Jane Barlow Christensen, owner of Barlow Herbal, a natural supplement and beauty supply company, didn't expect to be where she's at.

She was unhappy in corporate America and wanted to do work that made her happy. Additionally, she is the daughter of a world-renowned medicinal botanist, who had developed many plant-based formulas. After her father passed away, his company died with him. 

Four years after her father's death, Jane revived his company. However, at this point, there were no clients. Just her father's plant-based formulas. She was basically starting from scratch.

Here's why she decided to re-launch her father's business. 

Two Motivations: Be Happy & Serve

What fueled Jane's motivation to be an entrepreneur? Two things, it turns out. She wanted to be happy. And she genuinely wanted to serve people.

That's it.

She didn't expect her company to grow as it has. She just wanted to do work she loved and provide some supplemental income to her husband's. However, these two motivations grew within her, becoming a raging fire that couldn't be stopped.

She fell in-love with her work and the personal growth it created in her. Most importantly, she was humbled and amazed by the results her customers were getting. They were getting better. They loved her products and the customer service Jane provided.

People's lives were changing for the better. Jane couldn't get enough. Thus, she was happy and she was serving. Exactly what she set out to do. Her why was strong, and continuing to grow; consequently, her company grew.

Nurture Your Business

Aside from being driven by her core motivations, Jane believes a huge part of Barlow Herbal's success is that she hasn't been distracted. Rather than branching out and doing lots of things good, her approach is to continue selling her father's original formulas, but to continuously improve how she does so. 

To quote Greg McKeown's Essentialism, Jane's focus is "Less, but better." As Gary Keller explains in The One Thing, Jane knows what Barlow Herbal is, and also what is isn't. She know what her One thing is. So her focus is to simply do her one thing unmistakably well.

Stay With The Times

Lastly, Jane recognizes a critical need to stay informed with the best business practices. Again, her core motivations of being happy and serving people drive her to do her work well. In order to do that, she needs to constantly be up-to-speed with what's working and what's not.

She's part of mastermind groups, has coaches, and constantly reads about how to serve more people with her products. 

For Jane, if you aren't willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are willing to learn, no one can stop you. 


What motives you?

Are your motivations compelling enough to keep you focused on your one thing?

Are your motivations important enough to keep you continuously learning and honing your craft?

Do you feel the joy in your work? 

Are you happy?

Are you serving?

Published on: Jul 24, 2016
Like this column? Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you'll never miss a post.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.