66 episodes

Hi. Jen Estill and Karen Stefl here. In The Speak Easy Podcast, we share years of expertise in marketing, branding, video production, strategy—not to mention management, employee development, mentoring, sales, creativity, maintaining life balance, managing money, and.. you get the idea. It takes a lot to keep a couple of creative studios thriving.

We developed this podcast after years of "how do you..." boss lady conversations. It was clear that if we were both in such similar places with regard to business growth, and personal growth, and work/life/motherhood/bossland balance, then other women may be, too. We'd been sharing confessions over cocktails for quite a while—solving problems, asking for advice, and whispering the secret fears and disappointments that successful women are never supposed to have. (You've had those, right? It's not just us?)

Thus, Speak Easy was born. Our goal and our promise is to speak with honesty about the challenges that experienced women in the creative industry face. To create a community where we can support one another and abandon the mantra that we put on a good face and make it look like we have it all together, even when we don't. You can expect honesty, complete vulnerability and even a good laugh.

And cocktails. You can expect cocktails.

The Speak Easy Podcast Jen Estill and Karen Stefl — creative studio entrepreneurs, brand and video experts, boss ladies, moms

    • Business

Hi. Jen Estill and Karen Stefl here. In The Speak Easy Podcast, we share years of expertise in marketing, branding, video production, strategy—not to mention management, employee development, mentoring, sales, creativity, maintaining life balance, managing money, and.. you get the idea. It takes a lot to keep a couple of creative studios thriving.

We developed this podcast after years of "how do you..." boss lady conversations. It was clear that if we were both in such similar places with regard to business growth, and personal growth, and work/life/motherhood/bossland balance, then other women may be, too. We'd been sharing confessions over cocktails for quite a while—solving problems, asking for advice, and whispering the secret fears and disappointments that successful women are never supposed to have. (You've had those, right? It's not just us?)

Thus, Speak Easy was born. Our goal and our promise is to speak with honesty about the challenges that experienced women in the creative industry face. To create a community where we can support one another and abandon the mantra that we put on a good face and make it look like we have it all together, even when we don't. You can expect honesty, complete vulnerability and even a good laugh.

And cocktails. You can expect cocktails.

    64: What Romance Novels Teach Us About Feminism and Change—Featuring Guest Lyssa Kay Adams

    64: What Romance Novels Teach Us About Feminism and Change—Featuring Guest Lyssa Kay Adams

    If you want something different in life, change it—whether it's your career or the patriarchy. Or if you're our guest, author Lyssa Kay Adams, both.

    The last couple of years were pretty major for Lyssa. She pitched a story on Twitter as a relatively unknown author, was signed with an agent within two days, received a three-book deal with a publisher, and–oh, yeah–actually wrote the first novel, "The Bromance Book Club." (Not to mention her second novel, "Undercover Bromance," which comes out March 10.) So, yeah—she's been pretty busy.

    Lyssa isn't afraid of change. She left her career as a journalist to become published romance novelist, and the risk paid off. Her novel has received numerous accolades and was listed No. 1 on Amazon's "Best Romances of 2019." But how does one navigate so much change in so little time?

    This episode, we sit down with Lyssa to discuss her latest novel, the creative process, dealing with major life changes, feminism in the romance genre, and—of course—her dog.

    Mentioned in this episode:
    - "The Bromance Book Club" by Lyssa Kay Adams
    - "Undercover Bromance" by Lyssa Kay Adams
    - Amazon: Best Romances of 2019
    - Glamour: In These Books, Happily Ever After Is Just the Beginning

    • 53 min
    63: Getting Back To Basics, Avoiding Shiny Objects And Decluttering Our Minds

    63: Getting Back To Basics, Avoiding Shiny Objects And Decluttering Our Minds

    t can be tempting to set new, ambitious goals based on what we think we should want. Achieving a certain milestone, expanding into a new service offering, or taking on an impressive project. It's important to get out of our comfort zones—but it's also important to stay focused in the process.

    That's why decluttering our goals, business objectives and offerings is just as important as decluttering our junk drawers. Constantly checking in on what our competitors are up to can distract us from our core strengths. How can we evaluate which of our goals or offerings are distractions, and which actually spark joy? (Or at least spark ROI, if we're being honest?)

    This episode, we discuss how we can get back to basics: simplifying our goals to align with what will pay off in the end. When you spend time focusing on the basics, life becomes crystal clear. You stop getting distracted by clutter—both physical and mental.

    Mentioned in this episode: "Meet Memo, the Marie Kondo of Fitness" (New York Times)

    • 16 min
    62: The Most Important Things We Do Each Year

    62: The Most Important Things We Do Each Year

    For many entrepreneurs, the end of the year is a time for holiday get-togethers, meeting deadlines, and–the big one–goal setting. We take time to visualize where we see our organization in the coming year, in five years, or even a decade down the line. We carefully map out our business's progress and trajectory. But are we focusing on what’s most important?

    While it's pretty clear how to identify these quantitative metrics (like finances or organizational growth), it’s less clear whether our goals are aligned with the top priorities in our lives. Don't be fooled: Goal setting is not a one-size-fits-all situation. At work and at home, the factors your competitors, neighbors and friends are focusing on this year shouldn't necessarily be your priorities. You’ve got to write your own path.

    This episode, we discuss how we can complete a soul-searching audit to identify goals that are personally meaningful for the coming year.

    • 18 min
    61: How The 80/20 Rule Can Help Us Get Our Priorities Straight

    61: How The 80/20 Rule Can Help Us Get Our Priorities Straight

    The 80/20 Rule is certainly a handy analytical tool for businesspeople. But, turns out, efficiency isn't all about rules and percentages. After reflecting on it, we realized that this idea of putting in a smaller yet more concentrated effort to yield a larger payoff can apply to almost every area of our lives: work, home, family, health, creativity...everything.

    While we might be tempted to get swept up in the details of the 80%, it's critical to give that foundational 20% the attention it deserves. When we're focusing on the stuff that has the biggest payoff (and doing those things well), we can save time and energy in the end.

    How can the 80/20 Rule help us work more efficiently as creatives, professionals, and parents? What things in life are a part of the 20%, and which are the 80%? And should we drop that 80% altogether? (Spoiler alert: Not exactly. Find out why in the full episode.)

    • 20 min
    60: Granting Yourself Permission To Be Creative

    60: Granting Yourself Permission To Be Creative

    Somewhere along the way, our culture fell into this mindset that more time working = more "success." This is the same logic that all too often forces our creative pursuits to take a back seat. You can't pull time for creativity out of thin air—so, you've gotta grant yourself permission to be creative.

    Permission to be creative begins with accepting that there are countless different definitions of creativity. Sure, images of paintbrushes and instruments come to mind when we first hear the word. But creativity means different things to different people. From debating to looking at a new topic at work from a different angle, creativity isn't always spontaneous or affiliated with the arts. It's simply exploring and experiencing things in a way that's different from what your day to day typically allows.

    Creativity is important for everyone, and those who are tempted to say they "aren't creative" are often the ones who can benefit from it the most. But how can we give ourselves permission to stop focusing on work (for even just a second) and let our minds wander?

    Mentioned in this episode: Sonia Simone

    • 19 min
    59: How To Face Big, Scary, Intentional Changes

    59: How To Face Big, Scary, Intentional Changes

    Change is always an emotional process–but intentional changes evoke a different kind of feeling. It's the big package of emotions that come along with being in the driver's seat of our own decisions.

    We're not talking about day-to-day decisions like choosing what to eat or even which new hobby to take up. We're talking about those rare, monumental decisions that will forever alter the course of our lives: moving across the country, entering a new industry, expanding our families. And while these intentional changes are endlessly exciting, they are really, really difficult.

    Over time we've learned that big changes don't begin when you first take action–they begin long before that, when you open up your mind to the prospect of change in the first place. During this part of the process, we often ask ourselves: are we ready? We don't want to spoil anything but, turns out, nobody's ever really ready. We could wait weeks, months or years for the universe to send us some sign or prompt that may never come. So once we've identified that we want to take action on a big change, how can we rip off the Band-Aid and just do it, already?

    This episode, we talk about contemplating, mapping and finally acting on those big, monumental, scary life changes.

    • 17 min

Customer Reviews

Gaia1976 ,

Classy and Witty

I love to listen to these two classy ladies talking with such confidence, knowledge and power behind their words about issues that face all of us not only in the workplace but also at home.

thedirtymoose ,

Great advice

I love listening to this show because the hosts have great advice to share. They both have very unique backgrounds and it’s fun to hear them shoot the breeze over a cocktail. It’s different from everything else you hear.

ElspethW ,

So real.

Love the honesty and transparency you guys show in a very competitive industry. So good.

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