Q and A with Jacquelynn, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
“Life is so short and so beautiful.”
Q: What are you passionate about?
A: My first love, outside of being a mother, is music. Ever since I was a little girl, I vividly remember singing my little heart out. My first performance was with my grandmother, Peggy Sue, singing gospel at my baptism, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Which is super interesting to me because I’m an introvert at heart. I’m not passionate about just one thing though. As I mentioned, I love being a mama. But when it comes to work outside of motherhood, I genuinely enjoy helping and pouring into other women. It lights me up! I’m into breastfeeding awareness, embracing your weirdness, helping mamas figure out how to turn their passions into income, creating courses, cooking, writing and singing my own songs, big fan of naps, and all the little things in life. But above all, being a mama and wife is my favorite, and they’re the very reason for all the creating I do. They motivate me. I want to make them proud. I want to set a good example and show them how something can be made from absolutely nothing. Like my children’s book, I Think I Need Glasses. It started with one little idea and evolved once it hit paper. The eBook is my most recently finished project. It’s about a little girl who has an imagination out of this world. She tells of her adventures and life experiences from her point of view, but her older brother pokes fun with her and tells her throughout the story that he thinks she needs glasses. It’s a playful and magical transitional story for children who wear glasses. It’s available for download on Amazon.
My next upcoming appearance/teaching is a super powerful onetime workshop called “Monetize Your Passion” on Thursday, August 5 @ 6pm CST / 7pm EST. The workshop is for creative and passionate aspiring or “stuck” female entrepreneurs. I’ll go over getting clearer with what your passion is and how to turn it into not one, but multiple offers. All the details are on the registration page. It’s going to be pretty epic. I’m so excited! You can also catch my podcast “Just Women Talking Sh!t” just about anywhere you get your podcast. I’m always looking for women to interview, so if you give it a listen and send your story in for an interview, you so should! And last, but certainly not least, I have a free online community for growing and unapologetic women. It’s called Female, Fearless, & Bad-Ass. That’s about all I have going on at the moment!
Q: What were your younger years like?
A: This is a tough one to talk about. Because I truly believe that my childhood and younger years, as an adult, have everything to do with the woman I am today. Fun fact about me: I am the oldest of my mother’s six children. Yes, six. How badass is that? She’s such a fierce and strong woman! Shoutout to my Ma in case she reads this. [She laughs.] Anyway, she did the whole single mom thing up until I was about 13 years old. I vividly remember having a baby on each hip, making lunches, doing dishes, playing house at a young age. Everyone called me a little mama, but it’s all I knew. I remember wanting to buy something but always knew how hard my mama worked to take care of us, so I set up my own lemonade stand. Okay, I’ll be honest. It was a Kool-Aid stand. (Southerners know what I’m talking about.) [She laughs.]
In one day’s work, I made $40. I remember dividing the money up among my sister, cousin, and me. We walked down the road to a florist and I bought my mama some silver dangly ball earrings. She wore those suckers out. I was so proud. I’ve had the entrepreneur bug ever since. I am one of the few in my family to graduate from high school. I did attend college but found myself stuck in this viscous cycle of changing my mind on what I wanted to do with my life over and over again. It became tiring, frustrating, and a total waste of money. I’ve honestly done it all trying to find my place in this big and crazy world. I cleaned houses and babysat as a young teenager, got my first big girl job at a Joyce Leslie women’s retail store, went on to have multiple jobs throughout high school, bartended at 18, cashiered at Goodburger on Chestnut in Center City Philly, became a nanny when I was let go abruptly, continued nanny work for the next several years up until my first child was born, wrote for a local newspaper, freelanced at marketing events, was a personal assistant, cleaned houses yet again as a young mom, waited tables as a single mom, made my way into a daycare where I taught and later worked in the office, was introduced to network marketing and multi-level business models, tried those out and did okay, found myself obsessed with finding the next big thing, failed over and over again, finally went back to corporate America after my first marriage went to crap, worked my tail off, never saw my daughter, ran myself and health into the ground, was scouted by one company, hired just to be fired a week before Thanksgiving of 2019. I told myself I would never allow someone to have such a hold over me. My health was crap, my mood fluctuated, I was so burnt out I couldn’t enjoy the money I did make. Even though it was scary as hell being let go that day and I had no idea what I was going to do, I knew it was all going to be okay because, well, it just had to be. This was yet another test. Fast forward to now—I’m a mother for a second time. I’m creating like I’ve never created before. I’m living authentically and really smelling the roses like I’ve never smelled them before. Because life is so beautiful. I don’t think people stop and think about that enough. We are all here as a result of millions of tiny things that all had to go right for us to even be here. Think about that and don’t take one second for granted. Life is so short and so beautiful.
Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?
A: You have all of the tools to do something great in your lifetime all within you. It all starts with you. I don’t think this is talked about enough. You are so powerful. Your life experiences, wisdom, story, downfalls, triumphs, testimony, all of it. It’s so powerful. I just want to see everyone around me happy, healthy, successful, and wealthy—whatever that may look like for them. And I think that happiness starts at the core. It starts with you. So, take good care of yourself so that you can excel in all the things. Self-love takes priority so that everything else runs like a well-oiled machine. I think several women with past traumas and insecurities tend to seek validation from others. Sometimes, it comes in the form of a romantic partner because maybe she grew up without a father present in her life. (That was me.) Sometimes, it comes in the form of being stuck in a career that makes her unhappy to the core because she was taught that the only way to make it in life is to work her tail off and put her time in like everyone else until retirement, but what she really wants is to somehow find a way to monetize her passion. (That was also me.) All in all, I just want women to realize that they don’t have to settle for someone else’s idea of what life should be like is all. I’ve been there and done that, so if me sharing my story helps others navigate through life and/or business journeys easier, well I’m all in. Just know you can literally do anything you set your mind to!
Q: What does feminism mean to you?
A: When I think of feminism, I think of how far women’s rights have come in general. It goes to show just how powerful women are. I mean really think about how far we have come in such a little amount of time. And now? I bet if I was to ask any of your readers to name an inspiring woman who makes multiple six figures or more a year…someone would instantly come to mind, no? It isn’t about proving I’m better than or equal to a man. It’s about celebrating the power that’s within us all and shows in the growth and impact we each have in this world. It’s about the growth and impact the women before us had in this world and then the ones before them and so on. The world is so big and so vast, yet we can create such impact that is on a level so deep it changes lives. Like how cool is that? That’s the ultimate girl power if I’ve ever seen it.
MORE FROM JACQUELYNN: I was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I primarily lived in a small town called Dixie, but I moved away to New York when I was 16. I graduated high school in the Poconos, attended college in Philadelphia, PA, for a year, and moved back down south when I was 22 or so. My roots are firmly planted back in Mississippi with my beautiful family.
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