About the Lean the F*ck Out podcast
How life is supposed to go is presented to us early on. You go to school, get a job, land a partner, raise some kids, move up the ladder between 9 to 5, earn the money, buy the things. You keep to the path. And do it with a clean house, stylish wardrobe, satisfied and supported partner, overachieving model children and a smile on your face. And don’t forget to lean in. If it feels off, don’t worry, dear, there’s a pill for that.
(Insert record scratch)
Whoa, hold the f*ck up.
There has to be another way.
Gretchen DeVault, a designer, musician and maker of cool sh*t living in LA, and Tera Wozniak Qualls, an artist, social activist, and virtual business owner, are forging their own paths. They’re sharing their journey—the excitement, struggles and lessons learned—with the world via the Lean the F*ck Out podcast.
Long-time friends, Gretchen and Tera talked a lot about their challenges as female entrepreneurs—the hustling for resources and difficulties finding mentors and support specific to women in business. Before long a weekly check-in call was scheduled (because they’re organized and intentional like that) and they thought ‘why not record it?’ Document the journey and share it—maybe it could help others and build community.
They now interview other kick ass fempreneurs. Each entrepreneur gets vulnerable, shares her lessons, and offers inspiration for other women and female identifying individuals to lean out and do their own thing.
Meet Gretchen and Tera
Gretchen DeVault has been leaning the f*ck out for more than two decades. In 2017, she set a course to help other women do the same when she and Tera launched Lean the F*ck Out.
One of Gretchen’s earliest acts of leaning the f*ck out was in her late 20s. While others were climbing the corporate ladder and buying houses, Gretchen left her steady job to tour the country and beyond with her indie pop band, The Icicles. Her business acumen and drive led to their music being licensed in commercials for Motorola and Target.
Upon return from tour, Gretchen launched her award-winning website design and digital marketing firm, Tiny Blue Sky. Today, she and her husband, Zane, run the business together.
In 2016, with 4-year old twins in tow, the DeVaults packed up their minivan and moved from the Midwest to Los Angeles in search of sunshine and a more creative life. Now living among the palm trees, Gretchen works on multiple music projects including her LA-based band The Francine Odysseys and shoegazer band Voluptuous Panic.
Gretchen is a vision setter, a joy-chaser and a do-er of the things. She loves inspiring others to also create the lives they want.
Tera Wozniak Qualls
Tera Wozniak Qualls has been practicing being bold and leaning the f*ck out since she declared she was going to be the first female president during a beauty pageant when she was 13. After decades of practice, stumbling and lifting herself back up, she joined Gretchen in empowering women to do just the same: lean the f*ck out and do their own thing.
Tera started out her career in the nonprofit sector, managing marketing for a large academic center and teaching nonprofit professionals and students about human resources, marketing and intercultural competency. After a decade of work in the sector and a phase leaning out to run her own consulting firm and co-founding Civicize.Me, Tera turned to real estate with a hunger for building bigger businesses and exercising her entrepreneurial spirit.
With two young kids in tow and husband growing through an intensifying mental illness, Tera realized that if she didn’t go back to her roots – leaning the f*ck out – she would never get out of survival mode and start making cool sh*t happen again. So, after two years as a residential real estate agent and going to her first regional Burning Man, she decided to lean back out and start a business where she could work more from home and open up time for more art and creation of cool sh*t.
Today, Tera is running VTC, a virtual transaction coordination business for realtors, living in an intentional community in Grand Rapids, Michigan, restarting her social activism, and making art for the first time in two decades.
Tera is a bold activist, fierce mama, and can make sh*t happen. She loves empowering women to be themselves and live the lives THEY want, not the ones they SHOULD want.