Invariably, every entrepreneur, whether new to the business or well established in their industry, will encounter setbacks that seem insurmountable. Especially amidst the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, entrepreneurship in contemporary society can seem to be plagued with risks, leaving many business owners feeling lost. Such challenges are career-defining moments, demanding resilience and creativity in order to continue along the entrepreneurial path.
Those who have been able to rise above their circumstances after a hitch in their professional journey offer insight into what it takes to succeed in a turbulent market.
Jackie Potter, CEO and Founder of JP Talent Agency, is one such individual to watch. Described by her colleagues as “an inspiration to all demographics,” Jackie, following a heartbreaking lay-off in March of 2020, utilized her grit and passion to become a trailblazer in recruitment, modeling an energizing professional dynamism for all who hear her story.
Born and raised in the northern suburbs of Chicago, IL, Jackie was influenced throughout her childhood by her father, one of the top attorneys in Illinois, and his own professional drive. Watching him work to start his legal firm in her younger years galvanized her passion for entrepreneurial initiative, a motivating force that would propel her future career.
After finishing at the University of Kansas where she studied Journalism and Business, focusing on Strategic Communication and Design, Jackie took off an outstanding trajectory in the field of advertising. Starting in the corporate sphere as a media buyer within Omnicom, one of the largest holding companies in the world, she spearheaded multimillion dollar advertising campaigns for a prestigious client base.
In late 2019, she joined a major global recruiting firm, amazing senior members of the company by becoming one of their top billers nationally within just four months.
Then, the pandemic hit, disrupting the lives of countless talented professionals, including Jackie. Having the least amount of tenure on her team, she was let go on company policy, despite the headway she had made in her short time at the firm.
When giving the news, Jackie’s Manager was just as devastated as she was, emphasizing how honored he was to be a small part of her incredible journey and calling her an inspiration to all demographics.
Despite the freshness of this seemingly calamitous setback, Jackie was devising a plan to get back on her feet in days. Not wanting to be stagnated by the pandemic, she immediately began the job hunt, but in a moment of clarity, she realized the avenue that would allow her to fully engage her creative power. “I always dreamed about running my own business, but I had no idea what it was going to be, or when the opportunity would come, and there it was, right in front of me.” JP Talent was founded just days later.
Three weeks into starting JP Talent, Jackie was on the phone with her first client, closing her first ever deal, her first candidate placement, when she received a voicemail that her father, her role model, was found on the side of the road.
“He wasn't breathing Jacqueline, and it doesn't sound good.” her half brother stated over the phone. A few minutes later, Jackie's father was pronounced dead. He had passed away unexpectedly walking their dog due to a massive heart attack.
Shattered, her world turned upside down, Jackie found herself too soon at another life-defining moment. Through her remarkable resilience, JP Talent stayed afloat despite the grief of her father’s passing.
A few months later, Jackie took another leap, packed up her Chicago apartment, and bought a one way flight to plant her agency in Los Angeles. In just a year, with COVID-19 still on the forefront of the country’s mind, JP Talent has grown into a six figure agency under Jackie’s sole guidance, partnering with businesses ranging from large corporations to small start ups in a wide array of industries.
The agency’s nationwide recruiting and diverse offering of services一such as candidates within the realm of creative, content creation, product marketing, videography, graphic design, and more一distinguish JP Talent as a rising star in the recruiting industry, a leading company for years to come.
Reflecting on her path, Jackie’s words offer inspiration to everyone who has faced a challenge in life. “There are two ways to look at life, and that's, ‘why me?’ or, ‘how can I let this shape me?’. Everything I have ever been through over the course of my entire life, I made the choice, to let it shape me.”
Jackie’s entrepreneurial journey is a beacon to all professionals, illuminating the power of creativity in forging a path through hardship and exemplifying the passion that all should strive to embody.