Rachel Rants: Being smart is NOT that important


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One of my favorite movies of all time is Moonstruck, starring Cher and Nicolas Cage.

Even if you haven’t seen it, you’d probably recognize the scene where Nic Cage’s character sighs, in his dopey way, that he’s in love with Cher’s character. And then Cher rears back, slaps him in the face twice, for good measure, and says, “Snap out of it!”

Well this new podcast segment is me, stepping into my inner Cher and doing what I love — snapping people out of it.

There’s a time and place for more grounded, astute, in-depth reflections about life and what to do about your problems (that’s what blogs and, you know, every other episode of this podcast are for). But sometimes you just need a good, righteous rant. It’s cathartic!

So, every once in a while, instead of writing a new blog or republishing an old one, I’m going to spend a few minutes getting fired up about something, in the hopes that I’ll get you fired up, too, and maybe even snap you out of whatever daze you’ve found yourself in.

Today I’m ranting about why being smart is NOT that important, which is something I hear people do a lot of fretting about. I’m talking about …

  • Why we’re so attached to intelligence, even though it doesn’t matter that much.
  • Examples of “smart” people doing truly dumb, tone-deaf things.
  • The kind of smarts that matter more than your IQ.
  • And why people attached to being smart (or being known as smart) often lock themselves up in a prison of their own making.

After you’ve listened, leave a comment below to let me know what you think of Rachel Rants, and what you might like me to rant about next!

Much Love,

Rachel (& Kristen)


One-on-one coaching will be open for enrollment again on October 8! A few pointers to keep in mind before then:

  • We’ll be taking on about 20-25 people in this new wave, which starts October 8 and goes through October 18.
  • This is for people interested in getting started ASAP (October or early November).
  • You don’t have to know for sure that you want to move ahead with coaching. You just have to be serious enough about it to want to have a conversation.
  • We WILL have coaching spots open up in the months after that, before we take on the next “official” wave of clients (which won’t be until later in March 2020). So if you’re not ready now, or you’ve found us in-between “official” enrollment periods, then you can add your name to the wait list and we’ll contact you if and when we have an availability.

If you’re seriously considering coaching, check out this page for all the details so you know what to expect!


For the first (and maybe last!) time ever, we’re doing a webinar with iPEC, the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, where we did our coach training in 2012.

If you’ve considered coaching as a career path, and what the process of getting trained involves, then you should join us! We’ll be covering points like:

  • The ups and downs of how we built a six-figure coaching business.
  • The biggest things prospective coaches get wrong about the coaching industry.
  • Why you don’t need to know what your “niche” is or what you’ll “do” with your coaching certification before you get certified (and why it’s actually better not to know!).
  • Why you don’t need to start your own business to be a successful coach.
  • What skills are critical for anyone thinking about becoming a coach.
  • What questions to ask yourself when weighing your coach-training program options.

The webinar is happening on Wednesday, October 2 at 12:30pm Eastern. If you make it live, you’ll be able to submit questions to us during the event! If you can’t, there will be a replay for you to watch later.

Register now!


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6 Comments // ADD COMMENT


  • Cassie

    Oh, Rachel, you’re fantastic. I loved this so much. My intelligence (or perceived intelligence) has been so important to me my whole life. I’ve turned my nose up at so many things that might have made me money or helped me advance in some way because I wanted to use my brain in the work that I did. My pride and stubbornness has kept me broke, single, and isolated most of my life.
    I keep chasing after people who hurt and reject me over and over again because I keep thinking THIS time will be different; This time I’ll know the magic words to say.

    I’ve realized I need to swallow my pride and be open to the possibilities, or I’ll be miserable forever. It’s hard, though. I’m working on doing something right now that I’ve criticized others for because they were uneducated/unintelligent. I have to confront my limiting beliefs and argue with my gremlins on a daily basis.(Maybe I’m not as smart as I like to think I am. There are six-year-olds that make millions on YouTube.) I hope that one day soon, I’ll be able to list a website in the box above, and I’ll be able to comment that I’m finally living the life I actually want to be living.

    • Rachel East

      Hey Cassie,

      I’m glad you loved this! Your comment has me thinking that there really AREN’T “dumb” things or “smart” things. Having a YouTube channel, for example, is not inherently smart OR dumb. And the success of a channel has almost nothing to do with the intelligence (or lack thereof) of the content. Everything is pretty much a neutral canvas! It’s what we do with that canvas that matters (and again, how smart we are doesn’t have a lot to do with our success afterwards!). I’m glad you’re busting through this old limiting belief! 🙂

  • Heather

    I love this idea of small rants because it validates the way I process things as well! Ranting (for a small while) is an understandable way to process your own emotions on a subject, and for the person listening to the rant, they may feel the same way but didn’t have the courage to speak up. I was stuck in the whole “smart” loop for a while but I have broken free and feel better for it so this rant hot home for me.
    BTW: loved the “fiery” pun hahaha

    • Rachel East

      I’m glad you liked my dumb pun, Heather! Lol. And yes! I think having someone validate your own rant can be an excellent way to process and move on, which is what I hope this will do for some people. 🙂

  • Cassie

    Also, I signed up for the iPEC webinar, and I’m already getting emails and phone calls from admissions coaches. I have no idea what’s happening. I’m just going with the flow.

    • Rachel East

      Oh lord, I’m sorry about that! I would have assumed that would happen AFTER the webinar! I may say something to them about that (not that I can single-handedly stop it, of course, but it’s not a great sales strategy to annoy people BEFORE an event, you know?).