SPI 330: Building a Personal Brand (Because It’s Your Calling) with Jadah Sellner
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I’m stoked to have Jadah Sellner back on the show today! She was a guest over 100 episodes ago in Session 205—she’s one of the co-founders of a very successful company called Simple Green Smoothies, an amazing brand which got huge in a very short time. Yet Jadah ultimately chose to sell her portion of the company and start a personal brand. Today we’re talking about that decision, how it went, and where she’s at now in the aftermath. Whether you have a personal brand already or have thought of starting one, this episode is for you.
Jadah’s story is inspiring and informative. It’s a story about what happens when you start listening to that “whisper,” the voice in the back of your head that can lead you toward fulfillment in your business and career. In the episode, Jadah explains why she’s taken the direction she has and how she got there. She also gives us food for thought for our own journey in business and in life: Her philosophy and mindset about starting a personal brand. When we’re willing to take risks, become uncomfortable, and grow, amazing things can happen. This episode is here to help you do exactly that. Enjoy!
Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view Jadah Sellner: Yeah, so can I tell you a secret, Pat?
Pat Flynn: Yeah. Can I publish . .. Wait, is this something I could publish or is this . . . ?
Jadah Sellner: It’s totally publishable!
Pat Flynn: Oh, okay.
Jadah Sellner: I’m not passionate about green smoothies. What I’m passionate about is helping people, and this dream had been planted before Simple Green Smoothies.
Pat Flynn: You’re listening to Jadah Sellner, our special guest today, who was with us over a hundred episodes ago, in Episode 205. You might remember her as one of the co-founders of a very successful company, SimpleGreenSmoothies.com, which grew quite big in a relatively short period of time. Jadah came on before to talk about how she and Jen used challenges to help get the community together and help them build this massive following. I think they have over a half million followers on Instagram now and they came out with a book together. Things went very well, yet Jadah chose to sell her portion of the company and start a personal brand, which is a huge move, especially when you have an already successful business. We’re going to talk all about that, the decision, the hard parts, how it was planned, how it was executed, and where things are at now with Jadah Sellner from JadahSellner.com. Stick around. You can put that phone in your pocket and listen in, this is going to be a great one. Whether you already have a personal brand or you have been at any time in your life thinking of starting one, this is for you.
Announcer: Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, where it’s all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now, your host—If he didn’t maintain himself, he’d have a pretty scary looking unibrow—Pat Flynn!
Pat Flynn: Hello, and welcome to Session 330 of the Smart Passive Income Podcast. Thank you so much for being here. My name is Pat Flynn, I’m here to help you make more money, save more time, and help more people, too. Before we get to the interview with Jadah, really quick I want to tell you about an opportunity to have live training with me. You go to SmartPassiveIncome.com/live—you’ll see a lot of the upcoming trainings that I have available free for you to access, also additional information about when I’m speaking later in the future, so in case you go to the same events, we can meet each other, hang out, whatever. Just head on over to SmartPassiveIncome.com/live and sign up and register there.
Okay, awesome. Now, let’s get to today’s interview with Jadah Sellner from JadahSellner.com.
Jadah, welcome back to The Smart Passive Income Podcast, thank you so much for being here today.
Jadah Sellner: I’m so happy to be back, Pat. This conversation is very exciting for me. We were just talking about podcasts before we started recording, and it’s a wild journey that we circled back to where I have a podcast now and I’m on your podcast. I’m super excited to be here with you today.
Pat Flynn: The last time you were here, you didn’t have a podcast, and actually you were known for the other half of Simple Green Smoothies. You delivered some amazing content the last time, talking about challenges and how you used that to grow your Instagram following as well as your brand with Jen over at Simple Green Smoothies. First of all, I think even since that, you had published a book with her for that brand and had done so much stuff.
Jadah Sellner: Yes.
Pat Flynn: Now, you are building a new brand, and I’d love to discuss that. Specifically, just transitioning in general, which is I think something that all entrepreneurs do on some level, but you’ve made one of the biggest ones that I’ve seen and I’d love to unpack that. Just give us a kind of update since the last conversation on some of the cool things that have happened with that brand, and maybe even diving into the exit a little bit if you wanted to discuss that.
Jadah Sellner: Yeah. Simple Green Smoothies, the published book, it’s in Barnes & Noble and it’s on Amazon. It was a number one best-seller in all three categories for the first month that it published. We have over 500 five-star reviews on that book, which is amazing. What’s super, super cool is we actually got approached to do a second book deal and Jen will have that book coming out later—I think in the fall of this year.
Pat Flynn: No way. That’s super cool.
Jadah Sellner: Yeah, which, I’m so excited. Here’s the thing about that piece. I actually helped write the book proposal for the second book deal knowing that I wasn’t going to continue with the company. I said, “I feel like I’m shopping for a house with my soon-to-be ex-husband,” because anyone who has business partners knows that it’s basically a marriage and your team are like your kids and you’re sharing finances and you’re having conversations about just so many deep things. There’s nothing you spend more time on, besides being with your family, than the work that you do in the world.
It was not easy to make the exit for something that we built that was so beautiful and was built with so much love. If people listen back to our past conversation about talking about challenges, we also shared some pretty cool ways on how we just express love in business. That’s what I’m really taking a stand for today, is business is personal, and I talk about the ABCs of love, of we want to feel acknowledged, feel a sense of belonging, and a sense of connection. I carry that. That’s just a part of who I am and I’m carrying that into my brand today, but I will tell you it was not easy to walk away from a business like that that had become so well-known, and having a book deal on the table. It took a lot of bravery.
Pat Flynn: First of all, when we’re talking about challenges, there are always going to be challenges in businesses, right? Like this one of leaving and exiting a really great company. But we were discussing on the last podcast, creating challenges for your audience to participate in to grow your business. That strategy still continued to work. I actually got a lot of great advice from Jadah when we were in Australia together speaking at Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger event and getting some really, really specific advice on how to run a challenge myself, which is what you spoke about.
I have been running this challenge kind of in an evergreen manner ever since then—100Emails.com, to help people build their email list, which then converts users into a ConvertKit account through my affiliate links. It is producing affiliate income, so thank you, Jadah, for that because that was pretty special to see that go down and have all the tactics in place from there. But my question for you related to this book proposal—which what an analogy to give, I completely understand that—did she know when you were writing that, that you were exiting, or when did that conversation start?
Jadah Sellner: Yeah so I exited, signed a contract November 2016, but it was actually almost a year before where we started getting curious about where my commitments were and where I was going. I did a keynote presentation at World Domination Summit and I feel that was just like a trickle effect of how obsessed I am about talking about business and marketing and going after your dreams. We started working with a coach to help us get clear on, “Does Jadah want to stay, or is Jadah ready for that next chapter in her business?” I got pretty clear in January of 2016 that it was time for me to move on, but it took me almost a year to actually be like, “Okay, yes, we’re going to do it. We’re going to sign the contract.”
It was one of those things where I knew it was the right next step and I was still so scared. I built a business where my husband was able to quit his job of thirteen years, so it almost had that same thing of people who are exiting a corporate, you know, their nine-to-five job, where you’re like, “I know how much money is coming” and all of these things. One of my biggest fears was that no one, which is ironic, no one would want to interview me on their podcasts anymore because I wasn’t behind Simple Green Smoothies anymore. No one would want me to speak on stages anymore, when we just talked about how we just spoke in Australia together last year. But I just thought everyone would kind of forget about me. Like, that my identity or my worth or my value was attached to the business that I built.
Pat Flynn: Wow. I can imagine that being a very difficult decision, but I think the question that everybody is wondering is why would you leave such a thing? It was a beautiful . . . I mean, it is a beautiful business. It’s a beautiful book that you guys wrote together and a beautiful story behind it.
Jadah Sellner: Yeah.
Pat Flynn: Tell us what was going through your head and why.
Jadah Sellner: Yeah, so can I tell you a secret, Pat?
Pat Flynn: Yeah. Can I publish . . . Wait, is this something I could publish or is this . . . ?
Jadah Sellner: It’s totally publishable!
Pat Flynn: Oh, okay.
Jadah Sellner: I’m not passionate about green smoothies. What I’m passionate about is helping people, and this dream had been planted before Simple Green Smoothies took off, before I had the parenting blog that Jen and I—actually that was our first iteration of business together. I learned how to spell the word entrepreneur when I was nine years old and I always had all of these ideas running in my mind. I would buy Google domains, you know, GoDaddy domains and website ideas, and just never got to follow through. Then, once I started my first brick and mortar business in Kauai and then Simple Green Smoothies took off, to me I was just looking for credibility and proof of concept that you can plant a dream and actually make it a reality.
Simple Green Smoothies really gave me that opportunity of proof of concept, that people would actually listen to me, because I don’t have a college degree, I didn’t really have any business before telling people how to run their businesses, but I knew that the work that I’m doing today is actually the work that I’ve been wanting to do for many, many years and I actually . . . I wrote my three-year vision in, it was October 2013, which was actually just a few months after Jen and I had our first big launch. It was $86,000 in ten days and I already wanted to help other people build a successful business.
I actually read my three-year vision to her to have my coming out party of “I’m complete with this.” In that three-year vision I wrote, “My dream clients are world-changing moms who are building successful business empires. I work with these women one-on-one and in retreats.” This is before I ever had the JadahSellner.com website, before I ever offered any coaching or thought about it. It was a vision that was planted and I didn’t know how it was going to happen. When I went back to my three-year vision and I read it to Jen, it was like everything clicked and connected of like, “Ah, there’s more to your path and journey than Simple Green Smoothies.”
Pat Flynn: For you internally, that’s when it kind of all came together and it made sense that there was much more to be done, and many more kinds of people to serve.
Jadah Sellner: Yes.
Pat Flynn: I would imagine that—and I don’t want to get into super, deep details of like the partnership and those kinds of things. I do have a couple higher-level questions related to that, because I think this is interesting. A lot of us are building businesses that maybe perhaps have partners, or might one day have a partner and we want to know what happens, so I appreciate you sharing all this. But when you read that three-year vision to Jen, I mean, I can see that being taken in a few ways. I think more than anything, you shared that early before any decisions were made versus like, “Hey, Jen. I know that I’ve been here for a number of years, but I’m out next week. I’m sorry.”
Jadah Sellner: Right, right, right. No, we definitely had a long transition period. We were very well-prepared and we both . . . I think the time, even though it felt like my heart was ready for the next step, and I think a lot of people experience this, there’s also mental preparation that needs to happen and being able to inform our team. It’s just like, just doing it so delicately, and we really did it with a lot of intention, a lot of love. There was definitely fears and challenges along the way, but our intention was just so much integrity, and to do it in such a loving way. We ran a Mastermind group together with Todd Herman and our last in-person Mastermind meeting, we made an announcement of like, we’re consciously uncoupling. It was definitely—we had a lot of time to allow it to unfold and have all the pieces in place, so both of us felt as confident as you can when you don’t know what it’s going to be like on the other side, to really take care of each other, to take care of the team, and to take care of the community that we serve.
Pat Flynn: That’s wonderful. I think it’s important to have those kinds of people in your life that can help support you no matter which way you want to go. I think that’s a part of the reason why this is a very successful sort of move into the next area of your life for you. Now, you know I know, because we work together too, you have run these retreats. You are now serving these women that you’ve dreamt of serving and you’re serving even more now, which is great, so congratulations to you on successful transition, and all of what’s about to happen as well, which I’m sure is going to be even bigger and better than Simple Green Smoothies for you in reaching your goals. Going back into this transition, because man, there’s so many times in an entrepreneur’s life, as you know, especially now helping others too, where we could go a different direction. Right? As small as, “Oh, I don’t know if I should write a blog post about that or this today,” to something big like what you’ve done. A very common one that I know I’ve come across is perhaps I launch a product and it doesn’t go as well or as planned. I start questioning myself, I start questioning the direction I’m going, I kind of feel lost sometimes. How do you coach, or how would you recommend a person to wrap their head around really what they’re meant for, and having that influence what they do?
Jadah Sellner: Yeah, so I think one thing is really paying attention to the work that you can’t not do, is really important. It’s like, I keep trying to not do this thing and it’s just like, all the signs, all the roads point in that direction. Oprah has a really great interview where she talks about this whisper that comes and you keep hearing it over and over again. You’re like, “No, no, no, no, no, that’s going to mess up everything.” Then she’s like, and then it turns into a pebble, and then it turns into a knock upside your head. Just paying attention to that whisper of where your heart, your soul is calling you, and I know that’s very fairy and dreamy, but then the tangible pieces that you add to the calling, to the whisper, is actually to embrace beta.
I have a friend, Amy, she said this term to me and it totally stuck, which is just embrace beta. So it’s not like you have to get it right the first time, and I don’t think we give ourselves enough opportunities to have a first rough draft, and so that piece of the puzzle is super important.
So something that I think a lot of people don’t know that I did while I was growing Simple Green Smoothies: I knew this calling was on the side, and so I invested my money into building a personal brand website: JadahSellner.com. And I’m like, “I’m just going to make up some offers and put them here just to like, kind of open . . . I’m open for business,” but then it was about testing. So every quarter I would test a different idea: A six week group coaching program, a two day in-person retreat, a ninety minute one on one call. So I just started trying things on to start building the next evolution of the business model that I would want it to lean into next.
And so if you can think about the things that . . . like, let it be okay to test and experiment and to try things on. And if for those who have nine to five jobs, it’s actually, don’t judge yourself or beat yourself up for having that, because it’s actually good that you can kind of fund your heart project.
So I talk about cash projects and heart projects, and sometimes your cash project is the nine to five job, but then you can pull that money and those resources into testing what the heart project is, and “can we turn the heart project into a viable business?”
Pat Flynn: Wow, I really love that. And it just makes it seem a little bit easier when you say it as, you know, just start something on the side, test it out. And what did you learn during that testing process over that year when you were building that?
Jadah Sellner: One thing that I learned was, I use jealousy. I call it being peanut butter and jelly about someone else’s business model or offer. So, when you see something that someone else is doing, I would use that as fuel of like, “that would be an interesting test for me to try on and do.” And what I would learn is once I did it, sometimes I’m like, “Well I don’t want to do that.” Like, we think that we want someone else’s business, and so the best way to get over the jealousy hump is just to try it on, put an offer out, and see if you even like it. Because we admire these businesses and these offers from afar.
And then I love this question that my right hand, Michelle, she’s on my team, she asks me after every new project or iteration that I do of something: Did that give you energy or did it drain you? And that is what I use, my filter of like, “did that give me energy or drain me?” And then I just delete it off my website and like, “you know what, I’m not doing ninety-minute calls for anybody anymore because it didn’t feel like I could get enough results for people in ninety minutes.” And so I like to be in it for the long game, a longer period of time when I’m coaching and mentoring people. And so I learned that. But it was one of my first offers, and then I just deleted it from my Work with Me page.
Pat Flynn: Wow. “Does it give you energy or does it drain you?” I love that as sort of a way to test whether or not, so nice job, Michelle. I like that test. What’s an example of something? So you had mentioned that the 90 minute calls were, that was something that kind of . . . you could tell that drained you, so you removed that option. What’s something that gave you a ton of energy after you experimented and tried with it?
Jadah Sellner: Oh, in-person retreats. Just bringing like minded women together in the same space of just saying your dreams out loud and brainstorming and ideating about marketing strategies, but doing it in a way that’s in alignment. There’s something . . . I led an event this past weekend, a three day event and the women, we were sitting in circle, we were meditating and just connecting to our breath, connecting to our heart and then going to head places.
So I’m very good at bridging heart to head. It’s like, “okay, we’re going to get in that dreamy place and then we’re going to talk business, we’re going to talk strategy, and we’re going to talk about implementing and taking action,” and you can just get so much done when you’re in the same room with people. Then you can even do online—and I’ve actually seen you do that with your Power-Up Podcasting course. You have the course, which is self study. And I did the self study course, which is one of maybe three courses I’ve ever completed from the beginning to the end.
Pat Flynn: Thank you.
Jadah Sellner: But you also have an in person version, where it’s like, “we can mull over something for six weeks or three months or three years, or we could just get it done in this concentrated amount of time.” And I just don’t think there’s anything better than bringing people face to face, heart to heart, together. And so that lights me up so much. And it’s not even about the teaching and the training as much as it’s about bringing people together to just be in the same room, who are interested in the same things, and that is the power of community building.
Pat Flynn: That’s really cool. I want to ask you questions about that, but I do want to mention that the Power-Up Podcasting Fast Track Workshop, as we call it, is a two-day event that happens over a weekend here in San Diego. It happens every once in a while. I’ll have links in the show notes if you’re curious about that. But I tried it out for the first time in September of 2017 as an experiment. Like, exactly what you’re talking about, because I was just like, “I don’t know if this is gonna work or not.”
First of all, I didn’t know if it was even going to sell. So you know, part of the experiment is, “Is this even something people want? And yes, they signed up for it rather quickly. And then I did it and then Jess my executive assistant asked a similar question afterwards, michelle reminded me of this, and she goes, “So are we doing it again or not?” and you know, and I’m like, “We’re doing it again,” because I just was on such a high, too. I agree with you on the in person retreats, but I’ll tell you, I don’t know if you felt this way too Jadah, but I was scared. I was nervous. I’d never done anything like that before. And I’m thankful that I’m at a point in my entrepreneurial journey now where I know that that fear means I need to do it. And then of course once it gets started it’s like, “Oh, this is awesome. I want to do more. And this is great. It’s just everything leading up to it.” It’s like . . . it’s like if you are going skydiving. I’ve never been because I’m scared of heights.
Jadah Sellner: Which means you have to do it.
Pat Flynn: Okay, Jadah, No. I heard Will Smith talk about this. He says the point at which you have the most fear when you’re skydiving is when you’re on the plane, when you’re safe. But then once you jump out of the plane or push off, you’re blissful, you’re flying, and you’re freed, you’re happy, even though that’s actually the point of maximum danger. And I think it’s the same way for us too. Did you feel a lot of fear and nervousness before your retreat?
Jadah Sellner: Every single one that I do.
Pat Flynn: Oh, even in sub sequential ones, you still feel this?
Jadah Sellner: Yeah. You know, anytime that I’m doing something new curriculum-wise or you know—and I’m sure you feel the same thing, when we’re preparing for speeches as well. It’s like the one that you’ve done before, you’re kind of like, “Sweet. I know what I’m going to say.” But it’s that first one, where you don’t know if what you teach or share is going to land yet.
And so there is that. And I’m a last minute . . . I just have to own it, that I don’t do things until like two to three days before. I’m like, the schedule, I’m thinking about it, you know, for several weeks. But it’s like—it’s that pressure cooker, the last moment where I make the final decisions on the pieces, and putting them all together, and they come together beautifully, and then I contact my designer who I actually met at the 1 Day Business Breakthrough, when we first met in person for your and Chris Tucker’s event.
And I still work with Chris Beltran, and he just did last minute designs for me last week. I was like, “I really wanted to get you this two weeks ago.” And he’s like, “I completely understand. I’m the same way.”
Yeah, there’s so much fear that is being built up during that time. I’m the same way with talks, of just being in front of people, you know? But at the same time when I’m onstage, I’m like, “I love this, this is amazing.” And then everyone comes up to you after and then you’re like, “Let’s do it again.” And then you forget what comes with that, all the fear and the nervousness and the adrenaline.
Pat Flynn: How come the fear shows up when it’s something that we could love so much?
Jadah Sellner: I love that question, and what I’ve noticed for me preparing for a TEDx talk, preparing, you know, even putting a published book out there, when you’re live and then you know it might be recorded or recorded in people’s minds and hearts from the experience, like, you can’t edit anything, you can’t delete it. And so that’s for me where that fear or pressure, that extra level of pressure comes, for me.
It’s like, “people are gonna see this and I can’t take it back.” You know, we can edit a blog post, we can delete a podcast episode, we can remove, you know, a social media post, but there’s other things that are a little bit more permanent that people will experience, or it’s recorded and it’s published publicly and you don’t have control to get rid of it. That’s for me, that’s where the fear comes from, is like, I want to get it right.
Pat Flynn: And is that true for everybody, or do different people have different reasons to essentially almost self-sabotage themselves?
Jadah Sellner: Yeah, I just had a good conversation with Jill Stanton from Screw the Nine to Five, and I think a common theme that I see for women is we want to over-give. We want to do it right. And so there’s this fear that we might disappoint somebody or let them down, and our worth is caught up in that. And so there’s that . . . you know, there’s studies around like, we want to feel that sense of belonging and if we feel like we won’t belong, there’s a fear in that. There’s like a natural fear in our bodies that’s like, “No, no, no, I don’t want to be outed from this group. I want everyone to like me.”
Pat Flynn: Right. Oh, there’s so many ways that we can go in this conversation related to that, but I do want to talk about where you’re headed now and kind of what your goals are and how you are realizing those things. I mean, what was it like after that last day? I don’t know if you had a specific date or you were like, “All right, that’s my last day of work.” Even though it wasn’t really work-work. But it was with your partner. Like what was it like immediately after? Because Simple Green Smoothies was such a big part of your life, did you feel like something was missing? Or was it like a weight off your shoulder? Or kind of what was going through your head at that point?
Jadah Sellner: Yeah, it was definitely a sense of relief because there was so much buildup to the exit. So it was almost like there was this space and openness and possibility on the other side. But there was also grieving, you know, like I was used to having a full team that I built, you know, products in place, community in place. There were systems in place.
So there was a sense of grieving and not having, you know, a partner to bounce ideas off of with on a consistent basis. It was like, “Oh, I’m the only decision maker in the company now.” And so that rebuilding and you know, I spent the following year actually . . . I think I worked and traveled for—I mean I traveled for about 100 days out of 2017, and I think it was just needing to kind of reset and realign and reconnect with my family during that time, and it felt really, really good and also like, “Wait, what did I say I was going to build again on the other side of this?”
But I mean, even with my personal brand, because I was so intentional with testing those offerings while I was still in Simple Green Smoothies, I actually was able to have a multiple six-figure business my first full year on my own, and that would not have happened had I not done the test and iterations every quarter along the way.
And so I just, for those who have kids and partners, it’s okay to build slow on the side. I give you full permission to be intentional and strategic so you just don’t burn everything down.
Pat Flynn: What about the aspect of moving from Simple Green Smoothies, which is Simple Green Smoothies—it has its own sort of realm of things that it talks about obviously, and yes you were, you know, seen in that brand to now the brand is your name. I mean, your website is JadahSellner.com. What have been some of the big challenges for you related to the personal brand and the development of that, that differs from Simple Green Smoothies?
Jadah Sellner: Oh, it’s been such a struggle, Pat, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to work with you and be part of your SPI Accelerator, because I feel like you do a great job of infusing, you know, putting your family and your health first and showing up as you are.
I just want to share a quick story that I noticed, and then I’ll go into the challenges. But I was inside your Facebook group for Power-Up Podcasting and people were asking about, “We want to learn about list building from you, Pat.” And everyone was talking about, you know, Amy Porterfield’s course, and people were just saying like, “No, but I want to learn it from you, Pat.” So there’s something very powerful about having that personal brand, right? To show up as who you are in the world, that people are attracted to you.
So I always say there are no unique messages, only unique messengers, and so we can feel like somebody’s already done this business model before or somebody, you know, wrote a book about that, and I just want you to throw that out the window. Just know that your idea might not necessarily be the most original in town. We don’t have to make up these fancy titles that no one’s ever heard of, you know, like “I’m a business strategist maven queen bee,” you know, when people are like, “What is that and what do they do?”
You know we can, we can keep it simple. We can keep the message simple. But where the unique blueprint comes in is you being who you are, and I think that you have done such a phenomenal job with that. And I just wanted to share that story to highlight the power of the personal branding because even though they could get great information from Amy, they still want to learn from you. So that’s something.
Pat Flynn: Thank you for that. I mean, that’s why the podcasting course exists in the first place, is because my audience was asking me for that, even though I was always giving people a few other recommendations that I had. Yet they still wanted to get it from me. They wouldn’t have started a podcast unless I helped them do it. That’s really cool. So I am glad you’re sharing this, in terms of the power behind a personal brand, because now you are creating a personal brand. In what way are you . . .
Jadah Sellner: Struggling?
Pat Flynn: Yeah, sure. I mean, yeah, I mean thank you for being honest and up front with us because this is really nice to hear, especially from somebody who has built a very successful business and now is creating her own thing. Like, what are the struggles right now?
Jadah Sellner: Yeah. So I think, you know, one of the struggles is definitely using my name. I just didn’t know what the business idea was in 2014, and I was like, “Well, I know one thing that’s not going to change: my name.” So it’s just for me to get out of the indecision, and then a struggle is also with—it feels for me right now . . . this is true for me right now . . . it can feel more selfish, more self-absorbed, and I know that’s not true, but that’s what it feels like to me. Where I’m like “Oh, if it was a company, then it’s more about the movement and the community and it’s not the Jadah Sellner Show.” And people wanted me to have the podcast—“like it should be your name.” Actually Azhul, who was a good mutual friend of ours and does the book coaching, he’s like, “But you, your name,” and I’m just like “No, I cannot.” It’s just so much easier for me when it’s a company name, a movement, a community. I do struggle with it being personal brand.
And then another thing is, as much as I identify with building a beautiful lifestyle and have a business that supports that, I don’t want to glorify my own lifestyle, even though I know it can be aspirational. I do travel a lot with my family to really cool places. I’m speaking on stages. I’m meeting really cool people. I’ve spoken on stages with you, and Gary Vaynerchuk, and and Seth Godin. Just all these cool people, but I actually don’t share about it a lot or enough, because there’s this fear in me that doesn’t want to feel like I’m bragging or gloating, or also creating a myth that you can only have a successful business if you’re speaking on these stages. You can only have a successful business if you’re doing, X, Y, Z.
I also don’t want to paint this false picture of, “Here’s the steps you need to be successful.” I do truly want people to create that own definition of success for themselves, and you don’t have to speak on big stages to build a profitable business that helps people and changes people’s lives. And also you don’t have to have . . . we built our email list to 355,000 email subscribers, and I don’t want people to think that “Well, if I never build it to that, then I’m not going to have a business, so why even start? That’s just too hard.”
One thing that I love testing with my personal brand, was I did a beta launch and it had 300 people on the waitlist for my Build Your Challenge online course, and it was a $20,000 launch, and it was a test. I had not created the course yet. It was going to be a live four-hour workshop. I wanted to prove that you don’t need a big audience to make a difference in the world. And so I think part of the personal brand struggle for me is I have accomplished a lot in a short amount of time, and I don’t want to glorify that where people think, “That’s the only way I can be successful.”
Pat Flynn: Mm-hmm. Well first of all, congratulations on the launch with a list of 300. That takes care of that objection there, right?
Jadah Sellner: Yes.
Pat Flynn: It’s interesting, when you were sharing all these things in your head, you were also following them up with the reality of basically telling . . . I don’t know if you’re telling yourself or telling all of us, or maybe both, that well, that’s not true. You don’t need that in order to be successful. And I think that just naturally what’s going to happen is you’ll find, Jadah, over time . . . because I do similar things. I have a very large brand. It’s Smart Passive Income, and I do share my income reports and places I go and people I see. But because it’s always me and because I’m always looking to “How does that sharing of this serve them?” then that always cushions the bragging part of it.
Jadah Sellner: Right.
Pat Flynn: With the income reports, for example, it wasn’t just “Hey, guys. Look at how much money I made last night. All right, here’s what happened. This went up, this went down. Here’s what you need to know so this doesn’t happen to you,” kind of thing. When I go to speak on stages, it’s often about the journey to get there, not about the fact that I am there, and those kinds of things. And I think injecting those kinds of things in your business will just—that’s naturally you anyway. And I would just say don’t be afraid to share these things, because they are aspirational.
And when they connect with you, for you, yet you are still able to reach those heights, people want to come along for the ride, and they believe they can do it too, because they know where you came from. And I think that’s the big thing. I never fail to, and I purposefully always remind people about my story and where I came from, because it’s now been ten years. It’s almost ten years since I got let go. But that let go story continues to come back. This is why I wrote the book Let Go, is to give people a full account of the fact that I wasn’t born into this. I didn’t go to business school. This happened in my life, and it was one of the hardest things I’d ever gone through, but here’s what it turned into.
I would encourage you just to be more open with those kinds of things as you build your personal brand, because that’s personal and unique and original to you. And you’re already doing these things, I’m just telling you that you’re—
Jadah Sellner: No, they’re great. I’m writing notes, writing down, “Yes, yes, that’s a great one.”
Pat Flynn: This isn’t a coaching call. But you’re so personable. Use that to your advantage, and I get inspired when I see you in different places and on TEDx Talks. And as you know, marketing-wise, that’s proof that you are somebody to pay attention to. And so you can serve and share and sell at the same time.
Jadah Sellner: Absolutely. Yeah, I think that’s a great reminder, and it’s also . . . another struggle that I want to share with the personal brand and transitioning, I noodled for several months of writing a coming out letter of, “Okay, I’m not at Simple Green Smoothies anymore and here is who I am today.” And that actually can be a really hard question to answer, that we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to say who we are and we want to inspire and activate people. I spend many months and many life coaching calls, mastermind calls, spending time on figuring out how I was going to announce it publicly to the rest of the world.
And I made it a really, really big deal behind the scenes, where everyone’s like, on the outside people are just going to get it and they’re going to be okay, but I definitely spent some few months of like, who am I? What do I stand for? What am I known for now? And also the challenge of being known as the Green Smoothie Girl or the List-Building Challenge Girl, and just finding my voice along the way of what really matters to me. And I know one of the questions that you asked was what am I up to today? And one thing that I got really clear with the podcast, and actually Pat, people listen to the first episode that we did together, that interview that we did. The Ebooks the Smart Way, that was instrumental for Simple Green Smoothies’s growth. And then us speaking at ProBlogger, I was just like, “I’m so interested in your Power-Up Podcasting course, and I want to get access. I know it’s closed,” and you just spoke a certain word to me that was just so helpful. You were just like, “You’re one of the good ones.”
That just stuck with me, and then you shared some really insightful tips on how I could leverage the podcast and I’ve been thinking about podcasts for a while, but that was the shift. The power of someone seeing you, I think, is so important, and so I feel like you really saw me, and I was able to like, “All right, I’m going to do this course. I’m going to set a date, February 14th. Lead with Love.” And when I got clear with what the podcast means to me, is it my mission. The podcast is for me to use my voice for good and to share access with mentors, authors, business leaders that I’ve had the privilege of meeting, to make those voices and their experiences accessible to anyone in the world. That it is free to give. I don’t look at my podcast as a marketing strategy. I do believe I’m in it for the long game, and accessibility is a really big word for me, of being a woman of color, being a mom, and being married and starting a business with no business degree, that what I’ve learned I can share with more people.
Pat Flynn: Well, you are one of the good ones, Jadah, which is why I resonate with you and your message and your new direction so much, and I want to do everything I can to support you with that. And I’m imaging that there are going to be people who are listening to this right now who are like, “Jadah’s—that’s who I need right now.” If that is what they’re thinking, where should they go to find out more?
Jadah Sellner: Yeah, if you want to learn just more about me for big picture, you can go to JadahSellner.com, and then if you’re someone that’s like, “I’m a woman, I’m a creative, and I’m building and growing a business. I’m wanting to really move to that next level,” you can actually go to LoveoverMetrics.com, which is an incubator that I have started for women, building businesses in a way that is aligned, and we focus on three key things:
One is ideation, being able to test and experiment, and if you guys haven’t read Pat’s Let Go, it would be a perfect place of what ideation really means. And then integration, so actually creating an intentional plan on how you’re going to execute that. And then implementation, we’re actually going to take action. We co-work together. We mastermind—and really building a business where we’re leading with love in our companies, in our lives as leaders, and not compromising our health and our relationships in the process. Because I know as a woman, as a mom, there is a pull and a tug between our personal family life and how we show up in our businesses. It’s something that I’m super passionate about, is people taking action on ideas worth implementing in the world.
Pat Flynn: So awesome. Thank you, Jadah. And I love the term Love over Metrics, as we do get a little swayed by the numbers every once in a while, and I think that it all starts with love and caring and serving, and the metrics will happen after that.
Jadah Sellner: Yeah, yeah. Numbers matter in business. We both know that.
Pat Flynn: Yes.
Jadah Sellner: We need numbers to have a sustainable, profitable business where we can take care of our team. Love over Metrics doesn’t mean that numbers don’t matter. It just means love first. It means people first. It means remembering the humans and the beating hearts behind the numbers, so we don’t get caught up in, “How many followers do I have? How big is my email list? How much money did that bring in?” It’s like, we still have to come back to “Are we fully showing up to serve our community, to solve problems, and to create transformation in their lives?” And if we can come from that place first . . . and you were on the Lead With Love podcast, and you illustrated this so beautifully, it’s just service first. Serve first.
Pat Flynn: Jadah, thank you so much for this inspirational chat today, and I think it’s going to help out a lot of people, especially those who are in those transitional periods in their lives, and so nothing else to say, but thank you for being you, and I’m so excited about this new journey that you’ve started a long time ago. And it’s only going to grow and get bigger, and you’re only going to serve more people, and I hope those of you in the audience who want to connect with Jadah do. Jadah, thank you so much. I appreciate you, and I look forward to your next episode, and everybody should check out your podcasts, and we’ll have all the notes and stuff on the show notes page, but thank you again for coming on. You’re awesome.
Jadah Sellner: Thank you, Pat.
Pat Flynn: Wow! I hope you enjoy that interview with Jadah. You can find her in multiple places. Obviously JadahSellner.com. I would also highly recommend checking out her podcast, Lead with Love, and you can find that on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts, and then finally LoveoverMetrics.com, those of you may want to work even more with Jadah and you dig her style, and you want that accountability and handholding and community. All you have to do is go to LoveoverMetrics.com and you can check her out there.
Now if you want the show notes for those links and all the other links and everything else mentioned in this episode, all you have to do is go to SmartPassiveIncome.com/session330. One more time, SmartPassiveIncome.com/session330. Thanks again for being here. I appreciate you. And make sure to check out my live page at SmartPassiveIncome.com/live. If you want to check out my upcoming trainings and register there, they’re free for you, and they’re there to help you in any which way I can, with webinars and other free trainings. You’ll also see my upcoming speaking schedule there as well, which gets updated every once in a while, too. So cheers. Thanks so much, I appreciate you, and I’ll see you the next episode of the Smart Passive Income podcast. Peace.
Announcer: Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast at www.SmartPassiveIncome.com.
Find out more about Jadah at JadahSellner.com or by listening to her podcast, Lead with Love. And if you’re a female creator and you’re growing a business and want to move to the next level, check out Jadah’s new incubator project: LoveoverMetrics.com.
In this episode I talk about the Power-Up Podcasting Fast Track Workshop—a live, two-day podcasting training that I hold in San Diego—and how I decided to do it for the first time. If you want to learn more, go right here.
And hey—really quick before you head out—I just wanted to mention that I’ve been doing a bunch of live webinars and free trainings recently. If you want to see when the next training is, and also where I’m speaking next, go to SmartPassiveIncome.com/live. If you’re looking for help on starting a podcast, how to do affiliate marketing, or even if you’re starting a business from scratch, that’s where to go. See you there!
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Special thanks to Jadah Sellner for joining me this week. Until next time!
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You'll LearnWhy Jadah decided to exit the Simple Green Smoothies brand, and how that process went.
How Jadah learned to plant dreams and make them a reality.
Why you should pay special attention to the things you can't not do.
How to listen to the "whispering voice" to find direction in your business.
The difference between money and heart projects, and how they complement each other.
Why fear shows up, even when you're doing something you love.
The challenges Jadah has faced so far while building her personal brand.
Why Jadah struggled with using her name in her brand.
Why Jadah started her podcast, why she doesn't see it as a "marketing strategy," and more!
ResourcesEpisode 205 of the Smart Passive Income Podcast
Power-Up Podcasting Fast Track Workshop
Build Your Challenge Online Course
Let Go book
Ebooks the Smart Way
Lead with Love podcast
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