Giovanna Rossi is the President and CEO of Collective Action Strategies, LLC, a consulting firm dedicated to improving the lives of women and families through strategic planning, management and communications. Giovanna is also the Founder of Well Woman Life, which supports women to achieve their highest level of fulfillment and well-being, and the host of The Well Woman show, a radio show on KUNM 89.9fm and a podcast on iTunes. Giovanna holds a Master of Science degree in Public Policy from the London School of Economics, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies from the University of New Mexico.
“I think that first of all it helps women connect- that’s connecting with each other and connecting with themselves on that level of awareness. It’s really necessary to start looking at your life. It also provides education and we provide a lot of information. The third part is that it really helps people take action. We talk about having superpowers on the show and what those superpowers are and finding your superpowers. Then we don’t want to just find them, we want to activate them so then there’s a whole component about how to take action.”
Executive Producer/Host, The Well Woman Show
ALEXANDER LAURIN: You produce this wonderful program and I've listened to the last episode and it looks like it's done on a weekly basis. When you are creating content like this inspirational, this is helping people, this motivational, what kind of effect does it have on you?
GIOVANNA ROSSI: Well I tend to really connect with the content, so I have pretty intimate conversations with my guests and so what they say really impacts me because I'm also trying to live a well woman life. So, I'm taking in all of what they're sharing and then I'm sort of filtering it out in my way and sharing it with the rest of the community. I often use the tips and things that people share on the interviews in my own life for sure. I started the show because I needed this information in my life. I think that's what we do as podcasters and just business owners.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Yeah, it's amazing. isn't it? when you work on a project that's full of positivity and happiness and motivation. It's just the natural effect on you, that you are achieving those things also.
GIOVANNA ROSSI: Well yeah and also, I just want to point out that we don't always talk about all the happy stuff. We get dark too and I think that's really important to share because that's what life is all about right? We're living our best lives but with all of its messiness as well and it's embracing that messiness and being okay with those dark times that allows us to live our best lives in the first place.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Well tell us more about the show Giovanna?
GIOVANNA ROSSI: Yeah, so basically I interview badass women who are living their best lives and with all of its messiness and craziness. As women, we're juggling multiple roles in our lives; we are leaders, we’re professionals or business owners, we’re mothers a lot of times, we are caretakers, we’re nurturers and we have a big role in the community as well. Usually we're sitting on boards, we’re directives in our community. We're running for office so we have a lot going on and we tend to unless we take care of ourselves, completely burnout. So what I talk to women about is and I usually talk to women who have achieved some sort of level of success whatever that - however they define it themselves. We talk about their lives, how they've sort of achieved what they have and how they've overcome the obstacles that we all face at certain times in our lives and basically how they do everything that they do. How can they produce so much out in the world and still maintain some level of sanity?
ALEXANDER LAURIN: So you did this show, you've been doing the show on radio; you started it on radio first and then it's turned into and is also now a podcast. Do you identify yourself mostly as a radio show host?
GIOVANNA ROSSI: So, I am fine with both really, I do more podcasting now; I'm more identify as a podcaster. I definitely transitioned, I'll go to more podcasting events than I will radio events. I just think that podcasting is sort of where we're headed and it's exciting and I'm doing like I said, I'm doing more podcasting than radio. I do a podcast every week and I do the radio sort of every month. So, yeah it's a bit different, so I'm definitely immersed more as a podcaster I would say.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Awesome.
GIOVANNA ROSSI: But I do want to say, - oh sorry, I just want to add that I don't really identify my primary identity as a podcaster. I wouldn't, that's not the first thing I would tell someone; like hey I'm Giovanna Rossi? I'm a podcaster. That's just not- I identify more as a business owner, as a public policy developer, as a feminist, it's lots of other things before I would say podcaster. I definitely use podcasting as a way to communicate.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Yeah, Giovanna you had mentioned earlier that creating this show was to kind of, for you to improve upon those areas of your life. When it comes to your business Collective Actions Strategies, did you have this in mind? Is a podcast part of your business also?
GIOVANNA ROSSI: Yeah, so Collective Action Strategies is my consulting firm that I started about seven years ago. And I also, while I was doing that I was raising a baby and planning to have another baby. My life was a little crazy and it was in retrospect, kind of a wild decision to start a business at the time that I did. But I think sometimes we just do these things because we just know we have to and we do it. At the time I was on the radio talking about women's health and wellness because that's one of the topics that I cover in my consulting business. I basically work with agencies who are, that are trying to improve the health and minds of women and families. So I was already in that space and then I created a well woman life, which is a community of woman that support each other to reach our highest potential. That's when I really started using the radio in the podcast as part of a business model.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Excellent, have you learned anything about yourself since you've been doing the podcast?
GIOVANNA ROSSI: Well I definitely would say that it's allowed me to have really deep conversations with people, that often when you have those conversations you reflect on that and you're able to learn something new about yourself. In terms of, have I learned something new about myself, I guess I always knew I was a good interviewer and good listener and good at that. But I think I really learned that doing the podcast.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: When you started to do this podcasting, was it was it easy for you? Since you'd already been in a radio, was this an easy transition?
GIOVANNA ROSSI: Yeah, so it's interesting there are different aspects of podcasting that are more or less challenging for people right. So there's like the technology side, and then there's the marketing side, and then there's the being an interviewer side or creating content. For me, the interviewing then the content was super easy. That just comes really naturally to me and I can do that all day. What was more challenging, was transitioning from radio. It's very different broadcast situation to podcasting where I really brought everything in-house and had to learn and I'm still learning some of the technical aspects, that I would definitely say that.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: You have you mentioned you had a baby and how do you find podcasting around children?
GIOVANNA ROSSI: Well, I have a big sign on my door that says recording and that they're not allowed in, so I generally do my recording when they are not around because it's just less distracting and they tend to make noise in the background or something. Once I had my daughter here and she was with me and she started talking to me like right in the middle of it and so I just incorporated that into the whole thing as that's kind of what my show is about. It’s like hey we're all here trying to make it works and this is life and this is what I'm dealing with. But in general, if I have to record on the weekend I'll say to the whole family okay, I need five minutes. I have to record something, just be quiet for five minutes which is really hard with a five and an eight-year-old.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Oh, I know. I have to go into the opposite area of the house and I have to make sure that everybody is aware of what's going on. There'll be the occasional time, I'm interviewing someone and I could hear my five-year-old tugging at the door and I'm just doing my best to ignore the poor guy but anyways. It's a juggling act.
GIOVANNA ROSSI: It totally is, it a juggling act. We just do what we need to do I guess.4
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Yeah, Giovanna why does someone want to listen to your program?
GIOVANNA ROSSI: Well I think that from the feedback I've gotten from women, it really provides a sort of a safe supportive space for women to really explore the difficult challenges in our lives. We're talking about women who have big aspirations. They're motivated to really reach their highest potential in whatever area of their life. It's not just business and professional as personal as well and so the women find that in this podcast they find both. That it can be very spiritual and theoretical and mindful; but on the other hand, it's also very tactical. We give very practical tools and tips to actually implement the concepts and things that we talk about and it's inspirational. Women find an immense amount of inspiration from hearing other women who are quote, unquote successful, talk about their deepest darkest moments and how they overcame those.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: So would you say that the program helps women take action?
GIOVANNA ROSSI: Yeah, definitely. I think that first of all it helps women connect, so that's connecting with each other and connecting with themselves on that level of awareness; It's really necessary to start looking at your life. It also provides education, so it's very educational. We provide lots of information and then the third part is it really helps people take action. So we talk about having superpowers on the show and what those superpowers are and finding your superpowers. Then we don't want to just find them, we want to activate them so then there's a whole component about how to take action.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Awesome, I love superpowers; you all should have superpowers.
GIOVANNA ROSSI: Yeah, you do have them. That's the thing that people don't realize and that's what I share on the show and in the community.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Yeah, you mentioned about getting feedback, I hate to put you on the spot here but do you happen to have a story about a listener that has given you some feedback that you can share.
GIOVANNA ROSSI: Yeah, let me think for a second, I get emails and messages all the time about it. I think most recently someone who had been struggling to start a non-profit was really impacted by one of our episodes. She wrote to me and said I just want you to know that listening to your show really helped me get over the hump. I have changed course from what I thought I needed to do and I've put into action a plan that's going to help me get there over the next X amount of time. She had it all planned out and so she' a mom, she's busy, she's already got a job, she's trying to start a non-profit on the side, because she wants to make social impact in the world and she is totally on the right track now.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Isn't that amazing? How do you feel when you get something like that?
GIOVANNA ROSSI: Oh my gosh, that it just makes it all worth it. Honestly, I just absolutely love that kind of feedback because if I'm not making an impact like that, then what am I doing, so ultimately that is so rewarding.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Well, is there anything else that you struggle with regarding to the podcast?
GIOVANNA ROSSI: I'm sure yes, I'm sure there are lots of things.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Well, the laughter tells me.
GIOVANNA ROSSI: Yeah, where do I start now? First of all, I don't know if your listeners are like starting out or where they are in their podcasting journey but I think getting your systems down is so incredibly important. I really rely on systems because I don't have a lot of extra time as I'm sure not many people do. I have to have everything sort of systemized so that things function and are as automated as possible and so I have a challenge with systems. I have a challenge with time. I never really have a challenge with, this is an interesting one. I never have a challenge with finding people to interview and I know that some people have that challenge. They're like oh, I need more guest on my show. I'm inundated with like ideas of who to interview or people coming to me and asking if they can be on the show, so that's not really been a challenge. I think that getting the systems down and just understanding that it doesn't have to be perfect. It's better to just start and then tweak it as you go and like improve your systems as you go. Definitely, there are like tips and tricks that you I'm sure are sharing with people about batching and doing things all together on one day. So you're not spread across the whole week doing everything and so I've had to definitely use a lot of those tips in my own podcasting. This is a very small part of what I do, I have a whole other business and a non-profit and everything that I run in a family and podcasting is like a small portion of what I do.
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