“Tess’s birth has shifted the trajectory of my life and career.”

Jack Hourigan
Jack Hourigan

Meet Jack 

I’m Jack Hourigan. I just turned 50, yup I said it. I am a Communication Coach and Culture Builder. My background is Improv, TV, Theatre, Writing, Healthcare Advocacy.

What would you say has been the biggest shift in your life since turning 40?

At age 42 I gave birth to my daughter, “Tenacious” Tess, 3 months prematurely. Her birth brought a profound fear of the unknown for me. Because I’m a Second City Alumna, I pretty much apply the improv philosophy to everything I do and turns out the NICU was no exception. Things like: “Play the scene you are in, not the one you wish you are in” (stay present). “Yes and” (agree and add to the scene). “There are no mistakes, only opportunities” (look for the gifts). But for me, the most important one was “Follow the fear”.

Tess’ birth has shifted the trajectory of my life and career. She brought perspective, purpose, and a broader understanding of how effective communication can literally change the world. I left TV to start swaypartners.com, a communication training and coaching company with one of my oldest and dearest friends, Ellen Morita, and I have never been happier or laughed so much.

When do you feel you are most powerful?

I am most powerful when I help people realize their hidden talents/potential, whether that is with my family, my clients, or random folks I meet at a cocktail party.

What are the top three most important things to you right now?

My family, my company, and my bathtub (self-care, reflection, and creativity flow from that sanctuary)

How do you make sure your actions are aligned with what’s most important to you?

Ellen and I have a “No A-Hole Policy” at work. Once I reached a certain age I realized life is too short to be surrounded by miserable folks.  We simply say no if a situation or client doesn’t align with our beliefs. It trickles over to all other aspects of my life. Boundaries are liberating and necessary and result in happier more productive humans.  

What seeds are you planting today for the future?

One seed is the coaching and training I am doing right now with my clients. I hope it results in them being more confident and able to effectively communicate their ideas and create future good in the world. The other seed is every good and bad parenting choice I make on a daily basis. TBD!

What advice would you give someone who is interested in redesigning midlife?

Be bold. Take risks. Follow the fear. Perfectionism will rob you of the gift of failing. Failing is hard but its also quite easy once you let go and embrace it. It is what grows your confidence, builds resilience, and leads you to an even better scene the next time. 

How can people connect with you and your work?

Email me at jack@swaypartners.com or visit swaypartners.com.

Welcome to my Power Profiles Series

Here I introduce you to powerful midlife role models in our community. May these stories inspire you, motivate you, and show you what is possible.


Hi, I'm Sara!

I'm here to reclaim the term 'midlife' and embrace the power these years offer us.

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About the author

Sara Smeaton

I help you discover the joy and power in midlife and navigate the transitions on your own terms. I am passionate about changing the narrative about aging and am trying to fill the world with profiles of real life people who are thriving and more alive after 40 than ever before. The best is yet to come and there are role models all around us. Book your free 30-minute connection call.

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