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Recession-Proof Your Business with Jen McDonough

Recession Proof Your Business with Jane Atkinson and Jen McDonough
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Quote: “I’ve found that it’s just much easier once you get very clear on thinking, like your audience and your lane. All of a sudden, it goes from, who is going to hire me, where am I going to even start, to, I know exactly where to start, and I know what the next step is.”  Jen McDonough

Is there a recession coming, and are you prepared if it happens? There is so much talk in the news of a recession that we thought we should have a discussion and offer some suggestions to recession-proof your speaking business in case it does become a reality. On this episode of The Wealthy Speaker Show, we’re thrilled to welcome back the leader of the Wealthy Speaker School, Jen McDonough.  

Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen) is our Lead Coach for The Wealthy Speaker School, a motivational storyteller and an engaging Amazon Top 100 author who works with high-stress, high-demand, and service-oriented organizations to cultivate resilient team members who can walk through any fire. Coach Jen is instrumental in helping our students achieve their dreams.


Read Full Transcript

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Jane Atkinson: Well, welcome everyone to the wealthy speaker podcast i'm your host jayne atkinson and my special guest today is the leader of the wealthy speaker school genomic Donna welcome back done.

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Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): Well, thanks for having me Jane.

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Jane Atkinson: Now.

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Jane Atkinson: We have been through so much together over the last 10 years inside the wealthy speaker school and we have seen some stuff um for myself personally, over the course of 30 plus years in the business.

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Jane Atkinson: I realized that there have been some pretty monumental things that have gone down, and today we want to talk to you about how to recession proof your business.

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Jane Atkinson: And we're going to come at it from a couple of different angles, that I think you'll find helpful and at least get you thinking about how to recession proof your business.

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Jane Atkinson: let's just talk a little bit about Jen during coven so Jen is out on the road speaking, I am just here running the school and coaching and doing what I do so she's kind of my boots on the ground and.

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Jane Atkinson: So during covidien you're kind of in pretty good shape on in you even raised your fees during coven I mean I love that about you and so talk a little bit about your coven experience just from the most recent you know kind of not recession, but something similar to it.

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Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): Well, you know for for me Jane I just found that when I needed scarcity mode I do nobody good and so over the years i've just learned the value building margin.

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Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): In my life, and also my business and in our personal finances so.

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Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): it's taken a while to get to that point to build that margin, but I just I feel like in the recession or whatever we're in or going into where we're in.

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Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): is having that margin to fall back on to both mentally and financially and kind of all in all areas in life has really, really been helpful.

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Jane Atkinson: you're talking when you speak of margin you're really talking about building in some buffers some.

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Jane Atkinson: Things I call it a comfort fund, you know things that allow you to not stress too too much, but one of the things this is kind of the central reason why I wanted to have this call with you.

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Jane Atkinson: And I think you do this beautifully is when you start to see something on the horizon, whether it be a pandemic, whether it be a recession and and one of my first big disruptions to our business was 911.

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Jane Atkinson: That was huge everybody's business closed down for a period of time, and I remember at that moment, I was an agent working selling speakers I was a regular agent I wasn't even the leader of the exclusives division at that time I was selling speakers and I had a lot of contracts out.

00:03:07.830 --> 00:03:22.080
Jane Atkinson: And one I instinctively turn towards my clients and said how can I be of service, so when you get into these situations when you create value.

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Jane Atkinson: For your clients, that is exactly the right position to be in, so I think it happened so 911 wasn't a major like six months 12 months I don't actually remember how long the business was interrupted for.

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Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): I bet it felt like forever at the time.

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Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): You don't know.

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Jane Atkinson: It was the first one right and it was so tragic and devastating and jarring for everyone, of course, in the world, and so.

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Jane Atkinson: yeah it just took a long time to come back from that even emotionally, then we had economic meltdowns then we had recessions, then we have the pandemic, which, by far, has been the worst.

00:04:09.000 --> 00:04:19.470
Jane Atkinson: And now they're talking recession coming down the Pike and I will have Andy the great calm or down or Andy The Economist back on the show, and he Bush.

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Jane Atkinson: He really looks out into the future and kind of shows us what to do in the face of a recession or something like that, but um I think about some of my clients so number one.

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Jane Atkinson: Recession proven yourself is or catastrophic event proofing yourself is pro provide and be clear on giving awesome value to your clients one example actually i've two examples.

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Jane Atkinson: Ryan esters started the business Jen in the middle of an economic meltdown he did not come into play in a very good and so he immediately said.

00:05:02.610 --> 00:05:19.530
Jane Atkinson: I can help I can I can help you during this time he's a sales guy at heart, and so you know he really got people ramped up very, very quickly, and that helped to build build his speaking business meredith Elliot Powell.

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Jane Atkinson: One of my clients who just got admitted to the speaker hall of fame, by the way, which was awesome meredith.

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Jane Atkinson: It she said it felt like the pandemic was the fire and she put the fire hose over her shoulder and ran towards it.

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Jane Atkinson: She went out to her clients, with no agenda and just said to them, what do you need, what do you need help with right now what's going on, how can I help, how can I be of service so tip number one is to provide value and.

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Jane Atkinson: Number two.

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Jane Atkinson: Is around being incredibly clear on the specific problem that you're helping to solve, so that people will know that you're there person when they find you.

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Jane Atkinson: How you've gotten from being kind of when you started Jan you wanted to speak on a lot of different topics and every year you've gotten more and more narrow in your focus talk a little bit about that in your own journey.

00:06:29.520 --> 00:06:42.810
Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): Oh yeah you know when you are in scarcity mindset you go to desperation big time and that's when you don't have that margins in your life like you're just scarcity, and you try try everything.

00:06:43.260 --> 00:06:51.300
Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): But when you start to build that mindset game which I know you talk a lot about and see it more as abundance things just start seeing the value of.

00:06:51.780 --> 00:07:00.420
Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): Okay, you know I may not be able to serve the whole ocean, but I can serve this one bucket and I can serve them one bucket I can really make that.

00:07:00.690 --> 00:07:06.000
Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): bucket of water boil and do some amazing things, not only for the people that I serve but also.

00:07:06.420 --> 00:07:11.820
Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): In my business so i've just found that it's much easier, once you get very clear on.

00:07:12.030 --> 00:07:23.250
Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): Things like your audience laying like all of a sudden, it goes from who's going to hire me where you know where, am I going to even start to I know exactly where to start, and I know what the next step is.

00:07:23.550 --> 00:07:39.390
Jane Atkinson: And because you were speaker who had a message of resilience, you took your focus to first responders so 911 operators fire people police.

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Jane Atkinson: ambulance drivers there's a lot of people that fall fell under that umbrella.

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Jane Atkinson: And, really, I think that was what gave your business tremendous traction just having that focus now since then you've gone one step out to say anybody who helps support a community.

00:08:00.270 --> 00:08:19.410
Jane Atkinson: Is a good fit for you and I, like that, because that's got focus as well, but being that finite when when somebody says like I as i've said before on the podcast I watch a lot of coaches, and so I have taught I have seen coaches that.

00:08:20.700 --> 00:08:33.810
Jane Atkinson: are only coaches to practicing physicians on how to lose weight like that's your market physicians who need to lose weight, so if i'm a practicing physician.

00:08:34.230 --> 00:08:44.670
Jane Atkinson: And I have 10 2030 pounds to lose that's my person that's the only person because she's going to come at it from exactly.

00:08:44.880 --> 00:08:51.930
Jane Atkinson: My standpoint she's going to use all my language she's been there she's done it herself she knows exactly what she's talking about.

00:08:52.260 --> 00:09:03.870
Jane Atkinson: And it's very interesting as we've seen a lot of people get very, very focused inside the wealthy speakers school on what they're talking about and it's resulted in business hasn't.

00:09:04.530 --> 00:09:11.820
Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): yeah absolutely and you know what the cool thing is is going back to the recession proof, we know who you're serving.

00:09:12.330 --> 00:09:24.360
Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): You can I mean there's so many opportunities to serve, and when that comes about, and ask yourself not only you know when you have these horrific things going on around you it gives you the opportunity to say.

00:09:25.590 --> 00:09:34.770
Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): I can't control all this going on here, but what can I do and when you know your audience and get crystal clear on what you're speaking about it becomes very easy.

00:09:35.340 --> 00:09:40.950
Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): Because i'm all about easy hidden that easy button and it becomes very easy to say.

00:09:41.460 --> 00:09:50.610
Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): How What opportunity stasis open up for me so for me Jane you know doing well, I came kicking and screaming to the virtual world like.

00:09:51.150 --> 00:10:00.690
Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): never want anything to do with that I was in admiration to those who were doing and i'm like hey good for you, but that's a lot of work and and I just.

00:10:01.080 --> 00:10:11.790
Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): I long story short, I think you've heard this I hadn't accompany asked actually hire me for an event for a virtual event during covert and happens like healthy and unified cash this check.

00:10:12.450 --> 00:10:13.740
Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): That, I have to deliver, so I.

00:10:14.490 --> 00:10:31.860
Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): checked for two or three weeks i'm like I don't want to do this, I did it I loved it and it's just amazing that sometimes when these awful things happen what that opens up opportunities that opens up to serve and to be able to make more impact.

00:10:32.010 --> 00:10:39.990
Jane Atkinson: And I want to go back and look at all of the times when we thought of our industries in trouble.

00:10:40.980 --> 00:10:53.370
Jane Atkinson: 911 happened in and we definitely thought our industry was in trouble because travel was in trouble, there was like travel was completely disrupted and so a lot of meetings really in that scenario got pushed.

00:10:54.090 --> 00:11:07.470
Jane Atkinson: But economic meltdowns one of the first ones after 911 and I hope I don't have my timeline wrong i'm not great with date, but one of the first ones after 911 was all about.

00:11:08.250 --> 00:11:21.510
Jane Atkinson: Companies becoming aware of all of the lavish events that were happening and how they're the shareholders were saying how is our money being spent.

00:11:21.810 --> 00:11:33.660
Jane Atkinson: And so there was a period of time when it was like well our meetings, even going to be had anymore, because now, all of the companies had to prove that they were spending their money wisely.

00:11:34.230 --> 00:11:48.240
Jane Atkinson: So that happened, and that was a bit of a shake up and do we still need to get together and then of course recessions and what have you, but the pandemic showed us, I think, hands down better than anything else.

00:11:48.690 --> 00:12:06.000
Jane Atkinson: How much people need to commune with one another and so within that was opportunity and then sprung virtual and now we will never do business, the same way again and so from.

00:12:06.450 --> 00:12:26.580
Jane Atkinson: difficult situations can spring opportunity and I think if you are position well, and you know exactly what specific problem you're going to help solve that for you clarity equals confidence, and you can take that out to the market and say I am here to serve and and.

00:12:26.610 --> 00:12:30.330
Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): it's a beautiful thing to do you think now more than ever, and I.

00:12:30.840 --> 00:12:38.760
Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): Just am so guilty about this, because we have people who come into the school where they talk about different things are they talk about different audience.

00:12:39.180 --> 00:12:52.470
Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): I think, now more than ever there's more ways to do our revenue streams like it gives us this is presenters and speakers and experts so many more choices that we didn't have so if you want to do a course or coaching or.

00:12:53.730 --> 00:13:01.020
Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): Virtual or in person like there's so many world to mass and there will cause people to which is.

00:13:01.080 --> 00:13:02.010
Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): denied play.

00:13:02.700 --> 00:13:14.820
Jane Atkinson: Coming out from the other side and in business has changed, you know, there are people who will never ever work in the office nine to five again Monday through Friday, and I think that is.

00:13:15.720 --> 00:13:27.840
Jane Atkinson: A beautiful thing why why, why does it need to be the same as it always has been and we've proven that it's no longer necessary, and so business has changed and evolved and.

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Jane Atkinson: So let me give you a recap number one we want to provide awesome value to our clients, how can I serve number two.

00:13:38.580 --> 00:13:47.700
Jane Atkinson: Be clear on what specific problem, you are going to help solve because we know that clarity equals confidence.

00:13:48.510 --> 00:13:57.270
Jane Atkinson: And then number three comes back to consistency and planting seeds and being a voice of service.

00:13:57.840 --> 00:14:11.340
Jane Atkinson: i've talked a lot about how Chris West said to me early in coven come on Jane, we need to do something people need to hear from us and it reminded me in a moment of scarcity, and you know fear.

00:14:11.760 --> 00:14:26.280
Jane Atkinson: That hey wait a second people need me now more than ever, and they need to hear my voice my voice of reason my voice of calm and you can be that, for your clients in a time of so.

00:14:26.760 --> 00:14:40.530
Jane Atkinson: When they say recession is coming guess what there are going to be pockets of opportunity that are there for people I talked to somebody Jen I can't remember if I did a focus 40 with them, or if it was just.

00:14:41.040 --> 00:14:54.840
Jane Atkinson: A little introductory call or something, and he said he had not had one piece of work in over two years and I thought, well, I think I know what the problem is.

00:14:55.500 --> 00:15:07.350
Jane Atkinson: it's your brain, you have a thought that there's no work for me, and that is what's become your truth when all of our other clients and school students have been out there.

00:15:08.340 --> 00:15:18.390
Jane Atkinson: You know hustling and getting the business, and when I say hustle I mean incredibly focused strategic hustle not just work yourself to the bone.

00:15:18.720 --> 00:15:27.210
Jane Atkinson: For the sake of working yourself to the bone but really getting out there and being specific about who you're going to help and what problem you're going to help solve.

00:15:27.630 --> 00:15:39.300
Jane Atkinson: We did not have anyone inside of our school or in our coaching world who wasn't thriving during coven because the opportunity was all around us.

00:15:39.570 --> 00:16:01.530
Jane Atkinson: And so the same is going to be true for the recession, and I do want to say that it's not for sure that we are going into a recession, just last week I don't know when this is going to air, there was a massive jobs report That said, we are back to pre coven employment numbers and so.

00:16:02.670 --> 00:16:11.970
Jane Atkinson: that's good news, and I think that kind of shifted people a little bit is like well, are we going into a recession or aren't we anyway, so I just want to say that.

00:16:12.660 --> 00:16:27.360
Jane Atkinson: We don't actually know what's happening, I have Andrew Bush on later to talk about what he believes is happening he's my he's my voice of truth in this situation, but is there going to be opportunity there, I would say that's a big old heck yeah.

00:16:28.980 --> 00:16:37.590
Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): She and I love I love the mindset piece, you know you can look at it as a spiritual people now there's nothing out here, like the call that you had or you can look at it, as.

00:16:38.070 --> 00:16:50.160
Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): Oh, my gosh there's so much business out here and it's not just this hunky dory thing it's it's extreme thing of when you start looking at how can I serve want to do what's more won't stop and.

00:16:50.700 --> 00:16:55.860
Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): That all that clarity that we talked about having that just gives you that confidence and moving forward.

00:16:56.160 --> 00:16:56.730
Jen McDonough (aka The Iron Jen): yeah.

00:16:57.210 --> 00:17:00.960
Jane Atkinson: Well, the great resignation that happened during cove it.

00:17:01.290 --> 00:17:15.000
Jane Atkinson: meant that there was an employment glut that people couldn't find good TEAM members, well then, I just heard last week somebody saying that companies were starting to lay people off because of the recession and I thought wow.

00:17:15.540 --> 00:17:28.890
Jane Atkinson: I wonder if that's a knee jerk reaction like is that even necessary to do that, yet I don't know of course I don't know the situation in that particular company, but anyway let's just remember that.

00:17:30.600 --> 00:17:37.680
Jane Atkinson: we've been through this before we know what to do, we know that we can help.

00:17:38.310 --> 00:17:56.880
Jane Atkinson: So let's just get out there plant those seeds and be the voice of service for our customers, I think, the more we can just be out there with that attitude that I have some value to offer you the better off, we will be.

00:17:59.430 --> 00:18:10.740
Jane Atkinson: Well, thank you all for listening in today, this has been one of our little shorties that we love quick nuggets of information for you and.

00:18:12.030 --> 00:18:18.990
Jane Atkinson: I hope that we will see you on the next episode of the wealthy speaker show, so you can say, one of the speakers bye for now everyone.

Highlights you won’t want to miss:

  • Building in a buffer. [1:30]
  • Be of service and provide value. [5:00]
  • Getting traction through focus. [7:30]
  • Clarity equals confidence. [11:00]
  • Planting seeds will reap rewards. [14:00]
  • A positive mindset produces possibilities. [15:00]

If you want some great advice about how to recession-proof and keep your business moving forward even in lean times, you simply can’t afford to miss this episode!

I hope you’ll download and learn.


Jen’s website
The Wealthy Speaker School
Jen’s LinkedIn profile
Jane’s LinkedIn profile

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