Listen to Epic/Fail for stories about people who have built epic lives by leveraging their failures rather than in spite of them. Through these stories we’ll discover how our biggest challenges can actually be our biggest strengths. Our guests have built incredible lives and business by redirecting the unique trait they always struggled with into a superpower. Leverage what makes you different and get ready to fail forward.
Emily Johnson of Taylor Johnson (Ep. 210)
Leadership in Times of Uncertainty
For as long as she can remember, Emily Johnson has been honing her skills as a real estate industry publicist. After all, it was her mother, Deborah Johnson, who founded Taylor Johnson in 1977 when Emily was just 6 years old. As a result, Emily literally grew up in the business, attending model open houses on weekends, sending out press releases during summer breaks and helping out with the occasional client event.
Today, more than four decades after its inception, Taylor Johnson remains the go-to PR firm for real estate companies looking to raise their profile not only in Chicago, but also markets nationally and internationally. Following Deborah’s retirement in January 2008, Emily took the reins as president, leading Taylor Johnson through the recession by strategically diversifying the business to not only survive, but thrive.
Emily prides herself on the quality of the team she’s assembled at Taylor Johnson, drawing senior-level professionals with backgrounds in journalism, law, government, integrated marketing and communications. She’s also proud of TJ TALK, a daily digest of real estate news and events that’s delivered to over 3,000 industry professionals and editorial contacts across the country.
Jeremy Jones of uncooked (Ep. 209)
What starts as a conversation on plant based living leads to discussion of conscious capitalism, identity, and keys to living a purposeful life.
Randy Fifield (Ep. 208)
Randy Fifield is the chairwoman and principal of Fifield Companies. On this episode, we discussed topics including the importance of cultivating a strong culture, saying “no” so you can say “yes” to the right things, how being a “shapeshifter” can help you diversify and pivot with changing circumstances, and how wellbeing and micro habits have a massive impact on the course of your life and business.
She partnered with her husband Steve in 1999, and together they completed multiple successful development projects including an $80 million renovation of the Chicago Civic Opera House, and the $800 million K Station development with 2,145 units in five apartment towers. She has been honored by the LA Lakers and Comerica Bank as Business Woman of the Year in Los Angeles. In Chicago, Randy was Connect Media’s 2017 Women in Real Estate Honoree, was the recipient of the 2017 Women in Construction Woman of the Year Award and has been honored by Chicago Business Journal and Crain’s as a notable female executive. Randy attended Northwestern University, and serves as a board member of Northwestern Prentice Hospital and Children’s Memorial Hospital.
Learn more about Randy on her blog Randy Fifield Modern Living.
Sam Letscher of Bossy Chicago (Ep. 206)
Sam Letscher is the founder of Bossy, a Chicago based startup that shifts buying power to women owned businesses. In this episode of Epic Fail, we discuss the experience of being a small business owner, escaping "hustle" culture that is so prevalent in the entrepreneurship space, implicit assumptions we all have, and the experience of choosing a career that you hope will be praise worthy versus pursuing purpose and fulfillment.
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Epic Lives Inspiration and Insight
Fail forward, fail well, fail often - that is how Epic Lives are created and lived. Tune into Sophie Morrison to hear stories of inspiration and insight that transform. Karen Briscoe, author and podcast host 5 Minute Success