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Jo Malone CBE on following your dreams and learning to fail: "That's life"

Renowned perfumer Jo Malone CBE opens up about succeeding – and failing – at business, and why it's more important than ever to embrace your ambitions

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"Wear it, use it, spray it, eat it, drink it." These are the wise words from renowned perfumer Jo Malone CBE that resonate with so many of us living through the lockdown. Jo feels strongly about not keeping things 'for best' and that we should all be spoiling ourselves now; whether it's spraying cologne on your bedsheets, or opening up a bottle of champagne you've been saving for a special occasion. "Life is to be enjoyed every single day and when I was fighting cancer I realised that saving things, whether it is the front parlour or your best dress, isn't a life. Remember today is the best day. You're alive today."

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jo malone cbe

Jo received a CBE in 2018 for her services to the economy

Jo believes it's not down to just your surroundings - but seizing the day extends to your own potential, too. And that if you've always put off the idea of starting your own business, now is the time to think about it seriously. "People have been behind four walls and locked doors and thought, what is my dream, what makes me happy, what is it I really want to do? I can think of six people off the top of my head who started their businesses during the lockdown and they're seeing a real growth in it. Whether it starts from a kitchen table or garage these young shoots of new business are going to be very promising. It's what our country needs." 

Jo predicts the 'new normal' will lead to burst of creativity. "I think there's going to be an explosion of vibrancy and creativity that will be fascinating. Competition breeds competition. And that makes us more agile and better than we thought we could be."

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Working on a new business doesn’t come without its challenges - Jo found this out when setting up Jo Loves in 2011. "The first time the parachute picked up and I enjoyed the journey. The second time I jumped, my parachute didn't open as quickly so it was a very, very scary time." Jo has since gone on to massive success, including a recent partnership with high-street giant Zara.

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She thinks a lot of what holds people back is the fear of failing but believes this is simply part of life and makes you much more appreciative of your achievements. "You cannot sit there and worry you're going to fail because I guarantee you, you will, you'll fail. That’s life. It’s the thing that makes us resilient and makes us look at life differently. Jo believes one of the keys to success is building relationships, and that you shouldn't feel intimidated about networking, meeting other people, learning from them, and sharing their experiences. "There are two really important words when it comes to making contacts; thank you, thank you, thank you. If somebody does something for you and opens up a door, say thank you. People really remember things like that, they remember politeness. Always remember to say thank you."

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