How to Become an Expert in a Competitive Industry (with Jill de Jong)

My guest today is Jill de Jong. Jill went from being a successful model representing brands like L’Oreal and Women’s Health to becoming a successful health coach, personal trainer and author of Models Do Eat. During our chat she explains how she overcame rejection to become a fitness expert and successfully make a career pivot. If you’re looking to pivot, in any career, Jill’s advice about overcoming rejection and creating your brand is going to be very useful.

Here’s the breakdown of my chat with Jill:

[01:11] After years of modeling, Jill was fit but unhealthy. She struggled with a lot of issues, and after seeing a doctor, Jill decided to take her health into her own hands. She started changing her diet and eating habits.

[02:39] Once Jill committed to taking care of herself and learning about better nutrition, she wanted to share it. For the first time, she understood the benefit of being of service in her life and created a book in order to share what she learned.

[03:00] Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring. The cookbook came from that passion to find healthy food that actually tastes good. Jill got active in creating recipes and wanted to share them with others who were searching for better health.

[03:49] Surprisingly Jill shared that “initially the book proposal was rejected, but I was fortunate enough to get really good feedback.” Jill took that rejection and found a way to turn it into a career. Publishers wanted Jill to become an expert in health and fitness, as well as grow her social media following in order to publish the book.

[04:15] Jill and Alex discuss the pressure for an entrepreneur to have a high following on social media, and how much of a challenge that can be.

[05:00] You can fuel your passion by being of service to others, and Jill found that being of service to others really created a career she loved, “so this whole journey of the rejection, turned into this whole new career I never thought of.”

[06:50] Overcoming rejection isn’t easy for any entrepreneur, but Jill credits her success to being her very best in everything she did, even before she was an expert. She always had to represent herself as a model in the best possible way.

[10:23] In terms of a career pivot, the most important thing to remember is that you are your brand. If you build your brand around who you are, your brand can transition to different roles in your career. In Jill's case, she earned certifications and starting working with clients. Between the results she was getting herself and others - she was building credibility as a fitness expert.

[14:16] Jill provides her best tips for building your social media, and it all comes back to being of service. She recommends that you give value as much as you can. She does a great job of educating her audience by demonstrating what fitness tips are working for her. Jill recommends using your Instagram Stories and connecting with your audience to show your value.

[16:28] When looking at how entrepreneurs can take better care of themselves, Jill said it is really simple, “Do more of what feels good, and do less of what does not feel good.”

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How to Become an Expert in a Competitive Industry (with Jill de Jong)

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