Today I'm celebrating 8 years in business
I’ve been looking back on my journey and the steps I have taken to get me to where I am now.
The reality is it hasn’t been the easiest route to get here so I thought it might be useful to share what my (not so smooth) road has looked like so far on this massive entrepreneurial “road trip” I have found myself on!
One of my goals for my business is to normalise the journey. It isn’t smooth, it looks messy and I want you to know that's exactly how a successful business is built....
No matter how Instagram makes it look!
Let's take a trip down memory lane shall we?:
The Present Moment: I am 100% in love with my business, I am lucky to attract THE most amazing clients and I’ve been living my dream life for the past 5 years doing what I love.
Here’s the route I took to get here:
June 2012 – Started my own business as a Virtual Assistant. Had one big desire – to be able to work from anywhere in the world. The ultimate in freedom. I knew exactly how to support my clients as I had been an Executive PA for 17 years! So I networked, built my business to not quite what I was earning in my J.O.B and ended up feeling…..super unfulfilled!!
There was no significant investing in myself during this period. My business was lean……and…..not aligned to my core values or my strengths at all.
2014 – Changed direction in my business (this sounds a lot easier than it actually was!). I had no clarity but knew my Virtual Assistance business was not my dream business.
Hired my first business coach and was catapulted into the online “underworld”. It blew my freakin' mind!
The online world. Totally amazing, totally exciting – and serious information overload!
This is also the year I joined my first high-level Mastermind. Found myself surrounded by like-minded entrepreneurs who I am truly grateful for, some of these amazing ladies still support me now. They were there at the start of my Productivity Coaching journey so it’s a very special relationship. They have seen the hustle and the heartache!
Being surrounded by like-minded women was a game-changer for me and is one of the reasons The Live Big Lab exists. We can’t do this journey alone.
2015 (this was a big year) – Started the year with a new business mantra to help me get out of my own way – #ImperfectAction became the two words I whispered all day long, day in day out until it was my default practice.
I class this as the ‘experimentation phase’ for my business. Learned lots about building an online business and practised different messaging and marketing techniques, offerings, packages to grow my coaching business and find out what really gets transformation for my clients. My #ImperfectAction mantra served me really well here.
I invested in myself, I hired coaches, joined specific group coaching programs and did lots of personal development. I was really committing to making a successful business that lit me up AND made a difference in the lives of my clients. And I wasn’t there yet and I knew I couldn’t get there alone.
Started building my newsletter list with my first ever 5-day productivity challenge (I cringe at the videos now!) also created my Free FB Group: Productivity Boosters for Female Entrepreneurs which now has nearly 8k members.
Split up with my boyfriend, sold most of my belongings and became “location independent”, a Digital Nomad, a laptop entrepreneur!!
Kicked this off with a business retreat in Bali hosted by Natalie Sisson, The (then) Suitcase Entrepreneur and met some more like-minded business buddies, some of whom I have since met up with around the world, we have rented villas and apartments together in London, Paris, Thailand, Bali, Portugal, Spain and Costa Rica so far!
Hosted my first Webinar.
Created my first group program and ran it as a pilot with 12 women.
Travelled to Australia to attend a business retreat hosted by Denise Duffield-Thomas and Victoria Gibson. Two super amazing and inspiring women. They suggested I start charging in US dollars as my audience was so global. I did as I was told (they know a thing or two about success!!). So if you've ever wondered why I charge in US$ - this is why!
2016 – Had my first 10k+ month, worked from 9 different countries and attended conferences for some face to face action. Joined another mastermind. Met more amazing and like-minded women. Also kept "experimenting" with my message and offerings, getting clearer and clearer.
And I went on a learning ban.
I unsubscribed from all the noise in my inbox, I stopped signing up to webinars and listening to podcasts and instead I put my head down and focused on my own business (instead of watching what everyone else was doing!).
This was intentional and also pretty powerful for me and showed how my confidence had grown – to let go of watching what everyone else was doing and just focus on my own game.
This learning ban is how I doubled my business. You can read more about that HERE.
2017 – Had my first 20k+ month. I am no longer in the experimentation stage! (edit: I will always be in the experimentation phase. That’s called doing business!) I know how to get results for my clients, I know what works and I know how I enjoy delivering my content and supporting my clients. Now it’s about refining, improving and scaling. Or so I thought....
This was my current reality because I took massive imperfect action (probably the only thing I was consistent at if I’m honest!) and allowed myself to experiment along the way knowing each ‘experiment’ would get me more clarity. (Again why my current signature group coaching program is called "a Lab" because that's what it takes to grow a business) 😉
This is also the year I achieved my dream to become an International Speaker and have gone on to speak at many stages around the world both on and offline 🔥
2018 - After 3 years as a digital nomad I decided I wanted a home again and ended up buying an apartment in Southern Spain. (If you've been here a while you may remember the shelves story!).
Putting roots down was hard. I knew it would be and that’s why I had to do it! Whenever I’m uncomfortable I book a flight, buying my homemade me sit and face all the stuff that I needed to face. It made me look at ways I was playing small.
It made me grow personally and I was grateful to have already built a business that brought me re-occurring income whilst I transitioned from digital nomad to homeowner again.
2019 - My biggest personal development investment so far: A year-long Mastermind which saw me (with a lot of kicking and screaming), finally accept that I really was way more than a Productivity Coach. I was empowering my clients all over the shop to create bigger lives for themselves. My clients were having their best months financially whilst working less. Having more fun, really stepping into a bigger business all without burn out and working harder.
It was time to claim who I really am and stop hiding behind the productivity tools so I put on my big girl panties and closed my signature Membership, the Wildly Successful Society (you can read ALL about that HERE!!!).
That was the biggest decision I have had to make in my business to date, and I'm proud of myself. It was not easy letting go of that one.
"A smart business owner makes tough decisions".
Present Day: I've fallen back in love with my business. It's truly aligned to my values, my strengths and I’m super clear on the transformation I facilitate with my work. My Signature offering, The Live Big Lab, is heading into its third round and just keeps getting more and more powerful for the members.
I am showing up as the "Real Jo" in my business and I’m finding it easier to scale my business on my terms (I'll share more about that soon....).
Grateful for where I'm at and excited for what's coming next.
It has been one hell of a roller coaster journey to get here so I've collated all my learnings into 8 juicy lessons for you.
Love Jo x
PS If you haven’t done this recently I encourage you to sit down and write all your achievements so far. It's a great exercise!