COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN.

S2 EP7: JENNIFER BATTLE

February 14, 2024 NICOA DUNNE CORNELIUS Season 2 Episode 7
COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN.
S2 EP7: JENNIFER BATTLE
COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN. +
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Show Notes Transcript

What happens when you HAVE IT ALL and it SUCKS? Nicoa and Jennifer Battle really dissect the American Dream Checklist and reflect on lessons learned from never asking yourself "WHY"! Jennifer is the founder and CEO of Jennifer Battle Brands which helps leaders create impact through connection, strategy and personal growth. Her matter-of-fact and relatable style delivers bold truths with humor and care. Jennifer is also the amazing and energetic host of the "Unf*kwitable Podcast". Check it out here!



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Nicoa Coach:

Grab your coffee and join me Nicoa For a caffeinated conversation about life. I'll be talking to people who have chosen to walk their own paths and just like me, are creating a life by design. I hope that will give you the inspiration you need to do exactly the same. Jennifer battle. It's one o'clock in the afternoon over here on the East Coast. Thank you for joining me. I'm so psyched to be here. It's 10am here over on the west coast in Las Vegas, baby. So I'm like up and ready to go. Ah, Vegas, baby. Yeah. Las Vegas, Nevada, is it it's not Nevada? Well, I got schooled last week because apparently, on Friday was Nevada day, which is a holiday that they've made up. I think

Jennifer Battle:

they all got the day off anyway, but then I was like, oh, Nevada day. They're like, it's not Nevada. That's fun. I've been here two months. So I'm still learning. Oh, that's right. You just moved now. Let me give the quick intro. And then you can tell us about that big change your life by design change. So friends, now gender for Battle of gender for battle brands. I found her on Instagram, right? I think I literally stalked you and was like, Hey, I like you. Were to come talk with me. Is that how I found you? Yeah, but what you didn't know is I've already been following you. So I already knew about your podcast and coffee. And I'm like, Oh, she seems cool. But I just had never reached out to you yet. So when you found me, I was like, yes, it was.

Nicoa Coach:

Good. Heck, yeah. It's gonna be good. And your background is so cool and interesting. I mean, you really have this eclectic background. I love that. I mean, guys, listen to this. She's been a scientist, a recruiter, a strategist, a personal trainer, and wait for it. bodybuilder overachiever.

Jennifer Battle:

So look at my pictures now you won't believe

Nicoa Coach:

you looked perfect is what you look, and also an online coach. And you have a podcast called unfuck. winnable, which is so cool. And I think I've done this correctly, where I put explicit on the whole show. I don't know if I did it to the whole show. Or if it's just, oh, we better make sure I'm gonna get in trouble. But I love that I'm gonna get in trouble. Because you're a lot like me. You're a trailblazer. You actually have changed your life. And we're going to talk all about that. And I've got so many questions based on some of your recent podcast episodes. So everybody real quick, write it all down. Jennifer, Jennifer battle brands.com. As well as at Jennifer battle underscore, is that right? That's right. Because, yeah, because there's a lot of Jennifer's like, Damn, you know, I was really I was like, oh, no, that's not her. No, no, that's not okay. What? Yeah, so everybody go check it out. And I don't know where this conversation is going to take us. But I know it will be profound, powerful and fun. So you are you espouse this superpower of connection, of deep connection. And that is how you have really moved through life. But you also focus on equity and inclusion, and daring authenticity. Yes. And so let's go first and foremost, though, to how you got to Nevada.

Jennifer Battle:

I'm still going to call it Nevada. Nevada, please. I just had this whole conversation with my my friend. Anyway. Yeah, I think I gotta start by saying that I was someone who grew up following a lot of rules. I mean, I attended a private Christian school, where we had like skirt checks and hair checks. And at lunch, we were not even allowed to speak. And if you got in trouble, you're marched down to the principal's office. It was scary. And so like, really early on, it was all about rules. And you know, my family, and all of our families. I like this. We have family rules. We have cultural rules, rules, rules, rules, and I was taught that if I were to follow the rules, like a good little girl, and get your degrees and, you know, get a great job with a great title and work hard, that I would be really, really happy. Well, I did all those things. I got my master's degree. I had my little fancy business card with my fancy titles. I had a home in the suburbs with a you know, cars and clothes. And I was like, this sucks. I was so over it. I really was like, this is not it. And I don't know, it's just a feeling. And so I decided in that moment, I didn't know what had to change. I didn't know what I wanted, but I knew this was Is not it. So I would say I've spent the last 1015 years on that journey. And that's maybe why my background is so eclectic, because I started to just lean into the things that felt good or were interesting to me. And some things ended up being more like hobbies and some things ended up being lifestyle things and some things ended up not being what I thought. That's what I think, what led me to where I am now, is that now my philosophy is that I have to really, it has to feel good. It has to feel right. And sometimes that leads to making choices that other people just don't understand. I was having a conversation with another friend of mine, and we were joking around at the number of times that I'd been called crazy. Oh, yeah. flaky, you know, those types of things. And I honestly think that most of us are probably performing at a level or living at a level that's far beneath what we could do. Because we are so entrenched in all these rules, and I didn't even know I had rules. I mean, there was a lot of therapy and mentorship.

Nicoa Coach:

Take me back to that, because I see you darlin. And you heard my story, you know, woke up one day and quit thinking, How in the world could I not be happy? I did everything they told me to do. And the American Dream checklist. So at what point did you start feeling that pull or recognizing man, this isn't as satisfying as it was supposed to be?

Jennifer Battle:

I call it my suburban paradise moment. So I was married to my first husband, who is a wonderful person. So I'm not here to put him down. We have a beautiful daughter together. And I'm so proud of her. And but I was married and I had a job that was seemingly great. And I just remember, I got really depressed, there was just a time I just started to get depressed. And it felt at the time like it was for no reason. So thankfully, my job did have like a therapy benefit. I saw the lady I was like, and I and we started talking through things. And I realized that that's what I was doing. I was doing everything that the quote, they said that I should do, but I never paused to ask, What did I want? And so I was in this, and I think it was it. Somebody kept asking me to, excuse me, he was fucking Pampered Chef parties. Oh, God, no shade to Pampered Chef. They've got some good stuff. But I'm like, This can't be my life, target runs, Pampered Chef Costco. And then people kept saying, When are you going to have another baby? And I'm like, what if I don't want any of that stuff. I always envision that I'd be like, retired early, and I love to travel. And, you know, I don't know, I just in my head, there was this dream. And then I'm like, I will never get there. If I stay in this what I'd call suburban paradise. So I realized that my husband and I had very, very different ideas of what was going to be happy, and he was really happy, and I really wasn't. And so our marriage ended amicably, and we co parent our daughter really well. And I is, but I was still stuck in that job. And I actually explored other jobs and but then I got promoted. And I'm like, oh, and I am co parenting. So I felt that I had to stay or I chose I shouldn't say I had to I chose you

Nicoa Coach:

because I felt like child. Handcuffs that people they feel like, well, I can't do that. And even though you in your intuition knew I wanted to do something different, I should do something different. I can do something different. The pressures of all that societal expectation and judgment.

Jennifer Battle:

Yeah. And family. I mean, Mike was told all my life that you needed a stable job, you needed stable insurance, you needed stable, whatever. And it got to the point where I'm like, I don't care if it stable. If I'm gonna pull my hair out and punch somebody in the face. I didn't feel respected at work, I didn't feel like I could be my very best sell. And so the things that I was doing in the background, I've always done fitness, like since I was a child. And so I'd had a personal training certificate, I had group coaching certificates, and that's what I was doing, like on the weekends and at 5am before work, and finally I'm like, Well, this is the thing I enjoy. Why don't I just take that leap and do it and so I started a coaching business and fitness it did extremely well. I loved it. It was fun helping other people. And then when I you know, and then what happened was, I loved it and it I don't want to see ran its course. But I think we're allowed to evolve and I evolved. And I asked myself when I'm 50, do I still want to be doing this? And the answer is like, I mean, no, let's say that jumping around for the own folks. I think I'm ready to be fat and happy. So I decided for myself

Nicoa Coach:

makes so much sense. I mean, I always talk about the same circus different tip Did you find you had you had gone and recreated this scenario? Did you have any of the same symptoms of frustration, just out of curiosity, in your business model? Okay.

Jennifer Battle:

Not really, I think it was a great, I mean, I did fitness coaching for almost five years. So it wasn't a short amount of time. I learned so much. And I think what I learned and this is something that I still learning, and I'm going to reference the what is the big leap by Gay Hendricks and how he talks about zone of genius and zone of competence. And one of the things that I've really learned about myself is that in that zone of was it excellence or competence, I can't remember the zone before genius. The way that I've learned it is like, those are the jobs like those are the titles, those are the things that other people see you doing. And though my jobs were strategist and fitness coach and bodybuilder, but then in the zone of genius, that's kind of your essence. So my essence was connection, my essence is challenging the status quo. And when I realized that I do that in every job I've ever had. And so now as I just feel like this next evolution in the work that I do, is is just another evolution. But you still get that same essence, you still get those same core values of connection, equity, inclusion, and daring authenticity. So no matter how you work with me, you're going to get those pieces. And so as I've that's kind of leads into as I've moved to Las Vegas, and I've really gone into the next evolution of my work. I mean, that's what's at the heart of

Nicoa Coach:

it. Well, how did you come up with those strong values? Because a lot of people kind of go through life bouncing back and forth, like they're the ball and the pinball machine, right? They don't even know like, Oh, I'm in this hole now. Oh, I got 2000 points. Great. Okay. And then they don't know they can control the levers, right? They're like, Oh, you mean, I could actually push myself into that hole over there? I didn't. I didn't know. But they typically don't do it. Because they've never sat down and asked themselves, what matters most to me? How did you come to do that? I have to find that knowing?

Jennifer Battle:

Well, this is a fun story. At least I think it's fun. We'll see if everybody else thinks it's fun. I, you know, back when I was a fitness coach, and I'm, you know, got my little entrepreneurial hat on and I'm like, oh, I need values. I need mission and vision and all that. And the first coach, I heard really talking about values, I will not name them, because I will probably criticize them. And they, they were like, You need values? And I'm like, Yes. And then like, this is how you come on. Like, yes. Then she's like, if you don't know what your values are, look at another company and see what their values are and try those on. And I was like, no, that didn't quite feel right. So it was this this long period of time where I was just like, I know values are important, and how do I define them? Because lots of things are important. Honesty is important. Vulnerability is important. This is important. And I but I don't really think values is a list of rights. It's a couple of things. And as my friend Erica likes to say, what's the hill that you would die on? And so I had an opportunity to work with my friend Christy black, Chrissy black creative, and I was rebranding. And so she has such an amazing process for branding. And it has a it was completely different than anything I've done before. And part of it was really a lot of questions that had to do with what you cared about. And so in that process, she summarized everything that I did, and this thing took me six hours to complete. I am not kidding, it was very thorough. Had me dig real deep. I mean, I should have been like, Girl, Where's where's the therapist?

Nicoa Coach:

But coaching can be very therapeutic. Yes, yeah. I didn't

Jennifer Battle:

expect this with the brand stuff. But what she did was summarized it into those three categories. So the words actually came from Christie the the meat, it came from me, but it was really helpful because she's like, clearly these are the three three things that keep coming up for you over and over and over again. And you know, the challenging of the status quo and the norms, that's that daring authenticity, as I like to say, almost say what I say. But I just put it out there and and ask and this is so fun. Because when I was listening to your podcast episodes, you're always like, Well, why and why do you need to do is true. And that is the questioning that I think is so important as we move through our lives and our businesses and our relationships, because there's so many things that we automatically think and that's what I call these rules that we have to do. And the reality is we don't have to do any of that we can do whatever we want. And as soon as you like to really feel and embody that you can do whatever you want, you can be whatever you want, you can earn whatever you want. Wow, does the world open up? Oh, it

Nicoa Coach:

certainly does. And, you know, a couple of things. That prompted my thought when you said that about the questions and asking why I actually saw a post the other day that said, if you could go back to your 18 year old self, and in three words, give them advice, ask them a question. Whatever I simply wrote, ask yourself why? Ask yourself why? Because that whole American Dream checklist, we didn't question it. We didn't crash in it, we were like, Okay, well, what's next, I can do that I can do that. I can knock that out of the park, show me what I have to do. And I'll do it. But we never went in deep and said, but why do you want to do that? So I'm glad you brought that up. And the other piece that you just said, which I'm now forgetting, I talk a lot, but I was gonna ask you, you know, how did you get into that root cause analysis of those values? So what kind of questions was she asking you? So maybe our listeners could start asking themselves, right? Because we can go to root cause, like, why do I do what I do, but then how do you know what's your truth and not being influenced by societal expectations? Or people's opinions?

Jennifer Battle:

That's such a good question. And I'll be honest, I don't remember exactly what questions. Yeah, I just know that I was at a point in my life where I was ready to be honest with me. And that can be hard sometimes, because I in two situations, left a seemingly wonderful, very lucrative enterprise and both my higher education career and then my fitness business. And the reasons, you know, people again, people didn't really understand, but I was just determined to be as honest as possible, because I realized that all the grandstanding, showboating and the vanity metrics and stuff doesn't really benefit me. It doesn't do anything for me, like some people want to live on a raft in the middle of the sea, and they're gonna be happy and, and I just realized, it's like, I don't need to have a million dollar business. But when I think what I look back at is when I kept you know, when you have those conversations with your friends, and you get like real riled up and you're like, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, I kept thinking about what were those conversations about. And they ended up usually in those three areas. So I had a real issue when I saw people online, or I read a lot of books about networking, and all this other stuff. And I'm like, that's not how people connect. And that's one of my superpowers. I'm great at connecting with people in very meaningful and deep ways. And the way I did it looked absolutely nothing like the way everybody was teaching. And I remember mentoring other employees younger, earlier career employees in my job, and they would do all these things. I'm like, no, no, don't do that. That doesn't actually that's not really how it works. And so it was like, Man, I wish people would stop telling people to do that. And that was like my hill that I was gonna die on. I was so sick of seeing the United Colors of Benetton advertising type stuff with these fucking coaches use my, with my coaches. Because it's like, okay, you know, 2020 hits, everybody, you know, is all into di and as a black woman, I'm like, it felt so damn performative. And I'm like, please, please don't do that. And when you mess me, don't all of a sudden say girl, and I'm like, if you've never spoken to me like that. We're not there. So I was so sick of what I was seeing. And I really wanted to talk about what true inclusivity looked like and what equity felt like. And, and that was a hill that I was dying on. And then right, anticipatory part. It's like, I just don't do well with bullshit. Let's say what we say. Let's acknowledge the fact that there are a lot of rules meant to keep women and people of color and marginalized groups in this box. Let's acknowledge that the reason the American Dream thing exists is because there are very few there are a couple people who benefit from us being Uber productive. Let's just call a spade a spade and, and talk really honestly, and not only outside but to ourselves. Like you know what, I don't want to be married. I don't want to have kids. That's That's not me speaking. I Naomi, my daughter, I love you. I love you. I did want but it's so choice,

Nicoa Coach:

a woman has a choice and that she

Jennifer Battle:

has a choice. Yeah. And if you don't want to be married, don't get married, you know? Or

Nicoa Coach:

is your truth teller? You're talking about. So keep going, Yeah, that.

Jennifer Battle:

So my second husband and I had a amicable separation as well. And without getting into details as to why we have a fantastic partnership. And what people don't can't is difficult for them to understand is why you guys are so close. We talk every single day, yet we separated he lives in Michigan, I live in Las Vegas, and it works for us. We're both really, really happy. So it's the whole Will and Jada thing is always been hilarious to me, because I'm like, why are people so upset over their marital situation? Like, are you married to

Nicoa Coach:

conscious coupling, I just posted his shot about that. I really emphasize the internal partnership being conscious, but the truth is uncoupling. And anyway, you want to live your life is available to you. So how do we help the listener? Who hears us saying that? Right? And they're like, yes, but Right, yes, but I'm afraid or Yes, but that's way too many options, or yes, but this is easier. Because I do believe that freedom of choice and what I call a liberating, knowing that I am the common denominator of my life, can also create paralyzation. Like, choice overload, like, and maybe it's because people are afraid they're gonna get it wrong, which I don't think you can get this thing called life wrong. But what advice would you give to the person who wants to feel free and liberated to do anything they want? But is held back by fear, uncertainty and doubt, right?

Jennifer Battle:

Wait, give me a hardball question. I know that's a it's actually a great question. Because I felt that way. Yeah, it is paralyzing, and you can feel like holy crap. Like, it's almost like when you open it up, and you're like, wow. And then it's like, shoo, what do I do? Right? Right, I would say like, let's do the opposite of what we're taught. Like, what we're taught is we have all these options. And now let's evaluate it. And let's figure it out. And the real thing is, you already know. But you have to put yourself in a situation where you can let your self give you the answer. And I had a podcast episode the other day on rest, because I honestly think that's the first step. Instead of and again, this is challenging that status quo and how we make decisions, instead of making the decision. You allow the answer to come to you. And in order to do that your brain has to be in a place where it can it can be crusade.

Nicoa Coach:

Yeah. And you're

Jennifer Battle:

right, that means you you have to rest and I think I'd mentioned there are seven different types of rest. So it's not just sleep. I mean, sleep is important. But it's rest. And I'll tell you a story this past summer. I was I was I was frazzled. frayed, there's a lot of changes happening in my life. My child was graduating. We were selling our house, we were doing our, you know, very conscious uncoupling. And I was moving across the country. I mean, there was a lot. And as enlightened as I am, I still got to the point where I was just dead. I mean, but I thankfully that passed me at the forethought to agree to go on this seven day retreat in Taos with this person that I very much admire. And I didn't know what it was all in the treat, but I knew I trusted that person. I figured if I can just get to Taos if I could just get to this retreat. I'll be okay. And I almost didn't get there. I mean, there are multiple times where I'm like, What the hell am I thinking? I can't leave. We're selling hot. We're all up and running. I know you're gonna go to this retreat. The first few days of the retreat. I was a zombie. I basically slept. I let them feed me. I just relaxed I read books, I listened to stuff we had no Wi Fi we had Wi Fi but you had to like go to the main house and yeah, got time for that. So I was just in my room, and I rested, like probably five of the seven types of risks I rested. And I can't tell you how liberating that was because all the questions that I was struggling with the last few months like in my business and what should I do next? And you know, oh my gosh is happening and what why am I prepared to move across the country? All the answers just finally started to just show up. Yeah. And it got I got really clear really fast. But the first step is you have to stop trying to make it happen. Trump trying to figure out the answer, you already have it. You do, Mark, amazing person, you have it. But you have to allow yourself to let it come to you, which takes patience, it takes rest. It takes being creative and letting the creative part of your brain dance a little bit. So yeah, I

Nicoa Coach:

think that that ability to rest and maybe it I don't know about these seven types of risks, so maybe you could share with us a little bit about them. But it's a moving from striving, which is typically associated with like American dreams and global dreams nowadays, right? We're very global, and moving more towards a space of what would thriving look like for me? Like, how would I know when I was there? How would I know? I'd already made it? How would I know that I had accomplished what it was I was seeking. But how do we introduce those types of risks? Especially, you know, and I know, I just took a two week trip, which was like, Wow, crazy lady. And someone said, Are you coming down off that big trip, and I said, you know, the beautiful thing, after all this work is that I didn't come off of down from anything, it just was part of my life. It just kind of flowed. And even a few days before the second week was up. I was like, Oh, I'm looking forward to my podcast interviews next week. And I can't wait to do right. So I, I figured out a way to figure out the flow of it. But what are some of these ways of resting when you can't go take the seven days or take the two weeks?

Jennifer Battle:

Yeah, and I want to kind of back up to something that you said, which I think is really profound. It's, you know, some people think that this vacant, I mean, the way we are taught to go on vacation or rest is still not rest. It's exhausting, right? I need a vacation from my vacation, the you are doing it all wrong. Rest the UN, I will give you the name of the author of this book, there are a couple of books that I recommend. And one defines the seven types of risks. The other book is rest is resistance, but the seven types of risks and I'm gonna do my best to remember all seven if I don't, it's okay. We can look it up. We can look it up. Physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, creative. There are two more like counting. I was gonna say there, there's a couple that were more like, you know, I stimulation was like restroom stimuli, something like that, where it's like, yeah, bloops in the blings. And the phone calls

Nicoa Coach:

us interesting that.

Jennifer Battle:

Yeah, and it's not always sleep. And you don't always have to go somewhere. Sometimes it's just a decision that says, I'm not going to deal with this right now. I'm going to let this go. I'm more important. It doesn't have to be a bubble bath. I don't even like bubble baths. You know? I'm asked her a massage. I do like massages. So if you're listening? Yes,

Nicoa Coach:

we'll take Danny massage gifts. For the shows, sometimes

Jennifer Battle:

like the other day, it was a choice for me to binge watch Vampire Diaries. Yes, I was just like, yeah, I want to deal with the thing that I have to do right now. And I know I'll do better when I'm mentally just relaxed. So I just let the stimulation of all my day just let it go. And I curl up with my dogs. And we watched you know, Damon Salvador, and although you know vampires and stuff, dharma was

Nicoa Coach:

great. I mean, yesterday, I did the same thing. I'm kind of hosting my mother in law this weekend, my husband and I are and we had all these activities and data. And then after we got back from our lunch yesterday, I said, I'm Cam going, I'm gonna go in my room. I'll be back before dinner. And all I did was color for two hours while I listened to things on YouTube. And my husband came in and out a couple times. He's like, he would kind of chuckle because he I think rest like that for him is a little foreign. And so I'm I'm actually not only do I love to rest like that, and I do get easily overstimulated. But I also recognize that I'm role modeling it for the people around me. And not just I don't have to rationalize it, I don't defend it. You know, if he's like, I take every Tuesday off, and he'll say, What are you doing tomorrow? And I'm like, I don't know. That drives me crazy.

Jennifer Battle:

Well, we're such a culture that just prides ourselves of productivity, we wear stress and being tired and doing all these things like a badge of honor. And one of the things I've discovered about myself is that you know, I just want to live I want to do fun things, I want to go hiking, I want to visit places, talk to my friends. And that's what I want to do the majority of the time. So when you're talking about life by design, I'm beginning to design a life where, you know, I live most of my day. And then I work a couple days, you know, yes, support the living. And it doesn't have to be busy. I can do like one or two things a year, a month or something like that and still have the life that I want. And it was such a that was a big epiphany for me these past few months, because now that I'm in a place and most people would not believe Las Vegas is a place I went to for peace and less stimulation. How

Nicoa Coach:

did you even come up with that solution to go to Vegas? Yeah, this

Jennifer Battle:

is so I knew I was going to move out of the state of Michigan. And that's where I was. And I first of course, I had my good little girl list. I wanted to be by a new major airport and I wanted warm, dry weather. And it had to be mountains or water, which I guess the water the dryness didn't quite go. But whatever, told me that and I had all this list and I kept looking at different cities for different reasons, and nothing like felt right, nothing felt good. And I run a online business community and one of the things we do in that community is bring in outside speakers. And so I've been connected with a woman named Ilona Pamplona. And she'll be very important later in the story. Okay, leader, meaning like in 10 seconds.

Nicoa Coach:

Get your coffee.

Jennifer Battle:

Ilona and I had a wonderful conversation, you know, when you just kind of hit it off with people. And so I'm like, Ah, this girl is going to be my friend. And so I was telling her, she's an astrology form light informed life coach, and I was telling her that I was, you know, looking for a place to live. She was like, You should come to Vegas. And I'm like Vegas. I was like, Okay, I mean, I've been to Las Vegas a bazillion times, for conferences for work mostly on the strip. And I knew normal people lived in Las Vegas. I just had never been in those areas. Let's just say, you know, I've been kind of to the airport and of the strip and back and maybe some other surrounding areas. So I, she, she also said, Well, have you heard of Astro cartography? And I'm like, oh. So she basically talked about my birth chart. And then there are lions on the globe that says, here's where you're gonna thrive. And I had some lines going right through Vegas, and like California, like, Why can't afford California. And I just don't think that's it. But I'm like, let me check out Vegas. So I took a weekend. And I flew out there. And I met up with her. And literally the one other person that I kind of knew who lived in Las Vegas, and I spent the weekend like looking at nature, just driving, I would drive neighborhoods. And I'd look around and I was just like, wow, it is so beautiful out here. For those of you who are not familiar with the non strip part of Las Vegas, Nevada, think, beautiful mountains, gorgeous landscapes. And yes, it's dry. But the greenery and the plant life there is different, but it's deserty. And it's beautiful. And the people were nice, and everybody was accommodating. And it's an international 24/7 city. So whatever concert you want to go to whatever artists you want to see, whatever, you know, weird indie, whatever, it's nothing you can't do here. And so I fell in love with that part of Vegas. And interestingly enough, fast forward several months, you know, I had my plan, like I was gonna get this townhouse and blah, blah, blah. And it turned out then my friend Ilona, who'd introduced me to Vegas and all this other stuff, we were both going to, you know, look for places. So we're like, Hey, let our little old butts find a house together and rent it, we can double our you know, to get more for our money. And she is now my roommate. Oh, that's Vegas in this beautiful three story home with a rooftop deck and 360 degrees views of the mountains and beauty everywhere. And it's a great safe community where we've met other wonderful, great people. She's an entrepreneur, I'm an entrepreneur, you know, but we have it's a bigger house. So we have separations. So it just worked out so well. And so this was definitely a lesson in just going with the flow, trusting my instincts. And sometimes when you feel it's right, it's just right.

Nicoa Coach:

It is right. And you never know when I tell people when they're dreaming about what's possible to always add the phrase, I want this, this and this, or something even better. And it sounds like that is the something even better that you allow it to unfold. You weren't restricting the attached to the outcome of you having your own space. And, you know, my daughter, who's 23 Next month, just suggested doing the same thing with a colleague of hers in the DC area. And I was like, why not? It's an investment and who knows you could you can rent your part out one day and move out and go do something else. If it doesn't work. There's always possibilities. And yeah, I love your your checklist. This is you know, we cannot I always say can't design it. If we don't define it more, something even better. So you gotta write it down everybody. And there used to be a website, I don't think it's still active, but it was called Find your spot.com. And you plugged in all those, so we should check and see if it's still around. But you would plug in all of your checklist items, and it would say, oh, you should live in San Diego, California, or it didn't have the, the Astro cartography element, maybe we shouldn't. Maybe tell your coach friend to do that, to offer that find your spot.com based on Astro cartography. Hey, Ilona, you

Jennifer Battle:

got a new business?

Nicoa Coach:

I got a business idea for you. Well, no, it's great. So here you are. You've created this life by design. When you flick back on. I mean, it's been years that this has been evolving and coming to I mean, I don't know your age. But I'm 54. And I'm in my second marriage, and I quit my corporate job 15 plus years ago. So over it takes work. What are you most proud of about yourself? Over all that time? Wow.

Jennifer Battle:

This is a great question. I think I'm proud that I did the work to let go of the rules that held me back. And sometimes I talked about the rules, feeling like a big boulder sitting on my chest. Like I couldn't go anywhere. I couldn't move. I couldn't breathe, and it felt so limiting. But with every question with every, you know, different way, instead of turning right, turning left, it's like I put a chip in that boulder. And now it's like the Boulder is gone. But let's say it's mostly gone. And I I can breathe, and I feel really free. So what I'm most proud of is I'm not scared anymore to make the choices that feel good to me. And I don't worry about explaining myself to anyone else. And because of that, I love my life. I love it. Yes, I may not have the things that everyone told me I should have. I may not drive big fancy cars, although I love my 2018 Malibu, awesome vehicle, by the way, very mad GM stops making it. But I love it. I love my my dogs. I love my family. I love the relationships that I have, because they are the ones that I created in the way that I wanted to create it. And I just think it gets better from here. So I'm very proud that it took me a while I'm 45. So you know, it took me a while. But I am finally making decisions that are fully aligned with me. And I love my life as a result. And you love

Nicoa Coach:

yourself. And I think that ultimately we have to get back to that in order to love our lives. Because when you gave yourself permission to do what you want. That's self love. That's actually really good. Because I mean, I'm, I'm really proud of you too. And I want to celebrate what you're proud of. Because, right, we're all hurting. Yes, we're all together. I mean, I'm so proud of you. I'm my family does pick on me because I'm like, oh my god, I'm like elf when he got to the coffee shop. And he says, Oh, you did it you did it, you fell back in love with yourself and made decisions that could create a life that you love and that you don't need a vacation from?

Jennifer Battle:

Yeah, I don't I mean, I don't even think about it that way, you know that I worked really hard to earn a good No, my life is good. 24/7 and I don't even think of my work as a job. It's that I do the things that I love to do. And some of them people pay me for. Some of them are things I do on my own or with other people or whatever. And, and and it's a it's really a completely different mindset than what I was brought up with. And, and the questions about like, health care and insurance. These are real things like someone asked me the other day, it's like, but there are realities, it's like, oh, yeah, there are realities, but what I find is if you you design your life around the fears, you'll you'll never get there. But what happened when when I started to design what I really wanted, the solutions kind of popped up and they were a little different. I mean, they may not be like I don't have a 401 K, you know, and I don't have you know, they're their little traditional things that I just don't have but I'm still good. Of course you are. I'm not gonna be homeless in the street like my friends. What is it? What is the worst that can happen? Like, the homeless on the street, she's like, You will never be homeless on the street, you have family, you have people who love you, like, even if you lose everything, you're going to get to that point. And and

Nicoa Coach:

you guys call, right? That's called Baglady syndrome. My clients and myself and I, you know, play those out guys, what is the likelihood of that happening to you? And 99.9% of all of us listening or participating in this type of work, or with similar backgrounds? We're not going to become homeless. Yeah, but I think you really hit it on the nail, Jennifer, is that yeah, it's not exactly what I think it was supposed to be. And it may not exactly be what society says it's supposed to be, and learning how to be okay with that, and finding the beauty in that and the freedom and that, because really the, you know, what, are you going to make it mean that you don't have a 401k? Oh, well, I guess I didn't play the game the way, you know, the banking system, and society wanted me to where they could hold my money and leverage,

Jennifer Battle:

right? Well, my mom and I were having this conversation she was talking about, we were talking about the Super Bowl, which will be in Las Vegas this year. And she said the last time, we were joking, and I'm like, I need box seats at the Super Bowl, but I'm like, I'm putting it out there. I'm gonna manifest some box seats. The last time she had box seats, it was from this bank, and she's like, how can they afford all that I'm like, because we're giving them all of our money. I'm gonna put the money back on me, like, I feel like I'm a better investment than what the banks, so I'm just gonna spend my own money on myself. So y'all can go on to my checking account for five seconds, but you can't

Nicoa Coach:

take it with you. You know, my father, he passed away about just over a year ago, and he used to joke. And we would joke that our father had taught us how to successfully live beyond our means. I thought, you know, I'd like to shift that thought process to I successfully live with more than enough money at all times. So you know, our language helps us tremendously in your thought process. And you said, this was all about shifting your thought process. And I want to give you a chance to dig deep into one of those three areas that you like to focus on. And in, give us some advice, maybe we could do a little bit of advice in each category or any tips like, talk about deep connection, you know, maybe some some of your assumptions or philosophies around deep connection that might benefit our listeners.

Jennifer Battle:

Yeah, no, that's a good one. And I love talking about this. And I actually have a signature talk that I do on a connection.

Nicoa Coach:

If you need a speaker and she's looking for gigs, so called Jennifer battle brands. Thank

Jennifer Battle:

you. The deep connection piece is important. I again, going back to how we are taught to meet people, especially in in business settings. It's so transactional, it's like I want to network because I want something from you. Or you might want something from me and we play this dance or we do this dance and play a game. And you create these contacts. And you know you have I don't know if this was ever this was like this for you when you're working. But you end up with stacks of business cards or cards in a book or maybe you have a CRM contacts. There.

Nicoa Coach:

We used to have a Rolodex back in the day. We had one I'm that old? Yeah,

Jennifer Battle:

yeah. But hey, rolodexes, ain't nothing wrong with Rolodex anyway. But they were they were contacts. And I was like, well, but if you're really interested, especially I work with a lot of leaders, if you're really interested in creating change and innovation or disruption, you need way more than the surface level contacts. And the way we are taught to meet people is just you get these contacts. So I'm like, what if we started using our superpowers, like intuition, or, you know, connect like that to really connect and build trusting, collaborative partnerships with people that we genuinely care about, and we don't care whether we get something in it in exchange? So I talk about instead of saying, oh, I want to meet this person, because they're the president of XYZ company, it's like, I want to meet this person because their values align with mine. They see my cool people. I think we'd have fun and and then if you release the What am I going to get out of it, you end up creating this very strong community of connected deep, deeply connected people, and you have no idea where your next opportunity or resource or support is going to come from. But I will tell you this when I have NEC did in the old way, I had a bunch of people that I probably wouldn't call or whatever, but in the new way, that's how I was able to actually get things done. Because the reality is, and I always I've talked about expectation versus reality, the expectation is, you play by the rules, if you have a company file this form, and bubble blah, and that's how change happens. Bullshit. That is not how change happens. I mean, because if that was the case, you know, we would elect our officials and they would do good things. And that really does not happen. The reality is that it is the networks of people and resources that makes the world move. And so if you really want change, if you really want to innovate or solve a problem, you have to start connecting in a very, very different type of way. And that's, that's what helps create that change. That's the reality of how change works. I mean, think about it, if you're in a business, and you've seen people get hired, you could do all the right work, you could work really, really hard, but people to work hard and do the right thing don't always get promoted. And and I'm not I mean, and that's just the reality of it. And it rarely works that way. Ever,

Nicoa Coach:

you know, for anybody, it because we are energetically connected. And so I really do believe that there's a couple of things that play. We do have free will, or do we there's a whole debate right now. And there's a book that just came out philosophy, I can't remember the guys name, but I'll put it in the show notes. But we also have an energetic vibration that if we don't get into that intuition, as you talk about it, we don't tap back into our inner self, our inner knowing, then we can't help but show up energetically in a striving way in a grabbing way. And I need something from you way. So I'm curious, how do you prepare for an interaction that might be like a networking event or a conference? How do you get physically ready to step into that meeting with people or walk down the hallways of the Vegas conference center? Which I've been to events there with 15? Yes. I mean,

Jennifer Battle:

how do you do that? Oh, man, this is such a good question for most people don't believe this about me. But my natural, I'm shy. I'm very Yeah, yeah. And so I do have to actually prepare for big events like that. And the first thing, I'm gonna go back to the rest thing, I have to be in a good place mentally, which means I have to be rested and feel really good. And then I do set an intention. So there might be 17,000 people in a room, but my intention is like, you know what? I'd love to and I did this the other day, when I went out with my friend. We were going it was we wanted to go out and I am still new to town, and I want to meet people. And and she said to me in the car, what's the intention? Be specific, be clear. And I said, okay, my intention is to go and talk to and meet at least one person that I like, and that I like enough to like exchange information with so that we can keep talking. Weirdly, that's exactly what happened. Where

Nicoa Coach:

are we? So it's not weirdly, you

Jennifer Battle:

know what the last conference I went to I was in Phoenix. It was a great event. So shout out to Arizona women leading government, they put on a wonderful conference. And I was fortunate to speak at that event. But they also said, Hey, do you want to come in the day before and just be at the conference? I'm like, Yeah, that sounds Yeah. So Mike, well, my intention is to learn more about their organization, and to meet some people who are doing great public service work. And I ended up sitting at a couple of tables that day, and like freely connecting with the women at that table. And also Strangely, I got a message on my Facebook Messenger from this girl I went to high school with, and I'm like, she's like, are you at the Arizona women leading government conference? I'm like, Oh, yes, I am. And she's like me back. And so we ended up reconnecting and having a great conversation. And she told me a lot about her public service work. And it was just a really wonderful, wonderful event. So yes, I was there to speak. And, you know, you can talk about all the business and transactional pieces, but my intention was to really meet some really great people doing great things. And I did. So I did think that's how you do it. You have to I have to be mentally prepared. I have to be in a good place that can't be exhausted or tired, because then I get cranky, and I don't wanna talk to anybody. And then I just decide what is it that I want out of this experience? So tonight, I want to watch the lions game. They're playing the raiders and I'm in Las Vegas, but I'm still a Michigan girl. And it's been years since the lions been good. So my intention Tonight is at 515. I'm going to find a place to sit down and watch the lions game. I don't care where I am. I don't Yeah, it's got to be safe. Well, I'm, I'm going to wear my lions gear. Yeah, all the time, even if I go by myself, because, of course, to enjoy the game and have that experience. So oh, I think setting intention is really, really, really important.

Nicoa Coach:

It's really important. And by the way, I don't know if you know this, but alumni organizations often have meetups in different cities. So you should research that. Yeah. So that should be where you go meet up with your colleagues from your, from your educate. I do that with NC State all the time. Well, thank you for sharing that. And thank you for transparently sharing that, you know, Hey, you are shy, you are introverted. Sometimes you have to really muster up the energy to show up and event like this. But use intention setting intention setting intention setting, or something even better,

Jennifer Battle:

or something even better, right. I'm gonna

Nicoa Coach:

shift you to equity and inclusion, because this is, as you said, it's a big topic. And as a former HR professional, and I guess I still am as I continue to coach and support people from an HR advisory perspective. I would, I would argue that I'm not as well educated in this this dei effort, as I would have been if I was still in the HR world. What advice would you give listeners about the you know about this? Mission? I don't even know how to describe it anymore. Because to me, it's we're all human, let's all get along. But I know that we need representation. And it's critical. Because unless I can see someone that looks like me, and is telling a story that gives me some hope and some possibility, then I don't necessarily believe it's possible. So maybe you could just share some of your perspective and advice and maybe how, how, you know, equity and inclusion has supported you and your success? Yeah,

Jennifer Battle:

I think the first thing to acknowledge is that every body comes, there's there's the systems are not necessarily set up to support us all equally. And that's one acknowledgement. And once people truly understand that, and some of us benefit more than others, whether it's because of, you know, ethnicity, or class, an economic situation, or gender or sexual orientation systems are set up to benefit certain types of people. And I both been a benefit of these systems, but I've also been harmed by these systems. So I think that's the first thing to acknowledge acknowledge that this shit is not fair. Like isn't it's not fair. Right? And so that's important. The second thing is when it comes to I agree on representation, but I think there's a difference between like the quota mentality or what I call the United Colors of Benetton. And for you understand, because I've told United Colors of Benetton, and some people had to, I had to give them a link to look it up. But these kids were like, Oh, you've got, you know, all these different types of people like the people with a rainbow with their multicolored sweaters and the multicolored sweaters. And it was like Unity and all that great stuff. And that's beautiful. But let it be. Not because you're creating a quota like my, the thing that annoys me and my daughter and I were talking about this when she was looking at institutions, so she's biracial. And so she said, sometimes mom, I know when I get the diversity brochure, you know, it shows like, an Indian person, or black person or white person, a person in a wheelchair, and they're all laughing. But you know, that that university is like 4% people of color. I mean, it's just like, I hate it, because it's so obvious. Yeah, and it's almost insulting. So there's a difference to me between having kind of a quota mentality, like I need one of you, one of you one of you. And then setting an intention of I want to create a community or a situation that's open, where people feel welcome, where they're not scared, or they don't feel othered. And so I think it's just sometimes as subtle as setting an intention. And then also as a leader, so if I'm the core coach, or I'm in charge of a programmer, and event, being responsible for the results, so if you've done an event, where everybody has looked the same or been from the exact same background for five years, that's your responsibility to figure out why and fix it. And the fix may not be the I don't know what the fix is, blah, blah, blah, everybody's gonna be different, but you have to be thoughtful and intentional about creating that. And so it may not be like everybody else. You may not have the United Colors of Benetton look, but you know that people will feel welcomed in your community or people, you have a diverse network of friends and business partners and those types of things. Yeah. So on the inclusiveness and on the equity piece, it just really what I've done and just these are things that I value, it does not always mean that I'm perfect. So your values or your values, it doesn't mean you're perfect, it means that you care enough so that when something is pointed out to you, or you learn something that you want to do better on the equity piece for me, in my business, I look at my pricing practices, I look at things like marking up payment plans, and I made conscientious decisions about does what my practice do align with what I say I believe, and one of my friends who does her name is Jacqueline Hirani. She's an attorney. And she does a lot of work with equitable contracts. And I was like, oh, man, this is an area that hadn't even come to I didn't even know, right, as I learned more about creating inclusive and equitable contract language and all that stuff. I'm like, Okay, now I know. And now this is I support this, I believe this and now I have to make changes in my own work. So with the equity inclusion, I really think, to help people out, it's its intention and taking responsibility for the results. And knowing that you may not be perfect, but once you learn, do something different, do something better. So that's my interpretation. Now, some people may not agree with me, I'm black, spokesperson for diversity everywhere. But that's, that's my personal that's how I interpret that value for me. Yeah, I

Nicoa Coach:

think it's fair and equitable in the way in which you just approach that, yes. Because at the end of the day, it's awareness. Right. And I think one of the things we do as coaches is help people observe themselves, well start observing yourself in the context of your communities, right? Observe yourself in the context of your organization. And I've talked with someone the other day, and they said, we're talking about sustainability. And I'm looking at all this food and these individually wrapped snacks that are all over the place, and you know, that are not contributing to the sustainability of our planet while we're at this conference. And I'm like I said, So how will you choose to take that knowing to influence the future without condemning what is today, to the extent that it shuts people down from being able to hear and receive your insights based on your observations, and I'm really want to share that because sometimes people feel they need to be, you know, pissed off, to make change. And being pissed off can make change, yes, it's important to recognize there is value in every approach. But sometimes when you decide to play a game with a community or an organization, and be a part of it, and you want to stay a part of it, you have to be a little bit more subtle in the way in which you take an example, and say, look, what we're doing, did anyone notice what we were doing here, as a matter of fact, the impact of having individually wrapped snacks is costing us this much. And we just added this much plastic to the world, people might be like, Oh, I'm much more open. But if I go, you guys are full of it. Look at what you just did over

Jennifer Battle:

here. So I can agree and disagree with that a little tell me maybe it goes to my third value, which is the daring authenticity. Because, yes, I do want to communicate in a way where people will listen. But that doesn't mean I'm always going to sugarcoat what I say. Because I can't be concerned about other people's feelings all the time. Now, I'm not an asshole. I'm not trying to be mean to people. And I do want to speak in a way that inspires people to create action. However, I also know from my own personal experience that you can say and do all the right things in the proper ways. And people don't, they won't hear your they won't move. They hear me. So then I get back to almost say what I say. And people just need to hear the cold, hard, clear truth. And so what I've been told is that I am well I always used to say I'm bold, and I'm direct, but I'm not an asshole. So my intention is not to be mean. My intention is to be clear. And so sometimes, you know, you could what I find, especially with women is sometimes we dance around the subject because we feel that it's important for us to be perceived as nice. And I let that go along. Good. I am nice. I I'm kind I think behind and me being kind means I'm going to be truthful and I'm going to be clear, and it may not be what someone wants wants to hear and they may take, they may get a little, you know, huffy about it. But that's not my issue. My job is to be honest and clear and truthful. And so sometimes, yes, I'm able to help me and I say this, I used to work in CES, I was a director of sustainability. So this example, I'm like, Oh, I know, I know. You just have to, you know, after you've done all the right things, or the nice things, then you just gotta say the right thing and just do the damn thing.

Nicoa Coach:

Absolutely. I mean, what do I want, how's what I'm doing getting me what I want. If I'm not getting what I want, then I better try different ways. Sometimes that's some hard as truth that has to be put on the table. And

Jennifer Battle:

I think being on the receipt or being in some of these marginalized communities, there's a lot of times it's put on us to be, you know, to educate and be nice and don't fuck that sometimes. Yeah, it's not my job. It's not my responsibility. And if I choose to speak and say something, then you know, if you truly care if you want to make a difference, and it is your responsibility, listen, just like if I say, here's a practice, or here's something important to me, and I'm not congruent with that. It is. And I say it's important, it is my responsibility to listen and hear that other person. So yeah, I don't I don't. Yeah, yeah. So nice. Oh, that.

Nicoa Coach:

Being nice, isn't our job requirement or life requirements. So I'm getting what we want is to be seen and heard and understood. And so sometimes we have to be really damn loud to be seen. And sometimes we don't, we're not nice. And again, nice is the definition of the receiver. Not us. Right? Because I can be direct with the intention of authenticity and truthfulness. And you may perceive it as you know, you're being mean. And yeah, gonna,

Jennifer Battle:

like talk about somebody's mother. I mean, that's right. But I always tell people like some I've been told, like Jennifer's, this and that, and I'm like, Why, like myself just fine. I'm good.

Nicoa Coach:

There's an impact of everybody's way of being and if it's serving you, you can't get this thing called life wrong. So but you said something really important. And it's us as someone trying to be educated about a diverse population or about, you know, I have happened to be a mother of a trans have a son who happens to be transgender. And I remember him telling me once, you know, you haven't done enough homework. He said, Stop asking me, you do the homework. It's not my job to educate you. And he was damn right. And I was so proud of him. And I was like, You're absolutely right, my job is to love you, and to hear your needs and help you meet those needs. And, you know, keep you as safe as I can. But at the same time, you are not the representative of the transgender community, and therefore, that's my homework assignment. If I want to know and be there for you, I gotta go do the work. And so I think in the, in the context of diversity and inclusion, and in authenticity, to your point, daring authenticity, we have to do both what my son said, and what you said is, hey, don't don't don't pin that on me on my job. And you own that. So we have to take responsibility. So I'm grateful that you said that. No, thank you. Thank

Jennifer Battle:

you. No, this is a great conversation to have. And this is what I mean by the daring authenticity, we can say stuff and disagree or not agree or see different sides and have great deep conversation as we should. Yes. Yeah, that's why I said sometimes it's more important to instead of finding positional people to find people who are values aligned, because I know your values, even though you I've read on your website, but I know that we are aligned. And so you and I can have some great conversations. And just like friends, you know, they're always like, Oh, don't talk about religion or politics, talk about whatever you want. But the key is to, you know, have the respect for the other person to listen and hear and also respectfully agree or disagree. And gosh, wouldn't that go a long way in this world?

Nicoa Coach:

We're in a circumstance where we need it more than ever, and I, you know, and I, and I would remind us all to step back into that space of, can I be so Okay, with my values and who I am, that I don't even feel compelled to try to convince you have any perspective? Because when I and I'm still not there, I mean, I still carry my coaching beliefs and things that I want. I just want to shake people sometimes and say, but can't you see and here's what's possible and, and at the end of the day, I need to be okay with that and be able to sit in silence without even needing to influence you, and not you, but you know what I mean, the other person, so I love your recommendation to sit in a state of deep connection. i We obviously could talk all day, as I always say, with my clients, in the interest of time, Jennifer, what are some of the last words of wisdom or advice you'd like to share? If there's something I haven't yet asked you that you'd like to take the remaining few moments to share with the listeners?

Jennifer Battle:

Thank you so much. This has been an awesome conversation, I would say the things that, you know, ultimately, I truly, truly care about I, I think we are just living, we have so much more that we could be doing, if we were to just break out of this box of these expectations. So my first piece of advice is take care of yourself and rest. Because that's when the clarity comes. That's when the the answers come and believe that you already have the answers, you do not have to look, externally, you just have to unlock what you already have. And as you said earlier, ask why. Why do I want to do this? Why is this important? And the third thing that I would say is ask who benefits? Because sometimes we get stuck doing these things. We get stuck in these patterns, because we feel like we have to. But the question is, who really benefits from this, and it's okay for things to start to benefit you. If you're a mom, if you're a leader, whatever we always worry about the people that we serve are our children, the best thing you can be in this world as an example. And I'm reminded of that from my daughter, because I made a choice that put me 1000s of miles away from her. And that's sometimes very hard. But one of the things that she's always said to me was that she loved the fact that I was a mom who did things differently than anyone else. She said, Mom, I think Vegas Vegas is a great vibe for you. And we find ways to still stay really connected. So yes, I was worried about moving away. But you know, I'm also really excited because my daughter gets to see a woman making choices, living their best life, because that's ultimately what I want from her for her. And I couldn't have done that if I stayed stuck in a place that did not serve me. I had to go out and be that example for her be the change, right? Be the

Nicoa Coach:

Be The Change world. You are role modeling, not only for your beautiful daughter, but for my daughters, and so many other daughters out there. And for all of our listeners and I feel really honored to have a new connection with you and a deep connection. I know that we will be connected forever, because we do have similar values and we're preaching to the to the choir when we don't see each other. So thank you for being on the podcast. And I look forward to reconnecting with you soon. Everybody please go and make sure you go to Jennifer battle brands.com and on Instagram at Jennifer battle underscore I love you dear. So nice to connect.

Jennifer Battle:

This was amazing. Thank you so much and I can't wait to continue our conversation. Absolutely.

Nicoa Coach:

Ciao for now.

Jennifer Gardner:

Thanks for joining us for a caffeinated conversation. Subscribe to Coffee with Nicola for more stories from people living a life by design. You can also find inspiration on Instagram. Just follow Coffee with Nicoa and check out our website Coffee with nicoa.com and that's Nicoa N IC O A. We look forward to talking with you soon. And enjoy your coffee between now and then