Claim Ownership


Author: Liz Solar

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Aside from death and taxes, our one constant as humans is change. Embark the podcast is about what happens at the intersection of crisis and opportunity. The defining line between before and after. Where imagination meets innovation. Each week, a new story about how each of us encounter, and respond to what’s next in our lives, and in our world. With Liz Solar, Voice Actor, Writer, Presentation Coach
40 Episodes
Michelle Fishburne’s Third - Fourth - Act is a little head-spinning.  She went from being an international corporate attorney to a homeschooling mom to a public relations maven. Her most recent iteration is as a rootless, nomadic author who motorhomed 12,000 miles all over America interviewing hundreds of ordinary people about their lives during the pandemic. This mosaic of the American experience is going to be a book: "Who We Are Now: What We Lost and Found During the COVID-19 Pandemic" (UNC Press 2022). Her travels have been covered by ABC-TV, AARP, Good Housekeeping, and more. Michelle is now headed off again, in her motorhome, on a coast-to-coast adventure interviewing people whose lives have already been affected by climate change. More about Michelle:Who We Are Now website: @michellefishburneLinkedIn:
Your brand is greater than a good-looking logo. The success of your business is dependent on knowing who you are. Be clear about who you are and why we should care, and you have a good chance of finding your ideal client. That takes the time, objectivity and self-awareness to That's the magic of working with Orly Zeewy. She is a brand architect, who can help you put your business on track from the foundation up. We talk about the blessings of ugly babies (metaphorically speaking),  how much businesses should allocate to marketing and bubble wrap.Orly Zeewy is an author, keynote speaker, educator and brand architect. She builds the DNA of startup brands and helps founders cut through the noise so they can scale in months, not years. Prior to starting her consulting practice, she ran the award-winning Zeewy Design and Marketing Communications firm for 14 years and directed marketing programs for national clients such as CIGNA, Kraft Foods and Prince Tennis.Orly has lectured at Wharton and taught in The Close School of Entrepreneurship at Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania. In 2020, nearly 200 people from around the world attended her brand storytelling webinar: Heroes and Villains.Orly has been interviewed for Medium and written for the Comcast Business Community, Small Business Trends, The Marketing Journal and Smart Hustle.Her book, Ready, Launch, Brand: The Lean Marketing Guide for Startups was published in May 2021 and was the #1 new business book release on Amazon in April 2021.
Many women in particular aspire to a certain size.  Size Zero or Two is an ideal among movie stars and models, yet the average American woman stands at 5 feet, 4 inches, and wears a size 14 to 16.  We have a love/hate relationship with food, and categorize what we eat as 'good' or 'bad'.  Fitness programs abound, yet we have an assortment of maladies -- high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, allergies -- because of waning physical activity. Let's ditch the 'all or nothing' mentality around what we eat, aka 'diets' and feed the body we have.  Let's dress and honor our bodies and learn to have a healthier self-regard. Lisa Dahl is here to help us find a kinder way.Lisa is a certified Intuitive Eating and Body Image Health Coach.  Through Intuitive Eating, she helps women make peace with their food and body. Lisa teaches women to listen, trust, and respect their bodies to be happy, healthy, and confident at any size. At Lisa Dahl Wellness, she offers her premier program Body Peace & Food Freedom. She has certifications in Intuitive Eating, health and wellness coaching, personal training, and group facilitation from Be Body Positive and
 Arts and culture value far exceeds the price of admission to theatre, concert, or museum exhibit. From the Uber ride to the venue, to dinner before, or cocktails after an event, that ticket you buy to an event stimulates the economy in myriad ways.  An active arts scene transforms a city or town into cultural and economic hubs where we can together for a shared human experience, through  a wide range of artistic expression and diversity of thought. Creating the conditions for a diverse and thriving cultural community takes vision and leadership. Michael Bobbitt and I discuss the necessity of culture to our emotional and economic health, how to make entertainment and the arts accessible to more people, and why he considers himself an artist with a 'Small A.'Michael J. Bobbitt has dedicated his professional career to arts leadership. He is a theatre director, choreographer, and playwright. On February 1, 2021, he joined Mass Cultural Council as Executive Director, becoming the highest-ranking cultural official in Massachusetts. At the same time, Bobbitt was invited and agreed to serve on the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) Board of Directors.He has served as the Artistic Director of the New Repertory Theatre in Watertown, MA and Adventure Theatre-MTC in Maryland. At Adventure Theatre Bobbitt led the organization to be a respected theatre/training company in the DC region, and nationally influential professional Theatre for Young Audiences. He led a merger with Musical Theater Center, increased the organizational budget and audience, commissioned new works by noted playwrights, transferred two shows to Off-Broadway, built an academy, and earned dozens of Helen Hayes Award Nominations, garnering eight wins.Bobbitt studied at Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management, The National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program, and Cornell University’s Diversity and Inclusion Certification Program. An Associate Professor of Theatre at both the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and Howard University, Bobbitt has also volunteered on numerous nonprofit boards, including Maryland Citizens for the Arts, Weissberg Foundation and ArtsBoston.Bobbitt has directed/choreographed at Arena Stage, Ford’s Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Olney Theatre Center, Studio Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Center Stage, Roundhouse Theatre, The Kennedy Center, and the Washington National Opera. His national and international credits include the NY Musical Theatre Festival, Mel Tillis 2001, La Jolla Playhouse, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Jefferson Performing Arts Center, and the Olympics. As a writer his work was chosen for the NYC International Fringe Festival and The New York and Musical Theatre Festival. He has plays published by Concord Theatricals/Rodgers and Hammerstein Theatricals, Broadway Publishing and Plays for Young Audiences. Bobbitt has received the Excel Leadership Award (Center for Nonprofit Advancement), the Emerging Leader Award (County Executive’s Excellence in the Arts and Humanities), and Maryland Theatre Guide’s Person of the Year Award.   
Do you suffer from 'Compare and Despair Syndrome'?  Well, give up that nasty habit. Confidence coach Pauline Cheung is back to talk about five common comparison traps, and how you can work to free yourself from them. We also talk about how different people perceive courage, and courageous public acts and the subsequent consequences, as we saw played out during the  Olympics, when gymnast Simone Biles pressed pause during  the competition.We take a look at the benefits of growing organizations that make room for a variety of backgrounds, ideas and lifestyles, as well as thoughts on how we're doing with inclusion in those organizations.If we teach what we need to learn, Pauline Cheung learned confidence the hard way. As one of the few Asians in a predominantly white town in England, she felt like an outsider, and not free to be herself.  Her college experience introduced her to a world where she found more acceptance, and people who also looked like her.Through hard work, curiosity and risk taking, Pauline worked as  an international executive working directly with C-suite and senior level executives at leading Fortune 500 companies, including The Walt Disney Company and Ralph Lauren Corporation, in the areas of strategy, marketing and business development.  She now supports professional women to develop the mindset and the skillset to trust their own voice and create professional and personal success,  without conceding to people-pleasing and perfectionism.https://paulinecheungcoaching.com
Confidence. It can be an elusive quality. Especially when we feel like an outsider, or 'other'.  Pauline Cheung knows what it feels like to not fit in, and not feel good enough.  Raised in a white working class town in England, Pauline felt the barbs hurled at her for her Asian heritage. Bullied by peers, she wanted to please her teachers by excelling in academics, and please her parents by taking care of her younger siblings. She discovered her compliance with other people's expectations were not enough. Pauline and I discuss what it takes to develop confidence, how to work with fear to achieve our goals and the value of inclusion in this week's episode. Thanks for listening.About Pauline:  Cheung,  a women’s leadership speaker and coach is on a mission to show professional women how to trust their voices and create professional and personal success – without conceding to people-pleasing and perfectionism. Despite 12+ years as an international executive working with Fortune 500 C-suite and senior-level leaders in the areas of strategy, marketing and business development, Pauline comes from humble beginnings. She knows how challenging it is to step into the unknown and navigate the fear of failure and judgment. Her deep compassion for women wrestling with similar desires and demons helps her coaching clients and audience members break out of their fears and step into full visibility as their unique and brilliant selves. Pauline is a professionally certified coach with the Co-Active Training Institute, a leading ICF-accredited organization, and she holds an MBA from Cass Business School. She also serves on the coaching faculty for the LEAP Organization (Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics).   
Hi and welcome to Embark. Today Elizabeth 'Beth' Splaine is in studio to talk about her latest novel  The Devil's Grace.  Aside from her excellent writing, we talk about healthcare, ghosts and the grace that comes with true forgiveness.A woman of remarkable and varied achievements, you can read more about Elizabeth on her website.A few details about her book in these liner notes:0.63 seconds. That’s the amount of time Angela Brennan has to process the oncoming truck that destroys half of her family and irrevocably alters her life. Not long after the accident, death intervenes once more and snatches her remaining family member. Facing life alone, Angela returns to work as a cardiac surgeon, saving other people’s lives, but questioning why hers was spared. Desperate and distraught, Angela makes the decision to join her family by taking her own life. Before she acts on her plan, however, she receives an anonymous note indicating that her daughter’s death could have been avoided. The information provides Angela with renewed purpose and she becomes determined to find meaning in her catastrophic loss. Angela confronts the healthcare power brokers and discovers lies, complicity, and corruption at the highest levels. As she uncovers the truth about her daughter’s death, barriers are thrown in her way that threaten to destroy all she has left: her career and reputation. Devil’s Grace follows Angela’s path from devastation to redemption, as her decision to choose hope over despair and kindness over cruelty tells a timeless, yet timely tale. Elizabeth B. Splaine wrote the Dr. Julian Stryker series of “Blind” thrillers (Blind Order and Blind Knowledge), as well as Devil’s Grace, the winner of the When Words Count writing competition, released through Greenwriters Press. Her next book, Swan Song, an historical fiction novel, will be released in October 2021 through Woodhall Press.Prior to writing, Elizabeth earned an AB in Psychology from Duke University and an MHA from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She spent eleven years working in health care before switching careers to become a professional opera singer and voice teacher.When not writing, Elizabeth teaches classical voice in Rhode Island where she lives with her husband, sons, and dogs.
One of Bobbie Carlton's missions is to transform the 'manel,' what she calls the 'all-male, all pale and all stale conference panels. In a quest for more diversity, and promote women as thought leaders, she has established Innovation Women. We talk about the job market, VC funding,  how to get those sought-after speaking gigs, and when to trade your value as an expert for long-term opportunity.Bobbie Carlton is the founder of Carlton PR & Marketing, Innovation Nights and Innovation Women, or, as she calls them, the day job, the night job and the dream job. She’s an award-winning marketing and PR professional who speaks regularly on marketing, public speaking, startups and women’s issues. During the pandemic, she engaged in some retail therapy and bought two additional companies, My Speaker Leads, and Lioness Magazine. She still gets the occasional comment on having an “NPR” radio voice when she appears on a podcast and still remembers all her call signs from her years as a DJ and radio newsperson during the 80s. 
You’re a creative. Talent just flows through you, and you love what you do. One hitch: You don’t know a thing about business, or how to make what you do profitable.  No worries.  Ean Price Murphy has your back.  Born into a family of creatives, Ean founded Moxie Bookkeeping and Coaching to show small businesses – especially creative ones – how to manage their finances and become profitable without ‘selling your soul’.  Ean and I talk about how a lack of clarity about our money stuff can create paralysis and block us from achieving our goals. We look at the root of these feeling and how many creatives don’t like to ‘sell out’ their art. Profit and integrity can go hand in hand. You need only a clear head, a sense of what you want, and someone to help you track what you do. Free your mind and time to do what you really love, while you learn to become the confident boss you really are.  Discover four simple steps to permanent profitability without selling your soul at Moxie Bookkeeping.  
So, what does a creative do when a pandemic cancels their gigs? If you’re Lyralen Kaye, you stay home, devise a web series, then collect accolades, including an award from the the Los Angeles Internation Film Festival’s Indie Short Fest. Kaye brought 23 actors from around the world together through Zoom to create Assigned Female at Birth: A Web Series about Some Bodies.A hybrid narrative/documentary series Assigned Female at Birth (AFAB) is the story of 23 AFAB people fighting everything they've been taught about their bodies never being good enough.Season One of the docu-dramedy is on YouTube. Season Two drops later this month.Creative director, executive producer and founder of Another Country Productions , Lyralen talks with me about body image, gender identity, connection and creativity. Lyralen Kaye, SAG-AFTRA, AEA, is an actor, screenwriter, playwright, and director.  Their acting film/web credits include Assigned Female at Birth, The Last Poker Game, 27 Dresses, The Naturals, The Man at the Door and Mama’s Boy.  In Theatre they have played such classic roles as Emma in Betrayal, Lulu in The Dutchman and Polina in The Seagull.  Assigned Female at Birth has five times won Best Web and New Media in film festivals world wide. Lyralen's first screenplay for Saint John the Divine in Iowa won them a place in the 2015 Writers Lab supported by Meryl Streep, was a finalist for the 2018 Blacklist Women in Film Lab and 2011 Roy W. Dean Award and was a semi-finalist for the 2011 Pride Plays and Films Award.  In 2018 Lyralen won the San Francisco Best in Fringe and Techie Best in Fringe for their solo show, My Preferred Pronoun Is We. Lyralen has also been nominated for the 1997 Pushcart Prize in fiction and won the 1998 Boston Amazon Slam Poetry Finals. They are a radical queer activist and social justice artist. 
Let's give some credit to the boomers. And GenXer's. They do things on their own terms. Rather than embrace their parents’ model of seniority  which was defined by retirement and a move to Florida, If you're 50-plus, you may go back to school, start a new relationship, explore your creativity, 'embark' on a new career -- or spiritual path -- or take up a cause.  You might see it as a way to enjoy a third act, which may include many more scenes, subplots and twists. Each third Thursday of the month, we welcome you to Embark on Your Third Act.Rebecca Moore of InANutshell Productions, and Diana Place of Third Act Quest, join me for far-reaching conversations about what's next for our life's third act. We'll invite a wide range of guests to address subjects from financial literary to sexual health to career advice. Today we talk about regrets, the plasticity of our brains and our potential to change and achieve great things.Join the conversation, and bring your questions: liz@embark the And please subscribe.
Social Geek Radio's Jack Monson and his guests discuss social media and digital marketing trends for brands, small businesses, and franchises. Social Geek Radio was listed as one of 20 Best Business Podcasts according to Emerge and was named to the Best Small Business Podcasts by Recently we finally made the Top 25 podcasts in the Marketing category of Apple Podcasts / iTunes.Jack is seasoned in social media marketing, franchise marketing, brand journalism, and public relations. He is the Chief Revenue Officer at Social Joey, and works with franchise systems, national brands, and their locations to get their local marketing hopping!In 2010 Jack and his partners started  The Franchise Marketing Innovation and Tech Conference and presented by The International Franchise Association promoting digital marketing and innovation for the Franchise industry.More at  socialgeekradio
Tell me, what is it you plan to do With your one wild and precious life?This verse from Mary Oliver's poem The Summer Day  inspired Diana Dunbar Place to explore  what she wanted for her own life. She founded Third Act Quest to inspire others to embrace life's possibilities and transitions,  and re-envision and rewrite their life stories.After a 35-year professional career that includes a decade  with a leading international marketing & ad agency; ten years with America Online (AOL-Time Warner),  Diana  started three entirely different entrepreneurial ventures.  She has mentored and advised several organizations to serve and connect women. In her fifties,  the coinciding emotional challenges surrounding a cancer diagnosis, closing  my latest entrepreneurial venture, and becoming an empty nester as my daughter headed to college  was not filled with anger or regret, but deep gratitude, joy and reignited passion for this next phase of my life. Through retreats, courses, group and private coaching, and a special event series, she helps reframe the experience and perceptions of aging among people of all ages.   Third Act Quest  is working to shift the experience and perception of aging for individuals, in the workplace and in our culture in general; inspiring people to reimagine what it means to grow older.  Importantly as well, she  want to help bridge understanding, connection, and mutual support between generations.Visit her website:  to connect and learn more.
What do you do when you work with women founders who are reluctant to call themselves 'founders'? You help them walk into their title, and power with integrity, support and some fun. At least that's what you do if you're Rebecca Moore, Founder of In a Nutshell Consulting.Moore empowers mission-based women entrepreneurs to harness their brilliance, crush doubt, and clarify their message so they can make a social impact AND earn a meaningful income. An entrepreneur and creative at heart, she leverages her experience founding a venture-backed and two consultancies (while juggling parenting, caregiving, and health crises) to provide perspective, strategies, and encouragement to first-time and unconventional business owners (many of whom. like her, are starting YOLO businesses in their '50s). She speaks on "Creating your new an unconventional founder", "The Founder Myth" ,"Telling Your Story in a Nutshell",  "Monetizing Your Brilliance, and "Turning Your Setbacks to Success."    Moore believes it is never too late to fulfill your purpose, to serve others, and to prosper. 
We all know the signs of adolescence: Identity crises, running with the wrong crowd, rebelliousness, oversleeping.  Sound like what's happening with your brand? Your business?Well,  your brand may be stuck in adolescence, and Evelyn Starr explains how your brand can find itself, grow up and thrive.Evelyn Starr is a brand expert and marketing consultant with over 25 years of marketing strategy and research experience. Evelyn uses her keen powers of observation and insight to help her clients wow their customers and grow their businesses.  She specializes in working with Brands in Adolescence, brands that have stalled after their initial success. Her clients have ranged from small businesses like Laird Superfood and Harbor Sweets to global brands like Hasbro and Gillette. Before founding E. Starr Associates in 1999, Evelyn worked for some of New England’s most recognized brands including Dunkin’, Veryfine Products and The First Years.  As leader of the Care & Safety category at The First Years, she launched one of the company’s most successful products, the Hands-Free Gate, which won The National Parenting Seal of Approval in 2002.   Evelyn earned an MBA in Marketing from Boston College’s Carroll School of Management and graduated with honors from Vassar College with a BA in Economics and French.  Living in the Greater Boston area, her passions include travel, reading, writing, yoga, tea, dark chocolate and nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit in both her husband and her two children.
What makes an advertising message successful? What do the best commercials have in common? What exactly is Audio Optometry. We discuss all with Creative Director and Broadcast Producer, Michael Coleman.Recognized among media and entertainment industry leaders for innovative ideas that sell, ColeCuts Creative rose to prominence through their innovative work for major market radio and TV stations across the US and Canada. With over three decades of memorable commercials and promotional messages ColeCuts Creative is known for developing intelligent, humorous, and cutting-edge material. Their cerebral and irreverent wit earned them numerous awards, including the Edward R. Murrow, Marconi, Radio Mercury, RTNDA, Associated Press, and Silver Microphone. As a twenty-seven-year stand-up comedian, their two CDs Do Not Read This and Laughing to Beat the Band have received critical acclaim on radio stations throughout the US. They have also taught creative writing and sound production at Northeastern University and Boston College. More at 
Think poetry is relegated to dusty old library book shelves?  Well, poetry is alive and thriving, thanks to emerging poets like Amanda Gorman. Today, another young poet shares her passion for verse, and why it's not only relevant,  but essential. Sara Letourneau is a poet as well as the managing editor and writing coach at Heart of the Story Editorial & Coaching Services. In her editing work, she specializes in speculative fiction, literary fiction, YA fiction, memoir, and prescriptive nonfiction. Her poetry has been featured in or will soon appear in Aromatica Poetica, Constellations, Mass Poetry's Poem of the Moment, Soul-Lit, Amethyst Review, Boston Small Press and Poetry Scene, Golden Walkman Magazine, and The Aurorean, among others. She is also a former music journalist and tea reviewer, and her articles about writing have appeared in blogs such as DIY MFA, Writers Helping Writers, and Grub Street. She lives in Massachusetts and is known for always having a book, a journal, a pen, and a cup of tea handy.--  
In this week's episode, Liz Solar speaks with opera singer Maren Montalbano about creativity, myths around opera, performing during covid, and the 'bodices' that constrain us all.Maren Montalbano is an opera singer, business coach, and writer, whose voice can be heard on three GRAMMY Award-winning albums. When live performances disappeared during the pandemic, she turned her focus to the online world: writing, producing, and premiering a one-woman show called The Bodice Ripper Project as an interactive digital performance at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. That show, along with the accompanying podcast of the same name, became an exploration of sexuality, feminism, and the journey to self-empowerment through the lens of romance novels. A graduate of Tufts University and New England Conservatory of Music, Maren has sung at Carnegie Hall in NYC, Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, multiple theaters in Europe, and even performed on stage with the Rolling Stones. She is passionate about uplifting and amplifying new and diverse voices in classical music, which has fueled her work as a business coach for musicians. You can read more about Maren’s brilliant career in opera, romance novel writing and The Bodice Ripper podcast at
"Life is what happens while you're making other plans." How many times has the universe interrupted or curtailed those dreams we set up for ourselves? In Gabriela Perreira's case, a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder and the medications involved in treating it, led her to a life-altering choice. She'll talk about the journey from early diagnosis to acceptance to sharing her diagnosis to help other people, and assure them, they are not alone..We are not our disorders or disease. In the best case scenarios, we are able to come to terms with what life throws us and find grace and discover other ways to live life as richly as  we imagined. Gabriela Pereira is the founder of, the do-it-yourself alternative to a Masters degree in writing. She is also a speaker, podcast host for DIY MFA Radio, and author of the book DIY MFA: Write with Focus, Read with Purpose, Build Your Community.
Marshall McLuhan famously said. "The medium is the message." Okay, but it's the message -what you say, the way you say it and how you present that to the world - that really counts. Whether you’re talking with your partner, your children, or your colleagues – good communication is essential. It can also be difficult to get right.  It's true with the words we speak, and the written messages we send out into social media and on our websites.The ability to convey your message can positively impact many areas of your life for the better,  but it takes practice. And the right elements to tell a powerful and unique story to draw people to you and your brand. We brought in an expert to guide you to tell an effective, and affecting, message.With an extensive creative background — writing, editing, acting, photography, yoga, and graphic and web design — Deb brings a unique, intuitive, and story-telling perspective to branding, messaging, and content strategy and creation. With 20 years of marketing and communication experience behind her, she currently runs her own branding and marketing company serving entrepreneurs, small- and mid-sized businesses, and nonprofits to provide stellar branding and compelling print and digital content. Learn more at  
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