InterviewSocial

[Chapter 16] Positive Disruptions with Jessie Gardner

About a couple of years ago, I had job interview anxiety. To prepare myself, I thought of reaching out to people to ask for advice. A bunch of people replied, all having the same words of encouragement. There was one person who stood out. Instead of giving monotonous advice, she gladly gave me a call. Remember, she is from San Diego and I am from Toronto — opposite sides of North America.

While I did not get the position, I still have a smile on my face. I’m proud to make a new friend and experience a “positive disruption” — thanks to her!

I am beyond excited to introduce to you my guest for this week, Jessie Gardner! She is the Founder of Hey Soul — a start-up dedicated to inspiring people through its gift items and positive experiences. I touched base on her time in university, how she finds the balance between her family and entrepreneurship, her start-up company, and “the leap” that she considers the best decision of her life.

Gardner’s Legacy of Gratitude Journal. Photo taken from HeySoul Instagram account.

THE NEXT BARBARA WALTERS?

Jessie completed a degree in Communications at San Diego State University. “I originally wanted to go to journalism and be like Barbara Walters,” Gardner added. While her career led to a different path, she still looks back on her time in university filled with happiness. She recalled doing internships for local ad agencies and nonprofits, moments of self-discovery, and even doing a study-abroad in Italy. “It was all about discovering myself, who and what I wanted to be and soaking in all the information I could.”

THE LEAP

Jessie worked her way to a progressive career as an Account Manager for advertising companies. Despite seeing herself in the higher rungs of the corporate ladder, she found herself overcome by stress and workload — an experience that almost all working professionals are no stranger to. “I realized I was completely disconnected from what I wanted to be and got lost in the fog of chasing a paycheque, fancy title, and all the material things that come with it,” Gardner confessed.

What was her turning point? It was a conversation with herself one late-night at work.

Her conversation with herself started like this, “Hey Soul… I forgot about you, let’s reconnect.” Call it supernatural, but I call it as a moment of mindfulness. For Gardner, it didn’t take self-help books, nor podcasts to make this drastic change. It was the need of tangible reminders of who she was and where she wants to go.

HEYSOUL

Thus, in 2016, HeySoul was born.

Through Jessie’s start-up, she is imbued with a renewed confidence to instill positivity and happiness to herself and to the people around her. How does she do it? “Through gift experiences,” Jessie responded. “Every HeySoul gift experience box is inspired by an area of life that connects to who we are and brings happiness. You can view a list of HeySoul’s products by clicking here.

Losing your creative touch for your next project? The Creativity Box has you covered.

Need a break from the noises of life? Look no further than in the Calm Box.

Feel like losing touch with what you’re meant to do in this world? The Purpose Box is all you need.

HeySoul website landing page. Screenshot taken from www.heysoul.com

GIFTS AND EXPERIENCES

HeySoul’s Gift Experience Boxes are just one part of the “Positive Disruption” equation.  She also runs workshops, events, and groups to create stronger personal connections and to spread her advocacy. She considers the Creative Experience and The Gratitude Experience as her favorite workshops. “We take these themes and fully immerse you in the somatic experience,” Jessie commented. These workshops are a mix of meditative practices, integration on the latest neuroscience, and a complete immersion to the themes. “It will get you out of your comfort zone,” Gardner said.

Jessie has had the pleasure to perform these workshops at private events, yoga studios, and even for major companies like lululemon.

FUN FACTS

                Favorite app. Grovebook. “I love having monthly photo books especially when you have little ones!”

                Favorite quotation. “Such a hard question!” Jessie responded. She narrowed it down to the quotation by Marianne Williamson: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.”

                E-mail lists. “It’s a valuable part of my business,” Gardner shared. “It’s one way that I stay connected with my audience.”

                Book recommendation. Return to Love by Marriane Williamson.

                Food preference. “I love Thai food!”

                Jessie’s footprint. “I would like to be remembered as a positive disruption.”

DAILY POSITIVE DISRUPTIONS

While she continues to live her professional mission, she does not forget to be a vehicle of positivity even to her family and friends. In fact, she has this annual Valentine’s Day tradition. “I send out free handmade Valentine’s notes to anyone who wants them,” Jessie mentioned. “I find that it brings joy and inspiration and disrupt the piles of junk mail and bills that we typically receive.”

Positive Disruptions with the family! Photo was taken from HeySoul Instagram account (@heysoul__)

FINDING THE BALANCE

She still considers balancing her time as a businesswoman/entrepreneur and a mother to be a daily challenge, especially that she recently gave birth to her second child. Despite increasing responsibilities, she considers herself fortunate in doing the work that she loves. “I’ve found that when I dedicate time to the work I love, I am fully present with my little ones,” Gardner replied. “It’s an opportunity to understand what is most important in life.”

FINAL THOUGHTS

It’s not the easiest decision to leave career stability for the unpredictable waters of entrepreneurship. To end our interview, I asked Jessie whether she has advice on how to overcome the fear. According to her, it’s about understanding where those fears are coming from. “Entrepreneurship is, inevitably, full of fears,” Jessie responded. “The challenge lies in understanding whether those fears are true and moving through them”.

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to be a positive disruption. Take it from Jessie. After a long day, take a moment of recollection. Your soul is always listening.

On y va!

HeySoul’s bite-sized reminders to fuel your life with positive disruptions! Photo taken from HeySoul’s Instagram (@heysoul__)

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