How to create a community around your brand

Derek Schmidt:

Welcome, everybody, to the Entrepreneur Bootcamp podcast. I’m Derek Schmidt. And today I’d like to introduce our guest, Jenna Curry. I’ve known Jenna for a few years now. Jenna has done an excellent job around her community with growing her brand and establishing herself as a thought leader. So today’s show I wanted Jenna to walk us through her journey to establishing her brand in the community and how that’s helped her in her business. So, without further ado, Jenna, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Jenna Curry:

Thanks so much for having me. A little bit about me. So I came here to Wilmington and went to college and graduated right at the recession, in 2008, and wanted to meet people that were similar to me, people who were motivated and it was a time when it was really hard to find a job. And so I started an in-person networking community, and then a couple of years later started a digital marketing company with a partner and then branched off to have my own agency.

Jenna Curry:

And then later partnered with a publication. I’m a co-owner of a local publication here, and now I also do some coaching and consulting for agency owners. So I kind of have four things that keep me pretty busy. That is a very high-level summary. Derek and I know each other I guess through professional connections and then through the Port City Young Professionals, like in-person and online networking community. So yeah, there’s a lot more we can get into with any of that, but that’s kind of the high-level overview of what I do.

Derek Schmidt:

Yeah. And the Port City Young Professionals, that’s a very interesting story of how it started and what it looked like back when you started it to what it’s become now, which for anybody who isn’t local or has never attended, first, I’d encourage you to attend if possible, even virtually on the Zoom meeting. You have a lot of trouble finding venues now because you have so many people that show up to these events and that’s got to be pretty awesome.

Jenna Curry:

Yeah, we’re getting into the supply and demand part of growth, where you can start raising your prices, make it a little more limited. And we’ve been on the cusp for a long time. Now, at the time of this viewing, we are in a pandemic and so live events aren’t really a thing, or in-person events aren’t really a thing. So we’ll see what the future is of that. But luckily, we do have quite a few online offerings for our membership as well and so that’s kind of keeping us alive right now.

How would you describe what a Community Brand is?

Derek Schmidt:

Yeah. And you’ve done a great job with pivoting that to the virtual networking which seems to have worked out really well. So one of the first things I wanted ask you, how would you describe to somebody, what is a community brand?

Jenna Curry:

Yeah. So when I first read that question, because I appreciate you sending me some of those questions in advance, I immediately thought, “Well, that’s more like a local bran.” Because in my opinion, all… If a brand is doing it right, then there is a community that believes in it. And so a community brand is more like a local brand with local recognition with kind of a local following.

Jenna Curry:

But a brand is what other people say you are, basically. So doing that on a local level isn’t all that different than doing it on a national level. It’s just for us we meet in person and that is our huge value proposition, our angle. That we don’t have to rely purely on marketing or email or automations to connect with our audience. We can talk to them and meet them in person, which is a huge value to be able to learn things really quickly.

Derek Schmidt:

Yeah, I agree. There was something I heard, and I’m probably going to do a terrible job at trying to remember this. But somebody explained something to me a while back and I’ve always kind of attributed that to some of the things that I’ve tried to do, but certainly with what you have done with PCYP and some of your other ventures, and that’s when you can start something like that in your community, you kind of own that space, right?

Derek Schmidt:

So we’ve done the WordPress meetups each month, right? And so with that, we were able to pull off a word camp. I think that’s been one of the things to help me and my name and the community would be just people knowing that I know a lot about WordPress. So I imagine the same would go for you and the PCYP and the marketing and the genius idea to take over the traditional publication, because now it kind of goes hand in hand. So that was a very interesting thing I wanted to bring up.

Jenna Curry:

Yeah, thanks. Well, I never intended Port City Young Professionals to be what it became. I literally wasn’t like, “Oh, this is going to be a lead generation source for my future agency,” Or, “This is going to be anything that I monetize.” It didn’t even occur to me at 23, when I started it, that this would be something that would generate income.

Jenna Curry:

It was just I knew I wanted to meet people like me and I wasn’t meeting them with the current circle of friends I was hanging out with at the time. And I was like, okay, so what can I create to solve this problem, make myself a magnet and attract people to me? I don’t mind doing the heavy… It wasn’t heavy lifting. But finding a place, getting to donate some advertisers in exchange for me committing to bring a certain amount of people there.

Jenna Curry:

And that’s really how it started, was like 17 people at our first event. I was just sending emails from my personal Gmail. I was using somebody else’s email list because I didn’t know anyone. And so my friend who was a little bit older and more connected, and I said, “Hey, let’s buy some of your friends. I want to start this thing.” And so my co-founder, Sasha, it was basically most of her friends, to get started with. And so we all met. Hey, next month, everyone bring a person. And that was literally the start of it.

Derek Schmidt:

Yeah. You said two very important things there. Lots of important things, but two that I want to bring up. One was that you didn’t start this for the ability to earn an income, which I think is very important. Every entrepreneur book I’ve ever read, that’s like rule one, right? You don’t want to start a business to make money. You want to start something you’re passionate about. And then I had a second one, but I totally forgot it. But still that first one was really important.

Jenna Curry:

I think the fact that that was my intention, it never came off icky. I’ve been to events that were framed as networking and then you get there and they’re like, “By the way, this isn’t a network. this isn’t just free networking. We want you to buy stuff.” Or, “We’re trying to pitch you this thing.” Because all I just wanted was community, literal community that it never felt like work. And then it just got so big that I had to start creating systems and PCYP became my playground, my sandbox for practicing all the digital marketing skills I was learning as I was wanting to start my agency.

Derek Schmidt:

Yeah. And you solved a problem, which was the second most important role, if not first most important role.

Jenna Curry:

Yeah. I think that’s probably the most important role, is finding a legitimate problem that you can solve or that you want to solve and then just be the aggregator of other people to help solve that problem. Because you can just be the curious person saying, “I don’t know how to solve this problem, but I’m going to bring all these people together and interview them or give them the platform and I’m just interviewer to help solve that problem.” So you don’t have to know all the answers. I certainly didn’t.

Do you believe having a community brand adds value to your business, if so, how?

Derek Schmidt:

I figured a lot. Don’t tell anybody. Okay. So fast forward to now, do you believe that having that community brand, I’m going to keep referring to it as, has added a value to your business? Has it helped your business at all? And if so, how?

Jenna Curry:

Yeah, in ways I could have never dreamed of, especially because it hasn’t felt like work. It’s just been a labor of love for years. And what it has done for me is my primary income comes from my agency, where I have clients and I fulfill on contracts, but I don’t get the recognition for that. I’ve won Women to Watch, 40 Under 40, Top 100, like all in our local area.

Jenna Curry:

Pretty much anyone will return an email. People will return my phone calls. I can get a meeting with people. It just immediately positions you as an authority because I’m a gatekeeper to 3000 plus young professionals. So if people want to get in front of our audience, they have to go through me. And so that immediately is… You have something that other people want and that just gives you an interesting angle to when you do want to make the first move or to just draw people to you, in general.

Jenna Curry:

It made starting my agency not that hard. In general, I didn’t have to rely on cold leads or cold traffic or just running ads to so many people that I didn’t know. I was really able to go out to people who had already provided a service to like, “Hey, you’ve been coming to my events,” Or, “Hey, we’ve been having events at your business or restaurant. This is what it would look like if we did this other thing.” So I really had a huge headstart.

Derek Schmidt:

Yeah. And it all just kind of evolved naturally for you, right?

Jenna Curry:

Yeah, absolutely.

How would someone go about creating a community around their brand?

Derek Schmidt:

Okay. You’re talking to a younger version of you, somebody new, just starting out, how would someone go about creating a community around their brand? Whether that be locally, regionally, nationally, whatever that looks like.

Jenna Curry:

Let’s pick a type of company and let me riff off that.

Derek Schmidt:

Sure. I’ll let you pick the company, because I’ll be selfish and I’ll use like one of my examples. You go ahead and give me a company.

Jenna Curry:

Okay. So let’s say somebody in health and wellness, they are either a mindset coach or a health and wellness coach or an instructor of some sort, and they’re brand new in their business. Just creating a free Facebook group where you do a free workout a week or you host an in-person workout a week, or now you can do virtual workouts a week or meal plans, or you’re going to show them how to make a smoothie recipe.

Jenna Curry:

Kind of whatever activity to create content puts you on a flow. Maybe it’s recording video, maybe it’s audio, maybe it’s writing, maybe it’s in person. But whatever it is, kind of base it on your original skillset, like I’m better on video. It’s easier than for me to sit down and write epic blog posts. Some people are just amazing writers. I’m a good writer, but it’s work for me. Whereas like I just record a video for someone…

Jenna Curry:

I literally send people videos, like I record a video and send it to my clients, too. It’s just so much easier for me. So whatever comes most naturally for you, lead with that and then build a community where you can just lead with that and then you can grow into the other things that you need. But yeah, basically thinking about what problem you want to solve and then where are those people?

Jenna Curry:

Russell Brunson talks about, with traffic, you don’t have to go create traffic. The traffic already exists. You just have to put yourself in front of the traffic so that it hits you. And so if you are in the health and wellness space, like where are those people that desire the results that you can help them achieve? Are they in the park? So have once a week or once a month in-person things in the park.

Jenna Curry:

And then you have to start by giving a lot of value, a lot of free resources. People have to like, know and trust you, typically, before they give you money. And if they don’t already, then they’re probably working with you because they know other people like, know and trust you. And so you’ve already built your authority and credibility with someone else. If you’re brand new, one of the best things you can do is just offer your services to five people. Get tons of feedback from them through the process.

Jenna Curry:

Validate what you’re doing and then build a referral network off of them. I mean, if I could go back and do it all again, I would’ve done it a lot different way. I mean, it took six years before I made a penny off of the networking group and it was a lot of time. A lot of time. But now whenever I have an idea that I want to explore, that’s the much better approach: talking to people, interviewing people who are further ahead than you or bringing people in and like testing your model on them. Make sure you’ve done it on yourself and you know that it works and then validate it with other people and then grow from there.

Derek Schmidt:

Nice. There was a presentation at Tech Mountain not long ago, and you may have attended. But they talked about how the way we are sold to has changed and it’s all value-based selling now, right? So you want to give stuff away for free and build that relationship and solve problems, and then people will trust you and spend money with you. And so that sounds like exactly what you were talking about.

Jenna Curry:

Yeah, it is. It’s whoever can pay the most to acquire the customer wins. You don’t do that by charging more. You don’t do that by ripping people off. You do that by adding value. So if you can buy a book for $20 or you can buy the same book for $20, but it comes with the eBook, the audio book, this other PDF guide of tips and tricks and all of this. And so all of a sudden it’s a $250 value for $20. Which book are you going to buy? Even if the other one was $15, I’d still buy the $20 book.

What about creating a personal brand, how would someone go about creating a personal brand?

Derek Schmidt:

Yeah, exactly. And I don’t know if this changes things, but what about somebody who wants to create like a personal brand? How would someone go about creating a personal brand for themselves?

Jenna Curry:

Yeah. I like this question and I… What I want to say is a personal brand is not hiring a photographer, getting a bunch of pictures of you with a laptop. That is not a personal brand, because you can have a personal brand without ever having a super high end professional photo taken of you. Yes, that can be part of personal brand, but that is something…

Jenna Curry:

I didn’t even have a professional headshot until a few years ago, and then finally had some branded shoots for my website and stuff just last year, was the first time I had ever done that other than when… Like a photo from an event or something. And I definitely have a personal local brand, for sure, just through my reputation, because your brand is what other people say about you.

Jenna Curry:

So if you’re not operating out of integrity, if you’re not doing what you say you’re going to do, if you’re not solving the problem you say you’re going to solve, you’re going to have a really poor personal brand. And then also, you can have an amazing, amazing business and only have 100 people in your group or 100 people in your community. But if each of those 100 people are paying you $10,000, you’re doing pretty good, right?

Jenna Curry:

And so people think like, okay, I’m going to create this personal brand and it’s going to be fashion or it’s going to be info products or whatever it’s going to be. And they think they need to have this huge following and this huge list and they need to be on every platform. I would say, you can grow to all of that, but you have to prove that you can do it for your first 100 people.

Jenna Curry:

How many of those 1000 people that are following you can you get to move into the next step of your funnel? How many of those 100 people want your free offer? How many of those 100 people want your $9 offer? How many of those people are going to like go up the value ladder and get whatever big ticket thing you’re selling? Because then you know, okay, five out of a hundred, I can make $5,000.

Jenna Curry:

Okay. That means if I have a thousand people, I can make $50,000. And then you kind of grow that way. But for personal brand, I would say, start on the platform you enjoy the most, that lets you utilize your personal skillset the most. If it’s writing, start on the blog and share it to LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, and pick one of those social media platforms where you’re going to be really engaged.

Jenna Curry:

Every time somebody comments, you’re there with a really genuine reply. It’s not just a like or an emoji. It’s people getting to know you. And then as part of that, you have a way to get them into an email list, because you want to own that list and not rely on social media to only own that list. And if it’s video, maybe it’s a YouTube channel. So it’s just whatever your natural skillset is.

Jenna Curry:

And if it’s none of them, then finding one to work on and refine, master that and get it to where you have it in a place where you want to be and then get somebody to try to create systems for that so that somebody can support you and help you with that. And don’t just leave it and move to the next one. Hopefully it’s still doing its thing, and then move on to the next thing.

Jenna Curry:

And that’s something I did wrong in like every way, like my whole life, especially when I was first getting into digital marketing. I was like, “I have to know how to do everything. I’m going to be everything to everyone.” And you end up wasting a lot of time and you’re doing a disservice to your clients, because they would rather just have one thing that works than 10 things that kind of work.

Derek Schmidt:

Better or mediocre. Yeah. The best channel for your business, in other words, is the one that you’re actually going to do and use.

Jenna Curry:

Yes. Exactly. Which one feels good? If every time you get on Instagram, you’re like, “Oh, I take horrible pictures,” Or, “I don’t like being in pictures,” then maybe blogging is better for you.

Derek Schmidt:

And I think that’s important, because a lot of people that I’ll talk to sometimes, I’m sure it’s the same with you, they feel like they have to be all these things and all places and that’s just not the case. There’s so much noise out there. It can be very easy to get distracted.

Jenna Curry:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

What tips can you provide to someone trying to create brand awareness in a new market?

Derek Schmidt:

Okay. So let me change gears a little bit. What tips can you provide someone trying to create brand awareness in a new market?

Jenna Curry:

Well, I think doing some of the things I said for starting your own in-person community. It’s the same thing. I feel like brand and community are very interchangeable, because if you have a brand without community, you’re not going to last the test of time. Because if somebody comes along, who is your exact competitor, but they have the ability to bring community and connection and relationships and foster a sense of connection, then you’re going to be ruined because we’re humans and that’s what we desire.

Jenna Curry:

We desire a connection. We desire meaning. And so I think if you can find a way to create community out of your passion and then just over deliver to your audience, whatever that is, whatever problem is most likely to solve to them. And don’t just assume what their problem is and don’t just assume you know how to solve it, too. You can start somewhere, but then ask them.

Jenna Curry:

I’ve made that mistake of creating products and offerings and events, and then finding out later that no one really cared. And had I just asked, it’s like, “Oh, that’s what they want.” You create that and it sells out, right? It’s the craziest thing. I kind of feel like I’ve answered that in some of the other things, but it’s really not that different. And that’s why I love what’s happened with PCYP. I’ve learned so many lessons through this group. And even though it’s in person, so much of it applies to what we do digitally.

Derek Schmidt:

Yeah. I mean, even the short time that I’ve been involved with it, I’ve seen it evolve from… Now you’ve got… It’s a business. You’ve got the system and you’ve got the processes. You’ve got your executive team. I mean, it’s really interesting to have watched that evolve in the short time that I’ve known you, which has only been a couple of years.

Jenna Curry:

Yeah. I got some really good people in my team that helped. It was neglected for a bit. My strength is not systems, so making sure I have people supporting my creative brain to kind of like create systems. Because right now, so much of what we do is automated. It’s like an employee. It’s literally what I would pay an employee every month of things that are created just through automations of what happens.

Jenna Curry:

Because we have a mobile app and we have an email platform and we do social media features and all of that is automated with tags and triggers based on what has been done or hasn’t been done. Even though it’s really only been a little over a year since things have kind of been the way that I want, but now I’m starting to think of other… And I know you’re probably going to get to this question.

Jenna Curry:

Of other things that the community wants on the education and training site around networking. And I have to be careful to not all of a sudden try to think everybody wants to be a marketer. And I’ve made that mistake before, where it’s like, “I’m going to teach PCYP members how to be marketers.” And these are people from every kind of background and they don’t necessarily care about marketing, but they’re there for networking.

Jenna Curry:

And so there’s absolutely more content that we could be creating. And we do create content. We have lots of stuff on our blog and we share resources for other people. But as far as like what would a course or an eBook or something look like for tangible skills that would… Especially in our unique little community.

How about getting others involved, can you explain how one could get others involved so that one individual isn’t doing everything?

Derek Schmidt:

Yeah, it’s definitely unique. You had mentioned something at the beginning of that, about how you had amazing people, and that was a great intro into our next question. How would somebody get others involved so that they’re not pretty much a one-man army, trying to take care of all of this stuff?

Jenna Curry:

Yeah, that would be another thing I would have said to early on entrepreneur Jenna, is get help and let and let people go early if they don’t pull their weight or they let you down. I’ve had bad partners. I’ve had people who I kept giving the benefit of the doubt that didn’t work out, but that shouldn’t stop you from continuing to find other people to believe in your mission. And they’re not your minions.

Jenna Curry:

They’re not your… These are people that you want to bring in to be a part of your mission, to link arms with, because doing it alone is… No matter what it is, whether it’s creating your own community, your own business, doing it alone is so hard and lonely and it’s not linear. Growth as an entrepreneur is not linear. So the more people you can have, even if it’s just a once a week mastermind with other people who are in a similar situation.

Jenna Curry:

I was in a business book club in the beginning and that business book club helped me as much as my college degree in being a professional about business, actually more so. And just realizing that you’re not alone. And so to get those people initially, you just have to find other people that are passionate about the problem you’re trying to solve and/or the audience you’re trying to serve.

Jenna Curry:

So I might not know a problem when I solve it. I might say, “I know I want to work with teenage girls.” I don’t know what it is that I want to do, but I know that I want to help guide them to entrepreneurship. So I don’t know what I’m going to do, but then I go and say, “Who’s already doing that?” And then put myself in between them and then start interviewing people.

Jenna Curry:

And then when I have the idea, all these people that I talked to, “Hey, do you want to help me with this? Can you introduce me to someone?” And then if you can find a few people in the beginning, then you’re going to grow a lot faster. And then you find ways to overthink the people that help you or put them in a position where they’re empowered so that they’re personally and emotionally invested. That they’re not just there to hold your jacket.

Jenna Curry:

Basically, once PCYP started growing past 50 people consistently, I knew that I couldn’t do it myself. I tried to do it myself, because I don’t like asking for help. I’ve gotten better about it, but it’s still hard for me. And I just didn’t want to be a burden to anyone. And then for a while I would have my good friends and then they would be like, “Oh, well, I have a headache,” Or, “This other thing came up,” Or, “It’s raining.”

Jenna Curry:

So they would have terrible reasons for not coming. I’m like, okay. So I can’t resent them, because this is the volunteer thing. But they’re doing it because they’re my friend. I want to find people who want to do this because they’re trying to get out of it the same thing I’m trying to get out of it. And so slowly I found this tribe of people who some I found, some found me, of people who also wanted to be positioned as leaders, who wanted to take some responsibility.

Jenna Curry:

And so we built out the ambassador program, which has evolved over the years. It kind of started with just a few people and now we have like 30. Every new member gets assigned an ambassador. We built out this whole beautiful system last year and now we can’t have live events. But it’s evolved and what it’s done is made me feel like, one, this entity can exist without me, which is the goal of any entrepreneur, is to continue to grow yourself out of each role.

Jenna Curry:

And it makes me feel like, okay, this has the possibility of going to other cities, which I had always dabbled in before or thought about, but I couldn’t wrap my head around how I could make it economically work with the time in. But once you start seeing how things can work, where it’s not just one person doing everything, it could be truly valuable.

Jenna Curry:

So that was kind of a long way to answer more of a story. But find other people who believe in solving the problem you’re solving or believe in serving the audience you’re believing. And then give them a platform, empower them, thank them profusely. That’s a good place to start.

What does your 5 year plan look like with your businesses and PCYP?

Derek Schmidt:

I mean, you hit it on the head. I think what you’re pretty much explaining is culture. You’ve developed a culture, right? I do the same in the agency, where there’s not really a hierarchy. There’s not me at the top. You said the linked arms, so it’s kind of this. I always try to be very careful not to use my or I, and it’s always we and ours. So you’ve developed that culture in this community, within your community, your brand community. So it’s really cool. I wanted to ask you, what does your five-year plan look like? Because you have multiple businesses, plus you have PCYP. So I wanted to kind of pick your brain a little bit. What does your five-year plan look like?

Jenna Curry:

Yeah. Such a great question. I spent a lot of time and my early years as an entrepreneur. I started at 26 in a partner in an agency. I had a really rough start, starting out in business for myself. And it took me several years to kind of get to a place where I even had a comfortable income. I mean, I was literally working in a basement for years. And so I just had this grind mentality, where I just have to work.

Jenna Curry:

And then I was undercharging and just bad business partner, all the perfect storm of challenges. And then started my agency on my own and started having success. But then still, it was just like this crazy amount of work and I knew it wasn’t sustainable. And so I’ve been, just in the last year, kind of closer to what I want my five-year plan to be, which is definitely delegating and getting to where I say, “I’m great at systems. I’m great at training. I’m great at asking for help and having other people to kind of continue on the things that I’ve started.”

Jenna Curry:

I am multi-passionate. I have so many times thought, “What if I just went with the publications and put all my energy in that? What if I just put all my energy into my agency or all my energy into PCYP?” Like, yes, probably they would all do better if I just focused on them, but I’m just not wired that way. And I’m done apologizing for it. And I’m just like, I’m just always going to be interested in multiple things.

Derek Schmidt:

Preach it. Thank you.

Jenna Curry:

Yeah. And so I did this exercise and we do this with some of our coaching clients that are agency owners on like, what does your perfect day look like? Your perfect average day. It started with a Frank Kern video from, God, the early 2000s. When you wake up, what do you feel? What are you thinking about? What are you doing? Who are you eating with? What are you talking about?

Jenna Curry:

And kind of like, what are you doing in your perfect average day? And then kind of working backward from there. So for me, it’s not working 12 hours a day, which I’ve done. I’m not doing that now. And it’s having a team. It’s being able to think creatively. It’s being able to pay people well and be able to provide good salaries and benefits and having people that you have fun with and having clients that I love hanging out with.

Jenna Curry:

And so with that, I’m trying more of like… So some people have their own business and are like, “Well, I just want to make more money. I just want to make millions of dollars or get it to a point to sell. Yeah, that all sounds great. But I feel like I’ve built my dream agency and that I’m able to provide really great service, really great outcomes and work with really cool people.

Jenna Curry:

That’s my five-year goal, is to keep working with my dream clients and hopefully those dream clients will just become better paying clients and getting more value. And so I’m not having to do… It’s not more work. It’s just more value. Now, with PCYP, it’s that when I do have the energy to put into it and it ebbs and flows. Sometimes I’m all about PCYP and other times I’m like, “No, it’s…”

Jenna Curry:

What I want to see is, in the value ladder, an online course that teaches networking skills, with templates and just… Basically, people get it wrong so much about how networking works. And even people after I’ve explained to them, in short, it’s a give first mentality. Networking is not walking around with your business card like, “Call me. Buy for me.” It’s give first.

Jenna Curry:

And it doesn’t have to be give free service or give free stuff. It’s just give of your energy of some way. Networking is just an exchange of energy. It’s like money. It’s an exchange of energy. And there are ways to do that and there are ways not to do that. And then having possibly, just because I would like to move out of more of like the implementation role, which I do a lot of implementation, because I like it.

Jenna Curry:

But I also like being on the coaching and consulting role. And so having to where there’s other things happening, but I can be more like one-on-one or group or events like in the coaching and consulting. But I would love to see some things like that happen with PCYP, if people say they want it. And I haven’t even put that out there yet, to be like, “Hey, if I created this, could you guys want it?”

Jenna Curry:

Because I even thought about doing like, hey, I’m going to do… People apply, I pick five people, and literally just do some one-on-one coaching for them growing their business, but it’s just a different strategy than what we do digitally, because a lot can be done, especially for insurance or financial advisors and realtors. There’s so much in-person networking that happens and is valuable.

Jenna Curry:

So that’s where I see PCYP going. I’m working on a new software that I’m going to slowly move everything from PCYP into, which would actually make what I do so much more duplicatable. So I have people from other cities reach out like, “Hey, do this.” And it’s like, “Oh my God. That’s like…” It’d be so much to tell you. But more of a plug and play way to take the systems that we’ve created, that other people could duplicate and then maybe even offering like, here, you can just take it and run with it, or there’s a done with you version, where they would get time with me, if somebody wanted to start it. So, yeah.

Derek Schmidt:

So are you thinking it’s going to become more of like a licensing? Raleigh, which is two hours away, for anybody who’s not local to us, could have licensed to PCYP name and program and everything and kind of start their own version of over there?

Jenna Curry:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. It’s something I’ve played with for years, but I’ll know in my gut when it’s the right time, because I don’t want to give somebody a business that’s going to make $30,000 a year. I don’t want to do that to anyone like, “Here, go work really hard, start this thing and make $30,000 a year.” So if I could get PYCP where it was making a six figure income and somebody didn’t have to work full time to create something like this, even if it was something they had to grow into, because right now it doesn’t do that.

Jenna Curry:

I mean, I make income from it, but it’s not those numbers. But it 100% has the possibility to. Once I could validate that with somebody else, like take somebody else and say, “Okay. Let me help you do this.” And then I would be, again, with what we’re talking about, go prove that I can do it with somebody else and then start telling other people like, “Hey, here’s this program. You can position yourself as a leader in your own community.”

Jenna Curry:

And it doesn’t even have to be for young professionals. It could be for digital marketers or wedding industry. It could be for any program or any route, but it would just be like use our systems

Derek Schmidt:

Yeah. Makes sense. It’s similar to a BNI, without the application fee and the initial investment and all the rules and regulations.

Jenna Curry:

Yeah. And BNI is making a lot… They’re doing a lot at the national level. We ask very little of us and that’s just how it’s always been. It doesn’t mean it couldn’t survive otherwise.

Is there anything you are doing at the moment to make that 5 year plan a reality?

Derek Schmidt:

Yeah. So my next question, which you touched on, you said delegation. So I want to see if there’s anything else. But is there anything you’re doing at the moment to make that five-year plan a reality?

Jenna Curry:

In my agency, we started just niching down. So from just taking… We’ve just found a real sweet spot in education. So working with public and private universities, colleges, people, organizations that create licenses or certifications or things like EMT. So we just found a real sweet spot there. And so the platform we’re building out right now just makes duplication a lot more simple.

Jenna Curry:

And we’re able to offer tremendous value for about the same we were charging before, but adding in all these features and functionality that we didn’t have before. So I’m really excited about the potential of being able to grow my agency without having to kind of… We never really start from scratch with a client, but kind of starting from scratch, from having a framework to start with and something that we’ve already validated.

Jenna Curry:

I’ve just always been like a yes person. So I’m like, “Okay. This client we’re going to…” If I can make it make sense, then we take it on. But a lot of times it just ends up being a lot more work than just niching down to a specific industry. So we mostly work with service-based industries and then in education. But we’ve also worked with mobile apps and e-commerce and kind of a bit of everything. But niching for us is definitely where we’re headed.

Derek Schmidt:

Okay. So niching, and then you’ve got a software that’s pretty much going to get you to that five-year goal of working less and making more money? Perfect.

Jenna Curry:

Yeah. And when you have something that’s duplicatable, it’s easier to train people and be able to replace people, because the likelihood of having somebody for five years just isn’t what it used to be. With PCYP, I have someone and we have slide presentations and Slack channels and people they can find, what they need to do and flows that exist. So who I have for me right now, she’s done in July. So we just take the new person and plug them right back into the system and that’s very new, not having to start from scratch, training someone. And me reteaching myself like, “Oh, how did I do this?” Watch this video.

Derek Schmidt:

Yeah, systems and process. Man, that’s one thing I wish I could have told my younger self, was that I wish I would have documented everything a lot earlier, because I didn’t realize how important that was.

Jenna Curry:

It’s not fun to document, for me, but you have to, because then you’re going to save yourself.

If you could go back and mentor your younger self, what would you say and what would have changed?

Derek Schmidt:

I’ve got a really good hack on how to do that in another video. You’re using your phone’s voice in a Google doc just to kind of spit it all out and go in and organize it later. My last question for you before jumping into this lightning round, you’ve partially answered. But going back to your younger self, what would you say to yourself and what would you have changed?

Jenna Curry:

I think two of my biggest struggles as an entrepreneur have been, one, asking for help, which I mentioned before, because you can’t do everything alone. And just realizing that if you’re feeling it, somebody else is probably feeling it, too. I was on my own for a while before I started having conversations with other business owners that are like, “Oh my God, you’re going through that, too? You feel like you’re an imposter, like you’re just kind of making it up as you go?”

Jenna Curry:

It’s not exactly like that. And then the other is just growing up, just my family didn’t have a lot of money. And so I had a lot of things to get past with just my mindset about money and how I treat it and how I feel about it and the relationship that I had with it. And I think that my early years as an entrepreneur, when I really was undercharging and just really getting taken advantage of, both for my first employer and some of my early clients.

Jenna Curry:

And for them, they’re just looking out for themselves. But seeing their businesses flourish and then meanwhile I’m just barely getting by, just because when I would send out invoices, I would have anxiety like, “Oh my God, are they going to pay it? Are they going to fight me for this?”

Derek Schmidt:

This is too high.

Jenna Curry:

Yeah. And so I’ve had to do a lot of work on myself and unpacking those beliefs that I have about money and and realizing that it’s not scarce. It’s not a bad thing. It’s not something that you should put on a pedestal or something you should say it’s like evil or bad. Because there’s definitely people that are like, “Oh, well, money is bad.” So it would be dealing with my weird issues about money earlier, which is kind of like I don’t want to feel like that’s an icky thing to talk about. We don’t necessarily talk about being an entrepreneur to make money. But when you make money, you can help more people. You can do more. You can give back more. And so I wish earlier on I had a better mindset about money.

Lightning Round

Derek Schmidt:

Yeah. I can relate to that. All right. So the lightning round. This is designed to… Hopefully we get it going quickly. You answer them as quickly as possible. I’ve allowed you to cheat a little bit by giving you a heads up on the questions, which maybe I’ll take out on future guests. But the first one is, what is your favorite quote?

Jenna Curry:

Okay. So I definitely would have answered this quote. I don’t know if I’ll get the exact right. But it’s a Maya Angelou quote and it’s, “People won’t remember what you say, they won’t remember what you do, but they’ll always remember how you made them feel.” And I think that that quote just applies to just everything in life. One, that’s brought me success, because I haven’t always been the smartest or the best or the greatest or the first.

Jenna Curry:

But I’ve always had the ability for people to know that I’m genuine in where I’m coming from. And so genuinely people will help me or work with me because they feel good about me, if they trust me. And it’s something that we think about from our clients of what they’re putting out there. Remember, if you… There’s some stuff going on right now and brands are really [inaudible 00:45:25] what they’re saying and people know what that feels and they don’t forget that feeling. They might forget if you did something crappy, but if you made them feel crappy, they’re not going to forget that.

Derek Schmidt:

That’s a really good quote. What’s your favorite book?

Jenna Curry:

I’ve read, God, so many business books. I mean, just look behind me, in my virtual office. I really have… And a couple are Crucial Conversations is one of my favorites, High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard. And then the one that I put in my notes was the one that I just finished and it’s applicable for a few reasons. It’s You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero.

Jenna Curry:

And it’s awesome because, one, it talks about a lot of the mindset, things about money and how you can basically rewire your brain to change what you believe and feel about money and position yourself and let the universe know that you’re ready to serve and be this person that you want to be. But it talks a lot more about just mindset and beliefs and just like your internal beliefs.

Jenna Curry:

I felt like for years I was doing so much external work, like the grind and that it’s just in the last couple of years I’ve been like, okay, I need to be good with me. Why am I the way that I am? What do I really want? I don’t just have to grind it out for the rest of my life. What really makes me tick? What do I really desire? What do I really want? Whatever your beliefs, whether it’s spiritual, religious and how you feel about that. It talks about that in the book, too, where it’s just kind of how you can manifest the life that you want.

Jenna Curry:

You can attract things into your life that you desire. That everything you want in this world already exists, because if you can think about it, it exists, and how you draw those things to you. So it was a cool book because I just feel like it’s just tying up so many things that I’ve been working on myself that I definitely recommend. And she’s funny and she curses a lot and so do I.

Derek Schmidt:

Muhammad Ali, “If my mind can conceive it, I can achieve it.” And then the law of attraction. Lots of power there.

Jenna Curry:

Yes, totally. It’s all right in there.

Derek Schmidt:

What is your favorite hobby?

Jenna Curry:

I’m a golfer. I started golfing really early.

Derek Schmidt:

So funny. I just don’t see you as a golfer, mainly because I don’t golf. But that is awesome.

Jenna Curry:

And then I have an electric one wheel, too. So those are my two favorite things right now.

Derek Schmidt:

Awesome. Tell me a little bit about your morning routine.

Jenna Curry:

Yeah. Oh man, there is some lightning going on. Again, my morning routine, I’ll frame it like I did with all the businesses that I’m in, is that it’s not the same for me every day. And I tried that. I tried the route of this is what I do and this process every day. And for me, I really just have to trust what I think is going to feel good that day. So some mornings I start with…

Jenna Curry:

I mean, I try to exercise every day. The days I feel the best are when I start my morning with like a run or a walk or Orangetheory, when it was open. Quarantine, I was running almost every day. Listening to a podcast or reading a few pages of a book. And it’s more so those things than music. Every once in a while, it’s music. And then I need to speak things into existence. So I have to sing or talk to myself or record a video to a friend or get on a call early. Those things just start my engines, if you will.

Jenna Curry:

I’ve been doing more meditation lately, but again, not every day that feels good. So I do more of my meditating and thinking when I’m on a walk or exercising. But I’m really, really trying to get more into meditating, because I’ve just heard just endless reasons of why it’s amazing. And so I’ve had a few great experiences, but I’m still pretty new to it. So it’s a little different every day, but I’m definitely feeding and fueling myself every morning with good vibes.

Derek Schmidt:

Yeah. I’m the same way. I have to switch things up. I get bored doing the same exact thing every day. So again, that’s where it is. All right. I’m going to give you three animals, insects, etc. And you’ve got to name which one based on the question. So one of these you’re scared of, one of them is a pet, and one is your spirit animal? You have an Armadillo, snake and a spider. Which one are you scared of?

Jenna Curry:

Probably the snake. I don’t see a lot of snakes, so when I do, even if I know that they’re probably friendly and safe, probably of the three, that would scare me.

Derek Schmidt:

Which one is the pet?

Jenna Curry:

I can’t imagine having a pet spider, so I would have to say Armadillo.

Derek Schmidt:

Because that’s totally normal. Okay. And which one is your spirit animal, I guess would be the spider.

Jenna Curry:

Yeah, if I have to align it. Yeah, sure. Actually, that would make sense. They’ve got lots of legs. I got lots of passions, lots of interests. And yeah, you never know what direction I’m going to go.

Derek Schmidt:

Perfect. And then the last thing is I want everybody to get in who you are and where they can connect with you.

Jenna Curry:

Okay. Jenna Curry. I am the founder and president of Port City Young Professionals, the owner and lead digital strategist of Remedy Digital Agency, co-owner of Wilmington Today, and a partner in Growth Labs Coaching, which is a coaching program for agency owners. You can connect with me on Facebook at Jenna Curry Leads, on Instagram at JennaCurry_, or just shoot me an email, [email protected] I’d love to connect.

Derek Schmidt:

Perfect. Thank you guys so much for watching and make sure you stay tuned for the next episode and check out Jenna. Thank you, again, for coming on the show, Jenna.

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