This episode of our What If Series asks what if you have big dreams and what if you didn’t let failure stop you from trying?
Our guest is entrepreneur Kendra Scott, an intrepid businesswoman who built a billion dollar business while carrying her baby boy to sales meetings. She started with $500 and eventually created her dream, a 97% women run business that gives back to the community in meaningful ways. She breaks down the “why” and the “how” of building a jewelry empire and that asking for help from her people was key to her success.
In this episode Kendra and Jen discuss:
- Failing at her first business with a kid and no college degree
- Where her “Why” came from
- Intentionally building a woman and mom-centric business
- The importance of asking for help
The What If’s of our past can bury us under, so we never dream of our next things. But some of our next steps can be found in the rubble of our failures. Join Jen and Kendra in an honest discussion of entrepreneurship, motherhood, and community.
In this episode of the What If Series, we are asking some big questions around using your experience and skills to start something completely new or get imaginative on how you can positively affect your community with what you already have. What do you bring to the table with the whole totality of your experience that could be a force of good for your community or for the people around you?
Our guest is leader and teacher Emily Pilloton-Lam, an inspiring thinker and author of several books and creator of the nonprofit – Girls Garage. She’s taught thousands of gender expansive youth how to use power tools and to dream of a world built more equitably and sustainably, and she’s dreamt about what it would look like if girls/women were empowered to facilitate the surroundings in our world differently–with an eye toward thinking more communally and factoring in the lived experience of the people around them.
In this episode Emily and Jen discuss:
- The shocking statistics around gender imbalance in Architecture, Engineering and Construction Worlds
- Why power tools can make you feel superhuman
- How it takes messy courage to change course and start something new
- Dreaming of a world built by women
Emily gives us insight into the big “what if” question we might all ask ourselves: what if we could affect our world with the skills and experience we have right now?
We’re knee deep in our What If Series and we’re bringing a twist to the conversation. This powerful interview is a note-taking worthy one; a revealing conversation on one of the most misunderstood emotions we have as humans: regrets. How can we harness our regrets toward momentum instead of drowning in them?
Our guest is writer and researcher Daniel H. Pink, a fascinating thinker and author of several books–five of them New York Times bestselling works. His latest book is The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward.
In this episode Daniel and Jen discuss:
- Basic neurology behind regret
- How age can affect regret
- The four main types of regret we all feel
- How to vaporize the negative effects of regret through practical to dos
Daniel teaches us to confront our regrets, listen to our regrets, use them as data, as feedback, and draw lessons from them. He shows us the evidence from social psychology, that if we deal with our regrets properly, we can become better problem solvers, strategists and ultimately find more meaning in life.
It’s our first episode of the new year and we’re kicking it off with a brand new series as well. Jen’s always been fascinated by people who take risks, reinvent themselves, or chase a dream that might seem lofty or impossible. What’s the secret sauce to putting our dreams into action, and “what if” we actually get to that thing we always wanted to do in life?
To start our series off in a powerful way, we’ve got a guest who has lived out her “what If” moment in the face of fear, trepidation and potentially walking away from a more “sure” thing. Podcast, author, and digital marketer Jenna Kutcher excelled at her first corporate job, where after just a few years, she was looking at a big promotion and more money. Jenna couldn’t shake the feeling that this move for more money and responsibility would be a tough trade off for long hours and time away from the things and people she cared about. Jenna shares the surprising decision she made, what it cost her and how it planned out—while posing questions that maybe we’ve all considered at one time or another: What happens when money doesn’t necessarily bring you the quality of life you’re longing for? What happens when the dreams you have just won’t take a backseat to the practical plan you had for your life? Jen and Jenna give their takes on what it’s like to realize the career or life situation you’ve chosen (or maybe that chose you) isn’t quite the fit you you thought it would be, and they give us permission to chase the thing that brings out the best of who we really are.
It’s our anticipated annual solo episode where we get to spend time with Jen reflecting on the year and the changes that have occurred in her life and our collective lives. And whew, have Things™ happened! We are still in the cyclone of massive change that launched out of 2020. Jen recently entered an empty nest phase this year and began a new relationship (an LDR relationship to boot) for the first time in years. She opens up about her relationship with Tyler in a completely new way and offers some hope for those navigating the waters of being single or testing out tough relationships. Whatever comes in the new year, Jen is committed to trying new things and believing that things do get better. It might be messy and wildly nonlinear but there is hope and there is progress and there is a future worth fighting for. I mean, Jen is still shocked she wrote a bestselling cookbook at age 47. If you had asked her in her twenties if that was her future, she would have laughed in your face. Whether you want to overhaul your own life or dip your toe into a new venture, Jen’s with you and cheering you on. We end this episode with Jen sharing what’s on her mind for the new year and what’s to come on the podcast and beyond. We hope you go into your new year feeling like you have a community that gets you, supports you, and that you have permission to try new things. Happy new year, pod community!
It’s the benediction episode in our “Ending the Year with a Bang” series and what a well of wisdom we have for you. The Dalia Lama of the Christian faith who resides in and walks the trails of beautiful rural Georgia–a For the Love favorite—Barbara Brown Taylor, shares her priceless insights with us. She and Jen talk blueberry pies, retired racehorses who get a second chance at life in her backyard, and making room for friendships when the world wants us, above all else, to be productive. She shares a “Farewell to 2022” prayer that she composed specifically for this podcast community (which might have elicited a tear or two) and how considering new rhythms in our day to day might bring us new life in 2023. Barbara wants to remind us that God created this world to be enjoyed and to heal and nurture us. As we contemplate how we are looking to live in this coming year, BBT has this to say to us all: “be patient with the changing seasons and not insisting that spring be like fall or that winter be like summer; trust the change in them. There’s a rhythm that is settling into a pattern and then there’s a point at which the rhythm means breaking the pattern to insert a slower rhythm, a more attentive rhythm. It is a great walk of trust.”
It’s the second episode in our “Ending the Year with a Bang” series and we are leaning in hard as to how to stop spinning out and find a way forward or sideways or any direction really–we just don’t want to be stuck. We are getting into the nooks and crannies of how our brains work and how “micro-yeses” are powerful medicine for our psyches. If you are or ever have been in a place of feeling stuck or maybe even plastered to the floor from feeling overwhelmed, then step right in. Our guest, Britt Frank, is a trauma specialist with her own incredible story of restoration from several addictions and she has fantastic insight for navigating feeling stuck in unhealthy cycles. We can all find hope in the understanding that despite how it might appear sometimes, we are not crazy and our behaviors have reasons that are mapped all over our brains. The good news is we can shift our behaviors in some really simple and attainable ways that Britt shares with us in her no-holds barred style. In the spirit of finishing this year well, let’s all make a pact to stop labeling ourselves as crazy and start believing that our “stuff” makes sense and doesn’t have to hold us hostage.
Content Warning: This episode mentions suicide
It’s the first episode in our “Ending the Year with a Bang” series, and we’re bolting headlong into everyone’s favorite topic (especially after week upon week of holiday spending)–finances! Maybe your finances don’t have you ending 2022 with a bang—it has been challenging and hard on the financial front for a lot of us–everything from post pandemic shifts to rising inflation to rising interest rates; things might seem a little gloomy on the financial horizon. But as Jen herself has learned over the last couple of years, you can turn the tide and start calling the shots on your finances, instead of staying in the dark and wondering where you stand. This applies to everyone no matter what money madness plagues you—even if you’re having to start over, or you don’t have much to work with, or you’re wildly uninformed about how to wrangle numbers. Just like a new year, we can all start at the very beginning. This week’s guest brings the realistic–and hopeful—truth about how to turn our finances around, or even just how we can manage things a little differently for maximum benefit. Chelsea Fagan is the co-founder and CEO of The Financial Diet. Having descended into her own financial pit during her first years living in New York, Chelsea decided to make a change and as she began to see some of the simple things she instigated move her toward a healthier financial picture, she wanted to empower others with the reality that basic changes in how we look at money can create great impact toward our financial futures. Chelsea helps people daily with budgeting, credit scores, investing, and does it all with a hopeful outlook that will bring even the least financially minded of us a sigh of relief. Get ready as Chelsea doles out some hard truths, some practical advice and even turns our weekly “what’s saving your life” question back on Jen—this is a conversation that ends up being, well, on the money!
For the final episode of our Untraditional Traditions series, Jen’s good friend, American Idol alumni Melinda Doolittle, is with us to have an enlightening chat with Jen, which, as Jen readily admits, is 90% not about Christmas at all—and since we’re being untraditional this year, we’re here for it! Jen gets Melinda to spill all the behind the scenes scoop on what it was like to come through the American Idol machine, including how it felt to be the oldest contestant for her season (at the ripe old age of 28, mind you). They also set the record straight about what happened when Melinda “ignored” Tyler Merritt for a year (let’s just say it involved not knowing how social media works). Finally, since it is our holiday series, Melinda tells us about her favorite Christmas ever, which involves her yearly Christmas show in Nashville, TN, and the very special guest that happened to be in the audience that night.
We’re back with another installment of our Untraditional Traditions series and continuing to celebrate the best of the season with different perspectives on how to change things up toward augmenting old traditions, creating new ones, or letting go of those that no longer serve us. Perhaps you’re thinking–how do I even begin to shift long held traditions—especially around holiday gatherings? Or maybe you’ve never been the “gather-er,” but you want to step your toe into those waters? We’ve got some fantastic practical guidance based on real life experience from our guest this week, on how we can get more from how we gather, and how to facilitate gatherings that bring life instead of stress. Priya Parker is a facilitator, a strategic advisor, an author and a life-long curious student. Priya believes everyone has the ability to gather well and gives us tangible tools to help us reimagine how we spend our time together and infuse it with creativity and meaning. Her best-selling book The Art of Gathering Well, is such a vital work when it comes to rethinking how we plan all our get togethers. Priya got her start in this field at a really young age as a kid when she straddled the two very different worlds of her parents, where she’d leave her mother and stepfather’s Indian, liberal, vegetarian, Buddhist, household and travel to her father and stepmothers’, white American, evangelical Christian, conservative, meat eating household. Priya believes that a gathering starts when you pause first to ask “why do I want to do this, what are the needs and who should be there?” She and Jen talk through some of the possible answers to these questions and how they help us make important shifts in approaching our holiday gatherings. Recognizing that rituals are powerful, they also look at when they are needed–and when they’ve outlived their usefulness or specialness, or even when the observation of them brings sadness or pain. As we all search for belonging and true connection in our holiday gatherings, Priya and Jen walk us through how we can lay the foundation for our own blended and newly-created traditions.