Getting to Know Jennifer Herndon

As a child, I loved to climb trees. There was no greater joy than finding the “perfect” climbing tree. One with a branch low enough to hoist myself onto. Followed by a series of solid branches that went progressively higher.

I remember testing the branches, to see how high I could go. How far out I could venture. If the branch began to sag and crackle under the pressure of my foot, I wisely retreated, seeking more solid ground to hold me.

I noticed one day, after my tree-climbing years had faded, replaced by allegedly more “important” uses of my time, that the bird takes a much different approach to tree-climbing. In contrast to the careful and deliberate strategy I deployed, the bird moves quickly and effortlessly from branch to branch, without concern for the thickness of the branch, or how close to the end of the branch it lands.

Of course the difference in the bird and me is that I had to rely on the branch to keep from hitting the ground with a thud. But the bird, she moves confidently, knowing that she has everything within her to keep from sharing my fate.

While I’ve yet to master flying from tree to tree, or even branch to branch, I did find my wings, eventually, in a different way.

And I figured out the importance of trusting that I have everything I need within me to confidently walk out onto the thinnest of branches in life. Not because I can always successfully navigate them, but because I know how to get up and move on when I do fall off. Wiser for having taken the risk, and one step closer to discovering the perfect branch.

Feeling like you can fly, like the sky’s the limit, like you have everything you’ll ever need within you, makes all the difference. And getting to that point, is always the interesting part of the story.

My Entrepreneurial Journey
I am fascinated by the human story. For successful entrepreneurs, it so often has an identical framework:

  1. Start off in the job you’re “suppose” to have;
  2. Figure out it’s someone else’s definition of success;
  3. Finally decide to follow your heart;
  4. Spend every waking moment you have trying to perfect your entrepreneurial dream;
  5. Go broke;
  6. Ignore everyone who asks you, “Why don’t you get a real job?”
  7. Feel scared, overwhelmed, in doubt of yourself;
  8. Refuse to quit. Ever;
  9. Become an “overnight success.”

It doesn’t always happen in that order. Steps 5 and 7 seem to happen almost continuously throughout the process. Until finally, your business is paying the mortgage.

It kinda happened that way for me:

1. I became an attorney (and honestly, for many years, I loved what I did).
2. While it was most people’s definition of “success,” it became my definition of a soul-sucking nightmare.
3. I acknowledged that I was passionate about time freedom, not just financial freedom, and about showing others how to get both.
4. I set out to figure out how to double my six-figure income, while cutting my work time in half. I tried it all.
(Let’s just leave it at that. More details would embarrass us both, so let’s wait until we know each other better.)
5. I went broke once or twice, at least.
6. I ignored the masses who didn’t understand why I’d want to leave the seemingly fabulous life I had.
7. I still have pit-in-my-stomach fear quite a bit, but I know it’s because I’m about to do something new and amazing.
8. Quitting never crossed my mind. My “why” is too big to quit.
9. And then it just happened. Like a tiny snowball that started rolling downhill and turned into an avalanche.

The more I became at home in the world of online business, the more stories I heard and saw that just broke my heart. So many people were getting to step 8, but just couldn’t make that final push to the success they had earned and deserved.

I counted every little blessing. The opportunities and experiences I could give my children. The field trips I could drive for, and class plays I never had to miss. The high heels I put in the Goodwill bag, the flip flops I bought in every color. The freedom to say “no,” and the good fortune to have so many “yeses.”

At the same time, I felt a pain every day for those who couldn’t put all the pieces together, for whatever reason.

I met so many people who couldn’t afford the business training they needed. I have spent, and continue to spend, tens of thousands of dollars a year on my education. The study of marketing, copywriting, and (especially) personal development is never-ending.

I didn’t know it in the beginning, but I did it not only so I could get better, but also so that you can get better. I know most people don’t have the time and resources to put into learning how to do business online. So it became my mission to cut down the learning curve, and the cost, for as many people as I could reach.

One of the first big and scary things I did was to go from being a part time affiliate marketer (mainly in the personal development niche), to doing one-on-one coaching and consulting. I’d been doing a lot of it on an informal basis, but now people were actually paying me for it. I felt tremendous pressure to produce results for them.

Next I realized it was time to “walk the walk” and completely leave behind the financial comfort my legal practice was providing. That meant relying 100% on feeding, housing, and clothing myself and four children through my online businesses.

Honestly, it still keeps me up some nights. I still find myself saying “what if . . .,” which I take as a sign that I’m doing things right. I’ve never accomplished anything outstanding while living entirely inside my comfort zone. So I’ve learned to be comfortable being a little uncomfortable.

What I Stand For
I know your time is as limited as mine. So here’s the part where you can decide whether we share the same values.

I believe in:

  1. Results. Doing the things that make you money first, everyday
  2. Action, not excuses. You make time to do the things that you make a priority.
  3. Active personal development. Your habits determine your success. Focus daily on becoming a better you.
  4. Accountability. You will always get more done if you’re accountable to someone that matters to you.
  5. Spending money to make money. Don’t ask me how to start a business with no money. Get a job.
  6. Social media as a tool. Targeted social media will help you build relationships that make you money.
  7. Real people with real businesses. Come out from behind your computer and talk with people.
  8. Over-delivering. When you give more than is expected, people remember you. And that’s half the battle.
  9. Outsourcing. Do what you do best, and find someone else to do the rest. It’s the only way to grow big.
  10. Hard work. Consistently
What I Can't Stand
I don’t believe in:

1. Business opportunities. Always jumping on the latest “get rich” business is the best way to get poor.

2. $10,000 in 30 days. Yes, you can create this kind of income, but not in your first 30 days, and not easily.

3. Shifting responsibility. When you take responsibility for everything that happens, you’re in complete control.

4. Political correctness. Being honest and telling it like it is has always benefitted me more than holding back.

5. Bad products and services. I can’t help you if you’re pushing a bad product or service.

6. Theory. Sure you should have some, but spend your time doing things, not talking about it.

7. Social media as the answer. Spending all day on social media is not how I want to run my business.

8. Perfection. Get it done, and get it out. You can always improve on it later if needed.

9. Overwhelm. Trying to do everything will get you nothing. Focus on one step at a time, forget the rest for now.

10. “Me too” marketing. Each business is unique. There’s no single blueprint that every business should model.

Won’t You Join Me?
Now you know a little about me, and how I think. If you’re also a believer in hard work, focused action, and yourself, it’d be great to have you join my community.

Let’s connect on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube. I’d be especially honored to have your permission to show up in your Inbox. That’s where I share my best stuff and make the best connections. We can hook up here.

Now it’s your turn. Tell me a little about yourself. What keeps you up at night, and pulls you out of bed early in the morning? You can email me at Jennifer @ JenniferHerndon.com. And yes, I personally read all of your emails.

It’s great to meet you!

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