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Finding the courage to express yourself isn’t always an easy thing to do.

While technology gives us countless tools to share our creations with the world, it also opens us up to the opinions of others: the good, the bad, and the cruel.

To keep yourself open and continuously creating amidst the rocky terrain of online public opinion is a vital skill, especially when you’re committed to being a force for good.

That’s why I was intrigued when a reader asked how I **personally** deal with criticism online.

Rather than just empathize, I thought I’d share some fun “feedback” from my own critics. If nothing else, I hope it makes you laugh.

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Maybe it’s because I’m Italian. Maybe it ties back to my childhood and the hours I spent watching my mom cook.

No matter what the reason, I ***love food***.  Like, seriously love it. Love to cook it, love to eat it, and love to try new recipes.

A few years ago, I cracked open a new cookbook and gave this interesting looking “Avocado Pesto Pasta” a test-drive. From the first creamy dreamy bite, both Josh and I were hooked.

Excited, I powered through over a dozen other recipes, and low and behold… I struck food gold! A whole cookbook of things that were:

  • healthy
  • fast and easy to put together (no long, exotic lists of ingredients)
  • ridiculously delicious

That’s when I knew I had to get to know the genius behind these creations.

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When you’re really good at something and actually enjoy doing it, it’s natural to want to turn that passion into a business.

But a strange phenomenon often occurs for passion-based business owners — especially when it’s time to get paid.

You have trouble bringing yourself to actually ask for money for something you’re so naturally good at.

Feels weirdly like cheating the system. Or taking advantage. Or somehow getting one over on people.

If this sounds familiar, you’ll love today’s MarieTV.  You’ll learn three simple steps to make asking for payment more comfortable.

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Curious…

Have you ever had someone say something about your work that felt like a punch in the gut? Where you were almost shocked how downright ignorant and mean it was?

While most of us get that learning to deal with criticism is an essential part of the creative game, that intellectual awareness doesn’t always help us emotionally.

Especially when you’re first starting out.

Words sting. And unfortunately, the harshest words often linger in the back corners of our minds longer than we’d like to admit.

That’s why I want to tell you a story about this guy who put me down on an escalator and how I’ve used that experience to lift myself up.

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Have you ever met someone you deeply admired and felt so excited you could barely talk?

Yeah. That was me last week.

Thankfully, the person I admired said nine simple words that put me ease and gave me an insight I’ll never forget.

“You and me — we’re both in the lighting business.”

Translation? When you have a platform (no matter the size), you’re always shining a light. You light things you feel deserve focus and attention.

That’s both a privilege and a responsibility. And one I take very seriously.

Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn are Pulitzer Prize winning journalists and two extraordinary people I consider some of the best lighting pros in the world.

I could not be more honored to share our interview today, in celebration of their newly released book A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunities.

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