• Want to know the one key factor that predicts your success in business?

    The world will be saved by the Western Woman. (Dalai Lama)
    Over the weekend just gone, I was privileged to attend the annual AusMumpreneur Awards for 2015, in Melbourne, Australia.

    In fact, I was invited to sit on the panel of judges tasked with choosing the overall winner for the big gong, the AusMumpreneur of the Year! (Being a judge this year was lovely recognition of my past successes in business and as a previous winner of these awards.)

    The finalists for this big award were all extremely savvy and successful business women (and of course, all Mums as well). The calibre of entrants this year was very high. They included: Monica Meldrum of Whole Kids, Vikki Malmberg, Kelly Brown of Little Pieces Photography, Stephanie Wilson of TFI Dentistry (who came in full costume as her role The Tooth Fairy!), Leonie Dawson of Shining Business & Life Academy, Laura Furiosi of Rashoodz Swimwear, Hanna Millward of Bump Models and Stacey Currie of Brand Print Australia.

    The stories these women told, about the spark of inspiration that started their business, the hurdles they’ve had to jump through and hard lessons learned, the key decisions they made that lead to their success, and their big visions for their business and their personal lives, were all so incredibly inspiring! It truly was an incredible afternoon that left me feeling more motivated about pursuing my own goals than I have in a very long time.

    After listening to all the finalists’ presentations, I learned there was one key factor that was common across all their success stories, and that was that they all had a huge goal, a really big vision for their business.

    And actually, digging even a little bit deeper, all of these business superstars had three sides to their big goal: passion, purpose and profit.

    Take Monica of Whole Kids for example. She started her business out of a passion for feeding kids wholesome, healthy food, something that was inspired by a trip to Indonesia years ago working with children in poverty. Her goal for her business now is to serve 50 million healthy kids meals! No small feat. She also supports three children’s charities and is committed to environmental sustainability (and has been awarded B-Corp certification for her efforts).

    Does her business’ bottom line suffer for giving so much away?

    Nope, quite the opposite in fact, as she is now a multi-million dollar company that continues to grow by over 40% each year!

    Monica was not alone amongst the awards finalists for her ambitious goals and commitment to her purpose, but her outstanding successes did earn her the title of AusMumpreneur of the Year award.

    So I think we should all follow Monica’s example by setting ourselves a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (a BHAG) for ourselves and our business.

    I’ll start – here’s mine that I am committing to by stating it publicly:

    “I want to teach 100,000 female entrepreneurs with product-based businesses (productpreneurs!) to be more successful and in control, by teaching them how to attract their ideal customers and sell more products online – effortlessly.

    My commitment to supporting women in business (in particular Mums) includes a scholarship program where 10% of my time and my course positions will be provided free of charge to enable women who can’t financially afford my services to learn what they need to grow their businesses and generate financial freedom for themselves.”

    I’d love to hear what’s yours?

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  • On the importance of knowing your Why

    So for my very first blog post I thought I’d discuss how important it is to know WHY you’re in business. Why you started the business you’re in.

    Thinking about this topic always brings to mind a quote from Dr Seuss: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.”

    Of course the story goes on to describe the ups and downs of life and how you have to push through challenges along the way in order to ultimately succeed. (Perhaps resilience in the face of difficulties can be another blog post…)

    So, having started, grown and sold one business, a product-based business that I loved, I’ve decided to use my brains to steer myself in another direction – coaching other product creators and entrepreneurs to success. But why? I find myself asking.

    I think all entrepreneurs and business owners have our own personal reasons for why we do what we do. And many times I don’t think we really take the time to work out what it is, deep down.

    But, I really believe that if we can understand our deepest desires and hold our true purpose clearly in our mind, it helps us stay strong through the tough times and pushes us to go that extra mile to succeed.

    My Grandma always used to say to her daughters & granddaughters, ‘A woman should always have her own tooth brush and bank account’.

    (Did husbands and wives used to share toothbrushes in the “olden days”? Was that some kind of demonstration of pure love or togetherness, the sharing of oral germs? EWW!)

    Anyhow, I digress! The essence of her statement was that women should be able to take care of themselves and not rely on a man as a financial plan. Not bad going for a woman of her generation (she was born pre WW1)!

    I never really paid much thought to the significance of this idea. I mean, I was born at a time and place where girls were afforded the same education opportunities as boys, the same rights to vote and own property, (not quite the same opportunities in the paid workforce though), and so I fully expected to “grow up” to be financially independent and in charge of my own destiny.

    Since becoming a Mum 10 years ago, things changed for me. As I discovered, workplaces today still don’t (in practice!) offer flexibility to parents.

    But I was lucky. I had a truly inspiring example to follow in my own Mum, an amazingly intelligent and creative mother of 5. She has always been passionate about her own career and worked out a way to fit that in with being a mother. We kids grew up knowing that her work was important to her and it was just natural to us that both Mum and Dad were intelligent people who worked and made money from their skills and abilities.

    Now, as a Mum of two boys and a girl, I am distinctly aware of the importance not just of financial security, to provide for them, but also of role models.

    At not-quite-5 years old, my daughter watches absolutely everything I do with an eagle eye. She already says things about how she’ll be a Mummy one day and what work she will do. The idea that she will do both is so natural to her.

    This is SUCH a potent reason WHY do I do what I do. And being able to articulate it is an incredibly powerful motivator!

    So, deep down, what’s your own WHY? Do you know what it is? It’s not, “I want to earn $5,000 a month”, or “I want to travel the world”. Yes they are great perks that should be enjoyed along the way, but I doubt they’re your purpose that drives all that you do.

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