Align Your Tasks Energetically — When you run your own business you have to wear many hats at once. You find yourself switching from marketing to sales, creating to executing, intaking information to becoming technical. The things you didn’t like doing and could outsource or delegate are getting outsourced and delegated to you. As humans, we naturally do what we enjoy first and procrastinate on the tasks we don’t enjoy, leaving until the end of the day or when we are up against a deadline. Either of the scenarios makes it near impossible to produce good work.
Many successful people reinvented themselves in a later period in their life. Jeff Bezos worked in Wall Street before he reinvented himself and started Amazon. Sara Blakely sold office supplies before she started Spanx. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was a WWE wrestler before he became a successful actor and filmmaker. Arnold Schwarzenegger went from a bodybuilder, to an actor to a Governor. McDonald’s founder Ray Croc was a milkshake-device salesman before starting the McDonalds franchise in his 50’s.
How does one reinvent themselves? What hurdles have to be overcome to take life in a new direction? How do you overcome those challenges? How do you ignore the naysayers? How do you push through the paralyzing fear?
In this series called “Second Chapters; How I Reinvented Myself In The Second Chapter Of My Life “ we are interviewing successful people who reinvented themselves in a second chapter in life, to share their story and help empower others.
As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jackie Ghedin.
Jackie Ghedine is a coach, co-host of the podcast, Make Your Life Magnificent, and co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of The Resting Mind, a personal development and coaching company for Generation X Women. She leverages her expertise in brain science and energy leadership to move women to get the results they want.
Prior to becoming a coach, Jackie spent almost 20 years in publishing and media and most recently was Associate Publisher at AdAge where she was responsible for building out new businesses, driving revenue and leading a diverse team.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I grew up on Long Island with two very loving, supportive parents although a bit overprotected. I am adopted and an only child with a vivid imagination. My dad worked long hours in printing and my mom and I were never bored. She always had something planned, tennis, bowling or art classes. Trips to the city to see a play or cooking and experimenting together. When I was 10, we got a horse and I took horseback riding lessons and became quite obsessed. Any hour I wasn’t at school you could find me and my family at the barn.
My mom was fiercely independent for her time and also a strong and fair woman who exudes positivity. She was always spiritually and energetically connected which was where I first was introduced to mind control and the power of our minds. We had a quote on the wall that she crafted that said, “Every day in every way I am getting better better and better.”
As an independent woman, my mom had a few mantras she would repeat over and over, “Don’t get married until your 30, make sure you hav your own career and have your own money and life before you join it with anyone else.” Ironically enough, my parents were happily married until my dad passed away several years ago but this was a holdover from her parents separating at a young age and her watching her mom struggle to manage the demands.
I didn’t realize how these things became what I took into adulthood as my truths and they led me to make decisions both consciously and unconsciously to align with the mantras.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
My favorite life lesson quote is “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
When my husband and I were 30, he was diagnosed with Lymphoma. Out of nowhere we had to step out of playing house as newlyweds and step into adulthood. There were so many things out of our control, so much fear and sadness and pain. We mourned for the future we didn’t know if we could have and we mourned for our lives and how they were turned upside down while the remainder of the world was normal. It was important for both of us to pull from our inner strength, focus on what we could control and fight as hell to get healthy.
This quote, introduced to me at one of our darkest times has come back to be a guiding light through our infertility and adoption processes. We are stronger than our circumstances.
You have been blessed with much success. In your opinion, what are the top three qualities that you possess that have helped you accomplish so much? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
Positivity: My mom only saw the positive and I took this trait and ran with it. When others panic because there’s a problem, I instead look at situations through a lens of positivity and possibility and quickly find solutions. When I was at Ad Age, we had a cross-brand, multi-million-dollar program pitch scheduled with a big client. I was leading the pitch and practiced for days to ensure I had it down pat. At 4:15, the morning of the pitch, my dad, who had been in the hospital with complications from his surgery, took a very bad turn and my mom and I had to rush to the hospital. I stood there alongside my mom and by my dad’s bedside with this mulit-million dollar pitch hanging over my head. No one on the team knew the pitch well enough and the CMO was leaving the next day for California, my window was closing. I went into problem solving mode, called my number and went over the pitch with him and our CSM so together they could divide and conquer the deck. The team stepped up and stepped in and I felt optimistic about how they would handle it.
Creative Insight: Creativity is an incredible trait, but to me, creative insight is game-changing. It’s the ability to creatively see things differently, put two different concepts together in order to birth something brand new. This is how my business partner, Mimi Bishop and I created The Resting Mind’s frameworks. My coaching background is in neuroscience and positive psychology and Mimi’s is in energy leadership. We looked at these two principles that touched on the fringe and found ways to weave them together in new to market processes and frameworks for our clients.
Maximizing Individuals: There are many great leaders out there but it is rare to be a leader who sees each teammate as individuals. I have prided myself on understanding what motivates each person, how they process information, the way they learn best, and the communication and feedback style that works best for them. I then chose to meet people where they are instead of demanding they meet me where I am. Leadership to me isn’t about power or authority, it’s about vision and setting goals, aligning individuals with their zone of genius and collaborating and celebrating wins along the way.
When I left corporate America it became quite apparent that this style I had created was not the norm. For months prior to exiting, I had numerous colleagues, bosses, business associates, clients reach out and connect with me, asking me for leadership or career advice and support, stating I was the only person who understood them and how they ‘fit’ into the work world. This realization was the catalyst to going back to school for coaching, knowing I intuitively understood what makes people tick and would do all I could to amplify and maximize their potential in a language that they understood.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about ‘Second Chapters’. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before your Second Chapter?
I started my career off in a small publishing company and fell in love. I dreamt of becoming an editor. I was passionate about creative writing, story telling and being surrounded by people. While I was at my first job, a junior sales position opened up for the magazine. My boss encouraged me to interview for the position. I explained my path was to move to into reporting and editing and he laughed at me and said, “You’re too outgoing, you’ll die behind a desk.” With that, I started along my sales journey.
Sales was always intuitive and more about people than it was about product. I’ve always been fascinated with psychology and what makes people tick. In sales, if you are in tune with people, listen to hear what people are saying not to get your point across, observe body language and nuances, it becomes easy to recognize and address objections.
I climbed the ladder at Ad Age, starting in sales and continued to rise until I became the Associate Publisher. In this new role, I really had the opportunity to expand my skills and learned the backbone and foundation of entrepreneurial ventures as I was responsible for building out new business units from concept to profitability or adversely, someone planting a seed of an idea that I knew could not be turn profitable and creating business plans to prove them.
And how did you “reinvent yourself” in your Second Chapter?
When I decided to step off my executive publishing career I had no idea what I wanted to do. I didn’t leave with an eye towards anything and for a high-achiever like myself, it was extremely scary. I never had to rely on anyone else for financial security, nor did I know what it was like not to have set my sights on a career goal. I also left behind a huge piece of who I was, my identity was wrapped tightly in my executive title. I found myself lost when people met me and asked, ‘What do you do?” because I didn’t know. For the first time I found myself doubting everything about who I am professionally but at the same time I was finally connecting to who I was as a human.
It was only when I walked away and provided myself with space to think, to process, to experience and to feel did I realize what I missed most about my job and where my zone of genius sat. I had an epiphany. I was able to intuitively and intellectually gently guide individuals to achieve their own level of success with a human-first approach to people. Taking away my own attachment to a teams’ success allowed me to see results from a different perspective.
I decided to go back to school for coaching but was determined not to be a coach who catches fireflies and is a cheerleader and instead wanted to work with clients to be able to create sustainable change. I was trained to coach using neuroscience and positive psychology — my world opened up.
Building a business from the ground up, especially a service-based business took a lot of patience, focus, discipline and even more pivoting. I had to let go of what I believed achieving looked like because as an entrepreneur, it is very different. It isn’t about rapid success, it isn’t focusing only on what you’re good at (sales and content creation). Instead, it was about being fluid in the space, learning new skills, finding your niche and enjoying the process of the slow build.
Can you tell us about the specific trigger that made you decide that you were going to “take the plunge” and make your huge transition?
I had been all-in at work for as long as I can remember, it was just part of how I was wired and the expectations I have put upon myself.
My husband was putting our daughter to bed one night and she turned to him and said, ‘Daddy, I miss mommy so much, when is she coming home from her business trip.” When my husband told me what she said, my heart broke. Now you’re probably thinking, you had a big job with travel demands and you are absolutely right. Here’s the kicker, I wasn’t away on a business trip, I was just working long days, breakfast meetings and late nights. Kicker again… when I looked back at the ‘deadline’ I was up against that kept me at work until all hours…I didn’t have one. There was nothing pressing. You see, I had convinced myself that executives had to work insane hours and be the first in and the last out. I believed the only way to get ahead and stay ahead was to go all-in all the time. This was when I realized it would never change, I would never change. I had these unrealistic expectations I’ve put on myself that I couldn’t unravel and I knew, for the sake of my mental health, my daughter and my family, something had to give. I needed to change. I needed to step off of the Corporate rollercoaster.
What did you do to discover that you had a new skillset inside of you that you haven’t been maximizing? How did you find that and how did you ultimately overcome the barriers to help manifest those powers?
I knew I had some of the basic instincts for coaching, I had proven that as a leader of large teams who were high-performers, what I didn’t realize is how much more coaching is. I was in sales for decades and hadn’t realized how strong my listening skills were coupled with being able to read body language and non-verbal cues.
Where I struggled most was not having the discipline and structure that is normally automatically created by having deadlines and projects you are held accountable for in the corporate world. As an entrepreneur, you can easily get distracted by all that has to get done, try to multi-task and be the jack of all trades. It took a lot of trial and error to find a planning process that worked for my creative, non-linear mind that didn’t look like a spreadsheet or google calendar. My process is visual and very different from others and I had to recognize that this works for me, it doesn’t have to be like everyone else’s and that’s ok There isn’t a way in which we ‘have to’ work as entrepreneurs. I created something for myself called energy plotting, which we now teach as a framework in our organization. I started becoming aware of when I’m naturally at my highest energy and then programmed my task to align with my high and low energy points. Once you become attuned to your own energy and how it flows you can use it to your advantage and have it work for you instead of against you.
How are things going with this new initiative? We would love to hear some specific examples or stories.
Three years ago I met my now business partner. We had two separate coaching businesses and brought them together to create The Resting Mind. Year two was flowing beautifully until COVID when everything came to a screeching halt so we pivoted to provide a ton of free resources for Generation X women who are struggling in their career. By doing this we were able to capture the hearts and minds of our ideal customer and eventually work with more and more of them through paid programs that fit their financial and time constraints.
We launched our podcast, Make Your Life Magnificent in January 2020, right before the pandemic hit the US and little did we know what a source of grounding and support it would be for listeners.
The highlight of our year was when we were on Today with Hoda and Jenna this past fall and did an entire segment on Refreshing Your Mind for fall. The experience was magical and it provided a platform for us to showcase our personalities, which are very different from traditional stoic coaches.
Today, our business has tripled in six months and we are offering a wider array of options to draw people in and meet them where they are based on financial and time investments. We do everything from high-ticket one-on-one coaching, to group Masterminds and we are launching our Build Your Business Mastermind in May, a 12 week coach led group program that will take entrepreneurs from concept and niche to marketing and sales. It’s a natural progression from the one-on-one business coaching we’ve been doing with our clients and really fits with our audience of Gen X women, mid career who want to finally take decisive steps in their career. More and more Gen X women are looking to start their own business and we provide the step by step process, resources and know-how to support them.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I’m lucky to have had so many supportive people throughout my life. However, I wouldn’t have been able to start this entrepreneurial venture without the support of my husband, Scott. For our entire marriage he has stood behind me, encouraging me and believing in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. He thinks about the needs of his family and lives to keep us all happy and whole.
When I knew I didn’t want to do the corporate dance any longer and we sat down to talk about me stepping off, his response was, ‘you do what makes you happy.’ My husband is my partner, through and through and in every aspect. Our marriage, raising our daughter, running our household. Neither of us are above the duties or responsibilities necessary in life and this has made a tremendous difference.
His skills also complement mine. While we both came from a sales background, I’m more creative sales, big idea person and a hunter while my husband is more linear, a relationship building extrovert and a financial genius who is extremely organized. I always believe we should surround ourselves in life with those who push us out of our comfort zone and aren’t threatened when we soar.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?
One of the most interesting things that happened since starting this new direction is how I have stepped boldly and bravely into who I am as a human. Prior to this new chapter, I hated public speaking and would become a ball of nerves anytime I had to get on stage and present or host a large event for work. I was happy and comfortable sitting in the number 2 position, making stuff happen in the background.
Since starting The Resting Mind, the opportunities to bravely take center-stage have presented themselves and I have embraced each and every single one. Instead of shying away and fearing the spotlight, I am proud to share my message so others know they aren’t alone in their mid life journey. I’ve done Ted X Talks, Keynotes at events and was on Today with Hoda and Jenna. I believe being true to my purpose and knowing what I do helps and influences so many Gen X women provides me with the confidence I need to soar.
Did you ever struggle with believing in yourself? If so, how did you overcome that limiting belief about yourself? Can you share a story or example?
I think everyone struggles with limiting beliefs and blocks in their life and it is really important to identify them and do the work to unravel those to reach your greatest potential. My biggest limiting belief was wrapped up in success. Somewhere along the way I confused being successful with sacrifice, it was how I had operated for the first chapter of my life.
Hard-working, first in the office, last out of the office, always be available, always be on, always be responsive, the customer’s needs come first, all these beliefs were ingrained in me and I had a hard time reconciling how to be successful and still hold onto my human side which I had grown to love.
I had to become very deliberate with my decisions on how to spend my time and what to focus on when and for how long. I slowly began to collect evidence of success without sacrifice. I adjusted hours and demands to fit my needs not just that of the business, blocking of the 3–4 hour to spend time going over homework with my daughter and talk about our day.I needed to find a way to believe and understand I could build a thriving business without losing myself in the process. When the business started to take off and the demands on my time became greater, I had to constantly challenge my beliefs so I wouldn’t run away in fear. The way I worked became deliberate, endless prioritizing, limiting my focus and taking things on a little at a time instead of trying to play Wonder Woman.
In my own work I usually encourage my clients to ask for support before they embark on something new. How did you create your support system before you moved to your new chapter?
As I mentioned earlier, my biggest support system is my husband, Scott. I knew my pivot meant different things for him, for us and for our family. I wanted someone I can talk through situations with who also would ground me when I was flying too high and push me when I was afraid to leap.
I also joined an amazing networking community for women called, Dreamers and Doers where I surrounded myself with a wide array of successful entrepreneurial women who I turned to for guidance, ideas, and innovation. Finding a cohort of like-minded individuals is one of the smartest decisions I made in my entrepreneurial journey.
Starting a new chapter usually means getting out of your comfort zone, how did you do that? Can you share a story or example of that?
In order to become a successful coach, you need to break down all your own stuff to become clear on who you are as a human. Without this, you will throw your own expectations and judgment onto your clients. What that meant for me was to become extremely open and vulnerable. I grew up in a private family, we didn’t talk about our financial situations or my adoption to the outside world, we didn’t tell people when we were sick or anything too personal. That was reserved only for our inner family. I never shared I was adopted with people and when my husband was diagnosed with cancer I thought I was supposed to trickle it out to only select people and to choose wisely who I brought into the circle. This created a wall and discomfort with being vulnerable that I took with me into adulthood.
I recognized when I started on my coaching path that in order to get vulnerability from clients, which is where the magic happens in coaching, I needed to be vulnerable. I started on a mission to share my stories more often and wider spread anywhere I could. I opened up about being adopted, about adopting my daughter and about my doubts as a parent raising a daughter with learning disabilities and severe ADHD. Something amazing happen, once I started opening up the connections I was making were so much deeper. The energy of love starting filling the gaps and I spread love and received love greater than I ever had before.
Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why?
Have-it-all is a myth: I strived to be the perfect boss, the perfect employee, the perfect wife, the perfect daughter, the perfect friend, the perfect mom and I lived in a constant state of guilt because I wasn’t able to juggle it all and maintain it all to the level I assumed I should be able to.
As a kid, there was this Enjoli commercial. A glamorous woman sang about how we can bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan and I glorified working a big career and being a wife and a mom and a homemaker. She made it look easy.
I used to travel three weeks out of the month, prior to having kids. I was always on the road and my husband had a job where he too traveled and we would joke that we were ships passing in the night. I thought we could both have tremendous careers and still stay connected but it got hard. Our time together was limited, there wasn’t Facetime or Zoom so a phone call at the end of the night would have to suffice. At one point we looked at each other and thought, is this it? It was the first realization that you have to work at each piece of your have-it-all life in order to maintain happiness. It was also the first time I had to adjust what ‘have-it-all’ looked like for me and ultimately for us as a couple.
Evaluate your Expectations:
As a high-achiever, I always had high expectations and when I embarked on becoming an entrepreneur I took that with me and applied it to my business. While it does push me to push myself, often the expectations are unrealistic or morph into feelings of nothing being good enough or perfect enough.
In school, at work, on the field, it didn’t matter, I always wanted to be the best there was. I started working for a brand new company and my first day on the job was a trade show. I was sitting in the booth with my brand new boss, making a gameplan for the show floor when in rushed one of my new colleagues, he was full of energy and talking about how he just closed a piece of business. Not five minutes later, another new sales colleague stormed into the booth, fired-up about this huge meeting she just secured with the CMO of a company she had been trying to do business with. My face froze, and my boss looked at me and said, ‘Are you ok?” I turned to him and said, “I have to up my game with these two, they are on fire and I need to burn brighter.” He laughed, I wasn’t joking.
I automatically created expectations of what I needed to do to be the best, and living up to those expectations I was putting on myself meant traveling more, having the most meetings every week and every month, being the highest contributor for the overall brand. I did this for two years until I completely burned out. I took two weeks off for Christmas and as soon as I slowed down, I crashed, 102 fever for days. It was the first (not the last) time that I looked back and saw how my self-imposed high-expectations were impacting my physical and mental health.
Now, whenever I put expectations on myself, I ask this simple question, Why? Why am I making these choices or having these thoughts? I am honest with myself about the answers and then make decisions from that place instead.
Align Your Tasks Energetically
When you run your own business you have to wear many hats at once. You find yourself switching from marketing to sales, creating to executing, intaking information to becoming technical. The things you didn’t like doing and could outsource or delegate are getting outsourced and delegated to you. As humans, we naturally do what we enjoy first and procrastinate on the tasks we don’t enjoy, leaving until the end of the day or when we are up against a deadline. Either of the scenarios makes it near impossible to produce good work.
Now, I do the hardest tasks and the tasks I don’t enjoy doing, first thing in the morning when I’m personal at my energetic best. Everyone’s energies fluctuate throughout the day, finding your highest energy times and plotting in your most difficult tasks produces the greatest results.
Find your Niche and Niche Down Again
I came from a marketing background and have always known you need to declare your niche so you can communicate to your customer in the language they want to hear. When we launched The Resting Mind, we knew we wanted to focus on Generation X women, they are the forgotten generation, the generation no one is talking to, no one is targeting, no one is supporting. However, we thought we could be everything to this one generation and broadly spoke to the Gen X woman. While some things do translate across the generation like ‘have-it-all,’ there are very different pain points women face when they are focused on their personal life, their career, where they are in their career or if they want to start their own business. We then niched down again and homed in on the exact needs of this customer and we saw a tremendous shift in our business.
In business it can be scary to declare a niche and go after it, it may feel like you’re leaving money on the table or maybe you need a bigger pool of potentials. However, when you develop products specifically with a specific person in mind you can produce raving fans.
Be prepared to pivot and be fluid
The market will respond to your product or offering and it probably won’t look exactly like you thought. Our business just turned a year when the pandemic hit and all the momentum came to a complete halt. We looked at the products and services we had in the market and saw how they had to morph in order to respond to what was happening outside of our organization. Instead of selling our services as long-standing retainers, we needed to craft programs with a lower cost of entry. We also made a very strategic decision to create free trainings, classes and live coaching to add value and be of service to our struggling community. This pivot opened up new doors, brought in revenue and allowed us to establish deeper roots and relationships with our potential clients.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Our mission is to empower every Gen X woman to step boldly and bravely into the highest version of themselves. Some for the first time and some a reminder of how they once were.
We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them. 🙂
If I could have a private breakfast or lunch with anyone it would be Dr. Joe DiSpenza. When I read his book, Becoming Superhuman, it enhanced and confirmed all that I had believed about the power of the mind and the flow of energy through everything. I am fascinated by his work, would love to embark on one of his retreats or journeys to deeply connect with myself.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
You can follow The Resting Mind and what we are doing through a number of different avenues.
Head over to www.therestingmind.com to get access the free workbooks and courses we offer
Listen to our podcast, Make Your LIfe Magnificent on apple podcast or wherever you listen
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!