JENNIFER ALLWOOD: “Here’s the thing. I think confidence sells, Amy, and I think we are living in a world where you can find courses on confidence, books on confidence, blog posts on confidence; everybody's talking about confidence. But I think that so many women feel like one day they're going to wake up and magically they're just going to feel confident about starting a business or going back to college or running a 5K or adopting a child, whatever their scenario is, I think they're waiting for this magical feeling that somehow they're going to get—nobody really knows how—and so I feel like confidence sells because we all want it. But I feel like we really need to back the bus up, and we really need to have the goal be courage because confidence comes from doing things that you're scared to do and realizing, I did not die, okay? I feel pretty confident about trying that again.”
INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-million-dollar business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, money, and time to focus on growing my small–but–mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step–by–step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and helps you create a life you love, you're in the right place. Let's get started.
AMY PORTERFIELD: What if I told you that confidence should not be your goal? I know, right? Kind of weird for me to say that because we've all heard that we should be confident. We see it everywhere, especially on social media. Be confident. Find your confidence. Confidence is the name of the game. But what if there was a precursor to feeling confident that totally changes how we approach our business and our entire life?
My guest today is going to tell you why confidence shouldn't be your goal and what should be your goal instead. Her name is Jennifer Allwood, and if you've been with me here for a while, you might remember when Jennifer came on the show and she talked about creating multiple streams of passive income in your business. Now, I know you love that episode and you love Jennifer because that was actually one of my highest–played episodes. And since it's been far too long, I'm beyond excited to have her back on the show to talk about confidence and her latest book. Now, aside from her book and aside from this topic of confidence, we're also going to be talking about how that pesky imposter syndrome, that often sneaks up for all of us, can go hand in hand with your so-called lack of confidence, and the real way to discover your confidence and so much more.
Now, a little bit about my friend and guest Jennifer Allwood. She has helped thousands of creative entrepreneurs grow their business by leveraging social media and the online space. She teaches people how to find freedom in their business by utilizing multiple revenue streams. And like I said, she shared more about how you can do that in episode 215. So I'll be sure to link that in the show notes. Now, Jennifer has a top–rated podcast, and now she is a published author. Her new book, Fear Is Not the Boss of You, comes out on Tuesday, April 7. But you can preorder it now. We'll give you all the details in this episode. But let me tell you, this book is so good. I could not put it down. And I've chosen some of my most–favorite chapters to talk about in this episode. So let's get to it.
Hey, Jennifer, welcome back to the show. I'm so excited that you're here.
JENNIFER: Amy, I am super excited. I was telling my Instagram followers this morning, I am on with Amy Porterfield again today. What is this world? I'm so excited.
AMY: “What is this world?” is right because I'm just as excited. It's been far too long. I was excited to have you back because, as you know, we've already had you on the show. I talked about that in the intro. But this conversation is going to be amazing.
Now, before we start, first of all, congrats on the book. That must feel fantastic to have it almost out into the world.
JENNIFER: Okay, so, yes, it does. Thank you for the congratulations. So have you ever heard, Amy, people who talk about writing their first book and it's like giving birth?
AMY: Yes. And it freaks me out, actually.
JENNIFER: Okay, so, yeah, that's that—and I thought, okay, I'm sure that that's probably exactly what it feels like. No. It feels like I'm an elephant and I'm in my seventeenth month of pregnancy, and there are no epidurals, nor are there any hospitals, but the baby’s coming. Brace yourself.
AMY: So was this hard? Was it a hard experience to write this book?
JENNIFER: It was really hard for me, and I’m going to tell you why. Number one, I didn't have oodles and oodles of time. I worked with a traditional publisher. And so if you're writing a book on your own and your self-publishing, well, you can kind of put yourself on your own schedule. But I was working with a publisher, and we were trying to be pretty methodical and intentional—and I know you love those words—about the release of the book.
And this is not a political statement, in the least. So please hear me when I say that. But because it's an election year, we either needed to get the book out in the spring so that we're not competing for attention during election season, which, by the way, lasts the whole stinkin’ year, or we needed to wait until after election season and put it out next spring. And I really felt in my feeler this is really a now book. I need to get it out of me now. The sooner, the better. I'm not getting any younger, so let's do it now. So with that being said, I didn't have a year to write the book.
And then the reason it was so hard, too, is that I got 40,000 words in, Amy, and I was feeling froggy. I feel, like, okay, okay. And then I realized this is crap. I totally hate it. Oh, yeah. I threw it away. I had five weeks to go. So I got in the second, or what would have been the second version. And I got in 20,000, 25,000 words, and I’m like, this is crap, too. I literally hate it. And so I threw it away. And so with six days to spare, I restarted for a fourth time.
So the book that people are getting is the fourth version that I literally wrote in six days. And when I finally figured out what I really wanted to say, which I hadn't been saying in those earlier versions—I was dumbing some things down, and I was sugarcoating things, and I was making it sweet because I'm a sweet person, but it wasn't the truth as I wanted to say it—so when I really wrote from that position of truth and it felt like, oh, crap. People are either going to love this or they're going to hate this, then it poured out of me like hot lava. And there was just no stopping it.
AMY: Okay. I didn’t even know we were going to go here really quickly into this, but I've got to go here.
JENNIFER: Hot lava?
AMY: Yes. This is good stuff because I want to write a book. And I think you and I talked about that, that it's definitely part of one of my goals sooner than later. And I was telling Rachel Hollis the other day that I can't get it out of me. Like, I don't even know where to start. And she said, you have to be willing to write a really crappy first draft. And you were willing to do that the first time, the second time, and the third time. That is magic.
JENNIFER: Yeah. When I started over with six days left, and my editor was like—I think she was doing deep breathing. Again, much like when you're in the delivery room. And she was like, Jennifer, are you serious? I'm like, it's not what I want to put out into the world. And it was really important to me that I put out a something that—the thing with a book, Amy, is it’s so permanent. It's not like a Facebook post, where I can take it down if I realize I’m an idiot or it's just no longer my truth. But when you're putting a book onto bookshelves, that feels pretty stinkin’ permanent, and I wanted it to be the book that I was proud of, my family was proud of. And so I just felt, with six days to go, I'm like, we are scrapping it, and I'm going all in with the way that I exactly want it to be. Even if it ruffle some feathers, even if other people are not comfortable with it, this is what I'm comfortable putting out into the world. So once I got into that place, I felt like, oh, it was totally worth those three earlier crappy versions because I got the book, I wrote the book I wanted to.
AMY: Okay, so, anyone thinking about writing a book down the road, remember this conversation because I really do think it's powerful to allow yourself to start over one, two, maybe even three times.
So it's incredible—I did not know this—it’s incredible that the book I get to read is a book that was written in six days, plus three other drafts.
JENNIFER: And I was encouraged not to really share that with people, but you know what? I feel like—and I'm going to go back actually to my publisher and tell them—the reason I really want to share that is that I think that what the moral of the story is, once you really figure out what it is that you want to write about, because, literally, this was all stuff I knew, Amy. So it’s not like I'm needing to do months and months and months of research. This was all already in me.
It was just like, what angle are you going to come from? What position are you going to come from? How soft is it going to be? Is it really going to change lives? Because I was really determined not to write a book that had fluff. That just makes me want to throw up when I think about just another fluffy book that doesn't actually change a woman's life. And I wanted it to be a life changer. And sometimes I think we need to accept the fact that if it's going to actually be a life changer, it's probably going to be a feather ruffler, too, and there's going to be a lot of people that may not like it, and that's okay because those are not your people.
AMY: That, I think, was the big lesson I wanted to point out. I love that we're starting this episode with a huge bang, because that's the part that I know is difficult for me and a lot of my listeners, where we want to be nice and we want to be loved. And you're saying it took three drafts, and by that fourth one, you're like, you know what? Love me, hate me, but here's what I've got to say, and I know it's going to make a difference for the people that need to hear it most.
JENNIFER: Yeah. You and I share a friendship with Stu McLaren. I know you guys are very good friends. He's a mentor. I'm in his mastermind. And I love it when he says, love me or hate me, but there's no money in the middle.
AMY: And it's true!
JENNIFER: It really is true. When you really, like—because it's hard for me sometimes, too, Amy, because I'm Enneagram three, and we really want to be liked. Also on the DISC personality profile, I’m a high S, so what really trips our trigger is, we're like a golden doodle. Like, everybody love me, everybody love me, everybody love me. It doesn't feel good for us to know that some of our content is polarizing or that it's ruffling feathers. That doesn't feel good for a high S on the personality profile.
However, I really think that when it comes to writing a book, and I really do believe, as Stu’s saying is true, that just kind of taking a stand for what you stand for is so important. I would rather, instead of appealing to the masses, I would really rather appeal to a segment of the mass who really needs what I have to say and the way that I had to say it.
AMY: Well, you’ve done that, friend. You have done that. And I want to dive into one of those areas that might ruffle some feathers, or just people are going to stop in their tracks and say, wait, what? Are you sure?
So in chapter six—I'm going to get really specific here—you talk about the fact that confidence is not the goal. Now, when I first read this chapter, I thought to myself, what do you mean it's not the goal? I talk about confidence in the fact that my audience needs and wants it all the time, and how when you have confidence, you're able to do amazing things. However, when I dove into this chapter, I started to get it. So talk to me about why you're saying confidence isn't the goal.
JENNIFER: Yeah. I'll tell you the original name of that chapter was Confidence is a Crock of Crap.
AMY: Okay, I love the behind the scenes I'm getting today.
JENNIFER: My editor’s like, okay, we're going to soften that just a little bit. I‘m like, fine, fine. And so there were some times I had to let them help me soften stuff.
Okay, here’s the thing. I think confidence sells, Amy, and I think we are living in a world where you can find courses on confidence, books on confidence, blog posts on confidence; everybody's talking about confidence. But I think that so many women feel like one day they're going to wake up and magically they're just going to feel confident about starting a business or going back to college or running a 5K or adopting a child, whatever their scenario is, I think they're waiting for this magical feeling that somehow they're going to get—nobody really knows how—and so I feel like confidence sells because we all want it. But I feel like we really need to back the bus up, and we really need to have the goal be courage because confidence comes from doing things that you're scared to do and realizing, I did not die, okay? I feel pretty confident about trying that again. That’s how we get confidence.
When you imagine a child—and I have a whole lot of them. We've got four kiddos. We have our fourth when we are in the process of adopting right now—and when you imagine, I didn't expect her to feel confident about going to kindergarten this year. How could she feel comfort about kindergarten? She'd never been to kindergarten. She was so scared. She's new to our family, she’s new to school, she's new to teachers and desks. How could I look at her and tell her, be confident? I just feel like that would be so jerky of me as her mother. But I just was encouraging her to be brave and to be courageous. And by a couple of days, she was so much more confident about walking into school because she realized, okay, it really wasn't as bad as I thought. You know, I did the thing. It was okay.
And so I think that people want confidence, but you can't buy it. You can't manifest it. You can't wish confidence into existence. You have to do things that are scary to you—and that's what the whole book is about, doing things that are scary to you—in order for confidence to be on the other side of that. So I don't know whoever was the first one. Maybe you do, Amy, because I think you're the knower of the things, but whoever coined the phrase you just need twenty seconds of insane courage—
AMY: Oh, I love that.
JENNIFER: I think that is so accurate. You know, whether it's sending an email or doing the phone call that you need to do or resigning from the day job or naming a new business—this is not a business book, by the way, but it will help your business—because I think that we're waiting for confidence, and what we really need to be aiming for is courage.
AMY: Okay, so I absolutely love this. and I have talked about this before, and I forgot that I had talked about it, where a lot of my students, they would come to me and say, “Amy, I don't have confidence because I have zero proof that I can do this.” Yeah. And so that's when I started to realize, oh, when you don't have proof that you can make a dollar online or $100,000 online, then you do have to dig for courage.
Now, I know you're a woman of faith—some of my listeners are; some of my listeners are not—but I do believe that courage, whatever faith means to you, I believe it comes from faith, having just, like, blind faith, almost. So can you tell me how you feel about that? Where does courage come from, then?
JENNIFER: Well, so, I think courage comes from doing things that you feel like you're supposed to do for reasons other than yourself. So for me, and I have a chapter in the book where I talk about this, I don't feel courageous most of the time. So you know that I'm an introvert, Amy. We've talked about this extensively. You know that I don't love public speaking, and yet I keep saying yes to speaking on stages, and I keep having my own [unclear 16:02].
AMY: Same with me.
JENNIFER: So, the courage for me to say yes to those sorts of things comes from the fact, and I talk about this in the book, there's three things for me, because I think every woman needs to look at, well, what matters to me more than the fear, because the reason we're not courageous is that we're scared, right? So what matters more to me than being scared? Well, number one, for me, it's my faith in God. As a Christian, I believe that there's things on this side of heaven that God wants me to do and expects me to do with my gifts and talents. And I don't know that my feelings of being afraid play into that equation. You know what I mean? When I get to heaven someday, I don’t want God going, “So, Jen, why didn't you start that business?” and me be like, “Well, God, because I was scared.” I just feel like that’s [unclear 16:39] lame. So, it’s my faith, number one, that gives me courage.
Number two, it's that I have a husband and four children who are dependent upon me. I'm not talking about put food on the table. I'm just meaning, Mom has things that I need to do, that I need to show my children what courage looks like.
You know, let me give you good example. One of our kids was recently—he did not make the baseball team, the freshman, and that was painful. He's played baseball since he was four years old. And so we were encouraging him to try out again the next year. And I'm like, “Come on, Noah, you can do it.” So I'm encouraging him in courage. But if I'm encouraging him in courage—that makes zero sense—but you know what I’m talking about. Whatever it is for you, and if you have children or even if you don't have children, I'm sure that there are nieces and nephews or neighbors or whatever that you're trying to encourage. And so if I'm trying to encourage my kids to go out for baseball again, to sign up for student council, to do whatever, but Mom has this dream in her heart—and I’m sucking my thumb in a corner, even if they don’t visually see me doing it, they sense emotionally that Mom’s doing it, which, also, by the way, makes them know that Mom is a hypocrite—and so how are they going to learn courage unless I demonstrate that?
And I mention in the book, we outsource—at least I do because my kids go to public school—somebody else is teaching them algebra. Somebody else is teaching them how to drive. When I send them to church, there's people helping them learn Bible scriptures and whatever else. I send them to driving school. They learn how to do that. But who's teaching our kids courage? If it's not Mom and Dad, who's demonstrating that? And so that's really important to me.
And the third thing that is so important to me, way more important than my fear, is the community of people that I'm showing up for. So for people who may be listening, Amy, they may not have my size audience or your size audience, but they still have some audience, even if it's just the neighbor girl or the people they’re in a book club with or whatever. People are always watching. And I feel like courage is really contagious, and I think, also, staying stuck is really contagious, and I have a whole chapter on staying stuck.
So when I see other women doing things that they're scared to do; when I watch you on stage, talking about how your weight loss has affected your journey, when I see you demonstrate that type of courage, it makes me go, oh, heck, yeah. If she can share that, then I should be able to share my own thing also, right? And so I think that courage is so contagious, and we have people watching us all the time who need for us to slay our own dragons so that they can slay theirs. So when I'm thinking, okay, crap, I don't really feel like having a conference or putting a book into the world or whatever it is, I remember, okay, I report to God, I have a family that needs me, and I have a community that needs me, too.
AMY: I love this. And I want all my listeners to think of your why behind the courage as well. Yours might look different or really similar to Jennifer's, and I would say mine looks really similar to yours, for sure. But whatever it is, you've just got to spend a little time figuring out why is it so important that you do find the courage to do it even when it's uncomfortable and awkward and super, super scary. And I love that idea that other people are watching, people that you're going to inspire, because it is contagious.
JENNIFER: It’s totally contagious.
AMY: I back that 100 percent.
JENNIFER: And Amy, I think you like math, don't you? Or did I get that wrong.
AMY: No, I'm terrible at math.
JENNIFER: Oh, you're terrible at math? Okay.
AMY: Are you good at math?
JENNIFER: Okay, it's the weirdest thing. Yes.
AMY: Oh, I'm jealous.
JENNIFER: When I was in middle school, there'd be kids doing spelling bees and stuff. And I was doing math bees. I don't understand. I love math, which is really weird, considering I have a very creative brain. However, I have a chapter in Fear Is Not the Boss of You that says it basically just comes down to algebra. Remember, the “greater than” sign? It looks like a crocodile jaw. So for every woman, I think when you're looking at the things in your life that you're scared to do, but you feel like you want to do or you should be doing or you're feeling inspired to do, figuring out what's on the other side of that “greater than” sign. Just like four is greater than two, what’s greater than fear for you? Figure that out, and that’s half the battle.
AMY: What’s greater than fear? Okay, that’s a perfect way to say it. What's greater than fear for you? That's what's going to get you to actually take the steps to move forward, to do the thing. Yep.
Now, I want to go back to this topic of confidence, because we talked about—we kind of skipped over confidence, saying, look, you don't have to start with confidence; it's courage. And I'm behind that 100 percent. But there's also some people in my audience that they—unfortunately, I think we've all been there—they compared themselves to other people online. And it's really easy to look at someone's Instagram and think that you are “less than” when you forget that there's a messy middle, and you have no idea what it looks like behind.
However, I think some people think that some people are just born with more confidence than others. And it's like you come out of the womb and you just have this swagger to you or this confidence. And we look at—let's just even look at some of the female entrepreneurs out there. Someone could argue they are just more confident. Even like Marie Forleo. I just got done with the B-School launch. And that woman, since I’ve known her, has exuded confidence. Do you think she was born with it, or what’s your thought there?
JENNIFER: Okay, so, I don’t know Marie but would love to know her. Do you know her well enough, Amy? Have you guys ever had conversations—
AMY: I do. Yes.
JENNIFER: —because I feel like you do. Has she shared with you? Has she always been this confident? Because I think that, based on a lot of circumstances, that some of us just have crap handed to us growing up. Can I just go ahead and say that?
JENNIFER: I feel like I'm just using the word crap over and over, and I'm going to wash my mouth out with soap when we’re done here. Some of us were just kind of handed some stuff that we really didn't deserve, stuff that didn't help us to feel overly confident. Some of us grew up in circumstances, I think, that affected and shook our confidence. But if I look at a woman like Marie, my guess is she's just super courageous. I'm guessing that in the beginning she wasn't confident at all when she started doing different things, but that she has given herself proof over and over, evidence to herself as she's been evolving and growing into the Marie Forleo she is now, that she can do things and not die.
The truth is, fear is actually a chemistry thing that happens in our brains that God actually gave us to make sure we don't get, like, eaten by lions. You know what I mean? If you're standing on the edge of a cliff, you should be scared. If you are staring into the face of a lion, you should be scared. But we get scared about stuff like launching a course, stuff like writing a book, stuff like I talk in the book about how I've done ten triathlons. Those things terrify us. And the truth is they probably are not going to kill us, honestly. But your brain can't tell the difference between what's a logical fear and what's really an illogical fear.
So my guess would be that some people, maybe not from birth but from upbringing, are naturally more courageous and, therefore, more confident, just based on circumstances, and I think that there's other people that really have to fight for it. And I almost wonder, you and I know a lot of people in this space, who have really interesting backgrounds and really interesting stories. I'm thinking, for some reason, Lewis Howes just popped into my brain and some of the stuff he had to kind of claw through and go through in order to become who he is today. So I don't know that he was born with extra confidence or courage, but I think that he just keeps showing up for his own life, which is proving to himself over and over, okay, I'm not really going to die. And which gives him confidence in the end. Does that make sense?
AMY: It does. And I love what you just said, showing up for their own life. And I know Marie enough—I cannot speak for her, but I will tell you from my gut instinct, using her as an example, she would never say that she was born with confidence or more confidence than you or me or anything like that. But she does tell the story in her book about having a mom that just came from this way of thinking that everything is figureoutable, which is the name of her book. But she had a mom that said, no, we're just going to figure it out.
And you're right. Some people, when they are raised by people that are like, “Hey, be resourceful. Figure this out. There's nothing you can't do,” then that is going to give you maybe an extra shot of courage in the beginning, where somebody else might not have that, but they can always find it down the road. Just because you didn't have a mom like that doesn't mean that you can't be as amazing in your own right.
JENNIFER: A hundred percent. So I started the book, with the words “being stuck sucks,” and they made me kind of edit that word out, too, which is fine. So now it says “being stuck stinks.” And I talk about how just like courage is contagious, being stuck is contagious as well, because every one of us knows somebody in our life who, they are stuck. They’re making no forward progress. They’re bitter. They’re irritated with how their life currently is. There’s no joy on them. And if you know them well enough, you maybe see where they came from, their parents. And a lot of times, stuck people come from stuck people who came from stuck people. Do you know what I mean?
JENNIFER: And so I love that Marie had somebody in her life—isn't it amazing? She had somebody who was teaching her how to figure things out, which is the thing that she is now known for. And I wonder, who do you have in your life, Amy? Can I ask you that?
AMY: I have a dad that was an insanely hard worker. So he found his value in working really, really hard. And I know that some of my success comes from that mentality. How about you?
JENNIFER: Well, I had a grandmother who told me over and over, “Jennifer, you're going to be anything you want to be. You can do anything you want to do.” And literally, I was crazy enough just to believe her because the sun kind of rose and set on Grandma. I adored that woman. And so I don't know why, but I just kind of instinctively believed that to be true.
But I also know that you don’t have to stay stuck, even if you were raised by stuck people, even if you were not raised in a home that handed you courage or confidence. There are still ways that you can get around that. I think part of the battle, Amy, is figuring out why you are stuck and why you are lacking so much confidence, and getting to the root of that, because getting to the root of real issues, instead of just slapping a Band-Aid on it and trying to pretend and trying to be one thing on Instagram that you really are not, getting to the root of things is so, so helpful.
AMY: Okay, so, I’m so glad you brought that up because I wanted to talk to you about one of the roots of not finding the courage and then the confidence is imposter syndrome. And it comes up a lot with my listeners. And I know you talk about this in the book. So how can you be courageous when you feel crippled? I mean, I'm talking paralyzed by imposter syndrome. So when you feel like a fraud, how the heck are you supposed to be courageous?
JENNIFER: Yeah. So, okay. Five or six years ago, my business was really starting to grow in the online space. So I had had a local painting company in Kansas City at that point for twelve or thirteen years. But I was shifting into the online space, and I was selling DIY videos, and then people kept seeing my social media exploding, and they're like, “How do you have 200,000 Facebook followers? Will you teach me how to do that?” And so then I was shifting into coaching. And it was interesting because I still felt like, okay, I don't really know what I'm doing. I can tell them how I got to 200,000 or 300,000 on Facebook. But at any moment they're going to be like, okay, this girl is just a little bit creative, she was good at painting, and she really doesn't know what she's doing.
And so my husband gave me this book that came at just the most perfect time. It’s called Crash the Chatterbox, and is written by a pastor, If you have people listening right now who are not faith based, totally fine; you’re still going to love the book because he talks about all things outside of the church, goes beyond saying. Great examples like that. So it’s an amazing book.
So I read this book, Amy, and he gives example after example after example in Crash the Chatterbox, and the chatterbox is what he's calling imposter syndrome, about how all of these people that you see on The Tonight Show, how they're throwing up in the background before they go out on stage. He has one of the biggest churches in the United States, with, like, eight satellite offices or something. And I'm sure that that is an absolute wrong number, so don't quote me on that. I don’t think he's going to care. That's not the point. But anyway, but he's young, and so he started pastoring in his 20s. And so he said every time he would go out on a stage in front of 10,000, 20,000 people, he would hear in his head, who do you think you are, boy? You're just a child. And so he gives his own experience with imposter syndrome. And I remember when I read the book thinking, oh, my goodness. Okay, so this guy, who I follow on Instagram, who has a bajillion followers, he feels like that? And wait. You mean to tell me that that actor is literally throwing up before he's on The Tonight Show, not once, not twice, but every time before he goes on TV. He has that same imposter syndrome?
It made me feel so normal because in my head I thought I'm the only one that feels like a farce out here and in realizing that most of us have that imposter syndrome. And part of that is I think that we feel like we need to know everything in order to lead people or coach people or write a book or have a podcast or whatever. And the truth is, we just need to know a little bit more than the people who are right behind us. And so if we'll quit putting that pressure on ourselves to know everything about the topic that we're interested in, I think that that would really help each of us with our own imposter syndrome.
AMY: I completely agree. And I think that's one of the reasons why I have vowed to be more open and honest with my journey, because I know that when—like, you tell me stories of you don't want to get up on stage. When you told me that that was not something you totally look forward to, I was like, holy cow, me neither. But I would have never guessed that of you. And the fact that you're still doing it. But I love it because you've got your whys behind it.
JENNIFER: I do have my whys, yes. But every time I’m onstage, still, for days ahead of time, my stomach’s all in cramps, and I’m thinking to myself, why do I do this? This is so dumb. This is ridiculous. I get so worked up. And every year I tell my team, we're not doing this again. This is dumb. This is why I do Facebook Lives and a podcast, so I don't have to do the face–to–face stuff.
And so it's so freeing. Whenever I hear Amy unplugged—that's what I call it, Amy unplugged—whenever I hear that, I'm like, oh, my gosh, thank you for just saying your truth, because it makes me feel so much more normal.
AMY: Yes, yes. And I’ve got this bigger message in me about you can do amazing things, have a million–dollar business or whatever you want to have, and still be super messy on the back end and not have it all figured out. And I think that’s this idea of courage, where it doesn't look super pretty, you guys, but you can still move forward with the courage.
So I want to actually—in the book, you say, courage is what will make you say yes to things in spite of your feelings about it. Confidence says, I know what I'm doing. Courage says, I don't know what I'm doing, but I'll try it anyway. Okay, I love this so much. And the question that, when I read this, I wanted to ask you, so how do you use courage to help you become confident? Because ultimately, my listeners want to be confident. There’s nothing wrong with that, right?
JENNIFER: Yeah, I agree 100 percent. Okay, so here's how I use courage. I just try to keep saying yes to the next right thing that God puts in front of me, honestly. So whether I feel like it or not, that's what I feel like I'm supposed to do. That's my own personal journey. And so if I feel like this is something that I really want to do deep down in my heart, I feel like God’s asked me to do, then my answer has to be yes. And I talk in the book about how I'm always hopeful that I'll start feeling confident. But the truth is, I'm getting ready to have another conference, Amy, and I still don't feel confident. I've spoken onstage in front of Chip and Joanna Gaines, 2,000 people, not once, but twice. I have been at speaking events where Chip and Joanna were there also. I’ve been at two of their things. Or they’ve been in Kansas City at two things, and I was also speaking at the same event. So I got to, back in the old periscope days, do you remember that?
JENNIFER: I got to interview Chip and Joanna. Let me just tell you, she is as sweet as you want her to be. She touched my hair and pushed it back, off of my shoulders, and I pretty much died. It was like Mother Teresa touching me.
AMY: I get it.
JENNIFER: But I talk in the book about how my journey in both business and—because it's weird, because here’s the thing, Amy. We think that we can keep business over here and life over here and compartmentalize things. But no. When God really started making me do things that I was scared to do, it was when I was thirty–nine. I'm forty–eight right now. And it kept showing up in my business.
And the way He did that was I went to my first triathlon, just to watch, just to watch the triathlon. I had zero desire to do a triathlon. But I went to watch with a girlfriend of mine. And somehow after watching this woman—and I talk about this in the book—she was in her 70s, and I watched her swim in the lake 500 meters with a snorkel. And I bawled, as did everybody around me watching this woman in her 70s, because I'm thinking I would have been freaking out about my swim suit and about my waterproof mascara. And she’s like, to heck with it. She got in the lake, with a snorkel, and swam this whole thing. And so that made me think, well, holy smokes, if she's in her 70s and can do a triathlon—I was thirty–nine—and I thought, why don't I sign up for a triathlon next year for my fortieth birthday? because it was on my fortieth-birthday weekend. And then I remembered, oh, crap, I can't swim. Oh yeah. That presents a bit of a problem when you're thirty-nine and can’t swim. So I talk in the book about how in the last eight, nine years, I've done ten triathlons.
JENNIFER: I know. And the Today show even came out and covered it, which is really cool, except I was in spandex on the Today show. I just need you to know that.
AMY: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Yeah, that takes a lot of courage, in my world.
JENNIFER: Yeah. I’m still scarred from it. But it was amazing because they were doing this segment on how women are celebrating turning forty in a different way than they used to, which was by going to Vegas and things. And now we've got women like me who are doing something weird, like we're doing our first triathlon and learning how to swim.
So anyway, I talk in the book about how I've done ten triathlons, and by the way, I have not died. And I was hoping I would start feeling super–duper confident about my swimming. But literally, I had to take a year of swimming lessons to even do my first one. And Amy, I've had a panic attack on all ten triathlons. In the water, if it's a pool one—I've done a couple ones that are in a pool—I have to stop and hold on to the side or the thing that divides the water in the lanes. If it's out in a lake, I've had to stop almost every single one on one of the lifeguards buoys and try to get my breathing under control. I've had a panic attack on ten triathlons. But here's the deal. So I'm still not confident about my swimming. I still stink at swimming. But guess what. I'm confident that I'm not going to die, and I'm confident that I just did ten of them. And if I sign up for one this summer, which I'm kind of considering again—I skipped last summer so I could write the book—I'm confident that I'm not going to die. I'm confident that I'm going to make it out alive. But I'm still not a confident swimmer. Does that make sense?
AMY: Okay, yes.
JENNIFER: Because sometimes I think we're putting our confidence in the wrong thing.
AMY: Yes. Okay, that's kind of a big aha. I have not thought about it this way. So when I said the ultimate end goal, though—that's really funny. I asked you just a minute ago, but the goal is to be confident, right? I started this episode by you telling us in chapter six that is not the goal. So I kind of got mixed up there. But even this just shows you how much it's ingrained in me that confident, confident, confident, where you're saying you might not ever be totally confident in anything that you want really bad. It might show up very differently for you about what confidence looks like. But you're just saying get into action. Just do the thing. Get in the game.
JENNIFER: I mean, for so many of your listeners, you have an audience like mine of business owners, and so many of them, they're wanting to launch a course. Maybe they already did, Amy. Maybe it was horrible. They only had ten people sign up instead of the hundred they were waiting for. Well, so maybe you're not real confident about launching that again, but have enough courage to do it. Maybe the next time you get twenty, which still isn't—you're not confident about the results you're going to get, but at least be confident enough to know, okay, I've tried this. I’m going to try it again. I did not die. I think sometimes we need to figure out what are we confident in, because some of that is, I'm confident that I can keep—at this point in my business, I know that even if I have a launch, let's say, that just absolutely bombs, I’m confident enough about what I've done thus far in business to be like, okay, but I'll still be able to figure out something that I can put out into the world. It may not be this thing that's really, really great, but I'm going to figure out something. And I think that that's confidence in how God’s shown up for me in the past. That's me being confident that I've tried a lot of things, and I figured out maybe a million of them that don't work. Eventually, something's got to work, right? I'm confident in the fact that you've proven time and time again that people want courses and maybe it's just a matter of positioning. I think it's figuring out what is it that you really want to be confident about. I'm still not a confident swimmer, but I'm confident I'm not going to die when I swim. They're two totally different things.
AMY: Yes. And that makes perfect sense for me. I feel like we could talk about this book for hours and just scratch the surface. And I have so many more questions for you, but I also don’t want to give it all away. I think people need to hear these stories and exercises and approaches in your own words from the book. And two things. One, you did read your own book, right?
JENNIFER: I did. And guess what.
JENNIFER: I loved it!
AMY: Oh, good!
JENNIFER: In a weirdo kind of way, Amy. If I ever fail as a business coach, I think I have a second job as a speak-over person. I'm not even exaggerating. They booked me two and a half days to do my audiobook. And girl, I got in there, and it was like something took over my mouth, and I loved it. We only needed two days. And on the first day, I'm like, let's do another chapter. And you're in a booth, just kind of like a stand–up coffin with windows. So it's got to be airtight and all that jazz. And so the guy on the other side, Chase, young little 20-something. He was so sweet and so kind, amazing. And so I'm talking to Chase through the thing. I’m like, “Hey, Chase. Let's do another one.” He's like, “No, I think you've pushed hard enough for today.” I'm like, but seriously, I'm having so much fun. So anyway, long story short, I didn't even need the full time to record the audiobook. I loved it. It was my jam. And so, yeah, I did the audio version.
AMY: Okay, I’m so excited about that. I have the book, but I'm going to definitely listen to it as well because I'm obsessed with Audible. So where can people find this book?
JENNIFER: Okay, so if you go to Amazon, the book comes out April the seventh. It's called Fear Is Not the Boss of You. So you can just look up “Fear Is Not the Boss of You.” You can look up Jennifer Allwood. But if you preorder on Amazon, you don't actually pay for it until April 7, when it comes out. And the cool thing—just to tuck in your brain, Amy, for when you launch your own book. I’m just speaking that over you—is that the cool thing about doing a preorder is they will give you the lowest price. So if it says twenty–five dollars today, but it goes down to twenty tomorrow, which it does really fluctuate a lot on Amazon, they'll charge you the lowest price on the day it comes out.
AMY: I didn’t know that.
JENNIFER: Right? So go get your preorder. That would be awesome. And if you preorder, too, we have some special bonuses for people who do that. Or you can go to jenniferallwood.com/book or FearIsNottheBossofYou. If you just click in “fear is not the boss of you” about anywhere, my book should come up.
AMY: Okay. I love freebies. When you preorder the book, and then there's some extra. So they'll find all the details about that if they go to your website?
JENNIFER: They will, yeah. We've got some bonuses for people that order one for them and one for a friend, because the way that books get into the hands of Targets and Walmarts and Sam's Club is a lot of that is based on preorders. This is just for anybody in your audience who is wanting to write a book.
AMY: I love talking about this stuff.
JENNIFER: Yeah. So as many preorders as you can possibly get. So we're literally—I'm just being ballsy, and I'm just asking people, “Would you order one for you and order one for a friend? Number one, I think it's life changing. And number two, it's really helpful to me.” But we also have some special bonuses for people that want to use it for a Bible study or for a book study or for a girls’ group that they have, and so if you order ten or more, there's some even more special bonuses for you. And that's all at jenniferallwood.com/book.
AMY: Perfect. I'm going to link to it in the show notes, guys. So I'll make sure I get that to you as well.
Jennifer, this has been so much fun. I love the topic of confidence and courage and imposter syndrome. I think we should be talking about it even more so. You get into all the details in the book and then some. Remember, guys, if you're feeling stuck, that is also a big part of this book. So you have to get your hands on it. Fear Is Not the Boss of You. Jennifer, congratulations on a beautiful book. I can't wait until my listeners read it.
JENNIFER: Thank you, thank you. You are awesome. I appreciate you and your support and just what you're doing. You're slaying your own dragons, and those of us that are coming up behind you, we’re watching. And I just appreciate that about you. So thank you.
AMY: Thank you, friend. Talk to you soon.
AMY: So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this great conversation that I got to have with Jennifer. And let me tell you, there is so much more to share around confidence and courage and being stuck and doing big things that you know you are meant to do. So go grab her book. You are going to love every minute of it.
All right. I can't wait to see you same time, same place next week. Bye for now.