72. The Loneliness Epidemic: Building Meaningful Communities with Natalie Franke

February 21, 2023

The following article may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. This doesn't cost you anything, and shopping or using our affiliate partners is a way to support our mission. I will never work with a brand or showcase a product that I don't personally use or believe in.

The following article may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. This doesn’t cost you anything, and shopping or using our affiliate partners is a way to support our mission. I will never work with a brand or showcase a product that I don’t personally use or believe in.

“Loneliness is an epidemic”

In the last few years, we have become lonelier than ever –– feeling disconnected from our communities, families, and even ourselves.

Feeling disconnected can affect our relationships, our self-esteem, and, you guessed it: our finances.

But loneliness doesn’t have to be a permanent state of being.

Tori is joined by Natalie Franke, co-founder of the Rising Tide Society and creator of the viral hashtag #communityovercompetition, to talk about how women can overcome the loneliness epidemic to help create stronger and more authentic communities. 

What You’ll Learn:

  • How social media has exacerbated our loneliness and how to use it for connection instead of comparison

  • What community over competition means, and what it doesn’t

  • How to stop “should-ing” yourself

Natalie’s Links:


Learn more about Honeybook

Meet Natalie

Natalie Franke is Chief Evangelist at HoneyBook, a platform for independent entrepreneurs that streamlines all the steps needed to sell and deliver personalized services onto one centralized platform. She is also co-founder of The Rising Tide Society (previously acquired by HoneyBook), a global community of over 100k+ independent business owners she built by starting a hashtag #communityovercompetition in 2015. Through her personal and professional business endeavors, she is on a mission to empower independent business owners to rise together doing what they love.


[00:00:00] Natalie Franke: I have to gush for a second because I don’t, I hope, you know, I truly do. I hope you know what an impact you have made on so many young women, myself included. So I was late to the game on TikTok. Like I very late probably for, I mean, I’m not great at TikTok, but I like

[00:00:15] Tori Dunlap: No one is, TikTok is a mystery. It is a mystery.

[00:00:20] Natalie Franke: it is a mystery. It is. I first heard about the work that you’re doing on TikTok, and you kept coming up on my F Y P, and when I tell you that it made me realize how many limiting beliefs and narratives that even I, even though I have built companies, sold companies, I work with business owners every day.

[00:00:36] I am out here fighting for independent businesses like that is. Everyday life. I still was holding onto so many limiting beliefs about money, so many limiting beliefs about how to think about wealth and the impact of generating wealth. Like the power that gives you to do good in the world. Not to be afraid of it, but to actually think about it as a tool for change.

[00:00:56] Tori Dunlap: Yeah.

[00:00:58] Natalie Franke: It’s so needed. It is so needed. And it’s so much in line too with just I think why when, and I know we’re talking more about community today, but I, the work I do with independent business and small business, it’s so in line with my values around that as well, where I see this future of work being democratized, entrepreneurship where anyone can make a living using their talents and their skills and what they love, and it’s no longer gate kept.

[00:01:20] It’s no longer, you know, what do you look like? Who were your parents? How much money did you come from, what business school did you go to? It is. Is there something you’re passionate about that you are willing to work for and learn more about than anybody else? Is there a quirky part of your personality that you’re willing to be vulnerable and share with the world?

[00:01:35] Like it is no longer gate kept and hidden. We are living in a moment where anyone can start a business and change the world. And it is so much in line with the democratization of wealth and the lessons you’re teaching and it just, I needed it like I desperately needed it. So I just wanted you to know and I hope you do, what an impact the content that you create and that you share with the world has on so many women, myself included.

[00:01:57] It’s not a small thing, Tori. It’s not an insignificant thing. So I’m fangirled

[00:02:03] Tori Dunlap: starting there. Just end the podcast here. We’re good. Thank you. Wow.

[00:02:08] Natalie Franke: put put it in the folder for like when you have a day where there’s a hater, you know where, where a man jumps into the comments

[00:02:15] Tori Dunlap: Oh, oh,

[00:02:16] Natalie Franke: I know.

[00:02:17] Tori Dunlap: They’re always named like Larry or Steve, or, you know, user 57 89. Who’s I?

[00:02:22] Natalie Franke: 79.

[00:02:23] Tori Dunlap: You have. It’s not why, why are you doing that? Thank you. That’s so kind. And I have been following Rising Tide Society for a very long time, so it’s so kind to hear you say that.

[00:02:34] We’re so excited to have you. We just launched right in. Wow. What a, what? hell of an entrance. I’m so excited to have you and so excited to chat with you. You went to school for neuroscience and then pivoted into wedding photography. Talk to me about that.

[00:02:50] Natalie Franke: I feel a little called out for being a nerd. I mean, you didn’t say it overtly, but Yes. I, I

[00:02:56] Tori Dunlap: went to school for theater and now we’re doing finance, so it’s, it was a weird pivot too.

[00:03:00] Natalie Franke: so you went the other, you kind of went the creative brain to like qual to quant, right? You did, you did a little bit of a left brain right brain switch. Just like I did a little bit of, you know, the same, but I, no, I did, I studied visual studies at Penn, so my focus was in, the focus was on the science of seeing.

[00:03:17] And so that did involve things like visual neuroscience and psychology and even a little bit of philosophy. It’s basically how we see the world and the realization that we don’t see with our eyes, with our mind, and. Part of that is we bring with us our lived experiences, we bring with us, you know, our, our own unique psychology when we view our external environment.

[00:03:39] And so that is what I studied in college. Now the photography came in because I was raised by a single mom, and I’ve been working since I was able to get that worker’s permit. And my mom, I think, recognized in a moment when I was really struggling with my mental health in high school, an opportunity to put that camera in my hands.

[00:03:59] And I recognized for the first time in my life after having lots of little jobs that this camera gave me the ability to build my own right, to create my own job for myself. So while I was going to Penn, I was taking the train back home every single weekend to photograph weddings in my hometown of Annapolis and Baltimore and DC And I did that all throughout school in order to pay my way through college and pay off my student loan shortly thereafter.

[00:04:23] But, That is how photography came into play. So I was going to school, I was photographing events building that small business on the side and getting my nerd on just as much as I could.

[00:04:36] Tori Dunlap: . One of the things you said up top, which I thought is so kind, is this attempt at the democratization of entrepreneurship or that, I mean you just said right, like putting a camera in your hands and making your own money meant you had choices.

[00:04:49] And I’ve said this so many times in my work. When you have money, you have choices. Was that the first time for you that, that you thought, this might be the reality for me, or I can see the opportunities open up because I have this thing.

[00:05:02] Natalie Franke: Yes, without a doubt. And I would go even a step further to say, not only did I realize I could make money with this camera and with my talent, and by honing this craft, , but I also recognized that I could do work on my own terms, that I was able to reclaim a little bit of autonomy and freedom, both financial and creative.

[00:05:21] Right. And that autonomy and that freedom is something that the majority of people don’t have in the work that they do. Or it’s very limited historically, has been very, very limited. And so part of, I think too, what makes me so passionate about supporting independent businesses is acknowledging
that when you do step outside of this traditional W2 model of like, you know, tell young people they have to follow this exact path, A to B to C, to climb a corporate ladder and you just tell someone, you know, what if you built your own?

[00:05:51] what if you explored the possibility, even if they don’t leap full-time, even if it’s a side hustle that brings an extra revenue, even if they just pursue a passion and discover it to be something that gives them life. Like, it’s opening up our minds to the possibilities of that autonomy that could exist beyond this very tread path, this very traditional model of movement.

[00:06:08] Cuz I did think growing up I thought, you know, I’m gonna be the good girl. That’s what I, I went in going, I’m gonna do everything right. Spoiler alerts not how life works. Right. But that’s, I thought, I’m gonna go to college. I’m gonna go to the best college I can. I’m gonna study really hard. I’m gonna get a great job.

[00:06:23] It’s gonna pay well. I’m gonna climb a corporate ladder. I’m gonna get a desk in a building in New York like I had, that’s what I thought

[00:06:30] Tori Dunlap: I had the same thing. It’s so funny you say that. My, yeah. My manifestation was like VP of marketing by 30, I’m wearing pencil skirts. I’m holding a briefcase, which is how, you know, it’s a fantasy cuz I don’t wear pencil skirts and I, what are briefcases anymore? And I don’t drink coffee, but I had a Starbucks in my hand and like stomping the straits of the city, city, like hashtag girl boss, right?

[00:06:51] Like that was my, that was the expectation of what my life was gonna be. And then of course had that you know, that mirage taken from me very early when I realized, oh, this is fucking hell. like, this is awful.

[00:07:03] Natalie Franke: Oh yeah. No, absolutely. I think for me it was like, I wanna work with people I wanna work with. I wanted the ability to say no, like I wanna turn down work I want. That’s, and I know that sounds like a weird measure of success, but for me, that became a measure of success. I wanna be at a place where I can say, I don’t wanna work on that.

[00:07:18] Or There isn’t a value alignment, or, you know, and, and

[00:07:22] Tori Dunlap: can’t meet my rates. So it’s just not, it’s not gonna work. Yeah.

[00:07:26] Natalie Franke: Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So it all kind of came together, but it, it did for a while. I think I had to choose, I felt like I was on two separate paths. One of maybe a more traditional route, although still studying things I love and I’m passionate about.

[00:07:39] And the other, which felt uh, like a huge risk, you know? Hey got this Ivy League degree, but I’m gonna go be a wedding photographer, and that is the absolute best decision I ever made. You know, like putting down the degree, like I always say, I folded it up and stuck it in the visor of my car and then like drove home to shoot a wedding and I don’t regret it.

[00:07:59] I, it led me to where I am today and it truly is one of the most extraordinary careers of my multiple careers that I’ve ever had. I absolutely loved being a photographer.

[00:08:09] Tori Dunlap: Well, let’s talk more about that because it’s something that is recurring. It ends up being a recurring theme on the show. The thing you’re comfortable in versus the thing that is the right thing for you. And what happens, whether that’s a relationship, a job, a, a path in your life is that you get in it and it’s comfortable.

[00:08:35] And I don’t mean like comfortable in a good way. I mean, it’s, it’s so comfortable where you’re like, I can’t, but it’s, it’s this thing and you’re, you’re, whatever you wanna call it, your soul, your intuition is calling you somewhere else, but you’re like, no, but I already have this much invested in this. Or it would be really weird to come home to an empty house, so I’m not gonna leave this person.

[00:08:59] And what ends up happening, of course, It’s the voice that comes up right before you go to bed at night that is like, yeah, but this isn’t right for you. And you’re like, no, but I, I, nope, it, it, it is, it’s fine. This is what I should want, or what my parents have told me I should want, and this is the person I should date.

[00:09:16] And then there’s this other part of you that is going to require so much temporary discomfort, but you’re going to be so much happier or fulfilled or richer or whatever that looks like. I don’t think enough people, especially enough women, get past that point of discomfort or even engage in that discomfort because we’ve been told one play small, but two, that this is what you should want.

[00:09:42] Natalie Franke: Hmm. That word should, that word. I hate that word. I hate the word. Should. Probably shouldn’t hate. I hear my mom in my head going like, you don’t hate anything. No, I do. I hate the word should. Should is the expectations that weigh us down and keep us struggling and fighting the wrong battles should, right?

[00:10:00] Is the word that keeps us from being the best version of ourselves. Look, I’ve never met anyone at the end of their life who said, you know, this one time in my comfort zone, when. Never, never in history. Like any good moment in someone’s life, it’s, it’s outside of the comfort zone. And it often is born out of a season of pain or hardship or struggle or just be betting on themselves for the first time.

[00:10:24] Like how, like truly, I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard within our community where someone’s like, I spent my whole life being told I was never gonna amount to something. Or that going and building a small business was a hobby. It wasn’t something like my creative passion was a hobby. It wasn’t validated or justified by people that I really respected, but I decided that I’d rather bet on me than bet on their limiting beliefs of who they think I am.

[00:10:48] And the moment that happens for somebody, right? And the moment they have that realization of betting on themselves or overcoming that hurdle that’s kept them, kept them clinging to safety, kept them believing that’s all that is meant for them, that’s where the world opens up. Like that’s where we start to explore.

[00:11:03] And it doesn’t always mean success. . Like oftentimes it means failure. Oftentimes it means you leap and you fail. But nonetheless, you very rarely look back and say, I wish I didn’t leave the realm of my comfort zone, even when it doesn’t work out in your favor. Like even when on the other side of that you are left maybe with another difficult decision, or you realize that it didn’t work out.

[00:11:25] Like I, I failed at so many things and I look back and I’m like, you know, it was a stepping stone to success. It wasn’t, if I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have learned X if I hadn’t done that. I, you know, if I had gotten my way, if it had been my timeline, you know, both personal and professional, the things I’ve struggled with, if it had been the timeline I wanted, I would’ve, I I got married really young.

[00:11:47] I married my high school sweetheart. He’s
an incredible partner. And that was, by the way, side note, remember that visualized cast of the ivory tower in the sky and the New York apartment a a partner was not in that vision or equation. So I was not the one that thought, I’m gonna marry someone really young.

[00:12:01] Mm-hmm. I was never getting married. Never gonna happen. Don’t eat anybody. But I met a partner who wanted to fight for my success as much as I did. And so we got married young and when we got married I thought,

[00:12:12] Tori Dunlap: Natalie, I’m sorry. I don’t mean to interrupt you. Can I, can I, who wanted to fight for my success as much as I did?

[00:12:19] Natalie Franke: Maybe more.

[00:12:21] Tori Dunlap: I’m like a little teary who wanted to fight for my success as much as I did. Maybe more. Isn’t that the definition of partnership? And, and again, like if you are listening to that and you don’t have that one, you deserve it.

[00:12:36] And two, get rid of it. If it isn’t that like controversial opinion, but if it is not,

[00:12:42] Natalie Franke: It’s not controversial.

[00:12:43] Tori Dunlap: Yeah, sure. It’s, I’m calling people out potentially, but like if, if your partnership is not that, wow. That it ain’t it. Keep going. But I just had to pause you cuz she Woohoo buddy.

[00:12:57] Natalie Franke: I mean, it’s, look, it’s the truth. And I think that just like you talked about, sometimes we, we dream too small. I think we also sometimes, because we are afraid, we settle for what we don’t deserve or we run from beautiful things. Like, again, I think even I look at my relationship, but there was a part of me at that age, I was very, I mean, look, 15 is when we started dating.

[00:13:17] 22 is when we got married. We’ve been together for 17 years. Y’all can do the math. It’s been a long time. But I do remember when we were looking at schools, you know, I’m like, what am I, you know, what choice do I make? And there was a part of me that wanted to run from a really good thing, which is a whole nother bit of psychology and therapy that y’all know I’m gonna be talking through for the rest of my life.

[00:13:38] But nonetheless, finding a partner, you know, who, who wants to fight for your success as much as you do. Who sees joy in sacrificing for your success? Because so often I think women are the ones sacrificing for the success of their partner, especially in certain types of relationships. Again, all relationships being different and unique.

[00:13:55] But in my case, and it, I, you know, gosh, it really does baffle some folks, and I do get, like, these are where I get some of my critical dms in the behind the scenes. When, you know, I travel a lot for work. I speak on large stages. I wrote a book. I’m out there doing my thing, and people will say to me like, well, who, who has your kids?

[00:14:13] Like, who’s watching your children? They, they gasp as if like, this is shocking. And I’m like, my, my partner, my husband, like he’s with my kids. And it’s hard for people to wrap their heads around this idea that, you know, there’s a season right now in our marriage where it isn’t 50 50, frankly, he’s 70% and I’m 30%.

[00:14:32] And not just in parenting, he has stepped up in so many aspects of our marriage because he’s like, this is a moment where I, like I, he’s fighting for my success. . And my hope is that one day that ratio gets to flip, you know? And lately he’s been having so much success in the things that he does. He’s a CMO of a tech company.

[00:14:49] Like he’s killing it in his own right. And yet that’s what partnership should be. I don’t think it’s always 50 50 whole nother combo for another day, but I sometimes it’s 70 30. Sometimes if you’re really struggling, that person shows up 90% to carry you because you’re only at 10 and vice versa. Right?

[00:15:04] Like, and everyone deserves that. 

[00:15:06] Tori Dunlap: Oh my gosh. How long do we have? I’m so excited. Okay. One of the things that I wanna talk to you about and I wanna spend some time on, and this is like, this is my, a bit of me being vulnerable, but also I know from your psychological standpoint too, you’re gonna have something to say. One of the things that you were so incr, like incredible in founding was this, this movement of community over competition.

[00:15:33] Right? I believe that to my very core, like truly community over competition. We, especially in the finance community, I was just talking on another podcast episode, like we’re sharing numbers with each other. Like we are, you know, somebody gets asked to speak and it’s a text to say like, Hey, I, I got asked to speak this year.

[00:15:52] What did you get paid? Oh, nope. I get paid 20% more. And you need to ask for that. Like there is so much community know, however, whether it’s ego, whether it’s just my own ambition that I can see somebody else kill it and have that moment where I go, I’m so happy for them, but like, why wasn’t that me? Or like, why didn’t I get that thing?

[00:16:16] Or I’m worthy of that thing. Why didn’t they call me?

[00:16:19] Natalie Franke: Mm-hmm.

[00:16:21] Tori Dunlap: I don’t know if I have a question. I don’t know, but like, delve into that for me because I again, truly believe in supporting other entrepreneurs. I’m, you, you know me, you know this podcast. Like, that’s, that’s the epitome of what this is. Yet sometimes there’s a small little voice who goes bummed.

[00:16:39] I didn’t get that though. Bummed. I didn’t get that though.

[00:16:43] Natalie Franke: And look, I have to first validate you because what you are describing and this emotion that you are feeling is as human as it gets. And in the same way, it’s, it’s so, it’s so human in the same way that I, I don’t love advice. It says, says things like, you know, don’t worry about what other people think of you.

[00:17:00] Stop comparing yourself. Because the reality is we are human beings. It’s, it’s actually impossible, right? Our brains are wired that way for a reason.

[00:17:09] Tori Dunlap: Yeah.

[00:17:09] Natalie Franke: Oh, without a doubt. But we’re social. We’re social animals, right? And so being a social creature, it means that we are constantly gauging where we fit within our social surroundings.

[00:17:20] Now, it used to be that we were in much smaller groups, so we felt perhaps like we maybe only compared ourselves to a handful of people. Like I actually, I think about my grandmother’s generation a lot, and I’m like, she probably had five women in her life, truly five women that she compared herself to.

[00:17:34] That’s they played bridge, like that was her thing. It was probably the bridge players that she compared herself to and how, you know, they lived their lif
e and, and all of that. We compare ourselves to five people within the first one second of waking up, right? Like from the moment we pick up that phone and we scroll even, but one stroke of our finger, we’re consuming so much digital content and so much media around other people’s lives.

[00:17:58] And as we know, it doesn’t need to be said, but people aren’t sharing the worst parts of their lives, right? They’re sharing. the best parts. They’re sharing curated versions of reality that we consume and believe to be truth. And so I just wanna validate that, that what you’re feeling is very human. And you know, it’s, it’s, that is the, what I like to call, like that is sort of the reaction, right?

[00:18:18] Like that is what, that’s the immediate feeling that you have. Or even that maybe arises when you least expect it. Cuz you can go like, yeah, like I’m cheering for them. But then there’s that inkling underneath that I can’t control. It’s not my choice. So we often can’t control that feeling. We can’t control sort of that spike of jealousy.

[00:18:33] And I, and I often talk about like, when we feel that it’s really important for us to go inward first to kind of reflect within and go, okay, why, why am I feeling that? Where is the root of that coming from? Because oftentimes it isn’t actually about her success. . Oftentimes when we feel that inkling of jealousy, it is more indicative of something that we ourselves are navigating or struggling through, or struggled through in a past tense.

[00:18:58] We’re told in a past tense, a limiting belief. We believed even maybe that we’ve worked through in our current, you know, evolved self that just keeps rearing its ugly head because it was something that we struggled with, whether it was like I’ll be a little vulnerable myself in saying that, you know, as a kid, I struggled with the belief that I was only worthy and I was only enough if I was perfect.

[00:19:21] That if I wasn’t achieving and I wasn’t the best, I wasn’t anything or anyone,

[00:19:28] Tori Dunlap: I think that’s a default state for any woman, unfortunately. Like that is our default state is it’s perfection, which unobtainable or nothing. And even as I say, unobtainable, my brain goes, but it is though, like it is, it’s like when you, like I can say to you like, you’re having a really hard day. Like take, take some time for yourself.

[00:19:49] Do whatever you need to do, but I need to keep going. , like, it’s like you can, I will give you grace, but I can’t give myself. Right. Like that’s No, no, no, no. So even as I say that, right? Like my brain actively goes, yeah, but you’re different and you have to be perfect. Like you can perfection, you know, that’s fine for somebody else that’s, they can have that, right?

[00:20:08] But no, for me. Mm-hmm.

[00:20:13] Natalie Franke: It’s, it is exactly how we are wired. It is exactly how it works. And you know, it’s, but that’s sort of like that, that’s how it is. So what, what do we do? Like, what do we do when we feel that way? Because, like you said, my values say, , because what I’m hearing from you is, look, Natalie, my values earn alignment with community over competition, right?

[00:20:29] Like you understand that if we choose to tear other women down, even in our minds, if we discount their accomplishments, if we judge them for their successes, if we make it harder for them to succeed, then we all lose. You know that, right? You understand that failure is shared by the collective just as success, and this is the, this is the part I try to cling to when I’m feeling some of those feelings.

[00:20:50] Success is also shared by the collective. So when we choose to cheer her on, when we make a conscious effort, even when those feelings bubble up of saying, I am gonna celebrate her, even if there’s a part of my heart that wishes it was me, I’m going to choose to celebrate her. I’m gonna raise her voice.

[00:21:04] I’m gonna fan the flames of her success. I’m gonna amplify the work that she’s doing. It acknowledges that when she wins, we all.

[00:21:12] Tori Dunlap: Yep.

[00:21:12] Natalie Franke: right? When she shatters a glass ceiling or she overcomes something that no one else had overcome before. Or she hits a revenue marker in your industry that you never could have imagined.

[00:21:21] Or she gets number one on the New York Times bestseller list and like in my case, I didn’t even get on it, which by the way, I’m hoping you do because I pre-ordered that book and I cannot wait

[00:21:31] Tori Dunlap: Hey, thank you. I will be crushed if I don’t, but that’s a different conversation,

[00:21:35] Natalie Franke: gonna get you there. We’re gonna get you there. The point being though, right when you

[00:21:39] Tori Dunlap: point being rising tides lift all ships. Yeah.

[00:21:43] Natalie Franke: when you win, I win. When she wins, you still win. And I think the more that we embrace that, the more we also stop fighting the wrong things. Because as long as we are fighting one another, we’re distracted from the real issues, right?

[00:21:57] Tori Dunlap: I’ve mentioned it before too, of just like, I know that part of that is the patriarchy, right? And the fact that that is, that is unconscious misogyny. When society has told us there is one seat at the table for you, and so you claw everybody else for that one seat.

[00:22:16] And then the patriarchy doesn’t have to do anything because they let you fight it out amongst yourselves. Right. Versus how can I build my own table, which is roundabout to entrepreneurship as well, which we’ll get to. And I think the other thing that came up when you were talking, which is something I have to remind myself of.

[00:22:32] Somebody told me two years ago that. You cannot control your thoughts. Like truly you can control your actions, right? But like your brain’s gonna say and or think some crazy things like all the time. And you’re gonna look at your thoughts sometimes and be like, that’s not what I actually believe. But your brain, right?

[00:22:50] Intrusive thoughts is all the time. It’s me driving down the road and my brain goes, what if we just got, eh, like, what if we just tilt the wheel a little bit and just like slam into a semi-truck? And I’m like, I don’t wanna do that. But my brain is like, yeah, what, what if? And I think it’s one of those things too, where it’s, it’s so easy to feel like, oh, this person got there first.

[00:23:09] This person got the seat at the table, so there’s nothing left for me. And of course that isn’t true. Of course that isn’t true.

[00:23:16] Natalie Franke: Yeah, absolutely. It’s, you know, we can’t control that initial thought, but we have the power to cognitively reframe. We have the power to kind of rewrite the narrative that we’re telling ourselves. So while we don’t have as much power over that initial intuition, like we have that mo
ment where like, she is so much more successful than I am.

[00:23:32] Right. Her business is booming. I can’t even get mine off the ground, or she got this amazing opportunity and I didn’t, that’s the first thought. But we do have that power to then say, no, no, no, hold up. Is that true? I’m gonna call myself into this conversation a little bit. I’m gonna challenge that narrative I just told myself.

[00:23:50] And instead I’m gonna say, wow, she’s on fire, right? Seeing her achieve that, it is evidence that I can do that in my own life or that that’s possible. And if that’s possible, what else could be possible? Have I been dreaming too small? Right? Like that was a benchmark that I thought if I checked it, I will be successful.

[00:24:09] But I just watched another woman check it. What’s next for her? What could be next for me? So there is power in doing a little bit of cognitive reframing when we catch ourselves having some of those like immediate thoughts that pop up. Because you’re right, we, we cannot control it. Like it, it’s buried down there deep.

[00:24:24] It pops up when it wants to, but we have the ability to kind of like grab it, reign it back in and say, okay, how am I going to. Adapt this to serve not only me well, but my community well, right? The women that I care about, the people that I’m here to serve.

[00:24:38] Tori Dunlap: I think one of the things that ends up happening, and this is segueing into the other big thing I wanted to discuss, is when you are comparing yourself and when you are watching other people’s businesses or when you are going through things as an entrepreneur that you don’t know how to navigate or that feel really difficult, you feel so alone.

[00:24:58] And especially in the early days of my business where I. Didn’t have a team, or I had a team, but I didn’t have anybody at like the exec level, or I just didn’t feel like I had other entrepreneurs who were understanding where I was at. It was such a lonely, isolating experience. And I’m coming talking to you literally a couple, like we had a couple days of an exec retreat this week that ended yesterday, and I used to do that alone.

[00:25:24] I used to check myself into a hotel and do my executive retreat, and I would, you know, look at, okay, where are we going? Where have we been? What are, what did we love that we did this year? What do we wish we could improve mapping out the next year? And I literally turned to my team who are now, there’s two execs on our team, and I turned to them and I hugged them and I was crying.

[00:25:43] I was like, I’m so glad I don’t have to do this alone anymore. So can we talk about that feeling of loneliness or isolation? What factors do you feel like increase this feeling of loneliness and what can we do to combat it?

[00:25:59] Natalie Franke: Whew. Well, first I just wanna acknowledge that loneliness is an epidemic. Loneliness is a real problem. It’s not something that is, you know, hypothetical and some like, an intellectual conversation being thrown around between, you know, I feel like columnists or journalists about the future and where we are.

[00:26:15] No, no, no. Loneliness is the dark and the hard and the thing no one wants to talk about. But the reality is the number of close friends that people have has swiftly declined. Recent stats that have come out about it are abysmal and terrifying. I, I, I think it was last year, there was a stat that came out that said, you know, one in 10 people don’t have a single friend, a single friend,

[00:26:42] and yet human beings belong to one. On that hierarchy of needs, belonging and community and being a part of a group, it’s not a nice to have. We need community in the same way that we need oxygen, we need one another. So to acknowledge that we are in a moment where if you are struggling with loneliness, you are not alone.

[00:27:05] So many of us are going through it. And if you are living a life or in a career where you are actually physically alone, in addition to maybe struggling with the same levels of loneliness that a lot of us feel, people say, we’ve lost our third place. Right? So it’s home, it’s work. And then what? And for a lot of human history, it was things like, you know, a faith community or you know, a, a physical activity or a library.

[00:27:32] Tori Dunlap: Yeah. Or I’m thinking about like, what was it? The um, oh gosh, I, why can’t I think of it? Oh, the old guys together talking about science. Why can’t I think of it? Masons. The Masons

[00:27:44] Natalie Franke: The Masons, I mean, all these third places. Right? And if, if you look

[00:27:48] Tori Dunlap: that popped up for, but

[00:27:49] Natalie Franke: I mean, that’s a great one. The Masons. The Masons. I know, I think about my, like my grandmother playing bridge, you know, like whatever it was to, to somebody. They had this third place that wasn’t home, that wasn’t work. That was a sense of community.

[00:28:03] And we’ve lost it. You know, we’re living in a moment where more people live alone than ever before, which is amazing actually, that people have that financial ability to do so. But also it comes with unintended consequences if we’re not intentional and that third place is sort of eroded, we’ve, we’ve lost it.

[00:28:17] And I, it’s gonna be interesting and I have a lot of hope as an entrepreneur that third places will have a revival. And I’m thinking like independent coffee shops. I’m thinking movements and, you know, community organi organized care for one another and how we, how we’re rallying together in the coming years.

[00:28:34] So I have hope. I don’t come to this hopeless, but I come to say, if you are struggling with it, you’re not alone. And there are a lot of factors beyond. Even those that you can control that are contributing to it. But there are things you can do. So if you’re struggling with loneliness, especially in the professional context, the first thing that I say is be very aware of what you’re consuming.

[00:28:53] Be very aware of who is in your circle and who you’re allowing to speak into your life. And so number one, content, social media, all of these things, people love to villainize it and say, and actually in the in, when I wrote my book, one of the interesting things that I looked at was, you know, psychology of social media.

[00:29:11] If you look, look that up in any context, 90% of the articles are gonna be, it’s terrible for your mental health. It increases rates of depression, anxiety. I mean, you can go on and on and it’s been studied in a lot of different capacities. But I found one really interesting study that said, instead of just looking at social media as one thing, as if everyone uses it the same way and as if all content is created equal, what if instead we looked at how you used social media and not, you know, the.

[00:29:36] Construct itself. And what was really interesting is that people who consume content have more negative psychological effects than those who use social media as a means of connection or creation. So if you’re getting on a platform and
you’re only consuming, you will not have the same experience as someone that is truly leveraging social media to connect, to engage, to have a conversation, to create and share their opinions and, and their ideas with the world.

[00:30:03] They’re very different actions and they’re leveraging the exact same space to do it. And I say that as to say, be mindful. One, are you consuming or are you connecting? When you open that app, what are you doing before you recognize consciously that you’re doing it? If it’s simply to scroll with no reason other than to consume and distract and you’re feeling lonely, think of that as an opportunity to flip that time into something that perhaps could pour back into your mental health cup, right?

[00:30:29] Rather than drain out of it. And so it could be picking five people that when you think about feeling your best, A moment when you felt your best, when you felt empowered, you felt inspired, you felt encouraged, you felt capable, whatever those things are for you, who contributed to that? Who do you associate with that?

[00:30:46] Who, when you leave the room, do you feel right better about yourself? Just by having spent time with them, write their names down, put it on a post-it note. Stick it behind your computer if that’s where you work for the day, put it on the backside of your phone so that if you pick it up and you go to scroll and consume content, instead you just pause for that moment and say, I’m gonna first, I can still consume, I’m gonna watch Tori’s tos all day long, but before I do that, I’m gonna connect with these five people.

[00:31:11] These are five relationships in my life I wanna invest in because these are the types of people I need to surround myself with. And you know, we all know the quote that says, if you know you are a combination of the people you spend the most time with, I think that might have been Stephen Covey how to Win Friends and Influence People, I believe.

[00:31:26] But the same can be said for the content you’re consuming, like you become right. What you consume. . And so being mindful of that, being mindful of how you’re engaging, I think, you know, one of the first ways to combat it is to be intentional about incorporating connection back into your life in ways that are accessible to you, which is why I don’t hate on social media because it is one of the most accessible tools for people to connect.

[00:31:49] It breaks down geographic barriers. It gives access to those who are chronically ill and disabled, like communities like, and actually I’ll quote someone on my team. She’s an incredible chronic illness warrior. She is a fierce advocate and champion for independence and for entrepreneurs. Kate Masters who said, you know, online community and connection is not an imitation of real life. It’s not a forgery, it’s an innovation on connection. It’s giving a new place for us to connect because so

[00:32:17] Tori Dunlap: you do it intentionally.

[00:32:19] Natalie Franke: if you do it intentionally, because there, there have been communities, especially within the chronic illness space, the disability space, that have thrived online. Have done it long before the pandemic, when most of us are forced to socially distance.

[00:32:32] This has been the normal for my sister-in-law with cystic fibrosis. This has been the normal for so many communities for so long that do it exceptionally well. Long before other folks took the credit for coming up with the idea of online community, right? As it as it normally happens. And so important to point that out.

[00:32:49] Tori Dunlap: yeah. And I as you’re saying that too, something else I have learned about those people that you surround yourself with in your life. You start to understand who you need to go to for certain things. I love my parents very deeply. They are not who I go to to gas me up. They’re not good at that. . I’ll call them and be like, Hey, we’re on the New York Times. And they go, cool, that’s great. And that’s a like period, end a sentence. Like they’re excited. But like that’s the extent of it. I know that there’s other people in my life who I will call and be like, oh my God, that’s incre, and they’ll gas me up for five minutes.

[00:33:29] Right? That’s not who I go to. And I would often sometimes, you know, I would go to them and ask for validation basically, and for encouragement. And I wouldn’t get that. And then I would feel disappointed. And then finally I got to the point where I was like, okay, that’s not who I go to. I go to them for other things, but they, I don’t go to them for that thing.

[00:33:48] It just leaves me feeling worse. . So figuring out who is the person that you go to. When you need somebody to gas you up, who is the person you go to that you know will just sit there and listen? Who is the person you go to who you know is gonna call you on your bullshit? Like,

[00:34:03] Natalie Franke: and that is so

[00:34:04] Tori Dunlap: people so needed, but you, you, you begin to realize that not everybody, everybody’s purpose in your life is the same.

[00:34:13] And it’s so much better to go to the people who you know are going to deliver what you need in that moment versus potentially making you feel worse. Yeah. 

[00:34:25] Natalie Franke: Yeah.

[00:34:26] Tori Dunlap: okay. Community over competition, right? This is, this has been your mantra forever.

[00:34:32] Natalie Franke: Mm-hmm.

[00:34:32] Tori Dunlap: When we’re thinking about building a business that also supports our community, supports ourself, but supports other people, how do we balance? The, the support of other people, and again, rising tide with understanding that we also need to run our business. Because I think one of the things that happens with women, especially in, in entrepreneurship, is this feeling that you have to be giving all of yourself to everybody else before you take care of your own thing, right?

[00:35:02] You put everybody’s else’s oxygen mask on before you put your own mask on. How do we balance those two things? How do we balance that generosity and altruism with also knowing that we have to pay our bills and take care of ourselves?

[00:35:17] Natalie Franke: Oh, this is one of the best questions to ask because I think when looking at it through the lens of, you know, being a woman and being the one who is told from the time, whether overtly or you know, covertly, that you are to sacrifice, that you are to serve others, that you are to care for others, that is, that is part of what gives you value in this world.

[00:35:42] There can be a tendency to sacrifice yourself, right to the point of harming either your business trajectory or. Your own mental health more so perhaps than the opposite. So if that is something that for you in particular, resonates and you’re hearing this and you’re like, okay, that’s me. I’m, I, I’m the one who does everything for everyone all the time, and I always put myself last.

Then first and foremost, I wanna say when it comes to community over competition, it is not community without competition. It is not sacrifice myself so that I don’t have a business, but other people do. No, no, no. It is when I win, I can raise the tide with me. When I have success in my business and I prioritize my needs and the needs of my clients or customers, when I invest in my professional development and my personal development, I take time to care about me.

[00:36:33] Thereby, with my success, I can help other people. . Right? It’s not saying I refuse to compete, I have to give it all away all the time. I can’t uphold my prices. I have to give discounts when asked because like, it’s none of that, right? No, no, no, no, no. It is. We put people first. We don’t step on others in order to succeed.

[00:36:54] We have a set of moral code. This is all, you know, the definition of healthy competition. What is healthy competition? Having set rules are a moral code that you operate by not stepping on other people to succeed. Right? 

[00:37:03] Tori Dunlap: Well, and the quote is

[00:37:05] Natalie Franke: not just

[00:37:05] Tori Dunlap: the quote, the quote is not a tide lifts all ships. It is a rising tide lifts soul

[00:37:10] Natalie Franke: You got it. You got it. In order for that tie to rise, you, you’re like a hundred percent. You have to be willing to fight for yourself too. And so I think, I think if that’s something that someone’s struggling with or, you know, they, they resonate very much with kind of the intro into this question.

[00:37:25] That would be what I would say to them. You know, like community over competition. It’s about you finding success. Yes. And helping to lift others up with you when you go. . It doesn’t mean that you’re, you know, not, not entitled to go after what you want in life, or that you have to be the one that sacrifices yourself constantly for others to the point at which you know, you no longer put yourself first.

[00:37:48] You don’t put your oxygen mask on first. If anything, I think it requires you to hold yourself accountable to the greatness within you, because without your contributions to this world, there could be someone out there who never has the opportunity to go after what they want in life. I’ll give you a specific example with the work that you do, Tori, and the lessons that you’re sharing.

[00:38:10] If instead of taking the risk of putting your heart and soul into that book that I watched you cry when you signed your book deal, when you shared it, I could see the vulnerability that was just going to pour out onto the page. So I have no doubt it’s there. If you instead had decided, you know, I, I, I can’t.

[00:38:32] I can’t, I, you know, am not qualified enough. Which, by the way, women never think they are. I, you know, they won’t apply for the job unless they check every single box, whatever it is. Insert fear here, and you hadn’t gone after it. I guarantee you 10 years from now, somebody who is going to either a break a cycle of financial cycle in her family and start generating wealth that’s gonna transform her family, never would’ve done it.

[00:38:57] There’s gonna be a woman out there who never in a million years would’ve stepped into a content creation role. Never would have seen someone like themselves reflected in the finance space where you are dominating. So they never would’ve thought it was possible for them. But now, five to 10 years from now, she will, and she’ll kill it.

[00:39:17] And she might even surpass you. But the point being, that’s a good thing. That’s the rising tide, right? That’s the U one. So she can also win, not, you know, You sacrificed yourself on a sword because there wasn’t a place for you. Right? It’s about rising to the occasion because that very greatness that you can accomplish can fuel someone else’s success down the line.

[00:39:42] We have to be willing to step up to that call

[00:39:45] Tori Dunlap: So I’ve discovered now that Natalie is the person I call to gas me up. That , that is what I’ve realized. Thank you. Well, and yes. I, I can’t wait. I’m, I’m sending you a copy of the book and I can’t wait for you to read it because literally the book starts and ends with the same quote. Witches very similar to rising tide lips, all ships.

[00:40:02] When you have all you need, build a longer table, not a higher fence. And this idea, And again, I also talk about this in terms of personal finances because we feel, again, as women, we have had altruism ingrained in us at every single moment of our lives. And then when we have the audacity to want wealth or stability for ourselves, society weaponizes that altruism and says, why aren’t you donating more?

[00:40:32] Oh, you don’t care. You’d give this away for free. Right? You cannot put on someone else’s oxygen mask if you’re gasping for air. If you are dead on the floor of the airplane because you were focused on somebody else, it, you can’t help anybody. So you have to put your oxygen mask on first. And in this, this grappling that I’ve had to do with like capitalism in general, of how do you pursue wealth under capital? to your point of like, I don’t wanna exploit anybody. I don’t wanna win at capitalism cuz it means I’ve stepped on somebody. But if I lose capitalism, that means deep suffering to myself and to other people. So it’s the idea of how do we better our own lives while doing the least amount of harm so that once we’re taken care of, we get to change the systems that exist.

[00:41:22] Natalie Franke: Whew. That’s

[00:41:25] Tori Dunlap: That’s But that’s, that’s what I’ve had to grapple with because that same thing of like when I was writing the book, I was like, if you are an honest to God living paycheck to paycheck kind of person and Right. It’s not like you have your Netflix and you haven’t canceled that, but like literally if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, there’s nothing I can say.

[00:41:44] That will actually help with that. And that’s the systemic change that has to happen and policy change in all of those things. But what I can do, and that’s in my power, is take care of myself, get myself good so that I can use my resources and money and power and voice to hopefully impact everybody else.

[00:42:04] Natalie Franke: A hundred percent. I,

[00:42:08] Tori Dunlap: But it’s hard. But it’s hard because then you feel guilt. And society also makes you feel guilty. If you are a woman succeeding, one, you’re called a bitch, right? You’re very unlikeable. And two, we, we weaponize your altruism. We tell you, Nope, you should be you. You shouldn’t be doing that. Well, why aren’t, yeah, again, why aren’t you doing anymore?

[00:42:32] What’s, it’s all of the play. Small, be controllable. Because we’ve realized we can’t control.

[00:42:40] Natalie Franke: And it’s the should word. I hate to just keep saying, but it’s like what you should be. Right. And, you know, I, I think I had a realizatio
n last summer when I. You know, I was postpartum with my daughter and I was starting to travel again for work, and I was starting, you know, had returned from maternity leave fully and was back on board and stepped into a new role at Honey Book as chief evangelist.

[00:43:02] And it, it felt like I felt very much like I was doing well. I felt like, okay, I think I’m doing okay, like I’m, I’m holding it all together, but there was so much pressure from the outside of what I should be doing or what my definition of motherhood should look like, or as a professional working woman, what I shouldn’t be doing, like pumping and breastfeeding right.

[00:43:25] Or whatever. Because who has time for that? Like how dare she take 20 minutes to pump and feed another human? Like those sorts of things. Which by the way, I’m very, very grateful that I work at a company that I have. I had the privilege of having an extraordinarily long maternity leave paid you know, and have every.

[00:43:43] Every single need met that I’ve had, both from a maternity perspective and I had a brain tumor removed. So I went on short-term disability. I have had a long recovery with that, and I’m grateful that I work at a very exceptional place that I’m supported. So I wanna clarify that. But from the outside looking in, I felt like women can’t win.

[00:44:02] Like you just, you can’t win if you’re living by the world’s definition of success, because there is no definition of success for a woman. Like, think about it. Truly think about it because if you, you know, don’t go out and get a job. Insert every negative thing you’ve ever heard. If you, you know, stay home with kids.

[00:44:21] Insert every negative thing you’ve ever heard because we are fighting the wrong battle. Like we are being pit against one another, chasing a definition of success that we should not even have to chase.

[00:44:34] Tori Dunlap: Yep. I think about that all of the time. Specifically with the having kids versus not having kids. Right? It’s like. Oh, you have kids and especially if you’re you know, a compensated mom, well then suddenly, why aren’t you a terrible mother? Why aren’t you home versus Right. Okay. You’re a stay-at-home mom or a non uncompensated working mom, as we’re starting to call them at her first under K.

[00:44:55] Yeah, that was from a, a previous podcast guest, non uncompensated working mom. Well, then suddenly it’s like, don’t you care about your career? Right. If you don’t have kids, well then it’s like, you must be a terrible, terrible person because you’re meant to nurture. You’re meant to be someone who has men.

[00:45:09] Don’t get asked these questions, , like,

[00:45:12] Natalie Franke: They never get asked these questions. They never get asked these questions. No, they don’t. And I don’t, yeah, I don’t know who needs to hear this either, but I spent seven years, so I had my benign brain tumor. I spent seven years going through infertility and never did I realize how much pressure I subconsciously had to equate my worth in value to procreation.

[00:45:36] Like how I, I, I. I never realized how much I had been taught that if I wasn’t having children, like something something’s wrong.

[00:45:50] And that’s just not the case. Your worth in value is not equated to what you can do for other people. It’s not equated to what you can produce either by your labor or by your body. And yet,

[00:46:01] Tori Dunlap: actual labor. Yeah.

[00:46:03] Natalie Franke: yeah, like a Yeah, absolutely. But yet that, that’s what we’re, that’s what we’re told. And so again, I think part of this power in community and coming together and belonging and acknowledging that we do belong to each other.

[00:46:14] We have a responsibility to look out for one another, and we have a responsibility to fight for not against one another, especially as women. And especially in these spaces where with varying degrees of privilege, we have a responsibility to, to fight and to fight for one another, to all have access. We talk about equity, you know, I think that it comes down to being willing.

[00:46:37] To have these conversations in spaces where we can be brave and curious and safe to listen to others’ lived experiences and to not allow the narratives that either we have allowed to hold ourselves back or we see being used to pit us against one another to win. We can’t allow it to win. You know, ask yourself like, who benefits from it?

[00:47:01] If I believe X, who’s benefiting from it? And if it’s not us, if it’s not the community, if it’s not me, then who, it’ll illuminate a lot. It’ll illuminate a lot

[00:47:11] Tori Dunlap: and you’ve said before this idea that women feel the need to be everything to everyone, right? Or this, I would probably equate it, and correct me if I’m wrong, to like this feeling of you have to have it all right. How to have it all. As a woman, a lot of us immediately resonate with this. This, yeah.

[00:47:28] The feeling of I have to be everything to everybody. Does it make it harder than when women pursue entrepreneurship? Like, is this an exacerbated feeling then when you have a woman who is pursuing running a business?

[00:47:45] Natalie Franke: Yes. I mean, I think that it is definitely a psychological factor. It is something that you come up against where you feel as though, especially in a role of leadership, like we said, you can’t win. It’s, it’s very hard. But what I will say is that there is liberation as well in going through entrepreneurship and acknowledging things like you’re not, you’re not always gonna make everyone happy.

[00:48:14] You can’t, it’s impossible. People are not gonna like you. That’s okay. Their opinion of you again does not equate to your worth in value. These are things, as a business owner, you have to start to figure out. Not every problem is yours to. If you try to solve all the problems, you’re not gonna solve any of the problems.

[00:48:30] These are like business lessons that, that I’ve learned on my own journey that then when I start to learn them, I start to realize why did I feel the need in the first place to solve every problem for every person all the time in my life? Like, where did that come from? Because that’s not going to lead to success neither in a personal context or a professional one.

[00:48:47] Why did I feel that if everyone in the room didn’t like me that I was a failure? Where does that come from? Starting to sort of tear down those beliefs as you move through building that business because you’re forced to, you don’t have a choice. But also you start, if you’re able to get into communities with other women who are building these businesses, who are going through it, and who say my favorite words in the entire English language, which are me too.

[00:49:11] Me too. I’ve dealt with it too. I’ve felt it too. You’re not alone in this. Right? And, and starting to acknowledge these places where maybe we carry through these double standards. You know, the, the double-edged sword of feeling like you need to be every
one. Everything to everyone all the time, needing to be perfect all the time, whether that’s in business or in life.

[00:49:28] Always having to be twice as good, twice as polished. You know, don’t make a mistake, especially not a public one. There’s no coming back from that. If you screw up in business and a client doesn’t like you, or a customer doesn’t get their order on time, like taking that as a personal failing as an entrepreneur, as you start to move through that and you start to release that and you start to release the shame and the guilt and the expectations you’ve brought into it that have been conditioned, right, with like kind of placed upon you, it is very, very much a liberating thing.

[00:49:56] And that’s a dangerous thing, right? Someone that doesn’t live within the confines of, of, of those beliefs is someone that can make tremendous impact in the world. And that’s a, a dangerous but beautiful and powerful thing. And so I’m a big proponent of wanting to see more folks, women, you know, non-binary folks stepping in and succeeding and thriving.

[00:50:19] in entrepreneurship as much as possible because it changes our culture in a really powerful way. It changes our world in a really powerful way.

[00:50:28] Tori Dunlap: So how can we do a better job of cultivating the kind of communities we wanna see, but also making sure that we’re not denying our own needs or pushing them to the side in order to build that, that line of connection.

[00:50:50] Natalie Franke: Yeah. Look, you have to define what freedom and success look like for you. That’s the first thing. So start by defining what is the freedom that you are seeking in your life and in your business. What does that look like? Especially for business owners? Like if you run a business, , what is that freedom that you’re chasing?

[00:51:06] Is it that you know you want flexibility, you want creative freedom to choose what you work on? What is the freedom? Because sometimes we just focus on success, but choosing a destination as a point of success in our lives doesn’t necessarily mean we’re gonna feel the way we want on the other side of it, right?

[00:51:21] Putting a benchmark and saying, my definition of success is I wanna be a New York Times bestselling author. Well, you can get there and still be miserable and unhappy, but if you ask yourself the question, when I envision my life, you know, at the end of it, and I feel free, like I feel truly free, not the best, but my best, whatever that looks like, what does that feel like?

[00:51:43] What does that look like? And then what leads to that? What are those success milestones that I believe don’t just lead to checking the boxes and pleasing the world, but leading towards that vision of freedom? You start there. You start there in acknowledging what you want your life to look like, both from the emotional and then.

[00:52:02] Backtracking into what? What does it potentially look like to get there? That’s the first thing. The second thing though, I think, you know, we’ve talked about surrounding yourself with strong people and where you mentioned and incorporated in knowing who to go to for what. This is also where I think having both self-awareness and accountability partners does come into play.

[00:52:22] So as you’re growing in your professional life, as you’re developing as a human being, having people, yes, that pump you up, but also that hold you accountable in my life, it often looks like my partner looks like my best friend, Jess, who will say things to me like, you know, giving me the look like, are you sure you should say yes to that?

[00:52:43] Because I remember you telling me two nights ago that you were on the verge of burnout, holding me accountable in the places where the self-awareness, you know, is a little bit less visible for. Isn’t quite as clear as it should be. So having those, those points of contact with people that will hold you accountable, that will keep you on track to not sacrificing yourself too much, to not, you know, giving away great opportunities because you don’t feel worthy of them or because, you know, maybe you think somebody else would do it better.

[00:53:12] You question your ability, right? Because you’ve been taught to question your ability. You question your qualifications because you’ve been taught to question your qualifications. I’ll give another example. The pandemic was really interesting because for the first time, my husband and I were both working from home and he would hear me on calls, on meetings.

[00:53:31] So I’m in our bedroom obviously, and he’s, you know, on the other side of that door that y’all can’t see. But he would listen to me in meetings and he would start after a couple weeks coming into my office after meetings and say, Hey, are you open to some feedback? And I’m like, yeah, give it, hit me. Like, I love good critical feedback, especially from someone again that wants me to succeed, that’s, that wants to see me win.

[00:53:53] He’s like, you know, in that meeting, you really discounted your own contributions you own, you know, does that make sense? Stop saying that. Why are you saying, does that make sense? You made perfect sense when you articulated your response. You don’t need to insert doubt. And then there was another meeting where he goes, I heard that call.

[00:54:10] You’ve, you put the idea out first. Somebody else hopped on and took credit. Why did you allow that to happen? Are you gonna follow up with that person? And just affirm for them that like, he called me out. You know, he gave me that feedback. Why is that so important? Because sometimes we feel afraid or we feel uncertain, and so we go back to the spaces that feel safe and I catch myself doing it when I am like, oh, does that make sense?

[00:54:36] I, you know, I just wanted to say, I thought I might add, I throw in this passive language out of fear of being bold and direct and decisive to have the accountability partner in this case, being a man, my white male husband. Who comes in and goes, why did you do that? Because I wouldn’t have said it like that, and challenges me to acknowledge the places where I’m still allowing those systems to win.

[00:55:04] Because that’s what it’s about. It’s about am I gonna let that conditioning win? No, I’m not. I’m gonna challenge it and I’m going to see places where, right. I can, I can improve how I’m navigating the space that I’m in. And allow folks that, that wanna see you win to, to give you that feedback if you’re open to it.

[00:55:22] Again, if they’re coming from that place of like, I know, I know you. Why, why? Like, come on. Like, I, it’s so critical and it’s so important.

[00:55:32] Tori Dunlap: and that’s the thing too that I wanted to call out people must earn the right to give you feedback. Because the amount of people who give you and I feedback on a daily basis, we get a lot of feedback about who we should be, what kind of businesses we should run, what we should or shouldn’t say. People who want to see you succeed, deserve to give you feedback, right? Because that’s the feedback that’s actually helpful where they’re like, Hey, you said that.

[00:56:06] I don’t think you meant that, but here’s
how it sounded. It doesn’t look good, but I want you to be better. Great, thank you. Helpful feedback, right? Versus feedback that doesn’t, wants to tear you down and doesn’t want you to get better because of this feedback.

[00:56:21] Natalie Franke: Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm.

[00:56:23] Tori Dunlap: not take feedback from people who ha have not earned the right to give you feedback.

[00:56:28] Natalie Franke: I love that. I like, I think

[00:56:30] Tori Dunlap: Something I had to learn.

[00:56:31] Natalie Franke: I want it on a mug. Can you

[00:56:33] Tori Dunlap: I know.

[00:56:34] Natalie Franke: Like, can I get it on a mug? Can I get it on a shirt? Because how often do we do it? How often do we allow people to give us advice or feedback? Or critique us, right? That we, we shouldn’t, we shouldn’t, you know, especially when it comes to critical feedback or comes to criticism.

[00:56:51] And if I wouldn’t go to that person for advice, why am I allowing them to speak those negative words of feedback? To me, it has to go both ways. And I’ll also say too, though, like, I think we can often, and I don’t know how, if you’ve always been good at receiving feedback, I was not always great at receiving feedback.

[00:57:08] It was something for a while that I actually st struggled with. Like the

[00:57:11] Tori Dunlap: bad at

[00:57:12] Natalie Franke: of Yeah, like separating myself and from the feedback and the, you know, the growth. But one thing I’ll say too is when you do start to identify those people for you, that you’re like, I really value and respect this person’s opinion.

[00:57:25] If you are able and you feel safe enough, especially in that relationship, be direct in saying, Hey, you are someone I really respect and admire. You are someone who I know is gonna tell me the truth. You have a different viewpoint from me on this. I just want you to know you have a blanket statement of permission to give me feedback.

[00:57:44] I want you to know that you are one of very few people that I invite, like I, I want you to always feel comfortable being honest with me, giving me that feedback, because on the flip side, just as well, some of us struggle with receiving the feedback. There are folks that would never give you the feedback or are hesitant to until they’re given permission, which is frankly pretty respectful.

[00:58:04] So to open and invite that I think is also really critical, important to be able to say, Hey, I want you, I want you to hold me accountable to going after the things that I want in life. I want you to call me out when I’m playing it safe and I shouldn’t be. I want you to check in with me. If I’m working too hard and burning myself out, and I’m not taking care of my own needs, but I’m taking care of everybody else in the business, or everybody else in my family, or everybody else in my friend group, I want you to call me out and I need you to call me out and speaking what you need because oof speaking what you need.

[00:58:37] Saying what you need. I’m l. . I know that’s hard. I don’t like, I, I, I know that can feel very uncomfortable if it’s not something you normally do. But oftentimes it’s the first step, I think, towards getting to a place where you’re surrounded by exactly what you need. Like, you’re never gonna get it if you don’t ask for it.

[00:58:55] So until you ask for it, right? Mm-hmm.

[00:59:00] Tori Dunlap: it’s so wise. Talk to me about HoneyBook. Talk to me about what you’re doing with them. Cause it’s such a interesting and cool transition, right? Because entrepreneur to like still autonomy, but not really running, running it for yourself. So talk to me about the work you’re doing with them.

[00:59:15] Natalie Franke: yeah. I look, I’m so passionate about the work I do every day, so I’m chief evangelist at HoneyBook, and my role is to help service-based businesses to build a remarkable client flow that gives them their life back. Like my job is to literally help entrepreneurs succeed. every day, and I love it. And in the case of HoneyBook, we use technology to do it.

[00:59:35] We help people automate, build systems and workflows that fuel their business so that they can make money while they sleep. And in a service-based business where people are truly trading their talent and their time for money, the ability to leverage technology is so critical in the long term success of a business in getting, you know, better mental health, more time doing what you love, more time with the people you care about, all of that, because again, like we talked about, those pressures, we feel to be everything to everyone all the time still applies when you run a business.

[01:00:04] And so you can easily feel like you have to do everything for everyone all the time beyond 24 7, right? Respond to everything manually. And, and it just doesn’t have to be that way. So, we, we help business owners to build that client flow so that it runs seamlessly and it allows them to both deliver a really amazing experience to make more money doing what they love, work less hours doing what they love and.

[01:00:27] Get, get back to, for so many of them, like that inspired place for why they started their business in the first place. What, what their, their greater purpose is for why they took that giant leap of faith, that huge risk and sailed out into the unknown. And it’s cool too, cuz with my role, I get to do advocacy and championing the community and you know, I say like, I’m a little bit of a mama bear for small business and there’s a lot that we’re gonna have to be fighting for in, in the weeks and months to come for this community in particular.

[01:00:56] And so I’m excited to be able to do that. I’m really honored to be able to do that.

[01:01:00] Tori Dunlap: I love that. My last question for you, I could talk to you for hours, but we have to wrap it up at some point. Looking back.

[01:01:08] Natalie Franke: Mm-hmm.

[01:01:09] Tori Dunlap: rising tide was seemingly this huge shift for you. What are you most proud of that came out of that movement?

[01:01:23] Natalie Franke: Do you normally make people cry? 

[01:01:24] Tori Dunlap: Normally I’m the crier, so it’s actually really refresh. I don’t mean to make you cry, but it’s refreshing to have somebody else be the crier for once.

[01:01:38] Natalie Franke: what I am most proud of with Rising Tide is that I know it saved people’s life like. Running your business. We’ve talked about it. It is lonely. It is hard. It is isolating at times and the amount of pressure and responsibility that so many people feel on their shoulders because again, we’re not talking a
bout hobbies, we’re talking about livelihoods.

[01:02:03] We’re talking about how people put food on the table. We’re talking about a community that had to stop working in 2020 for the safety of others, and did it proudly. We’re talking about a community that is facing economic turmoil in a recession, and this isn’t the first time for many of them that they’re facing, you know, an uncertain road ahead.

[01:02:22] I’m talking about a community that is the underdog in all things and is fighting an uphill battle every single day. The system was not built for them right in. System was not built for them when it comes to healthcare, affordable childcare, when it comes to how they file their taxes without going to jail.

[01:02:41] Because it is so confusing. The, the system was not built for them and yet so confusing and yet they still chose to go after something they were passionate about. So we are talking about a group of people who have courage, they are resilient, they have grit, and yet they still feel like they’re carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders.

[01:02:59] I cannot tell you how many times I have had people say to me like, you know, going to one of these meetups that was free cuz that was the whole, from the very first day, free and accessible was always the key to rising tide. You know, rising tide is not generated a dollar, it’s run even today. You know, with volunteer leadership on the grassroots level.

[01:03:20] Like I was able to go to a meeting that was free and for the first time I felt seen, I was really struggl. , I didn’t know that I could keep doing it anymore. I had been alone for four days in my apartment by myself behind my computer, and I hadn’t talked to another human being. I almost didn’t go. I sat in my car, but then I decided, what the hell, I’m just gonna walk in.

[01:03:44] I met one person and that one person saved my life. I met one person, and that one conversation made me feel less alone. I met one person and that conversation made me believe that I was capable of going after the thing that I had always dreamt of. The thing that my partner said I couldn’t do, or my mother said was not possible, or, you know, my friends doubted and made fun of me for this person saw me.

[01:04:05] Tori Dunlap: Yep.

[01:04:06] Natalie Franke: That’s what I’m most proud of, was helping people to feel seen, loved, heard, valued, respected, and not even by my hand, but by creating a framework where other leaders could rise up to. because Rising Tide’s not a success because of me, and it’s not a success because of HoneyBook support, and it’s not a success even because of our incredible tiny corporate team that works on it.

[01:04:30] Although they do deserve a hundred percent of the credit when it comes to where we’ve gotten today, it’s a success because other business owners in hometowns all across this world, especially in the US and Canada, raised their hands and said, I want it to be different and I want it to be better, and I want a space where we fight for one another and not against one another, and they stepped up and they made a change in their local community.

[01:04:54] That is, I think, what I am most proud of when it comes to rising tide.

[01:05:00] Tori Dunlap: Thank you. Thank you for being here. Thank you for your work. Natalie, where can people find you?

[01:05:05] Natalie Franke: I am all over the internet so you can find me . I mean truly. You can find me on Instagram at Natalie Frank, on TikTok at Small Biz, Natalie HoneyBook. It’s just honeybook.com. Come find us. If you are building a business and you need support, this is not an empty invitation. I’m not someone that’s like, come over for dinner and I don’t actually plan to ever invite you over.

[01:05:24] Okay? This is if you are building a business and you don’t wanna do it alone, let me be your small business big sister. You need a mama bear. I’m in. Send me a dm. I will always respond. It’s me, not somebody else. And let me know how either HoneyBook or I can support you. You don’t have to do this alone, and you deserve to build a life of passion and purpose.

[01:05:44] Tori, thank you so much for having me. This is, you made me cry. This was such a good

[01:05:50] Tori Dunlap: Bower

[01:05:50] Natalie Franke: conversation. I’m so grateful. You did. You did.

[01:05:54] Tori Dunlap: you so much for being here. 

Tori Dunlap

Tori Dunlap is an internationally-recognized money and career expert. After saving $100,000 at age 25, Tori quit her corporate job in marketing and founded Her First $100K to fight financial inequality by giving women actionable resources to better their money. She has helped over one million women negotiate salary, pay off debt, build savings, and invest.

Tori’s work has been featured on Good Morning America, the New York Times, BBC, TIME, PEOPLE, CNN, New York Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, BuzzFeed, and more.

With a dedicated following of almost 250,000 on Instagram and more than 1.6 million on TikTok —and multiple instances of her story going viral—Tori’s unique take on financial advice has made her the go-to voice for ambitious millennial women. CNBC called Tori “the voice of financial confidence for women.”

An honors graduate of the University of Portland, Tori currently lives in Seattle, where she enjoys eating fried chicken, going to barre classes, and attempting to naturally work John Mulaney bits into conversation.

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