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Author, CEO, red carpet correspondent, certified personal trainer, health coach: Jennifer Ettinger wears so many hats her closet must be overflowing.
But it wasn’t always that way. There was a time when Ettinger wore only one: patient.
She found herself bedridden with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, an autoimmune disease that stripped her of her ability to work or enjoy life. After almost two years, she decided to take her health into her own hands, using a holistic approach to her recovery with an emphasis on spirituality.
It worked and as her body began to recover, her star began to rise. She became a pioneer in the social media world, carving herself a role as a “social media correspondent” before that was even a thing. She’s now a member of some of the most influential social media collaborations, including the Twitterati.
If you don’t follow her on the socials, you’d probably recognize her vivacious smile from the red carpets (including the Oscars) which she patrolled for ETalk and Vanity Fair, to name just a few.
Oh, and when she’s not rubbing shoulders with the Hollywood elite, Ettinger is running her two businesses: Fit Your Style Inc., a fitness and holistic lifestyle company and Pink Dreams Inc., a social media PR agency.
Her bestselling novel “Find Your Inner Goddess” ties a pretty pink bow around an incredible career, using her victory over Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to motivate women to embrace their body, shape, beauty, mind and spirit.
HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON YOUR CAREER PATH?
I guess you could say my career path chose me. My entire life I have struggled with auto-immune issues. In the 1990s, my health came crashing down on me. I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and wound up bedridden for a year, collecting disability checks. I could no longer look at myself in the mirror; I could hardly get out of bed. I became a shell of the woman that I used to be.
One day after staring at the ceiling, I turned on the tv to watch Oprah. She had a special guest called Billy Blanks, who created a fitness craze, Tae Bo. Immediately I was drawn to him. His light ignited something within me. I was determined to regain my life.
I researched everything I would find on CFS from a natural “holistic” perspective. I raised my spiritual game, my awareness, by working with a mentor. I created my own plan. Within one year, I was out of bed and practicing Tae Bo! A holistic lifestyle changed my life. Now, I want to make it clear; this isn’t a hardcore definition of holistic. For me, it is about moderation, movement, awareness, and a whole lot of self-work.
WHAT ARE YOUR SUCCESS HABITS?
I feel my passion for what I do fuels my success. Nothing gives me more joy than when a client achieves progress and personal transformation of body, business, mind, and spirit.
I also believe my continuous “self-work” impacts my career. I have two mentors what I work with regularly, and I am always taking courses to further develop my interests and skillset.
Most recently, during COVID, I completed a well-being course at Yale. Presently, I am back in school to obtain another specialist designation in Behavior Change and taking a mental health course at the University of Toronto.
WHAT WAS YOUR GREATEST CAREER CHALLENGE AND WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM IT?
My greatest career challenge was during a time I lost my inner circle friends/colleagues. They were my chosen family. My intuition kept telling me there was something wrong; they kept saying things were “fine.”
On one of the biggest days of my red carpet career, this group decided not to support the work I retained them to do. To make matters worse, one person kept feeding the others spiteful text messages that I wanted them ALL to fail. I wanted to be the star. This was ALL going down in front of the client in real-time—a total train wreck.
Thankfully, I had other friends and colleagues who witnessed this occurring and stepped in to complete the job. The bottom line, money, friendship, and a change in leadership roles can impact relationships.
This lesson made me grieve; then I learned the process of releasing with love. I had to take on more responsibilities, learn new skills, but I did it, and I also created a new beautiful community to work alongside.
WHAT IS ONE BIG MISTAKE WOMEN TEND TO MAKE AND HOW COULD THEY AVOID IT?
I feel the most significant mistake women make is the “compare syndrome.” Women can avoid this by honouring their own self-worth, accolades, and celebrations. Spoiler alert, what we “see” on social most of the time isn’t real!
Get in touch with yourself by going inward vs. trying to keep with others’ outward appearances. Self-work takes work! We are all works of progress, but there is something beautiful about a woman who recognizes her truth and flaws. Perfectly imperfect, I like to say.
HOW DO YOU STAY FRESH AND FOCUSED IN THIS BUSY WORLD?
I like to change the word “busy” to productive; it is different energy altogether. Productivity takes a goal, a dream, and breaks it into a plan. I use my planner, a daily to-do list, an outlook calendar, and a dry board as my organization sources. I also believe in the power of letting others lead. I don’t micromanage my fantastic team. They lead with their skillsets and gifts; I trust their abilities.
As for staying “fresh,” I hit the trails daily to ground myself, practice meditation and mindful movement.
WHAT IS YOUR POWER WORD?