Jo Baker

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How to Fall in Love with Selling

In order to stay in business, you have to make sales.

You know that.

What you don't know is how to become more comfortable with the idea of selling.

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Women in Business: The Great Behavioural Shift

For as long as many of us can remember, we've been discouraged from 'acting like women' in the workplace—particularly in positions of power.

What exactly is that supposed to mean? We're not supposed to cry, or whine, or nag? As much as that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up (as it does mine), many of us still adhere to that standard. We experience an emotion in the workplace and we suppress it. Our intuition speaks to us about a particular situation, and we ignore it.

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Top 5 Tips for Building your Brand

Do you just own a business, or are you building a brand?

Contrary to popular belief, there is a difference, and thanks to women's unmatched insights, they're getting it right.

So what are the most successful female business owners doing to build their brands?

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Love You, for Better Leadership

Leadership is not for the weak of heart. It’s not for those who will allow others’ views to infiltrate or compromise their own. And it’s not for those who feel under-confident in their own abilities, or who look to others for approval for every move.

In short, leadership is not for followers.

Leadership is for those who have respect for others and for themselves, and it’s for people who care enough about themselves to make the types of decisions that will benefit everyone involved...including themselves. It’s for people who have faith in their own ideas and convictions, and assign enough value to those things to want to see them come to fruition.

Does this mean you must be born with high self-esteem and outrageous self-love in order to be a great leader?

No.

In fact, these things can be developed, particularly when you know what’s required and have the right advice for bringing these things to life.

Here are the ways in which getting to know and love yourself will help to enhance your leadership abilities:

  • A self-confident person does not feel threatened by others’ great ideas, or by their successes. There’s a saying that the most confident, supportive women don’t degrade each other -- instead, they all straighten each others’ crowns. When you have a healthy sense of self-love and a positive self image, you will not be preoccupied with levelling, or tearing others down. You will focus on the task at hand and forge your own, unique way.
  • A leader who loves herself wants others to succeed -- particularly her subordinates. If you struggle with low self-esteem, you will be forever fearful of those under you surpassing your level of success. If you have a healthy level of self-esteem, you will see their successes as testaments to your leadership abilities.
  • A leader who loves herself will not feel compelled to control people; she will, however lead by example because she truly believes that the choices she makes are good ones.
  • Leaders with poor self-esteem exist and work in a state of constant fear. They are afraid that the decisions they make won’t be the right ones. They worry that people will not approve of their choices. They fear change. They are certain that, at any time, their leadership roles could be stripped away and given to someone more qualified. Whereas a self-confident leader who loves what she does (and loves the way she does it) will make solid decisions, will be happy to defend those decisions when challenged and will easily convince others through her own level of conviction.
  • Leaders who love themselves have the best-qualified teams. They have no qualms about hiring people who might outshine them, because they’re focussed on the achievement of company-wide goals, rather than on spotlighting their own personal achievements.
  • Those leaders who know themselves well (strengths, weaknesses, preferences, needs) make the best decisions because they can predict outcomes most accurately. They have no aversion to a variety of successes (i.e. the ‘unknown’), and will choose the most direct path for reaching all of them.
  • Self-confident leaders who love themselves know where they’re headed. They have goals, and will surround themselves with people who are as successful (or ideally, more successful) than themselves. They welcome the challenge and readily learn from those who are highly accomplished.

Do you value yourself as a human being? Are you proud of your achievements, your talents...proud of YOU?

When you take pride in the work you put forth and the differences you make in people’s lives, you become a more effective leader. Those who look up to you will see the confidence you exude and the respect you have for yourself. They will want that, too, and choose to follow you. In fact, they will go out of their ways to follow you.

And that, my friends, is the gateway to mad leadership skills.

Have an opinion, advice or comment? Please share it with me below…

Have a beautiful day, beautiful you.


Redefine Leadership, Every Day

How do you define leadership?

What comes to mind when you hear the word leader?

If you think of notoriety, wealth, power…then it’s no wonder you’ve been hesitant to call yourself a leader. It’s no wonder that leadership is something you’re placing far, far into your future. And if this is your thought process, then I can understand why you believe that leadership is something you may never achieve.

Here’s the truth: You’re already a leader.

Who says that a leader has to appear on television? Or have published a book? Or have thousands of followers?

Leadership is about showing someone else a better way, or helping them through a tough spot, or giving them the tools to make a positive change…and yes, that someone can be just one person.

There are countless ways that any one woman can lead in a single day, and I’m positive that you’re already doing many of them on a regular basis. However, you may not realise just how influential your behaviours are in the lives of those you’ve been leading.

Here are just a few ways that genuine leaders influence others, every day:

  • Lead by Example. Do you know what kind of leaders have the happiest, most positive and most productive teams? The ones who are the happiest, most positive and most productive leaders, of course. When you demonstrate, through words and actions, how you want your team members to interact with one another, with customers, investors, suppliers and other affiliates, you are leading.
  • Someone who is focussed on waiting for a break in conversation, so they can interject what they have to say, will never become an effective leader. However, a person who listens intently to what others have to say, digests what they’ve offered, and then uses language to show that she understands has great potential to be an effective leader. People take notice to who cares and who’s listening—and they tend to follow those people. This makes great listeners even better leaders.
  • Offer Advice. Leaders don’t interject their opinions into every situation; they do, however, offer sound advice (based on experience) when they’re prompted or when they genuinely believe it will be helpful. When the advice is good, it’s likely to work. And when it works to change a day, a week or a life, the giver of that advice will not only be remembered, she will be viewed as a leader.
  • Bring Something Valuable. What does an unhappy person need? Laughter. What does a struggling business owner need? Sound advice. What does a frightened child need? A strong arm to protect him. What does a lonely person need? A friend. When you give someone what they need, you immediately establish yourself as a leader. You saw a problem, you took initiative, you offered a solution, and you automatically made yourself memorable and recommendable…or in other words, a leader. Sometimes, you won’t even know you changed someone’s day. Just by going about your normal routine (which is leadership-centred), you have made a difference.

Being a leader (and having the right to call yourself a leader) doesn’t have anything to do with money, power or notoriety. All that’s required is the consistent, everyday awareness of your ability to be a positive influence.

Have an opinion, advice or comment? Please share it with me below…

Have a beautiful day, beautiful you.


Employee Personal Branding

YOU and the company you work for: How do they fit together? How do they work together? How do they complement each other? And how can you, a woman focussed on establishing both a career and a name for herself, make employment choices that will be beneficial for everyone involved?

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Fake it to Change it: A Guide to Converting your own Mind with Body Language

Body language, or non-verbal communication, is all the rage. Professionals and weekend watchers alike are analysing what others are doing with their bodies to reach conclusions that override what mouths are saying.

As a woman in business, you’re more likely to not only observe, but correctly identify what others are saying with their body language. You are also more cognisant of what your own body posture is saying to others. This innate ability has been handed down to you from your ancestors, and these superb communications skills will serve you as you interact with others.

But how about as you interact with yourself? How can your own body language change the things you say to yourself and believe about yourself?

Social psychologist and professor/researcher at Harvard Business School Ammy Cuddy has discovered that not only will our minds change what we believe ourselves with the use of positive, powerful body language, our hormonal chemistries will change, for the better.

Here’s what she found:

Participants in a study were asked to adopt either powerful or powerless body postures for just two minutes. Their emotions didn’t have to match what their bodies were saying…they could simply “fake” those poses.

Here’s what happened:

  • Those displaying powerful body language were 16% more likely to gamble, had 20% higher testosterone levels and 25% lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
  • Those displaying powerless body language had testosterone levels that were 10% lower and cortisol level that shot up 15%.

Now remember, these people were not qualified before the study as feeling powerful or powerless…and they were not separated based on gender or personality types. All of these results were realised after just two minutes of exercising specific body language.

This is exciting news. It tells us that we have the power to change our feelings of confidence, dominance, power and aptitude, just by changing the ways in which our bodies are positioned.

Here are some examples of powerful and non-powerful non-verbals:

  • Powerful Body Language: Standing with feet in a wide stance; arms high and wide, opening the torso; head and chin high; elevated gaze; chest inflated. Seated with legs open, or legs in a “T” position (one ankle on the other knee).
  • Weak Body Language: Standing with feet crossed or close together; arms crossed over the chest; shoulders hunched; head down; low gaze; hands clasped together or covering the throat; sitting with legs tightly crossed.

You can easily apply this powerful body language, and the exercise modelled after Professor Cuddy’s study, to your business life. If you have an interview, a presentation, or a job interview coming up, commit to arriving a few minutes earlier than you normally would and spend two minutes in the restroom stall practicing some of these power poses. And then, before the actual event—in the lobby, or whilst mingling with attendees—continue this confident body language.

Your testosterone (power hormone) will increase. Cortisol, your stress hormone, will decrease. You will feel stronger and more capable.

And the best news? This exercise isn’t just for immediate gratification in situations where you need to feel more powerful. You can adopt powerful body language for everyday use, to keep your hormone levels and self-belief optimal, so you’re ready for whatever may come your way today, tomorrow and along your path to ultimate success.

Do you have a story to share about how powerful body language increased your self-confidence and overall success? Have an opinion, advice or comment? Please share it with me below...

Have a beautiful day, beautiful you.


What is a Brand Archetype? And Why do you Need One?

Does your business have a brand? And furthermore, does your brand have core values and a purpose that ultimately translate into something that feels like a personality? If so, you’re oh-so-close to establishing a brand archetype.

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The Power of Public Speaking, and how you can get it

As a business woman and entrepreneur, you have found your quiet power in one-on-one, highly personalised business relationships. You have changed lives, one person at a time.

And now, it’s time for the reach of your influence to expand. It’s time to take your expertise to larger numbers of people, and to change lives…10, 100 or 1,000 at a time.

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