Whether you’ve seen your favorite female celeb sharing her view from the stage, or you follow the daily motivational messages on Instagram, surely you’re familiar with Create & Cultivate. This powerhouse platform has provided a wealth of inspiration and advice to help women excel in their careers and Jaclyn Johnson is the brains and beauty behind it. When a major career move to New York led to a layoff Johnson started freelancing and launched her blog, Notes on a Napkin (after 3 weeks of wallowing that is). It’s okay to grieve when life throws those curveballs, just don’t let them keep you out of the game for too long.
After securing partnerships with well-known brands like Target and Mercedes Benz, Johnson gained more exposure, which granted her a marketing director job offer. Thinking on her feet, she immediately sold herself as an agency and landed her first client. That moment birthed her agency, No Subject in 2010. “I think one of the best qualities of being a young entrepreneur is naivete,” says Johnson in a CNBC interview. “Having nothing to lose is the best feeling in the world because you’re able to bring things to the table that you’re not really sure you can necessarily do.”
Yearning for interaction with other female entrepreneurs, Johnson started the Create & Cultivate conference and didn’t turn a profit during the first three years. In fact, she lost money trying to attract clients and paying friends to appear as employees her “bustling office.” But her sacrifices paid off. She eventually sold No Subject in 2016 and invest $50K from the sale into Create & Cultivate. By 2017 Johnson had a reported income of $700K, thanks to her dedication to the brand she believed in.
Jaclyn’s journey serves as a much-needed reminder that confidence in yourself, persistence and hard work can be all you need to bring your dreams to life. You also don’t need the resources of a major brand — just a little imagination and maybe a few friends who are willing to pose as your employees.