63 episodes

Stories with everyday people. A podcast learning about humans on planet earth. The success and struggle in their life, to help inspire hope in yours.

The Hope Initiative Rien MacDonald

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 39 Ratings

Stories with everyday people. A podcast learning about humans on planet earth. The success and struggle in their life, to help inspire hope in yours.

    #61 - Seeing Sonder

    #61 - Seeing Sonder

    "When I think about the definition of marketing and what I want to do in the world, I want to help people feel seen. And I think that's a big part of not only Seth's definition of marketing, but what I embody as my definition of marketing, what akimbo would identify as a goal; is helping an audience feel seen enough to make the change they want to make in the world.

    And so. I just think that speaks volumes to not only what's talked about, in 'This is Marketing', but what people could do in realising that everyone's a marketer, like you don't have to be in marketing to be a marketer. Everyone tells stories. Everyone is trying to help another person feel seen whether they are working in product development, whether they work at a bakery, whether you know, whatever it is...

    Whether they're a teacher, an educator, and they're trying to help someone else feel seen enough to take the action to make that change happen. I think that's marketing."

    Episode #61 with Taylor Harrington

    Taylor Harrington and I are at opposites on the world, but thanks to having a desire to learn and connect, have had more than 1 conversation via the internet.
    I'm so glad we got to record this one and share it with you.

    As the Director of Digital Marketing at Akimbo - an online learning community for those seeking to do meaningful work - Taylor loves meeting strangers and this is encompassed in her favourite word - Sonder.

    Sonder - in short - means, "the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own". In this conversation we discuss this topic as well as having hobbies, self reflection, important questions, feeling seen, creativity and seriously so much more.

    It was a belter and I'm so happy to be able to share the wisdom of the fabulous, Taylor Harrington.


    • 1 hr 13 min
    #60 - Life is Up to You

    #60 - Life is Up to You

    "The fear of failure and having a failure can sort of over overcome me and stop people from actually chasing their dreams and their goals, due to fear.

    I don't do that anymore.

    I definitely did for much longer than I'd like to admit."

    Episode #60 with Johanna Clark

    Johanna Clark is a mother of 5 (yes 5 kids) all under the age of 13, and for good balance, has had 5 companies in her life.

    Currently involved in 3 of these quite a lot, we speak about her passion for creating an environment to empower women to live a life where they feel valued through the work they do and the moments they share not only at home, but at the work place too.

    Through her company, Pink Nade, she is well on the way to that. In this conversation she shared with me her humble beginnings, from being a determined child who loved learning and school, to being the mother to 5 from the age of 19.

    This conversation has so many touching moments and I'm sure that will communicate when you listen!

    Thanks for doing so, and thanks to Johanna for taking time out of her hectic life to have a chat with me.

    Enjoy x

    • 1 hr
    #59 - Long Obedience

    #59 - Long Obedience

    "So every day is a choice for all of us... A choice of what we do with what's in our hands, the energy we've got, the focus of attention and that kind of stuff.
    And some days are more fruitful than others, but if there's a general direction that you're headed in, then you can build step by step and actually do something..."

    Episode #59 with Steve Heatherington

    In this episode of the podcast, I speak with a podcasting friend from the other side of the world. Steve and I met on Seth Godins 2nd edition of The Podcast Fellowship which kicked off almost 2 years ago in October 2018.

    Steve, based in Wales, has been a massive help to me since we were both students in that edition of the course, and he was for many others. His generous work rewarded with a role as a coach in the later editions of the course, where he is now the Head Coach! What a remarkable journey.

    In this conversation, we discuss the podcast he started back in 2019, Alpaca Tribe. His life as a northerner growing up in Newcastle upon Tyne, his health struggles, marriage having recently celebrated his 40th wedding anniversary and lots more.

    Steves generosity and wisdom is clear for me and I'm sure it will be for you too. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did in having it and bringing it to you.

    Thanks to Steve!
    All the best.

    • 57 min
    #58 - Running from Comfort

    #58 - Running from Comfort

    "I finished law school and... I hope my boss isn't listening...

    I didn't think I wanted to be a lawyer anymore.
    I finished all of that. The day I actually graduated, not just law school, but also my practicing certificate, that day I literally just came home and cried."

    Episode #58 with Zac Galloway

    Zac and I crossed paths at an event in August 2019 at the Melbourne Exhibition centre hosted by Success Resources.

    Gary Vaynerchuk spoke, and Zac was brave enough to get up and ask him a question about the effects social media have on our mental health, as well as asking Gary if he'd be a guest on his podcast, Running from Comfort.

    We chat podcasting, being an unemployed and fully qualified lawyer, his Tasmanian roots, discovering purpose and asking a girl for her number on a bus.

    This was a great conversation and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    Thanks again to Zac!

    • 1 hr 3 min
    #57 - Reframing Fifty

    #57 - Reframing Fifty

    "When I finished high school, I was 17 and a half. Somewhere I have this little piece of paper, like a note you get from your parents when you're sick, 'We give permission to join the army.'

    I mean, it's literally this handwritten note, like here, give this to them and they'll enlist you. I never used it cause I ended up in this group and whatever, but I just, I have literally like a permission slip to join the army before I turned 18."

    Episode #57 with Anat Banin.

    Anat and I met on the Story Skills Workshop, which is one of many brilliant courses facilitated by Bernadette Jiwa, Seth Godin and his company, Akimbo.
    Growing up in America to Israeli parents, and spent seemingly half her life in California and the other half in Israel.

    Enlisted into the army for military service as a teenager, she has gone on to live a colourful life. Both her parents were engineers which led her to a life of design, where she is now an architect.

    We spoke about so many brilliant things; cancel culture, the day after Covid and reframing your life after 50.

    I had a pleasure chatting with Anat. I hope you enjoy listening!


    • 1 hr 5 min
    #56 - Be Nice

    #56 - Be Nice

    "Going through this pandemic, just checking in on people constantly, and then also taking it a step further, because what I've noticed is, social media has really made everyone on social in a sense, antisocial... And I've been messaging people asking, literally 'Would you be up for a phone call?' Doing a lot of that, lightly reaching out to people, asking how they're going...

    Like I said before, if I can just change one person's mentality, if I can give them a bit of hope, relate to that self doubt and make them believe in themselves just by having a phone call or just an ear to listen to, that's simple...

    You might not be able to change the world, but you can change one person's world."

    Episode #56 with Billy Mack

    Billy and I are total strangers, put into contact by a subscriber of the podcast - thank you Jordy!

    At 22 years of age, you'd be forgiven for thinking Billy has lived for decades - and in a sense he has.

    Having experience so much already, it's Billys mentality that is keeping him going. Having lost the love of his life to a collection of debilitating illnesses just 3 months before this conversation, the experiences are still very raw; but it's this combination of drive and desire for a better life, along with a vision instilled in him by the late Taylah Keating that looks to be a driving force for many years.

    In this conversation we talk about;
    - His early life and growing up uncertain at high school
    - First jobs and what he got out of them
    - Working as a roof plumber
    - How Taylah was the strongest girl he's ever met and how she instilled in him values that will be with him until the day he dies
    - Why your environment dictates performance
    - So much more

    Thanks again to Billy! This was as real as they come.

    • 1 hr 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
39 Ratings

39 Ratings

hellsbellsslotted ,


I’ve been kinda surprised to find myself getting hooked on these chats with ‘everyday people’. Rien has a knack of stripping away the social veneer and discovering what really makes people tick. I’ve been entertained, educated and uplifted. Thank you.

JayMel18 ,

Fresh, Fun and Raw Reality

Looking at starting my own podcast and came across this in my R&D, absolutely love this real snap shot of everyday people's lives. Rien offers a really humble, compassionate and curious interview style which is very endearing. Easy to listen to, heart warming and uplifting. Keep up the great work!

megssyy21 ,

Quality listening!

I was hooked on this series by episode 2. The choice of guest and topics continues to be interesting and fresh. It’s not another podcast that takes it's queues from the news or social media, Rien has made creativity his priority and inspiring listeners his goal. I look forward to hearing more!

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