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Episode 21: Life Changes and How To Set Non-Negotiables with Kristi Piehl

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Brief summary of show:

In this week’s episode, I sit down with Kristi Piehl, CEO and Founder of Media Minefield.

She started her company in 2010 following a 12-year career as an Emmy Award-winning television news reporter. Media Minefield is a one-of-a-kind PR agency specializing in earned media, crisis communication and social media.

Listen in as we talk about:

  • How to turn getting laid off into your life purpose

  • Empowering yourself to make different choices

  • How to model flexibility and boundaries

  • Tips for staying within our personal boundaries

Kristi is passionate about supporting entrepreneurs of all genders and ethnicities and is a founding board member of the Demon Angels and a founding member of the Women in Entrepreneurship Institute at DePaul University. She is also a founding member of The 25 at Bethel University, a four-year cohort program to empower women to use their strengths and skills to uncover their potential.

In 2020, she launched the Flip Your Script podcast, where she interviews people who have faced a critical turning point in their life and explores how they found the inspiration to move forward and rewrite their own unique story.

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Podcast Highlights:

[00:01:31] How Kristi's company was born

[00:06:28] Different ways to get your message out there

[00:07:31] How to write out your non-negotiables

[00:12:42] How she manages work, kids, family and life

[00:17:44] Her best tools for productivity

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Natalie: Hi, everyone in today's podcast. I want to talk about boundaries. What does it mean to have boundaries as a news person and a working parent? I found this very difficult for 28 years. I worked in an industry. It was really hard to set boundaries with the news being 24 hours a day, always had to know what was going on.

[00:00:18] So my guest today is someone who's going to help us redefine boundaries. We're actually going to call them. Non-negotiables Christy Peale was also in the news business. We have so many things in common as you're going to hear in the podcast, which she helps us determine what those things are. It might be work non-negotiables, it might be in your private life, but it's so important to set these types of boundaries and to have specific things that you simply don't negotiate on.

[00:00:44] I think you're really going to enjoy this podcast with Christie peel.


[00:00:51] Natalie: Christie joining me now we have a similar background and I am excited to see where her new career to occur because I'm going through that right now, Christy. So good to talk to you today. Thanks for taking the time.

[00:01:03] Kristi: Thank you so much for inviting me. It's a pleasure.

[00:01:05] Natalie: We have these stories to share from years on television.

[00:01:09] You're an Emmy award winning television reporter. And you made the decision to leave that business many years before I did. We started at about the same time, but give me a little bit of your

[00:01:19] Kristi: background. Sure. I was a television news reporter and anchor at five different television stations in four different states, got to cover and have a front row seat for amazing stories and watched history in the making.

[00:01:31] And I defined myself by my career. I was a TV reporter. It was part of my identity in an unhealthy way, which I didn't realize. I was, I just went to MES. I was renegotiating my contract. I was actually, I haven't sitting here, but I was on the cover of a magazine in town, a full page picture of winning these Emmys.

[00:01:52] I was doing some work for good morning America. And one day I got called into the yeah. And I was laid off, so I didn't make the choice. The choice was made for me. There were 20 of us in late 2007, early 2008, and we all lost our jobs. The same day. I was an investigative reporter and investigative reporters as, as you know, are expendable at, during rough economic times.

[00:02:15] So my department was changed tremendously and myself, as well as my boss and other people were all. Shown the door. And that was my exit to television news. And I knew immediately it was a blessing and a gift. I knew I should leave the business. I wasn't brave enough to do it on my own.

[00:02:35] Natalie: Well, when decisions are made for us and yet they end up being.

[00:02:39] The very best decisions in our lives. We don't see it during those hardships. During those times, I remember about the same time that television station I was working for in Denver merge with another station. And it was a terrible time where people were laid off and the business, as we know, as the same type thing happened many years ago in newspaper and magazines, like it's just changing.

[00:03:01] I have found a new way to parlay my my experience. Into something new here on this podcast and this brand, I love what you have done with your career. And it's been a while, but tell me about that. Tell me what you're doing and your mission now.

[00:03:15] Kristi: Certainly the business, I started media minefield in 2010, and we can talk about how I went from this to that because it wasn't on my my plan.

[00:03:24] And I wanted to help people with my news background. I felt like, and maybe you can relate. I sold a little bit of my soul doing television news and I loved it. I love people's stories. I feel like I got a window into either the highest in someone's life or the lowest, but whenever someone shares a story, it's just so powerful.

[00:03:46] But there were things that I did that I, if I could go back. And, you know, it you know, for example, when, when someone just found out that their child is murdered and I knock on the door, or if someone is in a really difficult time being accused of all sorts of horrible crimes and I'm running after them down the street, asking them questions.

[00:04:04] That was my job. And now as a mother and with older children, I can't imagine if something horrible happened in my life. And I opened the door to me and. I was really good at getting people to tell me their stories. And I felt like my job in that time was to have compassion and to have empathy and to help them.

[00:04:21] But looking back. It was hard. It just was hard. And I knew that after my news career ended, I wanted, I know the power of news. I know the power of storytelling. I also knew that the traditional path to public relations, which many people take. It wasn't for me, I don't believe the traditional approach to public relations is effective.

[00:04:40] I still believe that and I wanted to help people. So I couldn't figure out like, how do I use my background and help people and not do traditional PR? So I got stuck and I took a class actually at my church. That was how to help people with their passion and their giftedness and the business was born.

[00:04:56] So the business started in 2010 and our mission is to make everyone story better. We. Nearly 50 employees. We have clients all over the country from small to giant brands and we work on their social media, their crisis media paid media, and we, the primary part of our business is we help them secure news interviews and news content to move their business and brands forward.

[00:05:19] Natalie: I love what you do. I love that you're using the experience like we have, and I can relate in so many ways. I've never said so far and I'm fresher out of the industry just here in the last year that I felt like I sold my soul in some ways, but I certainly relate to that. You know, it's all of those times that someone you, you know, someone, something tragic has happened to and all your.

[00:05:40] Fellow coworkers will say, Hey, can you call them and ask them? You're like, oh my gosh, this is someone I know. And I'm, I feel for them. And yet you're asking me to call them and try to get a TV interview. Like I, I relate. and I appreciate that you're using that experience in a positive way, but I have a question for you with media minefield now, because I think a lot about help and people ask me all the time for media training or advice or a pitch.

[00:06:04] I want to know how you use that to get their story out. That doesn't have to be traditional news because traditional news can sometimes be the enemy. It's not the enemy it's still necessary and we need news. We need to know what's happening in our world. And we can appreciate that. But how do you get those stories out where it doesn't have to be that old fashioned news it as a way to get the story out?