My name's Jenni and I own a business with my mom.
It sounds like the start to a crazy teen-angst comedy, but I can assure you it's not.
My mom, Joanie, and I own Positive Note Network. We have an online radio station that plays uplifting music all day, every day. We publish a bi-monthly magazine filled to the brim with stories from authors who want to spread joy and light in the world around them. We even have an online TV show that will be taking on Roku in the near future. Outside of that, we're making plans for movies by writing screenplays, creating drafts of possible productions, and filling notebooks with ideas that we can't wait to bring to fruition.
The first question we get is 'how in the world did this happen?' According to my mom, it just kind of came up...
"We both love Jesus and media, and we decided to do something about it," she says. I couldn't agree more.
One day, we were just your ordinary mother and daughter. Okay. To be fair, we were never just your ordinary mother and daughter. She has always been my best friend and, for as long as I can remember, we've done everything together. We've traveled through Australia and China and taken numerous roadtrips across the U.S. So, it wasn't a shock to the system when we decided to take our relationship to the next level. We decided to share our crazy and, somewhat unconventional adventures, with the world.
About two years ago, Positive Note Network was called JB Square Media and we connected with a lovely woman named Catherine and began working with a pro-life ministry where she is the executive director. We started making videos and posting about the incredible work Gabriel's Corner was doing in Council Bluffs, Iowa. That opened the door for Catherine to begin writing for our magazine, and when I asked her how she felt about PNN and working with the crazy mother-daughter duo, this is what she had to say: "It is such a joy working with your mother-daughter team... PNN inspires me daily with the Facebook posts and opportunity to write for Positive Note Magazine."
It's people like Catherine who keep Joanie and I from waving the white flag, throwing in the towel, and succumbing to all of the 'giving up hope' clichés. Yes, our mission is to spread positivity, but that doesn't mean things are always easy.
Just like any business relationship, we hit bumps in the road. We can argue about colors for logos, printed programs, and websites. Sometimes we butt heads when setting up for interviews or video productions. It's going to happen, and that's the part that people don't seem to understand. When we argue, we get over it. How are we supposed to reach the masses with a message of hope and the love of Christ and positive thinking if we give up after one difference of opinion?
Sure, we're really close. We're closer than most, actually but, despite our similarities, we are not the same person. Joanie is older than me. No matter how "business-y" we get, she is still my mom. I am a millennial and most of the time, my mom understands me perfectly. There are, however, times when we forget how to communicate (ironic, right?), but we work through it.
One of our most special friends and clients is Gaye Lindfors. We met her through an organization called Christian Women in Media. She has allowed us to film her speaking events and she writes for the magazine. When I asked her what she thought of when she thought about PNN, she got a little excited.
"Positive Note Network lives their brand," she says. "You enter every phone call, room, and email with an energy and spirit that says, 'We're in this together, and it's going to be great.'"
Gaye got it right. Before every interview or meeting, Joanie and I have a pep-talk session. We talk about how, no matter what, we're in this together (High School Musical, anyone?). We're going to walk in with heads held high and we're going to walk out the same way... even if things don't go as planned.
At the end of the day, we don't want people to forget that we're the mother-daughter duo. We want people to remember that, because it's unique. We're a mom and daughter who travel the country and the world together. We laugh together. We film together. We own a business together. And we're making it work one day at a time.
"Mom. What's the one thing you want people to know about PNN?"
"Only one thing?" She's standing by the stove, stirring her freshly dropped pasta. "I guess I want them to remember that we're just two ordinary women living life on a positive note."
We're the wacky duo that no one expects.
Two ordinary women who don't always get it right, but you better believe we won't give up until we do.