A Conversation with Jen Petro – Part 1

November 5, 2019

Don’t Cut Your Own Bangs: Episode 22 Want to listen along? Click HERE Danielle: Just a friendly reminder that these are conversations intended for adults and there is the potential from time to time for the conversation to lean into adult subject matter or adult language. Danielle: Hello, this is Danielle Ireland and welcome to […]

Don’t Cut Your Own Bangs: Episode 22

Want to listen along? Click HERE

Danielle: Just a friendly reminder that these are conversations intended for adults and there is the potential from time to time for the conversation to lean into adult subject matter or adult language.

Danielle: Hello, this is Danielle Ireland and welcome to Season # 3 of Don’t Cut Your Own Bangs. I am so, so, so, so excited for you to listen to this episode featuring Jen Petro. You know that feeling you get when you meet someone for the first time and you just know like, yeah, this person is going to be in my life. This person really knows how to show up. I felt that right away when I met Jen and while our first introduction was not in front of a microphone, like so many great introductions I have had, ours was over a glass of wine and a salad.

Danielle: I just love her to pieces and before I really even got a glimpse of her talents and what she’s capable of doing professionally, I just loved her as a human and I know that you will too. She is an incredible communicator. She’s a copy editor. She runs her own business, a very successful business, helping people really hone their branding, their marketing and their communication digitally. She’s just a really solid, incredible human. She’s also a mother and a wife and there’s so much more to her than even those labels. So I can’t wait for you to get to know her. So get ready to sit back, relax and listen to Jen Petro.

Jen P.: And I really like, these are probably like some of my top …

Danielle: Yes you told me about this.

Jen P.: Big magic is …

Danielle: Everything. I love it.

Jen P.: Oh my gosh, I’m such a book nerd.

Danielle: Yeah.

Jen P.: I literally, and this is how you know you’ve a problem. I was home alone Saturday night, it was glorious. My whole family was out of town …

Danielle: Yes.

Jen P.: For two days, and I wanted to take a bath and I took four books with me …

Danielle: To the …

Jen P.: And like, and I read a little of each and I was like, this is not normal behavior.

Danielle: And did you have to like, did you have to reheat the water because it got cold?

Jen P.: I was a raisin! Seriously. I’m like, that’s what I do though. And Paul finds it maddening cause he’s the kind of person who will pick one book and …

Danielle: Yeah.

Jen P.: He’s die hard to finish the book, but I’ll just read a little of this, that.

Danielle: Does he not like his food to touch like on his plate?

Jen P.: He’s weird like that.

Danielle: I, yeah. So I and I, my favorite kind of meals are the kind that it’s like, can we just like slap it all in a bowl …

Jen P.: Yes!

Danielle: And just like …

Jen P.: Totally, yes! Awesome.

Danielle: Yeah?

Jen P.: Oh yeah. Anyway, that’s my book nerdiness.

Danielle: Well you know, there, I don’t know if this is true, but it sounds like based on what we’re talking about, it is true that how you do one thing is how you do all things.

Jen P.: Yeah.

Danielle: And …

Jen P.: True.

Danielle: I like multiple things.

Jen P.: I like tapas meals.

Danielle: Yeah.

Jen P.: Same thing, right? You get to sample.

Danielle: I want little, I want little nibbles of everything. That’s why I like the new, the new foodie trend of like, you know, small plates …

Jen P.: And little desserts.

Danielle: I’m like, yes, I want 10 small plates.

Jen P.: Absolutely.

Danielle: Don’t make me choose one.

Jen P.: Nope. I love it. Cause you might choose wrong and then you’re stuck with it.

Danielle: Right.

Jen P.: One of those books would have been boring in the bathtub. I needed options.

Danielle: You did.

Jen P.: So weird! Really I did have that moment where I looked and I was like, this is not normal behavior.

Danielle: You know when it comes to books I have, so I usually get a pretty good instinct. Like is this book going to be one I’m …

Jen P.: Yeah.

Danielle: Going to want to finish, but I get like, you know that I don’t remember what movie it’s from, where it’s like I can’t quit you. Like I can’t quit you! I don’t know what movie it’s from, but if I think of it, I’ll put it in the show notes. But I’m like that with books. Like there are some books that I have tried to pick up and read. I don’t know how many times, but like it feels like I’m quitting, right. If I don’t fit but I don’t, but I just don’t want to finish it.

Jen P.: Life’s too short to finish something that’s not your jam.

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Danielle: But to me, I guess not quitting is like keeping it, collecting dust on my bookshelf.

Jen P.: Right. Give it to someone else.

Danielle: Yeah.

Jen P.: They will love it.

Danielle: Yes. Bless and release it. Marie Kondo it. It brings me no joy. We’re recording, by the way.

Jen P.: Yeah. Oh, hilarious. I didn’t even know that.

Danielle: Yeah. So sometimes I do the intro before. Sometimes I do it during and sometimes it’s both and that’s all good. So yeah, Jen Petro.

Jen P.: Yep.

Danielle: Do you prefer Jennifer or Jen?

Jen P.: Jen is awesome and it’s actually Petro, but I …

Danielle: Petro …

Jen P.: I have begged my husband, can we just for the love of God, change it to Petro cause 99.999% of the time people get it wrong.

Danielle: Yeah.

Jen P.: And he says no.

Danielle: No.

Jen P.: You have to keep it.

Danielle: Is it Frankenstien.

Jen P.: I don’t know …

Danielle: Frankenstein …

Jen P.: But apparently he’s partial to it.

Danielle: Have you ever seen young Frankenstein?

Jen P.: A long time ago.

Danielle: Oh okay. Well, so that was a lame reference that maybe two listeners will get, but that’s okay. Just keeping, keeping the references alive.

Jen P.: Yes.

Danielle: So Petro?

Jen P.: Yep.

Danielle: Jen Petro from DropLeaf.

Jen P.: You got it.

Danielle: Okay, cool.

Jen P.: That’s me.

Danielle: I’m glad we straightened it out. I think most of these, I think most of my episodes that I’ve recorded, I’ve mispronounced a name, so I’ve just like this is, that means it’s just destined to be great.

Jen P.: That’s right. I answer to either one.

Danielle: Perfect.

Jen P.: Petro, Petro. It’s all good.

Danielle: Let’s call the whole thing off.

Jen P.: I’m out.

Danielle: Well, welcome.

Jen P.: Thank you.

Danielle: Welcome to Don’t Cut Your Own Bangs. You are the first recording for season three.

Jen P.: No!

Danielle: Yeah.

Jen P.: That feels like a lot of pressure Danielle.

Danielle: Don’t let me down.

Jen P.: Sheesh.

Danielle: God don’t let me down Petro.

Jen P.: Dang it sorry.

Danielle: No pressure. But please make this good. So I think what’s so fun about this is we have only met two other times at first.

Jen P.: Yes.

Danielle: So this is only our third conversation.

Jen P.: Right.

Danielle: For the beginning of season three. That’s nice and synchronous. Yeah, it just works. And I, one of the reasons why I was really, really excited to get to know you a little bit more in this format is I think you, I’ll show you my, I’ll tell you my first impression of you before we even …

Jen P.: I’m so scared.

Danielle: Okay. So here we go. So I get this really well, one of the things that really just jumped out from the first moment I met you was how passionate you are for women, women in business and like helping people.

Danielle: I’ll say that this is what I take away is you help people get rid of what’s not working. So the thing that is working shines through. And one thing I haven’t shared probably because I haven’t really introduced you that well yet. Is that, so you are like a, I want to say you own your own marketing company. Is that okay?

Jen P.: You got it.

Danielle: I was going to say marketing director, but I was like, wait, you’re the CEO so you’re not the director. But yeah. Okay, so you own your own marketing company called DropLeaf and you just seem so clear. Like you’re clear. I like, even though you can’t, no one listening can see this, but like you have like these clear sharp blue eyes. Your communication style is really clear. Not, I’m going to say clear, but not like, I wouldn’t describe it as blunt or direct. I think that sometimes people abuse being blunt.

Jen P.: Yeah.

Danielle: It’s like I’m just, I just tell you how it is.

Jen P.: Right.

Danielle: I’m just blunt, but like I would not call you that I like because you’re also a very thoughtful and curated, but it’s so clear and I really, really appreciate that about you because if you can’t tell by this six minute long intro that you have, I am not those things. And that’s okay. It’s all good. We all have our place, but I really appreciate that about you. And so I have a feeling you are going to give me some great nuggets in this episode.

Jen P.: I hope so. Yeah.

Danielle: I do too. But so given those things that I’ve observed about you and also the fact that you’ve built a really impressive business, though, I understand that business is not the most important thing about us, nor is it the most interesting thing about any of us. What inspired me to create this podcast was, I was like standing on the cliff face about to take a huge leap of faith and jump into this new career. And I was absolutely terrified and I was looking around and I felt like all the messaging I saw was, you know, shiny after photos next to like scary before. And I was definitely in my scary like knock knee before and, but I wasn’t seeing the how and like the stumbling, imperfect, frizzied, like frizzy haired, sweaty, awkward moments in between.

Danielle: And so what I would love the opportunity to learn from you and potentially with you in this format is I’d love to know some of your like evolution and how you built this. Not that I don’t want you to share with listeners like what you did, but I’m really interested in exploring how you did it.

Jen P.: Yeah.

Danielle: Yeah. And for season three, we’re keeping it focused on three specific areas. Permission, perfection and procrastination.

Jen P.: Ooh.

Danielle: Yeah.

Jen P.: I love it.

Danielle: So first I’d love to just like give you the comms and like help clarify in ways that maybe I missed. Tell me a little bit more and our listeners a little bit more about like what it is specifically that you do.

Jen P.: Yeah.

Danielle: What is DropLeaf?

Jen P.: Yeah, thanks. So DropLeaf is a small marketing communications company, so you are spot on. We’ve been around 11 years and we do all kinds of marketing services for companies, usually mid to large size companies.

Jen P.: So things like websites, lots of content, we write tons of content. Blogs, social media, all kinds of things like that. Graphic design, branding, marketing strategy, those kinds of things. So I’ve been in the marketing world outside of even my own business for over 20 years, which makes me feel so stinking old to say out loud.

Danielle: What are you talking about? You’ve been doing it since you were 10!

Jen P.: Right! That’s right. So that’s what we do. That’s what we do. And at the time that I started it, I was in house marketing at a company and so I did not take the plunge in such a way where I went from nothing to running a company. So I started on the side, a sort of a little side gig. So yeah. And that’s what we do.

Danielle: Well I love so like, that’s actually, so you called it your side gig and that’s part of the, the like language you even use on your website.

Danielle: So from side gig to six figures.

Jen P.: Yeah.

Danielle: Right. So, and I, I’m going to I want to push you a little bit because you said I run a small marketing like it’s a small marketing company and I’m like wait, not, huh? Like this small, no, no, no. I mean I guess I guess I don’t know how to compare to scale with larger marketing companies because I guess that’s not my area of expertise, but I wouldn’t call six figures small. And I like, I don’t know if you want to name drop some of the clients you represent, like you can, Children’s Museum, one of them, but like, yeah, like those, like you’re representing the brand and like helping clarify the messaging digital culture for some not small companies, which doesn’t translate to small to me.

Jen P.: Sure. Well I love that. I mean, I think I still think of it as small because I’m the only employee, so it’s me. Plus I have over a dozen amazingly talented creatives that I partner with. So I guess it feels small to me because it’s just me in the company per se. But I have a team of creatives that I pull in on projects that I’m able to handpick. But yeah, I mean we, we do incredible work with incredible people and I have no idea how that happened, but it is such a gift and it’s so much fun and …

Danielle: Yeah.

Jen P.: That’s awesome.

Danielle: Yeah. Well, so, okay, so you’re a solopreneur.

Jen P.: Right.

Danielle: And CEO, you’re like a company of one.

Jen P.: Right.

Danielle: So what, so specifically with permission. So this, this theme, I don’t know if it’s gender specific, I don’t know exactly like where it falls in our emotional processing and risk taking, but it seems to be that like this particular type of conversation has been coming up so many times in so many different facets, either with like personal relationships, myself, clients I’m working with.

Danielle: And it can be like permission to say no, permission to say yes, permission to take a vacation, permission to practice self care, and usually it’s permission as it relates to time. So permission to take the time to do something and what it feels like. And at least how I’ve experienced it is it feels like we’re waiting. Like we’re waiting when we want to do something big and we’re terrified. We’re waiting for someone like the clouds to part and someone to float down and say, here you go, here’s that $5,000 to build that dream website.

Jen P.: Yes.

Danielle: Or here you go, here’s this perfect week where no one’s going to want to take anything from you and need you in any way for you to take that vacation you’ve always wanted to take. Like we’re waiting.

Jen P.: Sure.

Danielle: And there’s Sydney. There she is chiming in. Oh beautiful Sydney. So I’m curious like with permission, like how, have you seen that or not seen that play a role with what you do?

Jen P.: Yeah. Oh, there’s so many things that came to mind as you were saying that I think the first one is permission to even call myself a business owner.

Danielle: Yes!

Jen P.: Literally for years I would still say I was a freelancer or a writer, which I still say I’m a writer because that’s what I am at heart but …

Danielle: You’re a good writer.

Jen P.: Thank you. I love words, but it really, it took me years and I don’t remember the exact moment, but I had a moment a couple of years ago where I thought this is bonkers. Like I am not just a freelancer, like I am running a company here, that’s nuts. Like I really, I think because when I went into this, I wasn’t intending to be a business owner.

Jen P.: Like really I was doing this thing on the side for fun and serving friends and former colleagues and stuff like that. And as I’ve shared with you a little bit this, it blossomed into this thing that I never intended or expected.

Danielle: Yeah.

Jen P.: Partially because I didn’t believe I could do it, right? But I think because of the way it evolved and I didn’t go into it knowing this is what I’m going to do, I didn’t have this amazing business plan, I didn’t have a business background, like I had none of those things. And so it took me years to even be able to say, wow, like I’m running a business here.

Danielle: Yeah. I mean that’s crazy. And so what helped you? What do you think it was that like you said, it was almost like this moment, so what was it about that moment you were like, hold up, I’m not a freelancer.

Jen P.: Yeah, I think it was, I was working with a big client. It was a global client and I got off a call with them and I was like, this is nuts. You know that I think it was that moment of just looking at the work that we were doing and the impact it was having and the people I was getting to partner with and I thought, this is not a freelance side gig anymore. Those days are gone. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just, it wasn’t reality anymore.

Danielle: Yeah. Yes I think that makes a lot of sense to me. And also when you were saying like a couple months before how you love words, I think that we give a lot of stock to the words we choose in terms of our roles.

Jen P.: For sure.

Danielle: Wife, mother, owner, free, like whatever those …

Jen P.: Yeah.

Danielle: Those roles we adopt, provider.

Jen P.: Yep.

Danielle: Blah blah blah. Like all those things. And I the word, it’s interesting how there are some, there are words that we give so much value and meaning to. And then words that we don’t even think about. But I know that like for me, I don’t know, one thing I don’t know if I love about myself that I’m probably still working through is how much personal stock I put in my roles as it relates to career.

Jen P.: Yeah.

Danielle: And that one seemed to be for me a bigger hurdle because that mattered more to how I perceived my own value …

Jen P.: Yeah.

Danielle: As being like, I don’t know, an equal or independent or all of those things that we attribute meaning and purpose.

Jen P.: Yeah.

Danielle: But also though I think like how words can feel like weight and responsibility in this case, like changing, get what, so what did, what words did you choose? You weren’t a freelancer …

Jen P.: Yeah.

Danielle: You were a what?

Jen P.: A business owner.

Danielle: An owner.

Jen P.: Yeah. I was running a business I would say because I at that point was still thinking of myself as someone who just took on these little gigs and I would find these amazing people to work with and we would do the projects and then we would move on. And I just wasn’t even looking at it as a business, which makes no sense. I know, but I think part of that too is I was having so much fun doing what I loved that it didn’t feel like work.

Danielle: Yeah.

Jen P.: It still doesn’t feel like work on most days. And so I think that was part of it too, where it’s like, wait a minute, this is a business? No this is just a blast. You know?

Danielle: Yeah.

Jen P.: So I think …

Danielle: I like that.

Jen P.: That was part of it too.

Danielle: It goes from a business to a blast.

Jen P.: It’s true.

Danielle: There’s my next headline.

Jen P.: Yeah.

Danielle: I think like all of, almost like all of your phrases could be titles of books.

Jen P.: No. But I think it’s true and I think you’re right what you’re saying about the words not only holding so much weight, but I think also it, we internalize them maybe in your subconscious, I don’t know, but it becomes part of our story.

Danielle: Yes.

Jen P.: And so it’s going to impact how you behave. I’m sure that shift in thinking impacted how I ran my business, how I approached my work, how I treat it, all of it. I’m sure it changed all of that.

Danielle: Yeah.

Jen P.: So …

Danielle: Yeah.

Jen P.: It’s just inevitable.

Danielle: Well what do you, I mean like I guess, so if someone were, you know, wanting to, I guess take themselves more seriously or put more belief behind what it is they’re doing.

Danielle: What, cause I could see how you would be leading clients through this when you’re helping them, like clarify their message or market their message through sort of like trimming the fat and cutting away the words that aren’t working, that muddy up their message. What do you help, like what are maybe some of the leading questions or guiding questions that you help clients walk through to get clear on the right words for them?

Jen P.: Yeah, I think a big part of it is going back to I guess two things. So really honing in on who’s their ideal customer or client and what do those people care about? Like I don’t want to know just how much money do they make? Where do they live? Male, female. I don’t want to know just demographics. I want to know pain points. I want to know what keeps these people up at night.

Jen P.: What do they care about? What are they concerned about? What makes them totally giddy? I want to know those kinds of things because we have to use the language of those people. And so if you’re talking to a business owner or a marketing director at a company, it doesn’t matter so much what they like to say about their offerings or their services. It’s how do we speak to the heart of these people who so desperately need exactly what they have to offer. And so that really dictates the words. And so we, when we’re helping companies do that and we end up stalking online, that’s a strong word. But really getting online and hanging out where their ideal customers hang out and looking at the words they use to talk about their needs and their dreams and their desires and using those exact words back at them, so to speak.

Jen P.: And that sounds like a weapon, but it’s really not. It’s how do we talk about this in a way that connects with their heart and …

Danielle: Yeah.

Jen P.: Makes them realize that we’re a good solution for them or whatever.

Danielle: Yeah.

Jen P.: Whoever the company might be offering. So I think, I think that’s a big part of it. And then also, I think the other part is really looking at what differentiates a company from competitors. So a lot of times we’re helping companies develop like a brand personality. And that really just means looking at what is their story and what about their story is different from the next guy. And a lot of times companies don’t even know it. They don’t even know what their story is or what their strong points are or what it is that they have that is going to so connect and resonate with an ideal client that’s different from their competitors.

Jen P.: And so figuring out what those things are and then using words and language around those differentiators is a big part of it too. So …

Danielle: I feel like every, like what you just described that process, like you know, so like working with clients in therapy I’ve what I feel like, once for the most part what I’ve observed is that once people are out of crisis and those main pain points maybe aren’t so raw are or maybe aren’t so top of mind and right in the center of someone’s world and they can kind of pull back from it in a way and, and kind of scan their life and evaluate. Okay, what do I want to do with this time? Now it leads back to what you talked at like, I’m trying to think of some of the language you just used, but like, their purpose, their why.

Danielle: They’re like the core of why they’re doing what they’re doing. And I could see how, what you just articulated for helping brands get their message clear could also easily not, I should maybe not easily, but I could see a lot of elements of that could help someone get more in touch with their own why.

Jen P.: Yeah.

Danielle: Whether they’re a business or not.

Jen P.: That’s right.

Danielle: Because I think that like that, that’s definitely one thing like as I’ve thought a little bit more from, you know, trying to create season one. Then season two is I think I’m not that I’m not interested in career and taking career risks cause I still 100% am. But I also think there’s more to taking a leap or taking a leap of faith that isn’t like that’s not the only risk.

Jen P.: Yeah.

Danielle: Like that’s also like it doesn’t have to all be about career.

Jen P.: Yeah.

Danielle: So like this, the process that you, that you walk clients through, did that evolve through the marketing work that you’ve done or was part of that also like kind of extrapolated from a personal journey?

Jen P.: Yeah, I think most of it was from the marketing work I did and the amazing people. I was really, really blessed to work with some awesome mentors. I had great jobs. You know, a lot of people start businesses because they hate their job. I always had great jobs, like I loved the people that I worked with and so I had some incredible mentors. But I think one of the coolest things about that whole process is how you just alluded to this. It does extend beyond just business owners and clarifying messages. But if you look at how much I love helping women start businesses …

Danielle: Yeah.

Jen P.: Being able to sit across the table with a woman who has gifts, sometimes multiple gifts, and they can’t quite figure out how could I take this and do something amazing with it, or they don’t believe they have the ability to do that or whatever it might be.

Jen P.: But it’s really the same process. It’s like calling out the gifts, calling out the unique selling points to use a businessy term and figuring out how do you take that and do something with it. That’s amazing. So really it’s the same thing.

Danielle: I like that. Calling out the gifts. Oh I love that. And you have a 12 week program and it’s specifically for women. Will you tell me a little bit more about that?

Jen P.: Yeah, it is one of the favorite parts of my whole world. So yeah, and honestly the program, I’ll talk about that in a second, but it evolved from literally sitting across the table from dozens and dozens of women. It started out with just friends and people I knew, but then just people would find me through other connections and want to sit down because they, they knew I was running a business.

Jen P.: They knew I liked to help women through this and they just didn’t believe in themselves or they didn’t know where to start or whatever. And I was having coffees all the time and I would leave them just so filled up, you know? And I would go home and be talking, talking about it and my husband’s like, did you work at all this week? Are you still having coffee with women all week? And I’m like, I can’t help it, it is so much fun. So really that’s where the program was born out of, those experiences. But yeah, it is a 12 week online program. So it’s all virtual and we go week by week. We meet online, we have a private Facebook group, and I help women. It’s really broken into kind of three parts. The first four weeks we focus on like the basics of starting a business. Like how do you do this?

Jen P.: Like what’s an LLC and how do you structure your time and what do you do about health insurance and just all those kinds of nuts and bolts things. And then the middle part of it is focused on your brand, and so logos and the name of your company and how to steward a brand and all those good things. And then the last part is digital marketing. So websites, social media, video marketing, all that kind of stuff. But the, really like a big part of it is just cheerleading each other.

Danielle: Yes.

Jen P.: Like I spend a whole, I think two weeks on just limiting beliefs. And, and how do you find accountability and surround yourself with people that are going to cheerlead you and be advocates for you. And so it, because that is so key. I mean that’s so key.

Danielle: Okay. So the, this, this is a great launch into another P that I want to explore, procrastination.

Danielle: So like what you were walking, like your 12 week course, is walking people through the process. But it’s, your program exists. There are other tools and programs that exist.

Jen P.: Sure.

Danielle: And yet we can get so stuck and frozen like here, here’s what I do, here’s my procrastination dance. It usually involves some level of cleaning, organizing, or I will start like a new television show and I need to watch it until I know how and …

Jen P.: Of course.

Danielle: There’s some …

Jen P.: Yes.

Danielle: Guilty. Yes. It’s something very important. So I’ll be like, you know what, I’m going to do that thing but first let me just load and unload the dishwasher and then I need to Marie Kondo this drawer and like find my joy because once I find my joy, then I’m going to be ready to really launch this thing that I’m terrified to do.

Jen P.: Yeah.

Danielle: And I, I swear if I could, if I could crack this code to like breaking procrastination, then I’ll buy a yacht and I’ll call it, I’ll call it like pro-procrastination or something like that or maybe something cool like Master P like mess …

Jen P.: Love it!

Danielle: Yeah. Something awesome like that. But I’m just …

Jen P.: Yeah it’s hard.

Danielle: What is this thing, like what is this thing?

Jen P.: Yeah.

Danielle: And so someone who maybe like wants to start something or they have a creative idea and they hear this and they hear about your program and they’re like, that’s everything I need. That’s all my stuff. But you know what I’m going to do first, I’m going to do 19,000 other things …

Jen P.: Right.

Danielle: And then I’ll visit her website and then I’ll find it. So like where do you feel like procrastination has come through in your life?

Jen P.: Oh, I mean I’m going to bring in one of the other P’s just to play right into it. It’s perfectionism, right?

Danielle: Yes!

Jen P.: So …

Danielle: Yes!

Jen P.: Black and white thinking, if I can’t do it 1000% perfectly, I am not going there.

Danielle: Yeah.

Jen P.: Like, so for me, perfectionism is my number one procrastination thing. I mean sometimes I just don’t want to do something.

Danielle: Yeah.

Jen P.: But the majority of the time it’s because I’m terrified to do it cause I can’t do it perfectly.

Danielle: Yeah. Perfectly.

Jen P.: So, yeah, it’s bad.

Danielle: Well then, God like perfection, perfectionism. I love how Elizabeth Gilbert talks about how it’s just a more haute couture form of, you know, it’s just a little bit more dressed form of procrastination. I …

Jen P.: Yeah.

Danielle: It’s like you failed before you even begun.

Jen P.: Right!

Danielle: Because if you’re not going to be number one, then you might as well not even play.

Jen P.: That’s right. And so many other women I meet that is, that is one of the biggest things, tripping them up from following their dreams is because they’re terrified of failure.

Jen P.: They’re just terrified. And so they feel like if they’re not an expert at business, they’re not an expert at accounting or they’re not an expert at marketing or online or whatever. If there’s any area they feel incompetent in, which we all do, right?

Danielle: Yeah.

Jen P.: Then they won’t do it or they, they might end up doing it, but they, they’re terrified to do it and it takes a lot of encouragement.

Danielle: It does. Which is probably why that community like …

Jen P.: Yeah.

Danielle: Connection, community. It’s like knowing you’re not alone in it.

Jen P.: That’s right.

Danielle: That is crucial.

Jen P.: Right. And I’m super transparent with all of them and telling them, you know, when I started mine, I was a hot mess. Our life was really stressful at the time. So it wasn’t, it wasn’t an ideal time to start a business.

Danielle: Yeah.

Jen P.: And, I had no idea what I was doing. I was a writer. I am terrible at anything like analytical or numbers or I didn’t go to business school. All my smart friends went to business school, right? Like I hung out and drank wine and wrote sad poetry with the other writers. Like really!

Danielle: Yes! Oh my God, hold on, hold on. Let me have a fun like totally like poetic emo confession. So on my, I need, I need to pull this out and share it like on social media. So my senior photo, I’m wearing, I don’t even know what the hell, it was like a yellow, a cream beige yellow turtleneck that I don’t remember at all. And I have the total like little preppy, with like highlights Kelly Clarkson haircut.

Jen P.: Yes.

Danielle: And I’m like sitting very proper with like a little like side smirk, smile. But my quote, my quote is the most like confusing like nonsense that I don’t even know. Like it was so dark. Let me, let me think …

Jen P.: Because dark was cool.

Danielle: Well but …

Jen P.: Right?

Danielle: But nothing about my picture was dark. No, I listened to pop music …

Jen P.: Right.

Danielle: And I memorized Madonna dance moves and like I was in show choir. What the fuck, what is this quote? Hold on, let me think about it. Cause I also had this super, like the world is serious and …

Jen P.: I love it.

Danielle: Are you serious? Hold on …

Jen P.: I can see you channeling your 17 year old self, right?

Danielle: I can’t, I can’t. I’m like, Oh my God, like nobody understands that I need to be in theater and Oh God, okay. It was and a man said to the universe, I exist and the universe replied. The fact does not elicit in me a sense of obligation. It’s like what the hell?

Jen P.: That’s awesome.

Danielle: What? Basically it was like a very like the universe doesn’t owe you anything.

Jen P.: I was that girl so I get it. I totally get it.

Danielle: But like what were you though? Were you really?

Jen P.: Oh yeah. And so like running a business? What? No, like it just didn’t fit at all.

Danielle: Wait, I don’t want to skip over your emo phase. I feel like you’ve got to share a little something with me. So like you were writing poetry, you don’t have to share any poetry, but like, but like what? What were you, – what were you writing about?

Jen P.: Oh, come on. Like you name it, any totally stereotypical. Boys, death.

Danielle: Like Devin, why didn’t you call me?

Jen P.: Right! That’s terrible. I mean, I started writing when I was like six and I, but I was writing all through college and stuff and so yeah, it got a little better like oh sure, of course. But I still have my journals from when I was tiny and they are hysterical.

Danielle: Yes.

Jen P.: Like if I’m having a bad day, I whip that hello kitty journal out and baby it will give me some laughs because it’s just so dramatic. And did you ever watch My So Called Life?

Danielle: Yes!

Jen P.: I was that girl.

Danielle: Yes!

Jen P.: I was Claire Danes.

Danielle: Oh.

Jen P.: That was me. Or at least I wanted it to be, right?

Danielle: Yeah.

Jen P.: I wasn’t nearly as cool.

Danielle: We all wanted to be. It was like Claire Danes. She like, I was so intrigued by mysterious people because I was not, I am not mysterious.

Jen P.: Oh no.

Danielle: There is no thought, I think that doesn’t come out of my mouth, like there is no mystery to me.

Jen P.: Right.

Danielle: Like I’m almost like a shining of billboard of my own feelings and, and like …

Jen P.: We are twinsies that way.

Danielle: Oh good. But I think that’s why you want to create at that age what you’re not.

Jen P.: Yeah.

Danielle: And so I was craving like dark and mystery.

Jen P.: Oh yeah.

Danielle: God, if Twilight had come out, I was …

Jen P.: Oh I totally, I’ve said the same thing a million times and I even as an adult, it’s terrible writing. I’m a writer. That was the worst writing I’ve ever read.

Danielle: I know.

Jen P.: I gobbled it up. I’d in the bathtub at night reading it, gobbled it, two in the morning. My husband would be like, where are you? I’m like, nothing. I’m nothing, like what?

Danielle: [laughter]. Shut up!

Jen P.: It’s so embarrassing. Oh my gosh.

Danielle: I got to tell you though, like, like I, I, so this is just, I don’t want to preface it. I’m just going to say it. When, when she got pregnant, the first time she had sex, I threw my book across the room. I was like no!

Jen P.: I love it.

Danielle: But then the movies came out and ruined everything. They were horrid, horrid. They made the books look really amazing. But I watched all of them.

Jen P.: Oh I did too.

Danielle: I went to opening night.

Jen P.: Oh totally.

Danielle: I sat there but like, but like a classic teenager, “This is dumb… When is it going to start?”

Jen P.: I love it. I love it. It’s good. I went to a party. We had food that was all themed like it was a legit Twilight party with themed food and Gothic everything and I wore all black. I mean really.

Danielle: Yes.

Jen P.: I was like married. This wasn’t that long ago. Come on.

Danielle: No, I was, no, I was definitely, definitely fully adulting when this came, but like, yeah, God helped me if it had to come out when I was a teenager.

Jen P.: Would have been a problem.

Danielle: Anyway, how did we get there?

Jen P.: I don’t know, but I liked it. I loved it.

Danielle: Thanks so much for completing an episode in season three of Don’t Cut Your Own Bangs. I appreciate you so much and speaking of appreciation, I think it’s a little unfair that I feel like I’ve been doing most of the talking and I want to hear from you, so if you have a second or two, if you could leave a comment either on Apple podcast, Spotify, however you’re listening. You’re always welcome to to shoot me a message through da******@da*************.com. There are lots of creative ways you can connect with me there. Let me know your thoughts. It really does make me better constructive feedback or even just takeaways. What you find valuable, what you want more of. Let me hear from you. And of course, who doesn’t love the occasional compliment? If something touches you, you have no idea how much that just fills my heart with joy. Or maybe you do. Either way, please let me hear from you. Hope you continue having an awesome day and thanks for continuing to listen.

Check out more from the podcast HERE.

xo, Danielle