Jo Becker

Jo Becker

With advice, articles, blogs, free resources, courses and coaching programmes from Jo Becker (coach, content creator, and stubborn advocate).

 

I aim to enable everybody to stubbornly keep going, and pursue the things that feel important to them. We all deserve this opportunity, but circumstances and society make it more difficult for some, which is where extraordinary determination and strong support is required. My work includes:

  • Coaching creative individuals to develop a business that really matters to them, especially those who have health issues or other commitments they need to manage alongside their work.

  • Advising organisations on how to improve their consideration and inclusion of disabled people.

  • Raising awareness of the barriers societal norms create for disabled people, so that we can begin to dismantle them and build a world of equal opportunity.

  • Supporting small businesses and large organisations to put their audience first in all of their marketing activity, ensuring that they’ve considered all possible audiences.

  • Sharing the lessons I’ve learned through a career in marketing and the ownership of multiple businesses.


In a nutshell, what do I know?

…about being stubborn?
My belief in the power of being a bit stubborn developed as a result of events in my personal life. You might have noticed that I’m pictured outside the Taj Mahal (and beyond!) with my walking stick? This pretty much sums me up.

I was diagnosed with a progressive muscle wasting disease in my late twenties, which has weakened my legs and will continue to do so. But if there’s something I want, I am stubbornly determined to at least try, leading me, amongst other things, to travel around India alone. As this disease is untreatable, I truly know that there’s no time to lose: every day counts, so let’s enjoy them.

…about creating, growing and marketing a business?
I spent 5+ years working in marketing, before applying all I knew to creating a successful business of my own. When it eventually grew in a different direction, I became unhappy. So after three years, I made the terrifying decision to leave; my happiness was more important than staying with a business because ‘I thought I should’. I want on to create Be Stubborn so that I can share all I have learned about being a creative business owner, and about being stubborn enough to pursue what matters most to me.

…about overcoming obstacles, and working through problems?
I'm very optimistic by nature, and I've always enjoyed finding solutions and workarounds to problems - from life, to in marketing, to running my first business. One of my greatest skills is helping people to see a way through those foggy overwhelming phases, supporting them and helping them to gain perspective, before making a plan and following through until they feel happier and fulfilled.


A bit about me

I was diagnosed with GNE Myopathy, a rare adult-onset form of Muscular Dystrophy, in 2016 following three years of strange symptoms and testing. At the time I was a senior marketing and communications practitioner at Transport for London, managing a large team, even larger budgets, and responsible for all marketing campaigns relating to London’s roads, river and buses. 

I loved my job, but the shock of my diagnosis left me craving the freedom to travel, explore and experiment while I was at my strongest, and so I did these things while starting my own business. Taking this leap of faith opened my eyes to another world: the start-up mentality, making an impact with little budget, being open to new opportunities and creative about finding solutions to unexpected problems. 

This period, in which I also learned more about the realities of my diagnosis as my muscles weakened, taught me a lot about myself. I came to better understand my values, and the work I want to do; I love communicating, feeling like I am helping people, and trying to do something good. Working at TfL had given me this as I tried to improve the experience of customers travelling on the network (granted – not always possible!), and I wanted to continue to pursue those values elsewhere.  

Fast-forward a few years and I have developed what might be called a ‘portfolio career’, comprised of coaching others to develop their own heartfelt small businesses, creating content and writing about my experiences, and consulting other cities and organisations about their customer marketing and communications – particularly in relation to travel, events and accessibility – for which I have created bespoke strategies.