WBS Presents Networking Event May ’16 Guest Speaker #3
Meet Jess Jones from Soar Collective
Jess Jones is the Founder of Soar Collective and The Start Up Business Coach. She’s passionate about connecting and supporting regional businesswomen from around Australia.
Tell us about your business
We connect and support regional business women of calibre through our online community, authentic networking events and practical workshops. Our target audience is regional women in business 25 – 45 years old who are serious about and committed to making their business a success. They’re willing to learn, grow and develop their skills to ensure they’re well equipped to do what it takes to take their business to where they want it to be.
Why and when did you start your own business?
In May 2014, I saw the need to create a comfortable, open environment allowing the women attending to be brutally honest with each other as well as identifying collaborative opportunities. I was sick of attending events where guests seemed to be competing for a prize for who was the busiest. I knew there was something lacking in the women’s networking market and was frustrated at the current offer as it didn’t resonate with me, so I assumed there were other women who felt the same way. I did my research, got the word out and the first Soar Collective event was held in Mornington with 12 local business women attending.
What does being a business owner mean to you?
Empowerment, flexibility, being able to do what I love and work from wherever I want to and when I want to. Having the ability to connect, support and work with incredible businesswomen.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
Richard Branson is an incredibly inspiring individual. He’s been a great influence of mine since I started my entrepreneurial journey in 2003. He’s passionate, creative, influential, determined – a visionary and doesn’t take life and business too seriously. What’s not to love?
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
To have an unwavering belief in yourself (Lisa Messenger). If you don’t back yourself and believe in your vision, no one else will.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
Facebook – being really present in the right groups, sharing helpful content on our page, our own Facebook groups (one is members only), engaging with and helping those who comment on posts and engage with us
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
To be authentic and that you need a really awesome support network.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business?
Canva.com, asana.com, xero.com.au, smallbusinessbigmarketing.com, Upwork.com, Fiverr.com
Do you have any new projects coming up (or have you just completed a big project ~ reached a milestone, etc.)? If so, please tell us about it.
We’ve just turned 2 and are launching our national expansion so we can support regional businesswomen Australia-wide. Phase 1 of this is the CONNECT MEMBERSHIP, opening up members only resources and a member profile on soarcollective.com to women anywhere in the country.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
Spend time with family and friends, entertain guests, read business books, spend time at the beach in summer, listen to music, watch the footy or Netflix.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Passion, determination, self-belief
What is a fear you face in business? Have you overcome it? How do you manage fear?
2 years in, I don’t have any major ‘fears’ as such. I’ve recently felt a little out of my depth momentarily as my business moves to a new level. Going through a major growth stage and hoping I’m doing all of the right things to make it a successful. I know though that feeling way out of your comfort zone is the best way to grow so I’m embracing it!
What are your top 5 goals you want to achieve by the end of 2016?
- Write my first book
- Speak at at least 6 different events other than the Soar Collective ones
- Have 4 regional locations in Victoria
- Rollout our licensing model so that regional women all over the country can run their own Soar Collective events from wherever they are
- Secure 3 major strategic partnerships
What makes you happy?
A happy Soar Collective community, spending time with family and friends, coworking with other businesswomen, BBQs, good coffee, chocolate
Have you had to make any scarifies whilst running your business? If so, what are they?
The security of a regular income!
Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most and why?
Virgin Group – Richard Branson is my hero for the reasons I’ve mentioned.
Where you see yourself and your business in 10-20 years?
Soar Collective will have communities in regional areas all over Australia, the UK and the States. I’d like to be speaking at events all over the world, have written many books, holidaying with family and friends, spending time with some of the world’s incredible entrepreneurs. I hope that Soar Collective changes the landscape for business women and creating a better world, accessibility and opportunities for our future entrepreneurs.
What book has inspired you the most? (OR What is your favourite book?)
Losing my Virginity by Richard Branson and Daring and Disruptive by Lisa Messenger
How do you measure your success in business?
By how happy and engaged our community are and the feedback we receive from attendees at our events. Also how the business and community is growing.
Do you have kiddies if so how many? And what is their favourite activity to do with you.
- Morrison, 3 – ‘play cars’
- Mabel, 12 weeks – attend business events!
What is your favourite inspirational quote you would like to share with other WBS members?
‘You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.’ Richard Branson
Please add your top 5 business tips
- Back yourself.
- Have an amazing support network.
- Don’t be afraid to show the passion you have for what you do.
- Dream big then take action.
- Never stop learning.
Connect with Jess
YouTube channel bit.ly/JessMEJones-YouTube