Jacqueline Johnson, Los Angeles, Partner discussed on The Marie Forleo Podcast
In this episode of Murray TV we do have some adult language. So if you have little ones around grab your headphones now. Well, Hello there and welcome to the Marie Forleo podcast. So my guest today is the incredible Jacqueline Johnson. Now, if you don't know Jaclyn you're about to meet her and fall in love with her. So here's a little bit more of her backstory. By the time she was twenty eight Jacqueline Johnson had sold her first business called no subject. And she invested in one of the country's top female own startups called away. She also launched her second multi-million dollar company create an cultivate accompanying brand that I personally love. So Creighton cultivate has over seventy five events to date. They have hundreds of thousands of followers in ten days and Jacqueline's also been named a Forbes thirty under thirty and Admiral disruptor, and she's also been profiled in fast company the LA times and entrepreneur magazine among others. Today, we're going to be talking about her first book which is called work party. It's a career manifesto on had a turn destr-. Trust into determination, frustration into fuel and heartache into hard work in that book is available now, Jacquelyn. Thank you so much for making the time to talk today woman horrors your favorite. Well, I told you this via text, but I wanna say it publicly your book work party is fantastic. I've read it covered a cover a, as you know, I'm in the middle of writing my own. So I know how hard this is, how much work it takes and you've done a brilliant job. Well, thank you so much. That obviously means so much coming from you. So let's dive in creating cultivate which most people know you for. And by the way anyone listening, if you don't know Creighton cultivate, you need to Google right after you. Listen to this podcast, but Jacqueline crinkled Vate isn't your first business rodeo. So I, I wanna go back in time when you made that big move from New York to LA and then three months later you were let go walk us through. Through some of that time in your life right before you were starting first business in what really got you to say, yes, I can do this and then actually start doing it. Yes. So I was obviously Mike early twenties. I was by all accounts, crushing it at my career. I was. I was moving up really quickly. I was really early adopter social media. I'm in terms of the corporate side in career side. So I was having all these successes. I was living in New York City at essentially got transferred Los Angeles for this job. I was so excited. I went in the door, super eager like really ready to crush it and basically was met with a backlash both culturally from the fit from allege New York, but also with the job in in sort of the environment. And they basically were not looking for someone to come in with big idea in lots of momentum and trying to basically shake it up. They were like, look, we have a thing here. We're trying to keep it status quo like. Can you just like sit there and do your spreadsheets than I couldn't do that? I was not my personality. It was not something I felt I was being successful at. I'd come from this environment that was super created collaborative, and I felt so inspired by that. So basically at every turn I was just like shutdown shutdown shutdown if you are non-premium person in that in a corporate environment that supports you, it's amazing if you're an entrepreneurial person in an environment that does not support that spirit. It can be the most stifling experience. So essentially that's what happened to me in about three months in I was laid off and or as I say, politely Lecco and. Wing it was. It was personally and professionally crippling. I had never felt more devastated, and there was lots of light look in the mirror and cry in watchers, outcry moments, but it was. It was one of those things that honestly transformed my life for the for the better. And I like to say, I didn't turn around they to start my own company. I took months of like while awaiting in my sorrows to to kind of get over that. So it's definitely, you know, I, it's brutal. It's difficult and I also was in a city where I knew no one. So it wasn't like I could lean on my network. I had from scratch. So basically the way my company happened in the way start becoming an entrepreneur starting my own business was very slow and steady and sort of happens Dan's. It essentially started with one client, so I emailed people said, hi, I got let go. I live in Los Angeles idea marketing ID's things. Anyone know anyone who needs someone. Luckily my network. Came through and I was able to get a few clients I was working from home. And essentially it was one of those things where I met another woman. He was out doing her thing freelancing starting her own company. And she basically said to me, oh, hey, like we should get an office space together and coming from New York City as you probably know the thought of office space as a freelancer with zero study income is like there's no way I can afford this office space, but in Los Angeles at the time, there was really amazing space available for very, very cheap. So like office office space, it was great. Honestly, just to get out of the house in being a new city. Basically, I just started getting more clients in more more momentum with my freelance business ended up starting a company with that that women and then we ended up getting insane traction amendment and obviously hiring employees. And it was one of those things where we were like, I guess we're a company now was non-strategic there was zero business plan or idea going into it. I think that's where so many of us starting member, you know, starting my business at twenty three I had no, I know clue anything like I looking back. I'm like, how do they have the audacity? And I'm so happy that I did, but I just want to drill into that point a little bit, you know? So many of us start great things in life, not knowing what the hell were doing. And then also we wind up paying a little bit of a price for that, which I have done many, many times throughout my career, which brings me to you and that first business did have a bit of a a harsh inexpensive ending. So much so that it gave you what I thought was very funny. This made me laugh out loud p p. t. s. s. post partner, trust stress syndrome. About less abou-. What happened? How that first business came to. It's unfortunate end, but really gave you some lessons for Rothe. Yeah, we'll what happened was an end. This is something not at the time I thought was a completely isolated incident like this has just happened to me. This is never happen to anyone else in the history of starting a company because I was so isolated from like an entrepreneurial community which will play into the Creighton pulpit story. But when I came to find out was actually this is a very normal occurrence for startups and companies in general. But essentially what had happened wise, this company that we had started, which was a marketing and events agency came together super fast and furious. We didn't know each other that while both personally and professionally, but it we had great momentum in great success early on with the business, which is obviously what you want. However, what we never had was upfront conversations about. Our roles in the company, our responsibilities, as well as what our shared vision of the company in growth would be. We just were moving so fast, which obviously momentum is amazing. I, it's one of those things that you can't pay for. So we were really fortunate in not, however it caught up to us. And so essentially a few years in a there was some discrepancies between myself and my partner end in ended in her leaving the company, which for anyone who knows what having a co-founders, like I mean, they're essentially your spouse like your your marriage, and it's it's devastating, it's going through a divorce and it was it was really hard, especially because I was so young. This is my first company. I obviously thought this was the end of the road, but I actually kept the business going by myself after that. So I kept it going for, I think three or four years after that adventure, we sold that company, but that was a heart heart wrenching. Vision as well because you're running a company then whose name you came up with together whose case studies you have together. So you have to kind of take on this new life lifeblood around the company around the employee's in really reinvigorate everything around it because there is this feeling of like something bad happened here, which is really difficult to get over and and I don't wanna make it sound like I bounced back right away. I mean, I took time I am. I really needed to kind of almost believe in myself again because there was a lot of like it wasn't even about what she had done or what our discrepancy was. I felt shame for myself. I felt guilty like I wasn't a good entrepreneur, and it was embarrassing almost for my clients to be like, Owen, she's no longer with the company in had you broach that and there's a lot of shame associated with failure and things falling apart and as women, I think oftentimes we take that blame on ourselves. Yes, it was. Really something that was difficult to get through, but getting on the other end of it. What happened was, I got a business one, oh one camp, coming out, the other side of it and having to take on the finances that HR the the sort of all the new degree that goes into running a company, not just being the creative or the ideas for sin. All the sudden became my my reality and it honestly was like, kicking kick in the butt to get me more established as an entrepreneur. And I learned so much. I mean, I literally wash u. two videos on how to get a quick books running and all these different things in it's honestly the best lesson I learned. And honestly now it's something that I enjoy doing as part of the business. It's really cool. So one of the things I want to drill into y'all for all details, you'll have to go pick work party and read it. 'cause Jacqueline shares everything that went down. You know, it was around money and I know you and I both share this passion. In interest in desire to talk about money and we'll, we'll talk about that a little bit later in our conversation, but I found it interesting Jacqueline how you know one of the big things that was never really discussed was money in how it's treated. And I've found that in my own career to be so utterly vital, especially when hiring team members. One of the things I've realized is how everyone in my company. We have this shared ethos around money, you know, and people all come from a very middle class, blue collar, kind of working class background. A lot of people's parents didn't go to college like my parents didn't, and I find that the more experience I get more important it is to to have alignment financially and to be able to have those money conversations at the front end of any kind of partnership or deal or even hiring people. So that folks are on the same page. And I wanted to tell you a lesson that I learned. The hard way in my own career was how important it is to have what I call a business pre-nup. How if you're doing any kind of deal you're bringing on a partner that you just like you said, it's like having a spouse, it's like getting married, and I think prenups are really good idea because the chance of a divorce is high. You're to creative people or more than two creative people, and the fact that people's lives change in their values change and their goals change. Somebody might want out. And if you don't have those discussions at the onset, so much more pain ensues at the back end. And usually it's really expensive, a hundred percent agreed. I loved the idea, I think. Yeah, it's like no one wants to talk about the ending half the beginning. Yes. If like you have to be clear on your parameters in what what? What you want in even further to that is like I talk a lot about people's relationships to money. I mean. Morley my parents didn't go to college. They both are entrepreneurs. They work their butts off like they're working constantly. Nice screw around that thought that was so normal. But you know, for me, it was like, I, my relationship with money's been really interesting because I'd like always been a worker. I love working in. It's like it's so much part of my personality and money was like a nice to have, but I was so built on like the vision of building something this this company, it was like, I aiming care how much we were making because we had so much momentum you're going so fast in like, I was like, this is awesome. Like, let's get more people in the door to refer us grow. I was focused on that. She wasn't. She was focused more on the money side of things wanting to make more money or be able to spend more money in different ways alongside our success. And there's nothing wrong with that. They're just two different viewpoints in relationships. Yes. A business should spend money when you're equal partners. I mean that you have to be, you have to be on the same page about that. The same could be said for your personal relationships as well. Yep, I agree. So let's talk about them the comeback year. So you had, you know this thing, it took a turn, an unexpected term. You recovered. What I found so fascinating was that when you first started to kind of dip your toes into the world of events that you went to like four or five events each week and started taking note of what you felt people were doing raw, right where he felt like there was this opportunity for growth, and I think it speaks to one of your many genius owns Jacqueline, which is you're really good at understanding the competitive landscape. So I'm curious, what did you notice you know for yourself that you guys and what your vision was for, what you do differently? Yes. So I had no background in invents, and basically what was happening at the time was I on my blog, which was, you know, giving momentum. The blogger world was still kinda thing at that point, and I was getting paid as an influence or in. I would get to go to all these amazing events. And what I was a couple of different things was one is like the personal element was missing from events. So there was you would show up. You weren't really sure where to go like no one would be guiding you through the experience. And it was kind of just one of those things where people, which no one would talk to each other and everyone would take a picture and leave.