Working in public accounting for 17 years, Jina Etienne spent a lot of time trying to convince people she was just like them. In her keynote at Xerocon Atlanta, Jina talked about the law of attraction. Jina recently joined Grant Thornton as Director of Diversity and Inclusion. She spoke about the importance of diversity in every sense of the word and bringing your whole self to work.
Jina shared with attendees that the time she spent trying to convince people she was like them should have been spent trying to figure out how she was different – what made her special, unique and fierce. She shared how the Law of Attraction can help you leverage yourself to show up differently in your practice, how you market your business and the type of services you offer.
Shrug off acceptance
Jina recalled her realization that her need to belong and her struggle with imposter syndrome was doing nothing but holding her back from fulfilling her potential in public accounting.
“I was trying to belong because we all want to belong,” Jina said. “So I would only show people a few perspectives of me. But what made me different was not the work I produced – my clients didn’t care how I got the work done.”
“You can attract more people to you being yourself than you ever could pretending to be something else.”
Jina shared the importance of trust at work; trust in your vision, process, decisions, but also how your clients see you. It doesn’t matter if you have good advice to give, people need to trust you first. She talked about how accountants often hear about their clients’ most personal life events due to the nature of their work.
“Those are the things that build trust, that make them come to you and stay with you,” Jina said.
It’s all about balance
Outside of work, Jina stressed the importance of remembering that your business is not your life. She said often, people get caught up in the day-to-day and are not very kind to themselves in business if things don’t go to plan or if things take a left turn.
“I have personality and I’m not afraid to use it,” Jina said. “CPA is what I do, it’s not what I am.”