Today on our 52 Women Entrepreneurs blog series is Jen Johannsen. Jen is the creator of the School of Calm and a non-weird meditation coach. Jen helps stressed and burned-out people discover their calm and happy with non-weird meditation.
With 12 years of experience as a School Psychologist, Jen knows a thing or two about asking questions. Paired with my training as a meditation teacher, She helps you find the perfect type just for you – whether you are overwhelmed with getting started or just looking for something new!
I love stories. What’s your story?
I never thought I would be an entrepreneur. I worked as a school psychologist for 12 years and didn’t take a single business class along the way. I discovered meditation as a way to cope with my own stress after reading so many research studies touting its benefits. I wanted to learn more about it, but with a young family and a busy career, I wasn’t in a position to be able to go on a week-long silent mountain retreat. Or even weekly 3-hour classes. So I learned on my own and it actually worked! I was ready to yell from the rooftops about this amazing thing.
But when I utilized meditation with students their parents, I didn’t have much to follow-up with other than “download this app” (which was unsuccessful in the follow-through). It frustrated me because I saw the power of meditation as a tool, but there were struggles in utilizing it. Struggles I didn’t know how to fix.
I then started selling my art – which led to leaving my job as a school psychologist. During that time, I was continuing my own meditation practice and stumbled onto the perfect meditation teacher training that I had been looking for.
At that point, all the pieces were coming together. I had my education, training, and interaction working with people as a psychologist; my background and experience in art to create mesmerizing videos; and my training in actually teaching meditation. Putting those all together, I was able to create a roadmap and course to help people access meditation and make it fun. I created my business in order to help people with the same problem I had for years.
Tell me about your business?
I help people decrease their stress and increase their happy with non-weird meditation. I teach people how to get started and actually stick with meditation through my introductory course, The School of Calm. I also speak to groups about the power of meditation and how they can easily get started.
Why did you become an entrepreneur?
I became an entrepreneur because I had this amazing tool that I knew could help people. But I learned through experience that there is this gap that exists for most people between downloading a meditation app and actually making meditation part of their daily lives (and that is where the magic happens.) So using my background, I created something that I needed years ago to help people make meditation and mindfulness work for them.
Who is your ideal client?
My ideal client is someone who is stressed out and overwhelmed. They are busy and want to do something about their stress, but are put off by the “woo-woo” of meditation. They may have heard of it and gave it a whirl once or twice but it has not stuck. This could because they have not solidified the habit or think that they “think too much” to be successful. I help them find the best type of meditation to fit their lifestyle, get past the thinking roadblocks and design a habit that works for them and their schedule so that they experience a decrease in their stress and overwhelm.
As an entrepreneur, we face a lot of challenges, what has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is getting out of my own way. Since business is not my original training, I had lots of concerns at the beginning that I did not know what I was doing. Marketing, accounting, and ads were the farthest thing from my mind when I was in graduate school. So I accessed other teachers to learn what I did not know. Yeah for the internet! But I still found myself having doubts in my abilities in these areas and continued taking more courses without trying it out on my own first. I love learning, but there is also something to be said for just doing it too. Even before you feel ready. Especially before you feel ready.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in your business?
I am so excited about my Meditation Matchmaker quiz. There are so many different types of meditation. Often we often try one and think it is not for us- and that is where our meditation practice ends. This quiz asks just a couple of short multiple-choice questions and then pairs you up. If you enter your email address, you will also be sent a meditation of that type. Hearing how people discovered something new that is helping their stress and anxiety makes my heart happy (and makes all the time moving around stacks of index cards while I was creating it 100 percent worth it)
What’s one thing you’ve learned about yourself as an entrepreneur?
As an introvert, working from home is amazing and I am recharged by the silence every day. But I can get too comfortable and my creativity requires me to get out and about – even when my cozy desk is calling.
What advice would you give someone who just started or wants to become an entrepreneur?
Keep some hobbies sacred. If you are turning your favorite hobby into your business, great! But then find some new hobbies to replace it so that you still have something fun and that exists just for you and your enjoyment. I have a smattering of random hobbies and they help my brain and creativity in my business daily. Even though they have nothing directly to do with it, my hobbies are essential for my business health.
Share one fun fact about yourself?
I might just be the only human that cannot stand the taste or smell of bacon.
What’s your favorite quote?
Oh, I have so many favorites. I am a bit of a quote collector. One of my favorites is by Brene Brown-
“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.”
Diving into meditation has made me much more aware of the voice in my head and what it is jabbering about all the time in the background. When you are able to notice what it is saying, a lot of it is not something you would ever say to a friend. Once you notice it, you can change that voice to be much more kind.
How can my readers connect with you?
I am on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jenjohannsen/
and Facebook @jenjohannsen.
You can take the Meditation Matchmaker quiz for yourself and learn your best type of meditation, to begin with here- https://www.jenjohannsen.com/jjmeditationmatchmaker
You can learn all about my course, The School of Calm, here-
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I love this! Meditation can feel inaccessible to so many people – I appreciate her quest to make it easier for people to realize the benefits!
As someone who is new to meditation, I appreciate is well.
These are beautiful images of Jen. I can’t wait when this is all over and you can do my branding session. Enjoyed reading her journey.
Looking forward to it Amanda!
Every week I look forward to reading your blog series. I love who well Jenn coordinated her outfit with the location.
Thanks, Raquel! I really appreciate you following my blog.
What an awesome business and service Jenn provides! Excellent interview to showcase her story and personality which already Shines through these gorgeous photos!
Hah! I love the title of this! So true. I also really admire this whole series. What a great way to amplify other women and their hard work!
Thanks, Jordan! I love the title as well! 🙂