Welcome to the Pretty Powerful Podcast with Angela Gennari
March 29, 2022

Episode 4: Jenna Banks

Jenna Banks, Author of "Love Yourself More: How To Find Happiness and Success Through Self-Love", talks with Angela Gennari about her passion for helping women recognize how PowerFULL they are, and how to tap into their inner confidence.

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Jenna Banks, Author of "Love Yourself More: How To Find Happiness and Success Through Self-Love", talks with Angela Gennari about her passion for helping women recognize how PowerFULL they are, and how to tap into their inner confidence. Learning to value yourself, redefine guilt and overcome imposter syndrome are necessary to achieve success in relationships and career ambitions.... listen to Jenna's great insight and encouragement about how to "do it scared" to reach your goals.


Pretty Powerful Podcast with Angela Gennari:Episode 4 Jenna Banks

Welcome to the pretty powerful podcast where powerful women are interviewed every week to share real inspiring stories and incredible insight to help women or anyone break the barriers, be a part of innovation, shatter the glass ceiling and dominate to the top of their sport industry or life's mission. Join us as we celebrate exceptional women and step into our power. And now here's your host, Angela Gennari.

Angela Gennari: Hello and thank you so much for being here. This is the Pretty Powerful podcast I am Angela Gennari, and I am sitting here with miss Jenna banks. And I'm super excited to have you here today because you have an incredible story, and I feel like we are living parallel to universes because you have a brand that is very similar to what I'm doing. And I absolutely love that because I think that you cannot get this message across enough that more women need to step into their power. So, welcome, Jenna. Thank you for being here.

Jenna Banks: Thank you. I'm really excited to be there with you, Angela.

Angela Gennari: Well, let me tell you a little bit about Jenna. So, Jenna banks is a social entrepreneur real estate investor, author speaker, and self-love advocate. Against all odds, she pivoted from the self-loathing survivor of a traumatic childhood and a nearly fatal suicide to a fully empowered woman who knows her worth. Following her passion for entrepreneurship, she started a home-based business with just a G E D $400 and a laptop. She sold that business in 2019 for $500,000. That's incredible. Having achieved the business success she's now focused on her mission to fulfill what she sees as her ultimate life's purpose, helping women embrace their value and power through self-love. Her upcoming book titled I love me more, how to find happiness and success through self-love just released on March 8th, 2022, on international women's day. Congratulations.

Jenna Banks: Thank you.

Angela Gennari: That's amazing.

Jenna Banks: Thank you so much. Yeah.

Angela Gennari: So, tell me what inspired you to write the book? I mean, writing a book is not an easy task and I'm sure it has probably been on your mind for a while because I know that that's typically how it goes is that we say we're going to do it someday. So, what happened, where did that come from?

Jenna Banks: I'm actually kind of fortunate in that. I was inspired to write the book and then, I actually ended up writing it like a year later.

Angela Gennari: I love it.

Jenna Banks: So, the gap wasn't that long. It was actually the time I knew the time was now.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: And I'm very spiritual and I felt like the universe was supporting me and getting this message out now and then COVID hit.

Angela Gennari: Yep, absolutely.

Jenna Banks: So, what inspired it is? You know, I took for granted the journey, the long arduous tough journey, the battle that I went to get from this self-loathing place that I was in this lack of self-worth, no self-value to a place where I love myself more than anyone else, and that I could truly say, I love me more, which is the title of the book.

Angela Gennari: Absolutely.

Jenna Banks: And I just had taken that for granted. So, I went out to dinner with a friend of mine one night after breaking up with a man that I was really, really in love with. And I had broken my own heart to choose myself. I was in a lot of pain but still empowered because it was only a few weeks before that I had broken up with this gentleman and I'm explaining it to her, and I really think she wanted to get us back together. She's like thinking, I will convince Jenna, like, you know, just men, this situation, she wasn't thinking of this whole, like, I love me more concept. She didn't even know of this way of thinking that I had. So, I explained it to her. She's like, why, you know, why did you do this? And I said, well, I love myself more than I love him. I wasn't getting what I needed. I wasn't feeling valued. I had to value myself and love myself more and choose myself and walk away from that situation because I didn't think he was capable. I knew he was. And I gave him every opportunity and I wasn't getting what I was needing.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: And she couldn't understand, and that part really intrigued me. I was like, I don't understand how you don't understand. And in a sweet way, I was like, okay, let me do my best to try to explain it. And I tried to do it during our dinner time together. And I thought I did a good job.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: Come to find out. She still was kind of baffled by it, but she was thinking about it, thinking about it, processing it. And a few weeks later, she calls me, she's like, oh my God, Jenna, I got it. I get it, I get it.

Angela Gennari: That's amazing.

Jenna Banks: I love me more. She's like, I just broke up with my boyfriend, she hadn't been dating him that long, but he had been treating her pretty badly. Not outright bad, but in the way that a lot of us experience as women, especially when you're just dating maybe a few months the cryptic text messages, the waiting is he going to, you know, call me, is he not? Oh, and the excuses and all the, just all the anxiety and the not feeling good and not feeling worthy and worthy of his attention. Does he like me? Does he not like me? Why? Like we don't...

Angela Gennari: Is he aloof because he doesn't like me? Is he aloof because he's busy? Is he busy? Is he not interested? Is there somebody else? I understand. I mean, I get it. Dating is so hard, and I agree with you. It's so hard to understand our value in that, because so much, you know, we are taught it's how we, you know, we serve others and we give them value, but we don't ever own that value. We feel guilty, right? So, we feel guilty for taking our own.

Jenna Banks: In that situation, she was actually looking to him for her value.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: Does he value me? Does he find me worthy? And hanging on him to give her value.

Angela Gennari: Wow.

Jenna Banks: Yeah. And what happened was she realized what clicked for her was she realized she wasn't valuing herself by looking to this guy for her value. And by also allowing this situation in her life, she's like, I wasn't, she goes, I get it. I wasn't valuing me like I was this third party in the mirror, so I needed to love myself more and call it off because this guy was definitely not capable of valuing her. And it was very empowering for her.

Angela Gennari: Yeah.

Jenna Banks: And she goes on to tell her friends about this, and then they call it, I love me more. And I'm like, oh my gosh. And so, then she's like, you know, Jenna, it would be really helpful to understand how you got to this place. How did you get to this place of choosing yourself more than anyone else like loving yourself more? And I was like, okay. Wow. All right, let me think about this. And then I started journaling and then I was like, oh my God, there's something here, and if I could help one person and her friends, what, you know, it's like, this is such a powerful thing, and us women, we need this knowledge, we need this. We need to be in our power. Right?

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: Talking about the word power earlier.

Angela Gennari: I know. And I think power is a word that we need to use more in our language, because we don't use that when we refer to women, right? We might say confidence, but rarely do we say powerful. And I think I love that you also have powerful as part of your branding too because I want that to become part of our regular conversation, and so I love that. I think that there are a lot of opportunities, for us to grow in this particular paradigm shift that we're in.

Jenna Banks: Oh, I love it. Yes, you're thinking my language. Yes.

Angela Gennari: So, yeah, I think that there's so much to do and say, and so, you know, I love that you've built a brand around empowering woman.

Jenna Banks: You too, by the way.

Angela Gennari: Yeah. so, I mean, I feel like there's so much room for more women to step up into this and I love to see it and I think we should promote each other and just, you know, maintaining that conversation and make sure that conversation is constantly happening because for too long, it has not happened. So, I love that you're out there, you know with your brand out there telling people, you are powerful, you are worthy, you know, step into your power and make sure that you're owning your success.

Jenna Banks: Thank you.

Angela Gennari: And so that's amazing.

Jenna Banks: Yeah, that's what is powerful, so the brand is powerful women. I launched it on March 8th international women's day. The same day that you launched this podcast.

Angela Gennari: Yes.

Jenna Banks: I meant to be very luminous with the word power. Yes. So, powerful though. The word I'm using is powerfull. F U L L as in full of our own power, the power that we as women have been conditioned over thousands of years.

Angela Gennari: Sure.

Jenna Banks: To give away to everybody else without knowing it, our own value and our own worth. So, our power has value. I like to say your love is your power. it's really good to put it in that context, which is why I'm all about self-love. You can give that love or your power to everyone else, your boss, your kids, your husband, or partner everyone, your family, and give it away freely as we've been raised to do, which there's nothing wrong to give. But when you give in that way to give to everyone else, we should be doing that. But when you don't give it to yourself first...

Angela Gennari: Oh, yeah.

Jenna Banks: That's the key. You first fill up what I call your power container to power full that's why it's powerful women. We need to be full of our own power. And then we give from the full power.

Angela Gennari: Well, because when you have a full cup, you know, just like, if you're on an airplane and they say, put your own mask on first, before you help others because you can help more people if you yourself are taken care of, right?

Jenna Banks: That's right.

Angela Gennari: And so, but our value is always dictated by what we give to others.

Jenna Banks: That's right.

Angela Gennari: As a woman, right?

Jenna Banks: Yeah.

Angela Gennari: So, nobody says what a good mom she spent the day at the spa, right?

Jenna Banks: Yeah.

Angela Gennari: What a good mom she's out there writing a book. They say, what a good mom she spent the whole day cooking and cleaning. And you know, like that's where our value is.

Jenna Banks: That's, right.

Angela Gennari: And it's not fair because when that's our value is us constantly giving to others and we're not doing self-care, which you are such an advocate of, and I love that. Then we don't have as much to give

Jenna Banks: That's, right.

Angela Gennari: We don't.

Jenna Banks: And then we also worry about what others think.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: It's that, that, and guilt and all these other things that keep us in this in line.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: We think, oh, someone's going to judge me If I go to the spa, take some me-time. This is what I'm supposed to do. Or I was never modeled that by my mother or my grandmother or whatever. And so, this is what I'm supposed to be doing. And if we don't do what we think we're supposed to be doing, we feel guilty.

Angela Gennari: Correct. Yep.

Jenna Banks: And I have also found through research that guilt, actually, is really powerful. You know, I'm all about shining a spotlight on these unconscious social norms, this old conditioning that we just kind of run around this program with, in our head and never question.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: So, here's a big spotlight that I'm going to shine right now. Guilt y'all doesn't necessarily mean what you think it means.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: Guilt, we think means, means that we're doing something wrong.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: Right? That we're going against a moral code that we're being bad. Guilt drives a lot of our behavior, especially as women, which by the way, I've discovered through research there are studies on this, go look this up online I think there's a Harvard business review study on this. That got men experience guilt very differently than women do.

Angela Gennari: Okay, tell me about that.

Jenna Banks: So, men will experience guilt, and this is most men, by the way, I'm painting with a very broad brush here. There are exceptions to the rule in some of these cases, however, even some of the most empathetic men that I know I've asked, and this is true for them too.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: Men will experience guilt for the most part if they do something against themselves. To harm themselves, like I drank too much

Angela Gennari: Drinking and yeah. Absolutely.

Jenna Banks: God, I drank too much. Why did I do that to myself? Women on the other hand will experience guilt when we feel or worry that we're hurting someone's feelings.

Angela Gennari: Wow. Okay. That's interesting.

Jenna Banks: And what we'll do is we'll also turn it into what they call toxic guilt, which turns into shame. And then we start beating ourselves up and then we turn it into anger against ourselves.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: We beat ourselves up over this guilt and come to find out what guilt actually is, and I believe most psychotherapists will tell you, this is true. This is how I learned it is that guilt actually doesn't necessarily mean you're doing something wrong. It actually means you're going against a pre-programmed behavior.

Angela Gennari: Wow. Interesting.

Jenna Banks: A conditioned grooved path that we're used to running. And when we get off that path, we feel guilty. And guess what we do when we feel guilty? It's uncomfortable. So, we go right back on the path.

Angela Gennari: Absolutely. And we repeat patterns, right? And I think when I got divorced, that was one thing that, it killed me because I felt like I hurt so many people in wanting a divorce, but I was so incredibly unhappy. And the guilt that I carried with me for years just, I maintained a toxic pattern of, you know, I got to put it back. I got to put it back. I got to put it back. And it was, it was not healthy for me. It was not healthy for anyone I was in a relationship with. And it wasn't until I finally said, you know what? I deserve better than this. And I'm a better person now. I am a more whole person now because I've forced myself to own what I've done in the past, but also to recognize that it was a pattern that wasn't serving me, and I needed to figure that out.

Jenna Banks: I love it.

Angela Gennari: And so, it's really tough though, as women because it was everybody else that I was hurting, I was relieved. I was finally happy. I was finally feeling like I was doing the right thing for myself, but I carried guilt for years because of it

Jenna Banks: Years. Think about all that wasted energy.

Angela Gennari: Yes.

Jenna Banks: Because that's what that is, is draining what I call our power container.

Angela Gennari: Yes.

Jenna Banks: We have these drains that just drain our power. That mom guilts. It drains us.

Angela Gennari: Yes, it does.

Jenna Banks: We need women to be power full.

Angela Gennari: Absolutely.

Jenna Banks: Full of our own power so we can give more, it's doing nobody, any good to drain ourselves of our power.

Angela Gennari: I a hundred percent agree with you. I love that. And I think a lot of people on here are listening and thinking the same thing, you know? How many times have I been guilty of something that was making me happy, and I needed for myself at that moment? And you have another thing that you have in the repertoire of your brand, and it says, stop saying, I'm sorry.

Jenna Banks: Yes.

Angela Gennari: Oh my God I love this so much because I literally had this conversation. I lead a women's small group for my church. And every time one of the women speaks up, she says, I'm sorry if I'm taking up too much time. I'm sorry if this I'm sorry, if that, I'm sorry. If we went over, I'm sorry, if I'm interrupting, I'm sorry if my story's going on too long and I'm like, stop apologizing that's what we're here for, but it's that way in every circle. Right? For women, we apologize to each other. I'm sorry I'm late. I heard something and I thought this was brilliant instead of focusing on I'm sorry. Be thankful. Thank you for waiting instead of I'm sorry I'm late. Right? So, thank you for waiting, and so that way you're not stepping into the, I'm sorry. I'm, you know, you are owning what it is and you're thinking of the other person and being grateful for their patience.

Jenna Banks: So, it comes back down to power. Again, I love that you're bringing this up because oh yeah be in your power. Don't let that drain off I'm sorry. Let me shrink myself too small.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: So, that I make you feel better again, that's just women trying to make you feel good.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: Us worrying about how you feel and we're going to make ourselves small to do that.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: It's just an old pattern that's another spotlight. It's like, hey guys, let's break this pattern. Now I've noticed because I'm hyper-aware of this now because I wrote about it and I talk about this a lot and I'm like, I've noticed some guy's kind of taking that on too.

Angela Gennari: Oh really? Okay.

Jenna Banks: Yeah, which I never used to see before, but occasionally it's almost like, it becomes like a, how are you? You know, that... Like, hi, how are you? Don't really mean how are you? But it's like a reflex.

Angela Gennari: Yes.

Jenna Banks: Like, oh, everyone else is saying, sorry so I might as well say, sorry, but like, it's not a good thing. Nobody should be... we should not be apologizing. Well, here's the way it really, I want to help someone, and I have to hold myself back. It's like, I live in a building where there's an elevator and like most women do this, I don't tend to see men doing this is they'll walk out of the elevator and just say, I'm sorry for walking by you having to move

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: To walk. Sorry, sorry. Sorry. And they're shrinking themselves. And I'm like, no, please don't do that. Why are you sorry for being here?

Angela Gennari: Right. For existing for taking up space. Right, right.

Jenna Banks: Exactly.

Angela Gennari: Yeah, I love it. So, and then you're talking about what it feels to level up in life, and you go into this, I think on Instagram, I was reading this, and I think that this was so powerful because you said leveling up as a woman feels uncomfortable.

Jenna Banks: Yeah.

Angela Gennari: Right. It feels, and you said a term that we use frequently on this because it's come up in every single podcast so far, it feels like you're an imposter.

Jenna Banks: Yes. Imposter syndrome. Yes.

Angela Gennari: So, imposter syndrome is something that I think women face a lot in the boardroom if we're in a career. I think that we get into this idea of, do we belong here? Am I fitting in, am I accepted? Am I in the wrong room? Do they feel like I'm worthy to be here?

Jenna Banks: Yeah.

Angela Gennari: And so, imposter syndrome, I think, is something that we deal with quite a lot, especially as we're moving through our career. And so, you said it feels how... talk about a little bit about what leveling up feels like?

Jenna Banks: That's a very... you know what, I think you're the first person to ask me this. Yes, it is. It's so important. I felt, okay. I'll give you an example of my own story.

Angela Gennari: Okay.

Jenna Banks: Just writing this book.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: For example, in my first book, I've never written, as you mentioned earlier in my bio, I have a G E D.

Angela Gennari: Yeah.

Jenna Banks: I barely went to high school, let alone college, you know, in fact, I remember feeling like an imposter going through corporate, just trying to work my way up and prove myself and feel worthy to be there. I was like, oh, they're using these big words I don't know. Oh my God. All right. What is that word? And I'd literally be like, looking it up online afterward I'll write it down. Okay. Nefarious. Oh, that's my... So, like I learned my vocabulary, like in the real world, but like so you can imagine going to write a book that people are going to read. Imposter syndrome came up and I'm like, as I started researching for the book, I'm like reading all this great stuff and I'm comparing, which is, by the way, we should never ever do that.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: I had to learn that lesson the hard way comparing, oh my God these people write so good. I'm never going to write like that. I'll never write like that. I should just give up. Right. That's where the imposter syndrome comes in when you start comparing.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: And I had to get over that to get to this point where look, I've got a book out of me. That goes to show you, I mean, this book is, was featured in Forbes recently. It's been on ABC and NBC. I mean, yes, this is a necessary book, and I could write a book and I could get a message out there worth reading and all of that. I had to move past an imposter syndrome. And that is another norm that I think needs a spotlight because the more of us that know that this is normal.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: You're going to feel when you're doing something new, like an imposter.

Angela Gennari: Yeah.

Jenna Banks: Work through that discomfort.

Angela Gennari: Absolutely.

Jenna Banks: Get to the other side... Keep focus.

Angela Gennari: It's going to feel chaotic, uncertain.

Jenna Banks: Yeah.

Angela Gennari: You're going to feel out of place. You're going to feel like you know, you're going to question your worth. You're going to question; do I belong here? And the key is just pushed through.

Jenna Banks: Push through.

Angela Gennari: Push through and you will get to the other side of that.

Jenna Banks: Key is to follow your heart.

Angela Gennari: Absolutely.

Jenna Banks: Now, if it doesn't fit with your heart and you're doing it for material reasons.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: Because so, and so is doing this and I want to get 10 million or whatever, if it's not what your heart is telling you, then yeah that's going to be difficult.

Angela Gennari: Absolutely.

Jenna Banks: But if you're driven, you want to be the best rap star in the world. You want to be a mogul at real estate mogul, do it like if your heart is driven, do it, like don't worry about comparing and other people and all of that.

Angela Gennari: Absolutely. And you were talking about being spiritual earlier and I very much am too. In fact, I got crystals outside...

Jenna Banks: I love it.

Angela Gennari: So. But I'm the same way. And, you know, my mother is very spiritual as well. And so, when you're doing what the universe wants you to do or what God wants you to do, doors will open, and things will be easier. And we were talking right before the podcast started about you know, you said you're supposed to be doing this. I said because I'm normally like running up to the finish line and everything is very last minute. But with this podcast, everything has happened so seamlessly, and some of these incredible women like yourself that I've, you know, said, oh my gosh, this woman has a story I need to hear it. Everybody needs to hear it. You know, the doors have opened, and you have embraced this idea and things are moving so much faster than I ever imagined that they would. And I think it's because this is what the universe said, yeah, you're on the right path right now. Let's keep going. Let's keep this moving. And so, the only hurdle that I've faced so far is me. It's my confidence.

Jenna Banks: It's the mindset.

Angela Gennari: It's me saying, I'm not ready. I'm not worthy. I'm not confident enough. I'm going to stumble over my words. I've never done this before. I don't know the technical version. There are a million different things that prevented me from doing it for a while. But here we are.

Jenna Banks: Yeah. Too scared, right?

Angela Gennari: Yeah.

Jenna Banks: Do it scared, do it fearful. Just do it though that's the key, because like you said... I was just having this conversation earlier today this exact conversation about just, I knew I was supposed to be doing this, the universe, God was giving, opening all the doors. Once I started going down this path, I just knew I was on the right path because all the doors started opening for me, all the connections, all these, it just when I'd start to wonder, and then it'd just be like, oh, here's another door for you that's open Jenna. And I was like, that's it. I don't question it. I know this is my path. I know I'm supposed to be doing it when it's in the flow and you're supported. God supports you. The universe supports you when you're on your path, then you just have to do it balls out. Hopefully, I can say that word on your podcast.

Angela Gennari: Yes

Jenna Banks: Okay.

Angela Gennari: Well, and what I love is you just said flow because a body emotion stays in motion. Thoughts in motions, stay in motion, you have to take that first step, right?

Jenna Banks: Yeah.

Angela Gennari: Because when we're saying, do it scared, what we're saying is the doors may not be open right now. You may not see the path yet, but you have to take that first step.

Jenna Banks: Yeah.

Angela Gennari: If you don't take the first step flow, can't happen. Doors. Can't open, you know, nobody's going to come knocking on my door.

Jenna Banks: Right. That's right.

Angela Gennari: Saying, hey, here's an opportunity you need to take it.

Jenna Banks: Just sitting there at home on the couch, watching television. No, it's not going to be happening. So, I was literally just having this conversation earlier today. I don't know if you know Mike Dooley.

Angela Gennari: I do not.

Jenna Banks: He is really ...he's on the hay house publishing imprint.

Angela Gennari: Okay.

Jenna Banks: But he's a great spiritual teacher guide, whatever you want to call him. One takeaway, if I could give you from what he says is in line with what we're talking about. He says, literally it's like a GPS.

Angela Gennari: Okay.

Jenna Banks: You literally just set your GPS to your destination and say, okay, like, I want to have like top 10 podcast in spirituality, whatever it is, set your GPS, and then don't worry about, am I turning right?

Angela Gennari: Yes.

Jenna Banks: Am I turning left?

Angela Gennari: Yeah.

Jenna Banks: Are we going to have a detour?

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jeena: Don't worry about it. Just get in the car. That's the only thing you have to do. Get in your car and pull out of the driveway and just start driving.

Angela Gennari: Yeah. You know, I love that because when I started my company, I own a security company and we do security and event staffing, and everybody would always say, how did you get into security? I'm like, I have no idea. It was never the intention.

Jenna Banks: Yeah.

Angela Gennari: It's just, that's the way the universe led me. Those are the doors that opened. These were the signs I was given in some way or another, that this is the path I needed to be on. And it happened that way. Did I ever intend to start a staffing company or a security company? No, never.

Jenna Banks: So, what was your GPS lead to? I'm curious.

Angela Gennari: Oh, you know, I wanted to own a business that respected its employees that gave them value. I wanted to have a company where I had employees and they didn't feel like this was the black hole of their career. So, I wanted to provide continuing education, continuing...

Jenna Banks: Giving back

Angela Gennari: Training, helping out others. I wanted to elevate the standards in the meetings and events industry when it came to staffing, and really it wasn't about having a staffing company. It was how do we raise the standards? And there was nobody doing it. And so, I said, you know what? I think I need to start creating my own. And so, I just started pushing and it resonated with our clients, but it was never my intention to own a security company. And so, like you were saying set the GPS say these are my ultimate goals.

Jenna Banks: Yeah.

Angela Gennari: My ultimate goal is to have a company that embraces you know, change and embraces a standard and elevates hospitality because I had gone to a football game, in downtown Atlanta, and I remember going in and the staff just seemed very aloof, uncaring. They didn't seem very professional. And I just thought this is not the way we need to represent Atlanta. Like we need to do better than this. And so that's when I decided I was going to get into the security realm because I said, no, this can't be the way, you know, we embrace visitors to our city, and I love Atlanta and I love what we've built here, and I love the tourism and I just thought we could do better.

Jenna Banks: So, that I think is really important what you note there, you didn't have a clear...

Angela Gennari: No.

Jenna Banks: You knew, but you knew the direction you just didn't know it was a security service you didn't know the details, but you knew that you wanted to help people...

Angela Gennari: Absolutely...

Jenna Banks: Deliver something beautiful for people, and that I think is also key is when we are in service

Angela Gennari: Yes.

Jenna Banks: To others, then the universe will support you 100%.

Angela Gennari: Absolutely. If my goal was, I want to make a bunch of money. I could probably go do that, but I don't know, the doors are going to open the way it was. My goal, my ultimate goal was to provide an amazing guest experience for visitors to Atlanta and to provide a platform for employees to be able to learn and grow within their, community and their company. And so those are my goals and that's why the universe opened up doors.

Jenna Banks: Right.

Angela Gennari: Not because I wanted to make money

Jenna Banks: Million dollars,

Angela Gennari: Not because I wanted to have X, Y, and Z clients. And so, I think that that's the difference is, you know, and when you're talking about setting a GPS, you're so on point with that, because if you get caught up in, I need to take step A.

Jenna Banks: Yes.

Angela Gennari: And then step A, step B, step C step... It does not go that way.

Jenna Banks: It doesn't work like that.

Angela Gennari: And then you become shattered because you think nothing's working out.

Jenna Banks: That's right.

Angela Gennari: Because you think, well, this isn't the way I had planned it.

Jenna Banks: Right. And that's why you can't worry about the directions because you don't know what's ahead.

Angela Gennari: No.

Jenna Banks: There might be an accident ahead that the universe goes ah we've got to work around for you.

Angela Gennari: Yes.

Jenna Banks: So, if it's...

Angela Gennari: And going to lead to better things.

Jenna Banks: That's right.

Angela Gennari: Yes. No, I love it. I think you're so on point with that so thank you. So, tell me, how did you get here? Because I'm so curious about your journey, because you know, with your, you said you had had a rough childhood, right? And so, and then here you are at 18, where were you at 18 years old? What would you say to yourself then? And say, okay, listen to me, Jenna, I need you to know, I need you to know this is what's going to happen. What would you say to your 18-year-old self?

Jenna Banks: I would say that don't worry about it and just be you because I feel like it's, that's a hard age, right? 18 we're comparing ourselves to everyone and worrying about what the future looks like. And I was suicidal up until, you know, almost 18. So. I didn't want to live, that's what a lack of self-value and self-worth I had. But like, I think what's really missing right now and it's getting worse, not better, and we need to deal with this now, or it's just going to keep getting worse because our suicide rates are going up and...

Angela Gennari: Yes.

Jenna Banks: People are more depressed than ever and relying on substances to feel better. Is that we need to understand that everything we need is inside of us.

Angela Gennari: Yes.

Jenna Banks: Everything. Our self-worth, everything comes down to self-worth, self-value, and self-respect.

Angela Gennari: Yes.

Jenna Banks: Self-like. It's all about self because everything stems from self. If you cannot forgive yourself, you will not be forgiving others. If you can't respect yourself, others won't respect you. If you have no value, you're not going to get paid a lot because you're not going to reflect the sense of self-worth, and you're going to get paid, like, you know, ish. So, you need to... It starts with you, and it's not about giving outside of you. It's not, our worth is not found in pleasing this person, doing this wearing our pants down below our butts or, you know, putting these huge, fake eyelashes on. That's not going to make us more worthy. It's not going to ever make you feel better.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: I'll guarantee you that. And once the next thing it's always, oh, well then, I got to get the lips done and now I got to get the boobs and I got to get all these things. Those are fine. That's fine. And I'm saying you shouldn't do those things if that's what you feel like doing, but you're never going to find your happiness or your worth in any of those things.

Angela Gennari: No. And you do it for yourself If you want that for yourself.

Jenna Banks: That's right.

Angela Gennari: But never do it for anyone else.

Jenna Banks: That's right. Never do it for anyone else.

Angela Gennari: Never do it for anyone else. If somebody says that you have more value because you have, you know, this body type or this body shape get rid of the person.

Jenna Banks: Yeah, because I'm a believer in keeping up with appearances. I do all this like a lot of it, I don't do all of the extreme stuff.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: But I certainly like to look good and feel good about how I look, but I don't derive my sense of self-work from that.

Angela Gennari: Yeah.

Jenna Banks: And that's where the powerful idea comes in, that's why it's such a powerful concept is because our real beauty, our real power is within its none of these things, we could take all those things off of our bodies.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: And still feel powerful.

Angela Gennari: Yes.

Jenna Banks: Because the power comes from how you feel about yourself and that's it.

Angela Gennari: Absolutely. You want to know that you feel good about the person in the mirror, not because of the way you look, but because of how you feel.

Jenna Banks: I'll give you. Okay. I love that you bring up the mirror thing because this is something that I paid attention to a lot. I'm a very introspective kind of a deep person.

Angela Gennari: Yeah.

Jenna Banks: I reflect on a lot of things. And I remember the times I didn't, like what I saw in the mirror had nothing to do with my eyelashes or makeup or anything like that. It had to do when I was giving up parts of myself.

Angela Gennari: Interesting.

Jenna Banks: In relationships that weren't serving me, and I would look at myself, I'd go. Why don't I like what I see in the mirror? I don't like this, and I don't like this. And then when I'd say my God, Jenna, you look amazing. You're beautiful. Those are the times that I was really fully in my power.

Angela Gennari: Oh, interesting. I love that.

Jenna Banks: When I chose me and made my happiness, my number one priority when I was at the pinnacle of that when I reached the pinnacle of that, I loved what I saw back with me. And you know, what? It was well into my forties when I really achieved that pinnacle, I'd say, so it's weird to believe that.

Angela Gennari: Wow.

Jenna Banks: I feel like I look my best in my leading years in life because that's when I feel my most powerful.

Angela Gennari: Absolutely. Yeah. Because you probably were dealing with insecurities and am I worthy? And it's hard to look at yourself and appreciate who you are when you're having those internal dialogues.

Jenna Banks: Yeah. When you're giving up all your power to everything outside of yourself, and that's why I like to call it powerful.

Angela Gennari: Yeah.

Jenna Banks: It's really, I think important for us as women to reframe what powerful is for a woman so we can own it and say, I am powerful. I don't say it in a way it might sound narcissistic or something to say that. So, I want to make sure that I clearly, you know, give that, that differential because power in our minds especially as women, what we think of the reason why we shy away from power is we see it as a masculine trait.

Angela Gennari: Yeah, absolutely.

Jenna Banks: Yeah. Like having power over other people, being manipulative

Angela Gennari: Being aggressive.

Jenna Banks: Yeah. And so, we don't want that. We don't want that. And of course, if that's how we associate power, we're going to run away from that. And that makes sense. But we need women to be powerful if we don't own that, we're going to stay in this imbalanced world that we're living in right now where only 8.1% of the fortune five hundred, have female CEOs.

Angela Gennari: Yeah.

Jenna Banks: Where you know, over half of all the entrepreneurs over half worldwide are women yet only 2.3% of female-owned companies got VC funding.

Angela Gennari: Yeah, absolutely. Well, the highest it's ever been was 2.7%. The highest that's ever been in history, and that was in 2021.

Jenna Banks: That's crazy sad.

Angela Gennari: It's sad. And only of all businesses that make a million dollars or more only 1.7 or 1.9% are women owned.

Jenna Banks: See that...

Angela Gennari: So, you know, that's not, that's not okay.

Jenna Banks: It's not okay.

Angela Gennari: You know, it's not okay for the resources, the permission. And this is another thing I think it is. I think it's permission because I felt like I was going against the grain as I'm building my company.

Jenna Banks: Yeah.

Angela Gennari: As I'm reaching those levels of like, you know, the million-dollar mark and everything else.

Jenna Banks: And you're the only woman there, right?

Angela Gennari: Yeah, and I felt like I was doing something wrong. Like I'm going against the grain. It was like, well, how did you get here? Why? You know, and they shouldn't be surprised seeing a woman here versus a man here. It shouldn't be a surprise, but it is because it's so rare and that's not okay.

Jenna Banks: But this is the reality of the world that we're living in. And I don't think most people understand this.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: We live in the world with our blinders on. Oh, well, this is we're better now. Right? We're better.

Angela Gennari: Everybody keeps saying, well, I thought we were pretty equal at this point. Well, women are, you know, I hear all kinds of stuff about, you know, women are on lots of board of directors and executive roles and I'm like, in what industries, healthcare? You know.

Jenna Banks: Cosmetic.

Angela Gennari: Yeah. What industries, retail?

Jenna Banks: Nursing.

Angela Gennari: Tell me what industries those women are in, and I can promise you yes, I understand it because black women are very, very essential and dominant in those industries. But what about the industries where women are not essential or dominant...

Jenna Banks: Banking, Venture Capital funding. The powerhouse places.

Angela Gennari: Right. Exactly. And so, you know, there is still a huge discrepancy about where are women now and where could we be? And where is our value? Because our value is in all of these places, you know, in technology, in innovation, and growth in funding and finance. You know, when you have a woman-run company on wall street, it actually performs better than a male-run company.

Jenna Banks: More profitable actually, too. Happier people, more profitable. Yes.

Angela Gennari: People, women tend to look at it and they see a big picture more than, you know, the next task at hand. They're able to look at the community effect of things. They're able to see how our actions are going to impact others. You know, we have empathy, we have a lot of things. We have no nurturing sense about us that really looks after everybody in an organization, not just the top tier.

Jenna Banks: Yeah.

Angela Gennari: And I think that's what makes organizations stronger when women are at the helm.

Jenna Banks: I love that. You're bringing this up. I also want to bring up though that just because there's a woman doesn't necessarily mean she's going to bring that feminine, empathetic style of leadership. So, I think someone listening, right now might say, well, you know, I've seen the opposite, you know, I'm in a...

Angela Gennari: Sure.

Jenna Banks: I was talking to someone recently who comes from the cosmetics world, and she saw a lot of the masculine power, power over people that made women seem like bitches and that's that old stigma that exists for a reason because we've only known this masculine way of doing things for so long.

Angela Gennari: Yeah.

Jenna Banks: We have to also at the same time, learn to embrace our feminine side, and stop trying to fit into the male mold.

Angela Gennari: Right. We don't, yeah. We don't have to do business the same way they do business.

Jenna Banks: We don't.

Angela Gennari: Well, and here's another thing I think women need to step up and support other women more.

Jenna Banks: Yes.

Angela Gennari: Because I was actually talking to a male friend of mine and he was telling me that there was a woman in power at where he worked and every time another woman would come in and threaten her position or just be, you know, just look up to her for guidance she would somehow sabotage them until they left. But with the men in the organization, she embraced them. She wanted them to keep moving forward, but she wasn't threatened by them. She was threatened by the other women that were coming into the organization. And that's where I feel like we need to do better as women.

Jenna Banks: So, I love that you're bringing this up. This is part of what my powerfull women events and all of that are all about, about redefining, what power is for a woman that includes supporting and lifting each other up. Did you know, again, let's try to spotlight another social norm if you don't mind?

Angela Gennari: Let's do.

Jenna Banks: All right. When guys meet each other, I don't know if you know, if this is only in the south, so anyone listening right now, if you're not in the south, maybe write to Angela and let her know if you've experienced something different, but guys here will definitely be like, like, hey dude, what's up, bro. I experience this all the time where I ask for help at the hardware store and a guy's like feels obligated to help me, and he does so kindly or unwillingly where then my boyfriend walks up and he is like, hey dude, what's up? What's up boss? It's an instant bro club.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: Meanwhile with us women and I are not one of these women, but maybe back in the day, I was sure is we tend to look at each other and it's like size each other up judge, each other, maybe behind a fake smile.

Angela Gennari: Absolutely.

Jenna Banks: But it's like, what's she wearing her? The skirt's too short. She's sharing too much cleavage. I don't like that lipstick she's wearing. You know what's that guy he's too good for her. Like it's just catty whatever. And when we do that to each other, we are not helping each other's cause

Angela Gennari: No.

Jenna Banks: We're not.

Angela Gennari: We're not. And they'll go behind their back because they're somehow threatened. And so, they might go to their boyfriend "oh, you know, I've heard things about her, and you know, they will start demeaning the other woman and the other woman has done nothing to deserve it. And so here we are again, tearing each other down and not building each other up. And that's part of the reason why I wanted this is so important is what you are doing is so important because this loving yourself, this building each other up supporting other women in what we're doing, it's not I had a guy come to me and said, well, you know, I don't think his comment to me, and you'll love this. You know why you're single because you promote women too much, and you don't appreciate men in your life. And I'm like.

Jenna Banks: What?

Angela Gennari: Mm he's like, you don't need a man in your life. And that's why you're single. And I was like...

Jenna Banks: He did not. Oh, my God.

Angela Gennari: So, he said that, and it just made me laugh because I said, you can be pro-woman without being anti-man.

Jenna Banks: Yes.

Angela Gennari: You can absolutely love men for who they are but also love women for who they are.

Jenna Banks: Yeah.

Angela Gennari: And all said, you don't have to be one or the other, you can choose both. You can say, I think men are amazing. And I think women are amazing and I'm single because I want to own my own power. And because I'm comfortable and I don't need to be in a relationship if I'm in a relationship it's because I want to be in a relationship. And in no way, will I tolerate anything less than what I deserve in that relationship, because...

Jenna Banks: Exactly.

Angela Gennari: I know my value, and what I bring to the table and I'm not going to tolerate anything less.

Jenna Banks: That's so good.

Angela Gennari: And so, anyway, I just thought that was hysterical.

Jenna Banks: There was a video that came out recently, another podcast, and I forget, I wish I knew the guy's name it's hot right now because he said the same thing. He's like, well, if a woman is successful, she doesn't need me. I don't want her in my life because what do I bring to the table? And it, like, I really created a... it stirred everyone up and it's all over the place right now, but yeah, it's so true. But I love that. You're like, look, I'm happy single. And I think that's really key. And I talk about this in the book is that you cannot look to others for your happiness.

Angela Gennari: No, not at all.

Jenna Banks: You have everything you need to be happy on your own. We, as women need to get comfortable with being whole on our own. We are whole complete people on our own. Whether or not we're married, whether or not we have children, or ever do.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: It has nothing to do with that. We can be whole complete people on our own. And when you do finally meet someone, they add to your wholeness.

Angela Gennari: Yes.

Jenna Banks: Therefore, you will never be looking to them to make you happy.

Angela Gennari: Absolutely.

Jenna Banks: You're making yourself happy. What I've found is that a lot of women will get married. I know people like this got married and then look to their partner now.

Angela Gennari: Yeah.

Jenna Banks: Now you're my other half and now you need to make me happy.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: And they gave up all the things that they used to do

Angela Gennari: That made them happy.

Jenna Banks: That's right.

Angela Gennari: Yes. I know. Yeah. Everything that you had as a passion or a hobby now you've put aside because you put all of your, the other person is not responsible for your happiness.

Jenna Banks: No, they're not responsible.

Angela Gennari: And that's not okay.

Jenna Banks: And this is why relationships tend to not work out as great as they'd hope because they're like, but I was happy. I was so happy before. Why did you give that up?

Angela Gennari: Yeah.

Jenna Banks: Keep bringing your whole happy person to the relationship. Don't look to your partner to make you happy when you start taking responsibility.

Angela Gennari: Yes.

Jenna Banks: For your own happiness.

Angela Gennari: Yes.

Jenna Banks: All that other stuff works out. You stop putting pressure on them. The arguments start to stop. Because now you're making yourself happy. And guess what happens when you become full of your own power because you're making yourself happy. You're giving yourself your love. You're filling up your power container. You become radiant.

Angela Gennari: Yes.

Jenna Banks: And it's like a magnet. You draw the love to you now. Your partner's like, baby, hi! Honeybunch, you want to go out to dinner? Like all the things that you were trying to pull out of them that they stopped doing, they're going to give to you because they want to be around that, you know?

Angela Gennari: Right. They want to be around that energy. That energy of owning a powerful being, you know, confidence being independent and there's nothing wrong with being independent in a relationship.

Jenna Banks: No.

Angela Gennari: You know? I want to have my own hobbies and my own passions and it's okay if you do too.

Jenna Banks: It's actually necessary.

Angela Gennari: It's what creates that fulfillment, right? Because if I'm relying on somebody else for my happiness and they're busy working and they're busy traveling and they're busy doing this and following all their passions and I'm like, but what about me? Then.

Jenna Banks: Then you follow their hobbies. You're like, well, let me tag along with you because I want to spend time with you. No, no, not both people need to be having their own hobbies to be whole people on their own.

Angela Gennari: Yes.

Jenna Banks: And then come together.

Angela Gennari: Yeah.

Jenna Banks: I mean Jada pink will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith are just the epitome of this. They talk about this all the time. I love their story. I love their marriage. And they're whole happy people on their own. And then when they spend time together, they get to come together as these beautiful whole happy people together.

Angela Gennari: I love it. Well, I say to people, I'm like, I'm only going to be in a relationship when it's one plus one equals three.

Jenna Banks: I love it.

Angela Gennari: Where I am whole. And he is whole and together we are better together than we are independent.

Jenna Banks: Yes.

Angela Gennari: And that's it. If it's not one plus one equals three, I don't want it

Jenna Banks: Love it.

Angela Gennari: So

Jenna Banks: I love it.

Angela Gennari: So, tell me about the time you stepped into your power and what that meant to you. And tell me about the time you've given your power away?

Jenna Banks: You know, I could tell you about the early story of me stepping into my power, but I'm going to leave that for anyone who wants to explore it in my book that was when I was 14 and I chose to leave my father's home. That was really the first time I felt I was stepping into my power, and it was a big, big move. Very scary. It's scary to face that fear when you're oppressed and dominated and it's scary, but when you finally get to that point where you do it, it feels so good.

Angela Gennari: Yes.

Jenna Banks: It feels so good. You're like, yeah, I don't care what's on the other side of this unknown. I feel great. And that's your power coming back. But more later example in my life was when I left my corporate job because I was in a very comfortable six-figure salaried position where I could have stayed the rest of my life, really great benefits. But my energy, my power container was low because I was not happy there. I wasn't feeding my soul. It was time to leave, and my instinct was pulling me out, and I just didn't understand the signals of my body. My power container was telling me you're not happy. Like, make yourself happy. And I didn't know what that meant, but I acted on it. I finally acted on it and quit. And I had nothing in the queue. I had no other job. I didn't know what I was going to do, but had I not done that I would've... but I felt good. See, that's the thing I want anyone listening right now to know when you face fear like that, you make the choice for your happiness at first, it's scary. But when you do it, if you feel great after making that decision, that's how, you know, it's the right choice for you. And you might not know what's on the other side of that decision. I didn't know what was on the other side, but here I am, however many years later and I could have gone down that path of misery and given my energy and power up for money.

Angela Gennari: Absolutely.

Jenna Banks: Because that was a price tag on my power.

Angela Gennari: And that's what we do. We trade our power for a paycheck sometimes

Jenna Banks: Yeah. And instead, I went on to buy real estate in Atlanta. I started my company for 400 bucks, you know, and sold it for half a million dollars cash.

Angela Gennari: Amazing. I love that.

Jenna Banks: That allows me to go on and do now this next venture, which is, you know, being a social entrepreneur, giving back, going on my, what I feel is my life's purpose now this is why I'm here. I believe on this planet to give back in this way and help empower others through what I've had to learn the hard way.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: That's why I put this in my book and that's why I knew how to write. It's like, ah, now I understand why I had to go through all this. I need help save some people from some of the trauma that I had to go through and the hard-learned lessons.

Angela Gennari: Yeah.

Jenna Banks: So, that they can, you know, and I'm not saying you're going to have it easy, you know? And I do want to mention really quick that self-love and self-care are so different. Self-Love is sometimes painful and uncomfortable. Self-Care is the fluffy stuff that we do to like to go to the spa, and get our hair done. Self-Love can sometimes be difficult, like we talked about guilt, you know, going through those uncomfortable situations, breaking your own heart, leaving toxic relationships. That's the deeper work that I get into in the book and yeah.

Angela Gennari: Yeah. Wow. I love it. I think everybody should read it for sure because I think that that would really change some people's lives. And I'm so proud of you for doing what you're doing because I really think it's amazing that you're out here inspiring women and empowering women. And I think we need more of that in the world.

Jenna Banks: Thank you so much.

Angela Gennari: So, tell me, what do you wish more people knew?

Jenna Banks: That self-love is not selfish. This is a big one.

Angela Gennari: I love it one.

Jenna Banks: This is a big one.

Angela Gennari: Yeah. Self-love is not selfish.

Jenna Banks: This is what the dialogue that runs around in our head is old condition programming from our mothers and grandmothers and all that. Oh, if I put myself first, that would be selfish. If I make my happiness, my number one priority that's narcissistic. It's, actually the best thing you can do for yourself, your family, your partner, your boss, everyone, and the planets.

Angela Gennari: Right.

Jenna Banks: It's not selfish you all it is so necessary. And when we can get over that old conditioning and programming and realize that putting ourselves first is absolutely necessary and vital, we're going to benefit everyone around us when we do that. And when we can break these patterns of the things that we were shown by our mothers and our grandmothers and be that example for our children. We can break this pattern.

Angela Gennari: Yeah.

Jenna Banks: It starts with us

Angela Gennari: And pouring from our full cup is a lot easier than dripping, you know, what we have left. And so, I think that that's it's a powerful message so thank you so much for that.

Jenna Banks: You're welcome.

Angela Gennari: Well, thank you for coming today. I am so, so happy that you're able to spend some time with me today. And I know that our listeners will really appreciate everything that you've had to say because I think that the message itself is something that every woman needs to know and men as well, and I think, you know, I think that the biggest surprise about this podcast is how many men are listening to it and saying, I had no idea. And I think, you know, they have embraced it equally with women, and so I think that that's been a nice, pleasant surprise, and I know that this podcast will really resonate with

them. So.

Jenna Banks: I hope so.

Angela Gennari: Your words that you've, you know, your message, I think is one that if more people knew it, they would not feel so uncomfortable in stepping in their power so thank you for that.

Jenna Banks: Well, my pleasure. Thank you so much for having me here today. I love this conversation. Is it really already over?

Angela Gennari: I know

Jenna Banks: I could do this for longer.

Angela Gennari: Well, thank you so much. And I hope everybody has an amazing day.

Jenna Banks: Thank you, you too.

Angela Gennari: Thanks.

Thank you for joining our guests on the pretty powerful podcast, and we hope you've gained new insight and learned from exceptional women. Remember to subscribe or check out this and all episodes on pretty powerful podcast.com. Visit us next time and until then step into your own power.

Jenna BanksProfile Photo

Jenna Banks

Author / Speaker / Social Euntrepreneru

work has been featured in Forbes, ABC, NBC, Authority Magazine and various other media outlets.

Against all odds, she pivoted from the self-loathing survivor of a traumatic childhood and a nearly fatal suicide, to a fully empowered woman who knows her worth.
Following her passion for entrepreneurship, she started a home-based business with just a GED, $400 and a laptop. She sold that business in 2019 for $500,000.

Having achieved business success, she’s now focused on her mission to fulfill what she sees as her ultimate life’s purpose; helping women embrace their value and power through self-love. Her new book titled “I Love Me More: How To Find Happiness And Success Through Self-Love” recently released and is available bookstores across the USA as well as online.