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Episode 71 | July 9, 2024

Jenn Alvin, explores the challenges between pursuing passion and making a living. After a year of chaos, Jenn let's societal pressures take a back seat and gives creativity the wheel.

This episode discusses Jenn Alvin's year of chaos and how remembering her passions led her back to joy. After over a decade of working tirelessly at a high profile company with long hours in a trusted position and an eventual lay off she finally realized "is this what I want?". She began examining everything as her life went haywire.


Welcome to “That’s a Hard No”the podcast about learning to say no and set boundaries to live our best lives. 

Follow along with me as we learn from fellow strugglers and experts, so that you too can start saying no without feeling fear, guilt, or FOMO. 


Jenn Alvin was a typical people pleaser working for a high-profile company, the hours were long, her identity was strongly tied to work, and suddenly she was laid off. Soon after she was dealing with a divorce and her father’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. When her world seemingly came crumbling down, she decided to take a good hard look at what she really wanted out of life. Jenn realized creativity was missing. She used creativity to set boundaries in her life and kept boundaries in order to maintain the creativity she needed. Learn how she quickly found her passion and began to prioritize it for her own wellbeing.
Key Takeaways

“Our society does not reward you for making art. It rewards you for making money.”

[00:02:44] Learning creativity for fulfillment

[00:06:59] Setting creative boundaries

[00:11:17] Losing yourself in work

“Those of us who are people pleasers and makers and perfectionists, we will put in the 20 hour, 18 hour day and lose ourselves.”

[00:13:29] Saying no to create space

“What am I saying yes to? What am I saying no to? What did I do yesterday that I’m really, really proud of?”

[00:16:24] Journaling for self-reflection

[00:24:35] Setting and respecting boundaries

“The great thing about being an engineer is that if there’s something that you want and it doesn’t exist yet, you can create it.”

[00:30:46] Redefining career joy

“I don’t need to be a six-figure corporate Joan anymore in order to have joy in my life. So I’m enjoying the hell out of this.”

[00:33:26] Embracing non-traditional career paths

[00:40:45] Creative outlets for healing

[00:45:04] Being kind to yourself

“We receive a lot of negativity already. We don’t need to generate it internally. It’s like, if anybody’s going to love you, it’s got to be you. That’s where it all starts.”

Find Jenn’s Book Here: Stronger Wiser and Still Fabulous by Jenn Alvin

Where to Find Jenn

Credits and Thanks
  • Many thanks to our friends and families (our “villagers”) for listening, and for your continued support.
  • That’s a Hard No is a production of Clever Girl Marketing
  • Marketing and Production Coordinator, Maura Del Rosario
  • Production Support, Evergreen Podcasts, Noah Foutz, Producer
  • New Rock Anthem Music: Written by Noah, and performed by his band, The Big Leagues
  • Videographer, Kae Holmberg