Editor’s note: Triangle entrepreneur and thought leader Jes Averhart, CEO of Jes & Co and host of the “Reinvention Road Trip,” is a regular WRAL TechWire contributor who explores topics pertaining to reinvention, especially prompted by the onset of the global pandemic. Her columns appear weekly. 


“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”

– Nelson Mandela.

Greetings from Lambertville – the sweetest little town you’ve probably never heard of.  Known as the ‘Antiques Capital of New Jersey,’ this town sits confidently on the banks of the Delaware River showing off its eclectic art galleries, charming coffee shops, and the inn where Aaron Burr fled after he killed Alexander Hamilton. It’s a whole vibe.

On Sunday, I made the 56-minute drive from Philadelphia to Lambertville with a singular mission – to dial in my craft of public speaking. On Monday morning, I climbed to the second floor of an old lace factory where the world’s most rigorous and intensive keynote speaker training goes down. In order to attend you have to be invited and you have to be committed to the idea that a speech has the power to change the world and the people in it…including the speaker. I was fortunate to receive an invitation to attend the Spring session and jumped at the opportunity to learn from the very best. I checked my ego at the door and opened myself up to the critiques. It was really hard…and transformational.

“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”

Abigail Adams

So what does this have to do with you and this week’s TechWire blog? Nothing, really – or everything. Sometimes hearing about what others are working on gives us the nudge we need.

If you’re in a rut, dig yourself out.

If you want to go deeper, do it.

If you’re feeling stale or uninspired, write down what sparks joy.

Your personal fulfillment isn’t the responsibility of your CEO, your manager, or your board of directors.  Your happiness should not be on your partner’s to-do list. It should be on your ‘to-do list.

“In business, what’s dangerous is not to evolve.” – Jeff Bezos

Unlike many, I didn’t select an inspirational word to kick off the new year. Instead, I chose a simple idea – evolve or repeat. For the last four days, I invested in my evolution. There are 226 days remaining in 2022. Where has your curiosity been wanting to take you?


Note: Jes is currently taking a break; this column is a reprint.

More from Jes Averhart:

On Leadership: Insight & advice from Microsoft vice president, NCSU grad Rashida Hodge

In search of personal fulfillment: What can companies do to help their employees?