• Positive Polarity Podcast

How to Defy the Default with Jess Kern




Bio:


After several job changes and suffering back-to-back job loss, I was completely discouraged with the career path I had chosen. I felt alone & frustrated with the lack of materials that existed to help people discover their true calling instead of trading a life of joy & fulfillment for one of anxiety & depression. After I was unexpectedly let go for the second time, I decided that it was time to start calling my own shots. I was going to do whatever it took to create the life that I so deeply wanted and refused to believe didn't exist.

I became obsessed with learning how to become the best version of myself and started developing habits that made me successful in all aspects of my life, not just my career. I decided that I needed to create something that would allow people like me to have immediate access to structured content & tactical advice in order to help them dream bigger, network with a group of like-minded professionals & use their past experiences to pivot towards purpose in order to avoid burnout in their careers. So, I created the DTD Method (Dream/Tribe/Direction) & designed a digital course called Defy the Default, that would allow you to adapt everything I learned to advance in my life & career in just 6 weeks.


I want you to feel confident in your career direction, eliminate fear behind taking necessary risks for growth, embrace the best version of yourself & design the life you were created to live. You would not have big dreams if you didn't already have what it takes to achieve them. It was woven into your very being the day that you were born. So dig deep & go big, because deciding what you want is the first step to getting it. Stop living your life on autopilot! Start designing the life you were created to live. Because you are the author of the story you are writing... Let's make it legendary.

Listener Freebie:

I teach a free LIVE Goal Setting Workshop that will be offered to all of your listeners which is an abbreviated version of Week 2 of my course. In addition, everyone who enters your discount code at checkout (Positive Polarity Podcast)​ will receive 50% off when they invest in my course.

Get In Touch:

https://defy-the-default.mykajabi.com/home-page






Shownotes:

Dave:

Hey, Dave, Melinda here, positive polarity, podcast. I hope things are going awesome for you. I'm super stoked again to find somebody from my recent past that I ran into, and then she ops and moves to South Carolina. And doesn't tell anybody which we'll get into in a little bit, but no. All kidding aside, Jessica Kern, how are you today?


Jess:

I'm so good. How are you? I'm good.


Dave:

Awesome. Thanks for hanging out with us a little bit. You are the owner of an interior vision design studio, which tells us about what's going on over there.


Jess:

Oh, my goodness. My background and my career choice was interior design. I've always been creative at heart since I was a little kid. And I'm sure we'll get into this more with the questions and things like that and how I evolved as a business owner and how entrepreneurship came to be for me. But yes, interior design is my passion, and I've had my business for about three years. And even in a global pandemic, finding new ways to thrive and being new and knowing not a thing about business, I have like started from the ground up, and it has been such a journey with such a blessing.


Dave:

Well, and, and what I really, I love the fact we met because you were, you were working for a client, and we got to spend some time together. We got to know you a little bit that way before you up and left the Midwest.

But the cool part is what I wanted to and unpack with you today on this, which I call a dual personality thing. And then you said just dual. So maybe there's more, but I know that you focus your, your, like I said, your interior vision design studio, I don't want to say your day job, but that's been your focus now. Suddenly, something came along, and I see more and more people, entrepreneurs doing multiple things. What all of a sudden is this DTD thing?


Jess:

Oh, well, I, so I just want to start and like express major gratitude to you because you have been such a career mentor, a friend, like since, since we've met, I've just admired your work looked up to you. I think when we met, I was in such a place as I am right now. I had no idea what my goals were, what my career ambitions were. All. I knew that I was lost and stumbling through like corporate America after graduating from UWC Evan's point in interior architecture and gravitating towards design positions and just like really lost in my career journey because I wanted to pursue something so badly, so wholeheartedly and passionately, because that's just the type of person that I am. I go all-in with everything that I do. And I went all in to design, and it just wasn't panning out.


Like it just was, it felt like I was picked up, and I had this lack of purpose and resentment towards this, this time, and this effort that I had spent and invested in myself to get to this point. And then I was like, well, when, when will I have arrived? Like what, how many years is it going to take before I don't dread going into work on Monday morning? And I have, the nine to five, I have the benefits. I have a great income. I have all the things that I defined as my success or how I define success, but I felt so disappointed. When we met, I don't want to say it was like rock bottom for me, but it was like I was at this position I had; I had left awesome jobs just to switch gears and just find something that clicked.


And w once again, I had landed somewhere that just didn't feel like it was for me. When you and I were able to connect when you started to coach me through, you know, like the whole idea of pivoting towards purpose and something that I talk about in the DTD method is something that was inspired by those early conversations that you and I had. And just truly finding some type of like joy and fulfillment instead of anxiety and depression. That was just I feel like driving my life then. I was struggling to find that career direction. After working with you, I suffered my first job loss, and I had watched; I've watched my parents go through a job loss in the recession of 2008.


Both my parents lost their jobs at the same time. After we got back from this wicked family vacation to Hawaii, my parents just invested, like all of this money. And then we found it was, and it was an amazing family memory. It's something I'll always look back on and cherish. But after that happened, both my parents lost their jobs, and I was a senior in high school. I was applying for colleges, and I knew how much I would cost and where I wanted to go. And it shifted my entire perspective of you know, is it selfish for me to watch so much when we have so little right now, and I'm just struggling to find like the selfish, do I invest all this money in a career direction that I'm not even like totally sure.

:

What kid at that age knows exactly what they want to do for the rest of their life? I always had this fear in me, like ever since, ever since I graduated. And I paid for my school myself. I, I did all the things. I was very independent because I had to be like, go through these tough times and you just, you have to be that person, that thing for yourself. And my biggest fear was always what if I lose my job? I thought that I could counteract that I'm just going to do the best to and overachieve and work on weekends; I'll work through every lunch. I will do every networking. I'll do all the dates. And it's training your brain, especially being in the corporate world.


That's the norm like you that's, that's, what's expected of you. I did all of that. And I still found myself in the position of one day coming to the office and finding out that I no longer had a job. My biggest fear had come true and, and losing that position was devastating to me because I had no backbone in my career at that point. And that was when I hit rock bottom. And that was the hardest part for me because you associate your identity with your career. When you lose your job, you lose a sense of yourself. And I forgot why I got into design in the first place. I created Defy the Default, the DTD method, because I wanted to create resources that don't already exist for people like me that were at that spot that felt completely lost.


And in this dark space where you don't feel like you don't want to talk to anyone about suffering, this a loss; you want to just keep it to yourself. And it feels very lonely, and it's just a dark place, and you don't know what to do next because you're questioning all the things. So I wanted to design a blueprint for when I needed it most so that if you are struggling with your career direction or finding a sense of purpose, or if you suffered job loss as I did, I wanted you to have immediate access to a course that in a short period, six weeks, you could learn all of the things that I learned that got me to the point today. How to practice faith-based goal setting, eliminate fear from taking necessary risks getting paid while acquiring the skills you need to get the job that you want, adapting habits that will propel you forward, and redefining what success means to you. Wow. I have such gratitude towards you, Dave, because literally when I, when I lost my job, you found one for me within what was it like two weeks?


You, you had me a job, and I felt so lost. And so much like this pulling on my heart that I needed to pursue something different, like something else, something more, and, and taking a position in a like-minded company was something that I already knew didn't work for me. And it wasn't what I wanted, but I didn't know what it was that I did. I turned down that position, and I was out of, I was out of a job for four months. And anyone on the outside looking in was like, what? Like my husband was like, what are you thinking? Like, how could you do this? And you had it all lined up, and it was so great. And it was with a fantastic company. And I'm, I respect everyone that I've worked with in the past. And it had nothing to do with their business model or it not being a good fit.


I could have gone in that direction. But for whatever reason, I felt this, this pulling in my heart that that wasn't the path for me. So fast forward, I started to just dive in and become obsessed with improving myself and doing things for me and taking the time to just reflect and practice self-care and develop success habits that would allow me to move forward in a positive direction and use my past experiences to pivot towards a purpose. And after four months of looking for work and going through the holidays, telling everyone that I'm unemployed and it's just like brutal, it's so brutal. I would wish it on anyone. It just is soul-sucking, Even more than working in a cubicle, more soul-sucking than working in a cubicle. What do I do at that point?


What does Jess do? I have a girlfriend of mine that I worked with at a past job; she reached out to me and said, Hey, we have a position at this place. And I looked into the firm, and it was a commercial interior design firm. They worked on office interiors hospitals, healthcare, senior living education buildings. They worked on all commercial spaces. And I was like, okay, this is my background. And you know what, it's time for you to put your big girl pants on and get a job. I invested all this time in finding the right direction. And then I took the exact job that I knew would lead down the seven roads, but I needed to have something as that security blanket. Cause I hadn't quite figured out what it was that I needed at that time.


I basically took this job and went all in, and I got a call from the company president one day, and I just sat in on one of your presentations. And I overheard your designs and your strategy and talking with the client. And I'd like to promote you to sales. What would you think about that? And I was like, oh my gosh, sales is such a junky word. Like I just was like, I don't, I had such a bad experience with sales and it, and I'm a designer like I'm a creative, I don't sell things. Sales was always like a slimy word to me. I was just like, no, absolutely not, not going down that path. And then I came home and digested it, and I was just like, this could be something, this could be something that like it's outside of my comfort zone.


And if I do it, I'll get more experience. And if I don't like it, I can always go back. I got into it, and I just killed it. Like I was like, I was cold calling. I was, I was hitting the streets. I was doing all the things that I, I thought, and I didn't have the confidence that I could do. And I finally found this new version of myself, which was awesome. Six months go by. And like, you can't even predict what I'm about to say next. But I got, went into work one day and out of absolutely nowhere had a meeting with my manager, and he slipped a piece of paper across the table to me and said, I'm sorry, this is your last day. Wow. And back-to-back suffered job loss back-to-back. And I just was like, and I don't get it.


Dave:

How did you not think that that was personal, Jess? How did you not be like I saw that's it I'm done how you can fight through those thoughts came in. How did you combat that?


Jess:

Well, because the first time I did think that I sucked, I did think I was not worthy of the positions that I had been so blessed with previous to that, I lost all confidence in myself, but when it happened the second time, I was like, no way, this is not like time out. Like I'm in the wrong movie here. Like, this is not my story. This is not it. And, and I cannot, I'm, I'm young, I'm thinking about my husband and I are married a couple of years. We're thinking about starting a family and having all these things that it's like, okay, well, it makes sense. And society tells you to like, do these steps, but I was, I was like what, what I want doesn't exist. You know what I have to do. I have to go out there, and I have to create it because no one else can and no one else will.


So, I went home that day. So as the elevator doors were closing on corporate America, and I'm looking back at my manager at the time, who I just was, I started to think to myself, I don't want to be him. Like, why am I, why am I climbing this ladder to eventually be in a position that I don't want for myself? Like, this is not the place for me. I had a smile on my face as I was holding my box. I had no clue what I was going to do. And I just had this fire in my heart, Dave and I went home, and I was like, I'm just going to do it. Like I have no clue how to start a business.


But I know that I, I know I can do it. I know I can sell. I know I can design. I know there's a huge, huge market for this. And I want the flexibility that this lifestyle provides. And I know that I'm good at what I do. I went home, and I was in one weekend. I wrote out this entire business plan on my guest bedroom doors. And it was painted hot pink at the time because the people we bought the house from had this little girl's room with pink, hot pink paint. And my husband and I went out, and we bought a new can of paint. We turned that guest room to put all our like boxes and crap in like into my office. Everybody has those rooms, it was turned into my office, and it was like, I hit the ground running. And from that day on, it was, there was no looking back.


Dave:

That's awesome. And that's what's so interesting. I wrote down a ton of stuff, and I think what hit me the hardest is what you just said is this is not my story. People are listening now that there's just resonate with that. Just that, you know what, this isn't mine, I was not meant to do this. I was not created to do this but then what I like about your stop living on autopilot stuff is that we're so prone to just go day in, day out, do the same thing over and over; wash, rinse, repeat. That's our life. These two kinds of back-to-back tragedies, I'll call them that jolted you to the point of like how did you get there, I guess to the point where it's like, I'm not, I'm not, this is not my story. Do you remember that time, that spot? Was it in that elevator, or where was it?


Jess:

Yeah, yeah, it had to be because I, the whole living like me living my life on autopilot, was going back to redefining what success meant to me because when I was working that job, I worked from home. The office was in this fancy pants office in the third ward with a gorgeous view of the entire city of Milwaukee and the lakefront. It was amazing. I was landing these high-profile clients. I was pitching in this conference room that I had a hand in designing. It, it just felt like I was manifesting this dream. And I was like, yes, this is it. Like I've made it. This is my purpose. But that's, that's when I realized that finding your purpose is a journey. It's not a destination. You're constantly pivoting towards this. You have to use every single experience. And I think for me, it was suffering back-to-back job loss and feeling the pain of those experiences that propelled me to not only have a successful business in my first year, but to create something truly legendary that I want to be known for, and also help other people like reach back and help the people that were in my shoes to be able to prevent the amount of pain that I went through during that experience if that makes sense.


Dave:

And I think that you, so what you just said is contrary to what many people think, because finding your purpose, a lot of people think once I find my purpose, then I'll be able to do something great. And what you just said is when you're finding your purpose is more of a journey. It, it's not like I love that commercial. I don't remember what they were even selling, but it was like, congratulations, you've reached the end of the internet. It's never there. And even the success thing I remember for me personally challenged me on what meat, what was the meaning of success? This was probably 15 years ago, 18 years ago. And it was like, and it rattled me to the core because I could, I look at a blank sheet of paper, and it just stayed blank for days because I'm like, what does success mean?


And I got to a point where I was like, forget it, and you know what? There was no answer to this. It's like there's just not going to be an answer. Cause I don't know what it is. I can't answer that. And when you think about that for yourself, with your listening, if you're able to define what that success is, and maybe there are multiple successes, maybe they're little successes. I don't know everybody's story, but you know, I think from your perspective, just when you were able to define that, what do you feel comfortable sharing with us that made that list of success for you? What did that look like for you?


Jess:

Well, I always think this is morbid, but what do you want people to, like, if you were to visualize your funeral, like what, what does that look like? Okay. And like, what are, what are people saying about you and what are people saying about your life? They're not saying he worked through every single lunch break. She worked so hard. He came in on the weekends, and she invested herself into this company. No, one's saying that. And the stuff that, for me, success is focusing my entire life on doing things that matter. Wow. That's cool. And it's, it's not it, it's not tied to any monetary value. It's focusing on what my goals are for my life and how I am waking up every day and choosing to attend intentionally focus on those and how I will achieve them.


Dave:

So cool. I love that word intentional when the more intentional we become in our day-to-day activity, success shows up automatically. There are just so many things that that show up when, when you're like that. But I go back to what you said. You dreaded going to, or if you dread going to work or lost in your career journey. I've owned my own company for adverse, so I really can't recall a day what I was like, dreading going to work now. You have the occasional speed bump where it's like, man, what I love to, what would I give to sleep in for the day thing, but an all.


But the normal, the normal you get up, and you have this routine, whatever you do to start your day for me, it's just thankful for all the things that I have. And it's odd that it just came naturally. And when I talked to some people, and they're like, I'm not thankful for anything or what do you? I asked one guy once I said, what are you living for? You know, what, what motivates you? And he said, my mortgage. I'm like, Oh my gosh, When you, when you're right, when you've met and again, no offense to the guy, he, I don't know if you've annuity was saying. Still, you know when you think about, when push the pause button in your life for, I don't care an hour and afternoon, whatever, and you take inventory of what's going on.


I think that's hard for people and, especially entrepreneurs, because they're like, Hey, just, I don't have time for this. Okay. Six weeks to defy the default, I don't have time. I'm so far behind right now. You're going to come up, everybody's got these excuses, But whatever you can do to invest in pushing the pause button in your life, to be able to just do an inventory of whatever that is, find something that is going well in your life. Find something that isn't going so well that you want to work on. That's how we improve as human beings. So you encapsulate the six weeks into like two or three minutes to explain what that looks like on the backend? What do you see people that once they've gone through this, w what are they experiencing differently? Let me put it that way.


Jess:

DTD is an acronym for Defy the Default. It also stands for the fundamental principles of having a dream, having a tribe, and direction. I think just, it sounds silly that we would have to teach each other, like how to dream, but as you get into adulthood, you lose, you start to break the promises that you made to yourself as a child. And you lose that childlike wonder of what, what you want out of your life. And you start to it, and it loses value right over time. And you start to just give up. And that's when the that's when autopilot kicks on when you give up, and you're just clocking in and clocking out, and then you're numbing the pain to get to the next thing.


That's that autopilot. And I'm so passionate about breaking that toxic cycle in your life because you, every day is a bonus you're promised tomorrow. You're not promised anything. You, every single day, wake up and get out of bed. You have an opportunity to be the best version of yourself and make a difference, no matter how small it is in the world. I think like beginning with addressing your past experiences and the whole first week is based on, okay, let's rehash everything that's gone on in the past, everything that's been painful for you. I have a 20-minute time machine exercise, where if you were in a time machine for, if you had access to one, set a 20-minute timer and write down all the things that you would go back and do differently. And it's not that exercise. I created it. Not because I want you to have regrets, but I think so many people go; they smooth over that, and they push it aside. But often, the things that are difficult and hard in your past experiences are what shaped you and define you and give you purpose moving forward. The first, the first week, isn't this a selling point the first week.


I think it's, and it's, it's important to own your past, to own your past experiences, to just understand where you come from and who you are as a person, and what got you to this place right now. And then the second week is all about goal setting. Practicing faith-based goal setting and figuring out what your top 10 goals in life are. And so that you can use that as a list, as a baseline to say yes or no to anything to, to designate where you're going to invest your time. Let's just say, for example, and you have an opportunity to do something. Does it, is it in alignment with your top 10 goals? Yes or no. And if it's, if it's a yes, then you're, then you're signing up for that thing. If it's a, no, you have to, you have to say no, and you have to commit to what those goals are.


And again, like focus your intention on them daily. And, and just the next like week three is eliminating fear behind taking necessary risks. Teaching you how to it's okay to take risks, and it's okay to jump with no net. And honestly, it's all about ready fire aim. So instead of ready, aim fire, you have to ready fire aim. It's just so many people spend so much time lining up where they want to go. And they don't want to quit their job and invest all of their time and doing that side hustle or doing that thing that they're passionate about, but you're never really committing to at 100%. And I get that. Some people financially, you have to have that full-time job to have the income, to be able to pursue what you want to do.


But for me, I moved my business at the speed of cash. I figured out a way to be creative and to charge for my intellectual property and use that until I got to the point where I could spend more to make more if that makes sense. Learning how to take those risks is all about what week three is. And then learning how to adapt success habits so that you can like fill this portfolio of like, once you have the success that builds on it, it builds on itself, you write down every little success in every little win that you have along the way, because being an entrepreneur or pursuing something that scares you to death, you need support mentally. You need a community to support you. You need mentors to be there for you along the way.


It takes a lot of work. So how can you adopt habits that are second nature to you so that you get up and you, and you are the best version of yourself every single day, to be able to pursue those big things that scare you to death? Focus your time and energy on creating the job that you want and not wasting your time because time is the most valuable resource on the planet; like you can't buy time, you can't get it back. So how are you spending your time now to pivot towards your true purpose and knowing that you're leaving space for that to happen for yourself? And then yeah, by the end of the six weeks, you are transformed you have this guided path, but it's not, it's not a roadmap to success, Like I'm not, I do not promise by the end of this six weeks, you will have all the answers.


Dave:

Come on. Now you have to promise that's the deal here. I thought Jess is there's promise bliss at the end of the six weeks,


Jess:

Oh, it's, it's the DTD method. Okay. It's a practice. It's a lifelong practice. And this is something that you rinse and repeat for as you pivot towards purpose, as you cross things off your top 10 goals list, as you advance in your career and your life, it's constant. Like you have to continue. Oh, I just, and it goes back to the sales thing. I hate the slimy pitch of here's your, here's your blueprint. Here's your roadmap. When you get to the end, you find the hidden treasure. Like I talk about this in the course, it's a road trip to success. Like you're getting in the car, you've got your big dream, your vision of where you want to go. You've got your girlfriends in the back. Like you're turning up the tunes, you've got the chicks on the radio. You then have a direction of where you want to go. by the end of the course, you have those three things: the definition and the core value of the DTD method. Then, you also have a tribe and a community of like-minded professionals that are ready and willing to help you get to the next level of your career, no matter what that looks like for you in your life.


Dave:

I want to talk about that tribe a little bit, just because entrepreneurs, we tend to be solo. We tend to be new it along. We tend to be out on an Island. And again, there's nothing wrong with that. It just seems like there's a whole lot more I think King Solomon said there's, you know, there there's safety in numbers there's just, there's, it's good to surround yourself with that. How does that tribe piece fit in here? Are you using them as accountability, a sounding board, encouragement, all the above? How does that work for you?


Jess:

Well, nothing can prepare you for becoming an entrepreneur. Absolutely nothing. It is, it is the hardest but most rewarding thing I've ever done in my entire life, but it is a constant battle of like confidence is not something I wake up, and I have every single day, even. Before I jumped on this call, I practice what I preach, and I had to set my morning up for success. And I went for a 30-minute run on my NuOrder Trek treadmill in Croatia. And I had my green smoothie, and I like to set my intention on having this amazing day, having a great call, getting all of my design clients wrapped up for the week, and making sure that everyone has what they need from me for the end of the day. There are so many things that go into becoming and being an entrepreneur you have to choose daily.


You have to address the self-doubt, and you called it in a past episode that I listened to your head trash; like the head trash, you need to just like, remove that. And it's so hard to do that because I'm telling you that the six weeks of this course are prerecorded. It is available instantly for anyone who needs it. But before I recorded that first week, I was this close. I recorded the entire day, all the videos, and I had it all scripted. I had it all ready to go. And I have this, this powerful intention of what I wanted. And I hated everything that I did that day. And I was like, how can I launch, how do I have this product launch? I had been causing so much hype behind this for the course, and I hadn't even created it yet.


And September 1st was the day that I was going to launch it, and I would do it live. And I, I felt so much pressure to perform that. I, it, wasn't what I envisioned. I felt sorry for myself. And I, and I throw a pity party, and I said, there's no way I'm going to get this done by the first it's impossible. No, one's going to take this course anyways. Nobody's going to like, who am I? Who am I to do this? I cracked open a bottle of wine and sat on the couch, and I gave up; I just gave up,


That night after, I spent a day, and I don't know if you've ever recorded videos or like YouTube or anything. It's so it's such a mental game. I had all, and I had every station set up with all the lighting, all the microphones. Everything went wrong that could go wrong. And I just ruined the towel, and my husband came home, and he was like, so how'd it go?


It didn't go like, and it's done. It's over. I bring up this story because it's so amazing. And it has to do completely with your community and the people you choose to surround yourself with. Because my husband, I went to bed that night, and he let me just spit in it. Let me just be upset and throw myself this pity party. And I woke up the next day, and he came into the room, and he put a venti iced Americano on my nightstand. And he looked at me, and he goes, get up and make it today.


Dave:

There you go. There's a title for a book. What a great title.


Jess:

And I was like, okay, not the, not the love that I needed this morning, but like it, it was, it was exactly what I needed to hear. And he was like, you are not going to give up on this. You are not giving up on yourself. You're not going to give up on all the people that need you to do this. You get up, and you do the thing. I did, and I got up that day, and I recorded the best content I've ever recorded. And I was, so the editing went smooth. I barely had to do a thing. I absolutely loved it. And I was proud to launch this thing that I had in my mind for so long, that would help people like me, who needed it. I think it's important to know that your community is, and the people in your life, like your inner circle, the people who choose you, are a combination of the five people you spend the most time with. Like everyone for that, a bazillion times, those in your life that matter and community matters. And the people where you position yourself are how you're going to grow and how you're going to achieve success moving forward.


Dave:

So cool. And I think that you bring up such a great point about who you hang out with. And if you are listening and your life is like, if you're on autopilot, chances are the people around you are on autopilot. If you want, if you want to reinvent yourself, then you need to find people that are reinventing themselves as well. When I sold my business that I had and started my coaching practice, I know that I had to be very careful about who my clients were. And it was funny because the day that I sold my part of my business to my partner, he said to me, he said, and it was like Tuesday afternoon. He's like, so what are you going to do this afternoon? I don't know.


You know, I had this idea of starting positive polarity. And I had some things noodling around in my brain, but I'm like, I don't know. And he said to me, he said, I'll tell you what he said. I would like to be your first client. I'd like to hire you for three days a week. And, and I looked at him, and this is crazy, Don't do this if you're an entrepreneur starting your business. I said I've got to decline. I said, you don't listen to me now as a business partner; why would I want to have you as a client? And I didn't want to surround myself, Mike, out of the Gates with somebody that didn't have the same vision as I had. So it is so important to have that tribe around you that are going to encourage you, that is going to challenge you because think about it, that, that night, if your husband would have come and tried to console you or whatever he would have tried to do, wouldn't it work because we just need a little bit of time to let that process.


I see people, and if I try and console them, now they're defending their negativity. They're defending their bad position.


Jess:

Yes. A hundred percent.


Dave:

I always tell guys, I'm like, Hey, if you're in a bar and when we do conflict resolution training, and I said if you're in a bar and you say something stupid to somebody, and they smack you in that phase, They just haul off and punch you. If you don't punch them back, the likelihood that they're going to do anything is pretty slim. You just let a goal for a while, just take your moose you did something stupid, take your smack in the face, then move on.


Jess:

Great marriage advice you just gave.

Dave:

It's so true. It's like, we've been working on that here for years in our marriage to try and improve our relationship. And but unfortunately, this isn't marriage counseling, so we do advocate business counsel. And that's where if you struggle, and that's what I do as a business coach if you are finding yourself out there, and you need some tribe, you need some help. That's what we do. That's the cool part. Thank you so much for sharing that as we start to come in for a landing, I want to ask you something here. That part of what, hammered by with you, Jess, is that you still are doing your interior design work. Are you calling this your side hustle? As you said, I mean where did, where did the two meet, or how did you go from interior designing to all of a sudden defy the default? Is this like fighting crime at night type thing, or what a superpower that you have? How did this all evolve? I'm just curious.


Jess:

Well, honestly, I practice daily goal-setting. Every single morning when I wake up, I write down what my top 10 goals are. And one of the things that that I've written for a long time was that I wanted to create some type of a course or community or some type of like a women's retreat that would allow the opportunity for like-minded women to get together and just help each other get through these really hard times. Just open the conversation and be vulnerable and help each other get to the next level. I'm huge on networking, not like going to networking events that no one wants to be to like to drink the free stuff and just do the things and then leave. Like not, it's more lifestyle marketing where you're positioning yourself with the right people that are going to help you get to where you want to go, that are living the life that you want to have.


When I had this vision of creating something, and I didn't know what it looked like. And every year, I invest in myself, in my business, to help propel me forward because I consider investing yourself like a fast path to get to where you want to go. Could you learn everything? Could you learn everything that I'm teaching in this course from someone else? Yes. You could read 20 books; you could attend all these free webinars. You could watch all the YouTube videos, but for me, my time is more valuable. I choose to invest in someone who's going to be like, here it is. Here's what you need. Here's the SparkNotes. Here's what you need to know. Here's a fast pass. My fast test for this year was investing in Marie Forleo's B-School, and it's something that I've wanted for a while.


I saved up. I said I moved my business at the speed of cash. I saved to invest in myself to attend this B school because it, in the back of my mind, I always thought, well, I've never been to, I never went to business school. Like I don't have a business degree after my degree in interior architecture. To validate my being a business owner, now I need to look into one of today's most intelligent women entrepreneur leaders. And I joined her course. Well, I was supposed to go to San Diego for this virtual conference where Amy Porterfield was putting on this free bonus experience. And because of COVID, it got canceled, but they took it virtually, and I got to log on. And one of the most empowering days that I've ever had in my life was sitting in the backyard by my pool, listening to this, and watching this virtual experience that I still wanted to be in person but still took so much out of.


And one of the closings notes that Amy Porterfield had on this experience for us was, what is one thing you're focusing on? What's one goal that you have the time to be doing if you're honest with yourself, but you're choosing not to. Wow. And at that moment, I was like, and it's defined the default. I've been doing this YouTube channel. I get these, and I get these DMS from women that are at such different parts of their journey in both in life and career than I am. And they're reaching out to me, and they're telling me that I'm inspiring them in some way that I'm helping them get through what they're getting through. And that lights me up. That lights me up. And it's not, and it's not about me. It's not about my journey. It's about me being the glue and bringing people together, and helping each other pivot towards our purpose. Because I truly believe this. If every person fulfilled what they were put on this earth to do, if you design the life you were created to live like, the world would be such a different place. And that is what I want. I want to inspire, even if it's just one person, even if it's just five people. If someone is watching my journey, I want to live in a way that inspires them. And that's what defy the default is for me.


Dave:

Congrats. Well, and I'm honored to be like hearing about the first year of this. Are there sequels to this? Are you a long-term interior designer, or are you going to trans transition, or is that none of, none of our business?


Jess:

Oh my gosh. By my vision, my vision for this is that I want to be hosting women's retreats. I want to be living in Hawaii and putting on these events where women are coming to be together from all over the world to like talk about the five, a default and how they're making a difference and just build this, build this thing. That's, that's a big dream. Eventually, I want to focus everything that I have on just making the world a better place. For my kids, when like I want to create this wife, I'm able to do the things that I love and travel and live a life of flexibility, but also make a massive difference. And that that's the good stuff. That's what it is for me. And I believe in this, I believe in the method, I believe in to decide the default, I believe in the, in the women that are a part of this. And I think that it's going to go, it's going to go far.


Dave:

Wow. is it for guys too, or am I not supposed to listen to this to find the details?


Jess:

Well, it's mostly a community. It's for women specifically. I had a lot of like inner turmoil of do I want to, I have a younger brother, and I love him like more than anything in the world. And I could not physically like, think of excluding him from something like this. But I believe in the power of just women connection and the future of this and creating a safe space for women just like stepping into their true selves and, and building a career and a life that so many of us struggle with knowing that we, what we deserve. And I think it's a different mindset than it was. It was a choice to create this, this community that was a safe space for women to connect.


Dave:

That's so cool. And I tell you, there are not many places where men can find safe places. If you ever find it in your heart to expand it into the male side, let me know. I'll be happy to partner with you on that because I was at a client today, oddly enough. And you know, we talked about the safe place and where do entrepreneurs' sales professionals, where they go to create where they can feel vulnerable, where they can be safe, where they can be what they need to be to move forward. Because I think as we wrap this up, I think that's the hardest part about this: we're a certain way. And we tend not to want others to know who we are. You know, we pick up on what we put all these different things on in our life.


We try and drive a fancy car or whatever it is that hides us from who we are. And at the end of the day, if I can't be who I am, I'll never, I'm, I, that means I'm not happy with myself cause I'm trying to be somebody else. And it's hard to be a person that's always trying to be somebody else just like goes full circle back to what you're talking about. If you dread going to work, if you dread your existence while you know what change it makes, make it to where it's like, oh my gosh, I get to go to work. I don't have to go to work. I get to go to work, or I get to do whatever I'm doing. So so yeah, if you ever decide to change and open it up to us guys, we'd love to partner with you on that. If somebody wants to learn more about this, what's the best way for them to contact you. If somebody wants to understand more about defy the default learn more about your course; where do they go?


Jess:

I'm big on LinkedIn. I absolutely love it. It's probably my favorite social platform. Find me on LinkedIn at Jess Kern. You'll find all the links to defy the default for interior vision. Everything is on there. I'm sure that it'll be in the show notes on this episode. You can find me on here. But defy the default has a YouTube channel. For anyone looking to tune into more just content that's available to you for free, you can binge all those episodes on my YouTube channel, which is just called defy the defaults. It's really fun. It's lighthearted. And it's just making your journey just like you should have fun along the way. And you are creating like all of the things you're learning, incorporating them into your everyday life, and just incorporating my little sense of humor and staff. You'll find more about me on there. Find me on YouTube and then any social platforms? Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, all of the things. You can find me, and I'd be happy to connect with you all in there.


Dave:

Awesome. Well, so we always try and do one fun thing. What is one thing that you feel comfortable sharing with the audience that they would not know about you?


Jess:

Oh my gosh.


Dave:

Oh, he's good. We'll see.


Jess:

Well, I'm like, Oh my gosh. Well, I like what you addressed in the beginning. I moved from Wisconsin to South Carolina because I always have my entire life dreamt of living on the beach. And I wanted to be a Marine biologist when I was a little kid, but I am, I am now. I am learning how to surf.


Dave:

There you go. Congrats. Is it? It looks, it looks super cool.


Jess:

I know. So surfing is like if you were to go to Home Depot, And you were to buy like an eight-foot door, and then if you were walking out of the doors of home Depot and someone dumped like 5 million gallons of water on you while you were holding the store, that's what surfing is life.


Dave:

Oh, I can't wait to try it. You're a real advocate for this boy who defied the default. The first week's going to suck. This sucks that dude, and this is crazy.


Jess:

You can expect raw honesty, transparent like that. That's what to expect when you're working with me.


Dave:

Awesome. Well, this went so fast. Thank you. I still got many questions for you to watch how the defy, the default method goes. I can't wait to see how this works for you. Thanks for sharing it with everybody. And congratulations on moving closer to your success. W you know, in what that means, you're able to, you know, start your own company, which is so cool. I mean, the first time we met, you were just like, ah, that you could just tell there was that dead weight on the back. So ever since you started your own company, that's been gone. Congratulations on that. Growing a business is hard. And I hope that defy, the default goes as well as you want it to, and keep us posted on how things are. And when you do have like your gatherings in Hawaii, let me know because I'll be happy to facilitate a discussion or park cards, whatever you need. I'm there.


Well, awesome. Thank you so much, Jess, for hanging out. I learned,


Jess:

Well, what about my tip of the day? Oh my God.


Dave:

That's See, I, you know what I wrote, I forgot to ask you. I want to know your tip.


Jess:

Oh my gosh. So my tip of the day is to leave space for miracles. And let me just like, unpack that for a second, because when you, I think so many of us plan and myself included, we, we, we get up, and we plan our days sometimes within like 15-minute increments are go, go, go. And, and we always are pouring everything that we have in going like 85 miles an hour. my tip of the day is to just slow down. If you're allowing space for miracles to happen throughout your day, it will allow you to notice things that will help you pivot towards your true purpose and truly design the life you were created to live. Wow.


Dave:

Cool. Thank you. We're going way too fast. I agree. And that's my, like I said, whatever time you can invest to just push the pause button and just enjoy what's there. We feed birds just on bird feeders, and sometimes we just sit for five minutes and watch just to slow that down, and that's a miracle, so I'll leave space for miracles, everybody watches. And so that's awesome. Thanks, Jess. Again, for hanging out, I'm super excited to watch how this is unpacking for you, and you know, keep us posted when there are kids involved. Cause Holy cow, once there's a family involved, then it gets more fun. We'll have to check back with you on that. So


Jess:

Yes, yes. And I wanted to take a second to just express like insane gratitude for you and the show and for what you're doing and for what, how many people you've touched and helped throughout everyone's journey. You so inspire me and that you're doing great things.