In American media, there are stigmas associated with certain professions. Nurses are traditionally portrayed as women, firefighters are traditionally depicted as men, and reporters are native English speakers. For reporter Fernanda Santos, none of the usual stigmas ring true. As a Brazilian born reporter, Fernanda moved to the US when she was twenty-five to pursue writing. Eighteen years later, she is a staff writer for the New York Times, and has recently come out with a book about the lives, networks, and experiences of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.
Fernanda will assure you, her untraditional decisions were not easy ones to make. She has faced many times of dread, self-doubt, and questioning as she’s moved forward in her career as a journalist. Today I speak with Fernanda about the obstacles she had to overcome to get where she is today, how she came to use fear as a motivating tool rather than a ‘trap,’ and why her unique perspective is so useful in telling the stories of the fallen firefighters.
What You’ll Discover in This Episode:
- What you can tell yourself when fear creeps up on you
- Tips and secrets for beginning a massive project and seeing it through to completion
- How to overcome doubts and insecurities when starting a new project
- Fernanda’s advice for women seeking out nontraditional work
More About Fernanda
Fernanda moved to the US from Brazil to pursue journalism when she was twenty-five. Growing up, her father had always told her that as a woman, she could “do exactly what a man could do, and [she] can do it better if [she] wants.” For Fernanda, this meant pursuing her dreams of becoming a successful journalist, which she has achieved successfully.
In her most recent endeavor, recounting the lives of the nineteen Hotshot firefighters who perished in the Yarnell Hill Fire in Prescott, AZ, Fernanda met a lot of obstacles; externally and from within herself. The lives of firefighters are usually excluded to a male voice, but Fernanda sought to explore the story from a female perspective. By using her unique narrative style she created a side of the story that perhaps would never have been shown, including an emphasis on the families and loved ones of those involved.
Fernanda feels that in a way the fact that she is a woman allowed her to become closer to her subjects. The partners, wives, and mothers of the firefighters were able to connect with her in a way they may not have with someone else. Fernanda recalls feeling that “there was a sense of ‘you understand what I’m talking about,’” as Fernanda is also a wife and mother.
Despite years of success, Fernanda still finds herself having moments of self-doubt or fear that she isn’t good enough. She’s learned to deal with fear by accepting it as a necessary part of her creative process, rather than something to be pushed away. In this way, she is able to accept it, examine it, and move past it without it burdening her down.
What super power did you discover you had only to realize it was there all the time?
The ability to juggle ten things at a time.
What advice would you give to your 25 or 30 year old self?
You don’t have to be like other people.
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The free giveaway is excerpted from THE FIRE LINE: The Story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots and One of the Deadliest Days in American Firefighting. Copyright © 2016 by Fernanda Santos. Excerpted by permission of Flatiron Books, a division of Macmillan Publishers. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Available for purchase.
We’re often told that we need to ‘put in the time’ to achieve our goals. Stick with a project or company and eventually you will reap the rewards. But what happens when you have stuck around and you still feel unhappy?
Is it always the case that leaving a career means you’ve given up, or are there times when the best option is to switch things up? According to Kate Erickson, the greatest gift you can give yourself is to realize that no one is going to create the life that you want for you; you have to overcome your fears and go out and seek it for yourself.
Today I speak with Kate Erickson, creator, engager and implementer at EntrepreneurOnFire, a 7-day a week podcast that interviews entrepreneurs. Kate is also the host of Kate’s Take: The EntrepreneurOnFire Audio Blog and author of The Fire Path: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Your Online Business. Kate is passionate about helping entrepreneurs create freedom in their business and life through developing systems and processes that can help their business scale and grow.
Get my FREE “Systems for Creating Freedom” now!
What You’ll Discover in This Episode
- How you can overcome your fears to pursue your true passions
- An easy 3-step process to create the most efficient work model
- How to have a mindset shift to make the changes you need to grow your business
More About Kate
In this episode I talk to Kate about recognizing that she needed a change, how she was able to get to where she is now, and tips on creating a life with balance and wellness.
Prior to developing EntreneuerOnFire, Kate struggled with the lack of upward mobility as well as general satisfaction in her corporate job. Her decision to begin her own business came at a time when she had been promised a promotion in her corporate job. Finally, after years of encouragement and promises, the answer had arrived. However, at the last minute the position was given to someone else. Erickson decided that day that she wouldn’t spend another minute waiting around for someone to hand her a dream job, she had to seek it out on her own.
On the day that Kate received the news that they had decided to choose someone else for the promotion, she had a mindset shift. She was devastated to hear the news but she realized that the years of dead end jobs would never lead her to fulfillment no matter what the pay. She needed to find it on her own. Soon thereafter Kate and her partner John Lee Dumas began to develop a project that has blossomed into the wildly successful EntrepenuerOnFire.
Kate actually feels grateful for that huge disappointment; it was the shake-up that she needed to realize she needed to make a change. Kate explains that although she did take the actual steps to leave her job, it was the mindset change that gave her to power to take the leap. She speaks a lot about mindset change in work that she does today; it’s the first step we all need to take to initiate any changes in our lives.
Since developing EntrepeneurOnFire Kate has come to understand her own superpowers: her mastery of systems and processes. She has developed a process that leads to optimum organization and productivity. Not only does this benefit her work and personal life, she has the joy of sharing this skill with other business people.
Describe one personal habit that contributes to your well-being:
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