Welcome to Top Three Takeaways, where I give you bite-sized life lessons from the She Built That episodes. Tune into the podcast every Tuesday, and get your recap every Thursday.
Jen Murtagh is a “people philanthropist.” She’s a big believer in charity, reciprocity and in connecting like-minded individuals to form communities. Find out more about the CEO of the Minerva Foundation in her interview on She Built That, and get your Top Three Takeaways below.
Fitting in your fitness
Physical fitness can have amazing effects on your mental health and well-being — but recognizing the need to move can be a challenge. Jen makes it a priority, because she sees how much better it is for her, her work, and her friends and family.
“[Physical fitness] makes me feel better, it’s good for my brain. There’s lots of benefits of exercise. I like feeling strong. I don’t necessarily feel that way now, but I know what it feels like and I’m working towards it. […] It’s part of my well-being. I’m a much happier person when I can get it in.”
Networking and the law of reciprocity
Giving back the community, investing in others, is like investing in yourself. It’s the law of reciprocity: the good you put out into the world will make its way back to you in some way.
“I’m a firm believer in the law of reciprocity. I always feel, if you’re giving of yourself and you genuinely help other people along the way — because that’s the right thing to do, is to help other people in this world — then that will come back to you at some point. And you never know when it’s going to come back, or in what form it’s going to come back, but it comes back.
“I think I sort of lived my personal life and my business life by that sort of notion […] in giving back. Also, I talk a lot about building your network before you need it. I had this very shallow view of what networking was, and all the misconceptions around that when I was younger. When I started my career I had this great little job, I was the marketing manager for the Vancouver Canucks. […] It was a fun job and I thought, ‘Oh I’m never leaving this job, and networking’s only for people that are looking for jobs.’ It was quite juvenile and uneducated in terms of my view on that.”
Passing on the pedestal
Putting others on a pedestal can limit your interactions with them: you get nervous, and underestimate your own worth because you’re so impressed by someone else. Jen recommends knowing your worth, and seeing others as human — no better, no worse.
“People are just people. I don’t put people on a pedestal. I would never have a problem walking up to any sort of celebrity, I never have nervousness around meeting high-profile or important people. I just feel like people are people, we’re all sort of very similar. […] I think if you can approach people with the authentic person that you are — if it doesn’t jive well with them, well alright, that’s who you are. That’s kind of when you go back to knowing yourself, knowing your value, knowing your worth.”
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“[W]hen we give women the opportunity to really bring their voice to the table, I feel that that spills into the community. […] By building capacity in women, I think we’re building capacity in communities and organizations.”