Ann Shoket – Former Editor in Chief of Seventeen Magazine, Founder of New Power Media and Owner of The Li.st
Meet the inspiring Ann Shoket, former Editor-in-Chief of the legendary Seventeen magazine. Today, Ann is the author of The Big Life and the Founder of the media and events platform, New Power Media, and the new owner of the very social impact network The Li.st. Listen to this episode to uncover Ann’s journey and her take on the importance of communities and how connecting the right people together is always the answer.Listen To This Episode
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Mentioned in the Episode:
Ann Shoket’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/annshoket/?hl=en
Ann Shoket’s Website: https://www.annshoket.com/
The Li.st’s Website: https://www.theli.st/
Kara Goldin (00:00):
Hi everyone. It’s Kara Goldin from the Kara Goldin show. And I’m so excited for my next guest. I cannot even wait to introduce you all to her. I’ve been, I’ve only recently gotten to know and a little bit from this amazing group that we’re both a part of called TheLi.st and is the founder of New Power Media and former Editor-in-Chief of Seventeen magazine, which is a magazine that I grew up with. And I watched you from afar and was just, just totally in awe of all that you were doing. And, and anyway…
There’s no way you were reading the editor.
Kara Goldin (00:46):
I know, but 2007 to 2015, so there’s no way you were meeting, but my daughters were. And I mean, it’s just such, it’s just such a great book. I’m still such a magazine fan coming from starting my career in magazines. So really exciting. But anyway, we’ll talk about that in a few minutes. In addition, she is the author of an amazing book called The Big Life, a guide for ambitious young women who are changing what it means to be powerful and successful in the world. And the book’s message of building a life on your own terms has connected to so many women of all ages. It’s so, so good. So you should definitely pick up a copy of that. And we’ll talk a little bit more about that, but Ann, throughout her entire career has been a champion for women. And most recently, as I mentioned, she acquired TheLi.st.
Kara Goldin (01:39):
This group that we are both a part of, and is a pioneering social networking platform for women she’s appeared also regularly on Good Morning America, Oprah, CNN, tons of amazing, amazing stuff. Oh, and a guest judge for four seasons of America’s Next Top Model. I did not know that. And I love saying this for that. Oh wow. That’s, that’s amazing. So anyway, great to have you here. And she’s also, she’s a New Yorker. She is living in a snowy environment at the moment and even came on to hang out with us, which I’m so excited about. She’s also a mom and I’d love I always love hearing from people who are doing great careers and also being great parents too. So, anyway, welcome, welcome. And very trending. Then here I’m sitting here knowing New York City, watching the snowfall, the kids have been locked in their rooms, Spanish to their rooms so that they don’t make any noise during this podcast because we’re all home. Now during coronavirus quarantine, I’m working from home. My husband’s working from home. My kids are doing school from home. We’re doing podcasts from home. We’re doing a video from home. Everything is happening here in the snowy corner of New York City. Well, we are very excited to have you here for sure. So, so walk me through the early years of, and so where were you? Where’d you grow up? All that kind of stuff.
Ann Shoket (03:10):
So I grew up outside of Philadelphia and then in Littleton, Colorado, and I was always this like suburban kid and desperate to move to New York City. Like by the time I was 16 years old, I just had hearts and stars in my eyes for New York City. And it was the ultimate. So as fast as I could, I went to NYU, which really was really, it’s like a soft landing in New York City. Right. It’s like, you get, you get indoctrinated easily. But once I was here, I’ve never left. I’ve been here. I’ve been in New York City now for 30 years. And this is my home. It’s such a
Kara Goldin (03:51):
Great place. And so did you start out in journalism?
Ann Shoket (03:54):
I did. I, when I got out of college, we were having a terrible recession, much like when millennials got out of college much like this next generation, when they’re going to get out of college, if they go to if they can afford to go to college. And I had gotten a degree in English literature and thought I might write novels and I, and there was no way that I could pay New York city rent and spend time becoming a novelist. So I thought, okay, great. I will get a job at a magazine, get a job. Any job is frankly my philosophy, although I didn’t know that at the time, I just needed to get a job to pay my rent. And I started out at this trade magazine for lawyers called the American lawyer, which actually turned out to be such a huge benefit that it was run by this legendary journalist, Steven Brill, who among his great qualities.
Ann Shoket (04:46):
One, he’s a fantastic journalist, and two great about journalistic ethics. So I really got an amazing journalism education working there. I also learned that law in the business of lawyers is really terribly boring and very quickly shifted gears. I got a job working for a teen magazine writing about legal issues for teenagers like curfew and voting rights. And it was a really, it was a really fun newspaper for teens, but it was there that I realized that I really love that moment in your life, where you’re becoming who you are meant to be, right. That the world is open for you to explore. And that resonated with me then resonates with me now, this idea that anything is possible and you can make your dreams come true. And I really loved that message. And so, so from one team news magazine, I went to the launch team of CosmoGirl and it was the late nineties in New York City, and everybody was launching something, right.
Ann Shoket (05:52):
I went to some new.com launch once a week. And frankly, we were in the where the more lavish the party, the faster you knew that company was going to flame out, but it was fun. Oh my gosh, the late nineties in New York City was like just energetic and parties and everybody was just having a great time. I loved it. So I went to join the launch team of CosmoGirl. We worked like maniacs to create this magazine out of thin air. I slept under the conference table. I worked around the clock. I worked weekends. It was an intense slug, but just like any intense job, once you’ve invested so much of your time and energy in it, you really want to stay. And so I stayed in that job. I stayed at that company for eight years helping to craft this magazine because I felt like the way we were talking to teenagers about their possibility in the world was not something that anybody else was doing.
Kara Goldin (06:52):
I love, I love that. So you were, I mean, in many ways it was a startup, right? I mean, that was kind of your first taste of, you know, living in a startup world probably. I mean, it’s, it’s so interesting. You and I were talking before we hit record how, you know, this is kind of your first one, but in so many ways, I bet you’ll look back at that time as just a major learning, especially when you’re trying to figure out what to do. I mean, you were probably, I mean, even though it was part of Cosmo, I mean, it was, it really was kind of on its own, correct.
Ann Shoket (07:27):
I loved working for a big as like having a safety net of a big media company. But at the same time, I had also launched my own website, essentially funny at 25 years old, my website made it into the New York times, which I, which was pretty fantastic at the time. But every single time that I did a startup, right, had my own, had my own website, but I had a job that paid the bills, right. I had a traditional job that paid the bills. I did a startup for Hearst magazines, which is a great safety net and a great place to start, but to start a business, right. They gave us a lot of support and I really enjoyed the power that came with when I became editor-in-chief of Seventeen, it was a much different feeling like when we were starting CosmoGirl we felt like we were climbing a mountain.
Ann Shoket (08:17):
Like we were the scrappy underdog, trying to prove that we could make our way in the world. And when I got to Seventeen, this iconic, legendary brand that you loved when you were a teenager that your daughter loved when she was a teenager that really had such a huge impact on so many women’s lives. In fact, there’s almost no one I’ve met who doesn’t tell me that they loved Seventeen and that it was important to them. It was a much different feeling to go from the scrappy underdog feeling to running. What was such an iconic beloved brand? I didn’t have to convince anyone about the power of Seventeen. I didn’t have to, like, we had such a shorthand to get to what it was. Nobody needed to be explained to them what it was and what was our point of view on the world. And I write in my book that I really feel like every young woman, every young person should have that experience of starting something where you’re doing everything, just to know that you can. But also to have the experience of taking your ideas to a place where there’s a lot of money and a lot of resources to really see them fly. I think it’s, I think that both there are tremendous benefits on both sides of that coin. Yeah,
Kara Goldin (09:30):
Absolutely. Well, it’s interesting. I mean, one of the things that I you’re just at the beginning of this, of this journey right now for, for launching your company, but I, it’s funny because just so many things along the way, and building my company, hint, I found that there were pieces that even my first startup when I moved to Silicon Valley, where it was very different than the companies that I had worked for in New York. And it was five guys in an office, not in a garage, but they were all, you know, no one was wearing suits, it was in jeans and t-shirts and ideas come from anywhere. It didn’t matter what your title was or, you know, what your education level was if you had creative ideas. And it was just, it was eye-opening for me. And so when I ultimately went and start my own company, I mean, now I look back on my days and there are just pieces that I pull from all these different places.
Kara Goldin (10:28):
And people are like, how’d, you know how to do that? And I think to your point too, about learning a little bit about everything, I mean, as you get bigger, the main reason why I hire people, it’s not because I don’t know how to do the job, but because I hire people who love doing the job and maybe know how to do it better, and really can direct their efforts towards doing that job to scale. Right. And, but you have to know, I mean, in order to be a leader, and in addition to some of the other stuff you and I were talking about before this started where, you know, it’s a new thing every single day that comes about. I mean, I know how to code a little bit. I know how to do SEO a little bit, like, but I have people, I actually know a bit about podcasting and, and the technology behind it, but I have people that once you have resources that can do it better, but I think it also, that’s ultimately how you’re able to scale. And frankly, stay as CEO in your role, because you actually can keep up with what people are saying. So,
Ann Shoket (11:38):
Right. You’re the decision-maker. And how do you make decisions if you don’t have some insight and knowledge into what you’re, what you’re working on? I always find that whenever I can’t make a decision, whenever I find myself sort of stuck, why can’t I make this decision? It’s I don’t have enough information yet. And I’m always looking for the experts who know what I need to know so that I can figure out how-to guide and make the decision to move us forward.
Kara Goldin (12:05):
If you’re like me, you also jump in, I mean, something we talk about, actually, I’ve talked in a lot of interviews about this at the beginning of the pandemic, we’re an essential product. And so we were, while everybody was telling their employees to shelter in place, I was saying, here’s your N95 mask and your gloves and your hand sanitizers, you’re still working. And I had people on my team who had worked for me for a long time and said, are you trying to kill me? And truly, and which was, you know, it hit me really hard. And the way that I knew how to manage, because I had never been through a pandemic before, was to put on my N95 masks and my gloves and go out and start merchandising in target stores. And so that’s what I did. I, you know, jumped in because I wanted to make sure that it was safe for my employees.
Kara Goldin (12:58):
And so I took on a route and then I started saying, Hey, you know, like certain hours of the day in stores are not great. But what I’ve found is if you go in before 7:00 AM and then come back home, take a nap, or whatever you need to do, it’s just much better because there are no people in the stores at that time. And if you can get in before the store is open, that’s really not bad. So you bring in a different level, maybe of strategy along the way and comfort. But when they see their leader willing to jump in, I think that that’s another component and actually, you know, roll up their sleeves and say, okay, this isn’t that hard. Let’s go figure this out. Right. And I know you enough to say that I’m sure you would do the same thing if somebody was really struggling.
Ann Shoket (13:43):
Well, I’m, I’m sitting here in awe of the story you’re telling about how you had to lead during the pandemic. And I’m trying to imagine, it’s, you know, we’re a year in now, right? And our lives have changed so dramatically. And we have been tested in ways that we never could have imagined, right. The way in which you lead your team through those early days, where you had to figure out the process and the procedure and what was safety and deal with everybody’s mental health and the stress that everybody is under at a personal level and the health of your company to keep you moving forward. It’s a monumental undertaking. And, and I’m one I’m in awe of you. I really I’m really, I think that it’s,
Kara Goldin (14:30):
You do the same thing, right? You, you would do the same thing, but it’s all those times, it’s the sleeping under the desk at, you know, cause CosmoGirl, it’s just the things that you, along the way you recognize that you don’t always have all the answers, but if you keep moving forward and if you bring comfort to the team, you’re going to be able to figure out whether or not it’s possible. Right. And right. And I think that that’s the that, that’s the key thing that I’ve learned along the way. And then also there are things that I, you know, I, I can’t actually re I can’t relate to somebody to, to a parent having young kids and homeschooling during this time when you have a boss, that is, that is saying, no, you need to work during this time. And you’ve got kids running in doing your zoom call, whatever it is, because my kids are older and I’ve done a lot of things, but I haven’t done that. My kids, my youngest are 15. And so, and he’s kind of, he does his own thing, right? I mean, he’s, you know, we had dinner, you know, like the checks in and he’s pretty self-sufficient. But if my kids were four, like that’s a whole new world, but I get it. I can visualize it, but I can’t fully understand it. So it’s a whole new level. And again, where I’ve seen, you know, it’s just hard. It’s a, it’s a hard time.
Ann Shoket (15:55):
The pandemic was so clarifying to me, not at first, at first, it was, it was nerve-wracking and panic-inducing. And I spent, I spent really a couple of weeks kind of just staring at the walls, thinking to myself, I just launched. I just launched New Power Media at the end of 2019 with a vision for connecting the next generation of leaders to companies that wanted to see their power rise and to see them succeed. And here we were by March. I had just gotten some wind under my wings, some clients ready to sign and suddenly budgets were frozen. Hiring was frozen. We were all staring at the walls. But what I learned from those early days of the pandemic was how important community was how I went. I have an I’ll have back into acquiring TheLi.st, but I have a community of, of young women that I run.
Ann Shoket (17:01):
We call them the Bad-ass Babes. And they came, they sprung from the book, The Big Life. And I called them Bad-ass Babes because they’re the kind of women that you want to be around. They’re young and they’re pioneering and they’re, then they’re brave and they’re rewriting the rules for power and success and love it. And I sort of have this, I had hosted for years hosted dinners around my dining room table. When the pandemic hit, I did a series of Zoom dinners with these young women. And we just talked about what were the changes that were going on? How did we navigate being alone? Many of them are, they’re early in their careers and there are many of them are single or they’re living with roommates that they had to navigate their health and wellness around is living with someone who was not their partner.
Ann Shoket (17:45):
They were very often, you know, early mid-career laid or furloughed early on. And we would, the dinners were kind of open-ended, how can we just be there for each other, for my own community, TheLi.st, which I was a member of five, five years before I acquired it, we had a series of sort of a Friday afternoon zoom get-togethers, where we were able to be there for each other, as colleagues, as peers, as friends, and to talk through what were those complicated issues. Very many of the women on TheLi.st, our speakers, and all of those speaking fees dried up there. They were their consultants and they’re, their contracts were frozen. And just to be in each other’s company and not to have the answers, but to be able, or maybe to illuminate a corner of the problem for each other, listen, I can’t help you with the whole problem you’re going through, but if you need somewhere safe to live, I’ve got a friend who lives in the next town over who they love that who is renting their house out. Or if you need to go and stay at your, to be close to your parents, but you can’t live in their house. Somebody, I know somebody in this town who can be a connection for you, and we were just there for each other. And that awful clarifying stressful moment, really hammered home to me, how much our success personally and professionally is dependent on the people that we surround ourselves with.
Kara Goldin (19:15):
Absolutely. Yeah. And I think the community has become just huge, right? I think it’s, it’s really, there’s, there’s this trust that goes on inside of a community that I think, you know, we sort of vaguely kind of brush over, but I think it’s becoming more and more critical for where, I mean, I even see it as it relates to direct to consumer, and that’s like 50% of our overall business is direct to consumer. And so I’ll look at data around, you know, keto for example, and how there’s just this trust in keto communities on recommending that is so incredibly high. And yet, you know, you could live in a different part of the country. You can have a different socioeconomic background, you can be a different gender, and it really doesn’t matter because you both like keto and it’s just, it’s fascinating. And I think TheLi.st to some extent has that as well.
Ann Shoket (20:19):
TheLi.st is amazing to me, and I’ll just give everybody a little background. TheLi.st is a ten-year-old digital-first digital only community. So really such a pioneer in that space. If you think back to 2010, when it was founded like we, weren’t talking about digital communities and it is a group of high-impact women in media technology and entrepreneurship and business. And these I can, the first time that I joined TheLi.st and I watched the conversations go by and I was terrified to jump in. I described it as like double dutch like I didn’t know where to insert myself. And it was, everybody is so impressive. And it took me a while even to introduce myself to the group to understand. But I remember thinking that I had no idea that the depth of conversations that were being had on this community could be had among high-impact professional women.
Ann Shoket (21:19):
The women in my network, when I was editor in chief at Hearst, we were all lovely and friendly. And we saw each other at cocktail parties and maybe occasionally would call each other up and say like, hey, I’ve got this sticky issue. Probably not. But we were not in each other’s corners, the way the women of TheLi.st are. And in all parts of your life, right, from kind of nuts and bolts, transactional, who has a videographer that they can recommend for a project who know, I know there’s a, there’s a question that comes up all the time. I need an accountant, right? We’re always trading great financial advisors and accountants, but then conversations about aging parents and about children and about fertility and about deeply complicated issues at the intersection of ambition and life that are just mind-blowing to me, that women are having these conversations, giving each other trusted advisors. It’s it is so deeply rewarding just to be a member of this group.
Kara Goldin (22:21):
Yeah. And it, it, it really is. But I think I’ve thought a lot about this in particular over the last few weeks. And obviously, you know, I feel I have the same feelings that you do about TheLi.st. I mean, it’s, it’s just amazing what Rachel and Glennis, you know, built. And even, I think I joined 10 years ago, I think it was just getting started. So even every year it was getting bigger and bigger and, you know, growing, it was, it was just an incredible and the people that have joined as well are just incredible. But I think it’s just fascinating. And it’s just, it really speaks to this need that people have to have found, you know, you say TheLi.st and it’s just kind of, you’ve got people who are able to share about their parents because you’re part of TheLi.st.
Ann Shoket (23:11):
It is. You’re vetted. If somebody says they’re a member of TheLi.st, you’re like, okay, great, come on in, come sit.
Kara Goldin (23:18):
Can I have the name, as you said, can I have the name of an accountant, but also, can I share a story with you where I don’t know that you would necessarily share a story if you work with somebody. Right. You know, and it’s just in, it’s fascinating to me, it’s the same, it’s different, but it’s the same as these environments built around, keto, or built around, I’m a new parent and, and you see it in social and some of these groups anyway, I’m just fascinated by it. And, and the influence that these groups have too, and there’s this trust. And I think it’s, it’s amazing and super helpful on so many levels. And anyway, I’m, it’s where my head is a lot these days.
Ann Shoket (24:03):
I’ll tell you what I think is so hard about what you do, right? Like I’ve just been an admirer of yours and followed your career and read your book and listened to your podcast. And you have carved your path, a path that no one else you weren’t following, anyone else’s lead. You had a vision. You, you, you talk about how you kind of made it up as you went along, right. There was no clear-cut path. That is an incredibly hard thing to do. And you need support from other people who are doing really hard things, because there is no one you can turn to that has done what you have done and can say to you, Kara, this is how it’s going to go down because that doesn’t exist. What you need is a team of experts, a huge squad that is devoted to helping you achieve and succeed.
Ann Shoket (24:53):
And it can help you pick out some of those really complicated questions that only you, that you feel like only you are facing because you’re doing something so hard and pioneering. And that, to me, like, I think I suspect that’s what brings the people together in the keto community, right? It’s not everybody who’s interested in keto and they’re going there. They’re experiencing issues or questions that they need to be devoted to other people. So the fact that that to me is the power of community period. That’s that is when I was Seventeen. I felt like we were a community of young women who wanted to make our mark on the world. And when I say we it’s funny, I really didn’t see a difference. Clearly was not a teenager in that magazine, but I felt like they were my friends. I didn’t see a difference.
Ann Shoket (25:43):
I wasn’t trying to be their big sister, be there and to be there and be their mentor. I wanted to be their friend. And I felt like what they wanted most in the world was to make their mark on the world on their own terms. That’s where that, that’s where that on their own terms idea came from. And then with The Big Life, it was a community of young women who saw power and success differently. And they felt like they were fighting against other generations who didn’t see them as powerful and successful people who rolled their eyes. Oh, millennials. I can’t believe we have to talk about millennials again. And here they were millennials who are like, we are changing what it means to be powerful and successful in the world. Please respect us. And then for the, just to connect the dots from Seventeen to the bad-ass babes and The Big Life to New Power Media and TheLi.st, the women of TheLi.st, you and the women of TheLi.st are the icons of building a life on your own terms, right?
Ann Shoket (26:39):
You are the pioneers, you have been paving the way. (26:42) So it will be easier for the next generation of women who are coming up behind you to see they’re going to see a path for entrepreneurship and for entrepreneurship and having a family and a successful personal life, which is not frankly what a lot of previous generations of women have been able to show us. And so, so that’s how the dots of community and pioneering women doing hard things and, and banding together with other women to change the world and to make their mark on the world. That’s the through-line that I see in the work I do that connects all ages.
Kara Goldin (27:24):
I absolutely love it. You know, it’s, it’s interesting. It could probably even be a whole different podcast, but something you just talked about you know, the millennial generation, 70% of our workforce is millennials today. And I really thank the millennials for bringing things to the forefront, including the fact that they want to work in an environment they want to have, you know, some work-life balance, flexibility, mental health is doesn’t mean you’re crazy, right? That you’re a bad person that you need to be fired. You’re not going to be able to be dependable. All of these kinds of things I think are really, really important. What fascinates me about this generation is, and something I didn’t expect. So when my book came out, it was clear, you know, great for people who are entrepreneurs and starting companies. I started hearing from a number of millennials.
Kara Goldin (28:30):
I’m a gen X-er. And I started hearing from a lot of millennials who said, thank you for writing this book, because there aren’t a lot of female executives who are Gen X-ers, who are actually saying it wasn’t easy. And there were choices that I made along the way. And there were failures that I had along the way. And I never thought about that when I wrote this book and it’s something that’s kind of been sitting with me as a bit of a responsibility. There are a lot of men who have written business books who are saying, Oh, you know, I did this company. Maybe I, you know, made a few mistakes here and there, but for the most part, it was great. If you read my book, you’ll read that there are some hairy times along the way. And you know, thankfully it’s growing and everything’s great, but there were moments. I have four kids. I started the company with four kids under six. It was, you know, a choice, right. That I did that, but it wasn’t always easy. And I think there need to be more people that are telling the story, the gen X generation,
Ann Shoket (29:43):
It’s true. The transparency that millennials demand and have led is so inspiring and is so different than the culture that you and I grew up in. Like, I grew up in this idea of like, it’s all happy here, sunshiny, what do you mean? I just, I just fell into this lovely role running and 75-year-old iconic multi-million dollar magazine. Oh, it was a breeze. And the idea of that was a very, that’s a very general idea. It’s like, Oh, no sweat, never let them see you sweat. Right. Very gen X idea, but millennials want to see it all. They want to see the behind-the-scenes process. They want it, they want to see the stray hairs and the vets and the sweat. They want to see the sweat. They want to know that there was sweat. And I really appreciate that. I actually think that of the things you identified, the flexibility, accountability, diversity, and transparency are the amazing legacies that millennials have given us that we should, all, I did a Ted talk called. We should all be more millennial, which I really think is true. It’s for those reasons that they are, they are leading a change. That’s better for all of us.
Kara Goldin (31:03):
Yeah, totally. A whole group now that are also struggling with, you know, being inside of a house with, you know, and not knowing when they’re going to be able to go back to an office and where, you know, that person who sat in the desk next to them, it, they may not have gone out with them on weekends, but they actually miss them. Yeah. And there is, there is a big social network that exists of just going up and hitting the espresso button in your office. Right. That there that is, you know, it’s real, right. And I think that there’s a, there’s something that if, for example, you don’t have kids at home and you don’t have anybody that maybe you don’t totally relate to that, but when you don’t have that I think it’s, it’s really, it’s something that I think we all just need to be figuring out and be really, and again, it’s 70% of the workforce we need to listen.
Kara Goldin (32:02):
They need to, we may, you know, we could lead it, but at the end of the day, it’s not like you can say, just get over it. You know, this is the way it is. I mean, it’s a conversation that I think we need to have more of. So anyway, I could go on and on about it. It’s stuff that I, that I think about. I’ll think about it more this weekend. But anyway, I want to get back to you and talk more about this. So the New Power Media, I mean, you spoke a bit about, this was, has it launched in 2019, but now that you’ve jumped into TheLi.stand, and you’ve got an acquired right. Group of people that are awesome and great. What were, do you see? Like, what is the big changes that you see in the forefront?
Ann Shoket (32:40):
New Power Media was my way to walk my talk. I had spent my career talking about how it was my mission to help women step into their power and new power media was my way of saying, I want to create the opportunities and connect you to the jobs and the companies that want to see you rise, experts and thought leaders who are changing the conversation about power and success and influence for women. And TheLi.st is the ultimate expression of that of women who have stepped into their power. They are the thought leaders, right? This group of women told the thought leaders, and it is my job to elevate and celebrate these thought leaders to connect them to the companies that need their thought leadership that want to understand what are the themes that are at work for women.
Ann Shoket (33:45):
It’s interesting. In particular, we had a really dynamic conversation recently around the crisis that working families are facing now with millions of women out of work who during the pandemic have really felt crushed under the weight of the pandemic, been unable to navigate family and career. And however, those decisions may be made their way. And so many of the women who are leading that conversation in the world are on TheLi.st. And we were having that conversation on TheLi.st first, Reshma Saujani and Eve Rodsky and Amy Nelson at the Riveter. I wrote the cover story for parents’ magazine interviews.
Kara Goldin (34:35):
Which was so good by the way.
Ann Shoket (34:37):
Thank you. Thank you. Good. And interviewed Dr. Marianne Cooper, who was also on TheLi.st. She is the lead researcher on the lean in reports and women in the workplace reports. And we are all so focused on this next moment about what is going to happen to women in the workplace.
Ann Shoket (34:55):
But the point is that it’s New Power Media’s role to connect women who are leading these kinds of conversations to companies that need to hear about the crisis that women are facing about the kinds of solutions that are bubbling up. And so that’s the role that New Power Media will play in the mental health space, in the crisis facing working families in technology, the the experts we have the experts, and we want to connect them to the companies that need their expertise.
Kara Goldin (35:38):
I love it. So one of the things that I’ve you do is obviously you’ve had a great career path and you know, you’re, you’ve, you’ve really figured out what you want to do next. And I think so many people are in that space, especially in 2021, trying to figure out doesn’t matter what generation they’re a part of, but trying to figure out what do I do next? And, you know, maybe, maybe figuring out is it something in a different career? Is it you know, staying in the same career? I mean, what advice would you give to people who are kind of looking for their, their next step, their mission? I mean, what, what do you, what do you tell your friends? What do you tell people? You know, that may be your mentor, I mean, what do you think is the kind of the easy steps?
Ann Shoket (36:23):
So above my head here, which I don’t think you can see, I have no, I have a quote. Let me see if I hold on, I’m going to move my camera so you can see it. It says, be fearless, tries everything and doesn’t plan too much. And that has really become my mantra. That I am not a great big planner. I don’t have a five-step plan to get from where I am to where I want to be. I have, I have like a short-term plan and a long-term vision, but I really find that if you are curious and thoughtful and understand your needs, right, your needs for money or your needs for security or your need to be in front of other people that you can explore into new territory. And that’s what, that’s what feeds me is just the exploration.
Ann Shoket (37:20):
What’s next? What’s new. Where can we go from here? The curiosity is the curiosity. And look, I recognize that it can also be terrifying and fill you with doubt and make you and make you feel small and overwhelmed when you’re faced with the, what do I do next question. But I’m also of the philosophy that if you don’t try, to honor yourself, right? If you know that something is going to make you feel small or is undermining you, or makes you feel like it’s a slog that maybe you, maybe you can do it for a little while, but it’s not going to be long-term sustainable. And that you have to honor whatever it is inside you, that’s driving you in the end. That’s what matters the most
Kara Goldin (38:09):
Absolutely agree. And when you think about it, I love your small steps and just trying and it’s and I think that so often when we make things, when we think to ourselves, Oh, we’re going to go try something that we do build it up into first, instead of actually the small steps that you talked about, and really just going and trying and, and knowing. So I was saying to somebody the other day, I remember when my dad something I talk about in the book is he never really had the courage to leave his job. And he was of a different generation where, you know, when you were, can you imagine when you were 21 years old, if you graduated from college, that you were trying to make a decision for your whole life, right? Most people had one job, maybe two jobs, but you had to be able to answer a few questions.
Kara Goldin (39:05):
And I mean, how stressful that would be versus today. Right. It’s, I mean, it’s really, you know, I say this to my kids, I’m like, you just go figure out what you think you want to do, and guess what you can actually change. Right. It’s like, I mean, I know people who even went to graduate school, went to law school, medical school, whatever, and it’s just, it’s still, they still change. Right. And that’s, and it’s fine with everybody that you do that, which I think is just, you know, amazing people. I think to build, building this up to be, to think that it’s some giant decision is really often prevents you from actually trying so
Ann Shoket (39:51):
I love it. I’m sorry. I definitely tell you, I love the story about your dad, that even though he knew he needed the security of a job, and didn’t take the risk to be, to run his own business, that he was able to feed that entrepreneurial spirit, to launch new products and to create new businesses.
Ann Shoket (40:10):
And at the same time, recognize like he had a family that needed to be supported. I think there is such a drive these days for entrepreneurship, especially among young women who are, who don’t see a system ahead of them that honors them, right. They’re like, Oh, this is not, this system doesn’t work for me. And at the same time, it is terrifying to be an entrepreneur, right. It’s terrifying to jump. It’s terrifying to believe in yourself and to know that you can do it and to gather a team and to be okay with not getting it right. All of those things. And I think that that’s so true. There’s a lot of other ways to honor that spirit of wanting to carve your own path. That if you it’s okay if you can’t jump right if you can’t jump in with both feet, maybe, and maybe you will, in your next act.
Kara Goldin (41:03):
Yeah. And I tell people that all the time, I have people who joined hint and they have no interest in ever running a company zero, and they know that about themselves, but they actually love being in an entrepreneurial spirit. They love being a part of a team of people that is, you know, changing the world around health and around, you know, changing an industry. And they’re very interested in it, but they also don’t want to go raise money. They don’t want to get the phone calls on weekends, trying to deal with who knows what, right. But I always say to them, I think it’s amazing that you know that about yourself. Right. And you can actually still join a company and you don’t have to be the CEO of the company or in a C-suite role. And I think, I think that that’s another thing that if you think maybe you want to go do that eventually going and joining a company and trying to figure out what it’s like to, and being very clear.
Kara Goldin (42:13):
It doesn’t mean that you couldn’t, it’s just, it’s a choice. Yes. And more than anything. So, well, I’ve loved this conversation and, and we should, we should chat more and maybe we won’t get on a clubhouse one day and talk more about some millennial how to lift millennials and, and it’s right. I feel like a lot of that is, is still to be done and responsibility of the, of, you know, the generations while I’m still in the workforce. I think it’s something that I really do want to shed light on what I know and how I feel about it because I agree with you. It’s not, I think that oftentimes they do not sort of what they’ve brought to the system is pretty incredible. So
Absolutely. We can talk about our gen X angst. And millennials and gen Z.
Yes. I love it. Well, thanks, everyone. And Ann, where do people find you by the way?
Oh, you can find me at Ann Shoket on Insta, on Twitter. You can find TheLi.st at the LI dot ST,
Which is so great. Okay. Awesome. Well, thanks, everyone. And we’ll see you soon.
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