Ep 08: Empathy, Acts of Kindness and Climbing Mountains with Erika Greff

In this interview, I am excited to share a thoughtful and honest conversation with wife, mother, freelance television anchor/reporter, volunteer for philanthropic causes and entrepreneur, Erika Greff.

Erika lives in the heart of New York City with her husband and two sons, ages 13 and 12. I came to know her over the summer, when we were both grieving for the loss of our mutual friend, Leslie Fischer. Erika and I talk about how her boys comforted her the day of Leslie’s funeral and wanted to take positive action in Leslie’s honor that day.

In our conversation, she shares the ways in which she and her husband have encouraged her sons to focus on empathy, gratitude and daily acts of service, which her sons document on a website they created called budgetphilanthropist.com.

We also discuss how Erika has found herself at a career crossroads, after 18 years as an on-air correspondent for PBS’s Nightly Business Report. And, how freelance journalism has given her an opportunity to engage herself and her boys in conscious decision-making about the projects she pursues.

She gets honest about her new entrepreneurial passion, a media company to inform children about the news in their world. And she shares how she perseveres through frustration to find the path to her vision, even going mountain-climbing with her boys to symbolically face the fear of failure in her new venture.

I hope you get inspired, as I did, about consciously instilling the values of kindness, empathy and acts of service in your children. And that you realize you are not alone if you too are struggling to make a new vision become real.  

I feel enriched by the generosity Erika so freely shares and excited to explore the resources she recommended to become a “financial grownup” and to cultivate daily kindness in my children. I am grateful she and I have connected and I know our friend Leslie would be too.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • How Erika’s parents taught her that self esteem is about the things you do, not the things you have
  • The way Erika’s children practice and document daily acts of kindness
  • Driving in the car and bedtime as great opportunities to connect with your children
  • Involving your children in decision-making about your own life and career
  • The challenges of pursuing a new venture and working through fear of failure
  • The concept of a favor bank – help other people and they will help you in return

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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Episode #5: Live your E.P.I.C. Life to Help Your Children Thrive

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