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Bet On Yourself by Ann Hiatt

Bet On Yourself by Ann Hiatt

By Ann Hiatt
This podcast is for ambitious people, just like you, who want to create a life and career that is full of adventure, learning and fulfilment.

I'm Ann Hiatt and for the past 18 years I have worked with the most powerful and influential leaders in the world while at Amazon and Google.

This podcast is dedicated to my fellow entrepreneurs, whether in heart, or already in the midst of daily startup struggles, who need to hear a perspective on greatness which you won't find anywhere else.

I am going to help you fast track your success by hearing the habits and tips of the super performers.
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Getting the most out of your team with Paul Falcone, Global HR Consultant
In the final episode of Series 5 of the Bet On Yourself podcast, I speak to global HR consultant Paul Falcone. He has worked at some of Hollywood's leading companies, including Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon, and is now setting about writing and publishing a five-book series on workplace leadership. His HR career started by chance at an executive search firm, and while it wasn't his first calling, his attitude and outlook took him to the top. Paul has some incredible stories to tell from his time in Hollywood, as well as some valuable lessons to pass on.
August 10, 2022
Realizing your value with Sun Yi, Founder of Night Owls
In this week's episode of the Bet On Yourself podcast I am joined by Sun Yi, the founder of award-winning web agency Night Owls. Sun has done it all – from 9-to-5 jobs to starting and leaving his own companies – and is now looking to create a community by way of mentorship, sharing what he has learned with the world in a scalable way. Sun's self-confessed biggest weakness might have stopped anybody else from pursuing a creative career, but he soon realized it was in fact his biggest strength. Since then, he has used his scientific, analytical approach to build successful teams and take budding creators to the next level, helped along by his experience working in a whole host of different roles throughout his career.
August 03, 2022
Using your voice with Dr Randal Pinkett and Dr Jeffrey Robinson, authors of Black Faces in High Places
In this week's episode of the Bet On Yourself podcast, I am once again joined by two guests as I speak to Dr Randal Pinkett and Dr Jeffrey Robisnon, the authors of Black Faces in High Places. Published a decade after their first book, Black Faces in White Places, their latest work look at how people must not only fight for their place at the table, but use it to the benefit of others once they are there. Drawing on the examples of Carol Dweck and Barack Obama, among others, the authors talk to me about their experiences of academia, their careers and how they went about writing their newest book.
July 27, 2022
Finding your superpower with Sage Ke'alohilani Quiamno, Global DE&I Tech Lead at Amazon Studios
On this week's episode of the Bet On Yourself podcast, I speak to Sage Ke'alohilani Quiamno, Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Amazon Prime Video and Studios. Having wanted to be a lawyer as a child, Sage has always sought justice in the world and has since dedicated her career to ensuring that businesses – both brand-new startups and large, global corporates – are representative of the communities they serve. She is also now using her platform to give back to the people of Hawaii through trust-based philanthropy, as a board member of the Hawaii People's Fund. Sage's story from international canoe paddling competitions to boardrooms across America is as colourful as it is moving, and I can't wait to share it with you today.
July 20, 2022
Identifying opportunity with Liane Katz and Rumbi Pfende, founders of MAMA.Codes
On this week's episode of the Bet On Yourself podcast, I am joined by not one, but two amazing guests in Liane Katz and Rumbi Pfende of MAMA.Codes, a coding school for toddlers and children in the UK. Their business was born out of frustration – children were not getting the digital education they needed to survive in tomorrow's world. That frustration aligned with passions and interests in STEM subjects to create the perfect storm, and MAMA.Codes was born. Having had the foresight to take things online just before the pandemic hit, business boomed as parents were stuck at home with their children and now they've got their sights set on the next chapter of their story.
July 13, 2022
Maximizing your time with Rick Pastoor, author of GRIP
On this week's episode of the Bet On Yourself podcast, I speak to Rick Pastoor. Having mastered his own time management, Rick wrote an internal guide for employees at his start-up, Blendle, on how to be more efficient with their own. After making it public, GRIP became an overnight best-seller in the Netherlands, which saw it go on to be published internationally. Rick admits that his principles are nothing new, but the way in which he presents the ideas in GRIP has meant they have landed with people in a way that has completely transformed their lives – personally and professionally. 
July 06, 2022
Pursuing your passion with Maria Brito, Art Consultant and author of How Creativity Rules The World
This week on the Bet On Yourself podcast I'm speaking to Maria Brito, author of How Creativity Rules The World. I have been itching to sit down with Maria because she is the ultimate example of betting on yourself, having left behind a successful legal career to pursue her passion – art. Now she is a Curator, a Collector and a Consultant to a long list of impressive names, from chart-topping singers to Fortune 500 companies. But how did she step out on to Wall Street one day and leave it all behind, before finding her new path? And how can you channel your creativity to enable success in the world of business? Well, she's here to tell us.
June 29, 2022
Building business confidence with Joe Haslam, Executive Director of the Owners' Scaleup Program at IE Business School
I speak to Joe Haslam in this week's episode of the Bet On Yourself podcast, who has spent his entire career starting and building businesses and is now passing his wisdom on to the next generation of business leaders. Joe has seen several businesses scale from their infancy to having multi-million dollar balance sheets, and has an unrivalled insight into what it takes to overcome the inevitable imposter syndrome and create win-win situations for you and your bosses. Returning to his roots in academia, Joe is now leading the Owners' Scaleup Program at IE Business School in Madrid, Spain, teaching students how to not only find, but to create success.
June 22, 2022
Connecting the dots with Nicole Lapin, author of Rich Bitch
In the latest episode of the Bet On Yourself podcast, I spoke to former CNN, CNBC and Bloomberg news anchor Nicole Lapin to talk about how she flipped her career on its head, leaving the news desk behind to become a best-selling author. Despite not coming from a background in finance, Nicole has overcome her sense of imposter syndrome to master the money conversation, making finance a more accessible and transparent topic for her readers. Already a four-time published author, Nicole now has a seven-book deal in the pipeline as she continues sharing her incredible stories and insight with the world.
June 15, 2022
The power of presence with Kathryn Finney, founder of The Budget Fashionista and author of Build The Damn Thing
This episode with Kathryn Finney, the Budget Fashionista turned entrepreneur, investor and author, examines how identifying opportunity can lead to untold success – but this isn't just Kathryn's story. Her own father's career change gave her a "lesson on living", and from there she has gone on to make a hugely positive impact on the world, and as a result has a beautiful, compelling and engaging story to tell.
June 08, 2022
Engineering serendipity with David Siegel, CEO of Meetup
This episode with David Siegel, CEO of Meetup, explores finding your "why" and then the "how" in order to create new career opportunities and engineer serendipity. We also talk about David’s new book, Decide & Conquer, his relationship with WeWork’s Adam Neumann and how growing up in a tight-knit community shaped his career path.
June 01, 2022
#040 Jessica Bataille, Interior Designer & Founder - Creating Magic Moments
I am thrilled to have Jessica Bataille as my guest this week. She is an incredible entrepreneur and dear friend. Jessica Bataille has been in the world of interior design for more than two decades. She was born in Holland, to a Dutch father and a Lebanese mother, and moved to Jávea, Spain when she was 12 which has been her base and inspiration ever since. She is a lover of the beauty of simplicity and master of the Mediterranean lifestyle.  Her career in interior design began in 1996 when she was a salesperson in a small shop in Pedreguer. In our conversation Jessica shares how she took just one tiny corner of that shop and made it her own. She got noticed for her signature style when she bucked against the design trends of the day and did something unexpected and fresh selling Mexican furniture that was vibrant and cohesive with her signature mediterranean style. She also shares a fun story about going the extra mile for these early customers that really set her apart. She left 2 years later, in 1998, to establish her first shop and has grown astronomically ever since. Her company has grown into several brand divisions and to 50 employees. What really stands out to me in this conversation is not only her passion for her work and making the dreams of her clients come true - but sharing this with her larger community through her sustainable recycling and upcycling materials sourced from local artisans. She is truly mission, vision and value driven! And her passion is contagious! I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did!
December 02, 2021
#039 BONUS EPISODE - The Book Writing Process with Ann Hiatt
On this bonus episode, we’re carrying on from last week as I’m sharing with you some behind the scenes stories of becoming an author and the creative process I went through went writing my first book, Bet On Yourself. I’m also sharing with you the non-linear journey this took and why I decided to write it! You’ll hear the story, some context around it with some key takeaways, as well as actionable advice for you to implement into your life today. Have you ever thought about writing a book but not sure you have the time? Listen to the incredible story in this episode and you might think differently. If you wrote a book, what would your write about? What stories would you tell? What wisdom would you share?
November 24, 2021
#038 BONUS EPISODE: Ann Hiatt - Bet On Yourself Reading
This week on the podcast, we’re doing things a little differently. I’m going to be talking about my newly launched book, Bet On Yourself. This is going to be a summary reminder for those who already have the book, and a teaser for those who haven’t received it yet.  I’m also sharing some brand new content that none of you have heard before, some behind the scenes stories and three of my favorite excerpts!  Have you read Bet On Yourself? I’d love to hear what your favorite parts are and what resonated most with you!
November 17, 2021
#037 Kevin Brown, Speaker & Author of Unleash Your Hero - Recognizing and Owning Your Gifts
Today’s episode is with Kevin Brown - author, speaker and business exec. As you’ll hear in this conversation Kevin’s unconventional path to success taught him that winning in business and in life requires anything but conventional thinking. He grew up in Michigan where his blue-collar roots taught him the value of hard work and determination. He spent the last 20 years of his corporate career as part of a leadership team that built a little known family business into the #1 franchise in their industry with annual revenues exceeding $2 billion dollars. What really stood out to me in our conversation was Kevin’s willingness to let go of an accomplished dream and put himself out there into the unknown and take on something new. Since 2016, Kevin Brown has traveled the world pursuing a mission to share The HERO Effect® message with as many people and organizations as possible. I was intrigued by how he empathized that speaking isn’t his passion - but his gift.  In his newly published book, Unleashing Your Hero, Kevin shares how the heroes who transformed his life are people just like you.  We talk about the inspiration behind writing the book and some of the key concepts he writes about. I was mind blown by his definition of ‘’heroes’’ and think you might be too.
November 10, 2021
#036 Molly Masters, Founder of Books That Matter - The Startup Adventures
My guest today is Molly Masters who founded Books That Matter in 2017, while still in her second year at university studying English Literature. She is hugely passionate about women’s writing, feminism and activism. Molly created this subscription box company as a way to raise up the voices of women writers and creatives (including transgender and non-binary persons), and to create a platform for social change and empowerment. Today’s conversation is not one to be missed! Molly’s story is the definition of humble beginnings. I first met her at a networking event in Bristol, which she couldn’t afford to attend but managed to hustle her way in. I immediately knew she was special! We talked about all the learnings, pivots and adventures of launching her start up, Books That Matter, thanks to a competition hosted by her university. You’ll want to hear her tell you how she not only was the only non-MBA student to apply but she was the first female winner in the history of the competition. We go into the messy details of starting a business and how you can fill in those knowledge gaps. Molly walks us through the exponential growth she’s experienced since launching and throughout the pandemic (growing from her apartment floor, to an outdoor storage container to a full fulfillment center). She’s gone from countless rejections and packing the boxes herself, to becoming one of the biggest book subscription boxes in the UK! We also talked about recognizing the need to start building a team and what that looked like for Books That Matter. Spoiler alert: Passion alignment is *everything*! Finally, Molly talks us through the biggest challenges she’s faced so far! You don’t want to miss this episode. Let’s dive in!
November 03, 2021
#035 Garrett Peek, Team Lead in Garmin Labs - Connecting the Dots in Retrospect
My guest today is Garrett Peek. Garrett is a Team Lead in Garmin Labs working on disruptive product innovation. He is responsible for guiding the research, design, development, launch and growth of new products with hundreds of millions of enthusiastic customers.. Before joining Garmin, Garrett cofounded several startups and worked for Zynga after the acquisition of OMGPOP, where he designed the hit mobile game Draw Something. As you’ll hear in this conversation, Garrett's career has been a wild ride. I can tell you now that things didn’t always go according to plan. From a young age, he was known for his building and creating, whether it be lego or painting. He spent a lot of time thinking how he might be able to use or apply these skills in the ‘’real’’ world. After graduating, Garret decided he wanted to move to Boston to be closer to a friend, but after 28 job applications, 1 response and no job offers, he had to reassess. This didn’t last for long, as before he knew it he struck lucky and was helping put together pitches for Super Bowl commercials. Garrett talked about how the moment you realize that you’re hitting your comfort zone, is the moment you’re prime for disruption - I loved this! Garrett discusses the common themes to success throughout his career, which he says come down to three things: 1- what teams would I be useful on, 2- how do I make myself indispensable, and 3- what is FUN to me. He’s also pretty good at reading the room, but I’ll let him tell you that story. Garret also highlights the importance of interviewing the company, as well as being interviewed by them. Have you ever asked what you are going in to solve during an interview? Like most of our guests, Garrett didn’t have a plan and only now, looking back retrospectively, has he been able to connect the dots! I think this episode is sure to become a fan favorite!
October 28, 2021
#034 Vanessa Vallely OBE, Managing Director of WeAreTheCity - Betting On Yourself!
My guest today, Vanessa Vallely, embodies everything we celebrate on this podcast! I am thrilled to introduce her to you.  Vanessa Vallely is the CEO and founder of, which has 140,000 female members. Vanessa's corporate experience stems from a 25 year career in Banking, holding roles such as Head of Governance, Business Management & COO across nine financial institutions. Vanessa has won 22 awards for her work in finance, gender equality, entrepreneurship and charity - including OBE - which stands for the order of the British Empire award - for her services to Women and the Economy 2018. Vanessa is an accomplished founder, entrepreneur and global speaker. In this episode, we discussed so many incredible things! First, we discuss one of my favorite topics, creating opportunities even when they appear limited. Vanessa’s story really illustrates the art of punching above your weight and being brave enough to raise your hand. Vanessa also tells us about how she dreamt about working in the financial industry and how she made that happen, despite not having the typical academic background. Yes, she faced her fair amount of ‘'no's'' along the way. If you want to hear more, you'll have to listen to the episode! 
October 20, 2021
#033 Matt Teper, Editorial Director at Google - Becoming an Intrapreneur
Matt Teper is the Editorial Director at Google, where he is the leader and cofounder of the Google Ink editorial team. The team is responsible for defining and refining the Google voice on all of Google’s primary content platforms, including the Keyword blog and social channels, as well as in major speeches, executive presentations, op-ed's, and all manner of creative and editorial work. (You know, it’s just a small job! I’m tired just reciting all of that!) Matt came to Google in 2012, from the White House, where he served as then-Vice President Joe Biden's chief speechwriter for the first three-plus years of the Obama administration. He has no plans to go back to Washington, but he wishes his former boss well in his new job. For Matt’s next job, he hopes to become the offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers. He has a bachelor’s of journalism degree from the University of Texas and a JD from the University of Wisconsin. Matt lives in Palo Alto with his wife Jaime, daughters Devin and Peri, and a truly ridiculous dog named Mona. This episode has MANY highlights, here are my favorites: -Matt kicks off the conversation talking about his unconventional path to success - bartending, backpacking around Europe, food critiquing and attending law school before moving to DC and ending up essentially living on Air Force 2 as a speech writer for Vice President Biden. This is just a teaser of what’s to come in this episode! -We discuss how being open to and taking a chance on opportunities that came his way created an unexpected career pathway for him. He’s not afraid to admit that luck and timing has been a huge part of his journey. -After his time at the White House, he decided to take on a new adventure. He was told that with his experience, he could literally ''go anywhere and do anything’’. He realized his childhood dream of playing in the NBA probably wasn’t a viable option and settled on working at Google, where he wouldn’t have to ever wear a suit and tie again. FYI if you are listening with little ones around that this episode is unbeeped to preserve the original, carefree spirit of the conversation.
October 13, 2021
#032 Jonathan Fields - The Good Life Guy
This is the final episode of Season 3. I know! Where has the time gone? I’ve learned so much and been so inspired! I think this episode is a great capstone to the season! My guest today is Jonathan Fields, who you might know as the Good Life Guy who delivers insights that spark purpose, possibility, and potential. I think Jonathan and I are kindred spirits as he too is on a decades-long quest to discover what makes people come fully alive. Jonathan’s list of accomplishments and accolades is long! He is an award-winning author, Webby-nominated producer, business innovator, and host of one of the world’s top podcasts, Good Life Project (of which I am a big fan!). But you don’t have to take just my word for it! The Wall Street Journal named Good Life Project one of the top self-development podcasts, and Apple featured it on-stage during its legendary annual product event. Jonathan is featured widely in the media, including The New York Times, FastCompany, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, CNN, The Guardian, O Magazine, SELF, Allure, Outside, Elle, Vogue, Fitness, and thousands of other outlets. (I messed up right here twice - hope it;s an easy cut in editing!) In addition to writing award-winning and bestselling books like, Sparked: Discover Your Unique Imprint for Work that Makes You Come Alive, How to Live a Good Life, and Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel For Brilliance, Jonathan has founded several companies with a focus on maximizing human potential. The most recent is Spark Endeavors, where he is the chief architect and driving force behind the world’s first purpose, engagement, and flow archetypes–the Sparketypes®. This powerful tool has been tapped by over 500,000 individuals and organizations, generating a rapidly growing, global data-set, and insight-based solutions to help transform how we work, lead and live.
September 15, 2021
#031 Marc Polymeropoulos - Clarity In Crisis
This week on the podcast, my guest is Marc Polymeropoulos. Marc retired from the Senior Intelligence Service ranks in 2019 after serving for 26 years in the Intelligence Community in operational field and leadership assignments. Marc is one of IC's most highly decorated field officers and has honed a unique leadership style based on decision making under pressure, inclusivity, camaraderie, and competition. My conversation with Marc kicks off with a fascinating story on how he gained his global perspective at a really young age. He talks to us about the skills that make a good intelligence officer and how he cultivated talent in non-traditional hires. You won’t want to miss a second of this one! His book "Clarity in Crisis:  Leadership Lessons from the CIA" was published in June 2021 by Harper Collins. You can get your copy now from your favorite retailer! You can find the full episode here and on your favorite podcasting platform now.
September 08, 2021
#030 Dave Clark, Parter at Expa and Former Head of Astronaut Relations at Virgin Galactic - Firing, Hiring & Finding What You Love
We’re carrying on with last week’s format as I’m sharing with you some of the core segments from a master’s course I’ve been teaching on the Secrets of Silicon Valley at a university in Barcelona. In this course I am presenting the methods and systems of success that can be replicated anywhere in the world to disrupt any market and achieve success. And yes, I mean anywhere. In this course I have brought in the smartest people I know and asked them for their own secrets of success. This week we’ll be talking to Dave Clarke about firing, hiring and finding what you love, as well as some crazy stories from his exceptional career. Let’s go… Dave Clark has had what some would describe as an unbelievable, or even unattainable career, having worked with some of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs to help them transform their moonshot goals into reality. He has worked with Richard Branson on the Virgin Galactic space program, with Travis Kalanick at Uber and Larry Page and Sebastian Thrun at Kittyhawk. He’s now a general partner at EXPA, helping more entrepreneurs make their dreams come true. As you can probably imagine, he has plenty of crazy stories to tell! I’ll let Dave share the details of how he ended up on this wild path with you…
September 01, 2021
#029 Patrick Leddin, Author & Co-Founder of Leddin Group - Defining Your Career
My guest today is Patrick Leddin who exhibits incredible hands-on leadership and management experience coupled with academic rigor and expertise. He started his career serving in the U.S. Army airborne, infantry and as a ranger- qualified officer and then worked as a Project Manager at KPMG Consulting. He next went on to co-found and run an Inc. 5000 recognized consulting firm. In addition to his work at Leddin Group, Patrick is an Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University as well as recently publishing his 3rd book The 5 Week Leadership Challenge. Our conversation starts with Patrick describing how he transitioned into various military roles and how he understood the importance of knowing what he was good at and decided to explore career options proactively - recognizing that it’s in his nature to always be looking out for the next best thing. This observation leads us to deep dive into what it means to be ‘’good’’ at something, getting comfortable being uncomfortable and why it’s important to sometimes show vulnerability. We then shift the conversation to managing teams. Patrick explains how he built up trust and gained respect as a young leader managing teams of people older, and in some ways more experienced than him. We look at the pivotal moments that defined his career, and whether these are recognizable in the moment, or if this is something we identify only in retrospect. Finally, he talks to us about his new book, the 5 week leadership challenge and how he’s transformed his leadership principles into actionable daily lessons. Let's dive right in!
August 25, 2021
#028 Suhair Khan, Strategy at Google and Founder of Open/Ended Design - Secrets to Silicon Valley Success
This week is taking a different format on the Bet On Yourself podcast as I’m sharing with you some of the core segments from a master’s course I’m currently teaching on the Secrets of Silicon Valley at a university in Barcelona. In this course I am presenting the methods and systems of success that can be replicated anywhere in the world to disrupt any market and achieve success. And yes, I mean anywhere. In this couse I have brought in the smartest people I know and as them for their own secrets of success. This week we’ll be talking to Suhair Khan about recognizing misalignment and trusting the path you’re on, even through failure and disappointment. Let’s go… Suhair works on strategy at Google and over the last decade at Google she has led numerous successful global initiatives and partnerships at Google Arts & Culture, in addition to working on other teams and projects globally. Don’t be mistaken, Suhair’s path wasn’t as linear as it sounds. She started her career early on in investment banking on Wall Street before realizing this wasn’t where her passions lied.
July 29, 2021
#027 Chelsea Maclin, CMO at Lunchclub and former VP of Marketing at Bumble - Finding Your Purpose
My guest today is Chelsea Maclin. Chelsea is the Chief Marketing Officer at Lunchclub where she leads the company marketing initiatives that drive brand awareness and user growth. Prior to joining Lunchclub, Chelsea served as Vice President of Marketing at dating and social networking app Bumble. During her time there, Chelsea led Bumble’s global marketing initiatives, focusing on brand and cultural strategy, international brand campaigns, always-on marketing, and integrated partnerships. Her cross-functional team worked to test, develop, and implement innovative marketing strategies to grow the brand internationally. She helped the company launch its newest vertical, Bumble Bizz, and developed go-to-market strategies for regions including Canada and Mexico. In her four years at Bumble, Chelsea helped the business scale from 10M to 100M registered users. Chelsea has spent her marketing career honing her expertise in scaling technology-based B2C and B2B businesses. She’s passionate about driving exponential, high-quality growth, and believes marketing is a vehicle to build impactful relationships with customers, create digital and physical communities, and ultimately solve societal problems. Both professionally and personally, Chelsea has a passion for social impact and supporting women-led businesses, and is deeply interested in the socioeconomic and cultural forces that shape and form human relationships. In her spare time, you’ll find Chelsea behind her favorite book, listening to podcasts, traveling, and on occasion, painting. In 2019, Chelsea was named Business Insider’s 20 CMOs to Watch. When she’s off the clock, Chelsea retires to Chief Mom Officer to her 2-year-old, Quinn. Our chat had many HIGHLIGHTS, but here are just a few teasers for what’s coming up: We start off talking about how her first job at Bub’s burgers gave her an (unexpected) early business foundation as well as how her passion for art taught her to express emotion. I really resonated with how Chelsea described her non-linear career path and how she thought she would be an art curator. After graduating, she realized her path would look different to what she expected as she started working in affiliate marketing at a startup. After this, Chelsea proactively reached out to Whitney Wolfe through social media and joined Bumble in 2016 for a wild and amazing ride. We talk about what it was like building up the foundation and culture of Bumble and the importance of mission driven decision making. She also discusses the things they practiced in her teams while rapidly scaling, such as ‘’radical candor with radical kindness’’ and ‘’scrappy not crappy’’. We then move on to Maclin’s new role at LunchClub, where they’re breaking down barriers and offering people unique opportunities to connect with people outside of their network. Chelsea explains how she defined her purpose and curated her core values over a decade, helping her to make decisions every day. Stay tuned to the end to hear some of the success stories she’s experienced in her new role!  I am a huge fan of Chelsea’s (to say the least) and walked away feeling not only inspired but empowered. I think you will to!
July 21, 2021
#026 Jesper Ambrosius, Director of Environmental Product Innovation at the LEGO Group - Learning by Watching & Playful Mindsets
My guest today is Jesper Ambrosius of LEGO. The career journey that brought him there is fascinating! He graduated with a double-Bachelor's in Media Science and Economics and then got a Master’s in Economics from Aarhus and Sydney University. Throughout his career, he has been working within primarily leadership and strategy – both with his own teams and as a strategy partner for several executives. He started out as a management trainee in the global telco company Telenor where he later took on two different leadership positions. In 2015, he joined The LEGO Group, (every kid’s dream, right?!) working on strategic initiatives with key partners including LEGO’s Chief Marketing Officer and the Chief People Officer. Later, he helped establish LEGO Workplace Experience, which played a crucial role in LEGO during COVID-19, and he now heads up Environmental Product Innovation. Jesper lives in Aarhus, Denmark, with his wife Signe and their three children aged 3, 6, and 8 (who all happen to love their father’s job at The LEGO Group!) This conversation has many highlights: We talked about Jesper’s first ever jobs where he proves the importance of being open to opportunities that might change your direction or path. He talks about how all the different jobs and working with all kinds of people at the start of his career broadened his perspective. He then answers your burning question of what it’s like to work at LEGO and the strategies he's applied to design and build exciting, collaborative and creative workplace experiences, improving talent attraction and employee retention globally. Jesper also discusses the pivots they’ve had to make throughout the pandemic, and how they’re adapting their strategies to a new hybrid model. Ambrosius walks us through how he’s cultivating a culture within his team and the challenges of doing this remotely. Stay tuned to the end where Jesper discusses the ‘’playful mindset’’ and how he hopes this will become more prevalent throughout the LEGO group. Just writing this intro got me excited to listen to this conversation again!
July 15, 2021
#025 Pia Huusfelt, Global Business Leader at IKEA - Glorious Future!
Pia Huusfelt leads Circular Innovation and Transformation at INGKA Group, which includes designing future circular business models for IKEA. Her work as the Global Business Leader at IKEA is focused on human-centered design and innovation, exploring and testing ideas iteratively to quickly learn and adjust practices. In this interview you will hear how Pia leads her teams through the unknown. This leadership style requires agile methodology including sprints, self-managing teams and high adaptability - which are all themes we get into in this interview. As you will hear, Pia has had a rich and non-linear career path which is incredibly inspiring. -Her first job was as a PA in the fishing industry, where she learned the foundations of business thanks to her CEO mentor. -She then moved on to telemarketing in banking, where she took a creative and innovative approach to marketing - Pia and I talk about how she’s never had a formal career plan, but is able to retrospectively connect the dots for how these roles prepared her to be the executive she is today. A theme that really stood out to me was how she leads her teams at IKEA by creating thoughtful structure in order to channel their creativity. -In her team, they engage in short, 3 week sprint cycles where the individuals decide which projects they want to take on. This works for them because of how aligned they are! Pia also discusses some of her best practices for new and creative ways of working together and connecting throughout the pandemic, such as walking meetings and even remote scavenger hunts. This team really knows how to make work fun! We wrap up our conversation talking about how she feels the Scandinavian DNA queues them up for success. Oh, and her vision for a GLORIOUS FUTURE! Her enthusiasm is infectious. I think you’re really going to enjoy this one!
July 07, 2021
#024 Panni Morshedi, COO of Beauty Pie - Knowing Your Strengths
In this episode, we’re talking to Panni Morshedi, COO at Beauty Pie. She’s in charge of restructuring and transforming the company’s business operations, focusing on product development and technology. Former International MD at Funding Circle UK, Morshedi has extensive experience in scaling up businesses and international expansion. Panni shares how she started her career in consulting after promising her dad that she would get a ‘’real job’’ once she graduated as a History major. However, after a poor review from her first 6 months as a consultant, she decided to make a move from the analytical projects to the strategic ones where her strengths lied and became the top billing consultant within 2 years. Morshedi also discussed some of the sliding door moments that she leaned into (such as getting rejected from a banking job) that changed her future for the better. At the end of the episode, we talk about the biggest lessons and takeaways from her career that will contribute to her legacy. Are you ready?
July 01, 2021
#023 Dex Hunter-Torricke, Head of Communications for the Facebook Oversight Board - Foundation Building
My first guest of the season, Dex Hunter-Torricke, has had a very rich career! He is currently the head of communications for the Oversight Board, the independent body that makes binding decisions on Facebook’s most challenging content issues. Earlier in his career, Dex has worked with leaders across the tech industry and politics, including as head of communications for SpaceX with Elon Musk, head of executive communications for Facebook - including four years as speechwriter for Mark Zuckerberg - and as Google’s first executive speechwriter, where he supported CEO Eric Schmidt (which is how we first met). Before that, he was a speechwriter for the office of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Dex is also a New York Times-bestselling ghostwriter and frequent public speaker on technology issues. In fact, I highly recommend you watch his recent TEDx talk called How to Change the World - A Practical Guide Our conversation was fascinating! We start off our chat talking about how Dex had a career plan which he thought would be linear and in the public sector. Then he realized he could have just as big of an impact, if not more, in the private sector. This was a realization that I too had in my career bridging academia and technology. So Dex shifted from government into tech, starting off at Google, where everything was very fast-paced. He and I exchanged some stories about how in those early years of the company everything you volunteered to help with you ended up owning by the end of the day. Our conversation then goes into the key differences between business and tech in the US and Europe and how the generational divide, geographical and linguistic boundaries affect our work- since Dex and I have both worked in Silicon Valley and Europe across careers. I then asked Dex to talk about what it’s like to write for some of the most quoted executives in the world. He said ‘’you're not trying to invent a voice, you're trying to unearth it’’ and ‘’figuring out what they really believe in''. This part of the conversation was very profound for me. And I couldn’t resist the temptation to ask him about all the speeches he’s written that have never been used. You’re definitely going to want to stay tuned until the end of our chat when we dive into his current role as the Head of Communications for the Oversight Board Administration, why this organization exists and the foundational issues it's trying to address. There are no easy answers and that made this part of our chat particularly fascinating! You’re not going to want to miss a minute of this! Let’s dive in!
June 23, 2021
#022 Creating a Legacy
Most define Legacy as how we will be remembered after we die. What will live on because we were once here? But could it be more powerful to think about it as a living thing you are creating right now - today? As we come to the end of Season 2 on the Bet On Yourself podcast, we’re talking about creating your legacy. About not waiting for retirement to focus on meaning and purpose and looking towards the future in order to create a better you today. You do not need to be Einstein, or a tech CEO to think about legacy. You are big enough to leave a wake! What do you want your legacy to be? EXTRA RESOURCES: Book, “Your Leadership Legacy: Why Looking Toward the Future Will Make You a Better Leader Today” HBR article, Steve Jobs’ Legacy; Design Your Own Life HBR article, Don’t Leave a Legacy; Live One HBR article, Create Your Legacy as a Leader HBR article, How to Think About Building Your Legacy
June 16, 2021
#021 Mastering Pivots
In this episode, we’re talking about mastering pivots. Realizing what is holding you back, what you desire and need or want more of, and refocusing on joy. In the first half, we’ll be dissecting an interview between Adam Grant and Ariana Huffington about Adam’s most recent book, Think Again and the pivots he made. Even his own core values shifted! We’ll dig into what keeps us healthy and happy in life, and where you should invest your time and energy now. What is your major life goal? Does it correlate to happiness? Close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives. They keep us both happier and healthier. In fact, those who are more connected to their friends and family and community literally live longer. Are you sleep walking through life? Master the pivot and create a life of happiness and inspiration for yourself.
June 09, 2021
#020 Compassionate Leadership
This week, on the Bet On Yourself podcast we're talking about compassionate leadership. The framework for this episode, has been inspired by an interview I heard with Amy Jen Su, the author of The Leader You Want To Be: Five Essential Principles for Bringing Out Your Best Self--Every Day. In this book, she outlines 5 key leadership principles that we’ll dive into in detail throughout this episode. Amy distinguishes between two leadership options, leader A where we’re being our best selves and seeing challenges as opportunities, and leader B, where we’re less efficient, resistant to the moment and feel stressed, overwhelmed. To shift the balance and become like Leader A more often, we should be looking into adopting these 5 key leadership elements - the 5 P’s. How much time do you spend as Leader A vs Leader B? I’ll highlight some examples of highly effective and successful leaders who also lead with extreme compassion, such as Brian Chesky and Niren Chaudhary. Who are your favorite leaders? What qualities do you look for in a leader? Thanks for listening! Extra Resources: Being happy and living at the moment: Aisha Chaudhari - Ted Talk Amy Jen Su book - The Leader You Want To Be: Five Essential Principles for Bringing Out Your Best Self--Every Day
June 02, 2021
#019 Creativity & Moonshots
A moonshot, in the tech space, is an ambitious, groundbreaking project, undertaken, where you’re not worried about near term profitability or mistakes learned along the way, and you’re probably defining success as you go. However, the term originally derives from the Apollo 11 space flight project. Yesterday we celebrated the 60th anniversary of moonshot thinking. In 1961, on may 25th, J F Kennedy stated that he would land the first man on the moon. In this episode, we’ll look at a moonshot case study and examples from Googles Moonshot factory, X, as well as the golden ratio of innovation. We’ll then look at how you can apply these moonshot goals apply to you as an individual. Learn, grow and get stronger! Extra Resources: Bet On Yourself Podcast with Pablo Rodriguez, Moonshot Ambassador
May 26, 2021
#018 Building a Purposeful Culture
This week on the podcast, we’re talking about purposeful cultures. From building them to finding and choosing the right industry, company and team for you. Do you feel like your work is aligned with your purpose? In this episode, I talk about what culture actually means, and how we can build a great one. I walk us through the principles that have guided and shaped Amazon’s culture and how they’ve impacted all of their key decisions throughout their journey. They use these every day every day, whether they’re discussing ideas for new projects or deciding on the best approach to solving a problem. Finally, I’ll discuss how we can apply this to ourselves as individuals, not as leaders, through establishing your purpose, being vulnerable and building safety. I challenge you this week to create an action list of “mechanisms” for how you will reinforce this culture/values How will you keep yourself accountable? What habits will you form or break? What tribe will you assemble and in what format will you convene? How will you celebrate milestones? What will you focus on? Have a great week! Ann
May 19, 2021
#017 Communication for Collaboration and Advancement
Some goals we can accomplish alone. However most meaningful advancement requires collaboration. In today’s episode we’re going to discuss 1- knowing what to ask for, 2- identifying what is holding us back from getting help, 3- How to ask for what we need (especially when we have little authority or we’re need buy-in difficult people). My job was often to persuade and guide the brightest business minds in the world. How could I do that - especially early in my career?! These are the tried and tested techniques that worked for me even with the most challenging personalities. Hopefully this episode inspires you to take some steps towards something that really matters to you can invite in collaborators who will open doors for you to accomplish them. You got this! Extra resources: HBR article by Adam Grant titled Persuading the Unpersuadable
May 12, 2021
#016 Maintaining Grit & Avoiding Burnout
In this week’s episode of Bet On Yourself, we’re talking about maintaining grit and avoiding burnout. I think we all need this more than ever! I've shared the three types of burnout we experience and the very different ways of combating each. The first type I talk about is exhaustion, described as feeling depleted mentally or physically. The most effective way to get out of feeling exhausted is “re-energizing acts of self-care”. The second type of burnout I discuss is cynical detachment, which is a depletion of social connectedness. A longing for what we can do to restore a feeling of connection. What works for exhaustion doesn’t alleviate cynical detachment. In fact, it might make it feel even more acute! What might help if you’re experiencing this kind of burnout, is being kind to others. This can help you regain a sense of connectedness and belonging in your community. The third and final type of burnout I walk us through in this episode is reduced sense of efficacy, described as a depletion of value for oneself. The most effective behavior to combat a low self esteem are acts focused on building your positive sense of self. Remember that taking a break and focusing on yourself is one of the best ways to not only combat exhaustion and burnout but to prevent it. Take some action today to combat burnout. Find what will fill you back up and take control of your future by carving out some agency in how you spend your time and energy. You have more control than you think! Don’t forget to leave a review and subscribe! Email me your questions, opinions or stories at I’d love to hear from you! Extra Resources: HBR article, Your Burnout Is Unique. Your Recovery Will Be, Too. HBR article, Empowered (ex: Amazon’s Just Do It award) HBR Presents ColdCall podcast, “Is Happiness at Work Really Attainable?” with Simon Cohen The New Way We Work podcast, “How to Focus When It’s All Just Too Much” wth Dr Art Markman Trained podcast Alia Crum, PhD | Harnessing the Power of Your Mind The book, Mindest, by Carol Dweck
May 05, 2021
#015 Data Driven Decision-making
Self-Management is about having freedom from constraints and assuming the authority to make decisions about how to be most effective in your tasks and responsibilities. Work becomes not only more fun but more meaningful when we feel autonomy to align our work with our strengths, passions and personal mission and to empower those on our teams to do the same. When we feel overwhelmed and ineffective it usually comes from being too absorbed in processes and losing sight of the purpose of our work - which is what makes it motivating. This is how DDD can focus us on where our efforts lead to the most results. This is how we work smarter, not harder. So, take a step back from your daily routine and refocus on the purpose of your work. Measure and then celebrate your wins! I would love to hear your experiences trying out Job Crafting so please share your results with us! References: Job Crafting by Amy Wrzesniewski Adam Grant Work Life Podcast - A World Without Bosses
April 28, 2021
#014 Maximizing the Power of your Team
This week on the Bet On Yourself podcast, we’re talking about creating teams and tribes of people who lift and inspire us. We’ll focus on how to hire and get hired in high impact environments, maximizing the power of your team and making life richer through purposefully curated inspiring environments. In the pandemic we have realized the value of time and new experiences. Let’s take control of this now that we have more ability to do so. We can literally make each day richer and pass slower! I’ll share with you Eric Schmidt’s best practices for staying innovative and using your time well. Have you realized that you want to pivot to something new? More meaningful? Does your role, environment and how you spend your time reflect your values? If you don’t have options in your job choices, you can still take some control, listen in for some top tips. Next, I’ll go through hiring processes from a recruiters perspective and discuss how you can build diverse teams for rich results and translate your values into hiring standards. Finally, make sure to stay to the end if you’re thinking about bringing on a co-founder, as I answer the question ‘’what should you be looking for in them?’’ It’s an episode packed full of knowledge… Let me know what you think or if you have any more questions on this topic. I’ll see you next week, Ann PS: In this episode, I also talk about the interview process at Amazon and the questions I was asked by Jeff Bezos!
April 21, 2021
#013 Startup Business Plans
Creating a Business Plan or Growth Plan isn’t just for companies. This episode is for entrepreneurs with ideas who want to know that their hard work is going to pay off within their existing business or in a side hustle or startup. It is also for individuals who want to level up, be seen as a leader, and make a bigger impact. This is about disruptive growth - for yourself, your career and/or your company! So, how do you know if you are an entrepreneur? 1st - Are you curious? (you like to learn, read, ask questions about topics you know nothing about - not only your strong zones?) 2nd does your curiosity translate to imagination? (are you thinking about new solutions to existing problems?) 3rd do these ideas translate to action? (Do you seek out resources, problem solvers and communities to move you towards results?) That’s the difference between some with an idea and someone who is an entrepreneur. Are you willing to actually take that action? Are you willing to let go of the familiar and start something new? I also talk about the golden ratio, from Pablo Rodriguez, for risk taking and investment. If you invest 70% into your core business, 20% into adjacent and 10% into disruptive, the results will be the inverse (when you are persistent): 10% results from your core business, 20% from adjacent and 70% from your disruptive business - don’t forget that the key here is persistence. These results aren’t immediate Finally, we’ll focus the conversation around three books: Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton Christensen, The Lean Startup by Rick Ries and Blue Ocean Strategy by by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. Curious? Listen now and let me know how you’ve implemented this week’s topic! What big bets have you taken? What rewards have you seen from the risks you’ve taken? I’d love to hear your stories - email me at RESOURCES: HBR podcast interview When Startups Scrapped the Business Plan Alex Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas
April 14, 2021
#012 Balancing Your Ambitions & Avoiding Burnout
In this week’s Bet On Yourself episode, we’ll be building on our foundation conversation and talking about how to balance our ambitions, cultivate environments which inspire and energize us and avoid the dreaded burnout. We’ll talk about the best practices I’ve witnessed and given to my CEO clients, and share some stories from my past at Google and Amazon. We’ll also discuss Pareto’s principle, passing the monkey and ways in which you can protect your time, to give you the space to do the things you love the most and regain control of your calendar. Did you enjoy this week’s episode? Let me know what resonated with you on social media or via my web page!
April 09, 2021
#011 Purpose, Mission & Values
On this week’s episode, we’re focusing on setting a firm foundation. This can be broken down into three parts: what is a purposeful mission, vision and value statement, second is how we’re going to convert that into a North Star and third, how do we implement that. We also walk through the HBR article ‘’From Purpose to Impact’’ and discuss why purpose is important, how do we define it, how do we find it and how do we implement it in a way that’s not overwhelming. A compelling purpose has three important parts: 1. It clarifies what you or your company stand for 2. It provides and impetus for action 3. It’s aspirational It’s equally important to know what it’s not; it’s not a statement so generic that it could apply to anyone, and it’s not limited to your current position or company. Here are 3 questions you might want to ask yourself that might help you figure out your purpose: What did you especially love when you were a child? Think about two of your most challenging life experiences, how did they shape you? What do you enjoy doing in your life now that makes you soar? Recommended HBR article - From purpose to Impact:
March 31, 2021
#010 Future Proof Your Career - Recognize, Own & Implement
I have been through several pivots and economic crises across my career working directly with major CEOs such as Jeff Bezos at Amazon immediately after the 2001 DotCom bust and Eric Schmidt at Google during the 2008 economic crisis. I also coached my global CEO consulting clients who are spread out over 4 continents during the 2020 pandemic. This podcast episode walks you through how to future-proof your career! I present the best practices of employees and leaders who have not only survived but thrived during crises. We'll walk through examples and ways in which you can implement these, with replicable steps to help you plan and future-proof your career! Future-proof isn't just STEM or anticipating how we will incorporate or compete with robots and AI. It also isn't about solely focusing on the highest paid jobs or highest growth industries because these might not equal happiness for you. I can tell you with assurity that there is no positive correlation between the highest paying jobs and happiness, and a lack of happiness is not future-proof! Being future-proof means consistently doing things you haven't done before and leveling up. I believe anyone can become future-proof, (re)gain control, and do so consistently regardless of the role, seniority or industry. In this episode we'll walk through your personal ROI. This is a formula I've created to help you Recognize opportunities, Own your big dreams and Implement these new habits into your life. This is a pivot from the traditional definition of ROI, or return on investment, but that also applies here. #1 RECOGNIZE - DEFINE SUCCESS This is all about recognizing where you want to go and who you want to go there with. It's about recognizing opportunities when options may appear limited. In order to do this, we must have a clear definition of what success looks like to us, so that when opportunities arise, we spot them early. #2 OWN IT - REINVEST & REINVENT YOURSELF It's time to own your big dreams and believe in yourself. Reinvesting in skills, up-levelling your knowledge, improving your network and taking advantage of the pivot moments. Working towards your end goals and constant improvement. #3 IMPLEMENT - ENDLESS CYCLE OF WORK & PIVOTS By this point, you should have all the tools you need to create an action plan. Think about being purposeful and proactive, instead of reactionary, to help you turn your dreams into reality. Let’s dive right in and create a future you can be proud of! Remember to download the free worksheet at 
March 24, 2021
Season Two - Introduction
Welcome to the second season of the Bet on Yourself podcast. I want to do something really big for our quickly growing audience of loyal listeners! Over the next three months I am going to dedicate each podcast episode to answering the most frequently asked questions I get from my consulting clients. For free! No consulting fees! And not just teasers of the concepts - but the actual best practices and implementation plans! No, you do not need to be a CEO like my clients are, or raising a series C, or even founding a company for this to apply to you. The truth is that the foundational issues being faced by these CEOs apply to anyone with ambitious goals - regardless of your current title or career stage. Be sure to tune in each week for top tips, best practices and doses of inspiration around the following topics. We will start off with ways in which you can create a future-proof career - even in an environment of massive uncertainty. The secret here is that it has more to do with understanding your values, goals, mission and setting a purposeful plan for inserting them into the core part of your work and life than titles, promotions or raises. We will then talk about how to balance our ambitions, cultivate environments which inspire and energize us and avoid burnout. Next we’ll talk about the different elements of leadership; whether you’re a CEO, a manager, a project lead or even if you’re leading without formal authority. The best practices are all the same! We want to create teams and tribes of people who lift and inspire us. We will also focus on how each of us can become that trusted resource for those around us too. In order to translate these ambitions and goals into results, we’ll next discuss how to make data driven decisions, avoid overwhelm, maintain our pace and grit over the long haul and communicate in ways that invite collaboration and empowerment. We will wrap it all up with a few episodes on motivation, time management, how to get specific and actionable feedback and how to create your roadmap to promotion. All of this will lead us to a conversation about our personal legacy and fulfilling our greatest potential. To help you out I’ll supplement these episodes with downloadable worksheets to help you convert these principles into action today! So get ready to make some big bets on yourself!
March 24, 2021
#009B Summary Episode - Kathleen Breitman
In this week’s episode, I’m summarizing the conversation I had with Kathleen Breitman about the insane career journey she’s had so far. Although most of that is hopefully not applicable to us, I did find some common themes that would be. Let’s dig in: First up, dealing with conflict, stress and bad actors: How to decide when to stay and when to go: Stay for: Exposure to leadership you want to emulate, project ownership that will accelerate your learning, fast growth (early stage company or industry disruptor) Leave if: Culture of disrespect, stagnant industry or culture, ceiling on growth opportunities What voices to listen to and what voices to ignore: Trusted advisors understand: Your values, your long term career strategy, those on the same growth path Ignore those who: Feel threatened by a shift in status quo, don’t understand or value your trajectory, aren’t investing in your growth How to deal with difficult people or disrespect Teach people how to treat you by: Purposely build up a relationship of trust (time, expertise, consistency), detailed examples of what is not acceptable, speak up in the moment Controlling Imposter Syndrome: Imposter Moment, don’t allow this to become a diagnosis of a permanent condition, acknowledge the moment and feeling and move on, refresh your goals, keep a list of accomplishments, ask for regular feedback, get actionable feedback and buy-in on your growth goals I hope you’ve found this week’s episode helpful, let me know how you’ve applied and implemented these concepts at - I’d love to know what you’ve found useful! Thanks for listening and see you soon, Ann
March 04, 2021
#009 Kathleen Breitman, Co-founder of Coase and Tezos - Dealing with Drama
In this episode of the Bet On Yourself podcast I’m talking with Kathleen Breitman who is a co-founder of Coase, a software company that aspires to lower transaction costs. She previously co-founded Tezos, a smart contract platform and cryptocurrency with an on-chain governance mechanism to coordinate and push upgrades to its network. She has also worked at Accenture, Bridgewater Associates, and The Wall Street Journal.’' This episode is crazy. It’s totally different from all the rest of the episodes we’ve had so far and I think you’re really going to enjoy it. In this chat Kathleen gives us a completely different perspective on all the disasters you would hope to avoid, and how she has handled them, when starting a company. Kathleen studied philosophy and got into the internet by chance. She met her now husband, Arthur, in her sophomore year who had a crypto currency project on the side that he was playing around with at the time. Kathleen describes this becoming an ‘’if you can’t beat them join them’’ moment, which is where her Crypto career started. In this interview Kathleen talks about levelling up and becoming an expert in a field you know nothing about - which is something I definitely relate to from my own career. She also touches on: -How working with her spouse as a co-founder accelerated their learning and growth by years. -The problems that arose after their funding rounds -Dealing with difficult board members -Trusting your instincts As well as going to your mentors for advice when you need them and knowing which voices to listen to and which to ignore. I really loved her honesty. I think she offers an interesting perspective and gives insight into the crypto world which I personally still find pretty confusing! Also, just a quick FYI that we’ve chosen not to beep a few instances of colorful language in this episode to keep the original tone with which Kathleen shared her journey. Buckle up! This one is fun!
February 24, 2021
#008B Summary Episode - Jill Hazelbaker, Career Challenges & Opportunities
Welcome back! In this week’s episode, I’m attempting to summarise last week’s conversation with the amazing Jill Hazelbaker. I’ll be focusing on three main takeaways regardless of the career stage you find yourself in. 1. How to create opportunities and deal with sea 2. Seeking out and leaning in to challenges 3. Maximising the lessons learned that come from the mistakes we make along the way 1. How to get opportunities (early!): Jill got her big first job by working for John McCain’s presidential campaign by raising her hand and being willing to go anywhere to help him, which helped her get recognized as someone willing to put in the work and also helped her get into the right rooms, where all the action was happening. Secondly, she wanted to work with people who where smart, ambitious and would challenge her. It might seem intimidating, but really this is where the growth happens. Jill also highlighted how she doubled down when others left the campaign and stayed with McCain because she felt aligned with his mission and values. This lead to her being one of the youngest female campaign directors ever, every single part was intimidating and new and something she’d never done before, but that’s how she got to where she is now. Big breaks came from her reputation preceding her and being sought out for specific projects (campaigns, Google, etc). “No one invites you in. You have to create your own space.”  Do your due preparation to contribute in advance. There is no such thing as over-preparing! 2. Baptism by fire Jill’s 1st day was when Google pulled out of China. At Uber she had to deal with Travis’ PR disaster, then losing the license in the UK with Dara’s start. Pace, intensity were familiar and thrilling, you learn to trust your instincts. Eric taught her about the value of being in the details and to drive the details. And to be willing to have the debate and then drive forward once the decisions have been made. Learns so much from the valuable mentors available. Google was the greatest training ground possible because so many things where happening simultaneously. (policy, M&A, scaling, global expansions, etc) 3. Lean in to mistakes for maximum benefit Focus on the substance and not the spin, give a real response if you’ve made a mistake. Be the first one to admit it and come with a plan of action to correct it. How will you use the mistake to your advantage? Focus on the benefits and the learnings. What are we taking away from this? If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not doing anything of impact. The mistakes of proof of you challenging yourself. Ask yourself consistently ‘’are we doing enough?’’ To get real engagement in the company it needs to be mission driven. You must be transparent and proactive. Put your head down and focus on the work and lift up all around you. Did you find this episode helpful? I’d love to hear your opinions, your stories or even just a hello! Thanks for listening and see you next week, Ann 
February 17, 2021
#008 Jill Hazelbaker, SVP at Uber - Career Challenges and Opportunities
This episode of the Bet On Yourself podcast is like no other! Jill Hazelbaker is the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Public Affairs at Uber, leading the teams and global efforts across marketing, communications, and public policy. You know, a small, uneventful job.  Jill and I discussed so many key things to surviving in a career as ambitious as hers: Jill talks about how you have to take the initiative and put yourself inside the rooms in which you want to work. This might mean moving anywhere for the job, working for people who want to challenge you and being willing to have uncomfortable debates. Jill also found that this often means staying the course when things get tough because you recognise the irreplaceable opportunities there. Before joining Uber, Jill led communications and public policy at Snap. Before Snap, Jill worked for Google, where she led PR across Europe, Middle East, and Africa, as well as government relations in Europe. Earlier in her career at Google, Jill ran the Corporate Communications team. Jill began her career in politics, having held leadership roles on many local, state, and federal election campaigns. In 2009, Jill served as Press Secretary to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg during his successful re-election campaign. In 2008, Jill was the National Communications Director and Chief Spokesperson for United States Senator John McCain's presidential campaign. I nodded like a bobble head when Jill explained that a key part of her career trajectory came from realizing that to be competitive you have to create your own space at the table by grabbing a chair (and not waiting to be given one). This is often the only way women’s voices, offering new perspectives, are heard in the rooms where decisions are being made. This was especially true for her at Snap and Uber where the ‘’bro culture’’ was heavily present when she started in the early years of those company’s evolutions. Right at the end of our conversation she also gives some great advice on how us normal people can make a difference in the area of misinformation to create a sense of togetherness And my favorite moment was when Jill explained that her inspiration for working the way she does is so that her children seeing her make a difference in the world. I can’t wait to hear your takeaways from this one! Please remember to share, rate and subscribe via your favorite podcast app - perhaps right now! Please enjoy!
February 10, 2021
#007B Summary Episode - Diversity with Christina Sass
This week on the podcast, I’m reflecting on last weeks conversation with Christina Sass, the co-founder of Andela. But before founding this company, she really worked her way to the top, she’s the true embodiment of all the qualities of Bet On Yourself. Want to hear about her career path? Tune in to the full episode. One of the topics we touched on is intrapreneurialism, when you have an entrepreneurial approach to a traditional job and seek out opportunities to stretch yourself beyond your job description. I loved the story Christina told about her time at the CGI, where she proactively sent a long email with recommendations on improvements they could make on one of their biggest events to make it more successful, and how this got her the attention of President Clinton himself. A theme that came up throughout the podcast, and throughout Christina’s career, was creating opportunities and opening doors for yourself, that wouldn’t necessarily be there without those extra efforts. This really resonated with me. We also discussed the winning formula they’ve created at Andela culture, talent and data-driven decisions, combined with psychological safety. This creates a purposeful environment with passion aligned employees. Your job should give to you as much as you give to it! Want to hear more? Listen now on all major podcasting platforms or on my website!
February 03, 2021
#007 Christina Sass, Co-founder of Andela - Diversity
In this week’s episode of the Bet On Yourself podcasts I’m talking with Christina Sass, the Co-Founder of Andela, which scales high-performing engineering teams by investing in Africa’s most talented software developers. In this conversation we covered a lot of ground! She has a treasure trove of actionable advice here. I personally resonated with how Christina focused on intrapreneurialism in her first jobs, by continually seeking out growth opportunities beyond her job description. She also highlighted the ways in which she, as an founder, has created a company focused on culture, talent and data-driven decisions with psychological safety at the core of her organisation We also discussed how we should make the effort to recommend women more since we, as women, tend to self opt out in a way our male counterparts don’t. She also gave some critical advice on knowing when to say no and where to focus your energy - which we all need in the current environment of global overwhelm and fatigue. These expert tips are drawn from her impactful career history. In just five years of founding Andela she has hired over 2000 developers and become known as the "Best Place to Work in Africa.” Andela has campuses in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Egypt. Andela developers work as full-time engineers with companies ranging from the Fortune 500 like Viacom and Microsoft to high-growth startups like Cloudflare and GitHub. Prior to founding Andela, Christina served as senior advisor to the president and CEO of the MasterCard Foundation and at the Clinton Global Initiative where she worked closely with President Clinton's office to create and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. This episode is impactful and will likely change the way you approach your work starting today! I am so happy to share this with you! Enjoy! Minute by Minute 03:30: Christina walks us through her foundation 06:30: Has their been a central theme that helped you identify opportunities? 11:20: How did you learn to trust your instincts? 17:30: What was your exit strategy? How do you recognise when to take on the next challenge? 22:16: Christina talks about finding her co-founder 29:00: Culture, talent and data-driven decisions 34:00: Christina gives us amazing insight into psychological security at the application stage 38:00: Supporting women 41:30: How do you know what to say no to and where to focus your energy? 45:20: Is there something that surprised you about scaling? 48:20: How do you ride that balance of hiring for seniority of skill but still remaining the authority figure? 51:20: What gives you hope for the future?
January 27, 2021
#006B Summary Episode - Serendipity with Martha Lane Fox
This week I’m summarising the conversation I had last week with Martha Lane Fox, who is a remarkable human being and a fascinating example of true leadership. The word that summarised this episode for me was serendipity and I think that’s what we’re really missing right now, those moments of spontaneity. So how can we create those moments? Martha introduced this concept describing the very early stages of her career, when her first job was really to become a cheerleader for the internet. She credits the success of her first company to a few things, and highlighted building trust and credibility about the internet with investors, users and employees. She had to build up this relationship which had never existed before. When we discussed how she survived the original DotCom Bust, Martha walked me through the following: 1- timing was everything and got lucky. Had enough cash enough to ride out the original bust. 2- Co-founding relationship was right. Had 2 people making the company grow fast. Able to do more breadth and depth by dividing and conquering. 3- Learned that success is all about the people. Empowered her young team Helped them feel real ownership and accountability. That is the secret. Martha describe herself as being a generalist and gets her focus comes being centred around her passions. Her earliest life passion was social justice, which is where she anticipated she would be addressing complex problems in prison systems but instead her roles in the internet and government are really united in this central theme of social justice, and being an advocate. I’ve also been thinking a lot about her TED Talk: “The Digital World is having a midlife Crisis!” and the 3 big questions she asked: 1- Will we look back in 10 years and be proud of the solutions we’ve created? 2- Have we got the right voices in the room? 3- Are we using the tools of the modern age in the best way we can? What would your answer be to these questions? What do you think? Finally, here’s a few ways on how you can create opportunities for yourself: Be willing to ask questions Shift from knowing nothing about a subject and one week later being a world’s expert. Shift from “know it alls to learn it alls”. There is an importance of Hinterland (meaning the depth and breadth of knowledge). “Success” rarely feels like “success” in the moment. It feels messy and anxious or subpar. No one feels it as a permanent state. What did you think of this week’s episode? I’d love to hear from you! Email me at :) Don’t forget to like, subscribe and rate the podcast Take care, Ann
January 20, 2021
#006 Martha Lane Fox, Entreprenuer, Internet Activist & Public Servant - Serendipity
Martha Lane Fox is a British entrepreneur, philanthropist, internet activist and public servant.  In this episode we cover topics like Serendipity and The Triple Bottom Line, as well as how the Digital World, like many of us, is having a midlife crisis and what we can do to increase our chances of coming out the other side better off for it.  Martha knows because she has experienced this rollercoaster a few times over in her career.  In 1998 Martha co-founded Europe’s largest travel and leisure website, with Brent Hoberman. They took it public in 2000 and sold it in 2005 in a historically successful exit. Martha became a crossbench peer in the UK House of Lords in March 2013 as it’s youngest female member and she was awarded a CBE (which is the highest ranking Order of the British Empire award given to recognise a positive impact made in her work.)  In March 2014 she was appointed Chancellor of the Open University and in 2017 she was appointed a member of the Joint Committee on National Security Strategy. Martha is a member of Twitter’s Board of Directors and Non Executive Director for Chanel. She is also a non executive director of Queens Commonwealth Trust. She founded Doteveryone in 2015 which is a charity fighting for a fairer internet and building a movement for responsible technology. In short, Martha is a remarkable human being and a fascinating example of true leadership.  You’ll want to stay tuned all the way to the end when Martha offers a surprising tip about how we can find solace, empathy and inspiration through Hinterland - which is expanding our depth and breadth of knowledge. You’re going to want to grab a paper and pen! There’s a lot of good stuff in here! Minute-by-minute summary: 03:30: What led you towards the digital space in the beginning? 05:20: What took you from the consulting firm to 06:50: What was the beginning of your journey like? 09:16: What was the process of your exit like? 12:30: Martha walks us through where she chose to place her journey after 15:40: Will we look back in 10 years and be proud of the solutions we’ve created? 18:40: The triple bottom line, focusing on planet. 22:00: How have you seen your voice uniquely influence some top of mind decisions? 25:00: Are we using the gifts of modern technology to empower the changes that we need? 27:30: How can we become advocates for digital inclusion? 32:00: What do you see in the future of education? 36:40: The importance of education 43:00: Finding the joy in doing hard things 46:40: What gives you hope for the future?
January 13, 2021
#005B Summary Episode - Entrepreneurship with Brent Hoberman
The chat with Brent was so full of wisdom and best practices, useful for people at any stage in their career, but particularly for those at the start of their career. Something that really stood out from our conversation was how Brent emphasised how his early career success came down to starting at a place where he was paid to learn. This as well as the following, were some of the key take aways: Centred work around his passions and remains exciting Early stage learning as much as possible Knowing when is the right time to launch (not too early or too late) Choosing the right co-founder (Martha was smart, analytical and a talent magnet) and build the right team We also spoke about building teams and hiring the right people, and how this can impact the success of the whole company. He suggests hiring people with strengths which make up for your weaknesses, and building a Culture of people who; *love* working together, love the mission and love having fun together doing so. I couldn’t agree more with these statements. When I asked him how to accomplish the exponential growth he experienced and if he had any lessons for scaling, he told me the following: Focus on building/acquiring the backbone technology Focus on the finance system which is where critical runway lies Figure out what talent you want/need to hire (don’t just hire the “sexy” front-facing talent - needed to focus on the finance system which is where critical runway lies put some of your best people on the most boring projects and then put them back on their fun projects) When discussing how he survived the dotcom bust, when the share price went down by 95%, Brent highlighted how his team got through this: focused the entire team on the customers Keeping team morale up (most challenging and most important) not getting distracted by headlines of doom Knowing what to measure (KPIs) to indicate where to double down Brent co-founded Founders forum, an organic community for entrepreneurs. Brent saw this real need to mix the next generation with breakthrough ideas to inject that energy by mixing them with the established CEOs. We also touched on how essential diversity of the team is. I have been so blessed to work with people from so many background and know how important this is for a company.  To help promote this further, Brent has been involved in initiatives including: Male Champion of Change - very data driven approach and learning from other CEOs and what they have done and passing that along Co-founded AccelearateHER to help the pipeline of women talent and build a community to succeed and connect them with men If you haven’t listened to the full episode yet, it’s really worth the listen and has so much valuable content within it. I really recommend it! Let me know your thoughts. Id love to hear from you! Ann
January 06, 2021
#005 Brent Hoberman, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman - Entrepreneurship
This week on the Bet On Yourself Podcast I am talking with Brent Hoberman. Brent is Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Founders Factory (a corporate-backed venture studio and accelerator), as well as The Founders Forum (a global community of founders and tech leaders), and firstminute capital (a $210m seed fund with global remit, backed by Atomico, Tencent and over 70 unicorn founders). Previously, Brent co-founded in 1998, where he was CEO from its inception to sale in 2005 to Sabre for $1.1bn. He is truly one of the internet’s original unicorns. Technology businesses Brent has co-founded have raised over $800 million. The list is extensive and includes companies which support global entrepreneurs such as PROfounders Capital, Founders Intelligence (an entrepreneur-powered consultancy), accelerateHER (a network taking action to change the underrepresentation of women in technology), Founders Keepers (a technology executive search firm), Founders of the Future (a network that identifies and supports aspiring entrepreneurs), Founders Pledge (a community for entrepreneurs committed to finding and funding solutions to global challenges), Grip (AI powered event networking solution) and most recently Founders Academy (a new type of business school for a changing world). Brent is Chairman of the Karakuri board and sits on the advisory boards of The Royal Academy, the UK Government Digital Service, the WEF Digital Europe Group and the Imperial College Innovation Fund. He is also a Male Champion of Change for The Global Tech Group, and in 2015 was awarded a CBE for services to entrepreneurship. Brent is truly a remarkable entrepreneur and this episode is full of wisdom for anyone looking to make an informed bet on themselves. I have a feeling you’re going to want to listen to this one twice! Buckle up! Minute by minute summary 03:00: Brent’s foundation 14:00: How did you get off the ground? Brent talks us through the stages and recognizing the need for a co-founder 16:40: The importance of identifying your strengths when hiring 18:40: have you dissected a formula for scaling? 21:05: How did you survive the dot com bust and end up as one of Europes most successful internet companies? 26:25: Building consumer trust 28:30: Much of your focus is on supporting entrepreneurs through Founders Forum, what was your original vision? 32:30: How to pivot? Where to double down? 35:15: Optimistic entrepreneurs 36:20: In 2019 Brent became a male champion of change, he walks us through what this means. 39:40: What is giving you hope for the future?
December 23, 2020
#004B Summary Episode - Creating Your Own Luck with Steven Levy
It’s been a challenge summarising this incredible episode, but here’s my attempt. If you haven’t listened to the full episode yet, make sure to go back and listen to make sure you don’t miss any of the gold Steven gave us. In the episode, we covered the full spectrum of Steven’s career, from his university studies all the way through to where he is now, as editor at large at Wired. There’s been some important pivot moment that he definitely created for himself, that might not have been how he had originally saw it. He was thoughtful about all the decisions he’s made. To simplify the journey, he started college studying literature, then in his grad studies went into more depth in his subject, where he then took a creative writing course as a pivot and coincidentally found a mentor, who helped him arrange a 3 month internship at a local paper, where he did everything from editorial papers to going to the supermarket and tracking prices, trying to learn as much as fast as possible. Unafraid of the unglamorous work. After graduating, he started working at his local paper in Philadelphia and taught himself how to work for magazines (he makes it sound easy). Through this experience he was able to try a lot of things, meet new people and essentially get noticed. He created more writing opportunities for himself and got noticed by Rolling Stone and was commissioned to do an article on future hackers, once he arrived in the Silicon Valley and started his research, he found it exciting and felt he was watching the future being made. This lead him to his first book Hackers. When I asked Steven if he had been able to discern a formula for greatness from his peers, his research and his career journey, he had a similar answer to me; he noticed their fearlessness, their ability to filter out criticism and this strong internal compass. They take a crazy idea and make it possible. I also asked him about the weaknesses in some of the powerful people he’s work with and written about and he highlighted those who choose to continue living in a bubble. Those who don’t ask for honest feedback or don’t like to hear the truth or get the pushbacks. Those who surround themselves with people who tell them the truth, are the most satisfied in their careers. If you’d like to hear more, listen now on your favourite podcasting platform or on my website. If you enjoy this episode, be sure to listen to the full interview with Steven Levy, it’s a great conversation full of takeaways you can apply today! Thanks for listening!
December 16, 2020
#004 Steven Levy, Journalist and Author - Creating Your Own Luck
Today’s podcast guest is Steven Levy, who the Washington post has referred to as “America’s premier technology journalist”. Levy has been covering the digital revolution for over 35 years.  He is currently Editor at Large at Wired magazine, where he was one of its founding writers. During the height of the internet boom, he was the columnist and chief technology correspondent for Newsweek.  He also wrote columns for Rolling Stone and Macworld.  He’s pretty much lived the real life version of Almost Famous - have you seen that movie? It’s one of my favorites! Steven Levy’s new book, Facebook: The Inside Story, is the definitive story—written with unprecedented access-- of the company that connected the world and reaped the consequences. His seven previous books include the groundbreaking Hackers (1984); Insanely Great (1994), the history of Apple’s Macintosh computer; Crypto (2001) which won the Frankfurt Digital book prize; and In the Plex (2011), the definitive book on Google that was a New York Times bestseller and Amazon’s business book of the year. (And incidentally how we originally met!) In this episode Steven and I discuss how he created his own luck and took proactive steps to create career opportunities for himself that wouldn't have materialized otherwise. We also discuss the keys to success and leadership he’s collected over his long career of investigating the most successful tech CEOs in the world. We also dive into his perspective on the role technology plays in the future of journalism and modern democracy. All of this and a few tidbits about how he created a deep friendship with Steve Wozniack over their mutual love of music. Oh, and there’s a side note story about how he found Einstein’s brain too! You’re not going to want to miss a minute of this! Trust me! Minute-by-minute summary 05:00: What was your inspiration? How did you get into tech? 10:50: Steven talks about his origin story and his first jobs 12:30: How did you transition fro the local magazines to Newsweek and Wired? 17:35: We talk about the early years of his career, writing about tech and rock 20:30: Do you see a commonality between the formula for greatness? 27:45: what do you see are common strengths and weaknesses amongst these larger than life CEO’s? 31:20: When you were writing your books on Google and Facebook, were there any surprise similarities or differences? 34:50: What is your perspective as a journalist around the intersection between technology and modern democracy? 37:55: Steven talks about the relationship between Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg 43:00: Tech and future leaders 46:00: What was your thought process in connecting this next wave and providing a source of trustworthy information? 52:20: Steven talks to us about the highlights of his career (including finding Einsteins brain!) 57:20: What gives Steven hope for the future? 59:00: How can you connect with Steven?
December 09, 2020
#003B Summary Episode - Moonshots & Innovation with Pablo Rodriguez
Moonshots are a great opportunity to really stretch ourselves, for those unfamiliar with the term. Moonshots are really big goals, they’re about 10X not 10% growth, it’s what I like to call “breaking free from incrementalism”. We’re not just inching our way forward, we’re taking big, bold bets. No matter your personal comfort level with risk-taking there are definitely life changing experiences waiting for you to be brave enough to take them. This may sound intimidating to you, but you are naturally wired for this. Reflect on how as a child you were able to learn a new language, to walk, your motor skills, all at once. So it is in your DNA to do seemingly astronomically difficult things. In the conversation with Pablo last week we discussed how Moonshots focus on reverse engineering a desirable future (rather than solving a current problem of the now). The traditional definition of moonshots encompasses the following: 1- impact the lives of 100 million people and impact in a way that is for the greater good 2- Break through of technology that is required for success and is a radical solution to a long term problem of humanity 3- Has to be a good sizeable business at the end of the road to make this solution sustainable. Purpose leading to profit. Moonshots used to be started by governments (ex: literal moon landing, the internet network). Now corporations are taking this on to create a robustness and best defense line to stay relevant and diverse  (70% core innovation with 10% in disruptive innovation). You see this at Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple. Pablo also discussed how he recognised a moonshot moment early on in his career, which convinced him to pivot from a PhD in physics in London as he realized he was on the computer more than anything else. He saw the internet changing everything and providing a way to “democratize innovation” and pivoted to connect that to his social activist side. He learned French in the summer and changed his studies to Computer Science. Moonshots for us “normal people”, for those of us not inventing driverless cars, there are definitely things we can do to adopt this moonshot mindset. Pablo also mentioned that alignment in your team is essential for these moonshot goals, he highlighted 5 things: Hire for and foster a culture of radical diversity (experience, backgrounds, etc) where all voices are heard Create an environment which pulls people out of their comfort zones and into new spaces Create psychological safety (where all ideas can be heard) Do the creative journey together through open sessions (rather than just dictating) which will create alignment Invest in storytelling to create alignment Finally, I asked Pablo about the appetite he’d seen around risk taking during the pandemic, to which he mentioned: Leaders looking for synergies Governments need to use their abilities and means to stepping in (but haven’t bene effective yet) Communities are becoming abundant. They want discussions not lectures. Entrepreneurs veering more into social impact VCs leaning into risk taking It’s a time for wonder and exploring and questioning the status quo What did you think of the episode? Don’t forget to like, subscribe and rate the channel! I’d love to hear your opinions!
December 02, 2020
#003 Pablo Rodriguez, Entrepreneur and Computer Scientist - Moonshots & Innovation
In this episode of Bet On Yourself we are talking with Pablo Rodriguez who is not only an entrepreneur, business executive, and computer scientist; he is recognized as a creative leader and visionary. Pablo is currently an ambassador and advisor to X, formerly known as Google [X], which is Google’s moonshot factory (where they work on projects like driverless cars). Prior to Google, Pablo was the founding CEO of Europe's first Moonshot Factory, called Alpha for the Spanish telco Telefonica - which is incidentally where Pablo and I first met just after I moved from Silicon Valley to Spain. Pablo has worked at several Silicon Valley startups, at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, and at Bell Labs in New Jersey. He’s written more than 150 scientific publications and has 30 patents. He’s a very busy guy! Pablo is passionate about organisations coming together to solve humanity’s biggest problems, through technology and using moonshot thinking to unveil what he believes will ultimately lead to a world where ideas are a valued currency. In this episode we discuss the concept of Moonshots, why they are becoming a pervasive practice beyond just Silicon Valley, and how to stay motivated when “failure” is a core part of the moonshot process. We also discuss how to build teams for innovation, as well as how the pandemic lockdown has generally affected entrepreneurship and risk taking - including in some unexpected ways. This episode has practical advice for anyone - regardless of your experience with or tolerance for moonshot risk taking! This concept applies more to your everyday life than you might expect! Prepare to be inspired! Minute by Minute Summary 02:55: What was your very first job? 04:30: what inspired your original interest in computers? 09:40: You’ve worked in many different countries, what are the differences you’ve seen in technology and tolerance for moonshot thinking? 13:45: Can you walk us through what a moonshot is? 21:30: How would you break down moonshots for ‘’normal people’’? What are some of the best practices that can be adopted? 30:00: what do you think are the pro’s and con’s of being an innovator within a set up corporate environment? 35:00: How do you know when you’re getting it right? How do you know when to listen to your advisers and how do you know to just listen to your gut? 39:00: How do you as a leader align your team with your plan? 44:00: What have you seen in the entrepreneur space during the covid-19 crisis, more or less risk-taking? 48:00: What gives you hope for the future?
November 25, 2020
#002B Summary Episode - Pivots Through Growth with Sal Khan, Founder of Khan Academy
I hope you enjoyed last week's episode of Bet On Yourself Podcast with Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy. If you haven’t listened yet, you can find it here. It's a great episode that touches on some really important topics such as the digital and economic divide, building the right leadership team and dealing with growth. This week's episode is a TLDR for Sal's episode with some of the takeaways and ways in which you can implement some of the strategies we discussed. You can find the summary below, if you'd like to watch the video you can find it on my YouTube channel here.  Don't forget to rate and subscribe or follow to stay up to date with new podcast releases!  If you'd like to share your opinion, a story, how you related or how the podcast helped you, email me at  See you next week!  Summary episode: Bootstrapping the company His delusional optimism and severe pragmatism sides informing how to scale to serving millions of people Messy on the inside even though it looks perfect on the outside Redefining your abilities by letting go of self assessments that don’t serve us or are even accurate of our actual abilities Building the right leadership team to run fast and far How you can attract top talent in Silicon Valley without stock offerings Growing pains with scale only works with focused communication Philosophy to avoid overwhelm - do the right thing and the chips will fall into place. It is outside of self. 1- Truthful, 2-?, 3- Chaotic Passion = suffering
November 18, 2020
#002 Sal Khan, Founder of The Khan Academy - Pivots Through Growth
Welcome back to another episode of Bet On Yourself! This episode is one you absolutely will not want to miss!! Are you an entrepreneur who is facing the challenges of massive scale and booming growth? Could you use some advice on how to pivot fast and build a team for resilience? Or are you a parent struggling with getting your kids education back on track from lockdown and trying to make the switch to online learning? Well, my guest today has all the expert answers you’re dying for! Sal Khan is an entrepreneur who founded the not-for-profit Khan Academy, a free online education platform where he has created and uploaded thousands of bite-sized videos, step-by-step problems and teaching a wide variety of subjects, from mathematics and sciences to arts, humanities and life skills with instant progress tracking. Khan Academy offers learning for all levels, from pre-K all the way up to university. Their mission is to provide a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere. Before running Khan Academy full-time, Sal worked as a hedge fund analyst. He also has three degrees from MIT and an MBA from Harvard. Since March of this year, the Khan Academy has seen a 300% increase in users. Over 30 million kids have been using the videos. And as of 2020, it has more than 6 million subscribers on YouTube. During this chaotic year full of pivots and exponential growth, he also found the time to found, an initiative to connect people around the world to learn together for free. If you, like me, are wondering how Sal has pulled all of this off and is saving the future of the world through education I hope you will listen to the very end where he shares his answer which - spoiler alert - involves benevolent aliens. Haha! OK, without further ado, Sal Khan! Minute by minute summary: 2.45: Khan walks us through the foundational history of the Khan Academy 5.30: Did Sal anticipate that Khan academy would be this big? What is the foundational philosophy around Khan academy and making it free and a non-for-profit right from the beginning? 9.30: Sal walks us through what they offer at the Khan Academy, and the labels that kids are often given; gifted average or struggling. 14:00: Dealing with growth. How are they keeping it together through the massive growth periods they’re currently seeing? 20:30: The Khan Academy team 22:00: What about this massive period of growth has challenged you most as a leader? 25:40: What is the best approach for ed tech? What are you trying to do? 29:00: the digital divide. How can we reach those who don’t have access to tech and what are some easy tools for the younger one who are having to be their own guide? 35:40: Sal talks to us about some of the formal relationships that they’re doing with schools, parents and students directly to give them a semblance of control back. 39:45: how can the listeners engage with you? Is their ways in which the Khan Academy can be financially supported? 42:00: what gives Sal hope for the future?
November 11, 2020
#001B Summary Episode - Empowerment with Kerim Derhalli, CEO & Founder of Invstr - ''Take Charge, Make Change''
Hey and welcome back to the Bet On Yourself Podcast with me, Ann Hiatt. This week I'll be walking you through some of the takeaways from the episode we recorded last week with Kerim Derhalli, CEO & Founder of Invstr. This episode was all about empowerment! You can find some notes on the episode below. I really hope you enjoy this one!  EMPOWERMENT In the episode with Kerim, we talked about taking your power back and feeling empowered again and there's no better way of doing this than with your financial freedom! I was surprised to find out and didn't actually know that at the time of recording, 2020 is on track to be the biggest IPO year in history, even since original tech boom - $90 Billion have already been invested. Now this is because of a couple of reasons, the Fed Reserve bought up corporate debt, lowered interest rates and promised to keep them at zero, which has made it hard to make money on bonds (normally considered safer) which has led people to the stock market. The IPO market follows the stock market, which explains this crazy growth. Invstr teaches you how to invest and gain confidence and take personal responsibility for your financial future, helping you GO FROM ZERO TO HERO of your financial future. They really focus on the education side where you learn about it in the gamification, called Fantasy Finance. Kerim actually started this company after a traditional career as a banker, he banked for 30 years before deciding to take the big leap. When I asked him what gave him the courage to do that, he explained that he was actually inspired by his dad, who was an immigrant who was willing to risk it all and started his life all over again from zero for what he valued most (you'll have to listen to the full episode for the story!). Kerim makes a great point in his interview where he encourages us to NEVER MAKE A CAREER CHANGE BECAUSE YOU’RE UNHAPPY, these career changes will hopefully come because you're moving yourself towards happiness, not just motivate by what's making you unhappy. His inspiration came from the information revolution, right after the 2008 economic crisis, which for him was the right moment to take that entrepreneurial risk. He saw an opportunity to empower people and saw the essential tech needed to do so, being launched in 3 forms: Cloud, social media and mobile, he thought he could harness these in a unique way to empower people towards their financial freedom. When I asked him about his “Why” he described seeing a lack of Financial sustainability as a major threat to society and one of the ways to solve this problem is not leaving the investing to the “experts”. People need to feel empowered and not afraid of investing. Finally, Kerim walked us through the steps to planning a business: 1- vision/purpose (seeing a need to be addressed in the world) 2- mission (your role in problem solving) 3- strategy (tools and techniques to create competitive advantage) 4- objectives (how to measure your impact) FOUR STEPS TO EXECUTE YOUR BUSINESS PLAN: 1- Everything starts with clients (who they are, what their needs are and how you will reach them.) 2- What products and services will I offer them? 3- What systems and people do I need to have in place to achieve this? (PEOPLE ARE KEY!) 4- What will the outcomes look like (proformas, revenues and costs). If you’d like to connect with Kerim or you’d like to know more about Invstr, you can find him on: LinkedIn: Kerim Derhalli Instagram: @Invstr Twitter: @KDerhalli You can also direct message him through the Invstr app or alternatively, email him at Next up: Sal Khan, CEO of Khan Academy - the future of education! Pivots and scaling with massive growth 300% growth!! SUBSCRIBE, RATE AND SHARE ON SOCIAL! 
November 04, 2020
#001 Kerim Derhalli, CEO & Founder of Invstr - ''Take Charge, Make Change''
Today we are talking about empowerment - in all its entrepreneurial forms! Kerim Derhalli is the ultimate example of the philosophy we celebrate here in the “Bet On Yourself” community! His mantra is “Take Charge, Make Change”! Kerim Derhalli is the Founder & CEO of Invstr, an award-winning financial education and investment app. Invstr’s mission is to empower everyone to take charge of their financial future. In this episode we explore Kerim’s unique international, cultural and business perspective gained from living in Europe, the US, the Middle East, Japan and Singapore. We also talk about how he has managed the exponential growth of Invstr - which has been downloaded almost 1,000,000 times by users in over 220 countries worldwide! The app is a portfolio management game - Fantasy Finance®, an educational tool, the Invstr Academy and a social app of peer-to-peer learning via the Invstr social community and private leagues. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to hear Kerim break down his nine step model for business planning which helped him succeed in his transition from banking to tech entrepreneurship! In this episode we also explore how he built this award winning team through an emphasis on diversity, inclusion and creativity all centered around their mission to deliver empowerment and financial freedom to their users. Be sure to tune in through to the very end where Kerim shares the three things which are giving him hope for the future despite the crazy year that has been 2020! Don’t forget to subscribe, rate and comment on Bet On Yourself Podcast. I’d love to hear your feedback! If you’d like to connect with Kerim or you’d like to know more about Invstr, you can find him on: LinkedIn: Kerim Derhalli Instagram: @Invstr Twitter: @KDerhalli You can also direct message him through the Invstr app or alternatively, email him at Whether you were driving to work or walking the dog, don’t worry. We have the minute by minute breakdown for you below: 03:30 What did you think you wanted to be when you were younger? 05:30 The most influential person in your life. Who inspired the way you contribute to the world? 07:45 Kerim walks us through some early inspirations in the different parts of the globe that have informed him as the leader that he is now. 11:00 Kerim Derhallis origin story & work experience. What made you brave enough to become an entrepreneur? 16:00 why, who, what of Invstr? How do you solve this problem of intergenerational debt? Investing. 21:00 How did you create the model of this company? What was your model for business planning? 22:00 the 9-step business plan 25:00 What exactly is Invstr, the product you created? 28:30 Where do you see the most engagement? Where are most of your users coming from? 32:00 The cultural differences between European and US investors. How Europeans can be more comfortable with investing. 38:00 Tolerance for risk. Characteristics of entrepreneurs in the US vs the EU. 41:00 Philosophy as a leader in your hiring and how to identify talent. How do you use your team efficiently? 46:00 What’s giving you hope for 2021 and beyond… 50:00 How can you connect with Kerim?
October 27, 2020
#000 The Intro - Bet On Yourself by Ann Hiatt
Welcome to the Bet On Yourself podcast! This podcast is for ambitious people, just like you, who want to create a life and career that is full of adventure, learning and fulfilment. I am Ann Hiatt and for the past 18 years I have worked directly with the most powerful and influential leaders in the world while at Amazon and Google. Uniquely I have witnessed their actual paths to greatness - which were far less linear than they appear from the outside. This podcast is dedicated to my fellow entrepreneurs, whether in heart, or already in the midst of daily startup struggles, who need to hear a perspective on greatness which you won't find anywhere else. I am going to help you fast track your success by hearing the habits and tips of the super performers so that you can lead with confidence and realize your most audacious dreams. Each episode will lay out replicable steps you can implement today. This podcast won't waste your time. It will explore the commonalities among champions of every possible industry. I will interview the most respected leaders in technology, media, professional sports, Hollywood, academics, the arts and more. These conversations will give you unprecedented access into what they learned from both the highs and the lows of their careers and will break down their formulas for greatness. I will also supplement these interviews with summaries and steps to recreate these patterns for achievement in your own life and career. So why did I decide to start this podcast now? The pandemic of 2020 has given me the opportunity to help my global consulting clients across four continents who are all experiencing massive pivots, moments of crisis and self doubt and steer them towards reclaiming their power and coming out on the other side of crisis to an even stronger competitive position than they were in before. I've also felt the weight in not having enough hours in the day to actually help everyone who has asked for it. This podcast is my way of reaching as many people as possible and creating opportunities for you when the options appear bleek or limited. You don't need to be a celebrity CEO to deserve joy in your work life. I am a firm believer in the idea that your job should give as much to you as you give to it. That means more learning, more recognition, to stop being overlooked for promotion or investment and to seize opportunities where others only see limitations. I feel grateful for the CEOs who have taken a chance on me and given me opportunities to learn and stretch beyond where I thought my limits lied. This podcast is my way of paying that forward as far as possible through YOUR applifying the ripple effect. With this podcast we're going to explore all the tools you need to reach your highest potential and have a blast doing so! Let's bring some joy and control back! This is going to be fun! I'm so glad we're on this journey together! Thanks for listening! Love, Ann For more from me you can visit my website at or any of my social profiles: Instagram @annhiatt Twitter @AnnRHiatt Pinterest
September 30, 2020