Entrepreneur Interview: Joanna Gaudoin

January 13, 2023

Joanna Gaudoin, Managing Director of Inside Out Image, helps organisations and individuals understand and master personal impact and relationship management to ensure greater professional success. She is also the author of the bestselling book ‘Getting On – Making work work’.


What was your background prior to launching your own business?

I studied International Management and French at the University of Bath and had the opportunity to work in Brussels as part of my degree. When I graduated, I then got a place on Kimberly-Clark’s Marketing Graduate programme as an Assistant Brand Manager. During my three years there, I worked across three different roles in France and the UK to both plan and execute brand marketing activities. After this, I worked for several London-based consultancy firms which focused on marketing effectiveness and commercial due diligence. The commercial due diligence didn’t really suit me, but the experience was useful as it taught me about the M&A world. I came to the realisation that I wasn’t happy with my career direction, so I decided to go and work with a career transition coach to help me decide what to do next. In Autumn 2011, I retrained in Image and Impact and then went on to start up my own business that year. If you’d told me thirteen years ago that I would now be running by own business, I wouldn’t have believed you!


Can you tell us a bit about Inside Out Image and the types of clients you typically work with?

Essentially what I do is I help individuals to progress their careers and navigate the day-to-day challenges. I run a lot of group workshops, seminars, and masterclasses on a range of different topics such as office politics, networking skills, effective and productive meetings, and much more. I also speak at events and work with clients individually. My book Getting On: Making work work was published last year and became an Amazon bestseller. Most of my clients are professionals that work within the financial services sector. These people are typically very bright, very knowledgeable but often don’t work on or utilise their non-technical skills. This area is where I feel I can really add value which is why I work in this specific sector. If people can equip themselves with these skills, then they can really move forward for the benefit of their career and their organisation also.


How do you set yourself apart from other businesses within your industry?

Interesting question! When I began writing my book, my publisher asked me the same question and the answer is I don’t really have any direct competitors. I’m not aware of anyone that offers the breadth of what I do and unlike a coach, whilst I listen a lot Iam direct with my clients and give very specific guidance to help them move forwards.


Where did your inspiration come from to write your new book – ‘Getting On – Making work work’?

People have been telling me for years to write one, but I put it off for ages. The motivation came from one of my colleagues who had been working with a book coach at the time. He told me about how she helped had him and I realised that the only way I would get started was with by working with her. At the end of every session, she would ask me how many words I was going to write before we meet again which gave me the accountability I needed. A great piece of advice a colleague gave me was to know what you’re going to write about before you sit down. Overall, this firm structure was what really helped me complete the writing process!


How have you found your journey so far and what has been your greatest accomplishment?

I absolutely love what I’m doing now and am proud to have built a sizeable business. In my eyes, the greatest accomplishment is the outcomes that my clients get. When they can see how much the non-technical skills matter and understand how they can implement them into both their everyday lives and within their career – that really makes a difference!


What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced within your career and how did you overcome it?

When I decided to quit the job that I hated and went out into the world not really knowing what I was doing – that was quite daunting. However, finding a career transition coach really helped me to get to where I am today and to start up a successful business. You need to find a way to utilise your gifts and skills, that is what’s important.


What are your plans for Inside Out Image over the next three years?

The business has grown a lot in the last year and a half, and I’d like to continue this growth by at least  a third more. I think I’m currently at the ideal age for my current profession, so it will be interesting to see how things evolve with my age. I am quite fortunate that most of my work comes through referrals, so I would like to explore new avenues to generate more growth for the business. Keeping up a balance of the individual work, public speaking, and the workshops is important to me not only because they feed each other in terms of revenue, but they also keep me interested.


What are your top tips for first-time entrepreneurs looking to get their business out there?

Go to events and meet people – it is pivotal! I still get people coming up to me that say they met me at an event years ago or that they’re on my newsletter list for X number of years. Get out and meet as many people as you can and be clear what service you’re offering and to who.


Do you have a morning routine to get your day started on the right foot?

Typically, I’ll get up, do some work, and then head out to a gym class (after I feed my pet rabbit of course!). I always try to do some exercise early in the day or else I won’t have the motivation to do so. As a Christian, I also try to bring that into the start of my day and throughout too, and that is something to continue to build on this year.


Quick Fire

  • What are your typical work hours? Typically, I’ll try to start work at 7am, but because of the nature of my job it varies a lot!
  • What is your favourite book (apart from yours)? A book I always recommend to clients is ‘Mindset’ by Dr. Carol Dweck
  • A cuisine you could eat for a month straight. Steak, mushroom, bearnaise sauce and broccoli!
  • Are you a morning or an evening person? Morning
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