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Jordana Jaffe: Entrepreneur Extraordinaire

6 Dec

For our first Personalitie feature, Cheekie has chosen to speak with one of the people who inspired this blog. At just 28 years old, Jordana Jaffe is an accomplished entreprenuer and founder of two businesses.

In 2007, Jordana launched her first company, live ORGANIZED. The company helps people organize their physical spaces and their lives. live ORGANIZED and Jordana have been featured by national media outlets, including NBC, Women’s Health, and People.

After riding the learning curve of running her own business, Jordana realized that many other young women have great business ideas but are held back by fear or insecurity. In response to this problem she launched a second business, Embarkability, designed to empower young female entreprenuers.

Below, Jordana answers Cheekie’s questions about why she became an entreprenuer, what motivates her, and how she stays centered.

What is your proudest accomplishment so far in life?
  
My proudest accomplishment is starting two businesses in my twenties. I was an English major in college and I didn’t feel prepared in the least to start my own business. It just goes to show that you really can do anything when you’re committed to it. 
 
How did you get the idea to start your first business?
 
I was writing freelance for a local magazine back in the winter of 2007 and I went to Pennsylvania to spend some time with my mom. While I was there, I organized the entire house. Until then, I was genuinely concerned that I would be destined to be unhappy working. My mom suggested that I start my own business once she saw how much I loved organizing. While I was initially hesitant, I was more excited than anything about the possibility of creating a career around something I love to do. 
 
How did starting your first business evolve into the many entrepreneurial endeavors on which you are embarking on today?
 
When I started live ORGANIZED back in March 2007, my intention was to work exclusively on that. I didn’t plan to create Embarkability; however, over the years, I worked with a lot of amazing interns who are ambitious and smart young women. When I would chat with them about whether they would start their own businesses, they would seem hesitant, unsure of themselves and their potential to succeed. I realized that there really isn’t a resource to empower and help young women right out of college create their own successful businesses. And so, in April 2010, Embarkability was born.
 
What is your “every day” attitude towards life? Do you have any mantras?
 
I love this question. I have LOTS of mantras. Here are a few:
When you are interested in something, you do what is convenient. When you are committed to something, you do whatever it takes. – John Assaraf
I walk into who I already am. 
Clarity is power.
You either have excuses or results.
Action cures fear. – Dr. David Schwartz
 
How do you stay centered and balanced?
 
I really believe in the importance of self-care. I make it a priority to go for a walk outside or do yoga on most days. I read many books that focus on personal growth and development. In addition, I have created a community of people who support and encourage me and help keep me centered and balanced. 
 
Why is it important to empower women to start businesses?
 
Sometimes I think we all just need a push. We know deep down that we have a great idea or that we have a lot to offer, but we need someone else to recognize that in us and encourage us to take the next step. That is what I see my role as. Young women have SO much to offer and a huge reason why they aren’t launching their own businesses is because of self-doubt and lack of guidance. Both of those issues have simple solutions, and I felt like it was my responsibility as a fellow young women entrepreneur to provide those solutions. 
 
What is the biggest mistake you’ve made? What did you learn from it?
 
I try not to see anything I do as a mistake, but rather as a lesson or an opportunity for growth. Some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way are that not everyone is going to be my ideal client, that I should trust my gut, that everyday is a new opportunity for a fresh start, and that the key to success is to keep going no matter what.
 
What can you say to women who feel lost or directionless? How can a woman find her path in
life?
  

I believe that we all have the answers deep down in our gut. It’s not a matter of not knowing what to do; it’s a matter of getting quiet enough to listen to our gut, and also to be ready to hear what it has to say. The problem isn’t that we don’t know what to do; it’s that we’re scared to get really quiet and take action on something that may seems scary and unfamiliar.

Who is your greatest mentor? How has that person helped you become who you are today?

One of my greatest mentors is Fabienne Fredrickson, founder of Client Attraction. She spells out exactly what to do from a marketing perspective to help grow your business, while simultaneously addressing the mindset required of you to succeed as an entrepreneur.

What is the “big question” in your life right now?

As much as I plan and strategize (and I do both of these things a lot), you’re still never sure how things will work out. That said, I’m always curious what my life will look like a year from now and the surprises that will arise along the way.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

That I didn’t take one class in college related to entrepreneurship. I never took a marketing, finance, business, economics or sales class. Everything I’ve learned when it comes to being a business owner has been through books, mentors, colleagues, and my own personal experiences.

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