GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) – Her suit fits just right, she knows everyone in the room, and you can just tell she’s got it going on! You wish you could be her, or simply wish you knew her secret to success.
WOTV 4 Women wants to give you a deeper look at the many power women who are helping make West Michigan a thriving place for women at work. We’re having these women dish the details on work life, home life, and everything in between. What has really led to their success?
25 Questions with CJ DeVries
Meet CJ DeVries. She’s the owner of GRNow, a popular website and app showcasing local events, restaurants, venues, museums and things happening in and around Grand Rapids. If you want to know what’s new & hot around town connecting with GRNow is the place to start.
Question 1: Describe your job and why you love it.
My job is to enjoy all that the Greater Grand Rapids area has to offer! From events to food and even new businesses, I get to experience how awesome this city is then showcase those finding to our 125K+ followers. I love this job because before I acquired GRNow I was already doing a lot of the same things, just as a hobby. It’s nice to get paid to do what you love.
Question 2: Dig through your purse and tell us three must-have items you found and 1 item you were surprised to find.
1.) Lint Roller – super cute portable I got from Lee + Birch
2.) 5 Hour Energy – long hours and lots of energy needed
3.) Air Pods – music/microphone wireless to make all the coffee shops an office.
Surprised to find: barre socks
Honorable mentions – portable phone charger and Copper Face Mist from Skin Renewal Spa (long days = dry face)
Question 3: When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
EVERYTHING. I wanted to try every sport, hobby, and food. Travel and learning about different types of people is a big passion of mine since I was young. Curiosity is my main personality trait and that’s why I love what I do so much!
Question 4: What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
Done is better than perfect. I call it paralyzed by perfection, where you have a great idea but think you have to have all the tools before you start. Just start. That’s the hardest part. You might fail but you’ll learn how to adapt.
Question 5: What’s the job you’ve had (in your lifetime) that still gives you nightmares?
Daycare provider/pre-school aide. I am getting chills now – ughhh. I admire those that can love these types of jobs. They are some of the hardest jobs and get paid very little. Shaping the next generation should be more important than it is, funding-wise and general support.
Question 6: What’s the best thing you’ve done to advance your career?
Taken risks. We only have one life and honestly, the fear is always worse than actually doing what scares you. If it scares you, go for it! It means growth.
Question 7: Flats or heels?
Heels BUT the thick heel kind. I hope they never go out of style.
Question 8: Crying at work? Okay or not okay?
Case by case. I have cried when I was pushed to my breaking point which showed me what I should do. I quit that job and the burden lifted. If you are crying analytically, think “why”. It could mean things need to be changed. Burn out, time to leave a job, or something is not right within your body that you need to focus on. Crying is a symptom of something wrong so don’t ignore it!
Question 9: Work/life balance? How do you make it work? What time do you “clock out”?
Because my job doesn’t feel like a job, I never truly clock out. However, when I am feeling the burn out I cancel my day or the next couple hours and chill out. I find that if I do this I am much more productive the next day. I used to feel bad about “not being motivated” but I have recognized that if I push myself too much I will just stare at the computer screen and my time is wasted anyway.
Question 10: Eating lunch at your desk? A do or a don’t?
Do what makes you happy! I eat at my desk all the time.
Question 11: What makes you grateful?
The support that I have received in this community! I feel that everyone wants to help each other in Grand Rapids and that makes me happy. I am extremely grateful to have a wonderful husband that stands beside me no matter the weird ideas I have. Life in general is wonderful!
Question 12: What was your biggest blunder in a job interview? What did it teach you?
I kinda nail interviews BUT I had a past interview where the guy told me I was bad at interviewing – hurt my feelings and left me unconfident for a couple weeks. Sometimes the world pushes you in directions you don’t understand until after. Thank goodness I didn’t get that job because I went on to work for Red Bull which was one of my favorite jobs EVER.
Question 13: Describe your morning routine.
Hahahaha – what is a routine? I get up different times every day. I do things different every day.
Question 14: Proudest career moment to date.
Being nominated for the West Michigan Women Brillance Award – Emerging Leader. I was proud not for the nomination itself but for what the person that nominated me wrote. She said I was an inspiration when she is my inspiration. I cried. I love that us women are lifting each other up!
Question 15: What’s the most important thing in your life right now?
Going for it. No matter if it is health, love, or success…it’s simply not being scared or lazy and doing it.
Question 16: What time did you wake up today?
Almost 10am (Monday) haha! I did get up at 6:45am on Sunday though.
Question 17: What’s the first thing you notice when you meet someone?
Energy. I am very energetic and am drawn to those that compliment my energy. You can see this in people’s eyes. Some people have that sparkle.
Question 18: What are you reading right now?
Facebook updates and how it will affect my business/best practices on Instagram. I don’t read for “pleasure”. I love to learn.
Question 19: In a typical day how many emails do you answer?
15/20 a day but I am great at delegating so I send them on to my virtual assistants most of the time.
Question 20: What’s your favorite TV show?
Question 21: What’s your favorite spot for a meeting in West Michigan?
I don’t have one. I am an ambassador for this city so I like to change it up and bring people to a new place they haven’t tried.
Question 22: What’s your favorite app?
Our new GRNow app 🙂
Question 23: What experience in life made you the most nervous?
Quitting my last job.
Question 24: What’s one question you always ask in an interview?
What would you be doing if you didn’t have to work?
Question 25: What’s the best part of your job?
Getting to mold Grand Rapids into a place that is fueled by understanding and being inclusive of all different types of people.
Do you know a West Michigan Power woman who deserves to be featured in our series? Email us her name/business and contact info!