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Business lessons from Jo Malone at Hay Festival

June 16 2017

We were very pleased to sponsor the Jo Malone event at the 2017 Hay Festival. The room was filled with an enthusiastic audience and both Jo and her interviewer, Telegraph columnist Bryony Gordon, seemed excited to be part of the festival.

After a career that has seen her battle both dyslexia and breast cancer, Jo is now a world-renowned businesswoman and an inspiring entrepreneur, demonstrating how success can be achieved, regardless of the obstacles in your way. It was such a fascinating discussion that we wanted to share the valuable lessons we learned from the talk, and her new book My Story:

1. Passion

Without loving what you do, your business will feel like a chore. Passion is vital as it encourages creativity and motivation, both of which are central to becoming a successful entrepreneur. For Jo, it was her passion for fragrance that inspired others and fueled her confidence to take risks that ultimately enabled her to create a beauty business that is globally recognised.

2. Resilience

The ability to overcome failure as you strive for your ambitions is what makes a truly strong, capable entrepreneur stand out. After teachers told her she was stupid and leaving school with no qualifications, Jo’s resilience prevailed and she went on to become one of Britain’s most successful modern entrepreneurs. This capacity to rise above hardships has been a factor in the creation of many international brand names, and it will always be key to successful businesses in the future.

3. Determination

At 37 years old, Jo was diagnosed with breast cancer and this contributed to her decision to leave the brand she had built in her name years before. Her desire and perseverance to not only beat cancer, but also rediscover her love for fragrance is what
led to the creation of Jo Loves, her second beauty business. Determination and resolve is a powerful skill that allows entrepreneurs to continually reinvent themselves and progress in ways previously unthought of, encouraging businesses to expand and develop new ideas.

4. Don’t make a big decision on a bad day

Considering the future is vital to any life-altering decision, as Jo realised once she had sold her first business. While bad days inevitably occur when building even the most successful business, it is important to remember that things could appear marginally different on a better day. Thinking ahead to the future will ensure decisions are made logically and rationally, with the outcome being sustainable and acceptable. Jo Malone sites selling her first company as one of the biggest regrets of her
life, but this could have been very different if she had made the decision when she was feeling less lost or unsure.

5. Helping others

One lesson that Jo emphasises throughout her story is to importance of using your talents to support and helps others. Jo has set up an opportunity for aspiring young professionals in which she teaches them how to create fragrance and combine scents. Through using her knowledge and passing it on to others, Jo helps them to grow and develop under her guidance, ensuring the continuation and success of her business. Teaching and instructing others allows their own businesses to strengthen, as well as giving people the opportunity to learn how to become a successful entrepreneur in the future.

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