As featured in NATFLUENCE
I believe that the meaning of life is all about asking for help when you need it.
– Jill Sherer Murray
Jill Sherer Murray is a TEDx speaker, author, influencer, blogger, facilitator, course creator, and coach who founded the lifestyle brand Let Go For It®, dedicated to helping individuals and businesses let go for a better life and results. She’s also an award-winning journalist and communications leader who’s written and consulted for large publications and organizations, and can trace practically every success in her career, love life, and more to letting go.
Her TEDx talk, “The Unstoppable Power of Letting Go” has been viewed by millions of people. And her book called Big Wild Love: The Unstoppable Power of Letting Go (She Writes Press, May 2020) was written in response to her viewers from all over the world, who reach out to her each week for advice on how to let go after seeing her TEDx talk.
Murray spent a year studying improvisational comedy at the famous Second City Training Center in Chicago, and another five years writing a popular blog called “Diary of a Writer in Mid-Life Crisis” for Wild River Review. She also let go of just about everything to put her weight in Shape magazine—twelve times—as part of a yearlong assignment to document her weight loss journey for millions of readers. She continues to be featured on leading podcasts and in local and national media for her work helping others use the art and practice of letting go to have what they want most.
Personal Brand Pitch
I am a writer, communications professional, and big-hearted, pizza-loving, book-loving, dog-loving extroverted introvert who cares a lot about the written word, doing good in the world, and helping other people embrace the transformative experience of letting go in all areas of their life.
I gave a TEDx talk on the subject, during which I laid bare my personal truths about staying stuck in a twelve-year relationship with a man I deeply loved going nowhere; and how, at age 41, I worked up the courage to let go of it, freeing space in my life to finally find the love I wanted with another person – and most importantly, with myself. The talk went viral.
And today, while I continue to consult with publications and corporations on how to reach people most effectively with their brands and messaging, I am most passionate about helping others see how intentional self-examination, growth, and what I call “Big Wild Love” (a form of self-love that allows us to see ourselves for perhaps the very first time) leads us to be our very best selves —in romance and relationship, aging, business, family, friendship, health, etc. As a result of letting go, I am now married to a wonderful man, we have a gloriously imperfect relationship that offers me joy and gratitude every single day, and two very spoiled mutts that rescued us.
How did you get into the industry?
It all started way back when I was in high school and eschewed becoming a concert pianist (my grandmother was a pro and never had a lesson in her life), for being a writer. I have always loved to write and have done it throughout my life – as a journalist, a communications professional, a content creator, a diarist, a columnist, and an author.
It’s really my first love. Most recently, I decided I wanted to give a TEDx talk but had no idea about what or how to get on the stage. That’s when my Reticular Activating System (RAS) had me notice an ad online for a public speaking workshop in New York City. I went. The audience was mostly professional life coaches and speakers, of which I was neither. But I met some important folks who eventually helped me to develop my message, platform, and skills necessary to get on that TEDx stage.
- Lesson One: Embrace your RAS. From there an agent found me, and I started to hear from women all over the world after they’d seen my talk, looking for help and advice…so I wrote a book in response.
- Lesson Two: Pay attention to the opportunities and embrace the unexpected. I saw it for the opportunity it was and the rest, as they say, is history.
- Lesson Three: Let go for it. Live boldly. Take a chance on yourself!
Emerging industry trends?
When it comes to writing and influencing and speaking, the biggest trend I see is really about meeting our craving for authenticity. Especially in the personal growth and development space. I can’t remember a time in history when women, especially, have been so forthcoming about the challenges we all face, speaking on them so prophetically, resonantly, and honestly. I don’t see it ending anytime soon…at least I hope it doesn’t.
Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?
My readers and viewers and clients are my inspiration. I am endlessly fascinated, inspired, and humbled by their stories of hardship and resilience. My vision for the business is to keep giving them ways to let go for what they want, clarifying the “how” based on my process, and just being there to listen and lend support. (I’ll probably also never stop doing communications work too, because I do really love it.) At this age, I’m feeling pulled more than ever before to give back.
I often wonder what would have happened to me if, when I was struggling in love, in particular, I could have pulled such a device as a smartphone (we didn’t have back then) out of my pocket and watched some woman on a stage tell me to let go. You’ll be okay, just do it. It would have been transformative, to say the least. I suspect I may have let go sooner. At least I’d like to think so.
What’s next for the Business in the near future?
More books, more speaking, more courses, just more of whatever people want and are asking me for. And, of course, a fully actualized Reticular Activating System, to let me know when new opportunities show up.
Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)
I recently developed an online course to help guide folks through my process over six weeks. I’m proud of it – I think it will be helpful for so many – and really enjoyed putting it together. It was only when it came time to actually launching it, that I began to pull out strands of my hair on a regular basis.
It’s one thing to be able to write and design a course with impact, it’s another to navigate the technology required to get it out to the masses. The landing pages, web pages, plugins, platforms, technology options for both work and distribution are daunting. I am not a tech girl; I’m a words girl. A strategic thinker who’s not all that great at the details.
And so, if I was a drinker, I would have been in trouble…thankfully, I’d rather eat my calories than drink them. Pushing out this course has been challenging to say the least. Fortunately for me, there are lots of folks out there who know how to do what I didn’t. And who love that part of it. So, therein was the lesson for me: To stay in my lane. And ask for help from the folks who know far more than I do, when I need it. So namaste to all you techies and bless you…
Ideal experience for a customer/client?
I have a viewer in Finland who I want to hug every single day. (I am endlessly fascinated, by the way, by how small our world has become as I now have friends in countries I can’t even pronounce!). She’s been with me from the earliest days of my talk being public. After seeing it, she let go of a relationship of 20 years and talks a lot on social media about how much it changed her life for the better. I have a ton of these folks, actually, but she has a particular place in my heart because she is now so empowered and role modeling the importance of letting go, spreading the word. I just love it … and her.
What do you do best?
Write. Talk. Coach. Love. Hug. You don’t want to hire me to balance your checkbook or create your spreadsheet … but, you do want me to help you let go of what’s not serving you, to create content that resonates and engages (I’ve been a communications specialist for decades and still get geeky, silly over the science…), and to speak to groups who need help understanding how to let go for what they want most—and the stakes involved in holding on.
I have developed a process for letting go that not only allowed me to move forward after a painful breakup, but continues to serve me and others in getting where we want to go; in fact, I recently used it to let go of a long-term corporate job to pursue a new purpose.
Moving through each step allows someone to get a clear sense of what’s keeping them stuck. It also empowers them to live more boldly and create a life they truly love. It’s been so rewarding to hear from people all over the world, who’ve seen my TEDx talk and who’ve worked my steps, and who have transformed their lives so profoundly as a result. Which has, as a delightful by-product, led to a lot of virtual love and hugs. They’re my why, for sure.
What makes you the best version of yourself?
Big Wild Love. Sleep. Clean food. Exercise. Meditation. Derma-flash. Loreal hair color #646. The ongoing pull towards things that both thrill and terrify me. Tenacity. Coffee. The unwavering grounding force of my husband (he’s like a big solid oak tree, and I’m the excitable Jack Russell Terrier jumping around him). My dogs and their lessons of presence.
Really great friends—the kind who’ve been around for a long while, even since childhood, who don’t mind if I vent text at 2 a.m. or forget to call them back or snort when I laugh. A coping mechanism that has me knowing when to lighten up and laugh at myself. My cuspy Capricorn tendencies (stubborn, ambitious, passionate, emphasis on credentials). The understanding that all things in good measure…and good time. And that we’re all just doing the best we can, including me.
What are your aspirations?
An entire night of sleep. I’m talking eight whole hours, uninterrupted, without fighting with our puppies for real estate or blankets. To write many books. To speak on important stages. And to help women embrace their own power. Because one of the things I’ve learned in talking with women of all ages, from all over the world, is that we have a universal crisis of esteem and self-confidence.
We are so woefully disempowered, especially in love. I want to help to change that…to contribute to the conversation in a positive way around not only accepting ourselves, but reveling in who we are. And using that sense of celebration to make a difference in terms of the choices we make for ourselves, what we believe is possible, what we’re willing to accept for ourselves, and how we engage in the world in general.
Never giving up. I am proud of myself for taking a licking, and keeping on ticking. For never backing down on my dreams to be an author and do what I want to do in the world. It’s not always easy –choosing the path of writer, or artist of any kind. I’m having my first book published at age 57. These pursuits can be especially difficult and, for so many of us, we’re relegated to doing them in the margins of other practicalities – like tending to daily life, and earning a “regular” living.
I don’t think I speak for just myself when I say that they force us to question the choice often. For me, and others I know who go into these fields (like my husband, who, among other things, is a talented musician), there’s no question: Embracing our creative passions is not only what we love doing most, it’s part of who we are. We couldn’t imagine NOT doing them.
Most Challenging Moment?
The moment I talk about in my TEDx talk, when I find myself sobbing on the bathroom floor of a stranger’s apartment after my boyfriend promised to meet me there and then stood me up.
It was a defining moment, delivering a heart-thumping epiphany I could no longer ignore (I’d ignored so many over the years, like little earthquakes, I waited them out and then worked hard to forget them): It was him or me. I could stay with a wonderful man who would never give me what I wanted from love. Or, I could let go and free-fall into the unknown—something I’d thought about for years but never mustered the courage for. I ultimately let go and took a chance on myself.
I believe that the meaning of life is all about asking for help when you need it…and good credit. I guard mine like it’s the Mona Lisa.
Favorite People/Role Models?
Well, my husband is probably my most favorite person. He’s an extraordinary man who’s survived a lot in his life. Where others may have found themselves bitter and resentful, he’s used all of his experiences to become spiritually rich and pure love. I am obsessed with Mel Robbins and Cheryl Strayed. Anne Lamott, Natalie Goldberg, Elizabeth Gilbert, Isabelle Allende, yep, lots of female authors who have made a career out of blazing bold new trails, speaking with excruciating authenticity (at a time when it wasn’t safe or in vogue to do so), and positing a path forward for so many of us.
I have a lot of similar real-life role models as well – women I’ve met as a writer and a speaker, who really inspire me and champion me, and who have shown me that it’s never too late to be mentored, put your voice out into the world, OR do what you love. I’m talking about Joy Stocke, Susan Sandler, Lu Ann Cahn, V Capaldi, Joan Cantwell, gosh, I could write a whole list. I am a lucky girl.
Every single book in my house, and I probably have hundreds—from John Steinbeck, Cal Newport, and Donald Miller, to Ann Patchett, Wayne Dwyer, and Julia Alvarez—I prefer paperback to hard cover. Nutpods, the discovery of the decade for me. Hard tail yoga pants. The painting of sunflowers we have in our dining room that I bought when I first left my long-time love and life in Chicago and moved to New Hope, Pennsylvania. Costco. I love walking up and down the aisles on a Tuesday afternoon, as a break from writing. I find it meditative and surprisingly inspiring. And Dr. Phil. Not that he’s an object, but yeah, I’m that girl.
Everything. Using my own process, I let go of my corporate job of ten years last July to continue building a business that helps people let go. And now, pretty much everything I do excites me, terrifies me, exhausts me, and energizes me. I must like it, because I’m whipping up a whole lot of chaos and saying yes to pretty much everything. Why not? It’s a moment in time, where I’m getting to explore.
I’m in the middle of promoting my current book, in the early stages of proposing and writing another one, putting the final touches on an online course I developed. and preparing to launch it, learning how to be a digital marketer and content developer, speaking on all sorts of stages, about all sorts of women empowerment and business issues, and so much more.
Every day is a new day and I’m digging it. It’s challenging my brain in a very cool way…and my energy reserves. I won’t lie. I wouldn’t mind a week in the mountains, just chilling. But then again, there will be plenty of time for that later…
A Day in My Life
My Goal of the Day
Cross at least two things off of my to-do list in a way that has me fully present for each, and to meditate.
My Thought of the Day
Mel Robbins, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 … get out of bed Jill, you’ve got things to do…oh and don’t eat that.
My Action of the Day
Pay myself first – meditate, walk, play with the dogs, lower that cortisol… boost that energy … get it done.
My Deed of the Day
Reach out to at least one friend and/or professional colleague, client, or mentor, leave the house/office, don’t be an island. It’s so easy when you’re an entrepreneur of one mostly, to get lost in isolation—internally and externally. I make it a point to get out of my head.
My Tip of the Day
Remember to breathe and bathe.
My Pic of the Day
This is a picture that was taken when we had the two dogs we lost a year and a half ago – Winnie and Elvis. They both had cancer and left us inside of three weeks—they were 13 and 14. It was awful—and that’s putting it mildly. I have this pic framed and on our fireplace mantle in our living room. They were with me on my first photoshoot after giving the talk—it was so exciting—and I miss them every day. This pic has special meaning as a way to remember them and their spirit. They had so much sparkle and personality! We’ve got two new dogs—Piper and Daisy—and they’re equally amazing. I’m going to need to do a shoot with them at some point as well! All of our dogs hold such a special place in my heart.
Pic of me and the dogs on a vintage motorcycle and sidecar:
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM Walking 3.5 miles in the park by our house with my husband Dan and two dogs, Piper and Daisy; followed up by 20 minutes of meditation – I practice Transcendental Meditation and it’s helpful!
10:00 AM Drinking iced cold brew coffee with Nutpods and Stevia, working in my office with CNN on in the background.
12:00 PM A lot of times, this is podcast hour. I am consistently being invited as a guest on podcasts because the message of letting go for love is so resonant for women across all ages. And I really love to do them. I have had some very powerful conversations about what it takes to let go and start again at any age. If you just google my name, you’ll find a lot of them.
In terms of favorite meal?
I love a good breakfast. These days it’s oatmeal, a shake, or one pancake and one egg. I’m also a low-carb girl so I make it work. My favorite breakfast place, called “Back to the 50s Diner” actually closed a year ago and my husband and I have been spinning in circles ever since to find a new one.
The good news is we made friends with the owners and so we still very much have them in our lives…the bad news is we miss our Saturday morning egg-white veggie omelet and “Garage Sale Special” (two eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy, the list is endless…). We tell them that one day, we’re just going to show up at their house so they can make it for us!
3:00 PM Break from work, if possible. Vanilla decaf with Caramel Nutpods, cross-legged on the leather chair-and-a-half with the dogs, and Dr. Phil (if I don’t have calls or meetings) – it’s my guilty pleasure.
7:00 PM Dinner clean-up; another walk in the park in our backyard, more meditation, and time out with friends.
11:00 PM Living large in dreamland.
What Else to Know
What drink do you need to get through the day (and at the end)?
Coffee in am, and a ton of water all day long. Seltzer with stevia and Tazo Passion Fruit Tea at the end of the day for a special treat.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
Facebook, I don’t really have a favorite Instagram, I like to browse and lurk.
What should everyone try at least once?
Giving a TEDx talk.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
What else should we know about Jill Murray?
I’m excited to launch my book called “Big Wild Love: The Unstoppable Power of Letting Go” in May, which is available for pre-order now.
I will be doing readings around the country and welcome folks to come and join me. To know where I’ll be, I encourage you to subscribe to my website. There are all sorts of freebies and tools there as well, and you can see the talk if you haven’t already! And, you can stay on top of when I’ll be launching my six-week “Let Go for Love” Master Class again!
Name Jill Sherer Murray
Contributor Status AdVice
Initial Contribution Date 02/24/2020
Primary Location Doylestown, PA USA
Jill Sherer Murray is the founder of Let Go For It®, a lifestyle brand dedicated to helping individuals let go for a better life. Jill’s TEDx talk called “The Unstoppable Power of Letting Go” as well as her forthcoming book called Big Wild Love: The Unstoppable Power of Letting Go have been created in service to her loyal and growing fan base, who seek support in the act and the art of letting go for the love they desire and deserve. Follow Jill @letgoforit on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. And at Jill Sherer Murray on LinkedIn.