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Matt George (00:00):

Today's episode of the Sensory Friendly Solutions podcast on the Unsettled Media Podcast Network is

brought to you by Sensory Friendly Solutions, discover sensory-friendly solutions for daily life. To learn

more, head to

Speaker 2 (00:22):


Matt George (00:25):

Hello, listeners. Welcome back to the Sensory Friendly Solutions podcast. This is episode three, with

Renee Warren. Renee is the founder of We Wild Women. She's an award-winning entrepreneur with

one successful exit. She's a one million dollar plus PR agency, and is a podcast host of a podcast called

Into The Wild, I think you'll really enjoy it.

Matt George (00:52):

She's very open with her personal experience, her family experience of sensory overload, how she is

turning her son's experience of sensory overload into a superpower. She reflected on what

entrepreneurs are facing right now, especially female entrepreneurs. She's an authority on the subject,

and we really appreciate her coming on the podcast. This is episode three of the Sensory Friendly

Solutions podcast with Renee Warren.

Matt George (01:36):

Renee Warren, welcome to the Sensory Friendly Solutions podcast.

Renee Warren (01:41):

Thank you so much for having me. I cannot wait to chat about this.

Matt George (01:47):

I'm going to do the COVID check-in that we all seemingly have to do with each other because it's been a

year. But before we get there, do you mind just introducing yourself for people who haven't interfaced

with your work before now?

Renee Warren (02:00):

Yeah, for sure. I am Renee Warren. I am from a small town in Northern Ontario, so I know country life.

And I've been an entrepreneur most of my life, having started a restaurant when I was 17 years old,

doing my own consulting. Yeah, 17. My mom told me to go get a job and I said, "I'll start a business,"

because I thought at 17 that entrepreneurs didn't work a lot and they made a lot of money. So why

would I get a job working for somebody else?

Renee Warren (02:32):

So my entrepreneur journey started then, and it hasn't ended. I went to school. I had one little job in

Toronto for a couple of years, but outside of that, I've always just run my own business. And for many

reasons, but part of it is just the freedom to be able to do what I want, working with the people that I


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Matt George (02:53):


Renee Warren (02:54):

And right now, this year, I actually launched a company called We Wild Women. I coach first-time

female entrepreneurs in launching their dream business. So my [crosstalk 00:03:06] mission in life ...

yeah, my mission in life is to help more women start their dream business because I believe that there

needs to be more women in business, and more women in a position of power because we need more

women leaders. And so-

Matt George (03:23):

One of the things that I thought about during the pandemic is all the things you're saying, I wonder what

stays permanently and I wonder if our relationship to work and thereby our relationship to our mission

becomes more healthy in some way.

Matt George (03:39):

I've been a full-time entrepreneur since May, so I'm extremely excited to be on this journey. But at the

same time, I feel a kinship with my mission that I didn't feel prior to doing it full-time. You know what I

mean? And you're right, you feel like you're living the way you should be living. So doing a podcast or

implementing a business like We Wild Women, it's just allowing you to get closer to that thing you

always knew you were going to do.

Renee Warren (04:07):

So COVID aside, I feel like this was always a calling of mine, but I only really discovered this last October.

But with COVID, I will say there's a lot of things that are going to change. And a perfect example would

be the healthcare system.

Renee Warren (04:26):

In Canada, we have an incredible healthcare system, but a lot of general practitioners and some doctors

have chosen to do phone calls for their consultations with their patients, which normally you would

have to go to the office, which most things can be discussed over the phone. If it's a more serious

matter, obviously seeing a doctor is important.

Renee Warren (04:47):

But for me, I've had a couple of instances where I've needed medication for a strep throat or whatever,

and I didn't even go and physically see a doctor. I took pictures or videos of the issue, sent it in over


Matt George (05:00):


Renee Warren (05:01):

They faxed the prescription to the pharmacy, and then within two hours of diagnosis, I was already

taking my first sip of my amoxicillin. That is just an example of how things I know are going to progress.

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And I think people working remotely, which people said it was a fad, but this remote work really started

10 years ago.

Renee Warren (05:28):

And I know this because I worked with a lot of technology startups out of the valley when I ran my

agency, and they were all about remote work, because it allowed them to access the best talent pool

anywhere in the world. So you can have the best developer in India because you can connect over Zoom

and work together remotely.

Renee Warren (05:52):

You can have the best marketer in Australia, because why not? That being said, there's also this thing

now in education because of COVID. And that is interesting. That is a discussion in and of itself, but ...

Matt George (06:08):


Renee Warren (06:09):

... things are definitely changing. And I think a lot of things for the better. It's just it unfortunately, had to

take a whole massive shift for us to be able to appreciate what we can do remotely.

Matt George (06:22):

The point of this podcast project and why podcasts are seemingly an incredible way to achieve what I've

been calling internet era leverage is because it allows you to drill in to a specific issue and invite a

community in to listen. I've sometimes said that a really great podcast, or a lot of mediocre podcasts,

but a really great podcast feels almost like a guilty pleasure. You know what I mean?

Matt George (06:49):

It's a conversation you can't believe you were invited to, but all of a sudden you have front row seats.

It's an incredible tool for a business to achieve leverage. So the point of this podcast project, a really

fascinating implication is, how do we develop strategies to reduce the noise, the busy, the bright, the

confusion of the modern era? And how you describe working from home, I wonder if does it allow us to

have ... or maybe it allows us to decide what our relationship to work is.

Matt George (07:20):

We now know the nine to five is totally arbitrary. A dress code is a symbol of mistrust. It's not a

benchmark, it's mistrust of your employees. Does working from home, although I know it's challenging

for parents, and you're a parent, and we're going to talk about that, but does it allow us to conceive our

own relationship to what healthy working is?

Renee Warren (07:40):

I think so. However, you definitely need those boundaries because the unfortunate thing that people

that are not motivated can find easy ways and easy excuses to not be focused on the task at hand.

However, it also allows you to have the flexibility. Like yesterday, I had to bring my son to the dentist,

and I don't have to call on anybody to go. And I'm really hoping that employers also see this as a new

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era. So there's boundaries that you have to set. However, I think what it does is it opens up a whole new

playing field for people.

Renee Warren (08:23):

There's all of these things that society have created, like anxiety and stress because of being overloaded

with noise and sounds, and lights and things. And sometimes stepping out of the house produces this

incredible fear or sense of anxiety. You show up to work and you're not the person you could be. When I

lived in Toronto, I would have to physically go downtown to my office and everything I did was on my

computer, but I had to be in an office. It would take me an hour to get there by subway.

Renee Warren (08:51):

It was always stinky, hot, cramped. I was always hungry and tired. And by the time I got to the office, it's

like man, I just wasted an hour, which agitated me. There was little inspiration in the commute. And

now, you're forcing me to do a job that I could have easily done at home and already been at least an

hour in at work. I remember those cold days, and I would call in and say, "Listen, the subway is not

working very well. Can I work from home?" And they said, "Sure." My productivity was through the roof,

through the roof. And I got to be in my pajamas all day.

Matt George (09:24):

And you get to conceive of your own space. You mentioned the commute not bing inspiring, and there's

sensory overload in the commute within and of itself. But you don't get to conceive of your own space.

You don't get to conceive of your own schedule. Some people are early birds, some people do their

maker hours first thing and some people do their maker hours at night.

Matt George (09:46):

I just wonder if our relationship to work becomes more healthy. And you mentioned strategies to create

those barriers. Have you created strategies personally and within your business? I know you're a coach,

a successful one. What kinds of barriers or what kinds of strategies to conceive of those barriers have

you created for yourself so that you know it's time to do this and it's time to do that?

Renee Warren (10:11):

Well, so during COVID, we had to restructure some of our house. And what has now become my office

used to be my youngest son's bedroom, which is fine because my boys are very close in age and they

share a bunk bed. And they love it. But I always joke that after my morning coffee, I'm like, "Hey, bye

guys, I'm going to the office, heard the commute wasn't so bad today," as a joke. But that for me signals,

you're going to work.

Renee Warren (10:40):

And I'm one wall away from the laundry room, I'm one wall away from the kitchen and the dishes in the

sink. But this is where I need to be. And part of what I do in coaching actually, is we really clearly define

our target audience. So you wake up in the morning, and you go to work because you know who you're

serving, and why you're serving them, because these people need you. So for me, we help to find the

target audience.

Renee Warren (11:05):

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For me, my ideal customer, her name is Entrepreneur Emily, and I envision her every morning. It's like

the days that I'm like, "Oh, maybe I'll do laundry," I correct myself and say, "No, Emily needs me today."

So I have to go create for her, I have to show up for her. And it could be if you're a stay-at-home mom or

parent, that you're showing up for your child or you're showing up for person X, Y, Z. So the boundary is

the person I'm showing up for. Because if you're an entrepreneur, and a good entrepreneur, it's never

about the money. It's about your mission and who you're serving. And so you have to show up every day

for that person. And the money comes.

Matt George (11:46):

I wonder if we all need someone to help us get there. Because one of the things that COVID has revealed

in my life is you could either double down on the fear and anxiety and overwhelm of the time, and that

manifests itself in really negative ways which we've explored on the podcast already, or you can double

down and say this is an opportunity. This is an opportunity for me and my family.

Matt George (12:16):

I know that first and foremost, this is a healthcare crisis, so we need to be sensitive to that. But

paradoxically, this could be a time where you double down on things like family values, things like

reducing the noise and overwhelm, reducing your media diet, or totally revolutionizing your media diet.

Are we in information overload right now? Are we just being bombarded by information?

Renee Warren (12:39):

100%, yes. It took me up until about a month ago to realize that a lot of ... so I have such mistrust in the

media, and I've actually taken akin to looking at such polarizing opinions because I feel like the truth is in

the middle. So I'll have to take President Trump into consideration, but his opinion versus somebody

who is a complete liberal. It's like they're so far on the other end of the spectrum, but what's in the

middle might be the truth. But the media, just in my opinion, I think is probably 15% correct. Even the

weather is 15% correct and be like the weather forecast-

Matt George (13:32):

When we're not scaling our media diet ... yeah, so when we're not scaling our media diet, we're letting

things into our system that one, don't serve us, but also may or may not be true.

Renee Warren (13:42):

No. And that's the thing is we connect and attach ourselves to the opinion of people that we respect.

And that opinion can largely be uneducated, uninformed, unexperienced, and they're just saying

whatever they want to say, whoever they is. Then all of a sudden you believe that to be the truth. So

there's a lot of talk about, and I know this is about sensory overload, but in terms of media, there's a lot

of talk about COVID.

Renee Warren (14:10):

And lately I'm like, maybe this is actually just a political play and it's not true. Nothing that we're reading

is true. And all of a sudden there's all these people that have suffered, lost their jobs and all of these

things that are happening because it's all about politics. I don't know. So this is the overload. And when

you start down these rabbit holes, about listening to social media and these people that are talking

about whatever, it is degrading.

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Renee Warren (14:36):

And for me, it's probably the worst thing you should be doing at any point in the day is looking at the

news. Even my husband is like, "Why are you reading that stuff?" I'm like, "Oh, this is actually comical

right now. This is funny." But I think the best place for me to be ... because I'm a very sensitive person

for sounds, and that's why for me, the subway commute to work was probably the worst thing I should

be doing. Some people love it. They get energized by the people, they listen to their podcast episode. I

can't. There's too much going on.

Renee Warren (15:18):

I can't process out all the noise and the stuff that's happening. And that's the thing with media too, is

there's some people that can read something and be like, "Oh, whatever, that's a thing and opinion I

don't agree with," and move on with your day. But there's some people that read this stuff or see it or

hear it, and all of a sudden it consumes them. And then they're not productive. And maybe it's not even

the truth. I don't know.

Matt George (15:40):

I'm the same way as you in the sense that I've described this in the past as my empathy problem. I had

to really work hard at creating strategies to when I internalize something like that. So if I turn on the

news today and saw the COVID stats for Florida, my aunt and uncle live in Florida, all of a sudden what I

call my empathy problem has brought me to a state of overwhelm where I'm not focused, I'm not

emotionally stable enough to be doing the things that I want to be doing, and at a high level.

Matt George (16:12):

How do you deal with that? You said you're a sensitive person. What strategies have you conceived to

be able to deal with that, to be able to shut these things out above and beyond, and just turning it off?

Which may actually be the solution.

Renee Warren (16:25):

Oh, yeah. Sometimes you just have to. You have to turn it off. For me, it's being okay and feeling those

emotions too. It's okay to be frustrated and angry and curious, but know that there's a limit to that. The

moment you see that your own energy and your own thoughts are shifting more negatively, it's time to

shut that stuff down.

Renee Warren (16:50):

And the same can be said with people in your life that are not supporting or contributing. It's time to

take them out of the equation. Friends that are just not good for you, or people in your life, family

unfortunately, that might not be serving you. It's the same thing, it's the same emotion. So whether it's

negative media, the news or people in your life, there are still signals for things that are not serving you.

And it is noise.

Renee Warren (17:21):

It is sensory overload because what emotion those people in the news create, if it's for you, then that's

great. But if it's never for you in a sense that you might have people that are never supporting you as

much as you are trying to reciprocate, it's time to just cut them out. What I've done social media wise is

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we wake up at 5AM at our house, my husband and I, every day, regardless of the day of the week, and

some mornings are super productive.

Renee Warren (17:53):

We get to work. We're in our Five-Minute Journal and drinking our coffee, things are amazing. And then

some days, we're just like, "It's not one of those days." My favorite app on my on the phone is the

weather network. I love storms. I've always been fascinated by weather.

Matt George (18:11):

Oh, wow.

Renee Warren (18:11):

Tornadoes and hurricanes, I just love that stuff. I don't love the devastation. I'm very curious about

weather, so that actually makes me happy. So when there's a storm, I'm like, "Ooh, well, how fast is the

wind? How much rain is there? This is so cool. The ocean swells."

Matt George (18:28):


Renee Warren (18:28):

That fills me up. But for other people, it could be very alarming. So we set boundaries, and I don't have

my phone next to me in bed. It's across the bedroom. And I never ever, ever check news or ask charged

questions, or anything that could affect my sleep before I go to bed.

Renee Warren (18:55):

My husband is doing this 75 hard thing now where you go 75 days, two workouts a day. You don't need

any crap drink, no alcohol, all that stuff. So he's on day nine and I said, "Hey, can I add something to

this?" And he's like, "Sure, why not? It's already hard as it is." And I'm like, "No television in our room for

75 days."

Matt George (19:15):


Renee Warren (19:15):

And he was like, "Okay," because we have a TV in our room. That has allowed us, because part of the 75

hard too is reading 10 pages a day, at least. I'm like, how perfect is this? Now, you can read your 10

pages before bed because there's nothing to watch.

Renee Warren (19:30):

So in taking out the things that would normally make me upset or worried or scared, like social media

and the news, especially before bed, allows me to sleep better. And when you have a good night's sleep,

you wake up you have this momentum and you're like, "Uh-uh (negative), I'm not checking the news

right now. I'm not going to go on social media because I feel good." And the less I check it, the better I

feel. So, what is the point on checking it?

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Matt George (19:57):

And is the feeling you're describing when you're in that zone, is that a feeling of alignment? Because I

know when I get into a mode, and we're going to talk about modern entrepreneurs, because I know

that's your bag, when I'm out of alignment is when I'm allowing all of those sensory overloads to come

into my life.

Matt George (20:16):

But when I'm in alignment, I'm healthy. I'm craving simplicity. My work is a high level. You just feel that

sense of like you said, your ideal customer, Emily, you feel in alignment with that customer. And you

think I'm ignoring all of these things, I'm in alignment, and you seem like you've developed strategies to

create alignment. Is that what that is all heading towards?

Renee Warren (20:45):

Oh, absolutely. But here's the thing is, I call them down cycles in coaching is you can't ever always be in

alignment. Stuff happens in life. People get sick, things happen, you lose business. You can't avoid it, and

you might become misaligned. But these down cycles are necessary. They're necessary for you too,

because it's an experience you're learning. Something is happening, you're growing. As Tony Robbins

says, "Life is either happening to you or for you." And it's really hard to fathom that.

Renee Warren (21:18):

It's like you just got in a car accident and now you have $5,000 of damage on your car. It's like, how is

this happening for me? But there's always a lesson in these things. So life happens for you. So on these

down cycles, when you're not aligned, it's like, what's the message? What am I learning here? Why am I

going through this? Every single time that you're down and getting kicked and you get back up again,

you're stronger, and you become even more aligned. Things become more clear afterwards, if you

choose to see it as a gift.

Matt George (21:50):

That's beautiful. Renee, before we dig into the modern entrepreneur, can I read something that you


Renee Warren (21:55):

Okay. Yes.

Matt George (21:58):

Well, I should say actually you quoted the great Stevie Nicks, in saying, "I believe that if you are gracious,

you have won the game." How does that apply to the modern entrepreneur?

Renee Warren (22:12):

Yes, she's my favorite. I hope to meet her someday. So if you don't know Stevie Nicks, she is the French

singer for Fleetwood Mac. So if you're gracious, you've already won the game means that it doesn't

matter what life throws at you, just be humble and kind. Our family motto and word of the year is kill

them with kindness. So it doesn't matter who owes you what, or who's disowned you, just be kind.

Renee Warren (22:42):

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And the more you can even just force yourself to feel those emotions and be kind, the more you realize

that when things or people happen to you, it's never ever about you. It's about them. So when you're

gracious, it's like someone is rude to you, they cut you off or whatever happens, they don't pay the bill

that you've been hoping for, it's never about you. And I think Rachel Hollis said this. Her quote is, "Other

people's opinion of you is none of your business." And it took me forever to figure that out.

Renee Warren (23:19):

I'm like, "Of course, it's my business what other people think of me." But it's not because it's a reflection

of them. Now, they've done studies and I don't know exactly this, but you can actually show somebody a

paper that's white and a paper that's blue, and someone might say that the blue paper is pink. And it's

like, no, no, no, it's clearly blue, but they see it as pink. And it's because of whatever is going on in their


Renee Warren (23:41):

I'm not saying they're colorblind, but they think it's pink for whatever reason. Someone made them

believe that it's pink. So this Stevie Nicks quote is, "If you're gracious as much as you can be gracious,

you've already won the game." I'm thinking about the most successful people I know in life that have all

facets of their life doing very well, are they kind to people? They're gracious.

Matt George (24:05):

Yeah, the givers. I think you're totally right. Renee, what is the modern entrepreneur up against right

now? And I'm going to introduce, perhaps a good place to start, it seems to me as someone running an

internet-based business, and I know you are as well, really it's people based, but it happens on the

internet, the ROI on your attention has never been more obvious.

Matt George (24:31):

But it's never been easier to be distracted. That's the paradox of the modern era. Is that what the

modern entrepreneur is really up against? When this was crystallized for me, and then I would love to

hear your reflection, when COVID got serious and every company seemingly transitioned overnight to

producing PPE.

Renee Warren (24:51):


Matt George (24:51):

Just because PPE is what the market needs right now, does not mean that you should be producing the

PPE. If you're a vodka distillery that transitioned into hand sanitizer because you have all the tools at

your disposal, fine. That's a semi pivot. That's fine, you're appealing to the market.

Matt George (25:09):

But if you're just a retail business and you pivot overnight to producing PPE, there will be a time where

that need goes away. And your distraction will not have served you. What's the modern entrepreneur

up against? You're coaching a lot of these businesses.

Renee Warren (25:25):

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The first word that came to mind was noise, and there's just a lot of noise out there. So it's cutting

through that clutter. Think about any online businesses that started now, if you put them back 10 years

ago and they had the strategies today, they would crush it. But there's so many other people doing a lot

of the same things. So I look at it, how many people live in the world? You're defining your customer,

your ideal customer and it all comes back to that.

Renee Warren (25:56):

So if you're an entrepreneur and you're like, "Oh, my gosh, there's 10 people that just started exactly

what I'm doing," I always say, "Hey, look at it as market validation, but go out and be the best that you

can, serving the people that need you." So yes, there's a lot of people doing what I'm doing now and I've

heard it over the years, "Well, who needs another business coach?" I'm like, "Well, in my opinion,

everybody who's an entrepreneur needs a business coach." So however many entrepreneurs that are

out there should be how many business coaches there are. All right.

Renee Warren (26:27):

And the thing about a coach is it's a very personal connection. So whether it's me coaching one on one

in a mastermind or a digital program, you're still learning from me and my experience and the

community I've created. So cutting through the noise really is just having the most useful solution to

your ideal customer's problem. So a lot of what I do is idea validation, market validation, customer

validation, work with my customers. You can come up with any idea. I always said it.

Renee Warren (26:58):

In the '90s or the '80s, they sold the Pet Rock. People bought a rock, and it was a pet. I'm like, "Wow,

someone was so smart to actually market a rock and make money from it." So if they can do that, then

you can do anything. It's just how are you unique? And the other thing too, especially with ... there's this

whole filter that I work with my entrepreneurs around the patriarchy. And somebody's work that I

follow really closely is Dr. Valerie Rein. She's the author of the book, the Patriarchy Stress Disorder.

What she talks about in that book is how the patriarchy hasn't been serving anybody.

Renee Warren (27:38):

And a lot of the things we believe in life, religion, family, running a business, politics, all have the

foundation of coming from the power of a white man. So it's white man's privilege that have created the

foundation of the Western world. And this is my opinion so by all means, if you don't agree with me,

that's okay. But this is where my work comes from. And part of that is this fascinating ideal that we have

to run a business that's going to make $10 million because otherwise, you're not considered a good

entrepreneur. And I call BS on that.

Renee Warren (28:21):

I call BS on the need to have to scale your business to some absurd amount that you're going to either

go public or be acquired. And yes, there are instances where this is very logical and makes sense. But

especially for women, when you step into the ring of entrepreneurship that is very male dominated, the

rules and foundation of what it means to be an entrepreneur were created by men, it's tough.

Renee Warren (28:51):

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