“Grow An Audience First” With Samantha Parker and Kathy Rasmussen from Badassery Magazine

“We all think that if we build something super amazing, the people will just follow. This is so far from the truth. When you first have that spark of an idea, get out and share it. Build hype around what you are doing and never stop growing. This should be your number one focus at all times.”

I had the pleasure of interviewing Samantha Parker and Kathy Rasmussen from Badassery Magazine. Samantha Parker and Kathy Rasmussen are the co-founders of Badassery Magazine and co-hosts of the Badassery podcast. This dynamic duo is determined to empower the world, one female entrepreneur at a time. Badassery Magazine is more than just a magazine and together they support a global community of female entrepreneurs who live bold, passion filled lives. They have been featured on NowThis, Bold TV and numerous interviews and podcasts.

Thank you so much for joining us! What is your “backstory”?

Kathy- I was the private dining director for a popular restaurant in Salt Lake City, and it was my dream job. I’d been planning my ascent to director status for years and I was elated I’d finally hit my goal. I was finally a success.

At least that is what I thought.

Once the honeymoon was over, reality set in. I felt the pressure of meeting sales goals and worrying about budget line items on the P&L statements, none of which I had any say in establishing. I was busting my ass for my boss…and my boss’s boss… and my boss’s boss’s boss.

And, it didn’t matter to them if I was happy. They only cared about the numbers.

I found myself sitting in my car after work, sobbing, and repeating to myself outloud, “Why I am doing this to myself? Why I am doing something that makes me so miserable? There has to be a way out of this.”

Corporate America has poisoned those of us who seek to live fulfilled lives through working in our zone of genius. It is traumatic, full of toxicity, and soul sucking. We become disenchanted and disillusioned by working our asses off to build someone else’s dream.

So, in our search for fulfilment, the pendulum swings. We want to get so far away from soul-sucking, we think doing it by ourselves is the only option.

Samantha- I worked in the health-care industry and then as a high end florist. While working as a florist, which I was very talented at, I could slowly feel my life crumbling around me. On the outside I had just bought a house, had two amazing kids and a great husband, but inside I was literally dying.

I woke up one day and just quit. I knew that if something didn’t change, I would end my life. That morning when I said enough, I had literally looked up suicide prevention numbers because I had decided I was going to end my life. Something in me snapped and I set out to build things for myself.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?

Kathy & Samantha- We’ve both had numerous hilarious things happen to us in the course of working online. I think some of our favorites come in the form of haters. People get so upset about the craziest things. They will respond to our emails with allegations or accuse us of being bad influences. We always love a good email when someone is too shallow to see past the word ass…..

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Samantha & Kathy- Right now we are setting out to connect with more people in real life. We’ve set up multiple in-person events in the US and next year we are taking a group of women to Bali. There’s something incredibly powerful when people step away from their computers and in front of actual humans. They grow and stretch in ways they couldn’t even think possible before.

As we write this, we are getting ready to head to Chicago to launch our brand new book, Badassery Style Community. We really believe in the power of community and watching this book be birthed into the world is incredibly exciting. (http://badasserymag.com/badassery-style-community/)

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

When we held the Badassery Bash in Las Vegas in April 2018, we had the privilege of meeting women from all over the world. Samantha even took a couple ladies to the Grand Canyon. What really is interesting about meeting and interacting with so many incredible women, is we are all more alike than different. We have the same kid issues and we are building businesses we love. It doesn’t matter where you live, we are all humans having our own unique experiences that are ridiculously similar.

What advice would you give to someone considering a career in journalism?

Just start. It will seem really disappointing at times. You will stay up super late writing something inspiring and then publish it into the world. Then you find out no one read it. It will sting a little, but do it again. And then multiply that by a thousand.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Our entire mission is to empower others- We believe that the world needs more women ready to embrace their rising badassery within. Women no longer need to settle for what society expects of us and we are no longer fitting into the box. We have dreams, visions and an impact that we are here to make on the world. We do not have to change ourselves in the process. We can do it right now, right as we are. We are Badassery Magazine.

A global community of women living unapologetic lives. We hold space for empowered women who are empowering those around them. We honor collaboration over competition and believe that we rise higher and more powerful as a whole.

Badassery by definition means- “Engaging in seemingly impossible activities and achieving success in a manner which renders all onlookers completely awestruck”.

Badassery is a lifestyle. A way of growing and being in alignment with your true purpose. We live our Badassery daily by showing up and carving out our own versions of success and what that means to us.

Your hopes and dreams are not impossible. You can achieve anything when we do it together. You are not alone. Come and join us on our mission as we build a community full of badass women.

I know this is not an easy job. What drives you?

Knowing that someone out there was sitting exactly where we were one. Crying in their car and couldn’t see past that moment. We want to reach those people and we are doing it.

Do you have a favorite book that made a deep impact on your life? Can you share a story?

Samantha- There are too many to count. Anything by Gary Vaynerchuk gets me motivated and quite literally fired up. I am always reading and expanding my mental database. You have to stay inspired in order to keep moving forward.

Kathy- Essentialism by Greg McKeown. Reading this book was very influential in helping me make some big decisions. It helped me to realize I was spending too much energy trying to do everything when none of it was really making me happy. I shifted my focus to putting energy into the things that mattered to me, namely experiences, and I’ve been exponentially happier as a result.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

We are starting a movement. A global movement of women who are answering the call in their soul, embracing their passions and making a really great profit from living their dreams.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1- Nothing is overnight- The online world is vast and amazing, but it really doesn’t paint a picture of what’s really going on. Everyone is quick to share their wins, but they do NOT paint a picture of the mud they crawled through to get there.

2- You’ll lose people- As you evolve there will be people who cannot see what you see. They will try and “save” you because what you are doing might appear risky. You’ll lose those people along the way and it’s going to suck, but in the end you’ll find your tribe. The people that support you in the beginning will move on too and that’s OK. You’ll find a really big tribe who gets you and the movement you have created.

3- Money is energy- You will get really clear on how much energy you can expend and how much energy you are willing to let go of. Eventually you’ll find the balance, or some for of it. These lessons must be learned the hard way and anyone who tries and tell you otherwise, is just plain crazy. Money is an energy and expect that the energy you put out is repaid in the form of cash.

4- Feel free to change- The first path you set out on is not your final destination. You can take detours, change the destination and basically do whatever you want. Pivoting is natural and should be expected. If you aren’t pivoting in your business, you aren’t growing.

5- Grow an audience first. We all think that if we build something super amazing, the people will just follow. This is so far from the truth. When you first have that spark of an idea, get out and share it. Build hype around what you are doing and never stop growing. This should be your number one focus at all times.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. :-)

We would love to meet Seth Godin. Everything is always just so on point that comes from him. His advice, his views, and books. He is an amazing man who has made a huge impact on the way people do business online.


If you would like to see the entire “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me” Series In Huffpost, ThriveGlobal, and Buzzfeed, click HERE.