Interview with Jane Kenyon – a serial entrepreneur, founder of www.wellheeleddivas.com and social enterprise www.girlsoutloud.org.uk
I am always on the look out for inspiring people and I jumped at the chance to interview Jane Kenyon. Here is a recording I made of the interview and below are some highlights, in case you don’t have time to listen to it.
After a privileged upbringing, the middle child of a self made millionaire, Jane got kicked out of home at the age of 16. She built a successful corporate career culminating in Marketing Brand Director for a big multinational training company. Along the way she gained 2 degrees, 3 postgraduate diplomas and an MBA with the big team and corner office. She always knew she would be an entrepreneur, having been brought up by one and so during her 30’s she was involved in 9 businesses, creating and selling them. Some made her a millionaire and some nearly brought her to bankruptcy.
By her late 30’s, she was exhausted, burnt out and decided to take a year out so divested herself of everything she had been involved in. Always well read around self-development, she searched for the next thing she wanted to do and studied to be coach specifically working with women. This led to her new company Well Heeled Divas being born.
During this time alot of the businesswomen, Jane worked with had started to bring their daughters to motivational events or women who had been through the programme, wanted Jane to coach their daughters. Jane started to talk to women about how important it is for us (mother, sisters, aunts, friends and godmothers) to be role models. Jane argues young girls don’t need Miley Cyrus or celebrities to look up to, they need us. Are they looking up to us in a positive or negative way?
Jane had started to be invited into schools to talk to groups of girls – which was positive but frustrating as the girls clearly needed more than a talk. Jane realized a more sustainable approach was needed and she founded www.girlsoutloud.org to raise the aspiration of teenage girls in the UK. The community enterprise develops and delivers a series of intervention programs in schools, connecting real role models with girls. Corporates get involved in funding and the programme engages women from all walks of life as role models. Having been to an event at a school in a deprived area of Manchester, I have first hand experience of how fantastic fit was for teenage girls to hear from a whole range of different women talking about their careers.
I know from experience, there aren’t many tools to help entrepreneurs (or entrepreneurs working in someone else’s’ business in a team environment). Through Jane I was introduced to a personality test called Wealth Dynamics based on Myers Briggs. The founder Roger Hamilton was fasinatated by how different personalities create wealth. He set out to interview the biggest global billionaires and find out what the concept of flow is and find out how they create their wealth. Flow is what we naturally do – what we do that feels easy. In Myers Briggs terms, it is what we do that comes naturally, the best way to work to develop wealth.
Jane says that most people don’t know what their flow is - they spend a lot of time out of it, often due to learned behavior – and concentrate on developing weaknesses not natural strengths. There are different types in wealth dynamics each creating wealth in a different way. For more information go to http://www.wdprofiletest.com
Jane’s favourite business books
- E-myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About, Michael Gerber
- Think and grow rich by Napoleon Hill – a classic but with lessons that are still useful today
Business Books she has read recently
- The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? Seth Godin
- The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're supposed to be and Embrace Who You Are, Brene Brown
Best piece of business advice
‘Never override your intuition.’ Jane says that ignoring her intuition was the basis of both her near bankruptcies.
Favorite motivational quote
Wayne W Dyer – “Don't die with the music still in you.”
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