Jennifer K. Goss, Executive Director, The 31 Project

31 Values

Do you remember the moment when you said, I have to pursue this dream and start my own organization?

Yes, it was the summer of 2013, I was sorting through some old papers and stumbled upon a notebook from 1999. The notebook contained all the plans I had for The 31 Project, yet I was sitting there almost 15 years later with most of those plans and dreams unfulfilled. I thought about how many young ladies I missed out on reaching, I thought about how my vision had sat in a box and collected dust. These thoughts literally made me sick to my stomach and I began to weep uncontrollably. In that moment I realized I could not wait any longer. More importantly, I decided that those waiting on what I had to offer could not wait any longer. I worked diligently and by the Fall of 2013 I received approval to launch my program in a Fulton County Public School for the following school year.

What is next for you and The 31 Project, Inc in 2016?

This year The 31 Project will launch an intense Debutante program for young ladies in their Sophomore and Junior year of High School. The program will challenge leadership skills, introduce the fundamentals of social grace, and expose debutantes to a plethora of career, business and service opportunities. I’m so excited.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

My inspiration comes from the Woman in Proverbs 31: 10-31. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I am reminded of her strength. This woman was graceful, a fierce entrepreneur, an excellent wife and mother, she was kind and creative. She put others first, yet understood her worth. She woke up early and stayed up late. She was modest, beautiful and bold and above all she served the Lord.

How important is a good support system?

As a person who likes to work alone, I have learned that a good support system is key to success. You may only have one friend or family member that believes in you. Cling to them, let their support propel you, especially in the moments when you want to doubt yourself.

What advice would you give women who want to start a business and/or pursue their dream?

My advice to any woman is simple – “Don’t wait”. As women we will take care of everyone else then wait for all the stars to align before pursuing what we are passionate about. Find time daily to work towards your vision. Wake up before the kids wake up, jot ideas down on your lunch break, slip away to a coffee shop one evening a week. Invest in your dreams even if it’s only 5 minutes at a time. Don’t be intimidated by small beginnings. Stay consistent, make your “someday” every day.

After starting your business, what are some lessons learned?

The greatest lesson I’ve learned is to surround yourself with other business owners. Being around like minded individuals keeps you motivated. It also gives the opportunity to share resources and make meaningful connections. Always be ready to share your story.

What are a few of your favorite must-haves?

Born and Raised in Southern California, I must have one of the following on a weekly basis: A burrito, a taco or an avocado in any form. As for clothes, my favorite “go to” is a pair of Channel sunglasses, a cotton tank top, Free People Denim Cut offs, Flip Flops and a generous serving of Burt’s Bee’s Lip Gloss.

For more information on The 31 Project, click here: website