Sales Talk for CEOs: From NASA to CEO: Lessons in Leadership, Storytelling and Curiosity (Ep115)

Apr 10, 2024 | Sales Talk for CEOs Podcast

This week’s episode of “Sales Talk for CEOs” is out of this world, literally! Alice Heiman was joined by Beth Mund, whose journey from NASA to entrepreneurial space storyteller is rich with insights for business leaders. Not only that, we found out Alice is a bit of a space geek and she’s a huge fan of Beth’s having discovered her when she began her podcast Casual Space.

Beth’s story from navigating NASA’s communication strategies to starting her podcast and founding a nonprofit called Stories of Space underscores the essence of curiosity, the imperative of adaptability, and the potency of storytelling in leadership.

Key Takeaways for CEOs:

  • Foster a Culture of Curiosity: Beth’s endless questions at NASA showcase the need for leaders to cultivate curiosity within their teams. A curious team is an innovative team, always on the brink of the next big discovery.
  • Embrace Change and Adaptability: Mund’s leap into the unknown by leaving NASA for new ventures teaches the importance of adaptability in leadership. Change is not just inevitable; it’s an opportunity for growth.
  • Leverage Diverse Testing Groups: Beth’s experiences as an analog astronaut demonstrate the value of diverse test groups in gaining genuine product insights. Understand your customers by walking a mile in their shoes, or in this case, their spacesuit.
  • Harness the Power of Storytelling: Mund’s transition to storytelling through her podcast and nonprofit work illustrates how narratives can effectively communicate complex ideas and connect with people on a deeper level.

“Curiosity is one of the key things that salespeople need, and I believe that all CEOs need to be curious…Fostering a culture of curiosity within your organization can lead to the exploration of uncharted markets and the development of groundbreaking products.”

Beth Mund’s transition from the realms of being International Space Station Communications Officer NASA to entrepreneurship offers CEOs a blueprint for navigating their businesses through today’s dynamic landscapes. Her journey reminds us that the principles guiding space exploration—innovation, adaptability, and effective communication—are parallel to navigating the intricacies of modern business leadership.

Watch the full episode on our YouTube channel to see Beth Mund share her extraordinary experiences and insights that can inspire every CEO to lead with curiosity and courage.

By embracing these lessons, CEOs can pilot their companies with the vision, innovation, and resilience needed to explore uncharted territories in business and beyond. Mund’s narrative is not just a call to explore outer space; it’s a call to explore the vast potential within our teams and ourselves. Don’t miss out on this cosmic journey of leadership and innovation.

Watch below or on our YouTube channel


[01:55] Exploring New Horizons – Alice elaborates on the value of seeking inspiration from diverse fields outside of sales, hinting at the innovative insights to come from Beth’s experiences.

[04:22] Beth’s Stellar Journey – Beth shares her nostalgic beginnings in space fascination and her journey from gazing at Halley’s Comet to working at NASA and beyond.

[07:27] Finding a Place Among the Stars – Storytelling continues with Beth explaining how her childhood curiosity about space led to a fulfilling career in NASA communications.

[09:07] Tapping into Curiosity – Alice discusses the parallels between curiosity in Beth’s space pursuits and its necessity in sales and leadership roles.

[09:34] The NASA Chapter – Beth recounts her tenure at NASA, the challenges encountered, and the crucial task of conveying the value of space exploration to taxpayers.

[12:15] Selling the Stars – Unpacking the concept of ‘selling space’ and the nuanced role of storytelling and education in both NASA’s outreach and the sales process.

[14:06] Entrepreneurial Leap – Beth talks about the difficult decision to leave NASA and eventually embracing her entrepreneurial spirit by starting her own podcast, Casual Space.

[16:58] The Power of Narrative – Elaborating on the effectiveness of narratives and stories in both space communication and business, and their potential to engage and educate.

[18:02] Communication Tips for CEOs – Beth shares valuable insights on how CEOs and businesses can improve their communication strategies based on lessons from her career.

[23:13] Analog Astronaut Adventures – Beth delves into the world of analog astronauts, explaining how simulated missions on Earth provide insights for real space travel.

[28:42] Customers on a Journey – Alice draws a comparison between analog astronauts’ preparations and the importance of understanding customers’ experiences with products.

[33:28] Tackling Space Junk – The conversation addresses the issue of space debris, the innovations aimed at cleanup, and the implications for businesses.

[40:18] Stories of Space – Beth invites everyone to contribute their space-related stories to an exciting project that sends these narratives to the International Space Station.

About Guest

Hi, I’m Beth Mund. Analog Astronaut, Keynote Speaker, and Space Communicator.

While working at NASA as a public affairs officer for the Johnson Space Center, and later as a communication officer for the International Space Station, I reported the many scientific innovations that enhanced and sometimes _saved_ people’s lives, only to see these stories fall to the wayside, undiscovered. I became a fiercely passionate advocate for the people and their stories of science and space exploration. I share their stories on stage, in workshops, on my podcast, in my blog…any opportunity that showcases people who are making tomorrow’s innovations happen today.

About a year ago, I created [Casual Space] (, a podcast that provides intimate conversations each week with astronauts, engineers, authors, educators, architects and many more guests looking to share their love for space while helping to inspire the next generation of difference makers. Thousands of listeners continue to grow our casual community of space enthusiasts and advocates.

I serve on the Space Camp Alumni Board, and as a Space Drinks board member. I became an Analog Astronaut in November at the HI-SEAS research facility on a Mars simulation mission with a crew of 5 other incredible women.

I’m Beth Mund, and I discover, design and deliver stories about space.

Beth Mund is a recognized expert in space exploration and story application. She owns her company, Stellar Communications, and is an influential keynote speaker. Beth is the Executive Director of the STORIES of Space Non-Profit, which provides direct access to space through innovative story submissions. In 2024, STORIES of Space launched 300+ stories to the International Space Station, where they are currently orbiting our Earth at 17,500 miles an hour for the next six months.

Beth’s work at **NASA **as a science communication advisor helped shape her career in the space industry. As a Public Affairs Officer, Beth helped tell the story of the International Space Station, wrote speeches for astronauts, and showcased the technology, projects, and people at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

Beth is the host and creator of the Casual Space Podcast, delivering insightful conversations with astronauts, artists, scientists, and explorers.  Beth has served as an analog astronaut for several missions, including a simulated Mars mission in Hawaii, living in the Biosphere in Arizona, and a simulated Moon mission in Poland. Beth provides direct access to space, allowing people to apply their innovative ideas, change the way we explore space, and improve our lives on Earth.

Social Links

Beth Mund

The Stories of Space Project

(25) Beth Mund | LinkedIn

Beth Mund Speaker, Writer, Space Geek | Facebook

Beth Mund (@casualspacepodcast) • Instagram photos and videos

Casual Space Podcast – YouTube

Connect with Alice on LinkedIn:

(8) Alice Heiman | LinkedIn

Check out Alice’s website:

Alice Heiman | Sales Consultant and Strategist for CEOs


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