On today’s very special episode, my very first guest, Joanne LaMarca Mathisen (former Executive Producer of the Today Show), returns to flip the script and interview me, Christina Daves, the host and creator of the podcast!

Celebrate our one-year anniversary with us as I talk about how I started the show, share stories from some of our favorite guests, discuss my vision for the future of Living Ageless and Bold, and much more!

 Inspired Storytelling

I confess that I never planned on hosting a podcast, but my passion for sharing inspiring stories of women over 50 was too strong to ignore. With a little nudge from a coach, I realized I had stories to tell and women to champion. And let’s face it, age is just a number; we’re not slowing down at 55!

Over the past year, I’ve interviewed so many incredible women who are truly living ageless and bold. Despite the inspiration and fun, starting a podcast isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. It’s hard work!

But I found my groove by delegating the technical stuff to a pro, leaving me free to focus on researching and interviewing amazing women. I stress the importance of thorough preparation for interviews, drawing from my experience as a seasoned producer. While I prefer a conversational approach over scripted questions, I keep a mental toolkit of topics and insights to ensure engaging, value-packed discussions.

Through these interviews, my guests and I have inspired so many. And good news, listeners: there’s no plan to stop anytime soon!

 The Delicate Dance Between Preparation and Spontaneity

The balance between preparation and spontaneity when interviewing can be delicate. Joanne wonders if going in unprepared might lead to more authentic conversations, but I stress the importance of research to avoid missing key points. We agree that while spontaneity is vital, preparation ensures a smooth flow of conversation.

I focus on bringing authenticity to my interviews, preferring organic interactions guided by research. Interviewing can be unpredictable, so it’s important to be ready for anything. Joanne reminisces about her time at the Today Show, where spontaneity was prized for its freshness and energy. Regardless of the strategy used, we both agree that genuine enthusiasm and excitement are essential for engaging storytelling.

 Patti Stueland: Living Her Best DASH

While there are so many episodes that stand out, Joanne and I reflect on a few that spoke to many listeners.

One such episode was an interview with Patti Stueland, a woman who sold her house, bought an RV, and embarked on a journey across the country. I describe Patti as a vibrant, energetic individual who felt a calling to explore and live life to the fullest. Despite retiring early and facing some financial sacrifices, Patti embraced her adventure wholeheartedly, reminiscent of my late mother-in-law.

The allure of Patti’s story surrounds the fantasy of breaking free from routine and exploring the unknown. Joanne and I marvel at Patti’s bravery and determination to pursue her dreams, contrasting it with the hesitations many people face when contemplating such drastic changes.

Where is Patti today? Patti continues her journey, hopping into her RV whenever the urge strikes, embodying a free-spirited lifestyle. She’s living her best D.A.S.H.

There seems to be a universal longing for adventure and freedom, even amidst the constraints of daily life, and Patti’s inspiring story encouraged many listeners to consider the possibilities that await beyond the comforts of their familiar routines.

 Jean Chatzky: Personal Finance Expert

The Living Ageless and Bold podcast highlights diverse stories and remarkable journeys of many different women. I recount how I landed an interview with Jean Chatzky, Personal Finance Expert, by reaching out on social media with a question that resonated with my audience: when to take kids off the cell phone bill.

Jean’s response surprised many, advocating for keeping kids on the family plan due to financial constraints. She emphasizes the importance of supporting young adults financially, recognizing the challenges they face in today’s economy. Jean’s insights shed light on the complexities of financial management, offering valuable advice for both young and older listeners alike.

 Cheryl Armstrong: Resilient and Determined

Another powerful story is that of Cheryl Armstrong. I encountered Cheryl during a speaking competition where she pitched her story. Cheryl’s tale is gripping and poignant: as a teenager, she found herself entangled in a serious crime, driving the getaway car for a murder committed by her then-boyfriend. Sentenced to life in prison, Cheryl’s journey took an unexpected turn as she pursued education fervently while incarcerated, earning high school and college diplomas, and even a master’s degree.

Remarkably, Colorado’s change in laws regarding minors in prison led to Cheryl’s release, prompting her to use her newfound freedom to create programs aimed at educating and empowering at-risk women both inside and outside of prison. However, navigating Cheryl’s past during the interview proved challenging for me, as I grappled with acknowledging Cheryl’s previous actions while commending her current efforts.

Joanne reflects on Cheryl’s journey, recognizing the transformative power of adversity and the choices we make in response to life’s challenges. Drawing on Arthur C. Brooks’s insights on happiness and reaction, Joanne emphasizes the importance of resilience and proactive decision-making. Cheryl’s story serves as a profound example of resilience and determination, highlighting the capacity for growth and redemption even in the most difficult circumstances.

 Tracey Garcia: Celebrity Makeup Artist

Some episodes focused on lighter topics, like my interview with Tracey Garcia, celebrity makeup artist and my middle school friend. In her episode, Tracey shares helpful makeup and skincare tips. One tip that stood out to me was Tracey’s suggestion of adding vitamin E oil to foundation for a smoother application and advising against using excessive powder, particularly under the eyes, to avoid accentuating wrinkles.

 Kimberlin Brown: Soap Opera Star

Another memorable episode for me was my interview with Kimberlin Brown. Kimberlin is known for her roles in soap operas like “Young and the Restless” and “Bold and the Beautiful.” Despite the glamorous perception of soap opera stars, Kimberlin shared her journey of transformation, revealing that she was once considered the “frumpy” character on the show. However, after a period of health challenges and subsequent lifestyle changes—including losing weight and improving her overall health—Kimberlin emerged as a confident and radiant woman in her sixties.

Joanne admires Kimberlin’s journey; it serves as an illustration of the empowerment that comes with feeling confident and sexy at any age.

Happiness and fulfillment are not limited by age—they can be found through self-care and embracing one’s inner confidence and beauty. Kimberlin’s story was a strong example of these ideals.

 Jenn Drummond: Record-Setting Mom of Seven

An inspiring story of physical and mental fortitude was shared in Jenn Drummond’s episode. Jenn is a mother of seven who embarked on a remarkable journey to climb the second seven summits. Despite never having climbed a mountain before, Jenn took on the challenge after encouragement from her son. Her goal is to set a world record, as no woman has ever achieved this feat. I recount a humorous anecdote from Jenn’s journey when she had to climb in Scooby-Doo underwear after losing her luggage during a climb in Russia. Despite facing challenges like blisters and ill-fitting shoes, Jenn’s determination and resilience shine through. Her story serves as a testament to the power of perseverance and serves as an inspiration to her children and others.

 Who’s Next?

The fun doesn’t stop here! I share my excitement about reaching out to some big-name celebrities for future podcast interviews, buoyed by the show’s success and growing popularity. At the top of my dream guest list is Sarah Jessica Parker—I have great admiration for Parker’s career and her unapologetic approach to aging. The unfair media scrutiny women face regarding aging is appalling, and Sarah Jessica Parker’s candid response to critics gives many the strength to embrace aging and beauty.

When it comes to embracing aging and defying societal expectations, there are many examples of influential women who have embraced their age gracefully. I mention an over-50 influencer who went gray and became known for her distinct look, a refreshing change to the landscape of beauty standards.

Christina Daves: Host, PR Strategist, Entrepreneur

But what about me, your incredible host? My journey is just as inspiring as my guests. After graduating from Virginia Tech with a degree in political science and German, I planned to attend law school. However, when my father was diagnosed with stage four esophageal cancer, I shifted gears to stay by his side. This tragic event inadvertently led me into the world of entrepreneurship.

Starting with event planning and later opening a retail store called “Details for the Home,” my entrepreneurial spirit thrived. Even when I sold the store, my drive remained unyielding. Proving that I can find inspiration in even the most challenging situations, an accident that left me with a broken foot sparked my next venture: designing a fashion line for medical boots. My innovative idea caught the attention of celebrities like Diana Ross and Carla Hall, catapulting me into the limelight.

But my journey wasn’t all uphill from there. Faced with financial challenges and a coach who betrayed my trust, I persevered. Drawing from my own experiences, I learned the ins and outs of PR, mastering the art of pitching myself to the media. Today, I’m a regular guest on shows like Good Morning Washington and Good Day DC, enthusiastically sharing my expertise on air. And with aspirations to go national and a recent agent for QVC, my entrepreneurial journey continues to evolve, proving that age is no barrier to success.

 My Valuable Advice for All

My journey is marked by resilience and a steadfast belief that my late father is watching over me. Despite numerous failures and setbacks, I remained determined, viewing each obstacle as an opportunity for growth. Even when I missed out on a potentially life-changing opportunity to appear on Shark Tank, I didn’t let it break my spirit. Instead, I embraced the lesson, recognizing that failure is not the end but a stepping stone.

See my full episode here:

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