15 Aug Ask the Influencers: Jen Sterling, President of EO|DC
Jen Sterling, President of EO|DC, in Cancun, Mexico, demonstrating she can work anywhere.
In June, Jen Sterling, President of RedThinking, took over as President of our chapter of a global organization, the Entrepreneur Organization (EO). EO is a global organization dedicated to the enhancement of the entrepreneur, in their personal and business lives. The organization supports 9,500+ business owners in 131 chapters and 40 countries, and all members need to be owners of a business as opposed to a hired CEO. Founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs, EO enables small and large business owners to learn from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life.
The DC chapter (EO|DC) is one of the larger chapters in the United States, and is unlike other organizations in which I’ve personally been involved, in that it boasts learning events alongside events that are geared to be “once in a lifetime experiences,” such as hearing from such notable leaders as Mark Cuban and Kevin Plank, and taking a trek up the Himalayas.
I had the chance to interview Jen on what she is planning for this fiscal year during her term, and am looking forward to yet another stimulating and thought provoking year!
Congratulations, Jen, and thanks for spending time with the Sounding Board!
SBX: Your term will run through next June, what are some highlights of what you hope to accomplish?
My number one goal is the reengage our current membership to truly benefit from all that EO has to offer. We will do this across the board by providing great learning opportunities, once-in-a-lifetime activities and access, new members to infuse the chapter with excitement, and better communication on all fronts. We also plan on throwing a kick-a$$ party in April for the entire entrepreneurial community in the Washington, DC region. It is not to be missed!
You are a busy entrepreneur in your own right, running your own branding firm. How do you fit it all in?
I don’t think about it. The minute I stop to analyze how I do it (or if I am even doing it well) I will drop all of the balls I am trying to juggle!
What do you believe entrepreneurs can get out of being a part of EO|DC?
The biggest benefit of EO is having a large group of peers who “get you.” No longer am I a lone wolf, misunderstood by my neighbors, friends, family, and staff. Here are people who have the same entrepreneurial affliction. The understand the way I think and the things that keep me up at night. I believe them when they are talking me off the ledge. And in turn I am there to do the same for them.
What do you do in your spare time? What do you really enjoy?
Entrepreneurs do not understand the meaning of the term “spare time.” 🙂 If I am not running my business or serving on one of several boards, then I am attending events to learn and grow or helping my daughter run her non-profit,Let’s Help Kids. She may be 9 but she is a whip-cracking boss. We run 2 major fundraising events a year with numerous activities and presentations in between. It is never dull.
Tell us how entrepreneurs can get involved in the organization. Any advice for how to really engage?
In addition to the basics of just attending the events and learning from the wide array of speakers we bring in, I cannot encourage the members enough to tap into their fellow members. I have learned amazing things sitting down over a beer or a meal with the other entrepreneurs that I have met in both the local chapter and beyond. 9,500 peers who can help me to avoid the potholes they hit on their journey and who inspire me to reach beyond any goal I have ever set for myself.
–Elizabeth Shea, @eliz2shea