I admire women who continuously endure life’s challenges, and handle high pressure situations gracefully. I feel lucky to have met one of them during the Detour launch. Her name is Mary Jane Vega or Coach Jane. Twice a cancer survivor, Coach Jane’s life exploits allow her to connect to people in a personal level. Her vision is to help individuals realize their God-given potential and use it not just for their benefit but also those around them. Coach Jane is a certified foodie, a voracious reader, and a movie lover. Mother to one, wife to one, and she believes that she is a daughter of the ONE true God who is the source of all motivation. She talks on personal productivity, inner motivation, individual and group change management, individual testimonies, her own experiences and insights
During the launch, I bravely approached her and asked if she could be featured on my blog, to which she agreed. I came to know her well when she invited me to join them in their Friday family dinner. Below was our conversation.
Hello Coach Jane, please tell us what do you do and where do you work?
I am the Lead Pastor of JILGM Citylights Church, Ortigas.
I am also the founder and CEO of Propel Mentoring Partnership, Co. We mentor young professionals who are mostly at junior management level.
Starting a company can be very risky, but you took the risks. Who inspired you to start down this path?
I didn’t really plan to have a company, but to sustain our church we decided to start one. I soon discovered that I love what I am doing for the company since my passion is to reach and inspire people. Surviving cancer twice made me feel like I was obliged to share my story and spread the word of God. In fact, I will be publishing my first self-help book.
Have you ever felt afraid while building your business? If so, how did you overcome that fear?
Yes, I felt afraid many times. There were “lots of what if’s”, but I have a vision to help and uplift people, and that is why I have persevered through all the challenges that have come my way.
When we started our company, it was really tough. Sometimes clients would only pay us a fraction of what they owed, and some wouldn’t even pay us at all! This was okay, because the most important thing is that we did our best and helped as many people as possible. Our good work has resonated across the industry and I am extremely happy with how far we have come.
We assume that top executives like yourself are very hard working… AMLY fans are curious, do you work on weekends?
Yes, working on weekends is a necessary part of being active in the Church. Nonetheless, family always comes first. I am a hands on mom and wife, and have to juggle family responsibilities such as driving my son to school, and doing household chores with my professional responsibilities. Sometimes, I bring my husband and son with me on business meetings, which is nice. We also make sure to spend each Friday together as a family.
You are one of the most successful women in the Philippines, do you have any tips to share on how to break the glass ceiling?
Well, to rise to the top you first should have the right attitude. Throughout my experience in the business world, I’ve observed that perseverance is the most important factor in separating the successful from the merely aspirational. I couldn’t have accomplished all the things I’ve done alone though. I’m very thankful that my husband is always supportive in everything I do – having that support system has been critical.
AMLY is a style blog, which aims to empower women through suggesting on how to look their best. You have an innate sense of style, and I’ve love for you to share a bit about that.
I go for a laid-back style. I prefer jeans and shirts. I don’t like revealing, sexy clothes. To me, sexiness is all about how you carry yourself, not what you wear. I have seen lot of powerful women who wear corporate attires, but are still very stylish.
In my profession, you can find me wearing mostly sophisticated outfits. When I turned 40, after working so hard and going through so many difficult times, I finally started allowing myself to indulge on high quality items especially bags. I love all the Gucci collections especially their floral print designs as well as Christian Dior -from perfume, to bags, to shoes. I love also anything Givenchy.