How to Build Resilience with Interact’s Very Own Jessmyn Solana

On this week’s special episode of Creator Stories we sit down with Interact’s very own Partner Program Manager, Jessmyn Solana. Jessmyn joined our team when she was just 23 years old—a recent college grad at the early start of her career. After being part of our team for many years, she shares the obstacles she […]

On this week’s special episode of Creator Stories we sit down with Interact’s very own Partner Program Manager, Jessmyn Solana.

Jessmyn joined our team when she was just 23 years old—a recent college grad at the early start of her career. After being part of our team for many years, she shares the obstacles she experienced before she joined Interact and what led her to make a risky move in her career to join an early start up company and the self-care practices she uses to handle the stress of adapting to changes.

Josh:
Hi, everyone. This week we have something a little bit different. We’re here with Jessmyn Solana, who is Interact’s oldest employee. We’ve had some people filter through before her, but she was the first one that stuck. It’s been three years now or more.

Jessmyn:
Yeah. Well, I hit three years this year. Oh, by the way, hi, everyone. I always forget to say hi in the beginning. But three years this year, and then in… Gosh, is it July next year will be my fourth year?

Josh:
July 10th, I think, if I remember right.

Jessmyn:
Yeah.

Josh:
Yes, okay. Yeah. So coming up on four years, which is like a million years in startup world. But I think the thing that is really fascinating about your story is that when you came on, at least from my perspective, you were switching careers from sales to marketing, and you were also a year out of college, so you had only done one job before this. And 23 years old and you decided to join a startup that was four people at the time and really tiny. I guess from my perspective, that was just not something that people do that often, like take that kind of risk. So I thought that’d be a great jumping off point. Just share with us how you got to that point, where you were ready to do that kind of risky thing as a 23-year-old.

Jessmyn:
I think it’s funny that you say risky because to me the word that always popped into my head was opportunity, which probably sounds corny when I say it. But it’s crazy, like goes all the way back to my parents coming. They actually immigrated from the Philippines in the ’80s. And so for me, it was always like I wanted to do something that mattered because I grew up in a setting that was like you are really privileged and you are really blessed to have grown up in America, in a very comfortable lifestyle. And so I always wanted to do something that mattered, but I also wanted to make sure that it was something that would make my parents proud, I guess you could say. And so for me, finding what was a small startup was more of an opportunity because I felt like I could make a bigger impact.

Jessmyn:
The last company that I was at was a startup, but they were growing. But it was very much structured. So it was like what you would call a 9:00 to 5:00. And it was sales, it was sales development, which I wasn’t good at. I’m not going to lie. I was not good at sales, and I didn’t really like it. My passion was always marketing. And I thought that, “Oh, if I just get a shoe in somewhere, I will get that opportunity.” But it just didn’t work out that way. And so after the fact, I wasn’t working actually for like five months. I had to move home. I had to move out of San Francisco. It uprooted my whole life. I went to school in SF. So I was already there for like four, almost five years.

Jessmyn:
And then to go back to a small town, living with your parents after you thought you made it big in the city was groundbreaking and really wild for me because I almost felt like I was failing, I guess, which is, I think, a lot of people can relate to when they’re young. You always feel like, “Oh, I graduated. I should automatically get some crazy job that’s going to make me all this money and all this stuff.” But come five months, I wasn’t working and my dad was starting to be like, “You want to just try something.” And at the time, I was like, “Well, I have sales development experience.” And so even though I wanted to do marketing, my thought was still, “I have to get in somewhere with the experience that I have and then hopefully make a move into marketing.”

Jessmyn:
What was crazy was I had interviewed for a sales development role at another company and the guy who interviewed me just called me out. He was like, “I don’t think you want to do this at all. I think you’re just looking for an easy opportunity to get a job.” And I was like, “Whoa.” My heart dropped. I wanted to just leave the room and forget it ever happened. But it actually really opened up my eyes that I was like, “I need to do what I want to do, which is marketing. So I need to really look for that opportunity.” And so I had applied for some jobs, but everything was like you need three to five years of experience. And then they were going to pay me like $15 an hour. And it was like, “How am I supposed to live off that at the time?”

Jessmyn:
One of my cousins actually was like, “Hey, you should check out AngelList. It’s like LinkedIn, but it’s for startups. And if you’re interested in the startup life, that might be a good opportunity for you.” And so I did. I didn’t think anything of it because I was like, “Hmm, this is just something that I’m trying.” One day, I opened up my email and it’s from you. I was like, “Oh, okay, someone’s interested.” I think if I remember correctly, what you said was like, “Hi, my name is Josh from Interact. We’re a small startup in Oakland, and I really like your background. I wanted to see if you’d be interested in this partner marketing position.” At the time, I honestly did not know what partner marketing even entailed, but I was like, “Marketing, this could be something new for me, but along the lines of what I want to end up doing in life.”

Jessmyn:
I think, honestly, my most vivid memory is walking up the stairs in the office the very first time and thinking like, “What am I getting myself into?” And logging into the conference room and there’s like four people. I don’t know, we all just really vibed. I don’t know if you remember, I was like, “This feels like I’m in Silicon Valley, like this show, and I’m really into it.” But yeah, so [crosstalk 00:06:46]. Yeah, right. And it was just like this really cool experience I think that like… From there, I remember my first job. Like I said, it was so structured. It felt like a 9:00 to 5:00. You had to be in by 8:45. You gather yourself, start working, logged in by 9:00. Not that that’s a bad thing. I think it works really well for a lot of people, but I didn’t feel like I was making the impact that I thought that I would make in the world, I guess. I know that it’s really aggressive for a 23-year-old.

Jessmyn:
Yeah. I think after that, I was just like… It was hard. It was like they let you go up quickly in what you’re doing in your job. I went from inbound to outbound sales, and then I wasn’t good at it at all. And I was like, “This is just not working for me.” And after the fact I realized it’s hard to find a job, I need to move out of San Francisco, yeah, I really felt like I had failed at the time because… Like I mentioned, my parents immigrated here. I grew up thinking like, “This is an opportunity for you. You guys are really privileged.” My dad grew up in the provinces of the Philippines, on a farm. My mom was more in the city, but she had your typical woman experience. She actually says she wants to be a doctor or she wanted to be a doctor. But her parents were like, “Why don’t you pick a profession that will still give you more time for your family at home?” So she ended up becoming a nurse.

Jessmyn:
At that time, there was like… I guess, honestly, I could be totally wrong on how this worked. But America was doing this program where they were outsourcing people like nurses for a cheaper price, I believe, or something like that. And a lot of them came from the Philippines. And so my mom started out in Brooklyn as a nurse and my dad was in San Francisco and he actually did go to school to be a doctor. So he thought he was going to come here, be a doctor. At some point, they met and he actually kept taking the test, but would miss by a few points. Sorry, dad, if you don’t want me to tell people that. But honestly, as I look back on… If it were me, I know I’d also feel really crappy about that.

Jessmyn:
But as I look back on it, my memories of my dad was he was always present and he was always there. And so I think if he did become a doctor, it probably wouldn’t have been like that. But yeah, so they were both in the medical field. He still ended up in the medical field. They both lived in California. We grew up in a small town, for those who aren’t familiar with Tracy. I think it’s kind of more up and coming now because it’s one of the more affordable places in the Bay Area. That’s like you’re still close to San Francisco. But when I grew up there, it was really small and pretty much… I don’t know, it’s like everybody knew everybody. My whole family… not my whole family, but a lot of my cousins lived there and everyone passed through there.

Jessmyn:
I didn’t really have a lot of view on what the world was like. What I knew is what my parents had in mind for us. And so I grew up always thinking that I was also going to be in the medical field. I grew up in a very traditional like you should be in the medical field because it’s a safe profession. And my dad wanted all of us, me and my brother and sister, to be doctors too. And that was really hard, I think, for me just because it’s a lot of pressure. It’s like your life’s set up for you before you even have any say in it. It’s thought out. I think that that’s an experience that a lot of other Asian-Americans probably go through as well, especially if you’re first generation or second generation.

Jessmyn:
Yeah, so it was really like that. My story starts out in high school, I guess you should say or you could say, mostly because that’s where you figure out what college you’re going to go to, what you’re going to do with your life. And not really knowing that I should end up in business or even in marketing, I was already doing it. I started out in leadership at school and I ended up really loving it. I love being behind the scenes. I love planning things. I love the strategy behind it. And I loved pretty much just like setting stuff up for people and letting people have an exciting time, like whether it was a dance or a rally or picking out what the class sweatshirts going to look like.

Jessmyn:
And so by the time I was about to go into my junior year, I was like, “I want to do something bigger.” And so I had applied to be the student body president and ended up getting it. I think that was the first time in my life that I was like, “Holy crap.” Like if you put your mind to something and you really want to do it, you can do it. It wasn’t very often that a junior was student body president as at our school, at least. And then senior year, I was able to do it again and I was student body president that year. But senior year was really like… It was pivotal for me, just because I guess that year a lot of people didn’t want me to be president of the class or the school, I guess you could say. And I found it out, found out about it by somebody who had graduated. They were like, “By the way, it wasn’t supposed to be you, but the teacher wanted it to be you. So that’s the only reason you got it.”

Jessmyn:
And little did I know at the time that that would be something that I would experience throughout college, throughout like in a career of… And just people being like, “It shouldn’t have been. We don’t want you here. No one wants to listen to you,” but in my heart, I was like, “Well, I am. So that’s what I’m going to do and I’m still going to put 110% into it.” And from there, really went through that. And then I went through a crisis figuring out what college I was going to go to, what career I wanted, what major I wanted to be in.

Jessmyn:
I applied to every college undecided, and I ended up choosing San Francisco State. I went in with an interest in nursing, thinking like, “I’m going to be in the medical field. That’s what I’m meant to be.” I don’t know, I just didn’t really know what I was going to do. I was just lost. My dad was even like, “I don’t think you’re going to like being a nurse. Maybe you should check out something else.” But it was hard because it was like, “Well, I didn’t feel like I should be in the medical field, but this was like a means to… This is what my parents wanted. This was my privilege of growing up in America and being able to go to school here and go to college here and learn here and all that stuff.”

Jessmyn:
And so my first year, I think it was even my first semester, I was taking undergrad classes. And one of the requirements was a communications class that everybody has to take. Our professor kept putting us into groups of four or five people every day and we’d have a project. And then somebody had to present. And for some reason, it ended up always being me. And a couple classes later, he’s like, “Are you marketing major?” I was like, “No.” I didn’t even really know what marketing was at the time, to be honest. He was like, “Well, you should be,” and then just walked away. It’s crazy how such a little thing made the biggest change in my entire life from there. It’s crazy because I can still see that moment in my head. But for the life of me, I can’t remember that professor’s name. And I feel so bad about it all the time. But it was just such a big moment.

Jessmyn:
I ended up switching my major without telling my parents. I actually did not know what was going to happen, but I was scared out of my mind. I thought I was going to get an earful. I thought that my dad was going to be super mad at me. I went home that weekend and I was like, “I have something to tell you guys.” And they thought that I killed someone or something. Not really, but yeah. I was like, “I decided to switch my major.” And he was like, “To what?” I was like, “To marketing. I want to be in business.” It felt like an hour, but he paused for a bit, maybe like two seconds. And he was like, “You know what I think? That’s good for you and you’re going to be good at it.” I was like, “Whoa,” which was also a really big moment for me because I wasn’t expecting that from my dad. I was expecting disappointment.

Jessmyn:
Like my sister, when she went to college, changed her major, I don’t know, maybe like one or two times, maybe three. I don’t even know. That might be wrong. But what I remember, because I was so young when that happened, was my dad was just like, “Why don’t you know what you want to do? Just pick something.” Every time he’d ask my sister like, “If you didn’t have mom and dad in the back of your head telling you what major, what would you be?” And she’d always say, “I wanted to be a teacher.” She loves working with kids. She’s the oldest child, so she didn’t have the same experiences with me where I saw her struggle. I saw my brother struggle to figure out what career he wanted to do.

Jessmyn:
And at this point, I was just like, “I just have to do it. I’m sorry, dad.” He tends to be nicer to me, anyway, when I do something wrong because I’m the baby. But I was just like, “I just got to do it and see where it goes from there.” He ended up being okay with it and he ended up thinking actually that it was going to be right for me. It felt like the stars aligned because I was also in San Francisco, which was perfect to be in a business school where there’s so much opportunity there for that. I don’t know, it was just crazy.

Jessmyn:
After graduating college, then my dad was like, “Okay, what’s your plan?” I was like, “Well, I want to stay here.” And he was like, “Okay, but I’m not supporting you anymore. So if you want to stay in San Francisco, figure it out.” And so I was like, “Great.” That’s when I first built my LinkedIn and I started scoping around and I found this startup that was hiring for sales development. And now, when I think back to my interview for that job, I’m so embarrassed because I literally had no idea what I was saying when I think back to like… One of the questions was like, “What do you think that you’ll be doing in the sales development role?” And I was like, “I think I’ll be going around to businesses and knocking on people’s doors, asking if they want to buy.”

Jessmyn:
I’m shocked that they still hired me from that because it was all like inbound marketing. People are interested, they fill out a form, then it goes into a CRM and then you reach out to people. And then from there, I was just going through each day really enjoying living in the city and thinking like, “Oh, this is it. Now, my career is starting.” And it just ended up not being that great because I ended up not liking it. I felt like I wasn’t being… not being, I wasn’t using my skills and I wasn’t using what I was good at to my ability. It was like a mundane every day kind of job. There’s nothing wrong with that. But for me, I was just like, “I can’t keep doing this.”

Jessmyn:
And then finally, so I left and then I didn’t have a job for five months. Had to move back home, back to that part of the story. And when I did… Well, I guess you found me. But when I found you and I went to that interview, I remember just feeling really at home, I guess you could say. It felt right. It felt comfortable. I remember when… Gosh, what was it? One of the biggest questions was like, “Why do you want to work here? Why this?” And one of the biggest things was, for me, one, I already had experience in lead generation. So I knew exactly what we were trying to do or what… I say we now, but what Interact was trying to do?

Jessmyn:
Another thing was in college, at the time, one of the biggest things was data. It was like marketing is everything if you have the data. And so when I saw the product, I was like, “Oh my gosh, this is…” It clicked. Like this is exactly what we keep talking about, and this is exactly what people mean and what they’re looking for. And for me, a huge thing was always finding a career or a company that I could click with, that I could speak to, and really connect with. And I felt like I had that.

Jessmyn:
And so that was really awesome for me. That was just why I decided to… Like you said, why do something so risky? It was just that it was like at the time, I didn’t think it was risky, if anything. I was like, “This is an opportunity because it’s something that I can actually connect with, I can actually understand.” And when I talk about it, people will also become to understand because I know it so well. And yeah, so I know I wouldn’t say it was risky. I think, if anything, it was just like falling into place, I guess you could say.

Josh:
Yeah. I can resonate with that feeling. It’s like when something you just know it’s right, even if it’s from the outside, it would look risky. But yeah, thanks for sharing. I hate when people say thanks for sharing. I think you did a really good job of giving the whole arc of it, which is exactly what we’re trying to do here is just pull out more stories and see how we’re all more alike than we are different. So that was awesome. I think the thing that really jumped out at me that makes a ton of sense in the context of even from my viewpoint like your time here is this part about not giving up, not being discouraged by people, not thinking you’re the right person for the job.

Josh:
Not that we’ve intended to make you feel that way, but you’ve morphed a lot in your role here. A lot of things have changed in the last three and a half years and always been very adaptive to that. And now, it makes sense that you mentioned that’s part of your story. But I’m really curious when that started happening or when you started noticing that happening and why you didn’t just give up and be like, “Oh, okay. I guess I’m not right for this.”

Jessmyn:
One thing is I like to literally try everything that I can until I find something that clicks. I love problem-solving. I love puzzles. I may not be a genius at it, but I feel like I’m pretty good. And so I guess you could say one thing is I hate letting go, I hate realizing something just doesn’t work. I feel like that’s something that I had to actually learn while I worked here with all of the evolving changes and adapting to it. At some point, you have to learn to just be like, “All right, that’s not it.”

Jessmyn:
But part of it is that though I think that’s why I kept pushing through with anything because it’s like I feel like there is a solution to this. I just need to find the right one. Like I need to find the right combo, I need to find the right… whether it’s the right tools or I need to do something within myself internally, whether that’s… It’s stress, like handling my stress. Like I need to clear my mind, or is it something like time management, or is it something like waking up earlier? I don’t know, so different things like that. For me, it’s always like it could probably work. So try as much as you can until you’re really like, “Okay, I think it’s time to try to pivot and do something new and figure out what that is.”

Josh:
What about the voices, other people that are like chime in because people love chiming in on things like, oh, you’re trying a strategy, you’re trying something new. Even like going back to high school, now you’re the president and you’re hearing this like, “Oh, maybe people don’t want me here.” How do you process through that and not let that impact the way that you show up?

Jessmyn:
This is going to sound weird, but I shouldn’t have started with that. But I always had this thought in my head that I was meant for something bigger than myself. I feel like from an entrepreneurial aspect, people who want to be entrepreneurs or want to start something for themselves, that’s a common thing. You feel like you were meant for something bigger. You want something bigger than what it is yourself. So I think at some point, as much as stuff like that hurts, or you’re like, “Oh, crap, this really sets me back.” I’m not going to lie. It’s not like I’d be sad about something for five minutes and then I’m like, “All right, let’s go.” It could take weeks, it could take days, it could take months. But I think when you really have ambition for something and you really care for something, you really just need to take a step back and think like, “Okay, that happened.”

Jessmyn:
So even in an example of someone telling you like, “This wasn’t supposed to be you. It wasn’t…” That was my first, I think, blow, that they’re like, “It shouldn’t have been you this year.” At that time, also I was like what? 16, 17. And not that I did it well at the time, but I think at that point I needed to take a step back, or even in changes throughout like nowadays, I need to take a step back and things like, “Okay, well, what do I really want?” I know that everyone’s saying like this and that, like I got one person over here saying that’s not working, another person over there saying maybe it should be this. I like to take a step back and like, “What do I really want, or what do I envision it to be? And how can I somehow make the compromise of what other people also want?”

Jessmyn:
I think in the past three years, we did this a lot, especially in the beginning. We’d have meetings or we’d be like, “Okay, we should do this and this isn’t working. And maybe we should try this.” But I would always take what I heard and then really work it through in my head, like I said, I love problem-solving and puzzles and stuff like that. That’s why a lot of stuff would come up where we’d have another meeting and I’d be like, “I thought about what we talked about last time and here’s a couple of things that I came up with. I want to know what you think about it.” And then really also actively listening.

Jessmyn:
So if other people are like, “I think it should be this,” it’s like, “Okay, well, why are they saying that?” Is that something that actually works, or is it something that doesn’t work? And if it’s negative, do I even need to listen to it? And hopefully, it won’t, I guess, shut down my ego of like, “I’m meant for something bigger.” But yeah, trying to find, I guess, the middle ground, like taking what that was and finding the middle ground, but also so pushing through. You got to remember why you’re here, you got to remember what you want out of life, and do you want to just let people push you around and tell you that you’re not good enough, or do you want to use that energy and make something out of it?

Josh:
I think the word that is coming to mind a lot is resilience. And that’s something that has really stood out here. I’m thinking of moments in your time with Interact, where we’ve had big changes in the company, or people have left the company, or we’ve shifted a lot and you’ve always come back with a new set of ideas, a fresh set of ideas. But those are also the types of moments that can be very de-energizing and take the momentum away, where it’s like, “Oh, we’re shifting again.” How do you think about that? How do you think about getting to that point? What’s going on behind the scenes that leads you to this point, where it’s like, “Okay, we’ve had another big shift, but I’m coming back with fresh ideas. Let’s do this”?

Jessmyn:
My first thing that I do is I’m always like, “Okay, so they want to change or this is going change. Let’s look at why first.” And then I like to figure out like, “Okay, what obstacle might come from this that I could run into?” Usually, if it’s a big change for me, it’s going to be in my everyday like daily activities, daily job, and all that stuff. So I’ll look at what obstacles could I potentially run into? So that way, if it does happen, I’m less surprised. And then that’s where the ideas come from.

Jessmyn:
It’s like, “Okay. If this obstacle happens, say it’s like, oh, somebody emails me and is like, ‘Actually, I quit being a partner. I just don’t want to do this,’ if I had to deal with that, what would my step be, or what can I do to prevent that, or what system can I have in place to where either AI can just… Do I want to decide to just be like, ‘Okay, cool, thanks,’ or do I want to go to the route of figuring out what I can do and accommodate and help them or keep them on or anything like that?” So I look at the why and then I like to figure out what the obstacles are so I’m not surprised. And then I try to ideate like how do I come up with something or a process or a system that covers all of that, that deals with the good, but also handles the bad?

Jessmyn:
Another aspect to it that I think doesn’t get talked about enough personally is taking care of yourself, like your actual mind. I like to do this a couple of times. I don’t know, maybe I actually haven’t done it in a while. I’m not even going to lie, but I like to do it a few times a year, at least. The last time I did it, I think, was in June, but I took a whole day off of work. I think that matters just because the weekend, your brain already thinks like, “This is a day that I don’t work.” I like to do it on a day that I should be working or I would be working, I should say. So that way it’s like, “Okay, now I’m going to just do a whole reset.” It ties into stuff at work, but it also ties into my personal feelings and my own emotions, and just letting myself know that it’s okay to be overwhelmed and it’s okay to be emotional about things as long as you don’t let it get in the way.

Jessmyn:
But that’s why this day is important because this is the day to do that. This is the day to work through all of what that looks like. And what I like to do is I like to outline my entire day of like, “I’m going to wake up at, say, eight o’clock. Let myself have that time to sleep. And then I’m going to have a coffee. And then I’m going to read a book while I have that coffee for 30 minutes. I’m just going to get myself together. And then for two hours, I’m going to journal.” And in that journal, I write out all the stuff that maybe are obstacles or I feel like hasn’t been working. And then I try to work through like what was I feeling?

Jessmyn:
And then one thing to try to accomplish from that is overcoming that feeling, but also finding a solution to… if it’s like a thing like a process or like a tool or whatever, I don’t know. But just like what can I do to help myself feel easier about this moving forward and what do I need to remember next time? Like telling myself like, “Hey, you felt this way before and it’s going to be okay.” When I get yelled at by somebody in an email, I’m like, “All right, we’ve worked through this and this is something that we can work through again.” And after that journaling, then I like to meditate, which I would usually use like an app because I don’t know how to meditate on my own.

Jessmyn:
And if anyone’s looking for suggestions, I like to use… This is a non-sponsored recommendation, but I used Headspace for a really long time, which was great. And I recently got into Calm because I got it for free through insurance. And that’s really good too. But yeah, just like meditation and looking at different ways to just let your mind just relax, doing that for at least 30 minutes. And then from there, even doing something like… to disrupt the day, take a shower, go for a walk, eat like out… We can’t do it right now, but eat outside or go to a restaurant or something like that. And then disrupt that time then come back. And then now you’re reset to continue and I do more journaling of like, okay, whether it’s like… Now, like my personal feelings about something or something that I’m stressed out about and stuff like that and just really working through all of that again like how to overcome that feeling, and then also what solution can I do moving forward?

Jessmyn:
And the important thing about all of this for me is writing it down because I know that it’s always there. If I ever go back to it or if I’m ever like, “Gosh, what did I do with this last time?” I have it written down and I can be like, “Oh, sometimes it feels like I didn’t write it.” And I’m like, “Who was that that wrote that?” It’s like helping yourself out later. But yeah, doing this whole mental reset is super important for me. I like to do it if there’s a period of time that I’m really overwhelmed and stressed. So a lot of times if we are going through some big changes and it’s something that I feel like maybe I’m super overwhelmed by, then that’s the time that I will do that.

Jessmyn:
I think this year, I decided to do that, I think, for two days because it was… I think we’re going through a lot of changes, plus it was pandemic stuff. So I was like, “I’m really stressed out. And working from home was a huge…” Actually, we were already working from home. But it was a huge change because not only was I working from home, but Harry, my boyfriend, was working from home and we also just moved in together. So we were figuring out this like co-habiting life, plus a pandemic, plus big changes at work. So I was just like, “All right, everybody got to take a break.” I took two days off and that’s what I did for two days.

Josh:
That’s an awesome method. I was going say, I do this often. But I’m not nearly as structured, which is telling of actually how we work together. But yeah, I do that like every few weeks, and especially when things are hard. Yeah, like more often. But it’s a perfect segue because we’ll have to get you to write that whole thing out and put it in Entrepreneurs Corner.

Jessmyn:
Oh, I didn’t think of that.

Josh:
Yeah. I think that’d be a great article. As we’re wrapping up here, I think I didn’t tell you we’re going to do this, but just letting everybody know that you’re going to take over as the host of this podcast as well and also putting together our new initiative, Entrepreneurs Corner. Do you want to talk a little bit about what that’s going to be?

Jessmyn:
Yes. For Entrepreneurs Corner, I’m getting really excited because as you can just tell from my whole spiel about taking two days off of work, just to do self-care, this is something that I really, really care about and I never thought I would be able to even bring it out into my work life. But Entrepreneurs Corner is going to be everything about people’s stories and taking care of yourself and how to overcome all those struggling obstacles that do come about when you’re trying to maybe start a business or start a career, or just figuring out what the hell you want to do with your life. But it’s going to be all stories about that and they’ll be on our blog. Am I missing something?

Josh:
Not really. Yeah, I mean, it’s just about the reality.

Jessmyn:
Yeah. It will be written by people who are actually going through it or have gone through it. We were just talking about this yesterday that what’s cool about this topic that I think I’m really excited about is just that we always talk about the successes and we always talk about like, “This is what happened when my business took off, or this is what happened when I all of a sudden realized this is what I’m doing with my life and it’s perfect and everything’s great.” We don’t talk about the part where you felt like you were failing. I love talking about the part where I felt like I was failing, just because I feel like it’s so much a part of who you are and your story.

Jessmyn:
I think when people are just starting out that way, like if I had somebody at the time or I had a place where I could go to and see, oh, like someone who’s in my spot or was in my spot was going through literally the same exact thing, I think I would have felt so much better about myself. I would have felt like I could give myself a break pretty much and just taking that step back and thinking like, “Okay, it can work out and I can do this.” For me, at least, I hope what people get out of Entrepreneurs Corner is a friend. I guess you could say like I hope you feel like you belong somewhere and you get a sense of that belonging. I hope that also me being a part of that will help me learn a lot too.

Josh:
Yeah. I think I’m excited about it too because I like to tell the story all the time. Matt, the co-founder of Interact, and Ethan and I, who… Ethan’s the third co-founder. We parted ways early on. But the three of us decided to start a company because we were sitting in a pizza shop and we were like, “Should we do this?” And then we were like, “Yeah.” [crosstalk 00:40:35].

Jessmyn:
I’m not surprised it was pizza, to be honest.

Josh:
Yeah, that’s very true. But that was literally how we decided. And then we didn’t have any of this community and it was always just like heads down. It’s really only in retrospect. My girlfriend is actually interested in starting something-

Jessmyn:
Nice.

Josh:
… cool. And as she’s talking about all the things that are coming up and she’s literally the most astute person I’ve ever met in terms of talking about like how she’s feeling. I’m like, “Oh, I dealt with all this too. I just never thought about it. I just suppressed it all.”

Jessmyn:
Yeah, which is so much easier, in my opinion. But it’s not good for you.

Josh:
Sort of and you live with it. Like literally, I see a chiropractor now and he’s like, “You have a lot of stress in your body.” And you carry it somewhere if you don’t wear it out. And so, yeah, I think it’s just going to be amazing to talk about all these things that you do feel and you do struggle with as you’re starting something. I think it would be great to have you at the helm of that, from your perspective, because just being able to ask the questions and talk about your experience and bring in other people that maybe have similar but different or totally different, but it all is the same. So it’s going to be great.

Jessmyn:
Yeah. I’m excited. I think people are going to love it too. I think they’re going to be like, “Oh, wow, I just didn’t know you see all these big names, but who were they in their humble beginnings? What happened when that moment that they were just like, ‘All right, this is where it’s going to change, and this is what I’m going to do, and this is how I’m going to do it'”?

Josh:
Right. And even like who are they now? Because this is like people love being… I don’t know, it’s so frustrating how like… There’s so much stuff out there that’s just like, “Oh, this is what I do now and everything’s great.” Even from my perspective, it’s like Interact is fairly large-ish company.

Jessmyn:
Large.

Josh:
But everything is not great. Internally and externally, it’s just not. I don’t think it ever is. I think it’s always a struggle on some level and things get better. But I think there’s always things that are there saying, “That’s exciting too to be able to share lots of different perspectives.” Like somebody who’s just getting started or hasn’t even started yet and is thinking about it. Someone else who’s making like $1 million a year and how are… What’s going on in their mind? So I think it’s going to be awesome and very exciting.

Jessmyn:
Yeah. I love it.

Josh:
Awesome. Well, we can wrap up there. But thank you for sharing your story and people will get to hear a lot more from you as the host going forward.

Jessmyn:
I want to say thanks for having me, although I’m going to be like now hosting, but yeah.

Josh:
Here you go. You can have it.

Jessmyn:
I’ll now take the torch. I’m excited. Well, thanks guys. And thanks for listening for everybody who will listen.

Josh:
Yeah. Thank you.

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Josh Haynam

Josh Haynam is the co-founder of Interact, a place for creating beautiful and engaging quizzes that generate email leads. Outside of Interact Josh is an outdoor enthusiast, is very into health/fitness, and enjoys spending time with his community in San Francisco.

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