Chad: Welcome back to Connect Up. Today I get to speak with Jen. Narrow gone. She is a strategic connector, so perfect for the show because she’s going to teach us all about how to connect with people more authentically and also how to connect better with our self through getting a grip on that internal conversation that tends to sabotage us and we are going to talk about how to not compare and how to just become so comfortable with the type of connection that’s going to build our careers. Jen has spent many years trying to help people find the right job, the right investor, the right opportunity that thereafter in their career business. And she’s going to discuss with us today some key tips for networking and for creating authentic connections with the right people in the right way and how to not discount people that we may think won’t provide value to us and to just be open to connecting with anyone because truly that will lead you to where you want to be.
Chad: And we talk a little bit about safety and how that internal voice that we have in our head tries to keep us safe. So we need to be grateful for it. But sometimes it thinks that our goals are unsafe, so then we sabotage yourself achieving something that we want or getting the right job. And so we’re going to discuss a little bit about, about how to interrupt, um, that, that talk that can sabotage the wrong things and how to balance that out. And so you’re going to learn a lot today about how to simplify the process of communication and the process of networking so it doesn’t seem so overwhelming. We really do get into talking about just how to be human and how that, the fact that it’s okay that we’re not perfect and if any of you have not already, go to airline dot TV and go to the bottom of the page and enter your name and email to join the free masterclass I’ve created called the Soloprenuer journey.
Chad: And with that master class, you’ll learn some key steps for how to set a foundation to find success as a solopreneur. So with that said, I welcome Jen to the show. Thanks for having me. I’m glad to have you here because you, uh, you have a lot of knowledge on networking, communication relationships, and we talk about that extensively on this show when we talk about how to build our careers with our voice, really being able to just connect with people and through that we can find a success, meaning a fulfilling career, you know, if that means a certain amount of money as well. That’s okay. But also just having a fulfillment in our careers. And can you tell us a little bit about what you do as a strategic connector in kind of the why behind that?
Jen: So a street strategic connector. Yeah. It’s, I haven’t, I didn’t know that connecting isn’t everybody’s super power because I’m just born with that desire or that gift to be able to meet somebody and instantly my brain starts to go, oh, you need to know this person and this person and if you meet this person, your business is going to explode. It’s something that it’s more like an energetic thing and I only started learning that. That’s a gift and not everybody is built that way in the past couple of years. And so as a coach with my training, I saw this little spot where I could bring in that get and connect it to, to what I’m hearing and how I’m working with clients and my why really is because I genuinely love people and I’m really curious about people and so it’s just fun for me and I don’t think work should be hard or not fun. So
Chad: yeah, definitely. Have you always been that way? Have you always been curious about people and just been somebody who is kind of more naturally being able to connect with people?
Jen: Yes, for sure. And I think even deeper than that, I’m always the person that, I think one of the biggest quotes that I’ve heard over and over this past year is, I’ve never said that to anybody before because I’d like to get into conversations that are deeper and maybe talk about the things that most people wouldn’t just because of my fascination with humans. And um, I remember in training one time I was, I was with my company and one of the guys started having like a physical reaction and he was shaking and our trainer was curious with them like, Hey, what’s going on over there? And he’s like, I’m just really nervous and she looks at him. She’s like, so what, who cares? Like you’re a human. And so from that experience and having been immersed in that, I just, I love humanity and the fact that we are at times trembling or nervous or all the different fields, so just sort of comes along with loving people.
Chad: I like that story. I like how she just said it, how it was regarding like, so what, like we all get nervous. We all experience anxiety. I think sometimes we really do kind of blow it out of proportion when we experience these negative things. We think we’re the only ones and uh, and that’s why we’re so nervous because we’re afraid of what other people are thinking of us. Like, oh, look at him. Why he’s so nervous. I know they’re thinking, oh, I’ve been nervous before. I mean like literally it’s, we really get it in our head that everyone is judging us for being human
Jen: for 9 million years. I actually have a blog post about it and on my website there’s a page that’s a little bit inappropriate, but it’s a movement that really actually speaks to this conversation where it’s like, you know, being a networker, I’m on the board of directors for National Association of Women Business Owners as our corporate partner chair. And so you can imagine that the people that I work with, you know, it’s a high caliber of people. I think all people are high caliber, but this particular role you’re in, you know, you’re at a country club and everybody’s dressed up and they’re looking their best. So it can be really confronting and energetically being around that many people naturally. I’ve gotten shaky before and been in conversations where I’ve said I’ve spoken to it like my gosh, I am like, you know, like triggered right now. And the whole philosophy behind it is that we are incredibly human and we’ve been like taught to sort of cycle these emotions. And it’s silly because we all have them and it’s like totally normal to feel these things are uncomfortable. It’s just if we start opening up a bigger conversation about, that’s okay. So what, like, so what we’re all thinking about ourselves more than we are the other person and judging the other person.
Chad: Yeah. For me, I was never natural at connecting with people at socializing and communicating. Um, I was the quiet one all growing up and I had a hard time when I was starting to build my business. I built a freelance videography business and then I moved into doing consulting with video and then moving into coaching and kind of doing all of it. And I struggled a lot with my career for a few years because I could get away with not knowing how to communicate, you know, as a kid, uh, it caused me pain but it didn’t cost me money and it didn’t cost me being able to support my family until I, you know, so it really hit home when I had a family to support and I needed the skill. I’m like, this is a skill, I’m not broken because I don’t know how to communicate.
Chad: I just need to gain this skill. I was never taught it. I think just part of my personality was maybe more vulnerable to not having skill either, but it was a skill that anyone can develop an ICA development. And I got to a point where I had to go and find help and when I, when I found mentors and coaches to help me learn how to communicate, at first, my first reaction to it was I started going out and I was almost overly conscious of my communication where I was still thinking about myself, where I was implementing these communication skills. But I’ll still so outside of myself, it’s like I was in conversation with people and I felt like I was observing myself communicating and I’m like, okay, am I doing the right body language in my, in my, uh, you know, I’m like trying to, am I controlling my tone of voice correctly?
Chad: And I was overly analyzing myself and that wasn’t working either. Almost went too far on the other direction. And then I finally got to a place finally. Got It. I was reading a book and uh, it, it, it struck me when it, uh, um, the phrase, and it was actually, it was the cut, the book was called just listen, I don’t know if you’ve ever read it. And it had to do with something he said in, it was a just listen, like if you want to be a good talker, listen. And that really struck a chord with me because, uh, I always thought that in order to, I always felt jealous of those are really good at talking. And I thought that I then had to learn how to really be good at talking. And I got it wrong. I didn’t realize that in order to know how to talk, I needed to actually listen, that I was never actually a good listener, even though I was quiet because I was constantly in my own head analyzing what I was going to say.
Chad: And, uh, and when I finally just took that to heart of just listen, I’ve started to naturally know what to say. And I was able to get away from that place of over analyzing myself. Do you want to comment a little bit on that or any experiences you’ve had or people you’ve worked with regarding that phenomenon of like just looking at ourselves as a third person and being overly conscious of our communication. Like where’s the balance in that, you know, being able to utilize the skill of communication but not be so conscious of it. They are not connecting
Jen: to the person. Like a couple of things that I think are really powerful and number one I’m going to say I would be willing to bet that your gifts, your when you were younger and you probably had a really great gift of being a listener, which is huge and you totally got it spot on it. I think it’s why I’m a natural connector is because I am so curious about people and so I spend a lot of time in conversation asking questions. Just getting to know people and it’s a perfect fit. It’s probably why I’m an actor because I do asking and they get to talk and share and that feels good, right? When people ask about us and we get to feel seen. I think that’s what all human beings want is just to feel seen. So for you, that was a huge kit, like being able to just be an observer, a quiet observer.
Chad: But I didn’t see it like that. And uh, and I’m glad you brought that up because it’s like, it’s sometimes we, uh, we kind of parts of who we are as being something wrong with it. And yes, I did have a legitimate skill I needed to learn, but um, it, it, yeah, it’s almost like a one full circle where maybe I started out with being a good listener and observer. But then as I started to get self conscious of the way that people would talk about, you know, my shyness and everything else that I ended up becoming even not that good of a listener because then I started getting in my own head of like, what am I going to say? What am I going to do? And then I came full circle again and finally realizing I guess, yeah, I guess I felt authentic again and that’s where I want to kind of take this conversation next is how do you be authentic, um, how can you be authentic in your communication? Because for me, at first when I started learning how to communicate, I was being very not authentic and I was just kind of putting on the front of communication but I wasn’t myself. And then I finally was able to take a full circle of just not trying to be perfect with my communication for one being human. Coming back to what we talked, started the conversation with, but also knowing how to connect at the same time. Yeah. We, you have to say about that with authenticity in communication. And
Jen: I’ve been in the self help world for 20 years or so now. I started when I was in my early twenties and I fell in love with it so hardcore because it was the first place where I learn I’m not a piece of crap. I’m actually kind of a cool person and worthy of love and all of these things, even in my training as a coach that that was all the time was spent on us learning that we’re actually really powerful and we’re really capable and I guess you’d compare it to your ego versus your essence or your, um, your highest self versus like your survival mechanism. That voice in our head, it’s like constantly naggy trying to keep us safe and protected and distance from others. Schooling where in our highest state of being are connected to our essence, the essence of who we really are.
Jen: That’s the place where we can really be authentic and it’s like years of just learning that it’s okay to be me and I don’t have to compare myself to other people. It’s really easy to do when you start to listen to people’s podcasts and you see their cult following and there’s this whole influencer community and all of these things, but it’s just the constant reminder that we are enough just as we are. My coach always said to me when I was feeling really crappy. She like her. My favorite quote friends was, Jen, you are not broken, there is nothing to fix. You are perfect whole and complete just as you are. There’s nothing broken. Only someone to love. And for me that was the permission, like, okay, I’m not broken. Somebody sees and I’m whole and complete just like this. Um, so I wouldn’t say that I sort of connected to that and, and I, that authenticity comes to me just because probably 20 years of self help, we’ll do that, but it’s like if we all just sit back and could really see ourselves for who we are, it’s pretty magical and the permission to be, again, incredibly human.
Jen: Just like whether you show up the lowest person on the totem pole or whether you show up and you’re super tripping over your words or whatever it is, just the reminder that you know, you’re, you’re, we aren’t broken.
Chad: That’s true. Yeah. Just being incredibly human is how to be authentic. That we allow ourselves to Melfi perfect and things that we’re constantly improving ourselves, but we are human and authentic and the fact that uh, yeah, like for me, I was trying to be perfect with everything. I was trying to be perfect with my communication and so it wasn’t authentic and um, that really helps us. Um, let’s, I want to talk a little bit about what, what are maybe some networking tips you have for us? Just some actionable tips as far as a route relative to a building up a career, that type of kind of networking. What are some things that can help us if we’re, um, to make valuable connections that will help grow our business or grow our career?
Jen: To me, I think it’s really important, first of all, find what you’re passionate about and if you don’t know what you’re passionate about, you try different things. But there’s 900 million ways to network right now. It’s just unreal. There’s Bni, there’s not, oh, there’s shaffer, there’s Linkedin, there’s social media. I mean there’s literally like 1,450 $8,000, million ways that you can network. So one, what are you passionate about? What is something that doesn’t feel like work? For me? I think my next chapter for networking, it’s going to be like the secular clubs. I love gardening. So I would think that if I didn’t have Navo and um, we met through shipper. I think shaper is like the most amazing tool ever. Um, it’s also, I don’t. Okay, here’s, here’s my number one total hip. Especially in the age of influencers. I think people think that I’m with discount each other.
Jen: So the person at the grocery store, you might think greg and he’s just some schmuck that works at the grocery store. No, like I, I look at every single person that I meet, somebody that’s incredibly valuable. And how many, how many like famous, like amazing people that are held in very high regard. Do you hear the stories of the day that they were scrubbing the floors at their janitorial job? It’s like really looking at every single person in your life as though they’re meaningful and important person in your life because you never know who’s who and like and what their background is or who their connections are. And it’s not to say it in like a user in using way, but it’s just really looking at people, all of them as other important and powerful. And I think that even the people in your own life, my number one saying is, um, you already probably know who it is that you need to know and if you don’t know them, you’ll know somebody that does know them. So find what you’re passionate about. Look to the people that are already in your network. And I build my network basically by getting on the phone like every single day. I literally am like an eighth grade junior high girl where I love to just talk on the phone. And so I, I will sit there and just, you know, scheduled calls and build relationships that way. And again, I think it’s just really finding what you’re passionate about and building on that.
Chad: That’s a really good idea because I suffered with that where when I was starting to make networking a priority, I thought, okay, for me to get here, I need to meet these high up people and I need to somehow figure out how to network with this. A really big successful entrepreneur and you’re totally right that we often overlook the cashier at the grocery store that could literally connect us to where we need to be to our career goal. Like we overlook those, that the, that everyone has significance and that we can’t see, oh, that successful business owner right there, it was more important than my neighbor and it’s more important than the guy just walked by on the street that afford us open to connecting to anyone and not judging them based on maybe what their career, uh, is or where they are with that. That we will be able to connect our way to our career goals in some weirdly magical way where you look back and you’re like, whoa. Somehow that person connected me to that and that’s how I ended up. Man, if I never talked to him, I never would have. That’s, that’s really great. I’m glad you did.
Jen: Having built up at crazy level network. I know some pretty. Some people that your eyes would go, whoa. And it’s interesting because I see people as all the same. It’s like, would I get starstruck if somebody like even apple sitting next to me of course, like she’s amazing, but I looked to people as though they’re all the same and um, countless numbers of time. I’ve seen people when somebody, that whole demeanor changes and it just goes to like, like super googly eyes and you’re like, they’re just, they’re just people and perhaps they started working at the grocery store just like John at the supermarket. So
Chad: definitely that’s a really good perspective to have. Thanks for bringing that up. Um, let’s go inward a little bit. Uh, how do we get a grip on that negative talk with ourselves? Because we, we talked to other people and for me the biggest reason why I had struggles talking to other people’s. Because the way of. I was talking to myself. So we have all these conversations going on in our head. Do you want to comment a little bit on what that is in there, how we can get in control of it?
Jen: Yes, please. This is. So there are thousands of coaches out there and a very small percentage of coaches, logical coaches, which people are like, are you a cancer coach now? I’m not a cancer coach. I’m a being based coach and in my training we focus solely on this. Um, so that voice in my world is called your survival mechanism. It’s that part of you that was born anywhere from the age of one to seven or shape, I should say, from the age of one to seven based on the programming that you are programming your, you know, your culture, all these different things that shaped you and through the years through programming and television marketing and all these different things are just stacked on top of one another that we just start to listen to this nasty voice. That voice also keeps you protected. So it’s the voice, it’s going to tell you not to jump out of an airplane to go skydiving, but if the voice that tries to keep you safe and alive and so being a, being a coach, this is exactly what I 100 percent focused on with my clients is that the days when you wake up and you have that black dark looming cloud where your voice is like super high gear telling you that you’re not picking that are keeping you super stock or you know, keeping you from doing the things that you love, that can be almost like put on the shelf, loved, you know that part of us.
Jen: We still love that part of ourself, but we want to have more days where we’re coming from our highest self, the essence of who we really are and the ways that we do that. It’s called getting back to being. And it’s a mix of things. But really the foundation of it. I would say self care. Do you know generally if you’re operating on little sleep and you’re busy, busy, busy, and your diet then goes to pat and you’re not working out because you’re so busy, that means that you’re, you have really no self care practice and on the days when we feel really good or really excited or really happy, most of the time those are more, you know, getting rest or exercising, we’re doing all the things, take care of ourselves. So I like to, you know, have like a database of things that I know that will get me back into my essence or connected to my highest self when that voice is a lot quieter and less mean. And for me definitely running, running. For me it’s, it’s, it’s gardening. I mean baking for people. It’s really individual and personal, but I would say that’s the main thing.
Chad: So really just kind of spending time with yourself
Jen: and given it sounds like that, those types of activities help you to connect with yourself because if you’re connected with yourself better than you can connect with other people better, which then leads you to connect to whatever it is we’re trying to connect to. Um, cause yeah, for me as well, I’ve noticed that like on the days that I don’t stick to my routine, I don’t, uh, you know, I was sleeping or I don’t take care of myself. I don’t do my exercises, I don’t, you know, Journal and get things out of my head. Um, tend to be the days where things don’t go as well. And I ended up, you know, mood shifting a lot more. Um, and so that’s, that’s a really great way to simplify it. That we have so many different ways that we can talk about the way the talk that we have in our head, but just reducing it down to, hey, it’s a survival mechanism.
Jen: And I think as well you got me thinking that if that voice in there is a survival mechanism and is telling us not to jump out of this moving car, it’s also telling us not to pursue that job that is out of our comfort zone, right? Because then we think, oh, that might be unsafe. And I never thought of about that like that before where it’s. If it’s simply just seeing things as safe or unsafe. If we have a goal we’ve never achieved before, that could feel unsafe to us and we perceive it as almost scary. Do you think that that may be is where some of that self sabotage comes? That we’re just trying to keep ourselves safe. Like it’s almost survival where it comes from living outside of your comfort zone is where possibility lives because it’s like you said, it’s like going for it a lot with people and money especially.
Jen: And really a lot like women and money and self worth. It’s like you know, you’re gonna set your rates something really high and it becomes like a really fearful thing that’s attached to your cell, for example. Or if they’re going for a really high level job, of course you’re fearful and that’s probably driving up after you’re, you know, you’re operating under these certain contexts, unworthy, unlovable, right. Wrong. Um, so yeah, it’s completely, it’s, this is why people are so fascinating to me. No, it’s just like learning that we all have this thing, we all have it and we some days are more of a struggle than others, but it’s just the reminder that you’re just as human as I am and you’re struggling with the same things. And I think that being in the world of self help, I, I loved it so much because what you saw on the exterior for most people did not reflect what they were feeling inside about themselves. And you see these people that are earning, you know, have millions of dollars and then you get to know them and you learned that they are walking around like hating themselves or you know, they seem like they have the life on the outside, but inside they’re just dying and crumbling.
Chad: Yeah. It’s true because retire happiness to so many weird things and I’ve had plenty of experiences just recently. I’ve noticed things. I’m like, man, I’m tying my happiness to a certain, uh, either stuff or lifestyle. It’s okay to pursue those things. Like, Hey, I’d love to have a bigger house one day. I’d love to have this, but when we retire happiness to it, it messes things up because then it’s like these things that don’t really matter as far as like, like at the end of the day, our relationships, what we know or wisdom, all of those things is where the value is and all these other things can help us enjoy life in various ways. But when we literally tire happiness to it, then we ended up becoming a millionaire. And guess what? We’re still unhappy because we’re not really actually figuring out, okay, well what did, what do you know? What is it that actually is going to make me happy?
Jen: I totally don’t want to step over what you were talking about, which I think is really, really, really important. And I work with clients all day about this is that, you know, they hire me because they want to get from point a to point z and so generally most people hire because they really want to elevate their ceiling and they said they’re setting out to do really big things and that’s great. I love aligning with people to do that, but I’m always really, really like my, I’m a stickler on being present and really just honoring where you are right now. And it’s like help. I mean you just pick that that is tremendous right there. People are so focused on getting that, you know, multimillion billion dollar deal or getting the house or getting the things and it’s like we spend so much of our time who’s looking for the next thing that we forget about what we have right here and right now even having healthy kids may know. Well, you know, just seeing. I feel like being born in this country is like, may well go to India or some third world countries. Really get into perspective.
Chad: Yeah, I’ve definitely a struggled with that where I started getting really focused on my goals and my future and where I was heading. I noticed that I started getting very ungrateful for where I was at and what I had and I started it don’t want to sound like this reverse effect or all the personal development I was doing was kind of whipping back around and making me complain a lot about my current state and current lifestyle and everything else. I’m like, that’s not good. I need to figure out how to be grateful for where I’m at and I’m still figuring that out. I’m like, what? Like do you have any tips regarding like how, how do you be grateful for where you’re at, but at the same time still have a forward thinking momentum where you’re, you’re, you’re looking to the next thing, but you’re not living there so much that yeah, you can’t be present like that. That’s hard sometimes, but
Jen: we don’t need to complicate it other than just first of all having the awareness and the reminder like, oh, okay, wait. I do have this roof over my head and food in my refrigerator and my kids are all. Even even when things crumble, it’s like there’s, there’s less seasoned, all of it, and I can tell you, for example, when the market tanked back away, whatever year that was, that homeowner at the time and we met with a realtor who was like, yeah, if it’s crashed and scratch and how do you need to get out of his house? And so we had to do a short sale which resulted in a mood to, you know, so we could have looked at that crap. The market we’re in total, we have to do a short sale. It’s going to ruin our credit and all these things. But ultimately it resulted in I moved to Hawaii. So even even when things don’t seem like they’re great, there’s always something better on the other side of it.
Chad: Yeah. Yup. That’s, that sums up most of my life is immediately thinking, oh crap, this is not good. And then later on realizing, wow, this is always this good that comes out of it. And so it’s good to. Yeah, just make that choice to notice the roof, the roof above your head. That’s, that’s a good tip right there.
Jen: The other piece that I have for you that I have for most human beings, it’s very simple, but the word integrity and you’re like being, having integrity with your word, with your actions. I mean even something as simple as driving the speed limit. That’s it. You’re speeding. That’s out of integrity. It’s a huge word to notice a huge area. It’s noticed in your life when things aren’t working. Where are you out of integrity? Are you late on bills? Are you, I’m not committing to your word and it’s, those little things can add up, you know, like all of a sudden you’re in mountains of data. Whatever the thing is that you’re struggling with, but it really does start with the simple foundation as having integrity everywhere and doing some sort of audit, um, whether that’s working with coach or having some sort of practice where you’re really looking at your micro lambs.
Jen: Because I had one call with my coach and I was really stressed about money and brought everything to her. She asked me like, so where are you Adam in tech, like what are you talking about? And when I stopped to look at it as like, oh, I’m late with this bill and I didn’t put this check in the whatever, I’m not looking at the bank or whatever the things were and I noticed. And so just that noticing and making those shifts and getting back into integrity, what are the things, what’s the thing that had to be shipped and have my breakthrough?
Chad: Definitely. Thanks for sharing that, that, uh, that’s really valuable to remember. That’s a really great way to, to evaluate what could be off. Oh, what am I out of integrity in right now? Um, that could be throwing off the balance of things in my life that’s really valid, but you shared a lot of valuable things with us today regarding our inner and outer communication, which are equally important and I want our viewers and listeners to know where they can connect with you. How can we learn more from you?
Jen: Yeah. So jenifernarragon.com is my website and I’m, I’m just kind of expecting declaring that he was going to be the best year ever and so if they want to connect with me, my email address is info at [inaudible] dot com. I’d love to connect with them.
Chad: Perfect. Well I’m, I’m with you on that. That 2019 is going to be the best year ever and I hope that anyone listening can declare that to themselves as well and join that terrain because it’s going to be fun. That’s going to be a fun year. So thank you so much, Jen, for coming on our show today.