Catalytic Leadership

How You Can Transform Adversity into Strength, with Jenna Righi

August 03, 2023 Dr. William Attaway Season 1 Episode 57
Catalytic Leadership
How You Can Transform Adversity into Strength, with Jenna Righi
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How often do you get to meet someone who has taken a painful experience and transformed it into a vehicle for connection, resilience, and service to others? Today, we're extending a heartfelt invitation to you, our listeners, to join us in a profound discussion with Jenna Righi, the brain behind Link Before You Sink, a handmade jewelry business. Her journey, from a broken bike chain to creating unique jewelry pieces that symbolize strength and unity, is as fascinating as it is inspiring.

Jenna's story reminds us that our unique gifts are our strength. Her perseverance in the face of doubt and the courage to silence the 'microphone' of comparison are lessons for everyone. She has used her creativity and entrepreneurial spirit to build a community that draws strength from each other. Hear about the growth of her company, the catalytic leadership principles she's applied, and the heartwarming stories she shares on her blog. This episode isn't just about the power of connection; it's about understanding the profound impact we can make when we link together. Don't miss out on this opportunity to witness a living example of turning adversity into unity and strength.

Link Before You Sink website: https://www.linkbeforeyousink.com
**Use Jenna's promo code LEADERSHIP25 for 25% off for our podcast listeners!

Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/linkbeforeyousink/

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/linkbeforeyousink

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About Dr. William Attaway:

Meet Dr. William Attaway, your guide to peak performance. As a seasoned Executive Mindset and Leadership Coach with nearly 30 years of experience, William empowers high-performance entrepreneurs and agency owners to conquer challenges and maximize their potential. Join him on the Catalytic Leadership podcast as he shares insights on achieving Clear-Minded Focus, Calm Control, & Confidence, helping you thrive in business and life.

Grab your free copy of Dr. William Attaway's new book, CATALYTIC LEADERSHIP: 12 Keys To Becoming An Intentional Leader Who Makes A Difference.

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Speaker 1:

Welcome to Catalytic Leadership, the podcast designed to help leaders intentionally grow and thrive. Here is your host author and leadership and executive coach, dr William Attaway.

Speaker 2:

Hey, it's William and welcome to today's episode of the Catalytic Leadership podcast. Each week, we tackle a topic related to the field of leadership. My goal is to ensure that you have actionable steps you can take from each episode to grow in your own leadership. Growth doesn't just happen. My goal is to help you become intentional about it. Each week, we spotlight leaders from a variety of fields, organizations and locations. My goal is for you to see that leaders can be catalytic, no matter where they are or what they lead. I draw inspiration from the stories and journeys of these leaders and I hear from many of you that you do too. Let's jump into today's interview. I am thrilled today to have Jannah Righy on the show. She created Link Before you Sink LBYS, a handmade jewelry business that was created to find strength by linking with other people. She created this after going through her own personal struggle While riding her bike. One day, the chain broke. She looked down and she had an epiphany the symbolism of links and connection while being broken hit her. She suddenly realized she could make jewelry charms out of the broken bike chain. Her mission is to find strength by linking with others. This jewelry is worn as a reminder that you are not alone. Lbys has now been linked in 20 countries. Jannah, I am so excited you are here today. Thanks for being on the show.

Speaker 3:

Thank you so much for having me. I am super excited.

Speaker 2:

I would love for you to share some of your story with our listeners how you got started, particularly around your journey and your development as a leader. How did you get started, sure?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so it goes back to 2014. So I was living in Florida at the time and it was just one of those things when it went through a really hard time in my life. So I lost my father to a long battle of cancer. I actually broke off my engagement the following week and then a couple of days after that I lost a really close family friend of mine. So I knew I needed to come back. So I was living in Florida with my fiance, but I knew I needed to come back to Ohio, to my support system, and I was terrified. I didn't have a glimmer of hope. I had monthly reoccurring student loans. I didn't have anybody that was going to pay those for me, but I knew I needed to put my mental health first and again get back to my support system. So on that 22, 23 hour car ride, no radio on, just a deep thought, thinking you know what am I going to tell people? I made a promise to myself that when not if I got back on my feet, I would pay it forward to others going through tough times, and I didn't know how I was going to do it at the time, but that stuck with me. And so it was about three and a half years later. I was riding my bike and the chain actually fell off and broke and I was ticked off and I looked down and it was just one of those aha moments. I realized that again I could make jury charms out of the broken bike chain. So our mission was set that day and, as you stated, it's to find strength by linking with others. I love that.

Speaker 2:

Why do you think linking with other people is so important?

Speaker 3:

So it's honestly how I truly got through that tough time in my life. So, in just to clarify, we link through our jewelry it's one as a reminder that you're not alone and we link through story sharing through our blog. So each piece or jewelry links, as we call them. You receive an anonymous story that was submitted through our blog and then it takes you back to like the QR code where you can read these other stories. So that's the verb of linking and that is so important because that's how I got through my tough time and I was like it took me a while to get there. I was really quiet, like when people I was suddenly back in Columbus with no job, it was embarrassing. People were asking me what do you do? And I was like I don't really know. I'm in transition. The more I linked up and got vulnerable with other people, the more people reciprocated with me. So I think connection I mean it's got how I got through my tough time and I always say alone we are strong, but linked we are stronger.

Speaker 2:

So what are some different ways that you link people together?

Speaker 3:

Yep, so it mainly our jewelry. Well, two ways blog and jewelry. So when we actually started off with, when you break apart a bike chain, it breaks down between a flat and a double and actually we're in the flat right now. So our pieces are worn as a reminder that you're not alone. But to me the verb of linking is more important. So when you purchase that piece, we connect you with a story of somebody that's going through a similar struggle in our blog. Anybody can go on there and I always encourage if you have a story, please share it. You never know the the lives that you touch with your own story, but you can go on there and find, like a topic we do just insert stories, inspirational stories, and you never know which one you're going to get. But you can always go back to the blog and find a topic that resonates with you, whether that's fertility issues or loss, or cancer or depression, anxiety. I mean, there's all different the ways that we link through that blog.

Speaker 2:

I imagine there's a lot of great stories there.

Speaker 3:

There are and some are really sad. And you know, this question that I actually get is like how do you take all that in? And it's like I know I'm serving a bigger purpose. But there are a lot of great stories and anything with children or childhood cancer. Those ones particularly really touch me. But it is important to share that, to know that somebody else is also maybe going through that, unfortunately. So I focus on the bigger picture.

Speaker 2:

Is there one that has left a significant impression on you that you'd be willing to share?

Speaker 3:

They all do, but I actually this is a so I met her in Columbus, ohio and I was doing I feel like God works in crazy ways, right? So I was at an event and I was given my little spiel. You know, again, I hate talking about myself, but it is why we started and I was like here's what we do and here's where I recreated. And the woman said oh my gosh, you have to come to this fundraiser this weekend. It was Thursday on Sunday, can you make it happen? I was like, well, sure, what's it for? And she said my son, or my friend's son, actually killed himself because he was cyber bullied online. So, anyways, I'm like I'll be there, you know, no worries, I'll be there. We give back a portion of proceeds, but I met her. She's since shared her story on my blog. If she has a super incredible stories or incredible story, but that one really resonated with me personally because then I met her and now I have her phone number you know what I mean and she's changing a lot with the way things happen with her son and laws are being set in motion. So that's one of that I really like to share, because I personally met linked with her in person. You know, sometimes it's just online.

Speaker 2:

I love that this is such a passion project for you. In this case, the story you told. She has a passion project that's very near and dear to her. There are people listening who are entrepreneurs, who are leaders, who are agency owners, but there are also those who have a passion project they haven't started yet. There's something that's in their heart, that's in their mind, that they haven't stepped down on. What would you say to somebody who's wrestling with that?

Speaker 3:

To start. I can tell you all the hiccups that I made. There's a lot of them. But they always say, if you start when everything's perfect, you started too late. You learn as you go. It's frustrating to me because I have people say, oh well, I wouldn't know how to put that together on a website, or I wouldn't know how to order that online, or I wouldn't know how to plate that. It's like I didn't either. I just figured it out. I always say, if your why is there? If you start something with money when things hiccup or when things break or when hiccups happen, you usually give up when it's in your heart and you go back to your why. It's like why am I doing this? You don't give up on it. Just start. And then your why will always lead you back to the next step that you should be taking. Just start baby steps. I can tell you I messed up medals. It wasn't hyperallergenic. There's a lot of things. If we want to record through all through the weekend, I can tell you all about all my mistakes, but it's just your why will get you to that next step. Just start somewhere. Things happen for you when you take action. They do not happen when you're sitting in the passenger seat. Take that baby step and go from there.

Speaker 2:

Did you ever struggle with people doubting you during the process?

Speaker 3:

Oh my gosh, I struggled with so many people doubting me. I always get the question, too, with what was your biggest struggle? I could sit here and tell you about all the mistakes that I made. I've had influencers tell me that no one would wear, that, they're never going to make an impact by jewelry that's off of a bike chain. I knew I would. I knew in my heart and I'd cry and get upset and then the next day I'd be like I'll tell you, I'll tell you, I'm going to prove you wrong. I think the hardest thing for me I was trying to prove myself, or it was within me, For example. I was trying to. I think this resonates with all entrepreneurs. I struggled with comparison. I'm a very unique brand. I always say I'm mission first, jewelry second. I have friends that own jewelry businesses. I hired an e-commerce coach and it was hey, when you do this ad, you need to show the prettiness of the jewelry or you only grow if you do wholesale. I tried wholesale. It didn't work for me because my mission was lost. I went back to my. I was stuck in the comparison and that's why you never do that. It's like well, what's my uniqueness? My uniqueness is I have the perk of a blog. I have the perk of stories. I give back. I started doing fundraisers and products online that gave back a portion of proceeds. I crushed that. Not only was it more financially fruitful for me, but it also my energy was full. You know what I mean when I do an event or when I connect with Jen. Was her name in Columbus who lost her son? That fills my cup, or it's like wholesale didn't. So I'm not saying one is right and one is wrong, but it's like go back to your uniqueness he has and focus on what makes you different than, for me, the next jewelry brand. So if you're a life coach, it is frustrating, I'm sure, to see if they have more clients than me or they're doing this different than me, it's like. But you have something different to offer than that other life coach. So go back to your unique gift we all have one and start try not to get stuck in that comparison. Does that make sense?

Speaker 2:

No, absolutely, and I think the comparison trap is one that most people will spend time in at some point in their journey.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. So I guess there's a question. I doubted myself, I doubted myself with a lot and it was like I have a list of, like, what works, what doesn't work, and it's like is this going back to your, why Not sales? Is this going back to your why?

Speaker 2:

And then the money usually trickles from there, you know sometimes it's, it is self-doubt, sometimes it's what you say to yourself and sometimes it's the voices of other people speaking that into you and over you. In both cases, you have to figure out a way through it. You have to figure out a way around it, over it, under it, to get to the other side of it.

Speaker 1:

And I love that you've done that I love that you said

Speaker 2:

I'm not going to let that stop me.

Speaker 3:

And that's why you got to start with you first, because now I'm confident in my why. And so when other people now doubt me like an influencer for like, oh, I wouldn't know, it's not, you know, you'll never make an impact with that, I'm like, huh, that makes me actually like, oh, you're not for me now, you know, or before, when I, when I wasn't, when you know, when I was doubting myself, I wasn't able to handle that feedback. It crushed me. I'm like, oh, I'm not going to let that stop me. You know, take care of yourself first, get out yourself, doubt first, and then you're able to handle other people's negative cause. They will come other people's doubts and negative comments, but it's like Focus on you, know you, and getting your mindset right and focus on why you're doing something and then boost your. It boosts your confidence and it you see that you're making a difference and then I'm ready to handle others doubts now.

Speaker 2:

People, people who are listening are in different stages of their business, of their career. Some are Struggling whether to start when to start. Some have started, but they're. They're not to the point of breakthrough yet. They're still kind of in the the struggle, still in the valley. What's something you would say to them?

Speaker 3:

Focus day by day. So if you notice how I start my story, oh it's I, you know. And then about three and a half is I got. Then I got back to Ohio and then, three and a half years later, we're missing that three and a half year gap. Right, yeah, it was a lot of self-doubt, I mean one. I didn't have a job when I started. It was like what am I gonna do next? What am I gonna tell people? There was a lot that happened in that three and a half year journey and you just look at it as baby steps and I feel like, day by day, just take it day by day. Wait for me. It's waking up and doing my daily devotionals and working out, and just Clarity comes. You don't know when it's gonna come. Like for me, it was a slap in the face when I the bike broke, or my bike chain broke. I was ready to receive that gift, though, because I worked on myself and For that three and a half years. Do you know what I mean? So it's like just take it. Just keep on focusing on your day to day, plugging away, doing what you know you need to do, seeing on your health, you know. And then you're ready. When that you get your moment. For me it was a you know or you get clarity. It comes. I don't know when it's gonna come, but it'll come if you keep taking action, if you sit on you know and the backseat it won't come to you. So just focus on your day to day and I think your clarity will come. I just can't tell you when.

Speaker 2:

Unfortunately, If you could go back into that season At the, the beginning of that three and a half year season, if you could go back to that time and tell yourself something, what would you like to tell yourself?

Speaker 3:

You're enough, you're loved and you'll get through this because I was broken. I was. Who's gonna love me now if, like, somebody can't love me? After the loss of my father, I didn't even have time to grieve my father. I was at the beginning. I was in shock from a broken engagement too. You know what I mean. It was like a lot of self-doubt creeped in on me and that took time to heal from that. I would tell that Jenna that, like, if you're a chapter book, you know let's look at birds, birds, I view you're stuck in the crappy chapter, but the page will turn. The page will turn, just, I mean, but just just focus on what you need to do to get to that turning of the chapter. So, yeah, I would tell her that it's gonna be, it's gonna be okay and the page will turn and you're enough. And now I'm happily married, I have us, you know, a two-year-old son. Things always work out the way they're supposed to be. It's just, it's easy for me. I always say I never read the headlines anymore or like the the highlight reels on Instagram, because it's like what happened in between? Like, you know, what happened in between? That's where, for me, the magic happens, when you're in that dark time. Sometimes it's like that's when I got clarity through my struggle.

Speaker 2:

So hmm, you know, too many entrepreneurs do they compare their day-to-day to somebody else's highlight real and they feel like they're not enough. They, they come, they play the comparison game and what they don't understand is that when you play that game, you always lose.

Speaker 3:

Oh wait, look at me. I spent a year doing, trying to do. I mean, I could give you a million comparisons. But for talking jewelry to jewelry, I spent a year doing wholesale and it wasn't working. And it's like because my mission was lost. Think about a jewelry like just hanging on it, like in a boutique. There's no story card with it, there's no. Hey, here's the mission. Like our unboxing experience may be biased is pretty incredible. You're losing that with wholesale. And here I was still comparing To these other jewelry brands. I'm not another jewelry brand, I'm my own jewelry brand and embrace your uniqueness. And that goes to get again with the life coach, with a fitness instructor, where all there's a million different fitness instructors or life coaches or focus on your uniqueness and you know, focus on your gift and that's when the magic happens. But I was stuck in that comparison for a long time.

Speaker 2:

I think that's the source of so many of the bumps and bruises an entrepreneur's experience, you know because they're trying to operate outside of who they are. They're trying to operate outside of their authenticity and I love that you saw that, discovered that and said no, I'm doubling down on operating in this space.

Speaker 3:

And it's important to note too, because I had somebody ask me I think it was yesterday like how do you shut that off? I'm like it doesn't shut off, the microphone just turns down a little bit and then it turns back up, and then you turn it back down a little bit and then you turn it back, it turns back up. I mean, it never goes away. So just to be very clear, I still struggle with that. Everybody still struggles with that. I see stuff online. Oh my gosh, they're crushing it. I stink. You know what I mean. It's like you just need to turn down that microphone a little bit each day, but you're always working on that. It doesn't ever go away.

Speaker 2:

Good advice there too. Is there a book that has made an impact on your life, your journey, that you would say, hey, if you're a leader, an entrepreneur, a business owner, this is one you really need to read.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, there's a bunch, but I would say, right off the cusp it was Believe it by Jamie Kern-Lyma Great advice. Yeah, she's awesome. I actually got it free Like I had. It was postpartum with my son. I was reading it Like he was two days old. I'm like this book is incredible. It's just it's a motivational entrepreneur book and it's just like right if you got to believe it within yourself. And if you believe, I mean for me again it's God. If it's like, if you again a lot of wavering feelings, am I supposed to be doing this? Should I be doing this? Am I an idiot? Like I used to do sales and crush it easily, but like I feel like this was placed on my heart for a reason and it's just like it gave me again more clarity. That like believe it, believe in yourself and if you know that this is your purpose in life, then keep going. And the rest, and she talks about I like vulnerability. She talks about all the struggles that she had with starting a business and she actually just launched another business I just found out about this week, so I ordered on preorder. So, yeah, believe it by Jamie Kern-Lyma is an amazing book.

Speaker 2:

You know, as we get to the end of the show, is there one thing you'd like people to take away from your journey so far, one thing from this episode that you're like, if you missed everything else, I want you to make sure you get this.

Speaker 3:

I want you to make sure that you embrace your unique gifts and I know that I've talked about that. But with that goal, it means not stop comparing and that's why I say for me it's true A lot of people are probably do not run a jewelry business, but it's really focusing on your unique gifts, your why write them down and just keep going with that. And what I do is I have a just Jenna folder. So anytime somebody sends me an inspiration or inspirational email or a nice DM or a text, I screenshot that and I save it in my just Jenna folder. So when I that negative voice is turned all the way up, I get that out and reread like why are you doing this? Like remember your why, and that it's like same thing with like a gratitude journal. You know what I mean Write down what you're grateful for, and for me it's my just Jenna folder. And just remembering that it brings me back to my why. You know, and anything. I feel like anything could happen now in my business and stuff could break and packages could get lost in the mail. And if I go back to that folder this is why you're doing it and you'll get through it and you know, and we'll get to the next day the page will turn. Yeah, the page will turn, exactly, I love it.

Speaker 2:

I know our listeners are going to want to stay connected with you, Jenna, and continue to learn from you. What is the best way for them to do that?

Speaker 3:

The best way. My website is linkbeforeusynccom and if you go on the top, I always clarify yes, we sell a product, but we share stories. You know, if you don't want to purchase a product, you can share your story for free. Go on to our blog for free. Our Instagram is at linkbeforeusync like a kitchen sink, and then our Facebook is linked before you sync as well, and then I always give a promo code to any listeners. So why don't we just do it? What about this leadership 25? Does that work? That works All right, I'll set that up. So leadership 25 for 25% off if you do want to purchase a piece, but if not, please just go on there and link with us through story sharing.

Speaker 2:

Love that. I'll make sure those links are in the show notes.

Speaker 3:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

Jenna, thank you for being on the show and for sharing from your own journey, I think. I think you've really brought a level of transparency and authenticity to this and I really appreciate that.

Speaker 3:

Thank you so much. Yeah, I thank you so much and feel free. I check emails. If you have any questions, please email me. It's my email or my contact us. I'm reading those. So if you have any questions or if you'd like to reach out, I say that and maybe I'll just put you in my just Jenna folder. So please reach out and if you have any questions or if you'd like to share anything, Thanks for joining me for this episode today.

Speaker 2:

As we wrap up, I'd love for you to do two things. First, subscribe to this podcast so you don't miss an episode, and if you find value here, I'd love it if you would rate it and review it. That really does make a difference in helping other people to discover this podcast. Second, if you don't have a copy of my newest book, catalytic Leadership, I'd love to put a copy in your hands. If you go to catalyticleadershipbookcom, you can get a copy for free. Just pay the shipping so I can get it to you and we'll get one right out. My goal is to put this into the hands of as many leaders as possible. This book captures principles that I've learned in 20 plus years of coaching leaders in the entrepreneurial space, in business, government, nonprofits, education and the local church. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn to keep up with what I'm currently learning and thinking about. If you're ready to take a next step with a coach to help you intentionally grow and thrive as a leader, I'd be honored to help you. Just go to catalyticleadershipnet to book a call with me. Stay tuned for our next episode next week. Until then, as always, leaders choose to be catalytic.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to Catalytic Leadership with Dr William Attaway. Be sure to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts so you don't miss the next episode. Want more? Go to catalyticleadershipnet.

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