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Living With A Ravenous Thirst For Life: “Be a leader,” With Journalist and entrepreneur, Mika Ann Stambaugh and Dr. Marina Kostina

Be a leader — I don’t follow I lead. I make my own mind up and build my own judgments. If someone doesn’t like a person or a place I try it out myself. Same with people, not everyone is going to get a long, but I don’t make conclusions for people based on someone else’s experience or opinion. It is good to be different.



Be a leader — I don’t follow I lead. I make my own mind up and build my own judgments. If someone doesn’t like a person or a place I try it out myself. Same with people, not everyone is going to get a long, but I don’t make conclusions for people based on someone else’s experience or opinion. It is good to be different.


I had the pleasure to interview Mika Ann Stambaugh. Mika is an Emmy award winning journalist and dynamic entrepreneur known for her creative strategies in executing media and communication campaigns. Throughout her career, she’s been recognized for her creativity, hustle and leadership, including winning an Emmy in 2008 as a Field Producer at CBS 2 News Chicago. That same year she moonlighted to follow her dream at age 26 to open her own small business, deftly balancing her responsibilities in the newsroom and as an entrepreneur. Her business savvy and deep understanding of the news business landed her the role of spokesperson for the City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection in 2014. At City Hall, Mika spearheaded the communication strategy for several high profile policies such as: house sharing ordinance (AirBnB); rideshare entering the Chicago marketplace (Uber and Lyft); Chicago’s minimum wage increase; amended tobacco and liquor laws; and more than 60 consumer protection campaigns. Her ability to secure media and saturate the market earned the department roughly $5M in media coverage. Mika combines her newsroom experience and execution of communication strategies for front line public policy issues to help our clients build winning earned media, marketing and advertising campaigns. Clients will benefit from her expertise in producing large scale events after leadership in driving the growth of Mayor Emanuel’s small business expos. She used her network to secure high-profile keynote speakers and brands to exponentially increase both attendance and revenue for these expos, including Israel Idonije, Bill Rancic, Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child, Bill Kurtis and Laura Schwartz, among others. Her high energy, positive attitude and passion for this work have helped her lead winning teams, and she carries that passion into her civic engagement as well where she serves on the Board of Directors for the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago and Susan G. Komen to raise funds and awareness that benefit the sick and less fortunate in Chicago. Mika calls Hyde Park home with her French Mastiff, Chapo.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I have always been on the nosey side. I was asking WHY? And WHO? to get all of the juicy details to the story. The news was a part of my life since I can remember. I grew up on ABC 7 Chicago and was drawn to the bright lights, hair, makeup, polished outfits and interesting stories. I had an ex-boyfriend frequently call me Agent Stambaugh when I was pushing for more information on something. As a journalist you can ask all of the questions you need to get the story right and its been a perfect fit! When I was in college I interned for Paul Meincke, a news legend, and after my semester I asked to stay and I when I graduated college. I think I still hold the record for longest internship. 🙂 Thank you Elsa Claveria for the approval!

What does it mean for you to live “on purpose”? Can you explain? How can one achieve that?

Purpose is in my company’s mission statement … PR with Purpose. In life being intentional is very important for me. Purposeful reactions, thoughts and planning is how I function. I am super A type and a total planner. I maximize every event, opportunity and reason to multi-task, help someone and go the extra mile as often as possible, but I can only do that when I am focused on being purposeful.

Do you have an example or story in your own life of how your pain helped to guide you to finding your life’s purpose?

I have a huge voice and I choose to use it for the underdogs. In school I would hang out with all of groups and defend the ones who needed it no matter if they were a close friend or now. In high school there was a student with special needs and on a few instances I saw him alone and I would go sit with him. I found out years later those moments helped get him through tough times. I didn’t do it for any other reason than I don’t like to see people hurt, sad or alone so I go out of my way to make everyone feel included and important to me.

The United States is currently rated at #18 in the World Happiness Report. Can you share a few reasons why you think the ranking is so low?

We allow everything to jam us up. People need to live in their reality to keep stress and sadness to a minimum. I find when I stick to the basics I am much happier. Surrounding ourselves with fellow positive people is key … I don’t have a tolerance for people who gossip about other people. Any adult who sits around and talks about others is sad and unfortunately it happens all too often. I eliminated those people a while ago and I am much happier. Americans are known for living in the hustle and bustle, so I try and focus on adding elements of R&R to my days and keep days open for me to stay home and be present.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I love fundraising and giving back. Showing people all of the great places they can help is something I am currently infatuated with … several people come to me before donating because I am involved with personally and professionally about 20 non-profits in the City of Chicago. I support people and organizations all over the world too both financially and with my time. I try and remind people that there is someone worse off and we need to give back to those people in need.

What are your 6 strategies to help you face your day with exuberance, “Joie De Vivre” and a “ravenous thirst for life”? Can you please give a story or example for each?

1 — Get shit done — I have a lot of clients and work and personal events, so I wake up and get going.

2 — Be a leader — I don’t follow I lead. I make my own mind up and build my own judgments. If someone doesn’t like a person or a place I try it out myself. Same with people, not everyone is going to get a long, but I don’t make conclusions for people based on someone else’s experience or opinion. It is good to be different.

3 — Stay open minded — try new things and don’t listen to what everyone else is doing, do what you want to do when you want to do it.

4 — Always remain positive — the mind is a powerful tool. When I feel myself going dark I think of something I am excited about to pull me out of the negativity. Nobody likes a Debbie downer.

5 — Do whatever my body is asking for — I listen to my body. If it needs a day off I take one, a vacation I book one, grooming I go do it. There isn’t anyone that is going to take care of your body better than you. So listen up when your body talks to you.

6 — Exercise — I played varsity softball as a freshman (I was a pitcher) and I have always used working out as a tool to destress … 20 years later I am still using that natural high to keep me level headed.

Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources that most inspired you to live with a thirst for life?

Who Moved My Cheese. I reread it all of the time. It puts everything in perspective.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that relates to having a Joie De Vivre? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I have always been the person that can Get Shit Done. Ever since I was a young professional I wanted to run for office so I could have a yard sign that read: “Vote for Mika She knows how to get shit done.” Each day I push hard for my clients and go the extra mile for everyone I come into contact with.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

Right now I am working on a great solution to the plastic straw crisis with SWZLE. They have the only portable metal straw case to carry and clean on the go! I use a straw for all drinks, including coffee and tea, so this is a fun one for me. I also love the fact that my PR work is spreading this great news that is making a global environmental impact. Do you sip or SWZLE? https://swzle.com/

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I try to inspire people to be better humans. I am often asked why I am so happy and where do I get my energy from and I tell them I surround myself with good people and I always laugh, even through tough times. I am not too hard on myself and I accept and admit when I make a mistake or am not being the best human. I work on it and encourage everyone to do the same! One day at a time people …


About The Author:

Dr. Marina Kostina is a life and business fulfillment coach. She uses research and energy work to help professional women find their purpose and turn it into a profitable business. Dr. Kostina incorporates innovative marketing strategies and the creation of engaging, lucrative online courses to scale their businesses. As a result they enjoy what she describes as a “ravenous life” — a life filled with the passion, pleasure, playfulness and abundance that come naturally to those who dare to be authentic. Her book “Find the G-Spot of Your Soul” is available January 2018. Download a free gift from Dr. Kostina- an MP3 Meditation Album “Find The G –Spot Of Your Soul” and get unstuck.

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