Jay S. Ritchie, Green Nova Innovations
Badass Women Entrepreneurs
Name: Jay S. Ritchie, Founding President Green Nova Innovations s.p.c. http://www.greennovainnovations.org/
Were you always badass or did you have to learn it? Always at the core ;) but you learn to get better at it through the training the universe/life puts you through :P
Three habits that have contributed to your success:
1. To Do Lists
2. Setting stratospheric goals → Introspection & Self-Pep Talks
3. Identifying trustworthy/inspiring mentors & asking for help when I really need it.
One thing you wish you had known in your early days:
(1) That the world won’t end, and I still have value, if I’m not perfect, (2) Always do what you love, what makes your soul sing, not what you think other people expect (no should-ing all over yourself, just follow the bliss), and (3) valuing the “fuck-ups” as part of the growth process (you don’t have to be a shining star all the time)
Put your oxygen mask on first. Save yourself, first, then others. Work to return to wholeness. Do things that feed you. People who hurt you are hurt. It doesn’t have anything to do with you, your worth, what you deserve, what is possible. Live with Compassion and Act out of Love.
You cannot combat violence with stronger violence. Ignorance can be alleviated with patience, love, and compassionate education.
(Mastering all... a work in progress... :)
What did you think was necessary in the beginning but now doesn't feel like a big deal: I thought I had to have everything figured out before I could start making dreams into reality, but now I know that every meticulous detail doesn’t need to be worked out to get started.
How do you deal with fear:
Lean into it.
Engage with Introspection.
Try to really get to the bottom of what is going on; what lesson the fear is teaching me.
Get really busy trying to “defeat” whatever is making me fearful.
Admit that I am afraid to someone I trust, ask for help if I need it.
Shoot lots of Love, Light, and Gratitude at it. Acceptance.
What's the one thing you find the hardest to do: Having compassion for myself in the face of “failure”, by accepting that I cannot control everything, and sometimes all I can do is create space for myself to feel my way through to brighter times. Integrating contrarian parts of myself; returning to wholeness.
What's the WHY behind what you do: To heal the hurt. I want my daughter/children to experience a level of love and security that I yearn for. That involves creating a better planet, society, self, which is more in alignment with LOVE and the greater good… for the betterment of all our babies ;)
Do you, or did you, suffer imposter syndrome (aka feeling like a fraud)? All the time. I make an effort to remember many things can be true at once, and somethings, like the imposter syndrome broken record, just aren’t true. Surrounding myself with people I love, respect, and trust helps combat this because they help me remember what is true.
Whenever I meet with someone, I ask them if I can record the conversation... and I have never been happier and relied more on my recording as when I met with Jacinta.
She is whip smart, passionate, forward thinking and introspective. A powerful combination of innovative ideas and action. Many people think about how to fix a problem, Jacinta goes one step further by thinking about how to stop a problem before it has happened.
Jacinta started as a lawyer and tried environmental litigation for a while but it didn't feed her spirit. She always knew she wanted to be her own boss.
She noticed that people currently doing energy projects in impacted communities would create jobs for a few months but then, all of the benefits of the energy project would go outside of the community while all of the problems, like environmental contaminants, would stay inside the community perpetuating the same poverty/trauma cycles that are already there.
She was moved to found her own company with a vision of a turn-key clean tech energy company.
One of many company goals for 2017-2020 are based on “an area that I identified that wasn't happening ... utilizing indigenous knowledge systems to transform risk science.... and also to transform energy systems...”
When I asked her to break down what this meant to the common brain... ie. mine. She defines “indigenous knowledge systems” as “utilizing ancient knowledge basically". If you look at old systems that are super energy efficient, take, preserve and use this knowledge by integrating it into a community scale energy retrofit. They will also be setting up businesses for the people who show proficiency in this knowledge so that they can secure the maintenance contracts and keep the work flowing in the community.
Jacinta was raised along the Nooksack River in Deming, Washington and has a close relationship with the Lummi Nation and the Noocksack Tribe. Interestingly enough the Nooksack definition of their name “...comes from a place name in our language and translates to “always bracken fern roots,” which illustrates our close ties to our land and the resources that continue to give strength to our people.” Which I find so fitting with what Jacinta is providing.
The "why" of the business for Jacinta are the babies. The women who are carrying their unborn babies, the women who may conceive and the little kids out there who are growing up in this world. She wants to protect them, not by feeding them a fish, but by teaching them how to fish based on their ancestral ways, making sure that the water is clean enough to eat the fish and that the community is thriving enough to have fish for all.
Women and babies come up a lot with Jacinta. It's what fuels her passion. She's doing this in part to help the next generation grow up safe. Something that was fleeting for her growing up and what caused her to tap into her male energy. She grew up in a very misogynistic environment and it was safer to be a male – so she did competitive martial arts fighting, she studied, she persevered against conditions that would have been easy for her to become just another victim... and she is making something of herself in making things better for others.
When Jacinta was growing up and she lamented her life or complained, her spiritual grandmother would tell her “you chose to come here and you've been given these gifts to do what you are supposed to do for the universe” . She gets to rewrite the narrative – to take these painful experience and use these lessons to help others. To create safety where she had none.
And what she wants to do is rewrite the “reference man”. Defined as a healthy white male in his mid-30's that studies use to reference how he will be impacted during environmental trials. This male doesn't take into account women in their productive years who are particularly vulnerable to environmental contaminants, which passes on to their developing child, endlessly continuing the cycle. Or children with their not fully formed systems that are more susceptible to change causing an increase in serious children cancers and reproductive issues within women. The “reference man” doesn't account for the babies.
If you look at Jacinta's card and at her online presence, you will only see J.S.... a gender neutral presence that she thinks has served her well. People are often surprised when they meet her as they expect the founder of a clean tech energy company to be male – not a beautiful young woman. And she knows this – so she gives up some of her power, by feeding information to the alpha males in her group, to have them speak for her to insure that it will be accepted.
There is some ego in this, some satisfaction knowing that it's your words coming out of a male that creates the change and acceptance she wants. But it also tells you how Jacinta thinks of women and how she is trying to resolve these two sides of herself – the feminine and the masculine.
Jacinta told me of a documentary called Miss Representation (on Netflix) and she spoke of how this was the first movie she connected to as a female. It shows how women are portrayed in media as these sex dolls, how we are encouraged to play the female card to build up the egos of men, how smart girls are looked down upon in the school system and that other females are less likely to support a female candidate then a man.
This movie really spoke to me as well. As a mother of a young daughter and of a son I strive to be more cognizant and communicative about what they watch, what they see in media and what I want to expose them to. But what really spoke to me is how we need more females in politics, making policy and changing the landscape. And we as women need to lift these women up and support them.
And Jacinta is who I thought of. This woman who is so smart, articulate and passionate. Who is building a business around saving the babies. Who is using the resources of the land and the knowledge of the people to enhance everyone’s lives to make a better future.
Jacinta told me that prior to starting her business she was in a lot of rooms with decision makers in regards to environmental impact and how to create change. But what she saw was not a lot of collaborative problem solving happening. What she saw was a lot of egos in the room. A room in which she was often the only female voice.
And so she left to create her change and make the biggest impact on the environment that she could come up with. Collaborating with people around the world.
Trying to change “reference man” will not be easy, but I have no doubt that Jacinta can do this.
And I wonder if she will do this as J.S. or if she will embrace Jacinta. My hope is that she will sit back at that table and create the impact she wants to see, create the collaboration and break through the egos. It won't be easy, but if anyone can do it, Jacinta can. With her strong, beautiful, female, voice.
And I for one would support her.