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Janet Autherine James Mahon

Janet Autherine James Mahon

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

I am the Founder of The Island Mindfulness Path to Transformation, CEO of Autherine Publishing, and the author of 3 books that are focused on empowering and amplifying the voices of women.

I immigrated from Jamaica as a teenager and know what it is like to overcome odds in order to accomplish your dreams. Therefore, I try to use the wisdom gained from over 25 years in the legal profession to mentor young women & empower high-achieving women who are overwhelmed to create a balanced, peaceful, highly successful and abundant life.

I am proud of 2 mentorship initiatives that I started - Women Leaving Footprints, which, through interviews, captures the stories of accomplished women to create a bank of advice for young women. and Self-care Sistas, which is a multi-cultural sisterhood on Facebook that is focused on health and wellness.

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

I love organizations that support the personal and professional development of women, and amplify our voices. I was recently invited to an executive zoom lunch meeting where we were able to discuss our challenges in a safe space. That fellowship reminded of why I joined Ellevate. I joined for the sisterhood of support that is provided and because my mission is to provide the type of mentorship to women that I was unable to receive during the early stages of my legal career.

We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?

I have spent over 25 years in the legal profession as a government attorney, Deputy General Counsel for a state tax office, and as an administrative law judge. In my 40s, I decided to tap into my creative side so I started a publishing company, and I am blessed to have published 4 books over the past 10 years. The one that is closest to my heart is Island Mindfulness: How to Use the Transformational Power of Mindfulness to Create an Abundant Life. My career has been guided by my willingness to take different paths to get to the career goal of serving others by bringing peace to conflict resolution, and calm to difficult life decisions.

What legacy do you hope to leave through your work?

I wrote my life story in the book, Island Mindfulness: How to Use the Transformational Power of Mindfulness to Create an Abundant Life. I hope to tell stories that amplify the voices of women, especially women of color, and provide young women with the career mentorship that I had a difficult time getting access to early in my career.

What is your morning ritual?

I wake up at around 5am daily, which is about 2 hours before the rest of the family. This gives me alone time to meditate, pray, exercise, and write. Some mornings, I do all 4 and sometimes, only 2. Peace is the goal so my morning schedule is not rigid. When the children are awake, life turns into a typical mommy morning of waking them up 3 times before they are actually out the bed, making breakfast and getting everyone set up for virtual school before starting my own day of work.

What would you say your personal superpower is?

This used to be a very difficult question to answer but with age comes wisdom and room for true self-reflection. My super power is Emotional Intelligence. I am able to listen to complex problems, simplify them and bring a sense of calm and understanding to decision making.

What does success look like to you?

Success is when there is harmony and balance in my work and personal life. I feel most fortunate when there is time for meaningful work, family activities, self care and service to the community.

Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?

Practicing mindfulness daily helps me to create balance. Each morning, I set my intention on the 3 most important goals at work, at home, or both. Mindfulness give me the focus and awareness to stay on course.

What is the best career advice you ever received?

Bring excellence to every job, especially the ones that are stepping stones to your dream job.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?

As a mother of 3 boys who work outside the home, I know that we often worry that our work will interfere with our ability to be a great mother to our children. I want mothers to know that the kids will be alright. Your work enhances your ability to be a great mother. We often hear the saying, you can have it all but not at once. Many of our frustration comes from trying to have it all and do it all at once. Each week (or a timeline that works for you) determine what “having it all” means for you that week. I would recommend selecting no more than 3 goals. Set yourself up to win.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.