From Beauty Queen to Brand Queen:
THE JOURNEY OF A GOGIRL
From crushing the competition as a contestant on the hit reality television series, “The Apprentice,” to climbing the corporate ladder (and reaching the top) to falling into the insufferable abyss of disillusion, depression, and bewilderment to building her own female-forward global brand from scratch, social media sensation and GoGirl #ladyboss Jennifer Murphy is just getting started. Again.
Late last year the world witnessed something absolutely incredible, and long overdue, happen in the world of women. Women started owning their own voice more than ever, and took a stand against those that would minimize their importance, their rights and their futures. Over 10 years ago, Jennifer Murphy took her own stance, stepped into her superhero shoes and created a movement that would encourage girls and women of all ages to go for their goals, find their purpose, and live the life of their dreams by taking control instead of giving their control away. Over the past decade Jennifer and the GoGirl movement have touched 100s of
1000s of lives, and continue to inspired girls and women from ages 7 to 97 to go for it, and then pay it forward to other GoGirls. During this time Jennifer’s organization has helped countless women find their purpose, as the name really says it all. When women tell each other “You go girl!”, it’s meant to inspire, motivate, encourage and support. “You can do this! And I have your back!” And that really sums up what Jennifer set out to create. An organization of empowered women on a mission to empower women.
Here at GoGirl Worldwide, we got to pick the brand-building brain of its fearless lady leader, Jennifer Murphy, about her past struggles, her present challenges, and her future hopes for her global girl organization. From her quick rise to the top of the corporate ladder, smashing the proverbial glass ceiling in the process, to her personal bout with depression, divorce, and disillusion to hitting rock bottom to getting back in the saddle as a girl on a mission, we dig deep and Jen divulges. We’re listening.
As a young girl at the impressionable age of seven, Jen got to experience something only a most of us could only dream of. She met Mother Teresa. Enamored by the ethereal saint’s boundless capacity for compassion and enduring love, Jennifer felt an instant and lasting connection with the woman that would eventually be the catalyst to her entrepreneurial efforts later in life. As the second oldest of twelve children, Jennifer had a rather cosmopolitan taste of success starting at a young age. A former contestant on the hit reality TV series, “The
Apprentice,” and a top ten finalist in the Miss USA pageant, the brainy beauty employed her illustrious business skills in the competitive, cutthroat world of Corporate America and succeeded tenfold. With a bevy of professional awards, achievements, promotions, an impressive home purchase at the age of only 21, and a talent for securing lucrative real estate deals on her downtime, Jennifer couldn’t help but feel that there was more out there for her than just building someone else’s company. Not alone in her sentiments, many women (and men) report the unfulfilled feeling of thriving within the confines of Corporate America, only to inevitably bust free from the chains to pursue their life’s true purpose.
After Jennifer was “fired” on the Apprentice, Donald Trump personally called her to offer several highly coveted job opportunities. Jennifer, having always dreamed of bringing out her inner performer, declined Trump’s business offers. “Mr. Trump, maybe we’ll work together in
the future. But, I’ve always wanted to pursue entertainment. I’m moving to L.A. and am going to become an actress!”
Jen’s new journey was an exciting ride full of glitz, glam, celebrities, and red carpet. She said yes to a man who she thought was her Prince Charming, and had a widely publicized and extravagant wedding that was featured on Access Hollywood and in People Magazine. She moved into a mansion in Beverly Hills, lived the lifestyle of the rich and famous, took acting classes, and shopped on Rodeo Drive. But, inside she grew more and more unfulfilled and sad. She quickly began to realize that this life, too, had been missing something. She could have anything that money could buy, didn’t need a job, and could easily snatch roles in TV shows and movies. She thought she had everything she had dreamed and hoped for. But, just as she had grown unfulfilled in her successful corporate life, she now was experiencing an even bigger void. She grew lonely, fell out of love with her husband, and started to withdraw from the events and red carpets that she once enjoyed. A deep depression eventually set in and Jen grew
sick. She spent over a month in bed, and struggled to walk up a simple flight of stairs. It was then Jen got to experience another auspicious, “Ah-HA,” life-changing moment. During her darkest hour, leading up to a difficult divorce, she was blessed to attend a once-in-a-lifetime one-day seminar with motivational speaker and author of bestseller “On-Purpose Person,” Kevin McCarthy. When McCarthy asked Jennifer and her intimate group to dig deep to re-discover the desires and dreams of their childhood, examine their heart and soul and boil down into two words what they feel their divinely ordained life purpose was. Two simple words instantaneously lit up in neon flashing lights in Jen’s head – “Ignite Joy.” Boom. This was the proverbial light bulb moment that went off, sending Jen into start over mode. It also meant leaving behind the comfortable, cushiony life she knew to embark on the life she was meant to live, the life she had been subconsciously lusting for.
Jen knew that in order to “Ignite Joy” in others she first needed to regain her own inner joy. Jen knew it was time to make a decision. She said
goodbye to the wealthy husband and mansion in Beverly Hills, gave back the fancy car, and started over. During this time Jen also lost her real estate and finances during the economic crash in 2007. This humbling experience led Jen to finding herself in need of help. She went to a payphone and called her father. She said, “Dad, would you have me back? I know that I got caught up in things really don’t matter and I’ve made some poor choices. But I need help, and I’m ready to get back on track.” He said, “Jenny Jo, you’re my little girl. You’ll always be my little girl. Of course, I’ll come get you. Jen said, “Dad, just buy me a plane ticket. I’ll pay you back.” But Jen’s Dad said, “Jen, I want to remember the time when I came to rescue my little girl.” Jen’s Dad got in his truck and drove 12 hours to get her immediately after they got off the phone. Jen remembers that truck ride home vividly with her Dad, feeling his unconditional love, and talking,
joking and singing every mile of the way. It was then she knew she'd be “okay.” After months of being back home in Southern Oregon to reconnect with family, friends, faith, and food (of the healthy and flavorful variety), happy and healthy Jennifer was finally ready to get back in the saddle. That ride took her back to LA, where she began to put her plan to “ignite joy” in action. Those words that describe her purpose would also be the foundation for her life’s work - to create a global movement/organization that empowers and women and girls of all ages. A tour de force that enables women to positively impact the world through growth, empathy, compassion, leadership, light, healing, and hope.
Since its 2008 debut, GoGirl Worldwide, LLC, has since encompassed all these super- savvy spin-offs: GoGirl Seminars to enrich and empower; GoGirl Pink Carpet Parties to pamper, collaborate, and kick-back; a soon-to-be-launched online university; information-rich and resourceful GoGirl Magazine for aspiring entrepreneurs;
GoGirl Beauty featuring innovative hot hair tools, plus a luxury line of premium make-up brushes; GoGirl Worldwide Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to funding, supporting, and showcasing both charities and individuals in need, with specificity to women’s causes/ issues; a YouTube series, “GoGirl Superhero,” featuring heroine extraordinaire Jennifer Murphy as the candy box colored caped crusader who comes to rescue of damsels in distress and doggies in despair; GoGirl Volunteer Center to help girls and women pay-it-forward to a fellow female; and a GoGirl Entrepreneur Series hosted by Jen, featuring both burgeoning entrepreneurs as well as esteemed, established entrepreneurs alike, and that helps bring brand awareness and visibility to women-owned businesses.
But, the road to riches is
still a work in progress and
hasn’t come without its
When GoGirl was just an idea ten years ago, Jennifer figured advertising it on YouTube with a no-budget budget was the best possible resource. And because, no one was really doing it. And, it was FREE. Low and behold, the naysayers quickly emerged from the woodwork, wondering how this grown woman who had been a star on a hit reality television series and offered “dream” jobs with even dreamier salaries by Trump himself was riding around in a Goodwill-bought Barbie mobile making funny, motivational-emboldening videos for this crazy, flighty thing called YouTube. A potential suitor had even asked, “When are you going to put the Barbie Jeep away?” for which Jennifer fittingly replied, “I am going to be 97 and still will be driving my Barbie Jeep.” Suffice it to say, he clearly wasn’t the GoGuy for this GoGirl. And YouTube was working. Jennifer’s videos were getting millions of views.
Part of being a Go Girl meant leaving corporate America behind and becoming an entrepreneur. Jennifer started by parlaying her talent for creating viral online
content into her own video production company, Viral Video Media Group. She had always had a knack for networking, and she quickly built her client roster, as many successful business people she knew really needed her services. Some of her most viral online content were actually ads for some of her clients. And, these clients were absolutely floored when their videos were getting 100s of 1000s and millions of views! Jennifer had a true talent for creating original, highly engaging content, and the world was taking notice.
She also took on a project with a company that specialized in Murphy Beds. Being a Murphy herself, Jennifer always wanted to create an online platform for selling Murphy Beds and accessories. As one of twelve kids she appreciated the space-saving qualities of a bed that disappears in the daytime. And, JenniferMurphyBeds.com was born. Jen worked hard to create content and drive awareness to this new business, but ultimately her
business partners were unsupportive. In true GoGirl fashion Jen looked at the silver lining and decided to push the bed business to the back burner, which provided her more time to focus on GoGirl. Jen decided she would relaunch JenniferMurphyBeds with new partners when the timing was right.
It was then that she met successful businessman and entrepreneur Mike Roberts, “Mike My Angel,” who saw the immense potential for the GoGirl brand and helped Jennifer catapult its numerous entities exponentially over the past two years.She owes much love and gratitude to Mike My Angel, and all her many angels, who’ve got her back each and every
day. When the chips are down and you think you can’t see beyond the fog, it’s important to remember not all heroes wear capes. There’s always an angel waiting in the wings, ready to envelop you in all the beauty and abundance this world has to offer. So, that’s a lot on one plate for one girl. We wanted to get a girl-to-girl glimpse of what moves and motivates Jennifer and what she personally envisions GoGirl Worldwide to be. Here’s a look at our recent sit-down with the social media starlet:
GoGirl: You were a contestant on the hit-rated reality series, The Apprentice. What was your biggest takeaway as a contestant on that show? How has it impacted your continuing success as a female entrepreneur navigating the complex, ever-evolving, and demanding world of building awareness for your brand?
Jen: Being on “The Apprentice” helped me to understand the value of teamwork and having the right people in the right seats for any given project. It also showed me what is possible when you have strong, driven, dynamic individuals who each take on a role within the team that is best suited for their specific, individual talents and strengths. It blows my mind when I look at what we were able to accomplish for each task for some major brands in a matter of only two or three days. I take on my GoGirl projects with a similar, bold, no-holds barred approach and aggressive, can-do mentality. I actively align with ambitious, exceptional individuals that can think “big,” work as a team, and make things come together quickly and on-point.
GoGirl: Although unfulfilled with the confines of Corporate America as a young woman starting out, you were quite successful. What was the one positive thing of the “corporate” grind you took with you when you were beginning GoGirl Worldwide?
Jen: Something I truly enjoyed about Corporate America was the ability to climb the proverbial corporate ladder through hard work and real results. I actually liked it when I was pre-judged at times and underestimated when in a new, challenging role or company. It made it really fun for an over-achiever and competitive-by-nature person to take a quota or goal and totally crush it and surprise and shock my bosses and colleagues with record-breaking numbers. I was usually rewarded very well and given recognition and awards for my corporate achievements, which exponentially added to my confidence as a businesswoman. It also helped me appreciate and value those you employ and step into the “thinking tank” with. Positive leaders who lift others up and praise outstanding work, rather than leading with a fear-based methodology are those who build lasting companies and prosperous, positive cultures.
GoGirl: What advice would you give to a new entreprenuer looking to start their own brand/business?
Jen: I strongly recommend having mentors who can help you with your business plan/model and give you advice and guidance BEFORE and WHILE you are building your business/brand. There are many successful entrepreneurs and business leaders who are happy and more than excited to help burgeoning, aspiring entrepreneurs. Many of them are where they are today because of the mentors they had in THEIR lives. You would be surprised how many people are thrilled at the opportunity to pay-it-forward, which is core to our GoGirl beliefs. I personally have had many incredible CEO’s and founders of companies help me in a plethora of unforgettable ways.
GoGirl: You are former Miss Oregon USA and a top 10 finalist in the Miss USA pageant. Tell us a little bit about that once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Jen: As former Miss Oregon and a top ten finalist at Miss USA, I try and incorporate some of the most positive elements I gleaned from that experience into my GoGirl efforts, but I also create many differences between the GoGirl community and that of a beauty pageant system. For GoGirl Worldwide, I want every single girl and woman of ALL shapes, sizes, colors, and creeds, to know they are a QUEEN! That they can win first place in their OWN race. That they ARE enough. That they ARE a winner. I want them to know they ALL can don their superhero cape (of any color) and take off and soar beyond the skies, and that they have a community of love and support right there with them.
GoGirl: You use a lot of overt, over-the-top humor in your GoGirl videos/content/messages to promote positivity, unity, and empathy, including female empowerment and upward mobility. Why do you think comedy is so effective in messaging?
Jen: After having been through some really tough, trying times and going through a deep depression before starting GoGirl, I have a huge desire to lift others UP! I want to be a beacon of light, while spreading happiness and joy. I think by using a light-natured, fun-filled, and “goofball” alter-ego who trips and falls at times, but always gets right back up and never gives up, within my videos and in performances at my events, helps me to reach people in a deeper way. Although this is my GoGirl “character,” if you will, she’s semi-autobiographical. She’s based on me and is actually a lot like the real me. I think when others see me making fun of myself, they don’t take me too seriously and see that I’m not perfect, nor am I trying to BE perfect. I’m showing my audience you that you can embrace your own uniqueness and quirks and still achieve a lot and live life to the fullest. Since creating GoGirl over a decade ago, I have created thousands of hours of content, plus produced dozens of events to help empower young girls and women of all ages. GoGirl is my labor of love. I don’t do it for the money. I do it to make a difference in the lives of others, and THAT brings ME joy. And, here’s the thing: it isn’t always easy and I sometimes get criticized – both online and in real life – for not being “successful” enough. But, we all have the right to determine what “success” means for us. And, for me, I feel most successful when I ignite someone’s else’s passion, or empower them, or teach them something new. Yes, we do need to make money to survive, but if we lead with meaningful intention, the money will follow.
GoGirl: So, what’s next for GoGirl Worldwide? What else are you looking to accomplish?
Jen: Over the next year, I will be teaming up with women in various cities across the U. S. to collectively conduct regional GoGirl Empowerment Events and Pink Carpet Parties. Speaking of which, we will be rolling out the Pink Carpet for yet another highly-anticipated GoGirl Empowerment Event in beautiful Orange County, California. This year’s fun-filled, multimedia event’s theme is UNITY and will be led by my outstanding team.. With the launch of the GoGirl Magazine this year, my partner and publisher extraordinaire Rachel Medina Soto and I, plan to eventually launch in additional countries. And, to think I was once timid to approach Rachel and ask her to be my partner on this GoGirl endeavor! Never be afraid to ask. Go for your dreams! Through our grass-roots approach and online efforts, I look forward to the day when we have GoGirl leaders and members all over the world leading the GoGirl movement in various, concerted ways, while paying it forward and making the world a much, much better place. We have enough food and resources on this vast, beautiful planet. If women unite and unabashedly step into their full power potential, there is NOTHING we cannot do!
A few final words of wisdom from our pink-caped crusader: “I think it’s important to dream big, have vision, hold true to our purpose, and not let others cause doubt and fear to creep in.” Something important to remember is Rome wasn’t built in a day. And, neither was GoGirl Worldwide. Some of the most successful companies and biggest brands took years and years to even see a dollar of profit. And, that’s okay and completely normal. Don’t worry about what others say. Continue to keep your eye on the prize and forge ahead every day, making leaps and bounds, however big or small. And, if you feel like you’re living in limbo and unsure where to start or what your true purpose is, open your eyes. Literally. The answers and inspiration are all around you, all the time. “A true leader doesn’t follow the pack. A true leader starts something new and leads the way.” – Jennifer Murphy