Design a life with intention

This interview first appeared on Successilism on Mar 21, 2013

Jess is an Intentional Designer. She calls herself as such because she helps people design lives, homes, and businesses with intention.

I stumbled upon Jess’s website when I was searching for women who had found success pursuing their passion. I realized that I’ve been interviewing a lot of guys lately, and I needed to raise the women’s flag since I am one. (Go feminism!) Anyway, aside from being a fellow designer, what I find amazing with Jess is the fact that she helps other people find their own success the same way she did with hers.

You can find her amazing story here.


How would you describe yourself?

I help people design lives, homes, and businesses through my blog, consulting, and workshops.

I’ve read on your blog that you started your business at the age of 15. What’s the story behind it?

Yes, I started a jewelry business at fifteen which became a full-time career after graduation. Then, last November I closed it as I was able to transition to my new career based on helping people design lives, homes, and businesses with intention. You can find the full Jess LC company story from the last five years here.

What was your childhood dream?

To be a lawyer like my Grandpa.

Growing up, what does the word “success” meant to you?

Success used to mean having a career I love. Now, it means having a career that allows me to help others and have abundance and personal fulfillment.

Was life easy for you back then?

No, life was not always easy. But I just kept going.

Was there something you wished you knew 5 years ago?

That everything was working out in my favor. Even when I didn’t know how.

Things you wish you did differently?

There aren’t many things that I would do differently. I’d simply spend more time trusting the Universe was working in my favor.

What’s your ultimate failure so far?

I honestly don’t really look at things as “failures.” They are either doors that open to better things or lessons I can learn from.

Was there a time you felt like you were just wasting your time pursuing something that seemed far-fetched to other people?

Starting my business full-time out of college was really hard for people to grasp. But I did it anyways knowing that it was the best way for me to stay in control of my time and to create a career based on helping others design lives with intention.

You say that you’re helping people design life with intention. Why is that? And why does it matter?

Because it’s my purpose. I really do believe that I am meant to do this. It comes easily, feels natural, and allows me to use all my greatest strengths. Because I feel that this is my purpose, I believe it matters because it’s something I’m called to do…. if that makes sense. If it didn’t matter, I would have different strengths and interests. Not taking the time to be intentional and begin with the end in mind means people go through life reacting and bending to conventionality rather than their own convictions. I’m here to help those who want to make those choices and want a bit of guidance and support along the way.

Describe a typical day for a Jess Lively.

I normally get up around 7 or so and spend time with my puppy and husband getting ready for the morning. A few mornings I workout or lift as well. Then, I write a blog post and answer emails. In the afternoon I am usually working on a client project or consulting with clients. In the evening I usually spend time with my husband or we go out with friends. By 10-11 I’m asleep.

How do you drive traffic to your site?

I actually don’t really do anything besides write on my blog. In the past with the accessory business I did a few ads to get traffic to the shop, but the blog has grown organically.

I have also read that you decided to close Jess LC Shop, and to quote you on that, you said,

“I am currently in the process of exploring how I will be able to give back and extend what Jess LC has done for me to other women starting businesses under the age of 25.”

Can you tell us more about it?

Yes, I am now offering a spot in each of my business and life workshops in each of my workshop destinations for a woman under 25. This is my way of giving back and serving those who were like me years ago.

Has your blog’s success changed your life? How?

It has definitely created my career and allowed me to fulfill my purpose. I don’t advertise my services, so the blog is where people find out about my story, my perspective, and my services. Though I’m not a “full-time blogger” based on ad revenue, I am in the fact that my clients come from following my blog almost completely.

How do you define success now?

I define success as the ability to serve others. The more that I do that, the more peace, joy, and abundance I have in my life.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by stories of people who have overcome great odds or achieved a level of spiritual or effective mastery over their life.

People that inspires you?

Stephen Covey, Oprah Winfrey, and Ben Franklin.

Advice for people who wants to become successful?

Be careful how you define “success.” If you allow too many “shiny pennies” or external indicators of success to drive you, you will find you are always seeking more. You’ll never feel like you have enough. And the feeling of enough is what leads to fulfillment.

So, what’s next?

I’m actually working on a new commercial design project for a small hotel in Chicago. I’m excited to bring my branding and design talents to the project and help them bring their vision to life.