Bryn Johnson: Reflections of a Brilliance-Based Businesswoman

Today you’re in for an extra-special treat, meeting the wonderful Bryn Johnson. Bryn and I were college classmates, and over the years our lives have taken such similar paths that it never ceases to amaze us. Here’s how she’s evolved from corporate gal to entrepreneur extraordinaire.

Briefly, what are the highlights of your career story?
I was a corporate gal through and through. Spent 20 years in corporate life after college before getting the “bug” to start my own business. That little whisper got louder and louder, telling me to go out there and be my own brand instead of doing an amazing job of representing someone else’s. Looking back,corporate life was my warm-up to being an entrepreneur.
Whether I was running a college recruiting/management training program, building a national mentoring program, creating a company employment brand, leveraging technology to become a maverick in the recruitment space, consulting with the Fortune 100, running multi-million dollar projects or leading teams of remarkable individuals, I was defining myself as an entrepreneur. In fact, looking back at my time at powerhouses such as Monster and Met Life, I realize that most of the initiatives I led were “start-up” in nature. Forging new ground. Bringing new concepts to an audience. No wonder I loved it so much!
As best as you understand it, what are you here to do? Who are you here to serve? What difference do you make for your clients?
Well isn’t that a big question! In essence, I make seemingly complicated and overwhelming business issues simple for entrepreneurs and small businesses using all those corporate secrets I learned. Those secrets are instrumental in helping build a strategy,a calendar and a plan for a project. Basically, I think in layers. I see new ways for clients to engage with their current audience while incorporating new methods on and off-line for drawing in different audience groups and weaving it all together. Layer upon layer. My goal is to take it from overwhelming to fun!
How do you define “success” for yourself?
This is tricky because I can be very tough on myself. My expectations are high. Therefore, I have begun celebrating my “wins” and my “little victories” every day. Writing them down on a post-it note. This method really helps me stay in the day and not live a year in the future in fear that my personal and professional goals will not be met. Certainly I have those personal and professional goals noted,calendared and charted serving as guideposts in my business. But there is something so rich and satisfying to know that today’s accomplishments included following through on a project I said I would finish today, calling and connecting with someone I have been thinking about, taking time for self-care and signing a new client, for example. Keeping it simple by celebrating daily successes.
What changes have you made or experienced in your life and business that have enabled you to experience more ease?
Building a team to support me was the best decision I made this year. Sure it is risky and scary and a huge leap financially, but the results have been astounding. Each week,my remarkable Chief of Staff peels more and more away from me and builds systems around our team processes so we can repeat the activity over and over again. Before my team, it was all in my head! Not a great idea.Go figure- I do not have to do everything myself in my business. Intellectually, I knew that. What is amazing to me is how challenging I tried to make it for myself. How tightly I held on to things that my personal assistant, sr. technical manager, bookkeeper and team of researchers and virtual assistants can not only handle- but allows them to bring their brilliance into the world!
What would you love your next breakthrough to be? Over the past year and a half, I have been on a personal health journey. I have placed a consider able amount of focus both the internal chemistry of my body and its physical size–course-correcting decades of incorrect information with the help of a life-changing health coach. Losing approximately 60 pounds feels amazing but there is still so much more work to go- deeper and requiring much more of my focus and stamina. Slow and steady wins the race on this one and I am committed. The challenge for me is making it a priority in my life ABOVE my business. Without my health, I will have no business. That is am important point for me to remember. Breaking through these last limiting beliefs holding me back will be incredible!
What brings you joy? New York City. The sounds and view of the park and Cathedral St. John the Divine outside my Manhattan window. Truly connecting with people which I must do each and every day. My three cats better known as “the boys” (and really all animals- I would rescue them all if I had room), My nieces and the lens by which they look at the world. The opportunity to cry about something moving and beautiful. Losing myself in a book. Singing out loud in my apartment. Post-it notes and Sharpies. A good night’s sleep. A great cup of coffee.
As a successful Brilliance-Based Businesswoman, what’s the best piece of advice you have for other aspiring and active Brilliance-Based Businesswomen out there? Trust your instincts.You already know. Stop “polling people” and make the decision.
What’s the best way for others to learn more about what you do? You can connect with me on Facebook or on Twitter.

Originally posted August 9, 2011