I am so excited to interview my friend and colleague, Jenny Blake. Jenny has an upcoming course called “Make Sh*t Happen” which is an 8-week course to take your big dream from improbable idea to inevitable success with weekly videos, reading, reflection exercises, case studies & iron-clad accountability. Jenny is graciously giving away a digital version of “Make Sh*t Happen” to a commenter who tells us their big, hairy, scary goal and what they want/need to do to achieve it.
Jenny Blake is an author, blogger, life coach and sought-after speaker who helps others “Wake up, live big! and love the journey.” She has been featured on Forbes.com, US News & World Report, CNN.com and was recognized by Suze Orman as a leader among Gen Y. Jenny started her blog, LifeAfterCollege.org, in 2005 and recently translated it into a popular book, Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want (Running Press, 2011), which serves as a portable life coach for 20-somethings. Jenny recently took her own great leap by leaving Google after five and a half years at the company (on the Training, Career Development and Authors@Google teams) to pursue her passions full-time. Follow her on twitter @Jenny_Blake.
We talk a lot about gremlins here. What is yours like and how do you manage it?
I have several, and I refer to them as “The Committee.” The two most prominent members are The Personal Development Police (Don't have feelings, just be! Be present! Let go of attachment!) and The Judge (who is constantly comparing me to others and measuring my worth based on how others look). There's one more that is The Guilt Queen who I only *just* articulated for the first time right now — she is constantly making me feel guilty for not being nice enough to my family or not being my VERY best self at all times. I manage these voices by trying to notice them for what they are and asking myself, “Is that thought helpful?” which is a variation of Byron Katie's, “How do I feel when I think that thought?” If the thought just makes me feel worse, I try to substitute it with something more true.
I love the term you use “big, hairy, scary goals” and I know you are just now embarking on some big changes in your life. Can you tell us what you're doing and what pushed you to make such big changes?
I recently quit my high-paying job at Google, rented out my condo and am moving to NYC as I start my business. It was incredibly nerve-wracking making the decision to leave Google and flip my life upside down, but that's the thing about big, scary goals — they tug and tug at you until you muster up the courage to do something about it. Once I took the first steps, everything else has been magically falling into place, which is a great lesson in realizing that fears are so much smaller on the other side. One of my favorite quotes is “Action is the antidote to despair.” I'm actually getting ready to launch my first ever course — an eight-week program called Make Sh*t Happen that will take your big dream from nice idea to inevitable success. That's a major big, scary goal because I've never launched a course before, but I'm super excited to work with 36 people on making big things happen in their lives.
So, you've ran a marathon, done a triathlon and do yoga as well. What does exercise give you?
Exercise is the yin to my over-active brain's yang! I am a total thinker, planner and do-er — exercise helps me stay present, work out any negativity, and re-connect with my BODY since so much of my work is all mind-based. I always feel happier and less stressed when I'm exercising regularly — so it's my way of staying sane through everything else I have going on.
Fill in the blank: A kick-ass life to me is__________
No-holds barred; when you go after what you really want regardless of whether it's the traditional path or not.
You're the queen of organization! Can you give us a few tips on general life organization?
Sure! My favorite tools for staying organized are Todoist.com and a moleskine notebook. I write absolutely everything down and make sure to tackle my “biggest frogs” first thing in the morning when I'm feeling most energetic and creative. For more tips (and 15+ kick-ass templates), sign-up for my newsletter and you'll get access to my full Organized Like a Ninja Toolkit.
Thanks, Jenny! Again, Jenny will give away a digital version of “Make Sh*t Happen” to one lucky commenter who tells us their big dream and what they want and need to do to make it happen. Contest closes Friday, September 9th at 11 pm EST. Winner will be chosen at random and notified via email.