Skip to main content

How to get started:

Feel like you’re at a crossroads? Ellevate 101 introduces you to the community that can give you a career kickstart.

We’ll walk you through some light intros and give you space to connect about shared career experiences. You’ll also learn how to use your Ellevate program to continuously make moves towards success at work.

Our next live welcome session is .

Register here for your chance to get started

4 women lined up supporting each other

Finding Success On Your Own Terms, with Julie Holunga

Finding Success On Your Own Terms, with Julie Holunga

Episode 338: Finding Success On Your Own Terms, with Julie Holunga

We sit down with Julie Holunga to discuss breaking patterns of self-doubt, building a glossary of words to present yourself confidently, and how to get out of your own way.


0:00:00.5 Maricella Herera: Hi, everyone. Before I get to the episode, I want to take a moment to address the United States Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe vs Wade on June 24, which stripped away the right to have a safe and legal abortion. Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health and independence of all people, which we have already seen with abortion bans and restrictions in countries like Poland and Malta. This decision has dire consequences and could have harsh repercussions for other landmark decisions within the United States. I encourage our audience, American and otherwise, to learn more about what you can do to help at I encourage you to speak up, take care, and spread the word.

0:00:45.9 Intro: Welcome to the Ellevate Podcast, conversations with women changing the face of business. And now your host, Maricella Herrera.


0:01:06.4 MH: Hi there. Welcome to the Ellevate Podcast. I'm Maricella Herrera. I am the CEO of Ellevate Network and your host for this podcast, here with my co-host, Megan Oliver. How are you doing, Megan?

0:01:19.7 Megan Oliver: I'm doing well. Hi, everybody.

0:01:20.9 MH: Co-host and producer.

0:01:24.2 MO: Yes. Co-host, producer. A person who holds order.

0:01:29.2 MH: Also, I put you as my media contact recently under something.

0:01:34.7 MO: I love that.

0:01:34.8 MH: That can be my media contact.

0:01:35.6 MO: That works. Just contact me. If you got a question about Ellevate Media, just contact me. I'll probably handle it.

0:01:45.1 MH: So thank you in advance for that, which I did not ask. Yeah, it was for a conference and I think, I don't know what's going to come from it, but anyway. What have you been up to this week? I know, well, post Thanksgiving, so hopefully you've been up to a lot of eating and a lot of family.

0:02:04.7 MO: Yes. Well, yes. Eating, eating, eating. It was just our family, because of the newborn baby and everything and wanting to keep it kind of small. So it's just our immediate family, which was really nice. My dad is such a good cook and Thanksgiving is my favorite meal of the year. And so, oh, it's my favorite when you have, 'cause I love, I love dark meat turkey. I don't really care about white meat turkey. It's kind of dry for me.

0:02:28.8 MH: No, no, no, no, no.

0:02:30.7 MO: I know it's a controversial opinion but...

0:02:33.9 MH: I'm a white meat turkey type of girl.

0:02:38.4 MO: Yeah. No, it's, it's okay because I'm like the only one in my family that likes it. So I just eat all of it.

0:02:41.6 MH: Oh great. It works out for you.

0:02:43.1 MO: Yeah. I love... Yeah, I love green bean casserole. I love mashed potatoes. I just, I love stuffing. I love gravy. Good meal. Is it the best for you? Who cares? It's the best. And I love it.

0:02:58.5 MH: So I didn't grow up with Thanksgiving, as you know, like that's not something we celebrate in El Salvador, but we do do turkey in a very specific way. Not for Thanksgiving. We do it for Christmas and New Year's. That's usually what we eat. And it's the Salvadoran, the Salvadoran Turkey. It's like it's cooked in a sauce, like in a tomato sauce with spices. And it's amazing. It's really, really, really good. But there's two points to why I'm saying this. One is, because since I didn't grow up with Thanksgiving food, I am obsessed with stuffing. I love stuffing so much. It was one of the best discoveries I ever made.

0:03:41.1 MO: I can imagine. I was, I don't think I even got into stuffing until I was a little older. 'Cause I think I was pickier when I was a kid and I saw stuff in it and I was like, I don't want celery and whatever. And then, you know, when I was older, I was like, let me try it. And I was like, oh, this is the best thing ever.

0:03:55.3 MH: Well, and when you see it, it doesn't look the most appealing like for a child, but it's delicious.

0:04:00.9 MO: Yeah. It looks like mush.

0:04:03.2 MH: Yeah. Well, anyway, so I have been in love with stuffing, but what's happened in the last few years is that I decided to, there was one Christmas the year before COVID. So when I was waiting for my green card, there was one Christmas that I was here and I made, and some of my friends were here. And so I made Salvadoran Turkey for Christmas. I don't know if that was a smart thing or a mistake because now it's being demanded every year.

0:04:35.6 MO: A smart thing then.

0:04:37.9 MH: So that's what we did for Thanksgiving. I went Upstate to a friend of mine and I cooked Salvadoran Turkey. She made stuffing because that's the only, that's, that was a compromise. And it was delicious. Melding of two colors.

0:04:54.3 MO: Exactly. Well, that's what the, well, it's, it's what the original Thanksgiving was supposed to represent.

0:04:57.1 MH: Supposed.

0:04:58.5 MO: Yeah. Historically speaking, it's not really so much, but the spirit of the holiday is the melding of two cultures. Yeah.

0:05:06.0 MH: Well, I think the spirit of the, of the holiday now is really to be thankful. And I know that it has, it has quite the past, has quite the history, but I do think that the idea of getting together with your family without like gifts or agenda or anything, or your friends getting together with your family or friends or loved ones without like gifts or other agenda. But to be like, I am thankful for having you in my life is something very special.

0:05:36.5 MO: Yeah. And I love, I love anything, any holiday that's just really about eating. It's good in my book.

0:05:45.2 MH: Yeah. Have you had a chance to read or watch anything fun since we had a couple of days off?

0:05:50.4 MO: So the World Gymnastics Championships ended a few weeks ago. And so everybody shout out for gymnastics. Yay. I love gymnastics. I'm not going to talk for 30 minutes, even though I could talk your ear off, but the team final literally made me cry. Ugh, basically long story short, the USA had a pretty new team. USA came out with the win. Woohoo. We're excited. I have been like the conductor of the Shilese Jones hype train all year and she rocked it. I love Jordan Chiles. She rocked it. The whole team, amazing. Great Britain got the silver, which was their best-ever finish at a world team final. They've only ever gotten one bronze before and then completely out of nowhere, no one expected it, least of all them, with the bronze medal, Team Canada came out of no... I mean, truly like they, so eight teams qualify into the team final and they qualified eighth.

0:06:51.0 MO: So they literally qualified lowest out of all of the teams. And they just, a lot of people had bad days and they just hit all of their routines. And they were literally, if, if you google their reaction, like Ellie Black, who has been the leader of that team for like 10 years now, is just when it comes to, they're going to get it, they have never won a world team medal before, ever, of any color. And she's just on the ground sobbing, like sobbing with happiness. It's so, so sweet. If anybody just wants a pick me up, Google that because I just wanted to give a shoutout to the World Gymnastics Championships because it was, it was history making and it was just, it was just joy.

0:07:35.5 MH: I really appreciate your passion for certain things. Gymnastics being one of them.

0:07:40.6 MO: Yes.

0:07:41.8 MH: I don't know if I have that much passion for anything. No, I do. I do. I do. I think. [chuckle] I hope.

0:07:48.9 MO: You're pretty passionate about women's rights.

0:07:54.4 MH: I am pretty passionate about DE&I and inclusion and company culture and people being treated like humans and equity and justice. Yep. I think I am. [chuckle]

0:08:02.8 MO: Yeah. So imagine the world championships of that had just happened.

0:08:08.4 MH: Oh, wow. [chuckle] Man, we should have world championships of DE&I.

0:08:15.4 MO: I agree.

0:08:16.1 MH: JEDI Championships, justice, equity, diversity.

0:08:22.1 MO: I'm here for it. We could call it Mobilize Women.

0:08:25.4 MH: Ooh, which is happening next year on June 6th and 7th. So mark your calendars. Mobilize Women is our annual summit, where we talk about all these topics. So I guess you're right, it is kind of the JEDI Championship, the championship of diversity, equity, and inclusion. I'm now really thinking about the JEDI Championships because I'm not talking about Star Wars. I promise I'm talking about justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, which is another way of saying DEIV.

0:08:57.4 MO: Yeah.

0:09:00.3 MH: Anyway, but yes, Mobilize Women is happening. Mark your calendars. We have great topics. That's actually what I've been into lately, doing lots of research for that. And you know that when I get into Mobilize Women mode, I go deep into research. And the topics we're going to be covering are so interesting and so timely. So we're going to talk about the caregiving crisis. I mean, it's fascinating to see that, you know, 41 million Americans are caregivers and about 60% of them are employed full time or part time. Like how do people do it and how are we not set up for them to be supported? We're going to talk about how to harness the innovation from our disabled workforce with long COVID disability. The people needing accommodations for disability has grown so much and they are still underemployed. There's a huge opportunity...

0:09:56.0 MO: That's one of the ones I'm most looking forward to. Not that I'm not looking forward to all of them, but like that's one that's very close to my heart.

0:10:01.4 MH: Yeah. It's a great, I think we're going to have a really, really great discussion. So I've been reading a lot. But I'll be sharing more and more of these thoughts in my blog posts. So if you want to follow me on LinkedIn, that's where I post my musings. I appreciate the love if you do and, yeah, nerding out. That's been me.

0:10:23.6 MO: Yeah. So we've really been both into our passions this last week.

0:10:27.5 MH: I guess so.

0:10:29.5 MO: Yeah. I'm here for that.

0:10:31.5 MH: Well, speaking of people who are into their passions, I had a really great conversation with Julie Holunga. This was taped up a little while ago, so there might be some mentions of me training for the marathon, which seems like a lifetime ago. She is fantastic. She's a coach. She helps train and develop small and medium-sized business leaders, attorneys, CPAs, people kind of work on their own business, bring their careers to the next level. She's amazing at helping think things through and especially helping people communicate better. She's done a TEDx Talk and we talked about that, too. And I just had a really fun time with her. So hope you enjoy the conversation.

0:11:17.6 MO: I cannot wait.


0:11:28.6 MH: Hi, today, I'm here with Julie Holunga. Julie, how are you?

0:11:32.1 Julie Holunga: Good. How are you, Maricella?

0:11:34.6 MH: I'm doing well, doing well. Julie is, wow, Julie has been a member of our community for such a long time. So it's so exciting. I know you've spoken to a bunch of our staff. We did a Rising Leaders Roundtable together not so long ago. So it's exciting to have you on the podcast.

0:11:51.8 JH: Yes. Thank you.

0:11:54.3 MH: So I always really liked starting these with very general question. Tell me about your background. Give me a little bit of context, and let our audience know kind of how you got to where you are today.

0:12:06.5 JH: Sure. So, I always include this because it was something that I didn't talk about for probably 20 years, but I grew up in Europe and Asia and started elementary school in Paris, not speaking a lick of French, and spent seven years with my family living abroad. And that really shaped my curiosity in people. And now given what I do as a leadership trainer and coach, it's certainly, I see how it plays into what I do today and what really energizes me. So we moved back to the states. I graduated from college and was living in Boston and took a role, working at Harvard University, which is really fascinating. Got to meet some really interesting people like Al Gore and Madeleine Albright and just some amazing people. And we were in Boston for 13 years. And the last role I had there was I went back to Harvard to the business school this time, working on an initiative, examining women in the workforce and really the infrastructures that weren't in place to retain and advance them.

0:13:23.6 JH: When I took the job, we were pregnant and we didn't know at the time, but eventually had a little girl who is now 16, which is crazy. And, you know, it really reinforced that when she was born, that I wanted her to have the same opportunities and conversations that her brother would eventually have in their careers. And so that really reinforced my interest in working on the careers of women. And so I have an expertise in that and spend a good portion of my time working with female executives and leaders to really help them lead with influence and authority and really understand where they're getting in their own way and how we can, what we can, what changes we can make so that they are really operating at their peaks.

0:14:22.6 MH: That's it. I did not know you had grown up in Europe. That's new for me. [chuckle]

0:14:29.3 JH: Yeah.

0:14:30.3 MH: So that's a nice, interesting tidbit. So with your work, and I know you're super specifically focused on women and what do you think are the things that like that you see most often that do get into or that do get in our way of being successful?

0:14:48.3 JH: Right. It's usually our thoughts, our thinking patterns. [chuckle] So we can't blame anyone but ourselves for that. But it's, it's really, we take ourselves out of the game before we even come to the plate. You know, we think that we're not, I've got to say, we're not worthy, but we tell ourselves why we don't belong or why we don't deserve, or we expect someone to notice us. And as I always say to people, you know, besides maybe our mothers or our fathers, we think about ourselves more than anyone else in the world. So it's hard for women in particular to stand up and acknowledge and take acknowledgment but own something. So I find it's really important to understand where we are getting in our own ways. And that really does start in our own brains and really thinking about what is the trap that I'm getting into and how do I change those things, those thinking patterns? And that's one of the things.

0:16:00.1 JH: The other things, the thing that I see a lot of is not taking advantage of something that's being presented to us. So maybe it's an opportunity to work on a really big client or a big project, but we tell ourselves again, getting back into those thinking traps, that we're not good enough or that someone else has more experience than us. And what I see compared to my male colleagues is they acknowledge I've never done this before, but I'm okay. I'm going to do it. And sometimes that's a little bit as of what Columbia University calls honest overconfidence, where they think like, "Yeah, I'll be fine. I'll figure this out." So it's finding that happy medium between that honest overconfidence and total lack of confidence or for some people they think they're confident, but they're taking themselves out of the game.

0:16:57.8 MH: I had never heard honest overconfidence and I am now going to be obsessed with that and start looking into it.

0:17:05.7 JH: Yes, it's really good. I'll send you the link.

0:17:09.4 MH: Yeah, that's a great term. Where do you think, so you're saying, you know, our thinking patterns are the first thing, but where do you think those come from? Is that something we've been taught or is it just innate?

0:17:21.6 JH: So I see two things. One, it's from our family of origin. It's how we grew up. It's maybe, and that's a term, family of origin, but those are those forming experiences as kids. So it might be a teacher at some point in, you know, even far back as elementary school, you know, you're so bossy, right? We've all heard that term that girls are called bossy. Or it may be a coach at some point, or I hear a lot from, you know, I had a boss 20 years ago who told me to not talk so much in meetings and I'm now a leader of this team and I'm still not talking a lot in meetings because that really stuck with me.

0:18:03.1 JH: And so those thoughts in our heads that tell us don't, or you're not good enough tend to come from something or someone a long time ago. So when I hear my client saying, "Well, I don't trust my team," more often than not, it's not that actual team, but someone 10, 15, 20 years ago who did something that caused my client not to trust people that worked for him or her and really trying to dissect. Like when I hear, I don't trust my team, that's a golden nugget to me because I know that there's so much underneath that, you know, that's just the tip of the iceberg and having to go beneath that and figure out, well, why, what's the trust really going on? Or lack of trust that's not happening there.

0:18:57.0 MH: Sounds like you have to do a lot of like almost therapy. You know?

0:19:01.2 JH: Yes. [chuckle] Yeah, yeah, it is... If anyone's ever watched the show Billions, which I highly recommend, there's a character in that show that is... I think she calls herself a performance coach. But it's really therapy for the workplace. I'm not a trained therapist, so I certainly don't claim to be. But it's really unearthing what is causing you to have these thoughts. And I took a course earlier this year through MIT, the neuroscience of business, which was phenomenal, and really helped us uncover what's going on in our brains that's helping us or hurting us. And I found that fascinating in terms of, the new science behind the brain, in terms of the imaging and what we're able to see now of what we can do to help us, or what we can do to harm us.

0:19:52.9 JH: So, if we have that thought, that negative thought, "I'm not gonna be able to do this. I'm not gonna be able to achieve that role or this goal that I have," then that reinforces in our brain and we actually are able to see now how those negative thoughts grow the neural pathways in our brain. But if we recognize those negative thoughts we're having and flip it, which is as often when I say to my clients, like that first bit has to be that self-awareness and raising that awareness. And then you can flip it and say, "Well, what do I wanna say to myself instead?" And then to deliberately practice that, right? So, when I hear the thoughts in my head saying, "You're never gonna get on a TEDx stage." Okay, well, let me flip it. What can I tell myself instead? "Well, maybe I need to work a little bit harder on my application, because I know I have a good message to share and I'm going to get on that TEDx stage."

0:20:50.0 JH: And then you're strengthening that neural pathway. And the other one, that negative one, it doesn't completely go away. But in my mind, I think of it as... It sort of shrivels up and it becomes less powerful. So, it's harder to go down that negative path as opposed to going down that positive, "I am gonna get on that stage."

0:21:12.0 MH: So, it sounds like... I'm so fascinated by this. So I'm fascinated by mental health and our thought patterns and all of these things. I talk very openly about some of my struggles, but it's interesting to me at this point where you're saying, first, self-awareness is so key, yet so hard.

0:21:38.7 JH: Yes.

0:21:40.6 MH: It is kind of having that courage of looking at yourself really honestly is a difficult thing. But then you're saying you have this thought and then you have almost two pathways to go.

0:21:55.4 JH: Exactly.

0:21:57.0 MH: You can either go... One of them, which sounds like self-sabotage and one of them that is more constructive. But if you go... And I struggle with this myself of like, "Oh, I'm never gonna do this or I'm never gonna be able to do X, Y, Z." And kinda get stuck on that because I don't want to be disappointed if I don't.

0:22:18.6 JH: Right, right.

0:22:20.0 MH: But if you go on the other route, does that mean you start... How does that help you? Does it help you because you start preparing yourself more? I don't wanna think it's like magic, like the secret, you know.


0:22:33.6 JH: Right. There is no magic. What I see is that... For instance, what's something you've told yourself, Maricella, that like you can't do?

0:22:48.0 MH: So many things. How much time do you have?


0:22:52.6 MH: Let's go with something simple right now. I'm training for the marathon, for the New York City Marathon.

0:22:57.8 JH: Yes.

0:22:57.9 MH: And I talk about that a lot, and I keep saying to myself, "Oh, I don't know if I'll make it."

0:23:03.2 JH: Yes, yes. Okay. This is a perfect example. By the way, I heard that Ashton Kutcher is running this year, too. So...

0:23:09.6 MH: Really?

0:23:10.1 JH: Yes.

0:23:11.0 MH: I did not know that.

0:23:12.3 JH: Yeah, that could be a motivator. Like try to find him in 30,000 people or whatever it is. So, that's such a great example. So, so often of us, whether it's a physical goal like that or a professional one, we tell ourselves like, "I can do all this training, but I still don't know if I'm gonna make it," right? [chuckle] "I'm running up First Avenue, am I really gonna make it?" And so when you tell yourself, "I don't know if I can make it. I don't think I'm gonna make it." Like you get to mile 17 and you're like, "There is no way I gonna get there."

0:23:46.4 JH: What happens is that you're so focused on that, that you are looking for things to confirm that. "Look, I'm slowing down. Look, that person is... Looks so much older than me or doesn't look as in good shape as me. Or they're way faster than I am." Or "I passed that person back at mile 10 and now they're passing me again. See, I'm slowing down." That's the confirmation that I'm not gonna make it. So, if you flip it and you... So you have that first step of, "Okay, I'm having this negative thought." And then that second step is focus your attention on when am I having these thoughts? And then deliberately practicing. So this is something... I know the marathon's coming up in a couple of weeks.

0:24:33.3 MH: Three weeks.

0:24:34.3 JH: Yeah, three weeks. Attagirl! That you can say to yourself, "The practice, deliberate practice is what am I gonna say to myself instead?" So you can practice this ahead of time. I'm guessing you're almost done or you have finished your big long runs.

0:24:57.9 MH: Yeah, this week is my last.

0:25:00.6 JH: Okay. So, great time to practice this. What's something you want to say to yourself when you have that thought of, "I can't do this. I'm not gonna be able to do this." What do you wanna say to yourself instead in that moment?

0:25:16.5 MH: Girl, my mind goes to like, "I'm gonna be the last one. I don't want that." [chuckle]

0:25:20.0 JH: Right, right.

0:25:22.3 MH: "I don't want that." And it's like immediate.

0:25:23.5 JH: Yes, I know. You're a human being.

0:25:28.5 MH: I've trained really hard. So I know this.

0:25:31.9 JH: Yes.

0:25:33.6 MH: My body is ready because I've been training for four months.

0:25:38.6 JH: Yes.

0:25:39.6 MH: I know the course, 'cause I've been in New York. So, I have the local home advantage.

0:25:44.0 JH: Yes.

0:25:44.5 MH: And honestly, I'll make it just as... I don't know when.

0:25:48.5 JH: Right. So all those things, isn't that, that's so fascinating to me. All those things you're saying. You're positive. Like, "I've trained for this, I know the course, my body can do this." And then you paused for a split second 'cause the brain's like, "Okay, I'm done. I said my three things." [chuckle] And then you went back to that negative, right? [chuckle]

0:26:13.6 JH: Which is the human brain. So, practicing those three things, it's almost like a mantra that you can say to yourself, those three things. "I've trained for this. I know this course. My body can do this." And what happens then is then your brain is in tune to and widens your vision to confirm that. So, look like I'm gonna... I'm trying to think of an example, in a marathon, like, "Hey, I've stuck with that person this whole time."

0:26:51.3 MH: Right.

0:26:52.1 JH: Right? As opposed to finding that one person that you passed and now they passed you, you're saying like, "Wow, there's like half a dozen people. We've been basically running for 20 miles together."

0:27:04.8 MH: Yeah.

0:27:06.1 JH: And you're looking out for the young kids wanting to high-five you on the sidelines, that gives you that little burst. So your vision for opportunity, for confirmation of what's great in this accomplishment, you're able to see. So I almost think of it like the first one you have blinders on, confirmation bias of, "I'm not going to make it," or, "I'm going to be last," to more expansive, like widening. I mean, my hands are next to my eyes right now, like widening that vision of, "I can do this." In the workplace, if you think of like, "How do I transfer this marathon example into the workplace," is to share with people, "Hey, I'm working on this and this is a behavior I'm trying to change."

0:28:01.6 JH: And when... This is another great study, which I can share with you too, is that when people have that accountability, "Hey, I'm working on letting other people speak in meetings first, before I speak." When you share that with one or two other trusted people, it's amazing that other people start to see the change.

0:28:28.8 JH: So if we don't know the change that we're looking for in terms of behaviors or actions, then we don't see them. If you're running, if you have a running partner and you're training for a marathon together or a triathlon or something, you can share these things with your training partner. But that accountability is so key. So hence why I have a practice, right? That's what coaches do. [chuckle]

0:28:53.4 MH: Right.

0:28:55.0 JH: But all of this comes from... I have to credit her, this phenomenal woman. Her name is Tara, Dr. Tara Swart. She has a podcast and she's written this amazing book called The Source. And she talks about these four steps of raising awareness, focused attention, deliberate practice, and accountability. And that's how you make those behavioral changes. Or like what we started talking about is why women take themselves out of the game is because they're having... They're getting stuck in those thought traps. Well, how do you change that? Take those four steps.

0:29:32.3 MH: And you know, as we were talking about the marathon example, and you gave some examples very specifically about like seeing someone go faster or pass you, and I think that that's such a perfect analogy on the workplace too, of comparison and seeing what other people around you are doing. So I've talked about this before of like defining success on your own terms.

0:30:01.7 JH: Yes.

0:30:02.1 MH: And now if you see someone who's doing... You know, making a lot more money than you, but like you started at the same spot and now they're doing this other thing, and how does that comparison affect us? And is it something that we as women do more that hinders our own ability to define success and to see where we are doing things really well?

0:30:31.8 JH: Right. And I completely agree that women tend to do that more often. But what I always say, when I hear someone comparing themselves or saying, "I deserve the promotion and that person got promoted above me or before me," or, "I got passed over and that person got it and I'm better than them." But that doesn't help us in any way.

0:30:57.9 MH: Right.

0:30:58.3 JH: Right? Talking about running, like, "I passed that person and now she's in front of me." Well, how does that help you go faster? It doesn't.

0:31:08.9 MH: Right. [chuckle]

0:31:09.3 JH: Right? [chuckle] Or I used to do triathlons and we would... Couple of races, they would put your age either on your shoulder or your calf.

0:31:18.4 MH: Uh? [chuckle]

0:31:19.4 JH: Right. And you can imagine the thoughts that went through my head when I would... Someone would pass me. I'm not a fast runner. [chuckle] And someone would pass me 20 years my elder and the thoughts that went through my head were awful. And I knew that I would slow down in that mile. I knew it. I could anticipate it as soon as I had those thoughts. This was a while ago. I didn't know then what I know now. But that comparison never helps us.

0:31:46.1 MH: Right.

0:31:47.5 JH: And instead... I'm working with... I work with clients all the time who are in this position and they will say to me, "Well, that person got promoted so if I don't get promoted, I'm gonna really pissed. I'm gonna have a hard time if they got it and I didn't." Well, how does that help you demonstrate, for instance, that you're worthy of... Here comes that word again, [chuckle] that you're worthy of being promoted to that position? It doesn't.

0:32:21.6 MH: Right. So, what should we change our mindset in that moment?

0:32:24.5 JH: Yes.

0:32:24.8 MH: Is there a way to kind of catch it and be like, "Nope"?

0:32:29.2 JH: Exactly. Good. So, you're learning, so that first step is catching it, right, that awareness.


0:32:34.9 MH: Being like, "Demon, no."

0:32:36.2 JH: Yes, right. Like, "Get out of my head." We've all heard about growth mindset, fixed mindset, Carol Dweck's book called Mindset which I love.

0:32:45.7 MH: Yeah, she's great.

0:32:47.0 JH: Yeah, it's phenomenal. And sort of noticing that's a fixed mindset, right? Like, "She passed me or he got promoted over me." Oftentimes, [chuckle] the next phrase... And I'm guilty of this myself, at times, like, "Oh, well, never mind. I give up. I'll never get it." Well, that's that fixed mindset. But if you flip it and you say... Like, what I like to say to myself is, if something didn't go as well as I wanted it to, for instance, I'll say to myself, "Okay, what can I do better?"

0:33:17.6 JH: And it's not, "What did I do poorly?" but, "What can I do better? What can I learn from this? So that person got promoted, I didn't. Let me watch how that person speaks in meetings. Let me observe the relationships that that person has. Let me observe how that person talks about what she has done or her accomplishments." So what can I learn from this experience as opposed to, like listing off all the things you did wrong? And I talk to my clients about this all the time, and this isn't something that is hard to do, but really, practicing, "What did I do well?"

0:33:56.3 JH: So maybe you list one to three things that you did well, even if they're little things like, "I met the deadline", which sometimes is little, sometimes it's huge. "And then one thing, only one thing, that I can do even better next time." And I find that to be such a great... Like, it's a simple tool, but it puts you in that more positive growth mindset that's gonna help you achieve, as opposed to the comparison, which I've never seen help anyone.

0:34:29.4 MH: No, it just gets you stuck.

0:34:33.3 JH: Totally.

0:34:33.7 MH: Or at least for me. I mean, I can speak for myself because I do this a lot, and I'm... I have to remind myself like, "No, you know, different stories and let's see how I can do better."

0:34:44.3 JH: Exactly.

0:34:45.0 MH: I have a very hard time with that.

0:34:46.9 JH: Yes, totally.

0:34:49.3 MH: Like, saying, "All my flaws today."

0:34:52.6 JH: No, that's okay. It's alright. [laughter] We all have them. But you know, this happened with me. Over the last few years, I've had a goal to do a TEDx Talk for... I had a goal for nine years. And I got rejected three times, and then said, "Okay, three times." You know. "Three strikes, you're out. I'm done." And I got an email for an application in 2020. I wanna say it was sort of springtime. And I said to myself, "I'm about to go away, I don't have time for this, I'm just gonna get rejected again." And my coach at the time, even coaches have coaches, said to me, "Just do it. Just put your name in." And I did, and now I can say, "Four time's a charm." And I was accepted, and it was a phenomenal experience.

0:35:51.0 JH: And so that's the example of like, I said to myself, "I'm not gonna get it. I've already struck out three times." So that's... I wasn't even gonna apply. So I wasn't even gonna put my name in the hat, right? And then I... "Alright. Fine, I'll just do it." But I really had to talk myself up to do it. I didn't want to do it. I didn't want the rejection again. And I'm so glad I did, right? And I have...

0:36:20.0 JH: What was interesting for me to learn is that since I did that, I found out a friend of mine who had done a TED Talk two years before me, that... She shared with me that she had been rejected six times before. So again, not comparing, but it's common. It's... In fact, I've now learned it's more common that people get rejected on their first application than not. So it's... So that was... I have to remind myself it was such a great experience and I would have... I'm so glad I did that. And if I hadn't even applied, right? And I just stayed in that [chuckle] Negative Nelly frame of mind, I wouldn't have gotten it, I wouldn't have had that great experience.

0:37:05.3 MH: And by the way, your TED Talk is great.

0:37:07.5 JH: Thank you.

0:37:07.8 MH: I've seen it a few times.

0:37:09.1 JH: Thank you.

0:37:10.8 MH: And so now we're talking about mindset, but your TED Talk, really, is also about communication.

0:37:16.8 JH: That's right.

0:37:17.1 MH: And the words you use.

0:37:17.5 JH: Right.

0:37:18.9 MH: So if we go from mindset now to more of the action, external facing action, I guess...

0:37:27.0 JH: Yeah.

0:37:27.1 MH: Of speaking, what are the things that we're doing that are sabotaging our career, which is what your TED Talk is called?

0:37:34.8 JH: Right. So, it's really like the translation of those, that fixed mindset or those negative thoughts coming out to the world, right? [laughter] And saying things like, "I'm not the expert," or saying things like, "This may be a dumb question", or apologizing when we don't need to apologize. Because what those words, certain words or actions do, is it plants a seed of doubt in your audience's mind. So if they weren't thinking, "She's not an expert", now you've just told them a reason not to listen to you. Or if they were feeling skeptical about something that you're proposing, you've just confirmed their skepticism.

0:38:24.0 JH: And so, really being thoughtful about the words that you use, being thoughtful in certain audiences where you might feel nervous or less than... I know for me... Look, we're airing all our dirty laundry here. If I'm talking [laughter] to people in private equity, venture capital, in that space, hedge funds, I get really nervous, more nervous than others. So I have learned... Again, back to the awareness, I have seen that in myself, and so I am very conscious. I slow down the pace of my communication when I'm speaking. And so I'm really deliberate with the words that I'm using. And I prepare probably twice as much for those conversations than I do when I'm meeting with other people, where I don't feel as nervous.

0:39:19.9 JH: And recognizing that I may have those thoughts in my head like, "To be honest, these guys are so smart", or "These women are so smart." I don't even understand what they do all day long. How could I possibly influence them? So I'm aware of those thoughts that go through my head and what I flip it to is, they have their areas of expertise, they have their areas of, where they're so brilliant and I have mine and they don't understand what I do. And that's okay, that's what I get to bring to the table and to the conversation. But if I say in starting out... Can you imagine if I go into a meeting with some hedge fund manager and I say, "I really don't understand anything that you do."

0:40:10.2 MH: [chuckle] Yeah, that wouldn't go well.

0:40:12.6 JH: How am I going to be influencing her later on? I'm not. How do I speak with authority if I start a conversation or at any point in the conversation, tell them why I'm less than them? If I put myself in that one-down position with my language, they're not going to listen to me, they're not going to follow up. And with maybe some recommendations that I give.

0:40:42.0 MH: It's so fascinating 'cause you started off with this... The answer to this question. It really is the verbalization of the same thought patterns.

0:40:54.2 JH: Mm-hmm. Exactly.

0:40:55.3 MH: Right? It really is. Like I don't know anything. So you start with, "Oh well, I'm no expert." Where you're just putting yourself in a position that is not necessarily gonna get you anywhere.

0:41:17.5 JH: Right. Right. And we're all trying to influence people all day every day. I mean I think about it at home we're trying to influence. I have two teenage kids you know, could someone please empty the dishwasher and [chuckle] or nagging someone for something or in the workforce, right? You're constantly, whether it's getting additional budget or it's trying to influence someone to buy your services or influencing someone to go down a certain path, that's maybe pretty innovative and hasn't been done before. You're not going to get people on your side so to speak if you use words that undermine you and I've been building a whole glossary of these words for the last half dozen years. Yeah, and it's fascinating to me and I'm really attuned to it.

0:42:15.8 JH: So, I've had people say to me, I don't want to speak in front of you 'cause I know you're listening to my every word and it's true but I'm not judging, I'm here, I do what I do because I want to serve others. I got an email from someone I've known since I was 19 years old asking for some professional advice and I have great respect for this person and he said you know I don't want to waste your time but we've been friends for 30 years, you're never going to waste my time. And so it's simple things like that where we want to, I often hear people do this because they want to create an even playing field or they want to make sure that people know that they're listening. Well, I've... I mean we could talk another whole another podcast about listening. You don't show people you're listening by undermining yourself. [chuckle] That's not the way to do it.

0:43:15.1 MH: Wow. I had never thought about that in that way. These words are to make sure people know you're listening but I can see how that's the case. I've always, you know, or that you care is kind of where my mind goes, when I say sorry for example, usually, it's because I... I don't know, I want to show that I'm, that I care, that I'm thoughtful, I don't know. So what are some of these words? You just said, we've talked about apologizing. You said I don't want to waste your time. What are some others that you've identified?

0:43:58.0 JH: If I said, this may be a dumb question.

0:44:00.2 MH: This may be a dumb question. I'm no expert.

0:44:03.5 JH: Yeah. Don't say that. [chuckle] Maybe. Like, if you're saying to someone, I want, you know, I need additional budget. If you insert these conditional words like maybe, that doesn't, that's not sticking with them. So always think about, is this a conditional, or can I say it more concretely. So sometimes if you're in a brainstorming session, and you say, I think we could do it this way. That's different. If you're in a conversation where you're trying to influence someone, saying I think or I believe comes across as self-doubt.

0:44:49.8 JH: I think I could do this. Can you? Or can't you? One example I have from a client of mine, early on in her career, she's an attorney, she called one of her clients and she said, I think you should do X, Y and Z and he, I think he overreacted, but he said to her, are you kidding me? Don't tell me what you think. I want to know what you know, call me back when you know what I should do and he hung up on her. And that stuck with her.

0:45:22.6 MH: Wow.

0:45:22.8 JH: Yeah. So now, the flip side is I recommend X, Y and Z. Not I think you should do X, Y and Z, but I recommend this. If someone's going to push back, they're going to push back but that, let them push back where you're standing in a really firm place of, I know what I'm talking about, as opposed to this conditional, maybe I do, maybe I don't.

0:45:46.0 MH: And it's interesting because both of those examples, I feel like, I recommend. And I think are the... They're the same thing.

0:45:52.1 JH: Yes.

0:45:53.6 MH: It's just they're... Their strength in their communication is different, but it's the same thing.

0:46:01.4 JH: Right, absolutely, absolutely. Yeah, and that's... So I think, I believe, get rid of 'em. I recommend, say I use it myself, I suggest, from my experience, given my research. This is what I recommend. All of those kinds of things. Getting away from, "Maybe I could do this?" Any kind of prefacing like, "this may be a dumb question" or I also...

0:46:33.1 MH: I do that so much.

0:46:33.8 JH: Yeah, so I love Jason Bateman's podcast, SmartLess, and they...

0:46:39.0 MH: Oh, me too. Superfan.

0:46:39.8 JH: So good. So, they make fun of him, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes make fun of Jason Bateman, that he has these practice statements, like he has three or four sentences before he gets to his actual question. So notice that about yourself, are you prefacing before you get to what you actually want to say, or ask? Just delete all of that, get rid of it, and start with the question, and if you need to follow up with why you're asking that question, do that afterwards. But if you're prefacing, one, people lose attention [chuckle] and they're not gonna hear what you actually have to say. But ask the question, and then you can always explain yourself, why you're asking that, or where you're coming from.

0:47:29.6 MH: That's a good point. 'Cause, I mean, thinking of SmartLess, half of the time I forget what he asked. [chuckle]

0:47:35.6 JH: Right, exactly. And so does the guest.


0:47:39.0 JH: Yes.

0:47:42.9 MH: Oh, Julie, this has been so great. Thanks for being here because it's, I mean...

0:47:47.5 JH: It's always fun to talk to you.

0:47:49.2 MH: I may have used this to [chuckle] get myself in a better mindset. Well, it's... [chuckle]

0:47:55.7 JH: Yeah. Yeah, now I wanna hear what you say to yourself. You're gonna have to reach out to me after the marathon and let me know.

0:48:03.3 MH: Yeah, I will. And I'll also let you know if I see Ashton Kutcher.

0:48:06.2 JH: Yes. Yes.


0:48:09.6 MH: But before we wrap up, is there anything I haven't asked you that you wanna cover?

0:48:15.9 JH: Well, one of the other things that I was thinking about, as we were talking about this, is noticing, like people can pay attention, they'll raise awareness. Not just what situations or opportunities they're taking themselves out of, but what conversations, like, is there a hard conversation you're taking yourself, you're not engaging with that you're avoiding, or maybe it's some conflict and pay attention to that as well. Not just the opportunities, but those hard conversations that we don't wanna have, but we really do need to have.

0:48:41.8 MH: Which I think is, probably, even more than the opportunities.

0:48:46.5 JH: Right.

0:48:46.9 MH: And you take away, you'd take yourself away from these because of fear, because of 'em being uncomfortable.

0:48:53.3 JH: Exactly.

0:48:53.4 MH: It's so easy to just kick them farther away.

0:49:00.3 JH: Yes, yes.

0:49:01.9 MH: Let's go into our lightning round.

0:49:05.3 JH: Okay.

0:49:06.0 MH: I'll ask you a question, give me your answer in one sentence or less. Early bird or night owl?

0:49:13.2 JH: Early bird.

0:49:15.2 MH: Ooh. Monday morning staple?

0:49:19.0 JH: Oh. A really good workout on my Peloton bike.

0:49:24.8 MH: I wish I had that in me for Monday mornings. Monday's my rest day. I can't get myself to start.

0:49:32.5 JH: I hear you.

0:49:32.7 MH: Favorite recent read?

0:49:37.2 JH: Oh, right now, I'm reading it's called, Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid. But professionally, work-wise, that book I mentioned, Tara Swart's The Source, awesome.

0:49:52.4 MH: Yeah, I wrote that one down, and I love Taylor Jenkins Reid. So I'm gonna check what that one is. I haven't read that one yet. Dream dinner guest?

0:50:01.8 JH: Ooh, I have three: Jimmy Fallon, David Ortiz, and Justin Timberlake.

0:50:10.3 MH: That sounds like a very interesting group...

0:50:12.0 JH: Yes.


0:50:12.5 MH: Like, it will be a fun dinner. [chuckle]

0:50:15.3 JH: Yes.

0:50:17.3 MH: And finally, what's one question or thought you'd want to leave with our listeners?

0:50:22.7 JH: I would love for people to take a moment, and think about where they're getting in their own ways. Just go for a walk, in the shower, what am I doing that's not helping me?

0:50:39.4 MH: I love it. Thank you, Julie. This was fun.

0:50:44.1 JH: Yes, as always, Maricella, I love chatting with you.


0:50:48.8 MH: Same.


0:50:56.4 MH: So what do you think?

0:50:58.2 MO: Oh, loved it, loved her, love everything about it, was so looking forward to... I know, I know we say that every time, but was so looking forward to hear it. It's really exciting when... Since then, the one that I've mentioned before... I'm the one who books the interviews, it's so exciting to then get to hear the interviews after the fact and actually listen to everything that came about. And hers did not disappoint. So good.

0:51:22.0 MH: Yeah, she's great and I love her. She's done a lot of stuff in the community, and in the network, and been a super supporter of Ellevate, so it's always great to have a chance to talk to her.

0:51:34.5 MO: Yeah, totally...

0:51:36.1 MH: And if you wanna talk to other people who are amazing, and supporters of Ellevate, and supporters of women, join us for one of our roundtables. We meet every week for an hour. We have an expert who comes in for 10 to 15 minutes, gives us some insights on a topic, and then we go into breakout rooms to be able to chat with each other, dive deeper into the topic-at-hand, and just get to know each other. So, hope you can join us, executives meet on Tuesdays at noon, Eastern, I'm there all the time. So, hope to see you there. Next week, we're gonna be talking about empowered boundaries, and it's so important to set your boundaries.

0:52:21.0 MH: Our entrepreneurs will be talking about stopping the spiral into burnout, particularly entrepreneurial burnout, which is a thing. I can only imagine, as someone who's running a small business...


0:52:35.8 MH: They meet on Thursdays at 4:00 PM, and it's a great group, so highly recommend it. And finally, Women Seeking Confidence, that's a roundtable someone in our Chicago chapter does every month and they're gonna be talking about speaking up and using your voice for good. You should join that group. I know, Megan, you were a fan. You used to go pretty often to that roundtable.

0:53:00.4 MO: Oh yeah. I haven't had time lately, but especially in my first year with Ellevate, when in your first year with any job, you're going through so much impostor syndrome and growing your confidence and learning the new job and all that. And that roundtable really helped me kind of figure out who I was in this role and just take a step back and breathe.

0:53:23.2 MH: Great. And that's what the roundtables are all about, right? It's taking some time for yourself, to connect with others, to know you're not alone, to know that you've got this. We all got this. Might not seem like it, but we do. [chuckle] Do you wanna start us off with our history makers?

0:53:41.7 MO: Sure thing. So in our history makers this week, Laura Kavanagh became the first woman commissioner of the New York City Fire Department.

0:53:50.3 MH: Woohoo.

0:53:51.3 MO: Woohoo.

0:53:54.0 MH: Aisha Bowe became the first Black woman confirmed to travel on a commercial flight to space with Blue Origin.

0:54:01.3 MO: I know. So excited.

0:54:02.4 MH: I'm pretty excited about that one. You could hear it in my voice.

0:54:05.3 MO: I know. You got more excited as the sentence went on.


0:54:10.0 MO: Kateri Champagne Jourdain became the first indigenous woman elected to Quebec's National Assembly.

0:54:15.7 MH: Hassanah Al-Saba became Jamaica's first Muslim woman pilot.

0:54:20.1 MO: Yes. I know this one's so... Yeah. It's so cool. There's all these pictures of her with her plane and it's just... I'm gonna be sharing about this one on social media, so keep an eye out for that. I just think this one's so cool.

0:54:33.0 MH: Got some air history being made here today too.

0:54:36.9 MO: I know, right? Everybody's flying. Tracy Y. Browning became the first Black woman to speak during a general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

0:54:47.1 MH: Ahlam Ali became Israel's first Arab sex therapist. God, I got all the cool ones today.

0:54:52.9 MO: Yeah, you did. I read that one and I was like, "Wait, really? That's so cool."

0:54:58.7 MH: Yeah, very cool. So we continue to celebrate history being made. Some of them, we might think, like I said, it's been a long time and it's a little frustrating sometimes to see that, but history is being made and we are making inroads and we are making changes and we are making a world where, even if we are the first, we're not gonna be the last.

0:55:23.3 MO: Exactly.

0:55:23.5 MH: So congratulations to all of these wonderful history makers.

0:55:27.4 MO: Well, what have we got next week?

0:55:29.3 MH: Well, next week, actually, we have a conversation, you know how I was talking about our roundtables? Well, Ruchi Pinniger is the founder and CEO of Watch Her Prosper. But why I was mentioning the entrepreneur roundtables is because she's one of the people behind them. She is amazing and is committed to empowering women business owners to be prosperous and powerful through their finances. We actually had quite the conversation, and she... I may have used it a little bit as a therapy session of trying to get out of my head with some of my fears. So you're probably going to... You're gonna have an inner look at how my mind works, so I apologize for that in advance. [chuckle]

0:56:12.1 MO: They're used to it at this point. That's happened a few times in the history of this podcast.

0:56:17.0 MH: That is true. That is true. Hey, I am authentically me. What you see is what you get, guys.

0:56:22.6 MO: And we wouldn't take it any other way.

0:56:24.8 MH: Well, I hope you can join us next week for a conversation with Ruchi.

0:56:29.3 MO: Can't wait. See you guys then.

0:56:35.5 MH: Bye.


0:56:36.5 Outro: 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 voiceover artist, Rachel Griesinger. Thanks so much and join us next week.