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.
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