Jill Taber

1. What is your morning motivation to do great things?

A big driver for me is my desire to enjoy a life creating memories with the people I love — whether that’s the little, every-day walks to the park with my son and the neighbors, or spending time on the golf course, or being at the ranch with my family, or traveling on vacation — that quality time is really important to me. “We’re not here for a long time; we’re here for a good time,” so I want to grow my business to enhance those experiences, and hopefully, encourage other people to live their “why” along the way — whatever that may be. Waking up every day knowing that I own my own business is such an amazing feeling — having complete control over my day feels really good.

2. What is one thing you do to work towards a work/life balance?

Since I work completely from home, work/life balance is crucial. There was a time where I was running through my whole day worried that I should be working when I was playing with my son, and worried that I should be enjoying time with him when I was working. Color-blocking my calendar has been huge: there’s time for my “hours of operation” and there’s time for family.

3. Name one person who has inspired you in your career.

It’s really difficult to pick just one! I have been fortunate to be mentored by one of the foremost leaders in the insurance and finance business, Ron Rosbruch. Ron took the time to help me in my previous career in financial recruiting, but the advice that he gave me in that profession has applied to my business and my life — things like: don’t give yourself a final grade halfway through the semester; create value for others first; be gracious and grateful, present and patient. Ron exemplifies a person who is willing to give, help, and encourage others, even when it’s not required or there’s nothing in it for him. Okay, I can’t stop at one! I have to mention my husband, Nick. He is tenacious, persistent, hard-working, positive, and never gives up. He encourages me and challenges me.

4. Why did you decide to start your business?

About 18 months ago, I was looking for a way to transition away from my work with a local financial firm. I had a pretty good gig — I worked part-time and mostly from home, but the workload became too demanding as my son got older. My husband and I decided I could stay home full-time, and immediately, I knew I would miss having a career. Rodan + Fields has given me the ability to build a social commerce business of my own, on my own terms, which is the only way I can work and be the mom and wife I want to be.

5. What is one technological device or app you use that you could not live without?

Pretty basic, but my cell phone is crucial to my business — my life in my palm. I just transitioned to an electronic calendar in the last six months. I listen to podcasts on Podcast Addict — I’m currently obsessed with “The Suitcase Entrepreneur.” She’s a globe-trotting businesswoman who has the most amazing New Zealand voice. Reminds me of my husband’s New Zealand family.

6. What is your greatest strength as a leader?

I tend to be very compassionate and understanding of where people are, what they are struggling with, and what they need in order to move forward. I asked my husband what he thought and he said, “your integrity.” I try to conduct my life with utmost integrity; hopefully, that shines through most of the time! My husband will laugh when he reads this, but I also tend to approach life with humor; I think that’s important in all kinds of situations, and certainly in leadership.

7. What has been your biggest failure and how have you overcome it?

I feel like the biggest failure that can let us down is lack of self-confidence and caring too much about what other people think — there have been times I have gone too far down that road: worrying too much about how others perceive me. That spiral of negativity is a total disaster. A couple months ago, though, I just sat myself down and said, “Jill. That’s ridiculous. Your life is your life. You’re happy, working toward what you want, striving every day to be a good wife and a good mom. Chill out.” A book I read recently that really helped is “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown. In one part she talks about acknowledging negative feelings and then saying, “Hey, I hear you, but guess what? I’m not playing that tape today. See ya.” I think everyone should read that book.

8. What is success?

Throughout the majority of my life, I’ve struggled with identity — specifically, putting my identity as a person in my career, my academic work, my competitive pursuits — and then feeling like a failure when those things don’t go exactly as planned. Success for me is getting to a point in my relationship with God where I rest in knowing that I’m His child, and that’s all the identity I need. On top of that, connecting spiritually in a way that I’m pursuing the dreams in my heart and encouraging other people to do the same — whether it’s my business partners, my husband, my kids, my friends, whoever.

9. Name one person who is a successful leader.
My dad is one of the most patient, level-headed, caring people I know. He puts a lot of thought into the decisions he makes and he’s well-respected because he always gives his best, does quality work, and is fair.

10. What is the one thing you do over and over and recommend to others?

Continually meeting new people is crucial; no matter your profession, you need to be networking. At one time in my life, I was pretty shy (people who know me are saying, “WHAT?!”) When I moved to Missoula and started my career, I read a book called “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi and I recommend it all the time – make it a practice to get to know new people.

– Jill Taber