Episode 35: Visiting with Cobey Flynn in Barcelona, Spain, and her story, “The Fine Print”
ep 35 COBEY FLYNN “THE FINE PRINT”
week we visit with Cobey Flynn, the first international She Said Speaker! Cobey chats with Kerry and Jenette about sharing her story in the 2020 virtual event known as the “She Said Story Sharing Showcase”, when she joined the cast from her home in Barcelona,
Spain. They revisit the humorous take on important life lessons learned by Cobey in her performance of “The Fine Print.”
Raising women’s voices. One story at a time.
to The She Said Project Podcast.
JURCZYK: Thank you so much for joining us, friends, fans, She Said sisters.
is The She Said Project Podcast, and I am your co-host, Jenette Jurczyk, National Director of The She Said Project.
have a very special lady in the studio with me, as always.
ROSSOW: Kerry Rossow, Founder. Hello, Jenette.
Hi Kerry. I wish we could be back in our studio setting but, you know, 2021—and COVID still rages on. So here we are continuing our mission and sharing women’s stories on our podcast. But we’re doing it over Zoom which has been actually a tremendous amount
of fun. Don’t you think?
It has been fun and you’ve been safe from my butt slaps, so everybody wins.
This is true. You do catch me off-guard every time. Every time.
I’m so looking forward to when we can go back to live events, live shows in the theater. But in the meantime, we’ve had a lot of fun meeting new women and sharing new stories here at The She Said Project because in 2020 what we did is produced virtual shows
—we shared stories by women coast-to-coast, across the country and around the world via zoom and we were able to do that with awesome modern technology.
As always, I’m sort of the wet blanket on everything and I had doubts, I was a doubter. Would it translate? The difference of having women in the audience who are nodding at you, that you can see—the power in that—I was a little worried that it would
not translate and it totally did. And so, if the difference was just that other women were behind their computer screen nodding—it’s been awesome. I have so enjoyed them and I would like to publicly say I was wrong and I’m sorry.
Did we get that on tape? Oh, wait, yes, we did. Okay, thank you so much for making my day.
Yeah. Move on now while we can!
You know what’s really making my day today actually is our guest in our Zoom studio who appeared in one of our virtual shows in the second half of 2020. She’s a very good friend of mine. I’ve known her for many, many years. And when I shared with her that our
show was going virtual, she immediately jumped up and said, “I’m in, what do I have to do?”
welcome the very funny and very fabulous, Cobey Flynn. Hello my darling, Cobey.
FLYNN: Hello. And thank you for having me on your podcast and having me in your show—in your showcase, and I really do actually owe Jenette a much longer, deeper thank you. Like, thank you for making me funny. Because when I met Jenette, I only did serious-everything.
I was very dramatic. I was only going to be doing dramatic films, I was only going to be doing dramatic theater. And I was a Shakespeare actor, and Jenette was like, you know, “I think you’re funny.” She gave me a script and she was like, you got to try this.
It’s true. I haven’t gone back down. Like, now, I’m just funny.
I don’t even know what to say. Cobey, you are one of the funniest ladies I’ve ever known. Thank you so much for the shout-out, you know, I just held up the mirror and I just showed you, you know, your true self and it was there all along. And you use humor
in such wonderful ways—cuz yes, you have a background in theater, as do I—we met in the theater world—but you have gone on to be a business professional, to teach MBA courses, to be a fancy business consultant, and international companies, and Fortune
500 companies—but I also went back to school for business and so I found and I know you have too, that there’s so much overlap between what we’ve learned in theatre and how it applies to the real world and how we can share, you know, those techniques and
those experiences with people in business and I think humor is just the icing on the cake. I mean, it makes people relate to you and it makes people listen.
And like, if you can’t have a sense of humor about even the darkest day, you’re not going to get through it, you know. So, I think it helps in life, but definitely in business, if you can’t laugh about the huge mistake that happened, you have to learn from
it, but you also need to be able to laugh at it.
Well, that’s what, one of the things we always say, is even when there is like this big heavy topic and people are all clenched and worried about talking about it. If you can make people laugh first. Then like okay, everybody relaxes a little bit. And like,
okay, now I can talk about, you know, whatever the big thing is.
It brings people in with you on the journey and gives them permission to not take it so seriously and to laugh with you.
you joined us in the virtual show—we talked a lot about, you know, what topic to cover and you definitely shared some of your business savvy that you learned from your grandma, your nana.
Yeah, I guess you can say like I learned it all from her. Like that’s how I got here.. or I can thank, or credit, both my mom and my grandmother. My mom was the one that was like, “You can do anything, you can do anything you want, you can be whatever you want
to be.” But my grandmother was always there to be like, “Okay, yeah, sure. But how? How are you going to do that? How are you going to get there? How are you going to finance that? How are you gonna…? How you going to do it? And I think it all really started
when I was very little with the fine print, that’s how this all began.
just want to walk around all the time and talk about how women should have money, get money, get more money, hold on to your money, make more money, but where did that stem from? And it stemmed from my grandmother, who was born in 1905, having to do so much,
to do things that I now take for granted. She had to use the fine print to be able to get a bank account or a car loan or a home owners loan. So, it was just like, I do credit her with, even now, when I feel like there’s something I can’t do, I’m like, alright.
Well, let’s find some fine print. Like let’s see how I can do this. There’s definitely something out there. Billions of dollars have been spent on the fine print—let me get that to work for me.
Let’s share with our listeners your story from that night. Perfect example of taking what is actually a pretty serious topic and adding, you know, humor and personal experience and sharing it in a way that makes people enlightened and listen and laugh a little.
this is Cobey Flynn, who participated in The She Said Story Sharing Showcase in October of 2020 with her story, “The Fine Print.”
(recorded October 2020)
“I Have Rights.” Say it. I HAVE RIGHTS.
This is what my Nana would demand of me when I was a little girl.
“I have the right to vote. I have the right to hold property. I
have the right to fair and equal credit. I have rights. A lot of them.”
My Grandmother used to say this to me all the time. She lived through
a time when women were not afforded all those rights.
She would make me repeat after her - different rights, just to show
me how many I had. From unalienable rights to rights afforded under warranties. “I
have the right to return this faulty toaster.”
I knew she was going to get really fired up about something when
I’d hear her mutter under her breath “I have RIGHTS.” That meant the person on the other end of the phone was about to get an education in fine print. THEIR fine print. Health insurance, banks, billing departments, businesses - she read it all. No one was safe
if they weren’t honoring the fine print in their contract.
And I loved it, I used to listen in. I saw the power in the Fine
When I was 19, my sociology professor required us to write a contract
that said: “I read the syllabus, I agree
to the dates that the work is due, and I am aware of your attendance policy.” Both
the student and the professor would then sign the contract to “make it real”.
He said this was to teach us how “the real world works”.
I thought this was great, Nana taught me all about contracts. It
was going to be very clear what was expected from us with no surprises at the end of the semester.
So, I sit down to type up my contract and I get to the section of
the syllabus about attendance. This man had a punitive attendance policy that for every three classes you missed, he would drop your grade A FULL GRADE POINT.
Meanwhile, our grade was based on turning in papers, WE didn’t have
ONE SINGLE in-class presentation.
So if I got A’s on all my papers, but miss three classes, I’m going
to get a B?!?!? Oh, no no no. - I was on an academic scholarship. There was no way that this attendance
policy was going to mess with my scholarship.
I went to college in the frozen Tundra that is upstate NY. I knew
that it was going to snow. Like a lot. And I was going to miss class. What would Nana Do? And it was here, I remembered dealing with an issue at the student radio station. A famous DJ who was booked for a campus event didn’t show up because there was a blizzard.
AND HE STILL SENT AN INVOICE. I got my hands on that contract and sure enough there was a force majeure clause in there that says: “In the event of “An Act of God” (i.e. the blizzard) he would still be paid even if he did not perform.” The person that hired
the DJ didn’t read the contract before signing and the Radio station still had to pay. I
So, I wrote in a Force Majeure clause into my contract that said
“should I miss any classes due to inclement weather as long as I notified the professor in advance of class, his attendance policy would be waived.” I printed it, signed it, and dropped it off for my professor to sign - which he did. No notes, no cross throughs,
So, I waited until after class and I said, “So, everything is ok
with my contract?”
“I signed it, you’re all set.”
“oh, ok, so You read it?”
“I signed it, you’re all set”
OK, great thanks!
At the end of the semester, I met with my professor and we are reviewing
all of my work - all A papers, and he is going on and on about how great my work was, how I showed such an impressive grasp of the material, if only I had attended all of the classes, I would have gotten an A in his class. He is so sad that he has to dock my
grade, but - that’s the contract we signed.
Pardon me? I didn’t have any absences that fall outside of the Force
I directed his attention to our contract.
He jumps up from his desk and explodes at me - “You
are invoking an ‘Act of God’ clause?”
I was pretty shocked at the level of anger being directed towards
me by the same person that had just told me how great my work was the minute before.
There was a split second where I thought to myself, “Is he going
to fail me—because he is the professor and he has all the power in this relationship and I’ve made him so angry?” NO. I HAVE RIGHTS. We have a signed contract. I am in control here. So I took a deep breath and calmly said:
Me “Yes. You’ll see right there I specifically mention inclement
weather. And you will see here that I emailed in advance, as per our contract.”
He was fuming. I got my A.
[I called my Nana, “Hey Nana, “I HAVE RIGHTS”]
That moment—- THAT WIN OVER AUTHORITY—on the fine print. Whew.
That same power helped me earn the respect of CEOs and General Counsels
while I was still in my early twenties. That same power has enabled me to negotiate huge deals and structure international companies.
In the face of authority, confidence is critical. And while it helps
to know that I’m right - that’s not always enough to win the battle. It is the power of the fine print that both defends me and gives me the upper hand.
Now I know… I know… The fine print can make us feel powerless. The
sheer volume of it. The waves of legalese. The “sign it or else” attitude of whoever presents it. Tech companies use it to harvest our data. Banks use it to harvest fees and interest.
But, if I am ever feeling overwhelmed, I take a deep breath and
I remind myself - I have rights and they are in the fine print.
listening to that now, I mean, how does it feel? What do you hope people take from your words? Your story from that night?
I think, honestly, I know it sounds silly, but I hope that they take ‘hope’ away from that story. It is like the stuff that drags us down the most, whether it’s like applying for credit card, applying for a loan, like, reading your employment contract, like
whatever the thing is, is it always feels pretty daunting and like, it’s something you can’t handle, like reading the tax code cuz you got to file your taxes as a small business owner, like don’t get me started, but you like think to yourself, like I can’t
do this, and I hope that they take away, “you can do this” and people have been doing this and women have been doing this—for literally a hundred years—to figure out or piece together, how they can get the rights. That maybe they don’t have, but there’s
a way around it and it’s all that fine print, and that’s what I hope they take away.
I loved it and I loved the sort of the workaround, the fine print, the empowering of women—of sort of saying, “You’ve already been doing it. You’ve already been doing it. Keep doing it because it is that scary thing that “I
can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.
wait, I already did.”
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Or also, if you’ve ever felt I guess, like, you couldn’t have like, all my husband always dealt with that stuff. I’ve never had to pick up the documents and read it for myself and so therefore, I don’t know how and I can’t, and I don’t
know how to invest or make sure my retirement is taken care of. It really is as easy as downloading from your bank, the 401K—the plan documents and it’s going to take you sometime, for sure. But if you just start reading them then all of a sudden so all
right, okay. Like I can do this. I guarantee you he didn’t read it. I guarantee you he was..
I have rights.
You have rights.
I have rights!
You have rights!
Right, yeah. And you start realizing that you have more power than you thought. I think you’ve brought up such a good point that women who have been so reliant on their husbands or their fathers, or the family members. I’m definitely seeing a new wave of awareness
and an awakening of women in finances and wanting to, wanting to be in control of their own finances, wanting to make—and earn—more of their own money. Have you seen a lot of that in your consulting?
What I’ve been seeing, because I do a lot of workshops with small business owners, and it’s the part that has been left to the side so I may be going in there to give them a marketing workshop but while we’re in there they’ll happen to ask me a question that
is a very basic finance question. So it is something that I think is left off the table. It’s not brought in in school. It’s not brought in in college. Even if you’re taking a finance course, you know, like it may not be in there. So in that sense, I always
try to talk about finance from a business perspective, but to apply it to yourself.
like I like to think of myself as the business, like, the business of Cobey. So I can take a lot of emotional stress out of it, when I have to read a contract or when I’m dealing with finances because businesses, they don’t get emotional—they’re just, oh,
I need a loan and they go and they get a loan. They’re not crying about it, they’re just, oh yeah, I need a loan to pay payroll, I’m going to go get a loan.
think if you can think about it in that way—of always, well what does a business do? It’s almost like ones and zeros, pluses and minuses—we have to do this because…
then I guess I also hope for like one thing from that particular story because we found that together when we were workshopping it, is that if there are younger women out there listening like you do the That’s What Teens Say that they will start to think earlier
that “I’m in control.
because my professor tells me I have to do this the way he wants me to do it doesn’t mean that I have to do it that way.” So that’s the second thing. I hope for people to take away from it.
Well, and I do think it’s important like, what are we passing down to the next generation? And how it has changed so quickly—you know, when my mom’s generation of always asking for money or assuming… and I can remember a time when I didn’t have cash and
my husband was like, “oh here, I have some.” And I was like, No no no no no.. no. And he was like, “What? What? Just take it.” And I was like, I’m not taking your money! And he was like, “you said you didn’t have cash.” And I was like, I have my own money and
I work hard for it. And he was like, “Whoa, crazy town. Okay, go ahead and go to the ATM then—I was just trying to help a sister out.”
all of that, like baggage of not wanting.. the revolt against asking for money.
Right… and I think, that totally happened to us in a societal way of, Oh, you shouldn’t have to ask for money. When, if you’re thinking of yourself as a business, whatever he’s bringing in is also your money. So if you need some cash, here’s some cash and whatever
I’m bringing, it’s his money. If you need some cash, here you go.
I do think there is definitely that, well we can’t ask for it. Think of it as a business, it’s not like all of a sudden one department is, oh I can’t ask for money—they’re knocking on that CFO’s door, ‘hi, um, we need more money’ and they’re like, ‘for what?’
And they’re like, ‘We need it.’ [laugh]
You know Cobey if you were ever offer an IPO or an opportunity to invest in the business of Cobey, totally hit me up. I’m so in, because I could just sit and listen to you talk about all your experiences—to talk about your viewpoints on money in finance
and marketing. You had so many different chapters in your life where you got to do some incredible things.
don’t think we mentioned at the top of the show that you actually don’t live in the United States; that you joined our virtual show from Barcelona, Spain. And I want to say thank you cuz you’re actually our very first international participant in the She Said
family and that meant a tremendous amount to me that you were willing to make that effort because I know we’re on very different time zones. And for you to put in the time to join us for rehearsals and brainstorming and making it happen.
it means a lot, but it’s sending a message to the women who get to hear this story and this podcast, that She Said is growing and women have something to say and we want to be that platform for women’s voices, whether it’s in a live show, a podcast, a virtual
show, the teen’s program—that we’re growing in so many ways to do exactly what you’re sharing with us from your own experiences. It’s to give women power, to give women a voice.
so, I think we have to say thank you for sharing your brilliance, your amazing insight with all of our fans and our friends.
And I so believe in what you guys are doing and Kerry, I don’t think you know this, I don’t think Jenette has told you, that I might be the number one fan of the podcast because I couldn’t get to see the live shows. So as soon as the podcast came out, I was
like boom boom boom—like download, subscribe on Spotify, and it’s really funny for me because I know Jenette. Jenette’s my very good friend. So when you two are talking, I definitely think she’s talking to me. And I’m talking back to you guys in the opening
part of the show. And then when I first joined in and was like, how I want to be a part of it, I love what you’re doing, like, women supporting women, it was also—I didn’t even tell Jenette this—but for me to hear your voice on the very first podcast
and your story and how it started, I was so happy for Jenette because you think about your friends and when they move to a place you’re like, are they okay? Like, do they have people? Do they have their crew? And that’s what your whole speech was about, finding
your crew and it was like, yes!
I’m alone in my house with the podcast, going, and like Yes Kerry! Yes. Ah yeah, Jenette, you got Kerry!
Oh, that’s so great. Oh I love it.
So you guys really are bringing it worldwide, everyone that’s listening to the podcast that like if we can’t be there in person to see the shows. You are changing things. So thank you guys.
Thank you so much.
Well, we’re going to get to meet you in person yet. It’s going to happen.
Oh yeah. For sure.
Oh, we’re talking She Said Barcelona: coming soon to a theater near you.. In Spain.
But that’s exactly what we want the podcast to be: that casual, fun environment. We’re talking to our girls—we’re checking in with them, but we’re also just hitting those nuggets and those, those takeaways from everyone’s story that we want people to think
about and learn from. And the podcast glues together all the different shows, you know, over the years in different communities. As we grow the podcast is really going to the place where we can all come together. And, and remember, those awesome, those awesome
words, those awesome women of which, you are now in the She Said family forever. So, once again, thank you.
I think we have given our listeners so much to learn from today, and so much to take with them all these delicious nuggets. So thanks again for joining us. Each week, we’re here visiting with one of our friends from the She Said stage or virtual showcase—
so join us again, here on The She Said Project Podcast.
Thank you for listening to The She Said Project Podcast in partnership with Illinois Public Media. All materials contained in the podcast for the exclusive property of The She Said Project and That’s What She Said, LLC. For more information on our live shows
go to http://shesaidproject.com
podcast was made possible with support from Carle and Health Alliance and presented by Sterling Wealth Management, empowering women to live their best lives.
This week we visit with Cobey Flynn, the first international She Said Speaker! Cobey chats with Kerry and Jenette about sharing her story in the 2020 virtual event, "She Said Story Sharing Showcase," when she joined the cast from her home in Barcelona, Spain. They revisit the humorous take on important life lessons learned by Cobey in her performance of "The Fine Print."
The She Said Project Podcast is recorded in partnership with Illinois Public Media. All materials contained in this podcast are the exclusive property of The She Said Project and That's What She Said, LLC. Learn more at shesaidproject.com.