CMO Of Netflix: "Work Life Balance" Is BAD Advice! I Lost My Baby & My Husband! | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "CMO Of Netflix: "Work Life Balance" Is BAD Advice! I Lost My Baby & My Husband!".


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Intro (00:00)

If there's anything to know, it is that my world has burned a few times and that I have risen every time. Bozama Saint Yaw! Forbes number one most influential marketing change. It's an international phenomenon. As led marketing and branding at some of the biggest companies in the world. Who have you worked for? Apple, Netflix, Pepsi, Spike Lee. He was walking by with a script under his arm and I took a red pen to it. I was a receptionist. I really did think I was getting fired that day. But intuition and creativity and following your gut made me be successful. Oftentimes we're in these situations that aren't serving us and we're thinking about how the other persons don't feel. You are going to be unsatisfied with your life. That is the scariest thing. Be selfish in your life, in your career. I didn't want anything to stop me. But I was about five months pregnant when very quickly things descended into hell. I had a condition for the pregnancy as like attacking you. Then the doctor says to my husband Peter, you saved her or you saved the baby. Which one is it? She didn't survive. It was the beginning of the big fractures in our relationship. We were no longer a team. A few years later he gets diagnosed with cancer after you've separated. We had to make a choice to have the conversations which were about forgiveness. Anger and misunderstanding really did not matter. We're going to be together to the last heartbeat. Before this episode starts I have a small favor to ask from you. Two months ago 74% of people that watched this channel didn't subscribe. We're now down to 69%. My goal is 50%. So if you've ever liked any of the videos we've posted, if you liked this channel can you do me a quick favor and hit the subscribe button? It helps this channel more than you know and the bigger the channel gets, as you've seen, the bigger the guests get. Thank you and enjoy this episode. Bose.

Journey To Self-Discovery And Self-Empowerment

Early context (02:03)

Yes. You've overcome so much. You refer to yourself often as a phoenix. Had you described yourself as that. So take me back because there's a certain distinctive brilliance and character to you that I know isn't common and that uniqueness is what makes you brilliant. So take me right back to the beginning. What do I need to know about you to understand the person's hand front of me? Going right back to the start. Oh gosh. Well as a phoenix there isn't just one rising for me. So if there's anything to know it is that my world has burned a few times and that I have risen every time. Now I wouldn't say that like I rise right away. It's not that kind of miracle. It's the dusting off. It's the letting the feathers grow back. It is the can I fly again? Let me try. Oh this really hurts. Let me sit down. Try one more time and then I'm off. You know so that means that it's everything from being you know five years old and living in Ghana and my father being in politics and the government being overthrown in political coup and having to uproot ourselves out of Ghana. I mean that my whole world burned at that point or it is when I was 12 and we had lived in numerous places in Africa and then moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado and again the world shifted and burned and I'd have to recreate myself. Those first 12 years when you look back on the most significant fingerprints they left on you and your character what are those? Probably my ability to survive. Like get to know people quickly. Understand who is a friend and who's a foe quickly. Like being able to read people I would say almost immediately. I don't need a lot of proof. You know I can tell on like the first question whether or not you have good intentions for me. So I have good intentions for you. Yes. Okay good. Your desire to be able to relate to the person in front of you is that also link to because I it was clear when I was reading about your story that you had a very early love of culture and just like what's going on in the world.

Your love for culture (04:32)

But that was survival. This battle of nature versus nurture. I think I have some of it naturally my curiosity about people and the things that surround me and pop culture but it was certainly nurtured. You know this idea of like well I have to understand everything that's happening in the society so I can talk to you so I can seem normal to you. You know so that meant that like okay I have to understand American football inside and out Friday night lights were a big deal in Colorado. So I need to understand what's happening in the field so I don't annoy people with cheering at the wrong time or music. Understanding what was happening at the time and being able to sing along to lyrics or argue with somebody in the hallway about my favorite pop star. You know or fashion. Make sure that the crease on my jeans was perfect or the way I folded it over and doubled it up was right. You know all of those things are nurtured and so it created a lifelong student of pop culture. So it means that every time that something new would happen oh I'd be the first on it. I'd be the one who'd be like oh let me figure out what that is. I need to understand all of it because should I be in a situation where I'm in front of somebody who really likes that thing I want to be able to talk to them. I want to be able for them to understand that I understand what they're talking about. I'm not so strange. And that explains in large part why you pursued creativity and marketing or at least why you ended up there but do you think it's hard to be yourself when you're trying to survive? Yeah I think so. Were you being yourself as you reflect on that chapter of your life? The pre-18? Left of my own devices I probably wouldn't have. I probably would have turned out to be too much of a people pleaser but thankfully I had a mother who was well both my parents but my mother in particular was very focused on making sure that all of us girls have three younger sisters understood our worth and the way that we contribute. You know so in the process so imagine I'm 12 and I'm here trying to understand all the American things and I come home and I finally broken through the inner circle of the cool girls and they've now said they want to come over to my house and here I am in front of my mother my very ganyan very proud mother and I'm saying I'm gonna need you to buy some pizza, get some phant up in here okay like french fries I don't know what it is get all the American foods chicken nuggets the things they like and she's like absolutely not they're going to eat fufu they're gonna have some pepper soup they're gonna eat with their hands because that's what we do in this house and I'm sitting there like oh you've got to be kidding my whole like are you like you want to destroy me like I'm just learning how to get along with these people you know and the lesson there and by the way she didn't she wasn't like cryptic about it she was very direct very straightforward and she was like when you go to their house you do the things they want to do when they come to your house they do the things you want to do she was did not mince words and at 12 she said that maybe I couldn't have articulated it then but I certainly understand it very clearly now which is that I had to understand my own worth like what am I bringing to the table not just about what they have and what they're trying to do and they're trying to communicate but what is it that I'm bringing so that the pride I have in my own culture in my own skin in my own uniqueness is as important as the things that they like regardless of apparent consequence oh yeah yeah yeah because throughout whether it's the corporate world or our professional lives there's always an apparent consequence which holds us back oh absolutely do you think being the oldest of four four sisters right yeah do you think being the oldest of four sisters shaped your personality absolutely yes I'm the boss no question about it but also that was how our household ran you know it's like my my dad made no small uh no small beings of saying like you know reminding me constantly that you're the oldest you have to set the tone you you leave the example you know your sisters will follow you he says that today I think he said that to me last week you know what's he like oh my dad oh my god he is the type of person who absorbs information and holds it and then can spit it back at you he doesn't need a lot of time to understand concepts or things I mean he's a self-taught musician he didn't go to high school he didn't go to middle school or high school but has two PhDs and my dad um has very

Your Dad (09:31)

very high standards so that is the person that I grew up with what impression did he give you about what success was and looked like and there and also in doing so what failure was success meant financial independence and financial success you know you needed to make a certain amount of money in order to have the nice things you know the nice house a nice car of the vacations all the things um success also meant big titles you know so early on in my career I remember wanting to take a job that had a lesser title than the one I was leaving and my dad hated that you know he was just like but you're taking steps backwards and my thought was like well it's not really because the responsibilities are different and better and they're going to get me closer to the place I want to go you don't understand that but I understand that but to him that was failure and so that certainly changed the way that I think about you know my own upward mobility that for some time I did chase titles you know but the truth of matters that a title isn't going to give you power you know a title doesn't actually give you anything and it's like what I've learned about leadership is that you have to convince the people who are around you that you were right that you have a good idea and that they should input into that thing and then they will follow you you think just because you have a chief title that somebody is going to follow you or not think you're stupid there there are plenty of people out there who have you know that title and teams who don't respect them and so for me I think those early lessons were they have

What really gives us power in society (11:36)

their good things and they're bad things you know and the good things were that me understanding that my dad's understanding of what success looked like in terms of titles was not necessarily the only way what does give you power then so if the title doesn't give you power what does give you power influence influence you know being well there's a couple of things so that's a really complicated question it's like talent alone doesn't do it again meant many talented people who couldn't lead anybody you know and you have many leaders who have no talent so it's like a it's an interesting combination of those two things like you have to be able to be on the ground and do the work you also have to convince other people so that's where the influence comes in that the idea that you have or the way that you're saying we should go is the right thing and then get them to follow you and then you must execute you actually have to be right yeah you and then if you do that enough times oh then it becomes unquestionable you know that's when the reputation proceeds you that's when you know at least for me it's like I get into a new job and people expect a certain thing it's like oh I've seen you do that over there or I had a friend who worked for you at this place and they said you did no your first sort of real significant career move seemed to be this encounter with Spike Lee's agency yeah yeah so for people that don't know who is Spike Lee okay and how did that happen Spike Lee is blackity blackity black first of all all the blackness no but he he is a film director really at his core film maker let's call it that because he certainly

The start of your career (13:12)

produces and does other things and writes but he has a an advertising agency in New York when I was there was on Madison Avenue so Madison Avenue is like the place for advertising in the world right it's the place where the show madman was made from so DDB is one of the biggest agencies and Spike had a JV with them what brought you to New York in the first place um curiosity I was I graduated from Wesley University which was in mil time Connecticut and um it was just time to apply to med school and I really didn't want to and New York was right there it was like an hour and a half from school and I really didn't have a plan yeah I just I just went trying to escape what I thought was my destiny and like many people say I think sometimes in this business I kind of fell into this but I think my destiny actually came to find me that's what it was I opened up and allowed for something greater that I didn't even know it was possible to find me instead so many people are in in that chapter of their life where they're trying to find their destiny or trying to help try to figure out a way to let their destiny find them yeah when you look back and connect the dots as to how your career came to be and you think about that first moment where you you know you went to New York and then you're on Madison Avenue you're working for Spike Lee and you find you find your destiny where it finds you if your if your daughter um comes to you and says mum what advice have you got for me on finding my destiny like what have I got to do to actively bring you about oh man who have you ever heard that statement like let go and let God you heard that before no it's a very Christian thing I feel like in the like black church there's a lot of that let go and let God you know as if God is just gonna just sprinkle magic dust over you you know and I'm like no I don't I don't necessarily believe that just as a plain statement I think the letting go is an action you know it's not surrender it's not you just lay down and it's gonna find you you're not gonna find your destiny sitting on the couch you know the letting go for me is like the letting go of preconceived ideas about what it is that you are going to do letting go of sometimes you're like trying to do something and keep hitting a wall you know you're just like oh if I just hit it one more time it's gonna break sometimes it's like you know that's a cement wall right if you just move five feet to the right it's actually plaster and you're gonna go right through it you know it's like sometimes just a letting go of this thought that you had which is like oh I'm going to do this thing right here is the magic and I'll tell you this look it didn't just happen at that stage of my life it's happening right now where you know I'm like okay well I think I am done with my corporate CMO work I believe I'm finished so I'm going to let go of it I'm not going to be actively looking for the next CMO job I want whatever is coming for me to come I'm gonna allow space for it now it doesn't mean I'm just sitting around I'm also you know trying to polish other skills I'm trying to create you know because perhaps the next thing that's coming is somewhere more in that space I can feel it like in my spirit and that understanding of like your intuition and if you're listening to it it's like a magnet it's gonna just draw you closer to the thing that you're supposed to do and it has happened every single time like every time without fail like every job every move I've made hasn't been because somebody said oh you know what this makes logical sense one plus one equals two sometimes I'm just like but it's not math though you know it's physics because not it's not the addition it's a subtraction I'm just gonna sit here and I'm gonna get up and I'm gonna go talk to this person and I'm gonna talk to that person I'm gonna sit back down again and I'm gonna write this thing out and then like magic because I don't know how else to describe it it's like the destiny appears I'm telling you every time it has happened every single time even when people were like oh that is never gonna happen like you're wasting your time I don't know why you'd go over there and do that I'm like I don't know something something inside I'm telling you telling me that this is the way to go I'm gonna go over there every time it's worked but but do you believe so there's a lot there for me there's a lot that I'm interested in there do you believe because I want to be clear are you because some people hear that and go huh love that everything happens for a reason I'm gonna chill and my fate is pre-written and it's coming for me um both said

Deciding your destiny (18:30)

all I got to do is wait and it's gonna because everything happens for reason it's pre-written so I just got these tarot cards and I'm gonna no no no no no no this is when I start banging on the table no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no chilling here okay I think you're probably talking my energy I'm not one of those chilling here type people anyway you know um and I don't believe things are pre-written actually like for me the idea of destiny isn't that something is already predetermined for you I think you create your destiny also you know meaning that like look there was a movie in the in the late 90s called sliding doors started Gwyneth Paltrow um the concept is basically like you know if you're running for the train and you catch it you know you jump inside you have one destiny if the doors close you still stand on platform then you have to catch the next train it takes you to different destiny that's the concept right it is what I also believe which is that like my destiny is not pre-written but the movements that I make are what lead me to the thing that's actually for me you know and so it's a constant evolution so I don't believe that you have to sit and wait for it I think your constant movement your constant discovery is actually what then brings the destiny to you so this isn't about predetermined anything or just like let me just chill out on like I said you can't sit on the couch and expect your destiny to come for you so it's not reading my horoscope no tarot cards and no disrespect to the tarot card readers but I do believe that we are constantly creating our destiny you know that this life that we're living these experiences the people we're meeting the people in your relationships with whoo it happens because there's a certain action that you take that leads you to that thing that's your choice whether or not you take it and then that's when the whole intuition thing comes up for me right because I'm like now you may have caused a lot of action and then you have a couple of choices in front of you where are you going which one is calling you and then you know what people like to do they want to write pro and conless they want to ask people for advice do you think I should do this or should I do that both of these are good why are you asking other people they don't know they're not they're not living your life they don't have the whole destiny they have their own thing like why are you asking them and if you got quiet for a second and hurt your intuition but then again sometimes people are scared right because it's telling you do something that you probably don't want to do you're a little scared of it and then you're going to choose the wrong thing it's hard to hear your intuition when George is very loudly telling you yes George being your father yes and everyone can relate there's there's always an external voice which is very loud whether it's social expectation or Instagram or George yeah yeah yeah saying this is the right thing to do so like how do you tune into your intuition and out of George it's like any muscle you know it's like look we all have biceps but some people's biceps are enormous thank you that was good that was that was super smooth that was really nice sweet time but it is like any muscle you know you got to work it you've got to listen to it you have to make it brave to talk to you you know I kind of feel like it's like that friend now this not about multiple personalities but you know it's like that friend who's talking to you inside your head you know and like if you keep dissing it and keep being like shut up no that's a bad idea if you keep doing that that voice can't get quieter and quieter what makes you think it's gonna ever be like listen bo's I told you no look my intuition is so loud oh there's no way oh I meet people and we'll be like that person not for me and no by the way somebody else will be like oh that is a very powerful person you know they'll introduce you to this other person or oh they're so smart they've done this and that and that and that not for me so I'm not I'm not even going to engage like my intuition is that strong I trust it 100 because you've had to train it right yes yes I've had to I've had to allow it to lead me is that because of what you said earlier about the survival and that pattern recognition is developed now where you can kind of you see a couple of cues your intuition goes oh we met this person a couple of times yes yes yes that's part of it for sure like throughout my life I've had to listen to my intuition allow it to lead me even when other people were like no whether it was my dad or a friend or a mentor a boss you know when they've been like mmm mmm no that's not the thing you want to do you should do this this is this will be more successful for you and then my intuition was like actually I don't think so I think you need to go this way it is so hard I'm not pretending as if like this is the easy thing where I'll just listen to your intuition will be fine I think it's dumb hard you know it's like look because sometimes the logic makes a lot more sense yeah then you're intuition and so I'm not saying that it's easy but it is the only choice if you want to be successful and successful to me these days means that I am happy and at peace and enjoying the thing I'm doing it's no longer about the title or the house or the thing like do I have freedom oh man like and freedom isn't just like I can do whatever the hell I want freedom is that like I can be working on a campaign and not sleep for three days because I'm so excited about it that's the kind of freedom I'm talking about like really enjoying the things that I'm doing and if I am listening to my intuition it's going to lead me to those opportunities that allow me to have that kind of experience with people or with jobs or whoever it's such an important question that I don't think people ask themselves there which is what is your definition of success and I know it's kind of it's kind of like a fluffy question or whatever else but once you have that as your north star it completely changes your your like direction of travel right so like that central question I think and everyone listening to this now like like what is your what is your truly your definition of success because if you don't if you're not clear on it someone else is going to write that definition for you yes and it might be George you know what I mean yes or anybody else yeah I mean Instagram might write it for you or your partner and you're gonna you're gonna go down that path and find yourself lost oh my god and it would just be a feeling inside your chest that says we we made a wrong turning every time you know sometimes that shows up in the sunday scariest oh my god yeah it shows up there we have a conversation

The Sunday scaries (25:58)

about this just obviously was it's on sunday we're like yeah isn't it strange that it's Monday tomorrow none of us have it's not crossed any of our minds exactly or freaked out about it god it's like man when I when I started recognizing that sunday scariest we're tied to my wrong turns guess who jumped into driver's seat real quick me you know it's like look and again we're not saying we're not making light of a meal like oh this is so easy just change direction you know but it's so helpful when you recognize it and then you're like oh okay now I can do something about this you know it's like right isn't that the first step of like any problem solving is to recognize the problem as do you think life like sunday scariest is a signal oh man tell me and it's a signal and it's a very important signal and screaming at you so loud so loud and the thing is that thing about sunday scariest in relationship to anything in your life um when you are in a relationship let's say romantic and you have to go hang out with that person and you're not feeling so cute about it uh might be time for you to reevaluate whether or not this relationship is good for you you know it's like you should be feeling that like oh I really want to go do this thing with this person you know and for me it's not even about length of time because you know marriage is not something where it's like people tell you all the time it's so hard and it's like you know you'll fall out of love with this person and then fall back in love with them and it's like I'm not talking about like the fickleness of your everyday feelings I'm talking about like the consistency of a mood that you are in when you are in the presence of that person like do you feel great do you have ickiness when you're with them like that oh that's a that's a sunday scary that you need to watch out for it so it's not just about like am I going to wake up and go to work tomorrow at a job I hate I apply that to everything in my life and that's the kind of freedom that I want in my life that like I don't engage with people that I feel the ickiness with there's so many throughout your experience of arriving in New York and then working with Spike Lee and um there's so many really interesting moments that are sort of categorize and provide clues as to how you got here today one of those early moments was when you're in New York and Spike Lee puts the the script on your desk yes because that is for me that is for me I've really clear it's like a like a fork in the road you could have done one thing or another thing and the choice you made in

Why you shouldn't dismiss anyone (28:26)

that seems to be quite pivotal can you tell me about that yes so interesting it wasn't just that he put the script on a desk he was walking by with the script under his arm and as I shared I'm you know I love to read and I know that Spike writes with a very black point of view about the African-American experience and I was fascinated by that and so as soon as I saw it I was like oh I mean this must be something interesting that he's either writing or reading I don't know I want to I want to be part of it what was your job that at the time I was the assistant actually not even the assistant I was I was answering the phone and I was a receptionist okay at his agency a temporary receptionist I didn't even have the job yet I was only filling in and but it felt there was a little bit of naive itte in it you know and that like I don't know if 15 years ago even if I saw Spike walking past my desk I would have been like hey what are you reading can I read that because I would have used all my logic to say oh he's so important whatever he's holding there he needs he's not going to give it to you so why even ask I probably would have explained it to myself that way but at the time there was a little bit of that naivete brashness arrogance even you know I was just like oh whatever he's reading I want to read and so that's what I asked him just said what do you have you know and he said he said his script for mamboozled and I was like okay well can I read it and he looked at me incredulously and he was like sure here you go have it back to me in three days let me know what you think and of course he had a smirk on his face and so did the office everybody who overheard the conversation and I really didn't understand what that meant but of course in hindsight I understood that it was such a complicated piece of writing that he probably didn't think I would finish it one or have anything to add and I took a red pen to it a literal red pen he likes to tell the story now that like you know he gave this receptionist his script and I came back three days later with markups and notes in the margins so you know I think that this dialogue here could be flushed out a little bit I didn't understand what happened between these two characters you know and he was just like what you marked up my script and I was just like oh god I didn't know man I thought I really did think I was getting fired that day and he went into his office slammed the door I sat there man I'm telling I have my purse with me and I was just sitting there waiting for him to open up the office so that he could tell me I was fired and meanwhile I'm thinking in the back of my head my dad's gonna kill me because I'm not even supposed to be in this job I have a cause degree why my receptionist at this office anyway and then he opened the door after what felt like 17 hours it was probably just you know 30 minutes and that's when I got the job he was like you made some good notes you should stay how old are you 22 so you're 22 and you take a red pen to one of the most famous film directors work yeah and that gets you the job yes what's the lesson there oh it changed my entire life oh that changed my entire life I've had a few inflection points in my life that is absolutely one of them without that moment I don't know and maybe at some other point I would have learned it maybe would have come to me anyway but I'm so glad it came to me then that there is no one who knows more about anything than you do it just doesn't exist like look I'm not saying you should go ahead and try to do like open heart surgery maybe don't do that you know but if you are the patient getting counseled by your doctor and they say you know what I think we're gonna have to do open heart surgery but you feel like hey look I don't know that you understand all the symptoms that I'm trying to discuss with you and that uh you seem to just get by a bunch of these things that I've just said I'm gonna have to go for a second opinion that's the kind of belief I have in myself you know where I'm just like I'm gonna question you even though you're the expert and say I don't know because you really didn't pay attention to what I was saying so let me just go and try and talk to somebody else that that moment when Spike said sure go for it and I went for it and then he said I had some good ideas oh come on like you just said he's one of the most brilliant filmmakers of all time he will be in the animals of history and he thought as a 22 year old I made some good points on a script that is one of his most difficult to read you can't tell me shit it's hard for anything or anyone to undo that that conviction and evidence right that he gave in that moment yeah yeah yeah but I feel like also I learned something as a leader from him in that moment that there aren't people on my team that I dismiss for lack of tenure or understanding you know that there are so many people who can contribute to an idea or to a campaign who can challenge your strategy without having more knowledge than you do of the thing you know what I'm saying that like there are junior people on the team that you should ask their opinion because they're probably going to look at it from a different perspective than you ever would and they might say something that changes the entire direction of the thing you're doing and you should listen to them sometimes it's hard for those people to speak up right because because of that yes but that's why again the lesson from that moment is it like when he says sure it's like as a leader why would I not say sure to somebody or make the room for them to be able to speak up you know I've been I've been known in my teams to I'm like a teacher I'll call on people you know and not to make them feel badly but just allow space you know see somebody who looks like there and again this comes down to like some of those lessons from when I was 12 reading people body language seeing somebody's itching to jump in the conversation but they can't find a space because that knucklehead over there talks too much we've all been in those meetings you know and then just being like hey did you did you have something to say you know did you want to contribute to this you ever thought about this and then sometimes people go like oh no no no I know they'll get shy you know we're like though I can start to see them like panic and I'm like okay no problem but if you do just let me know you know just give them a second to be able to gather themselves or sometimes it you know they'll be like yes actually I just I just wanted to say and they'll contribute and you know sometimes the contribution is great and sometimes it's a bunch of crap but you'll never know unless you ask the counter narrative to that is do you think I was playing around with this idea that I think in teams people end up having what I call like a contribution score and it's kind of like a credit score but it's like the historical value of when you speak whether it's valuable or not yeah yeah and so like your credit when you go for um you want to like lease a car or you want to get a house whatever if you've got a bad credit score you're probably going to get shut down upon you know upon application yeah yeah yeah if you've got a bad contribution score I if you tend to just contribute without thinking or you're just speaking for the sake of speaking then when you speak the first word starts at a lower level of appreciation that is so true god I've never thought of it that way I love that though and you got it so there's the convert this is a converse point yes you do want to protect your contribution score you don't want to just speak for the sake of speaking yeah yeah yeah you know if your brain is doing a campaign and I go what about a billboard right and be like and you look how when you get that was a fucking yes if you're already done you know what yeah but that's the thing is that um you know it's it's kind of also the same way that I look at failure of ideas you know oh man that can kill a I can kill your creativity faster than anything else you know it's not it's not just your contribution score but it's like you know it's like if we're like we're in the meeting okay and here you are maybe you spoke up by yourself maybe I called on you and you said the thing and everybody in the room was like oh my god that's actually that's really smart yes it is we should do that and then we do the thing and it bombs oh man you know this this is when again as a leader it's like you got to come in and protect the people's spirit yeah yeah and their confidence yeah you know it's like that idea of failing fast like that's when it really comes into play it's like oh no no no dust yourself off everybody get up we're gonna try this again i'm gonna try a different way thank you for contributing sit your ass down okay who else has another idea you know what do you mean but making sure that they're no longer a pariah also you know but that's your job as a leader to do that you know it's like look we each have a value and a role to play in that context right so as the person who came up with the bad idea or the stupid contribution your job isn't to then dust yourself off and try to come again you know you can do that but it's really hard to do if you don't have somebody on the other end who's pulling you to do that you know and so my job in that role is to make sure that you come back that is my job you know it's not just to pick the good ideas is to protect the people protect the good ideas protect the bad ideas like make sure they they keep rising every time something bombs because it's going to bomb like you're not going to get a perfect score all the time and it's funny because because you're saying that i was thinking it was only a bad idea when it hit the market yeah it's a good idea up until then and that's an uncontrollable right no one can so sell probably should be celebrating the the running the experiment itself versus the outcome of the experiment yes that's right that's right that's right and always you know i i love monday morning quarterbacking i love it you know some people think it's like a punishment i i really try not to make it feel like punishment where you review the thing that happened that went bad you know and everybody wants to pile on now now all of a sudden this person who didn't say one word in the meeting was like well i knew it was a bad idea from the start oh i cannot stand those type of people that look in a meeting with me you'll understand that's a that's a wrong thing to say if you're going to be the one who says well i knew it's going to be bad for me to start with and you should have said that shit before we went and executed it otherwise don't tell me now you know so it's like the picking a part of the thing like okay what was the thing that went right what was the thing that went wrong what could we what could we have done differently to get a different outcome and sometimes it's nothing the conditions were right the idea was right it was executed right it just didn't hit and sometimes you're just gonna be like just chalk it up like that it sucks you know or you do learn something you're just like it was such a great idea in the room but then we went outside and we were all in love with it that we missed the huge red flag everybody missed it nobody saw it nobody saw that like actually wasn't that funny we laughed in the room but it wasn't that funny you know it's like and that has happened to me so many times so many times where it's like you just fall in love with the thing and then you go outside and nobody thinks it's good except for the people who are in the room with you know it's like putting out a really great outfit at home you know you just look at yourself you marry you're like oh i am i am just too cute i'm fine i'm about to pull one a night you go outside and ain't not one person talk to you you see pictures later you're like i did not look like that i know i did it i swear to you i look better when i saw myself in the mirror can't relate i'm joking i'm joking i'm joking i'm joking but again it's so that time when you're working in New York what you're working with spiker is agency i read you took a phone call from an ex-boyfriend at college who was in a difficult moment in his life yeah what did he say on the phone what can you share you know i think this is the part about

Receiving a call from an ex-boyfriend who was struggling (41:12)

moment when you think about things that you would do over yeah you know the ways that you would have reacted differently and torture yourself about it i do that now still even though i've been through a lot of therapy even though i know that um the outcome probably would have been the same at a different time you know he suffered from a from mental illness that i obviously couldn't diagnose you know we were in a romantic relationship that now of course looking back with was toxic i didn't know how to help him and eventually he decided to end his life by suicide and i blamed myself for a long time to some degree i still do you know wishing that i had said something different wishing that i had known better to ask for help um wishing i'd just been a better friend or girlfriend you know and even now um i remember writing a post on instagram when someone famous died by suicide and um you know there were all of the things that people say they're like oh you never know what somebody's dealing with or like you know we're like call this line if you know you're thinking these thoughts and all i could like the only way i could react to was just like but the people who are around that person feels like the guilt you feel the terrible burden you carry for the rest of your life like what do those people do you know it's like what what hotline exists for them you know how do you manage that feeling it is a sort of survivor's guilt to some degree you know i feel the same about people who are survivors of a loved one's terminal illness we never talk about those people now you always talk about the person who's suffering and i'm not saying we shouldn't i'm just saying that we have to consider the entire circle of people you know and how do you give advice help relieve the guilt the sadness the grief the regret all of those things and it is still something that i i deal with in terms of many different types of grief i've had in my life mental health and mental illness has become increasingly um discussed in society in the last step five ten years when i was a kid i didn't know what it was i don't know it was a thing uh now it's very popular in conversation with did had he made any indications that he was suffering and could he could he articulate yeah but he had mental health challenges um yes i mean he was on medication so he knew he was he had challenges um but and look i was i was clinically depressed as well i was on medication we were we were both on medication you know um and the challenge with having any mental illness is that sometimes you know how you're diagnosed and you know that you have to take medication for it but maybe don't feel like you're ill and he was an artist a musician and so sometimes as a creative that gets confused right because you're just like oh but i need my angst in order to create you know i pull from this deep dark well and that's where my artistry comes from and he would say stuff all the time you know he would be impassioned about you know it's like well none of it is worth it you know if this if this doesn't work i don't know what i'm gonna do you know or like would be so dependent on me for his own happiness you know things i did would set him off or not you know and so then you are tied to that person's ups and downs even though it has nothing to do with you right and again like look i've had a lot of therapy to talk about this and so i can articulate it but it doesn't change the way that you really feel about it you know i can academically talk about it and say oh well you know he behaved this way and therefore i behaved this way right we were like a tip for tap type situation but when you're in it all you want to do is to protect that person you know all i want to do was keep venn up that's all but any means necessary you know so if it meant that i had to stay on the phone for six hours that's what i had to do if i had to miss my own meetings and calls and friends and dinners and that's what i had to do did he call you yes around the time yes yes he called me well that day he called he was having one of his episodes you know and was accusing me of cheating on him or you know whatever the thing was and i was just so exhausted it'd been a number of days of this constant battery he was living in Geneva and i was in New York and so he was you know we were on different time zones he couldn't see anything i was doing but was accusing me of all kinds of things i was just tired and so i said i needed to go out with my friends good to go to dinner of course you can imagine the battery of insults you know that he hit me with and i hung up the phone and just went and i could hear the phone ringing when i left my apartment you know but i thought like he's just gonna have to cool off and i'll get back to my get back and when i did he had left me a series of increasingly panicked voicemails uh in the last one was the one where he said he was going to jump from a bridge and that was it and he jumped from a bridge where are you where are you about with with um because i know you said you can kind of look at it objectively but it doesn't change how you feel about it yeah where are you about today i mean you're what two decades on from that yeah um he was such a brilliant person you know a brilliant creative i i wish i could have saved him and myself you know meaning that um i wish i had known to ask for help in that situation i didn't know what to say i didn't know how to to i didn't know how to articulate what he was doing or how i was reacting to it i thought it was my fault you know that if i just like loved him harder or better whatever better meant you know that he wouldn't have jumped i think about all the time what would have happened if i had answered the phone when i heard it ringing when i was leaving was that the moment he decided you know maybe if maybe if i had picked up the phone he wouldn't have felt desolate and alone i think about that all the time well there's time all the time all the time i mean i so much so that i apply that and many other things that have happened in my life um in current situations you know meaning that like if um there is a situation with a friend who's going through something or is you know telling me about some challenge that they're having and i feel powerless or i feel like i don't have the answer i consider whether or not i am their last call and i consider that like okay well what what else who else can i pull into this to help because i i don't know what to do and by the way the trauma response that is that sometimes it's not even like that you know what i'm saying it's like it's not like i'm jumping to a conclusion that they're not even anywhere near but that's where i'm going because that's my experience you know and so i'm always consider it that it's like if somebody is going through something tough or there's a friend you know they tell you to check in on your strong friends now again i don't even know what that means but you know it's like if i have a friend who i haven't heard from or i know they're going through something tough and i call them and they're not answering or they i call them they sound funny to me oh i'll be the first one drive over there and be like i just had to lay eyes on you i had to see that you're all right okay you good okay okay you just need to my scream all right i got you know but i'm i'm i'm very conscious of the fact that people are delicate our lives are delicate and even when somebody looks like they got everything together there might be something really unsettled right underneath the surface and so how can i be more conscious as a friend now the difference what i've learned in 20 years though is that um although i consider like could i have changed the outcome of that night maybe i could have changed the outcome of that night but doesn't mean that he would not have decided to end his life and i have also grown in understanding that it was his choice it was his choice it really didn't have anything to do with me how a person decides to live their life or leave their life is their choice and have to respect it that's what has changed in 20 years it's really interesting because you know we spend so much of our lives fighting the choices that other people make oh yes especially people we love yes because you think you think you know better yeah for them well you can change it yeah it's a better way you know better for them yes but that's why i think the same thing we've been talking about with intuition that it applies to you too it's like you think you know better how somebody else should live their life and they think they know better how you should live yours and they're going to advise you that way that's why it's like you know when we talk about like listening to your intuition or whether or not you're going to you know march to the beat of your own drum and it's like look they're going to be people in your life who love you desperately who want the best for you and are going to advise you horribly this is not their life they can't help you because they don't even know where you are they've never been there before oh it might look familiar to them but they've never been there they're not in your shoes they don't have your context so you can't advise you yourself this is the only person the only one nacho mama not your best friend that you know since you were three not your mentor who you admire and who has reached the place you want to go even they can't do it you can't do it they don't know you found love in peter yes at work yes you aren't interested in him at first no what changed oh we changed yeah why were you interested in him if i had that answer like we could solve all of love's riddles right like you know it's really interesting earlier on when you talked about let go and let god uh-huh it really struck me as a relationship metaphor as well

Finding love at work (53:29)

because we go through life thinking i want brunette with this size this and that and did it and i'm gonna and and we we're not we're two we've got our blinkers on them we're too narrow for all the great people that might come along like you might have met your husband or wife already but you were just so caught up in how they were supposed to look and how much money they were supposed to have come on preach no no but it's true but but that is you know part of it is that um you know when you say let go and let god it's like yes the letting go of these you know three conceptions whether it's for job or love or friends or whatever but it's also the action of being like okay let me just all right let's go and see what this is you know and for me it's like when i met him yeah he was not my type you know there's like white man who was a ginger for god's sake and what the hell was i gonna do with that yeah it's like and he was wearing this big fat gold chain two buttons open in his i mean god even thinking about it now i'm just like oh how embarrassing like really seriously you know but he um he surprised me we like basically the story is that he said he wanted to get to know me he wanted to take me to dinner and i was like absolutely not i'm way too fine for you okay yes because that is what i also think and um i was like look if you want to get to know me mr white man you're gonna read song of Solomon by tony morrison and he was literally like i don't even know what that he was like i no one has ever even said that to me and i'm like yeah exactly go read song of Solomon by tony morrison and then we can have dinner and talk about it why that book it was my favorite book it is still my favorite book and it's just so you know it's like look tony morrison as an author does not come down to your level tony morrison is up here she's not going to mince words or like change metaphors or not let you stare at the uncomfortable realness of being black oh geez i'm gonna hit you in the face with it and i was like oh i want to see this very privileged right boy read this work and then come talk to me about it that was my trick so he came back very quickly by the way and i was like oh i'm gonna call his bluff because first of all he didn't read it okay and even if he did read it there's no way he has a great understanding of that story or that work then i i mean i was like i'm an african-american and english lit major for god's sake so i'm Wesleyan like and i'm black there's no way he knows more and he surprised me we went to dinner and he had such interesting insights and um you know i mean like love does i was struck by cupid's arrow sitting there at that dinner i swear it was like first night fell in love instantly you moved quickly right oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah that was november ninth 2000 and by january i told my love them also because he had painted me a uh his interpretation of song of solomon oil on canvas he'd never picked up a paintbrush before um the painting now hangs in our daughters room by the way um and he gave it to me for my birthday and i man i was like yep he's the one i want to marry him that's it and my very ganyan father was not into it at all did not approve especially when i said oh we're gonna move in together like we moved in together we'd known each other for eight months and we'd already decided we're gonna get married and at a year he proposed i said yes and i was like we're off to the racist this is it what did you watch i have to say about it oh hate it hated it when did he need to in fact oh gosh it was a terrible situation um well my parents came to visit in like february so my mom knew i was very much in love my dad was not aware and they came to visit me just as you know coming to visit me in new york see how i'm doing and um i orchestrated for peter to come by for dinner uh and also just to set context it wasn't like i introduced my dad to boyfriends my dad had never met anyone and so for him to meet somebody was like well who is this and what does this mean you know but you know he tells it now that he just thought it was you know me finally coming into some you know early love and he just thought it would be you know something he could dismiss um but by august when i called him and said hey i'm gonna move in with my boyfriend and he was like absolutely not like first of all this is shameful okay you're not going to marry this white person like that that's not going to work for us you're the eldest what your sister is going to think you can't live in sin and he was on a business trip to in china and without telling me he flew to new york straight away uh and did not come to my office to talk to him about he went to peter's showed up in his office and peter like calls me and his voice sounded all funny and crazy and he was like um your dad is here and i was like there's no way i just talked to him yesterday he's in Beijing and he's like no he's sitting in my office and i was like i'm on my way and then i hear my dad in the background like you will do no such thing this is a conversation for men i'm like what it's like okay i'll give you 15 minutes and then i'm there yeah and to this day i don't know what they talked about while i was not in the room but i know that when i got there there was some they brokered some understanding between each other and even though my father was still unhappy with the decision made to move in with him he did not stand in the way and when i eventually married peter he walked me down the aisle what you was it that you married peter was it 2001 2003 so you got engaged in 2001 yeah you met in 2000 yes okay yeah quickly very quick yeah yeah and you feel pregnant in 2008 for the first time eight were you ready whatever that means to be a mother at that point no no no no no no no no no no no no i didn't even think i wanted to be a mother ever no i wasn't sure that i did when i was i was in my career had just begun to like you know

Were you ready to be a mother? (01:00:47)

climb in a way that was very visible to me you working at pepsi this point yes i was working at pepsi and having really good success uh and i was i mean influenced by all of the societal pressures that women have in the workplace you know that's like look if you have a baby it's going to slow down your career um people look at you differently you know maybe your attentions are going to shift and so you thought you were ambitious about your career but let a baby come along and now all of a sudden you want the baby you don't want the career i i didn't i didn't want anything to stop me from the ambition of getting to the top you know and also i was just like i'm having a good time i just don't want to be responsible for anybody else and i found out i was pregnant and i cried you cried what kind of tears no like the fugly tears like the tears that make you vomit type tears the tears that when i called my mom to tell her she was like stop crying you know the tears that peter didn't know how to react to because he was so excited he was he was elated and you know i was thinking this is awful you know it's like i don't want to be pregnant and how do you actually say that when you know at that point we'd been married for almost five years we were like coming up on our fifth anniversary had a great job he had a great job we had a beautiful apartment in Manhattan it's like why wouldn't you you know it's like everything seems perfect right it's like no one could look at me and say oh you're in a tough situation you shouldn't have a baby you know it felt selfish to say i didn't want to be pregnant to become a mother and i i went into it under duress you know i you know i actually don't think that um women especially i don't think women talk about that enough you know it's like the society's pressure of like becoming a mother at a certain stage in life or that if you become a mother and you don't want to be even when things are perfect uh that that can also feel like failure or feel like a trap it's like somehow you're supposed to get pregnant and then start glowing immediately you know start feeling like all the motherly feels i didn't feel any of that i didn't want it and to be totally candid and transparent it wasn't until i was about five months pregnant when there was the first sign that something might be wrong with my pregnancy that all of a sudden it was like whatever that instinct was i was supposed to kick in when i found out i was pregnant it kicked it kicked in at that point you know it's like i went from being someone who was very cavalier about the pregnancy and trying to think about like oh i gotta get my snap back like how am i gonna get my six back back after this is done you know i went from that person to the like well what do you mean that there's like low amniotic fluid what does that mean exactly is it is baby okay like is this little homie growing or like let me hear the heart beat again you know it's like i it was it was really that moment that did it and very quickly things descended into hell i discovered that i had a condition called preeclampsia it's essentially when your blood pressure rises in your body because your body acts like the pregnancy is like attacking you and so every cell begins to fight against the pregnancy i was forced to deliver the baby early and she didn't survive and it was you know for someone who had not wanted to be pregnant it was extraordinarily devastating i think it was a combination of things you know it's like i had begun to develop all the protectiveness of motherhood you know very much like i felt in ben's death i thought how could i have been a better mother to this unborn person you know what was my failure in taking care of myself so that i could have a healthy child and again the similarities are parallel where it's like look there's there's nothing i could have done better the aftermath of that of losing eve yes take take me into that moment what was that what was your life like in that moment i don't gosh how do i even articulate it i don't know that there is um a word to describe the combination of like grief over something or someone lost that you really never had you know with a combination of anger

Life after losing your baby (01:06:35)

raw fierce anger at god for this situation at peter for having made the choice in the moment of crisis when i'm sitting there and in the bed and the blood pressure is going up and i'm delirious and the doctor says you know there's only one choice here you save her or you save the baby which one is it and peter says we'll save my wife and i was pissed because again the whatever that thing is that clicked in my head that said protect the life that is coming first i was like no you should have chosen that one i've already lived i've already lived you should have chosen her you said that's me yes yes it was the beginning of the some of the big fractures in our relationship that moment you know and then also feeling like an utter failure this is like i mean women since the beginning of time have had babies apparently easily my mom had four you know it's like stolen africans were having freaking babies in fields with no epidurals or child care and here i was living a very lavish lifestyle having an obg ayn that worked out of the upper east side of Manhattan and i couldn't even do that oh all of those feelings were so raw and combined and then on top of it my almost debilitating drive to be successful at it you know it's like again we just go back to some childhood things that said well look i've got it i've got to do the thing i've got to be the best at the thing right it's like so now okay this has happened i have all of these terrible scary emotions that are going on but i'm gonna be a mom clearly that's what i set out to do so now i've got to do it and so three months after eve died i got pregnant by the way my doctor pete everybody was like absolutely not like this is not a good idea not my therapist everybody i was like i don't care i'm gonna do it not necessarily because and this is a difficult thing to say it's it's not because i necessarily want to be a mother i want to do it successfully i wanted to prove to myself to my body that i could do it you know that like and i i wanted to like yell at god and be like like did you take this away because i said i didn't want it well okay now now i want it so let's do it you know and even when i got sick again with my second pregnancy i was like look i'm gonna do everything man i consumed so many prenatal vitamins boy look i would take them by like the palm fall and be like you know and there wasn't i got a specialist i had i was taking uh lovanox for anybody knows it's like you know this blood thinner that i would have to inject into my belly every single day man i was the most obedient pregnant woman you ever seen in your life and i still got sick seven months into my pregnancy still with all of that and so again it's like look sometimes there are situations that you cannot control like very much like ben like he would have chosen to end his life at some point with or without my love with or without me answering the phone i was going to get ill with or without the prenatals with or without a specialist those are not controllable by me but i was still trying my best to be successful to do it well and when leel was born she came out screaming and i took one look at that girl and i was like yeah you and i were gonna make it like you who you came here by any means necessary and i am going to love you like fiercely deeply because it just took too much to get her here a year after leo's birth i believe peta and you separated yeah connected to all of that yes yes yes connected to all of that i mean i think that you know traumas in our life of course and especially i think it for a married couple and again for us you know

Coping With Personal Struggles And Career Advancement

You and your partner separating (01:12:23)

it's like peta really wants to be a father i wasn't sure i wanted to be a mother we get pregnant terrible things happen in the pregnancy we lose eve i blame him entirely and god you know he becomes obsessed with my health in my next pregnancy he does not want me to get pregnant i'm like i'm going to with or without your consent i'm kidding but it's became a battlefield in our home in our relationship we were no longer a team what was missing probably empathy i can probably just narrow down to that like a very shallow understanding of what the other person was going through it's it's remarkable to me now to think about it you know it's like how do two people who love each other so desperately go through the same event and cannot grieve together can't see the other one's grief how is that even possible yeah just a few years later he gets diagnosed with cancer after you've separated yeah yeah these moments in life can have a interesting influence on our perspective how we feel about somebody in a situation how did it influence your perspective his diagnosis peta was the type of person who never got sick you know he'd walk around in

Your husband getting cancer (01:14:23)

hat and went to time with like a windbreaker you know he didn't get cold he just didn't get sick uh and even in our separation um and we had then agreed to get divorced he was always very like valiant you know he just was not a person who fell i don't know how else to describe it you know that he just wasn't he was just tall and big and just barrel through life and for him to be diagnosed that way with Birkin's lymphoma which is a cancer that is not curable but at the time you know as oncologists we're like okay you're gonna do radiation you're gonna do chemo you know there's no surgery really because it just attacks the lymph nodes everywhere and there's no way to get rid of all of the tumors of the best thing to do is try to shrink them and hopefully to go away okay let me you know we didn't know any better but by the time his cancer was deemed terminal all of the anger and misunderstanding and battles over the different events in our life really did not matter it did not matter and i realized that like you know there probably sounds so corny to say and maybe feels like a throwaway thing that like oh when you're faced with you know the finality of life you just realize that you know you let go of no no no it's not it's not automatic like that you have to make a choice we had to make a choice he had to ask me the question for us to reconcile i had to decide that that is what we're going to do we had to make a choice to have the conversations which we're about forgiveness we had to make the choice to look at every day and say okay well what are we going to do today that is going to prepare us for the end you would count a kiss you had with him a kiss of forgiveness mm-hmm yeah i mean it was um it was unlike the first kiss and the first kiss where it's like the butterflies and you're not sure how much pressure to apply and you know should open my mouth a little bit but she's like i'm a little tongue or no you know it wasn't that kiss it was the kiss of knowing 13 years have gone by in a very complicated relationship full of the challenges of being an interracial couple and him understanding my experience or not me understanding his experience and not you know the challenges of health and our parents getting sick and all of the things my ambition for my career his you know lack of understanding of that it was just all of the things you know and to be in that moment and then to say okay we're we're going to be together until the end because that's what we promised you know and to truly kiss and make up i think that's another like casual statement people say you know kiss and make up it's like no no you like that covenant of like we are in this again to the end and i won't leave and you didn't leave no to the end to the last heartbeat how how'd you say goodbye to someone you know i don't know that you do i haven't you know there's um there is the physical loss of course right and grief in that is complicated also you know because no i can't pick up the phone and call him or he can't see his wide smile at something i did or his scowl if i do something wrong you know i have multiple griefs of that i have grief that leel will never know her dad in the way that i wish you knew him you know he like so desperately wanted to be a father and he loved her so deeply that she i grieve for her in that not knowing but there is also for me the understanding that he really is still around this is where it's like everybody's like oh she sees dead people i'm like sort of you know because i do believe in like the signs and wonders of things it's happened too many times for me not to you know and it's um it feels very much like my intuition you know where i'm just like oh you know i know what he would have thought about x y and z thing i know i already know you know and so to some degree it's like i still feel his presence because i am aware of how he would be if he were here quick one you guys know that for years now my office has quite literally been everywhere on a plane in the back of my car in a terminal in an airport or on a train you name it i've probably worked there ever since i started my first business at 19 years old i've been working on the move all i need is Wi-Fi a desk and my headphones and i'm set and one of the places that has always had my back when i'm struggling to find an office is we work i've been using we work for years now whether it's in manchester london manhattan or la we work is easy it literally requires no thinking there's no stress of finding the perfect working location we work does it all for you plenty of desk space meeting rooms collaboration spaces drink snacks it's all there so for your next remote working trip away from the office or if you want a new fresh space to work in then don't just work anywhere we work might just be your answer and you can get 25 of your first six months of we work all access by using code ceo works that's one word ceo works and to redeem this offer visit works it's funny every year around this time of year for whatever reason i go on a little bit of a psychological shift and that psychological shift i think is somewhat inspired by summer but it's also inspired by the fact that i want to feel strong in the season of life and as i age strength training is my number one form of training and the question becomes how do you build muscle and how do you become strong in terms of supplementation and this is where he was nutritionally complete protein product is my best friend for a couple of reasons one it tastes better than any protein product i've ever tried two in terms of the nutritionally complete aspect it has the vitamin and minerals you need it's about 100 calories so it's incredibly light but it also packs over 20 grams of protein into every serving try the salted caramel flavor it is the bomb and let me know how you get on despite all of this despite rising over and over again your career continued on yeah you worked at Endeavour big company that owned like the UFC and WWE etc yes yes um beats uber Netflix apple apple oh yeah all the things it doesn't seem like there was a huge time for pause and for you know because you just seem to get right back at it all the time i mean that's what

Continuing your career despite all your hardships (01:22:28)

it appears when you look at the chronological nature of these events yeah um how have all of these personal tragedies fed into your career and what role has your career continued to play in dealing with these personal tragedies yeah um well i think especially peters death um made me impatient impatient is the wrong word but it kind of feels like impatience with life agent yes urgent for sure the original life um because i just have a much better understanding of not wasting my time or my energy well i look at your story and i see someone who doesn't hang around if they don't like something yeah you know um and this kind of brings on another point because there's contradictory career advice often we get it says you know you should stay somewhere long enough because if you leave too quickly then people will look at your resume and think why were you only there for two years or why were you never a little while but then if you know so like where'd you sit on this um i went to know to quit and also there's this overarching phrase which is like quitting is velusus yes yes yes yes oh gosh well look i get criticism of that all the time where people are just like oh well she can't handle adversity and i'm like me are you out of your mind it's like if there was a poster child it would be me it would be me you know no it's not that i can't handle adversity i just put myself first are you selfish yes very much so but that is not a bad thing i am at the center of my life no one is above me in my life no one not even my kid and she knows that and i tried to instill the same in her no one should be above her in her life because the thing is that like look the life that you're living is yours and i cannot be a great contributor to society and this sounds a little like counterintuitive but i can't be a great contributor to society i can't be a good friend i can't even be a good mom if i am not living the life that i want to live if i'm not wholly happy in it so absolutely i'm selfish when you left do be acquitted as saying you don't need to be the savior i think when referencing the state of the company because it was going through a very tumultuous time yeah you can save yourself too yes and save yourself first that's what i should have said you know it's like it's all of the ways in which we think about it now right you get on a plane they're going through the safety demonstration they tell you to put your mask on first before you help anybody else yes and in your life too yes save yourself first what was the career advice that you wish someone had given you you know like that young spikley perceptionist

Career advice you wish you had when you started (01:25:50)

be selfish in your life in your career think about yourself all of the time what does being selfish mean like meaning that when you're in a situation that doesn't serve you you think of yourself first oftentimes or in these situations that aren't serving us and we're thinking about how the other person is going to feel but that means that i have to be it it's the uncertainty that that creates that scares people right like well i can i've got this job and i quit it where am i gonna go and like what am i gonna do if i leave this relationship where am i gonna do where am i gonna go well but you should answer that i'm not saying that you quit without the answer i'm saying you quit you know it's like if you keep putting it off if you keep saying well i don't know what i'm gonna do so i'm just gonna then you're gonna waste your life away you're gonna be so unhappy you're gonna have the sunday scariest all the time you're gonna feel the it when you're with that person you are going to be unsatisfied with your life and that is the scariest thing i do not want to be on my deathbed being unsatisfied with the life that i lived i could go tomorrow and i would be so satisfied with this life why oh because i've done the things i've wanted to do now look i have goals it doesn't mean i don't have ambition it's not like i don't want to do the next thing i do want to go to Antarctica at some point i have not been yet you know but if i went now oh i've lived this life on my own terms like there's nothing that i did where i feel like oh man i should have made a different choice what are you good at like when you when you do the diagnosis of your skill set and what brought you here because you've had these incredible incredible incredible and career yeah but you know when we're we're all bad at loads of stuff and i think typically people are good at like a couple of things yeah but that's enough yeah what are you good at i'm good at seeing the forest the whole picture and sometimes in a forest you know that like oh you have to clear this area in order to make space for the little village because in those villagers can take care of the rest of the this part of the forest that is like burning you know what i'm saying but sometimes people are only down at the trees and then they can't see the burning part and they can't see that they should clear over there so that those people can get to the fire i can see the forest i can i can see the whole thing and i can see like okay this needs to move there this it's helped me so much in my career for sure it's like the change maker and how how does that make you a great marketer hmm because i never look at a problem just as the problem you know it's like when i got to uber the problem was that there was a huge campaign that was like delete uber right people are like oh they're mad at the company because of lack of diversity in the sea suite and they treat women horribly and they're not paying the drivers and oh it's unsafe even to get in the car and i went in and it's like if i had just tried to like go after one thing it would have been guacamole yeah you know everywhere i did okay pop this one down and this one pops up you hit that one and that one pops up but i can see the forest i could say ah this is not an issue about whether or not travis calenic hates women or hates black people this is not about whether or not your driver is going to kidnap you this is about trust do you trust the CEO of the company do you trust the driver when you get in the car do you trust anything about this whole situation self-driving cars you trust any of it if you don't trust it nothing i do is going to make you like the company i could fix the issue of like hell make half of the sea suite people of color and women and you would still be like yeah but they're gonna kidnap me but the best people you've encountered in marketing or do they have in common they're great storytellers they can make you believe anything this is a great marketer this the ones who make you believe that you put on a pair of nikies and somehow you're now the bran james and how do they what constitutes what makes

How to be a great marketer (01:30:00)

a great story um it's close enough to the truth if you do believe it yes well when i put on any parachutes i'm no LeBron James but you probably walk more confidently it's true so maybe you weren't LeBron but you're better version of yourself if i if i want to be a great marketer and i'm currently not what would you you know fliel comes to you and she goes mama want to work in marketing what's the best um what do i need to do to become a great marketer what would you say to leah um be more curious about people ask a lot of questions about people why do they do the things they do why they like the things and ask keep asking the questions like you've got to be really curious about people in order to be a great marketer because you can't just rely on what you know in your experiences even though i do say that you should be a focus group of one it's like if you like the thing maybe somebody else will like the thing if you mix your laugh maybe somebody else will laugh if it makes you scared somebody else is going to get scared if somebody inspired somebody else be inspired i believe that but you also have to like be really curious about why people choose the things that they choose why they like the things they like if you're not curious about people you're going to suck at this job what's the most important thing we've not talked about and i really want to focus this a little bit more there's going to be so many young people not so young people that are listening to this conversation now they look at your career and they go i want to walk that path i you know i want to get to i want to be the cmo of yeah the biggest companies in the world yeah c of this company what's your parting words to those people gosh that's such a hard one because the thing is that there is no there is no path you know if somebody tells you like do these steps in order to get to where i've got they're lying to you you're not going to get there based on the things i've done the only way you're going to get there is by listening to yourself is by following your intuition is by doing the things that you're really good at and leave the rest of that stuff that you're not good at that other people are trying to advise you leave that alone so there's any advice get to know yourself better that's it we often confuse aspiration with admiration we can it can admire someone without aspiring to walk that path and i think i think yeah i remember reading a poem one day about like the only great person you can be is the greatest version of yourself it's super cliche but it's no but it's true unbelievably because i cannot be Steve Jobs or no Thomas Edison and Martin Luther King it's not my greatness no exactly don't try to be me ever I'm sure people are still gonna try there's a closing tradition we have in this podcast where the last guest leaves a question for the next guest not knowing who they're leaving the question for yes and the question left for you is what moment in your journey made you fight even harder to get to where you are right now i mean we we talked about it it is it is Peter's last heartbeat you know at that moment that moment i i it just changed

Q&A Segment

The last guest's question (01:32:30)

the way i look at life i just don't want to get there not having lived exactly the life that i want it changed everything for me and so i refuse to succumb to anything that is not in my destiny for my greatness and my happiness that's it thank you thank you thank you so much your book is incredible it's been an incredible journey of truth and vulnerability and humanity and so many so many the things you're clearly i mean now it makes sense as to why the writing is so good and the storytelling is so great because you clearly have a love for words and reading and storytelling and that comes through in your work but you've you've walked an incredible incredible career path that is just inspiring just on the grounds that it happened but you have a remarkable ability to draw out wisdom from that career which makes it even more powerful so that's exactly what you've done today thank you so much it's been an honor to meet you and your your energy is quite infectious so thank you thank you thank you for the listening really really appreciate it as you know zoe russ sponsor of this podcast and i'm a big investor in the company you guys know i'm really sitting still because that's just the nature of my life so whether i'm in a business meeting with my investments or i'm recording this podcast i'm always running from a to b but the one promise that i made to myself is to fuel my body sufficiently and zoe has been really the key part of me succeeding in that mission for those of you that don't know i've been a zoe member for about a few months now ever since i had zoe scientific co-founder professor tim spectre on this podcast zoe helps me to understand how to make better food choices for my long-term health and it's all personalized to me eating the right food is essential for me to keep me going because some of my meetings are often later in the day and so i need to ensure that i keep my energy levels up and zoe allows me to understand which foods work for me and which foods don't eating the zoe way i don't get that dreaded afternoon crash and i feel great so to get started with zoe go to and use my exclusive code ceo 10 for 10% off so many of you have been asking me for a discount code here it is ceo 10 go to and use my exclusive code ceo 10 for 10% off and if you already use zoey send me a DM and let me know how you're getting on

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