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Amanda Knox: Reclaiming Your Identity from the Media

Amanda Knox is an exoneree, journalist, public speaker, and author of the New York Times best-selling memoir, Waiting to Be Heard. Between 2007 and 2015, Amanda spent nearly four years in an Italian prison and eight years on trial for a murder she didn’t commit. The controversy over Amanda’s case made international headlines for nearly a decade and thrust her into the spotlight, where she was vilified and shamed.

Intro  0:04 

Welcome to The Future is Borderless podcast with David Nilssen, we feature top entrepreneurs and thought leaders from around the world, those who bring a global mindset and a unique perspective to their life and business. Now, let’s get started with the show.

David Nilssen  0:22 

Hi, David Nilssen here, I’m the host of the show. Here I connect with leaders from around the world who have what I refer to as a borderless mindset. And what we’re really looking for is those that can share experiences that we can all learn from experiences that can be applied both in your personal professional life, and ultimately helping us to lead and grow in a rapidly changing world. Now this episode is brought to you by Doxa Talent. Doxa Talent helps businesses to source full time highly dedicated workers from all over the world. And as a result, these companies can scale faster increase margin and improve culture. To learn more about Doxa and how they can help you leverage borderless talent within your organization go to All right. Well, for today’s show, this is a little bit different than my typical show. Our guest is Amanda Knox, and Amanda is an exonerees, a journalist, public speaker, a podcaster. She’s the author of The New York Times Best Selling memoir Waiting To Be Heard. And there’s also a Netflix documentary about her that was released in 2019, or sorry 2016 that’s titled Amanda Knox, Amanda made international headlines while spending nearly four years in an Italian prison and eight years on trial for a murder that she didn’t commit. And as a result, she’s become an advocate for criminal justice reform and media ethics. She’ll sit on the board of the Frederick Douglass project for justice. And the reason I brought on the show is because she really knows what it’s like to lose it all and then thrive coming out on the other side. So, Amanda, thanks for being on the show.

Amanda Knox  1:48 

Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited.

David Nilssen  1:50 

Yeah, this will be fun. Actually, as I was just reading your bio here, I was thinking to myself, media ethics is something that you’re a big advocate for. And I will note that I followed your story pretty closely, I read your memoir, when it first came out, I saw the documentary years back, but I will admit that it was really hard given the media’s portrayal of the story to really understand what was going on. And as I think about it today, it seems to me that anybody can be convicted by a headline. And I’ve noticed, especially in the last two or three or four years, it feels like the media is getting increasingly more bold in the way they portray events. And I think it impacts people like you, business owners, community leaders, frankly, anyone. So I just love to hear your thoughts, like, what is happening and what’s going on with the media today?

Amanda Knox  2:37 

That’s a really great question. And I think it comes down to the economics of the media, really, because we’re talking about an industry that depends upon absorbing people’s attention, and outcompeting other people who might take away the attention of those viewers. So if we’re talking about an industry that depends upon eyeballs, they are going to necessarily try to be the most effective at getting eyeballs. And what is most effective at getting eyeballs is not necessarily the truth as it turns out. The truth often is way more complicated, and also way more boring than the stories that we get presented by media that are trying to garner our attention.

David Nilssen  3:20 

Yeah, it’s funny, I have a really good friend of mine. And often the conversation goes like this. It’s the hey, did you hear blank, blank, blank? And I’ll say, Ah, no, I didn’t hear about that. Where did you see that? They’ll say, well, I saw it on Google. Great. Well, what happened? And I don’t know, I just read the headline. And it’s like, inevitably, we’re bombarded with all these messages. 24/7 all we have time for us to just scan headlines, scrolling through Facebook, or what have you. And I think a lot of people that’s how they consume their news and assume that it’s always accurate.

Amanda Knox  3:49 

Yeah, and it is unfortunate because again, especially those headlines are written, even if the actual article itself tends to get more complicated and more nuanced. The headline itself is designed to get you to click on it, and we are habituating ourselves to a mindset like just scrolling through social media scrolling through Twitter, we are habituated to getting our information in bite-sized portions. But of course, that leaves us really hanging on just really immediate, visceral reactions to whatever it is that has been presented to us. And you’re right, like we don’t have time to sift through it all. We really depend upon media to be the gatekeepers of what is really in our interest. And unfortunately, that’s just not the way that the system is built to work.

David Nilssen  4:40 

Yeah, it’s funny. And it’s certainly not a political statement, but I’ve said this many times. I think that’s where someone like Donald Trump does really well, because the king of those as little sound bites those headlines and the media loves them and then they push them out there and whether it’s right whether it’s wrong, doesn’t really matter. But it’s certainly the easiest way to gain attention. So when you are advocating for media ethics, like, what are you suggesting should be changed or be different? 

Amanda Knox  5:04 

Well, it’s really been a hard one lesson for me because I’ve absolutely been on the wrong side of journalism. And that was, before I ever had an opportunity to put my voice out there. When I was on trial, when I was imprisoned, there was constant media speculation about who I was and what I had done, and what kind of person I was. And there was very, very little curiosity for genuine facts, there was very little compassion, and there was very little courage on the part of the media to go against the prevailing narrative, if the facts turned out to not be what the prosecution was presenting. And it really was, me sort of realizing that that was what was lacking of genuine curiosity and what the truth was, and believing that the truth mattered, having compassion for all the figures who find themselves at the center of these stories, because I think that’s something that we really overlook, is the fact that these are real human beings, not just characters in morality plays that we get to scapegoat or pigeonhole and put into little neat little boxes and say, you’re the villain, you’re the hero. And then having the courage to present a different point of view, when the whole world might turn against you for expressing what you really believe. Or even having the courage to say, I don’t know, I feel like we’re also in a world where we’re expected to have opinions about everything. And if we don’t take a stand, then it means we’re on the side of the enemy. And we’re treated like that. And I think we really need to go back to a place of having the courage to be humble, and saying, you know what, I don’t know what the truth is in this situation, because I haven’t done my homework. And the truth matters. So I’m not just going to weigh in, because everyone’s expecting me to.

David Nilssen  6:52 

Yeah, it’s so funny. I’ve heard that a lot. If you don’t choose a side, you’ve chosen aside and in this particular context does feel wrong. Now, I just realized, as we were sitting here, we jumped straight into media. But there’s probably a lot of people that are listening to this podcast, who maybe aren’t as familiar with your story, maybe they’ve heard bits and pieces, ironically, the headlines, and maybe it’d be helpful just to sort of just give a little bit of context of that. So I’m going to sort of help sort of move us into this. But as I’ve read you were a student in Italy, there, and unfortunately, your roommate was murdered. And shortly thereafter, you and your boyfriend were accused of being part of that crime. Most people can’t even understand what that must feel like, just curious, mean, awful incident. But when that incident turns into an accusation of you and your character and your participation, and what does that actually feel like? I mean, I’d love if you could put that into words.

Amanda Knox  7:51 

Yeah. So I think that the words that immediately come to mind, if I were to try to condense it down into just what is it, it is profound shock at one’s own vulnerability, and this, just the chaos of violence and the chaos, that results from violence. So, Meredith and I were very similar. We were young women who were studying abroad in another country. We had only been there for a few weeks. So I think a lot of people forget about that is both her and I were very, very new in this environment, when our home was broken into and just by fluke, serendipity, whatever it was, Meredith was home, and I wasn’t because I had met a nice Italian boy five days earlier. And we were having our sort of love affair kind of situation. Like we were just totally into each other and had the biggest crushes on each other. We’re having our sweet Italian romance, and Meredith was just home, like she was just at home. It’s not like, I feel like there’s a lot of, especially when bad things happen to young people, there is this tendency to find fault in them to try to say, well, if she hadn’t been wearing this, or she hadn’t been out and about doing that, like, Meredith was doing everything, quote, right. Like she was at home, she was getting ready to go to school the next day, and lo and behold, someone broke into our house and raped and murdered her. And that, just discovering that realizing how random and horrific violence can be, and just coming home to discover that was incredibly surreal. But then on top of that, I was then put into a position of being blamed and blamed for the most insane thing which was orchestrating a sex game turned murder because of some person’s fantasy about what young women sex lives were like. It was very much this incredible misogynist fantasy where the whore tries to dominate the Virgin. And for a Halloween sort of satanic sex ritual, it was outrageous. But what was shocking about it and going back to that ethics of storytelling ethics of media, was how compelling that story was for so many people, despite the fact that there was zero physical evidence, or behavioral or witness evidence to confirm the story. It just captivated people in a way that made them not want to discount it. And that was an incredible position to be put in because it really did for me feel like the truth didn’t matter. Like, it didn’t matter that I was innocent. And it didn’t matter that there was no evidence, it was the story and the idea of a person that we can then judge and vilify and shame that people latched on to. And that’s I feel the danger of really indulging that impulse, both in media and in the justice system, which are very intertwined.

David Nilssen  11:09 

Very closely connected. Yeah. How did you I mean, I remember so sure, just a little brief tidbit, I owned a, I guess I still do just don’t currently operate it any longer. Somebody else does have financial business. And in 2008, the markets were crumbling, the real estate market had crashed. The great recession was on its way we were under extreme pressure. And I felt in that time, fragile at moments, because you feel so out of control with these external forces that are impacting you and the people around you. Talk a little bit about your own mental health because here, I mean, obviously, we’ve already sort of given the spoiler you were exonerated eventually. But you did spend four years in jail, eight years in a trial, under intense pressure, like even the strongest minds can really struggle. How did you maintain your own mental health during that period?

Amanda Knox  12:00 

Yeah, that’s a good question. Because I like I was a 20-year-old kid, and I was facing a 26-year sentence for a crime that I did not commit. And I was absolutely in a very punishing environment that was incredibly limited, and made me feel like I didn’t matter. Like, the whole point of the prison environment was to contain me as a threat to society, and to limit my potential as a human being. And so every day being treated and told, like you’re a murderer you are you’re worthless, you don’t belong in society, you have nothing good to offer. I had to counterbalance that every day, by waking up and having a very genuine conversation with myself about is this life worth living? And how can I make it worth living, because like it, one of the sort of bittersweet realities of my experience was being totally and completely rendered helpless. I was absolutely 100%, at the mercy of people who had very, very wrong ideas about me. And I had very little control over my own life. At the same time, it brought into sharp awareness, those things that I did have control over, that no one could take away. And that was my mind and my ability to manage my emotions in the present moment and made me very present. So if tomorrow and the next day, and the next day is too much to think about, if I don’t need to think about those things tomorrow, right now I need to focus on today. Today, how am I going to make my life worth living. And I know how to do that I can do that I can do, I can write a letter to my mom, I can help clean up the prisoner who is living in the cell with me who doesn’t know how to read and write, I can do a bunch of setups and beat my record. Like there are ways that you can, in the moment, humble yourself to the fact that like you may not have control over the whims of all of these external forces that could be incredibly overwhelming, and absolutely could take that vision of yourself that you want that you feel like you should have, and that can completely go away. But at the same time, you can still imagine a version of yourself and a version of your life that lives up to your principles, and that you can live with integrity. That ultimately is what life is all about. And so finding those moments to really, honestly engage with what is happening around you, the world that you’re in and imagining your place in it that lives up to your potential.

David Nilssen  14:51 

Yeah. Wow, that’s interesting that even in the midst of sitting in a cell basically, that values and principles were what you leaned on. I think We do that all the time in the business environment, we say, look, go back to the values and the principles that you stand for. And that’s how you need to approach these things. But I love the idea of just being present and understanding what you can control and what you can’t control because it’s so easy to start to fantasize about what’s going to happen. I think that’s actually really great feedback. Maybe think of something though, and I’m, I’m gonna get the quote wrong. So please feel free to correct me. But for background, you were your original conviction occurred, and then you guys appealed, right? And as we see in the documentary, then you have some objective forensic professionals that sort of review the evidence in the case and they say, well, look, it was chaos at the scene of the crime. Clearly, there was contamination. And you are at that point, then the appeals court, overturns the conviction. But I remember in your documentary, the gentleman and I can’t remember his name the person who was the chief police I think that was in there. I can’t remember his name, he since got promoted.

Amanda Knox  16:00 

Oh, the prosecutor? Yeah, Giuliano Mognini.

David Nilssen  16:04 

Okay. So that’s the prosecutor, great. Sorry. He said something, though, that really struck me as odd. He said something to the effect of all proof has some uncertainty to it. And I remember seeing that and thinking to myself, I thought proof might be more synonymous with fact. How do you even like start to process that?

Amanda Knox  16:24 

Yeah, it’s interesting because this is also a sort of quirk of the Italian language, where the word prova can mean proof, or it can mean clue. And so what he was talking about is, as you piece together all of the facts you can derive from those facts, a solution or an answer to the question, like who killed Meredith Kercher, but there might be elements that have uncertainty, like, one of the things that he talked about in the documentary was, while Meredith body was covered by a blanket, and in his mind, it is a fact that only a woman would cover another woman’s body with a blanket, therefore a woman is involved in the crime. But one could argue that that’s not actually a fact, that is an interpretation. And a male person who could have committed this crime could have covered her body with a blanket. So I think that when he’s talking about building the case against me what he’s talking about and talking about proof and certainty, I think what he’s talking about is reasonable doubt. He’s talking about how there’s always going to be doubts in any case, because you can never have perfect evidence you. It’s not like you were standing in the room watching it happen as it happened. No one is. So there is that element of uncertainty. But does the evidence logically lead you to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt? And I think he’s trying to suggest that, despite the fact that there were so many doubts, like about my participation, in this case, he’s acknowledging that there are doubts. There’s no like definitive proof. He’s saying, well, there’s proof enough, because I think the story I constructed is, has enough behind it to sustain it. What’s unfortunate is he’s never really grappled with the fact that, like, one of the things that my attorneys brought up in court, he said, zero plus zero plus zero still equals zero. In my own case, the prosecution brought forth a lot of, quote, facts that they felt were really, really compelling. Like, there’s a homeless guy who in the night of the murder says he saw me around a basketball court that was near the house where the murder happened. And they say, look, that is a fact, that is proof that she was on her way to the murder and it’s like, or that homeless guy did saw someone else or didn’t see me and do like, it’s a lot of shady interpretations of alternative facts. Another thing that they say in Italian is like my truth, your truth, there’s this subjective quality to truth that I feel like they’re more comfortable with that in our culture, we feel is we would never say like, what’s your truth? What’s my truth? We would say there’s the truth. And then one of you is either living not in the truth or is in the truth. Like you can look at facts from a different way. But you know, like a car wreck, we all saw a car wreck, but you’re not going to have a situation where one person says there wasn’t a car wreck and another person says there was.

David Nilssen  19:47 

Yeah, it’s even hard. It’s hard for me to imagine even watching it and going back through that story again, just feels like there were so many holes in it, and yet, it was for some reason it was being accepted by so many people. One thing that wasn’t really covered as much at least I’m actually very interested in because I’m a father, I’ve got two daughters one five, one four, is that your family made a huge sacrifice to be there for you to make sure you had proper defense. That had to have been really hard, both emotionally and financially. And I think about like what I wouldn’t do for my kids, and I can’t come up with anything. On the flip side, even as a business owner, you come up with these hardships, and then you have to decide like, what am I going to do about and you’re dealing with that constantly. But I just think as a father, or a parent, I shouldn’t say excuse me, but I’m relating to it as a father. How were they able to sort of make it through that both emotionally, financially, because it had to have been a massive sacrifice?

Amanda Knox  20:46 

Absolutely. No, it really was. And I think I’m really grateful that you brought that up. Because a lot of people when they talk about wrongful convictions cases, they really focus on that person who’s at the center of the firestorm. But really, the impact of a wrongful conviction ripples outwards in a tsunami, against the people who care about that human being and that network and our community. My family, again, going back to their core values, they find themselves in a crisis. And they go, what’s more important, my daughter, or my retirement, my daughter, or my house, my daughter, or the fact that I have to constantly answer to a million journalists who are going to be putting me through all these crazy interviews and talking to me like my daughter’s a murderer. Like, at the end of the day, it was about they ultimately, were about freeing me proving my innocence and bringing me back home no matter what. And I’m a mother now, I have a young daughter at this point. And I know that my parents would have wanted to have if they could have taken my place they would, and they couldn’t. And that was a tremendous hardship, because in the end, they wanted to share this burden with me and did everything they could to do so even shielding me from some of the burden like having to think about how do I fundraise? My dog died in prison, they kept that from me, so that it wouldn’t upset me. All of these things that life keeps going on, and you still have to survive in the real world. But you are going through an exceptional hardship, like it took more than even just my family, it took strangers reaching out to support my family as they were going through this. And in the meantime, the really scary and sad and hard thing is, for me, even with all of that, like my family rented an apartment in Italy, and someone was in Italy the entire time that I was imprisoned there, someone was there to visit me, the six hours a month that I had available to me, someone was always there. And yet, no one could be in prison holding my hand through it. And so I also had my own burden of moving through the prison environment and moving through the trial from a very particular place that I too, was trying to, like, share that burden with my family, try to let them know that I wasn’t being destroyed by it, trying to reassure them that their efforts were working for me and that I was being sustained by them. And that became more and more difficult as time went on because I was living a very different world and reality than my family was. The prison environment is incredibly different than the real world. And you have to live by a whole different set of rules and social norms and restrictions. And it brought me to a philosophical place that sometimes was at odds with my family, because my family for them to get through this journey, they really had to believe that there was a light at the end of the tunnel, that they could not give up because they were going to achieve their goal. And for me, it was very different. Because having gone through that existential crisis of realizing oh my God, for so many people, the truth doesn’t matter. I have to engage with the, not with the life that I should be living but with the life that I am living, and how do I live to my fullest potential in these circumstances. That often came into conflict with things that like, I would have conversations with my mom, where she was very much in the space of like, we’re waiting for the truth to come out and then you’re going to get your life back. And I was like, Mom, this is my life, like this life that I’m living right now. This is it. And whatever happens, I can’t let myself and my potential depend upon the outcome that should be, I need to live to my fullest potential now. And my mom often felt like that was a sort of defeatist attitude. But I felt like it took a little bit of both, like, an acknowledgement that this is the reality, and this is how and I still can live to my fullest potential in this reality and still strive to achieve the end, that should be because living to your fullest potential now also means that you’re living for a future that you can envision.

David Nilssen  25:32 

Yeah, I was gonna say, I mean, don’t you think to some degree, that was one of the ways that maybe you sort of protected your own mental health in that situation was not to set yourself up for such severe disappointment potentially?

Amanda Knox  25:43 

Absolutely. Yeah. And I think that it’s really important to like, have your goals in mind as possibilities that you can strive for, but don’t count on them as if, like, your whole entire world and identity depends on them.

David Nilssen  25:58 

Yeah. I really appreciate you sharing that. It’s funny, because the times before that I had really read the book and watch the documentary, I had not yet become a father. And this time around when I watched the documentary again, the vantage point had shifted for me, so I wanted to ask about that. But one thing that actually you said at the end of the documentary, which it resonated, because today, I think entrepreneurs, business leaders struggle with this is that you said at the very end, you said, I think people love monsters. And so when they get a chance, they want to see them, it’s almost like we get some sort of like weird enjoyment out of seeing people struggle. And my audience is predominantly business leaders. And I was just curious, what advice would you have for them? Or what steps did you take really, to sort of reclaim your identity after so much had gone on social media and in the press and what have you and people that already determined who you were like, how did you sort of reclaim that?

Amanda Knox  26:58 

Yeah, that’s a really great question because at in a really big way, I went from being an anonymous person to a monster, that was my reputation. And another word for reputation is brand. And so like, how are people going to interact with you as a human being, if you represent for them an idea, even if that has nothing to do with you. And I think that, the trap that I feel that people get into is feeling like they need to be in conversation with that conversation that other people are having. But really, the key to grappling with that kind of situation is starting a whole new conversation, and being the one to define the terms of who you are, what you do, how you go about, like, what is your purpose, what is your place in the universe, it’s not to react to what other people are claiming it is to define your own space, and do so regardless of what people are going to say, because as long as you are relying on your core values and your integrity, you can’t go wrong. The problem is when we feel like we need to constantly respond to what has already been put into place. And in a way that means you’re just constantly living in this grave that other people have dug for you. And instead, it’s like plant your seed somewhere else. And in my own way, like I’ve had to really like, fall back and process like, what did this experience mean to me? I’m not going to live in a world where I have to be in conversation with tabloid journalists who are in endless desire for foxy Knoxy content. Like that’s not the world I live in, and I don’t have to live in that world. Like, I can also direct my attention to what is the good that I can do, given my past history and move in that space. So that’s what I do today is I have a podcast called Labyrinths, and it’s not strictly true crime-related, right? Like if I was living in a kind of reactionary world, I would recognize that the first thing that people ever heard of me was having to do with a true-crime scandal. And so I would live perpetually in a true-crime space. Instead, what I’ve done is I’ve said, look, I’m just a regular person who wasn’t even into true crime. Like I’m not one of those, like people who are reading mystery novels before all this happened. Like, that’s not me, the person I am as somebody who is genuinely curious about other human beings and about how things happen in the world. I have compassion for people who find themselves at the center of these stories. And I honestly have been up against a lot more scary things than expressing my mind. So I just do so. And I try to do so from a place of realizing that a lot of people feel like their stories are being told without them, that they don’t have a voice in there. own story. And so what I try to do is bring people back to a place of feeling like they have a voice in how their own story is told. And they are not a victim in someone else’s story. They are a active agent in their own story for whatever good or ill that they end up doing.

David Nilssen  30:20 

Yeah, I love that. I think the idea of taking an active part in sharing who you want to be with the world, or who you are with the world versus just responding to what the world is saying about you. I mean, it is hard to shut down, though. I mean, between my businesses, I’ve had plenty of bad reviews from former employees or what have you. And, you care because you want to get better and make sure that if that had impacted, somebody want to make sure that you’re having those introspective moments, but the reality is, you can’t please everyone, and so you have to sort of like put your feet down and say, this is who we are and who we’re going to be and how we’re going to act and continue to move forward. Are you able to live a normal life now?

Amanda Knox  31:01 

What’s a normal life? I’m not entirely sure. I mean, I have a normal life so far as I have a loving family. I’m married, I have a daughter. I am self-employed, but I don’t have that same sense. I don’t have anonymity, if normal life is, I get to be an anonymous person, as I navigate the world, then no, I don’t have that. But I think we’re entering into a world where each one of us is becoming less and less anonymous, and at any point, you can be turned into an object of public interest out of nowhere, really. So I think that I am a little bit just ahead of where we’re all headed, which is, you can just be an anonymous person until one day you are absolutely not. And you don’t get to decide what it is about you that can ends up becoming the thing that defines you. So I don’t know, I feel like I got a crash course just slightly ahead of everyone.

David Nilssen  32:09 

I think we got a little bit more than a crash course. I mean, you’re right, there are those sort of lightning in bottle moments, both good and bad, that sort of propel someone onto the stage for lack of a better term. I mean, how would you handle that today, if you were anonymous today and tomorrow, given your experience, like, what would you tell maybe an entrepreneur or social media influencer, like, what would you share with them is sort of best practices for handling those types of situations?

Amanda Knox  32:41 

Yeah, I think the first one is to remember that you do not have to react immediately. In fact, it’s probably best that you do not react immediately. I think that something comes across our plate that’s going to define, we are afraid is going to define us forever, whether it’s based on in reality or not. And our immediate impulse is, oh, my God shut this down immediately, oh, my God. And I think that for people who find themselves immediately, in a situation like this, where a story is unraveling about them, they want to nip it in the bud, I totally get it. But also, in the heat of the moment, you are potentially not going to have your mind ready to construct an alternative narrative that is more based in truth and more based in your principles. And so really like getting a sense, like taking a moment to be present, to pause to consider the circumstances and what resources there are around you. Sometimes the best way to respond to a narrative that is unfolding is to not respond at all. I think that’s something that is overlooked by people because unless someone’s throwing you in a jail cell, it could be that this doesn’t actually impact you to the extent that you think it will. And instead, if you keep living your life and working with integrity, that is going to be the thing that ultimately defines you and not the scandal that suddenly comes out of nowhere. So not feeling compelled to react to something unless it deserves, unless you feel especially that there is some truth in it that should be acknowledged, like that’s where it all comes down to. So not feeling like your identity is ultimately defined by others because it also depends on who you’re thinking your identity needs to be defined to. There are going to always be like I’m at peace with the fact that there’s a number of internet trolls out there where reason is beyond them. When it comes to me I represent for them the worst possible elements of humanity. And I am not going to have any kind of message that is going to resonate with them because they’ve already chosen how they want to feel. And so really, if you’re thinking about changing people’s minds, acknowledge that you don’t have control over other people’s minds, you have control over yours. And you know how to participate in the world with integrity, and just do that.

David Nilssen  35:22 

Yeah, that’s great. Well, I’m happy to hear that you’ve married, you’ve now become a mother. I think that’s super exciting. Tell me what you’re working on today that you’re really excited about.

Amanda Knox  35:34 

Oh, well, I have my podcast Labyrinths, which I make with my husband. And it’s a ton of fun. Basically the idea is we interview people about the time that they felt the most lost, and how they got out of it, and what they learned from it, which obviously deeply resonates with my experience, but also is something that everyone goes through at some point or another in their life. So continuing that, having that continuous learning open-minded space is something that I really enjoy. And giving people an opportunity to find their voice is something I’m very, very excited about. Beyond that I have a number of things in the works that I can’t say, but they’re exciting.

David Nilssen  36:18 

Oh, cliffhanger.

Amanda Knox  36:19 

But you’ll find out.

David Nilssen  36:22 

Well, I do know, though, that you do speak on occasion. And this is one of the reasons I wanted to bring you on here is because I think your story has such interesting correlations to what an entrepreneur can experience definitely on a different scale and very different circumstances. But the mental health, the stress, the pressure, the sort of public component of it, I’m just curious, when you speak to groups of entrepreneurs, what is generally your message for them?

Amanda Knox  36:52 

So I think a lot of people want to know what it’s like to be on a path and then to undergo a catastrophe that completely throws your path off, like everything. Entrepreneurs are people who have a mission, they have a vision, they are going for it. And one of the most disheartening things is when that vision is ripped away from them because of external circumstances that are not in their control. And one of the things that I have learned from my experience is, yeah, you know what, I had a vision for myself in my life that is not what it turned out to be, but I am still the thing that I set out to be. And I’ve been able to manifest my mission under a new set of circumstances. And if anything, I feel like my mission and my ability to fulfill that mission is stronger now because of the pressure and the stress that I had been put through in the process of trying to reach that goal. One of the things that I tried to convey is when I initially went to Italy, my goal was to become a translator, I wanted to be the bridge between people who could not understand each other because of language. And I did not become a translator of language, I became a translator of experience, I am still doing the thing that I ultimately wanted to be, which was a bridge, I want it to be a bridge. And now I’m a bridge between people who are in completely opposite circumstances, or normal people and people who have been through extreme circumstances, who can’t see each other who can’t communicate who don’t understand. And I can be the bridge for those people to understand each other. It’s really extremely fulfilling. And I feel like if anything, I feel more purpose than ever because I went through something that really took me off my path.

David Nilssen  38:54 

Yeah, I think it’s an amazing example that sometimes things don’t end up the way we thought. One of my mentors early on told me once you write a business plan, it’s wrong and how you adapt from there really defines who you are. And I think your story is just an outstanding illustration of that. We’ve been talking to Amanda Knox and if you’ve not read her book Waiting To Be Heard or seen the Netflix documentary, Amanda Knox, please check them out. And obviously, Labyrinth, the podcast, please take a look at that. But Amanda, if people want to learn more about you, where can they go?

Amanda Knox  39:28 

They can go to, that’s where you can find all of my work or if you’re a social media butterfly, I’m on Twitter at Amanda Knox and on Instagram at Amanda Knox.

David Nilssen  39:39 

Awesome, and we’ll put those in the show notes as well for everyone. Amanda, thank you so much for being here today.

Amanda Knox  39:44 

Thank you so much for having me.

Intro  39:47 

Thank you for listening to The Future is Borderless podcast with David Nilssen. Be sure to click subscribe to future episodes so you can hear from more top entrepreneurs and thought leaders and we’ll see you again next time

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