With more than 16 years experience in resource development, fundraising, event planning and nonprofit management, Jennifer Nash started her company, EnMasse LLC in 2008 to serve as a consulting and event planning firm for the nonprofit sector. During her professional career Nash has helped raise over $10 million for youth, cause and health-related organizations. In 2014, she expanded EnMasse’s offerings to include an event staffing arm called Event Staffing Exchange, which co-produces the “60 Seconds to Stardom” monologue showcase for actors.
While these are major accomplishments, some would say that Nash’s life began in June 2015 after having shed 159 pounds. As the 2014 Humanitarian Award winner with the National Obesity Foundation, she was awarded a life-changing sleeve gastrectomy surgery as recognition for her many years of community work. According to Nash, she was reborn when she shed the pounds and gained her confidence back.
Describe how making hard choices factored into your success.
The hardest decision I have had to make in my career is the decision to leap. I have the honor of being a Virgo where perfectionist tendencies are both a blessing and curse. So fear of failure is a real challenge and as an entrepreneur, I have had to use my faith to simply dive right into important business decisions that impact my businesses. I understand that without action there will be no results — good or bad.
How did you learn to let go of perfection.
Learning to let go of trying to be perfect has helped me ask for help. I have learned that the “independent woman syndrome” has no place in entrepreneurship because you can’t be everything to everyone and be effective. Figure out what your short comings are and tap into those persons or businesses that can be a better resource for you. The result is bound to be better than your one-woman army.
How important has building and fostering relationships been to building your business?
When I was considering names for my parent company, I researched words that related to collaboration, partnership and togetherness. I landed on the word en masse which means all together or as a group. At the core of all of my companies, everything I do is in partnership with other individuals or businesses, so building powerful, synergistic relationships and alliances is key to my company’s success.
Why is being able to multitask important?
I have a ton of things I manage to harmoniously juggle on a regular basis. It dates back to my childhood when I learned how to manage school, sports, music and other obligations. Some may think that my focus is not clear; however, I understand that God gave me many passions and blessed me to be multi-talented. By using all of my talents and gifts in concert, I look to grow each of my brands to multi-national levels of success.
What is your favorite affirmation and how has it been a factor in your life?
There’s not just one affirmation that I recite daily but a list of 21 affirmations. I encourage women to find affirmations online or in spiritual guides that helps to define or redefine every aspect of their life — family, friendships, career, health, wealth, etc. When I created my list of affirmations I had two criteria: First, “What do I believe to be true about who I am presently” and second, “What do I believe to be true about who I would like to become.” I recite these affirmations as a part of my daily morning routine and add to them regularly.
Beyond the scope of your work, what causes do you support or participate in?
For the past 15 years of my career, I have worked for both local and international nonprofit organizations. I chose this career path because of my need to make positive change in the world and work so that every person gets equal access to all the great things our world has to offer. In particular, I support causes that empower children and women. I have been on the founding board of directors and/or advisory board for Sporty Girls, Inc., My Brother’s and Sister’s Restoration and Helping Empower Youth! — all youth-focused nonprofits. I also continue to consult with smaller startup nonprofits on operations, fundraising and marketing efforts.
Finish the sentence: Expressing gratitude to those around me …
Like most career women, I have come to several crossroads in my career and personal life that left me depressed and depending outside influences to pacify me. I am learning to see the lessons in all challenges and thank God for those lessons. As long as I remember that there is a reason for why I am in certain situations and really think about what I need to learn about myself and how I choose to handle it, I can be thankful and move forward.
What’s your best piece of advice?
The best piece of advice I’ve been given lately is to not treat my dreams like a part-time job, so with my new body and attitude, I will go into the next phase of my life with full force.
Nash has an MBA from Clark Atlanta University and a BS degree in business management from North Carolina A&T State University. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and the proud aunt of two nephews and one niece. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering and mentors college-aged student through the Cool Sisters mentoring program. Nash was also awarded a staff Daily Point of Light award and President Volunteer Service Award for her volunteer work.