It’s the time again where we celebrate a woman from Bristol who is doing fantastic things in business and for the community, and this month’s award is thoroughly deserved.
This month’s business woman of the month is the amazing Jo Richings.
Jo is a business coach, author and inspirational speaker (more of that later), but the reason we have decided to name her this month’s business woman of the month is because of the help she gives to other business owners in the local community. There were a number of people who messaged us telling us what a good job Jo does.
To celebrate Jo winning this month’s award, we asked her a few questions…
Give an explanation of your business and what you do.
I am a Business Coach, Author, Inspirational speaker and a bit of a Social Entrepreneur, – which means I love to create things that make a difference!
After a life-changing year in 2012 – breast cancer, losing my mum out of the blue and finding out my husband was having an affair, I decided to only focus on the things that made my heart sing – empowering individuals and businesses to be the best they can be.
In 2014 I co-created HappiMe, a non-profit Community Interest Company on a mission to improve confidence, self-esteem and mental health in young people, with my amazing daughter Abby Pickles.
In 2017 I published my book- Whoops, There It Goes Again, How To Stay Positive WhenTthe Bottom Drops Out Of Your World, plus wrote two books to help children that worry.
In 2018 I started The Bristol Small Business Network on FB where I have made a commitment to share my knowledge for free with a business tip or resource everyday for a year (what was I thinking?!). Also, to raise funds for HappiMe, I run low-cost group coaching Mastermind sessions and Masterclasses for small and micro businesses!
How did you get into starting the business?
I have been running a business of some kind pretty much since I was 20 years old after I picked up my first personal development book – The Power of the Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy. This book and the many that followed, completely changed my life in so many wonderful ways and the result was that I’ve been lucky enough to be successful at pretty much anything I’ve put my mind too!
From 2000-2007 I was running a Sales business and it was during this time I was meeting lots of business owners who really needed help and guidance. A good plumber starts a business because he is a good plumber and not necessarily because he’s a good business owner, so in 2007 I decided to invest in a Business Coaching Franchise. This was the best decision I’ve made so far and has led to a very successful business working with some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.
How long has the business been running for?
I’ve been business coaching for over 11 years now.
How many employees do you have?
Nowadays, my Business Coaching business is just me – with freelancers when I need them. After my cancer diagnosis in 2012 I made the decision to close my office and say goodbye to my team in favour of working from home in my lovely conservatory overlooking the woods and the squirrels.
HappiMe has a team of 7, something we are looking to grow later this year.
What is the most rewarding part of running your own business?
Where do I start? Being able to really make a positive difference to people’s lives is a fantastic way to make a living. There is nothing else I would rather do.
I love being in control of my own financial future, being able to travel 4 or 5 times a year, sometimes for a month at time, the freedom to set my own hours each day and take the afternoon off if I fancy just reading in the garden. I am very blessed to do what I do and get to work with genuinely lovely people who are also striving to be the best they can be. How cool is that?
What has been the most difficult part of it?
For me the hardest part has always been switching off. I usually have half a dozen projects on the go and am at my best when I am creating – either with a client launching a new project, writing, creating apps, websites or businesses. Since recovering from cancer, I have learned to slow down a little. I meditate, read a lot and travel more now. Life is more about experiences for me now.
Any plans to expand in the future?
Yes, always! I about to launch an innovative new way for members of The Bristol Small Business Network to network in real life, which I am really excited about.
With HappiMe we are looking forward to bringing more coaches and therapists into the HappiMe family – as unfortunately, the “need” for mental health support is so great.
Any advice to young people in the area looking to start a business?
Take advice from someone who has done what you are looking to do rather than from a well meaning relative or some bloke down the pub! Find a coach or a mentor (join our FB group!), make a list of what you need to learn and then go learn it! Anything is possible with the right mindset!
Thank you so much to Jo for taking the time to answer our questions in such great detail. If you would like to recommend someone for business man or woman of the month, email firstname.lastname@example.org.