(#183) Laughing Through Adversity: Jen Coken's Hilarious Take on Life and Cancer

crown yourself podcast Jul 19, 2023

 

Imagine a pandemic, business meltdown, and cancer…at the same time…and still being able to have a sense of humor through it all. Well, that is my guest in a delightful nut-shell on the Crown Yourself podcast.

For Jen Coken, humor was her North Star, along with a clear set of principles that have taken her from boobs to bust and bouncing back better than ever…with a movie!

I am so honored to pull this podcast episode from the archives and bring it forth into the beautiful renewed light of transformation that happens when you can laugh at the devil and reveal your true power - resilient AF and gloriously gritty.

Jen’s journey is a testament to the power of resilience and grit, and I'm excited to share some of the key takeaways from our conversation: 

  • The Power of Connection: Our paths crossed through a group called the Dames, and it was there that we exchanged our big asks. While I couldn't connect Jen to Oprah, I did manage to connect her to a producer who said yes to turning her book into a movie. It's a reminder that introducing one person to another can lead to incredible opportunities.
  • Facing Challenges with Resilience: Jen's journey through breast cancer taught her the importance of sticking with the facts, empowering each other, and speaking openly in difficult situations. She also emphasized the significance of having a support system and being able to express oneself freely.
  • Setting Boundaries: Jen's cancer journey led her to adjust her business model, prioritizing self-care and delegating tasks, and the importance of knowing one's own limits. She learned to structure her workday in a way that aligned with her soul...and allowed her to double her business! 
  • Dealing with Imposter Syndrome: Jen shared her experience with imposter syndrome and how it stemmed from a core moment in her childhood. She emphasized that imposter syndrome arises when we stretch ourselves and experience an amygdala hijack, triggering the fight, flight, or freeze response

…And that’s just what I learned from it. I can’t wait to see what you learn from this episode!

Jen Coken’s story is a powerful reminder that we can face our challenges with resilience and grit, and on the other side, we can overcome imposter syndrome and discover our true potential and purpose.

Remember, your reign is now.

 

LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE HERE

 

Please enjoy this transcript of the Crown Yourself Podcast, with comedian, speaker, coach, and author of "When I Die, Take My Panties", Jen Coken [@jencoken] and, your host, transformational story coach, Kimberly Spencer (@Kimberly.Spencer)

Connect with Jen Coken.

Website: https://www.jencoken.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jencoken/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jenncoken/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/coken/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jcoken

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfF6gn4O5o3Z4MTvrXzB5NA

 Jen's campaign for the movie: https://www.gofundme.com/f/when-i-die-take-my-pantiesthe-movie

___________

Kimberly Spencer (00:00:00) - Hello and welcome back to the Crown Yourself podcast. Boy, do I have a guest for you. I could not think of a more dynamic dynamo. Light the fire underneath your butt, go from complete bust to complete bust and bounce back again. Then the amazing Jen Kochen. Jen is a comedian, a speaker, a coach and the author of When I Die Take My Panties, which now she is adding the role of producer to her resume as it is being made into a major motion picture. And Jen is a testimony of resilience and grit. I have been honored to call her my friend for these past few years and she is a transformation goddess. When it comes to transforming limiting beliefs from impostor syndrome to queen of your kingdom. Jen faced not only seeing her mother die of ovarian cancer, but then receiving the diagnosis of breast cancer. Going through that process and then bouncing back to multiple six figures with her business the next year. Like a badass, just testimony to what is possible. And Jen is also a testimony to the fact that when you make big asks and when you are clear on your big asks, magic happens.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:01:44) - And I believe that one of the most revolutionary acts that you can do is introducing one person to another. And when Jen and I met, because we were introduced through a group called The Dames for six, seven and eight figure business women, I asked her, I said, What's your big ask? I mean, let's let's trade big ass. And I gave her mine and she she gave me hers. And she's like, Do you know Oprah? And I was like, No, not yet. I know people who know Oprah, but I don't necessarily know on a personal like call up someone and say like, hey, let's talk to Oprah. But I said, what else you got for me? And she said, I would love for my book to be made into a movie. And I was like, I still got some screenwriting contacts. Let's let's see. And I reached out to two screenwriter producers. One said, no, probably not a right fit, not the right time, but the other said yes.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:02:40) - And here's the thing. All it takes is one. And now Jen's book, When I Die Take My Panties, a memoir of watching her mother battle ovarian cancer. Is now being turned into a major motion picture, all because Jen had the courage, the tenacity and the clarity to know what her big ask was when the time was right. So you never know the power of your dreams being one person away from them actually manifesting into reality one person away. So I hope this episode inspires you. I hope it champions you in whatever challenge you're going through to face that with resilience, with grit, and to know that on the other side, not only will you have kicked imposter syndrome of any doubts or fears or beliefs you may have had that have been standing in the way to being able to see the true champion and queen or sovereign king that you are. You will see your absolute infinite divine potential and purpose. That every challenge could just be and lead to the transformation that you want to see in the world.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:04:04) - And with that, I give you Jenkin. Welcome to the Crown Yourself podcast, where together we build your empire and transform your subconscious stories about what's possible for your business, body and life. I'm your host, Kimberly Spencer, founder of Crown Yourself, and I'm a master mindset coach, best selling author, TEDx speaker, known to my clients as a game changer. Each week you get the conscious leadership strategies you need to help you reign with courage, clarity, and confidence so that you too can make the income and impact you deserve. Imagine this podcast as your royal invitation to step into your full potential and rein in your divine purpose. Your sovereignty starts here and your reign is now. So I want to dive in right away because your book title made me laugh so hard. People at the gym stared at me. Your book, When I Die Take My Panties. Yes. What inspired that title?

 

Jen Coken (00:05:16) - My mother said that to me. So the book is meant to inspire people to find the gold in the crap that life hands us.

 

Jen Coken (00:05:27) - Which we all face. Everybody faces really, really tough times. And we can get caught in this victim spiral and victim mentality unless we can take a breath and. Okay, let me just settle for a minute and see if I can really find the lesson in what was being taught here. So my mother died of ovarian cancer after being misdiagnosed for a year. Yeah, because ovarian cancer is really, really hard to diagnose. The symptoms mirror a woman's monthly cycle and it takes doctors forever to be able to diagnose it. And I didn't want what happened to our family to happen to another family. So when my mom was, you know, like a month away from dying, I was visiting her. I was there for a week. And she was showing me different things that she wanted me to take because she knew we had tried everything. It was about five, almost five, five years, one month and eight days from time of diagnosis to when she died, which was unheard of at the time that she lived that long because most ovarian cancer is diagnosed stage four.

 

Jen Coken (00:06:33) - And I'll talk about the symptoms in a minute. But your answer to your question of where I got the title, she was showing me things like, Oh, you know, I want you to have this necklace and I want you to have this purse and you should really take this dress. And then she opens up her drawer and she was always on the cutting edge of fashion. I was always a tomboy. She was the one who would. You know, you really need to go get your upper lip wax. Do you really need to go? Like, you know, let's get to the gym, honey, She was always on the cutting edge of fashion. She opens up this drawer and there's about 30 pairs of hanky panky thong underwear in there, which she had turned me on two years ago. She's like, Look good. We won't take them. You shouldn't throw them away. Take my panties. So I did, of course. And then as one pair wore out, I would buy a new pair because they are the most comfortable thong underwear in the world.

 

Jen Coken (00:07:21) - But originally my book was titled Something like My Beautiful Life. My Beautiful Death. Really want to buy that book? No. And I was at a writers festival and was pitching publishers and editors, and one of the publishers was doing a round table ask me about the book. I told her the title. She said, Nobody's going to want to buy that. Nobody wants to read another cancer memoir. Like, You're right, they don't. So me being a recovering standup comedian went back to the drawing board, met my compatriots that I was there with for lunch, shared the news with them, sat down and came up with that title, found her and said, okay, the new title of my book is this. And she looked at me. She goes, That was the quickest anyone has ever taken my coaching. And I said, Well, you were right. You know, you're totally right. And so I use humor throughout to talk about what happened with my mom to find the lessons. And my hope is that it inspires people, one, to get themselves checked for ovarian cancer, but two, to give people lessons of how to find the gold in the rain clouds that sometimes come our way.

 

Jen Coken (00:08:28) - Yeah, that was really touching.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:08:30) - I lost my dad back in January and the ability to navigate those challenging conversations in the end, it's necessary and it's so healing. What did you experience as a result as a result of your mother dying? How were you transformed?

 

Jen Coken (00:08:52) - Oh, my gosh. There's two well, two big things that I got out of that. One is I think people think grief is linear because there's a 5 or 7 stages of grief. It is not. It is you know, I always say it's holographic and it punches you on the side of the head when you least expect it because there's all those firsts, right? The first birthday or not with them, the first Christmas, the first everything. The song you hear, the food you smell, all the sudden you have a smell and you're reminded of your dad or I'm reminded of my mom. Or I'll tell you, she'll be gone ten years. She's gone ten years this year. And like, this year was the first time something really great happened to me.

 

Jen Coken (00:09:32) - And I literally went to pick up the phone to call her. That hadn't happened in so long. I was gobsmacked by that. But what was key and what I always share with people, I call it caregiver's guide, or you can call it the Cancer Patients Guide, because I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and I'm now cancer free. But I applied these three principles to my own life, which is, number one, only deal with the facts. Because everything else is worry about a future that isn't happening right now. So whatever the diagnosis or whatever the whatever the numbers are, whatever the the information is that you have, deal with that in the moment. Nothing else has happened yet. You know, that's number one. Always deal with the facts. Number two, empower the patient's choice of treatment. We don't have a choice about getting cancer. I said to my friends, I go, if I tell you that the way I'm going to cure my cancer is eating barbecue while standing on my porch with one leg up and a tinfoil hat on my head, you better ask me where I want my next set of ribs from, because that to me was like, I didn't have choice about the cancer, but I totally had choice about treatment.

 

Jen Coken (00:10:45) - Same with my mom, you know, and I'll never forget that during one of those moments when I was going to the doctor, I had a I found it myself through a self breast exam. I had a I was getting ready for a week of self care, staycation during the pandemic. I'm like, oh, I'm outside of Washington, D.C. I'll, you know, won't set an alarm clock tomorrow and I'll go walk on the mall because nobody's around. And maybe I'll go peek in the windows of someplace because nothing was open, or maybe I'll go hang out at my pool, or maybe I'll go to West Virginia and go, So many options. It was so exciting. And I went to reach for something. I had like a stitch in my side, like where my bra strap was. What's that? I start following it and finding this lump, and I knew right away what it was, you know, couldn't sleep that night, spent a couple of hours on the porch the next morning crying, not knowing who to call.

 

Jen Coken (00:11:34) - Not that I didn't have people who who would have straightened my crown. I'm going to say that on purpose for this podcast. I just didn't want to burden anybody because I didn't know yet. I didn't have the facts right. So long story short, we finally get everything handled and I'm trying to figure out, okay, it's in the breast. We think it's looks like from the MRI, the tumor stuck to the nipple areola complex. We think it's stage one, A or one B or something like that. That's good news. And I was trying to figure out, do I get a lumpectomy and radiation on the breast or do I just get a mastectomy or a double mastectomy? And weirdly enough, another friend was diagnosed right at the same time I was. And she had a double mastectomy prophylactically and she got reconstruction on the table. I'm like, that sounds much better than 21 days and no chemo, no radiation. So I call my doctor to talk to him. And I had some really close girlfriends who were they would not let me go to an appointment without them because I'm single.

 

Jen Coken (00:12:33) - It's the pandemic. I don't have a partner right now. My dad and stepmom are in New Jersey. They're not going to travel anywhere because Dad's 83 with COPD. You know, a mild case, Jen. That's why I never told you. I'm like, Oh, my God, I'm going to kill you. And so one of my girlfriends called me and left me a message. I don't think you should do it. You should do this, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I was kind of annoyed by it until I called her back and said, okay, I remembered my rules. Right? Stick with the facts. Empower the patient's treatment. But my third rule is say everything, Say everything. So she said everything. And I called her and I said, look, I go, I haven't made a choice yet, but I'm just checking in with you. No matter what I do. Will you support me? She goes, Absolutely.

 

Jen Coken (00:13:17) - You told me to say everything. I was like, Good, same thing. So that was probably the three biggest takeaways, because if you think about it, stick with the facts. Empower each other and say everything. It's a great guidebook for life.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:13:30) - Yeah, the everything. That was one of the things that my husband said and I set out as a rule for when we first started dating. I always said that my husband was my experiment and complete honesty and candor. And so we say everything to each other. We just allow it to be what it is and have that open, candid, truthful communication. I think that that's so powerful and empowering when someone can hold the space to feel free to express themselves even if you don't agree.

 

Jen Coken (00:13:58) - Yeah.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:13:59) - And they still support you in your choices. So when you found this out, what did you end up choosing? What did you end up going with?

 

Jen Coken (00:14:10) - Oh, I ended up going with lumpectomy and the radiation because statistically what the doctor told me was that women who got radiation had a lower recurrence rate.

 

Jen Coken (00:14:21) - It cut the recurrence rate in half. And they think it's he's head of the breast center at Holy Cross Hospital, which is where I went. And so it was great about that hospital and him and the team is I didn't have to everybody was sharing information. So my plastic surgeon, the oncologist, the radial oncologist, my primary doctor, him, I didn't have to be running stuff back and forth. I felt completely taken care of. And what they had seen as a trend was women who got radiation cut the recurrence rate in half, and they think it was because of the radiation. What was incredible about that, you know, I'm now on medication for ten years, which now reduces my rate to like a 4% recurrence or something like that. And their side effects for that fatigue, bone pain, bone loss, muscle aches and pains, weight gain around my belly. I gained like £15. I've never had a belly in my life, but I'm now working to like I'm on the whole 30 and kind of getting all my health stuff back in check.

 

Jen Coken (00:15:22) - But when I was going through the radiation every day in December of 2020, I had radiation. I had someone picking me up at 715 in the morning to get me over there. We'd go out for a walk or have a cup of coffee. Just felt so taken care of. And I researched on the web and found this blend of essential oils. Well, not. I made the blend with 100% pure aloe vera, and I have very little impact on my breast. And when I finally went to the plastic surgeon to figure out because originally I had to get two surgeries because they had to clear the margins between the first and second one, he took a look. He goes, well, if we did plastic surgery because basically my boobs are still almost the same size, I just don't have a nipple and areola on my left. He goes, we'd you sort of like pull the skin taut and like make a nipple. And, you know, I have side boob, you know, my nipples point out either side not badly, but you know, they're not straight on.

 

Jen Coken (00:16:19) - And so he said, you know we we make that one straight on then we'd probably do a lift on the right one to match it. I'm like, you know, 56 years old or 57 years old to have like a boob lift. Why not? Could you do a little like tummy thing and contouring? I'm kind of looking forward to it. So I go back to him in September and he goes, look, he goes, I'm going to tell you something. I'm not doing surgery on you. He goes, I'm conservative. But in this case, your breast tissue looks amazing, your skin looks amazing. You've had very little impact from the radiation. Your breasts are almost symmetrical. If you were my sister, I would tell you not to do it. I tell you to get a tattoo because they do these really amazing 3D tattoos if you're going to do anything. Except most of those tattoos are done on implants. And I'm like, That sounds super painful to have a tattoo on my breasts, so I don't even think I'm going to do that.

 

Jen Coken (00:17:09) - I just have a winky boob. I have a scar over my left, and then I have my nipple on my right. I'm good.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:17:14) - It's a winking boob. I love the way you phrase it and how you bring in that humor. How was how did humor serve you on your on your journey? And then and then I want to get into I mean, as a single woman, you're a business owner. How did this impact your business and all?

 

Jen Coken (00:17:33) - Yeah, well, I didn't have a sense of humor in the beginning, you know what I mean? But that is my hallmark of bringing humor into situations. I was very, very private for a couple of months before I said anything publicly. For me, my life has been about using my own life as an experiment and sharing all things no holds back to call one on myself to make a point to you. If I'm coaching you or if I'm giving a talk, giving a speech, or I'm coaching a group or I'm leading a seminar.

 

Jen Coken (00:18:09) - But with this, I wasn't. I was so emotional about it. Of course, we didn't know how the tumor wound up being stage two. A because it was bigger than they thought. Then I had to get another surgery to clear the margins. Then they had to test the tissue. And I didn't want to say a word to my clients because A, I'm a single woman. This is my only business, as you said. I've also got a team of five of 1099 people, not employees, that I support, you know, a roof over my head. Of course, I checked into the disability flipping plan that I've been paying on for 27 years and it didn't apply, which is ridiculous. So the first call I made, so what happened was I found the lump called my step mom in tears was like, Step away from dad. I got to tell you something. She's like, okay, do you have a girlfriend who can meet you where you're going? To the doctor? I said, Yes.

 

Jen Coken (00:19:06) - One of my girlfriends met me. The nurse was very new to all this because I think it's just a clogged milk duct. She sends me to go get a mammogram and a sonogram if needed, and the radial radiologist comes in and goes, I'm sending you for an MRI and sending you for a biopsy. And even if it comes back benign, I want you to go for an MRI. And I'm like, Oh, come on, doc, What is it? Give it to me straight. My mom died of cancer. I'm familiar with this. Ha ha ha. What is it? 80% cancer. And she looks at me over her mask, says, No, much higher. So I did everything I could to keep it together. The moment I left there, I called my business manager and said, Look, future is wicked uncertain right now. I have no idea what stage I'm at. I have no idea if there's cancer elsewhere in my body. I have no idea if I need chemo.

 

Jen Coken (00:19:54) - And then there's what they call chemo brain. And I coach people for a living and I rely on my intuition as I'm coaching people and my sharp wit when I'm giving speeches. So how do I navigate that? Am I going to lose my hair? Do I go public? Well, all my clients quit. So there was all those pieces. And really it wasn't about keeping the business of why I didn't go public. I didn't want people's attention on me because I knew when I was on a call with somebody to coach them, my mind was off my cancer. So with my business, he was my first call. My second call was my publicist because I had a scheduled call with her for the ride home. So she was the next person then my dad and my stepmom, then my aunt and uncle. Then I reached out to like three girlfriends and there was like maybe five total people who knew. And one of the gals, her best friend had died of breast cancer. She started a caring bridge site for me.

 

Jen Coken (00:20:48) - So eventually when we wanted to let people know, I didn't have to keep repeating myself because that was exhausting. And I say, You are what you speak. So I didn't want to keep repeating the diagnosis and the next steps and all that kind of crap and how are you really, you know, all those things. So one of the big changes we made, and this is what was so interesting, Kimberly was in July, the month before I was diagnosed, I was on my balcony, exhausted coaching people left and right. My whole calendar booked, speaking, you know, doing via Zoom like, I need a break. Now, I used to joke and say, God, you got to I'm so stubborn and hard headed. You got to hit me over the head with a two by four. But come on.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:21:31) - Come on, do my work, please.

 

Jen Coken (00:21:33) - You know, be careful what you wish for. So we actually shifted something. So now I only, you know, back then I coached people from 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

 

Jen Coken (00:21:43) - That was when I or maybe it was Monday through Thursday, so I could have the morning so I could cry all morning if I needed to or sleep or just be. And then at about noon, I would take a shower and, like, gird myself and put my makeup on and put my happy face on. And I would coach people and I'd be doing workshops and I'd be speaking through Zoom around. October is when we got back or November is when we got know it was October and mid October, something called a score which showed the potential for recurrence. And my score was so low I didn't need chemo. But I needed 21 days of radiation. And as soon as I could wrap my mind around that, I went public about it because I wanted to make a difference for other women because mammograms were down 40% because of the pandemic. People weren't doing boob exams, self-exams. So that has always been my philosophy to let's go, let's use what I'm dealing with and go public. So December, I worked the first two weeks didn't the last two weeks they said the effects of the radiation was going to be cumulative, but it wasn't from within.

 

Jen Coken (00:22:49) - The first week I remember walking up the steps and I had to stop midway and catch my breath because I was because it's going right through the lungs and the heart where they had to radiate me. So it's dicey. So what shift in my business is I still to this day only coach people Monday through Thursday and 1 to 5 p.m. I take an hour for lunch. Most days I can and I take Fridays off. Because I know I don't want to run myself into the ground. And it's also had me get away from coaching people one on one and do more group more organizational work than I was doing before. And I used to have a bias about a much more effective one on one than I am in a group, which is a silly talk because I led seminars of 100 250 people for 16 years as a group. So that has been a big shift and I like crafted the group program while I had cancer. I hired, had hired a content writer a few years before I got this strategic coach.

 

Jen Coken2 (00:23:49) - I now have a team of like eight people coming out of that because I learned, you know, I don't want to put myself in that position. My health is way more important than making money or, you know, or saying yes to something. And that's the thing. I'm a freaking people pleaser. So I say yes way too often at times.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:24:11) - And being able to say say no. And that that power and man so much that to dive in here I totally understand about I love I love what you said is that you live your life as an experiment and as an example, it's very similar to my philosophy as to how I lead and how I coach as well. And when I found out I was pregnant last year in November, I was hesitant to say anything to anyone for a while for my clients because I was concerned of like, what if, you know, they I didn't want them to focus on me or my pregnancy. I wanted them to focus on like when I'm in a coaching session too, I'm like 100% there for my client, not for me.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:24:56) - And so that experience of of leading and learning how to live through that in the pivot sounds like you. You and I both made very similar pivots. I switched into a lot more of a group model than than just one on one coaching and took some time to definitely have some more space for my babies and being able to process that. Are you wanting to claim your queen bee power to build your empire, your authentic empire, where you get to stand out fearlessly and create powerful, meaningful experiences for your customers, for your team and for your family who you get to support with your business. Well, if this is you, then definitely then you are going to want to get in on a 90 minute high performance acceleration. Consult with me. We will work together one on one to uncover your Queen bee leadership strategies, your deep subconscious success strategies, and uncover the self limiting beliefs that may be holding you back from really claiming your power and fulfilling your full potential. Space is limited for these calls. It is a one on one experience with me where you will get to test drive the proverbial coaching car.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:26:14) - So if you are wanting to get unstuck from the current way you've been doing your business, or if you are done with the overwhelm that has been plaguing you, if you are looking to have breakthroughs, aha. And to go to that next level and have a clear profit plan to get to that next level successfully so that you start making the income and the impact that you deserve, then click the link in the description to jump in on a queen bee High performance acceleration consult. I cannot wait to work with you one on one. So what does it mean? Like to awaken your greatness? How did your experience going through this awaken your greatness and and what did it do? If you haven't, you haven't mentioned what what this transformation did for your business.

 

Jen Coken (00:27:07) - Oh, well, that yeah, that's super exciting. So first of all, when I began to in that time, from when I was diagnosed to the end of the year, I to X to my business, I spent less time in my business.

 

Jen Coken (00:27:19) - I spent more time taking care of myself. I spent more time doing the things that I wanted to do and delegating and empowering other people so incredibly important. And sometimes we just hold on to stuff, you know? I mean, I know now when I get involved in my calendar, things get mucked up. There's actually, you know, I don't know. Last week I said to my business manager, I'm like, What is this thing? It's 730 on p m on a Monday night. You know, I don't do calls by that. I said, No, no. And he writes back, That was another podcast interview that you had said yes to. Oh, they live in Australia also. But for whatever reason that was the time because it's a little bit later, whatever they have to do, right? So for me, greatness people look at great leaders and think somehow they were born that way. I think we often look at how they get to be that way. I want people to know that there is already greatness inside you.

 

Jen Coken (00:28:18) - We've just got to tap into it because you can learn the skills of what it means to be a great leader. And I have four pillars that I focus on, and this was the program that I designed coming out of or during really treatment, which is one I learned how to tap into my heart, not that I wasn't leading from my heart before, but having that be a constant practice. How do you lead from the heart? It's not leading from your head. It's leading from your heart. So what does that look like? How do you embody love? How do you express love to other people? How do you receive it? And that was a big thing for me. That was the killer transformation that happened to me during the breast cancer was I'm loved. I am so deeply loved and surrounded by so many people. And every day I was grateful for every person who sent me flowers or a card. And the biggest thing people did, which was so incredible because I have a very I have something called a histamine intolerance.

 

Jen Coken (00:29:15) - So there's like certain things I can eat, like spinach and avocado. And then I mostly follow a whole 30 clean eating diet. And so nobody could make food and drop it off. I'd be like, Yeah, who wants this? Can't eat that. So they sent me a gift cards for GrubHub, and there was really two restaurants because I didn't know how I'd feel. I didn't know if I was going to be nauseated. Would it be chicken soup? Was all I could do or toast or what have you. So I just felt myself so loved by so many. So that first pillar is to lead from your heart. And the second pillar was what I had to learn to do was to let go of trying to get it all done and be perfect. Let go of perfectionism. That perfectionism is such a bane of our existence. Somehow we think everyone's got it together and doing things perfectly. If you look at the definition of perfection or perfect, it actually specifically talks about an ideal you'll never achieve because it doesn't exist.

 

Jen Coken (00:30:11) - So that was number two was getting that. I couldn't say yes to everybody. No thank you. As a complete sentence, I didn't have to do everything. That third pillar was really listening for the gold, you know, listening for the magic and what other people were saying, because I also lost some friendships during this time, because there were some ways that people were interacting with me that didn't were not serving me and hadn't been serving me for a long time. And people who I thought would step up and support me didn't like, okay, well, let me listen for the gold and what people are saying. And maybe there's people around me and little nuggets that I wasn't aware of. Now, some of those friendships, we've come back and had conversations and we're friends again. But recognizing the gold that's already around instead of thinking there's a lack. And then that final piece for me, besides leading from the heart and letting go of perfectionism and listening for the gold, was acknowledging people for how they were showing up instead of finding fault for the way they weren't.

 

Jen Coken (00:31:13) - And it isn't just saying, Hey, good job, Pat, Pat, Pat. It truly is. And the way that I train people and it's a if you're if you're in your heart space, if you're in your heart chakra, you can feel somebody magnificent and you're able to put into words your appreciation and esteem for that person. So it truly is in the moment and authentic and not just a can. Hey, nice job back there kind of thing. So for me, that's what then went into the group program and the channel and I would do a 30 day challenge with people to to completely alter. How they see themselves five minutes a day in 30 days. Transform how you think like a leader.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:31:54) - Amazing. I think one of the things that you touched on is that acknowledgment, peace and that acceptance peace. And that's something that you also touched on inside of your book When I Died. Take My Panties. Such an amazing title. I'm just in awe of your title. But from that space of how do we accept people, acknowledge people as they are for how they're showing up and yet still hold our boundaries for what it is that we need?

 

Jen Coken (00:32:26) - Yeah, that's a really good question.

 

Jen Coken (00:32:28) - I think first, what I had to learn was what are my boundaries? I was raised as a people pleaser, you know, Please, mama, and don't get Daddy angry and definitely don't get my brother angry. You know, just kind of I was the peacemaker in the family, so I was a pleaser. What that resulted in is not knowing what I wanted. So I think what's key is knowing what your boundaries are, what works and what doesn't. That when I was going through my breast cancer. No, I'm not going to give you an update on the phone. My step mom, who I adore, who I've known most of my life because she and my dad got married when I was 11. And my cousin, who's a nurse who just wanted to help. Well, I just want to hear it from you. And I would say, I'm sorry. No, you need to go to the Caring Bridge site. I'm not going to repeat that. What else would you like to talk about? That was, you know, my news is not your news to share.

 

Jen Coken(00:33:21) - Please don't start sharing it. I would get random emails from, you know, from all these people. And I finally reached out to one friend. I'm like, why am I getting these emails and messages? Why do all these people know? Well, they're just people that care about you. And I thought they could help. I said, Even your ex-husband, she was like, Oh, sorry, I'll I'll talk to my therapist about that. I said, Please do, don't share my news. So I think number one is knowing your own boundaries and holding fast to those.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:33:50) - What are some of the boundaries that you developed through this process?

 

Jen Coken (00:33:54) - Part of it was how I work, you know, of not doing things, not being on calls before 1:00 that are outward calls. The morning I work on the business afternoons, I work in the business. It's also because in the morning it's my most creative time not making myself wrong. And if I didn't get my exact morning routine and like this morning, I have not gotten an exercise in.

 

Jen Coken (00:34:16) - I didn't meditate for 20 minutes. I only meditated for 11 minutes. I didn't journal five pages. I only journaled one page. Okay. That's all right. Right there. Things like, you know, if you say you're going to do something and show up, we do it or let me know. You're not going to do it with my team. Don't involve me in the details. We just brought on this great woman who was like finding a needle in the haystack. She's not only a marketing guru, she's a content writer and a social media person. So we got all three.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:34:46) - I know that's like the trifecta.

 

Jen Coken (00:34:49) - That's like the holy.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:34:50) - Trinity of a marketer.

 

Jen Coken (00:34:52) - Completely. And it's what she loves doing. And she was really looking for more retainer clients. I'm like, Girlfriend, come on in. And so last week she sent me this brain dump brainstorm of all the things she could do. And I opened it up and went, oh, and closed it and dinged my and she'd sent it to me and my content writer who also wrote back and asked questions.

 

Jen Coken (00:35:15) - And I wrote back and said, Look, you guys sort it out when you have a plan, let me know. And I wrote to my business manager, I'm like, Please tell her to stop emailing me all the details. I don't want to know. Just bring me in when you need me. You're an expert. I trust you to do your job. You actually don't want me involved because if I'm involved, that's bad news for you. I shouldn't need to be involved. You know, she sent me something today to look at a sales page. Like, did you run up by Allie, my content writer? No, not yet. I'm like, Please do that and then ping me. Don't you know she's excited? So she wants to involve me. Mom, I don't need to be involved. I mean, that was one of the boundaries is looking at my day and what are the things not only that I love doing that are money makers. What are the money making activities at the end of the day and how am I involved in those activities? It's also things like I used to say yes to every podcast and my team and I were like, Nope, we're going to vet them.

 

Jen Coken (00:36:12) - That's why I'm here on your podcast, because it's the kind of people that I want to talk to. You're not going to talk to a bunch of college students, although it was a lovely podcast and the young man was starting off. I used to say yes to everything. One of my boundaries is not saying yes and not feeling bad about it now. Sometimes I still feel guilty, but saying no way more often to people.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:36:34) - That is a practice and a skill set to to hone, and it's one that I see my clients struggle with so often. I've struggled it with it as well. And also knowing. Knowing when that know is like because sometimes it's like, oh, no, no, no, no. I really can I can still get do it. And you're still knowing yourself. Yeah. Well, that internal note knowing like the keen knowing is like, please don't do this. Absolutely.

 

Jen Coken (00:37:08) - Because if you say yes to one thing, you're always saying no to something else. Right? And that's something I learned to, was using my body as a pendulum, you know, checking in with myself.

 

Jen Coken (00:37:19) - Does it feel light to do this? I had this lovely woman reach out to me today. Hey, I have this idea. It's going to be this movement of women founders and successful women who are going to share 25 chapters in a book. And I want you to be one of the authors of the chapter. And it's going to be this big thing like, you know what? Why don't you, um, you know, get in touch with my publicist to see if it's a good fit for me? Well, you know, I don't want you to just write a chapter. I want you to be a part of this big movement. I wrote back and said, I don't have time. I love that you asked me. I love that you thought of me. I can think of other women to introduce you to, but right now I legit don't have time and I'm not going to make time. I'm not going to do that. I'm a no, I. It's funny, somebody else asked me to be a part of their Facebook group and then beyond beyond be on not beyond, but be on a five day free masterclass.

 

Jen Coken (00:38:16) - And then could I promote her course to my list? Now, you know, she's one of my power partners. Absolutely love her like no to the Facebook group because I don't barely have time to interact with the one that I'm in and moderate the ones that I'm a moderator of. So I only want to be part of a Facebook group that I know I'm going to be contributing and finding value. I'm sure it's valuable. I just don't have any time to contribute no to the class. She goes, Well, it's it noon? And I said, Yeah, I only do calls from 1 to 5. Well, you can make an exception this time. No, I can't. I'm not going to. But in the past precancer, I would have said, Yeah, you're right. Okay. Just only five days this time. And then notice sending your program out to my list. If you tell me who you want in it, I'll think of people to forward the information to which I did. I don't know if anybody will come out of it.

 

Jen Coken (00:39:00) - And then she has like an affiliate link, like, I don't want to be paid. Use the money for your business. I don't want. Well, it's an exchange. I'm going to give you money. All right. I'll give it to charity. Okay. You know, but it's things like that where I the thing that I still struggle with is this is mostly in dating and relationships, to be honest, because I'm really good at boundaries at work and I'm relatively good with boundaries, with friends. I am like a card table I fold. When it comes to dating and relationships, I have two speeds like pleaser, like, you know, or which no yes to everything or just a total jerk. And I love what you said in the beginning where your husband, now husband was your experiment of saying everything. I'm like, that's what I'm going to do in my next relationship. I'm just going to say, Look, I just got to let you know I'm going to be really honest about everything, and I want you to be also including you're not even certain if we're a good fit and whatever else, let's share everything, because that's the way I'd want to be in a relationship.

 

Jen Coken (00:39:59) - And why am I going to be somebody else when I'm dating? You know? Yeah.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:40:03) - I love that. Because my yeah, I was a chronic people pleaser. My mom would joke that I was the chameleon or the runaway bride because I would adapt this. Like in the movie, I would adapt the style of what I liked for the person that I was with. And two hours before I manifested my husband, I literally was praying and I said, God, all I want is to be fully authentic and a travel, that's all I want. And then two hours later I meet my husband and now we're living in Australia. I love it. Nine years later.

 

Jen Coken (00:40:37) - Nine years later, I love that.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:40:40) - But he always was my experiment in full, complete honesty. And I think for me it was because I just I valued his time and from his experience that he had gone through with his ex-wife and his divorce and the fact that he's 19 years older than I am. And I said, like, I don't want to waste your time if I'm not somebody who's who is your person? I said, I want to have kids.

 

Kimberly Spencer  (00:41:04) - If that's not on your list of things that you want, then we can't do this any further. And he said, Well, with you I could see having kids. I'm like, Good, because you'd make a fantastic baby daddy. Yeah, but like living from that space of authenticity. And I love the fact that you designed your, your boundaries so strongly in your in your business and what that's created for you because you did wind up doubling your business while dealing with cancer.

 

Jen Coken (00:41:32) - While dealing with cancer and.

 

Kimberly Spencer  (00:41:34) - Six figure quarter.

 

Jen Coken (00:41:36) - Oh yeah. I've had two six figure quarters this year like going I set it up in December. Then in Q1 of 2021 I had a six figure quarter. And then I mean, you know how it is when you. Have your own company. There's ups, there's downs are all around. September was one of those months where I was on my knees praying to God literally in tears, like, All right, God, okay. I was supposed to get paid by a client the first week, never came through.

 

Jen Coken (00:42:00) - Come to find out. She just was so busy she didn't approve the email. But it wasn't until the last week of September I got paid, which also meant that was when I paid my rent. That was when I paid to my team members and I was eking by on what I could to get everyone else paid. You know how it is. Because you're right. The last week of September, I made as much as I did all of last year. And that one week in that one week, which was another almost double six figures in that one week, which now have from last year have doubled my business again from last year, all while working less, having more fun, creating more boundaries, delegating, taking my hands and getting really niched with what I'm doing, very like really dialing it in and not trying to get a lot of that's the other boundary that I now have is I don't want input from 57 sides. You know I'm in a course right now that's helping me with thinking about what is my compelling offer for my group program, because I haven't had the headspace to think about it.

 

Jen Coken (00:43:07) - I was recovering probably I was exhausted probably until March of this year, April of this year at best, you know.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:43:16) - Hey there, my fellow sovereigns. I hope you are having as much fun listening to this interview as I had recording it. And if you're listening to this interview and you're like, I could do that. I could be on podcast like The Princess and the Bee, like the podcast that you know and love, then I would absolutely 1,000% say, you're right, you should be on more podcasts. This is exactly why we have created our Communication Queens guest podcasting agency. We don't just book you on podcasts, we book you on podcasts that have a targeted audience that you can leverage those podcast appearances into becoming your ideal clients and customers for your business. Using our seven step, proven and tested framework that has brought in over $110,000 in new business revenue in just the past year for both myself and my communication Queens guest, podcasting has been the most fun, easy, effortless form of lead generation that allows us to access that zone of genius.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:44:23) - And as you know, if you've been an avid listener to this podcast, I have seen a direct correlation between the amount of money a business make and the amount of time the business owner aka is spending in their zone of genius. So if speaking, sharing your story, serving with your tips and tricks and giving that advice that you're so skilled at, giving has always been that sort of effortless flow that just comes through you. Then Guest Podcasting can be one of the greatest lead generation assets for you, and my Communication Queens Agency wants to show you how and support you in getting those bookings so that you get on the right podcast with the right audience, with the right message, and you get the right clients coming into your business. Book a discovery call down below and let's see how we can get you profiting from guest podcasting in this transformation, What would you say is the greatest lesson that you have learned out of like, what is that one that you find yourself now repeating to others? Like because like you said, you live your life like an experiment.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:45:32) - So like, what's that one piece of data that you got from all of this life experience and experimentation? That is the one thing that you now find yourself repeating regularly with your with your clients, to your with your messaging.

 

Jen Coken (00:45:49) - Self care, loving yourself first, taking time for you. First taking time for your family first. That is incredibly important and and getting nitty with it. That's what I there's not one I guess there's multiple ones, you know but the key is getting nitty with it. That's the thing that saved my business in 2020 was really dialing in because I'm an expert on imposter syndrome and making it your superpower. Not all these stupid tips, tools and tricks they give you. So that was really important for me and was speaking on that. And then having a team, even if you don't have a team because you're at the point in your business where you can't afford to even pay somebody an extra $500 a month, find someone on Fiverr, find a VA on Fiverr that you could afford to pay, you know, I don't know, $200 a month to take some of the day to day off your plate.

 

Jen Coken  (00:46:38) - Figure out what your secret sauce is, figure out how to focus your time on those things that bring you joy, that truly bring you joy that you have fun doing and delegate the rest of it.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:46:50) - Amen, sister. Amen. That is like one of the things that I love from one of my mentors. He said that the reason why you can't afford team is because you're doing the things that your team should be doing. That's why you can't afford a team because you're not. You're doing all those extra things instead of actually delegating as and for like growing my business by one shot with one child. That's that's a whole different ball game than growing my business with two children. Yeah. Like I had I brought on two. Two new team members in order to to support me in all those other areas that I'm like, I just don't have the time, nor do I have the desire because like, there are those moments of life that that we savor, whether it's our own self care or those moments in relationships or with people that we care about that are so much more precious than.

 

Jen Coken (00:47:47) - Literally amen.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:47:48) - Than doing that one extra thing on your list and allowing that to carry over to the next day. Or heck, even just realizing that that's maybe something that's better off done by somebody else. Yeah.

 

Jen Coken (00:48:00) - And you know, that's you probably read the book The Big Leap by. Yes. Yeah, I love that book. Because what I love about it is he talks about the distinction between your zone of competence and your zone of genius. I am very competent at designing plans and doing strategy and helping connect you and helping you figure out your goals and all that thing. My zone of genius is my coaching. Is having you be bigger than you've ever known yourself, to be more capable than you've ever known yourself to be going after the dreams that are bigger than you ever thought you could go after. Because I'm like, No, you got this. And let me give you the proof of it. Yes. Do I combine that with the plan of how to make it happen? Sure. But that's not my happy place.

 

Jen Coken (00:48:46) - I can do it. It's not my happy place, you know?

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:48:48) - Yeah. I'm a huge fan of The Big Leap, and I love how in one of my favorite books of 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership, they took it a step further because there they mentioned the zone of competence and the zone of genius. But there's this one other zone of the zone of excellence that's hard to tell between that and the zone of genius, because like, I'm very skilled at creating processes and creating systems and building systems, but at the same time, like, that's my zone of excellence. That's just my Virgo coming out.

 

Jen Coken (00:49:22) - It's your birthday, I'm a Virgo too.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:49:24) - September 2nd.

 

Jen Coken (00:49:26) - August 30th.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:49:27) - Hell yeah.

 

Jen Coken (00:49:28) - And I think Shoshanna French is September 2nd to Who's a Dame?

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:49:33) - Yes. Jen and I met in in the amazing group called The Dames for six and seven figure business owners. Female business owners. And it is. It is one of. What I would love to hear your perspective on. Connecting and building relationships with women who are at the same financial level versus building relationships and in like other Facebook groups or in other communities where women are maybe stuck in doing five figures or just starting their businesses, what have you, what have you noticed is the difference for you in navigating those different types of communities? Well, I.

 

Jen Coken (00:50:16) - Actually had a call today. A dear friend asked me to meet with somebody who from the way he described it, he thought maybe we could collaborate on projects. And I come to find out she has no idea who our ideal client is. She has no idea what she's really offering. Like, okay, so I poured into her for those 30 minutes, right? When you get on the phone with somebody or on Zoom with somebody who's at your level or higher or you're learning from them or you see them as exceeding number one, it makes you want to be better. It shows me that it's possible, like no matter what, like, okay, you know, breast cancer survivor and two exes are business mom to two babies and three exes. Her business, yada, yada, yada. You know, all these different things. Oh, million dollar business owner who has four kids under the age of ten and a second business that she's already sold. How the heck did you do that? Just it's just a different I don't want to be derogatory about this, but I was tired of being the smartest person in the room and the person people were coming to for input and guidance.

 

Jen Coken (00:51:17) - I like to know I'm with my peers where I can contribute to you, you can contribute to me. We can refer business to one another. And I know I can trust you because I know you've already succeeded because you are at that level, you know?

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:51:29) - Yeah. And I think that that's such a huge ego check for so many people is a lot of a lot of us, myself included. I always used to love being the smartest person in the room because it would feed my ego and feed my validation of like, Oh my gosh, I feel like I'm needed. But meanwhile I would see that value that I would be providing actually wouldn't be taken because it was being being given for free, and B because that person wasn't at the level, energetically, financially, I think create. And by energetically you speak a lot on courage and like as I'm sure you know, like the courage is that the tipping point of the vibrational scale from all those negative emotions into greater peace and love. So like when I see business owners or speak with business owners who are stuck making a lower amount income, I see that they're still operating from that fear based space versus when I'm connecting with peers who are making in and around the same amount, at least six figures, if not, you know, multiple six figures and beyond seven.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:52:44) - When I see that, that's when I see that their level of courage that they're actually putting forth into the world is is so much more. So what are those big, courageous leaps that you've had to take from writing your book to growing your business to kick in breast cancers?

 

Jen Coken (00:53:00) - But yeah, I think one of them is recognizing imposter syndrome in myself. So when I first started my business, I thought, it's interesting. My book was about to come out. I was actually I worked in politics for 25 years, and I was in a job where I was accountable for a team that was lobbying municipalities to hire us as the solar contractor. So I thought, you know, my book was about to come out any day. And I walk into my boss's office on a Monday morning. He called me and he pushes a folder across the table at me and he said, I'm sorry, your services are no longer needed. And I go get the EFF out because we were buddies. You know, He's like, No, John, you know, And he got a tear.

 

Jen Coken (00:53:43) - He goes, This is not performance based at all. It's just from the perspective that we're reorganizing the company because they were losing money, which most solar companies do, unless you're with another kind of company. And the next day my book came out and that was a fourth job I've been laid off of while I've been writing my book, which took four years and seven rewrites. And so I had a little conversation with God, what is this going on? And then a conversation with a friend's husband. He happened to call me because I had asked a question on Facebook and he's an event manager. And he was like, Oh, I saw this thing and, you know, wanted to give you some input. And by the way, what are you doing? Whatever he said. Within a week, I decided to go into business for myself and I thought my calling was to educate women about ovarian cancer and speak about it, which I did. Got on radio TV. The whole nine yards was a lot of energy to hold.

 

Jen Coken (00:54:36) - There's a lot of grief to hold. Oh, so much. So I decided, okay, well, I'm a great coach. I'm going to go back to coaching. So for the first three years, I was throwing spaghetti at the wall, trying all the. Marketing stuff, trying to figure it out, not happy with what I was doing, slogging it out, not making six figures, maybe just under six figures, but never really and not having the right people around me. And it honestly wasn't until it was when I joined the group that were a part of, but also had hired someone to do marketing with me that I realized I was trying to do it like everyone told me to. Um, then in 2019, as I'm trying to figure all this out, I realized where my imposter syndrome came from. I dug deep and realized because the way that I approach imposter syndrome, all these people have like 2.5 million tips, tools and tricks to overcome it. And I always say, if you're trying to overcome something, there's a thing you got to come over.

 

Jen Coken (00:55:30) - You're keeping that thing stuck. That's why tips, tools and tricks don't last. Because every time you experience feeling like a fraud, it's when you're stretching yourself and you have an amygdala hijack that's that fight flight or freeze the brains threatened and it's going to duck for cover. So there's no way you can be like, okay, well, I'm going to do my mantra and breathe deep and I'm going to color and green, and then I'm going to hold one foot up in the air while you're in an amygdala hijack. It never happens at all. So what I found for myself when I found for my clients, there's always some originating incident, some core moment where something really tiny happened and you made a decision about your life and all them issue gas, which is Yiddish for mischief. All the mischief ensued. So what I figured out for myself was when I was six, six years old, I had a crush on a little boy in my class and so did my best friend. And we decided at six or who knows why, knowing in Michigan, where I grew up in Michigan and Ohio and we decide what we're going to do is chase them around the schoolyard and push them down and see who he kisses, and then we'll know who he likes.

 

Jen Coken (00:56:38) - So we do that. We push them into the snow and we both pucker up. And Keith turns over and kisses Michelle and looks at me and goes, You do heartbreak at six. And in that moment, unbeknownst to me, I made this decision. I'm never going to put myself out there like that again. I'm just going to be the funny sidekick. Where the humor comes in. And for my career, I always got other people elected. I always pushed other people's agendas until I realized this in 2019, I went, wait a minute. And I said, okay, I'm going to stick my neck out. I'm going to be that tall Poppy. I'm going to be the one who, you know, says my truth. And I got my neck chopped off left and right, was working with a corporate client, you know, was not going well, would be in my covers hiding and crying unless I was out speaking or doing training for them until I discovered this whole thing and then realized that's what was at the crux of it.

 

Jen Coken (00:57:39) - And that's why I now work with women CEOs and founders to get to the the meat of how come this keeps coming up. And I tell people, if you don't experience imposter syndrome, you're not playing big enough, right? Because when we're on the skinny branches, that's where we learn and we grow.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:57:57) - Oh, yeah. Yep. I just gave a Ted talk like two weeks ago, and man, did my my old imposter syndrome come up?

 

Jen Coken (00:58:07) - Yeah.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:58:08) - Familiar friend. Good to see you again.

 

Jen Coken(00:58:10) - Right, Exactly. And that's the thing. You know, I actually do this work with three sessions with people. Three weeks, we get to the root of it, and then we become a witness to what the red flags are, the body sensations, all that stuff. Because when we get triggered, imposter syndrome is driving the car. You're no longer at choice. You could choose to honor imposter, or you could choose how you're going to show up as a leader. And that's the work that I guide people through.

 

Jen Coken (00:58:37) - But good for you that you had the wherewithal to be like, Oh yeah, you. Hey old friend, nice to see you. And didn't, you know.

 

Kimberly Spencer (00:58:45) - Perks, perks of having a husband who we have a foundation of saying everything. And he's like, So that old thing that, you know, that imposter syndrome, I think it's coming up. And I'm like, okay, yeah. Take that reflection. Yeah, yeah.

 

Jen Coken (00:59:01) - Exactly. So I think those moments of courage were always where I unpacked when I had made some decision or the brain had made some decision because the brain's always reacting, right? And that then left me a choice of how I want to show up. And I always have three key values or energies for every year. And this year was simply it's joy, pleasure and play. So if it's not joyful, I'm not doing it. If I can't play in some way, if it doesn't bring me pleasure, I don't want to do it. Oh, you're going to this place to myself.

 

Jen Coken (00:59:34) - That doesn't sound very fun. No, thank you. Doesn't. That would not bring me pleasure. Oh, you're going to Disneyland because no one's there. And you want to invite a bunch of people? No, thank you. No, I don't want to do that. That does not bring me pleasure at all. You know, drinking too much does not bring me pleasure. No, I don't want to go out every Friday and drink and see music that does not bring me pleasure. Being in nature brings me pleasure. So it's been a year of those things, too, you know, That's the other kind of moments of courage.

 

Kimberly Spencer (01:00:04) - I think, especially for the like. I know there are many people in my audience who have had trauma. I think we've all had trauma in some sort of way. But being able to really shift into choosing pleasure and joy and making that a conscious choice when we're so used to running away from something that it is that we don't want. Yeah. And what is a process that you do to make that choice consciously? Is it just the act of saying no? Yes, this no that checking in with your heart space? Where do you feel the sense of of like pleasure in your body when when you know, like this is going to bring me joy?

 

Jen Coken (01:00:44) - This feels like it feels like bubbles in my body.

 

Jen Coken (01:00:47) - And if it feels put upon or I'm like, oh, sounds like work, then I know it's not the thing for me to do. And I think what I tell my clients is that, you know, average human brain is 50 to 60,000 thoughts a day. 85% are negative, 95% are repetitive. We don't stand a chance, you know. So when we do what you did when you were, you know, your your husband says, hey, I think that's that imposter. Okay, Let me take that reflection. I may look then you're a witness to the reactivity. Once we're a witness, we're present. When we're present, we can have the power to choose how we're going to show up, the thoughts we're going to think the presents to, you know, speak our truth. I say it this way. I say when you're present, you have presence, presence of mind to to think clearly, presence of body, to embody the kind of leader you want to be, presence of soul, to speak your truth and presence of spirit to move through you.

 

Jen Coken(01:01:46) - You don't believe in God. That's fine. Bob. Your dog, a tree, whatever it's hearing. Because when we're present, we can hear that still small voice that's been whispering to us. Then we've been ignoring. And you know what? Let me let me say this. You asked me what was like the number one thing. And I'll tell you, this is what it is. Being still.

 

Kimberly Spencer (01:02:06) - So powerful.

 

Jen Coken (01:02:07) - Just staring out at my balcony where I have all these flowers and not doing a damn thing. We don't do that. We don't let ourselves do that.

 

Kimberly Spencer (01:02:18) - I'm giving ourselves the joy of just being instead of being such hyper doers. And I also love I love the point of what you said about becoming that gentle, like becoming that observer, being present to the thoughts and being observant of those thoughts. And I've recognized that not everything. Do you need to go back and unpack everything, all the baggage from childhood and past trauma and all that? Nor especially when you're in the throes of, you know, you recognize the situation is pulling you out from your presence.

 

Kimberly Spencer (01:02:52) - Your amygdala is on hijack. And I have this with with my kids when they're both screaming and I'm like, I'm not going to go back to me being for I don't have the time or the space or like the energy to go back and like unpack as to why what's going on is what's going on. I just need to make a new decision. So I'm seeing my natural amygdala hijack and being present to that and being and seeing, okay, these are the I'm recognizing, these are the thoughts that I'm thinking, the thoughts that because I have two children screaming at me that I feel like I'm failing as a mom. Okay. Is that ultimately true? No. What's my decision? So and then going forward and making that next decision instead of like trying to go back. That's why one of the things that I loved on your website is no need to go through like years of therapy to just make that decision, because I think not while I love therapists and I think they have they have their their place when when needed.

 

Kimberly Spencer (01:03:51) - At the same time, not everything needs to be unpacked at every moment, at every instance for everything in your life.

 

Jen Coken (01:04:02) - Yeah, And it's interesting because I want to go back to something you said, which is mostly what I find with my clients. It's not even a trauma, you know, it's some innocuous small event. A kid who at the age of nine brought home a see on her report card and her dad said, Catherine, what's up with the report card? You know, a C dad, it's average. You know, give me 1500 words on average. Oh, you know, the brain doesn't want to feel embarrassed or have disappointed her father. So now I'm going to be perfect and everything or the you know, and she's in her 50s leading a company as an upset nine year old. And then you have a woman who at age 12 was going to the store for ice cream with two girlfriends. Three girlfriends, get their two don't have money. She offers to pay. The fourth gal says, There you go again.

 

Jen Coken (01:04:46) - You know, paying for everybody helping out, helpful. And she's like, I'm not helping anybody anymore. I want to do it all myself. She was trying to get through to the C-suite and couldn't because she was such a micromanager, because she had to make sure that everything was, you know, perfect for her. So it does not have to be traumatic at all. And, you know, you're right. I think therapists have their time, their place. I had a therapist when I went through my divorce. I had a therapist after my mom died for grief counseling. However, you know, I think there's a time and a place and and if you're been diagnosed with some kind of something, a diagnoses, please get to a therapist. I'm not qualified. You know, I don't have that background to work with you. And I've told people if I think their stuff is too much that they should get to a therapist. I am not qualified to manage or handle that. But for everyday folks who are dealing with sabotaging ourselves and then we keep doing it like we're going past a car wreck and can't peel our eyes away.

 

Jen Coken(01:05:49) - Absolutely. And finding those originating incidents or nuggets somebody I was on a doing a workshop and this woman said, Well, I know where my imposter syndrome comes from. I said, Really? How come it still has a hold of you? So like, Oh, I said, exactly. It's not dramatic or traumatic. It's some innocuous moment where you made some split second decision. And now that ten year old is running a company in the body of a woman who's 45 or 40 or 35 or whatever.

 

Kimberly Spencer (01:06:20) - I love the way you put that of that ten year old or that five year old is the one who's in charge where we really haven't allowed for that maturation because of that imposter syndrome, because that amygdala is still being hijacked by that child, in essence, and being able to to see the stories and then decide on a new one.

 

Jen Coken (01:06:43) - Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

 

Kimberly Spencer (01:06:46) - Jen, I have loved our conversation. You are amazing. You are such an amazing human being. And I love what you're doing.

 

Kimberly Spencer (01:06:55) - Are you ready to jump into a little rapid fire?

 

Jen Coken (01:06:57) - Do the Rapid fire baby coming at me. Yeah. Is it doing? Yeah.

 

Kimberly Spencer (01:07:02) - Who is your favorite female character in a book or a movie? And why?

 

Jen Coken (01:07:06) - Oh, I. One of my favorite books is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. And the main character, The Little Girl and that movie. And how come is I loved her experience of family. And here's the big thing I remember is her mother used to hide buttons for her and her sisters to clean. And if you got like all eight buttons, you got a prize. And I just loved how they made fun out of ordinary and everyday things.

 

Kimberly Spencer (01:07:29) - Amazing. What woman would you want to trade places with just for a day? Like be in their body? See how they think. Believe what they believe. Who would you.

 

Jen Coken (01:07:38) - Be? Ariana. She was actually my first client and my first business way, way back in the day. But given what she's doing now, I'm like, I'd love to be here.

 

Jen Coken (01:07:47) - She's brilliant. I'd love to be her for a day.

 

Kimberly Spencer (01:07:50) - What was it about her that that really grabbed you?

 

Jen Coken (01:07:54) - Yeah, I was lucky enough when I first had my first business. This is back in the 90s. Like the late 90s, I had her as a first client and Cora Masters Barry, who was the former first lady of Washington, DC at the time. Arianna was a very Christian, right wing Republican and Cora was a very Christian. That was not the the the connection or anything very liberal left Democrat. What I loved about both women is they spoke their minds, they spoke their truth, and they didn't care what people thought of them.

 

Kimberly Spencer (01:08:23) - Amazing. What is the most important book that you've ever read?

 

Jen Coken (01:08:27) - Um, the four agreements don't take things personally. Don't make assumptions. Be impeccable with your word. And I always forget the third one. Be impeccable with your word and always do your best.

 

Kimberly Spencer (01:08:40) - Amazing. What is your morning routine?

 

Jen Coken (01:08:43) - 7 a.m.. When I do it exactly as it is.

 

Jen Coken (01:08:47) - Right? 7 a.m.. Meditate for 20 minutes. Journal for at least ten prayers. Then exercise that is generally. And then at night before going to bed. I use tapping as a way to help me get to sleep and I always have a reflection at the end of the night to just think about the day and you know what I was thankful for and what moved me.

 

Kimberly Spencer (01:09:10) - You stole my next question haha. What is the evening routine to support you in your morning routine? Because it's always.

 

Jen Coken (01:09:18) - And then also there are some like silly TV. Like right now I'm really into Nashville, into the show Nashville. So yeah.

 

Kimberly Spencer (01:09:25) - Awesome. I love Ted Lasso That was.

 

Jen Coken (01:09:28) - Everyone's talking about Ted Lasso. I've got to go check it out.

 

Kimberly Spencer (01:09:31) - It's amazing, especially as a coach, it's there are some like writer downers that I'm like, Oh, that's good. I'm going to. Okay. All right, good. I will check it out. It's an amazing show. What do you consider to be your kingdom?

 

Jen Coken(01:09:45) - Huh? I would say my kingdom is kind of like everybody and anybody who comes into my sphere and my view because I have always said I want people to leave bigger than when they came in contact with me, whether that's the Uber driver or the person at the airport, because it keeps me in check to.

 

Jen Coken (01:10:09) - Express gratitude. Express Thanks. Left up to my own devices, I'm just waiting to be annoyed by people.

 

Kimberly Spencer (01:10:20) - Appreciate your candor and your honesty and just your truth so much and just being being so aware of that you consciously make the choice to, Oh yeah, people enter your kingdom and leave better. Yeah.

 

Jen Coken (01:10:36) - Just allow. Well, I literally that was like a thing I had to intervene with when you were like, what are the moments of cards like, Wow, I'm just waiting to be annoyed by everybody because everybody flipping annoys me. How do I know? Because you all annoy me. Because you should shut up and you should shut up. And I'm like, Maybe I should shut up. Maybe that'd be better if I just stop talking.

 

Kimberly Spencer (01:10:56) - We just had a moment. Yeah, Yeah. So lastly, how do you crown yourself?

 

Jen Coken (01:11:04) - Um, one of the things I do every morning when I'm journaling, sometimes it's funny. I go between, like, writing down what my thoughts are for the day or what's happening, or I always do five things I'm grateful for and then ten dreams that haven't happened yet.

 

Jen Coken (01:11:21) - And that is truly how I crown myself. I am right now just in the midst of finding a home to move into an Annapolis near the water. And it wasn't until I started writing, moved to Annapolis with ease that everything broke open and like the funding came through and the financing came through. I'm like, Huh, Not funny when you write something down. So that's important. And the other way is I make sure that I feed my body really good, clean food and I don't abuse, you know, like alcohol. I have glasses of wine. But don't don't take it to the nth degree, the way to in college or other times where I wasn't present, you know? Yeah.

 

Kimberly Spencer (01:11:58) - Jen, how can we find you? How can we work with you? I think you are absolutely extraordinary as a human being. I love what you're doing. So plug yourself Queen.

 

Jen Coken (01:12:09) - Plug myself. So my website is Jen and Jen, as you said, right on the header. It says, Do you want to stop sabotaging yourself without ten years of expensive therapy? Let's talk.

 

Jen Coken (01:12:22) - We can hop on a call where I'm going to take people through this three sessions to get to the root of their imposter syndrome and make it their superpower amazing.

 

Kimberly Spencer (01:12:33) - And they can find that.

 

Jen Coken (01:12:34) - Sorry, They can find that on my website. Under coaching, there's like a go to imposter.

 

Kimberly Spencer  (01:12:37) - As always, my fellow sovereigns own your throne. Mind your business because your reign is now. Thank you so much for tuning in today. If what you heard resonated with you, be sure to subscribe and start creating a bigger impact now by sharing this with a friend. Just by doing that one simple act of kindness, you are creating a royal ripple to support more people in their sovereignty. And if you're not already following on social media, connect with me everywhere at Crown yourself now for more inspiration. I am so excited to connect with you in the next episode and in the meantime, go out there and create a body, business and life that rules because today you crown yourself.

The Crown Yourself Podcast is a fast-growing self-improvement podcast, ranked in the top #200 personal-development podcasts in two countries, so far,  out of 4.5 million podcasts. Each week, you get the conscious leadership strategies you need to help you reign with courage, clarity and confidence, so that you too can make the income and impact you deserve. Imagine this podcast as your royal invitation to step into your full potential and reign in your divine purpose. To listen any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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