OMG, you guys! I CAN’T BELIEVE your responses to my last blog with Mackenzie Wilson. I was so overwhelmed and surprised by how many of you could relate, were inspired and totally get me! With negativity being spread around the Internet like it’s going out of style…comments like this:
“Your brand is great, but the real Jillian is what inspires people. You’re living your purpose woman! Keep being you and keep showing us more Jillian!”
… make me wanna shout, WOOOOO HOOOO!!!
Ok, we need to keep this shiz going right?! I’m sure people think I don’t read all the comments, but I actually DO get around to reading MOST of them… finding time to respond on every channel and post is next to impossible but i do want to say I LOVE hearing your feedback! THANK YOU THANK YOU! So, I picked some comments that kept coming up about the Behind-The-Scenes With Jilly: Life Before The Bachelor blog from my website and Facebook page and answered them. Here goes nothing … the second to the series “Your Questions Answered”…
Q: How might you recommend people break the “corporate” mold and create their own schedule/career/lifestyle without the exposure you have received on TV? -Sarah S.
A: You know, the Bachelorette was definitely a springboard for my career but I wouldn’t give it 100% of the credit. I took a crap-ton of risks and I’m no stranger to hard work. Pushing myself through the tiny ‘Reality TV’ funnel to where I am now was a challenge, in fact I worried at first that being on TV would HURT my career.
I can’t even count the times my family stressed about my decisions to quit my job, move, sell my condo or try my own thing. I think taking a risk is my biggest piece of advice – like good ol’ Wayne Gretzky says (Yaaahhh, I say it, ALL THE TIME…) “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”, agreed! Come up with a plan, save a little money to support yourself while you get up and going and then pull the trigger. All I can say is working for yourself takes an extreme amount of dedication, organization and self control — which I don’t have anything of, LOL… what I DO have is a healthy addiction to what I do, so it drives me. I crave it and live for it and so it became a part of my life.
You have to LOVE to work, be motivated and KNOW you can drive your own bus. That role isn’t for everyone and that’s OK. Some people need consistency, direction and structure. Figure out if you’re really craving being an entrepreneur or if maybe it’s just a career shift you are actually in need of.
Q: Have you ever had a creative block and if so, where did you find inspiration again? – Tali G.
A: Of course I get creative blocks all the time!!! I am so lucky to have a fantastic team and they help to keep the fresh ideas flowing. It took me a long time, but I had to recognize that growing my team and brand meant trusting people with my business. Now, I trust my team to make decisions, calls and moves without me hovering over them 24/7. But YES, I have creative blocks ALL the time and it gives me mad anxiety. It’s usually because I’m overwhelmed, in that case I just shut it down for a day… sometimes two… until something comes to me.
The thing about being creative is sometimes it comes all at once, that’s when you pull the all nighters. Sometimes it doesn’t come at all and you have to recognize that and accept it instead of being so hard on yourself. One thing I will say is a good diet, lots of water, sleep and shutting it down to just have some personal time is key to a healthy brain! Don’t push yourself too hard!!!
Q: I’m really thinking about going to the conference you’re speaking at in Vancouver…Do you think there will be a lot of good feedback for someone who is new to blogging but knows how to use social media? -Danielle P.
A: Honestly, I want to share ALL the tips and tricks and lessons I’ve learned. I have already started making a list and will not hold back ANY secrets at BlogPodium! I’m SO excited to share what I’ve learned and hopefully do some learning myself! Yes… PLEASE COME, it’s going to be awesome!
Q: I would love to find out your design education and training please! -Karen I.
A: I got my certificate in Interior Design from BCIT (British Columbia Institute of Technology). I wish I would have gotten my degree but I was too impatient and jumped back into the field the second I got a chance! My role has changed from a designer to the brand leader. I don’t “CAD” (interior design software – computer aided drafting/design), but I do have an amazing team that takes my design mantras and esthetics and we work together to create spaces! While it’s hard to let go of the product shopping trips etc. I am happy to be growing a team, inspiring them and taking on new projects!
Q: Do you find that you rely on the skills you learned with your degree or do you think experience could teach you what you need to know to be successful in the design industry? -Janelle M.
A: I learned SO much more in the field for SURE, but the education helped me get that confidence I didn’t have; I think both are monumental. The level of education is really up to you, I chose to jump back into the field, but you might want to get the full degree. There are some extremely successful designers out there with no degree or education at all. For me, my success as a designer goes out to MY TEAM. I’m lucky enough to exclusively contribute my time to the creative side of things. I am job-spoiled!
Q: I absolutely loved this post!! Such great advice! I was wondering if you had any advice for women like myself who are just out of university and trying to figure out what’s next? -Paige M.
A: Paige, I feel ya! This is the question we all want answers to but unfortunately…and fortunately… life lessons are the only answer. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself!!! Start doing whatever the heck you want… be it flower arranging, blogging, landscaping, interning, ANYTHING! I always compare myself to Forrest Gump, you know how he had SO many jobs? I’ve done it all, at least it feels that way. Here’s how my path has gone so far. Get ready it’s LOOONNNGGGG!…
Hair Dresser’s Assistant — Beer Cart Girl — Janitor — Nanny — Assistant Golf Club Restaurant Manager — ** Graduated High School** — decided not to go to college right away which made my parents upset — Construction Flagger — Camp Cook — Heavy Machinery Operator — **Attended College (General Studies)** — Self-Employed House Cleaner — Server — Bartender — Restaurant Manager — **Changed courses to Travel and Tourism** — Tried out self-employed interior design but had no clue what I was doing — Waitress — Got Job with Cactus Club Cafe being an Executive Assistant — moved to Vancouver — got let go from above DREAM JOB for not being “corporate” enough — was devastated, but now I understand — Project Manager for custom art company (basically was a personal assistant) — **went back to school for Interior Design** — Restaurant Designer & Project Manager for Browns Socialhouse — Self Employed Interior Designer — back to restaurant designer & project manager — ***GETS TIPSY & APPLIES FOR BACHELOR*** — goes on The Bachelor — goes on The Bachelorette — Stresses about a job doesn’t want to end up like Snookie — Moves to Chicago — Gets a job in Chicago for a design firm — got hired on Extreme Makeover Home Edition — EMHE gets cancelled — **stresses about a job again** — Hosts Canada’s Next Handyman for two seasons — **stresses about a job** — Contacted by Love It Or List It Vancouver — Hosts LIOLIV — Expands www.jillianharris.com !!!
SO…. As you can see, it wasn’t really a straight path! LOL, sometimes you have to give yourself the freedom to find your way. My parents always said if I did what I loved I wouldn’t work a day in my life. With bags under my eyes, no sleep, grimey teeth and a filthy house… I can confidently say, THEY WERE RIGHT! Take your time. More importantly, take the time to look into your heart and find what drives your soul.
What’s your career path been like and where do you hope to go? Tell me in the comments below!