I do so many things, but my paying gig is Author.
What got me started...
I wrote my first book, The Bold World, because I had an urgent story to tell. It was about this woman, and how she grew from something small to something substantial.
What clears my head...
Sweating. I love a good, sweaty run when I'm stressed.
When in doubt, I...
Listen to music—mostly soul. Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Donny Hathaway, Minnie Riperton, Gregory Porter, D’Angelo, Sampha... They know how to calm my nerves.
Greatest challenge—and how I overcame it...
The biggest challenge was finding out my kid wasn’t who I thought they were. Because if my “daughter” was actually my son... I had to ask myself a really big question: What else in the world don’t I know? Understanding my son was trans was the first step in untethering from cultural norms—which was both scary and exciting.
how i make it happen
1. I gotta sweat. So it's either a 2-mile run, or a 1-hour weights yoga situation, or morning sex. Which one lands, depends on the state of affairs that particular day.
2. Love songs on repeat. I have a playlist that is everything I’ve always wanted to say to the love of my life. And everything I’ve ever wanted to hear. Essentially it's love from me to me.
3. A 30-minute walk with my pup.
3 life hacks...
1. Take dirty shoes off at the front door.
2. Wash dirty hands as soon as you come home.
3. Meditate before going to bed every night.
3 secret work weapons...
1. Moleskine notebooks for each subject of my focus: board chair, author, public speaker, homeowner, lover, mother. I write everything down, thoughts, to-do lists, dreams, ideas, plans...
2. Collaboration over domination. I always aim to build out a team for just about everything.
3. Remain inquisitive. I'm known to ask a ton of questions in meetings. I'm also not always inclined to have all the answers in meetings.
"You’re not born to be pretty. You were born to be powerful.” - My Dad
Play dress up often, study yourself, know yourself inside and out.
My wardrobe MVP...
My Rasta hat. It conjures Bob Marley, my other talisman.
What I would tell my younger self about getting dressed…
“Yeah, do that, it’s f*****g perfect, JoJo!"
Wearing Veronica Beard makes me feel…
Smart. If it doesn’t make me feel smart, I won’t wear it.
I May Destroy You—that show set a powerful mood and energy in me that was much needed.
Here’s the essential list: Kat Burki Calming Gel Cleanser, Kat Burki PH+ Enzyme Essence, Kat Burki Marine Collagen Gel, Kat Burki Face Wand, L'Oréal RevitaLift. And, lastly, Dr. Parikh at Tribeca Skin Center.
Favorite thing to do...
Travel, love, travel, love…
Favorite thing to make...
Bacalao (salted fish) over rice. It's always a winner with my kids.
One mover and shaker I admire...
Here are two: Nia Long and Nicole Ari Parker. They never quit. Never.
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