Fresh Blood Podcast Episode Guest - Heidi Hedquist

Intro Banner of Heidi Hedquist

Heidi talks about the influence for starting her own PR agency, the impact of breaking off from her business partner and what she’s learned from starting her own podcast.

Heidi Hedquist has more than 20 years of success in editorial, event planning, media relations, and guerilla marketing across the entertainment, corporate and non-profit sectors.

She is the original Editor-in-Chief of After 5 Detroit, the region’s premier digital lifestyle magazine.

Heidi talks about the influence for starting her own PR agency, the impact of breaking off from her business partner and what she’s learned from starting her own podcast.

Heidi Hedquist has more than 20 years of success in editorial, event planning, media relations, and guerilla marketing across the entertainment, corporate and non-profit sectors.

She is the original Editor-in-Chief of After 5 Detroit, the region’s premier digital lifestyle magazine.

Her broadcast experience includes producing Ready, Set, Go! All Things Autism for WJR 760 AM and her current endeavors as co-host and producer of the podcasts Why? the Podcast and Rock ‘n’ Roll Grad School.

She has managed initiatives for such clients as Autism Speaks, Habitat for Humanity, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Greektown Casino-Hotel, Desert Diamond Casino, Dana Corporation, and Fiat Chrysler.

A Detroit native, she remains on her quest to prove that everything great has a connection to the Motor City.

Her broadcast experience includes producing Ready, Set, Go! All Things Autism for WJR 760 AM and her current endeavors as co-host and producer of the podcasts Why? the Podcast and Rock ‘n’ Roll Grad School.

She has managed initiatives for such clients as Autism Speaks, Habitat for Humanity, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Greektown Casino-Hotel, Desert Diamond Casino, Dana Corporation, and Fiat Chrysler.

A Detroit native, she remains on her quest to prove that everything great has a connection to the Motor City.


Heidi Hedquist – PR/Marketing Expert & Agency Owner, Editor-in-Chief and Podcast Host

Jolie Downs: [00:00:00] Today we are speaking with Heidi Hedquist. Heidi has more than 20 years of success in editorial event planning, immediate relations and gorilla marketing across the entertainment, corporate and nonprofit sectors. She is the original editor in chief of after five Detroit, the region's premier digital lifestyle magazine, her broadcast experience.

[00:00:22] Producing ReadySet go all things autism in her current endeavors, our co-host and producer of the podcast. Why the podcast and rock and roll grad school. She has managed initiatives for such clients as autism speaks habitat for humanity, Michigan economic development corporation, greektown casino, hotel, desert diamond casino, Dana corporation in fit Chrysler, a Detroit native. She remains on her quest to prove that everything great has a connection to the motor city. I'm really excited to learn more. Heidi, thank you for joining us on fresh blood, please. Could you tell us a little bit more about your story and in getting to where you are today?

[00:01:05] Heidi Hedquist: [00:01:05] Sure. So I grew up primarily here in Detroit, although I did spend four years in the UK as well and quite a bit of time in Australia when my parents were living there. So I've had some experience all over the world, but really fell into in college of pursuing journalism. After graduating and being the editor in chief of my college newspaper, I took some forays elsewhere, cause I didn't want to go back to covering school board meetings and then ended up back in, in my original chosen field.

[00:01:33] As my bio states, I was the first editor and chief of after five Detroit, which was when Detroit was having one of its resurgence is the first time around really.

[00:01:43] an opportunity to bring all the young professionals who'd left the region to draw them back to say, there are great things here. Events and places to work and things to do.

[00:01:52] And all those things have continued to grow. As a, have you spoken to my fellow co-host Luke in that we have launched these two incredible podcasts, which have become a very large part of my story and his story. We do as well as I still own my PR company doing a lot of work for the clients you mentioned, and other clients around the region that, that particular company I formed because through my work in agencies, I saw a very big hole

[00:02:21] in the PR and marketing world to support nonprofits and small businesses. There, there tends to be, especially in our area. There are two kinds of events or fundraisers that tend to be held here and there are a golf outing or a gala. So we, there they're all wonderful, but there comes a point where there's only so many of those you can go to. So we really specialized in creating these unique fundraising opportunities for these nonprofits to get really creative anywhere from over the edge where people are repelling off a skyscraper, which I didn't invent.

[00:02:56] I just. Just brought it to Detroit. They do it all over 

[00:03:00] Jolie Downs: [00:03:00] But what a great idea. I love this. What are some of the other things that you did? Some of the creative things.

[00:03:05] Heidi Hedquist: [00:03:05] set sail for autism is something I'm really proud of. We've done a lot of work with the autism community. The Bell's beer, Bayview Mackinaw race is the largest freshwater sailing race. And we created an opportunity for young adults with autism to help do the deliveries of the sailing yachts.

[00:03:20] So they're able to. Sail on the racing yachts learn how to sale. So great opportunity to showcase that individuals with autism have the ability to do very challenging tasks and very high pressure situations, which can also translate into the workplace because there's still a lot of misconceptions. That individuals with autism, perhaps don't have that ability.

[00:03:40] And these young adults have shown time and time again, that countless stories of individuals who got jobs from there. Some who've become sailors themselves and are racing all over the world. And through those experiences and an artist I worked with is how I connected with Luke and how our podcasts were born.

[00:03:58] So that's the whole gamut. 

[00:04:00] Jolie Downs: [00:04:00] That's the collagen really quick. I have to say, I love what you're doing with the PR. And that, to me, that's the best kind of marketing. When you can create this buzz, the P the PR that you want through an event that is actually creating memories and creating this new feeling for people in this, that they will always keep with them.

[00:04:19] And like you said, created even new paths for some people. 

[00:04:23] Heidi Hedquist: [00:04:23] Exactly. 

[00:04:24] Jolie Downs: [00:04:24] An amazing blessing of an experience to give not only the people, but the brand and the whole thing. So 

[00:04:31] Heidi Hedquist: [00:04:31] you. Thank you. Yeah, it's been wonderful and the name of my company has caused an effect marketing. So it's 

[00:04:36] Jolie Downs: [00:04:36] Perfect.

[00:04:36] Heidi Hedquist: [00:04:36] my, my niece came up with it but you're absolutely right. And that's something that I am very proud of and something with everything that I do is always trying to look just slightly.

[00:04:46] Differently from, the path that everyone seems to take, because you have to find a way to engage people beyond a one-off or in a way, like exact you said it exactly right. The way that they're going to remember that experience and remember what they supported and remember all of those things.

[00:05:02] And even with the shows, we do the same thing. We're really trying to create. Experiences for our listeners and our guests that aren't like every single interview that you hear. And it makes it real hard for our SEO, but it makes for such a great show. Great

[00:05:18] Jolie Downs: [00:05:18] And what's the, your show about? 

[00:05:20] Heidi Hedquist: [00:05:20] So we have two. The first one is called Y and the show was born it's from the first time my cohost Luke and I met, he lives in Philadelphia.

[00:05:29] I live here. We happen to be at the same event with a mutual colleague and friend, and it was a screening of one of Luke's film. And we were at an after party that. Lovely, but not, we didn't know people. And we just started talking about crazy things. We'd never spoken before, started talking about, why does someone do this?

[00:05:51] Why would someone become. Brazilian waxer. That's an, a very commendable job. It's a great field, but why is that what you choose to do? Or why do you choose to be an animal husbandry expert and just spiraled from there? And so we launched this show again, having never met, we went to our respective homes.

[00:06:07] I called our mutual friend and said, I've been thinking about this show. I want Luke's contact information. I reached out to him and I said, are you serious? And he's I'm serious. And we started and we have been. Inseparably tied to these show, this show and launched the second show for two and a half years and have only met in person three times.

[00:06:28] I think. So 

[00:06:31] Jolie Downs: [00:06:31] wonderful technology.

[00:06:32] Heidi Hedquist: [00:06:32] amazing, but it's been so incredible because the guests from the craziest stories that you wouldn't expect and the craziest backgrounds you wouldn't expect, you find the most enlightenment and understanding of people and realizing no matter how different we are, there are these common threads that go through life.

[00:06:52] That air phenomenal. 

[00:06:54] Jolie Downs: [00:06:54] I agree. I like to call them the universal truths. You do. Yes. You find them. They're these golden threads that are through all the stories and it's fascinating. 

[00:07:02] Heidi Hedquist: [00:07:02] is fascinating. And sometimes you'll see, one of my it's one of the first interviews we did and it's still one of my favorites. We interviewed a gentleman who is known as the world's greatest streaker and he and, of course the question is what would possess you to take your clothes off and run through a football stadium?

[00:07:20] And he said, The world is so strung out. Everybody's so stressed all the time. There's all these problems. If I can make tens of thousands of people laugh just by taking my clothes off, why wouldn't I do it? And you're like, And sometimes he gets arrested and I'm like what do you do when you get arrested?

[00:07:35] The world moves so fast. Nobody has time to just meditate and think and reflect on the world. What are you going to do when you're in a jail cell overnight? You just think about it and you just start to think, you know what? I'm not going to take my clothes off and run through a stadium, but I totally get what you're going for.

[00:07:51] And that makes me feel good. 

[00:07:52] Jolie Downs: [00:07:52] Isn't that amazing? I love it. It is fascinating. Now I'm curious because you've done a lot with, within your career. What do you feel has been, one or two of your greatest successes in and why?

[00:08:06] Heidi Hedquist: [00:08:06] Sure. Absolutely. So some of my greatest successes first and foremost are the things we touched on with the nonprofits and being able to create those experiences, what we did with over the edge. Again it's something I didn't come up with the concept, they do it all over the world, but we brought it to Detroit and had.

[00:08:25] Massively successful events to the point that we were sold out and have to have double extra days and raised all this money for this teeny tiny nonprofit called the Detroit to Nepal foundation. My work with autism, both through set sail, and then also we were the first ones ever, which now they're everywhere, but we went through Olympia entertainment who does a lot of entertainment here in Detroit.

[00:08:46] Went with them, partnered with them to go to Sesame street, live, to say to them, you need to create a performance. That is sensory friendly, that chill families that have children with autism are afraid to go to performances. And again, this is 10, 12 years ago. I Now this is happening everywhere, but we were the first place to ever do that.

[00:09:06] And it was so wonderful because we were able to create the show in a way that they only had to change to special effects. So everyone in the family could still enjoy it, no matter what it didn't hinder. It. But we were able to create here's the, here's when the flashing lights are going to be, here's a area where kids with sensory issues can just go take a break for awhile.

[00:09:24] Here are gluten-free options on the concession. So all of those things, those elements, and then also creating these two shows, they stand out. To, to me. And the second show is called rock-n-roll grad school, which is focused primarily on music. Which again, it's, does the world need another music podcast?

[00:09:41] But we were getting so much, So.

[00:09:43] many wonderful artists coming through why we realized we should spin off to our own. And that is different too, because our focus on that show is really being able to. Look at the interview and talk, we don't sit down and go tell us about how you got your hits. We sit down and we have these conversations that I liken to.

[00:10:02] If we were sitting on a tour bus at 4:00 AM, what are the things you just start talking about? And how did this come to be? And what are you listening to when they're just hanging out? And they just become almost like a peek into a tea party or a party, whatever you want it to be.

[00:10:15] But those elements, I think hands down are the things I'm most proud of in my. 

[00:10:20] Jolie Downs: [00:10:20] Yeah, no, that's great. I mean that Sesame street thing gave me a little tingles cause that's a really big deal for countless families over these years. I 

[00:10:28] Heidi Hedquist: [00:10:28] completely. And it's so awesome too, because now you look back in, now on Sesame street, they have a, there's a character who is on the spectrum and you see these performances everywhere, and it's, so it was amazing to be a part of 

[00:10:42] Jolie Downs: [00:10:42] That is amazing. And it is so satisfying to start programs, that like your podcasts that you're doing, from scratch to build these things from scratch and to bring it into the world, it's so satisfying. What have you learned from.

[00:10:56] Heidi Hedquist: [00:10:56] I have learned that it is different than any other. I have also learned that is different. It does not follow the rules of traditional media advertising or television or programming. And I've learned that it is no matter how many years of experience either of us brought to all of this. It was, we were babies coming into it.

[00:11:19] And there's something really amazing about that though very frustrating too, because. It's phenomenal to just all of a sudden know that an episode you recorded 18 months ago, suddenly for absolutely no reason, nothing, we will have done nothing. We'll have this huge spike in listens 18 months later, but it's frustrating when there's an episode, you put a whole lot behind and no one's listening to it right now.

[00:11:44] But once you've learned to just, it teaches, it teaches a lot of lessons podcasting, because it teaches you to go stop looking at the end of it. You gotta look at the whole, it teaches you to ride the wave. It teaches you to celebrate that and celebrate the experience. It's a very field of dreams.

[00:12:01] If you build it they will come, and it's so that I've learned fast. And I've also learned that when you When you work with someone that is, I've had experiences where I've had business partners and other people I've worked with some have been phenomenal, some have been seemingly great. And then the age old story of, taking off, taking all the money, all those things have happened, but what's been so interesting in working with Luke is that I've never had a professional experience like this, where we just have clicked from day one.

[00:12:31]There's a lot of times. And for the most, mostly lately he carries a huge amount of. Of the production of our show. And there are other areas that I can help carry burdens in, but then it'll shift and he never calls me out and says I'm doing all this, and this, what are you doing?

[00:12:46]And we just are, we always are seamless when we're talking together. And so It's such a gift to have that experience. So 

[00:12:55]Jolie Downs: [00:12:55] It's like the smooth, I don't know that smoothness. You just, it feels like magic sometimes when you find out 

[00:13:01] Heidi Hedquist: [00:13:01] It's so true. And we interact siblings have known each other forever. I We ride each other like crap, but it's, but it's amazing. And it translates to our guests really like that too. 

[00:13:10] Jolie Downs: [00:13:10] Yeah, that's fun. Yeah. And it's wonderful to have relationships like that in life. It's it? Is it? Yeah, definitely get, so now what about the flip side of it? What about a time that you had a really big challenge or made a really big mistake, huge obstacle. How'd you overcome and would you learn from it?

[00:13:25] Heidi Hedquist: [00:13:25] So dealing with those all the time. One of the, one of the biggest obstacles that was probably the hardest thing I've ever been through was when my business partner and I parted ways. So horrifically, and it was just the age old story that you hear all the time and you're like, oh, that's not going to happen to me.

[00:13:44] And then all of a sudden you have $0 in your bank account and no income because you can't serve your clients on your own and you have to start from scratch. And take a really awful job you don't want to. So that was ho it was horrid. So that hands down, but. What I had an incredible support system around me.

[00:14:01] I did suck it up and took a a marketing job that was not in an area that I ever would have taken that job before, but I did it to stay afloat. Yep. And then worked on my stuff in the evenings and the weekends to rebuild. Build it up to where I could move back out into that and it was exhausting. So through that, and then also I'm dealing with some incredible challenges right now with one of my largest clients currently is actually a school district and it's an incredible experience, but it's a district that has a lot of challenges in that their students are, many of them don't have any money at all.

[00:14:39] It's there's, parents that don't have cars and we have obviously transportation issues all over the country now. So kids that literally cannot get to school no matter how hard they try and trying to communicate that and provide hope and not give false promise has also been one of the most challenging things.

[00:14:56] I'll take how we handle the pandemic kickoff over this any day. 

[00:15:01] Jolie Downs: [00:15:01] No, that is really hard. Cause there's so much tied to that. You, it's not a product. It's a person. 

[00:15:07] Heidi Hedquist: [00:15:07] It's a person who needs to be able to be educated, deserves to be able to be educated. But if there's there are no drivers anywhere, w what are you going to do? So we're working out challenges with that and figuring out solutions with the transportation companies, but then also within ourselves, Opened up the opportunity for a shorter term virtual solution for kids, if they need to do it for now, because you can't just not be able to get school.

[00:15:31] And even though you don't want to be back in virtual, it's at least something. 

[00:15:35]Jolie Downs: [00:15:35] On the off chance, someone listening has a solution. Please call Heidi and let her know

[00:15:40] Heidi Hedquist: [00:15:40] Yes please. You would be the hero of so many people, 

[00:15:45] Jolie Downs: [00:15:45] Yeah, , I would be amazing. 

[00:15:47] Heidi Hedquist: [00:15:47] even beyond. 

[00:15:47] Jolie Downs: [00:15:47] that works out for you, please. I hope that works out for you on and thank you for working on that. Thank you for being a person that is, is paying attention and making things like that happen. 

[00:15:57] Heidi Hedquist: [00:15:57] Thank 

[00:15:58] Jolie Downs: [00:15:58] so what do you, I'm curious, what is your personal definition of success?

[00:16:01] And in, based on that, what do you believe is key to having continued success?

[00:16:07] Heidi Hedquist: [00:16:07] So I think having, so I think the definition of success. not it's for me, it's I will show that has not been defined by my bank account. And some of the things that I'm most proud of, you did me very little return financially, but those, although indirectly, it probably has, because in some respects, those doors open to other opportunities.

[00:16:31] So that snowball does happen, but really being able to create something that has an impact on the world that is positive. And in a way that is moving the world or your little corner of it. I'm not speaking the grand scale, although that too, but I'm moving it forward in any capacity to play a little piece of that, I think is the meaning of success?

[00:16:56] And so whether it's Helping a school district, get their communications out and showing the evolution of the district in a positive way to creating some of the events and the experiences we've talked about and raising awareness and understanding of individuals who are different, which parallels right into our shows, which bringing that.

[00:17:17] Light of understanding that like, Hey, you might think you yourself is weird, but you're really not that weird. This person's way weirder. And they're So.

[00:17:24] cool. I think those are all, I'm so proud of those things. I'm so proud of. I view as. Very successful. And

[00:17:34] Jolie Downs: [00:17:34] I agree.

[00:17:35] Heidi Hedquist: [00:17:35] I believe that will continue and continuing that evolution and continuing to ride the wave as crazy as it might be is what keeps you successful all the way through.

[00:17:45] And obviously what goes along with that is of course, friends, family, those sorts of, they're an important player to it, but I think so much of our success is defined. By our profession that sometimes it has to go to the forefront. And I also believe no matter how crazy it is, no matter how stressful, no matter what's hitting the fan, you gotta have fun while you're doing it.

[00:18:08] And you have to laugh through the madness or else. Yes. 

[00:18:14] Jolie Downs: [00:18:14] So we get through life. 

[00:18:16] Heidi Hedquist: [00:18:16] for sure. Oh my gosh, for sure. 

[00:18:18] Jolie Downs: [00:18:18] sane.

[00:18:19] Heidi Hedquist: [00:18:19] Yes, exactly. Something like that. 

[00:18:22] Jolie Downs: [00:18:22] something like that. No, there's lots of things, but that helps. That helps. 

[00:18:26] Heidi Hedquist: [00:18:26] for sure. 

[00:18:27] Jolie Downs: [00:18:27] have you ever felt stuck in life? 

[00:18:29] Heidi Hedquist: [00:18:29] Oh, dear Lord. So many times, 

[00:18:32] Jolie Downs: [00:18:32] what's helped you get past?

[00:18:33]Heidi Hedquist: [00:18:33] I'm, I've usually unstuck myself, which I just had to. To a point of where the frustration got so high, that it just had to throw it all out the wall off on the wall and start again. And I've never been able to when I get stuck in my personal life choices, I have to, I can't slowly dig out.

[00:18:59] I have to break out and some to, and I think the only way to do that is when I. Fearless and realize that no matter how bad it's going to be for a little while, you've been here before, things don't necessarily happen in your timeframe, although they should. And you're not going to stay there forever and be.

[00:19:23] At the bottom, knowing that you're At the.

[00:19:25] bottom versus being stuck and not being able to budge actually is a way better place to be in my mind because when you've got nothing, you have to get something when you're stuck with false hope or you think things are going to go a certain way and nothing is moving. And It's not. So some, for example, sometimes with our show, we'll be in a position or our shows where, our listeners, aren't growing, we're not getting the sponsors we want for a certain time period. You just hit a little hiccup. That's not stuck to me. That's because we're still passionate about it.

[00:20:00] It is still growing. It's just hitting a little bump. So then you just are you do keep moving, but stuck is when you. It's like being with a bad boyfriend. They're always going to lie to you. They're always going to give you false truths. They're always gonna come back and you just keep coming back for more.

[00:20:14] That's when you gotta throw it out and go start from scratch. 

[00:20:18] Jolie Downs: [00:20:18] Oh, completely agree. And you're right. It is easier when you're being at the bottom and knowing you're there and you're ready to climb back up. There's power that. Yes. It's your decision. It's your you've made the decision. You're going to do it. You're going to go. It doesn't matter how long it takes Eve every little baby step helps, but when you're stuck and you're not making those decisions and you're just sitting there in that limbo, it is really hard.

[00:20:42] Heidi Hedquist: [00:20:42] it's the worst. You can't achieve anything. And you're no good to anybody because no one wants to talk to you. Cause you're just a crap. 

[00:20:51] Jolie Downs: [00:20:51] Yeah.

[00:20:52] Heidi Hedquist: [00:20:52] I've totally take responsibility for my behavior. 

[00:20:55]Jolie Downs: [00:20:55] No, that's helpful. You guys have to make the decision and yeah. Maybe even if you have to throw yourself to the bottom and start climbing back up 

[00:21:01] Heidi Hedquist: [00:21:01] yup. Yup. Just start swimming, 

[00:21:03]Jolie Downs: [00:21:03] Yeah. Is there any life lesson that you've learned, the hard way that you feel is actually given you amazing benefit in your.

[00:21:12] Heidi Hedquist: [00:21:12] I think because I've always been very entrepreneurial and I did work for some startups and the financial side of my career has had a lot of ups and downs. It taught me very early, how to be very resourceful, how to be scrappy, how to realize that. The money will come because it does and how to do exactly what we're talking about, how to go.

[00:21:37]You know what, it's fine. I can eat macaroni and cheese for a month. It's fine. We'll be okay. Macaroni and cheese is great. It's not, I might be chubby, but it, I will have enjoyed it until I can start, buying real food again. But you just, you learn how to navigate those things and you learn how to do.

[00:21:56] Sweat it as much. It's not the end of the world. If the finances go south for the short term, as long as you're doing what it takes to get them from being south long-term. And I think that is one of the biggest ones. And also

[00:22:11] I've also learned which so many people do that you always have. Look at it through your own lens and with your own instinct and your own gut because people, No, matter how wonderful you think they are, people will sell you a bag of goods any day of the week.

[00:22:26] And you just have to really learn how to read that, which no one's ever perfect at.

[00:22:34] Jolie Downs: [00:22:34] No, you're so right. You're absolutely right. And even if someone has your best interests, oftentimes they can say things that are not right. So you got to listen to your own soul. Yeah. 

[00:22:47] Heidi Hedquist: [00:22:47] correct. Exactly. 

[00:22:49] Jolie Downs: [00:22:49] No. Yeah. Yes. Even my, my, my mother loved love, love her, she she asked me not to start my business.

[00:22:57] She is I just don't think that's, I don't think that's a great idea for you. It's been an incredible blessing and it created an amazing life that I've been able to be there for my kid. It's just been wonderful. So 

[00:23:09] Heidi Hedquist: [00:23:09] And that's it, 

[00:23:09]Jolie Downs: [00:23:09] You gotta follow. 

[00:23:11] Heidi Hedquist: [00:23:11] you are so right. And the people that love us the most and all of their, what they give us is always from coming from a good place, but they don't know. And even if they've been in the same field that you're in, they still don't know our experiences or how we are going to fare in any of that.

[00:23:30] And so you always have to like, take it with love. Go with your gut. Like you've done and look at, sometimes it's fun to prove our parents wrong, 

[00:23:38] Jolie Downs: [00:23:38] Yes.

[00:23:39]Heidi Hedquist: [00:23:39] And you've done that in a very good way. 

[00:23:42] Jolie Downs: [00:23:42] Yeah. They're very right. Many times, 

[00:23:46] Heidi Hedquist: [00:23:46] Yes, 

[00:23:46]Jolie Downs: [00:23:46] That you need, or you need to try, you, you need to follow that. You have to follow that. Otherwise you will regret it. There will be regret, which, speaking of which, do you have any regrets?

[00:23:55] Heidi Hedquist: [00:23:55] I actually don't there are things that I look, yeah. I, there are things I look back on and I wish I had changed things sooner. But I don't regret the experience that I went through to get there, because it is what gave me better insight into people. Be it did teach me to, when my paychecks were bouncing, it taught me that maybe you got to be careful where you're working, things like that.

[00:24:20]But I don't regret the experience of it cause I wouldn't, I would not be who I am good or bad without it. 

[00:24:28] Jolie Downs: [00:24:28] Yeah, I understand that. Yeah. I'm curious because you mentioned, and when you're in your bio, you talk about radio city and how much you love living there. Tell us why you love living.

[00:24:38]Heidi Hedquist: [00:24:38] There's something very interesting about. Detroit it is it is unlike any other city in the world and it is it's scrappy. It has had a horrible reputation that it's had to overcome, but through all of that, it's the city where the birthplace of so much incredible music is it's the city where you have the birthplace of, you can get real technical up and say no, but the, but where automobiles are known from coming from. We've had these huge industries and it's had these incredible heydays and then these incredible lows, then it's come back. So it's followed this trajectory. That's very similar to life, and very similar to what people go through. And there's something about this city that people who come here, even when it's not thriving, they're drawn to it and drawn to the feeling of it.

[00:25:28] And I don't know. What did you can't really pinpoint it. You just want to feel a part of it. And there's ghosts in the, in the old burned out buildings, but you can tell the story of the majesty that was there once, and then you see the things that are happening now that are so incredible and coming, and then you go to the Motown museum and you're like this is the greatest place on the planet.

[00:25:49] So it's just it, and then every time we talk to someone, this is our running joke between Luke and me, is that. W, oh, somebody always has a connection. There's always a tie in from, to Detroit. And even yesterday we spoke to incredible Neal Sugarman from DAP tone records And

[00:26:06] the DAP tones and so many wonderful groups.

[00:26:10] Amazing, amazing man, Luke. And he both grew up in the same town and Luke was so excited to be like, There you go. Now I have a connection in Massachusetts and then I said, oh, I'm from Detroit. And he was like, see Detroit it's way better. That's a way better than Newton mass. I'm like, see, even your fellow 

[00:26:28] Jolie Downs: [00:26:28] told 

[00:26:28] Heidi Hedquist: [00:26:28] guy knows what it's like here.

[00:26:31]But yeah it's a good spot 

[00:26:32] Jolie Downs: [00:26:32] I've never been to Detroit. I'm going 

[00:26:34]Heidi Hedquist: [00:26:34] Come. visit. Yes, I will. 

[00:26:36] Jolie Downs: [00:26:36] You gotta come visit. 

[00:26:37] Heidi Hedquist: [00:26:37] Please come visit. 

[00:26:38]Jolie Downs: [00:26:38] What is left unfinished inside of you? What is it that you're excited about for your future?

[00:26:42]Heidi Hedquist: [00:26:42] What I'm looking forward to. So I'm looking forward to continuing to evolve everything that we're doing with these shows specifically, this is definitely a big area there's that our focus is on. And how those can expand beyond just the traditional podcast route. There's so many elements in tentacles of how these can grow in the ways we were talking about more uniquely and some projects we're working on with some of our guests that are, film-based bringing in Luke's film talent.

[00:27:09] The possibility and a clean slate here to do some really amazing, impactful things. And That's what I'm most looking forward to is that really starting to happen. And we're right at that precipice where 

[00:27:21] Jolie Downs: [00:27:21] great.

[00:27:21] Heidi Hedquist: [00:27:21] pieces are moving and we just have to push 

[00:27:25] Jolie Downs: [00:27:25] right at that, mark. 

[00:27:26] Heidi Hedquist: [00:27:26] That's the thing I'm most excited 

[00:27:28] Jolie Downs: [00:27:28] great. 

Heidi and I were cut off due to internet difficulties but I so enjoyed our conversation. I love how she started her own PR agency because she saw the hole in the PR and marketing industry world with a need to support non-profits and small businesses. She saw a need and she filled a need. She did not wait for someone else to take care of it, she did not wait for permission to do something about it, she stepped up and she did something herself. She made the change. She created her own company and in so doing, she has gone on to develop creative campaigns that not only amplify her clients brand but also provides an experience and meaningful change to the people who engage. Creating a situation that leaves people happy and fulfilled and attributing that feeling to a company brand. That is an ultimate PR win. 

You can do this too. What are the holes in your current industry? What are the needs in your group or your community? When you see a need, you too can be the one to fill that need. Success follows the one bold enough to be the change. 

Thus the populatrity of one of the greatest slogans of all times, Nike’s Just Do It

Whatever that thing is that is calling to you, whatever is stirring around in your soul, whatever idea that has taken homes inside of you, just do it. Do not wait – just do it. This the mark of the successful. They don’t make excuses as to why they can’t, they find the reasons as to why they can.  They follow their why.  

Just like Heidi did, both figuratively and literally. When she met her podcast host partner, Luke Poling at an industry event, they connected over the idea of creating a show around the word why? Heidi had so much fun talking about the idea, that it kept perculating around in her brain – she was intrigued, she was excited and once again, she did not wait for permission, she did not wait for someone else to make a suggestion, she just did it. She called Luke to confirm his interest and they went on to create their podcast, now having a successful and fun two years of interviews with one podcast, created an additional podcast, developed an incredibly fulfilling friendship and evolved an overall great understanding of life and it’s greatest lesons. 

The gift of listening and learning from others stories leads to finding those common golden threads that go through life. When you Discover the universal truths you carry a calmness and understanding within you that colors your life in the very best of ways. 

As Heidi has learned, one of the greatest lessons is learning how to ride the wave of life. Learning that it is all about the experience and celebrating that experience. It’s not about the outcome, it’s about the journey. So get in touch with your personal why, your personal journey, stay true to your north star and the outcome will be inconsequential, because you’re enjoying the journey. And that is one of the greatest successes. When you have joy on your journey, you have overall better health, better relationships and higher caliber work. Win, win, win all around. 

So I ask you, are you joyful on your journey? How often do you find joy in your work? How can you infuse more joy into your life? Do you need to find a new path or can you reframe your current journey so that you can feel the pleasure and beauty of living your life each and every day?

Sometimes we have to adjust our path and this is never easy. Heidi and her business partner came to a point where they had to part ways, it wasn’t not an easy process and Heidi found herself with zero income having to start all over from scratch. She could have let this experience make her bitter, she could have wallowed in the negative feelings and succumbed to the negative voices, stopping her dreams in her tracks. Instead, Heidi did what she needed to do, she got herself a have to job to make ends meet and then spent her evenings and weekends working on her ‘want to’s’ and she rebuilt her company, in exactly the way she had dreamed about, even better than before, better than ever. 

Our greatest successes are born from our greatest challenges. 

Understanding this changes everything in life. So often we can get stuck in a situation that is making us unhappy, stuck in the malcontent and living life in this limbo state, unable to budge. Living in limbo is painful. When you know you are unhappy but you are doing nothing to change it, you are living in limbo. Often, The hardest part of the situation is making the decision. But once you make the decision to no longer accept this bottom and to make a change, things will start to alter. As Heidi shared, they might not happen in the time frame you are wishing, but it will happen. Make the decision and then start swimming in that right direction. Just keep swimming. Things will get better. You will make it through. 

Just like Heidi did, she made it through her tough times and those times taught her that she’ll be ok. She has learned that there are ups and downs in life, its not the end of the world when you hit a struggle, you’ll get through it and be just fine, just like last time. just remember to look at it through your own lens and follow your own instinct – only you know what is right for you. 

So that is my wish for us all, that with whatever you may be dealing with in life, you take the time to learn what is right for you, listening to your own personal instinct and following the path that is meant for you – joyfully. 

Until next time


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