PP 582: Scale Your Business with Government Contracting with Jean Kristensen

“Trust your instincts and trust the journey.” – Jean Kristensen

True to her words above, Jean Kristensen, President and CEO of Jean Kristensen Associates, LLC, helps her client’s expand their businesses without having to sacrifice what is really important. Her company provides entrepreneurs with certifications and business strategies but primarily government contracting.

Jean entered this field after having experienced the challenges of running and growing her own security business. Learn how she was able to grow the company from five to 500 employees with a revenue of $15 million.

Subscribe today to hear Kim Sutton interview guest Jean Kristensen on the challenges, solutions and benefits of doing business with the government.


01:40 Working with the Government
5:00 Getting Approvals
15:51 Barriers for Immigrant Entrepreneurs
22:15 A Lesson to Entrepreneurs
26:30 Is the Area of Operation Restricted?
28:46 Money or Marketing –Who Gets the Contract?
30:37 Resolving the ‘Experience’ Issue and Opportunities for Service Disabled Veterans
36:39 Be a Balanced Entrepreneur

Can you work with the government? Tune in as @thekimsutton interviews @jeankristensen on how to grow your business with #governmentcontracts #certification #barriers #solutions #balanceClick To Tweet


Positive Productivity Podcast Episode 5
“Sleep… And Why I Would Rather You Do It Than Listen To Me”

Inspirational Quotes:

“So it’s really important that I do the work that I do, because it has a ripple effect. When a small business is successful, they empower their families; they empower their community. It definitely has a ripple effect.” –Jean Kristensen

I decided that I was going to get into this because I had something that I wanted to share. And I saw tremendous value in it. –Jean Kristensen

“I am most passionate about health and wellness … how can we keep each other on track, because sometimes the entrepreneurial journey can be exhausting to put it mildly, it can be exhausting.” –Jean Kristensen

“And what many entrepreneurs don’t know is that when they’re getting the proper rest when they’re getting the proper sleep… you were actually serving at a higher level, you are performing better, you’re doing better, but we must stay in the course.” –Jean Kristensen

“I want to be someone who can support them and letting them know that they can still have their business and they can do amazing things. But they don’t have to kill themselves doing it.” –Jean Kristensen

“And I think that we need to do a better job of focusing on what’s real, which is our health or families. Right, the rest trust in the journey the rest will work itself out. It always does.” –Jean Kristensen




KIM SUTTON: Welcome back to another episode of Positive Productivity! This is your host, Kim Sutton, and I am so happy that you are here to join us today. I’m also thrilled to introduce you to today’s guest, Jean Kristensen. Jean is the president of Jean Kristensen associates. Welcome Jean! I know that was like just throwing the ball over to you like a hot potato but I’m so happy to have you here and I’m thrilled to have you in front of our listener’s ears. That doesn’t really make sense, but I think you know what I’m trying to say. Welcome!

JEAN KRISTENSEN: –Yes, yes. Well, thank you so much for having me. I am really excited to talk to you today.

KIM SUTTON: Oh, you are so welcome. So, for the listeners who do not know who you are and some of the listeners don’t even know who I am, I would love for you to give them a little taste of who you are and how you got to where you are today.

JEAN KRISTENSEN: Sure. So who I am, I am a performance coach that works with small businesses who are trying to do business with the government. So it’s a whole mouthful. What I really do is I help people who want to bring their products and services to government agencies. So I coached them, I show them how to break in, and that’s what I did.

KIM SUTTON: Oh my gosh. Just a mouthful. It really is a handful. 

JEAN KRISTENSEN: Yeah. Absolutely. Many people don’t see the government as a potential client. My experience has been so amazing working with the government because it really does help small businesses to grow. I’m really passionate about uncovering the mystery behind how to do business with the government and sharing the information with other small businesses so that they can get in on all this exciting work that’s out there.

KIM SUTTON: I’ve personally worked with the government, I haven’t really discussed this on the podcast ever, but I know that working with the government can take on so different meanings especially here in the states, which I would have to assume, and I know assuming is bad, but I would have to assume that you are specialized here in the states because different governments are different.

JEAN KRISTENSEN: Yeah. I’m specialized here in the states and even I want to say that the majority of my clients, although I’ll work with you know, clients throughout the United States, but the majority of my clients tend to be in the northeast region because there are different types of government agencies. If you think about there’s the federal government, there’s your local government agencies like the post office. And the libraries and then there are all the different agencies that are somehow intertwined. So the word government could mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. But to answer your question, absolutely I am focused 100% Ali US.

KIM SUTTON: Yeah. I love that you just talked about that, about the different levels of the government because that was exactly what I was meaning. I’ve had clients and I have personally worked for the military. I was an interior designer in my past life and when I lost my job, I did a little bit of renovation work down at Wright Patterson there for space and the office that I worked at, it didn’t have to go through all the same chain of command and approval processes as some of the other offices would have needed to, but I did still need to get security clearance to even get on base. But even before I was doing the work down at Wright Patt, I was designing schools K through 12 schools and –


KIM SUTTON: -that’s an interesting ball of wax on its own. We had to get bond issues passed to be able to even do the design on the school because without the tax payer’s dollars. That’s completely different. Schools are still government regulated, whether it be state or federal or any of the above. And there’s sorry to take the ball and run from you, but I would love if you would just share a little bit about what the approval process looks like. What do we as entrepreneurs even need to do to get our foot in the door. And then


KIM SUTTON: I told you about, you know, consecutive questions, but the bidding, you know how we have to bid for projects.

JEAN KRISTENSEN: Yeah, yeah. Those are all amazing questions. Let me just start a little bit before the approval process because this is something that I’m really passionate about when working with clients is to help them identify their target audience within the government. Because as you pointed out, there were just so many different roads you can follow with the government and there could potentially be this arduous approval process, paperwork, things that need to be completed. The first thing I tell people, if you’re thinking about selling your products and services to the government, let’s start with market research. Let’s figure out if the government is already buying what you’re selling or if you have an innovative solution to, you know, some of the world’s biggest problems that we’re seeing right now, like climate change, health and wellness. Where the government, and they might not have a specific path, but they’re concerned about it.

JEAN KRISTENSEN: It’s a growing issue. I have some clients that are doing things like composting and all these other great things and there is no approval process per say for that kind of thing. So step one is figuring out, you know, what’s your target audience is within the government. And then the second thing people should do is the government is fully transparent. Whether you’re on a local level or you’re going federal, all of the information needed to connect with them is typically posted on the local government agency websites or the small business administration has an abundance of resources on their website, which is sba.gov and essentially you want to, you want to make sure that you are what I call procurement ready, that you meet the requirements for doing business with the government. And so that’s where some of the approvals come in. For example, the government may want to know that you’re properly registered, you know on certain websites that you have, you know that you’re up to date with your caps, is that your, you know, that you’re in position to receive a contract if awarded a contract. So there is a, an onboarding slash due diligence process that people need to be aware of before you start thinking about, hey, let me start bidding on projects. Let me start selling. I always recommend, you know, building a very strong foundation so you know exactly what the government is buying. If there’s a viable market for the services that you want to provide. And then positioning yourself for how to do business with them.

KIM SUTTON: I never thought about that Jean, about even composting, well let’s –


KIM SUTTON: -just take it down to the toilet paper in the bathrooms.

JEAN KRISTENSEN: Yes. Toilet paper in the bathrooms. I have clients that are now, and this is really a shift because many of the local government agencies, realize the importance of bringing small businesses into the supply chain. So they are much more flexible than they used to be in the past. You know, probably 30 years ago when I got started, my experience with the government was mostly large commodity type contracts and now someone who is a health and wellness expert or someone who is in the green environment or someone who is selling toilet paper or daycare or flowers could be a government contract.

KIM SUTTON: I never even thought about daycare cause it never even –


KIM SUTTON: -occurred to me that there could be daycare on the premises. Huh.

JEAN KRISTENSEN: There is daycare on the premises and you know some government agencies, like I’m in New York City and New York City provides an abundance of resources to different communities. So you have organizations like organizations for children’s services where daycare becomes part of the conversation.


JEAN KRISTENSEN: Learning for young kids become part of it. A lot of my clients are wellness providers, accountants, bookkeepers, you name it. My experience is that the government is buying it in some shape or form. It’s just really important for the small business owner to really understand how that looks so that they’re not wasting time. Again, as you pointed out, bidding on stuff or going through a lengthy time consuming process that may not serve them.

KIM SUTTON: Absolutely. Jean, how did you get into this?

JEAN KRISTENSEN: My parents had a security guard company. They opened it up in the early 1980’s and I was working, my background is in marketing.

I had basically volunteered to help my parents with marketing. I was like, listen, I’ve got this. Let me come in. I was really young at the time and I thought I knew everything. My dad introduced me to a small business certification program that had just opened up in New York City. It was for minority and women owned businesses. It was the government’s attempt at creating more opportunities for minorities of women. So I focused my attention on getting our company certified and filling out all this paperwork and doing all those approvals. We were not getting any clients, which was a very painful place to be because although we felt that our company was ready to do business with the government, the inbound traffic was not happening. If you think about how things were in the 80’s you know, the Internet was just getting started.

JEAN KRISTENSEN: There was no social media.  I had to figure out how to market our services and our certification to help grow the business. Thankfully, once I understood those same things that I’m sharing with you and your audience, you really must know who the targets are in the government as well as how do you stay relevant? How do government buyers find out about you? I was able to successfully grow the business from five employees to over 500 back then we generated –


JEAN KRISTENSEN: -over $15 million in sales with city, state and local government agencies as well as private sector corporations. So it was like a light bulb went off once I figured out the marketing, how to really market the business and my dad passed away unexpectedly in 1999 and that changed things for me because it was a difficult time in my life, but I was also thinking about what’s next.

JEAN KRISTENSEN: We ended up selling the business to a large corporation and I took some time off and in taking the time off, it dawned on me like, what do I really love to do and how can I use all these skills that I gained to help others because I wasn’t seeing someone like me in the marketplace, you know, a coach or someone that was really focused on teaching people how to do this. That’s how I got started. I opened my coaching practice and my small business services in 2007 and I’ve been doing it ever since.

KIM SUTTON: Wow! Well I hug you first for your dad and then second, because I love, and I know it was an unexpected journey, but I love how you shifted and this is making an assumption again, I guess it’s just assumption day, but I mean before dad passing I could imagine that it was a little bit more about building the business, building the revenue build bigger, bigger, bigger, and then it became an impact thing. Would that be –


KIM SUTTON: -fair?

JEAN KRISTENSEN: I’m so glad that you bring that up because the impact is what really struck me, you know, just to share a little bit about our journey as a family. I am the oldest of five. Both of my parents are immigrants and you know, growing up was really tough because my mom was a stay at home mom and that’s gonna make it difficult. Money was tight because you know, raising a family of five, one income, it was difficult. My parents did an amazing job. They were entrepreneurial and they were not afraid of hard work. They were not afraid to try different things. I’m really grateful to them for that because it gave me that extra something that helped me to be successful today. Going back to the impact of when we cracked the code, the impact that having a successful small business had on us personally as a family was enormous. You know, it just opened up so many possibilities that weren’t there prior to “the struggle.” So it’s really important that I do the work that I do because it has a ripple effect. When a small business is successful, they empower their families, they empower their community. It definitely has a ripple effect.

KIM SUTTON: Oh, you just touched me on so many levels. I don’t know if you know, but I’m a mom of five. –

JEAN KRISTENSEN: –Yes, you mention that.

KIM SUTTON: – I am the sole breadwinner in our house.




KIM SUTTON: -and as an entrepreneur when things are going well in the business, there’s a toll that it takes –


KIM SUTTON: -the family, you know, are we eating ramen tonight? You know –


KIM SUTTON: -but every one of those struggles, I mean I, my kids have learned the value of money and they’ve also learned that just because they’re not wearing, you know, hot off the shelves, newest releases from the mall, does it mean that they’re not loved as much? Even when we have money, they’d rather go and spend their money in other ways and buy more for less. You know?


KIM SUTTON: The business has definitely brought us together and it made mom quite tired at times. Today is not one of those days. Listeners, I just want you to know I’m on no coffee yet. Today my mouth is going 50,000 words a minute it feels like, but I love that. I would love to know, and this is just the question that popped up in my head, there are so many immigrants who start businesses when they move to the states, and I don’t mean to generalize here,-


KIM SUTTON: -but is that often due to inability to find employment elsewhere? And you know, means to making money or, because I feel like I hear more about immigrants starting their own business than working for others. Or maybe it’s just the media, which highlights, you know, immigrants who have come in and are now working illegally, you know? So that’s what they highlight versus the alternative of actually having legal employment in the US?

JEAN KRISTENSEN: Yeah. You know, I can’t speak for everyone, –


JEAN KRISTENSEN: -but I will share, you know what my experience has been and as a young person growing up, education is a barrier to success, right? In the United States, you are taught, you know, that you need to get a good education in order to gain access to a lucrative job. Margarete, where are you going to make a good living? So if you’re coming from another country, that could potentially be a barrier. I’ve seen people who come from other countries with degrees from their country, which are not valid or accepted here in the United States. So that is one of the reasons why I think that smart people make the decision. Like, listen, it’s either I’m going to start all over again or I’m going to start my own business. And when I think about my parents, that was definitely their situation is that the education that they had received in their countries, you know, it was not relevant here in the United States and make no mistake because even though my pants started businesses, they also had jobs and the jobs that they were able to obtain.

JEAN KRISTENSEN: You know, when you think back in the 80’s how things were without having a formal education could not sustain a family of five.




JEAN KRISTENSEN: -we were not, you know, living in the street, but it was a constant struggle. So having your own business, it gives you that ability. And I love what you said, you know about like your kids, you can sit down and sometimes it’s not easy, but you can sit down and say to yourself, you know what? I’m going to find another way or I’m going to create something else or I’m going to do something else. So I think that is why many entrepreneurs in many immigrants make the decision to come here and start their own businesses because potentially the barriers to success are less than going after you know, your corporate job. You think about language, you think about education and you think about access –


JEAN KRISTENSEN: -you know to resources,


JEAN KRISTENSEN: Which as we growing up in the United States, like my parents, although they didn’t have those resources available to them, they made it available to all of us kids, you know, formal education – 

KIM SUTTON: –Absolutely.

JEAN KRISTENSEN: – networking, all of that stuff. So my journey was, it was definitely easier than theirs, so on and so forth. We’re going to make that journey easier for our kids.


JEAN KRISTENSEN: Going forward. But I think really that’s why it’s about, you know, how can I live in the United States and meet all of my obligations.

KIM SUTTON: Absolutely. Well, my maternal grandparents moved over from Germany in the 1920’s and –


KIM SUTTON: -my grandfather had a little grocery store and that, that –

JEAN KRISTENSEN: –entrepreneur.

KIM SUTTON: -yep, exactly. –


KIM SUTTON: -and I never really thought about that until now. You also sparked something else in my head that there is a barrier of how high we can go when we’re working for somebody else. Before I started this round of entrepreneurship, I lost my job as an interior designer because of the economy and because the bond issue stopped getting passed.


KIM SUTTON: I was working as an administrative assistant in –


KIM SUTTON: -you know, try as I might, I’m outside of Dayton, Ohio. The economy here as it was in many places was [inaudible] in 2008 this was 2010 but I couldn’t get a job, but I also couldn’t leave the area. I got divorced and that was just the stipulation for me keeping custody of my kids. I could have gone back to New York and gotten another design job maybe, but that wasn’t an option as a mother.

JEAN KRISTENSEN: –[inaudible]

KIM SUTTON: We could go down a long road there. But –


KIM SUTTON: -you know, I had gone as high as I could go and unless I got a new job, which I was striking out at, or batting zero, you know what I’m trying to say? –


KIM SUTTON: -I was betting zero for getting more pay, but now the opportunities are unlimited and I love that. Oh we want to make more money. Well what can we do? Just tweak our marketing a little bit, make a new product, get in front of a new perspective audience. Yeah, it’s unlimited.

JEAN KRISTENSEN: It’s unlimited and you know like talking to you, you almost feel like the person that you know, like I get really excited about working with because there was such a-significance to of someone like yourself gaining access to the wonderful opportunities that are available with government contracts. If you think about, for example, you know how hard it is, you know as an entrepreneur to bring on a new client, like you just said, market through all this stuff and we’re touching all of these individual folks. One of the things I love about government contracting is that the contracts tend to be multi-year, which is such a blessing when you’re trying to manage your cash flow. And in many instances you can also account for some of the administrative services that we typically don’t charge our clients for. Like our private sector clients. Whereas in the government, you know, you are required often times to break down, well, what are your administrative fees?

JEAN KRISTENSEN: Are you paying employee benefits and things like that. I have to say in my small business, one of the things that the government contracting did for me was when I found myself in a situation where, wow, you know, what did I want to get a job? Could I get a job? You know, that was difficult because as you said, there’s a camp there. When I started my consulting practice, you know, it was tough getting individual clients figuring things out. And something as simple as health insurance was not available to me as an entrepreneur. And thankfully, you know, through the acquisition of government contracts, I have been able to get health insurance for me for, you know, my team. And it’s settles little things that really make me excited about working with clients to help them scale their business so that they have government contracts that allow for them to, I want to say, not changed their standard, but have access to contracts that provide steady cash flow.

KIM SUTTON: Which sounds amazing all by itself. I do have a question about that though, and I’m not gonna timestamp this episode, but in the case where there’s government shutdowns, how do contracts get affected?

JEAN KRISTENSEN: So government contracts and you know, those are, let me say that a government shutdown could have an impact on a small business. There’s no doubt about it. It really depends on where you are and what types of contracts that you have. But if yes, if you were working directly or I can’t remember all the agencies that will shut down the IRS for example, and they’re shut down, you’re shut down because there’s nothing happening. So there was all potential risks that are associated with doing business with the government and they’re relatively new. I think I could remember one time in the early 90’s where there was a government shutdown and you know, did it close businesses? No, but it definitely has an impact. So being that I’m a little bit more seasoned, I always tell my clients never to have all of their eggs in one basket. Like you should never have all of your contracts with the feds. You should have a multiple income streams so that you can sustain those periods of potential challenges and monitor those situations really carefully so that you’re not putting yourself in a financial bind.

KIM SUTTON: That’s an important lesson for all entrepreneurs and I just want listeners to know that this is the lesson I am learning. All of my eggs are in one basket because all of my work either comes in from one client directly for that client or from work. I am white labeling for that client and that’s a scary place to be in. I mean that kind of has a tendency to get on his motorcycle and crash just saying,-

JEAN KRISTENSEN: –[inaudible]

KIM SUTTON: -you know, all I need is worst case scenario to happen there. I think he actually sold his bike, but there goes the whole brand behind all the work that’s driving my business now. So my team and I are actually looking at that.

JEAN KRISTENSEN: Yeah. And you know, we always have is an epiphany as I was coaching a client the other day and a lot of the work that I do is in Professional Development and on the coaching side, because it’s these little blind spots that people need support around navigating. If you’re an entrepreneur, you know, you’re oftentimes by yourself trying to figuring it out on your own. And that is from me a very difficult place to be. I always encourage people to find that mentor, coach or even um, we started encouraging some of our clients to form like, you know, small groups, whether it’s a Facebook group or a group that meets on zoom periodically because you need that insight from other people. It’s not intuitive for us. We as small businesses, literally it’s heads down. We are focused on generating revenue, taking care of our clients and doing what we have to do. And sometimes it’s easy to forget like, Oh wow, I’ve got to do some more marketing or I got to do some forecasting or some of the other things that’s going to sustain us long term. So that’s why I like surrounding myself with other entrepreneurs and I like to create environments where people can share that information with each other so that you feel supported and that you don’t feel so isolated when something like that comes up. You could partner with others or share ideas. It’s all important really to have that support.

KIM SUTTON: Absolutely. Jean, when it comes to federal contracts, is there any type of stipulation that you need to live within a certain area? If you don’t mind, I’ll tell you why I’m asking. I was working with a different client last year or maybe two years ago, who was in Virginia, not far from DC and with spending an exorbitant amount on a lease and then had who furnished office and that nearly put them, you know, under. But is there any stipulation about that? If you want to get some of these contracts, you have to live or operate out of certain states or zip codes or even counties.

JEAN KRISTENSEN: That’s an interesting perspective and what I have found in the beltway – that’s the DC/Virginia area – that a lot of the most successful federal government contractors are in that region purposely because they do an extensive amount of marketing and they want to be in an environment where they can easily connect with the agencies in that region. Sometimes when I’m doing market research, even in my field of professional development, I’ll look at you know the most successful professional development firms and many of them are located in the DC metro area. That is not a requirement. I mean, I have other contracts that are not directly in my state so I think it’s more a business owner needs to understand where they fit in in the federal government contracting arena. It is not a requirement to have a space in the DC metro area.

JEAN KRISTENSEN: The other thing I am seeing and especially for people in professional services, like the model of having office space in a specific zip code in my opinion is really old school because now you’re just seeing that so much more can be done. Like people are a lot more purposeful about using a virtual business model where their teams are everywhere. Like my team, I have a pretty strong virtual team. One of my members is in Florida, the other one is in North Carolina. I certainly have a base in New York and I have a base in Connecticut, but there’s a lot more being done virtually these days. So I hope I answered your questions.

KIM SUTTON: –You did.

JEAN KRISTENSEN: Do you need to be in a specific zip code? No, but some of the most successful government contractors are doing it purposefully for the marketing.

KIM SUTTON: You definitely answered my question, but you gave me another one. So, –


KIM SUTTON: -from my architecture background, you know, we would put projects out to bid and very often the lowest bidder one we had to have a really good reason for not choosing the lowest bidder. So is it money or marketing that impacts who the government chooses for our contract?

JEAN KRISTENSEN: Well, that brings me to looking at the different ways that the government buys because back 20 or 30 years ago, it could have potentially been lowest bidder. What I see now is I see bids, especially on the federal government side, where it is the best value. So price is definitely important. But I have seen, and I have been privileged to win contracts where we have provided a more innovative solution, or our team has stronger past performance or greater resources than our competitors. So the government will look at things, especially in the RFP, which is a request for proposal type environment. They’re looking at innovation, solutions, quality value, quality control and experience to determine who wins the bid. Now there are instances in businesses that are highly commodities, like the construction industry, a security, janitorial, where the government is looking for the lowest bid and you are 100% right. If you provide them the cheapest cost, then you’re going to win. But I’ve seen those types of opportunities. Again, you know, if the government is buying pencils, yeah, they want the lowest price. If they’re looking for innovative solutions for professional development solutions like training, coaching, otherwise price is not the only thing that they’re looking at.

KIM SUTTON: I’d love to hear that. And I’m sure listeners do too. But then I have another question that I’m sure listeners are wondering, if they don’t have experience working with the government, how do they get seen? Because I know the past performance is an issue, but we’ve all heard you don’t have enough experience. Well how do I get experience if I don’t have experience?

JEAN KRISTENSEN: So there are a number of ways that you can get experience and I’ll just share what I did when I decided my larger company was in the security guard industry. I was not a marketing professional. It wasn’t a coach, but I decided that I was going to get into this because I had something that I wanted to share and I saw tremendous value in it. What I did is I became a subcontractor. Being a subcontractor means that you get to work on a government project, but you’re not the lead, you’re a subcontractor. In that space, I was able to navigate all the little things that you can’t really figure that out unless you’re doing the work, like the invoice process, the culture within a particular agency. I was able to kind of sharpen my saw, if you will, because I got to experience the work firsthand and that was really what propelled me to come up with more innovative solutions and also gave me access to buyers within a specific area where I was able to network. That’s one way. The other way is many government agencies have what’s called innovative procurements and those are smaller discretionary purchasing opportunities where the buyer has the authority to purchase from small businesses without going out to bid. So those projects, –


JEAN KRISTENSEN: -and yes, so those projects can range from, I think on the federal side, it’s, you know, from $3,000 so it can be a simple assignment for $3,000 up to $150,000.

KIM SUTTON: That explains the office at right path that I did then.

JEAN KRISTENSEN: Okay. Yeah. So yeah, there’s no, you know, requirement for bid, but that’s a great way that you can build your experience, –


JEAN KRISTENSEN: -your past performance and things like that. The other thing that I strongly encourage people to do is to connect with your local women’s business, your procurement technical assistance centers, your nonprofit organizations who are also receiving government funding sometimes to help expand small businesses. So look for those places where you can connect with other small businesses. And many of those women’s business development centers and procurement technical assistance centers also offer free training and resources that help small businesses become ready to do business with the government.

KIM SUTTON: Oh, I love that. You just keep –


KIM SUTTON: -on spawning off questions in my head, so thank you.-


KIM SUTTON: -So I own 99% of my business. My husband owns 1%. –


KIM SUTTON: -just because, you know, if something happens to me, I want to make sure he gets it. He’s a disabled veteran. In your opinion, would it make more sense for him to have greater ownership to help us or would we be stronger keeping it as it is now? But, um, I do want to prefaces by saying that maybe I should have already said preface…my husband isn’t involved in the business, so I almost feel like that would be shady. As you know, putting him at higher ownership despite the fact that we’re married, everything is 50 50 theoretically with my husband. But on paper he has 1%. Would it be wise to boost him up or would that really just be unethical I guess is what I’m asking.

JEAN KRISTENSEN: Yeah. So you know, just going back to the service disabled status and certification, that can be a really valuable tool to help a service disabled or veteran owned small business grow. So instead of thinking of it as, you know, could it be shady? It’s more you and your husband’s sitting down and talking about what would the universe look like if you got more involved? Honey, you know, and maybe looking at what opportunities exist for service disabled veteran owned businesses. Because I can tell you in my region and on the federal side, there are a number of programs that really benefit services disabled veteran owned small businesses. So my recommendation to you would be, you know, to maybe do a little bit of market research to see what kind of opportunities exist locally and on a greater scale. And then you and your husband’s sitting down and having a conversation about if you saw an opportunity potentially increasing his role in the business.

JEAN KRISTENSEN: I’m one of the things I love about our veterans is that they have a special skillset that is so valuable when thinking about doing business with the government because they’ve already been exposed, if you will, to the paperwork.


JEAN KRISTENSEN: And there’s, you know, like in my business like even though my husband is not necessarily, you know, a trainer, he still assists us in the business because he has a special skill set that is necessary on the administrative support and marketing side. So maybe you were in, your husband can look at it from that perspective. How do we take his experience in the military and utilize it to help your family expand opportunities?

KIM SUTTON: Yeah. I just want listeners to know, I did give Dave a shot in the business, but his design style, she needs a video game designer. He used the GI Bill post 9/11 educational, all those benefits to go back


KIM SUTTON: to school and become a video game designer. And he’s –


KIM SUTTON: -so good at that. But video game design, art, the art that branding [inaudible] my company produces for clients, they’re just horses of different colors. So it was like kind of you stay in your space, I’ll stay in mine, you know. So maybe for us that won’t be a thing, but for other listeners definitely might be something to look into. What are you most passionate about in your company today and what are you most excited about for the next 90 days?

JEAN KRISTENSEN: I am most passionate about health and wellness plan or not and –

KIM SUTTON: — love that.

JEAN KRISTENSEN: -you know, this is something as a, as an entrepreneur that I also struggle with, you know, how do you find that balance between being healthy? You know, and when I say healthy on talking about mind, body and spirit and still doing what we do because there’s just so many being pulled in so many directions. So I’m passionate about and focused on, you know, staying the course and that is very difficult to do sometimes. And helping others. You know, I was working with a client the other day and we really just talked about like mindset, like how can we keep each other on track because sometimes the entrepreneurial journey can be exhausting to put it mildly. It can be exhausting and we also get a lot of false messages, you know, from our society, which says like, you know, while I was on Instagram what’s something said like, Oh you don’t know me but I’m an entrepreneur. I worked 16 hours a day, seven days a week that was being celebrated and I don’t want to celebrate that. I want to focus on, you know, finding that balance so.

KIM SUTTON: Can I give you a big hug for that?


KIM SUTTON: Thank you. No, I slept eight hours last night and I am proud of –


KIM SUTTON: -that.

JEAN KRISTENSEN: I Slept eight hours. And what many entrepreneurs don’t know is that when they’re getting the proper rest, when they’re getting the proper sleep, when they are taking care of themselves and when they are ignoring all those crazy messages out there that says you need to burn yourself out, you are actually serving at a higher level. You are performing better, you’re doing better, but we must date of course, so that is my passion and over the next 90 days I am really focused on serving more people in that capacity to doing business with the government stuff is, it’s easy for me. I will continue to do that, but now I find myself coaching and working a lot with clients who are, they’re burning out, they’re tired, they’re losing confidence, they’re getting sick and I want to be someone who can support them and letting them know that they can still have their business and they can do amazing thing, but they don’t have to kill themselves. Doing it.

KIM SUTTON: Listeners, if you haven’t heard it yet, I’m going to put it in the show notes, which you can find@thekimsutton.com forward slash PP five eight two a link to episode number five of the podcast, which is why I would rather that you be sleeping then listened to me. Because Jeanne I wound up in the mental hospital in 2008 because I was neglecting myself care.

JEAN KRISTENSEN: You know what’s so great of you to say that because so many people, they’ve just hiding, they’re hiding


JEAN KRISTENSEN: The timed a mental, physical suffering because it’s overwhelming. Um, so thank you for sharing that. And I also, I think that, that we need to do a better job of focusing on what’s real, which is our health, our families, –


JEAN KRISTENSEN: -the rest trust in the journey. The rest will work itself out. It always does.

KIM SUTTON: Yup. Absolutely. I have loved every second of this conversation. Listeners, I hope you are inspired and wondering how you can take your niche and do government work. But Jeanne, if they’re wondering how to get in touch with you, which I hope they are, where can they find you online and connect?

JEAN KRISTENSEN: Yes, please visit my website. It’s jeankristensenassociates.com. I am also on social media on everything. So if you’d look for Jean Kristensen, you’ll find me and I’d be happy to connect with everyone and support your journey and doing business with the government.

KIM SUTTON: Amazing. And take care of your health and wellness people.


KIM SUTTON: No government contract going after government contracts. Sorry, Jean is worth and winding up in the mental hospital because you aren’t sleeping.

JEAN KRISTENSEN: –I’ll try it.

KIM SUTTON: Do you have a parting piece of advice or a golden nugget that you could share with listeners?

JEAN KRISTENSEN: You know, I think the golden nugget is trust. Trust your instincts and trust the journey. You know, it’s almost like you and I just talked about kind of ignoring all the things that society is kind of telling us that are important. We know intuitive what is important to us, what would feed our souls, and we have to listen deeply to that inner voice and almost shut out the rest of the noise.

KIM SUTTON: Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Positive Productivity Podcast. When I’m not podcasting, I’m supporting six to seven figure business coaches with their marketing automation and entrepreneurs like you through my coaching and mastermind programs. I want to invite you to visit thekimsutton.com to learn how I can help you take your business to the next level.