Some might view this word negatively – I love it! It is my top strength according to Gallup’s Builder Profile 10 for business development. For me, it means I enjoy thinking of novel ways to move a business or people forward. I’m always brimming with new ideas and am invigorated by imagining all possible futures.


A bit of risk is good. New is fun. New is unknown – and the unknown challenges the status quo and shows you different avenues forward. Nothing is more frustrating for me than those who live within the definition of insanity: “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

I AM solution oriented

I love helping others find the path of least resistance by considering all options through active brainstorming and then selecting the best possible route to sustainable success. I don’t just want to send you on your way, I want to be there with you when you pop the champagne celebrating your achievement!

My story

Jo SelfThe question I am most often asked is, “Why do I do what I do?” The most honest response I can give is that I wish there had been a me for me when I was starting out as an entrepreneur back in 2007. I spent a lot of money on all the wrong things thinking it would magically give me the answers – or at least get me a bit closer to success. Frankly, it was frequently the opposite. And even though I knew my CliftonStrengths, I wasn’t making the most of them or using them to their advantage.

In 2015 I had a revelation. I was 42, still no closer to knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up. Couple that with a cancer scare along and a one year old little boy and whoa! It was my wake-up call, my big A-HA! I knew I had to make a change. With a good bit of reflection and honesty (with myself most of all), I realized the one thing that had stayed constant was my love for Strengths. I picked up the phone, called Gallup and 8 weeks later was in Mexico City certifying (in Spanish!) as Peru’s first and only Gallup Certified Strengths Coach.

I dream of creating a world where everyone can live to their full potential, talents aren’t wasted and happiness is contagious. As a mompreneur and ex-pat living in Mexico City (and for 11 years in Peru before that), I understand the challenges and rewards that both entail. When I’m not helping others boost their confidence and create extraordinary lives, I am often found at the sewing machine, at the movies, enjoying a glass of wine with friends or horsing around with my terribly precocious little boy, affectionately known as O.

My driving edge

My Purpose Talent: Maximizer

When I first meet nearly anyone, I want to know if they could do anything, what would that be?  What would make them happiest?  And I immediately want to help them achieve it. My WHY statement is based in my Maximizer: to live in a world where talents aren’t wasted, potentials are realized, and happiness is contagious. It also serves as my learner as I am drawn to people who I perceive as smarter or more accomplished so I may learn from them.

My Core Talent: Strategic

Ever since I can remember, I have always needed a plan to work against. If you tell me the goal, I can give you a dozen ways to get there based on resources, drive, energy, time, money – you name it. And it happens in an instant. Combine it with my IDEATION and I can just ‘see’ it. I also tend to listen with great intent, trying to understand all elements of what is the desired outcome. I will ask a lot of questions in order to ensure I come up with the options that make the most sense in the situation.

My Motor Talent: Communication

This talent keeps me going. My mission is to teach CliftonStrengths® as a second language. It’s why I’ve created the programs, The Language of You and Strengths as a 2nd Language, as well as why I’m writing the book series, PRACTICAL STRENGTHS. I believe deeply in the power of the language that our strengths provide us. I take such pride in helping others understand both themselves and others, using strengths as the bridge to make that happen.

My Relaxation Talent: Adaptability

 Many of my talents keep my brain in constant movement, so when I need a brain break, my Adaptability is what helps me the most.  It allows me to be in the present, to enjoy the here and now, and to flex with others when their needs differ from mine. Even some of my favorite hobbies like crochet, sewing, and painting by numbers requires me to focus in the moment and allows my brain to take a breather. It’s like a mental deep breath for me.

My Guilt Talent: Relator

People often ask if their strengths can change. I prefer to say they can shift and my Relator is one that has. After some very significant life changes – and losing both my parents and the grandparents who raised me – my talents shifted. Relator has moved down, and I believe it’s out of self-preservation. The core of the talent is about trust and having close, personal connections. Loyalty and close connections are still incredibly important to me, but I am clear that not everyone feels the same and, as a result, I manage this talent with more care than before.

My Background

Jo Self, Gallup Coach, Strengths, Idea Accelerator

Jo Self is on a mission to teach Strengths as a Second Language so we can Raise a Strengths-Based Generation. She seeks to create a world where everyone can live to their full potential, talents aren’t wasted and happiness is contagious. As a mompreneur and expat living in Mexico (after 12 yrs in South America), she understands the challenges and rewards that both entail. When she’s not helping others create extraordinary lives, she can be found at the sewing machine, at the movies, enjoying a glass of wine with friends or horsing around with her terribly precocious little boy, affectionately known as O.

She was Peru’s first Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and has been working with Strengths since 2003.  In the past, Jo was busy developing nationally recognized and award winning employee programs for Yum! Brands, the world’s largest fast food restaurant company. And when she wasn’t leading in-house teams to discover their strengths, she was on loan to other organizations helping them to do the same – all while serving on the national board of directors for her professional organization, ESM Association.

Once she left the corporate ranks, she started her own event business, Bon Vivant Savant, and was recognized as both a “Top Female Under 40” influencer in the community by Louisville Woman Magazine and also as a leading entrepreneur in the “40 under 40” list by Business Week Magazine.

After leaving the States she moved to Peru (eventually becoming a citizen as well) where her entrepreneurial spirit continued with a tourism start-up that won a government grant as well as being recognized by ADEX as a top 50 start-up in the country. But that dream wasn’t fulfilling her spirit and a health scare led her to her true calling, being a Strengths Advocate. Today, she continues that journey from Mexico City, serving clients in over 23 countries around the world.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This