Lesson 42: Finding Hope In Hard Times with Katie Zeppieri

Hello Beautiful People! This week, I am excited to share another interview from #LessonsInResilience, my original IGTV Series that I created to interview the people that I look up to the most, and learn from their lived experiences. This week, I share my interview with 

Katie Zeppieri, the founder of GirlTalk and MicDrop Marketing. In this episode, Katie shares her experience and lessons learned after making a pivot in her business in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how she decided to interview folks for 14 weeks straight on IG Live back in March. Katie also shares deeply impactful words about how she navigated depression in 2017, and provides us with words of hope and courage throughout this conversation. I can’t wait for you to listen to this incredibly meaningful conversation. Here are some of the highlights! 

2:25  -  I ask Katie what her lessons learned were from talking to 84 people at the beginning of quarantine. Komal and Katie discuss how powerful it can be to interview  others and listen to their stories in order to learn from their lived experiences. 

  • Katie shares her motivations for her starting IG Live Series ‘Together We Rise’, and explains that she decided to bring on inspiring role models to the spotlight on her IG LIVe to share how they overcame their own struggles and bring inspiration to others during a time of isolation and unrest. 

5:30 -  Katie shares with us what changes she has noticed in herself as a result of  receiving people’s stories during interviews, and how the power of shared experience and exchanging knowledge with others became an anchor in her days after she faced unexpected changes in her work days due to the pandemic. : “It was a reckoning, I am someone who likes to be busy and my business is in events and speaking roles and it all stopped, so I was worried as I am a person that thrives when I am busy and have a project to focus on and sink my teeth into.” 

7:43 - Katie and I discuss what burnout is like for people who often like to keep busy. Katie explains how she has always been someone that likes to keep busy with projects, and how she has learned to prioritize celebration after the completion of a big project in order to allow herself to rest, feel gratitude, and gear up for the next project. 

10;00 -  Katie shares her lived experience during a time where she was facing burnout and struggling with depression in 2017. “When doors start to shut and you are in the moving forward process, you stop and ask yourself: what is the purpose of all of these things? Where are these steps leading me?”

  • Katie explains what it’s like to be in a state where you cannot see hope, and how taking small steps towards progress every day such as opening up to family and friends, her boyfriend, or just getting out of bed, taught her the value of taking a small step every day towards your own well-being: It’s about re-learning how to be in the moment and appreciate the people in your life. When you go through a struggle like that, you realize how much you need the people you take for granted.” 

  • Katie also shares with us how that time in her life opened up a different perspective for her to look at the world from, and how she realized how far she can go in terms of facing darkness. Katie shares how truly important it became to her to care for herself as a result and the role that Yoga played in helping her heal and have an emotional release. 

15:04 - I ask Katie what has been grounding her in her days. Katie shares that she is a person who likes to constantly work on projects and express herself creatively, and how as a person who likes to work constantly, she has allowed herself the grace and permission to say she doesn’t need to have a perfect self-care routine during busy work times, but still make time to prioritize her non-negotiable self-care practices at least several times a week. 

  • Katie shares with us some boundaries she has set in place for herself such as giving herself restrictions around scroll time, choosing a medium to get her news and sticking to it, and making time to re-connect and center herself after a large project. 

17:33 - Katie and I discuss how we both have learned to extract ourselves from our beliefs around work and we came to realize that we had a different work style of working in sprints and taking down-time rather than the traditional 9-5.  

  • We discuss what it means to work through the guilt of taking time off, how we all have the tendency to have an inner critic that says we are being lazy for taking time off to rest, and how important it is to give ourselves credit for our work and efforts: “I think that the more that you lean to it and own it, I try to book things around knowing that I like to work in sprints. I try to fill my busy weeks, and give myself down-time during the lighter weeks. I remind myself of what I have just done, and allow myself to rest” 

22:55 - Katie shares how nature and the outdoors have been grounding her and allowing her to cultivate gratitude in her every day life: “When I have moments like that (sitting by a fire, spending time outdoors), they connect me back to what is real, tangible and present with nature, it feels cleansing and reminds me of my purpose.”

  • I asked Katie to share her favourite moments from 14 weeks of live interviews. Katie shares her lessons learned interviewing incredible folks such as Michelle Romanov from Dragon’s Den and Miss Jully Black, Canada’s Queen of R & B.

“When you have public conversations with other people, it’s a great gift, the intimacy of the conversations can teach people so much about themselves and each other.”

28:08 - Katie shares what is coming up for her such as her Together We Rise Podcast, another upcoming batch of interviews,and new developments in GirlTalk. 

30:00 - Finally, I ask Katie if she has any words of wisdom from her lived experience for folks at home that are really going through a tough time right now. Katie shares some incredibly impactful words: 

“I know what it’s like to be in a dark place, and if you are finding yourself there right now, even if you cant’ see the other side and how things will happen for you, just know that there is another side. There is a continuation to this story that you just cannot see yet. I want to ask you to lean into hope. Hope is believing and having vision when you cannot see. Take it one day at a time, and focus on today. Ask: what can i do today to take the smallest step forward? It could be just getting out of bed, talking to a friend, taking any productive action that feels right for today”

“Because I survived yesterday, I know I can make it through today. Tomorrow, new opportunity lies ahead, hope is on the other side.” - Katie Zeppieri 

I hope that this conversation brings you light and inspires you to take a small step every day to contribute towards your own well-being. I can’t wait to continue to share the remaining conversations from this amazing IG Live Series #LessonsInResilience with you and learn from one another. 

Until next time!

Love, Komal