Jenna Kutcher Shares Her Honest Thoughts on Work-Life Balance and Asking for Help

UPDATED: September 28, 2023
PUBLISHED: September 7, 2023
Jenna Kutcher headshot

Entering Jenna Kutcher’s website is a bit like stepping into a digital ray of sunshine. A bright yellow backdrop fades to marigold as the words Hey There, I’m Jenna Kutcher scroll behind a smiling image of the photographer turned digital marketer turned business mentor. The Minnesota-based entrepreneur has built a business trying to help women find their purpose in life—and she doesn’t offer a cold or clinical approach to self-improvement. Kutcher’s brand radiates warmth, like a good friend giving heartfelt advice.

She urges her followers to “wake up” to their own lives. “We’re stuck in a constant loop of feeling like we never have enough time to truly do what we want—but we’re also spending all our time stressfully doing whatever we can. It’s exhausting. And we’re missing our lives, and I want us to wake up to the beauty, even in the mess and the chaos, of what we’re experiencing as women and as humans.”

We asked Kutcher, in addition to her top-rated The Goal Digger Podcast, a series of entrepreneurial courses, a bestselling book (How Are You, Really?) and about a dozen other content offerings, about her goals, her team and a few of her favorite things.

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

SUCCESS: You provide a variety of business and personal development tools on your website, including the Level Up Quiz. How did you come up with that, and what is it designed to achieve?

Jenna Kutcher: It’s paralyzing when we know we’ve got to do so many things to get to where we want to go. I wanted to create a tool that gives people their first step and the next step, that guides them on a path. It’s like having me as a business coach in your pocket, allowing you to identify where you’re at, where you want to go and what the priority is for you in this stage of life or business. It’s a way for me to hand-select what’s next for you as your guide on this journey—and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good quiz?

Have you taken the quiz before? Did you learn anything from it?

JK: Only a million times when we were developing it! What I love about the quiz is that it allows you to get really honest about where you’re at and where you want to go. So many times in our lives, we don’t take the time to really get honest about where we’re starting from, which is probably why the directions others are tossing at us aren’t getting us to where we actually want to go. You can’t get to your destination if you’re not honest about your starting point, and so the quiz is a perfect little check-in or pause to prioritize and designate the level of support you truly need to achieve your next big goal.

How do you accomplish your goals each day, week, month, year? Is there a team that helps you get it done?

JK: My goodness, I could not do all of this on my own. What you see is a representation of the work of some of the most incredible women I’ve ever met. If I’m the visionary, they make the work real. I sketch the blueprints; they raise the house. Without them, I couldn’t get my work out in the world in the way that I do. There were so many years when I was solo, white-knuckling my business and trying to do it all. I’ve learned that asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s an opportunity for someone else to use their strengths—and that changed everything for me.

As far as prioritizing tasks, my brain constantly feels like it has a million tabs open. (And my computer actually does have a million tabs open!) Every day, I identify the three main tasks I want to complete, and I aim to do those three things first before anything else. This allows me to focus more and not get stuck in a state of overwhelm.

Speaking of overwhelm, let’s talk about a word we all know: balance. Is it possible?

JK: Ha! Truthfully, I hate the word “balance,” because if you look at the definition of the word, balance is meant to be something achieved for just a moment in time, not something to be maintained forever. The idea that we should always be in balance sets us up for failure. For me, I aim for the “blend” of life! Things won’t always be balanced.

There will be seasons where I’m all in as a mom and my work slips, and seasons where I’m so excited about my work that my laptop is cracked open a little longer than usual. Aiming to find the right blend and constantly changing the recipe based on my desires and my family’s needs allows me to keep on experimenting with what the perfect blend looks like right now—welcoming the fact that it’s always changing and shifting.

Looking back, how did you figure out that building the ‘Jenna Kutcher’ brand was what you wanted to do?

JK: Someone recently asked me this question, and it honestly stumped me. The truth is, I didn’t know this was what I’d do or what it would all become. I didn’t have any of this on a vision board. What has fueled me and directed me more than knowing what I wanted was knowing what I no longer wanted—what didn’t serve me anymore.

What you see today is a culmination of me paying attention to not only what I wanted but also what no longer worked for me, and that is what continues to guide me on this path of learning, evolving and becoming. Frankly, I hope this journey never stops! 

This article originally appeared in the Sept/Oct 2023 issue of SUCCESS magazine. Photo by Angela Rose Gonzalez (@angelarosegonzalez)/Courtesy of Jenna Kutcher.