In this episode, Michelle interviews her ladyboss idol, Jen Dzuira, founder of Get Bullish and the Bullish Conference. From networks to self-taught study, we talk about all the alternative ways you can grow your wealth, even if you have minimal dollars.
Resources from this episode:
- GetBullish, the home to Jen Dziura’s various brainchildren: including the blog, the amazing web shop, the Bullish Society, and the Bullish Conference (a personal fave!!)
- The “I’m Basically Captain Picard with Tits” keychain–ICONIC.
- Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, a problematic book that also has some great points about the real costs of quitting one’s job to take care of kids
- TinyLetter, a fun lil’ email tool
- Quora, a great place to share your brain thoughts and answer others’ questions
- A laundry list of software that Jen uses to run her drop shipping business: Mailchimp for email, Infusionsoft for action-based/targeted emails, Shopify for the digital store, ShippingEasy for fulfilling orders from other platforms, GeekSeller and Deliverr to help facilitate warehouse drop shipping orders
- Jen’s 2012 Article: “Maybe Work-Life Balance Means You Should Work More.”
- Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert and the TED Talk that goes with it
- Molly Crabapple, Jen’s best friend, artist, and coolness arbitrageur
- The Young Scrappy Money Academy Digital Subscription Service
- Young + Scrappy, home to Michelle’s work as a financial advisor and financial coach
Full audio transcript:
NOTES FOR MICHELLE:
[00:00:00] Hello. And welcome to the Young Scrappy Money podcast. I’m your host, Michelle Waymire. And each week, I’ll be bringing you tips and tricks to help you take control of your finances as well as interviews with people who made big financial changes in their own lives. So join us. And we’ll help you get your financial s**t together.
MICHELLE: Hello, everybody. And welcome. This is the Young Scrappy Money podcast. And trust me when I say that we are in for a real treat today. So I am sitting down virtually with Jen Dziura. She is the founder of Get Bullish and the annual Bullish Conference. She specializes really in helping people with careers in business, but from a feminist point of view, which is, oh my god, so important— more now than ever.
The Bullish online shop also now sells over 5,000 items, including a keychain that says, “I’m basically Captain Picard with tits.” So welcome, Jen. I am super excited to hear about your journey and talk to you a little bit about human capital today.
JEN: Here we are. Thank you for having me.
MICHELLE: Good. So I kind of wanna dig in a little bit. This is something that you and I have talked about before. I think that, you know, on this podcast and certainly on a lot of personal finance podcasts, we tend to think of financial wealth. So there’s just a ton of resources out there on budgeting, and managing your money, and investing, and all of that good stuff. But in addition to being a total badass, you have some really badass views on wealth building in a way that most people don’t necessarily consider.
JEN: Thank you for that. You know, I think that it’s really easy for people to look at a lot of financial advice, especially a lot of millennials or just, you know, a lot of people in the non-1%, the non-10%, maybe the non-50%. It’s really easy for regular people to look at a lot of financial advice and say, oh, that’s really great. If I had any money, I would definitely do that. Like if I had money, I would do that thing that you just said. But I don’t have any money. So I’ll just tuck that information away for never.
So the flip side of that is that, you know, when you’re starting out your career, if you are kind of a snappy person full of energy with an alacrity for learning things, you should definitely focus on making more money and doing bold things to make that happen. I believe in trying to make more money. But there’s more to considering that than just like how many dollars are in your bank account at a certain time, and then maybe check in at some future time.
And how many dollars are in your bank account now? How many dollars are in your bank account now? There’s a lot more to it than that, especially when you have, you know, decades of your career ahead of you.
JEN: So Sheryl Sandberg is very problematic. Let’s just start with that. I definitely don’t believe in like haranguing people to solve structural and collective problems on their own. But one of the things she said that was very smart— and she’s certainly not the first person to say it. But it was one like little moment in Lean In that I enjoyed, although the rest of the book, again, had problems.
One thing she said I thought was really great was that when you— if you’re a working parent, for instance, and the cost of childcare is roughly equivalent to your entire salary, you know, people often say, “Oh, well, you’re working for free,” which doesn’t feel good, sure. And this is often the sort of thing that kind of bully husbands use to get you to quit your f**king job. You know? Like, “Well, you’re working for free. So you might as well just stay home. You know, like, I don’t want other people looking after our kids.”
I mean, you just get a lot of people in society— whether you’re married to them, or they’re your mother-in-law, or just, you know, people on the internet, but you get people in society telling you to basically just quit your job, even if you don’t want to, because childcare is so expensive that therefore it’s not worth working. And one of the points that Sheryl Sandberg made and that other people have made about this is that, you know, for every year you take out of the workforce, you’re sacrificing a lot of future income. It’s not about what you’re making right now.
It’s about what you’re gonna be making in 10 years or 20 years. And what you’re gonna be making in 10 or 20 years is greatly dependent on whether you took five years out of the workforce or whether you spent those five years advancing your career, even if you didn’t actually bring home very much money in a net sense. And, you know, for people who are not interested in parenting, I think that same logic applies to a lot of things.
I mean, if you look at two people who are each making $30,000 a year, and you ask yourself, OK, well, you know, what is the expectation that this person has for what’s gonna happen in 10 years or in 20 years or— oh my god, life is long— like 30 years, 40 years? You know, if you’re lucky enough to live a long time, you can do some really long gaming here. So the kinds of wealth that I’m interested in building, you know, have to do with the resources and freedom to earn wealth doing different things in the future, to have the kind of life you want as well as to earn actual dollars doing different kinds of things in the future.
[00:04:47] So one of those big areas there, I can— I’m gonna run through a whole list. But I have a to-do list that I would like to galvanize people to go and do. So a lot of the things that I wanna talk about are like things that are sort of sometimes in certain circumstances interchangeable for actual dollars, some things that are forms of wealth that are nonmonetary. One kind of social commentary place to go with that, you know, sometimes when— sometimes in political debates, people who are heartless will say things like, “Well, you know, if poor people are living in a place with no jobs, they ought to just move.”
MICHELLE: Oh my god, that’s my least favorite thing to hear.
JEN: Right. So aside from the fact that moving is very expensive and, you know, getting a new job someplace that you don’t live is very difficult, aside from that, I mean, there’s a form of wealth that many poor people living in their communities, and many people of all stripes, have living in their communities, which is people who will help you out with things. That’s absolutely a form of wealth. You know, if you have people who will do anything for you, who will— you know, that you’re in a community with— who will watch your kids in an emergency, or who will let you stay with them if your house floods, or, you know, whatever happens.
That’s a form of wealth. And it’s really hard to give that up, if that’s what you depend on for your livelihood, you know, for your survival. And so, you know, that applies to people who need that kind of community to get by at all. It also applies to people who are more, you know— do people even say middle class anymore? I mean, I feel like the class system is just like— I don’t know. We’ve got billionaires and peasants now, you know?
MICHELLE: Yeah. If there were a middle class, this would certainly be part of the debate, absolutely.
JEN: I mean, yeah. I don’t wanna minimize. Like there’s a big difference between being able to afford the things you need to live and not being able to. But still. I mean, there are just billionaires like laughing at us in our petty squabbles. Anyway, so what I wanna say here is that regardless of where you fall, you know, what your financial situation is now, one form of wealth is having a community of people who will help you with things. And that could mean like someone who will watch your kids so you can go to a job interview to get that job after you’ve been out of the workforce for a long time.
Or, it could be, you know— at a different level, I mean, it could be like people who will invest lots of money in your business, even though you don’t have an idea yet. And so if you’re more in that second bucket of people— like you have a good job. You’re basically fine. You’re listening to a financial podcast right now.
Then what I would wanna think there is like, OK, cool, maybe you make $80,000 a year, and you feel great about that. And most of your friends do too. OK, cool. So if you make $80,000 a year, and you have a lot of friends who make $80,000 a year, they probably have a lot of like uncles and parents and dentists and people who make a lot more than that.
And, you know, you can build that network and create relationships with people where when you have that startup, maybe when you’re 45, you know, then you have people who are ready to invest in it right away. They don’t even care what it is because you’re involved, and they believe in you. That’s a form of wealth. You know?
Like there are— you hear these stories sometimes about startup founders who get venture capital based on nothing. Like they write something on a napkin. But like their last startup was pretty successful, so the venture capitalists don’t even care.
I mean, of course it’s always a white man doing this. Don’t get me wrong. But like some, you know, guy walks into a venture capitalist’s office. And he’s like, “I think I would like to make a blog for women.” And the venture—
MICHELLE: I am confident and male. Let’s do this.
JEN: My previous blog about sports was successful, therefore— right. Not naming names there. Anyway, so there are people who have that kind of, in some cases, just like a wild level of pull with people or people who believe in them, whether it’s justified or not. But it’s a form of wealth. You can get into who deserves it and who doesn’t.
But the idea of having people who will obviously do things for you and help you out, but also who believe in your projects, that’s absolutely valuable. And, you know, if you have not a dollar to your— well, I don’t want to exaggerate. But if you don’t have a lot of extra dollars, but you have a— you know, you have a little bit of time, and you have an internet connection, that sort of thing, you know, one thing that you can do that’s really, I think, achievable for a lot of people is to try to build intellectual leadership on a topic by— for instance, a lot of people have a TinyLetter.
You know, like TinyLetter is a— TinyLetter is an email marketing platform for people who are not marketing anything pretty much. I think that’s— I think they’d probably approve of that as a slogan for their company. So people who are more like, “I’m a freelance writer, and I talk about cool ideas. And every month, I send out a newsletter about the ideas that I’m having,” they tend to do it on TinyLetter rather than on one of the more commercial platforms.
So a lot of people subscribe to TinyLetter email newsletters because they’re personal, and they’re intelligent. Also, Quora is a— I love Quora, the social network for people who— I don’t know. It’s a really civilized social network, I mean, the social network for people who write three-paragraph, well-researched responses to questions.
MICHELLE: That’s a beautiful thing in this day and age.
JEN: It’s like the anti-YouTube. You know? Like there’s no video, almost no pictures. And people tend to cite their sources. And, yeah, there— it’s a bunch of rule followers over there, in a good way. So anyway— and, like, I mean, it’s just more exciting than LinkedIn. Like does anyone read LinkedIn on their phone at 11 p.m.? I can’t imagine. So, you know, I think that Quora just hits that sweet spot.
[00:10:00] Anyway, so building intellectual leadership in a field, or honestly just, you know, having a big network of people, in almost any context— I mean, whether it’s that you are, you know, organizing salons in your living room and bringing awesome people together to talk about ideas or whether you’re dialed out into something really specific, and you’re like, I wanna talk about the way that, you know, the design of public spaces impacts gender relations, you know, like something very specific.
JEN: Right. Whether it’s either one of those, like just you’re the most amazing person in the world in general, or whether it’s like you are an expert on a very specific domain, you can build that and keep that going so that when you have an amazing idea for a business in 20 years, you know, you have built those relationships so that people would jump to just be involved in anything with you. So that is one form of wealth right there, those kinds of connections and that kind of credibility. And that’s something that, you know, you can work on, regardless of how many dollars you have in your bank account. Similarly, you know, building skills is a classic, by which I don’t generally mean like going to get an expensive graduate degree that you’re not sure anyone wants you to have, which—
MICHELLE: Yeah. Don’t think of this as like, let’s go get into $200,000 of student debt, unless you are d**n sure you wanna be a doctor or a lawyer, in which case think about it first and then do it maybe.
JEN: Yeah. I mean, most graduate degrees are not very profitable. And that’s, you know— if you have someone else who will pay for it, then go for it. But if you don’t, you know, there’s some math that needs to be done there. It’s a tough one.
But when I say building skills is a form of wealth, I mean most of the skills that— there are so many skills that people will pay a lot of money for that you cannot learn in a degree program because they relate to using constantly changing technologies, in many cases kind of consumer technologies. And so this is maybe boring stuff to a lot of people. But there are— you know, so I run a number of businesses. So right now, I’m sitting in my office/warehouse.
There are people working here shipping packages. We sell products on a number of platforms. I have thousands of different products being sold at any given time. I also run an annual conference. You know, I have a lot of stuff going on. And one of the most important skills for me when I hire freelancers or, you know, just other small companies I’m working with is— you know, there’s some software that I need to hook up with this other software.
And I don’t really have time to read all the tutorials and like get on the phone with them. Can you hook up these things and make them work? And it’s really hard to find people who can do those skills. And those skills are like basically free to learn in most cases. For instance, off the top of my head, like some software packages I have been like, holy s**t, what do I do about this? Infusionsoft, Jesus Christ, it’s like the most complicated email marketing software in the world.
You know, you think like, oh, I’m gonna type up an email in Mailchimp and send it to everybody on my list. Beautiful, you can do that. Infusionsoft is like when you’re trying to tag all your users in a database so everybody gets different emails based on what actions they take on your website. It works. It’s very complicated. I gave up.
There are Infusionsoft experts who will do all this stuff for you. And they charge a lot because, I mean, they can. And virtually every type of consumer software that a businessperson uses has— like there are Shopify experts. You know, there are like— I use a lot of ecommerce software. I use ShippingEasy.
This is complicated. Like right now, some things that are on my radar, I’m signing up to sell on Amazon Europe. So I have to get registered to collect that tax. And then I have to get a freight forwarder. And all that hooks up.
And then I also use something called ShippingEasy to fulfill orders from a bunch of different platforms. And that is now hooking up to something called GeekSeller, which is hooking up to something called Deliverr, with two Rs at the end, where I’m sending in my packages to be held in a warehouse and sent to people who buy things on Walmart Marketplace. I mean, it’s absurd.
So I’m using all this software. And that doesn’t even include any marketing. That’s literally just logistics. So when it comes to marketing, you know, like it would be great if I were running my own podcast or if I were— had, you know, email funnels in Infusionsoft or something like that. But it’s all very complicated.
So my point is there are so many skills that people pay a lot of money for where, in order to learn that skill, you have to have a high tolerance for boredom. Like even I’m bored talking about this. A high tolerance for boredom, but just like an ability to wade through a lot of free, public tutorials. I mean, all the companies I’m talking about, like they want people to use their stuff. You know?
Like they put out— they’re like, oh, it’s like Shopify University, or whatever they call it. You know, like some huge help desk thing with tons of videos and, you know, webinars all the time trying to get people using the system. So I mean, you can learn how to do so many of these skills, if you just have the time and the patience.
So anyway, I don’t wanna spend too much of your podcast boring the living pants off of people. That’s not even an expression. But I think I was gonna say like living s**t. But then I was like, should I swear? And then I said pants, and it just— the living—
MICHELLE: So seriously, that’s totally fine. The intro to this podcast uses the phrase “get your financial s**t together,” which guarantees that all of these podcasts are marked as explicit. So—
[00:15:00] JEN: Explicit? I feel we should make it more explicit then. If I think of something, I’ll let it out. Anyway, my point here, so skill building, when I say skill building is a form of wealth, I don’t just mean like getting certifications and degrees, although those can be very helpful in some fields. You know, there are a lot of things that you can learn to do for free.
And in general, before you invest your money in starting a business, or before you invest your time in learning a skill, you know, there are some tests that I always wanna pass. Like somebody has a business idea, I’m gonna apply these same tests to like, I’m thinking of learning a skill. And my tests are like, OK, who are the people who wanna buy this? Where are they?
Do you have proof that they wanna buy it right now? They’re ready to buy? Can you reach them? Like do you have the ability to contact them? If it’s like, you know, CEOs of major companies, then probably not. Like do you have the ability to reach them?
If you do, then go ahead and talk to them right now. Like literally send them an email and be like, hey, would you be interested in this thing if it were available? So are the people ready to buy? Do they want the thing right now? Can you reach them? Can they afford it? You know, that— that’s pretty much it.
And so if you can pass those tests and then provide people with a business or a skill that meets their requirements, you’re good to go. So I think that’s something that, you know, you can do that is a form of wealth building that’s not just like counting dollars in your bank account. I can keep going with this. Like I have some other things on my list here.
But I mean, this is my big theme. It’s like, your life— if your career’s gonna last another 20 or 40 years, maybe longer— I mean, how long are we gonna live? My god. You know? Like people are living longer and longer. You can’t just—
MICHELLE: Me, forever out of spite.
JEN: I mean, there’s just gonna come a point. Like I already am tired of doing a lot of things. You know, like you reach a certain point in life. And I’m just like, I don’t think I’m ever gonna learn Italian. Like I could if I really wanted to. But I don’t want to that badly. It’s just not gonna happen. I’m never gonna learn Italian. And I’m OK with that.
And then just more things get on that list, you know? And I’m just like, I, you know, have tried this type of food enough times that I know I don’t like it. And I’m just never gonna try it again. And, you know, you just keep adding things onto that list until you’re ready to die. I think that’s how it goes. Anyway—
MICHELLE: Yeah, I think that’s it. And right before you die, they ask to see your list. They’re like, what didn’t you get done? That’s cool. We forgive you. And then you die.
JEN: I’m like, I’m fine. I’m tired. I’m— anyway, so that actually is a nice segue into talking about— so when I talk about, you know, like building forms of wealth that are not necessarily financial or not financial right now, you know, I think back to when I was in my early 20s. And, you know, I lived in New York on $17,000 a year for some period of time. And, you know, I had so much time and also— so things that I don’t have now.
So I am now a 40-year-old mother of two. I have a company. And I have, you know, like kids at home. And there’s just stuff going on everywhere I go. So something that I had that I think I’d consider a fantastic form of wealth that would be very difficult for me to obtain these days is the ability to have a complete f**king thought, oh my f**king god.
MICHELLE: That would be amazing. If you find out how to do that with all you’ve got going on, you shoot me an email right the f**k then. And you tell me how it’s done. Because I have questions too.
JEN: So this was my biggest complaint about having children. You know, there’s— so a slight sidenote, Gwyneth Paltrow is mostly completely full of s**t— and jade eggs and coffee enemas. But— so not full of s**t actually because of the coffee enemas. But one thing that she did that I kind of enjoyed was she published an article from this guy, this Australian doctor whose name I forget, about postpartum depletion, which is what it sounds like.
And, sure, like it’s not news that people who’ve just had a baby are tired as s**t. And, you know, like all those prenatal vitamins, they’re not for the baby. They’re for you. They’re so you still have fat in your brain after the baby has stolen all of the, like, good stuff from your entire body. The prenatal vitamins are so you’re not just like a dried-up shell husk of a person. Like they’re actually for you. The baby will take what it needs.
So oh my god, the postpartum depletion guy, not only was he talking— he was like, oh, you’re low on all these vitamins. You need healthy fats. Sure, sure. But then he goes on to talk about something I had never heard anyone put a name to before. And the word is hypervigilance, hypervigilance.
So I mean, it makes sort of evolutionary sense that if you’ve just had a baby— you’ve just had a baby. Even though you are tired as s**t, and your body is broken, you’re nevertheless ready to like pick up a crying baby and run away from a saber-toothed tiger at any moment, like this level of hypervigilance. And, you know, after I had— both times after I had a baby, I was like, OK, I have a lot of problems here. But I am like jacked, you know, just so full of this weird fake adrenaline.
And so I would do really— I mean, I was like starting companies and pushing a baby around to places that nobody takes a baby. You know? Like business meetings and buying supplies for building things for my businesses and like— I took a baby to a construction site once by accident. I thought it was a finished building.
[00:19:55] MICHELLE: Did they get a little hard hat?
JEN: You know, they should have. I should— it was really— I was really not happy. Like the— I was considering renting space in a building. And there was a computer rendering on the website that was very realistic. So I thought it was like a real building. And I show up, and it’s a construction site. And I am wearing a baby. And I’m like—
JEN: Yeah. I did not buy anything from them. Anyway, so I have strong feelings about bringing babies to business meetings. I feel like if I’m selling something, I wouldn’t. But if someone’s selling something to me, absolutely. You’re gonna sell that to me while I’m breastfeeding, or we’re not doing this. If you want my money, this is how it’s gonna go.
Anyway, so my point about the hypervigilance was that after I had a baby, I’m like, OK, I’m in such a bizarre mental space, where even if I’m paying for childcare, you know, it’s like now I’m in— so theoretically, I could just sit here and work. You know, I’m gonna sit at my computer and do the things I’ve always done. But first off, I’m like counting off every minute. Because I’m paying for childcare.
So I’m like, oh my god, I didn’t make x number of dollars in this last hour that I just— you know, so I have some new pressure to make a profit on every minute or hour of my time, even more than existed before, but also this like level of hypervigilance where, you know— for a while, I had someone watching the baby in another room or like very nearby. So anytime there was the slightest noise, I would kind of like freak out, even though I knew someone was taking care of the baby. Because hypervigilance, it’s just the way that people are, I guess, or a way that I was.
And so it was impossible for me to have a complete thought. You know, like I could jump around, and build things, and do all kinds of weird stuff. But I couldn’t sit down and concentrate on anything. And, you know, that’s just kind of the state of my life right now. I can manage a lot of different things.
But in terms of sitting down and writing a 3,000-word essay, not gonna happen. And when I was 23 years old or 25 years old or whatever, you know, I remember sitting in my apartment that I shared with roommates. And I would sit in that room. And I would look at my calendar and be like, oh, I have no paying work on the agenda for the next two and a half days, at which point I would show up to something and make $40. You know?
I’m looking at that. And I’m like, OK, well, that’s a financial problem. But in the meantime, I had two and a half days where no one bothered me at all. And I would, like, just, you know, have a whim. And I would follow it and write some kind of hilarious blog post about nothing. Or, I don’t know. I would just do creative things.
And some of them were incredibly stupid. And some of them paid off and were cool. But I could’ve put that time to better use, certainly. And so what I had there is wealth that I didn’t realize. You know, I had unfettered time. I had the ability to concentrate that I don’t have now. And I had no caregiving responsibilities.
Like those are tremendous forms of wealth. If I think about how many dollars I would have to pay right now to have what I had back then, it’s a tremendous expense. I mean, even beyond paying for childcare, like I’d have to pay for childcare and then some other place to go, like a hotel room where people wouldn’t bother me for two and a half days. And I could have my own weird sleep schedule and wake up in the middle of the night and work on stuff and not know what time or day it is. It’s impossible. You know?
Like I had something that I did not realize the value of. And so one of the most popular articles I wrote— this was like 10 years ago, so I might not stand by every word of it anymore. But it was an article called— this was a very divisive title. And I feel like it maybe has— we live in a different time. But the title was “Maybe Work-Life Balance Means You Should Work More.”
Now, I clarified in the article I did not mean just like for your boss, like in a salaried job where you are working more for no extra benefit. You know, like if you work in an hourly job, obviously the more you work, the more you get paid. If you work in a salaried job, you know, if you’re gonna work extra hard, then there needs to be some— like work extra hours, there needs to be some very good reason for that, you know, like a boss who understands what you’re doing and is gonna pay you an awesome bonus or something like that.
The best boss I ever worked for, I once had a boss— I have had very few bosses in my life. But I have had a couple of jobs in there, real jobs. And I had a boss who one time— you know, I had a great idea. And I did it without telling anybody. And he just gave me a bonus after the fact.
MICHELLE: Oh, that’s amazing.
JEN: I’ve never felt so respected, especially by a man.
MICHELLE: What a unicorn. What a unicorn of a man. Bless him. If you’re listening to this one day, good sir, bless your heart.
JEN: Yeah. He— yeah. It was really just an incredible experience. He was like, I respect your idea. And you have followed it through. You have executed it well. Like I will now compensate you for it in dollars. And that was— it was— it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Ah.
MICHELLE: So the notion of like, you know, sometimes the best way to move forward is actually to work more, but not necessarily.
JEN: Right. And so, you know, my point there was not that everybody should work hard all the time. Like hustle culture has really fallen out of fashion, and I think for good cause. I think people are waking up to the— I mean, myself included. Like I’m not saying I had some fortune telling ability. People are coming around to the neoliberal nightmare we all live in.
MICHELLE: I think we hit burnout culture next. And then we were like, wait a second, where did this come from?
JEN: Right. So, you know, my position has always been not like, oh, you should hustle for its own sake. I mean, there’s like— if you’re an entrepreneur, there is some of that. You know? Like, sure, if you wanna be an entrepreneur, maybe you do wanna soak up hustle literature all the time.
[00:24:57] And, you know, that should be a choice. That shouldn’t be something people have to do to get by. So that’s fine. For the small percent of people who’ve always wanted to be entrepreneurs, and that’s their choice, and they wanna like listen to Gary Vee all day, go for it.
But for everybody else, I mean, I feel like my position has always been that we live in a very brutal and unfair capitalist society. I would prefer more of like a Scandinavian system. That’s basically where I am politically. So I believe in welfare programs and a strong social safety net. I want programs for everything.
I live in New York. And every time we do some awesome socialist thing, I am so down for it. And I do not complain about my taxes. You know? Like we have free pre-K for everybody. Soon, it’ll be free pre— it’s hard to say. Free— oh my god. Free 3-K for three-year-olds. Free 3-K, that is actually really difficult to say.
MICHELLE: I have never heard the phrase 3-K until now.
MICHELLE: That’s crazy.
JEN: We’re rolling it out.
MICHELLE: Y’all are way ahead of the game.
JEN: Yes. So my older daughter is in free pre-K right now. My younger daughter— 3-K is not gonna roll out to everybody in time for my younger daughter. But it’s rolling out in like the neediest neighborhoods this year. And then it’ll roll out for everybody after that.
And all of our school programs, including the pre-K, have free lunch for everybody. So there’s none of this, like, you know, people having lunch bills, and getting ostracized, and good Samaritans having to pay off people’s school lunch bills, and like the kids on free lunch feeling bad— none of that. I mean, I remember when I was in school we had a free lunch program. And you know how it was operated? The teacher every year would ask, who needs a form for free lunch? And you had to raise your f**king hand. That’s not OK.
MICHELLE: That is the worst.
JEN: Super not OK. I think I maybe had one teacher who, you know, said, everybody take a form. And if you don’t need it, just throw it away, which was a huge improvement. One teacher who caught on to that, and everybody else was like, raise your hand if you’re poor. So, yeah, anyway, New York, a little basic— you know, all kinds of little socialism going on.
And I’m so down for it. And I totally do pay extra taxes. And I do not mind paying extra taxes if they go to, you know, helping people with things that they actually need and not, like, waging war against countries that did not actually do anything related to 9/11. Strong opinions.
MICHELLE: Oh, yes.
JEN: Wrong country. Oh, god. Anyway, so my point was that when I say maybe work-life balance means you should work more, I don’t mean for its own sake or for virtue or something. I mean because like we live in a brutal, horrible system, and I want you to take care of yourself if you can. And also that I think it is helpful to think of work-life balance over the course of your entire life.
And so instead of thinking like, oh, you know, I am— if you are lucky enough to be a young, healthy person with a lot of energy, and, no, you’re not like taking care of your family members— whatever. If you are at an unencumbered point in your life, which some people never get— but if you got it, you know, you got some luck there. So if that is the situation that you’re at in life, rather than being like, oh, if I’m a little stressed out, maybe I should do more yoga, think about your future self when you’re 40. You know? And like what do you expect to happen?
Like your body will probably not feel as good. If you want kids, think about that. You know, if you have family members who are gonna need some taking care of, think about that. And like can you take her burden off? You know? Like your own 40-year-old self, can you set her up? And so, I mean, what does she want?
She wants some money in the bank. You know, she wants a network who will hire her if she needs it or invest in her business or whatever. She wants resources. You know? Like maybe she wants to own some property. Maybe she wants to own her car outright. She certainly doesn’t wanna be paying off student loans. You know? Like can you set her up with whatever she might want, knowing that you don’t know exactly what she might want?
And so if you think of work-life balance over the course of your entire life, you know, if there’s a point where you think you might want to not be in the workforce if you have kids, also a valid choice. But like if you’re gonna take, you know, two or five or 10 years out of the workforce, then I would prepare for that now. Like think about how many hours a week you’re working now, how many hours a week you’re gonna be working over the entire course of your life. And kind of average that out. I think that’s a helpful calculation.
Personally, I mean, the times that I have done no self-care and really buckled down to do something, I don’t regret them. And I feel like if I did the same thing now, I would probably— I would suffer more. I would ruin my health because I’m old, you know.
MICHELLE: Yeah. Well, I think people have a different conception of self-care, right? So like self-care is like, I’m lighting candles. And I’m reading books and in a bubble bath. And I’m drinking champagne and painting my toenails.
And those things are all super valid. Don’t get me wrong. Like I f**king love every single one of those activities. That said, I think what people don’t necessarily realize is like taking the time to grow your brain, and take knowledge that will make you money, and balance your budget, and figure out how to spend your time in a way that will make you money in the future— I think those are all equally valid and sometimes overlooked forms of self-care in a way.
[00:29:55] JEN: Sure. I mean, there are plenty of people— I would not be the first person to say, you know, as a working mom, work is my self-care. Like I wouldn’t be the first person to say that. There are plenty of people who, you know, are in a position where they don’t get that adult interaction or respect for their abilities and intelligence. And so being in a work environment is very healthy for some people.
I would also point out— I mean, the originators of the phrase self-care were talking about marginalized people who were activists. Like that’s where that phrase came from. It wasn’t about people who are well enough. You know? Like people who are already quite well. Doing a little more yoga was not what it was about. I mean, it was really about like marginalized people kind of, you know, taking care of themselves and getting back to being activists.
So, you know, I don’t know. I mean, everybody lives in a different body in wildly different circumstances. We all need different things. And my position is always just like, you know, there are some tools that you can use to take care of your future self.
JEN: So I don’t want to tell people exactly what they should do. But I do wanna say that, you know, if you find it hard to maybe take care of yourself right now or kind of know what to do for yourself right now, like what direction to go, I think it’s very helpful to think about you in 20 or more years, you in some future time. And there’s a lot of research— so there’s a book called Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert. And I quote it a lot. It’s this book— it’s just based on research. It’s just— this guy’s a, you know— there’s a TED Talk that goes with it.
So there’s this research about happiness. The book has an intro that says, this is not a self-help book. It will not teach you how to be happy. You’ll probably hate my results. You know? You’ll probably be very unhappy reading this book. This is a factual book.
And then he goes on to quote a lot of research. And one of the things that he talks about is how human beings are empirically bad at knowing what they will want or like in the future. And so, for instance, an example he gives— and there’s like, you know, your closet is full of s**t you thought you would want, and you totally don’t want. You know? Like you thought you were gonna play tennis. And so you have a tennis racket, and you don’t wanna play tennis. And you never use it.
But also, things like people, when they decide should I go to law school and become a lawyer, they tend to— even if you tell them that other lawyers are very unhappy— like lawyers in general mostly don’t like being lawyers. There are a lot of surveys on this matter. Most lawyers don’t care for it that much. But people will look at that.
And everybody thinks that they’re an exception. People think that they are more unique than they are. And so basically, people’s ability to forecast their own future preferences is so poor that considering the current experiences of total strangers is actually more accurate than their own predictions, our own predictions of our future wants and needs.
JEN: Yeah. So you think you’re gonna like being a lawyer because you’re different from everybody? No. Just go talk to some lawyers. If they don’t like it, you probably won’t either. And it’s the same with like all these other kind of age group things. I don’t know.
When I was, you know, 20-something, and I would look at these boring old moms and all the stupid things that they do, now I understand all the things. Whether I’m doing those things or not, everything that every mother has ever done ever, I totally get it. You know, like even the things that are very different from my own choices, I understand them all.
And it’s just like a— you know, it’s— what Daniel Gilbert would say there is like, yeah, you’re not as special as you think. Like you get to that stage in your life. And all of a sudden, you’ll be like, I am not moving to the suburbs, but I see the appeal. You know?
MICHELLE: Yeah, totally.
JEN: Absolutely. So you’re not as different than— you’re not as different as you think you are. And, you know, talking to other people and basing your impressions on their experiences can be very helpful. But also, I prefer to take a more agnostic approach in the sense that, especially in my own life where I’ve had so many weird careers and jobs— you know, like do I expect to be running the exact same business in 20 years? That doesn’t seem like a thing.
So it’s— I feel like my own future is even more open-ended than a lot of people’s. And so regardless of what your situation is, I mean, it’s very difficult to know what your future self will want in 20 or even 10 years. But you can absolutely say what that future self will want is gonna be resources. You know?
And those could be monetary resources as well as the kind of nonmonetary resources that I was talking about. So resources and options, like resources and the freedom to use those resources to do whatever your future self wants to do. I mean, there’s never any future self that’s gonna complain, like, oh, too much money in the bank. You know? Your future self—
MICHELLE: Right, right. And if you are that future self who has too much money in the bank, we should have a conversation about that. Because that means you have some work to do. Yeah.
JEN: Yeah. If your future self decides to join a monastery, you know, become a monk for the rest of your life, like your future self will donate the money to the monastery. It’ll be fine. So, yeah, I mean, no one has ever complained they have too many resources and too much freedom. So those are some things that, you know, you can’t be sure that your future self wants a house in the country or a fancy wardrobe or a tennis racket. Like you don’t know those things for sure.
[00:34:52] But your future self does want resources and options. And a lot of people I think have a hard time— especially progressive type people often have a hard time kind of standing up for themselves or doing something for themselves, you know? And especially people who just have weird, conflicted feelings about money. And so if you have a hard time being like, I personally need more money— I mean, I don’t know. Maybe you could kind of think of your future self as a little bit of a different person.
And, you know, maybe she’s gonna be in a little bit worse shape. Like, you know, if you’re very healthy now, in 25 years you’ll probably not feel as great. You know? So like that’s kind of a reason to say, I wanna take care of that person. Like I wanna make sure that she’s OK.
MICHELLE: Yeah. And I think it’s totally fine too— I mean, I’m on this podcast, right? So I clearly think it’s totally fine to have money. I think it’s totally fine to get money. And I think if you choose to do that, it’s your own godd**n business.
But I love the way of thinking about it. Because I have met a lot of people who kind of have this like guilt or have this feeling— this is my least favorite— if you have a passion, you should it for free. Or like, I love this thing so much I don’t even need to get paid for it. And I’m like, yeah, but you’re so good at it. Why wouldn’t you also get paid for it?
JEN: I have some mixed feelings about that. I mean, some people do say that when they monetize— I mean, people with a passion usually hate words like monetize. So if you try to get someone to like monetize their, you know, painting or something like that, then it does ruin it for some people.
But I mean, the other piece of that is that— so I’ve answered a lot of questions about this, actually, from people who do want to be artists for a living, you know, do their creative career for a living. And, yeah, maybe this is not exactly our topic. But I think it’s worth sharing. I talked to someone who was a circus photographer. Like she photographed circuses.
MICHELLE: That is a niche if ever there was one. I love it.
JEN: I know. And it wasn’t even big, like PT Barnum or some— does that even exist anymore? I think they went out of business because they were abusing elephants or something, right?
MICHELLE: I think so, yeah. They were not super great people. But, yeah.
JEN: OK, yeah. I don’t wanna get sued for like slandering a circus on your podcast. So I’m not exactly sure what happened. I’ll just leave it at that. Anyway, this was like in the circus troupes that perform in bars. You know?
JEN: Like this is like a burlesque-y, circusy thing. So she was photographing circuses and not making any money at it. Like she was not getting paid at all. And she wrote to me to ask, you know, like, how can I start getting paid?
And I basically— I mean, you know, socialists make great friends and terrible business partners. I mean, really now, be friends with socialists. Date socialists. And then go out and get some millionaires for your customers. And just like, you know, sell them things they want, and get their money, and use it for things that are good.
Anyway, so people oftentimes, they really stick to what they know. They wanna kind of stay in their own community. And like, my god, if you’re broke, your friends are probably broke too. You know?
Like you don’t wanna be trading the same— I mean, my mom was an Avon lady when I was growing up. And like, my god, it was just like a bunch of ladies in the neighborhood trading the same $15 back and forth. You know? Like that is a closed economy in a bad way.
So you want to kind of break out of that. And that’s where I was going with this. So the circus photographer said, you know, I can’t make any money at this. And I said, well, OK, I mean, if you really wanna try to get the circuses to pay you, then— I said, well, you could try this. You could try that.
But they don’t have any money either. You know? These are circus performers in a bar. And like there’s very little money in this kind of performance. If there were some big corporate event, and you were at it, you would know. Like you would be aware if there were money involved. And there clearly isn’t.
So do you really want to harangue a circus troupe, you know, to pay you like your $60 cut out of the few hundred dollars that are being made here? Or, you know, do you wanna get some other clients? And so basically— and, you know, I feel like I do a lot of this. My best friend for many years is the artist Molly Crabapple, who has— is very successful at what she does.
And it’s— you know, she’s doing a lot of political reporting now that’s combined with illustration. But when we were first friends, you know, the first eight or 10 years that I knew her, I would watch as she did a version of what I’m saying here, which is like do stuff that is cool as s**t that makes no money or very little money. Like you do this super cool stuff, and then people who are not cool at all but have a lot of money then pay you tons of money to, like, let your coolness rub off on them, some kind of super stupid corporate gig.
And this plays out very well. I mean, Molly, my god, you know, she was doing these amazing art projects, art shows. She once painted a series of extremely large paintings and sold all of them before painting them.
MICHELLE: D**n. I respect that.
JEN: Yeah. Yeah. I think it was— it was like a famous Kickstarter basically, where she managed to do that. But she sold all of her paintings before painting them, which is very impressive. She’s very good at business. But anyway, so she was doing this super amazing art. And she had this fan base. And people loved her.
But then, you know, she would get calls from corporations to come do things for them, or large organizations, or in one case an organization of— I don’t know— like billionaire dudes who have like a mountain lodge where they invite important people to come have dinner with them, like a sort of Galt’s Gulch kind of thing. You know?
[00:40:06] MICHELLE: Mm, yeah.
JEN: Yeah. So and she just had to have dinner with them and talk to them. And she got a lot of money for it. So that might be a particularly bizarre example. But, you know, in a more sort of down-to-earth example, if you’re a photographer who has these awesome photographs of circuses that you don’t make any money for, then you take headshots for businesspeople. Or, you photograph people’s families. Or, you do wedding photos. Well, wedding photos are their own thing. But like, you know, you do some other kind of photography that’s maybe usually a little boring.
But people love to have you because they feel like they hired some artistic person to come do it. And I mean, I feel like I would be a buyer for that. You know? Like I don’t wanna take my kids to the JCPenney photo studio to get their picture taken. You know, I wanna hire an artist who has a cool internet presence. And I’m like, yeah, this person who had all these circus photos took pictures of my kids, and they’re amazing.
JEN: So it’s— I called it coolness arbitrage. You know? So like you get the coolness but no money. But then you trade the coolness to the people who have the money but no coolness.
MICHELLE: Yes. I love it.
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MICHELLE: So a couple of the things that we’ve hit upon so far I super love. So the idea of nonmonetary forms of wealth, especially for people who don’t necessarily have a good time seeing the full picture, kind of not necessarily understanding that like time, holy s**t, one of the best gifts there is, the ability to build skills and grow your own kind of— ooh, I hate using this word, but for lack of a better term— personal brand, those are kind of all ways that, you know, one can bridge the gap until they get to financial wealth or even once you get to financial wealth. Certainly these are not things that you need to stop. So I’m actually really curious to hear within the context of your own story. Because your blog kind of started out this way, right?
JEN: You know, I did build a platform kind of by accident without having anything to sell. And, you know, honestly, I’m not normally the sort of person who’s like, oh, just like put your love into it, and then the money will come. You know? Like that’s really just not my personality. You know?
JEN: Like anytime I see the expression “heart-centered business,” I just wanna throw up into my own mouth. You know? Like I mean, I just— I can’t. It’s like— it’s a coffee enema of the mouth. So I just— yeah, so I’m not a touchy-feely kind of person there.
But anyway, what happened was that— so the story behind Bullish, it was 2010, which is a really long time ago now. I was— I had a career in test prep, where I was teaching GMAT classes. I was yelling at a lot of Wall Street people about math. It was pretty great. I like to yell about math.
JEN: Yeah. I like to shout about prime numbers. It’s really—
MICHELLE: That sounds oddly satisfying. I’m here for it.
JEN: I miss it. I miss that. Anyway, so I had this career in education and test prep. And I was— I had figured some things out in my life, you know. I had gone from being that person making $17,000 a year in my apartment, you know, with no work for two and a half days, writing crazy blog posts. And I had done some other weird things in the meantime.
And this was all— you know, I guess to jump back a little bit, I started my first company halfway through college when I was 19. It was a web development company. And I ran that for about five years. And so when that failed is when I moved to New York and started doing crazy stuff.
So crazy stuff happened. And eventually I developed this career in education and test prep. And that involved being a curriculum designer. It involved working at a Korean American study academy in Queens, developing a curriculum there. It involved writing test prep books, all kinds of cool stuff.
And I figured out some things about negotiating and pitching my own projects to companies. And so I had a lot of things I wanted to say about— like, you know, if you wanna make more money for a company, I mean, like figure out how to make more money for the company and then demand some of it. And you don’t have to— I don’t ever wanna be in a position where— like a lot of the best negotiating advice, the sort of standard negotiating advice where you’re gonna go in and ask for a raise, you have no f**king leverage. You know?
Like you’re an employee. The company knows that you depend on them for 100% of your livelihood. They don’t depend on you that much— unless you’re very important. So you have no leverage. They know what you’re gonna ask ahead of time. Like they’re prepared for it. They have all the budgetary numbers, and you don’t have that information. You probably don’t even know what anybody else gets paid.
You have, you know, much less information. And you have much less power. You don’t have the element of surprise. You have nothing. And so you go into this salary negotiation, and you follow all the rules. And you’re like, I have provided a lot of value over the last 12 months. You know? And I therefore think I deserve to be in this position with this salary. And, you know, if this happens, I will provide additional value.
[00:45:02] And, you know, you can— it does work sometimes. Like there are good bosses and good companies where they are expecting that from you. And you’re a great employee. And they like to hear it. And you get your raise. And like sometimes it works out great. It does. I’m not saying don’t try.
But, you know, from my own life, it’s like, I don’t want those odds. Those are not the odds I want. And so, you know, my position is like I wanna be— if I’m gonna work for a company rather than in my own company, I wanna work for a smaller, more nimble company where you can just walk into the CEO’s office and be like, I have a plan. It’s gonna make us another $300,000 next year. And I think you should give me 80,000 of them. You know?
JEN: I wanna be able to make those kind of proposals. You know? Like I’m gonna make you a bunch of money, and you’re gonna give me some of it. And this is how it’s gonna work. And if you don’t want my idea, then I’m gonna leave and do it myself. You know? Like that’s the position I wanna be in. I wanna make my own opportunities. And I wanna be in a position to be able to walk away at any time.
And I mean, those are like— those are heady goals. You know, I’m not saying that’s— sometimes I like to talk about ideals knowing that ideals are not always reality. But, you know, that’s— I wanna be in as good a negotiating position as possible.
And so I had a lot of these things that I wanted to say and no one to say them to. And so in my story here, it’s 2010. And I had a lot of things like this I wanted to talk about. And I went to a networking event, like an in-person one. And I met a woman who complimented my outfit. And we ended up talking.
And it turned out she was the new editor of a women’s blog, and they needed someone to write about careers. And I started writing about careers. And so this was the sort of thing where I was getting paid a small amount of money to write articles on someone else’s website. And it started to take off. And so people didn’t really have any way to kind of join it, or be a fan of it, or interact with it in any way. I mean, it didn’t even occur to me to make a Facebook page or something like that. I don’t know how popular that even was in 2010.
So there was really just— you know, I was writing an article once or twice a week on this website. And so people just started emailing me. Because there was no other way to interact with it. And so I would get emails. And that was nice at first.
I mean, some of the emails were like big problems people had that they wanted me to talk about. But then, the thing that really turned the corner for me was when I wrote a series of articles about negotiating for a raise. And people did the things in the articles and just started writing to me with how much money they had gotten.
JEN: And I just— I just got so many of these emails. And, you know, at the time, I’m still doing my other jobs. You know, I’m working in education. You know, the— writing Bullish was a little bit of a— it was just a labor of love. And I’m coming home to these emails where people are telling me, oh, you know, I got a $15,000 raise. And my boss said, what took you so long? You know? Like we’ve been waiting for you to ask this.
And so I started adding up the numbers in the emails I was getting. And I was like, I just helped, you know, some number of women get $175,000. You know, it was a really nice number. And that was when it occurred to me to make a website for Get Bullish. And the first thing that I did that really turned it into— I mean, at first the website was just kind of like my writing portfolio. It was just some articles I had written.
And then the first thing that really turned it into a business was that I planned the 2013 Bullish Conference, which had about 25 people at a hotel in Miami. And we had, you know, seminars on these topics you might expect. And it was really great. But that was the first thing that— and it was certainly not profitable for me. Running a conference is not a good way to make money, at least not— at least not for the first, you know, some number of years.
Anyway, so the first thing that I did that turned it into a not-very-profitable business was to have a conference. That conference is now going into its seventh year. And at some point in 2016, we started an online membership society. And that’s called The Bullish Society, and— at bullishsociety.com.
And so that is an online forum where we provide peer career support. And we have a professional accountability coach in there who does accountability workshops and, you know, keeps people accountable to their goals. We have a profesionally moderated group for that, which is pretty cool.
So then the other thing that kind of happened by accident— I did say I was sitting in my warehouse, which is just a weird thing. You know, it just— a sidenote, I have found over many businesses that I have run over the years, a lot of times when you tell a man that you have a business, they react like, oh, that’s cute. And they don’t expect it to be what they consider a real business.
So you’re like, oh, you know— you’re like, oh, I run a company. And they’re like, oh, that’s nice. What does your company do? And if you say something like, I have a warehouse, they’re very shocked. I first— you know, I first learned this—
MICHELLE: I have inventory, I’ll have you know.
JEN: Right. And employees and, you know— I first learned this— this was, you know— when I was running my web development company, I had a neighbor, so like literally the business next door. So the business next door to my business, there was a freestanding building that had been empty for some time. And then the building is purchased, and a sign goes up. And this woman from next door— and she was 20 years older than me, so she was kind of an interesting figure for me to get to know when I was a young entrepreneur.
So she walks over and introduces herself. And we, you know, decide to get lunch and whatever. And we start networking, I guess. And she ran a— it was an outsourced help desk service. So she trained people to provide tech support for other people’s software. And so she had a call center next door.
[00:50:12] And I remember we were at a business event. And, you know, this is in the South. I was in Virginia at the time. And, you know, these business meetings that we were trying to go to, these networking events, it was a lot of like old, white, Southern, male lawyers.
JEN: And, yeah, so this— I remember this one particular group. It was like there was a business club, and then there was a wives’ group, like for real. And this was not that long ago. So people would walk up to you and be like, whose wife are you? And you’re like, no, actually. And they’re like, oooh.
And so anyway, someone said to her— and this is a— you know, this woman is in her 40s. She was much older than I was. Like she, you know, was a very serious person. And I remember somebody, a man, walked up to her. And, you know, they started chatting. And he said— she said, you know, I just— I run a business.
And he said, oh, you know, tell me about it. What does your business do? And she said, I just bought that building. And he just turned white. Like he just turned whiter. He just— like his face just went slack, like that a woman is allowed to buy a building. He was totally shocked and just walked away in the middle of her sentence. Like he could not continue the conversation.
MICHELLE: Such an overwhelming—
JEN: He was just astounded. Like she was supposed to say that she was, you know, selling Mary Kay or something. Anyway, so my warehouse is where I was going with that. So I don’t actually own a building. I mean, I rent space. And I keep products in the space. I own the products.
I don’t own the building. I don’t own a building. I own no buildings— zero. Anyway, but what happened was in 2013 or ‘14, I launched a tiny little webstore, you know, like a lot of companies that— you know, it’s like the company that makes my calendar software also sells a T-shirt. You know?
JEN: Like with their logo on it, you know, and a hat that says “get organized,” right? It was like that. I mean, like a lot of companies that don’t really sell products, they have like three products. You know?
MICHELLE: Yeah. Like the fan store.
JEN: Exactly. So it started that way. It was— you know, it was a T-shirt and a tote bag and maybe some pens or something. I don’t remember. So it was a handful of products. And I never really planned for it to become a huge thing. But it seemed like a cool thing to do.
So at the time, you know, the entire retail operation lived in a shelving unit in my one-bedroom apartment. And it was no problem. The products were physically small. You know, once or twice a week, I would put them in envelopes myself. It was great.
And then eventually I started adding products. It took me a while to figure out that I could be like a real store. And I could just buy products and sell them. You know?
JEN: Just like stores do. Right. So I started opening wholesale accounts and like scouting products. And, you know, it was a really different phenomenon. And so eventually the store got to be a few hundred products. And at that point, fortunately I happened to move out of the one-bedroom apartment into where I live now in Brooklyn, where I have a basement— really unusual in New York to have a basement.
JEN: And so— a form of wealth, there you go, a basement. And so I was able to expand the business in the basement until— and that went on for a couple of years until there came this point that I was nine months pregnant. And I had two people working in my basement. And there were so many boxes in the basement you could not walk. And I also— I also kind of like couldn’t walk already because I was just too pregnant. And nobody could walk because there were boxes.
And it just was ridiculous. I’m like, I have people working in my basement to ship these packages during the holiday season. I am just lumbering up and down the stairs with this stupid, giant belly. And it was just— it was getting— it was getting ridiculous. And so eventually I moved in— I guess that must have been, you know, 2016— moved into a more professional space. And here we are.
So the store now sells— we have over 5,000 different products. And, you know, some of them are things that I designed myself. Like we have a mug that says, we will dance on the graves of the patriarchy and drink the bitter tears of mediocre men.
MICHELLE: That’s one of my favorites. I will say that. I love that one.
JEN: Thank you. You know, I’m not against all mediocre men. I’m just against mediocre men in unearned positions of power. That’s all. That’s what I’m— you know, I think mediocre men should be in mediocre positions.
Anyway, so, yeah— so some of these are products that I designed myself. And then, you know, it’s like once you already have the infrastructure, if I get a good deal on a pallet of men’s deodorant, I will buy and sell a pallet of men’s deodorant. You know? It’s like once you’re buying and selling, yeah, buy low, sell high. I mean, that’s just— that’s how it works.
MICHELLE: Hear, hear.
JEN: Yeah. I’ve never actually sold men’s deodorant. But I’m open to it. If I got a good deal, I would take it.
MICHELLE: You could put a sassy label on anything. It’s, you know—
JEN: If people want it, you know, there you go.
MICHELLE: Yeah, totally. So I feel like we have got into a lot of good stuff here. Is there anything else you wanna tell whoever might be listening? Any other words of wisdom?
[00:55:05] JEN: I think I’ll just repeat myself, which is that your future self wants resources and options. And even if you have no dollars in the bank and maybe like a chronic illness where you don’t get to, you know, go out as often as you would want to or something— I don’t know. Whatever your situation, those are some situations I hear about a lot. You know, if that’s your situation, I still think that there are things that you can do cleverly to provide resources and options for your future self, and that your future self is an awesome person, and we should take care of her.
MICHELLE: Yay. Thank you for imparting this wisdom upon our listeners. It was an absolute f**king delight.
JEN: Thank you so much. Thank you for having me.
END CREDITS: I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Young Scrappy Money podcast. If you want to read about my work as a financial advisor and financial coach, you can do so at www.youngandscrappy.com. That’s www.youngandscrappy.com. Thanks again for listening.