Interview: Jo Gifford, The Dexterous Diva
In this series we talk to interesting people from around the world about how they create a multi-passionate life that brings them joy. Enter Jo, the Dexterous Diva…
Tell us about your life now: where are you based, who is important to you and what are you enjoying?
My life right now is amazing! My two gorgeous girls and my partner are
the most important things to me, and I love spending time with them. I am based near Cambridge in the UK, although I have itchy feet so may be found anywhere from time to time.
Tell us about your work/business: what does your work involve; why do you do it?
I mentor solopreneurs to work in smarter, creative ways and get their message out to the world. I do this via online programmes, though my blog content and e-books and my podcast. Why do I do it? I love inspiring people, sharing my skills, working flexibly and making my own (limitless) income.
I also work as a distributor for Juice Plus, as I love the products and am growing a team of likeminded folk below me. I only work 3 hours a day on both businesses, which makes me really happy.
How do you introduce yourself?
I say “I mentor solopreneurs to work in smarter, creative ways and get their message out to the world”.
What are you excited about working on at the moment (give us a shameless plug if you like!)?
Right now I am so excited about my Blogging for Business Bootcamp, which is helping so many people really make more headway, more sales and get their businesses visible.
What’s the biggest myth about entrepreneurship?
I would say the biggest myth is that we just sit in pyjamas emailing people and it all comes easily. That does happen (the PJ part, certainly in my house!) but it is a continuous journey of learning, evolving, re-adjusting. We have to get up every day and make stuff happen, but that’s easy when you love it.
What are your favourite tools/systems/habits for keeping projects and ideas organised and prioritised?
Oh gosh, loads! In fact I made a whole programme on this, called On, Off + Awesome, which is how I work 3 hours a day. I love Evernote, Bullet Journalling, Focus at Will, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calender, Schedule Once, Fancy Hands, MailChimp, IFTTT, PayPal, Hootsuite, Buffer.
How do you focus?
I work in bursts of 10 minutes or so, and I plan out the most game changing things to be done in a day. I also step out of the email mania by using Sanebox and Unroll.me.
How do you stop yourself from doing all the things ?
Self discipline and planning — oh, and kids (and chronic fatigue).
Do you have ever-changing interests or are there several ideas/activities to which you keep returning?
I adore learning and listen to podcasts all the time. I also love to paint and draw, I love a good old art gallery mooch and a people watch afternoon; markets, yoga, running, cycling, meditation, playing with the minis.
At the beginning of your working life, how did you decide what to pursue professionally and what changed along the way?
I chose graphic design, because I thought it was a way to earn a living through being “arty”. I also thought, at age 19, that it would be something I could do flexibly from home if I had children, rather odd that I thought of that then, but there you go. I did end up having my own design business and I did work at home with the kids!
My career changed when I didn’t want to swap hours for money any more, and I wanted to be with the kids more. So, I now run two global businesses on 3 hours a day.
Is there anything you resisted for years but now embrace?
Yes! Working less, because we are always made to believe that working harder and MORE equals success. Not so. We need to breathe, and to recoup. I learned this the hard way, 20 years into my body asking for help via chronic illnesses.
Fill in the blanks:
My day starts well when I have slept well .
My business/working world hums along when I get into my flow.
My life is rewarding when I am in the moment.
Jo Gifford mentors solopreneurs to work in smarter, creative ways and get their message out to the world. She created On, Off + Awesome to get people to work less, and runs the Blogging for Business Bootcamp.
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