With an undergraduate degree in Social Work, a master's degree in Education, 25 years of experience in the corporate world and a strong desire to help women push through boundaries to achieve their goals, find happiness, enhance their life experiences and understand their true value, Jodi Hinkle, owner and founder of HerQuest Experiences, is on a mission to transform and empower the women of Central Florida and beyond. Hinkle shared the story behind her journey from corporate expectations in Boston, MA, to a journey of self-discovery that culminated over a three-week road trip to her new home in New Smyrna Beach. One of the inspired outcomes, is the creation of her new business, HerQuest.
"My 25 years in the corporate world was spent in the healthcare industry," she said. "I focused on building relationships along the healthcare continuum that would allow us to collectively keep patients safe and successful in their own homes. I spent my time connecting and establishing relationships with case managers, physicians, hospitals and home care agencies. We worked together on many common goals. The collaboration between us was very important. We each brought our respective skills to the table to hand the patient off to the next level of care ensuring a smooth and successful journey. As a Vice President of Business Development, I was responsible for overseeing seven states for a company that managed operations in 75 facilities nationwide."
As Hinkle shared, ever since healthcare reform started disrupting the landscape, consolidations and transitions have been the norm. That was the case for Hinkle, who found herself in a very unfamiliar situation.
"I honestly didn’t think “it” (being fired) would happen to me, but when it did, I didn't think I'd have trouble finding work somewhere else," she said. "Unfortunately, with all the changes, I was questioning where I would even fit in. I decided the best thing to do was to take some time off. I found someone to rent my house in Massachusetts, packed my car and drove off, not really sure where my final destination would be. I had an event in Orlando on March 5th, 2018. I left Massachusetts in mid-February so that gave me three weeks to head down and do some exploring. I found myself traveling from small town to small town, exploring new areas and meeting with local women. This journey of exploration led me to New Smyrna Beach and my business came to me in the form of a vision. The vision was a business that focused on enhancing the experiences that make up our lives and empowering women with the knowledge to create their own meaningful experiences."
One of Hinkle's original goals was to have week-long retreats consisting of 12-15 women with a common need or goal. The initial concept was to offer immersion type experiences for the group. Recently, her focus shifted to creating personalized experiences for women, custom designed in a way that will offer each woman exactly what they want.
Today, HerQuest Experiences creates a blend of soothing Holistic Experiences, Personal Discovery Workshops, Adventure Travel and Solo Journeys to guide women in discovering how to enhance their lives. HerQuest Services include, Workshops, One-On-One Custom Designed Retreats, Solo and Adventure Travel Packages. When you speak with Hinkle, it's clear as day her love for helping women realize their potential and her optimism that HerQuest Experiences will be the premier vehicle to help them achieve their goals.
"The primary focus of both our consumer line and our business line is to enhance the experiences that we add up as the elements of our lives," she said. "If a woman is going through transition or just wants to enhance her life, it’s a way of getting the experiences they want instead of reacting to low hanging opportunities. For the businesses, it's about fostering the atmosphere to engage with customers to create experiences that allow them to learn, adjust and apply strategies into their lives, allowing them to enhance their experiences with that business' products or services. We help businesses stand in their customers shoes to better understand the value they're bringing to them and to also look at the emotional value of the business and its impact on the customer. Sustainable change is what we're after."
"On the personal side, it's about re-discovering ourselves and what we like. It's about investing time into your happiness. Many of us have limiting beliefs come up about our worthiness and value. As people begin to discover what truly calls them, many times their beliefs are challenged in a way that causes a fundamental shift in their lives. The limitation is removed and enriched experiences are created and lives are changed. I'm working on taking the journey I had on my way down to Florida and putting that into learning modules. I'll give my clients an assignment to go to this destination or to have this experience, then they have a treatment somewhere, and then maybe they have an exchange with nature. Throughout that journey, they'll learn, like I did, to appreciate time with themselves and that they don't always need other people as a condition to feel joy."
Looking ahead, Hinkle would eventually like to have eight "hubs" up and down the east coast of the United States. As she described, each hub would represent a connection point on the journey path. The hubs would consist of retreat type centers with holistic practitioners available to create custom experiences for their clients. Hinkle believes that mobilizing women and getting them out of their immediate environment is critical for trying to open their minds to a different thought or way of doing something. She wants these women to get out from behind their own self-limiting thinking. In addition to the "hubs" she'll continue to build out her online courses and other ways for women to connect, including local workshops. For those interested, but not ready to commit, a complimentary discovery session is available through her website, along with more information about her workshops.
Hinkle shared some great advice, not only for aspiring entrepreneurs, but also for those looking to live a more meaningful and fulfilling life. "It's important to think about your experiences and knowledge as your intellectual property," she said. "Everything you've been through, adds to your personal and professional vantage point. We all have unique perspectives of the world built on how we got to where we're at. From families to schooling to traumas to friends and more, everything contributes to your personal vantage point, or perspective of the world. By combining this Proven Live Experience with your Intellectual Property, women are encouraged to package and position themselves to create the employment experiences they want. Also, anyone working for someone else should be thinking about how to create an independent supplemental income stream. It's important to protect yourself, to prepare for the unknown and to use the knowledge you've earned to lay the groundwork before a significant change takes place."