Jennifer Andersen Smith is a daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother. She has built herself a life full of joy and love. As someone who deals with depression but works hard to stay positive, Jen has done her best, with God’s help, to stay strong in the face of the lowest lows. Through her speaking and writing, Jen shares her own experiences of being emotionally well.
Jennifer and her husband Craig have a blended family of 9 children and 15 grandchildren. She loves interacting with each of them and enjoys watching them excel in achieving their individual goals. Jennifer believes that being part of a community of family and friends that celebrates people collectively and as a whole is the most important legacy. For relaxation, Jen loves to read, garden, and watch her favorite baseball team, the Chicago Cubs.
Connect with Jennifer on LinkedIn.
Yin Johnson is an insurance agent at COUNTRY Financial, serving all of the state of Georgia by bettering people’s education about insurance.
She will help you cover the things that are important to you in home, auto, commercial, and life insurance by advising and walking you through the difficulties of insurance in a simple way to assure that your life is enriched in the COUNTRY Financial way!
Connect with Yin on LinkedIn.
Jessica Light began the business (along with her husband, Ryan) in much the same way that most business owners begin – with passion and interest. Then she did what all entrepreneurs do and turned her passion into expertise.
She refers to herself as a “project management aficionado” of the company. For you, that means that Jessica is your main point person for your website and social media project. She coordinates between designers, writers, and the SEM team on your behalf in order to make the process as simple and stress-free as possible.
Jessica lives with her family in the Atlanta suburbs and is a proud “Military Mom.”
Connect with Jessica on LinkedIn.
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:07] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Woodstock, Georgia. Welcome to Women in Business, where we celebrate influential women making a difference in our community. Now here’s your host.
Lori Kennedy: [00:00:29] Hello. This is Lori Kennedy and I’m your host today for Women in Business Powered by Business RadioX Stone Payton. Our producer is also in the studio with us. And today we are grateful to have you tuned in with us. Today, we have three amazing women and we are going to get to meet them and hear more about them. First, we have Jennifer Anderson Smith and she will tell us about herself. She has an organization called Growth Community and Yin Johnson will tell us about her new endeavors with with the insurance world. And then we have Jessica Lyte, who is with J.J. socialite, and we will hear more about that as well. And Jessica, I am going to actually start with you. Why don’t you tell us your business name, what you do, how long you’ve been in business, and just what you what your business does?
Jessica Light: [00:01:20] Yeah. So I own founder of J.J. Socialite Marketing Company, and we’re out of Alpharetta. We serve mostly Fulton County, also Cherokee County. And then I have customers all throughout the US. We do web design, social media, graphic design ads, all the things. I love working with the small to midsize client and really just helping them grow and then kind of plug into the local community and figure out what we can do with them that will help them not only grow business wise, but also relationally like how they can help connect to their customer base.
Lori Kennedy: [00:02:02] That’s great. Didn’t you do something in Cherokee County that with a like a Facebook page or something? That became quite the thing.
Jessica Light: [00:02:12] Yeah. So I, I didn’t start a Josh Bagby started this Facebook group called Cherokee Connect, and I had known him a little bit and we kind of really started connecting and then COVID hit. And he I had this idea that he should create a website that would go with the Facebook group. Well, he also had the very same idea. So we were chatting and he was kind of nervous to pull the plug. But during COVID, we were really working with a lot of the restaurants, trying to do lots of posts about helping them get, you know, word out that they’re doing takeout all all the things. I said, Josh, let’s just do this. So I said, I’ll do it for free. And so I built a website and there was about 5000 people in the group, maybe 88,000. He’s broken the 50,000. It’s crazy group. And and I think there’s well over 800 businesses or close to it listed on the directory. So it’s a great piece tool for the local business owner as well as the community. So they can go on the group and find out, hey, you know, who do you know that does a really good insurance or I’m looking to to learn more about networking or whatever. And the community can collaborate. Business owners for $100 a year can put a listing on there. I mean, I’ve known so many people, their business has literally taken off just because of Cherokee connects. So yeah, I built the website for that and it’s just of course, Josh is great and he does amazing work with the community anyway, so it makes my work very, very easy. So, but it’s been neat. It’s been great for me and my business as well, and it’s neat to just be able to help because as a marketer, I really can’t help people, you know, I mean, AdWords charges so much, you know, you know, so not everybody has $5,000 a month to spend on marketing, but for 100 bucks, I mean, yeah, I can’t, I can’t get those kind of results at all. So for 100 bucks, it really helps, you know, people get out there.
Lori Kennedy: [00:04:15] Yeah, for sure. So in reference to the Facebook page, just just to just a curious question with that many people on there, I would think that there could be some negative talk.
Jessica Light: [00:04:30] About a lot of.
Lori Kennedy: [00:04:31] Manage that because I haven’t seen a lot of it at all on there. Most everything is amazingly positive. But how do you like keep an eye on that much that many people in that much happening.
Jessica Light: [00:04:43] Yeah it’s a lot. I mean Josh does a lot. I mean, he teases that he’s a part time babysitter for adults, you know? All right. Yeah. So you know there is that he actually even just posted you know we’re going to be starting to not ban people, but mute them if they can’t be nice and act like adults, you know.
Lori Kennedy: [00:05:04] So there is some of it.
Jessica Light: [00:05:05] It just is just doesn’t.
Lori Kennedy: [00:05:06] Come in my inbox because he’s on top of it.
Jessica Light: [00:05:08] Yeah, we try to be on top of it. But, you know, he’s a big advocate of free speech. You know, we’re not going to, you know, so, you know, it’s always the line you don’t want to like control the situation that we live in. This like nirvana, happy little community and there’s nothing negative going on that’s not the case. But it is this balance you’re always trying to. In a marketing in general, you’re always trying to balance. You know, not every customer is happy, you know, not you know, your husband owns an auto mechanic shop. I’m sure not everybody comes out of their super happy, you know, all the time things happen. So it really is indicative of life in business, that Facebook page and community and the diversity and, you know, all all of the things.
Lori Kennedy: [00:05:52] Yeah, for sure. Well, let’s talk to Jennifer. Okay. Tell us about who you are, what you do, your business, your company, whatever you want to tell us so that we can know who Jennifer is.
Jennifer Andersen Smith: [00:06:05] Well, I am the founder of Growth Community, which is really a safe space for you to be able to kind of come back to the person that you always wanted to be or you once were. But life has kind of gotten the way and you lost track of that, kind of lost your way and trying to figure out how to get back. So I am a speaker and an author and a mentor. I have published a book called So that for Relationships a couple of years ago, and that’s really a personal transformation memoir about my own life, starting with my childhood, some adverse experiences that I had there going into teenage pregnancy, and then a very early marriage that lasted 23 years and turned toxic. And then how I pulled myself out of all of that, and then the healing processes that I went through that I felt were the most beneficial for me to become the person that I am today, which I am a very happy, very blessed, very positive person. And I would say to you that ten years ago I would have never said any of those words to describe myself. But just by being aware of, you know, the things that happened in life and then the lessons that we can learn from them and then how we can take those lessons and share them with other people so very much at Pay It Forward concept, but it’s based on the so that principle which is actually found in the Bible in Corinthians. So but I just that’s how I’ve lived my life and I didn’t do it on purpose knowing this principle, it just kind of all fell together. And I thought, Well, I’m going to put a book together, and if that helps one other person out there have a better life, then I’ve done my job. So yeah, that’s awesome.
Lori Kennedy: [00:07:59] Do you have the scripture address memorized?
Jennifer Andersen Smith: [00:08:02] Yes. It’s second Corinthians one, three and four. I don’t have the whole verse memorized, but essentially to paraphrase, it says that God gives us comfort and mercy in our time of need so that we can share that with others in their time of need.
Lori Kennedy: [00:08:19] Oc oc i I’m familiar with that one.
Jennifer Andersen Smith: [00:08:22] There you go.
Lori Kennedy: [00:08:23] Awesome. All right. You can tell us about you, baby girl.
Yin Johnson: [00:08:28] All right. So Ian Johnson here, and I’ve been in the insurance world for like two years, going on two years now, past two years. Now, at this point, I started my own business, so I opened up Johnson Insurance Agency. So that’s what we’re looking at now. It’s still powered by country financial. So rock and roll in there. It’s been very interesting as a starting out business owner. I’m thankful though, having the networking groups, meeting all these people that are willing to support having the community inside of Cherokee Connect. And it’s just phenomenal, phenomenal having all the support and people that you can call and go to and ask questions because that’s what it is at the end of the day, is just laying down the ego, ego and just being humble and being able to ask people questions and figure out like, you’re not on your own on this. Everyone’s gone through this before, so learn, you know.
Lori Kennedy: [00:09:26] So, so when we started this process talking about coming on the show, you were with Country Financial, now you’re with Johnson Insurance Agency, powered by Country Financial. Can you help us understand what the difference is?
Yin Johnson: [00:09:42] So it’s a I’m an agency owner through country, so I own my own office. So everything is ran under me and. I’m rocking and rolling under myself.
Lori Kennedy: [00:09:56] So you were an agent before. Now you’re an agency and you will have agents.
Yin Johnson: [00:10:01] Yes.
Lori Kennedy: [00:10:02] Yes. Got it. That’s awesome. Yes. Congratulations.
Yin Johnson: [00:10:05] It’s exciting, but scary.
Lori Kennedy: [00:10:07] Yeah. Well, so where is your do you have to have a brick and mortar for that? And where is.
Yin Johnson: [00:10:12] That? Yes, I do have a brick and mortar. I am on Sixes Road. So where Shane’s rib shack and Verizon Wireless is right in front of one life fitness and stuff. So that’s where my office is.
Lori Kennedy: [00:10:24] Great. That’s awesome. Okay. I’m going to ask you the next question and we’re going to go around the room the other way. What motivates or inspires you in?
Yin Johnson: [00:10:35] Honestly, it’s the community. That’s really what’s inspiring and motivating. For me, just seeing people support each other, it makes you want to be supportive as well and being able to give back to the community that helped you. So like through Cherokee Connect, you know, you have all these shout outs, all these people that you’ve met, you definitely once you build a relationship, you know that you could trust them. And so it’s being able to shout them out, being able to support them and help their business grow as well, and then them doing the same.
Lori Kennedy: [00:11:08] And do you feel like we met in Woodstock Business Club? So you feel like that’s the same kind of concept that occurs in that location?
Yin Johnson: [00:11:15] Yes, absolutely.
Lori Kennedy: [00:11:17] Yeah. I think it’s an amazing group of people. Oh yes. Oc What motivates or inspires you?
Jessica Light: [00:11:23] Jessica Well, I mean, I originally started the business nine plus years ago. We moved to Atlanta. I had four kids at home and I’m just not really the PTA mom type. I mean, I’d probably get beer and pretzels for the party, you know, the school party watch movie.
Lori Kennedy: [00:11:42] I’m coming to that one.
Jessica Light: [00:11:43] Yeah. I mean, the parents would come, but, you know, anyway, so, you know, I had been a stay at home mom for pretty much most of my kids. And I started kind of just doing a little bit part time and I just really, really loved it and I kind of grew and grew my business. So really at first it was motivating, just something that I could do that was for me because as a mom, you know, everything’s always for your kids and your husband, everybody else. And I just really love it. And my business grew and grew and my husband has been amazingly supportive at first, you know, I mean, I was a stay at home mom and now I’m, you know, you know, I’m buying Costco dinners pre-made, you know, heated up. Heated up. Yeah. So that’s what initially got me going, you know, just kind of doing something for me. But now it’s been the community in the businesses I love, like getting to know everybody and getting to know the people. I am a boutique agency. I don’t take everybody that comes through my door has to be a good fit. I have to know that I can help them. I have to see that they’re willing to do their side of the work as well. And it has to be a business that I believe in also. So so there is some kind of vetting process, but now seeing them grow and just having those relationships with people in the community is just great. I love doing that. I just I could never really quit because I just did that. Just what feels me.
Lori Kennedy: [00:13:05] Yeah, you did a website for some of our really good friends. The blacks.
Jessica Light: [00:13:10] Yes. I love. I do t black hardscape. Yeah. By the way, they have done some work for me, they do hard scapes and they, they do just wonderful, wonderful work. Actually I just chatted with her the other day. She said they’re getting like 3 to 4 leads a week from their their website alone.
Lori Kennedy: [00:13:26] That is.
Jessica Light: [00:13:27] Awesome. I mean, it helps that they do fantastic work and Troy Justin.
Lori Kennedy: [00:13:31] Is.
Jessica Light: [00:13:31] Awesome. Yeah. He’s out there, you know, haul in the bricks with them, you know, he did. He did our thing. He’s out there with the guys. He just doesn’t show up, give you the invoice and leave. You know, he’s out there and making sure the work’s done right. Yeah. So I love seeing that, you know, that they had this website that was well in the top ten worst website I have seen. I could tell them that. So it’s not news to them, she said. It was like, you know, it was like inviting people over to your home. And it’s just such a mess. You’re just so embarrassed when people see it. And so anyway, I love seeing that. Like she just told me, I’m working so busy like 3 to 4 leads from the website alone. So if I can do that for someone. Yeah, you know that. I love.
Lori Kennedy: [00:14:14] That. Yeah. She’s definitely shouting your praises. Yeah, for.
Jessica Light: [00:14:17] Sure. Yeah.
Lori Kennedy: [00:14:18] Awesome. Okay, Jennifer, tell us what motivates or inspires you?
Jennifer Andersen Smith: [00:14:23] I love hearing people’s stories. So just like that, your story, you know, the different things about the different people in the community and hearing the stories of how people have transformed their lives. And I figured out a few years ago that what really gets me going every day is being able to help somebody, whether that’s through growth community or I also do mortgages for residential. So if it’s helping someone get a mortgage and buy a house and change their life that way, it’s. Really something that that is what gets me up every morning is knowing I can help somebody.
Lori Kennedy: [00:14:58] Now, this mortgage thing is a new job for you. Yes. And are you aren’t you serving a specific people group?
Jennifer Andersen Smith: [00:15:06] So a couple of things about that. I’ve actually been in the mortgage business for over 30 years. So, yes, this position is new. I work with Regions Bank and specifically I work with community mortgages. And while I can do a mortgage for anyone up or down the spectrum of mortgage world we do in the community section, we really try to find people who are low to moderate income borrowers who need maybe a little bit of help with their credit, or they need help with a specialized program and also a down payment assistance. And so we actually have an internal program at regions with a down payment assistance that we are able to help people. You know, you have to fall into certain criteria, but we able able to give them $5,000 to help with that down payment.
Lori Kennedy: [00:15:55] Oh, that’s so awesome.
Jennifer Andersen Smith: [00:15:56] Very, very rewarding.
Lori Kennedy: [00:15:58] Wow. I love that. So how does a person how does sorry, how does who you are as a person reflect in what you do?
Jennifer Andersen Smith: [00:16:07] Jennifer Well, that’s super easy because I mean, I wrote the book about myself, so there you go. But, you know, I butterflies are a big part of my symbolism in what I do. And as we I think all of us can say that a butterfly we know that that symbolizes new life. Right. And a new chance and a new experience. And that’s definitely what the transformation is about when you go from, you know, understanding, realizing that, hey, I’m in this dark pit where I can’t even see my hand in front of my face. I’m so lost. And then you start to hear someone at the top of that pit that you know, Oh, hey, maybe there is someone up there who can help me. And and that’s where I come in, is I’m that person that, you know, when you think about what do I need to do? How do I need to get there? You know, we don’t all have the answers. And that’s why I love, like, groups like this, like just this four ladies right here and shown you, too. But I just I love it because women need to be there for one another. You know, if you look back in biblical times, that is exactly what they did, you know? I mean, and if you we have gotten so far away from that in our world that we’re all competing and competing and striving against one another, when, you know, if we could just figure out how to lift each other up, it would actually lift all of us up. Yes and yes. That’s that’s definitely a theme in my life. Absolutely.
Lori Kennedy: [00:17:43] I’d love a couple of things you said, first of all, about the darkness, because I feel like when you when you compare that to the life of a butterfly, which of course, starts as a caterpillar, the darkness could signify some people look at darkness as difficult times, obviously. But could you be creating something new during that time? Could that be a cocooning period, so to speak? Because this is an interesting fact that I didn’t know for. I haven’t known for very long. But the DNA of a caterpillar is different than the DNA of a butterfly. It is a new created like it is a new creation. It’s a different creature. It’s a different type of creature. So who you are before you began, this process of darkness changes you into this new, beautiful thing at the end. I just think it’s so cool when you look at some of that, how that plays out in our lives.
Jennifer Andersen Smith: [00:18:35] Well, you know, that’s where transformation comes from. But quite honestly, even a stronger word that that fits that even better is transfiguration.
Jessica Light: [00:18:44] Hmm.
Lori Kennedy: [00:18:45] Wow. That’s awesome. Jessica, tell us how who you are as a person reflects in what you do.
Jessica Light: [00:18:53] Well, I mean, I. I like to get things done right. I don’t like to do things halfway. So I feel one of the biggest frustrations as a marketer in my business, I’ll get people that will call me. Actually, I just had someone call me that said I paid $15,000 for this website and I didn’t know that I was only renting it. So as soon as we didn’t, you know, and I was just I could not believe it. Or I’ll get, you know, I’ll see a website when we get in the back end. I won’t bore anybody with that. But it’s just such a mess that people took shortcuts. They didn’t think about that business known that they’re not going to be able to do these things going forward. They just did what they their little job that they get paid for. They didn’t take the time to inform the client of different options they have. That may not include you and that’s okay. Yeah. What’s the best for them? So that really kind of drives me to do it correctly and do. Do things right. What’s the best fit for the other person I just don’t like? And, of course, my kids. I mean, you’ve met my eldest son. He’s a marine. I was teased that it was easier for him to join the Marines and continue staying at home. I just don’t you know, I don’t like halfway. So, you know, I think that helps me be good at what I do.
Lori Kennedy: [00:20:15] Yeah. Yeah, that’s awesome. All right, Ian, what about you? What? How does who you are as a person reflect in what you do?
Yin Johnson: [00:20:22] I definitely agree with what Jessica said on doing things right. So in the insurance world, if you’re not covered correctly and something happens. It’s danger. So when if when an if a claim happens and their policy is not written correctly or if like they’re cutting corners on coverages just because it made the premium cheaper, you are not protected, you know? And so I like to take time with my clients or even prospects are just people that have questions. I like to educate and go over what they have currently, because if I could change your policy and what you have currently and you could stay, that’s great, because I could help you realize, like, okay, this is what you’re paying for, this is what you’re covered for. And I’m going to show you how to do it correctly. And I’ll like walk them through, like, okay, this is what this means. This is what that means. And just taking the time to do it correctly the first time and make sure that that person is protected, their family’s protected, because at the end of the day, I’ve, you know, seen houses like get burned down and they’re like, yeah, you’re not covered correctly or that house is not written as a house, you know, it’s just different things that, if not written correctly, your claim will get denied. And so definitely taking the time to go over all of that.
Lori Kennedy: [00:21:50] That feels scary.
Jessica Light: [00:21:51] Yes.
Lori Kennedy: [00:21:54] So tell us, how do you use your influence in the community? Let’s see.
Yin Johnson: [00:22:03] I’m still a newbie in Cherokee County, so. Being in the networking group, though, has definitely brought like a whole new light for me. Definitely in meeting all these people, getting to know them, building that relationship helps influence me and my character because then people realize, okay, she’s not just trying to sell, like sell someone on getting a policy. She’s trying to educate people and highlight their coverages and being like, okay, like this is what you need because insurance changes throughout your life. So I use that influence to educate and help people realize, okay, this is how you’re going to protect yourself correctly.
Lori Kennedy: [00:22:50] I was I had something else in mind for your answer, and that was, aren’t you doing trivia now?
Jessica Light: [00:22:56] Yes.
Yin Johnson: [00:22:59] So so do.
Lori Kennedy: [00:23:00] You have like trivia where you only ask insurance questions?
Yin Johnson: [00:23:03] No, unfortunately not. I think that would be scary for people. So, yeah, I actually do like I partner up with Mesmerize Media and so I help Tim and Jared out with running trivia over at the Woodstock beer market. So I do trivia and bingo night there and it’s is awesome getting to meet a whole bunch of people there as well and building relationships.
Lori Kennedy: [00:23:27] Yeah, that sounds fun.
Yin Johnson: [00:23:29] It is so fun.
Lori Kennedy: [00:23:31] Okay, Jessica, tell us, how do you use your influence in the community?
Jessica Light: [00:23:36] I think I just I just want to be helpful and inform people, even if it’s something I can tell them to do that’s free, you know, or help them learn to not pay $15,000 for a website that you’re going to rent, that you’re not going to own. You know, so I really just try to educate people and let them know what to look for. Even if you don’t go with me, these are the things you need to know and be aware of.
Lori Kennedy: [00:24:00] Yeah, I feel like as well, when you said yes to the Cherokee Connect thing for free, you had no idea how much influence that was going to have later on.
Jessica Light: [00:24:09] Yeah, no, it really was just spur of the moment. There’s another reason also I won’t go into that, but it was mostly because like, we’ve got to do something and I know I can help. You know, I can only order so much food to go. Yeah, you know, and, and then also I almost exclusively use only Cherokee connect people for services. So I always try since I am a moderator in a group, I always try to, you know, take a picture of what I’ve done and give them a shout what I’ve had done. Give them a shout out, hey, look what I just had tile done today. So I know the guy that’s done. He’s done a ton of work in my house. I’m always like, I tried to paint the tile. I thought I could just paint the tile. And they laughed at me. I’m like, Mike, you know? Oh, I gotcha, gotcha. So, you know, I mean, I’ll post that picture. Like, they came and helped me because I stupidly thought I could paint tile and do it very, very cheap. And it was.
Lori Kennedy: [00:25:09] Worth a.
Jessica Light: [00:25:09] Try. It was worth a try. My, my, my cheap and quick project came out very expensive and very long, so. Yeah. So anyway, what you planned. Yeah. It’s not what I had planned on too, but so and of course I’ve gotten plenty of work through Cherokee Connect, which I’m extremely grateful. That’s not why I did it. But you know, sometimes when you do things not expecting anything in return, it comes back. So that’s been great. But if I can turn around and then also help other people’s businesses. Hey, you know Jennifer Jennifer Jennifer hair. Yeah you know did help me with with my LinkedIn or help me you know you know some coaching and I can give that I can leverage my position in the group and help other people’s businesses.
Lori Kennedy: [00:25:52] Yeah, that’s awesome. All right, Jennifer, the same question for you. How do you use your influence in the community?
Jennifer Andersen Smith: [00:25:58] So first of all, I want to say for Cherokee Connect, technically I live in Cobb, although I’m closer to Woodstock than Marietta. But and I follow that group and we are actually hiring a guy to come and do some work in our yard because he was recommended when someone else asked a similar question. So it’s absolutely powerful and I know my daughter does custom cookies and she has gotten so much work off of that website. So, yes, very, very powerful.
Jessica Light: [00:26:28] I have a niece of cookies soon, I’m sure.
Jennifer Andersen Smith: [00:26:33] But for me, I mean, I built my own community also. So, you know, growth community is about having a safe space and very much the same way with Cherokee Connect. Right. You have the moderators and you have the website built the way you do so that people can feel comfortable talking about what they need to talk about and not get slammed for it like we are so quick to do in so many places. And so that’s I like to think that, you know, by just putting out a social post that says, you know, chin up today, you know, not every day has got to be a. I killed it today. Maybe some days. It’s just I got through it day, you know, just putting that out there for somebody who is having one of those days where it’s like, this sucks, you know, maybe maybe hearing that seeing that social post will help them feel like, you know what, it’s okay. I can have a day like that. Or, you know, the mom that’s just exhausted and tired because, you know, I think we’ve all been there or will be there maybe some day that you are just exhausted, you’re tired, you’re done. And giving yourself that permission to be exhausted and tired and done. And that’s okay. And even if my community just reaches into one person’s life at a time, it’s still a community and that’s what matters.
Lori Kennedy: [00:27:54] Well, one of the things that you mentioned is on my list to ask anyway, and that’s about mentorship. So are you being mentored and are you mentoring others and what does that look like?
Jennifer Andersen Smith: [00:28:04] I am currently searching for a mentor. This is something that, you know, I’m going to say my age, I’m 50.
Jessica Light: [00:28:11] And I.
Jennifer Andersen Smith: [00:28:13] Know I’m good with it now. But, you know, last year was rough, but I’m good now. But I realized a couple of years ago, actually about a year ago, as I’m approaching my 50th birthday, that that is something I missed out on. I never really got on the boat there with the mentoring or with coaching in my career. And I really do encourage people to do that because I think it can make a huge impact in in being able to figure out your career and your trajectory that way, but also in figuring out what your personal passion is. Because my life got so kind of skewed sideways that I didn’t even know what my own desires and passions were, what my dreams. I remember specifically being asked, What are your goals? And I said, I don’t know, I don’t have any goals. What are you talking about? And I was like 30 years old. I mean, what 30 year old doesn’t have goals? You should have goals, right? But so right now I’m searching for a mentor. So if you know anyone who’s looking for a mentee. But yes, I mean, actually, part of what I do, I don’t call it coaching, I call it mentoring. And the reason is because I think a mentor just kind of walks alongside you. You make all your own decisions. You choose to take the action steps or not. The mentor is just there to kind of be a sounding board more than anything. And if you’re going a little bit sideways, maybe help kind of get you back in that lane.
Jessica Light: [00:29:40] So yeah, yeah.
Lori Kennedy: [00:29:42] Understood. Jessica, who is mentoring you and how are you mentoring others?
Jessica Light: [00:29:46] Yeah, I would I would love to do both. I I’m originally from Seattle, so my husband and I, we lived in Seattle most of our while. I lived most of my life. My husband will not admit to any of that. Anyway, there’s a story. Yeah, there’s a story there. He says he lived in Seattle 19 years and it took him 20 years to get out. But in our church life and actually in business, we both had mentors, all our early marriage and we and if it wasn’t for them, we would not still be married. I know for a fact it was so vitally important. Personally, especially my husband actually is a coach now, so he is a coach for anxiety and depression and all that. Everything that was poured into him and us, he’s able to give back now. And I mean, I’m a huge advocate of it. I tried to even start a mentorship group in our church and it didn’t are old church here and it didn’t pan out. I find that sometimes people are just apprehensive to kind of get down and dirty, you know? So I think some people are just scared to do that. But I think it’s so, so important to have that.
Lori Kennedy: [00:31:00] Yeah, for sure. What about you again?
Yin Johnson: [00:31:03] I consider everyone in my networking group. So like Woodstock, Canton Ball Ground, everyone there are all my mentors. Like I love being able to sit down with someone and just ask them questions and just like try to figure my way around things, especially being a first time business owner. It’s just awesome having that that support. I also like I would love to mentor, I would love to mentor first time business owners as well and help them kind of figure out the steps and just kind of help guide them through as well because it’s terrifying. It’s absolutely terrifying. I am 27, so trying to figure out all of this is has been really interesting, but the mentorship that I’ve gotten from just the community and the people I’ve met and just even in my own industry, in the insurance industry, everyone that I’ve met insurance wise, like Josh Bagby and like Derrick Goode and everyone like that, they’ve just been able to support like I can just call them up and just be like, Hey. Quick question for you. Have you ever dealt with this, you know, or something like that? And they’ll help me out. They’ll meet with me, we’ll grab lunch and just talk it over. It’s phenomenal.
Lori Kennedy: [00:32:26] That’s awesome. Well, who is in your household? Tell us about your family.
Yin Johnson: [00:32:30] So my little household is just my husband and I. And we have two dogs.
Lori Kennedy: [00:32:36] Dogs? Yes. Tell me more.
Yin Johnson: [00:32:38] We’re a dog family, so I have a husky mix. So before Lock and I were dating, I adopted Ripley from the Blue Ridge Humane Society. And she’s a wonderful, wonderful dog. She is melted butter in dog form is what she is. She’s she’s amazing. She is like the most lovable creature. She just wants to cuddle with you. And that’s all she wants to do. Which is so interesting because Huskies are normally not like that. But she’s if she could get on the couch with you or have you have treats, she’s all about you. And then our youngest dog that we have is a blue heeler, full blood, and she’s a little psychotic. Like, I adore her. Like, she’s very intelligent, very intelligent. But she’s so intelligent that she knows that she could break your rules if you’re not watching her. She’s like, Och, och, you’re not watching me anymore. And then she’ll go do the things that she knows that she was not supposed to do.
Jessica Light: [00:33:47] So. Yeah.
Lori Kennedy: [00:33:48] All right, Jessica, who is in your household?
Jessica Light: [00:33:51] So my husband. So we’ve been married 23 years.
Lori Kennedy: [00:33:56] Congratulations.
Jessica Light: [00:33:57] Yeah. And I’ve got four kids, three older ones, and a little bonus one. So I have a 22 year old. This is how I remember how long I’ve been married. It’s one year after. So if he’s 22, we’ve been married 23 years. We just figured this out. This is how we. So this is how smart we are. So I’ve got a 22 year old that’s Marine. He just came home and I hadn’t seen him in almost three years, which was great. He was in Japan during COVID and stuff, so I didn’t get to visit him or do any of the things, which is very disappointing. I have a 20 year old and he is in the army and he’s stationed in El Paso. And then I have an 18 year old daughter who should be graduating this year and then a 12 year old little guy that pretty much runs a house and he does whatever he wants and he’s pretty much an adult already and you know, and he’s great. So and we have two dogs that are both psychotic and crazy. And I wish that yeah, I wish they were, like, better and they are not. I grew up in a dog family and these are not great dogs. And, you know. So anyway, I shall digress.
Lori Kennedy: [00:35:07] Well, thank you for keeping them and not kicking them out to the road.
Jessica Light: [00:35:11] Right? Oh, I won’t do that. And my kids would hate me for it, but. And I could never do that, honestly.
Lori Kennedy: [00:35:17] But. Who’s in your home?
Jennifer Andersen Smith: [00:35:19] So in my home, we are pretty quiet. It’s my husband and I for the most part. We have been married just under five years. So but we have a blended family that we have nine children and one of the youngest one of those does live with us kind of part time. He’s in the guard right now. So he’s 20. He’s trying to figure out what he’s doing all the time, which is great. I’m glad he’s trying to figure it out. And then we have 15 grandchildren, so.
Jessica Light: [00:35:50] Yeah. Oh, my.
Jennifer Andersen Smith: [00:35:51] So all but one of the children and two of the grandchildren live here in Georgia and are within easy driving distance. And and we have a couple that are out in the state of Washington. But yeah, so that was my Easter was I think we had just shy of 30 people in my house. Oh, so thank God it did not rain.
Lori Kennedy: [00:36:10] Oh, wow. Right. That way you could be outside some. Well, tell me about a mistake that you’ve made in your business and then how what you learned from it.
Jennifer Andersen Smith: [00:36:19] Oh, that’s easy. So, first of all, there’s a million of them. Right? But the. Biggest thing that jumps out immediately is not following my gut, you know, compromising on especially when you’re a writer or an artist, which all of us are creative beings. So, you know, I know that Jessica was what you do. You use your creativity every day. And then even though you’re in insurance, there’s still ways that you can use your creativity every day. And obviously being in this art form, Lori You can definitely users, but all of us are creative beings and so we have this desire to have things the way that we see them and perceive them and putting our best foot forward on that stuff. And the very first time that I published my book, I was kind of pushed by my author coach to publish it immediately. And so I did because I didn’t know better. And this time around, with the re formatting and adding 10,000 words and republishing, it should have been out like a couple of months ago. And I’m just making sure we do it right because I’m not going to do this one again. I’m ready to write the next book. So yeah, definitely. Go with your gut. Do not compromise.
Lori Kennedy: [00:37:34] Jessica, what about you?
Jessica Light: [00:37:36] Yeah, I would piggyback on that. Go with your gut. Just because I feel like I’ve done things that people pushed me to do or clients have pushed me to do, or maybe I’ve taken clients and they pushed boundaries. Maybe I can only get on that call at 9 p.m. at night, you know, because I’m busy during the day and I would do it, you know, and then and then I’m mad that they’re calling me on the weekend, so not setting proper boundaries and then I’m working all the time and then I love what I do. I found myself hating like Friday. I was just, like, dreading, you know, my what I was doing. So now I have boundaries and a schedule and, you know, I rarely go outside of that boundary just because I know what I can do and I want to be the most effective. But I think as women, we tend to feel guilty, like, you know, like maybe I should do this or we just let people push our boundaries. And we, I don’t know, we always kind of second guess ourselves. And, and I’ve just done things that I felt like I’m supposed to do. Yeah. And not just said no and yeah, I can say no. Very easy. And, you know, asking, you know, my family for whatever in business I had a hard time saying no and somebody wanted me to do a website, but they only had $500. And I would, you know, and it should have been 4000 and I would do it, you know. Okay, well, you know, maybe we’ll just do this and this and I would just do it. And then I’m resentful because I did all of this work and then they only paid me $500 and then they expected $5,000 worth of work. And, you know, the expectations were you paid. And I’m like, you paid 500 and they expected $5,000 worth of work and then no one’s happy. So now I just set those little like I like fences, lots of fences and proper expectations. And not everybody’s a good fit. And that’s okay. Yeah. Yeah.
Lori Kennedy: [00:39:31] And what about you? Mistakes and what you’ve learned?
Yin Johnson: [00:39:36] You can’t please everyone. That’s. That’s what I’ve come to realize pretty quickly. When I started in insurance, especially in the insurance field, you cannot make everyone happy. Premium changes are bound to happen. We all know this. We’ve all had insurance throughout our whole lives. That is probably the biggest thing, is just you can’t please everyone and don’t be sad if you’re told no. Yeah, yeah. Because you get told no a lot in the business world. But just taking that with stride and just keep going, it’s going to be fine. And just, just realize that with every no, there’s going to be a yes somewhere. And then the other part is yes, the boundaries. Yeah, laying out the boundaries where yeah, I’m not on work right now, I’m not on shift right now because I need me time realizing that also. And the last part is probably realizing that I cannot do everything by myself 24/7. I need to bring on a good like counterpart that’s able to support and also build the business.
Lori Kennedy: [00:40:58] That’s great. All right. We have just a couple more questions. This one I’m going to ask all of you, and then we’re going to talk about how to get in touch with your businesses. Do you have a message that is for women specifically? Jessica, I’ll start with you.
Jessica Light: [00:41:14] I always say go for. Don’t use competition. Always, always collaborate. So I’m big collaborator, not competition. I have many friends in the marketing industry and some. And we’re maybe direct competitors and we’re still friends. I still because sometimes, you know, maybe I can help them and maybe they can help me and we’ve shared clients or maybe I can do this. So I’m a big, you know, women sometimes negatively we see each other’s competition. And there’s no reason for that because I’m not for everybody. You’re not for everybody. And if we can help each other out so, you know, don’t look as everybody is competition, even if they’re direct competitors to you, you can still be friendly. And I think you can learn from each other. You know, there’s plenty of business out there. There’s no reason that you have to, you know, claw people to death and be not nice about it. So, yeah, you know, look, as people as not as competition, but potential collaborators.
Lori Kennedy: [00:42:17] Jennifer, what about you?
Jennifer Andersen Smith: [00:42:19] I just like to tell women you’re not alone. You know, you might feel like your story, the stuff you’re going through, no one else has ever gone through it or felt it or dealt with it. And if I’ve learned nothing else since I published a book, I have learned that that’s not true, and which is actually why I published it was because I wanted women to know that, you know, there’s parts of my story that probably resonate with every single person in this room. And quite honestly, every single person listening to this, there may not be the whole story, but there’s parts of it and just a little bit of kindness and compassion of thinking about that. You know, I don’t know what’s going on in Jen’s life after she leaves here today or what happened to Jessica this morning before she came in. But if I can, you know, if I can be a little bit kinder to her, then maybe she’ll turn around and be a little bit kinder the next person she deals with, you know. So it’s the same thing. It’s a collaboration as opposed to competition. You know, you’re not alone. None of us is an island and you definitely need to just extend a little bit more kindness. It’s nothing off of your nose to do that. So.
Lori Kennedy: [00:43:32] And what is your message for women today?
Yin Johnson: [00:43:34] Those are both really good ones that Jessica and Jennifer just gave. I mean, for me, it’s just. Realizing that, like, you can put your foot down if you feel uncomfortable in a situation business wise or personal life. If you feel uncomfortable, put your foot down. Say no. Like it’s if you don’t want to do it, don’t do it. Feel comfortable in that. You are not alone. There are some people that are going through the same thing and if you don’t feel comfortable, leave like leave the situation. It could be work life if you know you have a whole lot of stress and you’re not happy. Their mental health is really, really serious topic. Get out of it. Find something that fulfills you.
Lori Kennedy: [00:44:23] That’s great. All right. This is last one and that is tell us how to get in touch with your business.
Yin Johnson: [00:44:30] Well, for me, it’s very easy to get a hold of me. So I have a Facebook business page that a lot of people like to just go through, and it’s the easiest part because then it’ll pop up like a chat page and you could chat me and it’ll instantly pop up on my phone, my cell phone numbers on the page. So you could text me as well, call me with questions or anything. And I have a website like a business website landing page that some people go through that as well.
Lori Kennedy: [00:45:03] Okay. And what are those addresses?
Yin Johnson: [00:45:08] Oh, geez.
Lori Kennedy: [00:45:09] Look at this. What is your Facebook called?
Yin Johnson: [00:45:11] So the Facebook page is in Johnson Johnson Insurance Agency, LLC.
Lori Kennedy: [00:45:18] Okay. And you had said the other thing was a website.
Yin Johnson: [00:45:23] Yes, the website. The website will be Country Financial Companion.
Lori Kennedy: [00:45:30] And that’s spelled.
Yin Johnson: [00:45:32] Y i n dot q you oh CS and cat.
Lori Kennedy: [00:45:37] Awesome. Thanks, Ian. All right, Jessica, how can people get in touch with your business?
Jessica Light: [00:45:42] Just you can find me. I’m on Facebook, Instagram, all the things. Of course, you know, I do social media, so you’re supposed to do those things. And I have a website, so it’s JJ Social Lite and my last name is Light Like a Light Bulb. So it’s a little bit of play on words, so it’s social and then light lag. Hd So. Jj Socialite, if you want to book a free consult, I have a button right at the top. Right. That’s your highest converting section on the website, by the way. Top right? Yes.
Lori Kennedy: [00:46:12] Good to know.
Jessica Light: [00:46:12] Yeah. Take notes. Yeah. So take notes. Whatever you want the user to do, put it in the top. Right. So I have a book now you can book as a free zoom call right from there.
Lori Kennedy: [00:46:25] I’m writing that down along with the Corinthians scripture.
Jessica Light: [00:46:28] Yeah.
Lori Kennedy: [00:46:30] All right, Jennifer, tell us how to get in touch with you in your business. Sure.
Jennifer Andersen Smith: [00:46:34] So my website is my name, Jennifer Anderson Smith. Just FYI, it is Anderson with an E n because we are Danish. And so it’s Jennifer Anderson Smith. You can see my book on there. The book title is so that for relationships do not order the book right now, but definitely go to the website and get part B part of the community. Just jump in and do the little contact us form and then you can actually be on the list of people who hear about it first. So that’s the best way to get me. I am on Facebook and Instagram and all those places as well, but Jennifer Anderson Smith And that way you can click on all the links to go to all the places.
Lori Kennedy: [00:47:18] Awesome. Well, thank you, ladies, for being here today. And remember, if you already know everything you are sure to.