Second Act Success Career Podcast: Career Change Advice, Job Search Strategies, and Personal Development Tips

Get Curious About Your Career With Sales Director Turned Podcaster Meredith For Real | #88

June 22, 2023 Shannon Russell, Meredith Hackwith Edwards Season 1 Episode 88
Second Act Success Career Podcast: Career Change Advice, Job Search Strategies, and Personal Development Tips
Get Curious About Your Career With Sales Director Turned Podcaster Meredith For Real | #88
Show Notes Transcript

If you have been curious about what the future lies for you in your career or in life, then you must meet Meredith Hackwith Edwards!  Meredith has lived many lives including sign language interpreter, business coach, model, sales person, actor  and athlete. 

Meredith was a Mary Kay Sales Director for 17 years before she leapt into podcasting full time to host Meredith for Real: The Curious Introvert Podcast. Not only does Meredith produce her own show, but she is also a podcaster for hire, meaning she hosts and produces shows for brands looking to include a podcast as a part of their media presence.

On this episode #88 of the Second Act Success Career Podcast, Shannon and Meredith dive deep into life's twists and turns and how none of us know where our path will lead.  They discuss mindfulness and remind us that we get one life to do all the things, so we better make sure you prioritize the good stuff. Listen in now for some inspiration and thoughtful discussion about career planning, making change, and living life to the fullest on this episode of the podcast with guest Meredith Hackwith Edwards.

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Website - https://www.meredithforreal.com/
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Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/meredithforreal/
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Second Act Success Career Podcast
Season 1 - ​​Get Curious About Your Future With Sales Director Turned Podcaster Meredith For Real
Episode - #88
Host: Shannon Russell
Guest: Meredith Hackwith Edwards
Transcription (*created by Descript and may not be perfectly accurate)

[00:00:00] Shannon Russell: Hey my friend. Are you thinking about a second act? If you have a question about advancing your career or changing to a new one completely, you can apply to be a guest on an upcoming episode during my career strategy sessions. Just head over to second act success.co/podcast or check out a link in the show notes below.

Can't wait to strategize your plan for second act success.



[00:00:22] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: Why do we think, oh, once we are 18 and we answer the question, what do you wanna do when you grow up? we're forever stuck in that path. And if you deviate at all, you're a failure. No, that's not true. You have to operate in seasons and honor the seasons, and sometimes that means that you shift careers.

Sometimes it just means you spend your free time differently. Doesn't mean you have to have a total life flip around. And I think everyone should lean into it and pay attention to.

Asking themselves, what season am I in now? And am I aligning my life with that season? 

[00:00:56] Shannon Russell: Hey, you. Are you feeling stuck, [00:01:00] desperate for a career change or thinking of starting a business but you're just not sure how to make your first move? I'm television producer, turn Career coach Shannon Russell, and this is the second Act Success Career podcast. This is where you will not only get the career advice you've been craving, but you'll get tips from career and business experts along with inspiration from others who have made a career transition to find second act success.

Let's get started. All right, calling all introverts. If you are listening on the other side of those earbuds, this episode is for you. Meredith Heck with Edwards is the host of the Curious Introvert podcast. Meredith has done it all. She worked in sales, and now she models and hosts this social science podcast where she really tackles all these curious ideas, all about the world and other people, and tackles it in such a cool way.

It's one of my favorite podcasts, and I'm really excited to introduce you to her right now. Let's dive in [00:02:00] and meet Meredith. Hey, Meredith. Welcome to Second Act Success. How you 

[00:02:04] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: doing? Good. Thank you for inviting me on the show. Yeah, I'm very excited. 

[00:02:10] Shannon Russell: I wanna know where your first act 

[00:02:12] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: started.

My first act like being born into the world in Omaha, Nebraska. That was my first act. Yes. 

[00:02:20] Shannon Russell: Yes. It, yes. After school, you graduate, what is your first 

[00:02:24] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: career move? Ooh, it probably happened a little bit before I graduated high school. I was a sign language interpreter, American Sign language, so I got cross certified.

I was only level one, but not bad for self-taught and loved that. I always loved different languages and cultures, and I was like that kid in the really small town in Nebraska who I. Just always dreamed about traveling, which, where did I even get that idea? Maybe Sesame Street, I'm not sure probably, but, but when I moved from that small town to a bigger small town in Nebraska, I went to a church [00:03:00] that had a deaf ministry and just immediately was drawn to.

Sign language. And so I started learning some signs on my own from a book. And then when I went to high school, I had a lot of deaf friends for, strangely, there was like like four deaf kids that went to my high school and most of them were girls. So we hung out and, they would come to church with me and I would interpret for them.

And then I realized that you can make good money interpreting. so then I became an interpreter right outta high school, and that was okay until it wasn't. I, you know how it is when you are exploring different interests in your life, it's nothing's a waste, right? Mm-hmm. You realize, okay, it's like dating.

Yeah. All right. I like that you do X, but I don't like that you do y. Same thing with a career. So I loved connecting with people who had a different culture because people may not know that the deaf community is a different culture. It's not English. On your hands it's, it has its own syntax, grammar, et cetera.

And the culture is [00:04:00] different than a non deaf community. And I loved that part, but I hated the part about, as a translator, I was a machine. I wasn't a real person. And so when I wanted to talk and really connect, that was not an option. I was simply there to. Deliver the message across party lines.

So that was really my first act as, uh, I would say a little mini career didn't last very long. But what an interesting career 

[00:04:26] Shannon Russell: though. Being able to do that and getting into that community, I think it's so interesting and it's just so needed. I love that. That was your first act, and then what happened 

[00:04:34] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: after graduation?

I got married too young. That's very common in the Midwest of the United States, and even more common in religious communities. And so I married the wrong person at age 20, and then I worked at a call center, and life was a little hard during that time, but I also started a Mary Kay business. My mom and my grandmother were both Mary Kay sales [00:05:00] directors, and that seed had already been planted in my head and.

I never thought it was for me because I was very much in the dirt, loved science and biology, and wasn't good at those things in school, but had a passion for nature and really had no interest in makeup or. High heels, but sometimes you just find something about a career that you don't like everything, but you like enough of it that you're gonna try it.

And I liked the idea that I could not work at the call center anymore, and I liked people, so I liked connecting. Again. That connecting factor was a thread and decided to give it a try. And I did that for about 17 years. I earned the use of three Mary Kay cars. I had a moderate level of success. And through that I really got to meet all kinds of different people because I struggled with anxiety a lot.

But what was neat about the Mary Kay is it gave me an excuse to [00:06:00] connect and I was invited into a lot of homes that I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have otherwise been invited into. Mm-hmm. And got to meet people with all different backgrounds and that really opened my mind to. What else is out there, right.

In 17 

[00:06:16] Shannon Russell: years, that is long time to be involved with Mary Kay. So communicating, reaching out to people, getting over that anxiety and so. What happened after the 17 years?

Were you dabbling throughout that into other things? Because you have a lot on your resume. 

[00:06:31] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: You've done a lot. Yeah. I That kid that's, Hey kid, what do you wanna be when you grew up? And she says five things. Yes. That never grew out of that, but I think that's a strength that used to feel like that le what made me an orphan somehow, but it's really not.

My husband and I got married in 2014 and we decided straight away that. Our life would be one of travel, adventure, and freedom. And so we very purposefully chose to live in a very [00:07:00] small house that was not very nice, but had really low rent. And that allowed us to pay off. Over $40,000 was closer to 50, I think, or 60 when we got married.

But really the official account was 43,000 in three years. And then after that, we paid cash for lots of different things and decided to travel. The next step in our financial journey was, Building up an emergency fund. And it was interesting what happened mentally when we had that emergency fund built up.

Both of us became less risk averse in our careers, and I had been feeling. Maybe it was time to change and I just couldn't put my finger on it. The idea of, okay, you do Mary Kay for a season and then you move on. That's not really like a part of it that's just quitting, basically, just seeing us all.

You're a quitter. so it wasn't something that I had very many other people to look to. Like, oh, and she did it like this, but. In my heart, I just felt the season was [00:08:00] over. And looking back on my life, when seasons are complete and you stay with them for the sake of staying with them, you ruin all the memories.

Mm-hmm. Of that season. And I didn't wanna do that. I had this more financially stable situation. was feeling less risk averse, but I still didn't know what was next. I didn't wanna stop that and leave a void. I got into listening to podcasts, really on YouTube.

Just Joe Rogan. I really enjoyed watching him because, The way that he was present with the people that came on a show was so impressive to me, and it reminded me of what I did in Mary Kay when I went into a woman's kitchen and sat with her and really listened to her and looked at her body language and really listened to what she was saying and asked questions from a place of curiosity.

I noticed that skill listening and asking questions from place of curiosity was really on the downward slope in society, and it bothered me. So I thought, wow, that's really interesting that. Podcasters do that. I learned how to listen to podcasts, not just on YouTube but on like [00:09:00] apps. The real way.

I binged all these interview format podcasts and realized that wasn't really unique to Joe Rogan, although he's incredibly skilled. And I thought, wow, okay, so that's what they do. Maybe I could do that. And kid you not, Shannon, my husband came home, I don't know, like a few days later and was like, you know what?

You'd be good at. And I hadn't told him like, Hey, I think I need to hang up my Mary Kay hat. He's, you know what you'd be good at? You'd be a good podcaster. What? That's so weird, cuz I just had that thought three days ago. Then about a week after that, in my small town in Florida, there was a lunch and learn a free lunch and learn principles of podcasting.

Really, it hasn't been held since. It was just random and I thought, okay, I am getting the message here. I will go to this thing. And I showed up. There was a ton of people there and some of the people on the panel were I. Tech people that take care of that part, the tech part of [00:10:00] a podcast, because that was very overwhelming to me.

I'm not an early adapter in the world of technology, and I told my husband about it and he simply was like, you should do it. He was so enthusiastic about it, which that is not his normal thing. He's normally a cautious person. And because of all the coincidences that had happened, I thought, okay, I will.

So that's how my start to podcasting started, but I had no. Real clear intention of exiting the season of Mary Kay. But as I got more into podcasting, a few months went by and I thought maybe I could make this something, and my husband said, let's do it. Let's take the risk. We can do it financially. That's totally great.

Let's go for it. So February of 2020, which is a weird time to give up income, I called the company and resigned my position and now, I produce and host my show, Meredith For Real: The Curious Introvert where [00:11:00] I encourage people to explore nuance outside the algorithm by leading with curiosity and listening.

And since then, I've also become the host and producer of a Scammy County Public Schools podcast called Voices United Education. So yeah, making actual money, it's pretty crazy. That's so 

[00:11:20] Shannon Russell: incredible because I don't know if a lot of people know podcasters don't make money right off the bat. No. At all.

Mm-hmm. So the fact that you felt this, it seems like it was a sign that your husband was on board, you're noticing these signs that you hadn't noticed before and. For you to just resign. Go for it. And now you are making money as a podcaster. I commend you. That's so 

[00:11:42] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: exciting. Thanks. It's weird, right? 

[00:11:45] Shannon Russell: It's awesome.

And your podcast, Meredith For Real, is different than other podcasts because you're not in a niche, right? You are talking about everything. Talk to me about all the different topics that you cover in this interview style podcast.[00:12:00] 

[00:12:00] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: It is interesting. And I did get advice to not do that when I got, when I came, they were like, you need to pick a niche.

And I was like, I don't really want to, and that's not usually advised, but it turns out that the niche is a. It's a vibe, really. And the vibe is exploring nuance outside the algorithm with curiosity. And the category umbrella is social science. Mm-hmm. And I have Jordan Harbinger's podcast to thank for that insight because I discovered him about a year and a half after.

Launching my show and realized how similar we were, and it was the same kind of thing as this social science. So that's really the category. But I interview anyone from sex workers to scientists, and we talk about human behavior, we talk about the history of vibrators, making friends as an adult, the stigma of male anxiety.

I like to explore the questions that people [00:13:00] think, but don't say. Mm-hmm. And finding the right guest to explore those questions with is sometimes difficult, but I think that's what makes it a good show is when I do find them, I worked really hard to find that guest and we explore something that either is taboo or something that.

You would think from the outside looking in is incompatible. Like the atheist scientist who studied near death experiences for 50 years. Mm-hmm. Right? You're like, that doesn't go together. The people who retired at age 29, retirement age 29, those don't go together, but they they do.

And there's so much treasure in those nuances. You just have to know the right question to ask in order to unlock it, 

[00:13:49] Shannon Russell: and you really do dive deep, listening to your episodes, you learn a lot about maybe this area or this field that you didn't know a whole lot about before, but it really does make you want [00:14:00] to dive into social science a little bit more and just learn and explore why.

We're all the way we are or the way. It's just really interesting to me. I love it talk to me about the producing of it, do you find that you are finding a person first or you're researching a topic and then going out and finding 

[00:14:17] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: the guest?

It's both. And I really follow my intuition as my guide. If a guest or a subject doesn't feel right, but I feel some sort of pressure cognitively to go that direction because it's a trending topic, I really have to stop and go, okay, is this really the right move? And listen to my gut, you know? And so that's like the guiding light for the content that I create overall.

But sometimes it does start with a question and sometimes it starts with a guest. So a question. That I would really right now, like Dan Harris, former ABC News broadcaster who had a public panic attack on live television. I really would like him to come on the show. So Dan, if you are out [00:15:00] there, and the question is, why is meditating hard?

And now I'm totally fixated on him because of the way that he talks. He's such a type A personality, he's not gonna talk like a guru from la and I like that. And I like the contrast of that. I like the incompatible nature of that. So now I'm stuck on that coin. So sometimes it happens like that.

Yeah, like it's a question, why is meditating hard? And then I find the person and then hopefully they're not too out of reach. Now, sometimes it's in reverse. I'll be watching Netflix. This is frequently how I find guests. 

I love documentaries. And they will get an expert on the documentary and the name of the expert. And what they do is at the bottom of the screen. And so I will. Pause it and Google that person. And usually those people are the best guests because they're great on camera. They are not pay walled behind a lot of publicists.

and usually they have something to promote, like a book. So it's a perfect [00:16:00] trifecta. So like the futurist that I got on the show, she was from Netflix's, the Future of Rose Eveleth amazing guest. That's 

[00:16:08] Shannon Russell: brilliant. That is so great. So you're really able to reach out and say, Hey, I saw you on this.

I wanna dive in further on this. And you're gonna have another amazing conversation on your 

[00:16:17] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: show. Exactly. 

[00:16:20] Shannon Russell: Hey, they're my friend Shannon here, just popping in quickly. Because I'm wondering, is this episode getting you thinking?

Are you starting to come up with ideas for your second act? Maybe it's changing careers, writing a book, starting a business, whatever it is, I am here to help. You can book a free discovery call with me so that we can chat about your next steps. So head over to second act, success.co/coaching. Now let's get back to the episode.

So talk to me about also being a paid podcaster I was reading in your bio that you get hired by brands so talk to me a little bit about that to 

[00:16:58] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: our listeners, how that works. [00:17:00] Yeah. I think it was about a year and a half into podcasting my own show that I started to notice when I would run into people in my town, they would say, oh, my company has been thinking about doing a podcast for years, and it happens so often.

Either they just left it on the idea table or they handed it to some poor administrative woman, and that has worked out one time that I've met, and she does a great job, but most of the time it's just overwhelming for that person, and it's really not their job. They're the administrative professional, not the digital content creator.

Yeah. And so I started to create a pitch packet to pitch myself as. The talent and the producer for potential shows, for brands that wanna add a podcast to, to their lineup. Like a week later I get a message from a branding firm in town that I work with other things, cuz I'm also a model.

And so they know me through that. And I'm [00:18:00] also, I don't know what my title would be, head Salesperson slash idea Generator of a startup here in town. Okay. And so they also work with that, it's called Simple Coat. They messaged me and said, Hey, we have a client that wants to start a podcast, but honestly, I have no idea how to do that, and I know that you have one.

Can we talk? And I said, sure. So we jumped on Zoom, we're talking, and I said, kinda made it sound like, oh, I do this all the time, but I did it do in my show. So it wasn't dishonest. It's just, and it was strange that I just created that pitch packet. And again, the coincidence.

Yes. And so I, I sent them my skillsets and what I might do to be able to support that part of that client's needs. And it became, yeah, a paid gig. And so I've talked with a few other companies since then, and so hopefully in this next year I'll be able to close another client or two. That's 

[00:18:53] Shannon Russell: fantastic you're right, it's such an idea.

Oh, a podcast. A podcast. But there's a lot that goes into the production of a podcast. [00:19:00] So to be able to go to someone like you and have you produce it and do the branding and all of that, that's much more beneficial for these companies. 

[00:19:08] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: It's very different than just being the editor.

Being an editor is so important, and I'm not really skilled in that way, so I hire that out. But. What I do is more of like the project management side. Mm-hmm. So sitting down. And talking with the client about why are we doing this and working backwards. Mm-hmm. And how are we gonna measure success? And who is your ideal audience member?

You know the stuff you can't Google, cuz anyone can Google how to start a podcast. It's honestly not difficult, but it's the creating a quality podcast with purpose that I think causes the idea of starting a podcast to live on the idea table for years. 

[00:19:44] Shannon Russell: 

You're helping them get it out there. Are you still modeling? I know we talked, you were a model, but then Covid hit and that kind of 

[00:19:52] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: Yeah. Made it a little trickier. I've had, yeah, it's been pretty slow since quarantine. I've had Woo, [00:20:00] one job last year.

It was a good job. I was a few days long and. There was no directing. It was just like, Hey, here's some, here's your fake girlfriends for the next long weekend. Hang out, go to the spa, go shopping, enjoy yourself at the beach. Ride bicycles in this beautiful touristy area and we'll video you and pay you.

And it was a great paying job and I actually, we all really got along and so we all keep in touch in group text sometimes and yay. Yeah. So I don't hate it, but it is a little on the slow side since 

[00:20:30] Shannon Russell: Covid. You were also named 40 Under 40 in the podcast industry by Podcast Magazine.

Congratulations. That was 

[00:20:36] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: last year. Thanks that, yeah, that was for 2022. And that's thanks to Gail Scott. So, uh, Mary Kay friend also. A podcaster as well. She nominated me for that. 

[00:20:48] Shannon Russell: Just gets you out there in front of more people. And another accolade. Let's talk about, that you had some anxiety when you were younger, and now here you are. 

Your podcast is a curious introvert, [00:21:00] you seem so extroverted in your podcast when you're speaking and you're modeling and just the way you present yourself. So do you still consider yourself an introvert? 

[00:21:10] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: Absolutely. I think it's easy to see the word introvert and think that it's synonymous with shy, awkward person.

Mm-hmm. It's really not. It's about the energy exchange. Energy in energy out, and a lot of performers are introverts and we get fulfillment from being around other people and from. Having those meaningful connections, heavy emphasis on meaningful. when you make someone laugh or you make them think, or you encourage them, that's meaningful.

And what's the easiest way to do that through a podcast or through some sort of digital content. And so I don't think it's that unusual. I do get a lot of people accusing me of being a fake introvert, but it's true. I really get my energy from. Being alone in quiet [00:22:00] spaces in nature. And so I have to be very intentional about how I operate because it's easy to spin out.

With a packed calendar. But yeah, definitely getting, still getting my energy from quiet time. 

[00:22:15] Shannon Russell: And this takes a lot of energy when you're interviewing someone or you're guesting, like that takes, that's your conversation. I feel like I was the biggest extrovert prior to Covid, and then I've become more of an introvert I just enjoy the conversations that I get to have now 

on the podcast with my clients. That's just so much more enjoyable to me than going out to a party with 50 people. It's all different phases of your life as 

[00:22:38] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: well. That is very true. Yeah. There's seasons. It's so weird how we as humans expect consistency out of ourselves.

Yes. When non-human nature lives in seasons, right? Yes, absolutely. Right. The actual weather, seasons, plants. Animals. Non-human animals have different behaviors in different seasons. Why [00:23:00] do we expect ourselves to have complete and absolute consistency, otherwise we're a failure?

Mm-hmm. And I think that same thing is true for. Career shifts, right? Yes. Why do we think, oh, once we are 18 and we answer the question, what do you wanna do when you grow up? we're forever stuck in that path. And if you deviate at all, you're a failure. No, that's not true. You have to operate in seasons and honor the seasons, and sometimes that means that you shift careers.

Sometimes it just means you spend your free time differently. Doesn't mean you have to have a total life flip around. It just means that you're going to behave a little bit differently on the weekends, for example. Yeah, it's totally a totally an okay thing that nobody should have to justify, and I think everyone should lean into it and pay attention to.

You know, asking themselves, what season am I in now? And am I aligning my life with that season? 

[00:23:57] Shannon Russell: Yes. And to give yourself that permission too. [00:24:00] Cause I think a lot of people feel like this is what I chose at 18 and I have to stick with this until retirement. And that's not the case at all. had different seasons, you had different careers that fit you in that time.

And I bet you feel the most present. Right now in this period than you've ever felt because this fits you now. 

[00:24:20] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: Yeah, I would say that's true.

I struggle with mindfulness, not thinking about five things at once, but that, I don't know if that's completely connected to seasonality. That's probably, as I'm analyzing your question and trying to answer honestly, I'm like, Yes, I am in the right place, but I'm always asking myself those hard questions now, whereas before I push those aside, and I'm sure you experienced that too as a former TV producer, and then you decided to become a fuller time mom.

Nobody's not a full-time, right? So make that clear. You're a fuller time mom. And there's different pressures with that too, of people raising their eyebrows and what are you doing? [00:25:00] But I think asking those questions, Without the audience of coworkers is a hard skill, but it's a good skill. So even just now, I was like asking myself that as you were asking me that, and the answer is yes, but I do struggle with.

Like narrating where you're like, okay, I'm in the shower. Okay, your job is to shower. Nothing about the five things you're gonna do after you get outta the shower. Oh, 

[00:25:23] Shannon Russell: that is so hard. So hard. I feel like I struggle with that too. There's always something.

I need a to-do list everywhere I go to write things down. I. Because, yeah. So yeah, to be present in the moment with what you're doing, that mindfulness is definitely a 

[00:25:36] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: challenge. 

[00:25:37] Shannon Russell: I love your story of changing careers, finding different things, exploring different things, and I feel like my mission with this podcast is to allow people.

The freedom to do that for themselves. Yeah. To know that you can change at any time I'm very happy with where I am right now with my two businesses and being present for my boys and all of that, but things [00:26:00] might change and I'll go on and do something else in five years.

I'm giving myself that permission and I just encourage others to do that as well. You Don't have to be stuck in the same thing forever, 

[00:26:10] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: oh, absolutely. And just as a future person who's going to die, not to get grim, but nobody lays on their deathbed and goes, you know what I should have done, I shoulda worked on more Saturdays. No.

So, yeah, I definitely appreciate the travel. I. Aspect of it. And, um, we're actually looking at how can we do more of that? Mm-hmm. So we're talking about in the near future, maybe living abroad for a couple of months at a time in an extended Airbnb or as a house sitter. So if anybody out there lives in a cool spot, needs a good house sitter, we fix things and I grow plants so that we can check more.

Places globally off of our list because as far as we know, we only get this one life as far as we know, as far as, and earth is a pretty freaking cool place. So yeah, I wanna see as much of it as I [00:27:00] can. And 

[00:27:00] Shannon Russell: you can take your mic with you. You can do it. 

[00:27:03] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: that's true. I can record it and then come back to wifi later.

I've, I have thought about this. I do think maybe in the future it would be really great to have a travel or anthropological type. Podcast. I think tourism would probably be more realistic cuz tourism pays anthropology, eh? Yeah. So much. You're onto something. 

[00:27:27] Shannon Russell: Just keep adding those podcasts to your resume there.

All right. It's time for our five fast cues of the week. Here we go. Name one thing that these different chapters in your life have taught you 

[00:27:40] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: that the so-called random stuff. That you're interested in isn't random at all. They're breadcrumbs and you should follow them. Would you 

[00:27:49] Shannon Russell: recommend taking a leap into a big life change to your best 

[00:27:52] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: friend?

Yes. But set yourself up for joy by being wise with your finances [00:28:00] first. I like 

[00:28:00] Shannon Russell: that. What is one piece of advice that you can give to someone who is starting 

[00:28:04] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: their second act? I would say don't wait for an official opportunity to do whatever it is you wanna do or explore, whatever it is, what you want to explore.

Your second act doesn't have to be a career change either. It can just be how you act differently, how you spend your vacation time. Instead of going to an all-inclusive resort in Cabo, maybe you go to a breath work retreat. You don't have to wait for someone to go, I hear by w.

Fill in the blank, right? Just do it. And if it is more job career oriented, find a way to volunteer in that space. I have a good friend, Lashante Cox, and she was on the show and we talked about how to find your passion in your nine to five, and that was one of the pieces of advice that she gave. And it's always stuck with me because you can be strategic about how you gear up for that second act.

It doesn't have to be a dramatic story of you living in your Prius. No. I hope not. [00:29:00] 

[00:29:01] Shannon Russell: So what does your next act look like? I know we talked a little bit about the travel, but what do you see for your next act? 

[00:29:08] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: I do see something in the area of travel and anthropology. I. But there's also something on the horizon I feel like in marine ecology, and I don't know what those things look like.

And I've gotten really used to not knowing what the future looks like, but just knowing that whatever the season is now I hold it with an open hand, right, an open palm, knowing that. My identity is not the thing that I'm doing. My identity is my identity, right? Mm-hmm. Yes, I'm a podcaster, but really I'm Meredith and I podcast.

Yes. And in the future I might tag marine animals or do. Interviews in the field while I'm traveling to interesting places on the planet. Who knows? So where can our audience 

[00:29:57] Shannon Russell: connect with you, 

[00:29:59] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: the best place is [00:30:00] really Instagram. I'm @meredithforreal, and that's m e r e d i t h f o r e a l.

But I'm on all the other socials as well. So really it's wherever you're most comfortable hanging out. 

[00:30:11] Shannon Russell: Okay. And then they can search your podcast anywhere. Meredith, 

[00:30:14] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: For Real? Yes, Meredith For Real. And then a colon, the Curious Introvert. It's a bright yellow logo, you can't miss it.

Or if you follow me on Instagram, there's a link in the bio and you can find it that way. 

[00:30:25] Shannon Russell: Great. And I'll put everything in the show notes as well. This has been so much fun, Meredith. I just love everything you're doing. So thank you so much for sharing it with 

[00:30:32] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: us.

Yeah, thanks for having me. 

[00:30:36] Shannon Russell: Thank you, Meredith. I really appreciate you showing this side of podcasting that people don't really know. The fact that you can make a living with podcasting, that you can make a podcast that you love, that you're learning from, and then you can also collaborate with other podcasters and produce their podcasts for them 

to connect with Meredith, head over to Instagram and follow [00:31:00] @meredithforreal thank you so much for spending part of your day with us. Be sure to subscribe to the Second Act Success Career podcast for more awesome interviews like this one with Meredith, along with career advice tips from experts and for ways to change your career or start a business in a way that makes the best second act for you.

Thanks again for listening, and I will catch you on the next episode of the Second Act Success Career podcast.

Thank you for joining us. I hope you found some gems of inspiration 

[00:31:30] Meredith Hackwith Edwards: and some 

takeaways 

[00:31:31] Shannon Russell: to help you on your path to second act, success. To view show notes from this episode, visit secondactsuccess.co. Before you go, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast so you don't miss a single episode. Reviews only take a few moments and they really do mean so much.

Thank you again for listening. I'm Shannon Russell and this is Second Act success.