With 20 years’ experience of negotiating the sale of businesses (at last count 327 businesses sold), and four bestselling books under her belt there’s no denying Jo Haigh is a successful businesswoman. Jo describes the three main values that inform everything she does.
I’ve worked with many successful people, and one of the things I’ve noticed is they have uncompromising Positivity. Time and again successful people are the ones who expect to succeed, with no doubt about the outcome. It’s a cherished value of my own, and at the heart of so many entrepreneurs.
I’ve got 4 children as well and each one has done amazing things. I’m sure that it’s because, like me, they never expected to fail. When they were young I I told them they could do anything, and it’s that message they’ve taken through their lives.
All of us, we never expect to fail. In fact it’s quite a surprise when things go wrong for any of us.
To borrow an analogy from Harry Potter, I deliberately avoid “Dementors” – the people who look on the down side and suck the life out of you. My glass isn’t just “half full” – it’s absolutely overflowing!
Kindness is another of my values. I really believe in mentoring people to success and in giving back. The truth is, for everything I give, I get back masses more, so in a way it’s very selfi sh. I can’t tell you the buzz I get from seeing people I’ve advised succeed.
For example, two people I’ve taken on as apprentices, who were literally stacking shelves in Tesco, have outperformed every expectation I had of them.
There’s nothing like passing down skills and information to others and seeing them grow in skills and confi dence.
I love sharing my knowledge and I think it’s vital to send the elevator back down again, so that others can follow you up. Hard Work is my third value – and to anyone who knows me it will come as no surprise. With three business to run, books to write, clients to work for, alongside lecturing and keynote speaking, life is pretty full. That’s the way I like it. I don’t do it all on my own. I think there’s a bit of a myth that you can have it all. You do have to make sacrifices.
I’ve sacrificed a lot of my time with my family in pursuing the business, but I have also managed to get the time with my family when it counts. I’ve got four great kids and they’ve grown up very balanced, and they are my friends. So I believe I have got it right.
So, I work hard and that’s probably also because I am a control freak and have to have things right. I’m creative: I come up with at least one new idea every day and I apply my full energy to my three businesses. That requires a certain degree of management, so I tend to be fairly hands on, even though I try not to be! It probably makes sense to you when I tell you, then, that I actually get worried if I don’t have work to bring home with me!
Those three values – Positivity, Kindness and Hard Work have been with me all my life, and I’d say they’re what really drive me, as a businessperson, forward to more success.
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