Turning Ikigai into a Business Model: The Journey from CNN to the South of France

Turning Ikigai into a Business Model: The Journey from CNN to the South of France

This past week, I walked past the old building that housed one of my first network TV jobs.

CNN used to be nestled next to Penn Station—-armpit of the city I call it.

I would trudge up those speckled stone stairs to hair and makeup at 3:30am, bucket hat pulled down to cover the sleep still in my eyes.

I loved being a journalist and TV. It’s what I wanted since I was 4.

(I just didn’t love it at that hour.)

The building has since been renovated into a less glamorous “City MD.” The stairs significantly contracted in size.

I sighed as I walked past, recalling my 20s, 30s and early 40s in New York, living and working at the weirdest fringes of the day.

Always tired.

Thinking clouded.

Tethered to a microphone and a desk.

(Living the dream.)

A few years ago, I made some key decisions:

My business, the thing I worked on feverishly in between shots on tv, would become my main hustle. (Focus trumps talent any day.)

I took stock of my core values (Adventure, beauty, freedom)

I put systems and processes in place to build a business that reflected them.

In 20 days, I leave for Nice, France.

Ill be hosting my Samita Lab Mastermind for their annual “Deep Writing and Reflection retreat.” 

I will continue to live and work from the south of France for 2 months.

All because, a few years ago, I found something the Japanese call:


If you are at a crossroads and want a map on how to get somewhere else.

You can find your Ikigai too.

I break it down step by step in the 5.12 edition of “What I Did Last Week (and what I’m looking forward to)”


What I Did Last Week

  • Friday. Had drinks with a former member of the Women’ Leadership Lab at the cutest little wine bar Sorso by NYU. She confided she had just made the cover of a major interior design magazine with her work. Then headed to dinner at Alice in the West Village. LOVE it here, until the magic 8 o clock hour strikes. Then it becomes the set of “Sex in the City” circa 1990, with young women, all dressed to the nines. We collectively decided, they are looking at us and thinking “They are so old.”
  • Saturday  Friends who had joined us for the opening night of Churchill Downs a few years ago, got together at a bar in Tribeca to watch the Kentucky Derby. I dipped out a bit early for dinner with friends on the Upper East Side at my favorite spot Match 65. 
  • This week, I was back in the anchor seat doing business news from the Nasdaaq Wed, Thurs Friday. Getting up at 2:30am at 51 years old is NOT EASY.
  • Binge-watched “Baby Reindeer” on Netflix. Scottish comedian Richard Gadd wrote and stars in it. I had to watch it twice, because of his ‘come to jesus moment’ on stage in episode 5. The writing is so amazing. It started as a log for a police report, then became a staged production in London. Netflix brings it to life in a 6-part TV series. Considering whether I should watch Anne Hathaway in “The Idea of You” or read the book. 

What I’m looking forward to

Okay I didn’t get invited to the Met Gala. (my invite must have gotten lost), but I am heading to the Met Saturday morning to see the “Sleeping Beauties” exhibit at the Costume Institute with another member of the Women’s Leadership Lab.  I LOVE member hours at the Met from 9am to 10am on Saturdays because we get the exhibits to ourselves.

Countdown to Nice. 

Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

1.Join the Samita Lab Mastermind. Join 7 other women leaders in the core program that sits at the center of my business model. The Mastermind teaches you exactly how to build a powerful person brand and the mindset to support it. Learn how to do storytelling for business. Then harvest 1 thing that is universal and needs to be heard now for your TEDx talk on stage in front of 200 people at the end. The waitlist is open for the Class of 2025.

2. Download my E-book   Join 50 women in reading this comprehensive book where I teach you how I landed my own TEDx Talk in 2013 and break down, step by step, how to land yours.

3. Take my “Art of Influence” masterclass:  Join 3500 people in taking my mini-public speaking Masterclass. Learn to organize a compelling talk and my framework for making it super easy.

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