Jessica Sweet is a career coach and therapist, specializing in working with midlife, high EQ leaders to help them find work that resonates with them.
What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative.
I grew up in a small town in Maine. There weren’t a lot of job options, so my father took a job that paid the bills. He spent years hating that job and the impact on the family was significant. I was always a sensitive child, and wanted to follow my heart when it came to work instead.
Was there any turning point in your life that changed your journey? If so, what was it? Please tell us the backstory behind it.
I was pregnant with my first daughter and realized I couldn’t go back to my job in social work. I didn’t make enough to cover daycare, so it just didn’t make sense. Figuring out how to be home and do something I love was what started me along this path.
Every industry that is now a large-scale, top-notch business once started as a small idea in the minds of entrepreneurs. What was that idea or motivation that made you start your business /initiative? What motivated you within to say “YES, go for it!”
I wanted to help people, and I later realized I was helping people avoid the same pain my family grew up with. I also saw that it helped feed my creative side, while at the same time fitting within my lifestyle needs.
Everyone has their own set of challenges when starting an entrepreneurial journey. Still, the most essential part for others to learn is how you deal with those. Would you like to share with us your challenges and your coping mechanisms?
The biggest challenge is dealing with the financial roller coaster that can come with entrepreneurship. It can infuse a sense of uncertainty that is scary, however, over time this has improved with certain changes I made in my business.
While the global pandemic of COVID-19 is associated primarily with adversities, it has also brought about a true boom in startups, with successful entrepreneurship in many countries. The pandemic has impacted all of us in one way or another. Would you like to share your experience on a personal and professional level?
Covid was hard for me as it was for so many others, yet I had a ton to be thankful for. My business really took off then, as so many people were thinking about their work lives. Managing kids at home plus a huge increase in business was difficult, but again, I was thankful.
Your journey and your vision are very inspiring, but are there any achievements or accomplishments you would like to mention?
Creating a business that has survived for 15 years is something that I’m proud of, as well as the recognition I have received from some prominent people and places.
Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?
I would love for female entrepreneurs to take themselves seriously. I think that many times this group is seen as having “pet projects,” or even lifestyle businesses, but seeing your business as a true business (whatever that means for you) is so important in your success.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your personal life and professional journey? What is your personal motto in life?
I always come back to happiness as a driver for what I want to do, and I think that’s the goal of others, even if they don’t frame it that way. Whatever you’re looking to do, it’s because you believe it will make you happy. Why do you want to be rich? You think it will make you happy. Why do you want to learn something? It might help you accelerate your career, which will make you happy. . .
Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women’s leadership today?
I think women and people who lead with EQ make the best leaders. Leadership is about many things, but ultimately, it’s about connecting with people in the right way.
With your grit and determination, you are making a considerable impact, breaking through, and serving as role models for many budding entrepreneurs. What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?
Keep going! Even if things are hard, don’t give up on your dreams. You might have to pivot 100 times, but you can reach your goals!