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Rising Star Emily Riedel: “Why I would like to talk to more people about how to work through anxiety”

I would like to talk to more people about how to work through anxiety. It’s been one of my most important journeys throughout the last decade, and I’ve had to work diligently on myself to conquer it. As a part of our interview series with the rising stars in pop culture, I had the pleasure […]

I would like to talk to more people about how to work through anxiety. It’s been one of my most important journeys throughout the last decade, and I’ve had to work diligently on myself to conquer it.


As a part of our interview series with the rising stars in pop culture, I had the pleasure of interviewing Emily Riedel.

Emily Riedel is a third generation Alaskan, a classically trained operatic singer, and a successful offshore gold miner in Nome, Alaska. She spends her summers hunting for placer gold in the Bering Sea catches up with singing gigs and rock climbing in the off season.


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

Ihad recently graduated from Arts school with a bachelor’s in music as well as seeking a master’s degree. I decided to return to Alaska to take up gold mining for the summer. I was a young, broke opera student and needed some quick funds to study abroad in Vienna, Austria. The challenges and excitement of gold mining quickly put me on a different path, however, and I’m still hunting for treasure ten years later.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

One of the benefits of this career is that there is no shortage of interesting stories. There’s the time we had orcas swimming around the boat with a diver down, the time the outboards failed and we almost wrecked on the rocks of the jetty, the time the sluice box fell off right when we were on amazing gold (the sluice box is where the gold that we suck up gets deposited, hopefully) the time a sudden squall almost sunk the boat…and many, many more!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

In my first year, I thought gold floated. Don’t ask me why, I was having a slow day in the brain synapse department. The lesson I learned is: Gold does not float-However! Very fine gold will float above the surface tension of water, so when you’re panning, you must add soap to break the tension or you’ll pour gold out.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Currently we are getting the boat ready to launch for the summer season, which is always exciting! I’m replacing a lot of equipment for the next year, and I’m hopeful that these pre-season investments will pay off. It’s also a challenge to get things done in the middle of a pandemic, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to get back to work! I also have ambitions towards a second dredge and exploring new ground.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

There is no shortage of interesting people in the great State of Alaska. In fact, “interesting” (or, potentially insane) is a more common description than not. There was one guy that stands out: Buddy. He disappears alone into the wilderness every year to go mine the rivers, has an enormous white beard and round glasses, and was once on the top ten most wanted list.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

There’s no way to avoid the enormous range of emotions you experience up here. It’s a very bipolar industry in general, where the high usually involves being on great gold, working equipment and happy crew mates. The lows are the opposite, plus bad weather. All in all, the only way to avoid burn out is remembering your bottom line. You choose to be here, forging your own destiny, and that freedom is often motivation enough.

Can you share with our readers any self care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.

The most important keys to keeping me in solid mental health are prayer, music, and exercise. Those all tend to the mind, heart, and body in their own profound ways, sometimes all at the same time.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1.Be tough

2. Work hard

3. Work harder, and be more dedicated than you think you must be

4. Diplomacy is always better than battle

5. Shut up, observe, and learn

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Disobey Fear.” I have struggled with intense anxiety for most of my life, and this quote helps me to focus on rising above the reactions of my body and mind.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I think the most important person who has kept me grounded up here has been my brother, Paul. He’s been there for me in the darkest moments, and I owe him a lot.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start 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 would like to talk to more people about how to work through anxiety. It’s been one of my most important journeys throughout the last decade, and I’ve had to work diligently on myself to conquer it.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

I’d love to have a beer with any or all of the following: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Douglass Murray, Joe Rogan, Tulsi Gabbard, Ben Shapiro, Nicholas Nassim Taleb, Sam Harris, Dan Carlin, or Joyce Didonato

How can our readers follow you online?

You can reach me at my instragram, Emsau1, or Facebook, Bering Sea Gold Emily Riedel

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!

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