“You have to slow down to speed up.”
It’s one of those sayings a lot of people use widely and for Jessica Rea, it rings true in more ways than one.
Jessica is a designer who helps female entrepreneurs to build their brand and business online, all while making sure they look good. This isn’t just a catchy tagline – Jessica believes that as women, we deeply want to be seen, understood and known for who we truly are. It’s important that our brand resonates with who we are so that we believe and feel good about it and in turn, attract the right kind of customers who will appreciate us and what we have to offer. Making her clients “look good” means that Jessica needs to understand what makes them and their messaging unique, special and valuable in the marketplace. From there, she can then help them to put their best foot forward. In other words, Jessica’s job isn’t to help women to design pretty things – it’s about helping people to discover and connect with that deeply powerful part inside we all have that knows what we really want in life.
How I found Jessica
I first became familiar with Jessica’s work a couple of years ago, right back when I was starting my professional writing business. From memory, I had also just discovered Amy Porterfield at the time and she interviewed Jessica via webinar or a podcast… trust me, it’s only a couple of years ago but it feels like a lifetime. Ever since, I’ve been on Jessica’s email list and was always pleasantly surprised when I hit reply to one of Jessica’s emails and she actually responded (seriously, how many people do these days?).
A month or so ago, I remember receiving an email from Jessica that really put life into perspective for me because it was proof that it only takes seconds for someone’s life to change forever. The time difference between the US and Australia is pretty massive so I still remember lying in bed at 3am (I have issues sleeping sometimes – I know checking emails at that time isn’t helping my cause), reading Jessica’s email.
How a serious car accident had forced her to slow down
“The accident forced me to make my own health and wellbeing a priority. I am committed to being 100% fully recovered from the accident, both physically and mentally,” she says.
“I had no idea what it was going to take to do that but I knew I didn’t want the accident to have a lasting negative impact on my health and wellbeing, or my ability to live a full life in the future.”
When I write serious car accident, I’m not being dramatic. In Jessica’s own words:
“I had a concussion, I was black and blue all over, had two busted-up knees, back pain and neck pain… but I was alive. It was a miracle that I walked (okay… limped) away.”
What happened next
Jessica then went onto express her gratitude to all of the people who stepped up that day to help her survive. The stranger who helped her out of the car until the ambulance arrived, the police officers, paramedics and firefighters at the scene, her friend Jill who came to pick her up after the accident, her partner who dropped everything to drive for hours so that he could be by her bedside, the clients who supported her with messages of love, the health professionals and so on. She then went on to write honestly and openly about how fear has held her back in the past.
“I think it’s human to feel as though we’re ‘not enough’ – men and women – but I see it a lot in my community of women entrepreneurs; I wanted to address it because I wanted to tell the truth and lead by example – there is power in that.
“I’ve got a commitment to the women in my community that their dreams take flight, that they get to be real, honest and totally free to be and have whatever they want in life. My promise is that in working with me, or being a member of my community, that you will soar to new heights in your business. When I got clear and focused on that, I wasn’t willing to let my fear get in the way anymore.”
Despite the success she celebrates today, Jessica’s journey hasn’t always been smooth sailing. She recalls how scary it was to leave a stable job to pursue making a bigger contribution to the world.
“A lot of my friends and even some family members told me that I was crazy and didn’t support my move into business ownership.”
Jessica had no real plan and ended up spending her savings in about 6 months. From there, she got what she calls a ‘bridge’ job to supplement her income while her business was taking shape. She even rented out her second bedroom on Airbnb and recalls, “at one point I was making more money on Airbnb than I was in my design business.”
All or nothing
That was when Jessica made a promise to herself: “I needed to go in ‘all or nothing’ so I decided to be 100% ‘IN’ on building a location independent business that would allow me to work from anywhere in the world. Once I did that, I started to see my business really take off.”
Why has this talented designer who revels in doing things differently decided to work with women?
“I choose to work with women because I think women have the power to transform the world and I wanted to play a part in that transformation. I also have unique insights into the way women think – because I am one, ha! – and how our own thought patterns get in the way of our success. I knew that I would be uniquely qualified to help women overcome that.”
So what are Jessica’s 3 biggest business lessons for women?
#1: Stop wishing it were different, easier, more fair or less complicated
“As long as you’re complaining, wishing or pouting about how it should be, you’re not dealing with how it is and coming up with a creative solution. Now, I’m not saying I never do this… I definitely have an inner ‘brat’ who likes to throw a temper tantrum every once in a while. But I’m getting better at realising it when it happens, acknowledging my inner brat for the feedback and getting back to dealing with the problem at hand. The better you can be at moving through that process quickly, the better results you’ll be able to produce in your business and life.”
#2: You can’t do it alone
“Nobody builds a successful business by themselves. Even though I pride myself on being mostly ‘self-taught,’ I also know that I would not be where I am today if I hadn’t asked for help when I needed it, invested in the right programs, gone to the events, participated in the masterminds and learned from my mentors. The first step in getting connected to the right programs, events, masterminds and mentors is to have a commitment that fosters connection and relationships with the people you already know right now.”
#3: You are bigger than you think you are and you have more of an impact than you realise
“Everything you do, big or small, effects other people. Even if your mailing list is small, your Facebook group only has a few people in it, or your ‘tribe’ is made up mostly of your own friends and family… what you do and say is having an impact on them. When I was relatively unknown in the online space, I heard Jesse Elder say that he didn’t want ‘followers’… he wanted co-creators. When I heard that, I was like, “stealing it!” I was so much yessss to that concept. So now I focus on connecting with and inspiring people who want step into their own powerful purpose and co-create a better world together.”