Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jessica Robin, Founder of Discovering Me, LLC., located in Davidson, NC, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I’m in the business of personal discovery and significance. My company, Discovering Me, was created out of my own journey of re-discovery and personal development. My products and my coaching style focus on two key components: clarity and action. I blend mental health counseling with action-oriented goals to help clients identify what is causing frustrations in their life and get them to a space where they can experience more flow with both life and their emotional health.
Basically, how many of us buy a self-help book and leave it on the shelf—promptly and accidentally forgetting its existence? How many of us go a step further, we read all the books the inspirational speaker writes or watch all their videos, and it ends there—without you putting it into practice? My job as a life coach is to help you put action behind your wish. A wish that’s written down and has a deadline becomes a goal. How much would it enhance your life if you had someone who could help you make realistic goals and start achieving some of them? How would your quality of life or mental health feel as you finish those things you keep putting off?
I have published two self-guided journals so far, in addition to a couple of online courses. So far, my customers have been young professionals, college students, and working moms, all of whom were delightfully surprised at the things they discovered about themselves in the “Discovering Me” journal. I meet online with my clients once a week; we see how things are going, do some exploration and mental processing, and then you go out into your world and start making a difference, and we do it again as we meet the next week. Life is just a little bit easier with the right coach.
Tell us about yourself
In 2015, I sustained the first of a total of six massive concussions in a 5-year period. Brain injuries aren’t fun, my friends—take my word for it. Anyway, about two years into it, with no hope of getting a job (due to the heavy symptoms), I thought, “You know what, I’ve got all the time in the world right now. Why not take baby steps to pursue this thing that has been stuck in the back of my mind?” What was that thing: Who the heck am I? No, seriously, who am I? In addition to the brain injury, I was only beginning to realize I was in a very abusive relationship/situation. A lot of unhealthy and toxic people around me were all telling me what they thought I was, I had doctors telling me what I should be by now, and I had a bunch of people who meant well but weren’t helping. (Can any of you relate?)
So I bought a blank journal. This was my private space. No one else saw these pages. I had the freedom…freedom from criticism…freedom from verbal abuse…freedom to explore the pureness of new spaces. For the next year or two, I explored different aspects of my identity and took my personal journey very seriously. I ended up showing a friend my journal, and she—being a personality junkie/artist—absolutely loved it and wanted to know if she could buy a copy.
My journals are also influenced by the neuroscience and art therapy I learned along the way through my brain injury recovery. It may sound silly, but the biggest kick I get is when I see how different clients fill out different journal entries. These journals help left-brain thinkers expand their creativity, and right-brain dreamers direct their energy by answering actual questions.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Honestly, getting started. Yup, I’d say that’s my biggest accomplishment right now. For the last seven years, I’ve battled this injury. In 2021 I was healthy enough to get a job at the local grocery store. I can’t tell you how personally significant it was for me that moment when I got a full-time job for the first time in seven years. (Keep it real, friends—when you can’t be an entrepreneur yet, don’t belittle the fact you have a full-time job. Pay your bills for now; you’ll know when the time is right to start running your own business in the great unknown.)
I’ve been developing my journals and online curriculum for the last five years, and a couple of months ago, I quit the grocery store job and am now focusing on building my company. All my life, even amidst the brain injury, I’ve been a natural writer, counselor, and coach. It’s something that excites me and is profoundly meaningful. I’m so happy this is the direction my life is taking now with Discovering Me.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Overcoming fear. As an employee of a company, there’s probably a little bit of fear and a whole lot of comfort or stability when you really think about it. Being the company owner, especially the owner of a brand new company, there’s a lot of fear to deal with. One thing I learned, when fear is confronted by facts, it loses some of its power and gets a whole lot smaller. Allow me a big toothy grin as I shamelessly plug one of my journals: “Meandering Streams” is a micro-travel journal that combines purposeful movement with journaling through your fears and the facts of the situation. This journal was birthed out of my own tactical struggle to get a grip on fear and anxiety. Journaling has been my go-to thing for coping and verbal processing. Words and feelings take on a new kind of essence when your eyeballs look at what’s been struggling all this time inside of you. Guided journaling helped me work through fear and other things, and hopefully, it can help others as well.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Stop complaining. There’s a difference between complaining and venting. When I was working at the grocery store, I heard people in every single department complain about how much they hated working there, and they just wanted to quit…guess what…every day, they talked about quitting and never did anything about it. They could change an aspect of their job or change jobs altogether, except they did nothing but complain. Venting is different. Think about someone breaking a hard sweat at the gym. Sweat is a healthy and necessary byproduct of hard work. You have to sweat as you keep pushing through the hard stuff. Venting is a healthy way to verbally process the toxins out of the situation while actively progressing toward your goal. Find a safe person you can vent to, create a space to vent full-on, get it out and off of your chest, and then keep doing the hard work you’ve been doing. Complaining is an unhealthy and unproductive use of anger. A person is complaining when their actions consistently show they have no intention of fixing the problem on their own—they want someone else to fix it for them magically. Guided journal prompt: What are you currently complaining about? What is your game plan to legitimately change this? Why is this change important to you?
- Be ok with “good enough.” In our culture, there’s an obsessive demand for perfection. This isn’t sustainable and has contributed to some people’s anxiety and depression. Don’t get me wrong; I’m a huge believer in excellence. Mediocre or sub-par work should not be the goal. You won’t feel self-gratification, healthy personal development, or enriched connection with others if you show up late and half-ass your work all the time. On the other hand, perfectionists can take advice from this thought: artists don’t ever finish their work—they just abandon it. Do your best and then know when to walk away with a healthy shrug, “Fine, it’s good enough.” If you’re insecure, exercise your faith that your project/product can, in fact, stand on its own—separate from you. If you’re a perfectionist, learn to meet the stated goal and then move on and focus your energy on the next goal. If you’re currently doing mediocre work, challenge yourself to get real this time and rise to the occasion of good enough. Journal prompt: Do you feel like you are hitting the “good enough” mark in a healthy way? Where specifically do you feel like you need to dial things back (not camp in perfection)? Where do you feel like you need to rise more to the occasion (work more towards excellence)?
- Accept what works for you. In my “Discovering Me” journal, you discover what your strengths are, and you’re encouraged to “ignore” your weaknesses. Sure, a well-rounded person is a great idea. But what if you focused on developing your natural talents or skills and then hired someone else to do the stuff you’re not good at? It’s a tremendous way to maintain your energy for things that matter. In my business, I accepted the fact that I’m one of those millennials who doesn’t flow well with social media. At first, I was nervous because everyone said social media is the only way to get your stuff out there. But, for whatever reason, it’s the biggest thing that drains my energy. So I’m focusing my energy on creating journals and online courses and will meet up with someone in the future who can help me expand when the time and space are right. Journal prompt: Where do you feel like your energy is being drained? What limitation do you need to accept for now? How do you need to shift your focus or your work so that you’re not drained so much?
Where can people find you and your business?
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