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Finding our best selves in times of change

Jessica Feldt is helping mothers find their own best versions of “working mom.”

Owner Highlights

Finding our best selves in times of change

Finding our best selves in times of change

Jessica Feldt is helping mothers find their own best versions of “working mom.”

From Human-Oriented Organizational Consulting to Individual Coaching

Jessica Feldt’s path to coaching started in the corporate sphere, mostly working in organizational effectiveness consulting and talent management. These positions had her strategizing and solving for the human factors involved in companies adopting new technologies and adjusting their operations. It was a natural next step after completing both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial-organizational psychology, which was a subject she learned about and fell in love with following her existing interest in general psychology.

In her last position before starting her business, her family life picked up. Over the span of a couple of years, she got married and had her first son. It was difficult finding equilibrium during this period, especially because of the consistent 9 to 5 requirements of a typical corporate day job. Although she pivoted from consulting to an internal role, she was shocked by the transition and the difficulty in balancing full-time work and family, along with being a new mother.

 Creating Her Own Defining of Working Mom

Jess’s grandfather, who was a huge influence on her life, was an entrepreneur and set the example for her of what a flexible lifestyle looked like. She recalled him picking her up after school, picking her up from dance class, and making time to spend with her to go out for ice cream and other activities. He was able to show up in her life the way she wanted to for those around her, and the typical 9 to 5 could not allow for that.

His influence helped her decide to create a more flexible work-life by becoming her own boss and starting Jess Feldt Coaching. With this, she could also hone in on more of the specific work that lit her up: to work with individuals on their own careers and growth trajectories, which led her to define her services around life & leadership coaching.

Her first big hurdle after starting the business was to really clarify what she wanted work to look like and how much of her attention and energy she wanted to devote to her job. The culture surrounding business owners is often that they should be overly committed and physically miserable because of it. It was difficult to overcome the expectations of what entrepreneurship should be, but she eventually recognized that she didn’t want to devote 100% of herself to either home or work. She had to learn to fully commit to not being fully committed to either; she wasn’t in either bucket, and that was okay.

Building a Foundation for Growth

Starting her business in 2018, she did not expect to have to do a full-stop in 2020, but the pandemic had cut off her access to childcare. She had gained traction in her business and a trusted client base, which made the hard stop all the more difficult.

She restarted operations in 2021, and when we asked her about the future of her business, she said that each year she chooses a word to act as a kind of “North Star” to guide her initiatives ahead. For 2021 that word was “stability.”

Jess’s word for her company moving into 2022 is ”growth.” As we near the end of 2021, she has found her stride again. She feels that not only does she have a strong foundation to build on in 2022 but that this growth is more necessary and important than ever. During the pandemic, she was a firsthand witness to issues surrounding working mothers and their role in the economy.

Motivated to Play an Active Role in Solving the Problems Facing Mothers Everywhere

The issue of childcare is front and center for the nation with women leaving the workforce in droves. The pandemic exposed just how much the system lacked in support for working parents, especially when it came to enabling them to be entrepreneurial.

While mandatory paid leave is being debated on the federal level and would be a win for parents across the nation, this typically does not include parents who own their own business; no such thing exists! This is something Jess felt acutely when paid leave wasn’t an option for her when she gave birth to her second child. As a society, we aren’t encouraging entrepreneurship among new families, leaving various innovations on the table.

Words of Wisdom for those facing similar challenges

We thoroughly enjoyed our conversation with Jess and wanted to extract a little bit of her wisdom for our readers. These years have had a huge impact on our society, and we still do not comprehend the full extent of the changes. We aren’t used to living with this much uncertainty, so for those of you out there on the verge of starting something new, we asked Jess what tips she’d give. This is what she said:

1. Have self-compassion. We’re so hard on ourselves, especially now. Don’t kick yourself when you’re down. It’s incredible the amount of resilience you can build doing this. 

2. Don’t fear the unknown. Fearing the unknown creates this big shadow monster that stops us from doing. Sometimes going in and thinking through all of the worst-case scenarios and how you would bounce back is a way to make all of the unknowns less scary. This can help build a feeling of safety to go out on a limb and potentially fail.

How does she continue growing?

For her, growth goes back to being able to try new things. Doing so requires an act of certain courage, for which she’s developed a new appreciation.

She makes this possible by asking clients for permission to fail so she can extend her boundaries and try new methods. Sometimes it goes very well and other times it absolutely does not! But when it does help create a breakthrough for clients, that is when she feels most innovative

And while it isn’t directly related to her service, she has continued to grow her creativity through the business-building aspects of her job, embarking on new strategies, writing, and sharing content.

Learn More about Jess Feldt Coaching

So much of her entrepreneurial process has required her to anchor herself in her values. Before she did anything, she had to know what was important and why.

What would it look like for her to be honoring her values? Answering this question was the #1 thing that encouraged her to start and continue her business.

This dedication to her practice makes Jess an amazing person to have in your corner. If there’s something getting in the way of you and your career growth, check out her website to learn more.