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Women in Wellness Career Summit

Create gorgeous growth for your blissful business in health & wellness.

Jennifer Grace

Executive Dream Producer

Jennifer Grace is the Resident Dream Coach at The Standard Hotel and Spa in Miami, and an acclaimed author whose new work, Directing Your Destiny, will be published by Hay House on June 20, 2013, along with her Radio show Live Your Dream. Grace spent eight years on Wall Street in investment banking, then crossed over into the creative world and became a SAG actress, filmmaker, and screenwriter. In the last few years she has taken her business knowledge and creative expertise and blended them into becoming an Executive Business and Media Coach. Her title of Executive Dream Producer gives her the opportunity to help others discover their personal dreams and then launch them into reality. She is trained and certified in Creativity in Business, the famed Stanford University Personal Transformation Masters Degree Course, which she teaches locally in South Florida. A strong advocate of community giving, Grace donates part of all proceeds to different causes each year. She is currently leading workshops and courses in Miami, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Online, speaking globally and leading retreats. Visit Jennifer’s Website

Interview Transcript

Dr. Gabby: Welcome Jennifer, thanks so much for joining us.

Jennifer: Thanks for having me Gabby.

Dr. Gabby: So, one of my favourite things about you which I didn’t even mention in the intro is the web show on Youtube that you have created and I’m in hysterics every time I watch it because I think it’s a really fun, fresh approach to your coaching and I’m wondering how did you come up with this?

Jennifer: So I, I in my former life was… I did many things, one of them was on Wall Street, another incarnation of me was that I was a comedic actress. And I did lots of theatre and commercials and films and had to kind of put all of that on the shelf when I became a coach because I know what happens when you spread yourself too thin in your career, nothing gets accomplished.

So, I put it up on the shelf and then 8 years into my coaching career I was just having this…having this calling of creativity and wanted to bring comedy back out, I just came up with this fun idea of blending transformation with comedy and it’s kind of like Oprah meets Saturday Night Live. I interview people, you know, … experts in the wellness field and then we bust out into a sketch comedy about, you know, the first time I meditated or the first time I made a vision board and just the parody and not taking it all so seriously you know because sometimes when we get into personal development we take it so seriously so I wanted to make light of it and have fun.

Dr. Gabby: It is so hilarious, I mean and it’s so out there, which is my humour, totally. I also attended one of your sessions at the Standard Hotel and you told a really moving story about how you decided to become a Hay House author and you also made it happen. I loved your description about the combination of Will and Grace. I wonder if you could share some of that with the listeners.

Jennifer: Yeah, so I think that all dreams have to begin with a declaration. Making a declaration of what it is that you want to powerfully step into. So I made this declaration on 1/11/11, I was on the top of a mountain top in Sedona, Arizona, running a retreat and I just said to 18 women “I feel ecstatic that I am now a Hay House published author without having written one single word of the book that was living inside my head!”

And so, I was like, oh God, now I’ve got to write this, but you can’t do things all alone and I have 2 confidants that I bring into every situation I’m in when I really want to step into a big goal and they’re ‘Will and Grace’ right, you remember that 1990’s TV show? And we want to think about ‘Will’ as kind of the tenacity, the perseverance, dedication to get the dream that’s living inside your head and make it a reality.

And then ‘Grace’ is the energy of, you know, when all the ‘Will’ is done, just kind of surrendering and allowing things to kind of… allowing things to kind of come together in their own divine timing and it’s kind of like… Gabby when you find yourself in the right place at the right time and it seems like a coincidence but it’s really not. It’s from you putting in the ‘Will’ and the discipline and the diligence to make that a reality. So you know ‘Will’… ‘Will’ had me getting up at 5:30am, writing 500 words a day and at the end of those 4 months I had a 50,000 word manuscript! Isn’t that incredible?

Dr. Gabby: It’s amazing, right?

Jennifer: Yeah, I had thought about that darn book for 3 years, how many times have we thought and talked and thought and talked about an idea and we don’t actualize it? And when you do some little tiny steps every day it is extremely awe inspiring what you can get done just a few moments a day so it’s like 1 hour, I just wrote 1 hour a day and in 4 months I had a 50,000 word manuscript. So that was, you know, the work of ‘Will’ and I.

And I do want to tell your listeners a little trick that I used that was really powerful. Instead of having the alarm go off 7:30… excuse me… at 5:30am, which I would promptly hit “snooze.” I know… I know that there’s a self sabotager that’s inside all of us right? That doesn’t want to get up to go to the gym or work on our entrepreneurial project to get us out of the ‘9 to 5’ and so I knew that I had to outwit the self sabotagers so what I did was I programmed my phone to; instead of an alarm; to have an event so it was a sentence.

So when I woke up every morning, I would look at my phone and it would say that Gabby, “Jen do you want it or not?” And I had to stop and answer that question and the answer every morning was “Yes, I want to become a published author, I want to share my message with the world.” And that question just catapulted me out of bed at 5:30am, stumbling to get a shot of espresso and writing an hour a day you know. So that was ‘Will’ and I and ‘Grace’ is like… oh my gosh… it’s, it’s… it’s magical. I finished this magic, this manuscript and I just kind of hear this voice in my head, this whisper and it says “Call your ex-husband” and I’m like “What?”; “Call your ex-husband” and I’m like “Huh?”

But I know from doing all the personal development you know, work that I do, that you have to listen to that quiet voice so I followed my intuition. I called my ex-husband and honestly, we’re good friends; and I just very excitedly tell him “You know I just finished my 50,000 word manuscript” and I just kind of offhandedly say to him “Now all I need to do is get it in the hands of Wayne Dyer.”

So I’m sure your listeners know who Wayne Dyer is, if they don’t, you know, he was the number one author on Hay House Publishing and Hay House Publishing is the number one self help publishing company in America right?

So I’m going so big here right, like talking to Oprah. So he turns around and he says to me, “Wayne Dyer? Do you know that Amanda” …Amanda’s his new wife… “grew up next door to Wayne Dyer and is best friends with his daughter?” and I’m like… “No Joe, you never told me that, hello?” But he goes, this is the crazy part, he goes… “Next week Wayne is in town, we’re going to a charity event that he and Serena are throwing together, come with us I’ll introduce you to him.” So that… is ‘Grace.’

You know all the ‘Will’ is done and it’s not like a thousand phone calls, it’s like one random call and ‘boom’ you’re standing in front of, you know, for me he was an icon, he’s my mentor, I’ve read every single one of his books; ‘The Power of Intention,’ I mean just so many he’s got like 10 books out, he’s amazing! Standing there in front of him and I just blurted out “Is there any way that you’d read my manuscript and give me your feedback?” and he says “Yes” and gives me his home address in Maui!

So, long story short… I get to Hay House, I do one of their contests, I lose the first one, I win the second one; and within 11 months, almost to the day that I made a declaration that “I feel ecstatic that I am now a Hay House published author” without having written one single word of the book that was living inside my head. The person at Hay House calls me and he says “Jennifer, we’re so blown away by how you lost the contest in New York and you, now you came back with just a vengeance” …sorry, in San Diego to New York… “We want to give you both prizes because it’s a contest. First prize is your own book deal with Hay House, second prize, your own radio show. Welcome to the Hay House family.”

And here’s the kicker, my show was sandwiched between Abraham Hicks’ and Wayne Dyer’s every Tuesday at 11am for 3 years. So, it’s just… that’s ‘Will & Grace.’

Dr. Gabby: So amazing, I like… I like this story, I can listen to you tell that story so many times. Yeah, even when I hear it again now I just get chills and I feel so excited because it resonates with me on so many levels. I have so many students that have dreams and their dreams, they’re very etheric, you know it’s… it’s, there’s a lot of excuses or fear or obstacles right? Or I also have, you know, students that work so hard they just, they’re driving themselves into the ground and there, there isn’t and openness for that synchronicity and things to come in so the balance you describe I think is really vital.

Jennifer: Yeah, and just to kind of go off on what you’re saying, is you know you’re in too much ‘Will’ when you’re driving and striving and you’re pushing and you’re lying in bed at night, you know, and you’re just throbbing, that’s too much ‘Will’. And too much ‘Grace’ is, you know, maybe you watched that movie ‘The Secret’ and made a vision board and you cut out all the pictures of your dream life and you plaqued it up on your living room wall and all you’re doing is sitting on the couch eating bon-bons and staring at it, thinking your dream life is going to pop into the living room. That’s too much ‘Grace’, so you need both ‘Will & Grace’ and it’s kind of like ‘Will’ is making it happen and then ‘Grace’ is letting it happen. And having the dance between the two, that’s the key to life, it really is.

Dr. Gabby: Amazing, amazing. So, you share that you… that you had some limbo period, a kind of ‘lost for a few years’ between the acting and the life coaching before you really found your purpose so can you tell me a little about that and how you landed on what you were meant to be doing.

Jennifer: Absolutely. So out of my marriage; I left my marriage and my work as an actor and film maker simultaneously; because really what was happening for me and this was like… Wall Street was way before that; but when I left my marriage I had been acting but I only was really doing commercials and it wasn’t fulfilling you know, I wasn’t in LA or New York getting juicy great parts.

You know, they really just booked actors here as small bits and so it’s just like… I wasn’t fulfilled doing the acting thing in South Florida and in my marriage I wasn’t fulfilled either and so leaving them both you know, I was very lost you know. I was… all my identities were taken away from me, I didn’t know who I was, what I wanted and I went on this 2 year period of just listening to everybody else.

I mean, they said “You’d be so great at managing other people,” “You’re such a great enroller,” and “You’re just so enthusiastic,” and “I have this photographer from LA, you should represent her,” and I thought “Ok, I’ll do that.” And another friend, she’s in the world of not for profit and doing this project for cervical cancer and she’s like “You’d be so great” and I thought “Ok, I’ll do that.”

So everybody’s telling me what I would be good at and I’m not listening to my intuitive voice at all because I’m so lost. And I started 6 different companies, projects, websites, logos and ultimately… 6 failures! Because you know Gabby, as you know we all have this internal GPS in our soul and I love to refer to it as ‘YAK – You Always Know,’ right? So we have all the answers and what we tend to do as humans is take the call. We ask our mother, “What do you think I should do?” We ask our partner, “What do you think I should do?” and our best friend, “What do you think I should do?” And we get 20 different answers and then we don’t know who to listen to.

And so I needed to listen to my own internal voice give me the wisdom of what my purpose was. What my, you know, what my legacy was, what my impact to make was. So after 2 years of literally going through my entire divorce settlement; I had like $50 in the checking account probably; I called my mother in hysterical tears and I’m just like… “I don’t know who I am, I don’t know what I want and I don’t know what to do with my life!” And she connected me with a colleague of hers, Julia Romaine, who had found this course at Stanford University.

It was a Masters degree course in transformation and Julia had gone out to Stanford because this course there was being touted as the most life transforming course to ever be taught at Stanford so she got in touch with Dr. Michael Ray who created the course. And she said “Why are you hiding it here? You know… let’s take this out of Stanford and put it into the world. This is so powerful… I mean Steve Jobs, Bill Gates are huge advocates of the course!” So he says “Yes.”

And she was a coach, he trained and developed her and right around that time 9/11 had just happened and Julia, along with a foundation called Tuesday’s Children, got a grant for over $500,000 to give this to the widows of 9/11 and many of them had not been in the workforce for some time… they were homemakers. They go through this course and they just pop. They become artists and entrepreneurs and published authors and they just use this coaching course to catapult them into the next carnation of their lives.

So when I come to her at my own ground zero she’s like “Just let’s do this journey.” So it was an 8 week transformational, you know, journey with lots of practical tools and techniques to help you get out of your own way and really tap into your voice of wisdom, your intuition and find your purpose, find your passion, get your clarity. So I took it and I think week 5, I just popped and I said; “This is it, I want to take this to South Florida, I want to train others” and she said, “Absolutely.” So her and Dr. Michael Ray trained me and then I’ve been doing this down here for 8 years. And 2 years ago, Julia and Dr. Michael Ray decided to retire so they promoted me to be the new ‘Train the Trainer’ and I have 50 coaches under me! We’ve translated it into 5 different languages, it’s launching in 25 cities, 6 countries. I mean it’s just so amazing and we are now designing it for kids and teens, and so I’ve just never looked back.

And you know Gabby, there were a lot of things I just had to put on the shelf, a lot of creative ways of being that I loved. I loved working with non profits you know; I loved the acting; I loved the writing but I wasn’t going to find success until I really channelled my energy all into my coaching career. And then along the way, you know; 3 or 4 years in; I take down the writer’s hat and I say “You know what? I’m going to write a book” and then I take down the non profit hat and say “You know what? I want to start a retreat company that we travel around the world making a difference in the lives of others and raising money for people in that region.” And then finally, recently, I’ve taken down the actor/comedienne hat and found a way under the coaching umbrella, it’s all under the coaching umbrella, to express myself in that creative way. You know now the Jennifer Grace show, the one that’s on Youtube that we were talking about earlier, having the comedy and the coaching come together as one. But it all makes sense and that was my mistake before, I was spread too thin. In 6 different projects that didn’t have a thread between any of them. So now everything is under, you know, me as a coach!

Dr. Gabby: Right, yeah, that’s what’s really meaningful for me about this story, it’s like when you know it you know it, like you’ve found your home, you’ve found the work you want to do and then you let that be the anchor and let yourself have creative expression in a lot of different ways, but all coming from this thread of transformation and empowerment. I think that that’s really meaningful because a lot of times in my industry which is the wellness industry people have a lot of skills, they have the yoga, the meditation and they might even have business skills like marketing or…or things like that and there is a struggle to figure out “How do I bring this all together?” you know, “How do I create something that I love?” And that is one of the things that I admire about you is that you have this integration that I think is very focused.

Jennifer: Yeah, yeah, yeah and that took me a minute but then it came to fruition…

Dr. Gabby: Yes that’s what I wanted to ask you. So were there any significant challenges in the last 7 years as you were teaching this course and… and honing your coaching skills like were there any major challenges during that time?

Jennifer: Gosh, it honestly feels like every year has gotten better than the last…

Dr. Gabby: Nice…

Jennifer: And I, you know, it really doesn’t feel like that. It feels like, you know, I was just plodding along, doing my little local classes, get picked up by Hay House… do that, have a radio show and ‘boom’ … get promoted as ‘Train the Trainer’. And now I have all these incredible coaches… and now flying all over the world training them and launching their businesses… and now the TV show… so it just keeps expanding! So I’d like to say I’ve had some challenges in the little things but nothing that just like knocked me off my horse where I was like, you know… couldn’t even breathe, nothing like that, knock on wood.

Dr. Gabby: As you’re advising the other trainers to launch their businesses, are there 2 or 3 pieces of significant advise that you’re giving them about how to, you know… spread the word about what they’re doing to get new people to sign up? Like is there any kind of tips or advise that you’re giving?

Jennifer: Oh my gosh, tons of it but I can give you some takeaways. I mean the first thing that is so universal that people have to deal with is fear… okay? Because the only thing that’s in the way of them and the light of their dreams is fear. And that’s kind of the good news because when we start making excuses “Well it’s my husband’s fault” or “My old childhood story” and “I can’t do this because of my job” and we love to play the excuse game; but if we just own that the only thing in the way of us and our success is us. That is good news because we can’t change the partner or the job or the childhood story, the only thing we can change is our own inner landscape right?

So owning that you’re the only thing in your own way and really what that comes down to usually is fear right? And a lot of people are waiting for the fear to subside before they step out really powerfully in their full expression and here’s a news flash… the fear may never go away! Successful people are just as afraid as everybody else, they just don’t let their fear paralyze them. So you can do two things with your fear, you let it propel you or you let it paralyze you. And I think when I share this with my students it gives them permission to just be with the fear you know, we look at fear like a toddler kicking and screaming and you’re like “I feel you, I hear you but you’re not going to win. Grab my hand, we’re getting in the car and going to do what we need to do, you can kick and scream all the way but I’m going after my dream, with or without you.”

So it’s about managing that fear and really cultivating fearlessness and cultivating… and fearlessness is not the absence of fear… it’s the presence of bravery you know. How do you cope with courage in the face of fear? And so much of the work that I do is helping people work with fear, not necessarily overcome it, but to really work with it so that it doesn’t paralyze you. So that you can keep moving forward fearlessly. So that’s the big kind of like ‘underneath thing’ and then there’s all the tips, the technical tips of how to launch your business which I would love to say we can all make a flyer and throw it out there and a million people are going to attend your workshop and just sell out but that’s not how it works.

What works is human contact, whether it’s a live webinar, whether it’s a live reintroduction whether it’s something that you are sharing yourself authentically, vulnerably, putting yourself out there and getting, you know, hitting the streets. Going into yoga studios and wellness centres and speaking at events and doing anything and everything you can to be face to face with people or even online on webinars but you’re there live sharing your tools, your processes, your personality, yourself. People want that, the flyer and email game is over. How many emails do we get, I mean it’s nauseating. You know nobody’s even looking social media is great but it’s just that human contact. Get yourself out there, over and over and over again and… gosh, there’s so many tips.

Dr. Gabby: I know and so many good ones, I mean I was also really surprised when I became a professor. I thought like, ‘My job is to just you know… translate academic stuff into something they can understand, to give them information, to educate.’ And really, the more I engage, the more I hear all this self doubt and all the kind of internal things that need to be, I think… managed, you said is a good word… to be managed so that we can be productive. And the other thing I totally agree with… a lot of… one of the ways that I see that this fear manifests is that people want to stay hiding in their house behind their computer and just posting on Facebook; hoping that people will buy what they’re selling. So a part of this fearlessness, this bravery, this courage, like you said, putting yourself out there in the flesh in front of people. So they can feel you and they can connect.

Jennifer: Yeah and you can’t get into the story ‘how many life coaches are there out there?’ and I can have a real easy story that this market is over saturated. There’s so much competition, there’s so much out there. But it’s about resonance you know because there’s millions and millions and millions of people who need to be transformed right? So I don’t need millions and millions of people and it’s about, you know, we can have ten coaches on a stage all saying the exact same thing and you’re going to identify with me, somebody else is going to identify with them. It’s just about that resonance and they can’t feel your resonance through Facebook, through a flyer, they have to feel your personality.

I mean, when you and I met, we connected… like ‘boom’, you know… so that’s really important. And I think the other important thing is if you’re going to get yourself out there a lot of bad… how can I say… an ‘itty bitty shitty committee’ comes up with self doubt – ‘You’re not good enough, you’re not smart enough, your idea’s not original’ – you know that’s a voice to be reckoned with.

And there’s lots of tools to re-program that negative voice that I share with my students constantly but one of them that I really encourage my trainers to do is to do toastmasters. You know to get out there and have a playground where you can fall on your face in front of your peers and everybody’s just trying to make their way, but you practise giving speeches and delivering information and that helps your confidence because you’re actually doing something about it you know. It’s not just like in theory. And I love improv acting classes, that really helps you be quick on your feet when you’re speaking and having engagements so all of that in the flesh getting out there, you have to hone those skills you know and not because I’ve been acting for 20 years, and that’s just a huge talent of mine, but trainers aren’t actors you know, they have to refine that skill so that they can feel confident in a room full of people.

Dr. Gabby: And I know that you have some webinars coming up so can you tell us a little bit about your webinars?

Jennifer: Sure, I have, in the month of February a course all about love, you know the love train so I’ve got a myriad of, I think every Wednesday night at 9:00pm Eastern Standard Time there’s a different webinar about love. We’ve got things about self love, manifesting new love, creating a sacred partnership with a current partner or spicing up your sex life which is always a fun one! And then I also have a 4 week complimentary webinar coming up based off my book ‘Directing Your Destiny’ and that’s a really powerful 4 week webinar; where people can get super crystal clear on what their goals are for 2016; and then use a technique that I’ve come up with called AFM (Authentic Frequency Methods). Really understanding quantum physics, how to work with this energy field. You know a lot of us saw the movie The Secret, we made the vision board and nothing happened, so this is the ‘why?’ How do you really work with this energy field that surrounds us all, this law of attraction? It’s really the science that’s underneath us and this AFM technique. So all of that Gabby, can be found at jennifergrace.com/freestuff. You can get all that juicy stuff there for free.

Dr. Gabby: I want to encourage everyone to go to jennifergrace.com/freestuff and to connect with you and attend the webinars and do the creative insight journey because I really love everything that you’re doing and I really want people to follow you and connect with you.

Jennifer: Thank you, awesome and most importantly, my ‘Jennifer Grace Show‘ on Youtube, that’s what I’m most excited about.

Dr. Gabby: Yes, and look for those new episodes that are coming out. How often are they released? Is it every other week?

Jennifer: Every other Tuesday at 11:00am we launch them and there’s some really funny ones in February coming up all around love and your brain on love and how crazy we all go when we fall in and out of love, so yeah.

Dr. Gabby: Thank you so, so much for being here and for speaking with us.

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