Organization is key, in whatever business you’re in. Find what tools work for you and USE THEM.
Jessi Beyer is a personal development speaker and coach who specializes in helping her audiences break through the chains of societal expectations and stereotypes, unleash their authentic selves, and live passionate, successful, and fulfilling lives.
Known by her friends and family members for her drive, determination, authenticity, and passion, Jessi is unafraid to figure out what she really wants out of life and pursue it with everything she has, and she believes that doing so is the key to a successful and fulfilling life. This belief has inspired her to build her mission around helping others do the same.
Jessi graduated from the University of Minnesota at the age of 20 with degree in psychology, and she has been a practicing EMT-B since July 2017. The recipient of numerous academic and community awards, Jessi has been recognized with the Alumni Award from the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts, a distinguished finalist position in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, the President’s Volunteer Service Award, and thirteen additional academic awards.
As philanthropy is one of her passions, Jessi donated nearly $14,500 to three families combating their child’s deadly illness by age seventeen and fostered multiple rescue animals, including adopting a stray kitten found in a library parking lot. Jessi is also a women’s self-defense instructor and has helped hundreds of women find their power and self-confidence through introductory martial arts training. Outside of running an international business, Jessi enjoys adventuring outdoors, modeling, and spending time with her dog, Phoebe, and cat, Maggie. She currently resides in Portland, Oregon.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
It grew from what I wish I knew about life when I was younger. I spent a lot of time pushing my dreams aside because they were nontraditional or went against my family’s expectations, and I wish I knew how toxic that was before I went down that road. These are the types of lessons that have shaped my life, and I want to make sure that other people don’t have to struggle the way that I did – and if they’re already struggling, help them realize that there’s so much life on the other side of the chains of societal and familial standards and expectations.
I also had a very traditional view of what entrepreneurship looked like. I thought I needed to start a business that had a physical product and maybe a storefront, and that was it. I never thought that I could build a business that’s based on inspiring others and helping them sort through their daydreams and make them reality. Once I realized that, I allowed my passion for the topic to spring free, and the business I run now came to life.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day usually looks like taking my dog out to the bathroom around 6am then snuggling with her and my cat on the couch for another hour or so. Then, after breakfast, my dog and I do some form of exercise. Usually, that’s either a hike for the both of us or the dog park for her and a swim for me. The afternoon is when I work. In my business, that looks like a lot of writing and responding to emails, planning social media posts, and occasionally course development. My evening is sometimes more work, sometimes some reading or TV, sometimes some search and rescue training, and sometimes a social activity. The best thing I love about my day is that it’s so flexible. I can really mix around the blocks of my schedule in whatever order they need to be in.
As a dog mom, my biggest key to making my day productive is making sure that my fur-kid is tired. I always take her out for a walk or to the dog park before I need to get some work done or have a meeting, because the worst thing that could happen during my productivity time is that she’s wide awake and wants to play. She’s quite persistent when she wants to be, but she’s also a great napper. Harnessing that, as silly as it sounds, is really the key to making my day productive.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I break it down into really small bits. If there’s this huge goal that I have, I look at what major things need to be done to achieve that, then at what smaller things need to be done to achieve each of those major things, and all the way down until I have bite-sized amounts that are really manageable, both for my brain and my task list. Then, it’s just chipping away at those. I like to plan out a schedule for completion of those tasks, one that’s realistic for me but also challenges me to get it done with some sense of urgency. If I write something in my task list or calendar, it’s getting done, so I simply make sure I have all of those tiny goals on my task list or calendar, then I’m good to go.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I am really excited that mental healthcare is becoming more acceptable! I went through my own struggles with mental health, studied psychology in college, and am considering pursuing doctorate-level education in trauma psychology, so I’m obviously passionate about mental health. I’m so happy that people are seeing that visiting a therapist or having mental health struggles doesn’t make you weak; it makes you human.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I schedule the heck out of everything. You want a ten-minute meeting with me? It goes in the calendar. I want to get work done? I take my dog to the dog park first so that she’ll sleep while I have to get work done. Something needs to happen nine months from now? It goes down on my task list now. Having this level of organization keeps my mind free of organizational clutter and makes sure that nothing falls through the cracks.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t do something simply to please other people. I spent a lot of my teens making choices and pursuing paths because other people (especially my family) wanted me to. I knew in my heart that they weren’t right for me, but I pushed that down and did them anyway. This was probably the most harmful and disrespectful thing I could ever do to myself. Even though I was only a teenager, my beliefs, goals, and boundaries were just as valid as any “adult”‘s, and I was both capable and deserving of carving out my own path. I wonder how my life would have been different so far if I learned this lesson earlier, but, in a way, I’m thankful for my journey. It made me who I am today and gave me the mission that I have today.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Punctuality is critically important, yet I feel like it’s a dying trait, especially in my age group. If I say that I’m going to be somewhere or do something by a certain time, you can be that, come hell or high water, that I’ll be punctual with that task or arrival time, and I expect you to be the same way. Very few people understand why I get so annoyed with a lack of follow-through or punctuality – I’ve definitely heard that I need to lower my standards more than once! I politely disagree.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Grow yourself! My business is in the personal development industry, so I’m kind of biased, but my own personal growth has been critical in entrepreneurship and every aspect of my life. Figure out your priorities, get a therapist to help walk you through things, and learn about yourself from all angles. The more you know about your goals, your values, and your beliefs, the faster and more accurately you’ll be able to move forward in business and in life.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
A lot of my business as a speaker is reaching out to individuals, so making sure that I stay organized, especially with follow-up dates has been a hugely beneficial strategy. I use an Excel spreadsheet to keep everything organized and I use Wunderlist to manage my reminders to follow up with people. Whatever type of business you run, having a way to stay organized and manage your task list is critical. Excel and Wunderlist are, in my opinion, great for any sort of business, whether you’re managing collaborations, clients, orders, or something else entirely. However you want to do it, though, make sure that it makes sense for you – and that you never miss a follow-up date!
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I had a business coach that I followed for quite a while. I was in her membership platform, I tuned in live to the weekly meetings, and I scrambled together nearly six thousand dollars and an airplane ticket to go see her for three hours in person. We had a private call a month or so before I was supposed to see her, and she gave me some homework to do before we met: over 100 hours of copywriting courses, in the middle of finals of my senior year of college. I buckled down, got it down, and took impeccable notes along the way. Two days before I was supposed to fly down and see her, she called me and told me that I wasn’t ready for her help. She also told me that, because of my innate personality (she’d never met me in person), I’d never understand marketing and therefore should consider working for someone else instead of being an entrepreneur. This was incredibly hard to hear. I had just had another one of my dreams crushed by someone else who didn’t think I was good enough, so her rejection seemed doubly worse. I gave myself a day or so to eat copious amounts of chocolate, binge watch Criminal Minds, and complain to my boyfriend about the situation, but the next day, I realized that her rejection only motivated me to succeed even more. I knew she was wrong. I knew I was capable. Because of the personal development work I put in before that incident, I took her rejection and changed it into motivation to become better. My biggest learning point from this that I’d share with you is that it’s okay to give yourself time to grieve the failure, but instead of letting it consume you, use it as motivation to do better or as a learning point to switch things up a little bit.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I was in the shower the other day thinking about food (random, I know), and I thought of a restaurant idea that I would love to have in existence: a fancy burger joint that takes traditional foods from various cultures and turns them into burgers. For example, chicken teriyaki could be turned into a chicken teriyaki burger, garlic alfredo pizza into a garlic alfredo burger, and curry into a curry burger. For any chefs out there, this could be the next hot thing!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently started search and rescue training with my pup, Phoebe, which has been a goal of mine for quite some time. I had to get a lot of gear for that, including hiking pants, rope rescue gear, and K9 equipment. That was way more than $100, but I was happy to spend it because it brought me closer to a major dream of mine.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Canva is my go-to. I’m not graphically talented or creative, but Canva makes it so easy to create beautiful graphics and social media content. I use it to make my sales posts and quote graphics for social media. I also use their pre-made templates for creating Pinterest graphics. Beyond the ease of use, my favorite feature of Canva is that the suggest sizes for the different platforms. For example, it has a preset for the ideal Pinterest graphic size, the ideal Facebook post size, and so on and so forth.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
This might be somewhat of a cop-out answer, but I don’t think there’s one book in the entrepreneurship or personal development field that I think you should read. I think you should simply read. If romance books light you up, then read romance books. If historical non-fiction can cause you to lose hours, then read historical non-fiction books. Inspiration, personal development, and concept creation can come from so many sources and, in my experience, it’s more important that you connect to the material than that the material is theoretically educational.
What is your favorite quote?
“We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.” – Charles Bukowski
- Organization is key, in whatever business you’re in. Find what tools work for you and USE THEM.
- Going outside the mold is not only okay, but encouraged.
- Take care of yourself and work on yourself before anything else. Your business can’t grow if you don’t.