Who are you and what business did you start?
I’m an author, consultant and speaker. My business, Jacqueline Cripps Limited, is a management consultancy organization. I educate and teach business leaders all around the world, to understand their millennial workforce. I help millennials better understand themselves (in the context of the world and our generation) so they can be the best versions of themselves and live a life aligned with their values.
What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
Before founding Jacqueline Cripps Limited, I spent over a decade working in the public sector in both Australia and the U.K.
Having had a diverse career history, lived in various parts of the world and a fascination with human behaviour and psychology, I’ve come to recognize the value of these experiences and learnings, and how my insight can help others.
I’ve always felt very strongly about our generation: particularly the misconceptions that exist in the world and all those stereotypes. My desire for stepping into this field and establishing my business comes from experience and identifying a need.
When it comes to the workplace – I was that once upon a time unhappy, disengaged millennial because I didn’t feel heard or understood by managers. I’ve experienced first-hand how this affects both personal and professional wellbeing. This is in some parts, why I feel so strongly about educating managers: they don’t know, what they don’t know and I want to help them.
More generally, like other millennials, I’ve experienced the challenges we face as a generation. We are a unique generation; the challenges that we face are different from our parents, grandparents and will be different from generations to come. On face value we could say all generations experience these types of challenges – and they do. But the impacts for millennials, because of the economic, political, and societal factors that have shaped our generation, mean that our experiences are different.
Describe the process of launching the business.
Launching a business for me, was very much natural. I was doing the work before I made it official. Mostly, it started as working on my passion around other roles. Like most things, there reaches a tipping point where decisions need to be made about how much we can handle and what direction we want to move into. It was at this point that I decided to step fully into what I love doing. To be honest, it wasn’t until I was “officially” in business that I looked more into the skill development of running a business through business coaching. I think I’ve very much learnt by doing – even to this day. I think as business owners that’s part of the journey – we continue to evolve and grow.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
This is an interesting question because I’ve tried a lot of techniques over the years – most of which haven’t worked. There are a lot of fantastic resources out there on attracting/retaining/selling etc that teach some great skills and strategies. What I’ve learnt is that while most claim to “work” sometimes they don’t. And that’s ok because business needs and wants vary. The key is to knowing when to walk away from something that isn’t working and to be ok with that. I’ve experimented with a range of things and feel we always need to remain open minded because the world is moving at such pace. The biggest thing I’ve found to work for me in attracting and retaining customers is authenticity. Some people call it your brand: i.e being you, knowing your why and what you stand for. I think people are drawn to working with others who instill a level of trust, respect and honesty which is generally reflected in their own values. Like attracts like, so I’ve found that referrals, word of mouth and genuine connections have been where I’ve generated the most business.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
I love what I do and am incredible optimist about the future. There is a huge need for the work I do. In fact, the pandemic brought to light some of the key values that millennials have and forced some of the inter generational conversation on to the agenda so I’m excited to see what the future brings.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Yes, biggest tips are to find a good mentor or coach and a community of people who support you. It can feel lonely at times being a business owner, mostly because of the pressure we feel to “wear all the hats” which is why support is critical.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
In addition to my own website, I use social media mostly: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
There are a lot of resources out there, but two personal favourites of mine are Simon Sinek, author of Find Your Why and Jim Rohn. The most important thing I find with these influential people is the key message, in that it comes back to the self: finding out why you’re doing what you’re doing, being of service and investing in your own personal growth as much as your business.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Before starting any business, ask yourself ‘why’. For any business to succeed it needs to have a clear vision – a North Star that sits behind the “doing.” When you know your ‘why’ and are clear on the purpose, then – and only then – look into the business. This ‘why’ is what will keep your business grounded and moving forward, especially when challenges arise.