Jennifer Ferguson

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Jennifer Ferguson, and I am the Founder and CEO of Handful

What is one habit of yours that helps you be productive?

I give myself daily milestones (listed on my calendar) to check off and accomplish “on the way up the big mountain” along with “self-encouragement” (aka”you got this”!).

What is your morning routine and how does it help you get the most out of your day?

The night before, I view my calendar and make a plan of what needs to be accomplished so that when I wake up, I am prepared.

In the last few years, what lifestyle, habit or behavior change has had the biggest positive impact on your life?

I have always been very active (participating in team sports growing up and then teaching group fitness classes as an adult) which is what inspired me to launch an activewear company, Handful. However, running a company required me to start doing a lot of sitting (in an office, a car, an airplane, etc). When my job switched from being active to being sedentary, I had to shift my mindset and activity level to “get it in where I can fit it in”. This provided an awesome perspective regarding the needs of our active, modern, women “on-the-go”, inspiring our Handful activewear pieces to be versatile enough to “support” women from “weekend to work to workout”!

When you feel unfocused, what do you do?

I work hard to accomplish the daily tasks I put on the calendar for myself. It’s easy for me to feel unfocused so I know that “the more I am unfocused”, the longer it will take me to accomplish my daily tasks. The realization that “I must eventually accomplish the task(s)”, typically helps me keep working away throughout the day (and/or it will roll into the night or the next day, making my day(s) even more challenging”). I believe in the philosophy that “you play, you pay”; therefore, if I decide to “play that day”, I will “pay for it the next day”. That motto helps me focus on my daily priorities. I also believe that “what you do in a day is what shows up in your life” so I work to make sure I fit in each day what is important to me.

What is one piece of software or a web service that you get immense value out of? How do you use it?

We have used Dropbox to store and share valuable files we are working on as a team. We have been “bursting at the seams”, outgrowing Dropbox, and therefore, we have just recently updated to Basecamp. We are hopeful this will be a tool to share files and also communicate more efficiently as a team (versus relying on so many back and forth emails).

What is the one book you recommend most often and why?

I love to listen to “audio-books” while I travel a lot. Some of my recent favorites are: Shoe Dog, Becoming, and The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck. They all inspire me personally and professionally.

What advice would you give a smart and ambitious recent college graduate? What advice should they ignore?

I think we all should “know our worth” and “shoot for the stars”. I like to encourage people to pay attention to what they are passionate about and “feel the fear and do it anyway”. I also think IF they let people deter them from doing something, maybe they weren’t cut out for doing it. If you truly are meant to do something, you need to “be your own biggest cheerleader and avoid getting caught up in everyone else’s opinions”. I like the saying “what other people think of me is none of my business”.

What is your favorite quote, one you aim to live by?

Grab Life by the Handful! That is our motto, and I work hard to live it each and every day (no matter what life throws my way).