Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt as though you had to plan your way through life in order to be successful…

Most of us have been there – myself included – and there are plenty of signs. 

We buy fancy planners to write our meetings in, we use calendar apps on our phones and we schedule important meetings with colleagues and clients weeks in advance – but sometimes, life just doesn’t work that way. 

Sometimes, life demands that we improvise our own solutions. 

COVID-19 has been a perfect example of improvisation in action. It sent the world scrambling to adapt to new methods of living, working and connecting – and at the time, many of us would have agreed that it seemed as though nothing good could come of it. 

Months later, an alternative perspective – a story about working from home, spending more time with family and enjoying the simple pleasures in life – has taken hold in our collective consciousness, and reminded us of something important: 

We all have the power to choose our own paths, and (perhaps even more importantly) the way we feel about them. 

In this way, life is a lot like a round of improvisation – and if there’s one woman who can shed some valuable light on that subject, it’s Meridith Grundei. 

As a public speaking coach, an award-winning theatre director and producer, and former improvisation teacher, Meridith teaches professionals how to present themselves with confidence and achieve better results in their careers. 

Despite her busy workload, Meridith isn’t a fan of following plans. Instead, she turns brave spur-of-the-moment decisions into adventures – and if you like the idea of flowing through life unfazed, you’ll like what she has to say.  

On this episode of the SheBurns podcast, Meridith and I cover everything from her background in theatre and youth programs to the value in saying no, holding space for yourself and mortality motivation. 

So what’s this episode really about? 

  • The power of networking and connecting with others – even when it feels like a performance 
  • Why we should embrace life as an adventure – including the scariest parts 
  • How to be an extrovert in the modern era 
  • The common thread between acting and interacting 
  • The importance of deep listening, presence and trusting in the moment 

Why you should listen

No one gets a linear path in life, and although jolts and jerks in new directions can feel like they have thrown you off course, they can also set you onto a new path – one which is better than you could have imagined. If you have ever experienced a major shift in your path, this episode will resonate – and if you haven’t, it will leave you a little better prepared for whatever may come. 


Meridith Grundei Coaching Instagram 

Meridith Grundei LinkedIn 


SheShatters Instagram

You can quote me on that… 

“Every day in our relationships – even with our partners and marriage and kids – it’s like, ‘Okay, how can I practice or rehearse how this is going to sound better or… be better delivered?’” – Hannah Austin 

“Every coaching session can be formatted like an AA meeting.” – Hannah Austin 

“I get so caught up in the day to day to day – pre-COVID, where I was constantly on the go, and where I was aware of some of the things in the world that we should be considering and thinking about on a systemic level, I wasn’t slowing enough down to actually hear things or listen.” – Meridith Grundei  

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