You know it's not working when you lose 20lbs in a single month - without trying.
But it still took me ages to let go of the career that had become my identity. To step into the unknown space beyond the j. o. b.
I loved the act of teaching. I loved my students. But the culture was toxic. The bureaucracy? Ridiculous. And the politics were down right Machiavellian.
I felt utterly defeated & totally lost after handing in my resignation. I recovered slowly. Rediscovered joy & purpose in the form of my family & becoming a Mom.
Restlessness set in. There are only so many times you can sing the ABCs before you start to feel guilty about those university degrees...gathering dust.
I saw my friends bringing in extra income starting businesses. Some were MLM style selling jewellery, tea & candles. But hosting parties all the damn time? Not for an introvert like me. Others decorated cakes & crocheted the all manner of cuteness. But I'm the unofficial Queen of Pinterest Fail...so that was out too.
What I could do well was write. And I loved it. Oh, how I loved to write. Hi, I'm Jess. And my journey to entrepreneurship began with filling journals.
Words gave me back my confidence & purpose. They became the bridge that connected me back to my secret-heart dreams & then beyond myself to the world around me.
But starting a passion centred business can be the scariest of all because your heart is all in - before you know if you'll ever be able to make it work.
I grew courage one vertebrae at a time. Every article, every blog post & every client since has been part of my journey.
In the spring of 2016, I self-published my first book, The Power of Personality for Your Small Business, (pinky swear I'll pick a shorter title next time) which became a best-seller on Amazon.
I never dreamed I'd get to work with amazing women entrepreneurs across Canada, the US, Australia & Europe.
Words continue to dare me to tell my story ever more boldly as I peel back the layers & learn to trust myself & choose my own path.
This is what it means to bravely embrace your voice.
This is what it means to be an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurship has encouraged me to walk along the edges of everything I thought I knew & redefine myself & my beliefs along the way.
What I’ve learned through all the ups & downs, the late nights, the rewrites & the hours spent scrolling through the thesaurus is this…
They hold the power to connect us, to move us to take action, to unite us...to heal us.
Whatever your message, whatever your movement, whatever revolution you want to start. Even in one heart, one town, one country, or one global community...
“The right words hold the power to nudge the world a little.” Tom Stoppard
The only question is...how will you nudge it?
10 things you probably didn't need to know about Jess
- I have a love/hate relationship with caffeine. We are currently, mostly on a break...but it's complicated. I have given it up for YEARS before. My favourite, weak-in-the-knees, caffeinated beverage is a chai latté because it's sweet, aromatherapy in a cup.
- I have 2 of the most adorable children on the planet. Yes, they're the cutest, most brilliant children alive. And yes, they challenge me & drive me nuts at least once a day...okay, way more than once.
- I'm ridiculously proud to be Canadian. I love real maple syrup & poutine, though try to limit consumption of both. And like all good Canadians I watch hockey...okay I occasionally poke my head up from a book long enough to check the score when someone else is watching the game.
- I'm a complete book nerd. Our home library is over 900 books & constantly growing. It might be an addiction...books & caffeine, baby. That history degree is becoming totally obvious now, isn't it?
- I'm a classically trained pianist (the nerd quotient just went up infinitely, didn't it?). Though I only got to grade 8 in The Royal Conservatory of Music of Canada & grade 2 in their theory. Sounds fancy though, doesn't it? I played a lot of Beethoven, Bach, Chopin, etc. And there was that time I went a little gaga over Beethoven's piano in a museum in Vienna and leaned over the velvet rope...
- I love to crank the music while I'm working or cleaning or driving. Even better if I can sing along. I usually gravitate towards anything Indie. Indie pop, Indie rock, Indie alt. I love discovering & falling in love with songs & bands I've never heard of before. We love kitchen dance parties around here too. Need to celebrate something? Need to pick up the mood of a grumpy, sullen, whiny or sad child? Insert kitchen dance party. And The Strumbellas are never far from our playlist. ;)
- I get to experience all four seasons of the year but my favourite is summer. Relaxing on a beach in front of a lake. Or even just putting a blanket out under a tree on the lawn with a book & a chai latté, of course.
- I come from a family filled with strong women. My Mom who worked for over 30 years as a registered nurse & showed me the importance of respect & compassion. My Grandmother who was the most incredible prayer warrior I've ever witnessed, so confident & determined on her path. I was so privileged to have her live with me for the last 6 years of her life.
- I'm a single parent & solopreneur. I know what it's like to wear ALL the hats, feel ALL the pressure & still wake up & execute everyday.
- I caught the travel bug at age 14 when I went to spend 6 weeks with my Aunt in the Bahamas (another strong woman in my family whom I deeply admire). Since then I've managed to add several more countries to the list but the list of places I dream of going? Infinitely longer. Wanderlust is real.