I took several months off the second half of 2022. And when I came back, I realized there are a lot of new listeners. Who’ve been tuning into the show who don’t know anything about me — and I don’t know you. So today we’re going to fix that.

A little about me

I am the host and producer of The Grown-Ass Woman’s guide, as well as a podcast consultant  and producer on some other podcasts you may have heard. My background is over two decades working in television often as a creative director in advertising and promotion, sometimes a digital supervising producer. Once I was a founding editor of a major studio’s parenting site, and for a few years, I did a lot of blogging and on air guesting on national news and radio shows before I finally got into podcasting back in 2011. And I’ve never looked back. 

The Grown-Ass Woman’s Guide was originally launched in late 2018 under the name Forty Thrive.  I was on a mission to connect women over 40 with the experts and resources we all need. And during the two years I hosted that show, friends of mine, specifically the ones I worked with in TV for over 20 years — women who really knew me and what I’m capable of — were likeJackie, that name does not fit what you’re doing.”

They knew me as candid, honest, and someone who could detect bullshit from a mile away.  And I was told time and time again that the brand was too soft. I rejected that idea for a little while. But I knew deep down they were right.  I was out to dinner with a friend one night, and I was talking about this idea of reaching grown-ass women. And there it was right there in front of us, The Grown-Ass Woman’s Guide.

So for the past two plus years I’ve been producing and hosting The Grown-Ass Woman’s Guide. And I absolutely love it. Being grown-ass is my life’s calling, I swear.  I think everything in my life led me to this. encouraging other women to show up for themselves while sharing tools and strategies through conversation and storytelling. It’s my absolute love language.

But here’s the thing

There are people out there who don’t like The Grown-Ass Woman’s Guide or what I stand for. And I kinda love that. Recently, a local guy reached out because he was told I was the person to talk to about branding and marketing. Kind of cool, right? So he wanted to set up a meeting. Less than 30 minutes later, he reaches back out and says “Never mind. I don’t think we’d be a good fit, not a fan of the grown a*s language/branding. We only want to partner with vendors who share our values of old fashioned common decency.”

OMG, YES. You are not my people, sir. Thank you. Next.

Now I’m not some robot who doesn’t have feelings when someone expresses negativity my way. But I’ve learned a few things in my 51 years and this is one of them.

If you are doing something that matters, you are going to make people feel things positively and negatively. 

To try to live a life pleasing everyone and not creating waves is not in existence I’m interested in. I have been there, done that people pleasing thing. Maybe you have too. What’s interesting about being a people pleaser though is that while you might please some of the people some of the time, most often the person who is anything but pleased is you.  Read that again. 

So you might be listening to this episode because you stumbled upon a somewhat viral post on LinkedIn. I’ve got to be honest, I’ve been on LinkedIn since the beginning pretty much and I don’t think I’ve ever had a post get more than maybe a couple of my friends who hit the like button. Most of my interaction was on Facebook, frankly.

But I have this idea and I thought I’d share it across all my social channels, including LinkedIn.

As someone who absolutely loved my career in television, I’d be lying if I said things hadn’t slowed down in the past handful of years. I was used to being in demand. I was the person who was brought in when the previous person wasn’t cutting it.  I was nicknamed P S Jackie by one of my colleagues because of my mad problem-solving skills. I loved that role. I was a mentor wherever I worked. I think I played pretty well with others, but I was also fully comfortable working independently. I was a creative thinker. I got the job done.  And I worked really, really hard.

So what happened?

The last full-time staff thing I had going on was I think 2017.  And even then things were sporadic and inconsistent and it was really hard to live that life. After that job ended, I decided I could not keep putting my worth, happiness and, frankly, my income in other people’s hands. I had to figure out something else.  Soon after, I began coaching women on how to start podcasts. I loved it.  My God, I loved it. But here’s the interesting thing. The women who came to me were about 80% over 40. They were experts and consultants and professionals. They were smart and powerful, and at the same time, were questioning what’s next and how long they had before they would “age out.” Creative woman after creative woman felt like she no longer was relevant in her industry; designers, producers, publicists, directors, executives. It was a universal fear.

Now don’t get me wrong, it was happening to men too. But these women are the ones who were confiding in each other, sharing stories and vulnerabilities. We would lift each other up and have each other’s backs. We were each other’s cheerleaders and ass kickers. So I had been chewing on some ideas of how I can support these women and they came up with a few ways.

  1. Have conversations on the podcast, host live events and connect the grown-ass community so we can all lift each other up. ✅
  2. Help women take their years of experience and make a bit of a pivot, find something where they’d be a value but also love the next stage of their career. And I’d offer personal and professional development to help get them there; teach them new skills, maybe share current professional trends and expectations help these grown-ass women innovate so they’re not only relevant in today’s job market, but they’re able to take on more leadership positions. 
  3. My idea was to launch an agency that collaborates with these women, working with clients who appreciate the power of women over 40. And respect everything we have to offer. I’d call it Grown-Ass Creative.

So a little while back, I shared my idea on LinkedIn about how, in my next life, I’m going to create this agency. And I was blown away to see the response. People were definitely interested. So just the other day. I followed it up and announced that it was actually happening.

I’m so tired of seeing incredibly talented, experienced creatives over 40 feel like they’ve aged out or can’t find success anymore. It can be extremely challenging to pivot into something new. I feel a huge pole to do something about it. Enter Grown-Ass Creative, an agency that collaborates with brilliant experienced women over 40, who will get it done and get it done well. Because they’ve done it over and over again for decades.

The details need to be ironed out, but the wheels are in motion. I’m putting it out into the world right now because I’m confident this is something that is very much needed and absolutely possible. We’re about to change the face of podcast, production and marketing. Watch us. 

Oh, my gosh, the women responded. Personal stories of age-ism, excitement about potential opportunity, and message after message from women who are like, I want in.

Total side note: the number of interactions and comments actually made me want to bury myself in a corner on my couch and hide. It’s really scary to put ourselves out there and getting noticed is freaking terrifying.

But it’s also confirmation that women over 40 need leadership in flipping the script and changing the narrative. And not just leadership from me, but from you too. We need to stop sitting back, hoping things change, but to work together and make the change. This idea isn’t happening overnight, but I realize it’s also not as difficult as it might seem. I already hire women 40+ for podcast support; writing, social media, community management, and I will definitely continue to do so. But I am now on the search for a business partner who knows the things I don’t, who can balance my passion and creative and constant ideas with business management, finance, and all those things that make my head spin.

I really think we’re onto something here and I am so ready to make it happen.

BTW, to address the elephant in the room comments. do men needs something like this too? Abso-freaking-lutely. And I’m not some man-hater, contrary to what some believe. But women hold a special place in my heart. My friendships with women are some of the most important things in my life, and I know I’ve found my calling in supporting women over 40 through the many ways that I do.

It’s not about excluding guys. It’s about empowering women, passionate, powerful, resilient, relevant women. Because when women are empowered, everyone benefits.

To become part of the Grown-Ass Creative movement, click here. And if you feel inspired, please leave a rating and review for The Grown-Ass Woman’s Guide on your favorite podcast app. I appreciate your support so much.

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