How to Leverage Where You Are to Get to Where You’re Going

Jenna Kutcher 

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November 23, 2022


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Usually once a month I sit down with my podcast producer, Kylie, and she grills me on a topic. But Miss Kylie is busy snuggling her sweet little baby, so I asked Brooklyn to come on. Brooklyn is an incredible member of my team who has been with me for four whole years, she is the keeper and the writer of all the words inside of the brand.

And so today’s topic is actually one I’m very excited about because I don’t know if you’re like me, but around this time, each year as we inch closer to the new year, I feel this simultaneous pull and tug of, who do I want to be coming the next year? And what do I wanna accomplish? And what do I need to wrap up in order to make this year great? And who am I going to turn into?

And it’s this beautiful, beautiful pressure that we sometimes put on ourselves or the world puts on us, or the changing calendars bring to us of wanting to move in a new direction. However, today’s topic is how to leverage where you’re at to get to where you wanna go instead of abandoning all the things that have gotten you here.

The pull toward change

Brooklyn kicked off our conversation with some great insights into this pull toward change that many of us feel: “I think it’s really natural for us to want a hard line in the sand to know where we’re at and so that we can say, ‘okay, fresh start.’ Who doesn’t love a fresh start? I think that’s something that naturally stirs up in our chest, like we want something and we want to be able to do it the right way. We wanna know that we’re headed toward the ‘right future.’ I think that’s a really normal human thing. But I think it comes down to the fact that we’re all going to evolve. We are all going to have to turn the page and step into the next chapter, whether it’s a big one or a small one or a new year, with a new mindset.” 

Brooklyn asked me, “So what does that look like for you when you think back to times in your life where you’re almost riding two horses at once?” I told her that I have never just up and quit anything, mostly because I don’t like a lot of risk. I don’t know if it’s being from the Midwest or just craving security and stability, but I am not someone who believes the quote, “jump and the net will appear.” I’m like, let me just like weave the net piece by piece until the net is fully ready to catch me, and I feel like that’s how I’ve moved through life. 

I think there are a lot of really cool things happening with the great resignation right now where women are just realizing that this system is not built for women, especially women who have a desire to have children. You can do both and you can do them well, but the infrastructure of how our whole system is built is not created to support that notion. At the same time though, when we are so quick to abandon what is currently working for us – granted, we’re assuming and hoping that there is something that is working for you right now – when we abandon that, we make decisions based on scarcity. 

And so when I think about the great resignation, it gives me anxiety because I feel like a lot of women are abandoning what has gotten them to one point because they are living in that friction of knowing ‘I want to go somewhere else, I want to do something else,’ yet they’re not understanding that this doesn’t work for everyone. Sometimes there can be so much power in leveraging where you are and what has gotten you to where you are today into where you want to go.  

What is your enough point?

Brooklyn and I got onto the topic of boundaries and bandwidth. When I was working at Target, I was working 50 hours a week, I was working every other weekend, I was working nights, it was a lot. And so one thing that I had to figure out was like, how do I say no to anything extra? There’s this story in my book where my boss was like, “Here’s your five-year plan,” and it included promotions and those promotions included more work. And I remember thinking, I don’t want more, I need to define ‘enough’ in terms of getting by right now. And I’ve been doing that at so many different stages in my business as an entrepreneur where I’m saying, “Okay, I know I could do more, or I know I could earn more. I know I could launch more, but that’s not taking me to where I wanna go.”

What is my enough point? It’s an important piece for people who are reading this thinking, ‘I can’t add another thing.’ You’re not expected to carry the emotional and mental and physical load of adding more, but where can you maybe take things off of your plate? Where can you maybe eliminate to give you that free space? I think we are so fast to abandon things that could serve as teachers, that could serve as transition points, that could serve as pivoting places that could serve as life’s lessons or growth. We are so quick to abandon those things when I believe that a lot of times they can almost become the launchpad for us. 

Where the hustle, the woo, and the work come together

As we get into this goal-setting season and this visionary season, I think it’s really interesting because I think that there are seasons of hustle. One thing that differentiates what I believe from other people who teach you how to achieve your dreams is that I think the hustle has to have a finish line. And I think that there has to be this understanding of like, this hustle is for a season, not forever, and this is when I take my hat off and go to bed and say, “well done, you did such a good job.” 

When you live with that feeling of, ‘I’m not where I want to go but I know where I wanna be,’ you’re almost creating this requirement where you have to step up to the starting line, right? You can’t just disqualify yourself before you even begin. Because I think a lot of us do that, we have these grandiose visions and we’re like, I failed every other time I’ve tried, why is this time gonna be any different? 

And so we have to be willing to do the work, and it doesn’t have to be in a hustle way. It can be done slowly. It can be done with progress that no one cheers for. It can be done behind the scenes. It can be done in the five-minute window of time that you have when you sit in your garage and the house is quiet. It can be done in whatever windows of time you allow it to expand to. When I look at the times that I’ve effectively leveraged where I am to get to where I want to go, there was always a very clear finish line for me to reach.

More from this episode

This is only the beginning of my wonderful conversation with Brooklyn about how to leverage what works to get you where you want to be. For more on this topic, you can listen to the full episode wherever you get your podcasts. 

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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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