Episode 209: Show Notes
Today on the podcast we have Molly Stillman. Molly is the founder and creator of Still Being Molly, a lifestyle blog that has been around since 2007, and the host of the Business with Purpose podcast. Molly had over 600,000 readers last year and she has become a trusted community for women, especially moms – covering everything from ethical style, clean beauty, real food, parenting, to serving your community and making the world a better place. We all have a purpose in life and one of life’s most challenging journey’s is discovering exactly what that purpose is. So many of us suffer from an identity crisis. We don’t know if we’re on the right path and we often don’t know who to turn to for wisdom and advice.
Today, we delve into Molly’s personal story and what she went through in the discovery of finding her true purpose. Molly shares the rough journey she went through losing her mom in high school and a lot of authentic, deep conversation around how you can start having your own self-realizations and self-discovery. If you have lost a parent or someone else close to you, this might be a story to which you can really relate. Molly shares a lot of tools to help you do some of your own self-reflection, find your deeper, “Why?” and how to apply that to into your life and business today. By the end of this episode we’ll have you peeling back those onion layers to get to the core of your “core”... without the ubiquitous tears.
Molly’s Late Mother And The Lasting Impact She Had On Molly’s Life
Uncovering her own purpose has taken Molly almost 32 years and she feels like she is just uncovering what that purpose truly is. This is something that Molly is passionate about. Molly’s mom passed away when she was a senior in high school. Her mom was an army veteran and served as a nurse in Vietnam. When Molly was in second grade her mother fell very ill overnight and it turned out that she had a very rare disease that only four people in the world had! The disease didn’t even have a name and it was related to her exposure to Agent Orange. Her mom fought for her life for 10 years and so from a young age, Molly had to become her mother’s caretaker. Veterans in the 70s, especially women veterans, were not treated the way they are today. Molly’s mother had people spit on her. She had trash thrown at her. Terrible things. This led her mother down a very dark path. She suffered from alcoholism and drug addiction and as she was recovering she wrote a memoir called Home Before Morning which was one of the first non-fiction accounts of a women’s experience post-war and the 80s TV show, China Beach, is based off of her mom’s book. Molly’s mother was an advocate for women veterans and that became her outlet that she used to recover from all of the pain and suffering. It became her clear purpose. Even when she didn’t have an ounce of strength to even get out of bed, she would muster up the strength to go out there and serve people and put them first. Molly watched her mother care so deeply for others as a young adult and this had a lasting impact on Molly’s life.
Find Out What Happened To Molly’s Life Course After Her Mother Died
After Molly’s mother died, she felt very lost and kind of just dug herself into college. She distracted herself and made some very poor financial decisions in college that landed her in over $36,000 in credit card debt. When people are dealing with grief they often pour themselves into poor decisions, like drugs or alcohol. For Molly, it was shopping. That was her outlet. She felt alone, felt like she had failed everyone around her, and she didn’t want to tell anybody because she was ashamed. She spent the next few years hiding the struggle of her debt. Molly studied comedy and she loved to make people laugh and she used comedy to bandage up the pain she was going through. Her dream was to be on Saturday Night Live and she poured so much into this dream, but it ultimately was leading her into a deeper, darker hole. She wound up moving to North Carolina, broke, in a terrible relationship and looking for a job. It was here that she began to attend Church and in the fall of 2010, she really started to turn her life around. All this time she had been blogging about her experiences and she continued to listen to that small voice, telling her to share and open up. Then the doors started to open. She got married, had kids and started to realize that her dream to be on Saturday Night Live, went so much deeper than wanting to make people laugh. Through this time she started to uncover that depth; the depth of joy and the depth of serving other people. This back-story serves the foundation of Molly’s journey toward finding her own purpose – which today is serving people as well as working towards ending human trafficking. So how the heck did Molly figure that one out?
Peeling Back The Layers To Get To The Core Of Your Purpose
When you begin to peel back the layers of an onion, eventually you’ll find the core. In Molly’s case, her surface level “layer” is her comedy and interest in making people laugh. If she peels that back, it’s because she really wants to bring joy to other people. If she peels that layer back, she really wants people to feel free. When she learned about human trafficking, this hit the core of Molly’s “onion,” where she just knew that this had to stop. She then started examining all of those things and the root question for her was, “What keeps me up at night?” At the end of the day, life is hard and life sucks sometimes and being a business owner is freakin’ hard! A lot of people give up but successful people never give up. They keep showing up every single day. And to keep climbing over those hurdles in the face of rejection; there has to be a purpose, a deeper “why”. Molly shares a story, from two months ago when she announced, on her blog, that she was pregnant. Two weeks later, her and her husband had their third miscarriage. Her pregnancy announcement got thousands of shares, likes, comments and now Molly had to go and tell them the very raw, personal news that the baby was not coming. She did this. And her story got thousands of people reaching out to her saying “Me too” and “Thank you.” A lot of women expressed how alone they were in their journey with miscarriage and thanked Molly for giving them the permission to feel how they felt. And that is why Molly does what she does. Because if she can help one person know that they are not alone, then she feels like she has done something worthwhile.
How To Find People That You Look Up To And Can Model After
Molly’s tribe of women and friends, the ones that she texts everyday, are not women in the creative industry. Molly likes that she surrounds herself with people who don’t do what she does because they can give her an outside perspective. But they are still in a similar walk of life to her and they provide a lot of wisdom. They have a no BS type of friendship. That’s the first thing that Molly advises, is to find people that do nothing similar to what you do. Finding real friendships is hard as an adult, it takes time, but you have to try. It took Molly years to make solid friends after college. But you don’t have to find a whole new group of friends. Even if you find just one friend; one person to be “your person”. Another big support for Molly is her husband and recently her counselor. Molly often wonders why she waited so long to find a therapist. It has been a life saver for her and is the best decision she ever made. Sometimes making friends can just mean you reaching out to a person that you admire and saying, “Hey, can we get lunch?” A lot of the time we put so much pressure on making someone our bestie and we of course don’t want to seem needy. But hey, it’s just lunch and they might appreciate that too. On the flip side, if a friend is not giving you what you need then just move on. Don’t make it so complicated. To have the support of good relationships is so needed for finding your purpose. And again you don’t need a big group, just one or two people who are excited for you, can support you, can offer you advice – even if they know nothing about your industry at all. Don’t overthink it!
Action Steps You Can Take To Help You Start Finding Your Purpose Today
The first step is answering the question for yourself, “What keeps me up at night?” Is there an issue, or just something, anything, that you cannot stop thinking about? Everybody has a passion, something that they truly care about, so what is that for you? Once you have identified what that thing is, then the second step is to look at yourself. If you are a business owner or an entrepreneur; look at yourself and how you are running your business. How can you start to implement your identified passion into your business? So, if you are someone who creates a physical product, maybe start to look at your supply chain. Are your pieces ethically produced? Can you partner with a smaller supplier? Can you help them instead? How are you treating your colleagues and your clients? Is there a different client experience you can provide? Dig deep for how you can implement your purpose into your business. The third thing is to do what is doable for you and your business. A lot of the time it can feel overwhelming for people who want to do good. So maybe what keeps you up at night is your family, wanting to be there, and be better and more present for them. If you feel like that is your purpose, then do that. Go home from work and shut work off. “Sometimes the greatest mission field we have is right in our own homes” (that’s a Mother Theresa quote paraphrase right there and it’s true). Sometimes your purpose doesn’t need to be complicated. It doesn’t need to be this big thing. It can be. But it doesn’t have to be.
- Molly’s Late Mother And The Lasting Impact She Had On Molly’s Life. [0:03:26.1]
- Find Out What Happened To Molly’s Life Course After Her Mother Died. [0:07:30.1]
- Peeling Back The Layers To Get To The Core Of Your Purpose. [0:14:00.1]
- How To Find People That You Look Up To And Model Off Of. [0:24:00.1]
- Action Steps You Can Take To Help You Start Finding Your Purpose Today. [0:40:00.1]
- What keeps you up at night?
- Look at yourself and your business.
- Do what is doable for you.