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This year I am really devoting myself to taking time to read more and take more time for me. I love to mix up my reads between business, pleasure and personal growth and I am going to share all about them here on my blog! I will even include links to order, so you can read along with me. My latest finished read is How Are You, Really? by Jenna Kutcher, and I’m excited to share my review.
First, let me just start by saying that I have been a long-time fan of Jenna Kutcher. I have learned so much from Jenna’s teachings, whether through her Instagram education program (“The Instagram Lab”) or listening to her wildly successful podcast, The Goal Digger Podcast. When Jenna announced her book, I honest to goodness just felt so proud of her! It’s been incredible to watch her go from a wedding photographer to a freaking entrepreneur mogul just taking the world by storm.
Jenna’s book, How Are You, Really?, challenges readers to really take a moment to pause and self reflect. In between anecdotes and forward-thinking challenges, Jenna simultaneously says “I have been where you are” and “I am where you can be.” Jenna chronicles her story as a ‘small town wedding photographer with a $300 craigslist camera’ into becoming a 7-figure earning CEO in just a few years time. She details the emotional ups and downs of her love story with her college best friend turned sweetheart, Drew, and the challenges they faced and overcame on their journey to become parents.
Since I have followed Jenna’s story since 2016, I already knew a lot of her story. And yet, I still somehow was able to learn even more about her internal dialogue when going through these growth spurts and changes in life.
Jenna talks throughout the chapters about the importance of pausing, and breathing in the moment. She wants readers to really check in with themselves, to see if what they are doing is really serving them, helping them grow, bringing them joy or if it’s just doing what you think you’re supposed to be doing.
The are two parts of How Are You, Really? that really resonated with me, though. Yes, it’s important to be pausing and chasing dreams – but at what cost?
Jenna touches on burnout – something every single entrepreneur has experienced, at least once in their career. She says, “Perhaps your most playful muscles have grown atrophied from leaning on the guide books, the how-tos, and the proven methods so much that you’ve started to doubt your ability to return to the posture of creating just for fun.” This particular quote really struck me, because I have definitely felt my creative muscles atrophy over the years. It’s very easy to fall into routines when it comes to family photography or shooting weddings every weekend!
The other topic that resonated with me is the importance of a ‘tribe,’ so to speak. Jenna says, “Friendship isn’t a spotlight to be shoved into. It’s a floodlight to be shared.” I loved that quote! I cannot even begin to describe how lonely entrepreneurship can be; we don’t have offices to go into, or coworkers to chat around with. The wedding industry, specifically, is filled with some of the most incredible people I have ever met and many of them have become lifelong friends. People who have followed me since moving to Wisconsin in 2020 can definitely attest to my lack of community here. So reading Jenna’s words about the importance of having people who you can support as much as they support you? Hit really hard. Made me realize how unhappy I am staying in Wisconsin longterm, which is probably zero surprise to the people closest to me. Life is too short to be anywhere that doesn’t really bring you peace, right?
Randy is reading the book now too, so I’m excited to see what he thinks about it. If you’ve read Jenna’s book, post a comment – let’s talk about it!
January 17, 2023
Joy-filled photography for families, boudoir, high school seniors and weddings. I've got you, boo!
I'm Ashley! Family and wedding photographer in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, but I travel all over the country to hang out with the most incredible people. I am obsessed with puppies, extra hot coffee, incredible light and firmly believe that love conquers all.
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