Interview with Jo Jarvis

Today I interview the brilliant Jo Jarvis.  I first met Jo only 2 months ago, and I’ve loved getting to know more about her journey in business, her motivations to achieve success and her passion to support other women in business.

Jo is an independent Distributor for Utility Warehouse, a FTSE 250 Plc, UK based company, providing energy and telecoms to homes and businesses. She has been a Distributor for nearly 5 years and she show’s people how to either save money on their bills, or make money by recommending the company to others as a Distributor.

Jo has some great tips to share on succeeding in business.  I particularly love her experience of networking.

So Jo, what made you decide to set-up your own business?

I was already running my own business when I came across the Utility Warehouse opportunity which paid my bills, but had been looking for something else to pay for extras such as holidays etc. It has now however overtaken that business in terms of financial reward. I thought it was a perfect fit as I could set my own hours around my other business and my family as it was entirely flexible. I have been self-employed for many years now and of course there are always pro’s and con’s to every type of employment, but for me having your own business gives you immense satisfaction.

What is the best thing for you about being your own boss and running your own business?

Wow so many things it is hard to say 1 best thing! Initially, for me it was ‘flexibility’ to work around my children, especially in the early years when I was a single mother. Then it became so much more than that.

What practical advice would you give to anyone about to start, or in the early stages of owning a business?

Organisation is absolutely key. It is very easy at the beginning to not put systems in place, to ‘wing it’ a little bit, after all there is no ‘boss’ to be accountable to, so if you don’t do something on time, or leave it for yet another day, no-one will know. All self-employment is easy to do, and also easy not to do. In my industry of network marketing, when for most people in the first few years in particular when the hours are part-time, it is easy not to take your business seriously. By not being organised, you are never going to move your business forward as quickly as you would like.

 

I would say as the number one piece of practical advice is to organise your time, be it in a paper diary, or a CRM, or electronic calendar. I colour code my week per view paper diary, after advice from a senior distributor, and this has changed how I work. So I use colour highlighters – purple for utility warehouse work, blue for family and friends and yellow for networking, events and training. This means that I can see at a glance at the beginning of every week if I have enough balance in my life and if I am working hard enough!

What advice would you give to women in business? From your area of expertise or in general.

I know so many awesome women in business, and of course men too, but I find women in particular give very practical advice that is worth its weight in gold. I would say women thrive in a supportive environment and are very good at recognising each others achievements. For me networking has been absolutely key to enjoying having my own business. I have networked for 4.5 years and made so many friends, received invaluable advice, felt supported and it has given me lots of confidence at speaking in public and getting my business message across succinctly. Plus, I love being in business so am genuinely interested in hearing about other people’s businesses.  So, I would HIGHLY recommend joining a networking group from the get go of starting your own business.

And what or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?

I have always sought advice from people who I consider to be successful in my business and listened to them, plus attend regular trainings as I believe you never stop learning.  I have also embraced Personal Development for the first time in my life since joining Utility Warehouse as it is very much encouraged – this has given me strength, determination, focus and structure and most importantly, given me support and reason when I have not moved my business forward as quickly as I would like.

What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve been given in business?

“Take the emotion out of your business decisions.” This advice was given to me by my Mentor last year who is a man! This is certainly not easy for me to do! However, it has made me calm down and make business decisions, without all the rollercoaster of emotions that I used to have.

What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?

Make yourself accountable to someone else – a success buddy or Mentor or family/friend.

What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?

I would say being promoted to a Senior Team Leader – this effectively means that I had to have 2 Team Leaders in the team, a certain number of personal customers and a certain number of group customers. There were many times, I thought this was never going to happen and just seemed too far out of reach. It was a big milestone for me and made me then realise that further promotions, again previously seemingly unattainable, were possible if I continued to work hard.

And what’s next for Jo Jarvis?

My next goal is a promotion to Group Leader which I hope to achieve by the end of this year.

 

Well we certainly wish you all the very best in achieving your goal Jo!  Personally, I’m looking forward to hearing all about your success!

You can find out more about Jo here:

How to save money: www.utilitywarehouse.org.uk/N11080

How to make money: www.utilitywarehouse.org.uk/N11080/opportunity

 

And if like Jo, you’re looking for that accountability in business, or the support of like-minded women, come and join the conversation on my Facebook group Women Who Thrive in Business

I’m Sam Dixon, founder of Thrive Coaching – business and marketing coach to ambitious business women who want to create, develop and grow their business with confidence.  For a free 30 minute discovery call get in touch on 07972 783 507 or email hello@thrivecoaching.org.uk