We had the good fortune of connecting with Medina Jett and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Medina, how do you think about risk?
I have always taken risks….calculated risks with my career. As the saying goes :no risk, no reward.” In considering risks, I always weigh the pros and cons of taking a particular action. I also try to predict the likelihood of failure and what I can do to decrease that likelihood. I also think about the what if – what if I fail? What will my back-up plan look like? The process of calculating the risk takes away the fear, assures me that I’m likely to succeed and if I do fail, I have a back-up plan to recover. If the risk is too great or the consequences of failure are too severe, I don’t take the risk.
I’ve taken risks by pursuing roles that were a stretch for me given my past experience. I’ve taken risks by taking on new roles and assignments that were outside of my “lane”. I took a huge risk in starting my previous firm ICSGroup in 2008 at the beginning of the Great Recession. Had I not taken risks throughout my career I might still be toiling away as a mid-level attorney trying to make it to the executive ranks. Instead, my career flourished must faster than many of my peers and I have been able to pursue all types of exciting opportunities with great professional and financial rewards.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The first half of my career I worked my way up the corporate ladder to become an executive at 3 Fortune 100 companies before I reached the age of 40. In 2008 I left the comfort of a corporate role and launched Integrated Compliance Solutions Group LLC, a compliance firm that provided legal and regulatory support to Wall Street. I was the only Back woman in the world to lead a compliance firm in the financial services industry. It was no easy feat especially in such a white male dominated industry like financial services. A rigorous work ethic, perseverance and extra thick skin proved to be my superpowers.
In 2020 I sold ICSGroup making me one of only a handful of Black women to have founded, scaled and sold a business. I now operate Jett Speak LLC in which I leverage all of my strategies and lessons learned throughout my two careers to help women and People of Color learn the tools for success in the corporate world and in small business. I am also an “angel investor” which means I invest in start-up companies that have the potential to be great. I am excited to be the seed investor in Nomadic THC, a local company that specializes in CBD and Hemp products. Gummies, de-alcoholized CBD wines and mocktails, and CBD pain creams are some of our more popular products. Being able to invest not only my financial resources but also my business acumen to help position Nomadic THC for growth gives me a great sense of fulfillment.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’ve lived in Atlanta for 2 and half years – most of that time was during the pandemic. One of my favorite spots is the Beltline. From the Black Lives Matter murals and artistic graffiti, to the bars and restaurants and the diversity of the people the Beltline exemplifies all that I love about Atlanta., Occasionally at night you can find me exploring new restaurants or at one of the many cigar lounges in and around Atlanta. I also love getting together with friends for brunch which is really big here. The High Museum is also one of my faves.
My youngest daughter is a student at Spelman so we often get together for mother/daughter fun. Some of our favorite places are American Axes for axe throwing and the Painted Duck for duck pin bowling, air hockey and other adult games. Can you tell we’re competitive? Lol
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I owe my success to many people who have supported me throughout my career. Top among them are JoAnn Price, of Fairview Capital Partners; Steven Rogers, retired professor at Harvard Business School and a member of my company’s Advisory Board; and Lisa Lazarus, my VP of Operations at ICSGroup. As a Black female who started her own private equity firm, JoAnn is my role model, my mentor and my cheerleader. Steven encourages me to set the bar higher than I otherwise would have. He sees my potential when I may doubt myself. Lisa, took a risk coming to join me at ICSGroup when the company was still in its infancy. I couldn’t have achieved the success that I did without Lisa’s consistent attention to the details behind the scenes.