Milestone birthdays mark accomplishments, next stages, and are the stepping stones of our personal journey. They can also be incredibly stressful. For Laurie Jabbar, turning 50 was definitely the latter. “It was a really difficult milestone for me for some reason,” she says. “My mindset was not in a great place.” So, she did what many of us do when we need a pick-me-up: she turned to her friends, creating a text group that became a community self-dubbed “The Fireside Chatters.” It was an ongoing source of support, discussion, and even some healthy commiseration (especially during the pandemic), but also an opportunity to explore the question of “what’s next?” for the group, all of whom are in the same place — 50ish, recent or almost empty nesters navigating the changing landscape and demands in their lives. “It basically was a revelation for us to kind of say, ‘Hey, now we have a chance to do some of the stuff we’ve always wanted to do,’” Jabbar remembers.
A serial entrepreneur, she wasn’t about to just leave things as they were. When a friend suggested taking these conversations to the next level as a podcast, the seed was planted, but Jabbar and her friend Lisa O’Coyne knew a piece was missing. “It’s always been on Lisa’s bucket list to do a podcast, but she and I are very similar, so I just didn’t feel like it was a good balance,” she says. Then they met Shannon Blas and, says Jabbar, “She’s kind of the yin to my yang.” The circle was complete and with Blas on board, the trio outlined what they wanted to accomplish.
“Basically, the idea behind this is [we’re] talking about real topics not just for women our age but women in general: How do you reinvent yourself, what are some of the things that we want to accomplish, what are some of the things we’re going through as we’re in this next phase,” explains Jabbar. “It’s all about inspiring women to be their best selves at 40, 50, 60, and how do we do that and how do we support each other, and what are the considerations we need to make when we take on this new pathway.”
With that framework in place, their podcast, “She’s a 10 Times 5,” debuted in January 2021, with new episodes released weekly covering topics from real-life stories, personal growth and learning, and stepping out of comfort zones, plus guests who share their experiences or offer expert advice, which to date have included former supermodel Kelly Emberg, fitness guru Tamilee Webb, actress Lauren Tom, and speaker and author Diana Hoppe, OB/GYN, as well as personal friends of the hosts.
Jabbar acknowledges that their production, which they record from her home in Rancho Santa Fe, is a work in progress. “It’s been learning on the go for sure,” she says, but response has already been overwhelmingly positive, much of which is attributable to their natural chemistry and likable dynamics. “Shannon is our straight and narrow,” Jabbar says. “I’m your ‘no-filter.’ There’s a lot of editing that goes on behind the scenes, I’m not going to lie,” she laughs. “Lisa’s in-between, kind of a midpoint between Shannon and me. She’s very sincere and very lovable.”
Despite the sometimes playful banter and friendly vibe of the podcast, the co-creators are serious about producing meaningful content for the women who tune in. “You really want your listeners to have a takeaway,” explains Jabbar. “It’s one thing to have a conversation, but time is currency for all of us, and if people are gracious enough to give us their time, we want to make sure they get value out of it.” shesa10times5.buzzsprout.com