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The Jennifer Kamara Podcast
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The Jennifer Kamara Podcast

Author: Jennifer Kamara

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Blood-diamond war survivor turned entrepreneur and life design partner breaks down getting unstuck, aligning actions with values, and designing meaningful lives. In bite-sized Jenn's Gems episodes, Jenn tackles a specific challenge leaders face and shares proven and actionable life design tools with examples on how to execute. Guest episodes are chalk full of inspiration and examples of lives well-designed - Jenn talks with CEOs, athletes, writers, artists, and investors on living lives on their own terms.

Jennifer Kamara is a life design partner to CEOs, founders, and artists. She trains great leaders and empowers them and their teams to drive game-changing results and have more fun while they're at it. She holds an MBA from Stanford University, an MPA from Harvard University, and is a Co-Active Certified Coach.
64 Episodes
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Ellen Cassidy is a joy to be around and once you know her story you'll have even more respect for that. From humble beginnings to say the least, she is the product of a drug dealer and their customer and was raised in a single parent household. She learned to find agency through her academics earning her way into Stanford undergrad, which seemed worlds away from her upbringing in Philly. Ellen shares how instances of feeling other, misses, and failures led her down the right path for her - toward becoming the world's top LSAT tutor and founder of the online Hogwarts for LSAT prep. She's forthcoming about her entrepreneurial journey as not having been linear - how she deferred Harvard law three times before capturing her LSAT teachings into what became the #1 LSAT prep book The Loophole and subsequently growing Elemental Prep to a 100K MRR business. We end with Ellen's tips on how to become a top 1% reader, as well as how to prep youngsters in our lives for better reading comprehension. Your brain will tickle with engagement at this one, enjoy Ellen!Connect with Ellen: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ecassidy/Check out Elemental Prep: https://elementalprep.com/Subscribe and hit 🔔 to stay updated on new uploads:• Listen wherever you get your podcasts: https://podcast.jenniferkamara.com/• Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtVtZsw_543eE2ttp0QFCxg?sub_confirmation=1Follow Jennifer:• LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenniferkamara/• Twitter - https://twitter.com/iamjennkamaraIf you enjoyed this, don't forget to subscribe, like, and share!00:00 Hook00:41 Intro to Ellen02:41 Ellen's humble beginnings04:22 Learning to have agency for herself16:17 How failures led Ellen down the right path24:14 Launching what would become the #1 LSAT prep book27:51 Scaling the Loophole to the online Hogwarts for LSAT38:10 Scaling Elemental Prep to 100K MRR as a solopreneur43:49 How to become a top 1% reader
Arica and Kristen are the power cofounder duo behind Hart & Highland, an LA based creative and marketing studio that helps CPG food/ bev /wellness brands be heard, seen and understood by their target customer. They bootstrapped the business to $1M in revenue and are just getting started. They tell me about their journey to becoming founders of Hart & Highland - getting off of the corporate path and starting their own businesses before meeting through the beautiful rom com sequel story of how they eventually partnered up to build their agency together. They dive into details of what makes their cofounder relationship not just work, but flourish, why they wouldn’t build without one another, and how the business evolved to be a successful bootstrapped agency. Pure fun and inspiration, enjoy Arica and Kristen!Connect with Arica:- https://www.linkedin.com/in/aricarosenthal/Connect with Kristen:- https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristen-schellenberg/Check out Heart and Highland: https://www.hartandhighland.com/Subscribe and hit 🔔 to stay updated on new uploads:• Listen wherever you get your podcasts: https://podcast.jenniferkamara.com/• Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtVtZsw_543eE2ttp0QFCxg?sub_confirmation=1Follow Jennifer:• LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenniferkamara/• Twitter - https://twitter.com/iamjennkamaraIf you enjoyed this, don't forget to subscribe, like, and share!0:00 Hook00:34 Introducing Arica & Kristen02:21 Kristen's background in influencer marketing11:10 Arica's background in fashion and CPG marketing strategy18:23 Going from being closed to the idea of a cofounder to dating each other as cofounders!28:07 Cofounder agreements that powered their relationship & business to flourish40:50 Bootstrapping an agency - riding the the ups and downs of the rollercoaster  49:45 How Arica & Kristen design their lives
Kevin Lee is the Cofounder of Immi, a DTC company that invented the world’s first low carb high protein instant ramen. Kevin tells me about how growing up in Silicon Valley, the son of Taiwanese immigrants from a produce background resulted in him revolutionizing the ramen industry - one of those you can only connect the dots looking backward stories. Kevin shares how he and his cofounder’s playful curiosity and lack of experience in the traditional food manufacturing industry gave them the advantage necessary to execute on Immi. We talk about how he and his cofounder get to high operating leverage at Immi whose lean team of ~15 full time employees operates at about 4x the output of their team’s size. Finally our entire conversation is anchored in the thread of Kevin’s optimization for impact at scale - how he found that in building Immi and how empowering his team is his most important work in delivering impact at scale. This was a gem packed episode for any leader interested in the food space, operations optimizations, community building, or a good story. Enjoy Kevin!Connect with Kevin:- https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinleeme/- https://twitter.com/kevinleemeCheck out Immi: https://immieats.com/Subscribe and hit 🔔 to stay updated on new uploads:• Listen wherever you get your podcasts• Watch on YouTubeMore about Jennifer:Life Design for CEOs and LeadersFollow Jennifer:• LinkedIn• Twitter If you enjoyed this, don't forget to subscribe, like, and share!
David is the co-founder of The Explanation Company, which is on a mission to support kids’ play, grow, and autonomy. David tells me about his journey from falling in love with entrepreneurship during the 90s snowboarding boom, to why he believes kids should start 10 businesses before they graduate high school, to then building his first company, eSpark Learning, which is used in a quarter of elementary schools to support individualized learning for kids in reading and math. David shares his lessons in entrepreneurship including a hard earned one that may have cost him $10M in overcoming creator confirmation bias. He shares with me on building the internet for kids in order to nurture kids’ curiosity, friendships, and autonomy. And I really enjoy our conversation unpacking the impact of suburbia and safeteyism over the past decades on kids learning and development. This was a gem packed episode for anyone founder or person interested in kids development. Enjoy David!Connect with David and The Explanation Company:- https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidvinca/- https://www.explanation.com/Subscribe and hit 🔔 to stay updated on new uploads:• Listen wherever you get your podcasts• Watch on YouTubeMore about Jennifer:Life Design for CEOs and LeadersFollow Jennifer:• LinkedIn• Twitter If you enjoyed this, don't forget to subscribe, like, and share!
Sam is the founder of Nood.com and is on a mission to help people feel more comfortable in their skin by creating better hair removal experience with the power of light. Within 2 years of founding Nood, Sam led the team to earning $60M TTM in revenue! Sam tells me about his journey as an entrepreneur from spending several years barely earning a living but instead earning a fortune of experience, to launching Nood.com. Sam is generous with his experience share from how he got the idea, to product development and marketing. Such an inspirational and real story of the ups and downs of entrepreneurship and sticking to creativity and adventure - some of the basic attributes of being human. Enjoy Sam!Connect with Sam and Nood:- https://www.linkedin.com/in/samuelgarst/- https://trynood.com/Subscribe and hit 🔔 to stay updated on new uploads:• Listen wherever you get your podcasts• Watch on YouTubeMore about Jennifer:Life Design for CEOs and LeadersFollow Jennifer:• LinkedIn• Twitter If you enjoyed this, don't forget to subscribe, like, and share!
Austin tells me about growing up in a small farm town, Pickney MI, learning to code at 12yo, dropping out of college at 19, getting kicked out by his parents, and staying on a friends’ couch and founding Inventr.io which now 4.5yrs later makes 5M+ in annual recurring revenues. Austin describes what he loves about “making” things, how he’s teaching kids and adults to code and build with his company’s products, and how as a young founder of 25 yo he thinks about success and designing his life.Connect with Austin and inventr.io:- https://www.linkedin.com/in/austin-eckman-5b4829bb- https://inventr.io/Subscribe and hit 🔔 to stay updated on new uploads:• Listen wherever you get your podcasts• Watch on YouTubeMore about Jennifer:Life Design for CEOs and LeadersFollow Jennifer:• LinkedIn• Twitter If you enjoyed this, don't forget to subscribe, like, and share!00:00 Hook00:38 Intro to Austin01:49 Austin's identity as a maker and going from maker to entrepreneur07:07 Getting on his feet after dropping out of college and starting Inventor.io09:29 Finding product-market fit12:36 Current state of the business17:20 What's stretched Austin the most as a leader19:34 How Austin designs his life 22:29 Austin's current definition of success
Matt Serel shares his personal story of opioid addiction - how it started, the various incidents that led to it worsening, and how it culminated in an overdose in his hotel room where he was found within 10 mins of death. Matt shares his perspective on what helped him succeed through the first year of recovery, how to think about supporting someone in recovery, as well as what’s kept him sober now 10 years on. He tells me about how he integrated his personal experience into building You are Accountable - a peer coaching service that has helped thousands go through addiction recovery. Matt also tells me about prioritizing his health in how he designs his life, helps me understand the difference between upstate NY vs the NYC burbs, and how he was meant to be an entrepreneur.Connect with Matt and You Are Accountable:- https://linkedin.com/in/mserel- https://youareaccountable.comSubscribe and hit 🔔 to stay updated on new uploads:• Listen wherever you get your podcasts• Watch on YouTubeMore about Jennifer:Life Design for CEOs and LeadersFollow Jennifer:• LinkedIn• Twitter If you enjoyed this, don't forget to subscribe, like, and share!00:00 Hook00:39 Intro to Matt03:42 Matt and his affinity for building things from 0-1 instead of working for someone else 10:14 Lessons from building his previous company 15:58 Matt's opioid addiction story and coming within 10 mins of dying20:50 Matt's take on what we can learn as a society and how to more effectively support addicts in recovering29:13 Helping thousands recover from addiction with You are Accountable 37:20 How Matt designs his life
I catch up with Rob Hoffman, the cofounder and CEO of a content as a service industry called Contact Studios. Rob’s journey is interesting because it’s so real. It’s non linear with twists and turns and setbacks and resilience of layoffs and failed attempts to finally bootstrapping a successful business with his friends. Add in elements of moving to Colombia on a shoestring budget, and having gangsters as neighbors and we get the tips on storytelling and getting the first 100 customers from a man who does content for a living. Enjoy Rob!Connect with Rob:- https://twitter.com/rob_hoffman_- https://www.linkedin.com/in/rob-hoffman-ceo- https://www.contactstudios.com/Subscribe and hit 🔔 to stay updated on new uploads:• Listen wherever you get your podcasts• Watch on YouTubeMore about Jennifer:Life Design for CEOs and LeadersFollow Jennifer:• LinkedIn• Twitter If you enjoyed this, don't forget to subscribe, like, and share!
I spoke with Jon Levin, the Dean of Stanford Business School, my alma mater, about all things running an institution of higher education. We discussed what being the Dean of a business school entails, the evolution of the MBA degree - specifically: is it worth it today and why, how the GSB will incorporate AI and language models into the curriculum, and unconventional paths students take to and post business school. Dean Levin tells me about his plans to offer more public policy topics as part of the MBA curriculum and we discuss the importance of preserving institutions of higher learning as spaces for discovery of ideas, free speech, and inclusivity as well as why it is important to do so at institutions like the GSB that nurture future leaders. We discuss non business school related topics as well - I learn about how Dean Levin navigated long distance pre phone and email communication with his high school sweetheart turned wife who’s a physician with whom he shares three kids and whether or not England PM and GSB Alum Rishi Sunak stopped by Stanford on his California vacation. So much more we could have gotten into, will have to have Jon back. Enjoy!Connect with Jon and Stanford:- https://www.linkedin.com/in/dean-jon-levin- https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/Subscribe and hit 🔔 to stay updated on new uploads:• Listen wherever you get your podcasts• Watch on YouTubeMore about Jennifer:Life Design for CEOs and LeadersFollow Jennifer:• LinkedIn• Twitter If you enjoyed this, don't forget to subscribe, like, and share!
I caught up with Melissa Cash, the co-founder and CEO of Pok Pok, an award winning app for kids that uses Montessori inspired toys and a playroom to encourage open ended play for kids aged 2-7. A valuable episode for CEOs full of experience shares from Melissa about how she stumbled into entrepreneurship and becoming a CEO without an idea, how she successfully fundraised while pregnant and successfully honored her maternity leave, systems she’s found helpful for inspiring play, empowerment and empathy among her team, as well as the value of the people you surround yourself in empowering you as CEO. I had so much fun getting to know Melissa in an episode filled with curiosity, play, and storytelling - enjoy!Connect with Melissa:- https://ca.linkedin.com/in/melissa-cash- https://twitter.com/melissacash_- https://playpokpok.com/Subscribe and hit 🔔 to stay updated on new uploads:• Listen wherever you get your podcasts• Watch on YouTubeMore about Jennifer:Life Design for CEOs and LeadersFollow Jennifer:• LinkedIn• Twitter If you enjoyed this, don't forget to subscribe, like, and share!
In this essential episode, Jennifer covers everything one needs to know about co-founders - what are the upsides of having a co-founder, what to look for in a co-founder, and how to find one. And importantly - how to structure a productive and lasting co-founder relationship. Enjoying Jenn's Gems? Make sure to subscribe and share. Happy designing!Subscribe and hit 🔔 to stay updated on new uploads:• Listen wherever you get your podcasts• Watch on YouTubeMore about Jennifer:Life Design for CEOs and LeadersFollow Jennifer:• LinkedIn• Twitter If you enjoyed this, don't forget to subscribe, like, and share!
Today I have the pleasure of chatting with Jasmine Star. She's a CEO, a speaker, a podcaster, who teaches business owners how to tell visual stories online. Jasmine shares with me how her mom's fight with cancer inspired her to drop out from law school and pursue photography. We discuss working with our husbands, Jasmine's business serving 66 thousand customers, launching a software company, and much more. I absolutely loved Jasmine's energy and no-nonsense approach to work and life, and you will too.Thanks for coming on, Jasmine!Connect with Jasmine:- https://jasminestar.com/- https://www.instagram.com/jasminestar/- ​https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTFWKO9EiG1lumOBA8bjMsQSubscribe and hit 🔔 to stay updated on new uploads:• Listen wherever you get your podcasts• Watch on YouTubeMore about Jennifer:Life Design for CEOs and LeadersFollow Jennifer:• LinkedIn• Twitter If you enjoyed this, don't forget to subscribe, like, and share!00:00 Jasmine Star00:35 Intro to Jasmine03:15 What Jasmine is grappling with today as an entrepreneur06:27 Carving time as a CEO to focus on business drivers and letting your team run with the operations they are good at10:38 What is Modeling as a CEO13:21 Reframing decisions for yourself away from selfish to energizing for me and as a result good for the business and those around me18:54 How Jasmine repeatedly pursued and succeeded in careers she was "uneducated, unfunded, unqualified, unprepared" to pursue23:41 Making Gut in addition to Logic Decisions as Leaders29:53 Being OK with not being everybody's cup of tea as a leader38:59 How Jasmine takes care of herself: morning routine and mental fitness 48:21 How Jasmine designs her relationships with her loved ones
In this essential episode, Jennifer covers the practice of gratitude and appreciation - why it matters, what the science indicates is an effective practice, how it can result in higher performance, and examples of how you can begin implementing gratitude today for your teams, as well as yourself!  Enjoying Jenn's Gems? Write Jenn at podcast@jenniferkamara.com with how you're implementing these tips. Happy designing!Subscribe and hit 🔔 to stay updated on new uploads:• Listen wherever you get your podcasts• Watch on YouTubeMore about Jennifer:Life Design for CEOs and ArtistsFollow Jennifer:• LinkedIn• Twitter If you enjoyed this, don't forget to subscribe, like, and share!
Today I have a wonderful conversation with my new neighbor here in Austin, Adam Lawrence. Adam is a world-class business operator, who honed his skills at companies like Bolt and Addepar, before launching his current project, Boom and Bucket. We talk about Adam's journey as an entrepreneur, we discuss what business excellence looks like, and dig into the importance of healthy company culture.Subscribe and hit 🔔 to stay updated on new uploads:• Listen wherever you get your podcasts• Watch on YouTubeMore about Jennifer:Life Design for CEOs and LeadersFollow Jennifer:• LinkedIn• Twitter If you enjoyed this, don't forget to subscribe, like, and share!
Today I chat with Lauren Tickner, founder & CEO of Impact School. Lauren tells me how having a disabled brother helped her can-do mindset, how she fought panic attacks and obsession with weight loss, what drove her to drop out of college, how she became a millionaire, and what she is busy building today. Great energy, thank you for coming on the pod Lauren!Connect with Lauren:- https://www.instagram.com/laurentickner- https://www.youtube.com/@UC8qhCPBiqf3qje6CdDBjdgQ - https://impact-school.com/Subscribe and hit 🔔 to stay updated on new uploads:• Listen wherever you get your podcasts• Watch on YouTubeMore about Jennifer:Life Design for CEOs and LeadersFollow Jennifer:• LinkedIn• Twitter If you enjoyed this, don't forget to subscribe, like, and share!
Jess Chan is the CEO of retention marketing agency LongPlay, and B2B SaaS company Backbone. She walks me through realizing she had depression and anxiety and how she turned her mental fitness around which led her to entrepreneurship! We talk about designing around her introvertedness/social anxiety as a CEO who needs to interact with humans constantly. She tells me about Longplay's tinder swindler-esque moment (yikes!) and what she learned from it, the best part about being an entrepreneur, and how she designs her life today - from mental health to business to dating! Find Jess via her Diary of an Entrepreneur series on Twitter.Connect with Jess: https://twitter.com/jjesschanSubscribe and hit 🔔 to stay updated on new uploads:• Listen wherever you get your podcasts• Watch on YouTubeMore about Jennifer:Life Design for CEOs and LeadersFollow Jennifer:• LinkedIn• Twitter If you enjoyed this, don't forget to subscribe, like, and share!
Want to build a business or project that endures? Or want to make a sound choice on a person to commit to? Knowing our values and designing around them is a simple way to align you with your personal compass, to position you toward what you will find meaningful, and to build something that lasts! I break down how to identify your values via peak and low experiences, and how make them work for you, starting today. Enjoying Jenn's Gems? Write Jenn at podcast@jenniferkamara.com with how you're implementing these tips. Happy designing!Subscribe and hit 🔔 to stay updated on new uploads:• Listen wherever you get your podcasts• Watch on YouTubeMore about Jennifer:Life Design for CEOs and ArtistsFollow Jennifer:• LinkedIn• Twitter If you enjoyed this, don't forget to subscribe, like, and share!
A lot of my clients come to asking for help with letting people go. I recorded this episode to help people prepare for and navigate letting someone go compassionately.Subscribe and hit 🔔 to stay updated on new uploads:• Listen wherever you get your podcasts• Watch on YouTubeMore about Jennifer:Life Design for CEOs and ArtistsFollow Jennifer:• LinkedIn• Twitter If you enjoyed this, don't forget to subscribe, like, and share!
I chat all things adventure with Nate who originally from South Chicago is now a travel blogger, TV show host and entrepreneur. Nate is the star of award winning travel show World Wide Nate. He tells me about his most recent adventure with his 76 yo mom to Antartica including how much it costs to get there, what the journey is like, and why it’s worth seeing. We talk about connecting with people across cultures when we’re traveling. Nate also tells me his passion of his to inspire more black swimmers and surfers, lucrative careers in the world of water including how you can make six figures as a life guard. Nate shares tips for entrepreneurs to steal on how he juggles building three projects simultaneously and his lens of what is home to him.Connect with Nathan: https://www.instagram.com/worldwidenate/?hl=enSubscribe and hit 🔔 to stay updated on new uploads:• Listen wherever you get your podcasts• Watch on YouTubeMore about Jennifer:Life Design for CEOs and ArtistsFollow Jennifer:• LinkedIn• Twitter If you enjoyed this, don't forget to subscribe, like, and share!
We kick off men’s health month with Andrew Suggs who is passionate about men’s health having lost his father due to inadequate primary care. He is now building a company to bridge the health gap. Andrew tells me about growing up in the south side of Chicago, how his parents shielded them from drugs, gun, and gang violence, and the trials that built character in his experience. He describes what losing his father was like, what he’s learned from grief, and how he’s turning it into impact by providing community healthcare. We end with Andrew describing why men’s health is important and how he takes care of his own health.Connect with Andrew: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrew-suggs-37828b36/Mentioned in this episode:- Live Chair Health: https://www.livechair.co/Subscribe and hit 🔔 to stay updated on new uploads:• Listen wherever you get your podcasts• Watch on YouTubeMore about Jennifer:Life Design for CEOs and ArtistsFollow Jennifer:• LinkedIn• Twitter If you enjoyed this, don't forget to subscribe, like, and share!
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