Being successful with multiple passions

Jen ck jacobs via besotted blog

Last week I felt like I opened up a veritable personal Pandora’s box with the admitting of my non-focused ways (post 1 + 2) and my current struggle to see what that would look like if I did (I am not having an easy go of this focus thing). I really do believe your focus and end goals from said focus can be based on what you deem a success and that’s something you will need to sit down with yourself and write down, it does look different for everyone (for me that now includes a financial number that never factored into my former goals or focus, I was happy before just getting by on my endeavors). I thought we could feature a Creative today that has had a ton of success and notoriety for her work and that work and passion (and person) seems to be constantly evolving. Jen Ck Jacobs, formerly Jen Altman (she has since re-married and added 3 more children to the mix-6 kids AND a new business?). I first came across her when she wrote a Mommy blog, she then became a jewelry designer, a graphic designer, then she picked up a Polaroid and well the rest is history, she became a huge internet success, has published multiple books as both an author and photographer the list goes on and on. She recently launched Robert + Gene, vintage turquoise and curated collections, which I am confident will prove to be another one of Jen’s big successes. This is from her ‘About page:

Over the years, Jen has sailed the seas as a salty Sailor of the US Navy, designed her own line of jewelry, penned books, photographed food and lifestyle for some of the most notable titles on the newsstands and in 2012, fulfilled a lifetime dream with CISTHENE.

Since, I have followed Jen from her seedling stages, I can tell you that she didn’t just snap her fingers and become this great creative force, her photos in the beginning were just sweet snapshots any mom would take, there were no glimpses there of what she would become, but she obviously focused, practiced, shared and honed her craft, this with 3 babes underfoot?! I am sharing about Jen because if you do have multiple interests and passions I think you can figure a way to combine them, make it cohesive and make it a success (that is what Michelle and I are trying to do!). Jen now has the design prowess from trying on the graphic design hat, and of course her passion + talent for photography that she has merged with her love of vintage jewelry, that combination has resulted in her new shop as it did with her former shop (gorgeous images!).  I might also add that she is able to leverage her love of writing with the store descriptions, and use her obvious eye for curating and styling. Will this business make her millions?  I don’t know if that’s even her goal, that’s why I mentioned that you need to write down what your goal is with your focus, because it may be like mine was before to just make enough money with my creative business to pay my bills and have a little left over to buy some of the things I would like, like a class or shoes. I honestly used to be thrilled that I could make any money from doing something I loved from something that I made. If you have the support from a spouse/partner or from family that may be fine for you to (and for a time it was very fulfilling for me). Michelle and I know that we want to take the shipping equation off of the table, it’s not feasible for me with my curious toddler and lack of space and something Michelle has always been emphatic about not doing. I wanted to share Jen’s story, because I think it’s okay to re-invent yourself, multiple times, as many times as you seem fit to in this lifetime until you find the you that fits. Or maybe this is who you are and that’s fine too. You can go from a sweet mama, to a tatoo’d bad ass and it can still be you and authentic, look at Jen. Of course you don’t have to do either of those things. I love that Oscar Wilde quote, “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” That should make it easier for you to figure that bit out of who you are;)

My sincerest hope is that this motivated you in some way, it has for me, because it made me really evaluate during this phase of trying to find the convergence of our multiple (and varied) interests and see if that could be made into one entity that we call focus and if Jen is an example it seems it can happen! It may take a little more time to figure it out and of course some interests will need to be just that interests and not commerce, but I am feeling a bit more optimistic today than I was yesterday…And you?  Have you met anyone that has had multiple interests that they were able to parlay into one successful venture? Have you done it? Do you think this is a cop out to focusing? Would really love to hear your thoughts on this! Wishing Jen super success on her new endeavor with Roberts + Gene!

P.S. Thank you everyone that has added to the conversation, has emailed links and book suggestions. I will be adding those links to a post so others can have access to them and in hopes that it helps another fellow Creative!


Thought it would be inspiring to share some links to Jen’s evolution, it is a study in perseverance and creative harnessing:

Early sweet images 1 | 2 | 3 that have evolved into these magnificent ones: 1 |2 | 3 | (Michelle and I are big proponents of just shooting to get better at your photography, we have taught classes with this as the main take away and have seen people that went from zero to 90 very quickly! It can work for many mediums! Again there’s that focus popping up!)

In the kitchen with Jen Altman

Jen on Momfilter

Gorgeous new bride

Jen Ck Jacobs portfolio

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and the fastest way to clean + digitize your lettering and line art –Lettering Rx | Paper to pixel and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

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