Presenting November’s Woman of the Month:
Here’s a little bit about her:
Usually you’ll find Jodi somewhere in the world sipping on a latte. One of her goals has been to create a “geographically independent” career which means she’s able to do her work from almost anywhere on the planet with a laptop and wifi… In 2007 she and her husband, Jason, launched a leadership development firm that enables them to travel and see the world as they present workshops on productivity and professional networking.
Funny thing though, she found it was sometimes a lonely experience, working from coffee shops and hotel rooms abroad. So she created her second company, No More Nylons to build community with other professional women.
No More Nylons sponsors the Women’s Business Socials to promote vibrant, worthwhile conversations between local women in business. She launched the Socials in her hometown of Ojai, CA in February 2009 with 13 girlfriends on a cold rainy night. Since then, she’s hosted monthly Socials in Ventura County with as many as 200 women attending. She has met women in business over cocktails and conversations in nearby counties as well as New York and London. The No More Nylons online communities on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have grown to thousands of members, too.
She continues to speak on the positive business effects of networking in person and on line, and enjoys speaking at women’s conferences, teen leadership workshops and corporate gatherings to humanize the practice of business connections.
And here’s how she answered my 6 questions about creativity:
What does it mean to you to be creative?
I used to think creative meant handmade, from my two hands. Everything from cookies to handmade gift cards to photo albums. This mindset kept me pretty limited in business too, as I took it to mean making the website, writing the copy, creating the logo, well, you get the point. I could do it all, but not very well, and definitely not as well as the pro’s I manage. I’m much more creative now that I have a savvy team of freelancers that I hand off bits of bigger projects. I come up with ideas and delegate. That seems to be an underutilized skill – I think delegating gets a bad wrap. In school, if you got caught “delegating”, they called that cheating. In business, it’s called good leadership skills!
Now I have the time, energy and resources to build upon my original ideas and consider improving the ideas when I hear my husband and friends say, “Wouldn’t it be cool if it …”
In the past, I was consumed with just getting things done, meeting our basic needs, doing the bare minimum. I couldn’t embrace the additional improvements because it just translated to more work. However, now that I dream, describe and delegate, I get to step back, and keep playing with the idea.
What triggers your creativity?
DEADLINES! Nothing like an end point to make a decision. Any decision. Give me a box to think in. That actually triggers the parameters for the “thinking outside of the box!” I’ve been building a network of people who care about me. Some of them are outside the box too: hula hoopers, app developers, yogis, globetrotting bloggers, coffee drinking poets… yes, all of them. Meeting with them, showing up with something, interesting, outrageous or practical is the best way to have my mind blown… with new perspectives. Even the naysayers contribute. Tracking all the “Yeah, buts…” is actually valuable feedback that helps me improve my ideas and products. I’d rather hear all the problems on the front end when I can do something about it rather than be surrounded by “yes-men” who agree but withhold their true concerns.
What hinders your creativity?
Too many options, with no accountability, and no endpoint. All that freedom sounds dreamy, but it comes with an equal burden… The curse that you could do anything, anywhere with anyone. Is it the right thing? Is it important enough? Where do you start? What will it look like? Who will it be for? Want absolute analysis paralysis? Try to think of how to save the world! Where do you start: the environment, kids, cures for diseases, education, feeding the hungry, peace on earth… Oh my! That makes me want to tune out with a glass of wine in front of the TV. Deadlines… connections… and a goal. That’s my way out.
What’s the wildest journey your venturesome spirit has taken you on?
The wildest journey I’ve been on, and continue to seek, is this step off of the “normal path”. I grew up with great folks who encouraged me to study hard, (I was not a great student), go to college, and get a good job. It’s like a Disney fairytale, that scenario leads to “happily ever after.” But I ran out of things to graduate from. Doing what was expected lead to expected results. Then what?
When I left my corporate job, I didn’t know if any of this would work: if Jason & I could pay our mortgage, if people would point, laugh and criticize that we had intentionally walked away from “secure” jobs. (That security was entirely an illusion, by the way.)
Now I have dreams like, “a year without winter” meaning moving to somewhere in the southern hemisphere for the winter months, and having Spring/Summer for three consecutive cycles.
Jason & I are scheduling the Pacific Coast Book Tour for his upcoming Your Best Just Got Better book (Wiley publishing: January 2012). I can’t think of a good reason why not to rent an airstream, pack up the dog and some stuff and hit the road for a month or so.
This journey of what would I like my life to include. What gives me meaning. What is just intriguing enough to do… these are the big questions.
What does being bold and provocative mean to you?
More wild journeys off the mainstream path. Dreaming up ideas to solve problems that I care about. Talking to teenage girls about what it’s like being an entrepreneur. Doing a project without knowing the business plan (aka how will this make money). Leaving what’s known, like my home office, for some time somewhere else, having new conversations…
What’s next for you?
Spreading the Women’s Business Social far and wide. I have 20+ folders in email with the names of cities where women have written saying, I want to do a Social in my town, when are you coming??? Here’s what I know, it’s not about me. But what I’ve learned can be shared. And that’s powerful. I’m up for connecting, gathering, inspiring, linking fabulous women who want to create their work and world.
And here’s a couple of things that inspires Jodi’s creativity:
Great Press for the Women’s Business Social
Techniques & Strategies from: Your Best Just Got Better
Thank you Jodi for embracing those deadlines and “Yeah, buts…”!
To hear about the next Woman of the Month, follow DollyFaye on Twitter!