A funny thing happened when I attended a holiday gathering for In Good Company Workspaces a few years ago -- I reconnected with a bride of mine!
I filmed Jenny Power's wedding years ago and we had the best time working together in creating her wedding film. I was thrilled to find her again and learn what has been brewing in the mind of Jenny Powers. Turns out, she jumped onto the entrepreneurial bandwagon with her women's networking group "Running With Heels." She has been riding high ever since.
I loved working with Jenny then, and I really loved hearing about her life now -- as always, she keeps me learning while, at the same time, laughing.
Meet Jenny Powers.
|Jenny Powers, Entrepreneur|
How long have you been married?
Jeff and I have been married for 8 years now.
What moment(s) resonate with you from your wedding day?
What I most remember about our wedding day was just how much fun it was. Jeff went to University of Wisconsin-Madison and always wanted to get married there even though we are both born and bred New Yorkers. Initially, I was completely opposed to it but then I realized it meant so much to him so I went for it.
As they say “Go Big or Go Home’ so we went big and hosted a traditional Wisconsin wedding. 150 friends flew out and everyone attended a Badger football game the morning of our wedding so Jeff and I literally had face paint on until 2 hours before we walked down the aisle.
|2 hrs. before their wedding|
|Jenny + Jeff ©Gregory's Photographic Arts|
What are some things marriage has taught you?
Marriage has taught me you don’t marry the person you can live with, you marry the person you can’t live without.
How do you balance your business life with your personal life?
I’ve learned that perfection is the enemy of good. I will never be the perfect mother, wife or business owner so I focus on what most needs attention at the time. Sometimes it’s volunteering for the class trip or Daisy Scout Meeting, other times it’s planning a date night or a couples vacation and other times, it’s going out several nights in a row promoting my business.
Talk about your past work.
For twenty years I produced special events, mainly for the non-profit sector. The majority of the time I had the opportunity to develop new event concepts, create marketing strategies and fundraising directives which allowed me to feel a bit like an entrepreneur. It was almost like running my own event business with an investor. As long as I hit the numbers, I was pretty much allowed to be as creative as I wanted to be.
Any crowning achievements or rewarding moments?
I remember one year in particular the non-profit I worked for could not secure an honoree willing to raise a lot of money so the board was going cancel the gala. I suggested we host a gala without an honoree and create a theme that would be a draw instead. I figured it had to be better to try something new and raise some money than to just throw in the towel. After much discussion, they allowed me to do it. The event I created was a hit and won “Best Non-Profit” Event in New York that year and we raised $300k.
What have you learned from working with others?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to celebrate achievements no matter how big or small before moving on to the next thing. There will also be a next thing but there won’t always be time for celebration.
How have you applied this experience to your new venture?
What I’ve learned and carried over to my new venture is to trust my instincts. Just because something has always been done the same way doesn’t mean it has to be. I’ve learned that I will always be my toughest critic and most of the time what goes on behind the scenes is only evident to me and the client barely notices. I’ve learned to course-correct when necessary and to treat all attendees like VIPs.
Why did you embark on your new adventure?
In 2012, sick and tired of attending a series of awkward and just plain awful networking events, I set out to create a different kind of networking event – one where women were excited to attend and left feeling educated, entertained, empowered and eager to attend future events.
As a first step, I hosted a focus group and the criteria to participate was that you had to be a working woman who hated networking and networking events. These women were not hard to find! They were everywhere and they were all too happy to share why networking made them cringe. Armed with their plentiful feedback, I took their advice and recreated the traditional networking event and Running With Heels was born!
Can you describe your feeling the day you launched Running With Heels?
When I launched I held an executive position at a national non-profit. I would spend my lunch break, nights and weekends working on my business. I loved what I was doing and even though my employer knew I had started a business, it felt like I was leading a double life. In May 2014, I left the job I’d been in for a decade to focus on Running With Heels full-time and have never looked back!
Describe a Running With Heels woman.
She is a senior level executive or established business owner. No matter her age, she is young at heart. She is fun, vibrant, enjoys meeting new people and experiencing new things. She’s fashionable, cultured, well read, well traveled, knows what she wants and invests in herself. She believes collaboration not competition is the key to life.
Describe Jenny Powers, Entrepreneur.
I am a Goal-Digger! Setting challenging goals and accomplishing them is a huge rush for me. I love the process of creating something from scratch and breathing life into it. Whether it’s developing an event series or doing a TEDx talk or writing my monthly column for DailyWorth.com, I enjoy the process, the creating something and putting it out into the universe to share.
What part of Running With Heels do you enjoy most?
I love creating the events themselves however, the real joy is the result of the actual events -- the community being built before my very eyes. The fact that women are coming together to collaborate and celebrate with one another keeps me going. I love seeing friendships and partnerships evolve.
Talk about some of the challenges faced in your business to date.
There are so many amazing things to do every day in NYC so there’s a lot of competition to get on someone’s calendar. There are no longer any “off nights” so you can have the best speaker and a terrific venue and sometimes the crowd is smaller than I’d hoped for because of everything else happening that night.
What are some of your most memorable Running With Heels moments?
The first time someone ever bought a ticket to my event. It was only a few minutes after I posted the event and I was overwhelmed with joy.
Standing in front of my guests welcoming them to my first RWH event and realizing I had created my dream job and was now getting paid to do what I love.
How many pairs of heels are in your closet?
I plead the fifth on this one because I’d like to share this article with my husband☺
Is there a favorite pair?
My favorite pair at the moment is a leopard bootie from J. Crew. As soon as I put them on I knew I had to have them!
A regret pair?
I don’t have any regrets about shoes or anything else for that matter. Shoes are like exes, each one teaches you what you like and don’t like and helps you move forward.
Where is Jenny Powers five years from now?
She has expanded Running With Heels to cities and hosting weekend retreats across the US bringing working women together all over the map. She’s the author of several books on the power of networking and hosts a weekly top-rated podcast.
She’s still happily married to Jeff, maybe with a second child by then and with a lot more high heels in her closet☺
To connect with Jenny:
RWH website: Running-With-Heels.com