Intro: Today's guest is Jenny Hutt. She's the host of the top-rated podcast, Just Jenny. She is a woman who has a lot of experiences in her life. She's one of the most authentic people on social media.
If you ask me, and we talk today about how to make a life pivot, how to overcome resistance, how to realize when maybe you've outgrown a situation in your life, how to bet on yourself, rally your support system, and make big.
Elizabeth P.: Jenny Hutt, thank you so much for being on the show today. I usually prepare when I have a guest. But that was really hard to do because I feel like you're a Renaissance woman and you've been through a lot of different life experiences. So, if it's cool with you, I'm just going to keep it super free form today and we're just going to see where this conversation leads us.
I would love for our listeners just to get like a broad understanding of how you got to be where you are with this incredible podcast, Just Jenny, and then your radio background, all of this stuff. How did this all begin?
Jenny Hutt: I'm a “nepo baby”, so let's start there. I'm from New York. I grew up with a dad in the music business, but I, when I started doing a radio show, really wasn't. Because of him, I was in the right place at the right time because of him.
I was his personal assistant, and I was already a lawyer, so I'd already had a few different lives and a mom and a wife and all that. And then, my ex. radio partner, co-host, business partner asked me to do a radio show with her. And she was, Martha is Martha Stewart's daughter. And so, for years I did this radio show with her and that was how I got into doing radio.
So, I say “nepo baby” cuz we're not for my father's job at the time I wouldn't have been at Martha's Company, and I wouldn't have met Alexis. So, I guess I wear that aspect of it like a badge of honor, cuz what do I care?
It's 17 plus years later. And when she quit the show that we did together and quit me essentially, I then got fired from Martha's Company and got hired by SiriusXM.
So, at that point there was a, a break in the Napa baby part of it.
Elizabeth P.: So then did you just feel like you really enjoyed having that platform and being able to discuss, that's what's so great about your show is that you talk about everything? It really isn't pigeonholed or constricted to a certain lane, and I think that's what makes it so beautiful, but it's also these wonderful insights that you're, to contribute as well.
You have these guests, but I love that you speak your mind and that you talk and you just feel like very unfiltered, not only on your show but in your life. So, do you ever get these vulnerability pangs of maybe I shared too much?
Jenny Hutt: course. Yeah. sure. How could I not? But I think that, so having a job that had me talking for two hours a day for years and years, it became sort of part of my way of being okay of getting it out. if something was going on and I could talk about it, it made me feel better and it made me feel even better knowing that somebody listening might be soothed by my trials and tribulations, because.
Comparing their own lives. They were like, wow, she's a shit show, so I'm really great. Or that, oh, she's stuck in some sort of muck and so am I am not alone. I'm a big believer in community, in every kind of stage of our lives and really with all of our moods, because we all have ups, we all have downs now.
Yeah, sometimes I get some vulnerability pangs, or I get almost. I don't, I never like the feeling of being misunderstood. And yeah, I think just today I had storied about how somebody sent me a text that was just kind of like a cheering beyond text, and I, it wasn't meant to be offensive, but it hit the wrong.
Because I am in like a season of my life that's maybe the hardest season of my life up until now, which is fine. I've had a really decent time. and I can weather any storm, like that's part of who I am. It's how I'm wired, but it doesn't mean I don't cry, kick, scream along the way. I just know that ultimately, I will manage, muddle through and be fine and be great.
But when I get a response to something I've said or an episode I've posted where I have been super vulnerable with almost an angle that feels like pity when I'm receiving it. I, it makes me see red because I don't feel pitiable. I feel much more like I'm a pillar of strength, like I steal up, yeah, I cry.
Jenny: But I also am incredibly strong amidst a lot of stuff. And, and so my sharing it is really to benefit everyone collectively. yeah, so I regret it when I feel misunderstood.
Elizabeth P.: I wanted to dig in a little bit there because something that our listeners come to the show to figure out too is like how to overcome these massive waves of resistance, right? And Resistance. Is that equal and opposing force anytime you're trying to grow or expand? I do believe that there will be this wave, right of.
Something that's trying to keep you exactly where you are. So how have you battled those throughout your career? you said you and Alexis parted ways and things like that, so you've definitely had some waves of resistance come crashing down. But what has been the thing that has gotten you through?
Jenny Hutt: So, I don't know that it felt like waves of resistance. I think that I have stayed in positions for longer than I should have because they were comfortable and my resistance was in moving out of that kind of comfortable space for something bigger and better or something that was just better suited for me.
And also stayed in a part of the business that I wasn't thrilled. In for maybe longer than I should. Because in a way I was like, oh, I should be doing this, therefore I will be doing this even though it doesn't feel right for me to do it. And I think that every time I have pivoted or shifted it has been because something has happened.
And it's almost that whole Tony Robbins kind of theory that life happens for you, not to you. And so even when. My professional life was really challenged when Alexis quit and just, it was awful and I didn't know what was going to be, I just kept going. So, I think a lot of it is that I just keep going in the wake of things that are difficult.
So even that when I had co-hosted Dr. Drew on television for a year, and then they didn't renew that contract. It was upsetting and then it was okay. And then I actually took a deep breath. I didn't love being on tv, like I just, it was, and then for a while I would do TV hits elsewhere, and then I just didn't love it and I lost the fight to do it.
And I listened to that and put my focus elsewhere. And then even with my contract ending at Sirius XM after being there for over 17 years, there was a lot happening at once. My father was dying. I lost my job, and I didn't feel like I had the time to just crumble up. I didn't know my father was gonna die two weeks after I left SiriusXM. That was a whole lot. But I had already embarked on doing the podcast and I think that my resistance was more a resistance to giving up. That propelled me rather than a resistance to take a chance and do the podcast and doing a deli podcast that first two weeks or three weeks was scary as hell.
I don't even know how I did it. I don't know how I have as many episodes as I have in the bank. I don't, I'm not sure, but I think one of my greatest skills is that is the act of actually just doing whatever it is I believe that I should be doing. That's really it. I don't think I give it much time beyond thinking about it, like initially I don't let resistance get in my way if it's something that I know I, I need to do.
Elizabeth P.: but I think that's the key right there, Jenny, is I loved how you said, I had this feeling that maybe I had overstay or I had outgrown something, and then the universe will just shut that door for you.
Jenny Hutt: Correct. And that's how, it's been for me forever. But the other things, like when I launched Bunny Eyes, my eyeglass company, that was really, one of the oddest experiences of my life, cuz I am not a do-it-yourself person. I am, a creative in that I broadcast or a creative in that I, I don't know, I'm used to entertaining in some way, but I'm not a creative, like building things and widget making and, inventing, it's so not me. But then it was, and I never thought I was an entrepreneur or whatever.
Then, I just had an idea and executed it. I think I like execution. I think that what, differentiates a lot of people from achieving the stuff they want is just the act of the executing on the idea or the thing.
And again, it goes back to the doing. You just have to actually do it.
Elizabeth P.: And I think if you aren't, like I am the person who likes to have the visions and all of the stuff, the execution is where that's my Achilles heel. I'm like, I can get down to like actually making the widget, but then I don't want to fuck with it past that.
Jenny Hutt: Because why?
Elizabeth P.: I think it's, because that was my career for a long time, was like the ex, like in my corporate sales career was you had to see everything through, and you had to get into the minutiae.
Of what that was going to involve. And so now I would just rather have my head in the clouds and think the big things, and then do some of the stuff, but not, I get bored pretty quickly with it. It would be like, yeah, okay, done that and then now we're going to do something else. But I think you miss out on a huge piece of fulfillment, like I think the people who are doers and executors ultimately then reap that fulfillment at the end.
Jenny Hutt: I don't know about that actually. I think that if you have an idea and you like to have an idea and delegate it to somebody else, there's follow through in that. If the idea gets done even by someone else, I don't know that's a bad thing.
Elizabeth P.: I would say too, like this other piece, and it’s in my book: Career Confinement—I love that you said that you felt, trapped or like your comfort zone had become uncomfortable. So, what were some of the signs, like what was, what were some of the feelings that you felt because maybe some of the listeners are like, I might be in a situation that I'm outgrowing or it's not as comfortable, or maybe, but it's something, it could be a relationship, a job, whatever, a city that they're living in. So, can you share some of the things that maybe you rationalized away or ignored or suppressed?
Jenny Hutt: Yeah, there was a, I think certainly my time at Sirius XM was pretty darn magical for most of it. And I think any issues that I had come from me rather than anyone else. And even. Though it wasn't my decision for my contract to end, it was the right decision because I had this duality of feeling like every other day the shoe would drop, which then it did.
And also like I wasn't working hard enough in the moment. in part because the setup was a way streamlined or easy in this, like they had talent bookers and they had producers, or they had this, they had that, that I didn't put enough of my own hand in things where I should have. And because it was easier to not, and I think that I put and produce a better product the more that I invest and put into it.
Yeah, cuz I'm always going to do better prep than for a guest than somebody else is going to do. But if I don't have to do the prep, then I'm probably not going to do it.
It's cuz because there's other things I want to do. So, like when I think back to the radio show, that was two hours of live radio every day.
I didn't do a lot of prep for the show each day. Like my life was the show and if I had a guess, I'd do some reading or whatever, but it wasn't. Now because it's just me running the whole thing. I'm always, there's always a book in my hand and there's always something on the screen and there's always researching someone and because I want to get it right and I want to do right by my guests.
Elizabeth P.: So, what advice would you give somebody who's grappling with maybe starting something of their own or just making some sort of big life pivot?
Jenny Hutt: So usually life pivots happen when you don't on a conscious level want them to. So that's number one. So, if you find yourself in a position where you have to pivot, it's because you were told you had to pivot, because you lost a job, you got a divorce, somebody died, all the things happened, whatever.
And sometimes you pivot because the pain is so great in the life, you're in currently, that you got to shift somehow to get out of that pain. We do really well in pain that we know until it gets to a certain part, like a certain level, and then we have to try to get out of it. I think the way it went for me, I had the options that I had when I lost the job at Sirius XM was to like put a shingle up and try to be a lawyer.
Now, I like, I'm technically a lawyer, but you don't want me to be your lawyer. There are far better people to do that kind of job. I'm sure I could learn how to actually be a practicing attorney, but again, that would've been like an extra death for me. So that was not going to be in the carts I know how to talk to people.
I know how to share, and I really like connecting. and I also felt a responsibility to the people who've listened to me for years and years. We've grown up together. Entering this next phase of life where many of us are empty nesters, or we're just going through perimenopause, we're getting older and trying to re-shift and figure out who we are and what this next phase is.
There was a part of me that felt like. If I didn't continue some sort of connection that I'd be abandoning people who've been with me all along. Now, is that true? No, but that's what it felt like.
That is the parasocial dynamic. You feel very connected to people you've never met. it's an odd thing.
So, I think, as scary as it was to do the first episode, which I, even, for me, I didn't understand why I was so scared when I've been a broadcaster for as long as I've been. But there was like, oh, what if no one listens? What if I've won download? Like one, like I couldn't even get my husband to listen, like he
lives with me. He was like, what am I listening to your podcast for? I know you like, it's different. And also, people who are used to listening to radio, they don't necessarily know how to navigate into the whole podcast world. It's very, and I've never had numbers. I've never, Sirius XM doesn't do numbers, so I never had to track or know or figure out or benchmarks and all that kind of thing.
So, it was terrifying. but I, there was nothing else that I wanted to do. It was like, either I'm gonna actually do nothing for time, or I can give this a go, but if I'm gonna do it, I have to really do it. And so, I did and it doesn't, it's certainly the hardest thing I've done. I've never worked this hard in my life.
But, but I think it's really good because it keeps me out of my head. And I'm better off being out of my head, so my advice is if you have to make a pivot, then pick the thing to do that excites you, terrifies you, but like that you think you'd feel the happiest if you succeeded at it.
Elizabeth P.: To your point, there are some external things that are needed, right? Like I think having a supportive partner, if you are privileged enough, is incredible. I don't know about you, but when I started on this journey and through deuces to my corporate career to just “Hey, we're going to figure it out.”
I'm not sure what it is yet. he was like, So supportive. Like to the point where I was really pissed off. I would always have these moments where resistance would take hold and I'd say, I'm just going to go get a normal job. I'm just going to go work for somebody else. I'm going to get the paycheck and it's going to be fine, and it's gonna be a better life than this. and that's why on the book there's that picture of the cage tiger. He just refused to let me go back to the cage. He was like, no, we're out. You're not gonna go back. You can't go back. You'd never be happy. So, I feel like to people listening, if there is that thing that you've wanted to do, by all means, there's lots of great authors out there who will tell you how to start a side hustle and this and that.
Jenny Hutt: I like a side hustle. But I like, a side hustle. I don't think you leave your job. See, I do not think you leave your job. to do another job. No. But eventually you do. Yes. But I think if you have the luxury of having your job and having a side hustle, fan freaking tactic. That to me is the, is a great way.
I don't, I'm not saying you have to jump off the ledge, but if you've been thrown off the ledge.
Now do the thing that you think will make your heart sing. Doesn't mean it's going to be the easy thing. It's off. it's rare. I think it's rarely easy, but only you know what's in your heart that you really want to do, and you really want to be. And also, you can't rely on it. See, I think you are right to go at it on your own because you can't rely on anybody else to build the thing that you're dreaming of building. They're not going.
Elizabeth P.: and if they build it, it's going to be for them. And then you're just going to be trying to hop on the bus, right of their bus. It's I think you really do have to build your own. And then watch people who maybe want to be supportive of that come and then support that vision. But I don't know, for me, I don't know if it was the same for you.
Like I knew that I couldn't work for people. I was just, I was over it. There were too situations where, I think that there was bias at play. we can play that card all day long, the woman victim card, which I actually hate, but I just decided I didn't want to put up with the bullshit anymore, if I was going to be spoken down to, it was going to be by my internal dialogue, not by somebody else, it was going to be my own negative talk track. And I think that there's freedom in that, and I think it's ballsy to go out on your own and start something from fucking thin air.
I think I, didn't want to. I don't know. I didn't want to have to wait to have to find somebody to hire me or to support the launch of the podcast or have some sort of crazy infrastructure in place. I got really lucky in that the relationships I've built through the years, and maybe it wasn't luck, maybe it's the relationships I've built throughout the years that I, as soon as I knew that I was leaving SiriusXM, I had calls and support from really incredible people who just said, what can I do to help? And then, to launch the podcast. first of all, anyone I asked said yes to being on. So that was really, few people said no. So that was really nice. But, even just getting it, put it in, putting it in place.
I had, the people I partnered with, they got it onto Apple, like in. 20 minutes. I had no episodes and, but I had a podcast and I was like, okay, thanks. And, put up a tile because I didn't know how to make a tile. I probably now could figure it out, but I have no idea. I, another friend of mine got a photographer here to take professional pictures of me because I take selfies.
I don't take professional pictures. and then, then another friend of mine, my friend Ben, who I got a, I credit him with so much, he doesn't even understand how much I credit him because he is so nice to me. So, he helped me with my equipment. He was like, you need this, and this.
You don't need this; you don't need that, because two different people, like someone was like to launch a podcast, you need to spend like a thousand dollars to have blah, blah, blah.
And he was like, no, you need take your computer, which you have, buy yourself a hundred dollars webcam. You need a good enough mic that might set you back a hundred bucks, but, you don't need much else.
Like you just don't. And that was, and he helped me set that, that all up. And like he worked through a lot of the technical stuff that I didn't know how to do initially. And he would like screen time with me, share my screen to teach me how to use Garage band or QuickTime to edit, that kind of stuff. And that was incredibly. Helpful and then just to set me up and then I was just off to go. I, again, I just, I have a really lovely group of people that when I need the help, they're there. So I try to do everything myself, but if something happens, like some weird sound thing happens and it's way above my pay grade to fix it, I do have someone I can email a file to. The team that like found me, the music for my podcast, they send me the track and I upload it. Like I edit everything. I throw the music in, I take the music out. yeah, I do all day to day.
Elizabeth P.: I listen, I give you so many props. In the very beginning I was doing that, like syncing up all of the trailer. it was like, it was a lot. but I think you really hit on it is like the support system is there and sometimes they will. Really convince you to take it.
Jenny Hutt: I think what you were saying is yes, when you know the support is there, it's good, but you don't have to take it all the time and. Also, do you know what else? I like working on my timeline. So, when I'm on the couch with my husband, he's on one side of the couch. I'm on the other side of the couch. I put headphones in and I edit while he watches a show. That's too scary for me.
Elizabeth P.: Oh my God. I don't watch scary shit either.
It's like a separate togetherness, and I think that's good. We could have a whole other show talking about marriage and stuff too, because again, I just feel like you're so authentic with what you post and it's really hard to.
not connect with that when putting themselves out there. I absolutely adore your show. Everybody check out Just Jenny, follow her on Instagram, listen to her podcast. It's really incredible. You have amazing guests. I have to ask you, there one piece of advice or a learning, like some knowledge that a guest dropped on you that has really resonated and hung with?
Jenny Hutt: let me think if there's one piece of advice. I did, I just talked to, to Bevy Smith and I have known be.
For years because our paths have crossed at SiriusXM, but when I saw her TED talk, that it gets greater later was her whole, it was the tagline of this TED Talk. It's 15 minutes of like perfection. And I think that resonated with me more than anything has recently because her whole thing is just keep going. It gets greater later. Like enough with the being old, it doesn't matter how old you are, you get to keep going and things can get better.
Elizabeth P.: Oh my God, I love that. And I think it's so great too. I don't know if you feel this way too, but when I have guests on, I just feel like I'm getting this priceless education from getting to speak with so many incredible people who are just like subject matter experts or thought leaders in their field.
And I don't know about you, but I wake up. Every day excited for the interesting people I'm going to get to talk to, whether they're clients, whether they're podcast guests, whether it's a press opportunity. and I think if more people could wake up feeling that way, it can't be a bad thing. So, I would urge whoever's listening who maybe has that thing in the back of their wanting to explore to just take a chance. Maybe don't like throw juices and walk away from your full-time job, but inch out of the…
Jenny Hutt: …Cage. No, for sure. It's always interesting to hear people's stories.