Christina Langdon, our NJMOMpreneur of the Week, has spent 30 years leading sales and marketing teams for big brands like Martha Stewart and Fast Company. But while his career looked perfect on paper, something was missing from all success: joy. In 2019, Christina was diagnosed with cancer and knew it was time to change her story, launching Christina Langdon High Performance Coaching + Consulting to help others achieve their ‘extraordinary’, even when life turns on. through their path. Today, she follows her passion for high performance coaching, and mission-driven companies sustainably evolve and rediscover their joy. We interviewed this Summit-based mother and stepmother of five grown children to talk about how her diagnosis made her reconsider her career, the one thing she does to get through a tough day, and the basement. from NJ where her family goes when they want a mini-escape.
Photo credit of featured image: Wendy Moynihan
Tell us a bit about your family. I live in Summit, NJ, with my husband for 4 years, Ron Potesky. We share five grown children: Jack and Teddy, 22-year-old twins, Caroline, 25, and my step-sons Charlie, 27, and Ben, 30.
Tell us a bit about your professional background and its role in launching your business. I have worked for Martha Stewart for almost 20 years, and during that time the company has undergone dramatic changes on several occasions. I launched over 20 brands for her and achieved executive status. But, when I wasn’t working, I could be found at Barnes & Noble in the self-help section because even though I looked perfect on paper, I was perfectly miserable on the inside. I thought that higher up the ladder the effort would become easier, and I would feel what you are meant to feel when you arrived. When I was diagnosed with AML Leukemia in 2019 I took a close look and realized I wanted to be a coach, partner and collaborator for other high performing people and help them find a life. balanced and cheerful. I started my business in 2019 while I was still in treatment.
Has the pandemic affected your business? The pandemic has been good for my business because people are more accepting of getting help now, and the stigma surrounding having a trainer is gone. I firmly believe that success is not a solo endeavor. He always comes with the support of others.
Is there a particular cause or charity that is close to your heart? It is very important for me to give back. The Connie Dwyer Breast Cancer Foundation is one that I am involved with. It aims to provide early detection and cure and improve the overall health care experience for underinsured women. There are now two centers in New Jersey, one in Elizabeth and another in Newark.
How important is it to be confident when running your own business? When people ask me about the importance of business confidence, it reminds me of something my doctor (Dr Park) at Memorial Sloan Kettering told me. He said I didn’t go there to be healed, I went to be healed. My life depended on his skill, not his confidence. It is the same in business and in life. Learn a new thing every day and you will become more proficient. Eventually, confidence will follow.
How to reset after a particularly difficult day? I get clarity by writing down all my thoughts on what I’m struggling with. Writing about a difficult day allows me to de-stress and open up to the possibilities available to me. The brain is a fascinating muscle. When you write something, the brain behaves as if it has happened. So, by putting a pen on paper and writing down your thoughts, you can find out where those thoughts are coming from and why they are triggering you. This practice is best when done daily to help you understand your changing challenges and available opportunities. It will help you open your mind to all the possibilities available to you and the power you have over your struggles.
What are some of your favorite local NJ businesses? Boomerang Bites, an Australian bakery in Hoboken, is the best. The bites are beautifully packaged, so they’re great for special occasion gifts, but they’re so delicious you’ll want them for yourself, too. Plus, I love The Co-Co, a space for co-working, co-networking and inspiration at Summit. It gives me a chance to give back and help support other women in business. Again, success is not a solo endeavor.
What are your favorite things to do in NJ with your family? We enjoy Alba Vineyard in Milford. It’s so beautiful and uplifting, and when we all go together, it feels like we’re on vacation. They make wine to taste and buy, great music from NJ musicians, and delicious local food. We also love the Jersey Shore and spend a lot of time at Normandy Beach, one of the quieter and more traditional beaches. And, we’ll hike anywhere – some of the favorites are Harriman State Park, Giralda Farms Reserve Trail, and Natirar Park Trail.
What advice can you share with another NJMOMpreneur who wants to take the plunge? I love this question – above all, you have to surround yourself with awesomeness since you are a product of the people around you. Immerse yourself in a community of like-minded and motivated people who will support you and encourage you to reach your next level. Personally, I have relied on the coaching and mentoring community to help me reach the next chapter. And second, know that you don’t have to do everything from soup to nuts. Ask for help, and if you need to invest in support, it is an investment worth making and one that can empower you.
For more information on Christina Langdon and Christina Langdon High Performance Coaching + Consulting, check out the website, Facebook pages and Instagram.
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