028: Lyme Disease Wasn’t Stronger than Her Will with Molly Dare Hillenbrand

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028: Lyme Disease Wasn’t Stronger than Her Will with Molly Dare Hillenbrand

Tick bites at summer camp led 12-year-old Molly Dare Hillenbrand’s entire body to be ravaged with a severe case of Lyme Disease. She lived in debilitating pain for a year, barely able to speak at times, and trying several medications until the doctors eventually began treating her intravenously. This treatment meant she would spend most of her time in middle school toting around an IV pole. And while she did eventually recover, she is still living with the lasting effects to this day.

Yet now, Molly is a highly sought-after speaker on both entrepreneurship and women in business. She is the founder and executive producer at HillenBRAND media, where they produce interview segments and market successful entrepreneurs, public figures, and thought leaders of today. And she’s the host of the phenomenal podcast On Air with Molly Dare.

In this episode, Molly talks about her incredible battle with Lyme Disease, how that impacted her life when all she wanted was to fit in, the lessons she learned from that experience and how she is grateful for the things that many of us take for granted.

Overcomer Playlist Recommendation 

Pearls of Wisdom


“I'm here, my one job is to leave you better. That's it.” - @LIFEwithArwen Click To Tweet “Be you, do it unapologetically, walk in your gifts.” - @LIFEwithArwen Click To Tweet “You will come through this, and you will be so much better because of what you went through.” - Molly Dare Hillenbrand Click To Tweet “Women supporting women is when you're supporting another woman, even if you get nothing in return.” - Molly Dare Hillenbrand Click To Tweet “It can be just one person who believes in you that makes all the difference.” - Molly Dare Hillenbrand Click To Tweet “We're all perfectly imperfect, and I think that's wonderful.” - Molly Dare Hillenbrand Click To Tweet


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Connect with Arwen Becker



Arwen Becker: I talk a lot in my journey about my struggle throughout, specifically the junior high years and kind of coming to terms with the fact that my mom handmade all of our clothing and then I just didn't feel like I fit in with the other girls in junior high. And junior high is a tough time period, those years between sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth grade, you just desperately want to fit in, you don't want to stand out, I guess, is the way most of us feel.

And I was no different. I wanted to have cool clothes that I bought at the mall, and I wanted to have a dress that wasn't handmade for homecoming, and these different things, but that was my struggle. And that was the struggle that I went through as a 12, 13, 14-year-old trying my best to fit in, see how I could solve it, but my guest today went through a very significant struggle during those really tough years of junior high and middle school, and how she worked herself through it.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand is the founder and executive producer at HillenBRAND media, where they produce interview segments, marketing successful entrepreneurs, public figures, and thought leaders of today. She's the podcast host of On Air with Molly Dare, and it's a phenomenal podcast. I've listened to it. She interviews a lot of different people. I've mainly listened to the ones where she's interviewed women, who have overcome very significant things throughout their lives. Sounds a little bit familiar, kind of like this podcast.

And so, obviously, we're pretty kindred spirits, but she's also a very sought-after speaker on both entrepreneurship and women in business, and is a mom to two beautiful girls, Caroline and Sophie. Thank you so much for joining us on the show today.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: Oh, Arwen, thank you so much for having me. I've been looking forward to this.

Arwen Becker: Oh, me too. It's always neat when people that you don't often see end up connecting you with other people, because they go, wait a second, I know you and I know you, and I think the two of you need to know one another.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: Yes.

Arwen Becker: And that’s definitely what happened between you and I.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: I love that.

Arwen Becker: Yeah, me too. So, you brought a song for us to add to our overcomer playlist. What song was that? And why did you pick it?

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: Okay, so I love listening to Roar by Katy Perry. It's kind of my pumped-me-up song, and my favorite part of that song is, and I'm going to spare you my voice, I will not do that to you today, but I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire. I relate to that on so many levels, and I think a lot of women do, and every time I hear her sing that line, it just hits me.

Arwen Becker: Yep, I love that one, that's on my playlist. And then Firework is another.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: Oh, yeah.

Arwen Becker: Really good, one of hers, too.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: She’s got a lot of good ones.

Arwen Becker: Yeah. And that’d be those power vocals, too, that just make you go, yes, I feel good.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: Oh, yeah.

Arwen Becker: Yeah, good words, too. I love that. So, in episode 20, I had actually talked to a girlfriend of mine, Kristen Brokaw. And she was alluding to, well, we were talking specifically about her having inhaled mold. This was something she was not feeling that great, which is that's more kind of ironic part of it. She wasn't even feeling that great. She went down into her basement, started ripping up the floorboards, and it released this toxic mold, which she didn't know at the time, but affected her eyesight and eventually, led to almost near blindness, total crazy story. It's amazing, but she was also talking about during that time that there was a girlfriend of hers who had battled Lyme disease.

And a lot of the things that Kristen had done to really help heal herself to a degree from the toxic mold and stuff, her girlfriend had done a lot of those things, that it was a really, really significant physical issue that she dealt with. And I know that it's something that you had dealt with in the past. So, why don't you kind of take us all back there a little bit, and tell us what happened?

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: And that's a great place to start in my journey, because that's really where my entire drive has come from. And I'll explain why in a second, but when I was, I think it was 12 years old that I was diagnosed with Lyme disease, I was in seventh grade. I was very artsy at the time. So, I went to this art camp every summer, and we would sit by the creek and draw turned out it was infested with these ticks. A few of us actually got sick that summer with Lyme disease.

At first, they thought it was meningitis. It came on pretty sudden with a high fever, stiff neck. I was tested for meningitis, which is what they thought it was, because Lyme disease back then, I mean, I'm 42 now, so when I was 12, we're going back three decades, it was just coming out. They say that it's the bullseye mark, it's the giveaway. Well, I had them all over. I couldn't move from my neck down, I literally couldn't move. It was then that once they saw the bullseyes come, they knew what it was. And so, when they…

Arwen Becker: Bullseye is like things on your body, is that what you mean?

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: Yes, the rash that shows up for most people who are infected, you will find that, and it occurs after the symptoms, which is also tricky. It looks like a bullseye. And I had them on my back, I had them all over. And so, I had a pretty severe case of it. And, again, they didn't know much about it. So, they put me on the regular kind of course, the amoxicillin or whatever it was at the time. It got better, and then it kept coming back, kept coming back, kept coming back.

So, during this time, it ravaged me. In seventh and eighth grade, your middle school years, all you want to do is fit in. It’s like, all you want to do is hang out with your friends and do the activities and go anywhere. Every day was a struggle for me to even get through the day, you're so exhausted, you're in pain from neck to bottom. So, physically it ravaged me, and I was on every testing medicine you could imagine, some with crazy, wild side effects.

So, this went on for about a year until they realized they had to take it up a notch. And then they started treating me intravenously. So, then I had to go to school with an IV. So, you can imagine being in eighth grade and being the girl with the IV pole, and how that…

Arwen Becker: And did you got to a big school, like a big public school?

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: No, I went to an all-girls private school. So, I didn't have the boy issue, but where it did come to play is, the school dances, right? We had these school dances, and I'm going to tell you the story. I look back, like, oh my gosh, Molly, but my friends felt so bad for me at the time that they came over, because I missed all the dances, I missed anything really. All I could do and all I had the energy to do was to get through school.

Arwen Becker: So, was it the lack of energy? Or were you not even really allowed? I mean, well, you were going to school, so you weren't in a fear that you were going to get some sort of other contagion that was going to add to it.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: No, it was more of I felt lousy. And I mean, when I tell you, every joint in my body hurt. And so, the focus and energy that I needed to get through the day, it took all of my energy. So, I didn't have the energy, even if I wanted to go somewhere after school and hang out with my friends, I couldn't, but my friends finally took pity on me by middle of my eighth-grade year, and like, Molly, you're coming with us to this dance. And God bless my friends who came over, they did my hair, and me and my little IV, went to this dance, I can only imagine. And they got the poor boy to come and dance with me, and I can only imagine, but I thought, looking back, like, that was so sweet of him.

Arwen Becker: That was so sweet of him. You were probably mortified, though.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: I was so taken aback. I don't think I even knew what to think. I just felt bad for this poor kid. He’s probably going to be teased that he was dancing with this girl with the IV pole, and if I could find him now.

Arwen Becker: I’m sure he turned out to be a great man.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: I'm sure he did. And I wish I could find out who he is now. So, I could thank him for that, but my friends really rallied around me, but it got to the point where I ended up at CHOP, the Hospital of Philadelphia, and I had tried every single medicine there was out there, they could not get rid of it. And they said, Molly, we have one last thing we can give you, it's going to destroy your heart, destroy your liver, destroy your kidneys, but we think it might help get rid of, and I turned to my parents and I said, “I'm done.” I am done, whatever happens at this point happens.

At this point, it had not only affected me physically, but it had gone to my brain and many people who suffer for Lyme disease for an extended period of time will tell you it creates kind of like a brain fog. And for me, it affected the synapses. So, I had words in my head that I couldn't speak. And so, it kind of slows down kind of the synapse. And so, I couldn't talk, really.

Arwen Becker: And this was how many years since you…

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: This, I suffered from seventh, eighth, and ninth grade. So, 12 through 14 years old. Really where you don't want to stick out at all.

Arwen Becker: Gosh, no. I thought I had it bad because my clothes were handmade. I didn't have an IV pole I was dragging behind me. Gosh, yeah.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: What I realized, and we'll get to this, is a lot of life lessons were taught to me during this time that I keep with me to this day, but in this moment where I looked at my parents and said, I'm done, whatever happens, happens. If I die, I die. I literally was at this point where I had been under medicine IVs, sick for three years, and I was just done with it, I just wanted to be a normal kid. And I said, “Can we just take a break?”

Arwen Becker: It's one thing to be the patient because you're the one who's battled it, and you've kind of just reached your point, but what was it, I mean, what have your parents said about what was that like to hear their, what you said you were 14-year-old articulating that? That’d have been really hard to hear.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: We rarely talk about it, and actually, I should ask them, now looking back because back then, they were very stoic. And that's just the personality. I don't think they ever wanted me to worry or see them worry, that's who they are. So, they were very much like, we got this, this is just the next thing we have to do. And I'm the same way with my daughters now. So, I definitely get that from them, no matter what they're facing, but this is kind of the miracle of it all.

So, I went back home, and I had a meeting with my doctor. And he said to me, “Molly, I promise you, we will get through this. I will dance with you at your wedding one day. We're going to be fine.” And I said, “Okay, whatever.” I just want to go home. A month later, I was better. A month after that, I mean, my energy started coming back. A few months after that, they took my line titer, to see how I was doing. It was no longer my system, they couldn't even find it. There's no explanation. They don't know why. Who knows? There's a lot of things.

Arwen Becker: It totally gives me goosebumps. That's incredible.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: I mean, really, it is a miracle. And I don't know right now, do I have lasting effects from battling it for as many years? Absolutely, and I always will, but I'm obviously able to speak, I'm able to move, and the reason why…

Arwen Becker: You can put together a sentence.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: I can put together a sentence.

Arwen Becker: And you can find the words.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: I’m finding the words, but there's times like I definitely feel the effects of it, for sure. I have to relearn kind of everything, but the reason why that moment was so important to me is that I remember at night laying in his chest, when I was at my worst, where I would literally praying to whomever, I would literally wake at night, just saying please get me through this, bring me through this, and I swear I will take advantage of every single day that you give me. I remember just pleading, just bring me through this. And I said I will never take for granted being able to walk, and I will never be able to take for granted using my voice.

And so, I feel like I was given this chance, the second chance, and I'm appreciative of it. And so, I try to live every day, not as if it's my last, but I tried to make the most out of every day because I do believe it is a gift.

Arwen Becker: Right, and understanding the preciousness of the moments that you've been given because that is the upside of a major crisis and yours was an extended period of time of major health crisis. And now, being able to look at your life and getting past that and go, Oh my gosh, I am so grateful for just the basics, just to be able to get up out of bed, to be able to go do my hair, or to be able to hug somebody or dance without having to have a line.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: IV pole.

Arwen Becker: An IV pole with you.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: And I say to people, not that I would ever wish anything like this on anybody, obviously, but I'm so thankful that it did happen because I have learned empathy, I have learned never to judge another human being that may look together on the outside, because I was struggling on the inside and probably, well, besides the IV pole, but when I wasn't having that, you probably wouldn't have known. And for so many people that struggle with illnesses that you don't see that don't represent themselves on the outside, we tend to judge really quickly. And so, it did teach me compassion and empathy and things that I find truly important.

Arwen Becker: Oh my gosh, that's so true, and that's such a great word.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: And PS, I did dance with my doctor at my wedding.

Arwen Becker: No, did you?

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: I did. We did invite him and we did have a dance.

Arwen Becker: Oh, I love that. That was probably a little weird to hear at 14 or whatever, but.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: Yeah.

Arwen Becker: I was like okay. I don’t want to dance with you.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: I'm like, ew! Wedding.

Arwen Becker: Oh, I love it. And so, you went through this significant time period and it did have lasting effects like you said, but just with that specific thing, like you said, just being able to look at life and take every day as a gift, how do you think it has impacted you as a mother? Because now you have kids, you have daughters who are just a little bit older than that, how did you think that there was an effect on how you parented your daughters because of what you went through?

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: Absolutely. And I use that story often with them. Both of my daughters have battled their own health issues, the past few years, and one, even was up at Boston Children's Hospital for a few months with one. And I use it often to say, because parents can say whatever, and it goes right over their kids’ heads like, Mom, you have no idea what I'm… Sure mom, whatever. And I say, Listen, I've been here. I know this seems hard right now, but I promise you look at me, look at you, look at where I've been able to go through. I went through hard times, too, around the same age. I know you don't want to stick out, I know you want to play with your friends, I get it. And they know, I get it.

And I promised them, and I'm at least able to give a real life testimonial of you will come through this, and you will be so much better because of what you went through. And as more challenges come ahead in your life, which they will, newsflash, right? Life doesn't go smoothly. You will know how to get through it, and that's one of the biggest lessons and how lucky you are to learn this young, that no matter what life throws at you or what grenade happens, you will get through it. And so, I feel blessed that I had the experience that I had, because I'm able to now use it for my daughters, and what they've gone through.

My youngest daughter has CRPS, which I'm not sure if you know what that is.

Arwen Becker: No, what is that?

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: It's chronic regional pain syndrome, which is the highest pain on the pain scale that you can have and without going too far into it…

Arwen Becker: Is it something that happens at birth? Is it genetic?

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: No. So, she was a very competitive gymnast, and for the majority of the time when it manifests itself, it's from repeated injuries to one part of your body, that you then immobilize that area, and in a few percentage of people who are immobilized in a certain area for extended periods of time, they develop what's called CRPS, and it's the nervous system playing tricks on your mind, just sending constant pain signals and never stopping, so 24/7.

Arwen Becker: And is the pain signals to the entire body or the area that was most traumatically…

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: To the area that was… yep.

Arwen Becker: And what was that for her? Was that shoulders or hips?

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: That was her right foot.

Arwen Becker: The right foot, okay, so all the impact of all those years in gymnastics.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: So, that right foot feels now, because we were at Boston Children's Hospital and they have an amazing pain clinic there, so anyone who is suffering from CRPS, I highly recommend, that was life changing for us, but before then, she was in pain 24/7 for two years, feeling like your foot’s on fire or being stabbed with knives. And so, throughout the night, we would have to put ice packs or lidocaine patches all day every day.

Arwen Becker: Wow. So, as a parent, because I always think that this is really challenging, whether it's what your daughter's dealing with or like, I have a son who's ADHD autistic and yet, there's a lot of us parents have kids who are dealing with really significant issues, but personally, as it relates to your daughter, how do you tend to find that line between when you need to be very empathetic to what she's dealing with and kind of back off a little bit? And then, when do you kind of go, No, I need you to push through this, I believe that you can, how do you navigate that space? Because, as an overachiever, as somebody who's constantly looking to improve, that's something that we look back at our kids and trying to find that balance between being empathetic to what they're struggling with, but I'm not going to let that be the thing that dictates whether you do something or not, you know what I'm saying, within reason?

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: Absolutely. And such an important question, because it is hard to know that line, as a parent, and unfortunately, parenting doesn't come with a rulebook, which I wish it did. Where’s Chapter 11, where I deal with this?

Arwen Becker: No, you're not getting that.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: You’re not getting it. So, I would say up until we went to this pain clinic, I was very sympathetic, I would address it all the time, and what is your pain level today? I was constantly addressing it. And the number one thing they taught me at the pain clinic, I think day one, when I came in is, stop talking about it, stop addressing. Don't ask her what her pain is. And if she says, Mom, I’m in pain, say, okay, and then keep doing, and I'm like, I don't want to ignore her, like when she’s in pain, but now, that we've gone through the program and I see the success of it, there is a psychological component to pain as well as the physical manifestation of it. And when you can deal with both at the same time, which is kind of what they taught us. And I did learn tough love, and I did learn how important and actually beneficial tough love is as a tool, and it's so hard.

I mean, listen, as moms, it's so hard. You're like, Oh, I don't want to seem like I'm cold or I don't care, but really, it’s actually delaying their recovery by hovering it and giving into it all the time. And really, by giving the tough love, and even though we may be crying as we turn away our back to them, and it is one of the toughest things I think, as a parent, is to do that. You are teaching them to push through it and to get the coping skills and just mentally push through. And that's a huge gift you can give to your child.

Arwen Becker: Absolutely. And in that component is the self-soothing piece, I mean, they've got to learn to be able to work through things. And my background prior to becoming a financial advisor, I actually have a degree in zoology.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: Really?

Arwen Becker: Yeah, I know, totally. That's a story for another day.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: I love that.

Arwen Becker: Listen to episode 2, it tells you that, and I think episode 6 also talks about my cougar attack, but one of the things that we had to do, which I hated it, but it was kind of and this totally reminds me of that, is we had to do something that was called debriding. And it's something that you do when you have a wound, where you have to literally go in and remove all the decaying tissue. And it's really painful and it’s necessarily something that you're going to necessarily sedate somebody for and this happens to people, I mean, when they've got major burns and stuff like that, you've got to allow the fresh tissue to continue to repair the spot, but it's so painful along the way.

And that reminds me about what you're talking about with your daughter is that, when we do come in, and we're the helicopter parent and we rescue, which all of us do, some of us more than others, but when we come in and we save them from something that they need to work themselves through, we are hindering their recovery. So, I think that is a brilliant piece for you to pull out, because there's so many of us, it hurts as a parent to see your kid hurting, but then you, yourself, don't want to deal with the anxiety of watching them hurt. So, it's easier on us to just go in and do a little bit of rescuing.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: Absolutely.

Arwen Becker: But then, also, what I wanted to pull out, too, what the doctors had said to you, I think it's just so vitally important. You can't have the illness take center stage in life, the illness, the crisis, whatever that might be, yes, we have these things, but that is not the label of our life.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: Absolutely.

Arwen Becker: And so, I just think that those were really important components as you were talking through it, I just think that that was great advice that you were given. And it seems so easy now, it's like, oh, that is so obvious, I guess. It seems so obvious that you don't want to keep focusing on the negative, but in the time period, it feels mean.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: Well, it's one of the many things where it's easier said than done. It's like our brains know this, but our hearts say something different. And we still want to take the easy way out a lot of times, but really, it just prolongs it.

Arwen Becker: Yeah, of course, I totally agree. So, when you look back for you, personally, this experience that you went through over many years as a child, as a junior high student, that age where we so desperately want to fit in, what were some of the biggest things that you took away from living through that?

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: It took a lot. First, number one is just being so incredibly grateful for every day, for just, as I said, moving, speaking, I know it seems so trivial, but really, there are so many people who can't move and who can't speak, and how powerful it is to be able to use your voice for something and so, I definitely took that away. I also took away, not listening to… I don't want to say not listening to doctors at all, because I've had doctors that have done tremendous things, but always getting other opinions and maybe not saying like, oh, there's nothing else we can do. There's always another way, there's always something else. And to never let anyone say to you, no, there's nothing else we can do here. And so, maybe that's where my entrepreneurial spirit came in there, it was like, no, there's always another way.

Arwen Becker: Right, absolutely.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: And then, I said, my third takeaway would definitely be, have tremendous compassion for other people and to know that there's that cliché saying that, like, everyone's fighting a battle that you know nothing about, that's incredibly true. And in people in my life who I have come across, who have been, let's call them difficult, I have compassion for them. I don't get angry, I don't get upset, I don't get sad. I have tremendous compassion, because they're probably battling something, if they're that angry, or that, whatever it is, that's manifesting, that's coming out towards you, it's not about you.

That was a harder lesson that I learned kind of down the road, I would say, because I used to take things very personally, but just over time, as things went wrong in my life, and I saw how I reacted sometimes when my day wasn't going so well, when people strike out at you or unleash whatever it is, it's really them that they're kind of misrepresenting or putting on to you. And I think that was another big lesson for me.

Arwen Becker: Yeah, no doubt about it. Before I get into the rapid-fire three questions, I'm curious, because I know, you really reach out to women and serve a lot of women in your community and just have a great deal of desire to help support and encourage women. And so, I always like to ask, for you, what does women encouraging women look like to you?

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: Great question. And I was just having this discussion the other day, I just joined Clubhouse and started doing a series there. And one of our topics that we're going to be covering is women supporting women and what does that really mean.

Arwen Becker: No way. I love it.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: And so, I love that you asked that question, because it's different. So, people have different definitions of what that is. And I've run into some obstacles sometimes, where women feel that you should support them regardless, and that women supporting women is when you're supported by another woman. To me, women supporting women is when you're supporting another woman, even if it has nothing to do with you, even if you get nothing in return, you're doing it out of rooting for that person, cheering for that person. It comes from a very genuine place irregardless of whether you get something back or return.

A lot of what I do is private. I don't talk about it, it's not meant for the public. And it's because I truly believe that a lot of times, women get stuck in their own minds, in their own failures, and what they should be or what other people say that they should be, and I want to give them a voice and that confidence in themselves that you got it within you, I promise you, you do. The fact that you're even thinking about doing this thing that you're thinking of, you wouldn't be given that idea if you didn't have the ability to do it. And so, I truly believe that.

And when I watch women, I've been so lucky in what I do, and with HillenBRAND Media and the segments that I do, that I have watched just women come alive with passion and inspiration, when they have a mentor or somebody who just believes in them. It can be just one person who believes in you that makes all the difference.

Arwen Becker: Right. Oh, absolutely. That's why you can ask a kid about a teacher they had in second grade, it's like, that's the teacher, they know them by name, they're going to remember them, it can be one person who absolutely changes the trajectory of her life. And I think that's brilliant, I think exactly what you’ve said. I would emphasize the fact that you said, even if they're not doing something for you, the motto that we live by as a company, especially because we serve predominantly women in our community, is I'm here, my one job is to leave you better. That's it.

If the emphasis is that I'm going to receive something from you, that you're never going to truly be in relationship with somebody, but if you go in with only one intention of leaving somebody better, like what you're saying, I'm here to encourage that one woman, whether I receive anything in return, the return is going to come. It might not come from her, it's going to come at some place down the road, but if the intent is always to get something back, there's always going to be an underlying negative piece to it. I think that's the really important component about what you said. That's beautiful. Very brilliant. So, rapid fire, the final three questions.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: Okay.

Arwen Becker: So, what would you say is the best piece of financial wisdom that you've been given?

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: Diversify, diversify, diversify.

Arwen Becker: That's a good one. I haven't heard that from all of my guests. So, what does that mean to you?

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: I try to remember if it was my father. My father always loves to give me financial advice. He’s had great success, obviously, in the financial world, so I take it, but it's not to put all your eggs in one basket, and to diversify, and also, that goes with my interest. I'm just someone who's interested in so many different things, and it's good not to pigeonhole yourself into this one thing. And I find that when you are invested, both emotionally and financially in something, you take more pride in it, you want it to work, you want it to succeed even more, and so you work harder for it. And so, I definitely diversify where I invest.

Arwen Becker: I love that. That's great. That's really good advice. And then, what's a favorite book that you have, and why?

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: Oh, man, I have a lot of favorite books, especially since I started my podcast and my amazing guests, and you’re included, and I love, love, love. I would say the last book that I read, it was actually Maye Musk’s autobiography, which is incredible. If you want to read a book about an inspiring woman, single mom, who obviously raised some amazing entrepreneurial kids herself, but she's got her own incredible story and really, was Elon’s mentor. So, if you want to know, if you think Elon’s incredible, then you should learn about his mother, who taught him.

Arwen Becker: And what’s the title of the book? Is it just her name?

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: It is A Woman Makes a Plan.

Arwen Becker: Aha, hey there. Yes, she does.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: Yeah, she does.

Arwen Becker: I love it. That's a good one. I'm going to make sure I pick that one up. And then, what's the favorite quotes that you love?

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: Oh, gosh, there are so many. I actually posted, I think, when was it? Yesterday, I had just seen and the word stuck with me. So, bear with me as I bring it up real quick.

Arwen Becker: Sure. Yeah, absolutely.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: Sometimes you see words and it just hits you in the right way, and you're like, yeah, but it said, to the women who are labeled aggressive, keep being assertive; bossy, keep on leading; difficult, keep telling the truth; too much, keep taking up space; complicated, keep asking hard questions. And I loved it, because so often, we're all labeled this, that, and the other. And we take it as a negative connotation, but it's not. Keeping that person, if that's how you're made, run with it.

Arwen Becker: That's right. Absolutely, be you. My husband's like, Oh, don't say that. I'm like, but it just works.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: But you know what it is.

Arwen Becker: Be you, do it unapologetically, walk in your gifts, and you just can't spend your time, I have spent my life worrying about what so many people think about me. And when you finally get to that place of freedom, where you're like, I'm just doing this because it just feels like it's the right thing for me to do and the season of life that I'm in. And it's amazing how people respond to that and to actually just walk in your own truth. So, I loved it. I saw that post. I'm like, woohoo.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: Yes, right. We're all perfectly imperfect, and I think that's wonderful.

Arwen Becker: Absolutely. So, how can listeners get a hold of you? What are some of the great things that Molly has?

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: So, I have a website that kind of encompasses all I do, which is easily mollydare.com. I'm on Instagram, you can follow me there @mollydare. My podcast which is On Air with Molly Dare, in which we have a lot of inspiring stories of humans doing incredible things, but not just who are doing incredible things, but also who have overcome significant battles throughout their lives. And then, of course, HillenBRAND Media is my business, where we produce the segments.

Arwen Becker: I love it. I absolutely love it. Well, you are such a blessing to me and to so many people. And I am thrilled that our wonderful friend Eric put the two of us together because, even from all the way to Florida, from Seattle to Florida, it feels like we have met, and I just appreciate you just coming on and being vulnerable and going back to those time periods in life that were challenging and just being such a light to so many people around you and giving them permission to do the same. So, thank you for that.

Molly Dare Hillenbrand: Thank you, Arwen. I'm so honored to be here. Thank you.

Arwen Becker: You're welcome.


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