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Conversations with the Inspiring Jess Joswick

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jess Joswick.

So, before we jump into specific questions about what you do, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My journey has not been a direct one, and I love the different experiences that have come my way.

I’ve always been a hard-driving achiever. I went to great schools, did every after-school activity, and excelled. I’m also an introvert and did everything I could to avoid the limelight. No one was harder on me than I was on myself (still true).

So, it’s really frustrating when, after college graduation, I find myself with a freshly printed degree, but no transferrable skills or passions. Others were going on to important government positions, fancy corporate jobs, or interesting artistic pursuits. And I spent the last four years (or 16) preparing for… what, exactly?

I stumble into nonprofit work and stay there for a while, motivated by the mission, but unfulfilled by the lack of career guidance. One day, we needed lots of things designed at my marketing job and our graphic designer didn’t have time. I take a stab at it, liked it, and then eventually go freelance.

Fast forward a few years. I’m working all the time, but my bank account wouldn’t know it. I meet a business coach at a networking event and, through a decision-making process I can’t explain, I somehow decide it’s time to leap into building a business. The first iteration of my company is born—a branding studio for brave entrepreneurs.

Ready for the second bolt of lightning? I wasn’t! It hit me during a conference with the message that I needed to be a coach. I continue the branding work as I get certified. About a year into doing both, I realize that I’m running two different businesses and splitting my time and attention was taking away from both.

Now, as a business coach, I can support entrepreneurs the way I’ve always wanted—holistically through mindset work AND strategically through skills and knowledge about building calm and profitable businesses.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
What I tell people is that business itself is simple. There are rules, concepts, and facts. There is a strategy that you create, follow, and recreate.

The hard part is yourself.

Mindset is 95% of your success, especially when you’re just starting out. You don’t have the resources and capital to do big, flashy things, but you also have less to lose. I have found that having a practice and method that grounds you every day is a crucial part of taking care of yourself. I’m also a huge fan of taking a break. Business culture now is all about hustle, grind, and speed. This is a marathon, and it’s going to take longer than you planned. Slow down and build healthy habits now so you can keep going.

What should we know about Backbone Business? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I’m a business coach who helps founders who are overwhelmed, overworked, and over their whole business get back their freedom, stability, and profitability so they can create happy, healthy lives for themselves and their teams and run the businesses they were born to lead.

I couldn’t be prouder of my clients this year. Success and wins look different for all of them—sometimes it’s a very personal shift that pays off big time later, sometimes it’s a very public win like a new distributor or partner. Both are equally important and celebrated with me—and you have to have both in your business to win.

Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
Mentors are fantastic resources for industry-specific information. They’ve been there before and they can tell you those details you just don’t learn any other way. I know that I rely on them and my coach too, who keeps me focused on my personal and professional goals and helps me stay on track.

Networking is one of those things that very few of us love to do (fellow introverts, I see you!), but it is THE way I’ve been able to grow my business. Choosing 2-3 groups where you can show up over and over is a great strategy. That way, it gets progressively less intimidating as you settle into that community!

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Image Credit:
The Brand Gals, Jess Joswick

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