I think you will all find what Jennifer is doing very interesting. She has done a beautiful job of taking her skills and passion and combining it with a need in the marketplace. I am amazed that she has managed to do all of this AND be a new mom. Goes to show what true dedication and hard work can do.
Here is her story:
Tell me about what you do for work.
In addition to being a new mom and a mommy blogger, I just launched FlackList, a new professional social network built specifically to help PR professionals, media and expert sources better connect.
What type of work were you doing prior to what you are doing now?
Before FlackList, I was working in public relations at an awesome PR agency by the name of Allison & Partners. I was able to represent a ton of fun consumer clients in the travel, food and consumer tech industries.
What kinds of frustrations did you have with your previous job?
I actually really enjoyed my job – it was challenging and fast-paced, but at the end of the day, I really wanted something of my own. For years I had helped a number of entrepreneurs bring their dreams to life through PR and I was ready for it to be my turn.
How did you come to discover this was what you were meant to do?
I’ve always been on the hunt for that “big idea” that I would pursue as an entrepreneur. I was constantly analyzing my experiences, searching for that thing that hadn’t been introduced yet. I’m a big believer in “See a need, fill a need” so once I realized that there wasn’t a one-stop resource for media to quickly identify the right PR representative, keep up with contact info for all their trusted flacks (i.e. PR pros) and easily send queries for stories to their trusted network, I hopped on the opportunity. Being on the PR side, I had dozens of resources at my fingertips to reach the right journalist. Why shouldn’t the media have the same?
What fears did you have to overcome to take the leap?
My fears stemmed from two questions “Could I do this?” and “Would folks use this tool?” There were two big factors that helped me overcome these. First, my family and friends were huge supporters not to mention a big help! There’s no way I could do this alone. I luckily found a few talented friends who were also in the industry to take part in the venture. Second, a number of articles came out, further validating this was a tool that the industry badly needed. So, in my last trimester of pregnancy, while still working full-time, I got to work on the site on my evenings and weekends.
What do you love most about what you do?
In regards to the site, I love knowing that we have created a tool that is really helping people in the industry. As far as my day job goes, I love having the freedom to work remotely, whether from my living room or my parents’ in Arkansas; the flexibility to set my own hours; and the opportunity to spend the day with my daughter.
If you were to give advice to people thinking about changing careers, what would it be?
You are going to doubt yourself, but what’s worse? Doing something and it not working out, or never giving it a go at all? Dig deep and pour all your passion into what you’re doing, and you’ll cross that hump. And one other thing: don’t dwell on your mistakes. You’re trying something new. Of course you are going to make mistakes. It’s all part of the process. Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back to it…just a little wiser the next go round.