Jackie Groundsell

June 13, 2020 - 09:22 AM - 688 views
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Interview with Jackie Groundsell


We were lucky enough to catch up with Jackie Groundsell, founder of 1230 The Women’s Company to find out more about this iconic figure in the world of networking.

What drives JG?

JG – All I can hear is re-cycled teenager in my head, that’s a great description [laughs]. I guess you could say that I am driven by seeking out and finding opportunities to make connections that deliver. That can take time of course, but that’s one of the best things about networking, and you never know what’s around the corner and to whom you can return the next favour.


When did you first start networking?

JG - 1230 The Women’s Company was officially launched in 2002 ... but I started networking yonks before that. More accurately in primary school, when I would be punished for talking too much. I think we all start to network as soon as we can speak because it's about communicating and building relationships with people through that communication and the resulting connection you feel with an individual. So, I’d say I’ve been networking since I was born. I think we’re all the same in that sense.

HM – Oh no, I don’t think we are the same though. You have a special quality. Yes we can all talk, but I think it depends on what you do with that message and storytelling and how then in your case it’s become your career.

You have a quite a legacy when you consider how many meetings you have hosted over the years? What numbers are we looking at?

JG – Thousands I would imagine, I’ve lost count. That may sound a lot, but I enjoy going to the meetings apart from anything else. We have so many interesting, inspiring women who attend and talk. Travelling to each venue allows me to connect between the locations and hosts. By doing so I build a bigger store of connections and that enables me to support the members in a full and rounded way which helps them succeed.

Your meetings have lots of key features you don’t see anywhere else. Where do you get your ideas from? 

JG – All sorts of places really. I am not a ‘woo woo’ kind of person as such, but I think with maturity I am more receptive and open to these things. We live in difficult times for all sorts of reasons across the globe, and we should listen to alternative things around us, and then make a decision on whether we go with them or not. So in terms of new ideas they are 'ping' moments'. There is a meeting structure but the different tools we use have evolved over the decades, which is so important when members and the nature of their businesses have changed so dramatically in recent years. At the end of the day we have to deliver a good service to our members, being flexible and innovative gets the best out of everyone.

How has online tech changed the way you work? Considering you’re pre-internet and even pre-mouse days!

JG – yes darling, thanks for pointing that out. I even attended a meeting years ago when someone was explaining what the internet was, which was incredibly weird and alien at the time, but in answer to your question – hugely. In many respects it’s helped build a larger more diverse collective of members. Networking was quite a dirty word when we first started and I think the tech has helped breakdown some of those barriers. With the progression of social media, things changed a lot. There are now a multitude of ways of connecting with people, on and offline. So in fact I’d say it's actually harder than when we first started as there are not only more networks but more choices. It's never been more important to be absolutely clear what your message is and who for, so you can decide where and when you want to spend time connecting and communicating for best results. Being social and being human, is at the core of your decision making.

Before she whizzed off to her next 'power meeting' we had time for one more thought.

You show no signs of slowing down, so what’s next for Jackie Groundsell?

Well apart from grandchild number 6 on the way, I have lots of plans for activity in my local business community. 1230 TWC will continue to provide a great networking meetings and I’ll always be looking at ways to improve the service and provide more benefits to our members. And, despite my son recently saying that when he is 73 he’d certainly not be working at his desk, I simply said, "I enjoy what I do, what would I do if I retired?"



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