Today we’d like to introduce you to Jordan Fears-Neal.
Jordan, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was born in Indianapolis, IN and adopted at 11 days old by a remarkable family. I grew up with parents who were actively involved in non-profits and a dad who owned his own company. I remember sitting at coffee shops with him when I was younger and asking him about businesses, stocks, and real estate because I always wanted to know more.
In 5th grade, I met my now long-time mentor Russ Pulliam, a well-known journalist who encouraged my talent. It was then that I told my parents I was going to be a journalist when I went to school. I graduated from Indiana University School of Journalism in 2008 with a Bachelor’s in Journalism and African American and African Diaspora Studies and a minor in Swahili. Two weeks after my graduation, I was given the opportunity to work full-time as a Grants Manager at a local Indianapolis nonprofit. I had never thought about working in nonprofits, but I was a strong writer and had a passion to give back.
I stayed at this position for two years, during which time I excelled and grew more and more in love with nonprofits. I realized how much I loved giving back to my community and working to change systemic issues within my community, even if it was from behind a desk using only my words. While I loved Indianapolis, I knew that the time had come for a change. In 2009, my parents and I were at an event and while there, I had a family friend come up to me and tell me, “I had a dream about you last night, and I need to tell you; you’re supposed to get to this place in LA called the Dream Center and I’m supposed to help you.”
Little did I know that five years later, when I made a decision to move to LA in 2014, that I would get connected with an organization in LA called the Dream Center who would hire me without ever meeting me. It wasn’t until talking over the position with my parents that my mom reminded me of the dream our friend had had five years before. I knew in that moment that this was my time to go and not look back. So, at the start of 2014, I packed my car with all that would fit inside and drove with my parents across the United States with my GPS set to Los Angeles. I knew no one, I had no apartment, no family, but I was determined to uncover all that the city had in store for me.
On January 14th, 2016, the same day I left this position, I filed the paperwork to form my company Megaluno Consulting. I was nervous, excited, anxious, but also confident that this was my next step. I wanted to work with multiple organizations and not just one. I wanted to be able to use my gifts to impact a greater number of individuals, and I knew that consulting was the best way to go. It’s been three years this past January since I stepped foot into a normal office. We’ve grown leaps and bounds, worked with amazing organizations and this last year started another business – Eat Pray Slay All Day – empowering women to invest in themselves, each other, and their communities.
Since our clients are both national and international, I currently split my time between coasts bouncing between my husband and I’s apartment in DTLA and our house in Cape Coral, FL.
Has it been a smooth road?
HAHA! My journey has been anything but smooth, but I guess I’d not have it any other way. I’m worn around the edges, and I think that’s what gives me my greatest advantage.
I’m 29, but in those short years I’ve seen and experienced both great success and painful failure; I’ve had moments of great joy and times of intense heartache. From the age of 5-8, I was sexually abused by my gymnastics coach. I spent years hiding the abuse, afraid to admit what would happen if I came forward and it wasn’t until the age of 21 I chose to disclose the information to a therapist. I’ve struggled with Complex PTSD for over 20 years, and it has taken years to be able to live a normal life.
Soon after my husband and I were married in August of 2015, that coach was arrested on child pornography charges after a young gymnast came forward and accused him of harming her. Because I was older and had come forward five years previously, I went forward to the police, and they chose to move forward with my charges – a class A Level 1 Felony. However, the day before they could officially charge him he committed suicide in his jail cell.
It was a deep blow, but it made me even more determined to overcome my trauma and create safe places for women to be themselves and share their experiences. Maybe someday I’ll write a book! Leaving a town like Indianapolis, IN and moving to a large city like Los Angeles, CA is no small feat, especially when you don’t know a single soul. My first five months in LA were lonely – I struggled with depression and anxiety – but they taught me so much about myself and my inner strength. It was during that time I found my love and passion for flower arranging after stumbling across the DTLA Flower Market.
I explored the city at all hours of the day, ventured to remote beaches, and made some of my closest friendships. While I am an introvert, I learned how to step out of my comfort zone and meet new people. I learned how to create my tribe and build a new community 2,000 miles away from everything and everyone I knew. It was this experience that led to me creating Eat Pray Slay All Day to help women like myself connect to a tribe.
I also founded my first company at the ripe old age of 26. I’m a young black woman and let’s just say that many people have failed and sometimes still fail to take me seriously because of my age and the color of my skin. I’ve had people tell me that they would rather deal with someone older, or “You can’t possibly know about this because you’re only 26”. However, I’ve worked in nonprofits now for nearly a decade, raised over $8 million in my lifetime, and I’ve worked with over 25 organizations globally.
I think the hardest part about being a young entrepreneur is overcoming other people’s expectations of you and choosing to go after your goal regardless of what other’s say. My company is now three years old, and I currently employ a team of three other women. If I would have stopped when people told me I wouldn’t succeed, I’d be at a job I didn’t love, and that just doesn’t fly with me.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Megaluno Consulting and Eat Pray Slay All Day – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I started Megaluno Consulting in January of 2016. Our mission is to strengthen communities by advocating for nonprofits in the areas of organizational strategy, fundraising, and grant writing services. We work with organizations large and small, both national and international. We’re a remote company with no brick and mortar, which allows us to serve more organizations and not worry about outrageous overhead costs.
We started with grant writing, and that quickly showed us a great need within nonprofits for organizational strategy services. Many organizations want to go after grants immediately, however having written over 5,000 grants in my lifetime, I’ve learned that a solid structure and foundation is necessary to create a sustainable grant program.
My greatest love is education and spreading information. I’ve learned a lot about the inner-workings of nonprofits as a grant Director, Major Donor Manager, and interim Director of Development. I believe that knowledge is power and while some would chastise me for giving away all of the information I do for free, I would hate to leave this world selfishly holding on to all I know.
Our ultimate goal is to work ourselves out of a job with each client – it’s against the grain, I know! But what is the point in teaching a man to fish if you never let them fish on their own? Our services are designed to come alongside organizations in their current work and create strategies, systems, and models for them to use even after we’re gone. If you do things right the first time, you don’t have to go back five years from now and make drastic changes.
I’m most proud of the fact that we’ve built up a client base purely on word-of-mouth over the last three years and haven’t ever had to pay for marketing. We’ve grown year-over-year and old clients keep referring new clients to us. Our team has now expanded to five people (including one intern), and 60% of our team are minority women. Being a minority-owned and operated business this was super important to me to create freedom in careers for others like me.
Eat Pray Slay, which was started in 2018, is my second company and a vein of Megaluno Consulting. These events happen throughout the year and provide a place for women to gather together to empower themselves, each other, and their communities. Each event sponsors a local nonprofit with a portion of ticket sales given back to the organization.
I wanted to create a way to combine my experience in the nonprofit world, my love for fellow women, and the needs within our community. Last year we had three events serving three different nonprofits, raising over $1,000 for them, and reaching 50 women ages 13-65 from all backgrounds and ethnicities.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and the least?
I love that Los Angeles always feels alive. While it’s an overwhelming city, there is always something new to discover. It’s a fast-paced city that changes in the blink of an eye and that energy has driven and encouraged the creative in me. However, even with my love of the fast pace, my favorite place in Los Angeles is going to the DTLA Flower Market at like 5 AM before the city wakes up.
The thing I like least about Los Angeles is that because it’s so fast-paced, we hardly ever get the chance to take time to celebrate our victories. I’ve successfully run a business in Los Angeles for three years under the age of 30, but it wasn’t until a few months ago I slowed down to take in that accomplishment. We’re always on the go, and we’re always thinking of what’s next that it makes it hard to stop and “smell the roses.”
This year, I’m taking more time to be present and acknowledge the wins and victories, no matter how small.
- Website: www.megalunoconsulting.com
- Phone: 2138403467
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @megalunoconsult and @eatprayslay.allday and @letyourlightshineee
- Other: www.eatprayslayallday.com
Michelle Serratos/Las Fotos Project