To worry less about failure and what others think of you. Failing is an inevitable part of success. It’s simply feedback and learning so take it as such and use it productively to help you keep moving forward.
Jo Britton is founder and Director of PACE Development which delivers personal branding consultancy, coaching and personal development. A former marketing director, she has 25 years’ experience gained within the professional services, manufacturing, membership, training and consultancy sectors in a range of business development, marketing and operational leadership roles. Jo has led strategic brand and digital marketing transformation, designed and delivered high-profile events, conferences, networking programmes and business awards. She has also headed commercial training and consultancy practices. Born and bred in Manchester UK, with a business operating there, she has a first degree in European Administration, an MBA and a Diploma in Personal Performance Coaching with Distinction. She is a trained DISC Practitioner and CMB trained colour and style consultant. She is also a judge for the UK Business Awards.
Where did the idea for PACE Development come from?
I’m a former marketing director with a corporate background working for consultancy, training and professional service organisations. I was frustrated by the lack of women in senior level positions in industry and the clients we served. I’d also trained professionally as a coach and wanted to combine my passions of marketing and coaching.
I set up PACE (Personal and Corporate Effectiveness) Development with a mission to help women in industry accelerate their careers and industry to access a massively untapped pool of female talent.
We offer personal brand consultancy, mentorship and coaching to help people stand out, get noticed and be remembered for what they want to be remembered for. We use a fresh approach which combines the principles of branding with the latest thinking from the world of neuroscience and image consulting.
We help women to express themselves with clarity and confidence by helping them to define and share their unique personal brand. I also wanted to pay it forward so we reinvest a percentage of our fees into helping aspiring young leaders and those that face disadvantage to develop the confidence and skills to maximise their potential.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I always start my day with a short meditation. It helps me prime my brain and sets me up to focus for the day ahead. I write down my tasks, prioritising the three most important ones I need to get done. Whilst you can’t manage time (there are only ever 24 hours in a day!), you can manage your intentions and events. Both these things keep me productive.
No two days are ever the same but typically it will be a mix of client work, coaching, business development, networking and marketing.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I love getting the idea down on paper in a creative way, using a vision board approach to help me. I ask myself a number of questions. What problem does the idea solve and for whom? How can we solve this problem better than anyone else? Why would anyone choose us to help them solve their problem? Why should they believe us? This helps to create a short value proposition. We test this out initially by having informal conversations with clients to get any initial reactions. Does it resonate? Does it address a need they have? Would they be willing to buy it? If the feedback is positive, we work up a detailed plan to get it to market identifying the target date, the resources and help we need, the challenges we may face and any mitigation and the specific actions we’ll take.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Discoveries that are being made in the field of neuroplasticity – how the brain wires up and how its neural connections change over time as a result of our environment, thinking, behaviour and emotions. Whilst it was once thought that an adult brain had become hard-wired after adolescence, thanks to technological developments such as functional MRI scanning, scientists have discovered brain plasticity happens throughout our whole life. What does this mean? Our brain is much more flexible than we thought. So, it kind of debunks the ‘old dog/new tricks’ myth. We don’t have to believe the way we are is the way we have to stay. This has exciting potential to help us overcome fear-based thinking which may be sabotaging us or holding us back from achieving our goals and aspirations. Science is starting to prove that we can change the way we think through modifying our thought patterns using simple techniques such as mindfulness meditation, declarations and affirmations.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I set my priorities daily, focusing on those that will make the biggest difference to achieving my goals. If I’m ever procrastinating, I’ll break up the bigger tasks into smaller ones, and focus on getting each small task done quickly, knowing that all the little tasks are moving me closer to achieving the bigger one. This helps me stay on track and motivated. And I’m less likely to feel overwhelmed.
What advice would you give your younger self?
To worry less about failure and what others think of you. Failing is an inevitable part of success. It’s simply feedback and learning so take it as such and use it productively to help you keep moving forward. And, what others think of you is none of your business!
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Whether you like it, realise or not, you have a personal brand. Personal branding isn’t just for celebrities or the latest, greatest You-Tuber. It’s not about how many Instagram or Twitter followers you have (although that may be an important part of your personal branding strategy). Personal branding is who you are and what you represent. It’s less about celebrity and more about authenticity. Investing in your personal brand is an important part of your career and professional development.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Keep a keen eye on the finances. When taking on new clients, I usually insist upon some payment up front and I set regular time aside to ensure payments are made on time. If you need to raise capital, think hard about how. Unless your business has high-growth potential and you have hard assets, you’re unlikely to secure outside investment. If you can create a less capital intensive business model and raise the money yourself, do that.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Building my network. It’s possible to grow a business through your network. It may sound like a cliché but it’s true that often it’s not what you know but who you know. Not only has new business come from my network, it’s been invaluable to have a group of people to bounce ideas off, share knowledge with and ask for advice from. My approach is always to give first, without expectation of return. So, I started my own networking group, called The Reciprocity Tribe based on these values. It has attracted like-minded people who regularly meet to share their skills and solve problems together.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Trying to do too many things in the early days was distracting. I spread myself too thinly and lost some focus. I got back to basics with a plan which focused on a core and related offerings and turned down opportunities that did not fit.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
As organisations become more and more virtual in nature, social connectedness and corporate wellness is becoming much more important. Many health and wellbeing programmes at work are generic and narrowly focus on areas such as encouraging healthy eating and exercise. There’s an opportunity to take a more holistic approach which encompasses health from a mind, body and spirit perspective. There are lots of apps on the market in this space and many professionals delivering support. So, a business that consolidates all of this into single offering through a digital platform that enables employees to receive highly personalised and tailored support would be a business worth pursuing
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
A tripod for my iphone so that I can do quick video pieces to camera which I use as content for my business online and in social media.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Zoom. I use it to have video meetings with clients saving time and money on unnecessary travel. Its webinar capability helps me to broadcast and deliver events which can reach hundreds of clients and prospects around the world in one sitting.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Innercise by John Assaraf. It shows you how ‘innercising’ – giving your brain muscles a ‘work out’ every day – will help you achieve your goals faster and more easily. It’s based on extensive research from some of the world’s most distinguished brain scientists.
What is your favorite quote?
“Are you interested or committed? If you’re interested, you’ll do what is convenient. If you’re committed, you’ll do whatever it takes.” Ken Blanchard
I ask myself this every time I’m taking on a new challenge. And, it’s a question I always ask of my new coaching clients.
- Prime your brain to get focused for the day ahead. Starting your day with a short and simple meditation can really help and put you in the right mindset.
- Your personal brand matters. A lot. Invest in it. A strong personal brand can help you grow your business and accelerate your career.
- Set priorities based on those that will give you the greatest return. Think more about how to manage what you do each day than how to manage time.
- Don’t be afraid to fail. It’s an important part of succeeding and you’ll learn a lot from it
- Spend time building your network to build your business.