17 May 2021|Latest Posts, Meet the Successful Founder
As part of our popular Meet the Successful Founder series we caught up with Joanna Howes, Leadership and Performance Coach and Founder and CEO of The Change Creators Ltd to discover more about her entrepreneurship journey.
Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?
“I worked in some of the most awarded advertising agencies in the world as an operations director and loved being part of the creative industry. Three years ago, I was living in Melbourne and had finished a role, I then faced one of the biggest decisions I’d ever had to make; either go back to the UK and find another job or start my own company. I was about to turn 40 and it was one of those life moments of now or never.
So, I started my company The Change Creators Ltd, the company has two core focuses. The first is to drive behavioural operational excellence in organisations, bringing culture, people and operations together to achieve success. The second is leadership and team coaching and training, helping teams activate their full potential creating high performers who lead as their authentic selves.
How did the idea come to you for the company?
The idea came about from my years of working in operations and realising that you can’t drive sustainable change that works if you do not understand human behaviour. I also saw a knowledge gap in leadership, and I recognised that helping leaders really understand who they are was crucial. Leaders who are able to stand in their identity as a leader vs being what they think they ‘should’ be are the ones who succeed. So, I trained as a human behavioural coach and brought the two skills of operations and behaviour together to offer companies and leaders a 360 degree solution to achieve ultimate performance.
How did you achieve awareness?
I achieve awareness by utilising my existing relationships from my years in advertising. This then started a wave of interest via word of mouth and my growth accelerated. Starting my third year I decided to focus on marketing and PR to build awareness beyond my core. Social media has been very helpful in building new connections and being able to showcase what I provide.
How have you been able to gain funding and grow?
So far, I haven’t needed to gain funding. I have scaled my business this year by bringing support in where needed. I now have PR, marketing and web development support which has allowed me to keep my time focused on my clients.
What are the key successes?
- Becoming a No. 1 international best-selling author
- Seeing one of my clients transform and land their dream job after going head-to-head with 100 people.
- Launching my first online leadership course and seeing the group achieve exceptional results.
- Winning the ICG international coach of the year in 2020
- Training an incredible team at the BBC
What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?
One of the biggest challenges is navigating uncertainty. Running your own business requires you to embrace the unknown on a daily basis. I wouldn’t say I’ve overcome this but I have learnt to manage it by reading lots of Brene Brown and having rituals in my life like exercise and studying which provide me the certainty I need to manage uncertainty. It’s an ongoing process as growing your business requires you to take on new and more complex challenges, so this is a continuous learning process of growth.
The other challenge is letting go of control and realising you can’t do it all on your own. Sometimes you will need to ask for help and trust others to do things for you. I overcame this by tapping back into my purpose for why I started the business and realised that if I didn’t ask for help and trust others, I wouldn’t be able to reach and help as many people. The areas that I ended up delegating included social media, the website and marketing and PR, leaving me to focus on the growth of the business and my clients. So connecting to my ‘Why’ helped me to let go.
What are your plans now/for the future?
My plans now are to build more online products so coaching and training is accessible to as many people as possible.
I’m going to create training for emerging leaders as this group tends to get left out and I believe in proactively helping people to be great leaders rather than waiting for them to be in a senior position when it’s much harder to change habits and beliefs.
I also want to keep growing my team to support companies in being value-driven, creating inclusive safe environments for all to grow and enjoy their time at work, and feel they can show up as their true selves.
About Joanna Howes, Leadership and Performance Coach
Joanna is an award-winning international coach who is passionate about helping people achieve personal and business success. Combining 20 years of operational experience with her behavioural expertise and leadership coaching, Joanna has worked with leading companies like Getty Images and the BBC to increase performance and results. Joanna is also co-author of international selling book ‘The Law of Brand Attraction’ and has been featured in ABC, FOX and The London Daily Post.