How to Plan a Social Media Sabbatical


Have you thought about taking a break from social media? Hilary shares 10 reasons it may be time to take a social media sabbatical. Then she gives 9 practical tips for making your social media break a big success.

Hustle Hack: If you’re going to take a social media break, pair that goal with another goal. Do you want to read two books during your break? If you’re an entrepreneur, do you have a revenue goal? Would you like to grow your email list? Giving yourself the gift of a social media break is giving yourself the gift of time. What will you do with it? 

Moment of Grace: While you take a social media break consider keeping a journal handy. Jotting down your thoughts throughout this journey will give you an opportunity to look at your life with fresh eyes. You’ll have more space to reflect on your life and come up with new ideas. Keep a journal accessible so you can jot down ideas as they come. Who knows what might begin as a result of you taking a social media break. 

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This episode is sponsored by Get Your Dream Off the Ground eCourse.

Kayla Grizzard, Actress & Founder of The Hang On Mentorship, Overcoming Feelings of Inadequacy, and Why You Should Choose Yourself


Kayla Grizzard is an actress, mommy, wife, crafter, singer, worship leader, dancer, artist, and “Friends” fanatic, but the title she loves most is disciple. She is a graduate from Liberty University as a theater major and has the opportunity to share the stage with amazing people like Quentin Earl Darrington and Laura Osnes and performed on stage at the Tony Award winning theater, Dallas Theater Center. She and her husband moved to New York city and started a ministry called THE HANG that ministers to artists in the city. Although she still loves to perform, she knows she is sitting in purpose with this directive from God.

Hustle Hack: Kayla shared her practice of relaxed readiness. I love this concept. Be prepared. Work on your craft. Do what you can do to be ready when the doors open. And then relax. Hold those aspirations with a relaxed hand. And be ready to say “yes” to the doors that open and the opportunities that await you.

Moment of Grace: I LOVE that Kayla shared Sutton Foster’s quotation: “Get a hobby.” In fact after this interview ended I went and watched that entire commencement speech on YouTube. I recommend it! Don’t wait for someone to give you permission to create art. Don’t wait for someone to pick you. Pick yourself! Create opportunities for yourself. Want to write? Start a blog. Want to perform? Write a 10-minute play. Of course keep pursuing opportunities that you want to pursue—whether that’s Broadway or professional writing or whatever it may be. But in the meantime, choose yourself. 

Connect with The Hang on Instagram.

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This episode is sponsored by Get Your Dream Off the Ground eCourse.

Special Episode on Adjusting to Life as a Work from Home Parent


Special guest Erica Geffken interviews Hilary on coming back to work (from home) after maternity leave. Hilary shares her new approach to self-care, the productivity lessons she's learned, and shares the advice she would give to a new work from home parent.

Hustle Hack: No matter where you are in your career, every so often taking a “blank slate” look at your career and your routine is a great idea. Is there a change you could make in your routine that would optimize it for your specific goals and phase of life? For me, freeing myself from the box of traditional hours helped me get more done in less time. What might you take for granted about your routine and your work situation that you could actually change? What do you need to give yourself permission to change? 

Moment of Grace: Sometimes “grace” looks like classic self-care where you really take time away to yourself to recharge, reflect, and rest. And sometimes “grace” looks like loosening your death grip on your own expectations. I’ve had to consciously remember that in this season in particular I may be surprised by what I can and can’t do, what I have bandwidth for and what I don’t. And that’s ok. It’s important to be conscious of the reality of my current situation and recognize that it is just a season. I want to be a present and healthy parent for the long haul. I want to be a content creator who serves my community for the long haul. It’s important to come at life and work with a long-game perspective. 

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This episode is sponsored by Get Your Dream Off the Ground.

Nicholas George of The Listening On Launching and Running a Nonprofit

Nicholas George is the founder of The Listening, a Virginia nonprofit that is making strides to engage, change, and save lives by connecting the performing arts and social good. Nick is currently juggling parenting three kids, working third shift in the mental health field, as well as growing and running his nonprofit. Today’s conversation is a great peek into the life of a visionary who has been putting in the work on growing a nonprofit for a good five years. It all starts with an idea and that feeling of imagining how you can impact the world, but what is it like three kids later? When you have to hustle to put food on your family’s plates while also doing the gritty work of actually making a nonprofit run? When you find that spark that you know you’re meant to do, it’s incredible what kind of sacrifices you’ll make to see it come to fruition. 

Nicholas Steven George is an author, poet, and founder of the Listening, an organization that exists to challenge the perception of the performing arts being strictly for entertainment purposes, and connect it to mentoring and social impact. Nick balances his day job as a mental health professional, with parenting three small kids and running the Listening. Nick has been writing since his youth in Newark, NJ. First born to his Trinidadian parents, Nicholas began performing his poetry at local open mics and slam competitions in Newark, crafting his skill and delivering his story. In 2013, Nicholas launched "The Listening", where he currently serves as Executive Director. The Listening’s mission is to engage, change and save lives with the performing arts through community engagement and youth mentoring.


Hustle Hack: I have to admit that I’ve never heard the phrase Nick quoted “the riches are in the niches.” But OMG is that so true?! I’ve definitely heard at marketing conferences before, “get crystal clear on who your audience is, who your ideal client is, who really needs your product, because the truth is, if it’s for everybody it’s really for nobody.” So if you have an idea, a product, a service, etc—figure out the unique audience you are meant to serve. Figure out what it is that matters to them: what they need, what they want. And then go create that. 

Moment of Grace: It really struck me that Nick said “if it feels like it’s not the right season—listen to that voice.” We’re told so often that we can do it all and have it all and the truth is in every season we have to make choices. For me, in my life right now, I have enough time and mental energy to do my primary work as a writer, to care for my baby, spend time with my husband, and then I’ve got space for one other thing. Right now that’s the podcast. A few months ago it was a very disciplined workout routine. You have to be realistic about the space you have in your life. If you don’t have the space to launch that nonprofit right now, that’s ok! You don’t have to achieve that thing by that arbitrary milestone (like I was saying, I had all these plans to achieve by my 30th birthday) Sometimes it’s 100% ok to change course and have that long-game perspective. For a lot of us life isn’t short. It’s long. 

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This episode is sponsored by Get Your Dream Off the Ground.

Branden Harvey On Good News, the Analog Renaissance, and Intentional White Space

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On this week’s episode Hilary peppered Branden Harvey with questions about his mission to share the good news of the world, how his personal community impacts his work and life, and how he avoids burnout. They discuss how he read almost 100 books last year and why he’s consciously approaching content consumption differently this year.

Branden Harvey is a storyteller focused on the good in the world. He's the host of the podcast Sounds Good, the creator of the Goodnewspaper, a printed newspaper full of good news, and built an online community over more than 250,000 world changers. He's helped brands like Disney, Square, Southwest Airlines, and (RED) tell meaningful stories with heart all over the world. He's been written about and featured by media including The Washington Post, Seventeen Magazine, Fortune Magazine, and Mashable.

Hustle Hack: Branden’s messaging is crystal clear. The way he serves brands, the content he puts out—it’s all around sharing the good news of the world. When he’s considering a new project he doesn’t have to wonder if he should or shouldn’t do it. The medium doesn’t matter His message is crystal clear. So what drives you? What is your heartbeat? Can you articulate it in a sentence or two? Get clear on your vision and your purpose and that will help you know which endeavors are right for you. 

Moment of Grace: I shared that last year Branden’s journey of reading and listening to a ton of books inspired me to use my time more wisely by listening to audiobooks on the go. But even good things need to be reined in sometimes. It’s easy to get used to constantly consuming—even good content needs to be consumed in moderation. Instead of having consumption be the usual gear you’re in—-carve out specific time for it. Consume intentionally. And then have some intentional white space in your life. Carve out intentional quiet times. Maybe it’s one commute each week or while you’re doing the dishes. Practice intentional stillness. Practice being instead of consuming.

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This episode is sponsored by Get Your Dream Off the Ground.

Hilary Sutton On Her Career Journey from Acting to Writing and Entrepreneurship

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On this special crossover episode with Everyday Creative People Podcast, Dena Adriance interviews Hilary Sutton on her career journey from acting to writing and entrepreneurship. Hilary shares what she loves about theatre, how she stumbled into being a full-time professional actor in her early twenties, and how she navigates the challenges of balancing multi-gig work with life outside of work. 

Hilary Sutton is a writer, speaker, and consultant, passionate about helping people spend their days in work that is wildly fulfilling. She is the host of the podcast, “Hustle and Grace” and the author of several eBooks and courses including More in Less: 21 Productivity Hacks for Creatives. Hilary has worked with clients ranging from Broadway shows, to nonprofits large and small, creatives of all stripes, and consumer brands. She is a contributor to USA Today where she has written about careers. Hilary and her family live in the DC metro area.

Connect with Hilary on Instagram,Twitter, and Facebook.
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This episode is sponsored by Get Your Dream Off the Ground.

Saleema Vellani, Multilingual Social Entrepreneur On Grit and Empathy


Hilary got to chat with Saleema Villani, a social entrepreneur and polyglot. She was really struck by Saleema’s unique perspective on entrepreneurship. Hilary had a few lightbulb moments in this interview—mainly on the importance of empathy and grit in entrepreneurship. Saleema speaks five languages and has lived all over the world. Listen to her interesting and unique perspective she brings to her work.

Saleema Vellani is an expert in inclusive leadership and a recognized authority on the Future of Work. She has been a social entrepreneur since the age of 21, when she launched Brazil's largest and top-rated Portuguese school to finance an orphanage and education programs. Saleema has won numerous awards for her work in social innovation, including her most recent groundbreaking study on how to improve refugee livelihoods through climate-smart food systems technologies in the Middle East and Africa. She holds degrees from McGill University and Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. 

Currently, Saleema is CEO at Innovazing, an education firm that helps leaders learn 21st-century leadership and communication skills. She is also Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Johns Hopkins University and an advisor to several purpose-driven organizations, such as Wonder Women Tech Foundation and the World Bank Group Youth-2-Youth Community. Saleema is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Italian. 

Hustle Hack: Saleema said in entrepreneurship “You have to be really comfortable with being uncomfortable.” It’s all part of the process. Wow, how true is that. It’s such a reminder that when pursuing creative projects, innovation, and entrepreneurship, it will be uncomfortable. Failure will happen. But it’s what we do in the face of that adversity that really counts. Get comfortable with it. I like to advise creatives to make failure your new best friend. Because the more familiar you get with it, the more you’ll realize that it’s not the end all be all. The more you fail the more you realize that failing won’t break you. It’s an opportunity to build resilience and learn.

Moment of Grace: Saleema mentioned that for her traveling speeds up her personal growth. When she goes new places she experiences new things, meets new people and gets to take a pause from business as usual. Maybe you can’t skip town this weekend and jet set to a foreign country—but you can go to a bookstore in your city you’ve never been to. You can go hear a band play that you’ve not heard before. You could go on a hike on a trail that you’ve never explored before. Give it a try. Do something out of the norm for you. Go somewhere new. Power down your phone. Try to resist taking photos for Instagram stories—I know that’s so tempting. Just be present where you are and experience it. Who knows what ideas and thoughts may come to your mind. 

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Subscribe to receive strategies to grow your productivity, creativity, and career.

This episode is sponsored by Get Your Dream Off the Ground.

Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, American Idol Finalist, On the Creative Process, Minimalism, and the Distraction of Attention

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Hilary sat down with one of her favorite local musicians turned American Idol finalist, Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon. As of the airing of this episode, Jeremiah is in the thick of American Idol auditions as a Top 10 Finalist. Jeremiah shares how he is balancing all the American Idol craziness, the highlights of his experience, and what parameters he puts in his life to protect his creative process.

Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon is a singer-songwriter based in Baltimore, Maryland. He first started writing songs in Lynchburg Virginia, eventually performing them at the Lynchstock Music Festival for three consecutive years. Harmon's self-titled EP, released this year though Virginia based record label Harding Street Assembly Lab, is a psychadelic folk-jazz fusion project recorded in his old living room with producer Chris Schlarb who compared its sound to that of Stevie Wonder's "Innervisions." With a vocal ability that has been described as possessing "a cross between Jónsi, Jeff Buckley, and a soulfulness that is uncommon to his complexion," Harmon delivers a collection of uniquely crafted songs that are "simultaneously transcendent and reserved. Jeremiah's most recent projects include the release of his latest single "Learn to Love" recorded live at the Glass Village Studios in Lynchburg, VA, and as of this recording Jeremiah is in the Top 10 on Season 2 of American Idol on ABC. 

Hustle Hack: What are the things in your life that may not even be obviously related to your work that are cluttering up your mental space? For Jeremiah he has really experienced a calm and a renewed clarity in his creative process after diving into minimalism. What’s cluttering up your mental space? Do you need a clear and book-free desk to do your writing? Do you need to organize your schedule before you can sit down and problem solve? Do you need to organize your audition book before you can schedule a bunch of auditions for the week? Take a pause and look at what may be distracting you from getting in the zone with your work. 

Moment of Grace: I found it pretty fascinating that Jeremiah, after creating some really artsy, experimental, unusual music, decided that he would be open to the most commercial of music opportunities: American Idol. It’s such a reminder that we are constantly evolving. And it is a healthy and good thing to be open to change and new opportunities. To be open to things that maybe in the past we thought weren’t for us. So maybe for you, you ache to be original, but just like Jeremiah, remember you already are an original. You are uniquely you. You can approach your work and your life with confidence knowing that you have something unique and beautiful to give that only you can give. So open yourself up to that.

Connect with Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon

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This episode is sponsored by Get Your Dream Off the Ground.

Aerica Shimizu Banks, Forbes 30 Under 30 and Googler On Motivation & Validation

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Aerica Shimizu Banks works at Google, served under the Obama administration, and was on the Forbes "30 Under 30" List in 2018. So what is it like to achieve so much before your 30th birthday? What is that pressure like moving into your thirties? And what has spurred her on toward these achievements? In this episode Hilary interviews Aerica Shimizu Banks and we learn how her values shaped her career decisions and the surprising way she landed her job at Google. 

Aerica Banks is on the patent strategy team in Google's DC office, where she monitors the legislative and legal patent landscape and integrates diversity and equity initiatives into Google's legal and patent strategy, such as the Google Legal Summer Institute, an educational leadership program for underrepresented law students. She is also the COO of the Asian Google Network. She was named a 2017 Tech Titan by Washingtonian Magazine and joined the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Social Entrepreneurs. She also cofounded BEACON: The DC Women Founders Initiative.

Previously, she was a political appointee in the Obama Administration, worked in government relations for The Pew Charitable Trusts, and advanced environmental justice policies in Washington state. She holds a MSc in Environmental Policy from Oxford University and a BA in Environmental Studies and Public Affairs from Seattle University.

Episode Highlights

“If you are nourished by validation then you will starve.” -Aerica Shimizu Banks

“Your work is not your worth, but it can be a reflection of what you care about.” -Aerica Shimizu Banks

“Part of owning your power is learning to say ‘no.’” -Aerica Shimizu Banks

Hustle Hack: Sheryl Sandberg gave the graduating class of Harvard Business School this advice: “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.” This reminds me a bit of a Aerica’s story with Google. The first job she applied for with the company was not her dream job. But the organization aligned with her values and she knew there was great potential to move into her desired field. So she was offered a seat on a rocket ship and she accepted. And today she gets to not only work at a dream company but also work at the crossroads of her passion, calling, and skills. 

Moment of Grace: I was so struck by what Aerica said about motivation: “if you are nourished by validation, then you will starve.” This is coming from someone who has many accomplishments and awards under her belt. And it’s a great reminder: if those things are what we fill our tank with, we will run out of gas. It reminded me of what Jim Carrey said—“I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it's not the answer.” I encourage you to do some soul searching. What DOES drive you? When you look back on your life and you reflect on the moments where you were the most at peace, the most happy—It probably wasn’t because of recognition. So don’t get distracted by that. Walk in your purpose. 

Connect with Aerica Shimizu Banks:
Instagram: @erikashimizu

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This episode is sponsored by Get Your Dream Off the Ground.

Cam Jones, YouTuber On Goals and Serving Your Audience


Cam Jones is a YouTuber based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. With his YouTube channel “Goal Guys”, Cam produces educationally centered content that focuses around self improvement and learning new skills. Through his videos, Cam has garnered millions of views, thousands of returning subscribers, and has carved out a full time career producing online video content. In addition to his YouTube work, Cam also consults and produces video content for numerous brands like Squarespace, Audible, Blinkist and many others.

Hilary sat down with Cam Jones of YouTube's Goal Guys to discuss how he hacked YouTube and built a personal development channel that has hundreds of thousands of subscribers and garners millions of views. Cam shared how his curiosity turned into a hobby which then turned into a freelance career. He also shared what he has learned about achieving goals after creating almost 100 videos on the subject. 

Episode Highlights

"What's really rewarding about what I do is the creative freedom, the control I have and the ability to connect with people and help other people through my videos which is like, not a lot of people get to do that which is really, really cool. I always try to focus on a holistic approach and not just numbers and growth, which is really easy to focus in on." -Cam Jones

"I get so many people who talk to me who are like 'I would love to start a YouTube channel. I've always wanted to do this'-- or even outside of YouTube. 'I've wanted to start my own business' or do all these different things, but they've never actually done it or they've always put these barriers in their way. For instance, in my field, with video stuff, a lot of people are like 'I'm going to do it once I get this camera lens' or 'once I get this camera upgrade' or 'I'm going to do it once I get a little more money' or 'I'm going to do this, this, this and this.' So it's really, really easy to procrastinate and put things off. Yeah, it's like, my career was built on like, a $300 entry level Canon camera and so--you can't make excuses. You've kind of gotta work with what you've got and take it step by step." -Cam Jones

"I've had people ask me how do you get started in freelance writing? How do you get anyone to take a chance on you? The first thing you do is start a blog, like put something out there. Go on Medium, or whatever. You have to invest in yourself first before anyone else will invest in you." -Hilary Sutton

“Bring value. It's really easy to try to hop on trends but I think you need to find something that you enjoy doing. If you're looking for something that's going to be long term and satisfying work for you then I think you need to do something you love and try to bring value to people because there's so many people--especially on YouTube--that rise really quickly and fall really quickly, that are like on one wave of a trend, a flash in the pan. But if you want something solid and stable focus on quality, on bringing value to people, because that's stuff that's going to last." -Cam Jones

Subscribe to Goal Guys on YouTube.  

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This episode is sponsored by Get Your Dream Off the Ground.

Monica Kang, Startup Founder & Author On Rethinking Creativity


Monica Kang is a passionate educator, speaker, community builder, and an author of Rethink Creativity. Driven by her own all too common experiences of feeling stuck and uncreative at work, she’s determined to change the status quo of the modern workforce. When she’s not speaking at events or delivering programs, you can find Monica teaching her students entrepreneurship at BAU International University, growing the creative ecosystem in DC through local events, or enjoying a chocolate croissant.

In this episode Hilary unpacks Einstein's approach to creativity and interviews creativity expert Monica Kang. 

Episode Highlights

"You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with." -Jim Rohn

"Creativity is contagious." -Albert Einstein

"What inspires you? What discourages you? When you know what discourages you, you can protect yourself." -Monica Kang

"The more time I spend with people who believe in me, of course it’s easier to believe in myself." -Monica Kang

Connect with Monica Kang:


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This episode is sponsored by Get Your Dream Off the Ground.

Beth McCord, @YourEnneagramCoach, On the Enneagram

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Beth McCord is the founder of Your Enneagram Coach. Based in Franklin, TN, Beth has been an Enneagram speaker, coach, and teacher for over 15 years. Having been trained by the best Enneagram experts and pouring hundreds of hours into advanced certifications, Beth is now leading the industry in simplifying the deep truths of the Enneagram from a Biblical perspective. Beth's passion is to make the Enneagram accessible for everyone, anywhere, so they can experience the transformation they long for.

Beth chatted with Hilary about all nine Enneagram types, what makes this typology different from other personality frameworks, and how learning about your type's core fears, desires, and motivations can transform your life and help you on the path to health. 

Episode Highlights

“We want to use this tool to illuminate how we’re doing but also to help us calculate how to get back on our best past.”

"The outward manifestation might look similar for all nine types but the core motivation for all nine types will be different."

"This typology exposes everything. It’s a non-judgmental friend. It’s a flash light. That can be really hard. But if used correctly, it’s not there to put you down. It’s there to help you to not get into those common pitfalls—to stay on your best path. The more you put shame on yourself, condemnation, 'I’m the worst' you’re only going to struggle more."

Connect with Beth McCord:

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This episode is sponsored by Get Your Dream Off the Ground.

Eddie Kaufholz, Podcast Host On Social Activism & Parenting

Subscribe on: Apple PodcastsSpotify | Android | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS

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Eddie Kaufholz is the producer and host of The New Activist, a podcast dedicated to hearing from activists and world changers who are tackling some of the world’s biggest problems. In addition, he is on staff with International Justice Mission, an N.G.O. dedicated to ending slavery around the globe. Eddie regularly speaks about justice issues, writes on topics of faith and counseling, and was on The RELEVANT Podcast for five years. He lives in Gainesville, Florida with Brianne (his wife) and Eve and Lucy (his very sweet daughters).

Eddie joined Hilary on the first episode of Season 2 to share his career journey, his thoughts on social activism, and his approach to balancing work and family.

Episode Highlights

“We’ve been very open to not being afraid.”

“Don’t get bogged down in the enormity of the entire issue. Just do something. Do anything.”

“A lot of the changes that I’ve made in my life have less to do with being open, but being a lot more clear on being motivated by things that are true and real. My job isn’t going to be my identity.”

Connect with Eddie:

Connect with Hilary on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook

This episode is sponsored by Get Your Dream Off the Ground.

Episode 18: Quentin Earl Darrington, Broadway Actor

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Quentin Earl Darrington made his Broadway debut in the 2010 Tony nominated revival of Ragtime, starring as Coalhouse Walker Jr. He also made his cabaret debut with New York's Broadway by the Year series, “Songs of 1927,” and his solo concert debut with “QED, Chapter 1: Verse 1.” He is workshopping two new personal projects entitled “That’s Life” and “The Summer of 91.” In 2016 he starred as “Old Deuteronomy” in the Broadway classic, CATS and currently you can see him in the Tony-winning revival of Once On This Island playing “Agwe, the God of Water.”

Quentin joined Hilary on the final episode of season 1 to share his journey to Broadway, his transformational approach to performing and criticism, and the metaphor that he uses to keep his own life and work in check.

Episode Highlights

“It’s even sad to hear when people in the industry, even other actors who all experience the same things, will negatively look at a show even if the show does have some points it needs to grow, the fact is that everyone is creating art and everyone is pouring their heart and soul into work and believing in it, even if it’s a show about a blade of grass. There’s always a redemptive property or idea that the actor or composer or writer is trying to get across to an audience. There is somebody or some people who need to hear it and who will hear it. Most work should be respected and given a chance, and if for nothing else at least for the effort it takes in creating what we create here on Broadway.”

“Listen, when you find a place where you’re happy, when you find a place where people treat you with respect and love, where you can have fun and artistically grow, there is nothing better than that safe, fulfilling, positive environment.”

“My job is to keep my life and my windows clean so that His light shines through me, and if I focus on that, I don’t have to worry about anything else. I’m good.”

“The key to my “success” is to love people and to serve people.”

“Wherever you find yourself as an artist, I believe there is a way for you to use your gift to uplift people and change people’s lives.”

Connect with Hilary on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook

This episode is sponsored by 
the Side Hustle Starter Kit.

Episode 17: Laurie Collins, Photographer & @dccitygirl On Instagram & Building an Online Community

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Laurie was born in the District of Columbia and lived here most of her life. She loves street photography and capturing city life. To Laurie, it’s important to show Washington, D.C. as she sees it on a daily basis. She wants it to be different than what people would expect, for example, from a tourist site.

And like any artist, Laurie’s focus points change over time. It’s photojournalistic at this moment. It started with micro photos of insects and flowers. With encouragement to “look up” Laurie began taking more photos of people, landscapes, and architecture. She likes to let people know what her city is really all about with a touch of information that they might not find in travel sites. Laurie’s aim is to provide an inside look at the beauty of each neighborhood in Washington DC.

Laurie Collins, aka “@dccitygirl” to her 67,000 Instagram followers, is this episode’s guest. She unpacks how she has built the @dccitygirl persona, her investment in the #IGDC photography community, and how she has built a strong community of fans and friends in the online space.

Episode Highlights

“I don’t burn out too often; I just don’t accept everything that comes down the pike.”

“Make sure you have a consistent presence. You can’t just be out there once a week or two weeks. You have to be social.”

“You can’t just post a picture and walk away – you have to engage.”

“One thing about photography is it doesn’t matter your race, your sexual preference, your religion – photography doesn’t know that. It doesn’t care. So you have all these mix of different people and ages getting together and having a good time or having a meal or a beer and laughing together. It’s just amazing and these people are very special. They manage to be there for you. I have my group of friends who my kids grew up with the mothers and they’ve been there for years and years. But they don’t also do photography, so you have these different spheres and worlds of groups of people. I’ve always said you can never have enough friends. So I have that group of people and I have my photography group of people and I have my family, and I enjoy every one of them. If they crisscross over each other’s worlds, that’s even better.”

“Editing is extremely important to any photo. I enjoy it as much as taking photos.”

Connect with Laurie:


Connect with Hilary on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. You can also catch the episode of Melissa's "Figuring It Out" podcast in which Hilary is guest discussing how to work from home productively

This episode is sponsored by 
the Side Hustle Starter Kit.

Episode 16: Nilofer Merchant, Author & Speaker On the Power of Onlyness, "Rules for Now," & Decision Fatigue

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Nilofer Merchant a 3-time author, most recently of The Power of Onlyness: Make Your Wild Ideas Mighty Enough to Dent the World (Viking, 2017). She's also a Fellow of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management. Merchant has personally launched more than 100 products, netting $18B in sales and has held executive positions at Apple, Autodesk and GoLive Systems. In 2013, she was awarded the Thinkers50 Future Thinker Award which is to recognize ‘The #1 Person Most Likely to Influence the Future of Management in Both Theory and Practice" by the UK-based organization. She's ranked as #22 on the 2017 Thinkers50 list of management thinkers.

On this episode, Hilary sits down with speaker, author, and thought leader Nilofer Merchant to talk about her book, the Power of Onlyness, and to take a deep dive into Nilofer’s unique habits and approach to ideas that have made her one of the greatest business thinkers of our time.

Nilofer’s Ted Talk: Got a Meeting? Take a Walk

Connect with Nilofer at

Connect with Hilary on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. You can also catch the episode of Melissa's "Figuring It Out" podcast in which Hilary is guest discussing how to work from home productively

This episode is sponsored by 
the Side Hustle Starter Kit.

Episode 15: On Geoffrey Owens & the Dignity of the Day Job (Special Mini Episode!)

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Last week Geoffrey Owens, an actor from “the Cosby Show,” made headlines after a woman shopping at Trader Joe’s in Clifton, New Jersey, was so surprised to see Owens bagging groceries that she took a picture and sent it to the Daily Mail, which ran the headline, “From learning lines to serving the long line!” After that, Fox News picked up the story, and then it really began to make waves on Twitter—not so much shaming Owens for being a grocer but more so shaming Fox News for shaming Owens for being caught in the act of a day job.

Here’s the thing though…Owens has been a working actor for decades. He’s been on Broadway four times, was a cast member on “the Cosby Show” for five seasons, and has had roles on shows like “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “the Secret Life of the American Teenager.” You can check out his IMDB page to get the full scoop of where he’s been (TV-wise) for the past couple of decades. 

Owens was interviewed by CNN about his day job at Trader Joe’s. Here’s what he had to say: 

“The fact that I as the guy from the Cosby show was shamed about working at Trader Joes that story is gonna move on that’s gonna pass ya know? But what i hope doesn’t pass is this new recognition, this current sensitivity that people are feeling about work and about working. I hope what continues to resonate is the idea that one job is not better than another, that a certain job might pay more, it might have better benefits, it might look better on paper but that essentially one kind of work is not better, superior than another kind of work and that we reevaluate that whole idea and we start just honoring the dignity of work and respecting the dignity of the working person.” —Geoffrey Owens

3 Tips to Create a Career that is a Combination of Passion Job and ‘Pay the Bills’ Job

1. Brainstorm about what skills and interests you have aside from your main passion. What else do you like to do? What else do you like to talk about or think about? What have people told you you’re good at?

2. Think about your values. What is most important to you in work? Look for a side hustle or a day job that has the benefits that are most important to you. Even if you end up having a day job that isn’t your dream, if it provides some of those aspects that are important to you (say good pay and flexibility) it may be a great fit for a day job for you right now. 

3. Don’t be afraid to create your own job. Entrepreneurship pairs SO well with jobs like acting. In Episode 13 we unpacked tools like Skillshare and Teachable that can help you create courses online. Or you may have some kind of freelance skill—get plugged in on LinkedIn and begin to spread the word about your skill on that site. That is the place where people go to find freelancers to hire. Don’t be shy about sharing your day job endeavor. 

Mythbusting about Actors with Day Jobs 

  1. Actors with day jobs are “unsuccessful.” The vast majority of acting jobs are short-term contracts—whether it’s TV, film, or stage. For actors equity (the stage union) of members of the union that worked *at all* in the 2016-17 season, the average amount of time spent in jobs on stage was 16.4. That leaves the average working union actor with 35.6 weeks a year to find some other way to pay the bills. That’s about 8 months of the year.

  2. Day jobs are soulless gigs actors have to take to be able to pay their rent. While sometimes, and especially, in early career days, you gotta take a job that will take you, as careers mature you can find other flexible gigs that might bring you even more income than your acting job, and may give you an opportunity to flex those skills and talent muscles that you have in work that is more in demand. Do you know what another word for “day job” is? Side hustle. I have actor friends who also choreograph, teach, work with nonprofit organizations, work retail, do event planning, real estate, get paid to advertise products on instagram, and of course bartend and cater. 

Connect with Hilary on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. You can also catch the episode of Melissa's "Figuring It Out" podcast in which Hilary is guest discussing how to work from home productively

This episode is sponsored by 
the Side Hustle Starter Kit.

Episode 14: Karen Swallow Prior, Author & Professor

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Karen Swallow Prior, Ph. D., is Professor of English at Liberty University, where she has won multiple teaching awards. She writes frequently on literature, culture, ethics, and ideas. Her writing appears at Christianity TodayThe AtlanticThe Washington PostFirst ThingsVoxThink Christian, The Gospel Coalition, Books and Culture and other places. She is the author of Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me (T. S. Poetry Press, 2012), Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More—Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist (Thomas Nelson, 2014), and On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Literature (Brazos, 2018).

In this episode Hilary sits down with author and professor Karen Swallow Prior to talk about her new book, On Reading Well, how she launched a career as an author, and what she has learned since she was in a bus accident in May 2018 leaving her in a wheelchair for three months. 

Episode Highlights

"Reading well leads to living well." 

"I want to encourage people to read books that make demands on you and be OK with books that are challenging." 

"When we learn about characters, we shape our own character." 

Recommended Reading from Karen:
Madam Bovary

Connect with Karen on Twitter and Instagram.
Get your copy of On Reading Well here.

Connect with Hilary on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook

This episode is sponsored by
the Side Hustle Starter Kit.

Episode 13: Melissa Guller, Online Entrepreneurship Expert

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By day, Melissa Guller is the Head of Special Projects at Teachable - an online tool that allows anyone to create and sell their own online courses - and ever since she launched her first side hustle in 2015, Melissa has been hooked on online entrepreneurship and empowering people to go for their big, awesome dreams. A bit of a side hustle queen herself, Melissa has been a top-rated instructor at General Assembly NYC for 2+ years, and she has 1300+ students currently enrolled in her Skillshare course, “What Great Managers Do Differently.” Most recently, Melissa founded The Kindling, a community for millennial women building online businesses, blogs, and podcasts they love. 

Melissa Guller, the Head of Special Projects at Teachable, has made a career out of helping people monetize their expertise online. In this episode, Melissa and Hilary discuss tools to create online courses, Melissa's side hustle ventures, and why she swears by a "relaxed" list to avoid burnout.

Episode Highlights

"Your knowledge has probably a higher price tag than you even realize because people want to know exactly what you did to achieve the result that they want."

"The way that I think about things now as a manager is that I’m always noticing when people make my life easier. You want to be able to show that you’re making your boss’s life easier by doing something great for the company."

"I love to think about your career as the business of you. You are the only person responsible for making sure the business of you is successful...Sometimes you have to make the decision that what’s best for the business of you is a different opportunity, and I’ve been able to increase my salary pretty significantly by not moving laterally but by moving up." 

Connect with Melissa on Instagram.

Connect with Hilary on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. You can also catch the episode of Melissa's "Figuring It Out" podcast in which Hilary is guest discussing how to work from home productively

This episode is sponsored by
the Side Hustle Starter Kit.

Episode 12: Ashley Gorley, Songwriter, Publisher, Producer

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Ashley Gorley has written 37 #1 singles and has had more than 300 songs recorded by artists such as Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Florida Georgia Line, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean and Darius Rucker. 

He was named the ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year in 2009, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, Billboard Country Songwriter of the Year in 2013, 2016, and 2017, and the NSAI Songwriter of the Year in 2013, 2016 and 2017. 

Gorley has been nominated for multiple Grammy and CMA and ACM Awards, and has received the CMA’s Triple Play Award eleven times in his career, which recognizes songwriters with three or more #1 songs in one year. In 2016, he became the first songwriter to be honored with three CMA Triple Play Awards in a single year, for earning nine chart-topping songs in a 12-month period.

 In 2011, Gorley formed Tape Room Music, a publishing company with a focus on artist development. Writers for Tape Room Music have already celebrated twelve #1 songs and eight top ten singles by artists such as Florida Georgia Line, Sam Hunt, Keith Urban, and Dustin Lynch.

At just 41, Nashville songwriter Ashley Gorley has written a mind-boggling 37 #1 hits. He has writing credits on over 300 recorded songs. Hilary got to sit down with the prolific songwriter, publisher, and producer to learn more about the hitmaker, what his day-to-day life is like, and why he prefers for Carrie Underwood to not do the singing in a writing session. 

Learn more about Ashley's publishing company, Tape Room Music.
Listen to the Spotify playlist of Ashley's #1 songs.

Connect with Hilary on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

This episode is sponsored by
the Side Hustle Starter Kit.