7 Favorite Podcasts

Do you listen to podcasts? I love them! They are such a great source of inspiration and information. Plus, listening to them at work helps time fly.

I’ve also found that the more podcasts I listen to, the more I find. So here are seven podcasts, in no particular order, that I’ve been enjoying recently.

If you have any favorites, please share them in the comments. I’m always looking for more!

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A Hungry Society with Korsha Wilson

The Make Light Show with Karen Walrond

The Lively Show with Jess Lively

How I Built This with Guy Raz

The Creativity Habit with Daphne Cohn

Black Girl in Om with Lauren Ash and Deun Ivory

Patriarchy the Podcast (Hiding in the Bathroom) with Morra Aarons-Mele

{You Pick Six} An Interview with Entrepreneur: Darryl Settles

You may not recognize his name right away. But if you’ve been in the Boston area for any period of time, it’s virtually impossible not to know the work of Darryl Settles. His company, Catalyst Ventures Development (CVD) is the umbrella organization for his many business ventures.

For years, Darryl has had a hand in shaping the landscape of Boston’s food and entertainment scene, including being the creator and founder of the Beantown Jazz Festival back in 2001.

Boston’s iconic soul food restaurant Bob the Chef went through lots of name changes and ownership over the decades. Yet, the spirit lives on. Transformed by Darryl, he brought it to the 21st century as Darryl’s Corner Bar and Kitchen, where new generations and old continue to enjoy southern comfort food, cocktails and jazz.

He’s part of the new ownership of Slade’s Bar & Grill and though no longer affiliated, he’s a founding partner of Beehive Boston.

Anyone who follows the food business sees restaurants quickly come and go. I was curious to learn more about someone with such success and longevity in this industry and Darryl was nice enough to oblige. So, let’s resume this ongoing series with the 18th interview of You Pick Six.

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What is a favorite dessert?
Red Velvet Cake

What is some of the best advice you’ve ever received?
Hang around smarter people and LISTEN!

What three people do you admire most?
That is hard to narrow down, but Martin Luther King, Barack Obama, and Nelson Mandela come to mind. Each were/are great, respectful, and smart men whom took a lot of “heat” but always kept their focus and helped make the world a better place!

What do you think that most people don’t understand about food?
Food always tastes better when you are happy and with family and/or great friends.

Tell me about what you’re working on now.
I am developing an online platform to connect scaled minority businesses to both private and public sectors to help level the playing field and build wealth in our communities of color.

Tell me about where you grew up.
I grew up in Aiken, S.C., a very nice community, but worked on weekends and during the summers on my grandfather’s farms in the country. He was my hero and helped develop my work ethic.

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Thank you so much for participating Darryl!

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Photos: Provided by Darryl Settles.

{You Pick Six} An Interview with Co-Founder of New Grounds Food: Johnny Fayad

New Grounds Food co-founder Johnny Fayad

As I mentioned recently, I attended Amplify, an event in Boston hosted by Branchfood. One of the local food companies there was New Grounds Food, makers of the CoffeeBar.

At the event, I was able to sample a CoffeeBar and (full disclosure) was given some to go. They are pretty good!

For those of you who don’t have time to drink your coffee in the morning, but still want the caffeine, you might just want to try one.

Johnny Fayad is a co-founder of the company that he started with Ali Kothari when they were freshman business students. They wasted no time!

So let’s learn a little bit more about Johnny in the 13th interview in the series, You Pick Six.

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What is a favorite dessert?
Trader Joe’s chocolate lava cakes with vanilla bean ice cream! Super quick and super delicious.

What is a favorite snack?
Pita bread with tomatoes and some veggies dipped in my mom’s iconic hummus with a little olive oil on top.

What is a favorite food movie?
Jiro Dreams of Sushi. I want to go there to eat one day (hopefully, while Jiro is still at the helm!)


What is a favorite quote?
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

– Dr. Seuss

What is the best meal you ever had and where was it?
Whenever my cousin comes to Boston for work, he’ll typically spoil me with a really nice dinner. One of the best ones was at a sushi restaurant called Oishii in the South End where we had so many amazing dishes from squid ink pasta to different preparations of uni. So good.

How did food become an important part of your life?
Food has always been a huge part of my life. Starting with my mom who is a macrobiotic chef and all she does is cook, so we were raised where delicious food was the norm and rarely went out to eat. My love for food definitely grew as I started serving at a sushi restaurant in high school and a seafood restaurant in my first couple years of college. More recently, after starting New Grounds Food, I’ve been able to see and experience all of the work that goes into bringing food to life, which has given me a deeper appreciation for the food in our lives.

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Thank you so much for participating Johnny!

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Photos: Provided by Johnny Fayad.

*Updated 9/22/2020* The company name and website changed, so several links in this interview were updated.









Quiet Audacity: A Conversation with Eileen Fisher & Susan Cain


For people who are most beloved by the masses, one of the things that people most often say about them after they die is that they were always themselves. They were authentic.

Somehow during their lifetime, they found the courage to be true to themselves and showed it to the world. However, like most things in life, it’s easier said than done.

After the Memorial Service for Muhammad Ali yesterday, many of us have had the chance to reflect on his life. The choices that he made and what we most respect about those choices. He risked and lost everything in order to be true to his beliefs. He had moral integrity.

As we reflect on our own lives, it’s easier for some of us to take a stand in public than others. For those who are naturally extroverted, it may not be quite as difficult.  For the introverts among us, myself included, it’s a bigger stretch to speak out in public. Many of us are natural writers and work well behind the scenes.

I just watched a video showing a conversation about introversion between Eileen Fisher, famous clothes designer, and Susan Cain, who started a Quiet Revolution and has made it her life mission to show the value of introverts. One of her most recent projects is Quiet Schools Network, so that introverted students are not overlooked in school.

This video is inspiring to watch. It’s a bit long, just over an hour. But it’s well worth the time. I had not known much about Eileen Fisher, except for her beautiful clothes that I wish I could afford.

After watching, I learned that even though she built her widely successful business from the ground up, she was painfully shy and introverted. Which is probably why most of us have not known much about the woman behind the brand. She did not want a public life.

With Fisher’s recently launched Learning Lab, she is pushing her boundaries and working on this new project that means so much to her. It’s very much in the beginning phases, so she is bringing us along on the journey to see what it will become.

The actual lab is located in an historic building overlooking the Hudson River. She has events and workshops that you can attend in person, then she makes them available online for us to watch for free.

I love the idea of this experiment, because that’s all that life really is. We’re all just trying to figure it out and experiment with what could be.

So that we all can try to live a life as well-lived, remembered and cherished as Muhammad Ali.

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Screenshot: Eileen Fisher Learning Lab

*Updated 3/4/2023* Unfortunately the video is no longer available and there were several broken links that were removed from this post.




Tax Day: Tax Tips for Bloggers

*This post is not tax or legal advice. See full disclosure below.*

1040 Tax form

It’s Tax Day! At least for those of you not in Maine or Massachusetts. We have until April 19th to file our returns, because of Patriots’ Day today.

Back in 2012 and 2014, I wrote some posts with tax tips for bloggers. Since the subject of blogging income interests me and many readers as well, I thought I’d revisit the topic. There’s always a new crop of bloggers out there!

Generally, if you earn money blogging, that is considered income. You may have accidentally become an entrepreneur by turning your passion project into a job. Or maybe from the beginning, you wanted to earn money by blogging.

The way you think about your blogging work is key, especially when it comes to the IRS. Once you have the intent to make a profit and you treat your blogging like a business, then you may be considered self-employed.

While you may not be earning full-time money that you can live on, it doesn’t matter. You may be considered self-employed even with a part-time business. The threshold for earnings is surprisingly low according to the IRS.

You have to file an income tax return if your net earnings from self-employment were $400 or more. If your net earnings from self-employment were less than $400, you still have to file an income tax return if you meet any other filing requirement …

There are benefits to treating your blogging as work that you are doing for profit versus a hobby. Below is an IRS rule to remember.

In general, taxpayers may deduct ordinary and necessary expenses for conducting a trade or business or for the production of income. Trade or business activities and activities engaged in for the production of income are activities engaged in for profit.

If you are paying to eat at a restaurant, so you blog about your meal and you are earning advertising revenue on your blog, you might be able to deduct the cost of your meal as an ordinary and necessary expense for conducting the business of your blog.

These are just a few things to think about when you earn money from blogging. Below are links to some recent articles that go into more detail. You may find them interesting and helpful as well.

If you already filed for 2015, this post may come to late, but you can always start planning for next year!

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Tax Tips for Bloggers [Intuit Turbo Tax]

Travel Blogger Denied Tax Writeoff For European Backpacking Trip [Forbes]

Tax Time: What Bloggers Need to Know [Katy Widrick]

Business Expenses for Bloggers (What can I deduct?) [Brilliant Business Moms]

Taxes for Food Bloggers: Deductions. [Fervent Foodie]

The Blogger’s Guide to Tax Deductions [Kimi Who?]

Tax Filing Tips for Freelance Bloggers in the US, UK and Canada [Be a Freelance Blogger]

Home Office Tax Deductions for Small Business Owners [NerdWallet]

Favorite tax deductions of personal finance bloggers [PolicyGenius]

Blogging and Taxes – What You Need to Know [Making Sense of Cents]

Tax Tips for Freelancers in 2016 [Artisan Blog]

Blog Tip Thursday: Tax Tips for Bloggers, Part 1 [Healthy Living Blogs]

Blog Top Thursday: Tax Tips for Bloggers, Part 2 [Healthy Living Blogs]

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Disclaimer: While I am a Massachusetts licensed attorney, I’m not in private practice and not seeking clients. This post is not meant as legal or tax advice. Every individual has unique circumstances and questions. While I love comments on this blog and emails, no tax or legal questions will be answered here or via email. Please consult an attorney or accountant licensed in your jurisdiction for specific questions. The information contained in this post is for general informational purposes only and geared toward bloggers in the United States.

Photo: Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net