Internationally acclaimed author and podcaster Ana Tajder is the host of the Thank You, Mama podcast. Her show amplifies the lessons we all learn from our mothers throughout our lives, giving her guests a unique platform to share a deeper perspective of their family lives with audiences around the world.
After escaping the war in Croatia at just 17 years old, Ana published multiple successful memoirs, wrote hundreds of essays, and became a prominent voice for women’s rights throughout Europe and beyond. Her podcast naturally follows her mission to raise women’s voices and create a better future for all.
Read more from Ana Tajder below and listen to Thank You, Mama here (leave a review, too!).
Tell us what your podcast is about in 3 sentences or less!
I interview women from all over the world, of different professions, ages, and backgrounds, about the most valuable lessons they learned from their mothers.
Zagreb, Croatia and Vienna, Austria
What’s a quote or piece of advice that you try to live by?
Life is short.
One thing on your bucket list:
I want to live in Rome for at least 3 months.
Got to be Real.
What was your first job?
Assistant to the Croatian Ambassador to United Nations.
Any unusual hobbies?
Tai Chi. Also collecting royal commemorative china (those silly cups with pictures of Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth).
Biggest Pet Peeve
What inspired you to start your podcast?
After I lost my mama who was an amazing woman, both professionally and privately, I started writing a book about lessons I learned from her. Talking to friends about it, I learned that women find this topic fascinating but never really articulate what they learned from their mothers. So I decided to give them a platform for this, and spread love, understanding and wisdom.
Tell us more about your work/life outside of your podcast.
I had a big career in corporate world, which lead to a severe burn-out. I collected the courage to quit and become a book author. I published two award-winning memoirs, and hundreds of essays and articles in big media outlets in Europe, and became a voice for women and immigrants. I’m also working on a PhD.
What is your show’s USP?
This is a hard one. A deep passion for my topic. And the topic itself: lessons from mothers all over the world.
What is one of the greatest challenges you have personally faced with your podcast?
I recorded 10 interviews with women across the globe when I realised I didn’t set the laptop to record through the external microphone. After consulting with sound editors (who charged a ton and delivered a very strange metallic sound), I decided to just go for it and launched with the sound as it was. I believed that my guests and their stories are so fantastic that listeners will not even notice that the sound could be better. And that’s what happened.
What was one of your favorite episodes you’ve ever done? Why does it stand out?
Like my mom, I’m a big fan of Bette Davis. So it was a huge honour to celebrate this Hollywood legend’s birthday with a special episode in which we learned about her lessons. What a treasure chest of wisdom! And what an incredible woman! I’m still star struck.
What is one thing you have accomplished with your podcast thus far that you are most proud of?
Women LOVE the show. The passion I receive from listeners about it is like rocket fuel for me. I’m floating on this wonderful energy I’m getting from the listeners. And I’m so proud of how the show is received by women.
What is one major milestone that you would like to accomplish through your podcast in the next year?
I’d like to turn Thank You, Mama into a book that will spread the wisdom of our mothers from different cultures even further. It will be a gorgeous book. I’m already excited!
What is a trend or development in the podcast industry that you foresee happening in the next few years?
People will grow tired and drop out, and only the very passionate will persist.
What is one of the best pieces of podcast-related advice you’ve ever received & why?
You have to be passionate about your topic.
What is one of the worst pieces of podcast-related advice you have ever received & why?
You need a special room full of sponges or other soft surfaces. You don’t. Don’t let them scare you. I have a cheap mic and I just record in a normal room and the sound (when I do remember to plug the mic in) is great.
What are some of your favorite women-hosted podcasts (besides your own)?
Can you tell us about a time when you took a huge risk/did something you were scared to do, and it totally paid off?
At 17, I escaped from the war in Croatia and decided to start a new life in Vienna (Austria) without speaking German. At 33, I decided to resign from a well-paying corporate job and become a writer (in a foreign language). At 36, I fell in love and left Vienna to move to Los Angeles. We’re now married and have a beautiful son. I’m working on my 5th book. And I’m home in Croatia, Austria and the US. It totally paid off!
Are there any great podcast-related resources you love that you would like to share?
ShePodcasts on Facebook – I found some amazing women there.
Is there a charity or cause you care about that you would like to share?
My husband and I are currently donating to local food banks. Did you know $300 pays for 1,200 meals?! Normally, I support Doctors Without Borders because my grandfather was a doctor.
How do you feel you’re making a positive impact and generating change through your podcast?
As I go, I’m learning that it’s important for us to understand where our mothers come from, what their lives were like – so that we can appreciate what they gave us, but also forgive them for certain things. Most of our mothers did the best they could.
Another thing that’s important for me is to open the world to American audiences. I feel that, as multi-cultural as it is, America is still quite closed in, and I hope to change that a bit through these global women’s voices. If COVID proved one thing, it’s that the world really is a village now, and what someone across the world is going through has a direct influence on our lives here.
Stay connected with Ana Tajder and Thank You, Mama:
Website // Instagram // Facebook