Jennifer Null with Gulf Coast CPR Training

Jennifer Null with Gulf Coast CPR Training

On this week's episode, Marcus sits down with Jennifer Null. Jennifer is the director of Gulf Coast CPR Training, a complete resource for CPR and First Aid certification and AED program management and compliance. Listen to this episode to hear her stories and how she found success by putting everything into her business.

Produced by Blue Fish in Mobile, Alabama


Jennifer Null: Hi, I'm Jennifer Null with Gulf Coast CPR training. Thanks for having me, Marcus.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, well welcome to the podcast, Jennifer.

Jennifer Null: Thank you.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: I'm so excited to be here and I love that you're wearing your red today for me, in honor.

Marcus Neto: Yes/ Yeah, it was totally obvious that that was the case. So no, I don't know what happened. I just walked into my closet today and red and white jumped out at me.

Jennifer Null: My colors.

Marcus Neto: So maybe it was subliminal. Yeah.

Jennifer Null: Yes.

Marcus Neto: So, well, I am glad to have you here. So to get started, why don't you tell us the story of Jennifer, I know we had Josh on and so if you're listening to this and you haven't put two and two together, Jennifer is Josh's better half. And so we've heard some of his story, but I'd like to hear about your story about where you're from. You know, I mean obviously we know you're married, where'd you go to high school? College if you went? And just some of the backstory about who you are?

Jennifer Null: Okay. So I gotta go way back?

Marcus Neto: Sure.

Jennifer Null: No, cause I'm only 29, right?

Marcus Neto: Yeah yeah.

Jennifer Null: So I'm originally born and raised in Kansas City, a suburb out of Kansas City called Raymore. Raymore, Missouri.

Marcus Neto: Okay.

Jennifer Null: And I went ...

Marcus Neto: Population 300?

Jennifer Null: Actually no, I'd say it's like Fairhope size.

Marcus Neto: Okay, 400.

Jennifer Null: So I was the small town girl, right. I like, went kindergarten through high school, graduated there, and then I went on to college in Springfield, Missouri, which is called Missouri State. It was not Missouri State when I went, it was Southwest Missouri State.

Marcus Neto: Okay.

Jennifer Null: So we've upgraded a little bit.

Marcus Neto: There you go.

Jennifer Null: And I graduated there and you'd kind of laugh. My degree was criminal justice and sociology.

Marcus Neto: Wow.

Jennifer Null: I wanted to go into the FBI. And in college I met Josh, which you had on your podcast. And shortly after, actually I was still in college we got married.

Marcus Neto: Nice.

Jennifer Null: Yes. I had a month left at college. And we got married and my first job out of college, I was a probation parole officer for downtown Kansas City.

Marcus Neto: Oh wow, seriously?

Jennifer Null: Right.

Marcus Neto: This is a side of you I didn't know, do ...

Jennifer Null: I know. Law enforcement, law really intrigued me back then. And I really, I started that position thinking I'm gonna go on to be an FBI agent. It was in the background of my uncle, and I got into the system and I saw how corrupt it was and the money I made starting off was nothing.

Marcus Neto: Right.

Jennifer Null: And so that didn't last but a little, maybe under a year. And then I went to work for Sprint because a friend was working there and they were making double the money I was.

Marcus Neto: Oh wow.

Jennifer Null: Yes. So after I was there, there was another difference. I wanted to open my own fitness center.

Marcus Neto: Okay.

Jennifer Null: So I was instructing Jazzercise. I'm assuming you've heard of Jazzercise?

Marcus Neto: Yes.

Jennifer Null: I started Jazzercise.

Marcus Neto: I've never participated, but yes, I'm familiar.

Jennifer Null: You would love it, great dance and great music, and it's still awesome.

Marcus Neto: Well, you know, I am quite the dancer, so yes, I have a feeling that I would love that.

Jennifer Null: Oh, I miss it. I have dreams about it. But anyways, I started taking classes while I was in college, so that's where it got introduced to me. And then when I moved to Kansas City, I became certified to teach. So I taught for probably maybe a year at a location there and Josh and I decided we're going to open our own location in Lee's Summit, Missouri. Started it from the ground up, but he said I had to keep working.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: And I'm like, "No, I've got to open the business." He said, "No, we've got to fund it." So I worked 40 hours a week and I taught about 14 classes a week. Yeah, so it was crazy. There was times I didn't even know what day it was when I'd wake up, I was so tired. But that lasted probably like six months to nine months, and I finally got to quit Sprint.

Marcus Neto: Nice.

Jennifer Null: And I did Jazzercise till 2009, I think, I sold it. I opened it in 2001, loved it, and it was bittersweet. And then I was a stay at home mom for a while.

Marcus Neto: Well, so did you, I mean, did you always, well, no you didn't because you wanted to be an FBI agent, but I mean, was that something that you kind of felt as an undercurrent of wanting to be a business owner? Or was it more that you just really enjoyed that and just wanted to kind of like do that all day long every day?

Jennifer Null: Well, my family's a family of entrepreneurs.

Marcus Neto: Okay.

Jennifer Null: So my parents, my brother, my sister, they all own their own companies. So I don't know if it was just born into me, that hey, I don't want to work for a corporation. Sprint was great, the people I worked with were great, but it was not my cup of tea. I was not a corporate person, never have been. I was always the kid that wanted to go out and make a buck. My dad made me a little stand, I'd go door to door when I was a kid selling seeds. I'd buy the little packets of seeds, I had a big sign on the front that said Jenny's.

Marcus Neto: A high margin item there, you know?

Jennifer Null: So I go knock the neighborhood doors selling Jenny's seeds.

Marcus Neto: That's funny, gosh.

Jennifer Null: Right? I was always in trying to do the next thing and make money.

Marcus Neto: Okay. So was that your first job selling Jenny's Seeds?

Jennifer Null: Yeah, one of them. Well, do you count getting paid first job or you just have to go to work?

Marcus Neto: Well, so my next question is typically what was your first job and were there any lessons you still remember from it? And so what was your first job and what do you remember from it?

Jennifer Null: Well, my parents started their own company when I was eight in our downstairs, a newspaper.

Marcus Neto: Okay.

Jennifer Null: Called the Cask Gazette. And I was eight, and we were forced to stuff newspapers and roll them.

Marcus Neto: That's child labor.

Jennifer Null: Right? Child labor laws. For no money. And I remember telling my dad one time when they got their office finally that, he said, "You've got to come over and work." I said, "I'm not coming because I'm not getting paid."

Marcus Neto: Wow.

Jennifer Null: Let me tell you, I've never spoke to my father like that since then.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: Yeah. It was wrong. But probably when I was twelve or thirteen I started getting paid.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: And I worked hard. I did all kinds of stuff from cleaning to throwing newspapers, rolling newspapers, anything on the computer, artwork stuff, I had to do that. But when I really started making money, if you want to say, when did I start the real job?

Marcus Neto: Right.

Jennifer Null: Sonic. I was a car hop. Loved it, I still miss it. I mean ...

Marcus Neto: Walking or skates?

Jennifer Null: Well it wasn't covered under insurance, thank goodness, we didn't have the skates.

Marcus Neto: Okay.

Jennifer Null: Because skates, I'm a good roller skater, but skates and delivering food ...

Marcus Neto: Doesn't mix?

Jennifer Null: Oh No, I would be bad.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: And I made the best money there.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: Yeah. And I get to socialize.

Marcus Neto: So what were some lessons that you took away from that, was there anything that you still kind of remember from that? Even from the newspaper days, cause I imagine in a family business, in the stress of getting a startup running and you know, all that stuff, that there were probably some lessons that were taken from that, right?

Jennifer Null: Yes, if you want something in life, you gotta work hard for it. My parents had each other and they had all of us and we all worked together. So when there was ever a need, there was always someone there to help you out. It was a 24, seven days a week. It wasn't something that you walked away. Did they have Monday through Friday hours? Yes, but even when there was something to be done, it's yours. You take care of it. And my parents are hard workers. They still work and they're 73, they don't want to walk away from it. I think it's a mind thing for them.

Marcus Neto: So they still run the newspaper?

Jennifer Null: They do. And my brother runs it. It's not a newspaper anymore because of how ...

Marcus Neto: Right, the industry has changed quite a bit.

Jennifer Null: Yes, it's all printing now. But they still go in there every day during the week. Now they travel 70, not 70% probably 50% of the year. My brother runs it. But just seeing that, that hey, you can have your own, you can get away when you want. Yes. When financial comes it's on you. But ...

Marcus Neto: Yeah. No, there's a lot of benefits to it obviously. I mean I think I posted something to my Instagram story yesterday about you know, start a business they tell you, you know, it'll be fun, they tell you, you know, like you'll make lots of money and you, I mean the truth is like, you know it's a double edged sword. So like there is a lot of freedom, you know, to be able to, you know, like if you need a mental health day, you know, just kind of going and doing whatever it is you need to do. Whether it's running errands or you know, just sitting in front of the TV and watching episode after episode of Ridiculousness. But we won't go there.

Marcus Neto: And so, you know, so there's some benefit there, but there's also, like you said, I mean it is a 24 seven job. Like there's not, you know, a day or an hour that goes by where you aren't pulled back into that mentally, you know, and in thinking about the business and you know, and did I call that client, you know, where are we at with that project? Or, you know, whatever. So yeah ...

Jennifer Null: It's always on your mind and it's your baby. It's one of the kids.

Marcus Neto: Yep, yeah.

Jennifer Null: And like, you know, you have kids. My kids are involved just as much as I am. And I look back at when I was a child and my parents started their business, we were there just as much as they were, but we, we gave it our all except when we wanted to go to our social outings. But my kids love going to work with me.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: And thankfully even my oldest is thirteen, he says he's going to teach CPR when he's older. I said, "You can make your hours, you can make it as big as you want."

Marcus Neto: Well, you know, tell us about how you started. I mean, is this your first business that you've ... ?

Jennifer Null: Well, Jazzercise.

Marcus Neto: Jazzercise was, I'm sorry.

Jennifer Null: I started from the ground up. I mean granted, it was a franchise, but ...

Marcus Neto: Yeah, so which actually then, so that's a really interesting, I don't know that we've had somebody on the podcast that had both experience as a franchisee and owning, you know, their own business that they just kind of started. So, which one do you like?

Jennifer Null: There's pluses and negatives to both. I look back now because I was 24 when I started Jazzercise.

Marcus Neto: So only five years ago.

Jennifer Null: Right? Only five years ago. Looking back at the franchise fee I paid, I think it's crazy and I didn't know as much, and my parents used to hassle me, "You're gonna pay someone, you're going to start this company and you're paying them money?" They thought I was crazy because they were on the other side of it where I am now today, just owning my own.

Marcus Neto: Right.

Jennifer Null: Obviously the marketing, huge. Just getting the name out. I know it sounds like it's from the 80s.

Marcus Neto: A little bit.

Jennifer Null: But obviously it's still standing 50 years later that they have ...

Marcus Neto: Are they still active because I'll be honest, I mean I don't see a whole lot about jazzercise anymore, but yeah.

Jennifer Null: Yeah yeah huge. Yes. I, it's not very prevalent around here. I know. So I think there's location in Daphne, but it's huge. They're based out of Carlsbad, which is, South San Diego basically. And they're huge. They have the system down and it works. But the pluses to owning your own business. I mean, every decision is my own. I mean, I have regulations because of American heart association, so there's guidelines that I have to run by them and also I purchase equipment from them. So there's costs involved that I can only get through them. So that part of it, but that's any company, you know, I can do what I want. I can make it as big as I want or keep it as small. Ideally, why I did this is one, I'm passionate about and two, I have a family where I have three kids, I'm running nonstop and they can go with me and it's ideal.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, you can kind of schedule it around how you need to live your life. But so how did you start the CPR business, because I mean it's not a franchise. I mean, and obviously you're dealing with a fairly large with American Heart Association, so, but how did you get started there?

Jennifer Null: Right. How did I get into it? Well, my sister Christine Neely, she lives in Alpharetta, Georgia, which is a suburb of Atlanta. She's been with American Heart for 20 plus years. And I actually, when I lived back in Kansas City many years ago, when she needed to get away, I'd answer her phone calls. So that was like this starting point with American Heart in her location. And she kept saying, you need to teach, you need to teach. And I think back in 2012 I started teaching it, and I thought, why am I not doing this regularly? Because to maintain your status, you have to teach so many classes a year. But I didn't have all the equipment. So if I was going to invest in the equipment, I'm all in or I'm not. Right?

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: So Josh and I were talking, and I said, "I think it's time." And I'm kind of frustrated I didn't do it sooner because there is a need. I mean, we have our local fire departments, which is awesome. They are so amazing. My Dad's a fire commissioner, so I've been around firemen for many, many, many years of my life. And they're passionate and they share this knowledge with everyone in the community, especially here. So as far as them and only a couple of other locations, no one teaches it.

Marcus Neto: Right.

Jennifer Null: We all need to know it. My uncle, he's a survivor. He was sixty years old, super healthy, playing basketball with his doctor friends, had cardiac arrest. They started CPR on him, they put an AED on him. Saved his life.

Marcus Neto: Wow.

Jennifer Null: He's 80 now. Still playing basketball with those same doctors. He has a defibrillator slash pacemaker now but ...

Marcus Neto: At 80 years old I hope to still be in ...

Jennifer Null: Yeah. I saw him Easter and I said, "How are you doing?" "Still playing strong."

Marcus Neto: That's cool.

Jennifer Null: Yeah that's awesome. And my dad has heart disease so it's heart to heart to me. But also because I have kids, life.

Marcus Neto: Right.

Jennifer Null: I've seen so many scenarios where if people didn't know what to do, these kids would not be alive today.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. No, I know. And me too, my father has, and my father's side of the family has high a incidence of heart disease and my father's had a couple of heart attacks.

Jennifer Null: I'm sorry.

Marcus Neto: And so you know, it's always been something that's on my mind, which is what drives me to like just, you know, eat well. You know, stay in shape. Although if you follow my story on Instagram, referring back to that again, you'll see, you know, cinnamon rolls and you know, ice cream. So don't judge me. You know what I mean I'm just, I'm trying to make it through life as best as I can.

Jennifer Null: You've gotta have some of those.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. And so, but you know, like I very much, you know, love what the American Heart Association, you know, stands for. Anyway, I just think it's really cool that we have people in this area that are offering those services like you do, because I don't know that everybody realizes that the fire departments and those kinds of people offer that kind of training. And I know you have kind of taken a different tact of also marketing yourself as someone who can train babysitters, and do like a babysitter boot camp and stuff like that. Which I think is phenomenal because if I had young kids and I was asking somebody to babysit them, then you know, I would want them to have that training. So ...

Jennifer Null: Right. It was a requirement as a parent that no kids would watch my children unless they were CPR trained when they were littler. And yeah, baby sitter bootcamp. I'm gonna pump my sister again and her husband, Sean Neely, so like I told you, she's been doing American Heart Association in Lena for 20 plus years. Huge training center, but they're the ones who came up with the baby sitter bootcamp idea. So they were doing it in Alpharetta and I saw it, I said, this is great. And kind of, Sean, my brother in law said, "You know, why don't you start doing it down there?" I said, "Yes, I think this is a great idea."So they wanted to see using their model down here and it just went like that. So we did two different types, kind of for the younger kids where it's a three hour course, we do the basis of, "Hey, this is my first owned business. How do I talk to the parents? What do I need to know? How do I ask for money?" All that basic stuff. But then we go into indoor outdoor child safety, basic first aid, CPR, and they do it.

Marcus Neto: So it is first aid as well, it's not just the CPR side of things, so ...

Jennifer Null: No, we do like, for that three hour course we do basic first aid.

Marcus Neto: Do you teach them to blow on the cut first or to kiss it or to make the boo-boos go away?

Jennifer Null: We do teach them that too, yes.

Marcus Neto: No I'm just playing. Don't, if you have a cut, don't blow on it. You're spreading germs I know better, but yeah, anyway.

Jennifer Null: Yum.

Marcus Neto: She's cringing right now. Like, what are you doing Marcus? Teaching them all the wrong things to do.

Jennifer Null: But and after the first aid we go into the adult, they do adult CPR, they do the compressions and the rescue breaths. Obviously we use the barrier device for germ purposes here.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: They get to do that on adult child and infant and we do choking. So, and as simple as how do you activate emergency response system? We all take this stuff for granted as adults.

Marcus Neto: Right.

Jennifer Null: We think everyone should automatically know it, but if you never taught your child something ...

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: How are they gonna know?

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: I mean basic stuff like don't plug an electronic by water.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, yeah.

Jennifer Null: You know, as a child I used to try to sneak my TV into the bathroom so I could watch TV and take a bath.

Marcus Neto: Right yeah.

Jennifer Null: And I learned that lesson real quick from my father.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, don't do that.

Jennifer Null: Not a good idea.

Marcus Neto: That's a no no. Even battery operated devices are not the best.

Jennifer Null: Right.

Marcus Neto: I'm guilty of like taking a phone, but I doubt this has enough charge to actually make a dent in this dense bod if I was to drop it in the water with me, so ... But do you remember the first you know, sale that you made or of the first person that signed up for like a class for instance, or maybe it was even the experience that you had back at your sister's where you thought, man, there might be something, you know, there might be something to this?

Jennifer Null: Well, you know, really what was my push?

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: Like you, I had my life and health insurance license, it was actually Josh pushing me to get it because he wanted me to focus on life and health insurance while he focused on more the retirement.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: So I did it. I still have my life and health insurance, right?

Marcus Neto: Wow.

Jennifer Null: Yes. I'm keeping it up. I'm afraid to let it go. But I started talking with a lot of doctor's office, medical field, dental offices. And I thought, why am I not offering this service to them?

Marcus Neto: Right.

Jennifer Null: Because when you're in the medical field, you're required to have American Heart Association, BLS, basic life support certification for the healthcare provider.

Marcus Neto: Okay.

Jennifer Null: So, and it has to be American Heart, which is what we are, because it's the only one recognized by OSHA. So we're going in these offices for financial services, right? And I thought, why should I be offering this? And that's where it started and a light bulb went off and I said, "Okay, we're going to do this. I'm going to keep doing my life insurance." But it got so busy just like that, that ...

Marcus Neto: It was a no brainer?

Jennifer Null: I haven't. Like I don't have any time.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: That's a good problem. Now as far as your question as, who was like my first big client?

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: I'm going to pump Eddie Patrick from the Grand.

Marcus Neto: Okay, very good.

Jennifer Null: I mean, he wasn't the first, but he was like my first connection that I trained over there all the time. They are wonderful. So they're ...

Marcus Neto: It's nice to know that there are people on staff at the Grand that actually know CPR.

Jennifer Null: Yes. And every one of the Grand is so wonderful. So they're required to have so much percent certified at all times. And you know, during summer months there's high turnover because, obviously their staff numbers go down during winter months. Right? So there's constantly turnover because you get college aged kids working the recreation stuff. So if some of them are certified, they're not there next year. So there's constantly a need.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: Yes. And a lot of hotels I do, because again, maybe it's not a requirement, but they want someone there. I mean, think about restaurants. We were just talking to someone here earlier at our BNI meeting, choking? How often have you ever seen someone choke? I mean, we've all choked one time or another. Do you know what to do?

Marcus Neto: Well, the Heimlich, yeah.

Jennifer Null: Abdominal thrust.

Marcus Neto: I think actually, I went to school long enough ago that they actually taught CPR and basic first aid as part of like the gym class or something like that.

Jennifer Null: Really? That's awesome.

Marcus Neto: And so a lot of this stuff I am, you know, I'm not, obviously it's been a few years since that was in my life. But you know, like I do remember some of the basics, but I don't think they, I can't imagine that they have done that for quite some time. And so yeah, most people aren't going to know Heimlich maneuver or you know, basic first aid and stuff like that.

Jennifer Null: No, but you know, there's some schools that are starting to put programs, last year at St. Michael's over in Fairhope.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: The health class, the seniors that were in there, part of their final was to do the American Heart Association CPR Certification.

Marcus Neto: Oh very cool.

Jennifer Null: So I was able to go in there and train them. And what was neat about it is that they didn't have it back then, but there's two types of formats for certification. You can do the traditional where I come in and teach the course, you know, classroom instructor led course. Or there's a blended format where they can go online, do a portion of it at their own pace, and then I come in and we do the hands on portion.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: So that was great for that school. So I came in just for the hands on skills. We sectioned off their hour class or 45 minutes class, and at the end of it they had their two year certification.

Marcus Neto: Wow.

Jennifer Null: They all loved it. Loved it.

Marcus Neto: And that's something handy. Especially if they want to get a job as like a lifeguard or you know, anything along those lines. It comes in handy and it's something that they can put on a resume.

Jennifer Null: Right. That's what I was about to say. I tell everyone, especially the younger kids, put it on your resume because people will see that. Especially like restaurants.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: And my sister was saving a guy that was choking about five years ago on steak. No one in the restaurant that worked there knew what to do. Let me tell you, after that, they contacted CPR training school in Alpharetta to get all trained and certified. But you would think someone at a restaurant would know abdominal thrusts us that works there.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. I would imagine that even the managers should, you know that should be a requirement.

Jennifer Null: Be certified, right.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. Now, if you were talking to someone that wanted to get started in running their own business, what's the one bit of wisdom that you would impart to them?

Jennifer Null: Oh my, be willing to put everything your heart. Yeah. I mean it's your baby, so you got to give it your all and be willing to do it 24 seven and know that if you don't have money now, you got to give it some time.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: Because everything is going to go into it and it's not going to start making money immediately. You've got to give it time and you've gotta be patient. Maybe you will. Maybe you'll be lucky. And ...

Marcus Neto: I have always caution people, you know, like if you're wanting to start your own business, like you really need to go into it knowing that you are gonna live a fairly poor life for a long time.

Jennifer Null: At least three years.

Marcus Neto: Like three years is, you know, kind of like the general rule of thumb. You know, sometimes it takes longer, sometimes you're lucky. And you know, there've been a couple of businesses, like we're trying to get Jennifer from Canna Bama on the podcast. You know, she started the business less than a year ago and you know, it's taken off like crazy because CBD was, you know, like all the stigma around CBD, you know, was released and, you know, the federal government, you know, legalized it and all that other stuff. And so her business has, you know, taken off like wild flower, pun intended, I guess. But anyway.

Jennifer Null: But that's unusual.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, that is not the norm. So, but back to you. So tell us what a typical day looks like for you as a business owner?

Jennifer Null: Well, I wake up in my bed and check my phone.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. Okay. Well I was like, I wasn't sure where you were going with that. But yeah.

Jennifer Null: No, I wasn't being dirty, Marcus, no. I wake up, I have my phone to check, my emails, all my social media.

Marcus Neto: So you do what everybody tells us not to do?

Jennifer Null: Right. Because that's my quiet moment and whatever's red flagged right now that needs emergency response. Not emergency response, but immediate attention I should say, because once I get up then it's get the kids, feed them, out the door. I don't have a normal schedule because that's why I'm doing this.

Marcus Neto: Right.

Jennifer Null: So, one week I may have three big huge classes back to back and then classes at my office. But it's different every week, which is great. Like I told you, I love what I do cause I can maneuver around my own schedule.

Marcus Neto: Well and it's also he randomness keeps it interesting too, I would imagine?

Jennifer Null: It's exciting and it's, over the weekend I try to be better now. I didn't in the beginning about sectioning off certain times of the day to follow up with emails and phone calls if I don't catch it during the day, and weekends too. But I feel like my business is such an immediate that if people don't get an answer or a response right now because they needed their certification yesterday, that I may lose them. So I try to be better about responding even when it's the weekends. So hence the 24 seven.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: But I'm trying to be more schedule oriented, where okay, in the morning like ten to eleven, check the email again even though I did several times already on my phone.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: And then again in the evening like six to seven.

Marcus Neto: And just for reference for those that of you that are listening, like that is, if you're not a business owner, that is the case for all clients or customers. Like, we just live in a world now where it's like an immediate response is kind of expected and if you don't get one then they're going on to the next person.

Jennifer Null: Yes, right.

Marcus Neto: And so you really need to be Johnny on the spot with answering emails and phone calls and stuff like that.

Jennifer Null: And it's hard like you know, with kids because my kids are, "Can you please put the phone down, mommy?" And if they're saying that to me, that's not okay because it's a balance. You need, my kids are number one to me.

Marcus Neto: Right.

Jennifer Null: So I try when I'm with them, all of me. So it's a balance, but I still am checking my messages because people want it now.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: I do want to say something if you don't mind about the CPR, because you're saying, "Hey, I haven't had it in so many years," and you all need it. So maybe you all need to have a little training class here. Hint hint.

Marcus Neto: She's putting the hard sell on us folks.

Jennifer Null: Yes. But American Heart Association is making this big huge push and they have, it's called Two Steps. So if you've never been trained, you'd never seen anything. Two Steps, call 911 and push hard on the center of their chest and just keep pushing hard and you know, Staying Alive?

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: You can sing that. Just keep pushing on the center of their chest, staying alive, staying alive.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: Are you ready to bust a ...

Marcus Neto: That's awesome.

Jennifer Null: My Dad's a musician. Can you tell? I didn't get that gene.

Marcus Neto: No, but that's really cool that they've done that because I mean obviously you're gonna remember Staying Alive cause it's such a catchy, you know, like iconic tune and the the compressions I would imagine fit right within that kind of beat.

Jennifer Null: Yes. The 120 beats per minute and on anyone over the age of eight, you're pushing at least two inches deep. That's considered an adult in CPR. So that's deep.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: So ...

Marcus Neto: No, that's cool.

Jennifer Null: And make sure they're on a firm flat surface too. Just FYI.

Marcus Neto: Good. Now back to the questions.

Jennifer Null: Yes.

Marcus Neto: Who is the one person that motivates you from the business world and I'm not thinking locally. I'm thinking like you're going through the checkout line at the grocery store and you see this person on the front cover of the magazine, you know, you buy that magazine?

Jennifer Null: I don't buy magazines.

Marcus Neto: Come on, work with me here.

Jennifer Null: Sorry. Okay, well I wouldn't, I was thinking along the lines of what I do and what's motivated me. My sister, I'm going to pull up my sister again, Christine.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, okay.

Jennifer Null: She's eight years older than me, so ...

Marcus Neto: Okay.

Jennifer Null: You know, she's had experience.

Marcus Neto: She's 37?

Jennifer Null: Yes.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, you just outed her.

Jennifer Null: Poor girl, sorry Chris. But she's been, I mean she's like me, she's fitness oriented and she's obviously been with American Heart for a long time. So she has a lot of knowledge and I see what she's done from the beginning until what this training center she has, it's huge. She trains hundreds of instructors a year and does what I do go on site to locations and has seven days a week training at her location as well. And she's busy nonstop, but she also takes off when she wants and it supports her family and her husband.

Marcus Neto: Nice.

Jennifer Null: I mean Sean works hand in hand with her, but she started it from the ground up. So I feel like I'm giving back to society on sharing this unbelievable knowledge we so could save everybody's life. Not Everybody's, but increase the chances of survival by just compressions and rescue breaths. And if it wasn't for her, I would not be doing what I'm doing now.

Marcus Neto: No, that's really cool. So is that Josh's play, he's just banking on you making this into a successful empire then?

Jennifer Null: Yeah, he did say the other day, "You know, I kind of feel like Sean, you're supporting me right now."

Marcus Neto: No, that's awesome. Well, are there any books, podcasts, people or organizations that have been helpful in moving you forward?

Jennifer Null: Well, obviously American Heart.

Marcus Neto: Well, I mean more from the business end, running, you know, owning a business and understanding the ins and outs and like how to market yourself, how to read a profit and loss statement, that kind of thing?

Jennifer Null: Yes. Well my husband is huge.

Marcus Neto: Oh come on.

Jennifer Null: I'm serious, and I'm not pumping him.

Marcus Neto: Come on, people.

Jennifer Null: I want to say this because I ...

Marcus Neto: Okay, I'll let you go and then we'll get back to the real answer here in just a minute.

Jennifer Null: Okay, so marketing wise.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: And why I'm sitting here with you today is because of him.

Marcus Neto: Sure.

Jennifer Null: I was anti social media. I still am a little bit, I don't sound like an introvert. I'm not, however, I'm private when it comes to that. So I kept telling him for years, "I don't want to be on social media," but he said, "You have to get involved." And where I'm at, I mean I'm on there now obviously, but he's still pumps it.

Marcus Neto: He's pushing you, yeah.

Jennifer Null: And he puts a lot out there for me.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: And I see what he's done with the podcast. And you, your podcast, I listen to his stuff and he's very knowledgeable with numbers.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: When I married him I had to, he was the number guy and I was the number girl, like in all my households with my roommates. And so when we got married it was like he took over and I was kind of ...

Marcus Neto: Here's my profit and loss statement, now where's yours? Your balance sheet, you know?

Jennifer Null: Yes, and I was kind of like, seriously. I had my little checkbook and the ...

Marcus Neto: Yeah?

Jennifer Null: He took over. So I've learned a lot from him. We've always done our businesses together and started QuickBooks when I started Jazzercise at 24 and together we've grown. But okay, I got lost on your question there.

Marcus Neto: No. So it was books, podcasts, people or organizations that have been helpful in moving you forward?

Jennifer Null: Well, right now I'm not reading any books. I love to read, but my eyesight is so bad. So it's all social media and podcasts.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: So it's enhanced with the small time that I have, it's not long reads.

Marcus Neto: Right.

Jennifer Null: It's short stuff. And I'll have to tell you, he makes fun of me because he says I'm like, commercial. I read a lot of fitness stuff cause it goes hand in hand with heart. But I wouldn't say there's one that sticks out to the most, it's this valuable knowledge. And my other thing is American Heart weekly newsletters that I get that brings new information.

Marcus Neto: And I'm sure they're helpful in helping you understand how to, you know, talk about the products and you know, the services that you offer and stuff like that.

Jennifer Null: Right? And they're the ones who do all the research for everybody out there.

Marcus Neto: Sure.

Jennifer Null: With the heart disease and stroke. So every, anything that comes out new is from them, for everybody, all the standards out there. So, and then my kids reads.

Marcus Neto: Oh gosh, well what is the most important thing that you've learned about running a business?

Jennifer Null: Most important thing? Do you mean on what I need to do to run it?

Marcus Neto: Yeah, so one of the things that I think is an epiphany for people when they go out on their own is most people are practitioners, and they don't realize that there are all these administrative things that they have to do, whether it's acting as the accountant or the HR person or the salesperson or the marketing person or whatever, you know, like as far as running your own business, is there something that you've learned, you know, like that was something that you didn't really realize before going into this?

Jennifer Null: I feel like I knew what I was getting into, but as far as all those faces that you have to carry, and it is on you by yourself individually running this, it's a lot. And I don't like administrative work. That part stinks, and I'm good at it, but I'd rather be out in the social part of it. I have that skill to be able to talk in front of people, and I like talking in front of people.

Marcus Neto: Unless you happen to mention that there are thousands of people that'll see it and then her palms get a little sweaty, so ...

Jennifer Null: Right and listen to me? But all of it is important. So if you find that you're weak in an area and you have family members that are part of your organization perhaps or there, like Josh is very supportive so guess what, when I need help with my marketing, he's there to help me because Facebook I struggle with because it's so overwhelming. So I feel like if I'm struggling in an area I have him to lean on and if I didn't it would be really hard to do this.

Marcus Neto: No, that's really cool.

Jennifer Null: And when I'm loading my equipment, something so silly like, it's physical. What I do is very physical going onsite to locations, all the equipment that I carry in and out of my car. And I had my shoulder surgery, trying to carry all that in his knee. It was pretty comical. So loading all this equipment, and ...

Marcus Neto: Yeah, so the back story there is that Josh and Jennifer each blew out a joint within like a week of each other or something along those lines?

Jennifer Null: Yeah, four days.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. So I mean she hurt her shoulder and had to have surgery and he did his knee and had to have surgery and so they were Bonnie and Clyde over here trying to get, you know, a couple of businesses and family and stuff like that running around. So ...

Jennifer Null: Yeah. You talk about teamwork?

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: Because I couldn't compress, so I'd have him compress, but he couldn't kneel because his knees. So I put the mannequins up on the table.

Marcus Neto: That's cool, yeah.

Jennifer Null: Right. And He'd be pushing and I'd do the rescue breaths. It was good teamwork. It's amazing what you can do if you have to. That was a prime example of hey, these are our babies.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: We had to go working the next day after surgery, whether it be on the phone or computer. And you do what you gotta do. Looking back now, I think, oh my goodness, how did we do that? It's kind of a haze for a couple months.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. So how do you like to unwind?

Jennifer Null: The boat, and sun and sand. That's my favorite.

Marcus Neto: Yeah.

Jennifer Null: As soon as I get about halfway down to the beach, I feel this immediately release.

Marcus Neto: Right.

Jennifer Null: Now that's my favorite. Exercise is number one every day. Not every day, but as many days of the week as I can.

Marcus Neto: Right, physical activity?

Jennifer Null: Like I said, it has to be my cardio and my weights. Like I told you, I had a fitness center for many years. That's my outlet. That's my happy place. It's the only time it's just me.

Marcus Neto: Right.

Jennifer Null: I get my time with my music to tune out.

Marcus Neto: Yeah. It's funny because I get, I mean I know a lot of people that work out and so I get invited to like crossfit or these F45 and stuff like that and it's just like going to the gym and working out is the time because I am so involved in, you know, talking to people and stuff like that. It's the only time that I really just put headphones in and just kind of lose myself in, you know, whatever it is that I'm doing. And so I get that, and I would just say, much like you, working out is my release. It's my way of just kind like recuperating from all the demands that this job has. And I would like to encourage you that if you're listening to this and you are like, just find something along those lines.

Jennifer Null: Yes.

Marcus Neto: Like, some physical activity because there are plenty of studies that have shown that the endorphins and all the hormonal releases and stuff like that, when you go and do a hard workout, whether it's 20 minutes or an hour. And you don't need to kill yourself. It doesn't need to be two or three hours. I mean just like 20 minutes, you know, a couple of times a week is a start, right? Then your body literally starts to crave that because it gets rid of all the bad energy, and all the, you know, catabolic, you know, stuff that you have in your life and really helps you kind of cope with life in a much better way. So ...

Jennifer Null: It would probably end a lot of depression if people would just go exercise.

Marcus Neto: Exercise, yeah.

Jennifer Null: It's huge. And have you ever walked into a fitness center and then around a bunch of angry people? No. I mean I'll put my ...

Marcus Neto: Well, it depends. There are some pretty angry guys when they're lifting weights, but that's on purpose because they're trying to lift, you know, anger oftentimes is a great motivator for lifting heavy shit.

Jennifer Null: Sure, sure. I get that. But you know what I mean? It's always a positive environment and maybe that's why I've always surrounded and ...

Marcus Neto: Yeah, no I get what you're saying. Yeah.

Jennifer Null: It's my happy place and I'll put those earbuds in and head down. I don't want to socialize, it's your decompression. And then my third way, of course, my wine.

Marcus Neto: Of course, rose all day?

Jennifer Null: Not all day.

Marcus Neto: Well tell people where they can find you?

Jennifer Null: You can find me on Google, Facebook, social media. I'm They can also call us at 251-210-8874, or they can email us at, we're all over. If you just do a search for Gulf coast CPR training, we're out there. And we're in downtown Fairhope, but we go from Biloxi all the way to Pensacola to Gulf shores, Orange Beach, Mobile, everywhere.

Marcus Neto: Awesome.

Jennifer Null: Yes.

Marcus Neto: Well I want to thank you again for coming on the podcast to wrap up, any final thoughts or comments you'd like to share?

Jennifer Null: I just appreciate you having me here and wearing your red for American Heart ...

Marcus Neto: American Heart Association?

Jennifer Null: Yes. I love it, you're red and white, we need a picture of this.

Marcus Neto: Awesome.

Jennifer Null: Thank you. I feel honored to be here.

Marcus Neto: Yeah, no, I mean it was great. So I've really enjoyed getting to know both you and Josh, and so you know, it was a no brainer. So, well, Jennifer, I appreciate your willingness to sit with me and share your journey as a business owner and entrepreneur. It's been great talking with you.

Jennifer Null: Thank you. It's been great talking to you too.

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