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Our final guest this season is the one Michelle has been most excited about. Neosha Gardner is an incredible creator and problem solver who never lets an idea pass her by. Whether she is developing a resource platform for fellow homeschool moms or starting a stock photo site that focuses on melanated women, she is always looking for ways to offer a better solution.Join Michelle as she explores the roots of these problem-solving pursuits. You’ll discover the power of self-activation and the benefits of chasing every idea you’re given.In this episode, you’ll learn:About the first problem Neosha can remember solving.How she is intentionally finding ways to help others through the things she loves (and what those many, many things are).The varied job and educational experiences that pushed her to pursue entrepreneurship.What helped her move from creating $10 business logos to building websites, making YouTube videos, and running a beauty and lifestyle blog.Why hating to take her own photos for the blog led her to create a stock photo site where she…takes photos for everyone else.How a simple Facebook post revealed the desperate need for stock photos of black women.The clever ways Neosha leveraged this post to build an audience for the stock photo site she launched, CreateHER Stock.Why she will never be someone who wishes she had pursued an idea, embracing a perspective that offers the perfect way to beat imposter syndrome.About the new shop she’s launching for CreateHER Stock and the suggestions to charge more that led to it.How you can support other creators who are building their own problem-solving resources.Get all of your stock photo needs met with CreateHERStock. Not a paid promotion. Just genuinely the site we use for everything.
This week we’re joined by the other half of the Cultivating H.E.R. Space podcast, Dr. Dominique Broussard! In keeping with the spirit of their podcast, we explored the importance of making space for ourselves and others throughout every season of life. Whether she’s making herself a safe space for her nieces or using her own safe space to celebrate all that she’s accomplished, Dom understands the power of having a place where you can fully be yourself. She shares what she’s learned in her life and through her career as a college professor and licensed psychologist, giving us ways to grow with grace in our own journeys. In this episode, you’ll learn:Why being unapologetically black is an important part of who Dr. Dom is, plus what that means to her.How being a safe, judgment-free space for her nieces is helping them develop the confidence and freedom to be themselves from a young age.The ways she and Terri are using their podcast to grant the same space to other black women, using conversation to invoke healing, empowerment, and resilience.How she teaches her college students and clients to seek out the safe spaces that already exist in their circles (hint: communication is key).To have grace for yourself when the lifelong process of learning to identify and communicate what you need doesn’t always look like progress.Why hearing the same things from multiple people is essential to building a holistic picture of the advice, topic, or issue you’re dealing with.About the importance of mental diversity and how it can improve our journeys.The many reasons you should celebrate and recognize what you’ve learned from each stage of your life as you transition into a new chapter.How those around you benefit from your investment in self-mastery and self-discovery.Dr. Dom’s three favorite phrases that she uses to guide her journey.Find Dr. Dom's practice here: to the Cultivate H. E. R. Space Podcast here:
TW: In this episode, Darryl and Terri share their stories which contain stories of past abuse.Sometimes the most unexpected meetings are exactly what you need to understand yourself a little more. That was certainly the case with this week’s episode. Though I met Terri Lomax for the first time when we recorded, we soon found that we connected on a deeper level than I’d anticipated.Both of us have spent years learning about ourselves, how our adversity-filled childhoods continue to affect us as adults, and what we want to change for the people that come after us. In this raw, vulnerable episode, we explore our journeys to understanding, accepting, and healing what we’ve endured. In a conversation that left us in tears, we go deep into our stories, hoping that doing so helps you find the validation and healing you might need too.In this episode, you’ll learn:About Terri’s podcast, where she dives into taboo topics to make them more approachable and to facilitate healing within them.How dating herself helped Terri uncover and develop her identity after years of being a social chameleon.More about my own childhood, including how my parents’ choices affected my development and led to a similar social chameleon defense mechanism.Why both of our traumatic upbringings robbed us of the ability to ask what we want, something we had to learn through therapy and self-discovery as adults.To fill your cup first so you can be more present and capable of showing up for the other people and needs in your life.How I’m using my journey through imposter syndrome to create systems that can lessen the same struggle for my children and other freelancers.The ways our childhoods prepared us for the challenges in life, plus ways that we can harness these skills in the workplace.Which grace practices Terri uses to heal the self-hatred created by childhood abuses.To talk to and treat yourself with love so you can demand the same level of respect from others.That feeling emotions, both positive and negative, is such an important part of healing and living a wholehearted life.Tennielle Clark host of She Speaks Bougie introduced us to Terri. The episode with the two of them together is here.The episode of Cultivating H. E. R. Space that Darryl recommended on sisterhood is The Importance of Sisterhood and Friendship to Black Women with Bethany Hawkins.Find Terri's free podcasting masterclass at podcastwithterri.comThe book Terri talks about is Self-Esteem: A proven program of cognitive techniques for assessing, improving, and maintaining your self-esteem by Matthew McKay, PhD, and Patrick Fanning.Find Terri on her website and on Instagram.
Believe it or not, we are officially halfway through Season 3 — and what a season it’s been! I’ve been thinking a lot about the conversations I’ve had this season, so I wanted to bring Michelle on to talk about some of my thoughts and get her insights on the things we’ve learned over the past few episodes.For those who have listened to Lindsey Jo Scott’s episode (and if you haven’t, give episode 308 a listen after this!), you might remember our discussion about finding your perfect place in the things you do. We dived deep into this topic, exploring what that means for us, how Michelle became so comfortable with it, and how it has changed my relationship with myself.In this episode, you’ll learn:Michelle’s Hectic origin story, including why she didn’t want to take the job initially and what changed her mind.How she has helped me love myself more by showing me that accepting my weaknesses only amplifies my strengths.The opportunities freelancing offers for people who want to bring their strengths to a team that is strong where they are weak.About the summer camp job that helped Michelle understand her strengths and learn how to use them to build something powerful with the strengths of others.Why sharing your strengths and weaknesses honestly is the first step to putting this way of working into action.The ways leaning into your strengths makes you more productive and even better at what you do.How embracing a collective way of working helps you appreciate what others do more, creating a team that is confident in its ability to do great things.To talk to yourself kindly so you can extend that same graciousness to others.What I love about Michelle’s gift for seeing other’s strengths and building them up in these traits.That being more kind than necessary and working with each other can create a much more beautiful piece of music than we ever could alone.The book Michelle talks about is The Delicate Art of Dancing with Porcupines by Bob PhillipsMichelle can't remember the article about leaning into your strengths, but this is a great one on the same topic.
My guest this week is a jack of all trades and a master of one in particular. Since he was five years old, Michael Jung has been captured by the power of storytelling. He’s cultivated this passion in many ways throughout his life, telling stories through acting, volunteering at schools and children’s museums, online book dealing, and more.Michael currently works as a freelance writer, but he has been writing his own stories for years. Through his education, mentorships, and personal experiences, he has learned what makes a good story and the best ways to share those stories with others. He dropped by the podcast this week to give us tips for telling our own stories, reflect on the power of choice, and celebrate the value of communication. No matter how you feel about writing and communicating, Michael has something for everyone in this captivating episode.In this episode, you’ll learn:Why Michael labels himself as a professional side hustler and what he loves about having a different job all the time.The dangers of confusing who you are and what you do, especially when your work constantly changes.How Michael came to see himself as a storyteller from a young age and continued growing in that understanding throughout his life.About the influences, both positive and negative, that helped him discover what he wanted from life.A practical way for everyone, both writers and those who hate writing, to have fun telling stories through the written word.How this technique helped (and continues to help) Michael get out of his own way and give himself permission to enjoy the process.The ways our world today is showing the value and power of communication, even in superheroes and comic books.Why making choices about your life is the only way to get where you want to go.What makes a good story and how you can create your own stories better.Where you can find Michael’s work and what he’s cooking up next.Find Michael on his website, LinkedIn, and Twitter.See Michael's ebooks on his Amazon page.The mentor Michael plugs is Jewell Parker Rhodes.The TEDTalk from Carol Dweck that Darryl talks about is The Power of Believing that You Can Improve.The concept from Isaac Asimov that Michael talks about is The Eureka Phenomenon.Douglas Ramsey, the Marvel comic mutant that has a superpower of communication, is Cypher.
Melanie Aksamit is proof that it’s not when you start, but how you do it that matters. She joins this week to give us a peek into her world and work as a special effects makeup artist. With projects such as Stranger Things and Insidious under her belt, you would never guess that she’s only been working in the industry for 8.5 years.Dive into Melanie’s undeniable passion for her work as she shares the roots of her love of monsters, makeup, and special effects. You’ll also learn why she waited until her late 20s to pursue this dream and how this timeline affected her journey. Join me to celebrate Melanie’s success and marvel at the life-changing experiences that can happen in Nebraska.In this episode, you’ll learn:How her father’s love of old monster movies inspired her passion for special effects makeup.Why a trip to Nebraska led Melanie to quit her job waiting tables and enroll in special effects makeup school when she was 29.What she appreciates about finding her path later than usual and what she wishes was different.The surprising items that you can find in her kit, including one particularly odd item with an unusual purpose.How a personal connection helped Melanie break into the industry and how she still relies on relationships to find new work.The realities of working your way from a shop runner to a special effects artist.About some of the amazing projects she’s worked on and people she’s met.Why it’s important to celebrate the effort you put into your journey, even if you need the right connections to reach some milestones.That a positive attitude can mean more for your success than your skills in any industry.How to celebrate yourself and others for doing big things and sticking with the journey.Find Melanie on her website and on Instagram.
My guest this week loves to use stories to show new ways of being in the world. Whether she’s making illustrations, writing, building content strategies, or using any of the other creative outlets forms she thrives in, Lindsey Jo Scott’s neurodivergent brain offers a unique perspective on the world and all that life has to teach. I was so excited to connect with Lindsey about our shared experiences with ADHD and our journeys to recognizing it as a superpower, not a shameful label. Through these experiences, we learned to embrace ourselves and find what fuels our inner fires. After listening to this episode, I hope you will find the inspiration, encouragement, or support you need to do the same.In this episode, you’ll learn:All of the ways Lindsey pursues creativity through her work, way of seeing the world, and future plans.How practicing mindfulness to find her truer sense of being helps her get in touch with her creativity.Why cultural stigmas of shame, guilt, and fear can keep us from living a full and fulfilled life.About my experience with ADHD and how I have learned to embrace all of the ways it makes me powerful. Plus, how sharing our journeys makes it easier for others to find a sense of belonging.The reasons everyone benefits when we can build teams that allow everyone to do what they do best.How asking for help was the first brave step toward Lindsey understanding and loving herself, which allowed her to feel more comfortable in her story.What it means to focus on internal success over external markers.Why internal success is the only way to do the things you want to do while still enjoying the process.Tips for processing the emotions this episode may have stirred up.In the episode, the book Darryl talks about is ADHD is your superpower. The TEDTalk Lindsey Jo talks about is The danger of a single story.Find Lindsey Jo on her website and Instagram.
My guest this week loves helping others and building a space for the black tech community, but she is ultimately working toward her own freedom. The freedom of financial stability, of focusing on the things she’s passionate about, of just chilling out and living life.Pariss Athena, founder and CEO of Black Tech Pipeline, joins me to share real truths about her journey to this point and her hopes for the future. From her experiences as a black woman in tech to what drives her every day, we explore all of the great insights she has to offer for others on a similar path. In this episode, you’ll learn:How Pariss’ drive for freedom is a direct response to hustle culture and a reflection of what she values.What went into building Black Tech Pipeline, from starting the business to deciding what she wanted to create.Some of the hardest things she experienced while doing it.Why she thinks being transparent about the messy middle of entrepreneurship is so important.About her experiences as a black woman in tech and how they shaped her journey.How Pariss changed her perspective about life’s difficulties and used these struggles to keep pushing forward.The realities of balancing work with life as a mom and fiancé.Her take on Kim K’s recent quote about working hard.The better advice she has for women who are pursuing a dream.In a bit of table turning, what I love about my job and which parts of work I like the least.Find her on Twitter and Instagram.
What’s wrong with work today? Since you listen to this podcast, you’re probably dissatisfied with the normal 9-to-5, but do you know why? My guest this week, Rodney Evans, is here to tell you. Through years of personal development and her work as an organizational designer, Rodney has learned the many reasons that work doesn’t work, in both our personal and professional lives.Join us to learn about the outdated systems that are at the root of these problems, plus a peek at the ways Rodney is helping organizations reclaim a healthy workspace. You’ll also hear how she has shaped her identity completely outside of what she does and the journey she took to get there. In this episode, you’ll learn:About her podcast (The Brave New Work podcast) and why it’s important to share the valuable knowledge, skills, and experiences she holds.What it means to help organizations become more people positive and complexity conscious.Why the way we work doesn’t fit our knowledge-based world.The many ways we lose who we are when we force ourselves to adapt to the roles our work demands.How she came to understand and heal this problem in herself.Tips for learning how to articulate your needs and experiment with solutions to bring about change.What is so wrong with the current concept of “servant leadership.”Why we need to pursue an ecosystem that is open to all options, rather than using a binary system that limits options to either/ors.The importance of focusing on how you contribute best and what energizes you, rather than trying to do everything.How to stop serving your ego so you can better understand your value and stop relying on work for validation.Read more about The Ready.Find Rodney on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Tune in this week for a special conversation between our very own Michelle Lee and returning guest, Dr. Sarah Moon. As two Asian American women, they discussed how they’ve been dealing with the increases in Asian hate crimes over the past few years. They explored how Michelle is equipping her young daughters to know and love who they are, in ways she didn’t have herself. You’ll also get to hear why you should strive for inefficiency to spend more time focusing on the things you value and love.In this episode, you’ll learn:Why the important, meaningful, purposeful things in life require inefficiency.The ways a focus on achievement affects our lives, health, and self-worth.How letting go of your idea of a routine can help you reclaim your time and enjoy the moments you’re in.That you should acknowledge the work and thought that you invest in the lead-up to your accomplishments, not just the success itself.How to reevaluate the demands of your job to give yourself the space you need to thrive.About the fear, anxiety, and complex feelings both women have dealt with because of anti-Asian violence.Michelle’s experience with equipping and preparing her daughters for the situations they may face.What their six-year-old selves would be proud of in their current selves.Why it’s also important for Dr. Moon to remind herself that she’s not that six-year-old self anymore.Ways to hold and honor the ways people might fail you without saying that what they did was okay.Other links:The full article from Nicole Chung that Moon reads can be found here.Listen to Beth Waterman's full episode here and Alice Armitage's episode here.Moon can be found on Instagram here.
Welcome to an exciting bonus episode, featuring an amazing conversation with someone who blows me away. For this episode, I got to connect across oceans with Aussie Alice Armitage. She’s defying conventional wisdom in every way, most importantly with her new printed (yep, with paper and ink) newspaper, Pandaemonium.This newspaper uses long-form stories to explore the many ways people approach success differently. These unconventional stories reflect Alice’s own desire to push boundaries and show that the traditional way isn’t the only, or even the best, way to get things done.As she celebrates the release of their first issue, Alice joined me to share what led her here and her hopes for the future.In this episode, you’ll learn:About her journey from an ambitious country girl to a disillusioned big-city player to the passionate storyteller she is today.How Alice learned to integrate her environment, work, and passions to create a life that makes her happy.The reasons boundaries are meant to be pushed, plus her life-long drive to explore outside the norm.Why the tiny daily steps we take in our pursuits are often so much harder and more important than the giant leaps.What Pandaemonium means and why it is the perfect name for her newspaper.About the single hardest thing Alice faces and how she hopes to inspire others through it.Her reasons for choosing long-form storytelling as the best format for Pandaemonium.The ways she hopes the newspaper will resonate with readers, creating a richer world along the way.How she has become comfortable with making mistakes, plus some tips to help you do the same.What she looks to for inspiration, both personally and professionally.
If you look up the word “capable” in the dictionary, you’ll find a picture of Satta Hightower, my guest this week. A gift storyteller, she has spent the last eight years building a thriving freelance content marketing business that is creating a foundation for her family’s future. Though she stumbled upon freelancing accidentally, she has successfully QUADRUPLED her income through her business. Satta shows us how to achieve great things, seek a spectrum of perspectives, and focus on the important things - all while finding a balance that ensures joy in every area of life.In this episode, you’ll learn:About Satta’s love of storytelling and its roots in her cultural heritage.Why done is better than perfect, particularly when overcoming creative blocks in your craft.How two layoffs in five years birthed her powerful freelance business.The changes she’s seen from her early days of independent creation to her approach today.The ways that fighting to build generational wealth for her family gives purpose to her work.Why she believes wealth building and freelancing are linked, especially in regards to income streams.How Satta is being inspired to nurture her creativity, mind, body, and spirit through the women she admires.About her dream to explore life, culture, and multi-faceted black stories through her millennial perspective.About her experiences as a dynamic, successful, first-generation Liberian-American woman, entrepreneur, mother, wife, and neighbor.Why it’s so important to embrace and promote a variety of perspectives and stories in our work, media, and communities.
How well do you know yourself? What you can offer to the world, who you are, and where you want to go in life are all questions that can only be answered through self-knowledge. In this week’s episode, Cam Lee Small joins me to explore these questions and the journey required to understand yourself fully. As a trans-racial adoptee and clinical psychologist, Cam has both personal and professional experience with this process. He shares insights from his own journey, coupled with what he’s learned in his work, to normalize and empower mental health support for future generations.In this episode, you’ll learn: How growing up as a Korean adoptee in a small town in Wisconsin shaped who he is, what he does, and how he learned to own his story.Why discovering who you are and what you’re capable of can lead to a more fulfilling life.About the patterns we use to protect ourselves in certain stages of life and how to appreciate the ways they served us.Why letting these protections go when they’re no longer needed can free us from self-made restrictions.The formal and informal ways that mental health support can help us normalize our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.Plus, how content creators can help drive this normalization for future generations.Tips for finding mentors for both your personal and professional interests.Why asking yourself questions is essential to a healthier, more fulfilling life.The ways validating and naming your internal experiences frees you to make better decisions.Who has had the greatest impact on Cam's life and why.
I’m excited to welcome Dane Lyons to the podcast and welcome BACK his wife Evy, who joined me last season to talk about building brands, muscles, and teams. Together, Dane and Evy are pushing back against rigid business structures and wholeheartedly embracing creativity. From hackathons to NFTs, they share how they are finding new ways to challenge themselves and build something new.In this episode, you’ll learn:Who Dane and Evy are, according to each other.How embracing discomfort and joining the podcast last season helped fuel Evy’s growth and journey over the past year.What Evy loves about the work she’s doing - both in her day job and her passion project, the Pleasant Box.The reasons you should embrace creative freedom and your unique passion, no matter what you’re doing.Why you should focus on using creativity as self-nourishment, not an opportunity to make money.About Dane’s gift for imagining original possibilities rather than focusing on remaking or improving what others have already done.His journey from teaching himself to code after leaving the military to working with NFTs and DAOs.…and what exactly those are, plus the opportunities they offer for creatives and freelancers.What it’s like to have both a business partner and life partner in the same person.The wishes Evy and Dane have for the world in 2022.
What makes a good podcast guest? We had so much fun last season with Thomas Hicks, a.k.a. The Cereal Snob, that we had to bring him back to share his secrets. From learning how to show up as a fuller, more energized version of yourself to embracing your journey, Thomas has all the tips you need to own your space and story. Join us for a special bonus episode of The Hectic Podcast.In this episode, you’ll learn:What National Cereal Day looks like for one of the world’s premier cereal reviewers.About embracing yourself uninhibitedly and how that can help you make the biggest impression on everyone you meet.How using his phone to amplify his growth helped him best represent himself and his brand.Why connecting with the people who resonate with your whole self is more fulfilling than being liked by everyone.What Thomas learned about himself when he pursued his dream of acting in L.A.The story behind his tattoo, plus the reasons he wants to change it now.Why the journey you take to pursue a goal is so much more important than achieving it.How to redefine success through your experiences rather than your accomplishments.What Thomas wishes for the world in 2022.Plus, some easy ways to pursue that wish for yourself.
How long have you been putting off that thing you want to do? What if you just started today?That’s the message Devonnae Williams, my first guest of season 3, wants to share. Whether she’s helping companies define their brands and perfect their websites or educating creators on YouTube, she is all in and loving it. Join our conversation to hear what Devonnae loves about connecting with people, how she chases the spark that inspires her work, and what we both can’t stand about hustle culture.In this episode, you’ll learn:Why scheduling coffee breaks helps Devonnae be more present, purposeful, and fruitful in her work and life.The many reasons you should really stop shoulding on yourself.About questioning the lies and doubts you tell yourself, plus tips for catching the spiral early.What Devonnae and I love about having deep conversations with strangers in Starbucks’ parking lots.How seeing people as people, not just objects, and being curious about them can create beautiful moments.The many facets of Devonnae and how she is learning about them.How she realized that now is always the best time to make things happen, no matter how prepared you feel.Why being better bakers when it comes to our pursuits is the best way to succeed in them.Why mental health and rest produce far greater results than living a constant hustle.How you can help design the first product for her secret (but not secret) future business.
Season 3 Trailer

Season 3 Trailer


Hey, there, world! The Hectic Podcast is back for season 3, with our first episode launching on Tuesday, February 8th, 2022. Thank you to the thousands of listeners and subscribers; we wouldn't be here without you.Darryl & Michelle 
Well, folks, we’ve reached the end of season TWO of The Hectic Podcast and, wow, what a season it’s been. Reminisce with Michelle and me as we discuss our favorite moments from this season. From learning how to share and own our stories to becoming more present in everything we do, our guests have given us so many ways to be better people and creators.Get a peek behind the podcasting process as we share all of the people that make each episode possible. The podcast grew and evolved beyond what we could expect this season and we can’t wait to share more with you in 2022. Until then, peace!In this episode, you’ll learn:What is at the heart of the Hectic Podcast and why it’s so important.About the connections I loved making this season, particularly with my life twin, Odalys.What I learned from my conversation with Beth Waterman that has transformed the way I approach life.How being aware and paying attention can help you own your life, space, and story.The ways this self-mastery can help you produce your best work.About the blogs and other podcast extras that you might be missing out on!How the podcast has evolved over this season, plus how I’ve changed with it.More about the team behind each episode.The things we’ve learned about the importance of partnership and community from our guests.A little of what you can expect from season three.
We recommend pouring a bowl of your favorite cereal before listening to this week’s chat with leading cereal influencer (yes, you read that right), Cereal Snob’s Thomas Hicks. Along with giving us a peek at the world of cereal reviews, Thomas shares what he’s learned from this work and how he’s using this experience to overhaul his brand. We also touch on authenticity and human connection, exploring how we can be better people and better creators through genuine curiosity about the people we meet.In this episode, you’ll learn:What it means to be one of the world’s leading cereal influencers.How Thomas went from noticing a new flavor of Cap’n Crunch to being a leader in this space.About his petition to bring back Rice Krispy Treats cereal and why you should sign it.Why he recently unlisted nearly 200 of his YouTube videos and how it plays into his current rebrand.The ways Thomas is using strategic experience, data, and knowledge to differentiate himself from other reviewers.What he loves about creating content.How perfectionism can strangle creativity, plus how he’s fighting it in his own work.Why authenticity is essential to everything that we do in life.How connecting as people and pushing past labels makes the world a better place.Thomas’ number one key to success.
Do you have easy access to YouTube? In about 40 minutes, you’re absolutely going to need it.This week, Michelle arranged a visit from some of my personal heroes: The Rocky Mountain Ringers. As a handbell player, getting to indulge in and share my passion for this instrument with group members Amy and Jeff was an incredible experience. We’re all about pursuing your dreams and passions at Hectic, so I hope you’ll be as inspired by this conversation as I was.(And I’m not kidding about YouTube. After listening, you will just have to find a handbell performance to experience the magic for yourself.)In this episode, you’ll learn:How my ultimate dream led to this conversation.Why handbells and the time I spent in a handbell choir as a teen hold such a special meaning for me.About the complexity and teamwork involved behind the scenes in every performance.The reasons playing the handbells requires you to be fully present and focused in the moment.Plus, how this unique headspace offers freedom and space from the stresses in your life.How the Rocky Mountain Ringers are using COVID-caused changes to introduce more people to the beauty of the instrument.What entrepreneurs can learn about making mistakes from playing the handbells.Why Amy wants team members who will let her grow and learn through challenges while also having her back when needed.The many reasons this surprise and conversation were so incredible to me.Why being passionate and sharing what you’re passionate about can help you bring people up with you on your entrepreneurial journey.
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