I have started to reread, for the second time, Dr. John C. Maxwell’s wonderful short book, How Successful People Think. It’s124 pages of exacting words of guidance and enlightenment on the journey of thinking ourselves to become truly the best that we can be.
Maxwell espouses, “change your thinking, change your life.”
As I began the first chapter, my thoughts drifted quickly to an exceptional person my daughter recently introduced me to over coffee at Bliss on Ellis in Kelowna and I, through this chance introduction, was reminded aptly on the true meaning of the entrepreneurial dream.
Janice Taylor, originator and founder of Just Be Friends, was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan of a single mother who, in the 1980s knew the meaning of less-than-middle-class as she worked three jobs to provide for Janice and her two older sisters.
Janice attributes her work ethic to her mother and remains loyal to her mother’s steadfast principles.
What I find awe-inspiring is that Janice achieved a BA with honours in pyschology with a focus on self-esteem and efficacy among women and honed her pre-entrepreneurial skills during a 10-year career stop in pharmaceutical sales, during which she built a highly successful real estate investment portfolio.
Before I go further, let me highlight what Just Be Friends is. Just Be Friends includes a social networking website for families which, simply put, teaches children how to connect with their world for friendships and ultimately, relationships.
It includes the Just Be Friends Foundation and programs such as A Million Acts of Friendship, a school-based program that rewards healthy social behaviours plus acts of friendship with special weekly incentives.
Visionary, you say, absolutely.
Janice told me with a passionate glow, that once she had the core concept for Just Be Friends, she worked extremely hard to research anything and everything in the technology marketplace to prepare her for her entrepreneurial introduction into that marketplace.
Let me say at this point that, as John Maxwell adds, “ a visionary company is like a great work of art—think of a beautifully designed building. You can’t point to any one single item that makes the whole thing work—it’s all the pieces working together which leads to enduring entrepreneurial greatness.”
Spending some time with Janice, I learned very quickly that this lady means business and innovation and creativity is her mantra.
From the germ of her entrepreneurial idea, she was selected as one of Oprah Winfrey’s 150 “ultimate viewers” and travelled with Winfrey on a two-week trip of a lifetime to Australia.
Chosen as one of 12 Tech Women in Canada, Janice also spent four months in Silicon Valley before returning home to join Accelerate Okanagan and setting down her foundation for Just Be Friends in the Okanagan.
In March, Janice added to her laurels, when she was selected by CBC Radio as a recipient of Saskatchewan Future 40, recognizing successful entrepreneurs under the age of 40.
This single mother of two, originally from Regina, never sits still as she shares her beguiling story on leadership, self-esteem and the digital citizenry to a wide range of audiences, parents, students, educators and cancer survivors.
There is even a feeling this dynamo of entrepreneurial zeal could, one day, be listed on the Fortune 500.
Check out Janice’s site at jbfkids.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, the month of June will bring even more celebratory moments for JBF, as Janice reminded me that Kelowna Mayor Gray is welcoming JBF to the city on June 19 and she is doing a Tedx talk on June 20 with an event June 19 as well.
Thinking, acting and believing reminds us, powerfully, that when your thinking is unlimited, so is your potential.
Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One-Minute Manager reinforces this with his comment: “ If you want to go to a place you’ve never been before—you have to think in ways you’ve never thought before.”