In October 2018, Jen Taylor‘s world came crashing down as her husband tragically passed away, and she quickly had to figure out what the f*** to do with her life. Continue with her wedding planning business? Keep the house in Maui? Pivot to a new venture? No decisions are easy while grieving, but she had to make them anyway.
Jen Taylor: I kept him alive till two o’clock in the morning on Halloween. It was pretty brutal. And then, and you’re just like, Okay, well fuck, what am I gonna do?
Dana Kadwell: Welcome to Hustle and Gather, a podcast about inspiring the everyday entrepreneur to take the leap. I’m Dana
Courtney Hopper: and I’m Courtney.
Dana: And we are two sisters who have started multiple businesses together. And yes, it is as messy as you think. Because we know that starting a business, isn’t easy.
Courtney: I mean, we’ve done it four times. And on this show, we talk about the ups and downs of the hustle and the reward at the end of the journey.
Dana: And we love helping small businesses succeed, whether that is through our venue consulting, speaking, or team training, we love to motivate others to take that big leap.
Courtney: You could just use our misadventures to normalize the crazy that is being an entrepreneur, because every entrepreneur makes mistakes,
Dana: But we like to call those unsuccessful attempts around here,
Courtney: and we know it’s just part of the process. And today we’re learning from Jen Taylor. Jen started out in the industry as a destination wedding planner in Washington and Maui for many years. Over time, she recognized the need within the creative industry for more organized systems and processes for a happier life, both in terms of work and personal time.
This drove her to launch Jen Taylor Consulting, a firm that works with creative businesses of all size to implement a more streamlined workflow, to find more time and space for business growth and personal development. Jen, welcome to Hustle and Gather.
Jen: Yay. I’m so excited to be with you guys.
Courtney: excited to have you.
Dana: We are. We had so much fun at Cater Source getting to know you and spending time with you,
Jen: So fun.
Courtney: You were the bright spot of Cater Source. You were.
Jen: Oh, yay. Yay. I’m so happy. I know. It’s, it’s always about the people you meet. It’s never about the, you know, you get a nugget here and there, but it’s always about the people you meet at Cater Source or at special events or any,
Courtney: any of those conferences. I know. Yeah. It’s so true.
Dana: Well we’d love for you, just to get started, just to kind of dive into your background and what started you on that entrepreneur journey,
Jen: Oh geez. So if I look back now, my family is a bunch of entrepreneurs. We never thought of ourselves as that. We were just doing a job. So I went to college and got out and started working at Eddie Bauer, you know, a summer job, was on the call center. And then con, you know, moved on to corporate and did various jobs in very mundane things like inventory and things like that.
So then the next step was, okay, I’m gonna take this inventory gig and move over to cellular equipment. So I worked for, I think you guys would know it, it’s, we were sold to Alltel. So I knew I wasn’t going to Atlanta and Atlanta wasn’t gonna have me. So, so I was like, I had just like most brides just gotten married and had a wedding planner and I’m like talking to her throughout the process of, of my wedding and my sister’s wedding, my sister and I got married six, six months apart, ish.
Jen: And so I’m, I’m like, I can do this. It’s project management. That’s what I do. I’m like, I can do this. So I met with my wedding planner after the wedding and she’s like, oh, yes, you’d be great. And you know, I’ve been kind of doing my little research and talking to other people within the industry and they’re like, Yeah, you’re organized enough.
You’re detailed enough, you, yeah, you can do it. So, I met with my planner in December. We had dinner and she’s like, Here’s the name of your company and you just go do your work, do your regular job, and do this as the side hustle.
Jen: I go, Okay, got it. Do it. January, I went into the office and we were being sold, and I’m like, huh, that must be the window or the door, or whatever they say.
Dana: It was a sign.
Jen: It was a sign, and so I had another year at the company. I did the side hustle and just, I, I’d go into the office for like an hour or two and my boss was like, What’s, why aren’t you staying here? I have nothing to do. Like, I mean, I’ll do my work. I have about two hours’ worth of work, and then I’ll go, go home.
I don’t wanna spend company hours, company time resource on this job cause I didn’t wanna get in trouble or whatever I was thinking in my head. And so I started the company. So, so 2005 was the opening and I had my wedding, my first wedding was the end. It was New Year’s Eve of 2005. And that was it.
There you go. I just kept doing weddings and doing weddings and doing weddings and, I was just hustling all the time. And, you know, at the end of it I started gaining people, Like I started hiring a team and I’m like, where do you guys all come from? I’m like, I just, I kind of, they just kind of gathered.
Dana: It was very organic, mm-hmm.
Jen: What, totally. So I was teaching wedding planning at a local community college, and one of the students was like, hey, I want to come in, you know, be your assistant. So she was my assistant, and then she wanted to start her own company. So I started consulting, you know, with her on her own company.
At the end of it, she’s like, no, I just wanna work for you. I’m like, Okay, so just hop on board, let’s go. And then I started gaining more people and more, and then, But I’m like, one, one time I took, I took this, this poor woman, she’s lovely and she’s very sweet. I took her out to lunch and I said, Okay, here’s the deal.
I’m asking you to be a part of my company because I really need you for this wedding and I can’t, and I can’t tell you what to do and where to go unless you’re an employee. So do you wanna join my company. She’s like, Okay. So at the end of it, there was five of us, total planners. And we were rocking it, and we were just doing all the things and all the stuff.
I started a program with a local venue for, for us, and we were part of a package. So if they chose the top package, we would be part of that. And so I just kept the I call ’em the girls and they’re not, they’re lovely ladies, but I kept them busy with that. And then as the bigger events came through, then myself or my, senior planner would take those.
Jen: So we were 2007, probably 16, 17, 18. 18 was our biggest busiest year, cuz then I was doing side events for not really side events, but events for a local nonprofit called Woodinville Wine Country. Then everything just started falling, not fully falling apart, but just like kind of you could start seeing the phrase.
Jen: Whether it was myself and my, my health, my husband’s health was not doing well, and we’d gone to Hawaii. I did a wedding in Hawaii while I was on vacation for a friend, and we both got food poisoning. My husband ended up in the ER and stayed in the hospital for two days. I ended up in the ER after the wedding, and they wanted to admit me.
I’m like, no, you already have one of us in the hospital. You cannot admit me. I’m gonna be home. I’ve gotta, I’ve got to get back to the condo.
Jen: And so we came home, husband got a blood clot and got that, you know, fixed and all this. And so I’m still just mm, you know, just bulldozing through, you know, through my life.
And so I’m just sitting there and I’m like, Okay, what’s going on? My senior planner comes up to me and goes, and she got married, so it was five years ago, she’s like, I can’t do this anymore.
Jen: I can’t. I’m like, Fuck, we’re screw. I mean like, I’m screwed, not where I am, because he was doing a lot of things and I’m like, Okay, what? You know, So I’m sitting the think, I’m like, what am I doing wrong? And I’m like, I didn’t do anything wrong.
I, we were just trying to run a business together and she was taking a lot of internal, she was more, and we were both really internal. We both wanted be successful. She was a great driver as well. And so she finished up her weddings and she was done. I had another planner who was like, she got married in, I think her wedding was in July, I think the same year, she comes in, she goes, I want more. I want, I wanna a pay raise, and I want all this time off in the summer. And I look at her, I’m like, do you know this is Seattle?
Do you know the only time we can really do any type of weddings is from July to September? And you wanna take pretty much every weekend off in the, the entire summer.
Jen: No. So I said, Okay, here’s the deal. If I got, I had like two potential clients come through and I said, if you, I will give these to you, cause they could, they could run through the process for me. You know, they, they knew how to do the business and I said, if you get either of these weddings, I will give you a raise, but you have to get the weddings.
Dana: Like she has to sell it.
Jen: She has to sell it
Dana: Mm-hmm. Okay.
Jen: and no, she didn’t. And so, yeah, and so I just like, okay, you’re, you finish up your weddings and you move on. then
Dana: Did you see the red flags with that before? Like, did you notice that your team, you said you’ve noticed some, like
Jen: it was more of myself
Dana: Yeah. Mm-hmm.
Jen: like, you know, like you look back at it, you’re like, I could have seen that coming, but you know, but also you’re also right in the thick of it, so no, you’re just like, what, you know, what’s the hell’s going on? We had another planner move over to Yakima and she was just like, she had a baby and then she miscarried it and she’s like, I can’t deal with this.
I need, because she wanted to do a Yakima, which is over on the other side of the mountains from Seattle. Nicer, you know, it’s a nice dry area. More, more summers, things like that. And she’s like, I just can’t do it. I’m like, Great, that’s fine. And so there was just me and this, this woman that I asked to at lunch to become a part of my business.
And I look at her and I said, Okay, what do you wanna do? Because I made it very, and not inclusive, but I included them in a lot of things. Like I wanted it to be a more, it wasn’t just like I was the boss. I wanted to be like, hey, this is a, this is a team effort and you’re a part of this. Like, I wanna grow this team and I want this, you know, you to be a part of that.
And she’s like, Okay, I’m in. And we’re just gonna do this one venue. That’s all we’re gonna do. Cuz I was, my energy was way down. And I’m like, Okay, we’ll do. She comes back and she, and she had like one wedding on New Year’s. She’s like, I’m pregnant. I’m like, we’re done. We’re done.
Dana: I’m out.
Jen: I’m out. Peace out. Peace out. I am. I am, I am done. So that was probably October-ish. It must been. I mean, so then the climax of it all was on October 30th. My husband collapsed on the kitchen floor of a pulmonary embolism and we got him to the hospital. They couldn’t do anything cause every time they tried to do like any type of scan or any take him, he would start having another heart attack.
Jen: As it was trying to get to his heart, so I kept him alive till two o’clock in the morning on Halloween I’m like, so a doctor comes in and I said, I said, I know. I know why those nurses are running through, and I don’t want him to, I don’t wanna have to keep him alive to find out he’s gonna be you know, any type of, not where he wants to be in his life, so let’s, the next time it happens, just let it go. And, and that was that.
And so then, I’m calling his work his, he, he’s a contractor consultant for company in St. Louis. So I’m calling them at two o’clock in the morning our time, so it was like five, and I said, I need somebody to call me tomorrow. I, I need you to call me. We have a problem. In my head, I’m like, you have a problem. Cause I had nothing, they had no backup for what he did and knew and, and all of that.
And then I’m calling me, I I’m emailing my brides. I had two brides for the next year, and I’m like, I’m gonna be out for a while and this is what’s going on. I’m not gonna be ready for this. And then I had to call his mom, you know, and call, you know, and I think I called his sister and let the sister break the news. I wasn’t gonna give it to his mom. And then finally had to, you know, tell the rest of the family.
So it was, it was pretty brutal. And then, and you’re just like, Okay, well fuck, what am I gonna do? And cuz he was the, you know, he is a, he is the major breadwinner of the family. So I’m like, okay, well let’s just kind of sit here.
And I packed up the house. I, being who I am, I did not let anybody help me. I’m like, I can do this all myself. And so 2019 rolls around, I get the house ready for sale, and I leave from Maui for five weeks. I’m like, I’m outta here. And, come back. The day that I came back, I sold the house.
So, so that was, that was a good thing to come back to. I’d already moved into a new,
Jen: And then I’m like, Okay, I’ve gotta figure out the fuck I’m gonna do with my life. I mean, I had two weddings in Sept. I mean, they’re like back-to-back both in September, I think. I had a week in between. And they were lovely and they were fun. And I just enjoyed, you know, the, I just enjoyed them. And, and so then I’m like, Okay, I’m done.
What am I, you know, And Jen and the consulting was always part of it, and I was trying to launch that at the same time. And I, it just went to the back burner, so then comes 2020 and I’m like, Okay, great. Like everybody else, we’re ready to go. We’re ready.
Courtney: New Decades, gonna rock.
Jen: I don’t have to worry about, you know, everything falling apart, all of that.
Jen: And I go to Hawaii for a quick weekend, come back, have a birthday party for another friend. We’re like, Okay, I’m still, I’m like, Okay, I’m taking a director of operations course. I’m taking a certified, you know, business of wine course. I’m like, Okay, things are good. And then we get shut down and you’re just like, Okay. So in my head I’m like, Okay, people, this is the time. This is the time wedding professionals to work on your business.
Jen: Like we have this time. But everybody was so freaked out for, for good reason that they were just like, they were like me in end of, you know, end of 2018 going, What the fuck is
Dana: Like, do I wanna do this? Mm-hmm. Yeah.
Jen: going on? And I’m losing,
Courtney: They were like, what business am I working towards? Am I gonna have a business at the end of this,
Jen: Yes. All of that. So I’m just like, you know what? They’re in their moment of whole oh shit that I was in in November of 2018. So what? You know? So I’m like, okay, just let it sit. So I have, and it’s now, you know, 20 22, and I’m just like, Okay. I think people are ready, but everybody’s so busy.
So how can I make it easy for them to start thinking about process, procedures, their workflows, their things like that. So it’s, it’s been a journey and it’s been pivoting and it’s like, I’m just like, God, I’m like, god dammit. It’s fucking weddings. I’ve, I’m in weddings, so just, just pull up your pants and just deal with the weddings, because that’s what I love to do and love to talk about and love to connect with other wedding professionals.
And so, you know, you try to hide from what you, what you love and they’re like, Uh huh, nope, nope, nope, nope. You’re gonna come right back and start working on these weddings.
Dana: Yeah. Well it sounds a lot like the universe has guided a lot of your decisions. Yeah. Like starting from even like someone saying this should be a side hustle, and then realizing, oh, my company got sold. This is what I wanna do. And it kind of created that push to move forward. And then really the slow tapering off of your business, you know, a year before.
Like you having like the most tragic event and trying to process that. I can only imagine if you were sitting in that ICU unit and you had, you know, 50, 60 weddings that next year, being able to process it and being able to, to do it all. Like, it just, it feels like it was this very natural, I don’t know. And I’m not a woo person.
Jen: I know you’re not, and I’m so, I’m so woo woo., but yes, it was a very tapering off. And it was very lovely for that to happen because, you know, and it was lovely to have the people that I had. They weren’t pushy or demanding, or they knew, they knew they were in a good space like we had planned a lot.
Courtney: Well, I think that you’re ki you’re very matter of fact. Obviously even you like talking about your story, it’s very factual, like these are the facts and this is what happened. But was there any point when shutting down your business, I guess before that October, like you’d already kind of made the decision that this is the direction it’s going, was there any like mourning period for you? Was there any like second guessing or did you just kind of.
Jen:, are there still, There’s always second guessing. I’m like, I know, even now, I mean that’s why I didn’t fully take down the site.
Jen: What I’ve told, what I’ve, what I’ve just felt from, you know, the universe and all of this is like, this year is gonna be busy for y’all, but next year is gonna be the shit. And I’m like, do I really wanna jump back into it?
Dana: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, right?
Jen: I mean, it has to be for the right, I mean for me and my senior planner is like so underground. Like she has a group of people. She calls me every once in a while, what do you think about this? So she’s like doing weddings, but it’s just, she has another thing that she’s totally passionate about, but she’s really good at weddings.
And so people still reach out to her and she’s like, we talk about pricing. And I said, you can price this shit out of this because they want you.
Dana: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
Jen: And so I’m, the doors open a little bit. I don’t know if I’ve ever, you know, it’s like,
Courtney: fully closed it,
Jen: hmm. I just, I just can’t. I’m like trying, and it’s like a very slow process, as you can tell, if I’m just now working on my website.
Courtney: we shut down a business, years. That wasn’t our main, our main gig. But we had a floral business for a while and I remember kind of like hemming and hawing when we were getting ready to shut down, just cuz I was worried, more about revenue stream than anything. I’m like, we finally got it to where this thing is profitable and like actually we’re garnering what we wanna garner.
But then I remember when we shut it down, it was that same like 2019 that we made the decision and then like 2020 happened and then this thing just dragged on for like 2020 into 2021. Finished out at 2022. I was like, when is this thing ever gonna end? And there nothing opened, left. It was like slam the door. I’m done with you. How fast can I get away? Yeah. It was no turning back.
Dana: Yeah. But I think that, well, one, the main difference is florals was never our passion. It was always used; it was always a way to generate more money and income for us. So it was never something we were like, oh, I love doing this. We always hated it.
I was the grumpiest floral person. You made me do flowers. I was pissed the entire day. Like, don’t talk to me. Before I had air pods, I should have had them because it would’ve made everyone’s life more enjoyable. But I, I despised it. I hated it, but I understood what it did for our company. It brought the revenue stream up enough to where it helped float us that first year, and we had the Bradford and all that.
But I feel like where you’re coming from, I can really, really relate to that. You’re really good at what you do. You’re real, you’re a really great planner and you recognize in order to be successful at a planner in terms of financial success, there’s either a caliber or a quantity that you have to get to cuz it’s not just something you can do as like a hobby.
So in order to go all in, you have to go all in and there’s, it’s hard to be like on either side of it. And where you, I, and we talked about this kind of cater source, kinda like where your passion has come into is like helping other people and you like love the systems, you love the processes, you love those light bulb moments, you love helping other people, which is definitely where we are.
But there is a really hard, is really hard to walk away from something that you are so good at and to say, I wanna try something. And I could be just as good as, as, as that, you know, I could be just as successful. But you don’t like a hundred percent know. And you know, you also know that like, hey, I know I can do this because I’ve done it before.
And that’s, that’s how I feel about planning. Like, I mean, granted I’ve had like a couple bad clients, but ultimately, like I’m a really good planner. I’ve always been a great planner. And to walk away from it, I don’t know, it’s hard, but it’s not what I wanna, it’s not my passion anymore, it’s just I know that I could be good at it.
I know that I can make money with it. I know I could connect to my clients and all that stuff, but I don’t wanna do it.
Jen: Yeah, and it’s, you know, And I know that I’m a great teacher. Like I taught wedding planning for a couple years through a community college. I have planners I’ve taught, that have now won awards. I know that I can teach and I, you know, I know that’s a part of what I am.
So I know I’m going into a position of, I love talking about business. I love talking about weddings and the two of them together, I can sit and talk about for hours on, you know, whatever it is, because they’re both so fun to, to talk about and learn people’s stories and where, you know, where are things, you know, stuck or where are things you know that you don’t like to do?
What are, you know, what are the back seat things? You’re like, I hate doing this every single day. How can I either outsource it or not do it or make it easier to do?
Courtney: Right. Do you, do you think that your husband passing away unexpectedly in October kind of gave you a little bit more fuel to make those big decisions where you’re like, Okay, that’s like affirming or confirming as to what I’m doing in terms of life choices, or did you feel like it was muddied it more?
Jen: It muddied it more. When you’re grieving, it takes, like, I was talking to my own, my own, one of my business coaches yesterday, and I’m like, I’m finally to a point where I want to work. I mean, he’s been gone for almost four years.
You know, up until recently it’s been, you know, I’ve moved twice. You know, I’m in a different, completely different part of the, you know, state than I’ve, I’ve grown up in. And so now I’m like, Okay, is this finally where I’m more grounded, more settled and ready to, to take on more things? And or is it, my mind is finally clear enough to, to, to think about it. Where before it was just like, just throwing things up there trying to get something to stick.
Jen: I needed the income to come in. I think now it’s finally just like, Okay, you’re set and you’re ready to receive things to, to, to start moving forward in, in your life and your business. They say that you’re, you are your own ideal client, and it’s true sometimes.
Dana: Mm-hmm. Yeah. No, and I, And I’m curious, do you think Covid like delayed that process for you?
Jen: Yeah, I wouldn’t say it delayed it, but I think it compounded it more. You know, but I was just starting a new relationship right at the beginning of 2020. So, you know, I’m trying to walk that walk, cuz we lived in two separate parts of the state and, you know, we enjoyed being with each other.
We enjoyed all of that. You know, so then it’s just like, okay, what’s the next step and what’s, and he was in a spot where he was like, What the hell is going on? And I had more tools in my toolbox to kind of help with that.
Dana: Mm-hmm. I don’t know. I just think it, I think it’s hard. I think letting go is really hard. It’s like one of the things that we say the most, even when we’re consulting with somebody, letting go of an idea is hard. Letting go of a concept of what you feel like you should be is hard. Letting go of what your expectations for your life is hard, you know, all of that.
It’s, it’s just so hard, and I think that I really admire the fact that you. Kind of took these signs and, and I don’t, I don’t know if I would’ve been the same way necessarily, but there have been many times when like it felt like, we have a big staff of planners. Planner after planner, like something would happen, like there would be like a pregnancy or there would be like this, you know, issue or whatever, and I would just go to court. I’m like, just burn it down to the ground. I don’t even give a shit about it.
Jen: Just start over again.
Dana: burn it down to the ground. Like I just don’t care cuz it just feels like too much. And then like a week will pass and. or a month, and I’ll be like, Okay, it’ll be all right. You know? Well, we can get back to it or whatever.
Courtney: You can’t emotionally process everything,
Jen: No, and I mean, people ask me if I was gonna start a new team. I’m like, No. Why? I had a great team. I really did. I, we all worked really well together and I really enjoyed all of them. And I’m like, No.
Courtney: This is where I feel like it gets hard, especially in this like kind of small business personal service space because everybody’s kind of giving so much of their, even your team members, right? It’s, they’re giving so much of themselves to these clients.
It takes so much, right, like personal connection and its mental prowess and like all of these things and the event industry in general is a high burnout industry, but when it comes right down to it, I think the thing that’s really hard about it is you go through all of these tough times. You go through like these emotional highs and lows with these clients and good, bad, whatever, and you make amazing things, miracles happen and you feel like you got these ride or dies, right?
You got these people fit in the trenches with you and doing these things, but then when it all comes down to it, they can walk away. Mm-hmm. they can say, I need a break. They can say, I need a maternity. They can say, I need whatever it is. And
Jen: You’re still the business owner.
Courtney: You’re still the business owner. So there’s a very lonely space, like even with the team realizing how transient that really is. You can build yourself up, you can tell yourself something that it’s not, but when it comes down to it, it all falls on your shoulders. Mm-hmm. you know, I think, and I think that’s the hard part, especially in like this type, there’s not like these layers. It’s not like you can have managers and directors and like have layers between you and clients. Do you know what I mean? Mm-hmm. it’s all
Jen: I was get, Yeah, I mean, I, I did, I mean, I
Dana: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
Jen: I was getting to that point where I was becoming more, I wanted to focus on the consulting part and so the senior planner, my senior planner was taking more of the role of being that manager of the, the three other planners. And so I was starting to build that.
But if I had to do differently now, I would not put. I had her doing a lot of the other things like social media, all like, I would’ve taken that and moved that off, cause that’s where it broke down. That’s where she was spending, because she was such a perfectionist. She wanted, I mean, the blog posts were amazing, but it was just like taking her forever. And I would’ve done that differently. But,
Courtney: Yeah. That is what, to me, hinders, rebuilding that team, like knowing that you’re building this team and it could all happen again, and it could all happen again and again and again. Yeah. But
Dana: you, you said this, you said, when, I guess I can’t remember which one of the many people that said they were leaving, you said, I am screwed, not the company. I am.
Jen: Oh yeah. Yeah. When my senior planner left, I’m like, I’m screwed.
Dana: Yeah. But
Jen: She was doing so much. It’s like, it’s like recently I just, I, I recently got rid of my, my virtual assistant who was doing all my social media and I’m like, I’m screwed because I haven’t done social media and you know, my own social media for three years because I didn’t have the brain capacity.
I’m like, no, fuck, I gotta do this all over again. I’m like, I’m gonna be sitting on the couch on a Saturday and a Sunday busting out, you know, social media and which is so much different now than it was, you know, in, you know, five, six years ago. So it’s, it’s so much easier, but it’s just like, you know,
Dana: I know, but I think that really like totally tells the story of what it means to be an entrepreneur and a boss is, you know, Is, is that, and I’m curious, so now, now that you’re consulting other businesses and you work a lot with other planners and some venues and whatnot, what do you teach them that you have learned?
So maybe like in that team realm, and you kinda talked about this is what I would’ve done differently. What are, is there your past experience is it, do you feel like it makes you a better consultant? Because you’re able to say like, oh my God, I totally failed here and this is, you know, proven to work better or whatnot?
Jen: It’s mostly the outsourcing of things. Just start looking at, if it’s a virtual assistant for two hours, if it’s, you know, getting the books off of your plate. I mean, that’s the first thing I did is like, books are out and that’s a non-negotiable with any of my, my own personal budgets, I’m like, someone’s gotta do the books because I’ll never do them.
Jen: is like, find those things that you don’t want to do., I had a business coach call it the stuff that’s in your backseat. So you know, you’ve got your stuff that’s like, you are your zone of genius. The things that you are compliment in doing that you’re, you know, that you can do, but you, you’re like, They’re good.
I can do it. It’s not my favorite, but it’s okay. And then the stuff in your back seat is like, no. I’m not gonna do that because I get, you know, I just, I get angry, I get mad, I get frustrated, I get depressed if I have to do X, Y, and Z. And so that’s the first thing I try to work with my clients on is like, okay, let’s make a plan on what we can start automating, outsourcing, whatever you wanna do, to get that stuff. So you’re, you’re in your front seat, you know, 80 to 90% of the time, and you’re only doing five to 10% in your back seat if you have to do it at all.
Dana: Yeah, I always like to tell people like, what is a thing that you’ve been putting off for multiple days and why? And a lot of times, and I do it myself, I mean, and there’s some things. You know, for whatever reason. And then you get the task done and it took you like maybe 10 minutes. You’re like, Man, why did I like put that off for a week and a half for 10 minutes?
But it always tells you something about whether your process, how your brain works, what you enjoy. When you ask the why, so why have you been putting it off for two and a half weeks when you know maybe it only takes ten or 15 minutes. So what is it about that task? So daunting to you that you can’t just power through it.
And I think it’s always a really interesting conversation cuz a lot of times we’ll talk to our, our clients and say like, well, what do you, what do you hate doing? They’re like, oh, I don’t know. I mean, I could do all of it. And it’s just like, they’re not, they’re not being honest with themselves. And, and maybe they’ve never thought about it, but to me it’s always that question. They’re like, oh yeah, I actually really have been putting off, like updating my mileage or whatever the case may be.
Jen: yeah. And those are things that are just, you know, as those things, I try to get them off, you know, off of their plate. And even if they do, I mean, like my senior planner loved doing the social media, but
Jen: it was on top of everything else was draining her and.
Jen: And so, cuz she was trying to grow the business too, cuz she saw the potential, but she just burned herself out in doing that.
And so as a boss, it’s just, you just need to know those signs and try to figure out what those signs are. And even for yourself, I mean, my body was shutting down. I mean, you know, internally my adrenal glands were completely shot. And so, you know, you’re like, well crap, you know, I’m in the same boat, just in a different level.
Dana: right? Mm-hmm.
Jen: Yeah, if I could have shut down the entire business, I probably would at that point. But I knew I still had events and I’m, you know, and I’m like, I still like doing this. I still enjoy it, but, you know, I enjoy so much more the talking about the, you know, the strategic planning of a business and, and all of that.
Dana: I love that. I, I am totally obsessed with strategic vision. Like we, we’ve always had like vision, like plans and five-year goals or whatever, but when you like, actually break it down into like, what’s your mission, what’s your goals, what’s your objectives, how you get there. Like I, I love that stuff.
Jen: Well, and then you can get into the different parts of those, you know, those eight, I call ’em the eight CEOs. And so what are, what’s your vision? You know, what’s your, what’s your visibility look like? What’s your financials look like? What you know, all of those things, go into the mission, vision, and value because they should all feed into driving those forward.
Jen: And so what are the goals behind each one of those eight that will drive your business forward?
Jen: And that’s fine.
Courtney: So what are you most proud of in your business and how has your life changed since you started coaching others?
Jen: Life changed coaching others. I, I get so much satisfaction out of seeing them realize where they were and where they’re going. I’ve been working with one client and I’ve known her forever, and she’s just now starting to see where she can go. Like her business is growing, she’s starting to outsource things.
You know, like we had a huge conversation just on her time management. She was like, I wanna talk about time management. I’m like, Okay, let’s talk about it. And you know, some of those things, you know, I said, hey, can you just gimme a feedback of where you are this year compared to last year? And just to see her realize.
That when she is, cuz she’ll say she’ll, like her backseat is totally her social media. I’m like, you have somebody to do that. You just need to give them the information and then be done with it. But she hates doing it. She hates it. And so I’m like, just block five minutes, 10 minutes each day, write something out, put it in the, you know, she has an air table form for all of this. So just put it in there and then you’re done.
and the other question was where, how do I, where do I, how do I feel in my business?
Courtney: What are you most proud of
Jen: am I most proud of? That I’m still doing it. I mean that I’m, I mean, at the end of the day, I mean, there’s been times, you know, up in, you know, even recently I’m like, Dude, I should just go get a job.
There’s been some venue management positions come up. I mean, I live in a spot that’s not, you know, really close to anything, but I’m like, I can take the ferry. It’s right there. It’s easy. Should I bring back the, the, you know, go down to this venue, talk to them about doing the package with a wedding planner in it, you know, things like that.
But I’m like, no, you’re getting distract. You know, the universe is.
Jen: Over here giving you shiny different objects on either side and you’re just like, no, this is gonna work. And it’s the same thing when you, when I started wedding planning business, it’s like, it’s gonna take, you’re not gonna be miss popularity right off the bat and have millions of clients instantaneously. It’s still gonna take time to grow. And you just need to, you know, stick with the process, be intentional about what you do.
Dana: Thanks everyone for gathering with us today to talk about the hustle. For our episode with Jen, we are drinking a raspberry vodka lemonade. We hope we get the chance to make it this week and cheers to listening to the universe. To learn more and connect with Jen, you can visit her business on Instagram at jentaylorconsulting or visit her website jentaylorconsulting.com or tune into her podcast, Design your Wedding Business.
Courtney: To learn more about our hustles, Visit us on the gram at canddevents, at thebradfordnc, At hustleandgather, and at anthem.house. And if you’re interested in learning more about our speaking training or venue consulting, head to our website hustleandgather.com.
Dana: And if you love us and you love this show, we’d be more than honored If you left a rating and a review.
Courtney: this podcast is a production of Earfluence. I’m Courtney
Dana: and I’m Dana.
Courtney: And we’ll talk with you next time on hustle and gather.