Seriously Catherine – Multilingual & Culture with Juliana Russell | Episode 24 – Palette
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Seriously Catherine – Multilingual & Culture with Juliana Russell | Episode 24

Juliana Russell, the brains behind Language Mindset, talks about her linguistic journey. Juliana, a language-loving trailblazer who speaks eight languages, spills the beans on her playful approach to teaching kids languages through storytelling.

In this episode, Catherine uncovers Juliana’s passion for languages and how she’s flipping the script on language learning. Forget boring textbooks—Juliana’s Language Mindset turns language lessons into exciting adventures, weaving tales that captivate young minds and spark a love for multilingualism.

From whimsical narratives to interactive activities, Juliana’s method isn’t just about learning words—it’s about embracing new cultures and fostering empathy. Tune in for a dose of inspiration and discover how Language Mindset is making language learning a joyous ride for kids everywhere!

🌟Get tips and updates from Language Mindset on their Instagram HERE.

🌟Learn more about Language Mindset by visiting their website HERE.

HOT TAKES: Kate Middleton is a fighter!

SARATOGA: A taste of the Middle East is coming to Saratoga! Sara’s Kitchen is opening on Broadway.

FACE PALM MOM: Spring snow dump was not good sledding weather.

Don’t forget to check out Saratoga Living’s After Hours for what’s new and happening in Saratoga!

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*This Transcript is Autogenerated*

Juliana Russell 0:03
I want to teach the kid to know how to do the work on their own. Yeah. Because then their language learning for life, Katherine, I’m telling you, this is the thing. It’s like, if it’s teacher led, your kids not doing it. And then your kids not learning. And that’s why, through stories, I just feel, and I know, it creates a sense of independence. And then your child was like, I’m a French speaker.

Catherine Hover 0:31
Welcome to seriously Catherine a podcast about taking your business seriously, but not yourself. All right, this week’s Hot take is all about my girl, Princess Kate Middleton, who I stand for she came out this week with a diagnosis of cancer, it’s preventative treatment that she’s going through, she had abdominal surgery in January. And now they are doing preventative chemotherapy for, you know, additional cancer cells that were found. And she came up publicly to address all the speculation that was said about her. And you know, I just have to point out like, how badass it is that she comes out. And she says what she’s gonna say to make everyone just like shut up. But also, she was forced to do this, like it was almost like she was forced to come out and say where she was, basically, because of historical issues that have come up in the past from other family members, all the other royals have disappeared from public eye. So I’m glad she came out and said, What’s going on, and I wish her well and I think what an opportunity to demonstrate vulnerability, which in my opinion, is a strength and showcase how people can come together to support you through a really really, really difficult experience. Anyway, my thoughts and prayers are with Princess Kate because girlfriend you got a crown to put on eventually you got to be the queen. So I know she’s gonna get through this. And we wish her well. On this week’s episode of seriously, Catherine, I’m joined by Giuliana Russell from language mindset. And she is such a powerhouse. I mean, she can speak eight different languages. So I don’t know anybody else who can do that. Besides her. I mean, I think it’s just the most incredible thing when you’re around her. And she’s around other people that can speak a different language. She just goes back and forth from Italian to German, Spanish to French, and then back to English so we can understand her. It’s amazing. So her claim to fame is that she speaks all these languages. And she teaches them to kids through storytelling. She’s an author. So if you want to buy her book, you can go online and clickety click and buy that book because it teaches your children through storytelling and through characters how to speak a different language. She’s actually teaching Posey, I signed her up for French classes, because we may or may not be going to a country called France. So anyway, let’s get into it. I know you’re gonna really enjoy learning about Juliana, thank you so much for being here. I’m so excited for people to learn more about you. Yes, thank you. How did you get started with the all the languages we use? How many languages can you communicate in?

Juliana Russell 3:03
Yeah, so there’s like levels, right? So I’m fluent in Spanish, French and Italian. Okay. And I study five other ones. So there’s different levels of it. So American Sign Language, ASL, Swedish, Korean, Japanese, Chinese. And I am adding German because we just added German.

Catherine Hover 3:24
Yeah. So and So you’re essentially like, you have to teach yourself the language before you can teach it to other people.

Juliana Russell 3:31
Well, this is the interesting thing. Okay. That’s a really interesting question. Because if you’re an athlete, you can like pick up another sport really easily. Yeah, it’s exactly what languages really Yes. That’s why there’s a lot of people that speak many languages. Because you know, what goes into language learning, you know, the mechanics of a language. It’s just like, oh, that’s different. Or the verb goes here in Japanese, it doesn’t go there. Oh, they don’t even have gender plurality in Japanese or in something else. So it’s like, you understand the mechanics. It’s just applying it differently. So you look at these athletes are like can pick up a sport easily. And it’s just like with languages, so it’s like, Oh, let’s see how German works. Ah, German does this that does the same thing in French. It does different thing. You know what I mean? So yeah, yeah, cool. So no, I don’t teach myself before I introduced the language. But I am such a curious person. And I love people that I’m like, why are we good at this language now? Yeah, like I want to add Arabic that’s after German. I like Arabic is next online Arabic and ASL. It’s a it’s a race right now. Okay. I have experience with ASL. Like I can communicate in ASL. And do

Catherine Hover 4:30
you feel like what you’re tying it back to the demand? I mean, are people interested more so in Arabic than they are ASL are really relative?

Juliana Russell 4:38
Okay. But yes, I would say this. Germany has a high demand. Okay. Arabic as well. I mean, there’s a whole community of Korean like if you look at like Korean here, but like now that I’ve been on social media and connected with other people in the world, there’s a huge Korean interest. So it depends on where you’re at. Yeah, Saratoga Springs. Korea, not so much.

Catherine Hover 4:58
Yeah. Well, what’s great about Your approach and your ethos is that you, you teach a lot of digital, you know, it’s all digital and most right like, do you even do one on one lessons anymore, we do

Juliana Russell 5:10
live one on one. And this is the thing about the live one on one, it’s, I see it like cake, like the cake. I love the frosting. For us. It was like the best part of the cake. But the cake is our stories. I want your daughter studying French and interact with French every day. It doesn’t matter if she has a school vacation, or I’m sick. And I can’t meet with her that one day, like you need to have your own practice. And that’s where stories comes in. It’s like, okay, here’s our stories. We decode grammar through symbols. And we talk about how you decode so they’re like interacting with language on their own. We want them to be independent. So to answer your question, I see myself in five years not having any live lessons. Okay, I’m telling you got them, like try to schedule like time schedules. It’s like crazy. Yeah. Like my Chinese teacher has a lot availability than her life changed in our availability like this. So How sustainable is that for the teacher? Right. And also for the learner? Yeah. So I’ve got a lot of ideas. But the stories I just feel like it’s the story is the base. And then there’s like a community, whether it be like a monthly jump, and let’s do the bingo, let’s do a bingo game, or let’s do a game from the chapter that we read, you know? Yeah. I

Catherine Hover 6:12
mean, you can create clubs around those stories. Yeah. They can sort of make their own schedule and you write sort of, like host or

Juliana Russell 6:19
exactly, it’s like self paced. It’s like we’re always here for you. You’re not completely alone, but you have to be able to create your own practice and it’s small practices. And I think that’s another thing too, is like people think they have to study for hours on end. I do not study for hours on that. Yeah,

Catherine Hover 6:31
you’re just like gobbling like you’re taking snacks. Yeah. snacking on French or snacking on German

Juliana Russell 6:39
snacking on snacks. Yeah, language snack. Dori

Catherine Hover 6:42
snacks. Oh, Catherine. trade market.

Juliana Russell 6:46
Well, this is interesting, because I want to have snack boxes, you know, like so we’re like creating more content. It’s just this is the thing for me. It’s like languages lifestyle. So that’s why it’s like, it’s the food. I spent my birthday other Korean restaurant because how I fell in love with Korean I read a story of American Korean daughter and her mother called H Mart. Guys read it so good. And she’s also a musician found the new my new band Japanese.

Catherine Hover 7:09
Yeah, I feel like I’ve heard about this. But she’s like on Oprah’s best seller. Probably. It

Juliana Russell 7:14
was incredible. I just read that just by happenstance. My tattoo artist was like, you gotta read this book. I’m like, would you reach like H Mart and I was like, Okay, I read it. And I took it. And I was like, well, the whole culture and stories just amazing. So I booked a Korean class. And then here we are two years later, and I adore Korean. Like, my husband has my name in his cell phone as Yabo which is like darling, sweetheart and Korean. Oh, yeah. It’s a lifestyle. So like, I think that’s what I’m trying to, like, my message is like, yeah, and

Catherine Hover 7:43
you’re demonstrating it. You’re not You’re not just like, you know, yeah, come to class kid. You’re like, you’re so passionate about it. I remember when Posey first met you. She was like, do you know she could speak in so many different levels? Like yeah, it’s pretty cool. Right? So it’s like there’s definitely you know, Posies at that age, where she’s such a sponge, and she’s absorbing so much and she can learn, don’t you think kids can learn better, like easier? Well,

Juliana Russell 8:05
okay, so this is interesting debate, because I have a lot of language friends that teach adults and they’re like, adults learn better. There’s benefits to both, okay? Adults are actually fantastic learners. We’re just scared of making mistakes. Oh, that’s the difference. Children have less inhibition. They’re like more willing to just do it. Adults are like, I need to know it’s perfect. I need to know the grammar of this. I think they’re just a little more fearful. That’s what I found. And they’re just more and more perfectionist kids are like, yeah, like, say that word and say it incorrectly? Or I’ll answer the question, because another thing too, is like, the way that we interact with languages. It’s like, it’s always I have to make everything to a game. And that’s how I have like, live life. It’s like, let’s make this into a game. Like, let’s make grammar into a game. The second you start explaining thing, Catherine like explaining grammar, like, oh, this verb goes with this. It’s like, Oh, my God.

Catherine Hover 8:51
Yeah. Headaches Central.

Juliana Russell 8:52
It’s just unnecessary. Yeah. You know,

Catherine Hover 8:55
I mean, most Americans don’t write in English. Correct. grammatically correct. Yeah, like the word

Juliana Russell 9:02
sneak peek.

Catherine Hover 9:02
Oh, what does? How’s that spelled sneak and how you spell P how

Juliana Russell 9:05
you spell peak? P

Catherine Hover 9:07
E. K. People do people say P E. K?

Juliana Russell 9:11
Yeah, like a mountain peak?

Catherine Hover 9:12
Oh, I didn’t think about that. But then maybe I’m just you know, girl, you’re I mean, the grammar was drilled into my brain. And

Juliana Russell 9:20
there’s, this is the thing I actually really like, and I find it fascinating. It’s just that the priority is too much on the grammar. It’s like you’re trying for me, it’s like language learning is like you ride a bike. It’s like riding a bike. You get on the bike and you like move your feet and you’re like, Oh, I’m gonna fall over. Then we teach you every register like then you teach the mechanics after but can you imagine saying to a kid like Alright, we’re gonna learn to ride a bike. Let’s read this 65 page manual on how the gears work and all this information that’s not necessary for them. Yeah. And then like three months later, we’re gonna jump on a bike and learn how to ride for me. I don’t know maybe it’s just the way that I am as a person. It’s like, get me on and like let’s do it. Like yesterday. I took my nephew snowboarding for the first time. Ah, how old is he? He’s eight. And he did so well. And he’s like, I just want to go down the mountain. And I’m like, Alright, let’s go. Yeah, I’m like, so I was like, I went down a little bit like I come to me, and he just darted right down the mountain. So then I would try to teach him the mechanics. I’m like, Okay, you got to get on your toe, or you got to get in your hill. But it’s just like, you learned so much. By doing Yes, I think that’s the piece is like, it’s not that you can get in you can learn multiple languages, if you want.

Catherine Hover 10:25
I would love that. I would love I think it’s such a badass skill. Like, just to be like, Yeah, I can, you know, oh, you know what I think I would be the coolest thing is like to not tell anybody that I do know. Oh, yeah. Which is, and then just be able to whip it out. Yeah. No surprises. That’s gonna be so much fun. Like, do you ever go to the nail salon? And you’re like, I know exactly what you’re all saying. So

Juliana Russell 10:46
I’m learning live in demand during the night. I know and of like, basically, like, Hello, how are you? Like, thank you. This is pretty cool. Things like that. And it’s so funny because I’m listening to their Mandarin. And there’s a word that’s like the word that means like, like, or so it’s like this filler word, the way they say it’s like a bad word in English. So I hear them saying this word over and over, and I’m like, Oh, my God, they’re communicate with the same word. They’re saying that word. It’s like the word that you just don’t say. Yeah, I’m sure Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Oh, my God, what are they say? So I talked to all my friend. I was like, What is this word? He’s like, Yeah, means like, like, it’s our like, I’m like, okay, and they say it all the time. And I was like, Oh, my God.

Catherine Hover 11:25
I love this. What was the first language was Spanish that you learned? Yeah. So I actually failed Spanish. Because you have a bilingual family, right? Like, No, Mom, does your mom not speak?

Juliana Russell 11:35
So my heritage is Italian. We have Italian words just like there but my parents are English speaking. Okay. But I took it upon myself to like properly learn Italian. And

Catherine Hover 11:47
like, what fascinated you about language is like early on, like, was it? Were you in high school learning? Oh, yeah. And you’re like, Okay, when I graduate, I’m going to be a language teacher. Yep.

Juliana Russell 11:57
So an eighth graders take the state exam. School for me was a social thing. I did not really care about academics piece, but I failed the state exam. Okay, so you basically have to repeat that. Yeah. My mom’s like, you’re not repeating that year, you’re gonna go back to summer school and take it? Yeah. So I did. And the only memory memory I have that made me like, want to pay attention to the teacher was that she was like, What’s everyone’s favorite band, and I was like, mine’s Pearl Jam. And she’s like, great band. And I was like, I will pay attention to you. So silly. 14 years old, right? So anyway, so I do well in that. So my business is language mindset. And that mindset piece is really important. Because when I was 14, I actually like, wait, I actually am good at this. Because before I was like, I can’t do it. And a lot of my polyglot friends, it’s the same story for them. We all failed languages in high school. Wow. Yeah. So this is what goes back. I am a trained New York State certified Spanish teacher, like I’ve gotten my master’s I’ve done it. I’ve taught in public schools, private schools, and I’ve tried to bring my curriculum into public and private schools, but the thing is, is just like the public school is what it is, they’re doing the best they can do. They have space to be able to read stories, when you have a class of like, you know, your rosters 180 kids, and you have to grade them, it stuff. My last year, I started to do standard base learning and stuff like that. So I started to do that. But Catherine, this is what I say to people language mindset is a preventative measure, meaning we get your kids flown before they even go into the public schools. Like I want them to believe that they can study language before they perhaps are told they can’t. And I don’t mean told, but they have an experience where it’s all grammar. It’s all lists. And it’s felt like an academic math class.

Catherine Hover 13:34
Yeah, but like your your approach is getting them before they get into that right. So yeah, like their clarity, know how to speak it. And then they’re getting into classroom. They’re learning the grammar stuff. And they should, in theory should whiz through all that. Yes, but

Juliana Russell 13:47
this is the thing. They’re gonna whiz through it, but it depends on how the teacher grades because I, for me, it’s like, can you communicate you understand the story? Can you so like, I’m thinking about I have today of Italian with a 10 year old and we’re reading my chapter book. So we’re reading the chapter book together. We do the grammar we do it through symbols, so he does understand what an action is. And a description is he understands that this the adjective has to go after and in most Italian words. So you know, el gato narrow right? The cat black the black the cat black right? Same thing with French so they understand I just by seeing it in the context, they’ll have to be told that they don’t have to have like all these worksheets on it explaining the second see I don’t explain things well, yeah, sure thing it’s like we read the story and I It’s delicate questioning it’s like I’m like Elora will get to a narrow you got to Bianco Max, you know, and he’s like, No, I’ll get to a narrow narrow and I was like, obviously calm. I’ll go to you’ll get to see pepper or salt. Oh, you got dough. And maybe they can’t say like si chiama which is like calls himself like pepper or salt. Right, like, so this is the thing that they’re conversing. Right. Yeah. So to answer your question, like when they go to school, they’re going to be introduced to language differently. So they may do well. They may not because they might be like, do this matching like it has to be exact. It’s not exact. It’s not right. Where kids are going like, why am I going to the French? I got a three out of 10 on this matching. You know what I mean? Right versus like, we’re reading the story. We’re organically talking about it. We’re looking at pronunciation. We’re popcorn reading. We’re interacting with the story.

Catherine Hover 15:22
Yeah. You know what I mean? Yeah. So I went and saw Cabrini the movie. Yes. I was. He was amazing. Yeah, it’s incredible. And she was one who, like, you know, they didn’t think she spoke English. But she was like, I speak English. You know, so it was just so badass. It’s such a just like a such a cool, like dinner trick. You can just like, Well, yeah, yeah. And I feel like you have like four versions of yourself, right? Like there’s

Juliana Russell 15:46
certain personality you have, which is weird. Like, my voice deepens when I speak French Superman. Concha bathroom sages who comes up is French and more serious. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just mimicking I maybe the sound of maybe a French person I heard it’s just like, it’s interesting. That but there is different like personality. There’s there’s intonation. Like I just think about how Chinese and Korean is so different how Japanese is got such a different intonation different melody to it. Japanese is quite actually Monotones were like, which is fascinating. But and that’s another thing too. It’s really important as a teacher and like an educators like you have to make the child feel safe. It was you’re correcting them all the time. If you’re telling them no say this way they can open up. Well, it’s also just like, you know, for a parent think about like if poses Regan, you’re saying that she’s pronouncing the French incorrect, like her brain work it out?

Catherine Hover 16:34
Well, I also think about families that have you know, a German speaking mother or Japanese speaking father, they just speak to them, right? They just talk to them in another language. And those kids just naturally pick up. You know what they’re saying? I doubt I doubt seriously, they’re sitting down. I mean, I know for sure, for sure. And the families that I know like this, they’re not sitting down with them every night and talking to them only in a unanimous saying like, they’re not just Okay, now we’re gonna speak German. It’s like, it’s just, it’s just a way that yeah, it’s baked in. And, and they’re snacking. I love that. They’re snacking

Juliana Russell 17:08
on language. Okay, we got to talk about this. This is good. I like this. The snacking piece is really important because everyone loves snacks. And everyone loves to snack throughout the day. Let’s be honest.

Catherine Hover 17:17
I mean, you’re supposed to snack through the day. I don’t know that I do. I’m more of like a binge eater. I will sit down and I have like, way too much food. But yeah, anyway, well, it’s not get into my food. My my.

Juliana Russell 17:28
That’s another conversation. Yeah, I find that like, I do love it a little snack, you know, and in, that’s how languages is done. It’s like there’s little snacking, we’ve created 16 short stories, which we say should take a month to do a short story. Eight of them are already illustrated and translated, and then the other eight still needs to be designed. Okay. And then we have to get her teacher videos on things on that. But if you look at that, that curriculum is like, you have a story month, so you have it for the full year. It’s done. So I’m looking at ways to like, get it printed. Because I think that’s important for it. Yeah, I mean,

Catherine Hover 17:59
I think that because essentially, it’s the it’s the online coursework with a workbook, you know, that they they can work through, and then there’s the bingo cards, and you know, the stories, but like, for me, I mean, just for me, I was sort of like, oh, my god, yeah, overwhelmed. I totally and then I’m gonna try to get through it much as much of it a big end for me, I don’t put too much pressure on, you know, Posey to, I just want to make sure she’s having fun learning, even just as my personal opinion, like I’ve signed Posey up for like the after school, French classes, which she loved, but it was like six classes once a week. And I don’t know that, that she retained any of it. So I feel like it is more efficient and effective for her to be just doing it ongoing. Exactly.

Juliana Russell 18:45
So I had a conversation with one of my friend who’s a French teacher, and we had this conversation. And it was almost like a debate, because I was like, why can’t we take languages more seriously? Because she does some of the afterschool programs just like Juliana, they’re exploring. I’m like, I don’t want them to explore. I want them to explore, but I want them to go in because I’ve done those after school classes. And a lot of it is the teacher driven. I don’t want it to be teacher driven. I don’t want to be the one that’s like doing the work. I want to teach the kid to know how to do the work on their own. Yeah. Because then they’re a language learner for life. Katherine, I’m telling you, this is the thing. It’s like, if it’s teacher led, your kids not doing it. And then your kids not learning and that’s why through stories, I just feel and I know it creates a sense of independence. And then your child was like, I’m a French speaker. Just like I was saying about my nephew like taking him to nowhere. I’m like, you’re snowboarding now. You’re a snowboarder? Yeah, like the fact that he’s like already moving and going down the mountain like your snowboard? No. Was he skiing first? Nothing. Never thing. Never. Okay. You went to a chairlift all the time. Well, there’s a lot of firsts and that sometimes you just do it. So it’s the same thing with posies, like those after school, like gatherings are fun because it’s that that piece is important. There’s a cultural piece and that’s getting together with people that that’s important, but the length Just learning in the mindset of like that I am a speaker of this is like when you are just reading that story in her cute little room all cozy and she’s doing french fries and she’s watching my teacher video. And then eventually she doesn’t need the teacher video because she can read it on her own. Yeah. And then she can come to the table and like teachers, sisters, oh my God, look at this French word means I’m gonna say this, like that. That’s where the magic is. Yeah.

Catherine Hover 20:21
Because I’ve tried it. I want her to do it. Alright. Posey is gonna speak French. We know we’re going to France.

Juliana Russell 20:26
I girl, I know. You’re going to France with Taylor Swift to see Taylor Swift. I just You’re the honestly. You’re very cool.

Catherine Hover 20:33
I’m very, I mean, I’m trying really hard. You know,

Juliana Russell 20:36
I think it’s great. You just, I just see like, the experiences that you give your kids.

Catherine Hover 20:40
I mean, I think that like, that’s definitely mark and I’s parenting style. Like, we’re, we’re just we’re all about the experience. Yeah,

Juliana Russell 20:49
definitely. Just do it. I think that’s so cool by then. And I think you and I have very similar in that. It’s like, do it like you are very go getter. Do it. Do it, do it. You found it like this is with with power, like you found that like, let’s do this. And I’m the same way. It’s like, let’s just do this. Yeah,

Catherine Hover 21:03
well, it’s certainly more fun. And again, more effective to do it with people. Right? Yeah. When you start to surround yourself with people who are of that mindset, you know, everything just feels so attainable. Totally.

Juliana Russell 21:18
I mean, I just thinking like, because my, my business is still fairly young, I’ll be five years and I feel like it’s it’s been a progression. Because the first couple years, I was like, I will teach all ages Spanish, French, Italian and eventually niche down to children. That was really like what I wanted to do. And I’m thinking in two years Posey as read all three of the chapter books, because it’s a series. So she’s like, comfortable. Because the chapter books are is like the textbook, and then we ask questions around her. So if we’re talking about like, salt and pepper live in a little house in the country, do you live in a little house in the country? Salt has a brother, do you have a brother? No, I have two sisters. So you see how like you make the story that we get to talk around her. So think about two years from now, I get to pair her up with a French speaker who’s read salt and pepper in English. So they both have something to talk about. Yeah. And now she has a connection, you have a connection with somebody, a friend’s family, and they so like salt and pepper is like what gets you started? Yeah. And then they’re started talking about other things. And now they have WhatsApp and you’re sending videos posi sending videos to a friend friend or friends that see that that’s where I just have to be patient, you know, if you want your business to be where it’s somewhere else, but you’re like it takes

Catherine Hover 22:26
it takes time. And a lot of times you have to wait for people to catch up with you. Because you Oh, it’s so true. I mean, I think I think it’s like, say for a perfect example. Okay. So in 2018, I went to a women’s conference in New York City came home on fire, I was like we need we need things like this, we need to say that’s like blah, blah, blah, you know, like, and I started to build that palette, just this year, just this year, I’m starting to recognize that that people locally and in central New York and Albany are doing women’s conferences, and they are exceptional. They’re over the top. They’re experiential, they’re interactive. And I’m just like, wow, we are, we are finally here. We’re finally here, where we’re doing these types of events that are so empowering and inspiring. And it’s focusing and putting the spotlight on people in our own backyard, in our own communities that are kicking ass and taking names. And that is like, again, it’s just like, it takes time for people to catch up. And I think all you can do is just keep doing you and keep taking the action. And eventually we’ll all catch up with you, Katherine,

Juliana Russell 23:32
that is, I really appreciate you saying that. Because sometimes I’m like drills you got, you’ve got too many things. You just need to like, do less, and I get that. But I also it’s this it’s like, do the things, but just be patient. And like, the catching up is really interesting, though, too. Honestly, I really appreciate that. And thank you for your insight of saying like, 2018 it takes it’s taken to this to like to like feel like it. Because there’s such an I feel there’s such an impatience from time. Why? Yeah,

Catherine Hover 24:00
well, you’re you’re ambitious. Yeah, you’re audacious. I mean, these are the things that that I share those same characteristics. It can be incredibly frustrating when people are not I mean, it’s just like with any little thing, like we’re trying to buy a house right now. And it’s like, Why aren’t everyone around this project? hustlin you know, and it’s just like so incredibly frustrating. And I was even talking to Jackie you know, Jackie Schaeffer I know Yeah, she she the financial Yeah, yeah. Financial Advisor love sharks love sharks. You’re right. So we I was sitting down with her and I’m just like, but like, what if I just didn’t do the thing? Right? Like, what if I just sat back would would things play out? The way that they are playing out anyway? And she was like, Absolutely not. It and but it wouldn’t matter, right? Like you, you put focus on what you want to focus on and you kick forward the projects and the things that you’re passionate about, and everything else does fall in line and because you’re putting your energy there, you know, yeah,

Juliana Russell 24:58
you’re right. And then the patients is like, you have to zoom out. Sometimes, a lot of times, you got to zoom out and say this is it’s gonna like you have to trust the process and know that it’s going to happen. And, and this was just goes back to language learning, it’s like, it doesn’t happen overnight. But there are tricks and tips and hacking, if you will, to help you get further fast. And I think that’s what that’s the cool thing about the stories is that is that it’s like, we’re gonna worry about all the other stuff, but like, it’s actually baked in, let’s just like go, there’s just I don’t know, I think there’s a way to immerse right quicker, and then you have to wait for the results. And that may take years, just like you’re saying about your palate, like it’s just, it took you years,

Catherine Hover 25:36
it takes time, it also takes it also is important to, you know, not so quickly. Oh, on to the next thing, right? Well, like I have so many projects that I am passionate about and excited about. And sometimes I don’t take the time to bask in the, in the experience of the journey of of a thing, right, like, I mean, we killed the cafe at the end of 21 of 2021, the cafe portion of the business, and there are bits of time where I think back like man, I could have just held on for a little bit longer, but at the time, it was just too much. And I was so burned out. So it’s just it’s like to taking the time to giving it ample time to to sort of bask in the success of it or, you know, give it time to work itself out. You know, those are all things you got to constantly be thinking about, especially when you have multiple lanes advancing.

Juliana Russell 26:31
Right. And that, yeah, you’re right in that because it is huge. It’s like when is enough time for it to really like see it through. And that’s something actually I’ve been saying to myself was like, Julian, you have to see this through. And I’m thinking about even just the December jobs, short stories, like I looked at that and like, okay, how can I see that through? Like how, what are some ways to make that better? Like, don’t just be like, take it and be like, That’s it, like work more with it? A booklet would have been great. Do that. Or you don’t I mean, like, there’s just ways to make it like,

Catherine Hover 26:58
yeah, maybe a different month, maybe a different theme around the about around the challenge. Maybe, you know, like, maybe there’s like one tweak you could have made. One tweak would be, you know, exponentially more successful, you know, but you also got to define success, right? The fact that you even put it out there, and you did it and you got one person signed up like that 60s, you know, and I remember that’s what sort of helped me stay motivated when we were pre selling memberships as a means to raise a capital for palate when we first opened. I remember advice I got from somebody, you know, because I did say they were they’re like, Well, what are you afraid of? I’m like, I’m afraid of like no one signing up. And they were like, well, well, if no one signs up, then you got your your answer, like maybe the community’s not ready for it or ripe for it yet. But if one person signs up, like I mean, if you’re gonna do it anyway, whether anyone signs up to or not, you’re already at that point, I was already like doing like building it out, right? The point of no return, right? And she just basically told me she’s like, if one person signs up, right, at least she’ll be stronger because you have that one person, right? So you see him standing side by side doing this. So Right. And then you constantly just have to evolve that product.

Juliana Russell 28:07
Yeah. And it’s, it’s also building that muscle. It’s like building the muscle of talking about, it’s like you’re and this is what’s so nice about having this conversation with you is like talking about the process and building the muscle of like, what your mission is, right? What my mission is, is why I’m so passionate of sharing and breaking concepts about language learning for children, right? And so whether that, would you talk about success, this is a success for me today to talk to you about this, another successes, putting yourself out there to go back to the December challenge, writing emails and talking about how great your product does, oh, yeah, in saying these stories are going to change your children’s lives, they will be a fluent speaker. Like you have to it’s like this, you have to continue telling yourself that what you’re offering or what your product or whatever it is, the service that you’re giving to the world is valid. And that’s access and that takes time. And I’m like, These doors are gaping and then you look around you see all these other things and he’s like, no, like, first of all, not everyone’s gonna want be interested in your product. Not everyone’s gonna interest in language learning and that’s fine. But there are people out there that are

Catherine Hover 29:06
right and it’s that can be exhausting to you have to constantly be selling yourself or constantly telling people what you know, while you’re so awesome or what you’re doing. Influential or Yeah, life changing. Yeah,

I just I think back to people who have inspired me. And had I met them sooner or I’ve had learned of them sooner how much further along I would be for example, I just would have that person waited until they were you know, 60 years old to start telling their story. Right it’s sort of a disservice. So it’s a disservice if you’re not putting yourself out there and demonstrating like what it is you’re passionate about because it’s so inspiring to others to see you out there kicking ass and taking names and I’m honestly I can’t be the end all for my kids. Right? So I need people like you around them as well. Right? You need

Juliana Russell 29:55
specialists and a good role model. Yeah, and this is something to those like blew my mind when I started my business, I didn’t have examples of people learning multiple languages. I thought three languages was a big deal. And it is I’m not, that is a big deal. And it for you, when I’m telling you Yeah, I’m flowing through languages, you’re like, that’s a big deal. I guess I’m just trying to show you that. There’s another way. I didn’t have that exposure until I started my own company. So what your child seeing in school is your Spanish teacher speak Spanish bosta. That’s it. They do the best they can. Yeah, and but there’s some stretches, I continue to grow. But then there’s messages. I’ve been there since the 80s. In that don’t continue their passion of learning a language. Then there are also a lot of fantastic teachers, I had worked with a lot of fantastic teachers about like teaching it properly, right. And they’re still engaged in it. Yeah. But it wasn’t until actually college, one of my Spanish professors was fluent in Italian. It’s like, wow, you actually fluent in two languages. And that’s how I had been sitting three languages at that point. Because he saw my Spanish he saw me making errors in Spanish. And he knew that they were Italian errors. I was crossed. Like you’re doing this. He’s like, You speak Italian, too. I was like, yeah, he’s like, I speak Italian. So you’re doing this thing. In Spanish. You don’t need to do that in Spanish. That’s what you’re doing. That’s what that was a showed me that there are other people that do this. And you needed a shining example to say there’s other people that do this, like I was going back to find just talking about when I feel they they But I say to him like, buddy, you’re learning snowboarding at eight, I started snowboarding at 14. You’re learning Italian. At eight. I started learning Italian at 15. For him to see that where I am. It’s like, you need to see someone at the end. You need to sit there and be like, this is possible. Right? He’s language learning is hard. And it takes a lot of effort.

Catherine Hover 31:33
Yeah, and there are some people I’m sure who were like, what’s the point of that? You know what I’m looking for that I want to be able to go to France and like, order a croissant. And Catherine you guys think I should because we did we went to so for our honeymoon Mark and I went to Amsterdam, Paris in London. Oh fun. And I did not have the best experience in Paris experience. A few years. It was like, you know, we were there on our honeymoon. I was feeling all the love. But I was not feeling the love from the French people. They were like You damn American can’t even like say the word water. Ooh, low low. Well, so Did Did you ever hear the story about it? Because accents are such a huge thing when you like pick up on someone’s Oh, yeah, you just

Juliana Russell 32:13
Yeah, because I can I can pick up on yours and sweet and some people pick up on mine. They’re like, Are you from here? I’m like, I get that a

Catherine Hover 32:18
lot. Well, you will see Yeah, so many different languages. I’m sure there’s a crossover and people can’t really piglet pay you

Juliana Russell 32:23
from like, you are here. And they would say the same about mama. Like they would make fun of my mom’s accent. But she’s like she’s from Mechanicville I don’t know.

Catherine Hover 32:30
Do you dream in other languages? Yeah. That’s kind of

Juliana Russell 32:34
fun. Just a couple of nights ago. I don’t know what we were. Yeah, I have very vivid dreams is really, really weird. But yeah,

Catherine Hover 32:42
I love that. Okay, so thank you so much for being here today. I love that you came on and where can people like get in touch with you or learn more about you? Our

Juliana Russell 32:51
website is the place so that is www. Yeah. The language

Catherine Hover 32:56 Okay, yeah, language We’re

Juliana Russell 33:00
almost set. We’re on all the socials Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook,

Catherine Hover 33:04
all the places well, thank you so much for being here at CME

Juliana Russell 33:07
let’s come back seem to be the animal presto.

Catherine Hover 33:13
Alright, so this week from Saratoga living after hours, which is where I get all my Saratoga information and you should too and you could subscribe to their substack and be as informed as I am. But in case you’re not informed here, Sara Ali is moving from the Wilton Mall. And she’s got an upgrade to Broadway and I am so excited because Sarah the owner of Sara’s kitchen is a member of palette and she used to be at the farmers market and then she moved to the Wilton Mall. And now she’s gonna be on Broadway. We have had her cater events that palette the food is so good. And Sarah is from Egypt. So she is bringing all of the Middle Eastern Egyptian cuisine that you did not know you needed in your life to downtown Saratoga and I am here for it. So in two to three weeks, depending on how easy it is for her to get through the hoops that is City Hall and getting all the permits that she needs to open up a business on Broadway. She will be open I hopefully in time for the Belmont because she absolutely needs to be able to capitalize on all the new faces and people and people in the streets and stuff to eat her food. So yeah, Sara’s kitchen right here in downtown Saratoga. It is coming soon. It’ll be a walk up kitchen, you can take food to go I’m sure she’ll have like prepared meals that you can just grab and go. You can also sit for lunch and dinner there. I’m just so excited because we’re getting a little diverse with our culture and Saratoga Springs. And I think that’s great. And I love to be able to like introduce my daughters to all the different types of foods that you can eat right in their hometown. our taste buds are really going to thank us all right, this week’s facepalm moment is a springtime snowstorm experience. I mean, we didn’t put all of our snow gear away but we didn’t make But to have to use it until next winter, but over the weekend, we measured 15 inches in our front yard. I don’t know what everybody else got. But on Saturday, I drove through the slush in the muck with Leah Marone who think God has a big truck and is a confident driver. She drove us down to the gutsy van which was a women’s conference that one of our pilot members Bernie Burnham put on it was amazing and incredible. And then we got back home and yeah, it was just like the middle of a snowstorm and I felt like it was never gonna stop snowing. And it was this kind of storm where it’s like, you’re just not You’re not going to catch up with it. You know, as much as you shuffle as much as you clear path as much as you’re staying positive during the shoveling experience. It just is coming down. There’s just no catching up to it. And so that was frustrating. And then on Sunday, we went to another pallet member’s parents house to sled down a hill and it’s just like I don’t think people realize how much work it is to bring your kids sledding or bring your kids out in this weather. I mean, it wasn’t snowing at that point but it was at least 20 inches where we went sledding it was like we could just squeeze kept sinking so the sledding piece of it wasn’t as you know, rewarding as you envision it to be and so like there was like this part of me that was like okay, this is it. This is the last time that we’re gonna be sledding or you know, snowshoeing until winter like let’s make the most of it. Let’s have a great day but at the end of this whole ordeal, it’s just you know, you’re carrying children through 15 inches of snow. I didn’t have the right pants on it no snow pants on. Can it be over? Can it be over now now we get at Mother Nature we dumped on us we get it now. Can it be springtime for real? Thank you for listening to this podcast. And if you want to connect with me slide into my DMs on Instagram my handle is Catherine over

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