00:08:27] And it was 2017 when the land kind of happened, which I say was a land emergency where. One of our partners on the ground told us about this piece of land that was up for sale and it had two offers on it from pineapple farmers. And when you know, these farmers want it to extend their existing fields of kind of fools. [00:08:52] And if you could see a picture of it, it's just. You know that typical monoculture farming that just extends out forever in these [00:09:00] endless rows of, you know, sameness and it's terrible for biodiversity. And you know, this land that was up for sale had, had been farmed, you know, cattle and a little bit of pineapples, but it kind of being left to go wild and it had zebra on it. [00:09:15] It had, you know, hippos that would come from the river and at nighttime feed on this land and. We went to see it and that was it. You know, our hearts were kind of stuck. We were like, we have to do something. We cannot allow this to happen. What they would do is, is if the pineapple farm was it totally clear? [00:09:34] It, we mean to tract as a chain, pull out every single tree, run off the wildlife. I mean, turn it into that. Very does it like monoculture of, of pineapple, commercial, industrial agriculture. So we were pretty determined to do that, but you know, imagine it was over a million us dollars, the price tag, and we'd been asking for 50, a hundred dollars donations, but I think those [00:10:00] emergencies make you really step up. [00:10:01] And we felt that we needed to try and also we know or knew that. There's a lot of wealth in New York city. And there's a lot of people who care deeply and, you know, we just needed, we knew we just needed to meet the right people and tell the story and, and kind of bring them along in this journey. And we also met with the landowner. [00:10:24] She was an older lady living in the city, near Johannesburg. She didn't live at the farm or anything like that. This land that was her old fence. And we kind of pleaded with her. We said, you know, we're a charity. We don't have a million dollars sitting ready to make this deal happen. Can you give us time? [00:10:43] You know, this will be your legacy too. So. Thankfully, she agreed. And she gave us five years to save, to raise all the money, to save the land. Actually that deadline's coming up next may. So we, we still have a little way to go. But in the meantime we bought another piece that was at risk, just [00:11:00] down, just nearby. [00:11:01] So. You know, created this card or vision. You know, in the meantime we established we felt it was extremely important that the land was owned in South Africa, not by a us charity. So we set up a wall tomorrow, fund South Africa. No affiliate. So it's a registered charity in South Africa. So the land is owned locally. [00:11:21] Yeah, so there were a lot of legal steps and meetings and learn a lot of learning along the way. But I feel like when you're really emotionally connected to this. This project and it was truly an emergency. I think it really pushes you to, to do what you think is impossible. So we're really proud that we were able to save it and then you know, start working on restoring it and rewilding it. [00:11:48] Really exciting and super hopeful. And I think it transformed us as an organization too. And that's really now our focus. We still help other ranges in the region and we do buy boots for Rangers, [00:12:00] but the major focus now is really saving that land, protecting it, restoring it and rewilding it. [00:12:08] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Yay. Okay. Wow. [00:12:10] I wish I had pom-poms or something. So I could be doing a little cheer for, for everything that you just said. I'm you are, you are absolutely seeing my song. I've worked for NASA for over 20 years, doing earth science and environmental education outreach all over the world. So, so hearing from you that, that you, that that is your active. [00:12:31] Sort of profession that, that, that, that, that, that it's possible that you can have these, make these inroads and have such an impact on a place that probably a lot of people never think about, which, you know, raising that elevating the visibility of, of the need to say. Habitat in places like South Africa is incredible. [00:12:55] And I, I know people in South Africa who are working to educate [00:13:00] people in South Africa about that importance too. And so I'm wondering a little bit about, like you said, you made, you have this relationship with the owner of that land, which is incredible. What, what other kinds of. Innovative ways. Have you made relationships with people and government people in South Africa to make this, to make these inroads? [00:13:22] Wendy Hapgood: It's a great question because you know, nothing is ever done alone. It really is teamwork and something that was really important. And just to give a little more background into this, this land is in a biodiversity hotspot. It's one of 32 places around the world. That's recognized for really high level. [00:13:39] By diversity. So just this massive array of amazing life from insects to furry things, you know so it was really important to save this land is also right next door to a world, heritage wetland, UNESCO, world heritage park. So again, another great reason why this piece of land in particular, in this area, it was really important [00:14:00] to protect it. [00:14:00] So that was. Re that we really needed kind of local support with was this legal declaration. So turning what was kind of designated as farmland into what is now officially a nature reserve. So we reached out to a local south African NGO or conservation outcomes who are experts in navigating this process. [00:14:27] It's a Amazing initiative under the south African government, where they recognize that the state national parks can't do it alone. They need private land owners. You know, it could, could be farmers who want to protect a small piece of their land that has an endangered frog. You know, they, they want to empower Private landowners to also contribute to conservation, sort of have this framework called the biodiversity stewardship program. [00:14:52] And we worked with conservation outcomes to kind of navigate that whole process and an amazing environmental attorney [00:15:00] who is in Durban who helped us with that. And what's really, I think, amazing about our project and what makes it stand out is it's truly collaborative. So. I mean, we had donors from a lot from New York some on the west coast in other countries give $20 towards this dream or, you know, a thousand dollars or $50,000. [00:15:23] So it's been, you know, literally thousands of people who've made it possible to save this habitat. And then on the ground, we partnered as well with landowners who were. Like kind of next door to us. So literally sort of inside the borders would have had a little small 20 hectic piece. So, you know, to really expand habitat, it means to term, you know, dropping fences, you imagine a South Africa land, I guess like suburbia in America, it's all fenced. [00:15:50] So just biggest squares. And so for wildlife to have a better chance at fighting back against extinction, you know, you need to really open up that habitat [00:16:00] and Save the wild space and extend the wild spaces. So we worked with our neighbors and kind of brought them along in this journey of creating a nature reserve. [00:16:09] So this it's a collective reserve, the land that waltz Marfan's today. Two separate pieces and it's about 83% of the total. And then we have three other private landowners who, you know, they have the conservation vision too. They were excited about being a part of it and dropping their fences and opening up their land to also be habitat for wildlife. [00:16:30] So, you know, that was a really a collective. Project and we worked through this legal process and that was declared last month, which is super exciting. So the land is officially a nature reserve now in South Africa. That's [00:16:45] Izolda Trakhtenberg: incredible. And I, first of all, wow, again, and second of all, you said some things that I am super curious about, you said. [00:16:57] We were you, you were talking about breaking, you [00:17:00] know, breaking defenses and, and removing them so that, so that wildlife can, and I know I've heard the same thing with like unbroken canopy cover for certain birds that they need, that they need, you know, that tree canopy cover in order to feel like this is their habitat. [00:17:16] What. What are the species that are either most impacted or, or the ones that are in that now nature preserve, which I think is incredible, that are going to benefit the most from those kinds of fence lists areas. [00:17:34] Wendy Hapgood: Well I would say, oh, you know, oh, wildlife benefits from. Having more space. We're a huge fan of EO Wilson, who is a very famous American biologist and his book is called half earth. [00:17:48] And he did all of a sudden he did all the math for us, but basically if we save 80% of life on earth, you know, 80% of species on earth today, we have to. [00:18:00] Kind of protect 50% of land and Marine spaces for wildlife. If we don't do that, if we can't get to 50%, we can't say. Species, you know, we can't save 80% of species on earth, basically wildlife and animals need, especially the longer ranging ones. [00:18:19] So the ones that really need space or the big megafauna. So elephants lions, leopards. Hyena, you know, the ones that re African wild dogs, they need a lot of protected space to range. They have bigger ranges, but wild space connected wild space. So, you know, when you talking about birds, it's the canopy. [00:18:39] They need like a card or a green card, or to reverse these spaces that we've, we humans have basically kind of cut up old. Space on our planet and dissected it with farms and fences and housing developments. And so wildlife can't cross from a to B and they need to do that so they can [00:19:00] exchange genetic information and without that populations become essentially inbred and cannot survive long longterm. [00:19:07] So that's why card or is, is so important and why connecting wild space. Super important. Yeah. And, and the vision for our land. So now it's a nature reserve. It's 3,200 acres which is about 1200 hectares. And I like to give people a frame of reference. That's like four times central park. So, you know, in a way it's big. [00:19:30] In the grand scheme of things is kind of relatively small, but why it's so important is that it acts as a card or so this land that we've protected and stopped from being destroyed and joined together with neighbors and opened up wild space. It lies between two very big existing wildlife reserves. [00:19:51] One side is the money wanna, it's a home to a very well-known. Wildlife reserve called [00:20:00] pin the private game reserve. They're amazing. When it comes to conservation, they're home to one of the most important cheetah breeding sites in South Africa. They're doing really good job. They are. WWF black rhino range expansion sites. [00:20:13] So that means they're so good at keeping the rhinos safe that they actually they're black rhinos, which are critically endangered. They've increased in number so much so that they could give those rhinos to other reserves where they were lost and start to repopulate. Wow. Black rhinos in other reserves in Africa, they recently actually sent Jordan. [00:20:32] With the two, I think Malawi to help repopulate giraffe. The, so they're doing an incredible job, keeping wildlife safe and being able to help, you know, other places. And then on the other side of the land that connects, you know, a, to B as a card, or is the UNESCO world heritage, you see ma mango Lisa wetland park. [00:20:51] I mean it's name and Zulu means a place of wonder. It is a natural wonder, you know, of global significance that. [00:21:00] Incredible. It's got the biggest hippo pod in the breeding Cod in South Africa, over 500 bird species you know, and this card, or it will open up. So our long-term vision is dropping fences on both sides. [00:21:13] So that wildlife from. The Pinta, the reserve inland the elephants, the rhinos can actually traverse through our card or to iSimangaliso and it goes all the way to the ocean. So yeah. Eons ago, you know, that little wildlife in South Africa also used to migrate the wildebeest would migrate through there. [00:21:34] You know, this will create a path for wildlife to, to move again. And that's incredibly important in coming decades with climate change where wildlife will be. The conditions where they are, will change. They need water, they'll move to two. They need to be able to move, to find water and resources. [00:21:53] So, you know, we're excited. That's our big, big vision. And that's why this land is so important.[00:22:00] [00:22:02] Izolda Trakhtenberg: A [00:22:02] Wendy Hapgood: shock to you again is older. [00:22:03] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Yes, no, yes and no, I'm, I'm actually just full of sitting here going, I'm so grateful you're doing the work you're doing because yeah. I mean, without, without a way to move. Where they need to move in order to survive. And dare I say thrive. They will die. It's that simple. [00:22:22] Eventually they will die. So I'm, I'm in, I'm grateful that that was the, that was the word that was coming to mind is as I was listening to you talk, and this corridor is going to is, and is going to be something that, that allows for that movement. But then you mentioned something earlier that I, that I wanted. [00:22:44] Touch on. You said the word rewilding and what that, the stuff that you, the things that you've been talking about up to now have, have been about the animals that are already out in the wild w is rewilding something different than that. And if so, what [00:23:00] is it and how does it impact that that notion of habitat that protection? [00:23:05] Wendy Hapgood: That's a great question. So Rewilding I have to say is probably what I love most about what we do. It's so hurtful. So it, and it can mean a lot of different things. It could mean bringing back to some people rewilding, maybe Maine bringing back long extinct animals. I mean, what we're doing is, so we save the land, we protect it, we start restoring it. [00:23:25] And a lot of animals will make their way back naturally, but there's some bigger, usually the larger spaces. You know, they're not just going to arrive, they're still fences. So you have to literally reintroduce them. So all rewilding is really the re-introduction of native wildlife that would have existed there before, but has, you know, been gone for some time. [00:23:49] So it's super exciting. I know when we, when we save the land, the first piece, one of our ducks. Loves giraffe. And that was her first question. When can we get dropped [00:24:00] off? And all of this is guided by ecologists and science. And yeah, we, we introduced re-introduced giraffe for the first time in 2017. [00:24:11] It was super exciting. You see them arrive, jump out of a truck and like literally run for it. You know, I can imagine it's quite stressful to be in a truck that wild off, you know, and and then running free on their new home. And it's so powerful. It's such an inspiring image or thing to it. And also for our donors to see what we did. [00:24:33] I like to say rewilding kind of sells itself. You know, we, we needed to do it. We needed to get this wildlife. And it's very strange for most of us that in South Africa, you need to buy. Usually those animals, you would have to buy them, which is, seems so strange to us. Like, what do you mean you can buy a giraffe and how much has the giraffe and what do you mean? [00:24:54] You can buy a zebra and, you know, I think zebra absolutely incredible. And the idea that there is sort of a [00:25:00] market price, $350 per zebra just seems so cheap. So you know, when our donors and supporters heard that I like we'll all buy a zebra. And so that was a really cool connection for them and for us as well, too. [00:25:15] Help fund our rewilding work. It really funded itself. And every person who donated to help us literally purchase as an individual zebra, an individual giraffe, they had the chance to name them and you can tell the difference, giraffe and zebra there, their patents are unique, like a fingerprint. So we have ID Oliver, giraffe. [00:25:37] We have a draft ID kit. Playing spot the difference, you know, looking at the patterns and figuring out who is who. So, yeah, we have 14, actually 15 resident draft now. And over 30 zebra every year. Now we have babies born, which again is proof of this concept. You know, if you can save land and, and join it with neighboring areas and [00:26:00] re-introduce wildlife You know, nature will then start taking care of itself. [00:26:03] And we're seeing zebra, foals being born and huge moment for us was our first baby giraffe being born on this land that would have otherwise been pineapples. So rewilding, you know, it's really is a mix of restoration, ecological restoration, and then re-introduction of wildlife. What we mean when we say rewilding. [00:26:24] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Okay. First of all, I want to help by a zebra, right? Yes. Or a giraffe or a cheetah or whatever, whatever it is that whatever it is, because, because yes, I, I will actually, that will be my, my birthday fundraiser this year. I'm going to tell people that I want to raise money so that I can buy like two giraffe and have them be rewilding in the wild tomorrow. [00:26:46] But no seriously, because this is one of those things where. That's not something I've. Ever thought about or known was even possible. And so again, lots of gratitude from my end, because, because it's a [00:27:00] way for people like me, who probably are never going to start their own wild tomorrow fund to, to. [00:27:07] Participate in a way that, that you would find helpful. And that brings me to my next question. What sort of help does the wild tomorrow fund need from people, private citizens, someone who's listening to this podcast who gets fired up like I am now who wants to help? What kind of help do you. [00:27:24] Wendy Hapgood: Well, we would love help. [00:27:25] We still, as I mentioned, that first piece of land we still have a deadline to meet a fundraising goal to actually fund finish the purchase. That's in the next may. So we love to equate things down to kind of bite sized chunks. A one acre is about 990 us dollars. So if anyone wants to sponsor an acre, it's a, it's an amazing gift or a legacy kind of a gift to someone. [00:27:50] Then we have also volunteer trips and I think it's super powerful for those who can and would love to join us in the field in [00:28:00] South Africa perhaps next year. We have volunteer trips, so we bring 10 people at a time over to South Africa for two weeks. And then you can. Individually apart of everything we're doing and see the region and see the wildlife and, and participate. [00:28:15] Hands-on, it's really kind of, for those who, where conservation isn't going to be, their full-time job, you can, you know, be a part of conservation truly for, for those weeks. And, and it's really powerful. I mean, it changes people's lives. That's how In a way, how we started well, tomorrow fund was John had been volunteering in Zululand in KwaZulu-Natal South Africa. [00:28:36] So it really changes people's lives. And we find volunteers come back to New York and they don't want to just. That's it. Thanks. I had a great holiday. They really continue on with us as supporters and keep helping. So yeah, we, we would love more support and funding and help. And I love that for a lot of our supporters. [00:28:57] It's very personal, you know, they really feel a [00:29:00] part of what we're doing and what I find truly beautiful for those who sponsored wildlife reintroductions. It's really interesting to see what they named their animal often. It's a pit. So there's a lot of dogs that are, you know, running around in central park who have a namesake in, in Africa, but sometimes it's departed even people, which I think is very moving. [00:29:21] You know, that idea that. Created a gift in their name. That's now a zebra running free. So yeah, we would love more help. [00:29:30] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Oh, that's fantastic. I sign me up. I'm absolutely going to do that. And it's interesting because the, the words that, that are coming up in my head, as I'm hearing you talk are hope and connection yes. [00:29:44] That you feel connected to. This place in South Africa, if you're in New York, if you're in LA, if you're in London, if you're in wherever and you can actually make that connection, what do you think makes those two words and, and maybe I'm totally off, [00:30:00] but what, what makes hope and connection so important in wildlife conservation and habitat restoration and the work that you're doing? [00:30:08] I think it's sort [00:30:08] Wendy Hapgood: of everything. I, you know, we started out as well. It being overwhelmed by. The destruction. It's very, it's easy to get depressed and feel down, you know, thinking about the planet and you know, this mass loss of. By diversity. You know, as it's called the mass extinction, the six mass extinction of life on earth, and this time it's driven by us, not by an asteroid climate change and all that grief like that. [00:30:38] I think that sadness does help motivate people to do something, but it can also be really overwhelming. And I think what's important about hope is people need hope. I think we've seen it all the messaging about climate change, you know, I don't know. The negative messaging. You know, the warnings is really important, but I don't think it's moved people enough. [00:30:59] I think [00:31:00] we all need to see that we can do something, you know, that your input, that you're, you know, everyone feels very small. We're like a drop in the ocean of these global challenges, but actually you can really make a difference. And if it's one zebra or coming on a volunteer trip, you know, each volunteer. [00:31:20] Raises $2,000. That's two acres, you know, you can, you, it, it makes a real difference. And I think people feel inspired by that hope. And, you know, in some ways our projects far away from most people they're in New York, but that connection and feeling connected to the project, to the land, to those zebras. [00:31:40] It's really important and that dream that maybe one day they'll be able to come and see for themselves. You know, I think it's really powerful. I'm more positive. I think we're, we've all had a rough year and yeah, I just think that it's a more positive and powerful message to move people, to take action.[00:32:00] [00:32:03] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Again, I'm thinking. Wow. Yeah, I, it is true. We, the world has had a rough year and yet what's interesting to me about that is that during that time, when we were all. As many of us as could be sort of staying at home, things came back, you know, the, the, the weather changed wildlife started. There were pictures of wildlife on, you know, sort of different critters resting and relaxing in, in what were normally parks and places where you would just not expect to see wildlife. [00:32:39] So there's, there is this there's this. The notion that I always come back to honestly was they were here first. And so for me, it's not just us making room for them. It's us. I had captain Paul Watson on my show, just on the show just a little while ago. And he was saying, you know, one of the [00:33:00] things that, that bothers him is the word stewardship. [00:33:02] He, he doesn't think that stuartship is the way it should go. He's like we belong here. We're part of it. We're not overseers. We don't have dominion. We're part of this whole entire cycle and process. And so, so with, with the work that you're doing, it seems to me like that kind of connection goes beyond. [00:33:19] People feeling connected. It's, it's a, it's a, it's a connection to the biome. It's a connection then to the earth. And if you can, do you have any stories of that kind of realization or that kind of, of moment of truth, if you will, for either from yourself or from your husband or from people that you've worked with, [00:33:42] Wendy Hapgood: I'm just faint. [00:33:42] Well, I think about that, it does, I think, bring us back to. The concept of rewilding and another way of thinking about rewilding. Rewilding ourselves, meaning reconnecting humans to nature. And exactly [00:34:00] like you're saying, and captain Paul Watson kind of a paradigm shift from seeing ourselves as having dominion and like. [00:34:08] Power over nature to being a part of nature, more of a eco centric approach and, and restoring kind of the whole ecosystem. And that includes us too. So, and repairing that connection between ourselves to care more about nature or and to give, I see it as giving space back to nature to bird, you know, they belong. [00:34:34] Equally as we do, we've taken so much away that they need, we need to give space back or we'll lose them all. You know, I think about where this heatwave and just the little things, the birds that died from it was too hot, you know, and, and I feel. That's all, you know, we've, we've closed that with, with our agriculture and our emissions and how climate change [00:35:00] links back to the biodiversity loss. [00:35:02] It's all accelerating. So we really need to act now, or we will lose, you know, I, I think how devastating to not have elephants on the planet, how will you explain that to your children? And how do people explain that the animals that like grew up within their storybooks don't exist anymore? We didn't care enough. [00:35:21] So I think rewilding, the human spirit is a big part of it. You know, for me, I think it came in steps, like rather than kind of a sudden aha moment, more of a buildup and a realization. And yeah, I th and I think going from helplessness to empowerment, you know, and knowing it's possible to restore. Some of the damage we've done and, and actually, you know, having this vision for the planet, that's 50% from nature. [00:35:52] That's a big goal, but I think the more you are in nature, the more you appreciate it. [00:36:00] And so I would say, and I think COVID, you know, a lot of people spent time in parks and nature. Cause there was, it was such a relief in a way. A welcome response for us. And I hope that one of the positive benefits of that is more of a, of a love of nature and then desire to protect it. [00:36:18] So I'm hoping [00:36:23] Izolda Trakhtenberg: hope seems to be the word of the day here. And it's interesting because I know for myself, when we were during lockdown, One of the things that I needed to do was feel the sun on my face. Like I couldn't just sit in the house, so I had to be out and, and it, even if it were just to walk outside, there's a tree, there was a tree right here. [00:36:47] Our apartment and I would walk outside and I would say hello to the tree because it, it gave me that sense of connection. And that's one of the things that it takes us back to ancient stories when people [00:37:00] were really part like knew that they were part of nature, part of the earth, part of a process of this whole biosphere. [00:37:07] And it sounds to me like your mission. In part, at least is, is that in addition to stemming biodiversity loss is, it's kind of, have you found that that's, that that's an outcome that, that the people who are involved really get connected on that deep level? [00:37:26] Wendy Hapgood: Yeah. Like two, something like that. Maybe weren't really into nature or conservation before. [00:37:34] Huh? You know, come on this journey with us and then become essentially conservationists, you know, at heart. I think that's really powerful. I mean, our, one of our major donors and on the board, you know, initially he was thinking he would spend his philanthropic time on helping with poverty, which is of course a really important topic, but it was [00:38:00] his dog, you know, like he had a room. [00:38:02] Strong connection with his pet that made him think more about wildlife. And he went on safari and his wife sort of used, like, you know, maybe you should think about, you know, working with Watson more fun. And he's been super helpful or transformative for us and the connections that he's brought. And I think about that, that he wasn't someone who thought that wildlife and habitat conservation was sort of his thing we need. [00:38:27] Find more of those people where it's you know, they it's education and exposure or, you know, being a part of this project is very inspiring and then people get sort of caught up in it, which is great. I think we need more people to connect to nature. And is it through, I think it can be through your pet through that. [00:38:48] So. Very personal connection between a human and an animal and seeing them as, maybe as an individual and important, and then maybe through the park and appreciating the trees [00:39:00] and what they bring for us. And then that kind of connection expands from local to, to more global issues. So yeah, we need to figure out something, it's a question I've thought about a lot. [00:39:12] How, why do I care so deeply? You know, it has been a progression over time to the point that I would give up, you know, sort of dedicate my life to this and saving nature. And then other people, you know, they're maybe distracted or they don't care as much. How do you convince, I want to say convert, how do you inspire other people to connect more deeply to nature? [00:39:38] So that's a big question. And I, I, I think. Being out in nature is the key and go, you know, going for those hikes or coming on a trip to South Africa, of course, super powerful and helping out with conservation, you know, really being involved. And I think it really grows from there.[00:40:00] [00:40:03] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Yeah, I know [00:40:04] Wendy Hapgood: poor Wendy. You're going, is she still [00:40:06] Izolda Trakhtenberg: there? I'm not sure what's going on. I'm sorry. I'm just, I, as, as you were, as you were speaking, I was there again. I had my little metaphoric pompoms out and I was cheering you on and it's when I use, as I said, I used to work for NASA and I used to do the. [00:40:22] Participate in these environmental education workshops where we traveled all over the world. And one of the places we traveled with South Africa and did, did a workshop and the people who came were all teachers and other educators and, and who were going to be learning about these environmental protocols so that their students could study. [00:40:40] Local ecosystems. And so when you were asking that question, I'm like, yeah, I so need to, I do this thing called the earth lady where I go into schools and I teach about the soil and, and, and the atmosphere and the water bodies and by, and the biosphere, as far as like the actual the plants that grow up near their school so that they can get into it. [00:40:59] And now [00:41:00] I'm like, okay, I need to obviously add an animal component. What are the animals in your local area? And. What kind of wildlife is there, what might you find? And so, and it translates up into what's out in South Africa, what's out in, in Namibia, what's, what's in central Asia. There are lots of places where we can be looking at this. [00:41:20] And so the question that I have for you about that is your, if you could have anything you wanted for wild tomorrow fund to do what would be the, the vision, what is the big, this is what would look like. Doing what we had dreamed of. [00:41:39] Wendy Hapgood: Was a big question. I don't ask [00:41:41] Izolda Trakhtenberg: small questions. [00:41:44] Wendy Hapgood: I, I can see if I think 10 years ahead or maybe, you know, we'll be, you know, we've done a lot more than we thought we could in a short amount of time. [00:41:51] So maybe five years ahead, you know, this Cardo project in South Africa is really the first. So the dream is for that to be. [00:42:00] Completed the car or open and working as a, as a card off for wildlife connecting these two huge reserves together, 80,000 acres to 800,000 acres in connecting that green space and the elephants can migrate again and, and we'll debase, you know, that will be like a really huge achievement and a dream come true. [00:42:20] And then, you know, of course it will. It's, it's ongoing. It's like, then the results. The vision is for it to be self-sustaining. And then the question is what's next? So, you know, I see this future where we have, you know, our it's called the Wila nature reserve in South Africa, then All the places on the planet that threatened then an immediate risk of destruction and conversion for agricultural development, where there's really threatened species and saving that land. [00:42:51] And it kind of repeating a process to save it, protect it, restore it. Rewild it. I mean, it could be mad, I guess. Yeah, it could be. I read about [00:43:00] place in Philadelphia, super important habitat for fireflies and without this habitat. Incredible spectacle. One exists in the United States would be incredible. [00:43:11] You know, just having, being able to. [00:43:17] Show you what's possible with restaurants. That would be my dream and [00:43:22] Izolda Trakhtenberg: bingo. I love it to show what's possible with restoration. I think that's that's. I think that's great. So first of all, Wendy, you're not getting rid of me that easily. So totally going to start getting people to, to sponsor zebras and giraffes. [00:43:36] That's going to be wonderful. Absolutely. I'm gonna, I'm gonna, I'm gonna see what I can do. And I also believe in starting them while they're young. So we're going to get kids on board. [00:43:45] Wendy Hapgood: We had some kindergartners, did some, made some slime and sold slime and rice. Like I think it was $400. So amazing. People have little big, you know, it's really amazing what people can do and they really want to, [00:44:00] so, yeah. [00:44:00] Izolda Trakhtenberg: And, and, and also, I mean, one of the things that, that we, that I've sort of really learned in this last hour of chatting with you is that. [00:44:08] There are things I didn't know were possible. And so now that I know that they're possible, and now that if you're listening to this episode, now that you know, they're possible, the call has been made, take, take up the banner and get Ranger's shoes or something like that, or, or sponsor zebra. I think that those are the kinds of things that we can be doing that we didn't, I didn't realize that it could be done. [00:44:27] So I'm really grateful to you, Wendy, for sharing all that. And if someone wants to get involved, how do they find you? Where, where can they find out about the wild tomorrow fund to get involved, to sponsor a zebra, to name the Seabrook? I would name a zebra Kimba after my beloved cat. I know that I would, but how would they do [00:44:47] Wendy Hapgood: that? [00:44:48] Okay. Well, for them. Get in touch or find out more about what we do that can head to our website, which is well tomorrow fund.org. You'll see there there's stories and [00:45:00] also volunteer menu. So you can look at, they can look at, you know, what trips we have coming up. Our animals sponsorships are more sort of direct because we have to be actually sort of reintroducing more or. [00:45:14] W each year we have zebra born, for example. So you can actually sponsor babies either instead of actually not needing to purchase some right now, because they're kind of rewilding themselves. There will come a time where we need to buy, purchase more wildlife. So yeah, just, there was a contact us on the website at the bottom and. [00:45:34] Email will come to me and to John and we'd love to be in touch. And yeah, we, we love at are a lot of us supporters say they, when they talk about the work of Baltimore fund, they say we did this. So it's really, truly is a community it's very personal. I like to say as well as one degree of separation between, you know, you, the donor and the future. [00:45:56] Because there is a sort of between sphere and then yeah, we're, you [00:46:00] know, in a way we're, we're small team doing big things and we're really proud of what we've been able to do. And so it is quite personal and yeah, we welcome. We love meeting new people. We need to meet new people. So please reach out. [00:46:12] We'd love to hear from you. And everybody can help from a kindergartner to a high school kid to, you know, a retiree. So please. Well to help the planet. So hope you'll join us. [00:46:24] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Absolutely. Well, I'm going to put all of that information in the show notes and Wendy, I know that you have to run, but I do have one question that I ask everybody who comes on the show and it's a silly question, but I find that it yields some very interesting results in the question. [00:46:37] Is this, if you had an airplane that could sky write anything for the whole world to see, what would you say? [00:46:46] Wendy Hapgood: Ooh, that's a love. That's an awesome question. I would say. [00:46:51] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Hmm. [00:46:54] Wendy Hapgood: Love nature. I don't know. I it's about moving people to really care. So rewild your hot, [00:47:00] something like that. And then people have to think, what does that mean? [00:47:02] And then go actually read what does rewilding mean? And then come on board with us. So pretty wild it's rewild and leave it. And then people have to be like, what on earth? [00:47:14] Izolda Trakhtenberg: And so you do. At wild tomorrow.fun.org. Right? So that's right. Absolutely. Well, Wendy, thank you so much. What a phenomenal conversation. [00:47:26] I'm so grateful that you were on the show. I really appreciate you taking [00:47:29] Wendy Hapgood: the time. Thank you so much to Zelda for having me in and giving us this opportunity to tell the story while it's more fun and rewilding to all your listeners. It was such a pleasure. And thank you so much. My [00:47:40] Izolda Trakhtenberg: pleasure. If you've listened to this episode, go get involved with wild tomorrow fund. [00:47:45] Find a way to volunteer. Find a way to sponsor a baby zebra. How could you not want to sponsor a baby zebra? Come on. This is his older Trakhtenberg for the innovative mindset podcast, reminding you to listen, learn, laugh, and love a whole lot.[00:48:00] [00:48:03] Thanks so much for joining me today. I really appreciate you being here. Please subscribe to the podcast if you're new and if you like what you're hearing, please review it and rate it and let other people. And if you'd like to be a sponsor of the show, I'd love to meet you on patrion.com/innovative mindset. [00:48:21] I also have lots of exclusive goodies to share just with the show supporters there today's episode was produced by Izolda Trakhtenberg and his copyright 2020. As always, please remember, this is for educational and entertainment purposes. Only past performance does not guarantee future results, although we can always hope until next time, keep living in your innovative minds.   * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love!  


    How to Level Up Your Speaking and Presentation Skills with Coach and Award-Winning Actor, Meridith Grundei

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 6, 2021 52:49

    Meridith Grundei, Public Speaking and Presentation Skills Coach, Actor, Director, and Improviser. This episode is brought to you by Brain.fm. I love and use brain.fm every day! It combines music and neuroscience to help me focus, meditate, and even sleep! Because you listen to this show, you can get a free trial.* URL: https://brain.fm/innovativemindset If you love it as much as I do, you can get 20% off with this exclusive coupon code: innovativemindset     As an award-winning theatre director, producer, and former Second City improv teacher, Meridith Grundei recognized the similarities between performing on stage every night and presenting to clients/colleagues every day, but the latter didn't have the right tools to bring their stories to life. So she decided to do something about it. Eleven years and some change later, Grundei Coaching has helped thousands of individuals and corporations around the world achieve career growth and success. Meridith specializes in presentation and public speaking consultation, individual training and development, and creative team solutions using applied improvisational theatre techniques to build trust, empathy, and out-of-the-box thinking. Connect with Meridith www.grundeicoaching.com and www.meridithgrundei.com Insta: https://www.instagram.com/thisimprovisedlife/ and https://www.instagram.com/meridithgrundeicoaching/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/meridith/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/GrundeiCoaching Meridith Grundei Episode Transcript   [00:00:00] Meridith Grundei: First off. I was just want to say the collective whole is super important. I think in order for transformation to happen and to see the actual results. [00:00:14] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Hello and welcome to the innovative mindset podcast. Izolda Trakhtenberg on the show. I interview peak performing innovators in the creative social impact and earth conservation spaces or working to change the world. This episode is brought to you by brain FM, brain FM combines the best of music and neuroscience to help you relax, focus, meditate, and even sleep. [00:00:35] I love it and have been using it to write, create and do some. Deepest work because you're a listener of the show. You can get a free trial head over to brain.fm/innovative mindset. To check it out. If you decide to subscribe, you can get 20% off with the coupon code, innovative mindset, all one word. And now let's get to the show. [00:00:58] Oh, my goodness. We've [00:01:00] just been laughing so hard. Hi, this is the Trakhtenberg with the innovative mindset podcast and I bid you welcome. I'm super excited about this week's guest. You can tell Meredith is already laughing. We're both cracking up, but you need to, you need to hear about Meredith grin, die, check it out. [00:01:18] And I did I say it right? Or as a guy I dug around di see, Brandise we've just had. Fabulous conversation about name changing when you are, when you have the opportunity to do so. And Gren di is, is the, is the name that is the right name and I'm going to say it correctly. So here we go. Meredith Grundei dog gone. [00:01:38] It I'm going to get it right. As eventually as an award winning theater director, producer, and former second city improv teacher Meredith recognize the similarities between performing on stage every night and presenting to clients and colleagues. But the latter didn't have the right tools to bring their stories to life. [00:01:56] So she decided to do something about it. You know, this is catnip [00:02:00] to me. If you're, if you're a longtime listener of this show, you know how much I love what this is and what Meredith does so 11 years and some change later. Growing dye coaching has helped thousands of individuals and corporations around the world achieve career growth and success. [00:02:15] Meredith specializes in presentation and public speaking consultation, individual training and development and creative team solutions using applied improv, improvisational theater techniques to build trust, empathy, and out of the box thing. Wow, this is, this is so exciting for me because we're going to get really deep into some of this. [00:02:34] I'm so thrilled to have you here. Meredith. Welcome. [00:02:37] Meridith Grundei: Thank you. I am so happy to be here. This is I make, so I'm just giddy on the inside about the conversation that is about to emerge. Certainly [00:02:46] Izolda Trakhtenberg: hope so, unless, unless my cat comes in like the, like he did the other day and jumps on the microphone and everything goes all over the place. [00:02:54] We'll improvise. There you go. You'll improvise. I took very few improv classes in theater. I'll I'll I'll [00:03:00] try and yes, yes, yes. And you as much as possible. I love it. So, so talk to me a little bit about that. What, how did you get from. Theater director, producer, improv, teacher, professor, all of these things too. [00:03:15] Now you help people and companies get their message out. How did that come about? [00:03:21] Meridith Grundei: That's a really great question. It's organically come about over time. I have always seen myself and as a multi-passionate human and I remember the very first time someone said to me, I believe it was in high school, you're a Jack of all trades, but she said it in kind of a negative way. [00:03:41] And you know, I'm, you know, that Jack of all trades master of none kind of way. And, and at first I thought, this is my handicap. I have all these passions because I was dancing. I was acting, but I loved organizing. I worked in the career center. I just have always [00:04:00] loved these things. My dad was an entrepreneur, so he, he was always, I was always inspired by him and always curious about exactly what he did. [00:04:07] He also had a job that I could never understand it, but he did these other things that. We're just exciting. I was like, wow, you're opening a dry cleaners. And now you're opening a virtual reality games place. And now you're so I was always just really an all of that. And then when I moved to San Francisco, when I graduated from college and I started performing with an improv group called ed nauseum, and I'd taken at that time, maybe one improv class in high school. [00:04:36] And I met these, this group of people through bats and I had taken a couple courses there and I just started to love, I just fell in love with it immediately, and then ended up in a sketch comedy group called old man McGinty. And we'd do this crazy, like very absurdist kind of sketch comedy. It was this really dynamic group. [00:04:59] [00:05:00] Performers that had these wonderful like dance ability writers and a lot of experimental theater, performers, clowns, so forth. And so we put this group together and one of our members was like, I'm moving to Chicago, I'm going to study in Providence. Like, Ooh, I want to go to Chicago. I want to study improv. [00:05:19] So I'm like, let's do it. And at that time I had just gotten married and we. Jet set it to Chicago. And I started interning my way through IO, improv, Olympic and the next thing I know, I am then teaching at the second city and I'm helping start their youth program there. And cause one of the core faculty members was co-teaching a class with me that was teaching kids how to create their own. [00:05:49] And so I started that. I started working at the second city and it was a wonderful experience for me. And I was always inspired by the people that I was working with. [00:06:00] And for, and I did a couple at that time, it was called Bisco gigs teaching to more corporate folk, if you will, and helping them. Find ways to work better and more efficiently as teams using improvisation as a tool to do that. [00:06:18] And then from there, this executive coach, Dennis Schroder pulled me in and was like, I want you to work with me and all the time. So I was like, okay. And I do the Birkman assessment, which is a psychological assessment, similar to disc and Myers-Briggs and he said, This is how I work as an executive coach with these teams. [00:06:36] And then I want you to come in and let's use applied improv as a way to show these personal things different personality types and how they can work together as an asset. And better communicate with each other as a team and trust and all of that. And so for several years, and I actually am still in touch with Dennis and do the occasional work with him. [00:06:57] I, I, I just ended up [00:07:00] doing that work and loving it because I saw the opportunities to help people not only engage with each other, but also find a safe and brave space to share story. I, it was astounding to me. How many organizations did not provide the space, whether that was conscious or unconscious for people to actually share what is like what's going on in their lives. [00:07:29] What's what, they're, what they don't feel that they can bring into the workspace, right? Because you leave, you leave your personal life at home. And I'll, I'll never forget this one experience where I was working with a team of manufacturing team up in upstate New York in Rochester, and I have this Augusta ball exercise and Augusta ball is a Brazilian practitioner who brought he's no longer with us, but he, he used improv and theater [00:08:00] as a tool to bring community together and people of different backgrounds and ethnicities and so forth. [00:08:06] And. This one exercise is called and it made me think. And so what you do is each person is given one minute to tell a story about something that's happened in their life and in relatively recent, right? A relatively recent timeframe. So in last week or last month, and you punctuate it, you tell your story and then you punctuate it with, and it made me think, and then you allow space to sit. [00:08:32] And so you allow that story to land on the listeners. And this one, gentlemen, we come to this one man in the circle and he shares his story about his son. Who's been going through chemotherapy. No one on that team knew no one. And that to me blew my mind like this poor man has been holding this. Painful thing and [00:09:00] expected to work and expected to show up and to do his job. [00:09:05] And that was. A moment for me where I went, I, this is important. This is what I am doing. This work, not, I, more people need to be doing this work. More people need to be going into organizations and using these tools of the theater and of improv to help open up the hearts and the minds of the individuals that are doing this work. [00:09:29] I just got the bug and I just kept doing it from there on, and I started doing it on my own with Meredith granddad coaching. And within that, I was also. Invited by Dennis I'll give him credit. He was like, I've got this CEO, please help him with his presentation. He has to give at this big conference, I've got this guy over here who needs to level up his executive presence. [00:09:49] I've got this person over here and I would yes. And things. And I think it's a Tina Fey quote, but she was like say yes and figure out the rest later, which is kind of what [00:10:00] I felt like I was doing. And it's led me to. This wonderfully PA this wonderful path that I'm on. And I haven't looked back and I don't think I will. [00:10:10] I mean, I, I, what was it? What am I trying to say here? That was a rough drafted thought. Anyway. That's, that's how I got here. [00:10:19] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. That's fantastic. And so much of what you said. To me, what I heard it it's I heard courage. It was, that was one of the things that, that I, it seems like you help people bring out, you know, have sort of pull themselves into themselves, but then have the courage to express to actually say what's on their mind or do what they want to do and be more of themselves, especially in corporate situations. [00:10:56] And the first thing that we started talking about that you mentioned was [00:11:00] improv. And I would love it because I have a whole list of questions based on what you just said. There's a ton. And what, what is improv? What, what is improvisational theater? What is improv? Because people's bandy the term around, but I'm not sure how many people, I actually know what it means, what it is and what it can do for you. [00:11:21] Meridith Grundei: That's a great question. So improv, I will start off with the one thing that people most commonly can relate to when I describe it in front of a group, which is, I always referenced, like, have you seen whose line is it anyway? And then people, I see a bunch of people nodding up and down and I'm nodding up and down as I'm sharing this story with you right now. [00:11:43] So that would be the first context to do it. Yeah. Whose line is it? Anyway, they have a structure, a game, if you will. And within that game. So the structure are the quote unquote and I'm doing air quotes are the rules, right? [00:12:00] And you make things up on the spot within that structure though. So the structure gives you some guidelines. [00:12:06] So that's what I do is I teach people. Games, these exercises, these activities. However you want to frame that that best fits for you. I give them these games that they work within so that they can see. The magic that happens afterwards. Right. And I give them other tools, like the foundation of improvisation is this idea of yes. [00:12:31] And so when we, yes, and somebody's idea, we can further the storyline. We can add to the idea we can. Find that moment of agreement. Right? And so with that tool and within these structures, these games that I give them, we're able to make discoveries about ourselves within the context of the game. So for example, to me, the applied improv piece is the [00:13:00] magic is in the debrief. [00:13:01] Right. So what did you notice come up for you when you were put in this situation? What feelings. We're in your body when this happened. What did you notice in your communication when this happened? What is it that you would do differently next time? If we were to do this exercise again, where you making eye contact were you breathing? [00:13:25] Oftentimes when we feel stressed out or anxiety, we hold our breath, right? Do these exercises up on our feet. So it's a full body experience off, we spend so much time sitting down that I think that physical engagement that sematic kinesthetic engagement is incredibly important as well. So that I hope answers the question, what is improv, and it's also an amazing opportunity to get people to just laugh together. [00:13:57] You're laughing together. You're getting amazing [00:14:00] insights on your own communication skills. You're building trust. And there are no real world consequences within the containers. So we're not going to like some multi-billion dollar organization is not going to implode because we're doing improv game. [00:14:16] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I certainly hope not. [00:14:18] That would be one heck of an improv game if you do that. [00:14:21] Meridith Grundei: Wow. Wow. [00:14:24] Izolda Trakhtenberg: And you rubbed your hands together right there. You did. I did [00:14:27] Meridith Grundei: put finger thing. [00:14:30] Izolda Trakhtenberg: So that's, that's a, that's a fabulous, that's a fabulous encapsulation of what improv is and something that, that sparked from you when you said that was the questions that you asked the debrief, as you put it. [00:14:42] If you're calling on people and correct me if I'm wrong here, it seems like you're calling on people to have a, a deeper awareness of self of who they are, of where they are of what's happening inside them. And often we don't, we don't, we tend to think outwardly, you know, we tend to [00:15:00] go, oh, this is, this is on my to-do list today. [00:15:03] This is, these are the things that I have to get done. This is the work that I have to do, but we don't tend to spend a lot of time. Internally and going, what about the work I'm doing on myself? So it sounds like there's an invitation inherent in what you're doing for people to work on themselves. And I'm wondering, how does, how does that work for you? [00:15:22] How do you, how do you employ that? And if you do specifically and what are the results that you get at the end of the process? [00:15:32] Meridith Grundei: Oh, that's a, that's a great question. Yeah. I think it's the way that I guide people through things that I give them the invitation to drop in and think in those ways. And I do always call it an invitation. [00:15:46] I don't try to force things upon people. I think it's important for people to make their own discoveries. And so I, I repeat myself a lot in the debrief. So touch in, you know, [00:16:00] I have an Allen Ginsburg quote that I like to use often, which is notice what you notice. And then I feel like the more that I can repeat back, the things that I'm inviting people to do, whether they make those discoveries in the room or on the zoom room, if you will, these days, but in the room with me. [00:16:19] Great. But they may not make those discoveries until a month later when they're sitting at their desk. And something happens that triggers a response or a strong emotion, and then they can reflect back to that exercise. So I think that there's time and space for integration with these things and the repetition can help with that. [00:16:41] I hope that answered the first part of your question. Can you repeat the second part of your question? Sure. [00:16:45] Izolda Trakhtenberg: The, the second part was actually really about. Like you said they might notice months later. I, I recently noticed something that I did in a theater class in college many, many years ago, and sort [00:17:00] of got an aha moment from that. [00:17:01] And I'm wondering when you go through the process in the moment, if you have any stories about those results so that you can see them. So that they're like the, the gentlemen whose whose son had, who was going through chemo. The people there were changed, right? The results were pretty immediate by hearing his story. [00:17:21] And I'm wondering, I guess I'm, I'm being a little bit, you know, I'm being a little shameless cause I'm like, tell me, tell me the results, Meredith good stuff, you know, but [00:17:30] Meridith Grundei: fair enough. You know, but, [00:17:32] Izolda Trakhtenberg: but it's, it's because I think we don't spend a lot of time in that space. Wow, this, this has changed me. And let me spend a little time figuring out how it has changed me. [00:17:44] So in those, in those spaces, when you're cause you're holding space for people to be themselves, which I love what, what are the profound results, small and large in those processes? [00:17:57] Meridith Grundei: Yeah, that's a really great question. I think there are [00:18:00] multiple ones. One is how you work collectively as a team. And that's why I think the work is important to do. [00:18:07] And I think that's why leadership needs to show up too, you know, because oftentimes I've noticed that leadership will set something up for their team management will and then management won't be there. So all of these people have learned their team has learned this like great news. Tools and then management isn't there. [00:18:25] So that first off I was just wanting to say the collective whole is super important. I think in order for a transformation to happen and to see the actual results For me, it's about, for example, seeing the results, how do you organize a meeting? Right. So because of some of the tools in the, in the debrief, we find out where some of the pain points are and how they can be solved through those exercises. [00:18:51] So if you're in an it, for example, in an ideation phase, or you're a part of an agile or scrum group or your, whatever the industry [00:19:00] might be, and you're in that first infant stages of creating. When everyone in the group has this idea of what yes. And is and how it can be applicable, it shifts things. [00:19:11] Let's get all the ideas up on the whiteboard or on the post-it notes. And let's see what emerges without saying no. There will be room for no later there will be room for, I see this. And can we do this later? Just get all the ideas out there because what that also does is it creates a room of inclusivity. [00:19:31] So all voices get to be heard. Nobody is being cut off. Nobody is being told. No all ideas are good ideas at that moment in time, because what happens is in ideation in brainstorming and creativity. We want to it's so often that we want to look at, what's not working first and I'm a big fan of looking at like, well, let's look at what is working and let's get it all out there because whatever, if, if this, if you have an [00:20:00] instant to a, no, that no actually might inspire the idea that does work. [00:20:05] Does that make sense? Absolutely. [00:20:07] Izolda Trakhtenberg: No, it absolutely. It does. And it's interesting because. As I'm listening to you, I'm going the people who are actually doing the work, nobody knows their job better than they do. You know, nobody knows what you do better than you do. So if you're going to ask for ideas and make the caveat that there are no bad ones, just throw them out. [00:20:30] Some of those people have never been heard from before. And it sounds like you're giving them the, the, the stage, if you will, the opportunity. And then they can. Present their own. I do something similar with some of the workshops I do giving space so that people who aren't often heard from can, can have their say. [00:20:50] And I love what you said about leadership being invited and almost mandatory show up folks, because that presents an opportunity for [00:21:00] them to, to see some of those ideas that they otherwise might not see. Right. [00:21:06] Meridith Grundei: Yeah, exactly. And they also get to see the dynamics of the. They get to see how people work together in these different situations that they may not be able to see in the day-to-day grind of the work. [00:21:20] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Yeah, absolutely. And that's so interesting. So talk to me about team dynamics. What is that? What is team dynamics? You mentioned it a couple of times and I'd love to hear what your thoughts are on exactly what it is and how we can use it specifically, because this is the innovative mindset podcast. How can we use it to innovate? [00:21:37] How can we use it to think. [00:21:40] Meridith Grundei: Yeah. Well, the first place that I go to is using each other's different sets of skills as an asset. Right. And so that we look at, so I'll just bring it back to like what Dennis works with with the different personality types. We all have different ways of seeing and approaching an idea or a problem [00:22:00] solving and finding a solution to something. [00:22:03] Right. My husband and I could not be more different in how we problem solve something, but it's how we choose to work together and communicate in order to solve that problem. And so what I really appreciate about using these, like I said before, they have no real world what's the word I'm looking for? [00:22:23] No consequences. Thank you. Ding, ding, ding. They have no real world consequences, right? But what it does is it really helps bring to the surface, these different personality types, and rather getting frustrated with that person who might be more on the execution thing and, or getting more, really uptight around that person. [00:22:42] The out of the box, creative thinker, it's like, how do you take those two different personality types and put them together so that they can actually work efficiently and effectively together and see each other's different types of personality types as an asset to the, to solving a problem. So when I talk about team [00:23:00] dynamics, I mean that, to me, it's about, yes, and-ing each other, seeing each other and ourselves. [00:23:05] Brilliance and how they can all fit together so that we can be effective and efficient with our day to day work and tasks and show each other mutual respect and honor each other's differences. [00:23:19] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I love that. You just said that last part because that's one of the things that I find happens is that. That can sometimes be missing that, that, that respecting that other people think differently and that not only is it okay, but it's to be celebrated because they can come at it from a perspective. [00:23:35] Yeah. You may not have seen. So let me ask you a strange question and maybe it's not a strange question. I imagine there are times when you're doing one of these workshops that you meet resistance from the people and all [00:23:51] Meridith Grundei: that die. Yeah. I, I, I [00:23:54] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I'm like, yeah, this is kind of a [00:23:55] Meridith Grundei: silly question. Not a strange question at all. [00:23:58] Izolda Trakhtenberg: And so, you know, [00:24:00] because some people given the room to play, maybe of playing, if you see what I mean. So I'm wondering what, when you meet resistance, how. What are the innovative ways that you encourage invite, inspire people to, to let go of the fear a little, or maybe to push through the fear? I'm not sure what, what, what your way is in order to actually get the best out of the expense. [00:24:29] Meridith Grundei: Yeah, I think it's a wonderful question. And I will say the most resistant resistance that I am met with is usually at the very beginning, I walk into the room and I oftentimes get the, who is this person what's happening? Why are we forced to do this? Like, you can just feel the energy in the room is palpable. [00:24:47] And and it's not all the time. I mean, sometimes you've got the one person in the room that's like, I love improv. Like, thank God for you being in the room. Right. And And so what happens is pretty [00:25:00] quickly, I have everyone gathered in a circle. I have them push their chairs back and, you know, if I can get into the room to arrange it the way that I would like it to, to be the best learning experience possible for everyone, I do that sometimes I can't do that. [00:25:13] So it's a little bit of a rearranging, right. And in that moment, I'm warming myself up. I'm introducing myself to people. I'm giving them eye contact. I'm making sure they know that I'm not as scary. I don't look scary to, to begin with. I'm like, Three and I weigh a hundred pounds, so they're scared of me. [00:25:28] That's a bigger issue. But so then I gather people do a circle and we S we do, you know, some gradual warmups and and I get to know who they are. They get to know me. And what happens is quite. It's beautiful. I will say it's just beautiful. Is that somehow within that timeframe within the first 30 minutes of being there, I have given them permission to play and it's as if no one else has given them that permission in a really long [00:26:00] time. [00:26:01] And I can't tell you it's the most wonderful, beautiful shift that I have ever experienced. Is with people who are non-performers, who have no idea what they're about to get into. And then all of a sudden they understand it and they're like, oh my God, I get to just play for three hours. Awesome. And so that is usually I will say That's most of my experiences, every so often you'll get the one person it's usually one person and I hate to say it, but it's usually a guy who has a lot of resistance. [00:26:37] And so I, there it's a fine balance, right? Because you don't want that person to take up air time for everybody else. You don't want to, so it's a delicate balance of agreement and saying, let's take a risk here and let's look at your own stuff. And oftentimes it, [00:27:00] it works out. Okay. Right. And I'm a big fan of doing, I touch back into and I, and I noticed these things and I feel. [00:27:07] I might send an email and do a check-in with that person later. Or I might check in with their management later because I do care and I want to know where the resistance is living in the body and, or in the mind and or with past experiences. Because even though the work is playful, even though we are having a good time with each other, it can still bring up stuff for people. [00:27:28] It just. Sure. We're humans. So with, with lots of layers and somehow within that layers of that onion, there was one that I really, I got out with some people, so putting care and love into it. [00:27:44] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I love again, I love that you said that I'm going to just say that after everything you say, and it's interesting what you were talking about. [00:27:52] Like every once in a while, the person with real resistance, I find that digging deeper means that they are. That they're a [00:28:00] frustrated performer or that they were told that they shouldn't speak or should, or, or don't have talent or skills in the very thing that they want to do, which is be out there with, with the bad cells. [00:28:11] And so there's this, there's this confidence piece and there's a, there's a vulnerability piece to that, to what I'm hearing you talk about that I would love to explore for a minute. What I know you've already mentioned that. Lots of vulnerability, even though we're playing. And even though we're having a good time, there's, there's a real vulnerability to, to stepping into the limelight. [00:28:34] Well, and when, when someone does, I'm sure that you've had lots of stories about that, but when they do that, how does, how do you handle it and how does the rest of the group. Transform because it's not just the individual person that transforms. I imagine the rest of the group transforms also when someone is really vulnerable. [00:28:58] Yeah. [00:29:00] [00:29:01] Meridith Grundei: That's a really good question. I'm trying to think. Well, I keep going back to that one story. There's a couple of stories that have popped into my head. I think. In those moments for me, I think each situation is different. So I do adapt according to each of the situations. And I might have, for example, a game that follows the exercise that we just did. And for me as the coach, as the facilitator, it's important to know what to let go of for the betterment of the whole. [00:29:32] And so there have been a couple times where I've had to let go of my agenda. So that I could best meet the group with where they're at. And and I'm not overly transparent about that. I just go with the flow and then we, we spend our attention in that place. And then there's an opportunity for further dialogue. [00:29:55] And I, I always do feel that it is the way that the rules of engagement that are set up before. Right. [00:30:00] Are helpful in facilitating this as well, because I come from a place of, I want to hear, I want to hear from you what feels true. I want to hear what's working. And then I want to hear where you have curiosities around this feeling or within this exercise that we just had that came up for you. [00:30:20] The feelings that you have are completely valid and they're yours. There nobody else's so let's all figure this out together and let's find a way to communicate this that feels safe. And so I, I hope that answered your question. Did it? [00:30:39] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Yes, it did. Good. Funny about the show is that the, a lot of the feedback that I get from the shows that wow, these conversations go so deep and we do so. [00:30:52] Yes, you answered. [00:30:54] Meridith Grundei: Well, you know, I had another story that popped in my head as it was a disaster story where we, it was a [00:31:00] huge organization and the person who organized it was going through a lot of stuff. And so it was not organized very, very well at all. And I ha I was met with serious resistance and then the, or the, I heard the client was not happy. [00:31:17] And so in that moment, I literally. Everything rallied the troops and was like, we, because there was six of us on this gig and I was responsible for having brought in like five of the six of us, all of us. I was responsible for bringing in these people. And I was like, we need to shift gears. And we had to do a whole, like, we changed the whole curriculum, the whole thing, everything because of what, what happened. [00:31:43] And I think that's. You know, I think that's something improv has taught me is to be adaptable, be in the moment, be a problem solver. If you dig in your heels, it's not because you had one thing planned and it's not working out the way that you think it's going to work out. Then [00:32:00] you're going to be in a lot of trees. [00:32:01] A lot. And so I have learned so often you just got to sometimes say, yep, you're right. This isn't working. And now we're going to figure out a new solution to this. And I am so grateful for that tool. [00:32:17] Izolda Trakhtenberg: And it's a great tool because if you are not adaptable, you're pushing up a really heavy Boulder [00:32:22] Meridith Grundei: up there. [00:32:23] Oh my God. It's some people think they're adaptable. And I got to say, you're not, I'm so sorry, but you're not being there with them all. Yeah. [00:32:30] Izolda Trakhtenberg: And that, that can be a tough, a tough nut to swallow. Right. So, so I, you know, it's interesting, we've been talking a lot about courage and talking about confidence and in its relationship to, to the teams that you work with within, within a presentation. [00:32:48] And I'm wondering if there's something you, you mentioned way earlier that you got drawn to helping people be themselves. In certain kinds of [00:33:00] situations in whether it's corporate or not, but you're, you, you said you were drawn to helping people and I'm wondering what, what draws you to helping people become better at not just the, oh, we're working well as a team, but at public speaking and presenting and being up in front of others and telling their own story, like what, what draws you about that and how do you do that? [00:33:25] Meridith Grundei: Hmm. Thank you. I have always just maybe it's I w I went to church camp a lot as a kid, and then I ended up becoming a camp counselor and all of these things. And I feel like I just, from a very young age, loved teaching and loved helping other people find their voices. And I feel like, you know, partly it's because, you know, In my childhood. [00:33:52] And when I was more, in my teenage years, I have a father who had PTSD and I found it tremendously difficult to have a [00:34:00] voice in my family to be heard. And so I think that I am very sensitive to other people who also struggle with being heard in the way they want to. And so I would say that would probably be the core of the root of it. [00:34:14] And I am a huge advocate of mentorship. I, I love. I just feel like it's so important, especially in this day and age too, to help lift the voices of others, to tell them that yes, they can achieve whatever they want to achieve, that they can, that they can they can overcome adversity. And that just feels, it just lights me up. [00:34:38] It just, it really does. I guess that's the best answer I have for you is I can't imagine myself doing anything else, but working with people I'm I am quite the empath, like some too, sometimes to a fault right. Where I'm like, I overthink things, [00:35:00] but I really, I do care about people. I really do care about their experiences and making sure that they have a voice in the room and in this world, [00:35:09] Izolda Trakhtenberg: And again, I love that. [00:35:11] See this, I've just kept saying that. And I, and I am not at all surprised that you're an empath and being able to do that, being so able to be sensitive to the place where other people are, what they're feeling, what they're, what they're perhaps thinking all of that. It changes how you relate to them. And if someone. [00:35:36] A real fear. Like I used to have a phobia, not, not that, not that you can tell now, since I'm all over the place, as far as speaking, but I used to have a real phobia of public speaking from learning English as a fourth language and being terrified. And I, I worked through it. I overcame it and now I'm out there presenting all the time and I'm actually grateful to that time. [00:35:59] It [00:36:00] helped me understand what other people are going through when they're afraid. And so when you're, when you're coaching someone to improve their skills at presenting, or if they have a presentation that they have to do, and they're terrified, what do you do to help them? [00:36:19] Meridith Grundei: Yes. Well, I, I first, I always start with where they're at and where they wanna go. And how they want to be seen. And. I am. My philosophy is to give as many tools as I possibly can, because I don't think it's a one size fits all for everybody. I think that with as many tools as I can possibly give them, they can find what works best for them. [00:36:45] Right? So the tools that I will provide science, our breathing exercises, physical exercises, because the mind body connection is incredibly important. The heart centered mind. The connection [00:37:00] is important. I give them different tools on how to prepare, right? How to practice. Cause there's more than one way to practice. [00:37:10] There is no set acronym. That's going to teach you how to become an amazing person pro you know rehearsal. Is that even a word? I'm sure it's true today. It is. And so. I just feel that what I have found over time is that people would tell me, this is how you do it. This is how it's done. And then I would go back like, as an actor, I would get all of these, this input on how I was supposed to practice or how I was supposed to memorize my lines or how I was supposed to, how I was supposed to do this, do this, do this. [00:37:41] And I'd noticed that no one ever gave me permission to sit back and try to figure out what worked for me. Right because everyone has an opinion, everyone's opinion is going to be different from the last person's opinion. That's just the way it is. So you really giving that permission for [00:38:00] people to find what works for them and giving them enough tools to be able to do that. [00:38:10] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I'm taking it in for a second. Sorry. I like. Take a second and really synthesize what I've just heard. [00:38:22] the thing, the key for me of what you just said is that it's a two-pronged approach. The, what is that you need to do. And then here are the tools to help you do it. Like what world, what will work for you may not work for anybody else. Right? What works for me may not work for anybody else, but giving permission. [00:38:44] And not just you giving them permission, but them giving themselves permission to explore, I think is so crucial. And how do you, how do you innovate that? How do you encourage people who might have a phobia? Like, like I used to, [00:39:00] to give themselves permission, not just to play, but to go deep and explore into who they are and. [00:39:08] What is it that they want to say what their messages? [00:39:12] Meridith Grundei: Yeah. I'll give you an exact example of one thing. So I have this group called confidently confidently speaking, which is a group coaching on mighty networks thing that I put together and it's only a month old and I do a Q and a, so it's it's four weeks or. [00:39:30] Every it's for me. Yes. Every month, each week I have a jeez Louise each week, I have a different focus. And on the fourth week of the month, I do a Q and a, and that feels important to me so that people can ask their questions and they can also provide me feedback so that I can better grow the community. [00:39:48] And what I heard from the last Q and a. Is, there was some struggle with feeling confidence around being in front of the camera and being in front of the camera in communicating your message and your brand is huge. And we're [00:40:00] getting more and more on video. I mean, I think things are going to turn more in that direction than ever before. [00:40:07] And so I heard all of that and I said, okay, Well, then we're going to do a 30 day video challenge. And if three of you sign up, I'm going to do it with you because it's important that you see that I'm going to go and do this alongside of you. And we're all going to learn together. And then we're going to come together at the end of this 30 day challenge. [00:40:28] And we're going to share what we learned when we started and where we're at, and we're going to share where we're at now. And I think. That gives people permission to go, wow, my coach is doing this alongside of me because I always have something to learn too. I'm not, I'm not like a master at all of these things. [00:40:49] You know, I mean, there are masters, but masters in something. Educating themselves and learning. And it also helps people feel like they're not alone in, in [00:41:00] this growth period in their life. And that's why I like the group coaching and that peer to peer support piece of it is because you can really quickly see I'm not the only one that feels this way, that there's still a lot of work to be done. [00:41:14] And and it's okay that I'm at where I'm at. Right. [00:41:19] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Yeah, absolutely. And it's interesting. There's a, there's a wonderful book by Pema Chodron. I love him the children. Oh, yay. I love her work and I love the book title almost more than I love the book. It's start where you are. I just think that's so it's so simple and so profound at the same time that giving yourself permission to start where you are and not judging yourself for. [00:41:46] Not being further along than you are, you know? So, so have you done the full 30 days yet? How, how have the stories been about the people who have taken the challenge on. We [00:41:59] Meridith Grundei: [00:42:00] are on day two, we just started, we just started. It's pretty awesome. And there's a, there's a couple people that I was not expecting that totally jumped in and I am so excited. [00:42:14] I'm so excited that it just gets, I just, I am just thrilled to pieces when people take the risk and I've given them the platform to do so. Like we did A story exercise a couple of weeks ago. And a couple people chose to put their stories on video. I said, you know what? However you need to tell that story, tell it if it's typing it and sending it to us in a document. [00:42:38] If it's putting it on video, just tell your story. So I think again, it's giving them the permission to use it. There's no right. There's no one way to do something. [00:42:50] Izolda Trakhtenberg: Yeah. Absolutely. You know, it's one of my, one of my favorite things on a circle you can get to the center [00:43:00] point from an infinite number of places. [00:43:02] And that is that to me is says so much and there is no. No, that's not true. I will say that there are wrong ways, like forgetting to turn your camera off yeah. On or off or whatever, you know? Sure. [00:43:15] Meridith Grundei: But at [00:43:15] Izolda Trakhtenberg: the same time, so yeah. Cause I've done that I've done, I've recorded entire podcast episodes without having turned on the recording equipment. [00:43:24] So, so that has happened and, and yet it's, it's a Mo it's a teaching and a learning opportunity for you. [00:43:32] Meridith Grundei: Yes, I was just going to ask, but what did you learn from that? Exactly. What did you do different next time? So yeah, now I have a [00:43:38] Izolda Trakhtenberg: checklist hanging over my desk. It says, these are the things you have to do. [00:43:41] And again, that that's, that to me is a really important piece of what you're doing is that you don't have to be perfect. You have to be where you are, you know, wherever you are and if you can stretch yourself. That's great. So, so within that, is there a place that someone can go to, to go? [00:44:00] I want to learn from. [00:44:02] Where should they go to do that? To find. [00:44:06] Meridith Grundei: Yeah, thank you for asking that question. I can be found in a few places. One is Grund di coaching.com and that's G R U N as in Nancy, D as in dog, E i.com. Meredith. Yeah, granddad coaching.com. And then. Confidently speaking.club, it's hosted on mighty networks. [00:44:28] So you could also look through mighty networks. And then I have my performance. I still am a performer on Meredith grand di.com. And my name is spelled with two eyes. It's M E R I D I T H grandad.com. And then of course, LinkedIn and all the socials. I'm not on Facebook though. I got off base. What's driving me batty. [00:44:48] Izolda Trakhtenberg: I hear you. That that is one of those things and there's, I could keep you here for the next six hours. I know. I love [00:44:57] Meridith Grundei: talking to you. It's so much fun. You ask me your [00:45:00] questions. I'm like, I love your question. And I'm like, did I answer it? I hope I answered it. You're [00:45:07] Izolda Trakhtenberg: fabulous. Yes, you absolutely have. [00:45:09] There's there's a couple more questions. If you have time. First of all, I was honored to be on your podcast recently. So much fun. So I'm really glad that you were able to come and join me here on, on, in an innovative mindset. So I'm, the podcast is called. Are you waiting for permission that you cohost with a wonderful gentleman named Joseph Bennett? [00:45:31] And I'm wondering if you can talk a little bit about what the podcast is and what permission people might be waiting for? [00:45:41] Meridith Grundei: Yeah, the, so the podcast is. Inspired by Joseph on a Sunday. I think about four months ago, it's only four months old and the crazy wow. He said he woke up and he's like, I want to do a podcast with Meredith. [00:45:56] And so he called me and I said, sure, let's do a podcast. [00:46:00] And we came up with this title. Are you waiting for permission? Joseph, I think was reading a book and it was a line in a book and I said, perfect. This is that. Yes. And it is intended for creatives and artists who. Stopped waiting for permission. [00:46:17] And so they started giving themselves permission to live the life that they want and to create the work that they want and to follow their dreams. And we, our intention with the podcast is we really want our listeners. To see that there are multiple ways that they can to give themselves permission to follow their dreams. [00:46:41] And we even have one listener who quit her job. She said, I listened to your podcast. And that was it. I had this email sitting in the inbox for two years and I finally sent it and I quit my job that I was miserable at. Wow. And. That, that was really, and we, of course, we had to interview her on [00:47:00] our podcast and we did, and that will be released in the next few weeks. [00:47:03] But that is our, that is our hope with the podcast is to keep encouraging people, to take leaps of faith, to take risk and to give themselves permission. And through that, we give resources, we answer questions now for people on the podcast as well. And we invite. You know, guests like yourself who are dynamic humans that have also carved a path. [00:47:27] Izolda Trakhtenberg: And it's a fabulous podcast. If you're not listening, you should go super subscribe, just like right now. And that's that? No, it is. I enjoy it. I enjoy it because. It's like you called yourself a multi-passionate person, but also the guests tend to be multi-passionate and tend to want to explore different avenues. [00:47:50] And I am about, I am. Multi-passionate, doesn't begin to cover all of that, that I try to do. And I've [00:48:00] decided for myself that it's not do what you love for me. Love what you're doing while you're doing it. And that's, that's, that's, that's my solution to that whole conundrum. And so I'm, I'm really glad that you, that you both started this show because I find that I'm learning and I'm having a good time. [00:48:22] And often you, you get podcasts where you have one or the other maybe, but not both. And yours. Yours does both, which I think is great. And I think that's what you're doing with the work that you're doing is that people. Yes, you're, you're calling on them to be vulnerable and have, and have courage, and you're giving them a space to play and explore who they are. [00:48:45] And I think that's amazing. So thank you so much for doing the work that you're doing. I really it's necessary in this world, so I'm really glad you're out there doing. Yeah, no, [00:48:53] Meridith Grundei: thank you. [00:48:55] Izolda Trakhtenberg: So Meredith I have one last question and by the way, all of the, all of the. [00:49:00] Social media and all of the ways to contact you will be in the show notes as well, but people learn differently. [00:49:05] So I like to give both both ways of seeing or multiple ways of seeing the information or hearing the information. And I have one last question that I ask everybody who comes on the show and FIA, it's a silly question, but I find that it can yield some, some profound answers. So the question is this. [00:49:24] If you had an airplane that could sky write anything for the whole world to see. What would you say? [00:49:31] Meridith Grundei: Just [00:49:32] Izolda Trakhtenberg: breathe. [00:49:37] I love that. I love that. So that's a great what a great answer. Yes. So important. So important. I, I like to say that you can live. Three weeks without food, you can last three days without water, but you can only last three minutes without air. So is crucial, [00:49:54] Meridith Grundei: crucial. It is so crucial and we don't do it enough. [00:49:59] We hold our [00:50:00] breath so [00:50:01] Izolda Trakhtenberg: much. Yeah. And, and one of the things that's most interesting to me about the theater that I was an English drama major in college. And one of the things that was most interesting to me was when I first started really learning. How to use breath to perform, to, to play. I play violin. [00:50:22] So breathing is not, it's not a woodwind or brass instrument or whatever, but at the same time breathing as part of singing, breathing is part of doing anything, gives yourself space as well as being nourishing for your, for your body and your mind and your spirit. So I'm so grateful that you said that. [00:50:42] What a wonder. Way of looking at it. Meredith I'm super grateful that you took the time to be on the show. I thank you so much for being. [00:50:51] Meridith Grundei: Oh, thank you so much for having me as old. I have, I, this has been a wonderful conversation, so thank you. And I hope you'll come back. Oh, I will [00:51:00] hope you come back to our podcast too. [00:51:01] I'd be delighted. [00:51:03] Izolda Trakhtenberg: So we started the episode giggling and we're finishing again. [00:51:07] Meridith Grundei: Yes. I love it. Big fan. I love it. I love it. [00:51:11] Izolda Trakhtenberg: You have coming to the innovative mindset podcast. My name is Izolda Trakhtenberg. This has been a fabulous conversation with Meredith grandad, and I hope that you will check out both confidently speaking. [00:51:24] And are you waiting for permission and all the other incredible work that Meredith is doing? If you're enjoying these episodes, please do me a favor rate and review the show. I'd love to hear from you about what you're thinking about the show where it's going. Very soon on July. No, actually this, this air is way after we've already celebrated our 400th episode. [00:51:43] Can you believe a hundred episodes? Amazing. I'm super good. Yeah, it's exciting. So I hope that you're enjoying the show and I will remind you to listen, learn, laugh, and love a whole lot.[00:52:00] [00:52:02] Thanks so much for joining me today. I really appreciate you being here. Please subscribe to the podcast if you're new and if you like what you're hearing, please review it and rate it and let other people know. If you'd like to be a sponsor of the show. I'd love to meet you on patrion.com/innovative mindset. [00:52:20] I also have lots of exclusive goodies to share just with the show supporters. Today's episode was produced by Izolda Trakhtenberg and his copyright 2021 as always. Please remember, this is for educational and entertainment purposes. Only past performance does not guarantee future results, although we can always hope until next time, keep living in your innovative minds.   * I am a Brain.fm affiliate. If you purchase it through the above links and take the 20% off, I'll get a small commission. And please remember, I'll never recommend a product or service I don't absolutely love!  

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