What is holding you back from pursuing the life you want? In most cases, the answer is fear. Change makes us really uncomfortable, and our brains are wired to resist anything that takes us outside our comfort zone. But today’s guest is ready to help you forge a new neural pathway and expand your comfort zone through clearly defined goals and strategic action.
Jill Ethier is a personal strategist who combines her passion for business with the power of energy to mentor aspiring entrepreneurs who want more in every aspect of their lives, from business to relationships to health and personal growth. Her online programs provide the framework to shift your mindset, reclaim your power, and fulfill your purpose.
Jill spent a number of years as the Director of Marketing for SIGA, managing four casino marketing departments. After the passing of her young daughter, she knew she wanted to live her life differently, and Jill began to study Feng Shui and other energy disciplines. In 2000, she united her love of business strategy with the study of energy to found Jill Ethier Consulting. Today she shares tactics around cultivating the right mindset, tackling resistance to change, and avoiding distractions. Listen in to understand the importance of a strong WHY and how to prioritize daily actions as you work toward a meaningful life.
Jill’s ideal client
- Moms 30-48
- Want more for selves in all areas
- Aspire to build businesses
The greatest challenge Jill’s clients face
- Developing mindset (belief they can do it)
- Fear, discomfort is normal
How to cultivate appropriate mindset
- Brains wired to stop when outside comfort zone
- Must create new neural pathway
- Provide structure/framework (e.g.: three actions per day)
- Acknowledge resistance, but commit to take action regardless
- Dig deeper into the WHY
How to tackle extreme resistance to change
- Complete most significant tasks first thing in morning (highest energy, focus)
- Sets you up for WIN
- If get off track, get back quickly
How to avoid distractions like social media and email
- Ask yourself if activity will move you forward toward goals
- Prioritize actions that are more important
Jill’s energetic platform
- Focus mental, physical and spiritual energy first thing
- ‘Sets the table’ for your day
How accountability plays into success
- Depends on person, level of change
- Investment in coach tends to raise the stakes
- Accountability helps shift habits
Jill’s advice around goal-setting
- Establish five-year goals (global perspective)
- Define one-year goals
- Break into 90-day cycles and 30-day sprints
- Determine daily actions
- Set objectives in all areas – business, health, relationships, personal growth
- Design goals that are realistic with a stretch, rather than idealistic
- Avoid setting too many goals (only so much time, energy and effort)
Connect with Jill Ethier
I am a Personal Strategist and my clients call me their Energetic Ninja. My purpose is to equip my clients with energetic and strategic tools and techniques to live the life they truly want. I mix my passion for strategy and business with the power of energy to help you create the life that you desire.
If you want more time, more energy and more money, I have created online programs to help you create the structure, framework and life strategy to make it your reality. By shifting your mindset, exploiting your skillsets and focusing on your Soulset© (your purpose and the action you take), you reclaim your power, increase your abundance and fulfill your purpose. You will align your life with the call of your soul so that you are living the life you truly want each and every day.
Laura Pennington (Host): Hello everybody and welcome back to the Better Biz Academy Podcast. My guest today is Jill Ethier. She is a personal strategist and her clients call her their energetic ninja. Her purpose is to equip her clients with energetic and strategic tools and techniques to live the life they truly want. She mixes her passion for strategy and business with the power of energy to help clients create the life that they desire. If you are looking for more time, more energy and more money, she has created online programs to help create the structure, framework and life strategy to make it your reality. Welcome to the show, Jill!
Jill Ethier (Guest): Hi, thanks so much for having me. I am excited to do this.
Laura: Awesome. I'd love to hear about how you got to where you are today and obviously, you are a personal strategist now. Did you have a life before that?
Jill: So before that I was actually in the corporate world. I was a Director of Marketing for numerous casinos and then I did business strategy consulting on the side. So, you know that is where this love of using energy and strategy mixed for me is the fact that I know now in that corporate environment which strategy works and then how do we apply that now to our personal lives and how do we move it forward using energy. So about just over ten years ago, actually one of my daughters died and that is when I quit my corporate career and decided that I wouldn’t go back. I wanted to live my life differently. As much as I was really good at my job, I just knew there was more for me. I knew there was more in me and I knew that I needed to use my skillset and show who I was in a different way. And thus, in that process I was actually learning Feng Shui so I was learning a lot about how to use energy in your home and then I realized that if we could mix energy and strategy together, it’s a beautiful way to move not only your life but also your business forward. So, it became this nice mix for me of energy and my love for business strategy. It takes me back to my corporate roots but allows me to do the business that I want from my home.
Laura: Well it sounds like it really evolved into something that you already knew how to do and passionate about doing it but now you are doing it in your own way. Who is your ideal client?
Jill: When I look at who my ideal client is, I really have targeted those women out there, usually moms at home who have dedicated quite a bit of their life to making sure they're raising their kids in a certain way and they also want to get into the business world. They want to start making money on their own. They want to be independent and they don’t necessarily have all of this strategic knowledge to make that happen in a business. And it's also how do you balance that whole motherhood versus entrepreneurship role and what does that look like so we are not burning out in the process. So, that is definitely my ideal client - those mothers aged about 30ish to 45-48. They are just wanting more, they are wanting more in their level of abundance. They are wanting to do something business wise, they are wanting to use their purpose more, they are wanting to deepen their relationship, wanting to shift their personal health and well-being. So, it’s a fun market to work in because it is dedicated women who are just, it’s time to up level their life in all areas, so it’s a lot of fun.
Laura: It seems like that is a really common pressure point for especially the women in this parenting concept. When they are brand new to parenting, they are then looking towards what’s going to be next and how can they infuse some of that passion or maybe that interest in entrepreneurship back in their life. What do you think are the biggest challenges that people in that position are facing when they come to you?
Jill: One of the biggest challenges really is mindset. Believing in their self that they can do and finding a way to do it all, so figuring it out. They want to do it but how can they beat those demons of lack of faith. The fear that comes up when you are stepping outside of your comfort zone, when you are going into something new; when the people around you don’t support you as much as you'd like them to. You are going out into a new area of your life and so mindset becomes very key in understanding what’s my reason why and when you have strong reason why, then it helps strengthen your mindset so you continue to move forward even when you are uncomfortable because we know that with sort of growth and expansion, discomfort and fear are going to be there. They are like best friends and so it's understanding that that’s normal, that you are going to feel uncomfortable, that you are going to have some fear, that things aren’t going to go according to plan all of the time and so when you really focus on the mindset piece, I find that the dedication and reason why is there, success is possible. But if the mindset doesn’t backup that whole piece, then it gets harder to do.
Laura: Absolutely, and I think that mindset gets played down a fair amount, at least that is how I approached it when I first heard of it. I thought okay that's way too spiritual, way too woo-woo. This is about running a business or taking care of your family and those are things where your mindset doesn’t really matter. It’s just things that you have to do. Can you dig into more of what you mean when you say the word mindset so that people can understand how that influences both your personal as well as your professional life?
Jill: Well I think what happens is this, so if we are in a position in our life or in our business where we want something more. So, in business we want more revenue. We want to build our team. We want to switch careers, whatever it is. In our relationships, we want to deepen them. We want to spend more quality time, we want more communication. Or say we have a health and well-being goal of losing that fifteen pounds or eating cleaner. Whenever we have a goal that is different from where we are right now, it requires us to step outside of our comfort zone. And that where's mindset becomes key. It's the reason why people stop is because our brains are actually wired for us to stop. The moment we get outside of our comfort zone, the old crop brain will say May Day! May Day! Stop! Stop! because we are not in the area of our comfort. So, when we start understanding that that’s actually a very normal response and that we have to continue to keep going regardless of how we are feeling about it, thinking about it - those emotions and moods that are coming up, we have to keep taking action, regardless. What’s happening there is we are creating that new neural pathway to allow us to expand out comfort zone, to get closer to where it is we want to be. But what I lacked in understanding was the fact that when we’re pushing on to something we want, we have to keep going. Those fear responses are natural. That level of discomfort is natural. So, it’s that mindset that is key. When I look at mindset, it’s a matter of identifying, this is why I provide structure and framework for my clients is, these outcomes that we want at the end of the week and we have to take significant action based on them on a daily basis. So, I'll choose three significant actions and I am going to do them regardless of how I feel about it. Because we are not always going to be excited about it and it’s not always going to be totally in our wheelhouse and it’s not always going to be something we are going to love doing. But we have to understand that if there is somewhere we want to go, we need to take those actions. But our brain is wired to stop us so it’s like rewiring your brain. That's what mindset really is. And there's such great knowledge and information about it out there but I didn’t even understand that that what’s stop you from going to the next level in all areas of your life. It’s really just that mindset piece and understanding how the brain works and what you have to do regardless of it.
Laura: That’s so interesting because I think there’s so many different ways that we can see that play out in our own lives, and in other people’s lives. It’s so much easier to go with the path that you have already warmed really well. You know exactly what to do even if you recognize that those habits are not going to get you to the point where we want to be or that those habits are bad and are actually taking you down a different path altogether. But, like you said, sticking with it is so hard and I know part of that is that mindset of "I am going to be committed to these three actions whether I want to do them or not" but that seems to be where a lot of people get stuck. So how do you push yourself past that point of, you have committed to do something every single day whatever that is, work on your business, run, something like that, and then you just don’t feel like it and you are feeling that extreme resistance. How do you recommend that people deal with that?
Jill: I think, the biggest piece what I found with a client is the acknowledgement that there will be resistance. And then it’s a matter of setting up the structure and framework and having the time scheduled in your day that you just do it. Like with my clients they have these three actions they need to take every single day and it’s like they are done by the end of the day regardless. And so, when you start setting up a structure for yourself of how it works and creating the right time and space, then it’s a matter of keeping the commitment and getting into the rhythm routine of what it is and that usually takes, let’s say from 21 to 60 days. So, you just have to fully commit to it. But how you fully commit to it is really digging deeper as to what’s my reason why? Why do I want what I want? Because you have to ensure that what you are going after is something you truly want. It’s not something that the neighbors have or what should be next in your business so you feel compelled to do it even though it’s what you truly want. It has been something with regards to your physical health and well-being that you want. Like your reason why is really what continues to drive you. Because your end destination and your goal is big enough that you will do the work regardless of how you feel. And then really, it is just a commitment and a dedication to doing the tasks. I'd recommend that you do as many of the significant actions and the hardest ones first thing in the morning, like as soon as you can. Because if you can tackle something that you have extreme resistance to right away, it sets you up for the rest of the day, it sets you up for the win. And then it’s just a matter of knowing also that you are going to get off-track. That’s a natural course of life. Things are going to happen and the resistance is going to overtake you but how quickly you can get back on track really just matters most.
Laura: I love this idea of doing those things first thing in the morning. And I feel like two of the challenges to that would be that entrepreneurs, in particular feel really called to, 1) deal with their email or 2) deal with social media; whether that’s they are doing for their clients as a social media manager or something, or they have their own social media channels where they're promoting their business or their brand. And it seems like those two things are important in the sense, but they are also highly distracting and it must be hard to break that habit of checking them first thing in the morning. Do you have any tips for doing that?
Jill: Yeah and they truly are. Because our phones are usually our alarm clocks so it’s just a matter of realizing that is this one of my top three significant actions for today. Is this going to move my life forward, my business forward in the way in which I wanted? Is it going to get me where I want to go or is there an action that’s more important? There are causal studies done that those first two hours in the morning are vital because you are most focused and it’s where your energy is highest. So, you need to dedicate it to the tasks that matter the most. So, it’s a matter of setting up those structures. So maybe the night before you determine the top three tasks, and you have to check off one or two of them before you check your social media. If social media is your business and that’s what you are doing for your clients, you could probably make the argument that that is one of the most significant actions because it is moving your business forward. But it really is just getting in the rhythm of routine and deciding what you want most. Like if you are wanting something different in your life, you have to realize that you have to make a change. I have something called The Energetic Platform that I teach my clients and basically what it is, is in the morning before they get anything else going, they have to focus on their mental, physical and spiritual energy. So, the mental energy is really mindset so it’s a matter of you are doing some sort of study and learning via audiobooks or books or podcasts or YouTube videos and then you are teaching it. So, you go straight into teaching. Because when we learn something, it’s great to consume information but you are wasting time unless you are actually utilizing it. So, then you teach it. The physical component is moving the body first thing in the morning and then fueling yourself properly through the day. Because that sustains us so we can take the actions we want. And then the spiritual energy component is meditation because it calms the mind, it creates space, it shifts the immune system, it’s overall really beneficial. So, I encourage my clients before their day even starts that they have anywhere between thirty to sixty minutes depending on how much time you spend in each of those areas where they do that first. And it really becomes, it’s like setting the table for the day. They get ready for the day based on this and then they go into their significant actions. But it’s training and it's getting used to it. And then seeing the results of it and then continuing to use this system and the process and deciding what you truly want. So, if you want something different, getting caught in the email loop and then the social media loop is taking too much time away from what it is that you truly should be doing.
Laura: That's such a great way to think about it. How much do you think that the accountability or somebody having a person like you, that is checking in with them and helping to keep them on track plays into somebody's success when they are trying to make changes in their life?
Jill: I think it depends on the level of change they are making and the individual person. I think that accountability group, having somebody like me, one-on-one where you are doing something new, it's something significant and it’s pretty far outside your comfort zone, is key. Because accountability matters, it allows you to start shifting those actions that you need to shift but you have somebody there that you are accountable to that will keep you going that you have likely paid into. So now you have put dollars on the table to make it happen. So, your investment is higher in it. Well, there are some people who require very minimal investment and they will do it because they want it bad enough so it really becomes an individual choice. I know for myself personally, when I am ready to up level any area of my life in a big way, I hire somebody to provide me with some different strategies, some different options of how to do it and then a level of accountability so I can make the habit shift so it becomes a part of my process. And then once it is part of my process, I know that I will continue on because that’s the type of person I am. I have clients that have worked with me for ten years and they are in any program I have because they just like the accountability of me because they know that if I am in their back pocket they’ll be like, "what will Jill say?" and Jill would say, "just take the action anyways." Keep going like you have to keep the momentum going to get to where you want to go and even if you don’t know if it’s the right step, you can adjust along the way. So, accountability is quite significant because we are dealing with that mindset base which is a little bit tricky. So, it comes down to the level of accountability somebody needs and it changes based on the person.
Laura: Absolutely, that is so great that you can sense as a coach that how much someone's going to need a particular part of your service and some people really benefit from having accountability in their corner. I am curious as to hear your thoughts with you being a professional in this field. There is a lot talk out there about how many people shoot themselves in the foot basically by not having crystal clear goals or by having way too many goals. So, is there such a thing as having too many goals? I have heard you should only work on one to three things at a time and how do you define those goals in terms of a time range as well to make sure that you have a better chance of achieving them?
Jill: I think we over estimate what we can accomplish in the short term so it's understanding that we probably need to dial that back a bit. So, what I like to do with my clients is we take a look at what do you want five years from now, kind of from a global perspective but it’s always a little bit fuzzy. And then we look at what do we want a year from now. Because a year, we can have a better definition of what is likely going to happen and then we like to work in 90-day cycles and 30-day sprints, depending on how you frame your year. So, a 90-day cycle then gives you your 90 days towards that one year goal. What do you have to have accomplished and then we take a look at all areas of your life. So, we look at your business or your career. We look at your physical health and well-being, we look at your relationships, and we look at your personal growth. And I recommend that they set one significant outcome that they want to achieve by the end of the 90 days and then we break it down into one of the weekly outcomes we need. What are the daily actions? So, we are working towards it. But when you have too many things on the go, what happens is you lose focus. And you only have so much energy so your energy is being dispersed too much. So, you have to be careful of that. Then I also think that when you set a goal that is too far away from where you want to be, I call it the idealistic goal versus realistic with a stretch. You are better off setting a realistic with a stretch goal that you will get there because you have set too much of an idealistic goal that is too far from where you are now. The leap of who you need to become is too hard to do and your commitment will likely wane. And so, it’s a matter of, I want my clients to stretch themselves with their goals and they have to work to get there but let’s not go from making $1000 a day to $15,000 a day is the next goal because it’s too far of a leap unless you have some amazing new product or service that you can offer. So, it’s a matter of realizing that you only have so much time and energy and effort so you can only accomplish so much. So, let’s make it a realistic goal with a stretch in tighter timeline because we know that time looks bent based on how much time we give ourselves. If we give ourselves too much time to finish the task, we'll be rushing in the end to finish it. That is Parkinson's Law on how time works. It’s a matter of setting the timeframe, setting a realistic goal with a stretch so you have to work hard to get there and then understanding that usually less is more and if you get there faster, then you can just go on to the next desired goal or outcome.
Laura: It's interesting how important that connection is because once people get to the process of setting a goal, it’s just as important to consider the goal that you are setting and how you plan to achieve it because if you don’t have it structured the right way, you can lose momentum so early on and that can be so detrimental to your success. Well, I know that I have learned the tremendous amount about goal setting and mindset and the fusion between strategy and energy. Where can people go to learn more about you?
Jill: So, you can find me at www.jillethier.com, That’s my website where you will find my online programs and the things that I offer. You can find me on a podcast at Ninja Jill Knows and there is usually a couple a week that focus on energy and strategy and moving your life forward. And then also you can find me on Facebook at Jill Ethier. I am there daily posting and spreading post and strategy to live your life and focus on what it is you truly want and your reason why as you move forward accomplishing your dreams and desires.
Laura: Awesome. Well thank you so much for being a guest on the podcast.
Jill: Thank you. I appreciate having you and I hope that if anybody has questions that they get a hold of me and that they can use some of this to move forward in their life and business.
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