the lively show: purpose, intention, & uncertainty with jess lively


After seven months and 30 episodes… it’s my turn to be in the hot seat on The Lively Show!

To host this episode, I invited writer, speaker, and coach, Rachel MacDonald, of In Spaces Between and Bright Eyed & Blog Hearted, on the show.

Rachel is a previous Lively Show guest herself, so you may remember her (and her lovely Australian accent).

I asked Rachel to interview me since she is a peer in the work that I do, and I knew that she would be able to give an informed and honest opinion of my work.

In the show, we cover my life, the lessons I’ve learned along the way that apply to us all, and how this journey over the past eight years has led to the work I do with Life With Intention Online.

This episode is perfect for anyone looking to learn more about my journey, or wants to live with more intention and purpose while facing life’s inevitable uncertainty.








  • How I started my first business at 15 years-old, which I later took full-time after graduating from college. 

  • How I coped with things I couldn’t control through what became disordered eating for nine years (across both ends of the spectrum).

  • The turning point that became a launching pad for what has since become my career to this day.

  • Why my accessory business was actually a “self-employed” day job

  • How I eventually knew that it was time to close my accessory company.

  • What an “important no” in our lives really means.

  • My vision for The Lively Show and the direction I see it heading.

  • How I avoid burnout.

  • What I would tell someone just starting out on this journey.




Life With Intention Online

Rachel MacDonald Lively Show episode

Cup of Jo

Whitney English Lively Show episode






Want more? Check out more Lively Show episodes here.


PS – If you liked this episode, you may also like:





PPS – The $50 Early Bird Discount on Life With Intention Online ends tomorrow (9/12)! To get the lowest rate, register today.


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This Post Has 41 Comments

  1. Lauren

    What an incredible podcast + story Jess! Like you, I struggled with disordered eating (on both sides) through high school and college, and it really catapulted me into intuitive living and discovering my values. Definitely saving this one to listen to again, and will likely share it with many of my clients to listen to.

    1. That is fantastic! I am so, so glad you were able to escape the trap that is disordered eating, too.

      I hope it helps your clients as well!

  2. Kelly Jo

    Really enjoyed this Jess, such an inspring story. And I enjoyed listening to Rachel as well. I love the varying topics in all of your discussions, every podcast I’ve listened to has resonated with my life somehow. Whether it’s about wellness, fashion, food, business, intention, I find myself relating to a little bit of everything. Your Life With Intention Online course sounds like something I need to check out. Thanks for doing what you do!

    1. That is fantastic to hear, Kelly Jo! I’ll keep ’em coming! I’ve got a great episode with Kate Arends of coming up next week!

  3. This was my favorite episode by far!! I loved hearing your story. I’ve been reading since you started the blog but you’re right, there was some stuff in there I had never heard. I have also never really, fully understood the idea of living with purpose until you discussed Christopher Reeves–that really nailed it home for me.

    Thanks so much, keep doing what you’re doing!

    1. That’s wonderful! I know purpose can be hard to shake from doing, but I’m glad the Christopher example helped pull it all together. : )

  4. Leanne @ SweetStyle

    So many light bulb moments for me in this episode Jess – I read all about the LWIO course last night and wondered if I would have the time to put into it at the moment but after my morning walk today and listening to your podcast I walked straight back in the door and hit the join button! Cant wait to get started. Leanne x

    1. That is fantastic to hear, Leanne! I’m glad you listened to your gut, and that I’ll get to work with you in class! : )

  5. Maryn

    Hi Jess – I can really relate to your story and what you said, “As long as you keep going, it’s not over” really touched me at this juncture in my life. Thanks for sharing your story. It was definitely uplifting, inspiring, and added a little extra intention for me today!

    1. That is wonderful to hear, Maryn! Remember: life will help course correct you to where you need to be. Listen to your gut and you are right where you need to be. : )

  6. aimee @ small eats

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! I connected with so many things that you said and am looking forward to doing LWIO even more now.
    I also would love “Start where you are” and “Keep going” intention tattoos!

    1. Yay! I can’t wait to see you in class, too, Aimee! : )

      I’ll also keep those tattoo ideas in mind if/when we do a new batch!

  7. Lori Asperschlager

    This was so good to listen to! I loved the reminder of “start where you are” and your explanation of purpose. Great words of wisdom tucked into the whole episode.

  8. That is wonderful to hear, Eliza! I’m glad this resonated with you and I adore your spirit animal. : )

  9. This was such a great podcast and I’d never heard the Michelangelo quote befpre. It’s so good! Also love the idea of starting where you are. Thank you for sharing and being so open and wise X

  10. Kristina

    Jess, I just got around to listening to this episode and I have to say it’s my favorite one to date. Your blog is already such a great inspiration but hearing you talk about your life and how life with intention got started really makes me want to dig deeper and work on my values and intentions. I especially loved the reminder “to start where you are” since I am a perfectionist who always finds excuses why right now is not the right time although right now is ALWAYS the right time! xx

    1. That’s great to hear, Kristina!

      And yes, start where you are. That’s the only place you’ll ever be. And the only time you’ll ever have to make change. : )


  11. Courtney Elizabeth

    I’m about halfway through the episode (started on my commute home today), and it is so, so wonderful to hear more about your journey to where you are today. I also so related to what you said about having a people-pleasing personality and not being able to help climbing the corporate ladder. I’m on the ladder right now, wondering how I got there, and how the heck to get off! Just wanted to say how helpful and inspiring this episode is – can’t wait to listen to the rest!

    1. That is so wonderful to hear, Courtney! I am glad you resonated with it, and I feel for you on the people pleasing part! I think there is a great thing to consider about authenticity in this week’s episode with Kate Arends that might help you (and has helped me already) with this issue. : )

  12. JillGG

    I loved this episode Jess! I am totally binge-listening to these podcasts now that the kids are back in school and am feeling so inspired by them to take my life and blog to a new level after struggling this year with a lot of doubts and change lately. Keep up the great work friend!

    1. That’s wonderful to hear, Jill! I’m glad you liked my story but are also getting to check out the other episodes, too!

      PS – I need to talk to you about that new makeup line you wrote about recently!

  13. Libby

    Thank you for this episode, Jess! I always love seeing your podcasts pop into my email and I devour them instantly. Your interview was especially touching because I too can relate to many of your struggles and the rocky road you’ve had to success. I am still on my path and it’g getting more clear every day. Thank you for being so honest and being a voice for anyone who has struggled with the unhappiness surrounding our personal identities and pursuing a life of value and fulfillment. Such great words: “it matters that I am willing to keep going” – love it!! Thank you!

    1. I’m so glad my story spoke to you, Libby!

      And yes, it’s a constant process of moving forward and having things feel clearer. I don’t think we will necessarily become ‘perfectly’ clear, just clear enough for us to see what our next steps are in this moment. : )

  14. Catherine

    Thank you once again for adding an extra intention to our lives!
    Finally, I was able to listen and focus to this podcast properly. I needed to hear it right now. (And I guess it was the right time too.) Thanks for sharing your story. 🙂

    1. That’s so awesome, Catherine!

      I’m glad you got to listen right when you needed it. : )

  15. Hi Jess, I am just discovering all that you offer this week! Listening every day in my studio and it is really uplifting! I missed your class this round…how often will you offer it? I think my sister will sign up too!

    1. Awesome! I am not exactly sure how frequently I’ll open class up again, but likely the next time will be sometime in the first half of 2015. It would be lovely to see you and your sister in class!

  16. gret mackintosh

    Dear Jess…..I stumbled upon your podcast with Glitter Girl a few weeks ago and have been addicted to your podcasts ever since – You’re so well spoken and the messages you share are so positive and open, and motivating. Keep up the good work – and consider me now a loyal fan : )

  17. Your Michelangelo epiphany was SO PROFOUND AND AMAZING! I had to write it down and I thought of a dozen people who would treasure that wisdom! Your podcasts are AMAZING. I love listening to them at work. Thank you for interviewing such inspiring people and being ONE OF THEM!

    1. : ) I’m so glad you enjoyed the show and the Michelangelo story in particular!

      I’m also thrilled to hear you are getting so much from The Lively Show overall. That’s wonderful!

  18. Mary Theresa

    I don’t know how I just listened to this now, but it was definitely one of my favorites. So much of what you said spoke to me at the exact right moment. Your work is truly life changing!

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