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Over the weekend I had a chance to hang out with my (very awesome) parents. Josh and I took them to this little 1950’s style diner in Venice beach.

The kind of place with James Dean posters on the wall, where you can get a real chocolate ice cream soda and outstanding homemade apple pie.

My dad said, “Remember that time you called us crying because you wanted to quit your job on Wall Street, but you didn’t know what else you were supposed to do with your life? And remember what I told you? Doesn’t matter how long it takes. You got to find something you love. Look at you now…”

Yeah. I know that ‘find something you love’ may sound like trite advice, but I believe his words hold truth.

Because I knew in my heart that no matter what I wound up doing in my professional life, I’d work really, really hard to become the best I could be.

It made sense that if I was going to work that hard, I had to find something that really aligned with who I was as a human being.

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Over the years I’ve gone from being a one-woman shop to now leading a virtual and growing team of star players.

We’re all sprinkled across time zones and spend at least 80% of our time working independently.

Every day I take time to appreciate the beautiful souls I get to work with and I’m constantly looking for ways to improve our company’s culture. Why?

Because no matter what you do for a living, being a part of a healthy, high-functioning team is vital if you want to feel fulfilled at work.

Now your team may be your family. Or fellow writers, designers, agents, managers, assistants or programmers.

Or even fellow employees if you’re working within a company.

As technology continues to erase the confines of the traditional 9-5 work environment, it’s vital that we all learn ways to become better, more caring leaders.

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You know when you keep hearing someone’s name over and over again?

And then you discover the person is more kind, warm and impressive in real life than you could have hoped?

That’s how I feel about Grace Bonney, founder of the wildly popular Design*Sponge, the legendary design blog reaching over one million readers a day.

We’re all fans of Design*Sponge here at Team Forleo, and I could not be more thrilled to share this interview with you today. In this inspiring episode, you’ll learn:

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“No, I’m 100% sure Mom. When I’m old enough to drive, I want a blue van with smurfs painted on it. I don’t care what people will say, that’s what I want.”

Yeah. That was me defining success at age 7.

Though I never did get that blue smurf van, I’ve been happily defining and re-defining what “success” means to me as long as I can remember.

That’s why I was thrilled when Claire, one of our readers, wrote in because she was feeling a bit torn between a more traditional view of success (big money, big job, etc.) and the unique calling of her soul.

Taking the time to challenge assumptions — both societies and our own — is something I feel very strongly about. Especially as it relates to such a relative and often loaded concept as “success.”

Because when you have the courage to question what you’re doing and, more importantly, why you’re doing it — you stay on your edge of innovation, truth and lasting fulfillment.

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Last August, I stumbled upon a Kickstarter campaign and instantly fell in love.

It was for a documentary film called Dream, Girl by Erin Bagwell, aiming to redefine what it means to be a boss by telling the stories of female entrepreneurs. If you missed it, you can catch it right here.

From the moment I saw that video, I knew I wanted to be involved and lend whatever support I could to make sure this powerful project would be brought to life.

Because the unfortunate truth is that mainstream media doesn’t celebrate strong, successful women. And narratives about women in the media are less than 40% of all content.

The mission of this film is to give women and girls a more complex, diverse and honest look at what it takes to be a leader into today’s business world. It’s not just about telling them to dream big, it’s about showing them how it’s done.

While you know my work is not gender specific, I’m a proud advocate for girls’ and women’s rights.

They’re the most underserved and undervalued resource in the world – making up over 70% of the world’s poor and earning only 10% of its income, despite producing over half its food.

And research shows that women and girls reinvest an average of 90% of their income in their families (compared to a 30-40% reinvestment rate for men). So making sure women continue to rise benefits us all.

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