I met Steve Campbell by stalking him on Twitter in early 2017. As the Founder of The Ascent, a popular Medium publication reaching nearly 40,000 readers, I fell in love with his straight-up, no B.S style in sharing raw stories of the work, hustle, and struggle it takes to get from point A to point B. (And most of all, how we are all in it together.) After a few months of stalking Steve on Twitter, I joined The Ascent as a columnist, and he and I have become true fans of each other’s work.

Steve also happens to be one of Gary Vaynerchuk’s first hires at VaynerMedia. He worked alongside Gary for seven years and was part of the core team to spearhead the launch of Vayner Talent, Gary’s personal branding wing. Needless to say, we speak the same language.

Steve recently left Vayner, launched The Ascent, and is embarking on his own business in the personal brand space. He recently debuted the “The Ascent Podcast” in order to talk directly to people “ascending” to get their real behind-the-scenes stories. I am honored and humbled to be one of his first guests.

This conversation walks you through my start as a cocktail waitress with a large penchant for drama, to founding my digital magazine CheekyChicago at 26 with no prior business background, to launching SimplyBe. Agency working with national clients, to my vision for its future: growing a business without borders.

I get interviewed frequently on podcasts, and in these environments, I’m a proponent of total vulnerability and honesty. I guess that’s my brand. I believe it’s the only way to achieve true inspiration and actionable advice for those around you. After all, we’re all just trying to figure it out, all the time. NO ONE has all the answers. We’re all on our own “ascents” and it’s never perfect.

We might as well support each other along the climb. Enjoy the show.