Meet Jennifer! Jennifer is a very interesting Lady and I had the pleasure of meeting her online via Twitter earlier this summer.
As I got to know her I was inspired by her story of how she took some big risks, made some sudden changes in her life, and up and left her life as she knew it to pursue her goals and her dreams.
Please check out her interview and her quick video at the end to see what I'm talking about. I hope you find her story inspiring as well.
Thanks very much Jennifer!
Would You Drop Everything to Follow Your Dream?
Jennifer, I recently published a blog post about following your passion and you are definitely an excellent example of someone who has done that.
Earlier this year you moved from the east coast of the United States to the west coast to live in L.A.
What was your life like prior to making that move?
I was born and raised in Bellevue, a very small town in Pittsburgh, PA.
I had just moved into my first apartment with my boyfriend of 6 years and had been there for about 5 months before we made the decision to relocate to LA!
I left all of my immediate family in Pittsburgh – 3 sisters and two very loving and supportive parents.
My work situation – I have a very corporate/business background and the bulk of my “professional” experience outside of college was within recruiting and human resources! I absolutely loved my professional experience I’ve gained in Pittsburgh; however, I am so thrilled to have escaped the “9-5 desk job” scene.
I left an HR position with Target to move out to LA and chase my dream of becoming a TV Host!
What enticed you to suddenly move to L.A.?
Throughout the last year or so, I knew that I was not living a fulfilling and purposeful life.
I knew in my gut that I was destined to do something else.
I analyzed my natural skills and talents and, most importantly, I asked myself “What is your passion?”
As I did this, I narrowed in on the following: I love interacting with others, public speaking, as well as helping and inspiring others!
I began to think outside the box and explore careers that I wouldn’t have otherwise thought about.
Long story short, a light bulb went off and “Television Host” popped into my head. I did some online research and discovered a company called Become a Host and I flew out to Los Angeles for just one weekend to take a TV Hosting bootcamp with Marki Costello.
After leaving that weekend and flying home to Pittsburgh, I knew what my next move would be.
Did you encounter any fear in your decision to move to LA?
Absolutely! We are all human and have fears – especially when it involves such a major life change. I had 3 major fears that I had to confront:
- Fear of leaving family
- Fear of leaving friends
- Fear of leaving what’s familiar
At the time that you decided to move what was your financial situation like?
I was living in an apartment with my boyfriend, paying rent. In Bellevue, PA, rent is so disgustingly affordable – especially now that I know what it feels like to pay rent in Los Angeles, haha!
In Pittsburgh, my boyfriend and I were splitting rent and it was only $615 plus electric! That meant I was only paying a little over $315/month.
Now, in LA, we are living in an even smaller one bedroom apartment, paying $1100/month plus gas and electric! Goodness, it’s hard to even stomach typing that!
Prior to moving, we could have certainly saved more money (anyone could say that – more money could never hurt); however, I knew if we hadn’t made the decision to relocate sooner than later, the move may have never happened because we would get “comfortable” again and accept our lives the way they were.
We saved approximately $8,000 before moving.
We drove two separate cars cross-country – taking walkie talkies for safety and fun! – and took everything we could fit into those two cars. The car loads consisted primarily of clothes, two flat screen TVs (my boyfriend would never leave them behind!), kitchen ware, and smaller decorations.
What thoughts ran through your mind on moving day?
Want to know something hilarious? As my boyfriend and I had each gotten into our cars and the family was waving goodbye to us, I went to turn the key to start the car and…it wouldn’t start! I had to go get my battery changed before we could even leave Bellevue – that is how our trip started, haha! Of course, I believe it was a blessing because that could have happened when my boyfriend and I were in a completely foreign area.
I felt so many emotions, yet numb at the same time…if that’s even possible! Mostly, my thoughts consisted of:
“This is it!”
“There’s no turning back now.”
“I can’t believe I have a 4 day, cross-country road trip ahead of me!”
“I can’t wait to see the Grand Canyon.”
“I am officially leaving my home town.”
“I can’t wait to strive for something bigger and better.”
“I don’t even have a job when we get there!”
Once you got to L.A. was it difficult to find a nice place to live?
It wasn’t very difficult to find a place to live. Before we moved, I registered for a website that was referred to me by several people called Westside Rentals.
Luckily, I had met a girl in the TV Hosting bootcamp I flew out to a couple months prior, and she was kind enough to let my boyfriend and I stay with her for two nights when we first arrived and looked for apartments.
The other 2 nights, we stayed in a hotel. In 4 days, we found our apartment! This was because of Westside Rentals where I could see what apartments were available, the areas they were in and scheduling all back-to-back apartment viewings within those 4 days.
Now that you have been in L.A. for several months, what has your new life been like?
Life has been overall great!
My boyfriend and I have been extremely blessed to have found jobs. I’d have to say that was the biggest stressor. Of course you want to find a place to live, but if you have no job to pay rent, then where do you go??
I have been taking weekly TV Hosting classes with a wonderful coach, Marki Costello, at the Become a Host studio.
The weather is a beautiful thing to have adjusted to and let’s be honest, it wasn’t too difficult for us, haha!
We are enjoying our new lives by going to the beach, playing sand volleyball, visiting cool sites in LA and having a nice dinner and movie night every so often at the beautiful theaters by our apartment.
I know from reading your blog that you want to become a television host and be known as a “good news reporter”. I love that! What are you doing to make your dream come true?
Great question! I’ve created my own inspirational site (as you referred to above) called “A Breath of Fresh Air” because I believe we all need to take a deep breath of fresh air in life to help us stay motivated and inspired.
I also film my own videos which consist of interviews with others who are chasing their dreams; motivational tips and tools; and also videos consisting of “The Good News!” to remind others that good people are out there and great things are happening in the world around us!
As I mentioned above, I am also taking weekly classes with a coach, which is so much fun and has allowed me to meet amazing people who are also out to chase a dream!
I’ve been networking like crazy with others who are also out to spread a positive message.
As you pursue your goal, how are you finding ways to cover your current living expenses?
I currently hold two jobs. I knew that when I moved out here, it was to chase a dream, so my eyes are on the prize! I decided to pick up two waitressing jobs, because of 3 things: my managers were very understanding as to why I moved out here; the money is great; the schedule is very flexible so that hosting can come first!
You have created a number of videos already of you interviewing people. How do you decide who you will interview next?
Well, I’ve been interviewing people within 3 “categories”, if you will: experts who can give advice on certain topics (such as your interview providing financial advice); those who are currently chasing a dream; and also my public interviews such as the one where I spoke with people to provide encouraging words to the victims of the OKC tornadoes.
This month, I will also be interviewing a husband and wife who are currently leaving their jobs and taking a road trip throughout the country to gather inspirational stories for a book they are co-authoring!
I’ll also be interviewing an up and coming pop singer/songwriter, as well as a girl who shares her story of struggle throughout college and how she buckled down and is about to achieve her dream of receiving her Bachelor’s degree.
What advice would you offer for people that hesitate to follow their passion for fear of the unknown?