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Reinventing Your Career - It’s Never Too Late, with Lesley Jane Seymour

Reinventing Your Career - It’s Never Too Late, with Lesley Jane Seymour

Episode 153: Reinventing Your Career - It’s Never Too Late, with Lesley Jane Seymour

When More magazine came to an end in February 2016, Lesley Jane Seymour, CEO of, had a second act in mind - one that was completely different than what she went into. After her old readers reached out to her, Seymour put her consumer-centric self forward and started, a platform for lifelong learners. On this episode, Leslie talks about being an entrepreneur compared to the corporate world, how she reinvented herself after the publishing world, and importance of having a lifelong network. She also shares the keys to a backpocket reinvention plan, having your second act ready, and why “longlooking” doesn’t work anymore.

Episode Transcript

00:15 Kristy Wallace: Hello, and welcome to the Ellevate podcast. This is your host, Kristy Wallace, with my co-host, Maricella Herrera. Hi, Maricella, how are you doing today?

00:24 Maricella Herrera: Hey, Kristy. I'm good. I feel like I haven't seen you in forever.

00:27 KW: You have not seen me in forever. I have been traveling a lot.

00:30 MH: Yeah.

00:32 KW: Which is great, and also not so great, when you have three kids, and a partner at home.

00:37 MH: You escaped from them being sick then.

00:39 KW: I did escape from them being sick.


00:42 KW: Yeah. I was about to go on stage at South by South West, and my husband calls and says, "I don't need you to do anything. I just need to vent to another adult." This child was misbehaving and this child puked in the hallway at school, and there's ants in the house. I don't know. Just a rough morning for him, but it's pretty powerful to have someone in your corner that can make being not home a lot easier, and more manageable. It was great, and he did have two sick children on two separate trips that I was on. I was gone like the tail end of one week, and my son was sick, and then the beginning of the next week and my daughter was sick, but it all worked out.

01:26 MH: Well, good. Good job, Jake.


01:30 KW: But is that weird, "Good job, Jake."? 'Cause if he were traveling and I was taking care of it, would we say the same thing?

01:37 MH: "Good job Kristy". We should. I don't know.

01:38 KW: Just asking.

01:39 MH: I think if you're... I don't know, actually, that's a good question. It comes back to the whole, like dads babysitting their kids.

01:46 KW: Yeah.

01:46 MH: Which is stupid. But I do think that there's something to be said, just like you said, it's good to have someone that has your back and can do all this, and that should be recognized regardless, I think.

02:01 KW: Yeah, oh I agree. It takes a village to make it happen, right? There's an aspect of self-awareness. I think that's the biggest thing, is self-awareness and communication. So, the night before I was leaving to go to Chicago, my daughter was sick. And I said to my husband, I was like, "Just you sleep. I'll take care of it," because I knew that I was leaving the next day, and he would have it the whole next day. And so it was kind of like, sure, I wasn't sleeping before I was leaving, but I made it so that we were both contributing, we were both doing something.

02:36 KW: It's easy to default to not being self-aware, but when you really think about, "Okay, what am I contributing? What am I taking?" And that goes for networking and all of our relationships, right? Were you giving what you're getting, and sometimes it's not balanced, but you hope in the end, there's a level of balance where everyone's getting something and giving something in return.

03:00 MH: Yeah, I was thinking that as you were saying that, all I could think of was teamwork, you could expect that from people who are on your team.

03:10 KW: Yeah. Absolutely. That's a great segue to our guest today, Lesley Jane Seymour, who is as passionate as we are about teamwork and creating those communities, particularly with her work as founder of CoveyClub, where she is working to support women in reinventing their careers and creating that next step for themselves, and in really actualizing an identity that maybe they didn't have before.

03:43 MH: Pretty cool.

03:44 KW: Yeah, it's amazing. And it was great talking to her to really understand not just why she's so passionate about this topic, but why there's such a need to support women at all stages of their careers, and particularly later in their career as some of the challenges and the transitions aren't as straight forward.

04:05 MH: We hear that a lot from people who are in our community and are either thinking of completely switching careers or a lot of them who are coming back into the workflows at some point and trying to do something completely different. So, it's a subset that really need support.

04:24 KW: It's overwhelming me. Any big step that you take can be overwhelming when the path forward isn't so clear. And that's the power of living in today's world which is, you can switch industries, you can switch functional areas, you can start your own thing, you can go from being an entrepreneur to working in-house at a company again. There's so many opportunities, but when you have that broad of a spectrum, it takes time to whittle down to what really do you wanna do, what's gonna inspire you, what's gonna fulfill you, and how do you have the support to get you to that next stage?

05:00 KW: So, it was great talking to Lesley, and I know you all really appreciate our interview as well, and we'll get to it. So, thanks for joining us on the Ellevate podcast.


05:23 KW: Lesley, thank you so much for joining us today on the Ellevate Podcast.

05:28 Lesley Jane Seymour: Happy to be here.

05:30 KW: We have been big admirers and fans of yours for the longest time. One of the first times I met you is at an event we did with More magazine and Sallie Krawcheck, and you.

05:43 LS: That was great.

05:44 KW: And it was just such powerhouse women doing amazing things, and it's exciting to have you back with us right now for the podcast because your story is inspirational. The impact you're having is admirable, and I can not wait to start digging into all of this great stuff.

06:04 LS: Good. I'm coming here every morning before breakfast, and you're gonna tell me that.


06:08 LS: 'Cause it's fun.

06:09 KW: Done. Done and done. We need to hear it more. We don't hear it enough.

06:11 LS: Yes, we do not. And that's one of the things I learned as an entrepreneur, is that you really have to look at your gains each day and say... 'cause you don't have a team around you. There's nobody going, "Yay, team. Go team. Look what we did." It's really, it's such a different experience, but yet it's wonderful.

06:29 KW: Yeah. Well, so, how did you become an entrepreneur, 'cause you weren't always?

06:33 LS: I was a corporate cog. When you met me, I was a corporate cog. I had gone in and out of the corporation during my maternity leaves, of course. But back then, it's interesting, we used to when I ran Redbook and when I ran Mary Claire and I had my babies at those points, and we used to talk about the porous economy. We used to talk about women taking time off, and coming back in, and it was so easy and dadada. It's such a different world now. It's not like that. And so, what happened is, I had run four different magazines. I ran YM which was a team book, Redbook, Mary Claire, and then More. And basically, you don't have to be a brain surgeon to look around and understand what's happening to print publishing.

07:17 KW: Sure.

07:18 LS: As it swirls around and goes down the last part of the drain. In eight years at More, I had five bosses and four publishers who are your business partners. And you don't... Again, I'm not a financial person, but you can't go out there every year and sell this thing. It became like a Ginsu knife 'cause the new person comes in, and they wanna sell it a different way, and I said, "This is not good. There's no future here. I didn't wanna run a fifth magazine. I loved it." Look, I had an incredible career way beyond what I ever expected. I was a writer. I traveled the world with Mrs. Obama. I walked the red carpet. I did completely crazy things. And I said, "I actually had gone back to Colombia, three years before More closed in sustainability." I'm actually finishing up my sustainability degree right now at Columbia.

08:14 KW: Oh, wow. That's great.

08:15 LS: In a Master's level. This is my last semester. Yay.


08:19 LS: And I finally graduate in May, and just doing one course at a time because it was so obvious to me at a certain point that publishing was just... I just couldn't go any further with it. And so, what was the next thing that I had left on the table for myself when we talk about re-invention? A lot of people come to me for reinvention. And one of the things that I always say is, "You've gotta go back and look at all those things that you were interested in, in your earlier life, but that you edited out." We take a lot of those things out.

08:53 LS: You wanna be a ballerina when you're three, and then at some point you realize, "Hey, probably not gonna make the ABT, not gonna get there." But that doesn't mean that in your later life, you might come back you're a finance person, you're a marketer, maybe when you wanna switch careers, maybe you're not on stage, but maybe you can be the marketing director or maybe you can be some kind of financial person for them. But we tend to leave all that on the table. We let go of all our passions.

09:23 LS: And I was lucky enough, in my 20s, I wanted to be a marine biologist. I went to Duke because they had this wonderful place called Beaufort, where you could study Marine Biology. And in my 20s, I was not a good science student because I'd gone to a girls school, all girls school, and like many girls schools in those days, they had fabulous English and Literature departments and not such great Science departments. I did great in the three Math course and two Sciences I took, and then I got to do then I was hit by all these guys who had three years of chemistry.

10:00 LS: And so I bailed out my junior year. I bailed out, became an English major. And when you put me in writing, look, writing was really great for me, very easy for me, and I could make a career out of it. Probably today you can't, but back then, if you could write, and you could make a lot of money. And so, I had this great career. And then when I was thinking about how do I wanna reinvent myself?

10:20 LS: A girlfriend of mine who was working at L'Oréal at the time, started talking about how she was doing sustainability management. She was finishing up her degree up at Columbia, and I was like, "What are you talking about? What is that?" And so what it is sustainability is the best way to think about it is where the environment meets business, where are the win-wins? And that's kind of what Marine Biology has become. It's a part of that. So, I made her come home with me and sit in my backyard and I plied her with a glass of wine and I said, "Tell me how you did this?", 'cause she had a big job at L'Oreal.

10:56 LS: And she told me about the night courses, and she hooked me up with the guy who ran it. And I went up there and I thought, "I don't have time for this. I'm traveling the world. I have a full-time job. Am I crazy? Whatever." I sat in the class and I thought, "Wow, this is so interesting." And then I applied and I said, "I'll never get in," and then I got in, and then I went to my first class, and I thought, "I'll never stay here. There's no way I can do this anyway it's four years later [chuckle] and I don't know what I'll do with it because it's gonna be part of my life, but my original idea was to segue over into the beauty business.

11:31 LS: When they pulled the plug at More, which was two years earlier than I thought, I had not finished my degree. So, I thought "Okay, I'll go full-time into the degree," but what happened is, all my readers came to me. They were so upset about the magazine going out of business 'cause there's really nothing like it out there. There's nothing at the high end, there's nothing intelligent, there's nothing that really focuses on that kind of woman.

11:55 LS: And so, 627 of them took a 54-question survey to the end, and I mapped out what Covey would be, and Covey is a small group of birds. And the idea was everything that's going on for women. Now these giant conferences, big, big, big, big things you don't really get. You come in, you sit at a table, you don't really meet anybody, you don't interact. I feel like we're in a crisis right now of lack of interaction lack of connection, lack of... We're all isolated, feeling like we're in these situations where we're getting a little bit older.

12:30 LS: We're the oldest one in the office. What does that mean for me? What's my next step? What am I gonna do? How do I handle myself? I don't wanna be the office Mom. How am I behaving like that? And I decided, "Okay, let me give this thing a shot and see what happens." I've never been an entrepreneur. We passed a year. We launched last year, Valentine's Day. We made it a year. I have income. I have revenue. I've got enough revenue. Anybody out there wants to invest. I'm gonna be looking for investors.

13:02 KW: You checked a big box there.

13:03 LS: But people tell me, as an entrepreneur, that a lot of people don't have revenue the first year. And I literally made the map. So what we have is, I call it an online-offline platform for women, and we have a digital magazine. Everything is digital because publishing print you can't do today. We have a blog. We have a podcast also, it's called Reinvent, Yourself with Lesley Jane Seymour. [chuckle]

13:26 LS: And Sally was on that, we had a great podcast with her. And we're going into a revamp, we're going into Covey 2.0, and we're gonna create some new opportunities for women for connecting and I'm really excited about that. My overall goal when you're in entrepreneur land, you probably know, it's called... You've gotta have a BHAG, which is your Big Hairy Audacious Goal. So my big hairy audacious goal is to connect 100,000 women across the world and I've already got people in Belgium, I've got people in Paris, I've got people all across America, and I'm connecting them.

14:04 KW: Wow.

14:05 LS: So maybe think of it like a... Somebody has been using this lately, saying to me. "So you're kind of like a private LinkedIn?" It's kind of that, but for friendship and for business. So it might be both.

14:16 KW: So there's so many questions I have, I've been sitting here and typing additional questions. And first I kinda wanna go back to something you said that resonated with me quite a bit, which was you started off wanting to be a marine biologist, you ended up with a fantastic career in publishing, you are now completing a degree, in social impact. And do you really see that as the full circle like coming back to...

14:46 LS: Weirdly.

14:47 KW: How you can have environmental impact is one aspect of social impact. I think we tend to say that we... It's either now or never.

14:55 LS: Yes.

14:55 KW: And you're turning it on its head, which is, there's always a...

15:00 LS: There's always the next, yeah, and that is something... I go around the country. The talk that I give is, "Why you should have a reinvention plan in your back pocket." Because the world has been so disrupted today, people who are even in very stable businesses, the next month or next year, I hear that it's been disrupted. Look, we're just, we're in this white water moment when things are changing. And nothing is for certain and nothing is stable.

15:27 LS: Who thought when I started out in publishing that there wouldn't be print magazines anymore? That would be like saying to me, there would be... When I was 20, that you wouldn't have movies, that doesn't exist. Or pools wouldn't exist. [chuckle] And it's really that phenomenal. And we don't know what's gonna happen. So that's why I encourage people to always be thinking of, the young people, 20-year-olds called it a side hustle, but it doesn't matter, women today need to have that side hustle in their mind, in their back pocket that they're working on the side.

16:00 LS: It could be a hobby for now if you have a big time job, it could be just a passion that you have on something, but you should always have something cooking on the side. I don't think we can be mono-interested anymore, because I think the world is changing too often and too fast. And we're living longer. Remember, in 1900, the average woman lived to age 49, right? That was it, you were gone. So you now have almost twice that long, where I think we're at 80... I think we're at 81 for American Women. And that's a long way to go. And you have to support yourself, and you have to stay interested. And this generation is not really interested in work, work, work, work, work, and then pull the plug and go lie on a beach somewhere.

16:48 KW: Oh sure.

16:49 LS: We wanna contribute, we still wanna be part of things. We have a brain trust. Why should we just walk away?

16:55 KW: Well, and I've heard that so much from the women in the Ellevate community, as well.

17:00 LS: I bet.

17:00 RG: Which is, "I've worked for 20 years or 30 years I've worked my way up, but it was somewhat of a linear career and I still have so much left, but not here, not where I am."

17:11 LS: Not there, right right.

17:11 KW: I don't wanna do this for another 20 years."

17:14 LS: You outgrew it.

17:15 KW: Yeah, but what's next? You've oftentimes plateaued 'cause the nature of business unfortunately. And so it's exciting to think about what's next, but it's overwhelming, it's daunting, because it's this cliff, if you will, and you don't know what's at the bottom at the top, it can feel scary I think.

17:38 LS: I think it looks like a cliff if you haven't thought about it like what you said earlier, which is very good about, there are other nows, which is if you start thinking really in your 40s, about what I wanna do, what do I wanna be when I grow up? Because what you're doing now is part of it and it's part of a trajectory but you can have two or three different lives, in the future, partly because we're in better health, we've exercised, [chuckle] and why shouldn't you? You may have finished what you came to do in banking or what You came to do in real estate or... Why shouldn't you, if you're an intelligent, curious person, have a second or third interest beyond painting dunes, 'cause you're older?

18:29 LS: Age has nothing to do with it, it has to do with that intellectual interest. And if you can go back and pick up something that you had a passion for, I'm not saying that's the only place you can look, but I think we are more than the little narrow highway that we were pushed onto in our 20s. Our highway may come back and loop, be one of those big loops in Chicago where we come back and we get back on the highway in a different place.

19:00 LS: And I think you have to look at your life like that, and I feel really sorry for... And I hear from a lot of women who feel like it is a cliff. And so that's why I say... That is why I started the podcast, about reinvent yourself. I take women from every walk of life, every direction from big jobs, small jobs, moms who were dropping their kids off at... One woman was doing ice hockey practice and she got sick of being in the ice hockey practice. And she always wanted to be a writer, was not a writer, and she started writing in the mini van. She's now a huge big famous writer, she started writing in a mini van.

19:39 LS: So the point is, anybody, if you have a dream and an idea you can go there. But you have to have drive, you have to prepare yourself financially somehow, you can't just jump off that cliff with no parachute. And you have to have some planning. And there is nothing like trying something completely new when you're older. All I can say is I am happier than I've ever been. Not to say, I wasn't happy when I was doing that corporate duty. But I thought I would come back, I would start Covey, and then maybe I would finish sustainability and go back to corporate life, blah blah blah. I have no interest whatsoever in ever getting back on that corporate bandwagon again, I'm making no money, but I am so much happier. I can come up with an idea in the morning and I can see someone at lunch and they say, "You should do," blah, blah, blah. And by dinner I've executed on blah blah blah.

20:40 KW: Sure.

20:40 LS: And there is so exciting, I just find this is just incredibly exciting and it's wonderful.

20:47 KW: I love that you had Angela Lee and Trish Costello on as one of your seminars or chats because... So that was something that I've started to do.

21:00 LS: Are you doing angel?

21:01 KW: I'm actually an investor and in portfolios, their fem-tech front.

21:03 LS: Oh you're kidding. Oh, you went into fem-tech. Oh that's great.

21:07 KW: But for me it was the same thing I was kind of like, "Well, what's next?". And bigger picture, long-term, you just kind of start to think about outside of this job.

21:20 LS: This lane.

21:22 KW: Or outside of my fit. What are the things I'm interested in and how do you cultivate that? And...

21:25 LS: That's exactly why I did that webinar last night. Exactly, because it can expand your brain and your opportunities.

21:33 KW: And it leads to so many things, it's great because you can... You start to think about and understand, if you're not in an entrepreneurial environment you start to really understand that entrepreneurial process, you start to think about being an advisor, you think about other ways, a board member. It can lead to so many other opportunities that you maybe never thought of.

21:54 LS: That's right.

21:55 KW: And it's a great low-time, depending on how much you wanna put into it, way to really tap into other avenues and networks and learnings. Yeah, I'm an angel investor and advisor and all that, and I love it.

22:14 LS: So interesting. Interesting. And if I had not done my own start-up, that's what I would have done. And what's really interesting, is if you're in these big corporations, there is a whole world of creativity, and interesting, fascinating things that people are doing, and especially women, that you can tap into by getting involved in angel investing. And if you're in one of these... It is just a different world that moves at a different pace. It is. It's like night and day, it's just like, I don't even know what the... I guess one is plain American boiled meals compared to Asian street food. That's what's going on outside the corporate world, that you may not be in contact with and when you get in contact with that it makes your corporate life more interesting.

23:11 KW: And your perspective.

23:12 LS: Right.

23:12 KW: The things you bring into your job that you hadn't thought of before.

23:16 LS: Yeah. That's so interesting, I love the fact that you're part of portfolio, I love it, it's great.

23:21 KW: Yeah, yeah, and Angele Lee has been on our podcast, she's an Ellevate member. And it's just, I see it as a great way for me to learn more. My background is more entrepreneurial, but also to give back. And it's not, to be honest, it's not just giving back by investing in women, I believe in the ROI of that, and I believe that women are great business leaders and entrepreneurs and drivers. So to me, it's a great financial decision as well.

23:50 LS: Oh yeah, the numbers are there.

23:51 KW: It certainly opened up ideas and connections, and just opportunities that I hadn't had thought of before.

24:00 LS: Small world.

24:01 KW: You had told this story about when you left More and you had 650 plus women who filled out their survey, and came to you and were like, "We need something." right? "This can't go away, we need this." How often do you see that push? They say, in politics and other things that you have to ask someone, "Run for office, run for office." You ask a woman multiple times to run for office because it may not be something we think about or an identity we see ourselves in or maybe we don't have the confidence but it's by asking that we start to see the support in the people that can see us in those shoes.

24:46 LS: Yes.

24:46 KW: And then we start to see ourselves.

24:47 LS: Yes, yes.

24:48 KW: So how critical was it to get that support from your community, that said, "Oh, no, no, no, you can't let this stop. Please keep going."?

24:54 LS: Oh it's everything. I mean if those readers had not... If the readers have been just like, "Oh this is really sad. Sorry about More." I wouldn't have gone out there and done something, I was on a trajectory to do this other thing. I had my second act ready to go. And I actually thought what I would do is I would go, I was like, "Okay, I'll go full time." I was in the middle of the spring semester and I thought, "I'll just speed this thing up and finish my degree early instead of doing it one semester at a time." And it really was the consumers.

25:28 LS: So without them asking, I wouldn't have done it. And I'm very, very, very consumer oriented, that I've always been that kind of editor. I mean I loved... I get a kick out of making people happy, which is a very hard thing when you're an entrepreneur, it's a good thing and a bad thing, it's really hard, because it's just you making them all happy and you're gonna screw up.

25:55 LS: So, but that's where I get my juice. I get my juice out of people saying, "This meant something to me. Would you give me more? I love this. Can you do it this way?" And I'm just a total consumer junkie. I love... It's hard, but I will say, it's dangerous because I don't have a team, it's just me. And you do something great, someone loves it, you're like, "Yes, okay, I'm in." It's great, it's wonderful. Then you screw something up and someone's like, "Why did you that?", and you're like, "Oh God, I don't know how that happened. I'm so sorry. I feel so bad." These things happen. And what's really interesting, I find, is you have to... I was just thinking about this this morning. Is when you are... The difference between... There are two things with corporations and being an entrepreneur, having done both.

26:47 LS: One is, you don't realize how much of your life in corporate life is momentum. The corporation goes on, it's a big rushing stream. It's rushing whether you're there, it's rushing whether you're not there. You just parachute in to whatever you're doing, the streams going. If you go home on Friday and don't come back in 'til Monday, it's still moving. As an entrepreneur, there's no stream. [chuckle] You have to make a stream. It's very, very difficult like that.

27:15 LS: The other thing that you have to do is you have to really confront all your flaws and all of your fears, by yourself. When it's just you, you have to say, "Okay, why am I afraid to do this?" When you're in corporate life you can hide your fears, you don't have to confront all of them because there are other people picking up things that you don't like to do. You can give so-and-so the thing you're not good at. When you're an entrepreneur, you're like, "Okay, I have real trouble dealing with the money issues here." [chuckle] And you've got to confront them because things are moving and you have to deal with your issues like that. So it's both a... It's very psychological, in many ways, which is not what I expected.

28:06 KW: I've never thought of it that way. And that's really powerful, which is, I tend to think of it as, "What don't you know?", but there is the aspect of what is it that you're just not...

28:16 LS: You're not doing it.

28:17 KW: Not a fan of doing or that isn't your strength, but you still have to do it.

28:22 LS: Or that you have a barriers to, that you don't realize you have barriers and those are emotional things you have to get over in order to make this thing go. And I like to think of myself as being pretty in touch with who I am. I know myself very well. I'm not 20 years old, I've been through a lot, but I find there are things, it's like, "Okay, you're gonna have to deal with this. Why do you have trouble... " I found I have trouble asking for money. It's not an uncommon thing. I do stories about it [chuckle] because... That's what's great about being a journalist, it's like, "Okay, there are other people out there with the same problem. Let's do a story on it." But it's so interesting how that can block you from things you have to do. And when it's your business, you have to get over that.

29:08 KW: So I wanted to end with some advice, which is... Our listeners are at all career stages, what should they be thinking about now? Whether they may be making a change tomorrow or 10 years from now, but what are the steps they should be taking now to always have their reinvention plan in their back pocket?

29:34 LS: Well, I think there's two different things. I think if you're... And I have two millennials I'm guiding myself, my 27-year-old and 23-year-old kids. And for them, I think up until you're really 35, going into your '40s, they have a tendency to long look, which is no longer realistic. And I think they have to look at the job and workforce today as, "What do I wanna do for the next two years?" It's not this long runway of, "What am I gonna do for the rest of my life?"

30:06 LS: I remember my son saying that to me when he was getting out of college and he was stymied about what he wanted to do, and I'm like, "Why are you having this trouble?" And he's like, "I don't know what I wanna do for the rest of my life." I'm like, "Buddy, it's two years." [chuckle] The world is changing so fast. It's not like the old days when I went to work and we had a triangle and you worked these hierarchical, military-type triangles where you went in it through HR and you worked your way up from assistant to the... That's not there any more. It's two years. So, look into your increments. Wherever you are today, you will be somewhere else in five or six or seven years. Go with the flow, see where it takes you.

30:46 LS: It really is a lattice today, where you may be in one sector today and two years from now, you'll be in another sector and you may move laterally. It's a very different world. As you get to 40-plus, you still may be moving around like that, but you do need to be thinking early about what are one or two other things that you might have of interest. What are your interests that you might wanna branch off into down the road?

31:18 LS: And I really do believe that you have to keep those... And they could be... You could be studying something on the side, you don't have to look at it as, "I'm gonna go get a job in it." Maybe you're studying Buddhism on the side, you really love Buddhism. Or maybe you're doing jewelry-making, go do a high school class in your town and make jewelry. You don't know where that's gonna lead but don't be stagnant, don't be in this... Don't bank everything on one place, don't bank everything...

31:50 LS: It's like your portfolio. You have your portfolio of money, you're not gonna invest in just one thing, you have to be diverse, you have to be diversified. So your whole career has to be diversified today, and if you're not, you can get caught short. And so I think you always have to have that kind of side-hustle, those other interests, and keep your, of course, keep your networks alive, keep it... That's also one way to do it too, is to always have those genuine networks, so that you can't be like keeping your head down, not going out to lunch, not contacting anybody, not doing anything until like, "Whoops, I'm gonna be out of a job in two weeks, let me see who I can call." It has to be a lifetime trajectory where you are doing regular contacts, regular meetings, regular get-togethers.

32:45 LS: That's one of the purposes of CoveyClub, that's why I'm doing this so that you have broader connections rather than just, say you're in retail, you know all the retail people by the time you get to 40, you made those friends. But you need to know people in the book business, in finance, and why are you talking only to people in retail? Today that's not a good idea 'cause you don't know where you're gonna be.

33:07 LS: So be cultivating different lanes, be always... I really believe that you have to keep education in your life. I don't know why we ever thought that education is for 20-year-olds only. And have an update, find those courses that you can take. Maybe there's a fellowship you take for four months at some university somewhere. Maybe there... Look into what your business allows. A lot of companies will pay you $3,000 every half of the year to go back for courses, and people don't take advantage of it.

33:42 KW: They should.

33:43 LS: Keep learning, keep exploring, and if you are a lifetime learner and a life-long learner, that's kind of, in my opinion, where the world is today. The world is based on life-long learning. And I still see people who have their heads down, and it's lunch time and they're sitting at their desk working away at something. And that's great, but what are you thinking about for yourself for the next two years? If you're sitting in your office, you're not taking care of yourself and where you have to go and keep those doors open, keep your interest going. But the inertia that we get when we get comfortable, that's dangerous today. It's just dangerous today.


34:28 KW: Well, thanks so much for joining us on the Ellevate podcast.

34:32 LS: You're welcome. That was so much fun, I'm so excited.


34:41 KW: Thanks so much for listening to Ellevate. If you like what you hear, help a girl out, subscribe to the Ellevate podcast on iTunes. Give us five stars and share your review. Also, don't forget to follow us on Twitter @ellevatentwk, that's Ellevate Network. And become a member, you can learn all about membership and all the great things that Ellevate Network is doing, at our website,, that's E-L-L-E-V-A-T-E And special thanks to our producer, Katharine Heller. She rocks. And to our voice-over artist, Rachel Griesinger. Thanks so much and join us next week.