I met this week’s ‘Gutsy Gal of the Week’ recipient on Twitter thru a mutual organization; Woman Speakers Association. I heard she started her own business at just 19 years old, so I had to know more about her. We officially met via Skype and we instantly knew we were kindred spirits. I loved her energy and as you will read, her story as well. I feel she represents a Gutsy Gal extremely well, her story reflects the real world, as success rarely happens in a straight upward line. I know you will be inspired reading her story, I am honored to introduce you to Dr. Janelle Alex, Ph.D.
Can you tell our audience about a little bit about Yourself?
I am Dr. Janelle Alex, Ph.D., a momma, a wife, a life-long entrepreneur and a spiritual being. With a crazy-pants, free spirit I started my first company at 19-years-old. That was over 25 years ago. Since 2004, my hubby and I have been in business together and for the past 5 years we have focused on couples and relationships. Earlier this year, we rebranded as Mission Date Night. Think James Bond meets Austin Powers! Mission Date Night helps you keep the adventure, mystery and spark in your relationship readily available.
Want the more serious, traditional perspective of who I am? Okay, I can share that, too.
I use a blend of body consciousness, spiritual psychology, transpersonal counseling, animal energy and spiritual connection. I have spent the past 25 years helping others connect to their creative energy – their life force energy. I show women and couples how to integrate unique, yet practical, spiritual tools to traverse the journey of their relationship and how to direct their sexual energy (creative energy), so that they can deepen their relationships and fulfill their life’s dreams.
I graduated summa cum laude from St. Mary-of-the-Woods College with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Criminology. My graduate degrees include a Master of Arts in Transpersonal Psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (now Sofia University), Masters in Metaphysical Sciences from the University of Metaphysics and her Ph.D. in Transpersonal Counseling from the University of Sedona. My dissertation was Sacred Intimacy: Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Relationship.
What makes you a Gutsy Gal?
As I mentioned above, I started my first company at 19. I didn’t know then just how gutsy that really was. Having been a dancer my whole life I opened a dance studio in my hometown. There were four other well-established dance studios in our small community! Yet, within two years I was highly successful and my classes were overflowing – six, sometimes seven, days a week. By opting to start my business so young I chose not to go to college back then. Instead, I waited until I was a mom, divorced and remarried before I started my academic journey.
I was probably too hard on myself, but I was determined to achieve the highest honors. I wanted to graduate with a 4.0. Why? Heck if I know! During my undergrad years, I still owned and taught at my dance studio, my husband and I bought what had been his family’s business for decades, I was PTO president, chair person for this and that committee, on the Board of Directors for the local association representing our company, and the State Board of Directors briefly…the list goes on and on. I was flippin’ tired! You see sometimes being gutsy can push you to stretch yourself too thin.
So, my next gutsy move was to step back from the majority of it all. I sold my company, turned into a “cupcake donator” for our sons’ school, and at one point even took 1 ½ years off from my education. In the end as I was finishing up my Bachelor’s degree, my mother went through cancer and I gave birth to our youngest son. Shoo! So, not a 4.0…it was a 3.98, which earned me the highest honor of summa cum laude. I reiterate…why? Who really cares now? It makes for a good story and I believe it can be inspiring, but it wasn’t absolutely necessary. Mind you, it takes a lot of guts to let go and not always strive for perfection, too!
After amazing business success with my husband, rental properties, awesome vacations, a new car regularly, and so on, we hit the recession…and yes, we lost it ALL! We lived in my parents’ slightly renovated garage. We had plywood floors and no heat – only space heaters. We did have a washer/dryer, stove, refrigerator, and a television – all in one room. And, yes we had a bedroom and bathroom, but the automatic garage door opener still hung from the ceiling. Two years…two years later we were able to manifest a move across the country to beautiful Colorado.
I believe it took a lot of guts to pick-up and start over and then to move 1000 miles away from our hometown without even having a place to live when we first left. A lot of people thought we were crazy. Perhaps. Or, perhaps, they just aren’t gutsy gals (or guys), and that it perfectly okay.
Throughout our financial struggle my husband and I grew closer and closer as a couple instead of pointing fingers and playing the blame game. We took responsibility for our mistakes and choices.
In your experience, How does it feel to be Gutsy?
How does it feel to be gutsy? That is a great question. It is exhilarating. It is bold. It makes me often feel like I am blazing a trail. Sometimes, I might even think I am crazy. On the other hand, it supports my view of myself as being a leader. BUT, it can be super scary. It can make your knees weak and your hands shake. It may make your heart race…from fear as well as excitement.
I always question authority and have a habit of asking, “What if?” Therefore, I feel like a maverick.
What would you say is am important lesson you’ve learned?
That it is absolutely okay to be me. That I AM enough and that there is no normal. I prefer to be the tall poppy. However, being the tallest poppy in the field means that others will notice you, but some will want to cut you down. One more thing I learned is how to let go of the need to be right. If there is a winner and a loser, then…there is a loser. Why not take a moment to see things from another’s perspective. You don’t have to change your mind or back down, but putting this into practice changed my life and my husband’s.
Finally, What does BEING A GUTSY GAL mean to you?
Being a gutsy gal means having freedom! I believe it means being alive and exploring new adventures. It is about feeling excited about what mystery tomorrow might hold! How exciting!
Rob + Janelle Alex
Relationship + Intimacy Experts
Co-Founders of Mission Date Night