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Janet Zaretsky

Janet Zaretsky

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

I am Janet Zaretsky. I am known as THE BS-to-BRILLIANCE MASTER. As a two-time TEDX and keynote speaker, corporate trainer and master business coach, I’ve helped thousands of high-wattage people on low beam discover the ‘BS’ that has them stalled, stopped or just feeling ‘meh.’

We all have our talents, and one of mine is an uncanny ability to sniff out the BS that has a powerhouse like you not operating at your best. Why do I hunt for the BS? Because that’s the access to your bold and beautiful brilliance.

The work I do, whether it is in a keynote or training or in one on one coaching, is always highly interactive and about impacting your life, not just going home with a shiny new insight that makes no difference. I draw upon years of expertise in ontology, entrepreneurship, corporate coaching and training, conversational intelligence, behavioral styles, and driving forces to determine the exact coordinates of the BS dimming your innate brilliance.

I have a no-nonsense, direct approach. I spent the first 21 years of my career as an RN (for teeney preemies) and I still love science and am highly results based. My style resonates best with people who’ve reached a certain level of accomplishment and who are ready for straight talk and laser focus on the next big breakthrough. Don’t be fooled, though—behind the velvet-hammer demeanor are the deep compassion and love for humanity that fuel me every single day. I love my work and feel it is a profound privilege to leave an impact.

Besides my coaching clients, my current focus is on training. I am a communications expert and have created training programs that are highly effective related to communication, leadership and sales. I have also partnered with an excellent trainer and we are holding workshops called Impact Speaking Lab for people who want to be memorable speakers who leave an impact. We have both spoken to tens of thousands of people and have trained dozens of others. This unique training incorporates our experience and C-IQ (Conversational Intelligence) and is very hands on. We are very excited about this project so we can be a conduit for people' messages making the difference they are out to make. I am the author of "Where'd My Confidence Go...and How Do I Get It Back?" and am in the process of writing another book on ending the gender gap. I have had 4 articles published on and been a featured expert as well. I also have a podcast, Brilliant You, where I feature powerhouse business woman with empowering stories and challenges to amp up our overall success and satisfaction.

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

I am pretty new to Ellevate- however, my experience is being with other powerful accomplished women who are supporting each other is the most fulfilling way to network, grow and expand. That is what Ellevate represents to me and why I am a member.

How would you define your professional mission?

My mission is to empower women. I am grounded in an open ended inquiry- what is possible if women are empowered- for women, for men, for society and the world. While standing in that inquiry I am on a mission to end the gender gap both in pay and in influence in my lifetime.

What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?

In order to be successful as a coach you need to LOVE what you do, you need to have compassion for humanity AND not step over anything, be willing to say the hard to hear things while standing for them, in other words, be ruthlessly compassionate. In order to be successful as a speaker and a trainer, you need to have confidence in yourself, committed to what you are saying and be related to the people who are listening and interacting.

What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?

When I walked off the TEDX Stage with my first TEDX, The Apology Trap, an older woman came up to me and grabbed my hands and with tears in her eyes she said "Thank you. I have apologized all my life and have taught my daughter to be apologetic. I am going to call her and share with her and stop her from teaching my granddaughter to be apologetic. I want her to be powerful."

All I ever want to do is make a difference- that moment is representative of many moments in my career that left someone with a new empowered future.

What project have you worked on that you’re most proud of? Why?

I did a series of training at a small growing company. When I went into the company, there was lots of discontent among the employees. In fact, 2 of the supervisory staff were the subject of constant complaints. 3 months after the training, I heard from the CEO that it was remarkable- the two who had been subject of constant complaints were no longer a 'problem' and the teams were now operating effectively. The discontent was no longer a problem- they were using the training and intervening effectively when they got upset. That was a true triumph.

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

I started my career as a RN and specialized in NICU (preemies and medically involved babies), I did high risk infant follow up for the state of California and wrote all the care plans for the state (at the time). I trained parents to advocate for their medically involved babies inside a medical system that was often not communicative. Someone shared with me about this new profession called coaching. This was 1995. I went to one of the original coach training programs- Coach U-and started coaching. I left nursing in 1996 after participating in a transformational education program at Landmark Worldwide. I started coaching full time and then led programs for Landmark for 18 years elevating to one of the senior leaders- have led to over 32000 people. I still love their programs, and I left leading in 2013 to start my own coaching, speaking and training programs again. I have written and delivered my own workshops, speeches and coaching programs ever since. I also wrote a book, and write articles regularly, have a podcast. I have failed many times along the way which has always led me to the next best thing. Failure is a wonderful teacher. I love my career and would not change a thing.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is when a client has a big win. A big bump in pay, a new position and the like- for sure, but the best moments are the lightbulb moments.... When we have been talking about them standing for themselves or intervening where they haven't... and they do it and experience taking back their own power. I looove that!

In speaking and training- it is similar. When I leave the stage and someone comes up to me and hugs me and thanks me for what I said and tells me how it will impact their life. I have an Unapologetic Powerhouse Manifesto: one of my favorite lines on the manifesto encapsulates this: "I am powerful. I celebrate other people's successes as my own."

What legacy do you hope to leave through your work?

I intend to leave a legacy that includes an end to the gender gap both in pay and in influence. My legacy will include a line of powerful women BEING the powerhouses they are.

What would you say your personal superpower is?

My superpower is sniffing out the BS that has someone not getting what they want, not owning their power, not shining a light on their brilliance and not making the money they want and deserve. I can hear behind someone's words for what is in the way, help them discover it and get it out of the way so they can be the amazing unapologetic powerhouse woman they are.

What advice would you offer future leading ladies wishing to break into your industry?

Get training. Today, coaching is in demand, and there are plenty of people who are not trained as a coach. They just add coach to their title. That dilutes the industry and I believe is not fair to the consumer. Coaching is a set of specialized terms called distinctions. Go to an accredited coach training program. Hire another coach to help you build your business and as a coach- always have a coach (none of us can see our own blind spots!). Then decide what you love and go for it. Stay focused, hone your message and your marketing and you can and will succeed. Same for speaking and training- get trained and work with a master to build your skills and success.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.

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