Podcast: EP 76 The Kindness Effect with Jill Donovan

Podcast: EP 76 The Kindness Effect with Jill Donovan

When you know you have a purpose that you aren’t living yet, keep going.


I love a great entrepreneurial story and when I met the founder of Rustic Cuff and read her book, I knew I had to share it with you. If you have been searching for your true purpose, that spark of joy, Jill’s story is going to inspire you to keep going.

Jill Donovan was born in Baltimore, Maryland; was raised in Pensacola, Florida; and graduated from Oral Roberts University, in Tulsa, Oklahoma where she met her husband, Terry. She went on to get her law degree from the University of Tulsa and was a practicing attorney and adjunct law professor at TU law school when Rustic Cuff was born.

She taught herself how to make cuffs and gifted them to friends and family. Today, Rustic Cuff jewelry is sold in more than 250 stores across the country. The brand has been featured on many national TV shows including Good Morning America, The Today Show, E! News and The View. When not working, Donovan enjoys spending time with her daughter’s, Ireland 13, and Peanut, 9.

This conversation is an incredible reminder that your path is unique to you and it will lead you exactly where you are meant to go, no matter the time or route it takes.

“Kindness is its own language. Study it until you’re fluent.”

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Show notes:

  • The multi-year journey it took for Jill to get on the Oprah show (12:05)
  • The rock bottom moment that inspired the start of her company (17:00)
  • How the ripple effect of kindness works (25:15)
  • Why the amount of money you give doesn’t matter (42:05)


Links mentioned in this episode:

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The Power of Eye Contact

The Power of Eye Contact

I had one of those “heart & soul” moments last night. It was brief and simple, yet powerful.

I was running errands and it was later in the evening so it was already dark and cold.

As I came to an intersection, a man was huddled up, approximately in his 30’s, holding a sign that said, “hungry.” A human being making a simple request. Now whether he is a professional pan handler or one who has fallen on rough times, is never my place to judge. He’s still a HUMAN BEING with very real needs. So the argument of giving or not giving money is not my point today. I rarely carry cash with me or I would of given this man some dollars.

What did happen was that I made eye contact with this man. And as I did so and he made eye contact with me, I nodded to him slightly as if I was saying, “I see you.” He nodded back as if he was saying, “I see you.”

It was two maybe three seconds long in timing, yet this simple exchange pierced my heart and soul.

It made me realize how many times in the past, because I didn’t have cash, that I avoided acknowledging this human life for I felt I could not help them in the request that they had. Last night I learned a different lesson – we all want to be SEEN. To be acknowledged that we are here, that we are HUMAN, and that we matter. 

In this simple interaction, we acknowledged one another and that was powerful.

How often do I/we not see someone in front of us because they are “different” than ourselves? Or because it’s uncomfortable? Or perhaps it’s become complacent or ordinary? Whether it be the souls within our own homes or strangers on the street, are we SEEING one another? Are we acknowledging that very precious LIFE? 









There is reason why it’s been penned, “The eyes are the windows to the SOUL.”

With love & gratitude,