We had the good fortune of connecting with Janeane Bernstein, Ed.D. and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Janeane, how does your business help the community?
Before the pandemic, we were facing a mental health crisis and flash forward, we are in a mental health pandemic. In 2020, I was asked to give a lot of talks and workshops about mental health, resilience, the power of self-care, the Science of Happiness, and other topics featured in my book, GET THE FUNK OUT! %^&* Happens, What to Do Next! In March 2020, my weekly radio show on KUCI 88.9fm called GET THE FUNK OUT, shifted to a remote, pre-recorded show, but I added video, so people could see my conversations, as well as hear them.
During this time of transition, I thought about the 40 million people out of work because of COVID-19 and asked myself what I could do to help. In April 2020, I launched a new show called, OUTSIDE THE BOX, to feature industry experts sharing advice on how to find work remotely or pivot and start a new venture. After mentoring a few students, I realized I needed to focus on another target audience: the millions of students in high school and college that lost their internships and employment because of COVID-19. I designed an on-line event for schools and colleges to connect students with mentors in their specific fields of interest. I knew I needed to help this generation regain some positivity and direction in a world that has been completely rocked.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I believe that if you can create a life that brings you happiness, meaning, and helps others, you instill positivity and optimism in your life long-term, and think about the impact you can make! I experienced an unexpected gut-wrenching loss of a childhood friend in late 2010. Fortunately, I was already hosting a radio show for three years, featuring women in music; the skills and experiences carried me through my grief and into my next new venture a year later. I launched a new show in 2011 called, Get the Funk Out! to help heal me and give others a platform to share their stories of loss, growth, and new directions. In 2019, my book, GET THE FUNK OUT! ^&*% Happens, What to Do Next! was published and it features 24 show guests sharing stories of personal and professional challenges, and how they moved through life’s curveballs. I also share some of my own stories and unpack knowledge and skills that carry you through life in all stages.
When my Dad was sick with stage four cancer in 2015, I wrote the outline for my book in a notebook. I wrote my heart out on every plane ride to see him. I strongly believe that sometimes the worst thing that happens to us can have a flipside and be one of the best things to happen. I feel so blessed to have met so many inspiring guests on my show that have lifted me up when I felt down, taught me lessons personally and professionally and through the pandemic these conversations especially now are unexpected opportunities to meet a total stranger and connect during these remote and isolated times.
I have learned to be a better listener, to be more empathetic, compassionate, and to make my show guests feel as comfortable as possible. I am constantly inspired and humbled by the stories I hear weekly.
My new series, OUTSIDE THE BOX, is a new brand I created in 2020 that brings tremendous excitement and meaning knowing that I can help improve someone’s outlook at any age, introduce them to new people and resources, and provide positivity, connection and encouragement. The mentors who are part of the OTB series are very diverse, compassionate, and knowledgeable individuals of all ages; they want to help make a difference, which is what we need right now. I redesigned the series to make it intergenerational after becoming a 2021 Age Boom Academy FelIow with Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center & Columbia Journalism. I am thrilled to be launching the mentoring series this year!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would hit all the beautiful beaches, head to Santa Monica, Malibu, Newport, and soak in the sun and sand! I also love San Diego, so I would plan on doing kayaking, paddle boarding and other water adventures. I would also hit up the Getty, Center, Griffith Observatory, Runyon Canyon Park, The Broad and several other museums. Of course, here we are in COVID-19, so it would probably be food to go somewhere, like True Foods (I am vegan) and a bunch of other places and then some beautiful drives and quality time together.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a shoutout to my late-father Sam Bernstein. He had an incredible work ethic, mischievous sense of humor, hysterical character voices and about 9 careers. I moved in with my Dad when I was 16 and it was the best decision of my life. My entire life changed for the better. I was a horrible student with a terrible track record academically. He always said very calmly, after I bombed a test, “Did you ask for help?” My answer was always, “No.” I was too shy and embarrassed, but after while I realized that I had to help myself and no one could get me out of this mess I was in, but me. I had to learn how I learned best, speak up, and just like the athlete I was, work hard and train my mind to learn things that were challenging, but not impossible. I started sitting in the front row of class, trying to call out the correct answers to math problems and being the one calling out completely wrong answers! My teacher would giggle, and I just simply smiled and whispered, “See you at office hours.”
I also have to mention my first writing teacher, Mrs. Cady, who told me, “there are no wrong answers in creative writing.” If it was not for her, I would not have become a published author and screenwriter.
Youtube: Janeane Bernstein
Book cover photo: Joanna DeGeneres