THE IMPORTANCE OF OVERWHELM & WHY WORK IS IMPORTANT

Dash

EPISODE 15

Jo Muirhead Profile Picture

ABOUT THE SHOW

Dash

In this episode I am interviewing Jo Muirhead who is the Director and Principle Consultant of Purple Co, the Purpose for People Company, helping people return to work following injury, illness or trauma.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

Dash
  • The role of Rehabilitation Counsellor’s as allied health professionals
  • Jo’s journey building her business from practically nothing to the success it is today
  • The story behind Purple Co
  • Finding purpose
  • The importance of purpose in our overall health (physical & mental)
  • The rise of chronic diseases
  • Why the Purple Co’s business model is set up using sub-contractors
  • The importance of creating a community within the team
  • The advantages of outsourcing
  • Learning from mistakes throughout her career and her business journey
  • The importance of having someone to help keep perspective
  • Giving yourself permission to make mistakes and learn along the way
  • The lessons learnt from the journey
  • Having your marketing and sales strategy in place
  • Things that are working really well in her business

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Dash

Jason:
G’day, g’day. Jason here with another episode of the ‘Business Made Easy’
podcast, where we make business easy. Whatever you’re up to out there, I
hope you’re well. The weeks are absolutely roaring by, I don’t know about
you but I am finding that every time I turn around, it’s Friday again. And then,
where has the week gone? But that’s alright, Christmas is coming quite
quickly and it’s one of my favourite times of year. Just to kick back with the
family and relax and take a bit of a breather and a bit of reflection on the last
year and look ahead for the year ahead too.
It’s one of the great times to do a lot of planning and we’re going to be
covering some of that in the coming weeks, as well. The best way to approach
your planning for the New Year and getting the most out of your Christmas
period and your new year as well.
I’ve got a great episode today for you. It’s an interview with a lady, by the
name of Jo Muirhead and Jo is an allied health professional who specialises in
a really great area of helping people to get back into the workplace after
they’ve suffered a traumatic accident of some sort. So they may have lost a
limb or become wheelchair bound or dependent and really not feeling a sense
of purpose.
Well Jo helps them turn that around and get them back into the workplace,
helps them find their purpose again and shows them that they do still have a
great life ahead of them and really, really does some great work. So we chat
about that and on top of that, Jo’s an amazing business lady who’s taken her
business from virtually nothing right up now to having a different business
model than most might be used to. But she’s going to talk about that as well
and all things business, really. How she approaches business and the ups and
downs that she’s had as well. It really is a great interview and I’m wrapped to
be bringing it to you. So I’m going to stop talking and I’m going to hand over to
the interview now.
Well, hello Jo and welcome to the show.
Jo:
Thank you. Thank you for having me here, it’s nice to speak to another
Australian. Nobody’s got funny accents on this podcast.
Jason:
No, we’re all dinky-di Aussies here. So, look, I really appreciate you coming on
the show today. I know you are busy and we met recently through two
mutual friends, Melissa and Aimee who I’ve been doing some work with. It’s
really great to meet you and I was fascinated by your story and the work that
you do, in helping people overcome problems and getting back into the
workforce. Can you tell us about what you do first, and let everybody know
what it is?
Jo:
Sure. Thank you for a great introduction and thank you to Melissa and Amber
for putting us together. Okay, so I’m a rehabilitation counsellor by
qualification, I went to university, I went to the same university as
physiotherapists and occupational therapists and speech pathologists and. So
I have an allied health degree, or an allied health sciences degree. But I chose
to specialise in this thing called rehabilitation counselling.
So the easy way to explain that is, you imagine someone’s been involved in a
car accident.
They go to hospital, the doctors sew them up and patch them up. Then the
physiotherapist helps them get out of bed, start moving, being able to get up
off the floor and get their mobility back. And then an occupational therapist
might take them home and help them how to function in their car, in their life,
how to look after their kids. And then we, as the rehabilitation counsellors try
and help a person. Firstly, make sense of this event that’s happened in their
life but then what do you do now, that you’ve got this function or these
changes to the way you used to live your life? And how do you fit into the
world of work?
So I’ve personally always been fascinated with how the world of work and
how people fit into the world of work. I, myself, got my first job between 13
and 14. It was a strong protestant work ethic stuff and, ‘good on Jo’, family,
self-employed father. All of that sort of stuff and it’s continued to fascinate
me.
I’ve been working as a consultant rehabilitation counsellor, so I don’t treat so
much. But I go into workplaces or I work on behalf of regulators and
insurance companies, to help clients or help people who have had a health
event. It could be a workplace accident, motor vehicle accident, some sort of
significant health event – you’ve had a skiing accident, quadruple bypass,
need a double hip replacement and then looked at, ‘how do we help that
person go back into the world of work?’
Sometimes it’s about re-engineering the job that they’ve got, but sometimes
it’s about helping them find a brand new career and a brand new job. Back in
2008 or 2007, I needed to take some time out of the paid workforce. I was an
employee, I’d been an employee since I graduated in 1994 and I kept making
poor choices of people to work for.
There was this poor fit, I’m a strong manager. I’m a strong implementer. I’m a
strong leader of people but there seemed to be something that kept breaking
for me. I would try, just pure clinical work, so consulting work and I did that
really well but always found myself rising into these leadership roles and
taking on these hybrid roles. And I did actually think there was something
wrong with me because I couldn’t make it work.
Since, so I took myself out of the paid workforce and was sick of people, and
thought there was something inherently wrong with me. Because I couldn’t
make this work and I found myself acting in a way, in my last job where I was
like, “wow, I don’t want to be this person, I don’t like. If this is the way I get
rewarded if this behaviour gets rewarded. I don’t want to be doing this.”
Jason:
Yeah.
Jo:
And I’ve written a blog post about that, called ‘I’m a liar and a fraud’ if anyone
wants to go and find that later. So, I then decided that I would learn to trade
the US stock market because apparently, a trained monkey can do that.
Except for Jo Muirhead with a degree in science, can’t. I gifted the US
economy my life savings and found that I needed to earn an income. I was a
single mum at the time. Managed to rack up a whole heap of consumer debt
because, yeah I’m good at that. Not any more, I’ve learnt how to do that.
Jason:
Good to hear.
Jo:
I know the difference between what goes in and what goes out, we always
want what goes in bigger than what goes out. Jo’s accounting, one-o-one.
Jason:
That’s it.
Jo:
So I went back into consulting and I did it quite deliberately but it was only
ever going to be the thing that I did for a little while until I worked out what it
was that I wanted to do. So I went in and I pitched myself really high, I made
sure that I was the most expensive person on the market. And I went around
to these other agencies that I had been learning, mind you had been my
competition before and said, “look, give me all the clients that you don’t know
what to do with. People with really complex psychological or psychiatric
conditions, really complex health conditions, let me see what I can do.”
Within six weeks, I had more work than I knew what to do with.
Jason:
Woah.
JO:
I brought on my first associate. She’s been with me, ever since. Which has just
been an amazing journey for the two of us. My mum helped me come up with
the business name, and the business name was purely created, which is
‘Purple Co’. The purpose for people company.
Jason:
Oh wow, cool.
Jo:
Yeah that’s what it, it’s a combination of purpose for people.
Jason:
I wondered about that name, whether it was just a favourite colour or, some
people have a favourite colour. Very good.
Jo:
No, that was a conversation with my mum. She was doing my books at the
time, because I was always smart enough to know that someone else needed
to handle that part of the business, cause just, no, we don’t want Jo doing
that.
Jason:
You’re the creative type.
Jo:
Yeah, well I’m better with people than I am with numbers. And my accountant
said to me, “this is getting the point where we need to change your business
structure.” So I was a sole trader at the time, and when you’ve got more work
than you know what to do with and you’re bringing on associates, at the time
and the climate of the country. The better decision was to become
proprietarily limited.
We were just chatting about what the hell am I going to call this thing and she
said, “well, you’re all about connecting people to purpose and she goes, oh
how about Purpose for People. Oh what about Purple?” And I went, “oh, well
there we go.”
Jason:
That’s fantastic.
Jo:
Yeah, so I love that story. And I love the fact that she’s got legacy in my
business, as well. We’d been around since 2008 and I’ve now got a team of
ten. We are an allied health practice, I have support staff inside the team. I
have a subcontractor model, so that, I really don’t want to be responsible for
someone else eating. That scares me.
Jason:
Yeah.
Jo:
Having enough money to eat. Very, very well thought of respected,
sought-after team and we all do this thing where we help people get their life
back. Or take back control of their life after their primary recovery period is
over and they’re asking questions about, “what am I going to do with the rest
of my life?”
Jason:
I could imagine, for someone in that position that would be really, I mean
you’d be. The mental pressure of blaming and..
Jo:
Yep.
Jason:
.. stress and just…
Jo:
Yep.
Jason:
.. self-worth wou
Jo:
Yes.
Jason:
.. be taking a pride, everything would just be taking a massive hit and you’d
sort of be sitting there, naval gazing, “why me?I’m no good.”
Jo:
Yeah.
Jason:
All the self-doubt comes in.
Jo:
And people don’t realise, especially people who have an income replacement,
which not everybody does. So even if you are in a position where you are
receiving an income protection benefit. So you’ve purchased a retail policy.
Jason:
Insurance.
Jo:
Yeah, an income protection policy which you should all have, by the way. I’m
not advocating for any particular insurance company, just don’t leave this
stuff up to chance.
People who are living on it, and even the people who are receiving $15,000 a
month or $7,000 a month. There is this missing part, the money isn’t enough.
Jason:
No.
Jo:
And it, there is always this question. We see it a lot with post-cancer
survivors, where they go, “I beat this thing called cancer, I still don’t feel a
hundred per cent but surely my life isn’t over.
And that, I think that’s an amazing place. We are incredibly fortunate to see
people come through this worse time of their lives and transform and
reinvent themselves. It’s quite a privilege.
Jason:
Yeah, it’s, you’re so right too because it’s, work does give you. It doesn’t
necessarily need to be work but it’s about purpose, as you say. And I see it a
lot in practice as well, in terms of, people come in and they say, “Oh, I’m going
to retire next week”, and you go, “oh great, what are you going to do?”. “Oh,
I’m going to play golf.” And you go, “yeah, that’s the first week but then what
are you going to do?”
Jo:
Correct.
Jason:
“Oh no, I’m going to play golf.” And you go, “You’ve worked all your life to this
point and now you’re going to go and play golf.” Sure golf is fun and it’s good
to do but that’s not your purpose. My father’s actually found that in the
‘Men’s Shed’.
Jo:
Yes.
Jason:
He was a retired builder.
Jo:
Yeah, cool.
Jason:
And didn’t know what to do and the ‘Men’s Shed’ gives him purpose every
day to go to.
Jo:
What a great thing.
Jason:
Yeah, I think that’s, correct me if I’m wrong, that’s the sort of thing you’re
doing, is getting..
Jo:
Absolutely.
Jason:
.. people out there to get purpose again.
Jo:
Yeah, and we actually have 20 years of international health research that
tells us that work is good for our health.
Jason:
Yeah.
Jo:
There, I don’t know if you want me to put links to that, happy to do it as well.
But basically, people who don’t work have worse health than people who do
work.
Jason:
Yeah.
Jo:
And that’s not just because it’s not that ill health that comes first. You could
be a very, very healthy person and be working and become unemployed, your
health will deteriorate.
Jason:
Yeah.
Jo:
And it’s not just mental health.
Jason:
No, physical.
Jo:
It’s actually, yeah it’s cardiovascular disease. There’s actually higher rates
than mortality and unfortunately for our indigenous population, the statistics
are even more startling. So, I’m very, very passionate about this, what is good
work. Because I think we’re in a flux in our workforce, at the moment, where
we’ve got this incredible epidemic of burnout.
Jason:
Yeah.
Jo:
Like people are talking about it all the time. We’ve got the rise of chronic
diseases. I’m seeing an epidemic of CFS and fibromyalgia and cardiovascular
disease and stuff that 10, 15 years ago, was really, really obtuse and weird
and you didn’t quite know if it was real. And now it feels it’s everywhere.
We’ve got cancer survivorship that is actually, people are surviving longer
than medical science can keep up with them.
Jason:
Wow.
Jo:
So five years ago, a cancer diagnosis was, “you’re going to die”.
Jason:
Yeah.
Jo:
Now it’s five years on, I don’t understand why I don’t feel a hundred per cent,
Medical science is going, “we didn’t expect you to survive.”
Jason:
That’s it, yeah.
Jo:
So, and there’s no reason why people can’t be fully participating in life and
work is a massive part of our life.
Jason:
Yeah.
Jo:
Like you said, you don’t go from being self-employed and working in your
construction business to play golf every day.
Jason:
Yeah, that’s exactly right and it’s, I’ve seen people that have done that, where
they haven’t gone and found that purpose. And you’re right about the health,
I’ve seen they age so quickly. Like physically age so quickly without.
Jo:
Yep.
Jason:
As opposed to someone who keeps active, keeps out working and yeah.
Amazing.
Jo:
Yeah, it is and I think people listening to this podcast, if you start taking a look
at the people in your world, who, and you will actually notice those patterns
as well. It’s not unique to western civilization, it’s apparently all over the
world but we’re just starting to take notice of it here, in very developed
nations. Because we have this baby boomer generation and the Gen-X
generation who worked freaking hard to get to retirement and in retirement,
we were going to rest and play and enjoy life.
And now we’ve got people coming up underneath us who are going, “I don’t
want to live like that.” So they have this expectation that they will feel
fulfilled and that they’ll have a great lifestyle and earn good money, while
they work. So, there’s a bit of tension going on there between the
generations but that’s okay.
Jason:
Yeah.
Jo:
We’re all awesome, wonderful people.
Jason:
That’s fantastic, so you’ve mentioned you went and did, it sounds like you’ve
had some ups and downs in your business story.
Jo:
Yeah.
Jason:
I’ll just go back to that contractor model that you’re talking about, now can
you just tell us how that works in your business because for some people they
may not understand how that actually works. So this is instead of having
employees, is that right?
Jo:
Sure, I have two full-time employees in my business, I’m one of them and my
practice manager, Sophie is the other one. The clinicians in my business, so
the other allied health professionals. There’s psychologists, rehab
counsellors, physios, they are all on a subcontractor basis. And yes I’ve got all
the laws, I know how the IR works
So essentially I chose that business model for a couple of reasons. One I
wanted to create an allied health practice where the team was valued and
respected and they had career opportunities after being in practice for five
years. You may not know this but we have a very, very high ‘churn and burn’
rate of all health practitioners in this country. Incredibly high, it is rare to find
people in hospital and community health based positions who have been in
those roles longer than five years
Which means, most people in public health are being treated by very, very
inexperienced clinicians. Just thought I’d put that out there.
On top of that, those who go into private practice or work for small
businesses, once you hit the five-year mark, there’s not a lot of career
options. Unless you want to go into management and leadership which not
everyone, does. There’s not a lot for you to do.
So, I built this practice wanting to bring exceptional clinicians together who
wanted to be exceptional clinicians. But also they want the freedom and
flexibility to say yes to work and no to work. Which creates a bit of a risk for
me because I can sometimes bring work into the business that nobody wants.
So I have to have sorted that out and it used to mean, I did all that work but
now it means we give it back. Cause I can’t keep doing that, that’s not fair.
Jason:
It’s going to load you up.
Jo:
Well, it did. So I’ve had clinicians on my team, since it started and I’ve had, I
don’t go through a lot of team members. We’ve had a little bit of transition
the last 12 months as I’ve grown and I’ve made a decision to grow. And
finding people who wanted to grow with us, in this model. It’s quite unique,
because it’s not like you turn up on day one and get a big induction package
and this type of work comes with quite a lot of expectation and
accountabilities and responsibilities. Like I expect you to do the work.
Jason:
Yeah. And they’re professionals in their own right anyway, aren’t they?
Jo:
Correct.
Jason:
So, they’re ready to work.
Jo:
Yes.
Jason:
In their chosen…
Jo:
And..
Jason:
.. chosen professions.
Jo:
Yeah. So I created that, that also means that if I’m having a downturn in
business then I have no obligation to try and meet wages every week. It’s like
people get paid for the work they do. And for me, it just felt it was a risk I was
prepared to take, I never expected this business to be as big and as significant
as what it is. Yay.
I want to make sure that the team members want to be here, as well. Cause
we also have problems with presenteeism and people who turn up but they
don’t actually produce anything. So for me, it was the way I wanted to be
treated. It was, I created the consultancy practice that I wanted to be a part
of that didn’t exist.
I don’t compliance manage, we have expectations cause we’re a health
agency. But I don’t micromanage and if people don’t perform then we just
part ways. And if they’re not a good fit, we just part ways.
Jason:
Do you find that happens naturally, anyway?
Jo:
Yes.
Jason:
Yeah because you’re really providing just an organisation of like-minded
people, isn’t it? Bringing them together.
Jo:
Yeah.
Jason:
But they’re running their own business within your business, is that?
Jo:
Yep.
Jason:
Pretty well how it works?
Jo:
Yes.
Jason:
Yeah.
Jo:
Very much so, but there’s some additional support in there that I have built a
really strong team community. We all add value to each other so it’s not like
everyone lives in a silo. We have a Facebook group where we can chat, I do an
audio broadcast, because I have a person on my team who’s actually blind.
Which is awesome.
Jason:
Oh, wow.
Jo:
He’s an amazing man. So I do an audio broadcast once a month, just keeping
everybody informed in what we’re doing. I ask them to write blogs. I get them
involved in decisions that need to be made around the business. So, it’s not
saying I want your permission, it’s like I want you to be included. Because I
can’t do this unless you’re involved.
Jason:
Yeah.
Jo:
And to be honest, I don’t want to do this unless they are involved.
Jason:
Yeah.
Jo:
Cause, to be honest, you can make a heck of a lot more money and high
profitability if you don’t have people in your business.
Jason:
Yeah. That’s it and it’s an interesting model, because, and I just want to talk
about it for a bit, because as employers, you can feel that you’ve got to bring
everyone with you all the time. So you pay the bills, you’re responsible for the
wages. You’re responsible for writing the right place and all that
infrastructure that goes with that.
Plus getting all the customers in or patients in. And then you’ve got to bring
everyone with you, all the time. As opposed to this model, which sounds
interesting actually, because you’ve got all these people by your side.
Jo:
Yeah.
Jason:
Supporting you.
Jo:
Very, very flat management structure so it’s me and them.
Jason:
Yeah, nice.
Jo:
I have created a brand new role, which will be starting in February. But it’s
not another layer of management, so everybody has got the title of
rehabilitation consultant. This new role is going to be QA consultant and
that’s purely because I want to lift our quality profile. I have some aspirations
from some credentialing around that. But I also know it’s not my skill set.
Jason:
Yes.
Jo:
I do it because it needs to be done but we’ve had a couple of things happen in
the last couple of weeks, where I’ve missed things. And that was a red flag to
me going, “oh no, that’s no.”
If we rely on me to be doing this really well, all the time, we’re going to
continue to miss things. And I don’t want that. My team deserve better than
that.
Jason:
Yeah.
Jo:
I deserve better than that so let’s just fill that gap.
Jason:
So bringing in the resources that are going to, play into your weakness,
outsourcing your weaknesses, if you like.
Jo:
Yeah.
Jason:
In terms of areas that you’re not interested in or necessarily got the skills in.
Jo:
Yeah, like I said I’m very competent and capable and I think this is something
that people who build businesses from the ground up find. We’re incredibly
competent, we’re incredibly driven. If somebody says we need to do
something, chances are, we’re just going to go and do it. But there gets a
point where working from competence stops being useful in your business
and I know for me this year, I’ve had this massive. I can see how I am the
limiter in this business right now, because my capacity is overfull. I’m still
trying to do too much. I’m an ideas person. I’m an innovator. I’m a creator. I
love all of that stuff but nothing gets finished
So I need to bring people along that can help me finish what I start and bring
new ideas and new product to market. We’ve got some amazing products on
services that we can take to market that nobody knows about. Because
they’re all in my head.
Jason:
Yeah. That’s funny and I think that’s, what you’re describing. Actually, you’re
describing exactly me in my businesses actually.
Jo:
Sorry.
Jason:
That’s okay. I’m sitting here, tick, tick, ticking off all the things as you’re
saying them. That’s probably why we end up in business is that we do have
the ideas and we do have the drive and the entrepreneurial spirit to do this.
And it’s probably why you were struggling previously working for people.
Jo:
It is.
Jason:
Because..
Jo:
It really, really is.
Jason:
Yeah, there’s no outlet to actually, to explore those ideas.
Jo:
No.
Jason:
And not every idea works, in business.
Jo:
Yeah. Shame about that.
Jason:
Foreign currency trading, for instance.
Jo:
Absolutely. Yeah two AM in the morning, wake yourself up and go trade on
the US stock markets. Don’t do that, that’s just dumb.
Jason:
Also, you can have a better life.
Jo:
Yes.
Jason:
That’s ironic.
Jo:
Hilarious. That was, go on.
Jason:
Yeah.
Jo
Sorry.
Jason:
Was that probably the low point of your business career? Doing that during
the uncertainty, of the share trading? Or have you had other parts of
business that you wish you hadn’t had?
Jo:
Well, that was, at the time I felt like such a, yeah there are things I wish I
hadn’t have had. When one of my very first hiring decisions. So I came out of,
when I came out of being employed, I had developed this attitude around
myself that I was a terrible people manager. And people would be, I’m just not
good at it. So I was second guessing myself. And I brought a person into my
business, then I worked really, really hard to take myself away for six weeks. I
took my husband and so my new husband, we’d only been recently married,
away to Europe for six weeks.
Jason:
Nice.
Jo:
I had to work really, really hard cause at this point in time, I was the 99 per
cent bread earning person in the business. So if I wasn’t around, money
wasn’t coming in. So to take me out of the business for six weeks, was a really,
really uncomfortable thing to do. But I worked hard, saved up the money,
took us, we did that. I had three clinicians working on cases, while I was gone.
They were really well set up but there was just some, one of them went, “hey I
can do this on my own, I don’t need Jo. Thanks, Jo, great opportunities. I want
to see what it feels like to do this on my own.”
I was in Europe, I wasn’t having any contact with anybody and the day before
I came back, I got a call. Well I got a Facebook message from one of my
customer’s going, “really sorry to do this to you but I think you need to know
that this person has been soliciting work from your customers, while you’ve
been away and we’re all a bit confused because she seems to think that
you’ve given her permission to do this.”
Jason:
Oh wow. Nice.
Jo:
Well it was hard and it was a little bit confusing, I was still learning how you
do this thing. She was an independent contractor, I don’t provide 30-page
contracts. We do have contracts. Well, they’re called service level
agreements but I really did feel like I’d been kicked in the stomach. And that
was really hard, that took me a long time to move through that. And that was
one of the reasons why I didn’t want to grow my practice, because I just didn’t
want to take risk with people
And I just felt that there was something wrong with me. My internal dialogue
was, “I did something to cause this, I caused this problem.
Now, fortunately, she was able to go off and build her own thing and get
clients. Which would not be the sort of clients we would serve so it was, there
was no competition. And our customers stayed loyal to us and gave us work
and I continued to grow, so even though personally I felt awful and it still
doesn’t feel really very nice. It hasn’t had a detrimental effect on my business.
Jason:
Yeah, it’s interesting how when we have an experience in business, or in life
really. I mean it happens to us in personal lives too, but something will
happen and then that actually causes you to think that it’s you and you’re the
only one that actually reflects. Like this is affected and that you’re to blame,
and I see that a lot, actually in practice where..
Jo:
Yeah.
Jason:
..people have these experiences and they can’t get past them. Cause they’re
now all of a sudden, it’s like if you put a social media ad on Facebook and you
get one like.
Jo:
Yes.
Jason:
All of a sudden it’s your fault that, well no, not necessarily.
Jo:
Yeah.
Jason:
Not necessarily, maybe Facebook didn’t actually send that message, that
image to every, that ad to everybody, you know?
Jo:
Yes.
Jason:
It’s not a reflection on you, it’s, have you got any, cause you must come across
this in practice, do you?
Jo:
Oh yeah.
Jason:
So have you got any tips on dealing with that in business?
Jo:
Look, number one, if you think that you want to be alone and you have to do
it all alone and you are alone and you’re in isolated person and that is going to
make you a stronger business person. Please stop that, that’s really foolish.
Says she, who was that person.
So I know that you need somebody in your world that can help give you
perspective. So whether that person has the title of coach or mentor, or
advisor. Cause I think those words are now being used quite fluid and
interchangeably, cause coaching is a skill set in its own. You need somebody
in your world that can help give you perspective. Because if we’re in our own
company all of the time, oh here’s an exercise.
I want you to take note of the talk you’re having to yourself for a day. The
conversations you have in your head, with yourself. Chances are they go
something like this, “Oh my god, I’m so freaking tired how come I’m tired? Oh,
how am I going to get everything done today? This is going to be a hellish day.
Oh., for god’s sake, who didn’t put fuel in the car, you friggen idiot.”
I could get worse with the language. Or you send an email out with the typo in
it and you go, “That’s it, my business is ruined. That person is going to think
I’m an idiot. You are disgusting. You are a horrible human being.” Then you sit
down and you eat a packet of chocolate biscuits., “I feel fat, I feel disgusting,”
self-loathing kicks in.
These are the conversations we have in our heads.
Jason:
Every day.
Jo:
So every single day, if you spoke to an employee like that.
Jason:
That’s it.
Jo:
You would have Industrial Relations action against you for bullying and
harassment. And in most states of this country, that’s illegal and you can end
up in jail.
JASON:
Yeah.
Jo:
So, if we take, if you don’t think you need someone in your world to help you
with perspective, you are wrong. Because the self-talk going on, because if
you’re the complete opposite of that. Where it’s like, “You are awesome, You
are fabulous. You’re amazing. You can’t do anything wrong.” There’s a
disorder for that too.
Jason:
That’s it.
Jo:
And we need some perspective.
Jason:
That’s it.
Jo:
Chances are, not everybody else shares that opinion of you.
Jason:
That’s it, you’ve got to find that middle ground where you just…
Jo:
Yeah.
Jason:
.. just give yourself permission to actually make a mistake. Give yourself to
permission to not be the best at social media or whatever it is that you’re
doing. But learn or just have that..
Jo:
Yes.
Jason:
.. that positive talk but don’t be so hard on ourselves.
Jo:
I think that’s a really, sorry a really good point. Most of us who are in small
business, who are probably listening to this podcast, have a qualification or a
credential in something that is not marketing.
Jason:
That’s it.
Jo:
So, you’re an accountant and a business advisor. I know we’ve got a speechie
in our community.
Jason:
Yeah.
Jo:
There are other people in our community, I don’t see anybody in the
community going, “I am a builder, construction company owner with a
Masters in marketing. So I think we just need to give ourselves permission to
go, “Facebook advertising, social media marketing is a university degree.” I
know that because my son is transitioning to university, it’s called a Bachelor
and Communications. It’s a thing.
And we have this bizarre expectation that we should be able to create an
online media presence and online nurture sequence and create lists of tens of
thousands of people and convert them all and have the highest conversion
rates, without doing any study and learning, and I’m just…
Jason:
Yeah.
Jo:
I know, I was that person and now I’m like, “That’s ridiculous.” My emails now
have an open rate of over 20 per cent but I had to work friggen hard to learn
how to do that.
Jason:
That’s it.
Jo:
Yeah, sorry.
Jason:
No, you’re…
Jo:
I told you.
Jason:
It’s absolutely right and I think it’s, it is driven a lot by the people and stuff
you see out there, the content that’s out there, saying, “Learn how to grow
your list by three million per cent in two days. Follow my seven-step process.”
Yeah because that’s all it takes, is seven steps.
Jo:
Seven steps is great, no it’s not. I don’t like seven steps, cause what I’ve learnt
is seven steps usually has a hundred sub-steps to each of the seven steps.
Jason:
That’s it.
Jo:
Yeah, clarity to actually..
Jason:
It’s more like seven buckets.
Jo:
Yeah, that’s better. That’s a much better image.
Jason:
Yeah, seven buckets with a million steps in each. But you’re right, I do think in
business as business owners, we do beat ourselves up and we do give
ourselves too hard a time. And I see that a lot in business and I do think, I
agree with you. You do need somebody to pull you out of that and say, “Hey.”
And I think a lot of that is my role, with my clients, I see it all the time. Is, a lot
of my time is talking, yes tax, but a large bulk of the time is actually coaching.
Jo:
Yeah.
Jason:
“Hey, you’re actually okay. You’re going to be okay, this is the next step,” and..
Jo:
Yeah.
Jason:
.. and go that way.
Jo:
So, one of, my accountant, of the best things she ever said to me was, “If you,
if I produce a document for you and you see it with red and a minus sign. It
means we have to have a discussion.” It wasn’t that anything was going,
nobody was going to die. Because I’m really good at catastrophizing things, so
in the end, she now produces documents for me, where there’s no red.
Jason:
Oh nice.
Jo:
Because red was a trigger for me.
Jason:
Yeah.
Jo:
So she, we in the business knows it’s red but you don’t see red.
Jason:
Yeah, there you go. Classic
So, I’m interested in, obviously you’re running a large practice with, there
would be stresses alone with doing that. But sort of lessons have you learnt
that you’ve had to sort of teach yourself out of business and your time in
business?
Jo:
The lesson that my clients keep, we work with such a huge variety of people.
We’ve got people who now live in wheelchairs, right through to CEOs who
have had a depressive disorder. We’ve learnt more about medical diseases
and medical conditions because we don’t specialise in like neurology or
orthopaedics. It’s basically, we specialise in the health.
Jason:
Yeah.
Jo:
How do you maintain wellness and go back to work? So, you present with
something and we make it work. So my clients are always teaching me there’s
always a way. And I certainly adopt that philosophy, I might not know what it
is yet. But there will be a way.Although, Telstra is proving me a bit wrong. We
won’t get into that now but there’s always a way, because I’m sitting here
with three different service providers in case my internet connection falls
out.
Jason:
In case.
Jo:
I think the other thing, and you probably, everybody has, anyone who has
ever listened or read anything about personal development or business
development. This is so true and I’m trying really hard not to make it trite.
Everything rises and falls on the leadership in your business and if you are the
owner, it’s your business and everything rises and falls on you. John Maxwell
talks about that a lot.
And if you don’t look after the leadership in your business, you cannot expect
other people to fill in that gap for you. So, I don’t know how many business
owners I have met and spoken to and private practitioners, cause I do quite a
lot of consulting to them as well, where I’m going, “we actually need to learn
who you are, we’ve got to get really, really clear on your risk profile in terms
of your behaviours. And I need to help you understand that your people don’t
like you and we need to change that.”
It’s an uncomfortable conversation but if there are things not working in your
business and it’s your business, it’s your problem to solve.
Jason:
Yeah, it is.
Jo:
No one else’s.
Jason:
Yeah. And I see, I know you do do a lot of consulting in the medical, in the
medical space. And I do as well and I see, it happens a lot, it seems to happen a
lot in the medical space but the medical practitioner. I’ll use them as an
example, because we both know that. But it happens in all businesses, you
usually find that the person, the owner starts that business because they are
the technician and Michael Gerber talks about this.
Jo:
Yes.
Jason:
In the “E-Myth” but basically, you know how to be a doctor or you know how
to bake bread or whatever it is, because you’re a baker. So you open a bakery,
it doesn’t mean you can now employ people, be responsible for leading a
team and growing that business.
Jo:
Exactly.
Jason:
You know how to bake bread, you know how to fix broken legs or whatever it
is that you do.
Jo:
Yep.
Jason:
But you can’t..
Jo:
And you’ve got to get, this is what I was trying to say before. If you want to
make this into a business that is sustainable, you’re actually going to need to
invest. You don’t need any more clinical skills and this is what I say to
clinicians and doctors, all the time. You don’t need any more clinical skills, you
actually need to go and learn how to relate to people or you need to go and
learn how to have a sales conversation, or you need to know how to go and
learn how to manage your website.
I don’t believe in abdication as management, I don’t manage my websites. But
I know what to ask for.
Jason:
Yeah.
Jo:
Well, I’m learning..
Jason:
That’s it.
Jo:
.. what to ask for.
So, social media marketing, which is going to be a much bigger conversation.
You need to understand where it fits, into your overall marketing but sales
conversation. Because marketing doesn’t bring you business, sales brings you
business.
Jason:
That’s right.
Jo:
Marketing comes before sales.
Jason:
That’s it.
Jo:
If you haven’t got your sales strategy sorted, nothing else matters.
Jason:
That’s it.
Jo:
Sorry, preachy but.
Jason:
No, you’re exactly right and I think, unfortunately a lot of what I see in the
training that people get. The university training and not picking on
universities, but any organisation, apprenticeships are the same in the trade
space. There’s no actual business education..
Jo:
No.
Jason:
.. in those institutions, so basically you come out learning, knowing how to be
an electrician and all of a sudden, you’re going to employ people and start
doing..
Jo:
Yeah.
Jason:
.. and start doing your own Facebook ads and building your own website.
Jo:
And then..
Jason:
You just can’t do that.
Jo:
No and you need to, and the other thing that worries me about that, is like
you said before, is we’ve got the cheap, easy solution to learning how to run a
business. All the marketing that we see online, especially if it’s about, “If you
do these five things, you’ll have a half a million dollar business in ten weeks. If
you do these three things, you’ll get three million followers on Instagram.”
Well that’s great, three million followers on Instagram but are any of them
going to convert into sales? And how do I manage that funnel? Three million
people probably are all bots, they’re probably not even real people.
I think the world of entrepreneurism, so we’ve all, we’re not necessarily all
going to be entrepreneurs. But we all live in an environment where the
entrepreneurial spirit or the skills, or the knowledge, we all want a piece of
that pie. We all want a piece of the laptop lifestyle, which means we actually
need to invest time and energy. And it does take time and energy and it’s
going to take resources, so that’s money. To learn what that is for you. So
cheap, free, easy isn’t going to cut it.
Jason:
Yep. And it’s hard work.
Jo:
It is.
Jason:
It’s hard work, if anyone..
Jo:
It’s rewarding.
Jason:
Yeah. Well, I guess it comes back to that purpose thing too. When you find
your purpose and when you actually find what it is that you’re passionate
about, it’s not actually that. It’s a lot of work but it’s not necessarily as hard,
because you’re actually loving it. You want to get up of a morning and you
want to. I mean, I love what I do, I love jumping out of bed of a morning, bit of
exercise and helping people for the day. That’s a great day for me, so it’s
interesting.
I’m conscious of time, Jo. I just..
Jo:
Yeah.
Jason:
But I do like to, ask and thanks so much for coming on today. But I do like to
ask guests, before we do wrap up. What is something that’s really working for
you in your business, at the moment?It could be a productivity thing. It could
be the way you’re running your day, is there anything that’s making a
difference that you’re finding?
Jo:
Yeah, this. Okay this is going to be vulnerability moment. Because I grew this
business from myself, from the ground up, over eight years. And I’ve had
various VAs or people come in and out, to try and support me along the way.
I’ve created this amazing mosaic of band-aids in my business
So, if you imagine a colander, so you know what a colander that water..
Jason:
Yep.
Jo:
.. flows through? So I want you to imagine now that there are band-aids
covering all the holes up, and sometimes you need three or four band-aids to
get all of the holes to cover up. So what I’m actually doing in my business now
is taking the band-aids off. So not very sexy, not instant success overnight.
Jason:
Are you ripping them off or? Are you ripping them off or slowly tearing them
off?
Jo:
Oh no, slowly tearing them off. Because what happens, is you think you’re
going to deal with one hole.
Jason:
Yeah.
Jo:
And then it’s like throwing a pebble in the pond, where you go, “oh crap.”
Jason:
Yeah.
Jo:
That has implications for all these other things.
So I, my practice manager, Sophie is brilliant at conceptualizing the systems
and the process we need to fix something thoroughly. Not my skill set. But
what it’s allowing us to do is become more efficient, more effective. So,
everybody wants to drive efficiencies in their business but they want to do it,
usually at the cost of effectiveness
So my question is always, “how does this make us effective first? How do we
have a customer centric model cause we will not be an administratively
driven model.
So all the admin has to support our customer service activities. So it’s
rebuilding some of the processes and systems, which unfortunately means I
have to learn how to use various pieces of technology. I actually sang a song
about that on a video once.
And then you just realise that there’s limits to technology and if you were a
gazillionaire, you’d create your own.
Jason:
Yeah.
Jo:
But that’s the thing that’s working well for me, in my business. I’m getting
amazing return on investment from it, I have to make sure that I continue to
focus on management and marketing. They are the two things I must do in my
business, every day.
Jason:
Yep.
Jo:
Anything else comes after that. And leave people alone to do the job that
you’ve asked them to do. Just resource them.
Jason:
Yeah.
Jo:
Give them clear direction but then leave them alone.
Jason:
I love that you’re focusing on the effectiveness as well. Because we can get
into this habit of just doing things faster and churning, churning more. And
I’m not going to get into the Medicare system because I know that’s a,
speaking..
Jo:
Yeah, let’s not.
Jason:
.. speaking of efficiency, of we’ve had that discussion before. But yeah that
focus on effectiveness to actually have a desired result. What you’re doing
that, yes you’re doing it faster but it’s actually beneficial to your business and
supporting your business and ultimately working out to be money in the bank
account, at the end of the day. Which is what it’s all about.
Jo:
Yeah so money in the bank account but energy to live your life.
Jason:
Yeah.
Jo:
So I don’t, I think the days of working really, really hard and flat out and then
being exhausted until we’re age 65, to retire. And then we’re not exhausted
anymore, are gone. It’s, people want to have energy for life, so we actually
need to learn how to do that. We’ve just got to, learn how to do that. Because
it’s not the same for everyone, there is no seven step system to that one.
And it shouldn’t be coffee in the morning, red wine at night. That’s not the
answer.
Jason:
So, you’re finding..
Jo:
Find the balance.
Jason:
Yeah. Are you finding with this work that, and you’re doing, that you’re
getting more free time? You’re actually..
Jo:
Oh me?
Jason:
.. probably not so much free time, but actually, head, clear head space, I guess
is what’s important.
Jo:
Yeah, that. For me personally, that has had to be a decision. Because I’m very
good at filling it with things. I’m very, very good at filling my head with things.
I had the whole entrepreneurial ADD thing down part. So, it’s actually a
conscious decision, so I have margins in my day. I talk a lot about having
resets, like a switch. So I think everybody needs to have two 30 minute set
times in their day where they are not doing work. So there’s no screen, no
phone call, no, it’s just, you’ve got 30 minutes. Cause when I say an hour,
people freak out, so 30 minutes.
And sometimes, we just need to start with, let’s just do it twice for ten
minutes and build up.
Jason:
Yep.
Jo:
And just give your brain, cause the overload that we’re doing to our brain and
then we’re putting all these chemicals in our body to try and keep our brain
stimulated. And I can tell you, as somebody who works on the other end of
health, it does not end well.
Jason:
Very good, alright well.
Jo:
Well that was a nice way to end the podcast.Sorry Jason.
Jason:
It’s all good, no I really do appreciate it and I love your passion for what
you’re doing. And the great work you’re doing, I just think, giving those
people purpose to get back into the workforce is just amazing work. And I
could imagine it would be very challenging and every case would be different.
Jo:
It’s not easy, yes. Every place is different, every person is different.
Jason:
Yeah, but the work that you are doing is giving you diverse skills in
approaching things in business as well. So it’s really good.
Jo, I really appreciate your time today. I’m conscious we’re coming up.
Jo:
Thank you.
Jason:
.. running out of time. But if people want to find out more about you, cause I
know you’ve got a Facebook presence etc. How would we find out more
about you?
Jo:
Yes. Okay so the two web addresses you might be interested in. There is the
Ws, dot Purple, the colour, purple Co dot com dot au www.purpleco.com.au .
That is the clinical practice. And then I have my own brand, which is Jo
Muirhead dot com, www.jomuirhead.com. I’m fairly active on social media.
On Facebook, there is a Jo Muirhead page. I produce a video, probably on
average four times a week, called “This is Private Practice” where I talk about
what my day’s been like and what the issues are that have come up for me, in
the day.
So, that started off being a rant about Telstra and has grown into something
that people find incredibly powerful and useful and encouraging. So yay for
venting and ranting. And I have a different presence on LinkedIn, cause I
understand the two different platforms. And I like to play on Instagram. So on
the Purple Co website,, there is a resource there that talks about excellence
in rehabilitation. And helps people understand what we do and how we do
what we do. So and I’ve got a brand new website and branding, which I’m
very, very proud of.
Jo Muirhead at the moment is much more geared towards health
professionals and very much about creating, helping you get strong from the
inside out. So, it’s not all about, cause that’s where I see people fall apart. You
haven’t got yourself strong than I can teach you all the marketing tactics
under the sun and we’ll do brilliantly at them but you will implode.
Jason:
Yeah.
Jo:
So, don’t want to do that.
Jason:
No.
Jo:
So there you go.
Jason:
Fantastic, well thank you Jo for coming on the show.
Jo:
Thank you.
Jason:
I really appreciate it and we’ll catch up shortly, hey?
Jo:
We certainly will, thank you. Thank you. Have a great day everyone.
Jason:
Thanks Jo.
Well there you have it. That was Jo Muirhead and I’m sure you’ll agree, she’s
doing some fantastic stuff in business and extremely passionate about her
work and what she does. She really, I just love talking to Jo, she really is
passionate and vibrant about what she does as a profession and hope you got
some good points and tips out of that, as well.
That’s all I’ve got time for this week, but before I go, if you haven’t already,
subscribed to our, or joined or Facebook community, Jo’s over there, in the
Facebook community. You can talk to her over there as well. But you can do
that by joining ‘The Business Made Easy’ podcast Facebook group. And that’s
just searching groups in the search bar in Facebook and type in ‘Business
Made Easy’ podcast and we’ll come up as a group in there. And you can feel
free to join. There’s a lot of great discussion going on over there, which, and
helpful discussions. So all means, feel free to go over there. I’d love to see you
over there. I’m in there on a daily basis talking with various people and
helping anyone with problems as well. So, free to join, there’s no cost to it, so
by all means, jump on and love to see you over there.
If you haven’t subscribed already to the website, to the show, you can do that
by going to www.businessmadeeasypodcast.com and clicking on the iTunes
button or Stitcher button over there. And you can certainly jump on there
and subscribe. That will make sure you get every episode, every week as I
bring it out every Friday for you.
As I have said before, I’m extremely passionate about business and helping
business owners to get the most out of their businesses and grow them in a
profitable way and a sustainably profitable way. And give you the tools and
resources each week to help you to implement and stay on top of things.
Well that’s all I’ve got time for this week, as I say, I hope everything’s keeping
well for you. And staying out of trouble and until next week, I’m going to hand
over to Mia and here’s to your success.
Take us out, Mia.

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