Fit Your Life Into Your Life

Interview with Jemia Cunningham-Elder – A source of inspiration who offers the modern millennial woman, insight, advice, honesty, and tools to achieve the goals in their fast-paced life!

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Monique: Hello and welcome to this month’s Looking Glass Academy. Where we bring valuable information and insight to enhance the professional and personal lives of our careers and (00:14?) community. Here today, I am pleased and delighted to have joining me, Jemia Cunningham-Elder, who is the founder of Fit Your Life Into Your Life. And she has really designed a terrific program and offering for kind of young professionals getting started out here on their journey. So welcome, Jemia.

Jemia: Hi, welcome. Thanks for having me.

Monique: Oh it’s my pleasure. I’m thrilled that you’re joining us today. And please Jemia, tell me a little bit about your offerings, your service. How did you get to this place?

Jemia: Yeah, so Fit Your Life Into Your Life is a business to help women who are in their early 20’s, early 30’s – who are really looking to get – get started with their goals, or really to achieve their goals. And how this came about, it’s kind of funny. It was like – I was working at a school, a high school. And as a teacher, you have to plan your lessons. And I’m watching all these teachers plan their lesson. And then you have to know what you’re going to teach students day 1. You have to know what they’re going to learn day 1, all the way to the last day of school – you have to know about (01:35?) what they’re going to have accomplished in your class.

But those same teachers, you ask them what do they want for themselves in a year, what are their plans? They have no idea. The answer is usually, “I can’t think that far ahead.” And it’s not just the teachers. It’s like I was looking at my friends, and my friend group. And it’s like none of us were making plans for our lives. And I just thought that was so interesting. Because regardless of the job everybody is asked to think 1 year ahead, 5 years ahead.

They make big plans for their jobs, and it’s like – why don’t we do that for ourselves? Why don’t we invest that same amount of energy into our own lives? Like why wouldn’t you want to know where you are going to be a year from now? Is it a promotion that you want? Do you want to lose weight? Whatever it is.

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So I – specifically with women, this is where I was seeing it the most. Is like, we don’t invest in ourselves in the way that we definitely invest in our jobs and invest in other people’s lives. But we don’t give ourselves the same time or commitment. And so that’s really where Fit Your Life Into Your Life came from.

I was realizing I’m living this life that I thought that I wanted, but it’s not actually fitting into my real life. Like all the things I want, I don’t have the time for it, I don’t have the money for it. And so I started creating things, really for myself and planning a year ahead – 5 years ahead. And realizing other people weren’t doing that. And so this is where we are today.

Monique: Oh terrific. One of the things that really stood out for me on your website, of Fit Your Life Into Your Life. Where you were telling your story, with your moving into different cities. And that you’ve found really it being a daunting reality – and that you left that which was familiar to you, with all these relocation’s. And you had to start from a blank slate, in terms of discovering friends and resources and where to go and things to do.

Once you realized, “I’m out here, I’ve relocated. I have no family, friends or support system,” that the beauty – what resonated with me from your site. Is that you found it within yourself, that you could navigate the scenario. And that you learned to live with your creativity and your grit and determination. And has that been what you look to offer for those who come to work with you in Fit Your Life Into Your Life?

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Jemia: Yeah, so I really work with women who already know what they want. And that’s the key difference. I am not really working for women who feel like they don’t know where they’re going in life. I’m really working for women who actually have all the skills. Like you said – the grit and the determination. And they’re doing it in other places, like their job. They’re in – what they need is the outside blends (04:44?) to say, “Here’s how you can take that thing that you’re doing at your job, or that you’re doing for your friends and family. And here’s how you can do it for yourself.”

And that you actually have all the tools. I’m going to give you – I’m going to offer you a couple of other tools, and I’m going to offer you some ways for you to work with your own network. And I’m just going to create guidelines for you, and structure for you to achieve your goal. And with the thought that life is really, really busy, right? If you’re already struggling to Fit Your Life Into Your Life, you’re probably not going to have tons of time to work with me on Fitting Your Life Into Your Life.

So really talking about small sessions. Like 3 sessions or 1 big hour and a half session, where we’re just really laying down the foundation for what you are going to do to achieve your goal. Because like I said, I’m working with women who already have all of the talent and the energy and the ability. They just need to refocus that on themself.

Monique: Well and talk more about that. What are some of the tools that you offer your clients to achieve?

Jemia: So one thing on the website is Power Circles. And so this is – women, you’re using your own network, and you’re asking other women in your network to help you achieve your goal. And this typically would be an accountability buddy, right? You’re like, “We’re going to go to the gym. Jemia, let’s go to the gym. Like twice a week, and we’ll do it together, right?” And then what happens? Jemia doesn’t want to go to the gym, so now you’re left on your own, right? And now your accountability – they’re not.

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But what if it was – Monique clearly wants to get in shape, and she wants to go to the gym twice a week. Jemia, as my friend – I’m going to show you – I’m going to send you a picture every time I go to the gym, okay? That’s all I have to do, is just wait for you to send me a picture of you at the gym. “Okay yeah, I can do that for you.” And then what happens – Jemia sees Monique going to the gym, maybe Jemia’s a little more motivated to go to the gym. And Jemia doesn’t get pictures from Monique now. All of a sudden I’m texting you like, “Hey, where’s my picture? You said you’re going to send me pictures, right?”

And all that is within a Power Circle. So what I offer is – the Power Circles are free, you just sign up, you get a template. And you – you reach out to your friends, and I send you general emails to help keep you and your group motivated throughout the duration of your goal. And then the upgrade, if you really need the extra motivation, I will join your Power Circle, in which case I would text you, and you could send me your text messages. And I would be your point (07:41?) person.

So again – real quick, simple, it already fits into your life. You’re already doing this goal. But instead of you and I checking in weekly or bi-weekly, we (07:53?) have a phone call for an hour. It’s like I’m texting you, we’re texting one another. And I’m in your power circle. So that’s just one tool, and those who do have Power Circles are really – not only are they accomplishing their goals, they are motivating their friends and their family and their networks to do their own goals as well. All within the women helping women process.

Monique: And I saw the hashtag #pffl. Can you speak more to that?
Jemia: Yes, the piffle is what I call them. So #pffl’s they are your – instead of #bffl, which is best friends for life, a #pffl is a powerful friend for life. So powerful friends for life is a little bit different. Because your #pffl’s might be people you grew up with, your best friends. You guys have been together forever, but they’re not necessarily doing something similar to you. So my #pffl’s are people who are starting businesses themselves. Maybe you are not the best of friends, but they are my powerful friends that I look to. To say, “While you’re growing your business, I am motivated to continue to grow mine.” Or–

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Monique: Is it fair to say they’re kinda like like-minded individuals–

Jemia: Yes. Correct. So I have a Power Circle of #pffl’s as I call them, who are also in grad school. And so I’m in grad school (09:25?) network, and my Power Circle is comprised of other women who are in grad school and work full time. And so- I text them, and we do study dates virtually. But those are my #pffl’s. And then we have – on the website, I feature a #pffl of the month. A woman each month, who is doing something amazing and powerful. So that, if you go on the website, you can feel inspired by other women’s stories about what they’re doing in their lives.

Monique: Oh terrific. And what kind of things do you specialize in?

Jemia: Yeah so my specialty is organizations and transitions. So organizing your life so that your goal actually fits into your life. So the biggest thing is, you can have a goal – and it could be to go to the gym. But then you look at your schedule, and you’re like, “I actually have no time to go to the gym.” So my specialty is helping women actually fit their goal into their lives, and making their goals manageable. And really getting into the nitty gritty about how to achieve and sustain the goal. So that is the big specialty.

And then transitioning. Because oftentimes, when you’re trying to achieve a goal, you’re transitioning. It is either something that you want to transition into, or you’ve just made a transition, and now you’re setting a goal for after that transition. So an example is, a client of mine wanted to start her own business. And really wanted to leave her day job. Well, that goal is definitely attainable. But when we’re actually having our sessions and we’re talking about it – it’s more about what are all the steps that – I would call the invisible steps that you have to take before you can even go into the steps of reaching your goal.

An invisible step would be – okay – is your financial situation (11:37?) set? So that once you start building your business, and you leave your job – that if you did run into an issue, if there was a rainy day – that you had a fall back, like cushion of money or finances or something, right? Those are the invisible steps. ‘Cause we could easily go straight into, “Yeah, let’s start the business,” right?

Monique: Right, right.

Jemia: If you have debt or you have – you have back taxes that you owe, or anything like that. Well then, you could have the most successful business, and it fails – because we didn’t do those invisible steps. So it’s really getting at the root of that. ‘Cause I think anybody can set a goal. I do believe that. I wouldn’t be in business if everybody was just setting goals. So it’s like really thinking through – right – thinking through what are all those invisible steps? What little pieces do I need to do every day to get to my bigger picture?

Monique: Good. That’s terrific. Now speak more about the details, Jemia – of how individuals go about actually establishing a working relationship with you.

Jemia: So you can go on my website – fityourlifeintoyourlife.com. And there are a few different ways, but if you – you can sign up for the newsletter. And then you will receive emails from me about what’s going on with the business. I have a book to be released in December. So if you check back on the website, you’d be able to purchase the book and get started on your own.

Or if you go to the products page, you will be able to – you can pay for sessions. Either a 90 minute goal setting session, where we do a consultation, and then you get some homework. And then we do just like a full on session, either over the phone or video. Really dig deep into like – like I said, the invisible steps that may be missing, and really plan. Or you can sign up for 3 – a 3 session package. Which is 3 45 minute sessions. Where we’re tackling something new with homework each week, or every other week.

All with the thought that I get you started, you go off into the world, achieve your goal – and then you maybe come back when you’re ready to take the next step for the next piece of your goal. And then the other way is – if you want to do the text version of this, you would create a Power Circle. And then sign up to have me in your circle, which is also a paid program.

Monique: Okay, so it sounds like a few different options for individuals to engage and connect with you.

Jemia: Yes. The goal of this business is to (14:40?) hit women where they are, right? So we’re talking about a demographic. If you’re 22, you may not have all the money in the world – or, all the time, right? And so what is something at your price point that you can use? And if you’re 25, and you’re – and you’re creating – working those long hours, you really – maybe you know exactly where you want to be, and you’re working really hard for that promotion. But really what you need is just some more motivation. You need somebody in your corner cheering you on, and being – being realistic and holding you accountable to your goals. And so that’s where you’d sign up for me to be in your circle and sending you the text messages.

Monique: And what have you come across as some possible misunderstandings around people who are considering your service – in terms of what they may think of – what they can expect as an outcome? Where – are there some grey areas where you find that, “Oh, this person probably isn’t an ideal client.”

Jemia: Yeah. So the biggest – I think – misunderstanding is about whether or not I am like a therapist or I’m like someone who’s going to solve all of your crisis. And that is not me. I’m working for women who are already goal oriented, and they know what they want out of life. And they’re already probably working on their goal, and are just hitting some snags.

Like the time – they don’t have enough time, or they don’t have enough money. Or they’re tired all the time, and they don’t have enough energy. And that’s who I’m looking for. You are on your path, and you just need to solve the problem of the time, the money or the energy that you feel like you don’t have to achieve your goal. So I am – to be blunt, don’t come to me, if you don’t know what you want to do yet. Talk to someone else, and then come to me.

Monique: Right, well and part of being available is recognizing that you can’t be a service provider to all people for all things, right?

Jemia: Absolutely.

Monique: And so the – Fit Your Life Into Your Life, is really – sounds like it’s designed to provide various levels of resources for goal oriented young women who start out on their professional journey, and just need some support in navigating obstacles of time, money and possibly depleted energy – because of all the long hours (17:27?) at them, for work. And this is terrific. And is it possible to maybe let’s just put the spotlight on you – what do you hold up as one of your kind of shiny examples of a client who you have been able to serve? Without of course giving anyone’s particular name or scenario. But in general, what has been a shiny star for you, in terms of one of your clients?

Jemia: Yes. So I had a client who really wanted to sell art, and wanted that to be her full time job. And so, what we did was – we started by – like I said, getting finances in order. I feel like that’s almost always at number 1. And certainly where things can be cut. And then really scheduling her priorities. And so she spent weeks and weeks just making that her priority within her schedule. And I helped her figure out her schedule, and figure out her goal and break it down into smaller pieces that were attainable.

And so, within 4 months, she was able to leave her job and sell art full time. And she just hasn’t been happier. But it really was looking at her as a whole picture. Like what are you – what is everything that is going on? Not just what is the goal. How does this goal actually fit into your life? Is it fitting into your life? And some of it was saying no to things that weren’t within the goal, and weren’t helping her reach where she wanted to be. But were taking up time, and people who were taking up time. And so once she had that clear view – she’s, she’s living the dream. Or her dream at least, which is really awesome.

Monique: Well that is terrific. That is a great example of how Fit Your Life Into Your Life can – has the possibilities of helping your clients discover their greatness, and that which they desire most. And I really applaud you for your contributions, and really helping young professionals live better lives. So yay, Jemia.

Jemia: Oh thank you, yeah. Because at the end of the day, my dream is not your dream. It’s not the other persons dream. It’s all about fitting your life – like you said, into the life that you have. And that works different for everyone. And so I just really, really live by this idea that everyone should be able to be happy and fulfilled and be at their best all the time. And if I can help with that, then I’m here.

Monique: Terrific. And where may listeners go to get more information on you and your services?

Jemia: Yeah, so they can go to fityourlifeintoyourlife.com. You can Google that. Or you can follow me on Instagram @fityourlifeintoyourlife. Or you can find me on Facebook, if you just look up Jemia Cunningham-Elder and be my friend. And I – and feel free to message me on any of those platforms. And if you’re on the website, you can sign up for the newsletter. In which case you can email me directly.

Monique: Okay, alright. So the website, Instagram, Facebook – she’s provided all her wonderful contact information here. If there are young professionals starting out who are listeners here in our  community. Absolutely an additional resource for your consideration. And I wish you all the best, and continued success, Jemia – in your – all of your efforts around Fit Your Life Into Your Life. And to our listeners, thank you for being with us for this month’s edition of Looking Glass Academy. Make it a great day everyone.