S2 E5: How Rachel Ulfer Stopped Yelling at her Kids. Mostly.
S2 E4: Ben Messner’s Big Year: New career, City, and Baby
Areas of Exploration
About This Project
My career started as a semi professional hockey player at the age of 17. Sixteen broken bones later – including one fractured skull – it was time for a change.
As one does, I moved to Latin America and joined a human rights organization where I had two life-changing realizations: I was spending more on a latte than many of my friends earned in a day, and I was extraordinarily good at crafting stories that inspired action.
So I joined the world of advertising to dismantle materialism from the inside out. Obviously.
I became an award-winning creative working with the likes of Google, PUMA, Reebok, Viacom, IMG, and Advil. After several years, I set sail as an entrepreneur founding Earmark, a financial technology company that was named CNNs top 15 financial products of 2013. After exiting, I founded Moon March to help worthwhile ventures establish their brand, craft beautiful experiences, and build their audience.
In the midst of all that, I got married, had two little girls, went through at least one breakdown, got a therapist, moved 13 times, switched political views a few times, took the Myers Briggs like 20 times, and have undergone at least two religious deconstructions. SHIT GOT REAL.
Arguably the smarter and better looking one. In High School, Leiv was back-to-back ASB President. With great power, came great responsibility.
Knowing that great film and rock and roll change the world, he left his small town in Washington state and journeyed to a film school in LA where he discovered he really wanted to be Don Draper and rule New York. But not before trying to change the world’s biggest problems – poverty, the dirty sex trade, and moral corruption – with classic Western Christian values and three cameras. After traveling the world for a half a year, it worked.
And then it all fell apart. Faith, friends, career, trust, worldview. Fueled by gin, coffee and a fuck-it-all righteous anger that only 24 year olds truly understand. Leiv moved back to New York to try again.
Leiv then spent seven years working with brands like Samsung, Ciroc, Coke, L’Oreal, startups, rockstars, non-profits and really really boring pharmaceutical companies. Gross.
His twenties were fueled with many changes professionally, personally and relationally. Along the way he met Josh, found and inspired heartbreak, questioned his sexuality, traveled more, lost and rebuilt his faith, found a therapist, ate a lot of pizza, gained and lost weight and is still looking for the perfect puppy.
Why we started this
We started this creative experiment out of sheer curiosity. The more we change personally, and the more we get paid to invite others to change, the more questions we have. What’s going on here?
Why did most of the people we grew up with stay where they grew up? What made us want to leave? What made them want to stay? Why is it that when you reconnect with some people 10 years later you don’t recognize them; while others seem to be more the same the more you know them?
Should we expect people to change? Hope for people to change? Work towards that change? Doesn’t hoping for change just kill relationships? What about change we can’t control?
There is research ad nauseam regarding how to get fit, how empathy works, how cultures shift, and how political winds switch. But, people are more than statistics. We wanted to get highly personal about how change actually happens, and it’s effects on individual lives.
And we all know that the podcast space is way too under-served and needs more content. It’s a gosh-darn wasteland out there.
We hope you find inspiration and insight that leads to greater compassion and love.