048: Pick Yourself with Cassie McDaniel

User Defenders podcast
Personal Growth
048: Pick Yourself with Cassie McDaniel

Cassie McDaniel inspires us to get away from the ‘pick me’ mindset, and to pick ourselves. She challenges us to be willing to kill our darlings so that something better can emerge. She teaches us the importance of knowing our values, but also embracing the fact that they are going to change. She also encourages us to not just do what we’re good at, but do what we enjoy.

Cassie McDaniel runs a small, ambitious, friendly design studio with her husband called Jane & Jury. As previous Design Director at the Mozilla Foundation, she led a team of designers on the organization’s advocacy and digital literacy fronts. She founded the interview series Women&&Tech and runs a creative event and workshop series called Paris Lectures. She grew up in Florida, jumped around in England, and is now based an hour outside Toronto in rural Ontario, where she is deeply invested in the roots she puts down into her community both locally and online. She’s both a national champion collegiate water polo player, and a published poet.

  • Secret Identity (8:27)
  • Origin Story (20:56)
  • Being Mozilla Foundation’s Design Director (24:09)
  • Biggest Failure (36:36)
  • Kill Your Darlings (40:24)
  • Design Superpower (52:54)
  • Habit of Success (62:59)
  • Invincible Resource (67:39)
  • Best Advice (70:33)

Continue reading 048: Pick Yourself with Cassie McDaniel

Feet on the Ground, Eyes on the Stars: The True Story of a Real Rocket Man with Jim Ogle (8/3/37 – 8/15/20)

User Defenders podcast
Personal Growth
Feet on the Ground, Eyes on the Stars: The True Story of a Real Rocket Man with Jim Ogle (8/3/37 – 8/15/20)

Welcome to this very special, quite literally out of this world episode with my father, Jim Ogle. You know how they say it doesn’t take a rocket scientist? Well, my Dad is one. On a recent vacation to Florida to celebrate his 80th birthday, he spent nearly three hours telling me his compelling story.


Jim Ogle fell in love with airplanes at the early age of 8 years old. The circumstances that presented this initial passion were far from ideal.

He was recovering in a hospital bed following a 7-hour surgery to essentially re-attach his badly mangled right leg from a horrible school bus wreck. He awoke from the operation to see a model airplane hanging down from a wooden structure over his bed that was to be used as a traction device to slowly pull his left leg back into place. It was broken at the hip and rammed almost three inches into his lower torso.

His injuries would prevent him from being a pilot in the Air Force. But this reality would not deter him from being in the air with airplanes because 12 years later he became involved in space with missiles and rockets on his first job at Cape Canaveral, Florida in 1958. This was the beginning of his 51-year career of being associated with every manned moon mission and all 135 Space Shuttle missions. He finally got his layoff notice along with 8,000 other space workers following the final Shuttle mission, STS-135, in July 2011.

He likes to tell folks questioning his unusual longevity in this field that he was fortunate to be “in the right place at the right time and the right age.” He considers himself blessed for having had the opportunity to be a part of this truly exciting time in America’s beginnings in space.

Fun fact: He requires 10 lemons and multiple servings of tartar sauce with every seafood meal. The last lemon squeeze after the meal is used to clean his hands!


  • Tragic Beginnings (08:50)
  • Missiles (21:58)
  • Meeting Wernher von Braun (42:36)
  • Apollo I Fire (48:36)
  • Moon Missions (55:55)
  • How in the World Was this Possible? (67:27)
  • Space Shuttle (87:57)
  • Challenger: What Went Wrong? (105:35)
  • Columbia: What Went Wrong? (112:08)
  • Next Chapter of Space Travel (118:50)
  • Takeaways from Space Stories (132:32)
  • What Drove You to Overcome Your Adversity? (136:15)
  • Advice for Those in the Midst of Adversity (139:48)
  • In Closing (144:11)

Continue reading Feet on the Ground, Eyes on the Stars: The True Story of a Real Rocket Man with Jim Ogle (8/3/37 – 8/15/20)

038: We Need More Crappy Work with Femke

User Defenders podcast
Personal Growth
038: We Need More Crappy Work with Femke

User Defenders Femke

Femke encourages us to take pride in our process by being willing to show our crappy work. She shows us how every small step can lead to something big. She teaches us how we can achieve anything in life, if we’re willing to take action. She also challenges us to wake up early to get the stuff done that we “never have time for”.

Femke is a designer, writer and podcaster currently working at Atomic–an online prototyping tool for teams. In her podcast, Design Life, she talks about design, and side projects for motivated creators. When she’s not talking about design, she’s writing weekly about creative self-help for her newsletter. She also played classical violin for 15 years.


  • Secret Identity/Origin Story (2:26)
  • Biggest Superhero (9:52)
  • Biggest Failure (13:25)
  • Design & Personal Growth (19:28)
  • Crappy Work Article (23:36)
  • Design Superpower (36:56)
  • Book Recommendation (40:07)
  • Design Kryptonite (43:47)
  • Habit Of Success (47:05)
  • Stay Inspired (53:26)
  • Invincible Resource (55:09)
  • Best Advice (57:56)
  • Contact Info (60:32)

Femke’s Twitter
Femke’s Website
Femke’s Mailing List
Femke’s Creative Series Interviews

We Need More $h!††y Work
Design is Messy & Embarrassing…but You’d Never Know it
Why I Wake Up Early
An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth

Atomic prototyping tool

Start with Why
The Power of Habit

Why You Need to Fail by Derek Sivers

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Continue reading 038: We Need More Crappy Work with Femke