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Inspiring Success for Revolutionary Creatives with Coco Madari

Coco Madari is a BIPOC, queer, multi-talented, creative being who helps HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) creatives manage their projects and endeavors without overwhelm. They are also a music producer, singer/songwriter, visual artist, poet and DJ, living on the unsurrendered land of the Tsunemu First Nation (Colonial name: Nanaimo).


Listen to their full episode here.







[01:35] Coco Madari on what they are most passionate about

[03:37] Coco Madari on highly sensitive people

[06:11] Coco Madari on when it became important to them to have an impact in the world   

[08:19] Coco Madari on early steps they took to act on their drive

[10:21] Coco Madari on deciding they wanted to help people and starting their business

[02:03] Coco Madari on why their clients connect with them

[13:53] Coco Madari on the first step people need to take to live more authentically

[07:26] Coco Madari on the common thread that creative people tend to face

[19:05] Coco Madari on helping creative people get past the barriers they face in society

[21:38] Coco Madari on starting their business during the pandemic

[23:36] Coco Madari on what they have learned from coaching other people

[26:17] Coco Madari on the various ways they express their creativity

[28:47] Coco Madari on their creative process writing songs

[32:53] Coco Madari on how they deal with creative block

[35:50] Coco Madari on how they market their coaching business

[37:55] Coco Madari on their work with the Visionary CEO Academy

[39:47] Coco Madari on their biggest professional challenge

[43:07] Coco Madari on the advice they would give to their younger self

[44:49] Coco Madari on one success story from their clients

[46:24] Coco Madari on their definition of success

[47:46] Coco Madari on their dream for women and gender non-conforming



Passionistas: Hi everyone. We are sisters, Amy and Nancy Harrington, the founders of The Passionistas Project. We've created an inclusive sisterhood where passion driven women and gender non-conforming, non-binary people come to get support, find their purpose and feel empowered to transform their lives and change the world.


This episode is being done in collaboration with our dear friends, Danay Escanaverino and Dali Rivera for AmigosMax. Danay's amazing organization is elevating the Latino professional community by maximizing opportunities for members to connect with resources and support they need to thrive and become leaders in their industries, all while honoring unity and diversity with the sprinkling of fun and authenticity.


On every episode of The Passionistas Project, we discuss the unique ways in which each guest is following their passions, talk about how they define success and explore their paths to breaking down the barriers that we too often face.


Coco Madari is a BIPOC queer multi-talented creative being who helps HSP creatives manage their projects and endeavors without overwhelm. They are also a music producer, singer/songwriter, visual artist, poet, and DJ living on the unsurrendered land of the Snuneymuxw First Nation (Colonial name: Nanaimo).


So please welcome Coco Madari. Hi Coco, thanks so much for being here with us today.


Coco: Hello! Thank you so much for having me.


Passionistas: We're really excited to find out more about you and, uh, introduce you to our audience. So what are you most passionate about?


Coco: What am I most passionate about? Well, someone recently asked me why I want to help, um, HSP creatives. And for those of you who don't know, HSP means highly sensitive person. And what came up to me is... It's that there's so many stars and creatives who have made such a big impact in the world who were highly sensitive, like Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Princess Diana, who made a big impact in the world, but also struggled a lot because they were highly sensitive in a world where, um, that wasn't built for people.


So I really want to, um, support those people who have those special gifts and, or who have that increased level of insight and have something to offer the world, um, a safer place for them to open up and be more seen in the world. So that's something that I feel very deeply passionate about because it's so Something for, for me as well, I see myself as like a highly talented person and I also want to create a safe space for myself to be able to bloom and share the things that I want to share.


Passionistas: Well, you're also, by the way, for those of you who can't see us and watch, listening to the radio show, you are also our most fabulous style of wise guest we've ever had with all due respect. Oh my gosh.


Coco: Wow. Wow.


Passionistas: Fabulous people, but you. Um, so let's talk about HSP because it's something I personally only became aware of in recent years, and once I heard about it, I was like, oh, that explains a lot. I, I, I can relate to a lot of that. So can you explain more what HSP?


Coco: Yeah, so actually highly sensitive, so highly sensitive people comprise of like 15 to 20 percent of the population. You also see highly sensitive, um, animals in the wild. So it's actually like a thing where certain percentages of the population are just more sensitive to potential risks.


They have just like higher sensitivity to stimuli and stuff like that. And they're basically, based on what I've been reading about it, there's this book called The Highly Sensitive Person. I think it's by Dr. Elaine something. And basically she explains that like, the population has the highly sensitive that are in 20, uh, 15 20 percent, and then kind of like the warrior class.


The ones who just like go out and like, You know, fight or they go get the resources and they're, you know, don't have that same, or like warriors. And then the highly sensitive ones are often the ones who kind of like can think ahead at potential risks and, and, um, might not be as willing to go out and do those more physical demanding things, but then are also able to carry like the um, emotional weight of things. Um, in the book, it talks about one example of this highly sensitive person who was living in concentration camps. And so what this person did is they really uplifted the spirits of the people who are living in the concentration camps by doing poetry every night. So, you know, the highly sensitive people, they provide just like a, um, Deeper level of support and emotional regulation and every, every person, regardless if you're highly sensitive or not, or have any other kind of neurodivergency, we all have something to bring. So, um, yeah, I hope that answers your question.


Passionistas: And, and do they tend to be creative people?


Coco: They're more likely to be creative, or it could be, you know, people who are more in the helping field. I am a therapist and counselor and coach.


Passionistas: So, let's take a step back. When did it first become important to you to have an impact in the world and to make a difference?


Coco: Hmm, that's a really good question. You know, even when I... You know, growing up, I had a hard time connecting with people because I always felt, uh, very different. It was hard for me to make small talk.


It was hard for me to, like, be in a group of people and just be there for a long period of time and not need a break. I was like, how are these people, like, hanging out for hours at a time? And, like, talking about things that I felt were more surface level or whatever. But one thing that I would always...


So I've always been that kind of, um, bigger thinker and wanting to have those bigger conversations. And I'm also a person who is more deeply impacted by the troubles of the world, partly because I am Black and trans, and that has touched me in, um, Like on the daily, um, but I think it's, it's a, it's a, it's a big thing with highly sensitive people as well to feel the weight of the problems of the world more, but then also having that vision for what the world could be.


Um, so I think I've always had this drive to not only create the world, but I. Want for myself or the life that I want for myself because I only have one life, but also seeing what is possible for the human species and being so inspired by the people who came before me who risked their lives or risked whatever they risked in order to create that world.

And yeah, that it's just, it's just kind of always felt like it was my calling to be a part of that movement. Yeah.


Passionistas: So what were some of the first early steps you took to act on that drive?


Coco: Starting my coaching business was definitely a part of it. When I, um, left my first very abusive relationship, I went into therapy, went straight into therapy, and that completely changed my life, and I started to, you know, do more creative things, I started hula hooping, I started, um, talking to people who were more creative, who I thought, you know, years prior, that like, oh, I could never be like that, or oh, that's, that's like, um, it almost felt like repulsive to me, and I think it's because, like, I was like repulsed by myself.


And was rejecting myself. And so I started to spend more time with, with, um, Those kind of people, and just my life just got so much better, and I felt so much more confident, and I remember this moment when I was at a festival, and I was just like, walking around by myself, feeling totally comfortable being by myself, and going to the stage, walking right up to the speakers, and turning around to the crowd, and Feeling like I was dancing with the crowd and like looking into people's eyes and like dancing with people and it was just such a huge moment for me because years before.


I would need to get blackout drunk to be able to just dance at all or move my body. So it was such a huge shift. And then that's when I decided to start my life coaching business. And then once that started, then the possibilities just became endless for like,

And I was able to have the, um, have the space to dream fully and, and have the tools to be like, Oh, this is actually possible.


Passionistas: It's amazing. So what was the process from taking that very personal journey and deciding you wanted to help people to actually starting a business? Because you have a very successful business. So how did you get started? Learn how to do that. And what were the steps you took to starting your business?


Coco: Yeah. Um, well, the first thing I did was I find out for a program that would help me learn how to sell and to give me that, um, give me that skillset. And basically it was just a lot, a lot, a lot of trial and error.


Like I did 40 consults where that were all no's. And I like be kind of known in the industry for the person who just. Failed and failed and failed and failed. And then, but always would come back and like, ask for help with what, with that particular consult and, and learn from it. And I was just so committed.


And, um, there was a moment where I was just so defeated. It was like console number 44 for snow and, um, I was like, I am not cut out for this. Like, I can't do this. And then I had a moment with myself where it's like, am I willing to work on this for as long as it takes and just figure it out? And, um, the answer was yes.


And then as soon as I kind of made that shift, then it started to feel a little bit lighter. It was just like, oh, I'm just in this for the learning. And then things really started to take off in my business.


Passionistas: What appeals to your clients about you? Like why do they come to you?


Coco: Oh, yes. Um, they typically, the clients that are coming to me now, um, are coming to me because of like the content that I put out there is actively helping them or I have helped them in the past, but people have come to me because they really see the way I speak my mind and they see the way that I am just like openly expressing myself, and am very authentic, and then they want to have that for themselves.


They see the areas that they're like... Being greyer than they want to be or they are holding themselves back or people pleasing or they're wanting to work on their business and their creative passions, but they're just kind of not and they feel stuck. Yeah, another reason why people come to me is because they see just how I just like have this motor and this.

Drive that, that just doesn't stop. And it's funny because I have that, but then I also have like chronic fatigue, . It's like I can have chronic fatigue and just be so tired and then at the same time have this, just push forward this like, um, drive forward. And it can even look like sometimes, you know.


Being so tired during the week, but then when I go to go out to a party, then I am like, like people know me being right at the speakers dancing all night. And I have all the energy for that. And then I'll go home and like sleep forever.


Passionistas: So what are some of the tips that you have for people who do want to live more authentically? What, what, maybe what's the first step people need to take?


Coco: I think the first step is to be really honest with yourself about what you want in life. What you really, really want in life. Um, because I think the first step to being more authentic is just being more honest with yourself. Like, am I happy where I'm at? Is this really where... I want my life to go. Am I happy with the way that my life is going?

And sometimes the answers aren't pretty, and that, I think, is a good sign that you're living not more authentically. I, um, am starting a communal house, um, where I live, which is very exciting. It's, like, gonna be, like, a creative, artistic house, which is gonna be so much fun. And, um, I'm doing it alongside another.


And now we're looking for roommates and one of the things that he asked me when we were chatting and seeing if we were a good fit is, what is the most toxic thing about you? And that's, those are the kinds of questions I'm asking myself now is being honest with myself about what my true like weaknesses are, what my true, the things that, um, can make it challenging to be in a relationship with me.


Like, and then what I kind of. What I came up with is that I sometimes make, like, impulsive decisions or decisions on, like, high emotions, like, and then that can just, that just causes me more stress and just, like, whatever. So yesterday, I ended up taking a ferry. All the way to Vancouver, like a two hour ferry to, like, buy this car that I just, like, decided I absolutely needed, but I didn't really even like it that much, but I, but I kind of, the car that I wanted before, the guy sold it, and so I think I was, like, on a high emotion there, and I was like, I just need a car today.


And then I was like, I'm gonna go to Vancouver, and then, so, I, um, it was like this huge rushed thing, and I spent money getting this car, um, you know, inspected by a mechanic and then the mechanic calls me while I'm on the ferry saying like this is what's wrong with the car and then I went back to the guy and it didn't even end up working out and then I came back on the ferry another two hours and it was just like, oh my gosh, this is my most toxic drink. Uh, definitely like lesson learned, but um, but you didn't get the car. I didn't even get the car.


Passionistas: Yeah, it sounds like it would have been really bad. So it actually sounds like your instincts were right to make the final decision not to do it.


Coco: Exactly, exactly. It was, yeah. Yeah.


Passionistas: So you mainly work with creative people as a coach. So what's, um, what do you find is the common thread that creative people tend to face?


Coco: A big thing that has been coming up is managing their schedule, managing the different things that they have on the go. Um, managing their energy, and like, doing it all, resting enough, a lot of people don't rest enough, so we do a lot of work around, like, why are you over scheduling yourself? Because like, you're the one making the schedule, so like, what is happening there?


Um, imposter syndrome is another one that comes up often, um, yeah, yeah, and also like, how to make money off of the things that... Because sometimes they have a weird idea that they're not sure is actually gonna work because it's never been done before. How do I have, then how do you have the confidence to be able to, um, know that it's worth money and come up with some creative ideas for how You can make that work.


Passionistas: Yeah, that's a huge struggle, I think, for so many people, you know, and I think as creatives, it's um, especially if you, like, you are also a musician and a songwriter, it's a tough business to make a living in. Um, so how do you help people kind of get past the barriers that are already there in society for creative people?


Yeah. To, you know, not only get over their own obstacles in terms of emotionally how they're thinking about making money, but also just like the logistics of being a creative person in the world. What kind of advice do you give them about that?  


Coco: Yeah. Well, one of the things that I say often is, um, that all of your creative endeavors feed each other. So, for example, if I am performing at a cafe, for example, I am also... Advertising my coaching business. I am also showing myself as a, as an artist. Right? And so that might look like as you're like singing a song, mentioning the other things that you do and other things that, um, other ways to work with you.


Right? And, um, also just kind of like brainstorming with them. Like how, how else could you make money? Grants? That's an option. You can make money, you know, in lots and lots of different ways. And I tried to get them to do the brainstorming because as highly sensitive

people, one of our superpowers is when we're in that place of, like, rest.


And if we can come up with these ideas that have never been done before, right? I had this one idea that was really cool. Um, I'm considering joining a band, like a punk metal band, as a singer. And one idea I had was to do... remake of, um, Be Prepared by The Lion King. And I thought it would be really fun because I'm, I'm trans masculine.


And, um, it would be really, really great to have, because it's like, I'm going to be king. And That would be really fun. And it's also like a very popular song. And, and it has a potential to have a lot of views. So it's like those kinds of things, where it's just an idea, don't know if we're going to do it.


But It's, um, it's, it's an opportunity that is suited for me and for where the world is right now and for all of those things. So I think all, within all of us, we have these like genius ideas that will work for only us. So I want to pull that out of my clients and get those.


Passionistas: Now you started your business during the pandemic. So talk about that. How challenging was that? Or was. Was there an advantage to it in some way?


Coco: Yeah, it definitely, it was during the pandemic, but I also like in looking back, it also was the boom of the coaching industry at the time. Um, there definitely was challenges. There was the idea that no one had money because everyone was losing their job and all of that stuff.


So that played into it. Um, And I think one of the ways that I dealt with that, because we're also in a recession now, is just being open to the idea that, like, there are people with money, there are, like, people who are willing to pay for my services, who have the money easily to be able to do that, and I think it can be easy Especially as a creative, to kind of be in our own silos and echo chambers where, like, sometimes it can look like people who are talking about, oh, no one has money, oh, you know, whatever.


And I think also as a creative, utilizing the online, um, space and the global audience, because for me, I live on Vancouver Island. Um, so I, I don't really want to depend on the people here in order to make a living. And then having that global audience as well and those global clients will also help me to um, sign clients and, and sell art here as well because I'm not as dependent on it.


So I think it's just also opening up your mind to. Like the fact that some people have money and then also opening up your kind of global versus local perspective.


Passionistas: Yeah, that's really smart. What have you learned about yourself from coaching other people?


Coco: Yeah, I feel like I learn about myself all the time in every single session like when I am coaching someone I am also Coaching myself every time. And it's all, it's often something that I've been through before or I'm Going through now, and I'm like, oh, oh damn, like, this, this is something that I'm struggling with, how do I help this person?


And, you know, when I think about just like, just focusing on helping them, the things that I say, I'm like, oh yeah, I should like, listen to that, you know? So, um, yeah, yeah. I, I, I also think that there is a really... Cool and interesting and beautiful, um, spiritual connection between coach and client where, you know, sometimes the things that they bring you, you dealt with just a week ago, right?


And that happens so often, like all of the time. So I think there, and there, and there also is just like things within the collective that we're experiencing and, um, just like the other day on Sunday, I couldn't sleep because I was just thinking about how, um, so many things are falling apart in the world.


We're at this point where we really can't go on the way things are going on, and how are things going to fall apart, and who's going to feel that the most, and all of that stuff. And so, I was just like, thinking about that, and thinking about just like, the urgency of it all. And then, I go on Instagram, scrolling on Instagram, and then I see a poem written by someone who is talking about that exact thing.


And then I talked to another person who I met on Sunday at like a metal show, and they were talking about that, and I was like, Oh, like we're kind of all going through the same thing. We'll all have this like collective heartbeat and I think that's, that's really beautiful. So when I'm able to help someone else, I really, it's, it's like a mirror back into myself.

That's why I love coaching so much.


Passionistas: That's so great. So you've mentioned music and a few other things. Tell us about all the various ways you express your creativity.


Coco: So many ways. And I think also, too, music is so, it's such a general, like, uh, thing, and, and, and even just When I'm like, oh, I'm gonna train my voice. I'm going to start practicing singing every day.


And then I'm like, oh, but what about do it like doing like a more like metal, like vocal fry, like screaming, that sort of thing. That's its own thing. And then you dive into that rabbit hole. And then I just got this, um. app to help me make beats so that I can like rap over top of them or like create a song around it and then I downloaded the app and then I was like oh I kind of want to Make it more custom.


So now I'm learning about finger drumming and how to do that. So you kind of like as you go you find more things that you want to learn about and all that stuff. So Right now, what my focus is on is just like, training my voice every day, learning about how to be a better singer, and also learning about, um, beat making, so then I can just make songs quite easily and then start to become a better singer, perform that, and then once I do that, then I'll meet more people who are also musicians or who have connections within that, then kind of see how things go from there. Maybe meet potential bandmates, maybe meet, like, have potential collaborations and, and stuff like that.


So this is something that I Tell my clients too is that when you get started in something, try with something that feels the most easy to you that will help you move forward in some way. You can't learn all of it at once, but where can, where can you, what can you do that will take you to that next step?


Passionistas: Yeah, that's brilliant advice. Um, and what is your creative process when you're writing a song? What, where do you draw inspiration? Do you? Need to be somewhere where you're, it's quiet and you're focused. What, you know, what's your process?


Coco: I find that my mind needs to be quite blank. Like if I'm just in, in, in work mode, I'm at work or something, I don't really come up with songs while I'm doing that. Um, it has to be while I'm just like doing nothing or I'm cooking or I'm, you know, out and walking. Then, lyrics and poetry will just come to me, and then I'll just write that down, and I just have so many pages of, like, half written poems, or just lines, or beginnings of songs, and all of that stuff.


So I have a lot of unfinished stuff, and I let it be that way, um, because... I know eventually it's all gonna, it's all gonna come together. And it was the same thing with, um, DJing. Where I did little bits of, like, downloading music, little bits of practice, little bits of whatever. And then I would, I would get offered gigs, and sometimes it just wouldn't feel right.


And so I would... You know, say no, or I would say yes, and then I would be like, oh, but it doesn't feel right, so I would say no. And then this one gig came up where I was like, this is the one, this is the one I need to do. So then I learned how to DJ for that set, and it was really, really awesome. And then I didn't DJ for like a year after that.


Not because I didn't want to, just because there weren't any opportunities that really spoke to me. And so then another DJ gig came up, um, to DJ for a Vancouver Pride event, and I was like, oh yeah, I'm doing that one. And then, so I did that one, and, um, Yeah, so really my process is just, is very intuitively led, where I just follow what feels right in the moment.


And sometimes working on your creative projects can look like practicing, doing like the diligent 15 minutes a day at whatever you're, you're, you're working on. It also could look like... You know, I just, I'm, I'm in the process of watching that, um, Netflix series, it's called Ladies First, and it's about rappers, um, like black, uh, female rappers, and how they basically, like, shaped so many things, like popular culture, rap music, you know, all of that stuff, and how they, um, really were speaking to so many social issues, and So that was really inspiring and then now I have like a whole list of like, um, rappers that I need to learn, like I need to listen to, right?


And then maybe from that, then I'll start to, then I'll start to like wrap on top of it or then I'll start to get ideas. I find like listening to Ice Spice to be really like helpful in just allowing, because I love what I love about her is just that flow and that ease. I don't know if you guys listen to Ice Spice at all.


I don't. I know who she is, but I do not. Yeah. Yeah. I just love the way that she flows. So, um. There's been times when I've just been listening to her music and then I would start writing my own stuff. Yeah. So, um, I think just trusting that, just trusting that whatever is interesting you, like interest is that you're interested in, that is interesting you. That's right. Yeah. Okay. Um, that, that is going to lead you to what you need to be creating.


Passionistas: And what about creative block? What do you do?


Coco: So, um, maybe I don't feel like, um, writing a song or playing with beats and maybe I feel like making art, maybe I feel like painting, or maybe I feel like writing a post for my coaching business. Maybe I feel like, um, something else. So, that's normally what I do. Either that, or I just allow myself to just not do anything.


And trust that, like, I'm a creative person. It's gonna come. And just let it, let it be. Because I find out when it's, when it's forced, it's, it's, um, it doesn't, it doesn't feel right. Unless there is some sort of push, like, with, like, getting that DJ gig, and then it's like, okay. We have to pull this together in two weeks, you know, or you're just in that zone where you're like, I'm going to focus on this.


Right. And then you kind of just use willpower in order to, to get that stuff done. But if there isn't any sort of like deadline and you're in this zone that feels a bit more like open and it can move in lots of different directions, just like, let it, let it be. Let it be. And if there is some sort of, like, constraint, like, you want, you want to make money or you want to whatever, if that is your, if that is your goal, then, then let that, let that, um, inspire you to take action, right?

I find money to be a great motivator sometimes, where it's like, okay, well, I want to make money so I can, like, do these things, so then that might feel, like, give me a push to do some marketing for my coaching business, or it might give me a push to, Whatever. And I think that's actually a really important key is that, um, going back to what do I want?


Being honest with yourself about like, what do I want to be saving for? I'm making this amount of money now. Is that sufficient for me to do all the things that I want to be doing? Right? I was just talking to a client last week about, um, she had enough money to... Um, like pay your bills, she had some money saved for retirement and all of that stuff, but then she still felt stressed about money.


And then I asked her like, what else do you want to spend money on? She's like, oh, well I want trips, I want, you know, to save more for retirement, I want these things, I want those things. So it's like, figure out how much money you actually need to be making a month in order to make those things happen.


Then you'll be able to kind of have a little bit more of that motivation. To figure things out and to move forward.


Passionistas: Yeah, you mentioned marketing. So how do you market your coaching business? How do you bring in clients?


Coco: Yeah, so I do it through social media. Mostly. I tend to meet my clients either through. You know, doing interviews or through my own like in person networking and just meeting people, um, and then they end up following me on social media and then feel helped by my content and then decide that they want to work with me. So I do it through like helping people kind of like the same way that I help clients.


Like I will bring examples that I talked about in a session into my marketing, and then that helps the people who haven't paid me yet. And then I'll also make offers. And one of the things that has helped me a lot with, um, marketing, my coaching business is just letting go of the perfectionism. And just like letting things come out, even though it's not perfect yet, and not being too precious about every single post that I make.


And in doing that over a couple of years, now I can get, I can bang out a post in like 10 minutes. And then that's like my marketing offer for the day that I want to send out.


Passionistas: Well, that ties into the whole authenticity thing too, right? I mean, people make mistakes. The authentic you is not a perfect person. So people connect to that, right?


Coco: Exactly. Exactly. Yeah, and knowing that people do want to connect to your authentic self and that the people who don't want to connect to your authentic self They're probably not the person for you.


Passionistas: Not your people.


Coco: Yeah, exactly.


Passionistas: Tell us about your work at the Visionary CEO Academy.


Coco: Yeah, good question. So I work in customer success for them. So I do a lot of their admin and also, um, getting into. Learning about the business and how they help their clients and, um, starting to take on a little bit more of that coach consulting aspect. So they help bus, like online businesses who are at the million dollar mark or more to hire and be, uh, good team leader, have effective meetings and help their team, um, basically achieve what.


What they want, because that's a, that's a big challenge with people who might be new to leadership or whatever, is that they have expectations, but then the team is still relying on the leader in order to get answers and direction, all of that stuff. So a lot of their work circles around how do you give your team ownership of these pieces so that you can continue to grow?


So yeah, it's really it's a really exciting It's a fun place to work. I really enjoy it. And they also, um, know that I'm an entrepreneur and support that and that I find is really helpful as well. And yeah, yeah, I love working for them. That's great. Mm hmm. 


Passionistas: What would you say has been your biggest professional challenge so far and how did you overcome


Coco: I think it has been getting into areas and Industries and I think but think more areas of work that I think are like the things to do like For example, um, coming out of university, I didn't know that it's possible to make money outside of what the list is of things where, where titles that you can have, right? It's like when you are taking those career tests when you're 17 and it gives you what you're supposed to be doing, right?


All of that comes from just like the typical. You know, things. But the place that I'm working at now, it isn't something that I would have thought. To like be a keyword on Indeed. And I feel like a lot of people get stuck in that, um, especially when they're job searching, uh, okay, maybe digital marketing is a thing.


So now I need to get these certifications and now I need to do whatever, and that might be the right path for you. But I think a lot of, um, just pain and suffering and just like looking for a job, having a job has come from. Um, thinking that that's all there is, so I have to fit into this mold. I think that's been the biggest thing, is thinking that I have to fit into the mold, trying to cram myself in there, and then being disappointed because I'm not being selected because I can't fit in the mold.


Right? Instead of being open to opportunities that I don't have to fit into a mold for, that are for me, that do have the kind of level of, um, inclusion, diversity, and equity commitment that I would be looking for, that would have the level of, we prioritize the rest of our employees, right? Instead of it being this like, 40 hours a week, you get two weeks of vacation, and you're just expected to be okay with that.


But then we're also like, an activist organization. And, you know. All these things, right? So the challenge has been just finding that right fit of people, of people who really walk the talk. Yeah.


Passionistas: What advice would you give to your younger self?


Coco: How young are we talking?


Passionistas: Oh, pick an age or two or a few.


Coco: Um, I would say to like my 12-year-old self, I would say that the people who are like surrounding you right now aren't the world. That's all, not all that there is. This is what it is right now, but there, there are people who are a better fit for you. These just aren't the right fit for you. And that doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with you, or anything wrong with them, it's just, yeah, so you don't have to make yourself wrong for not fitting in. And then I would say, as my 18-year-old self, don't focus on dudes. Waste your damn time.


Passionistas: That's good advice for any age.


Coco: Yeah, don't focus on dudes, don't sacrifice for dudes. It's just, um, focus on yourself, focus on your, yeah, like who you want to be, and then the right people will, will come.


Passionistas: Good advice.


Passionistas: Is there one success story from the clients that you've worked with that really stands out to you as something you're, you're really proud of?


Coco: Yeah, there's this one client who, when she started working with me, she didn't know what she wanted to do with her life. She was like working in finance. She knew she wasn't liking it. And, um, yeah, we started working together. And then, through us working together, she realized that she wanted to live in India.


Like, she was Indian. And she, um, through conditioning, thought that the U. S. was like the place. Then she realized that that's where, where she really wanted to be. And then she also realized that she wanted to be a coach and she also realized all these other things about herself.


And then she ended up moving there and it was such a. It was such a big decision and such a, like going from being in this very, you know, stable. You know, environment, um, but also very boring to then making this like big life decision that totally changed her life and made it so much better. That was in alignment with her and not with the kind of unconscious expectations of what it looks like to be successful. I feel like that was a huge, huge win.


Passionistas: Yeah. Well, so along those lines, what is your definition of success?


Coco: I think my definition of success is just be happy and satisfied and fulfilled in your day to day, while also building towards the future that you want. Like, if you can be fulfilled in your day to day, then you've already made it.


If you're feeling like you're expressing all of the things that you want to express, or at least working towards that full expression, that's enough. That's enough success, and then that's just gonna keep building on it. I try to live and schedule my life in a way where it's like, it would be the same when I have 20 times more followers, or when I have, you know, 10 times more money, or whatever it is.


But still living in that place of open creativity, um, working on your skills, getting better, being surrounded by beautiful people, and that, that, and, and feeling safe to work on your skills and to, to do it imperfectly and to share. That is success to me.


Passionistas: So one last question. What is your dream for women and gender non-conforming people?


Coco: To run the world, baby! Take over, honey. They need it. We need it. We want it. We're ready. And not running the world from that patriarchal, you know, way that we've been taught, but really from that authentic, you know, loving. Space. Yeah.


Passionistas: Yeah, absolutely. Well, thank you so much for being with us today. How can people find you? Where can they go to find you?


Coco: Yeah, so you can find me on Instagram. Um, my handle is Coco Madari. It's C O C O M A D A R I, that's on Instagram, and then you can also look up that name on Facebook as well if you prefer to follow me on Facebook. And then through there, the link in my bio will show, um, my music, it'll show, my email list, if you want to join that, and, um, if you want to book a free consult with me, then you can just send me a DM, we can go from there.



Passionistas: Yeah. Thank you so much. It was such a pleasure to talk to you today, and, uh, we will keep in touch and talk to you soon, I hope.


Thanks for listening to The Passionistas Project and our interview with Coco Madari.


Thanks to our collaborators on this episode, Danay Escanaverino and Dali Rivera from AmigosMax.Be sure to join their growing community of Latino professionals and their allies on LinkedIn, Clubhouse, and Twitter.


And be sure to visit to sign up for our mailing list. Find all the ways you can follow us on social media. And join our worldwide community of women working together to level the playing field for us all.


We'll be back next week with another Passionista who's defining success on her own terms and breaking down the barriers for herself and women everywhere.


Until then, stay well and stay passionate.


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