Edie Hand knows a thing or two about small businesses and true grit and shares them in Big on Small podcast episode 7.


What do Elvis Presley, Phyllis Diller’s feather boas and small business have in common? Edie Hand! Edie isn’t just a mesmerizing podcast guest, sharing tales of a life at times intertwined with her cousin, Elvis Presley and other powerful cultural icons; she’s a gentle warrior offering up the gifts of some of the deeply personal battles she’s faced both in life and in business. From devastating deaths and betrayals to going toe-to-toe with cancer—not once, but four times—this woman knows a thing or two about true grit. Truth be told, she wrote the book on it—literally.

This episode hit me personally.

Two years ago, I was battling cancer myself, something that had taken my mum’s life and that had ravaged her mum before her. What astonished me was the way that Edie tackles the links between workaholism—something many of us struggle with—and its impact on wellness. She doesn’t mince words about its intrinsic connection to cancer, a correlation I had to confront with the cortisol-soaked assault I was waging on my body every day, and often still do.

So what does this have to do with small business?

At a time when we’re living through a pandemic that’s created not only an economic crisis, but a mental health one, with people fighting to save the life of their business, while simultaneously coping with dramatic changes to both the workplace and home front overnight, during a sweeping transformation toward racial justice, and entire communities being engulfed by wildfires, straight talk is some powerful medicine.

Edie calls these trials “pearls”, ones that we’re continually adding to the string of our life. She leans into the lessons of how each of these pearls challenges us to confront the things that threaten both our livelihoods and our wellbeing; from personal losses to business crises that beckon a constant reinvention if we—and our businesses—are to grow.

Edie unpacks the need for courage in the workplace when facing illness, not just to surmount it, but to share it honestly with business colleagues to empower momentum. She talks about how vulnerability can actually be a superpower, both personally and in business, and shares wonder-fueled anecdotes about the leverage of levity, using humor and joy to lift you out of the darkest situations, including the one we now find ourselves in globally.

Don't let the heavy backstory fool you.

This episode celebrates the quirky, endearing and just plain funny moments in life, from trips to Graceland where Elvis vetted Edie's potential suitors; to Edie wearing Phyllis Diller's feather boas and laughing at herself while engaging in a little cheeky self-talk in the mirror; to the beautiful legacy of uplift she created around a multitude women as she invited them to share their own stories of survival and True Grit.

Edie has used the truths and resources she offers in this episode to build not just one, but a number of successful small businesses. She’s an acclaimed celebrity chef, the author of more than 25 books (with the proceeds often benefitting the St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital), and a philanthropist, speaker and businesswoman who's all about family.

Tune in to learn how Edie Hand took hardships and turned them into toolkits, creating uplift around people as they grew their own businesses—and lives—into legacies of connection, prosperity and endurance.


Episode 007 - A Better Tomorrow with Edie Hand

Connect with Edie:


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Topics: small business, small business owners, workplace culture, leadership development, business tools, Karolyn Hart, success strategies, philanthropy, perspective, joy, passion, Samantha Castro, podcast, growth strategies, grow your business, business insights, crisis leadership, Big on Small, problem solving, purpose, disruptive leaders, wisdom, endurance, leadership insights, interview questions, workplace wellness, vulnerability, women in the workplace, Edie Hand, Elvis Presley, Women of True Grit, cancer, author, filmmaker, celebrity, grit, Edie Hand Foundation, Phyllis Diller, women's empowerment, The Children’s Hospital of Alabama, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, prosperity

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