Ladies; get inspired, have a laugh and realise that as Beyonce` once said, women really can ‘run the world’. Dr Joanna Martin, you have my attention, respect and most importantly, love.
f: What’s the first thing you think about when you wake up?
J: My son – it’s usually him saying, “Mummy” that wakes me up.
f: Then, what’s the first thing you do?
J: I’ll wait in bed until my husband goes and gets James, and then we all snuggle into bed for an early morning breastfeed. Well James does, not my husband. That would be weird.
f: What does your average day look like?
J: Wakeup, breastfeed, write my morning pages and squeeze in yoga if I’m lucky. Read “Dear Zoo” 18 times, make some porridge and fight about more sultanas in said porridge.
The usual get ready routine while my son applies his obsession with tools to fixing anything and everything.
Commute across my garden to studio – lots of emails, connections, Skype calls, team management, troubleshooting, event planning, content creation. Makes me realize I don’t have an “average day” at work.
Finish around 4. Play. Dinner. Fight about more sultanas. Bath. Books. More boobs. Bedtime for James.
About 1 hour of me-time/hubby-time before crashing into bed with Game of Thrones.
f: 5 favourite foods?
J: Edamame, Moules frites, Chocolate fondant, really good chips and good coffee – is that a food?
f: 1 pet hate?
J: Scooping ice cream that is too hard.
f: You’re a loving, proud mother. How did your body react physically to the changes pregnancy throws at you?
J: It hated them. I couldn’t get out of bed for the first 20 weeks, had 3 good weeks, then was anemic and had a numb hip for the last 20 weeks. And yes – that adds up to 43 weeks. That’s how long he was in there!
f: Did you use any oils / beauty products to aid this process?
J: I had to lather myself in almond oil every day. My skin got super dry. But I didn’t want to use anything even vaguely nasty in case it impacted bub. Everything was all natural, organic, non-medicated, Birkenstock wearing.
f: Mentally, how did you react and deal with the change in hormones?
J: It was tough. Looking back, I think if I’d spoken to a doctor they would have called me depressed in the early days of the pregnancy. And day 4 post birth when that milk came in, I was certifiably crazy. Seriously! If my sister hadn’t said “Jo, from where I’m sitting everything is normal and fine” I would have sworn I was actually going to be locked up. No-one tells you this stuff!
f: As much as I’d like to be a mother, I can’t. But lots of my frankfurts are; can you tell them a bit about juggling motherhood and business?
J: It’s not easy. But I couldn’t only do one or the other. When I was pregnant I thought I was never going to want to do business ever again. But within 2 weeks of his birth I was having new ideas. That’s where One of Many was born- in a darkened room breastfeeding! My sis gave me the best advice of all though. She said “they spend 9 months in you, take 9 months to get adjusted to being out of you, and then the next 9 months is about finding out who you are all over again”. It was good advice. I didn’t work in earnest til James was about 9 months, and only proper hours once he was about 12 months. He has never been one of those easy babies, so it was absolute madness until James was 18 months. He’s 20 months now. The last 2 months have been much easier… I’m hoping beyond hope it’s a new normal. But I’ve learned that I can no longer control ANYTHING. So I have become much more forgiving of myself than I used to be. I think my inner perfectionist died (or gave up in disgust) when James was born.
f: The biggest challenge motherhood threw at you?
J: The insidious impact of sleep deprivation. The first few months you’re so jacked up on oxytocin you don’t notice it. But it’s a killer. Your brain doesn’t function. You stop doing the other things that are good for you (like taking your vitamins, walking) because you’re so knackered and before you know it your family is staging an intervention to get you some sleep.
f: The biggest challenge in launching One of Many?
J: Articulating exactly what we do! The “business” is more of a movement. Our goal is to fulfill on the Dalai Lama’s observation that “The Western Woman will Save the World”. But for women to step up and “save the world” we need to get our sh*t together first. Women are so holistic that anything we want to do needs to work for all areas of our life, not just one (like career). We run conferences & workshops, we have networks, we connect people. Once people get connected with us and the other women of OoM they become off-the-planet raving fans… but when I get asked that good old “What do you do?” question I still struggle –‘cos our conferences solve so many varied problems!
f: I love all women. A lot. You have very strong, inspiring beliefs surrounding empowering women. Where did this stem from?
J: It’s been a work in progress since I started mentoring women business owners in 2008. But it crystallised for me when I held my little boy in my arms, about age 3 weeks and I realized that the world was on path for destruction and there were no Gandhis or Mother Teresas going to show up to change that. It was up to me. It is up to us.
Women are by their nature collaborative and interested in sustainability. If we want a world worth handing onto our children and grandchildren, we need to make the space in our lives, to make the difference we were born to make. And I truly believe our uniquely feminine qualities make us the powerhouse behind this global paradigm shift.
f: If you had to make one statement, what would it be?
J: Don’t wait for life to get sorted before your start making your difference. Start now.
f: Three women that inspire you?
- Arianna Huffington because she is mainstreaming quality of life rather than quantity of results.
- My friend Cathy Burke, CEO of The Hunger Project Australia, because she has this insane ability to be fabulous and authentic with world leaders, major financiers and the poorest of the poor alike.
- A woman I met in a rural village in Bangladesh called Taslima who gets that she can end hunger. Despite being born into poverty she has created a self-help group of 20 women in her local area, they pool their resources and take turns borrowing seed capital to start small businesses. She is transforming her community through bold leadership.
She is representative of the millions of village partners being trained through the work of The Hunger Project, which I’m wildly passionate about.
f: If you could make one change through your business leading to a social movement, what would it be?
J: That the feminine is as respected and valued in our culture as the masculine.
f: And finally, who should I put on my to scrub / dirty talk list?
J: Cathy Burke – for sure. You’d love her.
Cathy, let’s do this.
Twitter: @joannamartin Web: http://www.oneofmany.co.uk Insta: @oneofmanywomen