Jan knows the UK and lives in Texas now, but the journey from one to the other allowed her to see the rest of the world.

She lived in Mildenhall. I’d heard of it. Used to live near there myself.

She joined the USAF to get trained, qualified and see a world ‘outside of the 50’. She left after just three years because she met and fell in love with the man who became her husband (best-laid plans and all that!). Training and Qualifications put on hold, but still traveled and saw the world. After all – her husband was still in the forces.

Now she is an antique dealer and her husband works at the nearby USAF facility. Well not just the USAF, turns out it is the only joint USAF and NATO training facility in the world.

Who knew?

Her vision was clear, as was her mission and strategy: join the USAF, get trained and qualified. See the world.

But, the tactics to achieve the mission changed. Quickly.

Regardless, mission accomplished. She saw the world and got trained and qualified.

Jan never looked back. In fact, by not holding on to a pre-conceived notion as to how this was all going to work out, she did everything she wanted to do and then some.

Without her husband, she would never have gotten into antiques … which turned out to be her passion. Seeing the world? Sure.

We never quite know what we really want to do. Or be. Do we? At least that’s true for the most of us. So why hang on to some arbitrary plan? I am reminded of the Japanese term Ikigai … literally a ‘reason for being’. Jan started in a military profession to live, with a personal mission to see the world. Through the good fortune of her USAF career being derailed, she discovered her own ‘Ikigai. Good fortune? Maybe. But really through her own agility.

Life is What Happens To You While You’re Busy Making Other Plans.

–John Lennon


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JOHN'S career spans 30 years, 2 continents, and organizations as diverse as Oracle, Citibank and GE. A Mathematics graduate, John moved to California in 1990. He helps technology companies create, develop and deliver their story for fund raising, market development and influencer programs. He also works with businesses to ensure they understand, and are ready, for the ever accelerating changes that technology is bringing to their industry. John is a co-founder of Expert Alumni and gleXnet and long before futurists and industry watchers were writing about the impending challenges that industries were going to be facing, they predicted a perfect storm of issues like skills gap, declining work forces, the gig economy, people trained to do work no longer needed, demographic shifts, economic and social change, market upheaval and rapidly changing ways of doing work. From the beginning they have promoted the idea that massive change was coming to how organizations should think about their workforce, with a singular focus on simplifying the interface between people and their work. Understanding the challenges ahead of the curve, the solution was built to arrive at a better understanding of the greatest restraint to business operations - competence, not capital. gleXnet provides unparalleled insights into an organizations people and operations by flipping the problem from the perspective of people, not the business.
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