When I launched The Broke Girl’s Guide to Giving, I never imagined that one of the first blog posts I’d (finally) write after a year-long hiatus from blogging would be done while I was lounging back in a cushy leather seat flying business class on the way home from a 5-star trip to Argentina. But then, to be honest, I never imagined I’d do something like launch The Broke Girl’s Guide to Giving in the first place.
I never grew up thinking that being a creative person, an entrepreneur, or anything other than “normal” would be my future – and frankly, I strived for normal. I was a kid from a family of divorce, bouncing between my parents apartments’, growing up in a town where no one got divorced, and where no one lived in an apartment. All I wanted, and what I worked so hard for, was to be normal, to blend in, to be like everyone else. Little did I know that leaning into what made me different (“different” being largely in my own mind, for the record, as like so many things I’d grow up and realize no one cared about my home life or financial status except me) would ultimately be what would bring me success. Choosing a career that’s outside the norm, choosing a lifestyle that’s atypical, choosing to delay the more traditional path in adulthood (marriage, kids, home ownership), choosing to pursue – and make public – projects which light me up, no matter how scary…..To embrace being different. To be grateful for everything I have including the sometimes rocky road which got me here. Turns out the best decision I ever made was to be cool with looking “normal” in the eye and saying “Nah, not for me”.
So I ventured out, trying new habits and hobbies, dropping those which didn’t fit anymore, making big changes, making small tweaks, creating things which were a bust, creating some other things which worked. I’ve worked on film sets, I’ve run international marathons, I’ve written articles for major publications, rung the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange, loved my people super hard, traveled like crazy. And I’ve made massive mistakes, had my heart broken in ways which it will never fully heal from, struggled with depression and debt, missed opportunities, wasted time, and let myself down. But through the wild ride that has been my life thus far, I’ve been lucky enough to somehow develop just enough confidence - through what I believe is a mix of experience, encouragement from my people, and a slightly delusional and unsubstantiated belief in my own abilities – to decide that just going for it is better than not. Which is how I landed in a career where, more days than not an awe-struck “I can’t believe I get paid to do this” runs through my head. A job right now which involves working to provide more women with jobs, skills, and a voice by helping businesses and NGOs become more gender inclusive. A career which to date has focused on women’s economic empowerment in places where women typically have little opportunity for income independence (or any independence). And – when my work began to feel a little bit limited, like it wasn’t reaching enough people, like I could do more than carry out someone else’s vision – I had the resources and confidence to put The Broke Girl’s Guide to Giving out into the world.
I’ve wrapped the first season of the show and am making plans for the 2nd - more slowly than I’d anticipated, but competing priorities plus an amazing vacation offer that I couldn’t turn down came my way (which explains the business class seat I’m in while writing this) so I’m cutting myself some slack on my deadlines. But I’m now at that moment that any entrepreneur, creative type, or fellow #girlboss can relate to: the “OK, now what?” moment. That moment when your project, your work, your thing is out there in the world and all the pre-launch build up and energy and momentum and shininess is fading and the thing is REAL and you need to actually figure out what to do with it….How do I make this show stand out? How do I take it to the next level? How do I make sure this show isn’t what I’d tried to be for so long as a kid – normal?
My focus now is to take what I’ve learned in Season 1 – from the technical side, to my interviewing skills, to the lessons learned from each of the guests kind enough to take time to be on the show – and use it all to level-up the show in Season 2. More stories, more motivation, more resources, more evidence that philanthropy isn’t just for the wealthy, that everyone has a role to play, that voting with your dollar does matter….I’m focused on making sure these ideals are communicated to you all in every episode. So while I’m sitting here enjoying my business class moment, I’m also anxious to unbuckle this seatbelt and just get to WORK figuring out how to make Season 2 everything it can be, so you all can sit back, relax and enjoy the flight with me.
Season 2 of The Broke Girl's Guide to Giving Podcast launches in January, 2018!