If you’re too comfortable, you’re not growing – or growing your business. I talk with health, fitness and empowerment expert J.J. Flizanes about that risky place where we challenge ourselves to try something new, flout conventional wisdom. Learn in this episode about holistic health, mindset and what it takes to succeed as a woman in business.
Melinda Wittstock: JJ, welcome to Wings.
J.J. FLIZANES: Thank you Melinda; It's exciting to be here.
Melinda Wittstock: It is, and I especially want to talk to you right now about the whole theme of getting out of your comfort zone because I know you're doing your first event in a long time. There's a lot of “unknown unknowns”… How is that going for you?
J.J. FLIZANES: Well, it's exciting especially when it works and when you see movement and momentum. Why this event is different than all of the other events I've done in the past: First, it's my second event by myself. It's the first event of me stepping into a new way of presenting myself. Years ago, I was feeling a little bit burned out. I was feeling frustrated with working with clients. It was because I recognized I was only utilizing maybe 5 or 10% of the gifts that I have to give. That was when I got clear about that. That annoyed me, and I thought, I don't want to work like that. I don't want to only give 10%, because I have this whole arsenal of information, inspiration, guidance, and ideas that I want to put out there, which is why I started my podcast. Of course, that has worked out to be great.
Now fast forward, and I want to step into a very gray area where people might say that's kind of risky. What I'm doing is risky. People, they want you to focus on one thing, be ultra niched, make sure that you know what they're going to get and make it clear. Then take them on the journey. I've always rebelled against some of those “ultra-niching” things, because, again, my brand is integration. You can't integrate when you're focused on one thing.
For me, this event has been scary. Oh my God. It's been very scary, but I wouldn't have started, I wouldn't have decided to do it if I didn't have at least the validation of the people who listen to my podcast. The tribe that I've built around one of my shows, I have many shows, and really just hearing how their lives are transforming just based on my show.
That's so gratifying, and I thought, “You know what? It's time. It's time to step into doing this and see what happens.” It was very scary and only in the last couple of weeks have I seen the momentum pick up. Now I feel like, “Oh God. Okay, yes. Whoo.” There are people out there that want … They want this. They want the whole package, and so that's exciting.
Melinda Wittstock: I love that you followed your instinct. You didn't allow yourself to be blown off course, and you know who you are. I mean, you mentioned the word integration, which I think is very, very interesting because so many women come at business with that perspective. It is kind of more like our brains are much more easily able to connect the dots and see the value in connecting those dots than a lot of more linear thinkers. Particularly, I'll just say it, particularly men who are much more … often will tell female entrepreneurs, “Can you be more focused?” A female entrepreneur is like, “I am focused. I'm just focused on a different thing. How all these pieces fit together.”
Some people have called it web thinking. Do you find it hard sometimes to translate that to other people, other stakeholders in your business? Is that why you perceived it as risky, because they were saying, “Wow, that's not very focused JJ?”
J.J. FLIZANES: Partly, because if we had to focus down to what I started with and a big piece of what I still do, that would be weight loss. Helping people with weight loss and health, but it's so much more than that. This event is called Releasing What Weighs You Down. I've had to walk people through that it's not just about weight. I actually did a Facebook live interview last night. It was an hour long. I was interviewed by Heather Havenwood. Heather, in that hour, was blown away by all the things that we talked about in terms of what this event is really about. In fact, she wants to come to the event.
She kept trying to make it about weight, but it's not just about weight. I listed all the different reasons that people feel weighed down: Divorce, not wanting to become your parents, empty nest syndrome, retirement, relationship issues, emotional eating. I listed so many ways we feel weighed down. When it comes to, again that niche-ing thing, releasing what weighs you down, that to seems to me … Yes, it's specific enough to me without being pigeonholed into just weight loss.
The scary part was A, can I attract the people who understand and want the whole package and not just focus on weight loss, because that to me, I've done that. I've gone into areas of other people's businesses or people have given me this stage where people will flock from all kinds of walks of life who want weight loss. It's a huge, huge, huge environment, but not everyone in that environment wants the real deal. Some of them just want the pill. Some of them want to be told don't eat these things, and that's it. They don't want to go any deeper, and they don't want to be challenged. They don't want to look at themselves. They just want the magic pill.
That never serves me because they're not people who actually really want true change, in my opinion. The fast fix, everyone knows, the fast fix doesn't work and doesn't last. You know that in your brain. Doesn't matter how intelligent you are. You get that. It doesn't last. Look at this industry. We are the fattest, unhealthiness we've ever been, yet we have a million diets people go on every single year. What is the missing link? It's that next level work that can only really be taken in by somebody really ready. Someone really ready has already tried a few times. Someone really ready gets that there's something I'm missing here. That was the scary part, because I'm the person, and I can't deny who I am. Yes, I know who I am, and I know what lights me up.
I had three training session yesterday with three of my male clients right in a row. They all work at the same company. Two of them own the company. Instead of mostly exercise, we did mostly therapy. I was flying high all day. They were feeling good. Yes, their workouts weren't so great, but for that day, the exercise part, but we had problem-solving going on. We had aha moments. We had freedom feeling. We had people deepening their understanding, and feeling peace, and at ease and solution driven, anyway and get their power back. I recognize not everybody wants to walk this path, but I am willing to serve the very small portion of the population who is.
Melinda Wittstock: It sounds to me like it may be a small part of the population that gets this now, but JJ, you're a leader. You're educating the market as you go.
We’re in that time frame where the things that have worked in the past are no longer working, and we’re in breakdown. We’re in breakdown in so many ways. Physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, financial, governmental! #WingsPodcast #WomeninBusiness @jjflizanesClick to tweet
J.J. FLIZANES: I'm trying to. We're in that time frame where the things that have worked in the past are no longer working, and we're in breakdown. We're in breakdown in so many ways. Physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, financial, governmental! We're in breakdown. It's good, even though it's scary and things are happening and changing in our world. In order for them to actually be rebuilt, we have to do it differently. That's what I'm hoping to put upon people, that mindfulness, the consciousness, the awareness of all of these pieces. Even though I work with a lot of men, and I work with a lot of women. Yes, the men are focused. I can speak to the male here. I can speak to males and do it in a way they can hear me when I'm talking to them directly about how this, this, and this in their life don't work or connect to that. Are they going to find that on their own? Not always. Can I help to bridge that gap so they have this aha, oh my God? Yes.
I think, while there is a point about focusing: Focusing in your body, focusing on your breath, having stillness. That's very important for all of us. It's when you come out of that focus, then what happens next? How do you flow? Like we were talking about before. How do you focus and then flow? How do you combine those? When do you need to focus on each one? When is necessary?
Utilizing all of that for whatever your result may be. It might not be weight loss, but maybe it's happiness. Maybe it's less anxiety. Maybe it's less depression. Maybe it's a better relationship. Maybe you're tired of getting divorced because you keep thinking you married the wrong person. Maybe you want to find … It's about attraction. It all comes down to what happens inside of you, and that can be talked about on several levels: Physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
Melinda Wittstock: Absolutely, and that's true of running a business as well. I mean, you mentioned all these different things. Maybe it can be that you're not manifesting the right clients, or enough clients, or you've got some sort of software app, or whatever, that's not getting the traction that you want. To what extent is that often something holding you back inside, like literally, weighing your business down?
J.J. FLIZANES: Yes. One of my recommendations and advice to female entrepreneurs is to let yourself grow with your business and let your business teach you what wounds need to be healed. When I think businesses don't grow, or they get stuck, is when we just want to say, “Well, it's just business.” Well, not when you're an entrepreneur. It's not just business when you're an entrepreneur. It's business when you work for somebody else because you're coming into their energy, but when you created something, there is no way to separate that that's somehow a reflection of you. Whether it’s a reflection of your expansion and what you expect in the world and your confidence level, and the fact that you believe in yourself, you believe in the ability to do things in a certain way or manifest and attract certain things. I think if we're women trying to be men, wanting to keep business separate and not allowing our businesses to grow us, then I think that's where we're going to be weighed down because we're not taking the hint. We're not taking the cue.
I have a colleague that I used to work with. That person's business, female entrepreneur, would one, she struggled with why she had such high turnover in her business when it came to whom she attracted to work for her. I happened to listen to a conversation by accident once when I was in an office next to her. She was talking to an employee. At that time, it might've been somebody who was on an independent contractor agreement. Nonetheless, that conversation, when I listened to it sounded very much like scolding and shaming and very much like something in her family dynamics. Something that I knew she was born into. Something I knew she was repeating with her siblings, and her children, and her parents. Here it was showing up in her life. You want to look at why can't I get people to work for me longer than six months or be the right people. Well, are you taking the hint that you're attracting these people, and then they're leaving? What is it about what you're doing? I think that we have to let our businesses teach us or else we're not going to grow either.
Melinda Wittstock: It's fascinating. I remember one of the first mastermind groups that I did. It was several years back, here in Washington D.C. There'd be about 10 of us that would meet once a month, and the rules of the group were, everyone came with a business issue that they were working on. The rest of the group could ask you open-ended questions without giving you any advice. And 100% of the time, after questioning, the entrepreneur who was in the hot seat so to speak, it always came down to a personal issue, like some sort of psychological thing or some sort of limiting belief. It got aired and exposed every time within about 20 to 25 minutes. Most fascinating thing I've ever seen. At that point, it was like this aha moment for me that personal growth and business growth are like the same thing.
J.J. FLIZANES: Especially for women. I mean, I think they are for men as well. I do think men can separate a little differently than women can and depending on the business structure, like whether or not you've actually started it yourself or you're part of it, it's a family business. There are some exceptions to a certain extent. However, with women, I don't think it is at all. I think with women, our businesses are like birthing a child. It's like we have-
Melinda Wittstock: I was just about to say, it's like we even use those words often. We say things like, “It's my baby.”
J.J. FLIZANES: Right, and I birth books. I've produced books. I've produced products. You produce events, and I think that … It's funny, the men and women differentiation, because there was a man who I asked to be an affiliate for the event. He's got a business. He's got a big list, and I asked him to take a look. I said about the commissions and what not. He took a look, and I know he didn't watch the videos. He did a quick look and wrote back and said, “Yeah, I don't think it's a fit for my audience.” I wrote back, and I said, “I disagree. It tells me you didn't watch the video. There's not a single person on this planet that does not get affected by their emotional baggage.” Period. That's what this event is about. It is not just about weight. It is about how your emotional baggage stops you in every area of life.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh yeah. You see it on the highway with road rage. You see it in the assumptions. You just think of any interpersonal relationship that we see the other person through our own eyes, and our own experiences and as a result, unconsciously usually, we end up projecting. We make a lot of assumptions about other people. That's really interesting how that plays out of course in business. It means that if you're trying to build a team, and you don't know yourself or you don't realize you're doing that. You can hire a whole bunch of people who are exactly like you, and miss creating a more diversified team that will allow you to scale your business. That's one example. You can have bad relationships with clients. There are all sorts of mistakes like that just from being unconscious. What are some of the steps? When you work with people on this mind, body, spirit, sort of health connection, which is so critical for entrepreneurs to be in that zone as well. What are some of the steps? Tell us a little bit or share with us how you take them through that discovery process, especially in the beginning.
J.J. FLIZANES: We're going to focus on entrepreneurs?
Melinda Wittstock: Well, yeah, we can talk about anybody. In this case, we're really talking about female entrepreneurs. Women either thinking of becoming an entrepreneur or reinventing themselves after a little bit of frustration. Hitting up against the glass ceiling, and now an entrepreneurship trying to get off the sticky floor. Anyone who's either considering this journey or on it already…
J.J. FLIZANES: One of the things that I love about women entrepreneurs, is how easy it is to find what needs are not being met. Why I say needs not being met, there's a very simple … From Dr. Marshall Rosenberg. He wrote Nonviolent Communication. I'm going to be using it at the event. I teach it all the time when I lecture and do stress reduction workshops. It's about figuring out … It's a three-step process for communication and for ideal communication, which is very different than what people are used to.
It's to figure out … Step one, is how do you feel? What are your feelings. Step two is what are your needs that aren't being met? By the way, we're mostly doing this exercise when you're not feeling good. When you're feeling good, you don't need to do the exercise. You're happy. All needs are being met. You're feeling good. You really only do this when you're not feeling good. You need to figure out why am I not feeling good, and how can I feel better? So you figure out what the negative feeling is. What need is not being met that's causing the negative feeling? What strategies can you create, multiple strategies that do not require anyone else to be different to get your needs met?
And just that very simple … In fact, one of the gentleman I was referring to, who's a co owner of this company that I trained multiple employees at. I did this workshop literally a year ago. I did stress reduction and elimination one year ago. There was a group of maybe 12 or 15 people for the lunch and learn. It was about a two-hour lecture. It was only two hours, because I needed more time. I realized I could've done in the workshop is gonna spend a lot of time on this because it's such a great exercise to take people through. I asked who's willing to put something out on the table for us to go through this process? He stepped up and said, “Okay, let's talk about me.” He went through this process, and it had to with his brother.
It's very common for most of us to say, “Well, I'm feeling frustrated because someone in my life isn't behaving in some way, shape or form.” That's how it starts. It's like, no, no, no, no, nope. That's not your need. He said, “What is your need?” It took probably 10 or 15 minutes to uncover what his needs were. What we came up with was that he had a need for play. He had a need for freedom and fun. He wasn't getting any of that because he was bogged down and weighed down with the responsibility of taking care of one of his brothers. The one that doesn't work at the company…
Now, fast forward, maybe six weeks ago, he had a fight with his wife, and he got in the car on the way to work. He screamed at the top of his lungs. He texted me and said, “We're going to need a box today.” I was like, “Oh, that's an interesting request.” When he showed up, I said, “What's up?” He's like, “I took your advice. I did what you … I finally get it. I screamed. I let it out. The emotion.” He's like, “I saw stars, but I felt so much better.” I said, “What do you think caused this awareness for you?” I've been training him for many years. I've been talking about this for many, many years. All of a sudden, it's all started to come together. I'm like, “What do you think it was?” He said, “I honestly think it was that workshop you did a year ago, where I really understood that I had needs that weren't being met.” Men are harder sometimes because you got to get them willing to have this conversation. Women are willing to talk about their feelings all the time.
I think for entrepreneurs, how I work with people and what I would recommend for women entrepreneurs when looking at, whether it be for your business, for your relationship, or for your health, and vitality, and aging, is to look at where in your life you're giving your power away. Where in your life do you believe you have to give … It's not a win-win. The truth is it can always be a win-win, but sometimes, we as women think we have to lose for someone else to win. Or we have to give something up in order to get something.
Melinda Wittstock: When you talked about the scarcity that makes women feel that they have to compete with each other, or if one gets ahead, that the other one won't for some reason. How do you counsel people out of that way of thinking, because I think that has actually held women back, not really stepping up and helping each other. We live in a very abundant world, but not everyone sees it that way.
J.J. FLIZANES: Victim mentality is definitely a hard thing to have people see in themselves. Sometimes it's easier if they can see it in somebody else, and I always use personal examples, from my own life of course. And educate people that the truth, the truth is that no one can make you feel anything. No one can hurt you, if you don't already either match their belief or their opinion, or you have a fear about it. And that everybody is a mirror to you. Your whole life, it's really law of attraction, and so I usually explain law of attraction. If they're not open to that, then I just simply go over sort of the idea of interpretation and that it's never really about the other person, it's always about you. And part of three step process that I mentioned, from Nonviolent Communication actually goes over that. I'm able to utilize that to uncover what their true need is.
No one can hurt you, if you don’t already either match their belief or their opinion, or you have a fear about it. #WingsPodcast @jjflizanesClick to tweet
And so when I start to work with people in that way, they start to understand that and of course, as I said I share my own stories, that it's never … No one can hurt you. Think about a situation where someone who, whether you didn't respect them or didn't like them … Or here's another one. Imagine someone called you up on the phone, someone you don't know, and said, “Hello. I'd like to tell you that I'm never going to call you again. Goodbye.” And then they hang up. Now would your feelings be hurt?
Melinda Wittstock: Well, no.
J.J. FLIZANES: Right, because you don't know them. Because you don't know them.
Melinda Wittstock: And so there's no way they could be judging you or whatever. But if it's someone you know … This is where close family members and friends and spouses, girlfriends, boyfriends, partners, can be really damaging, even without being aware that they are. They can be really well meaning, and yet say something and depending on what we're thinking or the scripts that are running in our brains, can have a big impact. Especially on entrepreneurs. When you're in that, what you were talking about, being out of your comfort zone in that kind of risky time, and someone says to you something like, “JJ, are you sure you're okay?” Like that's not what you need to hear, but they think they're being helpful. But it can trigger something like, “Oh my God, am I not okay?” I mean, not saying that you did that, but a lot of people would react that way.
J.J. FLIZANES: Right, so here's another fact. Truth. You cannot control anybody else; all you can control are your thoughts, your interpretations, your reactions, and then your actions. So I didn't put feelings in there, because it's not about controlling your feelings. It's about listening to your feelings and figuring out what the wound is. So in the case that someone well meaning says something that I may be offended by, that's on me. They had well meaning. What's going on within me…that I took that personally? What's in me that needs to be healed, that heard that and reacted to that? And that's where your power is, because for me, true healing is when you are different in the same situation. Not avoiding situations or avoiding people who trigger you. It's about being able to rise above that to heal whatever that is.
“Let your business grow you, and let it start to help heal you by identifying where you need to heal. Because if you just keep tight all of the things in your life that you're not good at or the wounds that you already have, and you protect your wounds, they will not serve you. But they will serve you if you utilize them, leverage them, heal them and then you can help others do the same.
You cannot control anybody else; all you can control are your thoughts, your interpretations, your reactions, and then your actions. #WingsPodcast #WomeninBusiness @jjflizanes Click to tweet
Melinda Wittstock: I'm thinking about all the ways this manifests in business, where women with scalable technology companies, say such as the one that I run, Verifeed. It's a social intelligence platform. It needs capital, you need to go and raise angel money, VC money. That's hard to do for a lot of women, and we only get two, three percent of the funding that's available. And so I think all too often, we go in these meetings with this idea that it's going to be hard. When we get a no, which is more likely than not, even for men raising money, we can sometimes take it personally. Or when a perspective client, when you don't get the sale, or whatever. We can sometimes make it about ourselves.
What's your advice to get out of our own way in that way, like not take it personally? Because on some level it is; It's our business. It's our baby. On some level, it is being for sure influenced by us, and what's going on in our heads. On the other hand, how do you balance that without taking it personally?
J.J. FLIZANES: So examine why you're taking it personally? I actually, in the last two yars … I mean I work on all kinds of stuff. If I feel offended, I look at what is it about me? What is it that I need to heal in order for me to be an observer in the situation, and not take it personally?
I had a client who, I guess you could say a couple of clients, who had challenged me a couple of times. I'd recognize a pattern to myself to want to over-deliver or want to prove my worth and prove my intelligence by over-giving to them. When I made peace with that, when I worked with that; I had a client who is having a real hard time, and she wanted to blame me for something that's completely ridiculous, but she blamed me. I noticed how I reacted in that situation because I could be the observer, which meant I was too into her, knowing that this wasn't personal, this wasn't about me. She just needed an outlet, and I get to be the punching bag sometimes for people who don't have somewhere else to go. I recognized her need, and I didn't take it personally.
Now she didn't cross the line. There's a difference with self-respect. They don't let people abuse me. That's different. But I noticed and I recognized that her out-lashing, like you think about a child, a child who doesn't get their way. Do you, as a parent, take it personally every time you tell your child, “No,” and they throw a temper tantrum? No. You recognize they just want what they want, and that's really not about you being a bad mom. It's about that they just want what they want in that moment. So why do we forget that when dealing with adults? Adults are really just a five-year-old, who probably hasn't healed most of that stuff, and can revert back to and be triggered into that infant state at any time.
It doesn't matter how old you are. I watch it happen at family gatherings all the time, how everyone reverts back to their five or eight-year-old wounded self. Right? It's like, but they want respect as an adult, but no one's done the work to heal any of that stuff.
In a situation of a woman or a business owner searching for funding, searching for sponsors, searching for clients, you have to love and respect yourself first, and you have to know what you are worth. You also have to be open and willing to the fact that you're going to attract where you are. That would be why you want to go within. That's why you want to work on yourself because you want to elevate your frequency and expand your energy so you're attracting high-level people and high-level relationships. They aren't all going to be right, and they're not all supposed to be right. That's how to work on yourself, but I also find what's really valuable for me: I watch things like Super Soul Sunday. I would read entrepreneur magazine. You listen to the stories of people who've overcome 200 rejections, and you have to trust and know that everything happens for a reason.
I want to give one quick story, and this is not about business, but it pertains to business. I've been having this low-level vibration in my ears. It's been happening probably all yearlong. Usually, I'm so alternative medicine. I'm so well schooled on so many different health modalities that I just don't like going to the doctor unless I absolutely have to. Well, we got to that point that I finally was like, “Okay. I absolutely have to. I just want to make sure there's nothing wrong with my ears.” I went in, and the doctor said, the ENT said that it was basically I had inflammation, and that I had an allergy, which is actually what I'm experiencing right now. I've never had allergies, like a seasonal allergy. I said, “Okay.” I felt good that I went in and I got this information that she said that I didn't have anything majorly wrong with me.
Fast forward, I come in the next week. She said, “Let's do a hearing test just to make sure, just to put it to rest that there's nothing wrong with my hearing.” Well, I took that one yesterday, and I'm like damn near perfect when it comes to my hearing, even with this low-level vibration that sometimes happens in my ears. It was actually louder than the tone they were testing me on. I thought, “Oh my gosh. I wonder if I'm really doing this well.” Well, I was damn near perfect on this test.
The next step is to go through and test all of the allergens that could possibly happen. I'm all about prevention. I would spend so much. If I didn't have to pay medical bills on a regular basis, like I'd say if everything was free, I'd be the person who'd go in and have an MRI every six months just to see what's going on inside, just to get ahead of it. Because it costs thousands of dollars, that's not something that's feasible. Insurance companies are not going to allow you to do that, but I would do that. I would absolutely do that.
Now what we have, that I'm getting all this blood work, and now here's the beauty of it. It happened for a reason. All this happened for a reason. All my insurance has been paid up to date. Now this very huge multi-paneled test is going to be covered by my insurance. I pay nothing for it, and I'm getting what I wanted. I want to know, like they're unrelated to me. The food sensitivity and the allergen test are something that I love. I want to do … I've been wanting to do another one, and here it is manifested in this way for free, and then there's other good things that came out of that. I found solutions to some client's problems about allergies. They have this treatment where you can actually get rid of your allergies no matter what they are, like cats, dogs, pollen, whatever, but anyway. It seems it's natural.
It's amazing. I know for the average person they're like, “Well, why is that so fun?” For me, I'm like on cloud nine. Just manifested solutions to client's problem, solutions to my own problems that fit within the paradigm that I work in. A free test is something I really, really want so I feel like I'm getting a gift, like all this stuff, and nothing's really wrong with me. It couldn't be more perfect. I manifested the perfect situation to get all these great things. I'm just saying that things happen for a reason. When you approach someone and it's a no, there's a reason for it. Maybe you need to work on trusting: Trusting either if you believe in something bigger than yourself, trusting in divine timing, trusting your guidance, trusting your guides. That, as an entrepreneur, I think is so important to have some trust and faith, to surrender and let go, and co-create with a larger energy where you're not in control and everything that you see isn't necessarily what you think it is.
Melinda Wittstock: It's beautiful advice. I mean, it seems like you are describing my own journey. I was the sort of entrepreneur, one of those serial types where it was all will, and battle, and ego, and all that stuff in my younger years; like working hard, pushing the boulder up the mountain. I had great success, but I was also burned out. It worked for me until it didn't. A whole series of things happen in your life, again, for a reason. They don't feel pleasant at the time, but it pushed me into a different … I don't know. I'm not sure the word I'm looking for, but it's somewhat sort of a different level, I guess, where now I work on a wholly different level. I wake up in the morning. I do my meditation. I ask for inspiration. It's like a show me, tell me, make sure that … please help me see opportunities where they are. Show me where I can create value for people, and learning to trust my intuition; not take things personally, but if I get triggered, ask the question, “Oh that's interesting.” Why did that happen?
Here's the funny thing, JJ. The more that I do this, the more that I manifest even on the show, I end up talking to women that resonate with me on that particular day. You're having this event. I'm thinking of doing an event. On the very day that I was thinking for the first time of doing an event, I ended up interviewing a woman who has this software platform that's really disrupting the whole event space because you can get suppliers and all these people to gather on the software platform. She's in 20 countries. She's going to be a billion-dollar business, on that very day, or on the day that I was thinking, “I'm feeling really rundown.” I was interviewing someone who was talking about listening to your body. I'm like, “Yeah. That's the right person to be talking to for me today.” It's really funny how that works out.
J.J. FLIZANES: Yeah, no. Your contrast led you to changing how you do things. That's where rather than taking it personally, I thought of another incident where I have three books that I've written. The first one was a published book through a company that has a series of books. That was supposed to be the first book, and then I got a call a couple of months before it was supposed to launch, and they said, “We have good news and bad news. What do you want first?” I was like, “I don't know.” I didn't realize there were … They said, “Well, we'll give you the good news. We're keeping your book.” And I thought, “Oh, well you already paid me. I don't know what the problem is there.” And they said, “But we're pushing it out in say maybe six or eight months.” I was like, “Oh.”
I had this whole marketing plan scheduled for that book. I had a TV series. I had a DVD being filmed. I mean, it was like this big, long marketing strategy, and so that sucked for sure. It took me by surprise. I had no idea this was coming. I definitely got upset. I gave myself that moment to cry and feel defeated even though they were still going to publish the book, but now my plans are going to change. Either we're going to push to a new area of the year that wasn't as optimal as the one we had prior to that. So here, I'm a cry, but I believe. I believe everything happens for a reason. After about maybe an hour or two of crying and feeling upset about it, I said to myself, “What's the silver lining? Why is this happening?”
I realized that because it was their book, and I even had this whole PR strategy set up, I was going to spend a lot of money. I recognize that all the money that I would be spending would be helping them to sell more books. At that point, it was a buy out deal so I wasn't going to get any more money from them selling a million books. I would get something on the backend of that, but I wasn't going to get financial reward for investing and making that book a best seller.
It hit me. I had this huge aha that, “Oh my God. I'm supposed to write a different book to be the first book that I produced because it needs to be me.” That book wasn't me. It was the ad book. It's fine. It's a beautiful book, but it doesn't represent who I am. It's a part of who I am, and it's what I can offer you, but it's just that one single part. Fit To Love was born out of the publisher telling me they were going to shelf my book for eight months and not publish it, and it felt like a defeat. I wasn't taking it personally like they were rejecting me. I'm just really bummed out and letdown and sad and worried because I made all these plans. If it wasn't for that contrast, then I wouldn't have created the book that created the podcast, which led us to today.
In the moment that someone's saying “no” to you, another door is opening. There's a reason that you're not supposed to go down this path. That's where I think the entrepreneur would be best to click into some kind of faith or belief system outside of yourself so that you understand that you're not an island. You're not doing this all by yourself. There are energies at play that help support your alignment with what you need when you need it. Even though in the moment you may not like it, like with my ears, I had not like this at all. It's been very frustrating, but it's led me to something that I'm so happy about. I'm so happy about all the things I'm getting, and now this new solution I have for people's problems. I mean, an interviewer on my show. I'm just so excited.
I didn't know that going in, but you have to be open and resilient enough to be able to flow with it, and trust … That's a big word. Trust that it will be shown to you.
Melinda Wittstock: Yes, so true. The truth of entrepreneurship really is the innovation comes from having a problem that needs to be solved, often experiencing a problem, a void, something like that, that leads us to our purpose, and hopefully alignment, understanding what our true purpose is, but going out and solving something. There's often opportunity in adversity, and knowing when to seize it is one of the key differentiators between an entrepreneur who's going to have a really big game changing idea, or be able to make a real impact on the world and really change things for the better.
I have a question for you, JJ. When you were a little girl, were you into health and all of that, or were you an entrepreneur? Did you have your lemonade stand or your whatever? Where did your inspiration come from? What were you like back then?
J.J. FLIZANES: Well, I have a video on my YouTube of my mother and father at my book launch, and my mother saying, “Well, she's always been a go-getter. I always knew she just do whatever she wanted to do.” That was back in May. No, I wasn't an entrepreneur. I didn't become an entrepreneur until I moved from New York to LA. I was here for probably a few months before I became an entrepreneur. Before this, I actually was an entertainer. I was in the entertainment industry. I was an actor, singer, dancer. I've always been a performer. I've always been on stage. Marrying my personal training resume with my acting resume is what caused me to be an entrepreneur because I saw these two sides of me that were both very well educated, and at the time, I was advanced in that way. I didn't know how to make it work for me, and here I am working, like job in restaurants. I'm like, “This does not feel right.”
I have an amazing personal training resume. I was a director of education for a major gym chain in New York when I was 21 years old. On the flip side, I have been the [inaudible 00:49:01 NYU and Syracuse University, and trained some great people in film and television and musical theater. Again, I'm in my early twenties. I'm going through … This doesn't make any sense.
Here's where the adversity, as you speak of, I call it contrast, and it's necessary. I also call it the turning point. I had a podcast for a short period of time. It was a live show. I turned a new podcast called The Turning Point because what we call adversity or a contrast is a turning point for you. It serves you to get you closer to what you really want. Rather than be all down in the dumps about how bad this thing is that you're going through and, “Oh my God. It hurts and something's wrong with me,” utilize it for what it is, and that's for it to move you in the direction closer to what you want. I became an entrepreneur out of sheer necessity to honor the left and right brain parts of me that wanted to express themselves.
Melinda Wittstock: Wow. That's beautiful. As we begin to wrap up the interview, I always like to ask what your go-to pieces of advice are.
How to know if you are an entrepreneur or not, or what do you need to do really to be in the right mind, body, spirit frame of mind to succeed? And ditto for women who are a little bit older, middle aged, who many of whom really are reinventing themselves.
J.J. FLIZANES: I want to speak to the women first because I work with a lot of men who are married to those women. Some of those women cause friction in their marriages and their relationships because they're purposeless. I don't mean they don't have a purpose. They don't know what their purpose is. The purpose was to be a mom, maybe to be a career woman, maybe to be a wife, or maybe the kids are not out of the house, and their husbands are getting ready for retirement during those later stages, and now the women are bored, basically. They don't know what to do with themselves because their roles as mother and wife are over. It's time for the next chapter.
Maybe those women are not listening to your show because those women don't realize that they need a purpose or would serve them to find their purpose, but I would definitely say that is part of it, that you are an individual who decided to incarnate in this lifetime on this planet at this space and time for a reason bigger than your family. You have gifts and talents that can serve others even if it's just to share your trials and tribulations and the things you've endured to inspire others. If that's all that you want to do, that will serve you in such a big way.
When it comes to … You have the luxury, hopefully at this stage, in your life to not rush into something, to not do things out of anxiety or fear. So take a meditative conscious approach, and do some exploring, do some playing, do things that bring you joy and happiness, ask the questions, and meditate on them, and know that the answers will show up for you when you're in the right frequency to receive them.
Melinda Wittstock: Yes. That is so, so true. JJ, how can people find out about your event and work with you if they want to work with you?
J.J. FLIZANES: The best place to go to is JJFlizanes.com. That's J-J-F-L-I-Z-A-N-E-S.com. Now the event is not listed there because it's coming out quickly, and people might listen to this when it's been long gone, although there will be a virtual ticket and a course that gets created from the event. Just be sure to go to the free tools and resources, and see what speaks to you. That would be my advice. There's a quiz called what blocks me, and it's a quiz about what areas of life stop you from growing. That quiz will lead you to the event page. You can also go to releasingwhatweighsyoudown.com. It's January 12th to the 14th in Los Angeles. It's a limited room, and we are selling out so if you are interested in coming live, I would definitely say if you hear this in time, get your ticket. You can get a virtual ticket so you can get the event when it's over and go to the sessions on your own, but releasingwhatweighsyoudown.com is the event.
JJFlizanes.com is where I have a whole bunch of resources from a free 30-day manifestation group, which helps you to get into vibration alignment with what you want. It's free. I have some amazing stories from that group. It's been going on for a year. We don't do it every month, the next one's in February. I've got an optimal health checklist and avoiding burnout checklist for entrepreneurs so you don't run yourself into the ground, so that you can keep your energy high, so that you can avoid getting adrenal fatigue and getting sick, so that you can create space so that you can receive the messages that you're looking for.
The vibration of the question of the problem is different than the vibration of the answer. You need a state change in order for you to get clarity about whatever it is you're dealing with. Sometimes exercise can play a role in that, sometimes fun can play a role in that, and sometimes quiet, meditative nothingness can play a role in that. I'm going to tell you right now, if you have an issue, and you're trying to beat it to the ground, you're not going to get the answer because the answer doesn't live there. The answer lives somewhere higher than that energy that you're in right then and there.
However you want to practice that, whether it be through the checklist through the manifestation group, through uncovering some of your blocks, through investing in your self and giving yourself the time and the space to interrupt your patterns and come to the event or do the virtual ticket, figure out what way serves you best, what you need, and you can all find it at JJFlizanes.com.
Melinda Wittstock: JJ thank you so much for your generosity. I mean, I think all these things are a benefit to women and men alike. Of course, we'll detail all of that for everybody in the show notes as well, so they can find you easily. Thank you for putting on your wings and flying with us today.
J.J. FLIZANES: Thank you.