Jennifer Gligoric of EntrePods on the importance of mindset
Describe EntrePods in a few words?
Cutting-edge entrepreneur and investor network answering the question “So Now What?” for business owners powered by fractional consultants and coaches with decades worth of experience.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
I had no choice. My mother owned a staffing company for 54 years and I worked there in grade school. Working was in my DNA and it was during 2006 that I had hit the wall with skills, experience and ability to secure employment in my area. I had to branch out and by the time 2008 hit I was freelancing while working mainly commission heavy jobs where I could determine my pay and worth. It was natural to move into entrepreneurship. Like many entrepreneurs I had for all intents and purposes become unemployable by traditional old-school employers. My CV is massive due to the fact that I’m no spring chicken and especially the sheer amount of clients I’ve scaled just in the last decade utilizing technology and the power of US-based remote teleprofessionals. The old way of doing business doesn’t work with the modern work/life style and technology and HR departments, which I’m very familiar with having cut my teeth in talent strategy/acquisition, are looking for conformists not innovators.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
Over 20 years as a crisis intervention consultant for small to medium businesses. I’d go in when everything was on fire, put it out and then rebuilt the systems, process and talent to fit the reality and/or position the company for exit if the owners no longer were aligned with the reality of where the business’ mission/goals had become.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
No. I was going to be a marine biologist. Of course, I was a young child and my idea of marine biology was being on my own in the sea with mermaids, dolphins and whales and had nothing at all to do with the very-managed and restricted red-tape of modern marine biology. I doubt I would have made a very good one and would have went on my own with my army of orcas. *laughs*
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
Friends/Neighbors/Facebook and Odesk. I scored the majority of my clients on Odesk which then was bought out and retooled as Upwork. Quickly word-of-mouth became my biggest referral source from company testimonials.
We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?
2020 was the worst and best year. On the one hand, I closed two businesses – one was my main that I had invested just so much in and our most profitable months were March and April but as the 15 days to stop the spread extended and the cancellations came in both of my partners ghosted. I was unable to apply for loans or get any runway to make it through. I felt so betrayed, overwhelmed, hadn’t taken pay in months and was going through my savings. In the midst of the path to what I was rightfully worried would end up in financial insolvency, I was contacted by a coach then reached back out and got a coach and group mentor help.
Without the help of consultants and coaches like Jonathan Gehrig, Kaluwa Ghalikar & the other members of my executive leadership group at ArmorUp I would be insolvent by now. Instead I had to grieve the losses, including the partner relationships and take serious stock of where I went wrong. This included taking the massive hit of the thousands of dollars it took to wrap the company up. I was so worried about those costs and taking the financial loss I was fully prepared to “soldier through” and just force things to work. That is the outdated way of saying that what I had committing myself to was beating a very dead horse.
I’m so grateful to have had a team of people that slapped me out of that.
In retrospect and for the future I will never just go-it-alone out of fear of costs and the moment I feel it’s not right I’ll reach out for help. I dislike “should of’s” but in the case I can say that the moment I started noticing the lack of investment by my other partners was the moment I should have gotten help. Floating the whole company for months as a single parent was not the right choice.
Thankfully, I’ve been able to pivot, make incredible partnerships by going “old school” and getting on the phone, Zoom, talking to my network and I’m happier than ever.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
In December of 2020 I was elected as a member of Parliament for the nation of Asgardia. It’s the world’s first democratic digital nation. This is the thing that makes most people pause when I speak because many people have no idea it exists or if they do, it’s because of comedy skits by several late night comedians making fun of the concept. Of course, those skits have aged poorly and now we have over a million Asgardians worldwide, a full Constitution, Parliament, Ministers, agreements with space agencies, property that is orbiting earth in space and our about to launch a full business and economy.
In my work I’m learning each week about the very hard task of building a nation and legislation. All my childish notions of “well just do it” have been thrown out the window and I’m humbled by the backgrounds, education, international awards and incredible minds that make up the government. Every meeting is translated in many languages and being able to have serious conversations with the most diverse and intelligent people around the world is consistently challenging my viewpoints. I like to be challenged and I like having to think about the various challenges we face as humans here on earth.
I’m able to be involved with incredible events such as being involved with the United States Space Command’s first legal conference which was done in conjunction with Space Force, all branches of the military and several major players in the private sector. Legislating space is our biggest challenge right now. We don’t want space to be militarized or corporatized but wish for it to be safe and able to support humanity’s efforts to continue our race and use any technological, scientific or medical advances discovered to help our planet and the many forms of life on earth.
My purpose on this planet has always been to help others. It’s why I’m an entrepreneur and fractional coach. I help others each day be better at their purpose and what they’re put on this planet to do when it comes to entrepreneurs and small businesses. This is integral to what committees and activities that I help with in my parliamentary work in Asgardia.
When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?
“Tell me about yourself” is where I start. I want to know who they are and not what they think they should say to get a job. I already have their resume but there are many companies and opportunities so I’m looking to see why they want to purpose an opportunity working with this particular company.
As a fractional consultant with talent, I boast having some of the highest retention rates with my hires in high-churn industries like digital marketing, advertising and sales. The biggest tip I can give employers is to hire for the company you have – not the one you want.
I’ve seen amazing ads that are packed full of cool culture adds that were written that bare no resemblance to the actual company, culture or job. Don’t create ads for a fictional company you wish you had. Be honest and create an ad for the position that you are actually hiring.
If, when doing this, you think “I’d never work here in a million years” then the problem isn’t the people. It’s the job and this is where it gets “ouch” because if this is for a small to medium business with an onsite owner – that means the issue is stemming from you. You’re the reason they aren’t good hires and you have to use some tough love on yourself to be radically honest, radically accept and then make the changes necessary.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
EntrePods is growing, both our podcast and we are building out our educational side. We are launching in two days our “30 Day Bootstrap Bootcamp” with a no excuses pricing structure to give any struggling business owner or startup a chance to either get up and running or make the changes needed to bring in new business in the next 30 days. Our goals is to help as many businesses as possible get world-class training so that 2022 will be incredible for them and they’ll feel healthier, have more time to work on their business and not in their business, and achieve more abundance in more areas of their life.
We’ve launched our EntrePRO membership (free and paid) for listeners of the show to be more plugged into each episode with expanded subscription special content and behind-the-scenes takes and we hope to greatly expand this side of the business to reach more people and to engage with them and have them engage more with the industry leaders that come on the show as our guests.
We have embedded partnerships with Armorup Consulting, EntrepreneursHQ and BambooHR and more that we are strengthening with several rollouts planned over the next 12 months to give a wide-variety of support to any-stage startup or business owner.
We hope in the next 5 years to be a hub for entrepreneurs and small-business owners to come with partnerships in place to help them grow and then if needed transfer them to pre-IPO building partners to get them to the next phase if that is their path.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
The right mindset about money, risk and self changes everything. It’s all in the attitude. I have always been a positive person but I let “you can’t afford that right now” really hinder me and my growth instead of seeing the paths that were right in front of me my limited beliefs were hiding.
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
I think being a parent, dog parent and living with my partner grounds me instinctually. Nothing brings me back to reality like my kids or having the clean up after pets. It’s a great way to consistently put the emphasis on what matters, what is silly, what is ridiculous and what is truly important. I highly recommend investing time and energy into family, good friends, good networks and loving pets. If you can’t do all, just one or two will really change your perspective. Caring about others and looking outside of one’s self is the best way to stay grateful, kind and grounded.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
Absolutely and my best tip is love what you do. Find your path of purpose and live that in your work and life. I help others live their path of purpose by being an incredible mentor, fractional consultant and coach. Maybe yours is making the world a more beautiful place through art, design…or cake. Some people bring order to the world through engineering or accounting.
A great work/life balance doesn’t have to be “I live in a yurt and make organic medicine and create my own electricity to power my computer and lab through intentional walks” to be a purpose-filled life.
So often on social media it seems that way with accountants, waste collection workers or construction feeling left-out. I don’t believe that at all. Every single person has an incredible gift and every job makes massive impacts that make our world and society a great place. It’s all in how you look at it so my tip is to think about how the world would be if everyone like you stopped doing your job. My guess is no matter what – it would slowly devolve into crap. One of the things I love about being a member of Parliament for Asgardia is thinking about how we can value all humanity and the wonderful gifts everyone has.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
The extreme poverty I lived in when I was a homeless teen and how many people live like this right here in America and not some far-off exotic land where “that’s all they’ve ever known”. It’s jarring for many people when I speak about this and I’ve spoken on this in several speaking engagements, a book tour and now in my podcast.
Most people have a picture of what poverty looks like and means in their head that just isn’t true. Some hold serious bigotries about poverty. It’s also scary to many people when they wonder if that could happen to them and the feelings that overcome them when auditing their life, finances and what can go wrong that might equal that outcome.
I like being able to talk about it in the podcast to push against false narratives and bigotry, while also speaking to people who might be struggling to get out of it. Entrepreneurship is open to anyone who has the drive, personality and passion to make it work. We still have the ability to dream and the opportunity to make whatever life we want that is good for us and the world happen so long as it aligned with our purpose.
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
1) Routine – I have a morning routine that I love and grows with me. I’m about to change my routine to add new things to it.
2) Platinum Planning – I have everything, personal and professional, blocked in my calendar with blocks for open calls and appt bookings. This is mission critical and a must-have for any successful business owner to keep their sanity.
3) Boundaries – Set them. Set boundaries with family, friends, staff and clients. Once you have the boundaries in place you are able to plan and have the plans stick and stay true to your schedule. It also helps you value the loved ones in your life more and not drop the ball during times you need to be there for them.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
Sharing my light to help brighten the lights of others and helping my own light grow stronger. I feel that it’s my purpose to help others and that in doing so I become a stronger, smarter, best version or myself. Being an Entreprenista means I am committing to upping my game personally and professionally and being open and accepting to the immense talent and energy of others in a community of like-minded women who share very similar traits to me in that we are all on this wild entrepreneurial journey separately but now together.