Jess Zaino Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Jess Zaino
How The Dots Joined Up For Jesse Zaino
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Jess Zaino such as:
How she believes that everyone should “burn so bright that you are unrecognisable to yourself the next day” that is when progress is being made!
How she has always been firmly in the FOMO camp – the Fear Of Missing Out!
Why it is so important to try to have no fear of failure so you can just get over it when things don’t go your way!
How simply taking an evening class or focusing on fitness can be the starting point to a life that you couldn’t dream possible !
How we created a brilliant new TV show starring celebrities, a surf board, a TV set and some adult material…….this show has to be made!!!!!
How To Connect With Jess Zaino
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Audio Transcription Of Jess Zaino Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Yes, hello there. Good morning, everybody, and welcome to Episode 164. of Join Up Dots. I’ll be honest, I’m sitting in my recording studio at the moment doing this. And I think winter is on its way is the first time that I’ve been sitting here thinking, should I put the radio on? So yeah, winter is on its way we’ve been through summer now. Christmas is around the corner. And then we’ve got the new year’s resolutions coming up. So if you’ve already set them for next year, or if you’re still looking at the ones you’re doing for 2014, you haven’t got long to achieve that. Well, today’s guest is somebody who has achieved so much and quite simply, have you ever wondered what it must feel like to be a pop star and wander around in the airfield world of celebrity and success, or be a TV host or media personality, or today’s guest has done all those things and most amazingly, has created those worlds pretty much by herself. She’s gone off her backside and since then, a young girl has flexed a hustle muscle, like very few people do. She first came to attention as the co host of style networks modern girls Guide to Life and has moved effortlessly through the fashion world teaching ladies and brains out to look a million dollars but less than 100 bucks. But before that she earned her stripes as a production assistant web Saturday Night Live while I was just starting college. And I found this fascinating because it seems to say a lot about her. She saw an advert for a super cool gig and instead of thinking up at thousands of people go for that and giving up before starting. She actually picked up the phone made that call and got the job you see it’s hustle, but it’s not just passionate taken up her time. And she’s also toured the country with NASA fronting a math science rock band, which sounds really weird, and was featured in the Sundance award winning film we live in public. And I got this intro could be 15 minutes long if I keep going with what she’s got going on. So where has she got this boundless enthusiasm to keep on knocking on doors? And of course building doors herself and where does she feel her true talents lie? And why does she feel the need to sing all the way through American Idol much to the annoyance of our roommates? Well, let’s find out as we bring on to the show to start Join Up Dots. The one and only Jess Zaino. How are you Jess?
Jess Zaino [2:41]
I’m terrific. Thank you for that intro, I really enjoyed hearing a valid Oh,
David Ralph [2:47]
it’s a fascinating kind of intro, isn’t it? Because it’s, it’s weird in many ways. I was getting that together over the last couple of days. And sort of I’m stalking you virtually on the internet like I have to do. And I so much of it was kind of a hybrid of going, Yes, she’s done this herself. And well, this seems a bit lucky. How did this happen? Did you think that’s kind of how your life has come together? Is it about hustle muscle? Or is it hustle muscle that gets you into certain positions?
Jess Zaino [3:17]
I absolutely believe in my hustle for sure. And I think that from very early on, it was just ingrained in me I come from an Italian immigrant, sort of working class family. And all of us had this hustling in us that just we knocked on doors and didn’t think anything of it. I never had any fear surrounding going out there and getting something. And that was really supported by my parents, by my grandparents by my aunts and uncles. But my cousins like I had a focus to go somewhere nowhere in particular just somewhere. And I stopped at nothing to like always get what I wanted, like not that sounds a bit aggressive. But just meaning that like if I saw something and I liked it, I would figure out I want to put myself in that position. How do I do it. So I definitely had the hustle from very early on. And you’re getting me at a very interesting time because it’s my birthday next week. And, and I’m turning dare I said 38 years old. And I feel like I’m a true adult now. And I still continue to carry on. However, I’m so reflective at this point, because I want to carry on with this enthusiasm, but also with a sense of accomplishment, you know, not always do we pat ourselves on the back and say, Hey, good job, you really did, you know, add a girl. And I think that heading into my late 30s. And certainly my like upper decades, I want to have a certain elegance about everything I do. So I’m certainly in a in a moment of transition these days. And I’m excited that it’s being captured in audio for him, for me to listen to it another 10 years.
David Ralph [5:04]
Absolutely. When you were an old lady, you’ll be laying on your bed listening to Join Up Dots, Episode 250,000, or whatever is going to be by that time. But it’s fascinating looking at you because that there is a kind of even the Skype image as we were talking earlier, you’ve got big sunglasses on, you’ve got bright lipstick, you’ve got a moustache, which isn’t really you obviously. And when I was sort of first looking at you, I thought oh, this is kind of an you may get this a lot. So if you do apologise for this kind of Katy Perry. So there’s a kind of big kind of pop star kind of look to you. Is that something that you constructed just off the bat? Or was that a kind of theme that was running through your media work?
Jess Zaino [5:51]
That is a very interesting question. And the answer truthfully, is no. Very early on. Again, this goes back to being a kid I was just very expressive in my face and my colours in my clothes. And I chose to, you know, I would wear the converse sneakers that were two different colours on my feet to and very early on. I picked up bright lipstick even at 13. I was wearing bright lipstick. So it was it was. So I think that throughout the years, it really was just an organic formation of who I was. And you can go back in time prior to Katy Perry’s success and see that I was rocking that look back in the day as well.
David Ralph [6:38]
So so she probably saw you and you were the inspiration.
Jess Zaino [6:42]
I think so Katy Perry was very inspired by just Xena. Yes,
David Ralph [6:45]
absolutely. That’s why to do it. So being from sort of Italian descent, you grew up in New York, imagine Did you did you? Is that what you did?
Jess Zaino [6:53]
I did grow up in New York? Yes.
David Ralph [6:55]
And what your family sort of first generation sort of Italians, or have they been here?
Jess Zaino [7:01]
I guess my grandparents were immigrants. So my parents were first generation. So I’m second generation Italian. And so you’re like, excuse me American.
David Ralph [7:10]
Okay, so you see your family coming from Italy? That is really where it all begins? Isn’t it not in Italy as such, but coming into a new country starting a new life? leaving everything that you know, behind? What Yeah, that’s what I’ve been that sort of run through your whole family. And you just carried it on?
Jess Zaino [7:29]
Absolutely. Like my grandfather, both my grandfather’s worked on the bridges in New York. So they built basically the bridges in New York City. And my grandmother’s worked in gimbals, and Macy’s, so they were really part of that culture of New York City. And yeah, that was taught to us, I think that both the immigrant hustle is important to one’s storey. But I just also think that Italians work really hard. And despite the fact that, you know, they might sometimes be in, you know, into their long lunches in wine, but like, I feel like an Italian American work super hard, they came over, they worked to to have a nice, you know, lower middle class life. My parents, moving from Queens out to Long Island where I grew up, wanted to just do better than their parents and worked hard to do that. And that was really just a part of my culture. Everyone in my family is working class, and not in a not in a low like economic sense. But in a we’ve all got the hustle in us to just make the life that we want,
David Ralph [8:51]
is hustle muscle is the key thing to all of all entrepreneurs, because it seems to me, but when I talk to people, the more people work, the more of a hustle, the more opportunities they get, the more success they get, the more success they get, the more they want to hustle, and he just kind of goes round and round and round. Can you teach hustle? Or does it just have to be in you?
Jess Zaino [9:15]
Hmm, well, I definitely think that entrepreneurs have a sense of risk in them. I think entrepreneurs all have to have a sense of badass in them. You have to never be afraid to fail, you have to fail, you have to know how to fail, you have to know how to fail, get back up and do it all over again and then fail again. You have to lose millions of dollars make millions of dollars. So it’s a real up and down roller coaster that is not for the faint of heart. And I think that people who are starting their own businesses or starting their own new path, have to know that you have to bend like the read in the wind, you know, everything is kind of like come and go, you got to be able to do it. You have to have vision for yourself. And you have to go after that vision and with with no fear and just unabated ambition. And and I think that’s what hustle is, do I think that it is I know, it’s ingrained in me
David Ralph [10:13]
how to how to you know, but
Jess Zaino [10:15]
I honestly feel like it’s like a like, it’s a huge part of my makeup, like most people will know about who know me personally, my friends and family, they all make comments that I’ve had this thing, this hustle muscle, and I know that I have it because I rely on it. When I’m living my life. When I’m at a low place, I kick it into high gear when I’m in a high place, I can’t get into higher gear. So I know it’s the thing that probably singularly drives me.
David Ralph [10:46]
So if we if we went back in time, which is all what we do and Join Up Dots, did you have a fixed path, but you was going to go on? As a child, as you were say, I don’t know. 1314? If somebody said to you, Jess, what do you want to do in your life? Could you have gone? Yes, I want to be Bob Dean. Yes. And what was that?
Jess Zaino [11:07]
So I always forever never wanted to be an entertainment forever. When I was six years old, I asked my mom for an agent, like what six year old kid and even knows what an agent is. But that was just in me. And for the first part of my life. I was a child actor. And I studied a lot of acting, did a lot of Theatre in New York, and even went to college on a full scholarship for theatre. And sometime when I was in my first year of school of university, I was like, You know what, maybe I don’t want to be an actor, I really enjoy the idea of pulling a show together. And I started on the path of I’m going to make a tonne of money and be a producer. And I’m going to make make projects that push you know, women forward and and really make a just a statement move pop culture forward. And that’s that’s what I’ve been doing. Since since I can as long as I can remember, I’ve always just, I don’t know try to go for the head of the class. I was the vice president of my high school I was the you know, head of the drama club. I was like first see the band. So I have a sense of overachievement in me that that continues to this day like I still go after those things. So very early on, I knew I loved entertainment. And I wanted nothing else but to be in it. And even when I went down the fashion path, it was a fashion path that was swathed in entertainment. It’s interesting with you, though, from what I’ve seen from your background, and just from the conversation today, it seems to be a very big personality. But you’ve also got a kind of subtle underlying humility that is very, very engaging as well, you don’t come across as sort of brash, and typical sort of New York, you come across as incredibly engaging. Is that quality that is natural to you? Or is it just one that I picked up on tonight, I’m really thankful that you’re saying that, thank you for saying that. That makes me really happy. Because I think that I think that, you know, the reason we’re on this earth is just to engage one another, and connexion and joining up the dots is really the thing that what life is, and so so the fact that you’re picking up on that, be it whether I’m, we’re doing it on purpose, or not, like, that’s really cool. So thank you for that. And as for me, like I don’t know, I feel even to this day, I feel just like I’m a mumble jumble of so many things, I’m equally risky as I am pragmatic, I’m equally, you know, self loving, as I am self loving. So I have a lot of duality in me that I that that, honestly, is, is both a struggle, again, a struggle, but also something that might be my best quality.
David Ralph [13:55]
So So you’re saying that it could actually be a bad thing as well as a good thing, it dependent on the mood that you’re in? Or the environment you’re in? That sort of it can go against you as well.
Jess Zaino [14:08]
Yes, I don’t think that the engaging part is bad. I think that that’s beautiful. But I do think that the duality that’s inside of me can can be really rough sometimes can be a source of great pain for me.
David Ralph [14:24]
Is it playing for other people as well?
Jess Zaino [14:27]
My duality for other people? Yeah. Maybe my husband? You know, I don’t know if people know the level at which I, I feel things you know, I don’t I, I have a public sort of persona that’s out there. My public persona is very much me. So you’re really getting my personality, my truest, almost authentic personality. But I know when I’m by myself, and I’m trying to figure out life and, you know, let go and just self discovery, it’s in the self discovery that I can feel challenged by everything that I feel. So I don’t know if it hurts other people? I don’t know. That’s a good question. I think that might think that my family and my closest friends see me go through that sometimes. And, and kind of say, you know, out loud, like, what can we do for you, like, you please just understand that you, you know, you’ve, you’re this, you know, exciting, tremendous person. And sometimes I don’t always see that. So this is a very interesting conversation.
David Ralph [15:40]
About Join Up Dots never know where it’s gonna go. Because I find that with big personalities, and very engaging personalities, after a while. And that’s the reason I’m saying is, is because for a while, I got caught in this trap. But I was in a job where people expected me to be a certain way every single day. And if I didn’t, they’ve suddenly thought there was something wrong with me, even though I just wanted to have a quiet moment, a webinar. Yeah. And I can imagine you must get that a lot where people expect you to be Jess all the time. And if you just sit back and sort of allow things to float around you, come on, Jess, what’s the matter with you today?
Jess Zaino [16:20]
Yes, the where I see that happen the most is with my family. Because as a child, I was really out there, like my personality was very, very big. And as I grew up and started to take on more, you know, adult personality, people would say exactly what you’re saying, like, what’s wrong with you today? Like, why aren’t you being you know, you’re just self. And I would be like, Oh, God, I just want a second to sit down and think like, I’m not people really go, Oh, you’re so crazy. And I think to myself, all right, well, I can take it to the extreme, because I love to just live. But at the end of the day, I’m a very quiet, introspective person. And not a lot of people see that not a lot of people see that. But it’s, it’s so funny that like, you know, even getting married, I got married a year and a half ago. And it’s a really intimate situation for me, because someone’s seeing my quiet introspective self that I don’t always show. So when I’m out, and I’m on the red carpet, or I’m on TV, or people are seeing this very big personality, I kind of come home and meditate and do yoga, walk my dog and make my dinner with my husband. And, you know, he probably met a very exciting person when we first met one another, but really now knows me. You know, I me as who I am, in my most personal time in space.
David Ralph [17:47]
But but don’t we all do that we we meet the big personality? Don’t we be the fun loving personality? Yes. And who you’re going down to bars and you want dates, and it’s all fun and exciting. And vain. 15 years later, they’re asleep on the sofa. snoring Yeah, you and you think this is? Well, I’m talking about myself, really, as soon as I sit watching the telly, I’m off. I don’t see any of it. And so but that is that’s just natural life, isn’t it, but you do meet the sort of bigger versions of yourself. But then after a while you you find the true versions of yourself and being you love that person more because you know both sides of them.
Jess Zaino [18:26]
Yes, yes. Yes, what you’re saying it could actually be just a lesson for me because again, I’m kind of going through that transition right now of where I’m truly learning to love my truest self rather than my biggest self. And it’s confusing for me because I am so big. But I know that I’m looking forward to like moving through this and just being a real, you know, a very aware and whole person when I’m done with this current growth spurt I’m having.
David Ralph [19:02]
It’s fascinating, though, because I kind of picked up on that as soon as we started talking. And I’m, yeah, I’m not sure why. But as we were talking, and I’m looking at the pictures with you with sort of big sunglasses on blowing pop, bubblegum, and with a moustache and you know, over kind of fun stuff, I thought to myself, but there’s there’s an underlying count here, but I just know, she’s gonna have quiet moments. And she likes to be sitting there on the sofa in our PJs at night being totally stripped of all the makeup and just kind of come.
Jess Zaino [19:35]
Yeah, it’s funny, you know, most people will say, like, hey, let’s go and party and I’m like, I don’t even party. I like the New York Times and listening to like, talk radio. And I think I’m really accepting that person a lot more these days. And I’m looking forward to fully accepting it. So I can be just copy and content, rather than feeling like I should be out there. There. What’s that? That acronym that people use? fo mo fear of missing out? Yes. Yeah. You know, I don’t I don’t I don’t experience that so much. But just that idea that like, you know, should I be doing something different tour like, am I okay, doing what I’m doing? I’m still asking myself those questions. And don’t get me wrong, David Ralph, I will put on some red lipstick and high heels and turn it out like the best of them.
David Ralph [20:25]
Because I think I’m actually a low mo thinking about that. I I love missing out, I kind of got that personality. But if something is hugely popular, I will deliberately keep away from it. I like the fact that I’m slightly isolated from many things.
Jess Zaino [20:44]
Does that help you?
David Ralph [20:46]
Does it help me? It helps me in many ways. One of the things I talk about it in the shows because a lot of people go How do you live with that? I’ve got no mobile phone or anything. So I basically, yeah, people always say that, and they kind of go to the do not miss out on, you know, connectors and stuff. And I go, No, I love the fact that when I’m not doing this, and I turn the computer off, that’s it. Not one person will get me you know, and I like the fact and I don’t watch a lot of Telly. And I haven’t watched the news for years. I just kind of believe in my own little contented bubble. And if something big happens, you find out about it anyway. So if a plane goes into a building, you know, all those kinds of things, you you just find out about it, but all the kind of every day news, but when you watch it, it’s just kind of bad stuff. It doesn’t come into my life at all, I just pretty much created this life, which is purely contented and happy, because I don’t allow for any inconveniences to get in there. So I do miss out on a lot. But I kind of love that fact. But I do miss out on it. And I can just walk along the street knowing that my phone’s not going to ring because I don’t have a phone. I can go out for a pint and I’m not gonna be bothered for the whole night. I’ve just got total focus on the tasks that I’m doing.
Jess Zaino [22:00]
What do you do when you have to get somebody spoke like a cute girls phone number?
David Ralph [22:03]
I’m married so I’m would be very touchy if I was going to do that. But um, I’d get someone else to do it for me. I tell my kids actually, every time I go out like i were you going dead? Don’t go. Oh, I’m just gonna go and see Katy Perry does this kind of like Katy Perry. I don’t know. What about Katy Perry tonight. But um, yeah, she’s um, she’s my secret girlfriend. It’s called according to my kids. It could have been it could have been Jess, who knows? Who knows.
Jess Zaino [22:33]
So Perry, I mean, she I don’t know if you know any of her background, but she was, you know it. She was a Christian singer. and ended up coming to LA and just had a, you know, a big personality and had her own thoughts about how she wanted to sing and luck and really, you know, shines so bright that she was able to hustle through I think she had something crazy like 20 Christian records before she hit it big as a pop star.
David Ralph [23:02]
Do you think that is key about you know, not just talking about Katy Perry. But what she did? Where was she found the thing that was true to her she found a unique sell. And when she stopped playing the card, that she may be fought that she should be doing that that’s when her light flicker dawn and then suddenly started blazing. Do you think that’s key to everything?
Jess Zaino [23:25]
Absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely. And absolutely. Because when we connect with that, truest, authentic self, not the thing that other people are telling us to do, not the thing that we’re even to our conscious selves, or even telling us what to do. But when your subconscious connects to that authentic love and passion, that’s when it I think just takes off. I’m having a little bit of that right now. I’m even having a little bit of that right now. I’m having a lot of that right now. I have lived nine lives in my you know, 30 something years. And currently, I just, you know, moved through the whole fashion thing. And I was having some fashion businesses and I was nominated for an Emmy Award as a fashion producer on a major show in, in the states called the two and, and but now I fully have received this new life as a TV producer, and someone who is creating content with some pretty big name people. And it’s it’s fulfilling all of my like childhood fantasies of being the boss, having a creative idea or storey building, and fleshing that storey out into something larger, and then placing all of the parts into the scene to make the storey happen, be it as a web series, or be it as a TV series. But I really am connecting to my like truest creative create, or these days, and I love it. And I really am. I’m so excited to see what happens in my life, I honestly am excited to see how my life will unfold, because I don’t know what it’s going to be.
David Ralph [25:06]
Well, I think that’s hugely exciting. And the exciting thing to me on that was the fact that it was your childhood fantasies that you’re connecting. Because one of the things that we talk about daily on this show, is when people say, find your passion, go out and find your passion, there are so many people you go, I don’t know what my passion is, I’ve got a job, I’m tired, blah, blah, blah. And we’ve seemed to stumbled across a thing. And the tagline to the show is called connecting our past to build our future. But your real passion in life, the things that you should focus on, the things that light you up inside, are actually the things that you were doing as a sort of eight year old when you came home from school, and you weren’t being paid for it, and you just love to do it. So literally every single conversation when I talk to people, it seems to come true. But the things that I love doing most as adults, and I’m making them more money and seeing effortlessly, is the things sort of eight to 10, maybe 11 years old in the morning when they were youngsters. And you thought the same way? Yes.
Jess Zaino [26:08]
Yeah, I definitely feel the same way. But I also think that, um, I do think that there’s a sense of like, really disconnecting any sort of habit or bad habit or storey we might have told each other in the past, you’ve got to disconnect yourself from that past, so that you can set up your present for your future. You know, like I have, I’m in a class right now it’s called transformational Tuesday’s. And the teacher will say a lot of the times like shine so bright that your unrecognisable to who you were yesterday, and become the thing that you’re just going, you know, take the steps just in the present to move into the future. And I really like that, I think that as adults, yes, we connect to that authentic thing that we had as children. But I also think like, if you’re in a rut, go get attention to go do something so insane that you never thought you would do it. Go, you know, I don’t know what this is crazy. I don’t know why I’m saying this watch a porn, like go take a surfing class, do just something that is a little mischievous, a little, you know, just shake it up. So you can like pivot your life in a way and get some fresh air in there. So that when you’re an adult, and you’ve gone through just decades of whatever wrote existence, you really want to have, you know, you can continue to do that forever. Or you could do something fun and like change it and then have that be the change for the rest of your life
David Ralph [27:37]
often keeps old me I’m gonna watch porn while I’m sir. I’m gonna do the two, I’m gonna try my very best not to get the TV wet. But that that sounds fine. Well, I’m gonna play the first of our motivational speeches because you really have set it up well is exactly what you’re saying there. Mrs. Jim Carrey,
Jim Carrey [27:59]
my father could have been a great comedian. But he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [28:25]
Now, you seem to be somebody not even seem is quite obvious, but you aren’t doing what you love. But have you ever had that moment where you have gone the conservative route, you’ve followed a path that you thought was expected? Just like Jim Carrey
Jess Zaino [28:41]
did? Absolutely. Never, never, not once ever, never say you don’t know what it is. So what makes
David Ralph [28:48]
what makes you different from so many people in the world that are getting jobs just because they think it’s a good job to get following a path that may be their parents? fault? Good? What makes you difference?
Jess Zaino [29:02]
Sure. I mean, the underlying thing to be, you know, to be human is to be scared, essentially, like, we have fears, how am I going to pay my rent? How am I going to feed my kids? How am I going to get my kids through school? How am I gonna dress myself what to wear, how to drive, like, we have those fears that are just driven by this sense of lack and limitation and finances. And I know certainly for me, because my parents also, you know, had my parents to this day have the same job that they had 40 years ago, they’re still married, they still live in the same house. And they continue to go to work every single day doing the same thing. And it’s so ironic that, you know, my sister also I have a younger sister who to is an entrepreneur who just the risks we take, and the levels of, and the heights of which we flown are completely in contrast who my parents were. And I don’t know if it was because my parents were that way that it allowed us to give us the foundation to fly. But I do do know that from my parents, like people are scared. And that’s why you sort of say, you know, if you throw yourself into a land of uncertainty, or a job that you think, Oh, I want to be a comedian, or a writer, or a blogger or whatever, and, and I’m not making any money at it, well, if you feel like you can’t make any money at it, you’re just never going to make money at it and you won’t stick with it, there’s a real persistence that one has to have when following their dreams. And if you can just continue to follow your dreams in whatever way you can. While also knowing that like life is so magical, you could just be putting yourself in some situation that will just be a you know, geyser of wealth and and dreams come true. And you just got to keep on keeping yourself open to that possibility. You know, if you could see the world as something that’s for you and not against against you, then I think that’s the first step.
David Ralph [31:02]
So if somebody’s sitting on the train, or sitting at work in a crappy job at the moment secretly listening to our show, is there a way that they can start making movement doing a job? They’ve got to pay their bills? Like we’re saying, how do they get going?
Jess Zaino [31:19]
Yeah, something that’s really worked very well for me is that I like to take classes, I take a lot of classes, I’m always in a class. So if somebody has their nine to five job, maybe they take a Tuesday night class. And that could be anything that can be salsa that can be solo performance, writing, that can be anything but every town in every city in every country has a library where you can go and take some type of class or a gym or something. And I think that’s the first key into getting out there engaging and connecting with other people and starting to bring just fresh new energy into one’s life so that you can start to grow and see things differently, and change the perspective that you make have not had the day before.
David Ralph [32:02]
And by going to these classes, you will meet other like minded individuals. And yeah, when you start believing what is possible, isn’t it once you start surrounding yourself with other people that are making the effort to get out each evening, when they’re tired after a day’s work? And they get there and they’re enjoying themselves? It really is the sort of Kickstarter everything, isn’t it? So managing people?
Jess Zaino [32:26]
Yes, absolutely. Or even just doing something you never thought that you could do like recently, very, very recently, I started running and I’m training for a five K. And I’ve never run in my life that I am not a runner. I wasn’t interested in running. But something mode, somebody said something one day and Aunt of mine made some comment that she started running marathons at 38. And I thought, if she could do it, I could do it. And I honestly got an app called couch to five k joined a five k that I’m going to be running and I run four times a week now trading for this thing. And
David Ralph [33:00]
I don’t really see too much of a significant change in my body, but like my health is better. And my lungs are good. And I’m strong. And it makes me feel great. And it’s like something I never did before and I feel accomplished that I at this age can still like you can’t teach a dog new tricks. Well, yeah, you can you can actually teach anybody at any age can do anything. It’s funny, though, isn’t it weird with fitness because all of a successful people seem to play tennis and play golf and they run. And it seems to me that once you reach a peak in your personal life, that has a knock on effect to your business life, which has a knock on effect to something else. And you just see these people seem to be able to balance so many areas. And it’s not the the actual fitness itself. It’s the once again taking on something but they don’t know that they’re going to achieve or not. You’re doing that five K, I imagine the first time you ran down the street, you felt very self conscious, sweaty. And by the time you sort of got to the corner you you were thinking you were having a heart attack? Well, I would. But you went again the next day and you went again the next day? Do you think that’s a key thing to success having these targets but you don’t know that you can to achieve? But you’re going to do your damnedest to do it.
Jess Zaino [34:17]
Absolutely, I have really found that persistence is key. That’s it, you just it just has to become a habit, you just have to keep going. And the second you give up the second you kind of fall back into what you were doing before. But if you go forward, you’re going to break the wall down and there’s something behind that wall.
David Ralph [34:34]
So so what what have you found out? Have you ever you ever found anything? Do you look back at things and go? Yeah, that really didn’t come out like I wanted it to be?
Jess Zaino [34:44]
Well, this is like a sad comment that I’m going to make. But I feel like my life as a whole hasn’t gotten to where I feel like it can. So I’m constantly driven for more because I’m looking for I don’t know what I’m looking for. But I have a sense I have I said, I mean, you know, like I’ve gotten fired a couple of times. And I certainly have lived, you know, real hand to mouth or like I’ve had those instances, but I kind of look at that as living and part of the bigger picture. So I don’t feel like I’ve truly failed. But there is this like, over arching sense in my life of feeling like, all right, I’ve accomplished a lot. What else is out there? And how can I really make my mark in this world.
David Ralph [35:32]
But that would scare people, so many people out there the fact that they do not know, but you don’t know what’s around the corner. But you don’t know if they are going to be in a job next month, whatever, that that would terrify them. And the fact that you go, I don’t really know where I’m going would probably be the worst fear for so many people out there. So what makes you different? Why are you so kind of ballsy, I suppose but you’re you’ve got that ability you to go? Well, what’s the worst gonna happen?
Unknown Speaker [36:04]
Hmm, that’s a good question. I
Jess Zaino [36:08]
I don’t know, I have been very scared in my life where I haven’t been able to know like, where how I’m going to pay my rent. But at the end of the day, I really believe in, I honestly just believe in the universe and that it has our back at all times, I believe I have my back at all times, I believe were taken care of at every moment. If you look outside, I really love the idea of awareness and connexion. And I look outside I’m sitting on my balcony in Los Angeles. And I’m it’s an unbelievably beautiful day despite the fact that it’s fall. And there’s you know, a blue sky and tonnes of gorgeous palm trees and rolling hills and Spanish houses in them. And I look at the hummingbirds that are in these like lush tropical trees that surround my house. And like no one, none of that, itself, it just becomes that thing. The trees become green, the sky becomes blue. It’s all just the cycle of what life is. And I feel like people are the same way. We are just completely supported in this lifetime. And we just have to allow ourselves to be that. And when we get all, you know, wound up in our panties in a bunch over how am I going to pay the rent? Of course I’m I understand that that is a very real, a real thing that has to happen as far as living. But what happens if you didn’t pay your rent? Where would you go? Where are you going to end up homeless? Would you go to a parents house? Would you go move in with a friend like life is just a series of let me swing from vine to vine, and allow myself to receive all of the amazing stuff that’s here in this world while we’re here. So I know it’s scary for some people why I’m different? I don’t know. I don’t know why I think that way, I just really, truly do think that way. And I’m so thankful to have health and wholeness and the awareness to be able to see these things. And I don’t know, keep going I guess.
David Ralph [38:08]
So. So if you walked into a room now, hypothetically, and there was two doors, and but you said you you’re going to walk through one door and all your dreams would be fulfilled, and then prove the other door, you’re going to lose everything that you’ve got at the moment, and you’ll be back absolutely to square one. Would you go through either those doors? Or would you just stand where you are?
Jess Zaino [38:31]
Oh my god dreams fulfilled? Of course, it’s not even a
David Ralph [38:34]
question. No, you don’t know which door to go through though it just blank doors. So you could go through the long run and end up with? Yeah, I would go through because you know what, if you go through the one and lose everything, then you get the excitement of building it all back up again. Because I was speaking to somebody the other day, and I said to them, you know, he’s hugely successful. And I said to him, you know, what, what would happen? Because he he got really down low, he got down to like $2. And that was it. There was nothing in his bank account. And he had to take this bus. And he was scrambling around the back of the sofa to try and find some coins, you know, he was low and low. And I said to him, you know, is it easier to fight your way back when you absolutely got to rock bottom? And he said, Absolutely. He said, yes, it is you can do that. And he said, but I’ve also got my mind and I’ve got all the Connexions that I’ve built up over the last few years. So if I lose everything, I know, I can go again. And when he said that, I thought to myself, that’s absolutely true, isn’t it? We need to have the Connexions. We need to reach out we need to build this network. And once we’ve got that support, and I find it amazing on a daily basis. But you know, there’s I was speaking to a chap in Florida this afternoon, I just said, Can I have your help? Yes, no problem at all. And he’s connected me with all these amazing people that are going to come on the show, you know, they’re so be guests for the next six months kind of stuff. And I couldn’t have done that a year ago. And I now know that with that network that I built up, if everything went wrong, what I’m doing, I could go again, and it is liberating to know that you’ve got that you’ve got that competence, you’ve got that network, you’ve got that support around you. But unless you start reaching out and believing that people across the globe are there to help you, you call it universe, whatever, then you never going to have that to start going at the very beginning. So people really have to realise that they can’t be scared, but they can’t do it on their own as well.
Jess Zaino [40:36]
Yes. Yeah, that’s I think that that’s key. I if you look at any example of a you know, a millionaire or billionaire who’s gone bankrupt several times, like you, you can always build yourself back up again, we really place a very high value on how much money we have our worth being what we’re actually worth financially. But you know, I’m abundant and rich and wealthy in the connexion that I’ve made in my lifetime, and should something kind of fall out from under me, like, it’s not the it’s never the end, it’s never the end. It’s always an adventure. And it’s always something if you would just allow it to be that which it innately is.
David Ralph [41:18]
I’m not going to ask sort of names and sort of a listers, but I know you’ve been sort of Telly, Telly and sort of celebrity worlds and stuff. But do you do have some kind of network where you will meet these people and actually go, Oh, my God, I’m actually connected to x y Zed,
Jess Zaino [41:33]
that I will say names because I’m super proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish in the last six months. So I moved to Los Angeles from New York about six, seven months ago. And prior to moving, I was producing on a show called The chew. And it was there that I built a relationship with Mario Batali. Do you know who that is? No
David Ralph [42:00]
Jess Zaino [42:01]
So he’s a big chef in in the States. He’s like a superstar chef in the States. And I built a relationship with Him. And I had a vision with my sister to do a TV show that would sort of explore the globe and find people that were doing stuff on the cutting edge that were really moving food and pop culture forward in anywhere in Sri Lanka, in Wisconsin, wherever but finding these trendsetters and these tastemakers and then you know, doing the show based on that almost like a journey of discovery, if you will. And I knew that Mario and I had the same interests. And I said, you know what he did an unbelievable show called Spain on the road again a couple of years ago for PBS with Gwyneth Paltrow. And my sister and I as as inspiration for our own show kept on saying, let’s just make it like Spain on the road. Again, it should just be like Spain on the road again. And I said, You know what, forget it. I’m going to ask Mario, we keep on talking about spin on the road. Again, let’s ask him if he wants to be involved and do it with us. And I took a meeting with him and pitched this idea for a show. And a year later, we are formed as a company with a full pilot shot at with him as executive producer. And we’re going out to market to sell it now. So I’m incredibly proud of that. I have another show that is an unscripted sort of improv comedy show based on a live theatre show called strong choices with two actors in LA named drew Drew, and Sam pancake who are hilariously talented, and we put together a sizzle, which is like a 10 minute sales reel basically, of what you want your show to be. And an actress a very well known actress in the states named Lauren Graham took notice of this sizzle, and she is I are now partners. So this is a woman that is on the telly every every week on a very popular show here called parenthood and was on a larger show called Gilmore Girls. And she’s just the Rattus lady. So I am going out there balls out finding like creative projects that I love and attaching big names to them, so that I can partner with somebody that will make me better, will make the project better. And, and again, going back to like, my dreams are just being fulfilled, like I blows my mind sometimes when I’m like, Oh, I’m taking lunch with that person. How did that happen? So it’s so fun to be in Hollywood, that I just I loved so much as a kid. And having like these dalliances every day with these, you know, people that I really respect and now that are my partners and that I’m working with, so I spent a long time doing fashion. And, you know, I’d worked with Kelly Osborne and I had worked with some others for the red carpet and for magazines and such. But honestly, it was the creative part that I liked the most of that it wasn’t so much the fashion part. And now that I’m being creative in the way that I really want it’s really blowing up I really love it and I can’t wait for more.
David Ralph [45:21]
You know that programme comedians in cars getting coffee with me, so you
Jess Zaino [45:26]
know it I love it. I love Jerry Seinfeld, I know every single line from Seinfeld ever,
David Ralph [45:31]
all my thing that you should do celebrities on surfboards watching porn? Would that? Would that not be a perfect? You could make that you have
Jess Zaino [45:40]
Jay, I think that you have something here. I honestly think that you have something here.
David Ralph [45:44]
You say I’ve got those creative juices flooding through me. So do not get scared. I would imagine that you’re sitting there and you’re thinking, what I’m going to pitch out to this chef and I can’t remember what his name was now, Mario, and you must have had human down where you go. Oh, he’s just gonna reject me. Oh, why is it? Why is he gonna talk to me?
Jess Zaino [46:04]
Did you? Yeah, but the excitement of going in and like setting it all up is super fun.
David Ralph [46:10]
Yeah. How’d you get past bad? Because that is a stumbling block for everything, isn’t it? People go to say, No.
Jess Zaino [46:18]
My life is not writing on whether he says yes or no. It was a fun idea that my sister and I had and we were like, let’s go ask this guy. Like we weren’t. It didn’t depend on what he said. It just depended on us going to do it. It honestly was icing on the cake. We were like, if he does it, that’s cool. If he doesn’t, we could still do it.
David Ralph [46:34]
And so he’s kind of connexion all the way back to as I was saying in the intro Saturday Night Live when you picked up the phone, when so many people would have gone Ah, I’m never going to get it. Why do it you just screw it? Let’s do it.
Jess Zaino [46:48]
Yeah, not only did I just pick up the phone, but the the advert said that they were looking for an intern. And when I called I said I was looking for a production assistant Jobs like I don’t even know where I knew these terms from. But I said a professor, the professor’s name that was on the sheet of paper. I said he’s my professor, which he wasn’t. So I don’t, I don’t. I don’t push for lying. But you know, you gotta do what you gotta do. So I said that he was my professor. And then you know, I heard that they were looking for a production assistant, and they hired me on the phone. They were like, We love that guy. Come on in, we’ll hire you. And a sad ending to that storey is that I did get fired from Saturday Night Live. So like, it wasn’t all peaches and cream. I worked there for probably about eight months, and then got put in charge of driving a big rig truck to a set and I was only 17 years old and got lost on like the Jersey Turnpike somewhere and ended up getting fired.
David Ralph [47:47]
I love that phrase. I don’t push the line. You’ve just got to do what you’ve gotta do. But that could be written on your gravestone when you have a long time in the future. But that that says everything, doesn’t it?
Unknown Speaker [48:02]
Yes. Fake it till you make it baby.
David Ralph [48:04]
Yeah, absolutely. So where where are you now them because you’ve done so much you. And even that weird rock band? What the hell was that about? I’m in my band. That sounds bizarre.
Jess Zaino [48:21]
Yes. So everything is connected. I was hosting a hip hop music show a TV show in New York. And I was going on tours with lots of rock bands as part of my job, but also because I kind of liked doing it personally. So I would tour with bands and I would have a camera and I would get this great footage. I had a segment on a show called Can’t Stop The Rock. And I toured with bands probably for probably good two years or so. And I mean, should I use the word groupie? Now? I don’t know. But I was really out there and living a very like rock star, entourage life. And after a while I was like tired of it. I was like, well, I want to be my own rock star. And one day I was you know, just sitting on the computer and saw an ad that said, do you want to be a rock star for science? And I was like, Can I curse? Yes, you can. I said fuck Yes, I want to be a rock star for science. And I auditioned with 300 other girls. And I got the job it like the afternoon I was there.
David Ralph [49:33]
And then you just steamed into it. That’s that’s the thing that I find with you all the time. It’s almost like you kind of almost know it’s going to happen before it even happens.
Jess Zaino [49:43]
Yes, with this particular job I remember or the audition, I like got out of BMX bike, and I wrote into the audition on a BMX bike. And I was like, well, I’ve spent a lot of time with rock stars, I know how they sort of are. And I sort of acted that way myself. And I was like, I’m going to just do it and I was wearing like a ripped t shirt. And I kind of came in with the devil horns and you know, sang a Christina Aguilera song on the top of my lungs. And I end of all these women, they gave me the job because I was the one that kind of like put really put myself out there. And that led to a year on the road in a tour bus with NASA, visiting schools and like balls around America singing about force equals mass times acceleration, which, which is Newton’s three laws of motion. And the whole idea
David Ralph [50:36]
of Houston would never do that. Well, I’ll tell you
Jess Zaino [50:39]
what she though I don’t know. The whole idea was to inspire young people to get into the math and sciences. So that’s what it was used for. And it was just an unbelievable experience for me because I spent so much time on the road in the small towns mostly in the south. In this in the States, and you meeting these 12 year old, 13 year old 14 year old girls, and having a connexion with them, having a strong connexion with them was really awesome. I really, I love the idea of just pushing, just pushing the female voice forward. And I look forward to the day when like my name is synonymous with like really making a name for either someone or myself or something. That’s a woman that’s really like doing something very special that changes the world.
David Ralph [51:27]
You kind of live by the mantra of no experience is wasted, done, you
Jess Zaino [51:32]
know, yeah, absolutely not, like live every breathe every second, breathe every second, even the ones that are painful and heart like, because that’s all part of it. We’re all of this, you know, Caterpillar that goes into the cocoon that becomes achy, and mushy and gooey, and then comes out this butterfly, and we do it over and over and over again in our lives. And I honestly feel like for me, it’s been happening every 10 years. And here I am, I’m again, like I’m saying I’m in this transformational place, because I it was my birthday, you know, a week away, because I’m really feeling the I’m in that cookie sort of cocoon place right now. So I am I know my butterfly will emerge because that’s what nature is. That’s just the cycle of all life if we allow it to. So I’m looking forward to the next year for myself, and certainly everything that follows after that. Well, let’s
David Ralph [52:27]
play the words of Steve Jobs at this point, because it’s the theme of the whole show Join Up Dots. He said some fantastically powerful words back in 2005. And I’ll be fascinated to get your point of view on these. These are Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [52:40]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [53:15]
And those words true for you just
Jess Zaino [53:17]
absolutely. I think that that was just a reflection of what I was saying prior to which is that we have to experience those things. And then we have the reflection and go Ah, that’s what that was for. Oh, that’s why I did that every single thing in my life is connected everything. But it is all it is so true. What he says that it is only until afterwards that you’re able to say that’s why it was connected. So think about you know, I want how so 40 How the hell do people live until these days, say I live to 100. I’ve got another 60 years, 62 years ahead of me to like really make an impact. And I’m going to use that, like I’m really excited to shift and pivot into this person that moving forward like I’m committed making an impact. And I know the things that pop up in life that look like coincidences are lucky strikes, if you will, none of them are any of that. It’s all because of what we believe inside. And that allows us to attract and to move into the place where we need to be to have those things happen as markers to connect in the future.
David Ralph [54:20]
So So what is your big dog? If you look back on the timeline of Jesse’s life, is there a big dot where you can look back and go? Yes, that was really when I became who I am today?
Jess Zaino [54:32]
Hmm, I have so many of them. Honestly, David, I have so many of them. So I can’t just pinpoint one. Because I feel like my life has been stages of big, big, big, big big.so. I can’t answer that.
David Ralph [54:53]
Is that? Is that sort of familiar to most people? Do you think? Do you do you think that most people will have so many incremental gains, so many failures, so many successes that you can’t actually pinpoint to one specific moment.
Jess Zaino [55:10]
I don’t know I think about my parents who live, you know, a conservative life, and a tradition not not conservative, but a traditional life. And I would have to imagine that they’re big dots were when they decided to get married when they decided to have their children. So I think in a more traditional life, it’s certainly going to be when you joined up with somebody else and then decided to grow other people. But I haven’t really, I it’s funny, because I’m happy to be I’m certainly happy to be married, and I love my husband. But I don’t know if marriage was like a big dot. For me. It’s more about what I’ve done personally, that have been the bigger dots for me. So I look at a more traditional life. And I see where people can have the big dots, I look at my life. And I don’t know where that big data is. I just know that I’ve had a lot of them. I had a whole bag of big dots.
David Ralph [56:03]
I think from this conversation, I would say, if I was going to say your big.it was the moment that you said, No, I don’t want to be an actress, I want to be in production. And I think would be the one where you really said look, I’m going to spread my wings, I’m going to take control. And I’m going to start creating because when you are an actress, you pretty much get directed to do what you have to do. But once you go behind the camera band, it’s you actually flexing your own muscles, isn’t it?
Jess Zaino [56:34]
Thank you so much for pointing that out. I read that’s like a super gift for me. Thank you so much. And I just want to share like the moment that that happened. I remember it specifically and very vividly, I was sitting in my university library. And I was putting together a monologue show for friends. So I was in an acting school and I had a bunch of friends and I thought, hey, if we get a show together, we can get a bunch of agents down. And maybe we can get agents to move on to the next thing. And I was writing up the scripts and I was writing up the the way that the rehearsals were going to run. And it was in that moment that I was like, I’m not just the actress. I’m the one that’s pulling the strings here. I’m the one that sees the whole big picture. Fuck being an actress, I’m going to take the reins and be the big boss. And honestly, thank you for pointing that out. That was a big dot for me because that is who I am. That was at 17. And that is now who I am at 38 as a person.
David Ralph [57:27]
There you go. You see, that’s what I do. I listen carefully. And I
Jess Zaino [57:32]
that lack of having a self I really appreciate because I know you’re listening because you don’t have that cell phone and all that icky TV stuff to get in the way. So you have a very clear and focused ear like a back.
David Ralph [57:45]
Absolutely. I’m on I’m on sonar. Most of the time, it’s less like Raider. Well, this this is the end of the show, Jess, and this is where we send you back in time like a young time traveller. And if you could go back in time and have a one on one with your younger self, what advice would you give her? And what age would you choose as well, we’re gonna find out, because I’m gonna play the theme tune and when it fades, Europe, this is the Sermon on the mic. Show.
Jess Zaino [58:33]
Today, little eight year old Jessica, that was her name back then. That was my name Back then, I would say to really love yourself fully and wholly and completely and know that you are so incredibly special and that you don’t need to look in the direction of others to see what they’re doing for you to know what you’re doing. You don’t have to seek approval from your peers, parents, you don’t have to seek approval from the powers that be the only thing that is important in this life and your life is you because this is all about you. And that’s it from the moment you are born to the moment you die. It is your ride, your creation, your production, you can be anything and everything. And you do not have to be afraid of being told that you’re wrong or being told that that’s not the way things are done. You just love yourself so fully knowing that you are supremely perfect because we all are and in that walking forward just shining bright and shining bright and shining bright so that you blind people with your light. continue to do that forever and ever and ever, because that is who you truly are.
David Ralph [59:50]
Yes, how can our audience connect with you?
Jess Zaino [59:54]
I would love to see you on the Twitter. My Twitter handle is Jess under underscore Zeno, you can also get me on Instagram, which is Instagram dot Jess or.com slash Jess z know my name. And I’m on my own website where you can read my blog, which is just zeno.tv. If you’ve liked anything I’ve said, please join me there because it really is a all encompassing world of me and how I can sort of chat with you.
David Ralph [1:00:27]
Well on Nova, our listeners will have loved the conversation because you have been you’ve been joining so bright, but you’re going to be unrecognisable to yourself tomorrow. But I’ll begin gonna be so thank you so much for spending time with us today. Join those dots and please come back again when you have more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up those dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Just as a no thank you so much. Thank you so much.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up Dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.