Play a bigger game

10.05.11 | Posted in Women & Business Women In Business

One thing I suck at is self-promotion. I watch a lot of people around me propel their businesses forward through being vocal about their achievements, but it’s something I know I have to get better at.

Sure, I blog and do the occasional media interview but do I put effort into it and prioritise it? Nope. Undoubtedly, one of the best ways you can get your name out there and meet others and increase your confidence is to enter business awards, and there are none better than the Telstra Business Women’s Awards.

Each year I am consistently impressed at the calibre of the Awards program and the various initiatives associated with it. It’s a massive investment that Telstra makes each year and it sends a clear message that they’re behind women in business in this country.

Over the years, I’ve loved watching the journeys of friends who have succeeded at the Awards and how they’ve gone on to play different (bigger) games through being involved.

Imagine! That could be you! Why don’t you throw caution to the wind and nominate yourself today? Or, have a think about who in your network deserves the accolade just as much? All you need to do is click here. I make it a personal habit each year to sit down and think of a handful of women who I believe deserve the recognition and then I nominate them, and I’d love for you to do the same.

And while I may suck at self-promotion, one thing I’m really good at is promoting others! I’d like to kick off a conversation on which businesswoman inspires you. Leave a comment below and you’ll go in the draw to win a Business Chicks membership (valued at $149 per year).


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  1. Emma

    OK which businesswomen inspire me?
    1) Narelle Anderson from – an all round top chick who’s taken on the big boys with past businesses in waste management and is now building a fab business in a growing category (public place recycling.)
    2) Naomi Simson of RedBalloon because she is 100% her word and always does what she says she’s going to do.
    3) My friend Maria Sipka who moved to Europe to start her business and is a constant source of inspiration. She’s constantly asking the hard questions, educating herself, doing things for others – and she has the best laugh in the world.
    4) Valerie Khoo who’s the Director of the Sydney Writers’ Centre (and editor of the Business Chicks magazine, Latte.) Val is hands down the most hard working person I know – I will often be emailing her at 2am on Saturday mornings and she will often be responding :)
    5) Natalie Bloom because she is the nicest, most humble person you’ll ever meet (and uber successful.)
    6) Dani Carey from Espresso Media – we started Latte together years ago now and I have learnt so much from her. She is the most intelligent, funny, beautiful gal around.
    Shouldn’t have started this because I could think of about 500 others, but the above is a good start…

  2. Victoria

    Inspirational women.. There are so many!
    At the moment I’m inspired by Helen & Anna at Baby Goes Retro, two Swedes who opened a web shop stocking all the coolest brands from Scandinavia and are doing really well convincing Aussies that a girl can wear brown with orange pigs :)

  3. Suzy Cassio

    Ita Buttrose – because she worked so hard to break down barriers and also because she always took the time to help people coming up behind her. She is dignified and professional.

    Amanda Gome from SmartCompany because she is talented and hard working, and always open to hearing about good ideas.

    Tara Byrne and Linda Marshall from Immediacy – such talented women, so grounded and a joy to work with.

  4. Rebecca Flynn

    Julie Winterbottom – O2 Speakers…..Jules has been the most amazing mentor, manager and friend which is an incredibly hard act to balance. She is the queen of inspiration, managing speakers who motivate the entire business world, and is seamless in everything that she does. Changing the game and playing a bigger game is a daily habit for Jules…..and my only hope is that someday I can conduct business as gracefully as she does.

  5. Mihad Ali

    I am better at promoting other people than myself. I think that is one of my talents (haha) as I do it often.

    That is a fantastic idea, sitting down and thinking of a handful of gorgeous gals that do great work. I have a few in my head already :-).

  6. Louise Maree

    Cassandra Daniels inspires me! She has not only taken her biggest “wound” and made it into a life and income generator, she has removed the taboo from women loving the own sexual and sensual essence. Cassandra’s Collection is the most divine expression of Femininity and “tools” that enables all of us to express and enhance the gift of being WOMAN!

    Louise Maree

  7. Abbie Allen

    I am inspired by numerous women including Naomi Simson, Anita Roddick, Oprah, Janine Allis and you Emma (!), but I have recently met a local Adelaide business woman by the name of Nicole Underwood who has built a very successful recruitment company, Entree Recruitment, which she started at the age of 23 and has done great things! She took time out of her busy schedule to meet with me and I took away many, many things from our meeting and we now stay in touch. She is a ‘real’ person, and a young business woman who now inspires me in my business every day.

  8. Bec

    Debra Rickwood (my mom) – commutes to another state for three days every week, but still manages her work and family exceptionally – making everyone in her life feel like they are a priority

    Emma Isaacs – everyone knows why! But what they may not know is how good she is at managing staff and making them feel valued and motivated.

  9. Sarah Morton

    Definitely Sarah Wilson – a journalist turned TV presenter, brilliant blogger and now author who knows exactly what she stands for and what her brand represents, and knows that to succeed you need think about how you can help your audience, not how they can help you.

    – Sarah

  10. Olivia

    Ronnie Kahn inspires me. Running a successful charity is as demanding as being a CEO of large corporate! Combining business and philanthropy is inspiration to me, woman that work hard for others less fortunate and do their bit to make a difference.

  11. Jane Scott

    So many inspiring women out there but to name my favourites…

    1/ Mia Freedman – I really enjoy her writing (both online and her articles in the Sunday life magazine). I always find the comments it generates on her website interesting to read.. Even if I don’t agree with them all.

    2/ Naomi Simson – I have her on my list too. My business is an experience provider for Red Balloons and therefore gain many happy customers through her business. I also really admire the way she advocates for employee engagement as the key to staff happiness and retention. Her own blog and comments are also something I find a great read.

    3/ Amanda Gome – always has a good selection of articles for a small business like myself that I can get in bite-sized pieces on the run.

    Emma, you too are an inspiration. I remember reading your article about how you aren’t afraid to say you enjoy work and are happy to let people do what they’re good at.. And to admit mashing bananas is not your forte. I always feel I have to justify why I enjoy my work as much as I do spending time with my family, but you’re article made me feel ‘I’m not alone’. Thanks – and keep the inspiration flowing!

  12. Stacey Sullaphen

    The beauty of sucking at self promotion, yet excelling at promoting others, is that when you do it from a foundation of genuine admiration, inspiration and respect, which it is clear you do, you can’t can’t help but be promoted also!

    It’s called karma and sisterhood, and you Emma Isaacs, are a bright and shining example of both!

    Now onto the women who inspire me:

    *All mothers in business!
    *Emma Isaacs (and not just because this is your blog)
    *Bianca Shugg, founder of Peekaboo Magazine
    *Danielle Miller, founder of Enlighten Education
    *Nathalie Brown, founder of Easy Peasy Kids
    *Myself, because I do a bloody good job at wearing many hats, which I was taught to believe is wrong yet I wouldn’t have it any other way…who wants to wear the same hat all the time anyway?

    and loads more but these women inspire me with the passion for their field, their authenticity and willingness to ALWAYS help others!

  13. Yvonne Robinson

    My girlfriend Amanda Newton. Mother of 2 gorgeous kids and also runs her own accounting business, Negotis. She always come across so professional, in control and always switched on and on the go. I get tired just watching her live her life, she’s amazing!!!!

  14. Jodie Benveniste

    Gail Kelly of Westpac
    Delia Timms of WhatShouldIWear and ex-Find a Babysitter
    Emma Isaacs of Business Chicks – yes, you!

    To name just a few…

  15. Valerie Khoo

    Thanks for the shout out Em. The feeling is entirely mutual!

    And yes, I highly recommend that business women enter awards programs like the Telstra Businesswomen’s Awards and Telstra Business Awards. The process of entering is extremely valuable and the networking opportunities are tremendous.

  16. Sinead Zille

    Jennifer Jones – she is not a businesswoman as such but the most creative and talented teacher, the most supportive single mother, a daughter of integrity and love and a friend who spreads sunshine wherever she goes.