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:
- Keep looking for opportunities. When the original plan doesn’t work out, find another one. (Some of us are bad about giving up…)
- Focus on what’s in your control. Lots of things aren’t, so don’t worry about them.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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, communicationtwentyfourseven.com, 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.