Alycia and Marty – 2024 Visions and Hopes
A Look Ahead to 2024 with Alycia and Marty
Alycia Anderson: Welcome to Pushing Forward with Alycia, a podcast that gives disability a voice. Each week we will explore topics like confidence, ambition, resilience and finding success against all odds. We are creating a collective community that believes that all things are possible for all people.
Open hearts. Clear paths. Let’s go.
Welcome back to Pushing Forward with Alycia. I’m Alycia. Happy 2024. We are at the end of January 2024. The year is moving fast already and we are so excited to invite all of our listeners back to have a conversation with me and Marty.
We are doing an episode today that is focused on the year ahead. Welcome back, Marty.
Marty Anderson: Hey everyone, happy 2024. So excited, I think it’s going to be a great year.
Alycia Anderson: Marty, my sweet husband, and business partner, we are The Alycia Anderson Company, and together we are already navigating 2024.
We had our first event on January 8th. It felt like the first working day of the New Year is what it felt like to me. So I thought that that was really good vibes for us to have a booking right out of the gate, it was a big one.
We spoke at Murrieta Unified School District. We spoke to gosh, like 3,000 teachers and facilitators and administrators. And we are loving the work that we get to do when we get to be in front of educators and, have a direct impact on students and inclusion and universal education.
And so, I think that was a pretty great way to start off the year what do you think? Right?
Marty Anderson: Yeah. It was exciting to get our feet wet once again, jumping in with the AV tech guys, doing the in-person event. It was awesome to watch you up on a stage with just a jam-packed auditorium.
Three speeches in a row, back-to-back to back plus a half hour of Q&A.
I don’t know how you do it sometimes, but you did very well.
Alycia Anderson: And Marty hit the stage this time! We had a moment. So now we’re kind of rethinking some of our events.
Marty Anderson: Whoot whoot.
Alycia Anderson: Like he said, I spoke three times, so there was three different events. I spoke to the elementary schools and then the middle high schools and then the staff and parents and such. So there’s…
Marty Anderson: And the high school teachers.
Alycia Anderson: Yeah, the high school teachers.
And on the first event we started with Q&A and Marty was pretty close to the stage, so he popped out to help me out with some of the Q&A questions, and we had a fun little moment. The audience loved the play between you and I, and I kind of think we need to do that again. I couldn’t believe how much the audience erupted when you came on to stage and they kind of saw us together. So that was kind of a cool thing, right?
Marty Anderson: I’ve always known I’m a hot commodity.
Alycia Anderson: You finally made it to the stage real, real big time. That was fun. That was a great way to start the year. So hopefully there’s gonna be more of that this year.
I was on a meeting today for ProFound, a networking group for disability corporate inclusion leaders, and there was a gentleman there by the name of Quemuel. He goes by Q. So I think I’m pronouncing his name right, but I might not be perfect. And he was giving a presentation and he made this quote, he said this quote, “The real world starts at the end of your comfort zone.” And I love this quote.
It made me pause for a minute and think about everything that we’ve embarked on in 2023 and moving into this new year.
And I feel like you and I… and honestly, society, we’ve been challenged a lot in the last several years and I think we’re going into another challenging year, not only in our business, but in politics, presidential election. There’s all these social initiatives coming up on the ballot… never ending hunger for advancing technology… AI… there’s so much going on in our world that I think we’re going to be pushed out of our comfort zone this year pretty hard.
Marty Anderson: Yeah, the world is definitely moving at a far faster pace than it used to and it’s exciting, but also can be very, very dangerous. So, we tread lightly, but here at The Alycia Anderson Company, we love focusing on what we can do to help change and make this place a better world.
Alycia Anderson: What do you think are some of the things that are going to push us out of our comfort zone this year, Marty? With specifically… with the work that we’re doing, maybe this pod…, I mean this podcast has pushed me out of my comfort zone as I’m challenging myself to get better and better at it.
Marty Anderson: Well, I think that one of the main things we want to accomplish is just to continue to grow in sharing our stories and sharing with the world about all the things that we’ve experienced with our lifetimes with disabilities. All the different things that we hope that can come to fruition in this world to make it easier and better for us, share all the things that have been hard to deal with and still are.
But I think that that’s going to be the biggest challenge is, how do we dig deep? How do we let our barriers down and really just explore that with each other and share it with the world?
Alycia Anderson: And I think challenge our clients and our customers and the companies that are hiring us or following us to go deeper as well and continue to dive into the conversation and dig into the layers of it.
Sort of, if you’re going to talk the talk, walk the walk, and if you’re going to be embarking on learning about inclusion, what does that actually mean to create a place where we really do belong in the larger picture and scope of the whole process.
Marty Anderson: Your clientele and the message that you bring, through the speeches and all the different delivery methods, with the microlearning series and the new products that are being asked for on a constant rate.
I’m so excited to hear about you booking Blue Shield and the new leadership training that’s going to be a challenge. As well, developing the content to tailor specifically to the leaders of companies and how they need to provide that trickledown effect to everyone that’s in their organizations.
Alycia Anderson: Yeah, I think there’s a lot of momentum around advancing the conversation. Not… Just from like a DEI perspective, but where companies are… finding places to leverage conversations like self ID campaigns are… that conversation is prevalent in the pitches and stuff that I’m having right now, and diving into mental health and apparent versus non-apparent disability.
And, opening up those conversations so people with non-apparent disabilities feel comfortable in the workplace to start to identify which is where those self ID campaigns start to come in.
And I think a really important conversation is going to be also the intersection of all of that, looking at disability, not just as you have an apparent disability like us wheelchair users or you have a non-apparent disability such as anxiety or Crohn’s disease or whatever it might be, or what is the intersection of having both and the reality is there’s usually multiple layers of a human being and the things that they’re trying to overcome… just kind of deal with as they’re making their way in their career and working and you know, trying to make a living and all of that.
So I think that we’re going to see the conversation of disability inclusion in the workplace go a lot deeper and I’m really excited from our standpoint to be a part of that and dive in and be a little bit… I’m going to use my word of the year, a little bit fearless in that conversation.
I find myself sometimes being afraid of going a little bit deeper or sharing something that might be a little bit too intimate or too personal. And, I think I really want to challenge myself to go as deep as I possibly can to really be that sounding board for others that might not have either the platform or the want or will to share their path.
Marty Anderson: You know that’s, uh, that’s an awesome goal and I love the word fearless.
Alycia Anderson: This is a perfect time to take a quick break. You are listening to Pushing Forward with Alycia, and we will be right back.
Alycia Anderson: The whole fearless thing, Marty, you know my word for 2024 is fearless. I pick a word every year to kind of motivate me to push my business forward or my goals forward or things like that.
And I can tell you what that means. Fearless means to me this year. But do you have a word? Did you pick anything up?
Marty Anderson: I’m not so good with my affirmations and uh self-reflection as you are, but one word that does pop to mind is just action.
Going above and beyond the talk, and actually doing something about it.
I think that correlates great with your fearless it kind of is a fearless action, advocacy. And this the space that we’re in, it requires those movements, those things that you do to also make things happen.
I love action too, just because of all my sports, love and everything that I’m doing. And the tennis and all the things that I’m doing are continuing to grow and the action that I need to make every day is what is making those things happen.
Alycia Anderson: And that means to go back to the quote, which was “the real world starts at the end of your comfort zone.”
And to me that means, the ability, or at least the drive to try to take a little bit of risk, to embrace uncertainty, to for me, dim my imposter syndrome.
Because my imposter syndrome at the beginning of this year, really every year… is on fire.
Just try to remove self-doubt and be… I wanna be bold in my decisions this year, and I want to seize opportunities that I might be afraid of…, and I want to embrace these challenges and opportunities that are going to help me grow rather than avoiding them. And I want to believe in myself, fearlessly.
Be brave and bold in my actions on the stage, on this podcast, in our adventures, and the speaking tour 2024 and our trips and all of that. I wanna promise myself that I’m gonna pursue my goals… to level up this year.
And really, I mean, we grew last year, but I want to grow this year together in this business and in our marriage.
Marty Anderson: Well, that was amazing. I think that you’re fearless in just sharing those personal feelings that you have there, and just a true tribute to your self-advocacy and self-efficacy and your leadership and your entrepreneurship. You are amazing. You should not be afraid, and you’re doing great things.
And I think that you should… you should step it up on the confidence side because you’re really killing it.
Alycia Anderson: Thank you. You’re… you’re really, we’re killing it together.
Marty Anderson: That’s why a lot of people say we’re a power couple. So let’s try to keep that up.
Alycia Anderson: The power couple. I love it. OK. Can we shift real quick?
Marty Anderson: OK.
Alycia Anderson: So let’s talk about the podcast. This was the thing that pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I’m really excited this year cause we… it feels like we’re really, really ramping up.
Marty Anderson: Thank you to our listeners you’re why we are growing and I’m excited to say that pushing forward with Alycia is showing up in over 35 countries and nearly 600 cities around the globe.
Alycia Anderson: 527 but you’re close, and that’s really good. We started off at zero and the fact that we have that many cities and countries that are tuning in to this platform in… it’s been six months since we’ve been live, I mean maybe seven months now. That’s really, really good. That’s really good.
So I think the future looks bright, and we started off this year with just like, huge massive guests. We’re like… Chelsea Hill! She has like over 1,000,000 followers on all of her social media platforms, professional dance… Wheelchair Dancer, founder of the Rollettes.
We had Meredith Sadoulet, she worked at Comcast. Her episode was very popular. She started ProFound the network.
Already, we’re shooting to the stars and who we have on the books. Big, big, big!
Kimberly Elliott. She is the founder of the Be Like Josh Foundation. They are an advocacy program for dogs with disabilities. And she’s got 3 or 4 100,000 followers on her social media.
We’ve got the founder of Divas with disabilities, Donna Walton, she’s coming on.
We’ve got Steph Aiello. She is a quadriplegic makeup artist who does work for Ulta and all kinds of big brands.
We’ve got big, heavy hitters on top of more family, like we’re going to have your sister on talking about mental health. We’re going to have my sister on in February talking about congenital heart defect and what her path has been with her daughter on that.
You and I are gonna have a Valentine’s Day episode where we’re gonna talk about our relationship, love. Maybe a little bit of intimacy. Let’s go and get a little daring.
Marty Anderson: Ohh yeah.
Alycia Anderson: We’ve got some really great content coming out and we’re just really thankful to all of our pushing forward community that really does show up for us every week.
We grow every single solitary week and the reviews that you leave and the comments and the likes and the subscriptions, it’s only helping us expand this platform and get a larger reach and help more people.
And we are so grateful.
Marty Anderson: That’s a great breakdown of all the podcast guests that come, and even as we speak, Josh Basile is just to be in the release next week.
So, yes, we are really loaded up with a great lineup for coming up this year and we continue to ask our listeners and supporters to jump on our website, and suggest a guest, suggest a topic, suggest something to us that you want to hear about us talk about and we’ll get to it.
Alycia Anderson: Did we miss anything?
Marty Anderson: Well, I think that you know it’s the New Year 2024. We’re really loaded with so many things going on in our world, the presidential elections… just the things that are happening around the globe.
We’ve got the Olympics in Paris coming up.
We’ve got things just happening, and of course the tragic side of it is also out there and Ukraine and Israel, Gaza, all the other conflicts that are just out there.
And so, all we can do is continue to focus on pushing forward to a better world for all of us.
And how do we do that? We do that through inclusion. We do that through accessibility. We do that through the care and the love and clearing paths and opening and widening those pathways for everyone.
Alycia Anderson: And, we do it by realizing our common humanity being our common ground, and that love and the human spirit and human communication transcends all of that, and that we’re better together than apart.
Marty Anderson: And it requires us to be fearless in our efforts to do the right thing sometimes. Let’s all remain vigilant and fearless in our efforts to continue to push forward to a better world.
So, does that mean we’re already for the pushing forward moment.
Alycia Anderson: I think we are. What is your…? What is your pushing forward moment?
Marty Anderson: My pushing forward moment is inspired by some of our previous guests.
I’ll reflect on Dez Del Barba as he gets ready for his first couple professional tennis tournaments of the year. And, just being a year into wheelchair tennis and climbing the ranks and all of those things.
I play with him almost on a two-to-three-time weekly basis to help him train and get ready.
And it’s inspired me to get healthier and do the things that I need to be better for myself. But I’m constantly seeing all the talent, all the potential for him to grow, to be so good in this sport, and he’s so reserved and he’s so… just a gentleman about everything that he does, that it’s hard for him to translate his passion and his strengths to a little bit of cockiness and assuredness in himself.
And I want to just say, that my life has been full of firsts, and I was the only son of nine children and I always had a little glint of, you know, “hey, you’re something special.”
It’s always translated into confidence, and so I’d like to encourage everybody out there to just be confident in the skills that they have. You too [Alycia].
And, as we prepare for these leadership trainings and all the extra speeches and things to come this year, let’s just be confident in our abilities to rise to the occasion, and to meet the challenges and to exceed expectations and to be ready for the moment.
Alycia Anderson: All right, that was a great pushing forward moment, I love it. I think we’ll wrap up.
Do you want to take us out this time Marty and wrap up the show?
Marty Anderson: Sure. This is Marty and Alycia coming to you with Pushing Forward with Alycia and that is how we roll on this podcast.
Alycia Anderson: We’ll see you next time.