Jenn Todryk Discusses How Community Is Key To Her Professional Success

Texas-born Jennifer (Jenn) Todryk is a self-made entrepreneur and author. She is also a working mother to three children under 10: Von, age 9, Berkley, age 7, and Vivi, age 3. The millennial mom graduated from Tarleton State University with a degree in fashion merchandising, but it was her blogging that led her to professional success in 2015.

Jenn’s personal brand “The Rambling Readhead” is rooted in authenticity, empathy, and transparency; it has seen exponential growth on Instagram and TikTok since she became the host and home renovation expert on HGTV’s No Demo Reno in 2021.​ More recently, Tordyk also launched her first podcast “You, Me, & Mike” with husband and business partner, U.S. veteran Mike Todryk.

Below Todryk discusses how her business began, the importance of home, and why relationships have always been key to her professional success:

Christine Michel Carter: How has social media helped your businesses?

Jenn Todryk: I started posting home decor and home renovation tips and tricks full-time in 2019 and gained an audience of over 1 million followers on Instagram within two years. Deciding to treat social media as a job meant posting twice a day, making video tutorials, and never taking a “sick day,” but that wasn’t a sacrifice since I genuinely love interacting with my community daily.

I feel very fortunate in this space; God has blessed me with such a wonderful group of people, and I will never take it for granted. I truly feel like this is my calling. I don’t know how all these amazing women found me, but I’m here until nobody wants to listen to me anymore!

Carter: Take me back to the “not so pretty” side of entrepreneurship. What did that look like for you in 2019?

Todryk: I started home renovating in my and my husband’s previous house. We navigated the entire process solo, learned many lessons, and shed blood, sweat, and tears. During the process I thought, if I could get people excited about their homes by showing mine, then I would be happy. Plus I’m a huge homebody. I feel like everyone deserves to love where they live, and it’s my mission to get them excited about where they do live.

Todryk: I am the only person who has access to my social media accounts and the only person interacting with my audience. I wanted to share my home design passion with the internet; I don’t want this to feel like a job with lots of employees or a large team of people. There is stress that comes with that, and I don’t have time to be stressed right now! I don’t wish to be a social media machine; I just want to love what I do every day and be a source of humor and joy in the process.

Carter: What does flexible work look like to you? What are some accommodations you’ve had to make as a working mom that your audience may not necessarily see?

Todryk: When filming, my work demands are higher since I must be on site to film. However, I decided to only film four days a week during season two of No Demo Reno. My entire life is not about filming a TV show; filming a TV show is just a small part of my life that existed before the show. I believe in setting firm boundaries and sticking to them. If I say I have to be home by 4:30, then I will be home by 4:30. Sticking to your boundaries is CRUCIAL to maintaining a healthy work/life balance.

Carter: What about childcare and “heads down” work time?

Todryk: I have childcare a few days a week, so I can take calls, have Zoom meetings, and knock out a few hours of focused work. I also have an assistant who has been with me for three years who helps with the upkeep of my blog (and feeds my toddler secret snacks and lets my dog out to pee very often). I feel super lucky that I was able to make a business that I can run primarily from my house.

Carter: What other projects lately are keeping you inspired?

Todryk: I love creating content and being the “weird girl” on Instagram and TV. In addition to the TV show, my coffee shop Armor Coffee, my website, and connecting with people on social media, my husband and I recently bought a brewery that will become Armor Brewery in Allen, Texas.

Demolition starts in a couple of weeks, and a large renovation is happening to get the brewery to our vision for our community. We always have stuff brewin’ (pun intended) and will more than likely discuss progress on our weekly podcast each Thursday.

Carter: Why did you factor the Texas community into the vision for the brewery?

Todryk: As a business owner myself, I love supporting businesses. The businesses that I partner with are great companies. I love getting to know the people behind companies and their stories and helping them grow. This job is super relationship-oriented, and I LOVE that! I love getting to know the people within my community, whether it’s a conversation through DMs or meeting them in person at Armor Coffee… or even Target!

Featured in The New York Times and The Washington Post, Christine Michel Carter helps women navigate the significant impact of motherhood on their

Source: HGTV’s Jenn Todryk Discusses How Community Is Key To Her Professional Success

Critics by Jeffrey Bussgang  and Jono Bacon

We’ve seen a precipitous decline in participation in civic organizations in recent years; membership numbers are down for religious groups, labor organizations and non-profits. A cynic could interpret these trends as a sign that we have all become digital hermits, with our noses buried in our highly personalized screens. The reality is that powerful communities are not just alive and well but also booming. They just look different than they did 50—even 20—years ago. They are organized around businesses and brands and providing profound opportunities for companies around the world.

Take Salesforce for example. While you might think its $140 billion valuation is due purely to its innovation of software delivered on demand through the cloud, it has also created a community of nearly 2 million members who support each other, organize events, produce content, and are a critical part of its global operations. This community is an international network of minds, talent, and time, all supporting the success of Salesforce. The company’s annual “Dreamforce” conference, which attracts nearly 200,000 acolytes to San Francisco each year, represents a mecca for its ecosystem to convene, build relationships, and advance its corporate agenda.

Other examples include Harley Davidson, which has created more than 1,400 local chapters around the world for enthusiasts to get together in person and discuss their bikes; Fitbit, which has a community of more than 25 million members, who share and refine their exercise regimes; and HITRECORD, which has brought more than 750,000 artists, writers, and filmmakers together to collaborate on productions, many of which have shown at Sundance. The list goes on.

While communities generate tangible value for businesses — such as content, events, online advocacy and marketing, technology production, customer support, and education — it is the intangible value that members derive from the experience that makes these environments truly “sticky.” Human beings are fundamentally social animals. Behavioral economics and psychological research have taught us that we fundamentally crave a sense of connectedness, belonging, mission, and meaning, particularly when performing our work.

Theresa Amabile’s The Progress Principle and Daniel Pink’s Drive both demonstrated that making progress towards a shared mission is the most motivating force a professional can feel. Communities deliver these benefits, creating a sense of shared accountability and a set of values while preserving individual autonomy.

A Superior Business Model

If a company can transition from simply delivering a product to building a community, it can unlock extraordinary competitive advantages and both create and support a superior business model. Specifically:

  • Enthusiastic members help acquire new members, resulting in lower customer acquisition costs and a tight viral loop.
  • Members are loath to abandon the community, resulting in increased retention and therefore improved lifetime value.
  • Members support one another, resulting in high gross margins due to a lower cost of service.

The result of this are very real network effects: as engagement grows, the community gets smarter, faster to respond, more globally available, and generates more value.

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The 7 Weaknesses That Could Be An Entrepreneur’s Hidden Strengths

 

Have you ever been told to turn it down a notch? To back down or chill out? To be less loud, less daring, less weird? Have you ever been worried you’re too much to handle or that you come across as a tad full on? Have you ever been called intense, obsessed or rebellious?

In a world mired in conformity, standing out makes you a target. Most people just want to keep their head down and be part of the herd, so those who dare to be different often find themselves on the receiving end of disapproval, even punishment.

Schooling teaches us to stay in line. Social media stomps on anyone who expresses an unpopular opinion. Managers flag personality quirks as weaknesses and advise you to “work on them” in performance reviews. After a while, even if you have brilliant visions of the future and the execution to match, it can become tempting to keep your head down and your dreams small.

But what if those perceived weaknesses were actually your biggest source of strength? What if the qualities that seem provocative are really your superpowers? That’s what Sunny Bonnell and Ashleigh Hansberger think, and in their book RARE BREED: A Guide to Success for the Defiant, Dangerous, and Different, they make the case that the world’s oddballs, mavericks and troublemakers are often its creative geniuses and change agents.

As founders of leadership and brand consultancy, Motto, that has worked with brands including Virgin, Google, Microsoft, Hershey’s and Twentieth Century Fox, Bonnell and Hansberger put forward that such weaknesses should be celebrated, and that entrepreneurial geniuses tend to be the ones who don’t fit in and aren’t afraid to stand up and speak their minds.

Bonnell and Hansberger call these people Rare Breeds. The duo says that thinking with a rare breed mindset enables entrepreneurs to demand more of themselves, their careers, and their companies. I interviewed Bonnell about the seven rare breed virtues often considered vices.

Rebellious

The rebellious kids in school often found themselves in detention. They were reprimanded for disturbing others, labelled as difficult and their prospects were limited because they couldn’t sit still, be quiet or follow instructions. In business, however, a rebellious streak can be a huge advantage.

“Rebel leaders have zero tolerance for ‘we’ve always done it this way’ thinking,” explained Bonnell. “They push against authority, precedent, and tradition. They hurl themselves against the walls of business-as-usual to see what breaks and they hold the key to innovation.” Rebels question and test with no regard for ego, leading to the breakthroughs that others miss.

Audacious

Cheeky, cocky, above their station. Audacity can be synonymous with arrogance, not an endearing trait for winning friends and influencing people. But Bonnell says it’s a key tool in the entrepreneur’s toolbox, held by rare breeds, who are “brimming over with nerve and audacity.”

This unashamed audacity means they “see realities other people can’t see. They have the sense that they have capabilities others lack and they’ll gleefully dare the impossible, especially if you tell them it’s impossible.” Daring to attempt the impossible is what separates those who create the future from those who are surprised by it.

Obsessed

Not only is obsessed a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated, but the term is also synonymous with entrepreneurs who go on to be successful. Obsession is a badge of honour they wear with pride, not something to be embarrassed by.

According to Bonnell, obsessed rare breed entrepreneurs “are the ones all-in, always on, 24/7” and it shows in everything they do, whether it’s “practicing pitch lines in the shower, scribbling equations on the walls of the shower, or agonizing over punctuation.” This obsession, over time, leads to greatness.

Hot-blooded

Villains in movies are hot-blooded. The phrase is usually associated with violence, anger and a lack of control. But for rare breed entrepreneurs, explains Bonnell, this trait can work in their favour. Hot blooded individuals have “passions that run so deep nothing else matters. They’re activists, champions, avengers, and people you don’t want to cross.”

No one sleepwalked their way to changing the world. No one passively made a huge difference. No one reached new heights with zero effort. Hot-bloodedness, a hunger for more and being raring to go, when channelled in the right way, can be a resounding advantage. How are you using your drive?

Weird

Throughout schooling, being labelled as weird was social suicide. Weird was not the goal, mainstream was. Popular, universally liked, with plenty of friends. Weirdness meant eating alone, being picked last and having no date for prom.

In entrepreneurship, however, weird is desirable. According to Bonnell, weird rare breeds are often “unapologetic oddballs who hang out at maker fairs and comic cons. They see the world from odd angles and through strange filters, they think around corners and make ridiculous intuitive leaps.” They don’t care about fitting in and being normal, they feel lonely in crowds but at home with fellow geeks. Geeky and weird are the new cool, but not all are confident enough to embrace their quirks.

Hypnotic

Intense and severe with a penetrating gaze sounds more like a scary headmaster than an inspirational entrepreneur. Whilst leaders might wish to seem relaxed, friendly and in touch with reality, the best can apply their hypnotic charm.

Many great entrepreneurs were said to be hypnotic in their approach. Steve Jobs had his “reality distortion field,” which convinced his team to achieve the impossible on many occasions. Whilst this can be interpreted as manipulative, it wasn’t intentional.

His unwavering passion made hypnosis inevitable. Bonnell said hypnotic rare breed entrepreneurs often have “disconcerting levels of charisma” and “find it easy to sway and spellbind others up to—and sometimes, beyond—the point of manipulation.” Leaning into your hypnotic powers might bring your team to your level of certainty in your cause.

Emotional

Emotional, in business, has connotations of irrational and unreasonable. If you argue with your heart, you lose your head. Remaining cool, calm and collected in the boardroom is seen as desirable. Losing your temper, crying at work or being affected by news are weaknesses to be strengthened.

Bonnell puts forward that wearing their heart on their sleeve could be an entrepreneur’s hidden strength. Leaders who “weep at everyone’s pain but also find joy in the small things” might unlock new ways of amassing a tribe, inspiring a team and creating a culture of openness. Emotion, empathy and vulnerability could be the source of leaps forward in your business.

Navigating your notorious personality traits can lead to incredible breakthroughs and triumphs in business and in life. Reframing your weaknesses as strengths might be the source of unlimited success and the happiness you didn’t know was possible.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

I founded a digital agency in 2011 that was acquired in 2021 and write books and articles on entrepreneurship. Books include Daily Me, Stop Acting Like You’re Going to Live

Source: The 7 Weaknesses That Could Be An Entrepreneur’s Hidden Strengths

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Selye, H (1950). “Stress and the general adaptation syndrome”. Br. Med. J. 1 (4667): 1383–92.

Health Realization/Innate Health: Can a quiet mind and a positive feeling state be accessible over the lifespan without stress-relief techniques?”. Med. Sci. Monit. 11 (12): HY47–52. PMID16319796.

Principles and Practice of Stress Management, Third Edition. pp. 46–47. ISBN978-1-59385-000-5. Leubner, D; Hinterberger, T (2017).

Reviewing the Effectiveness of Music Interventions in Treating Depression”. Front Psychol. 8: 1109. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01109. PMC5500733. PMID28736539. Dubbed “Destressitizers” by The Journal of the Canadian Medical Association Spence, JD; Barnett, PA; Linden, W; Ramsden, V; Taenzer, P (1999).

Build your Resilience. London: Hodder. ISBN978-1444168716. Al-Jebrni, Abdulrhman H.; Chwyl, Brendan; Wang, Xiao Yu; Wong, Alexander; Saab, Bechara J. (May 2020).

AI-enabled remote and objective quantification of stress at scale”. Biomedical Signal Processing and Control. 59: 101929. doi:10.1016/j.bspc.2020.101929. Bower, J. E. & Segerstrom, S.C. (2004).

Individualized Stress Management for Primary Hypertension: A Randomized Trial”. Arch Intern Med. 161 (8): 1071–1080. doi:10.1001/archinte.161.8.1071. PMID11322841. McGonagle, Katherine; Ronald Kessler (October 1990).

Chronic Stress, Acute Stress, Depressive Symptoms” (PDF). American Journal of Community Psychology. 18 (5): 681–706.

The relation of strength of stimulus to rapidity of habit-formation”. Journal of Comparative Neurology and Psychology. 18 (5): 459–482. doi:10.1002/cne.920180503. ISSN0092-7015. Michael, L. (1998).

Commitment in the workplace: Theory, research and application, by john p. meyer and natalie j. allen. (1997). thousand oaks, ca: sage. 150 pp., $34.00 cloth, $15.95 paper”. Human Resource Development Quarterly. 9 (3): 309–312. doi:10.1002/hrdq.3920090309. ISSN1044-8004. [1]

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Will Cryptocurrency Face a Quantum Computing Problem?

“If current progress continues, quantum computers will be able to crack public key cryptography,” writes CNET, “potentially creating a serious threat to the crypto world, where some currencies are valued at hundreds of billions of dollars.” If encryption is broken, attackers can impersonate the legitimate owners of cryptocurrency, NFTs or other such digital assets.

“Once quantum computing becomes powerful enough, then essentially all the security guarantees will go out of the window,” Dawn Song, a computer security entrepreneur and professor at the University of California, Berkeley, told the Collective[i] Forecast forum in October. “When public key cryptography is broken, users could be losing their funds and the whole system will break….”

“We expect that within a few years, sufficiently powerful computers will be available” for cracking blockchains open, said Nir Minerbi, CEO of quantum software maker Classiq Technologies. The good news for cryptocurrency fans is the quantum computing problem can be fixed by adopting the same post-quantum cryptography technology that the computing industry already has begun developing.

The U.S. government’s National Institute of Standards and Technology, trying to get ahead of the problem, is several years into a careful process to find quantum-proof cryptography algorithms with involvement from researchers around the globe. Indeed, several cryptocurrency and blockchain efforts are actively working on quantum resistant software…

A problem with the post-quantum cryptography algorithms under consideration so far, though, is that they generally need longer numeric encryption keys and longer processing times, says Peter Chapman, CEO of quantum computer maker IonQ. That could substantially increase the amount of computing horsepower needed to house blockchains.

The real quantum test for cryptocurrencies will be governance structures, not technologies, says Hunter Jensen, chief technology officer of Permission.io, a company using cryptocurrency for a targeted advertising system… “It will be the truly decentralized currencies which will get hit if their communities are too slow and disorganized to act,” said Andersen Cheng, chief executive at Post Quantum, a London based company that sells post-quantum encryption technology.

A quantum attack algorithm permutes and combines the wave functions of the qbits in a way to arrive at the right answer being the most likely. Run it a few times and the most likely answer will be the most common.

We know of two primary algorithms, Shor’s and Grover’s. Grovers reduces the complexity of a dictionary lookup to the square root of the normal complexity. So effectively halves the key size. Shor’s solved the dlog and factoring problem efficiently breaking RSA and ECC public key systems.

The approaches to making post quantum secure algorithms for Grover is to increase the key size. The approach for public key systems involves coming up with new public key systems based on other mathematics for which you can show there is no permutation or combination of the qbit wave functions that will yield and answer.

That part is a solved problem and there are many such algorithms, however the other problem is you have to show that your quantum secure algorithm is also secure from conventional cryptanalysis and this is where many promising algorithms (E.G. ones without ridiculous key sizes) have failed. The others will never make it anyway because they require silly amounts of data to be sent back and forth. Check out the NIST post quantum cryptography contenders for the current leaders in the pack.

Ignore any idiot telling you to just double encrypt – it doesn’t solve the public key problem and a block cipher is a bijective mapping. A bijective mapping applied to another bijective mapping is just another bijective mapping which will not upset Grover’s algorithm much. The problem space is in the realm of public key cryptography.

Source: Will Cryptocurrency Face a Quantum Computing Problem? – Slashdot

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LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman on ‘Blitzscaling’ and Unintended Consequences

“You can’t anticipate everything. You can’t prep for everything,” said LinkedIn co-founder and former CEO Reid Hoffman during an interview Thursday at the 2021 Inc. 5000 Vision Conference. Entrepreneurship, he adds, is like “running really fast through the fog,” so the best thing you can do is equip yourself with learned wisdom from others who have been down the path before you.

Hoffman, who today is a partner at the venture capital firm Greylock, has had a hand in many fast-growth companies that have achieved enormous scale. In addition to LinkedIn, he was a top executive at PayPal, along with Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, and others who’ve gone on to become household names. And he’s been an investor in Facebook and Airbnb, among others.

Hoffman also is a three-time bestselling author whose newest book, Masters of Scale: Surprising Truths From the World’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs, which he co-wrote with June Cohen and Deron Triff, builds on the success of their podcast by the same name. Both the podcast and the book feature stories and lessons drawn from deep interviews with dozens of famous founders, along with tales from Hoffman’s own career. In short: Few people understand the art of scaling a business better than Hoffman.

In his conference appearance, Hoffman highlighted a few of the top takeaways from the new book and discussed the ethics of Silicon Valley-style blitzscaling at a moment when the type of tech giants he has helped create have come under increasing scrutiny.

Beware unintended consequences

One of the most memorable moments of Hoffman’s presentation came when he addressed the ethical complications that can come when scaling as quickly as possible brings unintended consequences. Especially as a growing organization moves “from single-threaded to multi-threaded,” Hoffman says, it can be hard as a leader to both maintain the speed to scale and keep on top of all the new threads–let alone anticipate all potential scenarios.

He recommends hiring “somebody whose responsibility is to say, ‘What could possibly go wrong? What would have the wrong impact with our customers or with society, and what are the things we could do now to prep against it?'” Nothing is fail-safe, he cautions, but the more you think ahead, the more nimbly you can respond when necessary–“because if things start going wrong at scale, that can be even more challenging.”

Let some fires burn

As Hoffman knows well, running a fast-growth company can feel like an exercise in constant crisis management. Rather than trying to put out every fire immediately, he advises, establish a triage system that allows you to, in his words, “let some fires burn.” An entrepreneur should ask herself a series of questions: “Which thing is most likely to kill us first, or limit our scale? Which thing, if we don’t start now, won’t be controllable later?”

The answers aren’t always obvious, he points out–some fires, though harder to control later, will be manageable because you’ll have more resources as you grow. “Generally speaking, you have a limited amount of resources to focus on some fires,” he says. “If you try to do them all at the same time, maybe you won’t get any of them sufficiently.”

It all comes back to mission

It’s not enough, Hoffman says, for your company to provide jobs or for people to love your product. “Those are important things, true, but sometimes your product might be questionable–like cigarettes.” So you should also ask, “Why is society better with your product in it?”–and invest in growing that direction.

That isn’t anti-business, he adds, it’s long-term brand building. It builds cohesion and clarifies decision-making in the company. It’s great for attracting talent. “It can be great capitalism. I think it’s really fundamental to great entrepreneurship and helps through the entire company,” he says.

By Tom Foster, Editor-at-large, Inc.@tomfoster2

Source: LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman on ‘Blitzscaling’ and Unintended Consequences | Inc.com

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