• Do you have a plan for what might come “after”? So often, we become hyper-focused on chasing a dream, with no real thought or plan for what might come next or how we need to pivot when circumstances change. My guest today was focused on her dream of being a gold medal Olympic athlete, but then she converted that ambition into other fields when her athlete days were done.

    Lauryn Williams, CFP, is a four-time Olympic medalist AND the first American woman to medal in both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. While pursuing professional sports, Lauryn interacted with two financial advisors who didn’t provide the services she needed. She asked friends what they were doing about their finances, and the answers were vague and unsettling. Constantly looking for ways to make a difference in the lives of others, she decided to put her finance degree and MBA to use to fill the gap for young professionals. Eager to learn everything she could, she then pursued the Certified Financial Planner certification.

    Her company, Worth Winning, offers virtual services to help young professionals get the answers to the financial questions that matter most to them. Whether that is creating a budget, figuring out a plan for paying off student loans, setting goals for savings, or understanding your 401(k), Worth Winning is ready to help with all things personal finance.

    An athletic career doesn’t last forever

    What do you do when one phase of a career is over? Lauryn had no idea what would come next for her. The truth is, when we chase one dream for a long time, we need to be prepared for what happens next. There is no shame in having a Plan B and knowing when to pivot to something else. Having a plan in place is a life skill that Lauryn encourages people to cultivate. Sometimes the transformation is tough when you have to find a new identity and a different dream to chase.

    TWEET: “Having a back-up plan is NOT a bad thing.” @worth_winning

    Making financial plans

    How do you pay for college when your family has limited resources? With no trust fund and no savings for college, Lauryn wasn’t sure how she would pay for college. Even though she had been taught financial responsibility from a young age, she needed an expert to help make plans. People usually do business with someone they know, like, or trust----but Lauryn had none of those connections. The first financial planner she saw didn’t get to know her needs and wasn’t able to help her. What she really needed was someone to teach her financial literacy, which is what Lauryn seeks to do for her clients today.

    TWEET: “Know how to pay yourself first.” @worth_winning

    Choosing someone to help

    Since anyone can proclaim themselves a “financial advisor,” many have a conflict of interest or seek to sell insurance or other services to people instead of helping them with what they really need. Lauryn’s advice is to look for a CFP (Certified Financial Planner) because no one can attach that title without going through the proper training and certification process. It’s important to know which questions to ask and whether the professional is commission-based or fee-only.

    TWEET: “Time is on your side when you start while you’re young in planning your financial future.” @worth_winning


    [:33] Lauryn’s interesting background [1:43] The intersection of academics and athletics [5:43] Becoming a bobsledder [10:08] The average “life span” of an athlete [11:23] What comes after the athletic career? [16:20] Using her financial degrees [20:00] When to hire a financial planner [25:26] How to find a true CFP [32:08] What we need to know about using Lauryn’s “Four Buckets” for budgeting


    Lauryn’s Website

    Lauryn on Facebook

    Lauryn on Twitter

    Lauryn on Instagram

    Lauryn on LinkedIn


    TWEET: “Chase YOUR authentic dream, not someone else’s.” @worth_winning

    TWEET: “Growing up, I knew that being smart would be the key to accomplishing my dreams.”@worth_winning

    TWEET: “If you don’t tell your money where to go, then you’ll always wonder where it went.” @worth_winning

  • Many times in life we are pressed into action because of a life circumstance. Ironically, there are times when it’s the kindness of others that spurs us to pass along that loving action to others. There is no occasion when those actions speak louder than when you’re facing a crisis in life, and--on the flip side--when you can reciprocate by making someone else’s tough time a little brighter. Today’s show explores how we can be effective in helping others through difficulties.

    Sarah Beckman inspires people on the stage and from the page. She is the bestselling author of Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving Your Neighbor in their Time of Trial, which is filled with practical tools to love people well in the rough patches of life. Sarah speaks to audiences across the country on topics such as loving your neighbor, sharing your faith, safeguarding your marriage, and digging up your talents.

    Stepping out as a speaker

    Do you envision yourself as a speaker? Young Sarah saw herself as a famous advertising executive, until she realized that was a tough business to break into. When she finally decided to step out as a speaker, she decided to cover what she was living at the time. Her first topic was provision, which meant she discussed the places God had provided for her and her family. When she attended a speaking training class, she came up with other topic ideas, one of the main ones being using your gifts and “digging up your talents,” which comes from the Bible. The universal lesson is that we aren’t supposed to operate out of fear, which is the main thing that sidetracks our dreams.

    TWEET: “Fear is the main hurdle that sidetracks our dreams.” @sarahbeckman14 #chasingdreams

    Having faith

    Have you ever wanted to throw in the towel and do something else? Most people would probably answer YES to that, because tough days come and we are not always sure about our purpose or the dreams we are chasing. There were many times that Sarah wanted to “cash it all in” and go get a 9-5 job. She learned a big lesson in that what she was doing was not about the money, but about the message. It’s easy to get caught up in the social media numbers and compare yourself to others---and then you get discouraged. It takes faith to keep going, but others won’t be helped or served if you quit.

    TWEET: “Others need you to chase your dreams. You can’t serve their needs if you give up and quit.” @sarahbeckman14 #chasingdreams

    Why the book?

    If you’ve been the recipient of special kindness during a particularly trying time, then you know how refreshing and valuable those actions can be. Sarah walked through difficulties with her third pregnancy, and there were numerous community members, friends, and neighbors who pitched in to help their family. Subsequently, Sarah faced four back surgeries and had four friends who faced life or death situations. Before she realized it, people were turning to her from everywhere, wondering how they could help these families and asking for her advice. One major recurring theme was how to overcome the insecurity of doing or saying the wrong thing. These experiences snowballed into the impetus for Sarah’s book, Alongside.

    TWEET: "Our job is to multiply what we’ve been given.” @sarahbeckman14 #chasingdreams


    [:08] Sarah’s work in speaking and writing [1:20] Young Sarah, who wanted to be famous [2:35] Why she wanted to write the book [3:52] Sarah’s favorite speaking topics [5:38] Lessons from the Biblical “talents” story [9:36] Learning to pivot, add on, and use talents [14:10] “Faithful in few things” [15:50] Moments that make you want to stop [22:16] Steering your “moving boat” [24:06] Why the book? [29:50] Choosing wise words and knowing how to respond [34:51] Framing actions in positive ways [38:29] A silver lining in hard times


    Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving Your Neighbor in their Time of Trial by Sarah Beckman

    Hope in the Hard Places by Sarah Beckman (Coming in 2019!)

    Sarah on Facebook

    Sarah on Twitter

    Sarah on Instagram

    Sarah on LinkedIn


    TWEET: “Sometimes a NO will help you develop your YES.” @sarahbeckman14 #chasingdreams

    TWEET: “I definitely felt like writing the book was a true calling for me.” @sarahbeckman14 #chasingdreams

    TWEET: “It’s not about the metrics, but the message.” @sarahbeckman14 #chasingdreams

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  • How do you hold onto the passion to follow your dreams? What if you are young and are following an unconventional path? It takes confidence in who you are and in your truth to pursue your passion to make a difference in the world. Today’s guest is well on her way to accomplishing many of her fantastic dreams, and she shares some practical tips that can help others do the same.

    Alexis Parris has been introduced to the world of personal development, which has molded her into the millennial, entrepreneur, speaker, and author that she is today----and, she’s only 22! From her personal transformation, she has formed the deep belief that personal development is an irreplaceable ingredient to success, which is an important lesson that many still have to learn. The implementation of this belief has helped Alexis create her present success. Within a two-year period, she self-published her book, Why I Quit College to Learn, hosted a summit in Lagos, Nigeria, released her podcast, The Empowered Millennial Podcast, and has founded her digital media agency, HD Media Masters.

    TWEET: “The more you do something outside your comfort zone, the more boldness you form.” #chasingdreams

    A passion for podcasting

    What does it take to push you forward? Alexis has accomplished much at a young age, but she isn’t ready to dwell or stop there. When I met her at Podcast Movement, she started her jam-packed session with dancing, which has been her passion for 15 years, and is still what calms and relaxes her. She invited the guests into her “home space” to create a cool connection. From early plans of being a professional dancer, she discovered that personal development was the key to opening her dreams. Alexis is always pushing into the next phase of chasing her dreams, refusing to let anything stand in her way.

    TWEET: “I want to inspire people to live the best version of their lives and leave the world a better place than they found it.” #chasingdreams

    A brave decision

    Is college mandatory for success? We would probably say it’s not, but yet there is so much stigma attached for those who don’t pursue a college degree. Alexis started college, but then quit. Fear was a factor, since she was going “against the grain,” and many people advised her against leaving college. She had a strong sense from her inner voice and her parents and family members were very supportive, because she comes from a strong entrepreneurial background. Alexis asked for advice from older adults and NOT her peers. As she looks back, she has no regrets, has peace about her path, and is excited about what’s to come in her future!

    TWEET: “Choose wisely and be picky about the people you surround yourself with.” #chasingdreams

    Your inner circle

    What happens when you need to let people go? We’ve all heard how the people in our lives affect us, but we have to be vigilant about our inner circle. The people around you are either assets or liabilities; they either help you grow and add to your value or they slow you down on your journey. Alexis shares how she had to surround herself with entrepreneurs who think big and support her dreams, even though that means she’s not as close with some former “besties” as she was in the past. Alexis learned from Tyler Perry once that some people are leaves---they are around for a season and then they transition away. Others are like branches because they stay longer. Still others are roots that help keep us grounded always.

    TWEET: “My responsibility as an older sister and an influencer help keep me in line when stupid ideas cross my mind.” #chasingdreams

    Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take--”Do everything that you are afraid to do. It’s how you’ll grow the most.”


    [:05] Alexis’ passion for podcasting [4:23] Accomplishing much at a very young age [5:17] Dreams of being a professional dancer [6:15] A brave decision, an inner voice, and lots of support [10:09] Multiple passions [12:14] Transition from school to entrepreneurial life [14:37] A fan base in Nigeria [16:49] What can a 22-year-old teach others? [18:46] Dealing with self-doubt [20:23] What to expect next from Alexis [23:18] What has surprised Alexis the most [25:15] The responsibility to younger people---and her five younger siblings! [28:51] Alexis’ advice about your inner circle [36:43] ONE action for a dream chaser


    Alexis on Facebook

    Alexis on Twitter

    Alexis on Instagram

    Alexis on LinkedIn

    Alexis’ Website


    TWEET: “When I explored personal development and invested in ME, things started to explode and grow.” #chasingdreams

    TWEET: “Nothing stopped me from living out my truth.” #chasingdreams

    TWEET: “I don’t have any regrets, but only “what if’s.” #chasingdreams

  • What is progress? What does it mean to you? How do you measure it? On this final solo episode of August, we are discussing all things progress. Join us to learn more.

    What it takes to chase your dream

    Are you willing to put in the work? No dream happens with the snap of your fingers. Any dream requires work to be done and steps to be taken. First, acknowledge your dream, and then put in the work to get the results. Many times you have to figure out what work you need to do to accomplish the goals you desire. Sometimes you may see others who have a seemingly easy time accomplishing the things you may struggle with---it’s frustrating. Remember this: there is no feeling so awesome as knowing your hard work has paid off.

    TWEET: Don’t compare your “Chapter 1” to someone else’s “Chapter 20.” #chasingdreams

    Run your own race

    Are you comparing yourselves to others? Everyone has to run their own race. What I accomplish or don’t accomplish doesn’t affect other people. If its MY goal, then it’s up to me to figure out how to balance life and responsibilities to focus on my goals. When you get past the struggle to get to the goal, then you can learn the lessons that are there for you. You can look back and see what you did right and what you could have done better. Don’t compare yourself to someone else, because you don’t know what their story and their struggles have been.

    TWEET: Everyone has to run their own race. #chasingdreams

    The myth of overnight success

    Have you ever thought that someone was “an overnight success”? The term is a myth. We may think someone has overnight success, but we don’t know the background story and we do them a disservice and dismiss their hard work when we call them an overnight success. Everyone has to pay their dues and your path may deviate from the one someone else took. Don’t put the pressure on yourself to mimic someone else’s progress. You have it within you to accomplish YOUR progress and run YOUR race at your pace.


    [1:06] What progress means [3:51} When it’s “A or Bust” [8:00] My experience with the CA Bar Exam [11:30] Lessons learned and goals accomplished [14:37] Don’t compare chapters [15:39] Why “overnight success” is a myth [17:28] My high school experience and how it differed from college [23:06] Don’t mimic someone else’s story


    Aimee on Facebook

    Aimee on Twitter

    Aimee on Instagram

    Subscribe to Chasing Dreams


    TWEET: The first step is to acknowledge your dream. Then you have to do the work. #chasingdreams

    TWEET: It’s not just about the end goal, but it’s about the journey. #chasingdreams

    TWEET: If you can say you did your best, then be happy with your results. #chasingdreams

  • Who are your friends that you hang out with the most? What are they like? Do they help you in your dream chase? Today’s solo episode is designed to make you think about these questions and more. Are YOU the kind of friend who is supportive to others who are chasing their dreams?

    Jim Rohn famously said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” It’s true! Think about your circle of friends and how they affect you--and let’s talk about it.

    Relationships will change over time

    Who are your “five friends”? Relationships will ebb and flow in the changing seasons of life. Dynamics change about the people you once held dear---and they might not be as close as they once were. One thing that doesn’t change, though, is the way our friends affect us. We need different types of personalities with different strengths and weaknesses in our circle, and we tend to group them according to specific similarities or where we met them.

    TWEET: Jim Rohn famously said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” How does your circle measure up? #chasingdreams

    The friends you need

    Do your friends support you? They may not always know what’s going on or what your difficulties are, but you want them to have your back and be the person you can call at 3 am. You don’t want people around you who are always YES people, but you don’t want those around you to always be negative either. If you’ve ever spent any amount of time with a complaining, negative person, then you know they will wear you down and depress you. Who wants to be around that person all day?

    TWEET: You don’t want people around you who are always YES people, but you don’t want those around you to always be negative either. Choose wisely. #chasingdreams

    A two-way friendship

    Do you surround yourself with people whom you can support? Friendships and relationships go both ways. Be careful not to suck up someone’s support without giving it back to them. Watch out for those who take, take, take! Surround yourself with givers, and not just takers. Look for friends you can count on and those who have ambition to be good leaders and be their best selves.

    TWEET: Be careful not to suck up someone’s support without giving it back to them. #chasingdreams


    [1:48] Who are you hanging with? [4:48] How we group our friends [8:40] Why you don’t want YES people [10:17] How negative people wear you down [13:33] Who should you surround yourself with? [15:40] Be kind in your honesty [17:35] Look for friends with ambition [18:58] Are your friends leaders? [19:25] Some good examples of good friends [23:48] Respectful, supportive cheerleaders [24:58] Don’t be a moocher!


    Facebook: aimeej21.com/facebook

    Twitter: aimeej21.com/twitter

    Instagram: aimeej21.com/instagram

    Chasing Dreams - https://aimeej21.com/subscribe/


    TWEET: “You want a friend who will hold out their hand, walk with you, and say, ‘Let’s do this together’.” #chasingdreams

    TWEET: Being around a negative person will make you feel down and depressed. #chasingdreams

    TWEET: I don’t have good things in my life if I surround myself with negative people. #chasingdreams

  • What keeps you from chasing your dreams? Are you waiting for someone to give you permission to chase your dreams? Many of us do that, not realizing that we don’t need anyone’s permission. Just like last week’s show that reminded us that we are each important and unique, we need to be reminded that we don’t need to wait for anyone’s permission. Let’s explore this topic in today’s special episode with me, myself, and I.

    Why are you waiting for permission?

    Think about all the things you ask permission for in your life. The one thing you DON’T need permission for is to chase your dreams. Don’t waste your time waiting for permission! We’ve had over 150 guests on the show who have chased their happiness and are better for it. It may not always be easy, but it’s a fulfilling journey. Don’t stay in an unhappy place. It’s YOUR life and YOUR experience and only YOU are responsible for it.

    My interesting background

    I’ve been chasing dreams my whole life, and it hasn’t been a straight path. I worked at NASA as a computer engineer, but I didn’t feel challenged. I went to law school because I thought it would give me a greater opportunity to help people. I knew I could pursue anything I wanted.

    Work-life balance

    How important is work-life balance to you? It’s hugely important in my life and has been the impetus behind many decisions I’ve made. I left my job as a patent lawyer and became a contract manager at Comcast, where I learned many skills about making deals and negotiating. I’m happy with my journey and have no regrets. I learned that I’m a team player and I love helping people. Now I’m ready to help my family as my dad has surgery in a couple of weeks. I’ve always given myself permission to chase my dreams, but it wasn’t overnight success.


    [:50] - Today’s special episode

    [1:45] - A recap of last week’s episode

    [3:28] - Why we wait for permission to chase our dreams

    [6:42] - Chasing happiness isn’t easy

    [8:30] - My life of chasing dreams

    [8:40] - My interesting background

    [11:18] - Finding work-life balance

    [13:22] - A good time is NOW

    [16:44] - Overnight success is a misunderstood concept





    TWEET: “Some of us are so busy waiting for permission that we’re missing out on chasing our dreams.” #chasingdreams

    TWEET: ”I would rather work hard for something that makes me happy than take the easy route and be depressed.” #chasing-dreams

    TWEET: “I don’t regret any of my career decisions.” #chasingdreams

  • How is your dream-chase going? For me, I’m taking some time this month to put significant focus on my personal dream-chasing efforts. I’m taking Nicole Walters’ $1K in 1 Day Academy course, so this is a time for me to work on the course, along with preparing better resources and products for you, the listener. I’m always looking for new and improved ways to inspire, empower, and equip you to chase your dreams. There will be no guest interviews for August, but those will return in September; meanwhile, we’ll cover some great topics with a few solo episodes that you won’t want to miss!

    “Dear Me, Myself and I”

    Have you ever written a letter to yourself? If you haven’t, I highly recommend it, because it’s something I’ve been practicing. It’s teaching me that I am important and my story is important. Even as identical twins, my sister and I are NOT the same people. When she was born 15 minutes before me, my parents thought she was the only baby. They didn’t know we were twins and that I would be joining the family just a few minutes later! The differences began immediately at birth. We have similar interests but had very different experiences as we grew up. Factors like race, gender, sexual orientation, and religion all work to shape us into who we are and tell us how we see things, but between any two people there are subtle (and some not so subtle) differences.

    TWEET: “Out of the billions of people on the planet, no two are the same. You are important.” #chasingdreams

    You NEVER know

    How far does your influence and impact go? The answer is that you just never know. Your story may be shared with someone and serve to impact and influence them in ways in which you aren’t aware. You might be blown away if you did know how many people hear your story and are impacted by it. That’s a good reason for podcasting, as it shares the story of person after person, especially in how they live and chase their dreams. We each need to fulfill the purpose we were put on the earth to do, and we accomplish that by trying new things and figuring out what we love.

    TWEET: “Each person has different experiences, different perspectives, and a different story to tell.” #chasingdreams

    It’s YOUR life

    Have you had well-meaning people--even your parents--try to tell you what your purpose is? A parent’s job is to grow and nurture the seeds of passion and purpose so that each child can figure out what their strengths and weaknesses are. It’s part of the reason we try different activities as we grow up. Parents can’t determine the steps you need to take in your life. It’s YOUR life and YOU have to live it and discover your true self. THEN you decide how to let that true self shine through to the world. Don’t let anyone have control over your life to decide WHO you are and WHAT you want to be! Let’s review the top takeaways from this episode:

    You are important You are unique It is YOUR life, not someone else’s It is important to live your true life Chase your dreams and be happy

    TWEET: The point of life is for you to figure out your purpose. #chasingdreams


    [:30] How is your dream-chase going? [1:37] No guest interviews during August [2:46] Writing letters to myself [3:54] Why your story is important [6:54] How identical twins can be VERY different people [10:55] Our stories can have a big circle of influence [13:09] Find your purpose [15:10] Find your true self and live to the truest extent [16:54] Who is in control? [18:00] Top Five Takeaways





    TWEET: LIve YOUR life---not someone else’s. #chasingdreams

    TWEET: Shine a light on who you are and don’t hide yourself in the dark. #chasingdreams

    TWEET: Only by being yourself can you begin to live your true self. #chasingdreams

  • Wouldn’t it be nice to have an inside track when it comes to your next job search? How would it be to have an expert in your corner when it comes to crafting your resume or navigating your next job interview? If this sounds like valuable information to you, then you’ve come to the right place. Today’s show is packed with expert advice about finding and scoring the awesome job of your dreams.

    Joel Quass has 35 years in management and has a CEIP, CPRW, GCDF, and earned his first professional Human Resource credential in 2012. His business, Six Second Resumes, crafts targeted resumes and cover letters. Joel teaches interview skills and facilitates career development through his coaching programs. A guest on radio stations nationwide, Joel has authored two books and shares his knowledge on the hiring process on his Six-Second Jobs podcast. He’s been kind enough to come on the show and help us understand the mysterious world of resumes and cover letters.

    All it takes is six seconds

    How many of us have made mistakes in our resumes and job interviews? (all hands should be raised) It truly is a mysterious world and one that few understand. A resume is a marketing tool that tells a company why they should hire you over everyone else. Joel says, “It’s NOT about you!” The employer wants to hire the person that is best for THEM and the one that meets THEIR needs. Your resume should show how you align with the company’s goals and needs. Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of your resume is how it is perceived by the person reading it. Studies show that it takes about six seconds for someone to scan the highlights of a resume and make a YES or NO decision.

    TWEET: “In high schools and colleges, there is not a lot of emphasis on teaching resume skills.” #chasingdreams

    Common sense and a plan

    What are two essentials you need in any job interview? You’ve got it---common sense and a plan! An interviewer is trying to find a person who is a good fit, and it goes beyond knowing you can do the work and extends to, “Can I work with you?” Badmouthing a former employer in an interview is a bad course of action. Exercise common sense, which is desperately needed and really can’t be taught. Joel teaches clients to have a plan because not all interviewers are experienced enough to ask the right questions. Joel’s clients are taught to ask the right questions and to take notes during the interview. His teaching also covers how to handle “red flags” on your resume to keep the interview moving forward.

    TWEET: “Every single word on your resume is designed to market you and have someone pick up the phone.” #chasingdreams

    Standing out among hundreds

    Don’t we all want our resume and our interview to stand out among all the others? The key to standing out is in the top third of the first page of your resume and putting all your valuable information where it will be seen immediately. You can’t bury important information on page two of your resume and expect it to be seen! Joel says your resume should “explode the job description,” showing exactly how you match up and exceed the job description details. He teaches you how to help the interviewer “see” you in the position. Part of his expertise is teaching his Six-Second Action Plan with 12 Ways to Land a Job.

    TWEET: “Common sense and the ability to get along with others are key factors that interviewers are looking for.” #chasingdreams

    Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take--”It comes down to attitude. I look to learn something new every day. It’s natural to have butterflies in a job search. Get them to fly in formation, and away you go!”


    [:00] A good first impression [6:31] “It’s NOT about you!” [8:25] It’s a window, not a mirror [10:40] What interviewers look for [13:55] A tactful way to handle bad experiences [15:50] How to stand out among other applicants [17:58] The truth about nepotism and how to avoid it [19:19] Joel’s personal account of his career success [25:58] The ideal attitude about a job search [29:20] Handling a job search without desperation [33:42] ONE action for a dream chaser


    Joel on Facebook

    Joel on Twitter

    Joel on LinkedIn

    Joel’s Website


    Six Second Jobs Podcast


    TWEET: “Getting a job IS a job.” #chasingdreams

    TWEET: “The more you’ve done your homework means the more you can show your value.” #chasingdreams

  • Episode Title: Ep. 151: Podcast Movement 2018 Group - Post-Coital Cuisine [PM18 episode]
    Guests: Podcast Movement 2018 Attendees

    Some collaborators:

    Taylor N. Fosters

    Some of the Podcast Movement 2018 attendees overcame their fears of podcasting and proved to themselves they could do it. What follows is a collaborative podcast episode made by the attendees together on the spot. They created this episode in 28 minutes and 9 seconds.

    Don't let fear hold you back.

    We're back with regular Chasing Dreams episodes next week.

    Until next time...

    Keep Chasing,

    Aimee J.

  • How have your dreams played into what you have accomplished in life? For some people, their dreams remain unchanged over the years, and others see their dreams take detours and U-turns as life progresses. In celebration of our 150th episode, I’ve invited some of my beloved family members to join us for a chat about their lives and how they’ve chased their dreams.

    I want you to meet my sister Jamie Joshua, my sister Gina Wright, and my brother-in-law Josh Wright. I’ve assembled them from across the globe for this virtual chat in which there is no script and there are no prepared questions. Let’s have fun getting to know them and putting them on the spot as only a sister can do.

    We start by getting their take on the world of podcasting and some of their favorites that they listen to regularly. I’m even sharing some of my newfound faves, so listen closely for one or two that you might want to catch also.

    How their dreams have played out in life

    A common thread among my siblings is the desire to help people and make an impact. You hear that passion as they share their occupations and if that career has truly been the one of their dreams. Jamie is Director of Diversity Inclusion at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. It’s not something she imagined herself doing in her former life as an attorney, but it allows her to help people and make a deeper impact. She says it’s fun to work with a variety of people who have the passion to be change agents in the world. Josh is a dentist at Cornerstone Dental, as is his wife, Gina. Josh started the practice with his brother, and their goal has always been to elevate dental care into a less fearful experience. He has wanted to be a dentist since 8th grade, and even though there have been detours along the way, he has kept his constant vision. He loves establishing relationships with his patients and not just running them in and out of the chair. Gina always wanted to be a doctor, but ended up a dentist. She likes the hands-on approach of dentistry and finds great pleasure in helping people with their smiles.

    TWEET: “Write it down and tell someone. It’s the first step toward getting there.” #chasingdreams

    How they see others following their dreams

    Jamie works with people who are interested in using education to help them figure out their dreams. She loves being the person to remind them of those dreams. Josh sees patients ages 1-98, but he says part of his fun in dentistry is seeing kids grow, develop, and chase their dreams. Gina sees younger staff in their office who want to learn and make their dreams come true. Most of them are in the work because it’s a career they love, and not just a way to make a living.

    TWEET: “Do research on what interests you and keep a log of what you find.” #chasingdreams

    How they stay sane and their advice for those who think they CAN’T

    With busy and demanding careers, it’s vitally important to have other interests that bring joy and peace. Jamie likes to see movies, collect comic books, and spend quality time with friends. Gina has a lifelong passion for calligraphy and is always seeking to do new things with lettering styles. She says it’s a great stress release and gives her a way to make things for people, who are always appreciative of her efforts. Josh gravitates toward woodworking projects like spice racks, wooden pens, and cutting boards. Sometimes he and Gina collaborate on a special project that includes his woodworking and her calligraphy. To the people who think they can’t take on a hobby or don’t have time for self-care interests, they give the following advice: Josh says it comes down to making time for dreams with small, manageable steps; Jamie says you should learn to multitask in small batches of time and always make time for self-care; Gina’s advice is to be a little selfish in taking care of yourself and don’t compare yourself to others. It’s about the progress and the journey you can take joy in that matters most.

    Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take--

    From Jamie: “Write it down and tell someone. It’s the first step toward getting there.”

    From Josh: “Take the first step and start small.”

    From Gina: “Do research on what interests you and keep a log of what you find.”


    [2:31] The podcasts that interest them most [9:12] What they do today as compared with what they THOUGHT they would do [16:59] Their interactions with people of all genders and ethnicities [21:28] What they do to stay sane [27:54] Their advice to those who think they CAN’T [34:46] ONE action for a dream chaser to take


    Podcasts mentioned:

    At Home With

    The Read

    Let’s Unpack That

    Daytime Confidential


    How I Built This


    The Impact Theory

    MTR Network

    Jesus and Jollof


    TWEET: “Be a little bit selfish in taking care of yourself.” #chasingdreams

    TWEET: “I love helping people figure out their dreams and how to follow them.” #chasingdreams

    TWEET: “Practice makes perfect and practice makes progress.” #chasingdreams

    TWEET: “There is a lot of stuff happening in our country that we can’t pretend is NOT happening.” #chasingdreams

  • At what age should you start to chase your dreams? Many people think you should get through the college years and have some life experiences before you really know what you want. But why should your dreams have those time-stamped limitations? Today’s guest shows that you’re never too young to take steps toward accomplishing big things in chasing your dreams.

    My guest today is James Mathew, my nephew! He is a rising sophomore at Harvard College, pursuing a degree in sociology and global health and health policy. He grew up in a paradoxical environment in the Chicago suburb of Hinsdale, Illinois. His identity as a first-generation Indian-American informs his politics and fuels his passion for social impact, empathy, and diversity. His most notable endeavors to date are Got Food?--a smartphone application that curbs the effects of domestic hunger, and 21 Colorful Crimson, a Harvard-based music group that advocates for a more inclusive America while pursuing professional success. James is staying with my family for the summer while he interns in DC and he is doing such amazing things at a young age that I knew I HAD to have him on the show.

    Defying the stereotypes

    You’ve heard the stereotypes we sometimes give to certain ethnic groups, like Indian-Americans. James grew up hearing these, too. He was a good student in math and science--like many Indian-Americans--so everyone assumed he would be a doctor. This assumption hits home to James since his mother and several other family members are also doctors. While James’ family did have expectations of his academic performance, he never felt pressured by them to fulfill a certain path in life. He actually felt more pressure from outside his family. Instead of pursuing a medical degree, James’ true passions run in the direction of music, which is also a talent that runs in his family. Music is a love that he can’t keep to himself, and he has found amazing ways to share this passion with others.

    TWEET: “We’re a music group of a group of friends.” @the21CC #chasingdreams

    Capitalizing on diversion

    What comes to mind when you hear the word diversity? Unfortunately, the word has a negative connotation in society today, but it shouldn’t! James is a member of the unique Class of 2021 at Harvard, the first to NOT have a clear racial majority. James wanted to capitalize on the diverse environment of his class and formed the group, 21 Colorful Crimson, out of a desire to share his passion for music. The 21 stands for their class name AND the fact that there are 21 members. The word Colorful highlights the different backgrounds and narratives of the members, who come together around the music they all love. Crimson is the mascot of Harvard. James and his fellow group members overlook and reject the divisions that society would put on them and they are all passionate about what the group stands for and the music they create.

    TWEET: “We look for collaboration in its most sincere form.” @the21CC #chasingdreams

    A healthy arrangement

    What can a few college students accomplish in only six months? Ask James and his fellow group members! The group began only six months ago as an idea that took shape over winter break. It took time to form the group and gather the members they needed. The group, 21 Colorful Crimson, is made up of rappers, producers, singers, artists, and more. Many of them perform individually on the side as well as in the group. They use any individual attention to shine back on the group, which has proved to be a healthy arrangement. They hope to stay together for the duration of their college career, so the possibilities are endless! They are learning as they work together, how to hear each other’s voices and opinions to better inform a collective perspective. Check out the resources below to listen to their first single, How You Gonna Hate.

    TWEET: “The more we work together, the more we actually hear each other’s voices.” @the21CC #chasingdreams

    Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take--”Expect people to not believe you at first. They aren’t necessarily going to buy in at first because it’s never been done before. What makes a dream is that it’s not easily attainable. You have to take risks and challenge yourself.”


    [:23] Defying stereotypes [6:59] What James really wants--to help people [8:59] Being open to different areas of service [10:34] The meaning of the name--21 Colorful Crimson [14:37] Keeping the love for music alive while balancing studies [17:43] The beginnings of 21 Colorful Crimson [22:29] How people believed in his dream [27:59] Building each other’s dreams [30:14] The future of the group [31:00] Their varied backgrounds and overriding friendship [35:23] The 21CC vision for the future [39:55] ONE action for a dream chaser


    21 Colorful Crimson Website

    21 Colorful Crimson on Facebook

    21 Colorful Crimson on Twitter

    James Matthew on Instagram

    21 Colorful Crimson on Go Fund Me

    21 Colorful Crimson on Patreon

    21 Colorful Crimson on Spotify

    21 Colorful Crimson on Apple Music


    TWEET: I don’t want to limit myself to one area of service, because I think there are multiple spaces in which to help people. @the21CC #chasingdreams

    TWEET: Long-term, I’d like to commit to a life of public service. @the21CC #chasingdreams

    TWEET: Helping people is a driving force and a calling on my life. @the21CC #chasingdreams

  • How would you live your life if there were no rules, if money wasn’t an issue, and if you weren’t afraid of anything? THAT is our topic for today because we are talking to someone who has the courage to find and follow her own path and not one that society dictates for her.

    Marci Nault has immeasurable enthusiasm, passion for fun, and a get-it-done attitude, no matter the situation. Her life can best be described as what would result if Marie Forleo and Tony Robbins partnered together on The Amazing Race. In the last six years, she has completed her entire bucket list of 101 dreams come true, all on a barista’s budget while increasing her net worth. She’s the author of The Lake House, has built and sold two companies, and is a real estate investor. Marci has been featured on The Huffington Post, CBS, ABC, Amped Radio, NPR, and more. She lives fearlessly and has accomplished many things, and she’s not done yet!

    The shocking moment that changed everything

    What do you want from this life? This was the question Marie asked herself as she watched her once-strong brother fight for his life in the hospital during an intense fight with MRSA infection. Her brother’s experience served as a wake-up call for new evaluation and a closer look at her life, which she calls “a mess.” Although she wasn’t sure how to start over, she realized that life can be gone in an instant and knew it was time to go after what SHE wanted for her life. She wondered, “If money wasn’t an issue; if I wasn’t afraid, and if I didn’t care what people think, what would I do? Where would I go? How would I live my life? Who would I want to become?” From these questions came her bucket list of 101 dreams come true.

    TWEET: “A bucket list life isn’t about checking things off, but infusing your dreams into yourself.” @DaretoDream #ChasingDreams

    A completely different person

    Could she ever go back to her old ways of living? She says there is absolutely no way because she has become a completely different person. Her confidence and health have soared. She realized that her bucket list was the road map to the life she was meant to live. Marci travels whenever she feels like it and trains and performs as a salsa dancer and figure skater. She just finished her second book. She confidently lives every single day as her “bucket list life.” It’s no surprise that she is always adding to the list those new things she wants to experience. She says, “Allow the magnificence of life to always come to you. Living your passions means that there is a place that lifts you up no matter what you face in life. Start with the small things. Fully experience life. Don’t just ‘collect’ the moment so you can post it.”

    TWEET: “Listen to what you’re doing in your life that doesn’t line up with your dreams.” @DaretoDream #chasingdreams

    What we need to change

    Life isn’t WHAT you do with your life, but HOW you live! We always want to put people in brackets according to their age, profession, accomplishments, etc. For kids, it’s all about what they want to be. In school, we are told to get it right and follow the path that we’re told to follow. Society has blocks that everyone thinks they have to fit into. We are asked, “What will you be: Who will you love? Where will you live?” Marci explains that people are uncomfortable being asked how they want to live because they’ve never been asked. It’s like we have never been given permission to “think outside the box,” but Marci says that it’s time to give yourself permission!

    TWEET: “My whole life revolves around going from one magnificent dream to the next.” @DaretoDream #chasingdreams

    Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser--”Take the baby step. Go back to what you love to do or wanted to do before people told you that you couldn’t. Find that thing and take one little baby step toward it.”


    [:35] How Marci’s dream chase began [5:31] Living the Bucket List Life [8:25] The thought process in making the list [13:30] How our phones distract us from enjoying the moment [18:19] How people want to “consume” you [21:23] Life isn’t WHAT you do, but HOW you live [23:25] Why we don’t ask the most important question [26:00] Break up with the concept of age [32:00] Give yourself permission to mess up [34:05] Marci’s honest list [36:05] Start with the deep pleasure of life [39:07] ONE action for a dream chaser


    Marci’s Website

    The Lake House by Marci Nault

    Marci on Facebook

    Marci on Instagram

    Marci on Twitter

    Marci on LinkedIn




    TWEET: This world is the greatest playground you can ever imagine.

    TWEET: Life can be gone in an instant. What am I going to do with my life?

    TWEET: That started ten years of holy-moly living, realizing that life really CAN be this amazing.

  • Do you need more self-confidence? Does fear hold you back from chasing your dreams? If your answer is YES, then today’s show is one you cannot miss. We are discussing how to improve your self-confidence, overcome fears, and take baby steps toward true success.

    Mary and Lynlee Ropp focus on building self-confidence in women and generally kicking butt in life. They are a little unconventional, mixing metaphysical spiritualism with good old-fashioned swear words. They wrote their book, Shake Your But! to help others pursue and realize their dreams. They do this through their personal development coaching business, AscendingU. They love how their stories are giving voice to other people. In their words, “It’s time to celebrate who we are, stand up and grab our dreams by the lady balls.”

    Helping others

    If you’ve fought to gain self-confidence in your life, then you become passionate about helping others achieve the same. This is true for Mary and Lynlee, who started their coaching and personal development company, AscendingU, to empower people to laugh, grow, and love. They love seeing other people achieve their goals and succeed, and they gain great satisfaction in watching that process. Self-confidence is feeling comfortable in your own skin, living for you and not someone else, and loving who you are. Having self-confidence can help anything and everything become attainable as you overcome fear to chase your dreams.

    TWEET: If you can think it and dream it, then you can do it. @ascendingu #chasingdreams

    Step by step

    Are you honest about how you’ve grown and changed? Mary and Lynlee are brutally honest about the personal examples of how they have grown and changed, hoping these will inspire and empower others to do the same. The techniques mentioned in their book are from concepts they have applied in their own lives. Their message is to stop making excuses and take small steps to improve your life. The first steps to take are to build self-confidence and battle against fear and imposter syndrome.

    TWEET: I realized I didn’t like the person who was staring back at me in the mirror. @ascendingu #chasingdreams

    Steps to “Shake Your But”

    Is your life full of “buts”? If you stop and think about it, then you will probably admit that you battle against the “buts” of limiting beliefs. The first step is to identify and acknowledge those limiting beliefs. Ask if your belief system is serving you OR constricting you. Mary and Lynlee say to reframe your thoughts, take action, push past the fear, and put your beliefs into action. Each little step will help you gain confidence. Taking just one or two steps will help you realize you CAN do it. You have to do things in the face of fear and build on each little success.

    TWEET: If you don’t think you can do something, then you’re not going to. @ascendingu #chasingdreams

    Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser:

    From Lynlee: “Get out of your comfort zone and ask for what you want. Don’t believe that you CAN’T do something. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but just have the confidence to make changes.”

    From Mary: “Buy our book! Step outside your comfort zone and your fear. That’s where the magic happens and where you start to grow. Wake up ten minutes early tomorrow and think about what you’re thankful for and think positively about yourself. You’ll be surprised how that positive mindset can change the course of your day.”


    [:57] Mary and Lynlee’s occupations today [2:35] AscendingU and problem-solving [4:34] What it means to have self-confidence [11:13] Where they’ve come in the last 10 years [14:40] The struggle in creating the book [17:15] The first chapter on Limiting Beliefs [19:38] How limiting beliefs may follow you [22:04] Steps to “Shake Your But” [24:40] How fear holds us back [30:01] How the book has been received [32:09] The intent behind the practical workbook format [33:30] ONE action for a dream chaser


    AscendingU Website

    Shake Your But! by Mary and Lynlee Ropp

    AscendingU on Facebook

    AscendingU on Instagram

    AscendingU on Twitter


    TWEET: Knowledge is worthless if you can’t apply it. @ascendingu #chasingdreams

    TWEET: What baby step can I take today toward my goal? @ascendingu #chasingdreams

    TWEET: “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” --Jack Canfield @ascendingu #chasingdreams

  • Are you living the truth of who you REALLY are? Many people struggle to live within society’s constraints, finding themselves miserable, anxious, and depressed--all because they know they are living someone else’s life. Today’s show introduces you to someone who has been through all of these emotions and struggles, but has taken the leap to live in truth and be authentic. The result has been a settled peace and happiness.

    Maryn McGaw is a queer, trans-female cinematographer who grew up outside Cleveland as one of four children born to two architect parents. This led her down the path of studying mechanical engineering before finding her dream in filmmaking and cinematography. Her love is for lighting, camera work, and collaborations. She’s also served as a crisis and suicide prevention phone line counselor at The Trevor Project, talking to LGBTQ youth across the country. She’s proud to further trans visibility.

    Finding her dream

    How do you zero in on your dream? Maryn’s first dream was to be an astrophysicist, but she found the path to study mechanical engineering with some aerospace mixed in. With a lifelong focus on science, Maryn got her undergraduate degree, never realizing that she wanted to pursue her creative side. Even back in high school, music was the only creative outlet for Maryn. It wasn’t until a college photography class opened her eyes to the world of cinematography and film production that she felt true fulfillment. She looks back now and realizes that an engineering career would have been too static for her preference. Graduate school at SCAD in Savannah followed college and furthered her creative path to her dreams.

    TWEET: Choosing a creative career if the only thing that has given me true fulfillment. #chasingdreams

    Finding her true self

    Have you ever tried to be someone you’re not? Maryn spent many years knowing that she wasn’t who she was pretending to be on the outside. She came to the point that she just couldn’t go forward in life without transitioning to a female, so she took a year off to focus on her health and the gender transition. She had already battled depression and suicidal thoughts, so she knew these were steps she had to take for her physical and mental health. It wasn’t easy coming out and transitioning because she had no role models to look to and saw no representation of the transgender life on TV.

    TWEET: Coming out was hard because I had no trans role models to look up to. #chasingdreams

    Finding the career she loves

    What steps are you willing to take to make your dream come true? For Maryn, she made the move from Virginia to Los Angeles, knowing she would have to work her way into the cinematography career she craved. She did this through networking, working in every opportunity, working as a production assistant, being friendly, and showing people everywhere what she was capable of doing. She knew that cinematography would be the peak and she would have to work her way up to it, but she was willing to put in the hard work to get there. Maryn fell in love with the care, ingenuity, and creativity of the craft of cinematography. She realized that this art form held the theory and practice she had looked for in engineering, but couldn’t find outside this creative realm.

    TWEET: “Start being true to yourself!” #chasingdreams

    Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take: “Start being true to yourself. Don’t doubt the person you are and the person you want to be. Know the things that make you happy.”


    [:26} Celebrating the LA Pride Festival [1:03] Growing up with architect parents in Ohio [2:47] Finding photography and the cinematography dream [7:21] Regrets about not figuring out the dream sooner [9:09] Life after grad school and gender transition [13:45] Advice for others who need help [15:20] The current representation of transgender people on TV [16:40] After the transition: Virginia and then Los Angeles [19:24] How she got where she is today in her career [22:10] What led her to cinematography [25:24] Maryn’s preference of a medium [28:18] How her mental health has improved and her film style has changed [29:58] How therapy helped the mental struggle of the transition process [33:15] ONE action for a dream chaser


    TWEET: The representation on TV of trans life is accurate in very small arenas. #chasingdreams

    TWEET: I couldn’t envision a future as my male self. #chasingdreams

    TWEET: I couldn’t see myself in engineering because it was too static. I needed a fluid career. #chasingdreams

    TWEET: I’ve changed myself and challenged myself and am happiest living my truth. #chasingdreams

  • Have you been chasing your dreams your WHOLE LIFE? My guest today knew what she wanted to do as a young child, and even her mother thought she was a little crazy. As she is not only pursuing her personal dreams, she is working hard to make the same dreams accessible for others like her.

    Ashlei Shyne was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. After studying theater at the University of Toledo, she decided to relocate to Los Angeles and pursue a career in television and film. Ashlei’s first movie appearance came in the summer of 2007, when she was offered the role of Melanie Johnson in the feature film, Johnson’s Family Dinner. She has since been cast in national commercials and in print web series. She is best known as Natalie from the hit series Dyke Central, which is now streaming on Amazon. She’s the founder of Rainbow Bright Comedy, a POC Queer Improv team.

    A path that wasn’t easy

    Ashlei exhibited some crazy symptoms as a child, wanting to be called by different names and going through multiple wardrobe changes daily. Her mother was so concerned that she took her to therapy; the therapist’s answer was that “Maybe she just wants to be an actress.” Growing up in Dayton, Ohio left very few theater opportunities, so Ashlei created her own! She asked her 6th grade teacher, who supported her burning desire to be on stage, if she could put on a play complete with props and costumes. Not long after that experience, Ashlei saved her allowance and her school lunch money for a year so she could pay for a college theater course--at age 14!

    TWEET: “The burning desire to be on stage started early and never left.” #chasingdreams @ashleishyne

    The healing power of the stage

    Ashlei fought anxiety in her life, but found healing in the power of the stage. Being with others on stage who “have my back” and were looking out for each other brought peace and calm to her life. When she came out of the closet as bisexual, there was more anxiety because of the homophobia in her family, but performing helped. Ashlei came out to her family at the insistence of her wife, who thought it was important to be with someone who truly accepted themselves. Ashlei’s family took a while, but they have finally accepted her for who she is.

    TWEET: “I found the healing power of the stage. It brought peace and calm to my life.” #chasingdreams @ashleishyne

    Filling a gap

    When Ashlei began her career in Los Angeles, she saw the gaping hole in the improv world for people of certain lifestyles, and especially for people of color in the LGBTQ community. She realized that she never saw anyone like her in TV shows and movies. Beginning the Rainbow Bright Troupe has given her friends that she enjoys being with and who have become like family to her. As a queer person of color, Ashlei has a deep desire to help provide acting opportunities for others like her and she’s willing to do the hard work to see progress, one step at a time.

    TWEET: “I had a deep desire to provide acting opportunities to other people just like me.” #chasingdreams @ashleishyne

    Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream-chaser to take--”I believe you have an inner child who keeps your dreams alive. Listen to your inner child voice and go after what you want.”


    [1:20] How Ashlei started out in acting [4:20] Saving money at age 14 for a college theater class [5:40] Getting therapy as a young child [7:26] How she took an acting hiatus until college [12:52] Coming out to her parents [16:46] Writing and producing a new comedy show about queer people [18:11] How she never herself represented in TV and movie characters [18:54] The beginning of Rainbow Bright [22:17] Seeing an absence and filling the gap [24:35] Being an actress in LA [30:15] Ashlei’s wildest dreams--in NYC or Canada [32:27] Finding her passion and overcoming fear and doubts [34:28] ONE action for a dream chaser


    Ashlei on Facebook

    Ashlei on Twitter

    Ashlei on Instagram

    Ashlei Shyne on IMDB

    Dyke Central Website

    Dyke Central on Amazon

    Rainbow Bright Comedy

    This episode is sponsored by our patreon campaign supporters. Thanks to all of you for supporting my mission to inspire, equip, and empower people to chase their dreams. For more information on our Patreon campaign, or if you’d like to donate a dollar a month to help keep the show going, you can learn more at aimeej21.com/patreon


    TWEET: “I saved lunch money and allowance for a year to pay for a college theater course.” #chasingdreams @ashleishyne

    TWEET: “The comedy stage feels like home to me.” #ChasingDreams @ashleishyne

    TWEET: “Why would I keep the best part of myself as a bisexual woman hidden from the world?” @ashleishyne

  • What have you had to overcome to chase your dreams? Today’s guest overcame severe anxiety, explored what he wanted to accomplish in his life, and found the support to make it happen. His journey wasn’t an easy one, but it’s been fulfilling and rewarding, and----the best is yet to come! He’s here as part of our celebration of June as Pride Month, and I’m beyond excited to share his inspiring story with you.

    Juel D. Lane is an American dancer, choreographer, filmmaker, and one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch.” Most recently, Juel was a featured dancer in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar: Live in Concert, which starred John Legend, Brandon Victor Dixon, and Sara Bareilles. From October 2017 through March 2018, Alvin Alley American Dance Theater’s second company, Alley II, toured Juel’s piece, “Touch and Agree” around the world. Currently dancing with Bessie Award-winning Camille A. Brown & Dancers, Juel D. Lane’s dance films, Just Another Day, How to Kill A Ghost, and When the Beat Drops, showcase this multi-talented choreographer’s dynamism.

    Find what drives you

    How does a kid get through anxiety? For young Juel, he was anxious, nervous, and didn’t know WHO he really was. It was his involvement in the arts that broke the hold of anxiety in his life. He says when you figure out what really drives you, then the anxiety evaporates. It was his high school years that revealed his love for the arts and set the path that his storied career would take. With unwavering support from his parents, he found that being on the stage and performing began to “feel like home.”

    TWEET: Figure out what really drives you and the anxiety will evaporate. @jueldlane #chasingdreams

    Where the inspiration comes from

    Can you be real and raw? Juel takes seriously his responsibility to create choreography that “strips labels and shows humanity.” His sources of inspiration bring the rawness and authenticity to his work. He explains that his work, How to Kill a Ghost, came out of a doomed relationship that he was reluctant to let go of. He used the dance as therapy for the healing that needed to take place. Juel produces “honest choreography that comes from an honest state.” He knows that people are looking for dance to “feed their souls.”

    TWEET: People are looking for dance to “feed their souls.” @jueldlane #chasingdreams

    Fighting the fear

    How do you handle fear in your life? Juel says that he takes fear by the hand and says, “Not today!” When you find your zone and can stay there, then everything else goes away. Juel knows that amazing feeling when the lights dim and the curtains go up and he’s proud to have been a part of such monumental experiences in his career. The success is what pushes him to work hard and want more. When you push yourself, it gives you inspiration to lead into the next project. Juel shares how important it is to do things that scare you and help you conquer your fear.

    TWEET: Do things that scare you and help you conquer your fear. @jueldlane #chasingdreams


    [:11] Juel’s recovery from performing in Jesus Christ Superstar [:51] Young Juel who was full of anxiety [3:25] Support, community, and his love for dance [5:35] His college degree and his love for choreography [9:23] How his work resonates with others [10:10] Why people can relate to dance [11:21] Bringing his work to the Alvin Alley American Dance Theater [14:05] How his work has inspired people to become comfortable with themselves [16:20] How Jesus Christ Superstar came about [17:40] What it takes to perform for live TV [19:18] Fighting the fear [21:42] Juel’s goals regarding TV performances [24:29] What’s next for Juel? [26:21] Being in Atlanta vs. NYC [29:15] Juel’s advice for wannabe dancers’ [30:34] Juel’s journey of ups and downs and where he’d like to be five years from now


    Juel on Instagram

    Juel on Twitter

    Juel on YouTube

    Juel’s Website

    This episode is sponsored by our patreon campaign supporters. Thanks to all of you for supporting my mission to inspire, equip, and empower people to chase their dreams. For more information on our Patreon campaign, or if you’d like to donate a dollar a month to help keep the show going, you can learn more at aimeej21.com/patreon


    TWEET: You have to do things that scare you as an artist to implement more growth. @jueldlane #chasingdreams

    TWEET: A vision board works. It forces you to say what you want EVERY day. @jueldlane #chasingdreams

    TWEET: My parents supported me on everything, even if they didn’t really understand. @jueldlane #chasingdreams

    TWEET: I wanted to make people uncomfortable and celebrate who I am as an LGBTQIA person. @jueldlane #chasingdreams.

  • What’s YOUR platform? Are you using it for good? These are the questions my guest had to answer when he had started a podcast about the things he was most passionate about--but it was just entertainment. He felt a conviction that prompted him to address mental health, with which he had a personal history. Now he is spreading the word, fighting against the stigma around depression and suicide, and doing loads of legitimate good for our world.

    Josh Burkey, aka Captain Nostalgia, is the host behind the podcast, Victims and Villains. As a survivor of depression and addiction, Josh aims to break the stigma of mental health issues through conversation and relationships of pop culture. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and two cats.

    TWEET: Josh Burkey uses comics to address mental health issues and fights the stigma that is attached to them. Listen in today on #ChasingDreams

    Making a difference

    What do you do when a bad day goes horribly wrong? Josh had a bad day at work that led to a demotion, which sent him spiraling into depression. He and his best friend decided to start a podcast in which they talked about films, comic books, and TV shows. They had a great time, but it wasn’t long before Josh felt a conviction that he should be using this platform to make a difference in people’s lives. They did a special Suicide Prevention Awareness show with topics like overcoming thoughts of suicide, self-harm, depression, and addiction. Even though the show was meant as a one-time thing, the positive feedback set them apart in the podcast arena, and the focus on mental health became a regular part of the show. They enjoy engaging in conversations that were lacking in the comic book culture.

    TWEET: Using your platform to help others struggling with mental health issues is a great way to also talk about Suicide Prevention. Let your friends and family know you are always there for them! #ChasingDreams

    Positivity at Comic-Con

    Do you think pop culture has many communities with positivity and acceptance? You would probably say NO, but consider the dedicated fans and attendees of the various Comic-Con events. Many in this community desire to give inspiration and escape, along with wide acceptance and commonality across cultures, ages, genders, and sexual orientations. Even though like any other group, there are pockets of negativity, those are looked at by most as just “background noise.” Josh explains how participating in Comic-Con events can restore your faith in humanity and at how people interact. He says everyone should attend at least one!

    TWEET: #Comic-Con events can restore your faith in #Humanity! #ChasingDreams

    Fighting against the stigma

    Would you say that suicide is a problem mainly for young people? That’s a common misconception about suicide, but it is truly a problem across all age levels. Although suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 10-24, the most common age group it affects is middle-aged men. Mental illness has such a stigma around it and we don’t talk about it like we should, for two main reaons, according to Josh. One reason is that it’s not a sickness you can SEE in someone, and someone can hide it well until it’s too late. Another reason is that we want so badly to not appear any less than the person we portray on social media. We don’t want people to know the truth, but the image we portray isn’t usually the truth. Josh’s ultimate goal is for these topics to be taught within the curriculum in schools and to get the conversations out there that, ”It’s OK to admit that you’re not OK.”

    TWEET: It’s ok to admit that you are not ok. Get the help you need by reaching out and letting someone know you are struggling! #ChasingDreams

    Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take--”Understand that, at the end of the day, there are good days and bad days. Never let a bad day make you lose sight of a good day. No matter the kind of day, you have worth and value. Never give up. Never, ever compromise. Stay true to who you are.”


    [:10] How we met through mutual friends [:40] Something different and unique: A nerdy podcast merged with mental health [4:00] Support, kindness, and positivity at Comic-Con [8:15] How a Comic-Con can restore your faith in humanity [9:40] The common misconception about suicide [11:46] Why the stigma about mental health? [17:25] How Josh partners with organizations and the comic book industry [21:16] Reviewing films, comic books, and TV shows [23:23] Josh’s ultimate goal in his work [27:46] Out of the Darkness walks [28:45] How someone can get help [31:30] Josh’s ONE action for a dream chaser to take



    Suicide Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

    741-741 Text anonymously for support and help if you are thinking about suicide

    Josh on Facebook

    Josh on Instagram

    Josh on Twitter

    Josh’s Podcast

    Josh’s Website

    The cult mentioned on the show


    TWEET: “I felt a conviction from God that I wasn’t using my platform to make a difference. “ @victimsandvillians

    TWEET: There is much #positivity and #acceptance in the comic book culture. @victimsandvillians #ChasingDreams

  • How important is your mental health? Of course, we all know that we SHOULD prioritize our mental health above all else, but do we? Would you walk away from your greatest dream in order to regain your mental health? Today’s show focuses on one man’s story of success and the fulfillment of wildest dreams, but also the sudden descent into mental turmoil as drug addiction threatened to steal everything from him.

    Jermaine Tolbert is a Detroit native, currently living in Austin, Texas. Jermaine began to attract attention from music industry executives after posting YouTube videos in 2007. In 2010, Jermaine and J. Drew Sheard of the BET reality show “The Sheards,” along with longtime friend John Houston, teamed up under Pharrell Willams to form a group called 3D. Together they wrote and recorded over fifteen songs in route to a debut album release. Due to an unfortunate incident that caused Jermaine to be hospitalized for ten days in a local psychiatric ward in Southfield, MI, Jermaine was forced to walk away from music in order to re-develop mentally from the traumatic experience.

    After being diagnosed with schizophrenia & depression, and after no help from prescribed medications, Jermaine's written a book about his triumph over the diagnosis. It's set to be released in 2018.

    Talking the Talk, Walking the Walk

    What do you do when even your family doesn’t support your dream? Jermaine encountered much negativity from his family when he first went public with his music by posting videos on Youtube. He coped with the negativity by blocking out their input and learning to avoid those people. As a young child, Jermaine’s music career began with piano at age 7, then he added the trumpet and singing to his repertoire. By the 8th grade, he was singing in the school ensemble, back when no one knew he could really sing. Through the long and twisted pathway of his life, music has been a constant friend.

    TWEET: If something you want to attain is easy, then you’re not doing it right. @j_tolbert #chasingdreams

    The Downward Spiral

    “I can stop if I want to”---that’s what most drug addicts say. Jermaine’s addiction and out-of-control spiral began when he started smoking marijuana and continued every day for about 7 months. Before long, he noticed different thought patterns about what reality was and false realities became his truth. Fortunately, his sister saw that something was terribly wrong and took him to the hospital. After a lengthy stay, Jermaine knew he had to figure out his mental health, even though musically, his career was hitting new heights. He felt God pulling him away from music to reconstruct himself. He says it was a very difficult thing to do, but he has no regrets about the choices he made to prioritize his mental health.

    TWEET: Coming out on the other side made me see how many people are going through this same thing. @j_tolbert #chasingdreams

    A Mind for Success

    Do you want to be a millionaire? Most of us would answer YES! Jermaine took his desire a step further, however, and started studying the habits of the very wealthy. One successful millionaire wrote that what makes a person wealthy is knowledge. Jermaine took this advice to heart and made a change in his mindset that helped heal his mental health. Because of the great number of people going through the same struggles he faced, Jermaine wrote Genius of A Schizophrenic with the desire to help other people. He says the book is for the everyday average person who needs help with focus and for those coming from a place of mental illness.

    Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take--”Don’t listen to people and just be yourself. Don’t hear the opinions of those who say negative things and tell you that you can’t change. Work hard at building YOU.”


    [:38] Bringing awareness to mental health and suicide prevention [1:21] Young Jermaine’s passions [5:14] Getting noticed for his music but dealing with negativity from his family [8:35] The breakthrough in 2010 [10:49] Mental illness--at the same time he signed a deal with Pharrell Williams 13:03] Jermaine’s hospitalization and the aftermath [17:54] No regrets about the move he made [20:00] What happened after he walked away [21:43] Overcoming drug addiction [25:26] A mind for success [26:24] Why a book about the journey? [28:23] Feedback and awesome response to the book [30:53] Will Jermaine go back to music? [33:14] Times of discouragement [35:34] Jermaine’s ONE action for dream chasers


    Jermaine on Facebook

    Jermaine on Twitter

    Jermaine on Instagram

    Jermaine’s Website


    TWEET: I felt God pulling me away from #music to help reconstruct myself. @j_tolbert #chasingdreams

    TWEET: Singing took over my life in about 8th grade when no one knew I could sing. @j_tolbert #chasingdreams

    TWEET: I plan to go back to music, but it will be uplifting and inspirational--in light of the grace that’s been given to me. @j_tolbert #chasingdreams

  • How would you define “abuse”? Unfortunately, such a stigma exists around the idea of abuse, how it occurs, and what it entails, that people are afraid to even talk about it. The truth is that many people have some sort of abuse either in their past or in their present. This conversation is another way to honor and recognize Mental Health Awareness Month. I’m thrilled to bring you another expert, who has amazing things to teach us today!

    Abigail Manning is creating awareness on authentic health, which prevents and ends ALL forms of abuse. She has done five years of research on abuse and is an Indiana University Communications double major in cognitive, social, and behavioral theories. Combining her academic background with her personal experience with childhood abuse and domestic violence, she provides unique and transformative workshops and speeches that truly empower others.

    The Mental Health Stigma

    Do you know someone who suffers from mental illness? As more and more people are affected by backgrounds of abuse and depression, we must realize that ANYONE can suffer from mental illness. Common responses might be, “It doesn’t happen in MY family; it doesn’t happen to strong people; it doesn’t happen to smart people.” Mental health is simply a topic that we don’t talk about. Abigail’s focus is on “authentic health.” Depression can be a product of past abuse and can be linked to other things. Whatever the circumstance, it takes ownership to work past the struggles. Abigail tells us why the words we use really matter in getting the help we need and deserve.

    TWEET: People choose #addictions to mask their feelings and sometimes see suicide as the only way out. @abigailgmanning #chasingdreams

    Helpful Words

    What are the words that a struggling person needs to hear? How about “I believe you and I care about you. Let’s get you some qualified help.” Abigail’s advice is to find a trusted person and don’t let yourself become isolated. Use language that feels comfortable to you and don’t be afraid to ask for help and resources. It’s hard to look someone in the eye and reveal that you’re struggling with mental health. Find phone resources that can help. Abigail’s workshops are designed to help any group navigate through all forms of abuse and build a pathway to authentic health. Perpetrators want nothing more than to take your power and control. If you are strong, then no one can take that from you.

    TWEET: The #1 thing an abuser or perpetrator wants to take from you is CONTROL. @abigailgmanning #chasingdreams

    How to Look for Bullying Behavior

    Have you seen bullying behavior on social media? It’s all around us in different forms. Abigail has a “purple threads” theory, showing how bullying behavior gets reinforced, either positively or negatively. She teaches people verbal skills so they don’t have to hide. Most people aren’t even aware of what abuse really is, and even though it is complicated, it’s easy to spot if you simplify the definition. Look for a repeated cycle of any psychological, verbal, physical, sexual, or financial abuse. It takes work to strengthen yourself and become aware of abusive behavior, but Abigail can teach you how to spot the red flags in any relationship.

    TWEET: Don’t go it alone. Find the qualified help you need. @abigailgmanning #chasingdreams


    [:22] The importance of mental health [2:31] The power of words [3:36] How addictions mask our feelings [5:39] Places to find help [7:16] Abigail’s work on a national scale [9:04] Going into schools and workplaces with help for the abused and the abusers [13:04] Is abuse a socioeconomic issue?[ [14:59] Bullying [19:56] What financial abuse is: using money for power and control [21:19] The different forms of abuse [26:19] Ways to strengthen yourself to prevent abuse [33:11] The ripple effect


    Abigail’s Website

    Abigail on Facebook

    Abigail on Twitter

    Abigail on LinkedIn


    TWEET: The words “abuse” and “victim” were words I refused to claim in my world. @abigailgmanning #chasingdreams

    TWEET: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” --Eleanor Roosevelt @abigailgmanning #chasingdreams

    TWEET: The truest self I can be is secure, loving, ethical, and fearless. @abigailgmanning #chasingdreams

  • Do you think holistically about your physical AND mental health? May is Mental Health Awareness month, and this show will challenge your thinking about what it means to be mentally healthy, how to cope with the seasons of life, and what you should have in your self-care toolkit.

    Dr. Phyllis Hubbard is the Director of BMA Health & Healing Strategies, an innovative wellness program founded in Oakland and functioning within the Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Dr. Phyl (a.k.a. “The Body Whisperer”) is a motivational speaker, Board Certified Doctor of Natural Medicine, an Ayurvedic Practitioner, Life and Mental Health Coach, Qigong Instructor, Reiki Master, and Licensed Massage Therapist (#MA64036). Her wide range of professional education also includes Holistic Health Education, Injury Prevention Training, Therapeutic Nutrition & Movement, Clinical Aromatherapy, and Herbology. Having used holistic healing strategies to reverse a supposedly incurable illness (COPD--Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), Dr. Phyl now facilitates illness prevention and health intervention programs that promote self-empowerment and help restore balance in the mind and body through the use of a synergistic blend of holistic healing modalities. Her straightforward and humorous presentations blend ancient holistic wisdom with cutting-edge research in a way that is fun and easy to understand. She travels nationally and internationally as a Holistic Health Educator and to research indigenous holistic practices to integrate into her healing techniques and workshops.

    Becoming a Naturopath

    What would you do to regain your health? Dr. Phyl saw the brutal rape of a young child when she was a girl, and a subsequent asthma attack developed into bronchitis and COPD. In her 20’s she felt her health--and her life--slipping away and knew she had to do something. She found a book about Ayurvedic medicine and began the journey to healing. Three months later, the cough stopped and never returned. She became a naturopathic doctor and started teaching others about the pathway to radiant health.

    TWEET: “There is no bad part of you, only parts of you longing for love, acceptance, or transmutation.” #ChasingDreams @Getradiant

    The Seasons of Life

    How do you handle life’s difficulties? Many people don’t realize that the seasons of life are part of the ebb and flow of the cycles we go through. We are supposed to experience a wide range of emotions and not expect things to be the same. The challenge is that we have to understand the process of how emotions move through us and don’t get stuck in us. For example, depression occurs when things get stuck in us and don’t pass through. Dr. Phyl says that our minds are like gardens that have to be tended, pruned, and taken care of.

    TWEET: “You have the wisdom and ability to achieve and maintain radiant #health.” @GetRadiant #ChasingDreams

    Your Mental Health

    What do you do when stress comes your way? We all have trauma and early losses from childhood. Dr. Phyl says you have to go back and visit your childhood with your adult eyes. Other factors that affect mental health are stress, chemical imbalances, weather, and medical conditions. These things shift our perspective and add extra stressors. Look at your life from a holistic perspective. With mental health, there is always something that’s layered on top of something else. Mental health issues can affect anyone and everyone. Dr. Phyl gives the following recommendations:

    Develop a mental health self-care toolkit Have a non-negotiable daily practice When in pain, refrain Perform a pain release exercise Do your best to avoid knee-jerk reactions (Breathe, pause, and then speak)

    Dr. Phyl also shares the following favorite true-isms:

    You have the choice and power to change your life. You have the wisdom and ability to achieve and maintain radiant health There is no bad part of you, only parts of you longing for love, acceptance, or transmutation.


    [00:15] How we met through a mutual friend [3:33] ]Why she became a naturopathic doctor [7:27] Understanding mental health [16:41] What we can expect out of life: seasons for everything [22:32] Why we don’t talk about mental health [26:29] Factors that affect mental health [29:27] Dr. Phyl’s “experience” with Robin Williams [35:28] Tips for developing your self-care mental health toolkit

    TWEET: “You have the choice and power to change your life.” @GetRadiant #ChasingDreams


    Dr. Phyl on LinkedIn

    Dr. Phyl onTwitter

    Dr. Phyl on Facebook

    Dr. Phyl on Instagram

    Campaign for Black Male Achievement website

    Journey to Radiance on the CBMA Website

    Journey to Radiance on iTunes

    Practice with me on YouTube

    Dr. Phyl’s Website

    Radiant Health Strategies Website


    TWEET: If a thought is yours to choose, then why not choose an empowering one? @GetRadiant #ChasingDreams

    TWEET: We are continually socialized to not feel #pain and avoid pain at all costs. @GetRadiant #ChasingDreams

    TWEET: Mental #health is the wellbeing of our psychological, emotional, and social selves. @GetRadiant #ChasingDreams

    TWEET: #Words are powerful. Even in joking, we bring ourselves down with them. @GetRadiant #ChasingDreams