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Inside Out with Jane Z.

Inside Out with Jane Z.

Author: Jane Zhang

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How to build a thriving business without losing your mind. In 2015, Jane Z. was living her best life as an entrepreneur. She co-founded the first classroom design platform, which was on its way to become a successful design consultancy with a steady stream of press coverage and clients. But three years later, the company lost its biggest client and Jane was completely burned out. So, she set out to figure out how to build a thriving business — without losing your mind. In this podcast, she’s here to help you do just that! Join Jane as shares the practical tips and inspirational stories from entrepreneurs who are already building their dream businesses.
32 Episodes
Season 2 Trailer

Season 2 Trailer


Season 2 is dropping June 8! If you're an entrepreneur looking to build a *thriving* business without losing your mind, this podcast is for you. I'm Jane Z. and I'm here to support you on your biz-ness journey. Every Tuesday I'll bring in an entrepreneur to share their tips for success, mistakes you should avoid, and advice on how to stay sane and healthy. See you soon! You still have time to binge Season 1! Check out all our episodes at https://www.insideoutwithjane.comLet's be friends on IG:
To cap off Season 1, Severin from Episode 4 comes back to interview me, Jane Z.! We take a trip down through my multi-leg journey of entrepreneurship, from building a neighborhood piano school at age 13 to designing a student-run cafe at McGill University, building a clean tech startup community in Vancouver, to co-founding the first-ever classroom design platform. We also discuss my research on food systems, from growing tomatoes in urban greenhouses to making acorn tofu. Sev and I pull back the curtain on the highs and lows of our startup journeys - from the excitement of building something from scratch to the burnout of doing too much. This sets us up for season 2, which will be all about how to build a thriving creative business without losing your mind.>> Links to Jane’s workNutty Futures - Jane’s children’s book on acorns: Futures research paper: Nutty Futures video trailer: Learning Spiral - book chapter on how to design spaces for creative learning:>> Resources mentioned The Story of Stuff & Planned Obsolescence How to process acorns and make acorn flour: room2learn’s Medium site:  >> Episodes mentionedJennifer Zhang: Chen:>> Connect with Jane:LinkedIn: 
Vivienne Walz is a former Health Scientist at the CDC who worked on the 2018 Ebola Outbreak response in the DRC, where she focused on analyzing community feedback from Red Cross volunteers. Today, Vivienne supports the Covid-19 response as a community health liaison in the Kahnawà:ke First Nations reserve outside of Montreal. Vivienne holds an M.Sc. in Public Health and B.A.&Sc. in Cognitive Science, both from McGill University, and she’s built a career around community well-being, sustainability, social justice.In this episode, we talk about Viv’s upbringing on a Swiss farm in rural Ontario, how the CBC documentary 8th Fire set Viv down a career path around indigenous culture and social justice, and the story of when she got hit by a drunk driver. And of course, we talk about how Viv ended up working at the Centers for Disease Control, what evaluation work looks like, and what it was like being on the ground in the DRC working on the Ebola response. CONNECT WITH VIVLinkedIn: Documentary 8th Fire Lama Fellowship: CONNECT WITH USInstagram: www.insideoutwithjane.comEmail:
Mark Pan is the Director of HR & Business Strategy at Newsela, an EdTech platform that delivers news-related content to students at different reading levels. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Urban Education, Mark took his knowledge to the classroom, teaching English in San Jose, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. He then brought his teaching skills into the tech industry, where he managed partnerships at Coursera and later joined Newsela in business strategy and now People Operations. In this episode, Mark shares how an acting class helped him become a better teacher, why he’s optimistic about the future of EdTech, stories his classroom in Malaysia, and how employees and managers can be more transparent with one another about career pathing. We also reminisce about Summerbridge Hong Kong and our hair dye stories — and break out into a few musical numbers! CONNECT WITH MARKLinkedIn: RESOURCES MENTIONEDTours of Duty: WITH USInstagram: www.insideoutwithjane.comEmail:
Carly James is the Executive Director of Global Development at ThinkPlace Global, a strategic design thinking firm that tackles the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Carly is trained as a cultural anthropologist, and she’s worked on design research projects like behavior change in the health system for Somali women, disaster resilience in Myanmar, HIV testing in West Africa, and co-designing the future state of male contraceptives. Carly holds two Master's degrees — an MDes in Risk and Resilience from Harvard, and an MA in Anthropology from McGill University. In this episode, we talk about how Carly’s upbringing in Alabama, her early career in rural development in Delaware, and French colonial studies in college coalesced into a fascination with international aid and development in sub-Saharan Africa. Carly shares what it’s like to work and live in contexts like Kenya and Somalia where you feel like a complete outsider, what she’s learned about imposter syndrome, and what it’s like to work side by side with your (romantic) partner! >> Connect with CarlyEmail: LinkedIn: ThinkPlace: >> Resources MentionedThe Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni  >> Connect with usInstagram: www.insideoutwithjane.comEmail:
Shahil Patel (@shahilbollyx) is the Co-Founder and CEO of BollyX, a Bollywood-based fitness class that’s grown into a global movement. BollyX has been featured on Shark Tank and in 2009, Shahil led the first-ever Bollywood dance team to the final rounds of America’s Got Talent. Shahil has choreographed, produced, and led over 200 Bollywood performances and has performed alongside superstars such as Gloria Estefan, Jamie Foxx, Enrique Iglesias and Diana Ross!In this episode, we talk about how Shahil got into dancing while at UC Berkeley to impress his mother, how he led his dance team to win first place at nationals after only one week of rehearsals (!), and how he managed to land a highly competitive consulting job at Accenture with mediocre grades. We also talk about Shahil turned his passion for dance into a dance company and later BollyX, how BollyX has evolved as a company and community over almost 8 years, and why giving and receiving feedback is SO important. You might want to take notes on this episode! >> Connect with ShahilInstagram: >> Connect with BollyX Website: Instagram: Facebook: YouTube: TikTok:>> Connect with UsInstagram: www.insideoutwithjane.comEmail:
Chi Pham is a UX Designer at Google, a Masters of Public Health candidate at UC Berkeley, and an Ironman triathlete. Chi empowers over 120,000 women to embrace their badass selves through her Instagram account @fit_pham, where she’s been documenting her fitness journey over the years. Chi’s parents fled the Vietnam War and landed in San Diego, where Chi grew up and learned to swim, later swimming competitively all throughout college. In this episode, we talk about how we both transitioned from our environmental studies roots to working in tech, why racial categories don’t make sense, and how we all go through unhealthy periods of self-hate in our fitness journeys. And of course, we talk about Chi’s insane accomplishments of running Ironman triathlons — the things they don’t teach you in training, how she survived a 10-hour cramp during a race, her favorite post-race snack, and why she keeps going back for more. Wherever you are in your fitness journey, prepare to be inspired! >> Connect with ChiInstagram: @fit_phamLinkedIn:>> Connect with UsInstagram: @insideoutwithjaneWebsite: www.insideoutwithjane.comEmail:
Dr. John Rhee is a neurology resident at Mass General Brigham at Harvard Medical School and the co-founder of the podcast and platform The Hippocratic Forum. He has published articles on palliative care, physical-assisted suicide, and on loneliness at hospitals in the time of COVID (links below). He is also a devout Catholic and one of the smiliest people you will ever meet. In this episode, we talk about how John got over his fear of death by volunteering at a hospice, how his coursework in human development and policy tie into his work, and why he’s so passionate about end-of-life care. We dive deep into topics of what human flourishing could look like in a hospital, and how our society thinks about death, dying, and the sick and elderly. John also cares deeply about helping other medical residents ground their practice in their values and ideals, which led him to co-found a podcast for medical students called The Hippocratic Forum (links below). >> Connect with JohnThe Hippocratic Forum & Podcast:’s article about loneliness in the hospital during COVID:>> Connect with UsInstagram: @insideoutwithjaneWebsite: www.insideoutwithjane.comEmail:
Natasha Jung is the Founder of Cold Tea Collective (@coldteacollective), a new media platform for stories from Asian millennials in Canada and the U.S. Today, the platform features stories across topics like arts and culture, food, career, and mental health, from over 30 contributors across North America. Natasha was inspired to found CTC when she attended the Vancouver Asian Film Festival a few years ago. She described it as the first time seeing herself on screen, and she wanted to share that feeling of being seen and understood with other Asian millennials. Natasha’s career as a creative producer started in high school when she organized a high school singing competition called RichCity Idol, which led to an internship at MTV Canada. She got her BA in Communications from Simon Fraser University, which led her into a career in marketing and producing. The journey wasn’t all sunny — Natasha opens up about how she overcame her mental health struggles with depression and presenteeism, the condition when you’re physically present at work but not able to be productive. Today, she runs Cold Tea Collective alongside a full-time brand marketing job that she enjoys, and in this episode she shares the lessons she’s learned around career, creative work, and how to value your own time.>> Cold Tea CollectiveWebsite: Instagram: @coldteacollectiveTwitter: @coldteamediaFacebook: Self/Service Partnership with Refinery29 & Dove: >> Connect with NatashaInstagram: @natashajungLinkedIn: Natasha’s TEDx Talk: >> Connect with UsInstagram: @insideoutwithjaneWebsite: www.insideoutwithjane.comEmail:
Ryan Chen is the Co-founder of Neuro (@neurogum), a company that makes functional gum and mints to energize, calm, and focus your mind. On paper, Ryan might look like a familiar startup success — Forbes 30 Under 30, Shark Tank contestant, revenue in the millions, and an investor in other consumer startups. What these wins don’t capture is how Ryan had to literally rebuild his life from the bottom up. Over a decade ago when he was 19, Ryan shattered his spine in a bad snowboarding accident. He was instantly paralyzed from the waist down. At first, he was in denial. He had grown up an athlete — playing basketball with friends, competing in Kendo with a Black Belt, and was captain of his high school track team. After a heavy 6 months in the hospital and a ton of support from friends and family, Ryan made it back to college. Slowly but surely, he found reasons to live, from scuba diving to training with the U.S. Paralympic team to working at Hulu, then co-founding Neuro with one his best friends Kent. Be forewarned — Ryan is inspiring af! >> Connect with Ryan & NeuroNeuro: Neuro’s Instagram: @neurogum Ryan’s Instagram: @ryan.ryc>> Connect with UsInstagram: @insideoutwithjaneWebsite: www.insideoutwithjane.comEmail:
Dani Calleiro (@consciouscalleiro), formerly known as Dani Cimorelli, is a 20-year old YouTube Creator and former pop star. Dani grew up in a house of 10 siblings and sang in a band with her five sisters called Cimorelli. Their YouTube covers were an instant hit, and before long they garnered a fanbase of over 5.5 million subscribers. Dani was only 10 when she joined the band and they signed with Universal Music record label. Over the next decade, Dani got to live the Hannah Montana dream — Cimorelli’s songs hit the Billboard charts, they won a Teen Choice Award, and toured around different countries performing solo concerts and sold-out festivals.  Despite all the perks and excitement, Dani certainly felt the weight of growing up in the public eye. In this episode, we talk about how having millions of people talk about you as a kid affects your self-esteem, how she “rebelled” and turned to partying for a few years, and how her now-husband (!) Emmyn helped her gain the courage to leave the band and pursue her own dreams. Getting married young was no breeze either — we talk about how Dani went through with the tough decision to get married despite backlash from family and fans, and how Dani and Emmyn support each other and now collaborate on a YouTube channel and Emmyn’s music. >> Connect with Dani Dani’s YouTube channel: and Emmyn’s YouTube channel: Dani’s Instagram: @consciouscalleiro Games We Play (Emmyn’s Band): >> Connect with UsInstagram: @insideoutwithjaneWebsite: www.insideoutwithjane.comEmail:
Harriet Kim and Mirae Lee are the Co-founders of Choa Magazine (@choamagazine), an online platform for Korean diasporic stories. Harriet is a photographer, writer, community arts organizer, and environmentalist. She co-created a portrait series called Dressed in Layers: A Hanbok Project and is the founder of the Korean Canadian Writers’ Collective. Mirae is a cultural producer, bilingual writer, translator, and illustrator. She has worked with various Tkaronto-based not-for-profit arts organizations until recently when she moved to Asia to explore new possibilities in new settings.In this episode, we talk about the inspiration behind Choa Magazine, why we need more authentic immigrant stories, and what “grandma taste” means when it comes to Korean food.   >> Connect with Choa Website: Instagram: @choamagazineSign up for Choa’s newsletter and find submission guidelines on their website!  >> Connect with UsInstagram: @insideoutwithjaneWebsite: www.insideoutwithjane.comEmail:
Stephen Sun is a Licensed Architect and CEO/Co-founder of Development Integration Group, or DIG. His team is building an AI-based “digital architect” that will eventually allow anyone to design their own fully-compliant home or building. One glance at Stephen’s LinkedIn profile will tell you he never stops learning — his job roles have spanned from Elementary School Teacher to Real Estate Developer, Adjunct Professor of Architecture, Urban Designer, all the way to Ice Cream Scooper (not listed in LinkedIn). What Stephen cares deeply about, and what we spend the bulk of this hour talking through, is the crisis that architecture is going through, why the industry is worth saving, and one compelling case for using technology to automate away the mundane parts of an architect’s job. We also discuss Stephen’s experiences at three of the top architecture schools in the country — Carnegie Mellon University, SCI ARC, and the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Plus, Stephen gives us the inside scoop on his co-founder drama that led to dropping out of the coveted Y Combinator accelerator program, and his #1 piece of advice for anyone looking to start their own company. >> Connect with Stephen DIG: https://www.digroup.designEmail Stephen: LinkedIn: >> Connect with UsDo you think architecture needs “saving”? How should technology play a role in the design process? Let us know what you think on Instagram at @insideoutwithjane! Instagram: @insideoutwithjaneWebsite: www.insideoutwithjane.comEmail:
Marsh Jean (@themarshajean) has been solo traveling the world since she was 18. In the past five years, she’s done things many would consider nuts — she’s hitchhiked alone from Iran through France, cycled solo through Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Pakistan, and couchsurfed in places like Kandahar (former “capital” of the Taliban) and Iranian Baluchistan (one of the most dangerous places in the world, according to some Western governments).In this episode, Marsha speaks openly about how she ran away from an abusive home at 18, and how the beautiful places she’s traveled to and the people she’s met ultimately changed her mind about taking her life. She sees travel as a pilgrimage, involving hardship and self-discovery, and intentionally chooses to take the roads less traveled. We talk about how she manages to stay safe and support herself financially and how her photography helps break stereotypes about “dangerous” places and solo traveling as a young Asian woman.***Trigger Warning*** This episode touches on topics of depression and suicide. If you or someone you care about is suffering, please tread carefully. Some resources are linked for you below <3 >> Connect with MarshaInstagram: @themarshajeanWebsite: >> Mental Health ResourcesIf you or someone you know is in crisis and experiencing serious thoughts of suicide, call the suicide prevention hotline in your country. for the United States, call 911 immediately or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 (open 24/7).Here are some other U.S.-based resources:National Suicide Prevention Lifeline chat (24/7): Text Line (24/7): Text HOME to 741741Trevor Project (24/7 Crisis intervention for LGBTQ+ Youth): 866-488-7386Veterans Crisis Line (24/7): 800-273-8255 and press 1 or Text 838255If you’re not in crisis but looking for support in finding a clinician for consistent therapy, search engines on HelpPro or Psychology Today can help, and you can filter by insurance type. Or get connected with a therapist immediately for a low, flat fee at BetterHelp. **Many insurance companies are waiving co-pay fees for mental health services during the COVID-19 crisis, contact your provider to see if this applies
Jero Beccar is an entrepreneur and filmmaker from Buenos Aires. After getting his B.A. in Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College, he worked for Warner Brothers and Walt Disney. While at Disney, he managed a crew of over 45 people to shoot Disney’s first Apple iTunes commercial. He then took his technical lighting experience back home to Argentina, where he co-founded an LED lighting company, producing fixtures for train stations and commercial clients like McDonalds, Starbucks, and Puma. Jero never thought he’d go back to school, but he ended up in the new Master of Design Engineering (M.D.E.) program at Harvard University. There, he learned about the gaps in the mental health care system in the U.S., which led him to co-found Hyka Therapeutics, a care management platform that helps improve the care journey for patients and mental healthcare providers. In today’s episode, we talk about bringing Argentinian food culture to Boston, Jero’s early fascination with the math behind moving pictures, what filmmaking and startups have in common, and how to build a team that feels like family. Hyka Therapeutics: hyka.ioConnect with Jero on LinkedIn: Jero: 
Viola Wang (@theblessingbucket) is best known for her travel blog, where she shares gorgeous photography alongside practical tips for travelers on a budget. An advocate of slow travel, Viola has traveled to 32 countries and spent time living in Australia, Japan, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Peru. She also completed her yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, India, considered the world capital of yoga. When Viola was 10 years old, she immigrated to Canada with her family from Chengdu, China. She was extremely shy at the time and spoke zero English. In today’s episode, we talk about the many ways Viola has challenged herself over the years to overcome her social anxiety, from dance to cheerleading to solo traveling the world. Today, Viola is her own boss, running her travel blog and Instagram while teaching English, crafting, yoga, and dance classes for kids online.Viola's Travel Blog: www.theblessingbucket.comOur Costa Rica (Mis)Adventures: NEW Inside Out website:
Dan Levine is a PhD candidate at the MIT Media Lab in the Biomechatronics group. His work involves building better prosthetic limbs, and he was once part of a team that built a tongue-computer interface for people with spinal cord injuries. (That’s right, it's a computer you control with your tongue!) Dan holds Bachelors degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science from Cornell University, and a Masters degree from Cornell Tech’s Connective Media program.In this episode, we talk about how Dan’s dream job as a kid was to become a test pilot, how he started his gymnastics career at age thirteen before becoming Captain of Cornell’s Club team and Men’s President of the MIT team, and how he imagines a world where we interact with technology with mutual respect, as if between friendly creatures. We also explore his time living in Thailand and Israel, and his future plans of joining the Air Force and eventually becoming an astronaut. Email Dan:
Bryanne Leeming is the Founder and CEO of Unruly Studios and the inventor behind Unruly Splats, the first STEM learning tool that combines coding with active, recess-style play for kids. Splats are durable, programmable floor buttons that light up, make sound, and sense when kids stomp on them. Kids can code their own rules for Splats games like relay races, whack-a-mole, and dance routines. Since founding Unruly five years ago, Bryanne has grown the team to 12 people and Splats are now used in 800 schools across the United States and Canada. In this episode, we talk about how Bry leveraged her Cognitive Science degree from McGill University and her MBA from Babson College to build a solid foundation for the business, why a Kickstarter campaign was the best training, and how to attract an A-team. Bry herself is an all-star — we talk about how she’s built up her mental muscle to keep going no matter what, through running marathons, growing up playing hockey and lacrosse and doing gymnastics, and watching her parents keep restaurants open during hard times. Unruly Studios Website: www.unrulysplats.comInstagram:
Severin Ibarluzea (@seveibar) is the CTO and Co-founder of Workaround Online (, a platform that helps companies clean up their datasets to prepare them for machine learning algorithms. What sets them apart from competitors is their social mission: Workaround employs displaced Syrian refugees who would otherwise have trouble finding fair and dignified work. This isn’t Seve’s first rodeo — he’s also the CEO and Co-founder of CollegeAI, a machine learning platform that matches high school students with their best-fit colleges. In this episode, we talk about Seve’s start as a software engineer, building Flash games and coding for ham radio enthusiasts, what it’s like starting your own company versus working in a large corporation, and how his company (and nine others) got scammed by an organization representing none other than Pope Francis — yes, the Pope.BONUS: We’ll be live streaming on Twitch! Join us this Thursday, Dec 10 at 2pm PST/5pm EST at for a Q&A and hangout. 
Jennifer Zhang (@jenerationdiy) is well-known on YouTube for her DIY craft videos and extreme room makeovers, and as JEN Z on Spotify for her dark yet dance-y bops. Jennifer is a 22-year-old YouTube Creator and singer/songwriter with a YouTube following of 2.6 million. Since starting her channel in 2013, she’s gotten to travel the world and work with brands like Microsoft, Amazon, thredUP, Clinique, and American Eagle, just to name a few. And she happens to be my sister.In this episode, we dive into Jennifer's life and career up to this point. We talk about getting her hands dirty (literally) with a DIY bathroom renovation, getting invited to join Semester at Sea on a cruise ship in Spain, living in New York, dropping out of NYU, and her struggles with mental health while maintaining a public persona.BONUS: Join us this Friday Dec 4 at 2pm PST / 5pm EST on Instagram Live for the afterparty! We’ll answer your questions, show some blooper clips, it’ll be a blast. Follow @insideoutwithjane and @jenerationdiy to join the fun.YouTube: Z on Spotify: 
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