The most empowering thing that I have learned in this journey recently is rediscovering or owning my No. So I say no a lot. Now happily. Because no is a full sentence that I feel really good about exercising, I used to in my 20s and 30s feel like I had to justify or excuse why couldn't do something, or any any, you know, any, any variation of know, what I love now and the beauty of it, it has liberated me to really understand that I don't owe anyone anything. And let me remove the guilt that I used to feel that I needed to give you an excuse to say no, in the pursuit of my own joy and my journey. If you're not matching me, it's okay. I just don't feel like I need to explain that. And, and that growth has been trying. It's been challenging. It's been beautiful. And I feel like I've learned a lot from it. Welcome back to Sim 3000. I'm your host, Danielle Leslie. And I'm so glad that you're joining us today because I have one of my best friends who is my family. So how did Grace go from a professional competitive eater. I'm talking about downing the hotdogs and competing with fully baked men to this amazing serial entrepreneur woman who owns her know, who knows how to create a life well lived, and is an inspiration for me in different parts of my journey. You're gonna hear all of it. Without further ado, Grace Lee. Thank you for joining me on this. So for having me Yeah. I'm so excited to bring you today's episode. But before we do, I need to make sure you've heard about member up. So community driven products are the future. But Facebook groups are a thing of the past. And after 10 plus years in the online education space, I've taken all my learnings and I've built this incredible platform member up. It's a customizable easy to use all in one platform where you can build a premium course community or membership site without the tech headache. Gone are the days of having to duct tape together, your content, your community, your payments, all on different platforms. I want you to do me a favor, do yourself a favor and head over right now to member up.com Ford slash Danielle. And you can get started for free today. I promise you, I can't wait for you to see this platform. It's beautiful. Okay, the design is amazing your community is going to feel at home here and you are going to take pride in your online business. It is the place to start, head over to member of.com Ford slash Danielle. Now let's get into the episode. One of my favorite things I learned from you was that life is romantic. And I remember we were here in New York. And I think it was fall. And we're walking. And it was like brisk, and you're like life is romantic. And I've like carried that with me. What does that mean to you? And where did that come from? So you know, I live by that. I just think that when when you and I both moved here in New York, it was a very exciting time, right? Where we were but we were both like on the brink of like rowing. And I still live by that. I think life is just the most romantic adventure. Because every day that I wake up, and I'm an early morning person, like usually I wake up around 4am Today I woke up at 3am Oh, my goodness. And it's so exciting when you wake up and you have no idea what's going to happen for the day. So even today, when I woke up, I was like, Okay, I came in here to do this with you. And I don't know who I'm gonna meet. But everyone I'm gonna meet, I know, it's gonna be exciting. I know, it's gonna be fun. It's gonna be a new person that I enjoy, like the interaction. And I think that even without something being planned, when I wake up, I'm really, really excited for what is to come of that day. And I think that the notion of that is extremely romantic. I don't know if I'm going to be my husband. I don't know if I'm going to be my new best friend. I don't know. Like if the best thing that's ever happened in my career is gonna happen. But the idea of that I think is incredibly romantic. And the excitement of that gets me fueled every single day. I love Yeah. So I love being with you. And we've shared like so many amazing moments. Like our friend group is so dope and we do our birthday celebrations. And every moment just it feels like you're so present. Have you always had that presence and like connection to the present and like the highest version of this moment. I think so I think that like coming from the background that I come from and the upbringing that I've had with, like immigrant parents, and just like, my entire journey, like here at 40 years old, I think that one of the things I never take for granted is time. So even if you're having a bad day, we all have bad days, we all have really bad days, just sometimes gets really frustrating. But I think for me, the excitement and the potential of every moment, every time, every thing that you do, it can change your life forever. And I think that that potential and excitement is really, really large for me, I meet a lot of people on the scale of like, big and small, and they don't see life that way, which is fine, right? But I think that for me, it's incredibly inspirational, and really exciting to just always be like, you never know what's gonna happen. I've had moments in my life that have completely changed my axle off of someone who I never expected. So it could have been my Uber driver, it could have been the guy from the bodega, it could have been my grandmother, and there's like a singular moment, that really changes everything. And I'm very acutely aware, and very open for receiving that. And that is, is changed my life. Oh, I love this, like axle changing moment. And I'm curious, what was a huge defining axle changing moment for you? That's so good. I think one of the most beautiful things that I'm proud of is like the curiosity. You know, like, I'm always curious about each day, each person, and the Curiosity has remained really beautiful in my relationships. And up and down through the course of like, every season, every year of the transitions, it has been the biggest blessing to be really curious and remain curious. Because as we grow as we elevate, as we become more and more elevated in our success, it's easy to get diluted. So the Curiosity has remained pure. So being pure and that curiosity keeps me in almost like this innocent phase of like, who are you? What do you do? How did you get here? How did it and it's not about who they are, what they've achieved? It's the curiosity of like, how did you get here, and your journey, and I really admire everyone's journey of how they get there. And I think that that's a really beautiful course that I don't take for granted. I remember you were asking you were really curious about people's like morning routines. And I remember you telling me you're like, yeah, like, I kind of want to just like shadow you for a couple days and see like how you share your mornings. So I'm curious, did we never got a chance to do that. But have you gotten a chance to shadow anyone yet? Okay. It's common? Yes. Have you gotten a chance to shadow anyone on their like morning routine or life? And I'm curious what that was like what you learned, I have been so incredibly lucky and super, super blessed that I've been able to work with a lot of founders, entrepreneurs, and people that get paid a lot of money to find out where your your holes are. One of the things that I got introduced to a long time ago is that we are all creatures of habit. So one of my favorite things, as you know, like I've traveled the world. So doesn't matter if I'm in a hut in Haiti, or if I'm in this five star hotel hotel in like, Tahiti, right? There's a tradition and a routine that we all have and how we honor ourselves. So if you are lucky enough, you get to bathe the same way. Every day if you get to it, right, whether you're in your you know, condo or wherever, and we all have this subconscious routine. So I may start the way that I bathe my left shoulder, my left arm, and we all do what's really beautiful about that I never thought about is that it is a cleansing ritual. If you're lucky enough, and no matter where you are, we tend to subconsciously Do we have the same routine. So there is a part of us that is automatic, we are creatures of habit. And the same way we work in life the way we work in our companies building etc, etc, etc. What I learned from that is that shot Totally, is really, really valuable because you're like, Oh, this is what I do every day. This is how I built my company. This is how I scale. This is how we make. And you're like, Okay, well, let me just shadow you. I don't want to get in the way, I just want to follow you. And I can point out some things that you didn't even think about. There's millions of people that go to work before COVID. And they transport and they're like, oh, I don't, I don't even remember taking that exit to get to the Google headquarters or whatever it is. But there is a pattern in that behavior. And I just think that a lot of us, we tend to get dormant when we get comfortable. And there's inspiration when you get rattled in your routine, you can also get inspired. And so for me, I think one of the things that I like to do is I'm constantly moving. And people are asking me like, why, why are you always traveling? I'm like, Well, it's, it's, I'm not running away from anything. But I never want to become really dormant and comfortable in my routine, that I'm not consciously making a decision, or I'm not consciously thinking about something that is going to equate to what I want to accomplish for the day. And that is a huge, intentional decision that a lot of people don't make. Wow, I love that. I know that when we met, I'm really curious to like, go back. We're gonna time travel back to when we met. So what year was that? 2018? Yes, it was. No more morally 1716. Oh, because I moved to New York. 2018. Yeah, you and I both Yeah, sure. 2017. I want to say 2016. Well, yeah. So we met because Steve canal was doing a panels and, and a ton and shout out to Anton and Steve. But Anton invited me he's like, Hey, you should be on this panel. It was me, you and Rubin. Right, Reuben Harris. And Steve was facilitating it. And I remember looking you up on the way I was in traffic for like, two hours. And I was like, alright, but I'm really looking. And I'm like, Oh, my gosh, it looks so dope. But she's so cool. And then I get there. And you were amazing. Because I know you now like since then we've been like you're one of my best friends. And we've shared so many amazing moments. So back to that moment. I know that that was at the towards the beginning of like my journey and like growing my business. I remember where I wasn't who I was then. And I'm curious, like, Where were you? And who were you then? So at that time, I think I had just sold my business. Oh, tell us about that. So we have the hookah in honor of grace, this is a pastime, we share in common we do like, yeah, you know, I did not know what I was doing, coming from immigrant parents, family, etc. I was just trying to figure it out just like you, when we met we, what I love about our friendship is that we were both trying to figure it out. And in the early stages, the beauty of the purity in our friendship was neither one of us were like, we were we were just trying to navigate. And again, going back to the romanticism of that. There's a lot of beauty in it. I I actually now crave and I don't know how you feel. I crave the beauty and the mystery and the love and the early phases, because that's what I really thrive on. Right? Yeah, because when you get to like a place of like cruise control, it kind of gets, I don't wanna say boring, it just gets stale. You're like you're seeking the challenge, right? Because when you when we met, we were both hungry. They were just like, oh my gosh, I really want to figure this out. And not to take it for granted. But in the journey of it. There's, there's a beautiful path, there's highs and lows. And so going back to Steve and Anton who I both love. I've known Steve since he was with Miller before he was with Miller. I talked to Anton this morning. He was just passing through I missed him. But you know, I will tell you like the most profound thing that we always have in our communication as a dear friend. I love the way that he loves his wife. I love the way that he loves his kids. And even when we talk we talk today. The last thing he said was like how are you? And as we grow? Very few people actually asked me How am I doing? I see a lot of people I interact with a lot of people, but very few people asked me How are you doing? And and Aton has always asked how are you? And so I responded to him today and I said listen, this is the most me I have ever felt It is the most intention, I have felt living my life being mindful of myself, of my friends of other people, and my future, my future self. So the way that I'm living now is I make my decisions, my choices, and I'm very intentional living now to meet my future self. So even with this podcast, I thought that was really interesting. Even when you call me and you were like, crazy, I'm doing this. And I was like, Oh, that's amazing. Because you're like the future of me. And I'm like, what does that mean? And I've had a tremendous life, I have no complaints. But in all my journey, I'm really excited to meet my future self. And so the choices I make today is very, very mindful of my future self. It, whether it's business, whether it's romantic, whether it's family, whether it's my friends, and that has changed my judgment, of how I make my decisions today. And that has been really, really beautiful. And what I find so impressive about you, and I think we talked about this on our trip, and we're in Wahaca. And it was when you're in a room, a question that never comes up is what do you do? And you really like are being and connecting with other people's beings. And sometimes I'm like Grace, but we want to hear what you do, because you've accomplished and overcome so much. So I'm gonna like nudge you a little bit. Yeah. Because you are an extraordinary entrepreneur, a serial entrepreneur. I call you the queen of Atlanta. Okay. Queen ATL was on the sofa with me. As you said, You created a way for yourself. You created a business, and it's now you were able to how many years? Was it that you were running the business until before you sold it? So I started my first restaurant 10 years ago. Wow. I started my bar that I sold now nine years ago. And it's been five years since I've sold and exited. Yeah, gosh, it's been a fun journey. Everyone that knows me deeply and who worked with me will laugh when they see this because they're like, Oh, you hadn't? I had no idea what I was doing. Oh, wow. So you didn't when you started the business? Did you start it with the intention to sell it? What was your own? What was your vision or intention when you started it? Oh, I just I just I just thought it would be cool to like, open a restaurant or open a bar, like I had no idea. Back then. This wasn't a thing. Back then it was not a cool thing. It wasn't even a thing to like sell your business, to exit to sell. Like none of that was normal conversation. So it's really fun to look back at that time, because it was really, really fun for the purity of what it was. It was really fun. What were some of the challenges you faced in those early days when you were running the business? Do you want to go there? Yes, sure. So at that time, you know now like, I mean, even when I opened my first restaurant, like Instagram wasn't alive, right? It was, what is the like Tumblr, Tumblr, Tumblr, bro, bang. And then it was like Twitter. Instagram wasn't a lie, when I started my business, and I have tremendous, like gratitude for like that era. But to see it now is really, really different. It's really different. And it's really different to see it. You know, hindsight is 2020. So to see it as a woman, to see it as a woman of color, to see it as a young entrepreneur is all different. I give everyone like my biggest blessing that want to achieve these things. But it was a really different world was really, really hard. I won't placate to be like, Oh, it was no it was really hard. Yeah, I remember you sharing how I think you would like work all the time. And I remember you saying you know, as the owner of the business, you were still there in the day to day and you were like serving and cleaning and marketing promoting welcoming the guests like doing all those things. It's amazing to hear that you caught the attention of a buyer who saw value and what you had created. And I know that your specialty has become helping other businesses to launch and you know, market themselves so I'm curious I'm like okay, in the days pre IG like pre all these tools we have what was your like superpower was your secret sauce. What do you think was able to like grow this business and make it Special. So I now as an investor, since I've sold and exited, and I've diversified, I really my philosophy is all businesses, people business. So whether you sell shoes, or whether you sell liquor, all businesses, people business, if you don't understand that you've already failed. I think that relationships are incredibly, incredibly important to your success of, we have so many difficult things that are working against us. So if you want to get there, the number one thing is like integrity, right relationships, hard work, etc, etc, etc. But it doesn't matter how much money you have, or who's backing you, or whatever it is, it comes down to integrity and relationships. Everything I've ever done in my life, that is the only foundation that I could give credit to. Nothing else really matters. But the shame is that like now, in our culture, as things have changed in evolved social media, or things becoming very transactional, we have lost a lot of that quality, and what's terrible, and I see it every day now. The same people and without, like, naming anyone, the biggest relationships that have now come from, like, the simplicity of like integrity, like, Hey, I don't care how busy you are, I don't care how long over you are, I don't care how whatever, if, if we were supposed to do something, and if I reached out to you, and if you drop that ball, this deal could be done. And that could be $100,000 Deal. Versus, Hey, I just happened to be in town I saw you're doing this exam. And it's not about like, Oh, let me hook you up. It's just honoring your word. And I think that in our time, this is really unique, that has been really diluted. So a lot of people say they're going to do something, and a lot of people do not follow through. And I really pay attention, not just me. But the people that are my peers on this higher level. We're not keeping tabs, but you you remember, you remember somebody that said, hey, pull up to this. And then now you've made it really difficult for me to show up here. And you invited me. So let's keep this really simple. Let's keep it classy. You know, like, if you asked me to do something, let's make this seamless. Because none of this is rocket science. Fairly easy. But let's keep it classy. And let's keep it seamless, and let's all grow together. I'm here to help you. You're here to help me. And that's really it. Like it's not it's not that hard. I love that. If you are a creative entrepreneur, and your business is unique, why are you working with a generic accountant? One of the best decisions I made was who I would partner with on my taxes and my accounting. So if you're creative entrepreneur, you are growing your business, you're scaling your business, I want to introduce you to rebel. Rebel is a firm that can help you whether you're looking to prepare your taxes or you're looking for that year round support. 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But even more importantly, she's built multiple multimillion dollar businesses once she learned how to overcome procrastination, so she's created a program where she shares her system on how to overcome procrastination, and it's based on emotional intelligence, neuroscience and accountability. She's going to show you step by step how to overcome negative feelings so you can start taking action and start seeing a difference from day one. So text this number right now to schedule an appointment with Patti and her team to see if this is right for you and what steps for you to take to overcome your procrastination 813-789-1097 And again, the number to text right now is 813-789-1097. Let's all overcome procrastination together. Now let's get back to the episode I feel that from you. So I've seen it. There are like two stories I want to share. And I'll start with when I was freezing my eggs because I mean, you offer so i was i First my eggs last year. Yes, actually about a year. I just paid my renewal. Oh no, wait, you're gonna do like a second round is our general I just pay my room because they store it. That's right. Yes, you have to pay to us. I think mine is like $100 a year. Yeah. Okay. So I was getting ready to freeze my eggs. And then you're like, Oh, you're like, Danny, I can come and I can come and support you. I was like, you're like, No, no, I can like come to your house. And I can be there with you. And I was like, really? And you're like, Yeah, and I remember when I was figuring out and you know, navigating the experience and preparing for it. Because, you know, you've got to kind of know, 30 days in advance, okay, for the next cycle, we're going to be going in, we're gonna be going our appointments, and I knew that I wanted to be in the best, like, emotional, spiritual, physical state, because I didn't know what was in store, you know, and I heard stories about, okay, you're gonna be like, extra hormonal, they're like, however you are in your cycle is gonna be like 10. Next, because you'll be taking more estrogen and who knows isn't like, okay, so I'm like, hearing that. And I remember speaking with you. And I heard an account that was like, Well, you know, I heard of a person who froze their eggs. And this was their experience. And I was like, Oh, okay. And I spoke with you, when I was like, hey, like, what can I expect? And you're like, you know, I said, it was gonna be amazing. And it was amazing. And I was like, I'm gonna try that on. So you really impacted my egg freezing experience. Like, you really made a huge difference. And I think like, it showed me the importance of you know, who you surround yourself by. And I love that you're like, like, we're gonna call it like, we want it to go. And it's gonna go that way. And I remember going into the experience having that spirit. And I thought of you because I was like, so, so great. Like, did you stay in one place for like, two weeks straight, and maybe like, you know, not drink and like, be super conservative. You're like, I just live my life like, thing. And I was like, Okay, so while I was freezing my eggs, I think it was, you know, like, a couple days in, and you know, you have or like, appointments every other day. And at that point, I had my members of my CEO circle, they were going to see usher in concert in Vegas. And I was like, Okay, that sounds dope. And so I said, so. And, you know, the whole process is like you, if you haven't gone through this experience, it's like, you get your set of shots. And you're like, you know, give yourself the shot in the abdomen, like once a day, and sometimes twice a day, depending on where you are in the cycle. And, and I remember looking at videos online, and for some women, they're like, oh, and I was like, oh, okay, okay. And then, you know, it's like, okay, got it. And then the video is from the center, we're like, can't you're just gonna, and I was like, okay, so I remember seeing, like, the crossroads, and I was like, I can decide which story I want to believe on how it's gonna go, and then I'll do my best to embody that. And so when I started it, I was like, oh, okay, I got it. This is great. So when I got the invitation for Usher, I was like, You know what? We're gonna do this. I remember when you. I remember that. Because I was like, Yeah, you're like, I was going out. I was having a ball. And so I remember I packed my suitcase. And I had an ATM appointment. So I went to, and I went with kind body. So I went to kind body right here in New York. I went to my ATM appointment, they checked everything out. I was like, Cool, cool, cool. And then she's like, okay, so like, so you're taking it easy. And I was like, Well, no, I'm going straight to the airport, I'm going to Vegas, I'm gonna see Usher. And then I'll be back like tomorrow. So I'll be back in time for my appointment on Friday. And she was like, okay, that's an interesting choice. But okay. And I was like, Yeah, and I remember going and being in Vegas, but actually, like, felt pride. I was like, Oh, we got to see a show. And I was like, let's go, let's get these eggs. And then, you know, we went to the concert, and we did the whole backstage thing and met him. And that was super fun. But I remember you being the inspiration from that. And like, when you talk about being your word, the fact that I knew that when you said, I can be there for you like I can be there with you if you'd like. And I believed you and I know you weren't just that wasn't just like talk like you were really going to be there. injections. Hold on. Okay, there we go. Yes, yes. No, it was great. I will say I think the greatest Whew, that's like such a heavy topic. So, you know, I've had my health journey. And I think that maybe even now more than ever, even when you were going through it when I was going through it, and just the the choice that women are offered and are everything in politics we don't need to go into but it's it's an incredibly sensitive topic. And I went through my journey because of health, right? And I was like, Okay, well, I want to exercise my right. And I want to feel empowered to do what I want options to have. I don't know if I want to have babies, but perhaps if I do, the best thing I can do in my 40s, is to have them sitting somewhere where I can utilize this option. And even then, it wasn't, it wasn't as commonly talked about, it wasn't as exercise. It wasn't as sexy, whatever. But I just felt like, Okay, this is something I just want to have for a rainy day. And then I did it. And then I talked to you and I, I've actually, like, I never publicize it. I never posted anything about my journey. But I had had multiple friends who were like, Oh, you're doing this? How was your experience? I was like, my experience is great. And then they like you, they all froze her eggs. And I was like, Oh, wow. And even still, I haven't talked about it. But I think the revolution of science has empowered women to say, you know, I don't, I didn't know, my life was gonna be like this, I didn't know I was going to build a company. I didn't know I was gonna start this. But whether or not I want kids, I just want to have the option. So for me in my journey, I still don't know, I'm 40 years old. And I still don't know whether or not definitive, like, I have no idea. I would just hate for the day to come where I do want kids and I no longer have options, science, religion, God, whatever you believe in is a very interesting thing. And it becomes very personal, when it becomes personal with your health. And so for me, I didn't know what that was. But before the pressure of trying to decide what I want to do, I just wanted options. So I did what I did for my own self. And then a lot of my girlfriends were like, Oh, how was your experience? And I was like, let's say, I mean, I wasn't, I wasn't partying, but I was still enjoying myself. I was doing my life. I did whatever. I read that as partying, I will you probably didn't say that. But I was like, okay, Grace was gaining date, okay. I was, I was still traveling, I was still going to birthday parties. I was still, I mean, I wasn't out till 3am. But I might have been out till 11. And I was still enjoying my, whatever. I didn't feel the pressure like this is now or never. And that was a great blessing from my doctor. And then after I did it, it was approaching my birthday. And I never thought about it in this context. But before that, I never, I never thought about kids, I just thought I was so perfectly healthy. And one day, whenever I feel like having babies, I'm going to have babies, then when that became very real, and I had to make choices and evaluate what my options were. And this is something we don't talk about, right? It's very taboo in our communities. I was like, Okay, well, if I do this, now, whether or not I choose to do this, it will be there. And that really empowered me. So I'm single, I haven't exercised my like, I paid my renewal, my eggs and storage and whatever. But my thing was, God forbid that I am ready to have kids. And now I don't have options. So it was it was the empowerment, and being able to exercise as a woman of having the option to this privilege, right? Because most women can't afford this. Let me exercise this option. And if I never use it, if I never have babies, I can donate it to science, I can donate it to another woman who's been praying about this. And I can skip along my merry way. But I never want to be deprived of my options. And I think especially now, in politics, in our society and our culture in the world and women, it is incredibly important to protect your options, whether or not I use it. It's irrelevant. I may or may not even want to vote, you know, but let me protect that. Because that is something that our parents aren't our history, our ancestry like fought for. I never even want babies. But let me give my eggs to some woman who has been praying for this. Let me donate my eggs to some science that has been, you know, trying to figure this out. And I still don't know that answer. But at least now I feel very empowered. So I never I never thought about babies until after I did it. After I did it. Everybody was like how do you feel? I was like, I feel so free. I feel so liberated. I feel like I'm turning 40 I'm still single. But hey, I got these eggs in a freezer for a rainy day. Like you may happen may not happen, but at least they're there. And that was really powerful. Especially, I think, in the state that we are in politics in the world, and everything that we believe in now that we don't talk about. Absolutely. I remember having a conversation with crystal with my best friend, and she was like, you know, I was thinking like, this is such a blessing that you get to do this, like, every woman doesn't have this opportunity, like us as women in this age, in this time, the fact that we have the ability to build a business, you know, not necessarily have the like pressure of or the, you know, the stipulation, like, Okay, we've got to concede by this time, and I was like, you're running. And I remember, like, reflecting on that that day, I remember where I was in the car, and it was on my way back home. And so you're absolutely right. So you mentioned your if you're open to speaking about about your health journey. Yeah. Which I think, like so many people, yeah. Because I feel like we so we're both very independent. And I call it like, what are called, like, self sufficient. And I'm like, because I'm like, a very, like, self sufficient, like, self contained, you know, I'm like, I don't I don't reach out every now and then I'm getting better. And I would say that like last year was a huge transition for me to making my friends family and making that transition from friends to family. And so you are my family, like you're a part of that family unit. But we always laugh because we're like, we don't need to talk every day, every week, every month, every quarter some times. And I remember last year, we didn't talk quite often at all. And then I didn't learn until later. I was like, oh, like Grace went through a health journey. And we learned about it afterwards. And I was like, wow. And so I think it would be so helpful. Just to share if you're open to it, just like what that journey was like. Which part? I guess what? Yeah, what happened? You I mean? So I would say that like for me, I have, I've never even had a fever. So I've been walking by all conditions medically, you would think like, I've been a perfect, healthy life. I've never even had a fever. I've never even had the flu shot. Whoa. So I've been super healthy. And then at the time when I sold my business, all of a sudden, just randomly I, they I went for my annual checkup, they found this tumor. They're like, Oh, don't worry about it. Let's just monitor watch it. And it's in six months, my tumor tripled in size. Wow. Oh, good happens. And where was the tumor? My uterus. So yeah, it had a tripled in size in six months, which is pretty quick. And again, I had no fever. I had never had any medical issues. And then when that happened, they were like, Okay, well, the doctors like, we need to remove this. And I was like, alright, well, okay, what does that mean? So I had a full C section. No, baby. I thought it was humorous. But my mom and dad did not appreciate. Like, the number one baby hospital. Wow. They're like, Oh, this is the number one baby hospital in the country and you had no way anyway. They didn't think it was. And so we did that. And it was all good. Everything got cleared. And you know, it's usually a year when the doctors say, Okay, you're in the clear now like, you know, your doorman, you've been benign, like, no, no cancer scares, whatever. Almost five years to the day, almost like a week off. I got diagnosed with uterine cancer. Wow. Yeah. During COVID I didn't think I was gonna get emotional. So that happened, you know, almost five years to the day it was during the pandemic, early stages of pandemic. And again, I still hadn't had a fever. Like we're dealing with this global like, the world has never seen this. We don't know how to handle it. But this time it was cancerous. So it was just like, Okay, well, now what are you going to do? And it was just, but it actually it was the best thing that ever happened in my life. The best thing that ever happened? Yeah, so during that time, the whole world was terrified. Like no one knew how bad how severe like, everything just shut down. And Dave Chappelle started doing his summer camp. In the middle of like a cornfield in Ohio. I was just extremely blessed to be invited to that. And I spent the entire 2020 in a cornfield with Dave Chappelle and his family. Yeah, he was actually the very first person so I went not knowing you know, like, whatever this they found something I go, and the doctors called me and I so Yellow Springs is two blocks, literally In two blocks, wow, there's nothing in Yellow Springs. The population is 3500 Whoa. And so I was there, and the doctors called me. And they're like, Hey, we have your results. And I was like, Okay. And they're like, starting to tell you that. What we found is cancers. And you know you This is June July 2020, like the beginning of COVID beginning of all this stuff, the world is very scared. And I'm in the middle of this small town. And I'm there with like the Dave Chappelle and friends, you know, like Erykah Badu comment, like, what everybody and everyone's terrified. And I was just like, Okay, I was walking down the street, and they're like, so we think we need to do this, you know, Dr. Language, and I was like, okay. They're like, are you okay? And I was like, actually, I don't think that there is a better place in the world at this time that it could have received this information. Because Dave had created this bubble. This is insulated bubble, because he was paying for everyone out of pocket to get COVID tested. Everybody was coming from New York, LA, whatever, all these incredible, talented people. But we were all scared because we didn't know what COVID was going to be. So that happened. And I got the I got off the phone. And I didn't tell anybody. No one knew. And I was like, actually, I think this is the best place that could have ever received this kind of information. So I spent the rest of the weekend it was the most incredible weekend. Erykah Badu she's like, I see your spirit. I see your love. It was amazing. There what else happened that weekend? Oh, my God, it was Dave brought in all of his friends and family from all over the world out of his pocket to create this magical experience in the cornfields of Iowa springs, Ohio. I was just magical. It was really magical. And I didn't tell anyone what I had discovered on that phone call. And then, at that time, during the pandemic of Atlanta, you know, black lives matter was a real thing. There was riots. There was racial, there was outrage, there was a lot of things happening at that time, it was a very sensitive time. Technically, my residence was still in New York, you know, this is like, I didn't, I didn't know what to do. And I had a rental car. So I'm like, I gotta go, like, I have to go back. The doctors told me I need to, like go back home. And Atlanta had declared a national state of emergency where they had, I don't know what you call it, but like the tanker trucks, like, there was riots on on another level, because of Black Lives Matter. And everything else that was happening at the time. And Dave was like, great, where are you going? Like, just just stay, we're doing movie night at the house. Like, just stay, we're gonna hang out, like, we're gonna just, why would you go back to Atlanta, it's like, it's in a state of emergency. Just stay like, you know, the President has declared and I was like, but I had so much anxiety, I was like, Hi need to go. Like, I just have a rental car. I just need to get back. And I need to go to the doctor. And he was like, Okay, have you told anyone even in your life at this point, he was the first person I told him. Wow, I mean, when I say I was like, sobbing, like, a, like a baby, I was just crying. And not because I was telling him, I just found out I have cancer, I was crying because I was like, Thank you for providing this beautiful, insulated bubble of love with these amazing people, because we don't know if the world is gonna end tomorrow. But you have created this beautiful experience for all of us to trust and share and egos are left out. And we're all just, we don't know what's going to happen. But thank you so much for allowing me into your home into your bubble and to your friends. And just as he was the very first person I shared my diagnosis with Yeah, then I got in the rental car. I drove home that day, and the rest is history. So I'm good now. But it was just a it was an incredibly teachable moment of number one, our health. What's important, our relationships, what are we doing? Just just life like we get so caught up in things that are not so important. And then when the world when you think the world is ending, you just have no idea how to combat that. And, and everything gets really calibrated very quickly these things, and I don't even like social media and the stress in your employer. None of that is really important when you realize, okay, so things get really real. What am I going to stress about? And I talked about you that in San Diego when we went, I was like, listen, stress is a choice. I believe stress is a choice. So if you're like, I'm so tired, I didn't sleep. I'm so tired from work. I'm so tired from my friends. I'm so tired from my family. All of that is a choice. And I just believe stress is a choice that we don't have to partake in. And that has really changed my entire life. Great. I didn't know I was gonna be like tissue. Thank you for sharing. Yeah, well, I didn't know we were gonna go there. We just flow when we aren't. I was like, Oh, we're on the street now. Okay, we are flowing Hi. Wow. But it's, it's the best thing that's ever happened to me. And then so, too, because my question of curiosity is, so I guess you've returned to Atlanta. And then did you surgically remove it? And then it was done? I did. But let me tell you. So the first time it was it was a five year difference. So the very first time that I had the tumor, I had to have a full C section. Hell, it's before COVID. So my family friends, everyone came to lie. It was funny. It was cute. Like, whatever I had holes, you probably I hook in the room. Yeah, it was all good. Now, when I did that, after 2020 It was a combination of this time, okay? It's it's not benign, it is cancerous. And also, because of COVID. The hospital was extremely sterile. So the first time I had all my friends, family, teddy bears flowers, everyone came second time, because it was 2020. No one could even drop me off. Like you had to get COVID tested before you pulled into the hospital. So it was very sterile. That contrast of experience felt very cold. And I will say I don't think I've ever felt lonely in my life. I'm blessed to say that. Because I think I have a lot of family and friends. That experience felt so incredibly cold and sterile. Because no one could come with me. It was COVID. So it's like, I can't even drop you off. Like you have to, you have to pull in, get COVID tested, then you have your surgery. I mean, my friends were having babies and their spouse couldn't even be in the room to like deliver their child. This was at that time. So it was it was a very unique experience. I know that we have come over, I think the hump of COVID. But there was a huge, incredible window of time where people experienced COVID on a different level people, people lost family members and COVID that they couldn't say goodbye to people had babies during COVID that they couldn't be in the room. Like that window was really unique. And I think as a human community, I don't care who you are, where you lived in the world, and how much money or how little money you had. There was it it was a really solidifying bond, because I don't I don't know of any other time that people experienced that. Absolutely. So that was really interesting. I think about going into the future, the next generation, our kids, our friends, kids, the grandparents, like COVID will be a time we talk about that like, is unique to our generation, and where we were in what we're experiencing that you think about the folks who live through like the Great Depression, and they're like, this is what it was like we were in the lines like for food, like trying to do our best. And some of those, those experiences you've shared, I think are really well when we take your birthday. We did your birthday in the limo. Yes, I talked about that all the time. Listen, Danny was in New York, and she was selling her birthday topic COVID we still wanted to celebrate but how do you celebrate New Yorkers shutdown? So when you got the limo, and we were riding around, riding around New York, only to experience how to feel somewhat normal was at that point, it was like what is normal? And we're riding around this limo like drink. We didn't go anywhere. We came straight back. We went everywhere. Yeah. And no, we also, we didn't get out of the limo, right. But that was a really one, it was a really creative way to celebrate. But also, I think at that time for your birthday in February, we were, we were all so thirsty, like seeking human contact. So I think there was 10 of us. And we all came here to celebrate you. And we got in a limo, we drove around, and we came back here and it was just like, oh my gosh, because at that point, it was still like coming off of the pandemic, where like, no one knew what to do. Like, can I hug you? Can I touch you? Are you wearing a mask? Like it was? It was still new? Yeah. And we didn't know what to do. We didn't know how severe that was gonna be. That was really beautiful. Yeah, that was such a fun time. It was. And I think I remember like, you really invite others on journeys with you. And I remember you were coming to New York, and it was around Christmas time. And there was like a white elephant gift exchange. And it's funny because yes, it was quest loves, like gift exchange. There's a song called The Truth sign. And it was so funny because I remember when you told me, you're like, all right. Khosla was putting on the white elephant gift exchange, it's really special. You're going to pick something, and it's going to be of significance to you. And when we get there, we're going to share you know what it's about. And so I took that seriously. I was like, I know a grace. Okay. We need to be, we need to, okay, integrity. Hello, it needs. Okay. So I looked. I was like, Okay, what I'm about to bring, and I was like, Okay, I'm looking, I'm thinking I'm like, Oh my God, to tell the truth sign, which somehow we gotta bring it. We got to show it sometimes. But it's a neon green, tell the truth sign. And the lettering matches my tattoo. It's like, same kind of like cursive. So I'm like, Oh my gosh, that's it. And I'm like, I'm gonna bring this tell the truth sign, which is not it's not small sign. So I like remember, I'm like, do I have a bag big enough, but I have my whole story. And like, I'm going to talk about, you know, the ending of one relationship and the journey of who am I and why telling the truth is so important, not only to others, but to yourself. And I have a whole speech prepared. I'm like, Oh, amazing. It's gonna be like, 10 people, everyone's gonna love it. And then like, we go to the museum of ice cream. It was so fun. I was like, okay, Museum of ice cream. Never been here before. And again, the elevator and I see people I recognize from TV growing up, and I was like, Oh my God. Hey, Hillary, how are you? I was gonna say, Hillary. Yeah, it was like, she's super dope. How are you? And then we go down to the basement. And I'm like, Oh, my gosh, we have all the the swings and everything. And then I'm like, oh, oh, there's more than 10 people. Oh, is like, Oh, is this a big group? Maybe? Is there another room? Oh, okay. We're here. Okay. Hello. So I remember like going through the exercise, and then the hammer, little speech repair. And I was like, oh, and then as it went on, I was like, Oh, I'm not gonna get to tell my speech. Like, this is not. I prepared it for nothing. I rehearsed. I was ready to impress people. And but it was so funny, because I like imagine this whole thing in my mind. And, and it was so fun, though. Like, it was so fun. There were so many different gifts. I think that tell the truth sign got exchanged, maybe like two or three times. Because at the end, it was like State Games. Yeah, it was very relevant. Like five gifts that they were very aggressive. They were like, let me get the Shroom chocolate. That's mine. Yeah, like, there were like five deaths. And I remember I think it got exchanged like twice. And the original guy that got it. I went over to him. And I was like, because he was like, oh, man, and I'm like, hey, I can show you how to get your own name. And I'm like, give me your number. I'll text you that information. And I got it. I was like, Mommy, can you send me the information on how you got this made? And I like sent it to him. But it was cool because I did get to connect on that one to one level and like hear like okay, why did you Why Why did this speak to you? I can help you get one on your own. But it was so funny because I'm like, Okay, mommy, we got it. She's like wait, we wait, you took the tell the truth. I was like, by the way, how much did that cost? She's like 400 I remember that. I was like damn, elephant is like $10 Maybe 50 But 400 Now that's on me. Okay, I was trying to do too much T DGM. do too much. All right, but it was very popular. Yes, we got a new one to grace the space and since then, we've done tell the truth circles here. And I think that started out my birthday. And so we actually do it here. I love we have a tell the truth moment. Are we having them we are We're having a right okay, okay, let's go. What is a truth? That is on your heart that maybe you haven't shared with anyone? Maybe not even yourself yet. So I will say like remember in San Diego when I told you I was like, I just learned my No. So I just learned my no at 40. And I didn't know that I had ever lost my no thanks to Taria and never known that I had lost my No. And I think that the most empowering thing that I have learned in this journey recently is rediscovering or owning my No. So I say no, a lot. Now, happily. Because no is a full sentence that I feel really good about exercising, I used to in my 20s and 30s feel like I had to justify or excuse why couldn't do something, or any any, you know, any, any variation of No, what I love now and the beauty of it, and it has given me given me freedom. And now I say no happily because it has liberated me to really understand that I don't owe anyone anything. And that includes family, that includes friends, that includes past lovers includes everyone, I don't owe you something. And let me remove the guilt that I used to feel that I needed to give you an excuse to say no. And in my growth, I'm sure as your growth since we've known each other. It may go growing and climbing people feel more and more entitled, including friends, that I owe them an explanation. So it has been really beautiful as me saying no, without that's it no period, it has given me a lot of freedom to just enjoy that space. Also, it's given me a reflection of my real relationships. So a lot of people that I've known for 20 years, all of a sudden now I just say no, and I see a different side of you pivoting as a reaction of my No, but there's no hard feelings. It's just it's just the it's just where we are. And in the pursuit of my own joy and my journey. If you're not matching me, it's okay. I just don't feel like I need to explain that. And, and that growth has been trying. It's been challenging. It's been beautiful. And I feel like I've learned a lot from it. And we talked about that. And my gosh, yes, yeah, I remember in San Diego being in the kitchen across from you. And you were on that side of the island, I was on this side. And you were sharing it with the group. And I was like she's speaking to me. And I know that I had definitely most of my life where I did feel the fear of disappointing someone hurting their feelings. And so I would appease go along with and what I didn't realize is I was storing that somewhere. Yeah. And it wouldn't necessarily show up in the like, traditional, recognizable, you know, resentment, things like that. But it was still creating a filter a wall and not allowing me to like fully express myself as my highest self. And so it's like, that is something I started practicing. And I loved the language you put on it because I didn't have a name for it. And another way of thinking about it. For me, it was like, oh, I want to like, tell my truth. And that's how I thought about it. But you saying it's practicing my gnome. Like when I'm feeling it, it's no, that totally simplified it for me. And you shared how as kids because you're like, I'm finding my gnome. And then I think you shared this example of you know, when you're a kid, like you have nose you got a lot of nose, you're like No, I don't want do you want this? No, I don't want it. Nope. And kids are not like like, we're not like what what? No, you don't ask it like but why would you want the broccoli? You're like, okay, you know, like got it. And so I loved that it's kind of like coming back to our no because we started with a no because we're like no, for whatever reason I fell into my body for some reason. I think we are conditioned number one as women and then additionally all the other layers of whatever. Over time we are conditioned to apologize for our know. And so what TARIO really brought to the forefront. I mean, I was like boohoo crying on that trip. And she's like who took away your no I was like I I don't know what she's like, well, who? When did you lose your? No. And I said to her, I was like, I don't ever remember having a no. And then she was like, Oh, you had to know. She was like, Maybe you lost it when you were two, or three or one or whatever. But she's like, I was like, I don't remember ever having a no. And that shirt was really good for me. Because I realized one I lost my know when I was too young to remember. But to also like, that is a really powerful thing that women should know. And I don't even recall when I lost it, because my duty in my life of 40 years was like, I have to be the daughter, I have to be the sister I have to be this I have to be that. And I don't remember ever exercising my No. And that is really critical and how we grow as people because it's it's it's a powerful element that when you take away a cipher women a cipher women of color, aside from all these things that we deal with in social injustice, when you take away someone's No, you are ripping away. They're they're there, right. And we're dealing with it now. But it was something I never even thought about, ever. Hmm. I think this is really valuable. It's really important that we know where we stand. And even as small children, we know when, when it is okay to say no. And from there as a small child, to growing up in in society and women and our culture, and then corporate culture and everything else, everything that we do. I think it's really powerful. But we get stripped of that. ability. And, and that is something I feel really passionate about, but I never even thought about it. It's huge. Thank you. Listen, sometimes life be life in and we do not know what's coming down that road next. Well, that's what happened to me in 2016, when I was unexpectedly laid off from my job. And I was six figures in student loan debt. I had no savings. And I didn't know what was going to happen next. Now, luckily, I had this little voice inside of me at that time that I couldn't ignore, and it was telling me to take the leap. It was saying, use this as your opportunity to build your business. Use this as your opportunity to create your dream life. And so I believe that life happens for us, not to us, and that nudge in my spirit, I should listen to it. Luckily, I did. Fast forward to today, I have a business that's made over $20 million. And I've helped over 10,000 people create their online businesses and their dream lives. So do you want to learn how to turn your story into an online product and launch in 30 days, head on over to course from scratch.com Ford slash since 3000. I want you to join us on this journey so you can listen to that little voice inside of you too. So go now Do yourself a favor course from scratch.com Ford slash since 3000.