Ep3. Jennifer Hanzlick Founder of ClutterTrucker.com |Two sides of starting a business

Jennifer is the founder and owner of Clutter Trucker, a hoarding clean out company based in Denver.

She is a well-known expert and speaker on the topic of hoarding disorder, and shares with us her inspiring journey of starting a business during the 2008 recession, growing it significantly into lifestyle freedom travelling the US with a van..and then almost losing it all in a series of mistakes and bad luck.

As a result of the challenges, Jennifer has been on an inner journey..which has had profound effects on both on her business as well as her joy, energy and peace.

You're listening to the strategic freedom podcast with David Lahav. Learn the best tips and tactics to increase your profits. Expand your mind and build the freedom you desire in your business and life. Welcome to the show.

David : Welcome podcast listeners. Welcome to the episode with Jennifer Hanzlik. Welcome, Jennifer.

Jennifer : Hello. Thanks for having me.

David : Yeah, it's really great having you. So Jennifer is the founder and owner of Clutter Trucker, a hoarding clean-up company based in Denver. She provides education and awareness on the topic of hoarding disorder. She started the Colorado Hoarding Task Force, and hope for hoarding coaching. She was a featured speaker at TEDx Boulder, where she shared what she learned to inspire change for those who are suffering and helps others to understand this complex mental illness. So that's a bit of a mouthful. But kind of knowing Jennifer, personally, we have got a very interesting story. How did we meet Jennifer?

Jennifer : Oh, that's a good story. So we met a little over a year ago, I was traveling to France. I was really just traveling to create space in my mind as far as what was going to happen next to my business with me personally, I was going through a lot of transition. And then I went to Iceland. And I was on a plane, and I got bumped into a couple of seats and ended up sitting right next to you.

David : Completely random encounter. And then we spent most of the flight from Iceland talking about business, as well as some ayahuasca and psychedelics.

Jennifer : It was so cool. It was meant to be.

How a simple business idea grows into profitable business

David : And, yeah, and since then, it's been amazing to see your journey and see your progress. So, yeah, let's just jump in. And maybe I'll start by talking about the Clutter Trucker, the main business you've working on. So tell me a little bit about why you wanted to start a business first. When was that and some background information? 

Jennifer : Okay.  Yeah. So I've had this business since 2008. Interestingly enough, I got laid off in 2008. I was in a corporate job.   I was laid off in a time, not too far from where we are today. So at that time, I didn't know what I was going to do. But it was crazy. I was watching the news. You know, the banks were failing, the CEOs were getting paid, and I knew deep down that I didn't want to go back to them. So I took a little time off. You know, I was laid off, I knew I had a bit of a severance, I could get unemployment, I took some time off. I have traveled to Haiti. I did the Habitat for Humanity. In my mind, I was just trying to do things to find out what was next, because I didn't know it. But I knew that I didn't want to go back to what I was doing. So, in the middle of all that, my mom called, and she said, "Hey, we've got to go and help my grandfather, we've got to go and help him with his house. He was going to the nursing home, he needed to come home. So my grandma was living there, too. Anyway, long story, we've been in a hoarding situation. So, then, we spent a couple of months in it, and something just hit me. I started thinking, What we'd do in the world if I wasn't laid off? If my mom didn't retire? How could we help others? And then I got the idea. I can start this on my own and I can buy a dump truck. And I could go to do this. And then, as anyone who knew me was at that time, you're crazy. It was like, it's never going to work. And I thought  do it anyway, in my mind at the time, the thing I 'd say to myself is what's the worst thing that could happen? I would buy a dump truck, the business wouldn't succeed. I would sell it, I go do my resume and go back to corporate America. So, anyway. It didn't fail. And that's how I started doing. And I just bought a truck and I started to work.

starting a business is easy

David : Amazing. I think this can be a very inspiring story for a lot of potential entrepreneurs or past entrepreneurs who are currently in more of a corporate style job. And now, especially now that we're heading for another post-COVID recession. There are plenty of opportunities out there, especially during the recession.

Jennifer : Yeah, I knew so much, so I did. That's when everybody else told me that you're crazy. You need some security. You can't start your business in a recession. But I knew better right away. You know, when everyone else is trying to do one thing, I kind of thought, let's do the opposite.

David : Was there anything that helped you make the transition? Was there a severance package like that? Or say like, where are you going to get the money to start a business?

Jennifer : Yeah, there's a severance package in there. So I took it. But you know, it's all perception because I've been in a group of people. And, you know, a couple of people started crying, and they got angry, and they didn't want to change anything. But in me, I was like, there's an opportunity. I took the time off, just to buy the dump truck. And then, you know, in the beginning, when I formulated the idea, I did get unemployment, but it didn't last long. Maybe a little over a month ago, income had begun to come in. And so I knew I just knew there was something better on the horizon, even though I had absolutely no idea how to start a business. I mean, it was comical. You 're just starting to googling things. What do I need to have a business license? Secretary of State, it was new, too, but it was fun.

David : Absolutely. And so take us a little bit forward. How long did it take until your past had been covered by your business? Salary? For example, when did you hire the first employees? 

Jennifer : Oh, that's good. You know, I've been still in business for two years, but I've been doing so much, so I've worked a lot of hours. I just needed to hire. So I've been doing a lot of hiring. I hired a business coach in two years, which was huge because the money was coming in. But I still didn't know how to make this something that I didn't do everything. So it's two years. Have this kind of struggle. But again, it was so exciting. And so, it was all new. I was very inspired and motivated. I would say I could grow it, but I still don't know how to do that.

David : Mm-hmm, And when did you? When have you been able to grow your business hire? People have a kind of system going around, when was it on the journey?

Jennifer : Five years in the past? Well, you know, I've been playing with it for two to five years. I haven't had the right systems. But I still had to figure out how to get a business. So I didn't have the right people, I didn't have the right systems. And that was, and then, at the age of five, it was another big breakpoint on my journey. You know, there's always been a few moments along the way where I thought I 'd quit because things got really stressful. So, in five years I had to hire a consultant. It was kind of like a hiring company to help me get a key person, because that's what I needed is someone who could do better than I did. So that's been in five years. And it was huge. Just giving up control, letting someone else do everything I thought I was doing so well. And then that kind of thing made my next journey on my path, and that went to speak. So I've had so much time freed up, the business was running, was growing, everything was good. And deep inside me again, I was like, I don't know I was bored. But there was something else was calling, it was more of the mental health side of it. And then I started going down the path of speaking. And it's been about five years.

When starting a business makes you stronger

David : Mm hmm. It's amazing. And then, based on what I know about the story, it doesn't sound like, okay, amazing, sweet sailing from then on, but then something big happened in the business that created a crisis here...

Jennifer : Yeah. Isn't that the business ownership is? It's like going through every crisis and understanding that I've had my own fault in it all. So I've created it, I've built this team. And then I kind of took off, I really took off on this other journey inward, to find out what I wanted to speak about. And I started to travel a lot and experience things I've never been able to do before. So, with the business running as it should, I was gone. And I've kind of lost oversight. Things were happening, then. I wasn't really fully aware of that. I remember coming back from a trip to Peru, thinking we were on the path of doing a million, rolling million dollars. Everything was all right. I was getting a new website without really thinking about it. And then I started to notice that the bank 's money was getting lower than it was supposed to be, with the revenue as high. So I started digging in, and then everything crumbled. And I mean, I had an employee on every side of the business to tell me that my staff was stealing. And it was just out of control. The new website that I didn't really do due diligence completely failed, which is when I met you, so not only was the money now, cut in half the revenue, I fired all my staff, all of it. And I was like, it was the crisis. 

David : Why did you fire all of them?

Jennifer : I don't even know that. I think it was partly because of desperation, partly because of anger, partly because I don't have it in me to keep people I haven't. Like, I don't know, it was just what happened that I let it go too far. And so collectively, as a unit, it did not hold a value. I knew deep down that I had the company to instill in me. And I thought it would be easier to start over than try to rebuild and make the right decision. So this was a tough call. And, really, what happened. Again, I'm so lucky that I had a family involved in the business. So at the time, they had some smaller roles. My son and my daughter both played smaller roles. And when they saw that everything was going down, they stepped up, and they carried me through.

starting a business - cleaning company

David : So before we jump into that, because I think there's a lot to talk about there. You know, this is pretty crazy stuff, right? You're living an amazing life. You are traveling a lot, sometimes with for a period of time with a van. Just exploring. In the meantime, your business is cruising, making profits, growing. You only have to check in here and there. Like this is living the dream and then in a short amount of time you go from that to finding out that your staff is stealing money from you, lying to you and they say, I can trust anybody on this team I have to start over. And while that all of that is happening, which is enough to, you know, shake anyone you're also dealing with the fact that the new website you had created isn't performing well, and you lost a lot of rankings, and you lost the sales that are coming in. So definitely a big test.

Jennifer : Yeah, that was a big test. Thinking back and it was not a lot to crush me. But I think that with any time something like that happens, I think the journey inward is what carried me through. And even since then, that's been a couple years. I can't even remember. I'm still on that path of like turning into. It was, where you take like, Jocko Willink, like Extreme Ownership, that whatever was happening was ultimately at the end of the day my fault. I owned it, but then How the hell do I get out of this? Because it was so.

Looking back into start up business journey

David : So what do you think? What would be some advice for other entrepreneurs that have finally reached the stage? How could you have like prevented this? Or what could you have done differently?

Jennifer : Oh, gosh, nothing. I don't know that I could have done anything any differently. Um, here's one of my favourite quotes or sayings, is from Steve Jobs. And he says, “You can't connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking back and you just have to trust.” So whatever was happening, it was for my own good, as painful as it was. I needed to build a better business. And when I was gone, I remember like that July, I was sitting in Wyoming in the middle of nowhere, and my revenues were like, triple-double what they were the previous July. So like, I don't know where I was headed with that. It could not have kept on like that, like we're not always going to be up. So I personally needed it. So I wouldn't change anything. I needed that to happen to like, check me, give me back.

David : Mm hmm. So what have you what are some of the biggest things you learned so far from the internal journey that you've been on?

Jennifer : Um, the biggest things I've learned - letting go, is a big thing for me. Sort of the more I pushed, the more I tried to figure things out, the more I tried to fix it, the less impact it was making. And I think it was more just my own angst. I thought, The more I let go, the more I stepped out of the way, the better things got. That was a big thing. It goes against everything in business. That I used to think. Like if I had a plan, I would have a strategy, I would implement it. And sometimes that's not really always the best thing. Not for everybody at every certain time. While I do you think that's good for a lot of people a lot of the time. In my journey, I had to let go and just take the focus off of it.

Clutter Trucker Hoarding Cleanup

David : Yeah. This is the cause we talk about a lot in terms of alignment, like, Is this something that I want to do? Is that something that I'm passionate about? Does this feel right? Or is this something that I'm used to doing, this is the right thing to do? And it's a beautiful journey to focus more and more on the things that feel aligned, that you want to do and sometimes ignoring the conventional wisdom and forcing yourself to do things that you don't want and it leads to interesting places. So maybe that's a really great transition to for you to share. Where are you now with the business? And what? How do things look like now after two years, you know, since that traumatic event and crisis?

Jennifer : Yeah. So thankfully, where we're at now we had a new website built. So and in working with that online, our presence is much better. So like, as far as that side of it, we're definitely tracking upward. Everything feels good. We've hired more people. So what happened was also when this hit... I mean, I've really known for the last few years that my highest and best use and where I want to be, like you said. Where do I feel I need to be? It’s not in running the operations. But I think the challenge and anybody in this level is how the heck do you get out of it? Like what? You know, at some point, how do you stop that out of it? So when everything hit with the current global situation, there was a time that I decided I really don't want to do this. I don't have it in me. So we hired another person which again would seem counterintuitive. If everything is going down, why in the world would you hire now? But we're gonna hire because I am out and for something, we thought, this is probably the best thing you could do. It sort of takes, I guess, my ego out of it, maybe in a way. Which is why maybe it made it easier. Like if it fails, maybe it's not my fault. Maybe it's the global situation. I don't know. It's all mindset.

David : Yeah. When everything is failing around you, all of a sudden, like, oh, the fact that my business is not in great shape. That's the way everything is right now.

New blood in the team refreshes the company

Jennifer : Yeah. So we hired somebody.

David : Lowers the pressure. That's a really interesting insight.

Jennifer : Yeah, I think it did. I think it lowered the pressure into. You know, as any business owner after 12 years, I was suffering from burnout in the role that I was in. So getting this new blood in was just so refreshing, because they have new ideas, new insight, new, just, everything is new to them. So they're like the girls that are running the show now. They're really excited about it. 

hiring new people

David: We sound like vampires, oh, it’s a new blood in here.

Jennifer : It’s totally a new blood! But it feels good. So anyway, that's what happens. So that's where we're at now is that, again, I'm fortunate enough to step out of the day to day operations, and that's going smoothly. We're still working. In fact, you know, we're faced with not having enough employees to keep up with the work. Again, it's always something. I tell the girls now that are in the office, they're running it. Like, That is your goal is to solve problems. It will always be a problem. There will always be something to work on. It's never going to be smooth. So where my time is spent now? I still speak, I'll do webinars, a ton of personal development. So a lot of space, I've been fortunate enough to have that opportunity to create space.

David : Let's talk for a second about this transition, right? Because three months ago, four months ago, your life was looking completely different than it is now. But it's only been a few key decisions that you've made. 

Jennifer : Yes. 

David : That helped you completely change the way you experience life and the way your work looks like. 

Jennifer : Yeah, yeah.


Freedom of the business owner. Truth or legend?

David : Has it impacted? How much money you're bringing home at the end of the month?

Jennifer : Um, you know, well, what I would say is that it's really redefined how I look at that. So here's the thing. I've not ever been wanting to focus on, making more money for the sake of making more money. It's just it's always there, I have a different relationship with money. If I wanted it to, I certainly could have brought more money in. Right now, I think I'm choosing to reinvest that in the company. So like, my personal finances really haven't changed much. But that's just been something that I've always been comfortable with, you know, like, I don't spend more than I need. I'm pretty minimalist, especially in the business that I'm in. I don't hoard money just as I don’t hoard the things.

David : Yeah, and the big benefit is freedom.

Jennifer : Freedom and peace of mind. I don't worry about it. You know, that out has not always been the case. Oh my gosh, if you ask anybody that knew me, any of my old business coaches and any of my old consultants to hear if they were to hear me speak now how I am with money. I mean, that's a transformation. And that was a journey is that I used to hold on to it so tight and worried that if I spent money on this advertising and it didn't work? So, again, I think it's all part of the journey. There's just learning and then in everything we've done in the past, it just creates us for a better future.

David : Absolutely. And I think this is such a key thing because so many business owners get into this game get into starting a business, growing a business, buying a business, because they want at the end of the road, they want more freedom. However, as we know, it's a very bumpy road. There's a lot of ups and downs. And at the same time, there are still plenty of opportunities for every entrepreneur to build more freedom into their day to day right now, and if not right now, then in the next month or two. It doesn't have to be something that's years and years down the line. You can make some decisions right now that will really give you the freedom and it sounds like that's what you've done in the last few months. And from my own personal experience of doing the same, for me it was when I was really focused on growing Lahav media and the agency. And, I also, during the summer, I wanted to travel, I wanted to go to Israel, I wanted to go to Bali. So I just decided I'm going to do this, no matter what. I'm going to prioritize freedom, I'm going to prioritize happiness and joy. And then whatever happens to the business - happens. And very similar to what you're describing, just making a few decisions, to build freedom really worked out in a way where I didn't even make less money when I had that freedom. Where I was working five or 10 hours a week instead of 50 or 60 hours. So yeah, it's just a reminder that there are always options, are always possibilities for this type of freedom for entrepreneurs. Right now.

how to have freedom if you are business owner

Jennifer : Yeah, I would say, yeah, being an entrepreneur or starting a business being an owner, it is probably one of the best teachers out there. So if you're getting into it, just know - there's going to be lessons, you're going to have to go to places you probably, I don't know, if you're ready to go there, not internally, but it's a great teacher. Because I was similar to you. I mean, when I first started to travel, I would get that feeling. You know, you come up against the guilt, like, I'm leaving all my employees behind. Am I worthy enough to go do this? Am I running away? Am I escaping something? Is it something I don't want to face? It's all of it. And so, yeah…

David : Yeah, that's a huge point, as well as this feeling of responsibility that we have towards our employees, right. Like we need to show up to the office every day. We need to, you know, be on top check our email all the time. And it's very interesting because a lot of it is in our own heads, in our own vision of ourselves being some perfect CEO manager. Yeah, our employees, they might be happier if they don't see us in the office, they might be happier if they don't hear from us 20 times a day via email.

Jennifer : Totally! I know. Yeah, but I also think it gives us an opportunity to then create change, and sort of take what we feel and help others. So I'm sure like, we have that responsibility of hiring other people. But what if we can make a company that looks very different? Like I'm reminded of like Netflix, they don't have vacation calendars, you know, if they want to take time off, then take time off. I think we also have that capacity to where we can help change things because now we're all in this state of transformation, make things better because it can't just be the owners of the company that are wanting to experience this part of life and then leaving it to the people that are running it, to make them stay in a nine to five job? I just I don't know, I think we have a lot of opportunities to help make a lot of people feel better about who they are as a person, not what they do.

David : Absolutely. And there are always opportunities to bake those kinds of things in the DNA of the culture of the companies that we build. Like for us with Lahav Media, we really don't track time off, right? If someone says, Hey, I want to take a vacation, or I want to take this day off, so they have a lot of flexibility with vacation. And also they have flexibility with their time. So we don't really tell anyone what time to work. It could be on different time zones, they could travel, they could say, Hey, I won't be able to do as much work today, but I'll make it up during the weekend. Yeah, no problem. We know what needs to get done as long as it gets done, you can do whatever you want.

Jennifer : I know and then speaking on the other receiving end of that, so as a client of a culture like that, it just feels good. So, like, when we all have our meetings, our strategy meetings on the website like I am working with your team, and the fact that they are genuinely, like inspired, motivated, happy individuals that have a life and can experience and they're usually in a different place, in a different country, which is cool. They're not like you just get the sense and trust me. I have worked for so many, I've been a client of so many online companies, you don't always feel like that. So anyway, I would just say like, it's a good thing.

David : Absolutely. That's amazing to hear. I haven't really thought of that aspect, but that's exactly what we want to happen, right? We want to trickle down through the entire organization. 

Jennifer : Yeah, yeah, yeah. 

Choose the right direction and follow this path

David : So I want to mention another really interesting thing that I think has emerged from this recent crisis. So, in the past, you were doing both junk removal. And that was a big part of the business. And then helping people with hoarding behaviors was still a central part of it, the part that you were more excited about and going and doing talks to organizations, municipalities, and including the TEDx that you still have people contacting you every week, wanting to talk to you about that. So what happened now during this last transition?

Jennifer : Yeah, that's such a good point. I didn't even think of that. So yeah, the start for however many years up to 11 years, we had always had the junk removal side and that created a lot of everything, more calls, more staff, more revenue. It was also not in alignment with what was truly what impact I wanted to make, or the organization wanted to make. But for some reason, it was like that part of my brain I just couldn't let it go. I mean, I think I knew for maybe a year or two just I wanted to let it go. I didn't know how and then I don't I just think I finally had had enough right before all of this hit. And you and I talked and I just said no more advertising. I'm going to take it back. Cut out so basically innocence, take get rid of the whole junk side of it, and only focus on the hoarding side. And then through to letting it go. As soon as we did that everything picked up. I mean, we got so many more hoarding jobs which were more profitable, more rewarding, less headache, all of that everything positive came in line with just letting something go, that wasn't in alignment.

Clutter Trucker and Jennifer are helping people with hoarding disorder

David : Yeah. And I think this is a huge point that almost every entrepreneur, that I know, that made a big breakthrough or made a big change to increase profitability, increase their freedom, increase their happiness involved something like this. When you need to review your business activities with this 80-20 perspective of seeing what's causing me the most headaches, what's the least profitable, and in your case, it was on the junk side that has a lot of competition. And a lot of people are advertising, it's not cheap to advertise, customers are shopping around. And then when you do get a job, you need to have a higher, more of a workforce. And you know, you have a lot of costs with it. So at the end of the day, you see it, you're spending 80% of your time and efforts on the things that are bringing 20% of the results. Yeah. Then when you strategically realize, Oh, I actually want to focus more on the 20% that is more profitable. I enjoy more I feel more of a mission around, then you have a lot of room for that to expand and make a big change.

Jennifer : Yeah. And it just took some time. I mean, I don't know. You know, our minds can get real crazy when there's something we've done for so many years. Is that the thought just the thought of letting it go? I'm sure it was just scarcity and fear. But as soon as it happened, and we let it go, it's everything changed.

David : So what are your plans now, in terms of hoarding, and in general?

Jennifer : Good question. I think that with everything going on globally, right now, I really am. It's difficult to make a long term plan. So I would say what I'm looking at right now is the next six to nine months. Just because there's a high level of uncertainty. We're all going through a transition. So what I'm doing just right now is keeping up with our current service making it better. Really, right now we're trying to keep up with the amount of work that we have, training new people. And then me personally, I'm just still creating some space doing a lot more creative things - writing, just getting out of my head, because that's another thing. When you ask what I learned, as far as letting it go, that's one thing. I've also learned where to make the decisions. I used to make decisions based solely in this head thinking, and now it's coming more from here. So right here is telling me to slow down and not really push forward. Not yet. I don't worry. So yeah, it's tough to say where we'll be in nine months.

Personal growth pursues in the parallel

David : And maybe something interesting to bring in the conversation here that people should know about you as it used to be a pretty intense, like a go-getter, cross-fit, right? And, as entrepreneurs, many times the kind of people who resonate with competition ends up being entrepreneurs. And then what I hear you saying is, I've let a lot more of that identity and personality, like being in the background and I'm bringing much more of my creativity, my compassion.

Jennifer : Yes, that's been a journey. So that's been hours and hours of meditation, a little bit of flat medicine, a good business coach, he got me to see over the last few years that my doing my action, my achieving, if I really face that, you know, there's always something underneath why I was trying to do all that, achieve and compete and go. 

David: Why was that? 

Jennifer : Oh, gosh, validation, were they this, all of that force, I was building an identity, it was something that I could be proud of. But when you start doing this inner work and you start to meditate, we already are, we're already perfect enough. So having all of this external drive and the external validation at some point in the journey, it might take people longer. At some point, that all falls away because you could keep achieving and you could keep doing more. But at some point in the journey, I was faced with questioning that and that is where I'm at. So yeah.

David : Yeah, that's very big. And I've also felt something very similar over the last few years because I also have this competitive side of me. And I played professional basketball, not professional but the pro-level basketball, in Israel before going to the military and then I was in the military winning all sorts of awards and being an officer. So really had this like, Let's go, you know, get stuff done and be the best. And like you have mentioned as well like noticing that a lot of that comes not from a positive place, but actually from a negative place from I'm not enough I have to prove myself. And when you operate from that place, it's never ending. There's really no level of success, like, Okay, I've made it, I've arrived, now I can relax.

Jennifer : Right? There is none of that anyway, there is no place to make it. I used to think that I would get here and then it would all be good, but that's just not the way, I think, yeah.

David : And then a beautiful thing starts happening when you let go of all that stuff, there is a period of time where it can get very confusing or very scary. Because that's the only way we know how to operate. But after a while of sitting in this place and getting comfortable with, I don't have to do anything if I don't want to.

Jennifer : Right.

David : Then something new emerges. Then you start seeing what am I excited about? What am I passionate about? And you start operating from that place. Which is like freedom 2.0. Now I'm free to pursue things that I want to. I'm not thinking about what do I want to get away from. What do I have to achieve? You're like, Okay, now that I have this time, now that I know what I want to do, I really can enjoy the act of doing and have it from a positive place.

Jennifer : Yeah. And then everybody benefits. It's like you said, it's trickled down. I think when it's true, true nature to who you are, then yeah, I mean, then you show up and you're just who you are in this place. Everybody can benefit. And it's a journey. It's a path. But that integration side of it can get you to your core. Like you said, it can be confusing, it can be extremely uncomfortable to let things go. When you think that's who you always were. And that, yeah, I mean, without getting too woo-woo in there that that's kind of what needs to happen. In my journey, I remember I was in a meditation, and I heard a very loud audible echo voice that I had never heard before. And it said, let go of who you think you are. And that was probably three years ago. And I was like, What, who is that? And now only…

David: Who was that?

Jennifer: Oh, I don't even know. Still to this day. I'm really like three years later, I'm having an understanding of what it exactly meant. Because it was that powerful of a voice that said, let go of who you think you are. So, yeah, still more to come with that?

David : Absolutely. And one thing I think is really worth mentioning is that with your focus on hoarding, you know, there is something there, right? If people keep messaging you, people keep calling you and contacting you based on a TED talk. How long ago was the TED talk?

Jennifer : Three years, like 2018. 17-18. Yeah. 

David : So that's a very clear indication that there is something really powerful there, that you can explore. What does it look like? I think you still don't know 100%. Yeah, that's a very great sign of where there's something that you're passionate about, and you feel strongly about. Where there's a lot of feedback from the outside world. That there is more of a need for it. When people reach out to you, what are they telling you? Why are they asking you?

Jennifer : I mean, it's impact. It's because of the human connection. It's not about the junk. It's just about seeing somebody for who they are. So yeah, it's a good connection, I still get a lot of feedback, I still get a lot of people asking for help. I still have yet to see how I'm going to develop that. And as many times as I've tried to let it go, it's still there. I met with a good friend when just like... Because I think there's more information on how to start a business than there is on how to finish one, like, How do you transition out of a business. There's still not a lot out there because it can be emotional and there's strategy and it's just, it's big. When you decided what you're doing and you don't no longer want to do. But anyway, so I met with a friend and he said, Yeah, you've let it go. But it hasn't let you go. And so it still hasn't let me go. And, you know, I'm open. So I don't turn anything down. And so for right now, that's kind of where I'm at. I have moments... it's like I get a glimpse of it. And so I still hold on to that, and then we'll kind of see where it takes me. There's no telling. 

David: We'll be very curious to see where things unfold from here. 

Jennifer : Yeah, you and me will.

David : So maybe a few words. You know, what I think one of the themes of this episode together is this journey of being an entrepreneur and then reaching a certain amount of freedom and growing the business and managing a team and then having that all crumble at a certain point of time and then kind of repeating this process with some changes and improvements and upgrades. So how are you structuring things now that you are training, essentially, new management for the business?

Jennifer : How am I structuring things, I mean, in terms of like... I probably spend three hours in the business just meeting regularly. I'm open to feedback suggestions, I'm kind of letting them. I guess have their way with it, in essence, I'm there. If they need me, but I think people learn better when they learn on their own by asking instead of me telling. So that's kind of the structure.

David : So pretty much mentoring them coaching them.

Jennifer : Yes. Yep. So yeah, and then just kind of working with them on what the overall vision is. And again, even in this environment, it can be kind of tough because we're dealing with people that are maybe not as experienced in the unknown as entrepreneurs are. So as entrepreneurs we're always walking into something unknown. Now I think it's more evident that a lot of people are there without a job they're in the unknown.

David : So even as an entrepreneur if you even get to the next level, where you have some sort of identity or belief system that doesn't hold on to the being a successful entrepreneur is something you need in order to be happy and fulfilled so now you know, Hey, even if the business completely fails, I'm still awesome, I'm the one creating value and I'm the one who created the business. I will just go and I'll do it again somewhere else.  

Jennifer : Yeah. That's exactly right. It can be, I think it takes years of experience, maybe it did, it did for me to get to that point, but maybe it doesn't have to for somebody else. You know, I think everybody's path is different. But at the end of the day, if these messages going out to those that are entrepreneurs I mean at some point, you got to turn inward. It's not always about the external, that's probably the biggest lesson that I would share with people is that the, I think at five years with that first initial kind of chaos in the company. That's when I started meditating. And I remember hearing Tim Ferriss say like, 80% of the people that he interviewed were meditators. And then I started with a Deepak Chopra 21-day meditation and that it just changed me. It changed my crazy neurotic, I mean, I’m still bad, but it's settled down, you know. Out that I don't even know that I could have sustained. I don't know how people can sustain entrepreneurship without taking a break from the thinking,

meditation for a business owners and entrepreneurs

David : How long are you meditating now?

Jennifer : He's laughing. So when they'll go in the quarantine hit, and I had all this ample amount of time I was doing like five hours, so I had watched a few videos to say, like, to give the extreme breakthrough go to three hours at a time. So, now I'm usually down to like two or three, two or three sometimes four hours.

David : Yeah. Nice. Amazing that's amazing and you know I also meditate regularly and I meditate about an hour and a half, every day. Yeah, and I remember in the beginning of my journey a lot of friends that I talked to, like, wow, you meditate an hour and a half every day or in your case like three hours every day. Yeah. How do you get the time to do this? And there's a saying that I really like about this. It says, If you don't have 30 minutes to meditate a day you need two hours.

Jennifer : Yeah, it's true.

David : It's very true because we have this belief that oh I'm too busy. I can't meditate 30 minutes a day. And the reality is, if you are so busy, if you're so sucked into the day to day and to-do lists, where you don't even have 30 minutes to meditate, it means that you're burnt out, that you're not focused, that you're not spending your time wisely and actually meditating 30 minutes a day or an hour a day is actually going to help your productivity. You're going to be more focused, more energized, make better decisions.

Jennifer : Yeah. I had similar. I heard something like that too and people were saying, How could you do an hour a day. And then the guy, and it's true, what happened with me is, you spend that amount of time meditating and then you get up and you don't have to do half the things that you thought you needed to do. Anyway, so you reduce your to-do list because you were doing things you didn't even need to be doing in the first place. So that's gone you freed up all this space to be creative, and even when I did that again in this environment when everybody's, you know, many people are losing their jobs and things like that, our business, still continue to go up, even by me just listening to silence.

David : Yes, I love this because it's such a powerful limiting belief, to get over. And once you experienced this when you feel like you want to meditate for however long you want to meditate and you do that and you have a lot of freedom and calm and... And, yeah, energy in your life, and doing at the same time business is still doing the same as it was or even better. That's the best feeling and I really breaks the limiting belief of, I have to be on and work 60 hours a week or 80 hours a week all the time in order for this thing to work out.

Jennifer : Yeah, and I think people get intimidated by that amount of time, because that's the amount of time when you're doing that, that, that ego that small self-voice in your head is going to start picking at you, and it's gonna be like, This is stupid. My legs hurt. I can't do this, but the magic happens when you can sit through that, and I can only say on my experience, that's when it goes away, you if you commit to it. At some point in the journey, I became more inclined to want to do it. I was drawn to do it. And it wasn't that crazy mean godly voice in my head, and when that goes away I think that's the place that I wanted to be so a little bit of time but now I feel much better doing it. Why did that voice in the head that just wants to be mean?

David : So and initially. This is something you kind of have to put time and energy into and say, Okay I'm gonna do this every day now for the next 30 days. And then after a while, it becomes harder not to meditate. (Jenifer: Totally!) due to some of you crave it just something you want to do.

Jennifer : Yeah, yeah you got to get yeah 

David : That's where the magic happens... Great Jennifer. So, I really love hosting you on the podcast. I think we talked about some super interesting things for our listeners, where can our listeners, connect with you and to know more about you.

Jennifer :  I would say right now probably LinkedIn, a little bit on YouTube. LinkedIn would be the best place.

David : Well, we'll link all of that up in the show notes.

Jennifer : Yeah, and then you'll have like I have a few websites, jenhanzlick.com you can reach me there and then I do have hopeforhoarding.com. It's a coaching page if you weren't interested in getting coaching on hoarding, which probably might not be your audience.

David : Well, statistically, it's what. What percentage of people?

Jennifer : 1 and 20 so you may need help.

David : Yes, exactly. Awesome Jennifer, thank you so much. Such a pleasure having you on the show.

Jennifer : Yes, you too. Thank you.

David : Thanks for listening to the strategic freedom podcast with your host, David Lahav. If you like our show, and want to learn more, check out lahavmedia.com/podcast or leave us a review on iTunes, join us every Thursday morning to listen to the next episode. See you then.


Cam is digital nomad that has created financial freedom while traveling..and in a relatively short amount of time.

Tal Gur is a location independent entrepreneur, author, and impact investor. Tal is my mentor and dear friend, and perhaps the best way to describe him is as a master of Freedom.

Riaan has been living and working out of his RV for the past 4 years while running Agentivity - a SaaS company serving travel agents. 

Ricardo Lima is the CEO and co-founder of Worldpackers, a global marketplace connecting hosts and travelers through the exchange of skills for accommodation.