Jaclyn Johnson, Founder and CEO of Create & Cultivate, a marketing and events agency.
"Well, my story is a little interesting because I got laid off. I was killing it in my career in NYC, had a great job at a great company, a six-figure salary, and tons of responsibility at the age of 23. Then the company transferred me to LA, and I got laid off shortly after. MAJOR BUMMER. I was definitely freaking out. I had always been this person who was 'killing it' at their career and all of a sudden, nothing. I spent a few days in sweatpants, crying. Then I emailed a few people in my network letting them know I was looking for a job or freelance opportunities.”
"Luckily, opportunities began to roll in. I landed a few clients, ended up getting office space, more clients, then employees, and, very naturally, (No Subject) was born. I created the agency I wanted to work at, and I went after clients I liked. I didn't always get them, but after a few short months, I ended up working with some of the brands I idolized. The reality was I didn't have much to lose. It was just me, my laptop, and an idea and it worked. I think it takes a lot of trust in yourself and your vision to keep moving and keep going."
"There were definitely quiet months, crazy clients, and business issues I didn't know too much about. It was a roller coaster. You absolutely need a crew of people around you when you go off on your own, whether you're freelancing or starting a company. The ‘yes’ people tell you to keep going, the 'realist' team keeps you in check along the way, and the ‘naysayers' give you that hustle to make it work."
Career Contessa, Photograph via LA Times