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“Persevere even when you feel deflated,” an interview with bestselling authors Sara Connell & Jennifer Cohen

I think it’s having the discipline to keep persevering even when you feel deflated. I think when you are super passionate about what you do its impossible to give up. Getting a book deal is incredibly difficult and then selling the books is equally tough. Aspart of my series on the “5 Things You Need […]


I think it’s having the discipline to keep persevering even when you feel deflated. I think when you are super passionate about what you do its impossible to give up. Getting a book deal is incredibly difficult and then selling the books is equally tough.

Aspart of my series on the “5 Things You Need To Know To Write A Bestselling Book” I had the pleasure of interviewing Jennifer Cohen.

Jennifer Cohen is a best-selling author, performance coach, fitness and wellness authority and entrepreneur. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Manitoba and a Masters in Sport Marketing from George Brown College in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Early in her career, she emerged as an influential role model and game-changer for the fitness industry, best known for her savvy, straight-talking reputation and belief in a “no excuse” approach that forgoes the fitness fads and focuses on long-term, sustainable results. Cohen has been a spokesperson and consultant for brands including Nike, Weight Watchers, KIND Bars, Polar Heart Rate Monitors, Muscle Milk, Victoria’s Secret Sports and more. She has been named “Greatest 100 most Influential People in Health and Fitness” and “#16 Most Impactful Fitness Entrepreneurs” by Web MD. She was the host of CW Network’s fitness and lifestyle program, “Shedding for the Wedding” and a regular guest on networks television including “The Today Show.” Cohen has also been a contributor for publications including Men’s Health, Mind Body Green, Entrepreneur, Huffington Post and more. She currently has a regular column on Forbes. For more information, visit www.jennifercohen.com.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?

It’s been quite the journey that brought me to where I am today! I used to work in marketing at record labels including BMG while simultaneously discovering my passion for fitness. I was eventually able to merge my passions by working with Universal Music Group and Def Jam Records as a “label trainer” helping to keep their celebrity artists fit for music videos and tours. I was training talent including Ashanti, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and more early in their careers.

Soon after, I launched my company No Gym Required which included the NGR shoe line which is a basic cross trainer with interchangeable weighted mid soles that help you burn up to 50% more calories. The shoes became a sensation and sold thousands of pairs!

The success I had with NGR helped me to acquire bigger spokesperson deals with brands like Nike, Muscle Milk, and more. I became one of the first fitness celebrity spokespeople to work with Weight Watchers, developing their fitness pillar. I starred in more than ten DVDs which became best-sellers. Weight Watchers later acquired my fitness app Hot 5.

In addition, I’ve released two best-selling books, No Gym Requiredand Strong Is The New Skinny. My latest is a book/journal combo called Badass Body Goals: The Booty Building and Waist-Trimming Journalwhich was just released! I also write a column for Forbesand contribute to publications including Men’s Journal,Health.com, and Entrepreneur.

Today I continue to train select clients, but I also work as a business consultant for various Fortune 500 companies, helping to boost their productivity and corporate culture. In addition, oversee the fitness program for Drip Hydration, a mobile IV hydration company, and I am about to launch my podcast, Habits & Hustle, focusing on the morning routines of successful entrepreneurs.

Lastly, I co-founded The Good Human Foundation which holds an annual bachelor auction “Babes For Boobs,” raising funds for breast cancer awareness and research.

What was (so far) the most exhilarating or fulfilling experience you’ve had as an author?

Not to sound cliché but to impact peoples lives in a big way. Giving people tactical ways to improve their well being, self confidence and mental strength has been by far the best thing about it.

What was the craziest, weirdest, wildest experience you’ve had as a bestselling author?

I think nothing that crazy has ever happened, but I will say you get access and invited to lots of interesting things, meet super fascinating people and have cool experiences with a lot of like minded individuals.

What is the greatest part about being a successful, bestselling author? What is the worst (if anything) part?

The best part is knowing that your book is helping people all over the world achieve their goals of using body weight instead of the latest gadgets (so you save money), coupled with a clean-living diet to maximize health and strength. Being an author helps me to bring my years of experience to a general audience. I also try to emphasize in all of my books a strong message of cultivating one’s positive attributes and setting realistic goals.

I don’t think there is a worst part. I write these books because I love to and I know they’re helping others. I truly believe in everything I say in all of my books so it’s completely genuine and a reflection of me.

What is the one habit you believe contributed the most to you becoming a bestselling writer?

I think it’s having the discipline to keep persevering even when you feel deflated. I think when you are super passionate about what you do its impossible to give up. Getting a book deal is incredibly difficult and then selling the books is equally tough.

Which writer or leader has had the biggest impact on you as a writer?

I really like Malcolm Gladwell.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in your journey to becoming a bestselling author?

The advice I give anyone is stay in your lane. Write about what you know and do it really well.

A lot of people try and be a jack of all trades and a master of none.

What are the 5 things you would tell your younger self who was just starting out on their writing journey?

1. Everything is saturated, so find your niche. Basically, find what you’re good at and love to do. Then go above and beyond when doing it. For example, if you’re trying to be a trainer go beyond working out for an hour and instead create a system that sets you apart from the rest.

2. If the door hits you, find another way in.I do believe that everyone experiences challenges in life, myself included. But you can’t let these experiences deter you from following your dream or finding your passion. If one door closes, climb in through the window.

3. Remember to give back.It’s important! This is why I co-founded my charity, The Good Human Foundation.

4. Surround yourself with the right people.They say the best way to improve on a skill is to practice it with someone who is better than you. One example is when I had the privilege of attending Summit’sLA18 and got to listen to some of the world’s most successful people, like Gary Vaynerchuk and chef Jose Andres. I left feeling so inspired and still hold on to what I heard that day.

5. Fake it until you make it.Visualization can be linked to the law of attraction, and if you attract positive energy you never know what the outcome may be.

What are you most excited to work on next? Most excited to read next?

I’m excited for all of my projects, but I’m very excited about the launch of my new podcast, “Habits & Hustle.” I hope it can inspire my listeners to be their best selves and motivate them to follow their path to success. We also have some pretty cool guests on there.

In terms of books, I’m most excited to read Atomic Habits by James Clear.

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?

I am very passionate about breast cancer awareness and research. My mother is a breast cancer survivor so this topic is very close to my heart. I would inspire a larger movement of helping women get tested for breast cancer and access affordable treatments. Also, I think it goes without saying that I would also encourage everyone to stay active, even if it’s just for 5 minutes a day.

Anything else you’d like to add? 

You can check out my site at www.jennifercohen.comand follow me on Instagramfor the latest updates!


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