About Joanna Martin

 This bio is written in the first person.  It has often struck me as odd that most people write biographies in the third person- but you’re here because you want to get to know me a little better… so allow me to fill you in.

I was born with a bizarre belief system.  For some reason it made sense to me that one should be able to do what they loved for a living, and get rewarded magnificently for it.  I could never understand people who tolerated things that they didn’t like. “If you don’t like it, change it” has been my motto from a young age.

jo_lean_left_lgWhat’s more, business was in my blood stream from the get go.  As the oldest child of two pharmacists, I was brought up on the dispensary floor of a 7-day-a-week pharmacy, where I learnt the value of hard work. 

My own first business was selling my mother’s overgrown zucchinis at a road side stall with my sister Kath- the first lesson I ever had in the importance of marketing to sell a product.  However my painfully shy ways prevented me from embracing too much in the way of success too early. Always pushing Kath ahead of me to do the talking, answer the phone, or take the blame- I preferred to be in the background rather than the centre of attention.

As a classic smart kid, I excelled at school without too much effort. I was a bit of a nerd, it’s true.  Being blessed with a good memory and almost enough personality to keep me out of trouble with the cool kids, I did OK.  But my shyness persisted until my grade 6 teacher saw fit to cast me in the lead role of the school play: “Mulga Bill”. 

In a true case of “sink or swim” I got on with the role, and before long had discovered a way I could be the centre of attention, without having to put my true self on the line: acting.  Give me a character and it seemed I could be whoever you needed me to be.  But the social paralysis continued as I was still pretty bad at just being me.

A decision as an 8 year old (having just discovered that Pediatrician meant “doctor for kids”) led to series of events that wound up with me enrolled in a medical degree at the age of 18 and with a personality crisis on my hands.  Desperate to be an actor, but submitting to the common sense “at least you’ll have something to fall back on” reasoning- I found my way through 6 years of medical school at the University of Tasmania, graduated with 1st class honors and survived my year as an intern.

Through a life-changing experience on the oncology ward I made the first deliberate, conscious choice of my life.  Bewildered with the work load of medicine, and frustrated with the lack of passion I had for the field, I made a promise to myself:  at the end of the year I would either have directed a play or auditioned for drama school.  Being a true overachiever, I did both.  And December saw me accepting a position at the prestigious “Actors Centre Australia” (other alumni include Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman). 

Despite protestations from grandparents and well-meaning doctors, I left my medical career to follow my heart on the stage.  And this moment marked a true shift in the way my life was led from then on.

Drama school was as one would expect- fun, enlightening, and full of crazy opportunities that a socially inept Tasmanian had not really had the chance to experience.  I was grateful for the opportunity to play characters such as “Olga” in Chekhov’s Three Sisters, and “Launce” in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and to discover a lifelong passion for dance.

Being a forward thinking drama school, ACA introduced me to the field of personal development.  Unbelievable in every way, I could not comprehend that there was an entire industry devoted to giving names to and teaching things that I had been saying to my friends and family for over a decade.  But exciting and full of promise it was- and I was sufficiently inspired to trade my dreams of acting, to being quite another sort of performer altogether.

I started my first business  as a life coach, and through a series of happy coincidences (and damn dedicated study of  marketing)  was quickly approached by some of the movers and shakers of Sydney’s business scene.  My odd mix of being intelligent enough to pull off a medical career, with my irreverent performer’s attitude made me quite memorable in the field of communications and transformation.  This meant that before long I was consulting to companies such as ANZ bank, John Fairfax Publishing and Ebay.  As well as working with individual small business owners and lesser known, but very successful firms in the Sydney business scene.

At this time I was invited by Christopher Howard to take on the role of Head of Research and Training for his organization.  At that time the company was set to become the fastest growing personal development company on the international stage, and it was in large part due to my contributions that it grew in both market reach and revenue as quickly as it did.  In my final year with  the company, our Australian partners achieved the position as Business review Weekly’s 13th fastest growing company in Australia, and the global reach extended from USA, UK and Australia to include Ireland and New Zealand as well.

In that period of time I spent thousands of hours on the stage perfecting my skills as a public speaker, educator and seminar sales person in front of literally tens of thousands of participants on 3 different continents.  Once established I turned these skills  into  systems which were taught to our new trainers so they could deliver similar results. 

Before long though, the perpetual travel became exhausting, and I wanted to spend more time with my partner Greg.  So I finished my involvement with Christopher Howard and entered a fabulous stage I call my “pyjama time” where I spent 9 months doing very little and thoroughly enjoying it.  I was truly blessed to be in a financial position to be able to take this time to recoup and refocus before launching into the next stage of business.

These days it is fair to say I’m an entrepreneur first and a speaker second.  My greatest passion is for finding the right team, the right opportunity, and making magic happen. Greg and I have a number of information marketing businesses that we enjoy growing and travelling the world to foster and to promote.  One of the most well known of these is www.SecretsOfSellingFromStage.com where I teach business owners the steps I used to make $1.25 million in my first 12 months as a professional speaker.

The business dearest to my heart is “Shift Lifestyle” a resource created specifically for business owners who want to live life on their terms.  In this day and age it is becoming more and more prevalent that adults are not prepared to work day in and day out in jobs they hate to get ahead.  Instead we are seeing more people undergoing what I refer to as “The Lifestyle Shift”- and making conscious choices to design their life and choose businesses to match.jo_lounge

In the Agrarian Age wealth was created from the land, in the Industrial Age it was created from factories and in the cities.  In the Information Age wealth is created wherever or however we like. We are limited only by imagination.  It is now easier than ever before for people to create their dream lifestyle, provided they have access to the right resources in terms of education, tools, and networks.  Shift Lifestyle was created to match “lifestyle-centric business owners” with the resources they need to succeed. 

I love to teach- so I am often found on stage somewhere around the world.  Today I teach regularly at multi-speaker events, a couple of examples are Jamie McIntyre’s 21st Century Academy, Mal Emery’s platinum programs and The Financial Freedom Bootcamp in Ireland.

I am the co-author of the besteller “Our Internet Secrets” and am about to release “The Wealth Garden” internationally. Currently I am working on my third book, “The Lifestyle Shift” which will be available soon.