Jane Binnion Q&A Interview Your Stories #BizRocks #DigitalMarketing for #WomeninBiz

‘Your Stories’ Jane Binnion Q & A Interview @janebinnion #BizRocks #DigitalMarketing for #WomeninBiz

Jane Binnion Q and A Interview

Can you share your back story with us, a bit about your childhood?

I am the 3rd of 4 children,. I was raised in Walsall in the West Midlands in a working class community. My dad was a fireman and my mum did whatever she needed to make ends meet. For 10 years I was the youngest with 2 older brothers and a dominant dad and I learnt some survival skills during that time I tell you!

Were you a determined child or has that developed?

Somewhere along the line I became determined to not be a door mat . I left home at 16 and somehow managed to pass my A levels and get into the university of Essex to study sociology, which looking back shows determination.

We were a sporty family, I was an 800m runner so I think that training helps too with discipline and pushing through discomfort. I am certainly tenacious and will face up to fears.

Can you share something about yourself that is not widely known?

It’s possibly fairly well known that I am dyspraxic as I do talk about that, and my first book, You’re so clumsy Charley, is a children’s book about Dyspraxia.

As an ethical business trainer it’s probably no surprise that I’m a socialist feminist. Fairness and people being encouraged to work to their strengths, not assigned roles, is very important to me.

But you may not know that I love nature. I would love to work in an orangutan orphanage (though I would of course prefer it if there was no need for orangutan orphanages) I have a plan to work with elephants. I feel I have things to learn from them. They bring grace to what can seem like a pretty graceless world.

How and when did you know you wanted to become an entrepreneur?

Only in the last 4 years to be honest. My background is 20 years in the public sector working as a youth and community worker in Birmingham and then Lancashire. I went self employed because I wanted to be home for my daughter when she needed me, not an hour drive down the motorway. I am a single mum and I just decided life must be easier than working in high stress jobs while she was with a child minder.

I went self employed to have more control over my life and the plan was to find a way to make enough money to feed us and keep a roof over our heads. But after about 18 months I realised ‘I really like this’ as I had lots of cool ideas that I could act on without needing to seek permission. What’s interesting is, the more creative I got the more creative I got! Once I allowed all the ideas to flow it became so much more than a way of putting dinner on the table. It became about ‘I wonder if I can make that happen’. And I love it.

Tell us about your business

I am the MD of Ethical Business Training Limited and as part of that I founded The Growing Club. My background is youth and community work.

What did you give up to get to where you are today? What did you have to sacrifice?

I gave up a decent salary with a pension, paid leave and sick leave. Do I miss it? Nope!

What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to do?

Toughen up to survive what to me was a new world, the business world, and then learn to find my own place in all that, a place that meant I am being true to me.

What are your goals for 2017 and beyond?

The Growing Club is my main focus right now as we need to get funding for the social enterprise. The Growing Club was about filling the gap in business education for women. Business education inevitably comes from a male model and I realised I needed something else when male coaches just didn’t get the demands made on me because they went home and had their tea cooked for them. I wanted some peer mentoring with people like me but couldn’t find what I needed so I made it happen. Rachel Holme and I ran group one as an experiment but it does my heart good. Group two filled easily and so now we want to run business education and support for socially disadvantaged women in the community who have ideas for a business.
This year is a bit scary too as my daughter finishes full time education and is off on her adventures. I’ve been preparing for this in terms of building a solid business and I am also ready to spread my wings. But having spent most of 28 years as a single mum it will be an interesting time. I want to get more publications out, very practical workbooks and at some point I will get round to turning my ethical sales book The Heart of Sales into an online course.
I want to do more speaking in the next 2 years too, I really want to talk more about joined up thinking connecting the business world to community and environmental issues. Ethical trade just makes so much economic sense, it’s crazy that we still allow greed and short term profit to dominate the agenda.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? Do you have any big Goals?

In 5 years time The Growing Club will be solid and we will have our own building.
I want to speak at events overseas and find ways to use story telling to bridge some gaps that currently seem huge. So I have a goal of going to Iceland to learn story telling! I love to travel and want to use my business training skills to support community development projects overseas as well as here in the UK.

And in 5 years time I will have done my reccy visit to enable me to take some time to work with elephants in Africa.

Can you share 3 #BizTips for Women in Business

1) Get a good support network because it can be pretty darn lonely otherwise.

2) A coach / mentor is crucial if you are serious about growing your business. But pick the right one for you.

3) There is always more to learn and mostly it is about ourselves as running a business is very exposing of all our insecurities and mental blocks. So invest in your training.

How can people best connect with you online? twitter, website, youtube?

Twitter – @janebinnion

Website – www.janebinnion.com

You can read more from Jane Binnion – Here’s 2017 Looking Quite A Lot Like 2016! inside #BizRocks Magazine Issue 48 

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About Jane Binnion

Jane Binnion is the MD of Ethical Business Training Limited. She is a trainer, speaker and author as well as a single mum and a member of the sandwich generation. Jane is based in beautiful Lancashire but travels across the UK and beyond to work with organisations that want to make a difference.


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