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Jen McFarland, MPA, has over 25 years of training, teaching, and executive experience. She led large-scale public sector projects affecting over 50,000 businesses, handling millions of dollars. Today, Jen consults with business owners on leadership, strategic project planning, and digital marketing. She's a frequent guest speaker/trainer and hosts a weekly podcast.
Longform Bio & Background
I love the power of projects, intentionality, and aligned action.
Our intentions become our realities.
In college, I decided to join the Peace Corps. When one of my closest college friends went to Bolivia and told me tales of faraway lands I knew I had to go.
Good thing my husband loves to travel and seek adventure as much as me. We went together.
It was during the two years living and working as a teacher in Kazakhstan that I realized how much I love projects.
I became attuned to the fact that projects drive everything we do. It’s about listening and learning and creating solutions to the problems nagging us day after day.
Life boils down to love, service, equity, and joy. Those are my core values.
After Peace Corps, I decided to go after a Master of Public Administration with an emphasis on leadership and project management. I had my sights set on living abroad again.
When the economy crashed a few months before graduation, I was grateful I’d stuck around at my fellowship gig at the City of Portland.
That 10-week gig turned into a 10-year career.
I am a professional problem-solver with the unique ability to look at issues from the 10,000-foot level and then zero-in on the tiniest of details, which I’ve found often holds the keys that determine success or failure.
After 10 years of solving large-scale business problems, I felt unfulfilled. I decided to leave.
During those first few weeks as an entrepreneur, I created my first draft of the leadership model I teach businesses today.
I also discovered that businesses, no matter how big or small, experience similar obstacles as they move from idea to goals to finishing a project.
I realized new and emerging businesses could grow and thrive with a few simple tweaks in mindset and how they approach leadership and projects.
I’m a frequent Small Business Development Center speaker, and I co-developed a digital marketing program for Prosper Portland's inclusive business network, helping local new and emerging businesses led by women and people of color.
I don’t believe in cookie-cutter solutions; I deliver best practices, and solutions based on active listening, leadership, intentionality, and (gasp!) a plan — you know, the things I’ve built my career around.
I’ve handled some of the largest, most sensitive projects in Portland. I’ve helped hundreds of businesses and thousands of podcast listeners.
I'd love to be on your podcast.
Women in Tech
What did you learn about projects as a Peace Corps Volunteer?
Why do you love helping business owners plan and execute their business projects?
What leadership gaps do you see among women entrepreneurs?
What's the most important thing a business can do when implementing a change initiative?
Why are leadership, project management and digital marketing the three foundational pieces for any business?
What do you mean you work "logically and intuitively"? That doesn't sound like project management.
How can all businesses (including solopreneurs) benefit from strategic project management?
I post all of my podcast appearances here (they stay there forever!): https://www.jenmcfarland.com/podcast-appearances/
Recent appearances include:
The Honest Uproar
Marketing Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them) With Stacy Jones
The EGGS Podcast
Business & Life Conversations With Angela Henderson
Cultural Differences & Cultural Diversity in International Business
She Breaks Thru with Thembi Bheka
The Entrepreneur's MBA with Adam Kipnes
Tea Time with Tajuana
Business Owner Freedom
Word of the Week
Moving Forward Leadership
Heart & Hustle