Jenny Blake is an author, business strategist and international speaker who helps smart people organize their brain, move beyond burnout and build sustainable, dynamic careers they love. Jenny is passionate about healthy living and eating and loves exploring systems at the intersection of mind, body and business. She’s the co-founder of a new app called Lucent (@LucentApp) for people who are “meditation-curious” and is currently serving as the Director of Operations for SpringUps (@SpringUpsLLC), an urban farming start-up in Brooklyn. Jenny is the proud author of Life After College and blog of the same name. Today you can find her at JennyBlake.me and on Twitter @jenny_blake.
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One piece of advice you would give your 18 year old self:
I’d remind myself about the saying that “comparison is a losing game.” I still fall into this trap sometimes, but back then, I spent so much more time worried about what other people would think, if they’d approve of me and how I could fit the mold of what they might want. I spent so much time auditioning for other people’s lives that I didn't fully own what was awesome about my own.
Your motto in life:
Build first, courage second. I used to wait to feel courageous before taking risks...as though one day I would wake up and be blessed with the magic courage that I needed to make a big decision. Then I realized that courage comes after taking bold steps. Start building, start small and watch your courage and confidence follow.
On Sunday, we’ll find you wearing:
Lululemon on my way to do handstands in the park, followed by an afternoon yoga class.
A secret talent we should know about:
I taught myself how to code entire websites in a text file when I was on a leave of absence at UCLA to work for a start-up company. I don't do this any more, but when I needed spare cash, I started doing HTML/CSS tutoring for small business owners, and these skills still come in handy all the time, as I’m managing 4-5 different web properties for my business.
Your go-to power outfit:
A dress with my nude Christian Louboutin Patent New Simple Pumps. I bought them as a reward when I got the book deal for Life After College in 2010 (my big life dream), and though they cost more than my first hand-me down car, I feel like a million bucks every time I put them on. That feeling is priceless.
Your favorite restaurant for brunch and your go-to order:
Jane (on Houston) makes a creme-brûlée French toast that is to-die-for, but that’s only when I'm in the mood for a splurge. I love the backyard patio at The Cleveland in Nolita, and their classic brunch dish of eggs, bacon and buttered sourdough toast is incredible! I'm getting hungry just thinking about it...
The skill or sport you’re dying to learn:
How to cook! Now that I'm working with SpringUps, an urban farming company in Red Hook Brooklyn, I’m motivated to learn a few basil recipes. :)
Your most quirky characteristic:
My obsession with lists and with organization in general. I have a color-coded bookshelf and have been known to whip out my daily Moleskine planner notebook even when at a bar or fancy restaurant to jot things down.
You decompress each day by:
Taking a yoga or Pilates class, going for a long walk through the city or reading on a park bench at the West Side Highway where I can people watch and see the sun set over the Hudson River.
Your last great read and why you enjoyed it:
Antifragile by Nassim Taleb. I love the idea of “things that gain from disorder” (the subtitle) because our lives are inherently messy. Antifragility is not just weathering uncertainty and chaos, but actually becoming stronger for it, which relates very well to entrepreneurship too.