After 10 months of marinating with the Who Is Your Momma podcast idea, one interaction with one person pushed me right over the podcast cliff and I am forever grateful!
I have to go back to November 2018 when I first asked a small number of people to be on my podcast. These people were uber-famous…like Timberlake famous… and I think I thought, ‘Well if they say yes then I will figure the rest out?!’ I really don’t know what I was thinking because I had no plans to actually start podcasting…I just had the topic. No one replied to my DMs and I took no more action.
I took no more action in 2018 because I still had a two-year-old at home with me every day, I was working during nap time and in between pick up and drop-offs and I wasn’t really in a place where I could do what is necessary to start something special. It’s a tough place to be when you have dreams outside of your daily reality, but being at home raising my kids was my choice and I’m good with that.
So then months go by…like we are talking 10 months go by and in September of 2019 for the first time in seven years, I had no children at home with me for 5 days in a row for about 5 hours per day. It was nuts! I was still running Tippi Toes with Sarah as always and that was going great! In some way, this new schedule changed every single part of my life. I felt like I was this wild horse, who had become domesticated for years, and then someone took off my saddle for the first time. I just wanted to run towards all these ideas I had been dreaming of while nursing, rocking, wiping, changing, and snuggling babies over the last 7 years. It felt like it was my time to see if I could do anything about all these dreams.
So it is September of 2019 and I feel this new energy and have more time in my days and more energy in the nights. So I start taking baby steps. I slid into IG DMs as no momma had ever done before…I’m joking and also not. I DM’ed my dream list of celebrities and in some cases, I researched and tried to reach directly to the mommas! My list consisted of well-known people, who are sensational, who through social media or press I could clearly see they loved their mom and I pursued those people. That cross-section is much smaller than I expected.
One of the names in my first round of big names was Jesse Itzler. Jesse is a 2-time New York Times bestselling author, he started multiple companies that he has since sold to the likes of Coca Cola & Warren Buffet, he is a mega endurance athlete and a high-energy speaker. He is a father to 4 kids and he is married to the incomparable Sara Blakely, the inventor/founder of Spanx. No big deal!!!
Well, Jesse was the first big YES I received in September 2019 and I couldn’t believe it! His exact response to my DM was, “I’d love to hear what she says. I’ll ask her.” His response was validation to me from an outside source who owed me nothing! His response was awesome, but I still needed to figure out if he was serious or just replying as a courtesy. I was going to be in Atlanta where Jesse & his family lives for my own work event so I reached out about 10 days later offering to come to meet his mom if she happened to live nearby. He replied that she didn’t live in the area and we talked a couple of minor logistics.
Then he told me he would be speaking in Dallas and that if I wanted to come he would put my name plus one on a list to be able to attend this event where he was speaking. Uhhh, what?! I was just happy to get to talk to his mom on the phone and now I am going to get to go see him speak!
Here was the catch for me. His offer to come to see him speak came through at 3:09 pm, yep I had just picked up all three girls from school and the plan was to go home and do snack, prep dinner, go on to two different baseball practices, all while my husband was out of town for work and now I had to find some way to make all that happen and get a babysitter to execute it, oh and I needed to figure it out in like an hour.
I called 10 people to watch the girls, literally, and the tenth person was a yes…thank you Miss Abby! I had like 20 minutes to spare, then both practices got canceled and all of a sudden I was actually going to make this work! So I get out the door with time to spare and head to the venue which is about 40 minutes away. On my way, I realize I have to come with a thank you gift because honestly, I knew exactly how special this was that he offered me this opportunity. Luckily, I had been following Jesse for long enough to know that he only eats fruit until noon every day so I stopped at Whole Foods on the way, bought 4 or 5 pieces of fruit along with a lunch box decorated with pineapples. I just hoped I could leave this weird but thoughtful gift with someone at the venue who would then pass it on to Jesse as a thank you.
So there I am walking into a venue with my pineapple lunch box. This event was for some sort of construction professionals group so I walk into what looked like an Al Borland look-alike contest. I am not even kidding!! At the welcome table, I gave them my name and they graciously welcomed me; Jesse had clearly given them a heads up. I head over to find a seat and sit down with my pineapple lunchbox. I was so thrilled to get to hear Jesse speak shortly!
As I am sitting there scrolling through all Jesse’s & Sara’s IG posts just to fully geek out, a woman comes up to me and asks if I was Megan and then told me that Jesse was here.
I think my response was, “Oh great!” I couldn’t figure out why they were telling me he was here.
Then she said, “You can come on back,” and I know my response at that point was, “Oh no, I am good. He doesn’t need to talk to me. I am just here to see him speak.”
Then she followed up with, “He asked to have you come back.”
What in the hell is going on?!! I jump off my feet and carried my pineapple lunch box to the backstage area. Sure enough, Jesse was walking in the back doors a few minutes before he goes on to speak to hundreds of people. He was as kind as you would hope and super chill, meanwhile I am trying to calm my own nerves! I pass over the pineapple lunchbox filled with fruit & he asked me how it looked out in the audience and I said, “It’s great! A bunch of dudes excited to hear you speak!”
I mustered up the courage to ask for a picture with him and then headed back to my seat. What in the mother living hell just happened?! I couldn’t believe that he took the time to say hello to me before he was giving a speech. I was really impressed by that as an entrepreneur…he made something that should have been about him more about the people around him. I’m taking notes!
So then Jesse speaks & blows it out of the water! Fired me up! I was hanging on every word! He was born to be a speaker and the stories he has to share are insane! Side note, if you ever have a chance to hear him speak in person TAKE IT!
He finishes speaking and takes the time to stand at the front of the venue and meet people, sign autographs, take pictures, etc. I sit tight in my seat and look at my email, check for texts from the babysitter, and then hear people call my name. I look up and someone from the venue motion to me to come to the front to be sure I didn’t leave, again I am shocked! The line of people gets smaller and smaller and next thing I know I am standing there and Jesse is asking me about my plan for the podcast.
He said, “Can you remind me of the name of the podcast?” I said, “Parentals. It was going to be Who is Your Momma, but I didn’t want to just talk to moms necessarily and I didn’t want the whole ‘who is your daddy’ sentiment to be inferred.”
He shook his head in disapproval and said, “Don’t call it Parentals. You need to keep Who Is Your Momma.” In my heart, I totally agreed with him and feel like Who Is Your Momma is more fun and fitting for what I want. I appreciated his conviction and felt like he genuinely cared and didn’t want me to make that big misstep.
He says to me, “So do you have a big name?”
To which I replied, “Yes! It’s you!” He humbly tells me I need someone bigger. Bigger? Then he says, “I’ll see if I can talk to Sara’s mom.” I damn near passed out, but luckily didn’t and said, “That would be incredible!”
It was during that conversation that I am pretty sure I underwhelmed Jesse with my lack of podcast knowledge and lack of traction. I didn’t have ANYTHING to show or give him any reason to think I could do this other than being able to have a conversation with him. We wrapped up our conversation, confirmed I would interview his mom and we both went on our way. I was in disbelief over what just transpired over the course of like 4 hours. (Looking back, he was probably just making sure some crazy troll was not trying to talk to his mom…I don’t even care if that is why he was so kind!! I’ll take it!)
So I head to my car, completely pumped up! Between Jesse’s speech and his encouragement, I felt like I owed him something. I felt like I had to deliver this podcast and I better figure this out like yesterday. I knew one way I could hold myself accountable…it was foolproof. I would immediately tell everyone I know (on IG), that I am starting a podcast. They would hold me accountable if at some point I wanted to back out. I sat in my car wrote a long IG post about the night and posted it. That was it. Now I had to execute.
So that is how Jesse Itzler started my podcast and pushed me off the contemplating cliff!
Here is the Instagram post I wrote in the parking lot: (Click link or I pasted it below)
Funny things happen when you take action
I have committed to myself to start a podcast dedicated to talking to parents of incredible people. What is it like to raise @jesseitzler, @kingjames, @serenawilliams, @taylorswift @reesewitherspoon, @sarablakely? What could these moms share to inspire other parents?
Its been an idea for months but ideas don’t yield anything, it’s time to act! A couple weeks ago I reached out in hopes I could get interest.
@jesseitzler is one of the first people I contacted about connecting me with his mom. Jesse has had an epic career & has the energy of a lightening bolt! He’s the type of person you look at & think “I want what he’s having!”
A DM from me to him on IG resulted in this response from him “I’d love to hear what she says. Ill ask her!”
I was beyond thrilled – happy that he had the exact response I was hoping for & then I thought oh sh*t how do I do a podcast?!
So fast forward 9 days doing my thing, working, momming, asking podcasters all their tips, continuing to build my podcast list. As I am working on the guest list, I am on IG & laughing out loud at @sarablakely & her IG stories & post on my stories how wonderful Sara & Jesse are as a powerhouse, down to earth, hilarious couple.
15 hours later Jesse follows up that his mom is in for the podcast (I’m freaking pumped) & oh by the way “I am speaking in Dallas tonight if you’d like to come!”
At the moment he messaged that I thought, I am ???? going. I was in the car with my kids, @reils18 at a game for the night, we have two baseball practices & I’m leaving town after bedtime for work & I have 1 hr before I’d need to leave. No prob!
I reached out to ten people to watch the girls & got 1 yes!! I was going to be able to seize this experience & hear Jesse speak!
He electrified the room! I took three pages of notes & wanted to run out of there and go DO!
He was gracious to invite me & he also took the time to chat a bit & give guidance for the podcast. Are you kidding me?!
What if I never took action?
Like Jesse said tonight “pressure is a privilege” so here I am putting my plans on blast to embrace the pressure of sharing my plans!