confession: I'm an accidental entrepreneur.
Maybe you are too. Maybe you didn’t grow up dreaming of what kind of business you’d run. Secretly envisioning products & services & the names you’d give them. I didn’t. But that doesn’t mean you haven’t squeezed every ounce of your heart into this biz, this idea, this way of showing up in the world. However life led you here, I’m betting you wouldn’t trade in the new dream for the old one.
I began dreaming of words scrawled across pages. Stories emptied into books. Poetry on gilded pages. However, I wasn't sure I wanted to join the ranks of the starving artist crowd. I believed them when they told me, "no one ever makes a living as a writer."
Well, sort of, I dreamed of swimming with dolphins & the secrets of the ocean. Creative soul life plan B. At least until someone mentioned the math & science degrees required for marine biology. So I tucked away the adventures.
I listened to the voices that spoke of safety, security & pay checks that trickled in steadily. And I became a teacher. Not a problem, I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge & I loved my students - well most of them. ;)
But in doing so I abandoned myself. I silenced my soul. I felt chained to the course I’d chosen.
And if you’ve ever done this? You know it leads to trouble.
I suffocated in the life I’d prepared for, purposefully chosen - so disillusioned. A few years passed until I handed in my resignation. Felt utterly defeated & totally lost.
I recovered slowly. Rediscovered joy in the form of my family & becoming a Mom. I began to tentatively unpack the confidence & determination that had always belonged to me - one word at a time.
Journals were filled. Every word healed me, stitched me back together. They gave me back my confidence & purpose. Words became the bridge that connected me back to my secret-heart dreams, & then beyond myself to the world around me.
I grew courage one vertebrae at a time. Every article, every blog post & every client since has been part of my journey.
Now I work with women (& a few guys) across Canada, the US, Australia, & Europe.
In the spring of 2016, I finally wrote & self-published my first book, The Power of Personality for Your Small Business, which became a best-seller on Amazon.
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.
I used to believe creativity was a luxury.
Now I believe creativity is your greatest advantage & your personality should be reflected in every inch of your brand.
I used to believe my passion for stories was a hobby.
Now I believe we all have stories to tell. Across culture & time, it’s our stories that connect us. We all have stories to tell & yours is worth telling.
I used to believe my insatiable, curious, questioning mind is why I always got in trouble.
Now I believe that open, curious minds are the BEST kind by far.
I used to believe bravery was for big moments & other people.
Now “I believe the single most important thing beyond discipline & creativity is daring to dare.” Maya Angelou
I used to believe it had to be perfect the first time & I could do everything myself.
Now I believe that experimentation is part of being an entrepreneur. Editing is essential. And relationships are everything.
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 am completely & unashamedly addicted to caffeine. Yes, I have given it up for YEARS before but as a solopreneur & Mom? I drink it all damn day. My favourite is a chai latte because it's sweet, caffeinated 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 while my husband watches the game.
- I'm a complete book nerd. Our home library is over 850 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 by our favourite maple tree on the lawn. We have our own little 2 acres of country bliss.
- 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 my husband & myself for the last 6 years of her life.
- I married my high school sweetheart. Which means that even though I'm not that old you guys I've been married for 9 years & we've been together for 17 years now. That's exactly 1/2 my life spent with the same incredible man.
- 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.