Home >Magazine >Yes, Jen Sincero is an Actual Badass In Person

Yes, Jen Sincero is an Actual Badass In Person

She wrote the book on how to live your life boldly, and in Santa Fe, 14 NextTribers had the chance to hear Jen Sincero's blunt, sassy words of wisdom.

Sometimes it’s disappointing to meet your heroes. They can be far less than what you imagine them to be based on their acting, writing, painting, activism, politics, music…whatever! I’ve always admired Jen Sincero’s book You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. I love the message of get out of your own way; I love her sass, earthy humor, and bluntness. I love how readable and conversational her writing is.

Certainly, I’m in good fan-girl company. More than 5 million books have been sold, in multiple languages. (I wonder how you say “badass” in Chinese?) Ten years have passed since the first book, and that success has spawned a whole “Badass” series of self-help books and even a quote-a-day calendar.

Sincero’s philosophy melds well with NextTribe’s Age Boldly ethos.

Sincero’s philosophy melds well with NextTribe’s Age Boldly ethos. For instance, she says, “When you get an intuitive hit to do something scary, run straight towards it before the excuses start seeping in.” I’ve always called NextTribers “Yes women” because their default is to say yes to new challenges and opportunities.

When our Santa Fe expert, Mollie Mitchell, told me that her good friend Jen Sincero had agreed to speak at a Happy Hour on our recent NextTribe visit there, I was equal parts excited (“Oh, wow! She’s amazing”) and anxious (“Could she really be as great as she seems on paper?”).

Sitting on a porch with 12 other NextTribers, watching the setting sun spill a golden glow of the desert mountains, I found out that she more than lives up to her billing. She was hilarious, bold, obviously at home in her skin and oh-so generous. Here are some excerpts of our conversation, which was led by Mollie Mitchell.

Read More: The Secret of Aging Well Is All About Your Attitude

The Badass Conversation

Jen Sincero with her friend and NextTribe’s Santa Fe guide Mollie Mitchell at the NextTribe event.

I’ll start by asking what inspired you to actually like write the badass book?  

What inspired me to write this particular book is I was trying to get my life together while living in a garage. I read every self-help book under the sun, and because I’d written books before and I was a writer, I thought, I could write this snot out of a self-help book. But, more honestly, it was that they all helped me so much and there was so much incredible information in them, but none of them was funny. None of them had stories in them, so I figured I would put my own spin on it. I thought, where’s the one I wanna read? I don’t know how many of you are entrepreneurs here, but we all sort of start the companies we realize we need or that somebody needs. It’s like there’s a hole in the world that needs to be filled.

How did you motivate yourself?

If you actually genuinely scare yourself everyday, your life will change so fast you won’t know what hit you.

Honestly, I was desperate for money for the first one. That’s a good motivator. And once I get an idea, it won’t leave me alone. I might be trying to shake it off my leg and after a while it just won’t leave me alone. Then I’m like, fine, I’m gonna write you.

You have a lot of advice on being a badass and changing your life, but if there’s one of those things that you think is most important what would that be?

I really believe that if you have something you want to do in your life and you’ve tried everything, here’s the thing: If you scare the living crap out of yourself every single day and you do something that really is equal parts terror and excitement (I call it terror excitement). If you push yourself past the point of the easy thing and actually genuinely scare yourself, your life will change so fast you won’t know what hit you. Like doubling your prices or going up to talk to somebody who’s hot or putting a down payment on something. Anything that really pushes you outside your comfort zone if you really want to play big.

I heard a quote the braver I am the luckier I get. So where are you today on that? 

I’m 58 and I’m no longer under contract with any books. I made the money, so I don’t have that motivation anymore. I decided I was going to retire and sit around and look at birds and do crossword puzzles and go for hikes. And then I got really bored. And I was like, okay, I’m not ready to really retire. We’ve still got energy, we’re still young but what is the next thing?

So I’m kind of in a funny spot where I’m trying to be comfortable in the discomfort of not knowing and just taking it one step at a time. And I really believe that. I’m really just following what feels good and it’s coming. Some cool things are coming up, so we’ll see.

Badass Questions from NextTribers:

Sincero and NextTribe founder Jeannie Ralston.

I love that you made the term badass kind of acceptable.

I never use that word in my real life, which is hilarious to me.

But you did come up with the title?

It’s because I couldn’t think of another word. Like I, most of my book titles, I’m a copywriter by trade, so I’m really good at titles and chapter headings. And this one was such a breach birth.  I had a friend who, I had a website called Hey Little Badass. And I was like, that’s so cute. And I was like, that’s kind of a good word. And I, I I, I wanted it to say, I see you. I see that little bright shiny light. You are awesome. You were something. And I just, it was the only word that I could come up with and worked.

The questions I ask myself are: Is it fun? Does it give or deplete my energy? And does it have meaning?

I’m retired and I don’t really know if I’m supposed to do something different now. How do I know?

I’ll tell you what I think is, really pay attention to what feels good. I feel like at this age we’ve earned that. It’s like, I don’t know about you guys but the second I hit 50, like the gorilla of giving a fuck what other people think about me was off my back. I mean, it’s still there kind of, but it’s a baby girl now. So, the questions I ask myself are: is it fun? Does it give me energy or deplete my energy? And does it have meaning? That’s all I care about.

And that brings up a question: Does that extend to people in your life too? People who might not be right for you anymore? 

Absolutely. I don’t think relationships that don’t last the rest of your life are failures. I think there are seasons and we all change so much. I do have a ton of old friends, but, but I certainly have lost a bunch along the way too. And that’s, okay. I’m not gonna wish you well and I’m certainly not gonna shrink so that you can stop making fun of me. I mean, believe me, I was like in a rock band. I had this whole image of being so cool and then I got into self-help. My friends were just like, you’re in a cult. What’s the matter with you? So the people who actively made fun of me and tried to drag me down aren’t my people.

Did you send them a copy of your book?

Oh, believe me, I’m getting the last laugh.

Read More: Give Them the Business: How to Respond to Ageist Comments without Getting Fired

Sincero with the whole NextTribe gang.

By Jeannie Ralston


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Find your tribe

Connect and join a community of women over 45 who are dedicated to traveling and exploring the world.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This