Meet my #clientcrush Jess!
I’m so excited about this Impact Interview!
Jess and I met when she pinged me on LinkedIn. She recognized my last name and reached out to ask if I knew Adam Lubchansky, someone with whom she had worked at her former employer in St. Louis.
“Yes – that’s my husband!” I replied.
And the rest is history.
Jess and her family moved to Colorado around the same time in 2016 as my family moved to Colorado. We connected in person at one of my Meetups, and then I had the tremendous honor and joy of working with Jess as she and her business partner, Christy, created 2 Smart Girls.
They launched a few months ago with the aim of helping women “bring life to their business,” and today I’m sharing with you our Impact Interview where Jess talks about addressing both mechanics and mindset, how to strike the perfect blend of being a mompreneur, and the ups and downs of launching a new business.
Let’s dive in!
Hi Jess! Thanks so much for taking the time to pop into my blog and share so much value with my readers. Tell us about 2 Smart Girls.
2 Smart Girls is a business coaching duo that partners with female professionals turned entrepreneurs as they seek to grow their business. We know what it feels like to take the leap from the structure, processes, and camaraderie that come with working in a professional environment and move into the unknown, nebulous world of entrepreneurship. We know how lonely and confusing and scary that space can be, so we help female business owners grow their businesses by providing clarity, support, and accountability using both mindset and business mechanics coaching.
You came from the corporate world. Why did you want to start your own business in the first place?
I started 2 Smart Girls because I wanted (and still do) to help female business owners fully embrace their role as the CEO of their company. For years, I struggled to fully own this title and what it meant for me, and despite being successful, I realized I was holding myself back. After a very powerful, life-changing phone call, where I came face-to-face with my own fears (and overcame them!), I wondered just how many other women were out there doing the exact same thing. And as Christy and I really dug in, we realized how pervasive this problem really is. Our goal is and always has been to help women own their role as the CEO of their company, to get out of the way and out of their heads and start really making money in their business.
At the end of the day, we want to help as many female business owners as we can powerfully grow their businesses, to fully embrace their potential and their success, and make a positive impact in the communities in which we live.
Beautiful. How do you do that?
We work one-on-one, or I guess I should say two-on-one since there are two of us, with our clients. We begin with an intense focus on mindset – how your brain works, why it feels hard to make progress even when your motivation is high, and what to do with all the thoughts swirling around in your head. When you know how to stop a limiting belief, a fear, or the downward spiral of what-ifs before they find a foothold, you can literally take charge of your life. So, every woman we work with learns how to spot that belief cycle and to coach herself through it.
Once that foundation is in place, we dive into the business mechanics, the nuts and bolts of running a business. As we often say, when your head is in the right mental space, it’s easy to run your own place, and we’ve seen that over and over again as the women we work with make major shifts in their business and their lives.
You and Christy have a great partnership. Why did you hire a business coach?
I was all over the map, trying all sorts of things and just trying to figure out what stuck to the wall. You know the shtick: reading too many books, listening to endless podcasts, and watching tons of webinars… consuming wayyyyy too much information. Essentially I was on info overload and couldn’t pinpoint how to focus. There’s a time and place for experimentation, but I wanted some direction and accountability because we weren’t making good headway.
I had been a business owner in various capacities over the years, but when we started 2 Smart Girls, I wanted to get back to the basics and start working on the mechanics of the business from scratch. Christy was already working with a coach of her own around some of her own concerns and challenges, and I knew I needed to do that for myself.
I needed clarity and support to help me process and think through our direction. I’m a big believer that coaches need coaches, and when you and I clicked immediately, I knew you could help keep me on track and get me out of my own head. And even though I’d done some of the work already, I wanted a “guide on the side” to move me forward.
“Rachel is a great partner. She will challenge you to think differently, to go beyond your comfort zone, and hold your feet to the fire. She is exactly what you want in a coach – prepared, methodical, and supportive.”
YAY! The pleasure has been all mine 🙂
You’re so passionate about supporting women. Why women?
I’m deeply passionate about helping women succeed in both their life and their business. Every woman wants a life she can love, one that’s on her terms, and as an entrepreneur myself, I know that it doesn’t just happen. You have to intentionally design it. And that means showing up day in and day out for what you value most – family, your business, the things that bring you joy.
I also know that as female business owners, the odds are already stacked against us. The way we approach life and business is different than men. And while men also need coaches (and we’ve worked with them in the past and loved it), our heart really lies with women like us, who left the corporate space to live life on their terms, and are splitting their time and energy between their families and pursuing their dreams.
Yes – I say this all the time: “Every woman wants a life she can love.” What does it look like to intentionally design the life you want to live?
As a mompreneur (a woman who is both mom and entrepreneur), I am constantly trying to blend all the pieces of my life in a way that allow me to be who I am meant to be, pursue my passions and goals while also pouring into the beautiful little people I helped create. Being a mompreneur is an AND, not an OR. I’m a mom AND a business owner. I love my children and family AND my business. Sometimes one thing takes a back seat to the other, but it’s all part of the joys of being both the boss and mom.
What is the biggest struggle you face as a mompreneur?
Learning how to prioritize the kids’ needs and the needs of the business is always a challenge. When you have to prioritize either work or family for a specific event, how do you choose? I’ve started asking the kids what are the most important things they want me to attend. Not all events in their lives are equal, and in some cases they may not need/want me to be there. That has helped me prioritize their needs. I also talk to them (and my husband) about what’s going on in the business and explain how I may not be available in busy seasons. Communication is key to making sure we’re all connected and making each other and the things we value a priority.
I love that. You’re really empowering them to be part of the thought-process. How do you think this helps them in the long-run?
I love that I get to show my kids what it looks like to pursue their passions. I love that I can show them that you can do things on your terms, that you can dream big and achieve it if you work for it. I’m constantly applying the mindset work we do with our clients to my kids and family, and now they do the same to me! We laugh a lot when we hold each other accountable. It all works together.
What lessons do you hope your kids will learn from all of this?
You can be and do what you believe you can do. Your thoughts consistently create your results, so if you believe you can be in Flight Director of Mission Control (Lily’s big dream) or in the Olympics for rock climbing (Nathan), then you can achieve it through hard work, dedication, and a deep belief in the possible. Does it always pan out? No, but there’s joy in working for it, and amazing lessons and new opportunities that come along the way.
Tough question: How do you feel about your business when you choose family?
My first priority is to my family. So sometimes the business has to take a backseat, but that’s one of the benefits of having a business partner – when I need to be fully focused on my family, she can fully focus on the business and vice versa.
And at the end of the day, while I’m pursuing my passion to build and grow the business, I know it’s also about doing it on my terms. I get to decide how and when and where I focus my time and attention. That’s part of the joy and privilege of business ownership.
And how do you feel about your family when you choose business?
I still get that guilty twinge in the pit of my stomach. There’s always a question of “Am I doing the right thing? Is this worth the sacrifice?” But communicating helps a lot.
Ah, the dreaded G word: GUILT. What’s the most effective way you’ve found to deal with it when it comes up?
I decided long ago to let it go. I can’t be all and do all for everyone. And it’s okay to choose me. Even in those moments where I get that twinge, I actively choose to think about it differently. I don’t think guilt has to be part of the equation for us, unless we choose to let it.
There are countless women out there thinking about diving into their own business venture. What is your number one self-care tip that would benefit other mompreneurs?
Build a routine that is yours and yours alone and hold firm to it. In order to be your best self, you have to care well for yourself, and there’s nothing selfish about that.
Agreed, though it’s the most challenging part of the mix for me. What works for you?
Morning: I wake each morning at 6, workout, and spend the quiet hour or so before the kids are up thinking about the possibilities for the day, setting my intentions, and eating a healthy breakfast.
Evening: After I get the kids to bed, I start my own wind down process. A cup of decaf tea, my book, and then bed time (clean and wash my face – ALWAYS!, brush and whiten my teeth (LOL!), set my workout clothes out for the next am, and then get into real PJs, read, and lights off by 10:30.
Is there anything that would make mompreneurship easier?
Year round school! LOL ?
In all seriousness, I’m incredibly lucky. Jeremy (my husband) is my biggest fan and supporter. He believes in what I’m doing and the kids do too. With the kids being in school during the days, my time is largely my own, and that’s when I get down to business.
Before we round out this Impact Interview, will you share with our readers the benefit you found in working with me as a business coach? How did our work together prepare you for the journey? And what would you tell someone who’s considering a new business launch?
I knew you had a process and would hold me accountable, but you’ve also been one of our biggest cheerleaders. I don’t know if I’m really surprised by that, but it’s been one of the best things to come from the business. Not to mention I get to call you friend. I cherish the relationship – both business and personal – that we have.
Me too. Thank you Jess ?
Jess Sato is co-founder of 2 Smart Girls. She’s married (17 years) to her college sweetheart, Jeremy, has two amazing kids, Nathan (13) and Lily (10), and an adorable little shih-tzu, Amira. Jess lives in Colorado Springs where she loves to read, hike and be outside, and spend time with family. Oh, and she loves a good dark chocolate salted caramel.
“To all your readers – If you are ready to start a business from scratch and need/want someone who’s been there, someone who knows how to get the job done, then Rachel is the coach for you! She will help you get your business started and launched from the ground up.”
Hi, I'm Rachel!
I’ll help you create a life you love living by giving you all the tools, resources and support you need to launch and run your own business.