Ossa Lounge Live | Episode #30 | ft. Maya Roffler, Leadership Expert & Host of “MaYapinion” Podcast
About Maya Roffler:
We chat with Ossa podcaster Maya Roffler, Host of the MaYapinion podcast. Her show is a twice-weekly leadership podcast for women.
Maya is a leadership expert who left corporate America after leading remote teams of 100+ people for over 10 years. Today, she runs her own business helping individuals and corporations with strategy, events, and leadership. She also teaches how to use podcasting to grow your business.
Listen to Episode #30 featuring Maya Roffler, Host of “MaYapinion” Podcast:
Episode #30 Highlights:
0:00-5:21 ~ Introductions and Guest Background
5:22-16:48 ~ Corporate America Challenges and the Importance of Inclusivity
16:49-21:28 ~ Why Trademark Your Podcast
21:29-24:47 ~ Closing and Where to Find Lessons to Help Start Your Podcast
Links from this episode:
Instagram: @mayapinionpodcast / @mayaroffler
Episode #30 Full Transcript:
Meredith Reed 0:07
Maya Roffler 0:09
Hi, thanks so much for having me!
Meredith Reed 0:11
Thank you for being here. So just for those of us who are joining us now, I’m Meredith Reed. I’m the editor in chief at Ossa. And this is an episode of Ossa Lounge Live. I’m here with Maya Roffler from the MaYapinion Podcast, Maya-pinion. It’s a pun. Hahaha. Hello, welcome.
Maya Roffler 0:36
Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here. I love you guys.
Meredith Reed 0:41
Aww, we love you, too. Thank you. So do you just want to start by telling everyone a little bit about you and your podcast?
Maya Roffler 0:50
Yeah, absolutely. So I mean, you nailed it. It’s the MaYapinion Podcast, it’s pretty obvious. I named it after myself. I’d like to say I originally came up with the name, but I didn’t. It was a nickname many, many moons ago. And it kind of just stuck with me. My podcast is the leadership podcast for women. So I have two episodes a week. On Mondays, it’s a solo cast. So it’s just me talking about hot leadership topics. I often do like a series, right now I’m doing the empathy series. I’m at the end of that. And then on Wednesdays, I have an inspirational woman on every single week. So she’s a leader in her own right. So all different walks of life. So that’s “Women for Women Wednesdays” So that’s what the podcast is about.
Meredith Reed 1:38
I think that’s so great that you specialize in women and leadership. And I actually forgot to read your bio at the beginning. But you also do, coaching, helping individuals and corporations with strategy and events and leadership. So I’m wondering, what type of work do you do? And how does that tie into the topics that you cover on your podcast?
Maya Roffler 2:07
Yeah. So I will take you back to the beginning of the birth of the podcast and how this all started. So I come from over 10 years of corporate America experience, I got thrown into corporate America when I was 22-23 years old. I’m 34 now, I’m not one of those people that’s like, “I won’t tell my age.” No, I’ll tell my age. I’m 34. So I had a really crazy experience going into corporate America, I was in a very male dominated company, I worked for Joseph A. Bank, which I’m sure some of you guys have heard of this little tiny company. Yeah. And I was surrounded by a bunch of men. And I was very fortunate that my first mentor was a very strong woman who’s still in my life to this day. But you know, after that I didn’t really have, she didn’t stay with me, right? I had all these different leaders in a very male dominated environment. And that shifted, and I kind of talked about that evolution on the podcast. First point young going through this experience, and I led teams that were very large of over 100. And I learned a whole lot. And I learned that kind of the hard way, in my opinion. So I share that on this podcast and my journey. And then I ended up working for startups and helping companies grow. So I have really worked with these large, you know, Fortune 500s, and then also with startups. And that’s what inspired me to do the podcast. The original podcast came out in 2017, though, because I was on a reality dating show. So I made….
Meredith Reed 3:31
Wait, which one?
Maya Roffler 3:32
Yeah, so I, I’m, I’m sure all of you have heard of “Married at First Sight.” So there was a spin-off show for one guy and one girl where their marriage just did not work out. So I ended up doing that show in 2016. I was one of the dating contestants. And I had a friend who had been in radio for 20 something years. And I lost my brother when I was on the show. And that is a crazy thing to go through while you’re filming a show. Yeah, crazy. And so he’s like, first of all, the show was crazy in itself, because the guy was a dirtbag. But then that happened. And so all of us girls ended up becoming friends. And so my friend was like, you’ve got to do a podcast, like this is crazy. Let’s launch it in 2017. So we did. And we had three seasons that were incredibly like successful, monetized, I mean, the works, right? But that wasn’t where I came from, right, reality TV, and I didn’t want to talk about it forever. So I relaunched the podcast, talking about leadership in late 2019. And I was able to LLC myself create my own brand because of it. And I was able to leave, you know, corporate America and all of that in time for the pandemic. And so now I help nonprofits, corporations, and individuals, women, with leadership, brand strategy, and then I also help with podcasting because it’s a great way to grow your business.
Meredith Reed 4:56
It really is, and that’s something that we talk about a lot at Ossa. People don’t necessarily realize that it is such an incredible way to network with people in other industries, maybe potential collabs. And then also just getting new clients and getting your name out there. It’s such a valuable way, and also to create content that matters to your target market. So I’m wondering if you could share, since you are a women’s leadership expert, what do you think are some of the challenges that women face, when it comes to leadership?
Maya Roffler 5:33
We face a lot of challenges in leadership, I still think it’s a very male dominated environment. And I get kind of looks sometimes from men when they’re like, “Really, you think so?” Don’t get me wrong, it has come a very long way, since I entered the leadership realm. I guess it would be 12 years ago now. Um, but, you know, I think that, you know, there’s not as much mentorship and there’s not as many opportunities still for women. And that’s why this was so important to me to create that environment for women also to create a platform in which they can talk about it because I have communities too, but also where they can get advice from a woman’s perspective, because we don’t have, I hear this all the time from women, they don’t have the same mentorship opportunities. That’s the challenge. And they don’t really hear those stories. It’s changing. But that’s one of the biggest challenges that I see out there. And so when there’s other women out there, like me, who have been in leadership roles, and they’re willing to share their stories and their struggles and weaknesses and strengths. I just, it’s wonderful. But that is probably the biggest struggle I see out there. And also women understanding that, you know, they are already a leader, sometimes they come to me, and they don’t know how to be a leader, they need to realize that they’re already a leader, even if they’re a mom, and they’re coming back into work, they need to understand they’re already a leader, they’re leading these beautiful lives at home, right? If they’re, you know, at home, creating a home for their husband, they’re already a leader. So it’s this concept, that we’re not a leader, if we’re not leading a corporation, we’re not a leader, if we’re not doing this That is really the biggest challenge I see is the mindset with women that, you know, we have to be making six figures already or seven figures and running this large company. And so it’s intimidating sometimes. Because, you know, men make it appear that they already have that, you know, that’s a huge struggle. So I tried to empower women to realize you’re already a leader of your own life. And that really helps catapult them into whatever they want to lead.
Meredith Reed 7:37
Right. I love what you just said. And I think that’s so important, you know, changing, I’ve talked about in the past, the way that we define power in male terms, but also the way that we define leadership in male terms. And like you said, what does it actually mean to be a leader? And that you can be a leader in your own life in so many ways, and it can be really empowering to feel that. I think one of the challenges with leadership, besides not having those role models for women is just the way that we’ve been socialized as well to think about, you know, not being too bossy or pushy, or, you know, having to be likable, and all that kind of stuff. I feel like that’s another major challenge when it comes to getting women into leadership positions.
Maya Roffler 8:27
Yeah. 100%. I mean, I grew up. I mean, I grew up being called bossy all the time. And well,
Meredith Reed 8:33
Maya Roffler 8:35
I’m not surprised, Meredith. Come on. So,
Meredith Reed 8:38
And you know what, I am?
Maya Roffler 8:39
Yeah. And you know, what, I love it. And I own it, because it’s called confidence now, you know, and it’s called that you have leadership skills. And I’m seeing that culture change. And I’m, you know, those are the positives of social media, right? Those are the positive things, I’m grateful for those, but it’s instilling that in the young women coming up, it’s instilling it in our children. And, you know, I remember being told those things as a child, but now I know that those were such positive things and I own them now. But yeah, we were told as women, as young little girls, that those were negative things but men were not told those things. That was good. He was strong guy, you know, ran to the front of the crowd, but as women know, bossy, tone it down, you know, but yeah, it’s totally different. And I want to see that culture changes. So that’s what really lights my fire helping women do that.
Meredith Reed 9:28
Yeah, I am just fully on board with this. I think it’s so important. Like, I also have a corporate background and I know what it feels like to be in a room full of men and have a strong opinion. And I can feel the eyes you know, kind of looking to the guy next to them, I can feel the reaction is not entirely positive all the time. And I think I identify it as like this reaction is specific to me being female and it would not be the same if it was the other way around. And it’s something that I think a lot of other people in the room, especially men, don’t necessarily notice is going on, these subtle social cues that are kind of like, “Oh, that’s a little too much,” you know. But there, it’s valid, it actually happens all the time. And it’s something that when you talk to other women who have been in leadership positions, or who aspire to be in leadership positions, they all get it. Like we’re not all imagining this dynamic, it really exists.
Maya Roffler 10:28
It 100% exists. And, you know, that’s why in my leadership courses, I really, and I either work with people one on one, or it’s all women, because I find that women really act differently when it’s just women, especially on this topic, right? There’s other topics, too, you know, depending on what kind of coach or therapist or whatever you’re doing, right, and whatever you’re talking about. But in leadership, this is one of those topics to your point, exactly. Because we can share these experiences. It doesn’t matter what walk of life you’re from, but when we’re women, and we share these experiences from corporate, I had the same experience, Meredith, I cannot tell you and then being a young woman in corporate America, oh, forget it, “What does she know?” You know, “What does she do?” She’s only 22-23. And then you add the age on top of it. That’s a whole other episode, right? So, you know, I really empathize with that, I’ve been there, I’ve lived it. And there’s so much value to give when you have been there yourself. Because I know that we as women, we lead with empathy. And it’s been proven that the best leaders lead with empathy. So what does that say? What does that say about leaders who are women, we can be some of the best leaders in the world. So it’s really about bringing that to the forefront. And understanding what leading with empathy means. And it’s this right here that we understand each other and the experiences that we’ve gone through, and that, you know, it’s not a male bashing session, but it’s really bring to the forefront, that men understand that we have these qualities, and that they can learn a whole lot from it. You know, when I, I did a whole episode on male and female traits, and how each, you know, women and men both have them. And we need to embrace what we have on both sides and learn from each other. Because empathy is up there. It’s one of my number one things. And when I have these summits, and when I preach these things for my clients, and when it’s all, you know, female summit, we bring that up, we say, what is the number one characteristic in leadership? It’s almost unanimous what women say, empathy, because of something like this right here Meredith, what we just said, we connected.
Meredith Reed 12:35
Right, exactly, exactly. And like I said before, I think it’s so important to change our definition of leadership and power and not just put it on these traditional male terms of, and when we’re saying male and female, obviously, there is a gender spectrum, I don’t want to ignore that. But when you talk about traditionally masculine traits, or traditionally feminine traits, I think that’s something that we can all relate to. And we are all able to have this crossover between the two, kind of a balance of maybe empathy versus being really cutthroat in business. And it’s also been proven that teams that have both men and women and also racial diversity at the top, in these positions of leadership, they do bigger, better things, they perform better, they make more money. Like this is something that’s proven and yet still, it seems like we’re struggling to get diverse voices in positions of power.
Maya Roffler 13:35
Yeah, it’s really wild to me, 100% that is proven. And the reason for that is because it shows teams that there is such a high level of acceptance. So everybody knows that, I did an episode about this too Meredith, it’s like I would think that you’ve listened to the whole series. But, um, so I did an episode about acceptance. And so what happens and the reason there’s such a high success rate with these teams with diversity, and obviously gender diversity, and you know, ethnic backgrounds, all of that, right. And when it’s there, is because anyone walking in there knows, “Oh, my God, look at this diverse team,” They feel accepted much faster. And when you feel accepted, you feel comfortable contributing openly, and they’re not going to run into something like we did where we’re like saying, well, we’re just bossing outspoken, right? So we’re,
Meredith Reed 14:26
I hate the term outspoken.
Maya Roffler 14:30
Meredith Reed 14:30
For obvious reasons.
Maya Roffler 14:31
Right, bossy, outspoken. I speak my mind, whatever. So you know, but when you walk into that, you’re like, Okay, you it’s like a breath of fresh air and like, you just kind of relax. And then you can contribute. And what happens with that is innovation, and the team moves much faster. That’s why it works. And that’s why it’s more successful because people can be open, what happens when there’s lacking the diversity and all, everything we just said, that is removed, there’s no acceptance therefore there’s no openness you don’t feel comfortable you close off you shut down there’s no innovation that’s why it works.
Meredith Reed 15:10
Right and you also come out with tone deaf products and services that only represent a slice of the population and if you have a room of diverse people, the people consuming whatever it is that you’re creating on the other side of things they’re going to be from a lot of different backgrounds so the more that you can have those voices in your creation process the more likely it is that you’re going to create a product that really resonates with people and isn’t so tone deaf.
Maya Roffler 15:36
Yeah, and that’s what they fail to realize these companies that are not embracing diversity and inclusion is like okay yes you’re creating this amazing culture and openness but the end product for your customer, whatever it is product, service, whatever is going to be more incredible too, it’s a win win for everybody you’re absolutely right you hit it spot on.
Meredith Reed 15:59
I actually just thought of a campaign that came out, it was only a few years ago like which is actually, I mean it never should have come out but it was pretty shocking considering the era that we were living in. I think it was Bud Light and the slogan that they came up with was “Take No Out of Your Vocabulary” and I just, the second I heard it I rolled my eyes and I was like, “Okay well this was approved by a panel of men, there were clearly zero women in the room or at least zero that felt like they could speak up because what the hell kind of campaign.” I’m sure they spent so much money on it and if they just had more voices in the room I doubt it would have come out.
Maya Roffler 16:38
Yeah and alcohol too, probably not the best slogan for alcohol. Like no in addition, yeah. Oh that’s wild. Yeah.
Meredith Reed 16:46
Yeah, such a problem. So I actually am curious because you mentioned earlier you trademark your name, your podcast name, and this is something that comes up occasionally with podcasters having questions about all of the legal aspects of podcasting and having a business, treating it like a business and all of that kind of stuff. So for the podcasters out there who are listening, I was hoping you could speak a little bit more on why you made the decision to trademark your podcast name and what the value of that is as a podcaster.
Maya Roffler 17:23
Yeah I love talking about this, I actually talked about this with my podcast clients and there’s a, I made an academy too, so I talk about this, love talking about this topic. So I actually did this quite recently. So last year, yeah it’s been over a year now, I LLCed myself, right, I wanted this to be under this whole brand. I had an LLC before but I was like, “No, I want it to be under MaYapinion,” because I started to have a website and created a brand and created consulting services under this name. So that was kind of step one and then I started to see you know such traction and such name recognition under this and I thought, “Okay I probably need to start to explore this because my background is corporate retail and also events, right.” So I come from a lot of not only you know actual physical tangible products but also come from you know the swag and all of that from events so I know a whole lot about branding. So that was something that was in the back of my mind constantly and I was there for it with you know these companies, especially the startups I worked with in the, in the short couple years after I left you know the big corporations and so it was there and I was thinking you know. Okay, so it’s something I recommend to people if they’re going to do certain things with their podcast, like if they’re going to create a business with it, if they’re going to do swag with it. I’m by no means an expert so I do work with a particular attorney who specializes in specifically this and she does podcasting but she also does like coaching, consulting. So that’s why I selected her, she’s fabulous. But and feel free to message me guys if you want her name, she’s great, but you know I felt that it was time for me, just naturally because of my background, my knowledge and you know there were some people out there starting to use the name for fun on social media and stuff and I thought it was time to protect myself and my brand and what I had worked so hard on. You know I have services, consulting services, I work with nonprofits and corporations as well under this name and this is my second podcast with this name so you know I’m building something and I wanted to protect it.
Meredith Reed 19:37
And just to be really clear, could you elaborate on what you mean when you say protecting it?
Maya Roffler 19:43
Yeah so in protecting it, again I’m not an attorney so you would want to talk to her about this. But in protecting it if someone were to come down the road one day and I’m selling this merchandise right like they could say I’m infringing on their name if they were to go and put it in the like in the trademark system prior to me, right? Just because I have an LLC under this name doesn’t protect me, right? It doesn’t even protect me. I’m in Atlanta, Georgia, it doesn’t even protect me in Atlanta, Georgia, it just says, “This is my company here, and no one else can take that name.” So it doesn’t protect like my sweatshirts, you know, my all this stuff, it doesn’t protect that. So they can’t use this logo, they can’t have that same podcast name. So it really depends. It’s very granular, you would, again have to speak with her about what’s right for you. Because there are different categories for different things like you can do your podcast, you can do your consulting services. So there’s a couple different avenues that I’m going with mine. But that’s why I felt like it was so important at this point in time, because I have a couple different things that I’m doing. Yeah.
Meredith Reed 20:43
Okay, thank you so much for explaining that a little bit more. I think it’s something that you know comes up from time to time. And I mean, I’m not a legal expert, either. So we’re all kind of figuring this out as we go along. But I think as the podcast industry continues to grow, there’s going to be more and more talk about the legal aspect of podcasting. And you know, what, it’s smart, smart measures to take with your podcast and your brand.
Maya Roffler 21:09
I think if you’re building a business, I think the short answer is and really what the first piece of advice I give in my Academy is, if you’re going to build a business around this, I think you should at least consult with an attorney about it because they can tell you if it’s time or if it’s it’s not. Yeah.
Meredith Reed 21:27
Yeah, and speaking of that, before we go, is there anything you’re working on or you offer that you’d like to mention to our listeners, like, for example, a little bit more about your Academy and the other services that you offer?
Maya Roffler 21:42
Yeah, I would love to talk about it. So I mean, obviously, you guys know I have the podcast, so I’d love for you to tune in and listen to that. I have a lot of amazing guests coming up too. And then yeah, I do a couple different things. I have a really cool freebie. So if you are watching this and you don’t have a podcast yet, I launched an amazing workbook, just go to my profile. It’s how to launch a podcast in less than a week. It is six quick and easy steps on how to launch your podcast in less than a week. And then I have a Masterclass that comes out right after that. It’s on demand. So once you click into that, you can watch it and it walks you through, me on video, you’ve already seen me on video. So it’s just me and my office, walking you through all of those six steps; that is completely free as well. But I do have my Academy. So a lot of people do decide to go into the Academy after that. It’s a six week class, I will do my next one at the end, it’ll be a month from now. It’s a six week class that really takes you through the whole step, like step by step of launching successfully, everything from really nailing down that name, that purpose, that why and your audience, your niche, all of that stuff. Going through, you know what, where you’re going to record, your audience, recording, you know what mic to use all of that. You know, the questions that you hear all the time. But then also your launch, you know, I mean, a lot of people, I refer to it as like a restaurant launch because my husband’s a chef. You’re not just going to open your doors to your podcast and expect everyone to listen. So we really go through that as well. And I offer a one on one call at the end with every single one of the students. So I do have that too. And then I do work one on one with anyone who’s in leadership, you know, or if you’re a company, nonprofit or corporation who needs event curation or strategy too. So, would love to talk to you. Yeah.
Meredith Reed 23:35
Great. And I like that analogy to launching a podcast and opening a restaurant that makes a lot of sense. So can you let everyone know where they can find you?
Maya Roffler 23:48
Yeah, so super easy on here obviously at @mayaroffler. I do have my own, you know, little podcast Instagram too @mayapinionpodcast. My website is the same thing, mayapinionpodcast.com. You can find my services on there as well. If you’re a nonprofit or corporation and you want, you know, consulting services, there is a link on there where we can set up a complimentary call. If you want to join the Academy it’s there. Super easy. Yeah.
Meredith Reed 24:15
Perfect. Thank you. This is Maya Roffler from MaYapinion Podcast. And that does it for this episode of Ossa Lounge Live. We will see you next week, same time, same place. And thank you for being here!
Maya Roffler 24:34