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Google has frequently been named one of the best companies to work for in the world. Today we interview Jenny Blake, a woman who had the passion to be an entrepreneur, and the guts to leave her six figure job at Google to make her passions her full-time gig.
Jenny started Life After College in 2005 after taking a leave of absence to help one of her college professors start a political polling company. I was lost and lonely, and the website became a vehicle for learning and helping others on their own lives after college. Life After College provides coaching, books, and articles on how to take the leap to follow your dreams!
MO: Tell us about when you first began Life After College and when you knew it was time to make this your career?
Jenny: I started my website in 2005, but never quite finished it — I didn’t know what to do with it. I had accumulated all of these great resources, but I didn’t know how to keep it fresh or find an audience. Once I learned more about blogging, I turned my website into a blog in 2007 and haven’t looked back since! I’ve been building the blog for almost four years, and in that time wrote a book to help graduates figure out what they want to create in every area of their lives (beyond the day-to-day details that are easily Googleable).
MO: What can we expect from your 8-week coaching course, Make Sh*t Happen?
Jenny: After talking to dozens of readers and friends on my book tour, I realized that just about everyone had a big goal that they were tip-toeing around — one that would bring them alive if only they could find the courage to say it out loud and actually pursue it. I created this course as a way to help people dream big, build a support network, bust through any barriers or self-limiting beliefs, survive the dreaded dip, and celebrate along the way. The times I’ve felt most alive in my life were when I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone to do big things that I never thought I was capable of — and that’s exactly what I’m helping people do with this course.
MO: What is your favorite part of running the Life After College brand?
Jenny: The people! I feel rich with community and friends, and knowing that I am able to impact people’s lives and inspire them is absolutely priceless. It’s what I feel I was born to do, and I feel incredibly lucky to be of service to twenty-somethings (and beyond!) who want to find their way in life. I have ups and downs like anyone else, and it’s an honor to get to share them in service of helping others through their own.
MO: Who is your target market for Life After College and how do you reach them?
Jenny: My target market is actually anyone who is motivated and wants to make the most out of their life — not just recent graduates. I love finding new readers who are passionate, full of heart, and who have a passion for learning. I’ve grown my audience through interviews like this one, attending conferences, and mostly via word-of-mouth. I have never actually intentionally tried to build my traffic — I just focused on producing meaningful content that people would want to share with others.
MO: One of your favorite quotes is “Action is the antidote to despair”. Can you expand on this for us?
Jenny: Sure! So many of us get paralyzed by big goals — they are huge because they are meaningful, and that often raises the stakes. I experienced a six month “book block” where I couldn’t open the Word file with my book in it for six months after I had written the first draft. Finally, after attending a Speaker’s Association meeting, I met the author of How to Write a Book Proposal and he gave me his copy which motivated me to get back on the horse. This quote speaks to the fact that if we can just take one small action or baby step, we can remove ourselves from the spin-cycle of doubt and procrastination.
MO: What can readers expect from your book?
Jenny: I describe my book as “Twitter meets What Color is Your Parachute” — it has hundreds of tips, quotes and coaching exercises to help you optimize every area of your life. It’s meant to be a workbook and a guide that you can dive into at any point (in other words, you don’t have to read it in order). I wrote a book that I would want to read — and that I knew would really benefit people through the encouragement to write in the book and complete the exercises at the end of each chapter. You can learn more on Amazon (http://amzn.to/jennyblake) or on the book website (http://LACBook.com).
Thanks so much for featuring me, and to the readers for reading this interview!
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