What It Means To Be Selfish w/ Leslie Bailey
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Hey, this is Rebecca Fleetwood Hession, host of The Badass Women's Council Podcast. And I'm super glad that you're here. After every episode, we give you a couple of reflection questions that you can ponder and take with you throughout your day. And then in order to keep the conversation going, you can jump into the online community at badasswomenscouncil. community. Okay, here with go with today's episode. Hey, let me ask you a question. How would you feel if someone called you selfish? Just let that one sink in for a minute because that's the topic we're going to cover today with Leslie Bailey, the editor- in- chief and founder of Indy Maven. Leslie really digs into what it means to be selfish. And y'all, the definition of selfish is to be concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure. And here's the deal, it is traditionally used with a negative connotation. But if we don't take care of ourselves first: Who am I? What do I need? What do I want? It's impossible to serve and give of ourselves in a meaningful way. We're going to dig in. Here's Leslie. Hey, Leslie. How's it going?
Leslie Bailey: I'm hanging in there, tired, but good.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I think that's the universal right now. I'm getting ready to try to take some time this weekend, find a little Airbnb somewhere to go check out. I've sensed in myself, having talked about burnout for the past year or so, that this week, I found myself sitting and staring a lot, which means I need a break. So I think we all have the opportunity to check in with ourselves. When I say, " How are you doing?" These days, people don't just go, " Oh, I'm fine." They kind of tell me how they're doing, so I love that aspect of what we're coming out of here with everything we've been through. But this topic I think is... You're passionate about some of these things about taking care of self and making sure everything's okay because you've been building this brand/ business, having a baby, being married, trying to do all the things. You've been in the thick of it. Right?
Leslie Bailey: Yeah. I said the other day, I tweeted out, I'm not on Twitter much anymore, but I was like, " You know what, I'm kind of all out of resilience, fresh out. Done." I feel like I had a good 37 years of that, and I am kind of just tapped. I'm sure it will replenish, but for right now-
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: So we can start a bumper sticker campaign with F resilience, just like the F cancer kind of one. I saw something similar, I can't remember where it was, but it said, " Let's stop rewarding resilience. How about just stop needing to take a hit?"
Leslie Bailey: Yeah. That is how I'm feeling. That is exactly how I'm feeling. And I think I used to get a high off of people telling me, " Oh, my gosh. You're so resilient." And I was like, " Yeah. Badge of honor, look at me go." And now I'm like, " I don't want that anymore." I just want to be left alone at home.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Recharge a little bit, there's nothing wrong with that. That's one of the main recommendations I have for all my clients is you need a daily stillness practice in order to combat all of the challenges.
Leslie Bailey: Yeah. And as someone who is high energy like I am, an extrovert and all that, remembering to be still does not come naturally to me, especially now. Right? When I was single and lived alone, it was built in. I didn't have to carve that out. Now I've got a house full of creatures and humans and pets, just everybody needs something all the time.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Everything needs fed and watered and their poop taken out somewhere else. Right?
Leslie Bailey: Yeah.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: That's an exhausting part of womanhood. I'm glad that I don't deal with that. I have to pay my kids to eat with me now, so I'm in a totally different stage of life. But I see it in y'all, I think, " Woo, God speed on your journey. I'm glad I'm on the other side."
Leslie Bailey: Yes, that's always a nice feeling. I was reading a sleep book the other night, and it was talking about the six month old sleep regression, and I just though, " Oh, phew, we're not at six months anymore." Right? We're at 14, and that feels like a win with the youngest. And so yeah, just learning though that it's not going to happen naturally. I'm not going to find those moments. I have to create them, and that's just new to me.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: And so that's a bit of our topic today, which is you have now this renewed passion around the world selfishness.
Leslie Bailey: Yeah. So I think for a minute, I was coming across like anti self care, and I wasn't really articulating myself maybe at the time. In these conversations, I was like, "If I hear one more go take a bubble bath, I'm going to lose it." That is not the solution. That is a Band- Aid. But if you think taking a weekly bubble bath is going to fix the stress in marriage, how about let's look at what is causing the issue here. And I use this example recently a lot, it hit me one day, my husband and I both work from home full- time. And I'm making dinner, and I was like, " Why do I make dinner every night? Wait. When did this become the rule?" I grew up in a house, my mom made dinner every night, but she was never working full- time. And I thought, " Well, if we're both working full- time, why am I the one ending my day, first off, early already by an hour and a half to pick up kids, then come, then make dinner?" And so I went to my husband and I said, " This doesn't seem fair. We should each do two nights and then we'll get carry out." And he said, " Okay." And I started telling crosstalk.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: That's my favorite part. He said, " Okay." It wasn't a knock out, drag out, you dirty rotten. It just was, you asked, he said, " Yes." And it just makes me wonder how many thousands, maybe millions of women out there today just needed to be reminded. Well, did you ask?
Leslie Bailey: Yeah. And that goes with employees. That goes with family members. I mean, we just do a lot of this building our own narrative, and sometimes it's so much simpler and easier than we think. I assumed there was some reason. There wasn't. It just that was the routine we fell into, and that's what we were doing. And all I had to do was ask, and then he's a great guy too, so that's helpful. But he said, " Yes," and then that was the end of it. It has been revolutionary. I can't tell you how much nicer my evenings are now because I know that I'm not... And I feel supported.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: And you think about how many other nights, weeks, months, that you spun that story around in your head without saying it out loud, and you could've solved it sooner. But I think what happens is two things, I know happen. One is we start to make up the story in our head that he will surely... He's supposed to read our minds. Right? He's supposed to read the story, or he or she, in our minds. And that's not a thing, y'all. I don't care if you've been together for 50 years, to expect someone else to read your mind in order to have a healthy relationship is bullshit. The second thing that I know happens, and this happens in a work setting as well, we think about things so much that we think we've communicated them. I used to work with a lot of teams and leaders of teams, and in big corporate settings. And I would hear from their team, the lack of knowledge around a certain thing. And then I would go to the leader and I would say, " Do you think they know that?" And they would say, " Well, how could they not?" And I'd be like, " Well, are you just thinking about it all the time as you drive to and from work and going all the places? But have you actually articulated it in a way that they heard you?" And then as you see the lights come on, where it's like they had thought about it so much that they thought they had communicated it as much as they had thought about it. And I'm like, " And you need to communicate 11 times more than you think you need to in order for somebody to hear it." And so it's just this mismatch of busy, frenetic brains, and nobody's actually having a very simple conversation to solve the problem.
Leslie Bailey: I am super guilty of that. That was something I recognized in myself over the summer because I kept catching myself going, " Did I tell you this? Did we talk about this?" And part of that is, that's a sign you're doing too much. Right? But the other part was that I shouldn't have to keep asking. There's something I'm doing if I have to keep asking you this, there's something that I'm not doing right on my part. Right? And making assumptions, assuming people hear it once, because they all have their other stuff going on in their lives. It's not just everything ends because I'm speaking or something. I wish, but it would be great with my kids. The world doesn't stop because I'm speaking, and people need to hear things many times, just like I do, so that was a lesson for me. But yeah, selfishness, back to that original, your question of I just kept hearing, " This bubble bath, and go for a pedicure," and all of these things, which again are lovely. But we need to stop acting like that's a treatment. That should be an extra.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: That's a treat. It's not a treatment.
Leslie Bailey: Yes, yes, exactly. So that has been... Because if you can go dig deeper and solve whatever the thing is that is stressing you out, then it's just a treat. Then you really are just taking a bath because you feel like taking a bath.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Then you have time for treats.
Leslie Bailey: Yeah because you're not in there coping and crying. It's actually enjoyable.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I always used to say, " If you think bath bombs and booze is self- care, you've missed the point."
Leslie Bailey: Yes, yes, exactly.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Yeah. Because most of the time in the bath, you're just festering whatever it already rotting by thinking about it and mulling it over, and coming up with your hypothesis that you haven't even had a conversation about.
Leslie Bailey: Yes, yes, yes. Well, and I just went on this journey of... My co- founder, Amanda, took me to a numerologist in Brown County. And she, during our session said, " You need to read this book, The Art of Selfishness." And so I wrote it down, and then I lost the sheet of paper forever, and I forgot about it. And then I came across it a month ago or so, and I went and ordered the book. And it's written in the'50s, I think, maybe even older than that. And it was hard to find, but I found it. And I read it, and it was so relevant, most of it, obviously, there were some things that were outdated, but the concept was so relevant for today, which was, you have to. Right? Because at the end of the day, we're human. We want what we want. We want to feel comfortable. We want to feel safe. We want to feel. We operate from a point of self first, self first, because that's survival. So when we all use that metaphor of the oxygen mask, that is selfishness, but there's a purpose behind it. We have this negative connotation behind that word that being selfish and putting yourself first, so I don't understand how we can all latch onto this oxygen mask first theory, but then say, " But selfishness is bad," because that's language. I think you're getting into semantics about language there, but I'm full on this mission of taking back selfishness because it's like that whole, if mama ain't happy, nobody's happy. Sorry. It's the truth.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: The tagline of this podcast is reflection and connection, and it's exactly what you're talking about. Reflection means to hold up the mirror and ask, " Who am I? What do I want? What do I need first?"
Leslie Bailey: First.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Then, as a means to find your meaning, so that you can, with purpose, go connect with others once you're healthy, whole, know who you are, know what you're about. Now I've got gifts, I want to come give them to you in great purpose, and as a social construct. But you've got to start with reflection. You've got to say, " Who am I? What do I need? What do I want?" Without that, then you're bitter and resentful and burned out over time from giving, giving, giving, giving, giving.
Leslie Bailey: And you'll get better the more you do those asks, make those asks, and set those boundaries because that used to be terrifying. I did something today, in fact, that would've terrified me I think even a month ago probably. I was on the phone with a very well known nonprofit that reached out. Love Indy Maven, would love to partner with you. Love what you're doing. That's so flattering, so exciting, thank you. Love your work. What do you want this to look like? And I've sort of quietly talked about this for a long time, that this has been a frustration as a business owner, the love what you're doing, don't want to spend a dime to support it. Right? And which would be fine, it actually would be fine because I believe in paying women fairly for their work, but aside from that, because of that, actually, not aside, because of, in light of, I pay everyone who works. So I have to pay this team, not have to, I want to, pay this team of people that create this product that you're telling me that you value, but you don't want to pay for it. And that's an issue across journalism, that whole thing about: Should there be paywalls? Why should you have to pay for content?
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Anything artistic in general, so my son's a songwriter.
Leslie Bailey: Exactly.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: He gets asked to perform for free all the time.
Leslie Bailey: Right.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I'm a keynote speaker. The number of times that we get asked to perform for" exposure," when I go to Kroger and I get a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine, and I get to the register, there's no button for exposure. I can't pay my bills with exposure.
Leslie Bailey: Correct. And so when I would get this ask, so we launched October 2019, I've been getting this ask for a long time now. And I went, " Okay, well, you're this well known organization, absolutely. I have to find a way to do this." And today, my answer was, obviously, always you can pitch editorial ideas. That doesn't cost a thing, earned media, getting people and brands to understand that too. Earned media means the media decided to pay attention to what you're doing, and they like it, and they're going to talk about it because of that. Right? Then there's paid media. If you want to ensure that a certain message is shared, and ensure that there's placements, then you're going to have to pay for that. And now of course, there's all the stuff in between. There's collaborations. And what does that look like? But then to be told, " Well, I don't know what our budget looks like." Okay. Well, then absolutely pitch that editorial story outside of that, what I realized I was doing was saying yes because it was flattering. And also, we want to support that mission. But then realizing, oh, but it costs my business money to pay the writer, and pay the marketing person, and pay the website fees, and pay this, and pay this. I just lost money supporting your business, which I'm happy to do, except you're a nonprofit. You're still benefiting from that. And then to also then get that ask from actual just businesses, for profit businesses too, but we don't have the money. Right? And then it's like, " Well, I don't know. Then the value is not there." So I just kind of said, " Here are the options. Obviously, we'd love to work with you." And I'm trying to figure out what that model looks like because there is something there. But at the end of the day, I can't keep working for free and paying crosstalk.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: You're robbing your own organization.
Leslie Bailey: Right, right. It's just literally not how math works. Right? And so I'm not the best at math, first off, but I at least know that much.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: But you know that much. And I have been for years teaching as part of my process that everybody in the organization that works for you, everybody, needs to understand the money making model of your business because you can't expect autonomy, innovation, boldness, unless people understand the impact to both the company mission and story, as well as the bottom line. And if you equip people to understand the money making model, then they can be more innovative and courageous with their ideas and their choices. But that's a perfect example of you all of a sudden going, " Well, with the money making model, you're still getting value from my services. And I got, let me see, nothing." So I think there are times I do some trades with some of my partners because the value of what they provide and the value of what I provide is pretty similar.
Leslie Bailey: Sure.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: So we do some trades.
Leslie Bailey: Trade is another discussion. Right?
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Great.
Leslie Bailey: I'm all for trade.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Yeah, but if it's just a matter of, " Will you give this to me because we're great?" That's I'm proud of you for standing, because the more we stand up for ourselves, especially as women in that regard, the less people will ask and assume that we're willing to do it.
Leslie Bailey: That was something, you made the point about the team and the organization, and employees knowing that too. I used to actually think that it was my job as a business owner to protect my team from all of the financial stuff. And I would say at a meeting, " I don't mean to burden you with that, but you all don't need to worry about that. That's my problem to worry about." And that has shifted too. No one person should know crosstalk.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Because if they don't know some of that, and I'm not saying you have to disclose your salary, but if they don't understand the money making model, and if the business is healthy, it creates a sense of uncertainty for them like, " Is the business okay? Are we okay? Are we growing?" And them knowing the healthy financial view of the business is good for your culture.
Leslie Bailey: Yeah. I've learned that having, it's the right amount of transparency. But can you tell I just decided to jump on the Brene Brown train?
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Just this week.
Leslie Bailey: Just literally I've started listening to The Gifts of Imperfection because of course, I'm a nerd, and checked her website to see if there was an order of books.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: That's my favorite one, quite frankly.
Leslie Bailey: I'm about, I don't know, halfway through.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: That's my favorite one.
Leslie Bailey: I finally-
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Welcome to 2021. It's funny you said that because I was talking to my coach, oh, gosh, probably six months ago when I was finishing up the last parts of writing my book, which comes out in February, by the way. And I said, " I can't read anything or listen to anybody's podcasts that are even remotely saying similar things to me because then it feels like I'm not smart enough or genuine. It's already been done." Right? And I made a comment about, well, because everybody's listening to Brene Brown's new podcast, blah, blah, blah, blah. And she stopped me and she goes, " I don't know how to tell you this, but that's not true." I go, " What do you mean?" She goes, " Everybody's not listening to it. There's a lot of people out there who don't know who Brene Brown is." And I was like, " You think?" And she was like, " Mm- hmm( affirmative). I know some of them. You listen to her, or used to, so you think everybody does." And we do that. Right? So now you are a perfect example of not everybody was listening to Brene Brown when I thought they were.
Leslie Bailey: No. I've still never actually listened to her podcast. And you were talking to Jenny. Is it Eads? Jen, Jen.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: No, actually, I was talking to Emily Shaw at the time.
Leslie Bailey: No, I'm saying you were talking to her about the same thing on another podcast about you're doing something different, even if some of the context is the same. Right? It's still your spin. And I also just read Untamed. Apparently, I like... Well, I don't know. I have a little baby, so I fell off the Earth, and I just didn't know what was going on in the world, and I'm now catching up. But that was another thing that sparked my selfishness crusade that I'm on, reading that. So I'm just now catching up to the rest of the world. But the point is leading with that level of vulnerability. And I'm still learning where you draw the line and how to be transparent, and what parts to be transparent, but I've always been a pretty open book, so it's odd to me that, that was a thing I chose to protect people from. I'll tell you about anything else in my life. But I was like, "But I can't tell you how the business is going." That's really crosstalk.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I've had other clients, one of the guests from Rise and Thrive Season Two, we had the same conversation. And she also was doing it out of protection, that she didn't want them to be burdened with it or worry about it. And we had the same conversation. And she came back over the next couple of months, and she was like, " This is so freeing because now they're helping me solve problems that I was taking home at night and being worried about, and churning about." And she said, " Now that we've put it all out in the open, they've got answers to those problems." We should be solving them together.
Leslie Bailey: Revolutionary.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Yeah, yeah.
Leslie Bailey: Especially if you're someone who's used to doing everything on your... Not everything on your own, but you're used to taking on things. I've been doing that from a really young age, and I had a lot of responsibility put on me early on, so it's very natural to me. Again, I've always said, " It's not because I'm too proud to ask for help. It just didn't occur to me." And so now this is all kind of new. It's so freeing, it's such a relief.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: That's a pretty consistent theme in high achieving women is that they've been fiercely, strong, independent either by choice or by situation. And the things they've done independently to get to a certain level of success, then need to shift in leadership in order to grow because you can only grow to your ability of your time, task and effort. Right? But then when you go to leadership, where you're getting things done through others, that's where we typically are in this white knuckle control of everything, and the only way to grow at that point is to open your hands and say, " How can we do this together?" And that's a different mindset. It's a different skillset. It's a new way to work, so I'm glad that you've made that jump because it's big.
Leslie Bailey: Yeah, yeah. And what's fun about it, kind of about all of the things we're talking about is that I see how they cross over into different areas of my life too. Right? I sit down with my three year old and say, " Well, how can we figure this out?" Not taking it from him and being like, " Oh, just do it." Let's do this together. But that's a test of my patience. I've just never, because I'm the, I'll take it and do it myself because I could do it faster, or easier.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Preach. Now that mine are 19 and 23, I can tell you wholeheartedly that the time that you invest in biting the inside of your cheek while your three year old learns how to do something that you could've done in six seconds will pay off in big, bold, beautiful ways. I can remember we, I think I've talked about this on the podcast before, my now ex husband and I were teaching Cameron, our son, to take out the trash. And we lived in this huge property, the driveway was half mile long, not literally, maybe, but it was long, super long. And so to teach this child to get the trash out to the trash cans and then get him to the end of the long driveway, and all of the... There was the bee incident. There was the, I hear noises, and I waited until dark, and now I'm afraid, and all of the things. And every time I'd want to just be like, " F it, I'll just take him out myself." Right? And Blaine, their dad, would say, " Nope. The first time you do that, all the work we've gotten to this point is for nothing. No." And he and I fought several times about it because I was just like, " I can't listen to this argument tonight." And he'd be like, " You have to. This is the way you train this child to take out the trash." And finally, over time, it got so much easier and better. And then one day, I was taking out the trash because I wanted to. I was going for a run, and it was like, " I'll just take it out while I go." That kid of mine comes barreling out from his room upstairs, out the front door, grabs the trash can out of my hand. He's like, "What are you doing?" I was like, " I'm just going to take the trash because I'm going for a run." He was like, " That's my job." And I was like, " We did it. It took us six years, but we did it."
Leslie Bailey: And they own those tasks. Right?
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: He owned it. He was mortified and angry that I would take his job that day. Honest to God, I think it took us six years. But his level of responsibility in all other aspects of his life, I think is rooted in overcoming angry bees and darkness of the night to take the trash out and take ownership of it.
Leslie Bailey: Well, and high achieving moms that are going, " I could just, if I could just. Why don't you let me?" Okay, inaudible. Right?
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Yeah, again, all new to me. I'm learning so much this year.
Leslie Bailey: And the last few years.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Even things that you don't want to learn.
Leslie Bailey: Yeah.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: When I work with my clients, I want them to discover their unique personal story, so they can then stand tall in that story and live a life full of soul and emotions, and their natural curiosity about their unique gifts, talents and abilities, so they can live a thriving life because our brains are hardwired for stories. And our brain wants us to thrive. So I help my clients tap into that. And I also have a sponsor for this podcast called Storybook, which is a unique and innovative platform that helps you bring your company's stories to life by tapping into the emotional flow and the natural curiosity that we have about your products and services. So check them out, you can go to my website, wethrive. live, click on the stand tall in your story link and see the kind of work they're doing for us, or go to their site, cantaloupe. tv. And there's hundreds of stories there that they've created, that you can experience. Check them out. We're so grateful to work with them and for them to sponsor the podcast. I'm so glad that you have been here, and I think we should just continue to have these little chats because we always have great conversations. And we have a lot to learn from you as you navigate things with Indy Maven. So tell us a little bit about: How are things at Indy Maven?
Leslie Bailey: Gosh.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: What are you excited about? What's happening?
Leslie Bailey: Well, I am excited that we have survived. Right? I was reading some stats about just businesses closing, this morning, for something kind of totally unrelated. But the point was, I was going, " Oh, you know what, I need to be a little more... " I've never been the person who's good at taking time to celebrate my wins, personally or professionally, and actually looking at this business and going, " We did it." I mean, it's not over yet, but we have stuck it out and still been able to stick to our values of paying people, and all the growth. For the first time ever, so I launched October 2019, for the first time ever, all of our growth sort of just leveled out this summer because everybody's going to... Everybody was traveling and getting out of the house. So the first time ever, we weren't seeing an upward line, and that was devastating for me. And then of course, far more experienced people were like, " No, that's normal your second year in business." That was going to happen. Of course, I'm like, " Not to me, it wasn't." But it's like-
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Do you know who I am?
Leslie Bailey: Yeah. But the point is, it didn't go down. Right?
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Yeah.
Leslie Bailey: So that was like, oh, I got some clarity and some perspective on that. It is difficult because from a business model perspective, so we had advertisers crosstalk.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Tell people what Indy Maven is, for those who may not know.
Leslie Bailey: Let's back this truck up. We are a media company for women in Indiana. So what that means is we have a website full of editorial content, so we average about 25 stories a month. We've produced more than 500 stories since launching. We have a newsletter that comes out every Thursday at 8: 00 AM called Uncovered. We've got thousands and thousands and thousands of subscribers, which is awesome, that are highly engaged. That's the fun part about this. And I love when you nerd out on the analytics and the industry average. People open this email, they click on it. They're interested in these stories, which is cool for us, yes, as a brand. But also, it's cool for the women in our city. That means that women are interested in all of these other amazing things that other women are doing because that goes against everything we hear about women being catty, being competitive. No, no, no, because if they were... And you know what, if you do open a story about a woman and you find yourself feeling jealous, stopping and asking, " Why am I jealous of this?" Is it because you want to write a book? Is it because you want to start a podcast? I say that's a good thing because that means, oh, if you're feeling that, instead of just going, " Why does she get to have that?" How about-
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: And to know if she can do it, I can do it too.
Leslie Bailey: Yeah. That's for sure true. Right? So that is the sole purpose, is creating this storytelling for women. And then through that storytelling, creating this community of women. So we have a membership program that has an additional newsletter. We do monthly member meetups, which we tend to theme around having a different woman speak, and we do them in all different locations around town, membership perks and all of that thing, all of those types of things. But not being able to do events, that was a huge issue for us. And of course, we last year did all the virtual events. I will not do another virtual event. I don't know anyone that ever wants to attend another virtual event again. I would rather just wait until we can do more events, or continue to do events as safely as possible. But just what I learned was the model of the membership thing was an afterthought for us. I sound like an idiot saying this, but that was not at all what this was going to be about.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I'm glad you're saying that because I think people that are starting something new believe that you have to have everything figured out before you start, and that is a bullshit lie from hell. I mean, you innovate, you iterate, you figure stuff out. You adapt. And so I love that you said that out loud because I think people need to hear that.
Leslie Bailey: And allow things to evolve. So fun fact, we were a lifestyle directory when we launched. It was just going to be based around a directory and have some content. But turns out, guess what, directories are a pain in the ass to do. I learned that real quick. And then realized, but that's not really how people... People want that personal recommendation. And even though we said any listing has our seal of approval, it was like, " Well, what's the story behind it? Tell me why I want to go with that?"
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Our brains process everything as a story. We want to know about that person or that thing. Yeah.
Leslie Bailey: And really, that's what our team does. I mean, we're storytellers. All of our backgrounds are in journalism. Amanda and I both worked at the Indianapolis Star for years. Our executive editor, Abby, has been at every women's magazine under the sun, Glamor, gosh, Jane. She was the YM. I mean, she's done it all. And so it was like, " Wait a second. What are we good at?"
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Use your gifts and talents. crosstalk. Yes.
Leslie Bailey: So we kind of got back to that. But right before we were launching, and women were saying, " How can I join?" And we said, " You just put your email address in and you get the newsletter." And they were like, " Yeah. But how can I join?" Stopping and going, " Oh, you want some ownership in this. You want a part." So then we created the membership community. So I must admit we didn't design a whole lot of... It was there. It existed. But now after going through what we've been through so far with COVID, I realized that's where the value is in this. I love the storytelling, but the connections that have been made, and seeing the power behind what women can do when they join forces, that has been incredibly valuable.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: It's very inspiring to see how much is happening now, I didn't know in my own city, through you.
Leslie Bailey: Thank you. And then also, too, there's a little bit of that learning because you can look at analytics and demographics all day long, and they're women, and they're 25 to 54, or 35 to 54, and they're women, and they live in Indianapolis and Carmel, and here and here and here. But actually, coming to terms with the fact that I can't, I, nor I, nor this business can be everything to everyone. And you hear people say that, and it just hadn't clicked. And I have just gotten so much more confidence as this business has grown going, " Oh, that's okay." Even if friends, people I like, where I'm like, " Why don't you want to be a part of this? Why don't you want to do this?" Oh, it's not personal. You just are doing something else. But then-
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Which is a part of that boundary conversation. Right?
Leslie Bailey: Yeah.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: It's just not in their or your-
Leslie Bailey: Or their season or whatever. Right? But then the number of women, who I've never met before in my life, who are so die hard and so ride or die, and will come to everything and do everything, and are so supportive. And the number of friendships, too. I mean, I know a lot of I think friend groups have evolved somewhat in the last four years, but also I'm proud to look around and see new faces at my dinner table or on my Zoom. I just feel like it's such a needed thing right now, as we all have craved that connection. So I'm really humbled and proud to be part of offering that.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I love it. I love what you're doing. We've started doing some things at a similar time, so I always look over at you and think, " We still doing okay?" Because when we first had these ideas of Rise and Thrive and of Indy Maven, crosstalk, and we got together, it was like, " We might be crazy, but here we go." And here we still are.
Leslie Bailey: And isn't that exciting?
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Yes, it is. It is. And to debunk the whole idea that women don't support women, that's one of my favorite things. I can remember when I said I was starting Rise and Thrive, and it was a seven month experience. Somebody said, " I don't think you can get women to trust each other."
Leslie Bailey: That's fascinating.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Isn't that fascinating? And it was a seven month gig. And I was like, " Well, you're wrong."
Leslie Bailey: That's interesting.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: You're wrong.
Leslie Bailey: Trust they were inaudible.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: And I noticed people starting to extend trust in the first 24 hours of getting to know each other in this experience because they are there for the same reasons. They're there to support each other. They know the intention behind it. But I thought that was a fascinating comment early on. And it's a good thing that people like you and I just follow the passions and that inner knowing because there are enough people that are willing to tell you why things won't work, that you have to be willing to go, " No, I'm not buying that. I'm going to do it anyway." And here we are.
Leslie Bailey: I also think it's been interesting from a geographic perspective. I think a lot of that plays into where we live, that things like this, like what you do, what we do, won't survive here. There's not the market for them. I hear that a lot. And I've talked to women and investors in tier one primary market cities going, "But are there enough women in Indianapolis that would do something like that?"
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Well, there's 30 of us, but we're powerful.
Leslie Bailey: Exactly. I mean, we're the 14th, 16th largest city. Yes, yes. The answer's yes. But I'm like, " What do you think we're doing over here?" But I say let's use that to our advantage, so with... I can't really talk about it just yet, but another concept, sort of a sister concept to Indy Maven that I'm working on, that does exist in other cities, again, none of this is revolutionary. But it's new to our market. And I think there's a little bit of this, even the people who do live here sometimes, we don't deserve nice things. We're Hoosiers. Let's be humble. That's so fancy. Or that's for the business folks. I don't know. There's just sometimes the things I hear, I'm going, " No. It's for you. You deserve this. We deserve to have nice things. We're a real city." I'm not sure why we keep having to have this conversation.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: The humility thing is a problem sometimes.
Leslie Bailey: Yeah.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Agreed. Agreed.
Leslie Bailey: And even just, it's hard to try and have a brand that feels sophisticated and elevated and special, but we never want it to feel so exclusive.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Right, pretentious.
Leslie Bailey: Pretentious, or so my thing is, well can't... Which is what when Amanda and I first started talking about Indy Maven, we love this publication out of London. And we just kept, for years, we were like, " Why can't we have this?" And then the Daily Skim, the Skim Newsletter launched. And we tried to do something similar when we were at Indy Star. And they were ready and they knew that the market was there, and they were ready to sell it. And then they just got distracted by sports, basically. And it didn't take off, and we still couldn't get that idea out of our head. Why can't we have this? Why don't we have this?
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Here it is.
Leslie Bailey: I didn't want to sit around. I know, kind of going back to that jealousy thing, I knew it would make me so mad and sick to my stomach if somebody else came in and did it.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: That is a big motivator for me sometimes too. It's like, " Okay. Can I let this go?" If somebody else does something even remotely close to this, how will I feel? And if I get any of those pangs, I'm like, " Nope, we've got to do it. We've got to do it."
Leslie Bailey: Elizabeth Gilbert talks about in... What's her?
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Big Magic.
Leslie Bailey: Big Magic. Right. The fact that an idea will-
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Will float by if you don't grab it.
Leslie Bailey: Float by. I have had that happen. Haven't you gone and go, " That was my idea." Well, maybe it was.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Coffee scented candles in 1987.
Leslie Bailey: inaudible forgotten.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I remember saying, " I love the smell of coffee. Why can't I have a candle that smells like coffee?" And I shit you not, it wasn't a year later that coffee scented candles were everywhere. And I was like, " Oh."
Leslie Bailey: And now you can get a candle that smells like anything.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Anything.
Leslie Bailey: Even gross things. Yeah.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I feel you on that.
Leslie Bailey: Yes. But I believe, I do believe that ideas will jump to the next person if you don't latch onto them or do something with them.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Absolutely.
Leslie Bailey: And I think that's totally fair. If you're not going to take action, it's annoying and it's frustrating, but if it was really your-
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Somebody's going to. Yeah.
Leslie Bailey: Yeah. So there's also that motivator too. I am nuts to be thinking about this other project that I'm thinking about right now, or trying to take on, because it is huge. And part of me thinks you have no business doing this. But then I also have this, first off. Who would be better? Not to be like, " I'll do it perfectly." But why not? Right? Why not me?
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Why not me? Yes.
Leslie Bailey: And so I'm going to do it anyway. But I've learned that to do things that are scary, and that we're here to do things. There's people who talk about wanting to become entrepreneur, and I remember hearing this too, but you don't believe it. You hear it and you're like, " Yeah, but it'll be different." No. It's terrifying. It's scary. It's exhausting. Catch me, even on a good day, I will tell you those things.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: But you can't not do it. The fire in your belly, you can't not do it.
Leslie Bailey: Can't not do it.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I'm with you.
Leslie Bailey: But this one is on a larger scale that I feel like I've put myself out there on before. And it will, I'm not even going to say if it doesn't work out because it'll work out.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I was going to say, do not curse it with those words, please.
Leslie Bailey: No. No.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: But you can only achieve to your level of belief. That's a neuroscience thing. So if you don't believe in it, the chances of it actually happening are pretty slim.
Leslie Bailey: I believe it. I just need to make sure everybody else believes.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Well, let's make a deal. So this episode is going to launch likely in August of 2021. You'll come back and tell us about this when?
Leslie Bailey: I would say, I will know, if I don't know that this is happening in the next 60 to 90 days, then it's not going to happen. And either it needs to happen in this period of time.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: So you can come back on January of 2022 and tell us about the launch. Sound good?
Leslie Bailey: Yes. Yes. Let's do that. Not terrifying at all.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Thank you for being here. No, now you've got accountability to me. It's fine.
Leslie Bailey: That's the part that's terrifying. I know you won't let it go, which is great, no.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: It's all good.
Leslie Bailey: Thank you so much.
Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Thank you for being here. Thank you for being you. Thank you for being courageous enough to bring the greatness of Indy Maven to our great city. I'm so appreciative of you, even though we don't get to talk, we don't choose to talk that often because we're busy building our own things. As I said, I always look to you and feel like we've been kind of sisters in this journey from a timeline perspective, so keep doing great things. Please go and check out indymaven. com and learn a little bit more about the work that they do there, and consider becoming a subscriber. Your reflection questions for today are one: When's the last time you took care of you first? And the second reflection question is: What are you going to do this week to take care of you first? Adopt a little selfishness and see what happens. Hey, y'all, thanks for being here. And please join the online community at badasswomenscouncil. community, where we can continue the conversation and you can meet other badass high achievers like you. Thanks so much. Make it a great day. If you like the music for the podcast, go to iTunes, Spotify, wherever you listen to your music, and look up Cameron Hession Clouds. You can download the full song there. He's got some other stuff out there as well. And y'all, he's my son. Be great if you'd go and download some of his stuff.
In this week's episode, Rebecca talks with Leslie Bailey about being selfish and why we should remove the negative connotation that comes with that word. Leslie is the CEO of Indy Maven, an Indy-based media company for women. She discusses the difference between treating ourselves when we are stressed and finding a solution to the issue stressing us out.