What was the catalyst for you launching your business?
Steve Jobs was once quoted as saying ‘You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future’. My professional ‘purpose’ is to Ignite personal brands and provide world changing people with the tools the communicate their purpose with clarity and impact. When I look back over the last decade I have either worked in Media, with professional speakers, or on the flip side with not for profit organisations. The catalyst for starting Ignite and The Supernova Tribe was all about assessing my story (the gifts, and experiences). How could I use these resources to create something bigger than myself and change the world?
This has manifested with Ignite as this supports me in helping people communicate with clarity all the ways they are changing the world, and The Supernova Tribe is an incredible community of people (also keynote speakers) consisting of charity leaders, founders of social enterprise and purpose driven people who take action to create world change.
What does a typical day at work involve for you?
Really I should have joined the circus as I am constantly juggling between clients, marketing, speakers, sales and the list goes on. This is really true for any business leader. I have to say, slowly but surely I am learning to juggle with intention, skill and control. I think that is one of the keys to being in business….nothing is easy at first, and time doesn’t change the chaos, but the dance becomes more graceful.
The Supernova Tribe also ensures my days are mind blowing. To give you a snap shot, I spent yesterday afternoon with Dr Jordan Nguyen who has invented a mind controlled wheel chair, coached Kathy Kelly (mother of Thomas Kelly who was the victim of a coward punch in Kings Cross in 2012) at Tedx Macqaurie University, and then this morning chatted with League co-founder Liz Volpe who told me all about the upcoming Project Gen Z trip in Cambodia!
What are your guiding principles?
1) Live a purposeful life and if you haven’t found that calling as yet, make it your number one priority.
2)Know your tribe. There a friends for a reason, friends for a season and then the special ones. Know who your ‘lifetime people’ are and count your lucky stars.
3) Trust your Intuition. I believe in hard work, and I believe in the hustle, but primarily I believe in trust and good timing. Just like the Steve Jobs quote, sometimes we don’t see the dots until they are in a row. Sometimes its best to take a deep breath, trust and surrender. How do you make yourself more productive?
Having great time management skills and being super organised. I keep to do lists and cross off all that I’ve completed to feel that sense of achievement
How do you make yourself more productive?
1) Take time out for exercise. Like most people I go through phases where I haven’t exercised at all, and my stress levels increase, I become tired, moody and lack clarity…every time. Exercise activates a super human who does more in less time.
2) Stop the email banter. Emails are important, but I always ask my speakers to call if they really need anything urgently. Likewise, I ask myself would a call be quicker in this scenario?
3) Stay proactive and keep moving. In business we deal with set backs, hard conversations, projects not turning out how we had hoped. Nothing is perfect. Stay focussed on your purpose, hungry for the big picture, and keep moving.
What are your top resources when you’re in a need of creative inspiration?
1) Chakradance. I think any type of dance is good for the soul. Chakradance is a combination of spontaneous dance, guided visualisation to music with specific frequencies designed to balance the human energy system.
2) Singing. In the shower, on a walk, or with friends. Singing actually changes our neural pathways, and is the perfect remedy to shift energy and feel inspired.
3) My mum. Of all the wonderful people in my life, nothing beats having a cup of tea with my mum. Always the wise one, an empathy queen and a constant reminder of why I am on this planet.
What mindsets helped make you successful?
1) Clarity of purpose. If you know why you are here, and understand the positive impact you create in the world around you, its is hard to stay down and out for to long.
2) We all deal with change, chaos, and the unexpected. Remember to be still, and embrace the possibilities found in ‘nothing’. It is then we still the chatter, re focus and embrace creative possibilities.
3) Its okay to feel discomfort. It is through challenges that we grow and transform. When a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly there is a time where its existence is larva. I think ‘struggle’ is the larva, yet while we are in the larva we grow wings.
What do you do to challenge your underlying beliefs, paradigms and assumptions?
I love taking risks. There have been times where my risk taking behaviour has led me down longer paths, with bigger lessons but none the less stepping outside of my comfort zone has always shifted my thinking beyond the mundane. I am also in a lucky position where I get to work with amazing game changing people. They are people who question the status quo and looks for new ways of being in the world. I hope for a new world where love, compassion and the power of empathy play a bigger part in the infrastructure of society. That takes a willingness and If you are willing to change your thinking, the lessons will find you.
If you wanted to create an environment where motivation can thrive, what’s the first thing you would do?
Activate purpose in people and create a culture that gives back to communities. I believe that if people are aligned with an authentic reason to go to work, with the belief they are changing the world, the intrinsic response is motivation. We all want to feel valued, and we all want to offer our gift to the world, knowing that we are making the world a better place.
What book would you most recommend and why?
Lisa Messenger (the founder of The Collective Magazine) is a serious game changer. I loved both ‘Daring & Disruptive’ as well as ‘Life & Love’. Lisa is raw and authentic. She keeps it real and shares her story with honesty and integrity. I found this refreshing and I could relate to her story. A story that is not perfect, but so perfectly oozing courage, commitment and self belief and success.
Did you have any ‘entrepreneurial experiences’ as a child?
I sold so many raffle tickets at charity events. I hope these days the paper used on these tickets is recyclable, because there were millions of them. I was incredibly lucky that both my parents were very proactive in running a series of charity events over a period of about fifteen years, which really laid a solid foundation for me to understand the importance of giving back to the community. I couldn’t have thought of a better entrepreneurial experience, and its no surprise I have founded a social enterprise.
What do you find most exciting about being an entrepreneur?
The power of creation. I am in awe of human beings. We come up with an idea. Something that is merely a thought. Like a seed, we visualise the idea, talk about it, give it love, take action and boom. We have manifested our creation. A business is born. A sustainable system that can support a community and change the world. Sometimes I think we forget how powerful we really are.
What things about entrepreneurship do you struggle to understand?
The fact that sometimes we wont understand, until we take action. Until we fail, until we try again, and work it out. Fundamentally, control is a comforting thing yet when you are playing in the unknown you won’t always know the answer or the outcome. You can plan ahead, and sometimes the plan will lead you down a completely different road. Sometimes we get it right, and sometimes we get it ‘perfectly’ wrong. Everything happens for a reason, and I think the biggest struggle can be trusting the process.
What three pieces of advice would you offer entrepreneurs starting out today?
1) Teach thy self. Every day is a lesson, so stay curious, and stay open. There are times I give people advice and more often than not, that advice is totally relevant in my life.
2) Fail fast. I make mistakes everyday, but I am getting better at embracing the learning opportunities, and remaining always optimistic that every mistake I make, is one I don’t have to make twice.
3) Let the humans who love your brand, co create it with you. Let people help you, and listen to the market. Create a product for your people, and be willing to ditch what is not working.
What has been your biggest sacrifice or challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?
It goes without saying that finance can be difficult when you take the ‘passion and purpose’ leap into business. I have spoken to quite a few people in start up who have had to sleep in their cars, and live on two minute noodles (true story). This is off-course a stressful experience, but it also tests your faith, self belief and determination. In terms of facing this, I have had to develop a resolve of self care. Prioritise what you need to survive first. With out you there is no dream, so learn to take care of yourself first.
What has been your most effective marketing tactic or strategy?
Fake it till you make it. Create a perception that you are bigger than what you actually are. I have been lucky with The Supernova Tribe as I have a team of speakers who are shouting loud and proud. Once that initial group came on board, the momentum created more interest and gravity around the brand. The same principle works with clients. My tip – find brand ambassadors who believe in you, and will help you mobilise and spread the word.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I find this question interesting because so many people talk about disruption in the market place. I do believe in this idea, but I also think that sometimes the answer are in existing business models, and that sustainable doses of disruption are realistic. With The Supernova Tribe I have not changed the mechanics of speaker management but I have altered the lens which opens up a thousand and one possibilities for innovation. Rather than managing ‘thought leaders or experts, I manage world changers’. I also prefer not to call the business a management company or a bureau, because we are a community and a Tribe, before anything else.
What systems/apps/organisational tools have you used to automate your business to give you more time for planning & development?
I use software that is specific to the speaking industry, and I also love Hoot Suite. We live in a world where content is paramount, and in my business story telling our tool. Any platform that enables me to automate the various social media platforms required for great story telling is nothing short of genius.
What’s the most courageous thing you’ve done in business?
Completely failed and walked away. Before starting The Supernova Tribe I was in another business that didn’t work out. There were some extraordinary lessons on that journey and memories that I absolutely cherish. That said knowing when to walk away from a situation not aligned with your higher purpose is not only brave, but essential to success.
How do you deal with failure?
Bounce back baby. There is a lot of truth in the saying that ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. I am firm believer that time gives you perspective, and sometimes insights from the more difficult learnings in life may not fully come to fruition until further down the path. In the meantime, give yourself an allocated time for self care, get clarity on next steps and pounce. Time waits for no man, and your future is sparkling.
Looking back, what would you do differently?
I don’t think there is a wrong or right rule when it comes to working with friends, but I do think it is paramount to have very clear agreements on expectations from the beginning. There have been a few occasions where a lack of clarity and communication has led to sticky situations, and this is something I would definitely do differently.
Words of Wisdom / Personal Quote:
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music” -Nietzsche