Monday, February 4, 2013

Happy Single Highlight: Janice R. Johnson

Janice R. Johnson

Astrological Sign: Gemini
Where are you from: I claim Montgomery, AL.  I was born in Texas but I moved around a lot because my father was in the Air Force. We eventually settled in Montgomery when I was in the 9th grade, so I call Montgomery home.

You were also in the Air Force. How long did you serve in active duty? I was in the Air Force for 20 years, 5 months and 20 days, and retired as a senior officer. I joined the ROTC while I was a student at Tuskegee University, and following graduation, I entered the Air Force as an officer. I was a biology major and my original dream was to be a podiatrist. Somewhere between my sophomore and junior year, I decided I wanted to pursue the Air Force route and forego medical school – my parents were not initially too happy about that decision.  The Air Force was a huge part of my life, so the decision felt right. In the Air Force, I grew even more as a leader.  I never got consumed with being an officer. My leadership style was that I would pull up my sleeves and work along with the team.  I would often say “you work with me and not for me.”

I loved that you said working “with” and not worked “for”: Yes, I believe that people follow people that they trust so I was always a team player even when I was in charge. I always rolled up my sleeves and worked beside the people I managed. When I was on active duty, my leadership philosophy was based on what I called the CARE principle – Communication, Accountability, Responsibility and Enthusiasm. My motto is “I Work Hard and I Play Hard”. Whatever I do, I always give a 100%.

Since you are accustomed to being the leader, how has that affected your relationships? It’s tough. I am a problem-solver and I like to execute. But sometimes people just want to talk, but when they do, I sometimes see it as a mission to do something, to execute, to fix it (whatever it is). I tend to do things too quickly; I am quick to jump into action. For example, in a previous relationship, when my partner would mention something, I would quickly jump to start putting things in motion. I thought I was helping, but she said “Janice, you are doing too much”.

What were the hardest relationship lessons you had to learn?   2 things--1) I had to learn to pause and then re-visit the situation vs. just jumping into action so quickly. I’m working on that. I need to be clear on what is needed  vs. when someone is just talking/brainstorming.  I have to learn to make sure I understand what is the right deliverable. I know that I am a communicator, but I am learning to just listen more  and 2) People do what they really want to do.

What did you have to unlearn in your previous relationships? I had to unlearn that I am not always in charge. Honestly, there is a lot of pressure in being charge. When things are not happening, I kick in with a plan because I don’t like to live haphazardly.

Why is planning so important to you: I don’t like not knowing. I prefer to know what I am doing next. I prefer not to wonder what’s going to happen or have to figure it out what is happening at the last minute. I like to travel, I love to go to various types of restaurants and I like to do things with my partner and family.  So after a few times of asking a person “what do you want to do”, I will make a plan and sometimes that affects my relationships. Some women like it, but others become annoyed by it.

Besides being a leader, how would you describe yourself: I am compassionate, charismatic and extremely caring. I am a loving mother, an IT professional and an entrepreneur. I am also a great friend. I am very approachable and people usually say that I am funnyJ.

Janice, describe your ideal women? First, she is a God-fearing woman. She doesn’t have to be in church 24/7 or trying to save me every few minutes, but she needs to have a spiritual base. There has to be somebody that she can go to before she comes to me.

I want her to be a great communicator, self-motivated, a go-getter and a lady of integrity.   I want to know that she is a person who will do the right thing when no one is looking. I prefer attractive feminine women.  What is attractive to me?  I like women who are pleasing to my eyes.  For me, that means a great personality and a caring spirit--absolutely beautiful from the inside then out.  The outside is great, but I can love the inside of a person more.

She must be sensual, and to me, is not always about being sexual. Intimacy is important. For example, standing very close to me when I am cooking us dinner, brushing up against my face when I am in the kitchen is sensual to me. You know, those “touchy feely things”. I want to feel that she is attracted to me. I really love and need that.

It is also very important to me that I know she has my back. I definitely will reciprocate. 

No Matter What?  I learned that when I was reading a book to my son. It was a book where a mother tells her son that she will always love him “no matter what”. She tells him that over and over again, and that is how I am. When I am in love, it’s no matter what – good or challenging unless it becomes unhealthy.

As a single Mom, I found dating to be somewhat problematic. What has been your experience? Dating is a challenge, but I always provide information up front. I always announce that I am a package deal so people have the option to stay or to go.  I love being a Mom, and  I always wanted to be a Mom.  That is  why I adopted my son.  He has been with me since he was 2-days old.  It is important that a woman  understands that about me.

In addition to being a Mom, IT Project Manager, you also are an entrepreneur. When did you start Jus So Catering?  I started Jus So Catering in March 2008. During my last two years of active duty, I went to culinary school because my vision is to own a Wine Bistro. I want it to be something eclectic, something inviting. Jus So Catering is a good stepping stone toward that vision. I have catered parties, weddings, receptions, open houses, private dinners and other major events. Jus So is also one of the preferred caterers for several major organizations in the area.   We not only cater, but we also do event planning. We can assist with every need of an event. Wonderful things are happening at Jus So, and I am excited to see what is in store for us in 2013.

You have been and continue to be so successful. What is your proudest moment?   My proudest moment is when I first picked up my son at the hospital when he was two days old. I was so nervous that I could not even get his clothes on him. But I knew that I wanted to do the right thing by him. That is when all that officer stuff went out of the window. At that moment, I felt proud and blessed because I was his mom.

What do you want your legacy to be? I want to be remembered as a great Mom, a great person and a great mentor. Ultimately, I want to be remembered as the saying goes…”just good people”.

What advice would you give to other single women? 3 things…1) Be patient--take time to learn yourself so you can receive someone, 2) Be true to yourself and 3) Enjoy YOUR life…life goes on. One of my favorite quotes is by Robert Frost--“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.”

Jus So Catering is one of the proud sponsors of the CREATE LOVE Conference.  Jus So Catering  will be providing samples from their delectable menu during the conference. Remember to visit Jus So Catering at the conference and meet their beautiful owner, Janice!  
(Interview conducted and written by SharRon Jamison)

We are grateful to Janice, of Jus-So Catering, for sharing her amazing story with us at Create Love for Women Who Love Women! We will see you at the Create Love Conference on February 16th!

Imani Evans, MA
Create Love! For Women Who Love Women
(CEO/Founder of Women Healing Women, Inc.)

SharRon Jamison, MBA
Create Love! For Women Who Love Women

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