Avoid Joy Killers… Be a Happier, Better Leader | Jennifer Dawn


Lead from a place of joy. Shift your mindset around time. Get the tools to boost confidence and feel better. All of this even in a world full of crap.

Jennifer Dawn is an author, podcast host, and coach. She helps business owners unlock their full potential and grow the business – and life – they want. And in this episode, she helps us understand how we can take charge and tap into our happiness in order to become better leaders. We dig into her book, The Joy Guide, and pull out some great action items, including: 

  • How to harness the power of pronoia 

  • 3 tools to shift from a negative mindset 

  • How to avoid “joy killers” 

  • Why you need to review your vision statement daily 

  • And much, much more

This is one of our most positive and uplifting conversations to date, and one that will make you a better, happier leader. Be sure to listen in!

Mentioned in this episode:


Jennifer Dawn: I think it’s so important to really be honest with ourselves for a moment and ask that question. Are you happy?

Voiceover: You’re listening to the Vibrant Leadership podcast with leadership speaker and consultant Nicole Greer.

Nicole Greer: Welcome to the Vibrant Leadership podcast. My name is Nicole Greer and they call me the vibrant coach. And today I have another amazing coach on the line none other than Jennifer Dawn. Jennifer Dawn coaches business owners to unlock their full potential and grow the business and the life they want through Jennifer Dawn coaching and Consulting. She’s also the founder of The Best Planner Ever and the author of the Joy Guide, Finding Your Joy In A World of Crap. So we’re going to talk about crap today and we’re going to get it all figured out. She began her entrepreneurial career selling apples off her grandfather’s tree because a lemonade stand was so quote unquote yesterday. Jennifer hosts the Happy and Productive podcast and is the founder of the Goal Achievers Club, a virtual life coaching platform. I am absolutely delighted to welcome Jennifer Dawn. I’m so glad you’re here. 

Jennifer: Oh, thank you, Nicole. I’m so happy to be here. 

Nicole: That’s great. That’s great. Well, you gotta tell me a little bit about grandpa. I have a soft spot my heart for grandpas, grandmas, aunties. All those people. So where was his farm at or his tree?

Jennifer: Yeah, absolutely. So it was in Arizona. I was actually born in Arizona, even though I live in upstate New York now. But he was a chiropractor, and he had his office attached to his home. And so we would spend summers at my grandparents house. And it was just the it was the best childhood memory you could ever hope for. And so he also loved to garden. And so we had about an acre of property and he grew everything imaginable. But in the front yard was this huge apple tree. And just one day, I’m like, wait a second, you know, the apples are falling on the ground. 

The patients are walking in the office, I see an idea here. And I gotta tell you, it was my best business ever. My inventory was free. I got to keep all the profits, I didn’t have to market. I just had to stand outside and be a cute kid and go want to buy my apples. And you know, I remember though holding like, I’ve charged like 50 cents or 25 cents or something. And I just remember like holding these shining quarters in my hand at the end of the day and just being like, amazed at how you have an idea. And you could turn it into like money that you could go do things with like that, to me just seemed brilliant.

Nicole: Yeah, absolutely. And I’m gonna tell you, I agree I had the lemonade stand. I guess I wasn’t as hip but there was no apple tree in my life. So I had, I had a lemonade stand. And I’ll tell you best memory ever had is firefighters were going through my neighborhood. And the giant firefighter truck pulls over and buys lemonade from me. It was like an epic little girl moment. I was like from that point forward. I have like this big soft spot for firefighters. And I thought I thought they they really are good citizens right to do that for me. Yeah. So so much fun being an entrepreneur. Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, I wanted to talk about your new book. But right out of the gate, I usually ask people this one very important question. And that is, what is your definition of leadership?

Jennifer: Oh, I love this question so much. And so my definition of leadership is setting an example of what’s possible. And I feel like as a leader, in my own actions, my own everything that I’m doing in my own life, how I’m helping people, how I’m interacting with the world. To me, leadership is setting that example of what’s possible. And I mean that in a good way, not setting an example of all the crap that we see out there in the world right now. But to me, that’s my definition of leadership, is being that example that other people may or may or may not, they may choose to follow, but at least when I’m leading my own life, I’m doing everything I can to show them what’s possible.

Nicole: Yeah. And I think that, you know, the world is full of untapped potential, and a leader that can show what’s possible and get all those people that work with them to bring their full potential. I mean, it’s like a meeting, you know, that the universe was expecting, right? So I love your definition. That’s fantastic. That’s fantastic. Well, when I think about your book, I love the fact that it’s called The Joy Guide, Finding Your Joy In A World of Crap. And I’m going to tell you, I think leaders are up to they’re in crap right now. And they need like, maybe a little, you know, a word from the wise a word from Jennifer on how to like, clear the crap out of the way and get your head back in the game. So you know, the first part of your book talks about are you happy. So tell me about leaders and happiness. How do those two things go together?

Jennifer: Yeah, I think it’s so important. To really be honest with ourselves for a moment, and ask that question, are you happy. Because you can be in a leadership role and totally be bs-ing, everybody and even be bs-ing yourself. And I don’t really think that makes you an authentic leader. And plenty of people do it. We see examples of this all the time of the leader who says, hey, go here, do this, do that, you know, this is how it’s done. And then then their own lives, they’re not doing those things, and not really, you know, practicing what they preach. 

And so that’s why I think like, the place that I start in the book is, are you happy? And let’s be real about it, you know, are you happy? Are you not happy? Are you somewhere in the middle. And if we can be honest about it for a second, then we can actually take ownership of where you really are. And now we can start to do something about it. If you’re not truly in the place where you want to be. Because when you actually tap into your happiness, at tap into your joy, tap into your bliss, they’re all there, they are not gone. They’re all there. But when you can tap into this, that’s just gonna naturally make you a better leader.

Nicole: Yeah, I love what you’re saying. And COVID, COVID does not kill happiness people. So it might bring you some troubles and some challenges and some problems to solve. But I love what you said that bliss, the joy, it’s all in there, we just got to go find it. Okay, so let’s say a leader sits down and asks themselves this really hard question, are you happy? And it’s like, no. Then you your next suggestion is to make a choice or make the choice. So So what kind of choice do leaders have to make?

Jennifer: Well, they need to it, I don’t mean to simplify something. But that is really quite complex. But to simplify it, we need to make a choice about do we want to be happy. And here’s the thing about happiness that a lot of people don’t understand. When things are going our way, we tend to be happy, right? You know, a baby is born. A wedding is happening. You know, money is coming in whatever it is, right? And it’s, it’s going our way. And if we want that we’re happy. But all of those things could be happening to somebody else who doesn’t want it, they don’t want the baby, they don’t want to get married, they don’t want that extra money, that the burden of the extra money, like all those things could be happening to somebody else. And they’re like, ooh, this isn’t going my way. I’m not happy about it. So part of the trick here, when we talk about making a choice, is to decide that you know what, I want to be happy when things are going my way. 

But I also am going to be happy when things are not going my way. It doesn’t mean that I don’t take action or step up or do something if things are not going my way. But being okay with it. Accepting where we’re at, you know, making peace with hey, this is where I’m at. But knowing that I could take a different step in the next moment to possibly change whatever it is that’s happening. So, but I believe that it all starts with a decision. Sometimes we’re getting a payoff from being unhappy, right? Being bitter or complaining, I’m angry. Whatever it is, and we’re getting a payoff from that. And we have to really start with making the decision of how do I really want to feel, what state do I want to be in on a day to day basis.

Nicole: And I couldn’t agree more with you, I have this little reading I’ve picked up along the way, probably like you, Jennifer. I’ll find some little article or some little thing. And I’m like, oh, this is such genius. And so I’ll hold on to it, I’ll share it with clients. And it’s called the 24 hour pharmacy. And it talks about how leaders, they have a reoccurring thought like that complaining thing you were talking about. And so it’s almost like, when you have that complaining thought, you get a little you get a little drip of a certain kind of hormone that goes through your body or a neural peptide. And that neural peptides starts to like flood your whole body. It’s almost like you become addicted to it. Right. But you can get addicted to a new flavor, right?

Jennifer: Yeah, absolutely. I heard the coolest term the other day, I’d never heard this before. It was actually a client who was telling me about it. And he said, when your thinking is, you know, everything is happening. And it’s against me, right? Like this happened to slow me down. This happened, you know, to annoy me. This person is saying this just to aggravate me, whatever, right? That’s paranoia when we think everything is happening is going against us. But there’s another term called pronoia, which I had never heard before. And pronoia is the thinking that everything that’s happening is for our benefit. It’s for our highest and best interest. It’s and I’m just like, oh, well, if you don’t naturally think this way, it’s a big shift. 

Nicole: 100% 

Jennifer: Right. I’ve learned to turn things around and to think this way and to look at things differently and go oh, wait a second. How is this helping me? But there’s actually a term for it called pronoia. And so if you can like keep yourself in pronoia you can manufacturer all those positive chemicals that you need 24 seven.

Nicole: That’s right, and so that that little article about having the 24 hour pharmacy, it’s like you do you stand in choice. You have to rewire your thinking, so I love that. Well, then you say, well, now now that you’ve made a choice, you’re going to be pronoia, you’re going to have the right pharmacy, pharmaceuticals, you know produced in your brain, you’re going to flood yourself with positive neuro peptides, you talk about you make time. So talk to me about making time.

Jennifer: Oh, I love this so much. Because it’s so true, we often feel like we are victims to time. I don’t have enough time. I mean, and if you don’t think this, like just pay attention one day. Even like one hour of your day and see how many times you catch yourself saying things like, oh, if only I had time for that, or, you know, time is working against me, or there’s just never enough time, I can’t get into, you know, all of this self talk that’s going on through our heads. And so if we can start to shift that story and change that story, because the thing is, we all get the same 24 hours and time’s ticking. 

There’s nothing stopping it like nobody can actually press the pause button. Like time is ticking, it’s completely outside of our control. And we all get the same 24 hours. But how you look at it, think about it, approach it, is the difference maker, because the reality is happening up here between your ears. That’s where the reality is happening. And so when I say you make time you really do. You make your time and you get to do whatever you want to do with your time. 

And even just one simple shift in that thinking, for me, one of my favorite shifts was I just whenever I get really stressed or thinking, oh, I don’t have time, I will just immediately stop and go, I have all the time I need. And it just immediately, like calms me down. That’s the actual truth. I have all the time I need now let me approach it and do whatever I need to do. But making those shifts in your thinking around time are really, really crucial. Because otherwise you can just talk yourself out of doing so many things because you quote don’t have time. 

Nicole: And I think that is the most dangerous thing a leader can do is talk themselves out of the good ideas that come up with right. Yeah, so we’ve got to make time for this, these these good ideas. And I love I’m sure you’re familiar with this guy. He’s passed now. But Jim Rohn. He is one of my favorite quotes about time and all you listeners out there who’ve never heard of Jim Rohn, R o h n, go to YouTube and watch these videos from like the 80s. And the 90s, I think, but one of his greatest lines is he says, end your week before it begins. End your week before it begins. And so he says, to sit still, to make time for things. 

Like go onto your calendar right now for next week and find where you’re going to do these things. And you may have it. So I just love that. That’s fantastic. That’s fantastic. Okay, so again, don’t miss this, we’re talking about The Joy Guide, figuring out if you’re happy, then making the choice to be happy. And then getting started, you know, like getting your to do list in place, and then making time. So you talk next about feeling better. I mean, I can’t imagine you wouldn’t feel better if you choose just to be happy, right? And you got your 24 hour pharmacy, you know, going. So tell us, how do we feel better now, because I know these leaders are fatigued out there, give them some advice.

Jennifer: Oh, I love this. And so and part of why I make time was in that order was because if you don’t figure out how to carve out a little time in your life to work on yourself, you’re just gonna procrastinate it and put it off because you’re too busy. So that’s why the make time is in there. It’s like wait a second, I need to not be a victim to time I need to get in control of my time and understand that, hey, I can actually carve out some time to work on myself. And so from there we go into feel better. Now it’s really easy to just say, oh, you should just feel better. And for some of us who know how to change our thinking and reprogram our thoughts. If we know how to handle our emotions, how to process them, we get that. It’s like oh, okay, that makes perfect sense. 

But for the rest of the population, the majority of the population, you can’t just snap your fingers and be like, oh, yeah, I feel a lot better. And so that’s why we go into some some tools around feeling better. And one of those tools is forgiveness, right? You’ve heard about forgiveness before. But just think about this for a second. How are you supposed to feel better? If you’re carrying a lot of toxic grudges against people. If you’re carrying a lot of anger over what they did are they said to you, or things that were done to you even all the way back to childhood. You can’t feel better if you’re carrying all of these things. And so that’s where I actually give some real practical tools in the book for well, what do I do to actually feel better and clear this stuff out? 

One of my favorite exercises is actually a journaling exercise and for all of you guys who are like oh journaling and you’re going you know I promise you this is a good one. I’m not a huge journaler or either, even though I have a journal called the best journal ever, but it came from this exercise when we talk about feeling better. So as you’re going through your day, and you’ve got all these negative emotions, maybe you’re angry at people, maybe you have a lot of paranoia, right. Everything is happening against me. You think the world is against you, you have all this stuff going on, it’s going to create a lot of negative emotion. And if you don’t process through that negative emotion, what do we do? We repress it, we push it down, we distract ourselves from it, maybe we distract ourselves with eating or drinking, or drugging or shopping, or whatever it is that we want to distract ourselves with. 

So we don’t have to deal with these unpleasant emotions. So the journaling exercise is a way to get this stuff out. So you can clear out that layer of gunk. And once it clears, you’re going to find the positive emotions, the empathy, the compassion, the love, the gratitude will just naturally find their way. They’ll just be able to kind of rise up without having to force it. And so I share this in the book. But it’s a really powerful exercise where you just sit down for 20 minutes, and you write down everything that’s pissing you off and making you mad. And then here’s the trick, though, you got to go there, you got to be brave. 

And you got to really be honest about how you’re feeling. And if you need to call names, if you need to be petty, you want to be judgmental, you can beat yourself up too, you can do anything. There’s nothing off limits. It’s just the stuff that we think that we’re not allowed to say out loud. And you just put it on the paper for 20 minutes, and you just go to town. After you’re done, you rip the pages out and you tear them up. This is not a journal anybody ever reads again, you don’t have to go to therapy over it. But nobody should ever find it, including you. You never want to read these pages again. But you really just tear rip them up, tear them up. And the idea is to just give yourself a safe space to let go of all of this crap that you’re feeling. 

You’re human, you’re going to feel these things, but let’s not repress it, let’s get it out on paper so we can deal with it. And the amazing thing is, is that as you do this exercise, you’ll start to kind of feel a shift. Now, if you’ve never done it, it might take a few sessions before you feel the shift. But you will feel the shift, you will feel the negative energy like kind of like leaving your body. And then you’ll you’ll notice, compassion, gratitude. You’ll notice oh, wait, I’m seeing this a little bit differently. And it’s kind of like giving ourselves a space to clear out that junk so that we can allow those positive emotions to float up to the surface.

Nicole: Yeah, I’m just thinking this has got to be seriously cathartic for people, right? It’s just going to be a release, right. And if you’re, like you said, you’re repressing all this anger and angst, you’re not going to get compassion and empathy bubbling to the top. But if you’ll like, you know, get, you know, let the champagne cork go out, it might be a celebration that you could finally end up back that joy away from crap, right. So really, important.

Jennifer: It’s a totally safe space, because nobody’s going to read it, including you. You’re not going to go back and read it either. And there’s just something about ripping those pages up. It just feels so good. And just let it go. And if you need another session, you do it. And you can do this two or three times a day, depending on where you’re at, and what you’re going through in your life until you start feeling better. And it’s a it’s a legit practical tool that you can put into place right now totally free, you don’t have to buy anything. But you can start doing right now. And it absolutely will help you feel better.

Nicole: Right. And you know, I think you know, after you get done is to go back and look at those things. And then now you might be able to actually move into solution mode or figure out, okay, I need to distance myself from this person, this place, this thing, this whatever this obligation I’ve got myself wrapped up in. You know, it might give you clues, again, how to get yourself back to happy until you acknowledge the things that are making you sad, mad, and unglad you can’t get there. That’s awesome. So you talk about in your book that there are some joy killers out there. So I can think of some joy killers. But I’m curious about the joy killers you identify in your book? How do leaders need to distance themselves from these joy killers?

Jennifer: Oh, that’s such a great question. And one of the joy killers is unforgiveness. And we’ve kind of touched on that a little bit. And when we’re holding all of this anger and stuff inside, it’s really difficult to be able to tap into our true leadership abilities when we’re mad at everybody. And let’s face it, I I’m almost, how old am? I think I’m 48. I’m going to be 49 here in a few months. So almost 50 and I can say at no other time in my life have I ever seen anything in our political climate, racism, you know, the COVID the maskers versus the non maskers right? There’s so many things going on which set people against each other. More than I can ever recall in my life, you know. You’re a vaccer or an anti vaccer. You’re a masker, you’re an anti masker. 

You’re, you know, on the right, you’re on the left, I mean, just, I’m just seeing so many things which set us against each other today. And so you can literally walk around all day being pissed off at people you don’t even know, just based on a bumper sticker or a flag or whatever that you’re seeing as you’re going through. And so I think this is why that the forgiveness is so important to understand that you know, everybody who’s going through their life for them, it’s right. Because of their experiences, just like for you, what’s right for you is right for you, because of your experiences. So as a leader to really affect others, I think it’s very important not to be excluding people, stereotyping people. But in order to do that, we’ve got to let go, and be willing to forgive everybody, and also be willing to let them have their own ideas, their own opinions, their own wherever they happen to be in this life.

Nicole: Yeah, so that’s a shout out for, you know, having that diversity of thought, you know, that having equity, including different points of view, I think leaders are going to have to face that whole idea head on. You know, I’m, I’m older than you, I’m stuck kind of between that baby boomer and Gen X group. And I think that we, you know, we were just told that’s the boss do what the boss says, you know. But I think really leaders who can, you know, really embrace the diversity that’s around them, instead of trying to kill everybody’s ideas, you know like welcome the ideas, I think they’re going to be in a much better shape. So I love what you’re saying there. 

Alright, so how does a leader gain momentum and confidence? I will tell you, I think this is a huge issue, confidence. My little definition of confidence is just to take the dictionary and go look at the word closely. Because it’s like confidence, like with loyalty, fidelity, you know, like, if people can just be loyal to themselves. I think their confidence would go through the roof. But I’m curious, what what do you have to say about gaining confidence in momentum, it’s, it’s a big thing for leaders to have.

Jennifer: Yeah, I think for me, confidence goes to authenticity, and being willing to, you know, walk the walk, talk the talk in your own life. It is, as a coach, you know, it’s very easy to be able to tell somebody else, oh, here’s what you should do. But when you have to do it yourself, that’s where things start to get interesting, right. And actually, that’s one of the reasons why I love being a coach so much. Because it does require me to really step up and be authentic in my own life, or I don’t feel like I’m really serving my clients. And so for me, that’s where that confidence comes from, is that authenticity. Being real about these are things that are hard for me in my life, these are things that I’ve changed, you know, here’s the habits, I had to get rid of, here’s the habits I had to create, and, and then actually doing that work. 

And the more I did that work on myself, the more confident I became. Not just in my own live, but in also leading the people, right in my community. You know, having the like, I’m going to write a book, right? It’s like, well, I’ve learned a lot of good things. And I’ve implemented in my own life. And that really gave me the confidence to go out and write a book and put it out to the world. And so, for me, that’s really where it starts is doing the work on yourself first, even and maybe even depending on where you are before you try to lead others. Really leading yourself.

Nicole: Yeah, I think that’s right on. And you know, that authenticity you’re talking about. That’s exactly when I say you know, being loyal to yourself. Like, you don’t have to be any other kind of leader. You don’t have to invent something or read a book and adopt everything in that book. You just have to look at your authentic skills, and then surround yourself with really good people. And then be honest about your journey. I tell you, if you meet a leader that will tell you about their struggles and how they overcame them. You will you will find somebody who can be somebody’s hero too. Like I love to know that the really important people, the leaders are struggling because then I can identify right? And so I think being authentic is absolutely where it’s at. Now you you have a planner, will you tell us the name of your planner again, because I love it.

Jennifer: Best Planner Ever. Like it’s so funny when I created it, and I started using it for myself and I loved it. And I said to my husband honey, this is the best planner ever. He was like great. I was like you know what I’m going to call it that. He’s like you are? And I’m like yes I am. And then I looked in the domain was free and I was like okay, there you go. The domain is free. And there you go. That was many years ago, but yes, Best Planner Ever.

Nicole: Yeah. So we when you look inside of that planner I’m wondering is, is gratitude in there because that’s another big part of your book is the daily gratitude practice and why it matters. My guess is those two go together like peanut butter and jelly. Will you talk a little bit about gratitude?

Jennifer: They really do. And so yes, in the best planner ever, there is a line for a daily gratitude practice, if you want to really dive in and write it out. That’s where the best journal ever comes in. Because there’s more space in there, it’s kind of like the companion to the planner with more room to write. But in the best planner ever, it’s a full daily page for planning your whole day, because I just couldn’t fit my whole life into one little box. It just wasn’t working. And I wanted to tie, you know, mindset vision, some woowoo, some gratitude, as well as I’m a professional with a full schedule and three children and I need to be able to plan all these things out. 

So that’s where the idea came from, was to kind of combine both of those together. But one of the great things about gratitude when we talk about feeling better, right? Making better chemicals in our brains and gratitude is one of the easiest, fastest ways to do that, if you can switch into thinking about what you’re grateful for, and why. They can immediately change your state, it can immediately make you feel better, instead of focusing on everything you don’t have. Make a list of everything that you do and fall in love with what you’ve already got.

Nicole: Yeah, I think that’s absolutely perfect advice. And you know, I heard one time somebody say, what would happen if tomorrow you only had what you had expressed gratitude for?

Jennifer: Hmm. Oh, I love that Nicole. I’m going to be taking that and running with it. Because that is fantastic. That is fantastic.

Nicole: Yeah, because I think to myself, oh, well, I better thank God for my brain, I better think, you know, for my body, for my heart that’s beating, for my lungs for the terror I’m sitting on for the car I drove today, for the house that’s got a roof over my head. I mean, like, you will get you a list of gratitude in a hot second.

Jennifer: Right, because there are so many things to be grateful for. And actually, one of the first gratitude practices I ever did was the book, The Magic by Rhonda Byrne, she did the secret. But she also did a book called The Magic and it’s a 28 day gratitude practice. And the first time I went through it, it was life changing, because she really does go into all the things that we have to be grateful for. And they are numerous. But dang, I love that if you all if you tomorrow, if you only had what you’re grateful for today. That’s huge.

Nicole: It’s absolutely huge. Yeah, great perspective. Yeah. Okay. So I also love that you’ve put on here that, you know, he’s got to define success on your terms. Define success on your terms. And I think that a lot of leaders are running after what everybody’s telling them looks like success. So how do I as a leader define success on my own terms?

Jennifer: Such a great question. And I think it really is important to stop looking at what everybody else is doing so much. And and following the pack. I mean, if you really want to be a leader, it’s going to come down to your own thoughts, your own ideas, your own interpretation, and then being willing to stand up and say, well, here’s what I think. And guess what, there’s probably going to be people who agree with you as well. But it’s just there’s so many different ways to be successful. 

And it’s not always packaged up in you know, I always think of these, you know, gurus, and, and I’ve learned plenty from them. So I’m not dissing them in any way. But they’ll often show like, you know, here’s my 12 Ferrari’s in my fancy driveway and my big property and you know, all of this stuff that they have. And I just don’t really define success that way. And that’s me. If they define success that way, and that’s them. That’s fantastic. But you got to spend some time thinking about what success really means to you. 

A few years ago, I did a women’s retreat, and I had, I don’t know a dozen women come in and one of the extras, one of the things that we did on the retreat is we went trail riding on horses. And I have a horse I ride regularly. For me, it was no big deal to like, hop on the horse and go for a trail ride. One of the women in the group, she’d had a really bad accident on a horse when she was younger and had broken several bones and it was pretty traumatic. And so for her to get back on this horse to get on a horse at all, and go for a trail ride was pretty significant, pretty substantial for her. 

And there was another woman in the in the group who also had a similar story where she was very afraid to get back on this horse and so, it’s my retreat. All these women have come in to spend time with me, I could have been at the front of the pack on a horse, because for me, it was no big deal. And instead, I chose to be at the very back with with the women who were scared. And at the end of the trail ride, which they did successfully, I’ll never forget this, they came to me and they were like, Jennifer, like, that helped us so much just to hear your voice behind us saying, hey, we’re going to go up this hill, you need to shift your body a little bit. 

Hey, there’s a tree on your left, make sure that you’re moving over a little bit, so your horse doesn’t take you under it. But to just have that voice from behind, that was helping them to have the courage for this experience. And for me, that’s success. So success can come in so many forms, you can be in so many different places. And you know, check your ego. You got to start by checking the ego so that you can actually open this up and really look at what does success mean for you, and then have the courage to align with that and stand and stay true to that and not necessarily fall into some of the other examples of success we see that maybe are not authentic for you.

Nicole: I love that. And so that dovetails right back with the confidence. I bet those gals were walking in a little bit differently, talking a little bit differently as a result of, you know, it’s kind of they’ll proverbial, you know, get back on get back on the horse, you know. So what, what a wonderful story. And so I also heard you saying there, you know, it’s like, you got to figure out what your definition of success is. And I know that you also talk about vision in your book. 

And I think that’s a great place for us to kind of wrap this conversation up is, you know, I talked to leaders myself, just like you about vision, and people are so caught up in probability. And taking us back to where you were at the beginning, you said leadership is all about demonstrating what is possible. So there’s this big dichotomy between this is possible, and people want to go well, you know, we tried this in, you know, 20 years ago, and it didn’t work or whatever. You know, people want that certainty. They want that, that probability. But I think casting a really great, exciting vision is essential in your personal life, as well as in your professional life. Tell me your philosophy on vision.

Jennifer: Oh, yeah, I agree completely. I think vision is crucial. It’s one of the first things that I teach anybody who’s coming into our life coaching platform into our business coaching, any of it, it doesn’t matter. The first thing that we start with is vision. Why? Because it’s the most important. We need direction. We need to know where do you want to end up. And then if you’re going to make changes in your life, you want to make sure those changes are in alignment with where you want to go. And taking that time to get clear on where you want to go is essential. 

And, and a lot of people struggle with this, and I get it. And so work with somebody. Like it’s your life, it’s too important to just be like, you know, put off day after day after day. There’s so many amazing coaches out there. Now, I don’t know about you, Nicole, but when I was coming up through the ranks, like coaching was like what? Like, in fact, it was probably 20 years ago, I remember I hired a business coach, my industry was software. And it was so unheard of, that one of our trade publications did an article on me and my business and that I hired a business coach, because they were like, what is this, they didn’t even know about it. 

But now you have access to so many coaches just on Google. Like you can find somebody to help you get clear on your vision. And then what we teach is we get clear on the vision, we write it down and we read it every day. So that way, even in the best planner ever. There’s a checkbox at the top of the page that says I read my vision statement, meaning I aligned with the direction I want to go. And now in my day, let me take some steps to get there. So super important. I keep mine right on my desk. I read it every day. 

I can’t say enough about it. And then one more quick thought. When you’re looking at your vision instead of asking victim questions. Why can’t I get there? What’s wrong with me? We got to flip this to power questions. What’s it gonna take to make it happen? Those are the kinds of questions we’ve got to ask, especially when we’re doing our vision work. Instead of you know why I can’t get there. Let’s look at what’s it going to take for me to get there.

Nicole: Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. And the last part of your book talks about you know, strategy, right. So now once you’ve gotten the vision, what are the strategies systems and smarts, as I like to say, are you going to put in place that support this vision? Because you can you can put legs and feet and arms and all sorts of things on this vision and make get it get it walking down the path. So I agree. So let’s do this. Let’s tell people where they can find you. Because I know there are people sitting there going, I need help with my vision. I need help with getting my head in the game. I want to be happy. So will you please Jennifer, tell everybody how they can find you and work with you.

Jennifer: Yes, absolutely. So you can find me at Jenniferdawncoaching. D a w n coaching.com. That’s my business coaching and consulting website and there’s a contact right there on the website. You can also find me at bestplannerever.com. And from there, you can buy the book, you can join our membership, which is called goal achievers, you can reach out directly to me, if you have any questions. We do several, I do a download as well from the book, you can get the first five chapters for free, which includes a wellbeing assessment, which is a great tool for just starting the process of reflecting on where I’m where I’m at now. Where I’d like to be, and then starting that process of, you know, visioning and creating a strategy around it. 

Nicole: Okay, that’s fantastic. I’ve absolutely love being with you and hearing about your book, I want to clear the crap out of my life, and I want to have joy. So I’m grateful for you. And I would love to hear more about your planner. Or maybe we can talk about planning on a next episode sometime. 

Jennifer: I love talking about planning. I can talk about it all day. So you’ve got it, Nicole. 

Nicole: All right. Fantastic. Thanks so much for being on the show. 

Jennifer: Absolutely.

Voiceover: Ready to up your leadership game? Bring Nicole Greer to speak to your leadership team, conference or organization to help them with her unique SHINE method to increase clarity, accountability, energy and results. Email speaking@vibrantculture.com and be sure to check out Nicole’s TEDx talk at vibrantculture.com/TEDTalk.

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