Stefanie O’Connell, an advocate for helping women live the life they want, joins Jillian to discuss the importance of mindset when navigating career opportunities.

Listen here at Lisbyn, Apple, Castbox, or your favorite player.

Frugality By Choice.

Stefanie’s parents didn’t really discuss money with her growing up, but she was able to observe their spending. Her parents were frugal spenders by choice, not necessity, and that influenced Stefanie to be careful with money and spend according to what she valued in her life. 

Starting out in her career during the recession, Stefanie struggled to find places to stay. She realized that she needed to change her income in order to have the freedom and life she wanted.  

When she was offered a speaking event for $500, her talent agent called and was able to get the price raised to $5000. 

“It completely blew my mind how much, not only you can earn making a skill valuable and offering it to a market with demand, but also how much you can ask for…and rethinking the mindset of what it means to really negotiate.”

During her acting career, Stefanie learned that you have to be willing to try a lot to get that amazing thing you’re after. For her, it meant going to tons of auditions, and she carried that mindset with her and applied it to entrepreneuring. 

Embracing Rejection Helps Lead to Success

“I made a list of 100 places, 100 people to pitch…and it didn’t matter that I was rejected 99 times, because I accomplished the goal.”

From that point, she knew and had proof she could do it, and the process started to become easier. To this day, that is how she approaches her career. Although it may be discouraging to see the 99 rejections, it’s all part of the numbers game, and it’ll bring you closer to the “yes.” If you’re going to try anything new, you have to be willing to take the chance and keep trying until you have success. 

Writing her book was one of the things that really helped Stefanie leverage and market herself in her new career. Delivering her message through her book and on television is how she found her talent and what she really enjoyed doing. It’s easy to get caught up in the “perfect plan” or a single goal, but Stefanie’s philosophy is to have multiple projects open, multiple pitches and multiple opportunities. Some might not work out, but you’ll have some that do. 

When Stefanie started planning her wedding, she realized that a lot more people congratulated her on her wedding than on her career accomplishments. Stefanie believes that the lives people have built should be celebrated; it takes a lot of work to build up a career, and it shows women that their careers and contributions are valued and important. 

“What if, by allowing ourselves to celebrate these milestones, we allow ourselves to also open up a broader dialogue about the process of achieving them?”

Here’s a breakdown of the episode:

[01:03] Growing up, Stefanie’s family didn’t really discuss money, but she was able to learn from their frugality and take that mindset with her into her career.

[06:58] Going into her career during the recession made it hard for Stefanie financially. She struggled to find places to stay, and she realized that she needed to increase her income if she was to live the life she wanted. 

[08:55] Getting her entrepreneurial career going was difficult. When her talent agent was able to get a $500 speaking gig raised to $5000, she began to realize that she could negotiate and make her skills valuable and marketable. 

[11:23] Some things might not work out, but even if you try 100 times and 99 are rejections, all you need is the one that does work. 

[14:18] Stefanie wrote her book early on in her career, and she was able to make it work. It doesn’t mean that the way she did it would work for everyone, but by writing her book, she was able to gain credibility and do what she loved—spreading her message to everyone who needed to hear it. 

[18:23] It’s important women realize that they are strong and valuable in their careers, because building up your life and career is a wonderful accomplishment.