Inarguably, women are having a year. Not since the ’70s has the world seen this many women united in the cause of supporting one another.
Still, Create & Cultivate founder Jaclyn Johnson has been lifting up others since before girl power experienced this widespread resurgence. “I started Create & Cultivate as a side project, a little get-together for women to talk about entrepreneurship offline,” she says of her company, which she describes as a movement rather than a brand. “I knew other women had to be going through the same struggles I was—I just didn’t realize how many. Getting to build experiences and content that empower, entertain and inspire women is a privilege I don’t take lightly.”
Photo: Alyssa Dawson
Though she now regularly works with high-wattage girl bosses like Sophia Bush and Issa Rae, Jaclyn was, believe it or not, one of the OG bloggers toiling in obscurity some years back. Today, she credits this early entrepreneurial step for gifting her with one of the biggest drivers of C&C’s success: her peer network. “I had a style blog early on, which was a great inroad to amazing influencers and content creators that are now mega stars,” she says. “We were supporting one another then and continue to do so now. People often think they need to network with super-successful people, but oftentimes it’s the people in the trenches with you, and you grow together.”
This isn’t the only piece of common sense—and yet, easy-to-overlook—advice she has for those in the early stages of their careers. “Find something you’re passionate about and look for the opportunity within it—ask yourself, What need is not fulfilled here?” she advises. “And then, just start.”
However, she cautions that no matter what you do, one major mistake can set you back in ways no others can. “Your reputation is your résumé,” she says. “You can have the most impressive CV of all time, but if people don’t like working with you, it’s simple: They won’t.”
Keep reading for more of Jaclyn’s sage advice: five hacks for being as productive as possible.
Homepage image: Getty Images
"My alarm goes off at 6:30am. First things first, coffee. I prefer the quick kind—Nespresso pod—click, bing, bang, boom! I pick out my outfits the night before to make the mornings easier and have a pretty low-maintenance beauty routine, so I usually rush out the door by 7:15 so I can get to the office by 8am."
"I like to get to work early to catch up on emails and have some time before the morning rush."
"I'm an intense list maker and typically write my list once a day, crossing off items, starring items and moving items over for the next day. I have to write things down in order to remember them. I just got a Bamboo tablet, which is amazing because it's a notebook you write in but it automatically digitizes your notes in its app—it's a game changer."
Digital Drawing and Graphics Tablet, $80
"I typically take calls with other team members and have them take notes so I can fully concentrate as opposed to having to stop and write notes. It makes the conversations so much smoother and it's always helpful to have someone else in the room."
"I am diligent about following up. I mark emails that I haven't had responses to so I can make sure to circle back. It has proven time and time again a valuable strategy."