(Photo Courtesy of Wortman Works Media & Marketing)
Shining a Light in the Secular Workplace
How PR Expert Jules Wortman Experienced Success in the Business World
By Sarah Komisky
Ambitious and assertive, southern and sassy, Nashville’s PR expert, Jules Wortman is sharing her story filled with dreams, fears, peaks, and valley’s. From becoming a leading lady in PR, with clients like Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and Blake Shelton, to starting her own firm, Wortman Works Media & Marketing, this current founder, CEO, adjunct professor, and philanthropist shares the power behind the success and how it’s possible to be a light in the secular industry.
Landing a job upon her college graduation that stemmed from her internship in PR, Wortman, young and tenacious, began working hard to be the best at her craft. But this all began by learning from her mistakes.
“Because I had no fear, and I was naive when I was young and I just went for it, I did whatever I thought just to make things happen,” says Wortman. “ I learned about what to do and what not to do by mistakes that I made.”
Traveling, staying in five star hotels, representing big events, and being around huge successful artists, she learned a lot quickly and was then offered the position to be the head of a record label in her late twenties. Seizing the opportunity for a more stable position and the chance of experiencing the job of lifetime, she said yes and was handed the company on the spot.
“I was very scared, but I felt I could use my faith in myself and my faith in God, who is everything I do. Every morning when I wake up I’m like, ‘this day is yours for me to do what you want me to do with my life for You,’” she says. “And I would just always go, ‘OK, sure we all get nervous as humans, that’s normal.’ But if you’re confident and are willing to take those extra steps to make things happen for yourself and you have Him as your guide, why be worried? You got it!”
Without databases and only a phone and a computer on the way, Wortman went to work that was, in her words, “definitely an ‘Oh my word!’” Yet, it was something she calls great, explaining, “It was great because this was in the early to mid-90’s and the first three acts that we had come out on that label went multi-platinum and had Grammy’s, and we were just fortunate. It was a very successful label in a very short period of time.”
Offered a position at MCA, Wortman went on to work with clients like Vince Gill, Trisha Yearwood, and the Mavericks, and also came into an environment that challenged her faith when she worked alongside leadership that was agnostic. Facing opposition for her faith, she was let go from the label. But this didn’t stop her.
Having a huge client base, Wortman decided to open her own PR firm called Wortman Works Media & Marketing and soon had an opportunity to merge with a company from Boston where she learned a lot. She reflects, “I put my big girls pants on and started really digging into the nuts and bolts of business at that time. And it really shook me to go, ‘Okay, this is how we really need to do this.’ That was very eye opening and rewarding at the same time.”
Wortman moved on to Warner Brothers and worked with country artists SheDaisy (SHeDAISY) and Blake Shelton for 8 years. She then started Wortman Works back up again in 2008 and has been there since. However, today she is working on broadening what she does outside music by managing artists, coordinating PR campaigns and strategy for record labels and lifestyle brands, sitting on leadership boards (including a music board that raises research funds for cancer), and being very involved her community. She also offers these opportunities to give back to her employees, which she believes is good for them as well.
“You do not feel good about yourself if you just take, take, take. You’ve got to give. If you’re not a giver, it takes you down. It doesn’t take you down, it breaks you down. I’ve watched it over and over again,” she confessed. “I truly believe that a lot of successes come because of that. It doesn’t even need to be reciprocal. I feel like that’s a big part of my success in the business. And with me as a human, as a person, with my friends, with my family, with my co-workers, with my peers, with my client, the main thing is what you can do for others and any aspect of your life will come back to you tenfold.”
So how was she able to be a light in a secular environment? Wortman reveals a big part was to simply let her actions speak for themselves. She explains, “People notice things when you don’t realize they notice whether you’re on tour, whether you’re in a office, or at a concert, whatever.”
Reflecting on a time when she was asked by her agnostic employer to pray for their family member, Wortman simply states when it comes to nonbelievers and being a light for Christ, “They know there is something that is different about Christians.”
She continued, “You just have to stay true to your convictions, but you also have to respect people in this world. But you can also address things to let people know where you stand. It’s a delicate bridge that you have to walk over, but you shouldn’t be afraid to do it because those people are literally probably in a really hard place in their life if they’re having conflict. But you have to understand, you’re going to feel way better about yourself when you stand up for what you believe in and you don’t roll over. And I have to say, you don’t have to be overtly obnoxious, you just have to be solid and most people are going to respect you so much for that than for your rolling over.”
In the industry, she has learned that it’s important to be aware of the battle in front of you that is partly with others around you, saying, “A lot of times, tensions can flare, feelings get hurt, people don’t understand, but I will say, if you get up in the morning and you give your day to God or you say your prayers and do your devotions, however you do it, (everyone does it differently), but you know that you aren’t in charge, someone else is in charge of your mouth.”
Another part according to Wortman deals with spiritual warfare (the battle Christians engage in due to their belief in God that comes directly from wicked forces opposing Christ known as Satan and his demons). She continues, “The stronger you are in your faith, the more the spiritual warfare is coming at you. It’s coming at you at all sides. So if you are projecting God’s grace into your world onto others, you are going to struggle in the business world for the most part because the devil is going to try to attack you through other people, through situations, a lot of things. So you have to be strong and you have to recognize those things.”
Although she faced her share of opposition, the opportunity to shine Christ in a dark world far outweighed the latter. As she has put God first, she has seen the blessings of success that was only made possible through Him. In it all, her story inspires us to, in her words, “Go for it” and to place our confidence in Christ knowing that anything is possible through Him.
Find out more about Jules Wortman, the woman behind the GMA Dove Awards, Third Day, and Christian boy band, 3for3, at: http://www.wortmanworks.net
And, check out Jules Wortman’s latest project, Stylist on Call, Nashville, an Uber hair and makeup service at: http://www.stylistoncallnashville.com