Pivoting to Progress with Nadine Fonseca, Co-founder, Mighty Kind

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Plot twits might be fun to read about in a story, but when it’s your life that’s getting upended or dramatically changed, you might not like it as much. Dashed dreams are among the hardest to pivot away from, because where do you go? Nadine Fonseca, co-founder and CEO of Mighty Kind, knows all too well the mental struggles that come with finding out that you have to leave a precious dream behind.

“After injuries and rehabilitating physically and kind of mentally from that, it was a real struggle to figure out who I was and who I wanted to be,” Fonseca says. “I spent a lot of time just working jobs to work jobs and I think just trying to figure out, was I an entertainer? Was I an academic? What was I meant to do with the rest of my life?” 

This wasn’t the last time that Nadine came face-to-face with a seemingly impossible question that forced her to change course. At this point, Nadine has changed and pivoted so many times throughout her life and her career that she barely even bats an eye when the world throws a wrench in her plans. But how did she get to that place? And how did her path ultimately lead to Mighty Kind, a kids magazine that puts tough topics front and center? Find out right here on The Journey.

Main Takeaways:

  • Pivoting At The Least Convenient Time: Changing your business plan at any point is inconvenient at best, but sometimes re-doing work is worth a herculean effort. Being objective about what’s going to work for your business long-term and being honest about what you can handle will go a long way in helping you see hard changes to make.
  • Just Because You Can ‘Do it on Your Own’ Doesn’t Mean You Should: Maybe you thought about your business one way, but now, as you get closer to launch, you’re realizing you don’t have the bandwidth, or maybe even the right skill set to do it all on your own. The solution is simple, you need to get help, and there’s no shame in that. The smartest and most successful leaders can identify their blindspots and bring in the talent to fill them, which benefits the entire company.
  • Pivoting and Thriving: Those who are the most pliable are the least breakable. At every point, being able to shift the business toward what you can see is going to work better is a good investment. When an opportunity arose out of a crisis, Nadine found that being nimble and shifting the business to digital turned out to be the best move.

Key Quotes:

“After injuries and rehabilitating physically and mentally from that, it was a real struggle to figure out who I was and who I wanted to be. I spent a lot of time just working jobs to work jobs and, I think just trying to figure out was I an entertainer? Was I an academic? What was I meant to do with the rest of my life?” 

“Around 20 years old, I found myself single and pregnant and not really sure, ‘Am I capable of raising a kid if I didn’t have the discipline to not get pregnant?’ And so there was a whole spiritual journey around that and figuring out what role I was meant to play in this life here on earth in the grand scheme of things – beyond a career.”

“I noticed my kids asking questions in a way that if an adult had asked them, they could be very easily misconstrued. At a young age, I knew it was just curiosity and trying to make sense of the world around them and noticing differences. And so it was a wake-up call. They don’t have the organic exposure that both my husband and I had growing up. So how do I replicate that? How do I curate or create those types of opportunities so that we can be mindful of these things before the stakes are high? Before they can cause harm and while it’s still young and innocent and explorative. [We need to be] shaping who they are from a young age.”

“[For] the first issue that we created our model was more culture-centric. Our first issue was all on Mexico and that was taking the lead around all of the other content. But what we were finding is that being a small operation, the model wasn’t going to work for very long. If we didn’t have personal connections to these different cultures or countries, it was going to be really, really hard to source authentic materials and to do our due diligence and do right by different voices and perspectives. If that was our model, everything hinged on a particular country’s culture, not to mention, we would be that much more likely to fall into perpetuating stereotypes.”

I think the shift for me was realizing that this was not something I was ever going to accomplish alone. if it was just Nadine, [the] writer, illustrator, publisher, etc., I would probably run myself ragged. And I’d go to sleep at night, feeling good about myself, but also extremely stressed and tired and probably the worst version of myself for my family. But, thankfully that wasn’t the case.”

“We found so many people who were suddenly homeschooling, who hadn’t anticipated that. Or [they] just wanted to engage in their kids’ education because they had to, and they were stuck at home anyway. We had always planned on being a physical product, [but] once we created digital copies of our magazines we opened it up to ‘pay what you can’.”


Nadine Fonseca is the Co-Founder at Mighty Kind: an Anti-Bias Series for Kids. She found that to help her own kids grow into the kind of people who saw differences as opportunities, she needed to help them take adventures into the unknown.

With the help of her team, she created the Mighty Kind series, a guide to a kinder world, an activity book to encourage unity, a celebration of a world of similarities and differences—not just for my kids, but for all kids and the grown-ups who adventure this world with them!

The Mighty Kind goal is to empower kids to do kind things on purpose because they’ve trained their brain and heart to look for those chances to understand and help others. There is no act of kindness too small that the world isn’t better for it.

This season of the Journey is produced by Mission.org and brought to you by UPS. To learn how UPS can help your small business, go to UPS.com/pivot.


Episode 109