Episode 95

Success without Sacrifice with Jenny Shih

October 25, 2016

Today we’re talking with business and success coach, Jenny Shih about how to create a successful online business without having to work long hours or make huge sacrifices. We’re digging in about how to find the balance between big vision and daily grind, sacrifice and success, and drive and gratitude, plus how to get past some of those mental blocks associated with money and guilt.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"Own what you want and refuse to give up what’s most important to you."
- Jenny Shih

Discussed in this Episode

  • Finding the middle ground and the blend between all your different interests and skills
  • What is success + how to define success for yourself
  • Determine what you're willing and not willing to sacrifice for success—and realizing that will change
  • Balancing gratitude and drive for achieving what's next
  • Dealing with guilt
  • Being a boss with chronic illness + battling with Lyme Disease
  • Trusting your intuition and working smarter, not harder
  • Balancing big vision with the daily grind—achievable goals vs. big vision
  • Money mindset blocks and how to get through them


More from Jenny Shih

More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Emily Thompson 0:01
Hello and welcome to being boss episode number 95. This episode is brought to you by fresh books cloud accounting.

Being boss and work and life is being in it.

Kathleen Shannon 0:17
It's being who we are doing the work, breaking some rules. And even though we each have to do it on our own,

Emily Thompson 0:25
being boss is knowing we're in it together.

Kathleen Shannon 0:29
Today we are so excited to be talking to Jenny she Jenny. She is an uncompromising business coach who works with smart entrepreneurs who are fiercely committed to their own success. She shows them step by step how to create a successful online business without having to work long hours or make huge sacrifices. Yes, please. She also believes that with the right systems and strategies, you can make money, doing the work you love, and also live a life you love. You can learn more about Jenny and her philosophy of success without sacrifice at Jenny, she's calm. As a creative entrepreneur, getting paid is a total priority. So I want to share with you just a couple of ways that you can get paid faster. One is send your invoices as soon as possible, preferably, right whenever a job is complete, that we the job is fresh, and you know the work and the hours spent on the project. Next, keep it simple. Be specific on your payment timeline. Let your clients know the payments that are due and when they are due. And you can automate this with fresh books cloud accounting, get your free trial today at freshbooks comm slash being boss and enter being boss in the How did you hear about us section. It is super easy and intuitive. And you can automate so much stuff so that you too can get paid lightning fast. Alright, back to our episode. Jenny, thank you so much for joining us on being boss, we have so many friends in common that we had to bring you on the show. Oh, thank you for having me.

Jenny Shih 2:06
I'm so excited to talk with both of you.

Kathleen Shannon 2:08
Tell us a little bit about your background, and how you got to where you are today. Oh,

Jenny Shih 2:13
it's a long story. But I will keep it as short as I possibly can. So the the the short version is I have a degree in engineering and I went to engineering school simply because I didn't know what else to do. And I was okay at math. I went to college and I pretty much hated engineering school. But I just wanted to get through and get a job which I did. Anyway, what kind of engineering, I went to school for environmental engineering and a worked at a high tech company I worked at Hewlett Packard doing in their r&d division for printers. So really exciting stuff. And it was you know, as far as corporate jobs go, it was a really great job. But after and I tried a different couple different jobs while I was there. And after eight or nine years, I just thought I cannot do this until I'm 65 like if I retire from this company at 65 I will be so regretful of my whole life. And so I started a journey of what do I actually want to do with my life, something that I thought I would just know one day and at that point, I realized not actually you're never gonna get blessed with this knowledge from some like purpose fairy, you have to go out and figure out what that is. And many coaches and therapists and books later I thought, I'm going to be a life coach. So I went to school while training for life coach life coach training, and I quit my job and started life coaching practice and started coaching women who are in corporate who wanted to do something more interesting with their lives besides corporate. And quickly, I realized that was totally not what I was meant to do. And I didn't really like it that much either. So I started working as a virtual assistant because I make most of the money in our house. And so I we needed to bring in some money. So I started working as a virtual assistant for experienced coaches. And I slowly started to realize that I had a lot of skills from my corporate job like project management and team management and all and just organization that these business owners needed. So I close my life coaching business, and I started Jenny she calm as project management, virtual assistant support for entrepreneurs. And over time since then, I have learned a lot about marketing and business and have more from obviously doing that kind of work to now teaching people how to build businesses. And I love to say I could have never left my job and gotten to here where I am right now if I hadn't gone through so many mistakes along the way. And that's just sort of how the dirty is. And I think my journey forward will be like that too. I don't know where I'm going but we'll find out

Kathleen Shannon 4:49
as we go. So were you able to circle kind of back around to coaching in the grand scheme of things. It's just a little bit less emphasis on life coaching and more on business coaching.

Jenny Shih 4:59
You You know, I kind of feel like and I see this happen a lot with women, there's this pendulum like we were in this I was in the super left brain, techie corporate male dominated job and I swung way to the other side, it was super squishy life coach. And actually, my truth was sort of in the middle. So I sort of had to go back to the other side. And now there's this balance between using the practical skills that I have just innately but also for my corporate career, and then the life coaching stuff, because as you guys know, stuff comes up fear and self doubt, and all of that comes up as we build businesses. So I get to use both in my work now, which is super fun.

Emily Thompson 5:36
I love that. And I love how you went out this with like, just a very, like test and change mindset with like, I'm gonna do this thing, and then it doesn't work out so great, you're not just gonna be there, because you're already there, which I feel like a lot of people, a lot of people in their life are in that in that place where you've made it to this thing you worked really hard, you know, you went to engineering school you like earned this more or less. And, but that didn't mean that you had to stay there. And then you went off and did something else. And that didn't mean you had to stay there either. It's about like, continually course correcting, not just giving in and staying on a path because you got there, but doing what you want.

Kathleen Shannon 6:18
I also love how you say that the truth is somewhere in the middle. I think that a lot of us creative entrepreneurs really crave certainty. And we crave to almost like put ourselves in a box or label ourselves a certain way that makes us feel like we have some sort of truth to adhere to, right or sort of like path with boundaries. And we're not going over that path. Like we're just gonna stay on our path. And that's where our truth is, but you talk about the truth being in the middle. And I think that that is such a healthy mindset to really embrace. And it also gives you a little bit of wiggle room to make it your own. Emily and I are constantly talking about how there is no single blueprint or formula that will give you a successful business. It's really about taking all of your different experiences, from engineering to life coaching to virtual assisting, and really blending all of those together to make it your own. So you have your own specific offering, and talent and skill set and even the way that you attract your dream customers.

Jenny Shih 7:23
I love that because I think you're right, I see it in myself that desire for certainty. Like I just want to know that if I do this, it's gonna work. Like it's so doesn't work that way. As much as we all so deeply want it. We want both certainty and creative freedom and expression. And it's like,

Unknown Speaker 7:41
oh, like that doesn't?

Jenny Shih 7:42
doesn't work like that. I know, I wish I had the answer. But it really is. It teaches us to like, really, I don't trust and just be in the moment. As much as that is such a cliche. It's so true. It's like how do we embrace what we want right now knowing we don't know what's gonna happen and learning to be okay with that. And oh, it's no wonder why it's messy.

Kathleen Shannon 8:06
It's so messy. How do you cultivate that trust in your own work in life? Well,

Jenny Shih 8:12
you know, I think you said, Emily, I love how you just sort of went I don't remember exactly what you said, but went like slowly with the flow the whole time. I'm like, Oh, I so did not do that. I learned that. That's what it all taught me anything. It's just practice. You know, I quit my job in 2009. And here it is 2016. So I've been at this for, I don't know, seven and a half years now is that eight and a half years, I can't do math. For how good I am with math. I am missing anyway. So I've been practicing this for a while and I quit my job and said I you know with certainty this is going to work and it totally wasn't true. And I think in the moment, we just were forced into these places where, where we get challenged, so I quit my job and the clients didn't come in right away. And it was a struggle, and I just had to face it. Like that was just reality. I didn't, I couldn't escape. I don't have a trust fund. It wasn't like I could just give up it was we are now in this critical moment. And you must decide what you're going to do. And I think and it was really stressful. And now I can just be like, Oh yeah, okay, this is one of those moments, where I don't know what's gonna happen. But but but I'm okay. And I can just be okay. It makes me really uncomfortable. But I can be okay being uncomfortable. I don't know. It's it's a squishy answer. I'm sorry. I didn't have anything worse.

Kathleen Shannon 9:33
Practice. I think that what I'm hearing you say is that trust is a practice and just like you're never blessed with the meaning of life or your purpose in the world. You're not really blessed with trust or faith. It's totally something that you have to practice and cultivate in yourself and in your business and looking back on those experiences where you felt scared shitless But you came out the other side, knowing that you're still okay. And really harnessing those experiences as evidence for moving forward. So I want to hear a little bit more about success without sacrifice. So first, let's like kind of pick this apart a little bit. Let's kind of define success and define sacrifice and then see how do we achieve one without the other.

Jenny Shih 10:21
All right, I love I love that you just wanted to pick this apart, I think that's fantastic. So I define success as whatever you want. So I'm not going to tell you, Kathleen, or tell you, Emily, what you should want to achieve. Because it's such a personal thing. I'm not here to say that your morning routine should consist of meditation, yoga, you know, dry toast, and then a green smoothie. Like I don't, I don't, I don't not want to tell you how to live your life. And so success is whatever you want, whatever matters to you. And so success for me is having a business that gives me the flexibility to live my life how I want. And that might sound really vague to you. But I know for myself what that means what that flexibility looks like, what that freedom looks like what that life means. And then, and so you're each going to define success for yourself differently. We have a friend in common, who is looking to be very, very ultra famous and very noteworthy in her life. And that's what success looks like for her. That is not what success looks like for me, but I want her to embrace her definition of success. So forget what everybody says it should be an own that for yourself.

Kathleen Shannon 11:31
Can I ask you a little bit more about that, because I think that we get bombarded with these images of success every single day on social media. So even as we're being told, as we're sharing the message of define what success means for you, it is so easy to fall into that comparison trap, and really look to other people to help us understand what success is. So how do you think we can really get tangible or tactical or actionable about really defining what it is that we want? Whenever sometimes we don't even know?

Jenny Shih 12:03
I think that's a great question. Because just like, just like quitting my job, and all the paths that took me to where I am today was not clear. And it was not defined. And I didn't trust myself. And I had to learn to do that. I think we also I think defining success for ourselves is a learned process. So I didn't, I didn't always know what that meant. So back when I was in my corporate career, before I had the realization that I wouldn't stay there forever, I kind of had imagined in my head that I would be a VP one day because that just sort of seemed like a natural path for me and who I was. And but over time, I would just ask myself little questions like, is that really what I want. And they would notice the kind of role that the VP played and say what it would be like if I put myself in their shoes. And the first thing was is, you know, if you're a VP of Hewlett Packard, you have to own Hewlett Packard computers, and I am a Mac girl. And so I would just notice all of these little in consistencies between what that would look like and what I really want. And so when it comes to entrepreneurship, we might say, I want to run like a $10 million company, we'll start noticing like, hey, what would that look like? If I ran a $10 million? company? Well, wow, I probably have to have a paid employees, staff of 20 people, I might have to have off site meetings where we all get together twice a month, I would have to be much more rigid with my calendar, I don't know. But to start to notice, what would that actually be like? Is that what I really want? So we start to have to get gently inquisitive, like this is supposed to be? I think the process of defining success is supposed to be like a gentle exploration not we have enough things that we're supposed to do hard and push and hustle in this and exploring what success means should feel. Freeing, you know, does that answer your question?

Kathleen Shannon 13:52
Yes. And it's so good. I'm typing these up as tweetable is right. The work of our virtual assistant, I'm just writing it down, because it's such a good reminder.

Jenny Shih 14:04
Yeah. And so then your original question was, let's define success. And let's define sacrifice. So success is whatever you want. And you have to get quiet and get contemplative contemplate it for whatever however you say that, about what what that is for you. And sacrifice is the same thing. So what are you not willing to give up on your path to success, I am personally not willing to sacrifice my free time, or my health and well being other people aren't willing to sacrifice time with their kids, or travel or it doesn't matter. And so success without sacrifices, owning what you want and refusing to give up what's most important to you. Now, it doesn't mean with success without any sacrifice. It's sort of like, you know, we are humans living in a human world where there are consequences to our decisions. I want a lot of freedom. It means I might make a little bit less money. Somebody wants to make a whole lot more money. Maybe have a Have a little less freedom or free time, or maybe their health will go, you know, be a lower priority. It's this balancing act that we get to decide for ourselves.

Emily Thompson 15:08
Well, and I really see that as like as you setting your priorities and like having a nice like list of them in, like, in levels of priority of what are the things that you're not going to budge on? And, you know, for me, it's not waking up early in the morning. Like, that is the thing, right? Like, if I ever have to have an alarm clock to wake up in the morning, like non negotiable? I will not, we

Kathleen Shannon 15:32
are not members of the 5am No

Unknown Speaker 15:34

Emily Thompson 15:35
no way I, I'm this morning, I woke up after 8am like and was so okay with it. Um, so that is one thing for me that I'm never going to give up. That is something I'm willing to sacrifice. But you know, I do like working at home. But if I needed to have an office space, again, maybe in the future, like, that's something that for the right for the right outcomes I might budge on. Um, but not just for anything. So I think like having those like nice levels of priority. And really, that takes some hardcore mindfulness that takes some sincere in depth, like thinking about what it is that you want, and really prioritizing it out and weighing them out. And that takes some some conversations with yourself. Gentle exploration, I liked that.

Kathleen Shannon 16:24
So interesting about this right now, Emily, whenever you mentioned having an office space, how that would be sacrificing some of your flexibility. For me right now I feel like I'm sacrificing the office space itself, in order to accomplish some of the other things that I want to accomplish that are high priorities for me right now. So it's interesting how sometimes your sacrifices can kind of bend and shape and and what was once a sacrifice is now kind of a success story. Right. And so we've been so excited to like the first time you ever had your own office space, and we're working outside of the home, that was a total success. Now that would be a total sacrifice. interesting how that kind of ebbs and flows in the life of an entrepreneur. I My issue is that I want it all like, yeah, things are a priority. But probably whenever I get really serious, and really think about it, like what is my non negotiable. And that helps me understand what I'm not going to sacrifice, like my non negotiable is working out every single day non negotiable. I put it on my calendar, and it happens.

Jenny Shih 17:34
Yes, yeah, I think you make a great point. Because success without sacrifice isn't something that's stagnant throughout our whole lives, you know, I know you've got a little one at home, and having a little little kid is going to be very different from having a teenager, and how that shows up in your life and how you fit in your time. And so it's a balancing act, always, you know, it's not like we're going to find the answer forever. We're going to find the answer for now and honor that. And so there's that gentle awareness that always has to be with us as we continue to grow as humans and as business owners and as our business owners grow, to make sure we're really being deliberate about creating what we want. I think that that's the piece that's really important is that deliberate choice, because so many people just feel flailed around by circumstance, that they don't realize how much of it is actually a choice at the end of the day that they get to decide they may not like the choices. But they are choices.

Emily Thompson 18:30
Oh, I love that. So it's not just like mindfulness, once it's not you sitting down with your business model and going this is how I want to work from now until forever. But it's showing up and seeing what's working for you and what's not working for you. And I think that's something we can all relate to, in terms of our very windy paths that have gotten us to where we are, is that we're not okay with the status quo. If we're not feeling totally happy with it. We're consistently mindfully showing up and seeing what's working, what's not working, and making changes when and where they need to be made. And I think from that, like, all three of us are pretty happy. I think in our life and businesses. We're all working the way we want to, we're obviously not waking up at the crack of dawn. Like we are we're doing we're really finding success for ourselves without making sacrifices that we're not okay making. And I think that I think that is definitely attributed to our ability to just like, talk to ourselves and find out what it is that we want and be able to structure a life and business around our priorities.

Jenny Shih 19:37
I think one other thing I'll just throw in there on that is that realizing also that we're human, and we may say, for example, that we want to eat healthier, and it's important and if it's not a habit yet we might not do it perfectly all the time, and not use those opportunities as another way to beat ourselves up for not being good enough because as women I think that gets in Then put in the mix. Also, we think, Okay, this is what I want, I know my priorities, I'm gonna go do them. And then we fall short of our own expectations. And we just make it we make an unnecessary deal about it. But instead, how do we, how do we notice what we want, when we don't always live up to what we want? And how do we slowly gently coax ourselves to making those changes? You know,

Kathleen Shannon 20:20
that makes me think about this balance that I'm constantly trying to find between being present with where I'm at being grateful with what I've got, but still harnessing the ambition to move forward and to reach my goals. So I'm curious if you have any thoughts on that, like, how do you balance? You know, because that's kind of the balance between success and sacrifice, right? is being grateful for where you're at, but still having the ambition and kind of wanting something that's a little bit out of reach? Yeah, I

Jenny Shih 20:51
love I love this conversation. Because as much as I am, I'm not an engineer anymore, of course. But as much as my brain loves structures and systems and processes and steps, and as much as I love to teach those to my clients, venturing more into talking about success without sacrifice takes me away from that structure and into this much more squishy around, which is really uncomfortable for me, because I like that certainty. But because I wish I had a really good answer for you. I wish I could say here are the three steps to, to balancing reality and appreciation for what you have with ambition for going I was hoping

Kathleen Shannon 21:30
as an engineer that would have those three steps.

Jenny Shih 21:33
One day, maybe right now I don't but one day, one day I made, but I think it's exactly what you said, just holding like, you know, in one hand holding, I am so grateful right now. So I am so grateful I have the most amazing assistant on the planet. She is a friend of mine from college, and it was crazy how it happened to be an everyday I'm like, oh, my goodness, this is amazing. And I pay her well. And then on the other hand, it's like, okay, she helps me take care of so much. But I want to go further. And so at the same time just owning that. I am a complex, unpredictable human being who loves and like deeply appreciates my most amazing team. And I want more. I think it's just being okay with both of those, like, I can deeply appreciate what's working, and I can so want this other thing, but not let this wanting be painful. Like you know, sometimes you want something and it's like, oh, this like desperation that sort of hurts. And then sometimes there's this like, striving that feels so good. And so how do you make that that ambition you have feel good, like, if it gets to that point of like, it feels really gross, then like, okay, check in like where that might not be the right attitude, I don't know to have towards it. But if it feels like a positive, exciting striving, then then that might be that might be the thing to follow the thread to follow. But I once I have my three steps, you'll be the first to know.

Kathleen Shannon 23:03
No, but I think that it's really good just to shine a light on the fact that a lot of us want things beyond where we're at. But at the same time, we can be grateful for what we have. And as you were saying that when it brought to mind was this idea of desire versus not being satisfied. Right? and How fun is it to desire something? So I'm obviously thinking of it, like almost in a sexy context, right?

Emily Thompson 23:31
You are Kathleen?

Kathleen Shannon 23:32
I mean, I can't help. But right, like, what fun would it be if you're just like walking around orgasming all the time. That's the one thing of it that makes it fun. It's not bad to take it there.

Emily Thompson 23:46
No, no, it's very calculated. Now well, and maybe not along those lines. But I think the thing that I want to touch on, I think the thing that I want to touch on regarding this and this idea of like being grateful. And like being ambitious, is the amount of guilt. I know that comes with like both feeling grateful for things which I think that can stir up gildan people with like, why do I have these things especially if like you'd be reborn into like having more things than others? Or even even the guilt that comes from working for things and earning things but still feeling guilty about it. Next to the guilt of wanting more things. So I'd love to hear from both of you about that. Let's get all life cocci for a second about people who feel guilt both for the things they already have and for the things they know they want

Jenny Shih 24:45
ah I I would say I get it. Like I really get it part of me part of me feels that way about what I've created like how how did this happen? like wow but but when I if I choose to feel guilty about What I've created, it makes me feel really sick in my stomach. And I think to myself, how is me feeling guilty and sick to my stomach ever going to help me help more people. But instead, if I say if I say something like, holy cow, I do not know how I got this lucky, I have created something beyond my wildest dreams. And I know I still have so much further to go, this is crazy. And I am going to just appreciate what I have. Because when I sit with and this sounds really cheesy, but when I just allow myself to be grateful for it, as opposed to feel guilty about it, I now have all this extra energy to help other people do the same thing. But if I choose to wallow in my guilt, I go small, and I feel shitty, and life isn't good. And I'm not out there helping me people. But if I choose to acknowledge like, Damn, this is good. What can I do for other people? It's good. That feeds me to help others.

Emily Thompson 25:57
Perfect. That's exactly what I wanted to hear. Okay, good.

Kathleen Shannon 26:00
I think that my guilt shows up a lot around being a mom and then feeling bad about feeling bad. So for example, last night, Fox woke up a couple of times, and I have ongoing struggles with sleep deprivation, and probably a little bit of PTSD around it. So I woke up really upset. And then I got upset at myself for being upset, like how lucky am I that I have a healthy, thriving child? And I'm upset about like, what losing a couple of hours of sleep? Who the fuck do I think I am, right? So that's how my guilt shows up is I feel bad for feeling bad. So then I decide a lot like Jenny, my guilt is serving nobody. So why don't I just let myself feel bad about being sleep deprived, and then move on. And I think that whenever I can really embrace the feeling of feeling bad, I'm able to process it and get over it. And then I can move on. And I think that whenever I think about guilt, it's one of the lowest vibrating emotions in our body. It's why it makes you feel sick to your stomach, right. And I don't want to attract any of that, to me, I don't want my bad feelings to resonate with anybody. So I purposefully choose to transform it into something that is higher vibrating, and like what is the highest vibrating emotion, love, right? So I'm constantly choosing love over guilt. And I think that a theme that is coming up in this episode is just trust and practice, I have to practice love over guilt, it doesn't come to me very easily, especially in dark, dark moments. And this doesn't just apply to motherhood, it applies to being a creative entrepreneur, every single day, it applies to fitness and health habits and everything else. So that's kind of my take on it. Guilt serves nobody,

Jenny Shih 27:57
I love that you said choice. I'm gonna choose not to feel guilty, because I think a lot of times we think we're the victims of our circumstances and to recognize that even what we feel is a choice. And, and I love that you said I allow myself to feel bad for being sleep deprived. Like, we don't need to pile on other things like guilt, but it's okay to feel tired and cranky. And like you had a bad day. And so I I want to say yes to that too. Because I should have included that in my answer. And it was good with

Kathleen Shannon 28:29
it. Well, Jimmy, let me ask you, because I know that you continue to grow your business while battling with a serious disease. And I mean, that's something that you could start to really feel bad about feeling bad about or fall into a pity party or just give up and I know that we have a lot of listeners who also battled with chronic diseases, or chronic inflammation or insomnia or anything else. And so I'm curious, how did you manage that? So

Jenny Shih 29:00
back in back in 2010, so I had been gone for my job for about a year, I started to be like, something's not right. Like, I don't know what's not right, but something's just not right. And bad doctors and a lot of guilt and a lot of other things. Couple years later, over two years later, I was like, No, no, something is really, really wrong. Like I am not I heard everywhere. My brain is foggy, my body hurts. And so a couple more doctors and a whole bunch of tests and another nine months later, and I realized I have Lyme disease. And it Lyme disease is the kind of thing where you start to treat it and you feel so much worse before you feel better. And so about a year let's see. I start to lose track of time, but about a year and a half of treating Lyme. I was in a really, it was really hard. So I had energy to work maybe five to 15 hours a week. Definitely no more than 20 there was just like the brain And the physical stamina, which sounds crazy, right? Because you sit at our computers all day. Like we're out there, like lifting garbage cans or anything, at most 20 hours a week, and what it forced me to do was get super deliberate about my choices and about my priorities and about what was really important. And as the primary breadwinner in our household not working wasn't really an option, you know? Sure, yes, it was an option, we could have sold our house, we've got a fair amount of equity in our house, we could have sold our house and moved in with my in laws. But you know, that wasn't a sacrifice I wanted to make. So instead of had to get really deliberate about everything I did, and so that's when I first started hiring out social media help, because I thought, well, if I can spend 30 minutes less per day, with social media, figuring out what the post etc, that will help. I upped my hours for with my virtual assistant, and I got really picky about what I did. So I had to make hard choices. So for example, I would get interview requests, and we turned every single one down and people got mad. They're like, What do you mean, are you too good did not have time for us. And like you don't even know like, that's not, this is so not about you. And it really had, I had to get focused on serving my clients because I had to make money. Oh, making money to pay the bills was number one. And the way to do that was to serve my clients the best I could. So they got all my energy. And everywhere else, I had to start cutting back, I had to be deliberate about those choices that I was making. And as I've gotten better, I'm not all the way better, but I'm maybe 90% better. I get to add back in. But I still have this learning of what's really most important. Where do I really want to put my energy? Is that worth the time? Is it not worth the time? And and it's made me more efficient. It's made me more. I don't know, like I dissect what I do better? Like, is this really worth the time? Is this good for short term or long term? Or is it right? Is it the right strategy? Is it where I want to go long term, and forces so I sound so I hate sounding cliche, but there's always something to learn from hard times. And I didn't know in the moment. So when I was my sickest. I wasn't grateful for being sick. But on the other side, I can see Oh, like this required me to do things I wouldn't have done if I hadn't gotten sick. And I can now see them as like, okay, yeah, that really sucked. It was horrible. But there's all these good things I got out of it, and that I'm sure I'll still get out of it. So anybody who's in the middle of it, just it's okay. If you're miserable and unhappy and it sucks. Like It's okay. Don't, don't artificially try to make yourself feel grateful for it like Kathleen's sleep deprivation, like you don't have to be grateful for for it in the moment and look at what it look at what it's forcing you to do to help your business because there's, there's a little glimmer in there of it's pointing you to somewhere better. I feel like that's what it did for me. just

Emily Thompson 32:58
soak that up nicely.

Kathleen Shannon 33:00
I watched a documentary on it. But this, and this goes into a deeper conversation. And you can cut this out, Cory, but it's like, Lyme is one of those diseases that you really have to advocate for yourself. Because there's not a lot of research around it. For some reason doctors are not taking it seriously. It's a really, you know, actually don't cut this out. Because I feel like there are a lot of battling with Lyme disease. And it's a really complex thing that just isn't I don't understand what the deal is with it. But I wonder if did you have to advocate for yourself in? I mean, obviously, and getting tested and really telling people? No, there's something wrong. And I wonder if advocating for yourself in that way. Again, that glimmer of hope gave you some confidence to really advocate for yourself in your business and to advocate for your clients and just believe in moving direction or changing things whenever they feel wrong. And really make your right. Oh, there's

Jenny Shih 33:57
so much we can say here, Kathleen, and I kind of like have that chill of Oh, we're supposed to talk about this. So I'm glad you asked the question. But I will try. I mean, we could talk live and I'm not even the most educated person online, we could talk line for hours because there is medical politics, like it kind of scares when I started reading what the Centers for Disease Control has done and said and what the medical American Medical Association has done and said are on Lyme disease. There are doctor I mean, it's it's kind of like a little bit like a like a movie. It's really it's we'll just leave it as it's crazy. what goes on in the medical community around Lyme disease. And there are a lot of Lyme illiterate doctors. So one of the one of the terms in the Lyme community if you say to say is an LL D, which is a Lyme literate doctor like somebody who actually understands what's happening in your body when you get Lyme disease. So people seek out these and so the what happened in 2010 when I went to the doctor was like I'm just not right like my brain is not right. I feel Have funny, there's a few things that were not working. But overall, like all my normal tests were normal. So she wrote me off as some just like annoying little girl who didn't know what she was doing. And she really shamed me in for coming to her office and complaining that I wasn't right. It took me another two years. Luckily, I went to the next doctor I went to was a Lyme literate naturopath. And so she, her first diagnosis actually wasn't lime, it was something else that we treated for six months, and I was like, I'm not look better. And she goes, Oh, I should have known better. We need to test you for Lyme and it came back and she's like, I know exactly what we need to do. So I got lucky compared to most people, a lot of people will just they'll be strung from doctor to doctor they'll get you get Bell's palsy, which is like, like partial paralysis, they start to like they not be able to walk. I mean, I had a friend who was seriously sick, like in a wheelchair, unable to do anything, people get really sick from Lyme. But what I find so there's a lot of controversy about whether you can heal for Lyme and what chronic chronic Lyme is, and I'm not a doctor, but what I have come to believe is true is true for me, is that I am currently Lyme is gone. I am now dealing with healing my body from the treatment of Lyme because Lyme really killing Lyme is worse than having it does all sorts of stuff to your nervous system and messes with your brain. It's really screws up everything top to bottom. I won't leave out the details of everything. But I believe I believe that I have now eliminated Lyme I have one antibodies because that's what happens in your body. But now I'm on the road to recovering from the effects of having Lyme and all the treatments more than any other disease. Okay, that's a really radical statement. What I because I don't really know if that's true. One of the things I think about Lyme is it teaches us to be deeper in tune with ourselves and anyone else, any other anything else because it's like tricky, and lime has these. Alright, I'm gonna do my best to keep this short. Lime has a funny life cycle. And it does certain things when antibiotics go treat it like kind of hides in your system. So you have to sort of coax it out and then kill it. But then as you start to kill it, it tries to hide again. And so you've got you've got to start to play this dance with Lyme. And one of the things I learned was to really listen, so I started on antibiotics. And that was the right thing. And I moved to these herbal tinctures. And every day, I would ask myself, how many drops of this should I take? And some days it was none. Some days it was 20. Some days it was two. And I didn't always know it. Pardon me. I don't know if this is the right number. It's like, well, what else are you going to base this on? And what I found is, the more I listened to what felt like the right answer whether I knew it was true or not, the better I started to get some days it was like go sit in the sauna for as long as you can handle it. Some days it was go for a run some days, it was stay in bed. And it felt like I was just following these random instructions. But I decided the doctor is not going to know any better than I do. And in fact, most doctors get frustrated, the really good ones get frustrated when their patients only listen to them. Because they're the doctors, they're really good one say you know your body best, you know your symptoms best. And so I think you're right in that going through this whole experience, I had nobody else to trust about myself, the doctor can know some can throw me some suggestions. But I've got to decide what's right for me. And I think business is the same way. Nobody knows the answer for you, or for you or for anybody else or for me. So I've just sort of got to take a really good guess and like bet on my own team, that we know what we're gonna do. Okay, so I don't know that no,

Kathleen Shannon 38:41
no, I think it is so fascinating. And getting in tune with your body whenever it comes to health issues, or parenting or any of the things that come up in our life. And I put life in quotation marks because I think that so often we're likely to separate work in life, right? And we're trying to find this work life balance. But really, it's all the same, the same resources that we're drawing from as parents are often the same resources that we're drawing from as business owners, and really learning how to trust your body. And your intuition there, I'm sure plays a huge role in your business. And so I'm wondering how you help coach creative entrepreneurs into trusting their own intuition and working smarter and not harder.

Unknown Speaker 39:32

Jenny Shih 39:32
there's so many levels to that question. So some of it is I think about my beginner clients, people are just starting out with their businesses. They they're, and I'm sure you guys see that they're looking for the right answer. Okay. And there is no one right answer I tell my clients, I'm gonna teach you the journey Seaway is not the only way that works. My way does work, but it's not the only one. So I'm not going to pretend that I have like, you know, a fast path. The only way to make your business successful because nobody does. anybody tells you that it's totally like So I'll tell them, I'm going to tell you what works. But I'm also going to tell you, where you have to trust yourself. And you might not want to trust yourself, and you might get really mad at me. But I can't tell you, for example, I can't tell you who you would most love to serve as clients. I can't know that for you. But I can ask you questions to help you figure that out for yourself. But you then are just like, like, with everything we've talked about today, I'm going to give you some questions, you're going to take your very best guess and we're just going to go for it. We don't know if it's going to work. We don't know if it's not going to work. But this is the only way forward. And so at the beginning, it's really learning to small ways to trust yourself and show them I'm not afraid of you trying this, because I know that it's gonna be okay. I know, you might be afraid, but I'm not afraid for you. It's fine. And then as we get more advanced in our businesses, starting to say, Okay, how can we be smarter about what we're doing? Where do you love what you're doing? Where do you not love what you're doing? What would feel fun to try and really starting, you know, more advanced business owners have many more things to manage, they've got people to manage, they've got their own time, they've got the strategy for their business. So in each one of those areas, what's working, what's not working? What would you like to see different again, sort of starting with that gentle exploration, which sounds really squishy, but if we just try to hit everything hard like a hammer, you're not going to get to success without sacrifice. So success without sacrifice isn't a bootcamp. Like we're not gonna get you to the boot camp, we're gonna get you there by slowly asking questions about what would like you up?

Kathleen Shannon 41:30
One thing I love about the questions is that it's really about living in the process of being a creative entrepreneur, and really going back to testing and changing and one of the things that Emily talks about a lot is treating your business model, like a science experiment, and you're going to make a hypothesis, you're going to make your best guess as to what will work. And sometimes failure and knowing what doesn't work is actually a really great answer. whenever it comes to a scientific experiment, like how many scientists are actually looking to fail,

Emily Thompson 42:01
right? All of them, all of them, you're supposed to come up with, with experiments that are supposed to prove the thing wrong, like that's how signed is work, you go after failure, and it's happy when you get success.

Unknown Speaker 42:17
Yes, yes.

Kathleen Shannon 42:19
So I'm also curious to hear your point of view, something that I've been thinking about a lot lately is holding really big vision, and really big business goals with balancing and holding that with the daily grind, and the daily tasks and the daily to dues. So again, kind of like we were talking about earlier of holding gratitude and presence for where you are with what you want. Next. How do you take that to a business place where you're holding that big vision with the daily grind? Oh,

Jenny Shih 42:52
it's so good. I think there are two ways to look at that. One is, I see a lot of people come to me and say, I want to be not a lot of people with this example. But this is one example of what I see people doing. They say, I want to be Danielle Laporte. She just writes and creates and speaks and that's it. And so how do I get started? And I say, Do you know that Danielle Laporte used to do $199 coaching sessions? And and that's where I think you should start, I think you need to start figuring out what it is you have to say before you jump there. And and some of it is just practical, like you've got to start where you are. A lot of times we have this big vision, we think, how do I make this big vision? How do I be Oprah tomorrow, it's like, let's talk about how Oprah became Oprah. Let's go back to 1982, or whatever it was, she got started. So I think the first part is acknowledging when we're wanting to jump to the end before we're ready to jump to the end, like I couldn't have quit my job and do what I do. Now. I had to do all those other things before I got here. And I'm sure it's the same for you guys. You didn't. You didn't go from zero to being boss. Awesome. Like, overnight, there was all these things that happened, like some coincidences, some mistakes, some some good things. So I think we first have to choose to sort of check ourselves with where we are in where we are in the process of achieving our dreams.

Kathleen Shannon 44:12
Yeah, I mean, it took us 10 years to be an overnight success.

Jenny Shih 44:18
Right, exactly. It's so good. And so so a little bit of that check in, and then at the same time, not letting go of this vision. So I have this very vague picture of where I might be in 10 years. But I'm also so clear, and I used to stress myself out of it, like what am I going to do to make this happen? And if I check in, I hear a really quiet like, later, like, leader, it's not time right now. Like, okay, you're right. And I start to freak out about it. And I'll just, I just check in with that vision. And I hear later, like, not now like, Oh, yeah, yeah, right. Now, what do I need to do now? Oh, right. Right now I have to write a blog post, you know, like really bringing it back to the days of honoring and holding that vision, but also being really clear. But where we are in the process of creating it and not jumping to the end before we're ready for it.

Emily Thompson 45:05
And to get really tactical with that, especially because you have such a background with like project management and stuff, I'd love to hear a little bit about like, what that actually like daily task list task list looks like and like how you manage that, I mean, having big picture but also coming back to that, like, finite, here are the actual things that I have to do today. What does that look like for you?

Jenny Shih 45:27
Okay, perfect. So I think this is super important place to differentiate between achievable goals and big visions. So in my mind, I have this like, sort of intangible and result vision sort

Emily Thompson 45:41
of like doesn't include like your own personal Island, because mine kind of includes my own personal

Jenny Shih 45:48
there's an island. Yes and No, this is more of my professional. I'm seeking more terms, but there's there's an island out there. Yeah, I haven't I my husband, I joke about the island. That's where we go to escape all the crazies.

Kathleen Shannon 46:00
Just imagine a bunch of bugs on an island.

Unknown Speaker 46:03
But if you can make it your own, I think we'd have a bug free Island. Yeah,

Emily Thompson 46:06

Unknown Speaker 46:08
bug free. Okay, you guys,

Kathleen Shannon 46:09
I've heard you know how Disneyworld has Island, huh? Apparently, at night, it's just covered in bugs? Oh, I bet and it's totally creepy and disgusting. And then during the day, like all the bugs go away whenever all the tourists are there. Hmm, that's just what I've heard. Keep going.

Jenny Shih 46:28
Okay, so I think we have to differentiate between future vision of having an island or whatever like that, like real vision, like there's no it's not, you can't really touch and feel it, it just feels like a little bit hazy. There's an essence to it. But that's it. No, that's like, I want to be Oprah one day, that's or I want to have an island or whatever your big vision is, I want to differentiate that from I have a launch in January that I need to start planning for, and I have a vision for what that launch will look like. And so this this extra of this big picture, Island vision, oops, that's different that sort of has some like space in my heart. But I'm not actually doing anything about it right now. Because I'm really clear right now that I can't do anything to achieve this vision. In this moment, my job right now is to do the next big project. So really starting to bring bring the vision down to a level of execution, because there are some visions that are not ready to be executed on. But when it comes to the thing you want to execute on. So for example, in my next launch in January, I set aside time to plan we've got it doesn't just happen, the planning doesn't happen. The steps Don't, don't get written out, it doesn't get put in Basecamp, where our whole team managers that I've got to sit down and figure out what does this look like? What do I want to create? How specific Can I get? And once then it has like edges, once it can feel what this project is that it's sitting down with my team and be like, Alright, here's what we're gonna do. What are all the things we need to do to make that happen? And when it was just me before there was a team, it was just me sitting down and writing pen and paper, what are all the steps that need to happen? What dates do those steps need to happen by what order they put in? And then I would look at them in order and say, Oh, wait, I forgot this or I'm going to need this other thing and then hold myself accountable to those steps. It's very unsexy. But that is how the big stuff happens. So whether you're solo or a big team, the same things have to happen. You have to do it. You have to figure out what the steps are. You got to put due dates on them. You gotta do the steps by the due dates. I mean, that really, that's is that step is a step enough for you. Yes,

Kathleen Shannon 48:36
yes, that is exactly what we do over here. And coming back to that big island vision and, or the wanting to be Oprah every time I get really impatient. I'm like you, Jenny, were I? I think not yet. And oftentimes, it's because I don't have the capacity to handle it yet. If I trained Oprah tomorrow, I only have a stroke.

Jenny Shih 49:01
I think it's like all of those young kids who become like overnight, movie stars or or like,

Emily Thompson 49:09
right, we don't turn into Lindsay Lohan, like that.

Kathleen Shannon 49:15
I've heard about movie or celebrities that get famous at a really young age is that it stunts their growth. So think about Britney Spears, she became famous when she was what 13 are you much still a 13 year old, or even Michael Jackson. I heard that because he became famous whenever he was five years old. That's why he was so obsessed with recapturing his youth because he had to grow up so fast, right? And he was kind of stunted in this five year old mindset in a lot of ways. But I think that you know, I, I recognize I don't have the capacity, the capacity yet to handle all this big vision that I really desperately want for sure. But what I'm going to do is just do the best that I can with I've got Emily and I were just chatting with our community about business models. And a lot of them, were asking us how we can create a community like being boss. And we didn't really set out to do that we just set out to write the best posts that we could write, to record the best content we could on these podcasts. And that's all we can do. And then it just trusting again, the concept of trust coming up here trusting that it would take us to that big vision that we were holding to that island vision, or that Oprah vision or whatever it might look like. But what's cool about trusting the process is that then your vision will unfold the way it's really supposed to and in a way that is really meaningful and authentic and entirely unique to your own path.

Jenny Shih 50:47
Yeah, yeah. And you know what I love about how you guys started being boss podcast, which is such a perfect example. It's like, Hey, I think I think this is the story. I remember Emily saying, Hey, I think we should do a podcast together. Sure. That'd be cool. Like, it was not like, I'm gonna do a podcast because it's part of this big strategic plan to become Oprah. It was more like you felt pulled from this, like, pure heart place. You can't think that that doesn't like that doesn't just get made from our heads that gets made from someplace deeper. And sometimes that's where the best business things come from. So yes, yes, that's

Emily Thompson 51:26
good. No, I completely agree with that. I think I think what I'm definitely taking you away from this is, is what I feel like I take from everything these days, I'm really thinking about tattooing, trust the process, like on my forehead, because that really is what what all of this creative entrepreneur love, what you love, like, be who you are, that's where it all comes from, is it's not forcing anything, it's not wanting to be like someone else and doing their model, or whatever it is, it's listening to what it is that makes you feel good, having clear priorities around what it is that you are willing to sacrifice and what you're not willing to sacrifice, and holding those true as you build a business for yourself. Um, I'll let you guys know, whenever I get that tattoo on my face, I think that I think it's gonna be a big awesome thing.

Kathleen Shannon 52:16
Okay, I've got one last question for you, Jenny. And it's, it's kind of a tricky one. It's about money. Okay, so I feel like we've been having this conversation a lot lately around money, and what to do whenever you're freaking out about money. And Emily, and I see time and time again, creative entrepreneurs, making it really hard on themselves to make money. And I was curious, in what ways Have you seen creatives making it harder on themselves to make money? Like, what are the blocks there? And what do you think that they could do right now to make more money without working harder?

Jenny Shih 52:52
Oh, there's so so many nuances to this question. Money brings up so much stuff, doesn't it? No, right?

Kathleen Shannon 53:00
Why does money like it seem to hold all of our worthiness in it?

Jenny Shih 53:04
so hard? So hard, I would say the first thing is to let go of the mental drama associated with money. So I think it's really easy for people to post on various places online, like, Oh, I just had my first whatever my first big launch, I sold my first big programmer, I just made this much money or blah, blah, blah. I think what happens is, I have no problem with people celebrating like, I'm all like, go celebrate, that's awesome, you should celebrate. But what happens on the everybody else's end? Not everybody for everybody else, but people who see that then make that means something about themselves, and then take somebody else's when and use it to shame themselves and to not being good enough or to Why haven't I got there yet? Or I started my business two months ago, why aren't you making six figures yet so and so said they did. I think there's so much backstory, and there's so many other pieces to to making money and each of our own journey. And I think there's maybe a little bit of karma and a little a little past experience and a little bit of things that we just varied us that we just don't know, that come into it. So the first thing is to stop using everybody else's stories to mean that your story should be different. Because then that frees you it frees your brain to then start making the right choices for you. So this is the first thing that I would say around money.

Kathleen Shannon 54:25
Right? I love that.

Jenny Shih 54:28
It's not to say how to make more money, but it's the first that it's the first thing you got to deal with your head. Right? Yeah, I

Kathleen Shannon 54:34
I feel like there's this mindset out there that there's only so much money in the world, and that if someone else is making a lot of it, it means that you aren't going to or that they're taking something from you. And I'm all about the idea of not really thinking of it as a pie that we're all trying to slice up. But what if we could just all make the pie bigger, and what if as creative entrepreneurs, we could start to create an economy That demands the pie gets bigger, versus trying to get it from other people, which I think is a very corporate model. Well, I

Jenny Shih 55:08
just want to add like this, the engineer and me wants to add like a little bit of scientific evidence to back up your statement, please. Last time I checked, the world's population is continuing to grow. That means there's more people with more brainpower doing more things, which means there are more people who need what we do. I mean, just like if you think about it, from a math standpoint, we are creating money from our heads like, holy cow, when I was in high school, I never thought that I could sit and just type something, and then it would make me money. So we are finding all these novel ways to make money. And there are more and more people growing in the world, who have things who need to buy things, and need help getting through life. And I don't know, maybe maybe some people won't be satisfied with my pseudo scientific answer to this question. But I think from a very practical standpoint, there are more people who need to do more things. And since money is being created out of our brains, there's more. There's, there's plenty to go around. But there's no cap on this. And this now that I say this out loud, it doesn't sound super scientific, but I believe, really firmly.

Kathleen Shannon 56:20
So what are some ways that you think that someone right now, like an actionable tactics someone could do right now to make more money in their creative business? Wow. Okay. Or maybe like, what have you seen in your own clients that you've helped make more money?

Jenny Shih 56:36
I. So I like to look at their two pieces that I look at, it sort of depends on where you are, like, have you figured out how to make money yet? And you just want to make more? Or are you still trying to figure out how to make money in the first place? Because I think the answer is a little bit different. So if you're, if you're just starting, and you haven't made any money in your business, and you're just figuring it out, first thing is make sure you know, like, get a good plan, like, it doesn't have to be my plan. It doesn't have to be only your Kathleen's plan, but make sure you have a plan. Because I started out my life coach career coaching business without a plan, I just said, I'm going to get I'm going to get 10 private clients, I'm going to fill two group programs. And I'm going to do these three classes. And I was like, Okay, that sounds really good. But how am I going to get those people to sign up? So the first thing is, you've got to have a plan that brings people to you and a lot of people think, oh, to spend money on Facebook ads? Well, no, it's not really a plan. So if you're just starting out and you want to make money, you've got to have a plan, you've got to know exactly step by step, what exactly are you going to do that are going to get clients to pay you money, break that down, like 10x, more detailed than you think you need to, then if you're already making money, and you want to make more money, I have this blog post on how to double your rates with integrity and said just about doubling your rates. But the idea being, how do you add more value to your clients without it taking more of your time? And that's like sort of a fun problem to solve? How can I create better results for my people give them something more without it requiring more of my time? So like with a life coach, how do you create better results for your clients without just giving them more sessions? It forces you to get really creative. And often I find when we challenge ourselves to say how can I get better results? Because you can charge more for better results? How do you get people better results without it costing taking more of my time? That's where the most creative, powerful solutions come from my best programs came from me asking that question, how do I get better results for my clients? Instead of it being How do I make more money for me? It's or how do I get better results? Because naturally, more better results will result in more money, but make sure we're solving the right problem.

Emily Thompson 58:42
I love that I know that raising prices is something that our people, like shoot us emails about so often. So we'll be sure to add a link to that blog post in our show notes.

Kathleen Shannon 58:51
Awesome, for sure. All right, Jenny. Emily, do you have any more questions?

Emily Thompson 58:56
I don't think so.

Kathleen Shannon 58:58
Good chat. Thank you so much for hanging out with us. where can our listeners find more of you?

Unknown Speaker 59:04

Jenny Shih 59:04
thank you for having me. So I met Jenny she.com. And if they want to know more about success without sacrifice, I am doing something that I've never done before, which is I'm teaching a totally free six week and poetry so I'm not even selling anything at the end. Totally free pitch free class on success without sacrifice. What does that mean to you? And how do you create it in your own life in business and that's Jenny she.com. Slash s. w. o s success without sacrifice.

Kathleen Shannon 59:32
We'll be sure to include that in the show notes as well. Thank you again, so much for being boss and sharing so much good stuff and getting vulnerable and just honest with our listeners.

Jenny Shih 59:44
Oh, thank you for having me. And thank you, you too, for creating everything that you've done like holy freaking cow, your Facebook group is got to be hands down the most rockin business lady Facebook group on the planet and you're probably Cats are like droolworthy. So you like thank you both for being so awesome. And then I was like, oh, they're willing to have me on their show because you guys, your freakin bomb.

Emily Thompson 1:00:13
Oh listen we'll continue this love fast forward

Kathleen Shannon 1:00:22
for the month of October Emily and I will be hanging out live to continue the conversation every Wednesday afternoon, and we'd love for you to hang out with us. In these free hangouts we'll be talking about money authenticity online and redefining success. We'll also be answering any questions you might have about being boss in work in life. Learn more and reserve your spot for these hangouts at being boss club slash events. So what's the secret to being boss? The secret is that there is no secret. There is no single formula course or book that will teach you what you need to know in order to have anything and everything you want.

Emily Thompson 1:01:02
But here's what we've learned along the way. Being boss is setting up a solid foundation built on intention. It's understanding how to define success on your terms. It's committing to big ass goals. And it's breaking those big ass goals down into small actionable steps.

Kathleen Shannon 1:01:22
It's about making faster decisions, trusting yourself to see it through enjoying the process along the way, knowing how to measure what's working and what isn't. And surrounding yourself with smart, ambitious friends along the way. Those are the secrets to how bosses get what they want.

Emily Thompson 1:01:40
We know you want an online business that allows you to make money doing what you love, and boss we've got you. The being boss clubhouse is where we teach you how to be boss of your life and work.

Kathleen Shannon 1:01:52
The being boss clubhouse is a two day online real time retreat, followed by 12 months of ongoing community support, monthly master classes and secret podcast episodes. We're only accepting 25 members for our next online retreat. Learn more and apply to join at being boss club slash clubhouse. Thank you for listening to being boss. Please be sure to visit our website at being boss club where you can find Show Notes for this episode. Listen to past episodes and discover more of our content that will help you be boss in work and life. If you liked this episode, please share it with a friend and show us love by leaving a rating and review on iTunes. Do the

Emily Thompson 1:02:33
work. Be boss and we'll see you next week.