S2 Episode 12

[deanna_nwosu]: hello again experience junkies today is the season finale of season two and i brought someone special on to chat with me today it’s rachel sheerin she is a burnout expert keynote speaker mc and a bon experienced junkie we talked about a lot in our conversation including what she learned from burnout the perfect place to people watch and how she manages everyday experiences to bring more joy into her work and the work of those around her sit back relax and listen to my conversation with rachel sheerin on how to live out loud and own your journey through life

[deanna_nwosu]: hello experience junkies today i am joined by the wonderful rachel sheerin who’s somewhat of i would say a vip in the events and catering and hospitality industry : and rachel i’m so glad to have you with me today,  thanks for being on the show

[rachel_sheerin]: thanks deanna, i am pumped shout out to all my experience junkies influencers lovers out there i love personally your podcast because experiences are what life’s about so i’m pumped to share and just chat with you today

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah so before we dive in too deep rachel tell the listeners a little bit about who you are and what you do

[rachel_sheerin]: well it started in beth israel hospital in boston just kidding it did though i’m from new england but i’m a southern transplant i’ve been in north carolina hud who um since i was about nine i took a break i moved to philadelphia um after school and enjoyed it but couldn’t take the winners and i think as a person you know this question’s always interesting it’s who i am what i really hear is what am i passionate about and i’m passionate about travel food people margaritas definitely make the list i’m also passionate about owning my own business uh being a leader of incredible women on my team and influencing folks what i do professionally is i’m a professional keynote speaker in mc and i’m focused in the rama burnout which is when joy leaves your work and to me this is so pivotally important because the best work in the world comes from people who love it and i think it really you know it’s it’s something that made you and i just really spark off the bat diana but i think when you think about experiences in life it it’s sometimes the experience but it’s almost always the people it’s the people

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: you’re with it’s the people you meet it’s the people that set you on a different course you know and i will say that’s part of the reason i do what i do i love traveling the globe and whether it’s dubai or de moine have almost an equal amount of fun everywhere i go so people ask all the time you know because i travel a lot am i always talking to the person beside me no i’m a certified professional behavioral analyst it’s a fancy way for saying i judge folks i understand folks on a different level but no if you want to talk you will be telling me your deep life story and crying to me and laughing hysterically with me absolutely if you don’t want to guess what i’m going to sleep cool we’re good

[deanna_nwosu]: absolutely yeah when you mention a a behavioral analyst i think that you’re

[rachel_sheerin]: so yeah that’s me

[deanna_nwosu]: probably like an expert people watcher as well um so just curious along all your travels all over the world and country wherever you’ve been where has been the best people watching that you’ve experienced

[rachel_sheerin]: oh i think it depends on what you mean by people watching but i’ll tell you my favorite spot and it it’s anywhere in the world actually it’s at the baggage claim at the airport when you watch people the way they greet each other the anticipation the looking up the escalator the tears the hugs the banners the flowers the you know even the administrative part how about i i remember a couple years ago my friends is over at the venetian and sands corporation in vegas they send a limo to get me and the gentleman who picked me up was dressed you know head to toe he had my name on the board like i had made it it was all happened in agganis like the first time i saw mountain rene when the mountain was out you know

[deanna_nwosu]: right

[rachel_sheerin]: it’s like i’ll never be there first again and yet every time i see it it’s like it’s like the first time in the same

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: there’s something about reunion that’s really special and i i think too you know there was a comedy skit a long time ago that use used to say that when you travel on a plane and people would complain about you know delays or something like that the

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: wi fi not working the the comedian was like you know what calm him down it used to take forty years to get from jfk to lax like

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: you were an entirely different set of people by the time you got there and there’s something about being away and coming back or meeting someone for the first time that you rarely get to see it as much as you do in beautiful just

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: domino effect than at the baggage the baggage claim at the airport

[deanna_nwosu]: that’s really beautiful rachel and i think when you mentioned the baggage claim  and really traveling in general anytime you’re in like a through between you never

know why other people are traveling like it could be for work it could be for leisure it could be to visit family it could be for sad reasons you know they’re

[rachel_sheerin]: yeah

[deanna_nwosu]: burying a family member or you know you know it could be for a multitude of ex of reasons and because of that you literally see the full range of the emotional spectrum of you know humans you know you see people that are just joyful people that are sad frustrated angry agitated anxious you know the full you really see like the full kind of spectrum of human emotion on display in any type of kind of like travel environment or like moving from one place to another so that’s such a beautiful way of capturing kind of the human experience like you know yeah that’s quality observations of you know human dynamics at the baggage clean point

[rachel_sheerin]: thanks deanna for asking the question i don’t think i’ve ever thought of it like that but

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: that’s my favorite

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah absolutely and i love what you said that yeah the experiences are great but ultimately it’s all about the people that were kind of consuming those experiences : with and you know if you look back on kind of your journey not just as you know you were formerly catering sales and and in the hospitality yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: liberated caterer whoop poop

[deanna_nwosu]: in the hospitality industry and now you know you’re a keynote speaker in mc even looking through the beginning before you kind of were in that environment what were some of the key things you looked for when you were traveling or you know creating experiences with your friends and family you know even before your kind of hospitality industry experience what’s kind of like those key triggers for the experiences you want to consume

[rachel_sheerin]: yeah that’s a good question because i think we all start somewhere right

[deanna_nwosu]: right

[rachel_sheerin]: we all we all take care of others and we all experience things and we have the expectations and dreams of the way things will go to me i’m the oldest and an italian irish catholic family so

[deanna_nwosu]: mm hm

[rachel_sheerin]: with italy started with food the best

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: things can can be enhanced by food the worst things can be not fixed but softened by food you know so the meal was always huge you know my mom um there’s a big debate in my family my mom’s irish my father’s italian and uh my father’s like family recipe there’s two sides of it either a my father’s fathers um found a notebook or cookbook from his mother who had passed away young and that the recipe was in there and it’s a family recipe

[deanna_nwosu]: uh

[rachel_sheerin]: or b my father’s mother was a war bride a world war ii bride they moved to san antonio texas after they came back to america from the war and a woman in a mexican restaurant taught my taught my grandmother how to make it here’s the thing it doesn’t matter you put pig ankles

[deanna_nwosu]: is it a family debate like who knows the origin but it’s we have it now

[rachel_sheerin]: yeah no one knows but it’s delicious you put pig ankles in it um the ham hawks for a long time and it’s got just a pinch of sugar in it it’s it’s incredible you know

[deanna_nwosu]: eight

[rachel_sheerin]: and when i think about food you know there’s there’s some of the things you know my father’s passed away now and there are things that i eat but it’s more like church with him like it’s

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: it’s like eating with the ghost you know and

[deanna_nwosu]: hm hm

[rachel_sheerin]: i know exactly what he’d say and the things he liked and the commentary you know and i think what’s so cool is that you know food as an experience base what’s so nice is that you know um it’s very equitable you don’t have to read or write to

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: to cook with love and to serve

[deanna_nwosu]: mhm

[rachel_sheerin]: with love and to enjoy with love and you know one of the things that i’m really passionate about i think in the world is is how we can get a lot closer right the queen brunet brown she says that people are hard to hate close up to me i don’t feel very far from people naturally that’s that’s kind of my disposition is the glass half full the glass half empty the glass is overflowing dianna

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: to me and i think that’s the other maybe side of the experience is that like you

know before i before i even knew words uh in catering hospitality you know guest experience anything like that before i understood audience engagement and in events in any real way it was about honestly owning and really honoring the impact that i have as an individual on the people i come in contact with right and i think a lot of us

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: especially you know i think leaders were taught to you know we have influence but guess what first of all we’re all leaders of us and secondly the influence that i have will it’s powerful you know i walk in smiling someone smiles back someone’s  having a tough day i show kindness i know how many times d does the door get held for you or maybe someone lets you go first in the elevator and you don’t need it it’s never about needing it but it’s about because of our industry because of our heart it’s just so nice once in a while to go first because we never have to go first and i think that’s probably where the other side of where it started was just about really owning my influence over the course of events right

[deanna_nwosu]: hey

[rachel_sheerin]: it only had to be tense you know if a conversation is going to be tense or in a

gathering let’s say is going to have a lot of different complexities to it well guess what it’s only going to be nervous if io to be nervous right can

[deanna_nwosu]: right

[rachel_sheerin]: i can hear people’s nerves as fear i can hear people’s nerves as excitement just channel through a totally different way when i’m excited i feel like i’m on you know fifteen bottles of uh speed or or or surge or whatever you know insert highly caffeinated beverage here but other people i got it it might seem a more serious cause they’re observing right they do some people do this beautiful thing where they think before they talk

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: i talk to think two different sides same coin so

[deanna_nwosu]: same same with me um i am one of those people i have full blown conversations and debates with myself i will be in a room alone and i will reason things i will work it out i will be the pro and con side of the argument so i totally understand kind of letting you know the verbal flow of words be the process and then after you say it okay let me either trim that up or let me actually deliver this in the way i intended it um

[rachel_sheerin]: yes

[deanna_nwosu]: when i first started this stream of consciousness if you will

[rachel_sheerin]: i love it i love it well and you know dna i want i want to comment here that you

have a very welcoming natural energy to you’ve got a very calm mean you know positive energy and that really permeates every conversation you have every room you walk into every zoom you walk into and

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: that i mean that’s part of the experience have you ever just met somebody i remember i met a gentleman on a flight once it was back in my early days i was flying middle seat basic economy last row anything for my dream that’s something

[deanna_nwosu]: right

[rachel_sheerin]: about me anything for my dream right i want it i get it i got it and uh this gentleman was from portugal and this guy this guy lived with his seven sist he’s probably about sixty five seventy something like that we were both on our way to miami and he he was going to go home from there and you know he’s telling me about his life and all this kind of stuff and i got to tell you i i i was having a rough streak there i was i was i probably on my fifth gig’s kind of stuff and this guy was so infectiously grateful that how could you how can i resist being

[deanna_nwosu]: right

[rachel_sheerin]: grateful and i think that’s you know if anybody out there’s listening and and they’re wondering i don’t know i don’t know here’s the thing try it out see how much influence you have by the way take a look at you know the the influential people in your life the folks that complain the folks that aren’t grateful the folks that can invent a problem you learn a lot about people inventing problems a baggage claim here’s the thing everyone out there is working hard if my bag doesn’t make it i hope that it does but guess what i’ve got everything i need on me to do what i’m here to do right

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: clothes are a bonus all right clean clothes man sometimes overrated

[deanna_nwosu]: so so true and you mentioned kind of as we started that a lot of your work is just about helping people bring the joy back into their work and can you talk about you know the journey and the the the the situations that kind of pushed you down that path of realizing this is my purpose of you know pouring into people so that they can go back to their various careers in various industries and local communities and bring them their best selves to their work so kind of talk about how you got to that point of knowing this was the purpose of what you needed to do

[rachel_sheerin]: yeah totally well i think it comes back to you know to me the the short side of it is i loved what i did i loved who i did it with love who i did it for until one day i didn’t and i was so far gone at that point where i was willing to admit that i didn’t like his that i was departed from the person i had been you know there’s something

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: about people who love to serve there’s people there’s something about people who are on the go go go all the time definitely my mode of operation there’s something about people too that want to be successful they’ll want to be high performers that are high performers and i want to say out loud that i think that’s you know that is the american dream right there and a lot of us know the american dream is not exactly real a lot of it it was never real it was never equitable it was never meant for women or black people lat next people anyone you know indigenous persons ever it was made for white gentlemen and

[deanna_nwosu]: right

[rachel_sheerin]: despite that we want to like prove the model we wanna like be above we wanna like say like started from the bottom now we’re here right and i was subscribed to that big time and so you know people ask how i got started i you know i burned out i burned out so bad i ruined my my career my income my

[deanna_nwosu]: oh

[rachel_sheerin]: reputation all of my friends i put friends in air quotes because they were just my work colleagues

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: because all my friends i mean most of them except for one or two had abandoned me anyway and my workaholism and my you know like oh my clients really need me you know who really needs us ourselves

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: that’s that’s where it starts and i had grown up you know because of the way i think my family is i think of the way culture is women especially are not encouraged to desire things like what do you want is always met with what do you want what would be your preference right

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: we’re we’re just happy to be included sometimes and i think that was a big halting moment of saying if not this then what and that might be the biggest scariest thing that’s how people you know in my line in my line of work working with fortune five hundred fifty companies really everyone from mortgage and insurance and payment process seen to cyber security and it all the way over to you know some of my luxury resort brands and

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: you know it doesn’t matter what you do the scariest thing that people who care deeply about their work can think is oh my god did i get this wrong like if not this then what if i’m not who i am at work who am i and that’s very american you travel it’s one of the best parts of traveling all over the world in my opinion is you get a different perspective you get to see how it could be right cause

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: you know there’s a big identity that we have wrapped up in our work and if the  past couple of years have shown us anything i mean anyone who is in the job market  in no wait right uh we saw tons of folks get liberated from their titles

[deanna_nwosu]: mm

[rachel_sheerin]: a lot not by choice

[deanna_nwosu]: right

[rachel_sheerin]: and we got to be people before we’re professionals so that’s a big part of my journey the other side was to be honest diana it was anger when i started about six months um after i you know it started going to therapy quit my  job all that stuff what i started to is i started to have words to talk about how it was feeling i started to identify that my leadership had deeply let me down spoiler alert they were super burned out to didn’t know what to do and what i discovered was this is a big secret it’s a big secret this is how people either a if they ask a question not this then what if they even get there they don’t have an answer for what they they stop there and they just

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: go well okay i’ll settle which by the

[deanna_nwosu]: mhm

[rachel_sheerin]: way is the s word to me the s word is settled oh it’s just oh no don’t but on the other side of it was that how it was like it really was you could i had a gold star in martyrdom i had a gold star and overwork id a gold star in being being good and rising the ranks and being award winner and six figure earner and all this stuff but you know what if i don’t watch out it would be cemented it would be platinum it would be put out in the square and because i allowed that kind of treatment because i was

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: pushing through what what i realized was it’s an industry wide problem it’s a cultural problem and unless i was the one to say hey guys i don’t want to say anything but i’m i’m pretty sure this isn’t great we got to do something about it

[deanna_nwosu]: right

[rachel_sheerin]: here are the things we can do to you know before we’re together or before you get to that burnout stage so you don’t have to wreck your career

 you know i think that’s the better way to go cause i don’t know about you deanna but life’s meant to be lived not to be worked so

[deanna_nwosu]: absolutely i love the ethos of you know working to live rather living to work um and when you said that about the gold star in martyrdom i could not applaud that more i could not amend that more for those are listening in the event and hospitality industry um stepping out of a full time role and being independent has allowed a lot of reflection and i think

there is a culture of people pleasing and lack of boundary setting and that’s why we find ourselves in the place of being task managers and not part of strategy conversations i think that’s how we find ourselves in the place of being burnt out you know when we’re the ones who are giving people deadlines for deliverables and they’re not meeting them and we still cater to their every need and still find a way to make them look good i think sometimes we’re so protective of the event hat we throw ourselves under the sword for it and

that’s not fair um you know at the end of the day the work that we’re doing is not curing cancer i mean there are some that may be in the fundraising event space for like cancer initiatives so you may you may

[rachel_sheerin]: and thank you so much for all the work you do yes thank you

[deanna_nwosu]: you may actually be helping that purpose but i like to just say that to give perspective to the work that you’re doing and definitely bring your best self bring your best effort

but keep it in perspective how is this affecting your health how is this affecting your mental space um and you know are you feeling that you’re kind of being what’s the word thrown to the wolves in order to make sure that the success of this experience that many in the audience will not remember really you know impactful and so

[rachel_sheerin]: how

[deanna_nwosu]: i loved that kind of call out to our industry to to kind of grow a back bound bone

[rachel_sheerin]: yeah

[deanna_nwosu]: if nothing else

[rachel_sheerin]: well you know it’s funny what you bring out to me is is a quote i’ve been chewing  on a lot lately once this brings up for me is you know the fact that work’s never gonna love us like we love

[deanna_nwosu]: mm exactly

[rachel_sheerin]: work coz work is in a person work work is at best like a child that you sponsor on the internet with ten bucks a month or something like it

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: it’s you can love it i’m not saying you don’t but which by the way i just want to say out loud i hope everyone does love their work

[deanna_nwosu]: mmm hmm

[rachel_sheerin]: i hope remember when work is fun it’s

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: impactful i get goosebumps talking about it like i’m in that season for myself  right now doesn’t mean that every client’s perfect doesn’t mean that you know it’s always a great day but it means that it’s fun in and our perception in reality is great but y’all do not make a mistake here that that fun is felt by me created by me in the same thing true for the pain and the same thing’s true for the shackles that sometimes i you know i hear it all the time dianna i can’t uh you can’t or you don’t want to you don’t want

[deanna_nwosu]: exactly

[rachel_sheerin]: to i’m cool with it but don’t say i can’t uhhuh how about oh i have to um m i should my friend christine she says don’t shoot all over yourself okay like these are all things that like it’s kind of like in horror movies when you realize the call is coming from inside the house like we’ve got the key to the shackles the calls which are our thoughts in my opinion they come from inside that rarely has anyone ever said nearly the mean things i’ve said to myself and talk about experiences you know to tie it back i think that’s one of the beautiful things about you know breaking out of the mold going somewhere different experiencing not just events but travel and and experiencing really every day it’s the idea of what is this teaching me what can i

shift in me am i willing

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: to be different i mean listen you go to frickin vegas and i’m pretty sure all those people like they don’t dress like that when they’re at home but they come to vegas and we got a lot of pasties on a lot of people and i’m cool for it i’m cool for it i think the world gets better when you’re yourself everywhere and that experience

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: that experience you’re creating is something that you’re really in control of you

know we can dian know you and i can go out to a meal and you can have a great time and i can have a horrible time

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: and from the outside it could look great but that’s up to us right that’s the experience part

[deanna_nwosu]: exactly i am a big believer in you can’t always control the experience you’re in but you can absolutely control your reaction to it

[rachel_sheerin]: how about you

[deanna_nwosu]: and i think back to in college me and my sorority sisters we were the life of the party wherever we went and i remember we went on this trip to chicago and we went out to a club after and the club was blame you know just not the best environment the dj wasn’t even that great but me and my sisters we had a ball and i remember um one person that came with us that’s not in the group and she just wasn’t having a good time and just kind of like i don’t understand you know the the djs wack this club is whack and we are like correct but we are here together and we are going to make the best of the situation so um t’s such a good call out that like you know we can all be in the same space in and the same place and um feel it differently but we also can take ownership of those feelings and not be a victim of oh this isn’t what i expected

[rachel_sheerin]: uhuh

[deanna_nwosu]: and flip it on this head like okay this isn’t what i expected how can i make that a positive how can i you know make this into an experience that is unexpected but you know still memorable and still have a good time out of it so it’s such a good reminder that we have you know we’re behind the driver’s seat we have the key to how we experience those things even if we don’t have the control over the actual setting

[rachel_sheerin]: if you don’t like the movie you can always leave you can go into the kitchen at the party no problem

[deanna_nwosu]: mm hm absolutely absolutely so we talked a little bit about your work as um a keyo mc and a few years back you got a pretty cool experience in that

[rachel_sheerin]: mm

[deanna_nwosu]: realm so you applied for a ted x talk and but what i was kind of like uh thought was interesting was the location um uh yeah you’re talking about burn out and and you know your uh your purpose you know your mission here on this earth but you did a ted x talk where and tell me kind of how that journey um

[rachel_sheerin]: yeah

[deanna_nwosu]: began and and how it was for you

[rachel_sheerin]: yeah i did a tex stock my tex stock was in pontica and the dominican republic and um you know what it comes back i’m a liberated cater righti have i have a background in catering and events i have been in the hospitality industry well my first illegal job was dairy queen if we want to count it but i’ve been in hospitality for ever we’re talking two decades

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: and when we think about hospitality and events what’s tough sometimes is your nights and weekends right it’s like it’s like anytime someone could talk on my first cell phone free i was working so i didn’t get a lot of that and definitely don’t text me i didn’t have that upgraded plan at the time

[deanna_nwosu]: right

[rachel_sheerin]: but the second part of it was our holidays were oftentimes really tied up right

and so when people are normally out spending time with their friends or their family or these all these great deals summer vacation etc you know i chose i don’t want to say i had to i chose to work

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: and when i started my own business i said mm no travel’s gotta be it i gotta be i want to meet more people i crave a different latitude right and when i think about flying you know i remember before nine eleven obviously we’re we’re here post nine one one you know over twenty years we’re still using that as a divider but in

[deanna_nwosu]: right

[rachel_sheerin]: travel we saw the big difference and you know what i still think it’s fun okay i’m travel we saw the big difference and you know what i still think it’s fun okay i’m cool with it all right and shout out to my buddies over there at clear because  cool with it all right and shout out to my buddies over there at clear because they’ve made it very very easy but long story short is when i started my company they’ve made it very very easy but long story short is when i started my company and i just want to say this out loud to any to anyone listening to this you don’t and i just want to say this out loud to any to anyone listening to this you don’t have to own your own company to make this similar decision when i started my have to own your own company to make this similar decision when i started my company i said okay i’m on a mission this is what i want to do company i said okay i’m on a mission this is what i want to do and these are the places i want to do it and i thought about some of my favorite places in the world i thought about the places where i have friends and family my grandmother she her my grandfather after hurricane katrina they lost everything  they were evacuated to texas now they live right outside dallas in a town called allan my grandmother does my grandfather’s passed away so anytime d f w comes through i’m like heck yeah anytime i got a lay over dfw and that centurion lounge

is awesome new orleans i mean big easy is like my number one place not not

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: just for the ritz carlton club level that’s there it’s the people the fact that you can’t get in an uber and not subscribe to the uber drivers son’s gospel channel on youtube okay like it’s different it’s just different down there seattle seattle was a place i had always wanted to go to but it was so far and it was so like i didn’t even know what it was like but i said you know what i want to do this and so a couple things about me i’m from the south i do have thin blood i like where it’s warmer and i love culture again that has a lot of similar values to me family food right um also too people who might be getting overlooked right i made the comment about dubaer du moine i love de

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah mhm

[rachel_sheerin]: moine all right de moine needs love too um omaha constantly surprising me right um and these are these are cities where you’re like oh yeah well what about chicago chicago my in laws live there if they’re listening to this ever i don’t target your city fine that’s why we don’t come visit that much okay i’m  just you know like let’s be real so long story short is when i wanted to do a ted x which like talk about bucket list you know you hear it all the time oh ted os you got to get a coach you gotta work you got to pitch all this kind of stuff here’s the thing deanna when you believe in something and i’d like to think you’re strategic about it it happened you’re going to have good luck and that’s what happened with me i mean pardon me twenty nineteen i looked at all the ted xes that were going on and there’s a calendar on the tex site and essentially i said okay give me somewhere warm and give me somewhere where the topic the theme of every ted x which is totally different for each of them

[deanna_nwosu]: right

[rachel_sheerin]: give me give me a theme that resonates with me so you gotta be a place i wanna go and ideally a place that’s warm cause because i was looking in november december

my slower season and give me a place where the people are cool maybe ideally i’ve never been so i applied to four and

[deanna_nwosu]: okay

[rachel_sheerin]: i got two and one of them was the dominican republic and i got to tell you a

couple funny things about it number one first time flying in a la flat seat so what’s great about some ted x is they’ve got like bigger stip ins to bring in people things like that so i got upgraded it was amazing a negative i didn’t bring anybody with me

[deanna_nwosu]: oh

[rachel_sheerin]: deanna oh my gosh normally that’s my modee like when i’m on stage i want to be solo you know like i’m the boxer in the back like i just i

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: got to get into my head what i didn’t expect was this was the largest speech in my entire life and and being ethnocentric this was a big miss ups everyone would speak english in the dominican republic but here’s the thing that’s at a resort which which by the way they put us up in it’s absolutely fantastic excellence resort a sweet shout out to my butler vladimir him and i are close congrats on the wedding my brother when you go to a foreign country and the event is for people in that country

[deanna_nwosu]: oh

[rachel_sheerin]: these people spoke spanish which you’re you’re talking to the only one person that was surprised by this so it’s incredible it’s incredible my my fellow speakers all were from the is or from neighboring islands or spanish speaking

[deanna_nwosu]: oh wow

[rachel_sheerin]: countries i understood spanish and they spoke it me i was speaking in english and i

[deanna_nwosu]: mm

[rachel_sheerin]: gotta tell you i realized it i was the second to last speaker i realized it almost instantly i spent three speakers sweating through most of my clothes and then i went out and i did it and i gotta tell you it’s funny because i started to hear laughs but the the line afterwards deanna the line afterwards the tears you know i emember this one woman cause it’s one some of the few words i do understand she was like tamm me coz on me c his own

[deanna_nwosu]: oh

[rachel_sheerin]: and she was talking about torba ho so work and she’s

[deanna_nwosu]: mm hm

[rachel_sheerin]: saying it here’s the thing they they understood enough to make that connection and i was so relieved i was so relieved and it was so much fun and on the flip side you know what was really cool hashtag thanks covid when it came out on a random may day i wasn’t somewhere half way across the world i was sitting right here in  my home office in in studio in charlotte north carolina and i got the google alert and my husband came out king sharon if you follow me on instagram king sharon came out the dog at our feet and i got to watch my favorite eighteen minutes ever now we’re over one hundred thousand views it’s a

[deanna_nwosu]: wow

[rachel_sheerin]: experience the ripple effect

[deanna_nwosu]: mm hm

[rachel_sheerin]: of the experience is never ending

[deanna_nwosu]: there’s so many kind of parallel hidden messages that i could that i could go off with with there um i love the fact that you went to spanish speaking country um and like you said it didn’t occur to you that all the other speakers would be speaking in spanish and you were the solo english person but what i what i really re resonated with me is that you didn’t run away from the situation um you still brought your best self um you still were able to connect with people and so even though maybe you didn’t fit the mold of of what you know they were expecting of speakers or what the audience was expecting of speakers you still were able to

tell your story you still were able to connect

[rachel_sheerin]: okay

[deanna_nwosu]: with other people and so even if you were kind of like you know the black sheep or the one that stuck out in the crowd you still um were able to make an impact and make a difference and so i feel like there’s probably someone out there that’s like i’m in a place where i don’t belong or i’m in a place where you know i don’t fit the mold and and that’s okay you can still you can be you know the purple crayon and a box full of white crayons and still make an impact and and touch live so i think that’s great

[rachel_sheerin]: yeah well i appreciate that

[deanna_nwosu]: but also when you talked about like your purpose and how you’re selecting places that you’re going how you’re selecting the clients and the conferences that you go after um because those are the the physical places you wanna want go those are the clients that you want to work

[rachel_sheerin]: yeah

[deanna_nwosu]: with and for anyone out there who’s just kind of been a victim of their career or not a victim but kind of just a passer passenger and just going where it takes them as opposed to no i’m behind the driver’s seat i can have intention behind these things and i can purposely pick you know jobs or purposely pick freelance work or whatever that looks like that’s going to take me places i want to go so i really love that that as well

[rachel_sheerin]: yeah well thanks for that and you know it’s funny as i hear you talk about it you know it’s it’s one of those things if you’re receiving a lot i love that for you but don’t forget you can choose if somebody hands you i think about this all the time remember in the arcades if you still go maybe have kids maybe one as a kid an arcade was a coveted time i remember i would go i would play ski ball until my arms fell off or the quarters ran out i would get my coveted tickets and i would go up to that little bar that has all the prizes right and of course i don’t have very many right i was just having a good time so i have maybe ten twelve something and i always wanted one of those bracelets like the string bracelets that were in neon colors and

[deanna_nwosu]: i know

[rachel_sheerin]: those came in three distinct colors yellow neon yellow neon orange or neon green sometimes pink but that was rare long story short is here’s the thing in the world you pick let’s say i pick the bracelet that’s what i want to spend my tickets on

you pick the career that’s what you want to spend your time on talents on mind on energy on hard on okay great don’t forget that you can say oh can i have a green one if they hand

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: you yellow can i have the green one cause y’all let me just say it out loud

who who how many people out there wake up and they’re like i can’t wait to disappoint people today care to tell a bunch of people no piss some people off like but i don’t think the world works like that but i do think it’s our esponsibility that when we know better about ourselves that we got to tell somebody right we got to call it in and we got to be consistent especially if we are making this big difference which again one of my favorite parts of travel is you know i get to bring myself anywhere and have have whatever i’d like to influence me influence me and i think one of the things that’s very cool i remember when i first started you know i sit in middle seat basic economy last ro all this kind of stuff i would count how many women were in first class i’d count

[deanna_nwosu]: wow

[rachel_sheerin]: how many black people were in first class account how many asian american people were in first class right and i would count them because it was important to me right and you might think what the hell is going on with this lady here’s the thing that was going to be me one day but it’s part of my job on this earth it’s like the great michelle obama says when the door of opportunity opens and you pull someone th you got to pull someone through with you

[deanna_nwosu]: right

[rachel_sheerin]: so it’s my and i gotta tell you out loud certain places we still we still every time i fly to dallas for the most part is a lot of cowboys up in that first class and i’m around here being like hey y’all what’s going on anybody got takla so you know but i’m here to tell you right now some of my favorite places new orleans new york city spain france you know these places seattle the diversity of first class has never been better and it’s only getting stronger

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: and to me i think that’s one of like the coolest parts about like what you’re saying it’s just about how like you made an impact no matter where you go sometimes the existence not just of you choosing something different for yourself something that you want you never know who you’re making it possible for it’s the

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: kids that you influence it’s the person that gets inspired by me when i’m on stage and i’m plus sized and i’m myself and i’m quote unquote i am professional but don’t ever mistake me as boring don’t ever assume that i’m stiff because i’m professional and i’m authentically me and i think that’s that’s true for everybody out there if if you if you choose if you choose

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah that’s such a good reminder you know who who am i making space for with my presence you know

[rachel_sheerin]: yeah

[deanna_nwosu]: who am i paving a path for to come behind me and it’ll be easier for them because i think a lot of times especially as you mentioned you know from the american perspective it’s very individual freedoms individual liberties which is great right we can own our own path and that’s really wonderful but when we lose some of the community and collective mindset as you talked about we might forget to reach back while we reach forward

[rachel_sheerin]: i’m fine

[deanna_nwosu]: right and bring someone along with us or even not necessarily bring some along with us but leave an instructional guide so that someone can follow

[rachel_sheerin]: yes

[deanna_nwosu]: the map and follow the path so it’s wonderful that you are conscious of that as you’re experiencing these different things of like who am i impacting that might see me in this situation and know that it’s possible for them

[rachel_sheerin]: i’m telling you right now teenage rachel is like no way are you doing all no wait what like literally i am in the background with some like lisa frank notebooks just freaking the hell out and

[deanna_nwosu]: absolutely

[rachel_sheerin]: it’s it’ super fun you know on that point i will say you know i think about one

side of experiences we don’t really talk about and i know where time’s starting to come to an end but it’s about the experiences where you do feel uncomfortable and out of place i just want to say aloud you know when i went to uh barcelona’s for sure you know sidewalks in barcelona are they people in barcelona can walk two or

three wide on a sidewalk me and her we had to walk in front of each other we hung

[deanna_nwosu]: right

[rachel_sheerin]: out with the germans and the british people right you get outside of barcelona’s

places pagoda ranee coast you find folks of more body diversity and i just want to say out loud that you know sometimes the tough fix experiences there was a moment where i felt shame that like this was not the place for me because of how i am in this moment

[deanna_nwosu]: right

[rachel_sheerin]: and what’s what’s beautiful about it is that if you catch a glimpse of that there’s two opportunities here it’s number one to feel it to really be honest about what you’ feeling right it’s not like i was like damn spanish

[deanna_nwosu]: right

[rachel_sheerin]: sidewalks you know who the hell made these and you know eleven hundred this is crap you know and i could have logically uh you know to talk to myself out of

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: feeling sad or or ut or things like that but instead i just felt it and then i said hey you know we got this car rental let’s start it a day early let’s see

[deanna_nwosu]: seven

[rachel_sheerin]: what else is out there cause i had a choice to stay in a place you know that that made me feel uncomfortable and i also had a choice that i could leave it and i think that’s one of those things when we’re talking about experiences one concern i have about the world i totally agree we need to come together we need to own our energies really take it take stock of it but also to get a little more comfortable in sitting in the hurt sitting in the pain sitting in the discomfort of of any kind of experience putting a name to it and then saying i making your own decisions will you

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: allow it will you change it will you speak up differently will you will you speak up for someone else you know to me when marginalized voices are s are speak up and then they’re not listened to i

[deanna_nwosu]: uhhuh

[rachel_sheerin]: echo what they’ve said that’s a

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: big change over the past couple of years i i normally would be too polite or i’d

be worried that you know i’m overstepping now i’m like hell no did you hear did you hear what they said i love this what about y’all right and i’m

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: i’m that advocate in that same way doesn’t mean that it’s not uncomfortable sometimes just means that experience has taught me a little different

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah experiences teach us a lot for sure um what we are wrapping up my friend thank you so much it’s been a great conversation um i ask every guest at the end of each episode if there is a song that could convey our conversation today or your journey that we kind of discussed what would that song be and why

[rachel_sheerin]: run the world girls by b

easily you look at every single ive goosebumps um you look at every single community in the world and women are the glue you look at every great chef that’s ever been awarded i’m a partner of the james beard foundation i work with their women’s and non binary persons impact fund and it’s amazing you meet all these chefs all of the male chefs all of them have a woman to

Thank for the recipes for the time for the love of cooking it’s incredible i mean next time you’re watching food network just listen to these origin stories it’s all

[deanna_nwosu]: right

[rachel_sheerin]: back to women when i think about the hospitality industry when i think about the people in the front of house and in the heart of house when i think about when you look at at the givers the people who are providing i think the people who are definitely bossing up in the financial game which i love it um there’s a lot more ladies flying you know emirates first class and i see them as i board to the back on emirates um you know i’ll be with them soon but i just want to say aloud that i think you know it used to i remember growing up my mom she’s a good mis midwestern woman she would say you know like the the key to a man’s heart is through his stomach and i just want to say out loud i think to the world and beyond say i mean absolute queen and idol and hero and a lot of things to me i think that i think the key to the world is just through women’s hands because the hearts are given but it’s really supporting women in the work that they do

[deanna_nwosu]: yeah

[rachel_sheerin]: listening to different voices and just i don’t know women change the world it’s

[rachel_sheerin]: really cool to see us stepping on so many different stages right now so i know d and i can’t wait to see you on stage again soon

[deanna_nwosu]: oh thank you so much well this has been great and i love that that’s a perfect way to kind of close out our conversation today in terms of the the heart of the world is found in the hand of the women i just gives me kind of goosebumps um but before we sign off tell the peeps where they can find you on the inter webs

[rachel_sheerin]: if you want to check out my cute dog and hot husband instagram i’m at rachel sheerin if you want more burnout prevention motivation travel stuff linkedin i hang out on linkedin a ton i’m taking actually my my quarterly sabbatical from social media is getting ready to stop and so i’m coming back baby so linkedin i would love to connect with you on there and also to cheer you on that’s my favorite part of linkedin is cheering on people professionally and especially when they make a big change good for you i’m cheering y on

[deanna_nwosu]: absolutely well we will be looking for you when you come back out into the social media world but thanks for so much for joining today rachel and have a good rest

[rachel_sheerin]: of course thanks you too by all

[deanna_nwosu]: of your day

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