Jenn T. Grace, in her own words, is “a get shit done kind of gal” and she excels at recognizing an opportunity that’s right for her, and going after it. Jenn even named her company, Publish Your Purpose Press, accordingly. She’s purpose-driven, purpose-centred and has a lot to teach those of us looking for how to master this discipline. She has a fabulous blog post on her site called The Power of Commitment, if you want to know more about what makes Jenn awesome.
Jokingly referring to herself early on as “The Professional Lesbian”, this line wound up being both a personal and professional stake in the ground when she realized she had insights for small businesses and corporations that no one else was really talking about: how to teach companies to market to gay people, and how gay people should market themselves. Jenn built a consulting business based on this topic and hasn’t looked back.
After consulting in this space for a while, Jenn realized she was passionate about business owners who had a mission to tell a story so she founded Publish Your Purpose Press. The story of how she came up with the idea, and how it drives her decision making today around what’s really important for her, and what fits (and doesn’t) in her business is nothing short of inspiring.
The [publishing] industry as a whole is predatory. And we strive to be the exact opposite of that. We give and give and we want people to walk away as an educated consumer around the book publishing process rather than taking advantage of people. That was the catalyst for saying “I have to do this.
Jenn’s perspective on being purpose-driven is absolutely contagious – you hear it in her voice when she gushes about her clients and authors. And her business model – which you’ll have to listen to find out about – is truly a model for other companies to emulate. If there’s one thread weaving my podcast guests together, it’s that these amazing women all started their businesses with the intention to make the world better for others. And to build purpose, empathy and people into their strategies.
I really believe this is the recipe for the business model of the future – and Jenn is a perfect example, proving it in real time.
What you’ll learn from Jenn in this episode:
- How Jenn realized there was a niche waiting to be addressed: helping gay people market themselves and companies market to them
- What companies are missing and getting right in the area of marketing to the LGBTQ community (Hint: it’s not just one community!)
- What Jenn means by “social change happens first in the workplace and then spills over into the mainstream”
- How running a workshop intended to help people understand the publishing industry turned into starting a publishing company – a great example to all of us to jump in with both feet and try something. We don’t always know where it will lead!
- What makes Publish Your Purpose Press so different from other publishing companies and the lessons for all other businesses in Jenn’s description of this
- Why providing authors with emotional support, not just practical tools, is so important
- The role Jenn plays in placing her authors on the ledge to get the most intimate storytelling possible
- The stories of the three female authors she promotes
- What ambition means to Jenn as a woman and a business owner
Jenn is ambitious for:
Eileen Scully, founder of The Rising Tides whose stated goal is pretty awesome: To drive a work culture that supports women regardless of life stage and allows each of our boats to rise together, never at the expense of one another.
Links to organizations/articles/books mentioned in this episode:
Publish Your Purpose Press
Beyond The Rainbow, But You Don’t Look Gay!, No, Wait… You Do Look Gay! and Marriage Equality Marketing
Jenn T. Grace – The Professional Lesbian
Iman Gatti’s book, Cracked Open – Never Broken
Dr. Maysa Akbar’s book, Urban Trauma
Cathi Nelson’s book, Photo Organizing Made Easy
Jenn doesn’t mention this, but SBTM Episode #17 guest, Jennifer Brown, is one of Jenn’s published authors. Listen to hear more about her amazing diversity story and her book, Inclusion:Diversity, the New Workplace & the Will to Change
Like what you’ve seen so far and want more?