Majo Molfino is a writer, speaker, and coach focused on women's creative leadership, based in the world of design. He is a host a podcast called HEROINE.
Recent episodes featuring Majo Molfino
The Key To Your Clarity
I’ve asked many of you a simple question: Have you thought about striking out on your own and starting your own business (freelance, studio, consulting, coaching, company, startup, etc.) in the future? About 98% of you say yes. So, then comes the follow-up question: Well, how come you haven’t started today?What do you think is the most common response? While there are many excuses around readiness, and enjoying the stability, prestige, and recognition of your current job, the most common reason you haven’t started: you’re waiting for clarity. Some “I don’t know’s” that are stalling you: I don’t know where to focus, I don’t know which interests to pursue first, I don’t know where or how to begin, I don’t know where my strengths lie, and I don’t know if this can make money. What are the strategies you’ve used to gain clarity? Here are some I’ve heard:JournalingMore trainingsMeditationVision boardingConversationsRetreatsNothing, just waiting!Now, these are all lovely and needed strategies, but they’re far, far too passive. Sorry. You need a little fire under your butt. A little pep in your step. A little sprinkle on your latte (too much?).The good news is there is a method to this ambiguous madness. Designers (inventors, creatives, scientists!) have been using a method for a very long time. Designers know that clarity doesn’t come from waiting, it comes from making. What if you could define a project for yourself, and break it into prototypes you can test, in order to get clarity about whether it’s the direction you want, and in order to course-correct from there? Clarity comes from taking action first. You start with action. And the most powerful action you can take is to make something, throw it at someone, and see how they react. Now, even prototyping and testing has its fair share of vulnerability involved, doesn’t it? What if people judge you? What if you are the laughing stock of the whole class as you run around naked in that nightmare which has now become real life? That’s why in order to move into this approach, we also need to strengthen our creative confidence muscle (by learning how to manage fear and resistance). It’s the combination of understanding our resistance (e.g., doing the inner work) with the actual, making and testing of our ideas (e.g., doing the outer work) that will get us results.I’m really excited to personally invite you to my second pilot of IGNITE – a 12-week program that supports female leaders in defining, testing, and ultimately sharing their creative ideas and gifts with the world while working full-time. You don’t need to quit your day job, take on a huge financial risk, or make a crazy career pivot to design your purpose. By sharing your gifts, you design your unique creative purpose and translate that into actionable steps in your career. IGNITE IS FOR...A female, creative professionalA leader such as a manager, lead, director, or executiveBetween the ages of 28 - 40 Someone who wants to make a difference and have an impactAn empathic woman who cares deeply for others and the world Someone who is willing to invest time and money into up-leveling themselvesIT’S NOT FOR...A founder or entrepreneur already engaged in your creative purposeA coachA college or graduate studentSomeone who is not working (e.g., unemployed)Someone who thinks personal growth is too “woo woo”Someone who isn’t willing to put in the work and take action to design a better life WHAT WILL WE DO?Stage 1: Lose Good Girl & Fear Mentality (CLEAR)In this stage, we clear good girl mentality, fears, and excuses and replace them with new, empowering beliefs that you can carry forward into your life. Inner work and self-discovery is the foundation. Outcome: A unique Creative Badass Daily Ritual (CBDR) tailored to you so that you can reprogram any negative, fear-based beliefs about sharing your gifts through daily guided meditations, affirmations, and mantras throughout the program.Stage 2: Design Your Creative Purpose Project (CPP) (DESIGN)Here we design and define a timeline, three prototypes, and final launch date for a project that is rooted in your creative purpose (what I’ll call your “Creative Purpose Project”) based on the self-discovery above.Outcome: A CPP Brief which includes a timeline, launch date, and three increasingly challenging prototypes that encapsulate your creative purpose. Stage 3: Ignite Your Creative Purpose Project (IGNITE)In this final stage, we test our ideas with real people, get feedback, launch our CPP, and build our creative confidence. We gain clarity from ACTION.Outcome: New insights from putting your CPP into practice resulting in the formulation of a 12-month Creative Purpose Plan to take beyond the program, including your aspirational Creative Legacy Statement (e.g., “North Star”) you can carry forward.The 12-week journeyWeek 1: Setting Up for Success Week 2: Identify Fears & ExcusesWeek 3: Reprogram Fears & ExcusesWeek 4: Define Prototypes & LaunchWeek 5: Finalize Your CPP Brief Week 6: Run Prototype 1Week 7: Run Prototype 2Week 8: Run Prototype 3Week 9: Prototype Analysis & Prep for FinalWeek 10: Final Launch Week 11: DebriefWeek 12: Design 12-Month Career Action PlanFORMATA weekly group coaching call 12 weeks A curriculum & training with weekly assignments Communication and mentorship between sessions (e.g., Slack)For many years, I’ve guided private clients through this journey and am excited to offer it for the first time in a group format.If you’re curious to learn more and are ready to take action, then sign up for a free Creative Purpose Design Session by heading to my website- and clicking Let's Chat (limited spots, available next week only) to experience some of this process. Let’s go!Excited to connect with you.
Managing Impostor Syndrome — Vanessa Larco
Hi Heroine,Imagine you worked so hard building a startup you really believed in and then it crashed. Would you keep going until you succeeded or give up?My guest today is Vanessa Larco who decided to keep going. When regulatory changes killed her startup she fled to Greece for two weeks, to swear off Silicon Valley forever. That’s when people there assumed, in her sad state, that she was a bride who had been left by a man at the altar – a wake-up call that lead her to stop mopping around and return the world of product and startups, which eventually lead her to receive an unexpected offer to become partner at a top venture capital firm, NEA. In fact, Vanessa is now one of the few female, Latina investors in Silicon Valley, which is a big deal. Women of color are the fastest-growing sector of the entrepreneurial market but they receive less than 2% of the capital because 99% of venture capitalists are men, particularly white men. There are so many products and services that never have a chance to get off of the ground because of the lack of diversity in this sector, which is why we need smart women like Vanessa on the inside. HIGHLIGHTED EXCERPT:Vanessa: I never thought I would be here.Majo: It sounds like it. Now, Vanessa, I know there are some listeners who might be thinking like “I could’ve never taken that role and would’ve felt like such an impostor”. Did you feel that or like you could learn it?Vanessa: Every job I’ve had, I’ve had major impostor syndrome and tons of anxiety, to be honest. I look back and realize I figured out a lot of things and there’s a lot of things I didn’t figure it out but I learned a ton in a very short amount of time. I’ve kinda just made peace with the impostor syndrome. I don’t think it ever goes away. I just think that now I’m aware of it and have the confidence in myself to be able to embrace it.
The Courage To Be Seen — Cathy Heller
Have you ever felt like the deck was totally stacked against you and it just made you more determined to succeed? This is one of the main themes for my guest Cathy Heller. She gets really real and vulnerable so grab your favorite tea and settle in.Her story so clearly shows the heroine’s journey from the dark hopelessness of being told she couldn’t succeed, that her sister was the talented one. The only time her parents paid attention to her was to complain about each other. Even after having been dropped by two record labels she refused to give up. Instead, she was scrappy and figured out how to create contacts with the people choosing music for television, movies, and advertisements. In her twenties, she managed to build a business making multi-six-figures a year and ended up running an online school to help other creatives do the same. She wrote an incredible book that comes out November 12th so make sure to snag a copy of Don’t Keep Your Day Job which talks about designing a way to contribute to the world that is personal and relevant to YOU. Her perspective of purpose being the opposite of depression has helped thousands understand that as humans, we are happiest when we are contributing to other people. HIGHLIGHTED EXCERPTCathy: What I did have was a cautionary tale. I had two parents who were miserable and a mom who didn't want to be here anymore with 911 calls and suicide hotline calls from her. So that was the driving force of “Oh I will not put my dreams on the back burner because it doesn't work. And I will not be invisible anymore or else I will be broken forever. So I have to do this. My life depends on it”.Majo: So, you decide to move to Las Angeles to pursue a career in music. And at this point are you writing your own songs?Cathy: Not really, maybe a couple, like I started right around then. I came out here and started to ask questions like “How do you get a record deal?” and I thought that was the only way to make a living was to get a record deal. I just started trying to figure out how to do it. My husband says I have the will of a small country like if I'm going to do something I commit. I ended up getting a record deal at Interscope and it was amazing. I remember being like “OMG! I’m here.” I was actually sitting with Lady Gaga at Sunset Sounds, which is a recording studio. She was recording Paparazzi and I had just gotten signed. I couldn't believe it; they were asking me like what kind of coffee I wanted and I was like “Wow, I'm the next person to record a record.” And then I got dropped from the label about three months later.
Reclaiming Your Inner Witch
Happy Halloween witches! We’re continuing with female archetypes (and stereotypes!) in old fairy and folk tales. We started with this series last season with the Queen and Princess Archetypes (make sure to check them out if you haven't already for context) and this is the last part of that series. Today, on the witch’s new year – Samhain, we are going to look at the witch and the hermit archetypes. They’re more connected than you might think.The witch needs very little introduction. She is in practically every fairy tale by the Grimm Brothers. She’s cruel, conniving, solitary and sometimes, connected to the evilest forces in the world. And in 1692, life imitated art in a big way. An entire community of settlers in Salem, Massachusetts decided that witches were real, and needed to be killed. But where did this idea come from? I caught up with my friend Becca Piastrelli to learn a bit more about how witches got the reputation they have today. Becca is the host of the Belonging Podcast and she and I have been circling on the new moon for years now."It’s a campaign that’s happened for centuries, many generations from basically the rise of Christianity and capitalism in Europe that specifically targeted women who were healers, and midwives and really powerful beings in the community. Ones that people respected and looked up to, maybe they even owned land. And it wasn’t just women, sometimes it was queer men or two-spirit or genderfluid folk. Anyone who didn’t fit the patriarchal paradigm. There was a very calculated campaign to turn the people against them in their earth ways. This is known as the burning time which in many ways is still happening today. Where you hear the term witch hunt in media or popular culture or even see how it’s displayed in media. It’s really something that has been embedded in our ancestral memory for many many generations. "As Christianity grew across Europe, the Church demonized these women and connected them to dangerous, evil forces. It was classic scapegoating. Talking to Becca got me thinking about scapegoating, and I realized, there’s a good reason for men to fear us. Women are connected to the Goddess...and to childbirth...and men are not.So how must it have felt - to be a respected, practicing healer and midwife one day - and called an evil witch - the next? That is why I believe when we meet witches in fairy tales, they are often alone. They live in solitude, in the forest - remember, that’s where the medicines were - scheming, angry and isolated. Basically, the happy midwife becomes a resentful hermit. Have you ever felt like a hermit, Heroine, all alone? The Hermit isn’t all bad - not at all. The bright side of the hermit is that she’s also a mystic. She goes into the forest for some much needed alone time - to reconnect with her spiritual side. She goes there to tend to the parts of herself that are precious, and need protection.But the dark side of the Hermit is avoidance and fear. Keeping people out because they might hurt you. It starts as a punishment for those who have wronged you, but ends up mostly, hurting you. I believe this split - between connected, centered, community-surrounded healer, and betrayed, mystical, and isolated witch - must be healed in each of us. Just think - have you ever been passive-aggressive? Have you said something underhanded, but in a nice way, and not understood why you did it? That has to do with the complicated origins of the witch. She wants to fully express herself - thorns and all - but she knows that patriarchy will cast her out and make her quiet if she does. Well, I want to reclaim the witch archetype within each of us, as so many others have been doing and continue to do today. A witch is creative, she’s complicated, and she’s been to the depths. So whether you’re cooking a large meal and it feels like you’re listening to your grandma tell you a recipe, or you’re listening to your intuition fully, and without judgment, I want you to lean the witch. Hard. Whether you’re a modern witch, with a coven and a spellbook, or just witch-curious, it’s all good. So what about you, Heroine? Do you identify with the witch?A big thank you to Meg Rose who helped score this special Samhain episode!
Broadening Your Impact — Debra Silverman
Hi Heroine, One of the things I’ve been thinking about lately is how the practice of astrology could help me step up as a leader. How could it help me broaden my impact and align with my purpose? And that’s a huge part of what my guest Debra Silverman opens up by applying astrology in a practical way to our lives. Debra holds an M.A. from Antioch University in Clinical Psychology and trained for her mental health credentials at Harvard University. What’s super interesting about astrology is that for thousands of years it was primarily practiced by men but in recent times, we’ve all seen the shift – women practice it far more than men – and Debra has been a driving force in training women to combine both their analytical and intuitive gifts in order to become astrologists. It’s really inspiring to see how she shifted from private practice as a psychologist for over 40 years to building a scalable business and school online that certifies thousands of mostly women. In other words, she’s kicking ass. In this episode, you’re going to learn about the Saturn return (if you don’t know what that is, you’ll so find out) and how much it affects you and your destiny, even if you don’t recognize it at the time.HIGHLIGHTED EXCERPTDebra: Don’t underestimate- I wish someone would have told me that if you have a passion, whatever it may be, something that you really pour yourself into- that does come into a reaping cycle eventually. Majo: I want to talk to you about that transition that you made. You were doing private practice as a clinical psychologist and an astrologer for multiple decades. Debra: That’s right, 38 years. Majo: And then you shifted to scaling and in large part because we’re in a special time as well with all the technology and tools. With so much of your business online, tell me a little more about the shift and how that happened. I hear the energetics of it but I'm curious was there particular characters or moments?Debra: Fate showed up and introduced me to Destinee Berman who I now have a meeting with every Monday morning. It’s karmic- fate has a file for each of us and if you open it you can see the destiny lines. So she opened mine and said “Have you ever heard of an online school?” and I didn’t know what she was talking about. She then helped me do a “skinny launch”- just my email list and in that first class there were 40 women and now it’s grown to thousands.
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San Francisco, CA, USA
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
2 days, 16 hours