Category: Business With Intention


Business in the City (Chicago) is happening tomorrow night! The details about the free business meet-up are here. Same time and place as usual, 6:30-8:00 at Next Door, 659 W. Diversey. Next Door asks that you RSVP on their site if you plan on coming.

We will also be meeting up on September 12th as well for those who want to mark their calendars!



While we are taking a summer vacation for Biz in the City in Chicago until September, the ladies of New York are starting their new chapter in July!

The ladies from the New York Business with Intention Workshop earlier this month have decided to expand the Biz in the City meet-up to their neck of the woods. On July 18th they will be meeting up and starting their own monthly business Q+A chat session. As usual, it’s free to attend.

If you plan on coming, please email Clara at or comment on this post by July 12th.


photo via


the workshop video
May 22nd, 2012     |    Business With IntentionLife

During our first Chicago workshop we also were doing double duty by filming a video about the workshop. I’m beyond thrilled with the results brought to us by Dan Hale, Michael Lippert, and filmed by Derek Cox.

Also, the New York early registration discount is only good for one more week, so register soon to snag the extra savings!

Or, if you are interested in coming to a workshop but want to talk to me quickly on the phone first, please email me at

As I am finding the balance of Business with Intention and MML, I realize there is a large overlap of readers who want intentional life and business advice. To make sure that I address both concepts, I am starting a new email series called I Wish I Knew Wednesday which will share something that I wish I knew back when I was starting Jess LC, or what I wish I knew just last week.

This email series technically falls under the Business with Intention umbrella, but I will also post the topic on Tuesdays here on MML so that those interested in getting the emails and seeing the content have a chance to sign up before the email goes out the following day.

Tomorrow’s topic is How to Find Manufacturers. This is something I’ve been working on for a few years now and I’ve accomplished in several different ways.

If you’d like to get the email, simply sign up by clicking on the image below. This email list is also where I announce upcoming Workshops and other BWI updates.

(If you have signed up for the BWI newsletter, you will automatically get this series.)




First off, I’d like to say that I had a great weekend in Washington DC with our BWI Workshop! I will have more photos and details to come later this week. I’m also taking today off as I have mentioned. But I wanted to drop by MML quickly and share a breakthrough I’ve had… just a few hours ago.

The Thing I’m Afraid to Tell You About Jess LC

As the Things I’m Afraid to Tell You movement continues to grow (Meg is doing a new wave of the series today), I’m taking this truth-telling to let go of something I’ve been ashamed of over at Jess LC.

Since last year I’ve been designing and creating iPad 2 and 3 covers. The color combinations and the overall design have been very popular, and I am so thankful for the success that it has been. As you all know I am a completely self-taught designer and I have only recently begun working with local manufacturers to create these new cases.

It has honestly been one of the most challenging projects of my thirteen year run in business. Designing accessories is not extremely challenging. But applying an accessory mindset to a decidedly tech product, is a balance that is extremely hard to reach – especially as a 27-year-old with no background or major resources like most out there producing most portfolio style iPad covers.

Our cases themselves have met every expectation that I personally had for my “dream iPad 2 case,” but they have not been everyone’s cup of tea. While we have had hundreds of satisfied, excited, and happy iPad case customers, we have also had more issues with this style than any other product we have ever designed combined. About 9% of people who purchase this case are not satisfied.

While that number still is pretty small considering the circumstances, it has been very hard on me personally. You see, I desperately want each and every case to be as perfect as possible for everyone. But reality is not perfect. And what’s more, even if it is perfect for most people, it is not perfect for all people.

So now that we’ve blown through our inventory of gold iPad case styles, I am now faced with a decision: Do I continue to make more for all those who are so excited about them? Or do I stop making them and avoid the disappointed customers?

It’s been a tough battle in my mind, let me tell you.

I would rather have a 1% customer service request rate which is consistent with our other products than the 9% that occurs with iPad cases.

But I also know that if I drop the cases, I am going to get tons of emails from people who really, really, really want us to keep making them.

So this morning I came to a conclusion: unlike the industry standard of sharing bullet point lists of the product details on the product page for this item, I am coming clean with the pros and cons of these cases right up front so customers can make a decision.

That’s right, all the good and bad points about the case are now front and center on each product page.

My hope is that by being this honest about the cases, customers who might be disappointed by certain aspects will know this ahead of time and not buy the case in the first place. Thereby lowering our overall customer service rate for the product.

And, for those who fully understand the case’s features, they will still be able to order and enjoy the colors and features they are so excited about.

While I realize that this much information might be a little to “TMI,” I think the peace of mind that I will feel about them is priceless.

My hope is that we have more informed customers who appreciate our efforts to provide the best case we possibly can, while still understanding the limitations of the product.

Phew. It’s now out there. It feels peaceful, freeing, and real.

Thank you all so very much for your support.


photo by

Just wanted to give one more shout out about the Washington DC Business with Intention Workshop. Sign up by Wednesday to join us!

(It’s also the last chance to grab the workshop introductory rate.)

It’s time to reveal the photo recap of Chicago’s BWI Workshop!

Here is a quick glimpse of our Chicago workshop taken by Kim Vargo of YellowBrickHome (she’s such a sweet person and wonderful photographer).


I had such a wonderful time getting to know these amazing women entrepreneurs. Below is a smattering of feedback from the workshop participants.

I loved meeting other small business owners and being able to share our thoughts and ideas with them. I loved feeling reassured that you have others to support you. I also loved being able to get clarity on the vision of my business. It was really helpful to write everything out and I think it will make it much easier to stick to. I’m going to hang it right next to my computer, so I’m reminded everyday that there is a bigger picture.

– Amanda Genther, Amanda Genther Design

My favorite aspect of the workshop was  the exercise to ensure that my vision of my personal career matches the vision of my business. It was an interesting exercise to write down my career vision, then write down the business vision, and measure them up to each other.  The parts that didn’t match may not come to fruition, and I’d end up unhappy doing work I didn’t necessarily like.  Even though i may not love 100% of my daily tasks in this new business venture, the overarching visions should be parallel. 

– Renee Davis, Bell & King Eyewear

I really enjoyed connecting with other positive, motivated individuals and getting personalized feedback on my business vision, struggles, and plans for the future.

– Lisa Butler, Elembee Creative

I loved that the workshop allowed me to carve out time and space to really think about my business.  I was able to solidify my purpose and vision, figure out how I want to structure my days, and brainstorm new ideas and ways to grow my business.  It was a fun, supportive, and low-pressure environment with lots of discussion and some time set aside for individual journaling.  Best of all, Jess encouraged each of us to collaborate with at least two other attendees after the day concluded… and I’m already on the way to doing just that!

– Melissa Tydell, Melrose Street Custom Content

I enjoyed the group aspect of the workshop. Being surrounded by like-minded creatives was so inspiring; it was amazing to see the support for each other and watch the ideas grow! The group discussions were thought provoking, and I was able to think about my product and business model as a whole. I had some ideas going into the workshop, but leaving, I was thrilled to get started! 

– Kim Vargo, Yellow Brick Home

The Business With Intention workshop was a great opportunity to take a step back from the day-to-day responsibilities of starting a small business and think intentionally about what I want my company to become. It was great to learn from Jess’ experience and to connect with other like-minded ladies who are driven by similar goals. I left feeling incredibly inspired!

– Alyssa VandeLeest, Prosper Public Relations

You can find more thoughts on the workshop on our Workshop Alumni Page as it grows and evolves with each new group.


I cannot thank everyone enough for their support with this endeavor. And most of all, I would like to thank Clara, my partner in crime and event planner for all of her help and support along the way. She’s a pro as well as a wonderful friend.

Our next Workshop destinations are…

Yep! We have two new cities on the books! Washington DC still has room and is at the introductory rate. And New York and Seattle both have early registration discounts through June 1st and July 1st respectively.

Want to learn more about the Business with Intention Workshops? Read on.

and the countdown begins
April 19th, 2012     |    Business With IntentionLife

Lately my days are getting more and more focused on the upcoming Chicago Business with Intention Workshop. Our supplies are all rolling in and looking quite lovely. I can’t wait to see the whole thing come together.

Registration for the Chicago workshop ends on April 25th, and there are still a few spots left.

If you are interested in Chicago or the upcoming May Washington DC event, please email me at hello(at) I’d be happy to jump on a quick call to answer your questions to help figure out if the workshop is a good fit for you.



As we roll into April, I’m getting the word out about the upcoming Chicago and DC Business with Intention Workshops. I am excited to say that though the workshops are filling up, there is still room in both cities to attend!

This week I’m starting a three-part email series called Three Things I Wish I Knew. As you may know, I started my business from scratch when I was fifteen without a clue, and have “trialed and errored” my way to success. Throughout the thirteen years I’ve been doing this I have learned a lot about what works and what is a waste of time and money. With that in mind, I’ll be sharing three of the biggest things I wish I knew, ten years ago and last month, in the series.

In a sense, I will be downloading my business brain and heart into the day long workshop so people can find profit and meaning in their businesses much quicker than I did.

This email series will do two things: it will give you a flavor of the actual workshop content and why you might like to come, and also help your business right now.

The emails will be sent out on this Thursday, next Monday, and next Wednesday.

The First Thing I Wish I Knew will be: How (and when) to delegate and take on help for your business.

Sign up for the Three Things I wish I Knew email series.



If you or anyone you know might be a good fit for the workshop but aren’t sure if it’s a great fit for you, I’d be happy to jump on a call with you and discuss one-on-one whether the workshop would be beneficial.

To do so, please email me at hello(at) and let me know about your business and your phone number. I’ll follow up with a quick phone call this week!

Over on Business with Intention I shared a great two minute video on how to separate truly great branding from the rest of the pack.

Hop on over to watch it and enjoy!


Lately I’ve been fielding a lot of questions about the upcoming Business with Intention Workshops debuting in Chicago and Washington DC and I thought it might be a good idea to share them here as well.

Though our future events are going to be amazing and completely awesome, the first two are a little special.

Here’s how.

Currently I am preparing the content for the workshops and I’m using the goals and intentions of these first two classes to craft my direction and information. So these two events are the best place to have the most customization to your specific business goals.

Of course this will be a component of future workshops as well, but the depth and individual tailoring of these two first classes is an advantage.

One of the best assets of this workshop is the chance to get to know other business owners face to face. In a start-up world that can be somewhat lonely, the workshop will be a great place for people to connect at a deeper level than that found online.

So far, we have product businesses and service business owners coming to the events. Which will make for some great opportunities to help one another with marketing and possible future collaborations.

I know from my own experience how valuable it is to work with other businesses to grow. It’s been a huge and very successful part of my own strategy with Jess LC (more details will be shared in the workshop).

Plus, I love having entrepreneur friends who get what I’m going through on any given day. Their advice and unwavering support helps me get through the challenging times.

And last but not least, we are running a special discount on the first two workshops, so this is the chance to get the same experience for less.

Also, if you are thinking about traveling to either of these workshops, Clara, the Workshop Manager can help you find a place to crash at a fellow workshop classmate’s home. Please email hello[at] for more info on that possibility as well.


We currently still have room in both workshops, so if you want to come to Chicago in April or DC in May, please join us!

We’ll be mailing welcome packets not too far from now. I can’t wait.

photos of our Chicago space via

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been busy midnight hustling to take my business consulting to a whole new level. And right now I’m a week out from launching the traveling workshop(!) and one-on-one consulting site.

I’ve taken your thoughts from our recent survey to heart. Thank you so much for your feedback. There are lot of people out there reading my mind!

Though I don’t want to give too much away just yet, I will share the overall mission of the workshop itself:

The intention behind the Business with Intention Workshop is to help current and soon-to-be business owners define their intentions for their businesses and their lives.

There are a million ways to “grow a business” but none of that matters if you don’t first start with the end in mind. “What do you really, really want?” is the starting point, not “how do I make a lot of money?” Clarity from these questions will help identify what areas of business need to be nourished and expanded… as well as delegated.

From there on out it’s about the nuts, bolts, shortcuts, and hard work that it takes to grow a business filled with intention. My own 13 years of experience along with a variety of takeaways from my one-on-one consulting is on the table. I want to help other people do better in business by sharing what I’ve learned. And if you know anything about me, I’m all about keeping it real, honest, and positive along the way.

By the end of the one day workshop, my goal is to have each person excited and clear about what they want their business (and life) to be like. They will know the next five major steps that they need to take. Plus, they will have a wealth of insight from my own strike outs and home runs to help them get there.

And it goes without saying that there will be plenty of discussions, fun, loveliness, and surprises.

Though I’m still keeping the first two workshop cities under wraps for the moment, I will share a taste of the first space where we will be holding the  Business with Intention Workshop.

Beautiful, right?

I. Can’t. Wait.

If you are excited about the workshop and want to be kept in the loop on the cities, information, and other free content that will be a part of Business with Intention, please sign up for our email list here.

It’s time that we take our businesses, intentions, and lives to the next level.













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