Name: Jennifer Kennedy
Business/Blog: Teach Good Stuff
When did you launch your business/blog?
I launched my blog in March of 2013 as an idea to use my education background to help coaches and bloggers design amazing e-courses. I spent a TON of time tinkering with my website header, my blog articles, and setting up my social media accounts. I wanted everything to be “perfect”.
However, I didn’t launch my first product until almost a year later. (I’m almost ashamed to say that!) So, I always say that technically, I didn’t actually start my business until sometime around February of 2014.
What inspired you to pursue your dreams and begin creating the life you want?
I never set out to be an entrepreneur. When I was a teacher, I loved being in the classroom and teaching students. I was fulfilled by seeing students’ faces light up when they learned something new. However, after 8 years, I made the tough decision to leave the classroom.
A year after that, I was hired at my “corporate” job. I loved the first few years there as I was learning a lot. However, after 2 years, I started feeling less and less fulfilled. I had a long commute, there was no room for growth or promotion, and I felt like I was helping someone else pursue their goals and dreams. So, ultimately I was inspired by wanting to spend energy and time on my own dreams.
How does your business line up with your purpose in life?
When I reflect back on the things I’ve done over the past 20 years, I see patterns that have lead me to my purpose. I’ve always loved teaching -- I taught Mexican Migrant farm workers English, I’ve taught elementary students Spanish, I was a classroom teacher, and I always volunteer to teach local programs.
My business is a natural extension of this purpose. Being online gives me the opportunity to reach a broader audience and really make an impact on women through my teaching and products.
What do you enjoy most about living life on your own terms?
Freedom. I was reflecting on this the other day when I took my dog to the park. That’s when it hit me - that my time was MY time. Before diving full-time into my business, my mornings were a big rush. I also felt like I was spending my life energy helping someone else achieve their goals and dreams. Now, I don’t have a problem with people doing that! But, it just didn’t vibe with my soul. I know I wanted something more. So, I’ve mostly enjoyed the freedom it has given me to work towards my purpose.
Describe an a-ha moment.
Whoa..there have been SO many. Ha. One of the biggest Ah-ha’s is one that I’ve had recently. I was watching a sermon by Toure Roberts, a church leader out here in LA. The title of his sermon was, “It’s time to move.” That’s when it hit me - what got me this far will not get me to the next level. I realized that I needed to stop playing small and start taking the massive actions that will move my business forward.
For so long, I had been doing the same thing day in and day out. I realized at this moment, that in order to grow my business, I’d needed to start doing activities that would really give it a boost. This was huge for me! I totally encourage everyone to check out that sermon on YouTube and then also see how they can take massive action in their business!
What has been your biggest challenge as a blogger or business owner?
The biggest challenge has been wearing too many hats. There’s a lot of moving parts when you have your own business. Another challenge would be the fact that I have no “operation’s manual”. I have to determine what needs to get done for my business on my own.
What keeps you motivated on days when you feel overwhelmed?
There are two things. The first is prayer. I’ve actually recently adopted a prayer routine and created a prayer book. It’s a powerful routine to do when I’m feeling down and need a pick-me up. The second is an old work email! Ha. This one motivates me because it serves as a constant reminder of why I quit my job and what I’m working towards. The email was sent to the entire office staff (this was after I had left) telling them that they were free to leave two hours early before the holiday weekend. Two hours early!! What??! Ha. I still have this email on my phone, and it gets me fired up to work towards being free.
What’s one thing that makes you stand out from your peers?
There are many people whose business is helping online entrepreneurs create courses and other digital products. But what differentiates me is that I have experience as a teacher. I know exactly what it takes to help people learn and get something out of your programs. And, as a teacher, my biggest skill is breaking information down so that people understand.
What’s your biggest fear? And how do you overcome your fears?
My biggest fear is that I’m going to fail. I’m the type of person who automatically thinks about all of the things that can go wrong. I think about what people will think or say about me if that happens. I’m working on changing my mindset to one where I’m expecting positive things to happen. I’m keeping my head on my destination and not where I’m currently at.
What’s one lesson that you’ve learned on your journey to being free?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is about visibility. You can have the most amazing products in the world, but if no one knows about it, you won’t have a business. It took me a while to work up the confidence to put myself out there. So, the biggest lesson that I can tell people is to shout your message from the rooftop! Let everyone know.
What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of using my gifts and talents to create a business that serves others.
How do you support other women?
My biggest way of supporting other women is through encouragement. Sometimes you just want to hear that you’re doing awesome and that you should keep moving forward. I like to build in that type of encouragement into my programs and posts. I want women to know that it is possible for you to reach your dreams.
What does being free mean to you?
Being free means being me. This means not worrying about what others think. It means I have the freedom to use my strengths to create a business. It means I am the dictator of my own time. Ultimately, it’s about living out what I’m meant to do.
What is your favorite affirmation or quote?
My favorite quote right now is one by Louise Hay, “If I dwell on what I don’t want, then I will get more of it. I affirm only the good in life.” This quote serves as a reminder to constantly think about and move towards the dreams I have in my heart.
What book would you highly recommend the BeFree Community read?
Wow, there are so many books that I’ve read that have been inspiring. I’ll give you two:
The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo. This book is filled with lessons about life, goals, and dreams.
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. This is not a business book, but a non-fiction story that follows the lives of three African-Americans who leave their homes and family in the South for a better life in the North and/or West.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
My biggest piece of advice is to take one action each day that will move you closer to your goals. There’s a lot of distractions that are not really helping you build your business or achieve your other goals. Make sure you’re taking specific actions on you and your business.
Share a fun fact about yourself.
I own a greyhound (the dog), I’ve run 3 marathons. And, I hate tomatoes. I’ve also lived abroad in Italy and Africa. Okay..I know that’s more than one fun fact! Ha.
What exciting things do you have planned for 2015?
I plan on hosting more virtual workshops and programs! I’m super excited about this. I’ve done a few this year already, but plan to ramp that up and offer more.
The Chasing Free Feature is designed to spotlight women who are living in purpose, pursuing her dreams, and creating the life she wants by doing what she’s passionate about.
Monthly, I'll introduce you to women that are unapologetically living life on her own terms. She's a solopreneur, blogger, small business owner, she may even have a side hustle until she’s able to do what she loves full time. She’s doing the darn thing! And she openly shares her journey with the BeFree Community to help inspire others to be free.
If you or someone you know is living out their dreams and want to be featured on the blog, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!