Meet Jen Furlong!

The best thing about people (especially the ones you don’t know) is that it’s easier to learn from them. I don’t work with Jen Furlong because we are on the same team. Although that doesn’t seem to make sense, it means that we are both right-leaning analysts for Ad Fontes Media. Pods of left-, right-, and center- analysts work together. So I actually know her less than I do workers of the other leans. But I subscribe to her podcast and chat with her occasionally when the right-leans meet together.

We’re also on Facebook, along with others from Ad Fontes. And that’s where I saw Jen’s inclusion in the Cracking the Rich Code, a series of personal inspiring stories and insights from individuals who are “top thought leaders around the world.” Yes, there is a connection to money, but not as directly as you’d think. Jen’s chapter is amazing. She begins with an “origin story” that I found riveting. Her writing is excellent; the story, inspiring.

Her five keys to empowerment are worth repeating:

  1. Keep looking for opportunities. When the original plan doesn’t work out, find another one. (Some of us are bad about giving up…)
  2. Focus on what’s in your control. Lots of things aren’t, so don’t worry about them.
  3. Become your own advocate. Clarity in goals is essential. (Some of us would like a personal assistant/mentor/literary agent to take it all over. Not gonna happen.)
  4. Embrace the suck. Lean into the difficulties. Don’t give up. (This one surprised me perhaps the most. It’s more specific than the usual “What doesn’t kill me” advice.
  5. Extend grace to others. Forgive, in a word. Jen includes a personal example of people talking about how to get rid of her when she wanted to become a Marine. It’s so easy to nurse a grudge. It’s harder to just get on with life, smile, and not let them get you down.

On her website,, Jen offers all kinds of business model applications. I need to get serious—communication is my worst thing. Students in my class used to have interpreters: “What she’s trying to say is…” I was a great teacher, probably, maybe, but not a good communicator.

On her site there is a link to a TEDx Talk that she calls The Platinum Rule. Yes, she says there is something beyond the Golden Rule. I won’t tell you what it is, but she is offering an important insight that is perfect for our day. Plus, she’s a really great communicator. Check it out.