My Role as Chief Everything Officer



My job at JWalking Designs, the company I co-founded and created, is CEO.  It is a title that, for me, conjures up images of a posh and polished looking woman, working in an expansive corner office, with an organized desk and an extraordinary view.

So, IF my job is CEO, why am I too often found in pajama pants, a sweatshirt and a winter hat I forgot to take off, working from my home office floor, surrounded by bins of inventory and invoices?  

When you own your business, the acronym CEO changes from Chief Executive Officer to Chief Everything Officer.  In my 2-year-old company, I am it – the sole employee and sole funder.   Now, I like to appear bigger, in a business-sense, so in communications with customers or potential clients, I refer to my “Shipping Specialist”, my “Marketing Manager” and my “Social Media Maven”…  But, in reality, “they” are all yours truly.   I know I am not alone when I say I do it all, and truly mean it.  

Running my business is actually my second (more than) full-time job.  On a daily basis, I do my best to ramp up productivity and dial back on sleep.  I falter sometimes, as I am human, but I am lucky to have supportive friends and family to help pick me back up.  I plan to grow my company big enough that I can pay them for their work – and start collecting a salary myself soon too!  

Entrepreneurship is not always glamorous, and very often stressful, but it does allow you freedom to create what you want and work how you want, whenever and from wherever you want.  It’s pretty amazing.  

Alison OBrien is a three-time Emmy Award winning long-form television producer who has found joy and fun in starting her second career – creating Eco-friendly, funky and functional fitness apparel as CEO/Co-Founder of JWalking Designs.

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