January 10th, 2023
With Jennifer Zawadzki, also known as “Jen Z”, an inspirational and keynote speaker, a published writer, a purpose-driven entrepreneur, and the CEO and co-founder of Future You Project, which aims to create positive mindset shifts and inspire hope through curated programs, gifts, and events. Jen is creating a powerful ripple of personal and professional empowerment across the globe. Her keynotes, workshops, unique gift experiences and personal development programs have transformed countless lives and businesses, leading her to be featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX. Her personal triumph, entrepreneurial vision, and thought-provoking content creates a transformational experience for all who hear her story.
In this podcast, Jennifer shares how powerful words are. Inspired by her personal encounter of receiving gifts to her future self, she talks about how she thought of starting her business and creating inspirational content. She also reiterates the importance of understanding your purpose and your whys.
Join us for our interesting conversation where you will walk away with great insights and tips on how you can create a future that is better for you, for the people that you love, and for the world at large.
Biggest takeaways (or quotes) you don’t want to miss:
- “A lot of people don’t spend a lot of time really thinking about their purpose and why.”
- “Words are extremely powerful… that’s why these messages from your future self are so powerful as well.”
- “When you can tap into joy, you’re vibing higher, you’re attracting better things. That’s where the magic lives.”
- The future depends on the choices you make today.
- “Love yourself and be kind. Kindness matters.”
Everyone at some point in their life goes through something, and it’s important to know that there are peaks and valleys, ups and downs, and that is completely normal.-Jennifer Zawadzki
Check out these highlights:
- 03:36 Jennifer shares how her journey started.
- 11:43 What Jennifer thinks would have happened to her had she not received the little future you prompts.
- 12:36 Who was sending gifts to her?
- 24:51 Some of the exercises Jennifer does both in her personal and business routine.
- 28:48 Reason why keynotes are a favorite part of the business that she loves spending most of the time.
- 31:06 Her recent path as an entrepreneur.
- 39:25 How does Jennifer help people with the vision of their future self?
How to get in touch with Jennifer:
On social media:
Learn more about Jennifer, by visiting her website here.
Imperfect Show Notes
We are happy to offer these imperfect show notes to make this podcast more accessible to those who are hearing impaired or those who prefer reading over listening. While we would love to offer more polished show notes, we are currently offering an automated transcription (which likely includes errors, but hopefully will still deliver great value), below.
GGGB Intro 00:00
Here’s what you get on today’s episode of Guts, Grit and Great Business®…
Jennifer Zawadzki 00:04
I don’t think a lot of people, I know a lot of people don’t spend a lot of time really thinking about their purpose and their why, for example. And so that is usually to me the foundation because I think that if you as an individual can tap into that, and then you can find an alignment with the organization that you work for, that aligns with your values and your purpose, then you have you are fulfilled differently every day. And then you’re doing something that energizes you on a daily versus basis versus depletes you. So I think really understanding who you are, what you’re capable of, what your purpose is, what fires you up, and is the organization that you work for first and foremost, is it even the right place? Is it a good fit?
GGGB Intro 00:22
The Adventure of entrepreneurship and building a life and business you love, preferably at the same time is not for the faint of heart. That’s why Heather Pearce Campbell is bringing you a dose of guts, grit and great business stories that will inspire and motivate you to create what you want in your business and life. Welcome to the guts, grit and great business podcast where endurance is required. Now, here’s your host, the Legal website warrior, Heather Pearce Campbell.
Heather Pearce Campbell 00:39
Alrighty, welcome. I am so excited to be back with you today. Welcome to another episode of Guts, Grit and Great Business®. I am Heather Pearce Campbell, The Legal Website Warrior® and attorney and legal coach based here in Seattle, Washington, and today I am hosting Jennifer Zawadzki. Welcome, Jennifer.
Jennifer Zawadzki 00:47
Thank you so much. I’m so happy to be here.
Heather Pearce Campbell 00:48
I’m so happy that you’re here as well. You came highly recommended from a mutual friend. Big shout out to Lou over at Thrive Loud. If you guys have not heard of Lou, I’ve probably mentioned it before, pop over and check out his podcast at Thrive Loud. You’ll love him. Jennifer had visited him there recently. So Jennifer, super happy to have you here. For folks that don’t know Jennifer. Jennifer is the founder of Future You Project and an inspirational and keynote speaker who has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox. She is creating a powerful ripple of personal and professional empowerment across the globe. Her keynotes, workshops, unique gift experiences and personal development programs have transformed countless lives and businesses. If you are looking for someone to motivate, connect and inspire your audience or organization, you just found her. Jen’s personal triumph, entrepreneurial vision and thought provoking content creates a transformational experience for all who hear her story. Welcome, Jennifer, what a great intro.
Jennifer Zawadzki 03:02
Thank you. Yes, a nice intro. Thank you so much.
Heather Pearce Campbell 03:05
Absolutely. So tell me a little bit more about your story. I always like to go back, especially for folks who are in the small business space, right. And I realize you are a speaker, right? Motivational inspirational speaker, but you run keynotes workshops, you’ve got a business side, right where you are delivering services in a variety of ways. Yeah, talk to us a little bit about how you got started in that space.
Jennifer Zawadzki 03:29
Yeah, so completely unexpected, not planned out. My story, you know how sometimes an entrepreneur becomes an entrepreneur because it’s something they personally went through? That is 100% my story, I was actually, I spent my entire career climbing the corporate ladder. And I was actually in the process of transitioning my family, from Charleston to Miami for a job opportunity, when my husband and I at the time decided to end our marriage. And I was in complete shock. And we had just moved states. My son at the time was three years old. We didn’t have a place to live, I didn’t know where I was going to live. And I was literally starting this new career that was going to catapult my career into this position that I’d worked my entire life really for. And so during that time, I really struggled. And I remember really trying to find myself because I literally went from being a full-time mother, full-time career woman, full-time wife, to all of the sudden, the nights and the days that I didn’t have my son being completely alone. And I would be in this space. And I remember I would just sit in my tiny little apartment and I’d stare at the walls and be like, who am I? Like, what am I supposed to do now? I had no idea outside of being them. Other, what made me happy anymore, and I was completely lost and terrified. And about three weeks after moving into my new apartment, I received a package in the mail. And it was a box of chocolates and some flowers. And it came with a note. And the note said, Hey, girl, I just wanted to swing back from the future to let you know that I know you’re going through a really hard time right now. But you are so much stronger than you’re giving yourself credit for. There is a light at the end of this tunnel. Hang in there. The future is bright. Love, future Jen. And I had no idea who sent that to me. But it was my future self that was basically saying everything’s going to be okay. And then a week later, another package came in the mail. And this time, it was this big wineglass with my name engraved in my nickname, Jen Z. And it said, Hey, girl, I know this was a really hard week still are up. You deserve it. Hang in there, try to do something this week that brings you joy, love you future Jen. This happened for five weeks in a row, for five weeks, every week, I received a different encouraging gift and inspirational letter from my future self. And every time future Jen would come, she would tell me and encourage me to do something that would make me happy. And encourage me and give me hope that brighter days were ahead. And what happened was, by week three, I started to believe future Jen. And I started to think, wow, you know, if I’m going to be this person and live this life, that future Jen says then I better start making some changes. I need to figure out first and foremost, what even brings me joy, right. So I got really intentional about figuring out how I was going to reconnect with joy. At the time, I was also a little over 70 pounds overweight. My son, as you know, was three, he was highly energetic. And I was struggling to even like keep up with him. I couldn’t run 30 seconds, you know. And I knew that if I was going to be this best version of myself, that I needed to make some significant changes in my health. So I started to get really intentional about that as well. Before I knew it, future Jen had kind of inspired me to look at what I call the six key areas of life, and get really intentional about how I was going to approach these areas of my life. So anyway, fast forward, like almost a year to the date of getting this fifth and final gift. And I am I get the promotion that I had moved to Miami that I was working for. And I’m literally moving into my corner office, I had lost 70 pounds, I ran a Spartan Race, I was taking Salsa dance lessons in my kitchen, I was like I’ve my whole life had transformed. And, and I get this promotion. And I’m moving into my corner office and this guy knocks on my door, my office door. And he brings in a bonsai tree, and he puts the bonsai tree down on my desk. And the note on the bonsai tree says, I told you so, future Jen. And that was when I knew. So here I am, I’m thinking wow, I just went through this major transformational journey, the journey is over this bonsai tree lands on my desk, I look at it. And I just knew that this needed to be shared with the world, this concept of hope, and encouragement and love and support in this unique way, was so profound and so different. And so just amazing that I just I wanted to share with the world. And so I started to think about all of the times in a person’s life when we could use this type of encouragement and hope. And also when we should be celebrating one another because I don’t think we did had enough either. And I went home that night, and I started writing down milestones and like I thought about I had a girlfriend at the time who was battling breast cancer. I thought, gosh, could you imagine if she just got these letters from her future self these gifts of encouragement to hold on, you know, keep going light on? I thought about I struggled three years with infertility. I thought, oh my gosh, can you imagine how amazing that would be at that time to just say, hey, even miracles take a little time hold on to hope. I thought about loss of pets and loss of loved ones. And then again, the good things right birthdays, anniversaries, wedding put like marriages, you know all those things. Before you knew it. I had 30 themes on this list. And I started curating these gift boxes and writing these letters. You know from the perspective of the recipients future self. And that’s how Future You project was born. It started with the gifts. And then what happened was as I started to share this story and Vidya was picking it up. And so imagine this right? It takes me about a year to build this business. I had no idea what I was doing. And I was still obviously I had a major corporate job. You know, I was leading a company at the time, pandemic hits, just launched the website soft launch for friends and family type thing in the new year. Then I start getting some media exposure March comes pandemic hits, and suddenly the entire world is in transition. The entire world really needs this more than ever. And it just skyrocket like it just bloomed. And so the more people that heard my story, they started saying, you know, can you come and talk to my organization? Can you, you know, can you do a keynote and this kind of thing. And so that’s how that side of the business started was, to be honest, completely unintentional. But the more I started doing these keynotes and workshops and sharing how I transformed my life, and the success principles that I used, to turn adversity into opportunity, right, and to really, truly build a life of my dreams, and a business of my dreams, it just kind of spread out like that. And so now I speak to organizations, I speak to people I go, and I do, you know, keynotes and workshops, like I said, and then we also have a corporate gifting program that’s launched this year where we go in and we do, you know, imagine, like onboarding, right? And all those kind of fun milestones and things like that. So it’s just been an incredible journey. That was a long story. Sorry.
Heather Pearce Campbell 11:14
No, it is quite I mean, I have so many questions about the story. So my first one is, do you ever think about what would have happened? Or how life might be different if you hadn’t received the little future you prompts?
Jennifer Zawadzki 11:34
Yeah, I do. Because, you know, I think about it a lot. Because I have an amazing support system. I really do. And I remember at that time, all of my friends and family members, were telling me exactly what future Jen was telling me, right? You’re gonna be okay, you’re strong, you’ve got this all the right things. But I did not believe it. But when I heard it from myself, it resonated different. And that’s why I know how powerful this is when you receive something like that, because it just lands different. So I don’t know, I don’t think that I would be the person I am today. I certainly wouldn’t have this business, but I wouldn’t. I don’t think I’d be as healthy and happy. I really don’t. Yeah, I’m a big believer that life isn’t meant to be done alone. And I’m just so grateful that I am so loved. I’m very…
Heather Pearce Campbell 12:27
Yeah, that’s amazing. So my second question is, did you figure out who was sending the gifts? Was it that guy at the end that delivered the office gift?
Jennifer Zawadzki 12:36
No. So he was the delivery man. But in that box, there was a packing slip. And I remember during the time, I was asking, of course, all my friends like, is it you? Is it you? And I had just before I got that first gift, I was on Marco Polo. I don’t know if you know that at the video yet. I have a group of five girlfriends. And we were on this Marco Polo. And I was on I remember, I was in the bathtub that I had like the face, you know, face mask on and the cucumbers. And they were asking like, how are you? And I had this cucumber slipping down my face with the space mask. And I’m like, I’m fine. And so because it was five of them. I thought they were like, oh, yeah, no, she’s not fine. Let’s do something, you know. So I was convinced for the longest time it was them. But it was one of them, who was my girlfriend from Canada. And so when I saw that packing slip, I immediately called her. And I was like, Girl, like, what you did, changed my life. And we need to share with the world. I mean, it was just like, it really caught me by surprise. Because like I said, I never intended to do this. I was literally where I’d worked my whole career to get. And this just changed everything.
Heather Pearce Campbell 13:46
Right? Yeah, I will. I mean, I, you know, talking about transitions in life and how, even especially now in this time where, you know, I hate to even say coming out of COVID I know it’s still around and people are still being harmed by it. But in this time where many people are trying to transition back to you know, what might look like more “normal” life activities and getting out and about. Like, there’s a lot of also discussions right now about trauma healing. I think so many people are on a healing journey. And you even look at things like aces, right? Adverse childhood events, yes. And adverse events, generally the kind that you’re talking about divorce, a move, you know, a loss for you have some of the time with your child like these are all technically adverse event. Right, happening all at once. Like they can just hit people like a freight train, right, especially if they’re unexpected, especially if they’re out of the blue and I just think like people’s awareness of the… through potential impact of these things, is much greater now than it used to be. And they deserve attention. They deserve to be talked about right. And having strategies for how do we deal with these things? And they come up? And how do we do it in a way that moves us out of that state of fight or flight, or, you know, trauma or pain or whatever is occurring into a more, you know, help full outlook that’s also supportive of our journey or health. I mean, it sounds like you managed to figure it out relatively quickly that you did accomplish so much change and movement in the right direction within a year.
Jennifer Zawadzki 15:47
Yeah. And it was very intentional, like it was very, you know, when I set my mind on something, I’m kind of stubborn that way. But I’ve also spent my entire life reading self help books. And so I’m right, you know, I’m interested in that kind of thing. But I never had taken the action on it. Because I don’t think I realized how bad it had gotten. I didn’t realize I was so busy and doing all those things that we talked about, like being a mom and working on my career, and being a good wife, and all those things and all these roles, that I don’t think I realized, no, I didn’t realize I lost myself along the way, I didn’t know. And for me, that’s the biggest thing. And even if you are thriving in life, I think that you know, you have a happy marriage and you feel you’re blessed enough to kind of go through the things that I went through, I think you can still get lost in these roles. And it was terrifying to me to look in the mirror and say, I don’t even know who you are. And I mean, and when future Jen said, do something today that brings you joy. And for me to go, I don’t even know what that is, you know, like, I have no idea what my hobbies are, or what I would even where do you even start most terrifying, but I am glad that we’re having more of these conversations. And I hope that it becomes more of the norm as time goes on. Because we are not alone. And I think everyone at some point in their life goes through something, you know, and it’s important to know that there are peaks and valleys, and ups and downs and that is completely normal. And that we are so powerful as human beings, what we can accomplish and what we’re capable of that it blows my mind. And I just I want everyone to know that when you’re in a valley or you’re feeling, you know, like you’ve lost yourself, it’s not the end, it’s just a moment in time. And that you have within you the power to recreate and create any story wish, you know, we are truly magnificent.
Heather Pearce Campbell 17:51
That, yeah, a couple of things. I mean, one, I remember hearing somebody describe the human brain one time as a goal achieving machine. Right, like whatever you program into that little guy, it’s gonna get busy, busy, busy, busy. Yeah, you know, working towards an outcome. And so let’s put the right outcomes in there. The other thing is you make a really important point that it’s not always necessarily about a dramatic thing happening that either sets us backwards or causes a traumatic event or something, it can be this slippery slope little bit like boiling a frog, right? Like suddenly, like, you just wake up one day, like having this awareness of like, who am I? What am I doing? Why am I not happy any longer? Or, gosh, I’ve been sacrificing myself to all of these other things for so long. Like, how do I turn this train around?
Jennifer Zawadzki 18:50
Right? Yeah, and again, I think that’s why it’s so important. We have the conversations about burnout, and that we have the conversation about wellness in the workplace, and that we talk about, you know, reinforce to mothers that you have to fill your own cup first, you know, it’s not selfish, it’s actually teaching, you know, it’s allowing you to be a better person and a better parent and teaching your children to, you know, to live a life like that as well, where they’re fulfilling their selves and taking care of themselves. It’s so important.
Heather Pearce Campbell 19:24
When you’re working either like, you know, through workshops or with audiences, what are some of the most common and you can do um, like, either in themes or just, you know, sample questions, what are some of the most common questions that you get around this topic?
Jennifer Zawadzki 19:42
A lot comes down to purpose. Like, I think there hasn’t I don’t think a lot of people I know a lot of people don’t spend a lot of time really thinking about their purpose and their why for example, and so that is usually to me, the founding question because I think that if you as an individual can tap into that, and then you can find an alignment with the organization that you work for that aligns with your values and your purpose, then you have you are fulfilled differently every day. And then you’re doing something that energizes you on a daily versus basis versus depletes you. So I think really understanding who you are, what you’re capable of what your purpose is, what fires you up? And is the organization that you work for first and foremost, is it even the right place? Is it a good, right? But there’s not a lot of conversation around that there’s becoming more, which I’m really proud of. And when I think when you do that, then there’s untapped potential, and it brings it catapult the business forward to because people work different, they operate different, they’re at a higher levels of creativity when there’s happiness and joy and fulfillment in what they do.
Heather Pearce Campbell 21:01
Heather Pearce Campbell 21:03
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Heather Pearce Campbell 23:42
Well, I love this, you know, you talked briefly about how basically, you know thinking about the future you like when when you receive a message or like there’s a there’s a meditation, one of my one of my past clients leads in her women’s it’s a women’s basically leadership program where you do a meditation connecting with your future self, right. So it’s so brilliant and so powerful. And even your theme around understanding your purpose. I think so much of that ties into when you think about the future version of yourself right getting the the correct messaging getting the correct vision for your life. Yes. If you don’t feel or don’t feel like you’re connected to that purpose or your life mission. That would be a harder visual to come up with that right. No harder vision to create.
Jennifer Zawadzki 24:41
Yes, absolutely. And there’s a couple of exercises that we do that I love and in the various workshops and something that I am asked I actively do in my life every day. And one is I always write a thank you letter from the perspective of the future like it’s already happened. You know, like I’m very clear on not only what I want to achieve, but more importantly, how do I want to feel while I’m achieving those things? And who do I want to be? How do I want to show up for the world as I’m achieving those things? Because what’s the point in achieving anything? If you’re not happy, right, while you’re doing it, and you feel a sense of service, really. So that has been a huge shift for me in focusing on how I feel and how I want to show up as I’m achieving my goals. But I believe that words are extremely powerful. And, and I think that’s why these messages from your future self are so powerful as well, because for the last forever, you know, and, and, you know, that’s why I have my letters framed and everything, but I’m always writing, you know, I am statements, and I’m always, you know, again, referring to the life that I already have in the future, as as if it already exists, right? I think it’s so important. And vision boarding, I’m a huge fan of that. And I love to go into organizations. But I think that, you know, there’s so many different ways that you can vision board and you there’s the personal, but then there’s also collectively as a group, when an organization does this together, what are your goals, dreams and aspirations? What are the company’s goals, dreams and aspirations? How do they align? And how do we put that together into a massive organizational vision board? Right, so that you can see yourself as part of what we’re doing as part of this family as part of this vision? It’s very powerful, huh?
Heather Pearce Campbell 26:31
Yeah, that that doing that, as a group process, I can imagine is quite different than doing it as an individual.
Jennifer Zawadzki 26:38
Yeah. And so powerful, it would blow your mind. Because suddenly, then you’ve got, you know, depending on the size of your organization, but you’re 10x 100x saying, the intention.
Heather Pearce Campbell 26:50
Mm hmm. I love that. So talk to us a little bit about how you help integrate this concept of the future you like, obviously, through your business, the services, the even the gifts that you provide? Tell us a little bit more about that.
Jennifer Zawadzki 27:10
Yeah, so really, that gets it’s really about, there’s a saying, you know, the future depends on the choices you make today. So it really is, that’s where the future you kind of comes from is that let’s create a future that is better for you, for the people that you love and for the world at large. Right. And so that’s kind of how we stem out with our gifts and services. We’re really looking at it from the perspective of what can you do today, to help yourself someone else or the world, and, and so our gifts, you know, obviously, those are all personalized. And like I said, they can either be sent personally to someone that you love and care about, or they can be sent through an organization. I actually just started working with an organization, I’m so proud of this place. They called me to say, hey, can we put together a program for people who are leaving because you know, a lot of the great resignation, whatever. They wanted to find a way to honor the people who are leaving with a gift to say, thank you so much for the time and for what you gave to our organization while you’re here. And I just thought that was so cool. But again, every gift comes, you know, with a personalized letter written from the perspective of your future self. And then all of the workshops and keynotes and programs that we build. This is really about, hey, what can you do to better the future? What choices can you make today to make tomorrow a better day? That kind of thing?
Heather Pearce Campbell 28:35
Oh, I love that. What? What’s the favorite part if I can break it into parts? Because you’ve got different things going on in your business? What’s the favorite, like part of your business where you love spending the most time?
Jennifer Zawadzki 28:48
I would say this is surprisingly, the keynotes. I love it. I think that I love people I always have. I was surprised because like I said those kinds of happened by accident. But when I am in with a group of people, and there’s that that exchange of energy, it is like my favorite thing in the world. Because with the boxes, I don’t often know how the receiver received it. I mean, I can imagine and then we get great reviews, and I’ll get the emails from them and things like that, but I’m not there. I’m not feeling it. Whereas when I’m face to face in a Keynote or workshop, face to face, not virtual, I love being in the same room. That is I live for that I can do a keynote and I’m high on that for months, you know?
Heather Pearce Campbell 29:42
Yeah, it’s so true. I joke that coming out of this side of COVID and like, planning personal get togethers again, you know, and it’s just really been over the summer like we’ve started to see people again, have people over for backyard. It’s like, I was joking with my head. has been like, I never want to let people leave. It’s like, oh, you showed up. You’re trapped. Sorry. Yeah, we’re making all this long time. I feel that so much like that energy of being with people and how much so many of us have missed it, right. But it’s also just a testament to how magical it is when humans come together, right? And especially for the right reasons, the right intentions, I just think it’s, like, 100%.
Jennifer Zawadzki 30:29
Part of the best I know, right? Like I am, I’ve always been a big hugger. And I’ve always been like, grip hog. You know, I’m not girl. But um, man, I’ll tell you now even more like, I just, yeah, there’s nothing like it. There’s nothing like being in the same room with somebody.
Heather Pearce Campbell 30:46
Yeah, it’s amazing. And I’d love to ask you a little bit about your journey in creating this business. Like if you’re willing to share with us some of the highlights some of the lowlights I’d love to know, you know, a little bit more about your recent path as an entrepreneur.
Jennifer Zawadzki 31:05
Sure. Yeah. So it’s been bonkers. It’s the first word that came to mind. Yeah, so much harder than I thought it would be. To be honest, I mean, talk about leading grit, and like, and resilience, and just it is it will test you in every way. I am so grateful that when I started on this journey, I really took time to think through my mission, the purpose, our values. And I really did I mean, I worked really hard on that. And I would just edit, re, edit, re edit, re edit until it really resonated with me. And I’m so glad, because I have had to go back to that time and time and time again, it is my foundation, it is my everything. Yeah, it’s just it’s been hard, you know, so for the first little bit, so I’m a single mom, right. And I for the first little while I had my huge corporate job, and then the pandemic, and you know, so it was exhausting. And so for the first almost year and a half, I did both. So my journey was I would get up at three in the morning, 330 or something between three and four. And I would work on future you until about seven. And then I would get my son up and you know, get us both ready for the day, go bring him to school, I would do my corporate job, come home, you know, dinner, bath, bed, whatever. And then I would try to get in another hour and a half, I’d get to bed around midnight, but I was averaging about three to four hours a night of sleep for about a year and a half, which I don’t recommend, because it was very unhealthy. From a burnout standpoint, and mental health standpoint, not the best. But I didn’t know how else to do it, because I couldn’t afford to do it any other way. And I’m self funded, you know. And so that was my journey for the longest time. And then like I said, when we launched it to the world, it was supposed to be a soft launch, it was really more of a proof of concept type of test, right? And, and then all of a sudden, as the media started to pick it up in the pandemic, it just exploded overnight, and I had to make a decision, you know, what are you gonna do? Are you all in or not, and it was petrified. But I had to go all you had to there was that wasn’t going to be able to I didn’t have the bandwidth to do what I needed to do. And then to be quite honest with you, then things started to slow down again. And I got really scared, because I, again, I’m self funded and all that. So it was it’s just been a really interesting journey. But every single time I have, you know, just thought I can’t do this another day. What am I going to do? Did I make a mistake? All those questions that you have as an entrepreneur, I am so grounded in my why. And I’ve been so lucky to like right at the right time, I’ll get an email from someone I don’t know, somewhere in the country who just got a box to say, you know, you have no idea how much this meant to me. I needed this today. I needed to hear these exact words. And I think no, I know, I know. And it gives me all the fuel I need to keep going, you know, and that has what’s been keeping me going but I am all in on this puppy. And so there are things I would do differently.
Heather Pearce Campbell 34:36
Do you mind sharing one or two of those?
Jennifer Zawadzki 34:40
I think I would have stuck out with my corporate job a little longer, and put my end and applied for more loans and grants and things like that and just would have been in a position where I could hire more and delegate. Right off the bat. Because I got myself in a position where I could only take myself so far. And then financially, I couldn’t hire the people that I needed to do and build the team that I needed in order to scale. You know, that was, anyway, I’m working through it. Yeah, I’m learning but that…
Heather Pearce Campbell 35:20
Building up team, are you currently in the process of building team working?
Jennifer Zawadzki 35:23
Well, I’m actually right now currently in the process of working with someone who will come in as an angel investor. So, fingers crossed, hopefully by the time this launches, that’s already done. But yeah, that was that. I wish I had done that. I wish I had either got more funding straight off the bat and built that team and had that team around me before I cut the cord.
Heather Pearce Campbell 35:48
So many entrepreneurs are nodding their heads, right. Like they’ve walked that path. It’s a really fine balance, knowing right when to jump all in. And like, it sounds like you hung on with that job for a bit while you were doing this on the side.
Jennifer Zawadzki 36:04
I did the best that I could. But I was constantly playing this game, right? Because I would get media coverage. And I would send it would start like I said it would start really building. But then I would have to reinvest, obviously everything back into the business. But you know, if I would have gotten national coverage, I wouldn’t have had the infrastructure or the inventory to…
Heather Pearce Campbell 36:26
Support all of that. Yeah, I would.
Jennifer Zawadzki 36:28
So I’ve always had to play this game of okay, go Okay, stop. Okay, go. Okay, stop. Right, instead of just going and having the team ready to rock.
Heather Pearce Campbell 36:39
Yeah. Totally. So what’s next? So obviously, you know, angel investor may be on the horizon? Where do you see your business going next?
Jennifer Zawadzki 36:50
Well, my goal is I have lots of plans. I would like to see us build out a speaker’s program. I’d like to see us have a group of professional speakers that are, you know, experts in certain areas as well as, you know, future you certified coaches. I’d like to see us launch our first future you wellness retreat. Fine. Yeah. So that you know, various things.
Heather Pearce Campbell 37:20
And the folks when you’re going in and doing keynotes are these large organizations? Are they? Are they community members? Like who are you talking to, with your speaking?
Jennifer Zawadzki 37:31
The keynote seem to be more focused on women’s organizations seem to be big hits, or ERG groups, women and Ally type events. That seems to be big. And then as terms of organizations, it’s more of our team, inspiration, team building programs that we’ve got some empowerment programs, I would love to really build out a youth empowerment program. That’s big on my list. But right now, so we’ll go in, and we’ll just inspire teams, there’s been a lot, we have a program right now called reflect, connect, inspire and thrive. And it’s a four month program for businesses. And that has been really our most in demand right now. Because companies are realizing they need to reflect on the past, who were they before COVID, right, reconnects their teams in new ways, because they’ve got either a lot of new people or they’re just communicating differently with their hybrid models, then the Inspire piece is how do we make sure again, that the people’s missions purposes and values are aligned with the companies? And how do we inspire them towards what the future is? And what does that future even look like? And we, you know, touch base every week, and we do team motivational calls. We do you know, seminars and workshops. That is really right now, I would say the bulk of the work that we’re doing with corporations.
Heather Pearce Campbell 38:53
And based, I assume, based on the workforce, that’s probably largely virtual.
Jennifer Zawadzki 38:57
Heather Pearce Campbell 38:58
Yeah. Yeah. Are you liking that?
Jennifer Zawadzki 39:01
Yeah, I do. I do. But the keynotes are my favorite.
Heather Pearce Campbell 39:07
Right, getting the right people.
Jennifer Zawadzki 39:09
Totally, yeah, I just do I love the group setting. I love the rah rah.
Heather Pearce Campbell 39:14
Yeah. How do you help people with the vision of their future self? Do they struggle with that, like, talk to us about what you see in that process?
Jennifer Zawadzki 39:25
Yeah, so I do an exercise around the six key areas of life, right? Because that’s how I transformed my life. All I know is what I’ve personally done, you know, and that is actually so my logo is the six petal lotus flower. And so what I do is I talk about the lotus flower I talk about what that means to me because obviously the lotus is the story of coming out of murky waters and blossom into something beautiful. It has six petals because each petal rep represents the six key areas of life. And then the center’s in a diamond shape because when you nourish those 16 key areas of your life you flourish, and your inner light shines. And when your inner light shines, you’re able to then shine it onto the world and everything is brighter and happier. So for me, it starts with joy. Because again, that’s where it started with me, I think joy is magic. That’s where the magic lives. And when you can tap into joy, you’re vibing higher, you’re attracting better things. Just that’s where the magic lives. And so you know, I do this whole exercise with the six petal lotus flower and and in the center, I first asked them, you know, if you could that, which is what I exactly did to myself, I said to myself, Okay, if one is clinically depressed, and 10 is ecstatically happy, how joyful, am I? And I went on to Oh, okay, well, we need to work on that. You know, and that’s when I got this little pocket book. And I just said to myself every day, anything that makes you smile, write it down, read it every night, and then promise yourself tomorrow, you will do more of that. And that’s exactly what I did. And I just rinse repeat it until I’ve found joy in my life. And then I looked at physical and mental health, you know, work and career satisfaction, family and relationship fulfillment, financial health and abundance, spiritual wellness, community contributions, and I started to dig deep. And I would ask myself, on a scale from one to 10, where are you in this particular area, and then I would be able to see it as a whole, right? So each each pedal is has a number in it, the center has my joy, I can see the big picture of where I am. And where I need to focus my attention. So that’s what I ask everybody to do. And then that enables us to dig into where they currently are on their journey at this moment, knowing it’s fluid, it’s always going to change. Right? I recommend people do this exercise at least once a year, if not twice. Because you need to just check in with yourself, how are you doing? Right? And what needs to be watered today? You know, that’s really the basis of it is we do the six pedal Lotus exercise. And then that enables us to kind of dig into where that particular person is in their journey. And then I give them tips and tools and resources to help them in the areas that they personally need, you know, help with the time in their life.
Heather Pearce Campbell 42:15
Yeah, you find that that that exercise often results in like, because I think of it like a wheel. I think a lot of us have done some kind of exercise like that, where you’re rating yourself in these categories honest. And it’s, it is interesting how you can kind of like go along thinking like I’m doing fine, but then when you actually have to sit down and analyze it and do a reading. It’s like, Oh, my What should look like a circle looks like a lopsided, you know, oval or whatever, really heavy on a couple sides and light on the others or maybe just looks like a flat tire, like all the way around? What do you find that there are certain patterns that you see with folks that are interesting? No, not yet. Can be any of those earrings, either.
Jennifer Zawadzki 43:02
And each flower is like a fingerprint. They’re so unique. You know, and again, somebody’s you know, flower will look very different now than it did when I spoke to them or met them last year. Mine certainly does. You know, like when I started I was you know, the peak of my career, my financial health was looking great. I was you know, now I’m all in on this business. That’s completely changed for now. But I’m healthier than I’ve ever been. And I’m happier than I’ve ever been. No, it’s it. I am not currently seeing any trends. I will say, I have put physical and mental health into the same bucket because I know that they are very different. But I also do that is where I see a link.
Heather Pearce Campbell 43:52
Yeah, they’re related.
Jennifer Zawadzki 43:53
There is a link. So that’s why that’s that way. That’s probably the only place I could really say that.
Heather Pearce Campbell 44:00
Mm hmm. Yeah. Great question. Yes. And then you’ve got work career family was, I think the fourth bucket, I missed the fifth one because I was then typing…
Jennifer Zawadzki 44:10
Heather Pearce Campbell 44:13
Is that number five? And then the contribution?
Jennifer Zawadzki 44:16
Yeah, yeah. I’m a big fan of meditating. That was another thing that I added into my life. One of the most significant changes, I believe, that I’ve made in my life is my morning routine. And being very intentional about how I choose to spend my mornings I get up much earlier than I used to, and I dedicate the first hour of my life to me, and I read and I journal and I do all those things that you read about it is very powerful. And I’m a true believer in just connecting with source, whatever that is for you. And doing those daily meditations. And again, writing.
Heather Pearce Campbell 44:54
Yeah, how hard was it to establish that habit? As a single mom working now, as an entrepreneur, talk to us a little bit about how you’ve managed to keep that going.
Jennifer Zawadzki 45:06
Yeah, hard, harder on the days that I have my son, because I don’t have them full time. And so I almost have two different lives, really. But on the mornings that I have my son, I have found it more challenging, because soon as he hears me wake up, he’s up. And then you know, it’s difficult because they’re young. So what I did almost a year ago now is I said to him, okay, hey, buddy, why don’t you get up earlier with me, and let’s do a routine together that we can be proud of my, you know, I talk to him like this and said, you know, like, no successful people in the world. And he’s like, it’s like, okay, well, but what we decided we’re very blessed. We live near the beach. So now, I don’t have time to meditate on the mornings that I’m with him, I do it when I get home after I drop him off from school. But I’ve switched my nature walk time, or my exercise time to be with him. So we actually pack up everything by like six in the morning, and we go to the beach. And we spend every morning before school, watching the sunrise and playing on the beach together and going for a walk. And then I drive him to school straight from the beach. That has been one of the most beautiful things. It is our favorite time of day. We both say it because by the end of the day, he’s tired, I’m tired. And we just kind of want to chill. And then I got to make dinner, you know? And then I’ll say how was your day? And they’ll be like, fine. But in the morning, we have like these most delightful conversations. And just Yeah, and we’re out watching the sunrise and he’s splashing in the water and I bring a change of clothes. And so I just learned to adapt and change. Okay, well, if I can’t do exactly this right now, the thing, that’s the thing I used to be very, I like a definite control freak. Right. And I think you learn when you become a parent anyway, like that’s out the window. And I have just learned. There’s things that work in their structures. Great. And I am a huge fan of routine, but you have to be fluid.
Heather Pearce Campbell 47:09
Yes. Oh, right. So yes, that concept of being fluid of like just being in flow, I think often we read about somebody else’s routine, or like, this is how it should be. And you think like, oh, okay, and then you try it and you think I can’t do it that way. So it just doesn’t work. Right? Yeah versus…
Jennifer Zawadzki 47:28
Let’s say you have a newborn that doesn’t sleep, right? You’re not getting up at 430, like me and meditating right now. I mean, you’re not. But find those pockets, get creative, right? And don’t come at it from a perspective of it’s impossible, I can’t do it. Anything is better than nothing, five minutes, you know, even if you gotta lock yourself in that bathroom or something, but just five minutes to connect with yourself or even in light just mean that you’re starting your day with a really big glass of water. And that’s all you can do right now. Right? But you’re replenishing your body with something that is a gift. You’re doing something really positive. So focus on that, you know, something so hard on yourself, just roll with it, do your best. But there are definite things like when you are in a position when you can figure it out meditate, because it’s like life changing, right?
Heather Pearce Campbell 48:25
Yeah. So I love that. Is there a certain style of meditation that you’ve really become drawn to?
Jennifer Zawadzki 48:32
I am right now I just like I’m a huge Wayne Dyer fan. And this is the first time I used to do a lot of guided meditations. And I had this woman called Jeff shepherd that I loved. But I’m just started doing these all and I’m meditations from Wayne Dyer. And I’m digging it hard.
Heather Pearce Campbell 48:53
Yeah, it’s interesting, because I have you heard of there’s a method called the Silva method. Yes. Yeah. It’s really interesting, because I think a lot of people like, again, and I was having conversations with my sisters about this, like, you try meditation, you have a busy brain, you think like, gosh, it’s really not working. For me, it’s so much effort just to try to, like calm down my brain. But when you have a meditation, that’s like a focused meditation, I forget what they what they call it in the southern method. But it’s not like the kind of meditation where you’re supposed to sit there and blank out your brain, like you basically give your brain a job to do. Right. It’s so much easier for some of us to do meditations like that, right? Yes, I had even in a couple minutes really a profound experience of like, really deep relaxation which is virtually impossible in normal life to achieve with kids and like, you know, using for those of us moms that get up and like the second we’re awake, our children hear us and they’re awake with us. Yeah, so many parents I know can relate to that. Yeah, but even if Five Minute Meditation, what you can achieve can be really significant.
Jennifer Zawadzki 50:03
Absolutely. And you know, I started doing we do I do meditations with my son before bed. That’s what we do. Now we read and then we put on the guided meditation and he falls asleep, usually within a couple of hours. But I still think even while he’s sleeping, he’s benefiting from it. But then I’m getting mine and chill, right? Like, and I’m no, it’s just I figure it out. But yeah, I love that I just started reading about the so so funny that you said, that’s amazing. I just started reading about it. But these are items like because I am such a huge lover of the written and spoken word, I have such a respect for it. And that, you know, now I’m learning more about how certain words have vibrations. Right? You can deeper ways. And so that’s what this is, I’m exploring this, I’m liking it a lot.
Heather Pearce Campbell 50:47
So I’m loving this, ah, it’s so interesting. It’s so fun to be able to play and figure out which of these approaches feels more like a fit for your brain, because I do think they’re different, you know, and it’s like, Joe Dispenza, I had listened to some of his sample meditations. I’m reading one of his books. And, you know, he has much more of like, pattern beat in some of them, you know, and it was so interesting. I was watching a show the other day that also talked about how you can put people in a trance through a beat at exactly the right rhythm that will move. Because basically what you’re doing is moving somebody out of beta brainwaves, right into alpha into delta, like moving them deeper and deeper. And it just through sound, right. So it’s yeah, it’s so fascinating.
Jennifer Zawadzki 51:41
I do I think it is. And I love deep thought and this is what I’m liking too is you, you end up with a toolbox, right? And so like I did a 11 day, I think it was an 11 day, Deepak Chopra guided meditation once, and I liked it so much, I did it twice in a row. And then I kind of done it wasn’t working for me that I went back to just Shepard and now I’m doing the Wayne Dyer thing. But I love that I can just be on a certain day. And if I’m really in tune with how I feel, no, okay, you know what I need today? I mean, that one, you know, and because every day is unique, too. But…
Heather Pearce Campbell 52:15
Yeah, I just love that as a busy mom, you’re saying like, this has been transformational for you. I feel like for years, it’s something that I fought like in my brain, I was like, I know, I shouldn’t be doing this. And yet, just like the pace of life and my busy brain, I didn’t do it right. And it took a little bit sorting out like even how to get started. But I agree with you so much. Like if you can make time for it, it can be really significant. And I love that you’ve been able to implement that in your life and keep up with it, even through this transition from a career into full on entrepreneurship, that’s a big change. And there’s a lot of stuff on your plate, and you’re still doing it. And I love that you’ve been able to maintain that.
Jennifer Zawadzki 52:57
Thank you. Another thing that I do that, you know, and I’m a little bit extreme, and all things but I have recorded myself doing I am affirmations, I have 100 of them. And I recorded myself with classical music in the background. And when I go to sleep, I play it. And I again, I truly believe because that’s how I used to study in school. So many times I would record myself doing saying the lessons that I needed to learn. And I would play it while I was sleeping. And my subconscious was getting the information, and I was acing my tests. So one day, I finally said, Well, you know what I don’t need to be awake to to benefit from these words. So just record yourself saying them once and then fall asleep to them. And, and then I just gained like two hours or an hour or whatever. But I swear by it, and it’s just time management.
Heather Pearce Campbell 53:53
Will and even back to the power of your voice. Because I’ve also read that saying it in your own voice and listening back it. It is even more powerful than just reading the statement. There is a great little app that I love that is called I am right. So you can just go search it, but it pops up the little affirmation statements right on your home, like the home, the home screen of your phone. And you can write your own affirmations in there and it’ll cycle through them throughout the day. send you notifications, right so I know for all the busy folks out there right ways to buffer buffer your life around the edges with these things because I do believe that they help and especially when we’re in periods of transition and growth and we’re really aiming for something and we need new ideas new supports new ways of doing things.
Jennifer Zawadzki 54:47
And when you’re tired and when you’re drained and when you’re stressed and when you’re in the you know in a fearful thought mindset or whatever. It’s incredible how nasty we can be to ourselves and our thoughts. We are crueler to ourselves than anyone could ever be, in our words, not half the time, we don’t even realize all the negative stuff we say to each other in our in our head all day long. So if you can combat that with positive messages, you know, intentionally do that. Eventually, you will rewire yourself to automatically go to the positive instead of negative, but our brains are not wired to do that.
Heather Pearce Campbell 55:22
No, they’re not. They’re wired to survive. That’s it.
Jennifer Zawadzki 55:24
Yes. That’s right. That’s right.
Heather Pearce Campbell 55:27
Yeah. So true. Well, Jennifer, it’s been such a joy to connect with you and hear about your very interesting story. I love it. I love your friend who did that for you like, what a key, you know, a really pivotal time and interesting thing to do for a friend, and how impactful it was that now you’re using that idea to to change the lives of so many people? Where do you like for people? For those that are listening? Where do you like for folks to connect with you?
Jennifer Zawadzki 55:59
Yeah, so um, the very first thing that I recommend is to head over to our website, which is futureyouproject.com. And on the menu bar, you’ll see free gifts. If you click on that, you can sign up for our newsletter, and you’ll get three free gifts in three days. And those are really fun, beautiful digital prints of inspirational quotes that you can hang anywhere, print out and hang anywhere in your home or office. So I highly recommend that you do that. And we do a really cool thing where every Monday when you sign up for our newsletter, we send you an inspirational email from your future self. So that’s a nice way to kick off the week. And then you’ll find me on social media I’m at. Everyone calls me Jen Z. So at Jen Z inspiration, that’s where you’re gonna find me on LinkedIn, on Facebook and on, sorry, Instagram.
Heather Pearce Campbell 56:51
Jennifer Zawadzki 56:52
Yeah, sorry. And then the Future You Project across all platforms at futureyouproject. And those are definitely the ways and just yeah, please message me, email me, social media.
Heather Pearce Campbell 57:05
Yeah, I love it for ya. And if you’re listening, be sure to pop over to the show notes. I’ll share all of her links, including social media on the show notes page. And I think you had like a savings code if somebody wants to work with you, right. And I’ll post that promo code there. So if you’re thinking you’d like to hear from Jennifer, you’d like to like her to work with you or your business or your group. Be sure to go look at that. You can find the show notes at legalwebsitewarrior.com/podcast. Jennifer, what final piece of advice would you like to leave people with?
Jennifer Zawadzki 57:41
Oh, love on yourself. Love yourself and be kind. Kindness matters.
Heather Pearce Campbell 57:50
It does matter. Yes. I love that. Sure does. Jennifer, thank you so much. So great to connect with you.
Jennifer Zawadzki 57:56
Thank you, you too. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
GGGB Outro 57:58
Thank you for joining us today on the Guts, Grit and Great Business® podcast. We hope that we’ve added a little fuel to your tank, some coffee to your cup and pep in your step to keep you moving forward in your own great adventures. For key takeaways, links to any resources mentioned in today’s show and more, see the show notes which can be found at www.legalwebsitewarrior.com/podcast. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and if you enjoyed today’s conversation, please give us some stars and a review on Apple podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcast so others will find us too. Keep up the great work you are doing in the world and we’ll see you next week.