The Common Scents podcast is presented by TAMAR. In this journey, our host Tamar Weinberg speaks with individuals who have suffered adversity and overcome and who have embodied wellness in some way, who have pivoted from their previous life or career trajectories and who have found happiness and peace in the pursuing of their new normal.
Experiencing transformation and overcoming anxiety: A chat with Jill Whalen
Once suffering from anxiety, Jill Whalen, an extraordinarily successful marketer, tackled her demons and overcome, and then lived to share the tale and teach others how they, too, could overcome. In this podcast, Jill and Tamar talk about anxiety, getting healthy, how different each and every single one of us are, and then deviate into our reality and past lives.
Hey, everybody, I am delighted, excited, ecstatic to bring my old friend from, I don’t even know, like over a decade, we’ve known each other for a really long time. Jill Whalen. And she is she’s like this expert in her craft, but kind of walked away from it. So I guess I’m going to talk about that and has been making, been migrating lately, so, yeah, I mean, I guess I’ll give too much information out, but thank you so much for coming.
Thanks for having me Tamar, yeah, I think it’s been more, much more than a decade, probably 20 years since we first knew each other.
Oh, wow. Yeah, that’s that ages me. Yeah. No, it hasn’t, it hasn’t been. I got into it in about 2006, 2007, so it’s gotta be, it is over a decade. But it’s not that long. I kind of wish it was, you know, what benefits you would have had, I would have had if I started earlier.
Oh, yeah, true.
Yeah. So Jill and I know each other from the search engine marketing world, and Jill was this rock star of a SEO High Rankings, if you will, official. And it’s, no pun intended because she ran her, she ran a site called HighRankings.com and then walked away from it because life came and got in the way and no regrets. So that’s always the dream. So talk about your history a little bit on that.
Sure, yeah, so I was doing a SEO thing for I think it had been about I was about 17 years at that point and this was 2013 and, you know, I loved it. It was my life and it was my passion. I lived and breathed SEO, basically was a pioneer in the industry, pretty well known, and went to all the conferences, spoke at conferences, and then I at some point in 2013 I was, I mean long before this I was gaining weight and drinking too much, never having really eaten very healthy most of my life and getting older. I was about 50 at this point. I was just getting very unhealthy and I knew I needed to do something about it or, you know, something bad or something really bad would happen. And so I finally, after years of thinking about it, I always wished that if you just thought about things that would happen, which actually kind of does now I know, but after years of thinking about it, I was like, OK, I got to lose some weight and I wanted to lose about twenty five pounds. I’d always been fairly thin most of my life, so I had never done diets and I always thought, you know, diets were weird or whatever. But I wanted to make it be like a lifestyle change. I felt like that would be sustainable, but I did have to lose the initial weight, so I just you know, Fitbits were fairly newer back then. I got a Fitbit and the MyFitnessPal app. And so as a techie, you know, it was kind of, it actually was kind of fun doing like, I just was counting the calories, using the apps and but always at the time still making leaving space, leaving calorie space for my two, at least two drinks a night cuz my husband and I were always going to bars at this point. My kids were grown up and the thought of like giving up those drinks was like, no, I don’t want it. I don’t want to do that. So with my limited like 1200 calories I think it was, I made sure I could have enough for my drinks and fit it in and I started I had been doing yoga already for a couple years, a little bit, a couple of times a week. And I think actually that kind of there’s something about yoga that’s magical that kind of changes your mindset a little.
Stories of the entrepreneurial journey with Brandon Snower
Brandon Snower left a cushy job on Wall Street and decided to reinvent men’s fashion. In this podcast, we discuss his early journey, and watch as Brandon just gets started.
Hey, everybody, I am super excited. I have Brandon Snow here. He is a jet setter. Came, flew in just for this podcast. Right? Thanks so much for joining.
Only for you. Only for you.
Yeah. So you’re in New York City, right?
OK, so we’re we’re local, but we’re not really local. But he did take a red eye to kind of get here on time and was on time in a different time zone. So. Yeah, yeah. So so tell me a little bit; first of all, where in the city are you?
I live in Chelsea. I have been out here for two years.
What about you?
I’m actually in Westchester County. I was in Morningside Heights and the Upper West Side for a while and then I made my way slowly up as I moved. I guess it’s it actually coincides with the different milestones in life, the marriage and then the having kids. And it was Riverdale first and then it was Westchester. So.
Yeah. Cool. So Brandon’s here and he has an entrepreneurial journey that I definitely wanted to share because he did I guess the unlikely and he did something especially like that is extremely gutsy and pretty fab. So I, I don’t even know how to introduce it. I’m going to let you do that all. Go ahead. Tell me a little bit about your story.
Yeah, well, thanks for having me on. It’s always great to speak with other entrepreneurs and just discuss kind of the facets, the obstacles and kind of the journey, you know, just to help others. And so essentially, starting out, I’m twenty four right now. I graduated from Northwestern University a few years ago in twenty nineteen. And like every person in college, you know, you don’t really know what you want to do.
You know, very rarely, like people are like set as, like if you’re an engineer, you’re a doctor. You know, you’re those are kind of like set courses that you take, then you know where you want to be. But like most I didn’t know, I studied learning and learning and organizational change, which, you know, it’s very like a broad not very niche kind of path in terms of you can go to X if you study organizational change. Right. It’s like understanding human behavior. And I didn’t want to be a psychologist, but I liked understanding people and leading and seeing what what works and what doesn’t in terms of like the human psyche within organizations and just interactions with people. And but with that I’ve always had this like business mind and kind of business acumen. My dad always had small businesses here and there. He’d start one, quit, and then started back up again and and then just move all over the place. But from there, I, I knew I wanted to either build something at some point or I knew I had a business savviness from just watching him work hard and get up at 5:00 and do all these things that you don’t really get to see growing up that much. And from there that kind of just took me to the spot where, OK, what’s the what is it going to lead me to a path that will give me a lot of opportunity down the road. And I thought, well, you know, finance, banking, they make a lot of money. It is a challenging environment. They’re smart people and they work super hard. But that’s the trajectory I want to go to. So I went for it. And I didn’t have any finance background. I didn’t know what an income statement was. Yeah, I was really underqualified.
On scents, COVID-19, and being across the globe
In this week’s Common Scents podcast, TAMAR connects with Dan Prasad, who is based in Australia and works in the home fragrance industry. In this candid conversation, we tackle the crazy time difference (14 hours), our scented histories, covid and scent, and more.
Hey everybody, I’m so excited. I met Dan Prasad on LinkedIn of all places. I think we did, right?
Yeah, that’s right. On LinkedIn.
Yeah, yeah. And he’s actually, we are doing this at weird hours for me, and normal hours for him, but I would consider it a weird hour for me too at 6:20 in the morning Australian time. [Dan Prasad: Yes.] So kudos to you for showing up and doing this. You’re in your car on the side of the road, podcasting. So that’s, that’s really some serious, serious discipline, I will say.
Dedicated to the cause. When there’s something cool to talk about sometimes you gotta stop and have a chat about it.
Yeah. So let’s talk about that. So I will say that Dan and I met, like I said, on LinkedIn, under the fact that we both are fragrance aficionados. It is not my standard podcast’s type of “rise above adversity.” But, you know, this is the Common Scents podcast. And since being scent, the actual smell scent, s-c-e-n-t, everybody’s like, “what does that mean?” And I have to explain that. Every so often there happens to be times that I have conversations with fragrance people, so then is here and Dan is going to share that. I guess I’ll have you introduce yourself. First of all, I know I mentioned that you’re in Australia. Talk a little bit about where you are physically, what it looks like, what it looks like outside for you, maybe even.
Okay. I’m in the state of Queensland, which is on the northeastern side of Australia on the coastline, and Brisbane is not exactly on the beach. It’s like an hour from the beach, but yeah, southeast Queensland. Queensland is like a massive state. You can fly out for two and a half, three hours and still be the same same state. That’s how big Queensland is. It’s a beautiful crisp morning. Again, for us, “crisp” is like, you know, 10 degrees Celsius as you walk around in t-shirts in New York probably when it’s 10 degrees Celsius.
Now I have to Google that. What is that, 10 degrees Celsius is how many degrees Fahrenheit?
I’m not sure. I’m not good at those conversions.
Yeah, yeah. I’m going to do it right now. There’s some cool way that I read on Reddit a few weeks ago, but it didn’t sit with me, so I don’t remember it. So I, I’m going to C to F. It is fifty degrees Fahrenheit. So that’s actually about what it is right now, fifty three. [Dan Prasad: Oh, okay.] It’s about fifty three right now. It’s pouring rain. It’s been a fun day.
Yeah. There you go. It’s been raining a little bit here as well so it’s interesting. So this time of year is a similar kind of thing as everyone else. So that’s good.
Yeah, interesting. What season is it there? I don’t even know.
We’re, last season of autumn, which you guys call fall. [TAMAR: Right.] Yeah, winter starts next month.
That’s crazy. So how cold does it get for you in winter?
Oh, nothing. In the nights, the coldest it’ll get is maybe three or four degrees in this part of Australia. Other parts of Australia gets really, really much colder in the evenings, 3 or 4 degrees Celsius in the daytime. The coldest it is going to be like maybe 16, 17 degrees Celsius, that’s as cold as it is gets.
“No one really knows what they CAN do until they’re in a position where they HAVE to.”
Nigel Asinugo was once 435 lbs, ready to end his life because he felt like he needed to end it. But his support system came through, brought him out of his dark place, and now he’s in the Navy and crushing it.
“Yesterday doesn’t exist. Tomorrow doesn’t exist. All that f*****g matters is what you do right now.” ~Nigel Asinugo
[00:00:16.470] – TAMAR:
Hey everybody, I am so excited. I have Nigel Asinugo here. I hope I pronounced that right.
[00:00:22.860] – Nigel Asinugo:
Nigel Asinugo. But I get that all the time. It’s a hard name to pronounce.
[00:00:26.620] – TAMAR:
All right. All right. Maybe we should start over again. Or, you know what, if you get it all the time, we’re going to make it natural. So Nigel Asinugo, there you go, right? [Nigel: Yeah.] Yeah. OK. All right. Just making sure, because you know, yeah, I get I get Tay-mar. I get Tah-mer and I get Tamar sometimes. And that’s supposed to be, that’s how you pronounce it. So just so you know. So Nigel is here from, he’s on the other coast. But it was interesting when we were trying to schedule this, you know, this is noon, and right now it’s noon Eastern, it’s nine a.m. and I’m like, oh yeah, you’re going to join me in your pajamas. And he’s like, no, I’m not going to be at work already. So thanks for joining. Where are you? And talk about that. Tell me a little bit about that.
[00:01:07.740] – Nigel Asinugo:
So right now I’m in the United States Navy. I’m stationed in Coronado, California, just outside of San Diego, at a helicopter squadron. So it’s kind of a combat helicopter squadron. It’s actually called Naval Air Station, North Island or a NASNI for short.
[00:01:23.430] – TAMAR:
Sweet, sweet. And you’re up early, so you told me.
[00:01:26.850] – Nigel Asinugo:
Yeah. So I get up around 3:30 in the morning, I take my supplements, I kind of get like a tiny bit of calories in and then I go out for usually an eight to ten mile run depending on the day and how I’m feeling, training plan and everything. After that I’m usually done about 6:00, maybe 6:30, if it goes on longer, and then I get ready, get to work by about 7:15 and then I start work at 7:30 and don’t get off until about 6:00 pm. So a pretty long day.
[00:01:54.870] – TAMAR:
Yeah, that’s crazy. So I want to talk about that. So we met in the David Goggins Facebook group. I’ve had a few people from the group there, but it was more of a call to action. I said, hey, I know that this is a group where people embody this overcoming adversity and they’re really inspired by David Goggins. You are a little bit different in the sense that you posted this before and after photo. You have this story which you’re going to share it was a lot more inspiring. I’ve had people in this in the podcast in the past. They had no idea what they were doing when they signed up, but it was sort of the opposite. I had the call to action, like, “oh yeah, sure, let me do it.” But they had no idea what they’re doing. And then the opposite. It’s like you’re like, I already have something to share. There have been past podcasts or I have to like coax the storyline out. And I’m like, “oh my God, this is so hard. It’s like pulling teeth.” But [with you], it’s just the opposite. So tell me a little bit about, so David Goggins, for those who know he is a Navy guy, he’s very integrated into that. Does your story parallel that? Was it inspired by him? Give me a little bit about that background without giving into your story of adversity, which we’ll get to soon.
[00:03:01.110] – Nigel Asinugo:
Yeah. So I was kind of already on my “never quitR...
This former introvert now rocks his habits and happiness
You may never know looking at all that David Henzel, a serial entrepreneur focused on conscious capitalism, has accomplished, but he was once an extraordinarily fearful introvert. Today, he’s let his shy past fall by the wayside, and keeps himself sane through living a life filled with good habits.
[00:00:16.470] – TAMAR:
Hey everybody, so excited. I have one of my old online, but I don’t know how to describe it, industry entrepreneurial type friend dudes here. David Henzel. I don’t know the best descriptor, but I’m really excited that you’re here. And thank you so much for joining us.
[00:00:38.190] – David Henzel:
Thank you for having me, Tamar. It’s good to catch up.
[00:00:39.300] – TAMAR:
Yeah. So, yeah, it really is. We have been doing that a lot lately, so I’m excited. I hope we can keep that cadence going.
[00:00:46.680] – David Henzel:
I hope that we will meet at conferences again on a regular basis as we did 10 plus years ago.
[00:00:51.630] – TAMAR:
Yeah. Well 10 plus years ago, because it’s funny, because once I had started having kids, I stopped traveling and then covid kind of kept you from traveling. So now we’re really looking forward to having that face to face. So I’m looking forward to that, too. In some way, we’ll have to figure out way that’ll happen. Hopefully there will be a South by Southwest next year. That’s something that that’s always exciting. Yeah. So where are you in the world? So let’s talk about our distance because we do have some.
[00:01:15.390] – David Henzel:
Yeah, I’m from Germany. I lived in Los Angeles for 8 years and now I live in Bodrum, Turkey.
[00:01:21.900] – TAMAR:
What, Turkey? I don’t even know, I didn’t even know you were in Turkey now.
[00:01:25.690] – David Henzel:
Yeah, after we sold MaxCDN, my wife wanted to go back to Germany so we’re closer to family and our daughter grows up with family. But I couldn’t go back to German weather conditions after eight years of L.A. and so we decided to move to somewhere that’s close to Germany but warm. My initial thought was Spain. But my wife has Turkish parents, so she preferred Turkey. Even though my my Spanish is much better than my Turkish, we decided, “happy wife, happy life,” [so] we decided to go here and we’re very happy here.
[00:01:59.580] – TAMAR:
Very nice. So what’s the city in Turkey? I never heard of it.
[00:02:03.390] – David Henzel:
Bodrum B-O-D-R-U-M. Um, it’s it’s a vacation destination where the wealthy Turks have their vacation homes. It’s as far south as far west as you can be in Turkey, close to the Greek Islands. We’re like twenty minutes from Kos.
[00:02:17.700] – TAMAR:
So how many languages do you know? Because you talked about Spanish and Turkish and English, German, I assume.
[00:02:23.910] – David Henzel:
I mean, English and German, then some Spanish and some Turkish.
[00:02:30.570] – TAMAR:
Wow. That’s pretty impressive. And you picked up Turkish?
[00:02:36.010] – David Henzel:
Yeah, I mean, my Turkish is very basic. I like go to restaurants and stores and say, “hey, how are you doing? blah blah blah,” like small talk stuff. No deep conversations. Initially, I was very ambitious when we moved to got like a a private tutor one hour a day to learn Turkish, but since all business is happening in English and abroad, I just lost interest.
[00:02:58.330] – TAMAR:
Oh, well, yeah, I’m starting to learn Spanish with the help of Duolingo and I feel it’s actually cool because I feel like maybe my level of Spanish is your level of Turkish,
Candid conversations with Chris who defied the odds
Where does one start with Chris Owens? Once 302 pounds, he put a renewed focus on his health, traveled across the country to take care of his ailing grandparents, got engaged, and now is working to get in the Army.
I am so excited. I’m bringing you Chris Owens, another one of my David Goggins groupies. He and I met, but he is like the sweetest, coolest guy here. We’ll share his story, like his background, it’s really fascinating. I definitely it’s funny because Chris and I were supposed to podcast like six times, maybe more like two. But he’s had a lot of stuff going on in his life. So he’s going to share all of that. I hope I’m putting you on the spot here, but thank you so much for joining us.
I like it. I like I like getting thrown right into the lion’s den. It’s the only way to do it.
That’s right. That’s right. Yeah. Yeah. So where are you physically in the world.
Physically in the world? So, depending upon where you want to start at, basically I’m just recovering from about 16 months ago now and November 4th, 2019, I had an almost fatal vehicular accident. Apparently what I was told was I had a seizure, but I don’t actually remember being told that, unfortunately. Nevertheless, I hit a semi truck on the highway fully loaded, and I’ve got pictures on Facebook and things like that, just a reminder and so forth.
But I at one point in time, like Goggins, I was 302 about six years ago, three hundred and two pounds. I had a micro lumbar discectomy. I was out of shape and just I started listening to David, a lot of the different motivational things like Admiral Craven, some different stuff, and just started trying to change my life and the impact of that semi, I’ll never forget it.
Wow. Wow. So, so OK. So going back, where are you? You’re in the U.S., but where you’re like somewhere. I don’t know what time zone. What state?
Yes, ma’am, no, absolutely. I’m in Oregon. I’m in the Portland area more specifically, so Pacific.
Cool. Cool. Awesome. Awesome. OK, so I don’t even, yeah, like I said, I have no idea where to start.
For sure. I can certainly go with it and take over with with whatever we need to do. So as far as my life goes, yeah. I had a real rough childhood growing up. I won’t go too much into it. But I was I was molested by my father. I was physically, emotionally abused by my stepfather, which is it’s made me a better man overall.
This made me a better father. If they were around, I would I would say thank you for doing a service and making me a better man. So that’s kind of part of my past. Where I’m at now though, is I’m in a much, much better place. I’ve I’ve forgiven the past and let go of so many issues that I held onto for so long and that stuff tears you down. You can’t do that. It’s poisonous.
It is 100 percent. So you’re like a caretaker for your grandparents. Talk about that for a minute, because I think it is fascinating. That’s awesome.
Oh, thank you, ma’am. Yes, ma’am. If you go back to with me a little bit on about 30 May 2020, I left North Carolina, about the Fort Bragg area, and came out to see them, and long story short, found out how bad it was with them both having cancer and wanting to help out they needed it. So I just went ahead and said, OK, you know, you guys are OK with me coming and staying here, then more permanently, let’s do this. Thankfully, we went through a lot of chemotherapy,
Such an Insightful Podcast!!
Love so many things about this podcast!! From the play on words in the title “Common Scents” that connects the story of host/founder Tamar Weinberg in how she started TAMAR. Fragrances, to also the wonderful guests she has & the stories they share!! Definitely check it out!! Personally I love the episode from 2/23/20 with Erica O’Grady because thanks to Erica is also how I now know Tamar & TAMAR. ❤️