We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Milken and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarah, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Midlife moments,.. My kids were 14 and 16 and I felt that my teens needed less of my time. Being a mom, with a Phd in educational psychology, who had not “worked” in the traditional sense for 16 years, I was longing to find a new extension of my identity that was just for me. Last February, my daughter gave me a gift for my 45th birthday. It was a golden box filled with beautiful inscriptions from many of my friends. She asked them three things they thought about me…When I read the messages, they all had a similar themes, my “go to friend who is my resource for everything.” A light bulb went off…this is my time to do something with my ability to gather information and curate it for others…This is my time to “go back to myself” and find another passion to self recreate a new identity in the second half of my life. This would be an identity outside of my kids and husband…. .what would that be? What vessel? Many people told me to write a book. My husband convinced me that it was too solitary and I would be happier in a vessel that engaged with people…DIng ding, a bell went off in my head…I know, i will do a podcast about recreating myself in the second half of life….I will interview experts in various areas related to self recreating in the second half of life, mental health, physical health, vaginal health, all things that could help us in this journey. The purpose of the podcast is to inspire women to self recreate (in the second half of life), along with me. We would discover golden nuggets/actionable items from these experts…. (caveat, it really wasn’t ding ding it was a few months of digging deep into myself) and working with a life coach to translate all of the ideas in my heart and mind into real achievable small steps. Okay, but how do you make a podcast? How do you build an audience? The last 6 months have been a personal and professional deep dive.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As the creator and host of my podcast, The Flexible Neurotic, I feel that I am one of the only, if not the only. podcast that has highlighted the personal self recreation journey in the second half of life for women. This has been a mid life self recreation process for myself, and I am bringing the listeners along in their self recreation journey…while I interview experts in all things mind, body, vagina and parenting…(in the second half of life). This podcast journey has been hard in every way, but so meaningful. As they say, we can do hard things. Things that are easy, don’t bring as much personal meaning. Most of us are held back with self limiting beliefs and/or imposter syndrome. I am one of these people. Who am I to do this? I had to jump in and take that risk….at times, it felt and feels like running through the mall naked. You know people are watching and listening and you wonder if they are judging. While being a self confident person most of my life, this has definitely been 6 months of taking small steps forward, doubting myself, and continuing to push forward with small steps…It is like the game of Life or Sorry, two steps forward, one step back, but you keep playing….. I want people to know that my seemingly polished brand of The Flexible Neurotic is not polished. There is a lot of mess behind the scenes. How do I do this? I don’t understand IG, twitter and facebook. How do I share google docs? How do you do any of this? I want people to know that what we see on IG doesn’t always show the whole story. This is why in every episode of my podcast, I am sharing my own vulnerabilities and stories of my self recreation journey. I think people should also know that they can ask for help. My husband, two teenagers, and a college grad intern help me fill in on my technological gaps. There are many. You don’t have to do it all yourself. You can ask for help.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
A day in Malibu: On way to Malibu: stop at Getty Villa for a tour of ancient gardens and museum collections, feeling like we are walking through Europe Move: Walk on the beach for some personal sand grounding of body & mind Brain: Deep chat with friend about silver linings of the last year Matcha Break: Starbucks in Malibu Country Mart Lunch: John’s Garden…any sandwich you want & people watching Afternoon Yoga: back at the beach we do a yoga session Clean up: quick shower at a friend’s Malibu house Dinner: Nobu, why not? nice sushi meal and drink to end a blissful Malibu getaway day
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
As we know, starting a new project or business takes a village…First, I want to say thank you to my husband, Jeremy. We met in 9th grade. You have always believed in me and given me the flexibility to pursue my dreams…Second, my parents, Barbara and David Firestone, you modeled having full time careers, while being parents. Although I chose to raise my kids and not work in a “traditional” sense (last minute choice), this was never my plan. Being a performance driven person, I went to an ivy league school for college and pursued my master’s and Phd because of my mom. She led by example. I would also like to thank my mentor and friend, Angella Nazarian. You were five years ahead of me in this second half of life self recreation process. You gave me golden nuggets of advice and helped me launch my podcast by being my first guest and cheerleader. My two children, Jake and Marin, you have rooted me on and believed in me. I know having a mom on IG and a podcast can feel cringey. We have a good laugh at the dinner table. And, last, but not least, my life coach, Cari Rose, I could not have done this without you. You helped me take the jumbled mix of self limiting beliefs,” I am too old to start something, how do I start small? Will people judge me?” And put my best foot forward and continue to ask myself, “What is the next small step?” Seems so simple, but as we all know, it is not.