Updated: Apr 5
Each month we feature inspirational women who've made it to the other side of career change. Learn how they did it and take away usable tips from their career journeys! This month, we're proud to feature media entrepreneur, industry leader, and all around super woman Lesley Jane Seymour.
Before founding Covey Club, Lesley led a celebrated career as the award winning Editor in Chief of More, Marie Claire and Redbook magazines. She created CoveyClub to be a meeting place for lifelong learners, gathering a national and international group women who to support each other in business and personal growth.
Current occupation/pursuit/passion Founder & CEO of CoveyClub.com
What's your personal mantra, mission or manifesto? It ain't over until you say it's over.
What inspired you to launch Covey Club? I had run 4 national magazines as Editor in Chief--YM, Redbook, Marie Claire and More. When they closed More, my readers were angry. They asked me to do something else for them. I created CoveyClub.com as a digital space that made the spirit of More come alive.
We have a blog, live classes, a library of over 140 past classes, an app for conversation and connecting, a Writers Room, a Caregiver Collective and when we can start traveling, our live events. We are trying to educate and connect women who want to live their bliss after age 40.
What's unique about returning/pivoting in midlife? Challenges & opportunities? Many women over the age of 40 start to feel dismissed or pushed aside. When you get to 50 plus, it's worse. There is real age discrimination.
Also, you are probably experiencing some sort of disruption: health, relationship, children, job--and need to rethink your direction. The opportunity is to come together, support each other, and help each other find their way toward a great new life.
What’s one intention you have for your work this year? This is the 4th year of CoveyClub and my goal is to make it into a business. We have been flat since we started, but from an entrepreneurial point of view, it's time to scale.
What are you most passionate about right now? I am amazed at how our members are passionate about what we do. I just did some deep dive research with my best members and many say they couldn't have made it through the pandemic without the CoveyClub!!!!
What does a typical day look like for you? Each day is pretty much the same because of the pandemic. I get up at 6, meditate, start my work. I'm doing the intermittent diet so I can't eat till about 9:30 which can be difficult at times. I have zoom calls and events I go to or host. Since we are new to New Orleans and I love the weather here, I make sure to walk outside at least twice a day. Then I try to make dinner (when I'm being good) and when i'm not, we go out to some delicious NOLA fare.
What’s the one thing that's advanced your career in the last year? One of the things about being an entrepreneur, is you have to stop being inside the business only--doing the things you know how to do. For me that's editing pieces etc. You have to get outside of the business and work ON the business. That is the new thing for me. We have to grow so that it requires me doing that now. I'm looking forward to learning how to market.
Who’s your “tribe” when it comes to professional inspiration or support? My tribe is all my old friends who I worked with in publishing--my best girlfriends are from there. I have a new tribe I've put together since starting Covey--some who I have met while doing events for us--and a handful who came on a retreat. They were strangers a year ago but are now the women I count on when I need help.
I'm also making a new tribe of girlfriends down here in NOLA. They are so interesting, creative, and warm. I can't wait till we can be going out again and going crazy--something that didn't happen in NYC. These ladies know how to PAR-TAY!
Favorite book, app or podcast? I'm a history buff. That's one of the reasons I moved to NOLA. There is an incredible story called "Intimate Enemies" about the woman who helped create most of what we know as the French Quarter. I had never heard her name or her story and it is an incredible one of resilience and endurance that will lift anyone who reads it.
You’re granted an extra hour in the day, how do you spend it? Taking a walk in nature
The advice I wish I had given to my 20 year old self is… It's ok to ask for help. (I should have asked for help many times in my corporate life but felt I had to figure it out myself.)
The advice I want to give to my 75 year-old self is... I'm so glad we lived this last half exactly as we wanted!
Your theme song that played every time you walked in a room would be? ROAR. I know HRC owns it, but I do love it too
Best career advice for other women? Ask for help. There are some crappy people out there who won't help you. But many will. You'd be amazed.
When did you feel you got “you” back? I did a lot of therapy in my early 20s-30s because I had a very difficult childhood. I had a lot to shed. I became myself early on because of that. The big delineation came when working at Vogue and I was told I would never make it there because I was too "nice." I was ashamed of being too nice. I moved to Glamour Magazine and found I could be nice and successful. I had to live my own truth.
What’s up next? We are going to grow The CoveyClub. I'm very excited about connecting more women.