Tag Archive: Women

  1. Learning from the best

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    I really believe I have the best job in the world. I get to work with the most intelligent, enthusiastic and committed bunch of women; travel the country meeting interesting individuals; make a real difference in people’s lives; and work with some incredible brands (and the people behind them) along the way.

    But by far, the best perk of my job is learning from amazing people.

    A few years ago, when I first bought the Business Chicks business, Amber (who’s been with me for over four years now) and I sat in the audience listening to one of our amazing speakers. We both looked at each other and had the same thought at the same time. We said “Jeez, how lucky are we to get access to these people and to learn from them?”

    Yesterday was our Business Chicks Lunch and Learn event in Melbourne. The event sold out in under two weeks and there were about 550 people in attendance. We gave away a stay at the new Crown Metropol; a high tea package; a Mimco bag; beautiful roses and loads more. The room was electric with the usual Business Chicks buzz.

    Janine Naomi Kristina and Natalie

    Janine Allis, Naomi Simson, Kristina Karlsson and Natalie Bloom

    Channel Ten’s Natarsha Belling emcee’d the event and our speakers were Naomi Simson from RedBalloon; Janine Allis from Boost Juice and Kristina Karlsson from kikki.K. Such a stellar line up of entrepreneurial talent. When Janine was unexpectedly running late, I called on Natalie Bloom from Bloom Cosmetics who just happened to be in the audience. After a tiny bit of coaxing, she joined the panel and her insights and experience were fantastic.

    All four women share the same challenges. Janine talked about how in the early days she struggled to be present with her kids and she’d work every night until 2am (earning her the nickname ‘laptop dancer’ from her husband).

    Naomi talked about her most challenging time – the day she fired herself from the business and stepped back from it, letting others run the show. She talked about the need for tax reform in this country and how important values are to a business.

    Kristina advised us to have many mentors because just like friends, you get different things from different mentors. She also spoke of her cash flow troubles when she was first starting out, and how the banks wouldn’t take a risk with her. She even had to sell her partner’s house to get kikki-K off the ground. I loved hearing her talk about how every business should have a big clear vision; and also loved her advice: “don’t say no, say how”.

    Natalie talked about how she was forced to get more creative through the GFC and how she only hires passionate people for her business, saying the rest would take care of itself.

    All four women have shown tremendous guts, resilience, hard work and determination and it was a privilege to be witness to their success. We’re fortunate to have such brilliant role models to learn from, so thank you ladies for inspiring us all.

  2. A Man is Not a Financial Plan

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    Ever since I was really young I’ve wanted to be financially independent. I don’t know where that came from, but for as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be successful on my own, not rely on anyone else, and never have to worry about money. (more…)

  3. Support, don't compete

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    I’m often asked why women aren’t reaching leadership roles at the same rate as men when we’ve done so much work to level the playing field. It’s great to see the issue given so much air time in the media at the moment and while I’m not ready to burn my bra, I do think we need to get into action to shake things up.

    (more…)

  4. Ask for what you want

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    Milla (my daughter) has a new skill this week. It’s blowing raspberries. Mine is learning to ask for what I want.

    I think it’s fair to say that this is one area that can be more difficult for women. I’ve seen it over and over again throughout my career. A guy will have no problem in saying ‘Can you grab me a coffee please?’ whereas I might put it like this: ‘Um, excuse me, if you’re going downstairs to grab a coffee would you mind picking one up for me too? Oh good, you don’t mind? You sure? Oh, thanks so much, that’d be great’. I try and be mindful of complicating the request, but in the effort to ‘get liked’ and not put anyone out, it often comes across that way.

    Why can’t we just ask for what we want?

    Well in my case it’s because I fear not being liked and I fear that people will see me in some other way than ‘nice’. Dr Lois Frankel puts it perfectly in her book (one of my all time faves) by the same name -Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office. Not that I’m shooting for the corner office, but you know what I mean.

    There’s so much to be learnt from Frankel’s work. It impacted me in the same way Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth did when I was preparing to give birth and in the same way Michael Gerber’s The E-Myth jolted me into reality when I started my first company. If you’re either thinking of giving birth or going into business, run out and get both. Now.

    I can’t say the journey from being nice to directly asking for what I want is going swimmingly so far. I tried it out with someone today and she pretty much said no to my request (not in so many words, but that was the message back). So, I thought ‘don’t back down’ and stated that I meant what I’d requested and to please go ahead. She did, and all worked out well in the end. Truth is, old Em would’ve said “oh, ok, no problem” but the new one, equipped with the knowledge that it’s ok to ask for what you want stormed ahead and got the outcome.

    Can’t say it felt good first time around

    I had a bit of guilt going on and the little voice inside my head said “she’s not going to like you any more and your relationship will never be the same again”. I’m hoping that over time, that voice will subside and I’ll find a stronger more direct one to replace it. I’ll keep you posted.

    There’s no doubt that blowing raspberries would be easier than this journey, but I’m going to keep working on it.

    What do you think?

    See any of yourself in here? What lessons or experiences do you have to share with us?

  5. Behind every great woman…

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    I’m just back from the Telstra Businesswomen’s Awards lunch. Whilst I didn’t win either of my categories (I was a finalist in the Business Owner and Young Business Woman categories) I was honoured to be part of the process. (more…)