What’s the one thing you neglect when you’re busy?
When I was in the “all-hands-on-deck-have-to-launch-this-company-now” phase in 2015 (which led to burnout), I was quick to give up play. Adventure and fun had to go. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
I mean there are other, more important things, right? Things we “should” do, like work towards that deadline, work project, or long to do list.
Too many “shoulds” can stifle our creativity, ability to learn and grow, and the opportunity to discover new things that lead us to our mission.
This is why I was so excited to interview Jennifer Coulombe, CEO and Founder of Sat Nam babe, a socially conscious line of play and yoga clothing for babies and kids under five.
Jen founded her own company not by focusing solely on the “shoulds,” but by being intentional about new experiences – incorporating adventure, fun, play into her day-to-day.
What was her process? Where did she find the discipline to integrate both work and play? (Yup, takes discipline to have fun too!)
Meet Jen and learn how she became a mission-driven CEO (without burning out).
Give us some background. Where are you from, and where did you start out?
I’m originally from Upstate N.Y., but I always knew I wanted to move to New York City as soon as I graduated from Syracuse University!
My first job after school was at a mid-sized public relations agency, where I interned that previous summer.
What is your mission, the work you want to do?
I recently launched my first company, Sat Nam babe, a socially conscious line of play and yoga clothing for babies and kids under five.
We want children from the youngest of ages, to stay true to themselves in order to live out their destinies in this lifetime. The words “Sat Nam” translates to “truth is my identity.” We can’t think of a better message to send to our littlest kiddos. As they go through life and face new challenges, may they always be true to their wildest dreams!
What led you here? Can you recall any experiences you had that pushed you to your mission?
After finishing business school in the Fall of 2014 and all of a sudden feeling like I had a ton of free time on my hands (grad school and working full time was crazy!), I knew I wanted 2015 to be a year of new experiences.
I called it my “year of firsts” – from running a half marathon to becoming a certified scuba diver to signing up for a 200 hour Kundalini yoga teacher training in Cape Town, South Africa. I wanted to experience it all!
Hands down the teacher training allowed me to clear out fear and subconscious thoughts that I didn’t even realize existed, making space for me to arrive to where I am today, running my own company.
What challenges did you face along the way, and how did you overcome these challenges?
The “monkey mind” as we like to call it in Kundalini yoga, is a powerful thing. It tells you that you can’t do something or aren’t good enough or qualified, etc.
This impacted me in ways I didn’t even fully realize. The subconscious thoughts of “You can’t do this,” “You can’t quit your job,” and “You aren’t qualified to do that job” definitely got in my way.
I realized during teacher training that taking the leap to leave my job was a roadblock I had to overcome. My mind was telling me, “Are you crazy? What business do you have leaving a ‘secure’ full time job?”
I had to clear this.
It’s when you can quiet the monkey mind and move toward a more neutral mind that you can be more present. Life becomes simpler and easier to move through.
Challenges may still be there, but you can handle them with grace.
At Work Bigger, one of our goals is to build creativity among readers and community members. We know this is a key skill required to thrive in the future of work. Can you share your definition of creativity?
Exploring freely without boundaries.
When are you most creative?
When I meditate and practice Kundalini yoga.
During Kundalini yoga, you connect with a world beyond your finite self to tap into our creative forces. We’re ultimately connected to the infinite, to something greater than ourselves. This makes space for and allows creativity to shine through.
The idea to do a fun bug print on one of our Sat Nam babe pants came to me when I was meditating.
And travel just naturally gets me relaxed, a good time to let the creative juices flow!
Can you share a time you used creativity to solve a problem?
As a first time entrepreneur on a very limited budget, I’m constantly using my creativity to build my company. Everything could be a “problem” because I’m doing it for the first time and figuring it out as I go, but I rarely look at challenges as a problem.
To me, everything is an opportunity to make a conscious decision and keep the mission moving!
What advice do you have for 20 to 30-somethings who want to make an impact through their work but are currently feeling stuck?
Give yourself time to figure it out and don’t be too hard on yourself. Be really inquisitive and open to new adventures.
Many times we feel stuck when we do the same old thing daily. Get out of your routine, even if it’s taking a new route home from work! Let go, be open and let the universe work its divine magic.