Life Lessons: Jill Earthy

The regional director of the Canadian Youth Business Foundation has discovered it is important to learn to interpret your own body language

Jill Earthy discovered long ago that engaging different perspectives can be a fundamental part of decision-making, and she has since surrounded herself with a strong network she can turn to when she needs to reach out.

But the regional director in charge of B.C. and the Yukon for the Canadian Youth Business Foundation recently realized that getting different opinions is not the only reason it’s helpful to consult with others.

Until this past spring, Earthy was working as the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs’ executive director. She decided it was time for a change and started considering her different options, which included starting her own business – something she had done successfully twice before.

“There was one point in my decision-making where I was pursuing a few different things, and I thought I had made a decision one way,” she recalled. “It was somebody’s perspective of my physical reaction that made me rethink that.”

Earthy said that as she was discussing her options with others in her support network, more than one person identified a distinct difference in how she spoke about each one.

“I had it happen two or three times, where someone would say ‘When you were talking about this one opportunity, your face lit up. When you were talking about the other, you looked pained.’”

Earthy, a past Business in Vancouver Forty under 40 award winner, added that the difference in how she reacted to the various options was apparent to others but not to her.

“It’s amazing how you give off certain signals that you don’t realize. I found that was quite eye-opening for me.”

Earthy said that new body-language information helped her decide to take the position at the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, which was not the choice she had originally been leaning toward.

She said she’s now paying closer attention to the body language of others and is more aware of visual cues that others give off – which works well in her new position working with young entrepreneurs.

“I think sometimes we convince ourselves that one way is the right answer, and sometimes it’s for the wrong reasons.”

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