271 How to Trust Your Intuition and Take the Lead – Jodi Flynn

Jodi Flynn's Story from Corporate Manager to Leadership coach, and What We Discussed:

  • Feel Like Not Going in the Right Direction in Life?
  • Not Wanting to Climb the Corporate Ladder? 
  • Can’t Bring Yourself to Quit Your Job? Jodi’s Story
  • What skills do you need to launch your own biz
  • What’s Next after Corporate Career.
  • Learn to Trust Your Intuition and Gain Clarity in Life Direction.

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More about our featured guest Jodi Flynn

Jodi Flynn, a professional coach passionate about helping her clients develop into women and men who stand out in a crowd, Women Taking the Lead is a podcast featuring interviews with highly successful women who want to share their journeys of success with others.

The goal of Women Taking the Lead is to give advancing leaders the encouragement they need to keep moving forward and to build a culture that understands and appreciates the value of feminine leadership.

Full Transcript

[00:02] Joel: Welcome to ReLaunch, your daily dose of inspiring stories, fresh ideas, and practical solutions to help you build a business and a life that you love. And if you are a daily listener, welcome back to the show. Thank you for tuning in and thank you for joining us in the before and the after show online conversations. And if you are new to the show, just know that you are among friends. And you know what? This is what you can expect, unique insights, a-ha moments, and actionable information from self made successes as they share their trials, their tribulations, and their come-from-behind victories. And joining us on the show today is Mutual Fund vice-president turned life coach and a podcaster, Jodi Flynn. Jodi, this is the first time we have ever done a show together. So, welcome to ReLaunch.

[01:00] Jodi Flynn: Hey. I'm so happy to be here. I'm honored.

[01:03] Joel: Well, we are excited to have you on as well, and you are also a listener to the show as well as a podcaster. So, we thank you for tuning in and making ReLaunch a part of your listening audio program. Thank you.

[01:18] Jodi Flynn: You have a fantastic show and I was really excited when you reached out to me to be on because you've had such phenomenal guests. So, that's why I can't say enough. I'm honored to be here.

[01:30] Joel: Thank you, Jodi. That means a lot to us. And as a listener, you definitely know how we roll on this show. And this show is all about the relaunch. And well, we've all experienced numerous launches and relaunches throughout our personal and our professional life. Jodi, I generally ask people to zero in on the relaunch that has been the most significant for them or that's been the most transformational for them in their life, and then just kind of unfold the story from there. We'll do that with you here in just few minutes, if that's okay. But, before we do that, I like to start off the show, pretty much every one of my shows, with a quick piece of take away golds. So, let me ask you this as a life coach, and based on your own personal life journey in your own experience. Jodi, what would you say seems to be the biggest struggle that people have when it comes to trusting their own intuition? What do you think?

[02:29] Jodi Flynn: That's a great question. And first off, I just wanna thank everyone for listening and tuning in. I'm gonna strive to provide lots of value, and thank you for kicking it off with this question. I love this question. What has people struggle with trusting their own intuition often times is they don't know how to distinguish it from fear because both intuition and fear send strong signals and a lot of times people think, “Well, is that my intuition telling me not to do this or is it my fear? I'm not really sure.” And part of it is they're not keyed in to how their intuition speaks to them. And so, it's really important to take on a practice of listening to your body and your… 'cause your intuition will speak to you in several different ways, and for everybody, it's slightly different. For me, my intuition can feel sometimes like a panic attack. I'm not panicking. I'm just feeling fully alive. My heart is racing, my breathing goes up, and it's more… I recognize it now as a sensation of being called forth to do something really important. But it's only because I've been paying attention to the signs for years that I'm able to distinguish it. And also, your intuition doesn't try to scare you. So, if you're feeling scared that there's something else going on, and it's important to distinguish between your self doubts and being called to a greater purpose.

[04:11] Joel: Okay. So the… Wow. That's some great advice right there. But the take away gold nugget here is distinguish between your intuition and fear, and you do that by learning how your body speaks to you and how it clues you in as to which one it is. Is it intuition or fear, correct? Am I getting you on that?

[04:35] Jodi Flynn: Yes, yes.

[04:36] Joel: Okay. Fantastic. That is a great topic. Actually, we could unpack on that topic for the remainder of the show. So if you think about it, Jodi, when we come back around maybe toward the end of the show, if you can kind of tie that concept back into what we're talking about, I think that would be a great way to end out today's show, if it fits this conversation. But speaking of which, let's go ahead and get right into today's show and talk about the relaunch that transformed you. How do we need to start that conversation?

[05:11] Jodi Flynn: Well, my relaunch, it's gonna sound similar when I kick it off. It was when I transitioned from my full-time job to my business, but it was kind of a wind-y journey. I had originally gotten my degree in psychology, was working on my masters in counselling psychology when I realized I was not going in the right direction. And my intuition was speaking to me at that time, but I didn't really recognize it then because I pushed to try to finish my masters degree for a full year beyond when I knew it wasn't the right thing for me, and my intuition definitely started getting loud. We can talk about that later. But I pivoted. I wasn't gonna finish my degree. My student loans were gonna kick in, so I took an entry level position in Mutual Fund Operations just as a way to pay the bills.

[06:07] Jodi Flynn: And I really thrived in that environment. Unbeknownst to me, I am wired to work in a corporate setting. It really played to my strengths. It was an area I didn't know much about and I consider myself a lifelong learner. So it was a challenge, it was an adventure. And because I was so into it and it played such… Just so many of my strengths, I was promoted rapidly. I was promoted five times in less than six years. And I was the assistant vice-president in charge of corporate quality, and was really loving my job. I loved the people I worked with. I was appreciated. I was respected. I was making really good money. Everything you could ever want from a job.

[07:04] Jodi Flynn: And then all of a sudden, this question kept coming to me. Is this it? Is this going to be it for the rest of my life? And I started looking towards the more senior managers in the company and looking at their lifestyles, and their job responsibilities, and what was required of them and I didn't like what I saw. I was in conference calls where people were calling in from their Disney vacation with their families on their Blackberry. And I thought, “What are they doing? They're on vacation, they're with their family.” Those were some of the expectations in the company, that when you reach this certain level, the company came first. And it wasn't hard-lined as bad as that, but those were the messages that I was picking up on. It just started to grow more and more. Could I be doing more of this somewhere else out in the world? Something bigger?

[08:10] Jodi Flynn: And one of my employees even said to me, we were having a conversation about it. He said, “Watch out for the golden handcuffs.” And it was the first time I'd ever heard that expression. And it was basically what I described. I was so comfortable in my job that even though I was having this calling, I was like, “Well, I'm going to wait and see. I'm going to kind of ride this out. This is fine.”

[08:35] Joel: When people mention a phrase like, “golden handcuffs,” or something similar, it kind of reminds me of that great movie that Gene Hackman and Tom Hanks were in, The Firm. Remember that movie?

[08:49] Jodi Flynn: Yes.

[08:50] Joel: Where this isn't about being a lawyer, but where Tom Cruise was wooed by this prestigious law firm and it was backed by the mob.

[09:01] Jodi Flynn: Yeah.

[09:02] Joel: But, they didn't tell him about all the ugly things that were going on behind the scenes, because they were trying to woe him and his wife into living in a spacious castle and driving the nice cars. Then over time, as the wife and the husband get to used to certain accommodations, and the kids get used to the private school and the nannies and the butlers and all this kind of thing, then they kind of lay it. They lay it on the line about what this business is all about. But the time that all happens, well you know, everyone's just too woven in to that kind of lifestyle. So anyway, that just reminds me of that movie when people start talking about handcuffs.

[09:54] Joel: But okay, so if we fast forward a little bit Jodi, let me ask you this, and I ask this question a lot to people. When did your relaunch, Jodi's relaunch, become not a relaunch of choice, where you make a choice that I'm going to do something different. I'm going to do a different business. I'm going to do something different with my life or maybe a combination of both. But when did it become, for you, a relaunch of necessity? When it became a necessity for you to, well, number one, to experience yourself differently, but also to allow other people to experience you differently? And oftentime, that's in a way where they've never experienced you. Go ahead. Relaunch of necessity. When did that happened?

[10:37] Jodi Flynn: Perfect segue. In my comfort just sitting there, along came an acquisition. Another company bought the company I was working for. And they talked about all these changes they were going to make and I did not love them. Right? My discontented situation suddenly became incredibly discontented. And I thought… And I had heard about coaching at this point and started researching it. And I had even been on the list of the coaching training program that I knew I wanted to go through, but still hadn't pulled the trigger. And I thought, “Okay. They're offering a severance package and a stay-on bonus. I'll take it and I'll become a coach.” And then it was one of those shower moments in the shower.

[11:29] Jodi Flynn: Suddenly, my mind started doing the math. And I realized, it wasn't going to work out. I was going to be broke before I had graduated, before I had clients. And so, I had to take a position and it was horrible. Like, the whole situation became worse and worse. And I say… And I always tell people, “I should have quit, but I couldn't bring myself to do it.” I even heard myself say out loud one day, “Please God, let them fire me because I can't bring myself to quit.” I couldn't do it and it was very emotional. And so, the universe took over and the company that I was now working for who had acquired us before, acquired another company. And our jobs were on the line. And I was secretly praying, “Please, please, please, please, please, fire us, fire us, fire us,” which I was trying to keep to myself because in that situation, it was such a struggle as much as I was hoping and praying…

[12:29] Joel: Well talk about that struggle if you would, 'cause there had to have been an inner civil war of sorts going on within you. Because on one hand you're on your knees thinking, “Okay, please take this from me so I don't have to make the choice.” But on the other, obviously, we know what's going on the other side of that coin. What was the struggle like and how did you come to peace one way or another?

[12:57] Jodi Flynn: The struggle I was having was in a couple of different ways. One, I wanted to… I have a pride in the work that I do and I didn't want that to suffer, even though I was unhappy and really wanted out. The struggle was trying to stay motivated and focused to do a good job, even though it was the last thing I wanted to be doing. And also, I cared deeply for the people around me who were working with me. So, on the one hand, I'm praying that we lose our jobs and on the other, they're praying that they keep them because they have mortgages and children who need to go to college, and all of that stuff was going on. It was an emotional roller coaster for everyone there. And that's why a lot of people say, “Sometimes, the real victim in an acquisition is the people who keep their jobs,” you know? Because it just becomes so topsy-turvy and crazy, and we had just gone through one acquisition and here comes another.

[13:58] Jodi Flynn: But, it was one of those things where I left it in God's hands. The decision wasn't up to me, which was kind of a cop out, but I was like, “Universe take over.” And sure enough, we found out we were losing our… This is how the universe set me up. We were losing our jobs, but they needed us to stay for seven months so that they could convert the systems that we were on. They were offering larger severance packages this time around and larger stay-on bonuses. The program I wanted to go through to get my coach certifications started two weeks after the day we got the news, and it was about a six month program.

[14:38] Joel: Oh, wow.

[14:40] Jodi Flynn: So, I was certified to be a coach with a big chunk of money to set me up to start my business the day I lost my job.

[14:49] Joel: Wow.

[14:51] Jodi Flynn: It was amazing.

[14:53] Joel: Now talk about the serendipitous moment.

[14:56] Jodi Flynn: Yeah. I still to this day think back and I'm just amazed, so grateful. It was definitely hard to go through the acquisitions. At some point it's very painful. I got a counselor for myself during the time because I was out of touch with my emotions, because I was in so much pain. But looking back I'm just grateful, so grateful that it all worked out the way it did. I could not have planned it better.

[15:28] Joel: Let me ask you this question, Jodi, and thank you so much for sharing that by the way. When people are willing to be just vulnerable and, well, just people on our show, that to me is the biggest compliment that our guests can show to pay and you've done that. So, thank you for that. Okay. In that process, what did you learn or relearn about Jodi? What did you learn about your potential, your possibilities, and then also you're value? The value that you brought yourself and that you are here to bring other people?

[16:06] Jodi Flynn: Well, that first lesson has only expanded more and more. I definitely took that one with me, the lesson that I needed to just trust in God or the universe, however anyone relates to it. It's all that higher power. Trust in that, hand over your problems and you will be taken care of. That doesn't mean you don't do the work, right? There's still work to be done. There's still things that are still within your control so you can move forward. But the worry and the how's and all of that, that you can give over. There were many circumstances that came about through the coach training and after I launched my business, where I didn't know how I was possibly going to make something work. But those were the moments where I would call on God. “I can't do this on my own. I don't know how I'm gonna make this happen.” Whenever I did that, whenever I remembered to rely on my source, it always turned out better than what I could have ever had hoped for.

[17:15] Pei: Wow! Jodi, I'm curious, when you… Earlier, you said you had many strengths that allowed you to succeed quickly in corporate. In launching, promoting, getting your new coaching business up, what did you find that some, maybe strengths, that you have to acquire to build your own?

[17:44] Jodi Flynn: Are you asking the strengths that I acquired since I launched my business?

[17:48] Pei: Yeah, something new that you seem to didn't develop while you were in corporate?

[17:58] Jodi Flynn: Oh, that's a great question. Networking is something I didn't have to do when I was in my corporate job. I just had to get along with people, which is kind of is one sort of networking. But doing it on a business level just upped the ante. It's a different animal. Speaking publicly. I really didn't have to do a lot of it, or it was really in small groups. It was more facilitating meetings. If I had to stand up and do a presentation, I'd do it as quickly as I could and sit back down. And I have grown comfortable in front of crowds, leading full day workshops, large groups, small groups, people of all different ranks and prestige levels. I've just become more comfortable with who I am, which has benefited me 'cause I am better able to spread my message and help people.

[18:57] Joel: I like that. I love that. You became more comfortable with yourself, which benefited you, and it actually benefited everyone.

[19:05] Jodi Flynn: Yes.

[19:07] Joel: Excellent. Okay, coming in for a landing on a little bit, within a few minutes. Time goes by quick. But, I still have a couple things that I want to cover here. So talk about bad habits or wrong information. Now, were there one… Was there one bad habit or maybe one piece of information that you just, kind of, had to wade through or maybe even break off from, as you were re-launching into your new business?

[19:34] Jodi Flynn: That's a great question. My bad habit is… It's an ongoing one, but I've gotten a lot better at it. Is getting dis…

[19:44] Joel: How's that for honesty?

[19:45] Jodi Flynn: Yes, it's true. It's getting distracted. When I first launched my business, I didn't know where to put my attention. And so it was all over the place. Everything was a shiny object. Everything was important. And now, I've gotten more clear about where I need to focus my attention. So, it does still get diverted on occasion, but I have systems and my to-do list that help me to refocus. And I prioritize things, like, “What has to get done today? Okay, when that's done, what's the next thing that has to get done today?” And I need to take breaks every now and again, so breaks happen, and sometimes that's some of the… Where the distraction can weave its way into my day. But then I look back at my list, and I'm like, “That's what I'm about today.”

[20:39] Pei: Yeah. There are so many skills and mindset that goes into building a business, 'cause earlier when you mentioned during this transition, you acquired the certification to become a coach. But, just getting that skill to be a coach doesn't equal to a successful coaching business. So over the years you have developed so many business skills, so you can actually really have a visibility and help others.

[21:16] Jodi Flynn: Yes.

[21:17] Joel: Well said, Pei. Let me segue into this next question, 'cause I definitely wanna get this one covered as well. Now, if we're talking about the strongest parts of your personality. Your skills. Your abilities. The stuff that you're born with that's part of your DNA. What parts were you able to harness and build upon that helped you and that are still helping you with your business? The reason I ask you that is because yes, it's important to develop and it's important to learn new things that we, for whatever reason, haven't yet learned or acquired yet. But, I think that it's also important in any situation, especially in a business situation, that you have to harness and build upon what you already have. So, what were some of those things that you were able to identify and make stronger?

[22:11] Jodi Flynn: There are two that jump to mind. My curiosity.

[22:15] Joel: Okay.

[22:16] Jodi Flynn: I was a shy child, but I loved people watching. And I was very curious about why people acted in certain ways, and I was trying to puzzle it all together and figure it out. So, just having a childlike curiosity. To come at things… It's also called the Beginner's Mind as well, and listening. Really listening not just for what people are saying, but what they're not saying. What's behind it, what's the intention, what are the values? You can glean more information from people and then get curious about that, and ask questions about that. And thats helped me as a coach. Its helped me as a business owner, as a facilitator, in so many areas of my life. It's incredibly powerful.

[23:08] Joel: We have some of the best ingredients that are already woven within our DNA, and when people are able to identify and capitalize on them, that right there is a recipe for all kinds of business success. Coming in for a landing on this one Jodi, love… Really appreciate your time and sharing with us today. We started today's show talking about trusting your intuition, and you kind of gave us a dichotomy of your intuition, there's intuition and then there's fear. And be careful that you don't mistake one for the another one. If you can, kind of, wind out our talk today talking about intuition and how you have been able to, or are still able to, help people distinguish between the two so that they can know which one is the one to listen to. What kind of tips or advice can we put in our toolbox?

[24:20] Jodi Flynn: That's really great. I always say to my clients, “The biggest strength you have is your awareness. Just bringing your awareness to what's going on in the moment and paying attention to the signs.” I often have people comment back to me, “Wow, you're really self aware,” because I can describe how I'm feeling, the sensations that are going on in my body, how things are occurring to me, because I'm paying attention to those things. So, I won't say I know myself inside and out, there's always more to learn. But I'm pretty good at distinguishing intuition from fear because I'd been paying attention to, “Do I really need to be scared of this? Is this my ego at play? Or, is something that's really important to me?” And they definitely have different feelings. So for me, what I've distinguished is, fear feels cold. It feels very cold from the inside out. When I am feeling fear, it's a shaky, cold feeling. But when it's intuition… And I said earlier, for me my intuition sometimes can almost feel like a panic attack. It's enlivening. I feel called forth. There's a warm pressure that's on my skin. And so, I know when that's happening, it's almost like, “Uh-Oh, Jodi. You're gonna have to do something big. Go do it, go do it”.


[25:48] Joel: I love that. Fantastic. Talking with Jodi Flynn today. Of course we're gonna have all the social media hot spots and go to places listed in the blog article that accompanies this episode. Great tip right there at the end. You need to differentiate between intuition and fear. Pay attention to how your body talks to you. And Jodi, it sounds like you have mastered that art and science of doing that. Pei, go ahead, you've got your hand up.

[26:20] Pei: Yeah. And I'm so excited about your up-coming podcast as well.

[26:25] Joel: And, real quick, what is the title of the podcast?

[26:28] Jodi Flynn: The title of the podcast is, “Women Taking the Lead”.

[26:33] Joel: “Women Taking The Lead”, that is gonna be a great show. I know you already have Pei on the calendar to be on that show. I know you're looking forward to it, Pei.

[26:42] Pei: Yeah. And tell us a little bit about what you wanna bring, the value you wanna bring through this show?

[26:53] Jodi Flynn: The intention of this show is to inspire women from humble beginnings to overcome self-doubt and lead by confidence. So, I am interviewing other women from similar backgrounds who've also had to overcome or even act in the face of self-doubt to achieve their success, or to pursue their mission in life, their purpose. And they have great stories to tell. And just from the interviews I've done so far, I know a lot of people are gonna get inspired and get really excited to get into action, and see how they can express their own leadership in their life.

[27:35] Joel: Awesome. It's gonna be a great show. Jodi, we're excited to, kind of, be along side you. You and I are in the same Mastermind group together, so I will definately connect with you there. And you are a member of our ReLaunch fan club. So, we appreciate you being a part of our inner circle as well. So thank you.

[27:57] Jodi Flynn: Thank you, Joel. Thank you, Pei, so much. And I'm excited to be talking to you on Friday.

[28:02] Joel: Have a wonderful rest of your day, Jodi.

[28:03] Jodi Flynn: Thank you.

[28:04] Joel: Bye-Bye.

Connect with Jodi on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and her website.

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Joel Boggess

Keynote Speaker | Corporate Trainer | Award-winning podcaster I help teams ignite their courage, take bolder steps, and get greater results. Together, we create possibilities that bring empowerment, meaning, and financial impact.


  1. […] And then he had to leave the chapter. (No!) He was making changes in his life and was leaving his career in commercial real estate. I was saddened and yet I understood the internal pull to make drastic changes to put my life in alignment with a greater purpose. […]

  2. Jodi Flynn on March 21, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Thank you, Joel and Pei, for this awesome opportunity to share my story on your show. I am a huge fan of the work that you do!

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