An Interview with Danielle Codere
This is an unedited transcript:
I am sitting here with one of my favorite people in the whole wide world. I’m Danielle coderre. And as you know, if you’ve been listening, I don’t really do professional or like official introduction. So here is my perspective. Danielle, she is the best giver of hugs. She lights up a room like nobody else. And if you catch a glimpse of her on video, or even in a photo, you’ll see immediately what I’m talking about. And professionally, she is a she is the rebel strategist. She is my strategist. And she helps people think outside the box, and really shake things up. So that this world can be a more loving kind, Human Centered space. Welcome, Danielle. Ah,
Wow, thank you, my heart is so full. And when I think of you it’s so funny. The number one thing I think about is how amazing your hugs are. And so with the two of us together, like I think if we just hug for a really long time, we might be able to heal the planet. So we should try that one day. Just like go on a marathon. Oh, my goodness.
Yeah. So one thing to know is we live on different ends of the country, almost like east coast. I’m almost West Coast, Arizona. And so yeah, so it’s been a long time since we’ve hugged. And I don’t know when that won’t be. But it’s going to be magic. That’s why I can’t wait for it.
I can feel it already. I can just feel it. Thank you so much for that introduction. It feels so nice to be here. And I’m honored to be here. You know, I am a fan of your podcast. And I’ve heard you say that you love interviewing women who inspire you. And you are one of those women to me. So it’s just, it’s so nice. Thank you for asking me to be here.
Yeah. Thank you. I, it’s so good to know, at least one person is listening.
There’s more of us out there.
Yeah. So I really want to, like get into the story of your life. And there are so many different stories we can tell. And so I think the first thing is usually with a quote at the beginning, we would say who said it, and I just the quote is from a very special place. And I wonder if maybe we could start with that.
Yeah, I’d be happy to. Um, so my best friend, her name is Sarah and she and I met each other in high school and through her I met her amazing father. We call him Papa john. And he was there at a time in my life when I was really struggling. I moved out of my house with my mom in high school and I went to live with them actually. And he was somebody that was so special, because he helped me to believe that. First of all, believe in myself. I remember I was going to school. To be a singer, and he would always say, No, say you are a singer. Like not I’m learning to be a singer or I’m going to school for music. You are a musician, you are a singer, he inspired us to start our first band. He was like, Hey, you kids just sitting around doing nothing. You’re all musicians. I wrote this poem years ago, write me a song for it. And so we wrote Papa John’s song, and it, it, you know, kicked off my music. So he was the kind of man that anytime we got together, he would come and just kind of take center stage, and just kick us off whatever it was, it was, could be a dinner, it could be big party. And he would say this quote that he mashed up from two different authors go Goethe and basil King. And it, it would just inspire all of us. And he would write it in every one of our cards. And it was just so so special. And it sits here framed in my office, because on days when I feel like, I’m not enough, I can look at that quote, and feel into all that I’ve already created. And all that will be an open I am so Wow.
Could would you read the quote again, just so yeah, now having the background, let’s hear it again. Hope.
Whatever you can do, or dream, you can begin it. boldness has magic and power and genius in it. Begin it now. And he would put his two fists up in the air like really declare begin it.
And that’s that’s been my motto, I think, you know, for a long time is like, just start somewhere. And so that’s what I tried to do, sir, start somewhere.
Beautiful. And what are some of the things that you just started? Thank you for asking?
I think it’s important to say that when I started my business was a big leap of faith. And was followed by a big leap of faith
before that, as well. And I am somebody who’s married to my high school sweetheart. And we didn’t stay together since high school, we actually took a really long break about seven, eight years. And then we got back together in New York, where we’re both from, and he was not just he’s not living his best life not flourishing in working out of Manhattan and doing that daily grind. And he had lived in Charlotte before that. And we decided that we wanted to live together. And that I would move to Charlotte, because I was ready to leave my town in Long Island, New York. And as we can go ahead, we’ve already spent this time apart, you can do an immediate transfer, I had a job at that time. And
I wanted to, I wanted to check off my boxes, I wanted to find a new job and do the smart, secure air quotes.
Before I just went and moved there, you know I did, I didn’t have any CDs, I was in my 20s at the time and had nothing really I was just living paycheck to paycheck in a sense about it, it was like six months later. And I was like, Oh my gosh, this, we can’t do this long distance again for this long. And I just went down here and I signed a lease with no safety net. And that was really one of the first times that I can remember doing something that felt that risky. I didn’t know anybody in Charlotte, except for my partner. And I didn’t have any savings. And I wasn’t sure what I was gonna do. But I knew that I could. I knew that I was capable. Like, I think when all else fails, I just remember that I’m capable person. And that’s what I did. And that weekend, I got literally like the next day I found this company that hired me on the spot. And I had an application in for a job that I really wanted. And it was remote and it was kind of perfect for me at the time. And I went back to them and I said, Hey, I got this really great job offer. Job was not that great. I’ll just be really transparent about that. But I made it seem really great and that I was going to start soon, but I wanted to give them the opportunity to hire me. And they hired me basically on the spot. They called me I remember my interview with this company that had my application for months that didn’t talk to me. And the guy was hiring, like very high energy, and super techie. And this was for a coaching company. And I had no idea what coaching was at the time, either. And I kind of was like, is this a real
thing? People do that. And I was like, are we, you know, like, I was just like, just questioning the legitimacy of the company.
But this guy, who’s kind of young guy, and already owned, like three businesses younger than me.
He was like,
I have one question for you. And then you’re hired, basically. And he was like, will you be my Rain Man. So Rain Man is a movie. And I don’t know if you’ve ever seen it. And it is a movie about somebody who can literally count all the toothpicks that fall on the floor and just know them within a second, like how many fell on the floor. I had never seen this movie in my life before. But I guess the way in which I was like, Hell, yeah, I will be your Rain Man. was enough for him. He hired me on the spot. And I spent six years at that company. And truth be told, is that I did become the Rain Man of that company. I watched it later. It’s so funny, because I watched it, like a week after I got hired. And I was like, I’m sorry, man was really not, like count to fix. In a sense, almost. It’s funny, you know, I started to really do what I was good at, you know, I created relationships. And I found the gaps. And I found solutions to fill the gaps. And I created community by just being myself and using my full heart, and everything that I did. And eventually, they stopped calling me Rain Man, but they called me the heartbeat of the company, which
was, like just such a special
heartbeat. And I was called the skeleton key. And I was also called the unicorn. And so that’s what maybe planted a little seed in my brain to later on. named my business free range unicorn. Wow.
Amazing. So. So there’s this leap that happens in terms of where you live. And then taking a leap to become this figure that you don’t even know who Rain Man is. No idea Rain Man is no. Amazing. I mean, so this, I’m so glad that that’s the job you got, because that’s how we met. So this is where so just let me just tell a little story about that. So people are clued in this piece ism. Right, this is a place that I took training, and, and later worked for them as well. But I, I remember, I don’t know if it was the first time I met you. But I do remember meeting like, getting to know you along the way. And it was such a highlight, they would have these live events few times a year, and a lot of them were in Arizona. So it was really easy for me to attend all of them. And my background and nonprofits part of that job was I was responsible for organizations events. So I knew what goes into hosting an event. I knew all the work that goes on and nobody that like if you’re doing it right, nobody notices that you’re doing it right. But we all notice like if something goes wrong, if you’re at an event and like the audio cuts out or the lights are on or it’s too hot, or all these things like I when I go to events, I’m always like, okay, who is working the event and let me go and thank them because it’s a really thankless it can be a really thankless kind of a job. So So yeah, so I really got to know the folks working in the back of the room. And yeah, I don’t know how exactly I just remember at some point I think it was the hug. I was just gonna say it started with a hug and we’re like, I think you were like, Oh, thank you for coming back here and that’s so sweet. And, and can I give you a hug? And then it was like that was it? like who is this person? meet her in my life.
Exactly. I was
I was that person that you Part of how I started at that company was doing more customer satisfaction and support. And I, and when I say I was kind of like Rain Man, I, I have this memory where if I see a name, I just, I can retain it, I know where you’re from, I know, you know what lesson you might be on or what cohort you were in. And I think that helped me to really just make true connections with all the students that were there. So like, as I was doing that, and that’s where kind of your cohort was. So I actually ended up making really good friendships and relationships with people that were in your, in your classes and stuff. And then I started to grow with a company and get a little further away removed from the audience. But it still, I just felt felt so connected to everybody. And that hug was just sealed the deal.
Yeah, yeah, it was like on the list of things I looked forward to, in going to events, for sure. Yeah. Awesome. So then, you just like alluded to it right there at the end, but then there was this next big leap into your own business.
Now this one was a lot harder, right? Like I had grown as the the Rain Man, aka heartbeat, aka unicorn, aka skeleton key of this company. And I imagined myself growing into the role of like, CEO, you know, like that, this would be a place for me to climb the ladder. Um, it felt a lot like family, and I don’t have a lot of family. So my friends, and my close relationships do become like a part of that family feeling. And there were so many things that were going on, that were giving me like rubbing me the wrong way, like the kind of family you want to stay away from. And I have struggled with that. And I tried to better myself, I tried to, you know, learn more, and I got some coaching. And now, eventually, I did learn what a coach was, I became a coach, I wrote some of the content. I mean, I’m coaching, I think, in a sense has really saved me in a lot of ways, you know, I struggled with depression and things like that. So coaching is very near and dear to me now. And when I was struggling the most, I got some coaching, and I was able to just center into my strength being present, and finding balance. And when I couldn’t find the balance at work, I realized that it wasn’t for me anymore. And that was probably one of the hardest things that I’ve had to do. Because, again, I just didn’t know where that safety net was. And it had been six years since the last leap I took, and you kind of forget, you get amnesia a little bit, and you think to yourself, Well, I can’t do this now. And you know, at that point, now, I’ve already have a mortgage to pay for, and I have different things. And I’ve now set up a life and ready to get married next year. And all these things were on weighing on my mind and telling me that I shouldn’t get the feeling of like, you get this feeling of, well, I can’t do this other thing anymore. And I like to talk to my clients now and say it’s like you do you hear you feel a little, you know, tug on the shirt, then you hear a little whisper. And then you get shoved around a little bit. And then also in the universe, gonna whack you with a two by four if you’re not paying attention, and it was like that energetic, whacking with a two by four that I felt. That said, I don’t know what I’m gonna do. But I know that I’m capable. Mm hmm. And I kind of fell back on to that. Understanding that being bold beginning at now, and remembering how capable I am. Something’s gonna work out. So then I left that company, and I didn’t know what I was going to do. I had no intention of starting my own company. So I really, I read daring greatly by Rene Brown. That was kind of one of the first things that I did. And it helped me from going into this spiral of checking the LinkedIn job boards every 20 seconds to see if something new popped up. Which wasn’t helpful to me because I kept saying to myself, I’m not I don’t fit into this box. I don’t fit in and it was, you know, at the time being in the place that I was thinking that I didn’t fit into the box was a problem. I was like, Oh wow, I’m How can I find another job if I’m not fitting into these categories? Like I could see myself doing certain things, but I don’t fit into this box. And I just let myself grieve. You know, I grieve that part of me that thought she was going to be the CEO of this company. And who knows, it’s not off the table, I could maybe do that again. But nobody says I have to stay there to do it. Right. So absolutely. I write daring greatly. And I cried, and I got in the garden, and I did a bunch of things. And I left, I told myself, I would give myself a month, like I had enough savings to be like, Okay, let me at this point, I had a little more savings. With this week, definitely more on the line. But I, I got some more like, I still wasn’t sure. And I was frustrated, because I wasn’t finding what I wanted. And I had a friend,
very wise, who said to me, why not just do what you’re doing to build a company, you know, just like, a piece. And I was like, mmm, that sounds easy. But you know, only been teaching people how to become entrepreneurs for the past six years, I don’t want to be an entrepreneur, like that’s not secure. And I had that whole like, reaction. But a couple days later, I remember was like, a Saturday and I just downloaded all this information. I just started writing out what I thought I could do, who I would want to help, how I could help them. And, and I changed my Instagram profile. Before I said, anything, I just changed my Instagram profile, to say that I was of, you know, different things that I did at the time, I was like, oh, I’ll do all these different copywriting and sales pages events. And I got somebody in my DNS saying, I don’t care what you’re doing, I want to work with you. I want to hire you. And it was immediate, it was within 24 hours and changing it, I think you can make a big deal about changing, I just did it. And then I was like, Oh,
I just have to tell you that like out in the world, when like work because that when you left, I was still at the company. And I was like contractor on the outside of things mostly. But definitely there was a buzz when you left, and a bunch of people going, showing up for hire. like fun. That was a great time to help me with my business. We all knew how magically that’s no, I’m not shocked at all that all you had to do was be like, here’s my open door sign. And yeah,
I did. I just turned on the light somebody made, you know, made it clear that you wanted to work with me. And I kind of considered though that’s almost like my first client. And then the next day I posted something on Facebook. And it was outstanding. The response. I had like 200 comments, and I like I don’t think I’ve even like when I got married, I don’t think I got that many comments. I got so many comments. It was overwhelming. And I just kind of had a waitlist from from the beginning. And I was shocked. So it, it was just an incredible leap. Again, it was just to me being bold and how that really showed up. And I had this name free range unicorn that came to me in a Reiki session years before. I had no idea how I was going to use it. And I remember waking up from the Reiki session and my friends were around and one of my friends was the one that gave me the Reiki session. And I said the words free range unicorn by the domain. It’s clear as day nothing else. Like I took away from that Reiki session. And I said, well, the domains available. I’ll just buy it. And so I bought it and I had the domain I made. I was like, oh, maybe I’ll just like, share some of the cute things that I wear. Because that’s like I had no idea what to do with this thing. But I was like, I’ll just open it up. Maybe it’ll be a blog one day. And then it made sense, because now all of a sudden here I am out on the free range. just bringing all my unicorn magic and sparkles wherever I go. And then it makes sense. Perfect. Yeah. Oh, yeah. That’s
a doozy of a story. I’m so curious. So always I’m curious when people take those leaps. And like my whole podcast is about that. Basically. It was like, how are you creating your own path and taking risk and creating your own success in the process? I, I wonder for you, how do you know the difference between because I heard you say, when you were working for this company, you worked with a coach and you were working on your own growth. And then also there’s this like tugging at the shirt, sensation. So I wonder, like, how do you distinguish between? Okay, I’m still on the right path, but it’s time to grow within it. And this path, this part of the path that’s been carved is like, kind of run its course for me. It’s time to create a new path. How do you?
how do you distinguish that, and that,
I think I’m still learning and getting better with that, you know, in that instance, it was a lot of tears, it was a lot of sleepless nights, it was a lot of, you know, working at the mention of the witching hour and feeling like, there’s more and, and just kind of feeling frustrated about it. But I remember the day that I got the clarity that it was okay to walk away, it felt like the last day of school. Like, you know, when you’re, you’ve had a whole year of school, and all sudden, you wake up and everything smells different, like, you know, like, the
sun is shining differently.
You know, that you’re gonna go to school, and you’re gonna have like, a great day, I’m going to sign your yearbook, and you’re going to just like, chill out all day. It’s like the best feeling. And you get to like, get closure, hug everybody, and you don’t know what’s next. Just know that, like summers here, and I retired tarot cards. And that morning, I pulled the sun, and the sun is just such a happy card. And it really does just give you the sense of there is abundance, right? When we think about the sun, that’s just eternal for us. And that gives us life. And that happened. And then like, I was, I just had all these signs that like, you know, those little gold leaves that you put on the tip of your nose, you know, maybe not everybody does this, but it’s like a sticky little leaf, you can stick that for everybody. I don’t know, if you have those trees, I don’t know what kind of trees they are. But they’re kind of golden. And they were just falling. And it was kind of like this beautiful rain shower. And it looked like butterfly wings, and just catching all the the golden rays. And it was I felt calm. And it was like I wasn’t making my decision from a place of beer anymore. And it was weird because it was like, I don’t know why I’m so calm. Everything in my brain is telling me like you need to like cling to this you need to cling to you know what, you know, you know that that was kind of the the messaging I was raised with it was like, sure we have to survive. And and even if that means you’re going to work at CVS, which is a great I worked at CVS for a long time. And I worked my way up there. But, you know, for sometimes in my family, it was like, that’s good. It’s good. You can stay there now. Like you’ve got it. Yeah. But that was never, never enough for me. Mm hmm.
Yeah, I love I think what I hear in that, too, is is that the importance of having some space to hear, like a variety of voices within yourself, right, there is like, the survival stability part that we all have. And we need. Right, like, yeah, that’s important. And there are contexts in which that’s not that’s not actually what’s for us, or that’s not really the, the part or the leader within us that we should be listening to. And so it sounds like for you, Taro is a place where you can you kind of create some reflection point to go Okay, what, what is more deeply true for me? Yeah,
yeah. And that that is something that I use all the time. Just to ask more questions, right? I don’t tell the future with it. That’s not something but I can energetically feel into what the card is asking me to reflect upon. And that, you know, especially if, if you struggle with any kind of conditioning that tells you you’re not enough or that you need to be a certain way in order to be successful. Having this way to just ask yourself deeper questions without bias is Really, really, really special. And so I use that. I use that with my clients and it’s very unconventional and I, but sometimes during a watch too, I’ll be like, okay,
energy shifting, let’s, let’s, let’s ask the cards, what do we need to ask ourselves? And what do we need to know? I’ve always been a little, a little bit hippie, a little bit witchy, and a whole lot of unicorns.
Oh, my goodness. Um, are you do you? Is there like, another leap? I think being in business for yourself is like, a series of leaps. I guess. But I’m just curious if you are sense that you may be soon or are you on the precipice of a leap? Yeah,
I’m, I’m in in like this transition place to right now. And I think it’s fun to do a podcast interview when you’re in this place, right? I’m not like, I’m not at the point of a resurrection. Right? I’m like, kind of getting there. And it’s, it’s interesting. So like, like I said, when I started free reign, GMO corn, I actually was more of like a virtual assistant. And I said, let me do that, because that’s the easy thing. I know that I can do that. And for me, I needed I needed to show myself that I could just be in business for myself, you know, I’m a trained coach, and I have all these other skills. You know, I at the job before this coaching company, I was working with fortune 500 brands, and doing some massive projects with them. And like, thrown out my business card at Macy’s Herald Square with like, a bunch of suits. And like, you know, so I’ve been around the block, I’ve seen it all, but I went with the safe route. Because be entreprenuer is scary. And there’s no guarantees. But if I’m thinking about how can I show up and know that I’m capable, and you know, get get the job done, I can be a virtual assistant, I can definitely help people get a little bit further than where they are. One of the things that I used to notice with the students was that they would know so much, and they would be so great at coaching, but they would get held back because they didn’t know what to do, quite literally, like with getting a landing page out or even how to design a business card. Sometimes it’s just these little things that would show up as blocks. I thought to myself, well, hey, I pretty crafty at these kinds of things. I, you know, really taught myself a lot over the years. So I’m gonna start there. But with that service, and I guess, just knowing that people I knew I was having, I had a very full schedule, and it was so full to the point where I would be on calls all day, and then I would spend all night working on a lot of the tasks. Quite the recipe for burnout. So I was there, I was not happy, I was feeling unfulfilled. I was losing connection with myself, I really set up a situation that was similar to this feeling when I took the last leap. Like, well, that’s not fair I can I can actually change this. Now, I don’t have to be this one thing, that I even know that that’s what I said. And this is what I tell my clients all the time, you know, like, I like to know the rules so that we can break. Mm hmm. I’d probably be a great lawyer because I find the loopholes. And I go against the grain. And I was like, Well, why not? Why not for myself? And so, I I’ve been on a little bit of a longer journey, figuring out what are the things that that truly light me up. And it has been really fun to just be in this new place of discovery. And in a place where I’ve actually said no, to some clients that don’t don’t serve me anymore. Mm hmm. Which that felt like a big deal. To say sorry, this is our last retainer.
So yeah. Amazing. Yeah. So Well, the next thing that I have coming up
is I am
in the middle of
putting out a podcast where I am asking for story submissions. And it’s called soul Mike stories of universal love. And I’ll be asking people to give me a little glimpse of something that lights them up and that can be with your partner it can be with the child. can be with your cats. I mean, I could definitely tell you a story for 20 minutes about why cats are so special to me. And there’s something about storytelling that has always been consistent in my life. And when I think about what the common denominator is inside of, like that story, there’s love, you know, and even if that doesn’t show up in a traditional sense, yeah. You know, I think that there’s love that that threads us all together. So I really want to highlight some of those stories from non professional storytellers. Because I do hear a lot of great storytellers telling me wonderful story. But I want to hear from real people and know what’s going on for you. So there’s that. And I love working with my clients on finding those gaps. Like I am a problem solver. By nature, it’s it’s just in me. So true. Rebel strategist, was born recently.
With a little help from my friends, aka blue.
I feel like a proud doula that I know good. Yeah. Yeah. Actually, I wanted to ask you, you use the word download earlier? And I don’t I know, I use that word all the time. Like, the rebel strategist was definitely a download of mine for you. But, um, what do you mean, when you say, download?
Yeah. When I say download, it is like, a bolt of lightning in my brain that dissolves something clears the air. And there’s something very clear about the idea, the words or the feeling sensation that I get during this kind of a download. And usually, it’s when I’m in a place where I’m feeling quiet, maybe meditative. Or if I’m just in that, brainstorming strategy, peace. When I say download, sometimes I know that it’s just really coming from that highest version of myself and, you know, shuffled in through my guides. And if there’s a feeling that you get with a download that isn’t just like an idea or a thought, it’s, it’s like, yes, this is full body alignment.
Yeah, yeah. I think of it like, like my creative muse. It often feels like it’s coming through me and not from me. Like, thoughts coming from me feel like I have to put some effort. You know, sometimes not much effort, but there’s always effort, like, thoughts and ideas. And that’s, that’s great. I enjoyed that, too. But I think the downloads are like, it’s like they come packaged already. And I get to like, open, like, unwrap it and see what is inside.
That is such a good way to explain that. I love that. Yeah, it does. It really comes through you. Mm hmm. Yeah, like Santa Claus coming down the chimney on Christmas.
Oh, that’s amazing. I think we, we’ve had this conversation before, too, about how both of us we have, it’s like, we’ve lived these multiple lives. But it’s all one life. It all connects in some way. So yeah, you are a musician. And you work with, like, big companies in New York City. To grow a coaching training company when you started out not knowing what coaching was. Right. And, and by the way, what is what is coaching? How would you define it?
It’s such a great question. Um, coaching is let’s talk about a coach. I think a coach is somebody who can really ask good questions, and listen to your answer. So I think like with music, I studied music for a long time. That’s actually what I went to school for. And then I got I found marketing and that was extra fun. So but music To me, is not just sound if we only have sounded music, it would just sound like noise, but it’s actually combination of sound and silence. And it’s the way in which you put sound and silence together. That creates a beautiful Symphony. That that you can listen to you and but if you didn’t have that cadence, then it might not sound so good to you. And so when we are trying to find our next place, we have the thoughts that we were just talking about before they swirl and they tell us things and the little Gremlin like likes to be in the front seat will backseat driver. And we can’t take a pause, and to get clear to get the download. And so when we’re in that place, having a coach who can listen to your swirl, right? Because a lot of times, that’s what we do, we just kind of listen to what’s happening. I like to say a Marie Kondo your thoughts, and to dump them all out on the bed, dump them all out on the bed, and I help you get rid of the ones that aren’t serving you. And we’re going to tidy up the ones that are right and organize them and see where they fit into your life that they spark joy or not. So coach is somebody who can ask you those questions. And then and listen, and then follow up. Follow up with more questions, right. And we’re not here to give advice necessarily, right, unless you’re here to be a strategist and do different things like that. But we’re here to really listen and help guide you.
Mm hmm. Yeah. That’s great. Marie Kondo. Fine. It does feel like that. I do that a lot. I’ve had every client of mine say,
Oh, I’m sorry. I’m just rambling. And I said, No, that’s where the gold is. Yeah, really. I love to gem mine too. So like I that is where the gold is like an all the rebel we just have to sift through and see where that sparkles coming from. Right. So without the ramble, I think sometimes we try to show up in a certain way. And it’s funny because I do strategy with people, but they come to me trying to figure out what this strategy is already. And if they don’t have it before the call, they feel inadequate in some way, baby. No, that’s what we’re gonna do together. Yeah, yeah, we put that pressure on ourselves.
Yeah, that’s true. I think about about my experience of coaching too. Sometimes people like oh, I, I’m not ready for coaching. I’m like, what, what does that mean? They’ve already googled their symptoms and self diagnosing. You like if you can Marie Kondo your own mind, and awesome. You like you don’t mean but I don’t know anyone who can say it’s hard. It’s really hard. That’s great. I yeah, there’s so much more we could talk about I I’m wondering if there’s anything we didn’t touch on that just do you feel inspired to share?
It’s, it’s a matter of not giving up. I think that to me is played a part in my life. So many times I was thinking about like, when I worked for this company, where I was working and rubbing elbows with, like, multi millionaire brand managers, and I’m doing my New York City thing traveling all around and working for brands like Walmart and L’Oreal and Kohl’s Victoria’s Secret. I remember I worked my way up that ladder too. And that job was not given me anything close to what I should have been making to like my my counterparts who maybe were male, or were in the business, quote, unquote, for a longer time than I was. I just happen to naturally be great at pulling together sales, estimates selling and then project managing the account. So it kind of I was doing it all for them. And I was like, at this point where I was, I was still taking classes in school. I wasn’t finished with college yet. So I had no degree and I was struggling to make ends meet. And I thought it was so Wild because I, you know, I know, I got this guy over here making well over six figures. And I’m, I’m here like, can even afford to lease a car and taking the bus and just trying to figure out my stuff. And I pulled my, I pulled my strength together enough to ask my boss for a raise. And this boss was very like, like she was head honcho, she had like very blunt haircut was a bright color, she only wore black and white so that everything matched. This was like somebody told me that’s a good pro tip, though if you’re traveling, but black and white all the time, and just was very stern. And, and I said, I want to talk to you about something. And I think she knew what was coming. And she like, invited me to dinner. We had this really beautiful dinner, we’re drinking wine, we’re laughing, it was like a very nice experience. And it comes to the time and this is my first time ever asking for a race where I asked for race. It was kind of like on the basis of I deserve it. It’s not kind of not fair that I still have my secretary wages as you know, this, this new room. And I’ll never forget how crushed I was when she went from being like so happy and chummy with me to saying, well, you should, you should be happy that we are employing you at all without a degree a college degree. And I was like, wow, God, I’m so shocked because of the amount of money I was pulling in for the company and how, like, I knew the weight that I was pulling it for that company, I started to cry. And I, of course felt just so small doing this. And then cut to you know, I ended up leaving that job not that much longer. After I did end up getting a small raise, one of my supervisors really went to town for me after that, but the next time I asked for a raise, I negotiated myself 30% more, which put me over in six figures, I got my whole team raises.
And I just it was just different. And I and I told myself like
I’m gonna learn from that experience, right? And I remember really, you psych yourself up first. I psyched myself up.
I did what I needed to do. But
I asked myself, you know, what, what am I taking away from that? And I remember thinking, Okay, here’s how I could have, you know, done a little bit better at negotiating my wages or or expressing my value to somebody who maybe doesn’t see it all all the time. And but I didn’t not try. So, I think that’s that’s the thing is you may not know how it’s gonna turn out. But what Leanna might not just start somewhere beginning now.
became it now. Yes. I I’ve just been reading, rereading mindset. I don’t know what the subtitle is. But Carol Dweck wrote this book, and she’s a researcher. And she just she distinguishes between fixed mindset and growth mindset. And I think it’s a bit sweeping, like, you have this or you have this, or teams have this or this. And I feel like there are times when it’s actually appropriate to have a fixed mindset. And there are times when that’s disastrous, and growth mindset would be much better, you know? Yeah. Anyway, so what you’re saying just reminds me of, you know, in a fixed mindset, it would be well, I am not good at negotiating a raise. Because look at what happened with that first time. Yeah, like fixed like things are just in place. They are they aren’t black and white, like your boss was wearing. Right? Yeah, you have the degree or you don’t like fixed and growth mindset is really what you brought, like, okay, that didn’t work. Well. What do I need to learn? how can how can this work because people are getting raises. They are asking for more money, like it’s a thing that’s happening. Yeah, oh, why not? Yeah.
Why not me? Right. And I think as women too, we start to just make it okay. Like, oh, it’s not where, where I want it to be, but that’s okay. Like I can make, you know, and we almost were resilience like a badge of honor. And I did that for a really long time where my resilience as a badge of honor, until I realized that, sure, you know, my my upbringing, my Adverse Childhood Experiences maybe made me a better strategist, maybe made me more empathic. But at the same time, there are a lot of ways in which I was wearing those adverse childhood experiences like a badge of honor, like oh, this is my resiliency. And now like, I get to, like, make that define me. Yeah.
So I’m gonna ask you one more question. And then we’ll wrap up for now. And if we could do a little bonus episode, though, next. You know, I could talk to you. Yeah, for hours blue. We’ve definitely been there before. I know. We need a whole day of just conversation. Bugs and yeah, all other things and anyone listening like Come let’s let’s hug. Yes, please. Hug fast. Yeah. Yeah. Um, how do you define success? Daniel?
Such a good question. just killing him with the questions here. To me, one of the best things that I can do is laugh like, It’s fun. It’s my core value. And so if I am taking care of which I feel like I always am, I’m taking care of if I’m laughing if I am finding joy I feel successful.
Alright, I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants more. Danielle unicorn magic in my life. Where can people find you? Um, yeah, if
you go to Instagram, it’s I’m free range unicorn. And there’s an underscore after free range unicorn. There’s a link there in my bio that will take you to everything people seem to like me on tik tok. So if you’re there, check me out. And my websites, they’re free range unicorn.com.
And you’ll be the first to know if anything happens. Beautiful, beautiful, and we’ll have it all easy linked up over on a path of her own calm as well for you. Amazing. Thank you so much, Danielle. Thank you blue. Either best Thanks, everyone. That’s my interpretation of the music that I love.
I’m beautiful. That was so much fun. I was like, whoa, wait, it was so much fun. Oh my gosh, the timings flying and it’s like,
oh my gosh. Like, did I say what I was doing sad. And like the time just goes so fast. There’s nothing he should have said. It’s all perfect.
What is there? Is there anything else though? that comes to mind? Like not that you should have said it. But like, Oh, I’d like to talk? Yeah. Well, I think I’m like one of
one of my next offerings that I have is like this very important unicorn. It’s like, you get a report that has your astrology chart, your gene keys and, and different things like that. And I used a lot of these tools to help me figure out where I wanted to put more attention. So we could talk a little bit, maybe about something like that. Or we could like yeah, I think maybe just talking about the different tools like we talked a little bit about Tarot and but there are some other things too, that I think are really special. So we could do that. Or we could talk a little bit like we didn’t really talk too much about strategy, but that’s okay. I mean, I focus more on like, storytelling and who you are. And I think that’s Links to that, um, I mentioned So Mike for like, a hot second. And so we could talk about my relationships, like with cold too, and like a little bit of our story. There’s so many things blue, I might need you to pick one for me where you’re feeling the juice.
Or if there’s something else that we like, didn’t do, and, you know, we’re curious about like, I’m
open to go on anywhere.
I feel like you were. Yeah, I think it’d be cool to if we could, yeah, like the idea of maybe that’s just like, on the page, or there’s some other way I could share about that. Like, I love this very important unicorn thing you’re talking about. But I’m thinking just like for this, I don’t want it to just be like a 10 minute sort of commercial. You know what I mean? Yeah. Not that it would be feel like that. Probably, but knowing you, um, yeah. But I do I think that your relationship with call. It’s just it’s so it’s so unique and beautiful. You know, I mean, yeah. I yeah, it’s
It’s good stuff. I’m listening. I’d want to hear about that. Yeah, let’s do it.
We touched a little bit on how we were highschool sweethearts, and so that would be really fun. Okay,
yeah, whatever you want to say about it. I’ll just kind of I don’t know why I’m thinking about football. I’m like, I’ll just like hold up the football. However you want. power in the sports we play by? I’m not in this work. I’m like, you hold the football. There’s the term I’m sure.
For you holding it.
Let me see.
The Football. I’ll do like this one’s gonna kick
amazing that these of you like a blooper called the football. Touchdown blue China news. failing.
They call that fumbling. Oh, fumbling. Yeah, I don’t cry. Okay. So much fun. I will leave just silence make editing easier.
All right, we are back with more unicorn time with Danielle coderre. Yeah, unicorn time that actually might be the name of this episode. I love that. Oh, thanks for another little short round here. And I just want to plug the longer episode because we had such a blast. In fact, we’re still laughing. So good. Yeah. So, um, I love this soul mic, podcast that you’re putting out. And you know, depending on when you’re listening to this and might be out, so go go look for it. I love it when I listen to a podcast that turns me on to another one, you know? Yeah, it’s these stories centered around love, which is such a beautiful concept. And I love how you said when we spoke previously, that really that’s what great storytelling comes down to. Anyway. So thanks for bringing so much love to all the stories you’ve been telling so far. And I know you have a really unique love story, a central love story in your life. And I wonder if you could just share some more about that.
Oh my gosh, I would be so happy to it’s one of my favorite stories of all time that just keeps going the never ending story. Shout out to the millennials who know what I’m talking about there. Um, so I think you’re talking about my love story with my partner, my spouse Cole. And if you listen to the other podcast episode, which I hope you do, and you’ll hear me talk about Cole, and he’s my high school sweetheart. We met in the music department. Cole was always like the very stoic state janitor to like all this crazy theater kids like running around screaming while making harmonies in the hallway. And he’d be like, you know, like we were getting on good backstage and stuff like that and. And one time, I was getting ready for my debut, I was a freshman in high school, I had one line in the sound of music, I was like the maid. And I had to just go out on stage and say, frustrated with my little tray and offer them a biscuit or whatever I had. And they took their biscuit, and I left and I went back backstage. Well, it was like dress rehearsal and art. Our teacher who was also like, our music teacher was just like, very serious about serving the music. And I had gum in my mouth. And coal, of course, being the like, hard ass stage manager was like, You have gum in your mouth. And he put his hand out for me to put the gum in it. And I don’t know that he knew that I was gonna put the gum in his hand, but like, he just did it. And I took this wife come out of my mouth, and I just placed it in his hand. And do you know, for the whole, like, 30 seconds, I was on stage, and it came back, he still had it in his hand. What and then me being the growth teenager, I just, this is of course pre COVID. horrifying story in our current reality, I know. It was where it all began, I took a lot of gum, and I just put it back away about for the rest of the rehearsal. And it was love at first gum hold. Because it was just so if To me, it was really funny, because he always seemed so serious, like he was he’s always there with a clipboard, and he’s taking notes for the director and our director was very serious. And so like, he was probably matching his energy. Mm hmm. And you know, something that’s important for the audience to know is that when we were in high school, we were two teenage girls. And so my husband is transgender. And he transitioned just a few years ago, but when we were first dating, we were lesbians in high school. And so, um, you know, pronouns might be confusing, because I’ll still refer to him as him. But for people listening, you know, for you to imagine, that was not maybe how he was presenting at that time. And so that was my first girl crush. And I had always kind of just, you know, just been free spirits, like just loving free spirit, that was a very loving person. And, and when you’re in the music department, like, everybody’s a little freaky deaky holding their freak flags up high. And I, but you know, call them give me that sense at all. But there was just something like, that. Man just struck a chord in my heart strings. And I wasn’t clear about what that meant. Because he was a little older than me. He was a junior as a freshman. And that was really our first interaction. But then we like I just kept kind of like bothering him and poking at him. And eventually, we started to date. And we dated for maybe a year, before we came out to our parents. And then that didn’t go well. That was actually really, really hard. And it was easy to pretend that we were just best friends. And I think that’s one of the things that will I do know that it was one of the things that really
betrayed our parents trusts in us, because we were having sleep overs and things like that. And, you know, we were good kids, but to the parents, they just felt like we were lying to them for a really long time. And they didn’t take it well. And they didn’t want us to be together anymore. And so we were each other’s like, like hard first love, I think and I mean, definitely for me. And so we tried to date and secret. And after a little while, it got even harder. And then Cole went to college in Boston, and I would go up Save up all my money to just go stay for a week long or two weeks. I’m at Northeastern University, and, um, that would be good. But then he would come home for Christmas or something. And we really couldn’t see each other he would, he would park four blocks away from my house. And in the middle of the night, one time his parents stole the car. And because he knew, they knew that he was at my house, and so it just got to be impossible to date in this way. And we were very upset about it. And we ended up breaking it off. And I remember was such a very dramatic, like, emo moment, and I was living at my friend’s house at the time. And he pulled up, he had written me a note and he was like, you know, maybe another, maybe at another time, we can meet together. And I was like, screw that you broke my heart. And then he started dating somebody, like, way too close after. And I was like, Oh, no, I remember is like a really big deal. So I kind of really just cut all ties for like seven or eight years. Cut to a few, you know, seven, eight years after. I recognize that throughout those seven, eight years, when we talk about this now, there would be like one or one to three times where we actually did reach out to the other person because we had a dream, I remember had this very vivid dream that he was like, on a hot beach book all covered up in hot clothes. And just I was like, are you okay? The energy I got from this dream was not good. And he wasn’t okay. And then I remember he reached out to me. And this was like before, like, like, we were not following each other on the socials or anything. This is like kind of before that. And he reached out to me, I’d happen to be in the hospital, you know, though, so there was just certain things that go into our energy was like going through the roof, like the other person was feeling it even though we were in our completely separate lives. And so that’s worth noting, because then, after a pretty serious breakup, I think in 2012, for me, um, I was in my friend’s kitchen, I was talking about coal people. And I had just gotten rid of like, the shoe box of letters that he had written me throughout our time, long distance dating, and I got rid of all the sentimental stuff. And I was like, you know, I think I’m ready to let this go. just happened. And, and out of the blue, he calls. And I was like, what, and me my friend are like, beyond, and he wanted to get together to do some music stuff. And so we talked about that. And then he ended up coming to see me, I was in a children’s play at the time playing the lesson. And he watched it. And then we had a catch up. And we just started dating a little bit after that. And then you know, the story of, you know, me moving to Charlotte. When I first moved to Charlotte, it was very hard because Cole was going through a lot of stuff internally and trying to really find himself and I’m sitting here thinking, Oh, now we’re complete, right? Like, we kind of we gather together. Now everything’s gonna be perfect, right? We’re gonna move into this space. Um, you know, one of the other reasons moving was important to us was because we were still not getting a good response from his parents either. And they live in New York. So moving was going to be our clean slate. But then, you know, I’m away from my comfort zone, I’m starting a new job. And I work from home, and he’s working in the office, but he’s growing so distant from me, and I couldn’t quite understand what the heck was going on. And we were struggling big time. And he was, he was saying, well, I, you know, I think I need to figure out this thing with my parents and get them to be okay. And then we did. And they, they started to come around.
But then it was another problem. Oh, I gotta get, maybe it was like my finances in order, then he would he paid off his car, and he did. But then there’s still problems. And we each started going to therapy individually. And I was like, at the point in my therapy in my progress, that I was like, Well, enough is
enough. I’m out of here.
Like, I can’t, I can’t be in this relationship anymore. Um, and then Cole had gotten to a point in his work, where he was recognizing all the ways in which he wasn’t living authentically. And for him, that meant that he was presenting in the wrong way for the firm his whole life and we found this nonprofit here in Charlotte. called transcend. And I remember he went to one meeting with them. And it was like, a light switch went on. And they’re adults there who were transgender. And it was hard, you know, it was hard for a lot of them and, but they were doing it anyway. And I remember when cold, it started to all the pieces were kind of slowly coming together. Cole had like, really big emotional outburst. And it was like, the breaking point for us. Like, I was like, Oh, you know, if you’re going to be angry, and show any kind of anger in yourself, like, I can’t be with you. They know that’s kind of a deal breaker. For me, I grew up in a very violent childhood situation. And that little spark of that I was like, Oh, I don’t I don’t like that. That’s going to be a deal breaker. And then he came out to me told me like, I’ve been struggling with this, I think I’m trans. But I remember being so ashamed of my response. And he always says, It’s not bad at all. But I, I was like, Oh, you’re telling me you want to be a boy. I don’t think I want to be with a man anymore. And I had this in my mind that he would start taking testosterone, you become more angry, you become more aggressive and more masculine, like in this like machismo kind of way. So I have this in my mind that that was the the case. And he just met me with compassion to where I was at. And then I was able to work with him with a couples counselor to mend the distance in our relationship to be able to say, Okay, well, it we’re walking on eggshells at this point, because we’ve grown so far apart in our connection, now only to rebuild this connection with you, in this authentic place. And so when Cole started to do hormone therapy, and light up, like, I say that the hormone therapy and really coming out as trans was like the antidepressant that, you know, maybe he was searching for, you know, he kept searching for that, that thing that would like help him feel whole. And that’s exactly what it was. And the more that he became himself, and like, He’s such, anybody who needs coal is like, he’s just smiling, happy guy now, but back in the day, he was kind of like that stoic, Moody, like, hard ass a little bit. And now he’s just beams light. And he really showed me what it meant to authentically show up as myself too. And it was, it was just like, you know, and it’s getting getting like Tongue Tied here. Because I, when I think about it, it’s incredible. It’s a hell of a drug, when you can just be your authentic self. And he risked it all. He was so afraid that he would lose me, he was so afraid that he would lose so many things. And he did it anyway. And it was the truest, most bravest thing I’ve ever witnessed in my life for him to just say, this is who I am. And he might look at it and say, Well, I’m scared shitless
but he did it anyway. And so, yeah,
I mean, gosh, he just shows me what authenticity what authenticity really means. Wow.
Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing that. It’s it truly is a relationship with a path of its own.
It totally is. Yeah, it really is. Thank you for that. And I’m really proud of it. And people want to write screen plays and we really want to write a book and and we’ve actually helped a lot of people within the LGBTQ community. You know, find connection again through love. So a lot of people really do fear coming out and they fear being themselves because they, they believe they’re gonna lose some people. Sometimes you do You know, and that’s the sad truth. And so we’re happy to just be an ear or shoulder to cry on.
For anybody who is really struggling with with their identity, such a big, big, like, it’s the biggest part of your life, like,
how am I identifying and me identifying and in the way that is the the highest alignment for myself?
Such a great question that I think we all ought to be asking ourselves regularly. Yeah. Is this really aligned for me? Is this really the life I want to be living? The way? Is this the way I want to be presenting? Is this sort of the box I want to fit in? Right?
Thank you. Yeah,
I really, I’m like, Oh, I wish she lived closer. Because my son, one of my son’s best friends is, is non binary. And it’s just having a really hard time at home. So they come to our house a bunch. And, you know, hey, but I can see it in them. They’re like, there’s a lot of like, physical. They’ve been going through a lot of fit, like, yeah, I see. It kind of, I don’t know, I’m not their medical provider. But I feel like, I see that connection and how painful it must be.
Yeah, there’s, there
is and, you know, there’s a lot of things that call us to do physically like with twinging. And, you know, just picking out his clothes a lot, or just just visibly uncomfortable. And, and also, sometimes just visibly sad, maybe some guilt and shame is just creeped up and creeped up in there. But the best thing that you can do is exactly what you’re doing. Giving them a place to come and feel safe and feel seen is just everything when you’re going through something like that. And when I was in high school, we had Papa john talked about a bunch today. And he he did that for us too, because even when we weren’t allowed to be dating, he he was our safe place. He was our middle ground that we were able to see each other there. Wow. And he accepted us for who we are. And it was just really special to have. And so exactly what you’re doing is, is going to be helpful. And of course, if we can ever get on a video call or do anything like that, like we will.
Amazing, amazing. Oh, so, so good to be with you, Danielle. Thank you for your generosity and sharing. And I just imagine that we all can take so much from that whatever your whatever your perspective, whatever your life is calling you to, to notice that like where is it out of alignment? And where is it required to have some more courage? That’s worth it. so worth it.
One more time. Where can people find more unicorn Magic Online?
Check me out. I’m at free range unicorn, underscore on Instagram. And then there’s a link in my bio that’ll take you everywhere you want to go. But free range unicorn is where you can find me.
Beautiful, beautiful and we’ll have all of your links and details over at a path of her own.com as well. Thanks so much, Danielle. And thanks so much for listening.