Jess Lively Founder Story

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Jess Lively is the host of The Lively Show and founder of Life with Intention Online. But long before she ever interviewed a well-known guest for her top-rated podcast, she started and grew a jewelry business… beginning in high school.

Jess’ story is really a story about the importance of building expertise and having a long-term plan. She has known she wanted to have a show of her own ever since a college advisor told her she could be the next Martha Stewart or Oprah. After studying how Martha and Oprah built their businesses, Jess knew she had to play the long game.

“I want to be like Martha Stewart and Oprah”- Jess Lively to her college advisor

By the time Jess graduated college, she had already landed her jewelry in a number of retail stores in Michigan after selling them while on a boat trip on the great lakers with her family. She immediately went to work using a similar strategy selling her wares around her home town of Chicago.

In the process, Jess managed to connect with a group of national salespeople who would end up selling her jewelry to stores around the country. After plenty of hard work, Jess had a successful business on her hands and she wasn’t the only one who knew it.

Before long, Jess had other aspiring entrepreneurs begin to approach her asking for help doing the same thing she had done. At the time, she had inklings that it might be time to move on from the jewelry business, so she began to take a few clients here and there.

One day, while looking in the mirror, Jess realized it was time to move on to the next phase of her business career, but she wasn’t quite sure what that phase would be. So she decided to shut the jewelry business down despite its success, including laying off her one employee (one of the hardest things she’s ever had to do).

This was when Jess began to develop a sense of the importance she placed on having faith in her own intuition.

“Faith is an optimistic outlook on uncertainty.” – Jess Lively

In the space after shutting down her jewelry business, Jess realized that she didn’t have to have a TV show to be a modern day Martha or Oprah. So she started her podcast as a way to begin telling the stories of amazing people she admired. In the mean time, she spent 14(!) months researching and studying the material that would eventually form the basis for her flagship course, Life with Intention Online.

Through playing the long game, Jess has landed on her version of the vision she shared with her college advisor long ago. She’s not done building by any means, but she’s happy with the business as it is today. She likens her journey to the quote sometimes attributed to Michelangelo about how he sculpted the David statue:

“It was easy. All I did was chip away everything that didn’t look like David.”

While we’re not sure good ol’ Mikey actually said that, it’s the perfect metaphor for Jess’ journey.

Learn more about Jess and her business here:

Oh, and in case you missed that great acronym for thinking about your own personal values, it’s PPPFFE, or:

  • P- present
  • P – peaceful
  • P – positive
  • F – flexible
  • F – fulfilling
  • E – enduring