Change is inevitable; it's as imminent as the moon, the tide, and the seasonal Starbucks menu; it's a rite of passage for all of us. Transformation is power, energy, and momentum. It keeps us moving forward. It's the one given in life that everything...
See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/e344-if-you-want-to-find-your-purpose-in-life-with-jenna-kutcher-trauma-healing-podcast/#show-notes
Change is inevitable; it's as imminent as the moon, the tide, and the seasonal Starbucks menu; it's a rite of passage for all of us. Transformation is power, energy, and momentum. It keeps us moving forward. It's the one given in life that everything will change, that all will be made new that evolution is just around the corner for all of us. That is an excerpt from Jenna Kutcher's new book – how are you really.
I'm incredibly excited to have Jenna on the show today for a couple of reasons. One, she and I share some very symbiotic backstory experiences. Two because she has been a powerhouse in empowering women, entrepreneurs, and business owners around the world to own their greatness, their power, and their ability to be leaders.
And I think that's incredibly important, especially in the conversation about personal development, growth, and change. She's also the host of one of the top-rated podcasts in the world called “Goal Digger” which I love, and I started listening to years ago. And having her on the show really means a lot to me because I wanted to sit and have a conversation with her about the depth and scope of not only change but empowerment for women and also the conversation about her having a husband who happens to be a stay-at-home husband, who is the foundation and cornerstone a lot of what she's been able to build through having an amount of trust and connection and love and empowerment.
The conversation we're about to have is really beautiful. I felt so honored to share it with you today because as her new book is coming out, and I think about this as an author all the time, we need to support each other.
I'm very excited to share this episode with you – Unbroken Nation. It's going to be a game-changer for one of you out there!
Learn More About Jenna Kutcher at: http://howareyoureallybook.com/
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Michael: Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation. Hope that you're doing well, wherever you are in the world today. I'm very excited to be back with you with another episode with my guest, Jenna Kutcher, who is an entrepreneur speaker, and now, and hopefully soon to be best-selling author. Jenna, my friend. How are you? What is happening in your world?
Jenna: Oh, I'm so happy to be with you, it is such a crazy thing even hearing the word author, it still gives me goosebumps. And yeah, it's a crazy time in my life, but it's beautiful and being with you today is such a treat.
Michael: Yeah. Trust me, the honor is all mine. I'm excited to share you with the Unbroken Nation audience and from one author to another. Welcome to the club. You know what it is, it's fascinating me, how many times you hear people? I wanna write a book, I wanna do this, I wanna create that, I wanna build this and it's just it's idea, no execution. Let's just jump right into it, what was the pivot for you to be like, you know what, actually I'm gonna do this?
Jenna: Yes. What's funny, Michael is and there is literally evidence of me saying I will never write a book, multiple times and it's funny because for so much of my life, and I think for a lot of people, there are seasons of life where you're really looking at two main factors. There's time and there's money. I was an entrepreneur. So, there was a season in my life where I was trading time to earn money and then there became this season of my life, where I was like, I will give dollars to get back hours. And I was always looking at this book thing and being like, this is a long project like why would anyone do this? And for me, it had to become not about time or money, but about impact in the message. And I am a creative through and through I was a wedding photographer, a watercolor artist, I've done a lot of creative endeavors in my life. And so, when I finally decided I'm gonna write a book, I knew that I had to protect my like spirit and my creativity in the way that I did it. And so, I did everything backwards.
I've been an entrepreneur for 10 years. I've. So many incredible friends who've been through this experience of writing and publishing a book. And I knew that their experience wasn't necessarily meant for me. And so, the day that I decided to write the book, I decided I was gonna do it in private. I wasn't gonna announce it to the world, I wasn't even gonna tell my mom about it. I just wanted to write without a deadline, without a paycheck so that I could really focus on words that tell and not words that sell. And I wanted it to mean something to me, even if the world never saw it, even if it never escaped the Google doc that it was on my computer. And so, it was a really interesting process, but it, I always think about Justin Bieber when he is never saying never because I'm like now I greatly welcome like the evolution and the change in the contradiction in my life, because it just means that I'm like learning and growing and evolving.
Michael: Yeah. And you know what I think change is so important. And if we get stuck in dogma, like good luck, it's funny, we actually share two things in common. I actually used to be an international wedding photographer myself. So, I know you and I must have crossed paths at a debut PPI or pro photo or something like that. I heard you say something that I actually wrote down. So, I'm gonna read this directly from my phone because it really struck me and it was so powerful to hear you say it. And the vast majority of the audience are people who are a woman or no way woman. And there is this thing that you said women are taught that being strategic is conniving. I want to go into that for a reason because it feels to me so often when you come across powerful, strong women who are trying to build something, maybe they've overcome a tragedy like you've had in your life, maybe they're trying to figure this out, and they're like, I want to create this thing, people go, oh no you're two sided, you're conniving, we don't know about this, talk about that.
Jenna: Oh my gosh. It's funny, somebody asked me the other day, they were like, tell me like three facets of who you are and like what you love about yourself. And I said, I'm strategic, and I used to hide that because there's something about the thought of strategy where it makes people think oh, they're in it for themselves or it's always they're giving just to receive and strategy to me means, and has been leveraged in my life of like, how can I do work in the way that only I can work, but make the greatest impact. And strategy to me means like, how can I do something and get it out into the world. Strategy to me means like, how can I take this message and make it my mission?
It's really fascinating because especially as a successful woman, entrepreneur, there is just this double standard throughout everything. I have so many incredible close relationships with male entrepreneurs who are like my peers in the industry and there's just this double standard, it's something that's different. I was in LA a few weeks ago doing some interviews and I was up in the middle of the night, walking my three-year-old through breathing exercises, as she was waking up with a night terror and nurse, or breast pumping in the middle of the night for my little one who's at home and I was like, no male CEO would be expected to do this, there's just these, this different standard. And so, when I think when it comes to strategy as a woman, it's looked at in this way of like the intention must not be good but I'm strategic for impact. And so, I've really had to learn how to honor those gifts of mine and use them in ways that can make a difference, but also use them in ways that can invite other people to step into their gifts without feeling like I need to dim this a little bit so that it doesn't make other people feel small.
Michael: Yeah. And that's a reflection, and that's a journey and that's a, like a holy shit moment, right? Because I know your background. I know your story. And for those who don't I'll talk about it more later, but you were, I'm gonna be in the corner office, I'm gonna have it stay at home husband, I'm gonna come home to cook meals, wear the pants suit that was your game and then you got into it, like so many of us do. I landed a fortune 10 job at 20 years old before building my wedding business and I was, fucking hate my life. What was happening? Cuz people are gonna hear this and they're gonna be like I feel like I have this power, I wanna honor this truth about me, but like I got the 401k and the hell we got kids, like what do you do?
Jenna: Yeah. It's so interesting. I grew up in the Midwest in small town Minnesota. My dad worked at a paper mill for 30 years. My mom was a teacher and so security was everything, right? Like security was safety and security were something that you'd be an idiot to let go of. And so, when I landed my job out of college, I had only been shown that like successful women were the women with the corner office, like devil wears Prada style, that's what success can look like as a woman. You never saw a successful woman in yoga pants with a baby on a hip and a business on the other, like that just wasn't the imagery that was being sold to us. And for me, I had this huge aha moment when I went into my boss's office and I saw this picture of her children and she never really brought up her children and my boss was a woman and I was like, oh my goodness, tell me about your kids. And I could tell it was like a really delicate situation for her because I knew the long hours she worked; I knew the way that she was climbing that ladder. I knew that she was lucky to get an hour with her children at the end of the day, before they went to bed. And in that meeting, she handed me my five-year plan and it was literally like this like visceral reaction of I don't want this. It was like more money, more contribution, but more responsibility, more time. And I was like, nobody asked me what do I want in my next five years? And I remember going back to my office and there was this picture of me and my husband at a college party. And I remember thinking, do I wanna live my life looking at this picture on my desk? Do I wanna live my life in a way that allows me to look that person that I love the most in the eyes and do life with them.
And I didn't know how I was gonna get out and I didn't know what that would look like. And I didn't hand in my two weeks’ notice that day, but instead I thought. Where did the passion go? I think most of us, like passion used to be this fire in our lives and today it feels like ashes. Like when you think about the messaging of that's pursue your passions and you'll never work a day, most of us don't even know what we're passionate about anymore. Like we don't even feel like we're passionate human beings. And so, for me, it wasn't necessarily I am so excited to be a photographer, it was like, I need a way out. And my camera was my vehicle out. I loved wedding photography, but it wasn't my life's calling, it was that piece that was getting me out. And I think if you are listening to this and you are thinking, I don't know what my passion is, maybe instead of thinking what you do want maybe focusing on what is it that I know that I don't want right now, because I feel like a lot of my life has been led by getting somewhere or arriving somewhere or hitting a certain goal and being like this doesn't feel good. So, I know I don't want that thing anymore. Where am I headed next?
Michael: We all have that thought, right? We all have that moment of being on some of the biggest stages in the world, having these conversations with amazing people like yo, sometimes I sit and I go, it is not about the goal that I just accomplished what it is actually about is of being of service, it's about going and bending myself in the rare occasions that I do to create something beautiful for people. And I fully believe this, that purpose comes from honoring your truth about what it is that you can contribute to society. And that doesn't mean you have to be on stages and write fucking books, it just means that you have to show up authentically as you. But Jenna, there's so much fear, so much fear and especially for women, because they have expectations way higher than anything a man, and I'm obviously not a woman, so I can't have that conversation but how do you navigate the fear of honoring your truth when society is just always standing here on top of you and saying, but you should be a better mother but you should be a better wife, you should be this?
Jenna: Yeah. It's funny, cuz even when I was in LA, I was in an Uber and the guy was driving a minivan and I was like, oh, do you have children? And then we got in the conversation. I was like, yeah, I have two little ones, and he was like, oh, how did you leave them at home? And I was like, don't ask me how ask me why? Because my why is so much stronger than the how or the what? Like my why is because I want to make an impact, I wanna show them what it looks like to have a mother that I am fully alive and engaged, like that will inspire them more than me being a martyr to my children. And it's so fascinating, when I think about fear, I think that really fear is a lack of confidence, a lack of belief in ourselves that we can actually follow through. And what I mean by this is we live in such an extremist society where it almost gives us that messaging of just drop everything and move in the direction of your dreams and it'll all work out. But I really think that a lot of times we need to leverage the things that we're leaning on right now, leverage where we're at to move us and propel us forward and sometimes forward looks so microscopically small it's like inch by inch and society doesn't love that, they don't recognize it, they don't see it.
Think Michael, if I was like, Hey Michael, you wanna pull up a chair next to me? Let's go sit and watch this tree grow; the growth above the ground would be so boring nobody would watch it. But the growth underneath the ground is what is like spreading and strengthening that tree. I think a lot of times when we have fear, it's mostly fear that we're not actually gonna follow through that, why would this time be any different? Why would I be able to do it? And I believe how we overcome that is by these tiny actions that slowly build the muscle of our confidence. When you are a confident person, you show up entirely different, there's this line, my book that says like how we show up to our battles is directly linked to the type of warrior that we believe we are.
And I think a lot of times we're showing up to lives battles and like looking over each shoulder and being like, not me, I'm not ready. I'm not don't choose me. I can't go. And it's like, when we believe that we are a warrior that can overcome that can be strategic, that can have ideas that can pivot, that can change, that can evolve, that changes how we show up in every area of a life from relationships to parenthood, to entrepreneurship. And so, fear, I really believe is rooted in this lack of confidence and confidence is built slowly over time. I think about the line, slow growth, deep roots. And I think that society doesn't honor that, but that's something that we need to start honoring and having this awareness for in our own lives.
Michael: Yeah. And people completely underestimate what they can do in 10 years. It's unbelievable to me when I sit and I look and it's even this is a journey I had to have with myself as being like, dude, you got the rest of your life to build this thing? Show up, do the thing every single day. Follow through. And Tim's Storey told me something so important when I talked to him, he was like, dude, just plant the seed, just plant the seed. And I was like, deal, all right, I will plant the seed until I don't wanna be a farmer anymore anyway. And I was listening to one of our friends, Ed Mylett and he said something being in personal development, being in this space now seven, eight years having these conversations all the time. It's honestly at this point rare when I have a holy shit moment. And Ed said something to me now I do not have children, so I will preface that but I want your thoughts on what he said. He said a form of child abuse and this, I literally have goosebumps right now. He said a form of child abuse is for parents to not live out their dreams.
Jenna: Yeah. I was just with Ed, he's a really incredible human for anyone that's following. If you ever question the caliber of human, he is that and then some. It's been a really beautiful friendship with him because I am about two decades younger than him. And so, he can see in me a lot of the season of his life that he missed, because he was in that growth phase. He wasn't awake to what was happening in his own home because he was building and building and when I'm with him and my sense is deep regret of like I was there, but I wasn't really there. And I think that's so much of what we think about in terms of parenthood, especially these days is there is this idea of dying to our children, doing anything to give them a better life but in that a lot of times we suppress our desires, our dreams, our passions. And it's even funny recently we've been doing family workouts. I have a three-year-old and a six-month-old. You can imagine how that goes, but I want them to see that like working out is just a way of life, it's just how our family operates, it's a piece, it's a non-negotiable and it's something that they're invited into. And Ed also has said that with children, things are caught, not taught. And so, it's you can teach all you want, but they're actually just paying attention to the way that you show up.
And I was actually on stage at ed my let's event recently. And I was feeling torn of should I be traveling? I have these little ones at home, is this the right move? And I was on stage and I felt so alive and vibrant, and I was telling these stories and after I stepped off stage, my husband had sent me a picture of my two daughters watching me on the computer at home and seeing their mom on that stage and seeing that impact and I was like, this is it, this isn't balanced, this is the blend, this is what is required for me to live into my dream, my vision, and to honor that so that my children can see that but so that they're invited to be a part of it. It's not separate, it's not reserved only for me, it something that has afforded all of us, the life that we have. And so, I really do think that nowadays it's if you are only in service of others, where is your cut being filled? Where are you actually like feeling fully alive when you take away the titles, the identities who are you really? And that's the first section of my book. Who are you really? Because I think a lot of us, when we take away the accolades, the titles, the things that sound impressive, we don't really even know who we are.
Michael: And that is very much like that championship fighter mentality when you're so tied to that idea of this is who I am, and you're not a champion anymore, you see it all, it's heartbreaking. But I had the same experience because when I stopped being a photographer, I had no idea who I was. I fell into this by a complete, it was a complete accident like literally I was in the bed one night, it was three o'clock in the morning. And I know what I'm supposed to do with my life and it was really about leveraging all the abuse, all the chaos, being homeless as a little kid, being a drug addict at 12 years old and taking all of those things and going, what can I do with this? So that another kid does not have to have a story like mine. And I think the identity just comes in the moments of silence of solitude of reflection, of journaling, of meditation. And look, we're not saying anything new, no one has not said this a million times but the truth about it is that there's a willingness that you have to step into it because people are watching you and whether you like it or not, I'm gonna drop some knowledge on people like you're a leader. If you have a spouse, if you have kids, if you have whatever, you're a leader. And especially when you are a female leader, entrepreneur, powerhouse, someone like yourself, I think that there are, and I know there are definitely women listening right now who are in that arena. I'm actually gonna flip a question that you've been asked probably ad nauseum. What advice would you actually give to men whose wives, partners, spouses, women in their life are powerhouses?
Jenna: Yeah. Oh, I think that's a great question. And I wanna preface this with the fact that like I'm so privileged because my husband is a stay-at-home dad, and I don't know if I would feel as secure in me going and pursuing my dreams in the way if I didn't have his support. But what I will say is that I remember the day we got married, we were 23 years old. And I remember the pastor saying this have you ever played the game cribbage, Michael it's okay, so we're from Minnesota. So, it's a big game up here and I used to go sit at Starbucks or Barnes and noble, and we played cribbage and on the back of our cribbage board, we would keep score of who had won so many times. And I remember on our wedding day the pastor said, he said, now is when we stop keeping, this is not about being opponents, this is about being teammates. And I will say for any man out there who notices this desire, who notices this tiny ember, where your wife believes there are ashes. I want for you to fan that flame because there is nothing but benefit on the other side of watching the person you love come fully alive, nothing but benefit. And I feel like in our marriage, in our lives, there have been these seasons where it is like handing off a Baton. Now you go it's back and forth and back and forth, and we are teammates, we want the same thing, we want life that feel peaceful, that feel fulfilling, that feel enjoyed. And so, it's really fascinating because a lot of times, Michael, when I'm at events or with business people, I sit and talk with the wives and generally speaking, most of the men are the entrepreneurs and most of the wives are the support roles.
And I cannot tell you how many times in conversations with these women. I feel this desire. I feel this urge, this suppressed dream of hers, like she is waiting to break free and I don't think it's the men's fault, but I also don't think that they're doing anything to fan that flame to encourage that because that's gonna mean that things will change for that guy. And so, when you look at any partnership, I think that there's something so beautiful that having this shared vision, there's this chapter in my book about the cribbage board and it's talking about how, when you move through life with someone, whatever that partnership looks like, whether it's a friendship, a family member, whatever that person is, the person that reminds you, that the view is gonna be worth it when you're climbing to the top. And Brendan Burchard always says if you make it to the top and you're all alone, you've done something wrong. You haven't done it the right way. And so, bring the people along with you as you strive, but don't forget to encourage their own fulfillment.
Michael: Yeah, that's so important. What does that mean to you though? Go deep into that. What is that transpired into to have that experience, to have that connection?
Jenna: Yeah. It's really interesting because when my husband and I were first married, we didn't want children. And we were very clear on it, just like I said, I'd never write a book. I was like, I'm not gonna be a mom. And when our desires started to shift, when our heart started to change, my husband told me he's I dream of being a stay-at-home dad. And in our fertility journey, we lost two pregnancies over two years. And I felt like I couldn't pass the Baton. Like I knew what his dream was and like me and like our losses were holding that dream back. And I can't tell you how heartbreaking it is to live in his state of, I know what my partner wants and I'm the person that can't give it to them. And it's been really fascinating because, as my career has changed, as we've evolved, as we've gone through so many different versions of myself, I think about that 23-year-old, who stood at the altar and I'm like, this woman today is such a different person, but as I've grown into myself, I've also grown into my husband and I have stayed so aligned with what success looks like for us, not just for myself. And so even in preparing to launch the book out to the world, it’s okay, things are about to change, but here's how we're gonna stay in touch with each other and stay connected to the goal and stay connected to the vision as a team because I think a lot of times people don't even have those conversations, like how are you really? Like, where are you at? And so, for me, it's just been everything and I think too, it's really kept me grounded in this pursuit and really kept me, focused on what truly matters, it's who are you doing life with? Not what are you doing, but who are you doing it with?
And that's literally section two of my book is who you have and who has you. And I think that there's this really desperate yearning for community and there's this line in the book that says being lonely, isn't being isolated, it's being in a room, filled with people who don't fully know you. And I think that for a lot of listeners, when you think about it, you’re moving through life with the people closest to you and you don't feel like you can be a whole person like fully yourself. And I think that's the real true core of loneliness and I think that's almost, a problem not almost a problem, it is a problem in our world these days.
Michael: Yeah. And you've gotta be willing to be ultimately and incredibly vulnerable and incredibly honest and yes, and face the reality that guess what? You're probably not as great as you think you are all the time, but simultaneously you are. And so, there's this like weird reconciliation with your ego. What role does like honesty play for you in this whole game?
Jenna: Oh my gosh, everything, it's funny because when people talk about like overnight success, you and me both know it's like over decade success, right? What today started over 10 years ago. And for me, like integrity is everything. And alignment is felt it's seen, it's visible, it's present in the way that you show up. And so, it's I've lived so many lifetimes in my decade of entrepreneurship. I was a wedding photographer. I had a wedding blog, I was a watercolor artist, I was a speaker, I was a coach, I had a mastermind, like I've done all of these different things and they've all worked out not because I'm lucky, but because every single time I've let something go or stepped into a new identity, it's in full alignment, it's following like the direction that my gut is guiding me into.
And so, for me, like that level of honesty and integrity is everything. And I look at the people who I'm so fortunate to be surrounded by and I recognize that like one, I belong in those rooms and I belong sitting at those tables but two that I will be the most honest, authentic, aligned version of myself, no matter what, because I think so many of us are going through life with all of these, I should be doing this, or I could be doing this, but just because you can do all these things, maybe you shouldn't. And so, it's like I move through and inspire people in ways that they need to be inspired in the same way they do that for me and it's all through that like integrity piece.
Michael: That's so beautiful. I absolutely love that. And I've seen that play out in my life as well in my client's life, so many people. This conversation's been absolutely amazing, my friend, before I ask you my last question, can you tell them where they can find you and the new book?
Jenna: Okay. Before I do that, I just wanna honor you and your work. I think a lot of times when we step out in this way, sometimes it feels is anyone paying attention? Is this making a difference? And I also think that when we open ourselves up and share those like hard things in our life, a lot of times it can feel so vulnerable. So, I just wanna honor you and the way that you show up and remind you that your story matters and a lot of times we don't see those ripple effects. And so, I just wanted to preface with that, thank you for having me truly.
And you can find my book at howareyoureallybook.com. We have some cool bonuses. If you grab a copy or just go to how are you really and find it anywhere, target, Barnes and noble, Amazon, all of the places. And the thing I love so much about it and the subtitle is living your truth, one answer at a time, and it's really just this call to invitation, to come back home to yourself and really check in with yourself so that you can start moving forward with the things that we've talked about today with that alignment and that integrity.
Michael: Love it. And of course, we'll put the link in the show notes for the Unbroken Nation. My last question for you, my friend, what does it mean to you to be unbroken?
Jenna: To be unbroken means to be peaceful in the chaos. For me, if you look at my life from day to day, it is constantly chaos with two little ones in a business and all of these things happening, but being unbroken means like finding your inner calm, even when the world is shattering around you and coming back home to yourself. And I feel like it's just become this practice in my life to slow down and breathe. It's like, when you unclench your jaw and you don't realize that you've been moving through life with it clenched, or when your apple watch pings and tells you to breathe and you don't realize you haven't actually been taking a deep breath. And so, for me, living unbroken is finding that inner calm, that inner piece, that inner knowing and coming back home to that.
Michael: Beautifully, said my friend. Thank you so much for being here. Unbroken Nation, thank you so much for listening.
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Hey there! I'm Jenna Kutcher.
I’m a digital marketing expert, self-education mastermind, book-writing, data-obsessed algorithm avenger, detail-loving self-care activist, stubborn-as-heck achiever and individualist, small town puppy parent, frequent flier, margarita mixologist, and a mac-and-cheese-eating mama.
See that? I’m not just ONE thing, and I can bet that neither are you!
I want to help you build that bridge between that unchecked dream life you put on the shelf… to you living it out starting, well, how about as soon as possible?