Lorna Jane Clarkson is one of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs. In an extract from our CEO Pippa Hallas’ new book Bold Moves, Pippa chats to Lorna about talking bold and owning your story.
Lorna Jane Clarkson is the reason we spend so much time in activewear. The founder of Australian fashion brand Lorna Jane Active, the former aerobics instructor turned entrepreneur kickstarted the activewear trend 30 years ago. Today, she has over 200 stores in 17 countries and a thriving online business. She’s also written six books on health and wellbeing and is an inspiring motivational speaker.
It’s really an understatement for me to say I’m a fan of what Lorna has achieved. I know, from personal experience, the hard work, tenacity and resilience that’s required to run a business let alone maintain your position as the market leader in what’s now become a saturated category. A true trailblazer and a woman I admire and respect, I am thrilled that Lorna agreed to share some of the bold moves she’s made over the years and some insights into how she keeps her business at the top of its game.
I’ve dedicated a chapter in my book to my discussion with Lorna. Here are three of my favourite take outs from our chat:
1. GET OUT OF YOUR (OWN) WAY:
“I think what stops people boldly going after their dreams is mostly their fear of failure,” Lorna shares. “Living a bold life is about accepting the fact that failure is part of the process and it WILL happen. We need to become comfortable with making mistakes and looking a little foolish along the way, because when you set out to try something new it’s the mistakes that teach us the lessons that ultimately get us to where we want to be!“
2. A BOLD MOVES REQUIRES A LITTLE BIT OF CRAZY
“My boldest move (and I think one of my first) would have to be the day I quit the security of my full-time job to start making Activewear, a category that didn’t even exist at the time. People thought I was crazy and they weren’t afraid to tell me,” Lorna admits. “But you know what, maybe a little bit of crazy is exactly what you need to go against popular opinion and find the courage to make your bold move!“
3. FIND COMFORT IN DISCOMFORT
“As a business owner and entrepreneur, it’s my job to make sure my brand doesn’t stand still, which requires me to make bold moves time and time again. I’ve learned to enjoy the energy rush that comes with trying new things because it means that I’m moving my business forward,” explains Lorna.
“I think you need to get comfortable with a higher level of intensity in everything that you do if you want to live a bold life and be successful. But it’s comforting to know that as time goes by it doesn’t feel so intense because you somehow become used to it and what used to be ‘intense’ becomes your new normal.”
Living a bold life is about accepting the fact that failure is part of the process and it will happen.