From Near-Death to New Heights: Seizing The Full Potential of Life with Jenn Drummond - Freedom Nation Podcast

Episode 152

From Near-Death to New Heights: Seizing The Full Potential of Life with Jenn Drummond

Published on: 7th November, 2023

In this exhilarating episode, Jeff introduces his extraordinary guest, Jenn Drummond, who is the world record holder for climbing the second-highest mountains on every continent, making her the first female record holder in this remarkable pursuit. Jen's story is nothing short of inspiring, and her journey takes us from a life-altering car crash to scaling some of the world's most challenging peaks.

Jen shares her transformative experience and how it awakened her to live life to the fullest. She discusses her decision to embark on an epic bucket list adventure in 2019, turning her attention to climbing mountains and discovering her true self in the process. Jen emphasizes the importance of seizing opportunities, setting goals, and taking the first step toward a life-changing adventure. She offers practical advice for those looking to break free from the ordinary and find their own path to self-discovery and achievement.

Listen as we delve into the exhilarating world of mountaineering, share life lessons, and inspire you to embark on your journey to conquer new heights, whether in the mountains or your everyday life. Don't miss this engaging episode that promises to motivate and empower you to start living life to the fullest.

About the Guest:

A car accident in 2018 left Jenn Drummond awestruck and emboldened.  Rescue workers couldn’t imagine any scenario where she came out of it alive, but she did.  That’s when she realized you don’t get to choose when you leave this life…but you sure can choose how you live it.  Strengthened by this awareness, she set out to live in a more authentic and adventurous way. Inspired to climb a mountain for her birthday, her son raised the stakes by suggesting Mount Everest.  Not one to back down from a challenge, she accepted the pursuit. During her training, her coach upped the ante and proposed that she go for a Guinness World Record and become the first woman to climb the 7 second summits. The pursuit matched her desire to live a life of significance, not just success.

Today, Jenn is a world record holder who elevates others to master their own summit in life.  She’s a successful business owner and Mom of 7 remarkable kids who, as you have heard, boldly inspire and brazenly challenge her. She’s also an international speaker, author, and Host of the Seek Your Summit podcast, who’s focused on inspiring others to go beyond success to a life of significance.


Fast Five Questions

  1. If you woke up and your business was gone, you have $500, a laptop, a place to live, and food, what would you do first? "I'm going to figure out anything that my friends or I have that we don't need, and sell it for $1 more than what we bought it for"
  2. What is the biggest mistake that you have made in business? "I built it before I could afford it"
  3. What is a book that you would recommend? "BreakProof: 7 Strategies to Build Resilience and Achieve Your Life Goals"
  4. What is a tool that you use everyday that you would recommend? "Fireflies AI Notetaker "
  5. What is your definition of freedom? "When you can authentically show up as yourself in all the environments you operate in"


About Jeff: 

Jeff spent the early part of his career working for others. Jeff had started 5 businesses that failed before he had his first success. Since that time he has learned the principles of a successful business and has been able to build and grow multiple seven-figure businesses. Jeff lives in the Austin area and is actively working in his community and supporting the growth of small businesses. He is a board member of the Incubator.Edu program at Vista Ridge High School and is on the board of directors of the Leander Educational Excellence Foundation

Connect with the Freedom Nation podcast at https://freedom-nation-podcast.captivate.fm/

Connect with Jeff:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/freedomnationpodcast/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeffKikel

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffkikel/


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Transcript
Speaker:

FN Intro/Outro: Welcome to the Freedom nation podcast with Jeff Kikko. On this show, Jeff shares his expertise in financial and retirement planning from a different perspective. Planning for Your Freedom Day, which is the first day that you wake up and have enough income or assets and do not have to go to work that day. Learn how to calculate what you need, how to generate income sources, and listen to interviews from others who've done it themselves. Get ready to experience your own Freedom Day.

Jeff Kikel:

Hey, everybody, it's Jeff here, once again with the freedom nation podcast. And I am so excited to have my guests on today, Jen drum and Jen is a really interesting person. She is the world record holder for climbing the second highest mountains on every continent. She's the first women record holder in that area. Jen, welcome to the show today.

Jenn Drummond:

Oh, thank you so much for having me today.

Jeff Kikel:

I am so excited to have you on really look forward to hearing your story again. Jen and I were talking I've now met the the first person who's climbed the second summits. And I admit in the past, the person who climbed the seven summits the first year, the highest peaks. So this is fun today to just have this conversation. And I think for those of you that are out there thinking about your bucket list and how you're going to do it, Jen story I think is going to really give you that extra little nudge, I hope, and hopefully not the way it nudged her. So Jen, welcome to the show. Tell us your story. How'd you get to where you are today? Yeah,

Jenn Drummond:

Right. We all have this unique path, don't we? Yeah. So I was a stay at home mom, I owned a business and hired myself out of a job so that I could be at home with my kids. They all got into school full time. And then all of a sudden, I was a little lost. Like, can I do something? But what happens if I'm not there? If they need me? And what does this look like? So I kind of decided, You know what, when they get to college, I will start doing me again. But right now I'm in the season of motherhood and this is what it looks like. And then 2018 I got into a horrific car crash that should have taken my life and did it. And I will tell you that it probably woke me up to living to be honest with you, it was in that crash, that I realized I don't get to choose when I die. But I sure get to choose how I live. And choosing to put my life on hold until my kids went to college wasn't really looking right. It was just staying in the status quo. So I started the epic bucket list, right that you talk about I 2019 was a year of the bucket list. And I'll tell you it started with figuring out who I was again, I don't even know what my favorite color was, if you were to ask me what I wanted for dinner, I wouldn't even know what to tell you because I just ate everybody's leftovers. And it's just you kind of lose yourself in some of the roles that we play. And so I took this year to be like, who am I like I'm alive, I'm important. There's something I'm here to do. Otherwise, I would have been killed in that car crash. So I needed to start getting back into me and figuring out what it is that I even liked, or wanted to see you're wanting to experience and 2020 was coming up and I was turning 40 and 2020 I looked at my bucket list and like what do we want to do to signify the significance of being alive and launched this next decade was something amazing. And I was looking at my list climb a mountain stood out, because I'm like, that's only gonna get harder as I get older. So maybe I want to do that on my list. Now I have young, let's

Jeff Kikel:

start with that one because that

Unknown:

right, like going at and climbing a mountain does it sound as fun but doing a museum ad I can. Like

Jeff Kikel:

Alright, 80s probably a little easier than climbing a mountain. So

Unknown:

100%. So I'm like, Okay, I'm going to ask friends that are into mountaineering. I live in Park City. So there's a lot of people that are into climbing mountains around me. And actually the general consensus was you should climb this mountain named alma de Blom. Okay, so anybody who's listening if you've seen a Paramount Pictures movie you've seen on the blog, because it's in the logo that the stars circle around. Oh, okay. Okay, perfect. And it means the mother's necklace. As a mom of seven children, I thought, hey, this is meant to be. It's meant to me. There we go. Well, then, if all of us can rewind in our heads and what happened at the beginning of 2020 I was at Columbia at about and in fact, I became a homeschool teacher to my seven beautiful children because COVID Shut down the world including all schools. I

Jeff Kikel:

go to yoga mountains all over the world. Yeah,

Unknown:

right, you are staying at home. And in fact, you're not even going to the grocery store for a couple of days there right as crazy. So I was helping my son with his math homework one day. And he's like struggling and so I'm doing that parent pep talk that we do we do hard things. You've got this like, don't you worry. My son looks up at me. And he goes, if we do our things, why are you climbing a mountain called I'm a dumb blonde. Instead of real mountain like Mount Everest. Bla bla bla, I'm not I'm a dumb blonde, but thank you know what? Finish your homework. Well, look at Everest, no kids. So then he did. And we did. And then he went to bed and I was still looking at Everest. And I thought, you know, what, if he thinks this is the hardest mountain in the whole world, I'm gonna go climb it. And I'm gonna show him that whatever our Everest is, we can Summit. So I hire a coach. She's like, Yep, I can get you ready. So I'm working with this coach. And this coach sends me a book about becoming an uphill athlete. So I get it in the mail, start reading it. And in the front of it, there's this forward about a lady who got a Guinness World Record for doing something in the Alps. I must have had like a really bad homeschooling day, I'm talking to my coach. I'm like, I couldn't done that. Like my kids learned how to read and Guinness World Record books. Give me a chance to do it something easy like this, and I'll be the cool mom again. And like, coaches, like I'll think of something like Okay, fine. No, I'm not gonna there's weird records there. Right? Like, I'm not getting pumpkins. Yep. Not speeding hotdogs, not building a blanket for you know, from the side of the country to the other side, whatever. And my coach is like, well, thank you something. So a few weeks later, my coach calls me and he's all excited. He's like, Jen, Jen, have the perfect record for you. I kind of forgot. Oh, my God. He's like, I think you should be the first woman to climb the seven second summits. And anybody listening here, I was like, What? What did you say? Like, blah, blah, blah. He's like, listen, let me explain. You goes, it's the second highest point on each of the seven continents. It's only been done by one male. It's harder than the first seven. You'd be the first woman to do it. And think about it. seven continents, seven mountains, seven children sounds like a jackpot.

Jeff Kikel:

I seven is your number lady as number

Unknown:

Yes, it is 100% My number. So I said yes. You know, let's do it. I haven't slept in a tent on snow before but details figure this out. Also

Jeff Kikel:

Never coined the mountain with this point, either. But just saying,

Unknown:

You know what it is what it is. And so that's kind of the beauty of life. When you get into one of those near death experiences. All sudden you care if you fail, or if somebody else like booze on your idea, or whatever else like that, because you're like, like, you're gonna die someday to at least I'm dying and doing something crazy instead of sitting on my sofa watching television. Yeah, yeah. So, you know, I stepped into the pursue, and I'm like, it was like, I view this world as my playground. And I have a clock that's ticking. And I need to I have this deep need to see and experience and explore and try things. I don't care if they work out anymore. Might Gen 1.0 was very much how does this look? What is it? What's the success rate? Like all those kinds of things? Gen. 2.0 is like, let's try it. Let's do it.

Jeff Kikel:

My favorite Richard Branson book. Screw it. Let's do it. Just.

Unknown:

Yes. I love it. Yeah.

Jeff Kikel:

So you decided to go do this. What's? Well, I mean, obviously, they're very tall mountains. But tell me a little bit about the difficulty of these because in some cases, it can be harder to climb these than it can be the Seven Summits.

Unknown:

It is some of the I mean, you got to think about a k two and Everest. Yeah. are two entirely different beast. Right. So Everest, you climbed the whole thing basically on two feet. Very. I mean, I don't I didn't use for I think it's my hands ever on Everest, and I climbed. Well, now you're on Ketu. You have climbing sections? For sure. Yeah. The chimney. You have the black pyramid? And Ketu. So much steeper? Yeah. So it's interesting. When you go to climb Everest, you don't need Yeah. You don't see the top of Everest till the last day. Okay, right. Like you weave around. You do this thing. You go to climb Ketu and it's this huge triangle that's staring at you the entire time you climb. And it is like, try me try me try me the entire time you're climbing Ketu it feels like you're playing that game Frogger because of drops rocks, like you wouldn't believe. And these rocks are these teeny tiny little pebbles that you'd maybe put it a fish tank and you We're going to last few years going. Like I know it's not a bug because there's no bugs at this altitude. But if they can cut your jacket open, that's how sharp they go. Because the momentum builds like crazy.

Jeff Kikel:

Yeah, that is nuts. So how, you know, I mean, it's, it's difficult enough saying, Hey, I'm gonna do one, you know, one expedition per year, you added to the difficulty because you decided to do this on multiple continents, and you were doing a couple of these per year. So you had to time out the seasons and everything else so that you're getting the right climbing seasons, right? Yeah,

Unknown:

Yeah, the one advantage that I had is I'm doing the same activity over and over and over, right, so the fitness is moving from one to the next to the x. It's not like I'm running on this continent and cycling on this one and swimming on that one, which is different muscle patterns and all the different pieces. So that was helpful. But yes, very much than beginning because I started this question 2020 Was what country opened? Right. So what country was available for tourism again? And then it was like, what season? Are we in for the mountain to climb? And then it was coordinating all of that, and then some of the mounts took twice. Okay, two was to attempt to mount and mount Logan and Canada was a to attempt to mountain. So there's just a lot that goes into it. Sure.

Jeff Kikel:

Well, I mean, that money and everything else, I mean, it's not a cheap endeavor, by any way, shape or form to do it. So tell me, you know, okay, so you're you finished this year in June? Correct?

Jenn Drummond:

Yes, June 1 2023.

Jeff Kikel:

So what was it like when you finish that last one?

Unknown:

God, it was so good. It's such a weird feeling to know you have 10 steps left? Yeah. Right. Like, all of a sudden, we saw like, Oh, we're gonna be 10 steps. And this is done. And you almost want to pause and not take them. Right? Like, no, that means this whole thing is done. And it's given me so much meaning and purpose and all of these wonderful feelings, right? But you do it. And when I stood at the top, I took in this deep inhale as much oxygen as I could get out of the air as possible. And in that moment, everything disappeared. There's no time, there's no space, there's no distance, there's no cold, you just become this feeling of awe. And I wish we could hold on to that, right. But that's not life. So you exhale, you do a few more inhales and exhales and then everything kind of starts to return. And the worlds the world, you're a human times available, and distance and textures and colors and freezing and all that stuff comes back. And then it's almost like you take your soul of your body and you say, Okay, I'm gonna throw you off into this world and find you again, I just don't know how, where or when. And it's that experience that reminds us. It's so much the journey. I think we try to sell ourselves on the concept that it's the summit, that we it's the destination, it's that top point, it's whatever. But truly, the moments of our lives are the moments in between those summits. And those are the stories that color our existence. And I'm so grateful for him.

Jeff Kikel:

Yeah. And I mean, this isn't your last summit. You're just looking at different ways. Yeah, it may or may not be a another mountain, but it's it's another summit that you're going to put in front of yourself as

Jenn Drummond:

What? Exactly, exactly.

Jeff Kikel:

So tell me a little bit about how you've taken that experience, and then kind of morphed it around a little bit into your business now.

Unknown:

Yeah, well, so I was halfway through the pursuit. And I went out to lunch with a friend. And my friend is an author. He's like, You need to write a book, because I don't even like mountaineering. And I'm enthralled with the stories. He's like, it's so exciting and captivating. And it's interesting how much the things that happen on the mountain apply to our everyday lives and the businesses that we're building and who we show up as people. And so what I did is I wrote this book, and I take the reader on the adventure. So we go to each one of the mountains, climb it together, extract the lesson that was pretty obvious in that particular climb, and then give you tools to utilize it and your own life and help you go reach your own summits, whatever they may be. So that's been super fun, a big project a big undertaking, and it's led me to be in on stages. Yeah, I didn't. I had no idea that I would love inspirational speaking and keynotes and motivational stuff. When I love it. I love it. So the book brings you to the experience and extracts the lesson and then the lesson you get to see oh, this is how it's showing up in my life and how I can get to my summit with these techniques and tools.

Jeff Kikel:

And so you've also been speaking around the country and all that. So what how was that experience, Ben?

Unknown:

Oh my gosh, I love speaking, I had no idea I'd like it either. To be honest with you, I thought I'd be weird on stage. And I just love the energy exchange with the crowd. I love it. When people reach out after the speech, then say, hey, this inspired me to do this, or I'm trying this or I'm doing whatever. And I truly believe we're such a connected species. When one of us does something, it elevates the water for all of us to make more possible.

Jeff Kikel:

That's awesome. So you know, let's look at the life lesson. You know, you you had a near death experience. So you you said okay, now I'm gonna make this happen. How can someone that is maybe sitting in a cubicle today as a cubicle warrior, and they're trying to figure out, hey, I want to get out of here. I want to do something. I want to have an experience, like Jan's, what's that first step? Boy,

Unknown:

I think you need to select the thing and put it on the calendar. So that you have a timeframe, you have the idea you locked in. And now that gives you something to work from the night back in today. Say, Okay, where am I at? What do I need to do to be able to make this thing happen that I just put in my calendar? And that's where you start? Okay. Right. So the nice thing about climbing Everest is okay, I'm gonna climb Everest, and I need to climb Everest next May, because that's when you climb Everest, and then it forced me to back into it. Right? What do I need to do today to make that a reality? And what does that look like? And that forces you to get creative, and to use your resources and start working towards that goal. And sometimes we find out when we're on these pursuits, the goal is not the goal. Right? The goal, just get us on the direction of what we needed to go down the path far enough to see something else on that path that pulls us even more so than what the original goal was. And that's okay. That's part of it. Yeah,

Jeff Kikel:

I have for you that was Everest, right. So you know, it's, there's only one time a year where you can really climb it. So you you kind of had a deadline? I did,

Unknown:

I had a deadline, which totally helped, right. And then if I missed that deadline, I'd have to wait another year. And that's a lot of training both mentally and physically to get ready. And I wasn't willing to give that up. So you have to make this thing painful enough to not do it. Right. Like you can't have it be pain, like where are you going to sign the pain? Is that getting there? Or is it not getting there? And you really want to make it harder to not succeed than to succeed?

Jeff Kikel:

I like it. That's awesome. All right. So let's switch gears now. books coming out. So that's coming out when by the way?

Unknown:

Yes, so the book comes out January 9 2024. It's in pre order now. So you get all the fun bonuses of your order ahead of time, which I highly encourage you to do, because you can be a part of my Everest challenge. So we put the game together a 40 day average challenge where you climb Everest from the comfort of your home. It's super fun. I've done it before with people and they're like, can't wait for the next one to come out.

Jeff Kikel:

That is awesome. I love this. So got the book coming out. So let's now switch gears a little bit. And we're talking about the Fast Five questions that you're ready. Perfect. Let's do it. All right. So first one, you wake up in the morning business is gone. You have a laptop computer, 500 bucks in your pocket place to live, what are you going to do? First,

Unknown:

I'm going to figure out anything that my friends or I have that we don't need, and sell it for $1 more than what we bought it for and just do little teeny tiny, incremental things that allow it to add up and start building the revenue stream.

Jeff Kikel:

I like that one just $1 more than what we paid for it. Perfect. Yes,

Unknown:

Yes, yes. Yes. i It's amazing how many people I know that are worth 10s of millions of dollars that literally sell something for $1 more than what they bought it for. That's amazing. Don't complicate it. Friends. Don't complicate the

Jeff Kikel:

Second question, what's your biggest business mistake that you've ever made?

Unknown:

Oh, I built it before I could afford it. Okay. Okay, so I had this idea of what my office should look like, what color copy machines and fancy sofas and all this kind of stuff. And I forgot that what pays the bills is sales. So let's say let's go on the side burner until I got a color copy machine bill that was like, oh my goodness, what are we gonna do? And so that woke me up to get out of this pretty pretty office and start hustling to get these sales in the door.

Jeff Kikel:

That is awesome. Yeah, that's so true, too. I needed to be perfect, my perfect world. And I think my favorite picture of all time is a picture of Jeff Bezos at the original Amazon office, which was basically his garage and East sitting there at this incredibly crappy table with books piled up all around the floor. And I like that. That's where you start. Yeah.

Unknown:

100% It's not fun, but it's what you have to do is to do it. Do it do it. Exactly.

Jeff Kikel:

Alright, what's the best book that you would recommend for our audience?

Unknown:

Okay, well, of course mine. So go. Break proof, seven strategies to build resilience and achieve your life goals. I promise you, you're gonna love it. Okay,

Jeff Kikel:

So where do we go to get the bonuses stuff? So where do we order it,

Unknown:

You go onto my website, and you'll enter in your little cue code that you did. And then we'll start sending you emails have all the fun, goodness. Love

Jeff Kikel:

it. The next question, then, what's a tool I use in your business every day?

Unknown:

Okay, so a tool that I use every day is this thing called fireflies note taker. And he enters into all my business meetings and takes all the notes so I can you just be present in the meeting and interact and not worry about missing something? I love them.

Jeff Kikel:

That's awesome. Yeah, I've got one of those that I use to I think is phenomenal. It's interesting, actually, Zoom now has it built in. They have their own version built into it now too. But yeah, I mean, it's there. I've seen multiple those and I think the world of them because I take horrible notes.

Unknown:

I didn't see you. And then I'm not listening. I'm like worried about writing things down. So it allows me to be more present.

Jeff Kikel:

I love it. Okay, final question. What is your definition of freedom?

Unknown:

When you can authentically show up as yourself in all the environments you operate in?

Jeff Kikel:

That is awesome. That is the best answer I've heard this year. I'll take it. Well, Jen, how so your website is Jen drummond.com. Correct. Yes,

Unknown:

Yes. So please go there and visit, we'll learn about my book speaking engagements, some of the challenges that I run, I also have all my social media channels there. So depending on your platform or choice, you can figure out how to connect, reach out say hi, rate, this podcast so it gets shared with way more people. And thank you for listening today.

Jeff Kikel:

You are wonderful. I was such an exciting, you know, just interview. I love the story. And I can't wait to keep following you to see what the next big challenge is for you. What's the next one on the horizon? What's the biggie on the her I

Unknown:

know. So the next one is I'm taking my three boys to Africa. Cool. And we're gonna go climb Kilimanjaro, which is the highest point there.

Jeff Kikel:

How did you guys get to climb?

Unknown:

We're actually going to do Kilimanjaro. I haven't done okay. It's point and it's a lot easier than Mount Kenya. I wanted to take it to Mount Kenya and that I took them out. I mean, I'm like, we're going to kill them and John Coleman generals, you can

Jeff Kikel:

it's just you need to walk. I need you to walk. That's it.

Jenn Drummond:

Not putting you in row puts an artist is so free.

Jeff Kikel:

Yeah, be be super careful there. I've talked to several I've known several people that have climbed it and have gotten robbed while they're there. So be super careful. But what a great experience for the now what how old? Are they?

Unknown:

1715 and 14. Okay. All right.

Jeff Kikel:

So amazing experience for that time alive. So yeah,

Unknown:

I'm hoping that we'll get some college essay material.

Jeff Kikel:

You'll get something out of it.

Unknown:

Something we'll see hopefully something amazing. Yes.

Jeff Kikel:

Well, Jen, thank you so much for joining me today. It was a fantastic interview. Thank you so much for sharing your story with our audience and giving them some inspiration. Folks, we do these interviews for you. We do these Tuesdays and Thursdays of every week. So make sure you first off, go to Jen's website, buy her book, because you want to know all the stories, but to make sure you hit that little subscribe button wherever you're listening to this, whether it be on video, or you're listening to it on the podcast, and give us a little upvote to say hey, we're out there. So thanks a lot. And we'll see you guys back here the very next time.

Jeff Kikel:

FN Intro/Outro: Thank you for listening to the Freedom Nation podcast. You can find us on Apple podcasts and all the major channels wherever you're listening. Please subscribe to the channel and leave a rating and review. If you have friends and family that could benefit from their own Freedom Day. Please share with them. Finally, join freedom nation by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Freedom Nation Podcast
The Freedom Nation podcast is the home of Freedom Day, the achievement of a work-optional lifestyle. Our show focuses around personal finance, real estate, multiple sources of income, cashflow, and the stories of people that have achieved their own Freedom Days. Our host is Jeff Kikel a 30 year veteran of the Financial Services industry that attained his own Freedom Day by building multiple streams of income, selling some, buying more and sharing his story with the audience.
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