JENA RODRIGUEZ | Brand Strategist + Business Coach
Brand With Jena | www.brandwithjena.com
STYLE YOUR LIFE INTERVIEW
Tell us a bit about your background, both work and education. How did you come to find your true passion?
I’ve been working in brand consulting, business marketing, finance and personal imaging for more than 20 years. My path to finding my true passion has been a winding road. What I discovered most is that my entrepreneurial spirit was always present for me, yet it took experience, courage, desire and decision to move me into what I live today. As a Brand Strategist and Business Coach with Brand With Jena, where I have found my true passion, I am honored to say that I have taken many small to mid-size businesses from start-up to STAND OUT in the work that I now live. It is magical to watch my clients gain clarity, confidence and the BRAVE to live full out in their businesses and lives.
Starting out, I worked at the headquarters of a big box brand, Express (The Limited Co.) in the fashion world; first as an intern from Ohio State University, then as an employee; this was my first major exposure to what it truly means to create, define and sustain a brand. From there, I jumped into running my own freelance business as a professional makeup artist, working with individuals, brides, fashion photographers, various makeup lines (YSL, Lancome, MAC, and others), and even makeover episodes on the Jenny Jones Show in Chicago!
I then chose various paths as a marketing specialist, Controller and as an owner of a women’s boutique in Sugar Land, TX. Next, after closing the store, I knew I had to keep working for myself; there was no going back to a J-O-B. This led me to a partnership with my husband in our web and graphic design company, which has since evolved into what you know now…Brand With Jena!
After reading about what it means to us to #StyleYourLife, how do you style your life? How do you customize it and make your life for you?
#StyleYourLife for me is about choice, about freedom. It’s about the little things, like eating lunch with my daughter at school when I want to, or blocking off time in the middle of the workweek to have a date with my hubby. It’s about having a business that gives me the freedom to work wherever I am…the beach, the home office, the back porch, wherever! It’s a life of techie gadgets and animal print pillows; my personal artwork hangs on the walls, while non-fiction books line my shelves. My husband makes music…”it’s all about the bass”; my daughters bounce on trampolines and Ripstiks, while I enjoy movies, reality shows and meditation. It’s MY life!
Can you tell us a bit about what’s in store for your future?
My future…it’s full of possibility, magic, and adventure. I am full of anticipation and excitement for the things to come…watching my 2 daughters grow up and expand their wings. (My youngest, Sophia who is 10 years old has already started a mini-cupcake business…the sky is the limit! My oldest, Alexandra, is an amazing artist and art major at the High School for Performing and Visual Arts). I see lots of travel, new adventures and expansion of my business, helping more and more entrepreneurs see who they really are, articulate it, express it fully and monetize it so they can live the life’s they wish to style!
Do you have any tips/tricks to share with aspiring women in business and fellow female leaders?
Be BRAVE! Entrepreneurship is NOT the easy way; it’s the BRAVE way! Find your “20 seconds of insane courage” every day and take action, say YES to yourself, give yourself permission to be all that you aspire to be and find support. Hire the business coach, mentor or expert that is living the style of life you desire. Don’t walk the road alone and try to figure out the map; let someone be your guide and give you the know how to get there faster. Also, don’t wait! Don’t wait for things to be perfect or the stars to align. Just do it! I say “I failed” is so much more powerful than “What if!”
What does it mean to be happy, to you? Can you share 5 tips to happiness?
Happy for me is a matter of choice; it’s something you turn on or off. It means peace, openness, surrender to what is.
My 5 tips to happiness would be:
- Know that you’re 100% responsible for how your life shows up; this perspective puts you in the driver’s seat versus in reaction to circumstances.
- Choose it!
- Be vulnerable. Be transparent.
- Open yourself up to possibility, not limitations.
- Give of yourself. Be of service.
How would you advise other women to take control of their careers and customize their lives in all aspects?
My advice would be to realize that all is possible, all aspects of your life are 100% your creation, so be intentional about what you say is so. Define what you want, see it, believe it, and then take massive action to have it show up. Live free of the “should” “ought to” and “I wish”; make choices in your life from a place of “I can” instead of “I can’t”. It’s not that we CAN’T do something, it’s that the fear of what we might have to give up or who we might have to BE in order to have it. Face the fear anyway! And finally, my advice, BE BRAVE!