Getting to ‘Aha’ – Jen Groover and The ‘Aha Moment’ That Led to the Butler Bag

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Learning How to Get to Your Story by Sharing Your Story.

We often hear about how an entrepreneur’s ‘aha moment’ led to an incredible breakthrough which launched a successful business. What we rarely hear is the backstory of what led to that moment… the mental and developmental preparation that took place which enables an ‘aha’ to happen.

This post is about Jen Groover, founder of the Butler Bag (a multi-million dollar product and one of the fastest selling fashion handbags in history) and how sharing her story while on her entrepreneurial journey, with the specific purpose of helping others be successful, led her to her ‘aha moment.’ 


Long before Jen Groover built a million dollar business out of handbags, she was following a different path; she was in college to become a schoolteacher. During one winter break, Jen went home and took her first step-aerobics class. It was one of the first times she had worked out for an entire hour and she completely forgot she was exercising. It was more like a fun dance party than a boring 60-minute workout.

When she got back to school, she asked the university if she could start a group fitness class. All she needed was a space to hold the class and she would provide the steps, the music, and the boom box. More than 100 people showed up to that first class. And although she had no idea what she was doing, even forgetting a microphone so no one in the back could hear over the music, she felt like she was meant to do this.

“I was watching everyone work out, bumping into each other, doing the grapevine, and I got this ‘high’ of ‘This is exactly where I’m supposed to be and this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.'”

As graduation approached, she no longer desired to become a schoolteacher. So when school ended, Jen decided to launch a business with some partners to become a fitness instructor. Despite the fact that she didn’t know anything about starting a business, she was passionate about exercise and felt this was the fastest way she could fulfill her desire to do something she was both highly motivated to do and make a living. She also started competing in national level fitness competitions because she loved the rush it gave her, along with feeding her competitive nature.

As she was getting the business off the ground, Jen found that many companies didn’t have programs which incentivized employees to take care of their health. So she decided to create workshops within corporations that were designed to educate employees about how to make better health and lifestyle choices. In turn, this would help them lead a better life and become more successful.

The more that Jen worked on her fitness coaching business, the more she discovered that her true passion was not actually in fitness, but that it was in helping people see their full potential and helping them pursue it. Her clients would always ask her how she was able to start a business right out of college. As she shared the how and why of her entrepreneurial journey, she realized that her attitude and perspective was unique, and something that people wanted to hear about.

“What I realized is my true passion was inspiring and empowering people to find their passion and to make a living of it; to try to find their true potential.”

Jen began consulting with individuals as well as companies to identify their personal and professional goals, coaching them on their business and life, in addition to fitness. Before long, Jen was speaking at events and eventually became a motivational speaker at some of the same corporations where she taught fitness.



Though her business was thriving, Jen’s body was not. She was pushing her physical limits by over-working and over-training with multiple daily aerobics classes, gymnastics and yoga, all while working with a number of clients. At the same time, she’d been working with an Olympic trainer to help her prepare for a U.S. National Aerobic Championship and a national anaerobic event.

At only age 26, she contracted an auto-immune disease that shut down her organs. It came to a point that she was forced to drastically reduce the number of physically intensive activities and give her body a break. Everything that Jen was used to in her life had come to a halt. But the illness provided an unexpected opportunity for Jen to re-examine herself and what she wanted to do.

My kidneys, liver, and heart all shut down as well as my thyroid. I quickly learned what the importance of health and mental clarity is in your life. It turned out to be one of the greatest gifts – a kind of a wakeup call.”


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