Jo Gaines

Jo Gaines, Area Vice President for Salesforce Digital 360, on how technology allows you to be anywhere by creating touch points for consumers.

Jo Gaines, Area Vice President for Salesforce Digital 360, has spent over 20 years working in media and technology, her experience in commerce and marketing spanning from startups to mature organizations. Through Jo’s years as a leader, she’s discovered the value of showing her true self and a passion for supporting equal opportunity success. Tune into the Breakthrough Podcast, hosted by Alison Dean, and explore how a business can utilize digital empathy to build purpose, and why companies must do well by doing good. 

About the Guest

Jo Gaines has spent over 20 years working for and with technology and media companies. Since 1999, she has worked for various companies, including Krux, CBS, Yahoo, Kidspot, Sensis and Salesforce.

As Area Vice President, for Salesforce Digital360 Jo leads the company’s business development and marketing efforts, focused on commerce and marketing solutions. Prior to joining Krux (which was acquired by Salesforce in November 2016), she served as chief revenue officer at Brandscreen, an independent demand-side platform provider where she managed the Australian commercial and marketing team supporting more than 80 active accounts. Prior to Brandscreen, she was the GM of consumer brands at CBS Interactive and Sales Director at Yahoo!7. Jo also launched and served as CEO of Digital Media Options Pty, Ltd, a digital media consultancy specializing in optimizing and monetizing digital assets for brands.

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She has spent over 20 years working for and with technology and media companies, including Crux, CBS, Yahoo and Census. And fun fact, her guilty pleasure is feta cheese. Jo sent me this quote from Jane Goodall, "What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." Hi, Jo.

Jo Gaines: (01:13)

Hi, Alison. How are you?

Alison Dean: (01:15)

I'm good. How are you?

Jo Gaines: (01:17)

I'm great.

Alison Dean: (01:18)

I want to know what that quote means to you.

Jo Gaines: (01:20)

I think I've only recently discovered how important that quote is to me. I've been really fortunate recently to have found a business coach who just gets me. She understands me. I'm a serial over-thinker, and she's encouraged me to get out of that too much thinking in the moment and at the micro-level and take it to that 20,000 feet view. What is your purpose? What do you want to be known for? What's your legacy? What do you leave behind? So I've discovered it's not just a hobby of mine to support women and to mentor and lift other women up. It's much deeper than that. I really care about equal opportunity, not just gender, but right across the board. And I find that lifting up other women in particular for me gives me energy, gives me focus. It gives me momentum. And so I'm making career decisions. I'm making life decisions on: How can I have more of that sort of social impact versus what's going to give me title, what's going to give me status, what's going to give me money? It's much bigger than that.

Alison Dean: (02:29)

This is why I like you so much, Jo. I want to know what a typical day looks like for you at Salesforce.

Jo Gaines: (02:36)

It's really important to remember the stage of growth I think that Salesforce is at. We're a 22-year-old company. We have been built on a number of acquisitions. We established ourselves as the first full cloud-based CRM, and made a CRM solution available to anyone, any company, of any size. Now we're at this point, we most recently acquired Slack. We've got a lot more capability. And the part of the business I look after is very focused on our commerce and marketing solutions for customers. And so whilst I've had a lot of startup experience in my career, I'm in this relatively developed, relatively mature business, which means I do have to deal with a lot of internal meetings, a lot of forecast meetings, and reporting meetings, and go to market and strategy meetings.

Jo Gaines: (03:34)

I also get to work with a lot of customers, so I'm an exec sponsor on a number of accounts, so I get to speak with customers to know what's on their minds. We run internet circles. We run big events that I speak at, so I do a lot of speaking. I mentor people both in and outside of the business, but also one on ones with my team. My days are busy. They're really full, and I love that because I love being busy. And I love that I get to work and I do a job that I really enjoy.

Alison Dean: (04:03)

Okay. I want to know. What does digital transformation mean to you?

Jo Gaines: (04:09)

I started out in digital back in '99, and that was when a lot of people thought that the internet was a fad. And digital is many things. Right? I was speaking to a client yesterday from an airline, and she was saying, "Our engineering teams are using digital tools. It's not just our marketing and IT teams. It's across the board." Digital transformation to me is really that idea of making things accessible no matter where you are, no matter what state you're in. I don't mean geographically, I mean like state of mind, but of course, location.

Jo Gaines: (04:48)

Digital allows you to be anywhere and do anything. I think true digital transformation, successful digital transformation is a term I've kind of picked up recently about digital warmth, so creating those touchpoints that are meaningful, that matter, that are appropriate, that are relevant for our customers, for our consumers, making sure that it's something that builds a bond, builds a relationship. Companies within certain industries are looking outside of their industry now. We're working with TELCOs, utilities, who really want to look to retailers for inspiration, who really see themselves as retailers now. They think about digital commerce and digital marketplaces, and really kind of evolving their business beyond what is more of a utility at the moment. Digital transformation, you can break it down. It has lots of components, but it is all-encompassing.

Alison Dean: (05:49)

I would agree with that. What project comes to mind for you that's most representative of a digital transformation?

Jo Gaines: (05:56)

I really truly do love the company I work for. I love Salesforce. And I think that these past two years, there's been some sort of survive and thrive stories. And I think that our company has really thrived. And what we decided really early on at the start of this pandemic was we were going to shift some resources and create some solutions and some tools that meant companies could safely interact with their employees and bring them back to work, or bring them back to an office in a really secure way. Trust is our number one value at Salesforce, so we put that at part of everything we do.

Jo Gaines: (06:36)

And we built this solution called Bizarrely, the domain was there when we got it. And it's this safe way for companies to check in on employees, for employees to actually sign up for a shift, or to say they're going to be in the office, to book a desk, to track, temperature checks and have they had a test recently. And it was a whole process, so we used it ourselves. And so I had the app on my phone, and I could check-in for a shift. I could see how many people were going to be in the office at the times when we were allowed to be in the office. We're back in lockdown right now. But we could go into the office and you could see where you were going to sit, and you could also do your health check and say, "I don't have any symptoms," and all of the things that we need to know.

Jo Gaines: (07:26)

We had clients using it. We rolled it out. Companies, we rolled it out to government organizations. It became a solution that a couple of months prior, people didn't know they needed. And now everybody needed it. And we're an established company. We've been around for a while. For us to be able to go, "Hang on. Stop. We're going to move some resources. We're going to stop what we're doing over here and we're going to move people over here to build a solution that's right for now." We built Salesforce anywhere. I was on a COVID task force internally to work out how we were going to provide enablement to our teams. We moved fast. It was pretty impressive to see how we could respond to that.

Alison Dean: (08:04)

So right now, is that becoming more of a focal point for the Salesforce team,

Jo Gaines: (08:09)

It has become, yeah. Over the last year and a half, it's really become a really important solution. It's been an important solution for a number of different, as I said, government departments. We've worked with state governments in Australia, but globally as well.

Alison Dean: (08:25)

That's a really good example of timing playing into a transformation. Right? When a business has the capacity to shift things to spend time ideating on a solution like this, that's pretty cool.

Jo Gaines: (08:39)

Yeah. We talk about this concept of doing well by doing good. We've seen now that the world I think universally is more concerned about companies that have a purpose and stand for something, and give back to the community. I think generally in the world, we all think that businesses have more responsibility to do well by doing good. And yeah, employees want to work for a company that is doing something that feels good, that gives back to the world in a meaningful way.

Alison Dean: (09:13)

Totally. Okay. I want to know, given that you've been in technology for a while. What comes to mind as the most memorable project that you've been part of and why?

Jo Gaines: (09:24)

Well, this is a hard thing to answer because I've been involved in some pretty incredible things. I got to work on the first website for the Sydney Olympics in 2000. That was pretty early digital website times. I was selling advertising, but I was still a part of the team. And I got to go to a whole lot of the Sydney Olympics events as well. But just building this digital presence for the Olympics, that whole idea of digital transformation, when like I said, some people still thought it was a bit of a fad, and so getting the resource and getting the right audience there and selling to advertisers, convincing them that this was actually really viable option, that people would be tuning in online as well as on TV.

Jo Gaines: (10:15)

And prior to that when I started in digital in '99, my interest was piqued when the founder of the organization I was working for, it was a magazine company, was sitting in this management meeting, and we'd built this website. And she said, "I want more images on the website, but I want it to go faster." And that sparked my curiosity because I was like, "Logically, I don't think that works. There's dial up speeds." But I started researching, and I started to discover this interest in digital that I've maintained ever since. And it was one of those transformational moments where I thought, "I'm really interested in this. I like where this is going." It put me on the trajectory I've been on, just that idea of: What can you do online? What can you build? What can you create? And it felt like the opportunities were limitless and it still feels like that.

Alison Dean: (11:09)

The Olympics project, would you attribute that as being the most difficult project that you've been part of? Or is there another project that you would put that stamp on?

Jo Gaines: (11:19)

I wouldn't say it's been difficult. I think that sometimes the most difficult projects are actually the smaller projects, where customers want some quick wins. I've worked with lots of customers. We want some quick wins. We want sort of a point solution. And then where do you go next? What's the next evolution? I think they seem more challenging on the surface, but the projects that are being transformational across cloud, we want to move data between different sources, we want to build a profile store, we want to activate out, we want to pull data back in, bringing that all to life is hard of course. But you've got a vision, and you've got a roadmap. And you know where you're going and you know how you're going to unify it. When it's all these bits and pieces, and then you start trying to pull it together, and there's many customers like that, it's much harder.

Jo Gaines: (12:10)

But we started recently working with a client here called Mecca Cosmetica, they're the largest beauty destination in Australia. And they pride themselves on their physical store experience. So the founder, Jo Horgan, she's just a wonderful human being. And she worked for a cosmetic company, and she wanted to change the experience for women in particular, that when they went into a store, they would be treated really well, that they would feel special, that the person in there would know them, would understand them, would recommend things to them, wouldn't be pushy, would just make it a really pleasurable experience. How do you make that digital? How do you transform the in-store to the digital anywhere? And she has this incredible vision about where she wants to take her company. And so I would help her bring that to life.

Jo Gaines: (13:06)

And it is in stages, and it is in pieces. But when you have that vision and you know where you're going, and you know what the end state, whether you get there, or whether that shifts and changes along the way, it's so much easier to work with then. So I guess the most difficult projects I work on is where we don't have the long-term vision.

Alison Dean: (13:25)


Jo Gaines: (13:27)

It's hard for companies right now as well. A lot of companies shifted to here and now. They're starting to think longer term now.

Alison Dean: (13:35)

Interesting. Okay. Given the velocity that technology changes, what recent projects have you learned the most? And what were those new learnings?

Jo Gaines: (13:45)

Well, I work in a part of the business, so I mentioned before the marketing and commerce solutions. And so the evolution we're seeing in marketing around the absence of cookies and how do we deal with first-party data. Is the world ready for that headless commerce, auto management and payments? The customer data platform, CDP, and the idea of having a place where given the restrictions now on cookies, what is your source of truth? What is your first-party data? What do you have access to? And what can you use? And how can you use it? That whole world is new and challenging. And educating the team, like people internally, let alone educating the industry is a big challenge.

Jo Gaines: (14:34)

There's a lot of noise and there's a lot of confusion. We talk about this idea of customer success. And I think it's important for us to be really honest with customers about what we can do, and what we can't do, and what they can do, and what they can't do. What are they ready for and what are they not? But I think a lot of the evolution is happening in my world.

Alison Dean: (14:55)

A fun breakthrough episode for you to check out is the one I did with Kelly from Ethica because literally, that's a company whose business is all about data privacy. And I think you'd walk away with some interesting little tidbits from that one.

Jo Gaines: (15:08)

I'll check it out. It's an interesting area.

Alison Dean: (15:11)

It is. Well, and I think it's ever-evolving. Again, it's another example of just how the plates are moving. Right? And things are shifting, and we can do as much as we can to try and see the light at the end of the tunnel, but none of us really know. I think one of the recurring themes in most of my conversations with all of the tech leaders that I talk to is just how interesting it will be to kind of watch these back in five to 10 years and just go, "Wow, how much things have changed," just because things are changing at just a greater velocity. They really are.

Jo Gaines: (15:45)

I think that brands and companies need to treat consumers with more care and more respect. You know that little box that pops up around cookie data collection, that doesn't mean anything to anyone. Nobody actually knows what that means. And anyone who does has an expectation then of what the experience is going to look like if I say yes. And often, I'm underwhelmed.

Alison Dean: (16:11)

Okay. What are some of the greatest lessons you've learned from working in media and technology?

Jo Gaines: (16:16)

That the human element is still really important. We talk a lot about the role of AI, and we have our own AI solution with Einstein here at Salesforce, and still, there’s a need for that human element to make sure that we're not missing nuance, that we're aware of ethics and privacy, and also diversity and inclusion. I've also learned a lot about my own leadership style, and I think that even what we've seen in the last few years is that you need to have patience, you need to have compassion. Everybody learns in different ways. Everybody learns at a different pace. And you need to provide different types of learning for people, for teams and for customers. Not everybody can just do an online enablement and go, "I got it. I can run with that now." You need lots of different ways of learning.

Jo Gaines: (17:11)

I mean, this is just more of a generic thing, but assume good intent. I think that everybody really has the right intentions. We hear this so often. No one got out of bed this morning wanting to make life difficult, or wanting to challenge. But particularly now, where we've been locked down, or we've been through this big change in our world, we get a little short with each other and we get a little impatient with each other, so trying to practice a little more patience and kindness is really important. And just like I said, the opportunities, the potential is limitless.

Jo Gaines: (17:46)

You also need that space and time to ideate and create and strategize. You can't just keep running at stuff head-on. You've got to take a moment out. And we're doing no internal meeting Fridays at the moment, so that people actually have time and space to focus on: Where are we going? Where are we headed? What could that look like? What should the business look like in six months? What should it look like in 12 months? What does it look like in five years? And that might look different six months from now. But if you're not taking the time to think about it and be purposeful, how do you expect to end up there?

Alison Dean: (18:21)

Okay. Shifting gears. Can you talk to us about digital cadets?

Jo Gaines: (18:25)

Yeah. That was a while ago, but that was a training program we did, an intensive training program, where we would take people through an all-encompassing, if we want to roll in digital, you can come along and do this course. And you did your Google certification, a bunch of other sort of basic, fundamental certifications, but also, we taught you presentation skills. We taught you sales skills. We really got you market-ready. And then Brendon Cropper, who was sort of the brainchild of, he then had agreements with organizations where they would take on these grads, these cadets. And if successful, then those organizations would cover the cost of the digital cadet's program. It was a really cool idea, so if you were willing to front up, take the time, invest your own money, then there was the promise of, we'll get you into the workforce in a digital role at the end of it. And some of those people are now running big agencies and digital businesses right across the country, so it's amazing to come across them wherever they've ended up.

Jo Gaines: (19:32)

It's funny as well, you learned that when people were paying for it out of their pocket and it was a big deal because it was thousands of dollars, they were committed. But if their mom, or dad, or someone else had put them up for it, they just didn't show up. They came for the first day and that was it. It's interesting.

Alison Dean: (19:49)

What happened to that program?

Jo Gaines: (19:50)

It became sort of a little less relevant because a lot of companies were starting to invest in that sort of training themselves.

Alison Dean: (19:58)

Got it.

Jo Gaines: (19:59)

Brendon started doing more training for organizations and less, I had a full-time role as well. But it was great, that probably started my passion for mentoring as well.

Alison Dean: (20:11)

That's cool. Okay. This will be a fun one. Wendy McEwan was recently on the podcast. And she has this question for you. You've always said, "Everyone is in control of the change they want to see." After the crazy of 2020 and 2021, does this still ring true for you?

Jo Gaines: (20:31)

Wow. Thanks, Wendy. Just throw those at me without warning often. I think more than ever, we can be the change that we want to see in the world. And I think that this time, I think people's hearts and minds are more open right now because we're on high alert, so we're open to receiving more and we're open to giving more. Therefore, I think a lot of people, and we've heard about the great resignation, people are really contemplating their future. And what's it all about? The things I mentioned at the beginning, purpose and legacy, that's on people's minds. What is it really about for me?

Jo Gaines: (21:13)

And I have heard so many people saying, "Of course, we all need money to live and survive. But it's so much more than that. I want to know that what I'm doing matters. I want to know that what I'm doing means something to someone." So I think many, many people are in this phase of: How am I going to look going forward? How do I want to be seen?

Alison Dean: (21:36)

We touched on this a little bit, but maybe we can go a little deeper, more about the biggest lessons that you've learned from being a leader in technology.

Jo Gaines: (21:45)

Well, the biggest lessons I've learned from being a leader just generally, and obviously, I've mostly worked in digital roles, this seems a little cliché right now as well, but being yourself. I think for a lot of years, I tried to be someone else. I tried to be who I thought I needed to be. I tried to be who I thought the organization wanted me to be. I tried to be who I thought my team needed me to be. I was second-guessing. I think we all want to be liked, but not everyone is going to like every decision you make. They'll respect you for making a decision. So making decisions, regardless of how they're going to be perceived, is really important as a leader, that I do have different qualities to other leaders.

Jo Gaines: (22:34)

I do have different qualities to other leaders in technology, to other sales leaders, to other digital leaders. So I'm not typical, and I've often thought that was a weakness, but actually, now I realize that it's a strength. And be comfortable with people not always agreeing with you. You know that doesn't mean they don't like you. It just means they're often not on board. I've also recognized for myself professionally, I love spending time with customers. I want that to be part of what I do. I really love listening. I love learning. I love being challenged. The greatest win, the greatest gift, is when a customer has a good, positive experience and thanks you, and tells you that you're integral to their success. That spurs me on.

Jo Gaines: (23:27)

And always be learning, always be researching. Always be reading and listening to podcasts like yours. I used to spend a lot of my time listening to music when I'd walk, and now I spend a lot of my time listening to podcasts.

Alison Dean: (23:41)

Okay. What do you want your direct reports to remember you for?

Jo Gaines: (23:44)

I would like them to remember me for the things that are also my core values, so my integrity, my honesty. Integrity to me is just doing what you think is the right thing, and doing what you say you're going to do, and being really thoughtful about your approach. Equality, so someone who has given everybody equal opportunity, that there's no sort of club, and there's no preferences. There really is equal opportunity and you get back what you put in. So if you work hard and you're an incredible, reliable and trustworthy person, then I'll see you for that, and I'll celebrate you for that.

Jo Gaines: (24:27)

And determination is my third value. And I think people see how hard I work and how determined I am to be successful to create that legacy. I get things done quick. I don't procrastinate on things. I'm a determined, focused, why put off until tomorrow what you can do today type person.

Alison Dean: (24:50)

There's more tomorrow. Isn't there?

Jo Gaines: (24:51)

There is. I hope they would see me as that, and also a leader who really doesn't ask anyone to do anything that I wouldn't do myself.

Alison Dean: (25:01)

What are the most important lessons that you've learned from your mentors?

Jo Gaines: (25:04)

I have a number of mentors in the company, as well as externally. I would put Wendy in that category as well. She is someone I really look up to and I've learned a lot from over many years of my career. She's very smart. one of my mentors at Salesforce talks about gratefulness and having grateful moments. And one of the things that I do in our leadership coaching at Salesforce, because we have this course called Becoming a Sales Leader, and I'm one of the coaches for that, I talk about taking a moment at the end of my presentation, taking a couple of minutes to just text, or send at email, or write to somebody who has helped you in your career to get to where you are. Just acknowledging those people who have been really important to you on your journey and why. We all like to get that feedback.

Jo Gaines: (25:54)

That's important, so I'd encourage everyone who listens to this to do the same thing. Just take a couple of minutes. I now end up doing it on a fairly regular basis. You then have to sort of look within and go, "Who helped me get to where I am and how?"

Alison Dean: (26:09)

You've just planted seeds in my brain, Jo. I'm thinking, "Now I have another few things I have to do tomorrow."

Jo Gaines: (26:15)

Also, that you are in control. So I think for many moments in my career, I have almost sort of sat back and been an observer going, "Well, when are they going to ask me to lean into that? Or when are they going to recognize that I could do that? Or when are they going to ask me to be a part of that?" And what I've learned is that I'm in control, so I can step in and I can say, "I'm going to do this," or, "I'm going to run this," or, "I'm going to help with this. I want to play a role in that." And it works almost every time. Sitting back and waiting, and often getting frustrated that people don't see me, don't see that I could help here, or they don't see what I'm capable of there. You have the power to step in, and so the sooner you could recognize that, the better.

Alison Dean: (27:06)

Okay. What projects are especially interesting to you as you continue on in your career?

Jo Gaines: (27:11)

So I spoke before about headless commerce and CDP, and what's happening with data. And I always want to be learning. I care, having some level of expertise in an area is really important to me. I don't want to be a Jack of all trades, so really the focus on the marketing and commerce has sort of been all pervasive through my career. And I think now that everybody's recognized that digital will be a part of everything we do, I feel like I'm in a good position to provide some knowledge and experience there, so that's really important.

Jo Gaines: (27:52)

I think where we're going with this idea of being able to sort of port your data anywhere, and Salesforce really sort of built this idea of CRM, the profile store of a customer record. But how do you bring that to life? You want to sell to them. You want to market to them. You need to talk to them. How does that happen? And how do you make that always on? And I think what we'll now start to see in the airline industry and retail is that you'll need to be able to do more on your phone before you get to an airport. You'll need to be able to do more digitally than ever before because we'll still have some COVID limitations ongoing. And so we'll need to work with customers to be creative and innovative about how they do that and solve new problems for them that we didn't see two years ago, and that is what I love.

Jo Gaines: (28:48)

I love being asked to come in and go, "Hey, we've got this problem." We've been really successful doing this. And there's no one to copy. You're sort of starting with a blank sheet of paper.

Alison Dean: (28:58)

It's interesting now that there is so much competition from a marketing standpoint. Right? And all these different tools and all these different ways to reach a consumer, and what that looks like, and consumers getting more and more savvy about all of those things, and either welcoming it on certain levels and pushing it back on other levels, so I myself am very curious to see how that evolves.

Jo Gaines: (29:23)

We have this futurist at Salesforce. His name is Brian Solis. He's incredible. He's written eight books. I've been trying to write a book my whole life, and he's written eight. The way he speaks is just wonderful. You can really relate to him. He just puts it into common language. And he talks about ... You know the five love languages?

Alison Dean: (29:43)


Jo Gaines: (29:44)

He now says there's a sixth love language, which is digital empathy. So it's about those warm moments that we talked about before, like when you as a brand are going to connect with a customer, make sure that you do it with that sort of digital empathy. Make sure it's meaningful. Make sure it matters. Make sure that it's something they can connect to. And I think again, because their hearts and minds are open, we will make connections with brands. And I know there are some, there's a brand that I bought from yesterday called Outland Denim in Australia, and they sent me this little card. You're really one of the good ones. Thanks to you, a young woman is now enjoying a life of freedom. That's human rights woven right into your clothes. And help us spread the word.

Jo Gaines: (30:31)

And so the whole business has been built on purpose. That's a meaningful moment. That builds affinity. That builds a relationship between me and that brand. And I love them so much, I've invested in their organization. But that's it, right? How you build that connection, that may be a connection for life now.

Alison Dean: (30:52)

It's so magical, marketing. It's so magical. What other future innovations are you excited about? And that could be personally or professionally. Where do you see things progressing?

Jo Gaines: (31:05)

I love that I can now be talking to you on the other side of the world, and we now all know that we can really do anything from anywhere. But equally, I am desperate to be with people. Sydney has been in lockdown for over 100 days now. Melbourne had the longest lockdown of any city in the world. And I'm craving that time with people. When you're talking with a customer and you can't feel them and connect with them, it isn't the same. But I also know I don't have to be on airplanes anywhere near as much as I was in the past. I'm excited about helping children — teaching kids about the importance of technology. I have two kids of my own, but also going into schools and helping out with the knowledge that I have around technology and what I think the future might look like. I love that.

Jo Gaines: (32:05)

Salesforce have acquired Slack. And I think initially, it was pretty nascent. I mean, if you use Slack, you know Slack. Now the world is cottoning on and going, "That's really clever. Slack's really cool." Slack is enablement and it kind of takes away the need for lots of meetings and lots of calls. So how we work in the future is really exciting to me. I think it will be quite different. I don't completely dislike working from home. I want to still work from home some of the time. And it also means I get to connect with my kids. I get to connect with my family. Some days I can spend that extra couple hours of commute time doing some exercise or looking after myself.

Alison Dean: (32:48)

Which is very important.

Jo Gaines: (32:49)

Yes, so I'm excited about those things.

Alison Dean: (32:52)

Can you talk about a breakthrough that you've had recently?

Jo Gaines: (32:55)

So I'm the executive sponsor on the Salesforce Women's Network in Australia. And we recently had a panel on domestic violence. And we had Rosie Batty, who's a survivor, and also, Annabelle, who runs the women's community shelters. And they were just talking about the incidence of domestic violence during lockdown, and what's happened during COVID. And I spoke about some personal stories, and it was a moment for me. And it was a breakthrough. It was like I have a story that can be relatable to lots of other people. I had lots of outreach afterwards. And then the community shelters actually asked me if I would become a community shelter ambassador.

Alison Dean: (33:42)


Jo Gaines: (33:43)

And since then, I've been asked to speak on different panels and in different talks. It's kind of opened up this channel for me to help support women who are experiencing hardship, women who have not been as fortunate as I have to have a career, and have money, and to be able to make decisions in my life. I'm now discovering that I have a voice and I can help people in a way that goes beyond coaching and mentoring within a work environment. It's much bigger than that.

Alison Dean: (34:17)

That's awesome. Is there anything you want to leave us all with?

Jo Gaines: (34:20)

I'm really starting to realize, and I'm not that old, I'm 45, but I'm starting to realize that our time here is short, and so don't take a moment for granted. If something doesn't feel right, if you're sitting somewhere and you're wondering, "What's this all about?” And, “Maybe it'll change tomorrow," think about what I said earlier. You are in control. You have control of your own destiny. And if you're not achieving the things, if you're not feeling that sense of wholeness, of gratitude, of exhaustion, then think about what you can put your mind to and how you can make an impact on the world. How can you change a life? Whether it's one, or hundreds, or thousands, we all have that in us. We all have that ability.

Alison Dean: (35:06)

That's a really good way to punctuate things. Thank you, Jo.

Jo Gaines: (35:09)

Thanks for having me, Alison. I really enjoyed it.

Alison Dean: (35:12)

Thank you for tuning into The Breakthrough, brought to you by TheoremOne. Make sure to hit that subscribe button and leave us a comment. You can find us wherever you listen to podcasts. And for more great content, follow us on Twitter and Instagram at Breakthru Pod. That's Break T-H-R-U-P-O-D. I'm your host, Alison Dean, until next week. 

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