This is Morty Lefkoe with another edition of the weekly podcast, Conversations with Top Personal Development Bloggers.

There’s so much valuable material being offered by personal development bloggers. This is the best place, this podcast is the best place to find out which ones might provide you with just what you’re looking for, what’s unique about each blogger, why they started writing their blog, how their personal experiences inform their blog, why you want to be reading their blog, and a lot more. Every week we have a conversation with a blogger with a slightly different take on personal development. And I think you’re going to find a really interesting one this week.

So now we’re going to talk to Farnoosh Brock. She’s got a fascinating back story and really interesting blog.


Farnoosh Brock

Farnoosh Brock

Morty: So Farnoosh, how are you today?

Farnoosh: I’m great. Nice to talk to you today Morty, thanks for having me on your show.

Morty: Well thank you for being here. What was the impetus to start your blog?

Farnoosh: The impetus was I was looking for an escape. I was in a job that I was not happy about. I was restless and just hungry for something. And I started focusing on different areas of my life outside my career because I didn’t know that’s where the problem was. And I started exploring ways I could improve myself. And I like to organize things and always keep track of what I’m doing.

So I thought about putting it together in a document and that was around the time that blogging had taken off and it was becoming more and more popular. I started reading other blogs and I thought it was so interesting that people were doing that. I wanted to share my experiences in personal development and personal growth and looking for happiness and more peace and more satisfaction in my life. And so that’s this thing, impetus. Yeah.

Morty: Okay fine. So when was this? How long have you been writing? When did start?

Farnoosh: The Prolific Living came together in 2009 but I started doing other blogs that morphed into Prolific as early as 2007.

Morty: Okay so you’ve been doing it for now, about seven years.

Farnoosh: That’s right.

Morty: Okay. What’s your background in personal development? Was there anything you studied or any courses or anything? Or was it something you just developed out of your own personal experience?

Farnoosh: My background is actually in electrical engineering. It has nothing to do with personal development.

Morty: Couldn’t be further apart.

Farnoosh: Yes, I’m extremely technical. I worked in a very technical field and I was not a good fit for it but I was good at it which is in itself a huge lesson. You don’t have to do something that you’re really good at for the rest of your life just because you’re good at it.

But that’s my background. I did a lot of self-education, and self-training and books, and courses, and seminars, and reading other blogs. And so I did a lot of that on my own certainly. But I do not have a qualification, if you will, and I don’t know if there is one.

Morty: I don’t think there is one. I don’t think anybody in the personal development field, I mean some people might have some degrees in psychology, but personal development’s not really about conventional, academic psychology anyway.

Farnoosh: Right.

Morty: What are some personal experiences you had that are useful in writing your blog? What were you experiencing, if you go in a little bit more detail, in this full-time job you had? And then when you left your job, how did that sort of then form the blog itself?

Farnoosh: Right, so there were a couple of things going on in my personal life. There was the job. That was my biggest headache, my biggest frustration. And it was hard because things were going so well in my job.

I was making a lot of money. I had a lot of flexibility. I wasn’t crazy about what I was doing. And I was just unhappy. So I couldn’t figure out this enigma. And I was sure something is wrong with me because nobody else could understand what’s wrong with me. You have everything you want. Why aren’t you happy?

So that kind of led into a search of what is a career, what am I doing with my life, what is my purpose and a deeper questioning that leads you to, I guess, maybe some philosophy but then really to take some action. And that was one area.

The other area of my life that I had been neglecting was my health. Because of my job, funny enough, because I was so stressed, I was traveling a lot and worried about where things were going, I had neglected my health, which actually happens to be the number one thing corporate professionals do and I really think that’s a big mistake. You’ll regret it sooner or later.

So there was the health and there was the career. And I started writing and experimenting in those two areas. For instance, on the health side, I started juicing and now I have several published books and programs around juicing and smoothies. And this was of course several years before it turned into something.

But I started really getting curious and really learning what is nutrition, what am I doing to my body. Is it related to my happiness? Is it related to my productivity, to my energy, to my focus? And the answer is yes.

What you consume as food is very much related to how you perform and how happy you feel. And that was fascinating to me. So I got into juicing and smoothies and more yoga, on a different level. I had just been playing around with yoga but I got more seriously into it, more into meditation, more into weight training a little bit, running. You name it. I was trying it on this side, on the health side and I was writing about it and talking about it.

Then I started reading, reading voraciously. I had neglected my passion for reading when I was in my corporate job because it really wasn’t relevant. I couldn’t see how reading fiction or personal development books could get me ahead of my job, and getting ahead was a big deal to me, Morty. This might help our listeners, I wanted to really climb to the top of the corporate ladder and sit in the CEO’s seat or next to him.

And so I wanted to do everything that made that happen. And when I kind of gave up on that and I had some great successes as a corporate but when I realized I’m not happy, I started to look at these other sides. So I started reading a lot of books and I was writing about them on my blog. And then I started experimenting with ideas that would maybe take me outside of corporate such as entrepreneurship and running my own business and maybe writing my own books.

I started also, writing about those on the blog. At this stage, the first few years, I would say, I didn’t really know what the blog was about other than it was about my journey and my experiences going through my life. But then I realized, it’s about helping people go through these stages of life where you just feel confused or frustrated and you are questioning what you’re doing, and what could you be doing better.

I started to take on a different voice on the blog. I started to write not just about what I was experiencing but also how that could help my reader, how that could take their problem to a solution, or how that could help them sleep better at night, or how that could help them achieve more inner peace and happiness. And I started to find my voice and the reason behind the blog. That’s how it all started to come together. I hope that answers your question.

Morty: Yes, in plenty detail. I appreciate that. It sounds like your blog has several different messages. One is more personal, psychological, what does it take mentally to be happy. But then you also get into the physical, the exercise, the yoga, and that you also write about eating and nutrition, smoothies, drinks, etcetera. So your blog then covers all these different areas?

Farnoosh: That’s right. It became this whole holistic approach to living a confident, healthy, prolific life. And it’s based directly on what I have experienced and what I have tried. And it does have a huge focus on health, on taking care of yourself both physically and mentally and emotionally, as well as having a really great take on your career.

I really believe we all have a purpose and we are here to do some great work. So it’s not just being happy no matter what’s going on in your work, or your relationships. It’s about putting all the pieces together and creating what you dream, what your dream lifestyle is and not compromising.

Morty: That’s wonderful. That’s exciting. That’s a very worthwhile purpose and it sounds like you’re doing well with it. Who is your typical audience? What type of people seem to be responding to this kind of message?

Farnoosh: I have a good variety but I think the people that it resonates with them are people who are very smart, very hardworking, they have followed the usual path of do this and then you will succeed, work hard and you will succeed. They have done the right things but somewhere along the way, they stopped listening to themselves and they neglected the inner voice.

I call it the inner voice, the voice that speaks to you and their intuition on what they should or should not do with their life. And they just lost touch with themselves. They’re very smart, again, very hardworking. They are relatively successful by measures of society and those standards.

But they are unhappy. Something is missing. They are searching for something more, and the blog and my voice seems to speak to them because that’s exactly where I was. And so I come from that place. I write about those experiences and about what has helped me and that seems to resonate very well with those readers.

Morty: Got it. Is it more male or female? Do you know?

Farnoosh: You know it’s pretty close. I might have about a 60:40, women to male ratio but it’s pretty close.

Morty: Do you have any demographics on the age range or particular age range you appeal to or across the board again?

Farnoosh: I have looked at those numbers in the past. And I believe it’s from 30 to 55, again 60% women, 40% men, college education, mostly in the US but I do have a global audience. It’s a lot in the English-speaking countries but not exclusively. I have met a lot of my readers. I work with them. They become my clients, my customers. And I like to think that it’s a pretty good diversity. So those are the demographics but I always like to focus on just individuals. And I don’t really follow those as well as I should, I guess.

Morty: That’s okay. No reason why you should. Just sort of curious. You say you work with many of your readers one-on-one. What kind of services do you offer? How would people talk to you or work with you personally?

Farnoosh: Right, I focus on two areas which I feel like they are my best areas to help people. These are areas I really, really feel confident and strong in helping people. And those are, if you are in a job, especially a corporate type of job anywhere, not just corporate America, and you feel like your career has stalled, if you are planning to move up the corporate ladder, to get recognized, to get promoted at some point in your career, to make more money, but you just seem to be ignored by your management or you’re just having trouble getting past those hurdles.

That’s one of my areas that I can really help you. And the other one is, if you are in a job but you have just started to look outside, you want to create your own business, you want to become your own boss and how do you make that very tricky transition from employee to entrepreneur, because nobody teaches you that. And you don’t need an MBA, you don’t need to have years of running businesses. You can really learn those steps and I work with people to help them create first, a side-hustle or a side-business, and then grow that into a full-time business.

Also an area that a lot of people especially my co-workers back when I was at my corporate job, we struggled with is that we forget what our passion is. Because you get in a job and I’m not saying you shouldn’t be grateful for having a job. Of course, it’s wonderful. You have a job, it provides you the lifestyle and a sense of security but then you do the job that your company wants and you’re very lucky if your job is aligned to your passions.

For a lot of us, it’s not and we forget what that passion is. And so I help people rediscover that and connect with that and help them get created again and just get in touch with what really lights them up, if you will, and turn that into something more.

Morty: It sounds like a very worthwhile and very needed service you provide. So you basically provide one-on-one coaching in addition to your written materials.

Farnoosh: I provide one-on-one coaching. I provide group coaching. I have courses. I have a course that helps people get promoted. It’s called Crack the Code to Get Promoted. And then I have another course that people can take from if they want to go from employee to entrepreneur and learn that step-by-step process. And I call that one Smart Exit Blueprint. And it basically means you create your own blueprint to leave this career and create the second stage, second career of your life.

Morty: Exciting, okay. You sort of answered this but I like you to sort of hone more in on it. There’s a lot of people that are following one particular blog, one personal development blogger. And they look around what else might be useful, or who else is writing something that might be useful to me.

What’s unique about your blog? Is there anything you could say that here’s something I do that’s sort of my particular unique niche. I know you write about so many different things but is there something unique about you compared to what most people write on?

Farnoosh: That’s a great question, Morty. And I feel that, of course, I don’t write about novel topics. Like topics that have never been covered. Of course, everything I talk about has been covered for years by many, many others and that’s the case for all of us.

But I feel that every blog is unique because of the voice because that voice comes from that person’s experiences and values, the sum of who they are and what they regard as important and their lens in life. So mine is from my lens and it comes from a background of coming to the US as an immigrant, going to school, and building a successful life based on what my parents taught me and then making a complete shift and giving up a lot of security and reinventing myself and now living my dream life.

That’s me. And I do it through things that have made sense for me. I’m actually very transparent and I express my opinion. I don’t hold back.

Morty: Your passion, and excitement, and enthusiasm certainly comes through in your voice. So I’m sure that it does in your blog also.

Farnoosh: Thank you, thank you. But that’s what it is. I mean different voices resonate with different people and that’s what we connect with. I think we connect with the voice behind the words. So the people that

Morty: [00:15:47 crosstalk]

Farnoosh: Right, like I talk about confidence-building and I love talking about confidence-building. I have programs around it, books around it. I write about it and other people do, too. But I talk about it in a certain way and it will speak to Jane and John over here but it may not speak to Mary and Morty over there. And that’s fine because they can find someone else who talks about confidence-building.

So I think that’s it. That’s a good point to make actually. So if you are out there looking for a blog, then the subject is one thing but look for the voice. Look how the person speaks to you and if that resonates, if that gives you what you’re looking for, then read them, then follow them because that means you share certain values with them. And that’s going to help you and serve you best.

Morty: Great. Thank you so much. Do you have a long-term goal for your blog?

Farnoosh: Long-term goal, well this goes totally against what I’m trying to do, Morty, which is living in the moment.

Morty: Okay. So maybe you don’t.

Farnoosh: Yes, no. I’m half-kidding. I do have all kinds of goals. I think it used to be that I want to grow it. I want it to be big. I want to have two million visitors a day and it used to be about that. But that’s when I was only focusing on myself.

And then I started focusing on my readers and on what I’m doing, and what values bringing and is it making a difference. And I want to just be able to continue to do what I’m doing. I want to be able to continue to write, to create this content, this database of ideas and useful material that will serve people a long time and it will be timeless.

So my goal is just to be able to continue, and to be able to bring my authentic voice and unique experience to the blog over a long period of time.

Morty: Great, thank you. Do you accept comments on your blog? Some blog accept comments. Some don’t.

Farnoosh: I do accept comments.

Morty: You do? Do you generally have a chance to respond to most of them or any of them?

Farnoosh: Yes. I used to be obsessive about responding to every single comment. And then I stepped back a little bit and I watched my readers interact with each other which was nice. And so now, I make sure I answer any questions and I do go back and I respond but sometimes it’s not immediate.

But I definitely moderate. I watch the conversations, and I’m pretty active on the blog. So I like to think that I am definitely there with my readers.

Morty: I pretty much do the same. I read them all and if there’s a specific question, I try to answer. But I agree, more and more as time goes on, I see my readers answering and commenting with each other and it’s exciting to see a conversation get started among my readers where I don’t have to comment. They comment for me.

Farnoosh: That’s right.

Morty: That’s real good. This is a little broader. You’ve talked around this. Maybe you can be more specific. What’s your mission in life? And how does writing your blog contribute to it?

Farnoosh: Oh boy, that’s a hard one. My mission in life.

Morty: Or do you have one? It sounds like you do.

Farnoosh: Well I want to be happy. I want to be able to go to bed every night feeling like I’ve accomplished something good, something exciting for myself and for others. And so the work that I do is really important. I know that I’m here to serve a purpose with Prolific Living and with the work that my husband and I are doing together. I’m seeing it make a difference and I want to grow that.

I want to go to a higher scale of having a bigger impact with the work that I do, with helping people build their confidence, build strong businesses, follow their career passions, and all of that. As far as mission, I don’t think so much in those terms. I think for me, it’s been such an accomplishment to come to peace and happiness on a daily level because if you spoke to me a few years ago, I was completely miserable even though on the surface I had everything, everything I could imagine having when I was younger.

I think for me that the biggest goal is this day-to-day, moment-to-moment living where I’m true to who I am and I am doing the work I’m meant to do. And I’m taking excellent care of myself and my body because that’s when I am happiest and that’s when I can serve everyone the best. So I guess that’s my mission. Does that count?

Morty: Sure, it sounds like your mission is to live a particular kind of life and then you write about it.

Farnoosh: Right. I do have a mission of getting a dog at some point. I keep postponing that and that needs to come more into the picture. So that’s another one.

Morty: Very good. Well is there anything else you’d like your audience to know about you and/or your blog that we haven’t covered to give people a sense of who you are and why they might value from reading your post? You know what? I forgot to ask you one question. How often do you post?

Farnoosh: I post on Prolific Living once a week but I have other blogs as well. My juicing and smoothies, if you’re into that, that’s on ProlificJuicing.com and I post there once a week. And then if you’re interested in career, I post on FastTrackPromotion.com once a week. And I’m thinking about starting another blog but we haven’t got there yet. So that’s three times a week.

Morty: So you have three separate blogs. Each one is once a week. So you write three blogs a week. Okay.

Farnoosh: That’s right.

Morty: So is there anything else that you’d like your audience to know about you or your three blogs?

Farnoosh: Sure. I would say that if you are struggling with whatever in your life, we live in such a special time where you have access to not just information but to other people who are going through the same thing but they have chosen to share it and talk about it. I think that’s tremendous that we have that access.

You can heal yourself and heal your problems, and find support and love and understanding out there, and practical advice that you can incorporate into your lifestyle right now. And that’s just so amazing to me that we have access to that for free. And so use it.

My blog is ProlificLiving.com. There are so many others. Some of my best friends are bloggers and writers. And so use the resources, get out there. And if you’re feeling frustrated and alone, you’re not alone. We have experienced a lot of these issues and we are talking about them and the things that we talk about will help you. So use the power of blogs. Read them. Support bloggers and you will be surprised what you find that can really turn your life around.

Morty: Thank you for saying that. Because I say one of my motivations in creating this podcast was realizing how much valuable material is out there in personal development bloggers who are not as well-known as some authors, whose audiences were actually a lot smaller. To get on the New York Times bestseller list is I don’t have 5,000, 10,000 copies of the book or something and you’re on the list and you’re on for several weeks and you made you name in the publishing field, with 20, 30, 50,000 even a 100,000 sales and there are so many personal bloggers with audiences of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 700,000 readers a month.

So yes, there’s a lot of people out there, including you, who have something really worthwhile to say and my goal is to expose people like you to people who don’t know so that they can start following you and getting a lot more value than they have been up until now.

Farnoosh: Right, wonderful.

Morty: So if you could just give me the three URLs so that people can visit your three different blogs.

Farnoosh: Sure. So, ProlificLiving.com, that’s my home online. And ProlificJuicing.com, that’s where you can find information about healthy living, green smoothies, green juices, and all of that. And FastTrackPromotion.com is for you corporate guys and gals, if you are very serious about moving up the corporate ladder, getting promoted, getting recognized, and doing the work that you were meant to do in a corporate environment. And I appreciate your having me on this fabulous show here, Morty. I’m really honored to be here.

Morty: Well it was a pleasure having you here. I just love talking to you. I just love your enthusiasm and your excitement about life and what you do and the contribution you make that if your written material is anything like your voice or your audio presentation, it’s something that definitely ought to be read.

Farnoosh: Thank you.

Morty: Thank you so much for your time. I look forward to talking to you again at some point in the future.

Farnoosh: Thank you so much.