Marie Forleo introduction


I'm Marie

You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.

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It’s no secret we’re living in strange times. Since publishing the coronavirus support guide last week, I’ve heard from many of you and, let me just say, I could not be more proud of and grateful for this community.

These are stressful times and my heart is with you. Honestly, we went back and forth on whether we should share today’s interview as it was recorded months ago — long before the pandemic hit the news. But we decided to publish it for a few reasons. 

First, I believe a break from the news is necessary. It’s not healthy to focus on the coronavirus 100% of the time. Know the facts, yes. Stay inside and stay healthy, yes. But obsessively watch the news? No.  

Second, this collective experience is a catalyst for us to think differently about our lives, our health, our livelihoods, and what we want to create and accomplish in the future when this crisis passes. And yes, it will pass. 

Don't wait for some kind of future when you're going to have a different situation. Do everything that you can to feel as happy as you can right now. @gretchenrubin Click To Tweet

I believe this interview with Gretchen Rubin can be much-needed relief from the news. It may also spark inspiration and insight, which we’ll need for the long weeks and months ahead.

Gretchen is a leading expert on happiness. She’s the author of the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers The Happiness Project, Outer Order, Inner Calm, The Four Tendencies, and Better Than Before, plus she’s the host of the award-winning podcast, Happier, with her sister Elizabeth Craft.

What I appreciate most about Gretchen is that she’s refreshingly transparent. On today’s MarieTV, you’ll hear about the surprising start to her writing career, the messy truth about her writing process, and the habits that made the biggest difference in her life and career. 

Even better, her advice isn’t one-size-fits-all. Every strategy, every question, and every idea that Gretchen puts into the world is designed to help you discover your best recipe for success. 

Whether you want to write a book, start a podcast, declutter, be more productive, or just feel happier in any circumstance — this episode will help.

You’ll learn:

  • 2:00 — How Gretchen’s interest in power, money, fame, and sex made her leave her law career.
  • 5:42 — The easiest and hardest parts of becoming a writer.
  • 8:00 — Why Gretchen couldn’t get a book deal for The Happiness Project.
  • 14:00 — The messy truth about the creative process (even bestselling authors struggle with this!).
  • 16:00 — 3 crucial questions to ask yourself if you want a happier life.
  • 22:05 — How to declutter without getting rid of what makes you happy.
  • 28:02 — The most important ingredients you need to transform your life, no matter your personality type.
  • 32:35 — How to become your most productive self.

Personally, I love hearing origin stories from accomplished people. Whatever dream you’re trying to bring to life, I hope this episode nourishes your creative soul. 

View Transcript

Check out this episode on The Marie Forleo Podcast

Listen Now

WANT MORE ON WRITING? If writing more powerfully and persuasively is something you want to learn right now, sign up for our free 7-day writing class here. It’s fun, funny, and actionable.

Now, Gretchen and I would love to hear from you. What’s the biggest insight you’re taking away from this conversation and, most importantly, how can you turn that insight into action starting right now?

Share as much detail as possible in your reply. Thousands of incredible souls come here each week for insight and inspiration and your words may help someone else have a meaningful breakthrough. Important: share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Links to other posts, videos, etc. will be deleted as they come across as spammy.

If you’ve spent any time around these parts, then you know I take a strong stand for kindness. Please write and respond to each other in that same spirit.

Important note: please come follow me on Instagram as I’ll be going live and sharing resources to help us all stay strong emotionally, mentally, and physically during this turbulent time. 

Nobody knows what’s around the corner, but I’m certain that our current situation is figureoutable. Part of how we’ll get there is by taking really good care of ourselves. Stay inside. Stay healthy. And do keep dreaming and creating, whatever that looks like for you. The world needs that very special gift that only you have. Now, more than ever.

All my love,

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  1. Reema Hamza

    I can’t express how much I needed this now !
    Thank you both for amazing conversation ❤❤
    Praying for everyone safety and that we all come back from this pandemic better than ever before ?
    The biggest insights I got from this are 3 great ideas that sparked a light in my head :
    1. Linear structure has a messy backstage ( cause I always aim for linear but keep finding myself swimming in uncertainty and dynamic shifts of thoughts that makes it hard to visualise what the final product will be ! )
    2. I fall for arrival fallacy most of the time without recognising it or naming it ! I even fell for the exact snow man fallacy when snow fell last February for the first time in 40 years in my city! And I stayed home and didn’t enjoy the amazing white coat over the city ! Biggest mistake to do in such weather ?
    3. Experiment with habits! If it doesn’t work for me it means something else does ! (BIG ONE)
    Action to take :
    Taking a deep breath > feeling the gratitude for these amzaing insights > forgiving myself for being ignorant of this before > receiving the love sent to me from across the world to guide me back towards light > feel the shift in paradigm > returning to the HERE & NOW > keep going because we got this ?❤

    • Kate - Team Forleo

      Thanks for sharing your insights, Reema! Yes — we’ve got this, and we’re sending you so much Team Forleo love ❤️Have fun experimenting with habits and exploring the messy backstage!

  2. Amanda

    Thank you for this. That part about if something doesn’t work for you, try something else…I love that. I’ve been trying to finish a short story for ages now and it’s frustrating me because I can’t seem to get into the habit of writing every day (and with this pandemic, my job is on furlough so I’m dealing with the distractions of tv and I’m lacking the usual structure of a day job)…this interview gives me hope that if I just take maybe tweak my approach, I could get this thing handled!!

  3. Denise

    Thank you sooooo much for sharing this! I started reading the book a couple of days ago, so this interview is a nice surprise.

  4. Anne Marie from Sydney

    So motivated now to get researching and writing…I’m also the obsessive sort who needs to know everything about a topic. When I first saw that it was Gretchen Rubin from ‘the Happiness Project’, I shrugged and thought, “Happiness? That’s so simplistic – I’m not going to relate to her”. I’m so glad I went ahead and watched. Thank you Marie and thank you Gretchen for sharing how you started your writing – that step by step of, I’m interested in this, then researching it, then ‘somebody should write a book about this’, then ‘maybe I could write a book about this’ and then just starting.
    For the first time in a long time, I feel the push to get going.
    Thank you both for a fascinating conversation!!!!!

    • Kate - Team Forleo

      We’re so glad this conversation has given you that push to get going, Anne Marie! One of Marie’s mantras is “simplify to amplify.” It’s often the simplistic things that are the most profound ❤️We’re cheering you on as you research and write!

  5. That was a fantastic episode. It made me realise that I work best and achieve goals when I’m a part of a community and there’s a contest or reward for doing something (like writing a book, launching a course, etc.). So, I’ve decided to intentionally be a part of challenges & communities to achieve things that are important to me. Thanks Gretchen & Marie 🙂

    • Kate - Team Forleo

      Awesome, Jyotsna! We’re so glad this episode helped you get to that insight, and we’re so excited to hear you’re taking steps to put yourself in the best environment to achieve your goals.

  6. So glad you shared this, thank you! A wonderful inspirational interview!

  7. Laura Horne

    It would be great if we could all do something together off of social, maybe a weekly zoom check-in with Marie, Team Forleo & Friends? What do you think?
    – Live Workout?
    – Live Cooking Class?
    – Live Journaling
    – Live Meditation?
    – Other?
    Our own #selfcareproject 🙂
    I know I might be asking too much here, you’ve already got so much going on and I know you travel on the “No Train” often but hey it’s worth an ask?!
    I sent an email to your team with some ideas. Hope you got it.
    Take Care everyone xx

    • Kate - Team Forleo

      Hey Laura, Marie is doing more lives on Instagram and we’d love for you to join us! Be sure to sign up for our email newsletter, too, as that’s where Marie will announce anything new ❤️

      • Laura Horne

        Hi Kate,
        I’m an MF Insider 🙂
        Ahh, I’m not on Insta 🙁 My guess is I’m probably the only one here that isn’t on social? But It would be great if Marie could also do YT lives for us not-interested-in-social-media-but-love-marie-and-want-to-get-on-the-lives-people?
        Can Instagram & Youtube be streamed live at the same time? Plus Youtube lives can be watched on our Smart TV and laptop?
        I don’t want Marie to go changing or adding things to her already full plate. Just a suggestion. Totally understand if not, I’ll still get the emails weekly 🙂
        Laura x

  8. Hi Marie,
    Thank you so much for this “feel-good” episode. I needed this 🙂
    I feel you so so much on the clutter front : can’t STAND it ! It’s impossible for me to work or even focus when my gaze scans a room full of clutter. I’am actually going to Marie Kondo the hell out of my Paris appartment while we are in confinement mode.

    I juste wanted to share that two french authors, Marie Lefèvre & Herveline Verbeken, came up with this brillant acronym to avoid hoarding stuff and over-consumption.

    The acronym is BISOU, which means KISS ❤️, and it stands for :

    B- like “Besoin” (need) : Do I really NEED this ?
    I- like Immedidately : Do I need this right now ? Maybe I could wait a few days to make sure it’s not an emotional purchase and make sure I can afford it.
    S -like similar : Do I have anything similar that looks alike or serves the exact same purpose ?
    O – like place of Origin : Where was this made ? What country does it come from ? Am I really ok with how it was made and most importantly, by whom ?
    U- like Useful : Is this gonna be really useful (and am I gonna used it ?) Could I actually live without it ?

    I hope this serves people who will read it ❤️
    Love from Paris

  9. Hi Marie and Gretchen!
    Fantastic conversation!
    I feel the timing for it is good too, some food for thought as people will need to look into their habits and many will go into the creative discovery and decluttering.

    Personally, I loved your tips about writing a book as I’d like to write one myself.
    I’m reflecting on what you’ve said about being a morning person. I decided to create a habit of being up at 5.30 and change it to 5am eventually, but I need to reconsider how it works for me….

    Many thanks!

  10. I’m just about to watch the video, but before I even do, I wanted to say that you’re absolutely right for putting this out. We need to do as much as we can as normally as possible, and that includes being creative, reflective, entrepreneurial… etc., etc. Thanks, as ever Team Forleo – keep well xxx

    • Kate - Team Forleo

      Thanks so much, Pat ❤️We’re so grateful you’re here, and we hope you enjoy the conversation! Here’s to creativity!

  11. This is so right on time, Marie and Gretchen, and I’m so glad you and TeamForleo decided to go ahead with airing this episode.

    This is such a time of uncertainty and personal upheaval that to hear that there is no “one way fits all” method of adjusting to working from home with children who also need to continue their educations and spouses who need support. This episode reminds me to allow myself room to experiment with these new conditions and see what works for me. And, at the same time, it reminds me to be merciful with myself and to listen to my life, my intuition, and my instincts and to create the boundaries I need to thrive at this time. So refreshing as I am deluged with information and suggestions to be told that finding my way is a process that begins and ends with listening to myself.

    Thank you Marie, Gretchen, and TeamForleo!

  12. This was a GREAT interview. I loved so many parts. 1) that writing is not linear, or cannot be planned like so many self-help books proclaim 2) that each must really find out what works for them, and experiment several different ways to dig deeper within themselves.

  13. Brooks

    Such a nice break from covid 19. I am an orthopedic physician assistant who just got furloughed, our orthopedic practice, just let 150 people go.
    My kids, age 18 and 15 are home from high school, sheltering in place.
    The biggest take away from this discussion for me, and Marie in general, was to take some time to dream , create, and to enjoy each moment.
    Thank you

    • Kate - Team Forleo

      Hey Brooks, we hope you and your family stay safe and healthy, and that this helps you find more time to create. Thanks so much for being here with us ❤️

  14. Katie

    I watched this while working from home – and it was exactly what I needed! I always thought I was an introvert but working from home has opened my eyes. I actually love working with people at my office! I love having the distractions pop up. I love not knowing who’s going to call. Until I watched this episode I had never considered that maybe that was part of my working style, rather than being more of a loner. My biggest take away (and unfortunately not something I can do anything about during the pandemic): Identify and embrace your working style as a part of who you are.

  15. Lisa Morris

    Loved this! I’m a few chapters into The Happiness Project, so this timing was amazing.
    My favorite part was the reassurance that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to change. I know I am a night person, but have been trying to force myself, unsuccessfully into day person habits – that ends today! Thank you, Gretchen & Marie!!

  16. Diana

    This is exactly what I needed today! I feel so much more inspired to get moving on my own book!
    And you know what ? I started with my introduction too! I’ve been at it for a couple of weeks now! It’s been driving me nuts! Lol!
    Thank you! This was very helpful!

    • Kate - Team Forleo

      We’re so glad this came at just the right time, Diana! We’re cheering you on as you write ❤️

  17. Reshanda Yates

    My brain nearly exploded when I saw Gretchen Rubin on the chair! ??

    Her work LITERALLY changed my life. It enabled me to actually implement on all the great information I was learning from people like Marie.

    I couldn’t contain myself and
    had to hop on and say how excited I am for this.

    Can’t wait to dive into this interview and find out what new insights await! B-school first….this will be my reward!

    • Kate - Team Forleo

      Yay! We love hearing this, Reshanda and hope you love the interview. Let us know what you think when you get a chance ?

  18. Natalie

    Thanks! Lovely convo.

  19. Linda

    Love this episode. I often look at the creatives in the world and wonder why I can’t get my project off the ground – why isn’t it ready for prime time on a path that was linear? I’m uncomfortable with the messy background of the finished product and often feel I’m wasting my time so I stop myself. Brilliant to understand that the messy part is necessary, it’s what gets you to the end goal. I feel like we were all given permission to be messy and figure it out – but to keep at it, keep at it, keep at it! To see someone so accomplished and realize Gretchen had to figure it out, too, is so encouraging. Thank you for this!

  20. Hi all!
    Thank you Marie and Gretchen. I left my dual roles of COO/Marketing & Communications Director for a historic waterfront destination February 25, and signed up for B-School to create that purpose-driven online business.

    This interview:
    -underscored it’s not too late, the time to do the prep work is now.
    – reminded me that it’s ok that I honored the inner voices to create healthy boundaries (so hard for a YES!!! person),
    – good that I wasn’t going to mess around with the arrival fallacy anymore.
    Though our communities are in disorder, as is my desk and home office, I had already planned to take this time to de clutter and pivot; To also return to my core interests and strengths. Doing it right now: what to keep what to toss…
    This time reminds me of the last economic crisis, now there is an opportunity to go inward (also hard for an extrovert) that I have not had in many years. Seize the day!

  21. Diana

    Thanks for this video! I want to write books like the Happiness Project, thus getting to know the process is a great insight for me! I also discover that I’m a sprinter and that forcing me to become a marathoner is nonsense. Love you both and thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  22. Kristin J Leazer

    Great job, Marie and Team Forleo for going forward with releasing this interview! So many good things and helpful insights. I enjoyed and resonated with many ideas and concepts – the one most needed for me right now was being reminded that I need to structure my life for how I am wired and work. It isn’t a flaw, I just need to try different things and figure out what works for me! Thanks again, Marie Forleo and Gretchen Rubin. Love how you both continue to show up in the very best way for all of us. ❤️

    • Kate - Team Forleo

      Great insight, Kristin! We’re so glad you loved the episode and hope it helps you create the structure that bests supports you and your goals. Thanks so much for being here with us ❤️

    • Reshanda Yates

      Yaaaaasssss!!!!! My life literally turned around in 2018 when I read GR’s book, The Four Tendencies and found out I had the obliger tendency. (This means that I could keep promises to others, but not myself.) I went from struggling to follow through on anything to being able to follow through on everything just by adding accountability! I HIGHLY recommend the book or at least the free quiz. The information you gain could literally change the trajectory of your life!

  23. I’m so happy that you put this out- perfect timing. Everyone is at home and this is the time to do the things we normally put off, such as getting rid of clutter, writing for our business and looking inward. Very inspiring! Thank you Marie and Gretchen!

  24. I feel like you made this video just for me! Thank you so much for deciding to post this!! Love you Gretchen! Love you Marie! And thank you for giving me that extra motivation to ‘get started’ because there is no better time than now! ?

  25. Carol Hyland

    The book Gretchen mentioned about 3 sister cheerleaders… in the heart of Texas? I can’t seem to find it online?

  26. Patricia

    Marie, thank you for sharing your conversation with Gretchen Rubin with us! The moment that hit like a wave of truth was when Gretchen said, “It’s more about figuring yourself out and guarding that.” The lesson that landed was to guard what works for me. Guard the space and time of the process. The process is the treasure you unlock within yourself each day. I’ve known what works for me for some time now but always fail at guarding it. Doing it! Starting today!

  27. the page in my B-School 2020 notebook for taking notes of this spilled over into multiple pages–so many great/actionable insights! Thank you Team Forleo for deciding to post this interview. Favorite takeaway (I am applying to an aspect of my biz today!): If it’s not working, that is a clue.

    • Kate - Team Forleo

      Yes! Awesome insight, Mackenzie. We love hearing how this resonated with you and hope it helps you take action. Let us know how it goes — we’re cheering you on!

  28. Vee

    I woke up a bit bluesy, still tinged from an overload of broadcast news last night. But this lifted me right up.
    Gretchen and Marie, you’ve reminded me to focus on my strengths and unique gifts, the tools that always get me through. Very much like this video which was made at the right time to be used for the right times.

  29. Ann Meredith

    This interview was just the bit of inspiration I needed today! I am figuring out my next steps in life – but a huge part of that is self-knowledge. I’m really excited to explore some of the short exercises Marie and Gretchen covered to help me identify who I am again. I do get caught up in watching what other people do and need to remember that I need to “figure out what works for you and make sure to have it set up.” And, that it’s okay to try different things to figure it all out. Plus, the advise about messy teenage rooms is great….and recognizing that my son may have many approaches to live his life that I may not agree with, but do work for him.

    • Renee – Team Forleo

      I love this approach, too, Ann! Finding out what works for you is the best way to move forward with any project. We’re all different, and different strategies work for us depending on our personalities and many other factors. Thank you for sharing, and we’re honored this provided inspiration for you today! ?

  30. I found this so incredibly helpful but I’ll just focus on Marie and Gretchen’s conversation on the writing process because it resonated so much with me and what I’m trying to do. And save the rest of the interview for later. If any other writers in this group have any responses I so welcome them 🙂

    Marie and Gretchen’s conversation at the beginning on the topic of writing a book was so helpful as I have been working on a a magical realism novel for the middle grades–for the first time ever writing a novel. I don’t even know where to begin how much their statements about the process rang true for me. I thought when I started this process I would simply write multiple drafts until done while reading “how to” books from other writers. And that of course is true, but the process is so much more than that and it is anything but linear. I find it both fascinating and daunting at the same time. I have come to understand at this point that the entire process of jumping into this Unknown of writing a book takes patience, the willingness to let go of old habits and insecurities, learning from others (groups, workshops, published writers etc.), and Never Ever give up on my reason for doing it in the first place. As my current writing teacher says over & over “Never forget the core of this book.” And that I have always held on to. But the process is anything but simple. And in a way….that’s exciting too because I’m always learning how to do it better. But I must add it was refreshing to hear Gretchen share–when she would hand over a few chapters, editors would give advice that actually wasn’t always helpful because they couldn’t see where she was going with this book, or they really didn’t have a clear picture of what she was doing. I have experienced this when sharing beginning chapters with my writer’s group. Yet I still value their advice, and sometimes sitting on it for a few days, I see where their feedback makes complete sense. Anyway–just sharing. I love having another online community (such as this one) to share these thoughts 🙂

  31. I want to add too that I am looking very forward to continuing to watch the remainder of this interview with my partner as I know it will be so helpful in these difficult times we are all in together. Stay safe & healthy everyone. Big Heart!!!

  32. Heidi Coffey

    I really feel as if this was written specifically for me. The timing really couldn’t be more serendipitous!
    Thank you for sharing despite all the craziness going on. I think the silver lining is maybe with forced time at home we can all put time and energy into our love projects that we haven’t had before.
    If everyone comes out of the other side of this more well rested, well read, and with tons of art and creative projects completed, then perhaps many of us could stand to benefit from this chaos.
    Thanks again!

    • Renee – Team Forleo

      So true, Heidi. We will certainly come out of this stronger. Sending you lots of love, and we’re glad this provided a silver lining to your day! ?

  33. Beautiful, thank you for sharing this right now. It was a break and shining light through the chaos. Gretchen is a grounding and awakening force.

    • Renee – Team Forleo

      We’re so glad we could bring some sunshine to your day, Vanessa! ☀️ Sending you lots of love and light! ?

  34. Carmel

    Hey Marie, you look great in your laid-back at home style! I appreciate the more “profesh” fashionista kind of style you usually rock, however, LOVE how you look in your everyday threads!

    Thanks for keeping things real with your videos and your true self!

  35. Jelena Ristic

    Absolutely needed this today! Working on videos ( different from a book) but same idea to clarify and ‘edit’ / re-record and don’t feel so ‘messy’ anymore.

    This is exactly what I needed to hear.

    • Renee – Team Forleo

      Yaas! So glad this found you when you needed it. I totally agree –– any creative process (including film & video) requires making a mess and we’re delighted to hear you’re moving forward with the process. Thank you for sharing, and keep going! ??

  36. Cindy Renno

    I love the genuine flow of the conversation and how relatable everything you talked about is for all of our lives! It’s so refreshing that you both acknowledge how different we all are. Much love to both of you and your teams! Stay well. ~Cindy

  37. Wow.
    I can’t thank you enough for stepping up to the plate with amazing content during this time. I am a self employed massage therapist with A LOT of time on my hands, so further learning is so important for me right now, and its really got my thinking how I earn my wage to live.
    I absolutely love my job but goodness me I have banging on for ages about writing my book about menopause!!! I am determined to have ‘something to show for it’ as odd as it may sound. This too shall pass. I’d like to remember this time as us (as citizens) all pulling together for the common good, having more meaning in our minutes, and we will all have Marie Kondo’d the s**t out of our living spaces.
    Marie, you are remarkable. I want my business to reach out the way yours does, for no other reason than to say ‘I made a difference’.
    I excel at getting rid of neck and shoulder tension using massage, lets see what else I can do. Love from Glasgow. x

    • Renee – Team Forleo

      So glad this episode could be a balm to you during a difficult time! You’re absolutely right –– this too shall pass. Thank you so much for these kind words and for sharing your beautiful spirit with us. Keep shining your light! ?

  38. Katherine Raybould

    Love it! Thank you Marie and Gretchen. Marie you always seem to have the perfect person on at the perfect time. It is like your show is put on just for me! I am sure many others feel the same way. Thanks again.

    • Julia - Team Forleo

      Awww, we’re SO happy to hear that, Katherine! Thank you for staying tuned ❤️

  39. Lorlene

    Great conversation Marie and Gretchen!

    I like that you talked about finding what’s right for you because oftentimes I think that there is a structure or way that works best to achieving something. For example, learning a new language. Before listening to you I would say that learning a new language in a classroom setting would be ideal and help me be successful at it. But you are saying it may not necessarily be so, that you can try other ways until you find what works for you. Like the analogy you use of trying on different coats and finding the one, you feel comfortable with.
    Thank you gals so much for sharing your experiences and insights about writing, I am going to certainly keep this in mind.

    Take care and stay safe and healthy.

  40. Glad to hear you are doing well, Marie. I was happy to receive the email letting us know that you decided to share this. I’ve been a fan of Gretchen Rubin for many years, I used to read her Good Housekeeping column every month. We absolutely need your fabulous content, can’t be on coronavirus watch 24/7.

    I’m currently halfway finished writing my book so this is timely for me. The creative process is absolutely not linear! Love hearing that even your fabulous books are ‘messy’, so true for me. When you said, ‘my sentences are all over the place’, same! It’s amazing how it comes together in the end like a puzzle.

    I love how Gretchen acknowledged that we all have different biology and that some of us are night owls which doesn’t mean that we’re not productive.

    I’ve been following you for years. Thank you for all of your wisdom, advice, and inspiration. You are a gift to business owners and entrepreneurs.
    Stay well! xo

    • Julia - Team Forleo

      So thrilled this conversation resonated with you, Kelly! How exciting that you’re writing your book right now. Keep trusting that messy process, and that it all really will come together in the end 🙂 We’re sending all the good writing thoughts your way. It’s such an honor to have you as a long-time fan of the show, and thank you for continuing to tune in!

  41. So much I loved here – especially Gretchen’s expression, “Clutterblind.” 🙂

    Also how important it is to figure out what’s right for us and not try to follow strategies if they just don’t suit us – like being a night owl but trying to fit yourself into a Morning Person suit. I’m definitely guilty of that and I’m starting to wonder if that’s why I lie in bed unable to sleep now that I’m trying to get to bed around 10pm as part of my ‘early to bed, early to rise will make me a better person’ belief!! Thank you Marie and Gretchen. x0

    • Julia - Team Forleo

      Awesome, Shelley, we’re glad this was a helpful perspective for you to consider! We really are all built differently, so keep searching out and doing what best supports your own natural rhythms. XOXO

  42. I’m so glad you decided to air this; I’ve had a slow-dawning realization that outer accountability is important to me, and for a while I felt bad about this because my partner isn’t that way. I started hiring a mentor who teaches at a local school to give me feedback on my creative work at the end of each month (I use Zoom during the quarantine). If nothing else, this will help my shy ass to start finishing and sharing pieces. Not sure where this will lead, and not sure if I’ll be able to transition to making money with what I’m creating, but I’m pretty sure something interesting will happen because I enjoy the process!

    • Julia - Team Forleo

      Amazing, Amber! We LOVE that you’re finding ways to best support and keep yourself accountable. Yes yes yes, keep enjoying the process – that’s everything!

      • You rock Julia!

  43. Vee

    This couldn’t have come at a worse time for me. I’ve seen so much stuff lately that is supposed to encourage writers, but is actually interviews like this, where a person says, “I never really wanted to be a writer, but then it fell into my lap.” I appreciate that this guest expressed how she wasn’t an overnight success and there were struggles, but it was still such a slap in the face. I have wanted to be a writer all my life and, after two decades of working on it, have had very minimal success. To have someone who never even thought about being a writer have everything fall into place for them just hurts to hear. I mean, can you imagine hiring a speaker to encourage a bunch of people struggling through law school, and having the speaker say, “Actually, I never thought about being a lawyer, but one day someone invited me to take the bar exam and I did so well, they let me become a lawyer without ever having gone to law school.”

    I am desperately trying to cling to my last shreds of hope that if I keep trying, maybe someday…but after getting this interview in my inbox this morning and watching the first half, I spent the day crying and contemplating how to build a decent life while giving up on the thing that I feel like I was created to do, because maybe it isn’t meant to be. If things just “fall into place” for the right people, maybe I’m just not the kind of lucky person who gets to fulfill her dreams.

    I’m glad that this is inspiring to people who want to switch careers or who don’t know what they want to do in life, but as a struggling writer, I wish I hadn’t watched this interview. I was already struggling and this only made things worse.

    • Renee – Team Forleo

      Hi Vee,

      Thank you so much for sharing your big heart and thoughts here. As a writer myself, I completely understand where you’re coming from. I’ve also wanted to be a writer since I was a very little girl, so we’re kindred spirits in that way. ?

      First, you were absolutely put on this planet for a reason, and based on your comment here, it sounds like you *know* deep in your heart you’re meant to be a writer. I encourage you to keep the faith, even when someone else’s story throws you off course.

      When you notice someone’s story or journey doesn’t resonate with you or you start to compare yourself with them, you have full permission to change the channel. You can take what you need and leave what you don’t.

      Everyone’s journey is different, and as you said, Gretchen absolutely had her share of failure. She doesn’t discuss this that much in this talk, but her first four books were not even remotely as successful as her fifth book, The Happiness Project. Of course, no one’s journey is an exact formula because we all have different strengths, privileges, and assets.

      Another writer’s story we love to highlight is Steven Pressfield. It took him 17 years (two decades!) to earn a cent from his writing. Here’s the interview if you feel like seeing a different journey from a different writer:

      I also encourage you to watch Elizabeth Gilbert’s interview. She talks about how writer’s have to eat the “sh*t sandwich,” and it’s up to us to decide if the writing life is worth all the rejection it inevitably comes with:

      Of course, it could be a time to completely disconnect from other writers stories for a little bit. For me, when I get down on myself for not being “far enough along” as a writer, I return to playful activities that nurture my creativity. I write a silly poem, color with crayons, go on a long walk, or read my favorite feel-good book. It reminds me that I *am* a creative being, and no one else’s journey matters but mine. It also reminds me the creative process is a reward all on it’s own… even if no one ever reads my writing.

      We’re sending you lots of love for your journey, Vee. You have important gifts to share with the world! ?

      I’ll leave you with this quote from Martha Graham, and I hope it’ll inspire you to keep walking faithfully toward your dream of being a writer… even when it’s hard.

      “There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is on a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”

  44. Jennifer Lundqvist

    I think what sticks out to me is that I have to try on different hats while on my journey. I think I critic myself waaaaay too much (as most people and creatives do) and therefore don’t get as much accomplished as I’d like . I also like the part about basically not looking at the huge picture but rather one day at a time. That has been something I’ve been trying to do as of late. This came at a good time, it’s reinforcing that thought.

    Thank you so much!!

    • Julia - Team Forleo

      YES, Jennifer – one day at a time and be SO gentle, kind, and patient with yourself as you find what works best for you. We’re so glad this came at a good time!

  45. Jennifer Giuffre-Donohue

    I loved this interview. I also love, love, LOVE seeing the behind the scenes of things. I think it’s so important for people who are at the top of their fields to show how they got there, what didn’t work, what works now, etc. The biggest takeaway I got from today is to remember that we all work differently, live life differently, etc., to try on different things to see what works for you & to embrace what works for you, knowing it’s okay if it’s different from what other people do or “most” people do.

  46. The timing is awesome. As a songwriter, OMG – SAME THING. I have to start writing to figure out what the song is about. There are so many possibile structures – a chorus can be a bridge, etc. Thank you for mirroring my process.
    Just today, I paged through song notes from songs that I actually completed and recorded. It was fascintating to see the evolution and how I honed and built the story and tightened it up after I figured out what the song was about.
    Now I want to write a blog about it! My fans will probably love to see the beind the scenes on that song.

    • Julia - Team Forleo

      Amazing, Melissa! It’s SO fascinating to hear the behind the scenes of your songwriting process and yes – your fans will absolutely love to see this! Keep up the amazing work of sharing your gifts ?

  47. Great interview.
    Im not sure where Ive been, but this is the first time I’ve been introduced to Gretchen. Thank you!!
    I loved the advice about trying on the jacket and seeing how you like it. It makes sense. It is so important when so many people think they need to be like “someone” to be just as successful. Throughly enjoyed the writing process section too.
    Also, I hear you Marie. I too can not handle clutter and mess.
    Its like the world is in perfect order if my home is tidy.
    I believe its an energy thing.
    Once again Thank you. I love that Team Forleo decided to go ahead with this interview under the current world situation. It brings normality to a rather odd time in the world.


  48. Athena

    Thank you for sharing the night vs. morning people research comment. I’m a night person and often feel like I get “shamed” for not being a morning person. … as if that’s the only right way to do things!

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Right on, Athena! We’re big believers in night owls and know they can do amazing things, just as much as early birds. I think you’ll like this episode where Marie talks more about this: 🙂

  49. I absolutely love this conversation for lots of reasons…
    But on the writing note…
    Being a former control freak when I first started to write…I am such a bumble and I often find myself half writing one sentence then adding in a thought that drops in and then another paragraph before I come back to finish that first sentence…this used to scare me.
    What I realise is that the starting sentence is what allows the information in me to start to pour out of me. A joy and relief to realise it’s a part of the process.
    Plus ‘trying stuff on’ with learning how you work ! Love that ! I have been ‘playing’ with this for a while learnt soooo much about myself…I’m for sure a marathon runner in life !
    Joy in the process is where I have landed today…messy and marvellous all at the same time.
    Thank you both so much for this.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      YES, Savannah! Your insight on releasing control in the writing process is gold.

  50. Irene

    Wow Marie!! This video was amazing and I loved the idea that you and your team decided to share it anyway!! Listening to you and Gretchen talking was truly helpful, most of all, because I recently realized – at 43 years old, but better late than ever – that I was doing lots of things that maybe I didn’t want to, to “support” others, e. g. going out with my husband, when I really wanted to stay home, getting together with people, with whom I didn’t have much in common to go with friends or family. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I didn’t want to do things for others, the thing was that in doing so, I wasn’t thinking or doing what I really wanted to do, so I started to sort of lose myself, lose my essence. And then I realize, that almost nobody was taking into account what I wanted or how I felt about certain things, not even my husband. They talk about blessings in disguise, and my God, that was one of them. It hurts a lot, but I learned so much about myself, still learning. I learned to say no, I learned to try in a polite way, to surround me with people I love and who care about me, and try to avoid the people that drags me down. I learned to say “hey, I respect you, please respect me”. And just now, Gretchen and yourself reinforced in me that it’s OK to be different or as I like to say “unique”, it’s OK to have different times in which we are more productive, it’s OK to have our own times, it’s OK to go after our dreams. Thank you SO MUCH for this amazing conversation!! You are a blessing!!

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      This is such a fantastic insight, Irene! It’s always okay to say no and taking care of yourself is sooo important. It’s like they tell you on planes: put on your own oxygen mask before helping others with theirs. 🙂

  51. Ugh, so good.
    You nailed it again.
    Thanks for publishing during this time. I needed this! Especially now
    Biggest Take-Aways
    1. I’m a night owl and that’s my best way (I always felt bad about myself for not getting up at 5 am. No more!)
    2. I percolate on ideas sometimes, I thrive on deadlines sometimes. Both methods are good as long as I’m aware and making progress.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Excellent, Jo-Anne! These are really good takeaways. <3

  52. Kim

    I loved this topic! And I found it surprisingly relevant to my current circumstance with the Corona pandemic. What you two are talking about requires so much self awareness wether it is the pile of clothes and papers that now make it impossible to focus, and the constant reorganization of writing and project management.
    This topic brought me some peace as I don’t feel as alone in this maddness in my mind; but I am struggling with all this time, that I am blessed with now to have. Which projects and chores should take priority to move the needle as they say!
    Loved this topic and think it was probably much more relevant than you were thinking as we are now forced to deal with ourselves! Laugh or cry I don’t know ….Haha!

  53. As ever, LOVED this discussion. Thank you to you both for this timely conversation around following what’s right for us and trusting in ourselves. With the ever increasing noise online, it’s getting easier to get confused & conflicted.
    I’m a huge advocate of promoting trusting our own intuition & building inner trust, thanks again to you both for highlighting this important point right now!
    Huge love from the UK.

  54. Jen

    I definitely needed this extra pump of happiness today! I’m glad you decided to move forward with showing this. I think it’s more important than ever to keep trying to stretch our boundaries, continue to learn and love one another in at time like this.

  55. Lula

    This is funny, but I’ve realized something new about myself and my relationship to time. I had a baby about a year ago and I think it has changed my personal rhythm. I used to be a morning person- for sure. Waking up at 5am to get to an early yoga class, then off to work before the rest of the crowd. But something interesting has been happening lately, and I want to explore it. I’ve been going to bed with my baby really early- about 8pm at night. Then I wake up around midnight, and I have the most inspired ideas. Some of my freshest thoughts come to me in the middle of the night. I sit in bed and make notes on my phone. This can last for hours. I’ll be up from 12am-4am and I won’t be able to fall back to sleep. Then I’ll sleep from 4-7am. I wonder what would happen if I got up, went into another room and did some writing during this time. I wonder what would come out. Hmmm. I think I’ll make this an experiment.

  56. Nancy

    This was just what I needed. My biggest takeaway was the reminder that if something’s not working out, maybe I need to try it in another way that feels right to me. Lately, I was feeling a bit lost in my negative thoughts. This episode allowed me to step back and see things clearly again, so thank you Team Forleo for sharing this with all of us <3
    Wishing everyone safety and wellness

  57. Thank you so much for this video!
    It was incredibly inspiring. Thank you for your work 🙂

  58. Love the reminder that we’re all so unique and need the self-awareness to experiment with and set up habits and rituals that work for each one of us!

  59. Pamela Vlieger

    I have never read any of Gretchen’s titles, but I will now!! I got the most out of the arrival fallacy section because I realized I am always saying “when this happens, I’ll do this.” No More! I’m keeping my comment brief so I can go online and order Gretchen’s book(s) before I get sidetracked 🙂
    Marie — I LOVED you book as well!!

    • Renee – Team Forleo

      Yay! Yes, her books are awesome, Pamela, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy. So glad you found value in this talk, and we’re honored to have you in our community! ?

  60. Taylor

    Hi there! I’m constantly learning from all these episodes so first, thank you Marie and Team! I have a very unrelated question to this episode but I’m an artist and I noticed the artwork behind Gretchen. Would someone be able to tell me the name of that artwork? I would greatly appreciate it!

    • Renee – Team Forleo

      Hi Taylor! Thank you so much for the kind words for Marie –– we’re so glad you’re enjoying the episodes and learning. ?

      A few of the pieces in our studio are special commissions created specifically for our MarieTV set, and while we’re unable to share the artist names, we’re so glad you love it!

      Thank you for being a part of our world, and keep shining your light. ✨

  61. Judy

    Structure IS everything. I’m working with my mom now (she’s in her 80s) on a fiction novel she’s written and boy are we wrestling with the structure. But it has to be set up right to pull you forward and it is SUCH hard work. My mom is inspiring me and I’m learning to be a good editor (and coach – all writers need encouragement!).

  62. mirko

    i think that people must be success with self-development program for example :
    Bye !

  63. Kate Sanders

    Thank you so much for this. The thing which shrieked out from the conversation was trying on different hats to see which one fits . It’s ok to do that and sometimes to discover that a change you thought you wanted to make in your life may not in fact be right for you. Trial and error.

  64. Thanks for giving such supportive information as well as a video for better guidance. I can’t express how much I needed this now!

    • Maja - Team Forleo

      We’re so glad it was helpful for you. Thanks for being here!

  65. Great episode! Does anyone here recommend a format for a non fiction book proposal for Moms looking to make diet changes for their picky eaters? (Not exactly a cookbook but similar )

  66. Thank you sooooo much for sharing this! I started reading the book a couple of days ago, so this interview is a nice surprise.

  67. The biggest take a way was that one success recipe won’t fit everyone. Thank you both of you!

    • Maja - Team Forleo

      We’re so glad you found value in this episode, Mari. Thank you for being in our world!

  68. Laura

    I took me a while to find sometime to see this interview, but I like Gretchen Rubin so much, so it took me couple of weeks…. The Story of the Snowman, is my thing today and maybe it won´t be without the quarantine. I can´t do a lot of things to change anything now, so I can enjoy my day by day, my family, and the thankful for everything I have: family, house, health, and hope!
    Thanks for the videos and the support!

    • Renee – Team Forleo

      This is beautiful, Laura! So glad you found space to enjoy this episode and that it’s helping you take things day by day. Sending lots of love & virtual hugs to you and your family! ?

  69. So glad you shared this, thank you! A wonderful inspirational interview! giving me motivation.

    • Julia - Team Forleo

      Wonderful! We’re so happy this conversation was inspiring and motivating for you ? Thank you for watching!

  70. Matteo

    It’s time to turn your online efforts
    into a REAL online income…
    People Can get free traffic on
    their website –

  71. this makes me wanna write a book haahhah

  72. Mariana

    “Be true to yourself” was the biggest insight I got from this interview. Do I have the the courage to honor that NOW? OMG

    • Ismeri -Team Forleo

      This is a wonderful insight, Mariana — and what a great question to ask yourself!

  73. Thank you.
    I think I’ll listen to it a few more times. 🙂

    • Ismeri -Team Forleo

      We’re so glad it resonates with you, Marta:)

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