Interviews with people from all walks of life about how they break the status quo. Listen, learn, and be inspired to take action in your own life!
“Messes don’t magically clean themselves up. And so I think it can get to a point where you spend so much time focusing on other people’s messes that yours just continues to grow and you get to a point where you can’t help anybody else because the messes in your life are too much. And then it’s important to take that time and get things in order in your own life and find people who can support you.” -Megan Gesler If there’s one thing we’re certain of, it’s that life gets messy. Megan Gesler joins us to talk about her experiences dealing with the wild variety of messes that come with life. However, we are all limited in how far we can extend ourselves. Megan addresses quite a few questions – When can you help someone else with their messes? How involved should you be? Finally, she reminds us it’s important to remember to stay aware of your own messes and be sure to address them before they become overwhelming. Listen in to learn about dealing with life’s messes!
47 min 12 sec
“It is very important that people who have already migrated have a dignified life wherever they go. So if they happen to be in your community, it is our responsibility to collaborate and do whatever we can do for their wellbeing. ” – Roxana Bendezú Migration can be a hot topic and sorely misunderstood. What causes migration? What are the stories behind migration? How do we best support migrants? Roxana Bendezú shares her perspective and story on the matter to shed light on this difficult topic. We encourage you to have a listen – you may be surprised at what you learn.
36 min 27 sec
36 min 22 sec
“As I started [live streaming] more, I really found a passion for it… surprisingly, because even though I wasn’t impacting change in the way I thought I would by going to law school and getting into the criminal justice system. I was still making people’s days better by making them a little less anxious or just providing a comfy space for them to hang out in.” – Mischa McGill Mischa McGill a.k.a. “MischaCrossing” joins us to discuss her experiences in achieving and managing unconventional success in her career as a content creator. She’s always had a desire to impact change, and by pursuing her interests and passions ended up building a career path she hadn’t ever planned for. Her story highlights what is possible when you focus on what you’re good at and offer those unique strengths in a way that helps others. Learn more about the ins and outs of Mischa’s journey to find out which elements of her success can inspire you in your own life.
23 min 15 sec
“Don’t say no to yourself: Make other people say no to you. What I mean by that is, there are so many ways that we hold ourselves back – so many external factors that hold us back. Whether that is systemic suppression around race, gender, income, other. Whether that is social ways of measuring ourselves, like I have to do X job or meet X milestones. So on and so forth. There’s so much going against us, that the internalized beliefs or internal doubts – like “I’m not qualified,” or “I could never do that.” Those are the things that should not be standing in the way of you and the possibility of your best life, whatever that is. Other people will say no to you, but make them say no to you! Give them something to say no to.” – Rio Holaday Rio Holaday joins Without Boxes to talk about her experiences as a facilitator and graphic recorder, and how she balances both intuition in her career and personal life. You’ll learn a little bit about listening to others to hear their truth, and then looking inwardly to find your own. Once you can find it, you’ll start to see things a bit more clearly: Your fears, your unique strengths, and start to uncover what to do with the moments that are defining your life right now. You might just find that you’ll be able to create your own special way of existing in the world by being the best version of yourself.
34 min 34 sec
“A big part of what I use is my connection with my body and understanding what makes me feel alive. And aliveness doesn’t always mean rainbows and unicorns. Sometimes aliveness means energy, challenge, growth. It means I’m about to step into another part of healing that is big.” - Kate Schroeder Kate Schroeder joins us today to discuss her journey of self-discovery while building a career around helping others. Not everyone experiences a clear calling, and Kate talks a little bit about how she came to learn hers. It turns out that listening to yourself and realizing that you will make your own way in life helps a lot. If you’re not able to listen to your intuition, you’ll forever be spinning your energy on trying to match everybody else. This is a frustrating, unfulfilling way to go. Have a listen to learn more about how Kate finds happiness and feels alive, and hopefully you’ll be able to take some of those lessons to feel the same.
27 min 37 sec
(On filtering advice from others) “I think it just goes back to that inner voice—does this work for me, yes or no? You see it all the time, like, something that works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another person. We’re all unique individuals and you kind of have to plan what works best for you.” - Hayley Jane Turner Haley Jane Turner, a.k.a. Little Foot, lives a life full of incredible adventure. Along the way, she’s learned a lot about boundaries, safety, and leadership. Understanding these three things has given her a lot of confidence, whether she’s on the trail or living out of her van. Little Foot talks about the importance of mentors, listening to your inner voice, and coming to terms with risk. Life is full of risk, the important question is whether you’re setting yourself up for the right kind of risk for the life you want to live.
26 min 15 sec
[TW: Sexual trauma.] “You can have all of the support of everyone in the world and you can still feel very alone in your experience because you are the one going through it. Don’t judge yourself for how you feel because you are literally not in control of all the physical sensations or emotional experiences that your body is going through when you encounter trauma. It literally changes our brains, our senses. It changes our perceptions of the world. And understand that this state is temporary and that it’s not something that lasts forever. It’s like a sustained bad mushroom trip.” - Lena Chen Lena Chen joins us today to discuss her experience healing from traumas and the innate human need to validate a traumatic experience. The healing process can be tricky, as often it takes time to realize just how impacted you were by an experience. And of course, that process will look different for everybody. Thankfully, there is hope. You are certainly not alone, and you have everything you need to heal on your side. You’ll have to learn how to trust yourself and your intuition. Lena reminds us all that the pain will not last forever.
32 min 9 sec
“I think maybe it’s our own survival, too, learning how to judge people. But I think breaking [first impressions] is also important. Think [about] how you might judge someone and then kind of questioning it, too.” Gen works with bats, snakes, and all manner of so-called scary animals. Her personal mission is to help destigmatize the fear people have for these creatures. The lessons she’s learned along the way apply to anything in life, including how we interact with and get to know other people. Whether simply sharing photographs, telling stories, or even creating interactive games, learning to see from the perspective of someone else can help you leave behind unnecessary fear and lead a more fulfilling life.
34 min 7 sec
Today, Kat Franchino sits down for a chat with Candice Digby about spotting and filling overlooked gaps in local communities. Candice starts off by explaining how she got into community building. “I just became enthralled with the importance of design. It’s not just, you know, the graphic on the page or the website that you’re using, the clothes you’re wearing or the architecture you’re looking at. It’s also, like, our civic structure and the way our communities are organized.” You may not have thought about it before, but communities really are designed. How well thought-through that design in shines when certain functions are not available or accessible to the people who need them “(When) things…are not designed for the…ultimate user it can be really painstaking. It can actually change and shape…how our whole lives work and who has access to things and who doesn’t.” It’s important that we shape our communities into places that are welcoming for everyone who enters them. “Who we’re designing for has to the whole picture…of every stakeholder.” When you make it hard for people to participate, you wind up with an inequitable community. “If everybody isn’t in (the) conversation, then we have a really limited view of what peopleneed and want.” It may be tempting to sit back and let everyone else handle things, but you really end up doing yourself and everyone else a disfavor that way. “It really takes community to build community, which I think is really cool and the way that it should be.” “We think it’s our responsibility to get the word out (about Austin Design Week) so that everyone in the community has the ability to be a part of it, has that voice, we’re hearing from the different areas of design and all the different pieces of our…greater city.” Of course, sometimes things don’t go as planned! Okay, well, it’s pretty much guaranteed. As Candice puts it, “It doesn’t matter how much you thought about it—something will go wrong.” Playing an active role in your community is not only beneficial to you from a logistical point, but can also be fulfilling for your personal life. “I think everybody out there wants to be a part of something bigger in some way or another.” “We’re comfortable and we’re creatures of habit in a lot of ways and it’s not easy to go to an event where you’re not sure if you’re going to know anybody… I think that’s what it’s about—you just got to get in there and get your hands dirty.” You never know when the community may rally around your cause. Don’t be afraid to make your voice heard! “If the thing for you doesn’t exist, the thing that you want to see isn’t there, then find other people that are passionate about it and make it. …You just have to at a certain point, or…you’re limiting yourself, you’re limiting your experience.”
27 min 8 sec
Kat sits down to talk with Kaylin Werth about community health, in literal medical terms and what sits at the core. However, it’s not as simple as defining a blueprint for what every community should look like. “Community health for me is fairly complicated, and it changes a lot on my geography. So, I think we all have this ideal thought of what community health is, but then you dive a little deeper into a community and realize that each community is healthy in different ways…and also needs more work in different ways.” Health is about safety, preventative care, and respect. “To me, community health would be not only a community where you feel safe walking down the street any time of the day, but also a community that is engaged, so where you know your neighbors…also community health in the aspect of preventative measures. Also, health as in respect—so, respecting the abilities of everybody around you, especially the health of the women in the community.” You can grow community wherever you go, even if you’re just passing through. Kaylin moves constantly and struggled with this notion, but finally realized it was worth the investment even if she wouldn’t always be staying in one place. “So through my travels in Mexico, I felt like I was investing in a community I would leave. And when I was in Gustavus, I felt like I was investing into a community that I would leave. And that started to bother me…so I asked myself, ‘What is something that is really meaningful in my community to help build my community, to make my community stronger and healthier?’ …I decided that nursing is a really good avenue to go about that.” Community isn’t just about a specific place, either. “I’m starting to realize that community doesn’t necessarily mean your immediate geography. It means the people that you love and hold dear to you.” Kaylin also touches on some of the flaws in existing healthcare systems. “You don’t think about it until you need it. That’s really hard to ask us at the beginning of each year to pick out your healthcare plan. Because healthcare’s unpredictable, right? So do I want the catastrophic plan or do I want the gold coverage? …You don’t know what’s going to happen until it happens, so that makes our system fairly tricky when it comes to navigating healthcare.” “I realized in rural health you can do something meaningful. …And in smaller communities you, you know the (health) history of the family. …You go to the store and you see them at the store. You go to church and they sit next to you in the pew. Like, this, to me, is meaningful healthcare.” Plenty of times, healthcare becomes an issue because folks don’t take self-care seriously. “Not always, but often times people are sick because they’re not willing to put the time and energy into themselves and I need to meet them where they are.” “I think one thing that’s really important for people to know about healthcare is that preventative measures (are) what’s going to keep you healthy. And I feel like we hear that all the time—prevention, prevention, prevention. And oftentimes not until it’s like, ‘Oh I’m feeling kind of sick…’ do we actually then begin our preventative healthcare. But it really is important and it really is key to staying out of the doctor’s office.” But once you do get sick, it’s important you speak up for yourself. You’re the only one in your body. “I think it’s really important for people to understand that they’re their best advocate. And if you’re not in the mental or physical space to be your own advocate, you sure as hell better sure as hell have someone you know, love, and trust to advocate for you.” “That being said, with being your best advocate, you need to be informed, you need to do your own research and understand what options are available, understand what the course of treatment is, understand alternatives.” “I would like to see equal access. …When an insurance company begins to tell the doctor what to practice, I don’t think that’s fair treatment. On the other hand, when someone comes in without insurance, in the ER we treat them regardless, but then they’re left with this giant bill.” “Because a lot of hospitals don’t just readily give you the ticket price that things cost, a lot of people go into healthcare not knowing what their bill is going to be. If I could change one thing, I think it would be transparency.”
30 min 25 sec
Tressa moved countries all on her own, and in that process she has learned how to determine life’s essentials. What’s really important in life? What stops us from doing what’s best for us? It turns out a lot of it has to do with simply trying a bunch of things and seeing what works for you. “For me, I don’t want to get to a point where I’m over-analyzing things because that will keep you from making any kind of…quick decisions or any kind of decisions that you actually really need to make for your life.” This kind of confidence or ability comes naturally to her. “I don’t know where it comes from—I’ve actually always felt like I can be myself.” It might come from her lifelong talent for picking up new skills, mostly because she had the confidence to try. “I can do literally anything—I’ve fixed cars, I’ve done films—I mean, just because I’ve felt like it.” It may have to do with her refreshing perspective. “I’m just going to do whatever because no one needs to live my life but me and nobody has to live other people’s lives but them, so you can’t really afford to live the life that someone else wants you to live.” In the end, it doesn’t matter to her if she is ‘successful’ traditionally, it’s more about the experience. “I don’t really consider…that what I might do might not work out because I just figure that, I guess if it doesn’t, I mean, you know, you tried!” “There’s nobody that’s going to tell me that I can’t do it. I mean, they can, but they don’t pay bills in my house, so, like, what, really what difference does it make what they have to say? I’ll take into consideration depending on who it is. Like, if they have a good point, I’m not above being wrong. But for the most part, I just do what I feel like is best for me and I’ve always done that.” What about when anxieties rise up? “There is a lot of stuff that I do second guess, but that doesn’t stop me from doing it.” You’d rather learn by doing, than wonder and never get around to it. “The kind of learner I am is to just go ahead and do it.” It turns out Tressa’s only real essential is time. “Really, to be honest…the only real essential to me is my time. …I would say my laptop, the Internet, and my time, with time being the top one, of course.” This because without time, you can’t really take care of yourself well. “You don’t realize how neglectful you are to your physical and mental self until…you get your time back.” When it comes down to it, you come up with a vision and figure out the first steps, you get started and see where it takes you. You’ll learn soon enough whether it’s right or essential for you. “You need to figure out at least a little bit of where you would like to be—even if it’s short-term—and then reach that goal, and then you can go from there.” “Come up with a short-term plan for where you would like to be to change your situation for that moment, and then you can kind of think about the next step after you get there.” This kind of confidence or action takes practice. “It takes time. It’s not something I did overnight. I haven’t been this…fearless person. I’ve progressed a little bit at a time.” Tress leaves us with these words, to figure out what’s actually essential in your life: “I think…really reevaluate what you’re spending your time on in your life, particularly when it comes to television and things that are really time suckers and they’re not really helping you live the best life that you can possibly live. What can you trim down, trim out of your life that will give you more time to do the things you want to do and have the experiences you want to have?”
37 min 42 sec
In this episode, Kat interviews Dom Brassey about turning passion into a career by focusing on growing movements. This stems from a general dissatisfaction we’re seeing growing by the work force, not wanting to spin our wheels working on something that doesn’t contribute to the world. As Dom says, “You can’t see BS everywhere and not get kind of bitter, right?” “I love that as part of the queer community—that, like, our response to trauma is, by and large, to figure out how to be incredibly aggressive in terms of inclusion…It’s one of our strengths.” A big part of the solution is to network, collaborate, and share our experiences. “When we collaborate and accumulate our knowledge, that we build routines that are not impossible to replicate, when we do the work once and we share that work with others…we can get a lot further faster.” Dom encourages us all to not be intimidated by lofty job descriptions, but to network and find solutions anyways. Industries like tech can be incredibly misrepresented, and therefore exclusionary. “A lot of women and queer folks don’t apply for jobs because we see the qualifications and we’re just like, ‘Oh, that’s not me…that’s like a MIT, Stanford, CalTech life.’ …But the truth is a lot of people can do these jobs…You can do these jobs.” Not only can we get those jobs, but it’s vital we do to enable our movements. Marginalized perspectives need to be in the design rooms and in the boardrooms. “There’s, like, fucking scooters on the sidewalk that blind people are tripping over. And guess what? Queer people [who are working on awareness and inclusion] don’t design that kind of bullshit.” It can be hard to keep pushing when you meet resistance. Dom recommends, “You have to assume that everyone is your ally—they just haven’t discovered it yet.” Get out there and put your work into the world. “When you have something to offer, offer something. But when you need to ask for something, too, like, don’t be afraid to ask. I’m not actually good at that one yet, but a lot of people ask me for things, and so I’m learning from those people how to ask up.” “As long as you stay curious and give yourself an opportunity to build connections, you won’t be an obstacle to that transaction.” Focus on your end goals and the best vehicle for achieving them. Dom reminds us that all businesses, no matter their non-profit status, are simply organizations. If the organization is meeting the end vision, that’s what is important. “Don’t think that your tax status in any way washes your conscience or makes your company cleaner or happier—that’s all cultural.” In your journey to grow a movement, you’ll need to learn how to ask for help. It’s not selfish, it’s necessary, and people often enjoy being a part of what you’re doing. “It feels good to be asked—it’s like you have value and purpose in the world! …The importance of having a place in the world and being asked for things is actually really big.”
30 min 52 sec
Chaos surrounds us. Whether a bus is coming at you (literally) or life is hitting you hard, chaos is simply a part of our world. How do you make it work in your favor? How do you aim for the best possible outcome? Natalie is here to give her insights. First, there’s her basic advice on dealing real-world chaotic situations. “If it’s [a situation] where personal safety is an issue, the first thing is ‘Can I get myself to a position of safety, where is the best is the best way to do that, and how do I get there?’” Natalie also tends to plan her life out a bit chaotically, but it works for her style. For example, she started out just wanting to do a simple bike tour. But… that led to much,. much more. “I was like, well if I’m doing that, I might as well just do the whole Pan-American Highway, was, like, my logical train of thought. So I just turned a west-east trip to a north-south trip that was, like, I don’t know, six times as long. It was very logical.” In fact, she was still on this bike tour when recording this podcast. As for the future, and how to make the most of it? Natalie has some great advice. “Be happy with who you are…and have goals. You can have a long stretch goal…but have shorter goals because then you can succeed sooner and little victories feel good, and then little victories add up to a big victory.” Sometimes, it’s all about getting to that next mini-goal. “When I was biking up the Dalton Highway…I would literally choose a crack in the road two meters in front of me and be like, ‘I’m going to peddle to that.’ And then when once I made it to there, after like five minutes of peddling, you know, to go two meters, I’d be like ‘The next one!’…If I was looking at the top of the mountain, I wouldn’t have made it. ” (more…)
26 min 8 sec
In this episode, Kat Franchino interviews Audrey Johnson on how to take a small spark of passion and turn it into something bigger. Audrey shares some of her advice on staying motivated through the rough times and pushing through to the end desired result. “I think the last couple of years, especially working in startups, has really taught me to stick to a couple of rules…relentless optimism, I think, is one.” Following the bootstrap startup mottos have held Audrey, as well. No matter what you’re doing in life or business, she says to “Test quickly, fail hard, and then, you know, change it, do it again until it works.” In fact, it’s really great to be able to trash something that’s not working – you can still move beyond it to be successful. It’s less about each individual idea but your end goals. “Don’t get married to your ideas—get married to your why.” “I try to tell myself ‘be reckless about your reputation,’ and I am in some ways, and in other ways I still have that voice inside that’s like, ‘Oh! You better not do that!’ But I try to do that anyway.” (more…)
35 min 38 sec
“Why not let people around you know who you really are?” It’s hard to figure out who you are, then reflect that discovery to the world around you. In this episode, Kat Franchino interviews Kelly Hughes about her experiences discovering her authentic self and learning how to stay true to that – especially while also dealing with anxiety. “That’s how you adhere to authenticity—by knowing enough about yourself to know who you are, being able to show yourself to other people, but also when, you know, shit hits the fan, being able to say, ‘OK, I’m going to hold on to this, I’m not going to budge on this.’” It takes a lot of introspection and questioning. “The best tomorrow will actually come from asking questions about today.” Kelly points out that it’s a constant journey, as well. Don’t get too comfortable with the status quo, or you may lose sight of who you’ve grown into. “Certainty is the enemy of my authentic self.” And once you’ve started to figure it all out? Don’t hold back! Trying to pretend to be someone you’re not will drain you and make it hard to live your best life. “You [will] have a lot more energy for the other elements of your life if you remove the energy your spending filtering yourself.” You’re inevitably going to go through some phases, make some mistakes, and learn along the way. That’s absolutely normal. “For me, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. You’re doing the best you can, so keep going.”
32 min 59 sec
“The Cambridge Dictionary actually says, under ‘introvert,’ shy, awkward, and unable to make friends. A) Subjective, B) Really, dictionary? What’s up with that?” Kat Franchino sits down to discuss how introverts can thrive in an extroverted world with Janice Chaka. Janice helps introverts all over the world find success in their careers. It helps to understand from an expert that being an introvert doesn’t mean you can’t be the life of the party or achieve your goals. “There’s so much misinformation out there and there’s so many negative connotation when you use [the word ‘introvert], that, like, ‘Do I want to be associated with that?’” “You can’t expect to be your best if you’re not feeling energized and full.” Janice touches on how important it is to learn how you recharge, and focus on self-care based on your needs. “Know yourself. Get to know yourself. And it is trial and error.” She encourages introverts not to get too focused on the fact they are introverted. “There’s so many words that can describe a person and so [introvert] is just one of many that will describe you.” “Introversion is just a part of the greater makeup of you.”
27 min 49 sec
Learn how to find calmness in the midst of chaos with the hero’s journey with Julie Lewin.
37 min 2 sec
This week on Renegade Radio, Kat interviews Nika Mundel about her experiences as an entrepreneur, building up a six figure business (even after crashing and burning one to the ground!), as well as what exactly it takes to live your dream. She reminds us that you can always earn back your money, but you can never get back your time. “But the biggest transformation comes to you at the other end of fear. So when you’re feeling that resistance, when you’re feeling that fear, that is when you actually have to go further because on the other side of that is your transformation. That is where you’re taking all the steps, where you lift yourself to another level and it’s fascinating. It really is. I love it. I love it.” – Nika Mundel
35 min 42 sec
Many of us grow up and away from the foundations we once took for granted. How do you reconcile with these changes and shifts in perspective, accepting your history while growing into a stronger person? On today’s episode, Kat Franchino interviews Nicole Abramowski of Unsettled Down to discuss what it means to find your true foundations. “I think finding a community is so important. Even if it’s not in person, I think as I said before, the first thing I always do is read about things, find people online because when you’re just doing it alone, it seems impossible. And maybe, you’re only getting negative feedback where everybody just kind of looking at you, ‘What?” And because of the internet, I really feel there’s a group of people for every possible thing however weird it is and having that community and support makes everything seem more possible. So that would be my first thing, find other people.” – Nicole Abramowski
22 min 56 sec
Are you living in the blasé middle ground? Lane and Ryan challenge the status quo every day by hustling through odd jobs, nomadic lifestyles, and property and business ownership. As Lane says, “I hate the word ‘should’, if you are shackled by this idea of how you should be and you can never explore what you could be.” Listen as Lane and Ryan share their marvelous adventures and insights on living without so-called normalcy, to find your own version of success. “Try almost everything you can. Even now, I don’t really have to work, but I do because I’m not the type of person to sit at home. Last month, I had four jobs, because I tend to try everything and find out what fits. I was offered four totally different opportunities, and I said yes to everything. They kind of weeded themselves out, and now I work a few days a week for a few hours. We’ve had several failures of course, and if it doesn’t feel right, walk away. But until it doesn’t feel right, give it a shot.” – Lane “There’s always an excuse. There’s always a reason you can find not to take that first step. It’s scary. We finally realized we’re gonna just do this, we’re gonna leave. And we committed to six months knowing we were gonna hate living in the van. But we committed to six months to get the experience. There’s never a right time. You’re never going to have all the boxes checked. There’s lots of growth, and opportunities for experience. Take the step.” – Ryan
24 min 55 sec
When Thelio was a young girl, she watched her tiny grandmother stand up to an abusive man yelling at his girlfriend on the bus. It changed the way Thelio views the world, teaching her that it’s important to take action – even in small ways. In this episode, Kat interviews Thelio Sewell about her experiences and insights on taking action in a complex world. Our biggest takeaway? Strive to live your own truth. “I find a lot of times that when you do move forward, you find people. You can engage with them. You realize, we have the same passions and same goals, and support each other. When you find out that you’re not the only one, it makes it a lot easier. That’s how things get done, when they realize ‘Oh, I’m not alone. I have many people to help me.'” – Thelio Sewell
22 min 36 sec
Life is chaotic! From school to career, from health to hobbies – you never know what’s around the corner. Join us as Kat Franchino interviews Kati Prather about finding meaning in chaos. “I think it is a matter of seeing instead of what is unreachable and being like I need to get here but I don’t know where to start. I think it matter to taking a smaller step to get yourself there and just looking what is right in front of you and figuring out what you can make out of what is in front of it rather than overwhelming yourself with looking far beyond the horizon.” – Kati Prather
28 min 29 sec
Chance encounters are those little moments in life that you could never predict, but end up changing the course of your future forever. In this episode of Renegade Radio, Kat Franchino sits down to ask Anne Dorko about her take on chance encounters and how we can get more out of life by seeking them out. Are these moments truly coincidental, forged by destiny alone? “These types of things are a practice. It doesn’t just happen to you. There are opportunities everywhere, there are a million and one moments happening at any given point. You’re wading through a sea of opportunities, it’s a practice and a skill to look and see what those are and choosing whether or not to take them.“ – Anne Dorko
22 min 3 sec