INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2020 SERIES:
MY INSPIRATIONS – DAY 5
March 8th 2020 is International Women’s Day and by way of celebration I decided to publish an article a day from March 2nd – 8th on some of the women who inspire me the most. Day 5 looks at entrepreneur and best-selling author, Jessica Huie MBE. See the full list of inspiring women here.
Jessica Huie MBE: Entrepreneur and author
I first came across Jessica Huie MBE at Hay House’s Ignite event in 2018 where she was giving a talk on finding the courage to become who you are. It was both vulnerable and powerful as she shared how her own life experiences shaped the person she felt she was expected to be and how in turn her life choices were designed to outwardly demonstrate that that’s who she was. Her subsequent journey in becoming herself was the inspiration behind her best-selling Hay House book, Purpose: Find Your Truth And Embrace Your Calling.
Read on to find out more about her amazing story and her advice to overwhelmed entrepreneurs.
Thriving against all odds
Starting life on a council estate in West London, Jessica Huie MBE was expelled from school at 15 with 4 GCSEs. When she fell pregnant at 17 her father told her that now all she’d ever be was a statistic. But Jessica had other plans.
She juggled a degree, paid work and work experience across all 7 days of the week in order to start her career in journalism. This then grew into a glittering career as a publicist working with well known names such as Simon Cowell, Kelly Rowland and then-Suits-actor, Meghan Markle and she founded and ran her own boutique PR agency JHPR for 10 years focused largely on social and charitable work and small businesses.
Building a business with social impact
Jessica found an unexpected opportunity when she tried to find a birthday card for her young daughter. Despite trying every card stockist she could think of on London’s busy Oxford Street, she was unable to find a single card featuring mixed race, black or asian people. Recognising a gap in the market Jessica instantly saw the business potential of addressing this. However she also saw the social importance of solving this problem.
Initially fitting it alongside working full time in her existing business Jessica launched Color Blind Cards, a multicultural greeting card company in 2006. The company was the first independent brand to secure a high-street presence for black cards in the UK, won multiple awards and went on to also be distributed in the USA and South Africa.
Jessica gained notoriety, winning several awards and in 2014 she was honoured with an MBE for entrepreneurship and her contribution to diversity.
A time to reflect and reconnect
A self-confessed workaholic, Jessica’s life took another twist in 2016 when she stepped away from work to become a carer to her terminally-ill father. Finding herself completely removed from her normal life she began challenging the beliefs she held around success.
Gradually letting go of who she thought she was supposed to be, her intention to write a book on building a personal brand evolved into something more soulful and fulfilling. Jessica’s best-selling Hay House book Purpose: Find Your Truth And Embrace Your Calling is an invitation to challenge the roles and relationships you feel define you and instead to listen to your inner voice telling you what you truly want to do with your life.
It’s in this vein that Jessica has launched her Transformational Visibility Academy. She’s on a mission to use her years of experience and expertise to help purpose-driven women entrepreneurs attract mainstream media attention so that they can amplify their impact on the world. The doors are currently open for the eight month programme until March 13th 2020.
Jessica’s advice to other entrepreneurs
Whether you’re starting a side hustle or have years of experience like Jessica Huie MBE, building a business can be overwhelming at times. There are so many decisions to make and new things to learn it’s natural for perfectionism and self-doubt to slow us down. That’s why I’m always keen to learn how other successful entrepreneurs stay motivated even on the tough days.
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to ask Jessica Huie MBE for her advice to anyone struggling to overcome entrepreneurial overwhelm and keep going. Her simple and soulful response was, “My number 1 tip would be strip things back, if you’re feeling overwhelmed then listen to that. Don’t just keep trying to plough through, ask yourself what it is that you’re doing because you feel you should be doing it as opposed to you’re doing it because you truly want to do it and it’s something that brings you joy and is of service.”
“I really believe that our business should be a vehicle for creating a life that most aligns with our values and when we do that our life and our business flows because we are playing to our strengths and we’re utilising our gifts and we’re fulfilled and living on purpose from that space.”
“When you get into that overwhelm, which I often do, that’s when I start to cull things, strip things back and bring myself back to what is it that I really want and how can I ensure I stay focused on giving those things the space that they need to be most enriching both for me and for everyone else.”
Thank you so much to Jessica for sharing her words of advice. If you’re interested in joining the Transformational Visibility Academy before the doors close on March 13th 2020 you can find out more here.
If you would like to nominate a female entrepreneur to feature in the Inspiring Women Series please get in touch.
Would you like help putting together a business strategy?
Tired of getting in your own way?
Coaching could be the key to help move you from where you are, to where you want to be.