Founder of EmpowerU Jess Glazer could not have dreamed of a better outcome than turning her “side hustle” into a venture now worth millions of dollars, and in only two years. She used to work as a personal trainer for celebrities and teach elementary school.
After leaving her job in 2017, and going in on EmpowerU, Jess Glazer has “hired a team of incredible heart-centered humans, served hundreds of clients, and raised and donated more than $50,000 to charity.” Through her business, she wants to “cause a ripple effect and inspire change for generations to come; making a massive impact and leaving a lasting legacy beyond her singular actions.”
With EmpowerU, Jess Glazer started with “having a solution to people’s problems and people asking me to share that solution with them.” Since its inception, the business has centered its operations and decision-making “around impact and education.”
Jess Glazer and EmpowerU follows a business model “centered around the coaching industry.” The company offers “different small/large group coaching programs to clients,” which runs “just like a semester in school with a start and end date.” For the courses which Jess can’t teach herself, such as accountancy or law, the company employs a staff of “niche coaches.”
The success of EmpowerU and Jess Glazer might be owed to the strength of their “word of mouth/referrals and proof of concept/social proof.” They have delivered consistently excellent results to their clients, which contributed to their organic growth over the years.
We do not just offer programs and then move on to the next. Jess Glazer, EmpowerU
Jerome Knyszewski: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Jess Glazer: I believe we stand out for a few reasons. The first thing that comes to mind is our family-centric connection and how our clients are truly family. We have some of the most incredible community members and connections I have ever seen. We do not just offer programs and then move on to the next. Once you’re a part of our family, you’re. Stuck with us. Our customer experience from the moment they step into our company is like nothing to us. We send birthday cards, sympathy flowers, baby gifts, and recognition to our clients forever. Yes, years after working with us, we still celebrate them. We also have an incredible student directory, in-person meetups (all over the country), and a special alumni community to ensure everyone stays connected. Our staff is made up of graduates of our programs. We celebrate our clients daily. We share their stories, launches, wins, and programs with the world. In fact, one of the things I’m most excited about with our new company is the website portion where we advertise, celebrate, and showcase our client’s businesses and offerings!
Secondly, we stand out because we aren’t just talking about global impact, we are actively making a global impact. We follow a 1:1 giveback component where with every one student that enrolls to work with us (in any capacity) we donate for education to one student overseas for one year of school. That includes their books, school supplies, clean water, and more. This program has allowed us to not only help educate hundreds of students overseas, but we have actually raised/donated enough money that we have been physically building a school in Ghana, Africa. We got word last week that our school doors will officially open at the end of January and it will be home to over 576 students grades K- 6 and create/offer jobs to 947 locals. This is bigger than us. This is truly creating opportunities for education for people across the globe both digitally and in person.
Jerome Knyszewski: Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. Can you share a story about advice you’ve received that you now wish you never followed?
Jess Glazer: Again, I’m not sure that I could wish away anything I’ve done or tried. Like Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward, only looking backward; so you must trust that the dots will appear.” The dots have lined up exactly how they should.
That said, there have been times where I’ve followed mentors and what worked for them and despite not feeling completely in alignment or excited about it, I did it anyway (because it worked for them and they said I should) and it ultimately lead me to resentment, boredom, frustration, and burn out. However, the lesson for me was (more than once) to practice listening to my own gut intuition and knowing that there is no one correct way to run a business. It’s a practice of trusting myself!
Jerome Knyszewski: You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
Jess Glazer: One of my mentors and friends Chris Harder always says, “Ego is your biggest overhead” and that one quote changed my life. Dropping my ego and knowing that it’s okay to ask for help or admit I don’t know something has actually become my superpower. The first time I truly asked for help is when I checked myself into an outpatient clinic for my eating disorder and it saved my life. Ever since that moment, I became obsessed with asking for help and collapsing the time it would take me.
Another key piece to my success has been simply being a lifelong student. I’m committed to growth; always growing and learning, taking classes, investing in myself, reading books, listening to podcasts, and going to events that stretch me. The more I learn, the more I can teach and share. I’m a huge advocate for the ripple effect and learning has been my ultimate tool to create a ripple.
I’m committed to growth; always growing and learning, taking classes, investing in myself, reading books, listening to podcasts, and going to events that stretch me.
Jerome Knyszewski: Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Jess Glazer: As someone who has dealt with adrenal fatigue, burnout, and a handful of health issues more than once, I love this topic! I think it’s crucial for a person to understand their own signals or key indicators for when they may be started to “push” too much. This is different for everyone, but I can share some of mine in the hopes that they may help a reader. I know it’s a good time to walk away, take a break, or shut the computer Whenever I feel the following:
Uninspired, unmotivated, frustrated, annoyed, comparing myself, doubting myself, working but getting nothing done, procrastination, tired, irritable, snippy, defensive, argumentative, overly sensitive
If I’m being honest, I used to judge myself for feeling these things. I would actually push myself harder and force myself to work more. Now, I understand that these are kind and loving messages from my body/brain. These are gentle reminders that I need to slow down and give myself some space. I now honor myself when these things come up and I walk away.
With that, I think it’s also important to start practicing awareness around alignment. Begin things like meditation, journaling, self-reflection, and talking things out with someone you trust to help you decipher whether or not what you’re “doing” is in alignment or not with who you want to “be”. This has been a huge shift for me over the last 2 years; focusing on “being” more than “doing” and asking myself repeatedly “Who do I have to become to do/have XYZ?”. My number one thing here is that your “to be list” is actually. Your “to-do list”.
Jerome Knyszewski: What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?
Jess Glazer: Something I see often (guilty as charged) is founders and leaders trying to do everything at once. I know that I am visionary and creative, I am constantly coming up with ideas; faster than my team can keep up with. To be honest, not all of these ideas are even “mine”. Sometimes we come up with ideas that are meant for someone else to execute on (a conversation for a different day). Practicing when it’s time to do/create something new and when it’s time to allow someone else to jump on it is hard. I also see a lot of founders fall into the trap of “what everyone else is doing” and “shiny object syndrome”. It becomes really difficult to delineate what is meant for us and what is not. There are so much noise and competition out there that founders want to not only keep up but get ahead. So, it’s hard to not want to do everything all at once.
Remember, that is coming from a place of scarcity and thinking it’ll be too late or that there isn’t enough to go around. Step back into abundance, there is always enough!
Step back into abundance, there is always enough! Jess Glazer
Jerome Knyszewski: In your experience, which aspect of running a company tends to be most underestimated? Can you explain or give an example?
Jess Glazer: I think the most underestimated part of a company to outsiders is actually the personal growth journey that it takes you on. To be honest, I’m not sure if I’m growing a company or simply growing myself. I think it’s one and the same!
Other entrepreneurs and leaders “get it” and I talk about it every day with my peers. It’s deep inner work, past trauma, old stories, childhood wounds, constant reframing, overcoming doubt/fear, ego work; it’s deep and dark while also being beautiful, light, and expansive.
I don’t think “outsiders” often think about what actually happens behind the scenes. Truthfully, I think knowing what it takes (new levels, new devils) would scare people more than the idea of starting a business.
Jerome Knyszewski: You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Jess Glazer: I believe we have already started a movement with what we’re teaching, but I would love if everyone could understand they had the ability to make an impact and income out of thin air. We all have valuable lessons, information, and experience in our heads that we can share with the world. I want everyone across the globe to have access to ways that they can create financially, time, location, and career freedom with what they already know. We all have superpowers, we all have solutions to problems, we all have ways that we can help others. A rising tide lifts all ships!
I would love to see a shift in education that focuses on teaching children how to rewire their brains. Programs that can help all humans began learning at a young age that they have control over their thoughts and beliefs, which in turn is what creates our personal reality.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
Jess Glazer: I hang out most often on Instagram at www.instagram.com/jess.glazer
Of course, they can visit my website www.jessglazer.com
Stay tuned for our official Digital Business E+volution launch!!!
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!