Spiffy here! I’m back with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only Interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Jane Zhang, founder, creator, and podcast host of Inside Out with Jane Z. Let’s see what she is doing to make a positive impact on entrepreneurs.
Spiffy: Welcome Jane, I understand you are pretty great at interviewing entrepreneurs too! Can you start by telling me what challenges you’re addressing?
Jane: You’re right, Spiffy! Well, I started the Inside Out with Jane Z. podcast to help entrepreneurs build thriving businesses without losing their minds. Over half of millennials and Gen Z want to start their own company, yet 72% of entrepreneurs suffer from mental health issues. I believe it’s important to stay mentally and physically healthy and have time for the people that matter in your life while building your business.
Spiffy: I see. Can you tell me more about what motivated you to launch your own podcast?
Jane: When I started my first business in 2015, I was having the best time. I co-founded the first-ever classroom design platform (room2learn.org), which was on its way to becoming a successful design consultancy with a steady stream of press coverage and clients. But after three years of working around the clock, I was completely burned out. Fast forward a few years — after some therapy and a stable job — I’m on a mission to help entrepreneurs build thriving businesses while staying sane!
Spiffy: Sanity is a very important thing. How would you say you’re working to create a more equitable world?
Jane: Every week on Inside Out with Jane Z., I bring on an entrepreneur who’s already building their dream business. We walk through their business journey, mindset advice, and practical tips on how to grow your business and stay sane.
Spiffy: Any milestones you’re particularly proud about, Jane?
Jane: The podcast is now at 5,000 downloads and counting! Our Instagram community is growing too, and we plan to keep spreading knowledge and encouragement to entrepreneurs around the world.
Inside Out with Jane Z. podcast logo. (Image courtesy of Jane Zhang)
Spiffy: Are there any projects you’ve worked on that exemplifies the impact you’re striving to make?
Jane: Some of our recent episodes include the founder of a jewelry brand who cured her depression through entrepreneurship, an artist who left her tech career to slow down and pursue painting full-time, and a surfer who created an ocean-safe shampoo bar! Upcoming workshop-style episodes include how to achieve a productivity mindset, budgeting for financial independence, and how to incorporate meditation into your life.
Spiffy: I bet you are constantly learning new things! What is something unexpected you’ve learned recently?
Jane: Well, Spiffy, I’ve been learning a lot about social media lately. Today I heard this simple advice from a content creator, “You should be having fun with it!” It seems obvious, but you can always tell when someone is genuinely having a good time in a TikTok or video, for example.
Spiffy: Before we sign off, is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?
Jane: Success looks different for everybody! The media shows a lot of overnight success stories, but the reality is, great things often take a long time. Set realistic goals for the long-term, and chip away at them slowly so you can achieve your own version of success.
Spiffy: Well said, Jane. Maybe next time we can talk more about how you do that! Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me. It’s been an honor!
Jane Zhang is the founder and host of Inside Out with Jane Z., the podcast on how to build a thriving business without losing your mind. Previously, Jane co-founded the first-ever classroom design platform, helping train teachers and equip schools with better learning spaces. Jane has seven years of experience in marketing and enjoys helping new entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground. (First published on the Ladderworks website on August 2, 2021.)
© 2021 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Jill Landis Jha. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. Follow Spiffy’s interviews of founders building a more equitable world here.