Marie Forleo: Everything is Figureoutable, How to Trust Your Intuition and Build the Life of Your Dreams
Marie Forleo: Everything is Figureoutable, How to Trust Your Intuition and Build the Life of Your Dreams
[00:00:00] Marie Forleo: After about six months, I started hearing this voice inside. This isn't who you are. This isn't what you're meant to do. This isn't what you're supposed to be. I remember being at work and starting to feel sick, like physically ill. I made a beeline to the nearest church and I sat on the steps and I cried my eyes out because I felt like such a loser.
[00:00:31] I felt like I was doing good by my family, but at the same time, the truth was I was miserable and I felt like I was dying a slow death. When the divorce finally came final one day when the papers were done. I remember watching my mom in the kitchen and she's on the phone crying to her mother, my grandmother who was in Florida, and she's I have nothing.
[00:00:51] I have nothing. Do you understand that? I have nothing? And then she hung up the phone and she put her hands on my shoulders and her forehead was next to mine, and she [00:01:00] shook me, she said,
[00:01:05] Hala Taha: What is up Young and Profiters, you are listening to YAP Young and Profiting Podcast, where we interview the brightest minds in the world and unpack their wisdom into actionable advice that you can use in your daily life. I'm your host, Hala Taha. Thanks for tuning in and get ready to listen, learn and profit.
[00:01:37] Welcome to Young and Profiting Podcast, Marie.
[00:01:40] Marie Forleo: Thank you so much for having me.
[00:01:42] Hala Taha: I am super excited for today's show, Young and Profiters. We have one of my role models on the show today, Marie Forleo. Marie is an entrepreneur. She's also the host of the award-winning show, MarieTV and The Marie Forleo Podcast.
[00:01:55] She's an author and a speaker that Oprah named as a thought leader for the next generation. [00:02:00] Marie helps people build the life that they want and achieve their dreams. In this episode, Marie will share the backstory of her becoming a multi-passionate entrepreneur. We'll talk about why everything is figureoutable, how we can overcome self-limiting beliefs, and how we can live a more productive and stress-free life.
[00:02:16] So Marie, I'd love to take it back to your childhood. I'd like to do that on my podcast. And from my research, I found out that you have essentially always been a Jill of all trades since you were a little girl. So can you tell us more about that little girl who later became what you call a multi-passionate entrepreneur?
[00:02:33] Marie Forleo: I grew up in New Jersey like you did. I remember distinctly as a kid, when adults would say, Hey, what do you wanna be when you grow up? I never had one answer. I always had 17. I wanna be a teacher, I wanna be a dancer, I wanna be a writer, I wanna be a businesswoman, I wanna be a model, I wanna be an artist.
[00:02:51] It was just like on and on. And as the years went on, some of those answers would change, but there was never just one answer and [00:03:00] I didn't realize that was even odd or different until really my college years. I remember a lot of people seemed to have a very distinct, definitive vision for what they wanted to do.
[00:03:11] I wanna be a doctor, or I wanna be a lawyer, or I wanna be whatever it was. And I still had 15 things that sounded really intriguing to me. And when I started my career after graduating. I went to Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey. My first job was actually on Wall Street, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, and I was pumped.
[00:03:30] I was so excited because it's like the financial mecca of the universe. Back in those days, this is like the late nineties, there were actually no chairs on the floor. And I'm a person who has a lot of energy, so I was like, this is so cool. I'm gonna be running around all day. This is amazing. And after about six months into that job, I was super grateful for the work because I'm the first in my family to go to college and my parents, they just busted their buns to be able to even give me an education.
[00:03:57] And I took that very seriously. But after about [00:04:00] six months, I started hearing this voice inside that said, this isn't who you are. This isn't what you're meant to do. This isn't what you're supposed to be. And I was like, that's strange. And I tried to push that voice away, but it kept getting louder and louder until one day.
[00:04:12] I remember being at work and starting to feel sick, like physically Ill started to feel dizzy, like I couldn't really breathe. And I said to my boss, I said, Hey, can I just run out and get a coffee real fast? It was at a kind of slower time during the day. He's yeah, no problem. So I left and I didn't go to get coffee.
[00:04:30] I made a beeline to the nearest church, and I sat on the steps and I cried. I cried my eyes out because I felt like such a loser because I knew logically and intellectually that I was so grateful to have work. Which included a steady paycheck. It included health benefits. I felt like I was doing good by my family, but at the same time, the truth was I was miserable and I felt like I was dying a slow death, and I didn't know how to reconcile those two things.
[00:04:56] The first signal I got from above was actually it said, call your [00:05:00] dad. And back in those days, Hala, I still had, it was like flip phone days, so I took the flip phone out of my like dark green jacket. That's what all the traders had. And I called my dad and I was crying. I was like crying the ugly cry where there's snots coming outta your nose and you just can't breathe.
[00:05:16] And I was like, dad, I'm so sorry. I'm a man. And when I finally shut up and took a breath, he's re stop. He's you've been working since you were nine years old. I'm not worried about you figuring out how to keep a roof over your head. But he's here's the secret to life. You're gonna be working for at least the next 40 or 50 years.
[00:05:33] You have got to find something you love. And if going to work every day at this place makes you this sick that you ran out and you're crying in the middle of the day at the church, like you can quit. You'll do what you did, you'll bartend, you'll figure it out, but you need to find something you love. And Hala, that was like such a huge permission slip for me because I realized in that moment, while my dad didn't tell me how to find something I loved. He gave me permission to do so and really reinforced the fact [00:06:00] that livelihood needs to not fully.
[00:06:03] But finding something that genuinely aligns with your strengths and your skills is vital for all of us. And so the only clues I had really was that I was always a super creative child. So one of those 17 things that I always wanted to be was an artist. So I had this, I used to paint, I used to draw. I thought maybe I wanted to be an animator for Disney, but I also had a real passion around small business.
[00:06:23] My dad was a small business owner, and so I was fascinated with business and money and that kind of aspect of life too. And so I said to myself, okay, I have these two sides. Me, what do I do with them? And the first idea that came to mind was actually the world of magazine publishing. There's the ad side, which is around money and sales, and then there's the editorial side, which is very creative.
[00:06:42] And so I went to a temp agency in New York City and I said, I wanna work in magazines. I don't care which magazine, I don't care where it is. Just get me any position. I'll be like the lowly assistant. I don't care. And so they placed me as an ad assistant at Gourmet Magazine as a part of Conde Nast publications back in the day.
[00:06:59] And I remember I was like, [00:07:00] oh, this is awesome. My old environment, 99.9% men, this new environment, it was a lot more mixed and balanced. I was like, this is really cool. My boss was a woman and then also my big boss, the publisher was also this like incredible woman. I was like, this is great. I've never seen this before.
[00:07:14] And after about six months in that job, the same voice came back. It started small. Marie, this isn't who you are. This isn't what you're supposed to do. This isn't what you're supposed to be. And I was like, what is going on? What's wrong with me? Where's this voice coming from? I really want to work.
[00:07:29] I really want to earn money. I really wanna contribute. But I couldn't stand going to an office every day. And so logically I was like, okay, let me just step back here and try and look at my situation objectively. Wall Street money. Add sales, more money like numbers. Maybe I've leaned too heavy into the business side.
[00:07:47] Maybe I've really been starving my creative self. So I said, okay. Went to HR and said, look, if you have any position at any magazine on the editorial side, I'll take it. I don't care if I'll take a pay cut, it's a lateral move. It's a down move. [00:08:00] Just any opportunity I'll take it. So they found me a position at Madame Mazel, which was a women's fashion magazine.
[00:08:07] Editorial side. Fashion department. I was like, oh my God, this has gotta be it. I'm gonna be working with designers, I'm gonna be seeing new products. I'm gonna be helping with layouts, photo shoots. This is amazing. And for the first couple months, it was really cool.
[00:08:19] It was novel. I learned all kinds of new things, different environment. Amazing. Of course within, I don't know, four or five months, the voices came back again. Hala, this time I was like, there is something wrong with me. Like I feel broken. Do I have some kind of cognitive like dysfunction where I can't commit to anything?
[00:08:38] All of my friends are. Getting raises, getting married, starting to build their whole lives. And here I am, years after graduation, just wanting to quit my next job. Like nothing was making sense. And I felt so terrified. I felt like such a loser. It was awful. And there was one day at work when I was on the internet and I discovered this article [00:09:00] and it was about a new profession at the time.
[00:09:01] It's about 1999. The new profession was called coaching. You have to get that. In the late nineties, nobody had heard of coaching. Like this was like groundbreaking. And I remember reading that article and it was as though a Christmas tree lit up inside of me. It was as though the clouds parted and Little Angels came out and it was like, ah, like this is what you're supposed to do.
[00:09:22] But at the same time, I was 23 years old. And the mean voice in my head said, what are you kidding me? You're 23. Who the heck's gonna hire a 23 year old life coach? You haven't even lived life yet. You are in piles and piles of debt. You can't seem to hold down a job. This is gonna be one more thing you fail at.
[00:09:38] So I had that going on, but I couldn't deny that in my body. And my intuition told me that there was something, there that I was meant to follow. And I signed up on the spot for a three year coach training program. I was doing that at night on the weekends, kept my magazine job during the day, and then I get a call from the HR department.
[00:09:58] And they had a [00:10:00] promotion for me to go move up bigger paycheck, better position to be a part of Vogue Magazine, arguably one of the top fashion magazines in the world. And that was my fork in the road. Do I stay on the safe path with the paycheck and the health benefits and like a career that people actually understand what the hell it is?
[00:10:16] Or do I quit and do this weird ass life coaching thing that no one has ever heard of? I have no idea how to even turn it into a business. And it sounds ridiculous when I say it out loud. So I chose that path. I gave up my job and I went back to bartending and waiting tables, which I did all throughout college, and I figured out how to build a coaching practice during the day.
[00:10:35] So that's the through line of being a multi-passionate kid, not knowing what that was, to getting me to the place where, you know and I'll pause because I'm sure you have other questions, but we can take it all the way through.
[00:10:46] Hala Taha: I'm gonna dig deep on all of that. This was such a great overview of your story and it's super inspirational.
[00:10:51] So a question that I have for you, let's stick with you being 23 years old, deciding that you wanna be a life coach with basically no life experience. And [00:11:00] how did you get the confidence and when did you actually start getting clients? Did you wait until you were done with the program? And how did you know you were good at it?
[00:11:07] And like starting to build your confidence with it.
[00:11:10] Marie Forleo: Okay. Signing up for that program felt really significant to me because I had just basically, graduated from school just a few years earlier, so I was still in that mode of being like, I am a student. Like when you want a new skill, you go put yourself in an environment to gain those skills and capabilities and everything that they taught and all of the topics and what we would talk about in terms of communication, in terms of supporting other people, creating frameworks, understanding how to listen and to ask questions.
[00:11:38] Those things felt like second nature to me. They felt like areas where I was so excited to learn as opposed to things that I went through in college. Where it was like, I'm rolling my eyes to get through every topic. There was no resonance there. So that was my first clue that I was on to something is I really enjoyed learning.
[00:11:57] Second part of my coach training was [00:12:00] actually that you should not wait, to get what we called at that time practice clients. It was like, Hey, just work with people for free. That was a part of how they told you that you're gonna build a business and build your confidence was not to go out there and pretend that you're further along than you are.
[00:12:16] But for me, it looked like reaching out to every single girlfriend, that I had and because I was bartending and waiting tables. People would always ask me like, Hey, what else do you do? Are you an actress? I'm like, no, dude. I'm a coach. Like I could actually help you reach a goal or set a strategy or do this.
[00:12:31] And so I was just absolutely shameless about asking people if I could work with them for free. Like I just did everything I possibly could and in that process, Was it uncomfortable? But I had failed at so many other things, and that was so much more painful than actually trying to do something that I really believed in, that it gave me the motivation to just put myself out there.
[00:12:54] And then the worst thing that people could say was no. And I was like, that's not that big of a deal. It was through that experience [00:13:00] of just continuing to work through my fear and my embarrassment. And then when I started getting people results and how, and they're like, wow, I feel so much better after our conversations.
[00:13:09] So that started to fill the well of I could do this. This is awesome. And it didn't happen overnight. It took me a very long time, but that's how the process started.
[00:13:18] Hala Taha: The other question that I have is in terms of this dream job, like you said, Vogue is like the pinnacle of the fashion world, right?
[00:13:23] Everybody wants to work in Vogue, especially back then, it was like such a huge deal, and so you were at this fork in the road. You had to make a decision to go after this risky thing that you had no idea how it was gonna pan out. Ended up being a great decision. What was your thought process around that?
[00:13:39] I know that you have a 10 year test that you talk about in terms of making decisions. I'd love to hear how you came about making that decision.
[00:13:45] Marie Forleo: So I didn't realize the 10 year test until a few years later. And we'll unpack what that concept is and how people can use it cause I think it's actually, it's so helpful for any of us, no matter what your age is, no matter what stage of life you're in.
[00:13:56] That decision in terms of not saying yes to [00:14:00] Vogue was a very body led, intuition led decision. Here's what I mean by that, because I had that experience on Wall Street, where going to the same place every single day started making me feel like I was dying a slow death. And then I quit that job and got out of it.
[00:14:14] And then I went through a similar thing when I was at Gourmet Magazine, whereas like I respected all the people that I worked for. I appreciated them. I was grateful to have a job, but I couldn't deny that every single day. It was like, I can't do this for the rest of my life. I don't wanna climb this corporate ladder, like what's going on?
[00:14:30] So it was a very. Visceral feeling. And then to have that a third time when I was at Madame Mazel and then to have this incredible opportunity for a promotion come to me and everything, every single cell in my body was screaming. No, I don't even feel like it was a decision. It was something I had to do.
[00:14:52] Hala Taha: And I'll ask another question that I think will help everybody understand. So there's good fear and bad fear, right? There's the fear. And you should like, when I [00:15:00] feel fear, I'm like, I gotta do it. I gotta just do it. That means I'm gonna grow, I'm gonna learn. And that's how I accomplish a lot of the things that I'm scared of.
[00:15:06] I know if I feel fear, I need to just do it. It means that I'm gonna grow and it's good for me. But then sometimes you feel fear. And it's like this oh, this is bad for me. And it's more of an intuition gut. This must be bad for me and you shouldn't do that thing even though you're afraid of it.
[00:15:22] So how can we tell if we should do something that we're afraid of or if we should actually run away from it?
[00:15:28] Marie Forleo: Fear versus intuition. It's a big thing. My best strategy that I've taught to probably hundreds of thousands of people at this point is. A really simple thing that anyone can do. Whenever you're faced with an possibility, an opportunity, something that you're facing where if you said yes, you're like, wow, this decision could change my life, or this opportunity could mean the world to me.
[00:15:51] And I think it's really important for all of us. Especially, when we're starting in a new journey or when we're on the early part of our career cap path, to [00:16:00] recognize that our intellect and our ego often wants to override our intuition. And so let's say that you got invited to go speak at a certain event, or someone wants to make you their business partner, or you know they're presenting you with this opportunity that on paper, maybe there's a lot of money involved or there's a lot of prestige, or everyone else would be like, what are you nuts?
[00:16:20] Like, how are you saying no to this? But yet something inside of you feels like, I don't know. So here's what I do. I always instruct people, whenever you're faced with something like that and you don't know if it's like good fear, meaning the type of fear that you described. It's not like the fear of walking in front of a bus where you're gonna get killed.
[00:16:37] We're not talking about that. We're talking about creative fear that could keep you small. And how do you know if it's like something you should move through and say yes, because it's gonna be a tremendous opportunity for you to develop skills and move up in the world. Or if it's your intuition waving a big neon red flag going don't do this.
[00:16:52] You're gonna F it up. It's gonna just cost you a million things and it's gonna take you on the wrong path. You're gonna regret it. So when you think about whatever the opportunity is or reposition, as you [00:17:00] close your eyes, you get very still and you wanna get out of your head and tap into your body.
[00:17:04] So if it's helpful, make sure you have no technology around. If you need to like shake it out and either go for a walk, go for a run, go for a workout, something so you can disengage from the non-stop chatter of the monkey mind and really start to feel in your body, so you get really quiet and then you ask yourself, does the idea of saying yes.
[00:17:24] To this opportunity, this deal, this possibility, make me feel expansive or contracted. Now, here's the deal in the nanosecond, when you ask yourself that question right after your body has a visceral reaction. This is super subtle, so people I think that are involved in athletics, if you do any type of working out, you're probably gonna be able to detect this a little easier at first, but everybody can do it.
[00:17:50] And what you're feeling for is either a feeling of expansion and what that can be experienced as is like maybe your body moving forward in space. It's almost [00:18:00] like you're leaning into the sun. You feel your chest lifted. There's maybe tingly sensations inside, even though maybe it's scary. You're like, there's a ton of excitement, or maybe little sparks of joy or something that just feels like a visceral experience of expansion.
[00:18:15] On the other hand, if you ask yourself does the idea of saying yes to this opportunity make me feel expansive or contracted? You might feel something that we could identify as dread. Maybe there's a pit in your stomach. Maybe your physical body starts to pull back in space, or your shoulders hunch over, or your head starts to very subtly say no.
[00:18:33] So if you actually ask yourself that question, take a breath and feel into the answer, not from your head, but from your body. That is one of the surest ways that any single person can get aligned with their intuition, not their intellect. Your intellect will often lead you astray because it's tied to your ego, which is tied to status, prestige, wanting to get ahead, climbing, and it's all rooted in fear at the end of the day.
[00:18:59] Your [00:19:00] intuition is your connection to higher source guidance, wisdom, natural knowing, like innate powers that all of us have that we're just not taught how to access in school.
[00:19:11] Hala Taha: And I have to say that as you get more successful, these opportunities are gonna become sexier and sexier, and it's gonna get harder to say no and harder to say no.
[00:19:19] And you need to get really good at making these decisions.
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[00:22:13] I'd love to understand the 10 year, yeah. 10 year test.
[00:22:16] Marie Forleo: The 10 year test. So this was interesting. So after I had said no to the magazine world, had gone on this journey to okay, let me figure out how the hell to build a coaching business. Bartending, waiting tables about seven days a week, and was doing my coaching business during the day.
[00:22:29] And so we all know this. Like one of the things that any one of us needs to do, or we learn that we have to do is have an elevator pitch or, when someone asks you about your business or what you do for your career, you're supposed to have a really good answer. And I remember at the bar when people would ask me, so what else do you do?
[00:22:44] Oftentimes, when I talked about being a life coach. It would feel really narrow and limiting and like I wasn't telling the full story, even though I really loved what I did. The truth was I had all of these [00:23:00] different other passions as well that I was starting to explore. So for example, I loved spirituality, I loved writing, I loved what at that time, the early two thousands was the new world of digital business.
[00:23:10] Again, no one, YouTube didn't exist. Podcasts didn't exist yet. It was blogs and email and eBooks and like different things that were brand new and mind blowing. And I also loved hip hop. And dance and music, and even though I don't have any formal training. It was like something that was such a passion for me.
[00:23:28] And I would go to classes here in New York City and I would go to a place called Crunch because they had first of all, I had a gym membership. They had amazing dance teachers and amazing dance classes, and I loved it. And I remember just going to classes so often going wow, I, actually think this should be a part of my path or part of my career, but it doesn't make sense.
[00:23:48] Because I'm supposed to be focused on life coaching. I'm already bartending and waiting tables seven nights a week. Like, how am I gonna do all these things? And so I remember like having these fantasies about being a dancer [00:24:00] and about having a career in this world, but I would always never give myself permission to do it because I was like, I'm supposed to focus all the success books, say you have to niche down and pick one thing and be the best at it in the world, so they can't ignore you.
[00:24:11] But the truth was, I couldn't do that. It wasn't advice that worked for me. And so this opportunity came up to actually audition, to teach at Crunch, and to take my passion for this thing to the next level. And I remember sitting down and thinking to myself, should I do this? Is this like the stupidest thing ever?
[00:24:29] You know what I mean? Am I gonna just get distracted, slow down my coaching career, spend even more time bartending waiting tables cause I'm not making that much money. That's when I came up with a 10 year test. I was about 25 or 26 at the time in the dance world to start out at 25 or 26. You are over the hill.
[00:24:47] You're practically a great grandparent because most people as professional dancers, they start taking class when they're like three or four. And they're in these recitals and everything, and they're professional dancers going on tour and music [00:25:00] videos. By the time they're like 15, 16, 17, you know what?
[00:25:02] That's their peak and then in their mid twenties they're moving into a different zone or something like that. Anyway, that was my understanding of that world. So to start dancing with no formal training at 26 or 27 sounded crazy. So I sat myself down and I said, okay, look, you love this thing so much.
[00:25:18] You love music, you love hip hop, you love dance. If you imagine yourself, you're 25 right now. If you imagine yourself 10 years in the future, looking back and realizing you didn't go for this. You didn't actually audition to teach at Crunch, you didn't give this any sort of space or attention, are you gonna regret it?
[00:25:35] And when I closed my eyes and imagined myself at 35, 10 years into the future, I was like, oh my God! It would be one of the biggest regrets of my life. And that leaning into my future and trying on a perspective of future me is the 10 year test, and anyone can do it. Now, if I would've gotten the answer like no, I really wouldn't give a shit, then I probably wouldn't have went on and auditioned.
[00:25:58] But I did audition [00:26:00] and I wound up having this extraordinary career simultaneously to building my coaching practice where I was one of the world's first elite Nike dance athletes, and I got to teach hip hop and salsa and house and all these different dance flavors all around the world. And these incredible experiences that would've never happened, if I didn't do that 10 year test and get out of a space of fear thinking that it was like too late at 25.
[00:26:26] And again, I know how ridiculous that sounds. But in that world, contextually it made sense.
[00:26:31] Hala Taha: I love that. So as I was researching about your story, there were some things that I realized. So in high school you tried out for the cheerleading team for many years. When you finally made a team, you became captain, right?
[00:26:41] Then you're the first to go to college. You graduated valedictorian. Then as an adult, you just told the story, you're dancer. No professional training started it way later than everybody else. Then you become one of the first like elite dancers for Nike, right? So how do you dominate every single random thing that you [00:27:00] decide to do?
[00:27:01] It's a really a personality type. I'm very similar, always president of everything, always captain of everything, dabbling in this and that, figuring it out. We'll talk about. That in a little bit, but I just wanna understand like your personality, the personality that it takes for somebody to always wanna compete and win and be number one. Which sounds like is very much your personality based on what I learned about you, what would you say are the pros and cons of this type of personality?
[00:27:25] Marie Forleo: One of them is that I'm willing to dive in and not be good at stuff like, Everything I've ever tried. When I start out, I'm not good at all. Like terrible. I remember all those times trying out for the cheerleading team and just being like so crestfallen, because I was so rejected. I was like, these arms aren't straight and you don't have this no that, and I was just like, all right, I'm gonna try better next time.
[00:27:47] And I just put myself on video camera to learn to go, okay. Oh wow, I see how my arms are. Oh wow. Jesus. I'm a mess. Okay, great. And I think the same thing with coaching. I think the same thing with business. Like I'm not super fast. So a [00:28:00] lot of people, I think in the world, sometimes people have these incredible opportunities where they're like, they have, I don't know if it's overnight success, but they're like fast learners.
[00:28:08] And I don't think I'm like that. I think also one of the pros to this type of personality is if I really love something, I'm going to just go for it and dive in and trust that it'll all work out. I think one of the cons of having personalities like we do is you can sometimes be your own worst enemy and you can overwork.
[00:28:26] I think perfectionism is something to really watch out for. There's. Beautiful perfectionism, which means you have high standards, and that's awesome because that's where excellence comes from and that is outstanding. And then it can bleed over into some maladaptive forms of it where nothing is ever good enough, you're never good enough.
[00:28:43] You can push yourself into burnout and you can be really hard on other people too. So I think those are some of the aspects, where you have to really keep awareness of yourself and the self-punishment and the self torture that can come with this personality type is really something to keep an eye out for.
[00:28:59] Hala Taha: So I wanna [00:29:00] ask one last question about your career. Have you ever heard of the Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell?
[00:29:04] Marie Forleo: Yes.
[00:29:05] Hala Taha: So basically it's like the boiling point. Like you reach critical mass and everybody knows who you are. So you are one of my role models in this space. When I think of who I wanna be and all these things I always think of like you are definitely a name, that pops up in my mind and it was great to have you as a role model before I was able to, be a big podcaster and things like that.
[00:29:24] So thank you. And I'm curious to know what point in your career, like now everybody in this space knows your name, you're really recognizable, one of the top females in this business influencer space. What do you think was the tipping point when you're like, everything started to really just escalate for you, what was the tipping point?
[00:29:43] Marie Forleo: It's a great question. Two things about this. One. I don't know if there was one. That's my honest assessment, and I may not be the best person to decide that because I'm so in it. And if you talk to anyone who knows me, any of my friends and colleagues, they'll let you know. Even my team, I'm [00:30:00] the most heads down person ever.
[00:30:02] Like my thing is I just show up, I get it done, and then I'm either. Off, meaning I'm completely unplugged and into another space in my life, and then when I come back, I go heads down again. Because I've been doing this now and it's been 22 years, right? So it's a really long time. And I think going back to the traits, one of my best traits is my consistency trait.
[00:30:26] So when I first started creating content on a weekly basis, it was through a newsletter with the cheesiest title ever called Magical Moments. It was awesome. That was the best I could do at that time, and I would send out a newsletter every week nonstop. And then actually, once I got a puppy, it was the first dog I ever had in my life.
[00:30:42] Kuma, he's 13 now. When I got him, I couldn't blog anymore because. Raising a puppy and training a puppy takes a lot of time. If anyone listening has ever done it, it's a lot of work. And I was like, I need to just turn on my computer. Because I remembered from my teaching fitness days, I was like, I can easily look at a camera.
[00:30:57] And so then it became MarieTV. And I'm [00:31:00] saying all this because the consistency and the momentum that has built over time, there wasn't one moment. I think it's the long game that has allowed me to create. What for me has been a really beautiful experience of business and a beautiful experience of being able to connect with people.
[00:31:18] There were certainly beautiful moments, and I hope that there's many more, but I don't think that there was one that really did it. It was the relentlessness of commitment and consistency, that I think has helped me create what we have today.
[00:31:33] Hala Taha: It's totally amazing and it's amazing how you had it as a side hustle, but it was something you were still doing consistently.
[00:31:39] You had other things that were making you money because it, that thing wasn't making you money yet, but you kept going at it, getting better at it, learning at it, and it's really, all this stuff is a long game. Same thing with me in this podcast. I've been working at it for five years. People see me now, but it's like I've been doing more than five years.
[00:31:54] I had a blog before this. It's been like a 12 year journey to get here, of all these different experiences in the [00:32:00] same sort of, path, even though I was doing other things to sustain myself all the while, but it's like sticking on one thing long term is super important. So let's talk about everything is figureoutable.
[00:32:10] So you have a book that was released in 2019. This is one of my favorite quotes. I actually have it in our, YAP. I have a company. I have it in our core values is one of our phrases is everything is figureoutable. So what was the genesis of this phrase?
[00:32:23] Marie Forleo: So this phrase is really, it's the mantra I live my life by.
[00:32:27] I feel like if my DNA n a could be words, that would be it. This actually is something beautiful. It was such a gift that was given to me by my mom. So my mom is this really interesting character. She is. She's 75 now. She's still with us. She's awesome. She's super spicy and funny. She is about five four.
[00:32:47] She looks like June Cleaver, which is this character from the fifties. This leave it to beaver show. Very pure and all American looking, but she has the tenacity of a bulldog and she curses like a truck driver. She is so [00:33:00] spicy. And she actually grew up the daughter of two alcoholic parents in Newark, New Jersey.
[00:33:05] So she really learned by necessity how to stretch a dollar bill around the block like five times. Super frugal. And she had made a promise to herself that when she grew up, that somehow she was gonna find a way her better life. And I remember sitting around our house in New Jersey on Sundays. And we would clip out coupons together.
[00:33:21] Cause my mom was like, I'm gonna teach you all the different ways that we save money. And the other thing that gave her so much joy was the fact that brands back in the day, I don't even know if they still do this, but back in the day when you were loyal to a brand, you could cut out what was known as a proof of purchase.
[00:33:38] So those were on the back of like cereal boxes or milk cartons, or orange juice cartons. And if you saved up enough of them, you can mail them in and they would send you something like a free recipe book or a whole set of utensils or something like that. And one of my moms. Favorite possessions in the whole world was this little FM transistor radio that she got from Tropicana Orange [00:34:00] Juice for free.
[00:34:01] So this little radio looked like an orange. It had this cute red and white straw sticking out of the side. That's the antenna. And my mom loves music too. And so I remember as a kid, Anytime that I needed to find my mom, like somewhere around our yard or somewhere around the house. All I had to do was listen for the sound of this tinny little radio of her like music blaring out of it.
[00:34:22] And one day, I remember walking home from school and I'm approaching the house and I hear her tunes. It was like a Donna summer or something. I get closer and the music is like coming from a strange orientation. It was actually coming from way up high. I was caught off guard and I look up and I see my mom perched precariously on the roof of our two story house.
[00:34:44] I don't see a ladder, I don't see. I just see her like perched up there with this little orange sitting next to her butt. And I'm like, mom, are you okay? What are you, whatcha are you doing? Why are you doing on the roof up there? And she's Ree, I'm fine. Don't worry about it. She's the roof had a leak.
[00:34:58] I called the roofer. He said it was gonna be at [00:35:00] least 500 bucks. I said, screw that. There's some extra asphalt in the garage. I'm doing it myself. Super frugal. I was like, okay, cool. So another day I come home, I remember walking through the door and like I hear every woman like in the back and my mom's in the bathroom, and I push open the door and there's like dust particles all over and there's pipes sticking outta the wall.
[00:35:20] Like it looked like a bomb went off. It was crazy. And I was like, mom, are you okay? What's going on? And she's oh, The caulking was off and the tiles were cracked. I didn't want the bathroom to get moldy, so I'm retiling everything now. You have to get that. My mom is just high school educated.
[00:35:35] And this is the 1980s. So we don't have Google, we don't have YouTube, we don't have TikTok. Like we don't have any of the things that you could look up how to do stuff. And so one day it was the fall, it was getting dark early, and I came home from school and it was already like creepy. And as I approached my house, something was different, no lights on, and it was totally silent.
[00:35:56] And for an Italian American home, if it's quiet and dark, this is [00:36:00] not a good sign. So I walk in and I had this pit in my stomach. Cause I, I knew something was off. And I'm like, where the hell is my mom? Where's the radio? Like it's too silent here. Then all of a sudden I hear these clicks and clacks like click.
[00:36:12] Clack coming outta the kitchen. I follow the sound and I see my mom hunched over the kitchen table. It looked like an operating room. There were screwdrivers and like electrical tape, and then in about a dozen pieces, a completely dismantled Tropicana orange radio. I was like, mom, what happened? Is it broke?
[00:36:29] That's like your favorite thing in the world. She says to me, she's oh no, everything's fine. She's the antenna was off and the dial wasn't working right, so I'm just putting it back together. And I finally thought to ask the question that I should have always asked, which was this. I said, Hey, mom, how do you know how to do so many things that you have never done before and there's nobody showing you how to do it?
[00:36:50] And she put down her screwdriver and she cocked her head to the side. She said, RI, what are you talking about? She's nothing in life is that complicated. If you roll up your sleeves, you get in there [00:37:00] and you do it. Everything is figure outable and Hala. I kid you not. I was just like, whoa. Everything is figure outable what everything is figure outable.
[00:37:09] It's like that phrase washed over me and it lodged into my heart so deep that it became the operating system through which I lived honestly, the rest of my life. It got me through high school and abusive relationships and all the BS that most of us go through get in college and education and rejection.
[00:37:26] Like all the things. And there is not a day that goes by that I still do not use that phrase, or that we don't use it in our team, in our company, or in some aspect that it doesn't help me when the shiitake hits the fan in life, cuz it does for all of us. Get myself back into a space of going let's problem solve, let's get creative.
[00:37:45] Who can I call? I may not have all the answers. I'm not saying that I know how to necessarily figure everything out, but that it is figure outable.
[00:37:54] Hala Taha: We'll be right back after a quick break from our sponsors.[00:38:00]
[00:38:01] I love that. And I know that your mom she gave you this everything figure outable mantra, which seemed to be work really positive for you. She also had a lot to do with your money beliefs in general. Like you said, she was frugal and I know that one time you, I heard you tell a story when you were eight years old.
[00:38:19] You saw your mother sobbing on the phone and basically she told you something that was advice that you took he to, which was. A real big benefit in your life, but also led to some overdoing it in some ways. So tell us about that.
[00:38:33] Marie Forleo: So it was I was around eight when my parents got divorced. And so essentially it was never about like drugs or infidelity or, anything like that.
[00:38:46] It was always my parents fighting was always about money and there not being enough of it. And so when the divorce finally came final, one day when like the papers were done, I remember watching my mom in the kitchen and my mom's a little woman [00:39:00] and she had probably lost, I don't know, 15 to 20 pounds, to be perfectly honest with you.
[00:39:03] She was like a skeleton, and she, this was back when there was landlines, so she had the phone like wrapped around her hand and blood was drained out of it, and she's on the phone crying to her mother, my grandmother who is in Florida, and she's I have nothing. I have nothing. Do you understand that?
[00:39:18] I have nothing. And then she hung up the phone and she leaned down, bent down cause I was small and she put her hands on my shoulders and her forehead was next to mine. And she shook me. She said, Marie, don't be stupid like I was. Do you see what I'm going through right now? Don't ever let a man control your money.
[00:39:37] Don't ever let anyone control your destiny. Don't be stupid like me. I need you to grow up. I need you to be independent. I need you to take care of yourself. Don't be stupid like I was. And I'm not kidding you. Hala, like at eight. First of all, I was terrified because I had never seen my mom that distraught.
[00:39:54] Second of all, my dad's an amazing person, so I was heartbroken because every kid, most of us, right? We [00:40:00] just want our families to be together. And so I formed this little understanding, this little equation. Which was this, was that not having enough money, means that you're gonna lose love. Not having enough money means that families are gonna get broken up and not having enough money is a thing that I never want.
[00:40:18] And I promised myself that I was gonna grow up and somehow figure out how to make so much money, that it would never take away love again. And I remember even as a kid, hearing other stories from other kids, I knew because their families were getting divorced too. And so I had these fantasies of Oh I'm gonna earn so much that I can help other people with enough money as well.
[00:40:39] And so that was a weird but strange and amazing thing, that got planted in me that grew into a desire, a hunger, a commitment to be financially free. It definitely was not a straight line because like I was sharing earlier in this conversation. I got myself in piles and [00:41:00] piles of debt after school, so I was certainly not good at it.
[00:41:03] I think for most of us, there's a lot of mixed messages that we absorb around money, whether that is from our family, from society, our friends, the media, a lot of mixed signals about whether we should want it. Is it okay to want it? You shouldn't have it. Are you spiritual? Are you a good person? So much stuff that most of us need to work through.
[00:41:22] And but that was the genesis for me of having that seed planted, of going. Nope, I don't know how, but I'm gonna figure out how to earn so much. That's not gonna be a problem.
[00:41:30] Hala Taha: And eventually you figured that out. You started becoming really successful, making money. And I heard you on Dear Gabby, another podcast where you are talking to her about the fact that at one point you were just overdoing it.
[00:41:44] You were a stress ball all the time. Running around like a chicken with your head cut off. Nothing was ever enough. You would always say I'll rest in two weeks. I'll rest in two weeks. I have to say I feel like I'm in that now running a team of 60 people and I feel like I'm just. Three times a week working [00:42:00] at till midnight still, and all these things.
[00:42:01] I know it's not good for me, but I wanna understand what point was the turning point for you when you're like, I need to make a change.
[00:42:09] Marie Forleo: A couple things. One, Should you be interested, and again, this is only an invitation, but if you are ever like, you know what, I'm done with this. I still wanna be wildly successful, but I don't wanna drive myself into the ground, you need to consider coming to do time genius.
[00:42:22] It's amazing. It'll keep all of your best qualities and let go, at least for me, of some of the ones that have grown to be destructive. So for me, Probably one of the biggest wake up calls was actually in 2020 because I had been really going at it hard for a while, and it was like a fish and water.
[00:42:40] It's I don't know any different. This is just me. This is what I do, this is how I do it, and. There was never a problem with it. It certainly wasn't a burden because I love my work and it showed up a few times in my relationship, where with Josh, my partner, we've been together 20 years. Where, he is like, Hey, working a lot.
[00:42:57] And I'm like, this is what it takes, dude. This is what it's about. And [00:43:00] so we've definitely had sparring issues over time and I think I dialed it down a little bit because the truth is my relationship needed more space and needed more attention and if it was gonna thrive. But in 2020, I started having all of these.
[00:43:13] Weird and unusual pains in my body, which I had never had before. And I, had always taken really good care of my health. And as conscious as I can be as a dancer and as a fitness person, movement is part of my life, but things just started to fall apart. And I remember getting all of my blood work done, and a doctor said to me after she reviewed my blood work, she's Marie, it is a miracle you're able to get up every day like your adrenals are shot.
[00:43:40] Then we discovered all of these tumors inside of me, including one the size of a grapefruit, growing outside of my uterus, pushing all of the other organs out of place. And it turns out I had to have an urgent hysterectomy to make the pain stop. And so after that surgery, the [00:44:00] recovery is like you're, you can't really do much for six to eight weeks.
[00:44:04] It's just like your body needs to heal. It's a major surgery. You cannot work out. You can walk and you walk gently, but you just have to really chill. And I'm not kidding you, I have never taken six weeks off in my life. I started babysitting when I was nine and I was like, Even just the prospect. I remember even when I heard no, you're not gonna be able to do anything for six weeks.
[00:44:23] I was it was like a such a record scratch moment. But what was so cool about that was in the stillness and in the requirement to just be, I was able to see how much my patterning of drivenness had exceeded what was necessary. And it was as though this drive was driving me. Rather than me being in control.
[00:44:50] And there was just layers of it that I was like, this is not even productive. And I am like really about efficiency and productivity, and I'm like overdoing it in certain [00:45:00] areas, and it's causing my body to break down, which is like my sacred vessel in this lifetime. This is nuts, Marie. You can't see things or learn the lessons until they're ready for you.
[00:45:09] But there was something in that stillness that, gave me a perspective that quite frankly, I just didn't have before because I was it was such a habit to go so fast and so hard, that I didn't know there was even another option.
[00:45:22] Hala Taha: And you love your job so much. When you love what you're doing. It's so easy to just keep going, and not even pay attention to how your body's reacting and feeling.
[00:45:29] Like you said, you've got this new course, newish course called Time Genius. I definitely wanna take it.
[00:45:34] Marie Forleo: You gotta come take it. You'll love it.
[00:45:36] Hala Taha: And you talk about rejecting the time stress trap. Can you explain what that is?
[00:45:42] Marie Forleo: In my six weeks. And so like I had, I've always been obsessed with productivity because again, I love what I do and I'm always like how do we maximize our time on earth?
[00:45:50] Like how do you get the most out of being here? The things that you wanna create, the impact you wanna make, the different adventures that you wanna have. So it's always been a place of interest for me, a place of study, and I love [00:46:00] studying neuroscience and I love studying efficiency and effectiveness and all those beautiful things. And when I really started to understand, that I was so addicted to overwhelm and had put myself in a place of burnout, I started to recognize that.
[00:46:13] I was like, wait a minute. This is two different worlds, two different paradigms, where we're so enculturated to believe that if we're not on our phones twenty four seven, if we're not constantly engaging and creating content and trying to reach for more and bigger and bigger, that somehow we're not hungry enough or we're not driven enough.
[00:46:31] So I started understanding, I was like, it basically came to me this concept of there's the world of time stress, which most of the world is caught in. Here's a stat that might blow your mind. Did you know that on average. Right now, these days, the average American will now spend the equivalent of 44 years of their life staring at screens.
[00:46:48] Hala Taha: No, I didn't know that.
[00:46:50] Marie Forleo: 44 years of our life. I don't know about you.
[00:46:53] Hala Taha: Mine is 60 years for sure.
[00:46:54] Marie Forleo: Yes, but I don't think the purpose of a human life is to spend at 44 years or [00:47:00] 66 years staring at screens. And just when I started to really do some research into the stats and I started, I actually asked our audience.
[00:47:08] I sent out this survey and I just said, Hey, I'm investigating this topic. I'm curious if you have any struggles around productivity or burnout or getting things done or feeling like, no matter how hard you go, it's never enough. And when you're working, you're like, oh God, I really need to rest. But you feel so guilty for taking rest that you don't take a rest.
[00:47:23] And then when you take a rest, you're like, I should be working because I have all these other ideas and I need to get ahead. And oh my God, Hala, you don't even the responses, there was like 7,000 in-depth responses in two days. It was insane. And then when I started to look at those responses, it became so apparent to me that most of the world was caught trapped in this awful paradigm that I called time stress.
[00:47:46] Where you feel like no matter how hard you go, it's not hard enough that you can't take a break. That you're lazy if you even wanna sit down and rest for five minutes, that no matter what you do, it's not enough. That you are starting to feel some anxiety, some [00:48:00] depression, some burnout, and you feel ashamed about that.
[00:48:02] And you feel like that if you take a break or slow down, that everything you've worked so hard for is probably gonna fall apart. And that's the world a lot of people are living in and they're plastering on smiles and saying, oh, but I got it. I got it together. I got it together. Or they feel like they have to hold it together.
[00:48:15] They don't realize that there's this whole other possibility. The paradigm I call being a time genius, which is where you can actually get all the things that you wanna get done and then some, and not feel that dread and not run yourself into the ground, and not do things that are ineffective and not chase these goals or this cultural mandate for more.
[00:48:33] That honestly is sometimes you don't want everything to grow indefinitely. Think about cancer cells. That's something you don't want more of, and so sometimes actually the secret to getting more out of life of what we really want. Which includes abundance and adventure and success actually requires us doing less.
[00:48:51] That's not a message we get very often. But anyway, we could keep talking and I wanna be quiet cause I'm sure you have more questions.
[00:48:57] Hala Taha: And I think this is, especially a lot of my audience are [00:49:00] small business owners, entrepreneurs. It's especially important for us cuz as I keep growing my company bigger and bigger, I have more responsibility in terms of payroll and clients and this and that.
[00:49:09] And sometimes I'm like, what did I do? Like I could just be rich off my podcast. All right. So in these last couple minutes, I'm gonna ask you a couple questions at the end in terms of your secret to profiting life. But first, some actionable tips in terms of time management and productivity. What are your favorite actionable tips that you can share with our listeners?
[00:49:26] Marie Forleo: I would say one is, I know this sounds really basic, but a lot of people don't do it, is really shift every notification on every electrical device you have to the off position, default it to off. Do not let yourself be interrupted by other people's ideas, agendas, or notifications. That includes text messages, that includes Slack, that includes email, that includes every social platform.
[00:49:48] One of the biggest things that crushes our ability to do deep focus work is interruptions and distractions. And when you start setting those notifications to off, like you're gonna feel a little uncomfortable at first, you're like, oh, am I not important? No one's [00:50:00] reaching out to me. Is it too quiet? But I will tell you, you'll get your core work done so fast and then you'll have so much more space and bandwidth to play, and have fun and interact with people and have real conversations and not be toast at the end of your day.
[00:50:13] So that's one thing. The other thing is I always advise people to make a success plan, not a to-do list. So success plan, it's not just semantics, it's actually the framing that's really important is you take four minutes at the end of your day, so before you wrap up for the day and not to wait until 5, 6, 7, 8 o'clock, when your brain's frigging toast and you're running on fumes.
[00:50:33] Do it like after lunch at one or two or something like that. Take four minutes and map out your success plan for the following day. Are there any core meetings that you have to get to? Is there any place you need to show up and be on time? And what are the one to three, not 15, not 27? What are the one to three really high value projects, tasks to dos that you really do need to get done and have those on that list only?
[00:50:58] And a success plan [00:51:00] rather than a to-do list. First of all, it frames you up to have a successful day. B, you're able to wake up and hit the ground running because you know exactly how your ideal day should unfold and when you don't stuff it with 17, 15, 30 things, you have enough margin to be able to be responsive to the OSHA Talki moments of life.
[00:51:22] The internet fails, the technology doesn't work. Something happens with a member of your family. If there's enough white space in there, there's enough margin for you to be able to not only get your most important tasks done, because you've identified what those are in advance, but there's enough wiggle room to be able to not let your life get outta control, or for you to feel out of control dealing with it.
[00:51:39] Hala Taha: Guys, this is such simple advice, but it will literally change your life. This is how you make consistent progress day over day and get shit done. When you prioritize your stuff, you know what you're supposed to do that's gonna actually move the needle, and you don't get distracted with the things that other people have on their agendas in terms of what you should be doing during your day.
[00:51:56] So I love that advice, Marie. The last two things I ask everybody on my [00:52:00] podcast is, what is one actionable thing our Young and Profiters can do today to become more profiting tomorrow?
[00:52:07] Marie Forleo: One thing they can do today to become more profiting tomorrow? If you're a business owner, you might wanna take a look at expanding either your prices or your offerings to offer something that is either a little more premium, or that is catered to an audience who is happy, willing, and able to spend more on something that's a little more white glove or a little bit more exclusive.
[00:52:29] Hala Taha: I love that.
[00:52:30] And what is your secret to profiting in life? And this could be beyond financial.
[00:52:34] Marie Forleo: You know what? The biggest lesson that I continue to bring myself back to, and I feel like it's like one of my life lessons in this incarnation on earth, is to be in joy as much as humanly possible. Even when things are hard, even when things feel uncertain, is to show up and to be enjoy because the journey's not gonna last that long and it goes faster and faster.
[00:52:58] And the more that you show up, [00:53:00] enjoy that vibration. It helps you profit in more ways than one. You have access to greater creativity. You have better connections with the people around you, and the journey actually becomes a lot more fun.
[00:53:12] Hala Taha: What a nice way to end the show and where can our listeners learn more about you and everything that you do?
[00:53:16] Marie Forleo: So marieforleo.com. It's M-A-R-I-E F-O-R-L-E-O .com. It's the main website. We've got hundreds of episodes of Marie Forleo of the Marie Forleo podcast in MarieTV on all the socials. It's at Marie Forleo. And I think on the website there's a great free kind of coaching download. It's called How to Get Anything You Want.
[00:53:34] So it's like a little private coaching session, but you can download it and take it with you anywhere and it's a hundred percent free.
[00:53:38] Hala Taha: Amazing. I will put all those links in the show notes. Marie, thank you so much for your time. It was such a pleasure.
[00:53:44] Marie Forleo: Thank you for having me on.
[00:53:50] Hala Taha: Man. I loved talking to Marie Forleo. She's somebody that I've been looking up to for years. She is totally crushing the podcast space, the business space. [00:54:00] She's just a rockstar. And I'm really intrigued by her idea of the multi-passionate entrepreneur. So many of my guests, they dominate one or two niches, but Marie has dabbled in what feels like everything from teaching hip hop to working on Wall Street.
[00:54:15] And many of her passions are what drove her to take such life altering risks, like leaving her stable magazine job to become a life coach. At 23, she learned to trust her intuition and follow her heart even when she was terrified of failure. When most people are scared of something, they run the other way.
[00:54:31] But there's a difference between good fear and bad fear. Good fear is accompanied by feelings of expansion and excitement. When you feel that kind of expansive fear, you wanna lean into it. That's your intuition telling you to pursue the opportunity because it's going to reap so many benefits. Bad fear, on the other hand, feels restrictive, doubtful, and even physically uncomfortable.
[00:54:55] Learning the differences between good and bad fear will help you make smarter decisions and [00:55:00] take the right risks, the ones that will ultimately propel your growth. You can also use the 10 year test to see if you should pursue an opportunity. Ask yourself, if I don't take this job or don't pursue this opportunity, will I regret it in 10 years?
[00:55:15] If so, that's a sign that you should go for it. And if you're scared to take a leap because you're afraid of failing, remember, everything is figureoutable. You can navigate any challenging situation with the right information. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Young and Profiting Podcast.
[00:55:31] If you listen, learned and profited from this episode, be sure to drop us a five star review on Apple Podcast or your favorite podcast platform. You can also find all of our episodes on YouTube. We upload the full interviews as well as clips onto our YouTube channel, so make sure you check us out. You can also find me on Instagram at YAP with Hala or LinkedIn by searching my name.
[00:55:52] It's Hala Taha. I wanna shout out my amazing Young and Profiting production team. You guys are absolute rock stars. Thank you for [00:56:00] all that you do. This is your host, Hala Taha, aka the Podcast Princess signing off.
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