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Don't Tell Me What To Do

Don't Tell Me What To Do

By Jori Saeger

In the age of social media and choice overload, we're constantly bombarded with opinions on the "right" and "best" way to live a fulfilled life. Eat this. Live here. Go after this job. Buy this. It goes on. But what happens when you want to pivot? How do you navigate all the advice — internally & externally? Don’t Tell Me What To Do dives into conversations about pivoting from the advice you’re given and charting a new path. This season we're diving into relationships, family, politics, finance, work life balance & more to share a balanced perspective on living a life YOU want.
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New Ways To Think About People Management and Leadership

Don't Tell Me What To DoFeb 04, 2020

What We Don’t Know About the Beauty Industry and How It’s Affecting Our Health

What We Don’t Know About the Beauty Industry and How It’s Affecting Our Health

Today we are diving into the topic of the beauty industry and the effects on our health. We’re shown millions of cosmetic ads yearly telling us to buy products to take away our wrinkles, die our hair, cover our face, and more. But did you know that many of the cosmetics that we use in the U.S. have been banned in Europe due to toxicity of the chemicals? Neither did I. It was only this year that I really started to think more holistically about what I was putting on my body besides food and started to learn more about all the other chemicals that we bring into our lives in our cleaning and beauty products. To talk about this today I brought on Sarah Strickland - Sarah began her journey into her health career by attending Bastyr University, where she received her degree in Nutrition & Dietetics. Rather than following down the path of solely nutrition, Sarah decided that this health journey needed to be much more encompassing & began diving into many of the other health gaps of today’s society. This holistic view on women’s health came to include not only diet, but alternative remedies such as essential oil use, reducing environmental toxic exposure through the products we use on our skin and in our homes daily, and challenging many of societies “norms” when it comes to what we consider “healthy” and how we treat illness.

You can follow Sarah on Instagram at @momandbabebeauty. You can shop with her at Beauty Counter here:


Safe companies to check out:

  • Beauty Counter
  • Primally Pure
  • Branch Basics
  • Honest Company

Follow the podcast on Instagram at @dontellmewhattodopodcast. Or at the website

Feb 11, 202036:53
New Ways To Think About People Management and Leadership

New Ways To Think About People Management and Leadership

Today we are diving into the topic of people management. A manager can make or break how you feel for so much of your day — yet some of the things we’re taught about management are so antiquated. This is a topic I’m personally so passionate about as a people manager and love talking about new ways to think about how we interact and run teams.

To discuss this topic today, I have Derek Gillette - who is the VP of marketing at Leadr - a new kind of people management software - designed to help companies grow leaders.

In today’s episode, we talk about Derek’s journey to people management as his very first job. We dive into his decision to leave operations and take a risk to follow his dream of becoming a marketer. And we talk about how he took a chance, quit his job, and eventually landed his gig today years later as VP of marketing

We dive into practical tips for any manager or someone thinking about management —

Themes like focusing on strengths vs. ironing out weaknesses. We talk about coaching and mentoring vs a focus on tasks and compliance. We debate 1:1s and who really owns it (manager vs. employee). We talk about how to give ongoing feedback vs. relying on performance reviews. And we talk about the importance of really specific recognition.

To cap it off we dive into the best advice Derek’s ever received as a manager and some hard lessons learned.

Manager resources:

Connect with Derek on LinkedIn. Learn more about Leadr here.

Follow the podcast on Instagram at @donttellmewhattodopodcast or visit the website

Feb 04, 202051:02
Navigating Conflicting Advice On All Things Nutrition with Tracey Grant, RDN, CHWC

Navigating Conflicting Advice On All Things Nutrition with Tracey Grant, RDN, CHWC

Today we’re diving into the complicated — yet oh so important — topic of food and nutrition. I’ve always loved cooking and eating healthy food, but this year in particular, I’ve begun to really tune into the effects my food intake on how I feel, how I show up at the gym, how I show up at work, and how I show up in life. It’s led me down a rabbit hole of researching about nutrition and our food systems. But it’s felt like the ultimate “don’t tell me what to do” in that there are SO many opinions out there and sometimes they are so conflicting. In this episode, I’m less interested in diving into what you SHOULD eat and more discussing how we navigate and approach our health in a holistic way without getting overwhelmed with all the messages we get daily.

To speak with me on this topic, we have Tracey Grant, a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified wellness health coach who shifted away from the conventional approach to nutrition to use food as medicine to support her own healing and the health of her clients. She has overcome SIBO and Hashimoto’s and now works with clients virtually to help them optimize their health and wellness using diet and lifestyle.

We dive into Tracey’s evolution from teaching conventional nutrition to arriving at a more holistic approach and the big lightbulb moments with her clients and herself that led her there. We talk about how it’s much more than food that makes us healthy. We dig into the biggest nutrition myths out there — like fat is bad, calories in equal calories out, the amount of protein you really need, and share that more restriction is NOT better. To wrap it all up, we talk about how to navigate all the fad diets out there and how to bring mindfulness back to how we approach our food.

Follow Tracey on Instagram for great health inspiration @wholedailylife.

Subscribe to her newsletter or work with her by visiting her website at

Follow the podcast on Instagram at @donttellmewhattodopodcast or visit the website

Jan 28, 202043:24
Reframing Fitness to Longevity with Seattle Strength Coach Josh Hunter
Jan 21, 202044:01
How to Find Your True Authentic Happiness With Mona Lee Locke
Jan 14, 202042:60
Turning Your Passions Into a Money Making Side Hustle
Jan 07, 202031:20
Why Are We All So Burned Out?
Dec 10, 201946:01
Giving Yourself Permission To Be A Relationship Novice
Dec 03, 201943:21
Fertility Talks - Technology, Ethics And Our Own Biology

Fertility Talks - Technology, Ethics And Our Own Biology

Today we’re talking about fertility with Alexa, a nurse practitioner that works at a Pacific Northwest fertility clinic. As IVF technology has advanced, women have been empowered to live their own “don’t tell me what to do” story when thinking about when to start a family. But sometimes this technology is advancing faster than our ethical standards. And sometimes this technology isn’t advancing fast enough to combat our basic biology. Today we get into debates surrounding new gene editing technology. We talk about the controversial case in China this year on gene editing for HIV. We talk about who should be responsible for creating new ethical standards as technology advances. We also dig into egg freezing as well as advanced maternal age and mourning the ability to have your own children. Lastly, we chat about how it’s virtually impossible to be an anonymous sperm or egg donor and how this has changed views on what information we might need for our own spiritual growth.

For more information or to find a fertility clinic near you, visit

Nov 26, 201942:42
Let’s Stop Fearing Money Talk

Let’s Stop Fearing Money Talk

Today we’re diving into the black box of finances with Tori Dunlap. She’s a financial coach and millennial money expert who was featured on Good Morning America for achieving her ambitious goal of saving 100K before she was 25. I personally find it so frustrating and strange that we have a society of college educated millennials with expensive degrees, but with such a gap in financial education — especially for women. Today we’re talking about why and what to do about it. We talk about the fears we have around educating ourself on our own finances and how we can more easily bring it up in our relationships. We talk about finances and the workplace and how to advocate for yourself. And we get into some super practical tips as well.

Follow Tori Dunlap on instagram at @HerFirst100K and check out her website at And here is a link to the money resources we talk about in the episode:

Nov 19, 201931:59
Season 2 Trailer
Nov 13, 201902:36
Recapping Season 1 & Looking Ahead to Season 2
May 30, 201925:38
Forging A New Path in Living With Chronic Illness

Forging A New Path in Living With Chronic Illness

What happens when you’re diagnosed with a chronic illness and medicine just isn’t working? In this episode we talk with Carly Brawner, a health coach and wellness advocate based in Austin Texas. We talk about what happened after she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s — a thyroid disorder — and how “ditching her endocrinologist” catapulted her into a new career to help others live a more holistic and healthy lifestyle. Once Carly started asking hard questions and "why" with her health, she started approaching everything else differently as well. 

This episode is for anyone who has taken their health into their own hands or has watched a love one battle an autoimmune disorder. We dig deep into what it means to passionately advocate for your health and be highly communicative in your relationships to have a wholehearted life.

Connect with Carly on Instagram @frolicandflow and on her website at To learn more about Hashimoto's, visit Carly's website or the American Thyroid Institute.

May 14, 201930:55
What To Do Next After a Breakdown-Breakthrough Moment
May 07, 201934:57
Reframing The Narrative On Women And Physical Weakness
Apr 30, 201933:34
Confessions of an Unemployed CEO
Apr 23, 201928:51
Bringing Black Girl Magic to Wellness
Apr 16, 201931:45
Navigate Anxiety & Depression by Telling Fear to F*ck Off
Apr 09, 201941:49
Ignoring Your Inner Critic
Apr 02, 201933:23
That Time You Ignored Your Family's Advice

That Time You Ignored Your Family's Advice

When the people we love the most give us advice, it's pretty dang hard to ignore — especially when it comes to family. In this episode we meet Jen Hope, executive coach and badass fitness lady. Her "Don't Tell Me What To Do" story spanned a decade of advice from trusted family members, and going against the grain helped pivot her to her current success. 

What happens after you say "yes" to entrepreneurship? Jen talks about the mess, the muck, the joy, and when you just want to throw a meditation pillow.

Learn more about Jen and work with her here:

Follow her on instagram here: 

Mar 26, 201935:04
Finding Your YES

Finding Your YES

We've all had the feeling that others want to put us in a box — the mom box, the career woman box, the friend box and more. What happens when you don't fit perfectly into that box? Today we talk with Samantha Willing, an HR professional turned freelance coach and podcaster, who recently left her traditional full-time role to navigate life on her own terms. Listen to what happens in the grey when you take the leap and go for it. 

Listen to Sam's Podcast, Imperfection Wins:

Follow Sam on Instagram:  

Mar 19, 201949:11
PILOT: Don't Tell Me What To Do

PILOT: Don't Tell Me What To Do

Today we're launching a new podcast: Don't Tell Me What To Do, brought to you by Seattleite 30somethings — Jori Saeger and Amy Kugler. 

Many stories of success start with the moment that precipitated future greatness and jumps to the end. But what happens in the middle? What led to a new direction? How do you navigate all the advice — internally and externally — that comes during a huge life change? Don’t Tell Me What To Do will dive into those conversations about pivoting from the advice you’re given and charting your own path.

Mar 19, 201902:58