“I’m a big believer in trying things out and testing. Especially if it doesn’t cost anything because what’s the harm? That’s what we all need to do because if you stay still, you die,” said Jenny Galluzzo, Entrepreneur, Advocate and Career Expert.
Most traditional work hasn’t been flexible or friendly for Mothers. So, despite the pandemic women started businesses in record numbers. Entrepreneurship, like parenting, can be hopeful and exhausting. And this remains a time of unclear choices. Do we zig or zag? Reinvention is its own art. And rebuilding is rarely easy. But as the economy wobbles and our lives remain complex, the art of the pivot is the super skill that allows us to rise.
Learn how Jenny not only stabilized her business through the economic downturn but grew to reach new audiences.
Stay Nimble Through Crisis
Jenny explained, “It’s been a real roller coaster. For the first few months everyone was getting laid off and we just wanted to survive. So many people in our space didn’t. We don’t have the overhead of a large staff and were really lucky.” When Covid hit, hiring froze. And executive recruitment was among the most impacted industries.
She added, “We have so many amazing women in our community, we can rely on to help us when we need it. Because of that and the government assistance, we survived.” But survival isn’t the same as success. How do you turn complexity into opportunity?
Invest in the Future
Jenny said, “We also doubled down on a lot of the things we wanted and needed to do. But didn’t have the resources to do. Including work to rebrand our community and outreach. And we’re now seeing that it’s starting to pay off.” She remained focused on staying relevant and adding value.
She explained, “Our business is very specific. In the sense that we match high level women with high level jobs. That’s the revenue model. However, on the other side of it, we also have consulting services and a community. So, we launched a TikTok channel as a different way to reach our audience.”
Think Big About Who You Serve
Jenny and her team decided to both support their core audience and expand who they reach. She explained, “We’ve opened our community up, outside of just the vetted membership. Because we realized there are so many people who need this information. And even if we can’t get them jobs, because of the client base we have right now, we can give them the tools to go out and get jobs. So, there was this silver lining.”
Experiment, Experiment, Experiment
Although a small business can feel limiting at times, there are many advantages. Jenny said, “Our business is not like Unilever, trying to turn the Titanic. And a lot of those bigger companies have smaller groups within them, to test new markets. And evolve with the trends. So, a lot of it is being able to take that risk,” Jenny said. And risk, especially with your livelihood, can feel terrifying.
Follow Your Intuition “You can make the business case for doing lots of different things but what’s your intuition? How do you lean into where the people are? How do you adapt to this new world so you can reach your audience?” Jenny explained. “Because you can’t get stuck into the rut of ‘well this is what my business is, and this is how I do it.’ You have to think bigger than that. Because this whole world is changing so much.”
And Focus on New Channels
Navigating growth requires enthusiasm and energy. Especially in a pandemic. Jenny said, “I’m a constantly curious person. So, trying new things, like putting together a new program, feels engaging to me. The reason I did TikTok is because I read one of their largest growing audiences is women over age 35. And that’s our target audience.” TikTok may not feel like an intuitive place for your business or to network. But non-obvious ways to engage on social media can accelerate your success. “Although the majority of their users are younger there is an audience of older people. Yes, TikTok can kind of mush your brain after a while but there are interesting things too. You just have to get in there and search.”
Replenish Yourself with Self-Care Routines
Jenny said, “I have a very specific routine. I wake up early and drink a lot of water, have coffee and work out almost every day. I really love Pilates or a walk on the treadmill. And I listen to work and life podcasts, things for self-betterment, when I’m doing it.” You can only give energy to your career, business, or family, if you have it. So, invest in your health and learning.
She added, “I think my brain got a little bit mushy in this whole pandemic, in terms of my focus and attention. So, I began doing crossword puzzles and reading. Because making sure that I feel sharp is really important.” Amen!
Build Human Connections
Even when circumstances follow your plan, entrepreneurship can feel isolating. And professional success rarely happens solo. Ideas and opportunities come from your network, including mentors, friends and other leaders. So, build in the time to create and sustain relationships.
Jenny said, “Doing things to connect, like this discussion, makes me feel happy. When I’m doing more of that, work doesn’t feel like a burden, work feels like a joy.”
Many thanks to the talented Jenny Galluzzo!
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As the co-founder of The Second Shift, Jenny Galluzzo lives her life committed to the empowerment of women through work. She is fiercely dedicated to shifting the path forward for women, encouraging them to forge their own career paths with confidence, intention and optimism. Jenny is responsible for the member community and all things brand, overseeing messaging, communications, and content channels. She curates events across the country to bring members and business partners together, and with her team, is in close contact with members during the multi-step application process. Beyond connecting women with jobs, Jenny is also in regular contact with members, advising about career transitions, gender equity in the workforce, and becoming an agent for change.
Prior to starting The Second Shift, Jenny spent many years in journalism, researching, writing, hosting and producing for Good Morning America, News 12 and Plum TV. Jenny holds a BA from Duke University and an MS from the Columbia University School of Journalism. She lives in New York City with her two young sons.
Tags: entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship for Moms, Self-Care for Founders