How I Do It: An Interview with Jess Lively

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Is there anything cooler than seeing a woman living ‘on purpose?’

Personally, I think not, and let it be said, Jess Lively is doin’ it right. This inspiring former jewellery biz owner (a business she started when she was 15), online entrepreneur, teacher and blogger lives and works from rock-solid intentions daily, and the good news for us onlookers is that she very generously shares the lessons she learns along the way so that we too can craft an intentional life.

What resonates with me most about Jess’ work is that there’s an endearing ‘realness’ to it, and whether she’s talking about career, creativity, life design or decluttering, she is always candid and true. (As a funny aside, I’ve misspelt her surname as “lovely” several times in typing this post – no mistake there!)

Pour yourself a cuppa and read on for stacks on inspiration and honest insights into how Jess Lively does it. 

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Let’s kick off with a biggie. Why do you do what you do? 

Quite simply, I help people design lives and businesses with intention. I do this through consulting one-on-one, live workshops, my blog, and most recently with my new ebook, Wish I Knew.

What are three of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt since starting your blog and business?

Oh man, that is a great question…

1 // To have faith in the process. In the 14 years that I’ve run my own businesses I’ve learned to have faith that all things, even the crappy ones, will lead to something better over time if I have faith and go with my gut. There were points when I really had difficulties (like with manufacturers for my handbag line) that were challenging, but the ultimately gave me great experience and expertise to share with my current business consulting clients. So there is always a silver lining if you look for one (even though you might not find it for a while).

2 //  To trust my gut. Over time I’ve learned to listen to my gut, not to what other people may tell me I should do. Most people thought I was crazy to start my accessory business full-time right out of college. Or, they thought I was crazy when I decided to close that same company five years later, because it was successful. But in each case – and through the many smaller decisions in between – I’ve found that my gut will tell me what I need to do. And the result will always be for the best use of my talents and intentions.

3 // Just keep going. Even if I change course or close a company, I have learned more than anything that success is built on the ability to just keep going. You won’t get it all right the first time, you will make mistakes along the way, what worked before may not always work. But if you can trust that you can just keep going, good things are in store for you along the way.

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{quote graphic from Jess’ post here}

What’s been key for you in building your tribe online?

Hands down, I think this one is about service. I have truly tried to help people online through my content and that has been essential to my tribe online.

To lead, one must serve. And that is what I try to do to the best of my abilities at any given time.

I know that there’s rarely a ‘typical’ day in the life of a blogger/ entrepreneur/ lady of the interwebs, but can you talk a bit about how you approach your work? What does a week in your life usually entail?

For the past few months I’ve been working on creating a weekly priority list in each role of my life and in my career. I then list the 2 – 4 priorities I have for those roles and schedule them on my calendar or daily to-do list. This helps me stay focused on what is most important, but not always urgent on any given week.

This practice is borrowed from my favorite book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

I then spend my days consulting, at design meetings for a hotel brand/design project I’m working on, writing on my blog, sharing on social media, and completing those priorities on my weekly list.

Describe your creative process. How do you write/ create?

I don’t really have anything too special to share here. I really just create or find a photo I’ve taken for a blog post, edit it, add my title, and write a post. The topics I share mostly come from my life, my work, or any books I’m reading.

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Routines and rituals for the soul: can you tell us about the little – or big – things that keep you feeling grounded, joyful, connected, inspired?

I actually just shared recently about my new morning routine (or Private Victory, as it’s called in The Seven Habits). My husband, Mr. Lively, and I have been committed for the past month to taking 45 – 60 minutes to develop our spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental lives each morning.

For me, that looks like 15 minutes of reading from a non-fiction book, 15 minutes of reading from a book about emotional wellbeing, a bit of self-reflection time, and 30 minutes of physical activity.

This habit has been pretty amazing to set myself up for a good day and has given me more peace and self-control each morning.

The not-so-hot days. We all have them. How do you combat overwhelm and self-doubt?

I tend to get a lot of ideas and then want to implement them immediately. This leaves me with a feeling of overwhelm on a not-too-infrequent basis. To help myself when things feel really crazy, I have developed worry flashcards to look at all my concerns and turn them into action steps.

I highly recommend trying it if you find yourself stressed out about a bunch of things in different areas of your life all at one time.

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RAPID FIRE

I feel empowered, electric, alive, the most ME when… I’m helping clients one-on-one or in workshops.

I feel restricted when… I worry about what other people think of me.

I’m inspired by… Stephen Covey.

Living with intention means… finding the deep, eternal intentions which our intuitions want us to live by, and then taking action in those directions.

My current mantra/ affirmation is… just keep going.

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To wrap up, imagine you’re sitting in conversation with yourself in 10 years time. What are you doing? What does your life look – and feel – like?

I’m learning to balance being there for my children as a mother while helping people design lives with intention.

I am an author and speaker, but I still share daily on my blog as well. I may have a video platform of some sort to help people, but my books and writings are a major method with which to help people.

I live in a great home with a little yard and a garden my husband cares for. We travel regularly, often spending a month or two in different locations and work remotely.

I feel more relaxed about who I am, my reputation, and how I spend my time. I am deeply connected to my spirit and have a strong sense of who I am.

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I love how Jess shared above: “I help people design lives and businesses with intention.” A mission that’s beautiful in its simplicity, no?

We’d love to know: what’s YOUR intention, summed up in a sentence or two?

Think about:

The way you live your life

The way you run your business

The way you show up in your relationships

Your intention could capture one or all of these. Add some love in the comments below!

Flashcards image from here. 

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7 Comments to “How I Do It: An Interview with Jess Lively”

  1. Thanks for this Rach & Jess, I love reading about how other people do it. Especially in moments where it feels like I am about to drown in it all. Your words about just moving forward and trusting the process are so true in my experience. I remind myself that anything I dream I can create with persistence and love. Even during those times it all feels impossible. Thanks for this ladies xo

  2. Jacq: Ahh, another voyeur like me – ha! Girl, if anyone can do it, it’s you. There is always an answer. Keep rocking. x

    Kate R: She sure is… and you too Kate. x

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