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Ep. 65 How to overcome adversity and fight stereotypes with Molly Burke

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Have you ever wondered how to overcome adversity and fight stereotypes?

This week I speak with Molly Burke who is a  Youtube sensation and motivational speaker.

At the age of four, Molly was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a rare retinal disease causing loss of vision.

Despite this obstacle, Molly chose to share her story and inspire others to fight stereotypes and find strength from adversity.

Over the years,  Molly’s vision deteriorated but her confidence and optimism only got stronger. As a student, she was bullied and struggled with depression and anxiety. It wasn’t until she found the strength to face her challenges and the courage to ask for help, that she came to find her purpose – bringing hope to others.

Today Molly continues to travel the world as a motivational speaker and brings hope to others who may face similar battles.

Molly and I met during our time with Johnson & Johnson where we were able to learn the amazing progress they have done in the health industry.

From working on the HIV vaccine to providing parents with the best products for their babies, Johnson & Johnson and their scientists have made discoveries that have continuously made a huge impact in our everyday lives!

In the next few months, I will be sharing more incredible stories from the people who have made such incredible innovations and I can not wait to share their stories with you!

Listen on to find out how Molly has overcome adversity and how Johnson and Johnson have created a company that is dedicated create a positive impact in our community.

fight stereotypes

Listen Below:

In this Episode:

How do you come up from the struggles that you face?

  • No matter who you are you have to face obstacles – and there is not a one fix it all solution.
  • Remembering that the person you are comes from the strength you received from your struggles.

How do you become successful at public speaking?

  • The bigger the audience the easier it is because of the energy you are receiving.
  • You have to take your ego out – it’s not about you, it is about helping other people.

How do you handle getting recognized by your fans?

  • It can be an awkward situation when you do not see your fans recognizing you and you can’t make eye contact.

Who has helped you throughout your journey?

  • No one is ever self-made and you need a team of people around you that helps you reach success.
  • You have to recognize that you do not reach your goals alone and to be grateful.

What has been the most valuable lesson you have learned from being at the Johnson and Johnson headquarters as well as J Labs?

  • Their continued dedication to stay true to their mission, morals, and values as a company.
  • How they have continually empowered women in their company.
  • The dedication their employees have for J&J.
  • Choosing influencers for their campaign who make a difference in the world and are diverse in so many ways.

What is it like for a person with a disability to travel?

  • Travel is not just about seeing the sites – it is also about the food, culture, and shopping.
  • It is about choosing activities that you can experience and love.

How do you create income from the start and how do you continue to create income today?

  • In the beginning, Moly was a motivational speaker and toured the country.
  • Multiple revenue streams allow Molly to create income as a speaker, youtube, and model.
  • She is currently working on a merchandise line.
  • Having multiple streams of income allows Molly to be more selective in the company and brands she works with.
  • It is important to stay true to your brand from the beginning in order to create a valuable company that your audience can trust.

What has been the biggest setback you have encountered?

  • At the height of her speaking career, she fell off a 5-foot stage.
  • She developed PTSD and had a huge fear of speaking which was her main source of income.
  • Due to this incident, Molly lost the job that brought her so much joy, this was also the time when she lost her best friend and guide dog.
  • Although this was a traumatizing and painful experience, it pushed her to start her own company and become a stronger person.
  • What felt like the biggest setback, became the biggest blessing.

What is the worst advice that you have ever received?

  • Being told to stay grounded and stay humble to the point where the people who put her down to keep her grounded.

What legacy would you like to leave and what do you want to be remembered for?

  • Educate, motivate and inspire others.

What do you nerd out on?

  • Crime shows and Dr. Phil.

What are you working on that you are excited about?

  • Creating a merchandise line.

Listen to Molly’s extended interview where she shares how to date as a disabled person.

Listen Below:

In this episode:

What is it like dating as a disabled person and as a personality in the public eye?

  • Dating can be challenging not just because of my disability but also have to deal with my public image.
  • Never see your disability as a flaw.

How do you date when you constantly travel?

  • Meeting amazing people can be easy during social events and working on the road.
  • People in your industry will understand your lifestyle more and can be easier to connect.
  • Online dating is not really an option because of her travel schedule and the safety issue as a blind person.

How has your success affected your dating life?

  • It was a challenge that Molly never thought would happen.
  • There are some men who are intimidated by her success.
  • It is more important to be able to share your life and all of your success with no matter who is more “successful” than the other.
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