Category: UNLOCKED Links

UNLOCKED Links: August 2017

Ellen Fondiler | Unlocked Links: August 2017

Once a month, I curate the best links on how to find work that you love, be excellent at what you do, and unlock any door that stands in your way. Mostly, I gather articles and podcasts that capture my attention because they make me think or laugh. Here is the link round-up for August 2017!

• These are troubled times. Think how our world would transform if each of us put kindness front and center in our lives? The digital platform, is designed to reach across oceans and time zones to inspire small ripples of everyday compassion that ultimately create massive waves of change.

• Life works in funny ways. As a society, we venerate youth, rather than the honor the wisdom and experience of our elders. The older you get, the more invisible you feel. Here is a website that is a veritable treasure trove of content from the 50+ tribe. Ageist is made up of  a collective of researchers, thinkers and creatives dedicated to promoting a better understanding of later life styles. Each week, I look forward to their newsletter that is always filled with interviews, articles and great photos.

• I use LYFT all the time. They are a life saver for a city dweller and are in my top 10 of best and convenient inventions. Since most drivers are doing the job to make money while they pursue their passions, I tend to get into great career conversations with my Lyft drivers. They all have such great stories. I often fantasize about doing an interview series spotlighting my drivers called Lyft Your Career. I would ride around… ask the drivers about their career aspirations… give career advice  (LYFT, are you listening??). Here is someone that did the opposite — he became an Uber driver and started a podcast interviewing his passengers. Just goes to show, if you have an idea, run (or rather drive!) with it!

• It’s no secret that I’m always curious to hear the “behind-the-scenes story” of how people found their careers or artistic pursuits. Here and here are the stories of 26 amazing people to keep your eyes on.

• I never thought that I would go nuts over kitchen appliances. And yet, I can’t help but crave these Dolce and Gabbana mixers, blenders, toasters and coffee pots. I’d say they are almost worth a whole kitchen re-do!

• Are you a solo entrepreneur who is feeling isolated and in need of external stimulation? Remote Year is a brilliant marriage of international travel and co-working. 50-80 participants travel together for a year and live and work in a different city each month. It takes working in the corner coffee shop to a whole new level.

• Summer is always a slow time for great indie movie releases (though I did see the movie Maudie a few weeks ago and loved it!) While we wait for Fall’s meatier selections, here is a list of some all time great indie rom coms to keep you busy.

• We are reading a lot about side hustles these days. They help you make more money and get started on your passion projects. But where does one get started? And how do you find the time? Girlboss lists 21 low-hustle side hustle ideas that are worth considering no matter your skill-set. All you need is a little motivation and WiFi to get started.

• There’s a new online dating site that lets the women do the choosing. It’s called Coffee Meets Bagel. It also has a great tagline: Meet Your Everything Bagel today. Okay, maybe a little too cutesy, but I do like the attempt to make meeting people online feel like less of a meat market.

• You know how every day someone asks “How are you?” And even if you’re totally dying inside, you just say “Fine,” so everyone can go about their day? This podcast- Terrible, (Thanks for Asking) is the opposite of that. Recommended by my friend Alexandra Franzen (who always seems to find the best stuff), this show is about talking honestly about our pain, our awkwardness, and our humanness. No surprise, it’s sort of addicting.

• And finally, some tips from life coach Martha Beck on how to lower your stress level. Tip number one should be turn off the news (it’s not). These are actually pretty good. Check them out!

Happy reading and listening,


Photo: Willie Franklin.

UNLOCKED Links: July 2017

Ellen Fondiler | Unlocked Links: May July 2017

Once a month, I curate the best links on how to find work that you love, be excellent at what you do, and unlock any door that stands in your way. Mostly, I gather articles and podcasts that capture my attention because they make me think or laugh. Here is the link round-up for July 2017!

• Women in their 50’s, 60’s and 70’s who are looking to make money in their third act have turned to a new growth industry — medical marijuana. Inspired partly by their own use of the drug for pain relief, or by caring for others who use it for their own aches, these women see viable business opportunities and view their work as therapeutic for their customers.

• Remember when traveling was a black and white proposition? You figured out where you wanted to go, you bought a plane ticket, and off you went. Buying a plane ticket has never been easier — or more complicated. Here is the inside scoop of how and when to buy an airline ticket.

• The most popular class at Stanford might surprise you! It’s called ‘Designing Your Life’. The goal: to help students make sense of what they value as they move forward and begin to create their careers.

These are the best commencement speeches of the season. The message to graduates is clear: STAND UP. FIGHT BACK. SPEAK OUT.

• There are actors, there are thespians, and then there is Daniel Day-Lewis. He’s in a class by himself, not just as a peerless actor but as a larger-than-life presence. Here is a crash course in this finest actor’s finest films.

• Monster. CareerBuilder. GlassDoor. LinkedIn. When you’re looking for a new job, you’re required to dig through countless job boards, managing logins and apps. Or at least you used to be. Now, you can just google it.

• When someone asks a high school student, “What is your passion?” it is enough to send them running to the hills. The design firm IDEO has taken a new twist and has designed a program that helps young people explore purpose in their lives. Check out The Purpose Project to see how telling the stories of their lives brings students closer to the work and dreams that light them up.

• Also from IDEO, their Big Ideas series helps make student learning relevant.

I loved this story about the time this writer worked as an assistant to her hero, the poet Adrienne Rich. Yes, this is another lesson in the power of serendipity.

• Her younger brother may be more well known, but Randi Zuckerberg is an iconoclast in her own right. This is her latest project.

The gender wars of household chores. The French comic artist Emma illustrates the concept of the ‘mental load’. When a man expects his partner to ask him to do things, he is viewing her as the manager of their house.

• Speaking of gender wars (will they ever end?), why do men tend to get more money from VC’s than women? Is it because they get asked different (and easier) questions?

Happy reading and listening,


Photo: Unsplash.

UNLOCKED Links: May 2017

Ellen Fondiler | Unlocked Links: May 2017

Once a month, I curate the best links on how to find work that you love, be excellent at what you do, and unlock any door that stands in your way. Mostly, I gather articles and podcasts that capture my attention because they make me think or laugh. Here is the link round-up for May 2017!

• Do you wonder how to get hired at Facebook? It’s one of the best companies to work for, and loads of applicants are vying to land a spot. Here are some insider tips on standing out.

• Looking for something great to do this summer with your kids? Here are 25 places that commemorate women who were ahead of their time. (Check out #25! It’s my favorite!)

• Mothers and daughters are possibly the most complicated relationship in the world. That relationship often unfolds at the kitchen stove or table. In this setting women pass on their wisdom and life lessons to their daughters along with their recipes. Eat, Darling, Eat is a place where these stories are shared.

• Writer Rahawa Haile detailed her months-long trek up the Appalachian Trail on her Twitter account. She’s written a stunning piece about it for Outside. It’s a great read.

• New to my podcast library: Call Your Girlfriend, a great podcast for long distance BFF’s everywhere. Eavesdrop on Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman‘s weekly calls to each other to discuss the intricacies of pop culture and the latest in politics. On alternating weeks, they bring you Phone-a-Friend episodes that feature in-depth interviews with their fascinating besties.

• Speaking of great conversations between fascinating friends, check out this one between Anne Lamott and Gloria Steinem. They talk about writing, kindness and making sense of the universe.

• Finally, a great example of social media doing good. A retired Korean grandpa lives in Brazil. His grandchildren live in Korea and New York. He was sad and lonely with too much time on his hands. At his son’s suggestion, he learned how to use Instagram to connect with his grandchildren everyday. He draws and the grandma writes the stories. What started as a small, personal project blossomed into a site with almost 300,000 followers! Check it out.

• I’ve been watching Season 3 of Chef’s Table on Netflix. It has inspired me to up my game in the kitchen. So do these amazing new cookbooks. Check out Salad for President. It is such a cool project.

• It is clear that I am fascinated with the question HOW DID YOU DO THAT? At the core of everyone’s story is a bedrock oh hard work. These four entrepreneurs are no different. Read their journeys here.

• Does creativity wane with age? Cultural youth worship to the contrary, the answer is a resounding ‘no”. Take it from this 94-year old who sees no end in sight.

• I LOVED this project, Writing our Rights. It is a workbook that helps girls develop their political ambition while they develop their handwriting skills. Girls find words from 10 of the most iconic female politicians in American history. As they copy them, they not only learn how to write, but also that they are powerful and capable of becoming leaders.

• Every day women settle for less. Lower salaries, less vacation time and bad office environments. Why do we get less? One simple reason: because we don’t ask for anything more. Here is someone who will teach you how.

• Terry Gross is one of the most famous interviewers of all time. Her show, All Things Considered, just celebrated its 30th anniversary on the air. Here are 10 of her best interviews. My favorite is Maurice Sendak that was recorded a few months before he died.

Happy reading and listening,


Photo: Willie Franklin.

UNLOCKED Links: March 2017

Ellen Fondiler | UNLOCKED Links: March 2017

Once a month, I curate the best links on how to find work that you love, be excellent at what you do, and unlock any door that stands in your way. Mostly, I gather articles and podcasts that capture my attention because they make me think or laugh. Here is the link round-up for March 2017!

• If you are about to go to a networking event and you have no idea what to say, this guide is for you!

• This is a podcast world and we are (happily) living in it. Here are 17 of the latest women- hosted podcasts for entrepreneurs!

• The longer I live in San Francisco, the more I discover there is to love. But don’t just take it from me. Check out these 101 reasons to love San Francisco. Wanting more? Here are the city’s best secret spots and hidden gems.

• From Agatha Christie to JK Rowling, Jack Canfield to CS Lewis, publishers have made big mstakes in rejecting these eventual best selling authors. This amazing website gives all aspiring writers a glimmer of hope.

• I love this series of mothers and daughters connecting in the kitchen. Eat, Darling, Eat has it all — history, stories and recipes.

• There are races and there are races. The Itidarod is the queen of them all. Mushers- running with dogs in connection to the land. I love this story by Wendy Battino that highlights the drama, pain and intrigue of this iconic race.

• Do you take photos with your phone? Here are some tools to turn your phone into an even better camera.

• Are you ready to unlock the best writing you have ever done? Check out this new online class by Susan Hyatt and Alex Franzen called Dig Deep. Two of the very best experts showing you the way it’s done!

• Are you a woman entrepreneur building a business that is in need of an injection of funds? BBG Ventures invests in visionary entrepreneurs building the next generation of market-defining consumer products and services. They have a wonderful portfolio and an eye for a great idea!

Bone broth and coffee all wrapped into one! It’s a win-win!

• A Glassdoor for women! Fairy Godboss (great name!!) crowdsources the crucial but sometimes awkward truth about companies.

• Are you wanting to crowdfund your next great idea? Alex Daly just came out with a book about how to kick ass at crowdfunding. Known as the “Crowdsourceress”, she’s raised over $20 million dollars for various companies, artists and ideas.

• The World Economic Forum predicts that women won’t reach global gender equality in the workplace until 2185 ( really??). Claire Wasserman is determined to speed things up. She founded Ladies Get Paid to help women rise up at work. They host town halls to share women’s challenges and workshops to solve them. Since their launch in the summer of 2016, they have over 4,000 members worldwide. Join here!

Happy reading and listening,


UNLOCKED Links: February 2017

Once a month, I curate the best links on how to find work that you love, be excellent at what you do, and unlock any door that stands in your way. Mostly, I gather articles and podcasts that capture my attention because they make me think or laugh. Here is the link round-up for February 2017!

Thought For The Month

Ellen Fondiler | UNLOCKED Links: February 2017

• If you can think it, you can do it! A British man earns $700 per month writing fish tank reviews. Another person makes saddles for pet chickens. Chris Guiilibeau’s new podcast shines a daily light on side hustle businesses from the bizarre to the unthinkable.

This is one of my favorite sites because it walks you through the process of figuring out what you want to do and finding work you love.

• Tim Ferris and Debbie Millman talk about designing a life, work, rejection and success. A great conversation.

• I am trying to take a break from the news and from being in front of a screen all day. I thought that reading biographies of some great past Presidents would help ease the pain of the one we have. Here is a list of the best of the best.

• What just happened? Here is Nate Silver’s analysis of what reporters and data geeks missed about the election (and what they are still getting wrong).

• As we learned with the women’s march, there is so much power in supporting one another to reach our goals. Here, 25 famous women talk about their mentors and how they helped them get to where they are today.

• I know we are all dreaming about impeachment. I hate to be a downer, but the man behind this man is no better. He’s trampled on the rights of women, LGBTQ folks and the poor. Then there’s the incompetence. Here is the back-story on Mike Pence, the man who could be our next President.

These are some great podcasts from public radio. Let’s all donate to keep these alive and thriving.

• Jerry Seinfeld has found a new calling with his show ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’ (I love it!). In this great interview, he talks about life after Seinfeld.

• I love reading wedding announcements (and obituaries). They pull the curtain aside and give us a glimpse into the every day lives of the famous and ordinary people that walk and live amongst us. The New York Times has been publishing wedding announcements for 165 years. Here is a sampling.

• I loved this story from Elizabeth Gilbert. It is yet one more reminder why we should be kind and open-hearted to everyone that crosses our path.

• Read this! This woman is a super hero.

• Do you work from home? Are there days that you think you will go nuts if you don’t get out of the house? This will make you laugh (and maybe push you to go to a co-working space a few days a week!)

• Arianna Huffington always has sound advice about how to stay sane and centered in the crazy world (hint: get lots of sleep). In this time of Trump, her wise words are a salve.

Happy reading and listening,


Image: Willie Franklin.

UNLOCKED Links: January 2017

Once a month, I curate the best links on how to find work that you love, be excellent at what you do, and unlock any door that stands in your way. Mostly, I gather articles and podcasts that capture my attention because they make me think or laugh. Here is the link round-up for January 2017!

Thought For The Month

Ellen Fondiler | UNLOCKED Links: January 2017

• When was the last time you read an actual book? Or not checked your cell phone during dinner? While there are certainly valid arguments that technology has opened our minds and in some cases, our hearts — in this article by Jonathan Safran Foer, he argues that the closer the world gets to our fingertips, the more we stand to lose.

• Even though we are well into January and 2016 is a thing of that past, I am still reading ‘Best Of” lists. Here are a few that I particularly like: 50 Best Podcasts; Even more Podcasts; Blog posts; and Music and Books.

• And while we are talking about 2016, for those who think it was the Worst. Year. Ever. Here is some perspective.

• Turning to the present, our beloved POTUS and FLOTUS are about to take their leave. Here is a new book of essays where 16 writers love on Michelle Obama. I could not agree with them more. She will be missed.

• And while we try to find ways to get through the next 4 years, here are thirteen amazing women who should think about running for President in 2020. There is no time like the present to start.

• Speaking of the next four years, we will be needing lots of diversion. How about starting a podcast club with your friends and neighbors? Add in a potluck and it’s a great way to spend an interesting evening.

• Every year I swear that I will get my password act together. Find better ones. Remember what they are. I never seem to get around to it or figure out how best to do it (sort of like that earthquake kit I keep meaning to make). Here, in cartoon form, password security is explained.

• In astrology (and in life), the passage from 29-30 years old is a major transition. This interesting article looks at the ‘average’ 29 year old. It was way different than I would have imagined.

• Thinking of getting married or making a major commitment to your significant other? What you don’t know can really hurt you. Here are 13 questions to ask each other before moving forward. They might feel too intimate or awkward, but it is certainly worth your time to dive in.

• And finally, among many other things, January is a great time to re-evaluate and re-tune your career. Here are some great tips! (You can also hire me!)

Happy reading and listening,


Image: Willie Franklin.