This week’s Ambassador Feature is with Jacqui Jones, Greatfulness
2017 Bronze winner of AusMumpreneur Big Idea award
Tell us about yourself and your business?
I am mum to a 9 year old boy and a 7 year old daughter. These two keep my husband and I very busy! They both absolutely love sport, so our weekends are usually taken up driving them around to different sporting events!
My business is called ‘Greatfulness’ and it is a mental health & wellbeing program that is delivered within primary schools. The program is a recommended Kidsmatter program which is the mental health initiative of the Australian government. Ultimately Greatfulness teaches students how to keep mentally ‘fit’ so that they can fulfil their true potential in life. It and also educates them on how to bounce back when they face challenges. Our tagline is ‘Be your own hero’.
What was your inspiration for your business?
My background is in social work & education and I have over 20 years’ experience working directly with children and young people. However, it was my own experience of overcoming depression that inspired me to develop the Greatfulness program. My journey back to wellness has taken the last 5 years and in that time, I have learnt many tools and techniques to help me build my mental strength. I recognise now just how important is to look after your mental health and this inspired me to teach these skills to young people; so that they can live happy and fulfilling lives, free from mental illness.
Did you have any experience in running a business or in this industry before?
I don’t have experience of running my own business in this industry but I have worked in education and training for the past 8 years and have been involved in the design process of many great courses throughout this time. I feel that every experience that I have had in my career to date, has provided me with great training for my current work!
(Image source: Greatfulness)
What’s your point of difference that makes your business special or unique?
Greatfulness doesn’t advocate for one strategy or tool. It provides students with a ‘toolbox’ so that they can pick and choose what feels right for them. The program uses tools from positive psychology, mindfulness meditation, the practice of gratitude, visualisation and lot’s more. Students are encouraged to think about their strengths and passions and how they can use these to be of service to the World. They are taught that life shouldn’t always be about what they can get; but rather what can they give instead? I truly believe that we all have a gift to share with the World.
The program is also unique in that I offer an online course for mums that complements what is taught in the Greatfulness program. This then empowers families to be able to talk about mental health in the home and also implement a variety of tools to help build the mental fitness of the whole family!
What have you learnt about yourself since becoming an entrepreneur?
To trust my intuition. I used to do this a lot when I was younger but somehow I convinced myself that my head was more important! However, each and every time I take the time to stop and truly listen to my inner voice, I am always guided in the right direction.
I’ve also learnt to be flexible. Each day is different and rather than try to micro-manage every little detail, I have learnt to trust in my ability to go with the flow. I think my own meditation practice certainly helps to keep stress and overthinking to a minimum.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced and how have you overcome them?
As I am sure it is with many women in this position, juggling growing children and ‘growing’ a business is certainly a challenge. As I am based at home, it is sometimes difficult for my 7-year-old daughter (in particular) to comprehend that I am actually working! She recently said to me ‘Why do we have to go to after school care mum, all you do is sit on the couch all day’!!
On a personal level, overcoming depression was obviously a huge challenge for me. It has actually taken me a long time to be able to talk about it openly, but I am now at the point in my life where I am proud of what I have achieved in regards to my wellbeing and I know I can share my story to try and help others.
What lessons have your business taught you about life?
That everyone has their own unique journey to travel and some people will be ready for what you are offering, whilst others will never be. The most important thing is to stay true to yourself. Listen to your inner voice and trust that you are travelling down your own path and everything will happen at the right time! And to say ‘yes’ to the things that scare you!
If you could go back to when you were starting your business and give your younger self some advice what would you tell her?
Failure is feedback. I think as a society we are slowly beginning to accept that failure is just part of a process. However, when I was younger, I was so critical of myself every time that I failed (yes there have been a few times!). I would feel judged and embarrassed. Now I able to view failure as a sign of growth and courage. For me, not trying is much worse than trying and failing! As Thomas Edison once said ‘“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work!.” I also teach this concept in the Greatfulness program, as I feel it is an important lesson that we should share with our children. Failing is just an opportunity to grow and learn!
What’s next for your business?
The teacher training for the Greatfulness program commences this year. The teacher training will be available online and also run as face to face sessions which will enable schools to run the program in their own time. Having the option to do the training as an online program, will also mean that Greatfulness can be taught in rural and remote areas. As I grew up in Country NSW, it is hugely important for me that country kids have access to this program and have the opportunity to learn about how to look after their mental health and go for their dreams!
If you could change the world, and money was no object, what would you do?
I would love to take the Greatfulness program into schools in Africa one day!
Generally speaking though, I just want to help people learn how to look after their mental health so that they are not just well, but truly flourishing! Our minds are our most powerful tool and yet we are not taught how to use them effectively. So, I would like to change all of that! I feel that if we were all mentally fit then it could have a positive impact in other areas, for example, reduce the incidence of bullying in schools. At the end of the day, if we are happy on the inside, then we are much more likely to help others and be kind. So that’s exactly what I plan to do; help and be kind!
To learn more about Greatfulness, please visit
Facebook: : www.facebook.com/greatfulness.com.au
Join Us for the 2018 AusMumpreneur National Conference & Awards!
Celebrating, Inspiring & Elevating Mums in Business
White Night Reception, Maidstone VIC 3012
30 & 31 August 2018
Australia’s #1 Event for Mums in Business
MAKE SURE YOU GRAB YOUR TICKET HERE!