Do you crave having an impact in your career, but sometimes feel like it’s missing…? If you listen to this show, I’m guessing you do have the desire. Today’s guest worked for 12 years as a public school math teacher. She was largely motivated by the impact she wanted to have on her students’ lives.
When she left her job as a teacher to start her own business, she was driven by impact above all. That leading voice led her to build a seven-figure business in only two years of business. Now, she supports entrepreneurs in building and scaling businesses with a connection to their highest self, impact on their customers and clients, and education on their money mindset.
Tune into this episode to hear…
- How Jesse helps her clients learn about the flow of money and find financial freedom, even when starting from square one.
- What books and resources can teach you about how money functions in connection with your life and work.
- How to stop “waiting” for your achievements to be given to you and GO GET THEM instead.
Transcript of Episode
Leah Gervais: Hey visionaries, welcome back to the Your Biggest Vision show. I am your host, Leah and I am very excited to have my friend, my dear friend Jesse Johnson with us here today. Hi Jesse.
Jesse Johnson: Hi Leah.
Leah Gervais: How are you?
Jesse Johnson: I’m so good. I’m so excited to do this with you.
Leah Gervais: I’m super excited too. So Jesse, you are a very new, you’ve had an amazing story. You are a success coach, you are mindset coach. You also are very, um, you can go very deep with people about intimate things like money. You built a seven figure business in two years and you started as a high school math teacher in New York. So I know that you have a lot to share with us. Anything else in your sort of “about me” that you want to make sure I hit before we go deeper?
Jesse Johnson: That was, that was the brilliant two sentence version.
Leah Gervais: Okay, perfect. Okay, cool. Um, and I can’t wait to hear about your business growth, but where I want to start is your childhood a little bit. And specifically I’d love to hear, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
Jesse Johnson: Oh, this question is so fun. I was very good at school and I was pretty socially adept and both my parents were therapists, so I had a lot of emotional skill sets both with adults and more or less with kids. Like I didn’t always feel like one of the gang. But people liked me, you know, I wasn’t like an outcast. Um, but I was constantly put in a position of leadership, except I will say, except when it came to sports sports, I was like last one tech, but in, in any kind of class project or school project or group project, anything like that, I was always like, like from a very early age, really loud and in charge and maybe even a little bossy. Um, and so I had people frequently telling me what I could do. Um, and you know, I could be president or I could be, uh, it’s funny when I was going say next to is princess and the queen, I was like, no, no, they didn’t say that.
But I got into my head early on that like greatness was possible. I think that to some extent that was just the culture of the, of the 80’s, you know, that kids were told you can do anything. So that wasn’t necessarily personal to me, but then I got this extra sort of encouragement to go really big. And then I, when I found myself doing was wanting this sort of greatness in whatever context I was in. So we went to see the Cirque du Soleil when I was young. And I think that I cried because I was so upset that I wasn’t on the stage. And then we’d go to see like symphony orchestras and I would just like want, I played violin and I was like, I just want to be first chair. It was like my hunger for this kind of level of visibility and greatness was actually causing me a lot of suffering at eight.
And as I’ve kind of moved into this last few years of my life in my business, I have thought about that time because I think the misunderstanding that I had then, which is so totally normal for a kid was that I had to wait to be picked. I had to make the cut, it was up to somebody else to put me in that role. And it was confusing to have all these adults and kids sometimes like thinking I was so great, but then not actually getting the role or the part or the, let’s be clear, it’s not like I was auditioning left and right. Like I just, it was a little magical thinking on my part. I thought it would just happen to me. And so yeah, I think it’s really common actually. So all that to say that I think that I wanted and thought that I would be great.
And then pretty early on got pretty discouraged actually. It’s a little sad but also really cute when I think about like my eight year old self being like, I’m never going to amount to anything and just like striving, you know, just striving to make up for that feeling of not being good enough, not having been chosen already. And I really see that as having continued until in different ways, right? Like I did some healing around that and moved into a new form, but at some level, I feel like that pattern continued until I met my first coach and there was a sense of her recognizing in me that thing that I had always hoped, wanted, believed to be there. But more than that, like me realizing like, oh, I get to discover myself like that childhood vision that I had of greatness, I can be the one to say that’s for me. I didn’t know that before.
Leah Gervais: Why has no one told me?
Jesse Johnson: No. Yeah. Right. So it was a, it was a huge turning point and actually thinking about that part, I’d love your questioning because thinking about that part of my life has been really like there’s been a full circle kind of transformation that has happened that I think really started at that time. So it’s, it’s a fun time to think back on.
Leah Gervais: So I usually would want to ask you so many questions about your child’s head and my mind, but I, I love what you brought up and so I want to actually dig deeper into that. So this concept of sort of waiting until things just happen for lack of, I’m not phrasing it very well, but I really do know what you mean. And I think it’s actually very common, like you said, with people who grew up getting good grades or being really recognized as really good at a sport or I was, for me, what comes to mind is dancing. We do sort of fall into these ways of thinking that because we’re so good at them, we will be able to achieve something within this thing because people are telling us that. And I think that it’s really common in, you know, the personal development world to start addressing this kind of pattern head on and realizing that people aren’t coming to save you and you get to step into this all. But I think that for some people it’s so programmed in them that it’s something they have to continue reminding themselves that they’re doing.
It’s not like just one time you have this “Aha” and then all of a sudden you never wait for anything again. So I guess what I’d love to hear you tell me is one is this concept, probably the biggest thing that you see about people holding themselves back is because they’re still in some form of waiting? Maybe there’s other things, but I’m curious if you think that’s really common one and two, how do you keep yourself in check nowadays now that you noticed it but you still probably are working through what you did your whole life?
Jesse Johnson: Yeah. This is such an important insight. I think. I’m really glad that you brought that up because you’re right. I mean that, that when I think about… so I’ll start just to acknowledge the truth of what you’re saying. Like I did have a big turning point when I first met my first coach and first said yes and I don’t even know. I knew it was a big deal at the time, but I didn’t know it was the deal that I just told you. It was until later. But there have been, you know, I’ve been in business now we’re coming up on four years and there have been many times when I’ve been ready to throw in the towel. Not generally in a way that most of those moments are not places where I take it too seriously. But it’s not like those feelings don’t arise. Like there are times when it’s hard. There are times when the problem that I have to solve is one that I don’t want to solve. There’s times when it’s like, I’m frustrated or discouraged or things are just harder than I want them to go or whatever. And it’s really easy in those moments to kind of go back into that fantasy mode of just like wishing that things were different. That is where I find spiritual practice is really useful is just like presence practice. Like let’s be. Loving what is. I just happened to have that book on my desk right now.
And the thing that I have found that’s essential for continuing to pursue the vision that I experienced flowing through me is to have that vision bigger, brighter, louder, more in front of my face than anything else. And so I do that in a few different ways. Vision boards are really good for that. I’m actually really not good at vision boards, so I don’t have one in front of me right now. I’m like a shy to tell you that. But like everything, you know, I showed you my view of the Pacific to honest, like that’s my vision board. It’s like, yeah, I look at the ocean everyday because the expansiveness and the power and the natural force of it, the ease of it, is part of my vision. My financial goals in the way that I track the way that I move money has actually been really helpful for me. I think it’s helpful for a lot of people because it’s so concrete and measurable, right? So, I set financial goals and then I moved toward them and then I know if I’m on track or not. And so that helps keep things front and center. And then I do a lot of writing and meditating about the vision. And so it’s a constant, almost like a relationship that I’m building an intimate partnership with my vision with, I would say, God in creating that vision. Because if I’m not consciously doing it, my unconscious is doing whatever else is doing. And that’s not, that’s fear based or scarcity based or whatever. And so to answer your question about other people… I actually think that I, I had, I have always had more than a lot of people when it comes to ambition.
And there’s two sides of that, you know, as I said, like I think it caused me a lot of suffering, um, when I was not empowered around my ambition, you know, cause I was waiting for someone else. But I have definitely always been like that like I want it and I want it now. My hunger is big. And so that’s a business that’s also been an asset to me because I haven’t, I haven’t had to work too hard to cultivate my desire. I’ve, I have a lot of desire. So what I find with people is that they, they are, but people do wait to be told what to do. They wait to be given the instruction, which is also, frankly, this is also where I think spiritual practice is helpful because you can get it that way.
Leah Gervais: Yeah. You can ask and you’ll get it.
Jesse Johnson: Yeah. If you’re waiting for it from, from like other people. I think that that tends to be almost universally problematic. But if you’re like going to the source, then that can be a really powerful and useful and helpful practice.
Leah Gervais: Yeah. Yeah. I love what you said about your, your vision board being the ocean, because I feel the same way with my view of New York. It kind of gets up and motivates me, but for very different reasons. You’re like the ease and the flow. New York has no ease. It’s very stressful to look outside, but it just works for me. So I think, I love that we both have our views, but I think it’s just so funny how you described the ocean and I’m like, well that’s where *unable to transcribe*.
Jesse Johnson: So interesting because when we met in New York, I had been there for, I think I met you at the, like we had coffee at the end of my trip. I had been there, I didn’t even realize it until I got home here. I had been in New York for six weeks and I just, I lived in New York for 15 years. I’m in love with that city. The energy that kind of like it is the city of ambition. So it really resonates and it excites me when I’m there and I like, I didn’t say no to anything when I was there. And so when I got home to la I was just like, okay, I’m literally going to be a recluse for like a month. I’m not available. Don’t ask me to do anything. Don’t ask me to see you. I’m done. I’m done. Yeah. So it is, it is interesting. There’s like, I need both. I need like times, maybe less than six weeks if I’m going to play hard that way. But it’s, I love that, that I, I want to, I want us to like have our views next to each other.
Leah Gervais: Yeah. That would be helpful if I could have a little bit of both. So, okay, let’s go back to your time in New York a little bit and specifically I want to hear what, what eventually brought you to the leap. So you came to New York to teach low income math, right?
Jesse Johnson: Well, I moved to New York because I love New York and I was actually a waitress there and worked at NYU for a couple of years in the film department. I was a film student. And so that was like a natural course for me. So, the truth is I really moved to New York from New York, like New York. I fell in love with New York and I just had to go there. But early, I worked at NYU for maybe two years and I was just, I mean I was surrounded by film equipment and film people and I thought that that would be such a creative and generative space and instead I was just bored out of my skull. Like the sort of bureaucracy of that level, like that scale of an institution was just not conducive to my creativity. So it turned into just a job. Like it wasn’t, I was thinking it was going to be like, I’m going to be an artist and this is going to help me do that.
It didn’t, it didn’t do that. And so I fell back on a quote “backup plan” that I had sort of had Rodney around in the back of my head for probably 10 years at that point, which was to become a math teacher. I had always been like, I don’t want to do that, but I know I can. I don’t want to do that, but I know I can. And then I saw this ad or something on the subway for math teachers who were really like, who had mathematics background, not just who wanted to become teachers, but people who were really strong in math. And I was intrigued and I applied. And in the process of applying, it was like, I unlocked this huge well of passion for not only mathematics but math education. I just saw the room for improvement and really felt like, yeah, I can help and I want to help.
And I learned later that like 9 out of 10 people feel that they, like, they would identify their experience in some math classes, traumatic. Like it’s a very negative experience for almost every person who goes through at least American schools. And so I, you know, it was a good, it was a good challenging environment to be in. Um, and it, it hit my, I really wanted to be of service. I really wanted to be giving back. I knew at that point that I was very privileged and had a lot, a lot of opportunity that a lot of people didn’t have. And I just wanted to feel like I was doing something for the good of more than just myself. Um, and so I ended up working, I was a classroom teacher for seven years and then I coached math teachers for five years. After that, I ended up working with principals and administrations and I was working with an organization that supports 80 schools all over New York City. So I got a real bird’s eye view of how systems function and how change happens and doesn’t, um, and all of that really, I mean, I have all kinds of feelings about it, right? It wasn’t just one thing, but I am super grateful for that time. I learned a ton. And it definitely prepared me for what I’m doing now, which is I think, all of it is part of my purpose, but like this is very much in alignment now with I think what I came into this world to do.
Leah Gervais: Do you feel like that chapter of your life where you were teaching math and learning about education was meant to be?
Jesse Johnson: I mean, I feel like I have to because it happened. So it’s like, yeah. And at the same time I want to name that. I do think it’s not like somebody else couldn’t do it faster or a different way. I think they could. Uh, I think they do. For me, I just know that I learned there is a level of rigor that I got to experience pretty much every day for 12 years in that work space that a lot of people don’t ever experience because they’re not, that level of excellence is not demanded of them. And it’s, it is, I think it’s harder to challenge yourself beyond your own capability when there’s not some kind of external support to do that. So it helped me to be in a space where things were so hard to really see what I was capable of.
Leah Gervais: So let’s talk a little bit about money. So you were living in one of the most expensive cities in the world at this time and, and you were working for the public school system it sounds like, and then you build a seven figure business in two years. Did you, what kind of personal roadblocks did you come up against, if any, about worthiness or deservability when that changed so quickly?
Jesse Johnson: Yeah. Yeah.
Leah Gervais: And do you see this come up with your clients?
Jesse Johnson: For sure. Yeah. It’s so interesting cause I think that there’s, there’s like totally subconscious, almost physical patterns that we have about how we move through the world. And because money really touches everything. I mean, it’s not that we think necessarily about money in every moment, but you know, we pay for… there’s just a financial element, everything that we do. Food, water, beverage, socializing, housing, clothing. I mean it’s just, it’s the world that we’re living in now. And so, so whatever those patterns are, they show up everywhere. There’s so, there’s so pervasive because if we, if we have any fear or unworthiness or just like hiding or apologizing around anything, it’s gonna attach itself to that money component. And then anywhere else where money exists, basically everywhere, we’re going to do, we’re going to repeat that thing, right?
So, I would say that money, one of the ways I think about money is that it’s an amplifier. Whatever energy we have, money amplifies it. So I think that there’s a lot that’s just like, it’s just we do what we do because it’s familiar. We don’t even know that we’re doing it. And that stuff can be really hard to break out of because it’s so hard to see. But it can also be easier to break out of because you don’t, it’s not necessarily a story that you have. It’s like as soon as you take a new action, for example, as soon as you fly first class, suddenly you’re just, if you’ve never done that before, and then you start doing that, it’s just like, oh, well now, now I’m doing it. Now I’m taking this new action, and it immediately has that ripple effect of touching everything else because you’re starting to change your relationship with money.
Then the second layer for me for sure was all the story that I had, which was for me, very intellectual. You know, I spent all this time working with low income kids, mostly students of color who at the heart of our mission in schools, on the surface, what we were trying to do is help them change class. Nobody used that language, but that’s really what we were doing was like trying to give them all these educational resources so that if they wanted to, which why wouldn’t someone want to? They could access more money. Right? More freedom that comes from more money like that. At the heart of it, that was what was going on. I have zero evidence that that worked. Yeah. Right. Like, and I don’t mean to throw public education under the bus. I think it’s powerful and people are doing amazing things there.
But like the system itself in our, in our country and I think in our world is designed for people to stay in the class that they have. So I did have a lot of noise around, uh, you know, charging more like who can pay for that, who can afford that. I had a lot of noise about leaving schools at some level, you know, cause it was like, if I stop giving back to these low income kids, like what does that mean about me? So I had a big identification with, uh, the way that I related to my own, frankly, like privilege, my white, well-educated privilege. You know, that at some level I was trying to make up for it everywhere. And when I decided to start this business, I really had to look at that because there was no way to move in the direction that I was moving and stay focused on low income kid.
Leah Gervais: Something’s gotta give.
Jesse Johnson: And what I realized is that I didn’t really understand money or class. And so I, and thank God I was willing to just kind of be like, you know what, I, I’ve been teaching math my whole life. I’ve been paying my own bills since I was 18. Like that’s not quite fair. But definitely since I was 21 and I teach financial literacy, like, don’t I know about money? No, I don’t know about money. Hardly anybody knows about money. So let me learn about money. And so I started working with Marla Madison, who’s amazing and David Nagel who you know, and who’s amazing, he’s how we met. And they gave me a new education about how money works and I gave myself space. And then the education itself gave me space to just try on new things and see what was really true.
And one of the things that I’ve found through that process that helped me was that it was quite clear to me that my 12 years working in schools while it was educational for me and powerful for me and I don’t, I would, I hope that it didn’t cause harm to anyone. It was also clear to me that that… and I think I was doing the best work that’s been done in education and I don’t mean that from an ego place, but I just know that I was, I was deeply engaged, deeply devoted. I was doing the most personal and professional development to show up there well. I just don’t think it was really moving the needle. It wasn’t, it wasn’t really impacting long term in the way that it was designed to. And so it sort of allowed me, this is almost like a mathematical, like a logical argument. It’s like, okay, well if that’s not working, what would work? Maybe it’s something quite different. Maybe my self sacrifice actually isn’t useful here.
Leah Gervais: Is it actually going to change the world?
Jesse Johnson: Yeah. Like, oh, that’s a novel idea. And actually, I remembered sometime in the last few years, one of the first conversations that I had when I graduated college was with a banker. I don’t even remember why I was like talking with him about investing $200, whatever it is that I was like, I’m going to start investing. And um, and I remember asking him about socially responsible investments and he asked me some questions and after whatever conversation we had, he said to me, Jesse, if you want to make the world better, the best thing you can do is make as much money as possible. And at the time I was like, okay sir. I mean I was such a clear, like I don’t, but it’s, it’s so interesting because that was probably almost, maybe not quite 20, but almost 20 years ago. And that moment has stuck with me and you know, I’m kind of have shifted to the opinion that that’s true. Again, because money is an amplifier. So if what I want to do is give back, having a lot of financial resources helps me do that. Right. I was never really a philanthropic before I gave, I mean whatever, maybe 100 bucks a year or something. Now I’m moving towards six figure donations every year and then, and then working to increase that. I really, the next level of the vision is to give away more than I keep. So you know, to be able to have a conversation like that with you, and to be honest, I don’t even think it’s better, Leah. I just, I just feel like I am, this is my responsibility to actually learn what works.
Leah Gervais: Right. No, I totally get it. I had a similar realization. It wasn’t quite as long, I guess a little time period as you did where you were so in deep. But I remember always wanting to work at a nonprofit and I interned at them in college and I worked at one before. I quit my job now to work full time for myself. So that was so my path. And I remember having a big crisis when I was, when my business started picking up around my day job and when I started making community, it wasn’t even that much money, but it was more than just making it run by nonprofit. So it was like, am I abandoning my values by leaving this world? I really thought that and what changed everything for me. What kind of solidified that that’s of thinking, which no one else was solidifying for me because all my friends and all my colleagues were at nonprofits.
So I was on a hunch that it was wrong, but I couldn’t really put into words why that was wrong. And it was when I read the science of getting rich and he says, the best thing you can do is make the most of yourself and then you will be better at everything. And it’s not just where you work, but it’s also the kind of person you are. Are you someone that’s supportive for your friends and family? Or are you stressed out all the time and someone that they don’t really want to be around because you’re not helping their energy. And if you’re not helping their energy, they’re not making more money. I mean, I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but for anyone out there listening who was wearing a badge of honor about, you know, self sacrifice, like you said, again, I agree with you. Some people should work at nonprofits and they have a very important space in this world, but you shouldn’t guilt yourself into doing something right when there’s so many other ways that you can give back. And I think the way we all can do the best of giving back is being the best at what who we naturally are. I am meant to be an entrepreneur and it never would’ve worked if I just continued trying to, you know, I think of like a toddler with the square trying to put it in a circular hole and it just is not going to fit. So, that’s, you know, a hugely and powerful story that you have and I’m sure you’ve inspired so many of your clients to release themselves of things that they might have been perceiving as the only way to, to give back.
Jesse Johnson: These questions come up all the time though. Like I appreciate you bringing it up because these questions continue to come up all the time. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. I met a new, a new friend of a friend. Interesting. The friend that introduced us is like fulltime philanthropist. All he does is give away money foundations. So he inherited his wealth. He’s got all kinds of material around that, you know, but the point is that he comes from a lot of money and he’s, he, he uses that money to do I think really important and great things and he’s certainly trying to, he introduced me to a woman who has just recently had a huge spiritual awakening. And we were talking yesterday about the guy that we both follow Paul Selleck. Do you know him? I do. And so we love him. I went and she was just kind of musing like, what would it be like if he didn’t charge $350 for a 30 minute reading?
Like wouldn’t that be great? Wouldn’t it be better if it were by donation? And I was really challenging her. Like, I mean, not that it would be worse, like I don’t think it’s bad to have donation. If Paul decided he wanted to do donation-based readings, I’m fine with that, but there isn’t one that’s better than another. There’s not a right way to do this thing around money. And that, in fact, my belief is that if somebody wants what Paul Seller’s got to give, they will find the fucking money to pay for it. Whether they are a 10 figure entrepreneur or Elon Musk or me 10 years ago as a high school teacher like it would not have been as a, it wouldn’t have been comfortable for me to spend $350 on myself for that purpose, but I could have found money.
Leah Gervais: Right. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not there.
Jesse Johnson: Right. Right. Anyway, I just appreciate you bringing this to the conversation because I think these questions are questions that people are still asking as money mindset work becomes more and more mainstream and people learn more and more about it. I think that people, these kinds of questions come up more and more. And so I think it’s really, really valuable to have, like you and I talked through it and kind of like chew on it together. What traces of like hesitation or resistance are there still and then like she’d be willing to share that with the communities that we speak to. I think it’s so important.
Leah Gervais: Yeah. Well I really appreciate you sharing your story too. And so what would you, um, you can either use your story or just kind of the advice you would give, but to someone who is just sort of learning about the weight as you put it, the way money works for the first time. They are you when you were leaving your job, or they’re just now listening to this interview and they’re wondering, what am I missing? Do you have three steps, three references, three things you think that they should start with to like open… and I know that’s probably kind of a tough question.
Jesse Johnson: No, I mean I think, I will be honest, the book that you just mentioned is one of the most powerful books I think out there. The Science of Getting Rich.
Leah Gervais: The Science of Getting Rich. Yeah.
Jesse Johnson: And I was like, where is it? I’m like, Oh yeah, it’s also on my desk. So this book, you know, the thing about these books is that they’re tiny. They’re like scripture. And so my experience of them is that they like, it’s useful to read the whole thing multiple times. I have listened to it on audible. I’ve listened to all the different… or on iTunes, I’ve listened to all the different voices. Actually one of the visions, we haven’t done this yet, but I have a fantasy of recording this. Maybe it’ll not just be me. Maybe it’ll be a bunch of female entrepreneurs, but like, so women reading it and then using either female or more gender neutral pronouns cause all the, you know, it was written over a hundred years ago. So all the pronouns are masculine and it’s always read by men. So anyway, so you can do it that way.
The other thing is that like, this is the kind of book where if you open it and read one sentence, that can be your contemplation, your meditation for the day, the week, the month. Like this stuff is deep. And if it doesn’t a hundred percent resonate or make sense to you, not you Leah, but anyone who’s reading it, the next step is to really lean in, right? Instead of dismissing it. Like, oh, that guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I’m telling you, he knows what he’s talking about, he’s telling the honest truth. So stay with it until it really makes sense and then keep coming back to it. You know, I, that’s, it’s on my desk more for me than my clients. I do use it with my clients, but like I do this, you know, that’s another thing when I am like [inaudible] I don’t know, my business is making you upset or whatever. When I’m having a rough moment, this is one of my coaches like just open this book. It has an energetic transmission that goes with it that is very aligning. Right. It’ll just call you back into truth into presence, into alignment.
Leah Gervais: When you say, so I totally grabbed, listened to that book about once a month and it never ceases to amaze me when you say we, we are visioning things or we are, um, planning things. Do you mean you and your team, you and who, who’s the “we” are talking about?
Jesse Johnson: That’s so funny. I’m like, did I say “we”?
Leah Gervais: Is it you and God? I’m just curious.
Jesse Johnson: It is actually all those things. I think that most of the time in this conversation I think that consciously, my “we” has meant “we” like you and me and everyone listening, we the human. And it’s interesting that, that you asked because for the first time my husband and I are leading a program together. Huge deal for us because we ha we collaborate in so many things. But in my business we haven’t really collaborated much at all and to the extent that he’s helped me with things, he’s been very much on the like behind the scenes. So it’s a huge deal for us to be like, you know, this is the first public announcement. We haven’t really told people yet, but we’re going to take people to India in January and February and then do a year long mastermind with them that we’re going to co-lead and co-facilitate and co own. So there’s that “we” for sure. I feel like this “we” is very strong. Yeah. Reporting to me and I do have a team. So all the “we’s”, all the “we’s”, the royal “we”.
Leah Gervais: All the “we’s, I love it. I just was wondering like when you go into what you’re envisioning or what you’re planning for your business, what does that look like for you? I know it’s different for every entrepreneur, so I was just curious.
Jesse Johnson: Yeah. And it’s changing, you know, I do still really trust my vision, like, which come, like, it just kind of arrives, I think a lot of the work for, this goes back to a couple of your earlier questions, but I think that a lot of the work that people need to do in order to be willing to take a leap is to just open up their channel of listening to their own intuition, their own vision, their own guidance from more than just they’re logical, rational programmed voices. I call that God, but like, whatever you call it is fine, you know, to, to be able to tap into that channel of inner guidance. And some people need to practice that. For me when I started teaching that like me working in schools was so emotionally demanding that immediately I had to get some more support. So my spiritual practice became very explicit when I started teaching and they kind of develop together. So I got real good at making that connection with God during that time. And so now when I vision it feels very much like I’m just like, it’s not even asking, I’m just kind of hanging, like hanging out with God, doing a little meditation and like immediately the ideas are coming like, like a geyser. So then the sort of more recent challenge has been to include other human beings that my vision affects in that process.
When I first started my business, there wasn’t really anyone else I needed to run things by. And still, you know, I’m the CEO, I’m the founder. I’m like, it’s my business. I don’t have to run it by anybody, but it’s just generous and helpful and collaborative to do so. So depending on who it is that the project affects, I like to share a lot of what I’m thinking in particular with my team. So it’s funny that you asked this because I just had a meeting with my team yesterday and kind of updated them. Like this is the new stuff that’s coming through. A lot of people would say, download, here’s the new download. I’m like, I’m just, I’m not even going into action yet, but here’s what I think is going to happen and I just want to include you so you know kind of what’s going on. Any ideas that you have, I’m very open. Right. So that they feel like, the vision isn’t being done to them.
Leah Gervais: That’s a good way to put it. So, what would you say, looking back, you said it’s been almost four years. Do you have one thing that sticks out that just sucked or like one business thing that was really, really hard that you didn’t anticipate or just really stuck with you so you’re willing to share? I think it’s so valuable for people to hear about these things from people they really look up to because it just brings it back to transparency and more reminder that we’re all in this together, you guys.
Jesse Johnson: Yeah, I mean, I, the honest truth is that there’s so many things, you know, from you just like experiencing rejection in such an explicit way in sales conversations too. Um, you know, losing, losing relationships or having relationships change in such a way that it felt like a loss. Yeah. Financial disappoint, you know, like, oh, almost a year ago I was, this is a funny story actually and a good one. Like we decided to, we wanted to move, we were looking for our house. We made this huge vision board this time. We actually made it, *unable to transcribe* and I were doing it together. So, we wrote all the things down that we wanted. And to be honest, we didn’t really, I don’t think either one of us really believed fully we could have everything on that list. So we were embedding into the vision like little thing where like we, this is not negotiable, but these things are like optional, whatever. And we found a house pretty easily and it was beautiful and it would do a lot of things that we wanted. And we, so we paid, we put down, I think it was $10,500 a month. So we put down over $30,000 like first, last security, whatever it was, signed the lease. And then like a couple of days later I went to Big Sur for the first time and saw the ocean and just wept and ha. And so had this really inconvenient moment of realizing like, oh, I can’t live in that house. Like I have to see the ocean every day. I wrote that down. I knew that I needed that. I’m just going to let those guys know that I’m, you know, we’re not gonna move in. It’s been like three days. They’ll definitely refund us like they have two months to find someone new.
Leah Gervais: They did not refund you?
Jesse Johnson: No and not only did they not refund us, but they were legally empowered to, to demand the full year of rent.
Leah Gervais: The whole year?
Jesse Johnson: If they didn’t find somebody else, like they had to do their due diligence to find someone else. But if they didn’t find someone else, we owed them. They didn’t owe us anything. And so it was like, it was a real wake up call for me because I think at some level, up until that point, without realizing it, I just kind of still thought like, you know, people are nice. So it was the first time that someone held me to a contract that I didn’t want to be in. Um, and it was like right from the beginning it was like, okay, what, what in this is happening for my benefit? How is this happening for my benefit? Because on the surface it feels like this sucks. What, what’s really going on here? And I mean, and now I feel like the education and transformation that I got and also by the way, like living in my actual dream house now, no compromise, um, was worth every penny, $30,000.
Leah Gervais: What do you feel like you most learned from that?
Jesse Johnson: A couple of things. One is like it was, it was really important for me to understand what it felt like on both ends of a contract. Yeah. Yeah. And to be, to be on the on, I don’t know what that doesn’t really make sense, but to be on the receiving end of someone saying you sign this contract doesn’t matter that you changed your mind. Right. That’s, that’s, that’s your business. But this is my, this contract is legit. That’s the point of it. It was really like, Whoa, I needed to grow up in that way. That was operating a little bit like a child, very immature mindset around it. So it was really professionalizing for me actually. The second thing is that I didn’t like that really shifted my, my own understanding of the truth, that what we want is here and it’s here right now and there is no need for compromise.
And in fact the less we compromise, the more resources we have to share with the world. This is the same conversation we were having about you becoming an entrepreneur. It’s like the more I live my life in full alignment with that vision, the more I can serve, the more I can help because I am the fullest expression of me. Right? I’m standing for the truth of what I’m sharing with you now because I didn’t know this right from, I didn’t know I could live here. Looking at the ocean as I talk to you on a podcast on a Tuesday morning, you know, this is an amazing life that I’m living. Amazing life. And so for me it also, it kind of upped my own game around my capacity to believe in, in my own capacity to create and other people’s capacity to create what they want.
Leah Gervais: Yeah. Well, and um, yeah, I mean everything you said, but just an elevated reminder in the belief that there’s more good out there than we can even imagine. There’s more opportunity out there that we could even wrap our heads around. I’m, you gave me chills when you said there’s no need to compromise because I totally agree and it takes a little bit, sometimes it takes the hard lessons for you to remind that and remember that. But when you do really feel that moment, that feeling of, Oh my God, I can’t even wrap my head around how much good is offered to me in this life right now? That’s what life’s all about those moments. That’s it. Just feeling like so humbled and in awe of what we have the opportunity to experience. So it sounds like it was an expensive property, but he was, it sounds like you’ve worth it.
Jesse Johnson: Well, and I think that that’s the other thing is that as you know, for me as someone who’s specializing in money and money mastery, I think it was really valuable for me to also have that experience. Right. So it’s not, people have experiences like that. It’s music for me to have that. It was like a chapter in my, my own personal textbook. Right. And you know, the third piece that I would say is that to be really clear that that was happening for my benefit while it was happening in my experience like that kind of that kind of choice. That’s real freedom. That’s the truth of empowerment. Right? And, and I mean, we could talk for another hour about that, but I just want to plant that seed that like I’m not, I’m not saying that I did a perfect job, right? There were many moments while that whole thing was going down where I was pissed and frustrated and felt victimized and all kinds of stuff. But every time I had a negative reaction, I immediately was like, okay, I’m believing something that’s not true. This is happening for my, I don’t fully understand why yet, but I know that that’s true. Yeah. Well, nothing is here to harm me. So why is this happening?
Leah Gervais: *unable to transcribe* the lesson already. Amazing. I love everything you shared with us, Jesse, and I’m so inspired by you and I think everyone listening to this probably is too. I have a few last your biggest fishing questions. Are you ready?
Jesse Johnson: Yes, I’m ready.
Leah Gervais: What do you do when it feels like things are fighting against your vision or when you feel victimized?
Jesse Johnson: Hmm. Yeah, it’s great. I think that the question like what wants to be seen? What am I missing? What, what lie am I believing right now? Uh, the, the example that I just gave you is actually a perfect example for this. You know, like I believe that everything is happening for my highest benefit. So what would that be? And it helps sometimes to imagine myself in the future, like a year from now. How has that version of me going to think about this moment? That’s okay. I know she’s going to get it. She’s going to have gotten the lesson. I don’t know if it’ll take me an hour or a day or two minutes or, or two months, but a year from now I’m going to have figured something more about this kind of tapping into that future self really helps me.
Leah Gervais: Yeah, I love that exercise. And it’s something that I’ve just started talking about recently. I did a whole podcast episode recently about overcoming pain, you know, I lost my dad very tragically. And so that’s the example I often use and one of the parts of it that I shared because it’s so easy to say transform pain into purpose until you’re actually in pain and you can’t get out of bed. So one of the tips I tried to give for actionable steps was to not even just imagine what yourself in the future could be like, but decide what you’re going to be like in the future. And from that you can reverse engineer things pretty powerfully and really pick yourself up. So I love that you just brought that up because you did it going a little bit more of a light context and mine was, um, what would you say are your most proud of about your business so far?
Jesse Johnson: I am, I mean, I think the truth is I’m most proud of my clients. I’m really proud of. They, you know, I like to say that this work isn’t hard. It’s uncomfortable, but I have to make that distinction because while you’re in it, it feels fucking hard. And they just, the way that they show up, the devotion that they bring to their businesses, the devotion that they bring to their vision, this service that they’re here to, I mean, it’s so essential. Their work is so essential in the world and I believe in them so much and I just am so honored to get to work with them as they build to their seven figures and really like step into their own greatness day after day after day. It’s not like a and done thing, you know, the, that’s a, it becomes their daily practice, their daily devotion to, to become that version of themselves that they know they’re here to be. So yeah, that’s, that’s number one for sure.
Leah Gervais: Do you have, you’ve mentioned a few, but do you have any additional books or podcasts that you just couldn’t have done this without?
Jesse Johnson: I really like this book.
Leah Gervais: For people just listening, it’s You Squared by Price Pritchett.
Jesse Johnson: Super Fun. Even smaller than Wallace Wattles. I have, I’m just, I’m going to just like pop a couple more. So Bhagavad Gita, I really like the Yana Shorey. For those of you that are super esoteric, that’s the one that I liked the most. I, you know what, I’ll be honest, this is new to me. You guys know I like David Nagel is my mentor. So I listened to his podcast, but he didn’t have a podcast when I started working with him. So that’s a new thing. Byron Katie has revolutionized my life. I read this entire book on a Saturday. I cried for like five hours and like while I was reading it and overnight just completely shifted the way that I think about my own thoughts. I am really excited to know her more. Paul Selig also, I mean I could just keep going. There’s so many, so many people you might, I wrote an article about the Jonas brothers that just got published on entrepreneur last week. Like Jonas brothers inspire me. I like, I like learning from other people’s success also. Yeah, yeah. That’s part of why Leah, I’m so excited to know you cause I just think that your, your story is so unique and so powerful and the fact that you’re doing what you’re doing. I mean it’s even for me like I’ve done it. I see people do it all the time and still hearing your story, I’m like, you’re a freaking like alien monster beast. Like that’s amazing what you’ve done. I’m just, I’m just so inspired by you.
Leah Gervais: Thank you so much. So that is so sweet. Well the feeling is very mutual. I am in awe of you too. How can people find out more about you?
Jesse Johnson: http://jessejohnsoncoaching.com. That’s the website and my Instagram is really, really hot. I got some of these articles on entrepreneur I just am excited about cause the one that just came out as was the most fun of anything I’ve done before. Instagram and Facebook are the most like you can find me everywhere but, but those are the places where I’m most active and engaged.
Leah Gervais: Cool. Awesome. So much Jessie. Congratulations on everything you’ve built with your business and more so just congratulations on every how clearly I’m just aware and dedicated you are to making this world a better place. It’s very palpable and I’m really grateful that you shared everything with us today.
Jesse Johnson: Thank you so much Leah. I really appreciate you.
Leah Gervais: Oh awesome. The feeling’s mutual. I hope you guys enjoyed this, you visionaries as much as I did. We’ll link the books that Jesse had held up and mentioned in the show notes here as well as her website. So if you want to learn more about her journey and how you could learn from her, then head on over there. I’ll talk to you guys soon.
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