The pathway to success is more often paved from a winding road of choices. And no matter what kind of choices those might happen to be, entrepreneur and motivational coach Jennifer Cohen wants us to design our dream life into reality, instead of settling for paths given.
Jennifer Cohen has accomplished a lot in her life because she dared to chase her dreams. The Habits and Hustle podcaster, primarily known as the CEO for her health and wellness pedigree, took her personal trainer beginnings to eventually fashion a business empire, which kicked off with No Gym Required. No Gym Required grew from a brand idea into her first book of the same name, giving readers easy-to-follow ways on how to lead healthy lives. From there, Cohen entered the show business, wrote two more books, developed and sold an app to Weight Watchers, created a podcast, and even presented a viral TEDx Talk. At the time of publishing, Cohen’s TEDx Talk has close to 5 million views.
For CEO Corner, Jennifer Cohen tells Athletech News (ATN) that while her background is in health and fitness, she has “always been a true entrepreneur at heart.” And in light of her revelation, the “Strong is the New Skinny” author’s newest book titled “Bigger, Better, Bolder: Live the Life You Want, Not the Life You Get,” is rather a celebration of the trials and triumphs that come with life experience. “It’s been a lot of tenacity and a lot of failure and being resilient,” she admits, mulling over the course of her career journey… and life.
Cohen’s dedication to helping others see greatness in themselves is apparent in the tireless work she’s done to serve others, whether through her training pursuits, her Entrepreneur podcast with past celebrity guests such as Matthew McConaughey, Chelsea Handler, and Tony Robbins, or, now, within the pages of “Bigger, Better, Bolder.” Before her schedule gets even busier with the release of her highly-anticipated motivational manual, we caught up with the impressive thought-leader as she shares her own life lessons, daily habits, and thoughts of the future for ATN’s very own CEO Corner column.
ATN: Tell us about your background.
Jennifer Cohen: My background is in health and fitness and I started off as a trainer for different record labels and training people to get ready for different videos and tours. Then I developed my first brand called No Gym Required. My first book was called “No Gym Required,” where I gave people simple solutions to be more healthy and fit and take care of themselves. I developed a shoe company within that, which was a weighted shoe called the NGR Fit Shoe. That was the first company I sold. From there I evolved and kept on growing in the health and fitness space.
I wrote another book called “Strong is the New Skinny,” and I wrote another book called “Badass Body Goals.” From all of that, I also founded an app called Hot 5. I sold it to Weight Watchers; it got acquired in 2016. My background is really centered around being an entrepreneur within the health and fitness space. One thing led to another [which] led to another. Now I have a podcast called Habits & Hustle where I talk about habits, tips and tricks and I talk to the most successful people in the world about what they have done and what they do to be as productive and on point as possible. I [also] did a Ted Talk about going after what you want and I have this book [“Bigger, Better, Bolder”] out.
ATN: What was your journey like getting to this specific point in your career right now?
Jennifer Cohen: It’s been one of those things where it’s taken a lot of trial and error until I get a win and build off of little wins all the time. From my mistakes, I’ve learned the most [about] what not to do — Trying everything. Not saying no. Being super tenacious, which means not letting failure deter me from getting up and trying again. I think a lot of times people don’t want to put the work in to get the results. I say all the time don’t be upset [by] the results you did not get for the work you didn’t do. A lot of times people don’t understand that it’s not about the person who’s technically the most talented or the most shrewd or intelligent, but it’s the person [who] puts in the hours, the time, and work, and is OK with constant trial and practice.
ATN: Please tell us about your current company and how either your role or the company came to fruition.
Jennifer Cohen: Because I’ve exited two different health companies I got hired a lot as an advisor to a lot of different health brands and wellness brands — Hyperice, True Niagen, blk. water. I started my own company called Suprema, which is an umbrella company where I help emerging companies develop their brand and grow them into a place through nontraditional marketing. If I’m super passionate about a brand and I think that they have a leg up on something, they’re unique and they have the ability to disrupt, I will help them with nontraditional marketing initiatives and branding and strategic partnerships to really grow and build.
ATN: Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Jennifer Cohen: I don’t even know where I see myself in 20 days, [much less] 20 years. I don’t like to plan that far in advance. That’s not my style. My style is really to pivot and to be nimble.
My whole philosophy is [to] have a direction, not a destination. If you have a direction, you’ll go in the right direction, but you never know where you’re going to land. So, I don’t know where I would be in 20 days. As long as I keep on putting in the effort and working toward something I’m passionate about, I never know where it leads me.
ATN: What charities are important to you? What does philanthropy mean to you?
Jennifer Cohen: I started my own breast cancer charity with my best girlfriend seven years ago, called Babes for Boobs. We auction off the most eligible bachelors in Los Angeles for money and all the money we raise we give to breast cancer.
We started our own 501(c)3 called Good Human [Foundation] and have now expanded on the whole idea of Babes for Boobs for breast cancer. It kind of got halted with COVID because it’s a massive event we do every year, we get tons of press, we get tons of celebrities and we have an auctioneer come on and auction off these men for $10,000 a dinner date, $5000, $20,000 a dinner date. We had to stop with COVID and we haven’t done an event in a couple years. But we are preparing again.
The other idea is that we are now going to be giving all sorts of different women’s health issues. But, breast cancer was the most precious [issue] to me because it runs in my family and I’ve had a lot of people in my life have it.
ATN: What are some of your daily habits?
Jennifer Cohen: I call them non-negotiables. There’s no question I have to do them. My morning routine is very important to me, but just as important as my morning routine is my nightly routine. I work out every morning. It’s a non-negotiable. I need to sweat. Minimum 30 minutes a day. It’s through fitness and exercise that[‘s] given me the discipline to run my businesses. It taught me goal-setting, discipline, [and that] small wins lead to big change. So, exercise, number one.
Number two, I make sure I drink a lot of water. Because I don’t like water, I set up a routine [for] all day so I drink enough. [For example,] I’m not allowed to get out of bed and go wherever until I drink two glasses of water.
Another big one [non-negotiable] is I call my mom every day. I have a lot of other little ones. I have kids too. I make sure I spend my mornings with them. No matter how busy I am, no matter how many things I have going on, I make my kids breakfast every morning and I make them their lunch and I get them off to camp or school. I don’t check my emails or don’t do any real, true work until I get my workout done. But when I start, I make sure that the first thing I do is get the hardest, most annoying things out of the way first. I don’t want to be thinking about all those things that are going to be weighing on my head. Knock out the hardest thing first.
And I make my bed every single morning.
ATN: What decision would you take back and do differently?
Jennifer Cohen: That’s a good question and the truth of the matter is I can’t answer that because life is…it’s like “Sliding Doors.” If you do one thing different, the whole trajectory of your life changes. So, if I would have not done one thing, I wouldn’t have met so-and-so, that would have led me to so-and-so, that would have led me to so-and-so… right? I like my life. I’ve had a lot of ups and I’ve had a lot of downs. But I’d rather pick the beast I know than the beast I don’t have.
ATN: What would be the title of your biography?
Jennifer Cohen: The book is called “Bigger, Better, Bolder,” and it’s about being bolder in your life, to chase the life you want, not the life you get. [The] entire premise of my entire life and philosophy is to go after what you really want and don’t settle for good enough in your life. That’s what I do.
Candace Cordelia is a Pennsylvania-based journalist and on-camera broadcaster/host, with a reporting background in wrestling, entertainment, and lifestyle. Her reporting work has been featured on websites and in publications such as Bustle, Pro Wrestling Illustrated, New York Daily News, am New York, ABC News, Yahoo!, Good Morning America, Madame Noire, Sister 2 Sister, etonline.com, Diva Dirt and The Everyday Fan. Her favorite workout influencers include Chloe Ting, Cassey Ho, Pamela Reif and Mary Braun. She still can’t stand burpees and Rebbl Dark Chocolate Immunity Elixir is one of her favorite post-workout protein sips. You can follow Candace on Twitter @CandaceCordelia and on Instagram @thatgirlcandace16.