The only thing you ever need to listen to

bali 2

Lately some pretty crazy things have been happening in my life. Not over the top stuff that’s overly dramatic, but shifts in the way I see and perceive things. A couple of weeks ago I was at the World Domination Summit in Portland. This was my 4th time attending the event, but I hadn’t even planned to attend this year. I remember so clearly as the conference ended last year, I set a strong intention that I was going to be speaking at it the following year. Usually I buy my ticket a year in advance, but something told me I didn’t need to this time.

A serendipitous series of event happened to me last year. In March we were approached by a large company in Toronto to sell Make It. At the time it seemed like a really great opportunity and they had even offered me a job working at the company. For about 6 months we went back and forth negotiating how the deal would look. There were countless meetings and they even sent their CFO to audit Make It. Chandler and I watched as she went through every transaction with a fine tooth comb. Those were some of the most stressful days I’ve ever had!

The deal was set to close in September, but on one fateful August day I had a sudden change of heart. I knew I couldn’t go through with the deal after all, and met with my brother to tell him this. His response was that he was out, so if I wasn’t willing to sell I had to buy out his shares. I felt exhilarated by the idea of running Make It on my own, but also scared and completely overwhelmed.  

That night I went to the Diner en Blanc event with my bestie Mandy. It was our first time and we had an absolutely magical night (photos here). To go off course from my story for a second, I know a lot of people criticize DEB for being elitist and pretentious. I actually thought it was pretty lame before I attended, but I must say my opinion definitely changed. It’s beautiful to see a community event where people of all sorts of backgrounds are united by wearing white, and can share a meal together in a lovely setting. I think people who criticize it are missing the whole point. To me it’s all about connection, fun and celebration. Plus judgement IS judgement. Ok, ok I digress.

Anyways, back to my story! So after dropping off all the DEB stuff back at my condo, I suddenly became sick. I ended up running to the toilet to puke and basically stayed there for 4 days. I have no idea what caused it, because we figured if it was food poisoning Mandy would have been affected as well considering we ate the same thing. What I believe now is my body was releasing all of the tension that had built up over those 6 months of the impending Make It deal. We weren’t allowed to talk about the deal so all of the stress and uncertainty had been building up inside of me and was ready to finally be released. Gross.

Because I have such an active mind, it’s really hard for me to lay around and do nothing. I knew I needed at least read something inspiring to keep my spirits up. I remembered when I had gone to the World Domination Summit in July, they had given us each a copy of founder Chris Guillebeau’s latest book, The Happiness of Pursuit.

I devoured that book and became overwhelming inspired to book a trip somewhere exotic. Bali was a place I had felt drawn to for a long time. Without letting myself over think it, I impulsively booked a flight leaving 5 days later! I had never booked a spontaneous international, solo trip before, and it felt sofa king amazing.

After booking my flight and dancing around my living room to at least a few Ellie Goulding songs, I wrote a blog post sharing the series of events. When I shared it on Facebook I tagged Chris Guillebeau’s fanpage. I was delighted to see later that he even commented on it. Since I was a wee bit of a fangirl, it felt good that he actually noticed. We had only met once before at WDS and it was very brief.

My time in Bali last September was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I felt so good while I was there and was able to connect to myself in a way I never had before. If you’ve been in Ubud before you probably felt this way too, or at least many people have told me they’ve experienced something similar. There’s a vibrancy there that’s undeniable. Bali is truly a special island.

You know how Facebook has the other inbox? The one you probably don’t check because it’s filled with spam and weird messages from people you don’t know. Anyways, I had checked it maybe a couple times during my FB career, but one day in Bali something told me to check it. When I did, I saw that Chris Guillebeau had sent me a personal message saying he checked out what I was up to and thought it was pretty cool. After going back and forth a few times, we had a FaceTime chat. After filling him in about Make It and the other projects I’m involved with, he asked me if I would be interested in hosting his book launch party in Vancouver. I told him I would be honored, so we organized the launch for his latest book, Born for This at Hootsuite in May.

While I was travelling in Europe with my family last month, I received an email from Chris asking if I would be interested in doing a breakout session for WDS. I was super thrilled because I felt like the intention I set the following year had come true! Although I hadn’t planned to head down to Portland, I quickly booked my flight and Airbnb.

Being at WDS this time was such an amazing experience. In the past I had always gone with someone, but this time I was solo and I felt like that made it easier to meet people and make new connections. Plus it’s cool that Chris is now a friend. One of the best connections I made was with a book agent/coach. I liked him instantly because I felt like he understood what I did and the story I desire to tell.

Last week was Diner en Blanc and Mandy was my hot date again. We ended up being super disorganized, but still had a ton of fun! I was also super happy I didn’t get the barfs again this time. It was the biggest one they have produced in Vancouver and I absolutely loved seeing people’s expression and creativity.

Because last year’s DEB symbolized a dramatic event in my life last year, I reflected upon how unbelievably exhilarating it was to make the decision to book a last min trip to Bali. Those thoughts led to an overwhelming impulse to go back. So, I looked at my schedule, selected 2 random dates and found a flight for $670! At first I thought it must be in USD or Euro because last year my flight was close to $1500. But, it was in CAD and I took it as a sign that I needed to go.

After a fabulous call with the book guy that I met at WDS I decided that in Bali I’m going to write. I’m going to use the peaceful, inspiring, magnifying energy to manifest words that will help to inspire others. About 3 years ago I was approached by another book agent in Vancouver and ended up writing a proposal. I didn’t overly enjoy the process, and after I wrote it they wanted me to make so many changes, and I just lost motivation.

This time feels different. I feel like I have a new story to tell and it’s one I feel more connected to and compelled to write. The last couple years have led to so many big changes and shifts in my life. I feel like now I know even more things that can help other people. There are so many lessons I’ve learned, but the biggest is to always trust my instinct. The story I just shared shows an example of what can happen when you just pay attention to that little voice that knows the answer of who you are truly are. It’s powerful beyond measure, so listen up.

Jenna_Signature

 

Comments

  1. Hi Jenna, Thanks for posing your story. I found it inspiring and your situation is something I can certainly relate to. I took the plunge this year and started my own business. Just like you, I had hesitations – what if I’m not successful, is this really what I want. I make my best decisions when I’m able to clear my mind of distractions and really decide which way I want to go with my life too. I’m so happy you decided to keep the Make It brand – it wouldn’t be the same without you. I’ve signed up to paricipate as a vendor this December and am looking to meeting you. I wish you all the best!

    • Jenna Herbut says:

      Hey Margaret,

      Thanks for much the message! I’m so glad you enjoyed my post too. That’s so awesome that you quit your job last year. I’m also super excited to hear that you will be part of Make It this December! I really look forward to meeting you as well.

      Thanks again and wish you all the best as well,
      Jenna

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