Transcript: Here’s part two of our interview with Hilary Jastrum. You can learn more about sickbiz.com next.
Hilary Jastrum: I said, okay, all right, I need to exercise. So I bought a little exercise bike. It’s a recumbent one. It sits in the living room. We put it in the living room so I’ll actually use it …
David Brower: There you go.
Hilary Jastrum: … instead of putting it … Right.
David Brower: Instead of hanging clothes on it.
Hilary Jastrum: That’s exactly right. You have to put it where you’re going to be. Sorry, but your interior design be damned.
David Brower: Yeah, exactly.
Hilary Jastrum: I am working on getting good at that. How long can I do it for? Not very long, but I can do it every day, probably. So we focus on one thing. When people get stuck, they still need to focus on the one thing. Let’s say in terms of sales. I’ve talked to people who say, “Well, I can’t close anything and I can’t do anything.” Well, what can you always close? Who’s always coming to you and saying, “Hey, can you do this?” Everybody has those examples. You might say, “Well, I hate doing those things, and I don’t want to do those things.” Well, you know what? They’re coming to you …
David Brower: Tough.
Hilary Jastrum: … for a reason. Absolutely. Those are the little wins that then lead to the big wins, because we build up our confidence and we begin to impress ourselves with our own strength.
David Brower: Self-esteem is so important, and to find the one step at a time, like you say, to help build that confidence and self-esteem, it’s got to be gratifying and hopefully motivational.
Hilary Jastrum: Incredibly. It’s incredibly motivational. Rarely, if ever, do you want to go backwards with that.
David Brower: Yeah. You must have a strong family, a very loving, supporting family.
Hilary Jastrum: No.
David Brower: Right?
Hilary Jastrum: The lie detector determined that was a lie.
David Brower: Come on, I kept a straight face. Give me a break. Okay, so I know why your husband works outdoors. I get it. All right.
Hilary Jastrum: I have an incredible husband and incredible children. Despite the fact that I may have a large circle of acquaintances, my intimate circle of friends is small. I’m not close to my family at all, and it was a situation of … I don’t have any hardship over this, because you really can’t carry that throughout life …
David Brower: No way.
Hilary Jastrum: … and expect to attract blessings and abundance and growth and opportunity if you’re harboring such resentment and mistreatment and blah, blah, blah. After a while, you kind of get sick of yourself, too. It’s like, wow, I am so tired of me. I am full of drama. I don’t want to do that. No, I am not close to my family, but I wish them well. We were in a situation of utter survival, and we could not coordinate as a family. We didn’t have the tools as a family to do it together.
David Brower: Got you.
Hilary Jastrum: So, God bless them, but …
David Brower: You end up with … In not a bad way by any stretch of the imagination, you end up with your immediate family, who’s there with you day in and day out, which is the most important anything, anyway, I would think. Then, a very small circle of friends who love you, want to nurture you, respect you, honor your boundaries, and those are a small group of friends?
Hilary Jastrum: Yes. Yes, they absolutely are. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Despite my exuberance and big mouth, I’m actually kind of a private person. I love helping people, and I’m not afraid to share my pain and vulnerabilities, but my day-to-day and what’s going on and blah, blah, blah, I’m actually pretty private about those things.
David Brower: I get that, because I’m an introvert big time. Always have been, even though I was in radio for a long time and I do voiceover work as a living and I love doing these podcasts. At the end of the day, my wife will say, “Oh, he’s going to that place.” Fortunately, she gets it. To have that small group, I mean, we have a Bible study group that we meet with once a week, and that’s my group. My kids are my group. That’s a totally different group, though. My wife is … Put a fork in me, I’m done. She’s just amazing. So yeah, I get that. I get that. Like you said earlier, no matter what your issue is … I mean, mine was depression. Mine was cancer. Mine was a hundred different things, but each time, everything ended up being an opportunity either to help myself, help somebody else, bring somebody into the fold, if you will, to allow them to go, “Oh, so if I do that, that’s not going to be as bad.” You know?
Hilary Jastrum: Absolutely. You’re still going to have the pain, but you can pick your degree of pain. You can.
David Brower: Wow.
Hilary Jastrum: We still have that level of control. We still do.
David Brower: So, how do you motivate yourself?
Hilary Jastrum: You know, I think it is an ongoing kind of domino effect every day. It literally started with you have to do this. You have to survive. You have to bring money in the door. You have to be okay. I looked at the alternative. What’s the alternative? Live in a box on the street? Not really. Do you want to feel terrible about yourself, or do you want to be open to what you’re supposed to be learning and how you can help other people? I think you can help other people. I think there are other people that are going through this, and since then, I know that in 2015, the CDC estimated half of Americans have a chronic illness. Half. It’s crazy.
David Brower: That’s terrifying. It is crazy. How many of that half, if you will, just thinks that, well, that’s what I got. That’s the cards I was dealt, and I’m just going to mumble and rumble and go through life the way it is?
Hilary Jastrum: Yeah, and they don’t have any options, or they don’t believe they do. So we just established-
David Brower: They don’t believe they do, yeah.
Hilary Jastrum: We just established a board of directors. I think the reason is because when we’re sick or we have a chronic illness or we have a disability, we come from scarcity. We come from saying, “I can’t do this anymore,” or, “I can’t do what they do,” instead of saying, “Let’s look at the possibilities.” That’s exactly the stigma that we are trying to shatter. One of our board of directors, she’s incredible. Her name is [Galena 00:07:57], and she runs a virtual VA group. I think there’s, like, 7,000 members.
David Brower: Oh my gosh.
Hilary Jastrum: So if you ever need a VA, yeah, she’s insane, but she also is chronically ill. She’s insanely talented as far as writing and marketing. She’s just a marvel. So, she’s our secretary. She has a job board, and what she was finding is that a lot of people who were choosing to work from home were doing so because they had some sort of health challenge. So there’s a huge overlap between our groups, and she’s now providing a job board for us. These are bonafide … I don’t know if we want to call them employers, but I guess we will.
David Brower: Sure.
Hilary Jastrum: Different job opportunities that actually will allow you to earn a living wage, and that’s exactly the type of resource that we wanted to provide. We started brainstorming. Our Facebook group now has … I think we’re up to 700 members almost.
David Brower: Nice.
Hilary Jastrum: That has come very quickly, mostly organically. Everybody who finds out, it’s like, “Oh my gosh, my group. My group. I finally have somebody who understands, who has a tremendous amount of support.” We were brainstorming on everything everybody could do from home. You start from your own experience. You say, okay, marketing and copywriting and be a blogger and blah, blah, blah. Then, somebody else chimes in and says, “You know, I do eBay,” or, “I do an Etsy shop,” and these are things you don’t even think about. Somebody else says, “I was thinking about doing that.” We came up with 167 jobs.
David Brower: Oh my gosh. Just from brainstorming sessions? I love that.
Hilary Jastrum: Yeah. It’s not even finished. It’s just not even finished. These are the resources that we’re developing. We just had an app donated to us, which was amazing.
David Brower: Nice.
Hilary Jastrum: An app on your phone. We have a podcast. I’m very proud of our website. It’s got 20 guest bloggers that are either health or life or business coaches or they’re chronically ill or disabled entrepreneurs who are writing about their realities and how they have implemented business and life hacks, time management skills, whatever they possibly can to help other people. It just continues growing. We have partnered with a mental health resource in Canada so that we can make sure that … A huge component of working from home and feeling isolated while you’re sick or while you’re disabled is that you really need that resource. You need to be able to say, “I’m not doing okay,” so here’s an available resource for you. So we wanted to make sure we address that. It’s very exciting. We have a money manager coach, who is offering 15-minute free consultation calls to talk about your business and more that’s coming, more partnerships. I’m going to be doing a webinar-
David Brower: It just grows and grows and grows and grows.
Hilary Jastrum: Yeah. It’s not my nonprofit, David. It’s not mine, and this is what I tell people. If you want to contribute, you don’t have to run it by me. Share. Share what-
David Brower: Jump in and share.
Hilary Jastrum: Yeah, absolutely. So people get excited, because they also get a chance to have ownership in it. It is nobody saying, “This is what you, community, need.” It is everybody saying, “But hey, I need this, and what about this, and wouldn’t this be great?” It’s phenomenal.
David Brower: And, “Has somebody run into this that can help me?”
Hilary Jastrum: That’s exactly right. We have referrals all the time. All the time, yes.
David Brower: I mean, it’s got to be word-of-mouth referral through the roof on steroids, I would think, because how else do you market this other than groveling, right?
Hilary Jastrum: I’ve changed my methodology for marketing since then. I’ve run a for-profit digital marketing agency.
David Brower: There you go. Nice.
Hilary Jastrum: It’s bustling. We’ll call it bustling and expanding.
David Brower: Bustling. You’re hustling; it’s bustling.
Hilary Jastrum: You just made a meme. Another one.
David Brower: All right. I like it. I like it. While you’re operating Sick Biz, along with everybody else who’s taking ownership of that, you’re also copywriting, editing, book editing, all kinds of things, working with motivational thinkers and speakers. Do all these chances … Not changes. Do all these opportunities find their way to you?
Hilary Jastrum: A lot of them do find their way to me, and the more that we’re going … So I’m building a passive income now, which is really cool, and I’m building out my team now, as well. A lot of them are piggy-backing, and a really huge majority, especially for the book editing, has stemmed off of Ryan Stewman. I edited all six of his books, and I am his on-call editor.
David Brower: Nice.
Hilary Jastrum: So we’ve worked together nearly two years. He knows I’m chronically ill. I’ve had him on the podcast. It’s very hard, especially when you’re hungry … You’re hungry for mentoring. You’re hungry for guidance. You just kind of see. When you’re around people with that particular mindset, it’s contagious. I don’t have anybody on my feeds that is, “Oh, poor me,” and, “I can’t this,” and this drama that and whatever else and I’m throwing this person under the bus. My news feed is like a straight-on feed from the world’s best motivational coaches.
David Brower: Nice.
Hilary Jastrum: It is wins, collaborations, celebrations, events, innovations, everything. It’s everybody cheering everybody on all the time, not allowing anything negative. When you infuse your life with that, that spills over.
David Brower: Absolutely it does. It’s as simple, not that this is simple, but it’s simple as we are who we surround ourselves with.
Hilary Jastrum: It’s very simple like that. I think we complicate things.
David Brower: We do, yeah.
Hilary Jastrum: A lot of times, people may say, “Well, I don’t know how to extricate myself from this situation or this toxicity.” You know what? Use the 2017 buzzword, ghost, man. That’s all you’ve got to do. Just drift away. You don’t have to say a word. Your choice is to do nothing and to simply disengage. If you don’t want to do anything, you have every right to defend your environment and to defend good treatment of yourself.
David Brower: Most of the time, disengage is really the way to go, right? Otherwise, you’re hanging on to stuff that is continuously bringing you down that you have no control over, so why not just disengage and focus more and more on yourself and the people around you?
Hilary Jastrum: Absolutely. You have to take responsibility for what you’re allowing. That sounds kind of harsh, but truly. Don’t think of yourself as a victim. Oh, I have no control. I’m weak. No, you’re not. You absolutely can hit the unfriend button. You can do it right now.
David Brower: Yeah, absolutely.
Hilary Jastrum: Every person listening to this has somebody that they’re going, “You know what? I’ve been thinking about that for a while.” What is at stake if you hang on?
David Brower: Wow. It sounds so easy, but it’s not, but you have to show up and you have to commit. Then, once you feel some success, you go, “Oh, now I get it.”
Hilary Jastrum: Well, yes, and it’s not that it won’t be painful.
David Brower: For sure.
Hilary Jastrum: It’s less painful to endure distance than it is to be caught in the midst of chronic dysfunction and pain.
David Brower: Well said. Well said. If people want to check out Sick Biz, go to sickbiz.com, right?
Hilary Jastrum: Yes, exactly.
David Brower: Is that the place, is that the place, where people need to go to learn more about all the things that you’re talking about and you’re involved in?
Hilary Jastrum: Yes. We’re linked to everything, and our resources page should be going live very soon. We also have an app you can get to your phone if you text Sick Biz, two separate words, to 36260. You’ll get that right on your phone. Our podcast will be on there. You’ll be able to access the blogs, and we’ll be adding our resources button very soon. The onus is on value. I didn’t want this to be some pop-up kind of virtual support group. It really needs to provide value that enables chronically ill and disabled entrepreneurs to run profitable businesses. I do want to say we are establishing a scholarship, as well, a quarterly grant that would be awarded to an entrepreneur to help them. They can apply that to their business.
David Brower: Now I got the good goosebumps. You know what I mean? This is so cool. Pay it forward has got to be the mantra of you and a lot of people that you work with that start to get it and finally get it and go, “Oh, okay. Now it’s my turn to pay it forward. I’ll help somebody else.” Right?
Hilary Jastrum: Amen. You know what? That’s the secret to life right there, …
David Brower: It is.
Hilary Jastrum: … is to pay it forward. We can only do what we can do by ourselves, so we are limited. We are limited in our own ingrained thought processes. We are limited by our physical and mental capabilities, by the hours in the day. When we trust and expand, then we can only grow in the initiative together. It’s a delightful surprise to see what other people bring to the table. Yeah, you’ll say, “Well, what are we going to do about this?” and you’ll have your own ideas. Somebody will say, “What about this?” You’ll go, “I never thought of that.” That’s incredible.
David Brower: All of a sudden, these little epiphanies go on, and you start getting excited. Guess what? You’re now more positive. You have better self-esteem. You’re helping others. Others are helping you. It’s life-changing, what you’re doing. Life-changing. It’s cool.
Hilary Jastrum: Thank you. Thank you. That’s all I wanted.
David Brower: The app is Sick Biz, two words, S-I-C-K B-I-Z, and you text Sick Biz to 236260, correct?
Hilary Jastrum: No, no. It’s 36260.
David Brower: Oh, 36260, okay. So text Sick Biz to 36260 and go to sickbiz.com, all one word, and learn more about Hilary and everything that’s going on there. Read some fabulous blogs, fabulous stories, get engaged, and give yourself permission.
Hilary Jastrum: Amen. I love that.
David Brower: This has been such a blast. Thank you, Hilary.
Hilary Jastrum: Thank you so much, David. I appreciate it.
David Brower: You take care.
Hilary Jastrum: You, too.
Allan Blackwell: Your 20-Minute Podcast with David Brower has been brought to you by Audible. You can listen to any of David’s podcasts anywhere podcasts can be found, including iHeartRadio, the Spotify mobile app, and at davidbrowervo.com/your20minutepodcast. Until next time, thanks for listening.