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The hugely successful Women in Monaco series continues, highlighting females of the Principality who empower, excel and inspire. This week, thanks to She Can He Can, we talk to Kathleen Jones, Founder and Director of Etiquette and Decorum.
What does success look like to you?
Success is like a big smile, a smile of satisfaction, recognition and empowerment. But behind that big smile there is knowledge, awareness and a lot of patience.
To me success is obtained by putting your knowledge and dedication into action.
Working in Etiquette I am particularly attracted to the letter “E” and on my list of ingredients for success (and I am talking “slow cooking” here not in “microwavable” terms) you will find: education, engagement, elegance, excellence and empowerment.
Of course, there is also the major ingredient of “luck”, that is to say, being at the right place at the right time, but as Sir Stelios once said, “The harder I work, the luckier I get”.
Little happens without hard work. You can follow your dreams but they can only come true with dedication and hard work. It starts with self-belief, knowing your strengths, developing your skills (and the good news is you can learn them) and follows with action and results. The harder you work, the more you will dare to take action, the more you will obtain results, and the results will be packed of your positive energy. I often say to my students that people don’t buy what you do but “why” you do it. It’s like a labour of love but with no room for faking. It takes courage to aim high and to achieve success. It takes courage to come out of your comfort zone and to step into something bigger, to be the “best you”
But success doesn’t come easy, and too often successful people are seen as people having an easy life. The truth is that every mistake is a lesson learnt, every speech is rehearsed, and every decision made is the result of careful thinking. Success is also what you leave behind. What you carry with you and what you leave behind define who you are. I wouldn’t change anything in my life, mistakes included, because all experiences make us who and what we are. We have the responsibility to carry our knowledge forward, to share it with others, with the new generations, thereby bringing history and our heritage forward.
One of my mottos is that “Etiquette & Decorum is a company that cares with a vision that scales”, and by that, I mean that direction is more important than speed and that caring for everything we do in our work is also what makes us successful.
What is the main thing that needs to change to improve entry into your field of work, including opportunities for development and the day-to-day life of women at work?
My previous work experience in Oil and Gas trading has inspired a lot of my work in Business Etiquette and Cross-culture Management. Now, having stepped out of my comfort zone myself and become an entrepreneur I can say that knowledge is invaluable and the world needs different kinds of minds to work together. This begins in childhood; showing children interesting things, different things, and explaining them the history that you don’t always find in books is essential to develop their creativity and critical thinking. To those who say that education is expensive I say that ignorance is a lot more expensive and dangerous. If we fail to learn from our mistakes we will only repeat them. One of my favourite quotes in one by George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”, very simple and very powerful. You can be a warrior or a worrier; I choose to be an elegant and educated warrior. I choose the power to say no to ignorance and to be informed. So, the main thing that needs to change is the lack of awareness and respect. I often say, “update your knowledge and upgrade your skills”, develop your soft skills so you can take responsibility and respond with ability. Education and communication are the key to success and to equality, and every day should be an occasion to be kind, work with others, and challenge ourselves to do even better. I would also say to stay grounded, no matter how successful you get, and be thankful of your super powers!
Tell us about a woman you admire and how she’s inspired you to become who you are today?
There are many women I admire from working mothers to women entrepreneurs, and I love to discover more of these incredible women through our book clubs with SheCanHeCan.
The power they have to make the world go round and the impact they have on society is tremendous.
My mother is the main reason I am who I am today. Our journey in life is completely different but she inspires my work and inspires me to be my best version of me. I dare to be different, I embrace tradition in modern times, I am inspired by people and who have a positive social impact, and I am in awe of humanity. I have great admiration for Oprah Winfrey. What she has come to do in this world is huge. She is an incredible soul, she has certainly seized the moment, her work and the impact she has had on so many will be her legacy. Her work and her words inspire me – big time.
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