modern life

Real stories about life, money, and redefining what matters.

This week: Entrepreneurship


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Nov 2021 | clock 17 min | Download transcript (PDF)

CEO life, uncensored

There's something deeply rewarding about coming up with an idea and releasing it into the world. For some, starting a company might mainly be about chasing financial payoff. But for others, it's about creative fulfillment, making a difference, and building something from the ground up.

This week’s guest, Akilah Releford, started her company as a college student. In the years since she’s found traction and success (but also that being CEO isn't always as glamorous as it sounds).



of venture capital funding last year went to women-led businesses.

Source: Bittner, Ashley, and Lau, Brigette, "Women-Led Startups Received Just 2.3% of VC Funding in 2020," Harvard Business Review, February 25, 2021.

Previous episodes


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Nov 2021 | clock 19 min | Download transcript (PDF)

Reversing roles with our parents

We tend to think our parents are adulting masters—until they make a questionable decision. Then we realize: Wait, maybe we know better. So how do you help them with touchy topics, like money, without alienating them?

This week's podcast guests, authors and influencers Kiersten and Julien Saunders, are pros at awkward-but-necessary family conversations. The keys? Preparation, patience, and a boatload of empathy.



of Americans live in a multi-generational household (with at least 3 generations).


Source: “Fact Sheet: Multigenerational Households,” Generations United, April 21, 2021.

Small business

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Nov 2021 | clock 20 min | Download transcript (PDF)

Small business, big impact

From your local coffee shop or workout studio, to your favorite Etsy seller or influencer—small businesses may touch your life in many ways. For owners, starting a business can come with risk and stress, but also a chance to build community and financial independence.

This week, we’ll hear from Kelsey Moreira, who found inspiration for her small business inside a bowl of cookie dough.


About 80%

of new businesses survive their first year.


Source: “Business Employment Dynamics: Entrepreneurship and the U.S. Economy,” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Gig economy

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Nov 2021 | clock 19 min | Download transcript (PDF)

Going big with a side gig

A side gig can be a chance to pad your income, double down on a hobby, be your own boss, or even test out a business idea.

This week, we’re talking everything side gigs—including how to turn passion projects into potential profits—with Jannese Torres-Rodriguez, who got her side-hustle start with a food blog, but now has 10 different gigs that together bring in a 6-figure income stream.



of full-time independent workers say self-employment is more secure than a traditional job.


Source: “State of Independence in America,” MBO Partners, August 2021.


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Nov 2021 | clock 19 min | Download transcript (PDF)

Have you heard the one about…

Every parent knows that pressure to be perfect—whether by keeping a perfect house, throwing perfect birthday parties, or sending out perfect holiday cards.

This week’s podcast guest, Jen Fulwiler, a stand-up comedian and supermom of 6, has a radical message for parents: Forget perfection. Love your kids, do your best, and everything else will fall into place. (So don’t stress over how gross your carpet is.)



Average hours per day spent on "secondary childcare" last year (like when you're trying to work but also have to watch your kids).

children graphic

By adults living in households with at least one child under age 13. Source: “American Time Use Survey Summary,” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, July 22, 2021.


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Oct 2021 | clock 16 min | Download transcript (PDF)

Out of your comfort zone

When was the last time you tried something really new—something that maybe even felt a little scary and intimidating? If you stuck with it and pulled it off, did you end up feeling like a total rock star?

If the idea of getting started with investing seems daunting, that's exactly the kind of mind frame you want to channel, according to this week's podcast guest, Ramona Persaud. And she should know: She's built a career on calculated risk-taking, and today manages portfolios of US and global stocks for Fidelity.



of the time, the S&P 500 has finished a calendar year with a positive return (historically since 1980).


Source: “Market Volatility is Normal: Staying the Course is Critical,” Fidelity Investments.


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Oct 2021 | clock 16 min | Download transcript (PDF)

Finding joy in a tiny house

It's easy to get caught up chasing the things society says you’re “supposed” to want—whether that’s a big fancy house, a big fancy career, or other trappings of mid-life achievement.

On this week’s podcast, we’ll hear from architect Macy Miller, who achieved it all only to realize that she didn't actually want what she was “supposed” to want. So she started from scratch, and built her own dream life—literally—plank by plank.

Today, she and her family share a tiny house, but also a slower, more contented, and more intentional lifestyle.



of homebuyers last year made an offer on a house without seeing it in person.

home buying

Source: Ellis, Tim, “63% of 2020 Homebuyers Made an Offer Sight Unseen, Shattering Previous Record,” Redfin, January 14, 2021.


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Oct 2021 | clock 20 min | Download transcript (PDF)

Well that came outta nowhere

Pretty much no one expected everything that life has thrown at us over the last couple of years.

But the amazing thing is, somehow, we’re making it though. On this week’s podcast, we’ll hear the inspiring story of a local Harlem business and its courageous owner, Tammeca Rochester, who survived the worst of COVID (and more), thanks to the incredible power of community.



The number of major life transitions the average person will experience in their lifetime.


Source: Feiler, Bruce, “How to Master Change,” Psychology Today, April 23, 2020.


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Oct 2021 | clock 19 min | Download transcript (PDF)

A pandemic fairy tale

Need a pick-me-up for your day? Might a little JVN magic do the trick?

On this week’s podcast, the one-and-only Jonathan Van Ness (of Queer Eye fame), tells us the heartwarming story of their whirlwind pandemic romance with now-husband Mark Peacock.

(And who said nothing good ever came from a stranger sending a DM on Instagram?)



of Americans say the growing variety of family structures is a good or neutral thing.


Source: Thomas, Deja, "As family structures change in U.S., a growing share of Americans say it makes no difference," Pew Research Center, April 10, 2020,


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Sep 2021 | clock 23 min | Download transcript (PDF)

Getting unstuck

As COVID reminded us all, life is short—too short to spend at a job that saps your soul. But making big changes can be risky, and it’s often hard to tell in advance whether that dream job you’re seeking will actually turn out to be a nightmare.

In our podcast this week, sought-after career guru Ashley Stahl shares her secrets for turning a bland career into a grand career.



of workers are considering quitting or changing jobs this year.

workers leaving icon

Source: “2021 Work Trend Index: Annual Report,” Microsoft, March 22, 2021.

Our Host: Jamila Souffrant

Jamila Souffrant is an award-winning podcaster, blogger, and money educator. She is the founder of the "Journey to Launch" platform and hosts a podcast of the same name, where she shares her journey to reach financial freedom while helping others do the same. Along with being a passionate financial educator, Jamila is a mom of 3 and a first-generation immigrant to the US.

Host Jamila Souffrant
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We’re proud to work with Year Up, an organization leading the movement to close the opportunity divide by helping young adults gain the skills and support needed to reach their potential. In honor of this program, Fidelity has made a one-time grant to Year Up and is also matching 100% of listener contributions.

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