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.
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!
I hope you all enjoyed last week's double drop of episodes - wish I could release two episodes every week! This week has been a beautiful celebration of women for International Women's Day 2019 - I'm not sure if just it's me, but I feel like it's been the biggest one yet with so many campaigns and outpourings of love going around. So, today I'm celebrating just one of the many incredible women who I am so lucky to have in my life who is doing a particularly amazing job at connecting women in business and supporting their journeys as well as being a hugely successful female CEO and founder herself. Some of you may now her as The Lazy CEO but her name is Jane Lu and she's the founder of booming international fashion business, Showpo. You'll hear all about her going from a corporate accounting career to a failed business to starting Showpo in her parent's garage and turning it into a multimillion dollar empire (that has hit over $30 million per year) with a string of awards far too many to list that acknowledge their game-changing success. She's also founded Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine (LMBDW) where she was speaking the night before our podcast and has a bit of a cold/hangover as a result, so she asked us to excuse the croaky-ness although I though it was husky. She's helping women everywhere connect and support each other on their business journey. She's such an absolute crack up, so I hope you enjoy! + Full show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
Back again already, beautiful people! Thought I'd squeeze in a bonus episode this week to celebrate MARDI GRAS, so this is the very first SEIZE THE GAY with my dear friend Khanh Ong. You may have already seen his stellar performance in last year's season of Masterchef making it to the top 3 with his incredible innovation and culinary flair. But whether or not you watched the show, there are so many more dimensions to this wonderful human and I wanted to share some more of his inspiring and multifaceted story. Born in an Indonesian refugee camp and emigrating with his Vietnamese family in the 1990s, Khanh has come out of the closet twice, had careers in fashion design, styling and music (DJ-ing for the likes of Justin Bieber) before cooking was even on the cards and even did a stint in London before the age of 20. He is another wonderful example that finding your yay isn't a straightforward, smooth ride and takes tenacity, resilience and self-exploration. But he's finally getting there seizing his newfound career in food with both hands recently launching his new venue, The George on Collins with many more exciting projects to come. Like episode 23 with Georgia and Lee, this is a beautiful mix of audio-blowing laughter and the more serious tear-jerking reflections so I hope you enjoy the rollercoaster as much as I did. + Full show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
I am SO excited to share our first couples episode with two of THE best human beings going around. You can probably tell from the snippet that we had an absolute blast, which is always the case where Georgia Love and Lee Elliott are concerned. There are so many wonderful things about these two both separately and together, but one of my favourites for Seize the Yay purposes is that neither of them found their joy in the ever so trendy entrepreneur pathway and in fact both have long-term successful and very happy careers in their respective fields, showing that you can find joy within an industry you love. Another thing I love is that while many of you will know them from the Bachelorette, I didn't spend much time on that experience (despite it being a beautiful and obviously enduring love story), because they both were already incredibly accomplished BEFORE that and so much of their stories predates the show. Georgia was not only in TV before the show, but a primetime news anchor before she even turned thirty and well before Batchie and Lee has been a very happy mechanical plumber for 17 years AND his modelling career starting well before then including taking out the Victorian and Tasmanian title in Australia's Hottest Tradie competition in 2011!!! Plus, they have remained incredibly humble, down to earth and adorably dorky and I am so grateful to have them on the show. I hope you have as many laughs as I did and that this brings you a smile if nothing else! Side note for context - they had been to see Eminem the night before this show - watch out for the RIPPER puns along the way. + Full show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
This episode took a little longer to get to you than usual but, like a fine wine, all good things take time! Today's guest is an amazing entrepreneur, investor, public speaker, co-founder and CEO of Vinomofo - the legend Justin Dry. Like many good ideas, Justin started Vinomofo with his brother in law at the time over a shared belief that wine should not be about "bowties and bullshit". On Christmas Eve 2006, they decided to start a business together which led to several further wine related businesses that ultimately ended up in the creation of Vinomofo in 2011. Vinomofo now operates in Australia, NZ and Singapore where it has grown quickly to over $50m in annual revenue, 500,000 members (or "mofos"), and a team of 100. Their incredible success has been recognised by a host of accolades include Online Retailer of the Year 2015 at the ORIA's, Telstra Victorian Business of the Year in 2016, and Hottest Aussie Online Retailer in 2018. Justin himself has been Awarded Spotify Young Entrepreneur of the Year at The Australian Startup Awards is a BRW Young Rich Lister and has been named one of the Top 50 People in E-Commerce 2016, 2017 and 2018 by Internet Retailing. I loved hearing how his love for wine and business have persisted throughout his life and his vision has gone through multiple iterations before he landed at "the one". Plus, as you'll hear we had a good cackle, so it was a seriously enjoyable chat and I hope you love it too! + Full show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
For this episode, we're joined by another intrapreneur but one who also has her own side hustle and can speak to both sides of the yay-type fence. Justine Bloome is an absolute powerhouse and fellow Aussie but now lives in the big apple (as you may hear every now and then in her slightly New York accent) doing incredible things in the world of digital marketing and tech. She has an incredible CV to her name and is currently right hand woman to Gary Vaynerchuk aka Gary Vee and the first Chief Strategy Officer of VaynerMedia since 2017 (aka dream job). I'm assuming you've heard of Gary Vee but if not, he's an investor in Facebook, Snapchat, Venmo and Uber and CEO of Vayner Media and VaynerX - just come out from the rock you've been living under and google him. Prior to that, Justine served as executive vice president, head of strategy innovation at #1 Global Media Network, Carat, from December of 2014. Before her move to the Big Apple, she was a senior brand strategist consultant for The Brand Institute of Australia, head of client strategy for the Victoria region for Nine Entertainment and business strategist at Jack Morton Worldwide, as well as founding and serving as CEO of The Village Agency, "a network of independently successful marketing and communications experts." If that weren't enough, Justine is also the founder, author and publisher of the Mindful Series, and a transformation coach, empowering mindful professionals and wellbeing brands to thrive. Across two decades as a strategist inside frenetic media, advertising and agency environments in Australia, London and New York, she developed her approach to mindfulness and reflection as a means to unlocking her best potential and self. She's a sought after speaker delivering TED Talks, speaking at Walt Disney's Media Summit and many more. + Full show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
The first intrapreneur of the year literally landed her dream job two years ago and hasn't looked back. Michelle Battersby is an amazing example of how you can leave corporate but not necessarily to start your own business (although, technically as you'll hear, she did kind of start from scratch). Michelle started out as a competitive rower with her heart set on the Olympics but ended up studying Arts and then a Masters in HR once she realised how much she was sacrificing for her training. She entered the workforce with Citibank and spent several years climbing the corporate ladder in banking getting a job at UBS, returning to Citi and then even ending up at PWC. But, it's her latest role as Country Lead and Marketing Director of Bumble Australia that changed her life completely when the opportunity landed in her lop just over two years ago. With no former experience but an intuitive belief that this was her opportunity of a lifetime, she quit her job that day and has been building Bumble Australia into the wonderful community it is today. It's not just a dating app, there's also Bumble BFF and Bumble Bizz, all based on the premise that the woman makes the first move which is ground breaking in the industry. She's an absolute HOOT and I'm so happy to have her here on the show to show that dream jobs really do exist! + Full show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
I flew to Sydney last week to chat with one of the most tenacious, well-rounded and motivating young women, Eleanor Pendleton, and we got along like a house on fire. Eleanor is the founder of Australia's first dedicated online beauty magazine, Gritty Pretty, known for its pioneering beauty without the bullshit coverage of the industry. I LOVE her story so much not least because unlike many of us who still don't really know where we're heading, Eleanor has always known she wanted to end up in magazines and beauty and wasted no time getting there. She entered the workforce at 19 having landed a job at Cosmopolitan halfway through her qualification, under Sarah Wilson and under the mentorship of Zoe Foster Blake. She then became the youngest beauty editor Australia has seen for FAMOUS magazine when she was just 20 and the moved on to the more global In Style magazine where she found her dream job. But her insatiable thirst for growth and challenge soon had her itching for more, so she resigned and revived her old blog Gritty Pretty, which is now four years into an incredibly successful journey. So excited to share our wonderful chat from the beautiful Freshwater on the Northern beaches. + Full show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!
So, it finally happened. We convinced Nic, my partner in life, business and golden retriever parenthood into coming onto the show. I know a few of you have been eagerly waiting to hear this one and I'm always surprised to hear when people say Nic's quiet or mysterious but then I remember he's actually quite shy (which to some of our closer friends is laughable as he's the OPPOSITE once you get to know him). When I think about how he probably comes across in my stories or in take 527 of a photo together, you probably don't see much of who he really is or how we are as a couple so I'm excited to share what I think is one of the most inspiring ways to yay so far. One of the things I love about him most is that there are so many dimensions to his personality, but if you only know one of them then you'll meet a few of the others in today's episode! And perhaps I'm a bit the same - we're both equal parts nerdburger and arty farty" as I always say which is why we're 10 years in and getting married later this year! As for his bio which I've had to write many a time, it still astounds me all the things he's managed to squeeze into his 34 years. I don't think he gives himself enough credit for most parts of the story, so I've tried to weasel some of it out of him. Starting off as a country boy in outer Devonport, Tasmania, Nic's a serial entrepreneur and often laughs at how he's never actually had a real job. His first career was as an international athlete which took him all over the world and, as mentioned in Jana's episode, he was Jana Pittman's training partner on his own Olympic journey until ongoing injury stopped his career short. On returning to Melbourne, he was poached from his retail job into the night club scene where he really cut his business teeth building Baroq House into its glory days and let me queue jump which is the romantic story of how we met. While there was definitely a lot of partying, he and his team started to develop their own marketing and design skills to take things in-house, which eventually morphed into his current full service digital agency, the Bushy Creative. His self-teaching and inner dork has gone to such lengths that Nic's tech skills ventured even as far software development and he's had two full scale tech spin offs that he talks about in the episode. He's also got an aerial asset capture business taking photos out of helicopters and that's all before Matcha Maiden or Matcha Mylkbar were even a dot on the horizon. So sometimes, he's a very serious tech head businessman but most of the time he's a serial joker - life is NEVER boring when Nic's around. He's the sole reason I was able to leave law for my funtrepreneur life and turned this regimented, conservative lawyer into a crazy adventurer. His abs aren't bad either, as you've probably noticed. This was the hardest episode I've done so far as I'm way too close to be objective so hopefully I've done him justice! Introducing, Nic Davidson... + Full show notes here + Announcements on Insta at @spoonful_of_sarah + Subscribe to not miss out on the next instalment of YAY!