The Work You Do Isn’t What You Think It Is

So you do the work. But what is it?

Most days of the week I work from home in the morning, then jump on my bike, podcast in ears, and cycle to work in a lovely local café/bar.

Photo on 15-07-2016 at 12.00

The manager is a gorgeous soul (shout out to Amanda).

People are drawn to her and her huge smile, welcoming energy, and she always has time to chat.

Whether it’s the old guys who come in for a cup of tea every Monday and Friday on market days, the old lady who comes in daily all by herself for a cappuccino, the entrepreneurs like me who come in for some human interaction, or the Mums with small peeps in tow who come for a caffeine injection, it’s a place to call home for that part of the day.

Amanda recently said on Facebook that she thinks her real job is to light up people’s days.

And it is.

Sure, the nuts and bolts of it is ordering food and drink stock, sorting out the rota and timetables, managing staff, all that stuff…

But the REAL work? It’s being there for people.

I am a huge believer that the WORK is not the work.

So yes, I am all about helping people ignite their brilliance and get their message out to the world, but what does that DO?

It brings inspiration. Power. Confidence. Strength. Opportunities.

Most people, whether they are Killer Content Academy members, or 1:1 clients, all say the same thing – the overwhelm has gone.

There is confidence and excitement. And THAT’s powerful.

So, here is what I would love to know, what is the REAL work of YOUR work? What is the underlying magic that you create?

Hop on over to our Facebook group, and share what comes up for you as you think about this.

There is no right or wrong. No judgements.
No gold stars being handed out. Just insights.

Those insights can also fuel the way you talk to your clients, your audience, your peeps, even yourself.
I can’t wait to hear what your magic is (then go and tell the world!)

To your continued magical awesomeness,


Blogging for Business Bootcamp: Want To Watch My Re-Launch?

As a small business owner, I find watching and reading the “behind the scenes” stuff to be immensely useful.

I love knowing which tools my peers are using, how they go about their daily work and rituals; what works and, just as importantly, what doesn’t.

So, I am doing a mini re-launch of one of my programmes, and will be sharing the journey.


Blogging for Business Bootcamp is a programme I put together back in June 2014. It ran live for 2 rounds, and then I made it evergreen.

The feedback from it has always been fabulous – people really re-connect with their content ideas, understand how to work smarter, how to get “unstuck” with their business blogs, and how to have a wealth of ideas at their fingertips for content.


This October, I am adding a new live round, with new materials, workshops and bonusses.


In the 15 months since Bootcamp first ran, new tools and new social platforms have arrived, I have changed immensely as a solopreneur in terms of business growth, ideas, and how I work, and it was time to refresh this classic programme.

So, I am providing 6 weeks of brand new workshops, one every week in the group.

The new stuff will be covering the Big Things I keep being asked:
– how to successfully pitch and get published on big sites
– how to re-purpose content far and wide
– how to use Periscope & podcasting to grow an audience;
– how to design as a non-designers
– how to get super influential online
….and more.

The whole experience is underpinned by my Brilliance Ignition Process, a way of working which infuses creative thinking with business DNA with incredible results for my clients.

So, Bootcamp has evolved.

Current ‘campers will have access to this new material and future pop-up workshops, as will newbies joining us.

How do I plan to spread the word about Bootcamp Live: The Brilliance Sessions?

I will be sharing the news with my tribe, and everyone on my list, of course.

  • I plan to re-run some Facebook ads for a free 10 day Blog Challenge I have used in the past as a lead magnet/opt-in.
  • I will be working with the affiliates for Bootcamp, providing them with a swipe file of copy and images to help them to promote it to their networks.
  • I will be promoting via the Facebook group communities I am in, working with my colleagues and key influencers to share the word.
  • I plan to promote via social media, and to focus on the new Bootcamp round during the next few weeks on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Linked In.
  • I will be periscoping about commonly asked blog questions, and building my content around the new Bootcamp sessions here on my blog, on my podcast, in newsletters, and on my Periscopes.

So, stay with me as I start to set the word rolling, and let’s see step by step what works (and what doesn’t!).




EDIT: 24th September 2015

Behind the scenes as I talk about my Blog Challenge + working with affiliates on a Periscope chat.

The Road To Solopreneur Success

road to solopreneur success

Success is whatever you deem it to be.

As a solopreneurs, we might all have very different definitions of “making it”.

It might be:

  • your first 10k month,
  • your first media write up,
  • your first sell out e-course;

Whatever it is, it is likely to be deeply personal.

Whatever your definition is, make the realisation of them tangible, enjoyable, and trackable to celebrate each moment as you pass them.

My Ideas

For me, my goals as a solopreneur were always to love what I do, to inspire others, to make life better for my family financially, and to teach my daughters about the power of self-employment for women.

Beyond those, on a very practical level, I wanted to build a career for myself that allowed for my family, for my health issues, and for my personal development as a human being.

I can certainly say I achieved those goals, and seek to deepen them daily.

I was a childhood entrepreneur, with a colourful, multi-passionate and multi-directional portfolio career that followed. The experience of going solo is something I am proud of, and I treasure the experiences that I collect along the way.

What story can you tell yourself about your life and biz today?
Tell, it, speak it, live it! Jo Gifford – Hustlin’ Heroes

My Goals

When I started out, success meant quitting the 9-5 and having my own freedom.

My next goal was to make enough to pay the rent and to feed myself sufficiently well (yep, being an entrepreneur can make and break you!).

Next up, my goal was to travel more, working as I went, and to enjoy the flexibility of my new freedom based lifestyle.

My goals along the way have been to increase my readers and audience, to be featured on certain sites, to become talked about, respected, and well known as a leader in my field.

As each day, week, month and year passes, my goals change as do my definitions of success.

My aims on the vision board change regularly, as I reach new levels of my own version of success. My financial goals become higher as I become comfortable with more clients and products, a bigger audience, more opportunities for collaboration, and a higher profile.

The life of an entrepreneur evolves at 4 times the speed of a “normal” person.
Who wants to be normal? Jo Gifford – Hustlin’ Heroes

Risk and Growth

As my goals become larger with more challenges, risks and exposure, there is more scope for failure and vulnerability as I progress. Embracing those risks, in your own time, brings growth.

My goals for success are always linked to my goals for myself as a person – after all, mindset and the choices we make are at the heart of everything we do in life, which applies to business in every sense.

  • It takes guts to go solo.
  • It take courage to be visible, to put your soul and your name on the line as you make your living.
  • It takes daily habits, actions, choices and failures to have success.
  • It takes continued learning, mentors, masterminds, resilience, investments, highs, lows and everything in between to continue on this road.

Going solo and making it – whatever that might mean to you – always requires that you love what you do enough to keep learning, growing, and rebuilding yourself after each failure.

It means igniting your own brilliance, committing daily to being the best self you can be, and to keep on truckin’.

A dream starts with a challenge.
Where is your challenge today? Now, go find the dream. Jo Gifford – Hustlin’ Heroes


Solopreneur Success Bundle

This post is part of the blog tour for One Woman Shop’s Solopreneur Success Bundle, a roundup of e-courses, e-books, and subscriptions designed to help you succeed in all aspects of your solopreneur biz. Your chance to grab over $1,500 in products at just $99 is only here from September 14-18th learn more and get yours now!

Episode #27: Rituals and Brilliance for Success as a Solopreneur

episode 27 Rituals and Brilliance

Hi everyone, welcome to episode 27 of Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter, it’s Jo Gifford here, the Dexterous Diva! I’m really, really happy that you’ve joined me for this podcast, and guys, I’m so, so grateful.

We’ve just hit over 95,000 podcast downloads, and I’m over the moon and really grateful to all of you who are listening and leaving reviews.

If you find my podcast helpful, then I’d be really, really grateful if you could tell your friends about it! Thank you so much for showing up, being here and being part of the tribe of Diva.


Okay everyone, so today we’re going to have a little look at the concept of rituals.

I was really inspired to chat about this briefly today, because among the many books that I’m currently devouring and reading, is Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields of the Good Life Project, and I’m sure you guys know of him. If not, then I would certainly look him up here.

Failure and Brilliance

He’s one of the Danielle LaPorte, Marie Forleo kind of power peers, and he’s such an interesting guy. In Uncertainty, it’s all about how failure is really important and how to find your own brilliance amongst uncertainty which is a really powerful thing for us solopreneurs. In particular I was reading about rituals and the place that these have in our work.

So I want to read you this really brief paragraph:
“For the creator whose very existence depends on the ability to spend vast amounts of time living and operating in the ethereal sea of uncertainty and anxiety that is creation, rituals in every part of life serve as a source of psychic bedrock. They provide just enough of a foundation to allow you to free up that part of your brain that needs permission to run unencumbered in the quest to create the greatest possible something from nothing”.

The crux of that is basically if you have rituals in every part of your life, then your brain is free to go ahead and create those golden nuggets of brilliance which relate directly to your business and your success.

As most of you guys know, I’m all about the Brilliance Ignition process which is the process that underpins creative thinking in your business, and it’s kind of like my own artist’s way for solopreneurs, if you like.

If you haven’t done the Brilliance Ignition free mastermind process yet, I would really love for you to head on over to, and you’ll find a free community on Facebook and the whole Brilliance Ignition power moves roadmap which I’ve provided for free via email.

The Diva Take on Brilliance

My take on Brilliance Ignition is all about providing some quality input.

We do things like New Diva Daily, so by doing something slightly new every day, whether it’s

    • listening to new music
    • trying out a new podcast
    • taking a slightly different route from work
    • ordering a different coffee

these slight tweaks, exposing yourself to slightly different stimuli, and then the ritual of creating content every day, is a way to allow your brain to get some of that quality input out in your own way.

We also talk about the rituals of a business like a business playground day, which is where you take yourself off for the day with your business, get super creative and allow your brain to run wild.

Those elements are part of the Brilliance Ignition process, and also as you guys have recently been talking about, The Miracle Morning, by Hal Elrod. I know that a lot of you have been sending me emails and messages about trying The Miracle Morning, and this is a ritual that I’ve been bringing into my own life with amazing results.

Freeing Up Your Brain

Whether you do The Miracle Morning in the morning or you do it throughout the day, it’s the very act of spending time on yourself and knowing that every day you’ll be doing rituals. For me, it’s moving my body, meditating, visualising, reading some powerful and inspiring stuff, spending time with my journal and outputting on (Read more about the habits which have ramped up my biz and life here)

For me the ritual anchors my day. I know that I’m getting loads of good stuff in plus I’m letting my brain let stuff out. It’s like an underpinning so I know I don’t have to tick stuff off the list and I don’t have that kind of feeling of, oh, I haven’t meditated yet.

I’ve got a time and a place for it and it’s getting done, it feels really good, and as Jonathan Fields says, I’m allowed to let my brain think about other stuff rather than worrying about my list.

We find rituals in really simple things like the same time to do stuff every week, and I’ve spoken before about how I record my podcasts on a Monday morning.

I have had two weeks off, as you guys have probably noticed (did you miss me?). I went to the south of France and I didn’t record my podcast over there, (and that’s fine, we are allowed to stop things for a little while).

I know that every Monday morning I’m going to sit down with my microphone and be intentional and speak to you lovely people, and then I know that that’s done for the week.

The same is true for other things, I know that every Friday is my flexible free day. I allow myself to not work and to go and do something creative and cool or just to switch off. Oftentimes it’s just resting and recovering from the week, as I still have to manage chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, but having that flexible day is part of my ritual, so that I know I have a downtime built in.

Early bedtimes for me are part of my ritual and again, it’s like a self-management thing, I know I’m looking after myself and that helps me get up early for my Miracle Morning.

The Snowball Effect

You kind of have a snowball effect of rituals, and when you break them down and look at them, it’s like they’re habits that you are choosing to put in place for your life to make your life easier.

It helps all that autopilot stuff run for you and so you’ve got pegs to hang stuff on throughout your day and your week. You know when things are getting done, you know how you do them and you’ve already pre-set some choices which are helping your brain then focus on the other cool stuff.

That’s when your magic really happens and where your brain will be kicking out the golden bits of ideas, those amazing genius inspiration ideas that will strike.

You’ll suddenly realise that you’ve got the next podcast idea or product idea or service and it will almost rock up into your brain because you’ve allowed space for that to happen. That’s such a key part of the creative thinking process for a solopreneur, and even if you’re not actively engaging with it as creative thinking, you’re simply allowing your brilliance to show up, which is really what the hard work is about.

As Jonathan Fields says, we are content creators, we are creators of our businesses, of our art, and in terms of solopreneurs, our art is whatever we’re choosing to show to the world and to do a service to others.

Making Space for Success

By allowing rituals to help make that stuff easier, we’re only going to be more successful, and I know that certainly I’ve seen a huge change in my mindset and in my success levels as a business owner since I’ve started to take choice after choice, ritual after ritual, habit after habit of good stuff.

It might be that you change some bad stuff, and by that I don’t mean terribly evil stuff (mwah ha ha ha!), I just mean stuff that’s not serving you very well. Maybe swap one hour of trashy TV a week to read a chapter of something awesome. In my case it was swapping that extra hour in bed in the morning to do my Miracle Morning. I’m now ploughing through inspiring blogs and personal development books, and the content I’m coming out with as my output is partly rubbish, it’s partly brain dumping, but there’s some really interesting stuff in there and the ideas are coming out. It’s part of making space for that.

And So Darlings, How About You?

I would love to hear what you guys are doing in terms of rituals, for those of you out there who have already started with your rituals, what kind of habits are you working with and on? If you haven’t started with any good habits yet, have you got an idea of where you could start?

I would certainly encourage you to head over to the Brilliance Ignition power moves roadmap and read all about the free mastermind over there with the free community support group of people, and to start applying the Brilliance Ignition process to your life and your work.

The feedback from people already is just amazing, so I would really, really love to encourage you guys to go over there, and as always, thank you so much for showing up and listening. I read every single email and every single tweet and every single Facebook post, so if you do want to drop me a line, you can do so on You can tweet me @dexdiva or find me on Facebook,

Thank you so much for listening, and I’ll be back next week with some more thoughts. Thanks guys, and take care.

What Would Jo Gifford Do? Well, It’s THIS….

One of the most amazing things to emerge from the last year has been the emergence of the “what would Jo Gifford do?” meme.

(I know, right?!)

Time and again, in the community groups of my programmes, in mentoring calls and via email, I have been told that channelling the inner Jo Gifford has become a “thing”.

What an honour, from this incredible position of working with glorious people,


For some time now, I have shared my tips and knowledge in working smarter, content creation, and building a business.

I have talked and taught how to work less and do more, how to find your flow and feed your own creative well in order for ideas to emerge and for remarkable content to emerge.


Everything I bring to my business and those of people who hang with me, comes from my background as a designer, manager, copywriter, lecturer, and content creator.

Of course, as you all know, they are also tempered with the life of a self employed Mum with chronic illnesses.


My ideas on blogging go far beyond the scope of putting words on the WordPress editor.



My “thang” is about creating a body of work to re-purpose, re-cycle, up-cycle, hustle, teach and test.


It’s creating products from content.


Everything I have taught so far, from the practise of doing something new each day, to finding your flow, working smarter and up-cycling content to fledgling products is part of a process I feel is unique to me.

It’s a collection of activities that feel personally Jo, that are tried, tested and loved through blog posts, programmes, opt-ins and mentoring.


It’s a set of processes that form the whole, the Jo Gifford approach.

It’s my power moves to get creative, contribute content, and build your business with authenticity and authority.


The set of processes has incredible impact and value when taught as a whole.

The resulting changes of the business and life of solopreneurs who implement what I teach have been huge – and long may that continue.


As I begin to brand the “What would Jo Gifford do” process, I am excited.

By packaging up the knowledge and processes that underpin the programmes and products I have already put out to the world, I know I can do so much more and reach more awesome entrepreneurs.


I have plans, people.

The “what would Jo Gifford do” question will be increasingly easier to answer.

It’s the ignition of brilliance.

Let the Brilliance Ignition Process begin.

Jo Gifford

My work is about helping people work in smarter, creative ways + getting their message out to the world via killer content—blogs, copy, images + social. I am a designer, writer, blogger, mentor, author, creativity addict + prolific geek. You could call it a portfolio career of multi-potential multi-passions. I call it being me.
Work with me, Shop with me, and Chat with me!