At 21-years-old, Chelann Gienger is the owner of NUYU Juice Bar, Founder and Host of the Entrepreneur Before 25 Podcast, and the Author of Dear Millennial.
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Acuity Scheduling – Chelann’s small business resource
The Magic of Thinking Big – Chelann’s Top Business Book
Dear Millennial – Chelann’s book
ChelannGienger.com – Chelann’s website
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3 Value Bombs
1) You will never grow in your comfort zone – get out and get scared.
2) Big decisions and actions happen when you take ownership.
3) Whatever your goals are, don’t let circumstances get into you.
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(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
[01:01] – Chelann spent her childhood living in the mountains
[01:16] – She had the idea for her juice bar while she was in college
[01:28] – She opened up the juice bar with 3 co-founders
[01:56] – She started the Entrepreneur Before 25 podcast to find people who she could relate to
[02:18] – A year and a half after starting the podcast, she wrote her book, Dear Millennial: A Compass To Defining Your Unique Purpose, Pursuing A Life Of Fulfillment, And Building A Legacy
[02:40] – She currently resides in Washington
[03:20] – She is passionate about calling the Millennial generation to a higher standard of greatness
[04:14] – “I think Millennials are very misunderstood”
[05:59] – Most Millennials that Chelann talks to are eager to learn, build their purpose, and chase after their dreams
[06:10] – JLD talks about why he loves Millennials
[07:45] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: Chelann was 18 and had never had any job experience when she started her juice bar. It was in a town where most juice bars had shut down because they didn’t earn any income – all they had were debts. The first five months of the juice bar weren’t good. One day, Chelann lost all 3 of her business partners, gained 2 new ones, and found herself in charge of a majority of the business
[11:20] – All the magic happens outside of your comfort zone
[12:20] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: It was Chelann’s 7th month in her business when she read the book Extreme Ownership. Her brother, a former business partner, told her that she’s the person who needs to call the meeting and lead the business, because she’s the majority owner — and that’s what changed her life and business immensely
[15:30] – Take responsibility, take OWNERSHIP
[16:20]– The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “Fear that I wasn’t doing and spending my time in the right areas”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Follow your truth and walk in your truth. Always walk the talk and never, ever compromise your personal values”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “Always prioritizing my priorities”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – Acuity Scheduling
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – The Magic of Thinking Big – “it literally teaches you the magic of thinking big”
[18:55] – Stop making excuses, take ownership, and accomplish what you want in life
[19:16] – “Don’t become a victim of your circumstances. Be a leader and a changer of your circumstances”
Chelann: John, I am so ready. Let's do this.
John: Yes. At 21 years old, Chelann is the owner of NUYU Juice Bar, founder and host of the Entrepreneur Before 25 podcast, and author of Dear Millennial.
Chelann, take a minute and fill in some gaps from that intro, and give us just a little glimpse of your personal life.
Chelann: Awesome. Yeah, so I'll just give a little context into my life. I spent the majority of my childhood living in the mountains where, for a while, we would go to town around once a month. And I was homeschooled up until college at 16. And in about a year-and-a-half into my college experience, the idea for opening NUYU Juice Bar came about.
Seven months later, about three times where it just wasn't going to happen, I opened the juice bar along with three other partners. And this was three days after graduating high school and two weeks before graduating college. That's a story in itself. I know it's a little confusing.
And then five months later, through the course of owning and running the juice bar, through a series of events, I became the majority owner at 18 years old. And I'm sure we'll get into that story a little bit later. And then about a year later, started the Entrepreneur Before 25 podcast because I was so sick of not having anyone to relate to. And feeling like I was pretty much the only young entrepreneur out there, which now I know was completely false, and I'm super stoked about that.
And then, John, everything in my life has really built up on each other. So, about a year-and-a-half after starting the podcast, I wrote Dear Millennial,: A compass to defining your unique purpose, pursuing a life of fulfillment, and building a legacy just as a response of what I was seeing in my generation. And here I am now, present moment, my personal life is pretty simple. I live in Yakima, Washington, which is about three hours east of Seattle. Day-to-day looks pretty different, but usually involves some aspect of each of the businesses or projects I am involved in.
John: Wow. Well, I love all of that. And one thing I would love even more, Chelann, is if you would share with us, right now, your current area of expertise. What are you an expert in?
Chelann: I have a really interesting perspective on this. I never fully want to be an expert on anything. I always wanna be learning and developing my knowledge. But an area that I am extremely, extremely passionate about is calling the millennial generation to a higher standard of greatness. And doing that in a very peer-to-peer way where I'm not asking them to do anything that I'm not doing myself.
And that's where Dear Millennial came about because I think it's so important that especially being young, we define our purpose and we learn how to live that out in a fulfilling way that helps us build a long lasting legacy, to not just last five, ten years, but let's talk 500 years. So, that is an area that I would consider my expertise growing and an area that I'm super, super passionate about.
John: What do you think is a misconception about millennials? I mean, a lot of people like to judge different genres, whether it be Gen X or the Baby Boomers. Like what's a misconception about millennials?
Chelann: I think millennials are very misunderstood. Some people look at millennials as a really lazy generation. And, obviously, there are a lot of millennials that tend to go that way, but I've been really blessed to see millennials who are the complete opposite and kind of the hustle-till-we-drop type of people. And I think a big misconception is people don't think that millennials really take life seriously, which is interesting. And that's why I'm so passionate about like helping millennials find their purpose because funny you should bring this up, John.
This morning, one of my friends posted on Facebook that this football player we know just committed suicide yesterday. And he's a extremely successful millennial. And that just gets you to think like what is it that has just skyrocketed these suicide rates, especially around millennials. And what's really happening here? What's going on that's creating this result? And I honestly think that it comes down to we aren't fulfilled in our lives. We don't feel like we have a purpose because if we felt like we have a purpose, there's no way that we would take that chance away from ourselves.
So, I think that just with the stuff the media sheds light on that millennials are a very misunderstood generation when, in reality, the millennials that I've had the honor to talk to through the podcast and the book, they are so eager to learn, so eager to build up their purpose and chase it in a healthy, productive way.
John: I personally love millennials and I'll tell you why. Millennials are the first generation that grew up with no gatekeepers. Like there was no gatekeeper for your entire life because by the time you became of an age where you wanted to really anything with your life, the gatekeepers were gone. Those crusty old white men who would decide what four records would go live or what seven movies would be produced or whatever it might be, they don't exist anymore. They're so irrelevant, it's a joke.
And millennials recognize that wow, I can actually take charge, and if I'm good enough or if I work hard enough or a combination of the both, I can win at an incredibly high level and nobody can tell me no because I can pave my own way. So, your point about millennials work until they drop, I've seen it across the board. I mean, it's so apparent when a millennial can latch onto a purpose and drive forward towards that purpose, like they won't stop because they know the sky's the limit.
And it's just exciting that we live in this world and nothing's gonna change anytime soon about that. Where, when I was growing up, like I could get excited about something, but I'm like man, I gotta get in line and I gotta wait my turn. I gotta get in line because somebody has more experience or more time in or more seniority. That's all gone. And that's exciting, Fire Nation. So, if you haven't fallen in love with the idea and energy of millennials, I hope you do soon.
But let's take it to a not so fun place right now. Let's take it to your worst entrepreneurial moment. Take us there. Tell us that story.
Chelann: I always laugh at this question because I ask it all the time and when I'm thinking of my answers, so many stories, right, because as an entrepreneur there are so many ups and downs. It's kinda just something we have to accept. Like the minute I looked at my job description as an entrepreneur as my job is to solve problems, life got so much easier, John, because that was my expectation.
But taking it back to what I would say was my worst, most challenging moment, I'm gonna take you guys there. So, I am 18 years old. I have never had a real job in my life. And I find myself running a juice bar in a town where every single juice bar up until us had gone out of business within a year-and-a-half. And I'm not even talking like they were profiting a little bit, so they just decided to shut down because it wasn't enough.
I'm talking they never made a cent and ended up in just crazy debt. So, that was the market we were going in. And I always say that I think how naïve I was at that age really was an advantage because looking back, I think like why did I make some of the decisions I did, like starting a juice bar where there was hardly any market?
And now I don't regret it at all because we've broken into the market and it's growing and doing amazing. So, here we are, 18 years old, five months into this, and things were not looking good. We had not the best team. We were hardly making any sales. And I had some challenges with my business partners. And I think the worst moment was it all happened in one day. And in one day, I lost three business partners, gained two new ones, switched over ownership to where I was majority owner.
And decided I had to let our manager go who was the only one who had ever even like worked in the food industry and minorly knew what he was doing. And so, I found myself in charge of this, what I call a newborn business that still needed to be bottle fed every single hour and every single day. And that was a really – at the same time it was like a worst entrepreneur moment because people could look at it as a failure, it was also like an incredible call to action. And I was so young at the time that I didn't quite realize it.
But like looking back, I remember thinking this is really, really difficult. I really don't even know what is happening. But I also remember feeling like I am going to make something of this business no matter what. And I didn't let myself stay in that like worst, we're literally switching everything and everything is kind of hanging on by a threat right now. I didn't let myself feel that way for long. But instead, really grasped onto okay, well, this is how things are and we're gonna run with it.
So, that had to be probably one of my worst, or most challenging I feel like is a better description, moments, especially for someone with my personality who loves to have all their ducks in the row all the time.
John: So, remember, Fire Nation, all your magic happens outside of the comfort zone. So, although Chelann like to have all her ducks in a row and everything nice and cozy and comfortable, she's never gonna get better. She's never going to improve. She's never gonna be challenged in that nice little cozy ducks-in-a-row area. Come on now. I mean, we need to challenge ourselves, push the envelope, get us out of our comfort zone, get scared, get fearful, and make stuff happen. That's how we grow as individuals. That's how we grow was entrepreneurs.
So, you've had a lot of really good ideas. I mean, obviously publishing a book, hosting a podcast, all great ideas. But what's an ah-hah moment that you had that you think would be a cool story to share with Fire Nation? And don't just like talk about that moment, but kinda walk through how you turned that idea into success.
Chelann: Yes, I love this question because I actually have a very defined moment for this that changed everything. So, this was I think about seven months after starting the juice bar, so I was majority owner. And, honestly, John, you know how it goes in a business. It was like putting out fires for about three months. And breaking everything down and building it up again. And, luckily, the two new partners I brought on were, and still are, absolutely incredible and had more experience that I did.
So, we were just building up this business. And during this time I started reading a book called Extreme Ownership that absolutely transformed my life. And I have read a ton of books, especially since then. But this book by far has been the most impactful. And I still remember the moment where I was at my brother's, and my brother was actually one of my previous business partners and still involved in the business to a small extent, and we were talking and it was just such a simple thing.
We needed to call a meeting, a really important meeting, to discuss some really pivotal things for the business. And Kylan looked at me and he said, "Chelann, you're majority owner of this business; you need to call this meeting; you need to lead this business." And you how there're some times in life where someone just says something that they totally – I'm sure he wasn't thinking this is gonna change her life, but it totally does.
This totally changed my life because at the same time I was reading Extreme Ownership and the whole concept is stop making excuses. Stop feeling victim to your circumstances. Take ownership. Understand that you are exactly where you are in your life because of the decisions you have made or let other people make for you. And so this changed my entire perspective and the entire business, I think, because I was like oh, my word, do you know you are so right. I'm gonna take ownership of this business and we're gonna make something out of this because I think I let my lack of experience totally demean what I was capable of doing.
And so, for me the big action, the big thing that changed – so, I had that ah-hah moment and the whole concept of taking ownership is like taking action. So, I called the meetings. I hired the right people. I started really taking the steps to like lead in the areas that I was supposed to lead in the business. And I honestly can trace back the growth of the business to largely like that time and the time where all of us as partners started reading this book and really decided to hone in on this and take ownership of our lives and the business.
John: Fire Nation, when are you going to take 100 percent responsibility for your life? Oh, you already have? Well, awesome. But if you haven't then ask yourself, when are you going to because I don't care what it is that you want to complain or moan or groan about. Take responsibility. Take extreme ownership.
You're sitting at a stop sign and somebody rear ends you. Take ownership. Like why do you keep complaining about other people doing other things to you? This is your life. You are exactly where you are because of decisions that you've made, or I like how you put that, Chelann that you've let other people make for you. Stop that. Extreme ownership; 100 percent responsibility.
If you think value bombs have been dropped, well, you're right, and more coming up in the lightning round when we get back from thanking our sponsors.
Chelann, are you ready to rock the lightning round?
Chelann: Oh, yeah. Bring it on.
John: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Chelann: Fear that I wasn't doing and spending my time in the right areas.
John: What's the best advice you've ever received?
Chelann: Follow your truth and walking your truth. Always walk the talk and never, ever compromise on your personal values.
John: What's a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Chelann: Always prioritizing my priority spheres in life of health and relationship, not matter how busy I am or what season I'm in.
John: Recommend one internet resource.
Chelann: Acuity Scheduling because if you have a crazy schedule like I do, it's absolutely amazing for streamlining, especially the scheduling part.
John: I'm obsessed with calendars, Fire Nation. I personally use ScheduleOnce. Acuity Scheduling's great. Calendly is free. You have to get one.
Recommend one book besides Extreme Ownership and share why.
Chelann: Oh, shoot.
John: We've already talked about it. I want another great one.
Chelann: I know. Okay, but if you guy haven't read Extreme Ownership, please do.
John: Are you dating Jocko? Is that what's happening here?
Chelann: No. Is he single?
John: You're like I wish.
Chelann: Okay. I think that The Magic of Thinking Big.
John: Great one.
Chelann: I'm gonna have to recommend that one. I love that book. It's literally teaches you the magic of thinking big. It was written years and years and years ago, so they still talk about like telegrams and all of that. But everything in that book still so heavily applies to how we can think big, think beyond the box in our lives.
John: Yeah, he should actually like create an updated version that just says, here's like an urban dictionary for like what a telegram means, just so we can –
Chelann: I don't know what half the things are in there, honestly.
John: And this is no joke, Fire Nation, the audio version is actually exceptional. They like super highly produce that. Like at one point he's like talking about a café and like you hear the café noises in the background. So, if you're not currently an Audible member, you can actually get that book for free, The Magic of Thinking Big for free, eofirebook.com. Just head over there, become an Audible member, grab that book for free as part of your gift, and you're off to the races.
And, Chelann, let's end today on fire with a parting piece of guidance, the best way we can connect with you. And then we'll say goodbye.
Chelann: My parting piece of guidance. I believe that if we started to take ownership and not make excuses for our lives, we can accomplish anything. So, I want to challenge you, Fire Nation, to take ownership of every single area of your life, knowing you are exactly where you are because of the decisions you've made or let other people make for you.
And don't become a victim of your circumstances. Be a leader and a changer of your circumstances. And you guys can connect with me. I am Chelann Gienger, C-H-E-L-A-N-N G-I-E-N-G-E-R, across all social media platforms. And I also have a gift that I wanna give you guys. I want to give you a free download of my book, Dear Millennial. And also all of the book resources for free. So, if you go to chelanngienger.com/Fire, you can access all of those
John: Fire Nation, you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You've been hanging out with CG and JLD today, so keep up the heat and head over to eofire.com. Just type Chelann; that's C-H-E-L-A-N-N, in the search bar. Her show and this page will pop up with everything we've been talking about today. These are the best show notes in the biz. Time stamps, links galore.
And, of course, make sure you head over to chelanngienger.com/Fire for that completely free download of the book, Dear Millennial. And then plus all of the other resources she's dropping in there.
Chelann, thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, we salute you. And we'll catch you on flipside.
Chelann: Thank you so much, John.
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