Seize the Yay
Summary: A lawyer turned funtrepreneur's investigation into how some of the world's most inspiring people find their "yay", whether it's through work, rest or play and any other pearls of wisdom they have along the way.
Very lucky that today's guest squeezed me in during her recent visit to Australia for the amazing Business Chicks event, 9 to Thrive, in Sydney a few weeks ago. Miki Agrawal is the true definition of a game changer taking on some of society's most taboo and unglamorous areas of life and shifting the way we think about and experience them. Born in Montreal and moving to the US with her twin for college and then a corporate career in investment banking, she experienced a transformative turning point in her life after a sliding doors experience on 9/11 and decided that life was too short not to live your dreams so she left banking to pursue three of them - start a business, play sport professionally, work on films. She excelled in all three of them, which you'll hear about, and yet none of those pursuits are what really lit her trailblazing fire. It is the business she co-founded in 2011, THINX, that may ring more of a bell and that really allowed her to create change where it is most needed developing anti-microbial, moisture-wicking, absorbent, and leak resistant underwear. If it weren't challenge enough to make period pants exciting, her latest venture is TUSHY, shedding light on the outdatedness and expense of toilet paper and the superior hygiene, convenience and sustainability of bidets. She's one of the most fascinating person I've spoken to and I was captivated by everything she had to say. There's so much more I wanted to ask but she's written several books so I'll pop links to those at the end as I'm sure you'll want more by then like I did! + See show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
You have probably seen (and heard in the last episode) about the latest issue of Women's Health that I am SO grateful to have been included in - super chuffed and still pinching myself at the experience and my family has bought every copy within a 100km radius. The same day, the Men's Health magazine hit the shelves and both magazines are Nic and my go-to sources for anything new or noteworthy in health/fitness and wellbeing. Men's Health readers may have noticed things being shaken up a bit for the better in recent times and it's mostly due to legendary editor, Scott Henderson, who has taken a more holistic approach to what constitutes fit and inspiring than what tradition has dictated since taking over the reigns quite by surprise. I was lucky enough to sneak him away when I was in the office to chat to him about his pathway to get there, his love of matcha and what an editor actually does and it was an absolute blast! Such an interesting journey that didn't actually start in journalism and crosses both founder life and working up a corporate ladder (with some spanish rapping in between). Hope you enjoy it as much as I did! + See show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
I'm sure I'm not alone in having been touched by this woman's career at some point or another in one of the many stellar roles she has portrayed that have made her an Aussie household name. Kat Stewart is one of our most outstanding actresses winning many accolades for her talents including AACTA and the coveted Logie awards. But as you'll hear today, despite her immense gratitude for the recognition she has earned, she is the ultimate professional and passionately dedicated to the art form in both TV and theatre and I love her attitude of just putting her head down and getting the job done well. Extremely down to earth and originally from Bairnsdale where my own family is from, she was such a pleasure to chat to and I loved her honesty about not only the fun and glamorous moments but the very nitty gritty parts of forming an acting career. You may recognise her as Roberta Williams in Underbelly or Billie Proudman in Offspring (with many TV and theatre roles in between) but what I'm so excited about is her new show Five Bedrooms on Channel 10. A comedy drama based on the disaster of buying property these days, it focuses on 5 different people who end up at the singles table at a wedding and eventually buy a house together with each episode narrated by a different character. At the time of recording, it was just before the first episode but at the time of publishing, TONIGHT is the first episode led by Kat's character Liz. You'll hear more about it in the episode and should absolutely tune in tonight (and all Wednesdays) at 8:40pm! + See show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
So much thought goes into the guests you hear from with my main concern being the YAY their story can instil in you (whether founders or not and whether big profiles or not). Today's guest is a perfect example - yes, she's a founder and has a big profile but she is definitely not same same! Tiff Hall is an exceptional human being in just about everything she turns her attention to - incredibly book smart but also infinitely creative, a master of several instruments, a linguist, a fitness expert with 20 years of experience, an elite athlete, an author, a TV personality, a businesswoman and a mother. While she sounds like the last person any of us can identify with, she comes from the humblest beginnings as a simple girl from Essendon growing up around the taekwondo centre her parents still own in Brunswick. And despite her incredible success since then, you'll hear that her roots stay close to her heart. While many would have taken on the reigns of the family business and felt more than accomplished, Tiff is one of the most motivating people for her appetite for challenge. With Taekwondo as her first love, she is not only a black belt but a 6th DAN black belt. She has 20 years of fitness experience that she has channelled into a role on Gladiators, The Biggest Loser and now into her own amazing online fitness program TiffXO and has also joined Chris Hemsworth's team on the Centre App. I could keep going and giving it away now but you'll hear it all in the episode so I hope you feel as motivated by this one as I do! + See show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
So excited to introduce you guys to one of my unofficial mentors and role models, although I'm not sure she knows it. Rachel Kelly is one of the SMARTEST and most switched on businesswoman that I've been lucky to have met and while she is absolutely knee deep in business at all times, it hasn't been by the founder route which I find really interesting. (You'll hear in the intro a few words about showing variety of life paths on the show, as I know things have been a bit founder-biased mainly because of their flexibility of time to record. Just know, I'm working away in the background on keeping things broad and diverse and thank you for all your submissions for guests - the pipeline is super exciting!) Rachel is a retail superstar having jumped from her own Red Earth franchise in Adelaide to climbing up the retail ladder and into executive mode in the Just Group to then taking the reigns as Global CEO of T2 and now looking after all of Sales at booming start up Afterpay. In between, she's been an investor, start up advisor and executive mentor and is an absolute fountain of knowledge when it comes to helping complex businesses achieve growth, focus and longevity. I feel very lucky to have had her in my ear at some of the tougher times in our journey. She is an incredible leader and shares some incredible insights for any person owning, working on or in any business and I hope you gain some pearls of wisdom from our chat. + See Rachel's website here + See more on Afterpay here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
I'm so excited to welcome one of my favourite Aussie icons to the show for this episode - positively pinching myself to have the stunning Megan Gale here today. After winning a modelling competition at 18 years old in her hometown of Perth, Megan has had a stellar career as a fashion icon and become a household name gracing the covers of many a glossy magazine both in Australia and overseas, holding the longest fashion contract in Australia with David Jones, and becoming an ambassador for L'Oréal joining the likes of Beyonce and J.Lo. But she's not just a pretty face (and smoking hot body), Megan has also enjoyed success in film and TV including Getaway, Australia's Next Top Model and Project Runway. If that weren't enough, she started her own swimwear range, Isola, in 2010 AND has also conquered motherhood with two beautiful children River and Rosie to fiancé Shaun Hampson (who is actually an old friend of mine!) For many, that would be more than enough to feel deserving of putting up the feet but Megan has added another incredible project to her repertoire. This May, she debuts Mindful Life, a conscious children's skincare collection that's been 5 years in the making. Made in Australia from ethically sourced, cruelty-free and naturally derived ingredients, the range is designed to nurture the relationship between parent and child and encourage presence in an endlessly busy world of stimulation and time paucity. I'm honoured to have her on the show to tell us a bit about the brand and the story that led her to this moment. + See show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
I know I always say each guest has an amazing story, but it's because they're all so interesting in such different ways. I'm so excited to have the amazing Erin Deering on the show today, co-founder of global swimwear giant, Triangl, which you'll hear she has now exited but which is still very close to her heart. Hers is a fascinating story of going from eating tin soup to get the business off the ground to becoming a multimillionaire in less than a year and getting her swimwear onto the hottest bodies in the world including Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus and the rollercoaster that you can only expect came with it. We cover so many topics from having two children and dealing with her separation, the challenge of losing yourself in the scale up process of a booming business, eating disorders and control, the interaction between money and happiness and the process of learning to treat yourself with kindness. I'm so honoured that she spoke so openly about the challenges and journey along the way, and hope you enjoy getting to know her a little more. + Follow Erin here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
I finally convinced the mysterious Ang (spelling debated in the episode haha) to come on the show and tell her story. I've had so many requests to hear from Ang so here she is in all her hilarious glory. While we have heard from many incredible guests who are well on their way to seizing their yay, Ang is just 22 and at the very beginning of her journey so I thought it would make for something a little different to have a younger guest on the show. Having said that, she has nonetheless squeezed more into her life than people decades older than her which is part of what makes her so interesting. While she is studying physio full time at uni and absolutely loves all things science and anatomy, she has also built and recently sold her own food truck business, created a solo charity ride from Adelaide to Melbourne covering 800km on her bicycle to raise $22,000 for Stand Up Events combating homophobia and discrimination, started boxing from scratch and trained for her first fight where she won by technical knock out after just 1 and a half rounds, tried out for fun but successfully been listed in the VFLW for this year, worked across many different businesses and industries now going freelance in creative and digital marketing and that's just half of it. You can see why she's such a motivating and life loving person to be around. While we met through our businesses, she is one of our closest friends and a human ray of sunshine. You can tell we get a bit off track from time to time probably forgetting we were recording and not just chatting between mates, but hopefully you enjoy nonetheless. + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
After the week full of public holidays, got some motivation to kick start you all again in the form of Pippa Hallas - CEO of one of the oldest and most beloved beauty brands in the world, Ella Baché. Created in Paris in 1936, the brand was founded by Madam Baché who defied her times as a powerful and pioneering woman leaving Czechoslovakia after being denied a place in medicine at university due to her gender. Decades later and after a long break without a family member in the business, Pippa stepped into her great aunt's shoes (yes, she is Madam Baché's great niece_ and climbed her way up to the position of CEO of the business which she now holds today. Her book, Bold Moves, is an amazing collection of her learnings along the way, but I'm so excited to be able to share some of those here today with you! + See show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
I feel very lucky to have connected with this episode's guest very early on in the Matcha Maiden journey and to have gone from insta friends to a real-life mutual love fest in the process. As one of the pioneering leaders of the wellness world, starting out before Instagram even existed, Jess Sepel has built her personal blog into a multi-faceted booming business changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of the members of her highly engaged, loyal and nurturing JSHealth community. Jess was just 14 when she developed an eating disorder as she grappled with her new environment after moving from South Africa to Australia and I'm so grateful for how openly she shares her struggles and the process of healing in this episode. Having been confronted with how far she had strayed from looking after herself during her studies in Health Science at Macquarie and later nutritional medicine, Jess has since devoted herself to helping others nurture positive relationships with nutrition, exercise and themselves and has now written several books, developed an 8-week transformative program, has an incredible App, has built a hugely successful range of JSHealth Vitamins and continues to innovate to help us be our best selves. Her honesty and self-awareness is incredibly refreshing and I have long since admired Jess as a role model, business woman and huge supporter of other women in business. It was SUCH a pleasure to spend this hour with her and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. + See show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
This episode's guest is a beloved household name, although you're likely to know the brand more than you do the person, which is why I'm even more excited to share his story. Despite what might be the busiest time of year for him in the lead up to Easter, Pana Barbounis made time to share the story of founding the eponymous Pana Chocolate now rebranded as Pana Organic and growing it from a solo operation with him delivering on his Vespa to the multimillion dollar business it is today sold in 25 countries around the world. I've had the pleasure of spending time with Pana in his Richmond HQ several times over the course of our business journeys in the wellness industry and the smells from the kitchen are unrivalled as is his cheer and energy. Pana's trail blazing rich and luxurious chocolate is unmistakable and while it is free from dairy, gluten, refined sugar and soy it is celebrated by health nuts and average joes alike, the flavour belying its healthful and sustainable origins. While most of you will have heard of the brand that has a following of 100s of thousands of loyal fans all over the world, Pana is perhaps less known so I loved hearing more about who is he especially when he isn't the king of chocolate. You'll have to excuse a few sounds from the bustling streets of Richmond - adds to the ambiance! + Follow Pana Organic here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
If you haven't heard of the Shameless podcast yet, I'm SO delighted to be able to give you the best podcast recommendation you might ever get. Being the podcast for smart women who like dumb stuff, Shameless speaks to a special piece of my soul and turns out hundreds of thousands of others agree getting a weekly intellectual and highly entertaining spin on pop culture from the amazing Zara McDonald and Michelle Andrews. Created in 2018 while in their early 20s working together at Mamamia, this dynamic duo now podcast full time and have grown Shameless to 1.4 million downloads in its first year, being named in Apple's best of 2018 list, and selling out 700 live show tickets in 24 hours which happened just last week. So chances are if you're listening to this, you've probably also listened to Shameless but you might NOT have heard from Zara and Michelle about their lives PRE shameless and all the behind the scenes which, as you know, is my favourite part of Seize the Yay. And even if you haven't heard of them, there's a reason their banter has gone viral so I'm guessing you'll enjoy the chats regardless. + Full show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
The immediate post-30th brain explosion diaries. Thank you so much for submitting your questions, I've tried to answer all of them as honestly and spontaneously as possible so hopefully the rambling isn't too much!!!!! SO many feels!!!!
Today is International Happiness Day so the perfect opportunity to release a new episode looking a little deeper at seizing the yay. I'm so excited to have Dr Elise Bialylew as our guest for the occasion, a doctor and psychiatrist turned coach, meditation teacher and social entrepreneur AND founder of Mindful in May as well as author of The Happiness Plan. Just a few things on her plate and yet she juggles them so well! Having also considered everything from life as a jazz pianist to running a chocolate making business and from graphic design to documentary filmmaking along the way, she is another reassuring example that the path to yay is NOT linear and that happiness is definitely a journey not a destination. Just one year out from finishing psychiatry, she made the big jump on her way to yay to go full time on Mindful in May - a global campaign that teaches participants how to meditate through daily video interviews with world leading mindfulness teachers and audio guided meditations. So far the initiative has not only taught over 30,000 people to meditate, it has also raised over $600,000 for Charity Water and in doing so helped over 12,000 people get access to clean water. Her book is also an amazing resource for achieving a lifetime of happiness and I'm so excited to share some of the highlights with you today. + Full show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
This guest is possibly one of the best speakers I've ever heard and I'm so excited to have him on the show as we have been following each other's stories for a few years now. You've probably heard of the amazing Thankyou, but in case you haven't, it's a trailblazing social enterprise that commits 100% of their profits to helping end global poverty and Daniel Flynn is a co-founder and Managing Director. Starting the business as Thankyou Water at just 19 years old with his now wife (but then girlfriend) Justine and best friend Jarryd, they revolutionised an already saturated industry allowing consumers to make a positive impact with their choices of bottled water directing profits towards funding water projects in developing nations. Over 10 years later, they have over 55 products in over 5500 outlets including Coles and Woolworths after a spectacular campaign you will hear more about and are about to enter a new chapter. Daniel has also written his own book to help fund the business, Chapter One, with a pay what you want price-tag and printed in landscape exemplifying his defining tendency to ask "but what if it works?" And, what better timing to sit down with this amazing human to hear his story then at the beginning of their National Shower for Good Day Campaign this week that you'll hear more about in the episode. + Full show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!