Today’s Blogfester is #14 – Jenny Robson who is a superfan of the podcast (self-confessed!). Here she is telling you all about Her Biz Her Way:
So many of you know that I’m hooked on Own It! the Podcast so it will come as no surprise to you to know that I’m also a member of Judith Morgan’s Facebook groups and excited about the launch of her new book Your Biz Your Way. In order to carry on the conversation sparked by her book, Judith has reached out to 52 small business Entrepreneurs to find out about how they are running their business in their own way. What a great idea, Judith, I’m glad I’m not first as I’ve had the benefit of reading some of the inspiring business stories to whet my appetite and help me get started so, without further ado, I’m really excited to share with you my story.
Let me introduce myself. I’m Jenny, the founder of Routes and Branches Limited. We help UK Business owners to grow their business in the UK and export overseas. I’m a new Mum to a beautiful baby girl, Charlotte. I’m a daughter, a wife, a friend, an expat, a coach, a mentor and a mentee. I am an explorer. You’re most likely to bump into me at an airport. If I’m not travelling myself I meeting clients and helping them to explore the world with their businesses.
According to my clients I’m “a critical friend”; straight talking no nonsense supportive help that enables them to transform business ambitions into reality. I’ll help you take your business anywhere.
What do you do that counts as running Your Biz Your Way?
My Biz My Way means that I have complete freedom to work when I want, where I want and how I want. I work from anywhere in the world. I am not bound by location, in fact, the more travel I do the more knowledge I bring to the business. I’ve lived and worked in four countries on two continents so far. I hope that I will be able to experience life on every continent. I have designed and implemented my own methodology to help businesses to grow and succeed overseas.
If you were to visualise this, think of pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The corner pieces are your core business and these need to be solid and in place before you can build an international business. Next, comes your vision and values. The strong supporting sides. I help my clients to put the structure in place and build out from this to create a clearer bigger picture business spanning the world. I connect the dots across many different business aspects and can often spot best practice in one industry and apply it to another. My clients pay me for these unique insights and for my practical support to help them actually assemble all the elements of their business and make them work together.
What do you do differently in your work that illustrates that? Why did you make up your mind to do it like that?
I began to develop my way early in my career, long before my dream of owning my own business was a reality. I started in the Houses of Parliament as a Parliamentary Assistant. I loved the variety of work I was involved in and the number of problems I had to solve daily, but I got increasingly frustrated by the number of topics that were discussed and not acted upon or worse didn’t even make it to the chamber to be discussed. I noticed that politics was just a small part of the solution, business played a much bigger role in global issues than I had previously given it credit. Business began to fascinate me and has continued to fascinate me ever since.
My political career changed direction when I was given the opportunity to move to The Hague with my husband. There I joined the UKTI Trade team at the British Embassy. Over the next two years, I learnt everything I could about trade, export, overseas business opportunities and British Business. I kept notebooks of my observations and how I would have done things differently. I was fascinated by the potential but frustrated by the restrictive quantitative rather than a qualitative system through which support for British businesses was been delivered. I knew there was another way.
It was a period of considerable political change. The government switched from Labour to Conservative and with it came a marked difference in economic policy. Government purse strings tightened and they looked for new ways to deliver economic growth fast. The overseas network initiative (OBNI) was born. I saw this as an opportunity to test out my ideas to do things differently. I joined the British Chamber of Commerce in Singapore and founded the OBNI Trade Team. I loved this founding stage which really appealed to my Wealth Dynamics Profile (Creator/Star/Mechanic).
Singapore was a fast moving dynamic country and I worked in a fast moving dynamic organisation. But still, something was holding companies back and preventing them from exporting successfully. Once again I began to take copious notes and made it my mission to find out what was holding them back. What were the biggest export challenges? As my time in Singapore drew to a close I knew that the next step for me was to do something to alleviate these pain points. I founded Routes and Branches to help small business owners not just export but export with purpose, in a calm strategic sustainable way. These notebooks are forming the foundations of my book – one of my many current projects!
How do you go against the grain or against the received wisdom in ways which make you happier in yourself, more productive and more abundant in your biz?
My business my way is about my life my way. My life is not typical. I live overseas most of the time. My home changes every few years. I run my business whilst also running my home, loving my husband and caring for my little girl (having a baby in India is a story for another time). I love to be involved in the communities I’m living in so I do a lot of charity work with causes that match up to my core values. I love to have friends of all ages all over the world and I love the way technology is always changing to facilitate these friendships. I love the fact that random things help me to change. For example Own It! the Podcast got me into the gym and consistently doing exercise something I’d feared and always found tremendously difficult. I’m so grateful that I’m always living an adventure. I’ve even got an adventure wall to celebrate all the wonderful places I’ve seen and experienced.
Tell us about you personally in your post and what you/your business does
What am I? I battle with this question all the time, I’m a lot of different things. I consistently create solutions to problems, and I do this by taking people on a journey from where they are now to where they want to be. These journeys are not always simple, some of them take a long time, some involve changing direction, questioning values, revisiting ideas that we take for granted. I ask questions that often others fear to ask. I stretch people’s thinking. I champion the dreamers and help them build their dream. I’m fascinated and curious and excitable. I’m fast and sometimes slow. I love getting things started and also seeing things finish and be achieved. I love working with and surrounding myself with people who inspire me. Why do people come to me? Because they know that what they are doing can make a much bigger impact but they are not sure which direction to go. I am intense when I work but the results we create are life-changing.
I love what I do, and it gives me time and space in my life to do other things I love. I liked Nicola Semple’s footnote because it sums up my reality too. I’ve created my life my way and my business is an integral part of it. I’m very fortunate to spend my time immersed in other peoples businesses too. I am really excited to see what emerges from this collection of blogs.
Read Jenny’s post in full HERE at her own website and here she is on FB and Twitter:
Thanks so much for joining in and supporting this Blogfest. I really enjoyed reading your unique story and being reminded of those bits I already knew and thanks for being so kind especially about the podcast. Now I shall be able to visualise you in the gym while I am talking, just as I do others in Sainsbury’s! It’s a fascinating journey to date, yours. And you know what you are doing so no tips from me except to say I am so happy you chose to be one of the 52 and congratulations on Charlotte! We have much in common, as I am discovering with each of these posts, and we are very different too. We have the same WD profile, we have Singapore in common too (though I was a child) and we are both straight-talking. That’s a double-edged sword, very helpful for those that love it and appreciate it, and a real marmite thing too for those that don’t. I think that’s great. More power to you. I’ll enjoy continuing to watch Routes and Branches evolve.