Something More with Kathryn Finney

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Today’s episode features writer, women’s advocate, and tech entrepreneur Kathryn Finney. Named one of the most influential women in tech by Inc Magazine, she’s the Founder and Managing Director of digitalundivided, which fosters economic growth by empowering black and latina women entrepreneurs.

Kathryn talks about the courage required to find your tribe and take a leap when you feel there’s more out there for you. From her travels to Ghana during the height of the AIDS epidemic and deciding to become an epidemiologist, to starting one of the first fashion blogs and changing up all of her plans, Kathryn shares how she’s dealt with fear and challenges on her path to figuring out what she wants most out of life.

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Highlighted Excerpt:

Kathryn: So my father passed away, I got married, and it was like, I literally had no idea what I was going to do with my life. Because everything I thought I was going to do was disrupted.

I was very close to my family. My family is the reason why I’m here today. So I just thought, How can I be abroad and do this work and also maintain my family? What am I going to do?  Because this path I thought I was on, I’m wasn’t on it anymore. I was really at a crossroads.

Majo: I’m curious, because it sounds like your father told you to go and live your life. So how did you interpret that to mean staying?

Kathryn: Well, it was a sense of responsibility. One that hadn’t been put on me by anyone else, but I felt it. I think most women take on things that others don’t ask us to. So I felt like that was what I was supposed to do. I mean, my family needed me, but I also needed them.

Majo: So what I hear you saying is, there’s a sense of sacrifice with that other path. Like maybe all of that travel… maybe you weren’t feeling it anymore?

Kathryn: I don’t know that it was a sacrifice, or if it was more of a decision. Like, what do I really want in life? I think as women we’re often faced with that. And we have to ask ourselves, What is it, right now in my life, that I really want. What will make me happy?

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Show Notes:

  • Kathryn as a little girl: Business savvy from a young age, she learned the value and power of making her own money. Plus, the examples of entrepreneurship that had an impact on her growing up. [1:58]

  • Challenges during her formative years, and Kathryn’s inspiring message on finding your own tribe and having the courage to take a leap. [7:42]

  • Her first trip to Ghana on a college fellowship, the humbling experience of contracting malaria, and how it all inspired her work. [13:35]

  • Her thesis on how the HIV AIDS virus impacted violence against women in South Africa, deciding to become an epidemiologist, and the events that changed her trajectory. [19:20]

  • Reaching a crossroads: Kathryn’s insights on sacrifice vs decision, and figuring out what you really want out of life. [24:20]

  • How Kathryn found herself running a non-profit organization and starting an influential blog. [30:35]

  • On teaching herself how to make money from her blog before there was a clear path to doing it, landing a book deal, and how Kathryn compartmentalizes fear. [35:50]

  • The TV deal she almost went through with: Realizing it wasn’t what she wanted, what she learned, and how she handled the backlash. [39:51]

  • The movement that emerged for Kathryn as a result of attending conferences and realizing there were so few women who looked like her. [49:53]

  • What Kathryn has reclaimed on her heroine’s journey. [55:58]

Subscribe and listen to the full episode here (you must subscribe to receive latest episode).


Learn more about Kathryn

Check out digitalundivided


by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs

A big thank you & shout out:

to two of our badass patrons: 

  • Bianca Wendt, an award-winning art director and graphic designer based in San Francisco and London. Learn more about Bianca and her work here.

  • Jennie Lambert, UX Designer and Marketing Consultant at Weblamb LLC, a company she founded at Stanford University that builds incredible & effective web solutions.

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