Ep 294: Keys to Powerful Presentations from My Favorite Hollywood Actress Stephanie Szostak

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Your career does not define you and there are countless facets to your life that make you who you are.

Our guest today is an incredible, multi-talented individual, who is dedicated to helping people find their truth.

Stephanie Szostak is an accomplished Hollywood actress, activist, creator, and so much more.

She is the founder of Our Boobs Stories, a project that gives women the opportunity to share their feelings about their breasts, including milestones like puberty, reconstructive surgery, and cancer.

Tuning in you’ll hear Stephanie’s unconventional entry into the world of acting and modeling, what initially drew her to the craft, and the steps she took to pursue her interest in performance.

She also shares her tips as an actress on how to give powerful, emotionally connected, presentations, and how to bring authenticity to your content.

Stephanie didn’t always want to be an actress, but by following her inner voice she was able to uncover the truth of what she was most passionate about and achieve alignment between the many facets of her life.

Tune in to learn about the steps you can take to uncover your purpose, how to elevate your presentations, and much more!

KEY POINTS FROM THIS EPISODE

  • Introducing today’s guest, Stephanie Szostak, actress, activist, creator, and so much more.
  • Get to know Stephanie and hear about her non-traditional entry into modeling and acting.
  • How to follow your inner voice through curiosity and small steps.
  • An overview of the Impossible Future exercise.
  • Insights into Stephanie’s personal brand and how she found her truth.
  • Learn what initially drew Stephanie to acting and why it requires self-knowledge.
  • Stephanie’s professional tips for powerful, emotionally connected, presentations.
  • The impact that clothing can have on how we feel and present ourselves.
  • How to practice your powerful presentation skills.
  • Stephanie shares how she prepares, and why everyone’s process is different.
  • Why Stephanie founded Our Boob Stories.
  • What Stephanie hopes to accomplish with Our Boob Stories.
  • Stephanie answers our rapid-fire questions, including what she wants to be known for.
  • What Stephanie has learned on her journey of self-development.

TWEETABLE MOMENT

“There’s an exercise that somebody had me do that I love, and it’s called the impossible future. And it’s a great brainstorming exercise for all of your life. The exercise is this ‘If there were no obstacles, no money, obstacles, nothing? What would be your impossible future?’” — Stephanie Szostak [0:06:57]

“And I don’t really see it as having a brand, or pursuing a brand, or trying to put a brand out there. For me, it’s more about clarifying my path or refining it, being curious. And then bringing alignment between all of these facets of my life.” — Stephanie Szostak [0:10:34]

About Stephanie Szostak

French-American actress, Stephanie Szostak recently starred on ABC’s hit series A Million Little Things as Delilah; she is also a Give an Hour Ambassador, speaks to various organizations (from corporate to non-profits supporting immigrant women, teens, breast cancer warriors and mental health) encouraging people to “find their truth… with love & humor” and is the founder of “Our Boob Stories” who’s mission is to create a healthier narrative around the subject of boobs by illustrating our Collective Journey, from budding to sagging, through sickness and in health, the milestones that shape our breasts and us along the way.

Stephanie has been featured in Vanity Fair, Oprah, People Magazine, Glamour and Marie Claire just to name a few and has appeared on The John O’Leary Podcast, amongst others. She speaks on emotional well-being, overcoming failure, authenticity, being an outsider, reinventing yourself, and body image.

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Stephanie Szostak

Stephanie Szostak on IMDB

Stephanie Szostak on Instagram

Our Boob Stories on Instagram

AJ Vaden on LinkedIn

AJ Vaden on Twitter

Rory Vaden

Rory Vaden on LinkedIn

Rory Vaden on Twitter

Take the Stairs

Brand Builders Group

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The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Stitcher

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RV (00:07): Hey brand builder, Rory Vaden here. Thank you so much for taking the time to check out this interview as always, it’s our honor to provide it to you for free and wanted to let you know there’s no big sales pitch or anything coming at the end. However, if you are someone who is looking to build and monetize your personal brand, we would love to talk to you and get to know you a little bit and hear about some of your dreams and visions and share with you a little bit about what we’re up to to see if we might be a fit. So if you’re interested in a free strategy call with someone from our team, we would love to hear from you. You can do that at brand builders, group.com/pod call brand builders, group.com/pod call. We hope to talk to you soon. AJV (00:53): Hello everyone. And welcome to another episode on the influential personal brand. This is AJ Vaden. I’m one of your co-hosts here CEO and co-founder of brand builders group. And today I’m so happy because I get to spend the next 45 minutes with one of the most awesome human beings on the planet and also a good friend and probably one of the most discreet, humble humans ever, because she would never tell you all of these amazing accomplishments that she has. And she even said before we got on it’s like, I don’t really know what to say. I’m so uncomfortable talking about myself, which is quite funny coming from such a extraordinarily talented human being. And so everyone’s gonna get to know you, Stephanie. And I’ll just kind of give a little bit of a formal bio before we jump right into this conversation. AJV (01:47): But what I want everyone to know is why should you stick around in this conversation? So we’re gonna get to chat with Stephanie show stack today, who is just an incredible human being. But I think some things that you should know that maybe you don’t know, and if you’re not watching this, you clearly can’t see her face. So you may not recognize her name, but you would definitely recognize her face because she has been in some of the top Hollywood movies that are out there, iron man, three devil warriors product. One of the top hit shows on TV, a million little things I could go on and on and on. You have worked with some of the most well known actors and actresses across the world. But to me more importantly is your heart. It’s like you have done awesome things, but you are an amazing human being. And to get to share a little bit of you with our audience today is such an honor and such a treat. So welcome to show Stephanie, SS (02:46): Thank you for having me AJ AJV (02:49): I’m so excited. And so one of the things that we’ve been trying to do on the podcast is bring in a variety of people who are building their personal brands that are in a variety of different industries and trying to connect the dots. So we’ve had in some professional athletes we’ve had in CEOs and executives, and today we get to kind of bring in this Hollywood acting persona that’s out there of going well. You’re clearly known for something that you do, but how do you really become known for who you are? And I think you’re doing an incredible job at that at making this transition of acting is my profession, but I am so much more than that. And so, first of all, I just want everyone to hear a little bit about your back backstory, cuz you have a very non-traditional entrance into the modeling and acting world. So how’d you get into that? SS (03:49): Yes, not, not the traditional way I studied. First of all, I’m from France. I grew up in France and never thought about acting, never took an acting class. I came to the states to study business and to play golf at the college of women, Mary. And once I was done once I graduated, I moved to New York city and worked at Chanel in fashion. And then at 26 years old I just realized there was a little something inside of me that felt like I wasn’t, there was something missing and through a chance opportunity, I did a modeling gig. And then I thought, well, maybe I could be a model and figure out what I, what it is I really wanna do. And so I did that and then at 29 years old, so three years of modeling and then at 29 years old, I took an acting class. Again, I’m not quite sure why I just had this little voice that was like, I wanna take an acting class. I wanna take an acting class. And then there, I realized for the first time in my life, really that I loved something that I needed to do. Something that I, I was passionate about it. And I didn’t know if it was gonna be a profession. I just knew I needed to pursue it. AJV (05:10): So first of all, the fact that you pay attention to this little voice, I think says a lot about just a huge part of who you are and something I know from a huge part of our community is that most people feel like they have this calling on their life and they feel like they have this message within them. They feel like there’s this thing that they really wanna do, but for whatever reason, they don’t listen to that little voice. They don’t listen to that prompting. They push it down, they shove it away, lock it in a drawer and keep on with everyday life. So what was it about this that made you go, this is not a little voice I’m going to ignore. I’m gonna do something. SS (05:51): I think it’s curiosity. I, I don’t think, you know, right away I’m gonna do something. I’m gonna make a big move because that’s scary, but it’s just curiosity and just making one more step in that direction and exploring and being opened to whatever and also surround being surrounded by people who support those choices, I think is a huge one. And I’m really lucky you know, to be married to somebody who’s always supported that, that sense of adventure and yeah, go for it. Try it out. AJV (06:31): Yeah. I think, I think something you just said there, like really resonates is just being curious and it’s willing to go. Yeah. Like I don’t know everything and that’s okay. Even if this doesn’t work out, that’s okay. Even if it’s only one time that’s okay. But being adventurous and curious enough to even try. SS (06:50): Yeah. And throughout your whole life, like even now, you know, 20, some years later, just staying curious and not pigeon holding, is that the pigeonholing yes. Yourself into, oh, I’m an actor that I can’t do this because that would not fit now. Just be like, why not? AJV (07:11): I, I love that. I love that. I think so many times, most people don’t go for what they really want because they just don’t think they can. So, yeah. I’m curious to hear from you because you have done so many things in different arenas. I mean, you are an activist of sorts. You’re a philanthropist of sorts. You are a content creator, you’re all these different things. And so I’m curious, like what would you tell someone, like, what would be your advice to someone that they know? They have something within them. They, they know they want to do something, but yet they don’t take action. SS (07:53): Just, I, I, there’s an exercise that somebody had me do that I love and it’s called the impossible future. And it’s a great brainstorming exercise for all of your life. And so if there was no ops, the exercise is this. If there were no obstacles, no money obstacle, no nothing. What would be your impossible future and be as detailed as possible with your professional life personal life. And then once you describe it, how do you feel? And I think that’s the key point. Like you know, because maybe at first it’s outcomes and successes, but then why, how does that make me feel? And I think that will give for me when I did this, it helped me figure out what it is I was after really it brought clarity. And then after that, you’re like, okay, what’s the first thing I can do right now to go towards this. And it’s less daunting cuz you’re not chasing an outcome that is, you know, so far fetched, you’re just pursuing trying to be in alignment with what you’re striving for, to feel in your life. AJV (09:10): Yeah. And I think that’s really in line with a huge part of the calling on your life is to help other people kind of like find their truth. Right. Mm-hmm and so this is kind of like tying in a little bit to your personal brand of like finding your truth and doing it though in a way that’s light and funny and not so hardcore and serious. Right. so how did you find your truth? Like what was that process like for you? And, and here’s what makes me think about this for you and really for anyone who’s in the acting profession. I always find it. So curious to me of how do you stay connected to who you are as a person when your profession is taking on the life, taking on the character of someone else. And so how do you do that? SS (09:59): actually, I think that’s being an actor is an amazing, I think that’s what Dr. Drew me to acting in the first place was discovering tapping into these things that sometimes we can bury inside and censor ourselves that we perceive as being negative. Being an actor, you have to tap into all of these facets of yourselves, sometimes the uncomfortable ones, the not so pleasant in order to play a character. And then you learn about yourself. And then you also when you’re an actor in order to bring justice to the character you’re playing, you can’t judge them. So even if they’re, you know, making a mistake, if they’re doing something that would be frowned upon you, you have to have empathy for your character. So it’s a great, actually, if you turn it around on yourself, it’s such a great thing is explore yourself. SS (10:59): Don’t judge yourself, accept it all and, and then move from there towards what you wanna do. But and your question was how do you stay true to yourself by playing other characters? Yeah, I think that can also be confusing at the beginning of my acting career. I certainly had a little bit of trouble sometimes, you know, drawing the line between reality and, and art. Because when you invest into a character, you can lose yourself a little bit in the character. But I think experience helps and being a mom and having kids really helps because you come home and, and there’s reality for you. AJV (11:41): SS (11:43): But also when you talked about a brand, so it’s interesting cuz as an I, I worked with you and you were incredible at helping me actually figure out a message and or maybe if I even had a message, which I was not sure about, and I don’t really see it as having a brand or pursuing a brand or trying to put a brand out there for me, it’s more more clarifying my path or refining it and being curious and then bringing alignment between all of these facets of my life. And then you help me be like, there’s the brand, but I don’t, I don’t think of it that way, if that makes sense. So it’s more about staying in alignment personally with all the different facets of my life. And then if there is a brand at the end of the day, great AJV (12:43): well, I think that’s a really good point because that’s, I think that can be a really confusing part for most people when you do such a large variety of things and they’re seemingly unconnected until you find that common thread, right? Until you align things in a way of, I know they seem disconnected, but at the end of the day, there’s this through line, which one of your through lines is community, right? Mm-Hmm SS (13:08): Connection. Yeah. AJV (13:09): Connection. And helping people feel wanted and feeling a part of something. Right. And a huge part of that. That is your story of coming from another country. And I think there there’s a challenge and most people think, well, there’s just, I just do too many different things, but most of us all have a through line. If we just sit down and take a little bit of extra fine tuning work to connect the dots to make together. And so let’s, I wanna talk about two things, cuz I know that I could easily spend the next 25 minutes just picking your brain on all these curious things that I have for you. But there’s two really significant things that I think you’re gonna bring a ton of value and insight for, into our audience. And so the first one has to do with your profession, right? AJV (13:59): You’re an actor and incredible one at that. I love getting to watch you on screen and now that I know you, I go back and I’m like, I know this person it’s such a treat for me to get to see you in your element. I love that. But one of the things is that so many of the people that listen to our podcast and are part of our, our community they present in some fashion, right? They’re making content videos on social media or they’re a professional speaker or they’re an aspiring speaker or they’re doing interviews for the media or maybe it’s even just presenting to their, their team or their company. And so I think it would be really awesome to go, what are some, you know, tips of the trade of being powerful in front of other people or being powerful on the screen to connect with people and engage with people and draw them in emotionally. So what do you got for us? What are tips of the SS (14:55): Trip? Hmm. Okay. So, you know, as an actor, you can work from the outside in or the inside out. So because the outside in is your wardrobe. So let’s start with that. okay. As an actor, before you, let’s say you’re prepping an episode, I go to the costume designer and we’re gonna prep for each scene, what my character’s gonna wear, because clothes will make you feel a certain emotion. So I think, you know, you want to, as if you are a speaker or if you are presenting, pick something that makes you feel whatever you wanna put out there. Mm. And that is also truthful to you. Meaning you don’t wanna feel like opposer because if you don’t feel right, it’s gonna impact the way your message is gonna come through. So again, authenticity for me is a big thing. You know, today I was like, what am I wearing for AJ’s podcast? SS (15:58): And I had a sweater on because I’m home and I, you know, we do all this at home. And then I was like, no, I feel sloppy with my, no, I need, I’m gonna put a blazer. that’s good. And then in terms of getting your message through and having connecting with the audience there’s so many things, but I will say like how I study a script, for example. So it, I will go through the lines and I try to have images when I say something. So if you’re a speaker or if you’re telling your story, have images in your head, that when you think about those images, it’s not an intellectual response, it actually moves you because if it moves you, when you’re gonna talk about, you know I’m looking at my magazine here, navigating uncertainty. And if you have in your head, an image for, from when you were really feeling uncertain or navigating uncertainty and life was crap, you’re gonna talk about it differently. SS (17:08): So adding images, subtext, be behind the words make, bringing yourself to it as much as you can be bringing your authenticity. And then having an objective that is bigger than yourself is big for enacting. And I think it transfers to people in life when we are trying to communicate something, we’re all nervous. We all are thinking of the outcome we want, but let’s have a bigger purpose. What is our why? And then when you’re, if you’re connecting to that, then it’s like, oh, you know, you, you, you bring something bigger and you connect. I think, I think it transcends just you and whatever you’re saying. AJV (17:58): Yeah. I know. You said two things there I think are potentially so simple that they’re overlooked, but are really, really significant. And I totally relate to what you said around I’m sure there’s been millions of people who’ve said that, but it’s like the way you dress actually impacts the way you represent yourself, that the way you stand, the way you walk, how you feel it’s like, Mmm. For probably 90% of today I had on my workout gear. mm-hmm, , it’s like, but it’s like, like I went and put on my shiny shirt here. It’s like very glitery it’s very shiny. Makes me feel very happy, very fun. But it was, you know, I didn’t have to do that, but it’s like, I need to dress for the mood that I want to be in. Right. Yes. And I think that’s a, like a huge part of you emote something differently when you feel good and maybe that’s in workout pants, that’s fine. But really putting some intention into like, what’s the emotion and the feeling that I’m trying to get across and dress for that. And it actually does help. Right. Mm-hmm SS (19:06): AJV (19:06): Yes. I, I love that. I think that’s, especially in a time over the last two and a half years where so many people have been home for way too long. And perhaps not pulling out every day real outside of the house clothes. Right. Like, I’m pretty sure I had a six month stint where all I wore was work, all clothes. I’m pretty sure it was like six months. And there came a time where I’m like, good Lord. I have all these clothes. I should probably put them on. Right. And it was amazing. Like when I started dressing up, my husband was like, are you going somewhere? SS (19:42): That’s what my hu my husband, I would come down. He’d be like, where are you going? And I was like, I’m sick of feeling like that AJV (19:49): same. But it’s like, it’s amazing how it does that. And then the other thing which I haven’t really ever heard anyone say before, but I think if, if we don’t call attention to it, it could get overlooked is creating that physical image in your mind of something that you’re trying to get across. Right. So like to what you’re saying, if you’re talking about uncertainty, it’s like find that image or that moment in your life where you were had extreme uncertainty and tap into that, tap into the feelings of that, tap into what it was like to be in that moment of your life and speak, speak from there. Mm-Hmm, not from where you are today. SS (20:29): Yes. And, and, and there’s a power in images. Mm-Hmm so to, to have like write it in, I write it in the margin of my script because we can talk about it. But then if you have a specific moment, you know standing on the sidewalk of fifth avenue and I see the light and because it’s going to affect all of your senses, you’re gonna connect to it from your heart, your, everything you you’ll feel the weather, what it was like, and that’s going to ground you into a real until reality and something personal and powerful. AJV (21:11): I think that’s so important. And for someone who literally does this in front of a screen, right in front of cameras, for anyone who’s listening, who makes a content video or does a podcast, right? It’s like, you’re doing that for an audience of no one it’s literally you and a computer screen. So you almost have to tap into it even more for it to come across in a way that would draw someone in and be engaging. Otherwise it can really just feel like a talking head on a screen. And although the words have a lot of content and information and motivation without the delivery of it, we probably won’t last, very long listening. SS (21:52): Right. Exactly. AJV (21:54): Oh, I love that. SS (21:54): And I, and I think practicing if you’re, you know, if you’re preparing or, or it would, it’s an interesting exercise also to do it with different stim, like memories and you can see, oh, it’s very different when I think of this, as opposed to when I think of that. AJV (22:12): Oh, that’s interesting. Well, I think to that, it’s like practice actually practice your practice art SS (22:18): Practice, and then let go, AJV (22:21): , you know? Yeah. No, I love how you say that. It’s like you practice until the moment you need to do it, and then you need to just be present in the moment and let go. Yeah. But I wonder like how many people today, when any individual can be their own media company, how often do we actually practice and hone these skills versus someone like you who like, this is your profession, this is your art, this is what you do. Versus someone like me, who I probably would say like, honestly, I don’t practice enough to hone my skillset. So any suggestions on how to practice delivering powerful presentations in general? SS (23:05): But yes, for me, I can only speak for me, but, and I do think we all are different. Some of us need to prepare, prepare, prepare, and some of us are like, you’re incredible. I remember when we worked together, I just told you a story and you were like, okay, this is how it’s gonna go. And you just came up with, you know, how you would say it. And it was, I, I was amazed. I need to prepare if I don’t prepare, I’m lost. I prepare so much way too much but how I do it is I, and, and I do it so much that then at the end, I think it looks seamless and people are like, oh, she just came up with this. And but for example, if you know, when I did a keynote, I would tape myself on my computer section by section and then watch it. SS (24:00): And I was able to be like, oh, this is, you know, re readjust some things I didn’t like, I would practice out of order my keynote. And then in the shower, I mean, in the shower driving randomly, I’d be like, okay, what’s this portion and just come up with it. And then the great thing for me about practicing when I’m either driving or in the shower, in those moments where you are not you can’t get out of wherever, you know, your box, your car or your shower is things. Things come into my mind and I’m like, ah, new things come into my mind. And I’m like, Ooh, I need to add this. I need to add that. AJV (24:43): I love that. You know, one of the things that I remember, oh my gosh, this is so long ago now. Maybe 17 years ago. I don’t know. It was a long time ago. Let’s just say 15 years plus , that was a long time ago, but it was really early in my professional life. And I was in my really early twenties. And I remember going out and doing all these presentations and getting a, just really having a hard time with connecting with all male audiences or trying to find ways to connect. And I remember somebody had given me an advice and they had said, get a little book, right? Like like a little journal, little notebook and carry it around and use it as your story’s notebook. And every single time that you encounter something that is funny or engaging or powerful, or even traumatic, it’s like jot down that story. And keep those as reference of how do you reincorporate those back in to whether those are memory joggers or emotion connectors, or there stories that you actually start telling. And so have you ever done anything like that and like, do you’s SS (25:56): That’s I love that. I do that with, you know, when I listen to a podcast or listen, more of messages that I hear, and I’m like, I wanna remember that. But you’re talking about stories happening and that’s great. I love that AJV (26:14): Because I find for me, I dunno, that’s so good. I dunno if it’s just my mom brain or what, but if I don’t write it down, however impactful, it is seven days from now. I will not remember. Like, it just like, it just like evaporates from my, my brain and as the mom of a two year old and a five year old, at least 10 fascinating things happen every day. I was like, I have to capture these. I don’t know when I’m gonna use them, but I have to write them down. So I don’t forget. Yes. Love that. I love learning these little like tips and just practice moments of like, how do we create, how do we create art in the midst of whatever it is that we’re doing? Which I, I find very much, and that’s what you’re doing. It’s like, you’re, you’re making arts, but so am I like presenting is an art and it’s like finding ways to do that. And the same way that SS (27:06): I everything’s an art. Yes. AJV (27:09): It’s like, I want people to be drawn into my speeches, the way that I’m drawn into your movies. Mm-Hmm, find those parallels. I love that. And SS (27:21): An emotional, an emotional arc. Yeah. To all relate to the person. AJV (27:26): I mean, I think that’s so much of it. It’s like, you’ve gotta like really live into the character and create those, create those emotions. It’s a, I don’t know if I’ve ever sat through a speech and said, have to watch it again, have to see again, right. Like we do in the movie because there’s, there’s drama and there’s humor. And there’s, you fall in love with characters or you hate characters. I bet you, you, you get enthralled in it. I can’t think of any keynote speech where I’m like, have to see it again right now. I’ll pay another admission. I don’t think I’ve ever said that, but I would love to find a way for people to start feeling that way about seeing people speak as they do about watching a Hollywood movie. Right. so I love that ability of how do we create that same amount of connection into speaking as you do into creating movies. AJV (28:17): So, all right. I’m gonna switch gears just a little bit, cause I’m watching the clock and I’m going, oh my gosh, we only have seven more minutes. so you are also the founder of our boob stories, which is the best title ever. And this clearly this is not something that you had to do. This is something that you wanted to do, right. And mm-hmm, , I know this there’s so much potential for all these things. And so, as it kind of relates to this personal brand who you are and all the things that you believe in, what is our boob stories and what, what inspired you to do something outside of your full-time gig and acting? SS (28:59): So our boob stories I was inspired one day when I was on set. My character had been taken the sexy route, which means in Hollywood that you know, I was wearing short dresses, padded bras, and stuffed bras. And not that big boobs are not sexy. I think they’re really sexy, but I, I don’t have big boobs. And I was like, gosh, I wonder what it’s like for young girls to grow up nowadays. And then I thought there’s a lot of talk out there about body image, body acceptance, and there’s no talk about boobs. And I thought, this is ridiculous. Don’t tell me we don’t think about our boobs because obviously we do. And so I wrote a poem with a friend of mine instead of being called, oh, the places you’ll go. It was called about, it was called, oh, the you’ll grow. SS (29:49): And it was about the ups and downs of boobs of life through our boob stories. And people started telling me when I would share the poem with them they started telling me about their boob stories and it was funny and touching and moving and sometimes tragic. And I thought, oh my gosh, that is actually a beautiful something that I want to collect. And I don’t know where this project is gonna go. But the, I think the reason is really, I would love to have something created, maybe a book for all young girls to read, you know, the ups and downs through the ages from budding to sagging that we all are insecure, that we all go through moments of the challenging moments, whether it be with nursing or cancer or so many things. There’s milestones that we go through in our lives in those milestones shape our us and our boobs. A lot of times, you know, sexuality and, and puberty motherhood, aging cancer. So right now I’m collecting boob stories. If you have a boob story, please go to Instagram at our boob stories and share your story. AJV (31:16): I love this so much. And clearly I know a ton of the background. I’ve read it, I’ve seen the pictures and the reason I wanted to bring it up is for two reasons, one it’s you listening to that inkling again, is you listening and you paying attention of, I see something here. I’m going to make the move and I think it’s nothing else from people listening, it’s tuned into what are those inklings? What are those moments? What are those feelings that you’re like? It just, it just keeps popping up. I just, I keep seeing this and it keeps coming up in conversations and I can’t get it out of my mind. Well, if that’s true, do something right. Do something. And then the other reason I wanted to bring this up is because I think this is a part of your awesome uniqueness of adding in humor in the midst of really challenging things, right. It’s like especially with body image issues and social media. And like, to me, it’s like our boob stories is it’s a, it’s a poem about diversity, right? It’s like big ones, small ones, perky ones, saggy ones, right? Young ones, old ones, flat ones, huge ones like fake ones, not fake ones. It’s, you know, all the things, right. Implant fake, probably isn’t the PC term these days. But, you know, it’s like, it’s this story of a, we all have ’em and they all look different just like, you know? SS (32:47): Yeah. And, and beyond that, and this is my overreaching message is really about acceptance and accepting what life throws at us with grace and compassion. And this is not something against getting a boob job or like just accepting, owning to who we are. And, you know, I want a boob job. I get a boob job and I own it. And this, this is how it makes how I feel better. But really about letting our light shine through the boob stories. AJV (33:17): I think it’s awesome. And to your point, if you have a boob story, would you like to share it visit our boob stories on Instagram, share your boob stories, perhaps you’ll be featured in the new book coming soon. a coffee table near you. Alright. So only a couple minutes left. I have three really important questions that I would love to know. And I just know that if I wanna know there’s other people who wanna know as well. So at the end of the day, like if we were to fast forward, many, many, many, many years from now and let’s just say, you’re at the end of your days, and you look back on your life and you said at the end of my life, if I were known for doing this one thing, that that would be a life well lived for me. What would that be for you? SS (34:11): Love, love for all the people around me and bringing love, giving love AJV (34:20): You do that. that you emo that you most definitely do. This has been a, a topic in our company and in our community and at home and in our family of like, what do we wanna be known for and what are we doing today to become known for this thing that ultimately we wanna be known for? So that’s, this is a new question that I’ve been asking everyone as I come in contact, cuz I’m so curious what people say because I’m not sure I know mine yet. I’m not sure I’m on that. So love love is yours. SS (34:52): Yeah, because you know, I just went to visit my son in college and when my husband and I drove BA were going back home, I, I kind of had a little bit of bad feeling. I was like, well, if our life ends right now, you know, we’ve done. Okay. Like, look at the love, look at we’re bringing up in two boys who have love and then the love around us. And so, yeah, I think love is a big, big thing. AJV (35:21): Ah, that’s so good. Okay. Only two questions left. I promise. So here’s the next one? What is something about Stephanie show stack that most people don’t know, but you wish they did know. SS (35:34): Oh, I eat any meat with bones. I will clean it. Clean beyond clean I’ll yeah. AJV (35:43): Oh, that’s awesome. That’s awesome. Meat eater, meat eater, meat SS (35:47): Eater. AJV (35:49): I would not have guessed to be honest. I would, that SS (35:52): Sounds naughty. I like it too. AJV (35:55): It’s like, I would not have guessed that if you were to ask me, I’d be like, she’s probably vegan. She’s probably like a lot of vegetables SS (36:04): But, but I’ll eat a rack, a rack of ribs, like I’ll clean the bones, you know, beyond clean. Awesome. AJV (36:11): That’s awesome. Alright. Last, all right. Last last question that I have for you is what would, what piece of advice, or even if it’s not advice, one piece of hope or inspiration, like what’s one thing that you would share to people out there. Who, again, they’re not quite sure what to do next, but they, they know they wanna do something different. They kind of feel like you did back in your twenties when you’re like, man, this just isn’t what I wanna be doing. There’s gotta be something else. What would you advice or encouragement? What would you say to them to help them make that next leap or make that next jump? SS (36:56): Self exam, self examination, like do the work. And I know I wasn’t ready to do it till I was in my forties. So it’s a lot of work, but just learn about yourself, figure out we all know what we’re about. We just, it’s hard to remember it because we get distracted. We get sidetracked, life throws us curves, and then we lose the path. But if we take a little bit of time and journal and there’s a lot of exercises out there that will help self-examine and figure out what your guiding principles are, what your values are that will help realize, oh, thi this is what I want my life to be about. And I think when you have a bigger objective, bigger meaning than what you wanna do, next becomes very clear and simplified. AJV (37:57): Mm. I love that. It’s self inspection self-reflection but getting to know yourself, mm-hmm, SS (38:04): getting to know yourself again, because I think when we’re kids, we really know ourselves, you know, we just are who we are, but then we get confused by other people’s agendas and what we think, what the shoulds and all of that. Yeah, AJV (38:22): So it’s a re getting to know yourself. Mm-Hmm , which is probably a, a good thing to do every few years with how much life changes naturally the different stages of life. Think it’s really easy to get disconnected from what makes you happy? And you look up one day and it’s been 10 years. And I can’t, I can’t tell you how many people have said. I just didn’t think I would be here. And that’s because we didn’t, we didn’t do what you just said. We didn’t connect and self-evaluate and go, what do I want? What makes me happy? What needs to change? What do I need to do? What do I not need to do? But who am I? SS (39:01): Yeah. And how do I want sometimes, I mean, it’s such a, who am I, you know, the question of a lifetime, but what do I want to feel in life? What do I want to feel? And that, and why? And I think then you can say, well, what are my actions? Are they helping me feel that way? well, maybe not. And then ha have intention, you know, start your day with intention. And if you wanna feel happy and well, maybe I’m gonna try not to judge today or not to complain. Or I, I actually read something wonderful the other day. This is such a great thing. Have a code of AR arms, right? What are your principle principles? And then a code of harms. So know what is sort of your, what gets in your way? What, what, you know, what side tracks you? So for me, you know, my code of harms, oh, when I start judging everything that happens, I get negative. Oh. Knowing that, knowing what our pitfalls are, is a good good awareness to have and can help us redirect. AJV (40:17): That’s good. You’ve got your code of arms and then your code of harms. SS (40:21): Yes. AJV (40:22): Yeah. I love that. And I know, SS (40:23): I love that AJV (40:24): You’re really into self development and it shows like you’re, you’re C full of different exercise and examples and stories. And I think that’s a huge part of a Testament of a great reminder to all of us. It’s like, if we don’t investigate who we are, then how would we expect to know? Like no wonder, we all feel confused and aren’t happy and sitting here going, how did I get here? It’s like, because we didn’t have direction. Right. SS (40:51): We didn’t, we need a compass, a compass. And then, yeah. So do, if you have your values, if you have your principles, your daily controllables, then that is, that can serve as a compass for every decision making. And, and AJV (41:09): I love that. I can easily continue just chatting and asking you tons of questions. Thank you so much for coming on the show and just sharing a little bit of your brilliance and who you are. And this has been such a treat such an honor. And I’ll put this in the show the show notes for everyone. But if you’re out there listening and you wanna connect with Stephanie, go to Stephanie show, stack.com. I know you’re gonna spell it wrong. Dot me, dot me, get it wrong. Stephanie show.me. We just had a conversation about that. But also I know most people are gonna spell that wrong. So it’s Stephanie S Z O S T a K, do me. I will put that in the show notes. And then if you do have a boob story go to our boob stories on Instagram, share your story, Stephanie, thank you so much for being here. Speaker 4 (42:02): Thank you, AJ. You’re the best AJV (42:04): all right, everyone. We’ll catch you next time on the influential personal brand.

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25 of the World's Most Recognizable Influencers Share Their Tips on How to Build and Monetize a Personal Brand

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