Where the Road Bends

#004: Andrea Breanna - Prioritizing Personal Happiness

Episode Summary

In our fourth conversation, I talk with Andrea Breanna openly transgender CEO and founder of RebelMouse and former CTO for Huffington Post. Andrea describes how coming out as transgender humanized her position as CEO, and inspired herself and her co-workers to be more open, vulnerable and creative. Drawing on her experience as a trans person in the workplace and the greater world, she illustrates how being true to yourself can enhance happiness and success not only for yourself, but for everyone in your sphere of influence. Andrea’s story is about being honest with ourselves, embracing who we are even if we have to risk everything, and not conforming to whatever roles society places on us.

Episode Notes

FEB 10th, 2023 • 1 hour 4 minutes 58 seconds

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Our fourth guest on WTRB is Andrea Breanna, openly transgender CEO and founder of RebelMouse and former CTO for Huffington Post.

In this episode we cover:


Katia Verresen

Warren Buffett

Brene Brown 

Jonah Perretti 

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Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Simplecast.

To sign up for the newsletter and podcast visit https://www.wheretheroadbends.fm/

Where to find Steve Schlafman:

• Website: https://www.schlaf.co/  

• Twitter:  @Schlaf

• Facebook: Steve Schlafman

• LinkedIn: Steve Schlafman

Where to find information on Andrea Breanna

• Website: www.rebelmouse.com

• Twitter: @andreabreanany

LinkedIn: Andrea Breanna


Time Stamps:

(00:00) Andrea Soundbite

(00:22) Steve’s Introduction

(00:50) Beginning of Interview

(01:28) Who is Andrea Breanna?

(02:08) What is RebelMouse?

(02:58) Dedication When Starting a Company

(03:20) Andrea’s Youth, Privacy, Gender Expression

(06:32) What is a Transbian? Transbian Narrative and Marriage

(08:18) The Internet as First Opportunity to Express Gender Fluidity

(09:17) Paranoia about Transphobic Societal Gender Norms

(10:46) Coming Out Later In Life

(11:47) Signs That It Was Time to Come Out

(14:47) Making Personal Happiness the Most Important KPI at RebelMouse

(15:40) Taking The Risk, Valuing Honesty

(16:26) What Living Dishonestly Feels Like

(16:48) Real Dangers of Coming Out As Trans

(17:47) Living As Narrative for Hope, Optimism and Success

(18:22) Coming Out To Wife

(21:52) Coming Out To The Rest Of The Family

(23:25) Magical Feeling of Finally Overcoming Fear

(23:53) Kids’ Natural Understanding of Personal Freedom

(26:46) How Family Support Made A Difference

(27:29) Trans Support Not Dependent on Political Leaning

(28:08) What It’s Like Being Visibily Trans - Pros and Cons

(30:47) Strength to Face Social Transphobia Comes From Support At Home

(31:57) Power of Being Openly Vulnerable

(33:43) Unexpected Reactions from Co-Workers

(34:48) Rigid Perceptions of CEOs vs. Humanizing CEOs

(38:11) The Beautiful Challenge of Breaking Roles To Honor Your Humanity

(40:35) Inventing New Roles, Inspiring Ingenuity in Children

(41:24) Workplaces that Allow Blurring Roles Are More Creative and Exciting

(41:40) Clarity of Roles Is Also Important

(42:17) Heaven Is When Work Makes You Happy

(44:42) AI Revolution and Human Creativity

(47:45) Accepting Personal Identity Impacts Identity of Others

(49:03) Identity is Complex and Flexible

(52:16) Being Brave and Positive During Life Shift

(53:14) Have An Open Mind For Unexpected Support

(54:30) Frustration With Politically Advocating Trans Issues

(57:57) How Role As RebelMouse CEO Has Changed Over Time

(1:00:24) How Being Openly Trans Has Improved The Company, Looking Forward

(1:01:37) Being Human Means Being Creative

(1:02:48) Where To Find Andrea’s Work

Stay curious and keep exploring the winding road of life.

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