For transparency’s sake, this is what my ideal day would be. I’m constantly trying to improve my morning routine and am not perfect at it yet. :)
6 am: Take my dog outside. Watch him walk around outside and look into the sunlight.
6:30 am: Scroll on Instagram/plan content captions - I know they say you shouldn’t do this early in the morning, but I don’t often have time for social media once my day has started so I tend to do social check-ins in the mornings.
7 am: Quick workout at home on YouTube. My favorites are Popsugar Fitness, Tone It Up and Yoga With Adrienne. It depends on the day but I love a quick workout. Typically around 20 minutes.
7:30 am: Shower! I end my shower with super cold water to wake me up and “wash away” any anxieties or stress. Apply facial moisturizer (Kylie Skin) and facial sunscreen (SuperGoop) then, I apply my makeup and do my hair (typically waves). Get dressed - if i’m really on it, I would have laid out my clothes out the night before. One less thing to worry about. I have a 50-minute commute to my day job so that would fit in around here but I currently don’t have to deal with that with this social distancing period.
9 am: Make my to-do list for the day. I have to physically write it out for my mental sanity - and who doesn’t love crossing off tasks with a highlighter. I typically write out 6 tasks for my full-time day job and 3 tasks for my podcast/community.
9:30 am: Check emails and reply to anything super urgent first.
10/10:30 am: I typically eat around this time i.e. avocado spread on Ezekiel Bread, Noosa yogurt or a protein smoothie with Tone It up Vanilla Protein Powder.
Tell us about how you became the woman you are today. Where did you grow up? What moments in life have influenced your character most?
I grew up in a small town in northern Arizona. I think smaller towns sometimes get a bad rap for being small-minded or that they don’t produce good people - NOT true. :) I grew up in a great community that offered a variety of great opportunities for which I’m grateful. Growing up, I was also exposed to a variety of cultures. My mom’s family is from Spain so I grew up traveling to Europe (and beyond) and am very proud of my Basque heritage.
Throughout my childhood, my sister and I spent our time making videos and businesses (more on that in the next question). I have always wanted to be a leader, make an impact and teach people. I loved to dance and still take dance classes to this day. I taught dance for a while and even minored in dance in college. I was really involved in extracurricular activities that would allow me to storytell and create: school newspapers, dance competitions, student government, etc. I would take any chance I’d get to perform on stage or speak or get an article published. It’s funny, I always thought of myself as a shy person but all of my actions looking back are not shy at all. It’s interesting to see how the way we view ourselves may not be what we actually are.
Tell us about the exact moment or period in time when you realized you were born to create.
More like a series of moments...My sister and I LOVED to make movies as kids. We had a video camera that we took everywhere. We would make movies, TV shows, music videos, newscasts and we even had our own talk show. The “guests” would be us dressed up in different outfits and wigs. Our dog did the weather haha. We also took our camera with us on trips. I still remember “reporting live” from a castle in Spain. I always say that if YouTube was around back then, we would have definitely been big-time YouTubers!
We also were always thinking of business ideas. We started a restaurant out of our kitchen and invited the parents in our neighborhood to come. We even made official menus and served the best food an Easy Bake Oven could provide. Once, my sister and I even decided to start our own peanut butter company to “take down” JIF Peanut Butter (LOL). I still remember sitting in our kitchen smashing peanuts. Our mom walked in very confused. We did not get very far with that and we did not take down JIF...but we had fun.
I LOVE creating. I think that is what led to me start writing for the school newspaper, hosting our Jr. high’s news show, eventually studying journalism and then becoming a podcaster, content creator and marketer. There was magic in sharing stories and providing value then, and I still feel that now.
A lot of women believe they need formal training in order to succeed as a Female Artist. What’s your take? Did you have formal education or are you self taught?
I’m a big believer in BOTH. I got my bachelor’s degree at the best journalism school in the country. The teachings I learned throughout that time are irreplaceable and help me every day with Working Girl Talk and my day job in digital marketing.
There are also many things I’ve learned by just Googling and going for it. Starting out with a formal education really helped set up a strong foundation for my future. I didn’t study to become a podcast host, biz owner, digital marketer and all of the other things that come with running your own thing. In school, I started out as a broadcaster and then switched to public relations. But interviewing skills, brand building, media pitching, storytelling, analytical analysis are all things that I have to do daily while running my own media venture.
Test the limits when it comes to learning. You are more capable than you think and when you’ve hit your wall, ask an expert and seek that extra education/guidance or vice versa.
What is the message you're sending into the universe with your work? Why do you feel so strongly about this message?
The mission/message of my podcast, Working Girl Talk, is to educate with specific tips & tricks and inspire with real stories from the women who’ve been there. I remember starting out my career after college graduation and thinking, “This is it???” You go from the college classroom, experimenting and learning everyday, to the working world where it’s up to you to find value and continually educate and inspire yourself. And guess what? Once you’re out of the classroom and don’t have to keep learning, A LOT OF PEOPLE DON’T. I didn’t like that. I wanted to make that easier for my other working women (and guys - all are welcome!) out there - to give that extra boost of knowledge and inspo throughout the workday to help you tackle your career with confidence.
What is the biggest challenge you've faced as a female artist?
- Balance. It’s hard to balance your creative projects with your job, especially as you're starting out. I’ve found Google Calendar to be my lifesaver for keeping my schedule on track.
- Comparison. Sometimes I get that feeling that I started too late and that people are so much further along than me, that I’ll never be like them or that their success takes away from mine. These self-limiting beliefs are false but sometimes they’re easy to fall into. I’m continually working on letting go of comparison and adopting a mindset of “start from where you’re at.”
Share an experience that started out as a complete disaster but looking back turned out to be a magical opportunity.
I once applied to a job that I thought was my dream job. I killed the interview and was SO excited about it. A few days later, I got a phone call that I didn’t get it and the saddest part was that they didn’t have a reason. They said they really liked me but I just didn’t get it. It crushed me and cried outside of the office building where I worked at the time. I was upset, but looking back, everything really happens for a reason.
I wrote a blog post about it and eventually when I started the podcast I did an episode on how to recover from not getting your dream job. It’s one of my proudest episodes. Not because it’s perfect, but because it’s REAL. I know the way I felt that day and I didn’t want any other girl out there to go through that experience alone.
The following months at the job I was at proved to provide valuable learning moments for me, I became best friends with my coworkers and I got an even better dream day job months later.
How do you define your creative gig? Full-time career or side hustle? Explain why you’ve chosen one over the other.
My podcast/brand is technically a side hustle because I do have a full-time job in digital marketing. BUT I look at them both as my jobs. For some reason, I always have trouble with the terms “side gig” or “side hustle” because it makes me feel like I’m not devoting as much to it or I'm not serious about it. I’m serious and committed to both of my jobs. I love my full-time job and it helps me relate to my audience full of working women. One day I’ll be full-time with Working Girl Talk but for now, I’m happy with both.
Big or small, what’s the single best money making tip or piece of advice you can share with up and coming artists?
Have a budget, diversify your sources of income and have a plan!
What tools, apps, websites, blogs, books, or podcasts help you the most when it comes to financials?
Louise Hipperson of The Finance Agency has great advice. I actually just interviewed her for an upcoming podcast episode.
Give us three of your favorite/ most inspiring things right now. It could be a book, a food, a destination, a song, a person, etc.
- Dua Lipa’s new album “Future Nostalgia” - give me all the dance party vibes.
- “Why Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me (and Other Concerns)” by Mindy Kaling
- Can I say every guest I’ve ever had on my show? I’m honored to have spoken to so many amazing women and am continually inspired by them.
What's the best advice you've ever been given?
“The squeaky door gets the grease” from my dad. Just go for it!
It’s karaoke night and you're up. What song do you sing?
You and I by Lady Gaga...anything Lady Gaga really. :)
Name 3 of your guilty pleasures.
Crumbl cookies, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and learning TikTok dances.
If you had to give 30 min. speech without preparing to an audience of 1,000 what would it be on?
Perseverance. There are so many times in life where we want to give up or we doubt ourselves out of something and I can think of a ton reasons why you shouldn’t! I am super fascinated about what takes people over the edge into that super successful territory. I think it’s the power of perseverance and not giving up. Listen to that voice that says, “keep going.”
To learn more about Abby Zufelt, please visit www.abbyzufelt.com.