Who We Allow to Succeed

WIIM Logo

Who We Allow to Succeed

Published June 29, 2021

Listen to the live podcast version of this story

Denise Hewitt is the founder of Scriptd. So Scriptd is a digital screenplay marketplace working to scale inclusion in Hollywood. She comes from the world of entertainment, fashion, nightlife. She started her career as the Director of Sales and Marketing at The Famed Nightclub. The Box y’all she worked from a box if anyone lives in New York and knows the box, it’s wild. I think it’s the coolest thing and she worked with them. She also worked for cultural trailblazers guys like Patricia Field which is from Sex to the City, Ugly Betty, Marvin Jarrett from Nylon, Courtney Love, Tyra Banks and so many people.

She’s a seasoned television and digital producer. She worked with MTV and the mall and now she’s a podcast host of do the work with Denise Love Hewitt. She lives at the intersection of activism, entrepreneurship and entertainment. Denise currently serves on the associate board for Defy Ventures at night. She’s a professional DJ, having spun for Oprah, Vanity Fair, Gucci, Timberland, and many more. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Gallatin at NYU, where she studied Cultural signifiers and how they affect and reflect society.

I first discovered Denise because I was pointed to a YouTube video of a keynote address that she did about VC funding for women. It moved me so much it was incredibly inspiring. I’m going to link it of course in the show notes but I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. Denise, first and foremost welcome to the podcast. How’s it going today?

Denise Hewett:
Thank you for having me. I’m really excited to be here. It’s a heatwave in Los Angeles. So I’m happy summer’s here feeling great.

Jessy Grossman:
Yeah, summer’s here we like get outside get vaccinated and then go enjoy the fresh air, costume but inside for so long. It must feel so good to get back.

Denise Hewett:
Yeah, exactly. We’d like to enjoy some responsibly.

Jessy Grossman:
Yes, exactly. responsively. It’s very important. Look from an East Coast or West Coast girl. I’m so happy to chat with you today and connect. We first connected a member of WIIM put us in touch to and when I was looking for women who had a bit to say and knowledge about VCs and funding and she’s like, Oh, I have the this incredible woman for you not only is she someone you need to connect with, but there’s this talk that she did, and the speech and she sent me the video and I connected with you because after I watched that video, I was like jaw on the floor. But I don’t say that. Oh, hi Pucci. Hi. Oh my gosh, we need to pause this right now. What’s your dog’s name?

Denise Hewett:
It is Tokyo,

Jessy Grossman:
Tokyo, What kind of dog?

Denise Hewett:
He’s a matter of rescue a chihuahua, terrier, dachsh and mix.

Jessy Grossman:
Love that. Oh my gosh, I’m so glad that you rescued us the best the best. Well, Tokyo is welcome on anytime. So please bring them on up, whatever but I watched this video of yours and we’ll link to it below in the show notes because everybody needs to watch it. But I was so moved after this conversation that you did, because it was your personal story. And it was your struggles. It was so real and inspirational. But before we get into any of that, I just want to hear in your own words, just a little bit about you and like your professional journey.

Denise Hewett:
Yeah, I love that I definitely don’t fit the mold. I’ve had a very non traditional career that sort of has a times made me feel like I’m just really not understood by my resume. And over time realizing that like, I’m not necessarily meant to follow the path that have been created. I’m sort of building my own, and getting to a place where I’m really comfortable with that. So I started my career in fashion, actually. So I worked in like fashion magazines and wardrobe, and film and TV and really got my dream jobs and all these places realizing every step of the way.

Like it wasn’t my dream once I once I got it. And so I actually shifted in my first job my first real real job, I produce events and nightlife. And it was a job where I had a lot of opportunity at a really young age at a very well known nightclub in New York. And I was really just able to really use my brain. It was a very sink or swim environment, in a lot of ways a very entrepreneurial environment where like I was in charge of my sales and my schedule and all these things. And I really just had to hit metrics, but I could sort of run my own ship. And it really was the right environment for me to thrive.

And then I left event production to move into TV production, gotten to the sort of corporate engine and really just realized that what I wanted to do was change how the systems ran. And really in those engines, you’re not encouraged to do that when you sort of challenge the existing culture or status quo your other and so for me I didn’t come into this to be part of group think.

It’s not how I think and so really left that to build Scriptd because I felt that there were some very clear inefficiencies in Hollywood that needed to change and we were moving from like a one size fits all distribution system to a like diverse distribution system where you have way more choice and is way more niche but we haven’t built any infrastructure around it to allow Hollywood to compete and be less rigid. The business and so Scriptd is really built to get Hollywood these tools to sort of navigate this massive shift.

And through the process of building that very quickly realized that the market wasn’t ready and Hollywood, the illusion of progress. And for me, I then of course, went into a fundraiser where I realized like I think Hollywood is the illusion of progress, venture capitals, even more so that and really did a data dive on what these institutions are doing and why they’re doing it, which led me to start talking about it. And talking has really been sort of, I guess, very liberating for me. And that’s sort of what I’m moving into now is a space of just speaking with a podcast or at conferences, or moving into more hosting stuff. It’s really just feels like more in alignment with my sort of value system and integrity.

Jessy Grossman:
And you’re so good at it. Seriously, though, I don’t say that flippantly. We’re gonna link to your podcast, we’re gonna link to all these things, because everyone needs to check them out. You’re gonna hear from Denise over the next 30 minutes or so. And you’re gonna hear for yourself. I think your journey is so interesting. I love a good. You know, I also come from the world of entertainment. I used to represent actors and commercials and the illusion of progress, man.

You are so spot on when you say that. And there are a lot of industries, I’m sure that can relate to that sentiment, but entertainment. Absolutely. So it’s so cool, where you’ve come from, and it’s so cool where you are. And I think that before we even dive into some questions that I have for you, and things I want to chit chat about. I just want to get to know you a little bit more personally as well, because I think you’re awesome. So are you ready for a few rapid fire, get to know you questions?

Denise Hewett:
Yes, I’m ready.

Jessy Grossman:
Amazing. Okay. Besides social media, what’s your favorite app on your phone?

Denise Hewett:
Whoa, whoa, okay, definitely. I love the pattern. I think the pattern is the coolest app.

Jessy Grossman:
Wait, what is the pattern? I don’t know anything about this? Tell me.

Denise Hewett:
Okay, the pattern is like an astrology app but it’s higher level. It basically runs you through like your personality traits, the cycles you’re running through based on your chart, but then you can run bonds, friendship, and romantic bonds with people to see how compatible you are. And like what your challenges and frustrations are, like, where you made each other up.

And they just launched in beta like a dating app, which you can run bonds before you connect with people to see how compatible you are. Which is much more interesting to me than the dating apps that exists where you’re very, like very superficial. It’s not really based or grounded in anything beyond pictures. But it’s like Ben it’s like a really great tool to have like, why something coming up right now or like and it will just like spell it out for you. And it’s awesome. .

Jessy Grossman:
So good. Oh, good. I’m going to be downloading that literally after this conversation. Thank you very much. What is the best part of your job currently?

Denise Hewett:
Ah, I think the autonomy like I really am loving being in a place where I’m can control my schedule in my life and not have to don’t have to answer anybody but myself. And for me, that feels really good to be in a space where I’m in control of my destiny. And you know, I still work with people but I have the agency and ability to say no to things that don’t make sense for me no to things that infringe upon parts of my life that I really love.

Like I love walking my dog like these are things that are important to me, and being able to work and rate us work life structure that allows me to still be really present for the people I care about my dog all those things like I’ve definitely hold both personal professional life and equal weight.

Jessy Grossman:
I love that. What are a couple of your pet peeves? Oh my god, this is make me sound horrible but this is what comes to my I hate flip flops.
Like wearing them, but I assume on other people as well. Yeah,

Denise Hewett:
Yeah. Oh, yeah. I like sandals. But honestly, I’m like, they’re uncomfortable. They get your feet dirty. Like people in New York City wearing flip flops when I lived there was like a pet peeve of my computer so dirty. That doesn’t make me sound great but I’m a Virgo and in the day, so like it’s, you know, bad grammar bothers me really just like really not important things that are puppies.

Jessy Grossman:
No bad grammar is important. No, it’s so important look like I’m there with you on that one. I do love flip flops though.

Denise Hewett:
I know it makes me really it’s not like there’s things about me. Oh, the other thing my friends that she’s always like, you love mayonnaise. I love mayonnaise. And it’s like the grossest thing about me. Like we all have our things. And so I’m like, I don’t I can wear flip flops. I’ll keep it to myself. I want whatever it is what it is, but I don’t like that. That’s one of my pet peeves was

Jessy Grossman:
No that’s the question. You answered it honestly. And some people hate man, as I’ve heard this I love man. I don’t know. Those are such good answers. When you were a kid growing up, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Denise Hewett:
It’s like gold but originally a prima ballerina because a very serious dancer and then I moved into being an actor was what I really thought I wanted to do and I spent most of my parents won’t let me go to college for acting. So I went to Gallatin, NYU, which will need to take classes at Tisch. So try to like subvert them that way.

And really what was funny is that when I got to college and I had to, like memorize monologues, I was like, I don’t want to do this. I was like, I don’t remember the answer. So I’m playing myself. And it’s taking me like 12 years now to get back to like a place where now I play myself, I speak my things. I mean, I’m still memorizing lines, but like, they’re my lines are not like, you know, so I think it’s interesting how life works, but I not too far from my original intended ambition.

Jessy Grossman:
It is. And I think that’s something that a lot of people have experienced, whether they’re like formally trained actors, or, you know, they’re just brought up in a certain way that like, this is how we do business but essentially, we put on airs, we need to fit this mold of what fill in the blank type of professional person looks like and feels like. Isn’t it refreshing, though? It’s not really quite that anymore. It’s really like, Who are you? What do you have to say? What do you disagree with?

And being putting that out there that’s interesting, because that can start a whole additional conversation. And so I’d love to sort of lean into that and chat about that a little bit more. Oh, one thing that I find so exciting about the work that you’ve done is you’ve sort of said, This isn’t working and needs to be fixed. This is broken sad this is a problem that needs to be solved. So in terms of what you’re doing with Scriptd, what are the main problems that you guys are looking to and excited to solve?

Denise Hewett:
You know, I love people that build companies because you have to have a certain level of solution to do this. It’s not like you really see a future that you want to will into existence. And so I was 26 I start my company. So like smart, but naive enough that like I thought that institutional racism sexism was like just a logical problem we could solve together, if I give you the tools, we can do it together. And the reality is like what we built was, you know, a script database. So like, one of the things that I knew was coming was I saw the intersection of trends.

One being that I knew packaging in Hollywood was going to become unsustainable. So like, when the Writers Guild sued the agencies, I was like, Yeah, like, I’ve seen that coming, that’s part of why we Scriptd was a place to empower writers to not only like be in charge of their own careers, but also support their teams. So if you have an agent, it just helps your agent sell more projects is not in competition with what agencies do. And, you know, we built that one is like, you know, the only non pay to play script database in Hollywood.

Every other database that exists is cost you money to participate in, which then of course, creates barriers to entry around socio-economic privilege, and all these things that, you know, unfortunately, based on how America was built predominantly affects certain parts of population. And so that was really the goal was to really just prove out that there was all these amazing writers that weren’t in system because up until really still right about right now 87% of writers represented in Hollywood are white men. So if you’re all these 90% of television is coming from the power centers and 90% of television is coming from white men. And so that was something that I was like, okay, we need to change the pipeline.

And so eliminate the myth that that these writers don’t exist, because they do, but you shouldn’t want to find them. So let me help you find them, right, eliminate that. And so 90% of the content we’ve sold, it’s been written by women and people of color, which for me is really awesome because we’re an inclusive platform, we don’t choose what gets option. It just shows you different pool different results. And so that was awesome. Because you’re like, great, we built this thing. We can connect these dots great. But it wasn’t like we weren’t tipping the scales in terms of representation, we’re still not and that for me is really the goal. It’s like how do you scale this? And so that’s what led me to go to an accelerator in 2018 and build that a new platform.

The goal being if we could reinvent the screenplay to compete with best selling books and bestselling articles, then like screenplays become new generative IP. And right now there’s a stopgap in Hollywood because one of the issues is that you buy existing IP because as a presumed built in audience base, but let’s break that down for a second like bestselling books sell between 10 to 50,000 copies on any given week. It is the anomaly bestselling book that sells millions of copies. And so we’re optioning. These books as IP, we’re putting them into development.

We’re writing screenplays that take maybe like seven months to 12 months to write based on that IP, you go through rat rounds, rounds development, which is a lot of money and a lot of time. And I was like, Well, what if we could just get the public to engage with content, we get real time audiences, we get data around the audience faces, and then all of a sudden, you mitigate the risk and fear around investment, you mitigate the risk and fear around inclusion, and all these amazing things happen. And you actually know who’s purchasing it, how to market it, how to, you know, create customized distribution plans around each film, and TV show, and each film and TV shows a different business, but Hollywood still treats them as one size fits all. So I was like, if we get by granular information, we can start to create really productive change in Hollywood.

Well, that’s great. That’s great. That’s great. Is Hollywood ready for that? No, it’s a very tech fear base, like fear of tech in Hollywood is very real. And so there’s a fear around in our capitalist market is very short term thinking, versus what does it look like to future proof your business, and I don’t think people are thinking about future proofing. And so a lot of what we wanted to do was better I was trying to do, but I’m meeting with this in Hollywood, because Hollywood is tech averse. And then I’m meeting resistance in venture capital, because venture capital entertainment, not that risky.

It’s not a good business. And so I’m looking at the opportunity, what if we build infrastructure for a business, that’s a multi billion trillion dollar industry, and help them start recouping more money, so it becomes less risky. So therefore, you can sort of like actually have more predictable outcomes, right? And so that’s really what we intended to do. And then I went on a fundraiser and largely failed, right? And that led me to a whole other avenue of who we allowed to succeed? And what types of female leaders we allowed to succeed?

And, you know, that was really like, heartbreaking, to be honest, like, it was, like, really brutal in a way that like, I sort of knew the numbers, but I’m the type of person that like anything I set out to do in my life I’ve been able to do, and I was like, Oh, no, I’m not the exception to the rule. There’s a very real glass ceiling for all women, and the people that pass through that fit a certain pattern. And it’s by design. And so I think that’s what we have to really like work to dismantle. And the goal of speaking about it was really to make women feel seen and heard, and really inspire our economic sort of leader, the people with a capital to really start to inspire them to make a change, because it takes all of us and no, we’re not free until we are all free. And that trickles down to every sort of marginalized human.

That’s really like my intention is how do we give people the inspiration, and then the tangible, here’s the steps to change, like, I’m interested in tangible outcome, I’m done with a conversation, we’ve been talking about it for years, in venture capital, every year, we come up with a new number of like, going down and percentage of women invested in and it’s like, this isn’t working this conversation. So what are how can we hold people accountable. And I think that’s really where I’m at in my work is like, I’m ready to create actual tactical change.

Jessy Grossman:
And you know, that’s hugely important, all of what you said, because you need the data. Some people need the data, some people need the inspiration, some people need the kick in the ass. And so you sort of need all that to like, get all the players come to the table and do what they need to do. What was the reaction that you experienced after that talk that I referenced earlier?

Denise Hewett:
I mean, overwhelmingly positive. So my next keynote I’ll be doing this year, it’ll come out later this year. And it talks on a bit a bit of this. But what was interesting about that process was when I decided to do it, a lot of my friends were female founders were like, don’t do it. And I was like, why, and they’re like, you’re going to be a depreciate, as in the market, you saying you couldn’t raise from 300 investors will be no one’s gonna want to invest in you. And I was like, also, don’t care, don’t care because if we are not talking about it, then we are saying the system is okay. And if I have to, like fail to open doors for other people, then that’s fine.

Like, it’s really not about me. And I think that that’s number one of what it is. And that’s a great example, it pushes you to be silent for risk of your own safety and your business is going to like, you know, the lens of scarcity, that like if I did protect myself and survive, and if I do this, I’m going to lose everything. And that’s why people don’t say anything. And then the next step was that every female venture capitals I talked to was like, don’t do it. And I was like, why?

And they were like, because you’re gonna sound like you’re complaining, every founder goes through this male, female, whatever. And I was like, once again, I don’t care, because the questions I’m being asked are different than my male peers that my the conversations I’m having around, like, you know, what my business is and why I’m doing it and the amount of investors that told me just start a different business, and we’ll fund you. And it was like, why? Oh, because you want me to start a beauty brand.

You want me to start a clothing company, because that’s where we allow women to win. And it because I’m fighting towards not only instruction and entertainment, but inclusion therefore, like I’ll be a great leader if you believe I’m gonna be a great leader and believe in the business that I believe in. And I think that’s really were based on sort of the trajectory to actually doing that talk, I was sort of like a little bit, it was vulnerable. I mean, it was very vulnerable in a lot of ways. It was me coming to speak about something when we hadn’t raised and I thought I’d give this talk after we raised and you’re saying, I’m like, in the middle of it, and I’m like, it may not happen, and I’m going to do it anyways.

And that was scary. But then, of course, after I did it, right, this is where you realize this is where courage which is, you know, moving forward with your heart, in the absence of fear, you know, while you’re scared, I got standing ovations. Everyone after that was like, Oh, my God, this is incredible. And it opened a lot of other doors. And I think it also made a lot of women realize that you don’t lose anything. Because this is one chapter in my life, and Scriptd is doing what it’s meant to do.

Are we scaling at the rate that I would like it to be? No, but I’m not so bought into the culture of output that we’ve created. And I think that everyone can do things differently. And I don’t regret our building or how we’re moving. And I don’t regret doing the talk. The talk has been the most supportive thing cathartic thing that I’ve been able to do.

Jessy Grossman:
Well, everything happens for a reason, in my opinion. And I just feel like sometimes we learn that soon after we do the thing or way after we do the thing. But I can imagine how cathartic it could have been, I commend you with the amount of courage that it took you and I’m telling you, I found that talk because someone told me to watch it. And now I want to spread the word to other people too. And like, what really hit me about that keynote, in particular is just I knew how much courage it must have taken. I put myself in your shoes. And I was like, Damn, it’s a keynote very killer.

There are a lot of people in that audience. And it was so well done and vulnerable. And like pushed. Maybe it was the talk that like, we talked about this a lot in WIIM, I love opinionated women. I do I love women who could just speak their mind. And, you know, if it’s something that you feel passionately about, and like, that’s your opinion, you have to put it out there like you just you have to it’s doing other people that are service, because if it’s your opinion, there are chances are that there are so many people that share that same opinion but they’ve stayed silent for one reason or another.

You’re giving yourself but also all of those people a voice. And that’s the only way to enact real change, too. And so I appreciate what you’re saying about your business. Sure, we could be scaling out the amount that we’re doing it but we’re getting there like we’re on the path, who’s to dictate the rate at which you need to scale your business and grow your business. It’s the rate that it was meant to be grown out. And like who’s to say, because you grew at x rate, that isn’t a very purposeful thing that will be impact later on as well.

What are certain things that you have learned about, you know, being a business owner and the CEO of your own company that you would impart on any other women listening to this conversation that they can take with them to avoid, you know, certain hardships? Or things to keep in mind? What would you suggest for them?

Denise Hewett:
Um, number one, my favorite thing is that you are the expert at what you do. And when you’re an entrepreneur, there’s so much feedback on like, how you should be building your business or like what your business should be, or blah, blah, blah. And it’s like him today, like, you know, you’re building I had multiple investors who say, like, put inclusion on the backburner, just build the database. And then I was like, What are you talking?

This whole business is centered on creating space for people. And if you actually understand how inclusion works, right, I was in my accelerator, this woman came to speak to us and she’s a DNI, expert. And she came in and she was basically saying that you cannot back end into English, it doesn’t work that way has been put in the DNA of a company or it doesn’t happen. And so as we have, you know, the rate of these like sort of protests and conversations we’re having, we’ve never successfully had a company at like a series B plus level BFF, inclusive company.

We’re looking at this, we’re like, now we can create all this change. And like, I hope someone can figure it out but the reality is, if you don’t build it in from day one, it doesn’t happen. That’s not good advice, actually, if you understand the problem, and so the investor would come to me and I was like, No, that’s not what I’m doing. Or they would offer me money, right. And I could tell they were deeply in misalignment with my vision, or they were thinking that they could mold me into a different type of person that I am.

And everyone, as you go through raising money, we’ll talk about sort of the compromises you have to make to taking capital. And the one thing I’m proud of is that I didn’t do it. Like I there was money that we were fused with money that it wasn’t interesting to me because for me, I knew what I was building and I knew the path to getting there was like, Okay, this might be a short term solution, but we get to bigger rounds, I’m going to be fighting with this person.

That’s gonna take up energy and time that I don’t want to take up with that because I have a business to run, I have a team to lead. And so much Scriptd isn’t built by our team, like the people that have fiercely believed in this vision from day one, that through all the ups and downs have stuck by me and stuck with the vision and like I think that to me is priceless.

Like there’s all these things about the Scriptd journey, but aren’t what I sought out or like intended to happen, but it’s just been the most precious lis experience like, it’s just been such a massive personal growth journey. And I think that people need to stick to their integrity. And I just see a lot of friends who took on money that causes them a lot of daily stress. And I think our peace and our joy are the most valuable things we can have. And what is the point of success if we don’t have peace of joy?

Jessy Grossman:
Oh, my gosh, snaps of that. Yes. 100% man, like, I’ve heard these stories as well. I’m sure people watching this have heard these stories, too. I know somebody who got a $6 million investment. And it was the worst experience, it was just completely misaligned but she felt obligated to take it. She’s like, calling me and someone offers you $6 million. Because they believe in you like, I felt I should accept it. Or I would be ungrateful, like all these stories that we tell ourselves, if we say no, that’s one thing that I learned pretty early on.

It was somebody who I looked up to where she’s got all these job offers and checks just took note of them. And I was like, wait, well, I grew up never thinking you get a job offer. Of course, they take it. And I just wasn’t exposed to that until I met this woman. And she was like, No, I was interviewing them too. And like, it’s very much a shared value prop right between the two of us and always remember that and it wasn’t the right fit. And like, that’s okay. And so I said no, and she’s moved on and is a perfectly better role for her. It was just the first time I had ever been exposed to that. I didn’t even know that was possible.

Denise Hewett:
We don’t know. We don’t know but this is nothing right is that when I was talking to investors, I was like, it’s a two way interview. We’re This is a marriage like, same. We are co founder, it’s like we’re in a relationship. And I think people a lot of investors lose sight of the plot because they think they have power because they’re writing you a check, and you need the money. And I had an investor say that to me, he was like, well, you need the money.

I was like, how do you make your money on the backs of founders, so I don’t work my ass off for you. You don’t make money. So no, this is a symbiotic relationship, you write me the check. So I can do my job. So you can make money. And I think that and he was like, Oh, yeah, you’re right, right. But like, these would have a conversation that I’m having with investors where I shouldn’t like, I’m not pandering to you, I’m building something really valuable. But either you’re on the team, you’re not the team. But this is a two way interview.

I’m not just gonna be like counting to you, because you have the ability to write a check, like, and I think that’s really what happened is you have all these people that feel so desperate that scarcity lead to better their business, I have to have to build this thing, that we suppress our own intuition, or our own value, or all these things are self worth. And that’s the thing we have agency, we are not like life is not happening to us.

We’re like co conspirators in our own life. And like your friends, exactly right, which is like certain jobs get you the agency to choose which job you want, or how you want to live opportunities, I think a lot of women often get stuck in these cycles around being grateful or people pleasing, or like, you know, this money’s enough versus like, no, this is like, I deserve more money, because my value is higher. It’s a hard process to get there. And I think we’ve all been there. So like 100%, right. But we can never forget, we each have a unique gift to offer the world. And if anyone tells you otherwise, they’re not the right fit.

Jessy Grossman:
That’s what I’m just so grateful. And that’s the goal of WIIM of this podcast of these conversations. And the reason I wanted you specifically to have it, because like, I think that women need to share their stories more. And just to know that there is absolutely never just one path, there’s so many different paths.

And it’s like a journey to inside of yourself. It’s a journey to learn more of like what makes you happy, what makes you feel successful, and what’s right for your company, you know, whatever it is that you’re creating, whether it’s you know, a large company with other people or something that you’re creating for yourself. So I so appreciate that sentiment. And then I would love to hear similar to that. What do you think made your path with Scriptd, in particular, more unique than any other partnership you’ve been involved with previously?

Denise Hewett:
I think it was the category we’re building and is particularly challenging. And I think that’s a big piece of it. I also think, you know, I tend I’m a futurist, like I can see the future pretty clearly, like, I’m really good at that. And I’m getting better with my timing, but we were a little to the future. Like I would say like this past year was like sort of like the right timing. And we were like a little early, which is good. It’s good to understand what’s coming and how to build, you know, like, this is irrelevant beyond the moment.

I think that’s what I’m working on is my timing sort of being like future but not to future, like just the right sort of like, right in the right apex. So I think what, that’s what’s hard about it, but I also think, you know, for me, I’m a very like spiritual person. And I sort of believe that the universe sends you things for you to like, sort of contend with and understand what that means. And for me, Scriptd really has been a personal growth journey in a way that like has really challenged me really showed me sort of like it’s made me in a lot of ways. And so it made me seek out tools that made me seek out like a lot of inner work to sort of like be able to withstand what was happening and that for me, it’s like what’s made it super unique is I’m a different person than when I started the company.

Maybe a better person is maybe more empathetic person. And the people that I’ve met through it, I mean, it’s like been magical. Like, I feel like podcasts came out of me being like, I’ve have I met all these amazing people, and I’m hoarding all this wisdom, like, I have to dispel it to the world, like people need to hear these people. There were so many gifts in like the seas of trouble, like, I’m like, it’s like such a dark night, his whole journey. But there was so much magic woven in that I think I knew it was exactly what was meant for me at the time.

Jessy Grossman:
Yeah, I love that. It’s beautiful. And I love a good hack. I just love like some people listening to the show. They love like a good, you know, I want to jump a couple seats, and it’ll propel me a little bit more forward. I want to learn from this person who went before me. What would you tell your younger self that would have given you a professional or a personal advantage today?

Denise Hewett:
I’m still learning and it’s a new lesson for me but I think it would have been really helpful to 20 year old Denise. I have spent a lot of my career in sort of like make it happen force mode, which is actually very masculine and patriarchal. And I’m in a place of flow. And I’m not really like my speaking career, my DJ career are all like things that I have sort of been in the in the motion of, and I’m leaning into flow, and what does it look like take a step back and lead differently?

What does it look like to not have to always push, push, push, but let things come to me. I’m like, you know, you still can go after things. But I think not being so tied to like destination or outcome. I think that’s really new for me, but it feels a lot better. And every time I got to the destination in the past, I realized I didn’t want it or it didn’t happen. And I was heartbroken set an expectation on myself that, you know, wasn’t necessary because that was just me being like, I need this thing when it’s like, I don’t actually know what I need everything that I thought I didn’t have anything. So like Who am I to say like what I know about my life?

I don’t everything that’s happened has shown me I’ve learned from it. So, I think that’s my thing. It’s like I think ambitious women a lot of pressure themselves. I think they are really focused on like certain accolades and external validators. I don’t really mean anything. And I just think that really like if you can be in your unique genius, and in your purpose, life will unfold in the way that’s meant to unfold. And I think that we can start to like, enjoy process more.

Jessy Grossman:
I don’t even know what to say after this. So good.

Denise Hewett:
That’s what COVID has taught me. I’m like, all right, all right. Everything was happening, not happening. So let me just roll with it. And I can tell you, I am so much happier. I am so present. I’m having so much fun. And I’m excited to see what unfolds.

Jessy Grossman:
I love it. I want to emulate it. I want to learn from you. I think it’s brilliant. It’s great to be able to like live that as your reality, right? That is so magical. I have so enjoyed our conversation. I have a feeling that people listening would love to just connect with you like learn more about Scriptd and you know, you’re speaking you’re DJing we barely scratched the surface on that. What is the best way for them to connect with you?

Denise Hewett:
Instagram or Twitter is great. You can always hear me or open Scriptd. And then you’ll share the podcast and the talk and we love to hear you know on the podcast like what listeners want and what they’re what they’re seeing what’s valuable for them and what’s not. I’m really building it for all of you. So that’s the goal is how can we be of service and helpful to help people become the best version of themselves.

Jessy Grossman:
You’re the best I will list all of that in the show notes so everybody can get in touch. Nice. It was such a pleasure and I’m so appreciative to having you on today.

Denise Hewett:
Thank you for having this really was such a joy.

   More on the Blog…

Freelancer’s Playbook: Finding Your Rate

Let me in on something you may not catch from a quick look at my LinkedIn. I have jumped from freelance, to corporate work, then back freelance, and again to corporate work, then back to freelance all over again. In 2020, I consciously selected to go back to freelance work as the pandemic left open full-time positions few and far between.

Social Audio Gets Competitive

There have been a lot of developments in terms of new platforms in the social audio space. It’s getting a little competitive, which I love. I think it’s so cool. I mean, let’s think back when TikTok came on the scene, no longer musically and has legitimately changed social media, possibly forever. It’s the coolest thing. I love seeing somebody come out the gates and sort of like kick everybody in the rear end to get their act together. I think it’s wonderful to have competition. And it’s doing nobody favors to have Instagram and YouTube just be like the top two and such a monopoly.

Instagram Shares Its Secrets

First and foremost, definitely make sure that you’re following at creator on Instagram. I love that they don’t refer to them as influencers but they are creators of good choice, Instagram. And they went live on three separate days, three separate conversations and really had a level of transparency that I have not seen Instagram share and maybe ever. And so I’ve had subsequent conversations with people about like, what’s that all about?

Have you joined The Collective yet?