Our Friend of the Week – JJ Ramberg
JJ Ramberg is a serial entrepreneur as well as the host of MSNBC’s Your Business, which covers issues affecting small business owners. GP met JJ at a conference years ago and they became fast friends and sounding boards for one another. JJ is kind, funny, insightful, and is always generous with her feedback. She’s the type of friend every entrepreneur needs and we’re so grateful to know her.
Your City: Brooklyn, NY
JJ’s What – “My husband Scott and I take turns planning surprise trips each year. The rules are: it has to be less than seven days (because I film my show every Thursday), you plan the trip YOU want to take, not the one you think the other person wants to take, and the surprised one doesn’t know where we’re going until we get to the airport. The beauty of this is that he’s taken me to places I would have never planned myself (and would have likely re-planned had I known ahead of time) and turns out I loved them.”
FRIEND OF THE WEEK: 11 QUESTIONS
COMPANY URL: GOODSHOP
1. Nickname: JJ
2. What’s your short story? I’ve bounced back and forth between journalism and entrepreneurship a few times (and for the past 10 years somehow ended up doing both at the same time!) My first media job was the receptionist at NBC Nightly News — and after a stint as an Associate Producer at Dateline and as a producer and then reporter at CNN, I landed here at MSNBC where I have hosted the show Your Business for the last 10 years. On the business side, I’m the daughter of two entrepreneurs (and the granddaughter of two more!). After getting my MBA and working for a few start ups, I started my own company Goodshop with my brother Ken 11 years ago.
3. What’s your jam? I revealed — to much ridicule — on my show the other day, that when I really need to get ready for something that I’m nervous about, nothing works better than the song Let the River Run which conjures up Melanie Griffith going past the Statue of Liberty in the movie Working Girl.
4. What motivates you? Nothing is bad until it’s bad. I try to never go down the rabbit hole of the negative “what ifs?” My thought is, if it comes to that, I’ll deal with it then, but there is no sense in already assuming the worst will happen. (Just a clarification — this does not mean I lock out the possibilities of negative things occurring in life or work, but being prepared for something is quite different than assuming it’s a done deal and worrying about it as if it already has happened).
5. What comforts you when you’re having a really bad day? My husband, kids, good tv and jelly bellies….but really, what comforts me is putting things into perspective. As bad as my day was, it could have been much worse.
6. What qualities do your favorite friends have in common? All of my favorite friends laugh. A lot. At the world, at themselves….and they’re all people that I can turn to at any time — they are friends first kind of people. They’re also all naturally curious. Beyond that, it’s a pretty varied crew.
7. What’s the smartest, most inspiring, awesome thing you’ve read, watched, or listened to? The Eagle Huntress — an amazing documentary that was just released in the theaters.
8. What whets your appetite? I’m surrounded by a husband and friends who care deeply about food and so there is a lot of talk about the perfect meal and/or drink in my world. But for me, the part about all of that that gets me most excited – more than the food itself – is the act of being together and sitting around a table (or bar) together.
9. What’s next on your To Do List? I have been dying to go to Papua New Guinea since I was little. Given my two jobs and three kids, I don’t think it’s exactly “next” on my To Do List, but it’s the thing that gets copied from list to list year after year.
10. How are you friends with Gina + Amy? I met Gina at a conference about five years ago and then stalked her until she became my friend!
11. What’s the single best piece of advice you’ve ever received? My brother in law, whom I met when I was in college when he and my sister started dating, told me “Everyone always has something to teach you.”