Jasna Burza on Growing Uplevel Together Minneapolis Mastermind


Coaching was considered a unicorn profession years ago. However, it has always been something that Jasna Burza, professional certified life and business coach, wanted to do. Jasna was passionate about chasing her dreams of becoming a coach back then, alongside having a baby which finally came true after suffering nine miscarriages. She then started Uplevel Together Minneapolis Mastermind, an ultimate supportive experience for entrepreneurial women ready to take their idea or business to the next level. For Jasna, a mastermind is having two minds come together and figuring out ways to solve a problem. With her mastermind, Jasna is leading the many inspiring women entrepreneurs out there to grow their business and create abundance together.


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Jasna Burza on Growing Uplevel Together Minneapolis Mastermind

Let me give you a background on this powerhouse. Jasna is a professional certified life and business coach and founder of Uplevel Together Minneapolis Mastermind. She has actually spent the last decade working with individuals and organizations such as US Bank, Athleta and Coca-Cola on topics of resilience and life purpose. She's even been featured on CBS, WCCO as Minnesotan to Meet. She's been on a number of different television shows. What resonates with me is her background story. She actually lived through a refugee camp during the war in native Bosnia. She teaches and inspires so many people on the topics of resilience, creating purpose and connect to deeper meaning in life, aligning with your skills and your passions to make your biggest impact. You are in for a treat.


I am lit up. I am honored and grateful that one of my dear friends, one of those in my inner circle, Jasna, will be joining us. Her heartbeat behind why she does what she does is humbling. To hear how she hustles, she gives it everything she has got and she just puts her all in everything in her business and in her family life. I am honored to have her on the podcast. Jasna, thank you so much for joining us.

I'm blushing. I need to call you every day.

I want to give you a little bit of background on how we actually connected. I went to this co-working space called ModernWell in Minnesota and here comes this classy lady that is walking through one of the rooms. I walked up to her and started a conversation. We realized that we knew a couple of mutual friends. We chatted it up and I felt like there was an instant connection. We totally lost touch. We scout connected on social media, but the fun thing was I get this random message on Instagram saying, “Are you the same Stephanie Peters that's going to this mastermind out in Cali?” I'm like, “Yeah.” We found out that we’re going to the same amazing mastermind. We became roomies and the rest is history.

Pretty much there is no going back. It's actually pretty remarkable.

I was inspired by your story when we first connected. You were saying right from the get-go, you weren't born and raised in the US. That is such a compelling story because you were born and raised in Bosnia. I want you to share your story and the backstory of that. What I see about you that I think is so beautiful is you understand the value of what we have here in the US. Someone that is foreign-born is seven times more likely to become a millionaire than that person that is born here in the US. You don't take what we have here for granted. I want you to share with your back story why you do what you do. Share all the things.

When you told me that statistics, I did not know. I've heard something similar before but when you said, “I can do that.” I was born in Bosnia in a small town in East Bosnia and it was poor. I had a relatively happy family, but in the 1990s, the war started in Bosnia. I ended up in a refugee camp. My dad was in a concentration camp and they did exist in the ‘90s. It was horrific for all of us. In so many respects, there’re things that I'm dealing with going back and healing parts of the trauma that I didn't even know was there. Through a long path, I came here to study. I stayed for my undergrad and I stayed for my graduate degree. I met my husband, got married, had children and I'm like, “No, I'm stuck.” Honestly, this is my country. This is home. I was born in Bosnia, but I know for a fact that I’m meant to be here. This is my country. I'm an American citizen, but I'm an American in my soul.

It’s how I behave, how I think. When I look around, I'm like a kid in a candy store. First of all, I'm infinitely grateful to have this cushy life. I'm safe and no one's shooting at me. I have enough water. I have a safe shelter. I know this sounds basic for people, but that never escapes me. I have this immense sense of gratitude. I think you know this. I'm such a grateful person in general. Then I have this incredible life and being an entrepreneur, I'm looking around, I'm like, “There's so much opportunity.” I don't have the time to do it all, but there's so much opportunity. For me, I feel like I have been given this opportunity. I was lucky to be able to come here. There are so many women from all over the world and from Bosnia who are smarter, more competent and more brilliant who will never have the same opportunities as I will. I owe it to myself and to everyone else to do good work. I'm fired up.

You and me both. Even what you said in an Instagram story that I watched is when you heard the sirens going off on Wednesday, you were so grateful because you are safe. Let's go back to that. Why did you say that? That hit my heart and pierced it.

When I first came here, I was living in Uptown in Minneapolis with my husband, that was years ago. I was working from home and all of a sudden, the first Wednesday of every month, a tornado siren goes off. It’s the inclement weather preparedness siren. I ducked under the table. Here I am an adult woman working, I worked for a software company at the time. I ducked under the table and I'm thinking, what the hell is going on? It was body reaction. I called my husband and I was like, “What's going on? What is this siren? This is freaking me out.” He's like, “It’s the tornado siren. You're fine.” I'm thinking, “Don't they know there's a former refugee leaving here? I didn't get the memo.” Then I would hear it again and again. I would hear it then I would literally freeze because my body remembered. I know I'm safe, but my body literally would freeze.

I started working with a coach and I started to create something called different associative memory. For example, the smell of bread from childhood will associate something. For me, that created an associated memory in my brain and I knew that I had to recreate those patterns, recreate the neurons. I did that. It took me a good chunk of months to actually do that. Every time I would hear it, I would try to think about, “I'm so lucky. I'm so blessed. I’m safe.” It's interesting now every time I hear the siren, it's a friendly reminder to be so grateful. I know for sure that it's possible for all of us to shift those memories or something that stops us in our tracks to recreate what story we tell ourselves about what that means.

I think that is so important because of how many times we have triggers in our past. There can be so many negative connotations and it holds us back. We get paralysis because we're in such fear and we get bound by that. How do we course correct that, flip the switch and create this space? This doesn't have to be a fear-based type of reaction, but we don't have to react to it. We can respond to it and we can flip a switch in our brain to think another thought about it. It may take a little while to train our brain to do it, but it's absolutely possible. You definitely even educated yourself through school of how to do that. That’s where I could get a lot more coaching from you. You've got the professional side of it.

Mastermind: When we release fear, things come into manifestation.

Mastermind: When we release fear, things come into manifestation.

I’m interested in this. Everyone has something, however happy their childhood was. The way we interpreted things was maybe messing with our perception.

Why did you decide to jump into creating a mastermind and doing coaching? What led you to that? What led you in school to really have a heart and a passion for that?

There are many different things, but one of the most important thing for me was I was very successful. I was in sales doing Salesforce software company. I'm getting so much off of that.

I am so enamored by how people make a shift and a pivot from one career to another. You absolutely did that when you went from sales to diving into the coaching arena and it seemed like without a hitch. I want to know what was going on in your brain. What caused the shift and why? What was pulling you to that next season in your life?

It was during a very painful moment in my life. I think I've always had inklings years prior to making the shift. I wanted to make it. I felt like this is the next thing I should be pursuing. I was afraid and I didn't know life coaching was so new. Years ago, it was just a unicorn profession and people didn't even know what a life coach was. I was afraid because I made a good income and I wanted and needed the money. I enjoyed it and it was very difficult, “How am I going to make money? What does that look like? Will people hire me?” Things like that. I was extremely interested in personal development and psychology. Every free minute, I would spend all of my time there. It wasn't for me until I lost a child that things started to change.

It was this journey of infertility that was a huge wake-up call. First, I was sad. I was mad and pissed. I'm like, “After about six miscarriage, something is off. I need to listen to what the body whispers before it screams,” and it was screaming. I have ignored all the whispers until then. For me, if it was losing a job or not making money or something like that, I would figure it out. It’s like, “I am the cat that lands on all fours no matter what.” This was something that was so much more personal. This is a thing that I was supposed to do as a woman. It was so painful and I wanted a child. I proceeded to have a total of nine miscarriages. I was told that it was never going to have children. I stopped meeting friends. I committed to the gym, God, personal development and I went down the rabbit hole. I'm like, “Who am I? What do I want?”

It was the greatest gift that I was given. For a fact, I know that that was supposed to be my journey. In that process, I enrolled in a graduate degree for coaching because I wanted to do it. I said, “If I'm not going to have a child then I'm going to go all in this. I'm going to enjoy my life.” I had quit my job, I sold all my practice and lo and behold, shortly thereafter I got pregnant. I had two children in a year. When it rains, it pours. It's a sign that when we release so much of the fear or whatever it was, things do come into manifestation. I have to have such a strong wake-up call to say, “Screw it, I'm going to go and pursue my passion because if I'm ever going to be a mother, then I'm going to do this.” It's like my first baby and I have never ever looked back.

I had been doing that for about a decade in the Twin Cities and nationally. I used to speak quite a bit. I don't do that anymore because I have the little ones. I absolutely love what I do. For me, it was deciding that I'm very good at this. I have a gift. I want to do this because it's so fulfilling. I had the sales and business background and I knew how to get my business off the ground. Very quickly my business was flourishing, then I noticed there are other people who are struggling. A lot of my clients were starting their businesses. We started Minneapolis mastermind, now Uplevel Together Mastermind. We are renaming. We've been doing that ever since. I can't even begin to tell you how much that fills me up.

I've seen so many testimonials even on Instagram of the women's lives that you have changed through that. That is so powerful. You and I met through the mastermind in California and you're paying that forward. You did that even before this was in fruition. There's so much power in being able to link arms and say, “I'm here and I can help you get to where you want to go.” Iron sharpens iron. You have a group of like-minded entrepreneurs that are all there helping each other to facilitate helping each other to reach their goals. You can facilitate that. What a gift you can give to all those people in the room.

It is and they are so magnificent. You saw what history inspired in our group. I mean mastermind, they're so incredibly powerful. I've always known that. Many of us feel lonely. I know I have been thinking, “What if I'm a fraud? What if I'm not good enough?” The whole Uplevel Together, when we come together and we combine our forces or skills, so much can be accomplished. I remember Lori telling us at our mastermind, “If we all use each other in this room, wouldn’t we solve all of our problems?” The answer was a resounding yes. I believe in working together. I believe in cooperation over competition and that women are rising up saying there's more than enough. If I support you in any way, I know that I'm supporting myself at the same time.

For the peace of the audience that they don't know what a mastermind is, why don't you share what a mastermind is and how yours actually runs? They can get a bird's eye view about what it's all about and reach out to you if they feel like they're out on an island and they need help.

Masterminds have been around for a very long time. Napoleon Hill has infamously dubbed the masterminds. You have to find a mastermind. The definition is two minds are better than one, two minds coming together to solve the problem. Masterminds are group of people who are coming together and they are figuring out ways in which they can grow and figure out the ways in which they can solve each other's problems. They come together and they use each other skills. You say, “I have this problem, can you help me? Can you brainstorm?” It's absolutely amazing. Our groups are very eclectic. It’s people who own brick and mortar stores to someone who is a young millennial who knows about Instagram and they teach each other these things. We have a group where three women are literally starting a company together.

Mastermind: If you believe that someone has it together, look under the hood.

Mastermind: If you believe that someone has it together, look under the hood.

 That's incredible to me. They're individuals, they have their individual businesses, but they were like, “We could collaborate.” They’re starting a company together. That's amazing. They're best friends. They're making videos for each other. They're promoting each other on Instagram. I think it's more than anything else to this support, where you have an army of people behind you, supporting you in whatever it is that you want to do. You can cry in front of them. You can dream in front of them. You can be super confident. You could be a total lady boss. No one is going to judge you how it is that you show up because this is an opportunity to show up with all of your mind. We bring in speakers. Yes, I facilitate and I have tremendous amount of knowledge that I can pass on to these individuals, but I don't know everything. I bring people from all walks of life.

We bring speakers around mindfulness and then specialists like journalists, people who teach them how to connect with the media. How to sell themselves in the PR world? We have Instagram workshops, Pinterest's workshops. The focus is on how do you get very clear what it is you want? For me, a huge pillar of the group in a mastermind is self-care, understanding that you absolutely cannot function if you're not healthy physically or mentally. People who join my mastermind, we're going to grow our businesses, create abundance but first and foremost health by far. We invest heavily in that and what does that look like. We align and not hustle. One of the things that I would say that’s my specialty is visibility. It’s being able to sell yourself.

If we have a product or a service and we believe in it with all our might, we're depriving others of not sharing it with them. I keep thinking, “Do you know how many people in the world do not know I exist? I think that's a problem.” We assume that I have these services and no one is buying. They don't know you exist. I'm sorry, Instagram is not the only marketing strategy. It's a phenomenal tool and we need to learn to how to use it. At the same time, you have to show up and you have to be able to sell yourself that confidence. If you don't, you're not going to be successful in business.

I love the way that you put that because I wasn't even very well versed in what a mastermind was before I started. Even meeting you, that was one of the first tip-offs of understanding what it was. I will tell you, some of my biggest breakthroughs in my business have come through masterminds and coaches because they're there in front of you. When you have someone, success leaves clues so does failure. When you find someone who's done what you've done, they're going to give you those shortcuts. Even Chris Harder says, he says, “Collaboration is the new shortcut.” It's the new black. I agree with that 1,010%. Collaboration is the new shortcut. That's what you are creating in the marketplace. My hat is off to you, Jasna. What I think is so unique is you're taking it to that next step of creating that power partnership right along with you and your husband doing this together. You've got the masculine energy, the feminine energy and then all bets are off. I’m super excited about this next step in that in your business.

I'm going to let the cat out of the bag. We're expanding the mastermind. We're doing a couple’s mastermind. That is why he is joining. We realized that so many couples struggle with connecting, communicating and having strong marriages. They seek help when it's too late. We looked around and said couples are busy, especially if they have children. They're not investing in each other. We oil our car more than we spend on our relationship. We were going to be covering things like couples coming together. What are your money mindset beliefs? What are your blocks? How do we build a vision together, getting them on the same page? We call it a Date Night Mastermind.

Are they in business together? Is one person building the business and the other person is supporting them or is it a combination?

They are not even necessarily in business. This is for all couples. Uplevel Together is now branching out and having multiple babies.

You’re helping couples in their relationship and all the things that revolve around it. You’re teaching them total wellness and helping them to Uplevel Together more or less.

How do you become a power couple? We have to work on that.

I want to know from social media, it looks like you have it all together, which I truly feel that you do. I want to peel back the layers and I want to know what was one of your biggest rock bottom moments and how did you recover and what did you learn from it?

No one has it together. If you ever believe that someone has it together, look under the hood. I talk about that all the time on social media. When I have a bad day, I will literally intentionally go on social media on Instagram and I will talk about it because people put me on a pedestal. Here's the thing, 99.9% of the time, I am literally Pollyanna. I'm happy go lucky. I am always positive and I find a way because I prime myself. I believe that you need to protect your energy. I do that, but not everyone does that. I've had so many moments. One of the biggest ones, truthfully, was the period of miscarriages. That brought me to my knees. I remember, I think it was like third or fourth miscarriage and I'm so far along. I'm in such amount of pain, keeling over in the bathroom floor.

I'm calling the nurse and I feel like I'm giving birth. I feel like these are real contractions. She said, “Honey, those are real contractions and your body's trying to expel the baby and you have to take pain meds, but you have to see it through.” I remember having that moment on the bathroom floor praying and thinking. For me, it was the bottom. It was the pain, physical pain, but emotional pain. It’s truly a loss. From that what I did, I went into personal development because I think that every time something happens, our job is to look into not why is this happening to me, but why is this happening for me? I firmly believe that had I listened to small nudges or whispers I have been getting all along. It wouldn't have gotten to that point. I was out of alignment. I was working out two or three hours a day training to be a bikini diva. I had all of this stuff. I was living completely out of alignment. I wasn't mindful. I wasn't investing in myself. I slowed down. I changed the way I was eating, how I was behaving and spent more time in nature. I slowed down and simplified my life.

Mastermind: Being so aligned and balanced is going to prepare you no matter what winds come your way.

Mastermind: Being so aligned and balanced is going to prepare you no matter what winds come your way.

I'm such an evangelist of simplicity, spending time in nature, focusing on what matters most so I could literally lose everything. My family, that’s my priority, my relationship with God. That's the only thing that I care about. Everything else is extra. What helped me was to say, “What do you want out of this? What is this teaching you?” I remember saying, “Tell me God why, please.” I used to read a book, Return to Love. It's based on A Course of Miracles and it says, “Where would you have me go? What would you have me do? Please show me the way and make it so obvious that I know that it's from you. Amen.” I say that prayer over and over again when I'm stuck because the guidance always comes if I get still. I had another big moment. My dad died. I've had so many moments, but I think that I'm able to let myself feel them and go back to why would you have me go and then sit still and listen to where I'm needed.

I've found that sometimes those moments where you feel you're knocked to your knees, it shakes you up so hard from your core, you put your arms up and you're like, “God, I trust you. I don't know where else to go. I don't know what else to do.” I feel like that's when you can truly be in the smack dab middle of God's will and be aligned with where he wants you to go. That is such a beautiful, peaceful place. There can use so much hurt and there can be so much pain that can happen along the way. I love how you said that it all happens for a purpose and a reason for such a time as this in the lessons that you can learn. Thank you for being who you are and sharing that message with so many. I feel like one of the things that is one of your superpowers is your soul is spiritually in tune as well. For that person that says, “I don't even feel like I have a connection to God. Where do I even begin?” You mentioned you prime yourself. Give a little bit of insight for those people that feel like, “I just don't even know where to start.” What's the first step?”

Many people are not religious or they don't have a god. For me it's not a particular faith that I ascribe to, but I believe in oneness. My belief is God is within us, oneness or universe. I think it's that stillness. Be still and know that I am God. If we still ourselves, I always know that I'm not alone. If we can get to that space of absolute stillness and surrender, then there's an observer there. You cannot notice that you are not the only one there. There's this majestic force. It loads of you up and hugs you with this light. I feel it's often and it used to be such a rare occurrence. I used to like, “How do I get this more? I wanted the feeling.” I invite it and I invite it through practices. All these are in nature. Nature for me is a place of worship.

When I do a forest bathing per Dr. Eva Selhub, I will go for twenty minutes and pay attention to the sounds of the nature. Nature, the rocks, the leaves, the flowers, they have so much to teach us. If I can get out of my own way, I quiet the thoughts because the thoughts are not me and thoughts are not God. If I can appear in that stillness and invite a little bit more, I create such a sacred space. I get up every morning at 4:00 AM because I'm an introvert and it's the only time that I'm alone. For me, I will forego asleep to have that time. It's being still, being very quiet and very mindful. All of this is asking because when you ask for help, the guidance all comes.

I am going to ask the questions that I always ask the guests and I love getting the different answers. If someone met you and said, “I want to become the boss of my own life and call the shots, what's my first step?”

What do you want? In order to become a boss of your own life, you have to know what that means. It's very different for everyone. I would want to get clarity on what that means. We assume everyone is an entrepreneurial soul, but not everyone is. What does it mean to be a boss of your life? I would go for the ideal. What would the life look like? How much money would you make? Where would you live? Who would you be with?” We would reverse engineer that to say, “This is where you want to be, this is where you at right now. Here's the first step you need to take to get there.”

What is your definition of a boss?

I don't know. I never thought of that. I have so much attached to it. It's like, I don't even like the word boss. I prefer not to use it. I would say someone in charge.

Any last words of wisdom? You've already dropped so many knowledge bombs. Anything else you want to share with the audience?

We are living in such unprecedented times and I think that this is an invitation from all of us. These are very unique times. I think that life is more complicated than ever because of the busy-ness of life. It has never been more important to slow down and connect with our true selves. The biggest quest in the world of hustle and entrepreneurship in the next years is going to be reversal, going back to the basics and taking care of our mental health. It's so beautiful and important to create a life of abundance. Abundance is a God-given right. We all have the same access and we all should pursue it, but I believe that there is absolutely nothing more important in the entire world than having inner peace, feeling that equilibrium.

It’s waking up, feeling good about yourself and going to bed grateful for what you have. That happens. People struggle so much and we need to immerse ourselves in the space of self-love. This is so counter to so many entrepreneurial souls that I work with. I believe that I am going to get there. I have very big goals. I'm fired up. Everyone needs to get out of the way because I'm so excited. I will never, not even for a second lose sight of what's most important and that's my mental and physical health. It may take me longer. I may get there faster if I hustle and I think that that's going to be to the detriment of Mother Nature, to the detriment of my personal health, physical, mental, emotional, then the health of my family and everyone else around me.

I think that in the world of Instagram and feeling we're not enough or people haven’t figured out is to place a hand on the heart and say, “I'm exactly I need to be, but I don't have to stay there.” If you're not where you want to be, first of all, it's a surrender. Secondly, it gives me the steps to move forward and hope that better days coming because change is the only constant. When we think we have it figured out, something changes. Having a solid footing, knowing who you are, being so aligned and balanced is going to prepare you no matter what winds come your way.

I know the life is going to bring many more hardships and losses because that's life. My job is to stay primed and fortified. When those things happen, they're going to shake me. In a tree pose, you may move a little bit, but you're not going to fall down. I hope that was useful. I am in a season of my life were so many exciting things are happening, I also believe that we need to balance the whole the Yin and Yang, some of the older spiritual texts have given us the prescription on how to live. I try to listen to that because I figured they know what they're doing.

I know so many of my audience are going to want to connect with you. Give them all your handles.

Come play with me or an Instagram. Instagram is such a fun place for me right now. You can find me at @Jasna.Burza or just come to my website, JasnaBurza.com/Mastermind if you want to learn about that. I respond to every single DM and I will respond to every single question about following your purpose, being a boss or making money. If anyone has a question, I will be there for them and take the time to respond.

I will vouch for this. She is the real deal and cares so deeply to help people to win not only in business, but in life holistically. That's what I just absolutely treasure about you, Jasna. Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to connect and add so much value to my tribe. I love you. I adore you. Until next time. You know what you need to do. You need to fire your fear, build your faith and become the boss of your own life. Talk soon.

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About Jasna Burza

Jasna-Burza-e1555098369569 (1).jpeg

Jasna is a Professional Certified life and business Coach and founder of Uplevel Together Minneapolis Mastermind. She spent the last decade working with individuals and organizations such as US Bank, Athleta, Coca-Cola on topics of resilience and life purpose. She was featured on CBS-WCCO as “A Minnesotan to Meet” and is a frequent guest expert on TV shows. Jasna’s positivity and passion for dreams is not only infectious but is guaranteed to energize and empower those around. Having lived through refugee camp during the war in native Bosnia, Jasna teaches and inspires others to learn resilience, create purpose and connect to a deeper meaning of life, aligning their skills and passions with their work and making an impact bigger than they had imagined.


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The Power Of The Ask: How Giselle Ugarte Landed A Gig With Gary Vee


You’ll never know until you ask. Giselle Ugarte’s cool encounter with internet personality Gary Vaynerchuk happened all because of social media and the power of the ask. Giselle is a multimedia personality as well with her own following when one of his followers reached out to give her a copy of Gary Vee’s book. They met up over coffee and Giselle ended up uploading a picture of it on social media. Little did Giselle know, Gary Vee saw this interaction and he either favorite it or re-tweeted it.

From there, some of his local following started following her as well, until eventually, Gary Vee’s promoters reached out to her inviting her to an event that they were hosting for Gary Vee. Giselle took it one step further and asked if she could host the event, and they ended up hiring her as the emcee. Until now, this is something that Giselle still cannot believe is happening. Giselle says you have to ask. People could say no, but what is there to lose?


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The Power Of The Ask: How Giselle Ugarte Landed A Gig With Gary Vee

I have got my gorgeous friend, Giselle, here with me. Let me give you a little bit of background on this powerhouse entrepreneur. She lights my soul on fire on another level. Whenever I see her coming through Instagram, do yourself a favor, go follow her. She has beautiful photographs but she has the heart to back it up and give great wisdom and insight. If I'm ever feeling down, I go to Emily for Zella and I go to Giselle. Those are my two girls.

Honestly, it's the caption that comes first and I have to try to find a photo somewhere in my archive that matches whatever emotion that I'm going through, which can be awkward if it's one of those more vulnerable posts because I don't want to be that cliché, leave a quote with a picture type of an Instagram, but it's coming from my heart. I feel like whatever that wisdom is, either something that I'm going through or something that a friend's going through or I feel this tugging at my heart, someone needs to hear this and know that they're not alone. I love that about social media. It can be as superficial, hateful and negative as you want, but it can also be a place of positivity, inspiration and light if you use it correctly.

I'm all about it at all levels. Let me share with the audience how fabulous you are. She spent nearly ten years in LA and she is now proud to be called a Minnesotan again. She's back here. She has a weekday show from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM with Ben, Dana and Giselle. If you are local here to Minnesota, go to 96.3 FM. She is a blast and I have listened to it. A little bit of background on Giselle. She is a multimedia personality, writer and producer. I was like, “What the heck doesn't she do?”

She's been featured in huge brands and outlets all over the world and she has over 300,000 followers. She is the real deal. There are some of those people that when you meet them in person, you're like, “That's a person,” but when you meet with Giselle, she truly is. She's not only an amazing talent, but she has the heart to back it up. She's been featured as a contributor and face for big names like CoverGirl, Proactiv+, The Today Show Australia, E! Entertainment, Dash Radio and Hollywire, just to name a few. I am so honored to be interviewing you.

Thank you for having me. I was inspired by you. Every time I check if you're doing one thing after the other. I feel like it's a community that we can inspire each other and grow together. I love that.

I met her through the pageant arena. A mutual friend invited both of us to a pageant event. She won the title and I came first runner-up. It was fun to meet her there and I feel like she's a kindred spirit. I was intrigued by her story because if I were to redo my life, I probably would have gone down a very similar path to what she has accomplished in her first ten years. She went out to LA and decided to chase the American dream. Ten years later, she was a bit disillusioned and burnt out. I want you to share the whole story. It’s cool to hear the wisdom that you got from that first part of your journey and where you're at now.

I did grow up in Minnesota. I grew up in Wayzata Suburb of Minneapolis, by no means a small town. I did go to a small school. I had 95 people in my graduating class. I am Mexican-American, so it felt like I grew up in a bubble. My parents were encouraging me to go away to college. I tended to stay here and I had been admitted to Carlton in Northfield. I was involved in dance and I love the Minnesota Vikings. I always had this dream of being a Minnesota Vikings cheerleader while I was in college and they said, “No, we want you to go to New York or California. Go anywhere but here so that you can explore and see something outside of yourself.”

I ended up going to USC in Los Angeles. There was a part of me, before going to college, where I was trying to decide if I want it to be a doctor or go into entertainment because my dad was a doctor and I had gotten into John Hopkins as well. I knew I was down to John Hopkins or USC and I knew that whichever one I picked would decide what I would do. At least that's how you feel in high school, you think that picking your college is going to decide the rest of your life.

We look back on that now and realize that it had little effect. I chose USC, I went to the journalism school. I always wanted to be Giuliana Rancic on E! News. I wanted to do entertainment news and be on the red carpet with the celebrities. That was something that I would watch ritually every single day. I would know all about all the gossip, news, who was dating who, and who was wearing who. That's what I pursued from the get-go. I had my first internship my sophomore year at E! Entertainment and from there, hustled and tried to learn everything.

Power Of The Ask: If you want to work in entertainment in LA, you need to know how everything works and you need to know everybody.

Power Of The Ask: If you want to work in entertainment in LA, you need to know how everything works and you need to know everybody.

I do wear a lot of hats. That was one of the pieces of advice that I’ve got, it was to learn how to produce, write, work for a publicist, work for an agent and work for the manager. If you want to work in entertainment in LA, you need to know how everything works and you need to know everybody. Being a Latina woman and watching the media go from television to digital, you needed to know how to edit video, how to upload instantaneously, how to upload on the CAASPP, start tweeting and marketing yourself digitally.

Somehow, it all ended up working out. I started a blog when I was in college and that also helped, a YouTube channel as well. I worked my way up as hard as I possibly could to get it on every single red carpet I could. I got into The Today Show Australia network program, which was a job that I didn't even seek out for myself. It turned out, “I can talk about entertainment on a network program. I can sleep in and be on TVs all over the world, but still have privacy. This is crazy.”

I did reach a point where I forgot about my why. I had always wanted to go into entertainment and I didn't remember why. I had gotten to know the entertainment industry and realized, “This is not as shiny and glamorous as I thought that it was.” Things just changed. I woke up one day and I was making more money than I had ever made before and I was dating someone who I thought I was going to marry, but something didn't feel right.

I didn't want to go to work. I was so burnt out. I was working nights, weekends, holidays. I was saying yes to absolutely everything and every single job. For some reason, I felt miserable. That was the most terrifying thing because my dream job was there. My dream life of getting married and settling down was there and I didn't want it. What was I supposed to do? It took a minute to regather and figure out what to do. Somehow, I ended up here.

I was supposed to go to New York and I stopped here on a whim to take some time off. I had met with an old boss who worked in radio. One of my internships in college was here over the summer at a radio station. That radio station had reformatted into a different format. I met with my former boss who is now the president of the company. I wanted to talk to them about what are some of my opportunities that I would have, given my experience, but I don't want to do entertainment anymore. I haven't done a lot of radio. I've done a little bit of digital radio. I had my own show on Dash Radio. What I'd be able to break into radio, whether it's news or morning show radio, I haven't been to one of those smaller town stations that a lot of people work their way up with.

His proposal was, “Would you ever want to move back to Minneapolis?” “No.” “Are you sure?” I had never spent more than maybe five days in Minneapolis since I had left for college, except for that internship, which was four weeks. I said, “No, there's absolutely no way.” He goes, “How about this, you come into town pretty often. How about the next time you're here, we've been looking for a female morning show co-host. If nothing else, the guys will hear what it's like to have a female on the show and you will have a real firm, top market that you can take with you to New York.” “Okay.”

I came into town a couple of weeks later and it ended up being so fun. I had found this spark within me that I had completely forgotten about because I was burnt out, I was taking jobs just to pay the bills, and I didn't know what was next. All of a sudden, I had this new challenge of working with two cohosts, working with two men, having to be myself and talk about my own life rather than reading a script or gossiping about someone else's life, which was one of the most soul-sucking things done. I realized, “I'm supposed to be here. I can't see it long-term but maybe I could do this temporarily since they haven't found someone for the job.” It turned into, “Let's do this for two or three weeks. Let's do this for a month. Let's do this for six months,” two years later, I'm still here.

When you feel like you're running towards this dream, this end all be all, and you get there, you are disillusioned. You're like, “Now what? This is not what I signed up for,” I'm disillusioned. You get to the point where you’re, “What's that next step for me? I'm feeling lost in translation.” This side thing that you never thought would turn into anything is part of your destiny and you start to pursue it.

You mentioned disillusioned. We're constantly in this mindset of setting goals and achieving the goals. We have this mindset that your happiness or that victory is within that goal and you're not going to find that happiness until you reach that goal, whether it's that dream job or that goal way, “Once I hit that, I'll be happy.” I found success early, I was 24 or 25 when I got that awesome opportunity. The moment of feeling so lost, confused, and wondering, “What am I supposed to do?” I had left my job at The Today Show and I had another show that I did not get renewed. I was entirely unemployed, and I broke up with my very serious boyfriend.

There was this moment where I reconnected with my faith and I felt this sense of peace and happiness, unlike anything I have ever experienced. I had the verse on my heart, “I do not worry about anything, pray about everything.” All of a sudden, I had this clicking moment where I realized it's not about that end goal, it's not about achieving that goal or dream job or that ring on your finger, it's about finding happiness for no reason at all, and that's real happiness.

It's about finding joy and fulfillment in the process and not just in what you accomplish. It's about finding gratitude in the failures and not when things work. It has allowed me to feel comfortable hitting that reset button all the time. People say, “Would you ever move?” and a lot of people our age would probably say, “No, I don't want to start over.” I'm like, “I don't have kids, I don't have a husband. Sure.” If this job left me or our show got canceled tomorrow, I'd be like, “What's next? What am I going to do?” because I know that I'm going to be fine

That's such an extremely strong mindset. So many people can get into the fixed mindset of limiting themselves so much because this is the way that they see life going and they don't want any curve balls. Heads up, here are curveballs coming and so they have a hard time course correcting.

What is it that you always say about having the multiple streams of income?

It’s wise to have multiple streams of income just in case one dries up, you've got a couple of others to choose from. Digging your will before you're thirsty. The average millionaire has seven. I encourage my friends to at least have two. I've got six, I'm on my way to seven.

That's another valuable lesson. It's not that you're doing it out of fear or to chase something or you're constantly seeking more money. It's because there's something gratifying about all the processes, seeing what you're capable of and pursuing different interests. Not getting stuck in that monotonous single lane of one skill but knowing that there are more things in the world that you can give your gifts to. There are more talents that you can cultivate when you take that risk and when you're okay with knowing that, “This might work, or this might not. It looks fun and I saw someone else doing it, so I can do it too.” It's so valuable when you share your lessons and victories because people see that within you and if she did it, I can do it too.

There's so much magic in pursuing that calling because in that small voice when you're like, “I don't know how this is all going to work out, but I'm going to put one foot in front of the other because this is where I'm feeling called.” That's where the biggest doors of opportunity open up. Even when you were at a place of, “I don't know what I should be doing,” my dad says, “You can't drive a parked car,” and you put one foot in front of the other.

You're like, “I don't know how long I'm going to be here at the radio show but this is where the soul is feeling lit up like game on.” I even asked you, “What's the end all, be all?” Your answer was beautiful. At the beginning of my career, I was like, “I'm going to do this. Here’s my five-year plan and my ten-year plan. Go, team. Go, God and me.” You have to give yourself that breathing room and room for growth. When you aren't so fixed on that end all be all, that's where the magic happens. I've seen that so much in my life and I've seen that in yours.

You can't have that tunnel vision, whether it's the people who you meet or the opportunities that come your way, if you are so set on having your own path, that's when God's going to be like, “Nope, that was cute.” When you’re not open to it, that's when you're going to get caught up in the stress and anxiety of having control issues. You need to be able to adapt to whatever comes your way and be open-minded because you could be digging and digging your way to water, not realizing that there's a water fountain there.

We finished up talking about your transition here to the radio and the magic moments.

The magic moments were in not knowing and trying. At one point, I thought I was going to go back to school. I took tours of business schools on the east coast and I did interviews, and I started studying for that GMAT, but it didn't feel right. I have aspirations of going back to school or even teaching a class. You mentioned the goals of the future and it's not something that I can put a definitive label on. It's that there are those little benchmarks along the way that I want to do that I know will continue to keep my soul on fire.

One of those things could be a continued education or writing a book or going on tour. Those are things that are ongoing and not things that are all, “In five years, I'll write it down and I might set a deadline for myself to get going.” I'm not going to restrict myself with time knowing that the greatest opportunities that I've had like where I went to college, some of the greatest jobs I’ve had and relationships and friendships that came unexpectedly were things that I didn't seek out myself and came out of nowhere when I thought I was not ready.

It's the person that you become on the way to the goal that is so much more important than the goal itself. When you can breathe through those moments where you're not quite sure what's going on, God has your back and there's peace there and you put up your hands in surrender. I even heard a quote saying how he hates it when people say, “God won't give you more than you can handle.” He's like, “Yes, he will but not more than you can handle without him by your side when you can team up with him.”

When you're at that breaking point and you surrender it all, that's where he wants us all the time. Sometimes he has to put so much on your plate and take the vision a little bit and saying, “No, little grasshopper. It's my plan, not yours.” I loved that and even what you did, it's cool that you put out some intentions out into the world and how it comes back tenfold. I want to talk about the cool encounter that has transpired about the whole event were you were with Gary Vee. Spill the beans on how this all came into fruition. I see through my Instagram story that Giselle has partnered up with Gary Vee and she's hosting an event and he's coming to in Minneapolis. Amazing on another level.

Even upon posting and seeing it, I was like, “What?” If you don't know who Gary Vaynerchuk is, you should follow him. He is a source of inspiration to take your life and your work to the next level. He's @GaryVee on Instagram. He is awesome when it comes to branding and getting rid of the BS and any excuses or insecurities that you might have. A lot of what he says echoes what I've been learning about myself over the last several years. I had put up a rant about the music industry on Twitter and maybe Instagram and someone saw my rant and said, “I loved your rant. It reminded me a lot of this guy Gary Vee,” who I was new to and I was like, “That was a nice compliment.” He goes, “I love it so much. I have this extra copy of his book, I want to send it to you.” He had no ulterior motives, no intentions of trying to get anything from me, but he had been a follower of mine and a follower of his and thought I would enjoy it and appreciate it.

Power Of The Ask: Use social media to connect, network, and inspire. This is what social media is all about, it's about being social.

Power Of The Ask: Use social media to connect, network, and inspire. This is what social media is all about, it's about being social.

I took it one step further. I always say, “Use social media to connect, network and inspire.” When someone writes to me, I always like to look at who they are and I like to follow back. I want to know who my audience is. They're the ones who are paying my bills because without them, I would have no one showing up and no one listening. It's valuable for me to get to know them, connect with them, and love them. I looked him up, realized he was a new graduate and I said, “Rather than mailing me the book, it looks like your local. Why don't we go to coffee? I would love to meet you.” We spent about an hour and a half going back and forth and I let him ask me whatever he wanted. I wanted to learn from him too.

There's so much that we can learn from the younger generations and from students. I say that like I'm a million years old and I'm not, but they are absorbing technology and media in a different way than we did when we were kids. We were experiencing the transition and hey only experienced what it is now and what it's going to an exponential level. I loved it, took a picture of it, and uploaded it even from the get-go when he first offered me in the book I use it as an example to my followers to show them this is where kindness can get you. This is what social media is all about, it's about being social. I have met people on Twitter and Instagram, even best friends.

There are definitely creepers out there, don't get me wrong but as long as you do your little bit of research, it can be valuable to you. Gary Vee saw this interaction and he either favorite it or retweeted it. From there, some of his local following saw what I was doing and they started following me as well. That night, I went home and wrote down, “I need to see Gary Vee.” He speaks all over, he has conferences and panels. The next day, I crossed it out and said, “I need to work with Gary Vee.” I didn't realize this but the next day, the promoters who were bringing Gary Vee had reached out, that was the first day. The next day after I wrote in my post it, it was in my message requests box, so I didn't see the message until about a month later.

The promoters reached out to me inviting me to this event that they were hosting in Rochester in August. I hopped on the phone with them and was going over some of what they were doing and said, “Do you want me to be a guest? I would love to host this.” After some talking back and forth, they decided to hire me as the emcee of the event. They could have said no, but what would I have lost? You’ll never know until you ask. This is something that I still cannot believe that it's happening. I'm excited and proud of it and there’s so much pressure on that opening monologue.

That makes my heart explode because I have said many times, “There is so much power in the ask. Putting yourself out there.” I even had an experience with my book launch at the mall of America. I wanted to pitch a sponsor for the fashion show. I walked into the first place because I thought, “Who would be cool to have at the fashion show? Victoria's Secret.” I walked to Victoria's Secret, I pitched the whole thing and she looks at me like a cow and a new fence post. She's like, “We've never done anything like that. That's crazy.” I said, “If you're interested, let me know what.” I gave her my card, I walked out, and I was like, “That went differently in my head.”

The second time, I walked into Calvin Klein. She said, “Let me get back to my manager, to the higher-ups in California.” She got back to me within four hours and she said, “Absolutely.” They put something in each swag bag and they sponsored the whole thing, the fashion show. Long story short, that was the catapult that brought Fabletics with Kate Hudson and other amazing sponsors. You don't know if you don't ask, I am so obsessed with that. I say, “Go, boss bold.” You have nothing to lose and everything to gain in putting yourself out there. That's where the magic happens. Giselle, thank you for leading from the front. I'm sure there are other people that are like, “I was so nervous about doing that one thing. If Giselle put herself out there and look what she landed, what can I do?”

Visibility is so important on social media. There is a sense of social media where it is about bragging and where people are very boastful. I do think that especially with women, minorities and when it comes to business, it's important to share those victories and the stories of how you got there so that you can show people that tangible way of how to get there. I shared a story recently because I got a promotion at my job, I'm an on-air personality in the morning show. “A promotion, what does that even mean?” I talked about how I want it to be involved in the business side. I walked into my boss's office when I first got the job and I said, “I want to spend at the big boys' table.” “What does that mean?” In my head and outwardly, I said, “I want to be listed in the meetings and I want to be able to have a voice. I want to know what's going on. I want to be able to learn.”

It took about a year for me to define what that was for me and then create a job role. From there was a lot of back and forth, there was a lot of him playing this game of, “You show me what you want and I'll help you get there,” but I had to show him what I wanted in order for me to help me get there. It took me putting a presentation together, taking my business card and slapping a post-it on top of it and putting the job titles that I wanted in addition to morning show host. Now, I'm the digital brand manager and I posted about it.

A lot of people think, “That's bragging. She did this, she did that.” I’ve got so many messages from women saying, “I had been wanting to ask for the raise and I was so scared, but I saw that you did that. I went into the office, I wanted a promotion and I put together an outline. I talked to my boss and she was so grateful and wondered what took me so long.” It's those little things that help us help each other. Don't get me wrong, I know that you are insecure about certain things and I get fearful of certain things. There are things that both of us are scared to ask for now in our lives and we need to have those other people see ourselves and others that is powerful.

You don't realize what that is until it's shared whether it's about professionalism or relationships. I always say if you're dealing with anxiety or depression, unfortunately, we've seen suicide in the news so much lately, talk about those things that you did or stop doing to pull yourself out because we keep seeing either you're happy or you're sad. How do we show those moments of, “It's going to be okay because I can show you that it's going to be okay?”

There needs to be more of that. Even for me, some of the times where I've made those biggest leaps, it's because, “That girl did it. That guy did it. I'm going to give it a shot.” Jump and the net will appear, but you need to have some of those people around you. That's why your inner circle is so important.

Choosing them wisely. Someone who was inspiring to you might not be inspiring to me. I have people who, for whatever reason, think that I’m fake or cocky or you can fill in any negative adjective. I had been called every single one in the book to which I say, “Don't follow me.” Find that person who makes you feel good. If for whatever reason anything I post makes you feel bad about yourself, whether it's because you're comparing yourself to me or because I rubbed you the wrong way in some capacity, that's fine. I come from a good place but I'm not for everyone and that's okay. Find a person that does make you feel okay. You can do anything and you are capable of getting what you want and deserve.

I see you doing so much on social media and it's inspirational. Do you ever experience burnout? Do you ever experience to the point where you're like, “I'm taking on so much?” There have been belts in my entrepreneurial journey where I'm feeling like things are going in a great direction and I have enough help. There are other points where I hit that point where I'm like, “I can't take on one more thing.” If you do have burnout, how do you deal with it? I would love to hear what's going on your head with that. A lot of entrepreneurs or people that are running it out in media sometimes experience.

It happens all the time. I've gotten better at managing it through the little things that I included in my daily routine that I started doing years ago. For example, when I get into bed, I don't leave my phone on vibrate, I put it on do not disturb. That has helped me sleep so much better and every single night I have it on do not disturb. If people need to reach me an emergency, I have my favorites where my phone was still ringing. I had that thing on my phone when it rings twice, they can get ahold of me. It has made all the difference where you don't see that light when you're sleeping. Also finding gratitude and purpose in what you're doing and not just doing it because it's part of the routine.

Instagram used to be putting up a picture every single day, now it's, “What is a message that I can give every single day?” I'm going to have those moments where I want to share that cute picture of me or if my dog. A lot of the times, I try to make it a little bit more heartfelt or I put my audience first in everything that I do. What are my people going through? I need to check in with my people. What are they experiencing now? What's the burnout that they're going through from their families, professional lives, from the woes and how can I make their lives better. That helps me to have some fulfillment but also, I've got a lot of burnout.

My biggest burnout has come from YouTube because I used to do all my own editing and I would get sick of looking at myself or hearing my voice. It took a long time to get used to that. I had to take a break because I wanted to get good and comfortable and find that positive in a couple of social platforms versus all of them. If I had a bigger team or more time, I would love to do all of it. I hope that I can eventually get there. That's definitely on my goals list and being able to upload regularly. Instagram, you have the live feature, you have the video feature, you have the photo feature that's all-encompassing and I try to use that as a way to condense everything else. I also have listed off the pressure of having everything be entirely current and instead of trying to make my content evergreen.

There have been weeks or two weeks at a time where I'm uploading pictures and none of them are new. They are all old pictures, not from two or three years ago where I don't even look like myself, but in the last maybe six months or maybe a throwback picture. I'm still uploading consistently and I'm still keeping those algorithms alive to push to my profile and I'm not going completely blackout on a platform.

At the same time, it's still giving me some time too in some ways disconnect without disconnecting because I want to be able to enjoy certain moments. I’ve got a new puppy. People ask like, “Why aren't you posting more pictures with her?” I want to enjoy her. I have one day where I took a bunch of pictures of her and those are the only pictures that I've been uploading or pictures from when she was still a foster puppy. No one knows the difference.

I'm always about leverage, automation and delegation. As far as the team around you, do you have an assistant now or the go-to girl? If you do have an assistant, when was that timeframe of going this was a good time to pull the trigger?

I have someone who I go to when I need help, but I don't have someone full-time. I have the desire but also, I want to be hands-on with everything that I do. In that sense, I need to get better at delegating. It would take much longer for me to teach someone to see things the way that I do and to edit it the way that I do, but I'm not even having time to edit it myself. Maybe I should invest that time like I might invest my money into something and find someone who can and find those things. What are the things that make me happy? For example, responding to comments and tweets.

Now, I'm still able to manage that but it is getting harder and harder as my following gets bigger. It allows me to stay grounded in what I'm doing and remember why I do what I'm doing, which is ultimately to have that real-life connection with my people. I do need to get better at it. I have those moments where I realized, “I am burning at both ends and I need to make time to exercise. I need to make time to cook myself a meal and not just eating McDonald’s or Taco Bell on my way to my next meeting because that's not doing anything for my body. That's probably the biggest thing that I'm working on now.

Power Of The Ask: Having a clean house is the best thing you can do for yourself.

Power Of The Ask: Having a clean house is the best thing you can do for yourself.

All I can come up with is that routine and that consistency. I will say that having a clean house is the best thing you can do for yourself. I do love to clean. I don't always have time to clean. Every now and then I do need to have someone come in and help me clean my house because my brother told me, and he didn't make this up by any means but, “Messy bed, messy head.” It makes such a difference when you have a clean home, it will make you feel better versus having the clothes that you throw on that couch or it starts to get dusty over here, that definitely will get to your head.

You want to have a place, a sanctuary that when you come home you look forward to it. Even if you've been living out of a suitcase, maybe you're in a hotel room, but still coming home to that clean hotel room and having some sort of organization in that place where you recharge every single day is so important. If you're going invest in something, having someone to help you clean or organized might be the first place that you need to do it.

Even from the level of the influencer that you are, you're like, “I'm putting one foot in front of the other. I don't have it all figured out, but these are some different things that have helped me.” I feel like I'm in a very similar boat to you. What do you outsource? What do you delegate? I'm working on that. Thank you for giving us breathing room that you don't have it all figured out.

No, I don't. I recommend that you do this all the time too is asking yourself, “What is my why?” Why am I doing this? When you do start saying yes to so many things or you get asked to speak all over everywhere. You're saying constantly saying yes, wanting to see, feel, and touch more people. You want to connect, network and work with these awesome companies, businesses and other influencers around the world. All of a sudden you realize, “I have not had any time to myself.”

It has become a routine and you start to lose that fire. It becomes something that you perform rather than something that you're experiencing. Either hitting that reset button or having that “me” time or having that moment where you go, “Why am I doing this again?” Having a moment with God. What is this? What does it mean? Where am I going? Why am I doing this? Am I still going in the direction that I need to be going in or am I going in this direction because I'm following?

There's so much wisdom there. I ask myself, “Is this a good thing or a God thing?” Even my executive producer was like, “Stefanie, there's a lot going on,” these are all good projects. She said, “I want you to make yourself a list of your to-do, your to-stop and then your automation and delegation. Let's get this all figured out. Take a deep breath.” “Thank you, Crystal.” She has been my lifesaver.

Having her take on even the online course that I'm creating with the Boss Like Blueprint and she's like, “Just step-by-step, one foot in front of the other.” I'm like, “Thank you.” Part two, we flip it around and I need to interview you. I want to finish up with a couple of closing questions after we do the lightning round with the lady boss. If you wouldn't have started with what you started with going into media, what would you have into?

I would have been a teacher. I was at the final round of interviews for Teach for America and I didn't show up to my last interview because the day before, someone called me out and they said, “You'd be a great teacher, but you don't want to be a teacher. You're afraid to pursue what you want to do.” It was someone who I'd never even met before and they were right.

It's amazing when God puts those angels in your path for such a time as this. People would be surprised to know that you spend so much time doing.

No one's surprised that I spent so much time working. I'm trying to think of, “What do I spend time doing a lot of time doing?” I love driving, but that's not much of a surprise. I'm so open about a lot of things, I don't know if you are surprised. Cooking is something that keeps people for whatever reason I surprised by. I love to cook. Chopping vegetables is like therapy to me. Don't ask me why but I love chopping vegetables. Onions and garlic are my specialties.

Your celebrity crush?

The dad from This is Us.

Chipotle or Chick-fil-A?


Your favorite way to spend downtime like you have any?

Church with my family. That's one of my favorite things to do. If I could have the perfect warning, it would be wake up, yoga, coffee, church, Mexican food.

What are you absolutely addicted to?

Diet Coke. I've cut it down to maybe one a day, but it's an association type of a thing where when I'm eating a certain type of food I need to have my diet coke. I've tried giving it up and I can’t. I never keep it in my house and I only ever buy it from the vending machine at my office.

What are you reading now?

It's Own The Moment by Carl Lentz. It’s at Hillsong Church in New York and it's the type of book where you can start it wherever. I started months ago and I'm just picking and choosing chapters. I always read a book that I gave to you which is Competent Women's Devotional. I've had it for probably seven years and it's something that I carry with me. If I'm carrying it with me, I give it away.

Best piece of advice you've ever received?

Learn how to do it all. This was one of the first conversations that we had because you were trying to figure out what to delegate for this podcast. I said, “Even if you hire someone to edit or produce your materials, learn how to do it.” When you do learn how to do everything in your field, it gives you such an appreciation for the crew or the people who are doing it. It also can give you some authority if you realize that, “This could be better” or “I don't think you're doing it quite to the standard that you should be.” Let me help you. Let's help each other. When someone doesn't show up, someone's sick, wear the other hats. That is valuable, and it also adds some uniqueness to your resume, especially in media where a lot of people, all they do is they know how to read a teleprompter on a camera. It’s going to get you far. Sitting there and looking pretty won’t work anymore.

Most embarrassing moment?

I don't have a lot of those. I’ve learned from morning radio every day can be embarrassing. I have had dates, ex-boyfriends called on the air without me knowing and talk about relationships on the air. There's very little, if anything at this point, that would embarrass me.

If you could spend one day with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

My dad. He's my best friend in the whole wide world and I feel like the two of us are workaholics. It's not often that the two of us get to spend more than an hour at a time. I do talk to him on the phone every single night, but it would be great to have a full day, just the two of us uninterrupted. No mom, no sibling, but just hang out with my dad.

Favorite food?

Tacos. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night. Quesadillas, enchiladas and tacos.

Who inspires you or who do you aspire to be like?

There are a lot of people who I'm inspired by now, but I don't think there's any one single person who I want to be. I'm inspired by you, Gary Vee, by the kindness of my mom, and the speaking abilities of my pastor at church. It's not one single person, it's little nuggets of things that people are doing and even inspired by. I was on a podcast with two kids who graduated from St. Thomas and I'm seeing how they have this podcast going every single week and I'm like, “If you can do it.”

That's such a beautiful mindset to be in because sometimes when you can get caught up in that one person, it starts to get unhealthy versus I'm going to be the best version of myself and I'm going to pull inspiration from little glimpses that my soul sees. That's a piece of my puzzle. Which would be harder to give up, coffee or chocolate?

Chocolate. I have chocolate every single night.

I would not have expected that. I am coffee all the way if you want to know.

I keep chocolate in my medicine cabinet and I always have chocolate in my house.

Describe yourself in one word.


You really are. Thanks for inspiring. If you could swap lives with one person for a day, who would it be and why?

Who would you?

I'm going to be real with you. Oprah. I want to know what it would be like to walk in her shoes. I am on another level, I am enamored by the lives that she's touched and the impact that she's made. Just the way that she thinks about things would be fascinating.

Power Of The Ask: Having a better understanding of what other people experience on a daily basis and the way that they're able to handle things is a valuable lesson.

Power Of The Ask: Having a better understanding of what other people experience on a daily basis and the way that they're able to handle things is a valuable lesson.

Maybe Oprah for me, but circa 2000 when everything was happening and when everything was built. That may be something for me. Even someone completely different from who I am like Laverne Cox or someone who sees the world completely differently, who has a different skin tone and a different sexual orientation. Just to have a better understanding of what they experience on a daily basis. The way that people look at them, the comments that they get from people and the way that they're able to handle things, that would be the most valuable lesson.

That's super strong. Those are both super valid. If you were a superhero, who would you be and why?

Wonder Woman, my absolute favorite. I do have a Wonder Woman costume and it's one of those all-out costume and old school comic book Wonder Woman. I want to update mine and get one like Gal Gadot. Wonder Woman was one of the first characters who, when I was growing up, I looked at her and I said, “She looks like me.” I had Barbie dolls and Barbie doesn't look like me. There was Princess Jasmine, but still not quite. There was something about Wonder Woman where she was ambiguous enough and I saw someone who was strong and powerful and didn't need a man. Someone who was going for it and believed in love, I thought that was beautiful.

When I saw the movie, I went to the first showing and five minutes in, I started crying. Back to that visibility thing, you don't realize how rare it is to see an all-women cast of warriors or a woman who is that strong and powerful until you see it and then you go, “Where has this been my whole life?” My dream is to get a new updated costume, go to the hospital and visit the kids.

If someone met you and said, “I want to become the boss of my own life and call the shots, what's my first step?”

My question is, “What's stopping you?” It’s first figuring out what is it that's getting in your way and why aren't you doing it. Whether that's insecurity, a toxic relationship, an unsupportive family or a financial difficulty, it's first getting rid of all of those obstacles. From there, setting your goals and finding that competence that you need within yourself to know that you're capable. A lot of times, my competence didn't come from knowing where I was going or knowing what that first step was, it was knowing that there was nothing in my way. Usually, the biggest obstacle in your way is yourself.

Often, we have all of these voices of doubt inside of our heads and there's that one little one that says, “I could do it,” that to me is God. Listening to that little voice, even though it seems small, can actually deafen out all of the other voices in your head. If you have that little glimmer of hope that against all of that, you can, but maybe I can listen to that one. Tell them to shut up, be the boss of your own life and take control. You're going to have to do that a lot. Knowing that you're going to have a lot of moments and I know that you go through this too, where you're like, “I don't know if I could do this,” even though you're doing it. Even though a lot of people might think that you're significantly further ahead, they're always going to be those things that are holding and pushing you back and getting in your way. You have to constantly reset and have those moments that I'm made for this.

Couldn't have said it any better, Giselle. Any words of wisdom you want to leave? How can people connect with you? I felt so equipped and empowered by following your journey. When you can find those people that have little pieces of your soul that are stepping into different things that you want to do, let those be the things that help you on your journey. I want people to know where to follow you and connect with you. You have such a beautiful soul, I want to share you with the world.

I’m most connected on Instagram. Being on the platform I hated the most because I thought it was so superficial and all about the likes and pictures. For me, I made it a source of constant inspiration and connection. It has many multidimensional platforms that if you use it, it can be a great place to know, love and share with your people. @GiselleUgarte is where you can find me on Instagram and I make all of my stories and my direct messages public, so anyone can reach out to me.

Thank you so much for sharing your light with us and putting yourself out there. Such a beautiful transition that you made from talking about all the other people and things in the media to opening up your own heart. That takes courage and confidence even when you aren't feeling confident. You have blazed a trail and become bossful that I talk about that all the time.

Thank you for being that for me and countless others. You're making you for being that. We're stronger together. It's great to see women not seeing each other as competition but as competent. We can go through this together. It's not this winner takes all, it's that I can see you from the top or I see you from the top, but it's up to you if you want to climb those steps with me ending there.

We are so thankful that you tuned in. Our challenge is for you to fire your fear, build your faith and become the boss of your own life. Thanks.

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About Giselle Ugarte


After spending nearly ten years in Los Angeles, Giselle is proud to call Minneapolis home - again! You can listen to her every weekday, from 6 to 10am, on Mornings with Ben, Dana & Giselle on the all-new Go 96.3FM.

Giselle is a multimedia personality, writer and producer (and, occasionally, a commercial actress and lifestyle model), who has been featured by brands and outlets all over the world. She's especially driven by social media (more than 300k followers), relationships and storytelling, and she's almost always working early mornings, late nights, weekends and holidays. Each day welcomes a new office (from the radio station to the news room - and everything vlog-worthy at home and in between), a wide range of demographics (from 16 to 66), and multiple job titles (from backpack producer to LIVE on-air talent). She really can do it all - and often does a lot at once. She's also available for creative direction, digital consulting, public speaking and private coaching.

You might recognize her as a featured contributor and face for big names, like COVERGIRL, Proactiv+, The Today Show (Australia), E! Entertainment, Dash Radio and HOLLYWIRE, to name a few. And you probably didn't know that she's a long-time gymnastics coach for Special Olympics, an ambassador for Secondhand Hounds, a captain for Best Christmas Ever, and a hand-picked member of the Ballpark Enhancement Committee for the Minnesota Twins. She wears her heart on her sleeve and is passionate about bringing out the best from everyone. Also, she’s a die-hard fan of her alma mater, USC, and the Minnesota Vikings.

Always learning new tricks, click one of the links below for more - updates, unfiltered thoughts and opportunities for collaborations!

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