EPISODE 126: CREATING A BUSINESS THAT STANDS FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN WITH JENNY FENIG
If you want to learn how to be an online entrepreneur who is confident enough to stand apart from the crowd and stand up for what you believe in, then you’ll definitely want to stay till the end of today’s episode.
Jenny Fenig specializes in empowering creative women entrepreneurs to increase their confidence, impact, money and time-freedom by mixing modern with ancient practices.
She is the author of “Get Gutsy“ and a podcast host. She was also named a Silver Stevie Award Winner for Coach of the Year.
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"What we've been taught that is that busy in the badge of honor, but I don't feel it. I say no to a lot. I want everyone else to realize that they can do that too. You don't serve anyone by saying yes to the whole wide world."
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Topics Discussed In This Episode:
- Jenny's journey going from working in corporate America in New York City to becoming a coach
- Her reason behind starting a transformational coaching company to help women
- Creating a business that aligns with what we believe in
- How Jenny manages her time and work schedule
Resources Discussed In This Episode:
Today's guest specializes in empowering creative women entrepreneurs to increase the confidence, impact money and time freedom by mixing modern with ancient practices. She's the author of get gutsy and a podcast host. She was also named a silver Stevie award winner for coach of the year. So here's my guest, Jenny Fenig, Jenny, welcome to the show.
We are going to have a good time. I can feel it.
Oh, I love who you are. I love your energy. Like I was telling you, and I know your journey started in New York city. So let's talk about your entrepreneurial story. How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
Yeah. Yeah. New York city was where I went to really start my career as a young 20 something. I grew up in Florida. So New York was, I wasn't even on my radar until a friend and I consider these people kind of mentors. They were a bit older than me in school and they suggested New York city as the place I needed to be in order to. Really rock out my public relations career. So that's where I started my career.
And so I went to New York. I was working with big clients with big budgets. We were traveling here and traveling there and it was a lot of pressure and fun and all of the things. And soon into that, I realized this has been cool and I've learned a lot, but this isn't really what I meant to. Cause if I'm going to spend this much time working, I feel like I should like the work more than I do.
And so I changed jobs and I became a conference producer, which I didn't even know that was a thing, but it is. And so I was responsible for conducting research with corporate executives and asking them about their biggest challenges and what was keeping them up at night. And then I would organize the research.
I would sit through it. I would then commercialize on it and put it into a business conference that these people would pay a premium to attend. And we would have sponsors sponsor the event who wanted to get in front of potential buyers. And so that, that was my last job in corporate America. I'm kind of giving away the story, but that job taught me how to think like an entrepreneur.
Because I didn't know I was going to be an entrepreneur. I thought I'd go work at these companies. Like, I'm in New York city, I must work in these big companies. I liked going to this office and they had everything organized for me. I get paid every two weeks and that's that. Well, that last corporate job I ended up having, I received a cut of the profits of my events and I had never experienced cut of something before I was used to the whole salary game.
And once I got a taste of that, of wow, the decisions I make have an impact on the top line and the bottom line and portion of that. And I want to make really smart decisions cause I wanted to do great work. That's always been who I am. That's how I made I do great work. But then once I started getting a cut of how well that work performed in the market, that was like a whole other world opened up to me.
And that showed me what was possible in terms of financial compensation and abundance. And I also got to see these speakers speak on my stages. And so not only would I be responsible for recruiting corporate executives to speak on my stages, I had budget to hire keynote speakers, you know, these kind of celebrity types to come onto our stages and inspire the audience, share their story, share a message.
And I would see these people on the stage and admittedly, most of them are men and that kind of bothered me, but it was what it was at that time. And I would watch them seemingly in all of their glory and his being up there talking about things that they're passionate about and getting paid a lot for that engagement.
I know because I was the one approving not expense. And I realized that I wanted to have work, that I was that passionate about, that I could get up in front of an audience and talk about it and not even have it feel like work. So natural for me, it was something that I was really passionate about.
And so I ended up quitting that, that job, I had come to a point where I felt like I had learned everything I was meant to learn. It was a very stressful environment as well, and I just knew it wasn't sustainable for me. And I decided to go through yoga teacher training. And that was something that I didn't know where that was going to take me. It wasn't like, Oh yeah. And then I'm going to set up this yoga business and I'm going to have an online business and teach classes, I had no clue about that.
And this was back in 2007. And so things were very different back then. Technology was, it almost feels like lifetimes ago. And from the, where the technology was, social media was still in its infancy. Yet I had this intuitive hit, that that was something that I needed to do.
And so I did, I signed up for that. I was still employed full time and that training cracked me wide open and it gave me the courage to quit that corporate job. And I had a six figure job. I didn't have another job waiting for me. I hadn't set up my little website yet. I didn't know I was going to be an entrepreneur coach.
I just said, I got to create some space there to figure it out. Cause this thing is not the way I want to be doing life anymore. So soon after that, I discovered that the field of coaching and I realized like, Oh my God, this is, this is like a job. This is what I was so good at. I did this in all of my job, so well, in addition to the other things that I needed to do in those positions, and then of course, as I've gotten deeper into who I am as an entrepreneur and a business owner, you realize all the other things I need to go into a business. I don't just coach. I do a lot more, but the way I interact with clients, that's my come from, like comes from is coaching.
I love that story because I think in 2007, like you said, it was a long time ago. And I think yoga wasn't even like popular back then. Right? Like Lululemon made like yoga and learning how to be a yoga teacher popular, but in 2007, like this was like way before yoga became popular. So it must have taken a lot of courage and bravery to actually step out of your corporate career because nowadays it's super cool to be an entrepreneur.
Oh yeah. Yeah. Like we didn't know all these online courses, 8,000 people a day were like they weren't popping up in your Facebook feed with their coaching program.
It felt like it was a totally different scene. It was a totally different scene. Not better or worse than today, but yes, it took a tremendous amount of courage to do what I did. Not for the faint of heart. I don't actually suggest to my clients that they go quit their job. If they're employed right now and they want to become a coach, I'm like, alright, well, let's look at how we can do this in a way that allows you to. Work at night and have some regular revenue coming in as you're building.
But at that time, that's what I needed to do. Luckily I had some money set aside because I did earn a nice amount of money in that last corporate job, but it wasn't enough for me to just coast for years on end. I felt the fire under me, which is good.
I think feeling that fire under us, sometimes feeling like your back is against the wall. That is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Otherwise, you'll be thinking about something for 10 years and you're still thinking about it. And what I've learned is a huge lesson that I want everyone to take in is thinking about something is not the same as actually doing it.
That is so true. And I want to kind of go back and talk about your business, right? So we talked about how you decide to leave corporate, to learn how to be a yoga teacher and eventually become a coach. So during that first year or two, and you're building your business, you were like starting out fresh. What was the most difficult thing for you or most difficult period for you when you were trying to build your business?
Yeah. Time, the great equalizer. It was time. And yeah, they look back something that I did do. So yes, I'd quit the job that the paycheck went away, you know, like it was a nice paycheck. It was zero. I want to say it went from six figures, a year figures overnight.
And I discovered coaching like, Oh my goodness is what I'm here to do. And I started getting clients right away because I went through a training, which I believe in again, you're honoring the craft and you're giving yourself some space to play with that and get some feedback from teachers and peers and things like that.
But I realized that this is the thing I was here to do, and I was going to really invest, learn, and then to build the business from a place of strength and foundational integrity instead of being like, I need clients like yesterday. And so I, um, started doing some freelance work in my former life. You know, as a conference producer, I had an opportunity to become a freelancer.
So I had some regular cash coming in through the contract work. And I was just working to get these clients. A lot of it was through word of mouth. I share this with my people to kind of give them a sense again, it was a different time. There was no kind of easy website builder. There was no lead pages, so things didn't exist.
So for the first 18 months of my business, I had no website. I had no website, it was my mouth, my mouth, and my energy and people were like, I need to hire you. Cause I said, I work with women in transition. I knew what it was like to be in transition, which now I have three kids and I've gone through transition in the birthing process.
And that's the part of the journey where you me anyway, I felt like I was dying, but the piece of you dies off. It's the piece of you that, you know what, maybe wasn't the mother before was the mother of two, and then you become the mother of three. Like that piece of you dies to make space for what's coming next.
So, you know, it was time, it was getting these clients on board and then. Figuring out when I could work with them. And so at that point I didn't have kids yet. I became pregnant during the coach training process. So I can work with clients at night. I can do weekends. I mean, I had, even though my time was, was an issue.
It was, I had more of it. I have more of it than it feels like I do now, but I have become very, very good at utilizing that time. So it was like, time is one thing. And then knowing how to kind of put together packages and programs like back then, I was just basically selling private coaching. Like that's it.
And that's really a lot of what we were taught. Uh, when I went through my coach training way back when, which is so much of why I do what I do now, because I've had great success with coaching programs and retreats, and like really premium engagements with clients back then, it was very much like you throw a couple of that.
You know, how many sessions into a package people signed up for a three month package. There you go. And I was doing the numbers and going, I can't. Get very far with this. And again, I come from a background where I made money. You know, some people don't know what that's like to have made that level of money when they become an entrepreneur and the entrepreneur road is the thing that's going to earn them the money I had already done that.
So I had to figure out how, and I redesigned this. I wanted to help more people. I didn't want to just help one person at a time because I want more than that. And I'm really good with groups. And so one thing that I did that was, I was in that first year business. Yeah, it was about, about like between year one and year two.
Cause I had a child in that, that first year too, so that shifted things a bit, but I started leading new moms support group in New York city. And that was my first taste of group coaching, you know, bringing women together and these were live and in person groups, I had just went through one myself as a new mom.
And, you know, the helper in me and the entrepreneur in me saw that there was a need for more group, because I saw new moms being turned away because the group was full and I'm going, she needs out like ASAP. She can't wait two months. She's at home. She's by herself, she's freaking out, she's lonely, she's tired.
She needs help. And so I partnered up with another organization who had the audience already built. And I offered up my services as a leader of the group and they just took off and they were so gratifying and I really do credit those groups and my willingness to get up there. I mean, I was out there and give them postcards out to moms on the sidewalks of New York city.
I'd see her pushing her stroller aware and her baby in the ergo carrier. And. I loved what I did so much. And I, I know how to enroll. Like I know my dad, he can't just have, do great work. You gotta enroll people. Like there's two things that we're doing, but at least two, but you've got to do great work and the business part, you gotta win and you gotta be willing to go up to them.
And again, look back. I'm like, dude, I was doing that in real life. I wasn't just putting up a Facebook post. I was in real life, going up to people. Uh, I just see like, Hey, I want your baby. Hey, I'm Denny. And I want to let you know, um, I lead new moms support groups on that side. They're so amazing. You can come together with other women who are under like her going through what you're going through, and then they give you a postcard.
You can find out more next week, but starting in two weeks, you know, whatever it is. A huge part of my journey and what I've built today. And I absolutely still use it, uh, in, in how I lead my group. I mean, I love leading groups cause like one of my favorite things to do because the women connect, it's not just about me.
Like I brought it together and I'm the leader of the group and I am a facilitator of the transformation. But those women are meant to know each other. I mean, some of them, they become like best friends. These are women they're going to know for the rest of their life. That is really, really gratifying for me.
And looking back, do you think you would have changed any part of the business at all? You know, hindsight 20/20?
I really don't think so. It's been hard and it's been amazing and it's been, you know, humbling and miraculous. It's been all the things I feel like once I learned about this whole online marketing space, because I had a sense that there was again, more for me than just New York city and I wanted to help more people.
And I wanted to be able to do it without traveling around to these live groups a few times a week. Cause my whole thing is freedom. I want to work where I want when I want. And with whom I want. Like when I've accomplished that, I feel good. I feel good. Cause I just, that's what I'm, that's what I want.
That's what I want. And that's, that's what makes me feel good and you know, feeling good feels good. And then it just leads to more feeling good and more, you know, make, being able to make an impact. So I am grateful for online marketing and all my coaches and teachers and guide through the many years to have taught me.
Everything that I know now I still continue to learn. Tthe one thing that I think is worth talking about is I've chosen, it was a conscious choice to really carry close community. Some people are called to have these giant courses and these giant communities and that's beautiful if you're called for that, and that's what you want to do.
But I don't want people looking around and comparing and despairing that like, Oh my gosh, only have this many people in my blah blah. And they, they have a million we're all called for something different. We're all called for something different. You're unique as they are. And you comparing yourself to them.
It's such a waste of time. I really chose to have these curated communities. That might seem like small when compared to a course with like a thousand people in it, or 500 people in or what have you. But I know that my zone of genius is really working with those leaders who want to show up, who want to speak up, are really here to do the work.
I think there's a lot of what happens in the online marketing space. People just click a button and think that's going to do it. You know, like I clicked the button, I signed up for the free thing. I joined this thing and I did nothing with it. And there's a lot of that that happens. And I feel like we're at this tipping point somewhat now where we really want to be mindful about what feels good.
Like, what is it that you want to be doing with your time? And please don't use that time, comparing yourself to X, Y, Z, over here, thinking that they have the ideal visits maybe, and maybe you have no idea what's going on behind the scenes with the zillion team members and the overhead and all that. And like what you created just feels good.
And you know, is it sustainable to you when you look ahead 10 years? You're like, yeah, I'm excited, you know, go with and continues to evolve. So that's something I want everyone to really take seriously that, that decision on how you want to shape it. That is so true. Cause I was talking to another entrepreneur and we're talking about how everyone, every entrepreneur, which is meant for different things, right?
At the end of the day, we all have different paths. And it's so funny. Sometimes we just look at what other people are doing. And we jumped right into this whole scarcity mindset. Like, Oh, this person, my peer, my competitor is doing this. They're speaking in front of a thousand people, and then you start thinking, Oh man, why do I even bother?
There's no one else for me. I've got a lot of clients from you. And it is so not true because there's scarcity as a mindset is just. It brings scarcity. Right. So you got to realize there's a lot of abundance and it's right. I just love it. You're just like, yeah. Yeah. So one of the things that you had talked about earlier today is how time was such a big problem for you and, and not having enough time for work and then for family.
So today, you know, as a homeschooling mom and entrepreneur, what's your biggest advice when it comes to deciding what stays on your calendar and what to say no to?
Yeah. Well, are you saying yes to things that align with your values and with what is really going to make an impact in your business? And what I'll say is there are, there are cycles and seasons to everything, including your business.
And so maybe you're in a season of. Of growth and lots of activity and lots of saying yes. And then you'll get to a season of, you know, what, I'm actually going to be weeding out some stuff that, you know, that was a fun project. I'm glad we ran that experiment. It was great that we did it for this period of time, but I'm being called to push pause on that.
I'm being called to just put my energy elsewhere. And then to know when you make that call, that's not you quitting. That's not you being weak. That's not you, it's just you being one with how the earth works and how everything around us, around us work. So to, to trust, I do a lot of what I call time chunking and task batching in my business, which means that I work with clients on these days of the week during these hours.
We mentioned, I do homeschool my kids, my husband, I do that together. We also have some classes and they're a part of a few tutors that we bring in. And so I don't have nine to five to work on my business or nine to nine, you know, cause I'm entrepreneurs really go in there hard and I get it, you know, it's a lot of discipline and effort and time required to do this thing, but I'm super intentional about where I'm putting my energy and where I'm putting my time.
And I'm looking at like, what kind of return am I going to get on this? And am I reflecting what needs to happen for my own, uh, replenishment? You know, my energy really is what attracts clients to work with me. It's my energy, how my energy comes across as my fuel. Like every day when you'd be putting that fuel inside of us, we feel ourselves through smart food, being intelligent about what kind of liquids we're putting into our body.
And not just how does it feel when it's going down, but how does it make you feel afterwards the next day, right later that day. And this is, I had to learn that through the school of hard knocks. You're looking at, are you exercising? Are you meditating? Are you spending time journaling and really feeling into where you want to go, looking into your vision?
Are you around, or you're surrounding yourself with people who build you up and who are also, you know, glass half full people and we're like, yeah. Are you around the naysayers or around the critics? Around the people who just kind of pull out your energy. And some of those people might be in your inner circle.
And you got to look at, are some of those people, your clients, where they're just pulling at you, are they takers? Do they nickel and dime you on everything? Do they always think like, what you're doing is wrong? Like really look at how you design things and what you are tolerating is that is absolutely going to have an impact on your results.
It's going to have an impact on your happiness, and you're going to have an impact on everything and know too that you don't have to be available all the freaking time. Okay. Go on vacation. Got social media, got social media for the weekend. I go off like two weeks down the hall around like Christmas, new year's, that's time of year.
I just go underground. It's scary. And it's almost like weaning myself off a drug at first because let's be real social is there's dopamine involved here. Okay. But cash, what happens as a result when I do that, I mean, yeah. So wonderful that the internet exists and technology and all the things, but back in the old days, when you were off you're off and you had a weekend and you weren't getting pinged about this or that and feeling like I gotta put a post up because these people are putting posts up and they never seem to take a break.
And so again, it's cycles and seasons to everything. If you're enrolling for a program or with something that you're putting out there. You're probably turning up the heat pretty high for yourself and for the people who they need to feel that they need to feel like the intensity of the opportunity and the magnetism of the opportunity.
Is that just part of like human decision making? Right. But we can't be like that all the time. We need those opportunities to just chill. And that we don't need to apologize for that. We're allowed to have boundaries. My clients know that if they send me a message, like they're not going to get an instant response.
I'll respond to them when I can. And it's within a reasonable timeframe, but I think too many people don't do that. You think somehow because somebody paid you that you owe them your life, and what you all need to take in is that you are here to be of service, not in servitude. Be mindful of that.
I have a tool offered up to your listeners, Chrystabelle, on how to really reclaim your time. Cause there's some techniques involved that really are game changer. I've just been living by it for so long that it's really second nature. I forget that. Not everybody knows that, but I know that they don't.
You can go to Jennyfenig.com/schedule, jennyfenig.com/schedule. I'll walk you through a process for. Really understanding these different flows state and how you can then shift up your, your calendar and your schedule, and you're gonna free up so much time that it almost feels like wrong.
Cause people always say to me, so you must be so crazy busy. You're so busy. I'm like, no, I don't. No, I'm not playing that game. You can play the game if you want to. I understand that's again, how the society has been set up. And we've been taught that a busy is a badge of honor, but I don't do it. My life is full.
Sometimes it feels fuller than other times, but I say no to a lot, and I want everyone else to realize it that they can do that too. You don't serve anyone by saying. Yes to the whole wide world. And I know when I was early on in my business, I said, yes, a lot more than I do now, because you don't know, like you don't have the track record, you don't have the research to know like, you know, these types of things.
They're not a fit for me or this type of client. Like I've been down that road. Like we don't work well together. Um, well this is really one of our focus. My, these price points are the best for my business. You don't know, but once, you know, like, Oh, I think Oprah, I learned this, I believe from Angelou.
It's like, when you know better, you do better. Maybe with Tony Morrison. It was one of those people, but I heard it through for when you know, better, you do better. And that's what I want everyone to really take in right now, when you know, better, you do better. And then your job is to take those different paths, which again, when we're looking at like behavior, which is very much, what we look at in coaching is behavior and how can we help modify that behavior?
The grooms in our brain are so down beat, we're so used to doing it this way. This way we were told by people in positions of power, whether it be parents or managers, you were part of a religious organization, like things are just drilled into your head. But then you become an adult or you become an entrepreneur or you go on to the very intense, personal growth and personal development path.
And you realize there's lots of different ways for doing things. And there's lots of things that could be perceived as truth or healthy. And when you realize that you've got to resist going down that road, that's been so deeply, uh, developed in your own mind and.
It's been good, but not actually really anymore. And I'm going to take a new path, even though it feels kind of scary, cause I'm not sure where it's going to go, but can you follow that curiosity when it comes from a place of, you know, you're that intuition saying or something about this, I'm going to go and see.
When I started this year, you know, January and 20, I did something like this. I reviewed all the things that I was saying yes to, because what I, what I didn't want in my business was working nonstop Monday to Sundays. Right. And it's so easy when you run an online business and I've got no kids. I can do this all day long.
Honestly, I can do this all day long. Do I want to do this all day long as the question. Right. And I don't want to, so it's so hard sometimes to say no to opportunities, right? Like speaking opportunities, like interview opportunities, you, you feel like you owe them a yes, because you've got like, how can I say no to this?
The universe is giving me this opportunity. It's like you start saying yes to more and more things. And then you're. Overwhelmed with things to do. And so I'm super glad that you brought that up. And I want to wrap up this session today to talk about how entrepreneurs should be confident enough to stand apart from the crowd, stand apart and stand up for what they believe in.
So let's talk about that. Why is that so important for you and why is it so important for us as online business owners?
Because that's your truth that you honor your truth. That is you revealing your true nature. And the way that we do that is we strip away all of that, which is terrifying because you feel like you're naked, but it's also liberating because you realize you have nothing to hide anymore.
And I will tell everyone with certainty, there will be people, no matter if you kind of tip toe around the truth, if you're trying to be liked by everybody, Or if you're just like, I surrender on that, I'm not going to try to be like everybody. I'm just going to really honor my own intuition, my own truth.
I'm going to say what I, I'm here to say, no matter what path you choose, you're going to have people. Don't like you, you're going to have people who don't like what you put out there. You're going to have people, like, I can't believe that you are charging for this information because this should be free.
All the time, the most random things are going to come your way, which you kind of just had to laugh about it because it's funny, even if at first. It breaks your heart a little bit. You know what I mean? Because we're not machines here. We're human, we have feelings and some of what, especially let's talk online.
Right. Um, keyboard, cowgirls and keyboard kind of like really like, okay. And so it's bizarro, but you realize that these people are hurting and, you know, hurt people, hurt people. And so again, you can't let this stuff. Get under your skin because we know that the criticism will come no matter what you might as well.
You might as well be able to look at yourself in the mirror and say, I did what I came here to do. There's actually I'll share this line. I think you all will appreciate it. I just shared it with another client of mine. I'm reading this great book called Psycho-Cybernetics. I don't know if you've heard of it.
It was written like many decades ago. There was a great line in here, a path, and it says, and only by trusting and acting, do we receive signs and wonders? We must learn to do our work act upon the best assumptions available and leave results to take care of themselves. So when we can honor that, I honestly feel that a lot of entrepreneurs, myself included have a history of anxiety and entrepreneurship can fuel.
The anxiety can like kick it up even more. And when we obsess about the results, we forget to just focus on the work because we're so focused on the results and we're anxious around that. We don't have to do it like that. Focus on the work act on the best assumptions available, come from that place of faith and do the work from love.
The results will take care of themselves. You got to show up, so you can't send one email. Like, well, I sent the email. You're like, no, That is me hearing the game. I don't know when yo all right guys.
Now, as we end off this episode, if you want to learn more about Jenny and working with her, then I want you to go check out Jennyfenig.com after today's show. Don't forget to go download Jenny's tool on scheduling. So jennyfenig.com/schedule. Thank you guys so much for spending time with me and Jenny today. I appreciate it. Head on over to hackyouronlinebusiness.com. You can find the show notes, the links, everything that we just talked about today.
Jenny, you're an amazing human being, and I appreciate your time today.
I received that. I love spending the time with you and all of you here today. Be well, everyone.
Thanks For Listening, My Friend!
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