Women in Business 2020: Joanna Jones
A special advertising section championing our local women in business. In partnership with Cox Communications. Submitted photo.
Sheridan and Solomon Associates
618 Riverside Drive, Macon
What is the mission of your business?
To sell houses as quickly as possible, to help people find the perfect house for them and to help them sell their house when they need help selling it.
Your advice for women wanting to start their own business in Macon?
Go for it. When I was 22 years old, I had a boutique for 13 years and it was very successful. Just jump in and do it. Don’t let anybody stop you. People will try to discourage you, but it’s your passion and you need to do it the way you want to.
How do you define success?
I think success is when you have charged forward and kept going. As long as you feel the satisfaction in yourself, success isn’t just about money or time. It’s about seeing the energy that you put forth come to fruition.
What are you most excited about right now in our community?
I am very excited about all the young people and seeing all their adventures. When I started my store, everyone thought I was insane. It’s exciting seeing people opening doors and new stores. It’s nice seeing people starting their own businesses and going for it and that makes me happy.
I had never sold houses in my life and I threw myself into it immediately. I didn’t let anything stop me from showing people houses. Don’t concentrate on yourself, concentrate on what you’re trying to accomplish. I showed a house in a nun costume once because I had a theater show right before I showed the house. I told that story to HGTV and that’s how I got on the show.
You might be surprised to that:
Real estate is very, very hard. People think it’s so easy and looks so glamorous. I work 24 hours a day. It can be difficult and I think some people don’t realize it. The process is hard and a lot of work goes into selling houses. You have to be the cheerleader, the advertiser, the coordinator. You’re also a therapist and a counselor to people. You’re helping them through the process, and making sure there aren’t any surprises.
What is the most gratifying part of your job?
To see how God works in people’s lives and pulls it all together when you trust in Him. Also, getting to know people by meeting them and helping them through their times of change is gratifying.
What has been the most challenging part of being woman in business?
I’ve never let being a woman stop me from telling it the way it is. People think you don’t know because you’re a smiley redhead with freckles. The most difficult thing is the misconception that comes with that. Being a woman is really trying. Don’t let people take advantage of you and don’t let yourself feel inferior to anyone else. I don’t like bullies, male or female, and I think most of them are insecure.
I admire women who:
Work. I admire women who are strong, put God first and go for their goals without letting themselves get intimidated by others. You have to be strong for yourself and your faith. Once you’ve got that down, you can do anything.
What was the best business advice you ever received?
From my mother: Don’t let anybody steal your joy or make you feel like you can’t do something. You can be or do anything you set your mind to. The only thing holding you back is yourself. It’s not going to come to you, you have to go after it. Don’t hold back. Enjoy every moment. F.F.E.O.P.D.Q.: Fight for each other pretty damn quick. That’s also what I tell my children. Don’t let other people have a say over your emotions. Keep your confidence up and keep going.
From my grandmother: you can do anything you want to do, but whatever you do, do the best job you can. Be the best you can be at whatever you do. Everything is important. Whatever you do in life, be the biggest and best you can possibly be. Keep a smile on your face and don’t let anyone get you down.
I hope more women will:
Get out of their shell and out of their insecurities. I think it’s better not to be jealous of others and just focus on how you can do it. We tend to look at the people to our left and right and we get jealous. Stop focusing on others. Find what you want to do and go for it. See how you can be better. Be an individual. Make yourself stand out because of you and not what other people are doing. Revel in their successes. Don’t be jealous.
How could women better support each other?
By shopping with them and encouraging them. And not gossiping, but lifting them up. There’s all kinds of ways to support women, like taking pride in other people’s success instead of tearing them down.
How could men better support women?
By supporting women and not belittling them and being proud of their friends’ accomplishments. I think just by really supporting their accomplishments and not differentiating between sexes. Be proud of everyone’s accomplishments and be excited for them. It takes a lot to prove to men that you’re as successful as they are. The proof will be in the pudding.
I wish I had known:
What people say and do is a reflection of their own insecurities and it’s not about you. I wish I had known not to be insecure about things like my weight or my looks or my money. Don’t wait until your 50 years old to feel confident about yourself. Start right this minute. At whatever age you are, stop letting people’s words bring you down. Stay confident and true to who you are.