Jennifer Hudye is a young entrepreneur who has built the most sought-after copywriting agency in the online marketing space. Founder Conscious Copy & Co, Jennifer riffs with WINGS Host Melinda Wittstock about what it means to be “authentically authentic” and shares why you must truly know yourself and your values as an entrepreneur if you want to manifest outsize success in business.
Melinda Wittstock: Welcome to Wings, Jennifer!
Jennifer Hudye: Thanks so much for having me, Melinda Wittstock.
Melinda Wittstock: It is great to have you on. The last time I spoke to you, you were really in a growth spurt for your business. How’s all that going now? Because sometimes, women, when they’re just at that moment where it’s taking off, we have to figure out how to get out of our own way. So, how is all that going for you? How’s the growth spurt?
Jennifer Hudye: Okay, it’s been uncomfortable as most growth spurts are and yet, it’s been incredible on the other side. It was a shorter one, but I find that for my growth spurts, they’re short, but damn, they’re uncomfortable and painful. So, I believe the last time that we talked, yeah, I was sharing with you where things were growing so quickly in my business and to the point where we weren’t able to support all of the business that was coming in. There was this part of me inside that almost had a little bit of scarcity of, “Oh, my gosh. I don’t know how much longer this is going to last,” but also, too, I needed to dig in and just listen to myself in that moment of saying, “Okay, I can’t just keep running faster.”
The example that I was sharing with one of my friends of the feeling and the experience that I was going through is have you ever seen a tap dancer or something or a dancer and they’re tap dancing and then, maybe it’s to a record and then, somebody hits the record by accident and then, it goes to two times speed, three times speed and then, the tap dancer, they don’t know what to do so they just keep dancing faster and faster and faster. That’s how I felt and then, just imagine this girl that’s going at 5X speed and then suddenly, there’s was tears rolling down my face or sweat coming down and being like, “I cannot go any faster.” It was at that point of where I needed to stop and be like, “Okay- ”
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, fast growth. I mean that’s actually the biggest danger point for a lot of businesses. A lot of people don’t realize this that where a lot of businesses fail is at that moment when you’re in this huge spurt and you have to get very clear on not only what it is that you actually want, but who your clients are and you have to hire, delegate, right? This is an area where women seem to traditionally have a hard time delegating. How did you fare with the delegation piece of it? Because presumably, you’re growing, you need to hire lots of people. You need to have other people do the work that you’re used to doing. Talk me through that process. Was that part of the uncomfortableness?
“On delegating: “I could be doing all these things, but that doesn’t mean I should be doing all these things.” #WomenInBiz” Click to tweet
Jennifer Hudye: Definitely. Yeah, because I noticed that there was this internal dialogue when trying to delegate or outsource of like, “Oh, I can just do that” or “I can do that better” or almost this weird ownership of, “I should be doing that.” So, a big area where I really started delegating and learning how to delegate for myself was in my personal life. I hired … I mean even when I just was starting, my … Yeah, in the initial stages of my business, I had hired a personal assistant. I remember even just getting comments from some of my family members, from my siblings, from my peers just being like, “Oh, that must be nice,” because basically, I hired an amazing woman to help me in doing my laundry and cleaning my home and meal prepping and getting groceries because I was traveling all the time, and helping me book appointments and get gifts and do all the … I still wanted to show up and just have time for myself.
So, I was noticing that on the weekends, I would spend catching up rather than recharging and relaxing. So, I had to learn that and also, just surrender to “Okay, yeah, I could be doing all these things, but that doesn’t mean I should be doing all these things.”
Melinda Wittstock: I love this because there’s so many women who end up falling into this default where it’s kind of like, “I can do it all” or “I somehow have to do it all” or “I’m less than if I’m not doing it all.” When you run a business, it’s all about leverage. So, I love that you’re applying leverage in your personal life that allows you to then be able to really double down on the business side so-
Jennifer Hudye: Yeah, and that was a big lesson for me was okay, once I felt like I was getting help in my personal life of then being able to transfer that to my business because I felt like I was having a lot more ownership … trouble delegating in my business because I felt like I needed to be the person to do it all and that really started to train that muscle in me in my personal life to be able to transition to my business.
Honestly, it’s a constant evolution. Every day, I need to stop and ask myself, “Can someone else besides me be doing this right now?” Now, I’m at this interesting point where a couple months, I felt like I was just so overwhelmed and now, I’m having space be created where I see all my team members are doing what they’re supposed to be doing. They’re crushing it. They’re doing it way better than I could ever be doing it and I don’t have this full massive schedule. So, that’s where I’m at right now of being like, “Okay, so now I do finally have the time to work on creative projects or things that I’ve wanted to do,” that I’ve claimed to not have time and I kind of don’t know what to do with myself right now.
Melinda Wittstock: Well, now, that’s a happy problem. I want to go back though to those little comments, those little niggly comments that friends, family, peers, siblings, like that kind of slightly sarcastic, slightly bitchy kind of, “Well, must be nice.” What’s that about? Is it just jealousy?
Jennifer Hudye: I think it’s a combination of things, right? So, something that I’ve always seen is we all have these “the way that we believe things should be” and so, with some of my family members, they maybe grew up in the way the things should be is you just do your own laundry, you just cook your own meals and that’s what you should do. I believe that it was maybe those comments were being made because it was coming from I was shaking their status quo, like who am I to be doing this? Yeah, it was making them question the belief that they had. Therefore, they reflected that judgment on me.
Truthfully, because for the initial comments that I was getting around that, I did feel really vulnerable and being like “Oh, my gosh, maybe I should have this.” Then I’m like, “No, this is creating so much freedom in my life,” so now instead of Sundays running around and then starting Mondays feeling frantic, being able to fully recharge and then, spend time with my friends or my family and be fully present and not be like, “Oh, I need to leave because I have to do all these things” or when spending time with my boyfriend, just being able to be fully present and be able to spend that quality time with each other.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, that’s so, so important to create that space and boundaries. Just going back a moment though to other people’s judgment because it’s really … They have their own set of should’s, the lives that they think they should be living, and we all tend to see other people through our own eyes. So, there’s this great phrase and I think it’s just so funny, I’m reminded of this, what people say about me is none of my business.
Jennifer Hudye: Yes, yes. Oh My Gosh, yes. A big … So, one of my coaches shared this with me and I believe it’s a Brene Brown quote. I believe so. If someone listening after this is like, “No, this is where it came from,” definitely correct me. I always like to give credit where credit’s due, but she shares, “We judge where we’re vulnerable.” So, if anyone passes a judgment on us, it’s because it’s the area where they feel most vulnerable or vice versa.
For myself, I catch myself all the time when I’m getting, I call it my alter ego Judge Jenny, when I’m judging other people and I’m like, “Oh, okay, so what triggered that inside of me and my beliefs as to where I think that things should be done and that my way is the best way,” and I’m passing my judgment onto this other person. It becomes a total vicious cycle and I believe with us women, it becomes a really vicious cycle because biologically, we are motivated by the criticism of other women.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s why we dress for other women. Men really hardly ever notice actually what we’re wearing, right, but …
Jennifer Hudye: Right, yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: I think of all my friends who have massive shoe collections or how much money that I used to burn on clothing in my 20s and 30s just like so … I’m pretty sure the only people really who noticed were other women.
Jennifer Hudye: Totally, yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: I mean so I think biologically, we’re very, very focused on the relationship, right, how people see us in the community. So, that interesting trigger, that little what you call Judge Jenny or the judgment gene, one of the things that I’ve learned to do is whenever I’m falling into that … I’ve gotten better at it, that kind of consciousness of whenever I’m falling into that, I can just now take a pause, like about 95% of the time and maybe even more, and just say, “Hey, show me, teach me, what is this saying about me?” Because this is obviously something that I have to work on.
Now you go into business and you can create a team that has a high level of consciousness. I love that your company’s Conscious Copy, all right, so we can talk about a high level of consciousness because you’re obviously there and it informs all the work you do and all the creative you do for your clients, but not everybody is in that kind of conscious state and we’re-
Jennifer Hudye: I’d like to pretend I am, but who knows, right? It’s an evolution, yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: It’s a constant. It’s a constant evolution because you have one epiphany or aha, and you think you’ve nailed it, okay, like, “I’ve got this.” Then, there’s always something that comes along and tests you.
Jennifer Hudye: Totally.
Melinda Wittstock: Whether in life or in business and if you really want to be tested, I always tell people like, “Be an entrepreneur,” because …
Jennifer Hudye: Oh, yeah. That’s a form of personal growth.
Melinda Wittstock: It is and so, take me through consciousness in the context of hiring a team and how you … So, you had to recently, you had all this business. You’re growing to catch up with the demand you have from clients and you’ve got to hire quickly. So, how did this level of your increasingly evolved consciousness apply to how you hired your team?
Jennifer Hudye: That is such a good question and I’m so excited to talk about this because it has been one of my favorite topics because I’ve been learning so much about it, like I’m in the middle of it still. So, I especially when it comes to hiring and then making sure that its bringing on a team that we’re on the same page and we’re all going towards the same vision. I have been doing my best to learn from my mentors, from the experts, from coaches on what they’re doing. So, I think the very first step is in my experience, it’s being like a very student and being like, “Okay, tell me what I need to know about this.”
So, I have a phenomenal business coach. He has founded or co-founded 48 businesses, 16 of them which have grown to over $10 million, and he kind of just does this stuff like clockwork right now and one of the … His name’s Rich Christiansen, and one of the biggest lessons that he taught me, especially when it comes to hiring, is value-based decision making.
So, we spend a half a day just getting clear of what are my values specifically for Conscious Copy. Of course, a lot of them are my values personally and so, really getting clear of what is the value and defining the value and then, we would discuss “Okay, how is this going to attract the people that I really want to bring on? How is it going to repel the people that I don’t want to bring on?” We went through that and then, we created specific questions for every single value.
I have about four to five questions that I use in my hiring process. So, when I would have the hiring conversations, I wasn’t just like, “Oh, do you align with these values?” Then I would ask them questions to see if they did and it was almost like … It felt like a little sneaky, but sneaky in a good way so, I’d be … One of our values is authenticity and vulnerability and so, one of the questions I would ask would be like, “Tell me about a time that was really challenging in your life either personally or professionally.” If they would respond with an answer like, “Oh, I can’t really think of anything.” I’m like, “Okay, cool.” This is not maybe one of their values, but if they were like, “Okay, this feels pretty uncomfortable to share, but I’m going to open up,” and they shared a situation that shows me that they’re living in that value. So, that has been a massive game changer for me in the hiring process.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, absolutely, but you know when you said a moment ago that maybe it feels a bit sneaky, not really because you’re actually doing folks a big service and favor and saving them time. If their values are out of whack with yours, they wouldn’t be happy either.
Jennifer Hudye: Totally, yeah. It’s so easy for people to play the part and be like, “Oh, I know how to conform myself to say everything that this person wants to hear.”
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. It’s so interesting. People do have a hard time being vulnerable. I think authenticity is actually an interesting one because authenticity is becoming a little bit of a loaded buzz word at the moment. Suddenly, everyone knows they need to be authentic because they know there’s so much lost trust in society like you can’t trust government. You can’t trust media or institutions or whatever, right, and so, people … Things were so polished up and so kind of canned for so long that people crave this kind of rawness or transparency or authenticity, but people struggle to figure out how to be in it. So, when you’re judging the authenticity of somebody, what is that? How do you know that they’re authentically being authentic?
Jennifer Hudye: How do you know authentically be authentic?
Melinda Wittstock: Right. Because I think a lot of people sort of fake authenticity actually.
Jennifer Hudye: Oh, totally. Oh My Gosh, yes. It’s so ironic that you share that because we’re literally rolling out a brand new campaign in just our messaging for Conscious Copy and the campaign is called The Truth Sells. Similar to what you just shared, something I’m seeing in, and I’m sure you see it as well, is in the advertising space, a lot of people are almost creating fake stories of authenticity to try to connect. I don’t know, for me, my BS meter goes up. For me, it’s more of a feeling.
Melinda Wittstock: It is-
Jennifer Hudye: If you can feel if a person’s being authentic and you can feel when they’re being inauthentic, and I think that that’s the best way to gauge it. I wish that there were a five-step formula.
Melinda Wittstock: No, there’s not. You know what-
Jennifer Hudye: But for me, I don’t think that there is.
Melinda Wittstock: I’m beginning to think really it is intuition, that our intuitions are more powerful often than we give ourselves credit for and with all the … I’m into all this theoretical physics and I kind of geek out about all this kind of stuff, but like field theory where our thoughts, there’s a lot of science that shows that our thoughts actually travel. I mean … Right? So, I think that’s one of the reasons why we pick these things up. We pick a feeling and we can’t necessarily put our finger on what it is that’s bothering us, but we know that something is bothering us. The more conscious we become, and I think this is being driven a lot, Jennifer Hudye, by your generation, by Millenials who have a totally different outlook about why they purchase products, under what circumstances that they will or they won’t or the kind of lives they want to lead, and I think this generation and the generation below Millenials is really influencing everybody else in a big way and it’s changing really the way we all do business I think for the better.
Jennifer Hudye: Absolutely, yes.
Melinda Wittstock: So, the truth does sell and don’t you find though as an entrepreneur, when you’re in alignment with your own personal truth, things have a funny way of just falling into place?
Jennifer Hudye: Yeah, and the people that we attract are so aligned.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, it’s so true. So, I’ve had businesses where with 20/20 hindsight, I could see that I was out of alignment with them and with 20/20 hindsight, it’s God, that really felt like a grind, like I really was pushing a boulder up a mountain like Sisyphus. It was just like crazy sort of struggle or you’d have these successes, you’d like couple steps forward and then, just be thumped on the head or fall back down the hill and then, you’d climb back up again and it would go steps forward, steps back, step forward, steps back and a grind. There’s such a difference between that and then, being in a business where you’re just like, “Wow, this is aligned with … ” You mentioned values. It’s actually aligned with your core values, your true … I like to call it super shero powers, right, and it’s so much easier to execute and it’s more fun. Yes, and you get into a much more of a … Speaking of authenticity, like an authentic feminine power where you’re attracting rather than pursuing.
Jennifer Hudye: Yes. Oh, my goodness. I love what you just shared so much, especially in my experience and in my journey, a lot of people will ask me like, “How do you do what you do?” I believe that there are certain things of being really consistent and being focused and having a clear vision. A lot of it I just believe that it has been walking into alignment and truthfully, these synchronistic things just show up and I could’ve not planned them or hustled for them because they were just way better than I could’ve ever anticipated. So, if you have that experience, if things start showing up in your life of these clear clues or these amazing people that are so aligned with what it is and that feeling that you want to create, it probably means that you’re on the right path.
Melinda Wittstock: Now, I want you to relay a story. I just got goose bumps in the back of my neck because when I interviewed you for my book, Jennifer Hudye, on female entrepreneurship and you talked about walking into a certain person’s house.
Jennifer Hudye: Yes, yes.
Melinda Wittstock: Okay, now, that’s all I’m going to … I want to tell the story because speaking of synchronicities, that’s an amazing one. Please share with us.
Jennifer Hudye: Yes. Okay, it is one of my favorite stories. Okay, cool. So, a few years ago now … I’m into vision boards, okay. It’s like a little woo, but I think it’s so powerful in just getting really clear of the vision that we want.
So, one Friday evening, I sit down and I’m creating a vision board and I’m printing off photos that I’m going to put on it and I find … I go to look for a photo of a home and I was like, “I really want a beautiful home in Scottsdale, Arizona. I want it to be on Camel Back Mountain,” which is my favorite mountain to hike and so, I start looking on Zillow for houses. I stumble upon this house and just the outside of it, it looks so cool. It’s literally walking distance from the hiking path on Camel Back Mountain. I look at the inside and the interior and the furniture and everything is so beautiful. I was like, “Oh, my gosh, this needs to be my house.”
So, I immediately print off three photos and I put them on my vision board. Now about a … So, I put my vision board up in my room and it’s part of my morning routine where I look at it and I just close my eyes and I envision all these things become my reality and making sure that whatever I’m doing in my life is kind of in alignment of what my vision is that I want to create.
So, about a week later, I have a friend of mine, Renee, call me up and I had a podcast at that time called the Conscious Hustler. She’s like, “Hey, girl, we caught up for a little bit,” and she’s like, “I would love to be on your podcast.” She’s such a bad ass and I was like, “Oh, my gosh, I would love to have you on so much.” She’s like, “I’ll be in Arizona next week. What do you say that we do it in person?” I was like, “I’ve never done an in person podcast before, but that sounds great. Let’s do it.”
So, about a day later, she reaches out to me and she’s like, “Hey, I’m going to be staying at my friend, Joe’s place and so how about we do the podcast there?” I said, “Okay, that should be fine.” So, she gives me the address and I start following the map on my phone and I notice that it turns and I’m going closer to Camel Back Mountain. I start pulling up the mountain and I’m kind of weaving in and out and I drive all the way up to the house where it shares the address that she sent me. I’m like, “This house looks pretty familiar.”
So I knock on the door. I walk inside and my jaw just drops. There’s three people in the living room, my friend, Renee, her partner, [Akira 00:26:02, and Joe Polish, and it was his home that they were staying at. I had known Joe kind of a little bit, and for those of you who aren’t familiar, he’s one of the number one marketers really in the world and he’s founder of Genius Network and just a phenomenal person. I really looked up to him and my jaw just dropped not because I was like, “Oh, it’s his house.” I’m like, “Oh, my gosh. This is my house.” He looked at me, and he’s like, “No, this is my house.” I was like, “No, this is my house.”
I kid you not, it’s not just the house kind of, it was the exact house on Camel Back Mountain. I pulled up a photo and showed them and literally in the photo, I mean it’s fully furnished in the photo and the coffee table is the exact same coffee table. The two couches were the exact same two couches. There’s a wine bottle in the background and this picture frame and the wine bottle was still there like in person. It’s the identical house.
What was interesting though … I’m like “Oh, my gosh, this is so cool.” I shared this story. They’re like, “No way,” but I believe that … So, literally months later, Joe asked me if I want to buy the house and … But at that point, I was like, “No, you know what, I’m not ready for this yet,” but him and I, because of that interaction and because of Renee and literally, when she originally reached out to me, she was like, “I have this like cue or this hunch to reach out to you,” because of that led me to connecting with him. Now, he is one of my best friends. He’s one of my biggest mentors. He’s a client of mine and quite honestly, has been one of the biggest catalysts in my entire career and my entire life.
That was just one of those very synchronistic moments of … It wasn’t even about the house because at the end, I had the opportunity to buy the house. I’m like, “I actually don’t even want the house,” but it led me to exactly where I was supposed to be.
Melinda Wittstock: That is such a beautiful story and one of the reasons I love it so much is that often when we seek inspiration, whether it’s through a vision board or just meditation or yoga or journaling, I mean any of the different techniques that are open to us to do that and ask for inspiration, sometimes things come into our mind that seem nonsensical like go to the post office today. Like I don’t know, okay, I mean I’m just making something up, but I’ve had experiences like that when I’ve actually listened, I’ve ended up meeting someone who was yeah, really critical like in my career or some sort of event or something would happen, those kind of synchronicities. So, it means being very much in touch with being open, creating those …
Going back to the beginning of the conversation where you were talking about creating space for yourself, I don’t know about you, but all my biggest inspirations or the biggest growth moments either personally or professionally in business in any aspect of my life come when I give myself a chance to breathe, when I give myself white space because that’s when you can actually hear that little voice inside, that little bit of intuition or inspiration or whatever it is.
I want to go back to, way, way back like your childhood. Jennifer Hudye, did you know that you were entrepreneurial as a kid?
Jennifer Hudye: Absolutely. Yeah. I was very clear of that.
Melinda Wittstock: Okay, so you got to tell me the stories of your first entrepreneurial ventures. I love hearing about how kids go out and build businesses. So, take me through the early days.
Jennifer Hudye: Bringing it back. So when I was young, I grew up in an entrepreneurial family. That was something I was really blessed with where my dad, my uncle were business partners and so, I just grew up around it. There were sprinklings of it I guess as I was younger. I mean one of the things that I laugh about now is I was obsessive with like cash registers and microphones. I loved cash registers, loved making money. I had some of the typical things of like the lemonade stand or if I wanted to get something, my parents would be like, “Okay, how do you think that you can come up with the money?” I’d be like, “Well, you said that you needed the fence painted,” and so, I would not just go and paint the fence. I’d usually recruit my friends on the weekend to paint the fence and then, I would pay them a cut of what it was.
When I was about 13 years old, I had a really unique experience that my sister and my two cousins and I, we created an incorporated company called Princess Ventures, Inc. and we took a loan out from our dads for $5,000 and we bought a little cabin. We fixed up the cabin and we rented it out and, yeah, we’d rent it out in the summer times. It was at the lake that we lived at and it appreciated in value over a number of years. Then, a few years later, we ended up selling it for $20,000.
So, we’re like, “Okay, what do we do with that money?” So, we took that and then we reinvested it again into farm land and a lot of it … We didn’t know a whole lot about it and we would just connect with … Our dads are incredible and just … One of the things I’m most grateful about in my childhood was very much getting taught how to fish rather than being given the fish. So I was like, “Okay, cool. You want to do this? Well, we’ll show you and we’ll be your mentors and your coaches and we’ll guide you, but you’re going to need to figure it out.”
So, we ended up doing that and we invested in farmland and because I grew up in a really rural farming community and we had people harvest our land and got help with a lot of those aspects. A number of years later, about seven or eight years after that, we … I mean every time that we would make money from a farm season, we would go and then reinvest in another piece of land and another piece of land and another piece of land so that we ended up selling it for seven figures when I was 18. So, that was massive and then, I had an …
I had to make a decision of “Okay, what do I do?” So for me, I was like, “Well, I want to reinvest this again.” That has been a big approach for me. So, when I started my business, I still was … My first online business, bootstrapped it and it’s like continuing to just reinvest and I really look at it as, my businesses, as there’s different areas and making sure that none of them seep in too much to each other so they’re all growing and like building a solid foundation.
Melinda Wittstock: That is so smart. So, not everybody grows up with parents like that, that yeah, teach them how to fish. So, for kids that had a different upbringing and are coming into entrepreneurship a little bit later than you, say in their 20s, especially young women who don’t necessarily have that background, what’s your advice? In particular for women, knowing that women kind of approach these things a little bit differently sometimes than guys.
Jennifer Hudye: My biggest advice is: find a mentor. Find a mentor. Find a coach. Find someone who’s where you want to be because I was so grateful young to have my father and still, he’s a big mentor of mine in my life, but I have been so lucky to have some phenomenal people in my life that have just taken me under their wing.
So when I was in college, I became an executive assistant for two entrepreneurs, one of them being Harvey Mackay. If you’re familiar with him, so he’s like a number one New York Times bestselling author, one of the top speakers in the world, owns a $100 million dollar company and him and business partner, Greg Hague, really just took me under their wing and just taught me so much and then, Joe Polish just taking me under his wing and really learning so much.
Also, too, just then really starting to hire coaches. So it’s like, “Okay, if I need to learn something, I’m going to hire a coach to help me get to where I want to go.” That is the biggest piece of advice that I would give to any, a young entrepreneur, man or woman. It’s find the person that you really admire and that you want to be kind of in their shoes. The approach that was always really helpful to me was I would look at that person that I wanted to learn from and say, “How can I get them closer to where they want to go?” … and that’s why I was able to get such phenomenal mentors.
One quick example is … Have you heard of Kolbe, like the Kolbe Assessment?
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. Yeah.
Jennifer Hudye: So, when I was in college, I really … All my friends were getting like internships and jobs at like Frito Lay and Pepsi Co and all these massive corporations, but I was like, “Oh, my gosh. I want to work at either Strategic Coach,” so Dan Sullivan and Babs Smith’s company or Kolbe because I had gone through the Strategic Edge Program when I was 18 and loved it. Then I had taken my Kolbe Assessment, which is kind of like a cognitive assessment of how you naturally act and react when the [inaudible 00:37:10. I was like, “I want to learn from these people and I want to learn specifically from those bad assess,” like Kathy Kolbe’s the founder of Kolbe.
So, what I did was I found a connection of getting introduced to someone in the company and I basically came up with, “Here’s five different ways that I can help your company.” I did a lot of research of like what are they trying to do? What do they need the most help with? Basically, came up like, “Here’s five different ways that I can help you with my unique gifts and how about you allow me to do one of these for free and if it’s helpful and if you like it, then we can discuss a job or an internship or another opportunity?”
So, I ended up getting ‘internship offers” from both of them, although neither of them had internship programs. I actually with the five things, here’s five things I can do to help you, I also said, “Hey, I noticed that you don’t have an internship, but I actually created a job description for an internship that you should have and it will be really helpful. Here’s all the benefits of having an internship program and look, I already meet all of the qualifications on this job description.”
Yeah, so then I basically had offers from both of them. I ended up taking the one at Kolbe because it ended up being directly in Phoenix, which is where I was living at the time and I got to work. I was supposed to just kind of help in the HR department and got connected with Kathy, who’s the founder, and she completely just took me under her wing and taught me so much.
So yeah, I think maybe sometimes younger people will go at it a little bit wrong of like, “What can these people do for me?” but really always approaching it of like, “How can I help them?”
Melinda Wittstock: Well, that’s the entrepreneur’s way because if you create value for other people, the value comes back to you many times over, but you do have to be willing to be generous. So, I love how you found mentors. A lot of people will ask me and it comes up on the show in lots of different contexts where I advise startups, “How can I find mentors?” So Jennifer Hudye, thank you for sharing. That’s a great way to do it. I mean find the person who’s doing what you want to be doing. Find a way to help them and have a fair exchange. That’s lovely.
So, here’s something that’s really interesting that I read recently that some 40% of the United States, the population in the United States, are going to be gig workers by 2020. That’s only two years away, almost half the population, and by gig worker, I mean free lancers, solopreneurs or folks with a number of different side hustles or people who go literally from gig to gig to gig.
That is going to require a couple things, much more of an entrepreneurial mindset than a lot of people are used to, even if they’re not full blown entrepreneurs on that kind of rollercoaster ride like creating scalable technologies or going for moon shots or any of that, but it does require entrepreneurial skills. It also requires a personal brand. Women can sometimes struggle with that latter thing because we don’t often put our hand up and sing our own praises. So, for someone in the copywriting business, what advice would you give to women navigating this new gig economy, needing to be entrepreneurial, but also having to kind of stand out somehow to win the business, to win the gig, to really kind of step into their full potential?
Jennifer Hudye: Really great question. This is an interesting one because I remember on our last conversation, you were sharing your story of how you … I think it was like a networking event or a dinner where there was a number of women and a lot of the times how … or a few of them forgot to mention some of their major massive accomplishments.
Melinda Wittstock: There was one, yeah, this is one of our sponsors for the podcast is Springboard Enterprises and it’s an accelerator for women with emerging growth technology businesses either in the media tech space or in life sciences. I swear to God, we were doing this boot camp and we had to do a two-minute personal pitch about ourselves and a two-minute pitch about our businesses.
There was this woman, I won’t say who she was, but she’d had this $500 million exit and she forgot to mention that about herself. So, a lot of our major accomplishments, sometimes, we forget to mention. There was another woman who had been an astronaut and forget to mention that. Instead, what was heartbreaking is she said, “Well, I’m a really new CEO so I’m really new at this at this and I’m learning how to be a CEO,” rather than “I’m an astronaut and I’m going to take this company to the moon and back,” right, which is what she could’ve said.
So I think sometimes, we undercut ourselves or we let ourselves down and I know that it’s the way we’ve been socialized or sort of acculturated that we’re uncomfortable really kind of stepping out and just kind of owning our accomplishments. I scratch my head and I wonder why. What do you think?
Jennifer Hudye: So, when it comes to why, I think that … This is just my opinion, but when it comes down to biologically, again, we’re always, right, even though we like to think that we’re logical beings, we still run so much on survival. When it comes to that aspect of how we act or react with women a lot of the times, we are motivated or we get … Our motivation comes from wanting to please others and a lot of the times to please others, it’s by dumbing down on ourselves. Especially with other women, we never want to come off as that woman who just is the know-it-all because then we may be liked. I know it sounds a little silly and a little bit petty right now, but if you really look at our biology, that is a big driver of how we run.
Whereas with men, they are more internal of they become motivated by comparing themselves to who they believe in their mind they want to be or who they believe that they are. Whereas women, we compare ourselves and get motivated to other women. So, one of my interesting … This may be a little bit out there, but something that I would do, especially when it comes for these, I think you call them new gigs?
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah.
Jennifer Hudye: I’m going to do so much research on this after … Specifically if you’re a woman is go to men and ask them like, “Specifically, what do you see as my gifts?” or as well as like your friends and sometimes, it’s really hard for us to see the message when it’s in the bottle, but that is one of the greatest gifts of men, too. One of the things you and I discussed last time, Melinda Wittstock, was just around it not being a competition with men and women, and I think that it’s also playing on each one of our strengths and that is one of the amazing strengths of men where they can easily say like, “I am amazing and here’s all the accomplishments.” So, what a better way to go and ask one of them like, “Hey, I’m really trying to come up with structuring this. Would you be willing to help me? What do you see some of my gifts being?”
I do that honestly with some of my guy friends, my boyfriend on a constant basis because I still forget and I still forget to mention it. I love that they just become an advocate for me sometimes, too, and just reminding me of all of the accomplishments that I’ve achieved.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s beautiful. I mean I think that’s really, really great advice. I just had an epiphany about what might be going on in investor pitches, and women in my world, right, in technology go for the VC pitch and women are talking from their context how they’ve been socialized and yet, men are listening from their perspective. So, if a woman walks in and doesn’t really sing her praises, her own accomplishments in a very clear way like a man would and doesn’t really go for big numbers, the big hockey stick, and is more realistic, I mean she’s going to be discounted. So, I think sometimes men and women are talking past each other so to some degree, women have to think, “Oh, well, how am I going to be heard in a male context,” but not confuse that with become a dude because that goes back to being inauthentic and all that sharp shoulder padded stuff from the ’80s, that didn’t really work.
Jennifer Hudye: Yeah. It’s so powerful and I could not agree more. I’ve been doing a lot of work around this just for myself personally of learning more about the dynamics of men and women and also learning how sometimes, we’re speaking a completely different language. We think that we’re both speaking English, but it’s literally like communicating to someone with a different language sometimes. So, really knowing that especially in business is massive because when we approach it in the way of not owning our femininity and owning who we are as women, and we try to conform to acting like a man or pushing back, then there creates conflict.
So, I think it’s a really powerful insight of okay, if … It’s like stacking the odds in your favor. If you know that an entire investor panel is going to be a bunch of dudes, it’s like, “Okay, how can I enter the conversation that’s going on in their mind,” rather than saying, “Okay, this is just me.” That’s copywriting 101 is the best marketing enters the conversation that’s going on in your prospect’s world.
Melinda Wittstock: Right. Enters the conversation that’s already going on, yeah. See, and that’s a place where women can be incredibly strong just in harnessing that natural empathy and also, our web thinking. We seem to have an easier time of connecting the dots or seeing the relationships, like say if you walk into the room and you can get the kind of connections of what all is going on in a way that some men are capable of doing that, too, but they tend to be a little bit more linear. So, I like to look at all the areas whereas women, we can really double down on our feminine powers and really use those and really leverage them without trying to confuse strength with masculinity. We have different strengths, but of course, this is all a generalization because actually what I think is we’re all on a scale between these archetypal masculine and feminine qualities and probably, the best leaders and entrepreneurs have a really nice mix of both.
Jennifer Hudye: Yeah, and then that ability to be able to communicate our world of what we do see, right. Like the example that you share of the web thinking, something that I always get caught up in, too, say if I’m communicating say it’s to one of my clients who’s a male and if I’m like, “Oh, then we can do this and this and this,” and I’ll have to stop myself sometimes and be like, “Okay, I know that biologically or naturally, they are focused and right now, I know, I could feel into it, I am stressing this person out because I’m not giving them the clear A to B, here’s what we’re going to do or here’s what the problem is, here’s the solution,” right. I will pause and then, I’ll sometimes just share like, “This is the way I’m seeing it,” because they can’t see my mind, but if I can describe it a little bit better, maybe they can understand my world a little bit better, too, and see the connections that I’m making.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s beautiful. So, as we wrap up, what is your big vision, Jennifer? Where are you going next? What’s your moonshot?
Jennifer Hudye: Okay, can I share a very short story on this?
Melinda Wittstock: Yes, please.
Jennifer Hudye: So, in January, I was at an event called [Archangel 00:51:46 and one of the speakers was Naveen Jain and he talks a lot on moon shots. He’s a billionaire, specifically launching … They have a company that’s going to the moon and they have another amazing healthcare company.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, Viome, yeah. I love Viome, yeah. I’m doing Viome and it’s so cool.
Jennifer Hudye: Love it, yes.
Melinda Wittstock: A million people’s gut bacteria and some artificial intelligence, right?
Jennifer Hudye: Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: To figure out how to get rid of cell inflammation, which causes all these different diseases. Amazing. I mean he’s just so inspirational.
Jennifer Hudye: Yes, yes. Incredible person and the tag line for Viome, it’s like, “Making illness optional,” which I just love. So, the last weekend, I was at the Genius Network annual event and he spoke again. On the last day I was walking outside of the bathroom to go back in and listen to Verne Harnish speak and Naveen’s like, “What are you doing?” I was like, “Oh, I’m just going to go back in.” He’s like, “Let’s go for lunch.” I was like, “No, really, I want to go and watch Verne speak.” He was like, “No, let’s go for lunch.” I was like, “Okay.”
So we go and we sit down and have lunch and we were just catching up and he’s like, “What’s your moon shot?” Because that was the theme of the event this last weekend, and I was like, “Honestly, I’m not sure yet. I thought I knew, but now I’m just kind of questioning it.” He literally grilled me like for 15 minutes of trying to determine like, “What is your moon shot?” Every time, I’d be like, “Well, I think it’s this.” He’s like, “No, Jen, you’re not thinking big enough or you’re beating around the bush.”
Melinda Wittstock: Nice.
Jennifer Hudye: The question that he asked me, which I’d love to share with all of you that was really powerful for me was, “If you had $1 billion in your bank account, right, and then you’re 5 years old again, what would you do to change the world when you were 5 years old?”
Melinda Wittstock: Wow.
Jennifer Hudye: It was so powerful. So, for me, I’m still getting better at communicating my moonshot, but I’m really fired up and excited about really bringing more … It sounds a little weird, but the consciousness, the authenticity, the transparency of entrepreneurs, helping them evolve those three areas so that they’re coming from a place of wholeness and a place of really just selfless service by working on themselves so that whatever they’re creating in the world, instead of what a lot of the times we don’t realize as entrepreneurs is we’re running away from something, we’re doing things out of [lack 00:54:42, hustling for things like acceptance, for worthiness, for significance, for power, for profit so that we feel enough so really healing a lot of those things so that we can come from a place of personal power and create magic in the world from abundance and so, really helping entrepreneurs because that’s been my story. It’s been my whole life of just being around entrepreneurs.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s beautiful. I think on my website I talk about conscious leadership, but living a life of fearless joy and so, like how to be in that moment. I love what you say about … it’s a beautiful moon shot, by the way, and I love what you say about being in abundance, getting out of that fear, but also being in service. I think a lot of the biggest world problems can and will be solved by entrepreneurs who are stepping into that conscious leadership. So, anything that you or any of us do to support and foster that in ourselves and in others to kind of catalyze the change and be the change we want to see in the world, really is a very exciting and inspiring future.
So, I personally look at big world problems differently than I used to. Where it used to be like you’d vote for some politician to go solve it. Well, we all know how that works out, right, so instead, entrepreneurs are so good at spotting problems and figuring out really ingenious solutions for them. So, let’s all double down and do our moon shot.
You know what would be really cool is to take Naveen’s question and have everyone who listens to this podcast really think about that and write that down and let’s give wings to our moonshots. So, seriously everybody, if you had $1 billion in your bank account and you were 5 years old, what would you do again? I think everybody, let’s just post that all up on Facebook at Wings podcast. I want to hear everybody’s moon shot. Again, at Wings podcast on Facebook, let’s just do this, $1 billion in your bank account, you’re 5 years old, what would you do? Jen, that’s-
Jennifer Hudye: Yeah, what would you do to change the world?
Melinda Wittstock: That’s just so beautiful and what a lovely way to end up, but before we go, I want to know how can everybody find you? Do you have any kind of offer or any way that all our shero listeners today can get in touch with you or work with you in some way?
Jennifer Hudye: Yeah. So, you can check out consciouscopy.co, that is my copy agency. I mean by the time this launches, our fancy new website should be up and rolling. I’m so excited for it. So, yeah, it’s consciouscopy.co so that’s C-O. For learning more about me just specifically, you can go to Jennifer Hudyerachael.com. That’s my personal brand website and you can just take a peek around. If you feel inspired, definitely click and sign up for my mailing list. I email out just every single week of different thoughts on entrepreneurship, marketing, coffee in just a way of serving. It’s one of my favorite things to do and that’s the way you could check me out.
Melinda Wittstock: That is wonderful. Jennifer, thank you for putting on your wings today and flying with all of us.
Jennifer Hudye: Thanks, Melinda.