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Grit, Grace & a Game Plan: How this entrepreneur used challenge as fuel

“If you don’t have motors in your life and you do have anchors, the anchors are going to pull you down and drown you. Be around positive people that pull you up and plant positivity, not fear.”

Jill Blashack Strahan shared this when reflecting on how she found significance and success as Founder & CEO of Tastefully Simple, despite experiencing tragic loss when her spouse and two brothers died much too early in life.

As a speaker, Jill often asks her audiences to “Think back to a time when you have been filled with fear. Did you get through it? Do you believe you are stronger because of it?”

She continues by sharing her personal story as a mirror: “I tell them, I’ve been there. I made it through. You can make it through too.”

You’re going to love hearing from my dear friend, client & author, Jill. From simple joys growing up on a dairy farm in Minnesota to the wisdom her grandmother continues to share today through books she recommended decades ago: Jill’s story will remind you that you were put on this earth to shine.

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My Main Takeaways: 

  • Jill learned profoundly from falling in love with an alcoholic & joining the Al-Anon community: “Let go go of behavior with love. We love the person, hate the behavior. These ideas were key in shaping my life.”
  • The Serenity Prayer helped Jill to not be reactive and stay centered during the hardest times in her life.
  • Jill’s wild success ($14k annually to $100+ million in 8 years) is tied in part to her objective: “To help people become more of who they are.”
  • Fear is about what we’re thinking. Thoughts control emotions. Emotions control actions. Don’t get caught up in fear.
  • We say ‘why me’ when bad things happen, but why not say ‘why not me’? What makes me so special?
  • If you don’t have motors in your life and you have anchors, they are going to pull you down and drown you. Be around positive people that pull you up and plant positivity, not fear.
  • Whatever is given to you is meant to be a gift in some way, it’s not a way to hurt you or pull you down or destroy you.
    Fear is a gatekeeper to strength always.
  • Business is about ebb and flow and finding the “new right answer.” I have learned so much in the last two years, we changed our paradigm, from home tasting parties to one-to-one & online channels.
  • Order your copy Jill’s book Simply Shine here.
  • Learn more about having Jill speak here.
  • Setting goals & creating a game plan is critically important. Jill never made more than $14,000 a year and was working out of her shed when she launched Tastefully Simple. Within 5 years, her business was worth $11.8 million. Her SMART goal had been $11 million in 5 years
  • Business is a learning process. “We learned as we went along and reserved the right to get smarter and build trust with people. We promised we would deliver something excellent, but acknowledged we may stumble along the way to getting it right. The team approach was huge. It took the pressure off of people as they joined us – we didn’t have to be perfect.”

JILL BLASHACK STRAHAN’S LIVE INSPIRED 7

1. What is the best book you’ve ever read? Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach was significant for me. Today We Are Rich by Tim Sanders was another that was very timely for me.

2. Tomorrow you discover your wealthy uncle shockingly dies at the age of 103; leaving you millions. What would you do? I would give a lot that money away. Tastefully Simple has financially afforded me much in life. I would definitely want to build a park in little Villard, MN.

3. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be? Old photos that I don’t have digitally. Especially so that my son Zach would have them, memories of his dad.

4. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be? It would be my Grandma Aida who gave me the books I mentioned. She was very well read and very understated. She was not one who espoused her intelligence, but I would love to know more about her perspective on life and our family dynamics.

5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Always go least to most, if you give too much and take away people lose trust. When in doubt do without.

6. Looking back, what advice would you give yourself at age 20? I would make sure that I knew the Maryann Williamson quote about worthiness and I would make sure that I knew that I am worthy and that God expects me to shine. That’s one of the best things that shifted my thinking in my mid-30s. We are here to shine, not to feel unworthy.

7. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read? She helped people shine and become more of who they are.

***

If you enjoyed today’s episode: Subscribe (automatically get new episodes)rate and review (grow the Live Inspired. movement) this podcast anywhere you get your podcasts.

I can’t wait to see you here next Thursday! Today is your day. Live Inspired.

Live Inspired with John every day on Facebook & Twitter and get his Monday Motivation email: www.JohnOLearyInspires.com/Monday-Morning

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Showing 4 comments
  • Michelle Bell
    Reply

    Wow! So glad I listened to this. I’m a huge fan of both Jill and John. I’ve been a Tastefully Simple consultant for 9 years, which is where I first heard of John and actually had the honor to meet him at a TS conference. I’ve read both of their books, but to hear the stories live and feel their emotions makes it so much more real to me. I’ve had the privilege to meet Jill as well. I want to thank you both for your inspiration and encouragement. God Bless! I pray I have the chance to meet you both again. (Jill, God wiiling, I’ll be at Party Palooza in August)

    • John O'Leary
      Reply

      Michelle — thanks for joining us and for leaving your comment. So happy to hear you were inspired and got to “reconnect” after reading our books… stay ON FIRE & good luck on party palooza! J

  • Karen Burnett
    Reply

    Wow she explains the way I felt in my first marriage! I could never explain why I was unhappy or wanted a divorce when someone would ask me, but I feel like she was feeling the same way I did and she explains it so well!! I think we try to mold ourselves into how others perceive us or how others think we should be in order to make others happy that we lose who we are and what makes us happy as a human being!! I think your podcasts are an inspiration!!

    • John O'Leary
      Reply

      Karen, I’m so glad you think the podcast is inspirational and that you were able to feel understood / connected through Jill sharing her story. Stay ON FIRE and join me next Thursday (and every Thursday!) for a new episode! J

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William Paul Young