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• Yelp: get some ‘world’ of mouth promotion • The latest strategy to own property – rent-to-buy • Bali 10 years on: an inspiring story of survival • Find out the top five regrets of dying www.empoweronline.com.au

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REVELATIONS FOR THE FUTURE OF LEADERSHIP

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$399 E E OF FRUS BON S* GIFT

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• Yelp: get some ‘world’ of mouth promotion • The latest strategy to own property – rent-to-buy • Bali 10 years on: an inspiring story of survival • Find out the top five regrets of dying www.empoweronline.com.au www.empoweronline.com.au • Find out the top five regrets of dying • Bali 10 years on: an inspiring story of survival • The latest strategy to own property – rent-to-buy • Yelp: get some ‘world’ of mouth promotion

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for Publishing costs for each There’s no doubt that having your own magazine branding strategy. adds an enormous amount of credibility to both issue canGet run into tens of thousands of dollars, you and your brand. Big Acompanies produce much more than most businesses can afford. LEGEND MAKE YOUR BRAND POWER professional publications for this very reason. Brand ThaT’s all abouT To change For most business however, the time, resources Now you can leverage the high quality content WHAT’S YOUR STYLE Management and cost involved in publishing a professional of emPOWER magazine and present it as your Time magazine prohibits the use of this powerful own, co-branded with your logo and website. G

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10 COVER STORY

Mad for it On the verge of her first real drama role in Channel Nine’s House Husbands and a new national tour, Helen Rosing catches up with comedienne extraordinaire Julia Morris.

24 BUSINESS IN PROFILE

Business is blooming Louise Curtis has seen her chocolate bouquet business, Lollypotz, become one of the fastest growing franchises in Australia. She talks to Helen Rosing about the sweet taste of success.

10

24

BUSINESS

16 Make your brand a legend Do you want to be the next Coca Cola? Get your brand right and you’re on your way. 18 Traveling with a mentor Reach new horizons in your business by working with a mentor. We show you how to find one and what to do then. 20 The biggest potential Read Hillary Clinton’s recommendation to world governments from the 2012 APEC Women’s Economic Summit in Russia. 22 World of mouth Take advantage of Yelp - the latest ‘musthave’ social media tool to spread word of mouth promotion to the world.

CAREER

26

26 Paint the picture Bring out the best in both big and little picture thinkers in your communication. 28 Leading in crises Explore the latest research and find out the future of leadership. 30 Diversity pays dividends Find out why greater board diversity is the secret weapon to improved bottom-line results. 32 Time matters now Manage your time and cut your stress levels by knowing your time management style.

YOU

36

34 Take courage Become a warrior and ignite the courage within you to live with strength, integrity and commitment. 36 Stop worrying Harness the power of now to combat your fears and stop trying to control the future. 39 Top five regrets of dying Learn from the final stories of five people who share what they would do differently.

LIFE

40 Surviving Bali On the ten-year anniversary of the tragic Bali bombing, share the extraordinary story of a survivor. 42 Reduce your footprint Extend your personal development to taking care of the world in which you live. 44 Stop being a doormat If you’re one of those people who cannot say no, it’s time to stop others wiping their feet all over you.

WELLBEING

46 We’re going crazy for Konjac We introduce you to the latest superfood, promising to help with all manner of health issues. 49 Bladder comfort Take an individualized approach to get long-term relief from common problems. 50 Weight limits Give up the fight. It’s time to stop despising the term ‘food restrictions’ and limitations in the name of health. 51 Break through the mental barrier Deal with the five main reasons why you struggle to lose weight and lead a healthy lifestyle.

FINANCE

53 Change your money mindset Your financial future is all in your mind. We’ll help you to build a positive mindset for a positive future. 54 Own your home with rent-tobuy Use seller-finance to get into your own home sooner. We show you how. 56 Fuel your finances Discover why more mums are getting involved in currency trading and how you can too.

Regulars

54

4 From the desk… 6 Meet the Experts 8 Your Say 9 Acts of Kindness 38 Check it out

48 Great Reads 60 A little motivation 61 Coaching Toolkit 66 15 Minutes


From the desk...

“emPOWER is the vehicle for women to achieve more in their professional and personal lives.”

It’s my favourite time of year! I love Spring – the freshness in the air, new flowers on the trees, open doors and a good Spring-clean, for both the house and my mind. For me, Spring is a time of renewal and clarity where I can remove the extra layers and refocus on where I am going. We are certainly going places in the next 12 months. Someone else who is going places is our cover this issue, Julia Morris. In my mind she’s a superstar who can turn her hand to anything, from motherhood to comedy, to reality TV and drama. And, she’s officially a ‘lady’ didn’t you know? I will be honest and say I was a little nervous interviewing Julia. I’ve interviewed some wonderful people in my time but never a comedienne and I have to admit I was wondering if I was meant to try and be funny. My natural inclination was also to wonder if I would get a serious answer to anything I asked; after all, she’s a comedian, she must be funny all the time. My fears abated quickly once Julia started talking and I’m pleased to share with you one of my favourite interviews to date, not just for the amount of laughing I did. The fun doesn’t stop with our cover story this issue, we’ve got heaps more to keep you engaged. In business we’ll be teaching you how to Make your brand a legend (page 16), find and work with a mentor (page 18) and use Yelp to get ‘world’ of mouth promotion. Yelp is the latest ‘musthave’ social media tool so don’t get left behind. Have some fun in your career by finding out your time management style on page 32 and, on a more serious note, find out why greater diversity on boards is a key to improving an organisation’s results (Diversity pays dividends, page 30). One article I have been really touched by this issue is ‘Surviving Bali’ on page 40 (you will know what I mean when you read it). Coinciding with the 10 year anniversary of the tragic terrorist attack, Carren Smith shares her amazing story of loss, survival and growth both before and after Bali. As usual, lots of other great articles from our wonderful contributors to keep you busy so grab a cuppa and enjoy the issue. On a separate note, I’m excited to announce my upcoming feature in a new book, Millionaire Motivators, to be launched in September. It’s the raw and real story of emPOWER. You can preorder through the emPOWER office (just $29.95) or keep your eye out in newsagents soon.

Your FREE Bonus Gifts

Claim your emPOWER Self Esteem and Confidence package: Bonus 1: The empowering Self Esteem and Confidence Mastery eCourse Bonus 2: The powerful eBook Self-Esteem and Confidence: The Guide to Achieving Anything You Want Bonus 3: Affirmations for SelfEsteem and Confidence audio For more information and to claim your gift valued at over $399, visit www.whatisselfesteem.com.au/bonus

Join the emPOWER Community Become an emPOWER Facebook fan and get the latest news, find out about new articles, take advantage of emPOWER specials and enter the latest greatest competitions. Visit Facebook. com/emPOWERMag and click button. the

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Subscribe for you or a friend this issue and receive a great little gift pack including a box of Lifetiles108, your guide to trusting your intuition.

Turn to page 45 to check out this month’s subscription offer.

Publisher & Editor Helen Rosing helen@indigoproductions.com.au Editorial Assistant Alissa Beck ally@indigoproductions.com.au Sub Editor Katharine Davies

Graphic Design Design Box www.designboxweb.com

Smith, Narelle Stegehuis, Yolanda Vega, Donnie Walford, Bronnie Ware, Zoe Wyatt

Cover Photography Photography courtesy of Channel Nine

Production & Subscriptions admin@empoweronline.com.au P: (02) 9629 7685

Contributors Rachel Anastasi, Michelle Bowden, Jason Cunningham, Stephanie Dale, Natasa Denman, Debbie Ford, Avril Henry, Jayne Jennings, Marina Katsouris, Valerie McDougall, Kim McGuiness, Rick Otton, Lisa Phillips, Amanda Preece, Lara Shannon, Carren

Sales enquiries: Business Development Manager Gidon Rosing gidon@indigoproductions.com.au M: 0402 822 722 Account Manager Liza Hodgson liza@indigoproductions.com.au

Marketing Manager Elizabeth Avelar Published by Indigo Productions Pty Limited ABN: 90 135 381 118 PO Box 280 Kellyville, NSW, 2155 P: (02) 9629 7685 E: admin@empoweronline.com.au www.empoweronline.com.au Advertisers and contributors to emPOWER Magazine acknowledge they are aware of the provisions of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977

and the Trade Practices Act 1974 in relation to false and misleading advertising or statements under other unfair practices and the penalties for breach of provisions of those Acts. The publisher accepts no responsibility for such breaches. Opinions expressed by contributors are their own and not necessarily endorsed by emPOWER Magazine or the publishers. All material in emPOWER magazine is copyright and may not be produced in whole or in part without express permission of the publishers. ISSN 1835-8705


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meet the experts

to all our expert contributors Rachel Anastasi, founder of Free To Be Me Life Coaching and The Supercoach Training Academy is an International Speaker, Coach, Mentor, Facilitator, Author. She facilitates personal and professional development intensives nationwide. Rachel also created a wellness centre just out of Melbourne. Rachel is head coach trainer at Overdownunder, one of the founding members of the HOW foundation and releases her first book in December 2012.

Michelle Bowden is one of only 25 female CSPs in Australia (CSP is the highest designation for conference speakers in the world). She’s also a four-time nominee for the Educator Award for Excellence and the author of Don’t Picture me Naked – how to present your ideas and influence people using techniques that actually work. Become one of the many thousands of people who have benefited from her insights.

Jason Cunningham is an ordinary guy with an extraordinary talent for engaging with people. His high energy and entertaining style instantly endears him to people from all walks of life. He has an ability to convey complex financial concepts simply and in everyday language. His true talent is his ability to encourage and inspire others to make positive changes in their lives.

Natasa Denman is The Ultimate Weight Loss Coach and founder of Ultimate Weight Loss. She is a mindset specialist who helps people uncover the reasons why they have been unable to lose weight in the past. She is a regular presenter of health and wellness seminars across Melbourne and she is the author of ‘The 7 Ultimate Secrets To Weight Loss’. Her specialty is helping women lose the last 10 kilos.

Stephanie Dale is Managing Partner of DMC Advertising Group, which she founded in 1996. DMC is a full service advertising agency and production house including graphic design, web design, campaign development, corporate branding, strategic development, copywriting, database management, relationship marketing, direct marketing, mail production, print management and sales promotion development, software and management. DMC has won numerous awards and Stephanie is a popular keynote speaker.

Debbie Ford helps people break free from the emotional baggage that holds them hostage to discover self-confidence and authentic self-expression. She is the national bestselling author of six books including, Dark Side of the Light Chasers, Secret of the Shadow and Spiritual Divorce. She conducts workshops and trainings around the world supporting lifelong personal, spiritual, and emotional education and transformation.

Avril Henry is a widely acclaimed keynote speaker, author, consultant and executive coach who is passionate about diversity, developing collaborative leaders and positive workplaces. She is the Managing Director of Avril Henry Pty Ltd, a leadership and human resources consulting business, and she has a weekly radio program as the expert on workplace relations and HR, which is broadcast to 16 countries in Asia.

Marina Katsouris is a professional foreign exchange trader and trading coach with experts LTG GoldRock. Focusing on wave theory, Marina enjoys passing on her knowledge to others as a coach in the trading room. A full-time mother, she previously worked as florist and owned a cleaning business prior to discovering foreign exchange in 2005.

Valerie McDougall and Jayne Jennings are the creators of the Pink Shoe Power Time Management Style profiling and coaching system for accelerated business and personal performance, and authors of Pink Shoe Power: What Time Management Styles Mean for Your Success in Business and Life. They use their depth of business experience to help individuals and business owners have time for what’s important to them.

Rick Otton is a self-made multimillionaire real estate consumer advocate, property investor and speaker. He is founder and director of We Buy Houses and buys, sells and trades property, using little or none of his own money, and structures his transactions to create positive cash flow. Since 2001 Rick has privately taught over 35,000 students how to buy, sell and trade residential property without getting bank loans or acquiring debt, using little cash and minimizing risk.

Kim McGuinness is founder of Network Central and networkingmentor.com.au. Kim has been MC at hundreds of events and has interviewed and presented hundreds of inspiring leaders and educators over the last 15 years. Kim co-runs a yearly Mentor Program and has developed training programs and conference presentations for many blue chip clients.

Lisa Phillips is a world class Business and Life Coach. Her expert advice is featured regularly on TV and Radio and she is the author of two books. Lisa works with both personal and professional clients assisting them to identify their hidden treasures and feel fabulous! She has previously held senior positions in internal audit, business engagement and risk. She is also a dynamic trainer and speaker.

Lara Shannon is Founder of Ecochick.com and Host of EcoTV. com.au. She has worked for many environment groups in Australia and the UK, including WWF, Planet Ark, Keep Australia Beautiful and many others. Lara also runs her own environmental and social change communications consultancy and is responsible for delivering a number of high profile national publicity initiatives, with a focus on environmental and social change issues.

Amanda Preece is an experienced personal trainer, yoga teacher, weight loss consultant and founder of AP Health and Fitness. She maintains a growing popularity in the fitness industry and a rapidly expanding client base. Amanda has dedicated her life to exploring and promoting pathways to women’s wellbeing and empowerment.

Narelle Stegehuis, is a practicing medical herbalist and naturopath specializing in restorative endocrinology for women, with over 14 years clinical experience. She is both an accomplished writer, editor and technical training advisor for the complementary Health Care Council. A recipient of the Australian Naturopathic Excellence Award, Narelle adopts an integrated approach of both medical science and traditional complementary health care principles.

Yolanda Vega is the CEO of the Australian Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry (AWCCI), a member based not-for-profit organisation. She represented Australia at the first Women’s Economic Summit chaired by Hilary Clinton in September 2011. Her mission is to ensure women business owners and female entrepreneurs have a voice and the programs and policies required to be more independent and their business more profitable.

Donny Walford has previously worked in executive and senior management roles in banking, finance, HR NGO’s and government for more than 30 years. She remains active on several Boards, including KeyInvest Ltd and Money Advisors. She is MD of Behind Closed Doors, a national executive women’s mentoring and networking program.

Zoe Wyatt is a Social Media Marketing Specialist, Speaker, Trainer, Manager and Internet Entrepreneur, operating multiple businesses from her laptop while travelling the World. Zoe and her partner Mark are based on the Sunshine Coast and operate a full service Social Media Marketing Consultancy with clients around the Globe.

Spring 2012

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Thank you for all the wonderful feedback on the magazine and website. Keep your comments and ideas coming. Email us at admin@empoweronline.com.au

favourite letter

A couple of months ago, my husband and I went through a period where we were fighting a lot. It was a very unhappy household… until I found myself on the emPOWER website. Seriously, a friend recommended I read a few articles from emPOWER and this has honestly made all the difference. One of the best ones for me was Stop the games (emPOWER Life articles) which talked about partners putting each other in a no-win situation. I could guiltily relate to the example given – complaining to my husband that he never did anything romantic but then, when he did something romantic, telling him he only did it because I told him to – and finally understood how my actions in our relationship were causing a lot of the grief. Habits are hard to change but I’m working on it and I wanted to thank you for the article. - Yvette - via email

My sister subscribes to emPOWER and gave me her copy of the Winter 2012 issue. When I finally sat down to have a read over thee weekend I was pleasantly surprised to discover the great range of articles. As a new small business owner I was most interested by the information shared in Best Behaviour Brings Big Business (Winter 2012). I’ve taken some of these points on board in designing my new website, such as offering a Money Back Guarantee and getting my customers on ‘autopilot’. Please, tell me more. - Kate, via email

As a business owner I applaud your article in the last issue (Winter 2012) called Are you an Intrapreneur? I have employed a large number of staff over my ten years in business and have found that ‘intrapreneurs’ are few and far between, with most staff wanting the world and only willing to give the minimum in return. Fortunately though I have discovered some wonderful intrapreneurs who are an integral cog in the wheel of ‘our’ business. My tip: create an inclusive and innovative culture where staff is involved in the inner working of the business, the good and the bad. - Nadine, via email

What a great feature – Stickman v Pitman in the Spring issue of emPOWER. My closest friend has always been quite a negative person and while previously I was willing to get involved in the negativity or laugh it off, the more I have developed myself over the last few months, the more draining I have found it to spend long periods of time with her. This had gotten to the point where I was questioning our friendship. On the weekend, I sat down with her and shared emPOWER, particularly showing her this article. In the context of me wanting to change my life and be more positive we had a great discussion about the impact of our negativity on both ourselves and each other. We’ve made the commitment to stop being Pitman, start being Stickman and hold each other accountable to live a better, more positive life. Hoorah! - Angela S, via email I’ve always wondered what those square boxes of dots were that I was seeing on various posters, magazines and other paraphernalia. Thanks for introducing me to the world of QR Codes in Crack the Code (Spring 2012). I soon downloaded a QR Reader and I’ve never looked back. I’m always intrigued to know what I’ll find on the other end. I also wanted to mention that I had trouble accessing the QR Code with your article, Oops! - Fiona, via email [Ed: You are quite right Fiona, a glitch on our end I’m afraid.]

I recently signed up to the Ultimate Self Mastery Coaching Program and wanted to write in about my results. I am a total advocate for the course. While I initially found it a little difficult to set my goals and get started I am now up to Session 4 on STATE Management and WOW! This has totally changed my life and who I am being everyday. I can’t even describe how clear and happy I feel. There is just so much more possibility for my life now. I’ve stepped out of a dark room and into the sunlight. - Mary-Ann, via email

Submit ‘Your Say’ through the website at www.empoweronline.com.au or email admin@empoweronline.com.au. Spring 2012

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We can change the world, one act at a time – a little kindness is all it takes.

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t’s quite possible you have changed someone’s day without even knowing it. Perhaps you gave a welcoming smile when they were feeling left out, delivered a compliment, opened a door, offered up your seat on the bus or were generally helpful and pleasant when it was most needed. You can probably also think of moments when someone changed your day in a similar way. What happened in each of those moments is called an Act of Kindness – a small action that can make a big difference. Here’s how some of our readers are getting in on the act.

My mum was recently in hospital and every day I visited her I couldn’t help but notice the lack of visitors about. Perhaps I was just there at a quiet time but it gave me an idea for a special act. I decided to send a mysterious bouquet of flowers to the hospital. I attached a note giving instructions that the flowers were to be given to someone who didn’t receive many visitors. I hope it made the person they gave them to really happy. I just wanted to make someone feel a little better. Belle – via email

Once a week my mum volunteers at the local primary school. She sits for over an hour listening to a child read, as they are learning. I think she has amazing patience and a beautiful heart. Secretly I think that she gets as much out of the time she spends with the kids as she gives. Ally – via website

My son’s teacher is just incredible. He puts so much time and energy into educating and caring for his pupils and also volunteers outside of school at the kids’ sporting and other events. He inspires the kids he teaches and the paren ts. One day, I sent him some flowers with a box of chocolates to thank him for everything he has done both at school and outsid e it. I told him that he could take the flowers home to his wife and eat the chocolates himself. He really loved the gesture. Michelle – via website

I fell in love with my husband because of an act of kindn ess. On our first date over eight years ago, my husband did the simple act of helping a young woman reverse out of a very tight car space in the side street where we were parked. After ten or more manoeuvres she was on her way and in that instant I knew I had found one of the good ones. And, he’s never let me down since. Tara – via email

We get the newspaper delivered on the weekends and so do a few of our neighbours. One Sunday, I walked out the front door to collect it from the street and found it already at my doorstep. This happened for a few weeks until finally, I opened my door at the right time. Our neighbour across the street had brought my paper to my doorstep when they had gone out to get theirs. It’s now become a bit of a fun competition to see who can do the kind act first each Sunday and either way it makes us smile. Ash – via email

in the change compartment. Either the next person who I bought a coke from a vending machine and it gave me $1 in change. I left it would find it and be ecstatic. bought a drink would find it and get a nice surprise or a child trying their luck Kylie – via email

Submit your Act of Kindness & Win The reader to send in our favourite and most inspiring act of kindness before 30 November, 2012 will win a book pack courtesy of (A & A Publishing www.aampersanda.com). The pack contains three inspirational books: The Will to Live, The Courage to Die by Tracey Roberts; Live the Dream by Annette Edis and Life’s a Bitch by Alexandra Voulgair and is valued at almost $95. Submit your Act of Kindness at empoweronline.com.au or email admin@empoweronline.com.au.


cover story

Madfor it On the verge of her first real drama role in Channel Nine’s House Husbands and a new national tour, Helen Rosing catches up with comedienne extraordinaire Julia Morris.

Spring 2012

(2011). While previously only acting in sitcoms, she’s now turned her hand to drama as well in the latest Channel Nine hit House Husbands. As a comedienne extraordinaire, she’s wowed audiences all around the world and has shared the stage with comedy royalty including Jason

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Alexander, Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams. At home, she’s a wife, mother of two girls and someone who honestly says she loves what she sees in the mirror everyday. Julia is a surprise bag you’ll enjoy.

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself –

where did you grow up and what stands out the most about your childhood? A. I grew up on the Central Coast in lovely East Gosford. Looking back

Photo courtesy of Kurt Sneddon

T

he first word that comes to mind after interviewing Julia Morris for the Spring cover (apart from hilarious) is ‘versatile’; she can turn her hand to anything. Although her first TV appearance was on New Faces in 1985 at the tender age of 17, she rose to fame after joining the cast of comedy show, Full Frontal in 1995. Since then she’s hosted, starred in and appeared on numerous TV shows, not to mention her wins of both reality shows, It Takes Two (2008) and Celebrity Apprentice


cover story

life was pretty awesome. We weren’t wealthy, both my parents worked. I must say in the last couple of years I’ve taken great solace from the fact that my mother worked because I work so much. It concerns me with my girls sometimes that I work so much but my mum worked full time and yet I remember her being there all the time too. I said to her recently, that I couldn’t work out how she was there all the time yet she was working full time. She remembers it different – working all day, coming home grumpy, cooking dinner and not wanting to speak to anyone. It gives me solace because I don’t remember that, I just remember us sitting around laughing at episodes of M*A*S*H.

Q. Who was most influential in

shaping you into who you are today? A. Both mum and dad have been vital in my gentility; that comes directly from them. I have a real reverence from my father and a ‘don’t stop me now’ attitude from my mum.

Q. Where does the comedy come

from? A. Both my parents have a great sense of humour but all four members of my family are funny. My brother’s very funny, mum’s funny, dad’s funny and I’ve been known to be amusing on occasion too.

Q. What values do you feel you

learned from your family and how have these shaped who you are today? A. Hard work is one and secondly, if you are spreading the love outside your house you need to spread it inside your house as well. It’s easy to be nice to people you don’t know but you need to bring some of that sweetness inside your home too.

Q. Tell us about your career. How did you first get into comedy?

A. I went to study at drama school and

then went away to work for Club Med. I was performing in shows every night of the week and some of them were comedy shows. When I returned to Australia someone dared me to host this stand-up comedy show on the

Central Coast. From there, I had the bug. I started straight away.

Q. It is said that you got your big

break joining the hit Australian sketch comedy series Full Frontal in 1995. A. That was the first game changer for me for sure. Before that though, I was working at The Comedy Store [Australia’s premier stand up comedy club] and the flying hours I got up on stage there made me ready for the experience of Full Frontal when it came along.

Q. What do you recall of your time with Full Frontal?

A. I’m smiling as we talk about it. It was

a very very very exciting adventure. When we were cast on Full Frontal we knew we had 13 weeks and then the show was to be axed. So everybody in the cast and crew were kind of relaxed about the series because it was going to be axed anyway so it was like, ‘whatever, we might as well have some fun’. We had so much fun and brought up such great creative work that the show was re-commissioned for another three years.

Q. Wow, there’s a lesson in that isn’t there?

A. Magnificent! It’s definitely not over

until it’s over and when you stop trying to control things some of the most creative work flows to the surface.

Q. In the year 2000 you relocated

to the UK and spent almost eight years there. What was the instigator for this? A. I had been working on Melbourne Tonight and it was axed. I then started working on a musical and during the musical one of the Scouts from the Edinburgh Festival was in Australia, saw me and invited me to his venue for the Edinburgh Festival. I spent couple of months over there to see if I liked it and then came back to Australia, packed up the rest of my stuff and moved. I really didn’t stop working while I was in the UK. I worked for the BBC doing audience warm-ups or if they needed a comedian on a panel show. Panel shows are huge in the UK. And, I returned to being a stand-up comic,

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with stand-up being my bread and butter, which I hadn’t done for years.

Q. Following your winning

appearance on It Takes Two, you lost a lot of weight. What was the instigator of this? A. It was my drama teacher in the States. She called me in because she couldn’t work out why I hadn’t booked anything during pilot season. My weight was the only thing she could think of and she said, “You’ve either got to put on some weight or lose some weight. Where you are at the moment is invisible. There’s not a lot of point moving your whole family to the States to be invisible. I was still carrying my baby weight from having my second child and I knew it was time to lose it.

Q. How did you do it? A. No carbs after 5pm and I cut out all sugars for about four months. That is my life now and it’s been a really easy change for me that has had extraordinary results.

Q. Do you feel that losing weight

has opened up more doors for you career-wise? A. 100% There’s no two ways about it. God, I’d like to feel it’s the other way, but it’s not. I work a lot more when I’m thinner. It’s bizarre because no one is looking at me for my beauty but that’s kind of the package that people demand that you are in. Having lived overseas, being in US for two years and UK for eight the memories of me are very varied. So people will be like, “Oh my god, you’re thin. Aren’t you a really big girl?” No, you’re remembering the 1995 version of me. Or someone would say, “When did you get the brown hair?” Darl, I think you might be remembering the 2001 me. This happened even during The Apprentice. The Apprentice was probably the next major gamechanger for me. It was showing something different again. People were surprised that I was actually sensible and would say things like, “I didn’t realise you had that in you”. It’s bizarre at 43 to show something different again. I’m like, “This is me, I’ve been like this all along.”

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Apprentice. You have a habit of winning things you are involved in. A. It was an amazing experience. It was the most intense show I have ever worked on and I really loved it. Deep down it changed me personally. It made me a lot more grown up with my approach to constructive criticism and not being such a fatalistic peoplepleaser that I can’t get out of my own way to make sure people know what I want. As you know [from this interview], I’m quite flowery in my descriptions. I was applying that in my life all over. Now I’m much more direct… “Let me make it perfectly clear that what I actually need from you is this…” In a million years I wouldn’t have spoken like that.

Q. When you think about your

career, what would you say have been the real highlights?

A. Surviving is the real highlight

because as I go on my mini way and I commute overseas and commute around this country I am often crossing paths with people who haven’t remained in work in this industry.

Q. What have been the low points? A. Waiting for the phone to ring when

you’re broke. That’s pretty low. Also, being misunderstood in something you’ve said and not having a platform to put it right. At least now with Twitter and Facebook there’s a location for people to find out exactly what your thoughts are when you’ve said something incorrectly. There never used to be that.

Q. Tell us about your new show on

Channel Nine, House Husbands. A. House Husbands is a drama about four different families, where the man stays at home to look after the children and do, what has been up until the last few years, seen as the female role in the home.

Q. What do you think will make the show a huge success?

A. The fact that it’s based in truth. We’re

not down a mine with the mine collapsed, there’s nothing unusual. It’s everyday life and finding the funny side of this new adjustment to boys in the home and girls out at work. It’s how my own family is…

Q. Tell us about your character

Gemma? How would you describe her? Do you think she is like you in real life? A. She doesn’t muck around as much as I do. She’s a very sensible girl and quite seriously applied to her work and family. She doesn’t suffer fools and she isn’t afraid to have her opinion heard. She’s definitely my sensible side.

Spring 2012

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Q. This is a different role for you,

the first drama role where you aren’t automatically the funny one? A. It most certainly is my first drama role. It’s also my first role in a production of this size. I’ve only worked on sitcoms before. It’s a very different way of working for me. Stand-up is such an individual pursuit but this is a great collegiate effort. It’s been such a wonderful learning curve for me.

Q. Do you think those types of

drama roles are something you’ll be interested in going forward A. For sure. These are skills I have always had, I just haven’t been looked at before, only for funny stuff.

Q. How did it come about that you got this role.

A. After Celebrity Apprentice I took a

meeting with both Channel Nine and Ten and said I really wanted to be looked at for a drama. There were a lot of people to convenience before I landed the role but I couldn’t believe my luck and everyday I feel that way. We go on the set and laugh solidly from five in the morning until seven at night and I keep going home and saying “who has been keeping this from me. This is so much fun.” And I get to kiss Gary Sweet everyday. Just awesome, I keep insisting on kissing scenes whether they are there or not.

Q. Do you see a reflection on your own home life in the show?

A. Well, within a drama like that there

needs to be conflict and my husband rarely does not get it right so we don’t have that conflict. He is a pretty efficient house husband and applies himself like it’s a job. He loves it. He doesn’t feel emasculated by it and all the ‘cool’ stuff that would prevent other men from getting this opportunity of a lifetime. Our girls are so lucky. My only concern is whether there will be some beautiful men waiting for them when they are old enough. It’s such a bad example for them to have for all those years; someone so awesome as Dan. No one will be able to live up to that standard.

Photos courtesy of Channel Nine

Q. Tell us about Celebrity


2012

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and November this year. Tell us about your show, No Judgement? A. I decided twelve months ago that I would try to stop judging people so much because it’s so easy. And, I wanted to see if that would have an impact on people not judging me. It hasn’t and I really missed it. I decided that ‘no judgement’ is not really an option and that we needed to judge each other. There are a lot of stories and examples of my judging experience or where I have judged and got it wrong. So it will be an

Q. I think there is a perception that

because you’re a comedian your life is always funny and you just laugh at everything. Is this true? A. We try to. Dan and I have a happy life but that also takes application. I remember hearing Jeff Kennett speak at a Beyond Blue function and he said “that moment when you open your eyes just before your feet hit the ground in the morning, that’s really your moment to say ‘I’m alive and I’ve got 24hrs to turn this around’”. So if you get up complaining you’re really setting up the day for yourself as a bad one. You need to set the day up as a good one as much as you can.

Q. What do you feel is the secret to a happy, healthy relationship?

A. Listening. That’s the only secret.

hour and a half show of crazy stand-up anecdotes.

Q. So you’ve got shows

in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and you’ve just released new shows in Adelaide in Canberra. Is that right? A. Indeed. I was forced at gunpoint to go back on tour this year. I have been touring every year forever but I’m not doing as many locations. I knew that shooting for House Husbands was going to be grueling. I’ve had really disappointed tweets from people all over but I just can’t work that hard.

Spring 2012

Often the other person is telling you something but you’re so busy and your head is so full you don’t hear it. We went to marriage counseling to learn this when we were in the States. At the time I was commuting so much and every time I would come home we would end up in a fight about how I had incorrectly packed the dishwasher or just crazy suburban crap. If he’d tell me about something mundane like the dishwasher I’d make him feel like he was the most boring person on the planet. Or, even worse, I’d say something like, “I tell you what, there’s the dishwasher, go pack it to your little hearts delight”. That kind of smart-arsery doesn’t help when you’re trying to communicate in a marriage and raise two small children. We had to really readdress the way we spoke to each other.

Q. You have two ‘Little Women’ in your life – Ruby 5 and Sophie 3. What values do you aim to instill in them? A. How extraordinary to have this job of parenting. It’s bigger then my brain can handle but I’ve realised that all we have to do is steer the 14

ship. They are kind of already formed. We try to turn up the volume on the good qualities and turn down the volume on the bad qualities. The values I want them to have would be strength, self-respect and fun but not necessarily in that order.

Q. How would you describe your relationship with ‘self’?

A. Magnificent. Partly due to a very long

mental illness called reverse body dismorphia, where I pretty much wake up most days and am delighted by what I see in the mirror. At my biggest at my smallest, pimples all over my face, whatever, doesn’t matter, I’m still like ‘Good on you’. Somewhere along the line I got happy with where I am at.

Q. Tell us about your favourite catch phrase, “Dementis Pro Is” (Latin for “I’m mad for it”). What does this mean? A. Apply a positive approach to whatever you are doing and you’re bound to have some fun no matter what the job is. If you’re going to clean the toilet, “I’m mad for it”, get into it.

Q. What advice do you have for

other women wanting to achieve more in their lives? A. Go easier on yourself. There’s plenty of time for everything. As much as I talk about people judging me, I don’t think anyone really judges me as much as I do. We have enough critics; I don’t think we need to be a critic of ourselves as well.

Most dates are now SOLD OUT

Additional dates: Friday 5th October & Saturday 6th October Astor Theatre – Perth www.bocsticketing.com.au Sunday 14th October Enmore Theatre – Sydney www.ticketek.com.au Saturday 27th October Adelaide Her Majesty’s Theatre www.bass.net.au Thursday 1st November Canberra Theatre Centre – Playhouse www.canberratheatrecentre.com.au Saturday 3rd November & Sunday 4th November The Athenaeum Theatre – Melbourne www.ticketek.com.au

Photo courtesy of Kurt Sneddon

Q. You’re also touring over October


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business | Feature

d Make n e g e your brand a l The value of your brand is ultimately what will determine the success of your business. Stephanie Dale shares her top ten ‘touch points’ for increasing value and standing out from the crowd.

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reat news! You have an idea for a new business, product or service that is going to make you the next millionaire entrepreneur. As you dream of your wonderful logo emblazoned on billboards, splashed across National TV and National press you can smell your success and it’s all very exciting. But wait. Don’t get carried away. Your brand is much more than a pretty picture with a clever tag line. Your brand must identify your business and accurately represent your philosophies. Done properly your brand and how your business “lives with it” will work to attract and hold the correct audience for your product or service. It should “prequalify” your target audience by delivering a message that will resonate with them and continue through the ongoing relationship to establish brand loyalty and, make your brand a legend. McDonalds and Coca Cola both have extraordinary brand loyalty. This is due to the consistent value and relationship experience that the brand delivers to the consumer. The memory of the brand, while tied to a visual recognition is all about the experience and that’s the difference. In developing a brand you need to decide the following: • Target audience: who is your target audience – age, gender, geographic location, income bracket, marital status, lifestyle choices etc.? All these elements contribute to how you build your brand, what language you use, marketing approaches, public appearance etc.

Spring 2012

• Competition: what do your competitors do? How do they promote and develop their brand? It is essential to know your competition before moving ahead with your product or service. • Perceived brand value: what is the customer’s perception about the total quality of your brand? Low perceived quality means that you need to work on your product or service to raise the bar to meet your desired position in the market place. You then need to work to reposition your marketing to promote the fact. Higher perceived value can be used effectively for better brand positioning. • Brand Protection: once you have developed your brand protect it with patents and/or registered trademarks. This prevents competitors attacking your business and helps to maintain brand loyalty. It can also give you a competitive edge. To make your brand a legend you need to: • Develop and communicate a clear and easily recognisable brand message about your product or service at all levels of interaction; • Establish trust with your audience via consistent service and quality delivery; • Direct your message at the correct target market; • Build a data base of customers; and • Maintain quality ongoing communication with them. Your brand does not simply sit on your business card and letterhead. It must be translated throughout your entire business

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structure. All marketing material, uniforms, packaging, web site, email marketing – every communication tool that represents your business – must satisfy your brand standards. That includes your staff, your social interaction and your public image. The logic behind any brand is that the consumer is not simply purchasing a product or service; they are actually purchasing the experience promised by that brand. A brand image needs to be positive, engaging, and truthful and be logically associated with the product or service so that it is easily recognised and understood. There are a considerable number of identifiable ‘touch points’ to perfect if you want to make your brand a legend. Some of the most obvious and most under utilised are:

1. Your logo

Yes, your brand will include a logo graphic. This is often the first engagement that the consumer has with your business. Invest in a professionally designed logo and avoid your product or service looking amateurish. Your business image should be professional, clear and easily identified. That image is then carried through the entire business process to enhance the customer relationship.

2. Packaging

Don’t simply place your product in any envelope, shipper, box or bag – you need to start your story with your packaging and make a statement of promise to your consumer. As Apple’s design chief Jony Ive says, “Packaging can be theater, it can create a story.” My product Lingerie Logic


Feature | business

is delivered entirely wrapped in purple, the books are delivered encased in a purple garter belt. When I am speaking at events I always wear high heels and an attractive business dress; I am the package.

3. Invoices

Although most invoices are sent electronically these days there is no reason why they should miss out on your branding. And that includes the method of delivery. Receiving an invoice is never a welcome experience so dress it up and use it to reflect your brand and your personal interaction promise with your customer. Add personal notes, express your thanks, or simply turn your graphic designer loose on it to make your invoice a remarkable touch point.

• The value of your brand? • Consumer perception of your brand decides its value. Brand value = market value – book value Where: Market value relates to the penetration you have within a potential target market – that can be assessed in terms of awareness, brand spread and familiarity; and Book value relates to the actual economic value of your business. It is important to realise that there are other influences that can influence this equation as well such as licencing, the cost of intellectual property etc.

4. Packing slips

That’s right – the slip of paper that confirms your order contents. This is often the first thing that your customer sees. It has to be representative of your brand and the experience they have purchased.

PhotoXpress

5. Communication

All communication should be representative of your brand positioning. That includes written communication, verbal communication, electronic communication and visual communication. They all contribute. Consider Servcorp Serviced Offices – every office in every country has a similar design and furnishings. Staff present themselves elegantly and communicate professionally. The experience in every office is constant and consistent from start to finish, engendering trust and

professionalism. That is what they are selling. White Lady Funerals is another example of clever branding. They took a classically indistinguishable business and used it to differentiate themselves. They are easily identifiable and memorable, from their dress code and vehicles to their communication and presence.

6. Vehicles

Branding on vehicles is common however having your company name and logo on your company vehicle is not enough. If you are going to the trouble of branding your vehicle, brand your vehicle. Make it exciting and stand out; make it tell your story. Then, keep it clean and damage free. There is nothing that ruins a first impression than a vehicle that is dirty and in disrepair with the company name on it; it simply says in big bold letters “we don’t care!”

7. The words you use to describe your product or service

There should be a special vocabulary that defines your brand. It could be a tag line or simply the way you describe your products. For example at Starbucks you don’t order a small, medium, or large. You order a tall, grande, venti. Words matter. It is important that you define your point of difference by the words you use.

8. Employees

Your staff should be the best representation of your brand and as such need to be inducted into the process. Make it very clear what you expect in relation to personal appearance, dialogue, telephone skills, and inter-office skills. The brand is not something that is simply for the public view – it is also important that it is entrenched in the inter-office structure as well.

9. The back of the fence

There’s a defining story about a young Steve Jobs building a fence with his father, who teaches his son to take just as much care in building the back of the fence that no one sees. Jobs used this insight throughout a career of creating remarkable products with great care, often concerning himself with the appearance of circuit boards that no one would ever see. Find

17

the part of your brand experience that represents the back of your fence and take care of it?

10. Appearance

International airlines provide the best example of the importance of appearance to branding. Think of the various airlines you have travelled with and the hostesses (and hosts) who have served you. If you compare Virgin with Singapore Airlines you will note the vast differences in ‘uniform’, right down to hairstyles. Their personal appearance strongly represents their brand. Both are easily identified and have deliberately been positioned to target different segments of the market. Branding is not a single process, it is the combination of dozens of individual processes that all add up to the customer experience of your brand. While you create your brand with a certain intention, it is how your brand is viewed in the marketplace that determines the actual perception of your brand. It is important to remember to have as many touchpoints as possible that contribute to a memorable experience for your customers, suppliers, associates and staff. Of equal importance is ensuring that the touch points you develop actually resonate with your target audience. Know your market and research what is important to them and how they react. Then develop your series of touch points to meet those expectations and create the experience that best resonates with your audience. Remember to set realistic goals for implementation and constantly revise your performance goals around each touch point. Maintenance of a brand is a constant and vigilant process, requiring effort and determination. Stephanie Dale launched DMC Advertising Group in 1996. It is a full service advertising agency and production house including graphic design, web design, campaign development, corporate branding, strategic development, copywriting, database management, relationship marketing, direct marketing, mail production, print management and sales promotion development, software and management. www.dmcadvertisinggroup.com.au

www.empoweronline.com.au


business | Feature

Traveling with a mentor If you’d like to explore uncharted territory in your business or personal life, Kim McGuinness explains how a mentor can help you reach new horizons.

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arly explorers navigated the Earth and documented their travels and experiences. Creating the first maps, these brave souls paved the way for those after them and provided help and direction for others to reach their destination. Mentors, too, have usually travelled treacherous seas before the mentee, and share their experience to save the mentee from wild and windy days. A mentor assists their protégé, or mentee, to develop themselves or their business. They usually have experience and connections in the field relevant to the mentee’s business or career, and provide a sounding board for ideas and problems. Mentoring is often confused with coaching but the two are quite different. Coaching is usually designed for a particular skill that needs developing, whereas mentoring is focused on general development and advancement towards a particular business goal. A mentor is an independent person who can sometimes see what you can’t. Just as it’s difficult to design a map when you’ve never seen the destination, a mentor can show you which way to turn to get to your goal that bit faster. The mentor relationship is an opportunity for reflection, action and progress for both parties, and in most cases

Spring 2012

it’s just as valuable for the mentor as the mentee.

both of you. A fortnightly catch-up over coffee seems to be the most common.

Points to consider

Where to find the ideal mentor

Think about why you want a mentor and how you will manage one. Know where you’re going. While it is true that a mentor may show you a quicker way to get there or highlight an opportunity you may not have thought of, you need to have a general direction and goal in mind. Mentors appear in many forms. You could enter into a formal arrangement in a structured programme, have a personal arrangement, or a mix of both. You could have an informal arrangement with a friend where you discuss business issues over drinks, or a family member who gives you advice from time to time. You could even set up a mastermind group that meets regularly to address business goals. Don’t limit yourself to one style of mentoring, and understand that you may benefit from more than one mentor. For formal mentoring relationships, have a clear timeframe. Six months is a standard and valuable period, and enables you to focus on outcomes with a deadline. Solid timeframes also show your mentor that you are serious and value the time they are giving. Catching up with your mentor can take the form that best works for the

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External programmes are often the easiest places to find an appropriate mentor, with the benefit that they usually have training as part of the programme, but they are by no means the only places you should look. Think about people you have admired throughout your working life and those among family and friends. Quite often, the perfect mentor is right in front of your eyes. Your mentors do not need to be in the same industry as you. In fact, having mentors from different industries can widen your view. Ask close colleagues, a well-connected associate, or someone you respect whether they know of any mentors who would be good for you. It can be easier to have someone else ask a potential mentor for you rather than ask them yourself. LinkedIn is extremely useful. Once you have identified a potential mentor, you can use LinkedIn to see instantly how you are connected to that person. Chances are there is someone within your own network who is connected to them. Simply ask for an introduction and explain that you admire them and would like to learn from them. What’s the worst that can happen? They can say no but they will be flattered that you asked.


Feature | business

Karen Stace, project manager at Macquarie Bank, has been a mentor and mentee. If you’re hesitating in seeking a mentor, try mentoring someone else first. As Karen says on becoming a mentor, “Do it – it is such a great help to the mentee and you often benefit in surprising ways.” Karen’s advice on becoming a mentee? “It is a real boost to your self-confidence and to your skills – it is marvellous knowing you have someone who has your back, who is interested in helping you for you, not for corporate gain.” The first meeting can be nerve-racking. Come prepared with questions and bring relevant information such as your CV or business plan. Reflect on your business goals prior to the meeting and be prepared for questions.

Be prepared to take action

Mentoring is a two-way relationship and both roles should be treated with respect. Having a mentor does not make the mentor responsible for your success. You drive your business, not your mentor. Be

prepared to act on agreed tasks, and take the lead in setting appointments and in general communication. Define your goals and be crystal clear on where you are headed. Allow time to get to know your mentor, but understand that your mentor’s time is precious, as is yours. Keep meetings within agreed timeframes and don’t pester your mentor with endless emails, phone calls or text messages. Agree a preferred contact method and stick to it.

Moving on

Some mentoring relationships continue way past their agreed end date while others finish at that time. Regardless, the relationship should always be treasured and nurtured. Keep in touch with your mentor even if it is just a monthly catch-up

Kim McGuinness is founder of Network Central, a business women’s network, and founder of Networkingmentor.com.au. Kim co-runs a yearly mentor programme and has developed training programmes and conference presentations for many blue chip clients. Kim is a commentator, speaker and writer on business issues such as networking, leadership, management, marketing and social media.

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or email. Consider returning the favour and offer to mentor someone else. The mentor benefits from the relationship just as much as the mentee. There are many who mentor regularly as their way of giving back, and out of all those surveyed by Network Central in 2011, 100 per cent said they would do it again because it was so rewarding. Travels can be mapped, but it’s through the experiences of many, handed down through sharing of knowledge that the road becomes a major arterial carriageway, a town is built and progress occurs. We have a responsibility to learn, teach, share and evolve. Experience from those who have travelled the world before should be valued and shared with us and through us to those after. That’s what makes the world work.


business | Feature

The biggest

POTENTIAL

Following Hillary Clinton’s speech at the recent APEC Women’s Economic Summit,Yolanda Vega agrees that female entrepreneurs need more government endorsement.

S

urrounded by walls of gold among a long list of astonishing women, including our host Valentina Matvienko (chairperson of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation), Hillary Clinton was again present at this year’s APEC Women’s Economic Summit in St Petersburg, Russia. Towards the end of her speech, Clinton announced two new APEC initiatives to increase women’s access to capital and markets.“First,” she said,“we want to help governments use their purchasing power to support women entrepreneurs and grow their economies.” This is the highest endorsement we could wish for as Australian women,because the Australian Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AWCCI) has held several meetings with government, including one with the finance minister, the Hon Penny Wong, to do just that – encourage government to use women-owned firms as its suppliers. Each year, the federal government provides SMEs with billions of dollars in contracts. However, there is no sexdesegregated data collected by governments in Australia, and there is no data to indicate what percentage of contracts have been procured by women-owned firms.

Female entrepreneurs

We know that women are walking away from the corporate environment to start their own business in unprecedented numbers. These women make a significant and powerful contribution to our nation’s economic growth and are a sector that governments should not ignore; but they are being ignored because no data is being

Spring 2012

collected, even though data is crucial to assist with measuring the growth of SMEs. More than 104 million women in 59 economies started and managed new business ventures in 2010. Today, there are almost one million women trading in Australia, but many of these women are economically disadvantaged, with more than 50 per cent unable to pay themselves a wage. The AWCCI National Research illustrates that less than 20 per cent of women business owners are tendering for local, state and federal government contracts around Australia. Lack of access to capital and barriers to the procurement of contracts, particularly in the early stages of a company’s development,prevent women-owned firms from generating earnings, growing and hiring employees. Clinton confirmed that, “We know that by increasing women’s participation in the economy and enhancing their efficiency and productivity, we can bring about a dramatic impact on the competitiveness and growth of our economies.” Providing women with access to capital through the procurement of government contracts, and obtaining sex-desegregated data of these, will allow for today’s failures to be identified and addressed, and provide opportunities to measure growth and sustainability,as well as assist to maintain a prosperous economy for the benefit of all Australians.

Policy proposals

The recommendations the AWCCI has provided to government include: 1. The collection of sex-disaggregated data in respect of procurement processes, including inquiries arising from the initial notification of a tender through to the award

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process. This will assist in forming policy and programmes, and will identify gender imbalance in the process. By analysing the specific number of contracts awarded to women-owned businesses, governments can better understand the barriers to growth for women-owned businesses and instigate policies and programmes accordingly. Moreover, women entrepreneurship needs to be examined in order to fully understand the representation of this emerging commercial sector. 2. Governments should set an initial target of five per cent per annum in the award of contracts to women-owned SMEs, and the target should be reviewed and adjusted upward on an annual basis. Establishing and reaching targets via a mandated government policy across all agencies is an appropriate step towards increasing women’s participation in the procurement process, and aligns with the Declaration signed in 2011 at the APEC Women’s Economic Summit in San Francisco. Governments must begin to use their purchasing power to support women entrepreneurs in order for us to grow our businesses and our economy, and prevent more than one million women living below the poverty line in the coming years. Women must not fear the process, and learn about the needs of governments to procure contracts and grow their businesses. Yolanda Vega is CEO of the Australian Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AWCCI).She has owned several small businesses and was appointed to the Federal Government Small Business Advisory Committee in May 2012; she provides women with a voice at the tables where the decisions are made.


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business | Social media

‘World’ of

h t u o M What could be better than great word of mouth about your business? When word is spread online. Zoe Wyatt explains how Yelp can help.

P

ositive word of mouth is the ultimate form of promotion. Having clients not only enjoy your service, but be willing to recommend it to their family, friends and colleagues, is the highest form of praise. Combine this with the power of social media and internet technology, which enables messages to be shared with millions of people within seconds, and you begin to see the power of ‘world’ of mouth. This is the premise that review site Yelp is built on. It combines the power of customer reviews and social media networking, to not just share an opinion, but to spread this virally about the globe – instantly. Every month, millions of people share and discover opinions about local businesses on Yelp.com. So how do you get started? The Yelp YouTube channel at www.youtube. com/user/yelp has great instructional videos to walk you through setting up your page, and here are our top five steps to maximising Yelp for your local business.

1. Claim your Yelp profile

If you’ve been in operation for a while, your business is probably already listed on Yelp. com, but you need to claim, or unlock, your page. Go to www.biz.yelp.com.au, click on ‘Create your free account now’ and search for your business. If it’s not listed, add it by

Spring 2012

clicking on ‘Having trouble finding your business?’ and completing a short form. If it is there, select it from the drop-down menu, and click ‘Next step’.

engaging with your profile. It helps you see the connection between views of your business listing and customers coming through your door.

2. Fill out all the information

5. Promote your Yelp Profile

It is vitally important to completely fill out your page to create a positive impression. Add the details that potential customers are most likely to be interested in, such as location, hours of operation and payment methods. Adding photos really enhances your page; include a photo of your shopfront so people know what to look for. Complete your ‘About This Business’ section and consider creating a Yelp Deal or mobile check-in offer. Update your details regularly.

3. Join the conversation

Integrate your Yelp listing with your website and other marketing. You can embed a Yelp badge on your website, which tells visitors how many positive reviews you have and also enables them to view your Yelp profile and write reviews easily. Yelp also offers paid advertising (as a premium account), which places your profile at the top of search listings. Additionally, limited-time offers and updating your page regularly will keep customers coming back. Importantly, though, don’t solicit reviews. Yelp has a filter that weeds out suspicious reviews, and readers become wary of reviews that look unauthentic. As a final note, to harness the power of Yelp, you need to be active. Read what people are saying, respond appropriately and encourage engagement. Yelp is not only a review site but a powerful tool to learn what your customers love about your business and what they want you to improve. Listen, respond and act, and you will get repeat business and generate new clients.

4. Get to know your numbers

Zoe Wyatt is a sought-after social media marketing specialist, speaker, trainer and mentor. Based on the Sunshine Coast in Australia, Zoe travels the world giving training to entrepreneurs and savvy business owners on how to maximise social media marketing. You can connect with Zoe on her website at www.socialmediashortcut.com or via LinkedIn.

Read what’s being said about your business and respond. You can learn a lot about your customers, and attract new ones, by paying attention to what they like, want and need. You can reply to reviews privately or publicly, and even if a review is negative, contacting a customer privately may turn their opinion around or give you a better understanding of their experience. Commenting publicly on a review may enable you to improve a situation and/ or correct any inaccuracies. Yelp offers good advice on responding to reviews at https://biz.yelp.com/support/ responding_to_reviews. It’s also important to make updates and offers regularly to keep reviews flowing. Once you have activity on your profile, view your business trends. This is a graph that tracks how many people are viewing your business page and how they are

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business | Women in business

blooming

is

Business

Louise Curtis has seen her chocolate bouquet business, Lollypotz, become one of the fastest growing franchises in Australia. She talks to Helen Rosing about the sweet taste of success. Q. Tell us a bit about yourself. What drives you? A. I live in Canberra with my husband, Matthew, and two young boys aged four and seven. I’m 41 years old. I’m a very ambitious and driven person who thrives on the success of my franchised operations. I love nothing more than hearing of a success story of one of our franchise owners. Q. What were you doing before you commenced Lollypotz? A. I have another business, Hamperesque, which I started in 2002. This business was where the Lollypotz concept started. Hamperesque has grown to be one of the largest gift hamper companies in Australia, and is quite different from Lollypotz in that it is a corporate-style business, rather than a retail business. Q. How did the decision to start the business come about? A. I purchased a local chocolate bouquet business in 2008. I bought the business to add another style of product to the Hamperesque business. I changed the total style and look of the bouquets to be more contemporary and stylish. The new style bouquets began to sell and then outsell the Hamperesque products. It was my hope to be able to deliver Australiawide from local outlets, so I decided to franchise the business. I based the franchised business Spring 2012

on the Interflora concept where, for example, you could walk into a Sydney store and order something to be delivered in Perth the same day. I set out to establish 70 franchises across Australia. Q. What type and how much research did you undertake before starting the business? A. The only research I carried out was to see if there was another company that was nationwide and in regional areas selling the same type of product. I knew from the massive sales of product within my own business that the product had huge appeal. Q. Tell us about the growth of Lollypotz from inception to your position today. A. The business grew very fast, with nine franchises taking up the business in the first six months. That was a manic time, as we had no systems in place, we didn’t even have an operations manual – we were just flying by the seat of our pants and making up the rules as we went along. Since that time, we have seen steady growth and we have 40 franchised operations in Australia, and three in New Zealand. We have spent significant funds on technology, we have a fully-integrated ordering/ franchise owners management system. We now run a call centre, too, which takes all the

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phone orders. We even have our own Lollypotz app. We were recently listed in the BRW as the fourth fastest-growing franchise in terms of financial growth, and the second fastest in terms of outlets. We now have five senior management staff, including myself, and a team of 12 altogether supporting the business. Q. What were the early days like in the business? While no doubt you were confident about the potential success of the business, there must also have been times of doubt. A. The biggest mistake I made in the early days was selling franchises to the wrong people. I have never had doubts about the success of the product – our product is beautiful, well priced and we offer a service second to none. What I didn’t realise was that everybody who purchased a franchise wouldn’t have the same business values and work ethics as I do. I didn’t realise that they wouldn’t work as hard as I do. The only doubts I have had have been in the poor selection of some franchise owners. We have learnt a lot and our selection criteria now are far more stringent, and I’m pleased to say that we now have great franchise owners. Q. What was your biggest challenge when starting the business? A. Cashflow! This continues to be a challenge. Starting a business, employing staff and developing systems takes significant capital, and whilst we had constant injections of funds from the sale of franchises, it has never seemed enough. Building


Women in business | business

infrastructure for a company with this type of growth drains the finances. We had to spend the money on marketing and support to keep those early franchise owners happy with their investment. Q. What were the considerations in franchising the business rather than having company-owned stores? Why did you choose to franchise? A. I choose to franchise because I had a baby and a three-year-old. It was virtually impossible for me to manage staff interstate. The overall cost of setting up company-owned stores would have far outweighed the cash available, so franchising seemed to be the best option. With the benefit of hindsight, there has been many a day where I wished I had opened company stores – however, franchising gave me the immediate growth, market share and injection of funds to make Lollypotz a huge success in a short time. We have the greatest coverage of any internet gift business in Australia.

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Q. Both yourself and your franchisees have had some great success appearing in the media. What has been your PR strategy? Do you do your own PR or do you outsource to an agency? A. When Lollypotz first started, we employed the services of a PR consultant. I recall it costing us a fortune and when we were seeing what they were doing for us, we thought we could do it ourselves. We have no real PR strategy, other than to put

yourself out there whenever you can. We consistently send out press releases about everything and nothing – but we share all our successes with anybody who wants to listen. As part of our training, we encourage franchise owners to actively promote themselves to local media – to become an active member of their community and to drive their own PR.

It gives you a great sense of pride to see a business that you have created be replicated time and time again Q. As the business has grown, how have you needed to grow personally? A. Personally, I had to become very tough. I had to really have a thorough understanding of franchising – which I did not have to begin with. I had to stop giving in to franchise owners and I had to be a leader who sent a strong message. I found this very difficult at first but in time I have realised the stronger I am, the more respect I gain from my franchise owners. Q. Were there times when it all felt too hard? How did you overcome these feelings to keep going? A. There have been more than a few days where I could have walked away. There has been many a day where I have sat at my desk and just cried, due to the enormity of what I had bitten off. Managing my two businesses, as well as the Lollypotz franchising business and being a mum with two young kids has at times been impossible.

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I have a desire to succeed and when times are tough, I just need to remind myself of what’s important. I have surrounded myself with a great team of like-minded women who prop me up when things are tough. I’m really lucky to have such wonderful women working for me. Q. What are you most proud of in your achievements to date? A. Without doubt, creating two businesses from nothing to be the success they are. Winning the Telstra Business Awards was a huge achievement and winning tenders for the country’s largest gift hamper programmes have all been highlights. Doing all of this with some normality in my children’s lives is probably the greatest achievement, though. I hope that my children will grow up knowing and understanding strong work ethics and values, and understand that you have to work hard to be a success; that nothing comes easy. Q. What else would you like to achieve in business? A. I would love for Lollypotz to continue to grow both in Australia and internationally – and surround myself with franchise owners who are as passionate about this business as I am. I love nothing more than to see them succeed. It gives you a great sense of pride to see a business that you have created be replicated time and time again. Q. What advice do you have for other women starting out in business? A. Be careful for what you wish for! Be prepared to lose money and back yourself. Running your own business is a tough gig. I don’t believe you need to be a genius or have any formal qualifications – but if you have a great idea, passion, commitment and drive, go for it!

www.empoweronline.com.au


career | Feature

Paint

picture

the

Whether you are making formal presentations, participating in team meetings, updating the boss, or seeking the support of staff, it is important to be clear on what type of information different stakeholders require. Michelle Bowden explains…

W

e know that organisations perform at their best when the decision-making processes they use provide the means for input from a diverse range of views. A key characteristic of successful organisations is the ability of senior decision-makers to ensure that a diversity of values, levels of seniority or experience, and personality types all have a legitimate voice. Something many of us know too well is that this diversity in meetings and project groups can potentially result in complete chaos and potentially dangerous or at least misdirected communication. The type of information that people look for effects the quality of communication and is determined in part by the degree to which people are big picture or little picture thinkers. Let me ask you… • Do you work with someone who bores you to tears with detail upon detail that you don’t seem to need, and who appears to lose sight of the big picture or objectives? • Are you frustrated by a colleague who operates from a vague, airy perspective

Spring 2012

and who doesn’t appear to know (or care) about the important details? • Do you ever find yourself thinking that you are the only normal one and everyone around you is completely dysfunctional? There’s a reason we find ourselves feeling a bit like we’re hitting our head against a brick wall with certain people. It’s because we are different to them. Obvious, I know but when you’re in the midst of frustration it’s unlikely you acknowledge this. The Big Picture/Little Picture personality filter will help you better understand why your communication can sometimes be a bit ‘hit and miss’.

What is a big picture thinker?

Big picture thinkers are deductive thinkers. They start with the global perspective and move downwards to the specifics. They operate from a universal perspective and tend to draw on the big picture or overall concept. These people may miss details so they commonly leave out steps in a process. For instance, they may be excellent at managing different parts of a project, but

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may struggle to complete all the detailed steps within each part of the project.

What is a little picture thinker?

Little picture thinkers are inductive or specific thinkers. They start specifically with the details and move upwards. They operate from an in-depth perspective and tend to focus on the details or facts and figures. These people have trouble working in the midst of visual clutter. They like things put away in an organised system and they do things precisely and in order.

What is your current approach?

Think about how you normally go about structuring an important communication. Do you start with PowerPoint, collating existing slides, or creating a few new ones and then working out what to say about them? Or perhaps you use the, ‘introduction, aim, credentials, body one, body two, body three, summary, conclusion’ model, which is commonly taught in schools and universities. Some people use a variety of mind mapping techniques like as the ‘fishbone technique’.


Feature | career

And others just ‘wing it’ and hope their charisma will do the work for them. Do any of these approaches sound familiar? Whether you are communicating one to one, one to few, or one to many, if you are keen to influence your audience in your presentation, you need a model that focuses on the different needs and expectations of your different stakeholders. You see, individuals take in information differently, learn differently, and form opinions differently. As a result, individual stakeholders will be silently preoccupied by the different agendas and expectations they have of you. These agendas and expectations lead them to formulate certain questions that they are expecting you to address in your presentation. Let me share a model with you to help you achieve greater buy-in and to cater for the diverse needs of your stakeholders.

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An audience-focused model

The model that I suggest you might like to use when structuring your presentations was developed by Bernice McCarthy. McCarthy drew on the various theories of adult learning proposed by psychologists and theorists such as Jung, Kolb and Knowles. She created an instructional system that addresses the intrinsic informational needs of all audience types. Bernice McCarthy called her model the 4Mat System. 4Mat recognises that individuals need to have four key questions answered. In some cases, by virtue of their personality and preferred learning style, audience members have a preference for one of these four questions over the others. In order to be convinced by your argument they will need to have their primary question answered. This is not to say however that they will not be interested in other questions too. It follows then that in order to capture the hearts and minds of all audience members you will need to be sure that your presentation answers all four questions in a given order. There are four key questions to address in this audience-focused model: 1. Why? The audience member has a need to clarify the context and rationale.

2. What? The audience member has a need to identify the detail of what is to be learnt. 3. How? The audience member has a need to explore how to use and apply what is learnt. 4. What if/What else? This is where the audience member needs to outline the alternatives for the new information to modify, adapt and create new contexts. The presenter who can move effortlessly through the various questions is the presenter who will elegantly address the needs of their entire audience and in turn influence them to do what they want. Communication strategies for little picture thinkers If you are a big picture thinker and have to communicate with specific thinkers, it can be very frustrating because you are someone who wants to focus their attention on the strategic level (the ‘why?’ And ‘what if?’), preferring not to get bogged down with details (the ‘what?’). On the other hand, the little picture thinker wants to give you the important details; they get stuck in the ‘what?’ section of 4Mat, often rendering you entirely bamboozled. To build rapport with little picture thinkers give them lots of details and break information down into small chunks. Once they are on top of all the details, you will be able to explain the overall picture to them. Remember that if your customer, or employee has a specific preference they need a detailed presentation with facts, figures, details, charts and statistics in order to make a decision.

Communication strategies for big picture thinkers

If you are a little picture or specific thinker and you need to communicate with big picture thinkers, it can be very confusing. Big picture thinkers are people who start from general principles. They will present you with concepts and overall perspectives. They want the forest first, not the trees. You will improve your communication with these people by talking first about the overall concept and large ideas; spend more time on the ‘why?’ Build rapport and prove the need. Avoid going into detail

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(the ‘what?’) until you have built good rapport. And always remember that if your customer has a global preference they need shorter, more conceptual presentations and pitches.

Where do you sit on the continuum?

It’s important to note that most people do not neatly operate consistently as either big picture or little picture. They tend to operate somewhere on the continuum. The demands of a position will also have some impact on the degree to which people operate as big picture or little picture thinkers in their day-to-day working lives. Because of this, it’s important not to box or label people inappropriately.

Go forth and flex your style

Switched-on business people who are keen to accelerate their career or business development have high emotional intelligence. They can intuit their environment and make clever, masterful choices about why and how to act in certain ways, whilst preserving the integrity of the people with whom they interact. They know how to interpret the verbal and non-verbal clues that people provide about their filters or preferences. Then they can match their approach to the needs of their stakeholders. It’s really all about a keenness to ‘flex’ your style. Do this and you will build strong rapport with people. Enjoy getting to know the people around you. Celebrate your sameness and differences and achieve the most from your relationships. You don’t have to change the world with your actions, just take personal responsibility for the decisions you make and they way you chose to treat the people around you every day. If we all did that it would be a better world. The people around you aren’t dysfunctional, just different to you! Michelle Bowden is a Master of Presentation and Influence. Nominated for the Educator Award for Excellence, she is a prolific author and consultant to a list of blue chip International clients. Michelle is also well known for her coaching to help senior executives pitch their ideas at board level. www.michellebowden.com.au

www.empoweronline.com.au


career | Feature

in

Cr ses

The current economic climate offers tough challenges to leaders. Avril Henry’s research reveals how they need to adapt to deal with the crises of the future.

I

n his book, The Leader of the Future, Peter Drucker observed that, “There may be born leaders, but there surely are too few to depend on them. Leadership must be learned and can be learned.”Leadership is a set of learnable behaviours, which can be adopted and modelled by observing leaders who exhibit ethical behaviours and strong values – qualities that followers admire and respect. The world we now live in is one where there is one financial crisis after another, political instability throughout the world, and a lot fewer jobs, but skills are still in short supply in certain industries and professions. And the world is full of fear, uncertainty, ambiguity, complexity and, in many places, chaos. For leaders, it is in these challenging times that their leadership requires modification or learning new behaviours in order to survive and to be a truly effective leader. This, coupled with the two youngest generations,X and Y, who comprise almost 60 per cent of the workforce, who have effective leadership as their number one motivator at work, reinforces the need for our leaders to be more flexible and adaptable than ever before. These two generations are principally loyal not to the organisation, but to their career and to a good manager. For this article, a number of leaders in Australian industry were asked how operating in a financial crisis of global significance has changed both their organisation and their own leadership style. These leaders work in industries as diverse as banking and finance, health, pharmaceuticals, education, tourism, not-for-profits, fashion, television, art and culture, sport, agriculture, engineering, accounting, legal and mining. In

Spring 2012

addition, thoughts and insights of current academically gifted university students were also sought, in terms of what they want from their leaders in the future. This feature identifies the different crisis management strategies adopted by different leaders and their leadership insights for future leaders, and it compares what future leaders and current leaders believe is important for the future leaders in the workplace.

Leading during challenging times

Pressure is simply part of life and business. Changes in business conditions, the global financial crisis and political instability all create urgent problems. Leaders and their teams, no matter how good they are, no matter how smart they are, make mistakes. The interesting thing about stressful situations is that they affect different people in different ways, and people react differently to stress and pressure. What may cause other people stress may not affect a leader, but leaders need to be aware of what does cause anxiety and stress in others, and how they behave when in such stressful situations. Regardless of the cause or source of the stress, every leader experiences it, and the best question to ask yourself if you are a leader is: “How do I behave when I am stressed, and what signals do I send my people?” As a leader, you are closely observed by your people, and even more closely during a crisis. They watch every move you make, your actions, your behaviour and what you say. So during the difficult times, leaders need to focus on communication and giving their people clear direction, while being calm and decisive – not an easy feat in

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the midst of all the financial uncertainty and fear.

Sending messages

In times of crisis, people learn a lot about their leaders and what they really believe, as opposed to what they say. So leaders need to beware of the unproductive messages they may send to their people. If a leader’s instinct is to protect themself from blame, to take credit rather than share it with their people, or refuse to admit to their mistakes, then they give their people permission to do exactly the same thing. Part of the process of developing and maturing as a leader is to be self-aware and to know yourself well. Leaders need to step back and reflect on what their stress trigger points are, and what creates pressure for them, and to be self-aware in those moments in relation to their reactions and behaviour. Leaders need to discipline themselves and their behaviour to be consistent with the values they espouse. Each of the leaders questioned demonstrated these qualities, especially high levels of self-awareness, in every crisis they managed. It is important to remember that what people will remember most is not what their leaders said or did, but how they made them feel. The leaders interviewed for this article adopted a range of strategies to manage the challenges they faced due to the global financial crisis. Some were similar, while others were unique their particular circumstances. In summary, the 10 most common strategies adopted by leaders were: 1. They transformed their business model. 2. They increased the frequency and channels of communication.


Feature | career

3. They managed expectations. 4. They focused on financials, due diligence and budgets. 5. They invested in and improved their infrastructure. 6. They sought innovative solutions. 7. They adapted their leadership style. 8. They sought to retain their best people. 9. They created new products and service offerings. 10. They developed a greater awareness and understanding of risk management.

Leadership characteristics

The current leaders were also asked what they believed would be necessary to be an effective leader for the future, and they came up with the following characteristics: 1. Be change-enablers. 2. Be courageous. 3. Inspire people. 4. Respect and value diversity. 5. Develop, coach and mentor people. 6. Be open and honest communicators who focus on listening. 7. Have integrity, authenticity and be trustworthy. 8. Be collaborative and inclusive. 9. Be flexible. 10. Be humble. 11. Be tenacious and resilient. 12. Create a compelling vision.

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Future leaders

The top 20 characteristics (in order of perceived priority) that the Generation Y future leaders believe they will need to have to be effective, and those that they want their leaders to have are: 1. They display integrity and are trustworthy. 2. They mentor and develop their people. 3. They inspire and motivate their people. 4. They respect others.

5. They give direction. 6. They are strong communicators. 7. They actively listen. 8. They value their people and their contributions. 9. They embrace change and are adaptable. 10. They demonstrate compassion. 11. They give regular, constructive feedback. 12. They are hard working. 13. They are genuine and authentic. 14. They display humility. 15. They possess a positive attitude. 16. They build collaborative teams. 17. They demonstrate resilience and perseverance. 18. They take responsibility for outcomes. 19. They connect people. 20. They are decisive in their decisionmaking.

Good prospects

It is enormously encouraging to look at the future leadership characteristics identified through the eyes of future Generation Y leaders and current leaders in Australia. Any discussion of the leader of the future must also include an examination of the development opportunities for leaders. The development of leaders is one of the most valuable investments any business can make, and the learning and development budget is one of the most important budgets in an organisation. Organisations that invest in leadership development enjoy the benefits of improved financial performance, higher levels of employee engagement and retention, and a greater ability to adapt to business changes.

For leadership development to have sustainable value and impact for both the individual and the organisation, it needs to be strategic in nature, and linked to personal and business outcomes. People want to work for leaders who they can respect and who respect them in return, in a positive work environment where they can be the best they can be, and they experience a sense of belonging. It is actually that simple. The successful leader of the future will display the characteristics outlined above, they will pursue profits that are aligned with the organisation’s vision and values, and they will ensure compensation is fair at all levels. The leader of the future will eliminate de-motivators, obstacles and behaviours at work, that make so many workplaces toxic, and will be humble, practising the ultimate form of leadership – servant leadership – seeking to be of service to their followers, peers and clients. And finally, they will demonstrate a commitment to making a contribution to the community, learning and fairness. These are the sort of leaders people will happily follow and be loyal to, especially Generation Y, who are ultimately loyal to a good leader and a team to which they feel connected, rather than loyal to organisations. Tomorrow leaders will focus on impact and outputs; tomorrow leaders will value diversity not conformity; tomorrow leaders will think outside the building to foster new solutions; tomorrow leaders will challenge the status quo to foster a better future. Tomorrow leaders will collaborate, include and transform.

Avril Henry is a keynote speaker, author, consultant, executive coach and the managing director of Avril Henry Pty Ltd, a leadership and human resources consulting business. For more information, visit www.avrilhenry.com.au.

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www.empoweronline.com.au


career | Gender diversity

Diversity pays

dividends

Improved bottom line results through greater board diversity is the secret weapon that may kick-start many Australian companies into action, according to businesswoman Donny Walford.

A

chieving diversity among an organisation’s most senior management team is emerging as one of the biggest challenges facing Australian businesses. They need to attract and retain people from different backgrounds to provide fresh perspectives, insights and expertise. The diversity debate cannot purely be about the number of women sitting on a board, although there’s no doubt that companies must focus on attracting and developing talented female executives as one aspect of improving diversity. A 2011 McKinsey report flagged that the number of women in executive roles or on boards had stalled at around 15 per cent in many companies. But we’ve seen small steps taken by big companies to address that status quo. Thirty-eight per cent of Pitney Bowes’ vice presidents are now women, and more than a quarter of all Shell supervisors and professional staff worldwide are female.

Wake-up call

A recent Mercer survey of 355 employers across the Asia-Pacific region found a strong focus on gender equality in Australia (90%), but ethnicity and race (49%), age (39%) and disability (10%) emerged as the poor cousins, and those results should serve as a wake-up call. Those companies not stepping up to the plate range from market leaders to smaller operators and everything in between – despite greater diversity at the board and senior management levels being proven to have a direct impact on improved bottom line results. If I reflect on my own experience, the most effective boards are those that don’t just recruit from the finance, accounting, audit and risk, and legal pool of candidates

Spring 2012

but also consider community relations, reputation management specialists, technology, OHS&W and marketing/ communications/PR. In doing so, women may often more naturally fit with some of the selection criteria better than their male counterparts. What are the financial indicators that support the diversity return on investment? Organisations with the greatest genderdiverse executive leadership teams and boards have been found to produce better returns for investors, increase their competitive advantage and improve financial performance because discussion and decision-making are broadened through differing perspectives. It also increases the ability to penetrate new, emerging and changing markets through creative and innovative thinking.

Better returns

Recent Catalyst research examined return on equity and total return to shareholders, and found that there was a direct connection between improved diversity and financial performance. When considering return on equity, companies with more women board directors outperformed those with the least by 54 per cent, and when it came to return on sales, those with greater numbers of women outperformed those with the least by 42 per cent. In four out of the five industries analysed, companies with the highest number of female board directors experienced a higher return to shareholders

when compared to those with much smaller female representation. Similar findings were reflected in a 2012 McKinsey report that found global businesses that ranked in the top quartile for executive-board diversity delivered a 53 per cent better return on equity than those at the bottom.

Barriers to break

The numbers make for a sound business case, yet 74 per cent of Australian respondents still admit there are barriers to implementing a diversity strategy, with half saying that business leaders recognise the importance of improved diversity but are still not involved. Boards are still dominated by AngloSaxon males, despite women and minorities continuing to become a larger proportion of the workforce, and that raises a number of ethical, political and economic issues. Leading boards, such as the CBA and Telstra boards, which have invested in improving board diversity, are already reporting better decision-making, producing better products and developing a key advantage over competitors through this critical point of difference. Even though progress is slow, the wheels of corporate change are turning. It is critical that selections are based on skills and merit, but take diversity into account, because a truly effective board is one that discourages a group mentality, and applauds discussion, debate and decisionmaking from different perspectives.

Donny Walford has over 30 years of extensive experience in executive and senior management roles in banking, finance, HR, government and NGOs. She remains active on several boards, including KeyInvest Ltd and Money Advisors. She is MD of Behind Closed Doors, a national executive women’s mentoring and networking programme.

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Voxy Lady featured Speakers, Consultants, Trainers and Coaches

V

oxy Lady is Australia’s only women’s speaker bureau and our speakers, consultants, trainers and coaches are all experts in their chosen field. As you will see featured on these two pages, our professionals can educate on a range of topics including business, leadership, social media, marketing, sales, communication, motivation, mentoring, digital strategy, sustainability, networking, team building, health, entrepreneurship, training, Do-ityourself workshops and a vast range of other topics. Each one of these professionals offer a wealth of information to share with you and to find out more just visit their profiles on the Voxy Lady website. To make them easy to find we have created a link for ‘Featured Speakers’ on the homepage! As well, you will find articles written by many of our speakers on the website. Voxy Lady supports both corporates and associations and we are advocates for small business growth. We invite you to select your next speaker from our list of professionals. To book your speaker please call me directly on 0414 729 646, email bookings@voxylady.com.au or visit www.voxylady.com.au I look forward to hearing from you.

Deb

Deb Carr Managing Director

Sandi Givens Confidence, Leadership, Building Team Esteem People say working with Sandi is a ‘life-changing’ experience, challenging their thinking & providing real-world strategies that create sustainable change. Problems she solves include poor morale & productivity, unresolved conflicts and low confidence in self & others. With a unique ability to engage & connect through her authenticity, Sandi guarantees to catapult your success & exceed your expectations!

Sally Anderson Leadership, Inspiration, Master Coach Training There are speakers who entertain, some who educate, and others who inform. Sally Anderson transforms! Sally captures attention, gaining the hearts and minds of audiences with a message that has impact long after the event ends. She is Australasia’s foremost thinker in Sustainable Transformation and one of New Zealand’s cutting edge Leadership Coaches and Speakers. She has inspired thousands of people to experience outstanding sustainable results.

Sam Buckingham TV & Website Presenter & Brand Promoter/Ambassador

Sam Buckingham is a recognisable face, having represented some of Australia’s leading brands on TV for over 10 years. For the past 5 years she has been the face for all of Bigpond’s direct response TV advertising and has also presented numerous websites for large companies such as Telstra. If it’s not her face you recognise, then it’s her warm and welcoming voice, delivering strong messages about brands and products.

Kim McGuinness

Photo courtesy of Zahrina Photography

Networking, Leadership, Master of ceremonies Kim McGuinness is owner and Director of Network Central, founder of the Businesswomen’s Breakfast Series and a leading commentator on networking, business, balance and social media. Kim has been MC at hundreds of events, has developed and delivered training programs for blue chip companies and has presented at many prestigious events and conferences on marketing, small business, authentic leadership, entrepreneurship and networking.

Kerry Chikarovski

Miriam Schafer

Keynote, Leadership, Motivation, Master of Ceremonies As the first woman to lead a major political party in Australia, ‘Chika’ reveals a journey of great success combined with some spectacular failures. Her warm personality, humility and ability to engage with diverse audiences have her highly regarded as an MC, keynote speaker and as a facilitator of business meetings and panel discussions. Kerry is also a successful business woman having run own her government relations consultancy since 2004.

Life Direction, Energy Medicine, Transformation Miriam is passionate about the Big Picture of her clients’ journey. She weaves a thread through all aspects of their lives, bringing the pieces together to enable clarity of vision, meaning and purpose. Through powerful energy work (inperson or remote), she facilitates alignment with goals and intentions. She inspires, motivates and mirrors back to her clients their core qualities & true essence.

Mandy Holloway

Dr Annie Wyatt

Courageous Leadership, High Performance, Brand Culture Mandy’s empathic style and ability to intimately understand the on-going pressure faced by business leaders is grounded in her personal leadership experiences. Her passion and commitment to leading with courage is modelled personally and professionally. She inspires others to have the confidence and conviction to do the same. Topics include Inspiring Courageous Leaders, Creating high performance teams, Aligning vision, brand and culture.

Speaker, Writer, Professional Presentation Coach Dr Annie is a highly regarded educator, trainer, published writer and coach in the fields of psychological safety at work and professional presentation. She is as comfortable in academic and boardroom settings as in a boiler suit in a factory. She is constantly digging deeper in order to find out ‘what works’ for individuals and groups of all sizes across industries. Note: can be massively funny!


Time matters

career | Feature

Knowing how you manage your time can cut your stress levels, and with their Pink Shoe Power Time Management Styles, Valerie McDougall and Jayne Jennings can help you do just that.

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hanks to modern technology, we have access to more ways than ever to help us manage our time. Everything from calendars to e-gadgets to software. So why is it that most women around the world are over-extended, over-worked and overstressed, according to a huge global survey by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG)? The survey results showed that demands on time are the number one challenge women face. On top of that, study after study shows poor time management is costing more than one hour a day per worker in the US, 72 million working hours a week in the UK, and an estimated $109 billion annually in lost wages in Australia due to time wasted. Why aren’t we managing our time so that we avoid stress, accomplish the important things and have time for ourselves? For many women, it’s because they are not managing their time in ways that let them be themselves. Traditional time management approaches are flawed because they don’t solve the time problem and give you permission to be yourself.

In the pink

Have you ever tried ‘never-fail’ systems that colleagues and friends swore by but were useless when you used them? Makes you start seriously doubting your abilities, doesn’t it? That feeling of ‘there must be a way that works for me’ was the impetus behind the development of the Pink Shoe Power Time Management Styles. Just as one shade of blue doesn’t work for everyone, one set of time management strategies doesn’t suit us all. Once you know

Spring 2012

now

your time style, you gain clarity about your strengths and how you can use them to help you focus on what’s important for you to do each day. You realise what’s sabotaging your time because you understand yourself better in that area and can then deal with the challenges you face. You know the strategies that really work for you. There are five Pink Shoe Power Time Management Styles, described here in no particular order. You may be one (about a third of us are) or you may be a mixture. They have fun names and are all good and all have their challenges, too.

Focused Fiona

She’s the one with the neatest shoe cupboard you’ve ever seen. They’re carefully paired; most are in boxes with labels. Focused Fiona is logical and has neatly written plans and lists for everything. But she can get a tad set in her ways and thinks things should be done her way. She can also get so caught up in perfecting and honing a project that she loses sight of the big picture, so she needs a quick strategy or two to help her. For starters, Focused Fiona can learn to delegate more because, really, other people are capable of doing a good job. And once she’s aware of her habit of honing something to death, she can set time limits for projects. It can be a hard lesson but, especially in today’s tech-world, the beta version is very acceptable. For one thing, it means it has been delivered.

Juggling Julie

She’s made multi-tasking an art form. Juggling Julie is creative and loves a

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challenge, so ends up adding lots of variety and projects to her life, both at home and at work. She’s really good in today’s ever-evolving world because Julie copes well with change and takes the unexpected in her stride. But she’s easily bored and that means easily distracted and liable to waste time. She can feel pulled in too many directions and even out of control. Juggling Julie should end each day with an action list for the next day. Most critically, she should understand what is really important and do it when she’s freshest - usually that means first. And she mustn’t put all the things she enjoys at the top of her list.

Helpful Helen

Helpful Helen is the go-to woman for many people. She’s speedy and gets things done. She’s friendly, loyal, diplomatic and trustworthy. She’s a good team player who thrives on other people’s energy. However, because she likes helping others, she tends to put their work and needs before her own. She really finds it hard to say no and that means work-life balance is a real challenge. It also means Helen can get stressed and start feeling resentful that her goals aren’t being achieved. This tip is harder than it sounds for Helpful Helen: learn to say no. Practise on the little things. She should ensure she has ‘me’ time in her calendar each week so her projects get addressed. Most importantly, she should consider this time immovable.

Last Minute Lucy

The name’s a giveaway. Last Minute Lucy is creative and can be highly focused and productive - even if only for short bursts at a time. She’s sociable and fun, and good at working under pressure. But you guessed it - she is a procrastinator who is always rushing. This can create stress and make Lucy unreliable at times.


Feature | career

Lucy should use the fast-clock method with projects - give herself a deadline ahead of the real one. Or for meetings, put the start time ahead of the actual time. Doing this helps motivate Lucy into action and she is more likely to arrive on time or meet her deadline.

Driven Diana

Diana can achieve whatever she puts her mind to. She’s very goal-orientated, usually motivated by material things. She gets huge amounts done because she puts in the time and effort, often working late and at weekends. But Diana can be impatient and expect others to work at the same speed. She can also find it hard to relax, seeing it as a waste of time, when she could be doing something productive. Diana needs to examine all areas of her life and ensure she is making time for the important things in life, such as family, partner and friends. If she has staff, she needs to be careful not to assume they can or even want to - work at her pace.

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What time style are you?

You may see some traits here that resonate with you. But guessing can cause big problems. There needs to be an objective way to tell your time style, which is where the Profiler comes in, a simple survey powered by a robust algorithm. Here’s an example of the danger of self-analysis: one client initially felt she didn’t have time to run the 15-minute Profiler. She was adamant she was a Focused Fiona. When she ran the Profiler - which said she was a combination of two styles with no Fiona - she was silent for a moment. Then she agreed. She had been a Fiona when she was a solo accountant but she’d since grown a business with many employees and now, as manager, her old time strategies weren’t working - and causing lots of frustration. Once she realised this change, she learned new ways of dealing with her time - and her staff - in line with her current time style.

Some people do change their time style, some even have different styles for work and home. Basically, there’s no good or bad; just different approaches requiring selfunderstanding and appropriate strategies.

What will you do with your time?

That BCG study showed that women placed a premium on life values and had lofty goals. The values most important to women were love (77%), health (58%), honesty (51%) and emotional well-being (48%). The things that make women extremely happy, according to the study, were pets (42%), sex (27%) and food (19%). Only five per cent cited shopping. Try to identify about five areas across your business and personal life you want and need to spend your time on this year. Apportion a percentage of time to give to each area. Add in five per cent for your admin, bill paying and miscellaneous activity. Then use this to guide how you prioritise your time. Look back in a month and see how you went and be prepared to adjust and even cull activities that don’t fit the areas you have identified as important. Whether you use smartphones, calendars or e-gadgets to keep your time on track, do it in a way that enables you to be you. The more you know about you and your drivers, the easier this is. When we waste time, we are really wasting ourselves and our dreams. But it’s not too late. We can always change now - if we take action. You can’t manage time you can only manage yourself and how you manage your day. Valerie McDougall and Jayne Jennings are the creators of the Pink Shoe Power Time Management Style profiling and coaching system for accelerated business and personal performance, and authors of Pink Shoe Power: What Time Management Styles Mean for Your Success in Business and Life. pinkshoepower.com

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www.empoweronline.com.au


you | Feature

Take

courage In this inspiring excerpt from her latest book, Courage, Debbie Ford explains how you need to become a warrior in order to overcome fear and boost self-confidence.

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ow many times have you felt yourself shrink? How many times have you made yourself small enough to fit into some role that you wanted no part of? How many times have you kept your mouth shut when you wanted to scream, or handed over your power to someone who didn’t have your best interests at heart? How many times have you told yourself, “I can’t. I’m not courageous or confident enough to be all that I desire to be”? Every day we are confronted with choices that either make us feel confident, strong and worthy, or rob us of the things we desire. Paralysing fears, repressed self-confidence and untapped courage are the obstacles that prevent us from making powerful choices – choices that are in concert with our best interests and deepest desires. For too many of us, unworthiness permeates most of our decisions in dealing with our finances, families, bodies, weight or self-image. When we lack confidence, we feel unworthy of having what we want, of speaking our truth, of making radical change that would transform the foundation of our future. When we feel weak, helpless and powerless, we lack the strength to ward off the thoughts of defeat, negativity and fear that prevent us from living the lives we want. When we relinquish our own power, we succumb to our addictions, our fears, our unhealthy

Spring 2012

impulses and the patterning of the past. We act as if and believe that we are weak and insecure. This negative cycle may not be happening in all areas of our lives. We may be thriving at work or in our relationships. But for far too many of us, there are areas where we have lost control and can’t gather enough strength to break through our fears and meet our desires. Every time we make a choice that is based in fear, we seal in the belief that we are unworthy, that we are not good enough or strong enough to be in control of our own lives, thoughts, beliefs, choices and, most important, our future. Every time we make a choice based in fear, we teach our minds to believe that we are helpless, hopeless and powerless – three states that leave us feeling like the victim.

Fight for love

What do we need to be confident and feel great about ourselves? We need to rebuild our confidence. And we must begin by improving our self-esteem. We need to learn to love all of who we are – our history, flaws, misgivings, weaknesses and fears. And even more than learning to love ourselves, we need to take love on as a cause. We need to become warriors for love. We need to fight for ourselves and for who we are and what we want to become. We need to be warriors instead of victims. Why a warrior? Because a warrior lives and acts with great strength, integrity and 34

commitment. A warrior has ignited the courage within. She can face her toughest challenges and break the old patterns. A warrior takes an aggressive stance towards her opponents – which are, so often, the fearful voices of the enemy within. Why have women turned away from our aggressive nature? For too long, we have denied a fundamental part of ourselves. We have chosen weakness over strength. We have chosen others instead of ourselves. Why? Because we’ve come to believe that our aggressive nature is wrong. Maybe in the past it came out in the wrong way, or maybe somebody else’s aggressiveness harmed us. We have relinquished the very quality that can give us the courage to stand up for ourselves. But this is not the same aggressiveness that causes people to harm others for sport, nor is it what drives the warrior gone bad to wield a weapon with the intention to dominate and destroy. This is the aggressiveness of the feminine warrior that is a part of every woman’s heart – on fire with the justice of Rosa Parks; armed with the truth of divine love, like Joan of Arc; and capable of sourcing wisdom from the deepest well of her being, like Helen Keller.

Inner warriors

We are all born with a part of us that is determined and aggressive – an inner strength that we call upon when we fight for our children and protect our families. This can be the healthiest part of us – the part that has us go after something, to be ready for combat, to be ready to win, and to engage in life’s battles. There are times when we have to battle with the dark thoughts that fill our minds – the lies, the misinterpretations and the shame. We need


Feature | you

the backbone of a warrior for love if we are to be willing to go face-to-face with that which has made us feel weak, impotent and unable to change.

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A courageous warrior is a woman who bravely battles with the universal enemy – selfignorance This is true whether we’ve been battling a craving because we want sugar to make us feel loved, or fighting the impulse to spend when we need to save. Maybe we need the strength of the warrior to set a boundary, to say, “No more!” or to stop enabling someone we love. A warrior’s job is to do this. A warrior isn’t thinking, “I’d be such a bad person. What will they think of me? I’ll be all alone and I won’t have any friends if I speak my truth.” A warrior will instead fight to be set free. Most women have given up their true warrior in exchange for approval, position or the illusion of safety. And those who may feel that they have access to their warrior might be mistaken, because most of the time that feeling is coming from a place of fear rather than love, a place of control and manipulation rather than compassion and understanding. The warrior who comes forth from the ego is a warrior of weakness and control – intent on its own power – rather than a warrior for the greater power of love. A courageous warrior is a spiritual warrior, ready to fight for the divine in all its expressions.

Divine approval

A courageous warrior looks at each person as a divine being and each experience as a divine experience. She leads with her heart, determined to bring about the best in everyone and everything. A courageous warrior speaks out even when everyone is whispering for her to stay silent. She knows that she is powerfully sourced by something much greater than herself and that she can release the judgments of others. Self-approval becomes secondary to divine approval. A courageous warrior stands armed and ready for anything that life might throw her way because she is filled and sourced each day by divine love and the knowledge that challenge is part of her journey. She is brave enough to leave behind those who might hinder her success or diminish her value. She is confident enough to reach out to those who can help her win. A courageous warrior doesn’t succumb to the internal demons that would knock her down. Instead she fights for a higher truth – a higher love. A courageous warrior doesn’t look to her past, her patterns, her family history, or her problems to determine whether she can feel good about who she is. She looks inside herself and to the divine power that created her. She is here to gather the strength to fulfil her potential – which means she will have to face controversy. She will have to break through the limitations of her mind that can trick her into believing she is nothing more than a mere flawed mortal. She will have to be willing to face conflicts that will serve to ignite her strength as she stays focused on her vision of the future. A courageous warrior is a woman who bravely battles with the universal enemy – self-ignorance.

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Living as a warrior

So how does a courageous warrior live? She sees her fears clearly and embraces them. When you are a warrior for your flaws, you search out the beauty in them. You find kindness and compassion for the very things that make you different. A warrior is able to see the beauty and perfection in every aspect of herself. When you are a warrior for your body, you search out every good thing there is to fill it with – every nutrient, vitamin, thought and belief. You love your body, and you thank your body in the morning and bless it throughout the day. And when you are a warrior for your finances, you make sure you have enough resources to take care of your family and yourself now and in the future. You feel the courage, strength and confidence to pursue work that you are inspired by, or to create a business that you dream about. You save enough money and learn enough about your finances to know what you need to take care of yourself in the future. Debbie Ford helps people break free from the emotional baggage that holds them hostage to discover self-confidence and authentic self-expression. She is the national bestselling author of six books including, Dark Side of the Light Chasers, Secret of the Shadow and Spiritual Divorce. She conducts workshops and trainings around the world. www.debbieford.com

www.empoweronline.com.au


you | Feature

Stop worrying! Worrying is a feardriven strategy and can be very detrimental to your wellbeing. Rachel Anastasi explains how to combat your fears.

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hen you worry, and go over things again and again in your head, it not only takes a lot of energy but it also creates stress in the body, which requires your nervous system to work overtime to cope. This decreases resilience and leaves you vulnerable to disease. Feeling centred, loved and calm is a lot more resourceful. Being in charge of your emotional responses rather than being at the mercy of your circumstances makes a huge difference in life. Human beings worry when they live in the future. When they imagine things not going the way they want, they fear that this may result in some level of failure, and this causes anxiety. How do we know that there is the possibility of failure? Because we have experienced failure in the past. So, our experience of worrying is driven by a fear that the occasions when we failed in the past will be repeated in the future. Worry is our way of controlling the future. We think that if we go over and over scenarios in our mind, we may be able to avoid failure or make sure that things go differently.

Exist in the moment

When we imagine things going exactly the way that we want, the anxiety disappears. This is where the power of now is so important. When we can exist in the current moment alone, and avoid thinking about the past or the future, we are more able to enjoy life moment by moment. When you are present in the now, you can be a witness to your life, which means

Spring 2012

that you notice how you are feeling, and how you automatically want to react. You can then decide whether reacting would be in your best interests, and change how you react. Our belief systems drive the way that we perceive things, and our perception of an event determines whether or not we deem it positive or negative. If your core belief is that you are not good enough, then of course you will worry about how things will turn out.

Being in charge of your emotional responses rather than being at the mercy of your circumstances makes a huge difference in life If your core belief is that there is no failure, only feedback, you will feel calm and know that whatever the outcome, you will learn and grow from it, and you will always be loved for who you are, not for your results. Your perception of past events will be different as well. If you never felt you failed or were unloved, you will not fear and worry about that occurring in the future.

Survival instinct

As human beings, our survival instinct is extremely strong. Our emotions guide us so that we can negotiate what is safe and what threatens our survival. The part of the brain that is responsible for this is the amygdala. When there is a perceived threat, this mechanism is activated and adrenalin is released into the brain, telling us to fight or flight. We feel this reaction in our body, but it can seem somewhat disconnected from the event that triggered this response. For example, if you experienced a feeling of rejection in the past when you spoke up in a meeting, when you go to speak up in a meeting now, you may feel extreme anxiety, which might seem to be an overreaction to the situation. This is because the part of the brain that is hardwired to keep us alive is also the part that does anything to avoid social rejection. We have linked rejection with death. Our brains are programmed to make sure that we behave in the appropriate way in order to be loved. If we are not loved, we struggle to survive. Love is the opposite of fear. And because worry is a fear-based strategy, you can combat it with love. Love yourself and tell yourself loving things, and the worry will dissipate.

Rachel Anastasi, founder of Free To Be Me Life Coaching and The Supercoach Training Academy, International Speaker, Coach, Mentor, Facilitator, Author. She facilitates personal development retreats nationwide, created a wellness centre, is head coach trainer at Overdownunder, a founding member of the HOW foundation and releases a book in December 2012. www.secretsofasupercoach.com

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WE’VE GOT THE

LIFE

THING DOWN (AND SO CAN YOU!) The first step is understanding WHO YOU ARE at a deep level; your strengths, your needs, your dreams and your unique talents. By taking Lifebook’s Intraspect Assessment, you’ll shine a light on the 12-life categories that make you…YOU. In just 20-minutes you’ll gain more insight and self-knowledge than most people will achieve in an entire lifetime. Plus, we’ll give you powerful, customized recommendations you can use immediately to improve your quality of life. Normally $49, you can take Lifebook’s IntraSpect Assessment FREE for a limited time only.

Visit www.mylifebook.com/empower today!


Check it Out

The latest products, tools and resources to help you have fun and lead a more empowered life.

1

HELP DISADVANTAGED WOMEN DRESS FOR SUCCESS

The next time you’re updating your business attire, put your pre-loved suits and accessories to good use by donating them to Dress for Success. A global notfor-profit organisation, Dress for Success promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Since 1997, the organisation has served more than 650,000 women around the world. You’ll find offices in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula. See how you can help at dressforsuccess.org

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5 Spring 2012

2

SUSTAINABILITY MADE SIMPLE WITH ECOCHICK.COM

inspiration Ecochick.com provides a resource and l footprint enta ronm envi their ce redu for people to ges. chan through simple, sustainable lifestyle Lara ner paig cam Founded by environmental eco product Shannon, Ecochick.com features blogs, and more, s new l enta ronm envi s, offer reviews and ct on the helping individuals to reduce their impa environment. ly eco Readers also have the chance to win week and ws revie uct prod the st whil s, product prize sourcing in you t assis can on secti g listin tory direc ss a wide environmentally friendly products acro , etics cosm ding inclu range of categories skincare, homewares, house & garden, petcare, toys, arts & crafts and more. Visit www.ecochick.com

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HERE’S SOME FOOD FOR THOUGHT

TRY THE NEWEST SUPERFOOD

Want to get the full health benefits of Konjac? Try SlimPasta! SlimPasta contains 94% less calories than white wheat pasta. In fact, in a generous 100 gram serve of the Angel Hair variety there is a measly 6.4 calories and in a serve of Spaghetti there is only 14.1 calories. In other words, less than one minute on the treadmill! It is pre-cooked so incredibly easy to prepare. Simply drain away fluid, rinse, leave in hot water for one minute and drain. SlimPasta is available in Woolworths in the health & organic section and selected IGA and health-food stores. RRP $3.69 for a 250g pack (2 servings of 125g).

You are invited to host a meal any time in the month of October, in recognition of the United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (17 October). Whether you love to cook or just eat, a Food for Thought event is an opportunity to host family, friends or colleagues for a fun meal that also raises awareness and funds for people in need – funds that will help poor families in developing countries start a business, earn an income and work their way out of poverty. The aim is to raise $120,000 through this year’s Food for Thought campaign, in order to help 2,100 families in India grow a small business and leave poverty behind. Every donation counts! See what impact you can have. www.foodforthought2012.gofundraise. com.au

JOIN THE SMAMAZING RACE [Design: please make ‘SMA’ in ‘SMAMAZING’ stand out] For anyone who watches The Amazing Race on TV and thinks “I would love to do that”, join The SMAmazing Race, raising money for the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Associat ion. Held throughout October 2013, Twelve teams of two will spend ten days racing through mystery overseas locations. Racers are given a choice of challenges, similar to those seen on the TV show. Points are awarded for each challenge and an eventual winner is named at the end of each race. Spinal Muscular Atrophy or SMA, is the number one genetic killer of infants under the age of two and there is no known cure. Challenge yourself and find out how you can get involved today. www.smaaustralia.org.au.

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5

Spirituality | you

The Top

Regrets of the Dying Through her work in palliative care, Bronnie Ware’s patients were those who had gone home to die. She shares the lessons she learned in those final conversations.

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eople grow a lot when faced with their own mortality. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them. When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again.

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back on it clearly, they see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most of them had not honoured even half their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Lesson: Honour your most important dreams. From the moment you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise until they no longer have it.

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2. I wish I didn’t work so hard

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been the breadwinners of the family. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

Lesson: By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to need less income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities; ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result. Lesson: We cannot control the reactions of others. Although people may initially react when you speak your true feelings, in the end it will either raise the relationship to a healthier level or release you from the unhealthy relationship.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends

Often patients would not truly realise the benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and by then it was not possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let many close friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort they deserved. Lesson: With the strains of a busy lifestyle, it’s easy to let friendships slip but when faced with your imminent death, the physical details of life fall away. While I found my patients wanted to ensure their financial affairs were in

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order, money or status no longer held any value to them. All that remains in those final weeks are love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier

This is surprisingly common. Many of my patients did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had remained stuck in old patterns and habits. The socalled ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. Deep within they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again. Lesson: When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying. Life is a choice. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness. The Top Five Regrets of the Dying is published by Hay House and it is available in through book retailers nationally. For more information, please visit hayhouse.com.au

Bronnie Ware is a writer, singer/ songwriter, and songwriting teacher from Australia. She also runs an online personal growth and songwriting course, has released two albums, and writes a well-loved blog, Inspiration and Chai. To discover more of her work, please visit Bronnie’s official website at www.bronnieware.com.

www.empoweronline.com.au


inspirational profile

Surviving

Bali

As we approach the tenth anniversary of the Bali bombing, Carren Smith reflects on how surviving such a devastating event has shaped her life over the past decade.

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y dad once shared with me the story of the butterfly. How it begins its life as a caterpillar and goes through hell in its transformation, and must struggle and strain in order to become a beautiful butterfly. It was a story I desperately needed to hear and was instrumental in my personal transformation from the depths of depression to living the life I am now so fortunate to enjoy. October 12 will mark 10 years since the tragedy of the Bali bombing in which 202 people were killed and countless families across the world were affected. The story of how I found myself to be in Bali on that fateful night began 12 months earlier with the suicide of my partner, Greg. We were a normal couple that had our ups and downs but, after seven years together, we had fallen into quite a rough patch, which ultimately resulted in Greg taking his own life. I’ll never really understand why, but I imagine he thought this was the best option for both of us. Greg’s death took me to the depths of depression and despair, at which

Spring 2012

point my life became unrecognisable. I hadn’t seen this coming at all, and I took on enormous guilt and responsibility for the effect his death was having on his family and friends. My soul was utterly destroyed and I emerged from this experience with such intense hatred for myself that I soon became convinced I didn’t deserve to be here any more.

Bali-bound

My best friend Jodi was my rock after Greg’s death and when I told her I wanted to go to Bali to commemorate the first anniversary of his passing, she insisted on coming. Our friend Charmaine also agreed to join us on the trip, which was to be a time of rest and relaxation after a difficult year for each of us. Jodi knew how dark my moods had become and didn’t trust me to be alone. Despite her suspicions, she had no idea that I had made the decision to end my life in Bali. In such a deep level of depression, the pain I felt exceeded my ability to cope. The conversations in my head were completely

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distorted from reality, and the fact that Charmaine and Jodi were joining me didn’t sway me from my intent. We had only been in Bali a few hours when we went out for drinks at the Sari Club. It began as a fun night out and I was in the mood to celebrate, feeling resolute that my decision had been made. I remember talking to my friends one moment and the next feeling this great rush of air hit me as though I was standing in front of a jet engine. When I awoke, I was covered in rubble containing hands, feet and faces. I remember seeing a warm, caramel-coloured light through the jumble of bodies and debris. I knew I had to get myself out and found myself yelling, “OK, I hear you,” as though someone was giving me instructions out of nowhere. I emerged from beneath the mess to discover the room was completely ablaze. I couldn’t see anything for the smoke and could hear only screaming. Spotting a light at the back of the club, I made my way towards a crowd of people who were urgently squeezing through a hole that had been blown in the


inspirational profile

wall. I joined them only to be met with more fire. I ran for my life and could feel the heat from the flames on my back. I fell into ditches, climbed walls and jumped from great heights. There was nothing human about my instinct for survival; it was super-human.

Help arrives

When I eventually found myself on the street, I wondered why people were looking at me in shock. Despite a feeling of heaviness in my left eye, I felt OK. I actually had a shard of bone sticking out of my skull. I was ushered into the back of a car with a couple who were badly burned and found myself reassuring and comforting them. I had never felt more lucid and in control of myself. The chaos of people and traffic fleeing the site meant our car wasn’t going anywhere. Again, my survival instinct kicked in when I pushed open the door and spilled on to the street, where I was picked up by a passing Australian on a moped. My saviour rushed me to a local medical centre where I waited for attention in a scene that could only be compared to a war zone. The smell of burning flesh and the sounds of groaning and screaming will stay with me for ever.

PhotoXpress

The perspective I had gained in Bali, coming so close to death and seeing the effect on my family, meant that suicide would never again be an option The doctors inserted 28 staples in my skull and told me that I would die within hours if I didn’t have surgery to relieve the pressure on my brain. However, I was certain that surgery in that hospital would be the death of me. I had witnessed the same needle being used on eight different people and was adamant that they weren’t going to touch me. After coming so close to death, I now knew that I didn’t want to die. Despite the doctors advising me that flying could be fatal, I’d heard there was a flight leaving for Sydney that night, and knew I had to be on it to receive medical attention at home, surrounded by my family. Because of the seriousness

of my injuries, I knew that the airline would never take responsibility for me on board, so I lined up alongside other passengers for over three hours, sipping water and assuring myself I was fine. While I watched other injured Australians being wheeled past me in the care of medical staff, I stood, only hours from apparent death. All the while I was unaware that my two friends had been killed in the blast. I had even spoken to Jodi’s brother from the hospital, telling him that Jodi was fine and that I could hear her in the hallway talking on her phone. It wasn’t until I was back in Sydney, recovering in hospital, that I discovered the heart-breaking truth.

Home again

It had only been 36 hours since arriving in Bali with the intention to end my own life; now I was back in Sydney and filled with an overwhelming desire to live. I still carried overwhelming guilt and feelings of responsibility for my friends’ deaths, and my depression was crippling at times. However, the perspective I had gained in Bali, coming so close to death and seeing the effect on my family, meant that suicide would never again be an option. While the deaths of Jodi and Charmaine didn’t push me over the edge, I lived a life of nothingness and complete self-hate. Life passed like this for five years, until I had the life-saving conversation with my dad about the butterfly. It was a story I was ready to hear and I knew I couldn’t keep crying and feeling sorry for myself any more. I had become a victim, and I now knew that I was wasting my life living like this and not respecting or honouring the special people I had lost. When I changed the conversation in my head, my life changed with it. I woke suddenly one morning at 5.30am and knew that I was going to be a speaker. This was far removed from my career at the time as a real estate agent, and the thought of speaking in public terrified me, yet I knew that this was my calling. At the beginning, I suffered terribly from nerves. I would vomit, have sweat running down my back and forget things. I invested thousands of dollars in learning to speak

41

better and overcome my nerves. I persevered because I knew that I wanted to make a difference and wanted the world to know that it’s possible to get through any suffering. I owed it to Greg, Jodi and Charmaine to share this. Whenever we’re not fulfilling our purpose and passion, we feel incomplete and, because of that, the world is incomplete.

Telling the world

Through my speaking, I’ve travelled the country sharing my story and have encountered many people who have the most inspiring stories of their own, but they don’t know how to deliver them. I understood the power and release that came with sharing my experience and it made me sad to see so many people bottling these stories up and keeping them from the world. Through this, I developed The Art of Public Speaking seminar series, which I run across Australia and in the US. It teaches people to find their own voice and transform their lives along with their confidence. My experiences have been the most incredible gift, and without them I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Ten years is a remarkable chunk of time to reflect upon and I’m constantly humbled by the beauty and joy I am blessed to experience. Our lives are in a constant state of transformation, and when we are enlightened to the power that lies within, we all can be unstoppable. Carren Smith is the CEO of the Quantum Leadership Group, and she now leads a series of seminars teaching others the art of public speaking, among other subjects. www.qlg.com.au

www.empoweronline.com.au


life | Feature

Reduce your

footprint We all know we need to take care of our world, but Lara Shannon has some ideas to help you achieve personal growth through environmental awareness.

W

ith over 85 per cent of Australia’s population living in urban areas, it is one of the world’s most urbanised countries. It’s no wonder, then, that as we have adapted to our urban dwellings and lifestyles, many people have become disconnected from nature, losing all sense of the need to care for and protect our environment, and losing a sense of self at the same time. The latest Living Planet Report from WWF highlights just how far we have drifted from being aware of our role in this world and our individual impact on the environment. If you were to ask most Australians how we compare to others around the world in terms of our eco-awareness, the majority would say that we’re a pretty environmentally aware bunch, given our love of the great outdoors. Yet, the truth of the matter is that if everyone lived like the average Australian, it would take 3.76 planets to support the world’s population – well over the global average of two planets.

Dwindling resources

We are using significantly more resources than the Earth can sustainably produce and, unless we change course now, the world we know and enjoy today will be a very different landscape in the future – within our lifetime. We all know that we are supposed to do what is good for the environment. We

Spring 2012

know we must all make a change in our lives to break the inherited living habits and basic expectations about having, wanting and needing more. Since industrialisation, many developments and technologies have made our lives so much easier and comfortable, yet we live in an age where there is more disconnect and discontent than ever. If we’re not conscious, aware beings, living in harmony with the world around us, we are not appreciating the gift of life we have been given and will be unable to see the world as it is and as it should be. It is vitally important, that as we strive to achieve personal and spiritual growth, we become conscious of who we really are and what we want in this world. At the centre of this consciousness is awareness of how our daily thoughts, ambitions and actions impact on the world and the natural environment around us. By reflecting each day on our actions and recognising the natural beauty that exists around us, which can give us so much joy and peace at no cost at all, we will appreciate the fragility of the world around us and the true impact of what our thoughts and actions can have on it. Without a healthy environment, our own personal and spiritual growth will suffer. The inner and outer peace we strive for will get tougher to achieve as we fight for survival against new diseases, increased natural disasters and a lack of resources, water and food to sustain us long-term. So

42

how can we achieve personal and spiritual growth through environmental awareness?

Save the world

For many, self-change and spiritual growth has begun because they take the view that the human race has to change in order to save the world as we know it. That it is the right thing to do to not live beyond our means, and since we are currently living far beyond our means, we need to change. If you look at the spiritual leaders and religions that educate about achieving spiritual growth and true peace – the Dalai Lama and Buddhism are just an example – there is always a core understanding of the miracle of nature. Appreciating, protecting and being at peace with Mother Earth is an underlying theme. At times it can be overwhelming if we focus on trying to solve all the world’s environmental problems. We give up and think that one person can’t make a difference, so why bother trying at all? Just like the journey to spiritual growth, it can be difficult at times to keep committed to changing our day-to-day habits to lessen our eco-footprint.


Feature | life

However, by being conscious each day of the world around us, the gift we have been given called life, we will by nature be more conscious of how our habits are impacting on the environment. And, by making small changes at every opportunity, we can collectively create change in the world.

Working together

When enough individuals come together, they form local communities with a common goal, which can then influence whole towns and cities, and in turn governments. According to the WWF Living Planet Report, there is opportunity to prepare for a future that can provide food, water and energy for the 10 billion people who will be sharing the planet in 2050 by changing our food production processes, reducing waste, establishing water management practices and developing alternative energy sources. These are the big initiatives that will be driven by a collective of conscious and active individuals who take responsibility for their own lives and local communities. To assist you on your own journey, starting at home and as you go about your daily life, we’ve selected three areas where you can make a difference through better choices. Making a commitment to these actions and to self-change, through appreciation of the environment around you, has no down side. It will make a difference, it will influence change if you share your quest with friends and family, and it will help you appreciate your own role and purpose in this world. Even better, they can also help you save money and improve your overall health, too.

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Take action

1. Skincare and cosmetics The products that you use on your skin every day could not only be harming the environment, but may also be harming your health. Most big-brand toiletries and cosmetics contain many synthetic or unnatural chemicals that can cause allergies or are hormone disruptors.

Over a year, a woman can absorb up to 2 kg of chemicals through the skin alone, simply through the toiletries and cosmetics we use. Babies and children are even more sensitive. They key is to look for products that contain plant-based ingredients and ideally organic ingredients fragranced with true essential oils, not tested on animals. The good news is that there is now an abundance of natural and organic cosmetics, skin care and toiletry products available in mainstream retail outlets or online. They are often priced cheaper than the big brand chemical laden alternatives as well. There is a number of online guides and smartphone applications to find out how different brands and products rank, including the Australian Ethical Guide (www.ethical.org.au),the Good Guide (www.goodguide.com)and the consumer watchdog Choice (www. choice.com.au). 2. Food The choices we make about what we eat each day really can have some major environmental consequences. The consumption of seafood has led to the overexploitation of three quarters of the world’s oceans. Meat and dairy foods are resourceintensive foods to produce, requiring more water, energy and phosphorus, while also having higher greenhouse gas emissions compared to plant foods. The Australian National Dietary Guidelines recommend one to one-anda-half servings of meat, fish, poultry or meat alternatives each day. Based on the average serving and at the highest edge of the recommend range (100g of meat 1.5 times a day),they suggest a person should consume 54.75 kg per annum. Yet, Australians on average consume over 122 kg of meat a year. Replacing a serving of meat with a vegetarian option every second day will reduce your environmental impact and be better for your health. It’s also easy to forget about the energy, water, chemicals and effort used to produce everyday food items such as chocolate bars,

43

soft drinks or a packet of chips. Simple, unprocessed foods take much less energy and water to be ready to eat and are significantly better for your health. Planning your meals for the week, and only buying what you need for this, is an important way to reduce food waste and save you money. When you consider that Australians waste over 4 million tonnes of food every year, at a value of over $7 billion, there is significant room for improvement here. 3. Energy This is probably one of the most repeated energy saving tips, yet it’s widely ignored. Over half your energy bill is likely to come from heating and cooling, so set your thermostat to the optimum temperatures: winter maximum 18ºC; summer no less than 26ºC. Every 1°C can make a big difference to the amount of energy you use – up to 15 per cent less. Even on standby mode, most electrical items still use up to 10 per cent electricity and cost Australian consumers around $1 billion a year. Turning off TVs, computer monitors and other electrical appliances at the power point is an obvious way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money. An eco-switch device can help when you don’t remember. And if for some reason you still haven’t switched all your standard light globes to energy-saving ones, now is the time to do so. They cut energy use by approximately 80 per cent, and last 6 to 15 times longer. If every Australian household replaced just two lights, this would equate to over 200,000 vehicles being taken off the road each year. Lara Shannon is Founder of Ecochick. com and host of EcoTV.com.au. She has worked for many environment groups in Australia and the UK, including WWF, Planet Ark, Keep Australia Beautiful and others, and has run her own environmental and social change communications consultancy for over 10 years. Contact lara@ecochick.com.

www.empoweronline.com.au


life | Feature

Stop being a

doormat! Are you one of those people who can never say no? Lisa Phillips has some advice to help you stop others wiping their feet all over you.

I

admit it – I suffered from doormat syndrome for years and it cost me dearly. I didn’t just dip my toe into the occasional doormat situation; I was a serial doormat addict who seethed with anger on the inside while smiling sweetly on the outside. I was almost proud to be a doormat, because it made me feel like a nice girl. So why is the doormat syndrome so common, particularly with women? One issue is that we often fail to place sufficient value on ourselves or our talents. In addition, we are often unclear of our basic human needs or the fact that it is perfectly acceptable to let people take responsibility for their own problems. A recent UK survey (The Priory Group) showed that women often feel the need to please others more strongly than they please themselves. The research went on to say that, as women, we can be “self-critical, prepared to accept that the fault in a dispute is always ours; deeply concerned by what others feel about us, lest we rock the boat; reluctant to express our own views, just in case someone else might disagree… if we think it will keep them happy”.

In addition, every time we fail to speak up for ourselves or we put our own needs behind those of other people, we send out a message that says, “I am unimportant. My feelings do not matter. What other people want is far more important than what I want.” Making a decision to stop being a doormat does come with a few challenges. The most common reaction being the uncomfortable feeling that sneaks up on you after you begin to stand up for yourself. At this point, many people give in to those uncomfortable feelings and return to their more familiar way of living. But don’t fear feeling uncomfortable, because it signals positive changes. We all like a peaceful life but please don’t fool yourself that being treated like a doormat is a way to reduce stress and anxiety.

Take the challenge

So if you are up for the challenge, try some of these tips, which will start sending out the much-improved message of, “I am valuable and I care about myself and my own needs. I am important.” Value yourself more. If you believe that you deserve to be treated badly, you will be. Write a list of all your talents and start to recognise how valuable you really are. Give up the need to be liked. If people don’t like you, that is their problem. In the words of Wayne Dyer, “It is none of my business what you think of me.”

The costs

So what is the price of being a doormat and what can we do to prevent catching this infectious disease? In reality, the costs of being a doormat can be high and can ultimately result in a loss of self-respect and personal integrity, and failing to look after your own emotional wellbeing.

Spring 2012

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Stop trying to please everyone. It is perfectly OK to do things for others but not at the cost of your own self-esteem. If you start feeling resentful towards someone, that’s a sure sign that you have overstepped your own boundaries. Notice when you hold back from speaking up and swallow your words. Then start to practise stating how you really feel. Start small first and set yourself a target of doing this at least twice a week. Praise yourself every time you do it, and remember – feeling uncomfortable is a good thing. Accept that people may not like it at first and may get angry with you. This isn’t your fault. Remind yourself that their reaction does not make you a bad person. Stick to your guns. Despite how scary it may feel, you do have the right to be treated with respect and you do have the ability within you to assert yourself. With a little practice, it will be farewell doormat, hello empowerment!

Lisa Phillips is a business and life coach based in Sydney. She features regularly on TV and radio, and is the author of two books. Her mission is to make you feel great about yourself. She is also a dynamic trainer and speaker. For more information go to www.amazingcoaching.com.au or www.lisaphillips.com.au.


with every subscription Subscribe to emPOWER before November 30th, 2012 and not only will you have the next four issues of emPOWER delivered to your door, you’ll also receive a box of Lifetiles108 and some gift cards from Affirmations, valued at over $50

Lifetiles108 is a contemporary, user-friendly and effective method of guidance, teaching you to trust your intuition. Shuffle the deck of 108 cards and draw a card randomly for an inspirational message. Whether the message is one of encouragement, to instill self confidence or focuses on an area you may have overlooked, the awareness inspires new thought patterns to create the changes desired. The gentle, positive guidance allows you to seek alternative perspectives to fulfill your highest potential. www.lifetiles108.com

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wellbeing | Spotlight on

We’re going crazy for

konjac It’s being promoted as the latest superfood, promising to help with all manner of health issues, from diabetes to constipation. Read on to find out why you should include konjac in your cooking.

A

cai, goji berries, linseeds, beetroot… The list of so-called superfoods that have burst on to the scene in recent years goes on and on. In the past, it was just health fanatics and supermodels who were reaping the benefits of these superfoods, but as word spreads, all sorts of people are taking notice – proving that the trend for healthy eating is not a trend at all. And now there’s a new superfood we’re adding to our shopping list – konjac – an Asian vegetable that is similar to a potato in texture but without those pesky calories that we all want to avoid. Konjac (pronounced con-jack) is a low-calorie plant that can grow up to 25 centimetres in diameter and is a dietary staple throughout many Asian countries. Known as the devil’s tongue for its rather unusual appearance, it is often used as a dietary supplement for weight management, thanks to the way it leaves people feeling full without overloading them on carbohydrates. Research also indicates that soluble fibres such as glucomannan, which is derived from the konjac root, may help lower blood pressure

Spring 2012

and cholesterol, slow glucose absorption and promote regular bowel movements. While soluble fibre can be found in many sources, such as fruit, vegetables and oats, the most promising comes from glucomannan, because it has an incredible water-holding capacity and is the thickest of all known dietary fibres.

What’s so great about it?

By creating a thick gel, glucomannan delays the emptying of the stomach and slows the release of sugar into the blood stream, helping to lower the levels of insulin and blood glucose. In turn, this leaves you feeling fuller for a longer period of time, and helps prevent unnecessary snacking in between meals. It’s a natural appetite suppressant that assists in a healthy lifestyle, and it also tastes delicious. What more could you ask for? According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, after daily consumption over several weeks, glucomannan can lead to a reduction of blood sugar levels and cholesterol, and can also promote weight loss. Furthermore, daily intake of

46

glucomannan was found to lower glucose by an average of 7.4mg/dl after five weeks. Dietician and nutritionist, Gabrielle Maston says, “Many Australians have trouble eating the recommended daily fibre intake but given that glucomannan contains 85 to 95 per cent soluble dietary fibre, introducing konjac into the diet is an easy and simple way of getting the required amount to lead a healthy, active life.” In addition, recent research has shown that those who eat at least the recommended daily intake of fibre tend to live longer – every 10g increase in fibre intake is linked to a 10 per cent lower mortality rate. Konjac also helps to stimulate the absorption and digestion of protein and other nutritious substances, while keeping the intestines clean and assisting in the movement of the bowels. Given that it works as a natural laxative, it is often used to assist people who have intestinal and digestive problems. Konjac is extremely low in calories, high in fibre and low in fat, so it is ideal for people who are trying to lose weight.


Spotlight on | wellbeing

In fact, konjac is 97 per cent water and 3 per cent glucomannan, and therefore it contains no ‘bad’ carbohydrates, the bane of every dieter. It can also be used as an excellent vegan substitute for gelatine, and given that the majority of konjac noodles are gluten-free, it is ideal for sufferers of gluten intolerances and those who have coeliac disease. Konjac also manages to pack in an entire alphabet of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, E, D, B1, B2, B6, B12 and C, as well as folic acid, copper, zinc and, of course, dietary fibre. The benefits of including konjac in a balanced diet include: • Reduction of the absorption of cholesterol; • Prevention of obesity; • Treatment for constipation; • Promotion of the excretion of toxins; • Lowered blood pressure.

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Where does it come from?

The konjac plant grows all across China, Japan and South East Asia, and has been used for more than 1,000 years in Asia as both a source of food, as well as for medicinal purposes, including as a treatment for asthma, burns, breast pain and skin disorders. At first, konjac was just used as a precious gift between monks in the form of medicine and cakes, and it was used to treat patients who suffered from obesity and type two diabetes, and those with unstable blood sugar levels. Since then it has become extremely popular as a regular part of the Japanese diet. The plant has a single large leaf that rises out of a corm or root, with the corm being the part that is typically used in cooking. A flour or pasta can be made out of the starchy corm, known as glucomannan, and it is this that is used in Japan to make noodles or konjac tofu. Konjac is available in various forms, such as powder or capsules, as well as noodles and pasta. These can be easily incorporated into a typical Australian diet by using them as a replacement for regular

white wheat pasta, noodles or rice in everyday meals. Maston says, “Konjac has very little flavour, so it’s great as a base for your favourite pasta or noodle dish, where the sauce flavours are really allowed to shine. Noodles made from konjac expand in the stomach, making it an excellent addition to meals to add substance, without adding unnecessary fat or calories.” Although they are light in texture, the expanding noodles leave you feeling fuller for longer – which is a great way to avoid naughty after-dinner snacks, fat-filled treats and afternoon binges.

melt easily when it’s in the mouth, meaning that it could get lodged in the throat. Konjac jelly snacks are still a popular treat in Asia, but they have an increased size and different consistency from those that posed a risk to the consumer in the US. However, these snacks are not sold in Australia in either incarnation. Furthermore, the safety of konjac in other forms is evidenced by The United States Department of Agriculture recently approving the use of it in meat products and allowing it on to the National Organic Program’s list of organic-compliant ingredients.

How else it is used?

Why am I only hearing about it now?

Bizarrely, konjac is not only a food source, but it can also be used as a beauty product. Konjac sponges are very popular in Asia for the treatment of delicate, sensitive skin. They gently exfoliate the surface of the skin and are 100 per cent free from any colours, additives and other general nasties. Because of the high moisture levels inherent in the konjac plant and its alkaline nature, these sponges help to balance the acidity of the skin’s natural impurities, while stimulating blood flow and the growth of new skin cells.

It’s a natural appetite suppressant that assists in a healthy lifestyle, and it also tastes delicious. What more could you ask for? In the past, konjac has also been used to create a popular Asian fruit jelly snack, known in the United States as lychee cups. As a result of several deaths among young children and the elderly, caused by suffocation while eating the candy, the United States Food and Drug Administration issued product warnings back in 2001. The cause of the tragic incidents was the fact that the jelly does not

47

Although konjac has been a staple of the Asian diet for many centuries and has been steadily gaining popularity in both the US and Europe over the past couple of decades, it is relatively new to the Australian market. This is largely because konjac can’t be grown in Australia, because it only flourishes at extremely high altitudes. Thankfully, it can be integrated into our diets and lifestyles easily because it is extremely quick and easy to prepare. Furthermore, because the Australian climate is not conducive to the growth of the konjac plant, it must be imported from Asia, so we can add konjac to the list of hidden treasures that we’ve discovered over the years from our neighbours overseas. Full of nutritional benefits, konjac should go straight to the top of your superfood shopping list the next time you’re heading for the health food store. Try it yourself Want to get the full health benefits of konjac? Try SlimPasta. It contains 94 per cent fewer calories than white wheat pasta. In fact, in a 100g serving of the angel hair variety, there are a measly 6.4 calories, and in a serving of spaghetti, there are only 14.1 calories. In other words, less than one minute on the treadmill.

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By Tracey Roberts, A&A Pub


Feature | wellbeing

Bladder your natural survival guide One in five women experience discomfort caused by interstitial cystitis or urinary tract infections. Narelle Stegehuis explains how an individualised approach can provide long-term relief.

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ccording to the National Institute of Health, up to 80 per cent of interstitial cystitis and urinary tract infection sufferers experience recurring conditions on a regular basis. Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a complex condition caused by erosion of the protective bladder lining. This may be due to infection, inflammation, hormones, autoimmune conditions or a combination of factors. For many sufferers, symptoms are often worse during ovulation and under stress, due to a neurohormonal connection. Symptom relief can be achieved with traditional herbal support that targets the underlying cause. For example, a combination of antimicrobial herbs such as Thymus vulgaris and anti-inflammatory herbs such Achillea millefolium may be beneficial if the underlying cause is triggered by bacteria and inflammation. Other herbs, such as Passiflora incarnata, may be included in a tonic if stress is thought to be a contributing factor. This is why a tailored herbal tonic is often the best choice of natural treatment.

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Battling bacteria

Bacterial urinary tract infections (UTIs), however, are infections of the urinary tract. Although your urinary system is designed to help protect you against bacterial infections,

certain situations can cause bacteria to multiply out of control. Bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), which live in the digestive tract, in the vagina, or around the urethra, are the most common cause of UTIs. Research also supports the influence of hormones, such as oestrogen, associated with menopause and reproductive disorders (polycystic ovarian disorder or endometriosis, for example) enhancing the growth of many bacteria associated with recurrent UTIs. Symptom relief can be achieved with simple remedies such as cranberry juice or probiotics. However, if you experience recurrent UTI infections, an individualised herbal tonic that supports hormonal balance in addition to antibacterial relief may be a necessary option. Although symptoms such as bladder pain and urinary symptoms, such as frequent voiding (feeling as though you want to go to the toilet a lot) and urgency, are common to both conditions, IC is vastly different, with patients describing pain as intolerable. Both IC and UTIs may improve with medical treatment but, unfortunately, infection associated with both of these conditions may be resistant to traditional antibiotic treatment, which means symptoms may recur with time. However, improving the health of the bladder and urinary tract is achievable in three easy steps.

Step 1: Identify the cause

A diagnosis for IC can be both timeconsuming and frustrating, and even once a diagnosis is made, treatment options can be limited until you isolate the cause. Symptomatic health screening and hormonal profiling, coupled with pathology testing to identify the underlying factors triggering the symptoms, is the first step in the right direction. Once the

cause is established, effective long-term management is possible.

Step 2: Diet and lifestyle

Start making small changes, such as giving up coffee and alcohol. Consume foods that promote alkalinity within the body and remove allergens such as wheat or dairy from your diet. These changes are beneficial to both ICI and UTI sufferers. Other changes depend upon a more individualised approach, such as tailored diet and lifestyle changes to support immune or digestive health and hormonal balance.

Step 3: Targeted treatment

Finally, the choice of traditional herbal medicine for IC and UTIs depends upon the underlying contributing factors to the condition, such as hormones, autoimmunity, central nervous system excitability, bacterial infection, inflammation or digestive weakness. A common mistake is to take Vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) for IC. For many women, taking this herb actually aggravates the condition. However, recent research indicates that Vaccinium macrocarpon does provide beneficial support for bacterial UTI sufferers by preventing bacterial adhesion to cells within the bladder wall. This herb, coupled with probiotics such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus, may provide beneficial support for UTIs caused by Escherichia coli, due to their protective influence on the immune system. Remember, both IC and UTIs are complex conditions, requiring an individualised treatment approach. This is why sufferers should seek the expertise of a qualified health practitioner and if symptoms persist, obtain medical advice.

Narelle Stegehuis is a practising naturopath and medical herbalist, who has been specialising in the natural treatment of women’s health and hormonal imbalance for over 14 years. She is an accomplished writer and editor, and recipient of the Australian Naturopathic Excellence Award. www.massattack.com.au

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wellbeing | Feature

Weight

limits

Life is full of limitations, yet Natasa Denman has found that many people struggle to restrict themselves when it comes to their diet.

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magine a world where there were no restrictions. You could do whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted, without recourse, health concerns, upsetting others or harming yourself. Where money was no inhibitor, and neither was time. You could stay in bed until lunchtime, wear your PJs all day, not pay your bills nor, for that matter, even go to work. You could eat anything you wanted in whatever quantity you wanted, without it affecting your health or your waistline. If you were reading that last paragraph thinking wow, that could never happen, you are right. That world simply doesn’t exist. We are all bound by restrictions and, as adults, we are aware of the consequences of not adhering to the limits that are placed on us.

Food for thought

Why is it, then, that food restrictions are such an issue? Many people are desperate to lose weight, but when it comes to their eating plan, they suddenly despise the words ‘food restriction’. They invest in the latest diet pills, liposuction, expensive gym memberships, slimming detox treatments and any quick-fix fads that are around at the time. Absolutely anything goes. They even research the use of drugs that have not yet been approved. They choose to do anything other than embracing a lifestyle where indulgence foods are an occasional treat instead of a regular occurrence. There are many restrictions in life. Take marriage, for example. When you are

Spring 2012

married or in a relationship, you can’t just do whatever you want any more. You can’t go wherever you want, buy whatever you want or only think of yourself. If you choose to live without restrictions in your relationship, it will fail as quickly as a lemon detox diet.

Restrictive practices

Having a job or a business comes with even more restrictions. When you work for someone, you must arrive on time, and take a lunch break when they tell you to. You may even have to wear a uniform that you wouldn’t be seen dead in elsewhere. You must take holidays when it’s suitable for the business, and bring a doctor’s certificate when you are ill. Again, we all – well, most of us – understand and accept that we need to comply with these restrictions if we wish to stay employed.

You can eat whatever you like if you are prepared to pay the price With relationships, jobs and finances, we accept the restrictions and enjoy the benefits. This same method must be adhered to, to be successful in reaching and maintaining your ideal weight. Most of us don’t abandon our job, spouse or children because they aren’t perfect, yet people abandon diet after diet because they can’t do it perfectly. Dieters often complain that they feel hard done by because they can’t eat whatever they want, but few people

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can have the body and good health that they desire, and still eat what they want. Remember, you can eat whatever you like if you are prepared to pay the price, and for most people, the price is too high once they understand what destructive eating is really costing them.

No regrets

No one wishes that they’d eaten more biscuits and cake as they are lying on their deathbed. Most of the time, people wish they had done more, seen more and lived fuller, richer lives. Overeating without restrictions is not going to move you towards this; it is going to move you one step closer to the point of no return. Every person who has lost weight agrees, without exception, that changing how they eat permanently, by restricting some foods in their diet in order to be free from the limitations of excess weight, is definitely worth it. Behavioural experts understand that humans do so much better when they are able to accept something rather than fight it. Accepting it means you work with it instead of resisting it. If you accept the same restrictions around food that you do in the rest of your life, you are one huge step closer to reaching your ideal weight. Natasa Denman is The Ultimate Weight Loss Coach. As a mindset specialist, she helps people uncover the real reasons why they have been unable to lose weight and helps them reach their ideal weight in a sustainable fashion. www.ultimateweightloss.com.au


Feature | fitness

Break

mental barrier through the

Do you struggle with losing weight, exercising and making lifestyle changes? If so, you’re not alone, but Amanda Preece knows how to help.

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ven though your heart may be set on making changes to your lifestyle, it seems there are a few major problems that people struggle with. Listed below are the mental barriers that people face when changing to a healthy lifestyle and how you can overcome them.

1. The process of weight loss is too painful

We all think that at some stage but what about the outcome? People are focusing too much on what they have to go through rather than focusing on the result. Don’t expect perfection; just begin the shift and take daily steps to move forward. So many people quit an exercise programme as quickly as they start. This seems to be because after just a week or so they expect to see results. But it takes time to see results, and daily steps to achieve them.

2. Negative self-talk

It‘s easy to talk ourselves into why we can’t and why we shouldn’t, so maybe have a think about this. The reason why you don’t make a lasting change is because of all the negative self-talk you have been telling yourself. Become aware of the conversations that you are having with yourself and make them positive.

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3. Belief systems

Start changing the feelings and belief systems that you have towards diet and exercise. Instead of listing all the reasons why you don’t want to go to the gym, make a list of the reasons you do. One example: “I don’t want to go to the gym because

I’m too tired.” Now turn that around. Try: “I want to go to the gym because it will give me energy and I’ll feel great.”

4. Complacency

Maybe there is a reason why you can’t get off the couch and stop over -eating. Next time you find yourself doing something counter -productive to your weight loss, stop and think about what that action brings you emotionally. Are you eating because it brings you comfort that you are not getting in other areas of your life? Maybe there is something that you are anxious about and eating helps to calm it. Whatever it is, deal with the problem instead of eating. Not only will it help balance out your health, but your life as well.

Instead of listing all the reasons why you don’t want to go to the gym, make a list of the reasons you do 5. Not enough time to exercise We are all guilty of using this excuse. But are you crazy? Are you not important enough to deserve the life that you have always been dreaming of? Every day you need to plan the time to exercise. Put it in your diary like an appointment that you must attend and that cannot be cancelled or rescheduled. Regarding the time factor, try going to bed earlier and getting up earlier, or maybe just sleep less. When you think about it, you are the one that has

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to live with your body. You may think you don’t have the time to exercise but you don’t have the time to get sick either.

Consider your reasons

Connect a reason why you are starting to get fit and healthy with a strong emotional desire. Because emotions are what make humans do what we do, it is important to connect a strong emotional reason with your goal. The reason of wanting to look good will probably work for a little while, but if you don’t start to see the results quickly, the motivation will soon wear thin. What is it that you value in yourself and your life? An example of a strong emotional reason may be valuing a long and healthy energetic life that will bring you happiness, and a stronger connection with others. So do yourself a favour and write down your emotional reasons for wanting to start a healthy lifestyle, and plan in your exercise appointments. Start the change today and break through the mental barrier. Amanda Preece is an experienced personal trainer, yoga teacher, weight loss consultant and founder of AP Health and Fitness. She maintains a growing popularity in the fitness industry and a rapidly expanding client base. Amanda has dedicated her life to exploring and promoting pathways to women’s wellbeing and empowerment. www.aphealthandfitness.com

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Feature | finance

Change

your money

If you can change the way you think about money, Jason Cunningham is convinced that you will also change your financial future.

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ere’s something I’ve learned over 15 years of helping people achieve their financial goals: regardless of whether they’re a CEO, successful business owner or average Joe/Joanne, people keep making the same money mistakes. Only the zeroes differ. A lack of financial literacy leaves people of all walks of life unable to deal with money basics, so they’re more likely to get into trouble – and then bury their head in the sand to ignore it. But more fundamentally, many people begin with the wrong money mindset. The right mindset is crucial for financial success.

What is a money mindset?

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Your money mindset is the collection of attitudes, beliefs, fears, experience and your financial personality that dictate your relationship with money. It can either drive you to take control and achieve your full financial potential, or hold you back, keep you tied to the financial treadmill and trapped in a cycle of spending and debt. Here are some of the factors that affect your money mindset: • Knowing the difference between needs and wants, and good and bad debt. • Understanding why we always spend what we earn (known as keeping up with the Joneses). • Being aware of your financial personality. Are you a peacock, for instance, who loves ostentatiously splashing the cash? A chicken who’s too afraid to take action? Or an ostrich who buries their head in the sand and hopes it all goes away? • Limiting beliefs. These are often driven by your experience with money, or

mindset

your upbringing. Fear plays a huge factor – fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of getting ripped off, even fear of success.

Build a positive money mindset

You need to change your money mindset before you can take action to secure your financial future. This may require you to reprogramme your psyche, so you can overcome the limiting beliefs holding you back. You deserve financial success Before you can achieve financial success, you need to believe that you deserve it. Financial success is no different to success in any other area, be it sport, work or relationships. Whether you do or don’t believe you deserve something or will attain it, you’ll be proven right. Many people feel they don’t deserve financial success because their parents struggled and they feel that’s their birthright. They’re suspicious of money, and feel bad for wanting more. But you need to break free of this limiting belief and realise that we all deserve prosperity. And we can all achieve it. Know where you are and where you’re going You need a clear, honest picture of where you are. This can be confronting, and may force you to face some uncomfortable facts. But any short-term pain will pay off with long-term gain. You then need to know where you’re going. Articulate your goals; write them down, and put clear timeframes on achieving them, so they’re real. You can then visualise what it is you want to achieve. Focus on your desired outcome Adopting a positive attitude is vital – in some ways, you attract much of what happens to you in life based on your outlook, which affects everything you do. So make sure you view all money-related aspects as positively as possible, and you’ll be less likely to let fear and negativity hold you back. 53

Positive visualisation can help you achieve your goals faster. The key is to focus on what you want, not what you don’t. If you focus on the negative, all you see is obstacles blocking your path. By focusing on what you want, those obstacles become challenges – and you can find ways to overcome them. Rather than saying, “I’m sick of being in debt and never having enough money,” imagine yourself free from debt, with no money worries, and living the lifestyle you want. If you find yourself in financial trouble, face your problems and look for help, rather than ignore them (and only making them worse). Focus on the end outcome – the day you are debt-free – and your debt can be steadily whittled away. Jason Cunningham is founding partner of accounting and wealth-creation firm The Practice, and author of Where’s My Money?, a financial self-help book with tips and strategies to help anyone achieve financial success. Jason can be heard on SEN1116’s The Run Home every Tuesday at 5.40pm. www.jasoncunningham.com.au.

www.empoweronline.com.au


finance | Property

Own home your

with rent-to-buy As more and more people battle to raise the deposit for their first house, Rick Otton has an alternative option: seller finance.

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hat do ABC Learning Centres, Sydney’s Luna Park and Barings Bank all have in common? They were all sold for $1 through an evolving technique that has been around since the 1800s, called seller finance. In fact, many parts of Australia were settled using seller finance, including North Sydney, Newcastle and the Blue Mountains. Meriton, one of the largest property developers in Australia, built its empire by selling units with seller finance. In the past couple of years, with bank financing becoming more difficult to obtain, this alternative form of finance is undergoing a resurgence in popularity, as more buyers and sellers discover how seller finance works and how they both can benefit. Seller finance is when a seller moves the financing on a property from themselves to a prospective purchaser. It solves two property problems: it aids sellers who need to sell a house quickly, without massively reducing their price; and it helps buyers who dream of home ownership and could afford to pay a mortgage payment each month, yet they may not qualify for a traditional bank loan because they haven’t

Spring 2012

saved enough money for a deposit. Now that banks require a 20 per cent deposit, and the First Home Owner Grant is disappearing, seller finance expands the field of potential buyers from 60 per cent to 100 per cent of the market. One form of seller finance is the rent-to-own scheme. This strategy can overcome major first-time home buyer obstacles mainly when it comes to having a 20 per cent deposit and going over bank hurdles to obtain bank financing. Rent-toown is also called a lease option, because the paperwork that is used to support the transaction is a standard residential agreement (rental lease), with an option to purchase given to the buyer.

Try before you buy

The rent-to-own strategy is very fluid and flexible – the paperwork can be written to specify any length of time, depending on the needs of the buyer and seller. This strategy is similar to leasing a car. A buyer leases a car for an agreed price and, for a specified period of time, they make a payment on the car each month. At the end of the lease period, the buyer has the option, but not the obligation, to purchase the car. It’s the same when it comes to property – when a buyer purchases a property on a lease option, it’s for an agreed price upfront. The buyer makes a monthly payment for a specified period of time and has the option, but not the obligation, to purchase the property – either during or at the end of the lease option period.

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Rent-to-own can serve as a steppingstone between renting and buying. Firsttime homeowners can try before they buy, and lease the property for a year or two (or even three), before committing to buying it. The scheme can also help first-time homeowners save up a deposit. Tenants/ buyers can pay extra rent each month that can go towards their deposit. It works as a forced savings plan. Then after the first year or two, they can go to the bank and get a loan to finance the rest of the price and buy the house.

Fulfilling the dream

Recently, US economist Harry Dent said that Sydney house prices are the highest in the world after Vancouver. These high property prices are making it increasingly difficult for first-time home buyers to save for their deposit and stamp duty. Many adults in their 20s and 30s are concerned that they may be permanently locked out of the housing market, and never achieve their dream of home ownership. In one real-life example, a tenant was interested in buying one of his landlord’s properties, but couldn’t raise a deposit. So the landlord suggested they work together, and they agreed to change the tenant’s rental to a rent-to-own arrangement, whereby he would contribute an extra $400 a week that would be credited towards the purchase price of the property. By the time he decided to buy, this extra rent ended up being five per cent of the purchase price. The lender gave him a 95 per cent home loan, and he was able to show the lender


Property | finance

he had already given his five per cent deposit to the landlord/ seller. The rent-to-own scheme was able to provide him with an easy, convenient and fast way to buy,enabling him to get into the housing market straightaway.

Buying without a bank loan

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Since banks have pulled back on lending money due to the global financial crisis, it’s become more difficult to qualify for, and receive, a bank loan. And now a buyer needs to save even more money for a deposit. In turn, this makes it more challenging for sellers to achieve their asking price, it takes longer to sell property, and it creates added uncertainty about whether buyers can even qualify for loans. The rent-to-own scheme is also a great stepping-stone from private finance to bank finance. If someone doesn’t qualify for traditional bank finance for some reason, this can be a great way for him or her to get into their own home straightaway. Then, a year or two down the track, after they have built up their deposit, they can go to a bank and start the traditional process of getting a loan. Here’s another example of rent-toown in practice. A property owner had a negatively geared property and needed cash flow relief. He and a property investor agreed to put a rent-to-own buyer in the home and split the positive cash flow and profits if it sold for more than $230,000. The property was in Cairns, the investor was in Brisbane, and the owner was in country Queensland, so this was a longdistance transaction.

The investor put an ad in the local newspaper, and phoned the local supermarket, faxed a flyer through, and asked them to stick it on the community notice board out the front. Then he spoke to the existing tenant, who hated the agent and the owner because they had been late making repairs after a cyclone a while back. The investor got the tenant a referral and helped him to find a new place and get released from his ‘terrible’ lease. In return he showed people through the property, all at one convenient time.

First-time homeowners can try before they buy, and lease the property for a year or two (or three), before committing to buying it In just a couple of weeks,the owner and investor found a suitable buyer, who bought the place for $300,000, and paid a $3,000 option fee and $500 a week for two years. Ironically, the agent had knocked this buyer back as a tenant just six months earlier, because he owned dogs. The investor never even saw the house until he flew up for the day to get all the paperwork signed – he completed the paperwork, and then flew home for dinner.

Seller finance today

Some people think that seller finance is illegal, but governments won’t abolish seller finance, because they use it themselves. An example of this is the large housing estates in the Mount Druitt area in western Sydney. Instead of renting, the government sold these housing estates to lower-

income earners on 40-year seller finance agreements between 1968 and 1978. Governments are still selling on seller terms in NSW and other states as well. Recently, the Western Australia Consumer Protection Department issued a press release stating that a company in Western Australia that used rent-to-own had been restrained from acting as a real estate agent and had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct. The action taken was appropriate in this specific case, but there is no question as to the legality of rent-to-own in general in the state of Western Australia. The rent is covered by the Residential Tenancy Laws, which are very thorough, and the option is covered by the property laws. Together you have rent-to-own. What has happened in this situation has not changed the legislation. Rent-to-own is still legal in Australia, including Western Australia. As we know, interest rates have gone up and down over the years, and bank loans have been easier to get at some times, and harder to get at others. Seller finance has been used in the background to sell property all this time, and has been gaining more and more popularity in recent years. Because more people have been using seller finance, especially the rent-to-own leaseoption strategy, the federal government even included a question on the 2011 census household form that asked whether the dwelling was being purchased under a rent/buy scheme. Seller finance has its place in the marketplace. It provides the bridge between where someone starts off, and where they want to be with their long-term housing loan via the banking system. The objective is to prove yourself to be a good payer on seller finance, so you’ll be able to refinance through the banking system in two to three years. The banking system will always offer better rates, and while seller finance won’t replace traditional finance sources, it is a very useful part of the system and can be an important stepping-stone for homebuyers.

Rick Otton is a self-made multi-millionaire and real estate consumer advocate, property investor and business owner. He is also the author of How to Buy a House for $1, available at all good book stores. For more information visit www.howtobuyahouseforadollar.com.

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finance | Feature

Fuel

your

finances

Currency trading is one of the fastest growing online investment vehicles on the planet. Marina Katsouris explores the multi-trillion dollar industry to which mums are moving.

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wo years ago, currency trading, also popularly termed foreign exchange or forex trading, was a $3 trillion investment market – the figure today sits between $4 and $7 trillion. More money trades hands the world over in one day in the currency market than in 15 days on the world’s stock markets. Catching on to the trend are mum and dad investors, finding the flexibility and 24-hour nature appealing when balancing family and working life. This investment method was once only available to the big banks and professionals, but with new technology, it is slowly becoming more mainstream, with ever-increasing avenues affording us the opportunity to step into the world of forex. Everyday investors want to take back control over their investing now that more traditional methods, such as shares and managed funds, are losing their attractiveness due to the current market volatility. Put simply, the foreign exchange market is the platform from where international currencies are traded. It is the largest monetary market in the world where trading between various associations and banks takes place. Foreign exchange

Spring 2012

policies in Australia are directed in a way that helps both investors and Australian people benefit. With its growing number of single mums, Australia is seeing increased interest and participation in this market, because of the ability to have greater financial control over your investments.

How do you forex trade?

Every time you enter into a trade, one currency is bought and another sold simultaneously. The contract is comprised of three components: the currency pair, the principal amount and the exchange rate. As forex is fast becoming mainstream, new mum investors are using it as a means of gaining further income for their growing families and securing future financial stability. With fewer risks and lower initial costs to enter than those of the stock market, it comes as no surprise that the industry is growing at such a dramatic pace. There are a few key reasons why this investment vehicle has grown in popularity among mum investors. Firstly, it has flexibility, control and transparency. Today, people want to look after their own money; they are sick of poor returns from fund managers, and the forex market provides

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control and flexibility to begin small and gradually build their account. There is also a low barrier to entry. You can start with as little as $50 in a currency trading account. The average currency trader, however, has approximately $3000 to $5000 in their trading account when they begin. There are drastically lower broker fees than the stock market, too. Online share trading costs you $20 in and $20 out, while currency trading can cost as little as 0.20c per trade. And you only pay once, not twice as in the share market. Unlike going into business, you need minimal start-up capital and you don’t have the usual hassles related with setting up an enterprise , such as dealing with customers, selling or staff to pay. All you really need is a desire to learn, a computer and an internet connection.

The beauty of forex

Whether you are a full-time mum, own your own business or are working nineto-five, you still have the opportunity to tap into one of the largest investment tools on the planet. Using forex trading as your online investment tool can offer you great flexibility and give you control over your


Feature | finance

earning potential. It also provides investor mums with control over their finances. Unlike the stock market, currency trading is always open, and the volatile market offers constant trading opportunities. This means that you can profit in the rising or falling markets, which can be very appealing. The ability to work from anywhere and having the opportunity to learn the market (it is open to traders at all levels, which invites them to take their time) is a big attraction. Another huge draw for many Australian mums is that forex trading effectively offers a recession-proof business opportunity. Post global financial crisis, many businesses struggled and, in fact, are still struggling. The beauty of forex, however, is that you have the potential to profit when the markets are rising or even crashing, as they seem to be doing regularly these days, because of the European debt crisis and financial issues around the world.

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How do you get started?

Educate yourself! Would you buy a business without knowing everything you possibly can about the industry? No, of course not. When learning to trade, it’s essential to educate yourself about the trading tools, strategies and systems of successful currency traders. It is possible to connect with professionals to learn from their experience in the industry and apply their expertise to your own trading. Money management is key. It’s important when starting out to begin small and then build your account and confidence. As with any kind of investing, you should only ever risk what you can afford to lose. Most professional traders only risk less than one per cent per trade. Successful trading is a game of probabilities, and it’s important to stack the odds in your favour by risking less per trade than the amount that you stand to profit. Discipline is also essential when considering the currency markets. Remember that you do not have to be in a trade all the time. Create a trading plan

so that you have a clear direction and a system in place to follow. Trading forex is not gambling, and should be treated as a business right from the beginning. Obviously, you can always benefit from support from other traders, too. Try to join a trading community, so you are associating with like-minded people who have common goals. This will help you to stay motivated and keep you in the right mindset. Research done by Investment Trends earlier this year produced a prediction from the Australian currency market that 30,000 people will take up currency trading this year. With the strong Australian dollar making headlines in recent years and proving to have longevity, along with the country’s proximity to Asia and a relatively mild regulatory system, these external factors play a role in why currency trading has forged its way as a rapidly growing trend in Australian markets. This in turn explains why mum investors are making the shift away from the volatility of the stock market.

Forex trading effectively offers a recession-proof business opportunity The principles and conventions applied in the forex market are completely universal, enabling you to trade from absolutely anywhere. Ninety-five per cent of traders in today’s market are speculators. The market is open to investors of all sizes. No longer do you need to have a million dollars in your account to trade forex. This control appeals to women, who can monitor how much money they can designate to forex trading as a profession outside of their usual daily costs.

What should you avoid?

When looking at the forex industry, mistakes are part of learning the industry. Most experts are right approximately 60

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per cent of the time – if they are lucky. So what is the biggest mistake you will make as a beginner? Overtrading. When novice traders first get a taste for the markets, they tend to think that a moment not spent trading is a moment wasted. This is not true. It is vital to remember to take a cautious tactic and remain disciplined. So the next time you want to trade or play around with your stops, ask yourself why you are doing it. This can be a vital step to learning early on in your trading career and a step that will make you a strong or weak trader. The amount of information within the growing market has meant there is always expert advice available. The trick to being successful is timing. Some of the best traders spend most of their time analysing markets, looking at the news, reading reports and looking at charts to make their move at the correct stage – for example, when the trend is changing or momentum is building. That is the way to book profits. Overtrading is the way to amass losses, and plenty of them.

Risky business?

Investing and learning how to trade currencies can potentially build cash flow for individuals and small businesses, provided you are investing and gaining knowledge from real professionals and you are not just looking at a set of charts. You must learn the one thing that drives financial markets, and that is fundamentals. It is not as difficult as you think, and currency investing can be a potentially lucrative cash flow opportunity. *Live Trader Global GoldRock Pty Ltd (ACN 135 321 649.) is a corporate Authorized Rep. (AR # 335434) of LTG GoldRock Pty Ltd (AFSL 286 510 / ABN 94 099 107 365). Trading involves the risk of loss as well as the potential for profit.

Marina Katsouris is a professional trader and trading coach with LTG GoldRock. She is also a full-time stay-athome mother. For further information, please visit www.ltggoldrock.com

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a little bit of motivation

It Couldn’t Be Done Somebody said that it couldn’t be done, But he with a chuckle replied That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried. So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin On his face. If he worried he hid it. He started to sing as he tackled the thing That couldn’t be done, and he did it. Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that; At least no one ever has done it”; But he took off his coat and he took off his hat, And the first thing we knew he’d begun it. With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin, Without any doubting or quiddit, He started to sing as he tackled the thing That couldn’t be done, and he did it. There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done, There are thousands to prophesy failure; There are thousands to point out to you, one by one, The dangers that wait to assail you. But just buckle in with a bit of a grin, Just take off your coat and go to it; Just start to sing as you tackle the thing That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it. By Edgar A. Guest

Spring 2012

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coaching toolkit

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Coach yourself to success

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SPRING 2012 www.empoweronline.com.au


live your Best life week 1

Set Your Goals

Areas of Your Life

Date:

Welcome to your first coaching session and congratulations for taking the first step to improving your life. In this first session you will be setting two inspiring goals for different areas of your life. Using the coaching models provided, complete the following exercises.

Where are you now?

On the chart, rate yourself on a scale of 0 - 10 in relation to where you feel you are at in each area of your life right now. Then, draw a line around the chart, joining the dots where you have marked your rating in each area. partner 10

family

eg.

6

7

2

3 4 wellbeing

finances

A ‘10’ means you consider that area is perfect and a ‘0’ means major improvement is needed.

social

0

PARTNER Think about this area in the context of whether you’re single or in a relationship. If you’re in a relationship, it refers to how you feel about your life with your partner. Is your relationship what you want it to be? If you’re single, think about your level of satisfaction with being single. Some people would love a committed relationship and others are content as they are. How do 6 you feel?

7

family This area refers to how you 5 feel about your relationships with family members. The rating you give this area should be an average for all family 2 relationships. While some will be strong, others may not be so good.

5

wellbeing

business/career

Where do you want to be?

spirituality

Next, give yourself a rating in relation to where you want to be in each area of your life in the next 1 - 2 months. Again, use a scale of 0 - 10 and draw a line around the chart, joining the dots where you have marked your rating in each area. Don’t be afraid to dream a little but consider what you can realistically achieve in that time. There’s no need to aim for a perfect 10 in any or every area. partner 10

family

self

Imagine your life with these results

social Similarly, this area refers to how you feel about your relationships 4 with friends and your satisfaction with your level of social/fun activity. Again, provide an average rating of your relationships and social activity. WELLBEING This is your overall sense of wellbeing and how you feel about your health & fitness. SPIRITUALITY If you’re a spiritual or religious person, this area refers to your level of connectedness with your beliefs. If you’re not spiritual or religious, think about your level of contentment with life in general.

6

eg.

BUSINESS/CAREER This area considers 7 the level of success and/or fulfilment5 you feel in relation to your business, career or current employment.

5

finances

8

2

3

10

social

0

5

2

FINANCES This final area refers to how you feel about your level of financial freedom and/or your progression2 3 towards your desired level of financial freedom.

4

wellbeing

business/career 10

spirituality Spring 2012

SELF This is your relationship with yourself. Consider how much love, appreciation, acceptance and respect you have for yourself.

eg.

5

8

2

social

family

self

5

Use this goal-setting tool over the next three months to achieve your goals and improve your life. Set the dates for your coaching sessions and let’s get started.

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8


Creating your goal Now it’s time to create your goals. To begin with, choose one area of your life that you would like to improve. Say it’s ‘Partner’ and you want to go from a rating of 4 to 8. Using the goal template over the page, create a written goal outlining what that new rating means to you - perhaps it’s about finding a soulmate or re-connecting with your husband.

Every goal that you write should be an empower goal. Think about the empower principles as you go through the process

Wellbein

It is the 31 g and I feel s st Ja n u a ry 2013 of what I h o happy and proud have reachedave achieved. I of 60kgs an my goal weight I am fit, he d I look fantastic. much more althy and have so fit into that energy. Now I can and I feel fasexy black dress bulous.

Write your goal in the present tense, as if you’ve already achieved it. Make it meaningful, including some strong emotions, and make sure your goal is inspiring to you. Use only positive words and be specific – focus on what you do want instead of what you don’t want. Be a little realistic (but not too much) about what you can achieve in the timeframe chosen. Remember, too, your goal needs to be your own, not a goal to change someone else. You can only take responsibility for improving yourself and your life.

Goal 1

Write your goal

Fill in the spaces below to create your first goal. Remember, you’re writing in the present tense and be positive - with the right attitude you’ll get where you want to be much faster. What you want [Date] [Emotion1] [Emotion 2] It is .............................. and I feel so ................................................... and .......................................................

to achieve

I/We................................................................................................................................................................................... I/We................................................................................................................................................................................... I/We................................................................................................................................................................................... Now I/We........................................................................................................................................................................... [Emotion3] and I feel ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������

Why you want to achieve it

Goal 2

Write your goal

Fill in the spaces below to create your first goal. Remember, you’re writing in the present tense and be positive – with the right attitude you’ll get where you want to be much faster. It is .............................. and I feel so ............................................................. and .............................................................. I/We................................................................................................................................................................................... I/We................................................................................................................................................................................... I/We................................................................................................................................................................................... Now I/We...........................................................................................................................................................................

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and I feel ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������

Required action: Your only action for the next week is to read your goals every day. Read them out loud and, as you read each one, experience how you will feel when you have achieved what you want. This is called visualisation and is an important step in the goalsetting process – visualise your goals as if you have already achieved them.

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week 2

Making it Happen

Date:

Now that you’ve been reading your goals for a week, consider whether you need to change or add anything to your goals to make them even more meaningful and inspiring. In this session, it’s time to start setting (and doing) the actions necessary to achieve each goal.

Required action: 1. If necessary, add to or change your goals. 2. On the action sheet provided, make a list of the actions you need to take in the next two weeks to get closer to your goals. Remember, these are your goals and you’re responsible for the actions, so be as detailed as you can. 3. Choose a motivational book to read or course to attend to expand your learning. 4. Continue to read and visualise your goals everyday.

Goal 1 Action

Completed

................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. .................................................................................................................................................................................

Goal 2 Action

Completed

................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................................................. .................................................................................................................................................................................

Spring 2012

64


week 4

Date:

Reflect on your goals and actions. Are you achieving what you’d planned to by this time? If you feel that you’ve lost some motivation for achieving your goals, or that you aren’t getting any closer to achieving them, it’s quite normal for people to experience this at some stage during the coaching process. To give you a reminder, and a shot of motivation, do the first action suggested below. Consider your results from the last two weeks. Have you completed all of your actions? If not, what got in your way? What can you do differently to prevent the same outcome in the next two weeks? If you’ve completed all of your actions, perhaps you can now push yourself a little harder.

Required action: 1. Meet with a friend or partner and share your goals with them. Explain to them all the reasons why you want to achieve each goal and how it inspires you. Ask them to hold you accountable. 2. On a new piece of paper, set some new specific actions for each goal over the next two weeks. Remember to challenge yourself. Anything worth achieving may be a little uncomfortable. 3. Continue to read and visualise your goals every day.

week 6

Date:

Hopefully you are well on your way to achieving your goals. If not, you may need to consider adjusting your goal date a little. This is normal and can happen for numerous reasons. You may have underestimated the time it would take, you may have gotten off track, or perhaps you may need to be more strict with yourself in taking actions. Remember, if nothing changes, nothing changes. It is up to you to achieve your goals.

Required action: 1. Adjust your date if necessary. 2. For each goal, make a list of 20 reasons why you want to achieve the goal. Remind yourself of how good you will feel and how life will be different. 3. On a new piece of paper, make a list of the actions you need to take in the next two weeks to get you closer to your goal. Remember to challenge yourself. 4. Decide on one nice thing you are going to buy or do to celebrate achieving your goal. 5. Continue to read and visualise your goal every day.

week 8

Date:

Well done for making it to Week 8 and congratulations if you have achieved any of your goals. If not, don’t lose hope, things sometimes just take longer than initially expected. Either way, it’s important to celebrate how far you have come.

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Required action: 1. Celebrate your success to date. Do something nice or buy yourself your chosen gift. 2. If you have adjusted your goal date, continue to set actions every two weeks and read your goal every day. 3. If you’ve achieved your goal, get ready to set some more goals and start again at Week 1.

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go

change your life in 15 minutes

Let

There’s a common misconception that letting go is difficult. As you ponder each of these quotes, take a deep breath and realise how easy it actually is… “Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” Oprah Winfrey

“You don’t need strength to let go of “To something. What you really need is let go isn’t to forget, understanding.” Guy Finley not to think about, or ignore. It “When I let go of what doesn’t leave feelings of anger, jealousy, or I am, I become what I regret. Letting go isn’t about winning or losing. might be” Lao Tzu “Getting over a painful It’s not about pride and it’s not about how you appear, experience is much and it’s not obsessing or dwelling on the past. Letting go like crossing monkey isn’t blocking memories or thinking sad thoughts, and doesn’t bars. You have to leave emptiness, hurt, or sadness. It’s not about giving in or let go at some point “We must let go in order to move giving up. Letting go isn’t about loss and it’s not about defeat. of the life we have forward.” Unknown planned, so as to To let go is to cherish the memories, but to overcome and move accept the one that on. It is having an open mind confidence in the future. Letting is waiting for us.” go is learning and experiencing and growing. To let go is to be Joseph Campbell “Sometimes you thankful for the experiences that made you laugh, made you have to let go to see cry, and made you grow. It’s about all that you have, all if there was anything that you had, and all that you will soon gain. Letting “The brightest future worth holding on to.” go is having the courage to accept change, and will always be based on Unknown a forgotten past; you can’t the strength to keep moving. Letting go is go forward in life until you growing up.” Unknown let go of your past failures and heartaches.” Unknown

“Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.” Raymon Lindquist

“Letting go is hard, but sometimes holding on is harder.” Unknown


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emPOWER Magazine - Spring 2012