JJ DiGeronimo is:
• Founder and CEO of Purposeful Woman, Tech Savvy Women, Journey Charms
• Author of the highly sought-after book for working women, The Working Woman’s GPS
• Global spokesperson for aspiring women leaders and women in technology
• High Tech Datacenter and Infrastructure Expert
• Mother & Wife with 2 great kids ages 5 and 6 years old
Locale Cleveland, Ohio USA
What is my mission?
My personal mission is to live a life that engages and empowers the people that cross my path. My life’s journey has taken me down many roads with twists and turns giving me the opportunities to learn, love and grow. This has not come free of tears and heartache but has often resulted in personal growth curves.
Knowing I only have 168 hours each week, I have learned to make choices aligned to my personal fuel stations (natural energizers), to build and leverage my gracious and effective networks and to pay-it-forward often.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do professionally.
After interviewing hundreds of successful women, I share key lessons with high impact women for a personalized and abundant journey. Through this work, I enable working women to effectively prioritize, align and achieve their individualized goals.
I cut my teeth on leadership in a high tech career over the last twenty years which started from a computer science degree. Much of my career has been based in software companies in Silicon Valley with companies such as VMware, Inktomi & Accenture.
I am grateful that these strategies have positively impacted women globally as I have been featured in numerous publications, television programs and radio shows. (http://www.purposefulwoman.com/media/)
What do you enjoy most about your profession and why did you choose it in the first place?
I have had parallel professions (high tech expert and entrepreneur) for most of my career. I have recently jumped fulltime into my businesses after four years of planning my transition. For me, I know, through acute awareness, that I am energized (which converts to joy and excitement) by the work I do to provide Leadership Strategies for High Impact Women.
What was the inspiration for your company/project?
I realized that my energy level skyrockets when I take the time to empower women. It originally occurred in small groups and then I found ways to continue the momentum by formalizing it with the creation of Tech Savvy Women, now 800+ women in Northeast Ohio, Columbus and South Carolina which fostered Purposeful Woman and then Journey Charms. I call them my fuel stations which are my positive energy sources. This can be defined as excitements from within, which are generally clear indicators of my life’s calling. In fact, I have included seven (7) quick & easy assessments (which take no more than 30 minutes to complete) in my book for women, The Working Woman’s GPS to guide women toward their fuel stations. The book then guides women to develop their maps to achieve results, which often leads to their joy, impact and influence.
Tell us about any new projects you have coming up (or recently completed).
Since much of my impact is through workshops, seminars and teleconferences, I am leveraging highly sought-after programs and building some new programs in 2013.
Popular programs: Navigating Success, 3Ts of Work Life Balance & Leading in Tech
I am getting ready to launch Manage Your Online Brand for women, which incorporates many proven lessons to strategically leverage social media for their next desired role. Women walk away with strategies on how to leverage social media to enhance their professional brand, to get the promotion, change paths or start their desired business.
What is a typical day like for you?
Funny, there are no two days that look the same for me. Since I started Purposeful Woman, Practical Strategies for High Powered Women, and related businesses, I am often juggling tasks, calls and projects along with my personal initiatives.
Oh yes, I work to squeeze in 1 hour for me whether it is a walk, read an article, run an errand, go to Pilates and just spend time with friends.
I work daily to build a life I love.
Tell us about your community involvement – what you are passionate about outside of work and home and why/how you participate?
I love learning about women’s life journeys. No two journeys are the same. I learn something new each day and I am always mesmerized by how women persevere as they strive to achieve influence and impact. I have hundreds of hours of successful women research and interviews. My community work generally revolves around sharing practical strategies that effectively empower women globally through keynotes, workshops, panels and webinars.
In addition to these initiatives, my family and I contribute time and finances to child initiatives, animal initiatives and microloans for women to start their own businesses.
What is the biggest risk you ever took professionally and/or the biggest obstacle you have overcome?
I quit my very lucrative technology job to work with women full-time with no defined salary. It took me 4 years of preparation before I made the leap. Even though I had much of my foundation in place from working long days and late hours, I had no consistent revenue stream. It was a huge risk because replacing my day job at that income level would be very difficult living in Cleveland. But I did it and glad I did! I am still working up to that salary but find the journey much more rewarding and enjoyable because it is all my own and aligned to my fuel stations.
From where do you draw inspiration?
Everywhere – a TV show, author, friend, past co-worker or even watching an animal in the wild. I find inspiration everywhere. I work to be present in my actions and activates where many life lessons and inspirations are revealed.
What do you do to keep yourself sharp? What one thing have you done in the past year that has made a significant difference in your life/your business?
I made a decision in December to invest in strengthening my core self. I felt like a fried egg in my own life, spread in every direction. I was striving to be more effective and purposeful in my own actions. So I scheduled a solo spiritual trip to Sedona, Az. It was all for me and it was exactly what I needed! Sure I felt guilty, who wouldn’t, but I still made the investment and traveled to Sedona, Az.
It was so impactful that I am already looking forward to doing it again.
Many cannot travel to Sedona this year but you do not have to go to on a trip, you can just do something local. I encourage women to carve time out for them to get reconnected with themselves. Some suggestions are do something you love, do something that scares you, do things that empower you like eating alone or going to a movie solo. Being comfortable with just being with yourself is a wonderful gift you can give yourself!
What one thing would you like to learn this year?
As I move from an overscheduled life of two fulltime jobs and being a mom, I hope to learn to embrace the things I love more in life. A few more coffee dates with friends, playing with the kids and fostering a sphere of influence aligned to where I aspire to go!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
On stage! I just love sharing, guiding and empowering people! It is a fuel station.
What do you do for fun/relaxation/entertainment?
I love to be outside, be with my family, walk my dog and get together with friends.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Learn your own fuel stations and get to them often. An easy way to identify your fuel stations is to think about things you look forward to doing, when you are doing them you enjoy them and when you walk away you look forward to doing those things again.
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