Yes, it’s true: I’ve decided to leave the morning show. My last day on the air is this Friday.
The greatest opportunities and relationships in my life have been ones I didn’t seek out myself – and that came pretty much out of nowhere – that were fueled by instinct, heart and the hunger to learn.
It’s no secret that I’ve been pursuing opportunities outside of the show from the beginning, and my team has been completely supportive of that. Throughout my career, I’ve never had just one dream job; I’ve always gone after multiple dreams at once, with my latest being to create more motivational content for you, beyond the show – lately with public speaking, writing my first book, producing podcasts, and even launching a clothing line with my friends with special needs (http://madeforthis.life).
As my heart and schedule kept being pulled further and further in another direction, I began to consider what it would look like to take some time off or leave the radio station altogether. I hoped I would get some inspiration or sound advice from a lunch with a new acquaintance and a professional I admired, Tracy Call, but what I got instead was a new friend, a kick-ass mentor, and a job offer that I couldn’t refuse – and that, honestly, neither of us saw coming – as the director of marketing at MediaBridge Advertising.
You can even ask my boss, my goals have always been more than just having a voice of influence on the air and in the community. Early on, I told him I wanted a position of leadership, to dive in and understand the business, and – most importantly – to have “a seat at the table”. A true mentor, he gladly welcomed the opportunity and challenged me beyond my limits to what would eventually become a promotion to Digital Branding Manager, a position we created together (to be honest, I actually walked into his office with my business card, crossed out the title and wrote down options I thought were more fitting and said, “pick one”). Someone asked me recently if I’m afraid of becoming “irrelevant” by no longer have the title of morning show host, but the truth is that I look forward to someone else taking my place! I hope I’ve been able to set a higher bar for women in radio, and I look forward to using my voice to help brands and stories that are bigger than mine, like Secondhand Hounds and Twin Cities Pride.
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If you don’t ask, you’ll never know 🤷🏻♀️ A while back, I told the story of how I created my current position. I asked for what I wanted, put in the work, asked again, worked even harder, and then I eventually put together a presentation and even slapped this very note on my boss’s desk. It has the titles I wanted (notice the HBIC 😜), along with his notes that led to my official promotion (Digital Brand Manager of @go953mn @go963mn). He’d always believed in me from the moment I first asked, but he was ultimately challenging me to reach a higher potential he knew I was fully capable of (and that I had yet to fully discover). I’m sharing this again, because the last time I told this story I received messages from you that my example led to boosts of inspiration you’d been needing to speak up, step up or – in some cases – flat out leave, to get to where you wanted, deserved, and believed you were meant to go. My co-worker sent this to me today and, with it, came a tug at my heart that someone else needed the kick in the butt to go for it. Show your work. Ask for what you want. Prove your worth. And GO FOR IT 🙌🏽 @madeforthis.life #MFTL
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We’ve been working SO hard for this 🙏🏽 Thank you for believing in us and waking up with us and representing us. We’re building something so special for you @go953mn @go963mn, and this is just the beginning. I still can’t believe this 🙈 I’m so grateful to my incredible family of a team who I learn from and who hold me accountable every single day to work better and harder. I’m even more appreciative of my amazing boss, who has become a mentor and a lifelong friend, who convinced me to move across the country, and who never lets us settle – plus our ownership’s belief in diversity and especially strong women in the workplace, THANK YOU. And I need to thank YOU, fam, for listening and even giving me the courage to step up, leap out of my comfort zone and believe I was capable of this. About a year ago, I walked into my boss’ office and said, “I want a seat at the big table,” to which (and to my surprise) he said, “Okay. Pick your seat. This door is always open.” It took months of learning what that meant, which is that it was up to me to ultimately define what I wanted and how I could best contribute to this team. It took months of taking initiative (sometimes without permission, instruction or recognition), building deeper relationships and trust with our peers, artists and leaders, learning to speak up, ask for help and better manage my time (still working on those), putting in a lot of extra hours (nights and weekends, especially), and having an unwavering faith in our team during every obstacle and in myself when I had no idea what I was doing (I’m still not sure a lot of the time, but we roll with it). Opportunity doesn’t happen by sitting still (I eventually slapped a post-it on my boss’ desk with my business card and the job titles I wanted). If you’re not feeling fulfilled in what you’re doing every day, what are you waiting for? Look forward to failure, rejection and mistakes – it’s how we grow! I still have a lot of growing to do and so much still to learn and practice, but I’m so grateful to wake up and wear this team on my heart every single day. Thank you, #GoFam. I love you. AND PLEASE WELCOME @christy_taylor LFG 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 (📸: @davepuente)
I’ve also been getting a lot of, “Are you really unhappy?” No, and you don’t and shouldn’t have to be miserable or completely burnt out to make a change or a big decision to better yourself. “Are you scared?” Nope! I’d be more afraid of the regret I’d have from missing out on this opportunity to grow. And of course, “Would you ever come back to radio?” Never say never, but probably not. At least not full-time. I am still planning to start my podcast. The greatest opportunities and relationships in my life have been ones I didn’t seek out myself – and that came pretty much out of nowhere – that were fueled by instinct, heart and the hunger to learn. My time here at Go was no exception, and I’m forever grateful to Ben, Dana and my boss/mentor Sam for choosing me to be part of something so awesome and giving me the job, friendship and experience that I didn’t know I needed.
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Celebrating TWO years with these awesome nerds and in this beautiful city – and with YOU ❤️ Sometimes, the best opportunities in life are ones you didn’t seek for yourself, and this is definitely that. We want to make the most of it every day. Thank you for waking up with us and believing in us; we can’t do this without you. If you haven’t yet, you should give us a try @go963mn. Have the BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE. Comment below with your favorite BD&G memory or just say hey or give us some love or ask anything you want 🤷🏻♀️ Seriously, anything. #GoFam
I never took the privilege I had to wake up with you every single morning lightly, because when you’re just starting or ending your day and likely in your most vulnerable and/or scatterbrained state of mind. While I know my optimism can come off as obnoxious and a bit much, my hope was not just to make your morning suck less but to genuinely make it better, adding meaning, entertainment and value to your day.
Thank you for laughing at me and with me, for dancing and singing along with me. Thank you for all of the hugs and the snacks, for showing up and sharing your stories with me. Thank you for taking the time to write letters, even the mean ones, because it let me know that I made you feel things and that my voice was strong and heard – another thing I should thank you for helping me find and to use for GOOD. Through sharing my heartbreaks and triumphs, on the air and online, you showed me how important visibility is, with the “if she can do it or get through it, I can too” mentality, and how I do have the power to lean in to this “influencer” role and promote confidence, in every part of your life.
My story doesn’t stop here. It wouldn’t when the show ended at 10am, and it won’t when I turn my microphone off on Friday. I want to connect with you now, more than ever, and I hope that you’ll continue to experience this journey with me, both in person and online @GiselleUgarte. I’m REALLY excited to take this big leap, and, like everything that I share, I hope this encourages you to take a leap in YOUR life. No matter how good you have it, if you have a tug at your heart to change your circumstances and pursue something else, whether it’s a new job or leaving an old relationship, you should!
Have the best day of your life and, PLEASE, come see us at Mortimer’s for Foodie Friday, my celebration of morning show life, and A LOT of snacks and hugs!!!!