EP 027 | Empower Your Business Journey: Insights from Janine Bolon

Discover How Janine Bolin Transformed Challenges into Opportunities: Insights on Time Management, Mentorship, and the Power of Storytelling

Every so often, you meet someone whose story and insights leave a lasting impact. On this episode of the Invisible to Invincible Podcast, we have the pleasure of speaking with the remarkable Janine Bolon. A modern Renaissance woman, Janine’s journey spans from analytical biochemistry and the pharmaceutical industry to becoming an entrepreneur, mentor, and radio host. Currently running an online university with over 1,000 students and 112 online courses, Janine epitomizes reinvention and resilience.

 

Our conversation delves into the essence of community, storytelling, and mentorship—themes that define Janine’s multifaceted career. She shares invaluable strategies for reclaiming time, fostering self-confidence, and embracing the imperfect journey of entrepreneurship and self-development. Whether you’re an aspiring writer, a seasoned professional, or someone in between, Janine Bolon’s insights offer a navigational beacon in an increasingly complex world.

The Journey of a Modern Renaissance Woman

Janine Bolon’s career journey is nothing short of extraordinary. From her early days in analytical biochemistry and the pharmaceutical industry, Janine eventually discovered her true calling in self-development and entrepreneurship. Transitioning from a corporate role to homeschooling her four children, she launched her online university in 2015. Guided by an unwavering passion for helping others, Janine has created a supportive environment that nurtures her students’ growth.

 

Janine never let go of her love for radio, a passion ignited during her internship at Doniphan High School in 1982. She fondly recalls those days working with cassette tapes and reel-to-reel machines, showcasing the enduring power of storytelling and community building through radio.

Reclaiming Time and Building Community: The Power of Open Friday Coffee

One of Janine’s most compelling strategies that I loved to learn more about is one she has for reclaiming time. It’s her innovative “Open Friday Coffee” sessions. Through this initiative, she has managed to reclaim an impressive 11 hours weekly. These sessions bring together a group of 18 people for one-minute tech tips, branding insights, and SEO discussions, embodying the spirit of collaborative growth and shared wisdom.

 

Kendra Losee, our host, praises this community-building effort, emphasizing the importance of shared knowledge in our interconnected lives. Janine’s structured yet flexible approach not only enhances productivity but fosters genuine relationships. This initiative underscores the value of paying it forward and democratizing mentorship, making it accessible for all.

The Value of Mentorship with Janine Bolon: Past and Present

Mentorship has always been a game-changer for personal and professional growth. Janine pointed out how things have changed—these days, mentorship often comes with a price tag. But back in the day, finding a mentor was a different kind of challenge. That’s why Janine’s “Open Friday Coffee” is so special—it’s a free space that breaks down barriers for aspiring entrepreneurs and creators.

 

I couldn’t agree more with Janine. Keeping knowledge accessible is crucial. We both stress the importance of building self-confidence and creating a safe space to conquer fears. Janine’s success in helping others share their writing clearly shows the transformative power of mentorship and community.

Embracing Imperfection: Progress Over Perfection

In a world obsessed with perfection, Janine and I are all about celebrating progress over perfection. Janine’s advice to authors? Don’t sweat the small stuff or the minor critics. She believes that the pursuit of perfection can stifle creativity and keep you from sharing your unique voice with the world. 

 

Here’s a personal story: during my MFA program, I once received some less-than-constructive feedback from a classmate. It was a stark reminder that not all critiques are created equal.

Our conversation touches a nerve in today’s perfection-driven society, encouraging you to embrace your flaws and imperfections. Remember, some of the most authentic and impactful projects start from imperfect beginnings. It’s a lesson we’re both incredibly passionate about passing along.

The Power of Storytelling: Every Story Matters

Storytelling has always been a fundamental human tradition, and its impact is undeniable. Janine works with individuals to uncover their unique stories, encouraging them to present complete narratives instead of just the dramatic moments. She believes that everyone’s story, even the seemingly mundane parts, holds significance and can inspire others. Janine’s approach highlights the transformative power of understanding that what may seem ordinary to one person can be extraordinary to another.

 

I love bringing this theme to life with stories from my travels—because who doesn’t enjoy a little adventure? Whether it’s capturing the essence of small towns through quirky manhole covers or preserving personal histories through heartfelt legacy projects, storytelling is a powerful tool for connection and self-expression. Different perspectives enrich our understanding, and that’s what makes each story so special.

Kendra contributes to this theme with anecdotes from her travels, illustrating how different perspectives can enrich our understanding of a story. Whether documenting towns through manhole covers or preserving personal histories through legacy projects, storytelling remains a potent tool for connection and self-expression.

Legacy Projects: Preserving Personal History

Our conversation naturally transitions to the concept of legacy projects—efforts to document personal histories for future generations. Janine encourages her students to create primary documents as a powerful form of storytelling. These projects stand as testimonies to individual experiences, creating a bridge between generations.

 

I shared my own experience of preserving my blog from 1999 (yes, I started my first blog in 1999) by printing it out. This project helped me capture a unique period in my life, offering a tangible piece of personal history. Such efforts are vital for preserving memories and cultivating a sense of belonging.

Conclusion: Building an Invincible Community

Janine Bolon’s journey from the pharmaceutical industry to entrepreneurship, along with her dedication to community-building, showcases the transformative potential of mentorship, storytelling, and communal initiatives. “Open Friday Coffee” isn’t just a weekly gathering—it’s a testament to the importance of generosity, authenticity, and continuous progress. By embracing imperfections and valuing every story, we can build communities where everyone feels seen and heard.

 

Janine’s approach serves as a powerful reminder that reclaiming time, forging mentorship, and cherishing our narratives can turn the invisible into the invincible. Join the conversation, share your story, and together, let’s turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Meet Our Guest

Janine Bolon has always loved figuring out how things work. A scientist to her core, she craved to dig into the mysteries of life and understand why things are the way they are. After working in the pharmaceutical industry for 15 years, she dropped out of corporate America to homeschool her four children. She has always had a side business in her life and shares with others  how to manage a well-lived life of children, family, friends and clients while not suffering from burnout. Her 17 books, 93 online courses, 4 podcast programs and radio show all express her desire to share her systems & routines with others. 

 

DISCLAIMER:

This podcast is sponsored by KendraLosee.com. Some links are affiliate links, which means if you buy something, we may receive a small commission.


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Transcript | EP 027 | Empower Your Business Journey: Insights from Janine Bolon

[00:00:00] She was struck by lightning as a young woman, and it was the jolt she needed to live life to the fullest. And ironically, Today’s guest is so interesting that that’s not even a topic we got into. So today you’re going to meet Janine Bolon, a modern day renaissance woman who’s built an empire around her insatiable curiosity.

[00:00:23] She went from being an analytical biochemist To homeschooling mom, to an author of 17 books with more than 93 online courses and a host of seven different podcasts. Literally she has done it all. So if you’re ready to be inspired by someone who’s turned their dreams into reality and helps others do the same with her own online university, then buckle up because this episode is for you.

[00:00:51] And Janine is about to share her electrifying story. Let’s get into it. Hello, friend. I’m Kendra and you’ve tuned in to the Invisible to Invincible podcast, where passionately driven business owners share their journeys from hidden gems to industry leaders. Together, we’ll uncover the secrets, mental shifts, and visibility in marketing strategies that turn these hidden gems into undeniable forces. So hit that subscribe button and let’s dive in.

[00:01:23] Hello and welcome, Janine. I’m so excited that you’re here with us today. Oh, we’re having all a good time already, so Yes, I’m excited to be here. Let’s roll .

[00:01:32] So Janine, we’ve been talking and I just, I’m so fascinated by your background. Can you share a little bit? Let’s start with what you’re doing today. What I’m doing today is I run an online university. I have over a thousand students, 112 online courses and I run an open Friday coffee.

[00:01:53] So that’s kind of what I’m doing today. Somebody who absolutely adores teaching. But I cannot stand to teach students who don’t want to be there. So all the students that I educate and work with want to be there, have paid me and we all get along just fine because I don’t have to do grades and I do not have to deal with the administration.

[00:02:16] Such language to my heart as someone who was both in the administration side of the university for eight years and helping market universities for probably about 10 or 12 after that, and who taught for 12 years, who used to teach marketing and social media at universities, like you just stripped away my least favorite things as a student, as a professor and grades, they want to be there.

[00:02:41] I call it my online university because I teach whatever I want to teach.

[00:02:46] I have been teaching 12 years old. I have always mentored or enjoyed being able to share the skill sets that I have. And so my degrees actually, I’m a analytical biochemist and I worked for 15 years in the pharmaceutical industry. But the thing that I absolutely have a passion about is helping people with self development.

[00:03:06] So how to write their story, how to start a business solopreneur. I help bootstrapping on solopreneurs. I also assist people who have debt. So I created the 60 40 principle for people who are debt ridden, and then the last one is what I like to call my spiritual seekers. People who see themselves as spiritual but not religious, and they have metaphysical gifts, and they think they’re crazy because they can see things, hear things, and experience things other people around them don’t, and I like to let them know, no, you’re not crazy, you don’t need an MRI, you are a psychic, and that’s a hard pill for a lot of people to swallow.

[00:03:42] Yeah, I had like 40 questions just from that, like, four sentences. See, those of you tuning in can see why we started talking right away, because I read Janine’s background, I read everything about her, checked out her website and her university, and I was like, okay, what are we talking? I was looking forward to this too.

[00:04:02] How does one go from, Pharmacy? What? Pharmaceutical. I, I was, yes, I made drugs for a living, but don’t worry, there’s no Breaking Bad happening in my basement. You know it, yes. Everybody says that for me, thank you. Yep, yep. Pharmaceutical to, take us on your journey a little bit. A little bit of the journey.

[00:04:25] Okay, well. And I was, as I said, an analytical biochemist. And then after that, I ended up becoming a adjunct professor at a local liberal arts college and they didn’t have much of a math or science program. So I became the math and science program. Only my only qualification was I knew it. I knew the material.

[00:04:46] And so I would teach science for non majors. I would teach mathematics for non majors, meaning I was teaching math and science to people who needed practical skill sets, not the more theoretical and, you know, what it took to become a Nobel laureate or any of those, any of those things. As someone who interrupted my history in English and writing classes to go take astronomy for non science majors.

[00:05:15] I thank you for that. You’re, you’re, you’re welcome. Thank you for your service. Because one of the things that I love about cosmology is that everybody’s a part of it. They just don’t understand it. It’s like what Sherlock Holmes says. You see, you observe, but you do not analyze what you’re seeing or observing.

[00:05:32] Ergo, you don’t understand or you have no context for what you see and observe. So. I would always take them outside of the classroom. It’d always be like field trip, you know, and everybody starts singing along to the magic school bus thing. And it was really just because I’d take them outside and we would demonstrate outside in a very physical way what we were doing.

[00:05:52] And to me, that was the most joy I ever had was being able to get outside of the four corners and be able to get outside and show them science at its best, which is. in the field. So that was a lot of fun. So I did that. And then after I had that experience, my husband, at the time, we were moving quite a bit.

[00:06:12] And so after that, I got into homeschooling our four children, and I was in the state of California. And if you will remember, back at the turn of the century, they had decided that homeschooling was illegal, and they were trying to start a real trend in that. The president of the board of education Made a name for himself and we would ship us all these letters where I could wallpaper literally one of my children’s rooms about how I was illegal and that they could search and search up my home because it was a school and there was all kinds of stuff going on between the 1999 and 2004.

[00:06:48] And so, yeah, those are some of the quick trips of my experience with education and I ended up getting my master’s in education. because of those rather threatening letters. And I thought, go ahead, take me to court, see how fast you lose. I was like, game on. This is California. And anyway, but we ended up moving to Ohio.

[00:07:12] Where the University of Ohio hired my husband at the time, and I like to call him my husband because he’s not really my ex, he’s still the father of my children, but after 32 years of marriage, we went different ways. And that’s when I decided to start an online university in 2015. And so that’s where I am now.

[00:07:31] And correct me if I’m wrong, somewhere in there was radio as well. Radio was always my passion and my side hack. Okay, yeah. It’s how I reached out and stayed connected to things was through, radio started in 19, 82 with a spotlight on DHS, which was Donovan High School. And they liked my voice enough and I had so much fun being there as an intern.

[00:07:57] I did not get paid, but my claim to fame was I actually got to do the 32nd, you know, This is KDOOFN, KOEAFN, serving the recurrent river valley with information and entertainment. And I recorded that five different ways, and therefore I was on part of the tracks. And you and I were talking earlier about how you would shove those cassettes into the machine, and it would go across the air, and so that was the beginning of my radio career.

[00:08:25] Yeah, the illustrious cassette tapes. They were smaller than 8 tracks, but bigger than, you know, cassettes, and it was hard to describe them to people unless you knew, and you had racks and racks and racks of them, and you had to make sure you got the right ones. Now it’s all automated. We used to have the big reel the reels too, you know, that we, that would run for 12 hours.

[00:08:45] Oh, that’s so funny. Yeah, we were talking before because I was telling Janine about my internship for one summer at a local radio station and I had to file the cassette tracks and then until it was my turn to do traffic reports. Courtesy of Tom and John. Exactly. I was called up to do traffic reports, which really just like insisted on me calling people to see what the traffic was outside their window.

[00:09:10] There was all kinds of crazy stuff like that, that would happen. And people would be like, I need to know what time it is. And they relied on radio stations to be able to give them the top of the hour. And what they didn’t realize is that I was sitting on one side of the glass calling the Naval Observatory’s atomic clock and hearing it is now 11 58.

[00:09:31] It is now 11 59 waiting till it’s midnight. Go! It is now at the top of the hour. It’s so crazy. It’s so crazy. And I think that that speaks a lot to you know, a lot of people really think they need to wait. Like I’m taking a very far turn here, but a lot of people really think that they need to like, wait till everything’s perfect.

[00:09:52] Their story’s perfect. Their topic’s perfect. Their microphone and tech is perfect. The lighting’s perfect. Their life is perfect before they start showing up. And to hear that, like these actual radio stations that broadcast to, you know, hundreds, thousands of people, hundreds of thousands, depending on where we’re at.

[00:10:09] Yes. Like literally ran by cassette tapes and calling the table of service for his atomic clock hearing that mechanical voice, letting you know that you had 15 seconds. And I remember counting down, you know, so, so that we could let our anchor know it was time to signal it because there were people who relied on that.

[00:10:29] I mean, if, if people understood how fragile the whole system was, and of course, military people know how fragile the whole system is. But that was how civilians ran a lot of things because it was the low cost bootstrapping method. And so anytime you think that you can’t do something, I would like you to really ask yourself, is it just you getting in your own way or do you have the skill set to do it?

[00:10:55] A lot of people like to use the excuse, well, I don’t have the money. I’m like, well, what do you think you’re going to be spending money on? And they’re like, well, you need a big microphone. I said, I have run, I have, I have published 17 books of those 17 books. I have had eight of those books that became audio books.

[00:11:13] The headset you see, is 40. And I recorded those audio books with this microphone, so I don’t want to hear about how you need something expensive. You can bootstrap it very inexpensively and you still come off sounding like a pro because you have enough quality from that audio recording that they can do post production and clean it up as long as you don’t have a lot of background noise.

[00:11:36] And a lot of people don’t understand that you don’t need a 400 microphone. And you don’t need everything to be perfect in your business because it’s not going to be perfect. Guaranteed. And if it was, wouldn’t it be so boring? Perfection truly is the enemy of progress. And I know a lot of people have already heard about that.

[00:11:54] They’ve already experienced that, but I just want to remind folks. That is a true ism. I have watched groups. Some of my favorite stories are wrapped up around people that didn’t know they couldn’t. So they did. How many times have somebody said, Hey, I can do that. And they just ran off and they did it.

[00:12:13] Hair brained idea. And they ended up being successful. Yeah, there’s a danger and overthinking and thinking yourself out of knowing what you can do. Right. As long as you’re not going to lose the mortgage payment. That’s what I say to people. It’s like, you have to remember these people were using their time or their skill sets.

[00:12:33] They were not risking their money. They were just risking a little bit of, well, I don’t want to be seen as a fool. And I always go, honey, I am the fool. I keep God laughing all the time. Why? Because I think I can do something and I fall flat on my face. And what’s great is usually somebody who’s a master of that will reach over, pick me up and go, would you like to know what you did wrong?

[00:12:54] And I’d be, yes, thank you. As I brush myself off and they go, do this, this, and this, and you will be successful, you know? So sometimes you need to be a bit of a fool just so that you attract people who are well meaning and who are masters of their craft. Oh, that’s so powerful. You know, one of the things we were talking a little bit before we got on, not only about radio, we were talking about a lot of things to be clear.

[00:13:19] We had a little pre interview. We were talking about storytelling. And one of the things that I hear a lot from people is that I don’t have a good story or You know, when I was in education, a lot of times they would pick the most dire circumstances, right? I was a single mom with 550 kids living in a car, and I managed to get myself to school, and now I’m a graduate, and this is, I did it for my kids, and I did it for this, and I did it for that.

[00:13:48] Not everyone has that extreme life story, so sometimes there’s, the power gets lost, because one, that’s not always relatable. But two, that doesn’t make your own story any less important, or any less yours. Exactly. Yeah, I agree. And so I know you do a lot of work with people on story on their story, can you talk a little bit about how you approach that?

[00:14:19] The most important thing when you hear this, please realize the reason why it’s, Use so frequently dire situations, dire experiences. I’m not belittling those people. They came through some pretty horrendous stuff, but it’s because they’re focusing so much on the drama and trauma, you kind of lose track of their story.

[00:14:40] Now, if you kind of go back to what Kendra was saying, she remembers all these details. But she doesn’t really remember. Like she didn’t talk about the rest of the story. And I remember back in the day, Dark Ages, as far as some people are concerned, Paul Harvey and the rest of the story, he was always talk about the rest of the story because that’s what splashes on the main page, right?

[00:15:03] You get the main page, something above the fold, and it’s something incredible, right? But you never got the why. You never got, you never got the meat. And so believe it or not, people really want the meat. They don’t want what they can get on Facebook. They don’t want what they can scroll through Instagram and get in a five second blip as they scroll by on, on some sort of graphic.

[00:15:27] They do that when they’re relaxing at the end of the day, and they don’t want to think. However, if they do want to think, if they really do want to improve their lives, and those are the people you’re writing to, Then your story does matter and you have to remember something else. What is ordinary for you is extraordinary for somebody else.

[00:15:45] And I say that over and over and over and for my students who are listening, I’m so sorry. You’re probably sick of hearing it. You’re like, Oh, my God, you’re like my mother. Stop already. But it’s like literally your story. Ordinary is someone else’s extraordinary. Okay. So I live in Colorado. I look outside every day and I see Mount Meeker and I see Longs Peak and these are my buddies and I absolutely adore them because every day they look different.

[00:16:13] The mountains change every single day. The weather patterns over them is different every single day. People are like, Oh, it must be so nice to live in California. And I go, Well, where do you live? And this one person goes, Chicago. I’m like, Oh, Oh my gosh, the home of the best pizza and you guys are in competition with New Orleans as to who came up with jazz first.

[00:16:34] I’m like, there is so much for you to talk about, right? I don’t live in Chicago. I don’t live anywhere near where jazz was king. You have so much to share with people and they’re like, Oh yeah, I guess you’re right. I’m like, you also have the lake effect. You believe below one of the. Supreme Lakes in North America.

[00:16:56] Make a deal about that. Right? So some people don’t understand where they live. And they’re like, but I just live in this little town in Oregon. This is what one of my students said. I said, Oh, really? What kind of little town? Well, and the more she talked, the more I’m like, Oh, okay. Oh my gosh, you are literally 15 minutes from the beach?

[00:17:17] Well, yeah, but it’s not like a beach, beach. It’s made of rocks, like this black rock. I’m like, I’m marching. She has these huge trees of driftwood, and she and her two dogs will scurry around and hunt for crabs. 15 You are kidding me. You have an amazing story to tell because those of us who do not live on the coast, all I have are mountains.

[00:17:39] She goes, yeah, you’ve got mountains. I’m like, see grasses on the other side. You know, you’re reminding me of when I was, I did, so I was living in San Diego where I still am. And I did an outrigger canoe race in New Zealand and people from 25 different countries. I mean, there was team California and then the rest of team USA, but there was, there were teams from all over the world.

[00:18:05] And I found the team from Fiji and kept asking them where they vacationed. Did they say Tonga? Yeah, basically. Basically, they were like looking around New Zealand. They’re like, here? Best part is I was living in San Diego and was like, Where do you vacation? Not even counting the fact that I’ve ended up in my outrigger canoe with my friends, like in so many people’s vacation photos as we come in and the sun setting and palm trees and things like, where does Fiji vacation?

[00:18:36] This is important information we need to know, but that’s what I mean by your, what you consider to be ordinary is someone else’s extraordinary. And One of the things that my student from Chicago did for the cover of his book is he found a manhole cover that had Chicago 1915 imprinted on this cast iron manhole cover and I went, that is a thing of beauty.

[00:19:01] That is a piece of art. How many cities have that? I’m like, that’s amazing. To which other students started running around their towns, trying to find their towns, manhole covers, the city and the date. And it was amazing how many people came back with that. And then our photography student put those all together and created a book just for that class on that.

[00:19:23] That’s amazing. And that was all the different pieces. So it’s just one of those silly little things that, that happened, but yet had a huge impact on the people that were part of that project. So what kind of books? Were they writing in that, were they creating in that class? The class is called the right habit.

[00:19:41] Ha ha. And, and what we talk about is how to have the discipline to do whatever creative project you have. And so we have photographers, we have aspiring authors, poets, all kinds. Some people even just make jewelry, but we’re building out their catalog books for them, but it all comes down to legacy. One of the things that is a passion from my heart is the fact that.

[00:20:06] When I was taking history classes, we frequently talked about first documents or primary documents when it came to history. And one of the challenges that we have is that we’re losing diaries. Like, because of the digital age, the digital situations, we’re losing diaries, journals, all those things that used to be able to go and look at somebody’s handwriting on what was happening on April 12th, 1865.

[00:20:30] And some of you I know may say, who cares? Well, the people that were a part of their life cared. Like, when they died, one of the common things was that people’s diaries would be read because it would be things that they experienced, things that were important to them, you know? They would lock up their diaries so that nobody could read them, but after they were dead, ah!

[00:20:52] No problem. I’m out. Right. And so we write books of legacy. That’s the focus, but not always. Does that become the target? Everybody finds their voice and then they decide, they decide what they want to do after that. But it starts off as legacy projects. I think that’s so powerful. And one of the reasons why I really appreciate that you do that is during, in that like 19, I’m aging myself quite a bit here, but 1999.

[00:21:20] com bubble. Yeah. 2003, I think. I was traveling nonstop and I, after 9 11, it was the first time I stayed in one place for more than, for actually for 30 days, and it was three years. So it was like during that time and I was losing track of family and friends because I was traveling for work every week.

[00:21:40] And that had always been my goal was to travel around to the U. S. And what I ended up doing is I kept a blog so people would know where I was and what I was up to. And that like, you know, 1999 blog interface and I totally understand it was just for me and it was just for my friends and you know, a couple of years later, I was afraid I was going to lose it and I was able to find a tool that helped me export it.

[00:22:04] And actually print it out so it turned it and I like took time to put pictures with it which you know are very low quality but still and so I still have those two books now as part of like a snapshot of that very specific time because we’re talking maps and getting lost with MapQuest in the middle of, you know, New Jersey and, you know, it was just such a unique time and I still have all of those memories for me and once again, For whomever else, you know, someday might be interested in that snapshot, but just having that larger story is really powerful.

[00:22:44] Other thing I love what that can do is help people remember the good and the bad, but also, you know, you’re still here. So the triumphs. Exactly. Yes. There’s a lot to be learned, and we don’t give ourselves enough credit, and it’s fascinating to watch a student of mine go back and read a diary from two or three years previous, and they start reading, and they’re like, Wow, who wrote this?

[00:23:09] This is really good stuff. It was you. Yeah, but it’s surprising. We don’t give ourselves a lot of credit for what we do accomplish. Absolutely. And do they, are they actually writing, writing, or are they dictating or is it audio or is it like, Yes, all the above. We have all different kinds because some people only have a telephone.

[00:23:29] And so we’ve talked to them about ways that they can get on Google Docs and they can do the talk to text options for that. Some people don’t have a computer. And so they have to, they’re like you, they’re traveling a lot, so they’re not going to have a laptop with them. I know nowadays some people are like, Oh my gosh, you’re kidding.

[00:23:47] Like, believe it or not, there are still large segments of this world that those 28 satellites that we use do not operate in. And so they have to find alternatives. Yeah. It’s so fascinating. And the community, is there a big community? Are they working together on that? Encouraging each other? Or how does that?

[00:24:09] Yeah, we, yeah, we have an online course that people can walk through. And what ends up happening is they usually just pop on to our, we’re part of the second and fourth Wednesday of the month. And a lot of times they’ll just pop on and they just start talking about their writing, getting encouragement.

[00:24:25] We’ll, yeah. They’ll bring segments of their writing and have people write through it. And one of the people is my favorite story to tell. She met me and we actually met in a coffee shop. And it was funny because she had her laptop with her. She had seven books on that laptop, but had never had the courage.

[00:24:43] To publish her books and within six months of having other people read her work and talk about, I want the next book. I want that. She had incredible character. She had done all the studies. She was highly introverted though. And the idea that she had to go out and get a post office box so that she could use MailChimp, which was required back in the day to be able to use MailChimp so that.

[00:25:03] You know, she wasn’t using her home address was terrifying to her. Absolutely terrifying. So it took her six months. She now has published all seven of those books and she’s won I don’t know how many science fiction competitions now and is part of 15 compilation books. And she’s done all of that just in five years.

[00:25:23] That’s amazing. It really is. Yeah, she’s amazing. But you know, it’s all started with her running in to me with a laptop loaded with content. How did you help her move from that point of fear of creating all that content but being afraid to show it to anybody to actually sharing it and putting it out in the world?

[00:25:48] Well, it fits right along with your podcast. I mean, she truly went from invisible to invincible, which is why I love that story for your podcast. I’m like, Kendra, we have so much to talk about, but it took time and it takes a little bit of confidence and it can only come from within. You cannot ask somebody to move faster than they want to move.

[00:26:08] All you can do is show them that they’re in a safe space. And so every fear that she would come up with, I would sit and listen to it. And then I’d say, what do you think the best option is for you to be able to move past this? How do you recommend that we do that? And then if she ever hit a, I don’t know, then I would ask the rest of the class.

[00:26:26] What do you guys suggest? So we made sure that we never offered her a solution. Until we had given her an opportunity to create the solution herself first, that’s how we got her. I think that, yeah, there’s so powerful, especially when you can help someone move from being afraid to show up and being afraid to share and being afraid to use their voice in any format, because what you have.

[00:26:58] Is valuable and important, but helping someone believe that is not always easy. No, and don’t let anybody tell you, Oh, everybody writes books nowadays. No, 1 percent of the population. Okay. So when people talk about, yeah, everybody has a book. I’m like, Oh, where’s yours. I always liked saying that. And people are like, geez, you’re such a hard butt about that, you know, and I’m like, well, yeah, because they’re lying.

[00:27:25] They don’t know it. They’re like, oh, everybody’s got a book. I’m like, really? Where’s yours? I didn’t see it on Amazon, you know, and I kind of get a little direct about it. But, you know, I’m of the age where I really don’t give a rat butt anymore because I have seen enough that I’m like, Enough of this nonsense.

[00:27:43] I’m so tired of people segregating, tagging, dividing people. Like, let’s all come together and help each other and let’s see what we can do about that. And people are like, well, that’s being very idealistic. And I say, well, it beats the alternative. I’d rather be idealistic than anything else and moving toward an ideal, you know, and I like to really work on that whole progress, not perfection.

[00:28:10] No, absolutely. Absolutely. I was stuck in perfection for so long and part of it was like corporate life, right? Like I would put ads, physical ads out. And if I had signed off, I had to sign off on every single one across the state of California, I would get like a stack and I’d sign off on every single one.

[00:28:26] And if there was one error in the list of school programs they would offer, and the list sometimes had 50 names on it, I would get a red, like in red ink, people would correct it from, and I would get copies of it in my inbox and multiple multiples. If there was one little mistake or a period missing or something like the, the power of needing to be perfect.

[00:28:52] Is so strong and with so many people that now when I talk to people, I like to ask who’s the perfect judge, like who, who judges perfection, who decides what’s perfect, who is the arbiter of perfection. I’d like to meet them. Well, and one of my favorite things to share with my students is when they hit that wall of, of fear of being perfect.

[00:29:14] I’m like, look, the people. that find fault with your writing, like are circling the period that’s not there. They’re telling you, you misspelled something. I had a book that I said I was struck by lightning and we had put it as lightening, like lightning of a thing. Well, that wasn’t me. That was my publisher that did that.

[00:29:34] But of course, I, I, I’m the one that, uh, my name’s on the book, right? So anyway, and when people would come up to me like that, I know those weren’t my people. That’s what I tell authors all the time. Anybody who’s going to correct you and be a grammar Nazi or whatever you want to call them, I always ask them, oh, were you in English literature?

[00:29:54] Or, oh, did you teach English? And for those 20 percent who say yes, I always go, no. Thank you for understanding English in the way it’s supposed to be done. And they always laugh and go, well, you’re welcome. I just, I can’t, couldn’t help it. I’m a natural editor, right? So that way we’re all, we’re all laughing about it.

[00:30:14] But for those 80 percent who are just being a pain in the derriere, not my people. I don’t worry about them. They have other things to do with their time. That’s a really, really important point. There’s so many things that people can say. I’m remembering I, I have, I’m halfway through an MFA in creative writing that I’ll never finish.

[00:30:35] It was one of those things that like, I always knew I liked writing and I was tired of this, like my friends and parents and family saying that I was good. So I needed to prove it to myself that I could write. So I went into this program because I was working in university. So it was free. But I just remember in order to, in my first class, I wrote a story and it was about, you know, it was semi autobiographical and the character’s wallet was stolen.

[00:31:03] She drove home, was trying to figure it out. And my criticism back from this one woman was like, I don’t think it’s legal to drive without a driver’s license. not your person. And that was the entire gist of her critique of my paper. Like she’s like, I stopped reading after that ’cause it’s not legal to drive without a driver’s license.

[00:31:23] Of course not. But what would you have done in that situation? It was very relatable. We have all driven without our driver’s license on our person. It was just such a funny thing. Cause you’re right. Like it was, it was so nice to have that like very clearly like, Oh, you’re not my person. I can move on. Yep.

[00:31:41] Anything else you say to me, I’m just going to shut aside. Cause you are not my person. Oh, no. Anytime you have somebody want you to change your character. That’s another one. We sometimes hear from the writer’s group, you know, they’ll say, Oh, well, someone so said this needed to be a male character instead of a female character.

[00:32:00] And I’m like, what do you think? They’re like, well, I really think it should be a female. I’m like, then you need to make that character female. It’s just one of those things that be very careful who you accept critiques from. My favorite question is, Oh, how many books have you published? And I wait. And they’re like, well, I haven’t published any.

[00:32:21] Oh, do you write? They’re like, no. Oh, you have a blog? No. And then all of a sudden they get very uncomfortable because, so basically you have no authority on this. And it’s not me trying to one up them or anything, but it’s just an opportunity to let them know, look, you, this is not Facebook. This is not LinkedIn where you get to hide in your anonymity and just fire off warning shots at me and take a pot shot at whatever I’m writing.

[00:32:49] This is you talking to another human being who has worked their butt off, gotten up every morning at 4 a. m., didn’t stop until 6 a. m. where the first kid woke up, and you needed to make tea. Breakfast and then got on with working her three jobs. You know, those are the people you’re talking to when you critique somebody’s work.

[00:33:10] Just like to remind people of that. No, that’s really smart. It’s a good reminder. And it’s also. A good reminder to, you know, I’m going to go back to this, like, remember who you’re paying attention to and what criticism you’re taking in, because I’ve seen so many people just stopped in their tracks by that, by the negative comment of, you know, or the, you know, even sometimes the well intentioned critique, because it becomes personal and it becomes like that rejection and, and everything else when it’s like, you need to stop and ask yourself first, to your point, do they have any, like, is this even someone I should be listening to?

[00:33:48] And if it is, what are the follow up questions I can ask to better understand it? It’s so fascinating. One of the other, you know, I’m just jumping around here. One of the other things that I think you do that’s so interesting to me is the emphasis on community. And, and, and I can see the thread through everything you’ve talked about.

[00:34:10] you know, community and teaching and learning and creating those opportunities for people. But also you have Friday mornings. Open Friday coffee. Yes. I mean, we all have Friday mornings. Like that’s a thing we all have, but talk about open Friday coffee. Open Friday coffee came out of a need. I had so many people that wanted to meet with me one on one and I just frankly did not have time.

[00:34:34] And the more I was out and the more I was working with people like yourself on podcasting, broadcasts, I was on TV, radio, that sort of thing. The more I got out and was doing that, the more people wanted to communicate with me and I could not give them one to one time, but I wanted to stay available. So I instituted what I used to do in college, which was I had open office hours.

[00:34:57] And so I picked what time would be really good for me. And I thought 9 a. m. Mountain time on Friday morning. I’m going to open up my zoom room and I’m going to give an hour to anybody who wants to show up and anybody who wants to show up can. They can show up multiple Fridays in a row and there is a bit of decorum about it.

[00:35:15] I usually, because it is open office hours, my students get First dibs on time with me, and I always say who here is one of my students. I usually know I can spot them pretty quickly, but they always get to ask questions first. But the big thing is you show up when you can and you leave when you have to.

[00:35:30] You don’t have to stay on for the whole hour or anything like that. You can show up, raise your hand, and I will call on you. But usually I have students that have asked me questions. So there’s a little bit of a slide deck and I’m running through answers. Of one of those courses that I’m offering or something like that.

[00:35:45] So people get a little bit of a preview of how I teach, what I’m talking about, you know, that kind of thing. But it’s been a way for people who say, well, we want to pre interview with you. And I’m like, Oh, are you kidding me? I have been on radio. I have been on TV. No, I do not do pre interviews come to open Friday coffee.

[00:36:02] See how I work a room of 28 people. Then we’ll talk about whether or not I’m appropriate for your podcast. And I understand why they have that, but this was a way that I actually now bought back 11 hours of time a week. And so let me tell you something. That’s why I started Open Friday Coffee. And now I have a group of people that every Friday they’re on with me.

[00:36:23] There’s about 18 of them. And we started doing one minute tech tips from my tech tip guy. And then I have a branding guy. And then I have a lady who’s Fabulous with keywords and SEO. And what they do is they come and they teach a little bit and they kind of get their feet wet and they’ve started opening up their own office hours and they’re getting a little confidence.

[00:36:41] And so that’s, what’s kind of happened with the community and then they’ll pop back and there are times where you’ll see them, Hey, I’ve got a one minute tech tip for you, Jenny. I’m like, go ahead, Matt, what’s going on. And he’ll tell us, and then it’ll say, my information’s in the chat. Got to go because he’s at work.

[00:36:56] You know, he, he does that. And so that’s what I mean by. Show up when you can, leave when you have to, and the biggest thing is keep making the world a better place because we’re all servant leaders, at least the people I attract in my community, having to be those people that are trying to make the world a better place one conversation at a time.

[00:37:15] Mm hmm. I love that. I love that so much. I was saying before that I keep talking to people just day to day as well as on the podcast who have, who are creating those communities and who are hosting those events, whether it’s big or small and who are giving their time to help others. And it’s just, it’s so important.

[00:37:35] And especially now with, I see so many people working on similar problems. in their own little silo, in their own little place. So it’s amazing that you’ve created this platform in this place where people can come and share what they know, get experience sharing what they know, because not everyone’s been teaching for many, many years and, and be able to build that confidence so they can do it themselves and keep passing that on.

[00:37:59] What a gift to be able to help pay forward. Yep, exactly. Because I couldn’t have become who I am if I didn’t have really quality mentors. And that was before you paid somebody 20, 000 a year to be a mentor. That was when you would actually walk up to somebody and say, I really like the life you have. I really enjoy seeing how you interact with people.

[00:38:21] I want to learn from you. Will you be my mentor? I mean, that’s how you were doing it in the 80s and 90s. Now you have the ability to just pay somebody 50, 000 or 20, 000 to be on a group call for a year to learn some sort of skill set or whatever. But that wasn’t even a thing back then. No, I think that’s really powerful and I think that’s just so critical because it’s something that, A lot of people can’t take, aren’t able or in a position to take opportunity, you know, take that opportunity to pay all that extra, but to be able to get that gift and being able to help pay forward themselves, there’s such a power in them.

[00:39:01] Thank you. That’s beautiful. Oh, you’re welcome. Absolutely. Absolutely. Oh, look. And we’re going to end on that note, Jeanine, I’m going to put your contact information and the notes and the show notes and everywhere I can. Do you want to also tell people where they can find you? Honestly, the best and fastest and easiest way is just open Friday coffee.

[00:39:21] So if you would put the link of the eight gates forward slash open Friday coffee, literally you will find me very, very quickly that way. If that’s a little scary for you, then you’re welcome to meet with me on LinkedIn. But if you go to LinkedIn, just realize you’re going to talk to one of my team. I have a team of 15 people that helped me with the social media post production and Lynette will be chatting with you on LinkedIn.

[00:39:43] Same with Alignable and Facebook. You can go ahead and direct message me, but you will still get Lynette. Friday coffee. You heard it here. All right. Well, thank you so much for being here and thank you for tuning in everybody.

[00:39:57] Remember I’m Kendra from kendralosee.com. And this is the Invisible to Invincible Podcast, where we help you take back control of your time, your life, your business, and go from invisible to invincible and the best way for you till next time.

[00:40:15] Bye.

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