DREAM BIG, MAKE IT HAPPEN
Singer-Songwriter Jill Jack talks about the Power of Imagination
I met Jill Jack close to 20 years ago. Here I was, a young impressionable writer, and there she was, headlining major stages, winning multiple industry awards, and creating music all the radio stations were playing.
I can’t remember the exact moment we met, but I can recall being intimidated to interview her. Fans and my colleagues always raved about how nice and kind she was, something along the lines of, “all of her success never went to her head.” I think my intimidation at the time was because I wasn’t used to the down-to-Earth artist. I was much more comfortable with the egocentric, God-like personalities!
The people were right. Jill Jack was so humble. She was so magnetic and joyful – like a constant force of positivity.
Unfortunately, as time passed and I moved on professionally, we lost touch. But this past November, out of nowhere, Jack reached out and asked, “Do you have time for a call? I have a project I want to run past you.”
Of course, I agreed.
She started the conversation, “You’re going to think I’m crazy, but I had a dream about you.” She said dreams are where her best ideas are born.
To cut to the chase, she had a previous dream seven years ago about creating an event that united female musicians, called Eleanorfest, named after one of her personal heroes, Eleanor Roosevelt. Throughout the years, she tried to figure out different configurations to make it work, but it just didn’t evolve…until now.
After talking for an hour, I learned she started a company called Dream Big Incorporated that builds on her artistic experience. The company works with up-and-coming singer-songwriters, as well as other companies and non-profits, to develop branding, content, and events. Jack even started a podcast called Dream Big, where she interviews like-minded individuals who own the power of dreaming big.
MORE THAN A MOTIVATIONAL STATEMENT
The critics and cynics love to squash phrases like “dreaming big.” How do I know? Because I’ve been one of those people from time to time in my life.
I’ve worked with and for artists and dreamers for decades. I’ve had conversations with talent who would say, “I’ll be performing at the Grammy Awards by this time next year.” My callus response of, “But you still don’t have a song out yet,” would follow.
Low and behold, I’ve seen miracles and intentions become realities in short periods.
However, I’ve also been the person on the other side of the conversation, asking, “Why can’t we do that? Why can’t we call that celebrity to see if they’re interested?”
I’ve always learned, making something bigger than you can imagine requires constant focus and surrounding yourself with the right people.
Jack had the same visions.
“I had a really vibrant imagination growing up,” Jack shared. “I came from a family of five, so there was always a lot going in our house. I retreated to my bedroom a lot, to listen to music. I was that girl with the brush in her hand singing in front of the mirror or learning harmonies, guitar parts, or working on my vocal range. I always dreamed of being in a band, traveling the world.”
Well, she became that artist.
“A dream is an invitation to reality,” Jack said. “Whatever you believe in, puts these thoughts in your brain.”
People’s disbelief in her making her dreams a reality has been a driving motivator for Jack. “It puts a fire under me,” she said with a laugh. “If you look and listen, the signs begin to show up and doors mysteriously open.”
OK. But where do you start?
She follows this process:
Write it down. Articulate why the dream excites you, what it would like when it becomes success, and how it makes you feel.
Start working on a plan as if there are no restrictions. Start making a list of everything and everyone it will take to accomplish it. No red lights – only green ones. Write every detail you can dream up.
“Once you start doing this, the light becomes brighter and brighter on the idea,” Jack said. “You’ll begin to see how the dream can become reality. You just have to believe.”
Jack went on to add, “Accountability is key in making anything real. I’m grateful that at Dream Big I can be someone’s cheerleader, help them figure out their obstacles, both literally and mentally.
“Our feelings can stop us dead in our tracks. Feelings of fear and unworthiness can get us every time. We don’t always know when they’re underlying in our subconscious. And of course, figuring out a clear path with action items and deadlines brings those feelings to the forefront and flushes them out.”
IS TOO MUCH DREAMING SETTING YOU UP FOR FAILURE?
Through our interview, she heard my cynicism when it came to dreaming big and having too many creative ideas or projects going on at once.
“Of course, I’ve been guilty of having too many creative ideas,” Jack said. “My mother-in-law said that I have more ideas than time on this planet. It’s hard when your brain is constantly creating and you do have to figure which projects have to go on the back burner for the time being. The way I explain it to clients is, if you spread yourself too thin working on too many projects at once, you will force yourself to fail.”
Jack’s rules of thumb:
Decide how much time you have to devote to developing the project – You have to figure out when you’ll have the time to see these projects to completion. Do this within the context of employment, parenting, and self-care realities.
Decide how much money you can afford to spend on this project, and more importantly, what will the return be – Money isn’t my driving force, but it is what keeps a roof over my family’s head. I look at the project and try to figure out how rewarding it will be creatively, as well as financially.
“Trust me, working with such talent and dreams, they all have so many brilliant ideas,” Jack said. “We break them down by importance. I never want people to give up on their ideas, it’s just vital to take them one at a time. My role is to keep them calm through the process. Everything is possible, you just have to be strategic.”
DON’T LET THE CREATIVITY IN YOUR SOUL BECOME DORMANT
I was recently listening to one of Jack’s episodes of Dream Big. She was talking with her guest about how sick people can become when they’re not creating or celebrating their artistic instincts. I wanted to know more.
“I see a physical change in me, if I’m not creating,” Jack shared. “My skin looks grey and my eyes lose their brightness.
“If you see me during a week filled with gigs, sessions, and coaching clients, and take a photo of me after a live show, the light will just shine through. My mind, spirit and body are truly aligned.”
During these dark times, I asked Jack how she continues to stay motivated. She immediately said reading was the key. Here are some of her recommendations:
Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
Divine Intuition by Lynn Robinson
You’re a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero
And of course, anything by Brene Brown
JILL JACK’S KEY LIFE LESSONS AND WHAT SHE’S LEARNED
I love asking artists what they’ve learned from their non-linear path to success. Jack shared the following:
Failure is an important part of the process – it’s all a lesson
Life ebbs and flows – An entertainment attorney once told me, “This trip you’re on is a not a rocket to fame. It’s a rollercoaster ride. “You have to remember the successes well, because you will need those ‘lessons learned’ when you’re knee deep in a valley of life.
Don’t Burn Bridges – Always remember that stagehand who handed you a water backstage, they’ll eventually be booking the venue you want to perform at.
Be Kind to Everyone – Nobody is less important than you. Everyone deserves respect. You give it, you get it.
Ignore Everybody – There is an actual book out there about it. If you have ideas, don’t go looking for approval. Make sure your feet are firm on the ground of your ideas before sharing anything. Many people base their decisions and reactions on fear. Faith, not fear, always gets the job done!
Jill Jack embarked on a new Sunday series on Facebook Live called Soul Stirring Sundays, that airs at 3 p.m. Eastern. Also check her out on Dream Big with Jill Jack every Friday at 10 a.m. Eastern.