Are you searching – searching for something you know is missing but not knowing exactly what that is?
Whether it be to help you overcome a personal block or barrier that is holding you back, or an answer or insight that eludes you?
Whatever that missing piece is, someone, somewhere has the answers you are looking for. In fact, as Jo Burston says,
“Someone woke up this morning with the missing piece you are looking for…”
Jo Burston is a lady who has laser focus and a clarity about the world that I find refreshing. She doesn’t pull her punches and she knows exactly what she wants as well as the specific steps and process she will use to get there. She lovingly and strategically manages both her networks and relationships as she is vividly aware that without these she cannot reach her goals.
Just who is Jo Burston and how does she relate to missing pieces and today’s topic is something I’d like to share with you.
Image courtesy of Jo Burston
Quite simply, Jo Burston is a multi-million dollar story about clarity.
Jo Burston is a determined, single-minded entrepreneur who runs Job Capital, a fast-growing payroll services, migration, salary packaging and contract-management business which makes Jo money while she sleeps.
Job Capital has also put her on the Australia’s top 50 entrepreneurs list for the last five years.
Job Capital's revenue in 2012 was $40 million and her big goal is to reach $100 million.
She is also the founder of the entrepreneurial movement Inspiring Rare Birds, which works to promote opportunity for women in entrepreneurship. And, her vision here is just as big and audacious: “I want to see 1 million more women entrepreneurs within the next 10 years, globally."
How did Jo get to be where she is today?
The answer may surprise you....
In her words (read full article here) "I never attended University.
Not one single person or institution taught me how to create things from nothing or how to be an entrepreneur – I don’t have the expertise to do either with much perfection. However I believe progress trumps perfection and attitude trumps talent."
When you meet Jo, she has a direct, no-nonsense approach that engages you straight away.
She is warm and eloquent and simultaneously confronting and makes no bones about challenging the status quo if that is what it's going to take to move you forward. It's is a combination I admire and I believe is missing from our overly politically correct conversations in Australia today.
I see and read a lot of hype and hyperbole of the need to be better, greater, quicker, faster than the person sitting next to you. But, cut through the hype and you have no substance.
From the work I do with leaders, corporate professionals, engineers, accountants, councils, universities, business owners, and the rest, a definite need is emerging:
People are looking for real answers
to their real-life challenges.
We all know we won't get real answers sitting on our bums and reading or even talking about our challenges!
And you are certainly not going to get real life answers trying to wade your way through departmental politics and trying to be nice to everyone either!
The real answers to your challenges come once you have gained clarity about what and who you stand for and are willing to do what it takes, systematically and consistently over a period of time to achieve these goals.
It's a life journey and it's a unique journey enjoyed by yourself and those with whom you choose to share your journey with.
Jo is a person of substance who is prepared to do what it takes to make her vision and dreams a reality. When Jo wants something, she is prepared to work hard for it. But hard work on its own is not enough. We need other people to help us.
Jo firmly believes in the value of partnerships. She sees them as a value exchange for both parties. If there is not value in the relationship for both parties, it is not a good fit.
"Someone woke up this morning with the missing piece you are looking for... you need to go and find them!
So, let's explore some no-nonsense, practical and systematic ways to get clear and focused. The following are the key insights that Jo shared at a recent conference I attended.
Get ready to be inspired to take action from an award-winning, multi-million dollar entrepreneur, whose steely determination and aspirations are the bench-mark of excellence for a whole new world of women entrepreneurs ......
3 Questions to Crystalise Yours:
Your vision has to be enormous, audacious, insane.
You only get one life, so make sure you create experiences that allow you to stretch you out of your comfort zone.
Creating your vision will allow you to truly realise what it means to raise your bar!
Jo asks three questions to help you identify yours and keep you on track daily to achieving your success.....
1. What do you want to be known for?
2. What’s your legacy? or, “What do you want your legacy to be?”
3. And every day, ask yourself: "What 3 tasks do I want to focus on today?" (to help me move towards my goals?)
It can be very challenging to achieve your goals simply because life happens and you get caught up in priorities that may not be your own. To keep your focus and charge ahead is crucial to your confidence, your future earning and the legacy which you are creating.
Jo shared 5 specific, simple steps to help you achieve your goals:
- Cultivate and grow your Inner Circle: be measured and calculating about who you spend your time with and how you can add value to each other. We only get 24 hours in a day, so make sure that time counts! Although this sounds cold, think realistically about how much time you have to create meaningful, rich relationships - you cannot be all things to everyone. And, often the opportunities you have in your life, come as a direct result of people who know, like and respect you for the technical as well as special talents and gifts you have. So, cultivate your work relationships carefully.
- Deal Flow: do whatever it takes to get the deal moving or the opportunity created. Whether it be staying up late to do a teleconference with someone on the other side of the world, getting yourself on a plane to meet that important person. Do it!
- Product Value: get very, very, very specific about what you want and how it will add value to your life and help you achieve your goals. For Jo this was about Job Capital being able to make her money while she sleeps. In a career this may mean working towards being able to choose the jobs you eventually will take on, rather than having to because you've been told to do it.
- Credibility: this is your biggest currency and your biggest asset. Take good care of it.
- Scale: learning how to use technology will enable you to find more time to do the things that can multiply your success, time and returns. Scaling is a smart way to leverage your business for exponential success.
Arguably, your reputation and credibility are the most important assets you have as you grow your career and / or business. They take years and years to build and can take just one bad choice to ruin them. Nurture and develop yours protectively and with great humility and it will reap far-reaching rewards.
To build your reputation and credibility, Jo suggests there are 4 areas you need to develop, nurture and sustain over time:
- Grow your confidence in sharing your vision: get better at creating pitches that help people understand your "value proposition" and how it relates to them. The more you do this, the better you get and the more confident and self-assured you come across. Practice literally cultivates your confidence!
- Back yourself: grow your self-belief to be unshakeable. This is the single biggest challenge I find with the leaders and professionals I work with. When you step up, you will find your self-limiting beliefs rising up. This is normal and part of the learning journey. Make sure you are ready and aware this will happen so that you can take positive action to dealing with it. Yo can read a great article here on, 12 Questions Super Smart People Ask Daily here for more inspiration and tips.
- Develop a mindset for opportunity - work out what your priority focus areas are. Go out and create your own opportunities if need be!
- Ask specifically for what you want from the people in your life, networks and key relationships. It sounds so obvious but there are so many of us who don't believe its right to ask for what we want. In Australia, we are told to keep a lid on it, that it's wrong and bad to "step out and be successful" - and that's just nonsense. When we ask assertively and proactively for what we want, we show up and people can see the real us. This is what being vulnerable and authentic is all about. The worst they can say is "no". And, this just encourages you to be more creative in finding ways to get what you need.
Relationships are the life-blood of any success you achieve. To start with, make sure you strategically and intentionally build your network with those you aspire to be.
This needs to be an authentic process. Over time this network will lead to potential partnerships and relationships that can leverage your capabilities and skills in a way you can never do on your own.
Specifically, Jo suggests a 3-step process to determine the value of a partnership.
First up she asks the question, “What do I have to offer?”
Once she has listed down all the specific detail of the first question, she moves onto the second step. Here she asks 2 more questions:
Question One: “What do you have that I want?” and
Question Two: What do you need from me?”
The Third step is thinking about, "How can I connect with this person?”
Jo looks to her network to help her answer this question as she knows that someone in her network has the ability to link her up.
This is how she got to be invited to Necker Island where she met Richard Branson, and pitched her Inspiring Rare Birds vision to him. And this is how Rare Birds got its global and highly successful start from an internationally recognised entrepreneur who believes in those who back themselves.
Talk about laser focus and clarity!
4 Questions to Overcome the Overwhelm of Modern Workplaces:
I get regularly asked how to better manage the increasing overwhelm that comes with less resources and greater time pressures and expectations in workplaces with the leaders and managers I work with.
An important part of recharging and keeping you at your peak, is to look after yourself. I advocate that just 2 minutes per day can help you better rest and refresh. Check out a great article that shares some very in depth tools and tips to help here.
When her team comes to her with a problem, Jo advocates asking 4 questions:
1. What is the problem?
2. What’s it going to take to solve this problem?
3. What’s another way?
4. What are we going to do today?
Five Critical Success Factors
We short-change ourselves when we think we don't have enough resources to achieve our goals. Jo believes this is simply not true. Instead, she advocates working on one thing at a time.
Sit down and work out what you do have and how you are using them - there are bound to be inefficiencies in all of these that you can tweak and improve:
1. Your capabilities – what are your strengths and limitations? Get real with yourself
2. Your time – get very specific in analysing this, right down to the seconds of where yours is going. You’ll be surprised by what you find.
3. Your focus – where is it going and how often is this happening?
4. Your money – what are you spending yours on?
5. Your people – how are you using the people around you? You need both networks and relationships to achieve your goals and scale these.
Jo shares how at the beginning of each year she will take time out from the busyness of life to go somewhere remote and quiet so that she can think about what she wants to achieve over the next year.
Then, she considers her network and she creates a top 20 list of who she will need to meet and develop relationships with over the next 12 months in order to help her achieve her goals.
At the same time she critically assesses who is currently in her network, what value they are contributing and like a gardener tending an unruly tree in the garden, she reviews and decides where to pare back the tree and who to “lovingly detach” from the tree.
Jo's Top 3 Tips from her own life:
- Her meetings don't run over
- Her first hire is always a PA
- She doesn't have a car - living in Sydney, Jo likes to walk everywhere.
Find out More about Jo
Bringing it Altogether
No matter where you are in your life, you have the time, the necessary resources and the keys to solving and achieving all you were made to be.
Jo Burston is a woman just like you and me. She grew up in a normal home to a fireman and nurse who loved and cared for her and gave her the best they could. She started out by getting a job and quickly realised that there was a lot more to life than 9 - 5.
She's met people whom she learnt from, helped and who helped her.
She's learnt to ask for what she wanted from them.
She's learnt how to leverage opportunities.
She's learnt how to get crystal clear in her clarity and focus.
In just 6 years, her first company, Job Capital's revenue was $25 million and now a few years later this number is over $45 million and on its way to breaking the gutsy $100 million goal she first set when she started the business.
She's learnt how to grow and nurture her network, partnerships and relationships for optimum win-win and Rare Birds is her shiniest, newest technology offering for women who want to grow.
What can you learn from Jo and how could you apply it in your own journey?
- Please share your thoughts in the comments section below
My parting challenge to you:
Someone woke up this morning with more than enough of what you want – how do you reach out to find them?
See you at the top,