I was unsure as to which category to put myself in initially, but I have been an entrepreneur virtually all my life. I hope I have also been a serious citizen, and now especially I have the time to spend on creating, but it was certainly motherhood that propelled me far further into the world of entrepreneurism than I would have otherwise have ventured.
I was born into an age and background where it was very much expected of a woman to become a wife and mother. Not having had the best of family backgrounds myself, and at the same time having been a copious reader, I had developed a somewhat idealized picture of what the perfect family should be and spent my first couple of decades or more looking forward to creating it.
Reality as a single mother proved a somewhat different experience! But it was also the making of me, and would enable me to do things and go places I would never have otherwise attempted.
Key facts of my biography:
- 2 children; passionate writer, of all types, books, blogs and articles;
- accidental furniture designer and entrepreneur;
- supporter, coach and mentor to other women in business;
My motto/Life principle:
Statement to the world:
Women are the most under-used resource the world has right now - and we are needed to step right up.
A lifetime’s battle with self-doubt.
Victories and benefits:
Doing things I never dreamed I would do from representing the UK as a Female Entrepreneurial Ambassador to the EU to debating at the Cambridge Union. I now have the privilege of reaching people worldwide through my writing for various publications and I feel incredibly honoured. I have also always made my own way in life, which may have been hard at time, but has brought me precious freedom.
Don’t look down: the moment I stop and question myself and wonder if I am good enough or doing the right thing, I fail. You have to keep going and follow your dream and never let anyone stop you from being your authentic self.
Opportunities to Influence:
Over years of speaking to other women in business, I hope I have inspired people to have the courage to start their own businesses through a number of different Enterprise initiatives. Women have a more and more vital part to play in the global economy as jobs are lost at increasing rates and everywhere women are having to step up and become breadwinners, often having been untrained to do so. I hope too that I have given them courage to believe in themselves, because whenever I speak to women, it is this self-doubt that still holds us back.
I am very privileged to have the power to influence through my writing and hope that this, along with my speaking and coaching, continues to inform and help other people in business - women in particular.
I am incredibly proud of my own children who I hope I have had some slight influence on. They are both passionate and successful citizens of the world today.
Jan is a successful entrepreneur with nearly 40 years’ experience in founding and running both sole trading and SME businesses in UK. These have ranged from such diverse areas as music management, catering, freelance sales, furniture design and manufacture.
She has built businesses from absolutely nothing and one multi million pound turnover business was born out of her desire to keep a roof over her head and her children’s head, which she believes is the best possible motivation anyone can have. She had no business training originally and what she describes as a girl's finishing school type of education that was remarkably useless when it came to earning a living.
She was chosen as one of the UK’s original Female Entrepreneurial Ambassadors to the EU in recognition of her efforts working with other women across the EU to promote and support women in business. This took her to both writing and speaking extensively through many different enterprise schemes and working with groups and on a one to one basis to help other women to help them believe that they can achieve whatever they want to.
In recent years, she has divested of all her business interests and has gone back to her first loves, of writing, campaigning and supporting other women.