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Mori Taheripour is a globally recognized executive, highly sought-after speaker, and negotiation expert who has worked with some of the most iconic sports leagues and Fortune 100 corporations over the past twenty years. She teaches Negotiation and Dispute Resolution at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and is an eight-time recipient of awards for excellence in teaching.

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0:00:00.1 Melissa Bradley: The following episode contains language which may not be suitable for all listeners. Please use discretion.

0:00:20.2 MB: Welcome to Porch Talks. I’m Melissa Bradley, founder of 1863 Ventures and co-founder of New Majority Ventures. Here on Porch Talks, I sit down with veteran founders, CEOs and entrepreneurs who are committed to creating wealth for the new majority. These folks have years of firsthand, in-the-trenches experience navigating a fast growing entrepreneurial ecosystem. Here, they break down the roadblocks and barriers that tested their resiliency and resolve and share the lessons they’ve learned through it all. Each and every talk will support the health, wealth, and wellbeing of the new majority Entrepreneur. Undoubtedly, these people and their stories, will inspire you on your journey from founder to CEO.

0:01:06.9 MB: A quick note before we get into this episode, Porch Talks was recorded on a real life porch in Martha’s Vineyard, so please enjoy our conversation and the sounds of the island. Now, here’s my talk with Mori.
I’m so excited to have Mori Taheripour, who is a faculty member at Wharton here with me today. I know you lots of ways, we’re gonna dive into that, but how would you describe yourself?

0:01:30.0 Mori Taheripour: I think first and foremost, an entrepreneur, actually, educator. Yeah, I think I would say those two things, because they’re probably the most defining.

0:01:37.8 MB: And how do they go together?

0:01:39.2 MT: So I’ve been an entrepreneur for the greater part of my career, really early on. And I actually never intended to be an educator. So that’s the new add-on as of the last nearly 18 years. But an entrepreneur, sort of at heart, once I sort of delved in, and it was my consulting firm, I just never looked back. Have I worked for others during this time? Yeah. But I feel like I’m most in my spirit when it’s my own thing. And whether it’s a joint venture, whether it’s myself, I don’t know, there’s just the spirit of an entrepreneur I think runs deep. And as an educator, I was one of those people that, “Well, my parents wanted me to be a doctor.” And once I let them down, [chuckle] I realized that I really… This is cliche, but I wanted to do something that would help people, that would make a difference.

0:02:30.8 MB: And I’m gonna fast forward this, go to the executive summary version of this. But once I started teaching at Wharton, and I really sort of allowed myself to trust myself, to trust my gut as far as teaching went, I fell in love with it. And looking back, now it all kind of makes sense. This was the path to helping people. I just didn’t realize that that’s what it was supposed to be.

0:02:53.5 MB: Why is it important for you to help people?

0:02:55.5 MT: Because I think it’s a responsibility, I think we all learn something in our lives. That I’m not one of those people… I don’t have kids, but I am not one of those people that wants to sort of protect others from making mistakes necessarily, because I think we learn from those things.

0:03:09.8 MB: Absolutely.

0:03:10.3 MT: But I wanna impart whatever wisdom that I have, because I think we can’t live somebody else’s life, but we can certainly complement their experiences and support them, because it’s hard. It’s hard to ask for help. It’s hard to feel alone. Which, going back to entrepreneurship, I think many of us do. There’s just sort of this lonely, like you’re on an island kind of feeling.

0:03:31.8 MB: Right, right.

0:03:32.5 MT: And I do work with a great deal of entrepreneurs, as you know, and to lend a helping hand without being asked to do so, I think is really, really important because you allow… I allow my students to feel safe and vulnerable but supported and even really excited for them. I’m proud. There’s a lot of hope and pride that I have for them. So I don’t know if that answered the question, but that’s sort of how I feel about why it’s so important to do what I do.

0:04:00.1 MB: You said that your parents wanted you to become a doctor. How do they feel about your chosen profession now?

0:04:06.0 MT: Well, right now, right now, I have two parents that live with dementia. They’re sort of starting to kind of understand less.

0:04:13.1 MB: Gotcha.

0:04:14.0 MT: But quite honestly, I don’t know. I have this sort of feeling that I let them down, kind of my entire life with my decisions, because they were unlike anything they had ever sort of wanted for me. I’m really different from the rest of my family in that way. I took chances. I put myself out there, I lived apart from them. And so sort of with every chapter, it feels like I moved further away from that, which they had imagined for me. I’d like to think that I wasn’t a complete disappointment.

0:04:43.8 MB: Not at all.

0:04:44.5 MT: But they don’t, they…

0:04:47.0 MB: They don’t get it.

0:04:47.4 MT: Yeah. They imagined something else. And that’s how they loved. That’s how they… Where they wanted to see me, so.

0:04:54.3 MB: Sure. Sure. Where were you born?

0:04:56.7 MT: Tehran, Iran.

0:04:58.5 MB: What was that like?

0:05:00.0 MT: Weirdly, I remember a lot of things vividly, and I think largely because we moved at the brink of the revolution, so sort of amidst the trauma and kind of getting uprooted like being pulled out.

0:05:12.1 MB: Sure.

0:05:12.1 MT: So I remember certain things. I remember the freedom of it all, actually I remember women in short skirts and very sort of modernized, Americanized, what people don’t imagine Iran to be.

0:05:23.7 MB: That’s right.

0:05:23.8 MT: Because in my adult years, it’s become a sort of a religious state.

0:05:28.4 MB: Yes.

0:05:28.8 MT: But we have a beautiful culture. We have this very rich culture based on hospitality and generosity of spirit and food and gathering and togetherness that the… My memories of living in Iran are just that. And it’s beautiful. Like it’s funny, people think Middle East, it must be hot, right? [laughter] “There’s only one temperature.” I’ve even heard, “Do you all have camels?” No, [laughter] not in Tehran, ’cause it’s a [laughter] populous city. [laughter] But, yeah, Tehran itself is like, it’s in sort of in a Valley, but I remember the Snow cap Mountains even. So we have the terrain, the change in seasons, but I remember the love and the family.

0:06:14.5 MB: Sure.

0:06:15.1 MT: Like I said togetherness, it’s a very rich and warm culture.

0:06:18.9 MB: Yeah, yeah. Kind of like… We talk about entrepreneurship, but I think the archetype is lonely, but it really is a team sport. Who became your team once you were like, “Well, I’m not gonna be a doctor. Let me go do something else.” How did you find your team and who were they?

0:06:35.9 MT: Well, I started my business with a business partner. So in some ways he was… That was it, right? It was the two of us. And I wish I had a greater team then. My family was like, “You’re gonna do what? What are you talking about? Like not only did you not become an entrepreneur, then you put business school on hold and now this?” So I think family was very distant in terms of their understanding or really support. My business partner was sort of my ace really because… And he was much, much older than me, so it was the experience that he had that I sort of valued. And I just thought, this came to kind of bite me later, but I just thought he knew better, because he had been around the world so many times.

0:07:18.7 MB: Sure.

0:07:19.1 MT: Outside of that, of course I had friends, but I don’t know if anybody really gets it. You sort of… You are always selling in some ways, right? Like you’re trying to convince people why this was the right move. And frankly, I didn’t do a whole lot of that. I had another friend who was sort of took the same path. He ended up making a lot more money, because it was a startup that got bought out. But we were both applying to business schools at the same time. We both applied to Wharton, we then decided to take on these ventures. And so in some ways, he was a support, because we were sort of following the same path. And it was nice to have somebody who was sort of experiencing all those differences… Even the decisions that we made at that time together.

0:08:00.2 MB: Yeah, yeah. So you just mentioned the partnership biting you, if you care to share more, because I’m sure you’re not the only person.

0:08:08.1 MT: Absolutely not. So, yeah. So we started… It was a… So just to give you a little bit more background, he used to be my boss… When I was in public health HIV/AIDS unit in Alameda County, Oakland, California. And when we started this company, or I got this sort of very large grant to do this to the rollout of this program for the entire state of California.

0:08:33.3 MB: Wow.

0:08:33.5 MT: And it sort of dropped in my lap in some ways, and I thought, “Well, I can’t do this by myself, what do I know about this stuff?” So he had retired and I had sort of pulled him out of retirement. And I said, “Can you do this with me?” And I think the trajectory of the experience, the business was such that because we started it… I started in a place where I just didn’t trust myself.

0:08:53.3 MB: Sure.

0:08:53.5 MT: I didn’t think I knew better. I was afraid this was sort of unchartered territory for me. Then I sort of relinquished I think that power and the decision-making to him sort of time and time again. And it is not for him to take the blame. It’s funny because the chapter in my book where… It was about this particular experience was the one I changed the most. And part of it was that it started off one way, which is sort of anger and what have you. It ended up feeling very… I felt very empowered thinking about it, because it’s our decision to make, our power is what we give up, somebody doesn’t take it from us. And I think that over the years, what I realized is that while we had been friends and I absolutely respected and he was incredibly brilliant, we were different I think in the ways that matter, and that’s sort of our convictions or our values. And I think that when those things are far apart, no matter what that delta is, right?

0:09:51.1 MB: Sure.

0:09:51.5 MT: And you can’t find sort of an overlap in sort of your interests and those things that really matter to us most, then that sort of what doesn’t work.

0:10:01.7 MB: Yeah.

0:10:01.8 MT: Right? You can almost make anything else work, right? You pick this, I pick that, we’ll make this work. We disagree on this issue, but when it’s something as deep as sort of decision-making based on your values, I think it’s really hard, and we sort of dissolve the business. I couldn’t really see myself doing that anymore. And I think that while it ended up being sort of holding on to a very large bag of debt, so it was expensive lesson, but maybe fundamentally one of the most important. Because I realized that I was actually the person I should have trusted all along, and that I didn’t get lucky. Like I didn’t just… The state of California didn’t just come to me and say, “Oh, you seem like the right person to give this to.”

0:10:40.2 MB: Lord knows no government, just says, “I think you might be able to do this.” Yeah.

0:10:43.9 MB: Exactly. So I had earned it and I didn’t…

0:10:45.6 MB: Absolutely.

0:10:46.0 MT: It took all of that for me to realize that… Yeah. So again, I took kind of that power back and realized that the ride I enjoyed, I wanted to be an entrepreneur, it’s just the lessons learned I think were really valuable.

0:10:58.2 MB: I had the privilege to see you give a talk to a hundreds of women as part of what happened to you, why you really focus on women entrepreneurs, because you was so compelling, and the theme was “Don’t give up your power”.

0:11:12.4 MT: I think so. But I think it’s a lifetime of experience. It’s the entirety of our journey. I gave up my power to my family and sort of followed their dream for years. And like college, I wish I had done things differently. I’m not somebody that wants to spend sort of time seeped in regret. But funny story, I’ll tell you, I went to my college reunion and the first time, the first reunion I went to, and my girlfriends are just… I went to Barnard and we just are silly together and sort of the belly laughs and it’s just love. And I remember, sort of the Columbia campus, it’s really quite amazing… And she sort of walked through Columbia’s sort of the college walk, and you look to your right, you look to your left, it’s like Aristotle and Socrates, it’s like amazing. And we were laughing, laughing, and laughing. And for a moment I just looked up and started getting really sad and in the midst of all this like fun and I thought, “What is this about?”

0:12:12.8 MB: Right?

0:12:13.3 MT: And what I realized is that I at that moment thought I wish I had done more with my college career. I wish I hadn’t followed the path that somebody else had dreamt for me, but one that I had wanted for myself, because I have intellectual curiosity. I wish I’d taken religion classes and sociology classes and this, that and the other. And I’m a psych major, but there were so many people who talk about political science classes they had taken and all the stuff and…

0:12:38.6 MB: When at Barnard you have amazing…

0:12:40.3 MT: Amazing…

0:12:42.0 MB: Like adjuncts who come with like…

0:12:43.4 MT: Amazing…

0:12:43.5 MB: Relevant topics. Yeah.

0:12:44.4 MT: Amazing, right?

0:12:44.6 MB: Well, it’s not too late to go back.

0:12:46.3 MT: Well, hence I’m in academia now, but at that moment and I thought I gave up my power. I gave up my decision-making. And so, yes, it’s my entrepreneurial experience, but I thank so much more and all of these sort of decision points that we have that I’ve… Look, I am flawed. I don’t teach from a perch of perfection, I teach from a place of vulnerability and pain and success and fearlessness, I think, and optimism I think at the end of the day, a passion that you have to have. But I also teach from a place of empathy, I have great empathy for people that go through this process.

0:13:27.0 MB: Which I would say a lot of business professors do not do [laughter] at all.

0:13:32.4 MT: You know…

0:13:35.0 MB: As a fellow academic, I would say that when I look at my peers at Georgetown, there’s not a lot of people talking about race, gender, privilege, economic justice, empowerment, concern of labor. I mean, it just doesn’t happen.

0:13:49.7 MT: And it’s in academia where I was told, “Don’t bring certain subjects up in the classroom… “

0:13:53.4 MB: That’s right.

0:13:54.1 MT: And this and the other. But my classes, I teach negotiations, my class… And not what you would imagine as negotiations, but in my classes we cry always. There’s such a place of safety, that I think it’s my responsibility to create, particularly in a world where every day we’re asked to show up as something that we’re not. And we then lose the courage to show up exactly as we want. And so, what I love, what I love about teaching is that I create the space for my students to be exactly who they are on that day in that moment. And if they come in and they’re upset, then we talk about it. If they come in and they’re excited, we talk about that, if they’re afraid because the world arounds us is, so scary. I’m not gonna be, “Oh, and by the way, so now that we’re here, let’s just talk about… ” I can’t…

0:14:39.6 MB: That’s right, that’s right…

0:14:40.1 MT: I don’t have the wherewithal. And so I think that’s what makes it so special. But if I did it any other way, I wouldn’t love it as much as I do.

0:14:48.6 MB: Right, right.

0:14:48.7 MB: Stick around for more of my conversation with Mori Taheripour after the break.
Welcome back to the Porch. Here’s more of my conversation with Mori Taheripour.

0:15:03.0 MB: What’s the significance of crying?

0:15:05.0 MT: So, it’s funny, it’s… I’m not very vulnerable outside of the classroom.

0:15:10.3 MT: To be really honest, I think my students know me better than anybody else in my life, I let them in just that much. And with that comes emotion and when I am excited, when I am, even afraid maybe, they get to see all of that. I remember I teach, as you know, for Goldman Sachs, the 10,000 Small Business Program. And when I… The first time when I teach in 12 different cities, so they’re all amazing, but I remember teaching in Detroit and arriving in Detroit that first time to teach, and we all had in our heads what Detroit is…

0:15:43.2 MB: Sure, sure.

0:15:43.6 MT: “Was the only city to declare bankruptcy,” all these things. So I had, in my head, I had this image of what the class would be like or what this experience would be like. And I just remember walking into that classroom and getting this sort of overwhelming feeling of hope, and it was so weird, I didn’t even… Like it literally the exuberance and the acceptance and the welcoming nature of them, but the hopefulness in a place where I thought their light had to have been have dimmed.

0:16:13.3 MB: Sure. Okay, because that’s what… That’s where all the news stories told us.

0:16:16.3 MT: Exactly.

0:16:16.4 MB: Yeah.

0:16:16.5 MT: But it was a beautiful sort of tapestry of experience, color and different companies. But they were… They had grit and they had hope and they had resilience, and they were just so grateful that we were there. And I thought, “This is amazing.” And then I lost it. At the end of the class, I just started crying and I was, “This is what it’s supposed to be like.” Because I don’t wanna be, “Oh, this was so much fun. This was so great.” What I felt at that moment was this profound experience of first of all, gratitude that I had the opportunity to do this, but the hopefulness that they felt gave me… It just moved me. And so the purpose of tears is that I am exactly where I am, and that’s exactly where I’m supposed to be, and if that comes with tears, if that comes with happiness, whatever it is, then that’s what they get to see, because I ask that of them.

0:17:03.9 MB: Sure, sure.

0:17:04.5 MT: I can’t say be vulnerable and “Oh, by the way, you won’t know me at all.” [laughter] We share that experience.

0:17:10.6 MB: Yeah, so what are you most excited about right now?

0:17:16.6 MT: So there’s been sort of this evolution of what I do and it’s more than just an instructor in a lot of ways. I’ve coached my students. I’m not coaching in terms of a cheerleader, but really helping them problem solve and…

0:17:31.1 MB: Sure. Absolutely.

0:17:31.4 MT: Sort of infusing sort of this notion of empowerment and having them sort of leading them to wherever I can in terms of their sort of success story and playing a small role in that journey. And some of that happens a lot of times outside the classroom, so in phone calls and smaller meetings. And so I’m kind of excited, because I feel I wanna do more of that, definitely with founders like we’ve talked about it earlier, we’ve talked about this women of color, black women, there’s something so exciting about sort of where we are at this moment in time and it’s late coming for certain.

0:18:06.4 MB: Yes.

0:18:07.2 MT: But it’s also we could look back on that and feel sort of the pain of that and all that’s been lost in terms of time and opportunity, or we can look forward and think, “The world is gonna see the brilliance of these women.” And it’s a catalytic shift that I feel is coming, and so I’m excited to be a part of that world in whatever way is best and whatever way I’m most capable. And to present some type of a opportunity that can help people achieve those dreams. And even if it fails because a lot of entrepreneurial ventures fail…

0:18:44.7 MB: Absolutely.

0:18:45.1 MT: Then it wouldn’t be failure so much as it would be, “Okay and what’s the next thing” and then the next thing and then the next thing until they achieve the type of success they want. I wanna do that, I think, and I don’t know how it’s gonna come. I don’t know what shape it’s gonna come, but I feel it’s a transition.

0:19:00.4 MB: I can’t wait, because I see the excitement. I can’t wait. Speaking of changing lives, we have a mutual friend, Karl Carter, who is a guest on the podcast as well. I’ll never forget when we finally all realized that we were talking about the same Mori he said, “Yeah, that woman changed my life.” And I was, “I can see that.” And clearly because I’ve known him for 30 years, you changed him for the better. Who has changed your life?

0:19:23.0 MT: All of my students.

0:19:24.9 MB: How so?

0:19:26.3 MT: Ooh, I’m gonna get emotional on this one. One, to give me the opportunity to feel safe enough to be that vulnerable with them, but for teaching me everything from acceptance, joy, the grit that they have. To be honest with you, there’s so many times that I wanted to give up on what I was doing. And when I see them, and I have them in New Orleans, in New York and Detroit, my heart is just full talking about them, but they are extraordinary and in everything that they are. And they have this massive amount of courage despite all the odds, and they’ve just made it okay for me to feel like I’m flawed and feel like I’m broken in so many ways, but to allow me to come in and do something that brings me great joy, and I think I’m pretty good at, and they’ve allowed me to find that.

0:20:23.1 MB: Well, I got a chance to see you. I would say you are a pretty good, you’re damn good. And we had the privilege to work with, I think it was 180 black women who, I will say, when they first showed up on the first day, I was like, “Whoa! I’m not sure they gonna make it, just so not sure they’re gonna make it.” And we had the chance to both be with them at graduation, I was like “These are some resilient motherfuckers to be sitting in this class, to be running their businesses, to be managing their families to be… ” And I totally get it, that’s a privilege. And you had so much to offer that it was amazing to then know there was a book. Tell us about the book.

0:21:01.9 MT: Just as with my teaching, because I never imagined I’d be doing this, I was encouraged to write a negotiations book just, again, because of how different my classes are. I don’t teach from a prescriptive place, there’s no formula in negotiations to me.

0:21:16.7 MB: You don’t tell people, “Hold out till you get what you want, start high, go low.”

0:21:20.9 MT: Mirroring, mirroring drives me crazy, “They smile, you smile, they lean in, you lean in.” And that’s authenticity. No, it’s really not. I think what I was able to create in a classroom was really kind of special, and that person was sort of encouraged me, John Rogers, that you know of Goldman Sachs, was the first to do it. And he said, “I think there’s something here, it would be great if you capture this in a book.” And I thought, “Oh, my God, I’m not an author, like this is crazy.” It took me a long time, four years to be exact, to come up with what I thought would be additive, because there’s so many negotiations books out there, and I was like, “I don’t wanna add to the fray.” Then I thought, “Well, how can I then do something different, because I think my class is different, because I think my teaching is different?” And I started thinking about where there were gaps, and I realized that a lot of the gaps were created by myths, they’re tremendous myths when it comes to negotiations, which is what actually brings so much anxiety to people, right?

0:22:17.4 MB: Sure.

0:22:18.5 MT: And one of those was you have to be a certain type of person to be a great negotiator. We see them on movies, they’re the head butting, the forcefulness, the competitiveness, and I thought, but for every one of those, there’s somebody in our history or public figure or people that I’ve known that are not that at all and they are quite successful.

0:22:37.4 MB: That’s right, they get what they want.

0:22:38.4 MT: Right. And then I thought the one myth is like is there’s I wanted to tell people, “Everybody is a great negotiator.” The reason why everybody can be a great negotiator is, because you do it all day, this is the soundtrack of our lives, from the moment you get up in the morning to the moment you to sleep at night, you’re doing it, so negotiations is such a big part of our lives. The other piece of this was that, again a myth, but because you have to pretend to be somebody else, that it’s really denying yourself of who you really are in face of negotiations. And ultimately, what I really want in my book to be about is an opportunity for people to look inward, understand who they are, honor who they are, to have great clarity around the things that I believe are non-negotiables, which are our values and the convictions that we have and the things that are most important to us, and to then look at negotiations as a conversation, as a platform for you to be able to speak your voice and to speak your truth. And that we’re all set up, well, particularly women, I think are really… We are made for this.

0:23:45.4 MT: We are made for this conversation. We are made for the sense of empathy that we have, the emotional intelligence that we have, the problem-solving ability that we have, the emphasis on relationships, these are all things that make for great negotiators. And I wanted this to be a book that would provide that empowering conversation for people, but also a chance to self-reflect and know that the only person that they should bring to that conversation is themselves, their true, authentic self, and there was no formula for that.

0:24:17.3 MB: What’s the name of the book?

0:24:18.5 MT: “Bring Yourself”.

0:24:20.8 MB: I love it.

0:24:21.5 MT: “How to Harness the Power of Connection to Negotiate Fearlessly is the full title but “Bring Yourself”.

0:24:27.2 MB: I love it. I love it. When you think about all that you’ve done, and let’s put all the professional business stuff aside, what is your proudest personal moment?

0:24:36.9 MT: I would say maybe a few. I say a few because I have to make a list for myself, oftentimes. I have these bouts of impostor syndrome come upon me on a regular basis, I make lists. The book is certainly one. It got released at a horrible time, it was right the beginning of the pandemic. And I had the little of a pity party like, “Oh, my God, the 10 years it’s taken, this is what we have.” Warehouses weren’t delivering, Amazon wasn’t delivering. But at the end of all of that, I still wrote a book and I was really proud of that. What I did in the book is also really prideful because it’s not a textbook, it’s much of an autobiography, very self-revealing. And I think I’m not one to share a lot of things personally, but all of a sudden I decided to tell the world. And I think having had the courage to actually do that was really a big deal for me.

0:25:31.0 MB: Absolutely, because now that space that you found in your classroom is everywhere.

0:25:35.1 MT: Everywhere.

0:25:35.7 MB: Yeah. That’s huge.

0:25:37.0 MT: I just got probably my eighth teaching award. And I’m really proud of that, because it says that what I’ve done actually works, and in academia that kinda something. I’m not a tenure professor and as a practicing professor, it’s everything, because the only people I actually care about are those students. And so they accepted it, they thought it was a value and that’s deeply meaningful to me.

0:26:04.8 MB: If you were to describe your biggest challenge to someone who is possibly going through a similar thing, what would the challenge be, and how would you tell them to navigate it?

0:26:17.5 MT: Not valuing myself, that’s what I teach, “Not those who can do, those who can’t teach.”

0:26:25.0 MT: It is a constant struggle, because I carry the baggage of my parents, and they’re not happy with my choice, all these things they play in the back of your mind. In some ways I feel I’ve lived a lifetime of disappointment, disappointing those people that were most important to me. And I know that’s not true, but that’s what I carry. And it can get in your way.

0:26:47.8 MB: Absolutely.

0:26:48.1 MT: It can prevent you from having and jumping into an opportunity that presents itself to you, and you are questioning whether you are able to, or whether you are capable of. It gets in the way of literally, I think, everything. And so what I would tell people, and I think this is gonna be book number two, by the way.

0:27:07.9 MB: Alright, I’m ready. I’m ready.

0:27:09.4 MT: Is that we all deserve better than that, and yet we don’t think we do.

0:27:14.4 MB: That’s right.

0:27:14.9 MT: And this notion of deservedness and really sort of self-worth and self value, I think plagues the best of us. And we’ve read these stories, Maya Angelou and her struggle with imposter syndrome, the most prominent CEOs and what have you. People that we see as being successful. Viola Davis and her amazing book, but when you read it, you’re like, “Woman, you are a queen. You are everything. You struggled with this?” And so when you read that, you think “This is the tie that bonds so many of us,” and we have to fight it every day, because we are better and that we deserve better.

0:27:52.2 MB: That’s right.

0:27:52.5 MT: Not because it’s supposed to be given to us, but we’ve worked so hard for it. And if not us, then who? And I think that that’s what I wanna impart, because I struggle with it all the time. And the changing reframing of the conversation, the audacity to have self-love, which is a weird thing to say, but the courage to have self-love is everything. Because what can we bring to the world if we can’t show up full, gratified, happy, joyous? I think that’s really important, because I walk it every day, and I know how hard it is.

0:28:27.9 MB: I wanna say thank you for coming to the Porch.

0:28:30.0 MT: Thank you.

0:28:30.5 MB: And I know people have said it, but you are truly the best.

0:28:32.9 MT: Thank you.

0:28:33.5 MB: Now that I have had a chance to see you in action and watch how you transform those women, this is gonna sound odd, but my greatest wish for you is that you receive that love back…

0:28:42.3 MT: Thank you.

0:28:42.9 MB: That you give to everybody every time you step into a classroom…

0:28:45.5 MT: Thank you.

0:28:46.0 MB: And you step on stage.

0:28:46.6 MT: I pretty appreciate it.

0:28:47.5 MB: Same to you. Happy birthday.

0:28:49.2 MT: Thank you, Melissa. It was so much fun doing this. People were like “You’re actually working on your birthday?” I said, “But it’s with the Melissa Bradley… “

0:28:56.8 MB: Oh, please.

0:28:57.5 MT: “Where else would I rather be?”

0:29:00.5 MB: I’m grateful, we need more of you.

0:29:02.2 MB: Thank you for listening to my conversation with Mori Taheripour who demonstrates that vulnerability is an asset. If you enjoyed our conversation, please leave us a rating and a review. To learn more about our guest and find a link to the website, check out our show notes. You can find us on social media @We are NMV or search for us with the hashtag PorchTalks. What’s your favorite tequila?

0:29:26.0 MT: Oh, my God. I think right now I would say still Tanteo. I hate to say this, it’s not like…

0:29:30.9 MB: Is that the spicy one?

0:29:31.8 MT: Yes.

0:29:32.0 MB: Okay. Alright.

0:29:33.1 MT: Because I love a spicy drink.

0:29:35.4 MB: Are you drinking it as straight, are you putting it with some juice?

0:29:36.8 MT: It’s so good, you can drink it straight.

0:29:38.0 MB: Okay, I would agree with you.

0:29:38.8 MT: But if you want that pretty drink, then I add the lime juice to it, I add the little rim. It’s not salt, but it’s whatever kind of colorful concoction I can create. I put a little ginger in there. I became very good at doing this during the pandemic.

0:29:54.5 MB: I see.

0:29:55.1 MT: I live by myself. And I was the world’s greatest bartender. I was shaking up that shaker. But Tanteo is really… It’s fun.

0:30:01.0 MB: I’m sure you were not alone.

0:30:02.8 MT: I was definitely not alone, but my skillset, they were amazing. I have another place I can go should I fail at all this stuff but, yeah.

0:30:10.9 MB: You can be my personal bartender.

0:30:12.5 MT: Thank you. Thank you.

0:30:16.0 MB: Porch Talks is a production of Kinetic Energy Entertainment, and New Majority Ventures. Recording and video production services provided by Modus Studios. This podcast was recorded at the Black Joy House in Oak Bluffs in Martha’s Vineyard. Our producer is Anne Kane. Our social media producer is Misako Envela, and the show is mixed by Sonya Harris. The Porch Talks theme is “A New View” by Tony Cruise. Thanks again for listening. See you back on the Porch.

Melissa Bradley

Melissa Bradley

Melissa L. Bradley is the Founder and Managing Partner of 1863 Ventures, a business development program that accelerates New Majority entrepreneurs from high potential to high growth and Co-founder of New Majority Ventures, a purpose-driven media brand featuring content that is entertaining, inspirational and actionable so that these entrepreneurs and their businesses survive and thrive.