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Exploring Life & Business with Julia Storm of ReConnect Consulting

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julia Storm.

Hi Julia, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I am a Digital Media Wellness Educator as well as a writer and public speaker. In 2016, I founded my own business ReConnect with the goal of helping parents raise healthy, balanced and savvy kids in the digital age.

But, my path to starting this business and this new career was not a linear one at all. I moved to Los Angeles in 1999 to get a Master’s Degree in Film, Television and Digital Media at UCLA. For many years in my 20s and 30s, I worked in the film and television industry as an editor and producer. Specifically, my work led me to children’s programming.

In 2013 I was hired as Head of Production for The Mother Company, a company that produces wonderful children’s content focused on social/emotional development. While I loved media and film, I realized over the years that as far as dedicating my time and effort, my heart really was not in the work. I knew that I wanted to do something that both stimulated me but also made a positive impact in the world.

At the same time, I had become a new mother and was becoming increasingly aware of the role that these new “smartphones” and tablets were playing in the lives of parents and children. My own curiosity about digital devices, online content and children’s well-being drove me to seek out psychologists, social scientists and anyone in the field of digital wellness to simply learn more.

I became fascinated by the ways in which this technology seemed to be shifting relationships and over time, I started to hear more and more parents feeling deeply concerned about the impact that these technologies were having on their children. I personally had always loved psychology as well as teaching and in 2016, after many months of research, studying and discussions, I had a lightbulb moment. I realized that I wanted to make an impact in this new and burgeoning field of Digital Wellness.

What happened next was unexpected. I had assumed that I would find an organization or a business to work for in this field, but the more I searched the more I realized that there were very few choices. The field of Digital Wellness was so new that if I wanted to make an impact, I’d have to create something on my own. I left my job and took some time to talk to parents, read more, study more and ultimately started ReConnect.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Starting my own business has been extremely exciting and yet it’s not always easy. I am continually trying out ideas to see what people will be most responsive to. Some of my ideas really resonate but others don’t. I try not to get discouraged when something I’ve worked hard on is not bringing in the returns that I had hoped for. I think the biggest challenge is knowing that I have something really important to offer that can make people’s lives better and not always having the capacity to reach as many potential clients as I’d like. But growing a business is a process of fits and starts and I’ve learned to just keep the forward momentum going.

As you know, we’re big fans of ReConnect Consulting. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
ReConnect is a whole child, whole family approach to preparing kids for life in the Digital Age. I started Reconnect in response to my community’s growing need for guidance in managing the stress and chaos of parenting kids at a time when technology is changing and developing at an unprecedented rate.

Unlike typical online safety programs that focus almost exclusively on existing problematic behavior, my goal is to support families before they get to a place of distress by teaching them how to create a culture of smart, healthy and thoughtful screen use in their home. We are not here to shame, scare or guilt parents, but rather to support them in navigating the realities of life today with curiosity and confidence.

My work includes in-depth parent workshops, school presentations, one on one family consultations and workshops for kids. I also offer online classes to help support parents who are short on time but would like access to my presentations.

ReConnect workshops are designed to look at a broad swath of concerns including, but not limited to:
Learning to self-regulate and manage screen-time overload
Encouraging empathetic and conscientious behavior online
Tweens, teens and online relationships
Online safety
Gaming and gaming related behavioral issues
Creating emotional resilience online and off
Maintaining and nurturing offline relationships
Understanding real vs. fake information
Understanding online privacy issues and managing your digital footprint
And the importance of disconnecting and reconnecting to the ‘real’ world.

Every family has its own approach and its own comfort level around digital media. My work is to support and educate each unique family so they can stop worrying and start putting a healthy media plan into place.

What does success mean to you?
I believe there are different ways in which to experience success. One can experience the success of personal fulfillment of a dream or goal. One can experience financial success and one can experience success through the appreciation or acknowledgment of their contributions – either through peers or the public. For me personally, any one of these is worthy of pride. Ultimately, if I am proud of the work I do and the contribution that I am making to society and I can feel an appreciative recognition of these achievements, then I feel successful.

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