Welcome to MyDomaine's Second Life podcast, a series spotlighting successful women who've made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief innovation officer at MyDomaine's parent company, Clique Brands, each episode will give you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields. Subscribe to Second Life on iTunes, and stay tuned—we'll be releasing new episodes on Mondays.
When Jaclyn Johnson held the first Create & Cultivate conference in 2011 out of a desire to form a community of like-minded, creative women, she viewed it as a passion project, not a business. In fact, she still had a full-time gig running her own company at the time. "You have to have irons in the fire, and you've got to see what burns," she explains to Hillary Kerr on episode 25 of Second Life. That's how Johnson turned her side hustle into a thriving business that supports more women achieve their goals.
The entrepreneur's first job out of college at a social media marking startup, which she credits for giving her the crash course in business she needed after studying journalism (her first dream was to be a magazine editor). "I always try to tell people to work at a startup. It's really the best experience you can have. … You get to learn every facet of the business," she says.
Although her marketing career seemed to be taking off, when the recession hit, Johnson moved from New York to Los Angeles for a job that she lost just months after making the cross-country leap. It was a setback, but she was driven to start her own marketing agency. However, as a self-employed entrepreneur in a new city, she felt understandably isolated. She thought to herself, "I need to find my people … fellow women who are freelancers, creatives, running their own businesses," she explains in this week's episode.
These thoughts led Johnson to found Create & Cultivate, the now wildly popular conference and online community for women ready to make their career dreams a reality. Today, she's not only the CEO and founder of Create & Cultivate but also the author of WorkParty, a must-read for women in the pursuit of their goals. While she couldn't predict where her winding career path would lead her, the one thing she would tell her 20-year-old self is not to be so hard on herself. "You have to know there are ebbs and flows to entrepreneurship. … It's just about enjoying the ride a little bit more."
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