Monica Ortega has led an interesting life. She's a professional on-camera host, speaker, and actress who has had her share of ups and downs. She created the travel show, Monica Goes, in 2014. Four years into a bad marriage, disappointed that her then-husband wouldn't travel with her, depressed, and feeling hopeless, the show helped her fulfill her desire for travel and adventure.
Monica says she's someone who's afraid of everything, and that she'll put herself through almost anything to show that if an average everyday person like her can do these things, anyone can. (Visit the Monica Goes YouTube Channel to see how she pushes her limits!)
Monica emcees at some of the biggest music festivals in the nation, has been seen in over 20 commercials, and is the co-host on the podcast Stumblin' Forward. She recently published her first book The Power of Pivoting - How to Embrace Change and Create a Life You Love. Her goal is to inspire others to face their fears, break out of their comfort zones, and learn to lean into the pivot.
I felt this was the perfect conversation to have as we start to come out of a wild 13 months that created disruption in everyone’s lives, causing most of us to pivot in some way.
During the pandemic, Monica was unable to travel to record her travel show the way she had been accustomed to over the years, so she changed her life in some big ways, which you’ll hear about in this interview. She also wrote and published her book during the pandemic, moved to a new city, started a new relationship, and started a new restaurant series, which explores restaurants in the Denver area.
Another thing I loved about this conversation was that Monica tries to show that life isn't linear. We don't need to live up to everyone's expectations of what we "should do" at each stage of life. And that we have to power to create our own path and make our own choices...
Monica on her divorce and asking herself important questions:
"I'd always thought my life was linear. You go to high school, you go to college, get married, you have babies. And so all of a sudden that blows up, and the plan is out the window.
And for the first time in my life, I got to ask, "Okay who do I want to be? What do I want my life to look like? What do I actually want?" And then I started piecing together all of those things, whether it's career, relationship... all these different parts of my life."
She says the book uses her story to inspire other people to navigate change with a positive mindset. The book touches on relationships, career changes, and emerging from a global pandemic. She also includes tool kits for dealing with anxiety and depression and offers exercises at the end of each chapter to help readers discover what they really want out of life.
"The first thing I would say is to be kind to yourself. Don't beat yourself up for everything that happened before, because that's done.
And then I would say create a plan, and it may be not be going for everything at once. You may not be able to run the way you used to, but starting small and going, okay, what can I do today?
And then for me, because again, I'm super type A, I like to have a checklist. So I'm going to make this plan for 30 days. And I have to check those boxes for 30 days. And then at the next 30 days, you start doing the next plan, and the more you get into it, the more it will come back and you'll be back into a routine."
This episode is sponsored by Iris Digital Media Group, the social media marketing agency I started with my daughter. If you own a business or are responsible for marketing one, we'd love to help you turn your products and passions into profits! Contact us to learn more about how we help small businesses create social media content that delivers results!
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