Jennifer and Joy discuss finding alignment and creating a business and building a team that withstand devastating obstacles.
Joy Chudacoff and I met nearly 13 years ago at an internet marketing and online business event in Los Angeles and then were part of the same high-level mastermind community where Joy was one of the coaches and leaders.
She is a brilliant coach, an intuitive leader, and an experienced businesswoman who built a successful medical marketing company, traveled the world, and later, when she had kids, made the conscious decision to change things up and work at home.
As my oldest child is the same age as her youngest, and we both built our businesses with our kids at home and in support of our desired lifestyles, this episode spans the topics of parenting, building a lifestyle business, sending kids to college, and becoming an empty-nester. Joy shares the brutal behind-the-scenes challenges she’s faced in recent years and how she still kept the wheels on the bus and her business moving forward, and we talk about:
- How gaining clarity about who you are, what your genius is, and the value you bring to the table can help you avoid the dangerous game of comparison.
- How to let go of the pressure to do more and be more, and why you must create the time and space for renewal. (Joy shares a fabulous analogy about a stuffed closet!)
- How joy uses the 80/20 rule to create doable to-do lists and give herself permission to accept imperfection.
In this episode, we also get down to business and discuss what it means to be a leader and step up as the visionary of your brand and business, the secrets to hiring and managing a team of A-players who have your back, and the biggest mistakes business owners make when seeking out help, whether it’s through a subcontractor, partner, or employee.
Everything Joy shares is great — like her eye-opening perspective on what you shouldn’t be doing in the morning — but the thing I love the most about Joy and her message is how intentional she is about how she shows up for herself, her clients, and her family. Woven throughout our conversation is the notion of finding alignment in who you are, what you want, and what you do because that is how you find joy every day.
I can’t wait for you to listen!
Mentioned Sites, Resources, And Tools:
Get To Know Joy Chudacoff
An entrepreneur for over three decades, Joy is said to have “x-ray vision” when it comes to helping successful businesswomen get from where they are, to where they want to be.
Before starting her own business consulting practice, Smart Women Smart Solutions®, Joy owned a highly profitable company in the medical sales and marketing industry, selling that business at a handsome profit.
For 17 years, Joy has been serving women as a professional certified coach/consultant, skilled group leader, highly sought-after motivational speaker, and thought leader. Her expertise as a coach, consultant, and strategist is highlighted by the success stories and results she generates for her clients. Joy is the Founder of the ALIGN online membership community for women entrepreneurs. Weekly gatherings are just one of the many benefits for women who are leading with impact.
Joy is the host of the award-winning podcast for women in business, She’s Got Moxie. Joy interviews bold, smart, women entrepreneurs who are flexing their moxie muscle when it comes to success in business. ‘She’s Got Moxie’ is ranked by iTunes as ‘The Top 100 Podcasts in Business & Careers’ category and ‘The Top 200 in Education & Training.’ Joy’s podcast received the distinct honor of being a Finalist for a Gracie Award® which acknowledges outstanding team leadership and individual achievement for all women in media.
Leading by shining example, Joy integrates family and passionate work while teaching successful women how to do the same. Joy lives in Los Angeles with her husband Greg and their Mini-Labradoodle, Honey. They recently became “empty-nesters” sending their two children off to college.
You can learn more about Joy’s three-wick Finding Joy Every Day Candle at FindingJoyCandle.com. You also can connect with Joy on social media. She’s @JoyChudacoff on all the things: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
Extra Minutes Training With Joy
To hear more from Joy and to learn her simple yet transformational 15-minute morning ALIGN ritual, check out the Seeking Satisfaction Extra Minutes Membership.
Members receive Extra Minutes bonus training from Jennifer and podcast guests like Joy that provide valuable insights and lessons to help you build a better business for only $15/month.
Joy’s Extra Minutes bonus training continues the conversation from the podcast and walks you through a grounding exercise you can use to align your energy, intention, awareness, and action so you can show up as your best self each and every day.
The one thing I will say that does fall on the leader is you really have to come with the energy and the vision and the intention. Because really great people, great team members — those A+ team members — they want to be inspired. They want to feel like they’re working on something that’s going to make a difference in the world. So, you as the leader, you’ve got to bring it.
Welcome to Seeking Satisfaction, a podcast that encourages you to live inspired, embrace imperfection, and seek satisfaction. I’m your host, Jennifer Bourn, freelance business mentor, course creator, and agency owner.
Today, I work with clients I love, do fulfilling work, and have the freedom to live the life of my choosing. But things weren’t always this rosy, which is why this show looks at the systems that power successful businesses and fulfilled lives, going behind the scenes with entrepreneurs, freelancers, and professionals, to discover how they juggle work and life, manage clients and kids, handle stress, and tackle unexpected challenges.
If you are seeking greater satisfaction in your work and life, you are in the right place. Today, I am here with Joy Chudacoff — a 30-year marketing veteran, a business consultant at Smart Women, Smart Solutions, a professional certified coach and consultant, and a sought-after motivational speaker.
Joy, thank you so much for joining me.
Oh, Jen. I’m so honored to be here. I love that you’re starting to podcast. we were talking in the pre-show, I’ve had a podcast for over four years, and it’s certainly brought me a lot of joy. So, I know you’re going to just really enjoy it. And your listeners are too.
Now, I want to talk a little bit about everything you’ve got on your plate. You have a coaching and consulting business, you host live events, run the ALIGN online membership community for women entrepreneurs that has weekly gatherings, you’ve got an award-winning podcast called She’s Got Moxie and you’re a wife, and a dog mom, and a recent empty nester with two kids in college.
How do you juggle the business and the podcast and the family time?
Boy, when you say all of that, it’s a lot. The thing that keeps me going and has always kept me aligned is being aligned.
And what does that mean? It means really getting clear as a woman — and I say, as a woman, because men don’t typically wear as many hats as we do. Right? It’s just the nature of the game. It’s changing a little bit, right? But you have to align with what matters most every day and, in your life because I will tell you that I’m a believer that you can have it all, but you can’t have it all at once.
Oh, my gosh. I’ve heard that saying a few times in my past. Every single time, it cuts to my gut because it’s so true.
It is true.
Over the years I’ve been blessed with such tremendous success as an entrepreneur for over 30 years, but there were times in my life where there were opportunities that maybe I would like to have taken, let’s say to travel, to do some long-term speaking gigs, maybe in Europe or maybe a few different things. I’ve done almost all of what I wanted, but what mattered most was to be here raising my children while building a thriving business. So, there were things that I had to say no to.
How do you decide what to say no to? Is it the fact that when you’re fully aligned with your purpose, your priorities, and what’s important to you that becomes more clear?
Yes. Okay. This was just like an instant download. Yes. And…
And this is something that we as women need to have a daily renewal on. We have to understand who we are at our core — what we’re truly aligned with. Because what I find is it’s so much harder Jen to say yes or no when we are living through the eyes of other people — when we are looking online and looking at someone else and saying, “Wow, look how successful she is. I think I’ll just copy that, and I think I’ll just do that, and then everything will be fine.”
And you and I both know because we’re seasoned entrepreneurs, that only works and you only experience that true prosperity, that true happiness, that true joy when you are operating from your core on what really matters most to you.
So, I’m very clear on who I am today. And I’m very clear on who I am not. And I know what lights me up, but again, it’s taken time.
I want to say I was 40 years old, I used to look around and compare myself to a lot of different people, and it was a struggle, and it was a constant, you know, shifting of the lanes. And now today am so darn clear on who I am, and I actually don’t care what people or say about my message, because I’m just so clear. Does that make sense?
It does make sense. There is this transition that comes with experience, and with age, and with clarity, that you stop worrying about what other people think, what other people are doing. That whole keeping the Joneses thing — it exists, right? Nobody likes to talk about it, but it does exist.
I’ve found that as you get more clear on what’s important to you and where you’re going in your life and what path you’re following, those things start to fall away and they become less important and they don’t matter.
You’re absolutely right. And these are, triggers and there are different things that trigger us. It’s that judgment, it’s that criticism, it’s that comparison, it’s our lack of being able to forgive someone, it’s grief, it’s guilt. You know, moms, we’re not built for guilt, but boy, do we have it. When we’re at work, we think we should be with the kids. And when we’re with the kids, we’re thinking about that project that we still need to get finished. Right?
When we start to understand what our triggers are and when we can release them, our creativity opens up. It’s just unbelievable what happens to us, and it makes doing business so much easier. At least, that’s what I’ve experienced for myself and for my clients who’ve gone through the process.
I love that you point that out because in the early years of my business, I felt like I had to constantly hustle and grind and work. And, if I wasn’t, I wasn’t enough. I wasn’t doing enough. I wasn’t making enough progress. And I felt like constantly working and hustling was the way that I was going to get there and that was the way I was going to achieve success. And that was how things were going to get better.
But it really took that fundamental understanding of: what did I want out of life and what did I want life and business to look like? And to start saying no, and to create some space. It was only once I did that that magic started to happen.
Yes. Yes. I love that you said that because we have to create the space. Think about a really crowded closet. How could anything possibly be shoved in there that’s of value if the closet’s so full? And that’s how our minds are. Our creativity is crowded. Our ability to think and make clear decisions is crowded and it’s the thing that we avoid or resist the most is clearing the space.
100%. Now, your business has changed over the years. It’s evolved and grown as your life has changed and evolved. I’d love to talk a little bit about your entrepreneurial journey because I think that’s one thing that’s always really stood out to me — that you’ve always been really intentional about making sure your business serves you not that you’re at the mercy of your business.
Well, thank you. I appreciate that. It doesn’t always seem that way, but one of the decisions that I made early on, in my first business — I used to own a medical marketing company years ago. I’ve actually been coaching women for… this is our 17th year — but before that, I owned a company that, this was before I was married before I had children, caused me to travel all the time. And I went all over the world, and I was the business.
The business completely controlled my calendar, my schedule. At that time in my life, it was exciting, but once I had my children — and I had my children late. For those of you listening, if you haven’t had children and you’re in your late thirties and you’re thinking, “Oh my gosh, has my time passed me by,” I had my son at 40 and my daughter at 42. So, I just want to throw that out there for all the women listening.
But I made a conscious choice. I made a conscious decision that I would run my business out of my home — my office is in a very separate part of my home. So, when I’m in my office, I’m in my office, I’m not looking around the house to see what needs to be done.
And I worked my schedule around my kids’ lives. And by the way, you can build a very successful company doing that. A lot of people will tell you that’s not possible, but I’m here to tell you that you can build a very strong six and seven-figure business working out of your home. But here’s the key: I think the word I’m going to use this morning is one that people probably don’t like is disciplined.
So, when the kids were in school, I was only working. I didn’t do laundry. I wasn’t in the kitchen. I was working because when they came home, I knew that I had to start dividing my time.
So that was when I was raising my kids, and last fall my husband and I became empty-nesters. Our youngest went off to college. She’s a freshman at University of Oregon. And wow. I have to tell you it was a huge shift. I am so grateful that I have a business because I actually don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have the responsibility of a business to go to every day.
Because once they left… everything changes. I want to share with you and your listeners, getting my arms around this empty nest did not happen overnight.
I know the brutal emotional rollercoaster it was for me to send my oldest to college last year. I can’t even imagine what’s going to happen when my baby goes. I cannot even think about it.
know, it’s a big shock to the system and I’m always so honest and transparent with everything I say or do. It took me, I mean, school’s almost out, I’m going to say just in the last. 45 days, I’ve actually come to terms with I’m an empty nester. So, it took me almost the entire school year.
It’s a tough transition. Now, I want to talk a little bit about transition and change. You’ve gone through some really tough years dealing with one major transition, emotional blow after another, back-to-back. Take me back to that three-year period — 2016 to 2019 — your business was booming, but you were mentally exhausted. What was going on for you?
So, in April of 2016, I lost my father. Then in November of 2016, our daughter — she’s always played multiple sports, she’s a great athlete — tore her left ACL playing basketball on the varsity basketball team at our high school and this injury required not one but two surgeries. And I’m not exaggerating, five days a week for 10 months of physical therapy.
Oh, my goodness.
I just remember… You know how, when you go out in the ocean and you get hit by a wave, and then you feel like you’re about to surface, and that’s how I was just starting to feel in November after we lost my father, then this hit me, and it was a whole year of just extreme stress and trauma. And watching your child suffer and be in so much pain and there’s absolutely nothing you can do other than be supportive, be there, take them to their physical therapy, identify with the pain. You just feel helpless as a mother.
Thankfully she did get better, and she had a great recovery. We had a great medical team, just a great medical team. And then in 2019, quite shockingly, we lost my mom, and she was not ill. It was just shocking. And I was very close to both my parents, my children, especially my daughter was close to my mother. And so, it was a real struggle.
But as you said, Jen, at that time, I had a very thriving, busy company. How did I get through it? I will admit probably a few too many glasses of red wine at the end of the day. But as a company, I have a great team.
And if you’re listening and you’re just starting out and you don’t have a team, one of the first things you want to do is set a goal to get a hire in place, get a team member because that’s going to help you grow. That’s going to help you accomplish your goals.
But I had a great team who’d been with me for years. How do you keep a great team that’s with you for years and years and years? You don’t micromanage them. You get great people — people that are smarter than you in their area. And my team is much smarter than me in the areas where they’re working, and I don’t micromanage them. I trust them.
The other just tactical thing I’ll throw in Jen is we always have a weekly, Monday meeting. If you really want to scale your business, if you want a business that doesn’t have a lot of drama all week, I’m going to highly recommend you just immediately adopt the weekly meeting. It really cuts through a lot of questions, and concerns, and what are we doing this week at a high level? What are we working on?
That’s really how I got through it. I had a great team. They shepherded me, they helped me up. They boosted me, they helped carry me through. And you know, we have systems. We’re big fans of Evernote for business and we document everything — everything we do. We have a protocol for the podcast. We have a protocol for onboarding new clients. Everything we do has a system and a protocol to it.
I love that you focused on one, team and then two, systems. There is almost this notion that you have to have all your ducks in a row and all of it together all the time when you’re the business owner. And there are so many times where from the outside, everything looks fantastic but behind the scenes, it’s a hot mess.
Sometimes, that’s because the growth is happening so fast your systems can’t catch up. Sometimes, it’s because things in our personal life are cascading behind the scenes while we’re trying to keep the wheels on the bus and the whole thing moving forward. And the emotional toll of that, when you’re going at it alone, can feel almost soul-crushing.
And so, I love that you mentioned that you’ve had a team — and your team has been with you, I mean, for years.
Over a decade. Yeah.
That’s amazing. And I love that.
You also said you don’t micromanage. So many people have this mindset of hire cheap because they’re nervous about the expense. I don’t know if I can afford it. I’m used to having all the income and now hiring somebody means I have to get rid of some revenue. Right. I’m moving revenue around.
So, there’s this gut instinct to hire cheap — I’ll get an intern, I’ll train them, I’ll do it — and you went the opposite route and said, I want an expert and I’m going to let them do their thing because I don’t have time to manage this.
How has that, mindset shift alone made a difference in your business.
You know it’s huge. And I will tell you I have had so many clients over the years who we spend so much of our time troubleshooting because, I love how you said that they hired cheap, and it’s a hard lesson for them to learn.
You want to surround yourself with people who are actually smarter than you in that area. I can honestly say my team members, when it comes to the area they’re working on, are so much better at that than I am. You know, I stay in my lane. I stay in my genius, and I think too, Jen, this also gets back to being really grounded and anchored and aligned in who you are as a leader.
That makes sense. And I think too, hiring experts and hiring people you trust, and empowering them to do what you hired them to do, also gives them that trust and that relationship with you to come alongside and support when things are tough. Because those cheap hires that aren’t super engaged aren’t going to be there to lift you up when you’re struggling to lift yourself.
It’s true. They aren’t going to be there. As a leader, when you have really great people, the one thing I will say that does fall on the leader is: you really have to come with the energy and the vision and the intention, because really great people, great team members — those A+ team members — they want to be inspired. They want to feel like they’re working on something that’s going to make a difference in the world. So, you as the leader, you’ve got to bring it. That’s a big part of it also.
Two things shine through for me in all of our conversations from when we first met 12 years ago. Two things that I admire really about how you show up every day. The first is committed to staying in your genius and delegating everything else — that is a skill that is hard to learn.
And you mentioned saying no to things earlier on in our conversation today about when you’re really aligned with your purpose, you know who you are, and you know where you’re going, it’s easier to say no to things and stay on track.
I want to ask you a question before I get to the second thing — about your genius — how did you figure out what that was?
How did I figure out what that was? I believe that I’m going to use the word God, but God gave me a gift and that gift is I am an incredible listener and I can hear what’s not being said.
And as a result of that, I think that I am a very good coach because I’m not waiting to talk. I’m not waiting to impart my wisdom, impart my opinion. I’m really listening deeply to the other person so that when I do talk, I’m going to offer something of value. And again, I think that’s being anchored grounded, and aligned. That’s the first thing.
And you know, the second thing is that I don’t have any ego around it. Because of losing my parents, my daughter going through an injury, my husband has polycystic kidney disease and has had two kidney transplants — one of which I donated my kidney to him — I’ve been through a lot in my life. So, I come to every conversation with true empathy. I can empathize with you. You can bring it to me because sister I’ve been through it and I can help you through it. And I think that’s the other thing. I come with empathy, not ego.
I love the difference in empathy versus ego. And listening to truly listening, not listening to talk. not waiting for your turn to talk.
But really showing up and being present for the person who is sharing with you. And I think that leads right into the second that I’ve always really appreciated. You are hands down, probably the person who is most committed to high touch, high care coaching.
There are so many people these days that put up boundaries and barriers. I’m only available by email. I don’t talk on the phone. You can’t reach me here. I will walk out on stage and do my thing, and then I’ll be shipped away by all my people and I’m behind the velvet rope — you can’t get to me. There are so many coaches that kind of hold themselves separate, yet you are right in the thick of it with your clients and it can be hard for people to be in it with their clients on that level; to kind of feel like you’re on all the time.
Regardless of if we’re at an event, if we’re in a conversation like this — in every conversation I’ve ever had with you — you’re all in. And I know your clients. it’s one of the things your clients rave about working with you too, is that you’re so present with them.
But that’s emotionally, physically… it can be exhausting. How do you protect your own mental health and your sanity and your energy to show up like that for your clients on a regular basis?
This is such a great question. And thank you so much. What a lovely thing to hear from someone. I do protect myself and I’m not on all the time.
So, let me explain I don’t give out my cell phone number to anyone. You can’t reach me 24/7. You have to email and typically my clients email through Kathy on my team, and she’ll set up a call. And again, you can reach me anytime, unless I’m under the weather or traveling, but you go through Kathy so that you can get me the same day. You could probably get me, if I’m not with other clients, within the hour.
I like it to go through her because then she can work out all of that brainpower that we all use on scheduling. And that’s one of the first things I’m going to recommend everybody to stop doing is scheduling yourself. You think it doesn’t matter? It matters greatly how much energy you’re spending on that.
The other thing that I do, Jen, is I have a daily routine that I never break away from even when I’m on vacation. I get up at least an hour before, well now it’s just my husband and I, but I’m a morning person. He likes to sleep in, but I get up an hour before and I have an hour every morning to prepare myself to be my best for the day.
And what does that look like? It looks like lighting one of our finding joy candles. And then, I either practice stillness or journaling or prayer, and I’m just sitting, preparing myself to be my best for the day. And that’s something that’s helped me be present to be able to be on as you say, for my clients.
I also don’t take calls after five o’clock in the evening. And the way I look at that is this. So, if somebody says, well gosh, what if a client has a problem at 8:00 PM? You know what? I’m not working with any trauma surgeons that are saving small children’s lives. And so, whatever’s going on after 5:00 PM can certainly wait until 8:00 AM the next morning. So, I don’t feel bad about that.
And I have a really strong bedtime hour. I believe that all leaders should be getting seven to eight hours of sleep at night. I turn my phone off at 7:30 so you won’t reach me, and I go to bed between 9:30 and 10:00 because I get up at 5:30 every day for my morning routine. So, I don’t know if that answers your question, but that’s how I protect myself.
I appreciate that you do have those boundaries around your time. That basically ensures: If you want me to be at my best when I show up for work, when I show up to coach, when I show up for one of the weekly gatherings — if you want me to be my best during this time, then I’ve got to protect my energy in the rest of the day.
And I’ve heard you say that you help people find joy, which I love. You mentioned your Finding Joy Candle that you might light one of those in the morning. Tell me about how this candle came to be because this is a relatively new addition for you.
Yeah, it’s brand new. We just launched it in March of this year. So, it’s very new. You know, I’m always asked this question a lot — the question you had just asked me about staying clear, staying aligned, being grounded, and anchored, protecting your energy — and what I started to realize is that this process that I use every day, it is not so common.
I thought, oh, I’m sure everybody’s doing something. No, they’re not. Most people are getting up and they are scrolling, we’re either doing two things when we get up, typically. We’re either scrolling social media or the news, or we’re checking emails.
I’m going to challenge everyone who’s listening today: if you pick up your phone and you look at social media or your emails before you’re really even awake, you’ve even put your feet on the floor. You’re actually inviting like 200 plus people into your bedroom and you’re not even awake yet. So, you actually are taking on the energy or the joy — or lack thereof — of everybody that’s on your phone.
Oh, wow. That is a really powerful way to look at that.
Yeah. So, I don’t read any emails. I don’t check any social media until after that first hour, and one of the things that we decided that I wanted to do, I wanted to create a ritual process because I’ve always called what I do or a ritual. And I thought, “You know what? What we need is a candle. Something you can light with intention.”
And so again, I worked with a consultant. You know, when I don’t know how to do something, I always call in an expert. I don’t try to figure it out on my own cause I know if I do, I’m going to make a lot of mistakes and I’m going to do it wrong. So, I brought in an expert on scent and we created these candles it’s scented with Plumeria, which is a mood uplifter.
And after the pandemic, and as we’re coming out of this crazy time, we’ve been in for two years, and what we see going on, quite frankly, Jen, with mental health in the world, we need a mood uplifter, you know. So, the candle has three wicks and it’s the process that I live by every day. And that is to be fully aligned.
And you develop your awareness — and awareness means that you’re understanding that something is going on inside of you. See what most people do every day is they’re finding out what’s going on with everybody else when they open their eyes. Listen, I’ve done it That’s how I learned about this is because I saw the mistake I was making.
But I realized, hey, I’ve got to find out what’s going on inside of me before I can engage with the outside world. So, it’s about this awareness, asking yourselves, the critical question for the day, like what are your top three high-value priorities — by the way, that’s not the dishes or the laundry.
And number three is action. Okay. Now we’ve got the answer to the question. We got to take action on it. So that’s really what the candle is and just gone over so well, we’re so happy. So proud of the success of it thus far.
That’s fantastic. And I love that it’s really about the intention for the day. Right? Really being intentional about how you’re showing up and setting yourself up for success.
Yes, you know, there’s a great quote and I believe it’s by Richard Rudd, R U D D, and the quote is just so simple and it’s this: “To be alive is to prosper.” And so, I want to feel fully alive in me — in what lights me up and where my energies at — not the aliveness of other people, because now I’m opening myself up to potentially some happy things, but a lot of negativity, right?
It reminds me of when I reassessed my life and business and the chaos that all of it was at one point. And I just said, I want to wake up every day, feeling inspired by what is on my calendar, by what is on my plate by what is ahead of me for that day — being alive and feeling fulfilled and having purpose and being aligned in where you’re going and knowing the action that you’re taking is meaningful and impactful and purposeful.
Do you find that it gives you the motivation to keep going? Like it reminds you — a lot of people say, know your why, like your why is going to drive you there — but this is almost that, but on a much deeper fundamental, like at your core, level?
Yes, you just said it. It’s awareness at your core.
Here’s what I want everyone to hear. This is what’s going to help your business grow. This is what Jen and I are talking about right now, you catapult yourself out into the day and you’ve had your ritual and you’ve had your process, and you’re completely aware and grounded in who you are in your mission and your vision, people, you’ll be a magnet. People are magnetized by you.
I can’t really adequately put a voice to it, Jen, and so that’s why everyone if you’ll just do these simple things that we’re talking about, will see such a dramatic shift in the profitability of your business. And I think what we’re being taught and what’s out there is, well, it’s got to be a better social media platform. Or it’s got to be a better photograph. Or it’s got to be this.
Listen, you’re going to have a beautiful photograph and a beautiful social media platform when you come with this kind of energy. When you come from, this is who I am. I am aware and anchored in this. That’s going to get people to flock to you. That’s just, what’s coming up for me right now.
Confidence attracts attention. People are drawn to someone who is confident. When you show up as the leader, when you show up as the expert, when you show up confident in who you are and what you bring to the table, people can’t help but want to be around that energy because they want some of that energy for themselves.
They want that energy for themselves, and you just hit on something else that I want to say. There’s a term, and I know you you’ve heard it before Jen, but there’s something called servant leadership. And I am a big fan of servant leadership that you come every day to serve. You come every day to serve in whatever it is that you’re doing, whatever your business has to offer.
And when you align yourself and you have this awareness in your day of who you are and you’re anchored down, you come from a place of service. And when people can feel that you’re a servant leader, that you’re here to help — oh. And by the way, I do have a business, but I’m here to help — you will have more business than you could actually ever want.
And here’s the other beautiful thing about this. You will have a lot of repeat business. You’ll retain clients and customers over and over again because they keep coming back to that servant leadership style, right?
Well, you know that first-hand, many of your clients stay with you for years.
Yeah, they do. I mean, our average client stays with us for a minimum of three years.
Wow. That’s I think that’s really a testament to the kind of relationship one that you create with your clients, but also in your programs. We all crave this sense of community and belonging, right? In a place where we feel like we’re welcome. And appreciated for who we really fundamentally are. And that kind of retention for years says that is the space that you’ve created for that.
Well, I know a lot of people say you should choose a new word every year. And I think that’s great, but we always have the same word over and over again every year. Our word is remarkable. We just want our clients to feel like when they’ve had an interaction with us, they feel remarkable.
And, you know, listen, it doesn’t go perfectly. You’ve got to understand that my day is filled with decisions to be made things going wrong. you know, I don’t want anyone here to think that, oh, my gosh, it sounds like her business and her life is so perfect. No, it’s far from it.
I told you some stories earlier about my parents and my daughter, but when you’re growing a business, things are going to go sideways every day. But when you do have this alignment, right? You’re able to move through the setbacks a little easier. I just wanted to say that. I think it’s important.
Oh, I think you’re a hundred percent right.
One the thing that’s coming out of the pandemic that I love is the phrase — you see it written on chalkboards, you see it written on signs, you see it posted all across social media — you don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes of the people around you. You don’t know what someone else is going through. They could be fighting a battle that you have no idea about. But they’re showing up and they’re putting on a brave face and they’re doing their best.
And that’s what we do as business owners, right? Regardless of what’s going on behind the scenes, we show up and we give it our best — and we give grace to all of the other things.
So, in addition to your finding joy candle, which people can find at FindingJoyCandle.com, what other can’t live without tool or trick do you use every day that you wish you discovered earlier?
I love that word, grace. Yes. We give grace to all the other things. Beautiful word.
So, there are two. This is going to sound really crazy. Well, I’ve already told you about Evernote, but the other one that I use, which is free, and everybody has it on their phone is the voice memo app. Yeah. I dictate everything. You’ll rarely ever get anything from me where I sat down and typed it on a laptop or on a phone because I think it’s a waste of time and I can move through a lot of things a lot quicker.
So, I dictate everything. And then at the end, I always say this was dictated and not checked for spelling so that people understand I’m on the run and I’m dictating. And yeah, that word’s spelled wrong, you know, she’s not illiterate, she’s just dictating. So, the voice memos is a huge trick that I use every single day to save time cause you can do that from anywhere.
The other thing, and it is our Finding Joy Everyday Planner. But I just want to say whatever planner you’re using; everybody should be using a daily planner to ground themselves. You know, after that hour that I’m telling you about in the morning that ritual, I always go to my planner. Whatever, whichever one you want to use. And I always write down my top three high-value priorities for the day. So, I’m not chasing a page of 20 items on a to-do list.
Why? Because I’m just going to disappoint myself. So, what I do is say, okay, what are three things that if I can at least make a big dent or really move the needle forward on these three things by four o’clock at the end of the day, I’m going to feel like it was a win. And I focus on those three things. I had a guest on my own podcast years ago and she said, and I think it’s Mark Twain who said it, but she said, “Eat a frog for breakfast.”
So, I just write down my three things and I, darn it Jen, I really try to eat that frog.
Same. Get that biggest thing done first because everything else is easier.
Yeah. So that’s my thing. It sounds like we’re very similar. I like to eat that frog for breakfast and then I can move on.
And I love the notion of the doable to-do list. I was guilty of the never-ending to-do list. The pages just kept going forever and every day I felt bad about myself because I didn’t get enough on that to-do list checked off. But when I changed my approach and I got realistic with what would be a win for today.
Now I’ve got more than three things on my to-do list, but I put one big, three medium-sized things, and five little, small things. And I do them in that order. The big thing first, take a break, the three kinds of medium things, take a break, and knock out the little five things.
But I found that it’s also about not scheduling all the hours in your day, right? If I’m going to get my to-do list done, I need to have some buffer in there for the unexpected things. So, I only plan for about five hours and I leave the rest to take what the day throws at me. And that’s made a huge difference.
You’re so smart. I mean, so much of the research shows that we really are only productive for about five hours a day, so you’ve nailed it.
Let me ask you this: You have your morning ritual, right? And that sets you up for success. But what happens when things don’t quite go, according to plan and the day is going off the rails — things are getting crazy — how do you stay focused and positive?
Yeah. So that’s a great question. And I don’t always. Sometimes, I can certainly, I’m human, I can become unglued over certain things, especially traffic in LA. And by the way, I live my life by the 80/20 Rule. I hope if I can get it right, 80% of the time, I know that 20% of the time everything’s going to go wrong. So, I try to stop and realize that, okay this is the 20% it’s happening. It’s happening right now. And I just have to take a deep breath. You know, I do a lot of deep breaths and just pausing and then getting a new energy for what do I have to do now?
And listen, in life, there are things that are non-negotiable, right? If something goes wrong with my husband or my kids, everything goes out the window. I don’t care. I’m going to stop everything I’m doing and I’m going to be there for my family, right? Um, you know, just last week I had to print a very large document. Well, guess what? The printer ribbon was out of ink. Guess who forgot to order ink? Me. So that became a little bit of a challenge, but I had to regroup.
So, I would say the way I handle it is just trying to do a lot of breathing, pausing, and realizing that’s that 20% that’s going to go wrong. And there’s just nothing you can do about it.
I love the application of the 80/20 Rule in that regard.
For people who feel out of alignment, maybe life and business are quite congruent at the moment and they’re trying to find that place of alignment, what advice would you give them to help them start to gain that, place of peace?
Sure. So the first thing that I would do is I would — if you don’t have a journal, I would go out and buy a journal and I would commit to 15 minutes every morning to just sit with a cup of coffee, a cup of tea, and just resist that urge to turn on the news check what’s going on online, sit and then just, and you can set a timer.
If you think, “Gosh 15 minutes is too hard,” because I had a client once who could not do it, just do it for five minutes. Let’s just do it for five minutes to sit in stillness and then just write it down in your journal. What came up for you? What were you thinking? And just jot down those notes and just see what comes up for you.
Ak yourself some questions. You know, some of those clarifying questions.
What is it I’m pretending not to know? That is a big one with my clients. What are you pretending not to know? There is something — maybe it’s that you need to change your marketing strategy, but you’re stuck in this one because you know it works for you, but it’s not generating the revenue you want. Maybe you’re in a relationship that isn’t working anymore. Well, what are you pretending to know about that relationship? Is it possible that it will change?
You know, so these are the real truths, right, that we have to get to.
I think another great question too, if you’re not really sure if you’re in alignment is, what is it that I’m really going to be sorry or disappointed about if I don’t take action on it in the next 18 months. So, I didn’t say next week, I didn’t say because sometimes these are big goals that need plans, but what is it that you’re really going to be disappointed about? If you don’t actually move on it and take action. Those are good questions too I think.
Yeah, that’s very powerful.
Well, Joy. Thank you so much for being here for sharing your stories of seeking satisfaction and finding alignment in your life. If people want to learn more about you and stay in touch, tell us where we can find you online.
Oh, great. Thank you, Jen. This has been great. I really had a blast here with you this morning.
So you can take a look at our aligned memberships at AlignOnlineWithJoy.com. If you want to learn a little bit more about our candles — Our Finding Joy Everyday Candles. Those are at FindingJoyCandle.com. And I’m on all the social media channels. I’m on Facebook. I’m on LinkedIn. But if you really want to hang with me every day, Instagram is my place at @joychudacoff.
Fantastic. Well, thank you again so much for joining me. I know this is a conversation that is really going to open up some minds, I think on really just rethinking how you’re showing up and making sure that you’re showing up with intention.
Yes. Yes. Love it. Just great questions. Thank you. This was a wonderful interview, a wonderful hour.
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Until next time, may you live inspired, embrace imperfection, seek satisfaction, and have a fabulous day.