Reading the book, “My Story” by Jo Malone has been an absolute joy! It is a well written, honest and enlightening glimpse into the life of a woman who started from humble beginnings but who went on to achieve great things! I love Jo Malone’s book because I could see myself and several people I knew in it. LOL! I bet if you read it too, you’d see a bit of yourself. From the description of her family life, to parents who had great aspirations even with the little they had. To the way a child sees her parents mistakes, to learning from them whether its in the cause of having to contribute the well being of the family, or what children learn by assimilation, just by being around and seeing their parents work, or to what was intentionally taught!
I loved the book because you journeyed with her. You saw her first successes as an entrepreneur, you saw her failures. You learnt her lessons as she shared them. You learnt her processes, you got a glimpse into the way an entrepreneur thinks! How she bounced back, adapted, evolved, lost her business and started all over again.
As someone who makes candles and scents myself, reading this book was so enlightening for me. It validated some of my processes, upgraded some, expanded my mind! For me, the whole book was like being mentored in an intense and close way. If you ask me about Jo Malone now, I will talk about her as though she were a close personal friend whose number I had on speed dial! LOL! Honestly though, I found her book to be an entrepreneurial masterclass and I recommend it to anyone looking to open their minds to business on a bigger scale, to doing it on a global level and to doing it through the ups and downs of life.
Jo takes us on a journey through difficult relationships with family and a fight for her life with cancer and the grit and team it takes to not let those circumstances drown you. We see her relationship with her husband and her “team” at Jo Malone- we see how nurturing beautiful relationships can help make life better… I learnt so much and don’t want to give too much away, but find below some of the notes I took from the book as I read. And please buy the book- gift it, read it, mull over it and let her story inspire you to greater heights.
“I had known graft, hard work, creativity and stress but we laughed every single day and the shop was a joy of a place to be. That atmosphere matters in a small business. Camaraderie, team spirit, and keeping things light, even in the intense moments, are ingredients for success, because everyone then wants to work hard and pull in the same direction.”- Jo on how to build an atmosphere for success.
“We haven’t got any product Jo, what happens if someone wants to smell a fragrance?” “You tell them stories: how I made it, what inspired me, what the fragrance is meant to conjure. Stories have the power to connect, so let’s tell the story behind the product.”- Entrepreneurs must be good story tellers. Sell the story Jo says.
“When standing at Crossroads, ask yourself, “Who am I? How can I reinvent myself? Where do I begin?”
“To work is elevating. To accomplish is superb. To fill ones time with profitable enterprise is to leap forward in the world’s race and to place beside one’s name the credit mark of effort”- Mr. Harry Gordon Selfridge. I, Hajara, I am placing by my name for posterity, the credit mark of not just effort but great accomplishment! And we are all equipped to do just that. Let’s make it happen shall we? Leave a mark! Let even people who do not know us, thank God we lived!
“I couldn’t change the past. But I could change how to frame it, without hurt, resentment or bitterness”. I found this instructive. When we release others, we actually release ourselves. The facts don’t have to change, our perception of it is what needs to change and when its done, we get to make a choice, will it define us or will we define it and leave it in its place? Or allow a past past affect our future? There’s always a choice.
“I’ve never been backwards in coming forwards, and there is no harm in admitting you don’t know how to do something. People can only say ‘No’, and entrepreneurs can ill afford to be afraid of that two letter word. There are bigger risks to be taken in business than asking someone for a favour.”- Don’t let pride stop you from growing!
“…when encountering a brick wall in business, you have to find a way over, around, under, or through, even when the answer doesn’t appear so readily apparent.” Don’t dwell on the problem, its find a solution or go home.
“The journey of this brand has taken me across the spectrum of emotions, and it has challenged every part of who I am. Its been tougher than I could possibly have imagined and yet the power of retail adventure, combined with my passion for fragrance (insert what you are passionate about), and the prospect of seeing us go global once more, continues to motivate me on a daily basis.”- Identify your “why”, when you have the “why”, the “how” falls into place.
PASSION.RESILIENCE. CREATIVITY. These, Jo Malone says are the vital ingredients that every entrepreneur needs.
These don’t scratch the surface. Read “My Story” by Jo Malone. You will thank me for the recommendation. Now, on to read Jim Ovia’s book! I may just write a review but only if you share what you are currently reading with me. Ciao! Have a great weekend!