Super shiny entrepreneurs can seem intimidating. So it feels different when you connect with someone who is a successful online entrepreneur and incredibly down to earth.
When I collaborated with Jenna Kutcher, our very first interaction was a voice note she sent me on Instagram. In the background I could hear the cutest gurgle noises. It wasn’t her washing machine, it was her baby girl Quinn, chatting away alongside her mum’s voice. It gave me a real insight into who Jenna is – a relatable person, who wears pyjamas whilst recording her hit podcast, and treats business as an easy extension of her everyday life.
Want to survive tough times in business and create a life you love? Here’s what I learned from Jenna:
You can quit, but only on your best day
Lets be honest, we’ve all thought about quitting at some point on our business journey. In fact, I’ve had days when I’ve thought to myself, “right that’s it, I’m scrolling the job websites”.
When Jenna spoke about quitting she shared this insight: “You can quit, but only on your best day”. Her story came from Olympic gold medal gymnast Nastia Liukin whose parents told her she could quit her sport, but only on her best day. Much like sport, it’s true that entrepreneurship is a rollercoaster of wins and losses. Jenna shares:
“It’s a journey of evolution and it can feel uncomfortable. There are still times in my life when I dream about closing the office door and not worrying about my business. A 9-5 job sounds appealing in that sense. But for years, success to me was not having to set an alarm clock in the morning, because I hated the job I was in at the time.”
The reality? Some days you will feel like quitting this journey we call running a business, but wait until better days come. That way, if you make the decision to do something different it comes from a balanced and rational place.
Give people a reason to follow you beyond what you sell.
Jenna’s approach embraces freedom of expression online (with boundaries of course). How many times have you thought: “Ugh I don’t want to post on Instagram” because the thought of creating content feels like a chore.
Jenna’s method – the JK 5 – teaches that on social media, it helps to have five categories that define your content. One or two of your categories should be about your offer or product. The others should be connection points to your life (for example: your health, food, travel, books). It gives people a reason to follow you and helps you build something that will transition with you as your business evolves. Here’s Jenna’s take:
“The difference between a business and a brand is this – a brand has a personality. In the last decade I’ve had so many different facets of my business. I built a brand where people care more about the person behind the business than the offer. When you look at my social media account you see my family, and the reason I share family photos is to connect with my followers. People care so much more about the person than the thing you’re selling.”
Balance is impossible to maintain consistently but boundaries help.
Balance is different depending on the moment. When we are reaching burnout we often still have lots of things to keep going for, so keeping boundaries in place can prevent life from feeling overwhelming. Jenna recommends pausing and taking a moment before you say yes to anything because burnout often comes from saying yes to the wrong things. More work isn’t always better, so consider what you can realistically commit too in this season of your life. Jenna shares:
“I’m figuring out how to be my whole self, whether I’m mothering kids, or recording my podcast. I don’t want to compartmentalise different parts of myself. When I’m working, if it’s not something that needs my full attention, I will welcome my kids into my space and set up activities for them on the floor. Often I work after the kids go to bed from 7-9pm so I can be fully present with them from 5-7pm.”
Selling products or services is an invitation
On your website it’s important to clearly explain how you help people move closer towards their dreams, or escape their current situation if they want too. How do you explain what you do in simple terms so people can understand it quickly? The goal as business owners is to create ethical content that guides people on the path towards purchasing. Jenna says:
“Every offer you extend to your customers is an invitation. It’s a gentle invitation that people can choose to say yes or no too. We want to empower customers who are excited about the next steps. We tell them we have the next step waiting for them when they are ready. During a launch I will send out three emails on the final day. I don’t worry about this volume because people are busy and I know they won’t always see my posts on social media. I will even voice memo people on Instagram who I know are interested in my offer to ensure they don’t miss out.
My advice? Keep going. If you can find one person who will invest in your services, you just need to find 10 more people that are like that person. Find out how many customers you need to be able to hit your ideal income goal. That might be 20 people, it might be 200. Then make it your mission to find those people who were like your first original customer.”
Jenna’s book ‘How are you really?‘ is available to buy now from Amazon or your local bookshop (support local shops if you can!).
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