Bicoastal Panda: The Multi-Faceted Entrepreneur

To listen to the full episode, click here!

Our lead Brandista, Ashley Graham, was recently featured on Bicoastal Panda, a casual conversational podcast for the goal-driven, busy individuals where host Marisa Cali will talk a little about a lot of things. Marisa shares the stories of people who’ve done the hard work with a quiet strength, heart-centered energy, calm determination, and the ability to take time to reach their goals.

In this episode, Marisa and Ashley discuss real talk on transparency, branding, psychology and the mindset of being a multi-faceted entrepreneur.

Why the Panda you ask?

The panda is a symbol of gentleness and strength. The general meanings associated with this animal are: gentle strength, peace, good luck, and having a positive outlook on life.

Below is the Q&A conducted with Marisa before the recording of the episode. This will give you further knowledge on the context of the episode, as well as information that may have been missed as this was more of a conversation, versus a formal interview. Enjoy!


Q: Do you recall the time you got your first “win” that made you realize you were doing the right thing? Tell me about that time.

A: For starters, I am one of those people that classify even the SMALLEST little things a “win”, but if I had to choose the first one, it would have to be where I landed my first account against three other competitors. The direct connection to the account was all thanks to a word-of-mouth referral from another client, however, there was no introduction or prior information given to this prospect. I am positive I won the account due to my transparent nature and being more “relatable” to work with. That is something that I will always hold dear to me on my business adventure.

Q: Describe one struggle you have had as an adult and how did you learn from that experience?

A: I believe that some of the biggest struggles have to do with connecting with people. Being a midwestern belle, I stem from a particular way of communication and respect. What I have noticed moving out to the west coast is the common act of “gossiping” in the workplace or personal relationships, rather than dealing with the issues upfront. Confrontation is not easy, but in order to resolve issues, things need to be addresses. There are certain values that the midwest holds onto in every aspect of our lives, that I see a bit of a disconnect out in California.

I also notice the common trend of what I like to call the BBD Syndrome: Bigger, Better, Deal. This goes for all types of relationships: significant others, friendships, colleagues, etc. I’ve noticed the similarities of individuals, rather than truly trying to connect with those who are already in the lives of individuals or the situations, move onto what they believe to be a better job, relationship, friendship, etc. Seeing this type of common mindset, I strive to put in as much efforts into the opportunities I am given, until I can comfortably say that I have given it my absolute all before moving on.

Q: Why did you choose to go into the field you’re in? Was it a life-long dream? Tell me more.

A: To be completely transparent, one of the biggest motivations to start my own business was due to the poor management I had working in-house for other companies. Management these days lack synergy, respect, and compassion, and I feel those three factors can ultimately drive the success of a team, which in-turn keeps the business sustainable. These are a multitude of other reasons, but like I said, that was a BIG factor in hustling to own my business sooner rather than later.

Q: What three words characterize you as a business owner and why?

A: Respect, honesty, and integrity. These three words not only characterize myself as a business owner, but also define who I want to surround myself around in business, as well as in my personal life. I look and treat every decision and aspect of my life as I would want to be treated. I am respectful as I want to receive respect. I am honest, as the only true way to get over the biggest hurdles in business (and life) is by being honest. I have integrity, because most business owners do not. I will never lose sight of who I am as a person in business.

Q: If money and job title were not a factor, where would you live?

A: I would be a traveling, digital nomad and I would live in a new city every month. The first on my list would most likely be Barcelona as a start and then move from there! 🙂

Q: What’s one nugget of advice you would share with others?

A: Please, don’t try to fight your frustrations! Embrace them and cherish them. Only by allowing yourself to feel emotions that arise, can you find the next path and course of action to take to overcome the problem/issue.

“One of the greatest fallacies in the self-help industry is the notion that you can change your life with
“positive thinking.”

“Even the most successful people in the world experience negativity in their lives. Less than desirable
events can and will happen to us no matter how much energy we spend trying to think positive. It’s
naïve to believe that we can positively think away our problems.”

Those pretty much explain the point I am trying to get across 🙂

Q: What do you want to be known for?

A: My transparency

To listen to the full episode, click here!