The Power of Grit (Or, Why We're Making a Really Tough Decision)

"Over time, grit is what separates fruitful lives from aimlessness." - John Ortberg
 

When I announced that I was going to run my first marathon, my parents suggested I was being a bit ridiculous. Not because they didn't think I could do it (at least, I don't think that was the reason). They thought I needed to chill the hell out for a bit. Lay low. Lick my wounds. Relax.

It was on the heels of the excruciating end of a 10-year relationship, my first big love. I was tired. Very, very tired. A shell of the fiery, energetic human to which they were accustomed. 

They assumed the marathon would deplete, not energize. That it would complicate, not ease. They feared, I'm certain of it, that I would fail. Again.

I could not listen. Would not.

I had to do this. The ship had already sailed in my weary, yet crystal clear mind. If I was going to fail at something so big, challenging and important, I sure as hell was going to persevere by being successful at something else that was also big, challenging and important.

A marathon seemed like the logical thing. Not to my parents, and not to a few others in my fold (who understood intimately how shredded I was from the preceding year). But to me, this was the one and only thing that was going to shepherd me over the hump of despair and enable me to reclaim my fiery, energetic humanness.

It was hard. I mean, it was weeping in my bed at 2 p.m. after an 18-mile run hard.  It was sinking into a claw-foot tub of epsom salts and cursing my throbbing calves hard. It was wondering if my right toenail was going to be brown forever (or fall off) hard.

(It did not fall off.)

But no matter how bad the day or how miserable the in-between felt, I'd set my mind to this. It was happening.

And it happened.

It wasn't a breathtaking performance, but on the day I crossed the finish line of the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon (with my dear friend Heidi rooting me on with the power of 72 humans), I knew I'd won.

No, for crying out loud, not the race. I came in like 2,934th place, I'm sure of it.

I'd won because I'd stuck with something impossibly hard.  I'd set a goal that, to some, seemed irrational, illogical and potentially even reckless given my situation.

Yet I'd pulled it off, in grand style.

That day in San Diego changed me forever, in amazing ways. In ways for which I will be eternally grateful.

It was on this day, I discovered the true, restorative value of setting your mind to something and sticking to it. 

I didn't realize it at the time, but I'd just discovered the power of grit. 

Flash forward to 2015. 

It's a completely different era. A completely different set of circumstances. And, I am happy to report, I've since gone on to find THE big love of my life. I have amazing children, cool friends, a job I love. All in all, a great life.

However, once again I'm dealing with something big, challenging and important. This time, it's not a matter of the heart; it's business.

In the five years since we launched JobJenny.com, we've grown between 30% and 90% annually. We've partnered with hundreds (and hundreds) of professionals, helping sort out their career challenges, navigate formidable job searches, figure out their professional and personal brands, and build their own businesses.

Rewarding is a word that does not even begin to sum up how I feel about my job, our clients, my life's work.

But we've  hit an inevitable speed bump.

Or, maybe it's more apt to call it a "growth bump".

Demand for JobJenny.com services is near outpacing our capacity. We are booked solid nearly every day, every week, every month.

We've addressed these issues in small, logical ways including adding new writers and optimizing processes. But we have more work to do. Big, challenging and important work.

I suspect it may (at times) even be weeping in my bed at 2 p.m. after an 18-mile run hard work. 

But no matter how hard it may be, I'm once again crystal clear: It's happening.

Re-shaping JobJenny.com in a manner that will allow us to support, guide and inspire more (and more, and more) people through career transition is happening, starting today.

So what does that mean?

If you're a casual reader of JobJenny.com, or simply passing by (hiiii), it will likely mean very little. In fact, you're going to see more tips, success stories and how-to guidance than you have in many months. So please come back often, say hello, and let us know if you have any questions along the way.

For those who are near-ready (or ready) to order services, however, this decision may impact you.  Do read on.

We will be (significantly) scaling back our services for 8-12 weeks so that our team can have the time, energy and necessary brain space to build and implement some key new offerings -- offerings that will shepherd us over the proverbial hump and, if we play this right, allow us to serve our rapidly growing audience in grand style.

(You can read more about the specifics here)

Some of you may feel that we're being a bit ridiculous, especially if you wanted to work with us right now. Some may think this move will complicate, not ease. (Some may wonder why on this earth we're walking away from a chunk of cash that's not insignficant.)

But, just as the marathon made perfect sense to me while seeming a bit nonsensical to others, I am crystal clear that this relatively short hiatus isn't just a wise move -- it's a necessary one.

We will grow in the right way, or we will ultimately cave under the weight of customer demand.

We choose growth, all day long.

And so we shall. 

We're going to bust out the grit and begin a phased process of putting new features, new products and new services into place. We anticipate our services will be back in full swing within 8-12 weeks.

We will be back, and we intend to be better than ever when we return.

 In the meantime, if you need support with a resume, cover letter or LinkedIn profile, all of our Ridiculously Awesome Kits are still available, as are a limited number of 60-minute consulting slots for those who need 1:1 assistance.

Additionally, if we have been in recent, direct conversation about starting a new project, please contact Karen Friesen at karen@jobjenny.com. We will be honoring any commitments that we have made (and completing the services discussed) through this time period.

We are so grateful for your business, your support and your friendship over the past five years. And we sincerely hope you'll stick with us as we work through this transition.

Our toenails may turn brown, but dammit, we're gonna take this thing the distance.

For all of us.

(Need more information about this? Right HERE)