by Jennifer Jones 24.03.2020

My Favourite Podcast Episode — and How It Has Helped My Business (Part 1)_

This year, 2020, will be the 14th year of Jones & Co. Over the years I have made countless mistakes. Some of them I still cringe about now. As business owners we are drivers of our own ships and of course there are times when you lack guidance and direction and succumb to temptations that steer you off course. For some of you who have been with me from the beginning you’ll know what I mean! 

Building a World-Class Company

One of the things I refer back to every so often when I need a shot of focus and drive is a single podcast episode: “(26 Oct 2017) from The Robin Sharma Mastery Sessions. I wanted to share the insights with you as I feel it’s so useful for us all – no matter what size of business you are running. I also wanted to share my personal stories and failures around the key points – there’s nothing like a bit of context to drive the point home!

So what does make a world-class company? The first point Robin talks about is having a mighty mission. This refers to being 100% clear about what you are trying to achieve. He says “Clarity breeds mastery”. How many of us can really say we have 100% clarity on what we are doing?

What is My Mighty Mission?

Looking back at the history of Jones & Co I can say there were many times I didn’t know what I was doing. I thought that more was better and having more ranges and more items would equal growth. So every time an opportunity came I seized it. You’ve seen through the years all the product categories we’ve done: jewellery, baskets, cushions, wire birdcages (!) glass, soap… And guess what? None of that led to growth.

But you know what has been the biggest growth factor in the business?  To get rid of all of those ranges and focus on one thing. I am now completely centered on our mighty mission: to create the most interesting ceramics on the planet. Now, when Jen and I design our products we ask the same questions around each item: is it fun? Will it make someone smile? We’ve learnt that growth can come from one perfect product (hello Frida Vase!) rather than a scattergun approach trying to do it all.

What is Your Mighty Mission?

So what’s your mighty mission? Is it to be the go-to shop for gifts in your area? The shop where customers get the best user experience? The shop that has the most vibrant windows and freshest plants? Sometimes we don’t stop and ask ourselves this question and it’s so important! I also like the phrase mighty mission! We don’t need to be Anthropologie sized to be mighty! What we do counts just as much.

Fave quote: “Man who chases two rabbits catches neither.”

Building Your Team… with the Right People

The second point about creating a world-class company is your team! I know this sound pretty obvious but there are some really great insights in the podcast that surprised me.

One key point that stood out was this: “Don’t just hire people because it’s the easiest move to make; you’ll end up spending time managing your hiring mistakes”.

I’ve spoken to so many of you about this subject. I’ve heard you rave about your incredible team who support you so much and I’ve heard you complain about inefficient staff you can’t trust. Your team is what is going to make your business thrive. As Robin says, hire on character not on experience! Hire people who want to grow, hire people who challenge themselves and hire people who are naturally curious. 

How Do You Know Who to Hire?

Do you know when I interviewed our customer service specialist , I asked her what she had done recently to challenge herself? She said that she and her sister had just finished the New York Marathon! I thought it was so incredible that she had committed to that and had the determination and focus to take something like that on. And even though she had no previous experience in customer service or sales I knew she’d be committed to learning and growing with us. She’s been such a key member of Jones & Co and I don’t know what we’d do without her!

Another massive take away from this was to hire people who love working. You know the type I’m talking about – people who would work even if they didn’t need to as it makes them feel good to achieve things and it gives them purpose. Hire people with a sense of pride – someone who can’t bear to see dirty windows or dead plants on the shelves! And finally, let go of those who are holding you back.

Fave quote: Bill Gates was asked what was the winning formula of Microsoft. He replied that what made Microsoft Microsoft was not our software, what made Microsoft Microsoft was our hiring.

There’s so much more to go through but I’m scared I’m losing your attention. So I’ll continue this journey with you in my next journal!

With love, matcha and wine 


If you have any specific questions or topics you’d like to me to write about, drop me a line!