Jennifer Martin – Owner of Zest Business Consulting

[quote style=”boxed”]Trust your gut, move beyond your comfort zone, and take leaps of faith.[/quote]

Jennifer Martin is a Certified EMyth Business Coach, owner of Zest Business Consulting, and author of More Love, More Joy! Simple Steps to Improving Your Relationship and Your Life – Jennifer has been consulting since 1999 and presenting seminars for more than 20 years.

Jennifer’s passion has always been helping her clients align themselves with their inner desires and move quickly into the most enjoyable and financially satisfying versions of their lives imaginable.

What are you working on right now?

A presentation, ongoing coaching program, and book called A Holistic Approach to Business Growth – Business Success in the New Business Paradigm geared to help business owners, managers, leaders, and salespeople grow their businesses.

Where did the idea for Zest Business Consulting come from?

At the beginning of every calendar year I do what I call Recommit or Reinvent then Recommit. When I thought about what was most meaningful to me and when I had the most fun with my small business owner clients it was when they discovered what made life worthwhile for them uniquely and how they could show up as that person within their existing businesses every day.

My new business goal become helping business people discover how to make more money by finding more of the right customers, keeping more of the money they brought in, and bringing more Zest into their lives and their businesses.

How do you make money?

I offer Business Assessments, Private Business Coaching, Group work for Business Owners, Strategy Sessions for Families in Business and Business Partnerships, Leadership (and other) In-person Training for Organizations, as well as Webinars, Workshops, and Public Speaking events.

What does your typical day look like?

After exercising, showering and eating breakfast I have a mini meeting with myself (5 minutes or so) to review my day and my “Must do” tasks for the day. Then I check (and return e-mails) for 10-20 minutes. Some days I’ll jump from there into coaching calls or other work with clients. I generally will build in a ½ hour to an hour lunch and leave time to return phone calls and e-mails again. I leave a few hours each week for social media, sales and marketing, networking, booking speaking engagements and another ½ day here and there for my own business development and connecting with strategic partners.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I find that when I’m learning from someone else (like at a seminar or on a webinar) that’s when my own creative juices start flowing. I’m old school. I like to write everything down. Then when I have a clear idea about whatever it is that I’m creating I’ll spend some time doing research to see if it looks like a viable option. Next I’ll assess a priority to it and approximate how much time it will take to get done (or maybe just to get it to the next step). I also like collaborating with others. Knowing that someone else is helping to hold me accountable helps me stay on target getting things done.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

I love how useful smart smartphones/apps are becoming. If I’m out in the field and I see something that would be helpful to one of my clients I love that I can send them a picture instantaneously. I use the text feature all the time to send myself notes, and love having my calendar so easily accessible. And then there are apps. I use a timer app for all of my meetings, a reminder app for checking off things on my To Do list, and the list goes on and on. I can’t wait to see what the next generation of cell phones and apps bring.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

I once had a sales job for a franchise. My job was selling a service that was going to be provided by other franchise owners who all had a little different idea about what excellent customer service looked like. I quit after 6 weeks of finding that the customers I sold weren’t receiving the high quality service that I was promoting. Through that experience I realized just how important integrity was to me and that I wanted to be a part of the best in the industry (in whatever I did) as opposed to being a part of the rest.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

The hardest lesson I’ve learned is related to my believing that other people know who I am and what I’m capable of being/doing better than I know myself. A lot of my clients overlook how valuable and amazing they are and that the little successes do count towards the whole. I suggest for these brave souls that they keep a “Small Success Journal” to help them mark the small successes so that they have a place to come back to remind themselves of who they are, what they are capable of doing, and how they impact other’s lives. It’s good to get grounded again in remembering who we are when we forget. So, if I were to do it all again, I would have started a Small Success Journal a long time ago. I think it would have helped me get through a mountain of self-doubt.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Trust your gut, move beyond your comfort zone, and take leaps of faith.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

The first business I started was called Personal Best when I was 19 years old. I offered assistant support for people who needed help. I imagined that I would have what is now known as a concierge service with many people working for me connecting the wealthy to support services that they needed. The business never really gained momentum. It took me 5 more years before I tried my hand at starting a business again. I learned that the first time around I needed to be congruent with what I was doing and that giving up wasn’t an option. Sales are in many cases a numbers game. I learned to play the numbers.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

On my wish list would be an affordable or free solution to create a single social media entry that would populate all platforms (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) that I could use from my computer or an app.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?

I’d love to see the US Governments better support small business ownership. Perhaps they could level the playing field with taxes for starters. I think if I was going to try to make a change here it would become a full time job and fortunately I’ve already got a job I love.

Tell us something about you that very few people know?

I have visited almost every state in the US.

What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?

1. Google Voice: This is a great free service that provides the user with free internet based calling, a local phone number, and many other features.
2. Survey Monkey: Free Surveys distribute via e-mail.
3. Doodle: A great free way to schedule meetings with multiple guests

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

One of my favorite all time books is a very simple story by Paulo Coelho called The Alchemist. The story provides a great reminder that each of us has our own special path to travel and story to tell here on earth and that following our inner driver might scare the _ _ _ _ out of us, but in the long run it’s so worthwhile.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

Seth Godin – One of the brilliant minds of this century. He prompts the reader to question and show up as the best version of ourselves.
Simon Sinek – Simon digs deep and helps the reader get into the why. He understands what makes great leaders and great human beings.
TedTalksUpdates – we have so many powerful thought leaders out there. It’s great to discover about the amazing lives people live and what they have found has made an impact in their lives.

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

I just rented Bridesmaids the movie and as much as I should probably be embarrassed by this I love it! Over the top comedy with heart.

Who is your hero?

My clients are my heroes. They move beyond uncomfortable situations every day and thrive! These brave souls set out to actively pursue business growth and are confronted with personal growth opportunities that help them become better leaders and better humans.

What is the single most important thing you have learned in business?

Just because you can lift a 50 pound bag of flour doesn’t mean you have to.

When I was younger I tried to be the best at whatever I did. I was the first female salesperson in many organizations and the number 1 salesperson at most of the places I worked. When I first opened my own businesses I did everything myself because I could do it faster, better, and with a higher degree of “ownership” than most of my staff. It took me a few businesses and many years to realize that I didn’t have to do it all myself. By empowering others I was able to allow others on my team to become experts and owners and then I could spend more of my time building the business instead of working in it.

How did you know you found your true calling?

When I was sitting around with a group of friends and we played the game “You just won $500 Million Dollars – What are you going to do now?” and when it came to me I said “Do exactly what I’m doing now, but since money is no longer a concern I’ll do all my work by donation”.


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Jennifer Martin on Twitter: @ZestBizCoach