Jana Kingsford is a big dreams strategist and action blockbuster, who was a high school drop out and teenage mum, turned mother of 3, university graduate and by 30 years old had started-from-scratch several big businesses, so she could stay at home with her kids and achieve her big dreams.
She now runs an education company teaching productivity, marketing, launching, mindset and juggling skills to eager entrepreneurs not satisfied with the status quo of what they can and can’t achieve (even if they have a heap of kids).
Connect with Jana at janakingsford.com
Prefer to read? Here’s the transcript:
Lisa: I’m pretty excited about the fact that it’s 10:15pm at night, and I have another working mother on the line with me. Hello, Jana.
Jana: Hi Lisa.
Lisa: I think it’s pretty hilarious when I write to you and say, ‘Hey, let’s work out a time to do this podcast,’ and you’re like, ‘Yes, well, I’m free right now.’ And I’m like, ‘What? Okay, cool. I’ll set up. Let’s do this.’ And we’ve both got school runs in the morning.
Jana: Let’s do this. I know, totally. 5:00am ones, for me, mine’s 5:00am in the morning.
Lisa: Yes, you do a lot of calls for your business really early in the morning. I like early mornings.
Jana: I love that time of day. But, like, you know, with boundaries. I think, it’s so funny thinking, ‘Oh yeah, I’m up at 10:15pm, and we’re going to be talking about, like, boundaries and things like that. But I think there’s actually a little bit of, I don’t know, like, philosophy around, why sometimes I do stay up until, like, 10:00pm, and then sometimes I’m going to bed at like 8:00pm. And then sometimes getting up really early. I think it’s all about bouts. But, we don’t need to get straight into the stuff right now.
Lisa: Well, first of all, can you just-, because I have been witnessing your business journey for a few years now. And at the start, I was like, ‘Yeah, there’s this chick, she used to do make-up and stuff, and now she’s launching all this stuff. Like, these little courses, and she’s working out how to do things. And why does she always have so much energy? And OMG, she’s the mum of three kids like me, and look at her go.’ And then, suddenly, it seemed to me, from the outside, your business tripped over into a whole new realm, where you were actually, not, sort of, you weren’t a beginner any more. You were actually an established online business owner, supporting your family. You know, running a household, your kids, and a business. It’s been amazing to watch, and because I’m all about authenticity, and I think it’s missing a lot, out there, especially in the online world. I just love everything you’re about, and when I see your videos on Facebook, or watch a webinar with you in it, I just feel like I know you. But I don’t. But I do. So, I’d love to get an understanding from your point of view. Like, tell us a little bit about your journey.
Jana: Well, obviously there are so many different bits and pieces. I’ll pull out the stuff that probably will be helpful, because, like, a lot of people are, like, looking in on me, and going, ‘Oh my God, she’s, like, Supermum.’ Or, ‘She’s so bubbly and energised all the time, and that’s just, like, an act.’ But it’s literally like, people in my life know that’s me. Like, they describe me in one word, when I asked them to, actually, a couple of years ago when I was doing some marketing exercises. I was like, ‘How do you see me?’ And they’re like, ‘Bubbly,’ and I’m like, I brought that to my business. So, first and foremost, I want people to, like, look at what I’m doing and how I am. That’s actually just how I am. But you can build a business around whatever you’re about. Like, you know, if they’re compassionate, or considerate. However they are, they can do it. Like, so, I just wanted to get that out of the way, right off the bat, because sometimes people can see my stuff and be like, ‘She’s so full of energy. I can’t do that.’ Then, all of a sudden, they go into that, like, ‘I’m not capable,’ mode. They don’t feel capable, and then they shut off, and they don’t take in what could be quite helpful and valuable. So I just wanted to say that straight off the bat.
So, with my journey, basically, I believe that so much of everything that I’ve done has been in just being a couple of steps ahead of people, and throwing back, like, a life raft. Like, going, ‘Oh my God, I learnt these lessons. I’m, like, totally an underdog like you, and I’ve done it. And here are, just, like, a few lessons I’ve learnt.’ I did that through when I went to university. I was 23 years old, had my little three-year-old, well she was two, actually, at the time, and I was pregnant with my second. And you all, sort of, know the story of me. I was a high school drop-out, teenage mum, IQ of 90, not the sharpest tool in the shed. So, when it came to, I had this baby. She was, I think, about nine months old when I decided, ‘Heck,’ like, ‘How can I tell her to go after her big dreams, if I never do?’ And that was the starting point. That was the launch point that made me sign up to university. Just try something.
And then, through doing university whilst juggling two kids, because I remember even breastfeeding while I was doing exams and assignments for my university. So there were all those stages, like, little tiny babies and studying. And all of a sudden, I realised, well, ‘Okay, I’m studying, but I don’t want to have my J-O-B. But I do want to have some income, so what am I going to do? And business seemed to be the only-, it was like, that’s what you’ve got to do. So then I started to just dabble in whatever was in front of me. And a couple of years later, I actually started selling Body Shop at Home. Like, just these things just started to come, and I just used to jump into them. And that was always what I’ve done is just follow my nose, by just starting out. Because I’m actually quite patient, so I don’t need to know the whole journey before I start something.
So, I started Body Shop at Home, and I didn’t know where it was going to go, but that actually lead to my wedding make-up business. Because I started doing wedding make-ups before I even knew how to really do make-up. And I did a friend’s wedding, and then those bridesmaids booked me, and then after two weddings I created a website. So one, two, skip a few, from there, I went through from the wedding make-up, I had my third baby. I graduated university whilst I was pregnant with my little boy. And, yes, I stood up on stage and everything like that, and at the same time, had my wedding make-up business and a couple of other businesses I’d started on the side, and I was creating an online wedding directory. That became a successful failure, because it was all admin. And that lead me into my next business, was the blog that I’d been writing all along. So that’s pretty much, in a nutshell, the last ten years. And then the blog, sort of, started, and then that, sort of, like, was the last three years. Which you kind of just explained.
Lisa: Well, I’m kind of just-, I don’t know whether it’s because it’s late at night, or that was just massive. I feel tired listening to it. You know, we’ve spoken a lot, you and me, about, you know, ‘Superman ain’t got nothing on us,’ because it’s amazing what we can actually achieve. And you’re an example of someone who just goes, ‘I’m just going to try this, and see how it goes.’ I sort of feel a bit the same. I never had massive ideas for myself. Everything that’s happened has been this really cool experiment. And I feel like, you know, following your nose. Like, all of that experience that you’ve had, has been valuable to where you are right now. You know, if you hadn’t had all that random stuff, then you wouldn’t be able to bring that to the table for your clients.
Jana: Exactly, and that was only from me jumping in. You know, just jumping in with what was in front of me right then, even though I didn’t have the-, I just see a lot of people, like, not jumping into some things, like, that they’re passionate about because they don’t know the whole picture. They don’t know where it’s going to lead. But you’re never going to know where it’s going to lead. All you need to do is, like, pretty much just have, ‘Here’s what I want to be in life,’ and then, sort of, take steps from there. So, go, you know, whoever you want to be in life, and whatever shows up right in front of you that you’re excited about, or curious about, go for that. Like, that was, sort of, looking back, that’s what I can now say that I was doing. But at the time, I was just like, ‘That sounds exciting. Yay, let’s go!’ It’s sort of, like, my philosophy. And I was like, ‘Okay.’ Like, at the same time, I was a couch potato, before I started.
Lisa: Get out.
Jana: I literally was a couch potato, and I do have those tendencies, still, sometimes. But I used to watch TV, back-to-back, all day, during the day, while I was, you know, playing with my baby. But you know, in-between that, when you’re breastfeeding, it’s pretty much watching daytime TV for half the day. And then cleaning up just before your husband gets home. And that’s about it, that’s what I would do. And I was like, ‘This is not going to be exciting for me, for the rest of my life.’ But at the same time, I was lazy, and I, you know, wasn’t great at housekeeping, and stuff like that. And I had, you know, this baby, and I was nineteen, I was really young. So I, sort of, had to learn all this on the run. And I actually went to blogs, that’s actually where I went. Probably, all those years ago, that’s probably where the seeds started to drop, because I went to blogs to figure out how to do these things. How to make food. This was, like, before blogs were, like, a thing, you know? So that’s, sort of, like, where I went. I just, like, went to learn, ‘How do I do this? Like, how do I make this possible for me?’
Lisa: So, there is a lot that you’re juggling, and you talk about managing the juggling in what you do. But, when it comes to not losing yourself, and moving through all the things that you need to do day-to-day, so not only just with three kids. And I know up until quite recently, you still worked in your family’s business as well. When we talk about boundaries, when we talk about that whole work-life balance thing, what does that mean for you, and how to does it work for you?
Jana: Oh my God. My eyes just started sparkling, because that word, work-life balance, to me, actually, I just love it. So work-life balance, for me, I think that anybody says that balance isn’t real, or it’s, you know, BS. I totally, you know, respect everyone’s opinions, but for me, it’s like, if balance is important to you, you will make it, you will create it. You will make it happen in some way, shape, or form. And the way that I look at work-life balance, this is how I work it out. I go, ‘What do I care about? What are my values?’ and I define them for myself. See, this is the problem when we’re looking at work-life balance, and we look at everybody else, and going, ‘Oh, they say balance is BS. That person says balance is necessary.’ And we get all confused. We don’t really need much more confusion, we’re confused enough.
So, what I think is, just get, ‘What do I care about?’ You know, get quiet with yourself for a second, and go, ‘What do I care about in my head, my heart, my gut? What are the five things, what are the five core values?’ Or, I say ‘brand values,’ but if people don’t have a business, it’s just life values. What are your life values? And if balance is one of them, you set out to create that in some way, shape, or form, in a way that suits you. So with me, my five core values are (1) Big dreams, (2) Belief, so I always work with belief, and look at my beliefs. (3) Bringing it, so I love to, like, bring it. You know, when I’m working, like now, I’m bringing it. (4) Balance, (5) Bubbly. So it’s sort of, like, the BYS sort of thing. Be yourself. So, when I look at those five things, I can look at, and take in, all the information that’s around. You know, we’ve got information overload, there are so many gurus, and I see myself more as a guinea pig. But there are a lot of gurus and experts, but I find I’m so solid in my own values of my big dreams, balance, bringing it as well, but at the same time, sort of, like, bringing a bit, at the same time, balance. In that aspect, it balances out for me.
Because I’m so strong in those values, for myself, that I’ve defined for myself, I’m so deliberate in the way that I see work-life balance. So I think it’s completely personal choice. So when you set your values, so if you think that, you know, like, my values are hustle, grinding, go go go, working a million hours a week. If those are your values, go for gold. Like, each to their own, I respect everyone’s own values. So when I see that, I’m just, like, ‘Have your own values.’ You know, that’s why sometimes we’re always looking outside of ourselves for, you know, things to cling onto, or ideas and values to cling onto. When if we just actually went quiet for second, went inside of our head, our heart, our gut, we would come out with our own values. And from there, you can basically go, ‘Here’s what I care about, here’s how I’m going to create balance,’ because balance is not something you find, it’s something you create. And it’s exactly specific for you, and only you know what’s balance for you.
So that’s how I see work-life balance. Like, with me, I’m going through a bout of bringing it, and that’s exactly how I look at work-life balance. My life is a book full of seasons, and they’re all different seasons. With kids of different ages, for me, my life is constantly changing. I’ve got three kids, at varying ages. I’ve gone through baby stage, breastfeeding stage. I’ve got an almost teenager now, and then I’ve got a toddler, so have all these varying ages, and different stages. And when you’ve got a heap of kids, everything’s going to always evolve, and change, and you’re going to have to be flexible, if you’re work-life balance. But if you have those core values, you, sort of, have something as an anchor, to stick to when you’re figuring out, ‘Okay, how am I going to put this value, I do have balance as one of my values, how am I going to put that into my routine?’
At the moment, I’m going through a ‘bring it’ phase, and I know that I can bring it, and then I’ll have-, like, even last weekend, 48 hours, did not touch an electronic device. But then, for the rest of the week, I pretty much was like, on my phone, like, tethered to my phone. Most of the time, most of my friends will tell you, like, I’m never on my phone. Pretty much never on there. And then, sometimes I’ll go through bouts of time when I’m only working ten hours a week, and then I’ll go through bouts of time that I work 30 hours a week. It’s definitely a balance on a macro scale and a micro scale, but when you come back to your own-, so you can look at my balance and go, ‘Oh, I’ll just replicate that,’ but it’s not actually connecting to your own core values. What do you care about, and then putting in place what you want to create in regards to balance.
Lisa: That’s absolutely-, I love it. I love all of it, because I love the concept that we go through different seasons. And I know from my own experience last year, when I created the business, and things went a little bit mental, and I didn’t have systems. I still don’t really have great systems in place.
Jana: I’m with you!
Lisa: It’s terrible. It just keeps growing beyond my systems capability, but I do have support around me now, and other people in my business helping me out, and that’s made a really big difference for me. But last year, I kept on-, because it’s like ‘hustle’ is a really dirty word, sometimes, that everything’s just got to flow, and blah blah blah. But last year, I probably spent a lot of the time in adrenal overload, I was massively excited about what was going on. I did not give a toss that I was working until 11:00pm at night. I was so invigorated by what I was doing. My hours were, kind of, set during the day to working in naptimes, basically, and I just worked around it, and I didn’t care. But then, by the end of the year, I started to care. I started to go, ‘Okay, I’ve achieved a lot, but now I don’t actually know if this is working for me. When was the last time I really had a night off, and just spoke to my husband for more than, “You do the bath”?’
Jana: The poor guys.
Lisa: Yes. But, you know, it changed the values that I bought into 2016. So when you said your words, the words that I chose for this year were ‘grounded,’ because I feel like I got a bit flighty, I got a bit in my head. I really needed to just come back to earth, and feel grounded in the way that I moved through, even, just my days. I chose ‘joy,’ because I wanted to focus on the things that really made me feel good, because I’d started to go into that realm of feeling like I needed to serve everyone else before me. And then I chose ‘ease,’ because life shouldn’t be that hard. You know, I needed to start making decisions that actually made my life easier, not harder. And then I chose ‘rockstar,’ and so that was like, ‘Get to the frickin’ hairdressers and feel good,’ or, you know, ‘Buy yourself some new clothes. You’re not breastfeeding any more, we can move beyond these clothes.’
Jana: Maternity bras can go in the bin!
Lisa: Yes. And then also just choosing things that, yes, just got me that rockstar vibe. Because you know it, like, working from home, in our trackies most of the time, is not glamorous. And I just felt like I needed to include a bit of that rockstar element.
Jana: I love that.
Lisa: Yes. It’s really helped me this year, to make decisions coming from those values. But, I must say, the balance is a constant work in progress, and I think I’m just accepting that that’s the case.
Jana: Well, that is the case. It is a constant thing, when you know what actually you care about. So when you said your values for this year, here’s the thing. It’s an evolutionary process. Last year had to happen for you. This year has happened exactly how it needs to happen, you’ve shifted your values, you’ve shifted and evolved from what you created last year, and that’s exactly how it has to happen. So, a lot of us actually look back on the past, and go, ‘I shouldn’t have done that. You know, that was the wrong way,’ but really, sometimes, like you said, that struggle and the hustle, and the, sort of, like, exhilaration of it. That actually had to happen, to bring your business to where it was, and then you’re like, ‘Okay, I’m just consolidating this year, and I’m going to figure out a new way to do it, now that I’ve built this thing. Now I’ve built this gorilla of a business, now I’m going to figure out how to manage it.’
So you’ve made it, now you’re going to manage it. And I think the more flexible you are, and the more adaptive you are, like, the more you let yourself evolve. The more you do that and be flexible, I think, the easier you make it on yourself, because you know that this is, like, all a process. When you stick to, like, values that are forever. You know, I had a tendency to go, ‘Well, those were my values last year, those should be my values this year.’ Not thinking, ‘I have grown, like, exponentially in this year.’ My values should evolve with that, and they do, they evolve and they change, and they shift, and they move. The more fluid you can be with it, the more adaptive you can be with it, like, flexible, the better you’ll be. And I’ve been juggling, now, for twelve-and-a-half years, and that’s exactly, probably, the number one trait that I feel like I have. I reset like a mofo. I’m pretty much resetting every day, and going, ‘What’s working? What’s not working?’
Lisa: Wow. That’s amazing, that is a really, really, great little hack. Just come back and ask yourself that daily, ‘What’s working? What’s not working?’ Because we do have so much more power than we realise. I think that, for a long time, and especially just with dealing with toddlers, well, I fell into that victim mindset. Like, ‘I can’t do anything. I can’t get anything done,’ blah blah blah. Then I just got sick of that excuse, and just thought, ‘I’m just going to do it anyway,’ and it was the best thing. But then, I’ll ask you this. Last year, I had this thing in my head that our kids were going to start school back in Melbourne. And I’ve been away from home now, eight-and-a-half years. So I grew up in Melbourne, spent five years in Sydney, and now it’s almost three-and-a-half years in Brisbane. I always said to myself, ‘We’ll be back in Melbourne by the time the kids start school,’ and my son was starting school this year.
So I had this thing in my head, and it’s hard for my husband to find work in Melbourne, so that’s why we’re away. So I was like, when this thing started to take off, I thought, ‘Oh, hang on, this could be our ticket back to Melbourne. I’ll build something, and I might even be able to support the family, and he can take over. And then we’ll live this lovely, beautiful, flexible life.’ And I think a lot of my hustle came from that. And at Christmas time, when it became apparent things weren’t going to happen in that way, that’s when everything, kind of, crashed, and that’s when I learnt one of the biggest lessons that I think I’ve ever learnt. And that is that shit just doesn’t happen before it’s ready, and putting too much expectation on the outcome of our efforts is going to get us in trouble.
Jana: I think you are so right, and I think that’s actually the beauty of my twenty-year-old brain, in my twenties, was that I had no expectation re outcome. I just knew I’m not working a J-O-B. That’s it, I know what I don’t want, that’s what I know. I know what I don’t want, and I also know that I don’t want to look my kids in the eye, and not be able to tell them, ‘You can go after your dreams,’ and not feel authentic to my child. Like, when I looked at my daughter, I knew, when she was about nine months old, like, I knew she was set for big things. And she’s really, like, you know, definitely exuding that now. Like, I feel like I’ve done the best thing for her, because I could just tell. You know, she’s a strong-willed little girl, like, oh my God. She’s twelve, she’s strong-willed, she’s amazing. She goes to an amazing school, and she’s self-motivated, she has big dreams herself.
She really does have big dreams, and we sit down, and we watch motivating videos together. I sit down, actually, with my middle girl and she watches Gabby Bernstein with me. Because she just loves Gabby B, my middle. And I feel like they have this big dream thing in them as well. I feel like if they weren’t in that audience, watching me walk up on that stage and get my certificate, or my Batchelor of Communications, with a Major in PR. If they didn’t see me get that, even though that symbol was not, like, I was not going to work a 9-5 job with that Batchelor that I got, when I got that cape, and I put that hat on. I knew that they knew anything is frickin’ possible. Like, even though they didn’t know that I only have an IQ of 90, which is, you know, really below average, and I think I even cheated on it. So I was, like, still below average.
Lisa: Who gives a shit about IQ, these days?
Jana: I know, but like, society is saying, ‘You can’t do that.’ And also, I dropped out. Society says, ‘You can’t do that. You’re a nineteen-year-old mum, you’re not going to be anything.’ Society and all that, you know. I got fired from my job when I was pregnant at nineteen, I got fired, because I was so young and I was pregnant. I got head-hunted for that job. So, back to your point, but they were watching me on stage, and I think that dream got instilled in them now. So, I know all those things that I’ve been doing over the years, has all been for a purpose that I knew innately, but I can only, like Steve Jobs says, ‘You can only connect the dots looking back.’ And I can connect them now, but I could not connect them then. All it took was my twenty-year-old naïve self to just frickin’ jump. And I’m scared to think of what I would have done if I was in my thirties, and been full of fear. You know, like, I’m so glad that I was a young mum, because I don’t know if I could have done that in my thirties, with so much fear, not being that naïve girl I was. You know, if I hadn’t have been that age. I think it was all in perfect time.
Lisa: Yes. It happens when it’s going to. Like, we can’t force stuff. And I think your girls are so lucky, what an amazing woman you are. So, then, tell me, have you got, sort of, hacks in terms of productivity? Or, the way in which you work, and get things done? And, you know, really do all the things that you do, and not fall apart?
Jana: Okay, that’s a difficult one. You know, like, you will fall apart, and you need to expect that, and you need to know that that’s going to happen. And it’s not unusual, and there’s nothing wrong with you, and when you’re on the ground, and you’re in tears in the foetal position, it’s okay. It’s going to happen, probably, in a couple more months. So get used to that, it’s okay. But some days, you’re going to be high as a kite. You’ll be so high on life, you’ll be just so grateful. But there will be days when there’s a toddler having tantrums, there’s a twelve-year-old saying she hates you. The middle girl is just feeling, like, isolated, and you’re like, ‘I am sucking at this right now.’ You’re just, like, ‘Oh my God.’ Your business is breaking, all your techie stuff is going crazy, you feel like you can’t think of anything for dinner for that night, and it’s, like, 6:30pm. And you’re just like, ‘Okay, something’s going to have to change.’ Like, those days will happen, but you’ve got to know that they’re going to happen, and be okay, and just let them, sort of, pass. And just go, ‘Okay, tomorrow’s another day. I’m going to forgive myself for this crappy day, and wake up tomorrow with a frickin’ plan.’ So, that’s how I feel like with that.
In regards to productivity, so, first off, I think, just your ability to be so resilient for having those pits, and those highs, and those lows, but just having the ability to go with them. And just go, ‘It’s okay, it’s just passing. It’s alright,’ because then you don’t make it happen again the next day. You sort of, like, reset yourself, you recalibrate yourself, and you wake up the next day, and it’s like nothing happened, because you probably got more sleep. But, in regards to productivity, I actually fully believe that productivity is an effect. So it’s going to sound-, I know people want hacks, I know they want that. I know they want the practical, and I’m the practical girl, I will bring you the practical stuff. But first, you’ve got to see that productivity is an effect of a deeper cause, which is belief. Your belief in yourself, in order to do what you want to do, with the heap of kids, with whatever circumstances you’re juggling right now. Your belief in your capability, and your ability to do that, is going to affect your productivity. You will move mountains if you believe in your capability. And a lot of us look at our kids as disabilities, not abilities. And I see my kids as my ability, because they give me that hunger, that drive.
Even the other day, I will tell you, one of my friends that doesn’t have kids saw our conversation in one of the groups we’re in, and she said, ‘I think I need to have kids, because you guys are so hungry. You are so motivated,’ and she just doesn’t have that hunger, that innate hunger, that insatiable desire, that we have. So that’s a cause, and our productivity is an effect. And no hack, no ridiculous, you know, app, is going to help you if your belief is not there. You could have nothing, you could have a pen and paper, and if you have worked on your belief in yourself, and seeing what you’re capable of. Even if you’ve just got a tiny morsel of belief and you act on that, I think when you put your pen to paper and you write out what you’ve got to do for the day, and you have that belief in your back pocket, you’re going to do, and take action.
Because looking at it from another angle, procrastination is an effect. The cause, belief, ‘I can’t do this.’ So say, for example, procrastination, I believe, is protection. And it’s the brain, you’ve got a great brain, it’s really protecting you, and it’s doing an awesome job. Because when you’re procrastinating, you’re stopping yourself from getting the outcome of what you would get, if you actually did that thing, did that project. In your case, with your people, probably like, you know, eating healthier, or eating the wholefoods, and things like that. So, whatever project, or thing you want to undertake, even your program. Like, whatever they want to do, if they’re procrastinating about doing it, or going through a whole program, especially with online courses, a lot of us procrastinate. So if you’re procrastinating, you’re actually protecting yourself from the outcome on the other side, which would be success in that endeavour that you invested in. So, if you look at it from that angle, you’re actually protecting yourself from that.
And it doesn’t make sense, because, I’ll try to put it in a different thing. Say, for example, you want success in one area. I don’t want to put it in weight terms, because I don’t even think of it like that, but I’m trying to think of it in-, for me, I’m talking to people about big business dreams all the time, so I’m looking at success, specifically. So if you see success, and everyone’s like, ‘Success, yay, freedom! I can have hubby at home, it’ll be all fairytales.’ Yay, that’s great. That’s actually initially, probably, what’s motivating us. But then on the other side, the thing that’s protecting you, is the negative things that we don’t let ourselves see. Like, the fears around that success. What’s going to happen? What does success mean? Does success mean ‘unlovable?’ Does success mean being burnt out? Does success mean being a bad mum?
If you have those underlying beliefs, you’re going to procrastinate until the cows come home, and no app is going to save you. So if I look at it from that way, it’s like going, ‘Okay. In regards to success, whatever you’re believing it to be in a negative frame, like, in a negative aspect. Thinking success means being a bad mum, or success means being burnt out, in this particular endeavour that you’re going after. Whatever it is, you actually will manifest that, right here, right now. So you’ll manifest that, like, today. You’ll be like that today.’ So whenever I’m, sort of, manifesting those circumstances, like, ‘Success means being unlovable,’ I’ll be acting unlovable, and at the same time, procrastinating.
Lisa: Yes. Oh, just so much, ‘Yes!’
Jana: It’s a deep topic. It is deep. You can save it, it’s just your brain is so powerful, and it’s doing that for you, it’s just protecting you. Because you haven’t addressed the unknown, because you’re going, ‘I’m just going to look at the fairies, and the rainbows, and the butterflies, and the awesome husbands at home.’ I’ve had hubby home for two years now. So, I know now it’s not all rainbows and butterflies.
Jana: But before that, it was just like, ‘Oh my God, yay,’ and I never looked at the other side of it, the negative side of it. Had I looked at that beforehand, my brain would have been more susceptible to letting me achieve it, subliminally. I would be taking that micro-action, every single day, I wouldn’t be procrastinating as much. Because if your brain knows what’s on the other side of that thing you’re trying to achieve, if it knows what’s on the other side negatively, and positively, it’s going to actually let you have it a bit more, because it’s not unknown. It’s basically like expecting your brain, when you don’t look at the both sides of the outcomes of something. Even healthy eating, one of the negative effects? Your friends will pick on you, and that is prevalent, I know that in my own family. My poor sisters get picked on, because, like, they follow you, I found out the other day. Oh my God, everybody used to give me such a hard time. I was so good with Tani, with my firstborn. I was like, ‘Don’t you dare. She doesn’t get cake.’ And they would all, like, slip her lollies under the table, and I would just go off, and my sisters would pay me out. And now, they’re on the other side of the coin.
You know, they love the wholefoods, and the organic foods, and just feeding their kids, like, amazing food. So they’re all into it, then they apologised to me. They’re like, ‘I’m so sorry, we gave you such a hard time.’ And I was doing that, back, twelve years ago, and everybody gave me a worse hard time than what they do, like, now, because it was not as accepted as it is now. But that’s a negative effect, you’re going to get ostracised when you’re eating well. They do, don’t they? Some people are, like, cool with it, but most of the people I do know, like, I see it. That’s a negative effect, so you’re going to procrastinate, or you’re not going to take action on it, or you won’t go all in on it. You won’t be productive in it, you won’t make your meals at the start of the week. You don’t quite know why you’re not, even though it’s a great idea. You won’t know why you’re not doing it, but then when you go, ‘Okay, I’m actually protecting myself from being ostracised from the community,’ and that’s a primal thing that happens.
So, without getting too deep, basically, productivity is an effect, and your belief is the cause. So, you’ve got to look about your associations. Once you go, ‘Ah, I’m totally scared of being ostracised,’ but then you’ll be like, ‘Well, that’s just ridiculous. Like, I’m cool with that, I’m willing to cop that.’ And as soon as you, sort of, just identify it, the brain knows it’s there, so it’s okay. It’s kind of going into, like, a cave. I said this on one of my Facebook Lives, I think, today. Something like, you can either go into something like a cave, that you don’t know is there a cliff face, could you be dropping off the face of the earth? Could there be, like, you walking into, you know, a dungeon of dragons, or whatever. You don’t know what’s in this cave. It’s either doing that, or actually knowing in advance, okay, there are going to be a couple of snakes, and cockroaches, but, you know, it’ll be okay. Like, you know that’s what there’s going to be. If you know what’s going to be in there, you actually will do that. But if you don’t know what’s in that cave, like, at all, and it’s quite possibly just going to be, like, a cliff, and you’re just going to fall over the edge, you’re probably not going to go in.
Lisa: Yes. It’s like arming our brain with all the information that it needs, to just be able to move forward. I’ve never thought about it like the way you’ve just described it. You know, but it’s funny, because my dad always used to make us write out pros and cons, when we were making decisions. It was like, ‘Well, write out your pros and cons,’ and you’d, sort of, sit there going, ‘Well, if I choose to go to this party,’ when it’s just stuff like that.
Jana: Oh, I love that.
Lisa: So, you’d have to, kind of, write out the pros to making a certain decision, or the cons. And I remember I got a scholarship to do a PhD at uni, and I wanted to quit it, because I was like, ‘What?’ I was 23, and I was writing a PhD on the topic of humanitarian intervention. So, when we go into other countries for humanitarian reasons, and the rules around that. There aren’t really very clear rules. And so, they were paying me to figure that shit out, and I’m 23, thinking, ‘This is not right.’ Anyway, I had no life experience whatsoever, I was still living at home, I’d travelled for one year. And I did not know what was on the other side of that decision to quit. It was just so scary that I remained paralysed.
Jana: Paralysed, yes.
Lisa: By doing nothing in this PhD, rocking up to uni, just-, it was full procrastination. Because I didn’t want to do it, but I didn’t know what else I wanted. I see that so often, when people just don’t know what is on the other side. I mean, it is, it’s paralysing.
Jana: Paralysing, yes. That’s definitely the word for it. You just can’t move, and you’re just, like, you sit there with your to do list, or your time management system, and you’re just like, ‘What is wrong with me? I can’t do it. Like, what is wrong with me? I thought I got clear, but clearly I’m not.’ And you just start to go through, thinking that there’s something wrong with you, but it’s really just, you haven’t looked at your beliefs. If anybody comes to me with procrastination, inaction, no discipline, all those things, I’m like, ‘That’s just an effect of your belief.’ And they get sick of it. Like, my clients will get sick of it, but then we go through the belief, and then the next day, they take an action like never before.
Lisa: And do you know what, I remember hearing you say something, oh, this was at least a year or more ago. And it was about resistance, and when resistance shows up. So there’s been a ridiculous amount of resistance since I’ve been doing. It’s just every time. I mean, I remember getting my first professional photos done, and just having, like, a complete meltdown. I woke up that morning, had a fight with my husband, and wrote two pages of all the reasons why I was angry. And it was full resistance, and it was resistance about, ‘This could be so awesome,’ and that was harder than, ‘This could totally bomb, and I’ll look really ugly.’ Because there was all that, there were all the negative thoughts, and then resistance showed up, and it was just making it really, really hard for me to do a good job. I think it was also because, ‘Well now I’m stepping into this, and it could actually be amazing, and I’m not amazing. And what if it is, and what if this really is an actual business, and not just a fluke?’ And it’s just, our brains are so effed up, they really take us on a journey, and that subconscious stuff that’s going on is nuts.
Jana: Because, if you think about it, right, if you think about resistance, it really is just doing its job. Because if you have no resistance, you’re not going to turn into-, I hate to say clichés, I literally hate them, but I have to in this instance. You’re not going to turn into the diamond if you don’t have that pressure. You tell me a single successful person that has not had trials and tribulations in their life. There’s not one that is inspiring, or aspiring, that has not gone through the breakdowns. Because the breakdowns are the blessings that get you to the breakthroughs, that help you to get to that next level. It’s just not possible to have somebody that’s inspiring, or aspiring, like, you know, someone you aspire to be, or inspired by, or motivated by, if they’ve had, like, a picture perfect life. Or, they’re putting on a picture perfect life, whether or not they’ve had it or not. But if they’re not willing to share all that, then it’s just not possible for your brain to compute that it’s capable of doing it. So therefore, they are redundant to you, and you don’t follow them for inspiration, motivation, or whatever you follow them for.
So, I think all those points of resistance are actually there to grow you, because you don’t get your big dreams, you don’t find your big dreams, you don’t find success, you don’t do any of that. You grow into it. So, I think all those things that we go through are there for a reason. That day, when you realise, ‘Right, I’m going for these photos, and all of a sudden, I’m blowing up. Like, I’m having an argument because, obviously, I can’t feel great all day. Like, that’s just ridiculous. Who can feel great all day, and you’re getting branding photos? That’s just not going to happen.’ So, you had, like, that point of insight would have been a little bit of a shift, looking back on, going, ‘Okay.’ So, I think those points of resistance, that we obviously learn to melt into, I think they’re all mean to grow you. I know it’s so hard, at the time, when you’re going through them, but they’re all there to grow you.
Because, like, my business, like, even last year, going through the stuff that I went through last year. After the massive success I had in 2014, and I continued that in 2015, and then I did, I self-sabotaged it. I blew that up, because my belief got to a certain part. Like, I got to a certain point with the belief I had, and then I, sort of, stopped working on it. And I stopped looking at my belief, and I, sort of, sat on my laurels, and I started working ten hours a week, and not really bringing it. And I sabotaged it, and that was resistance, and it took me nine months to work through the resistance that I had. But I kept on going. And circling back to the start, when we first started, we were talking about how hard it was, and a lot of us always talk about how flowy it needs to be. I’ve not witnessed one breakthrough, one success story, that it was all flowy to the top.
Lisa: Yes. I hate when people sell that dream, it’s just not real.
Jana: I find it’s because-, what’s that word?
Lisa: It’s a mirage. And I feel, you know, you present as a bubbly person, and it’s nice to listen to you, because you’re bubbly. But you’re also not bullshit, and, you know, there’s just bringing it, and bubbly, and real, and then there’s selling false dreams, and, you know, that fake bubbliness. And I think when I started to follow business blogs, and Facebook pages, because I realised I really knew very little about this world, it became really easy to see who was faking it. And I’ve just never been drawn to that kind of energy. ‘Hey, you know, this is live wherever you want, and laptop lifestyle.’ You know, your kids are still going to get sick, you’re still going to have those days, like you described before, when everyone’s losing it.
Jana: And you’re in the foetal position.
Lisa: So, don’t try to sugar coat it. That’s life.
Jana: Yes, that’s life. And that’s exactly how it is, and I think that’s why I stopped using the figure, and a drawing card. Because I don’t want people coming to me thinking that this is easy. Because when you sign up to-, I heard, I think, Mark Zuckerberg said today, or who was it? Gary, I don’t know who said it, but entrepreneurism is hard. Full stop. And it totally is, and it’s going to test you on every level. And some people look at my life that I’ve created, and have the audacity to think that I can do that in a red hot minute. To think the stuff that I’ve gone through, to get to where I’ve created my life. And they also say, ‘That’s easy for you to say,’ and I’m like, ‘You don’t know what I’ve gone through to get to this point.’
So I’m not going to sugar coat it for a single second. I will say, like, there are some total highs. That’s why I share the stuff, but I share all sides of it, the 360 degree experience of it, which is not all amazing. In saying that, also, you’ve got to make sure that you’re putting hope out there, and not despair. Because it actually is pretty amazing, at the same time, and every day I’m going through my, ‘What am I grateful for?’ and I’m coming up with a bajillion things every single day. But I know what I’ve done to get to this space, and I know that I created this. Like, created it. It just didn’t find me, didn’t plonk on my lap. And to think, like, I’ve actually been pursuing this sort of lifestyle for ten years. It is not a quick thing that happened, for me.
Lisa: Yes. Oh yes, I totally agree, and I think that all of that stuff, like, everything, that’s what I was saying before, in your life. Even having a kid at nineteen, that informs who you are today. Every single thing that’s happened brings it to the table. And people say to me, you know, I’ve had people contacting me who’ve got their own blogs, ‘How do you communicate, really, like, so real?’ ‘Like, I don’t know. Just tap into yourself.’ You know, how can you quite explain the fact that I was Facebooking, and very randomly blogging, at least a year-and-a-half before I sold anything. And I didn’t even sell something first.
Jana: I say that to people, too. Actually, people come to me and go, ‘Lisa had, like, this amazing launch.’ I’m like, ‘She was Facebooking. She put in the legwork, girls. Like, she put in the legwork before she did that.’ Like, you’ve got to remember to look back at the past, and the past that I put in. I was blogging in 2011 and 2012 and 2013. That’s, like, three years that I did not think that I could monetize it. I was just doing it for fun. I was just doing it to actually share what I was going through, with juggling university and my business. And I actually went off on another tangent, and started an online wedding directory, because I didn’t think the blog I had was going to be-, I couldn’t monetize it. I didn’t even think of that. I’m like, ‘Yeah, right. Okay, you can totally make money on a blog? Yeah, okay, whatever.’ So I made an online wedding directory, went off on that tangent, and I’m doing 90% admin, I’m doing 400 invoices in hospital, having my third baby, and going, ‘Ah, this is not quite right. This is worse than a job.’ So, obviously, learnt from that, but that was all a part of it. You know, all of that brought me to where I was.
So I look back, and a lot of people do explain their journey as, like, so full of regret, or did that wrong, ‘I did that wrong,’ or, ‘Don’t do that.’ But I think it’s all due course. You’ve got to do the due course. But we’re here to just help with, ‘Hey, here’s where you get through the resistance. Here’s how you melt into it, the way it is, when you’re going through resistance,’ and coming in with those things. Because I feel like I’ve gotten to the point of this, ten years of doing this, of going after my big dreams and juggling a heap of kids, I feel like I’ve gotten to the point where I can significantly shorten people’s learning curve. Because I’ve got a culmination of all this stuff, and it’s shortening people’s learning curve, and that’s exactly what I was supposed to be here for. I was meant to be here to make other people feel capable of their big dreams, no matter their circumstances. So, I feel like this is actually what I was meant to do. But I can’t even remember the question that you had for me. Oh, authenticity!
Lisa: Yes, it was about the legwork, and it was about, you know, that I’d keep on saying to my husband. He’s like, ‘Well, get off Facebook.’ ‘Oh no, I feel like something’s going to happen from this. I just feel like something’s going to happen. I’m just enjoying this so much.’ And I’m the same, I started it because I just thought, I just want to share what’s going on with my family, as we, kind of, try and ditch the packet foods. I brought no pretence, I brought no expectation of a business, I just started to share from an authentic place. Like, ‘I can’t be anything else but me.’ And when I let go of that idea that I had to be an expert before I could start sharing. You know, I just, sort of, did it, and started to refine my message.
And my background, a lot of it is also in behaviour change. I worked in sustainability for a while, and it was all about working out, ‘How do you take people from one step to the next, on a topic as big as climate change?’ You know, how do you get them to care? And then what do you tell them to do, once they do, once you’ve got their attention? And so a lot of my background is about behaviour change, which I brought, unknowingly and totally subconsciously, to this whole concept of taking small steps. Because I kept on looking at all these people who were trying to sell this message of huge, big, lifestyle changes, and, ‘You can be a new person in twelve weeks,’ and all that kind of stuff. And I kept thinking, I just actually don’t think that’s the best way to help people.
Because from my experience, and everything that I’ve learnt about the psychology of behaviour change, it’s actually about incremental, small changes that lead to something a lot bigger. It’s actually based in science. And, you know, speaking to a lot of life coaches, and psychologists, and people like that. You know, so I guess I had that all in the back of my head, but refining my message, and doing that legwork over that year-and-a-half, it could never have happened without it. And so when people, sort of, say to me, or if people think I’ve just had, you know, big business success, that’s always the first thing that I say to them. ‘Just start writing, just start sharing, just start working out what you want to say.’
Jana: Oh my God, that’s exactly what I tell them. I say, ‘Start writing,’ and people say, ‘I don’t know where to start,’ I say, ‘Start writing.’ And they don’t want to do it, because they’re like, ‘Well, I don’t know where it’s going.’ I wrote my first blog post, was how to email, not make email happenstance. The second one was yoga. Why do I do five minutes of yoga from my YouTube in the morning, and here’s what you do. And Tara Stiles commented on it, it was amazing. The whole point was just to share what I was doing. And I started writing, so I’m writing one thing about email, the second one, I wrote about yoga, the third one, I wrote about baby sleep. The fourth one, I wrote about my Bugaboo pram, like, you know, the breakdown of what I’ve actually put on my Bugaboo pram. And I had a Maxi-Cosi adapter, I put all the adapters in there. Then the next one that I wrote about was about habits, how to stick to your habits, which Zen Habits linked two years later.
So that legwork I did at the start? Start frickin’ writing. And I actually say that exact thing you just said, ‘Start writing.’ That’s exactly what I say to everybody that comes to me, ‘Where do I start?’ I say, ‘Start writing, and if you don’t want to do that, don’t even bother, because you’re not actually putting your feet in first, and giving it a go, and seeing where it’s going to go. You’re not patient enough for this.’ And patience, you’re going to need it.
Lisa: Yes, you’re going to need patience. You’re going need resilience, and you’re going to need to be able to laugh. I have thoroughly enjoyed this conversation, and honestly, could just keep talking all night, really. But now it’s past 11:00pm, and let’s put a boundary around our time. Tomorrow is one of my work days, there are only two a week, and I need to be fresh.
Jana: Me too!
Lisa: I so appreciate your time, Jana. Thank you for everything you’ve shared.
Jana: I’ve had the best time talking to you, Lisa. I hope that people have got something from our, like, awesome chat. Being a fly on the wall, basically, to our chat. I hope they’ve got something from it.
Lisa: I think people will be flocking to you, to just get some of that energy and enthusiasm. And I would say that you’re quite wise, even, although you’re quite young. I think you bring wisdom to the table, and I think you should feel really proud of that.
Jana: Thank you, Lisa. I’ve lived a lot of lives. Like, when you said when you were 23 you were doing uni, I was having my second baby, and signing up to university. I was like, ‘Woah, yeah, I was young.’
Lisa: Yes, you were. I was still just doing, like, uni Thursday night piss nights, and drinking A$2 burgers. So, don’t worry.
Jana: I stopped drinking when I was eighteen.
Lisa: You’ve done a lot, and I look forward to where it’s all going. We’ll definitely be touching base again.
Jana: Thank you, Lisa.
Lisa: Okay, bye.