Agribusiness Training & Development

Spring is a time when many people take the steps to improve upon themselves and rejuvenate their personal and professional lives. With the new season in reach, we’ve got some tips from Amanda Sollman, Chief Operation Officer of Mark Jewell Speaking and Training, about what professional coaching and training can do for you in every season of your life.

Training your mind

Mark Jewell Speaking and Training is a consultant business that provides a variety of professional and personal development services. The company primarily serves others with inspiring keynote addresses, but also implements training programs and coaching through its specially developed programs. The company primarily works with agribusiness companies, but also offers public regional events throughout the year.

“We do two different things,” Amanda said. “We have our private events. That’s where a company contracts us to specifically work with their team. We’ll go all over the place for that. We also do public, regional events. Historically, we’ve kind of rotated those between Omaha, Minneapolis and Columbus, Ohio.”

Mark Jewell Speaking and Training has three programs to choose from — the Millennial Mastermind, the Agribusiness Relationship Mastery Experience and the Thriving Leader. The Agribusiness Relationship Master Experience works to develop sales people and the Thriving Leader is targeted at a management level.

The Millennial Mastermind program is designed to help early career professionals in agribusiness get their career off to the right start.

“So many early career professionals really feel like, ‘Oh my gosh, I must be the only one who is failing. I must be the only one who is struggling with this thing.’ Or, ‘I’m afraid to ask my boss for something.’ Or, ‘Am I doing this right?’ There are all of these inner voices that are casting shades of doubt on their first few years in their career,” Amanda said. “So this program is really designed to give you tools to build a mindset for success in your career.”

The Millennial Mastermind program was developed when Mark Jewell, the owner and founder of the company, was working with baby boomers to bridge some of the generational transitions happening in companies. The program is not technical, but instead focuses developing the mindset needed to build the level of knowledge needed to advance in a career.

Developing your why

Following her college graduation, Amanda began her career at a marketing agency in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Over the course of five years, she learned an enormous amount about the agriculture and marketing industry while the company grew from 25 employees to 100.

Amanda switched career paths to become the COO of Mark Jewell Speaking and Training after reconnecting with Mark after attending on of his trainings.

“I met Mark when I was a sophomore in college,” Amanda said. “I was a state FFA officer in Michigan, and Mark was working for National FFA as a trainer for them. We just happened to become Facebook friends after that training and we just stayed in touch for the next 10 years or so. When he was building his business, I actually went to one of the very first trainings. When he was ready to bring somebody on, he gave me a call.”

Amanda could have never predicted she would end up in such a prominent position at her age. Here are two tips she contributes to her success in obtaining her position.

  1.     Understanding your strengths — Amanda knows her strengths are details, creating processes and efficiency. Her strengths can be extremely valuable in certain environments. When Mark hired her in June 2016, he was a one-man business, so it was valuable to the company for him to bring someone on who could handle the behind the scenes work.
  2.    Networking and relationships — You never know when an opportunity is going to present itself. If Amanda had not made the effort to keep in touch and reconnect with Mark, she might not have ever found her current career path.

As Chief Operating Officer, Amanda is responsible for planning all of the company’s training events, scheduling coaching, keeping track of the financial books, hiring staff, client communication and more.

Creating your schedule

One of the benefits of working for a small, mobile company is getting to work remotely. All four of the Mark Jewell Speaking and Training employees live in different places.

“I’m in Michigan, we’ve got one in Minnesota, and two in Nebraska, but they don’t live in the same town,” Amanda said. “All four of us work from home. We are fully remote, which is kind of cool.”

As a detailed and efficient-minder person, Amanda loves the opportunity to work remotely. It gives her the ability to focus on each task at hand without interruption. Despite the fact that Amanda enjoys her remote working situation, the lifestyle can have some cons to it.

“There are times where you’re going to miss having people to interact with,” she said. “That is something I think you need to take into consideration is that when you work from home. Be careful about being too homebound. If you know you’re not someone who is self motivated to get things done, maybe working from home is not for you. But if you are someone who knows they can manage their work well and get things done, it might be something to consider.”

To connect with Amanda or Mark Jewell Speaking and Training, follow them online.






Mark Jewell’s Facebook:

Mark Jewell’s Snapchat: @markjamesjewell

Amanda Sollman’s Twitter: @sollmana

Amanda Sollman’s Instagram: @asollman

Amanda Sollman’s Snapchat:

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Alex Lowery