Why You Need To Take a Stand with Your Business with Jenny Fenig
Taking a stand with your business is scary. You risk alienating current or future clients or might end up upsetting someone. As a result, you might lose clients. However, there’s a saying that goes: If you speak to everyone, you speak to no one. If you truly want your customers to love you, you have to take a stand.
No one knows this better than Jenny Fenig. She’s a spiritual business coach and brand strategist who helps her clients make money from their calling. After a successful corporate career, she created the Get Gutsy coach certification school and runs a podcast with the same name, where she teaches her listeners how to attract ideal clients and take the next steps in their coaching business. Throughout her career, Jenny has learned what it means for a business owner to take a bold stand, and what it can do for their business. Here, she shares her insights.
Finding Her Calling
Jenny’s always been good at communicating and writing. She grew up in the Southern part of the United States but moved to New York to continue her career in public relations. She ended up working for big brands like Kellogg Cereals, M&M candies and Pfizer. “I even worked on the Viagra campaign, which was a wild adventure,” Jenny remembers. However, while she enjoyed her work, she soon got the feeling that this couldn’t be it for her. There had to be more.
Jenny decided to change careers and became a conference producer. “I became a researcher when I started at this company. I interviewed executives, asking them about their biggest challenges, what was keeping them up at night. It really prepared me to become an entrepreneur down the line.” Jenny’s job was to create the agenda of the conferences. She would choose which topics were going to attract an audience and recruited speakers. Even though she enjoyed meeting important speakers, the voice inside her head once again said: This isn’t it. “That’s when I surrendered. I got very honest with myself and knew that I was curious about going deeper into Yoga practice. So I signed up for a yoga teacher training.”
After her first training, she walked back into her office and resigned. “I quit a six figure job without knowing what I was going to do next. The only thing I knew was that I couldn’t continue doing that. I was under a lot of pressure to perform and produce, and didn’t even have time to figure out what I really wanted.”
Discovering the coaching world has been a game changer for her. Soon after she had signed up for the training, Jenny built her own business in 2008. “It got very clear to me that I was here to serve women, so I started helping women with their businesses. My focus was on women who wanted to become coaches, who were taking their craft and wanted to reach a lot more people with their message.”
The Essence of a Coach
When Jenny started, there weren’t as many coaches around as there are today. “There’s a lot of people out there who call themselves coaches but don’t really know what that is, and they don’t necessarily represent the field of coaching in the best way.” Jenny realized this in 2015. “On one side, there are great coaches who don’t understand how to create a business, and on the other side, we have fabulous marketers calling themselves coaches but burning their clients because they don’t understand what a coach is really meant to do.”
When you’re an entrepreneur, Jenny says, you notice where there’s an issue, a gap in the market. “If you’re really called to do something about it, you’ll do it. I created my coaching school to solve this problem, and to teach people how to be both a coach and have a business.”
But what makes a good coach? “There’s certainly no one size fits all,” Jenny says. “Clients often look for processes and step by step guides. But ultimately, there’s not one way that fits for everyone. It’s more about credibility and a coach’s way of guiding people. Have they actually ran a business before they call themselves a business coach?”
In many cases, people have a coaching certificate but no real experience running a business. “My coaching school offers a certification option, but it’s not required. I really believe in honouring one’s craft, and to not just be in it because business coaching pays money. There are so many directions you can go. Do the thing that you’re called to do.”
Use Your Platform to Make a Stand
Being a coach brings power and responsibilities. “For one, you can say whatever you want. You’re not working for another company, your message doesn’t have to be approved by seven people first. As coaches, not only do we have this awesome opportunity to build a business, but we have the responsibility to use the platform that we have been given. We have a responsibility to speak about things that are wrong in this world.” Jenny gets very clear on this point: “If you aren’t willing to use this platform to take a stand, you don’t deserve a platform.”
She certainly ruffled a few feathers with this attitude, but she’s convinced that this is the purpose of a business owner. “People who really get my attention are the ones who took a bold stand. They were willing to be misunderstood, to be the lightning rod for things, because that’s their responsibility. I want to do my part, and of course I’m going to speak about coaching, business, social media. But if I ignore the bigger issues, then what am I really doing here?”
Often, this means mixing politics with business. “I’ve made a choice to invest in causes I care about through my business. We give to various organizations who are doing powerful things or people who had to fight disadvantages straight out of the gate. If you’re called to speak up about something, do it.” Jenny is also very passionate about gun control. “When you take a stand on issues like these, not everyone’s going to be for you. You will encounter resistance and criticism. But it’s worth a lot to get clear on who you’re for and who you’re not for.”
The Inner Circle
A lot of women are afraid to take a stand because of the backlash they might receive, Jenny says. “Women are being attacked more than men. We have Gary V, we don’t have a female Gary V, because a woman who would speak like him would not get away with it as much.”
In order to stand up to online trolls and people who pull you down, it’s important to have an inner circle of people who have your back, no matter what. “When you feel exposed or under attack, you feel unsafe. This can activate anxiety or panic, and that’s why it’s so important to have a group of people around you who stand by you.” In the end, it’s also about the weight you give to certain people’s opinions. “You need to figure out whose opinions really matter to you. The whole world doesn’t need to share your opinion, your inner circle is enough.”
Taking a stand can be scary, and might throw off some people from working with you. “But the ones who agree with you will run down your doors, and tell their friends about you. It’s refreshing when you see someone being clear about who they are and what they stand for.”
Coaches have a wonderful opportunity to be the change they wish to see in the world, and to encourage people to do their part. “And don't you want to create a community where you can be yourself, and your audience can be themselves, and together you’re doing something great? That’s heaven to me. That's when you've achieved the thing that we all really want, which is the opportunity to live truthfully.”
Need some help with your time management? Jenny has created a tool to show you how to chunk your time, batch your tasks and get smarter about how to make some big traction in your business. Use it for free on Jennyfenig.com/schedule.
Connect with Jenny Fenig:
- Free Gift: Reclaim Your Time Template
- Jenny on Facebook
- Instagram – Jenny
- Jenny on LinkedIn
Come to Iceland in 2020 for the Selfmade Summit 2020
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