Jennifer Lynn Robinson, CEO and Founder of Purposeful Networking, joins the program to discuss how she helps people build better relationships with each other. She also shares her experience of recovery from a serious accident that left her with a traumatic brain injury, and how that led her to the work she does today. Discover how to keep going and recreate your life after a major setback or adversity.
Speaker 1: Welcome to Hidden Human the podcast where we explore the stories behind the business leader. Get ready to hear insights from business leaders speaking candidly about how they became who they are today, and the lessons they learned along the way. [inaudible] now here’s your host, leadership coach and speaker Kelly Meerbott.
Kelly M.: Welcome to the space where we reveal our personal humanity to reconnect with our shared humanity. Let’s begin our conversation with the inspirational Jennifer Lynn Robinson. Attorney and CEO. Jennifer, we have been waiting forever to have this conversation, and I am just thrilled to have you here, finally. Welcome.
Jennifer R.: Thank you so much for having me, and I’m so excited to be at the beginning of the new year and I know you and I are both probably kicking off amazing year ahead, and new goals. So, I’m excited.
Kelly M.: Yeah, me too. Okay. So, tell me in a way that I can understand, so if I was a six year old child what is [inaudible] networking, and what drew you to create that entity?
Jennifer R.: So, essentially I just help people build better relationships with other people. I do that one on one, and I go into companies, law firms. Universities, nonprofits, conferences, you know, basically whoever wants to bring me in and I help give people the tools and the tips that they need to be … You know, I know it’s an overused word, but their more authentic self. To feel like they can bring their whole self to networking with other people, and they don’t have to become another version of themselves that’s not authentic. So, I think that’s my big goal. That’s something that’s very important to me personally.
So, as far as what drew me to create that, I think that’s probably a big part of it. You know, I was in the corporate world for a number of years and I think I saw a lot of people who felt they had to be some other way in the professional world, other than what was true to themselves. And I am not that person, and I really encourage people to be themselves ad build better relationships from there.
As you know, you know, off this call, but for others that don’t know, I was in a near death accident 10 years ago. At the time I was a litigator and I decided to start this business basically as result of trying to recover having a traumatic injury and not being able to go back to my profession at that time, and wanting to start something that would help people essentially started with putting nonprofits and businesses together, and this is what grew out of that process.
Kelly M.: Yeah, and that was something unfortunate, but fortunate that we bonded over. That you and I both had traumatic brain injuries. So, are you open to telling us what happened? Because I mean, for me, and for those of you that don’t know, Jennifer Lynn Robinson. First of all, you’re missing out on a gift life has given us, because she is a walking miracle. And the fact that she’s vertical and positive is, to me is miraculous after what she experienced.
So, I’m going to let you tell that story Jen.
Jennifer R.: Sure. So, you know, I was … Obviously remember the [inaudible] very well. May 15th, 2008 I was walking on Penn campus downtown as a pedestrian, and I got hit and pinned underneath a truck and as you said, I mean, it’s a miracle. I am blessed to be here 10 years later. Just celebrated my 10th year of what I call my life day, which you know, to me is more important than my birthday. My survival day.
I was a newlywed, you know, I was at the height of you know, building a career as you know, 10, 11 years or so at that point of a litigator. You know, it was a week out from my youngest sister’s wedding. I mean, it was a lot of great stuff going on and basically my whole life fell apart.
You know, I am lucky to be here, but at the time you know, it was a near death situation. I had extremely serious, physical injuries, I had the traumatic brain injury, I had PTSD, I had depression, I had multiple surgeries, and problems, and you know, that went on for … Actively I would say for several years, you know? You don’t ever truly get over that and obviously I’m still dealing with some of the consequences of that, but significantly better. But the first couple years after that you know, were dramatic in every respect.
My marriage, my relationships, my self-worth, my professional life. I mean, there’s no aspects of your life it doesn’t hit when something like that happens.
Kelly M.: Yeah. I mean, you and I have talked about this at length, because you know, I mean, my accidents were no where near yours. You know? And for you to be downtown in Philadelphia and to you know, be pinned under the truck I mean, that’s just unbelievable, but you know, anytime I hear these stories and I always kind of look from my own lens, my life at that point was falling apart prior to the accidents. And you know, it’s my belief that the universe, God, whatever higher power you subscribe to, put you in pain in order to get you to shift.
So, looking back, of course hindsight is 20/20 Jen. So, was there anything in your life that you felt like needed to shift that you weren’t really listening to, that the accident was the catalyst for?
Jennifer R.: Yes. Definitely. And I love the question. So, I think I was very good at what I was doing at the time. I mean, I was a trial lawyer, I think I was very strong at my profession, but I definitely didn’t feel fulfilled by it. You know, I loved being in court, but I didn’t feel like the work was meaningful. I definitely, in all the corporate jobs that I had, I also did a lot of volunteerism. So, at the time when I had the accident, I was the Philadelphia, what they call liaison or coordinator for my in house position. Scheduling all our events and relationships with nonprofits. And I felt like that was more of a pull for me you know, to build relationships with people and to help community. So, that was something I always tried to integrate you know, to give more meaning to the jobs that I had.
But I was at a place where, even though I realized I was in a good path professionally, and I was good at what I was doing, I felt kind of unfulfilled. So, I think that’s something, you know, when you say, “Hindsight is 20/20.” I think that’s something that really changed for me as result of the accident, and I think just the value overall, I mean, I think anybody whose been through something like that would say this, the value overall that I put on relationships and spending time with people, even though we’re all so busy I mean, it’s really about you know, those moments and making those memories. Nothing is ever promised, you know?
At the time I had the accident my mother and I hadn’t spoke for about a year and a half, and that accident was a catalyst for us speaking again. And she unfortunately passed away a few years later unexpectedly. So, I’m very thankful in a way that, that happened and we were able to rebuild a relationship before she passed away.
So, those are just some of the things that come to mind.
Kelly M.: Yeah. I mean, and I always think of the … I was watching that documentary about Tony Robbins, I’m Not Your Guru. And he talks about his own tragic childhood and he said that the benefit of that is, when you’ve seen the darkest of dark, when you’ve been face down in the mud you can leverage that to lift people up to the highest heights. And I mean, I’ve seen you do that. I see you do it any event I’ve been to whether it’s femmes or bosses who brunch. I mean, it’s really an inspiration because really you could be at a point where you’re just in bed all day and you’re not doing anything.
And you’re out there really trying to make the world a better place as cliché as that sounds, but you’re really doing that. You’re living and breathing it.
Jennifer R.: No. Thank you and I appreciate that. I do really try to subscribe to that, but I don’t want to minimize for people that are going through. Doesn’t have to be an accident. I mean, people that are dealing with grief from a death or a divorce or a number of other things that people deal with that are life changing for them.
There was a really dark time. I mean, there were a few years where I really cut off from most of the people I know. I didn’t want to talk to people. I didn’t want visitors. My husband and I were fighting all the time. I would sit and stare at my walls and cry, and I needed a ton of help and therapy to get past all of that. To get past the depression, the anxiety, the PTSDs, the why me of it all. Why did this happen to me? How could this have gone differently? What did I do to deserve this?
You know all of that. The anger. So, I don’t want to sit here. Obviously, I’m doing a lot better, and I try really hard to yeah, make the world a better place, to make my life better, to be an inspiration, and to lead my best life every day, but it was not like that at the beginning. So, I don’t want people to have this image that I had this accident and it was life changing and I was just this circle of positivity.
Kelly M.: Yeah. No and I certainly wasn’t either, and I love that you clarified that because I think especially in today’s society where we flip a switch and all of a sudden you’re a reality TV star with millions of dollars in your bank. It’s really important because a lot of times, there’s nothing that replaces the struggle, and I mean in everything I’m hearing you say. You know, I’ve seen you really leverage that for the good of others and I think for me at least, speaking from where I sit. You can use those as ways to kind of lift people up, which is what you’ve done.
Jennifer R.: Thank you. Yeah.
Kelly M.: Yeah. So, tell me something. You mentioned earlier in the interview when you were a litigator when you were an attorney, you watched people not be there quote unquote authentic selves. Can you give us a concrete example of what that looks like? Like when they’re not authentic.
Jennifer R.: I’ll give an example obviously without revealing the position or what company it was with or anything, but somebody I worked with I knew and most people knew that she was a lesbian and had a life partner. And even though she was rising up in the company, she felt like that was something she had to keep hidden and couldn’t reveal, because it would affect her career path or her relationship for her ability to get promoted.
And of course, I never said anything because it’s not my place to say anything. She doesn’t want to reveal that, but I felt like that really held her back as far as seeing her true self and people really getting to know here and the personal nature of what goes into making her who she is. So, I mean that’s probably an extreme example, but I feel like there’s a lot of people that feel like they have to be what the company image is. Maybe it doesn’t entirely align with their personal values, and I think that’s probably something we can get in a whole other half an hour about finding if you are going to be with a company, the right fit for you. Knowing what the company values are ahead of time and making sure they align with your values before you get on with a company like that.
But I think for a lot of people, they don’t do that. They just think this is a good job and it’s a place where I can succeed, and then they try to mold themselves to fit in with that culture, and they’re always have that safeness about that, because they don’t want to reveal too much about themselves.
Kelly M.: Yeah. So now, let’s flip the script. If this woman that you just described, and we’re not going to reveal who she is, was your client now as CEO of Purposeful Networking, what would you tell her?
Jennifer R.: I mean, I would tell her definitely to share that aspect of her life with her company. Starting with the first opportunity where there is you bring a significant other or spouse to a company gathering. I would encourage her to do that and just have people really get to know what her life is about.
Kelly M.: So, how young were you Jennifer, we’re looking between the ages of eight and fourteen, when you first started connecting people and helping them connect with their authentic selves?
Jennifer R.: Gosh, I feel like the first time I really remember, I mean I was definitely one of those kids even before eight where my mom would get those calls, or the reports would come in from school like, “Oh, she’s so smart, but she’s always talking to people and she doesn’t sit still, and she’s always trying,” it was definitely that kind of situation. I can think of in junior high, one teacher we had who you’ll remember this since you’re close to my age, but some people listening will be like, “What is she talking about?”
Before the days of smartphones and all of that, we actually wrote notes to people in class and a lot of us had these notebooks that were like friendship notebooks, but we would write notes and pass those during our breaks in class. And then, see what our friends said the next period when they wrote us a note. So, in essence, I’m giving that background because I had one teacher who would steal. Not steal, but take things from us that we weren’t supposed to be doing during class, and I remember one year in June, she had a whole box of notes, notebooks, makeup. All kinds of things that I shouldn’t be doing during class that I was doing that she gave me back.
So, I was definitely always that talkative kid who was trying to connect and relay to people, but I think around .. I can’t remember the exact year, but I want to say fifth or sixth grade-ish, I started doing stuff with .. So, the first event I remember was Daisy Day. So, that’s an event that’s through CHOP and essentially as a young person, they had something called Daisy Day where you would stand in certain public places and ask people to make donations and give out daisies to anybody that made a donation.
So, I remember that as being that sort of my first soiree into being involved with community work and just really seeing the impact you could have even as a young person. So, I think that’s probably what starting leading me down that path, and then in junior high, I got involved in Key club-
Kelly M.: Yeah, I was a member of Key club too. That’s so funny. That’s so funny. And just to clarify, CHOP is Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for those of you who are not in town. So, tell me about mom and dad. What did mom and dad do?
Jennifer R.: So, mom was a traditional stay at home mom. However, not traditional in that sense that she spoke seven languages and before she got married, she worked for the Israeli Consulate as an interpreter. And then, in the course of having children, I was the first of three girls, she ended up getting her PHD in French Literature when she was eight months pregnant with my youngest sister.
So, I have memories of her not only basically handling everything, but also, her determination in getting her degree, going to a very, very difficult third pregnancy, coming downstairs late at night seeing her with all her books around her and just like making it happen. The flip side of that is, and I know you know this personally, she started to have .. I won’t say started to have, because I think the mental struggles were always there and over time her health physically and her health mentally really went downhill. My parents split up.
Everything I saw that was positive as a mother as a young person just gradually, unfortunately went away. Not that she didn’t have any great qualities, it was just that she was just a shadow of who I saw as a young person. So, that was very, very difficult because I knew how strong she could be, how smart she was, how much she had going for her, but I think she got to a place in her mind where she did not see that.
So, that was very difficult. My father was a very successful .. I mean, I won’t say was, he’s still alive. Thank God. Still with us. Was a very successful attorney growing up. Started from nothing. I think probably what I should’ve said initially which is probably the most thing that drives me is my parents. I’m first generation American. So, my parents are both immigrants and both had extreme struggles with our people in their countries coming to America and fleeing everything that they knew and they had.
And I think that was definitely a driving force for both of them. So, for my father, he came from nothing, went to night school, worked as a teacher during the day to put himself through law school, and became one of the managing partners at a very large firm in Philadelphia, and has continued to have an extremely successful career nationally as an attorney.
So, from a young age, I used to watch him in court and I knew immediately almost from a young age that I can remember that I wanted to be an attorney. As I said, they’d just split up when I was a teenager and it was a very ugly and very public divorce. Public because he was very well known. So, that was extremely difficult.
Kelly M.: Yeah, I can imagine. Well, a little bit. I mean, my dad was a professional athlete. So, a lot of the things he did played out in the media, but nothing to that affect. So, what qualities do you think you get from mom and what do you think you get from dad that you leverage today in the work you do at Purposeful Networking?
Jennifer R.: Interesting question. So, everybody who has met my dad just says I’m a spitting image of him and I used to look at that as a negative thing, because to be honest, I love dad. We have a great relationship now, but there are things as a father and as a husband growing up that I did not approve of. So, when people started to say that, I thought, “Whoa. Oh no. I’m nothing like that,” but now that I’m an adult and we have a great relationship and I see the good qualities, I can see that we are both seekers.
We’re both storytellers. We both try to connect people. We’re both over involved. We both care about our communities. So, I do feel like there’s a lot of things that I get from my father that are very positive. I would say actually, I’m not sure how much this plays into my business, but I would say the first thing that comes to mind with my mom is fashion and personal style.
Because until she got really sick, I mean, she was literally one of those people that would wear a Versace suit to do her food shopping. So, I mean, I feel like personal style was very much over the top and beautiful and elegant and I feel like I, of my sisters, I’m probably the one that gets that the most.
That I’m always a little extra and that definitely comes from my mom.
Kelly M.: Yeah and I would say the other thing that you have that your mom probably instilled in you is this sense of stretching beyond what everybody else would think is possible. I mean, eight months pregnant and she’s getting her PHD. I mean, that’s crazy. As you were telling me, I was like, “Oh. Okay, so she was an underachiever,” which obviously is a sarcastic way of saying you’re very driven. You’re honestly, let’s be really completely honest, after what you went through, you could’ve just kind of been like, “Well, I’m just going to stay in my house for the rest of my life,” but instead, you’re out connecting people and if you don’t follow Jennifer on Instagram it’s “Being fancy in Philly” and I love following her, because I’m like, “Oh, my God. Look at those shoes. Oh, my God. Look at that Gucci belt. Oh, my God,” and she always looks fantastic.
And I mean, I told you I want to go shopping in your closet one day. So, yeah and there’s always .. We use that word extra as a bad thing, but for me, Jennifer, I think you’re extra in everything meaning you go above and beyond what is really the minimum. Meaning your way. I think you set the standard and the bars very very high for anybody who wants to come up against you. Really.
Jennifer R.: One thing I wanted to add based on what you said just quickly is I agree with you about my mom and how much she pushed herself and she pushed me, but just to show you the struggle of mental illness. When my father left her, she really just gave up on her life gradually, and when I had my accident, I remember talking to her so many times with her basically saying to me in so many words, “Well, this happened. You’re lucky that you have a nice settlement from the lawsuit. So, as far as what I think, you should just really sit on your couch and call it a day, like you shouldn’t try to do anything else. This is enough. You’ve already been through so much. This is it for you.”
So that was a really hard thing. She wasn’t the only one, but obviously she was the one who was closest to me. So that was a really hard thing to swallow. Not only to see that that’s her life outlook at that point, but just that it was nothing I agreed with as far as what I thought for my own life. I’m just not the kind of person who would be defined by something, and it really, in retrospect, even with her not around anymore, it just affects me so much to see that she didn’t see all the potential in her own life. Whether that was professionally or just being around for all the positive things that me and my sister are doing now.
My sisters are doing now. That she just didn’t see any value in that. That she thought without a husband that’s it. You know?
Kelly M.: So, let’s speak to the people that are sitting on their couch and calling it a day. What would you say to them? Sitting. We know this has not been an easy journey for you. I want to make sure that that is not minimized. Jennifer has worked her ass of to get where she is both mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally. She is a fighter. So, but there are people that are in that dark space right now, and what would you say to them?
Jennifer R.: I mean, I think the first thing I’d say is admit to people close to you that you are struggling if you haven’t already and get help. I saw a commercial the other day. I mean, I can’t go into any details. I don’t remember the name of the company. I don’t know the cost, but I saw that there was an ad on stuff you can do as far as therapy [inaudible] You can actually make appointments for people to call you and talk, which was not around I think at the time that I had the accident.
And I mention that because I know therapy is not an affordable option for everybody. It’s very expensive. A lot of insurance plans either don’t cover it or only cover a few sessions, but I think the first step just like anything else. People who have addiction struggles or weight loss struggles or anything else. You have to admit to yourself you have problems that you can’t handle on your own. You have to admit it to those close to you so they can help you through that, and you also have to get professional help when you need it.
I think there is so many people I’ve talked to over the years including people very close to me that just didn’t believe in admitting that you’re going through those struggles. Didn’t believe in publicizing it. Don’t believe in professional help. Don’t believe in therapy. I’m not going to say who, but somebody very close to me that’s been very hard to deal with has told me in so many words they don’t see why I went to therapy for six years, because they don’t think I’m cured.
And cured is not a word you use to come out of therapy, and it’s such a struggle to hear that because as I said earlier. From the time I started in therapy, I was literally sitting on my couch staring at the walls crying, where my husband would come home and ask what I did with eight hours and I couldn’t tell him the answer. I didn’t watch anything. I didn’t read anything. I didn’t do anything. So, to get from that place to where I am now, obviously, the therapy helped immensely. So, I would really just encourage people to put it out to themselves.
I think it’s hard at the level we are at and a lot of people listening to this or at, or your [inaudible] such accomplishment. You know you’re educated, you have a profession, you’ve gone on a great path. It is hard to say, “I cannot fix this myself. I’m struggling. I need somebody to help me. I need professional help. I’m not going to be able to solve this on my own.”
It is hard to kind of like, in some sense, admit defeat like that, but it’s the first step to getting on a better path.
Kelly M.: Yeah. First of all, there’s a couple of things that I would say. I’ve noticed that a lot of times in the spiritual community, whether you’re Christian or Muslim or Jewish. A lot of times, these spiritual guides, and you have to find somebody that works for you will sit and talk to you and listen for free. So, that’s a way of exploring it and one of the things that you and I haven’t had the chance to talk in 2019, but I don’t make resolutions. I make decisions and my decision for 2019 was to master my ego and really study it in the forms and faces that it shows up.
And my coach, who I absolutely adore swears that any time you admit something that’s a function of the ego. It causes exposure and it takes the power from the ego away. So, admitting that you’re struggling is really going to take the power of the negativity away from it. It’s the first step. It’s bringing it into your awareness. So, I love that and really there are no new stressful thoughts. They are all recycled.
So, nine times out of ten, something that you’re thinking or believing, someone else has thought or believed that at some point in your life. They may not have the strength to admit it, but like I said, admitting it takes the power away. I mean, this is one of the reasons why I wanted to talk to you, because you have been so resilient and like, “Jennifer, you were pinned under a freaking truck for God’s sakes.” Like your mom, I mean your mom is sitting there telling you, “Hang it up,” and you could’ve and you haven’t and that’s why you’re so inspiring to me and there are days when, as an entrepreneur and I’m coming up on ten years, when I’m like, “Why am I doing this?” And think about you and I’m like, “Alright. Let’s go. Let’s dust it off sister. She can do it. You can.”
Jennifer R.: Just like any entrepreneur, I have those days too. So, I want to make that clear. Those days where it’s like, “What the hell am I doing? Why did I even think this? Where is my regular paycheck?” Like all of it. So-
Kelly M.: I know. Look at what I was making when I was in corporate. What the hell was I thinking? Yeah, absolutely but I will tell you. January 20th is my ten year and I always joke and say I’m unemployable now because I really love being able to choose who I work with and choose the work I get to do, and I know that you’re the same way. And Purposeful Networking is really making a name for itself here in Philly, and I can see the potential of it going all over the country and all over the world.
I mean, because it really is a skill set especially for next generation. We were talking about those friendship notebooks. One of the things that I’ve had to coach millennials on is having a face to face conversation, because they don’t do it anymore. So, it’s really important. So, let me throw my coaching hat on for one second. Where in your life and business do you feel like you’re not meeting your highest potential?
Jennifer R.: I really want to have more of a national presence, and I don’t feel like I have that now. I’ve done a few select national conferences, but I really would love to be one of those people that is regularly traveling and getting my message out on a more national level or even international. And I think also, talking about getting over yourself and goals for the new year and everything like that. You already know this about me. I really struggle, even though I’m a public speaker and I’m perfectly comfortable speaking in public, I really struggle with video.
I don’t watch my own videos. I was fortunate enough recently to be on Fox, and everybody was like, “You’re so great,” and I didn’t even watch my segment to see if it was great, what I thought of it, how I could improve. I don’t watch myself, but I think there’s a whole realm I could have for my business that would be online that could reach a lot of people. I could do coaching and webinars and all kinds of things and I don’t do it because I struggle with essentially vanity. How I look and sound on video.
Kelly M.: Well, we’ll have to talk about that offline, because I could definitely help you with that, because your message needs to be heard. I mean, it really does, and there are people who probably couldn’t get to the Pennsylvania conference for women when you keynote. Hey, are you listening? TED X. Hey, Jennifer is available to speak Ted. Are you paying attention?
Yeah, I mean don’t miss out on this rising star, because at some point you’re not going to be able to afford hiring her. So, anyway. Get her while she’s on the rise. So, if you are very close to your sisters and your nieces and you just have nieces. Correct? Or do you have nephews as well?
Jennifer R.: I have a niece that’s local and I have three nephews that are in Michigan.
Kelly M.: Okay. So, for your nieces and great-nieces and great, great, great nieces and nephews listening to this years and years from now, what wisdom would you have to impart to them?
Jennifer R.: Yeah, I think one of the things that I pride myself on is not following what is expected by society, and I think that will hold true no matter what generation we’re looking at or if I’m not around or not. I think you and I were talking a little bit before this conversation and neither of us have children and that’s a choice and there’s a lot of people in society that don’t accept that and are always like, “Where are the kids? When are you having them? You’re going to be sorry. It’s going to be something you’re going to regret in later life.”
So, I’m using that as an example, but there are so many things like the decision to go to college, the decision to college right away and not take time off, the decision to get married, to purchase a home. There’s all these things that people see as traditional milestones and none of them are things that you have to abide with. So, I mean be your own person and if those things are right for you. Great. And if not, you don’t need to worry about them.
Kelly M.: Yeah, and even though Jennifer says she doesn’t have children, she has fur children. So, do you want to give your fur babies a little shout out here? And she’s such a great person and has such an open heart that she always rescues. So, we’ll do that hashtag adopt, don’t chop, and go ahead and give your fur babies a little shout out.
Jennifer R.: So, my current fur babies I have are Braxton and Jake. They are both rescue pit bulls from [inaudible] Philly, and over the years, we’ve had five rescues dogs total. I’ve been involved with rescue work for almost twenty years now. I think from about 2000, I started working with different rescues. I currently sit on the board of Saved Me Animal Rescue, and it’s something that’s a big priority for me and just to touch on base a little. Going back to my accident, they were a big part of my recovery. I mean, we had different dogs at that time, but my dogs were a big part of my own personal recovery, and I treated for many months at Bryn Mawr Rehab in Malvern.
And they brought in therapy dogs once a week, and I saw the impact that animals could have on people’s happiness and hopefulness. So, that’s been a big priority for me.
Kelly M.: Yeah, I mean I have a golden retriever and a cavalier, the cavalier king Charles spaniel that we rescued. The golden retriever, we didn’t rescue, but both of them, our intention is to be therapy dogs, because doing executive coaching on an executive level, there’s a lot of people that aren’t as self-aware and aren’t as in touch with their emotions as we would need them to be, especially if we need to make them to make a shift in their lives or their mindsets.
So, using Tess and Carly is really going to be a conduit to opening up people further and you know. I mean, let’s be honest, every time you turn on the TV we’re all experiencing a trauma today. So, taking that and not processing it before you bring it into the workplace. I mean, it really causes a ripple effect and affects all the work that you do.
So, and of course, as I’m listening to Jennifer and she’s telling me about sitting on the board, I’m thinking, “Here’s another underachiever. She’s running a business,” and by the way, we haven’t said this, but the poor thing had surgery on her foot. So, she is propped up in her home doing this interview, kindly and selflessly, as her two dogs run around.
She can’t even move upstairs in her own home. So, I mean again, this is somebody who really stretches and pushes the boundaries of what’s possible, and I love that about you. So, I like to wrap up our interviews with four rapid fire questions. So, are you ready? And they are all questions you’ll know the answer to.
Jennifer R.: I’m ready.
Kelly M.: Okay. So, what’s your favorite comfort food?
Jennifer R.: Chicken fried rice.
Kelly M.: Yum. From where?
Jennifer R.: My favorite locally, is Sang Kee, which is in Wynnewood. Local to the Philadelphia area.
Kelly M.: Oh, I love Sang Kee! Yes. Sang Kee is great. Oh, my gosh. We just discovered them a couple of weeks ago and they are amazing. Okay-
Jennifer R.: [crosstalk] So awesome.
Kelly M.: What’s the music on your playlist?
Jennifer R.: It’s definitely, mostly hip hop and R&B, and I would say anything that is inspiring to me. As you know, I’m super into boxing. So, one of those songs that I think I always love. I loved it as a litigator. I would listen to it before court, and I listen to it a lot. They play a lot of Eminem at my boxing studio. It’s Lose Yourself. I think it’s just one of those songs that gets me hyped up, and I love it.
Kelly M.: Yeah, me too. Listen to .. Have you heard Lil Wayne’s Right Above It?
Jennifer R.: No, but his song Uproar that just came out was one of my favorites. I’ll have to listen to the one you mentioned.
Kelly M.: Yeah, listen to Right Above It, because if you like Lose Yourself, you’ll love that. Okay. What books are on your nightstand?
Jennifer R.: So, actually I just bought a book about successful people and their morning routine. I don’t have it in front of me to tell you the title, and it’s really hard for me to get up right now, but-
Kelly M.: No, don’t get up.
Jennifer R.: Yeah, I wanted to say what successful people do with their morning routine. I also just bought Michelle Obama’s book Becoming-
Kelly M.: Oh, it’s so good. It’s so good. You’re going to love it.
Jennifer R.: I can’t wait, and a couple of people sent me books while I was recovering. One is about inspirational women that was really good, and then another book was about tips for giving Ted Talks, because you know that’s on my bucket list. So, tips to become a better Ted speaker, get selected for Ted. So, I can’t wait to look at that as well.
Kelly M.: Yeah. Hey Ted, pay attention. We’re talking to you. Great. So, what are you most grateful for in this moment right now?
Jennifer R.: What am I most grateful? I would say technology, even though I really believe in the value of face to face conversation and getting together with people. It’s such a struggle right now with being home recovering, and I’m getting so down. So, just the idea that I can even have this kind of conversation with you, and I had a few other calls this morning, and I can communicate with people who are texting and messaging me. It’s really, really helping.
I think the fact that we can do that with people so easily is something that we shouldn’t take for granted. It shouldn’t be an end all, be all [inaudible] face to face relationship, but I’m really, really grateful for it right now since I’m in the position I’m in recovering.
Kelly M.: Yeah, absolutely. So, Jennifer, if a company wanted to hire you or Ted or the Pennsylvania conference for women wanted to connect with you, hint hint, nudge nudge, how would they get in touch with you?
Jennifer R.: By website, it’s PurposefulNetworking.com. You can reach me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Obviously, the Instagram you already mentioned is my [inaudible] Instagram “Being Fancy in Philly” but my main Instagram is “Are You Network” A-R-E Y-O-U “Are You Network” and they can reach me any of those ways.
Kelly M.: [crosstalk] Oh, okay.
Jennifer R.: You know I’m also there.
Kelly M.: And Jennifer is J-E-N-N-I-F-E-R. Correct. I just want to make sure when-
Jennifer R.: Correct.
Kelly M.: When Ted and the Pennsylvania conference for women reach out to you they have the correct contact information. Okay Jennifer, you know I love you. Absolutely love you-
Jennifer R.: I love you too.
Kelly M.: I’m so grateful that you gave us the time, especially while you’re in your house recovering, and thank you so much for being vulnerable and real. To our listeners, it’s our intention, both Jennifer’s and mine that this podcast inspires you to go out and have authentic conversations to deepen the connections in your life. Thank you so much and make it a great day.
Speaker 1: You’ve been listening to Hidden Human, the stories behind the hidden leader. If you’ve enjoyed the episode please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. To learn more about Kelly and the service that she provides, visit YouLoudAndClear.com. Thanks so much for listening, and we’ll be back soon with a new episode.