She+ Geeks Out Co-CEOs Felicia and Rachel are interviewed by SGO team Fatima and Vienna on this very special 100th episode of the She+ Geeks Out podcast! We got INTO it… after 5 official years, and 7 unofficial years of working together, there’s a lot to reflect on!
Hear what we had to say on the following questions. Here’s to another 5 years!
- What have you been up to? How would you answer that 5 years ago? 3 months ago? Now?
- What’s been the most valuable advice anyone has given you?
- What is the most surprising lesson you’ve learned through SGO?
- What are some of the biggest challenges as a business owner that have come up? (Funding? Investing?)
- What does it mean to you as a business owner to celebrate the 5 year anniversary?
- How has your personal life changed over the last 5 years?
- What do you think the next 5 years hold? What’s next for SGO?
- How have you grown or changed as a facilitator? As an employer? As a person?
- What’s something you’ve had to let go of as a business owner, and how did it feel?
- What has been your most awkward moment?
- Peak and Pit- What has been the best moment of SGO? The worst moment?
- What are you currently geeking out about?
Did you like this episode? Subscribe, rate, review and reach out to us on the social media platform of your choice. Tell us who you’d like to hear from, ask us questions, or just say hi! View the full transcript below.
Felicia: Hi, everybody. Hi.
Rachel: This is Rachel Murray, co founder and co CEO of she geeks out. Pronouns. She, her, her
Felicia: This is Felicia Jadczak because I guess we’re sharing. Also co founder and co CEO also use the pronoun she her reporting for duty.
Vienna: I guess I’ll introduce myself. I’m Vienna DeGiacomo and I’ve never been on the podcast before.
Rachel: Welcome. Yay.
Vienna: Totally new voice. Pronoun she her hers. I’m a little familiar with the podcast, because I’ve been editing several of them.
Rachel: Thank goodness for you.
Vienna: Editing this one to make us sound as brilliant and wonderful.
Felicia: Excellent. And last but not least, who else do we have here?
Fatima: Yes, I am like I need to be like I am. Fatima and I use the same pronouns as Vienna. I don’t think I ever knew that I pronounce your last name. So I’m actually glad we did a full production cuz I don’t know what I was saying before, but it wasn’t what you just said.
Vienna: You know, we’re like a first name basis.
Rachel: It is true. It is true. And this is a very exciting episode because this is episode number one hundred.
Rachel: So we’re doing a special episode where Fatima and Vienna will be interviewing Felicia and myself. And Felicia, you should say what you said just before we started.
Felicia: Yeah, happy to. So, I mean, I think, in general, people who are listening at this point. Know that Rachel and I kind of prepped. A LITTLE BIT. WE SHOULD BE prep for all of our podcasts and so we typically send over questions and make sure it’s all good to go before we actually hit record. So because the roles are a little reversed this time around, Vienna and Fatima sent us questions last week. And I looked through them and I was like oh god I have to prep for this because I don’t know some of these entered off the top of my head. So I spent a little time this morning prepping and I have notes and Rachel has chosen to go the opposite way. So you know, and what I think is interesting is Rachel and I are very aligned on like 95% of what we do. So I’m really curious to see if this is where the 5% comes out and
Rachel: I’m excited to and I think what we agreed to. So if everyone hears foolishness answers. First we know why.
Felicia: Yeah, I’ll probably be going first and then that’ll give Rachel time to think about this.
Rachel: And maybe Vienna can like edit it so that I answer some of the questions.
Felicia: We’ll talk later about that. Alright. So we’re gonna toss it over to YouTube. Yeah, let’s
get to get it going and
Rachel: get this party started. Yeah, this awkward party started.
Vienna: That it will. We’re going to start it off with the same question that you pretty much start the podcast off with when you have guests. What have you been up to, what’s been going on?
Felicia: Yeah, so, um, let’s see today as of the
Rachel: End of June.
Felicia: 29 of june 29
Rachel: On each
Felicia: Page. Looks like I know the answer.
Rachel: I’m like,
Felicia: I know the answer to this question. I will jump in and say that I have been just busy, you know, doing all the SEO stuff. We are very busy with helping to support our clients and our community. And when I’m not working. I have been trying to get back into working out. And for anyone who has been a longtime listener. I used to be much more active than I am now. I pretty much described myself now as like a nine year old grandma who’s trying to get into water aerobics for the first time. So I’ve been trying to do a little bit every day easing into it again after not doing anything for a long time. So I’ve been meditating and doing something like some morning strength. Strength training and yoga.
Rachel: That’s why, that’s why you have that Walker in the background.
Felicia: Oh yeah, indeed. By the way, you know, you’re making fun but steve got me walking sticks to go.
Rachel: Those are actually really useful.
Felicia: I have them. I own them anyway. That’s me. What about you, Rachel?
Rachel: What have I been so it’s June 29. It is currently 11:46am Pacific Standard Time. Just in case something dramatic changes between now and when this is released tomorrow, the same work has been really intense. I think we went from when the virus hit. We thought things were going to slow down a bit and we’re like summer Fridays with like taking some us time and some reflection and, you know, we definitely still do for reflection. But, you know, with the death of George Floyd and so many others, and the protests coming you know, and I think a great awareness from our community and companies and as we all have seen, we have certainly the training side of things, has picked up quite a bit. So it’s been, I have turned into a salesperson. So, which is terrifying. But that is part of my job at this point, which is great and also supporting the community. And on a personal note I think for many of you know I moved to San Diego, California from Boston in December and I am very happy to live here. The weather is mostly very nice and the people are mostly very nice and the food is much too good. And so from an exercise standpoint, I’ve committed to a 90 day jillian michaels program, which I am on day 11 of so it’s going great. So that’s my, that’s my catch up.
Vienna: So, that’s awesome. I think since this is episode 100, we can do a little reflection and then say, how would you answer that question five years ago?
Felicia: Yes, this is one where I had to go back to the archives to look this up but I literally pulled up my Gmail, this morning, and I was like, June 2015
Rachel: That’s amazing. What was happening in your world?
Felicia: Yeah, so there’s a lot happening in my world. I gotta say so, June 2015 I would have just told my boss at my last company. My now friend Dexter. At VMware that I had that I was planning to quit. And so in May 2015 I’d gone out to California for a big conference that I was always part of and I had a very deep heart to heart with him, where I shared that I was going to be quitting to run SGO full time. And so, June I was basically in the middle of panicking about this fact that it was becoming real and I told someone that was important and was basically setting in motion the fact that I was going to be leaving my company. So it was no longer an idea. It was a reality. So I was doing a lot of budgeting and as Rachel knows I did a lot of budgeting where I was basically trying to figure out how to make this happen. And I didn’t end up quitting until the next year, but this is where it started to kind of come together. And so I was doing, you know, how much money do I spend right now, how much money do I need to survive. And then, how much money do I need to live comfortably and I was sort of trying to figure out what the, what the best intermediary there was. And actually, as I’m talking, I just realized that that is a slight ally. I didn’t just tell my boss that I was quitting. I was only still telling myself in my head at that point.
Rachel: Yeah, I don’t think I knew that.
Felicia: Yeah, so I was planning it mentally but I hadn’t actually told anyone yet. So, scratch that previous president has shared but in another sort of side note what was happening was Rachel and I were doing a lot of panels where she kicked out and until we were talking with groups like justice gals. And also, I was attending events like the Cambridge dance party and being in large groups of people with no fear of getting sick.
Rachel: Oh how times of what what how innocent. We were but
Felicia: It was an innocent time. And while I just went into my email.
Rachel: My personal email to do the same thing. I was like, what did I say when it was within a one week period of now five years ago. Well, one is so march of 2015 was when we rebranded and officially became a company. She geeks out so we sort of like officially got married in March, so we’re like post five years, which is great. We’ll see what happens in seven years. Get that itch. Personally, apparently I signed up for it. Weight Watchers at that time. So good thing. Nothing’s changed there really and yeah, I actually had another company that I was working on, which was you know passion for me but not something that was really sustainable and I’m really glad to have moved on from it to focus on this. So, that was me and summer of 2015 everything was pretty chill so yeah, that the world wasn’t quite on fire was an innocent time.
Felicia: 2015 was a very innocent time
Rachel: Obama was president. Nice. You could contribute to this. If you so choose.
Fatima: So amazing because hearing you talk like in the live session versus having you on the podcast is funny. So I have a lot of giggles which just hear me out of your audio. So that’s what I like your last holiday day but I think, you know, to be honest, we were thinking about the reflection question and what it will look like. How about your answer would be five years ago, what would it be three months ago because we know a lot has changed. And you brought up recent events, Rachel. So three months ago where y’all at and it really hit.
Felicia: It was a dark time
Rachel: Well, before Kobe, which I almost think is better like right before coven I mean we were like, we’re growing right we had a bigger team. We’re like, you know, we’re growing year over year. We’re really excited. 2020 is going to be this really exciting new decade. You know, I think we were just like we were like pumped for, like, what the future held for s geo and I just can’t help continue to think is, like, you know, make plans God laughs and like flourish and I are both huge planners and like we like to plan our events like at least six months out, you know, and that just doesn’t happen anymore. So it’s very different.
Felicia: Then what a. Now, I was just laughing because I was thinking five years ago when we were doing these events. And I still remember I forgot what it was, but at one point, Rachel had to sort of sit me down and be like, it’s okay to not be planning things out a year plus and then I was like, let’s get this going. Like, we know what we’re gonna be doing a year from now on the event side and then you’re like, it’s okay. We need some flexibility and I was like why we can just set it and forget it. It’s fine. Yes, we’re definitely planners and I think to, you know, to go back to the previous question to tie into this one. Or the previous sort of the five years versus the three months, you know, five years ago, it was just me and Rachel and we were both working full time. Really what it was is that we’re both working full time on other things. And she gets out with a side project. It wasn’t even really, I mean as Rachel mentioned, we had just sort of launched and we’d rebranded and formed the company. As of March 2015 so we were a company, but it was really a hobby, to be honest, it was a side thing. And so you know where we are today. And even as three months ago. It’s our full time livelihood and you know, we went from two people working together really closely for a very long time to having a team, having a larger team having a smaller team. And so, three months ago, I think it was, you know, before Corona hit. We were really on this growth track which was very exciting and then once Corona did start to hit. We were trying to figure out how to keep it going and how to survive. And so it wasn’t about how we grow this year. It was just how we make sure we don’t. It doesn’t all fall apart this year.
Rachel: Yep. Totally.
Fatima: Thanks. You too. I know like during those times. I was a bit nervous because I’m like I just started working with you.
Felicia: Really also, it’s like I just started working
Fatima: Yeah, have you
Felicia: Joined in January. Yes. We’re actually almost at your one year anniversary with us. The team, which is yes.
Fatima: I’m so excited. We made it.
Rachel: Wow. Let’s not
Felicia: Let’s see.
Rachel: We don’t know what’s gonna happen in the next three weeks.
Fatima: I’d like to have this on record that Felicia and Rachel have promised the team that we’ll be secured for the next five years will come
Felicia: Back for a little contract come from.
Fatima: We wouldn’t want to make it very clear.
Rachel: We would love nothing more than that. But, you know, if the Earth ends up getting swallowed.
Felicia: It’s a fireball hits the Earth. They don’t actually tracking down being like
Rachel: You know, people are talking. If there’s the murder Hornets. There’s a UFO there’s a desert like a man. It’s this
Vienna: The what math crocodile or sweet.
Felicia: Oh, I think.
Rachel: I have not heard of this. I can’t keep track of it.
Rachel: All right, being a share. And then, Felicia. You need to give the correct answer why all of this stuff is happening because you know what it is.
Vienna: That well in math gators I’m assuming as a Florida thing. I’m just based on what else I know. I mean, and yeah, I think, a bunch of alligators or crocodiles got into a math supply. I don’t know if this is a really a true thing. I definitely saw something about it on Twitter goodness CMS legit.
Rachel: I mean, if it’s on Twitter, it’s
Vienna: Like it’s 2020 that tracks.
Felicia: I mean, I’m pretty sure that this is a legit story that I’m not remember all the details, but they were like monkeys that escaped from a lab carrying a virus of some sort. And I was like, I didn’t. I watch this movie already, but it actually happened in 2020
Rachel: Well, I think. Tell us, you blew our mind.
Felicia: Yes, I will share. It’s not my original thought, sadly, but on the Twitters, which, as we just established is the source of all legitimate news. I saw a highly amusing thread which basically posits that all of the issues that we’re dealing with is the result of time travelers who keep excuse my language fucking things up and then traveling back in time to try and fix something and then they mess everything else up so everything that we keep seeing and you know how like for example murder hornets was all of a sudden like the new big thing we have to worry about. And then it disappeared. Time Traveler
Rachel: It makes so much sense to me. It literally is the only thing that makes sense to me.
Felicia: Oh, there we go.
Rachel: And podcast.
Rachel: Next question.
Vienna: Working on getting back into it. What is the most valuable advice anyone has given you?
Felicia: Alright, so I’ll start off again. Well, Rachel puts her thinking and I actually have two very standard answers for this. So I’ll just share both of them, which I know I’ve shared before in other places, but the first is a piece of advice I got from my first boss ever. And he told me that it’s okay to say that you don’t know something and it’s okay to make mistakes. And it’s better to admit that you don’t know something, and learn from that versus trying to fake it. So that has been something I’ve always carried with me. And then the second big piece of advice I got which has been really, really valuable was in Summer. No, it was in maybe fall 2015 because I don’t even know at this point what dates are anymore. As we’ve clearly established from my answer to the first question but sometime I believe in 2015 my former boss at VMware Julie Austin was telling me I was basically talking with her about different career options. I had different possibilities and I was asking her advice for what to do, and she had said at that point, you should do it. The third option which you didn’t mention, which is quit and do she became a full time and that was really it’s not even so much advice, but just permission that she gave me to really get all this sort of set in motion. So maybe that is what was happening in June 2015 I don’t remember. At this point, but there were two things that have been really impactful for me. And I remember being like, Oh my god, don’t quit. I’m not ready, like we don’t know if I know my life was like amazing do it and then Rachel was like the only people don’t do it. I was
Rachel: I was so nervous. I was like, so much responsibility.
Felicia: I was like I’m quitting. And then it took me a whole year.
Rachel: And I think, yeah, I mean, You know, I’m not great with this answer because I mean there’s one piece of advice that I like to give out. And I’m sure that it’s because I’ve heard from other people, but I can’t give credit to who it is, which is just like, and it sounds so frickin cliche, but it’s so true. And I like to give very specific examples for just being kind to everyone and not think that you are superior to anyone. Like, that’s just one thing. And then the other thing is, no matter how busy. It’s related like no matter how busy you get you are like answering your email like answering every single email like, don’t be that person that just doesn’t answer email like I will say, I get. I’m like, at a 99.5% rate of answering every email obviously not the spam, but like if someone actually legitimately emails you like just email them back, even if it’s to say like, thank you so much. I really appreciate this, this, I can’t do this for whatever reason. Like, it just makes such a huge difference. And then work really work like SEO related, I would say like quitting my other business was basically everyone but my lovely husband was like, You should really quit your other business to do. She gets out full time and Mark was like, no you work so hard on this. You put so much energy into this other thing you have to see it through.
Felicia: It’s a fair point.
Rachel: But I did I put a lot of energy in it, but sometimes it’s like the law of diminishing returns. So it means obviously I wanted you to also quit.
Felicia: You know, it was
Rachel: Really it was really. Yeah, there was the right course of action and when a friend of mine who actually wants she still I’m a serial quitter. And so I will like it if things don’t serve me. I’m happy to walk away from it. Like, I have no I’m that’s just not a hang up that I have. But, and because of that I have been called by a good friend of mine, she I remember once many, many years ago, she called me a quitter. It was the first time, so sort of called me out on that. And it was just, you know, whenever you can interpret that many ways, but she was someone that I reached out to that morning that I had called you Felicia to to make that choice. And she was like, you gave it a good run. Like you can let it go. And I was like, all right, if the person who’s calling me a quitter says to do it, then I think she gave the thumbs up.
Felicia: And I know we’ve shared it before in other places, but I’ll just repeat it really quickly. Again I had just had this amazing event in New York and I was headed back home before Rachel on the train. Rachel, called me or Rachel texted me and was like, hey, can we talk which, as I think most people know is one of my trigger phrases. It makes me so anxious and I start sweating immediately. And I was like, Oh my God, she’s gonna call me to quit. And at this point I was already full force ahead on she geeks out and I was nervous about it because Rachel was still running her other business and just trying to figure out what would happen. So I called and I was like, I’m in the car to train what’s happening. And she was like, I’m quitting. I was like, yay.
Rachel: I was like, I’m gonna do. Time. Yeah. I didn’t just say I’m quitting. Because, yeah.
Felicia: Sorry, I didn’t just say I’m quitting, because I would have freaked out. You said, I’m doing SGO full time. And I was like,
Vienna: Five celebration.
Fatima: Right. Can you imagine if I’m writing like when you’re in the library like you’re trying to laugh, but you can’t because you have to be quiet. You like have imagine you probably so much joy, but you had to keep
Felicia: An eye. I’m pretty sure Rachel was like okay and I was like, really.
Rachel: Like I guess she’s happy. Forget we ever said this, we have read
Fatima: This is awesome, just learning about YouTube and you all, both of you spend so much time together and I get to see how both of you are so much alike. So it’s funny when like one person answers something another person’s like, yeah. I agree, but I also think that because you spend so much time together. You’ve probably learned a lot of lessons, whether together or separately. So do your journey as business partners and also as to what you would say is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far.
Felicia: Yeah, this one was really hard for me to and
Rachel: I can go first. See, I could do it. I could do this. I can do, I could do this off the top of my head I read their
Felicia: Crap. Okay, Miss answered second for the best.
Rachel: Only because you can’t jump it in. No, I’m kidding. Blast one though. That’s true. Actually, no. That’s legit, legit have not read the question but I definitely had an answer for it. So what I learned. I learned. Yes. So I have had two other business partners and one wonderful life partner and I will tell you one thing that I learned because I will say, if you’re thinking about going into business. I’ve done it alone. I’ve done it with a business partner if you’re thinking of it. I cannot stress enough like how perfect this relationship is like having and here’s why me. Not only is Felicia like just completely like a good human like two hands down, like in the grid human club. But I will say, like, because I’ve also had business partners are in the good human club have someone who you feel like they will like they will like take a bullet for you, like, they will like they will officials, like that’s not gonna happen. But now,
Felicia: I’m just laughing because we’ve actually had this exact conversation before and I
remember jumping in. I mean like when
Rachel: I see. But I do it all metaphorically. Although I don’t know who knows but I like the importance of trust in a relationship. I think when you’re talking about a business relationship or a life relationship, whatever that is. Like Felicia and I have been working together really since 2013 it’s been seven years. Yeah. Almost seven Yeah just about seven years.
Felicia: I think it’s
Rachel: Maybe. Exactly, exactly. It might be. Yeah, because the event itself I think happened in like August or so, but we work. No, it was June. It was June. Oh my gosh. Happy anniversary. Um, yeah, so like having someone that you can really, really, really rely on is so important and it’s. And so if you are thinking about running a business. It’s very difficult to do it on your own. And it’s also very, very difficult to do it with other people. But it’s better for other people. If you are going to do it with other people. Make sure that you have a long relationship with that person before really really committing whether that’s like doing some projects, whatever. Like, I think it’s just so important to do that work ahead of time because it really is a marriage, like you are. And Felicia and I are 100% 5050 like it’s not and you know there’s no mistaking. This is a very equal relationship and it always feels that way. And so, yeah, that’s my. That’s my advice.
Felicia: Oh, thank you. I appreciate that. And I feel the same way. I do feel really lucky because Rachel just alluded to this, but when we first met in spring 2013. It was just a random thing where we were putting on an event, an event together. And we didn’t think it would turn into this. And I remember just being like okay, you know, whatever. And then when I met Rachel for the very first time she gave me a hug, and I wasn’t a hugger way. And I was like, okay, whatever, like
Felicia: Any ever again. I know hugging. Yeah, we’re back to full circle. But I was like okay, whatever, like whatever just doing this event. Okay, cool. Whatever. But it really just turned into a really great working relationship friendship, all the things. And so, you know, it really is like, I think I’ve said too many people actually that I’m pretty sure that Rachel probably knows me better than anyone else, including my family. At this point, just because we are like 24 seven just all the things and we’re sharing a brain and you know, we have a personal friendship. We have a professional relationship. We’ve been working with each other for so long and so it’s just been really rewarding to see that not only have it meshed so well but also we work at it, it’s not. It doesn’t always come easy and thinking about how our relationship has evolved over the last couple years has been really powerful as well to my answer for this question was I had different thoughts, where I was like, I don’t know. I don’t know. I was like, the power of community, question mark, people like me lol crushed and the value of what we have to offer a question mark. And then I wrapped up my question mark bullet list with how much it takes to replace that employee question. I think I like Rachel’s ANSWER BETTER. So I’ll go with it. Oh.
Rachel: That’s hilarious. And I’m actually glad that you mentioned the working part because that is the other thing about being in business with someone else. Is that you, it is you do have to work at it, it is not something that is just an easy thing, and especially as you grow. And there’s more people involved in more money involved and more decisions involved. It’s really important to make sure that you are being really communicative and really honest and also really respectful of what the other person’s coming from so yeah I got advice for days.
Vienna: It is really convenient that you share a brain and times like this question. So, alright, so you alluded to a little bit of some of the challenges that you faced but looking back over the last five years. What were the biggest challenges as a business owner that have come up and I’m sure you can go all the way back to like the beginning with funding or within the last three months of everything else, but I’ll let you decide what’s really biggest.
Rachel: You know, I’m happy to wing it. But go forward, Felicia.
Felicia: I’ll start us off. I mean, I actually had a couple different ideas for this one because I think that you know, it’s not like, oh, this was the biggest challenge. They’re all important and impactful in our own ways. And I think, you know, with the coronavirus and sort of the last. However, many months, three, four months that we’ve been dealing with here in the US in 2020 I want to almost carve that out and put it aside because that’s a whole other thing to do. A whole other episode but besides that, I think that when we were first starting out funding was really challenging for us.One thing that we’ve always sort of, I think, been proud of at least I’ve been proud of is the fact that we’ve never put our own money into she gets out and we don’t have any outside investment.
Rachel: Nor did we put any of our parents money either too. Because everything has been client.
Felicia: On day one, which is really unique and it’s not a story that you hear very often in the startup space. And so the story that more commonly is out there is, oh, you know, I went for my angel investment and my series a round and that this and the BC to do that. And we definitely tried to do that at the beginning and we very quickly shut down and it was not a thing. It was not really an avenue that was open to us. And we were in this sort of unique position because we started with events. We were always making money in some way. And so we kind of use that money to get us started, and you know the other thing that I don’t really think I’d ever thought about, because unlike Rachel, I had never started a company before and while my parents were in business for themselves. It was just a totally different industry and a different sort of set of experiences. And so I just hadn’t even realized that, like, it takes money to start a company like you have to file paperwork and like to pay people things and there’s lawyer fees and all sorts of stuff and so we were lucky to be able to do that with the she geeks out money that was already there. And we didn’t have to pay for it ourselves. So I think that was a big challenge in the beginning, I think a current challenge is dealing with our various cats, if they like to wander into our workspaces, as we work from home. But other than that, and I’m joking. Because the original just got zoom bombed by her by her cat Monte I think the other two major challenges that came to mind when I was thinking about this question, we’re I think just in general and getting taken seriously as a woman owned woman centric company. You know, we definitely got a lot of sort of, I don’t know, push back right way right right word to describe it, but you know, I felt I still feel that in a lot of ways, especially in the earlier stages of our business journey. We just weren’t taken seriously because we’re two female founders in the beginning before we brought in the training piece to what we did. It was very women focused and women centric. And so it was kind of like, oh, whatever, like, have fun doing a little event over there, you know, come talk to me when you develop an app or whatever and I think that was a big challenge for us. And then I think the final challenge was pivoting, in a sense, to bring in the diversity, equity, and inclusion training because it was something that we didn’t start off with when we first started shaking out. And when we started doing the training in 2017. We already had a few years under our belt and we had really good brand name recognition and really good feedback. For our work in the community event space. And so, you know, that was definitely something where we worked really hard. To not just only deliver the training and sort of put it out there, but also to put our voices out there and explain why anyone should listen to us. And why we were you know we were in this space and why we were doing it and did 2017 I really remember is like a year where we sort of just really focused on that and established ourselves in the space. And so I think those were sort of the major challenges beyond 2020 which is holder should show
Rachel: Yeah, I agree with all of that. And I would just add that with growth. You know, I, I’ve had some experience managing people think flush had a little bit of experience but there’s nothing like managing people when it’s your own company and you know there’s, it’s just it’s a completely different. It’s like a completely different skill set, almost. And so I think for us just learning while we’re literally teaching you know, we’re so we’re educating ourselves trying to educate other people in this space, you know and and i think that you know it’s great it’s it but it’s, it was, it’s hard. You know, people are everybody’s different. And everyone comes to the workplace in a different way and shows up in a different way. And it’s been for me. I was just really speaking for myself. Just a wonderful like truly, truly wonderful like learning experience just trying to just be a really good support system while also, you know, working on growing the team and also the, the, the company as well. I think for me, that’s probably been like the biggest challenge. Yeah, you know, but I love a good virtual. I thought I wasn’t going to go to any of the events anymore but the coronavirus head now I’m like a metal or of our events. So that’s nice.
Fatima: Awesome. That’s amazing. So with all of the challenges I know you’ve probably had some many wins, not just some and one of them and we kind of talked about is that you are five years young and strong. Right. So as we’re celebrating that, what does it mean to you as business owners to celebrate this five year anniversary?
Felicia: Yeah, I, I love this because we’re a little complicated. And we have a couple five year anniversary so I want to just kind of go through them. So we’ve already touched on this a little bit already so I don’t think people will be surprised by this, but the first five year anniversary, that I think of as a business owner is actually June 2018 so two years ago. And that was the anniversary of our very first event where we basically put on an event and people actually came. So that was the first kind of anniversary. And what we did in June 2018 I feel was really special. Because when we launched she gigs out as she works out the business that was in like, March, April of 2015 and we had a couple sponsors. One of them was Kobo labs, which is still in Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. And so they were actually the sponsors of our June 2018 event. And so they just went all out and they were like, You know what, we’re going to really like to celebrate the fact that this is the five year anniversary of you coming together and having a community for people in the Boston area. So that was a really special moment and a special time that I remember very fondly. We had a lot of rows, say we had a cake with our faces on it. A ton of people really good, good stuff. And so that was really great. The other anniversary, which I think is more meaningful in the sense of us as she takes out the business itself is March 2020. So March of this year, also known for coronavirus in the US. But for us, it was our five year anniversary of incorporating as a business. And so I think that was a really big deal for me because there’s a lot of research out there that says that over half of new businesses fail. During the first year alone. And I did a little bit of research this morning, and it shows or I should say it shows the US Bureau of Labor Statistics did some research around this and said that approximately 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open 45% during the first five years and then 65% during the first 10 years and only 25% of new businesses make it to 15 years or more. And so I my god there’s so much pressure. I know, I was like, I thought we made it, but I guess we made it harder to do. But I really felt like once we hit march 2020 it also kind of put us out of being a startup quote unquote into being a small business, and we have made it past those other companies that may have fallen by the wayside, so that’s that’s what it’s meant to me.
Rachel: Yeah, I mean, I don’t know if I have that much more to add, I just, I agree with everything that you that you said. You know, I’m so grateful to be able to have the opportunity to, you know, have a quote unquote have a job right like whatever we made this job, but like, have this job that I genuinely believe has tremendous impact and I love seeing our journey from starting out of being like, we’re going to be in a political group that helps women in tech. That’s just, you know, help folks get some jobs and like that to, like, no, we are going to be very clear in that we believe that creating inclusive spaces is just so important in every sense of the word, and like just being able to you know, wake up every day and be like, wow, not only do we get to do this. But then we also have this fantastic team that we get to work with who I just am so grateful for and have this wonderful community and our ambassadors and in our clients you know just just so committed to making the world better. It’s like it is. It’s incredible. And I’m just very grateful. So like just seeing that transition in the past five years just that’s just been awesome.
Vienna: That’s awesome. And honestly, I mean just kudos to the company that you felt it was really exciting for me to join a team that I think really works so hard to serve people in such a beautiful way and help them create spaces and careers that they only dream of. So well done.
Rachel: Thanks for being a part of the team.
Vienna: I live here.
Rachel: And not literally pay you to say that. We both did something at the same time. What did you say, Felicia.
Felicia: Oh, I was saying we’re not coercing her to say that
Rachel: Oh my god, I said, We’re literally not paying her to say
Vienna: I will take my check in the mail.
Rachel: It’s direct deposit. So, you know.
Vienna: That’s true. Alright, so we talked a little bit about the business side, but let’s get real personal. Your personal life changed over the last five years. I feel like Felicia got way more personally right now, so I’m gonna put myself on mute.
Felicia: Okay. Well, I guess I’ll start there. Okay, so five years ago, I was living with a roommate that I used to be friends with in high school and thought that that meant that we will be friends as adults in their 30s and realized after she moved in. And that was not the case.I was living in Somerville, and I used to go rock climbing at Brooklyn boulders all the time and trying to be very hipster. I did not own my cat yet. I did not have Sean, like a cat in my life, which is really where they had mom, there’s a cat. Mom, you’re right. I was, I don’t own him. He owns me, if anything,I was trying to date a chef long distance and I say trying that was failing really hard at it, but working real hard to make it happen. I was also going out a lot dancing at clubs that don’t exist anymore in the Boston area. And so where I am today I live a little bit, not, not too far away, but I live in Medford, I don’t really go out anymore because first of all Corona, but also, I’m like an old lady now and I can’t stay up late anymore. And I have a lovely fiance. Steve, who I mentioned earlier, who is not a chef, but basically has become my personal chef. And so he just cooked for me all day every day. I’m a little fatter than I was in 2015 and all my clothes but much happier. I think
Rachel: Oh, so nice. I love Steve, I’m a big fan. Good job, and those scones. He got that one day in the
Fatima: Honest, I now see that’s
Felicia: That’s the downside of us not being and spaces.
Fatima: Jerry, Jerry.
Felicia: I can’t, I can’t give away the food they make, so I don’t eat it and you can’t eat the food, unfortunately.
Fatima: And I was going to ask the chef that you are dating the day long distance with the day send you food sometimes
Felicia: We don’t have time to go into this sorted okay, my, my data very short answer is no. I managed to get him to cook for me like once and it was not good. And he ended up moving back to Massachusetts and I thought I had one whatever game. I was playing at and it did not work out, let’s just
Fatima: Keep it short. Okay. Well, Steve, thank goodness. Right.
Rachel: And yes, I have. I have been with Felicia through
Felicia: Through all the ups and downs that will not all
Rachel: Allow a lot of time and I’m just really, really grateful that you found a good one because you were not dating good ones. So, good job.
Rachel: Yeah, so I’m actually turning 45 in a few months. So I five years ago was like turning 40. Gross. No, it’s fine. It’s awesome. The alternative is worse. I know the team was literally like her head.
Fatima: Like we have to ask the question about internalized ages.
Rachel: So real. That’s why I had to stop myself because I was like, No, this is amazing. So a big difference. Personally, I’m growing my hair out grey and it’s very exciting. Been going grey. I’ve actually been great for like 20 years so I’m stopping dyeing my hair, thanks to the pronouns like, oh, I don’t need to. This is one of my other ways of smashing the patriarchy. Thank you for Fatima for clapping.
Fatima: Great. I do that, I’m excited. I’m excited.
Rachel: And I realized that it’s going to take. Probably the by the time we have a vaccine is when it’s all going to be great because it’s a, it’s like a 12 to 18 month process. So what’s your process? I moved. As I mentioned earlier, I’m in San Diego. That’s probably the biggest life change. So happy, really, really, really so happy. And we’re buying a house, which is also great because apartment living without any Windows that open is not great during the Rona. So really, really looking forward to having some outdoor space. So those are the big changes in my life and my and my husband is just, he’s just getting better with age. I just love him more and more every day. So that’s nice.
Felicia: He’s also a good one.
Rachel: He is a good one. He is
Fatima: I don’t know anything about wine because I don’t drink. But what’s the saying about wine you get fine what it gets better.
Rachel: Kind of get better with age.
Fatima: There you go. There we go. It’s like, well, I can’t change. Yeah, she’s wine and cheese.
Not all to not the craft American.
Rachel: Actually. Ever.
Felicia: That stays fresh forever. Actually, even if you unwrap the plastic.
Fatima: Alrighty. So how have you grown or changed as a facilitator as an employer as a person? I know both of you are sort of our heads of each part of our company, Rachel, your head of community police you’re ahead of training and sometimes you both do both well yeah anyway. So yeah, what does that look like for you. And even as a person. Have you grown?
Felicia: Yeah, I mean I think it’s just so funny, because when we initially started doing these events, way back when.Our roles were split, but more just focus on the Community side. And so I used to handle all like the sponsor relationships and Rachel was more on the, you know, actual people community side and doing a lot of the same work that she still is supporting us with the financials and the legal stuff and all the stuff that I don’t like to think about very much. But we didn’t have the training part of our business. And so that’s been a huge area of growth, I think, for me at least. I was doing some stuff like public speaking and talking about this. These topics are on di diversity, equity inclusion in my old job but it wasn’t my job and it wasn’t something I was trained in or had a lot of experience in and I was just kind of talking and speaking up because I felt like it was important. And so I went from that to actually doing this work. You know, sort of full time. Really being a facilitator, working with groups, understanding how that work plays out and understanding more about myself. And so I guess I’ve just really learned a lot about who I am personally and how I show up in phases and the value that I can bring to these conversations and I think so as well. We’re talking about the transition in terms of our small two person team to a larger team. And I think that experience has really helped me gain confidence and sort of helped to understand a bit better as to not trying to be perfect in any way, but just be really clear about you know what each of us has to bring to the table and how we can support each other. That’s so nice.
Rachel: I think for me, when I think about five years ago versus now. I think the biggest difference and you know I’ve said it before, it’s I know it’s a little tongue in cheek, but it’s the reality is, like, you know, I have discovered my whiteness, you know, I like I really have. I mean, you know, I don’t want to thank Trump, but I thank him for that. I think I just didn’t have a good awareness of it, despite my upbringing, which was, which was, you know, I was. I didn’t grow up in a in a particularly white neighborhood at all.
Rachel: But yeah, I think that doing this work and just being honest and being vocal and trying to use my privilege to speak up and recognize that you know we do have a community and, you know, we, and it’s not the largest community in the world. No, that’s fine, but we have some privilege and we have a voice and, you know, and I’m just I think I went from a Felicia nose. I do not like public speaking, I did not like public speaking. I also have to reframe that too because I’m obviously more comfortable with it now than I certainly was five years ago, but I think I’m trying to be more comfortable with it. With just, you know, owning who I am and and trying to yeah, just use my voice for good. I think that’s probably the biggest change in growth over the past five years. And then from an internal company perspective. Yeah, just like doing my very best to try to live by the like.The platinum rule versus the golden rule, which I love. So for those who are listening who don’t know it’s the golden rule is treat others the way you want to be treated the platinum rule is treat others the way they want to be treated. And that’s just such a powerful mind shift. I think especially when you’re an employer. So yeah, just continuing to grow and help and not be an asshole.
Felicia: Yeah, can I share something really quickly on that note, so it’s really this whole conversation has been great to make me think about just really reflecting where we started from, and where we are today. And so I think it was one of our media was like our third event that we ever ran Rachel.
Rachel: Retell the story.
Felicia: All so fun. And at the time, it was actually three of us. It wasn’t just the two of us. There’s another woman Nicole, who was helping out as well. And so, and she was like, not into public speaking and
Rachel: He wouldn’t even lower the registration. God bless.
Felicia: She was happy to hold down registration so original email and was like, I can’t handle this. Like I
Rachel: didn’t scream it. Why do you always make it out like I script, how
Felicia: I interpreted it in the email from my experience. I forget. Maybe you had just started your maybe you would just quit your other like big, full time job and you started your others.
Rachel: Yes, you.
Felicia: Quit For she gets out. And so I was like, Yeah, I’ll PUBLIC SPEAK and it was just so funny because you went from being like, I don’t want to public speak at all to being like okay, I’ll come in for raffle prizes only and then that was like your big thing you were like, I love doing the raffle prizes and then now you’re just like out there doing all things. It’s great. That’s true.
Rachel: Don’t remember screaming about it but I probably
Felicia: Know it was definitely I’ll have to see. I don’t know if I can even find the email at this point, it’s probably my old
Rachel: That would actually be amazing if you can
Felicia: Find that email but there. I remember a lot of like exclamation points which is definitely your jam anyway but
Vienna: I love that growth over the last five years. Um, so, switching gears a little bit, what’s something that you’ve had to let go. As a business owner, there’s definitely a lot of ways that you’ve grown. But is there anything that you’ve had to either on the work or expectations or anything like that. What’s something that you let go.
Rachel: I mean, I can go first. With this one, I think right now again for the planning thing like Felicia and I are both huge planners like really, that’s like we’re planning McLain service that’s just how we roll. So I think letting some of that go has been really huge. And then I think also an expectation setting. I’ll never forget. We got a business coach. I think like when we first started offering the training and the coach, sort of walked us through like a dream. Annual like revenue amounts which in retrospect for any business is paltry like tiny and I literally cried. I was like, there’s no way we could ever make it. This is really tiny. And like a relatively tiny amount of money. It’s more money than I could ever imagine making as a business and like letting go. I think of those fears of success and like the idea that we actually deserve what we’re bringing in because it’s a value to people. I think that mind shift of like oh, I’m just so grateful that anyone is deigning to work with us. Shifting to know we actually provide some pretty significant value. We work really hard. We’re bringing years of experience. We’re really dedicated, we’re really. You know, there’s a lot of pluses and that’s what people are paying for. And we are head and shoulders. I think, you know, top notch in that, especially when I look at other companies and the way they work in the world. And so I think that mind shift has been tremendous.
Felicia: Yeah, that’s definitely, I agree with that. And in that moment, and that sort of journey we’ve taken has been really powerful tool because whether it’s just our personal backgrounds or the fact that we are both women who came from the tech industry, which is not necessarily super supportive I think it was, there was a lot of imposter syndrome and be like, Oh, we’re so lucky. It’s like, no, we work really hard for this, we did the other things I’ll add to what you just shared Rachel are one thing I love about you is that you have a lot of ideas. it’s really great. In a lot of ways. And then part of me, my little orderly plan full soul is like so many ideas. So in general, we’ve had a lot of different things come up over the years. And there’s certain things that we’ve had to let go up here and there. And that’s been tough. And again, sort of tying it back to the business journey like realizing that sometimes, something is really fun or really awesome or it makes a lot of sense. Sort of like from a soul perspective, but from a business perspective, it doesn’t. And that’s always a really hard tension to hold and so there’s been things that we’ve had to put aside that we’ve really loved And so that’s been one thing and then I think the other thing, and I guess this ties back a little bit to what you were sharing, but just in general, like the idea that we have to be perfect. Because you know like you look at some of the other companies that are out there are these people that are out there and you’re like, they’re not perfect and they’re doing. They’re doing just great. And so I think owning that idea of imperfection, and being vulnerable and transparent about it has been really really powerful about that. And I think in general, from a personal standpoint, like I’ve always really strived for a lot of different reasons to be perfect and just realizing that in some cases is just, it’s literally not physically possible and if we were to work you know 24 seven, literally, then maybe we could be perfect. But there’s other things in our lives that we want to do. And so it’s okay like we’re still going to do a really good job. We’re not going to slack off on stuff, but that it doesn’t have to be completely you know utmost perfection.
Rachel: Well, and also like realizing that sure we could try to work you know 15 hour days every day for the foreseeable future, but we know that we would burn ourselves out and also would be setting the wrong expectations for the other lovely people that are on this episode. So, you know, we, I think for us to show up as our best selves. We have to be able to give ourselves some grace and some space. Not that I did that this weekend, but it’s fine. Every weekend different
Fatima: Oh, those are such great responses is just hearing what you had to let go of but also realizing, like how personal beliefs and ideas, sort of, sometimes seep in the professional world. And how do you sort of separate that sometimes you can’t because you bring yourself to work. And so what does it look like to unlearn those things. And so with that, I know you probably didn’t just wake up and was like, I’m going to let go of the belief that we can make money or I’m going to let go of the belief that we can’t be perfect. And in those moments where you are and learning and growing. I’m sure you probably have some awkward moments. Maybe there were moments related to some of those things that you just shared or other moments. So what would you say has been the most awkward moment, especially being like the CO CEOs of
Felicia: This one was easier for me to answer then. So the other questions that you gave us. Um, yeah, I have a couple that came to mind very quickly. Sadly, a couple years ago we were running an event at a company. And as I was talking, I heard this collective gasp of horror, because what happened was I put my laptop down and and not great place and it basically was like sliding slowly backwards off the podium, like a horror show and two people were like screaming and so and I had no idea why I thought they’re just gasping and delight at the things that I was saying to them. My laptop still has a dent in it, but it still works. So that was great. I also remember one moment that just comes to mind is, we were doing an event in New York. It was a happy hour. And so when we started out, we were just in Boston. And then we started doing events in New York in the fall, winter of 2016 and so this was a new company, we’d never worked with them before it was mostly people in the community who came to the event that we didn’t know and so we were just kind of gathering everyone together and sort of introducing ourselves and Rachel and I have, you know, as you may imagine, at this point, I’m pretty pat shtick that we kind of try it out. We’re like, Hey, I’m so and so I’m so and so. Ba ba ba ba ba. And so I started this off. And I was like, hey, I’m Rachel Mary Had to stop and laugh my ass off because I was like, first of all, I see that wishful thinking. Probably. Secondly, if I had kept going, they wouldn’t have known. And in retrospect, I kind of wish I just kept going and then I don’t know if you would have liked to do it to Rachel. If you would have jumped in and like I’m Felicia jobs act that would be hilarious. But I really had to stop and be like, I’m not Rachel, I don’t know why I said that you don’t know me, but that’s not my name. Okay. Very terrible, and I think the last one that came to mind was when I started doing training. Because I use Mac products and I have an iPhone, and I have a Mac laptop. It’s all synced up together. And I still remember one of the very first training sessions I did. I started getting text messages from someone that I was dating and they were popping up on the screen. It only like only one or two popped up before I shut it down really quickly. And luckily, it was nothing bad, but I was just like, I’ve learned I shut everything down now and I do trainings by
Rachel: My God, I love that all of our just related to public speaking, because you know the one I’m going to give
Felicia: I hope so.
Rachel: Yeah and we still are unsure exactly which one it was. We have different viewpoints. I was convinced that it was one of them to convince someone of a leer. And I honestly don’t remember.
Felicia: It was both.
Rachel: It was probably both let’s be real, where I’m Yay, I love public speaking. So I’m going up and I’m talking and foolishness right there with me. And I’m like, Hey, everybody. And it’s a lectern, right. And so there’s a microphone social like literally like laughing right now so hard told the story like a million times like, there’s like a light at the lectern and there’s a mic at the lectern and I’m totally 100% just talking directly into the wind. The light using that light as a mic is so hard. I’m probably not holding on to it, but I’m deep into just talking it right into that light and then Felicia just turns them into like Rachel, you’re talking into the light. I’m in front of like 100 people. And I just think that that is really that really embraces the awkward. That is
Felicia: I know it was. That’s my most favorite memories and yeah, we’ll have to just. If only we could really go back in time and figure it out, but maybe Amazon maybe was both. I don’t know, but I just remember looking over because no one could hear you. That’s, I wouldn’t have
Rachel: Said, yeah.
Felicia: Just that there
Rachel: Were just
Felicia: Talking away and I was like,
Rachel: I love lamp. That’s why I moved to San Diego. That line and the anchorman movie. So that was definitely like tops in the awkward camp, but I am sure I’ve also done a lot of other things. Can’t think of right now, but that’s number one.
Vienna: That is amazing. I’ve never heard that story before.
Rachel: Oh, you’re welcome.
Vienna: I really loved it. So thank you for sharing that the most awkward. Alright so this next question is something that we do in my family every night at dinner, I ask your peak and your pit. So your peak. What’s been your best moment in your pit. The worst moment of being part of SGO
Felicia: Yeah, this was hard, because I actually had a couple peaks. So, and, like, a bunch of them. I’ll just run through really quickly. Some of them we’ve already talked about. So I think the event that we had in, I want to say, March, April, whenever it was in 2015 when we. So actually let me backup a little bit. So when we first got together. We were branded as the Boston girl geek dinners. And so that’s how we were known for what is it like a year or two before we rebranded? And so at that point we had a lot of really good credibility. People knew us and we had a lot of sort of behind the name. And so when we decided to form a company and rebrand as she gets out we were really nervous about it because we weren’t sure if people would appreciate it. Or if they would hate it or they would hate that we were company and all this stuff and so when we had this event. It was like we kept hyping it up by being like, Oh, it’s going to be a big surprise big surprises coming to this big surprise and so that was probably. I think the only event that I’ve ever felt like I was going to be physically ill. And I was, I remember Rachel checked in with me beforehand was like, how are you feeling? And I was like, I think you’re gonna throw up well. I don’t feel good about this and it was just the opposite. It was just such a wonderful event and people were so excited about the name and everything was going on and no one had any ill words to say about our new venture. That was a really amazing moment. I think one or two other ones where we had our very first event or I should say not our very, very first event like one of our first real big events in New York City. With digital ocean and it just had such an amazing feel it really made me think both Rachel and I feel like we were back in June 2013 and Boston and then we already shared the story but Rachel quitting her startup on the train ride was like, yay. That was a moment for me because at that point I had been full time on SEO for like a couple maybe two months or so and you know it was definitely a huge shift in my life and I knew Rachel was really committed and supportive, but it. There’s nothing that can replicate having someone be full and all in with you at the same time on the same project. So that was a huge moment for me personally. But why don’t I pause there? I’ll pass it over to Rachel to see where her peaks are now we can talk about our pits.
Rachel: Yeah, those were all. I agree. Those were huge peaks. Also, and yeah, that New York event that you mentioned was the night before I had called you on the train, that’s where you’re going. That was that particular event was that and just remember so clearly like November 30 2016 so clear in my mind. And yes, that was also huge everything you said was huge. I think, honestly, and I know it sounds a little might sound a little corny, but it’s really true, and no fellowship feels the same way anytime we ever ever get any sort of email from someone or any sort of feedback, where they’re like I wasn’t going to come to this event. I was really feeling low and ever was. And this event made me feel so good. I felt like I really found my people like I just felt I felt so connected anytime we get those things like, Oh, right. This is why we do this, period like this is why we do this, like, to me, those are all peaks.
Felicia: Yeah, and I think Rachel and I are both in the same boat whether it’s virtual or in person, a lot of hundred like, ooh, I want to go. Totally
Rachel: Like, like I have no desire to ever go to any of it. I hit an event. So Butch and then we can go to the event. And we’re like, oh my god, is the best thing ever.
Felicia: And we’re always like, especially when it was in person. I remember we were just like, Okay, so I’m going to leave right after the last speaker, because like I just want to go home and I’m really tired and then we’re like closing down the space. Yes, you have to leave. For yeah so that’s also been really wonderful and just yeah just hearing from people. It’s, it’s, you know, again, like I think everyone wants to know that what you do is important, but really hearing how what we’re doing can literally change someone’s life. And I know that sounds so like pretentious, in a way, but it’s true, and it can really change people’s lives like whether it’s they met someone who’s a friend or a connection or whatever else, or they had a terrible day to change their day or they got a job or whatever it is. It’s just been really powerful. Yeah pits. I mean as a small business, there’s all sorts of stuff. And I think Corona again a whole different conversation that’s I think that that second weekend march was probably really hard in terms of the worst moment of SGO. I think the other worst moment was just, you know, being really honest, like we had to let one of our team members go when we were first in the sort of initial stages of reacting and sort of dealing with the new reality of coronavirus and that was really, really hard, which all know is like I spent hours trying to figure out how to make this work. And it was it that was really, really difficult. Yeah, I think that’s probably my worst moment.
Rachel: Yeah, I was actually going to say the exact same pretty much the exact same thing and I and, like, on the flip side, like the piece like you know having, having this team is just, it’s amazing. And I think that that’s yeah the pits for sure have been losing anyone that we brought on has definitely been a bad experience for us. Obviously worse for the other folks. But yeah, hated, hated that. Yes.
Fatima: Yes Man like ants was asked. Everybody good deep breath for 70 that no thank you so much for sharing that. Because obviously Vienna and I know you don’t care for us, like our bosses, but for the sake of language. Right, just to hear you share that and then imagining like an advantage in January and I’ll be a year in July, which is like two days from now. I’m just thinking about also how it was hard for us to be like, how do we navigate, you know, communicating with each other, being there for each other and supporting one another. And one thing I would say is that, you know, since joining the team. I think both of you have done a great job of being very transparent and also being like we this is what happened. This is communicated and please feel free to talk and communicate with people as well. So I’ve never felt like disconnected from other folks. Obviously, we’re not working together right now. But when it’s a name that because I appreciated that as well during those hard moments for you to the both of you.
Felicia: Thank you.
Fatima: For sure. Um, so with that said, I know early. I was making a joke being like hey y’all, so we’re gonna be here for five more years. We don’t know what anything holds, especially with everything that’s happening, and people going back in time time traveling. We don’t know if everyone should get it again. Right. But if the time traveling thing works out and SGOs through here in the next five years. What do you think the next five years hold for as to what’s next?
Rachel: We’re gonna have to get into some climate change.
Felicia: Yeah i mean i i hope that we’re here in the next five years, because I don’t want to have to do another job. I love this one too much. But you know like Rachel and I talk a lot. And we’ve said this many, many times over the last couple years that will keep doing what we’re doing, until it doesn’t make sense anymore. And if it ever gets to a point where we’re not providing value or if the world magically moves on in some way or time travel just really screws it up and we’re dealing with survival like whatever happens like then we’ll shut down. But, and we’ll stop doing what we’re doing or will continue to pivot by you know, I think that as you were saying. Rachel earlier, we’re both such planners. And so, this question is so hard to answer because I still remember I want to say it was a couple months ago, but it was like, sort of, maybe, March, April. And so typically what Rachel and I’ve been doing for the past five to seven years is we do at least half twice a year, if not quarterly like strategy sessions where we sort of come together, we plan out what’s going on. And we assessed and so we had the strategy session, and we both were just like, how are we supposed to plan for a world that we don’t know what will happen next day, let alone the next year. The rest of this year, so I think that it’s a little hard because we’re in such a time of transition right now, just as a society, but I hope that we continue to just grow and support people and help people and provide value in some way.
Rachel: Yeah, I agree with all of that. I mean, I would like to think that our services will no longer be needed in five years, but I would like a screenshot up a team of um, you know, I mean, yeah, that’s yeah that’s that’s the dream right like get ourselves out of a job and then Felicia and I can open up a coffee shop, I guess, I don’t know, assuming that you know that’s the thing.
Felicia: Plans are in disarray, given that somebody said mysteries don’t exist anymore.
Rachel: Yeah, so who knows but I think the reality is, unfortunately, will probably still have these issues because humans are humans and so it’ll just be continuing to provide avenues of an inroads for people to discover ways to be better to each other.
Vienna: Thank you. I’m excited that I get to ask this.
Rachel: Wow, boy.
Vienna: What are you currently geeking out about?
Rachel: I mean I’m laughing because I was right before the zoo with before we started recording I shared something that I wasn’t necessarily going to share, but it is something that I am really genuinely speaking out about. So for anyone who has been listening for a while. I love my wine. And so I’m geeking out about this book called The Naked mind which does a little deep dive into why we drink and sort of asking some good questions. So I’m going to be doing an experiment. In the month of July. So for any of you who do know me and who are emailing with me during that time. If I act irrationally in any way, hopefully I won’t. I can’t imagine that I will be mean without drinking water. I know. Actually, yeah. I feel like the three people that are on this particular video call will let me know if I’m, if I’m not good. But anyway, so but yeah, I would say that’s probably what I’m getting out about the most right now. I think it’s a really good time, especially given the way of the world to do a little bit of self reflection. So that’s, that’s where I’m tired of not doing that. And, you know, blaming any behaviors on external forces so
Felicia: Yeah, well, you’ll have to keep us posted how it goes. Well, I am currently speaking out about summer activities in a time of quarantine, so my originals on our plans where I was actually supposed to be on a road trip right now. I think maybe even in San Diego, at this moment, and
Felicia: That’s right. Because supposed
Rachel: To be in
Felicia: Canada and Alaska. Yeah, so that’s obviously not happening. And so looking forward to a summer spent mostly at home. I’ve been really trying to investigate what places I can go swimming. For example, because beaches are sort of open but not really necessarily easy to get into at any given point in time. And so I went on a hike last weekend to a place near me, which I won’t say because I don’t want people to go there. But anyway, it’s a really big nature preserve and there’s this fun little beach area. And I really liked it because there’s some other spots that I’ve seen or gone to but they’ve gotten kind of crowded because there’s not a lot of open public space where you can just go where you don’t have to, like, sign up for a slot or a ticket or whatever or if it’s just closed down. And because you have to kind of like to hike in and there’s no cars that can park nearby. I think that cuts down on the people. So I was like, ah, so I’ve been making like a mental map of places where I can go swimming either legally or illegally and that’s what I’m getting out about.
Fatima: Love that. Well, look at that, because you just set us up for next surprise and we’re gonna do rapid fire questions.
Felicia: I didn’t prep for that.
Fatima: You have the answer. If you want to kick us off, Rachel.
Felicia: Wedding already
Rachel: got you, I got you.
Rachel: All right. Just remember
Fatima: All right.
Felicia: Is there a safe word for this?
Felicia: Because mine’s banana.
Fatima: Okay, I’m happy to go banana. Alright so ready. Yes. Assuming the coronavirus was gone tomorrow, and it was safe to physically mingle. The first thing I would do is
Felicia: Yeah, well I can answer this one.
Rachel: Do it.
Felicia: I would go to all the restaurants. I’ve been avoiding and I would go to a giant concert
Rachel: Oh my God, yes, I would 1,000% be up for going to a concert. I need to see my Alanis Morissette she was
Felicia: Yeah, summer I was supposed to go to my very first festival.
Rachel: I would also travel. Yeah.
Felicia: Yeah. Well, we just as we just both shared that we would have been traveling.
Rachel: I would really like to go to Boston to see my people.
Vienna: Are like dying here because the next question we were going to ask is this feeling coronavirus has gone tomorrow. The first concert, I would want
Rachel: Oh my god.
Felicia: Well, you’re welcome. We are a mind reader.
Rachel: And an incubus.
Felicia: Yeah, and I’ll say so. So my partner Steve is really big into like big fish and Grateful Dead and I’m not so big into them. But he convinced me to agree to go into this festival, the summer, which is always the candle at this point, but it was supposed to involve camping, which I’m also not big into and I was kind of looking forward to it. And it’s obviously not happening. So part of me. It’s happy because I don’t have to camp but part of me was like I was going to try it and expand my comfort zone. But I would also really like to go to a Beyonce concert. I’ll say because I watched homecoming. And I was very jealous that I wasn’t present. They’re not that I would have been because why would I ever. I’m not a Coachella person. But I was like this would make me go so that
Rachel: Didn’t hear what they were gonna call coach all they’re going to call it cough Chela
Felicia: Yeah, so that would be, though I would go again. I don’t know. Will concerts come back. I don’t know.
Rachel: Once there’s a white once we’ve got herd immunity. But that’s a whole other story. Yeah.
Fatima: All right, go. Alright alright alright alright alright so is the MVP of your fantasy girl squad.
Rachel: Ah, I just feel so trite. Every time I say it. Also, I don’t want the word girl, let me, My woman squad. Woman squares like famous people you know I’m always gonna put oprah my bench like she’s always gonna be the one for me because I just
Fatima: Love the woman.
Rachel: Her and Renee.
Felicia: This question is so hard.
Rachel: To find if everyone else on this call. By the way, this, this episode.
Felicia: Yeah, I mean, everyone on this call is on my fantasy squad. But I mean, are we if we’re talking like famous people or like, what is the purpose of this of this lady squad. Like, what is our
Rachel: Mission at squad.
Felicia: Like what is, what is our mission should we choose to accept it because I think that’s going to determine who might key.
Vienna: Player for all right. You just have to take over to every lady squad.
Felicia: I mean, yes. Well, I guess we’ll just have to go back to Beyonce, because I think she’s like a superhero secretly but I want to think more about this one. So I’m going to have to like
Rachel: Do a rapid fire rapid fire. I’m going to do Twitter. Follow up because this is a
Felicia: Good question, but I want to think about it. Yeah, alright.
Vienna: Rapid fire the best me I’ve ever eaten is
Rachel: I okay I’ve I’m like a little obsessed right now with tuna will like straight up raw tuna and grilled tuna.
Felicia: He was cracking up
Rachel: I love it.
Fatima: Was it all in the group.
Rachel: And all I can think of is the last meal I had which was just like the perfectly grilled
went over to her friends and they had a grill and the grilled tuna and it was just perfect. And then they got the zucchini out of their garden and the grilled zucchini and the squash and the onion and then we’d have this lovely salad. And then we had watermelon for dessert and Rosie was there, Rosie. Yes. And it was just a perfect meal, and I know it just happened. But it was a really, really the one of the best meals.
Felicia: Yeah, I will say, I’ve been eating real well. This quarantine because Steve is not a trained professional chef, but he is just as good if not better. Yes. So one thing that he’s been making for me recently is scallops, because they’ve been on sale here. Weirdly, and so he made this amazing dish with like pesto from turnip greens and like herbs from our garden and all sorts of stuff. And we had it over a salad. And it was just really, really delicious. So that’s I think recently one of my best meals. But in general, I would probably have to go back to a trip that I took a couple years ago to South Africa. And I just had some amazing meals there and can’t even tell you what I eat, but just it was one of the things where you’re like, I want to take pictures of every single thing as though that person because it’s just like, trying to remember the deliciousness of it all and had some great great time, sir.
Fatima: Love it alright if I were not at SGO, I would be…?
Rachel: Ah, I would probably work for the city of San Diego. I think that’s
Felicia: That’s to
Rachel: Maybe the zoo but also the city. I would also work for the city, I very much believe in the city, a lot and I think it needs some help and I want to work for it at some point in the future.
Felicia: Yeah, I would probably still be running programs at a company like VMware. Yeah.
Vienna: All right, the best sound in the world and
Rachel: The sound of foolishness, boys. Dancer.
Fatima: You got close to the mic that was like a clip right there, like this.
Fatima: Felicia. Now you got to have this like, I don’t know.
Felicia: I’ve been putting a very tough position because
Rachel: Now you have to say my voice. Saying no
Felicia: Well, I will say, when we first heard podcasting. We both had it not like nature and Rachel got really angry at me because I you have not angry, but I remember I definitely remember being in a room at Impact Hub and we were trying to record something for like our intro and you were like, oh my god. Stop messing it up. I just couldn’t talk into the microphone. Very well.
Rachel: No, you know what, don’t know the only time I would get mad when you say because you do this you’ll say, I can’t speak or I can’t talk. If you like to stumble over a word or two once. And I’m like, yes, you can. You just say a thing. So if I
Felicia: So my point. With all that being said, is that I would listen to the podcast episodes after they were accorded and they would be part of like my gym routine and I would listen because as we got into it, I was like copy link these really great conversations and I’m definitely send this to you before, Rachel, but I definitely think Rachel has a better like radio podcast. Than my measly boys, but um so I will give you that as a return. But in general, the best sound, I have to say I think like thunderstorms and rainstorms is just a very soothing sound and we’ve been having a lot of rain here in the Boston area. The last couple days and we had these crazy thunderstorms over the weekend. Even this morning, actually. And while part of me is like, Oh, stop it. It’s summer I want to go outside the other parts like
Rachel: Yeah. And I will say, and yes, outside of foolishness boys for me 100% it’s the ocean. Like, I can’t. I can literally say the most there’s a, can I just tell a really funny thing is one of the last times that I was on the tea and Boston. And it was just packed and I was with Mark where it was like rush hour on the way back, and I was just like, and there was like people yelling and I was just in and I was just like, it was feeling a little like anxious I did manage to get a seat. So I got to sit and then, but I was like breathing heavy and then Mark gave me his. He had these Wi Fi, Bluetooth headphones and he put them in my ear and they had a setting where you could just put it on ocean sounds
Rachel: And he’s done for me and I instantly felt calmer.
Fatima: Love it. All right, I’m never going to waste my time again doing…?
Felicia: Yeah, I can get to this one. I ran a half marathon. Two years ago. And it was one of the biggest mistakes of my life to be married.
Rachel: So far, you’re just wearing the wrong shoes.
Felicia: I messed my feet up so bad, but I’m still paying for it today. And I was just like so fit and so into it and then I ruined myself so you know, I did it to prove a point to myself I proved it, but I’m never gonna do that again. And then I don’t like running. Anyway, so I don’t know why I tried to do this, it was a mistake.
Rachel: And I honestly don’t think that I have an answer for this because I don’t think that I don’t do any of my time is really wasted. Even the time that other people would consider wasted. I, I feel like it’s a necessary thing. So maybe it’ll be alcohol after this month, I don’t know, but that’s that’s the only thing I could think of is maybe drinking, but I’m not even willing to commit to that. Like I feel like every minute I spend watching even garbage Netflix is time that I need, and I’m not gonna let that go. Right, so
Felicia: I like that. I can get by on that.
Vienna: Right now, one word my employees would use to describe me?
Rachel: And God Oh hilarious.
Vienna: Incredible amazing
Felicia: Amazing delightful. Gorgeous. Yeah, I don’t know what other superlatives. Can I come up with
Rachel: No, I feel like you should answer that.
Fatima: We were thinking that you are gonna be like shy like amazing, fantastic superhero
Felicia: Clearly, you need to get better. Right.
Fatima: You’re right.
Felicia: I will say I have, I believe, I’ve heard both of you at the best bosses ever
Fatima: This is true facts. Facts only I agree with you. And our last one is my Family, I did not write this, my favorite podcast guest was?
Rachel: Oh damn.
Fatima: I know.
Rachel: Oh my gosh.
Felicia: Maybe an awkward answer for the job.
Rachel: I’m like, Who did we have on our podcast?
Felicia: Oh my gosh, besides Vienna and Fatima.
Rachel: Yeah. Besides, y’all. But I feel like we need to do another one where we ask you a bunch of questions.
Felicia: Yeah yeah
Rachel: Everybody fair
Felicia: I will say to that point, you’re not our guests. Yeah, like we are your guests. On this podcast adventure. So I’ll be honest about that for later. Um,
Rachel: There were actually quite a few like I’m one of my favorites, honestly, is with one of the other consultants that we work with a lot, Chris. Chris Hague. They’re amazing. And I just always learned so much from them. So that’s, that’s probably one of my favorite podcasts from like the dei perspective. And then I would say so actually, one of my one of my other favorites is from the Community side is Emily Green, who was uh I just remember like Felicia and I just like being blown away by her story. We’re just like what you did. And that was very fun so there’s the two top of mind for me.
Felicia: Yeah, that was I loved Emily’s one too. I think the other one that ‘s just jumping to mind for whatever reason is another consultant that we kind of work with kind of time, Thomas Harwell. I mean, he’s just so great. Anyway, but I just remember, we started off the podcast just talking about Black Panther and it was just like such a fun deep dive into that whole experience. Um, yeah, but you know we’ve had fun in almost all of our podcasts.
Rachel: Oh, yeah, yeah. The reverse question, please don’t ask. We loved all of our guests.
Felicia: They’re all great in their own way.
Rachel: Yes, a great is that, are we done. Are we off the hook? I’m so sweaty now to also but it’s also warm so
Vienna: Last question for you.
Rachel: That was, that was last one. Yeah.
Fatima: That’s it.
Fatima: All right y’all were amazing.
Rachel: We need to do an episode where we turn the tables and we learn about you two also very interesting wonderful human beings that the world should know more about. So that’ll be on episode 200 so
Felicia: God only knows we’re over here at that point.
Rachel: Oh my gosh. Well, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedules. We appreciate it. We appreciate you and we appreciate all the listeners who stuck with us through this very long episode.
Fatima: Thanks for letting us ask you all these questions and for letting us into your life.