The Podcasts That Make Me Smarter

I started listening to podcasts to make it easier to run on the treadmill, one of my most hated things, yet something necessary if I am going to stay in shape on the road. These days, I listen to them while flying, while driving, and sometimes even while getting ready in the morning.

Here are some of my favorites. Please share yours!

The Knowledge Project by Shane Parrish.

This is the first ever podcast I listened to. The Angel Philosopher episode with Naval Ravikant is still one of my favorites ever, I have now listened to it twice.

Living It by Kelly DiNardo and Amy Pearce-Hayden.

This is a new podcast, started by my friend Kelly, a project that came out of her book Living the Sutras. I love the theme of “living life on purpose” and particularly enjoyed this week’s episode with Michelle Gielan.

How I Built This with Guy Raz by NPR.

These are interviews of entrepreneurs and how they built their business. I got turned on to this podcast because of an episode featuring Marcia Kilgore and her story about Bliss – and have been addicted ever since. The episode with the two founders of SoulCycle is also amazing.

Freakonomics Radio by Stephen Dubner.

This podcast definitely takes me out of my comfort zone and introduces me to topics I don’t typically think about. One of my favorite episodes is How to Catch World Cup Fever, from this past summer.

And here are some podcasts I downloaded but have yet to listen to…

Best of Both Worlds by Laura Vanderkam and Sarah Hart-Unger. I got turned on to this one after reading Laura’s book Off the Clock, which I loved.

The Business of Fashion. This is one of my favorite daily newsletters (I wrote about these here). I just need more hours in the day.

What are your favorite podcasts? And when do you listen to them?

Lindsay Crames, President, Beauty Fashion Sales Group

Twice a year, I visit with the fabulous Jeffre Scott in Charlotte, NC. There are many reasons why I love this bi-annual trip: the successful skin care events, the dinners,  the laughs, and the other industry leaders I meet there. Meet, and re-meet. A couple of weeks ago, thanks to another fabulous dinner on the eve of a fabulous event, I reconnected with Lindsay Crames. We first met in 2011, but it took this dinner (at favorite French restaurant Terra) and a great glass of wine for us to truly connect and embrace the fact that we are both women entrepreneurs in family beauty businesses. We both love our companies. We both forego work life balance. We both consider our fathers our mentors. And we both read James Patterson

AP: What city were you born in? LC: Miami.

AP: What city to do you live in? LC: Manhattan.

AP: What is your middle name? LC: Brooke.

AP: What is your astrological sign? LC: Cancer.

AP: What is something about you most people don’t know? LC: Sometimes I still think about my first love…

AP: What is your most prized possession? LC: My company.

AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? LC: Steve Jobs.

AP: Describe your fashion style in three words maximum. LC: Trendy, easy, comfortable.

AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? LC: I do not wear one.

AP: Diamonds or pearls? LC: I do not wear jewelry.

AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? LC: I like making my makeup look like my actual skin. I like to use liquids and creams. I used RMS coconut oil as a base to mix with any liquids, creams or powders to help give the appearance of younger, glowing looking skin. I also love Kevyn Aucoin sculpting powder for helping to define my face.

AP: What fragrance do you wear? LC: Jivago.

AP: Botox or not? LC: Not.

AP: Hair color: natural or not? LC: Not.

AP: What are your special diet tips, if any? LC: None.

AP: What do you do for exercise? LC: I run, sometimes…

AP: What are three things that you always have in your fridge? LC: Wine, diet coke, mozzarella cheese.

AP: What is your cocktail of choice? LC: Prosecco.

AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? LC: I do not have a work life balance. I work a lot!

AP: How many miles do you fly per year on average? LC: 50,000

AP: What are your three top tips for travel? LC: 1. Pack items that are light enough that you do not have check your bag. 2. Make sure all items are interchangeable and can make several outfits. 3. Do not travel with full size beauty products.

AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now. LC: Roar by Katy Perry, Amongster by Polica, The scientist by Coldplay.

AP: What book are you reading right now? LC: Along came a spider, by James Patterson.

AP: Quote to live by. LC: You are never done learning.

AP: What is your worst pet peeve? LC: Garbage that smells in my apartment.

AP: What time do you usually wake up in the morning, and how many hours of sleep do you usually get? LC: I wake up around 7:30 am and try to get 6 1/2 hours every night.

AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? LC: The people and the products!

AP: Least favorite thing. LC: A lot of people to please. Just as many opinions…

AP: Who is your mentor? LC: My father.

AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. LC: Do something that you love and then it will not feel like work.

BeautyView: Nicki Zevola, Founder, FutureDerm

At the young age of 28, Nicki Zevola, founder of FutureDerm, has already been named one of the top 30 beauty bloggers in the world. And that it just the beginning. Beauty blogger and skin care entrepreneur, Nicki is savvy, ambitious, and passionate about the beauty industry. She has a clear plan for her business, including the ever-important exit strategy, and believes in having it all, although perhaps not all simultaneously. Just don’t ask her what her middle name is…

AP: What city were you born in? NZ: Seoul, South Korea.

AP: What city to do you live in? NZ: Pittsburgh, PA.

AP: What is your middle name? NZ: Ha!  Wouldn’t you like to know. (Don’t mean to be rude – just don’t share this publicly!)

AP: What is your astrological sign? NZ: Scorpio.  

AP: What is something about you most people don’t know? NZ: Sometimes as a woman you can be underestimated or labeled a pushover when you have a pleasant personality, but I assure you, I can stand my ground.

AP: What is your most prized possession? NZ: My big, beautiful, curvy brain!

AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? NZ: The sentimental me would want to have dinner with my grandmother, who died when I was 9.  She was my best childhood friend, and I’d love to speak to her again as an adult.  The business-oriented me would want to have dinner with any of my favorite business mentors:  Jim Rohn (now deceased); Darren Hardy (publisher of Success magazine); Marissa Mayer (CEO of Yahoo!).

AP: Describe your fashion style in three words maximum. NZ: Classic, sophisticated, romantic.

AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? NZ: Not usually.  I’m very iPhone-based.

AP: Diamonds or pearls? NZ: Both.

AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? NZ: My FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5 Night Treatment, of course!

AP: What fragrance do you wear? NZ: A lady should never reveal her fragrance…but I do smell of gardenias nowadays.

AP: Botox or not? NZ: Someday. Not yet.

AP: Hair color: natural or not? NZ: Natural.

AP: What are your special diet tips, if any? NZ: I am a huge fan of Kimberly Snyder’s Beauty Detox Diet. I abide by it religiously five days per week – I literally lost nine pounds in the first two weeks, and I was small to begin with. It’s not just about weight loss, though – your energy flies off the roof! You start off each day with a homemade green juice for breakfast, eating again only if you’re hungry. You then move to a vegetable-based lunch – I’ve grown addicted to black bean pitas loaded with vegetables! Dinner is a little more lax, but you can’t combine proteins and starches, because they use different sets of enzymes to digest and it’s harder on your body. So I have protein with vegetables or starches with vegetables. I snack on fruit. During those five days, I avoid anything fried, white, dairy, or animal-based. It’s tough! But two meals a week, I eat whatever I want. I just started this a month ago and I hope to be in incredible shape in a few months!  

AP: What do you do for exercise? NZ: I run 3-4 miles five days per week. I also am training to be a certified Pilates instructor.

AP: What are three things that you always have in your fridge? NZ: Fruit that is in-season, asparagus, vegan butter.

AP: What is your cocktail of choice? NZ: A nice glass of Riesling.

AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? NZ: For me personally, I don’t believe in work/life balance. I believe you can have it all, but not all at once. If you have more than one priority, guess what, it’s not a priority! To do anything to the best of your ability requires focus – and being a 28-year-old woman who is unmarried without children, I am focusing on my career right now. So I’m building a beauty start-up, and plan to do so for the next 4-6 years, at which time we will exit by selling to a large skin care/cosmetics manufacturer. After that point, I want to concentrate on starting a family and securing a job as a part-time professor of entrepreneurship at a major university. I’d like to write books and teach classes, and do a lot of philanthropy.      

AP: How many miles do you fly per year on average? NZ: Too many! Probably 20,000.

AP: What are your three top tips for travel? NZ:  1. Use two carry-on bags. I’m quite petite.  So rather than lug one huge carry-on through the airport, I put a smaller handbag inside of a larger carry-on. While walking through the airport, I take the smaller handbag out so I can carry one in each hand to redistribute the weight; then, when boarding/on the plane, I simply zip the smaller handbag inside of the larger carry-on bag. 2. Carry extra shoes in a plastic bag in your purse while you’re walking around town. 3.  Schedule meetings far apart. When I’m traveling, I make one meeting in the morning and one meeting in the afternoon. Not only does it account for the fact that you don’t necessarily know how to navigate where you are, but it also leaves some breathing room for sightseeing, trying new restaurants, and visiting little boutiques. Sometimes it’s that breathing room spent while traveling that incites the best ideas.

AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now. NZ: Bruno Mars, “Locked Out of Heaven”; Taylor Swift, “Trouble”; The Script ft. Will.i.am, “Hall of Fame.”

AP: What book are you reading right now? NZ:  Finding Your North Star, by Martha Beck.

AP: Quote to live by. NZ: “If your mind can conceive it, and your heart can believe it, then you will achieve it.”

AP: What is your worst pet peeve? NZ: Negativity. Complaining. Being a part of the “Why me?” club constantly. I get that you can’t be happy all of the time, but you only get about 30,000 days of your life where you’re young enough to move around and old enough to know what you’re doing (and have the rights to do so). And that’s if you’re lucky. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and make the most of every situation.

AP: What time do you usually wake up in the morning, and how many hours of sleep do you usually get? NZ: I get about 8 hours of sleep a night. I’m no good to anyone if I  don’t sleep.

AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? NZ: My favorite thing about the beauty industry is simultaneously my least favorite thing about the beauty industry: There needs to be a revolution in the way products are marketed. Women have become more empowered and educated in the past four decades. In fact, one in five American households have women outearning their male partners. Yet the beauty industry still markets to women like they are schoolgirls, presenting us with glossy ads featuring 16-year-old supermodels claiming to use an anti-aging cream. Also, promising overnight results.  We need to start marketing to women like the intelligent, educated beings they are. And that starts with honestly teaching what skin care and cosmetics really can and cannot do.

AP: Least favorite thing. NZ: Please see above.

AP: Who is your mentor? NZ: I have a lot of mentors.  For business, I strongly trust the advice of Jim Jen, Larry Miller, and Frank Demmler of Innovation Works in Pittsburgh, PA; Alicia McGinnis of Audrey’s Kitchen in Pittsburgh, PA; Adam Lyons from Insurance Zebra in Austin, TX; and Randy Eager of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.  You need a lot of business mentors when you are building a startup!  For my personal life, I trust the advice of my mother; a few close friends; and the writings of Martha Beck, Jack Canfield, and Jim Rohn.

AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. NZ: Find your true voice and your true purpose. Stop the negative towards yourself – stop doubting and questioning and being mean to yourself. You are smart and beautiful and have merit, no matter what anyone has told you, and you deserve better. Stop being negative towards others. When you take the negative out of your life, there is so much positive left to think, say, and do. Create something worthwhile. Right now. Start now, start today. Inspire someone. Reach out and help others. Whether you believe you get one life or not, you get one life as you in 2013, right now. Don’t let a day go by and wonder where it went. Know the power of a day, specifically today. Turn it all around.

BeautyView: JuE Wong, CEO, Strivectin

One of the things I have had to learn as an entrepreneur is to introduce myself to complete strangers – people I know of and want to know, people who have no idea who I am. I always have to give myself a pep-talk before walking up to them (them usually being beauty industry executives, although I did walk up to Brad Pitt once), and then just do it. From those pep-talks have blossomed numerous wonderful and wonderfully useful relationships (sadly, not with Brad Pitt). At a recent tradeshow, something amazing happened – another beauty executive walked up to me to introduce herself. JuE Wong, CEO of Strivectin no less, had seen me a few years ago at a Henri Bendel event and wanted to connect. I loved being at the receiving end of this greeting, and already a new relationship has started to blossom…  

AP: What city were you born in? JW: Singapore, literally a punctuation mark on the world map!
AP: What city to do you live in? JW: Manhattan, a city I wanted to be part of since I was 12 years old. I remember looking out of my family’s 26th floor apartment and remarking to my mom that one day I would be living in the Big Apple. To which my mom smiled and said “yes you will.”
AP: What is your middle name? JW: I don’t have one as in the Chinese culture we don’t have middle names.
AP: What is your astrological sign? JW: Gemini.
AP: What is something about you most people don’t know? JW: I can be a couch potato watching marathon reruns of Law and Order.
AP: What is your most prized possession? JW: My Hermes Birkin bag that my late husband, Bob, ordered and paid for to surprise me for our wedding anniversary; when the bag arrived, he had already passed.
AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? JW: My late Husband. I took so much of our time for granted that only having lost him, I realize what I am missing…
AP: Describe your fashion style in three words maximum. JW: Current, classic, colorful.
AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? JW: Yes, a Rolex Oyster which I bought myself when I started working in 1989.
AP: Diamonds or pearls? JW: Diamonds.
AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? JW: Sleep. And StriVectin’s AR Night Treatment.
AP: What fragrance do you wear? JW: Unfortunately, I am allergic to fragrance.
AP: Botox or not? JW: Not.
AP: Hair color: natural or not? JW: Natural.
AP: What are your special diet tips, if any? JW: Wild Alaskan salmon.  
AP: What do you do for exercise?  JW: 50 sit-ups, 20 bench-presses, and walking 1 mile in 12 minutes, every day.
AP: What are three things that you always have in your fridge? JW: Apples, apple juice, and salmon.
AP: What is your cocktail of choice? JW: A virgin Mojito.
AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? JW: My dog; he needs me.
AP: How many miles do you fly per year on average? JW: 20,000 miles.
AP: What are your three top tips for travel? JW: 1. Keep a toiletry bag ready at all times. 2. Pack clothes you can mix and match. 3. Pack 1 pair of heels.
AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now.  JW: Fire in the Rain by Adele, 100 Years by Five for Fighting, and Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now by Starship.
AP: What book are you reading right now?  JW: I just finished Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.
AP: Quote to live by. JW: Regrets are not about failures but about things you never tried and wish you did.
AP: What is your worst pet peeve? JW: Tardiness.
AP: What time do you usually wake up in the morning, and how many hours of sleep do you usually get? JW: 6am, and about 8 hours.
AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? JW: The innovations.
AP: Least favorite thing. JW: Emerging brands losing ground with all the buy outs.
AP: Who is your mentor? JW: Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSN.
AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. JW: Take Your seat at the table, own it, and deliver on your promise.