YNS Live with David Shriner-Cahn

May 09, 2022

Listen to a new episode of Your Next Stop recorded live on Fireside with host Juliet Hahn featuring community builder, podcaster, and consultant David Shriner-Cahn.


I learned early on in my career how important it is to always have a Plan B because you never know when things may change.


After 28 years as a highly-skilled employee, David was told that his job was over. In spite of the immediate trauma and fear, he knew that as his next step, he’d rather work for himself and have more control over his destiny. That was in 2006.


Today, David is a thriving community builder, podcaster, and speaker. He helps high-achieving professionals, with a late-career job loss, build their consulting business, so they can do what they love and get paid what they’re worth.


Learn more about David at SmashingThePlateau.com. Follow him on LinkedIn.


Today’s episode is sponsored by:


  • Together Women Rise is dedicated to ensuring that every woman and girl has the opportunity to live freely, pursue her dreams, and reach her full potential. We are a powerful community of women and allies engaged in learning, giving, and community building. Visit TogetherWomenRise.org to learn more and join us!


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Go to YNS Live with Lee Matthew Goldberg and Natalie Kimber

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Juliet Hahn  00:04:05 

Hello, David. How

are you? Welcome to Fireside.


David Shriner-Cahn  00:04:11 

Thanks, so much, Julian.


Juliet Hahn  00:04:12 

So guys,

why live with David Sc Khan, who is the

founder of smashing the plateau. It is a podcast

and basically a movement. I'm gonna say David, I'm gonna go... I'm gonna go there.

you a movement, a community building movement,

So anyone, hey, Lazy, How are you? I know people are gonna be jumping in and out.

one o'clock. I feel like all of a sudden now that people are going back to the office,

it we we're getting a lot of replay lessons. So whether you're listening here,

i see people actually on Linkedin right now, I see people on Facebook.

Twitter and


and I'm also on Youtube live. So I see numbers there. So welcome

to all you guys on those platforms. I'm really excited about this because

as you guys know, usually, I have women on. I have had

some men on as well and David Night connected, I was actually on his podcast.

And we have synergy that I said, you know what? You have to come on to Fireside.

So what I wanna do right now before we start the show is anyone

you know, if you're in the audience or wherever you are, if you

share this. But, David, just so you can see you can click those two little lines to the bottom

a left, and you can click that where then you can broadcast to the world where you can send it

to your friends, you can text it. You can send it out.

and you can do it that way.

and that will get to people to say, oh, wait. They're alive. It's a

like, you know, when you're doing an Instagram live,

they can kind see, and we won't see them, which is kinda cool.

but they can actually jump into the show and and start talking. Yes.

Thanks for joining Lacey. So appreciate it. I hope you are doing well.

Okay. So I want to actually... Which is really exciting. We have a new sponsor here. Why

live and your next stop. So together, women rise is dedicated to

during that every woman and girl has opportunities to live it freely

pursue her dreams and reach her full potential.

They are a powerful community of women and allies

engaged learning giving community and buildings. So visit

together rise dot org to learn more and join them.

I had them on Barbara and Wendy, they were on last

week. I believe it was where they shared the story of how they founded together women rise.

and it is an incredible incredible story. So we will actually

be having them on because they had so many difference

Avenues and so many different stories that I wanted to dive into

we'll be having them on again with some of the the people that they work with that together, women rise. So

definitely go check out the other women's dot org. And now I want to

handed over to David.

david, I would love for you to share your story. And I know, you know, we've talked

I know a little bit about it. But what I wanna hear, you know, people to hear wherever your list

thing is how people can make pivots. What's

actually makes them make a pivot and how doesn't it happen? So

I'm gonna hand over to you if you can give us a little bit of background

on yourself, and then how you follow a passion and where you are now.


David Shriner-Cahn  00:07:07 

Sure. Thanks, Juliet. So, you know, it's kinda interesting.

when when I was in school, which is now a one time ago,

there was an assumption that

a career path would be

fairly linear. You'd study something you get a job. You go to work

in particular, if you work for a big corporation

there'd be lots of opportunities within the same organization for you to

climbed the corporate ladder.

that you'd would be in one career, things that things would

would accelerate for you fairly linearly

you'd do your thing for

thirty, forty years or so, and then you would retire and

live happy life.

and the actuality, it


it didn't happen that way for me, and the reality is

it doesn't happen that way for the vast majority of people.

And in fact, if it does happen that way, it's probably gonna be quite boring.


you know, with that that in mind, so my story is

studied chemical engineering. I have a masters from Cornell,

So good education, spent a lot of time studying

you know, these very technical areas. I had two different jobs.

that lasted in total for a little over four years in

as an engineer,

they were good jobs That was well paid. I liked what I did. I was good at it.

And the first

trigger for me wise,

in my second job just after my

second anniversary there and my second annual

performance review, which was a great review

they were very happy with what I did. I got a really nice race.

a month later, my boss calls me into his office and she's day, but I have good news and bad news.

Good news is you're doing a good job.

the bad news is, you don't have a job here anymore.

and I'm like, what?

I was young and naive and

you know, we weren't in school. We weren't really taught a lot about

the the business we were taught about doing engineering solving technical problems.

and I was not paying attention to the fact that the company that I worked for

and actually lost a lot of business.

and they ended up firing a huge portion of the staff including me.

So it wasn't performed related, but I was still have unemployed.

And it caused me to do a lot of soul searching.

And the the next job that I got was

a totally different field because I I'd become very disillusioned with sort of

you know, corporate life and wanted to be able

to do something else, and I ended up going into the process sector.

and became basically

a profit manager. I had

various executive roles and three different organizations over the next

twenty three years.


it was a lot more fulfilling to me personally because I was doing things that I thought

had social impact, and and I had really direct connect

with the people that we served in a way that I didn't when I was an engineer,

in terms of the kind of work I was doing, it was it was way more rewarding.

it was

that actually those twenty three years in some ways were

probably the most linear of my of my career, and I did

grow in the in in my roles. I grew in within the organization, the organization

that I worked for

also grew so they were more opportunities


I had learned early on of my career, how important it is to always have a plan b

because you never know when things may change.


So I had always thought about well what would I like to be doing?

that I'm not doing now, and and maybe we're things where I could

actually be more satisfied with what I'm doing. And the one piece

that that always bothered me was

not having the kind of control

that you have when you don't have a boss.

So the the the idea of entrepreneurship was something that had always intrigued me

but I didn't grow up in a family of entrepreneurs. I grew up with

two parents who both were employees

and we're we're very adverse to taking risks.

And so I wasn't really exposed to people who are entrepreneurs

However, when I was in a nonprofit sector, the board members were mostly entrepreneurs


Juliet Hahn  00:11:44 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:11:48 

some of them very successful.

So I was actually spending time


one Ceo who were

who who ran the companies.

And and I got to see, you know, sort of very different

side of how you could work and make a living.

and i and over time, I also

became friends with people who are entrepreneur had a good friend

who was a solo consultant who like me was trained as an engineer.

He actually still worked as an engineer, but he went into his own business

early on his career, and he gets sent me, David, I don't know why you don't just do what. I what I did.

and just go out on your own. I'm like, well,

you know, there's the paycheck and you know, expenses for the family and all that

and I was like,

you know, I I was reluctant to to take

what I perceived as as being a risk and

and being self employed yet, I kinda still wanted to do it. So

my plan b

became and this this took some time, but it became

to go out of my own. And the easiest for me was

to go from being a non profit executive to being a profit management because

solved. So I did that.

and and I didn't do it about


Juliet Hahn  00:13:00 

I'm gonna

I'm gonna actually pause you. Well, because I have... I...


David Shriner-Cahn  00:13:05 



Juliet Hahn  00:13:06 

I don't want you to hold that thought if it if it doesn't disturb you because there's a couple things that you said that

I want the listeners to to really kinda hone in on

and one of them was that you went on the past. I mean, you obviously went to school.

and had in your mind. Okay. I mean, you went to cornell now and then, you know, you got Mba and and and

what kind of engineer


David Shriner-Cahn  00:13:22 

No Mba. You no Just a masters and engineering.


Juliet Hahn  00:13:24 

Master sorry masters engineering.

But so I mean, that is a is a certain brain and and an entrepreneur, you know, we all like we

talk about different things, different brains, how they work in certain

in certain corporations or or in life in different ways.

So the one thing that kind of I wanna go back and I want you to kind of go into your

mindset when you were in that four years, you worked your butt off as you said. I mean,

Obviously, you're a good student, so you worked really hard and

you... Then all of a sudden were let go from

company that you thought that you probably were gonna be for a long time, and this is like your pass.


everyone knows that listens to the podcast. I truly believe whether it's god or universe,

that you believe in. I believe in god, I believe in both, but I do believe in god that we all have a path

and a lot of times, where our path takes us,

it is because we're we're building kind of blocks as we go. And we're never in the wrong pass

i really don't believe that. But in the path that you are, it's kind of

takes you where you're learning things, you get skill sets, and then you go into the next thing.

So for me, it's very fascinating because engineering

to me, you know, my listeners also know. I'm just lax so engineering. When I hear that, I like start

sweat a little bit. I'm like, oh, that sounds like a hard class. Like,

and a hard thing to do because my brain is not an engineering brain. It's more of a, you know,

creative just a different brain. So when you were there,

and then that happened you went your office. First of all, how old were you?

and what did that do to your mindset? Like, when you... Can you, like, kinda morph yourself back to that

time and think, like, okay. You leaving the office. Did you get pissed

where you signed, like, what emotions did you have there?


David Shriner-Cahn  00:14:57 

Oh, and when I... When I left knowing that I was fired,


Juliet Hahn  00:15:01 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:15:03 

I was, like,

totally blindsided I was... I was upset.


No idea.

what I was gonna do



Juliet Hahn  00:15:11 

And how old were you?


David Shriner-Cahn  00:15:16 

I I was in my late twenties. So it was a long time ago.


Juliet Hahn  00:15:16 

Yeah. But so, yeah.


David Shriner-Cahn  00:15:20 

Yeah. And and actually,

my more recent experience which... At this point already was sixteen years ago,

of leaving my last job in a nonprofit sector where I was also

fired. That one, I I remember my emotions

much more clearly.


Juliet Hahn  00:15:38 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:15:40 

And and it's kinda interesting because

you know, as I was just tell you, I I I had a plan b... I knew that my next

career move is gonna be going out of my own. And even though

I was ready mentally to do that.

the the fact

that I was told by the organization that I had

worked for for eighteen years that I was no longer wanted

was really painful.


Juliet Hahn  00:16:02 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:16:04 


you know,

and when it happened,

that last time


suspected it was going to happen because there was a new Ceo who was hired

and there was... There were some and I got along with him very well. They they weren't any

personal issues, they weren't any performance issues, but

he had a lot of the same skill sets that I had

and it was pretty clear the organization wasn't


Juliet Hahn  00:16:34 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:16:31 

it didn't seem likely they were gonna keep two people at high salaries.

you know, particularly a nonprofit.


so I kinda knew that

one once once it was clear that he was being brought on board,

it seemed to me that I was probably gonna be on the exit ramp within

you know,

some reasonable amount of time. And in fact, it was a year later.

that my job ended

And again, I I sort of had things mapped out in a way that I didn't have

earlier on when I left engineering. And even though I had a plan and I

I knew what I wanted to do

I just wasn't in control of the actual timing of it.


the fact that somebody told me that I wasn't wanting anymore, i was really painful.


Juliet Hahn  00:17:15 

It's really painful. And I'm I'm gonna take it out

to also thinking and, you know, this is not a a sec

but being a man, you know, I know in in my family, I've had

people that this has happened to, where it's kind of blindsided it.

it's also you're thinking, like, you're the bread winner. You're the person that's there. And i mean, not all

households are like that. But also, to then all of this sudden be like, okay. You're not

one and you're not needed anymore is is a huge ego blow. I mean, it

I've been in the situation where I've been let go, and it was like,

Oh, alright. That hurt because

I thought I was doing a good job. I thought this and that. So

when you had that year, when you knew, you kinda knew that

for year that you were gonna let, go, was there any time that you were like, I'm gonna leave before they

wanna eight... You know, let me go or you were just like I'm gonna play this

Did you have a plan in your mind that way?


David Shriner-Cahn  00:18:10 


didn't really wanna leave

on my own

because there was a financial incentive


Juliet Hahn  00:18:15 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:18:18 

to being pushed out, and I knew that if I wanted to start my own business,


all the help I could get.


Juliet Hahn  00:18:21 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:18:25 

would be would be useful.


Juliet Hahn  00:18:30 

which is smart?


David Shriner-Cahn  00:18:27 

So I... You know, so I I did wait for that reason, and that is actually

right And that's pretty common.

But you're right. The there's

not being in control of the timing


is is very painful. The other thing I'll say about it, and and I

you, spent a lot of time now in the last few years.

with everything we've done with their podcasts in the community

kind delving into what happens when you

transition from being a long time employee to

being on your own as a consultant, particularly when you've been pushed out,


Juliet Hahn  00:19:03 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:19:06 

and that is

if you

like me,

I I've been

in that workplace at that point for twenty eight years.


I was, you know, mid to high level. I was a high achieve I had always worked hard.

and you go from a place where you're

inbox is overflowing. Your calendars always full

there's a line of people outside your door all the time.

people always want your attention. They always want your help.

And when you

meet new people

self definition is, oh, I'm David


Juliet Hahn  00:19:37 




David Shriner-Cahn  00:19:40 

I'm the vice president of such such such company.

and then you walk out the door.

all of a sudden you have an empty inbox.

you have an empty calendar. Oh, And, by the way, the social structure that you had

from work.

was great. You know, you had this this built in

set of colleagues, and you have always had people that you could talk to

so you go. You you walk out the door. You're

your your time

you know, you're... As I said, your your inbox is empty your calendar, and b,

social structures gone your self identity,


gone because you're no longer David who

is the vice president of such and such. Your are

I don't know what I am because I haven't



Juliet Hahn  00:20:23 




David Shriner-Cahn  00:20:22 

I'm not selling anything new yet. I don't have a new business that it started yet.

Like, what do I put on my linkedin profile? I can't say that I'm still at the other

the company because I've gone, but I can't say I'm someplace else because I'm not there yet.

so self identity is is shot. And in fact,

the people that were part of your circle, i

informal social structure that are your professional colleagues,

all of a sudden, they're ghost you because there's a lot of

shame and embarrassment with unemployment.

And so

it's like

even though

you may feel like the victim that you've been pushed out

other people don't wanna hang out with you.

And so

it's very isolating. It's... You you really feel very



overcoming that and then figuring out


Juliet Hahn  00:21:15 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:21:12 

particularly if you wanna go out on your own, and then all of a sudden, you have to market in

sell something brand new, and the thing that you're selling is yourself is like you're not

selling the company you're selling you.

is really hard


Juliet Hahn  00:21:24 

it's re and and, you know, I just have to say, and I totally commend you for

pressing all that because I think it's important for people to hear because

...we're all... We've all been in the situation, and I'm gonna take it to my husband who is

very high level. I was younger when I was like,

  1. So it was, like, before kids and, you know, I was... I was the I think I my husband, I were dating at

time. Still you go below, but it different. Very different.

you know, I was young in the city. I was like, okay. I can go to the park now.

you know i mean during the day. So it's it's very different than when you're older.


David Shriner-Cahn  00:21:53 



Juliet Hahn  00:21:56 

And so I remember when my husband, one of the position

that he was that go that was completely fine.

side swipe. And, you know, we were living a very good life. And I just remember him saying

and I'm not gonna tell his story because even if he listen so really like, because I I don't always

explain things exactly the way it was. I... You know, I remember a certain way.

but he always worked. So the second he was able to get working papers

and work. He was a hard working man still is.

So for the first time in the

life. He didn't have

a job to wake up to go to.

And for him, that was really uncomfortable. So it was like, you know, he went I think he was

fourteen or thirteen, He used to ride his bike to City Island and chuck clam.

like, he was a go. Like, he's was like, okay. I'm gonna get job, you know, job here.

you were three jobs at one time where he didn't always need you. He just that's the

family he he grew up into. It was a hard worker. So I remember him saying to me that

it just... He's like, I don't know what to like I don't know what to do. Like, I've never not

just woken up and gone. Like, this is what my identity. And so everything that you just said you

explain that so well, and so many people can relate to that. So thank you for that.

I do remember the one thing he said, and then I'll I'll leave the story.

he said, I'm so uncomfortable. I need to even be more uncomfortable.

and he said it is okay if I go travel? And I said a quote of course,

do what you need to do. I I not... You know, I got this. I got the family. I want you to

you work on you and you work on getting a job. I don't

expect you to do anything here just because you're home. You're not gonna be like, empty to

faster and doing things that, you know, I normally do. That's my job. Your job is to

take care of you and find what you're meant to be doing. So he said, okay. I'm gonna take a week, and I'm gonna go to


and I said, oh, Japan why. And he goes because I I wanna be so uncomfortable.

that that what the part I'm in life right now is gonna be less uncomfortable

And I said, okay. So he planned the entire thing went to Japan. So

you he's a German Irish white guy with blue eyes, you know, by himself.

And, you know, he's like he really thought it was gonna be a zen moment, like,

was gonna really be able to. And he's not, like someone that he's from the bronx. He doesn't really use not a meditating.

by any means, and he's a he's a Bronx boy.

But he said,

he's like, I really just wanted to sit and people watch in a different environment. He's like, you know,

I didn't realize Tokyo everything's... You know, like, he he's like, I thought there was gonna be some part

that you can people want. She's like, everything was so fast maybe even more than New York City, but he got out

of something

he was ready to come home when he was ready to come home. And he's like, okay.

now and he literally, every morning, he did the same thing you

well, Linkedin, you know, he network, he did his thing, and he was able to land a job.

but it was that's that

part that it was like, he needed to get uncomfortable even more than he was.

to get back into his routine and get his minds straight. So

explain that again, I think it it's really helpful to people. So

once you did that once you're were like, now more, and he went back into the corporate world. So, you know, I

i'm saying they him go... You know why don't you become an entrepreneur, and that's just not... It's not his path.

it's not just journey. It's not what he's meant to do, especially, you know, now,

you never know. Right? You never know that what someone's

if they're on the path that they're supposed to do. So you then decided, okay, I'm gonna go out

out of my own because of that that advice that you got from someone that you work

with, which I love that you kind of kept that in the back of your mind and was like, you know what?

Do I wanna go through this again? Do I want to kind of do my own thing? So how did you come up with the

concept and was it always smashing the plateau? Like, did that name come right to you?

how did how did that all work?


David Shriner-Cahn  00:25:18 

Oh, so the the first business that I started actually i... And then independent good consultant,


Juliet Hahn  00:25:23 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:25:23 

as a sole provider, I did not create a business name.

just me getting paid

on a ten ninety nine as opposed to with w two, and I did get some clients fairly early on.

I also

over the years got to know people who were independent consultants, and as matter of fact,

in my

my job in an nonprofit sector. I was often the person who would


with consultants and higher consultants

Sorry right.

so I was the client

working with consultants. I... I saw a lot of

what they did, how they did it.

I saw the contract

I knew

with, you know, what they wrote in proposals,

so that

Yeah. So I just... I was worked on my own

but I did... I did create a corporation within the first year.

once I saw that that this business thing was really



Juliet Hahn  00:26:14 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:26:17 

I didn't go through the process of creating a separate business entity

on day one, I actually just tried to get some business. And, by the way, if you're thinking about

going out on your own. First thing you should do is sell.

before you before you create

website or or


Juliet Hahn  00:26:32 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:26:33 

worry about entity formation or and they, like, the administrative stuff.


Juliet Hahn  00:26:39 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:26:38 

unless you actually have somebody paying you, you don't have a business. So the most important thing is

just south. And you see what you could sell, Get some traction.


Juliet Hahn  00:26:44 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:26:45 

the the rest of it, you can figure out. So I... So I did

I did create a corporation. It was in my own name initially, I didn't

have any kind of branding or anything. It was actually

you a few years before I created a separate


Juliet Hahn  00:26:58 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:27:00 

corporate identity, which the the initial name

that that we use was ten strategic partners

which was the name of the consulting business


Juliet Hahn  00:27:10 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:27:11 


didn't podcast yet at that point. I started doing

one of the things I discovered when I went out on my home is

the network that you have is an employee is not the network that you need as an entrepreneur.

And a friend of mine who also had worked


a long time, she was a social worker.

she working in agencies and she went out on. And she also her job was

her her she was pushed out and she started her on.

business as a independent social worker.


she invited me to come to a business networking event.

and I went, and I had never been anything like that before, and I was like, I was blown away.


Juliet Hahn  00:27:56 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:27:56 

like, there were threat thirty people in the room who

sole purpose was to help one another with word of mouth marketing.

thought this is brilliant, and I joined

turned out, I got asked to be on the leadership team with

six months, I was like, you really want me to be on the leadership you like, just walked in

door they. Yeah. You you can do this.

like, okay. But I started getting business from

some some of the people in the room, that's how I started working with

with privately held businesses

And over time, and I I built up my network. My network were

mostly entrepreneurs, and I started to get known

in the small business community. And the same kind of work that I had

been doing with non profit

organizations, which essentially was

operational issues, team building issues, leadership issues,

any kind of small organization has the same kinds of issues. So

I was able to do the same thing with privately of businesses.

And then


I don't know. Probably another

five six years. I

started doing some content creation because I saw that

consultants that were to me seem to be

ahead of where I was.

they were putting out content. In those days,

was mostly blog posts. So I created the blog

And then a couple years after creating the plot, the blog,

we migrated to trying a podcast.

mainly because

I was doing

creating a lot of blog posts that were interview based because That was

pulling into

taking advantage of the relationships I built in my network.

And so

trying to

audio based interviews seem like sort of a natural next step

and that's where that's when we created the name smashing the plateau, and I

that when, I had a small team. And together, we we

created the name and branded it.

still hosting the same show smashing the plant out eight years later.


Juliet Hahn  00:30:01 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:30:02 

we... We produced content every single week.

since day one, which is quite amazing.

and they've been mostly interview based shows. So that's


Juliet Hahn  00:30:14 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:30:12 

like, that's how you and I met Julia, I've met

many hundreds of other people all around the world.

who had been on my show I've been on their shows,

So it's a great way to build your reputation

get your ideas out into the world and and meet lots of great people. And so

the the smashing in the plateau brand actually

developed first around the podcast.

I started a second podcast in twenty nineteen called going solo, which is about

actual transition from employment to


And then this year, we created the smashing in the plateau community

because as I mentioned earlier, is really hard

you go out on your own,

feel very isolated.

and you really do better when you're

in a cohost with other people in a safe caring place where you can

talk with others about the things you're feeling.

you can test things out. You can get feedback on things when you wanna you wanna

roll out into the marketplace.

We created a community for consultants.

to provide that safe caring place where

peers can collaborate support one another. We can... Feed them resources that

help them build their consulting businesses, and we've kinda come to a circle.

so the smash in a plateau brand has really taken off

with both the podcast and the community. And that really now

is supporting everything we do. I love that guy that you call it a movement.


Juliet Hahn  00:31:37 

Well, it is. But


David Shriner-Cahn  00:31:37 

I I would love for it to become a movement at some point. I

you know, there so many people that struggle


do what they love and get paid with their work.

and to do it on their own terms, which you can do as a consultant.

if you know how to run a consulting business,


Juliet Hahn  00:31:51 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:31:52 

if not rocket and science.

but it's not easy either. Being employee is way easier than being an entrepreneur.

So I'm thrilled to be able to provide the tools and resources and the support

for people to be able to make that transition from employment to

consulting so they can do what they love and serve the kinds of clients they wanna serve.

get business.

and make a decent living.


Juliet Hahn  00:32:13 

Yeah. And I love, you know, one of the things and when I said

you know, the movement it is because you really... I mean, there's

couple things that came out of... You know, what you just were talking about. One is that you were curious.

Right? So you just didn't sit back and say, okay, I'm just gonna let... Let's see what happens. You went out

you asked questions. You researched. Do you did things

to kind of your a forward thinker. Like, okay, I'm curious about this. I'm curious about that. How is that

connect How can I help this person more then I'm also helping myself? So

that's one thing. But, you know, I always say that people think about your strengths and weaknesses.

because sometimes people don't think about their strengths.

as something that is actually a strength that could

catapult them into something else. And the whole question thing

you know, we're all one way, you know, one question away from a different life. You know, Mark champ pain says that

in his book, and it's really true. We are

one question away from a different life because you asked that one question to that person,

that is actually supposed to

you know, all of a sudden god kinda put them in your path, and it's like,

Okay. That's the break I needed or that's what I needed.

And as you said, it's hard work. It's not that you're, like sitting around. You are working behind the scenes, all the

time And sometimes people don't realize that they're working hard

when they're doing that because they feel like an not not getting anywhere.

but all of those steps, all that networking all those different things that

you know, people are doing that's actually taking you to the next step. So what I love though that you're doing

is you're giving them a platform you're giving them the movement.

to be able to get in there and ask the questions to the people that have been there. So

because of your experience, you're able to make someone else's life a little bit easier

that's in that that

in that position. So tell them where caliber one where they can find you

and, you know, reach out to you.


David Shriner-Cahn  00:33:58 

smashing the plateau dot com.


Juliet Hahn  00:33:58 

And you guys can see it it's here it's

also gonna be in the show notes. So once again, I just wanna say shout out

to together women rise is a dedicated

i'm sorry. I did not read that correctly. There are sponsors, and I just bluff that up. So

together women rise is dedicated to ensuring that every woman and girl has

opportunity to live freely pursue her dreams and reach

her full potential. They are community of powerful, women and allies in

engaged in learning growing community and buildings. So check out to... Together women rise.

dot org, and go join them. You can actually

learn what they're doing. And the reason why I actually

wanted to put them on here. David is because I know you have

such a great network, and I know people are gonna listen and it's something that maybe your listeners

don't know about this organization actually a nonprofit

and they're doing some really great things globally.

for women and girls and but they also have a a strong male

...you know, component, but that's actually there that men are in there. It's just called

together women rise because that is the movement behind it, but you guys can check it out. There's a

you can actually get a subscription to their newsletter, but there's

chapters all around the world, and which is really cool. And as I

things that they're doing when... you know, they're helping third world countries

give them, like, seeds to grow different things and those

because of the money and the stuff that they're raising the things that they're doing in each chapter.

they're able to really help these these countries and these

and and women in and all over not just the Us, which is really cool. So definitely check them out.

together women rise dot org.

I you know, I wanna thank everyone for listening because I see on Linkedin, You can always see how many people and there's

there's actually more people in Linkedin and Youtube right now, than here on Fireside,

but it's funny because Fireside with the replay. And as I was saying,

earlier, hey, Gina, and Jeff, thank you for being here, and I know people have been jumping in and out, which is really cool.

But the thing that's really cool about this platform is because people can go listen

directly afterwards. So a lot of times, when I send an invite or someone new

They had the show, but they couldn't do it because all of things are going back to the office.

they always will text me and be like, hey, Caught that on the way home or I caught it on my train ride. So

the replay are also so powerful, and that's why I love doing

I love this platform because it's really cool to be able to broadcast live on all the different

places like Linkedin, Hey, guys. Linkedin, Thanks for listening in Youtube, Twitch.

and Facebook,

And then they're able to also come in here and kinda check out Fireside.

so I would just wanna do. I don't David, you didn't get to hear some of the fun stuff, But, like,

there's that.

there's clapping and and there's different reactions.

just so I'm gonna show you a couple that... We know hear Gina. I know it's like, one that

does them all the time. But so

it's it's fun the interaction

And then the laughing it's, you know, it's definitely a a a great avenue, but

I just wanna say thank you so much for joining us. And you know, I I when I was on your

podcast. We definitely have a great conversation just about really

stepping out of our comfort zone and Gina, you have to listen to this

because you will be like, okay. I needed to hear this episode

Gina is actually on a catapult. She's is an entrepreneur, but she is

just kinda taken a little different path in her life with

her business, and it is... The things are just blowing up and it's really cool.

but it it's, you know, it's not always as we know when we start our own thing

and or pivot in in our own thing. Because sometimes we have our own thing and then we kinda make pivots in it.

it's it's scary, but knowing that there's other people that have experience

what you are experiencing and what you're going through

it just makes it a little bit better. So, David, you know, again, thank you.

so much for joining Why live with

with us here on Fireside.


David Shriner-Cahn  00:37:41 

Julie, thank you for inviting me.


Juliet Hahn  00:37:43 

Yes. Of course. And do you have any any

and he last any last wisdom that you wanna share with anyone.


David Shriner-Cahn  00:37:49 

Yeah. It

if you're feeling uncomfortable,

it's probably a sign that you were growing.

so don't worry about it.


Juliet Hahn  00:37:57 

Right. And it's not it's it's

it's such a truth thing when you're feeling uncomfortable. It it is a hundred

percent and a lot of people, you know, and again, we talk about this from the podcast all the time.

whether it's fear or you're uncomfortable or you're scared, you know, because you're taking risks

when you're in that uncomfortable zone is really when you're growing.

because when you're just comfortable and you're just going through life, like, I mean, we talked about the statement. Like, I


David Shriner-Cahn  00:38:20 

It's boring.


Juliet Hahn  00:38:23 

that to me is it's so boring. It's so boring. Now I I do wanna actually go back

for a second because I know you said like, your parents were in jobs, you know, that they stay there, you know, that they didn't take

risks and stuff.

What do you do you think?

because I also think with your background going to Cornell and your education and being an engineer

and I'm not... I think engineering is is fascinating. I think you guys have a... Just

in intellect, that is is really just

it just it it blows my mind. I love getting into the conversations about it.

but a lot of times, with with friends that I know that are engineers,

it is a different level. And and and

a different level where

I don't know how to put this doesn't doesn't sound not very nice.

that's not... I that's not one i'm to wherever.


David Shriner-Cahn  00:39:07 

just say it. Just say it.


Juliet Hahn  00:39:08 

We're check. Well, it's it's a little bit of a more of a boring

you know, that the but in in a way, you're building stuff but

so it's it's you're not bored. Right? Like, some engineers or like a lot of engineers are not born because

what they're doing is really what their brain wants.

But when you decided to make that pivot,



was it always do you feel like it was always in you and you just were like this is the path I was supposed

to do because this is with society and my parents and I'm supposed to

go to college, get my masters, be good in school, like,

Did you take risks as a kid? Like, did you ever take risks? Or was, like, you


David Shriner-Cahn  00:39:42 

Oh, i

as it kid. Yes.


Juliet Hahn  00:39:43 

Okay. Then.


David Shriner-Cahn  00:39:46 



Juliet Hahn  00:39:47 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:39:47 

I I did all kinds of crazy things as was a kid. But as an

as an adult. Yeah. I did

feel that there was an expectation that I would... That a that I would go to college

be that I would study something that

would lead to a

job future.


And I think there was an expectation



doing things that were


Juliet Hahn  00:40:26 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:40:24 

that had some measured thought behind them.

as opposed to

taking steps where people would say,

you're doing why?


Juliet Hahn  00:40:34 

Are you crazy?


David Shriner-Cahn  00:40:35 

like, I I I can tell you when I went from being an engineer to my first job and then

graft the sector.

Not only did I totally


change fields.

And I went into something Night... You, I studied seven years of engineering.


Juliet Hahn  00:40:53 

I know. Well that's what I mean, like, that's... Yeah.


David Shriner-Cahn  00:40:55 

Right. I I didn't study. I didn't study anything related to what I was doing.


Juliet Hahn  00:40:58 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:41:00 

in the nonprofit sector, was amazing that I could actually get higher

by somebody, I I be able to convince somebody to take a chance on me.


I took a paycheck cut

to do it.

it was probably

I think about it. It probably, like twenty five, thirty percent.

cut in compensation.


Juliet Hahn  00:41:17 

which is... Yeah. Which is big.


David Shriner-Cahn  00:41:19 

with yeah. Pretty significant.


most people who knew me thought I was crazy,

And and, again, when I went from being

an employee in the

a non profit agency to being an independent consultants.

most people I knew thought i was crazy.

me, I didn't think it was such a big jump because I was staying in the same field.

I was just changing the way I was getting paid.


Juliet Hahn  00:41:46 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:41:47 

I was you know, changing from working for one organization at a time to

serving multiple clients. I didn't think it was such a big jump, but other people gonna

great. You know, that that

The question I gotta ask most frequently,

and now the sixteen years ago, things have changed a little bit. But the question I got asked most frequent was

David, what are you gonna do for health insurance?

Right. And this is before before there was the affordable care.

the open marketplace, you really have to be employed to get health insurance.


Juliet Hahn  00:42:10 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:42:14 

Alright. So

and I said,

I'll buy it.

you know? And the funny thing is, you know, I was always

I always had the Cfo

portfolio is as part of what I did in my job.


Juliet Hahn  00:42:26 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:42:29 

so I always knew how much health insurance cars

most people in America who are employed have no clue how much


Juliet Hahn  00:42:35 

Oh, it's so expensive. It's great ridiculous.


David Shriner-Cahn  00:42:35 

self insurance actually costs. Right? So I was not


Juliet Hahn  00:42:41 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:42:39 

prize when I actually had to pay many hundreds of dollars nowadays that


Juliet Hahn  00:42:43 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:42:43 

thousands of dollars per month.



Juliet Hahn  00:42:45 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:42:46 

for health insurance, which


Juliet Hahn  00:42:46 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:42:48 

doesn't cover a hundred percent it covers only the a portion of it. Right?

But, yeah, That would


Juliet Hahn  00:42:51 

it's set.


David Shriner-Cahn  00:42:53 

the the most common question I I got was it, they what are you gonna do for health insurance? I'm like,


Juliet Hahn  00:42:57 

I'll fair


David Shriner-Cahn  00:42:58 

you know, they're they're more important things to worry about than that.


Juliet Hahn  00:43:00 

Right. But no. And so that's the thing. It's just

it's so... Because as you said. So when you said, you took risks as a kid, I was like, okay.

I I see a little bit because I do. And it's almost like

Again, it's a generalization, and it's not it's not good to always generalize but when you think of a

like, when you think of certain you think a certain roles


David Shriner-Cahn  00:43:19 

engineers are the same.


Juliet Hahn  00:43:20 

Right. You think of that. You


David Shriner-Cahn  00:43:21 

you think of the guys with the pocket protectors.


Juliet Hahn  00:43:22 

Right. And and, you know, and and if that's

me because I'm all, you know, I was so bad in school, so because of my dyslexia,

so it always fas names when when, like, people are good school, like, my daughters is

so good in school, and I always... She's like, mom. Why like, I still am, like,

so amazing.


David Shriner-Cahn  00:43:37 

But but, Juliet, keep in mind, the purpose of school


Juliet Hahn  00:43:39 

Oh, it's like.


David Shriner-Cahn  00:43:41 

the way... The the the way it's constructed, it was designed as


Juliet Hahn  00:43:45 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:43:45 

part of the industrial age, and it was designed to train factory workers so that

people are all doing the same thing.


Juliet Hahn  00:43:48 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:43:51 

Right? It it does not teach. It does not teach you how to manage

personal finances does not


Juliet Hahn  00:43:54 

And it doesn't do anything. It's so worst.


David Shriner-Cahn  00:43:58 

it doesn't teach you how to how to

how to have the


relationship with credit, which is so important to


Juliet Hahn  00:44:08 

Oh, yeah.


David Shriner-Cahn  00:44:08 

life as an adult. It

it it

it sort of teaches you some socialization.

but it doesn't really teach you how to build relationships like you need

if you're gonna survive,


Juliet Hahn  00:44:23 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:44:20 

as an adult, and and if you wanna thrive as an entrepreneur,

relationships are everything


Juliet Hahn  00:44:25 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:44:26 


right People do business with people, they know, like, and trust

and who they believed care about them.


Juliet Hahn  00:44:31 

Yeah. No. It's so joy. Yeah.


David Shriner-Cahn  00:44:32 

Right. And... And if you can master the that skill,

that will go a long way in everything whether you're were an employee on

entrepreneur or whatever. That's so important.

the school really drum that into you now It's

teaches you had again and gray on the test.


Juliet Hahn  00:44:46 



David Shriner-Cahn  00:44:48 

and getting right getting grades on test is not what life is all about.


Juliet Hahn  00:44:51 

No. And it's the worst and it is because right now, my daughters in sixth grade

and she's bored out of her mind. Like, she's like, mom, they're teaching the stuff that we learned

second grade. I just... And it's interesting because my oldest is dislikes sex. So

So I literally have, like, the one that's you struggled to together. I'm, like, honey

all this stuff that you're you're they're saying you have to learn.

you don't like... There I don't use any of the stuff

I learned in school, and I just want you to know that. And then

but then my daughter who's so good, I have I don't want her to

be like, oh, mom says this doesn't matter. Right? I'm not gonna I'm not gonna try because

it does come easy to turns So I want her to try because that's a

learning how to study and all those things, you know,

no not procrastinate, You know, you get some of that stuff, but it is

it's so interesting that that's who god, you know, blessed me with because my sister

is not dislikes, but struggled in school a little bit. So probably had, like, processing.

her four kids each has one like,

slightly deflect One is slightly graphic. They're all slight, and then I have, like, the

streams. And so we laugh all the time. She's like, in and all the time. I'm like, no. I only

be in it for one and then the other two. I'm like, you're good. Okay. Great.

because I can't do that anymore. That was awful that I had to go back to Earth science. I wanna poke my eyes out, like,

and I literally will say it to the teacher, like, still call and be like, okay, Montgomery. You know, was here. Because you have to

check in.

You know? And I would say, okay.

no offense. But, like, he's not gonna be a scientist. So

why are we giving a shit about this? Like, let's us talk about things that he's really good at

is English and history. He's really good at. So why are we focusing to similar or science? I'm like, no offense

I know that you're the Science teacher, and I hope I'm not offending you.

but your subject is stupid for anyone. That doesn't wanna be in art

scientists, and then they all my husband so like, how can't see that.

because i I'm like, but it's true. Like, why are we still in this age?

where we're still, like, even the

some of the

books that they're reading. I'm like, wait. I read that. There's so many

better books out there. Why are you reached reading that book?

So I we we could have a whole conversation about this because this makes me crazy, but


David Shriner-Cahn  00:46:50 

Me too.


Juliet Hahn  00:46:51 

I love... I I love it and I also, you know what I love

I love that we were ended, and then Gina popped in, and I was like, oh,

you actually needs to hear this. You know, I know you're laughing right now because the last bunch of them, you you need to listen back

because David dropped some nuggets on his his journey,

and he does have a movement. Even though he left, it it's a a community movement, which is

great for entrepreneurs and and networking and all that. So

I think it's in an important one for you to listen to. So


David Shriner-Cahn  00:47:21 

Thank you, Juliet.


Juliet Hahn  00:47:19 

David, I'm gonna say go goodbye again.

And thank you for joining y live.

on Fireside, and we will see you guys actually, tomorrow.

I have a why live with Nfl thread, Jennifer Davis

oliver, it's gonna be a really great conversation.

really interesting. She has gone through pivots. They or her husband was in the league out of the league.

So we're gonna get some really, really good

just kind of not even just emotional, but just, you're gonna hear the

of someone and now she has a one year old. So it's

now she's in the weeds with that, but in in just in the best of ways. So

don't forget to join a tomorrow why live with Nfl thread at one pm m Eastern.

Again, David, thank you so much, and I will share all of this with you.

this literally will go out on Fireside, and people can look

to the replay, and thank you everyone for listening in on

Linkedin, Twitch, Twitter, and not where I well, they were on

or so I keep getting all my stuff mix up today. Youtube and wherever else, you're listening

have a great Wednesday, and we will see you guys tomorrow.

David, thank you again.


David Shriner-Cahn  00:48:23 

Thank you, Juliet.


Juliet Hahn  00:48:26 

Oh, so so slow. We got the flow on taken the vaglio.

Bye, everyone.

My focus is entirely on helping you follow your passion, even when you feel like you've got stuck in crazy town. There is a way out, its me helping you. You don't have to ditch everything in your life that is making you feel overwhelmed and stuck, you just need some help to navigate it.


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