Sarah Hamilton // The (Sand and) Sky’s the limit

What a wonderful week it’s been, beautiful people, if you haven’t already seen we started a Seize the Yay facebook community last week and it is already brining me SO much joy every day. Thank you to the 200 of you who have already joined and started sharing the little things that make you smile. It’s also a lovely place to be able to leave any feedback or further questions for our guests that I can pass on and I’ll also share any new events or products there first so if you want to join, I’ll pop a link in the show notes.

Remember it takes so little to make someone else’s day brighter, so why not try do it everyday. Little sneaky shout out before we start to Miah, Al, Jill and Alisha, four beautiful listeners who made MY day last week when they came over at a friend’s birthday to say hello and sang the WHOLE seize the yay sing off by heart. NOTHING brings me more joy than to meet you listeners and hear how you’re seizing your yay so don’t hesitate to share or reach out, it means the world! Because you’re not there when we record I always forget people are actually listening so I love being reminded, thank you so much ladies!

Back to today’s episode, we’ve got a double dose of Sarah for you with the delightful Sarah Hamilton, co-founder of Bella box and more recently Sand and Sky. Bella box is Australia’s largest sampling service bringing 10s of thousands of subscribers the latest of everything trending in beauty. Sand and Sky is the original Australian pink clay mask that has gone viral tightenting pores all over the globe and showcasing Australian natural botanicals to the world.

You’ve probably seen me ramble on about both before as I’ve been a long time customer and admirer of Sarah and her twin Emily since many years ago when we first met at a speaking gig. From working the grill at McDonald’s to a career in finance overseas, I love that Sarah’s greatest successes weren’t even a blip on the radar until her 30s proving again that your way to yay is not only NOT linear but also not predictable. As always, there’s many a chuckle and I hope you enjoy our chat as much as we did.

 

Emma Lewis // From covert cop to creating Canvast

It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve been working away on getting some awesome jobs into the mix and this episode is the first to kick us off with the fabulous Emma Lewis, an undercover cop (or covert cop as you will learn is the correct terminology) who also has an amazing side hustle called Canvast. Emma reached out earlier this year during a little social media hiatus which led her to find this and many other podcasts and I am so delighted to have connected to share her story – you’ve probably gathered I’m fascinated by crime and police so I nearly chewed her ear off.

She is not only still a Queensland policewoman but has also created the beautiful Canvast planner – a dateless yearly planner reminding us all that you don’t need to wait for a new year or month to get started on your dreams. She shares some wonderful insights including that time she peed her pants in front of a sergeant, the kind of down to earth chuckles that you know I love so much!

This also motivated me to finally get a Seize the Yay Facebook group going, so that even if only for a few of us, there is an easy, centralised place to share the things that bring yay to our day! Click HERE to join or search “SEIZE THE YAY COMMUNITY”.

 

Jesinta Franklin // From catwalks and congeniality to content for connection

I think you’ll agree that we’ve had some seriously impressive human beings share their ways to yay on the show, but I was completely blown away by our first guest for the new financial year. I’m always so grateful that our guests feel comfortable enough to show the lesser known sides of themselves (especially when it’s not often that they do), which is perhaps why I was so captivated by the gorgeous Jesinta Franklin this week.

While I, like most of the country, am no stranger to Miss Universe 2010 and the striking looks that have carried her through a successful career as a model, brand ambassador and TV presenter I wasn’t as familiar with Jesinta’s eloquence, utmost professionalism and genuine care for others (that earned her the real life title of Miss Congeniality). As you’ll hear, she radiates warmth and honesty belying the fame that surrounds her both independently and together with husband and AFL superstar, Buddy Franklin.

I feel very lucky that I got to steal her away this week for a delightful chat on the very day that her brand new self-funded, self-produced Jesinta App launched two days ago along with the new issue of Women’s Health Magazine with her on the cover. You’ll hear more about it in the episode and of course I’ll pop a link to it in the show notes. We also chat about everything from idyllic Gold Coast childhoods to meeting Donald Trump, and from WAG life to the five love languages. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Miki Agrawal // The SHE-E-O shaking things up

Very lucky that today’s guest squeezed me in during her recent visit to Australia for the amazing Business Chicks event, 9 to Thrive, in Sydney a few weeks ago. Miki Agrawal is the true definition of a game changer taking on some of society’s most taboo and unglamorous areas of life and shifting the way we think about and experience them. Born in Montreal and moving to the US with her twin for college and then a corporate career in investment banking, she experienced a transformative turning point in her life after a sliding doors experience on 9/11 and decided that life was too short not to live your dreams so she left banking to pursue three of them – start a business, play sport professionally, work on a films. She excelled in all three of them, which you’ll hear about, and yet none of those pursuits are what really lit her trailblazing fire.

 

It is the business she co-founded in 2011, THINX, that may ring more of a bell and that really allowed her to create change where it is most needed developing anti-microbial, moisture-wicking, absorbent, and leak resistant underwear. If it weren’t challenge enough to make period pants exciting, her latest venture is TUSHY, shedding light on the outdatedness and expense of toilet paper and the superior hygiene, convenience and sustainability of bidets. She’s one of the most fascinating person I’ve spoken to and I was captivated by everything she had to say. There’s so much more I wanted to ask but she’s written several books so I’ll pop links to those at the end as I’m sure you’ll want more by then like I did!

 

 

Scott Henderson // Exercise, entrepreneurship and editing Men’s Health

You have probably seen (and heard in the last episode) about the latest issue of Women’s Health that I am SO grateful to have been included in – super chuffed and still pinching myself at the experience and my family has bought every copy within a 100km radius. The same day, the Men’s Health magazine hit the shelves and both magazines are Nic and my go-to sources for anything new or noteworthy in health/fitness and wellbeing. Men’s Health readers may have noticed things being shaken up a bit for the better in recent times and it’s mostly due to legendary editor, Scott Henderson, who has taken a more holistic approach to what constitutes fit and inspiring than what tradition has dictated since taking over the reigns quite by surprise. I was lucky enough to sneak him away when I was in the office to chat to him about his pathway to get there, his love of matcha and what an editor actually does and it was an absolute blast! Such an interesting journey that didn’t actually start in journalism and crosses both founder life and working up a corporate ladder. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Kat Stewart // Our fabulous favourite returns for Five Bedrooms

I’m sure I’m not alone in having been touched by this woman’s career at some point or another in one of the many stellar roles she has portrayed that have made her an Aussie household name. Kat Stewart is one of our most outstanding actresses winning many accolades for her talents including AACTA and the coveted Logie awards.

But as you’ll hear today, despite her immense gratitude for the recognition she has earned, she is the ultimate professional and passionately dedicated to the art form in both TV and theatre and I love her attitude of just putting her head down and getting the job done well. Extremely down to earth and originally from Bairnsdale where my own family is from, she was such a pleasure to chat to and I loved her honesty about not only the fun and glamorous moments but the very nitty gritty parts of forming an acting career.

You may recognise her as Roberta Williams in Underbelly or Billie Proudman in Offspring (with many TV and theatre roles in between) but what I’m so excited about is her new show Five Bedrooms on Channel 10. A comedy drama based on the disaster of buying property these days, it focuses on 5 different people who end up at the singles table at a wedding and eventually buy a house together with each episode narrated by a different character. At the time of recording, it was just before the first episode but at the time of publishing, TONIGHT is the first episode led by Kat’s character Liz. You’ll hear more about it in the episode and should absolutely tune in tonight (and all Wednesdays) at 8:40pm!

Tiff Hall // The beautiful, brainiac businesswoman with a black belt

So much thought goes into the guests you hear from with my main concern being the YAY their story can instil in you (whether founders or not and whether big profiles or not). Today’s guest is a perfect example – yes, she’s a founder and has a big profile but she is definitely not same same!

Tiff Hall is an exceptional human being in just about everything she turns her attention to – incredibly book smart but also infinitely creative, a master of several instruments, a linguist, a fitness expert with 20 years of experience, an elite athlete, an author, a TV personality, a businesswoman and a mother. While she sounds like the last person any of us can identify with, she comes from the humblest beginnings as a simple girl from Essendon growing up around the taekwondo centre her parents still own in Brunswick. And despite her incredible success since then, you’ll hear that her roots stay close to her heart.

While many would have taken on the reigns of the family business and felt more than accomplished, Tiff is one of the most motivating people for her appetite for challenge. With Taekwondo as her first love, she is not only a black belt but a 6th DAN black belt. She has 20 years of fitness experience that she has channelled into a role on Gladiators, The Biggest Loser and now into her own amazing online fitness program TiffXO and has also joined Chris Hemsworth’s team on the Centre App. I could keep going and giving it away now but you’ll hear it all in the episode so I hope you feel as motivated by this one as I do!

 

Rachel Kelly // Serial scaler and executive extraordinaire

So excited to introduce you guys to one of my unofficial mentors and role models, although I’m not sure she knows it. Rachel Kelly is one of the SMARTEST and most switched on businesswoman that I’ve been lucky to have met and while she is absolutely knee deep in business at all times, it hasn’t been by the founder route which I find really interesting. (You’ll hear in the intro a few words about showing variety of life paths on the show, as I know things have been a bit founder-biased mainly because of their flexibility of time to record. Just know, I’m working away in the background on keeping things broad and diverse and thank you for all your submissions for guests – the pipeline is super exciting!)

Rachel is a retail superstar having jumped from her own Red Earth franchise in Adelaide to climbing up the retail ladder and into executive mode in the Just Group to then taking the reigns as Global CEO of T2 and now looking after all of Sales at booming start up Afterpay. In between, she’s been an investor, start up advisor and executive mentor and is an absolute fountain of knowledge when it comes to helping complex businesses achieve growth, focus and longevity. I feel very lucky to have had her in my ear at some of the tougher times in our journey. She is an incredible leader and shares some incredible insights for any person owning, working on or in any business and I hope you gain some wisdom from our chat.

Megan Gale // Modelling, motherhood and mindfulness

I’m so excited to welcome one of my favourite Aussie icons to the show for this episode – positively pinching myself to have the stunning Megan Gale here today. After winning a modelling competition at 18 years old in her hometown of Perth, Megan has had a stellar career as a fashion icon and become a household name gracing the covers of many a glossy magazine both in Australia and overseas, holding the longest fashion contract in Australia with David Jones, and becoming an ambassador for L’Oreal joining the likes of Beyonce and J.Lo. But she’s not just a pretty face (and smoking hot body), Megan has also enjoyed success in film and TV including Getaway, Australia’s Next Top Model and Project Runway. If that weren’t enough, she started her own swimwear range, Isola, in 2010 AND has also conquered motherhood with two beautiful children River and Rosie to fiancé Shaun Hampson (who is actually an old friend of mine!)

For many, that would be more than enough to feel deserving of putting up the feet but Megan has added another incredible project to her repertoire. This May, she debuts Mindful Life, a conscious children’s skincare collection that’s been 5 years in the making. Made in Australia from ethically sourced, cruelty-free and naturally derived ingredients, the range is designed to nurture the relationship between parent and child and encourage presence in an endlessly busy world of stimulation and time paucity. I’m honoured to have her on the show to tell us a bit about the brand and the story that led her to this moment.

Erin Deering // The untangle from Triangl

I know I always say each guest has an amazing story, but it’s because they’re all so interesting in such different ways. I’m so excited to have the amazing Erin Deering on the show today, co-founder of global swimwear giant, Triangl, which you’ll hear she has now exited but which is still very close to her heart.

Hers is a fascinating story of going from eating tin soup to get the business off the ground to becoming a multimillionaire in less than a year and getting her swimwear onto the hottest bodies in the world including Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus and the rollercoaster that you can only expect came with it. We cover so many topics from having two children and dealing with her separation, the challenge of losing yourself in the scale up process of a booming business, eating disorders and control, the interaction between money and happiness and the process of learning to treat yourself with kindness.

I’m so honoured that she spoke so openly about the challenges and journey along the way, and hope you enjoy getting to know her a little more.

Angelena Roan // ChANGing the game

I finally convinced the mysterious Ang (spelling debated in the episode haha) to come on the show and tell her story. I’ve had so many requests to hear from Ang so here she is in all her hilarious glory. While we have heard from many incredible guests who are well on their way to seizing their yay, Ang is just 22 and at the very beginning of her journey so I thought it would make for something a little different to have a younger guest on the show. Having said that, she has nonetheless squeezed more into her life than people decades older than her which is part of what makes her so interesting.

 

While she is studying physio at uni and loves all things science and anatomy, she has also built and recently sold her own food truck business, created a solo charity ride from Adelaide to Melbourne covering 800km on her bicycle to raise $22,000 for Stand Up Events combating homophobia and discrimination, started boxing from scratch and trained for her first fight where she won by technical knock out after just 1 and a half rounds, tried out for fun but successfully been listed in the VFLW for this year, worked across many different businesses and industries now going freelance in creative and digital marketing and that’s just half of it. You can see why she’s such a motivating and life loving person to be around.

 

While we met through our businesses, she is one of our closest friends and a human ray of sunshine. You can tell we get a bit off track from time to time probably forgetting we were recording and not just chatting between mates, but hopefully you enjoy nonetheless.

 

Pippa Hallas // Boldness, beauty and building the Ella Baché brand

After the week full of public holidays, got some motivation to kick start you all again in the form of Pippa Hallas – CEO of one of the oldest and most beloved beauty brands in the world, Ella Baché. Created in Paris in 1936, the brand was founded by Madam Baché who defied her times as a powerful and pioneering woman leaving Czechoslovakia after being denied a place in medicine at university due to her gender.

Decades later and after a long break without a family member in the business, Pippa stepped into her great aunt’s shoes (yes, she is Madam Baché’s great niece_ and climbed her way up to the position of CEO of the business which she now holds today. Her book, Bold Moves, is an amazing collection of her learnings along the way, but I’m so excited to be able to share some of those here today with you!

Jessica Sepel // Undieting and getting healthy for life with JSHealth

I feel very lucky to have connected with this episode’s guest very early on in the Matcha Maiden journey and to have gone from insta friends to a real-life mutual love fest in the process. As one of the pioneering leaders of the wellness world, starting out before Instagram even existed, Jess Sepel has built her personal blog into a multi-faceted booming business changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of the members of her highly engaged, loyal and nurturing JSHealth community.

Jess was just 14 when she developed an eating disorder as she grappled with her new environment after moving from South Africa to Australia and I’m so grateful for how openly she shares her struggles and the process of healing in this episode. Having been confronted with how far she had strayed from looking after herself during her studies in Health Science at Macquarie and later nutritional medicine, Jess has since devoted herself to helping others nurture positive relationships with nutrition, exercise and themselves and has now written several books, developed an 8-week transformative program, has an incredible App, has built a hugely successful range of JSHealth Vitamins and continues to innovate to help us be our best selves.

Her honesty and self-awareness is incredibly refreshing and I have long since admired Jess as a role model, business woman and huge supporter of other women in business. It was SUCH a pleasure to spend this hour with her and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Pana Barbounis // The global chocolate pana-demic

This episode’s guest is a beloved household name, although you’re likely to know the brand more than you do the person, which is why I’m even more excited to share his story. Despite what might be the busiest time of year for him in the lead up to Easter, Pana Barbounis made time to share the story of founding the eponymous Pana Chocolate now rebranded as Pana Organic and growing it from a solo operation with him delivering on his Vespa to the multimillion dollar business it is today sold in 25 countries around the world.

I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with Pana in his Richmond HQ several times over the course of our business journeys in the wellness industry and the smells from the kitchen are unrivalled as is his cheer and energy. Pana’s trail blazing rich and luxurious chocolate is unmistakable and while it is free from dairy, gluten, refined sugar and soy it is celebrated by health nuts and average joes alike, the flavour belying its healthful and sustainable origins.

While most of you will have heard of the brand that has a following of 100s of thousands of loyal fans all over the world, Pana is perhaps less known so I loved hearing more about who is he especially when he isn’t the king of chocolate. You’ll have to excuse a few sounds from the bustling streets of Richmond – adds to the ambiance!

Zara McDonald & Michelle Andrews // The podcasters for smart women who love dumb stuff

If you haven’t heard of the Shameless podcast yet, I’m SO delighted to be able to give you the best podcast recommendation you might ever get. Being the podcast for smart women who like dumb stuff, Shameless speaks to a special piece of my soul and turns out hundreds of thousands of others agree getting a weekly intellectual and highly entertaining spin on pop culture from the amazing Zara McDonald and Michelle Andrews.
 
Created in 2018 while in their early 20s working together at Mamamia, this dynamic duo now podcast full time and have grown Shameless to 1.4 million downloads in its first year, being named in Apple’s best of 2018 list, and selling out 700 live show tickets in 24 hours which happened just last week. So chances are if you’re listening to this, you’ve probably also listened to Shameless but you might NOT have heard from Zara and Michelle about their lives PRE shameless and all the behind the scenes which, as you know, is my favourite part of Seize the Yay. And even if you haven’t heard of them, there’s a reason their banter has gone viral so I’m guessing you’ll enjoy the chats regardless.
 

The dirty thirty episode

The immediate post-30th brain explosion diaries. Thank you so much for submitting your questions, I’ve tried to answer all of them as honestly and spontaneously as possible so hopefully the rambling isn’t too much!!!!! SO many feels!!!!

Dr Elise Bialylew // World Happiness Day with the happiness doctor

Today is International Happiness Day so the perfect opportunity to release a new episode looking a little deeper at seizing the yay. I’m so excited to have Dr Elise Bialylew as our guest for the occasion, a doctor and psychiatrist turned coach, meditation teacher and social entrepreneur AND founder of Mindful in May as well as author of The Happiness Plan. Just a few things on her plate and yet she juggles them so well! Having also considered everything from life as a jazz pianist to running a chocolate making business and from graphic design to documentary filmmaking along the way, she is another reassuring example that the path to yay is NOT linear and that happiness is definitely a journey not a destination.

Just one year out from finishing psychiatry, she made the big jump on her way to yay to go full time on Mindful in May – a global campaign that teaches participants how to meditate through daily video interviews with world leading mindfulness teachers and audio guided meditations. So far the initiative has not only taught over 30,000 people to meditate, it has also raised over $600,000 for Charity Water and in doing so helped over 12,000 people get access to clean water. Her book is also an amazing resource for achieving a lifetime of happiness and I’m so excited to share some of the highlights with you today.

Daniel Flynn // Thankyou, next!

This guest is possibly one of the best speakers I’ve ever heard and I’m so excited to have him on the show as we have been following each other’s stories for a few years now. You’ve probably heard of the amazing Thankyou, but in case you haven’t, it’s a trailblazing social enterprise that commits 100% of their profits to helping end global poverty and Daniel Flynn is a co-founder and Managing Director.
 
Starting the business as Thankyou Water at just 19 years old with his now wife (but then girlfriend) Justine and best friend Jarryd, they revolutionised an already saturated industry allowing consumers to make a positive impact with their choices of bottled water directing profits towards funding water projects in developing nations. Over 10 years later, they have over 55 products in over 5500 outlets including Coles and Woolworths after a spectacular campaign you will hear more about and are about to enter a new chapter.
 
Daniel has also written his own book to help fund the business, Chapter One, with a pay what you want price-tag and printed in landscape exemplifying his defining tendency to ask “but what if it works?” And, what better timing to sit down with this amazing human to hear his story then at the beginning of their National Shower for Good Day Campaign this week that you’ll hear more about in the episode.

Jane Lu // The Lazy CEO and her LMBDWs

I hope you all enjoyed last week’s double drop of episodes – wish I could release two episodes every week! This week has been a beautiful celebration of women for International Women’s Day 2019 – I’m not sure if just it’s me, but I feel like it’s been the biggest one yet with so many campaigns and outpourings of love going around. So, today I’m celebrating just one of the many incredible women who I am so lucky to have in my life who is doing a particularly amazing job at connecting women in business and supporting their journeys as well as being a hugely successful female CEO and founder herself.

Some of you may now her as The Lazy CEO but her name is Jane Lu and she’s the founder of booming international fashion business, Showpo. You’ll hear all about her going from a corporate accounting career to a failed business to starting Showpo in her parent’s garage and turning it into a multimillion dollar empire (that has hit over $30 million per year) with a string of awards far too many to list that acknowledge their game-changing success.

She’s also founded Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine (LMBDW) where she was speaking the night before our podcast and has a bit of a cold/hangover as a result, so she asked us to excuse the croaky-ness although I though it was husky. She’s helping women everywhere connect and support each other on their business journey. She’s such an absolute crack up, so I hope you enjoy!

Khanh Ong // Seize the Gay

Back again already, beautiful people! Thought I’d squeeze in a bonus episode this week to celebrate MARDI GRAS, so this is the very first SEIZE THE GAY with my dear friend Khanh Ong. You may have already seen his stellar performance in last year’s season of Masterchef making it to the top 3 with his incredible innovation and culinary flair. But whether or not you watched the show, there are so many more dimensions to this wonderful human and I wanted to share some more of his inspiring and multifaceted story.

Born in an Indonesian refugee camp and emigrating with his Vietnamese family in the 1990s, Khanh has come out of the closet twice, had careers in fashion design, styling and music (DJ-ing for the likes of Justin Bieber) before cooking was even on the cards and even did a stint in London before the age of 20. He is another wonderful example that finding your yay isn’t a straightforward, smooth ride and takes tenacity, resilience and self-exploration. But he’s finally getting there seizing his newfound career in food with both hands recently launching his new venue, The George on Collins with many more exciting projects to come. Like episode 23 with Georgia and Lee, this is a beautiful mix of audio-blowing laughter and the more serious tear-jerking reflections so I hope you enjoy the rollercoaster as much as I did.

Georgia Love and Lee Elliott // The punniest threeYAY chat with the dreamiest duo in town

I am SO excited to share our first couples episode with two of THE best human beings going around. You can probably tell from the snippet that we had an absolute blast, which is always the case where Georgia Love and Lee Elliott are concerned. There are so many wonderful things about these two both separately and together, but one of my favourites for Seize the Yay purposes is that neither of them found their joy in the ever so trendy entrepreneur pathway and in fact both have long-term successful and very happy careers in their respective fields, showing that you can find joy within an industry you love. Another thing I love is that while many of you will know them from the Bachelorette, I didn’t spend much time on that experience (despite it being a beautiful and obviously enduring love story), because they both were already incredibly accomplished BEFORE that and so much of their stories predates the show.

Georgia was not only in TV before the show, but a primetime news anchor before she even turned thirty and well before Batchie and Lee has been a very happy mechanical plumber for 17 years AND his modelling career starting well before then including taking out the Victorian and Tasmanian title in Australia’s Hottest Tradie competition in 2011!!! Plus, they have remained incredibly humble, down to earth and adorably dorky and I am so grateful to have them on the show. I hope you have as many laughs as I did and that this brings you a smile if nothing else! Side note for context – they had been to see Eminem the night before this show – watch out for the RIPPER puns along the way.

Justin Dry // When you mull over a grape idea and you decant be stopped

This episode took a little longer to get to you than usual but, like a fine wine, all good things take time! Today’s guest is an amazing entrepreneur, investor, public speaker, co-founder and CEO of Vinomofo – the legend Justin Dry.

Like many good ideas, Justin started Vinomofo with his brother in law at the time over a shared belief that wine should not be about “bowties and bullshit”. On Christmas Eve 2006, they decided to start a business together which led to several further wine related businesses that ultimately ended up in the creation of Vinomofo in 2011. Vinomofo now operates in Australia, NZ and Singapore where it has grown quickly to over $50m in annual revenue, 500,000 members (or “mofos”), and a team of 100. Their incredible success has been recognised by a host of accolades include Online Retailer of the Year 2015 at the ORIA’s, Telstra Victorian Business of the Year in 2016, and Hottest Aussie Online Retailer in 2018. Justin himself has been Awarded Spotify Young Entrepreneur of the Year at The Australian Startup Awards is a BRW Young Rich Lister and has been named one of the Top 50 People in E-Commerce 2016, 2017 and 2018 by Internet Retailing.

I loved hearing how his love for wine and business have persisted throughout his life and his vision has gone through multiple iterations before he landed at “the one”. Plus, as you’ll hear we had a good cackle, so it was a seriously enjoyable chat and I hope you love it too!

Justine Bloome // The high-flying all rounder on being a business founder, corporate executive and side hustler

For this episode, we’re joined by another intrapreneur but one who also has her own side hustle and can speak to both sides of the yay-type fence. Justine Bloome is an absolute powerhouse and fellow Aussie but now lives in the big apple (as you may hear every now and then in her slightly New York accent) doing incredible things in the world of digital marketing and tech.

She has an incredible CV to her name and is currently right hand woman to Gary Vaynerchuk aka Gary Vee and the first Chief Strategy Officer of VaynerMedia since 2017 (aka dream job). I’m assuming you’ve heard of Gary Vee but if not, he’s an investor in Facebook, Snapchat, Venmo and Uber and CEO of Vayner Media and VaynerX – just come out from the rock you’ve been living under and google him. Prior to that, Justine served as executive vice president, head of strategy innovation at #1 Global Media Network, Carat, from December of 2014. Before her move to the Big Apple, she was a senior brand strategist consultant for The Brand Institute of Australia, head of client strategy for the Victoria region for Nine Entertainment and business strategist at Jack Morton Worldwide, as well as founding and serving as CEO of The Village Agency, “a network of independently successful marketing and communications experts.”

If that weren’t enough, Justine is also the founder, author and publisher of the Mindful Series, and a transformation coach, empowering mindful professionals and wellbeing brands to thrive. Across two decades as a strategist inside frenetic media, advertising and agency environments in Australia, London and New York, she developed her approach to mindfulness and reflection as a means to unlocking her best potential and self. She’s a sought after speaker delivering TED Talks, speaking at Walt Disney’s Media Summit and many more.

Michelle Battersby // From boatsheds to banking to Bumble Australia… meet the Queen of the Aussie Beehive

The first intrapreneur of the year literally landed her dream job two years ago and hasn’t looked back. Michelle Battersby is an amazing example of how you can leave corporate but not necessarily to start your own business (although, technically as you’ll hear, she did kind of start from scratch). Michelle started out as a competitive rower with her heart set on the Olympics but ended up studying Arts and then a Masters in HR once she realised how much she was sacrificing for her training. She entered the workforce with Citibank and spent several years climbing the corporate ladder in banking getting a job at UBS, returning to Citi and then even ending up at PWC.

But, it’s her latest role as Country Lead and Marketing Director of Bumble Australia that changed her life completely when the opportunity landed in her lop just over two years ago. With no former experience but an intuitive belief that this was her opportunity of a lifetime, she quit her job that day and has been building Bumble Australia into the wonderful community it is today. It’s not just a dating app, there’s also Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz, all based on the premise that the woman makes the first move which is ground breaking in the industry. She’s an absolute HOOT and I’m so happy to have her here on the show to show that dream jobs really do exist!

 

Eleanor Pendleton // The nitty gritty of founding Gritty Pretty

I flew to Sydney last week to chat with one of the most tenacious, well-rounded and motivating young women, Eleanor Pendleton, and we got along like a house on fire. Eleanor is the founder of Australia’s first dedicated online beauty magazine, Gritty Pretty, known for its pioneering beauty without the bullshit coverage of the industry.

I LOVE her story so much not least because unlike many of us who still don’t really know where we’re heading, Eleanor has always known she wanted to end up in magazines and beauty and wasted no time getting there. She entered the workforce at 19 having landed a job at Cosmopolitan halfway through her qualification, under Sarah Wilson and under the mentorship of Zoe Foster Blake. She then became the youngest beauty editor Australia has seen for FAMOUS magazine when she was just 20 and the moved on to the more global In Style magazine where she found her dream job.

But her insatiable thirst for growth and challenge soon had her itching for more, so she resigned and revived her old blog Gritty Pretty, which is now four years into an incredibly successful journey. So excited to share our chat from the beautiful Freshwater on the Northern beaches.

Nic Davidson // My seriously smart, silly, sport-loving, serial entrepreneur of a fiancé

So, it finally happened. We convinced Nic, my partner in life, business and golden retriever parenthood into coming onto the show. I know a few of you have been eagerly waiting to hear this one and I’m always surprised to hear when people say Nic’s quiet or mysterious but then I remember he’s actually quite shy (which to some of our closer friends is laughable as he’s the OPPOSITE once you get to know him). When I think about how he probably comes across in my stories or in take 527 of a photo together, you probably don’t see much of who he really is or how we are as a couple so I’m excited to share what I think is one of the most inspiring ways to yay so far. One of the things I love about him most is that there are so many dimensions to his personality, but if you only know one of them then you’ll meet a few of the others in today’s episode! And perhaps I’m a bit the same – we’re both equal parts nerdburger and arty farty” as I always say which is why we’re 10 years in and getting married later this year!

As for his bio which I’ve had to write many a time, it still astounds me all the things he’s managed to squeeze into his 34 years. I don’t think he gives himself enough credit for most parts of the story, so I’ve tried to weasel some of it out of him. Starting off as a country boy in outer Devonport, Tasmania, Nic’s a serial entrepreneur and often laughs at how he’s never actually had a real job. His first career was as an international athlete which took him all over the world and, as mentioned in Jana’s episode, he was Jana Pittman’s training partner on his own Olympic journey until ongoing injury stopped his career short. On returning to Melbourne, he was poached from his retail job into the night club scene where he really cut his business teeth building Baroq House into its glory days and let me queue jump which is the romantic story of how we met. While there was definitely a lot of partying, he and his team started to develop their own marketing and design skills to take things in-house, which eventually morphed into his current full service digital agency, the Bushy Creative.

His self-teaching and inner dork has gone to such lengths that Nic’s tech skills ventured even as far software development and he’s had two full scale tech spin offs that he talks about in the episode. He’s also got an aerial asset capture business taking photos out of helicopters and that’s all before Matcha Maiden or Matcha Mylkbar were even a dot on the horizon. So sometimes, he’s a very serious tech head businessman but most of the time he’s a serial joker – life is NEVER boring when Nic’s around. He’s the sole reason I was able to leave law for my funtrepreneur life and turned this regimented, conservative lawyer into a crazy adventurer. His abs aren’t bad either, as you’ve probably noticed. This was the hardest episode I’ve done so far as I’m way too close to be objective so hopefully I’ve done him justice! Introducing, Nic Davidson…

Janine Allis // From sailing with the stars to smoothies and startups

In this episode, we are joined by one of my business idols, the amazing Janine Allis, who many of you will know as the founder of pioneering wellness empire, Boost Juice, and an investor on Shark Tank. She launched Boost in 2000 from a kitchen table in Melbourne after seeing the juice bar trend in the US at the age of 30, with no previous business experience.

She is now the founder of Retail Zoo which is the mother company not only of Boost Juice, but also, as of 2007, Salsas and another business she founded, Cibo Espresso, which has since been acquired in 2012. Retail Zoo turned over just on $2 billion dollars (as of May 2018) with over 630 stores in 15 countries, sales of over $250m per annum and 7000 staff.

Unsurprisingly, she has been recognised as Telstra Business Women of the Year, Amex Retailer of the year, Awarded Exporter of the year and this year BRW named her one of fifteen people that changed the way Australia does business in the last 35 years. She works alongside husband Jeff Allis and is a mother of four. I was lucky enough to speak alongside Janine recently in Fiji at Nurture Her and was captivated by her energy, sense of humour and wisdom. So excited to have her hear today for an express episode that we squeezed in to her crazy schedule to kick start your year and give 2019 a boost!

Jana Pittman // From hurdles to Huggies to her Hippocratic Oath

Our first guest for 2019 couldn’t be a more perfect inspiration to kickstart a new year. Jana Pittman is an iconic Australian athlete who not only represented the country at three Olympic Games, but was also the first female athlete to compete in both the Summer and Winter Olympic games. She’s a 2 x world champion and 4 x Commonwealth champion PLUS, when injury cut her hurdling career short, she pivoted to bobsled to compete in the Winter Olympics landing in the top 15. And the best bit? Her athletics career was only the warm up…

If Jana didn’t already have you in awe, she is also a Mum of three, author of Just Another Hurdle, motivational speaker and… wait for it… FUTURE DOCTOR currently undergoing her studies in Medicine. She will graduate with several different degrees (likely top of her class the way things are going) and is doing her Masters and Honours in different things at the same time while also undergoing charity work with various organisations including the Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation. Her incredible achievements are too many to list and I can only imagine that her motivation and drive will continue to shine through in her medical career.

Fun fact – Nic was her training partner way back and a groomsman at her wedding and I’m so lucky to have known the absolute powerhouse that is Jana Pittman for quite a few years now!!

Steph Claire Smith & Laura Henshaw // KIC'ing goals (and getting engaged!)

This one's been a little delayed after a technical glitch destroyed our first recording, but the second time around was even bigger and better PLUS conveniently timed after both Steph and Laura's partners proposed!!!!!! If you haven't heard of this dynamic duo, Steph and Laura are passionate advocates for instilling confidence in young women and are helping thousands of girls around the world with their business, Keep It Cleaner, that has a fitness and nutrition app, a delicious grocery range, an inspiring blog and community events throughout the year.

Both starting out as successful international models, Steph and Laura have openly shared their experiences and challenges in the modelling industry, finding body confidence, navigating their relationship with food and building resilience to inspire other young women on their journey. If that weren't enough, Steph also co-owns Soda Shades and Midnight Co as well as continuing her career as a sought after model and brand ambassador for the likes of Bondi Sands, Bras N Things, and more leveraging her 1 million+ followers. Laura is also completing her Law/Business degree (just casually) and has ambassadorships of her own, particularly as face of Jaggad.

Still only in their early 20s, they have both been incredibly smart about their success and also own houses and, as mentioned, are now planning for their weddings! They've also just released their first book, A Girl's Guide to Kicking Goals, which shows how down to earth and real they both are and shares such important messages about confidence, positivity and balance. LOVED chatting with these two so much that we went over an hour and a half, so consider it a little festive bonus!

Elyse Knowles // Campaigns, catwalks, construction and camping… The true blue Aussie model who loves to get her hands dirty

Today’s guest is not only one of the most breathtakingly stunning people I’ve ever met, but also one of the hardest working, motivated and down to earth despite her many successes. While many of you will know Elyse Knowles as a leading Australian model and winner of the Block in 2017 with her legend of a partner, Josh, we’ve known Knowlzy since years before that and she’s as humble, outdoorsy and unpretentious now as she always has been.

Among a string of impressive achievements in just 26 short years, Elyse is an ambassador for Myer, Seafolly, Aveda, Davidoff and Vital Everyday as well as a charity ambassador for WaterAid. She is also a savvy business woman launching her own fashion label, Evrryday, and she and Josh are continuing as a killer renovation duo having recently moved into their second home after selling their completely transformed Coburg home in November last year.

If you follow Elyse along with nearly a million other people, you’ll know she can do full glamour better than most but prefers to go make up free by the Murray and loves camping, cleaning up the local beaches, motorbikes and her fur babies, Isla and Harlow. To top it all off she has just released her first beautiful book, From Me to You, sharing her story, challenges and top tips on beauty, fashion, health and fitness. So excited to have her here to chat more about the book and how she seizes her yay!

Dany Milham // The ultimate tech-based disruptor saving our time, sleep and koalas

I know they say you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but Dany Milham has shown that reinvention can be an incredible platform for success. Dany and co-founder Mitch Taylor have reinvented the mattress with their booming business, Koala, which has skyrocketed to a multimillion-dollar empire and disrupted an age-old industry. If you’re the 7 people in Australia who haven’t seen their ads yet, they developed their own foam that prevents you from feeling your partner’s movements in bed, the mattresses can be shipped to anywhere in Australia in 4 hours and are now the highest reviewed mattresses in Australia.

Starting with just a mattress, the vision for Koala was always a furniture brand with tool-less 5 min assembly furniture delivered in 4 hours and they have an exciting, innovative pipeline of furniture products ahead. They are also a social good business in that they adopt koalas for every mattress sold and turtles for every sofa they sell with conservation project around Australia.

While some grow into their entrepreneurial selves, Dany has always had a business brain. Born in laid-back Byron, he swapped the boardies and surf life for computers and tech, finding his love for tech and business as young as 13 years old when he founded his first startup. He has also launched a successful app, his own digital agency, has a computer science degree and was poached by prestigious agency, Ogilvy, before his Koala journey. And this was all by the age of 25!!! What an absolute legend, so excited to have him here to pick his brains!

Danny Kennedy // Fitness, food and flexibility

You may have seen a couple of weeks ago that I joined legend Danny Kennedy on his own chart-topping podcast, The Fitness And Lifestyle Podcast, and if you’ve ever listened to it before you’ll know he is a FOUNTAIN of knowledge giving people a fresh, simple approach to wellbeing and fitness and helping them achieve incredible results. In a few short weeks, he’s already helped me enormously and if you watch my stories you’ll see I’ve doubled the weight I’m lifting already, so I figured especially as we enter Summer and the silly season of splurges is upon us, we’d get him on to share some of his wisdom.

He’s a certified strength and conditioning coach with a cert ¾ in fitness and diploma in sport and management and is all about flexibility and sustainability when it comes to workouts and nutrition. With a background in many different sports, injury led him to try his hand on stage as a men’s physique athlete which helped him develop his expansive knowledge on healthy weight control, leaning up and building strength. He’s also the trainer for Keep it Cleaner alongside the amazing Steph Claire Smith and Laura Henshaw along with many other big names in the community which is a testament to his talents. So excited to have him on the show to share some of his top tips and how he seizes his yay.

Emma Isaacs // Winging it as a wonderwoman

In most cases, being a mother of five is an all-consuming role in itself but Emma Isaacs isn’t your average woman. Running her own show since the tender age of 18, Emma is the definition of business woman and is now the founder and global CEO of Business Chicks – Australia’s largest networking community for women that has now also entered the US market where Emma and her family now live.

Emma bought Business Chicks at only 250 members after seven years of running her own successful recruitment company (which followed her dropping out of her business degree as it wasn’t moving fast enough) and has now grown it to its present glory running 100 events annually, publishing a magazine called Latte, and bringing the likes of Kate Hudson, Richard Branson, Seth Goden and Nigella Lawson to her audience. She has also just published her first book, Winging It, documenting the process with a refreshingly honest and practical approach and I’m delighted to have her on the show.

There were a couple of technical glitches but we got there in the end and you can enjoy a bit of typical LA background beats along the way…

Kayla Itsines // Fitness, fame and family first and foremost

We’ve had some incredible guests so far and I’ve said before that I feel like I’m running out of positive adjectives to do them all justice! But Kayla Itsines is truly one of the world’s most inspiring and influential leaders and very special to me as she topped off the “dream guest list” when I first started the podcast.

Kayla doesn’t really need an introduction having fast become a worldwide household name through her life changing Bikini Body Guides, but just to recap quickly, she is an Adelaide born personal trainer, author and entrepreneur who has educated and encouraged millions of women around the world to improve their health and fitness. Her 28 minute workouts have revolutionised the fitness world, focusing on strength and confidence through both training and recipes. She has also released an incredible meal planning and workout app, Sweat, founded by her fiancé Tobi (also featuring leading trainers Kelsey Wells and Sjana Elise) and at just 26 she has created the world’s biggest female fitness community with over 10 million followers on Instagram and 23 million on Facebook!

Her success has been recognised with many accolades including Time Magazine’s 30 most influential people alongside Kanye West, Cosmo Woman of the Year, and the BRW Young Rich List. More importantly, Kayla is incredibly down to earth and endearingly family focused embracing her Greek heritage and always making time for her relationship, her relatives and her huskies, Ace and Junior. While most of us are well acquainted with Kayla’s work and her online persona, I am SO excited to share a snippet of the beautiful human behind the scenes.

Barney & Kada Miller // Resilience, recovery and redefining happiness

This is our first duo interview with two incredible people both in their own right and as a couple. Few people have faced the adversity and challenge that Barney and Kada Miller have endured, again, both separately and together and even fewer have come through it with such positive energy and resilience. They have taught me so much about visualisation, the power of your thoughts over your body, and the strength of your human spirit. I am so excited to share their story of seizing their yay.

I won’t reveal too much here because the episode covers a lot of the story, but for some quick context Kada’s happy country NSW childhood was shaken with several tragedies of suicide and accidental deaths among her friends leading to a downwards spiral of bad decisions and habits. Barny was a promising young surfer also in country NSW looking to go pro when he was a passenger in a terrible car accident and was told he would never breathe independently or use his legs again. Ever stubborn, Barney refused to be defined by his quadriplegic diagnosis and has since made leaps and bounds in regaining mobility and even become a world champion adaptive surfer.

I’ll let them inspire you with their grit, determination and beautiful love story that followed ending in Barney even standing to dance at their wedding. They also have a documentary, You & Me, and a book, The Essence of You & Me, that I cannot recommend more highly (with a box of tissues nearby) and I’m so excited to have them join us from California where Barney is working with world leaders on his rehab.

Agapi Stassinopoulos // Waking up to the joy of you

Agapi is one of the most effervescent and energising people I’ve ever met and a true Greek Goddess, born and raised in Athens with her sister, Arianna Huffington, founder of Huffington Post. Given her jam-packed schedule, this is an “express episode” that we squeezed in during our amazing Nurture Her immersive retreat in Fiji, but to get even half an hour one on one with her is a blessing.

She is a powerhouse of wisdom and love and I can’t say this short chat really captures her true essence, sense of humour and energy so consider it a taster that you can find out more about in her latest book, Wake Up to the Joy of You: 52 Meditations and Practices for a Calmer, Happier Life. As even Agapi mentions, to tell the full story would involve a Greek odyssey along the lines of Homer and the Iliad!! Taking a different pathway to her older sister, Arianna left Greece for London to study acting with her heart set on Hollywood. One of my favourite quotes from her is that everything good in her life now is the result of not getting what she thought she wanted.

When her acting career didn’t take off, she began a soul-searching journey leading her to receive her master’s degree in psychology from the University of Santa Monica and go on to become a world-renowned speaker, best-selling author and spiritual leader whose meditations are among my very favourite. She’s even very kindly included a bonus meditation at the end of this episode about finding the joy of you. She is currently conducting workshops for Thrive Global, another company founded by Arianna, to help change the way we work and live. She divides her time between New York and Los Angeles and is one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met. I’ll include links to all her books, meditations and other resources in the show notes and hopefully this short half an hour gives you some insight into her vibrancy and wisdom.

Tim Robards // Sports, science, screenplays and starting TRM

In this episode, we welcome our second male guest to the show, Tim Robards (another Bachelor connection, but I promise that’s not the criteria for all guests!) What I love about Tim is that while he was indeed the FIRST ever Australian Bachelor (and the first marriage to come out of the show with the beautiful Anna Heinrich), he is far more than just a pretty face.

As a sports chiropractor by trade, Tim has degrees in physics and medical science as well as a masters of Chiropractic. He is also a wellness educator through his program, the Robards Method, which we’ll chat about in the episode and now an ACTOR making his debut on Neighbours as Pierce Greyson earlier this year. If that weren’t enough he’s also moved into producing through Robards Productions, is a pianist, and has a more woo woo side than you might expect. Introducing the multifaceted legend, Mr Tim Robards…

Julie Stevanja // Fashion, fitness and founding an activewear empire

While I’ve mentioned I don’t want Seize the Yay to be about just business, health and women, I couldn’t help but showcase another incredible female founder and CEO in the wellness space, Julie Stevanja, who I am also lucky to call my friend. Like Lisa and Rach, I met Julie at my first major speaking gig a few years ago and am continually in awe of how stylish, successful and savvy she is! She is CEO of one of my favourite online retailers, Stylerunner, which grew by 1736% to a multimillion dollar company value in the first three years. The website ships to 100 countries around the world and stocks more than 50 brands, including their own label Flight Mode which I absolutely adore. 

She is the epitome of style, somehow integrating Activewear into street style in a way that very few others could pull off. At that very first speaking gig when I was super nervous, she told me she was a closet introvert and gave me a quick schooling on the psychology of power posing and I’ve never forgotten it. So glad to have her on the podcast to share some of her many other pearls of wisdom. And since the sun was shining on this beautiful day we recorded outside so the birds provide some beautiful ambiance but you’ll have to excuse an airplane or two!

Osher Günsberg // Back, after the break

I’ve been pretty blown away by ALL our guests so far, but I’m truly in awe of this one. I am so grateful to have the legendary Osher Günsberg (aka Andy G, Spidey, Batchie host, etc.) on the show to chat about his new book, Back, After the Break, the accompanying live show, and the heart wrenching story that both tell more candidly than most would expect.

Starting with the more conventional story, there aren’t many Aussies who have had a more successful TV and radio career starting with Channel V, through to Australian Idol and now Australia’s favourite The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise. Osher also has an incredible podcast of his own, the Osher Günsberg Podcast, lots of other highly sought after gigs, a family and now of course a book deal.

But what the book has revealed is the tumultuous battle with mental illness and addiction that lies under the effervescent and charismatic demeanour of Osher’s TV persona. From his name change, to rehab, to going plant-based, to becoming a father, it’s a moving and honest memoir that sheds light on the unfortunately still stigmatised issue of mental health and goes a long way to breaking that down. It’s an inspiring example though of how you can find your yay again and I’m so grateful to have had him share so openly and generously in this episode.

It’s a little longer than usual and I could have gone for hours longer, but it’s a ripper with lots of laughs, almost tears, dog woofs and cameo appearances from Nic too. I was so worried about doing his story justice and I hope it’s gone some way to doing that and showing a VERY different perspective of seizing the yay….

Rachael Finch // Body, brains and babies

I know I said this wouldn’t just be about business, health and women (and the coming episodes ensure that) but I am just so lucky to have some incredible business women in wellness around me and Rachael Finch is one of my all-time favourites. This was actually the very first episode I recorded and I couldn’t have picked a more down-to-earth yay-type personality (see what I did there?) than the beautiful Rach to kick us off.

We met when she was MC at my first major speaking gig a few years ago, so she’s talked me through the newbie jitters more than once. She’s not only more beautiful in real life than in photos or social media, but also the warmest, kindest and humble person despite a hugely successful career under her belt. From Miss Universe to business to motherhood, Rach shares her highs, lows and in betweens candidly and with lots of laughs in between.

With legs starting at my shoulders, she is not only a stunning model but also a TV presenter, qualified PT, health coach, published author, savvy business woman with Bod by Finch Activewear and Body by Finch online health and fitness program to her name, she’s also a mother to two beautiful children –  a modern Wonderwoman, right?

Kristina Karlsson // Your dream life starts here

So excited to host another incredible woman who epitomises the “seize the yay” life philosophy, and who shares my great love for motivational quotes and beautiful stationery. Joining us from her motherland in Sweden, our second guest is Kristina Karlsson, founder of my favourite stationery brand, Kikki K.

I was lucky enough to meet Kristina in her Melbourne home (although it would have been lovely to visit the one in Sweden) on International Women’s Day for fika (a Swedish coffee and cake break) and she truly lives and breathes her brand in everything she does. She is insatiably curious and the ultimate dreamer, which she has captured in beautiful Swedish style in her new (and first) book, Your Dream Life Starts Here.

Her philosophy on dreaming is fascinating and the book is filled with practical tips, anecdotes from her impressive network and insights from her own inspiring journey behind the scenes of one of our most beloved Aussie brands. She is celebrating the book release with a series of Dream Life Masterclasses too along with Dr Tererai Trent (Oprah’s favourite guest) and an amazing line up. Details shared below in the show notes. Hope you enjoy our chat!

Lisa Messenger // Losing it all and loving it

What a fabulous person to kickstart the podcast – the woman who not only epitomises the “seize the yay” life philosophy, but who has dedicated her life to helping others do the same. Yep, our first guest is, Lisa Messenger – CEO of Messenger Group, founder of globally acclaimed Collective Magazine, prolific author, inspiring speaker and all-round legend.

When I met her a few years ago, I was completely taken aback by her uncensored, down to earth and crazily passionate nature belying the seriously successful CEO that she is on paper. She hasn’t changed one bit and is all the more inspiring for her openness and authenticity. Her latest book, Risk and Resilience, shares in surprising detail the nitty gritty of her rollercoaster closure of the much-loved Collective Magazine and we caught up to chat a bit more about why the biggest loss in her career has turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

If there’s anything I wanted for Seize the Yay, it’s to show some of the less glamorous behind the scenes of finding your “yay” and explore the ups and downs of creating a life you love. Lisa has gotten us off to an amazing start, showing the importance of pivoting, cultivating resilience and finding the silver lining.

Sarah Holloway // Welcome to Seize the Yay

The very first episode of the Seize the Yay podcast giving some context to who I am and what this is all about. If you’ve heard the story already, feel free to jump ahead to the first official interview which will follow in a few days.I roped in my mini-me, Ang Roan, who works across all our businesses and is a dear friend for some casual get-to-know-you banter since I get bored with my own voice after a while so can’t expect you not to!Our Q&A covers not only what Seize the Yay means but also my lawyer to funtrepreneur transition, some of the nitty gritty behind the scenes along the way, being adopted, a special guest appearance from Mama Holloway and lots of laughs in between. Hope you enjoy!

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