They Weren't Taking Me Seriously, by Jenee Dana

Jenee Dana

Co-Founder of My Focus Book LLC

Author of Have Fun & Get It Done: Graduate from a Top University in 3 Years or Less without Being a Genius!

“Your daughter will be a great cheerleader when she grows up.” I didn’t know what my second grade teacher was trying to say at the time, but looking back, I know she was addressing the fact that I always loved fun and struggled with academics.

Growing up, learning was hard. I felt stupid, especially next to my best friend who always got straight A’s. It was so easy for her! But in spite of the challenges, I always had a knack for figuring out the game of life. I worked harder and longer than everyone else, but I managed to get great grades.

After struggling through the first two years of college, I finally discovered the reason for the struggle. My sophomore year, I was diagnosed with ADHD and tested in the bottom 50% for reading speed. Oh, that’s why this has been so hard!

I knew I had to figure out how to LEARN MORE EFFECTIVELY and GET MORE DONE QUICKLY so that I could have MORE FUN. I will not spend one more year with my head stuck in books, watching my friends have all the fun!  I got my hands on some amazing books and tools, and tweaked the principles and tools to fit my style. They were so effective, I was able to graduate UCLA one year early AND enjoy that last year way more than the first two.

After graduating UCLA, I realized the value of the productivity skills and tools I had learned (from books, friends, and good old trial and error) when some of my fellow Mary Kay consultants used them to rapidly earned cars and become Directors. I had created My Focus Book for myself originally to keep everything I needed to achieve my goals and stay on track in one place; but when they got such incredible results, they encouraged me to start my business. And My Focus Book was born.

But when I started my business – oh boy! – I felt stupid all over again! Before I got clear on my core message and how to present it, l felt as though my “peers” weren’t taking me seriously. Whether it was because I was the new kid on the block, or because I look like I’m still in high school, I felt a lack of respect, and not being clear on my core message did not help.

And then I got a crazy idea to write a book! When I went to Amanda’s first session, I didn’t even know what I wanted to write about, but I knew I needed to write a book. Isn’t that weird? I figured I would at least start the program and see if all the things I heard about Amanda were true. Within the first 10 minutes of the session, Amanda and the group helped clarify my message and discover my new market – one that was easier for me to connect with…students!

My core message is Have Fun & Get It Done. Time Management does NOT exist. Values and Priorities do. I am passionate about it because so many people struggle with trying to figure out time management every day. They stress about reducing their stress! Stress (= lack of fun) leads to 80% of illnesses, and it’s just a terrible way to live life. I am very stubborn and have always been unwilling to give up my fun time, and I want others to feel the same way.

With the new market and all of that clarity, so many doors opened up, way before the book was even close to being finished. A top prep school in Orange county saw My Focus Book planner and asked me to create a student version, and I started to build the My Focus Book App which is now just about ready to launch. I interviewed Glenn Moreshower (actor on hit TV show 24 and blockbuster Transformers) and Richard Hatch (producer, director and actor in hit TV show Battlestar Galactica) for my book. My Focus Book was also approved by The Smart Cookies who are syndicated on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Wow!  And now because of Amanda, I am sharing the stage with Lisa Nichols, a #1 New York Times Best Selling Author who was featured in The Secret, at my first book signing event! And it is only the very beginning of this journey. Can you believe it?  Next step, #1 Best Selling Book on Amazon!

I will never be the same because I have gotten clear and said YES to the journey. Before, I was awkwardly roaming rooms, wondering who I should approach next and sweating about what I was going to say. Sure, when I first started my business, I had great testimonials because my product is great. “Became a Director (2 people)…Earned a free company car (2 people)… increased my productivity by 100% in the first week, etc., etc.”, but this process of clarifying my message has increased my confidence and my ability to share my message by leaps and bounds. After I quickly introduce myself in front of a large group, I have a swarm of people coming up to me now wanting to know more, asking for my information, books and products. I was always a good speaker, but now I am getting rave reviews across the board and keeping my audience engaged. (Oh, and I don’t feel like throwing up before speaking anymore because now it just feels so natural!)

I had not written the book I knew was inside me because I didn’t believe I was a writer. Who would want to listen to me?  I am too young. Truth is, I was just getting my voice back after being in an abusive relationship for 7 years when I started my book journey. Had I let those things keep holding me back, it scares me to think of everything I would have missed out on. I own my message now, and I know where I’m going.

——

When Jenee walked into my first mastermind session, all I knew was that she was helping people manage their time and get more out of life with her My Focus Book Planner. I had no idea she had developed all of that expertise while graduating from a top university in three years, and I didn’t know about the personal struggles that were heavy on her mind. All I knew was that there was a young woman with some big dreams, and she knew that a book was her next step to build that credibility.

As we worked through my process, we found a few challenges that were keeping her business and her message from achieving the type of success she knew she was meant to have:

  • The Right Market at the Wrong Time: As she said, she was approaching a market that absolutely needed her expertise. The entrepreneurs and business professionals who didn’t judge her by her looks, her excitement, or her big dreams got results fast. BUT there was an easier market to reach where she could EASILY ACHIEVE INSTANT CREDIBILITY with her credentials: “I graduated UCLA in 3 years despite my ADHD and reading challenges because I found tools and skills that work.”  She’s been there and done that, and she can teach others to do it like nobody’s business. And what teenager (or parent of a teenager) isn’t going to listen to her? But here’s the thing: As soon as she shifted her focus to the student market, who started paying attention because of all of her immediate success as a business owner? That’s right – the entrepreneurs!

 

  • A Strong Message Without a Strong Brand: I love hanging out with and networking with Jenee because she is so fun and so high-energy. So, when we started brainstorming book titles, it wasn’t too long before the “Have Fun & Get It Done” book title and business tagline emerged. Everyone in the group jumped the minute it came out because IT IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO JENEE! I don’t know anyone who has more fun and gets more done than Jenee, and it’s a solid, catchy hook for her books, 30 second introductions, and everything else she does. It captures the heart of her business and her purpose. It’s no wonder people are starting to flock to her – she has developed a strong brand that is in alignment with who she is and what she is meant to do in the world!

 

2 thoughts on “They Weren't Taking Me Seriously, by Jenee Dana”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing my story. And you are totally right….Have Fun & Get It Done book title and business tag line has made a huge difference in my core message…and it’s all thanks to you and your amazing talent!!!

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