Story & Photo by LISA ANDERSON
Jessica (Jess) Schultz is a tall, confident woman, who wears her heart on her sleeve…on purpose. “I really try and expose my heart as much as I possibly can, and it hurts. I hurt all the time. I want people to feel more confident [about] not ‘hiding’ because of their interactions with me. I want them to be okay with [emotional] pain and nervousness.”
She’s always had a pull towards people and a desire to connect with them. “Even as a kid, I would cry about stuff on the news. I am just so tender,” Jess confesses. “I just got so lost in my emotions as a young person. We emotional types, we just have to learn how to manage.”
Because of the desire to connect her love of music and literature, Jess started her career as an English teacher. After five years, she reached her burnout point and began looking at a career in fitness. She became a yoga instructor and a certified trainer—basically, a “fitness professional.”
After 12 years in Huntsville, Alabama with her husband, Jess and family moved to Ocala, where she joined her parents, sister, brother-in-law, and her husband in opening the Pulse Center of Ocala, a Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) facility. To market their business, Jess joined Business Network International (BNI), where she learned about the importance of strategic marketing. “Being a people-person and being comfortable being vulnerable are not marketing skills. They’re great people skills to have, but that does not make you a marketer.”
Jess later joined the Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership (CEP). They soon noticed her unique marketing abilities. She is now the CEP’s Director of Partner Engagement. “At this point in my career, I feel like I have come to a place where I’m fully in my purpose.” Her smile illuminates the room.
She wants business owners to understand how connecting on a deeper level can help your business grow and showing some of your insecurities doesn’t make you look less professional. “I’ve pretty much got myself together. I’m a professional. I’m smart. I keep up with a lot of stuff. I raise two kids. I’m married to an amazing man, but I’m also kind of a disaster 100 percent of the time.
“I’ve experienced a lot of hurt and pain, but I always feel like there is room for growth, and that transformation comes from pain. This is what I am supposed to be doing.”
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