Author: Heather Lowey
“Schweddy Balls”. You know you are in for a treat when the opening statement of Jen’s talk is a shout-out to Saturday Night Live, Molly Shannon and Ana Gasteyer, and their infamous skit “Schweddy Balls”. Jen, in her own comedic style, brought the ladies of Linking Indy Women through her journey to becoming the Head Broad of Brassy Broadcasting Company. The absence of a PowerPoint was quickly overshadowed by a guitar, ukulele, and Jen’s message through both talk and song. After the perfect icebreaker to get comfortable on the microphone, she made us laugh, choke up, and laugh some more while feeling truly inspired. There were even some pinky promises during the hour.
Jen believes that we can change the world one podcast at a time and is actively fulfilling that mission through her business, Brassy Broadcasting Company. She works with mission driven business owners whom she gets to help through the power of podcast. However, Jen is quick to point out that contrary to what is likely good for business, honesty is key, and a podcast platform is not for everyone. Her view on podcasting is through the lens of three distinct areas of talent within herself:
- The Podcaster
- Business Owner
Co-existence with your inner critic is imperative and Jen took many years to come to terms with the act of sharing this space. Part of the transition to sharing was to name her critic, to which she refers to as Joe Pesci; their relationship is still a work in progress. In the Jen Unplugged portion, her song ‘Excuses’ brought everyone to tears, laughter tears. “Don’t get stuck in the ‘but’ hole” chorus (pun fully intended), really brought down the house. She suggests moving ourselves into the mental space of being a contributor versus comparing ourselves to those around us. This simple act makes it about someone else, not about you. A space where you can be confident in your contribution to the team versus looking for ways you are not lining up with someone else. This is where the pinky promise came in. “I, _____, promise to stop comparing and start contributing.” And as we learned, there are no take-backs once it’s out there in the Universe through pinky swears or written on white boards. It is in this mindset where she, personally, gave herself permission to BE her own self, use her own language, and seek out her ideal clients. The “what lights her soul on fire” lens was way more confident to then show up for her clients in an impactful and powerful way. Getting to this place mentally also made her life a lot more fun because she is now showing up as who she really is.
Jen then took us through her powerful story on being outed to her parents. When faced with this crossroad, she had a decision to make on her life. She could continue down the path of living a lie with her family, which also came with a certain level of comfort, or she could take the road of uncertainty and potential hardship. Thelma and Louise’s “You get what you settle for,” has been her mantra. She was at her own Grand Canyon in that moment but knew she would never be her true self if she continued to settle.
Her recent participation in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an extension of this. It’s an “empowering and yet awkward experience.” In addition, the experience has served as a window for her into how her clients feel in the vulnerability of their first podcast on a microphone. She utilizes the newness of her Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu experience to empathize with her clients and figure out new ways to help them bring out their best self.
Having fun and collaboration rounded out her inspirational story. “Play will get you further than perfection every time.” This play and collaboration really go hand in hand for Jen. It is easy to see that she brings joy and loves life through her passions. In addition, she has surrounded herself with people that assist her in finding her own voice, make her a contributor versus a comparer, and hold her accountable daily. “You don’t have to do this on your own.” I think I speak for all of us in attendance Jen, we will buy your CD when you decide to pursue it.
Here are Jen’s baby-steps for getting past your inner Joe Pesci:
- Start Contributing and Stop Comparing: You made a pinky promise after all
- Make a list of your experiences and talents and incorporate those into the work you do
- Have Fun
- Collaborate: engrain yourself in a great group of people that just get you
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