The Tao of Jen Lancaster

Dear Fellow Parents who are worried about what college their children will get into and, after those children graduate from college, what will become of them in their professional and personal lives.

Please – before your next bout of worrying – listen to the story of Jen Lancaster.

Jen Lancaster does not have a roadmap for you to follow. And it’s not the path you probably have in mind for your children.

Because what parent would ever design a roadmap for their child that includes 11 years to complete an undergraduate degree? That’s how long it took Jen Lancaster to get her degree from Purdue University.

"I was 17, I was young for my age, I went to college and upon having all this freedom, I lost my freaking mind. After two years at Purdue, I flunked out at which point my parents said, 'We're done paying for college, you screwed up, now you're on your own.'" [4:37]

Why did it take Jen Lancaster 11 years to finish college? And how on earth has she just completed her 11th book in less time than she spent as an undergrad?

Some of it has to do with her spirit – which you can hear by clicking the play icon at the top of this story. It also has to do with her natural sales ability. She’s a persuasive advocate. And her sense of humor is key as well.

But Jen Lancaster’s success also seems to be connected to her appetite for self growth – which is why she took a look at her disorganized life – and decided, she had to get things in order.

She turned to Martha Stewart. She spent an entire year absorbing Martha Stewart’s ways, sans the trip to prison.

She recounts her journey to the land of organization in her brand new book, The Tao of Martha.

If the Tao of Martha Stewart is not for you, it is still useful to learn The Tao of Jen Lancaster. Just get ready for some wild detours.