Ep 487: Fastest Ways to Grow Your New Business | Sara and Ben Jensen Episode Recap

AJV (00:02):
are you trying to figure out how do you turn your mission, your message, your passion, your calling whatever you would like to call it, . But if you’re trying to figure out how to turn that thing that you feel called to do into the thing that makes you money, this is a quick conversation that I would like to have with you. So I was able to interview the founders and also a married couple, Sarah and Ben Jensen, who have founded and started the company, Hugh & Grace, which is a products company, skincare products supplements, as well as household care products that help you keep your hormones in check, right? So clean products that help you with all the things in on and around your body. And I had this conversation with them on the influential Personal Brand podcast around why did they start this?
AJV (00:56):
How did they start this? Where did the idea come from? It’s a very fast growing company. They only founded it three years ago. Although the idea started 14 years ago. And I thought this was a, a, a great inspiration to have a conversation today about how do you do that? Like, how do you take something that you’ve been through in your life that was challenging or scary or traumatic or just painful and go, but there is purpose in this, and I want to help other people who have experienced this, that same thing. I want to help them find a better way, experience a better way of getting through it living, coming out on the other side better. In other words, I feel like I have a message put on my heart that must get out into the world, and I would love to turn that into a business that helps me create an abundant life for me, my family generations beyond me as well as making a huge impact by doing something that I know matters.
AJV (01:59):
And so I, I thought this was like a really great inspiration conversation. So here are a few things that may help you as you figure out the transition between doing what you’re currently doing and doing the thing that you feel called to do, right? And how do you turn your passion into your full-time business? So number one, I thought this was very insightful is success is about making as many mistakes as humanly possible as quickly and as inexpensively as possible so that you can learn, pivot, and grow, right? I, I, I think that’s so powerful for us all to remember that success is not a foundation of our victories. success is built on the foundation of many, many mistakes and failures and not giving up, but instead of taking every mistake and learning from it, taking every failure of going, that wasn’t a failure,
AJV (02:59):
That was a learning experience, that was a growth opportunity. It was learning what not to do again that, that is where growth happens. That’s where success happens. Success is a byproduct of being willing to make a ton of mistakes, but make ’em quickly, make them as inexpensive as possible, and then learn, pivot, and go. And I think that’s just so important for all of us of knowing whatever it is that you think it’s going to be, it likely won’t be what you end up with. , if I can just share the evolution of brand builders group over the last, you know, almost six years that, you know, we’ve formally been an entity and where it started. There’s a lot of the foundational pieces that are still there with our community and membership and intensives. But I will also tell you that we quickly expanded into a lot of things and then very quickly condensed them all back in when we realized we have expanded beyond our capacity beyond our ability to serve in the way that we wanna serve.
AJV (04:03):
And so our offerings grew really quickly, and then they all got cut back just as quickly. And that was a, that was a part of going, it’s like, man, we don’t have capacity to do all of this in the way that we want it. And there are certain areas that had natural momentum that we made a decision of going, although there’s this thing that could get us there, that could be the thing, it’s not right. And it felt very forceful. It felt like we were just pulling it along behind us versus these other things that we’re just taking off without a ton of effort. And our, and the point of that being is like your audience will tell you what it is they need from you, if you’ll just listen. And the way that they tell you is what they buy, what they buy again, what they renew with, what they tell their friends about.
AJV (04:48):
It’s in their feedback. And they’ll also tell you what’s not working by the fact that they don’t buy it again or they don’t renew or they don’t tell their friends about it. And I think a lot of that just has to do with us as business owners, as entrepreneurs, as team members, to slow down enough and pay attention and listen. And that’s really hard to do when you’re doing a hundred different things and you’re pulled in a million different directions. It’s hard to do when you’re distracted and when you’re busy. Yep. B word, busy. ’cause We can get busy and when we’re busy and in a hurry and multitasking, it is hard to see the things right in front of you. You often push them aside and you don’t pay attention because there’s too many other things to get to. And I would encourage you that as you’re figuring this out, if you slow down and you ask and you listen, it’ll become so obviously clear.
AJV (05:44):
People will tell you exactly what it is that they are willing to buy from you, and that they need to buy from you. And that also it gives you confidence and conviction that you’re the right person to offer it to them. Them. If you just slow down and listen intuitively, ask, pay attention and just get into the data, right? That’s a really important part of this right? Now. That leads to the second thing, what you do, right? Your passion, right? And your business, what you do has got to be both logical and emotional, right? It should emotionally move you to go like, I can’t not do this. Like, if I didn’t do this, it would be the biggest regret of my life. Like, I have to do this. That’s the emotional side of like, I feel convicted in this. I can’t not talk about it.
AJV (06:34):
Like it just bubbles out of me regardless. Like this is who I am and it’s what I was put on this earth to do. There’s passion, right? That’s the emotional side. But then there’s also the logical side. And sometimes we let our emotions overtake the logic. And this is a discipline, it’s an obedience of pulling that back in, of going, these are the things I feel called to do, but that’s honestly sometimes a little me centered. And we have to pair that. We have to balance that with, and what are people asking for from me, right? What are people willing to buy from me? What are people willing to learn from me? What are they asking to learn from me? Rather, you know, intrinsically or verbal or verbally that it’s like, where am I most positioned to help and serve people? Passion? And what are people most willing to buy from me?
AJV (07:31):
And how much are they willing to spend with me? Logically, that’s market evaluation, that’s core target audience that’s pairing with what you have to offer versus what the market is saying that they want. And that is both an emotional and logical conversation, and they both have to happen. One is not higher or lower than the other. They are both equally important to figure out a business model that serves both your passion and your calling and create something that is viable and sustainable that can actually make you money. So it is both about your passion and what you want to do and what the market is willing to buy from you and at what price. So it is both things. And so I think a part of that is sometimes you don’t know until you know. And that’s where you gotta be flexible and nimble and be willing to just get out there and make some quick mistakes cheaply, right?
AJV (08:22):
Quickly. and then pivot. I go, wasn’t that wasn’t that. Let’s try it again. Let’s tweak it again. That was too much. That was too low. Whatever it is. And the best way to know those things is not to ideate and it’s not to brainstorm, it’s to do it. . you’re ready right now. If you know you can help someone, then you are ready. And sometimes you just gotta get it out there. And whatever it is, it’s fine. ’cause It will change no matter what it is. Your first launch is going to be a different offering, a a different price point, a different product, a different description and probably less than a year from now. Because once you’re out there doing it, you tweak it and fine tune it, and you make it better as you go. You cannot make it what it is meant to be before you do it.
AJV (09:09):
You just can’t. Nobody knows what they’re doing before they do it. So the best thing you can do is to do it and to adjust accordingly as you go. Okay? That is how you turn your passion into your business at, at a very high level, right? Now three other quick things I wanna share with us is that now how do you get people to buy it? Well, one, you sell it, right? Selling is fast. Marketing is slow. Marketing is the long game. So selling is the short game. So if we think it’s like, okay, now I’ve got this idea. I need to build the website, I need to launch a podcast. I need to do social media, I need da, da, da, da, da. That is the long, expensive route. And many of you don’t have the runway to do it. Some of you do awesome, but most of us don’t.
AJV (09:56):
And what you have to do is you have to get out there and talk to people. You have to tell them your story. Why? ’cause your story is what helps you connect to your audience, not your product. Your story, IE your personal brand. So knowing why you do this, how you do it, what makes it different, what problem you’re solving what message are you delivering, right? And products and services doesn’t matter what makes it unique. And a lot of times it’s you, you are what makes it unique. The struggle, the story is what people connect to and remember why? Because they have similar ones. That’s why they resonate. And so you’ve gotta be willing to get out there. Now, social media is a platform. Podcasts are a platform. But don’t forget the power of proximity. And that is a real thing.
AJV (10:46):
You being live in person in a room, talking to people, explaining it to people, showing it to people, helping people experience it, skin to skin, shoulder to shoulder, like that goes faster. So be willing to get out there and talk about it. Do not let it be the world’s best kept secret secret because you don’t know what to say or how to say it. It’s like that’s, that’s your job. Like you have to know how to explain it because you’ve been through it, you know? And then you’ve got to find anyone anywhere who’s willing to listen for free or not. Like if you get paid, great, but don’t expect to be paid, right? But willing to get out there and speak to any group who’s willing to gather together churches, associations, memberships, masterminds, whatever. Right? there are all types of people who are looking for speakers for free all over the place.
AJV (11:39):
Business journals, chambers of Commerce, rotary Clubs, right? Yeah, that’s old school stuff. But you know what? They need speakers. They have monthly meetings and you know who come to those meetings? People. And that’s what you need. So be willing to talk to anyone about the thing because it matters. It matters to you. ’cause You know it’s gonna matter to the people, right? So just wanna encourage that. Sales is fast, marketing is slow. And the best way for you to sell is to be in front of people, to explain it, to walk people through it, and to share your story, right? And then community is what helps things spread. It is finding a group of people who can rally behind your products and your services and shop them to the rooftops, right? Because why? Because they work, right? . So a part of the prerequisite for all of this is actually having a product or a service that does what it says, right?
AJV (12:31):
It’s undeniable. If you get someone results, it is hard not for that person and for others to talk about it. Make sure you are focused on being better before you focus on being bigger. Make sure that you know how to get people results and you have documented proof of it. You have testimonials of it, you’ve got case studies of it, right? And those don’t have to be formally and designed like I’m talking about on a Word doc, right? A quick iPhone video, but have it have proof. Third party validation that you are who you say you are, and you do what you say you’re gonna do. And that could be in a email from a client, a testimonial. And clients don’t have to be paid clients. FYI don’t be afraid to offer your products and services for free to test it. That’s required. In most cases, any big product that’s having a launch has been tested many, many, many, many times for free before anyone paid for it.
AJV (13:25):
I think about this often. I fly a lot and thank gosh that anytime I am on a new airplane, that is not the first time that pilot has been in the plane. That is not the first time that plane has been the air. Thank the lord. This thing has been up for thousands of miles and this pilot has tens of thousands of miles under their belt. The first time they do it is not with paying customers in the seats. That would be crazy. But yet somehow we think that the very first time we launch our business, launch our products, people should pay for ’em. Why? Why do we think that? I don’t know. Someone said it one time. I don’t know. That’s not true. Be willing to do what you do for free to get market feedback, to get testimonials, to fine tune to tweak before you go live.
AJV (14:09):
Then when you do go live, you do launch. You got all the validation and the conviction and the confidence and the market validation and testimonials that this does what it says it does. This gets results. This helps people. And it, I’m not just saying that all these other people are saying that community is what helps your business spread. So build it, share it, and don’t forget about it. And then last, but not le lightly, I think this is also important, is that many of us see the attraction of entrepreneurship starting our own business because we think it’s gonna allow us to build a lifestyle that caters to our, our family, our personal needs, our our marriages, our kids.
AJV (14:51):
And then you actually get in it and you realize you have less time than you did before, and you are more stressed and more overwhelmed. And that’s because we let the business become the main thing. And so I would just encourage you as you’re thinking about like this passion thing that you have, that you feel called to do and how you could turn it into a business, don’t forget the important part of also talking about like, what is the life that you wanna have while doing this? How much time do you want for your marriage time that you want? Spiritually in my case, it’s like I gotta ti I have to prioritize my time with the Lord first. And then time with my husband, then time with my kids and my family, and then comes, you know, times with friends and community.
AJV (15:38):
But if I make the business first, it sucks up all the time. , right? It’s like if the business comes first, there’s always enough to do where I do not have time to pray, read the Bible. I do not have time to hang out with friends or go to yoga or go on date nights, or I don’t have the time if I let the business come first. My point is the business cannot come first, right? You have to prioritize it. And the business has to fit in around that. I only share that because I did it the wrong way for about 15 years. And I’m only now figuring out the right way, a better way to do it. I’m not saying that I don’t work hard, I work hard. But it fits within the confines of keeping the main thing, the main thing, and the priorities first.
AJV (16:18):
And if I do that, the business works. If I don’t, nothing works. I struggle. My marriage struggles my faith struggles my family struggles. But when I put all those other things, first, business just works. And so make sure that as you’re crafting this, you make sure that you’re crafting your life in addition to your business. Because both matter , right? Your work matters and your life matters. IE your family your faith and yourself and your marriage, those things matter. So keep the priorities first, and you have to set those first, and the business fits in around that. So again, if you’re thinking about how do you go from passion to business a couple of quick things to be thinking about. And I know that if you’ve got that calling on your heart, it’s there for a reason. It’s not there by accident and you’re not crazy. God put it there and you’re meant to do it. So don’t be afraid. Make mistakes. Just keep going. Give it time. Don’t rush it and just stay at it. Because if it’s there, it’s there for a reason and eventually you’ll know why. So build that business. Turn that passion into something that’s gonna create an abundant life for you and those around you. Make an impact and make great money while doing it.

Ep 485: Set Free from Post-Abortive Shame – Part 2 with Rory’s Mom

So that’s what we would do. And we had, we had friends, but the biggest, the biggest friend was one of my other coworkers. Dan Dan’s been in your life since you were born. And you know, he didn’t have a family at the time. And you know, he, he, he spent a lot of time helping me with you guys paying for jackets at Christmas. And, you know, it was the reason you went to kung fu school. So, so yeah. I mean,
RV (00:39:44):
So these people, these are your coworkers and your friends are the ones buying us Christmas presents?
TG (00:39:49):
Yeah. Yeah. Well, one year we, we were all on the, see, the, the, the challenge for me, for us was that I, I would not make enough money to cover our expenses, but I could not, I didn’t qualify low income housing. I was on the list for five years. And after you turned two, we were no longer eligible for wic. And we weren’t eligible for, for the, the gas leap and the oil that there was a lot of stuff we were not eligible for because I made too much money, like $20 sometimes they would raise the guideline. So $30 more than the guideline. That was all, I was not getting any child support from Tom and very little from Dan. So I never received a dime of child support from Tom. Ever. Ever.
RV (00:40:50):
And so you’re, you’re not, you’re working and so you’re, you’re making enough money that we don’t qualify for a lot of the low income stuff, but you don’t make enough money to cover really the expenses. And so basically what I hear you saying is like, that gap was really covered by friends. It was really covered by colleagues, coworkers.
TG (00:41:13):
Absolutely. And God, I mean, God provided, you know, my faith was at this, this is also a point in time that I went, went back to church. Now I did not. We went to the Methodist church. Don and Shelley wanted me to go to the Methodist church, and Lety Love did it. So we went, we went to the Methodist church and I started teaching Bible study. And I, I loved being back in church. I started, I started teaching third grade Bible. And and so we did that. And then when we moved to Louisville, you know, we went to St. Louis, we went back to Catholic church. So we were, we were in church, although the shortfall never came from the church. Mm-Hmm. . It just came from the network of family of friends that I worked with, the people that I worked with, you know. But I, one of the things your mom always loved people.
TG (00:42:14):
I always knew I was gonna, I wanted to be a, a coach and I always wanted to be a counselor, you know? And, and I don’t know if this is a good time to say, you know, dreams get shattered by words. Words are so powerful. When I was 14, 15 years old, my mama said to me, how could you be a counselor? You can’t even help your own sister. ’cause I had a sister that was very bipolar and a lot of issues. And so I was like, okay, I guess that’s not what I’m gonna be.
RV (00:42:57):
Well, just like that. She said that one thing and you internalized it and you’re like, I can’t, I’ll never be a counselor to take care of other people.
TG (00:43:06):
Yeah. Mm-Hmm. .
RV (00:43:08):
So, so we’ve got all these people, uncle Charlie, Don and Shelly, Dan, Eric Chuck, Chuck,
TG (00:43:20):
RV (00:43:21):
Becky. They’re, these people are taking care of us. They’re providing us helping with Christmas presents, stuff like that. I know that you mentioned one time that there was somebody that you worked with who Oh, that was Eric. Yeah. So Eric was like, your, your, your, your bank. My bank
TG (00:43:41):
Bank of
RV (00:43:41):
Eric. And then, and so does this all, does the story really, really start to turn when we meet dad?
TG (00:43:52):
Yes. I guess, I guess that is the case. You know, I think the, the, yeah, I guess it does. I, I guess I would say yes.
RV (00:44:04):
Like financially.
TG (00:44:05):
Well, we met, we met the Phillips’ though, see before, right. And well at the same time almost. So what happens is, so now I finally get to get our own place on Lin, on Cleveland Circle. Mm-Hmm. and I, it was a low income housing project, not project, but government program. And so I was able to qualify to purchase this place. And so this was in Lafayette and so, which is like the next town over. And so you were in, in you were little, you were, you were, you were going to St. Louis and then you had to go to Lafayette Elementary. So you were like in fourth grade or something like that. I think when we, when we were able to do fourth or fifth grade.
RV (00:44:58):
Mm-Hmm. , I remember I went through, I went to St. Louis Elementary
TG (00:45:01):
Just up until
RV (00:45:02):
Through third grade. And then, yeah. And
TG (00:45:04):
Then went third grade. You didn’t, I don’t even know if you, did you go third grade or just second? I thought it was just Ms. Kava.
RV (00:45:11):
No, it was third grade. ’cause I transferred to, yeah, maybe it was halfway through third grade. I think
TG (00:45:15):
I, yeah, I think it was like halfway through third grade. So anyway and the only reason you got to go there was because the priest at the time allowed me to work my tuition off. So like I cleaned, I would clean the daycare and I
RV (00:45:28):
Would, in addition to your normal job.
TG (00:45:30):
RV (00:45:31):
Okay. So you had a, your job is storage tech, but then you were working extra hours to basically pay for tuition for us to go to school there
TG (00:45:37):
RV (00:45:37):
You to go, for me to go to school there. Yeah. And so then we meet the Philips, who you met through storage tech.
TG (00:45:44):
Right. But this is the thing about the Philips is this is why God works in mysterious ways. I was able to, I had to move outta my apartment. We had to move outta our apartment on Mead in May. And because of the government and all the issues with the house and all that stuff, it wasn’t gonna be ready until July. So for two months, we didn’t have a place to live. And Kris was, she had just started working for Chuck, my boss’s boss, Frank . So she was an executive admin. She was working for the vp. And I walked into her office after I found out that they had to extend the paperwork and everything, and we weren’t going to get the house until July. I’d already given notice. We were already gonna be out by May, had be out by May 1st.
TG (00:46:45):
So she, she sees that I’m upset and distraught. I I, I knew her maybe for like less than a week. And she, she asked me, you know, what’s the matter? And I told her, we don’t have a place to live. I don’t know what we’re going to do. And that’s when she said, you can move in with us. Your house is right around the corner from us. Went your new place. And you know, she had two girls, Katie and Britt. They were your age, and Randy’s are close to it. And a wonderful husband, dad, Dave,
RV (00:47:18):
She knew you, known you for a week and said, come live with us. Yeah.
TG (00:47:22):
We, we, I hadn’t even met her husband or her kids. She didn’t know who you guys were. She said, I always, we always wanted to know what it’d be like to have sons. They weren’t brothers.
RV (00:47:33):
Yeah. Clearly they hadn’t met us because they were in for a rowdy, they were in for a rowdy , a rowdy route awakening from me.
TG (00:47:39):
Yes. That’s when Brittany broke her arm,
RV (00:47:41):
Remember? And Randy moved in. Yeah. That’s amazing. So she just said, come live with us.
TG (00:47:48):
And I, she hadn’t even asked her husband.
RV (00:47:51):
And that shows you who runs the show in families, doesn’t it? Yes. , we got people moving in, by the way,
TG (00:47:58):
But Well, they, and, and I guess they, they had had some, you know, exchange students. And again, she loved people. And, and even though we were only living with them for two months, it was right down the street. And so they had a big home. And so we would have, you had your birthday parties there, and we had Easters and Thanksgivings there, and, and we became very close and, and you know they were your sisters and you know, that’s kind of but we had to live in their basement.
RV (00:48:29):
Yeah, we lived in their basement, but that was a lot better than the dungeon. And then basically Dan O had gotten me started into martial arts when I was five. And then when I
TG (00:48:39):
Well, yes, actually when you were three, you came out kicking when you were three, he started, he started teaching you front kicks and sidekicks and all that kind of stuff. And then when you were five, five sixes, I was able to afford to put you in community TaeKwonDo classes. However, when you were about seven and a half, eight years old your teacher, Nina said you needed special. You were a special kid and you needed special instruction and private lessons. Mama couldn’t afford that. And so Dan stepped up and said, we will find a school that and I will pay for it. And that’s when we went to she kung fu It was all adults, just a couple women, mostly men. And you, you wanted to go there. You went there and, and Dan paid for a month because they had never had any kids even want to go. And this just a couple years, Sharon, I don’t even remember the other name of Sharon
RV (00:49:41):
And David Sword were the, they owned it and they ran the, they ran. They
TG (00:49:44):
Were your senses. Yeah.
TG (00:49:46):
And so they said, well, we, I guess we could give it a try. And Dan paid for a month and said, if, if, if he can’t keep up after a week, you could keep the money and we’ll go to find another place. And after the first night, everybody forgot you were a kid, they called you sponge because you could absorb the, the forms. And that first night is where you met dad. And because of timing, if you have not read the story about Rory and his dad, go by the book, take the stairs. ’cause Rory does a really good job about that. Mm-Hmm. .
RV (00:50:23):
Yeah. You can also look, you can also hear that story in my Ted talk. Mm-Hmm. you know, if you Google Rory Vaden Ted Talk or How to Multiply Time, I tell the whole story of dad coming in on his motorcycle with his leather jacket and his tattoos and his long hair and his goatee, like, and, you know, he was like,
TG (00:50:40):
Was not my type.
RV (00:50:41):
He, he was scary to me and not your type. And he just was this gentle kind man. And we became basically best friends. We advanced through the belt levels together. He starts taking me home, dropping me off. We would practice forms together on the weekend. He starts taking me to the movies. We
TG (00:51:03):
Start, no, no, no, let’s stand corrected.
RV (00:51:05):
Oh, okay. Let’s correct the story.
TG (00:51:06):
Let let go back. Let’s correct the story. Please,
RV (00:51:08):
Let’s correct the story. Once and for all months, by the way, that’s what this is. This is a media correction. . Yes. That’s what this podcast is. We’re, we’re, we’re documenting the details. Okay. So correct the story. Okay.
TG (00:51:20):
So six months after you guys are doing your, your show line thing, and you were right about that. I go in because, you know, I figure, okay, I can, I need to, to somehow, this is your friend. He was your friend. But he would help me because I couldn’t be at the football field in the karate studio at the same time. So he was basically your, your taxi service. So one day he comes over to me and he says to me are you, what about lunch? You know, this weekend? And I looked at him and I said, what about a movie? And your dad goes, for the first time, he looked me up and down as Tessie, not as Rory’s mom. And he said, what about a movie? So that night when we get home, I tell you, you’re, you’re eight and a half years old, not, no, you’re nine. By this time you’re nine. And I said, we’re going to a movie. This is right before Thanksgiving, November. And, and you said, great, what movie are we gonna go see ? And I said, no, you’re not invited. And you put your hands on your hips. And he looked at me and you said, you’re going on a date with my friend . I said, Rory, it’s not a date, it’s just a movie. And you go, don’t you make my friend mad at me, mama
RV (00:52:59):
TG (00:52:59):
And I said, oh, Rory, I’ll try not to. But, but it’s just a movie. And as you turned, walked down the steps, you went Yes. . And that was at the first moment that I thought maybe your dream would come true and you would get a dad. And basically Kevin Vaden and I have been together ever since that night. And yes, we as a family had gone to lots of movies since then. But you had never gone to a movie without me and just him before that.
RV (00:53:38):
Hmm. So we test for our black belts together when I’m 10 mm-Hmm. . You guys get married. He adopts me. Mm-Hmm. . I changed my last name from Rory McLaughlin to Rory Vaden. Mm-Hmm. . You guys have been married over 25 years ever since.
TG (00:53:55):
We’re gonna be married 30 years this August.
RV (00:54:00):
Uhhuh . And dad changed. Dad changed everything for us. I mean, well,
TG (00:54:05):
It did, except we need to tell the story about Dad real quick. Okay. So my faith is growing and, and, and, and we didn’t know if we were gonna make it. We can make it work. And one night we, Kevin and I stayed up till two in the morning and we talked about our differences and we talked about kinds of things, and we agreed that if we didn’t talk politics or religion, that the marriage could work. And so we didn’t. But at that time, my faith was, was still shattered because I was still carrying all that guilt. And I still didn’t believe that the Lord could forgive me or had forgiven me.
RV (00:54:46):
You’re talking about from the abortions.
TG (00:54:48):
Yeah. And yeah. And you know, and getting married and divorced twice doesn’t exactly go along with 10 commandments either, so. Sure. So yes. So all, all of that,
RV (00:54:59):
What year is that?
TG (00:55:01):
That was in 1994 that we got married.
RV (00:55:07):
Okay. And that’s when you had that talk?
TG (00:55:10):
Oh, no, we had that talk in 1991 or 1992
RV (00:55:14):
Was shortly after you were married?
TG (00:55:16):
No, it was shortly after. We, it was when we were started dating. Oh, it was before we got married. November. Yeah. And then we had that talk. I gotcha.
RV (00:55:24):
Because you’re going to church and he wasn’t, he wasn’t into that.
TG (00:55:27):
Right. Exactly.
RV (00:55:28):
And the deal was you can go to church, do your thing, but don’t ask me to come, don’t like, you know, do do whatever you want to do, but don’t ask me into that part of your life, basically. Correct.
TG (00:55:37):
And he had been raised in Nazarene in the church in Nazarene by his grandma. And he went to church till he was 16. And then he studied Buddhism and all of that, and he was not for organized religion. He’s like, Nope, this isn’t for me. I don’t care about Jesus. I don’t wanna know about Jesus, you know? And I’m like, fine. And he’s like, I will support you and you could take the kids, but don’t ask me to go. But he agreed to go to one Christmas thing a year, but it couldn’t be church. It had to be like a Christmas concert, you know, go see a Christmas movie, something like that.
RV (00:56:11):
Gotcha. I gotcha. So you guys make that packed and you get married he starts making more money. You start making more money. Me and Randy are getting a little bit older. Like, we’re starting to become a little bit more a, a a little bit more sustainable. You’re still carrying the guilt and the shame of your abortions.
TG (00:56:37):
RV (00:56:39):
When, what happened? And how did you, at this point, I didn’t even know you’d ever had an abortion. No. And I didn’t know that till years later. What, what happened when
TG (00:56:53):
Nobody knew? How did you 25 years?
RV (00:56:56):
Nobody knew. Nobody
TG (00:56:57):
Knew. When I would go in for the doctor’s appointments, I had two live births and two miscarriages. If you go back to the records, that’s what all the records said.
RV (00:57:10):
So for 25 years, you’re carrying this secret. Mm-Hmm. these secrets.
TG (00:57:15):
Mm-Hmm. .
RV (00:57:16):
When does that get resolved? And how, how does that get resolved to where you start to talk about it? And I mean, here you are, like, you know, being open about something very intimate and shameful, embarrassing, whatever word you want to use, like very private. What, what happened? How did you, how did you get to this place emotionally and spiritually about that, those two incidents?
TG (00:57:40):
Okay. Well, a lot happened, but I’m gonna just try to give the highlights. The biggest thing was in 2002 after you had started college and you had gotten that full scholarship. And I had told you guys that, you know, you had to, you always had to have a dream. You always had to be something. Because of my brother’s death. My boys were not, they were always gonna have goals. That’s why you set goals. They were, they were gonna know how to read and write and they were gonna always have goals. Randy wanted to be a cop. And so I’m like, great. Even though I didn’t really want ’em to, kept up from drugs, kept him from stealing when he was in high school, all of that junior high. And then Do you remember what you wanted to be?
RV (00:58:25):
Yeah, I mean, I went through a few phases, but I remember wanting to be a dentist because of Dr. Wayne Lingo, who was my dentist years. I remember wanted to be a pilot because Top Gun was cool. And then I wanted to be, I wanted to be a karate guy ’cause I was into Karate Kid and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But mostly it was, I wanted to be a dentist, like Dr. Lingo. I remember that.
TG (00:58:42):
Yeah. For, for, yeah. You started going to him when you were three, until you were like 13.
RV (00:58:47):
So now I’m in college.
TG (00:58:49):
So now you’re in college. You got that, you got, you got this scholarship. So
RV (00:58:53):
I’m outta the house. Randy Randy’s outta the house. Randy, he’s, Randy becomes very successful. He joins the Navy
TG (00:59:00):
Right now. He’s in the Navy, so he hasn’t done anything except be in the Navy right now.
RV (00:59:04):
Yeah. So he, but he graduates school, he plays football. Like he, he’s, he’s the starter varsity football player. Mm-Hmm. Finishes college or finishes high school, goes to the Navy and then you are
TG (00:59:18):
So I’m married. We’re in Frederick. I had started my Mary Kay business after we got married. So I was starting to be around positive women. Right. I was starting to, you know, we would go in church. We had gone to a church. There was the new now a little Catholic church in, in in Frederick. I was going to there, meeting friends and stuff like that. So, so what happened was, in 2002, you said to me, when are you going to go start your dream? Because I had always shared with you that I wanted to go to college. And so I started college. I went to Front Range community college for a couple years and got my associate’s. And you know, I was in my forties at the time. And then basically it took me seven years to get a four year degree, but then I went to the University of Phoenix. And so my last year, my degree was in Human Services and management. I always, this
RV (01:00:17):
Is from the University of Phoenix,
TG (01:00:19):
Right. I always wanted to, to help people. I, people used to be drawn to me and, and, and I would, you know, I know my family thinks I talk too much, but I actually would listen and, and ask questions and, and stuff like that. And so people, people just liked me. And to,
RV (01:00:43):
And you had the dream of being a counselor, like you had that from the time you were a little girl. Right?
TG (01:00:49):
Right, right, right. Yeah. Even when we were, I was growing up, people would to me tell me about their parents or whatever, going through divorces. I didn’t know what that was. Anyway, so, so I had to do a paper and I had to do it on a nonprofit. And this was in probably, it wasn’t until 2005. No, it was in, it was in 2000 and, and eight. But before this happened, before I, I was doing that. Let’s talk about your dad for a minute. So we’re going along. My faith is growing. I’m teaching bible studies. I’m actually facilitating, I’m actually volunteering at LifeBridge. I got baptized when we moved there, a to across the street and, and then you came and, and started going when you were in college, I got to baptize you. That was the highlight of my life. But in 2007, the bottom fell out. And we had been married since 1994, so almost 13 years. And it was the worst year of our marriage, but it was the strongest year of my faith up until then. And so what happened was I got tired of going to church by myself. I got tired of, you know, not being able to have my church friends over or, or when they would invite me to do things. I always, as couples, I had to go by myself.
TG (01:02:39):
And so my pastor, he wasn’t the head pastor, he was my pastor of my LifeBridge group, pastor David. I went to him and I said, I can’t do this anymore. I, I, I don’t know, I I, I can’t do this anymore. Your dad had lost his job, you know somebody accused him of hit and run. Your, that’s the year your grandma died. I mean, there was a lot going on. You were gone. And so he told me, he said, Tessie, it doesn’t matter. You know what the Bible says? It doesn’t matter that you’ve had two divorces and been married twice. It doesn’t matter about the abortion. It all your sins are forgiven.
TG (01:03:23):
What matters now is that you are in this marriage. And you know what that means? You cannot walk away. You need to be the example. You need to love him. If he chooses to walk away, that’s different. But as a believer and a follower of Jesus, you can’t do that. You need to stop praying for him. I know, by the way, my hus, my wife Ruth Ann’s been praying for Kevin’s salvation for the last three years. This is what he told me. And so he said, and one more thing. You will not be the one that brings Kevin to faith. You, you probably won’t, but your example will. So anyway, so let’s fast forward to 2000 and, and, and eight.
RV (01:04:14):
Okay. 2000. So two, fast forward to 2008,
TG (01:04:19):
Right? It, okay. Yeah. And so, so then, so what happened was, I, I end up going to life Choice Pregnancy Center to do this paper. And, and I walk in there and Connie gave me a tour, asked me for a tour, and she brings out this box of embryos, plastic, little baby embryos. And my eyes immediately go to the 11 weeks. Hadn’t thought about it for a long time, consciously, it was all subconscious and my eyes filled with tears. I couldn’t even speak. And she put her arm on me and said, have you, are you post the board? I didn’t know what that meant. She said, have you ever had an abortion? And I couldn’t speak. I was afraid she was gonna kick me out. I just shook my head. Yes. And
RV (01:05:18):
She said, your eyes went to 11 weeks. ’cause That was, you were 11 half weeks pregnant during the second abortion. And so your eyes went, started straight to that
TG (01:05:27):
RV (01:05:28):
That baby in the, in in the model. Yeah.
TG (01:05:32):
And so then she, she proceeded to tell me she had to, and that God forgives. And and she introduced me to Lisa Coates, and she said, you need to meet Lisa. And Lisa was the counselor that did the forgiven and set free classes. And I did that for 11 weeks. And then I did it for 20 more weeks in training. And then I was able to start helping others accept, you know, that. And, and, and I started, I, I was also, after that, I was able to counsel women. So I was starting to work at the pregnancy center, and I was able to help women that came into the pregnancy center scared and afraid and not knowing what to do and, and, you know, that kind of thing. So I did that. And then I graduated in 2000 and, and, and I started working at LifeBridge Christian Center, LifeBridge Christian Church on staff. I’ve been there for f you know, 14 years volunteering when you, you know, number one volunteer, but on staff as the director of single parents and grew that ministry to about 150 women. And, you know, I had great mentors. Nancy was a great mentor, and Abby, and, and so that’s where my faith started to just really grow and take shape. And that’s when the Lord revealed to me that his plans and his purposes are always gonna prevail. And, you know, he ha it has, has,
RV (01:07:15):
What year was that? So what year does that forgiven and set free class happen? Like what year is it that you finally experience the freedom, feeling free from the weight and the guilt and the shame of those
TG (01:07:30):
RV (01:07:31):
So that’s 2009. So how many, it was 25. Was it 25? So 25 years is what ended up being the full, was it, is that right?
TG (01:07:40):
Whatever, 2009 is from 1976 .
RV (01:07:43):
Okay. So that would be 86. 96, 2006. That’s 33 years. So that dec that decision stayed with you for 33 years, even though it was a secret. And then you were finally set free of that in 2009,
TG (01:08:03):
Right. And through the, before 2009, starting in 2000 or whatever, as my faith grew, I told a, you know, a couple more people, you, you learned about it, I think in 2004 or two, whenever after you were baptized, stuff like that. Your dad knew about it. You know, your sister knew about it.
RV (01:08:19):
Well, so for 25 years nobody knew about it.
TG (01:08:21):
No. And my parents never, they went to the grave not
RV (01:08:24):
Not knowing about either one.
TG (01:08:27):
RV (01:08:30):
And then it sort of gradually starts to happen. So all right. So we gotta land the plane here. Okay. I, I want to hear the story. I, I, I, we need to have Randy on the podcast. I’m gonna have Randy on the podcast because I wanna hear his story. We haven’t gotten to hear much about my brother’s story, and my brother has an amazing story especially here. Like recently, some of the things he’s done with his bodybuilding competition, I’m realizing going, we need to have Randy on too. But I, I want to hear, tell me, fast forward, you have all these friends, you’re resourceful, you’re building relationships, people are helping us. We’re start, you’re starting to get on your feet, dad comes into the picture. We start growing your faith is, is strengthening, you know, you have your faith all along. Quickly walk us through what happened to dad on his faith journey. And then tell us where are you at now?
TG (01:09:20):
Okay, well, so, so with dad basically the climate in, in Colorado started getting the political climate started to turn and stuff like that. And people started, you know, the government was infringing on his, on his rights, gun rights and stuff like that. And the world was getting dark. And, and so dad and I started actually having some conversations on religion and politics and so deep conversations. And, you know, I just remember one day saying that, you know, I understand, but I know where I’m going. I know where I’m headed, and I have joy and peace, and I will always have that. And so anyway, he started going to church a little bit more and wanted me to pray at meals and stuff like that. And then he started, you know, listening to Phil Robertson and that their sermons and you know,
RV (01:10:12):
For Phil Robertson, for those of you that don’t know. So my dad starts watching Duck Dynasty the show, right?
TG (01:10:19):
The show.
RV (01:10:20):
And he’s watching Duck Dynasty and he learning about this family. And then from there he starts watching Phil Robertson’s sermons.
TG (01:10:28):
Right, right, right, right. But, and yeah. Yeah. But you know, I don’t believe that it was just a TV show that changed your dad’s heart, although it did. But the, of course not. Jesus was ch working on his heart all this time. Your dad used to be the most Christian, non-Christian man. And that’s how I used to introduce him to people that I knew. And he loved his family.
RV (01:10:52):
And just meaning the way that he, he exhibited the virtues of like you patience and kindness and love and self-control. Yeah. All the
TG (01:10:58):
Fruits of the spirits. Yeah.
RV (01:10:59):
All the fruits of the spirit. Whatever that gala verse, I think it’s Galatians verse. Yeah. That, that was my dad all along. That’s why you fell in love with him. And then, but he was not a Christian, but he exhibited those. But then he starts watching Duck Dynasty Duck Dynasty leaves in Phil Robertson. He’s going to church you ch he sees he’s seeing you set free, you know, he’s seeing my faith, which has always, always been like, for the most part, strong, especially when I was going door to door like him called. Well,
TG (01:11:24):
That’s when it got stronger
RV (01:11:26):
Uhhuh. It got really stronger.
TG (01:11:27):
Right, exactly. So, so yeah. And so then we go, he starts coming to church Easter and Christmas, a a year. And then, anyway, he, he wanted to get baptized and we were just about ready to celebrate 20 years of marriage. And we, we got back from church and and I’ll never forget. And, and he said, you know, he wanted to, and I was just thrilled. And, and he said, thank you for never giving up on me. And I said, you know, how, how could I, you know, God never ever, ever, ever gave up on me. And so he got baptized on your 32nd birthday, and do you remember what you said when you were, unfortunately you were in Paris at the time. Do you remember what you said to him when he told you, because we, he wanted to, we zoomed you. He wanted to tell you right away.
RV (01:12:30):
I remember a poem that I wrote about him when I was in middle school called The God, would you Lord, would you let him in? I remember, I remember writing that poem
TG (01:12:40):
For him. Well, you had had said, dad, this is the best birthday present you will ever be able to give me. Mm-Hmm. ever. So
RV (01:12:47):
That was 20, so 20 years, basically, you’ve been praying for him for 20 years.
TG (01:12:51):
Well, Ruthann had been praying for him for 10 years. I, that was the other thing. I never prayed for his salvation until after I had that conversation with Dave, pastor David, I had never prayed for your father’s salvation.
RV (01:13:05):
So how long between that, when you started praying for it and when it happened?
TG (01:13:09):
2007 to 2016.
RV (01:13:12):
So nine years,
TG (01:13:13):
Somewhere around there. Yeah, somewhere around there. Mm-Hmm.
RV (01:13:16):
. Yeah. And it’s always a, it’s a series of, it’s always a series of events. And so, so you and
TG (01:13:22):
Dad’s always chasing after us. Always. Right? He’s always putting people in there. Mm-Hmm.
RV (01:13:26):
. And so you and dad are married, you know, you stay in Colorado when Randy has his grand babies or his babies, your grand babies. And then as they got older and started to get the teenage years, AJ and I have our two babies. And so you moved to Tennessee. Well,
TG (01:13:44):
We, we always knew, I always knew that we were gonna move to Tennessee because that’s where you were gonna land. So
RV (01:13:50):
We moved to, well, and Dad wanted to be, dad wanted to move back.
TG (01:13:53):
No, dad. Well, dad only didn’t wanna move. He wanted Mo moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky once the political climate Yeah. Changed. He never real, he never thought, like with me, that we would ever leave Colorado. And so that’s kind of what happened. And so since then, what I’ve been doing is I, I truly believe you know that you’re spiritual and your men, your physical health are tied together. I always have believe that. And so many times, you know, people bottle up all of this. We all have a story. We all made poor choices. And God has, you know, he can free any of us. And so I have I have a counseling, a biblical counseling practice. And I also help people with their nutrition through, through plant powders. And so I’m doing that now, and I get to do that from the comforts of my home here in Pulaski. And I get to be with my grandkids and, and with you all. And, and yeah. So that’s kind of what I’m doing now. And we go to a great church and, and faith church. And I believe that the Lord still has more for me to do. And so I am just trying to listen and follow. And
RV (01:15:07):
You are. And so you effectively are a life coach. You’ve got this Bibi Biblical counseling practice. You’re coaching people on their nutrition, so they’re spiritual and physical health. And so that dream you had all the way back, you got your degree, by the way. Mm-Hmm. . So you end up surviving all those years, breaking free from the guilt surv managing to raise two kids,
TG (01:15:34):
Awesome kids, by the way, two awesome kids, both of you, awesome
RV (01:15:38):
Kids of you
TG (01:15:38):
Guys awesome kids. You guys
RV (01:15:40):
Will have to be my brother for sure. I gotta bring Randy on. I’m
TG (01:15:42):
So proud of you both.
RV (01:15:43):
And then, then Kevin has the son. So we get, you know, right. Sean comes into our family. Yep.
TG (01:15:48):
So I get three kids,
RV (01:15:49):
You start to own, you guys start to own your own property. We make it through college. Sean has a family. He gets married, he’s got kids and grandkids, and like and then now you are I biblical counseling, life coaching and talking to a lot of women who are going have going through some rendition of some hard time.
TG (01:16:13):
Right? Right. Exactly. You know? Exactly. So one of my people gave me this a long time ago, and it says, only God can turn a mess into a message. This was one of my single moms gave this to me, and it sits on my desk because I also, you know, oh, I did say that about that single mom. And so anyway, I think that that’s what he has done, and we’ll continue to do. So I just have one final thought that, you know, I, you asked me one time ago how, how I did this. Yeah.
RV (01:16:45):
So before we do that, so where should people go?
TG (01:16:47):
Oh, okay. Yes.
RV (01:16:48):
If, if they want to connect with you. Right. And, and, right. I mean, I love it. I am quite certain that somebody listening either is going through some of this or knows someone who is in a rough time in their life, particularly maybe like, you know, a single mom or, or someone struggling with, with, you know, things, decisions, choices they made in the past that they’re struggling to get past. Where, where should people go if they want to connect with you?
TG (01:17:13):
Tessy Gale at msn. Just my email. So my name, T-E-S-S-I-E-G-A-L [email protected] or my Facebook page. And also my affiliate website, which is tessie gale dot juice plus.com.
RV (01:17:35):
Mm-Hmm, . So we’ll put, we’ll put links to that. So you can just e you can just e email my mom and you could talk directly to her which is great. So yeah, and before you just share your last, you know, thought, mom, I just, I, I, I, I want to, I want to know how you did it, but I, I also just wanna make sure that I don’t let this opportunity to slip by without saying thank you. Thank you for figuring it out. Thank you for finding a way. Thank you for being faithful. Thank you for taking care of me. And Randy, thank you for the choices, the decisions that you’ve made. And you know, I also wanna say to our friends and family, so many people in this story, thank you, you know, thank you to all the people that we, we mentioned here, the people who are buying us dinner and buying us Christmas presents, and just covering the gap and covering that, that spread of our practical needs.
RV (01:18:43):
I’m just so grateful for them and I’m so grateful, mom, for your resourcefulness to build relationships. You know, what, what if of all the, of all the superpowers to have, I mean, building relationships, is a, is a good one. And so many people just covered that gap for us. And I’m just so grateful and I’m grateful for dad, and I’m grateful for Randy be raise me and, and Danno and the Phillips and Uncle Charlie and Don and Shelly, and you know, Eric and Betsy and all, I mean, just all of the, all of the so many people that we didn’t even name, you know, teachers and my story friends who, you know, some were there for, you know, seasons some just for a moment. But so many people who, and this is this, this is why I wanted to share the story, is it’s like there’s, there is no such thing as a self-made person.
TG (01:19:42):
There is not,
RV (01:19:43):
There’s no, there’s no such thing as a, a self-made entrepreneur, A self-made millionaire, a self-made bestseller. Like there’s, there’s no such thing as a self-made. It’s a, it’s a series of people over generations that make choices that help somebody become the person that you one day see. And so, in the case of my life, mom, thank you for being the, the point person. You know, for me, I’m, I’m so grateful for that.
TG (01:20:13):
Well, you, I’m, you’re welcome. You’re welcome, Laurie. And you know, I always knew that, that, that God had a plan, you, I mean, he did. And he does. And so I’m just grateful that I don’t ever want you to forget that it’s that there’s so many people in our life that made us our life possible, right? And always will be, you know, and faith, hope and love. You know, Rory came to me one time and said, you should be a statistic. How come we’re not a statistic? And I said to you, this was when you and high freshman in college,
RV (01:20:54):
Right? ’cause Everything in your story, I mean, that’s part of why I wanted to share this is like, everything in your story points to our life should have gone a totally different direction. I mean, we meet, we met all the criteria in many ways of like a life that would be far, far different from the life that we have now. We always had love, but like we, you know, we could have gone a different direction. So yeah, I mean, how do you do that?
TG (01:21:20):
Well, I had faith the size of a mustard seed in the beginning. And due to all the trials in my life, I took Mark 9 23 from the head to the heart, right? And I started to believe that all things are possible for him who believes all things. And that grew with roots. And then I had Hope 29, Jeremiah 29 11 was, became my life first in, in the early two thousands. And it was like, you know, he has a plan. He knew his plans for us, and he still has one for the my future. And he always, always was there. Its plans. Were always there. And you mentioned love. I am a firm believer. I’ve seen it through thousands of children. We didn’t even talk about the, the coaching for five years that I did as a single parent with those boys for soccer five years.
TG (01:22:25):
But I’ve seen it in all my life. Is that his deep, deep love for me? I began to trust him and continue to bring love and surrounding me with love of others. And I was able to trust him once I finally did learn to love and be set free freely completely. So he has made my path straights to grow in love for myself and for you boys, and for others. The love from just one person can change a person’s circumstance in life. That’s the other lesson that I hope you and all, all of those listening understand one person and the love of Jesus, which there is no greater love will change one life for all eternity. I have lived and learned this and will share it until the day he takes me home. Thank you, Lord, for this day. May your blessings come our way. Keep us safe, whatever we do, and let us never forget to keep our eyes on you.