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LEAVE YOUR MARK: Freshly Brewed Career Advice with Aliza Licht
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LEAVE YOUR MARK: Freshly Brewed Career Advice with Aliza Licht

Author: Aliza Licht

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How do you build your personal brand and succeed in your career? In her bestselling book, LEAVE YOUR MARK, Aliza Licht, award-winning marketer, and personal branding expert, answers these questions and more. On the podcast, Aliza brews fresh career advice every Wednesday with dynamic friends, delivering essential advice and motivation for succeeding in the working world where the most important thing you can have is a strong sense of self. Her new book, ON BRAND: Shape Your Narrative. Share Your Vision. Shift Their Perception. is a comprehensive roadmap to building your personal brand.

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In this episode of 'Leave Your Mark,' I sit down with my friend, Amy Shoenthal, a seasoned journalist, marketing consultant, and author of The Setback Cycle: How Defining Moments Can Move Us Forward, a USA Today bestseller. We all know what failure feels like, but what if we are sleepwalking into a setback? What does that feel like? How do we proactively protect ourselves against it, or is it a defining movement that will ultimately move us forward? Amy and I discuss the pervasive nature of setbacks, especially in the context of societal and professional challenges. Amy shares insights from her book, which includes stories of leaders who have overcome significant obstacles to create impactful ventures. We explore the concept of setbacks through a four-phase framework: Establish, Embrace, Explore, and Emerge. The conversation also delves into the importance of resilience, combating self-doubt with an 'inner hype person,' and the role of continuous learning and personal branding in navigating and rebounding from setbacks.
Sex & the City meets Six Feet Under was how Alix Strauss' novel, The Joy of Funerals, was described by the LA Times 20 years ago. Inspired by a 1988 piece for the Lives section of the New York Times Magazine, this trend, culture, and lifestyle journalist and award-winning and four-time published author discussed her obsession with funerals. As an only child, Alix's personal experiences and unique perspective on life are deeply intertwined with her work. She felt the greatest connections to others at family funerals, the only occasions when she would see most of her relatives. The Joy of Funerals is a collection of humorous short stories that will both captivate and disturb you. But this trend journalist and author was way ahead of her time. In this episode of Leave Your Mark, I sit down with Alix to discuss her decision to give her groundbreaking and controversial book a second chance by rereleasing it for its 20th anniversary at a time when grief and a loneliness epidemic are even more prevalent in today's society. Alix shares her personal experiences, and the profound narratives explored in her work, shedding light on the human desire for connection amidst life's extremes. The discussion also touches upon the broader implications of social media, pandemic influences, and the changing landscape of storytelling. Host's note: This episode was recorded prior to October 7th.
In this episode of Leave Your Mark, I sit down with Kim Shapira, celebrity dietitian, nutritional therapist, and author of "This is What You're Really Hungry For: Six Simple Rules to Transform Your Relationship with Food to Become Your Healthiest Self." Kim breaks down the fundamentals of transforming one's relationship with food, and we relate all of this to work. Whether it's stress eating or feeling like you "deserve it" after a hard day, our relationship with food and our careers are intertwined. Drawing on her 25+ years of experience, Kim breaks down her 'Kim Shapira Method,' which includes six simple rules to help people eat healthier and manage their weight. She delves into the influence of emotional triggers and the importance of sleeping well, staying hydrated, and getting enough physical activity. Kim also shares personal anecdotes from her journey and insights on the controversial diet drug Ozempic. The episode provides actionable advice for anyone looking to change their eating habits and overall well-being.
In this episode of Leave Your Mark, I sit down with my friend Karen Robinovitz, a multi-faceted entrepreneur and visionary. Karen shares her diverse career journey, from a journalist contributing to major publications and authoring a book to pioneering the digital influencer management industry with Digital Brand Architects (DBA) and co-founding Sloomoo Institute, an interactive experience focused on joy and play through slime. Karen discusses her unique ability to foresee trends, from the rise of digital media to the influencer movement and the therapeutic role of tactile play in her personal grief recovery. The episode also explores Karen's contribution to addressing mental health, inclusion, and neurodiversity through Sloomoo. While discussing her career, Karen and I discussed the rise of antisemitism and the importance of speaking up against hatred. It's worth noting that this episode was filmed before October 7th. Karen's story is a testament to the power of resilience, healing through passion projects, and the impact of reinventing oneself and one's career.
In this episode of Leave Your Mark, I sit down with Shelmina Babai Abji, Founder and CEO, ShowYourWorth.ai, a distinguished speaker, bestselling author, and former high-ranking executive at IBM. Shelmina discusses her journey from humble beginnings in Tanzania to becoming a key female figure in the tech industry and her mission to advance gender equality in leadership roles. She shares insights from her book, 'Show Your Worth: 8 Intentional Practices for Women to Emerge as Leaders at Work,' offering strategies for women to maximize their leadership potential and create unique value in their careers. She highlights the importance of overcoming fear, building a personal brand, and demonstrating value for advancement. Shelmina's story is a testament to resilience, empowerment, and the critical role of intentionality in achieving professional success.
In this episode of Leave Your Mark, I welcome Madison Ciccone, a former Hollywood executive assistant turned top SoulCycle instructor and confidence coach. We discuss Madison's career transformation, from her early days in Hollywood to finding her true calling in fitness and coaching with SoulCycle. Madison shares insights into the fast-paced Hollywood lifestyle and her transition into fitness, emphasizing the importance of aligning success with purpose and fun. She also talks about creating her brand, Wicked Fearless, aimed at motivating women through virtual coaching sessions initiated during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Today, it embodies her mission to help women identify their purpose, harness bravery, and take bold action in their lives. Madison's approach is unique and intertwined with her journey and struggles, making her teachings all the more powerful and relatable.  At the heart of Madison's story is the theme of fearlessness — not the absence of fear, but the courage to confront and dance with it. She highlights the importance of spirituality, self-reflection, and letting go of past baggage to uncover one's true message. By embracing the highs and lows of her journey, Madison advocates for authenticity, resilience, and the continual pursuit of self-discovery. Our conversation covers a range of topics, including the power of vulnerability, the role of spirituality in achieving success, and strategies for overcoming the comparison trap and building confidence. As Madison emphasizes, leaving a mark on the world isn't just about achieving personal success; it's about amplifying the greatness already within others and making every interaction a chance to impact someone's life positively. Her story is a powerful reminder that finding and following one's joy and purpose can lead to unimaginable fulfillment and inspire others to do the same.
As the first woman to serve as Secretary to former Governor Cuomo, the highest unelected position in state government, Melissa DeRosa knows how to thrive under pressure. In her riveting memoir, "What's Left Unsaid: My Life at the Center of Power, Politics & Crisis," she candidly shares her journey through politics, government, and becoming an author.  From the frontlines of the COVID crisis to the real events behind Governor Andrew Cuomo's meteoric rise and unfathomable fall, Melissa, one of the most powerful women in New York State government, has been on the frontlines every step of the way. She opens up about personal sacrifices, navigating crises, and the support and controversy surrounding Governor Cuomo. Reflecting on her sudden thrust into the public eye, Melissa touches on the complex dynamics of personal branding, calling into question the narratives we construct around public figures and advocating for a more nuanced understanding beyond superficial judgments. In this episode of Leave Your Mark, Melissa shares her career journey from her early days in fashion PR to her rapid rise in New York State's political arena, with an unprecedented view into the behind-the-scenes crisis management of the COVID-19 pandemic.  On this show and in her book, she shares the personal challenges she faced with raw honesty and vulnerability—a failing marriage, infertility, death threats, misogyny—all while navigating unprecedented professional landmines along the way.
In beauty, few names resonate as vibrantly as Marisa Meltzer. Renowned for her thought-provoking journalism and bestselling books, Meltzer has become a beacon of insightful commentary on the personal and professional narratives that shape our cultural landscape. Her latest book, Glossy: The Inside Story of Emily Weiss's Glossier, not only cements her status as a leading voice but also offers an unparalleled glimpse into the potent mix of ambition, innovation, and struggle that defines the beauty industry today. In this episode of Leave Your Mark, Marisa discusses her career, the beauty industry, and the making of Glossy, the bombshell exposé that reveals—for the first time—exactly what happened at Glossier, one of America's hottest and most consequential startups, and dives deep into Emily Weiss, the enigmatic, visionary woman responsible for it all. We explore social media's pivotal role in its success and Marisa's take on the 'girl boss' era. She also touches upon the standards of beauty and body image in the current era, the intricate process of her reporting, and her next book project on Jane Birkin. The episode dives deep into the intersection of personal branding, industry dynamics, and the evolution of beauty standards.
In a world brimming with stories of success and determination, few are as captivating, hilarious, and inspiring as that of Jen Lancaster. Best known for her candid memoirs and inventive novels, Jen's journey from corporate vice president to bestselling author embodies resilience, wit, and an unmatched knack for storytelling. She is the New York Times bestselling author of nine memoirs, five adult novels, and one YA book.  Jen has sold well over a million books. After a corporate layoff in 2001, down on her luck, and stuck selling off cars, jewelry, and designer purses [which she says sucked, FYI] Jen launched a website to air her frustrations about unemployment. She began detailing her descent from designer clothing and spa visits to the unemployment line on her blog jennsylvania.com.    Her acerbic wit quickly won the blog a massive following. Jen’s first memoir, Bitter is the New Black, was published in 2006. Since then, she has published [at least] one book a year, and her memoir The Tao of Martha was optioned for a sitcom by FOX. In this episode, she shares insights into her creative process, advice for aspiring writers, character development and the shift from non-fiction to fiction, her experiences with traditional and Amazon publishing, and the importance of personal branding and marketing in an author's career. Additionally, she discusses her recent projects, including her latest book 'House Moms', her work as a ghostwriter, editor, and her lessons learned along the way. Fun fact: Jen edited my latest book, On Brand!
In this episode of Leave Your Mark, I speak with the CEO at Fire Memos, career coach, and author Octavia Gorodema, who shares her expert insights on navigating career transitions and overcoming obstacles. Octavia, who founded the Twenty Ten Agency and has worked with major corporations like Google and Nike, discusses her mission to help professionals thrive in their chosen fields. Known for her impactful career development work and Audible original series 'How to Change Careers,' Octavia shares invaluable insights on navigating career transitions, defining personal success, and actioning immediate career strategies. Highlighting her initial conversation with her clients about what success means to them, she emphasizes the importance of understanding individual career goals and the subjective nature of success. We discuss the challenges of career advancement, the necessity of recognizing one's worth, the concept of a 'portfolio career,' and the implications of workplace dynamics, especially in relation to management. Octavia provides: A six-step plan for preparing for career setbacks. Advocating for self-documentation of achievements. Recognizing the common mistake of underestimating one's worth. The power of energizing and motivating others to leave a lasting mark in their careers. Octavia also talks about her book 'Prep, Push, Pivot,' which offers career strategies for underrepresented women, dealing with changes at work, handling difficult bosses, and the mistake many make of underestimating their worth. The episode is packed with practical tips for career advancement, the value of tracking accomplishments, and the power of energizing others through one's work.
Leave Your Mark is like The Devil Wears Prada meets career advice. That's what I thought of when I wrote my book in 2015. And this podcast is a continuation of everything I started back then. I'm your host, Aliza Licht. I'm an award-winning marketer, two-time author, and personal branding expert, and I am your trusted guide every week, bringing you career advice and stories that you really don't hear anywhere else. Because here's the difference: my podcast is keeping it real. And I want to make sure when you listen to these episodes, you walk away feeling like, I can do that. I can literally take that advice and employ it tomorrow. Because we don't need fluffy advice and we don't need to hear people just bragging about their careers. We need to hear real information that we can use. So join me this season, Season 14. I am so excited to be back. We have a stellar lineup of guests and this season I'm going to be doing something new. I am going to start some solo episodes based on my new book, On Brand, on specific topics. And I think it'll be really fun to have those episodes too. So subscribe to the show. I can't wait to have you listen. And please remember that whatever you're going through right now, if change doesn't hurt a little, it's not change. Keep on rocking. Aliza x
How many journalists do you know who can simultaneously report a story and inadvertently become the story? Taylor Lorenz sits in a class by herself. As a technology journalist for The Washington Post, she doesn't just report on the latest trend but writes about topics with more significant meaning and what they say about the state of technology, media, and culture.  But as a creator and internet personality, Taylor has often become the story herself and a target by many. The backlash comes swiftly, frequently, and usually from right-wing media. Tucker Carlson's favorite pastime is bashing her every move. Fox has held entire segments around Taylor, and #TaylorLorenz is often a trending hashtag on Twitter (now X). Elon Musk has gone after her many times. The minute she publishes a story, she'll start trending, and the trolling begins. None of it is slowing Taylor down. Taylor Lorenz has been the authority on internet culture for over a decade, documenting its far-reaching effects on all corners of our lives. In her first book, Extremely Online: The Untold Story of Fame, Influence, and Power on the Internet, debuts this week, she presents a groundbreaking social history of the internet—revealing how online influence and the creators who amass it have reshaped our world, online and off. "It's important to set the record straight on where the "creator economy" emerged from because, in 2021, when Silicon Valley finally woke up and was forced to take internet culture seriously because of the pandemic, there was just so much revisionist history. They were talking about how MrBeast founded the notion of productizing himself — that's just not true. Beauty vloggers were doing that back in 2012. Mommy bloggers pioneered a lot of these revenue streams, so I wanted to also talk about that. No one has written that history. I want to tell the stories that have been written out of history by Silicon Valley," says Taylor.  In this episode, Taylor and I map her journey from former aspiring fashion publicist to globally renowned journalist. We cover the state of the creator economy, how she follows trends and the future of tech, where she sees social media heading, and most importantly, setting the record straight on its birth and evolution. I am honored to be included in her book for my work as the former DKNY PR GIRL social media personality I created and was the voice of from 2009-2015. I have loved watching Taylor's career. Fun fact: her first work experience was as a PR intern at DKNY in my department! She has an exceptional finger on the pulse of the internet and the ability to see patterns others don't. I truly admire her strength and resistance to her haters. In her new book, Extremely Online, she shares "the inside, untold story of what we have done to the internet and what it has done to us."
You don't need to invent something new to be a wildly successful entrepreneur. According to Liz Elting, one of Forbes's "Richest Self-Made Women in America," you only need to identify something you can do differently and better. Her new book, DREAM BIG AND WIN: Translating Passion into Purpose and Creating a Billion Dollar Business, captures all her learnings.After living, studying, and working in five countries across the globe, Liz Co-founded TransPerfect out of an NYU Stern dorm room in 1992. At the time, there were already 10,000 language solutions companies in existence. In fact, she was working at the biggest one. However, Liz saw flaws in their service offerings and set out to do it better. She succeeded and built the largest language-solutions company in the world. She served as Co-CEO until 2018. Following her departure, Liz founded the Elizabeth Elting Foundation to break down systemic barriers, bridge gaps, and foster systemic change for women and other underserved communities so that people of every stripe can succeed, thrive, and reach their potential. In 2020, the Elizabeth Elting Foundation launched the Halo Fund, a comprehensive multimillion-dollar pandemic relief initiative to directly support medical needs, hunger relief, health equity, and on-the-ground efforts in underserved communities. When Liz was at NYU, she tried to find books on starting a business, but none resonated with her, and she read many. In DREAM BIG AND WIN, Liz reveals a counterintuitive approach to success and divulges practical and inspiring tips you can implement immediately. Her refreshingly frank and humorous recollections of lessons in life and entrepreneurship serve as a guide for anyone who seeks to fulfill their highest potential. DREAM BIG AND WIN is for anyone who has ever dreamed of translating their passion into purpose and creating something bigger than themselves—from one of the most successful women in America.This episode is full of tactical and sometimes surprising advice. Liz shares everything from why your goal should be to replace yourself, the shocking question she asks every candidate she interviews, why you should never be a 50/50 partner, and so much more.
In this special edition of LEAVE YOUR MARK, I sit down with Catherine Fisher, Vice President of Integrated Data and Consumer Communications for LinkedIn. Because who's better than Catherine to share the information we need right now to ensure we navigate our careers strategically? Catherine is an established marketing and communications leader and has worked for some of the most notable consumer brands, including Netflix and eBay, with more than 20 years of experience. Currently, she leads the consumer communications strategy for LinkedIn and serves as the company spokeswoman educating and inspiring people on how to think about and grow their careers.
After decades in marketing and communications and a new role as an operating partner at Traub, Kate Doerge never anticipated that she would also become a CEO. This new job, however, is the one her whole career has prepared her for and the one she was meant to do.  When Kate's daughter Penny rolled off the bed at four months old, what seemed like a typical tibia fracture uncovered a diagnosis called Neurofibromatosis, also known as NF. One out of 300,000 kids is diagnosed with NF. This genetic disorder causes tumors to grow on nerve pathways anywhere in the body. At the time, doctors encouraged them to focus on healing the leg and not google NF.  As parents, they were determined to make sure Penny lived a big, beautiful life. Even though she had her first surgery at 15 months old and was in a body cast for four months, she would commando crawl across the room in her bright pink cast bedazzled with gemstones. Nothing stopped Penny. Throughout her life, Penny was never defined by her ailments. She also didn't hide from them. She knew she was different from most people but never referred to it. Over her short years, Penny endured seven orthopedic surgeries and 11 brain surgeries. She never felt sorry for herself. Penny lived as a typical social and funny teenage girl with a beautiful smile and someone who was always the life of the party. Sadly, NF took Penny at 16.  Within days of Penny's passing, Penny's Flight was launched in celebration of the extraordinary life of Penny Doerge and the qualities she personified — joy, artistic expression, and humor — while bravely living with Neurofibromatosis (NF) since infancy. The Foundation's mission is to make much-needed advances in medical research on Neurofibromatosis and related disorders — with a lasting impact on altering the course of this disease. There is no cure for NF, and research around the disease remains underfunded despite being one of the most common genetic disorders in the United States.  Through Penny's story and bright light, the Foundation aims to expand knowledge around NF while inspiring others to find beauty in imperfection, positivity in the face of challenge, and faith over fear. In less than a year, they have raised over $3 million for Penny's Flight, and this is just the beginning.  There is no greater tragedy than losing a child. Still, Kate Doerge and her husband, Chad Doerge, made a choice: to choose joy and positivity and focus on spreading their daughter Penny's light because living life with joy and optimism came naturally for Penny. In this episode, Kate shares how she and Chad handle adversity and how their mentality of choosing joy and positivity has led them. Kate shares the steps they took to build this Foundation in a few days and how anyone can model this mindset to push through even the most tragic times. As Kate says, it's not about your lifespan but your wingspan. Penny always spread her wings and shined her light. This episode is about strength, resilience, and the power of positivity, everything Penny embodied. Penny lived her life's purpose and will continue to inspire others.
Although Lisa Niver has traveled in far-off locales from Vanuatu to Nepal, received numerous accolades as an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries and six continents, and is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel, what people don’t realize is that this began fromthe wreckage of a rotten romance. As a newlywed, Lisa was on the adventure of a lifetime. She had quit her job, rented her condo, and traveled around Asia. To the outside world, Lisa was a woman living out her dreams of exploring ancient ruins in Cambodia and seeing orangutans in Borneo. She kept a dark secret in private: an abusive relationship. But, when she found herself lying on a sidewalk in Thailand, looking up at the sky in severe pain, she knew things had to change. At age forty- seven, Niver found the courage to set course on a new life. Feeling like a failure, pushing fifty, and moving home to her parents' house to start again from scratch, Lisa began taking one tiny "brave-ish" step at a time to take her life far away from the old one and into the adventurous world of travel writing. These small hurdles led to the challenge of trying fifty new things before turning fifty. From diving into shipwrecks, swimming with sharks, bobsledding at 3Gs, indulging in wild escapades, Lisa found herself traversing the worldon a journey of reinvention, personal growth, and discovering what it actually means to be "brave." Her new book Brave-ish chronicles Lisa’s inspiring expeditions to distant corners of the world, including Myanmar, Cuba, Morocco, Kenya, and Mongolia, but this is more than a travelogue. Brave-ish inspires readers to dream big, take risks, and embrace the unknown to create a life filled with wonder and excitement, even when courage seems elusive. In this episode, Lisa shares how she saved herself, took risks, embraced the unknown, and pressed the reset button when she fell off track. She also shares how she taught herself to rest, not quit. Lisa's story is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of perseverance.
Amanda Baldwin never considered herself an entrepreneur because she's technically not a founder. But her mindset shifted when she won Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2022. Amanda earned this distinction as a first-time CEO of Supergoop! the first protective skincare brand that puts SPF at the forefront because she has been breaking boundaries and innovating in her role from day one. Supergoop!'s mission is to change how the world thinks about sunscreen through its clean, feel-good, highly innovative formulas that are fun and easy to use daily. She has taken the brand to places no other sunscreen category has gone before. Amanda was also recently named one of the top 25 Women in Consumer HealthTech and a Woman of Influence by the New York Business Journal. Amanda is a veteran of the beauty and finance industries, but this role as CEO is her first. Under her leadership for the past seven years, the company has grown well over 20x, become highly profitable, and secured a majority investment from Blackstone Growth, Blackstone's platform backing the next generation of category-creating brands. Beginner's luck? No way. Her educational and experience pedigree has shaped who she is today. She oversees the entirety of the organization, setting its strategy for growth, building a world-class team, and leading the company's marketing, sales, product development, operations, and finance divisions. Before joining Supergoop! Amanda was a member of the operating team at L Catterton with a particular focus on the beauty sector. Prior to L Catterton, she led the omnichannel marketing strategy of Dior Beauty at LVMH, Inc. and held several positions at Clinique, a part of The Estee Lauder Companies. Her career began in finance as a private equity investor at Apax Partners and an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs. In this episode, Amanda spills the secrets to her success, and spoiler alert: it involves putting in the hard work. We discuss what it means to innovate in a category, her views on marketing and partnerships, and why one of the biggest challenges of entrepreneurship is that you can see the big, big, big, big picture, but that doesn't mean you can do all of it right away. We dive deep into what she attributes to her success in gaining management's trust to test, learn, and iterate. She shares how she thinks about leadership, the matchmaking process of hiring, and why it's not just about knowing how to do the job but LOVING to do the job and how candidates can stand out from the pack. About Amanda Baldwin About Aliza Licht Book Aliza to Speak Books: LEAVE YOUR MARK: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It In Your Career. Rock Social Media ON BRAND: Shape Your Narrative. Share Your Vision. Shift Their Perception. Follow:  On Instagram and TikTok @alizalichtxo @leaveyourmarkpodcast On X @alizalicht #alizalicht #leaveyourmark #leaveyourmarkpodcast #careeradvice #femalefounders #supergoop #podcast #amandabaldwin
Stacy Igel took the plunge from corporate to launching her fashion brand in 2001. As the founder and creative director of BOY MEETS GIRL®, she set out to launch her first trunk show the week of September 11th. What she could have never anticipated is what happened instead. The catastrophic attack solidified her mission to create a brand that leads with impact. She has given back to causes important to her and the world ever since. BOY MEETS GIRL® is known for its iconic double-silhouette logo and purposeful, edgy, contemporary athleisure wear. Stacy and BOY MEETS GIRL® seeks to promote the message that confidence and courage are trends that never go out of style.  She has partnered with everyone from Bergdorf Goodman and Target to the NBA's Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks, to name just a few. She collaborates with musical artists, athletes, and activists, making an impact, as well as organizations including the Young Survival Coalition, BullyBust, Human Rights Watch, GLAM4GOOD, Youth Over Guns, and many others.  Her new book Embracing The Calm In the Chaos: How to Find Success in Business and Life Through Perseverance, Connection, and Collaboration is one of Barnes & Noble's Top 20 Best in Business Books where she shares her entrepreneurial journey and provides practical tips and takeaways for others to use in life and business.  In this episode, Stacy takes us on her journey of fashion disruption, embracing the calm in the chaos, how she thinks about partnerships, licensing, gaming, the Metaverse, and most of all, how she spends her time. As a working mom and someone who has her hands in everything, Stacy has been able to build a global brand while still managing to have fun.
When we talk about career changes, we don't normally talk about someone going from a media role to becoming the founder of a beauty brand, but that's exactly what Sophia Chabbott did as the founder of Testament Beauty, a skincare line known for being the Mediterranean diet for your face. Testament Beauty is centered around the simple and stunningly beautiful garden-grown ingredients core to her family heritage and traditions. How did she come up with her tagline of being the Mediterranean diet for your face? She was tired of opening her medicine cabinet and being bombarded with messaging like prevent, correct, and repair.  Before founding Testament Beauty, Sophia was a journalist, and we worked together during her years at Women's Wear Daily and Glamour. I remember when Sophia told me she would launch a brand over dinner. Six years in the making, most notably because of her imposter syndrome, Sophia finally got out of her way and made her dream possible at the pivotal age of 40.  "I was telling my brother somebody should do a skincare line that is, you know, sort of like how we grew up, like the Mediterranean diet but for your face, and he was like, why not you?" In this episode, Sophia shares her story and experience rising in her career to become a top-tier journalist and then saying goodbye to her media life to embrace the hustle life of being a start-up founder. She shares her fears, obstacles, and, ultimately, what made her move past her self-doubt to create something uniquely her own.
Stacey Stevenson dropped out of a rural high school in the South when they were pulled out of the closet. They worked at fast food restaurants to save enough money to move to Dallas to "do something with their life" because they were intent on making it in the corporate world. Stacey achieved just that with a long history of senior defense, technology, and finance roles. But in 2021, they turned their business acumen, lived experience, and passion to work for LGBTQ+ families and those who wish to form them. As the first Black Chief Executive Officer at Family Equality, Stacey is a trailblazing leader, selected as one of Out Magazine's Out100 list — a compilation of the year's most impactful and influential LGBTQ+ people — in the fall of 2022. Stacey has already ushered Family Equality through a tremendous chapter of growth. From expanding the organization's work to protect LGBTQ+ youth and families in schools to deepening the focus on lowering barriers to parenthood in our community, they have prioritized not only advancing lived and legal equality for LGBTQ+ families but also advancing racial and social justice for BIPOC communities, those living in rural areas, and those living at or below the poverty line. And they are just getting started.  A powerful speaker and motivator, Stacey regularly shares their experiences growing up LGBTQ+ in the rural South, being pulled out of the closet, and navigating life as a Black queer parent. Stacey's advocacy has helped propel Family Equality further into the national spotlight with multiple appearances on The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart, a bipartisan panel discussion hosted at the U.S. Capitol, collaborations with movement partners, countless speaking engagements, and media appearances including an op-ed in USA TODAY. In the op-ed, Stacey shared their family's story of moving from their home state of Texas in search of a more welcoming community. Stacey, wife Cheralyn, and 8-year-old twin boys, Duke and London, enjoy the life they are building in Washington, D.C. In this episode, Stacey shares their journey, which is, at times, heartbreaking but equally inspiring. We discuss their work and mission at Family Equality, the importance of being an ally, and why people cancel themselves when they don't speak up for their beliefs. We dive into work-life balance, mindful Mondays, ruthless prioritization, how they leveraged transferable skills to crush an interview for a job they had no experience in, and so much more.
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Comments (2)

Julie Tiu

Stacy, I feel seen. "Sandwich" years... thank you. This is where I'm at. Older kids, older parents, body changing.

Feb 14th
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Ela Sakotic

one of my favorite podcasts! Aliza has some amazing advice and always interviews wonderful guests!

Jan 23rd
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