Jillian Johnsrud – How Jillian Johnsrud Fired the Haters

Welcome to another episode of the Plutus Awards Podcast. Our community is filled with hundreds of stories from creators and entrepreneurs just like you. And through this show we share these stories of challenges and successes from bloggers to podcasters from writers, speakers and more. I’m your host, Michelle Jackson.

Plutus Awards Podcast - Jillian Johnsrud Square Cover

Today’s guest is Jillian Johnsrud, author of Fire the Haters, a book that isn’t about the FIRE movement, but is all about creating content online and the challenges that may impact your brand. We talk about how different seasons of life influence her business, the pushback on content creators positioned in the FIRE space aren’t they allowed to make money too? And why Jillian has decided not to attend any events in 2022.

How Jillian Johnsrud Fired the Haters

Notes and summary from this episode
  • Show opening-I reintroduce this season’s theme-The tension of monetizing a financial brand.
  • Jillian introduces herself, writes and creates at Jillian Johnsrud.com, wrote a book, coaches, course creator and event host.
  • I wonder how Jillian is able to do all of the things that she’s doing.
  • Jillian is candid about how she doesn’t have a 9-5 job and that her husband also doesn’t work a 9-5 while outsourcing everything possible.
  • How did Jillian know when it was time to outsource different aspects of her business. She shares that she started off by doing things the wrong way.
  • I share my Virtual Assistant onboarding experience-I was the problem. Most entrepreneurs are behind the eightball when they hire.
    • Choose the uber professional-who is more expensive
    • Or, the person who you have to train
  • Hiring is an important part of the monetization conversation
  • Jillian shares her financial story and how she wanted to have a different financial experience.
  • Became financially independent when she was 32 years old
  • How does she make FIRE relatable to people?
  • Create financial freedom and flex that freedom
  • I ask a weird question: “When did you notice that you’d become a financial brand?”
  • She started writing a few years before FIRE became a “thing” and wasn’t planning on creating a brand. She asked herself:
    • Am I hobbyist
    • Am I myself
    • Or, am I a company?
  • Jillian shares that she’s opted to become a personal brand
  • Her season of life influences the type of content creator that she is.
  • What is going on with the pushback on FIRE content creators making money?
  • Does FIRE actually work where you DON’T need income in the future
  • Jillian designs her business differently because the purpose of income in her business is to funnel money towards the projects that she’s passionate about vs. optimize profits.
  • What defining moment influenced the writing of Fire the Haters? About 4 months into her writing career and the title of her post was changed by the editor on a large curation site. Readers were pissed off and Jillian was trying to defend herself.
  • She reached out to Jay Money and asked “How do you deal with this? I’m not sure if I’m cut out for creating online” Jay Money laughed “Oh, honey, you don’t read the comments.”
  • FIRE the Haters has three main content sections
    • How do we deal with creating content online? What are our boundaries?
    • The internal critic
    • What to do when things go wrong and how do we regroup?
  • What has the feedback been like for the book?
  • Very good and that readers who aren’t content creators are able to apply the lessons in the book to their lives.
  • What has it been like incorporating this book into her FIRE focused brand since it’s an online business book vs. FIRE?
  • It’s ok that the book isn’t for everyone in her audience.
  • There are different points in a content creators journey and the challenge of splitting your focus/branding and clarity issues
  • How did Jillian find an audience for her book? – She was super passionate about the book and the content and was ok with it taking longer.
  • “I didn’t write this for year 1 sales, I wrote it for year 5 sales” the affirmation she shared
  • I ask Jillian to share the different parts of her brand and I wonder why she said “yes” to the projects/products she said “yes” to
  • Trying and working on products is the only way to know if something works.
  • 2022 no conferences-Event free year as a way to see if she misses.
  • My VA travesty was influenced by my travel to events
  • This year I’ve decided to only attend 3 events.
  • How is Jillian maintaining relationships and how have her relationships impacted her brand’s growth?
  • She and her family have been traveling a lot and being intentional about meeting with people during her travels.
  • Hosting(in the loosest sense) a get together in Mexico at an all-inclusive resort
  • “There’s no I would be doing this without the friendships that I’ve made”
  • The advice Jillian would give to a personal finance content creator considering monetizing their brand.
    • What are you better than the average at? Start with a headstart that amplifies your success?
    • What’s NOT your skillset and outsource it.
  • Being FIRE allowed Jillian to be a lot more candid about what she doesn’t need to do in her business.
  • Jillian uses a journaling activity focused on “What are your superpowers?” She refers back to this spreadsheet and information so that she is able to look back at what she’s shared with herself.
  • What does the future look like in Jillian’s business?
    • Focusing on scaling down
    • Less is more creation
  • #1 Tip for future content creators=Just FOCUS because 1 or 2 of the things that you do will give you 80% of your results.
  • Ask yourself what actually moves the needle for your brand.
  • We talk about Jillian’s in-person event, will she do it again? Jillian admits that she used to be an event junkie
  • She discovered that having the event was wonderful but the behind the scenes planning of an event took a lot
  • I admit that I don’t have the capacity to host another event

Plutus Awards Podcast - Jillian Johnsrud Cover

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About Michelle Jackson, Podcast Host

Michelle Jackson is mission-driven to help her readers and listeners empower themselves financially. Whether it is by improving their personal finances or learning how to sell what they already know — she loves having those conversations. Michelle runs the website and podcast “Michelle is Money Hungry” and is the founder of the Money on the Mountain retreat focused on empowering financially single women one conversation at a time. When she’s not geeking out about personal finance you can find her hiking in the mountains of Colorado.

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