Jenny Garrett was awarded APCTC Women’s Coach of the Year 2014, Jenny is a sought after executive coach, author of Rocking Your Role, the how to guide to success for female breadwinners, speaker, and founder of Reflexion Associates leadership consultancy.
She features frequently in the media: appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, Magic FM’s Book Club, TV and in publications such as the Guardian, Telegraph and Marie Claire.
Jenny was honoured to be listed in LinkedIn UK’s Top 10 Power Women 2013 and is Vice Chair of the TwentyTen Club. She is an Advisory Board member Generation Success. Jenny helps professional working women move to a state of contentment, happiness and abundance, ultimately rocking their many roles in life, using the process that she has developed from over 10 years experience of executive coaching and research outlined in her book. Jenny also works with corporates to maximise their staff performance through leadership development.
“Rocking Your Role” is your brand – how did you discover this powerful gift within you?
“Rocking Your Role” was born from my challenges of being a female breadwinner – juggling work and family, I found that by sharing my story and becoming vulnerable I was able to help other women. The more I shared my story and those of the women in the book, the more other women had permission to share theirs and so go on to find solutions and craft the life they want.
As a business expert working with women, can you tell us more about this experience?
I have been running my business since 2006 and so have first hand experience of the challenges women face. I come at business coaching from a mindset perspective – there can be actual skills and knowledge that you need, but it’s often confidence, resilience and focus that holds many women back. I help them take bold steps and overcome these challenges.
A lot of migrant women have started or built their business. From your experience what drives women to be an entrepreneur?
Not Fitting In
Women are collaborators – we are heavily engaged, motivational, and extremely well suited to emerging, in a less hierarchical workplace rather than traditional large male structures found in the majority of large corporate organisations.
Women Understand The Customer
Women control 83% of all consumer purchases – including consumer electronics, health care and cars. Forward-looking companies understand they need women to figure out how to market to women. As women we know how women think and have a direct link to our customers.
You Don’t Often Need Much Financial Investment
These days it’s unlikely that you’ll need a huge investment to get your business up and running. With crowd-funding and angel investors it’s easier than it’s ever been to bypass banks to get the seed funding that you need.
Location Doesn’t Matter!
You don’t have to be in Silicon Valley to start a business in 2014. You can even do it from your bedroom where many online businesses started. This makes the business portable and provides freedom. I coach clients online wherever they are in the world.
Work Life Balance
A recent LinkedIn Survey found that women value work-life balance more than salary or position. Entrepreneurship offers more flexibility to juggle work with your other responsibilities, such as a 3 day week, at night after the children have gone to bed, or from a coffee shop.
What Skills should a woman have to be successful in business?
The stark reality of running your own business is that every morning you must wake up, set the agenda and get on with it. No one is looking over your shoulder; you won’t be penalised if you spend the day watching your favourite DVD box set. For some this is extremely challenging, the temptation to give in to distractions and the isolation can mean that they are less than productive. Having an accountability partner, mentor or coach can help you stay on track, renting an office space or working from a local library can also be more productive, but the motivation must come from you.
Noticing small successes and congratulating yourself on achieving them is really important!
You may have seen some amazing stories of overnight business success, but the reality is rarely like that in business. Eddie Cantor’s famous saying that it takes ten years to become an overnight success and Malcolm Gladwell’s equation of 10,000 hours to become a master, are much closer to the truth.
Noticing small successes and congratulating yourself on achieving them is really important, as is surrounding yourself with like-minded people. Keep a batch of customer testimonials and on bad days, read them to remember what a good job you are doing. Create a vision board and look at it every day to reconnect with what you are working towards. Join a network or mastermind group of those who will lift you higher.
Be Paid, and Thrive
You may love your work so much that you’d do it for free if you could. I know I feel this way, but a lesson I’ve learned is that you mustn’t be afraid to charge. This is not a job, earning enough to live will not give you a sustainable business. You need to earn enough to develop your business, employ staff, train and develop yourself, keep up to date with the latest industry developments. Learn to articulate the value of your service and hold your nerve around your fees. The quality of your work or product will suffer if you can’t continue to invest in yourself, and if and when you do get to the point of achieving a surplus, you can engage in giving back.
it’s often confidence, resilience and focus that holds many women back. I help them take bold steps and overcome these challenges.
Do it with passion – or not at all. Your business is you, you must love it, believe in it, live and breathe it. If you don’t, no one else will. Make it your passion, your purpose, and it will become your profession.
Not looking after yourself is a selfish act. Take ‘me’ time and do what nourishes you. It will benefit all aspects of your life in the long run.
What would be your best advice for migrant women who come to a new country but don’t know where and how to start?
- Find a network of like-minded women, and if you can’t find one, create it. It will be a great source of support and knowledge
- Make sure that there is a market for your product or service and that people are willing to pay for it
- Seek advice, as the rules on setting up a business may be different to your own country
- Organisations such as the Women’s Business Council can signpost support that you can access.
- Get support with nurturing a winning mind-set, and you will find that you go further quicker and with more ease.
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