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Women Entrepreneurs And The Power Of Social Impact With Talia Antonietta

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Female empowerment is an important part of our world, yet a lot still needs accomplishing. The social impact space is one area where women continue to make a big splash with entrepreneurial efforts aimed at changing how we view the world.  Corinna Bellizzi and Talia Antonietta of The Modern Altruneur sit down for a talk about women, sustainability, and social change. They discuss the struggles of women entrepreneurs, taking on old, negative social norms, and succeeding in the space. Tune in for more insights from social change advocates and learn their path to success.

About Talia Antonietta

CMBB 81 | Social ImpactTalia Antonietta believes that business can be a catalyst for change – and she isn’t the only one. She created The Modern Altruneur to be the go-to platform for social impact and business where individuals can learn, be inspired, and begin taking action towards making a difference. Her podcast, the Social Impact Startup, amplifies the diverse women across various industries that are creating a more equitable and sustainable future through better business models.

Website links

Show Notes: (Final Audio)

00:01:03: Talia Antonietta, Social Impact Entrepreneur

00:03:35: Empowering Women Founders

00:11:03: Fighting Weaponized Incompetence

00:14:37: Awareness Is The Key

00:16:26: Taking Down Misogynistic Ideas

00:19:37: Inspiration And Action

00:21:45: Take Care Of Yourself

00:28:01: Finding Your Space

00:36:26: Giving Back

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Women Entrepreneurs And The Power Of Social Impact With Talia Antonietta

I’m thrilled to be joined by a friend in podcasting who’s also itching to make the world a better place, Talia Antonietta. She is a Social Impact Entrepreneur and Founder of The Modern Altruneur, a business that’s committed to helping aspiring social entrepreneurs build and scale sustainable businesses through media and through digital courses. She’s also the talent behind The Social Impact Startup Podcast. Talia, welcome to the show.

Thank you so much for having me. I am thrilled to be here as well.

I’m thrilled to have you, and I get to talk to another podcaster who’s in this space of social impact. I couldn’t make a decision. I was like, “Social impact or sustainability? I will do it both.”

It’s nice having different aspects of it because the social impact, in general, is a broad term but however you expand from it is how you choose to make your impact.

I have heard so much from people like Paul Hawken, who works in the regenerative space. He doesn’t even like to use the word sustainability anymore and is using regeneration, and specifically said that without the environment taking care of, all these social impact issues aren’t going to matter. I’m like, “At the same time, if we don’t address social impact, what’s going to happen with the environment?”

If you do something like, “We are not going to address inequities in Africa,” or in other countries around the world or other global continents even, like you go into the East or into war-torn regions, and things like that, if you don’t address the conflicts, then the people there, the things that they might do to support a more ecologically friendly lifestyle are going to be deprioritized because they are dealing with a crisis.

They are dealing with not having a refrigerator to keep their food fresh. They are dealing with all whatever else. They are going to be a little bit more disposably oriented. They are not going to think about their impact on the environment. The two are inextricably knit. We need to think about things that we are doing to support a regenerative and more sustainable world, even as we are working in an impact space. I would love for you to talk about what you are doing, specifically with The Modern Altruneur, to help people that are working in this field of entrepreneurship tackle big changes.

First off, you hit the nail on the head when you are talking about how these issues are complex. They are intersectional in nature, and there are a lot of different things that have to be considered when you are talking about creating an impact. For me, I suppose I focus specifically on those who are utilizing building a business to be a catalyst for change.

The reason I went that particular route was because I started my career in the financial industry working on Wall Street, and I witnessed firsthand how business, as usual, is extremely problematic. We know that as a theory but when you see it in practice, it becomes a little bit less easy to deal with. I mitigated some career shifts. I switched from being in the financial industry, then I worked in the wellness industry for a while, and I had the privilege of working one-on-one with a lot of female founders.

CMBB 81 | Social Impact
Social Impact: Entrepreneurship is a realm where women can get their power back because they can decide how much they’re going to be paid.

At the time, I was still very passionate about business because, alongside social impact, I believe in economic empowerment for women. Those are the two pillars of my values that are very strong and what I focus on in everything that I do. I saw that I was still inspired by business and women being able to make money, and at the time, I was listening to a lot of podcasts. I found that there was a little bit of a gap in the market where most business podcasts at that time were focused on profit margins and very male-centric in general.

That’s how business has been historically for a long time but for me, I was firsthand meeting all of these incredible women who were building their own businesses and disrupting industries in their own right. I was like, “Where is the space for these women, and why are they not being highlighted, amplified, looked at as leaders?” I was like, “I will have to do it. I will have to start a podcast that highlights these incredible founders.” That was initially where I started. The podcast has proven to be for myself and for others, a source of inspiration and a place where you can figure out how to take action in different ways.

We feature founders from various industries. No two founder has been the same, and it gives some insight into the fact that impact is far and wide in the way that you can live your life with it. It takes a little bit of opening yourself up to being educated, more aware, and inspired is a huge part of it, too, knowing that there are people out there who want to see a better collective future as much as you want to see it as well.

You have touched on a few subjects that I have highlighted on my show. One of them specifically is those female businesses don’t get the funding that male-run businesses do. It’s something between 2% and 4% as far as the VC-funded businesses out there. Presently, the statistics from October of 2021 was that 6% of CEOs in Fortune 500 companies are women. That was up from 4%, where it had been hovering for many years.

We hadn’t made progress as much as we talked about making progress. Something with only 24 to 26 women has ever taken a company public in the history of the stock exchange, if you are looking at Nasdaq or US Stock Exchange. I’m not sure if that’s different when you go to Norway, where 50% of CEOs are women. I’m sure it’s different there on their stock exchange but when we are talking about the US, it’s terrible.

It really is. I have had the honor of interviewing founders who have been in venture capital spaces raising funds. They say the same thing. It’s tough to raise money as a female founder, and this is a quote that is not mine. I can’t even attribute it to the person who shared it with me but apparently, it’s highly circulated in the startup community. It stuck with me because, “Women are judged on progress, and men are often judged on a promise.”

As women, we have to do so much more to even be considered for the same opportunities that oftentimes can be expected for men. I’m not saying that people are not earning their opportunities or whatnot but the system is rigged, as we see. The data points are there. The reason I focus on women building businesses is that for multiple reasons, economic empowerment is a huge part. The second thing, especially as we went into the pandemic and saw how deeply affected every person on this planet has been but when we look at the progress of women in their careers having to give up so much more to care for them, their families at that time, it just proved to me that there are a lot of barriers that exist and will continue to exist.

Six percent, while that is growth, is a meager number of women leading companies. There are so many barriers that are in place that I personally feel like entrepreneurship is the realm where women can get their power back. They can decide how much they are going to be paid.

They are not going to have someone tell them, “No, you are not worth that much,” because someone will pay your rate for your knowledge, experience, etc. They can build a business that’s successful and excel but I feel like entrepreneurship is the way that you can do all of those things while also navigating all of the other things that women want to have in their lives, and that includes families.

It’s tough to raise money as a female business founder because women are judged on progress and men are often judged on promise.

There’s that common phrase that’s thrown around on social media where we talk about weaponized incompetence. Men and families will pretend to be dumb or do tasks in ways that they know are wrong for women to take on the mental load and the household load of raising a family and trying to have a career and a life. While navigating all those gender norms and all that stuff that comes with being a woman in society nowadays, entrepreneurship, specifically social entrepreneurship, is a way for you to have power, flexibility, and impact the world.

I have never heard the term weaponized incompetence.

Honestly, I have to figure out who to attribute it to but it’s like all over TikTok. I can’t own it because it has been popularized by somebody. Maybe it was a therapist or something on TikTok. I don’t have children. I was in a long-term relationship, and I noticed that too where I had to take on so much because there are unfortunately a lot of people who, instead of having a partner, want another mother.

They are leaving the socks in the hallway, not doing the dishes, and all that stuff.

Having to navigate all of that on top of trying to build your career. In general, I feel like entrepreneurship allows you to have more flexibility and space to navigate all these barriers in the household and the workplace.

I have a very progressive husband, and I’m lucky in that. I do have two boys, and they are quite demanding. Thankfully, my husband does, I believe, carry an equal load. There are even some ways in which it’s always assumed that I take care of it. This is endemic because we think about things as women’s work in some way. You can’t erase that generationally. My husband is ten years older than me. He grew up in a time when women took care of the grocery shopping. He does the laundry. We have divided that up but a simple thing like I needed a break, and he said to me, “I’m not the nanny.” I’m like, “That’s right. You are the dad.”

Another time he said, “I’m not the babysitter.” I’m like, “No, it’s called parenting.” These are the things that creep in. We use language to describe where we are at in this world but it also communicates so much when something like that is even something that could be said. I would never have thought to say to my husband, “I’m not the nanny. You can’t order me to do this. You can’t take your break this way because I haven’t had my time,” or whatever. It’s not something that would ever cross my mind. I have somebody who I believe truly does share the load somewhat equally but I’m in charge of care.

I have always found the care for our children to get a date night or to be able to work or whatever. Generally speaking, I’m in charge of their healthcare. This is common across all intersections of people in the United States, where women tend to be more responsible for things like care, nutrition, medical care, food, and house care in general.

As we work to disrupt this and re-envision what women’s work is, I wonder what you are doing through your podcast and also through the community you are running to help and bridge that, so we are moving into a new spot. There are going to be companies like Enygma Ventures that are funding women-run businesses that are minority-owned in South and Eastern Africa. We featured Sarah a few episodes ago and other individuals like that who are breaking through the so-called glass ceilings that we can all reach a similar level of success and respect in the world of business.

CMBB 81 | Social Impact
Social Impact: There are some days where you’re just a human being and you want to take a day off. Obviously, you should always rest and take care of yourself.

It starts with an awareness that there are individuals who are doing this. As you mentioned and we have discussed, the business has been attributed to that stereotypical mid-‘50s White male. That’s like what people picture when they think of running a successful business. It starts with knowing that there are other individuals out there who are doing the same thing.

Increasing your awareness in your perspective, that’s initially what we are starting with the podcast. It’s proving that there are people out there, diverse women from very different backgrounds and industries, who are disrupting but at the same time, building profitable ventures while creating an impact in one way or another. That’s initially where it starts. That’s one way we are creating an impact. Overall, education and inspiration is a big part of our mission. It’s showing people that it can be done but also helping them to take action. I say we as a common thing.

The credit is also part of the humble nature of women running businesses. It’s a we effort. It’s not a me effort. It’s something we are taught all along in our lives. “Don’t just pat yourself on the back too much. That means you are an egomaniac.” We are a more humble way to approach it.

That is a very good point and something that I need to take out of my language. We are talking about that internalized patriarchal, misogynistic ideas about women and their roles. You have to be humble. Otherwise, you are discredited. A lot of the times, people don’t like confident women but not everybody. I love confident women. I’m like, “You go,” but there are so many people who are unfortunately insecure and are intimidated by other strong, empowered women.

Part of also going the distance is being able to mitigate that and figure out, “When do I get the okay to be confident?” It is problematic. I have talked to a lot of women on my podcast about this specific issue. One woman who’s had incredible accolades behind her name, and she downplays it all the time because of the stigma that comes with touting your accomplishments as a woman. Instead of people cheering you on, they are trying to push you down. It’s unsettling because it’s so common, and a lot of the time, some people are not aware that they have those kinds of gendered biases when talking about women’s and men’s accomplishments.

To touch back on what I created, I work in consulting, and I help businesses as well. I built out a digital course, which is also entitled The Social Impact Startup. It’s a digital course that’s a foundational eight-section course that allows you to take a nice idea that you have and be able to start implementing it into action. Whether that is a business or a passion project, or whatever it may be, it helps you clarify and solidify what is important to you and how you can go ahead and make that into actionable change.

The thing that I am reminded of is the interview I did on your podcast where you asked me specifically if I was to give a tip to somebody about how to be an entrepreneur. One of the things that I thought about that I didn’t share was specifically that when you are inspired, burnout is something that isn’t there. It doesn’t tend to cloud you and bring you down the same way. When you get your purpose and central frame of what you are doing, and it sounds like that’s what you are trying to do with this class, you are able to align your vision and work with your purpose, and now you are inspired.

You’ve got a spring in your step getting out of bed in the morning to go to work isn’t the same as when you were clock-punching before. Not to say that you were a clock-punching before but maybe you just weren’t living your purpose the same way. I want to hear you talk a little bit more about that. Let’s dig deeper.

Being inspired is a huge part of being able to take action. Being a business owner is no easy feat, and everybody thinks that because you are doing something that is purposeful and you love, it doesn’t mean you are going to have off days. I have experienced this where I was feeling a little tired and not wanting to do the work. There are some days when you are a human being, and you want to take a day off. Obviously, you should always rest and take care of yourself. I took a few days to recharge but what lights my fire every single time is when I interview other women who are doing incredible things.

There are diverse women from very different backgrounds and industries who are disrupting, but at the same time, building profitable ventures while creating an impact one way or another.

It inspires me to keep going because it’s a reminder that you are not alone. I know we touched on that in my podcast about this element of community. That is so important when you are building anything and living your life. As society become very individualized, we forget about the collective. That mindset has also led to a lot of problems that we experienced with climate change and everything, not being able to get on the same collective page about the issues that we all face and being able to tackle them unanimously.

There’s a lot that goes into that but being able to recognize that there is a community out there, that there are people who are aspiring to do good is a great reminder when you feel overwhelmed by the world, especially with everything that we are facing in modern times, throughout the pandemic. Now we are seeing with the invasion of Ukraine. There is so much, and it helps recenter you so that you are able to take action. Another big point is that without taking care of yourself and having that stability in yourself, and feeling inspired, you are not going to be able to take action in the way that I feel you would feel best doing so.

Ultimately, you are dampening yourself when you are not taking care of yourself. I make an effort to get outside every single day. I’m glad that I’m in California. I know you are in LA. I’m up in Santa Cruz. Getting outside on a daily isn’t that complicated. It’s not going to be freezing, biting cold ice storms in general. It’s chilly. There’s frost on the ground, and I’m complaining but the week before, it was sunny and beautiful. It felt like spring.

We have these moments where we are able to get outside, ground ourselves, think about what we are doing with our lives, and are we living our truths or what can we do differently as a common practice? It’s something we integrate into our daily lives. I love what you did there. You checked in with yourself, you said, “I’m feeling overwhelmed. I’m too taxed, and I need to take a break.”

It’s so often as women, especially when you are talking about juggling mom life and work life or not even mom life, just work-life responsibilities, “What’s expected of me? I have to show progress and not promise. I have to take care of all of these things if I want to ladder-climb and be considered for that VP role I’m shooting for. If I want to go and apply for that CEO job and get it, I’m going to have to have shown all of these things in my laundry list, and so I can’t stop. I must go.”

That is especially what the driven people like myself and yourself confront. It’s hard to even stop for a minute and take a breath and say, “I need me time. This me-time is going to be longer than the hour lunch break. Maybe it wasn’t a planned vacation but I’m going to take a personal day and no, it’s not because I have COVID.”

I had to learn the hard way with that, where I’ve got to the point of utter burnout in both my professional and personal life. I felt like I was backed into a corner. I will attribute me having the privilege also to be able to seek out therapy and be able to dissect myself as a person. How I operate in the world has been super insightful in giving me that self-awareness when I can tap into myself, trust my gut, listen to my gut, know what is the right and wrong decisions, and say no. We live in a capitalist society where we are always chasing something else.

When you are a driven individual, it’s hard to detach from that sometimes. I had grown up as a super perfectionist. I graduated as the valedictorian of my high school. I was the quintessential overachiever type-A, etc. I started my career on Wall Street and all of that. It then led to me being utterly burned out and miserable. Also, cultivating relationships that I was miserable in kept feeding the cycle until I finally said, “No. This isn’t what I’m going to be doing anymore.”

That meant switching gears in a lot of different ways, and that also meant cutting out people from my life, implementing boundaries for the first time in my life, and that included boundaries between work and rest. Now, I have a very keen sense of when I’m feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. The reality is a lot of stuff can wait until the next day. There are not so many tasks in the world that are on fire that you need to address at that exact moment in time.

CMBB 81 | Social Impact
Social Impact: We live in a capitalist society where we’re always chasing something else.

We talked about blocked periods of time. In my day-to-day, I have my schedule of all my aspirational goals of what I want to do in that day. I have the things that can be moved if they need to be. Creating more of a flexible mindset versus being so fixed around your work, your boundaries, your wellness, and all of that affords the opportunity to do things in a much better way.

I have to ask you a question that relates to all of this because I see that you are quite active on Instagram. For one, I enjoy what you are doing there. You call out the patriarchy sometimes, and you make fun of some of the issues that we face in a way that I find quite charming but it takes a lot of time and effort to produce those things.

It doesn’t necessarily have the payoff that you hope it will. We are all told, especially as we launch our podcasts like mine and yours, “You have to be on Instagram. Why aren’t you on TikTok? By the way, Clubhouse and social audio on Wisdom. You are not in Twitter Spaces. That’s where all the NFT and cryptocurrency people are hanging out.” I’m like, “Great. I don’t do that because that’s bad for the environment.”

I’m trying to live my truth in that way, too. I’m trying to discover from you what that is as you work to balance how you are reaching people because it can be, in itself, overwhelming. When you say, “You are working to be an influencer because you are reaching people, whether they live, work or play with the podcast and with what you are doing with Modern Altraneur, and having to limit in some capacities where you are choosing to be. I love for you to share your perspective.

I have had to be selective because, at the inception of my business, I thought I needed to be everywhere, the same thought. What I have learned is if you show up consistently in maybe 1, 2 or 3 because the podcast is one place to show up consistently, but then how people access the podcast is through social media channels. That’s how they are going to find you a lot of the times.

I have filtered down into focusing on Instagram and more so TikTok because I feel like that is where the more raw conversations are being had. I have become a lot more strategic with my strategy. I will post on Instagram, and it’s still very much a curated feed but on TikTok, it’s a little more raw. I’m talking to people like how I’m talking to you, and they are more receptive to it.

It’s also understanding where your audience is living and focusing on that because I would love to expand my YouTube channel. I would love to have a better presence on Twitter but I honestly use Twitter to send tweets. I then repurpose for Instagram because that’s a great social media strategy. A lot of people love easy, shareable, and relatable content, and tweets get it done quite quickly. It is still a balancing act that I probably haven’t perfected, and I don’t know if I will because with creating video content, a lot goes into that.

At first, when it was Instagram, you could pop on Canva, make a cute graphic, and that was it. Not that that was it. It takes a lot of effort and work too. I’m not discrediting that at all. With the shift in how consumers are taking in content, it’s a lot by video. It has to be captivating, and it has to be either educational, inspirational or raw, real, and short. The average mind span is nine seconds or something.

It’s fifteen seconds or less is what you have to shoot for.

Being inspired is a huge part of being able to take action.

That is a skill in itself to be able to get your point across in that short amount of time. As human beings, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for finessing your thoughts, perspective, and refining. You have to have everything refined and boiled down, and that’s the product that you release. With TikTok, it can be a little overwhelming because for growth, they say to post 3 to 5 videos a day.

I have become much more consistent with doing exactly that. It is slowly paying off but when you are sometimes waiting for those numbers to climb, it’s a little bit like, “Is it going to keep growing?” You then see the growth start to happen. It’s the same with the podcast. You launch something, you see a couple of downloads, and then you see growth over each month. It’s also inspiring you to keep going because you are like, “People are appreciating and resonating this.”

It gives you the impetus to keep going but I set limits on social media on my phone. I have it set for like an hour or something for the day. I probably spend more time on that because I always say like, “Remind me in fifteen minutes,” especially if I’m in the middle of filming some content. We don’t realize how much time that also takes, too.

I do try to be cognizant and be like, “I have said remind me in 15 minutes 4 times, then I have spent 2 hours on this platform. I need to finish it up. Put a bow on it and revisit it tomorrow if it’s not quite what I was expecting it to be.” Sometimes I will take a break and write some things out if something is not quite coming out in the right way. I’m a big writer. I love writing and reading. Sometimes that’s how I will refine my thoughts to then dissect them in a 15-second or even a 7-second video on TikTok.

I haven’t made the jump into TikTok in particular. I keep hearing I need to be there but the reality is adding one more thing is often too much. Where I’m at now is I’m focused on creating great podcasts. I’m focused on getting them out there into the world via my current social media platforms and we will see. If I need to add TikTok later, I might end up taking some snips from these interviews and putting them up there. That’s a possibility, too.

I put those on there, too. They are not as high traffic as using the trending sounds. There are ways to utilize the algorithm for your benefit but it’s also fickle.

You have to be careful if you are in business. I had a friend who ended up in litigation overusing some of those trending music because even on their personal feed because their personal efforts were deemed as relating to the business. You have to be extra careful on that front or you can end up with some incredibly steep licensing fees.

Copyright issues can be problematic. That is something to be of awareness of.

I don’t want to end up in court with Sony. I’m sorry. That’s where they are now. I’m like, “No, thank you.” As we prepare to run into the last stage of our interview here, I like to ask a question of many of my guests, which is simply, if there’s a question, I haven’t asked that you wish I had, what would it be? If you have one, ask and answer it, and if not, what thoughts would you like to leave our audience with as they go on their day?

CMBB 81 | Social Impact
Social Impact: It’s a skill in itself to be able to get your point across in that short amount of time.

The first thing that comes to mind is something we have touched on a lot in this interview and its gendered ideas around money but also a mission. When building a social impact business, you don’t have to be a martyr for a mission. That’s something that I’m very passionate about because being a martyr means giving up everything for that mission but I don’t think that that’s a requirement of anybody in this day and age. You have the ability to build a successful, purposeful life without sacrificing every part of yourself. There are going to be sacrifices here and there.

That’s why I’m also so passionate about the monetary side of building a business and what that means, not just for sustainable resources that will fund your impact but for what it means for you as a woman. It gives you choice and freedom. When you have a choice, you ultimately can make better choices and live the life that you have aspired to live. That in itself is emblematic of having an impact.

I wanted to ask you one more question as it relates to social impact in general. Many people have a few favorite charities that they like to shout out or that they might work within some collaborative way, over the course of their careers. For example, I have collaborated with the Vitamin Angels many times over my career, working in supplements and natural foods.

I have also worked to fund water projects around the globe because I figured, “People need water.” If you have clean drinking water, that’s step one. These are the things that I tend to get behind. I wonder, for you, what stokes your fire? What are you working to put into the world and make more impact around when it comes to that more charitable space?

That is the beauty of the social impact business space because there is a give-back element in one way or another. I also contribute to water. That’s one of my big charitable contributions. As things rotate through the world, I contribute a lot to the refugee crisis and empowering women there. One of the women that I’m close friends with now and who was the original guest on my podcast has built a company that focuses on employing refugees, specifically female refugees. She is giving them job opportunities so that they are able to become empowered.

The beauty of the people who come on my podcast is that I practice what I preach and will often buy their products. I don’t accept products for free, which I know that free products, it is what it is, and people love getting free stuff. Out of principle, I will purchase their products because I know how much it takes to create what they are creating. I will support and subscribe.

I had the founders of Kimbritive come on the podcast, and so I subscribe and donate every month to help them run the platform, which is geared towards specifically a space for Black women to be educated and empowered around sexual health and wellness. I have many passions that I diversify them all and contribute in one way or another.

I am always looking on a crowdfunding platform, I fund women or I fund women of color for incredible businesses to help crowdfund their missions. A lot of where my give back goes to not only that but I also do a lot of local initiatives like soup kitchens. The homeless problem in Los Angeles is a huge problem in California in general. Oftentimes, I will be donating to a lot more local stuff that resonates with the homelessness crisis, children, and education. I could go on and on but I try to put my money where my mouth is. I try to use my personal funds as a tool for change by supporting the businesses I believe in and supporting the projects that also help alleviate larger systemic issues as well.

You are a woman after my heart. The reality, too, is that my first guest was Kayra Martinez. She has a not-for-profit Love Without Borders for Refugees in Need. I have known her for years and that’s something that she has architected over the past years. Now she’s got a TEDx Talk that she’s done on that particular topic. It would be powerful if I were to connect her with you for the work that she’s doing but also your friend that you made in that refugee space.

The beauty of the social impact business space is there is a give back element in one way or another.

There could be some very interesting collaborations there. Kayra’s work focuses on Aleppo, Greece, so people who have fled from Syria and other war-torn parts of the world have ended up there. What she’s working to do is help them heal from the trauma that they have experienced through the power of art, and then she works to sell those art pieces on her Etsy shop and also through social media, and then 100% of the funds that are raised from the sale of that art go back to the artist.

Much to your point, supporting the businesses, and sometimes even the people that you brought on your podcast. I have something that one of her artists created. It’s beautiful. The artist was Abdul Hakim, and the inscription says, “Abdul Hakim fled Syria with his family and has requested asylum in Greece where he hopes to offer them a better life than the one thus far. His hope for his children is that they become contributing members of society in a way that benefits the community.”

“Those who know Abdul Hakim call him a gentle soul. He believes that honesty and loyalty are the most important values in life, and he envisions a world filled with love away from barriers imposed by race, color, or sect.” I made a donation of $100 for the piece, and it was called something along the lines of A Lost Family. It was something where I saw it on the screen, and I burst into tears.

As you are reading the inscription, my eyes are swelling up because I’m like, “When we break everything down, everybody is trying to build a better life in one way or another.” How we do that is different in our methodologies but the baseline of our human connection is the majority of humans, I believe, are good. We all want to do better and be better.

The purpose of my show is similar to your own. This will not be the end of our collaboration. Let’s figure out a way to connect again soon.

Yes, I agree. Thank you so much for having me.

Thank you so much for being here, Talia. Readers, it’s time for that simple ask. The reality is it’s through having conversations like the one that I explored with Talia that we all stoke our creative juices. We figure out how we can contribute to the world in a better way, how we can fulfill our own personal missions, how we can care a little bit more and be a little bit better. Together through collaboration, we can create a better world.

We can even create a world in which we don’t have to worry about climate change. We are able to sustain our populations around the globe with some equal level of access to the basic rights that we should all enjoy like water to drink, a shelter over our heads, and security that from one day to the next, we won’t be subject to a war-torn world. We have a long way to come but we can and we will, together. Thank you, readers, now and always, for being a part of this show and community because together, we can be so much more. We can care more, and we can be better. Thank you.

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