She’s been a dear friend for years – and I’ve always been baffled why she hasn’t been living her professional life in front of a camera. With Julianne Moore as her doppelganger and Tony Robbins as her charismatic and optimistic soul twin, Dr. Jennifer Jones could have been a shoe-in for any public platform of her choosing. Instead, she has chosen to make her profound mark on this earth by serving the mass behind the scenes. Not only is she the woman behind her own man, she is the woman behind the most successful men and women in this country.
DR. JENNIFER JONES, Ph.D. – a beautiful career mom and The Woman Behind The Wo(men) – on parenting
Jenn’s authenticity, curiosity, discipline, and modesty are what make this woman so likable and deserving of accolade. It’s curious how one could have their act so together.
I’ve been friends with her since she was a disciplined and knowledge seeking student earning her Ph.D. — and since then I’ve witnessed the evolution of her career path. She transitioned from her private practice (individual and couples therapy) to entrepreneurial coaching/psychology — to strategic management consulting where she is immersed in currently.
“Entrepreneurial psychology” is therapy that is more action-based and goal-oriented than typical therapy and is directly related to business development. “[It] not only helps people resolve issues and be happier but [it] is also directly related to how much money the founders raise, how confident they appear, how well their company performs, how happy they are and what kind of leader they become,” Jenn tells us.
Working in this entrepreneurial domain, Jenn began to realize the intersections between neuroscience and leadership training — and soon found herself keynoting all over the country, even at the University of Oregon commencement (from where she graduated).
“The work soon became too big for just me so I started a Strategic Management Consulting Firm called Disruptive Innovation where we take on big projects like Strategic Planning, Leadership Training, and Well-being services for organizations. One of my favorite recent engagements is working with the Maui Economic Development Board doing Strategic Planning. I consider Maui a second home so to be able to collaborate to advance Maui’s economic development and well-being of its residents has been incredible!”
Jenn is awe-inspiring to me because she utilizes love, passion, empathic psychology and sharp strategy in both her career space as well as in her family life. Her motions and guidance are always thoughtful, compassionate and smart.
Jenn’s aim is to make the most impact as possible in the world while being away from her children as little as possible.
If anyone’s hands are creating colorful, accomplished, satisfied and happy humans – it is Jenn.
Yes – she is an inspiring career woman for sure.
But the most glowing aspect about her is her authenticity and her contagious unfailing happiness. She’s an example for all of us on how to be a smart and undefeated human, how to celebrate life, how to realize and materialize our potentials — and most importantly, how to be a strong woman and inspiring matriarch.
This beautiful psychologist, entrepreneur and glass ceiling breaker is a woman who makes dreams come alive for her clients. Easily, she does the same for her children. That’s why Dr. Jennifer Jones is this week’s ROCK N ROLL MOM – a mom who rocks the wisdom.
When I was pregnant with my first child Eliana, I remember standing in Jenn’s kitchen leaning against her island. I was full of fear and questions about birth (drugs vs. no drugs, water birth vs. land birth (?!)) — and bewildered over the various conflicting methods of parenting (attachment parenting vs. the RIE Method vs. the oh là là a la Pamela Druckerman French Style parenting). She was so wise and patient with my trillion questions. I just wish I had my journal then so I could have taken handwritten notes.
Her children have turned out to be nothing short of amazing. Polite, inquisitive, childish, mature, warm-hearted, happy knowledge seekers. I needed her to tell me how she did it.
Thank you, Jenn for always generously sharing. Let’s get on with it….
To the random onlookers as well as to your friends, your children are perfect. Kind, compassionate, well behaved, intelligent. Please share any overall guiding philosophies you insinuate in your parenting.
Oh my goodness! Thank you, but to be honest, I hope they are not perfect. We hope for some measured defiance! After all, if our kids are too compliant that means they are not entirely comfortable with us. And I’m happy to report that they are not always well-behaved. And when they show us that we get what we wish for, we often need to remind myself of the advantages of defiance. My husband and I want to raise our children to think out of the box, be leaders and be visionary thinkers — this requires a steady diet of non-conformity which we embrace with a bigger-picture kind of understanding. Though I do hope for them to be always kind, compassionate and intelligent and to their credit I believe they absolutely are!
Our parenting philosophy is mostly based on treating our kids as we would want to be treated with a sprinkle of neuroscience to guide us. For example, we heavily restrict tech and media compared to most families we know because we know it’s important for brain growth, creativity, and building their imagination. Also, instead of “time-outs” for kids, we give ourselves “time-outs” if we need them as parents and if it’s authentic for us at the time — and we do “time-ins” when our kids are acting out where we invite them for a hug or cuddle. When kids act out, they are flooded with stress hormones — and talking to them at that point is completely counter-productive so we do our best to talk/lecture less and hug/cuddle more. Of course, after they are calm, we do back and review how we can improve but attempt to stay clear of the lecturing, finger-wagging style of parenting.
It seems that you always take the more gentle approach in rearing your children. And I say that based on the advice I’ve asked you for in the past. In terms of sleep training, you’ve taken the Dr. Sears approach. (Per Dr. Sears, crying it out leads to depression.) Also, when I’ve asked you about how to handle the terrible twos / tantrums, you said that instead of reprimanding or disciplining — these tantrums tell us that they are in need of extra love.
So if they’re acting out, then this is our time to go over to them and hold them…reiterate to them what they want and tell them you understand. These bits have been invaluable to me. Can you give me 2 or 3 other examples in parenting where you would practice this sort of gentle rearing? (with respect to anything…sibling rivalry, lying, not sleeping/napping, mean spirited competition, not working hard in school/sports, not sharing, etc.)
Yes…poor behavior is always related to a need. When my kids fight, I understand that they are often seeing the world through a lens of fear, scarcity, or feeling unjust as most of their fights are related to a feeling of things being unfair or not having enough. I see it as an opportunity to refresh their view as the truth is that life is abundant and fear is self-created. If I have enough patience, I ask them to work it out themselves and to come and get me if they need help. My job is just to stay calm—I don’t always succeed, but I try!
We also often talk about being a “true leader.” This means not imitating the behavior of friends in hope of being accepted but to be authentic to who you are. The idea of being a “true leader” has really stuck with them and our daughter, now age 11, has taken this to heart. Our son is learning too!
What are the biggest things that your children have taught you?
To let go of things you think matter but they don’t (i.e., anything besides spending time with family). Also, to have FUN! That is the real purpose of life—to enjoy the hell out of it!
How in the world do you balance your entrepreneurial success with your hands on parenting?
To be honest, I’ve had to hold back the competitiveness in me in order to parent with integrity. It’s hard! One of the biggest challenges for me is when I am on a roll at work and want to keep on working,whether it be at the end of the day or a weekend, to stop what I am doing no matter what to get home to be with the kids. In particular, on the weekend, often, I will stay up until 1 in the morning working on ideas I had during the day but I didn’t want to take time away from the kids to be on my computer, so I wait until they are asleep to get into it.
I also take them with me when I can, to speaking events, to conferences I run, whenever possible, though that can prove to be a bit distracting. Last year, I ran a conference called EntrepreneurShift about authentic success, and while I was giving the keynote, our son Orion, 6 at the time, came to the front of the room and tried to take the microphone. I was faced with a moment where I might be seen as unprofessional. Still, I used it as an opportunity to discuss how leaders, especially women, must integrate our roles instead of pretending our lives are separate and to stop viewing being a parent and making kids a priority as being unprofessional.
Any quick bits of advice you can give to my readers on how to FOCUS and achieve the life they’ve always dreamed of whether it pertains to personal or career life.
Oh yes! I’m writing a book on it now that’ll be out at the end of this year. My goal is to help as many people as I can get to learn the secret to creating the life of their dreams instead of having life happen to them. First, it starts with visioning paired with emotion. Dreaming alone won’t work. The brain requires extreme emotion in order to make a shift in consciousness. So when you dream about something, get really excited about it. use your whole body to show your excitement—just as children do—jump up and down, raise your voice, etc. If you aren’t wiling to do this, the likelihood of manifesting your dream is very low.
It boils down to a neurological necessity! Second, you must create a realistic plan with deadlines and accountability measures. Last, you need to know how to act on that plan. Most people just dream and some take it a step further and plan. But only the truly successful know how to take action on their plan based on dreaming big. They create their dreams and plans ignoring “rules” and invest themselves in the process. It takes great courage but we all have access to it. The book I’m writing is called “Dream, Plan, Achieve: 3 Steps to Outrageous Success for Bold Leaders.”
Thank you, Jenn for being a friend and for always staying wise and true to your heart. You set an impeccable example.
Photos courtesy of Dr. Jennifer Jones.