ABOUT JENNY MUNFORD
Now, to be an entrepreneur you have to be a little crazy! Well, okay, A LOT crazy, because – according to Bloomberg – out of 100 entrepreneurs, a whopping 80% crash and burn within 18 months of initiating business every year. A Formula One race car driver has only a 20% chance of crashing and burning! So, what kind of person does this type of job need? Well, not a normal person for sure… rebels, lunatics, dreamers, people who are prepared to lose everything while trying to turn their entrepreneurial vision into their desired results. Yup, that’s me in a nutshell! I’m also not your typical entrepreneur but a serial entrepreneur with an insatiable desire for growth. I rapidly build multi-location businesses, then sell off or exit them. I find it hard to switch off and relax… my mind is always in business mode. I’ve built four companies so far. I have exited one, sold another, let one burn and crash, and am trying to maintain a remainder.
I’ve had major successes, earning my first million at 25 while building a computer company. After that adventure, I opened Germany’s very first all-women’s gyms in the early 90’s. My passion for fitness, health and wellness won recognition as Business Women of the Year. In 2000 my fitness video was #1 on Amazon. An “energizer bunny,” I never stopped going, sometimes teaching over 25 classes a week while building the brand, doing my own marketing, managing my employees and thousands of gym members. I encouraged thousands of women to take care of their health and move their God given bodies! Lots of those members are still active in the very gym I built almost 20 years ago, while others have gone on to have successful careers in the fitness industry.
In 2003, I needed a major change in my personal life, and I sold my company which still to this day is one of the most popular women’s gyms in Germany’s Frankfurt area. After traveling for 6 months I found my way back to Canada, my native land. I had left Canada 14 long years ago. So, I thought long and hard about my passions, purpose and my next business strategy. I was drawn to marketing and advertising. After taking a few jobs in the field and realizing that I wanted to run my own show, I decided to build my own company – a full-service television advertising and commercial production company. My team and I developed the commercial ideas, wrote the scripts, created the storyboards, hired the talent, filmed, edited and placed the commercials on Canadian and American national television. We serviced brands and companies of all sizes.
The business model worked. Within 6 years the company grossed millions of dollars in revenue, creating hundreds of television advertising campaigns and winning over 78 international awards for advertising and marketing. In 2011 I was awarded Canada’s Women Entrepreneur of the Year – a very prestigious award of which I am quite proud. I was on top of the world and living a healthy, well-balanced life and thus very successful.
Late 2012, I was ready for another venture, or should I say adventure. I moved my family to California and opened a fourth office. Unfortunately, the moment I arrived in California, the wheels on my bus started to come off. Trying to fix the problems in Canada from afar while building an office in California proved exceedingly difficult. I was plugged in 24/7, constantly checking emails and text messages, never a break. I “overstimulated” my brain and lost the ability to focus, think strategically or creatively – I felt in a constant fog. I was downing nearly 2 bottles of Tylenol every month! My mind was overheating, and I couldn’t relax. Some employees even said online that I had lost my mind. For the first time in my entrepreneurial life, I was incapable of leading, motivating or problem-solving. I also stopped exercising and gained over 40lbs… I went from an “energizer bunny” to a sloth.
On August 27, 2015 I crashed and burned with severe injuries to my self-esteem. I had lost the business that I had spent 10 years building. Instead of grossing millions in sales, I now owed millions. Closing my business was an extremely hard decision – but it saved my life because I seemed to be shortlisted for a heart attack, stroke or a mental institution. Shortly after I had closed the doors, I was diagnosed with severe burnout syndrome, adrenal fatigue and borderline diabetes. Coping with high anxiety, chronic fear and stress while growing a business is pretty normal for an entrepreneur, but the inability to switch off, unplug and relax in today’s 24/7 urgency-addicted business world isn’t! I’ve built businesses without the existence of the internet, emails, social media, smart phones and texting. I can remember being an entrepreneur and yet having the time to live, love, learn and the ability to leave an enduring legacy… with joy!
After months of reflection, creating a nutritional program and starting to implement specific integrated mind/body performance training into my daily work/life routine helped activate my “energizer bunny” once again. I have learned to control technology without technology controlling me. I set up a series of disciplines and ignore unimportant pings, dings and rings. Most of all, I reclaimed my mental powers! Once again I have the ability to focus, think creatively and strategically. Now, I have a healthy, well-balanced life and on the path to achieving success once again.