Shabnam Mogharabi is building an “Empire of Joy,” and I for one have already put in my application for citizenship. I first met Shabnam when I was visiting the SoulPancake offices (they’re stunning by the way. Everything about the place conspires to put a smile on your face). I immediately felt comfortable around Shabnam. Her openness, her warmth, her ready smile, her infectious giggle… they all put you at ease. Perhaps most fascinating: This ebullience of hers isn’t innate personality, it’s an acquired skill. By her own admission she used to be “an Eeyore.” She had to work hard to become a Tigger. Shabnam makes you want to be real. She makes you want to play. She makes you want to be the best version of yourself just so you can keep pace with her.
I was surprised by how comfortable I felt in her presence. So comfortable, in fact, that I got pretty damn emotional when I was telling her about my mom and my sister and how I co-founded Quest to help them out, to help end the global slide toward obesity and ill health.
Don’t misunderstand me… Shabnam isn’t all cuddly puppies and unicorns. She’s an efficiency MACHINE. This woman gets shit DONE. But she does it with grace and elan. She inspires you to be better, she makes you feel like your ideas matter, like you’re worth something. But she measures success ruthlessly, and she can prove, with hard data, that what the things she’s doing with SoulPancake are making a tangible difference.
She’s built a company around inspiring the whole species to grow beyond its limitations. That’s an ambitious goal if I’ve ever heard one, and obviously SoulPancake is well on its way.
With hundreds of millions of YouTube views, and features from world leaders and celebrities alike (everyone from Beyonce to President Obama to Mindy Kaling), the channel is doing more than making videos go viral… it’s making JOY go viral too.
This episode is so much fun you might not even realize how much you’ve learned by the end. But don’t worry… we’ll remind you.