Elizabeth is a career journalist and communications expert with 25 years of experience writing and editing for such publications as CNBC, Forbes.com, Newsweek and others.
Elizabeth MacBride is a freelance writer, editor and media consultant. She is an entrepreneur who writes about entrepreneurs and her expertisae lie in business, finance and technology. Elizabeth’s clients include Abigail Disney and Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
We had a wide-ranging conversation that covered everything from entrepreneurship in Gaza’s fisherwoman to actionable tips for investing your wealth. We discussed how to be a good interviewer, the power of vulnerability, and how it changes with age. I asked about women in business generally, but also specifically in media – we ended up “taking breasts to work”! We briefly touched on Elizabeth’s blog on Forbes.com about the business of guns in the USA. And I asked her about coping mechanisms as a single parent and breadwinner.
During our chat a few things came up…
Elizabeth’s blog on Forbes.com:
Her article on Gaza’s fisherwoman:
The Gaza Technology hub:
You can follow Elizabeth MacBride on Instagram @elizabeth.macbride and Twitter @editoremacb or www.elizabethmacbride.com
Read the Transcript
Rana Nawas: (00:01)
Hello ladies and gents, my guest on today’s show is a career journalist and communications expert, with 25 years of experience writing and editing for CNBC, forbes.com, hbr.com, and many others. Elizabeth MacBride is a freelance writer, editor and media consultant. She’s an entrepreneur who writes about entrepreneurs and her expertise lie in business, finance and technology. Elizabeth’s clients include Abigail Disney and Stanford University Graduate School of Business. We had a wide ranging conversation that covered everything from entrepreneurship in Gaza’s fisherwoman to actionable tips for investing your wealth. We also discuss how to be a good interviewer, the power of vulnerability and how it changes with age. We touched on Elizabeth Forbes blog about the business of guns in the USA and I asked her about coping mechanisms as a single parent and breadwinner. So let’s get into it.
Rana Nawas: (01:05)
Elizabeth, how fortunate we are to catch you while you’re visiting Dubai. Thanks so much for taking the ton of you on the show.
Elizabeth MacBride: (01:11)
Oh, thank you very much for having me.
Rana Nawas: (01:13)
So you write a lot about entrepreneurs and you’re an entrepreneur yourself.
Elizabeth MacBride: (01:17)
Yes, that’s right.
Rana Nawas: (01:18)
Which came first?
Elizabeth MacBride: (01:20)
Oh, that’s a good question. Well writing about entrepreneurs, I’ve been a business writer since I graduated from college. I happened to graduate from journals in school into the recession of 1991 and so I went into business journalism because that’s where the jobs were. And I did that as an employee, I wrote for newspapers, whatever over the years, it was, 10, 12 years and then I had a baby and I stepped out of my full time job and became a freelancer and that’s when I became an entrepreneur.
Rana Nawas: (01:50)
What is it about entrepreneurship, about writing, about entrepreneurship that interests you so much? Why did you follow that path?
Elizabeth MacBride: (01:58)
Two reasons. Probably. First of all, I love entrepreneurs. I love talking to them and they are some of those positive people in the world. They tend to have a way of reframing any conversation to the positive so they have this incredible resilience and it’s very energizing to be around them and I also have a lot of faith in a private market solutions to big problems and so talking to entrepreneurs is also about how to solve big challenges and especially the best ones have really changed the world and so they’re incredibly inspiring.
Rana Nawas: (02:32)
Can you tell us a bit about Gaza’s fisherwoman?
Elizabeth MacBride: (02:36)
Oh yeah. So when I was doing some work in Israel, Palestine, I was there for about a year working with the office of the quartet. I went to a dinner meeting with a Bank of Palestine and they mentioned this, the story of this woman, a young woman, a girl at the age of 13 who had started a fishing business in Gaza. So she’s the only fisher, only woman in a very male dominated fishing fleet in Gaza, which is really one of the few ways that people in Gaza can still earn a living under the blockade. And so I thought to myself, wow, I have to get down there and get, and meeting.
Rana Nawas: (03:08)
So thirteen years old.
Elizabeth MacBride: (03:11)
That’s how old she was. She was, this was maybe when I heard about her, she was already maybe 18. It was a few years after she had started the business, but the Bank of Palestine had given her a small loan for a boat and so I knew that she was still in business. So I thought I’ve got to go meet this woman. Right. So it took me, I don’t know how long, six or eight months. It was very hard to get into Gaza, you know, I had to pull strings and
Rana Nawas: (03:34)
Even, because I know it’s hard to get out of Gaza, I didn’t realize it was hard to get in as well.
Elizabeth MacBride: (03:36)
Rana Nawas: (03:36)
Even for an American.
Elizabeth MacBride: (03:39)
Oh yeah. Very few. You have to have special permission from the Israeli government to cross over the border and it took quite a while to get that, pull some strings, had to go meet the Israeli press officer and yeah pickup my press badge. But then even getting into Gaza is very difficult. You have to walk across kind of a kilometer wide, no man’s land.
Rana Nawas: (04:01)
Oh God. How intimidating!
Elizabeth MacBride: (04:03)
It is. It’s very, it’s a traumatic experience. But I did that and then you get into Gaza and of course that’s just, the sense of abandonment there is very, it’s heartbreaking because you have this enclave of 2 million people who are so cut off
Rana Nawas: (04:20)
Because nothing can get in or out by air, land or sea. Right?
Elizabeth MacBride: (04:24)
Well, very little, the Israelis let a certain amount of stuff in and that goes up and down depending on kind of the political situation and how worried they are about Hamas and Hamas has done lately. And then there are some things that come out. A few things. There are a few exports. I think strawberries are one of them.
Rana Nawas: (04:43)
Elizabeth MacBride: (04:45)
Yeah, they’re still a, I mean, Gaza used to be incredibly fertile, like lively. I mean what a famous seaport, right? You know, it’s just a beautiful. It used to be a beautiful place and there are still parts of it that are beautiful. So there is some limited in and out, but most of it mostly it’s just getting choked off. Right. I think the unemployment rate for women college graduates is more than 90,
Rana Nawas: (05:07)
More than 90 percent unemployed.
Elizabeth MacBride: (05:10)
The unemployment for women college graduates.
Rana Nawas: (05:12)
And what is it for men?
Elizabeth MacBride: (05:14)
Somewhat lower, something like 60 percent. I think overall the unemployment rate in Gaza is around 60 percent.
Rana Nawas: (05:20)
Elizabeth MacBride: (05:22)
Right. And for college graduates, I think it’s just even higher because they have so many of them. Right? The kids graduate, there’s nothing to do in the economy. So many of them go to college, they find some way and there are families that I met that had sold off pieces of their, mother’s selling off pieces of their jewelry to fund their kids’ education, but then they just graduate and there’s nothing
Rana Nawas: (05:44)
Nothing for them to do,
Elizabeth MacBride: (05:47)
Almost nothing to do.
Rana Nawas: (05:48)
Well, I’ve come across a tech hub called the Gaza Sky Geeks. Which is, I think it was started by google and it incubates all these tech entrepreneurs from Gaza and I’m supporting one of their businesses actually. And I’ve been amazed by, I mean they’re young graduates, they’re very tech savvy obviously because they can’t move in and out of Gaza, so they’re kind of trapped. But then they connect with the world through online internet technology and they become really tech savvy and they’re starting these tech businesses. So for anyone listening it’s called the Gaza Sky Geeks and they’re fantastic. Driven, motivated entrepreneurs.
Elizabeth MacBride: (06:31)
They are. Yeah, I’ve met them actually. I’ve visited Gaza Sky Geeks a couple of times I think. So yeah, they are phenomenal young people.
Rana Nawas: (06:37)
Great. So okay. Back to the fisherwoman,
Elizabeth MacBride: (06:43)
Back to the fisherwoman. So yeah, so I got into Gaza and the Bank of Palestine actually helped me find her, and she agreed to an interview, so I went out on her boat and she just told me her story, her father had become disabled when she was in her early teen years and she’s a member of five or six children. So the family really needed money. Her father had been a fisherman, so she knew the craft of fishermen, and she just went out on the water and she had to face down really quite a bit of hostility from the men.
Rana Nawas: (07:17)
Elizabeth MacBride: (07:19)
And I witnessed that just walking with her, you know, her defensiveness, she was so tough. Right. Getting onto the boat and then making a living and eventually the fishing is hard in the Gazan waters because they’re very polluted. But she was just ahead of the curves entrepreneurs tend to be. And so she figured out she could start a small tourism business. So, not exactly tourism, but entertainment business, so on the weekends her fishing craft gets devoted to taking families on tours of the harbor.
Rana Nawas: (07:53)
Elizabeth MacBride: (07:57)
Yeah. So she just does it quite brilliant. And she had hired an artist to paint Disney characters on her boats and
Rana Nawas: (08:00)
Elizabeth MacBride: (08:00)
Yeah. Madeleine Kulab is her name.
Rana Nawas: (08:09)
Alright, now you’ve built several businesses. They’re quite different. Can you tell us a little bit about how these different ventures came about?
Elizabeth MacBride: (08:18)
Sure. So they’re, they may look different, but they’re all in the media business, right? I’m a media entrepreneur. So the first one I was involved in was called RIABiz. It was a website for investment advisors. And I built it with a partner in California. We spent about two years on it. I think we got up into the hundreds of thousands of revenue, maybe $300,000 a year of revenue, which was good. And then, I, he bought out my shares and I moved on mostly because I didn’t enjoy writing about that tiny aspect of business. Right. It’s a very, it’s a narrow slice of the world. And I’m, I’d love the whole world, right? I want to get out and meet people and do things. So I sold those shares and then the other business that I’ve been involved in and still involved in is called a $200K Freelancer, which I run with my friend and business partner Elaine Pofeldt. She’s another journalist and honestly we do it together. Well sometime we’ll pitch clients that are too big for any, each of us alone. So we’ll pitch them together, and take on larger clients that way. And occasionally we’ll team up and outsource. But mostly it’s a very flexible arrangement that is coming from the need, I think that we both have as solo entrepreneurs for companionship, right.
Rana Nawas: (09:44)
What is it that you do at $200K Freelancer?
Elizabeth MacBride: (09:47)
So we produce content for people. We write articles, we run a little blog called $200K Freelancer with information about how you can succeed financially as a freelancer.
Rana Nawas: (09:57)
Let’s talk about women and money, right? Because you’re a financed-business journalist by background. Now 90 percent of women will have to manage their own wealth at some point in their life, whether due to divorce or longer life expectancy, but most women don’t have the confidence or the skills to do so. What advice do you have for these women?
Elizabeth MacBride: (10:24)
Well, the most important one is just start. I think, the stats are actually that women are better at investing by a few percentage points, right? There’s a great study by Professor Terrance Odean. It’s the classic one that looks at the difference between male and female investors and found that women outperformed men by a couple percentage points over a long period of time. And it’s a big study. So it’s fair to draw conclusions. And what the author suggested was that women are better investors for two reasons because first of all, they take less risk than men that they put, they leave their money in the market, they don’t shift it around. And then secondly, they listen to advice. Starter class: great men never ask for directions and women will and it turns out in finance, there are experts and you actually should listen to them and women do that better than men, but the key is probably just that they leave the money in the market. So there are two keys to great investing. One of them is the way you save, so that’s regularly over time stick to it and don’t take the money out. The second key is keep your fees low, which you would think would be easy, but it turns out to be difficult because in finance a lot of companies disguise the fees that they’re charging, so it’s hard to tell, so you do have to put a little bit of work into figuring out, you have to ask many people along your financial supply chain: how much are you charging me? And then add it up, and you could be astonished for say, buying one thing, like bonds from a bank, you might be getting charged money for the bond company from the bank and from your investment advisor. And what if that adds up to 3 percent a year? That could be a huge slice right of the top of say, a 6 percent return on a bond.
Rana Nawas: (12:18)
All right, well let’s keep talking specific.
Elizabeth MacBride: (12:20)
Rana Nawas: (12:22)
Okay. So some of the listeners will be like, okay, I’m ready. I’m going to put aside my x every month. Now what? I don’t know who to give it to. The reason I go to a bank and pay high fees is because I don’t know what else to do and these people are calling me everyday and selling the product. So what specifically can we do?
Elizabeth MacBride: (12:43)
Okay well there are another, there are a bunch of different options for how you actually put your money to work in the market. You can buy directly from mutual fund companies. Right? So the, the most famous low cost mutual fund company is Vanguard and I’m assuming that Vanguard’s available to people in the UAE. I can’t imagine it’s not, right. So the most famous low cost fund company is Vanguard. And if you simply buy a Vanguard total market growth fund or a vanguard broad bond fund, Vanguard stock fund, you will instantly have diversified your portfolio. You will know it’s low fees because that’s the way Vanguard is set up. Just stick your money in there and let it go.
Rana Nawas: (13:32)
Okay, so you kind of, you go to vanguard.com has set up an account then start and pick a couple of funds.
Elizabeth MacBride: (13:38)
Yes. Vanguard does have people that will help you. You can call and they’ll kind of talk you through an initial asset allocation if you have enough money. I think they also have advisors who will help you if you have a larger, and as you get a bigger pool of money, yeah you probably want to hire an advisor who will help you take a little bit more risk at certain times or sort of manage the tax implications of your portfolio. There are different things, but if you’re just starting out and just buy some stock and bond funds and go.
Rana Nawas: (14:10)
And what are other examples other than Vanguard?
Elizabeth MacBride: (14:16)
Well, there are, you know, many different mutual fund companies have low cost funds. So you could also get them from Schwab. That’s another famous, fairly low cost provider that has a huge pool to pick from. The key to keep managing your risk, so this is Nobel prize winning science, the key to managing your risk is diversity in your portfolio. So the broader market funds are typically at lower risk, right? S&P 500, that’s the US one, but there are total world funds you can use as well.
Rana Nawas: (14:47)
Elizabeth MacBride: (14:48)
And then what you need to make sure of when you’re buying them is that the fees are low.
Rana Nawas: (14:54)
So that’s the secret.
Elizabeth MacBride: (14:56)
Yes, that’s the secret control. Control you can control, you can control the fees.
Rana Nawas: (15:01)
Oh, so, so another aspect of what you do is interviewing. So you’re an, I’m going to, I’m going to go ahead and call you an expert interviewer. And so I was wondering if you had any tips for how to conduct a good interview? Of course. I’m asking for a friend.
Elizabeth MacBride: (15:19)
You’re already an excellent interviewer. I have to tell you.
Rana Nawas: (15:23)
That’s extremely generous. Thank you.
Elizabeth MacBride: (15:24)
You’re catching me off guard in good ways, but you’re being very kind too. So that’s nice. Let’s see. The biggest thing about being a successful interview or you asked me last night how I prepare and I said, oh, that’s an embarrassing question because I really prepare very little for interviews. I do read the background, so I’ll go out and read about some of it. I don’t sit down and figure out the questions ahead of time because at times I find interviews go better if you’re spontaneous. But the key thing is really being aware of yourself as an interviewer so that you know when something is not making sense in what the other person is telling you. If you’re not understanding, if somebody’s narrative is breaking down, if there’s a hole in it, if there’s an inconsistency, that’s what you ask the question about. You say, why did you say that? Or really? Or really, it’s one of my favorite ones because it will stop the conversation for a minute if you say really? Then people will backtrack a little bit and tell you what’s, in a more thoughtful fashion, what’s really, what they’re really thinking about it. You just be open about it and say, that doesn’t make sense to me. Why did you do that? Why is the best interview question.
Rana Nawas: (16:46)
You can ask why §
Elizabeth MacBride: (16:46)
Elizabeth MacBride: (16:46)
Rana Nawas: (16:53)
Okay. I don’t know if I’m going to take your advice Elizabeth. Don’t prepare. Don’t write questions in advance.
Elizabeth MacBride: (17:01)
Different people have different styles
Rana Nawas: (17:04)
Yeah, thanks for that.
Elizabeth MacBride: (17:06)
Wait, I just thought there’s another, there are a couple of other things I’d say about interviewing. So let’s see. Another really important thing is to make yourself very vulnerable from the beginning. Right? So that I have a natural advantage in this. Your listeners can’t see this, but I am short, with blonde hair and so people underestimate me all the time, especially men will underestimate me all the time. And so I use that to my advantage, right? If they assume I’m not very smart from the beginning and then they’re off their guard and I can get them to answer much more telling or personal or probing questions than they might otherwise. So if you don’t have that short, blonde, natural advantage, you find another way to make yourself vulnerable.
Rana Nawas: (17:57)
Yeah. I completely agree with you. So in the world of sales, I was leasing aircraft the last 11 years. Woman, young, Arab, running around Africa and Turkey and stuff and I found myself perpetually underestimated and, you know, and I found this an advantage every time, you know, it’s great. I completely agree with you, you know, and it’s, you know, a CEO’s going to go like, oh, sweet girl, you know, and then I hit him with it. And he’s really reeling, you know, and so I end up extracting the deals I want, because it’s, they need to save face, you know?
Elizabeth MacBride: (18:42)
I just do this as a human being actually, is that, I feel like since I’m a journalist and I’m often asking people fairly personal and probing and difficult questions, if they give me something that might be a little painful to offer up, I give them something back. Right. I don’t ever want them to feel like I’m in a position of power over them. So
Rana Nawas: (19:06)
yeah, as you say, I think that’s a human thing to do things. Yeah.
Elizabeth MacBride: (19:12)
Yeah. It’s interesting, getting a little bit older now I’m in my mid forties, and it’s been very interesting the way that vulnerability has evolved, right? You’re definitely less vulnerable as you age and I can’t, you know, I can’t fake being 25 and being that vulnerable anymore. So it’s been interesting to try and discover new advantages I have. And one of them I think as a woman is kind of this, I don’t wanna say multitasking, I think that’s kind of a stereotype, but my comfort at all of the multifaceted pieces of my identity, right? So I shift around a lot in a conversation with men, especially men who have more power than I do in the eyes of the world. just to kind of remind them that they’ve, they may have focused on this one career and gotten very high in it, but you know what, while they were doing that, I’ve been all these other things. I’ve been a mother, I’ve been a wife, although I’m not, I’m divorced now, I’ve been a daughter and I’ve poured almost equal amounts of energy into all of those roles. Right. And so kind of shifting around and reminding them that through one lens they may have more power than me, but through another I have a lot
Rana Nawas: (20:27)
Elizabeth MacBride: (20:27)
Rana Nawas: (20:30)
Let’s continue with this theme a little bit. As a woman in journalism, have you faced challenges like being manterrupted or mansplained to.
Elizabeth MacBride: (20:45)
Oh yes. In fact, much worse, I mean much worse than that. Right. So I started my career in journalism 25 years ago and I’ve also been in finance and business journalism where the number of women is very small. So I wrote a piece for a website called courts in the United States, it’s called How I Learned to Take my Breast to Work.
Rana Nawas: (21:04)
Oh my gosh. Tell us more please.
Elizabeth MacBride: (21:10)
And it’s sort of traces, along with being short and blonde, I’m also quite curvy. So it traces the, my struggle to hide the fact that I have large breasts in the workplace. Right. And what I did in the beginning, which was buy very man-ish suits with big shoulder pads and try to disguise that because I was a target of sexual harassers early in my career. You know, just jokes and gropes and your name
Rana Nawas: (21:31)
Gropes as well?
Elizabeth MacBride: (21:41)
Oh yeah. Yeah. So I tried to, you know, I tried to defeminize myself, which I think a lot of women my age did and it didn’t really work, right. And then at a certain point I just thought, well, screw it, right? If I’m going to face this no matter what I wear and no matter how I act, then I’m just going to be myself. Right. And I am fairly feminine and I kind of like to dress. I don’t know, I like silk and I like chiffon and I like to wear a low cut shirts sometimes and I just sort of became myself in the office. I also, that’s around the time that I went freelance and probably my decision to go freelance was to some extent driven, I think by the obstacles I was facing in the corporate world. It just got to be so irritating to be constantly discounted and demeaned. And I thought, I don’t need this. I’m, I’m gonna build my own path. I’m going to make my own way. And I can make a little bit more money doing it, right because I’m entrepreneurial enough and I have enough energy to do it.
Rana Nawas: (22:43)
I mean, our impression is that the world of media is really bad for women as in sexual harassment wise, etc. I guess every industry is bad, you know, the world of finance, world of tech, the world of, you know now we’re hearing media. My kind of prejudice is that in media and journalism it would be really, really bad for women.
Elizabeth MacBride: (23:06)
So I’ve worked pretty extensively in media, tech and finance. That’s where my career has been the most, I think in visual media. It’s terrible for women, television and entertainment. Written media, I don’t think, I think books, the books, world of books and publishing and newspapers is still fairly hostile to women, but I think it’s okay. Right? If you walked into a newsroom today, you’d probably see fairly equal numbers of men and women. Not at the top ranks of executives, but it would be okay. So I think media is changing, especially print media. I think tech, I think finance has slowly changed and I think tech is actually the furthest behind.
Rana Nawas: (23:49)
Elizabeth. Let’s shift gears entirely again. Alright, and talk about the business of guns.
Elizabeth MacBride: (23:54)
Rana Nawas: (23:57)
You blog about this. Is that right?
Elizabeth MacBride: (23:58)
That’s right. I just started. I have a blog on Forbes where I do a lot of the journalism work where I’m sort of testing out ideas and seeing what, what finds our market, making new contacts and guns as you know, we have a huge problem with guns in the US and I kind of looked at the market and figured that there were not very many people covering the money aspect of guns, which is obviously one of the big drivers of why in the US we don’t have much to speak of or really any regulation of guns. There are more than 300 million guns in the US.
Rana Nawas: (24:34)
Oh my God, that’s a gun for every person.
Elizabeth MacBride: (24:35)
Rana Nawas: (24:35)
Elizabeth MacBride: (24:37)
Yeah. Now most of those are in the hands of a small segment, so the way it’s worked out is that, a decreasing number of Americans have an increasing number of guns, but it doesn’t take very many people with high powered guns to do
Rana Nawas: (24:49)
A lot of damage,
Elizabeth MacBride: (24:52)
A lot of damage, and create a lot of fear and chaos. So, on my blog on Forbes, that’s what I’ve been writing about, just, actually for the past month I just started this work just new, but it’s already been incredibly interesting and fulfilling and rewarding to discover how many people there are in the US, they have much more nuanced views about guns than we see reflected in the media. So the media has gotten consumed by this bitter fight between gun rights and gun control advocates. And it’s not getting us anywhere, right? We’re very, we’re frozen into this place where we can get any kind of regulation across in Congress. And so writing in a nuanced way about the business of guns, I feel like is a way both to learn about the debate and to remind people that there is a middle ground.
Rana Nawas: (25:48)
Now this is with you’re a single mom of two
Elizabeth MacBride: (25:48)
Rana Nawas: (25:53)
That cannot be easy. Can you please share with us kind of your everyday real life challenges on being a mom and a
Elizabeth MacBride: (26:00)
Oh yeah. I already started to laugh because my everyday life is so crazy. I mean, it’s so much on a wing and a prayer every day. But I do want to start by just saying that I think one of the reasons I’m so passionate about women feeling economically empowered, women knowing how to invest, women feeling they could go into business if they needed to, is because my own experience is that you might need to. Right? Yeah. I’m, I am a single mom. Mother of two and I’m a breadwinner, right? I support my kids with the income I make and I feel great having that freedom. But on a day to day basis, and thank goodness, I am so blessed with two girls who are incredibly resourceful and themselves great individuals, right?
Rana Nawas: (26:48)
How old are they?
Elizabeth MacBride: (26:50)
Oh, I have a 14, almost 15 year old and an 11 year old. Her birthday just passed. So what is the crazy that, I should just tell you. I am deliberately very open about the challenges I face as a single mom. And if a CEO calls, you know, at 8:00 PM or even in the day when I’m, I’ve got to pick my kids up. I’m, I’m just honest about it, right? I say.
Rana Nawas: (27:17)
And in my experience, because I was, when I became a parent, I was unapologetic about when I had to be where, right? And in my experience, most people are very reasonable. When you tell them, look I can’t, you know, do the call at this time because of x y z, you know, or excuse me I have to leave the meeting on time because I have to pick my kids up or whatever, like I find people to be very understanding.
Elizabeth MacBride: (27:41)
They are, yes.
Rana Nawas: (27:43)
And I know not everyone, but in my experience people have been, and if you’re around people who are not understanding, you need to get out of that environment. Right. That’s my advice to corporate women.
Elizabeth MacBride: (27:51)
I think there are bigger challenges that come up when the unexpected happens. Right? When you’re in a critical meeting and your kid is throwing up at school, right, what are you going to do? And I’ve been in that boat too. I remember I was at a dinner at a Silicon Valley firm where I was doing some work and I was meeting the new CEO and my younger daughter was throwing the world’s biggest tantrum back in the hotel room. And my mom was trying to take care of her, but my mom, she was just unmanageable. And my mom called asking for help and I was standing in the hallway of this restaurant. The big dinner is going on over here. My mom’s on the phone and it was like my waterloo. And I thought, you know, what do I want to be like that, that woman, that mom, who can go back to the table while my kid needs me, or am I going to go and say to that CEO, sorry, I’ve got to go and take care of my little girl. And I decided I’m taking care of my little girl.
Rana Nawas: (28:51)
And what was the fallout of that?
Elizabeth MacBride: (28:56)
The fallout was not, the thing is the fallout of those decisions is never like the, the CEO saying, oh, she made the wrong call. The fall out is just that I wasn’t there for some crucial conversations. Right. And eventually I did leave that company, on good terms and we all felt good about it, but it was clear that if I wanted to stay, I would have had to make more calls along that line that meant putting my kids second, hiring a nanny, whatever. And it’s just my choice not to do that. Right. Life, there are tradeoffs in life and they’re daily, right?
Rana Nawas: (29:31)
Yeah. Several times a day.
Elizabeth MacBride: (29:34)
Several times. Many times a day, yeah.
Rana Nawas: (29:35)
Okay. So then my question here is, what tips do you have for other single moms?
Elizabeth MacBride: (29:40)
Oh my gosh,
Rana Nawas: (29:43)
What are the must do’s, must has, anything that’s helped make your life easier.
Elizabeth MacBride: (29:50)
Okay. So this is a very basic one, but I keep a hairbrush in the car because when I’m taking my kids to school over the years, how often has it happened when I finally get everyone loaded in the car and I look at them in the rear view mirror and realize they did not brush their hair, then I can say, brush your hair. So that’s one. I also take my kids along whenever I can. And so they went with me to Jerusalem. We’ve lived together in an apartment in Jerusalem. They’ve been in the greenroom at CNBC. I let, eating French fries out of a styrofoam box. Right. Well, I was getting interviewed. I just, I don’t worry about stuff like that. It’s a cliche. Don’t worry about the small stuff, but really don’t worry about the small stuff. Right.
Rana Nawas: (30:40)
And then the corollary is: “and it’s all small stuff”.
Elizabeth MacBride: (30:42)
Yes, it really, it really is. As long as you know, they, I can step back and look at them and say they’re great. Right. I know they’re doing well. I know they’re progressing and carving their own paths and I have definitely found it to be the case that they actually do better when I am not hovering over them. Right.
Rana Nawas: (31:03)
Yeah. Alright. Brilliant. Elizabeth, thank you very much. I’m just going to close with a couple of rapid fire questions. If you could have coffee with one person from history, who would it be?
Elizabeth MacBride: (31:15)
Okay. So it would be Queen Elizabeth I actually,
Rana Nawas: (31:20)
Aha. That’s fascinating that you are the second person to tell me that.
Elizabeth MacBride: (31:23)
Who was the first?
Rana Nawas: (31:23)
The CEO of Emirates Lit Fest who we’re going to meet in a little while.
Elizabeth MacBride: (31:23)
Rana Nawas: (31:23)
Elizabeth MacBride: (31:23)
Rana Nawas: (31:23)
Go on. Why?
Elizabeth MacBride: (31:33)
That’s cool. Because I would love to ask her about making that incredible sacrifice she made when she decided, this question that we as women face really we as people face, but I think women are just more honest about it, about the tradeoffs between your career and your family. And she gave up entirely having a family, right, in the interest of being this leader. And I would just like to ask her maybe I’m curious about her thought process, and whether she regretted that, but yeah.
Rana Nawas: (32:07)
And how do you switch off when you feel overwhelmed?
Elizabeth MacBride: (32:13)
So I exercise almost every day, and I exercise in a very, I do what they call barre. I don’t know if there’s bar workout here
Rana Nawas: (32:13)
Yeah, we have barre in Dubai. Absolutely.
Elizabeth MacBride: (32:22)
So that’s what I do and I have found that I need a workout that is constantly changing because my mind is always on, right? So if it’s occupied with trying to keep up with the instructor. And especially now because I’m one of the older women in the class, so I feel a little bit competitive trying to keep up. Right. So it challenges me enough to turn my mind off
Rana Nawas: (32:45)
I’m with you. I find barre classes so enjoyable and satisfying.
Elizabeth MacBride: (32:48)
This has been wonderful Elizabeth. Thank you very much for your time. How can listeners find you?
Rana Nawas: (32:54)
Oh, well, so my name is Elizabeth MacBride. I tell people this all the time, M A C B R I D E, and you could just do a google search and many of my stories would pop up. You can find my blog on Forbes
Elizabeth MacBride: (33:05)
And I think in the show notes we’ll put a link to your blog and maybe it links to the Gaza fisher women article and the breast article. I want that one.
Rana Nawas: (33:09)
That would be great.
Elizabeth MacBride: (33:14)
Awesome. Thank you again for your time.
Rana Nawas: (33:15)
Yeah, thank you very much.
Rana Nawas: (33:18)
I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. You can check out, show notes and more episodes at rananawas.com/win or search When Women Win on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. I’d also love to hear your feedback and ideas for who I should bring on the show. You can find me on instagram @rananawas. Thanks and have a great day.