In today’s world, life and business happens on the internet and working from home is easier to accomplish than ever before. Because of this, technical education is worth it’s weight in gold! With the ability to break technology into bite-size pieces, a quick wit and a laugh that comes from her toes, you want Jen McFarland on your team! What could take me a month to learn and execute Jen can do in far less time allowing us to do what only we can do–freeing up our precious time.

Jen McFarland is a technology strategist and project turnaround artist. She’s probably the only tech nerd you’ll meet who’s also equal parts sorority girl, abstract painter, and Peace Corps volunteer (Kazkhstan 2004-2006). She’s nerdy enough to talk to the techies, but her real passion is helping nontechnical business owners get the technology they need to support their business vision.

Jen’s superpowers are listening, evaluating complex problems, and finding direct, simple solutions in a fun, playful environment — free of geek speak. Whether it’s developing million-dollar programs or helping a small business position their tech for growth, Jen’s tech agnostic, research-based solutions deliver powerful results. Her clients have experienced up to 250% increases in web traffic, and a 98% reduction in data entry.

Jen is also the co-host of the business and tech podcast, the Third Paddle.

1) What exactly is your business and what inspired you?
My business, Foster Growth LLC, helps businesses make better technology decisions. I help businesses create strategies aligned with their 3- to 5-year goals. I saw an opportunity to help women business owners feel more empowered when they make stronger technology decisions.

2) What one thing do you do every day to move yourself forward and stay focused? Where do you find your inspiration?
I sit in quiet gratitude. I am inspired by the women in my accountability groups.

3) What do you do regularly to take care of yourself?
I struggle with this. This is an area where I can improve.

4) How do you keep yourself emotionally balanced while you are pushing forward?
I remind myself that this is a marathon, not a sprint. I’m in it for the long-haul and I would rather build long-term relationships than make decisions that may hurt me or my business in the long-run.

5) What’s the best part and the worst part of your job?
The best part is seeing the light come on when people realize what’s possible – that all these tools and apps don’t have to be confusing or daunting. The worst part is reviewing someone’s website or data and realizing it’s been hacked or compromised.

6) What failure taught you the most and what was it?
In the beginning, I took everybody as a client. After some early missteps, I know the importance of a sales process. I know I need to trust my gut about a project or run the risk of getting burned — energetically or financially.

7) If you had to do something different, what would that be?
I would have taken more time in the beginning to position my business for the long game.

8) If you had advice to give to someone else who was thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, what would that be?
Yes, you need money. Yes, you need a plan. But at a certain point you have to look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself whether these are excuses so you don’t have to take the risk.

9) What did you have to overcome personally to be able to do what you do?
It was hard working as a woman in tech. It really shook my confidence to the core. The night I decided to leave and start Foster Growth full-time I knew it was too early but I also knew I had no choice.

10) Any last parting words?
Believe in yourself. Love yourself. You’ve got this.

TWITTER: @fostergrowthpdx