I chat to long term client JoFo who’s a multiple business owner of some diverse businesses – beauty treatments, copywriting and the author of 29 fiction books!

Jo takes me through her entrepreneurial health journey, from car crashes, pain pills, torn rotator cuffs, running, cycling, working nights and finally heading towards the balance she’s been craving, while fulfilling a childhood dream at the same time.

We also talk about why she’s been a client for nearly 3 years, after being the strangest sign-up I ever had, Slimming Fcking World, diet culture, and being badass STRONG.

I hope you enjoy the episode!

If you’re interested in the course Jo did to get her book writing business going, it’s run by Neil & Jen Bakewell, and you can find out more here:

https://indiepublishingmasters.com/opt-in-page-21-days-to-publication/

You can also find out more about JoFo here:

https://www.instagram.com/the.beautycopywriter/

www.facebook.com/jofobeauty

www.facebook.com/jofofollows

www.jofobeauty.co.uk

Transcript
Hayley:

Hi, and welcome to the Fit For Business podcast with me Hayley Field, also known as the food ninja. I'm here to chat with business owners about their health and how it impacts their business and vice versa. And to share with you all the latest tools, tips and strategies that are working for myself, and my clients, hope you enjoy the episode.

Hayley:

Today, I have a very special guest. And she has the very esteemed honour of being my longest serving client.

JoFo:

I'm like a bad smell.

Hayley:

I can't get rid of her. Today I'm chatting to Jo Follows. Or JoFo as we like to call her. So Jo, thank you very much for doing this.

Hayley:

I know how busy you are. We're going to talk about how busy you are in a moment but to start off with, could you tell me a little bit about your history as a business owner?

JoFo:

So I've always had an element of self employment. I don't like being bored. So I always have had to do something in the background. I've always had either more than one job. I think the most is three, a full time job and two part time jobs, teaching people how to ride and things like that, horses.

Hayley:

I didn't know that! But I have seen a picture of you riding a cow once when you were very small.

JoFo:

My fucking father keeps putting it online. I know who taught him how to use Facebook, but fucking thanks for that.

JoFo:

Yeah, there's always been an element of self employment. And the horse riding business lead into beauty in a really bizarre way.

JoFo:

I bought a horse from a dealer, the horse had injured herself. And I was looking for ways to kind of bring her back to health. I think she'd fallen over in the lorry. She was box rested, would bring her out, she'd be lame again after two days and back into the stable she'd go.

JoFo:

I tried all sorts of chiropractors physio, kind of everything that you would do to bring a horse back to health.

JoFo:

Then I came across a company that sold health supplements and they said that there was a product that's really good for bone health and joint health and they can be used on animals.

JoFo:

So I was like, I'll have a punt on that and within six weeks, I was jumping her.

JoFo:

So I thought, this stuff works. So I bought it thinking I might be able to resell it a bit to my clients, my riding clients.

JoFo:

But they updated their makeup range. So you have to kind of picture this.

JoFo:

Someone that's never touched the fucking brush before the age of thirty, eye make up but that was the extent of my experience.

JoFo:

I'm like, if I learn how to apply makeup, then I could probably sell some of these things.

JoFo:

And my mates were like what the fuck are you doing, painting nails?

JoFo:

I signed up with a local college and I did an evening class and it fitted around my kids because they were very, very little and it was one evening a week and my mates were like Jo, you're gonna be so fucking bored.

JoFo:

I actually really enjoyed the course because of the anatomy and physiology that needed to know that kind of chemical stuff. And I went on did the level two.

JoFo:

Got to the end of level two and they didn't do a part time level three course so I just started adding in day courses to it. So if I got asked often enough for a beauty service, I would then do a training course in it and add it in. And that's really how I I grew the business.

JoFo:

I was working as a teacher and then I'd go out on the evenings that I didn't have the kids.

JoFo:

I was completely mobile. I think the very first month I opened the business I think I only did two brow waxes and a facial that was it.

JoFo:

I did two pedicures, a facial eyebrow wax and it was literally - someone told their mate, someone told their mate, and then I put it on Facebook and I got busier.

JoFo:

And then it just got really, really overwhelming because I was working seven days a week resented having to do the day job.

JoFo:

I took a tiny little £3k redundancy package. But it was enough that I had four days a week for the beauty.

JoFo:

That was the scariest fucking thing I ever did. And here we are, 12 years down the line.

Hayley:

I think all business owners have that moment and that element of like, oh, fuck it. I'm just gonna go all in with this. But it's trying to figure out like, when is that moment, understanding that it won't work every time and to try and detach yourself from it.

Hayley:

Yeah. And it's taking that safety net away from you. Especially when you have responsibilities, like mortgage payments, like children, like car payments, like anything - it's terrifying.

07:47

Yeah, it's not been easy. It's not been plain sailing. There have been moments where I've been, I'm gonna get fucking job in Tescos.

JoFo:

You know, when someone complains about you, because you put your heart and soul into what you do as a business. When you own our business. You take ownership of what that is.

Hayley:

So someone comes back to you and says, I don't like this. This isn't good enough. You take it personally.

Hayley:

So speaking of those challenges, a few of those all quite a few of those have been health related, haven't they? So how do you think that being self employed over the past 12 years has that affected your health and how did your health affect your ability to do the things that you want you to do in your business?

09:34

At the time, I fucking winged it when I first started.

JoFo:

But my health wasn't brilliant. I'd gone from being extremely overweight when I was in a relationship with the kids Dad, have always had a crappy relationship with food

JoFo:

So I when I was running half marathon distances.

Hayley:

I've always considered myself overweight and there's been mental health problems that came with that. I ended that long relationship with him and dropped a shit tonne of weight. And got really skinny, really healthy as you do when you leave. I picked up running which I used to do as a kid and kind of found my love of exercise again. And it was in the gym, I tore my rotator cuff.

JoFo:

And then I had an argument with a lorry, which cracked vertebrae right at the bottom of my back, which meant that I couldn't take any running impact anymore, so I had to give it up.

JoFo:

And it was horrible. And I put on shit tonne of weight and I had horrendous back problems, back pain was very, very debilitating.

JoFo:

When you've got a bad back and you have very minimal flexibility, that's not great.

JoFo:

Because I had a business, because I had bills to pay and I had clients to serve, I chucked a shit tonne of pain pills down my neck and I was doing probably 20 pain pills a day.

JoFo:

Yeah, I took my carried on taking them and I went back to the GP and went, This is not good. I can't do my work I was having to adapt and put my body in particular positions when I was massaging.

JoFo:

I had brain fog, horrendous brain fog. My sleep was affected because you're not sleeping properly. So you're not not rested for the day. And you know, you get ratty and you you just keep going. And I put on a load of weight.

JoFo:

Wow. How did that affect your mental health and your self esteem? I guess you have to try and just deal with it and you know, putting the weight on and stuff it does affect your self confidence and your self esteem.

JoFo:

I got to the point where I wouldn't eat in front of people because people want to judge you because you're overweight. You're always conscious of how you look.

JoFo:

As a therapist, you want to look neat and tidy because that's how a therapist should look I'm obviously I don't fucking look like a typical therapist. And I've been marked down by other business owners for that.

Hayley:

So during that time you put on a lot of weight because of the bad back and the pain pills and everything. Now, you tried, I think it's fair to say, every fucking thing going to try and lose weight.

JoFo:

Yeah, I tried everything. Herballife bollock shakes, I tried one Body something from Canada. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I tried them. And then of course, the big one is your favourite fucking company out there.

Hayley:

Don't say go and say slimming fucking world.

JoFo:

I went to Slimming World five times. Five times.

JoFo:

I went, I signed up. I did the talk. I have the book. I did the weight measurements. I followed the diet. I just gave up. I went back and it was this wheel. I failed. I failed. I failed to I can just try again. Try again. I went through starving myself. So I'd go all day and have black coffee in the morning all day. You know, 12 hours of physical work and eat at night will come fucking Wednesday, I'd be on my house all week, but I in my head if I don't eat, I'm gonna be slim.

JoFo:

Now I understand there's an element of good food, bad food. And the pressure on women to look and appear and function in particular way is massive.

JoFo:

I do talk a lot about Slimming World. And people say why do you single them out? You know, and it's because of, you know, they don't have I'm gonna get shot down in flames for this, because I'll probably link to it in the show notes.

Hayley:

But I did a video on Tiktok about Slimming World, which has nearly 80,000 views at the moment.

Hayley:

And there is a lot of hate for me on that video from people who do SW.

Hayley:

It only works for them as long as they follow the rules, which is my big bugbear about it. Because you shouldn't be creating something that people have to follow forever and ever and ever.

Hayley:

You should be empowering them to make their own decisions around food rather than follow somebody else's rule. I have to pick up the pieces of people who's relationship with food has been destroyed, their self esteem has been destroyed. They've been shamed. You know, they've sat in that circle of shame and being told off because I haven't lost a pound this week. And you know, it really pisses me off.

JoFo:

I've gone to two different groups and the very first group I went to, in the first week I ever did a diet. I lost eight pound or seven pounds in a week.

JoFo:

I didn't I know that I know now that that massive weight loss at the beginning was water weight. I was following I was eating lots of fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, things like that.

JoFo:

So the next week, I only lost a pound. The week after that, I lost I put on two pounds.

JoFo:

The woman said to me, You're a big girl you should have lost. Why haven't you lost? What have you been doing? Are you going to stay so you can get this sorted and get this nipped in the bud before it gets out of control.

JoFo:

But I felt so ashamed I never went back. That was last time that I went back.

Hayley:

It's fair to say that when you came to me that you'd basically given up.

JoFo:

Yeah, not necessarily The Fitness because I was talking to a really good friend of mine who's a physiotherapist and she said, core, you need to strengthen your core. You need to go and get a PT. And I thought that it's a sensible thing.

JoFo:

So I'd started at the gym, but obviously hadn't lost any weight. My mindset was if I'm exercising, I should be losing weight.

JoFo:

So I was looking for an answer. And a very good friend of ours, G. They were working with you. And I had seen their phenomenal results. And G said, You need to need a Hayley. What the fuck is a Haley? And where do I find one?

Hayley:

So before I commit to working with people one to one, because I think it's fair to say it's quite an intense experience, isn't it? I'd like to have a chat with people and see, you know, whether we get on and make sure I can absolutely help people.

Hayley:

I remember the conversation that I had with you very clearly, it'll probably be imprinted in my brain forever.

Hayley:

So I remember that you were quite defensive. Why is she on this call? Does she even want to be here?

Hayley:

But because I think I'm going to blow my own trumpet here.

Hayley:

Now I'm quite good with people. And obviously, I've met a lot of people in your situation. I was like, Yeah, I think we know probably why she's being defensive.

Hayley:

But I remember the conversation ended, you said, you're gonna go away and think about it. Because from a financial point of view, it was quite a big commitment for you at the time.

Hayley:

So from a financial perspective, you're probably like, What the fuck? Yes, I'm not the SW fiver a week, unfortunately.

Hayley:

I know, you said you're gonna go away, think about it. And I thought, I probably won't see her again. Which is a shame because I felt like I really wanted to help. I felt there was something that I hadn't quite uncovered about you.

Hayley:

And I was like, Oh, I think she's been defensive for a reason. I'd love to know what that reason is.

Hayley:

So I didn't hear from you for a few days. And then I got a message saying - Nothing ever works for me, because I'm broken. This won't work for me either. But here's some money anyway.

Hayley:

I was like, Holy shit, that is not the most enthusiastic signup I've ever had in my life!

Hayley:

When I talk to people, I know it's going to work. But I appreciate that the kind of people I ge are people who've tried everything, and do feel like they're fucking broken, right?

JoFo:

I genuinely thought that my metabolism is broken. Yeah, I've tried all these diets, and nothing worked. And I was an absolute failure. And it wasn't going to work. But that's how desperate I was. I was like, here have what I considered a substantial amount of money.

Hayley:

And I always say to people, like, I will lend you some of my belief until you build some of your own because I know that this works.

Hayley:

So that was nearly three years ago!

Hayley:

I know a lot of people listening to this will probably say, fucking now she must be shit!

Hayley:

We obviously worked on a lot of things. . So you did get weight loss. You lost 20 kilos, but obviously, a lot of other stuff has changed.

Hayley:

The main thing is the mindset stuff. So rather than get you to focus on how much you weigh, we eventually got you to think differently about yourself.

Hayley:

How about if I was fucking badass strong instead? Or how about if I ate so well that my mental clarity was off the scale?

JoFo:

I suppose a one size fits all diet sheet. What you need to eat, this is how you're going to eat it. This is what I want you to do. And then when you were like

JoFo:

you need to sign up to my fitness pal, and track your food for two weeks. I was like, What the fuck? What do you mean, I don't track, I just eat what I want.

JoFo:

So focus on the actual nutrition that you're fueling your body with? was mind blowing for me? And so yes, the weight started coming off.

JoFo:

But I remember at the time you said to me,

JoFo:

we'll get a bit further on and we'll look at sleep. And then I remember you saying we'll look at mental health.

JoFo:

I'm a successful business owner, I got this fucking down pal. No, you're wasting your time.

JoFo:

And there was always elements of okay, I've not had a great week this week. Why? Well, I've been tired, and I've been busy and I've got no energy.

JoFo:

Okay, let's have start having to look at where's your downtime? Well, I can't have any downtime.

JoFo:

Jo you need to start putting downtime and you know how fucking resistant I've been.

JoFo:

I think that's where I was was when we started out. Because I was so fixated on how much I weighed. I thought that was important.

JoFo:

And then I think my focus from working with you and working with the PT, I started looking at well actually, if I eat lots of protein, I can lift a bit heavier weights. I'm hoping to lift heavier weights because that helps my back.

JoFo:

Oh, hang on, we're getting down six months down the line, I'm eating better. I'm feeling better for the gym, I can lift heavier weights, I don't have to take as many painkillers anymore, not on as many painkillers I'm gonna sleep.

JoFo:

If I'm sleeping better. Then my my got more energy to tackle a 12-13 hour day, if I've got more clarity, I know that I can remember I got to reply to clients.

JoFo:

And that's how, slowly but fucking surely, how it's evolved with your sneaky fucking ninja skills. I always say to this to you.

JoFo:

But it never occurred to me as a business owner, that everything that we've worked on sleep, nutrition, hydration, mental health, you know, mindset. Fucking paramount. I don't give a fuck what I weigh anymore?

JoFo:

Yeah, I don't. I know for a fact that I'd have three PB'S in the gym last week and I can lift 90 kilos on a leg press. When I'm aiming for 100 kilo deadlift this year, well, when I started three years ago, I could barely pick up a four kilo lift six inches off the ground.

Hayley:

It's really important, isn't it to look at your progress in other areas. I think it's fair to say that there was quite a lot of resistance in a lot of these areas.

Hayley:

But that's not unusual for the kind of people that I work with. Because when you're a business owner your business is your baby, and anything that takes you away from that, you know,

Hayley:

So if I was saying to people, it'd be really good if you went out for a walk at lunchtime, clear your head, get some steps in, it's like well, I could be answering emails or I could be doing this or I could be doing that.

Hayley:

I find that a lot with the people that I work with, and I always talk to them about return on investment because that is language that a business owner understands, right. If you invest 30 minutes of your lunch hour in walking, the return on that is in the afternoon, you get more shit done,

JoFo:

I used to get the two o'clock slump, and I'd be like, I need sugar, I need coffee

JoFo:

If I'm not working on my business, my business isn't working, if I'm not earning, I have to be working 24/7 because that is my business.

JoFo:

If I take my foot off the gas, somebody else might swoop in and steal those clients, I can't possibly take my foot off the gas. But come two o'clock, I couldn't do anything for the rest of the day. It does make you way, way, way more productive. Yeah, you're always fucking right.

Hayley:

I wasn't gonna mention actually, my first episode, where I interviewed Terry, who used to be a client a while ago, he actually said exactly the same thing. Maybe it's gonna be a theme and I'm gonna be super smug and annoying about.

Hayley:

So we got you losing weight, you are lifting heavier, we've got you sleeping better. We got you feeling a bit calmer, you know, all of that kind of stuff. And then lockdown happened, didn't it? So talk to us a little bit about what happened during lockdown.

JoFo:

Fun experience that was! No, I never ever, ever thought in a million years, that the thing that would fucking rip the carpet out from underneath me was a global pandemic. It was never on radar at all. So out of the 18 or so months, I was shut for 13 months.

JoFo:

13 months with no income. Nothing. I had savings. Thank fuck, because I had to survive on the money I had in the bank. Family. We had locked down from the 23rd of March. And by the 31st of March, I had a job.

Hayley:

Yeah. So you ended up taking the job, didn't you? So do you want to talk to us about what an impact that had on your health?

JoFo:

I was terrified if I'm honest. Because to have suddenly no form of income. You know, yeah, I had savings. And thank God I did. I went I got a job in a care home, which I haven't done for many, many years.

JoFo:

And I walked in there for the interview. And I thought to myself, they're gonna ask me to work nights. And they went, Yeah, great. You start next week. And your first shift is a night shift. And I was on night waking nights. And I remember I was on a call to you. And I said, what I'd done, and your face just dropped. I was like, what?

JoFo:

And you were I don't want to say anything. And it wasn't until we got to when I told them to fold the job forward to shove it up their fucking ass.

Hayley:

Yeah, I think it was about it was getting on for three months.

JoFo:

Yeah, it wasn't quite three months. Yeah. And I said to you, what was the face for and you said, because of the catastrophic effects it can have on your, your health, the waking nights.

JoFo:

So you're, you're awake, from eight o'clock at night till eight o'clock in the morning. And then you're having to sleep in the day when your body is naturally meant to be awake. So to fuel myself through the night, I had sugary snacks, I had coffee. And then I had to quickly undo the coffee to be able to rest. You told me to get a sleep mask to block out the day. And the weight went on and you will like it's fine. It's fine. Just get through it. We'll get it sorted

Hayley:

There was no choice. And that's why I didn't say anything at the beginning of the process. Because there's no point in saying God, this is going to impact your health so much that you should really look at doing something else, because there was nothing else, there was no choice.

Hayley:

But I have worked with people who've worked night shifts before. And it does have such a massive impact. I have had a few questions like how can I lessen the impact of working nights? Or what should I do if I work nights and I always tell people look for another job because it fucks you up?

Hayley:

It really does. The circadian rhythm stuff that every single cell in your body runs off its own little clock and when you start doing shit that you're not supposed to at the wrong time.

Hayley:

So even things like your gastrointestinal health for example, because you are eating at time I was when your stomach is not expecting to have to digest stuff.

Hayley:

The only reason that your body knows what time it is, is from external cues from our environment. So, you know, looking at the blue sky, that's a good kind of blue light that tells our body that we need to suppress melatonin production. And it wakes us up.

Hayley:

Cortisol, adrenaline, all of these hormones, everything is affected when you work nights. You know, when you work nights, there is an increased risk of metabolic disorder, there's increased risk of depression and mental health problems. Now, there are a lot of negative health outcomes associated with working night

JoFo:

Makes you more hungry as well. And that's because of ghrelin. Apparently.

Hayley:

It does, yeah. Because if you don't get enough sleep, your ghrelin does not return back to normal levels, and therefore makes you more hungry.

Hayley:

And obviously, when you're tired, you will look for carbohydrate rich snacks, which are normally sugary snacks.

Hayley:

So, you know, there was that for us to contend with. But I think if I told you at the time, how long it was gonna take us to fix that, in terms of getting your sleep back to normal and stuff. Would you have believed me at the time>

Hayley:

I do want to talk a little bit about how long it took and what we had to do

JoFo:

Months to get my sleep back into a rhythm, you know? Yeah, massive, massive effects.

JoFo:

I put weight back on because I wasn't going to the gym because they were closed. So that affected my back pain and I'm sliding back into that kind of chasm of shit and hell. No fucking fault of my own.

Hayley:

Yeah, I think that was difficult for you as well, isn't it? Because I don't think I'm saying anything unusual here to say that you are a bit of a control freak. And you don't like being told what to do. So when somebody tells you, you can't do a lot of the things that you want to do, you don't deal with it that well do you

JoFo:

I was fucking fuming!

JoFo:

I felt like a failure. You know, through no fault of my own, I put weight back on my back is fucking hurting

JoFo:

And again, I'm back on the painkillers because I wasn't able to move as much.

JoFo:

And I was trying to mitigate all of that by eating well and walking when I could. And we had the amazing summer so I was out when I could.

JoFo:

But you're still having to go back in and stay awake throughout the night. I think one time I did four consecutive night shifts, I could quite easily have died. It is utterly impossible to maintain it for any sustained length of time. And your health.

Hayley:

Exactly, without it having a severe impact on your health, which is what happened. I mean, your sleep it took us a long time, didn't it to get that back to normal.

JoFo:

Well over a year. Yeah. Um, affected my confidence. It affected my mental health it affected everything, you know, because I failed again. On the calls with you over and over and over again, you know, because I'm trying this it's not working. I'm trying that it's not working and you must have been like, fuck me here we go again.

Hayley:

I would never be like that. But no, there were there were a lot of tears weren't there. Because that's a horrible situation to be in, to know that a lot of the things that keep you healthy, and a lot of that was then outside of your control. But the fact that you were trying stuff you carried on.

JoFo:

I had to remind myself, that you are a business owner too. And you were going through that too, and still having to keep everybody else buoyed up and focused as much as you could.

JoFo:

And I know that you were losing clients because people couldn't afford it because of whatever. And I remember there was a time when I was like, I should I keep doing this? Because obviously it's still an expense.

JoFo:

And I thought I need you, I couldn't have done it without you. I'm not trying to blow smoke up your fucking ass, I genuinely would say this anybody.

JoFo:

I don't think I would have come through that as unscathed as I did, if it wasn't for the support that you gave when I know you must have been like me.

JoFo:

You know this is bad ,that's bad, the others bad and you fucking carried on doing that as much and you carried me through it.

Hayley:

What can I say? I love a challenge. Nice. Thank you, you know that my weakness for helping people, is a bit of a weakness sometimes. But also when people say nice shit about me I normally start crying so well done was trying to make me cry on my own fucking podcast

Hayley:

So that all sounds like fucking doom and gloom but there was something that really good that came out of lockdown wasn't there and you want to tell us a little bit about that.

JoFo:

So ever since I was a little kid I've always I've written lots of stories and I've always wanted to be an author. I come across a little book course. And it was reduced because obviously they were trying to survive locked down as well.

Hayley:

We should say that's from our friends Neil and Jen, the Bakewell's 21 Days to publication, and they were very generously made that very cheap and gave it away in some cases didn't they, trying to help people find another income stream. So just want to give them a little shout out

JoFo:

Neil has changed my life. Absolutely. I thought I'll give it a punt. And I fell in love with the process. And to see my my pen name on a book on Amazon was the fucking biggest buzz ever. And it turned out that I'm actually pretty good.

Hayley:

Very good. And that's that was a year ago. How many books have you published now on Amazon?

JoFo:

29 books

Hayley:

which is ridiculous.

JoFo:

That is it considering I only started on it a year ago. And that guy Neil has absolutely transformed my life he's amazing.

JoFo:

And I went back to work with the beauty, it went mad and there was always in the background.

JoFo:

I don't ever want to have be in a situation where my income stream is cut off ever again. I need diversify. So I went to Neil, he had a 1-2-1 spot and was like, I have one of them. We'll give it three months. And he's like, yeah, right. So I gave him some money. I went from making 21p a month in three months to making 750 quid.

JoFo:

Yes, it's pretty nice. And then I was like, Okay, right, I've now got two businesses.

JoFo:

One that's lovely and creative. And I can sit on my own. I don't want to give up because I kind of like creating and making things pretty. And I've spent, you know, the last 15-16 years training and spent or 20 grand on the permanent makeup courses alone. Give that element up. So what do I do?

Hayley:

We should also say that current the current situation is you are a multiple business owner because you in fact have three businesses now don't you?

JoFo:

The author the pens, obviously the beauty, the beauty copywriter I am again it just comes from a love of words. I'm writing my own content for 15 years so why not be able to monetize it?

Hayley:

At the beginning of our time together you had those health challenges around weight loss, getting stronger. Also you some mindset shifts and mental health stuff.

Hayley:

So now that you've got three businesses, and you're doing something that you really love that's been a childhood dream in terms of the writing I imagine all your problems have gone away now have they?

JoFo:

Yeah, it's fucking lovely and dandy. No, who knew that running three businesses is fucking stressful.

Hayley:

But this is something that I really want to get across to people is you've obviously, for the past 15 years been self employed, you've had various different businesses, but each business brings its own health challenge almost doesn't it?

Hayley:

Whether that might be your physical health or whether it's your mental health. So do you want to talk a little bit about the work that we predominantly do together now even though obviously, it is all health based, we do a lot of stuff around mindset dealing with your overwhelm, dealing with stress management by way of doing things like time blocking and organisation and stuff like that. So do you want to talk a little bit about your current health challenges with your three businesses?

JoFo:

So my current health challenges are overwhelmed definitely. The one plus is the food has been a relative constant because it's been added in gradually it's not been something like a baptism of fire.

JoFo:

And because you don't tell me what to eat. It kind of fits in around the things that I do. That bit's sorted.

JoFo:

What we've been working on probably for the last year has been mental health impact, overwhelm and the What the fuck am I doing this for? And how to juggle and effectively give time to each business.

JoFo:mpossible for me to sit write:Hayley:

And what do I make you always look into your diary first before any of that

JoFo:

Before anything gym, swim, steps. That's it.

Hayley:

So we time block for your health behaviours first don't we?

JoFo:

You make me do woo-woo bollocks.

Hayley:

I am the least woowoo person out there. But being an evidence based practitioner means I'm a bit of a science geek and I don't do the woowoo.

Hayley:

I would say that Jo is probably my least woowoo client as well so when I suggested to you Jo that you might want to do a bit of journaling - science based, I give you the science behind why it's a good idea but you still refer to it is that woowoo shit you made me do

JoFo:

woowoo bollocks, get it right

Hayley:

Does the journal does the woowoo bollocks journaling work or

JoFo:

It does yeah. If I don't plan my week it goes to shit but having the theme day certainly helps because I can focus on each business as I need and then you know there's a reminder comes up on my phone, get up go for a walk

Hayley:

So before nine o'clock in fact before 10 o'clock is my time, it has to be, because I have to get my my gym in ,if I don't I feel like I failed and I cry a lot and feel like I'm shit again.

Hayley:

we've been working on that for quite some time the fact that you feel shit, not the fact that you might not go to the gym.

JoFo:

You think, just your give your head a wobble. And it's quite hard to actually give your head a wobble when you're in a mindset of I'm shit, everything's shit, everyone's better than I am. I can't do anything like that. All that kind of thing. I think it really comes from being a business owner. Yeah. You everybody has a moment of am I what am I doing? What's the point?

Hayley:

Both of us run online businesses. Yeah, I actually think that it's quite a unique environment. Because there's a lot of comparison that goes on, much like people do with their general lives on online.

Hayley:

Business owners only share how great it is how they're smashing it, how their latest launch made millions of pounds. And what I call this fucking hustle and grind porn, which I absolutely hate, which is, I'm such a great business owner because I work 20 hours a day, and I really want it and, you know, I feel like that causes that sort of overwhelm. And that comparison of like, I must be a shit business owner because I don't want to work 18 hour days every day.

JoFo:

Yeah, I think I wanted to sleep for a week I'll sleep when I'm dead.

Hayley:

That went down well didn't it?

JoFo:

Yeah, lead balloon.

JoFo:

I think actually, lockdown taught me that. Balls to the wall. You know, my beauty business was a fucking juggernaut. And it encompassed absolutely everything of my life. And I think it gave me a chance to sit back and assess what it was I wanted. And the quality of life I wanted. And, you know, at the time, I was living to work, and I just needed to work to live and that was what we're going towards.

Hayley:

I think it's about defining your own version of success, isn't it? Because, you know, a lot of people are just looking at a business owners or like I said, there's hustle and grind shit, like that definition of success is either on the six figure business owner, or I'm this or I'm not.

Hayley:

Whereas, we should look at other factors when we're defining success, like we do with our health, which isn't just about weight.

Hayley:

Being a business owner isn't just about launches and money. And being successful isn't about that either.

Hayley:

You know, I think a measure of success should be how healthy are you? If you've got a successful business, but you're too fucking knackered, and Ill to enjoy the rewards of that. Are you really successful? I don't think so.

JoFo:

No, I think it's quite sad. If people can't see that, actually, even if you work continuously and don't actually get to enjoy elements of it.

JoFo:

Get home or close your laptop at the end of the day, don't just lie on the sofa, and then wake up the next morning and off you go again. You've got to have enough energy at the end of the day to hug your partner, to play with the kids, to go and have a drink your mates, to go out have a weekend.

JoFo:

There is weirdly enough a world beyond your business. And I think sometimes we forget that because we are so engrossed, like you said because our business is our baby.

JoFo:

And the need to constantly nurture it. It does become a juggernaut if you allow it. And if you don't have elements of actually I'm gonna go for a walk, I'm gonna sit down and eat a decent meal.

JoFo:

Yeah, do some deadlifts or whatever it is that floats your boat. Have that in your life. Because when you get to 60, if you can't fucking move, if you make it to 60 that is.

JoFo:

My Mum worked. She was really, really good at what she did. She was forced retire and she lasted 13 months before she died. So she paid into a pension on her life, and she didn't get to enjoy it. Yeah. And she worked flat out raising three kids, I don't want that. There's the reason that I work the way I work, and I want to have that freedom. Yes. But not not necessarily financial freedom, the freedom to be able to go shut the laptop and have the afternoon off.

Hayley:

Yeah. And in terms of you achieving that success. Now, like you say, you work these five, sometimes six days because I know that obviously you've had weddings and stuff booked with the beauty and stuff.

Hayley:

But that is a mixture of your three businesses now isn't it so rather than work flat out like you say in your beauty business, which I know can be quite draining can't it and you've now got this nice mixture of something that you've dreamed of doing since you were a child with your writing and being a proper author and then help it's still helping people with their beauty businesses with your content and stuff. And still keeping your hand in as it were with the beauty stuff.

Hayley:

So do you feel like in terms of that mixture that you've got now that can be construed as one element of your success or you see that as a success?

JoFo:

I like the fact that I can quite happily take an afternoon off and not see a drop in income.

JoFo:

Because I've got I'm not of the mindset that I was in when I first came to you have that I am my business therefore I have to be in it 24/7

JoFo:

My brain likes activity and likes to be challenged and doesn't like to be bored. You know, there's always something new to in beauty in in copywriting and in fiction - I make sit up & get paid for it. It's brilliant. It definitely appeals to my drama queen nature.

JoFo:

I said before, you know, one day a week is content two days fiction three days beauty. But that doesn't necessarily I'm not working eight till eight. I'll start at 10 I'll take my first kind of maybe try and be as 9/10 and then from 2-4, 'll have some lunch, I'll go for a walk. And then I try not to work past kind of seven o'clock, eight o'clock. Because it affects my evenings on Mondays and Tuesdays, I don't work evenings, whereas I used to work six evenings a week.

Hayley:

That freedom of being able to set your day up exactly how you want it with, you know, time to invest in your health and do all these different things, you know, that surely can be deemed as being successful. Right?

JoFo:

I would think so. And I think that was a thing, we first started working on the overwhelm and how to deal with it, you told me to sit down and write down exactly what I wanted my working week to look at.

JoFo:

And I was like, What do you mean? And you were like, you know, a lunch to go and see your friends

JoFo:

I had to work on my business and it didn't occur to me that that was actually a fucking option, you know. Employees can have a lunch break and go out and speak see their friends, they can take a half day annual leave and get paid for it, their wages don't dip. I didn't have time to be sick. Because if you were sick, you weren't earning whereas now those elements that you put in your ideal week, those are the framework. And my appointments go in my work blocks go in around the health, the social I make sure that I take three evenings a week and it's a bit weird.

JoFo:

People who are in the beauty who are very very successful. But I don't know how healthy they are and what their mental health is like you know, and yeah, I think much more balanced person.

JoFo:

I mean, I still have days of fuck me I can't be assed and it makes me sound like I'm you know, super innocent or not I still have days of like when I've had a fucking Gin or three at the weekend, there still are elements of I'm not good enough, I can't do this, This is shit. Then we do the woowoo bollocks at the end of the night. And we write all that in the book and forgotten about

Hayley:

They're becoming less and less frequent, aren't they, those are less impactful when they happen as well.

JoFo:

Yeah, they used to last weeks and weeks at a time literally a day of can't do that, can't do this, then you think of things you have done and how far I've come and the things I can and can't control.

Hayley:

So we're coming to the end of our time together JoFo. And just one final question that I like to ask everyone. I've had one fucking interview so far, you're only my second I'm making it sound like I'm a seasoned podcaster!

Hayley:

So one final question, I'd like to ask everyone. If you could give a business owner starting out any piece of advice in terms of their health? What would you give them or what would you say is the most impactful thing that you implemented in terms of your health that you'd like to pass on to someone else?

JoFo:

hydration and sleep?

Hayley:

That's two things.

JoFo:

Yeah. And I mean hydration with actual water. i It has impacted me massively. Hydration has it gives me more energy. Sleep, like I said, I come from, you know, I grew up with

Hayley:

Wall Street. Wall Street. Yeah sleeps for wimps.

JoFo:

So that's what I grew up on. And you kind of wake up in the morning and you pick your phone straight up and you're replying straight to clients and actually separating yourself from your business helps with you overwhelmed, definitely.

JoFo:

And don't be as available. But for me from a health point of view, sleep and hydration. Yeah, sleep, and I never really give it any consideration of impacting me. My health. So yeah, probably those are the two main health things that have impacted my business.

Hayley:

Awesome. Thank you so much for being my second guest. And I will see you on the next episode.

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