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Local View Column: The world needs more Jenna Kutchers

Tracy Smith.jpeg
Tracy Smith
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Maybe it’s her Midwestern charm, her unapologetic authenticity, or, likely, her passion for sharing her business acumen with the world. But one thing’s for sure, the world could use more Jenna Kutchers.

“You should check out the Goal Digger Podcast by Jenna Kutcher,” my friend said in passing about a year ago. Little did I know how much the suggestion would literally change my course for the next 12 months.

While driving to the cabin last summer, I decided to pop on the podcast produced by Jenna, a Northeastern Minnesota native who recently moved back to Duluth. Well, the 2½-hour drive north never went by so quickly — even though I had to pull over a few times to jot down notes of things I didn’t want to forget. I was officially hooked.

As a female entrepreneur about to launch my new business, I am indebted to Jenna for how much practical knowledge and advanced teachings I acquired through her Goal Digger sessions.

Take baby steps and start where you are; you can’t get anywhere unless you begin, she taught me. Also, you will doubt yourself, but that doesn’t mean you can’t and shouldn’t go for it. It’s OK to ask for help; sometimes wearing all the hats as an entrepreneur/mom/wife is nearly impossible, so offload the things that you can: whether it’s food prep, house cleaning, or graphic design.

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I learned to believe in my value, that once you know your numbers it’s easier to determine what to charge for your products. You have done the work and you are worth the value. Price accordingly, even if others refuse to, Jenna said.

Also, it’s OK to say no to projects, especially if they don’t fit into your plan. Just because you get offered a job does not mean you have to take it (even though it may be extremely flattering).

Know your numbers and finances, she said. If you are running your own business, you need to know everything about it. Take the time to know how much money you need to make, how you’re going to make it, what the business costs to run, and how much of your time goes into your services — and then structure accordingly. It might sound whimsical to just go for it, but you have a lot better chance at success if you know your numbers and come up with a plan.

I learned why an email list is important, that I have something to offer, and that I am beautiful and enough just the way I am, no buts. Regardless of weight, social norms, or the harsh judgments of others (and ourselves!), we are enough and should celebrate ourselves just the way we are.

Finally, it’s OK to ask questions, and even when you succeed at something you will still ask questions and have things to learn. Learning is lifelong and even the experts in your field continue to ask, inquire, and learn. That’s usually how they got where they are and continue to grow.

My new business, Kitchen Table CEOs, launches this month, thanks to my family and friends and all of their support — and thanks to Duluth’s Jenna Kutcher for all of her business knowledge and encouragement.

Tracy Smith lives just north of Toronto and is the founder of Kitchen Table CEOs (kitchentableceos.com). Jenna Kutcher can be found at jennakutcherblog.com/goal-digger-podcast/ and at jennakutcher.com.

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