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28 Mar

Ep. 98 – Sarah Pendrick & the Bella Twins – Creating a Movement

“I think people don’t realize, but we all define success differently. I have a definition of it, you have a definition of it, we all do. I think when you truly know your definition of success, that’s when you’re gonna be happy.”

Sarah Pendrick & the Bella Twins (Nikki & Brie) – GirlTalk Network; Defining success; the ups and downs of running a non-profit; Believing in yourself; Being authentic.

Segment 1: (Length :04:00) – General Updates; Introduction to Sarah Pendrick, Nikki Bella & Brie Bella and their journey as entrepreneurs; From making money to pursuing passion; Launching GirlTalk; a chance encounter between the twins and their childhood friend Sarah.

Sarah’s finer points:

“Yeah, I was successful in the boutique marketing world, and I was making money, but I wasn’t fulfilled. I don’t want to say I hated it, but I was really miserable.”

I mean, making money, having really great opportunities, but it just wasn't my passion, and I don't think it was what I was meant to do. So I started coming up with my idea for GirlTalk, what I wanted it to be, and really working on it.

“I saved up for the year, and was like, ‘I’m gonna self-fund this, and have no other option. Make it happen no matter what.’ I put the event for April 23rd. We did the first event and started developing this program, and was like, this is it, and we’re not turning around. It’s gonna be amazing.”

“GirlTalk developed from my own personal experiences of going to college, had my first business plan at 18, but I didn’t have anyone to mentor me.”

“My mom didn’t go to college, my dad went to college, but he was like, ‘Oh, you’re gonna be fine. You’re gonna get married, and be taken care of.'”

“I had all these resources and all these ideas, and I didn’t have anyone to talk to about it, so I just know there’s a million women out there. Nikki, Brie and I all grew up together, and we have our own personal experiences. Obviously we went different career paths, but we’re, all three, really passionate about women and helping them.”

We just wanted to mentor other women and do these events. Like I said, I did the first date of the event and I wasn't gonna turn back. We just started ... I don't know, people heard about it, and it built from there.

Nikki’s finer points:

“Yeah. I have to say, when I first saw GirlTalk, it was actually really crazy. I saw it online, and I was like, ‘This is so cool, this Connect and Inspire.’ All of a sudden, I saw who the founder was, and I go, ‘Sarah?’ I text Sarah, and I go, ‘Sarah, are you running GirlTalk?'”

“She goes, ‘Yeah.’ I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, Brie and I want in! We want to be a part of this.’ So Sarah didn’t ever come to Brie and I. I just saw all these women talking about it online, and I was like, “This is so cool! Women really want to connect and inspire.'”

I know there's a lot of platforms and other events out there, but I have to say, especially for our generation, and even other generations, there was nothing like this. It was like Sex and the City meets women empowerment.

“Sarah was like, ‘Well, do you and Brie want to be the keynote speakers?’ I was like, ‘Absolutely.’ Cause Brie and I are very, very passionate about women empowerment, and Brie and I didn’t want to be the celebrities that just talk the talk, we wanted to walk the walk.”

Brie and I really have wanted to be a part of something for so many years, where we could use our platform in a way that does inspire and motivate people. So we saw GirlTalk Network as the perfect place that we could actually use our voice, and use our platform in a positive way.

“We started to do that at WWE, and for the people that follow WWE, us women have been making history there for about the past four to five years. That was a big thanks to Total Divas, and for the other female wrestlers that wanted to unite and actually use our voice.”

“In the past five years, I really saw how powerful it is to use your voice in a very positive way. It was like no questions asked, yes, we want to be keynote speakers.”

“Being at that first event, April 23rd, it inspired me. I know people left, and they were inspired by my sister and I, but those women that attended inspired me to hear everyone’s stories and their journey.”

“I was like, gosh, these women are so motivated, and to make time out of your day to come and hear other women speak to be inspired, you’re already there. Brie and I, when we left the first event, April 23rd, we told Sarah we want to partner up.”

“We want to be with GirlTalk, we want to take GirlTalk national, and we want to take it global. People need to attend this worldwide. We know from our Bella Army, we have this massive fanbase, and we have all these young girls and women that look up to us. We want to give them somewhere where they can come. They can hear us speak, and we can hear them speak, and we can all just connect.”

Brie’s finer points:

“Yeah. It’s crazy because I think in today’s world, it’s something all of us didn’t grow up with is social media. Social media has really become big, I would say, in the last five years, at least that’s what it’s felt like to me. But everyone has a platform now.”

Whether you have 10 followers or you have 10 million or 10 thousand, you have a platform, you can just your voice. For me, even before I was pregnant, I was like, 'You know what, I want young girls not to just look at selfies and see how sexy I can be. I want young girls to be influenced by me.'

“I want them to look at my Instagram or my Twitter and be like, ‘You know what, I can be that strong and confident, too.'”

“For us, that was the neat thing about GirlTalk. When I was looking at it, I was like, ‘Wow, socially, we could hit people globally.’ We could let young girls know that it’s not about looking good and feeling strong on the outside. It’s about your inner strength, and it’s about using your voice in a good way.”

“I want young girls to know. Don’t go to the people who you’re not gonna learn anything from. Come to me, because I’ll teach you something. I’ll take on a hundred kids, I don’t care. That’s what’s really important for us, is that we just want to make sure that young girls, and even older women, they know that you can dream at any age.”

You can be influenced by other people, or you can go influence other people. Even if you're 10 years old. I've seen 10 year olds put up posts that I was inspired by. So that's the kind of community that we want, which starts with social media, which is something I wasn't used to growing up.

Segment 2: (Length :08:00) – Talking with Sarah Pendrick & the Bella Twins; an event and network dedicated to the journey; Demonstrating women supporting women; Creating an atmosphere of vulnerability and empowerment; Uniting women the way men have done.

From Nikki:

You start to realize that everyone has a story. No one's had it easy. That's why sometimes when I hear people that play such a victim, it's like, you think you had it bad? No, that person has it bad, that person had it bad, and it's how you overcome that.

“That’s what I love about this event is every single person has a story, and why you’re inspired when you walk in through that door is because already everyone has made a decision that they’re gonna be the stronger version of themselves.”

“So you’re already feeling empowered, and all of us women are like, ‘We’re gonna take over the world!’ Then everyone talks, and it gets emotional. It’s like a great therapy session, but I think what’s so important, too, is you start to realize that you’re not alone.”

My sister and I, I think why we've had such success from total Divas and got the spinoff of Total Bellas is we put some hard stuff out there in reality TV. My sister and I didn't sign up for reality TV because we wanted to be famous. We actually could care less about fame.

“Brie and I, with our story, if there’s one person that can watch it, and can relate to us, to know they’re not alone, game over, we’ve won. We’ve done what we’ve wanted to do.”

“But what I’ve realized in GirlTalk Network is the same to me, is you’re gonna have someone that relates to you, and thanks you for showing them that, ‘Hey, you know what? I’m not alone, and if you got through it, I can get through it.’ To me, that’s what GirlTalk is all about, that’s what being on reality TV is all about.”

From Brie:

“You know what it was for me, is that … I don’t know why women are like this, but I feel like when men, like someone gets a big promotion, men high five each other, ‘Let’s get beers!’ When a woman gets a big promotion, women are always like, ‘How the hell did she get that? Oh, she must of did this or this and that.'”

“Women are always negative to women, and when I was at GirlTalk, I’m like, ‘Holy crap, this is like what dudes feel like all the time. High fiving each other, chugging beers.’ That’s the energy of GirlTalk, and I was like, all three of us were like, if only more women could be like this. If more women can know that everyone can be successful, not just one woman.”

“It took, at WWE, a whole locker room of all of us girls to sit there and go, “You know what, there’s not just one spot. All of us can unite.” Sure enough, the Divas revolution happened, which turned into making history at Wrestle Mania last year, and we weren’t called divas anymore.”

All of a sudden, we're considered superstars, just like the men. But it took women to unite, and that's the big thing Sarah wants everyone to know, is that when you unite, and you inspire, we all win.

“It’s something I feel like men have accomplished way ahead than women, and it’s too bad. Because women, if they only knew their strength, and that coming together makes us all stronger, and I feel like they are seeing that now, but that’s what you feel like at GirlTalk. You literally feel like you’re just high fiving everyone, and you just feel, I guess, like a dude for a couple hours.”

Segment 3: (Length :10:00) – Entrepreneurship; Knowing your audience; Advice for entrepreneurs; Knowing your passion; Being authentic; Dealing with haters; Focusing on growth.

From Nikki:

“I’ve learned a lot from my man, John Cena. He is an amazing entrepreneur, he has built such an amazing brand. So I always try to soak in all of his advice. One of the best things that I’ve learned is knowing your audience. So if it’s a company you’re building, or whatever brand, it’s knowing your audience and catering to that.”

For so long, I felt like I truly didn't know my audience, and until I understood my audience, I connected to them, and then I became successful. That's just not for the entertainers, I think it's any industry you're in. That should be your first question is who's my audience?

From Brie:

“For me, it was patience. It took my sister and I a decade to make history at WWE. It took us a decade to become the top girls at WWE, to where we got. 10 years, and I think everyone has an idea, they want to do it, and they want it done now.”

“Nicole and I started BirdieBee, and we just thought, ‘Oh, we have an idea. Here’s our investors. Bam, we’re gonna get our brand.’ We’re two years into it, and still don’t have product because creating a brand from scratch isn’t that easy.”

“Especially when you have passion behind it. So you want every little thing to be perfect, but I realized I’m not a patient person. I truly had to learn patience, and I had to tell myself everyday, “Breathe. For it to be successful and great, it takes time.”

“Just like my WWE career, took time. So I think entrepreneurs need to just, number one, have patience, and know it doesn’t happen overnight. When it does happen overnight, it’s because it took seven years, not 20. So it’s just patience, is the biggest thing for me.”

From Sarah:

“I actually want to say that’s another thing that we talk about at GirlTalk. There’s so many people that come up and pretend they’re an overnight success, and they want to have this persona that things are easy, and talk about all the success that they’ve had.”

The one thing, if you're gonna speak at the event, or be a part of it, you have to be a real person, and say they share their story and talk about how hard it is . . . So if you're gonna really share the story and share the struggles and the hard times, too, then it just really speaks to women, and anyone.

“I just think everyone needs to start getting real, and saying truths instead of putting on personas.”

From Nikki:

“I think, too, when you see successful people, everyone assumes that all they heard was yes, and they don’t realize that they heard a lot of no’s, but they never gave up.”

“We’ve all heard no’s a thousand times, I’m sure you all heard no’s, but it’s, how do I change that no or that negative into a positive or a yes.”

There's a lot of tears, and there's a lot of blood, and there's a lot of sweat, and there's a lot of no sleeping. But almost every entrepreneur has heard a ton of no's, but they just didn't stop, they didn't give up. You're gonna have failure, and failure's okay, but it's how do you change that failure and succeed.

“I’ve had a lot of failure. There are some things that I miss so bad, and I was like, “All right, not doing that again.” So how can I change this? I think people have to realize, too, sometimes they see people already succeeding, so they’re like, “Oh, I’m never gonna get there.” Or “I already heard no on this.” No, you can’t stop.”

“10 years, Brie and I heard no. Women will never be this, you’ll never be that. All this type of stuff, and it was like, ‘Oh no, I will, and I’ll show you.’ Trust me, there are times I wanted to stop, and I’m like, ‘You know what, I quit.’ But it was like, no, we knew where we wanted to go. So I think that’s also a very important thing, for people who want to be entrepreneurs.”

From Sarah:

For me, I knew my why, and I knew my passion is helping people, so that's what fuels everything. Blood, sweat and tears, like they said, I have the sweat and tears, no blood, but I'm so passionate about helping people and just being here to serve.

“Anytime I get super, ‘Oh my god, it didn’t work out the way I want. Whatever.’ I just have to recheck and be like, ‘This isn’t about me.’ I’m here to serve, I’m here to help people, I’m here to give people a voice, and that just gets me through anything.”

“If I was doing something else that I wasn’t passionate about, I wouldn’t be sitting here today, talking about GirlTalk. That’s the simplest way I can say it.”

From Brie:

“I think for me, the biggest is you’ll hear people say, ‘Fake it ’til you make it.’ No, I can’t. One thing I realized is I have to be true to myself, whether you like me or not, and that was my whole career.”

“Maybe that’s why it took me so long to get where I’m at, but I’m so happy that I can look in the mirror and be so proud of myself. I never sacrificed my morals, I never sacrificed my beliefs, and because of it, I feel like I do touch people.”

From Nikki:

I think people don't realize, but we all define success differently. I have a definition of it, you have a definition of it, we all do. I think when you truly know your definition of success, that's when you're gonna be happy.

“To me, that’s the best part of succeeding is happiness. I think whenever you find your true happiness, it doesn’t matter how much money you make or what you’re doing, because you’re so happy you have gotten the golden ticket.”

“I feel like with social media when you touched on it, I feel like because there’s so much hate, sometimes people forget, “My brand isn’t doing well, look at all this hate.” You just sometimes see so much of the hate, rather than the good things because of social media.”

“I’ve had to learn this. The WWE, we are very big online, we have a massive following. I want to say WWE almost dominates every industry online. Our numbers beat out the NFL. Anyone that’s big in the entertainment industry, we beat them out. Because we are a global brand, we’re in 134 countries. That means there’s a lot of hate that comes with it, and if you were to Google my name online, you would think I’d be one of the most hated girls ever.”

“But when you look at the bottom line, you’re like, that’s the most loved girl ever. When I come out and you hear my reaction, you would think I’d be one of the most loved girl ever.”

“Define your success, what you think is your definition, and whatever makes you happy.”

From Sarah:

“No, there’s always gonna be haters, so if you’re getting hate, it shows you are doing something right.”

I feel, and this is what we talk to the girls and the women about, I feel that people hide who they are, cause they don't want to be judged, and they don't want to get hated on, but then you aren't giving what you can give to the world.

“That’s another reason why I started GirlTalk, I feel like I hid so much of myself, cause I was so nervous what people would think, and the minute that I stopped being like that, I’m in exactly the place that I want to be in.”

“We need to know, sit down, anyone listening right now, even if you’re super successful, it’s always good to check back in, do your goals every six months, make a list. Again, what makes you happy. I look back on six months ago, and I have a different list now. Cause I’ve grown, I’ve changed, and growing is happiness. So if you’re constantly growing and doing what makes you happy, you’re gonna be successful.”

Segment 4: (Length :10:00) – Defining success; appreciating the growth; the ups and downs of running a non-profit.

From Brie:

“For me, it was having no ego. When I started at WWE, I knew my place. I was like, ‘There are 10 girls who are better than me in the ring. I am in, what we say as wrestlers, green, still learning, but I’m gonna enjoy the journey to get to the top.'”

“I think for me what it was is that even though I wasn’t as great as some of the girls when I first started, I knew I was gonna see the world. I was traveling all over the world, so I might not have had the best position, making great money, but here I am in Italy, and all of a sudden, I’m in Australia, and Japan.”

“So I always looked at like, “Okay, I know where I’m gonna work for, but I’m gonna be grateful for the things that I’m gonna slowly get as I go to the top.”

From Nikki:

“For me, it’s definitely, exactly what Brie said, but also your support group, and who you surround yourself by. My family, they don’t care who Brie and I are, they don’t care how many Instagram followers we have. My cousins, they love Nicole and Brianna, who they grew up with, and same with my best friends. They keep us so grounded.”

“It’s so great to always be around them, because they don’t ask me about my life … Wrestling, all that. They want to know, “Hey, how was your day today? Are you and John doing good? Favorite food lately?” They just treat me like who I am, and I think when you surround yourself by those people, who don’t care about money or what clothes they’re wearing, they just care about living life, it really keeps you grounded.”

“I have to say, our family’s kept us so, so humbled.”

From Sarah:

“Following up, same thing that Brie said, ego. That’s why I check in and say this isn’t about me. If I’m sad, I’m like, ‘Oh I only have 10,000 followers on Instagram.’ I should have, whatever. It’s like, who cares? It’s not about me, that’s not why I’m doing it.”

“Everyone has their own way of handling stuff, but I write stuff down, and I do the goals, cause then I look back, and I’m like, “Remember how bad I really wanted to do this one thing with GirlTalk, and it’s gone beyond that.”

You're always looking to grow, of course, but you just have to appreciate what you have and meditate every morning. It makes a huge difference. We don't have to get into that, but gratefulness is gonna bring you more.

“It’s a struggle, and it is a business. Also, I did start out being kind of uncomfortable asking for money, but then I’m like, “But how am I gonna do this then?” Obviously, I need to ask for it.” So I have no problem doing that now.”

“Really, my biggest struggle is people always look for … With charities, sometimes people don’t understand unless they see the problem. Depression doesn’t discriminate. Women feeling alone, young girls’ self-esteem, eating disorders, being lost. Horrible things happen to them. You don’t see that on a person, so I’m not asking for a cause that they can physically see, so I think sometimes it’s hard for people to understand that this is the first step in changing them going down a negative direction.”

“All the things that we’re talking about today, we talk about that in the schools that we tour, and I think it’s so amazing. Nicole’s coming to our next school, Brianna was just there. When are they ever gonna get a chance to be up close and personal like that with her and hear her story.”

“Girls are crying, and I get emails all the time. You changed my life, I was suicidal, I was this, I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t believe in myself cause my parents are like, “Oh no, that doesn’t happen.” I think that we’re doing amazing work, and all I can do, like I said, is serve and keep getting out there as much as possible.”

“Yeah, I have times that I’m crying, and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I just want this, I want this, so I can go here.” We get emails from people in Spain. How the hell are we gonna fly to Spain and do this? So that’s my struggle right now, but I just want people to really know the work that we’re doing, and how much we’re helping our next generation.”

Segment 5: (Length :03:00) – Hustler Thought of the Day:

I am fearless and therefore, I do what I do. – Nikki Bella

Don’t look at the obstacles and go for your dreams – Brie Bella

If I fail I try another way. - Sarah Pendrick


Sarah Pendrick – Founder and Creator of the non-profit movement GirlTalk Network

  • Sarah Pendrick is the Founder and Creator of the non-profit movement GirlTalk Network, a non-profit for women in all stages of life. They are centered around women supporting women, empowering others, connecting, inspiring and giving back. They create life changing events and self-love programs for women and young girls nationwide.
  • In short, Sarah’s mission is to empower women of all ages while serving as a resource for young women.
  • Before she started GirlTalk, she had a boutique PR/marketing agency and was making a lot of money but she wasn’t fulfilled at all. She then planned a year out to be able to start GirlTalk, gave herself no other exit strategy because this is what she was doing and will try everything to make it work and thrive. Her motto, “If I fail I try another way.”
  • Sarah is a self love advocate, life coach, writer, empowerment speaker and Philanthropist with a bachelors in Psychology and a Master’s in Family Therapy.”
  • She travels all over the United States to speak to the women of our next generation and provide them with support, education and empowerment. Through GirlTalk, Sarah not only features and connects powerful women with a purpose but she celebrates them through her events and programs by giving them a platform and a space to thrive and use their voice.
  • Connect & Inspire – Sunday May 21st in Phoenix, Arizona.


The Bella Twins (Nikki Bella & Brie Bella) – Professional Athletes, Actresses, Models & Badasses

  • Brie & Nikki Bella are semi-retired professional wrestlers. You might be familiar with them as a tag team duo on WWE, as well as TV shows Total Divas and now Total Bellas, which includes their partners WWE Stars Daniel Bryan and John Cena on the E! Network.
  • Born in San Diego, raised here in Scottsdale, returned to San Diego for college and then moved to LA after graduation to pursue their modeling and acting work. They were signed to developmental contracts by WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) in 2007.


Matt Gottesman

Matt Gottesman is a global digital strategist and technology advisor, creator and editor-in-chief of Hustle & Deal Flow™ - an online magazine dedicated to the world's entrepreneurs, creators and makers, a Social Media Influencer and a consultant on New Media and go-to-market strategies for investments in digital marketing, technology, websites, mobile applications, eCommerce, social media and content.

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