Josie Trnka, Client Services Lead & Development Coach, Marsh McLennan Agency

Written by: Brady Drake

Tell us about yourself.

I am a Fargo native and mother to an extraordinary seven-year-old daughter. I have a great passion for music, which leads me to discover new artists and attend live shows. I love spending time in nature, most especially going on hikes to explore this beautiful area we live in. I am a homebody at heart and love to curl up with a fascinating book or movie. Most of all I desire to always be learning and growing as an individual, and I always strive to surround myself with people that inspire me to be my best self.

My work in leadership roles for my team of direct reports and being regional cochair for our professional development program are incredibly important in that I am helping others become their best and most authentic selves. I am helping them learn and grow as individuals. If I can help even one person get a tiny bit closer to being more themselves, more knowledgeable, more open, then mission accomplished.

Who are some people who have been influential in your journey and why?

My parents. They showed me the value of hard work, always doing your best and believing in yourself. [Also,] my mentor, Heather Ostrowski. She has helped open my mind to new possibilities, learn things about myself I never knew and introduced me to an incredible network of individuals in our community.

What drives you?

My love of learning and helping others [and] my daughter. She is the light that guides my life, and I do what I do, not just to be the best me I can be for myself and others, but first and foremost for her. Setting an example for her of a strong, confident women who is not afraid to take life by the horns.

What are some important lessons you have learned in your lifetime?

Always try your best. Even if you don’t succeed at something or do as well as you’d like, as long as you know you truly gave your all, then that is something to feel extraordinary about. And if you did not give your best, then you know what you need to work on for next time. I’ve also learned that you need to be able to confront yourself and challenge beliefs you have about yourself and others. We are so conditioned to think about things in a certain way or believe things are ok when they are not, and so many people are trapped in their own minds wondering why they are so unhappy. All I can say is, it doesn’t have to be that way.

What is your dream job and why?

A position in the Learning and Development field. I have committed myself to and have a great passion for personal growth, and have seen the incredible impact it has had in my life. I desire nothing more than to help others become the best they can be, and inspire them to live the life of their dreams.

Do you have any book or podcast recommendations for our readers?

Unfuk Yourself and Love Unfuked, books by Gary John Bishop, and his podcast, Unfu*k Nation. These books and his podcast have been incredibly influential in my growth journey. They have helped me uncover things about myself I never knew, and let go of things I believed about myself for years that kept me stuck where I was. They helped me embrace a new way of doing and seeing things and realizing things didn’t have to be the way they were. Because I have the choice, I have all the power, and I can do anything I put my mind to.

What are you hoping to gain from the United Way 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program?

I hope to gain a deeper understanding of myself. I hope to gain more tools and knowledge to put my skills and strengths to work to benefit those around me. I hope to gain some real, lasting friendships with other women in our community.

What do you think can be improved in our community?

I think our community can embrace more of an open mind. I have lived in Fargo my entire life, and we have made some great strides. But, we are still a small town, and sometimes with small towns come small minds. There is so much more to the world and this life than many people think, and I’d love to see more people in our community embrace a new way of thinking about things.

What do you think can be improved in our business community?

I think we can place a greater importance on learning and personal development/ growth. I truly believe investing in your personal growth is the number one thing you can do that will skyrocket you to success and happiness, and I don’t see as much of an emphasis or importance placed on this in our workplaces as I’d like.

What are some of your passions outside of work?

I love music! I have a great passion for discovering new artists, sharing tunes I have found with others and attending live shows. I also am a big nature lover, whether it’s hiking, hanging on the beach or sitting under a tree with a good book, I love being outside.

Is there anything else you would like to say to the readers of Fargo INC! magazine?

Don’t be afraid to try and fail, and then keep trying again and again! No victories come without failure, and on that journey is so much learning to be had. The worst thing you can do isn’t the wrong thing, it’s doing nothing.

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.