Jane Pollak is an artist, entrepreneur and author. She’s written three books: one based on her work as an artist, another about how she turned her art into a successful business, and the third a memoir about how to stop settling for crumbs and sit at the banquet table of life.
She’s been my mentor, coach, and friend. I am inspired by how resilient she is. She’s the personification of the quote, “Luck is what happens when preparations meets opportunity” by Roman philosopher Seneca.
In this episode of the Woman of Value Podcast, you’ll hear:
- The importance of setting boundaries
- Why we need to speak up and find our voice
- How to stop settling for crumbs
- How to handle criticism with grace
- The beauty of learning to receive
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What is a woman of value?
2:35 She knows herself well. She knows her strengths and limits. Women of value have tremendous boundaries. We teach people how to treat us. She’s learned to say, “No, that doesn’t work.” She knows how to fill her own cup before giving to others.
Learning to set boundaries with her mother
7:57 She needed to set boundaries around her mother, who was mentally ill, bipolar with a borderline personality, and critical and mean. Her ‘aha’ moment was in the Spring of 2000 at her daughter’s high school graduation, when she decided she needed to stop talking to her mother for a year.
Living in alignment with your values
14:00 Jane quotes, “The higher up the mountain you go, the more the wind blows,” by Vince Foster. Stay true to your values. It’s easier and easier for Jane to say ‘No’ now. “I’m not available. Thanks for asking.” She learned how to be a broken record. Tune in at 15:00 to learn what that is, and how it helps you to deal with boundary pushers.
Her memoir, Too Much of Not Enough
17:23 Jane describes the process of writing her memoir. It took five years. She talks about the Gotham Writer’s workshop, and how it helped her write her manuscript. We discuss criticism and how Jane began to see this type of feedback as helping her be a better writer, not knock her down like her mother did.
Dealing with criticism and feedback
20:48 There was a lot of jealousy and competition in her writing class, reinforcing her childhood message, “if you get that piece of cake, there’s not enough for me”. She admits she’s still working on accepting feedback. It’s not about being perfect. It’s about quicker processing. She likens it to the difference between a brown belt and a black belt in karate. It’s all about the speed of recovery time.
24:00 Why the title, Too Much of Not Enough? And what’s the book about? Jane tells about the crumbs she got in her marriage and her whole life. She shares a story from the book about her videotaping her ex-husband golfing and his response when she wanted her to film her. She couldn’t ask for what she wanted out of fear of him saying no.
Learning to receive and stop settling for crumbs
30:00 Jane speaks about her 6 1/2 year relationship post-divorce. He doted on her, and she had to learn how to receive. That’s was difficult for her. She told him she loved a weekly flower arrangement. And this man always brought her flowers, even if they were wildflowers. She had to feel good enough about herself to let his kindness in.
35:38 Jane hopes people will take away from the memoir that it’s never too late to reimagine your life, no matter how old you are. She had signals that her marriage wasn’t happy in her thirties, but she had no place to go. There was neglect, but there was also good in her marriage. She had no idea how much she had settled.
39:16 Normal healthy people know when to feel full. She has enough now. She’s filled up in every way. “Desire what you have” is a motto she lives by.
Following her passion today…
43:42 Jane talks about the importance of knowing your ‘why’, the motivating factor in following your passions. She also wants to travel and talk to women all around the world, seeing people bond together and open up to each other.
“My wish for everyone is they feel so good about themselves, they won’t quit, because they don’t want to let themselves down.” – Jane Pollak
Connect with Jane
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/janepollak
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/janepollak/
Instagram – @janepollak