Welcome to another edition of “People Pulse.” Always hoping to bring you interesting folks doing even more interesting things in the Orlando and Central Florida area, we present Jessica Bott. Jessica is a longtime friend of course and is, quite simply, an amazing human being. Not only because she’s “one of the good ones,” but she’s doing some pretty great real life stuff for other folks. You know – trying to make the world a better place and all. Big, big thanks to Jess for being a willing participant in this exercise of ours, and here we go….
Q. What brought you to Orlando, and how long have you lived here?
A. Like many, I am a transplant. I first visited Orlando in the summer of 2000 and spent five weeks here in a training program for my first out-of-college job. Once I was all trained up, I headed back home to Colorado for work and eventually accepted another role in Boston. Over those years, I traveled to Orlando regularly for meetings and liked it well enough, but I never (let me say never) intended to live here. Feeling a need for a change in my work life and a break from the freezing cold Northeast winters, I accepted a 10-month work assignment here in 2009. Ha. Ten+ years later, I am grateful to call Orlando home.
Q. What’s one of your favorite things about living in Central Florida?
A. I genuinely love the subtropical climate and find it to be such a beautiful place to live. I also love the creativity cultivated here. It has been such a delight to witness both the growth and development of the arts community and the immense creativity in the entrepreneurial/business lanes in Central Florida.
Q. You are a published author! Having published your very first book The Spin Cycle in early 2019, what led you to write that book and what do you hope those who read it get from it?
A. I am! It still feels surreal.
In response to your question, I have one of my own … Have you ever asked yourself, “How did I end up here again??” The Spin Cycle is the telling of how I was living the same story over and over again and somehow landing in the same place—a place I didn’t want to be. The book itself is a creative non-fiction narrative, my story from ages 20-32, where I invite the reader along to share in three distinct periods of my life as I encounter struggles with guys, roommates, finances, finding my best job fit and moving cross-country. It’s powerful to identify the roots, the “why” behind our decisions, so we can understand where our decisions will lead us. When we understand this, we can make different choices and break out of the cycles and patterns that put us right back in the same place. The Spin Cycle gets to the heart of my “why” and yet, it’s really only the beginning of the story.
Because I found myself asking that question over and over again, I finally realized that something had to give. My hope is that in sharing my story, it will help you in yours.
Q. In addition to being an author you are also a Purpose Coach. What exactly is that, and do you think everyone could benefit from using a Purpose Coach?
A. When we know our purpose, we can live from a place of freedom and vibrancy in life no matter our job role, relationship status, financial reality, and more. When I launched my coaching services, I found it was vital to address purpose from the get-go, so my title had to include it. I help people to identify and articulate:
- Who they are at the core
- What they have to contribute
- Why it matters
I’ve observed (and experienced!) how living in the spin cycle has led some to a life that does not fulfill them, though it looks good on the outside; and for others, I’ve observed them living a life where they find themselves stuck, unable to move forward.
As a purpose coach, walking people through a discovery process that uncovers who they are is profound and beautiful and humbling. I’m literally in awe each time I sit with someone in the process. Each one of us is so unique and special! I’m reminded of how valuable each person is and how much their contribution matters to the rest of us. When we know who we are at the core, we can live our purpose, on purpose.
If you’re in a place where you want to move forward, purpose coaching is of great benefit and I’d love to talk with you to get started.
Q. Community is one word I immediately think of when I think of Orlando. What does community mean to you as it relates to this great City of ours?
A. So many thoughts…. Community means we show up in the present—right here, right now. We let people know us and become great students of ourselves and others. We know our motives and adjust course, as needed. We live with curiosity and hope around the joys, challenges and struggles our neighbors face. And from that place of curiosity and hope, we offer our time, finances, services and more to contribute to the welfare of each other to move forward. We’re generous with one another. We partner with one another to see dreams realized. We advocate for one another. We believe the best about one another. We forgive and receive forgiveness to ensure we keep the lines of communication and relationship open for years to come. We remind one another of what is good—we don’t put one another down, we find what we can celebrate and offer hopeful feedback for areas that require transformation.
Making up our minds to live this way and engaging in the practice of it each and every day changes us and everything around us. I think this makes a City Beautiful, indeed.
Q. Orlando has “grown up” so much in just a short time. What has been something you’re most surprised about?
A. I’ve loved seeing people I know, and hearing of others I don’t know, take personal and professional risks over the last decade. I don’t know that it as surprised me as much as inspired me. There have been many who have launched new businesses, curated spaces and experiences in arts and culture, and sporting events that have allowed us to connect more with one another and brought new people to our city…. It is a wonder. I’m grateful to live in a city of people with vision.
Q. Do you have any “best kept” secrets for things to do in Orlando and the Central Florida area?
A. Here are a few of my “staples”:
- Timucua Arts Foundation. Benoit Glazer and Elaine Corriveau literally built their home complete with a living room concert hall. They are the warmest and most generous of hosts. They truly have inspired great music and art in our city as musicians and artists from all over the world perform at Timucua.
- Snap!. Patrick and Holly Khan have curated two unbelievable galleries in the heart of our city (Mills 50 and Downtown). I’m constantly taken in by the exhibits and grateful for their presence as people in Orlando.
- The Dinner Party Project. Dana Marie Roquemore has curated one of the most unique and delicious experiences in town! Seven strangers and a guest host gather to share dinner prepared by a guest chef and I promise it will be an evening to remember. If you want a fresh way of meeting the most interesting people in our city, sign up with TDPP to enjoy a fabulous meal and even better company.
I’m also a big fan of simply getting out for a walk in the city and feel most connected to the larger community of people here when I do. I typically make pit stops at Lake Eola, City Hall Plaza, Langford and Dickson Azalea Parks, Lake Ivanhoe and sometimes pop in to visit friends along the way depending on the day and the walk.
Q. What’s one thing you’re always sure to do or share with someone’s visiting from out of town?
A. New Smyrna Beach. It’s one of my favorite beach towns close to Orlando. The Morse Museum in Winter Park — the works by Louis Comfort Tiffany are breathtaking.
Leu Gardens—located just between Mills 50 and Audubon Park, this beautiful garden is a great way to spend a few hours with friends. Bring a book to read, walk the wandering paths, savor the lovely.
Local shopping at the cutest Orlando/Winter Par spots—Paper Goat Post (great greeting cards & trinkets, adorable shop) and Ivanhoe, Naked Bar Soap Co (handmade soaps and more), Rifle Paper Co (hopefully you already know), Audubon Park shops.
Stops along the way:
• Coffee at Lineage and Downtown Credo (give us all of the coffee!!)
• Brunch at Buttermilk Bakery, Reyes Mezcaleria, Farm & Haus at East End Market, or Dove
• Ice Cream at Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream or Greenery Creamery
Q. OK – one of my favorite questions: What are your go-to and just-can’t-live-without food places in town?
A. So many to add to the short list above … Eating = my favorite!
🍴 The Strand
🍴 Black Rooster Taqueria
🍴 Black Bean Deli
🍴 Thai House of Orlando
🍴 Maxine’s on Shine
🍴 Eola General
🍴 Pom Pom’s Teahouse & Sandwicheria in The Milk District
🍴 Hillstone Restaurant
🍴 Luma on Park in Winter Park
🍴 Hunger Street Tacos
🍴 Antonio’s in Maitland
🍴 Pizza Bruno in the Hourglass District
🍴 Ocean Prime in Dr. Phillips on Restaurant Row
Q. What are some of your favorite places in Orlando to be inspired, or just to be motivated?
A. “Best Kept Secrets” list from above, obviously. But also:
Most importantly to me personally are the ongoing gatherings I have with friends in life and business here in Orlando. Making time to further develop as people and encourage one another is so valuable and makes a huge difference in my day-to-day. After all, every coach needs a coach and I am especially grateful to have wise and trusted people who speak into my life and help me move forward.
Q. What is one thing you personally hope to achieve in 2020?
A. For me, my hope is centered around connecting with and helping new people to move forward through coaching and business consulting.
Coming up, I’m hosting a Whole Life Workshop Series in partnership with The Welcome House to help people move forward in 2020 and give those who attend a taste of the coaching environment. If you, someone you know, or someone you lead is ready to stop the spin cycle and understand their purpose, I’m ready to help!
I’m also looking forward to sharing The Spin Cycle in new settings. If you’ve got a book club, reach out—I’d love to get the book in your hands and do a meet-and-greet with your group! I love to speak and share about how we end the patterns and cycles that keep us from moving forward.