Her speeches are inspirational. Her power lunches are iconic. Her Instagram feed is top-tier. Jennifer Magley is a motivational speaker, entrepreneur, former Division I tennis coach, and mother who not only has a stellar occupational track, but also a heart of gold to match. Before speaking at our Monthly Member Meetup on August 25, we caught up with Jennifer to hear a little more about her career journey.
You’re a Kansas native, ex-Florida resident, and an Indy superstar! What brought you to Circle City?
Oh, how I love Indy! Years ago, my sister was living here and when I visited she took me to Cafe Patachou on 49th and Penn and that’s when I fell hard for the city. The place was buzzing and the food was excellent. I felt as though I could be anywhere in the world, it blew my mind that I was in the midwest. In that moment my heart whispered, “I wish I could live here” and then BOOM our family had the opportunity to relocate. Life can be crazy good.
You’ve had such an accomplished career so far. What’s one goal you have for your future?
The pandemic has taken the board game of life and flipped it over like Teresa on Real Housewives Of NJ [laughs]. So like everyone else I am doing what it takes to thrive in uncertain times and have a full-time job. Goal-wise I am working towards speaking and writing full time. One thing I’ve learned during COVID is I LOVE the work-from-home lifestyle. It fits my needs as a mom.
“There is zero recognition in executing domestic drudgery every day while caregiving an infant. No one ever comes into the laundry room and gives you a standing ovation saying ‘look at how neatly you folded my underwear’.”
At the beginning of your career, you were the youngest NCAA Division I Coach in the nation, a male-dominated industry. What advice do you have for young women in male-dominated fields who may be experiencing imposter syndrome?
Everyone is faking, no one really knows what they are doing at all times. They say the difference between acting and lying is that in acting we all know that the person is pretending. The trick is realizing that everyone is counterfeit in some way so there is no such thing as an imposter. They belong because they say they belong, so who are you going to believe them or you?
What influenced your decision to transition out of coaching and into starting your own business?
The pause point between coaching NCAA Division I tennis and becoming an entrepreneur was the stretch of time in between where I was a “Stay At Home Mother”. There is zero recognition in executing domestic drudgery every day while caregiving an infant. No one ever comes into the laundry room and gives you a standing ovation saying “look at how neatly you folded my underwear.” For me, it was time for me to go for an idea I had bouncing around my head. I needed a different challenge, the grind. I needed recognition. Everything has its season and I was ready to start my own business.
Your recently released work, How to Be Queen: A Leadership Fable, was such a relatable and motivating read! What was your inspiration for this piece?
Thank you! Once after telling my husband how I should have known something sooner he said this and it changed my life: “Do you notice that you always move the finish line, you never let yourself win?” Mic drop. I decided to write a short story that captured this narrative that we have as women of never being enough in our jobs. How can we discern when we are being gaslit at work and when the criticism/lack of advancement is legitimate? That’s what the book is really about: self-worth.
Aside from all you’ve learned in your career, you are the mother of two sons. What’s something you’ve learned from raising boys?
They are brutally honest in the most innocent way. For example, I present to you my seven-year-old: “Mom, can you make $100,000 in 20 days?”
Me: (Gulp) “Well…”
Son: “Because no one is stopping you.”
Me: (Deep sigh)
Older Son: “Yeah mom, he’s right. No one is holding your arms and legs, he’s right.”
Me: Now I must do this. The plotting begins.
The Maven Member Meetup series gives Indy Maven members the opportunity to connect, laugh, learn, and vent each month. Members: Check your email inbox or the Facebook group for the link to register for this event. Not yet a member? Become one so you can attend the monthly member meetups AND receive all the other awesome Indy Maven member perks!