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Embracing Change Antonia Kidman has experienced her fair share of change in recent years, but this supermum, TV presenter and social commentator says she’s always up for a challenge. Antonia also joins the POWER team as a new guest columnist. Check out her article on page 34.



A Mother’s Love Julia Rollings lived a happy and content life with her husband and eight children, until the day she found out two of her six adopted children were stolen from their mother in India. She shares her courageous story of reuniting them with their family.

20 Here’s Looking at You Discover your ‘ideal self ’ for a happier you


24 The Finishing Touch Accessorise for a fashionable winter 26 10 Minutes With Eckhart Tolle His spiritual teachings explained 28 Keeping With Traditions A personal insight into Aboriginal culture 34 Parents as People Maintain your identity, even when playing the ‘parent’ 36 Eyes Wide Open Create a conscious relationship to stay present in love 40 Spotlight On: Ayurveda 42 The X Factor Learn the five health risk factors for syndrome X

20 36

44 Winter Warmers Tips to stay motivated for fitness this winter 46 Need a Top-Up? Supplementing for optimal health 50 Stand Out! Five steps to a winning personal brand 52 Nourishing Feedback Get the most from your mid-year review 54 Coaching at Work Key skills for effective coaching in the workplace 56 Everyone’s a Winner Embrace your competitors to create a win–win 58 Staying Power How AutoChic’s Juliet Potter is making it big in manland 60 Rewarding Success Discover the benefits of entering awards 62 Weighing the Options Your choices for investing in the sharemarket 64 A Millionaire Mindset The Secret to Sandy Forster’s fortune 66 Opportunity Knocks Finding opportunity in times of financial crisis


30 Check it Out 38 In the Know 48 Great Reads 68 Change Your Life in 15 Minutes...

6 Editor’s Note 8 Your Say 12 Acts of Kindness 22 You Beauty

74 Feature: Set and see through your goals 76 Ask a Coach 78 Coach Yourself Goal-Setting Tool 82 Winning Pairs: Making the Shift



Editor’s Note Managing Director

Well, I did it! I’m now officially a Mrs, and I am still bursting with joy at the memory of our special day. It was truly magical. Sure, I felt like a princess, but to make a lifelong commitment to my partner and have all who are near and dear join us in celebrating was a really wonderful moment. While I had been most accepting about the thought of changing my surname, when it came time to actually trying my new signature before the wedding, I always found something else to do. In hindsight I guess I was subconsciously holding onto my maiden name for as long as possible. Now, I love the thought of sharing a name with my husband and it identifying us as a family, and I realise that it doesn’t change who I am; it doesn’t change my core self. Reading Mandy Holloway’s article on page 20 made me realise this even more. She breaks down how we can discover and be our ‘ideal self ’, which is an interesting and insightful way to approach life. We’ve got some exciting new things happening in this issue as well. We welcome our new guest columnist Antonia Kidman to the emPOWER team. As our cover girl this issue, Antonia reveals her own inspiring story, and from now on will be writing on a range of women’s topics in a dedicated column each issue. Antonia shares our vision for women’s empowerment so we’re excited to have her on board. We’ve also now divided the career and business section into two, with a lot more practical and inspiring content specific to the career or businesswoman. An article I particularly enjoyed is the ‘Coaching at Work’ feature on page 54. We’ve done some coach training in our office – given this is our director’s background – and what we learned during this training is some of the best principles and life skills I have ever come across. Whether I’m at work, at home or spending time with friends and family, this coach training is never far from my mind. Concepts such as taking responsibility, staying positive, setting goals and quality questioning might sound simple, but actually doing the training really helped me to improve not only my ‘self ’, it also taught me how I can help others improve their own lives through coaching – it’s pretty cool stuff. We’ve got plenty of other great articles as well, so curl up on the couch with a big mug of hot chocolate and enjoy!

Helen Rosing

Managing Editor Rebecca Kenyon

Sub Editor Jo Hegerty

Graphic Designer Jeanne Wu

Cover Photography Courtesy FOXTEL Management Ltd

Contributors Rachel Anastasi, Savleen Bajaj, Tarryn Brien, Yza Canja, Matthew Catling, Tami Dower, Dale Gillham, Mandy Holloway, Kate James, Antonia Kidman, Anna Martin, Isobel Martin, Kelly Pendlebury, Noel Posus, James Short, Tammy Warner-Wilson, Emma Yates

Production & Subscriptions (02) 9686 4398 ADVERTISING (02) 9686 4398 Printed By Webstar Print

Published by Indigo Productions ABN: 90 135 381 118 PO Box 1397 Baulkham Hills, NSW 1755 P: (02) 9686 4398 F: (02) 9686 4394 E: 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

The paper within this publication is manufactured by Sappi, Husum mill in accordance with both ISO 14001 and Environmental Management Audit Scheme (EMAS). These accreditations set strict guidelines related to environmental issues. Additionally this paper uses PEFC certified pulp which comes from sustainable forest and is CoC (chain of custody) certified.

Rebecca Kenyon Managing Editor

June/July 2009

We support recycling. Please don’t forget to recycle this magazine.


your say

Thank you for all the wonderful feedback on the magazine. Keep your comments and ideas coming. Email us at

winning letter

I have been reading your magazine ever since I spotted the first issue at my local newsagent. It is so inspiring and different to any other magazine. I especially liked the ‘Weekend Cleanse’ article in your latest issue (Apr/May). I am currently living my dream as a stay-at-home mum to a darling 15-month-old, so having a peaceful weekend to be able to do the plan as suggested is not something I can achieve at this stage of my life, but I realised that didn’t mean I had to miss out completely. I immediately thought of all the ways I could incorporate the plan into my life, starting the very next morning with an egg on toast for breakfast and next up is digging out my body brush and actually using it. Thanks so much for your great magazine, I can’t wait for the next issue full of inspiring ideas. – Melanie, via email

Having been in Sydney for 10 weeks and finding unsuccessful job hunting stressful and draining, I was feeling wounded and fragile. However, having picked up emPOWER magazine at a Nature Care College cafe, I found the articles just the tonic – especially those in your latest issue on listening to intuition and ‘What is Success?’. I even made notes and left with a fresh perspective. It is so true that success comes from inside ourselves and dancing to our own drum. I would like to get the job I am going for next week but if I don’t, I will remember that true success is being true within, not from gaining outside approval. – Paula, via email

I feel I should write and let you know how much I appreciate emPOWER. Our ten-year-old granddaughter discovered the last copy of the magazine when we were on holiday at The Entrance last month. Her Mum (our eldest daughter) and I looked in amazement at the large ‘em’ on the cover, as that is how we all refer to our adored younger daughter, Emma, who passed away after a road accident in May 2007. We all continue to be grateful for inspiring ‘emPOWER’ moments since her passing, to help us on our journeys. Your articles, even down to the little ‘em’ at the end of each one, remind me of her own reassuring little notes which she would write. Thank you so much, and god bless. – Sandra Spooner-Hart, via post

I have just recently subscribed to emPOWER and, waiting on my first issue to arrive, I ordered some back issues to ponder in the meantime. What a lovely magazine. I lost myself among the pages for hours on end until I had read both issues cover to cover! I have made reference to a number of articles to friends, and can’t wait to share the magazine with others. I have jumped online this morning to use your goal-setting tool, so look forward to keeping on track in that regard. Thank you once again for an inspiring read. – Robyn Lindsay, via email

Thank you so much for your story on Michelle Bridges. Michelle has always been an inspiration to me and after the great read in the April/May issue of emPOWER I am striving even harder to achieve the goals I have set myself to achieve. Thank you again and keep up the great work with the magazine! – Chris, via email

Win a beautiful necklet from Surreal Jewellery worth $935! The reader to send in our favourite letter will receive a Surreal black silk necklet featuring three ‘Hope’ charms and two gold spiral charms. The Hope charms are reproduced in silver and gold, and feature a teal enamel finish (teal is the universal colour for ovarian cancer awareness). Royalties from the sale of the Surreal ‘Hope’ charms will go to Ovarian Cancer Australia. For more information on the Surreal charm jewellery range and Surreal stockists visit, phone 1800 SURREAL or email

June/July 2009


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to our expert contributors Tarryn Brien, owner of The Happiness Institute’s eastern suburbs practice in Sydney, holds both psychology and commerce degrees. With many years spent in the corporate sector, she has implemented change management programs, developed and delivered training sessions and departmental strategies. Tarryn facilitates the Institute’s ‘Happiness – strategies for a great life’ course and offers executive and individual life coaching, group and corporate workshops.

Noel Posus is a highly recognised leader of the international coaching industry, a master coach with 20 years experience as a professional educator, coach and author. Noel serves on a number of coaching industry boards, lectures at universities and coaching schools, manages a number of coaching businesses and loves to help individuals and organisations develop their own wisdom.

Yza Canja is a finance strategist, who works with clients to ensure their finances support their lifestyle and goals rather than have their lives dictated by their finances. Yza is passionate about property and has a reputation for developing strategic, creative finance solutions for investors, from first-timers through to professionals. In just three years Yza has become one of Australia’s top innovative young brokers.

Emma Yates has been a qualified naturopath for more than 12 years. She has a degree in Health Science and qualifications in medical herbalism, homeopathy, clinical nutrition and NLP. After working with hundreds of clients in clinics to resolve numerous health challenges, she now facilitates corporate workshops teaching groups about permanent lifestyle changes that will improve their health and wellbeing.

Savleen Bajaj is an international success coach, psychologist, speaker, author, facilitator and consultant. She has spent almost two decades using cutting-edge technologies to accelerate human growth and enabling individuals to unleash their true potential. With a deep insight into the principles for personal breakthroughs and holistic success, Savleen is passionate about supporting people to live their greatest life by transforming their visions and intentions into results.

Wealth Within chief analyst Dale Gillham is a bestselling author, keynote speaker and one of Australia’s leading investment advisors. He wrote the bestselling book How to Beat the Managed Funds by 20%. He also launched Australia’s first and only nationally recognised, government accredited Diploma of Share Trading and Investment course, providing students with a governmentrecognised accreditation at Diploma level.

Executive coach Mandy Holloway started Holloway Consulting in 2002 after working as a partner at KPMG. This experience allows her to bring realism to her leadership training development, consulting and speaking initiatives delivered to clients. Her passion is to unleash authentic and courageous leaders, generating sustainable personal and business performance.

Armed with a degree in Human Movement Studies and trained in NLP, James Short has been assisting people with their health and fitness for the past 15 years. As a leader in the industry, he is a board member of Fitness NSW and is the 2008 Fitness Australia Fitness Professional of the Year.

Kate James is the principal of Total Balance Group, a boutique coaching organisation where the focus is on connecting balance and business. Kate helps her clients to find careers that they love and the confidence to create fulfillment in all areas of life.

Rachel Anastasi is the founder of Free to be Me Life Coaching and Her expertise are as a personal coach, facilitator and speaker, and her passion is to empower others. Having worked effectively with people from all walks of life Rachel has an understanding of human behaviour that assists her clients to create transformational results. Rachel also develops resources for coaches, including a professional and personal development retreat designed to take their coaching and business to the next level.

June/July 2009

Isobel and Anna Martin are accredited image consultants and co-founders of Izziana Image consultancy. The sisters share their international experiences from New York and Beijing, are experienced speakers, have been MCs for the International Millinery Forum and have compered Fashions on the Field at race day events. They also write monthly editorials on image and style.


Matt Catling is the founding director of the Your Future Now group of companies. He has been involved in the personal development industry for more than 15 years, has run a number of successful businesses, and has assisted others to reach great success, such as listing in the BRW Fast 100. Matt is one of Australia’s most renowned presenters and performance trainers. He has trained more than 1,000 coaches and is a trainer in NLP, time line therapy and hypnotherapy, as well as being a Level 5 accredited master coach, master trainer and presenter. He holds a certificate IV in workplace training and assessment.


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Acts Kindness I

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

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. Why not share yours with us – you could even win a luxurious gift pack from Natralia valued at more than $175.

Three years ago, my mum passed away after battling cancer. One day I was having lunch and thinking about how much I missed her and how sad I was that she was not going to be there for my 30th birthday. At that time, my emotions could easily overwhelm me and suddenly I was crying my eyes out sitting in a city food court. A man walked over to me and smiled, placed a bunch of beautiful gerberas beside me and walked away. It was a wonderful reminder of how much beauty and love was still in the world for me to enjoy and I am forever grateful to that stranger with the flowers. – Michelle, via email

I would like to acknowledge my sister’s kindness. Not for one single act but as she has under 14 she deserves to rec a family of six children eive an award daily! She is an excellent mum in every wa those children and a husban y, however with all d who works long hours I see how stressful her life is. no children of my own) the I take for granted (with fact that I can treat myself to a massage or facial when/ she has never in her life eve if I choose, however n had a manicure! She des erves a whole month of pam kindness’ was paying for her pering so my ‘act of flight to Melbourne (over Mo ther’s Day) and treating her of shopping and an afterno to a week (kid-free) on at a day spa where she can relax, have a manicure course her only concern wa , massage and facial. Of s that she wouldn’t be there for her kids on Mother’s Da out that, that is exactly wh y. I was quick to point at it is – Mother’s’ Day! – Fiona, via email their lawn for an overnight visit my husband noticed that As we pulled into my elderly parent’s house reply My . my father would only mow a small patch was half mowed. He asked me if I knew why days to three him father is in his mid-eighties so it took was that as it was a large block of land and my mow it for him, it won’t take long’. mow the lawn. My husband’s response: ‘I will proud it the next day. It brought me to tears – how do It took him just one-and-a-half hours to do could he needed doing and it was something that I felt that my husband had noticed that this and this do to ago it wouldn’t have occurred to him for them out of the kindness of his heart. Years is a (he ed reliev our marriage. My father was secretly I value the changes in him over the course of email via , Susan – for him this time. proud independent man) that the job was done

I was taking my trolley back to the trolley bay at the local shopping centre when I noticed a wallet lying on the ground in the car park. I looked around to see if anyone was nearby who may have dropped it, but no-one was around. Having a young baby and a toddler at the time, and having strapped them both into the car, I decided to take the wallet home and either ring the person it belonged to or deliver it to them. When I got home, I realised the wallet had more than $400 cash inside. There was also not one scrap of identification, except a rental receipt from a real estate agency, with a name. I searched the phone book for the name, to no avail. So I rang the real estate agent, explained that I had found a wallet that appeared to belong to a tenant of theirs. I soon had a phone call from an extremely tearful lady who explained that she had not realised she had lost her wallet until she had arrived home. She had just been to collect her Centrelink money for the next fortnight so she could pay all her bills and was distraught. She drove over to my home to collect her wallet and brought a lovely little thank-you card expressing her gratitude. I felt on top of the world that I had been able to turn someone’s worst nightmare into a huge relief. – Tiffany, via email June/July 2009


on their massages as a treat people book in for ny ma w s his ho wa ing is az at ntion th pist and it is am an, happened to me lem nt I am a massage thera ge y erl arge, it ch eld no an , is him, ‘There a regular of mine wallet to pay I told his birthday. One time t tell ou t n’t go do I he y. d their birthda me to the end an had clients book on ve to birthday. When it ca ha I nt ce ce sin ery es ev tim y it is worth rthday’. Several er and they go to pa ov ld is is on me, Happy Bi ou ge sh ssa e W ma e ts. th en ev are special ok, however when t to them. Birthdays ail gif em them when they bo my via is te, it t net Ja ou – d ion when they fin Every day is a gift. er. old watch their express ng tti ge e ar t berate the fact we celebrate them, no Several years ago my cousin travelled to Brisb ane on the bus with her baby. She arrived tired and stressed and was struggling off the bus with her bags and folded pram while nursing the baby when a homeless man approached her and asked her for a couple of dollars. Being in no mood for a beggar she snapped at him and he turned and walke d away. A few minutes later he returned with a luggage trolley for her. She didn’t know what to say, she felt horrible. He hadn’t wanted the money for himself, he wanted it to hire a trolley for her. Despite her snapping at him, he got the money elsew here and still brought her the trolley. Ever since that night, she always gives a couple of bucks when asked because you just can’t judge a person by their appearance, and sometimes kindn ess comes The reader to send in our favourite and most inspiring act of kindness will from the least-expected source. – Sharyn, via email win a luxurious gift pack from Natralia valued at more than $175. The gift pack includes a Nourish Skin Oil, Nourish Beauty Cloth, Nourish Chemical-free Sunscreen, Nourish Organic Baby Wash, Nourish Organic Baby Lotion, Nourish Organic Baby Massage Oil, Nourish Organic Baby Spray, Nourish Hair Care Normal Shampoo, Nourish Hair Care Normal Conditioner, Natralia Insect Repellent Lotion, Natralia Calmeze Sleep Aid, Natralia Bug Fighters Lozenges and Natralia Crystal Deodorant. Total value: $175.33. For more information or your nearest stockist please call Natralia Customer Service on 1300 555 597. Submit your Acts of Kindness at, email or post to emPOWER Magazine, PO Box 1397, Baulkham Hills, NSW 1755.

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Supermum, TV presenter, writer, and social commentator, Antonia Kidman tells Rebecca Kenyon she’s always looking for her next challenge.


espite her public profile, Antonia Kidman says she’s really like many other women out there – she’s a single mother of four who works hard to support her family, and is always chasing that all-important state of ‘balance’. Not only has Antonia been the subject of much media attention, it was the media that piqued her interest when it came time to choosing a career path. Like anyone, Antonia simply applied for jobs following some travel after high school and landed the role as editorial assistant on MODE Bride magazine. Three years later TV beckoned. Antonia heard of a position opening at Channel Nine on a new show called This is Your Life and she won the role as researcher on the program. As production breaks happened and new shows started, Antonia jumped between programs, and spent much of her time in a research role for the network’s Today Show. “I liked the variety with TV and just dealing with interesting content that was always changing,” she recalls. Always wanting to learn new things and challenge herself, Antonia started

June/July 2009

working in front of the camera when she took a position as news reporter for NBN News in Newcastle. “It was a bit daunting I guess, but it was one of those things where I quite liked being out of my comfort zone. I’d done a little bit of camera training and voice training, but you really learn on the hop. I don’t think it’s been the most natural path for me, so that’s where I come back to liking the challenge of it. I think you can really learn a lot from doing something when you feel that way. I think we can all go through periods of sitting and settling in your comfort zone and, for me, that’s where boredom sets in, which I don’t like.” Antonia reported the news for only a few months before she was offered a presenting role with Foxtel’s Entertainment News, which later became Premier. “In between I did a couple of other series and specials for Foxtel, including a lifestyle program called The Cover,” she recalls. By now, Antonia had been married for three years and at 28 decided it was the best time to start the big family she had always wanted. “It was good timing, I’d had a bit of a life, I’d travelled, I was in a financially good position, and my career


enabled me to work three days a week, so it all worked.” Lucia, now 10, came first, followed by Hamish (8), James (5) and Sybella (2). “If I was in a different situation I could definitely have more children … I just love them,” she says. Experiencing parenthood also gave Antonia the idea for a new TV program that ran for three series on Foxtel called The Little Things – a how-to for parents. This was followed by The Bigger Things, which addressed life issues for adults – divorce, secrets, religion etc. Her most recent spot presenting From Here to Maternity stemmed from another idea of Antonia’s, which follows the stories of couples having babies. With two series under her belt, Antonia is in talks about where they’ll take the program from here. Antonia was pregnant while screening many of her programs and she admits it was challenging to be in front of the camera during her first pregnancy. “I was probably a bit self-conscious but not because anyone made me feel that way, it’s just how I am,” she explains. “I’m less so now but with my first baby I found it all a little hard to deal with. It was a bit of a strange thing and I don’t think any of my

Photos courtesy FOXTEL Management Limited; iStockphoto

I like learning new things and I like to challenge myself so I’m always seeking to do that


A New Phase Following her divorce two years ago, Antonia is embarking on a new phase in her life. “Sure, life has changed but I’m still alive and walking and raising my family. I think life always changes and, if anything, it’s just part of what will hopefully end up being a full and complete life. “I think people rise to any challenge that’s put in front of them, and I tend

June/July 2009


to look at things in an optimistic way. I also put it back to having a really solid support network of family and friends. [Since the divorce], the value I place on my friends is far greater and I’m really committed to that. It’s really magnified the importance of friendship for me.” Antonia also admits she’s fortunate in that the relationship with her former husband is very amicable. “We’re very committed to sharing the responsibility of parenting our children, so it works well.” This also means it hasn’t left her bitter about marriage, and the romantic in her says she would be open to marriage again one day. “I think it’s a really nice institution and I guess I’m a bit traditional in that way. We had a good marriage for a number of years. We were married for 11 years, together for 13, which is a long time between innings and you change a lot in that time. So it wasn’t anyone’s fault or failure, it just ran its course. I look back on it with good memories, so I would hope that could be replicated again. “I’m not going to hang out for marriage because I still have a good life now that I’ve adjusted to, but I think it’s a fine state to be in and I’d be very open to doing it again.” One steep learning curve Antonia’s experienced in the past couple of years has been around managing her own finances, and, as the ambassador to ANZ’s Be Money Confident campaign, she is now able to share her experience with other women. “Improving my knowledge and education around money has been great,” she says. “Having worked on parenting issues and so forth for such a long time it’s really interesting to move into broader women’s issues, in particular finance. “I’m a lay-person when it comes to finance but it’s an area that I’m really interested in now. I pick up the business section of the newspaper, I buy the Financial Review now and I’m interested in the markets. I like to be able to contribute to conversation on these topics, whereas perhaps once upon a time I wouldn’t have. “I think women feel awkward talking about money, they think it’s ill-mannered or it’s socially unacceptable,

Photos courtesy ANZ; iStockphoto

I think people rise to any challenge that’s put in front of them, and I tend to look at things in an optimistic way

girlfriends were going through it at the same time, so I felt a bit lonely too. I was a little unsure about my body and all the rest of it. By the time I had my second, I felt more comfortable because I knew what to expect.” During all this Antonia never strayed far from the writing world. She reviewed movies for SHE magazine for a number of years, wrote a weekly column for New Idea for two years and will now be involved with our very own emPOWER as a regular columnist (check out her first article on page 34). “I’ve always had a little bit of this and that going on. I do like the writing… Again, it’s the variety. “I like having a broad spectrum of things to do. I work mostly from home so it’s nice to do things that provide you with flexibility. That’s been a really conscious decision I’ve made about my career – I did know I wanted to have children so I wanted to pursue a career that could give me that flexibility.” Antonia’s popularity has certainly been recognised, having won the Favourite Female Personality ASTRA award – which acknowledges the talent that drives subscription television – for the last two years and she is nominated again this year. Nevertheless, she is humble, playing down her public profile. “I agree that I have a bit of a profile but often it’s been in relation to my sister, so it’s always been a little bit by default. It’s never really meant that my life has been invaded too much. If people do come up to me, it’s in a nice, warm way.” Asked if always being referred to as ‘Nicole’s little sister’ is challenging, Antonia says, “Not at all. I don’t really know any different. It’s always been there so I would never construe it in any other way… it’s quite nice actually.”

Antonia Joins emPOWER

because that’s where we’ve come from. But I believe it’s really good to be able to converse with other women about it and hopefully encourage them to be interested as well because it can also be fun. It’s all about being prepared and aware of what’s happening, and what the opportunities are.” Antonia’s other important roles are as ambassador for the Royal Hospital for Women’s Mother’s Day Appeal. “That’s a really special cause for me because it’s the hospital where I had all my babies and it’s also the hospital where we filmed the two seasons of From Here to Maternity. “I’m also on the Foundation for Taronga Zoo. I’ve been involved with them for nine years and it’s primarily about conservation and breeding programs. I’ve always been passionate about animals and quite environmental in that regard.” So where to from here for Antonia? “I’m not really sure, I don’t plan too far ahead. If anything, the last two years has taught me not to set and forget … you never quite know what’s around the corner, and that’s a good thing. I am very much drawn to sustainability and farm life so, long-term, I’d like to have some deeper connection with the land.”

June/July 2009

Age: 38 Biggest inspiration: My mum and dad are pretty inspiring as individuals. They’ve probably had the most influence on me. I find interesting women inspiring, such as Quentin Bryce (GG) who has five children and grandchildren and is doing amazing things. I also like hearing stories of athletes or people pushing themselves to their limits. I like passionate people who pursue their goals against the odds. BIGGEST motivation: If I’m feeling unmotivated I need to do things, so I’ll fill up my diary or I’ll connect with people. I don’t like being unmotivated, I like to have purpose, it keeps me in a buoyant state and I operate best like that. It does mean I can over-commit sometimes, but I’m working on balancing that. I think it’s always a struggle if you’re that type of person, but I do have a routine as well, which motivates me. Biggest turning point in life: My first baby being born. Can’t live without: A bathtub. For just 20 minutes each night I enjoy a cup of tea in the bath to warm up and then I’m ready to face the rest of the night. Little-known fact: I collect antique tea sets, I love them. How do you take time out: Exercise. It’s always been important to me. I like feeling good and I have to be fit to cope with children. There’s not much room for illness in my life either so I try to stay fit and I’m fairly committed to eating well and I like to be a role model for the kids as well. Advice for other aspiring women: I think we’re all so different and value different things so it’s hard to narrow it down but I guess I’d just say to be kind to yourself.


Photos courtesy ANZ; iStockphoto

Passionate about women’s and social issues, Antonia joins the emPOWER team as a regular columnist to share her views and experiences on a range of family and life issues. Read her first article in our ‘LIFE: Family Ties’ section on page 34.

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In Focus



nergy, passion, courage, authenticity, trust, honesty and freedom – these are not only critical attributes of a leader, they are what you feel and exhibit by being a great leader of your ‘self ’. Identifying and becoming your ideal self in every role you play in life is critical for personal happiness. For example, have you always wanted to feel like you were living: • at peace with yourself; • in blissful happiness; • in balance with the tensions surrounding you; • in a space where you could stay true to you; • with no regrets for what you have done with your life?

at Knowing the true you is key to living a balanced and happy life. Mandy Holloway offers this practical guide to connecting with your inner self.

You can achieve all of these by identifying and becoming your ‘ideal self ’. This is where you connect with your dreams, hopes and passions. This is not about becoming what you feel you ought to become to satisfy others’ hopes and dreams – your parents, your partner, your boss or your children. By identifying what you want to be known for in every role you play in life you can take the next step and assess where you are now (referred to below as “real self ”) so you can determine the gap with absolute clarity. Richard Boyatzis, a professor of organisational behaviour, defines this as your learning agenda and it represents the start of your lifelong journey. Once you have created your learning agenda you experiment and practise until you get closer to ideal self. Ideal Self

Experiment and Practise

Supportive Relationships

Learning Agenda

Real Self

© Boyatzis

Mandy Holloway is an executive coach and founder of Holloway Consulting. Her passion is to develop courageous leaders. For more information visit

June/July 2009


Starting on this journey will have the benefits of greater happiness and a greater sense of who you are, as well as setting you on a lifelong journey of personal discovery. The more you find out, the more you put into practice, and the more you change. The cycle continues as you keep expanding your picture of ideal self. Just when you think you have nailed your picture of ideal self you will take time to think reflectively after confronting a certain situation only to discover something deeper about yourself and you will take the necessary action to fine-tune your future picture of ideal self. It becomes a lifelong learning loop


Why find and be your ideal self?

In Focus

because the more you learn about yourself the more choices are available for action. The more you change real self then the greater the adaptations you make to ideal self. Taking yourself off autopilot and bringing consciousness to most things you do, say and believe will create questions and choices you have never imagined. One of my favourite quotes is from the 17th-century French philosopher La Rochefoucauld: “The passions are the only advocates who always persuade. The simplest man with passion will be more persuasive than the most eloquent without”. This wondrous and lifelong journey allows you to truly discover what you are passionate about and develop the courage to live with this passion.

What’s holding you back? For a large part of our lives we learn to develop routines and habits to protect ourselves, to comply with expectations and to control what happens to us. It’s safer to live in this place – known as the ‘problem-reacting stance’. In this, we remove what we don’t want and strive to get ‘back to normal’. Fear and avoidance drive the very essence of this life stance because of our overriding desire for safety, security, comfort and approval. These are the key drivers behind many of the destructive habits we hold onto. This kind of life stance keeps us in the safety of what our real self currently is and strives to keep us here within our daily comfort zone. This is particularly so during economic times like we are currently experiencing where the fear of the unknown looms heavily in our minds – and we get locked into negative ‘what if ?’ thinking. If we were to adopt the opposite life stance, which is known as the ‘outcome-creating life stance’, we would focus rather on what we do want; we focus on envisioned results. Energy flows from this kind of creative tension – the gap between current reality and our vision for our future. So, what holds us back? Fear holds us back! Embrace the fear, step into your courage and dare to imagine what your ideal self can look like.

quickly and easily to do these things in each of the roles you play. 6. Obtain clarity on the key behaviour choices you make in each of the roles you play – feedback from different people is a great source of input. It was with great delight that I received feedback from my eldest daughter’s friends when they said I always appeared happy and asked how I managed this when I was picking them up and driving them places. This feedback certainly affirmed my picture of ideal self as a mum! 7. Stretch your thinking to create a picture of ideal self for each of these roles where you are truly living your values and consistently choosing behaviours that fit with what you want to be known for. 8. Challenge your thinking with the negative feedback you have received in the past and not liked, the negative stereotypes and any other negative thoughts about your roles – and turn these into a positive for your picture of ideal self. 9. Challenge your thinking with aspirations, hopes and dreams you have for yourself but have not dared to imagine making them real! 10.Collate this thinking into something that is meaningful for you. As we see below, personality preferences are a critical driver for your choice of behaviour, as are your attributes (like patience, curiosity, enthusiasm, passion) and importantly your values show another direct link to the behaviour choices you make. By completing these 10 steps you get insight into the behaviours you want to start adopting so you can get closer to ideal self.

behaviour values attributes

personality preferences

What does your ideal self look like? Here is a 10-step approach to deciding what you want your ideal self to look like. 1. Identify all the roles you play in life – family member (sister,

mother, wife, auntie), career role, member of sporting team etc. 2. Determine what you would like to be known for in each of these roles. 3. Identify or revisit your values. Feel free to contact me and I will happily email you a values inventory to help you in this critical task. 4. Reflect on how you currently live these values in each of your roles and explore any tension you would like to resolve. 5. Get in touch with your personality preferences – the innate preferences that drive the way you make decisions, how you take information in, how you energise yourself, how you ‘orient’ your life – see ‘A New Understanding’ in the April/ May issue of emPOWER on understanding different personality types – so you gain clarity on where you go

Once you have the outputs from this 10-step approach it is time to engage in a real conversation with a person you trust who is good at listening and asking insightful questions. This kind of conversation (within a supportive relationship as depicted in the ideal self diagram) helps to distil your thinking into a concrete picture of ideal self. Benjamin Button brings a charming insight to this notion of being ideal self towards the end of the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button when he says, “For what it’s worth, it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit… Start whenever you want… You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that stop you. I hope you feel things that you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life that you’re proud of and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”




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Part of the new Original & Mineral styling range, Style Guru can be used on the hair to create texture and style or combed through for a slicked-back look. Add more to give hair volume with a blow dry or to add curl. Plant-based protein (soy) and macadamia nut oil is included to give hair lustre and shine. (150ml, $23.95; 1300 724 635)

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Keep sensitive winter skin hydrated and looking its best with this bronzer by Jemma Cosmetics. The Naked Minerals range is free of all chemicals and preservatives, and is made with organic oils and bases. Apply to the face and neck to give pale winter skin a sun-kissed glow. ($35.95;

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An eye enhancer that temporarily erases puffiness, fine lines, dark circles and wrinkles. The lightweight formula contains a combination of sodium silicate, magnesium, iron oxides and water which works by forming a fine, invisible film under the eye that lasts for up to 10 hours. (60ml, $99; (03) 9593 6110)

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Hats, belts and a string of pearls can make or break an outfit. Image consultants Isobel and Anna Martin offer their expert advice on accessorising this winter.


ooking and feeling stylish in winter can be a little more challenging as we rug up to face the elements. Accessories are the answer to creating personal style, staying within your budget and having a fabulous wardrobe. The right accessories can take an outfit from ordinary to extraordinary. They add colour and if you keep your outfit simple then most are easy to match. Just be careful not to add too many colours – remember, less is more. To look stylish this winter consider the following when purchasing accessories: • Do they flatter your body shape? • Will you feel comfortable wearing them? • Are they in your colours? • Will you be wearing them with casual, work or evening attire? Are they appropriate for the occasion? • Do they complement your outfit?

Your body line, face shape and height influence the accessories that work for you so use them to your advantage

June/July 2009



Evening functions are all about glamour and a bit of ‘bling’. During the day, if your work dress code will allow it, try updating your suits by adding a belt, a great brooch, a fabulous pair of shoes or a new handbag. For casual wear there is no hard and fast rule for accessories, so have some fun. Accessories should complement each other so choose one statement piece and match your other


Bags are bold, textured and sculptured, and there are bags for every occasion and personality

textured clutches. Large bags with texture and attachments are great for casual wear and smaller, more structured bags are perfect for work. Think chic and sophisticated. Choose a size that meets your needs and keep it in proportion to you to look stylish and confident. Jewellery is bold, dramatic and chunky and includes crystals, costume jewellery, pearls and beads along with pendants and chains. Use it to make a statement and pile on several strands of beads, crystals or pearls and twist them together for a multi-layered look. If large bulky neckpieces, brooches and bangles are not your style then try something smaller in proportion. Big dangly earrings and neck pieces are fabulous accessories but can be overwhelming for someone of petite structure. Different accessories are designed to suit different body shapes so if a style doesn’t look good on you, save your money and resist the temptation to buy it because it looks nice in the store. Select the right styles for you, look fantastic and watch your confidence and self-esteem grow.

accessories to this. Your body line, face shape and height influence the accessories that work for you so use them to your advantage. Before purchasing, experiment with a number of different styles to establish what works best. Accessories that are too small or large for you tend to look out of place – balance is key.


Key Accessories This Winter Add some drama to your outfits and do away with those bad hair days by wearing a hat. Everyone can wear a hat if they know which styles to select and they have an amazing way of making you feel confident and special. Experiment with where the hat sits on your head and make it work for you. The beret is big this season and is the perfect accessory for any casual outing. Classic hats such as the cloche and trilby never go out of style. Purple is the colour this season and feathers are very popular. As an alternative, try wearing a headscarf. Belts are another key accessory this winter. Select belts that flatter your height and body shape. Wide corset belts are popular, but be aware that they draw attention to this area. For eveningwear, try a thin belt with a bit of sparkle. For work or casual wear there is a great selection of waist belts in different fabrics to add flair and colour to your outfit. Bags are bold, textured and sculptured and there are bags for every occasion and personality. For eveningwear think silk fabrics, leather or

Sisters Isobel and Anna Martin are accredited image consultants and co-founders of image consultancy Izziana Image. For more info email or visit



He’s the best-selling author of the renowned Power of Now and A New Earth, and earlier this year Eckhart Tolle toured Australia to share his spiritual teachings. He took time out with Leon Nacson, managing director of Hay House, to explain the true advantages of living in the now. Leon: What do you mean by ‘living in

the now’ and what are the advantages of doing this? Eckhart: Most people seem to inhabit or live in a very problematic reality and that is largely due to the fact that the focus of their attention is more in the future and the past, than in the present. Life becomes very simple when the focus of your attention habitually is in the present moment. Of course, you’re still aware of what happened in the past and on a practical level you’re able to make plans for the future, but you don’t live there. You don’t live for your future and you don’t carry a burden in your psyche that is left over from the past. These things become very heavy baggage to live and identify with, without even knowing we’re doing it. Anxiety arises from continuously focusing on the future because it hasn’t arrived yet and you can’t control it. And most importantly, the vibrancy – a deep sense of aliveness – is lost when you habitually live

June/July 2009

predominantly in the past and future. The power is concealed in the present moment because the present moment is essentially life itself. The past and future is not life, they are mental constructs and it’s only from the reality of my present consciousness that my past comes to life or I project the future. When your life becomes presentmoment centred anxiety about the future and the guilt and regret, and the heaviness of the past are no longer there to obstruct the aliveness of the present moment, and suddenly there is flow to your life. Not only does life become more simple it becomes infinitely more empowered because the very power and intelligence of life itself is only to be accessed in the present moment. You will have more aliveness and more creativity! Leon: Many people struggle with the word God. How does one go beyond the language to still be spiritual? Eckhart: I rarely use the word God.


Leon: What issues do you feel are the most pressing in the world today? Eckhart: The world as we experience it is the reflection of the collective state of consciousness of humanity. We are confronted with many, almost seemingly insoluble conflicts and dilemmas in the world. There are many pressing problems, such as the environment, conflict between nations, the economy… The most pressing problem is not actually part of the external reality, the most pressing issue is the shift in human consciousness that needs to take place. I’m not saying do not take action on the external level, but realise what matters most is the transformation of human consciousness on a collective level. Given the collective is really the sub-total of the individuals, what essentially matters is the transformation of your state of consciousness. It’s up to the individual to become the observer of their mind so that awareness or presence increasingly arises in them and the old conditioned mind structure dissolves. Humans need to enter that awakened state and then the problems we have on the external level will begin to change because the external is just a reflection of our inner state of consciousness. We will then do what is needed.

Photography: David Ellingsen; iStockphoto

The reason why is because there’s a lot of heavy baggage from the past associated with that term and it also tends to be a closed concept that brings up the idea of an entity somewhere. To say spirit is a little bit more open than God. God tends to conjure up the image of a male entity as well, which is why I also don’t use it too much. Spirituality is about accessing the dimension that’s beyond time and place that is within yourself, rather than creating a mental idol that you say is God. When you create a conceptual idol you have to defend it because other people have created their own conceptual idols that they call God. When this doesn’t correspond with your idol of God, there can be conflict. Spirituality is not necessarily associated with talking about God. For example, Buddhism is a beautiful religion that never mentions the word God. It doesn’t mean the Buddha doesn’t believe that higher degree of universal intelligence. It’s just that the Buddha saw the danger in naming it because it can become a hindrance for many people.

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Traditions As Australia prepares to celebrate NAIDOC Week on July 5-12 – held each year to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders – Rebecca Kenyon gets an insight into modern Aboriginal life from 43-year-old Pauline Shortjoe from Queensland’s Palm Island.

June/July 2009


his year’s theme for NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) Week of ‘Honouring our Elders, Nurturing our Youth’ seems very fitting with how Pauline Shortjoe lives her life. “Respect” is a word that comes up frequently in our conversation – respect for elders, the land, and the Aboriginal culture and heritage – as does the importance of passing on these traditions to her children. What is clear is Pauline’s tenacity and determination to keep the Aboriginal culture alive. Having experienced a challenging childhood as a “half-cast”, Pauline says this only encouraged her to prove her Aboriginal background is an important part of who she is. Palm Island itself – off the coast of Townsville – has a troubled history as one of the largest Government Aboriginal settlements where, until the late 60s, ‘disruptive’ Aboriginals were moved to live as punishment. Pauline’s mother – half Aboriginal, half Torres Straight Islander – was raised in the dormitories on Palm Island until, at the age of 16, she and her brother were moved to Western Australia. Pauline was born in 1966 in Perth and was raised a Christian until the age of five,


Cultural Connection “Mum feels very strongly about our culture, and she’s getting on now, so I’m trying to take over what she’s left behind,” explains Pauline. Having married a full-blood Aboriginal, two of her children are “black” and two are “caramel”, and she has four adopted Aboriginal children as well. “It’s very important for me to pass down the Aboriginal culture and traditions to them. We need it really strongly here on the island,



spending most of her time with “white people”. Her father was an emigrant from Yugoslavia. However, in 1971 she moved to Queensland with her mother where she started school. “When I first came from WA, we stayed near Ingham on the mainland and when I went to school over here I was called a ‘Black Baby’ or a ‘Chocolate Baby’. I would come home in tears. Then when we moved to Palm Island, because I was fairer than the average black fella, I was actually called a ‘Black Bastard’ or a ‘Mongrel Breed’. It’s one of the worst things to have to put up with. “Mum always told me, though, ‘Do not fight you own colour, be proud of who you are and respect your colour’. But it got that bad that I had to stand up for myself. I had to physically fight my way through to become accepted in the community, and now I’m one of the more ‘well-known’ on the island.” Pauline left school after year nine and since the age of 14 has worked in a myriad of jobs. “I may not have a certificate but I sure know a lot of things,” she declares. “It’s all about having life skills.” Pauline currently works as an Indigenous Consumer Assistant, helping others on the island with their money management and budgeting, but has been an assistant in nursing, a secretary for the council, a telephonist, and she helps her husband break in horses. “We’ve also been trying to get an eco-tourism business off the ground for about three years,” says this multi-talented woman.

In Her Shoes

so it’s been an important part of raising my children. “Our house is out in the bush, and we don’t have running water and normal electricity like some of the others on the island. We’ve taught all the kids how to cook in a camp oven. I can leave the place with my eldest son and he’ll take care of all the cooking and cleaning and look after the place and that’s a big part of respect, which we expect in our family.” While some indigenous Australians share the religious beliefs and values of religions introduced into Australia from other cultures, for most Aboriginals and Torres Straight Islanders, religious beliefs are derived from a sense of belonging to the land, to the sea, to other people – the Dreamtime. The expression ‘Dreamtime’ is most often used to refer to the ‘time before time’, or ‘the time of the creation of all things’, while ‘Dreaming’ is often used to refer to an individual’s or group’s set of beliefs or spirituality. Aboriginals believe that during the Dreamtime, ancestral spirits came to earth and created the landforms, the animals and plants. The stories tell how the ancestral spirits moved through the land creating rivers, lakes and mountains. “Most people have heard about the Rainbow Serpent, and some of the stories I’ve heard on Palm Island are that the Rainbow Serpent made the creeks here, sliding through and pushing out the dirt,” explains Pauline. Storytelling is an integral part of life for indigenous Australians. From an early age, storytelling plays a vital role in educating children. The stories help to explain how the land came to be shaped and inhabited; how to behave and why; and where to find certain foods, etc. “Although I was christened in the Catholic church, I believe a lot more strongly in the Aboriginal and Islander heritage now,” explains Pauline. “I don’t believe in Dreamtime and Christianity mixing because it’s a totally different aspect on life. I truly believe the Dreamtime was

there before anything else – it’s how the world was created.” Unfortunately for Pauline, she hasn’t been able to use and pass down to her children the Aboriginal language. It is said that at the time of European settlement there were more than 700 different Aboriginal languages and dialects spoken in Australia. Now there are less that 250 still in use. Pauline’s mum could only speak ‘language’ when she arrived to Palm Island with her own mother, but they were forced to speak English on the island and the language was lost in the family. Pauline says there used to be some 40 different tribes living on Palm Island, which have now all blended into one, so to some extent the culture and traditions are fading. Nevertheless, she and her family

which means they are not allowed to hunt, eat or harm the lizards as the animal could actually be an ancestor who has passed. Another custom – which you may have seen in the movie Australia – is that Aboriginals do not speak the name of someone who has passed. According to Pauline, they’re also not to speak the name for about two years if it belongs to someone who is still alive. She recalls a time when her cousins called her Sarah for two years when someone they knew named Pauline had passed. “Again,” she says, “it’s about respect. You don’t speak of those who have passed.” Traditionally, Aboriginal men and women played the hunter and gatherer roles, and Pauline believes strongly in these traditions saying, what she says goes in the household, but when it comes to

Archaeological investigations in the northwest of Australia suggest that indigenous people may have occupied Australia for at least 60,000 years. – (Australian Museum Online) hold up the traditions as much as possible, especially by participating in Aboriginal dance ceremonies to honour and celebrate the Dreamtime on special occasions such as NAIDOC week. “I do all the traditional dancing and I feel very strongly about that. Even though I am fair, I’ve still got that sense of culture which is very strong.” Asked how it feels when she can be immersed in her own culture, Pauline says, “It makes me feel strong because I’m still doing our traditional dance even though it’s been lost in some other areas. It’s very important to be proud of who you are and not ashamed, so I’ve never lost touch with who I am and where I’ve come from”. Pauline notes some other traditions the family follows. Aboriginal people have totemic (or symbolic) classification, which essentially means certain plants, animals and natural phenomena belong to particular social groups. For example, given the area her husband is from, Pauline’s family totem is the blue-tongue lizard,


social status, women take a backseat. For example, women are not supposed to sing on their own in traditional Aboriginal dance performances. “At times when I have seen women singing on their own, I will walk away. Women can sing along with men, but they’re not supposed to sing alone and I think it’s a tradition we need to keep. Women are supposed to be the backbone of the community, doing everything from behind the scenes, not standing in front. It’s about respect.” While Pauline says most nonAboriginals respect her background and cultural beliefs, there are still times when she and her children are frowned upon, either because of the stereotype given to Aboriginal communities as ‘troublemakers’ or because of the fact her and her children look so different in colour. While she admits it upsets her, it also makes her more determined to stand her ground and hold her head up high.

Check it Out

We’ve tried and tested a range of products and services to bring you something new, fun and indulgent. Here are some of our favourites.


Coming Up Roses The new limited edition fragrance range from The Body Shop is indulgent and perhaps even a little romantic. The Moroccan Rose Collection uses rose oil sourced from ‘The Valley of the Roses’ in Morroco. The Morrocan Rose Eau de Toilette was a hit with our team. It’s ultra feminine, has that little something more that your traditional rose scent, and is perfect for everyday use. The fragrance is a little more subdued in the Morrocan Rose Body Butter but still leaves a delicate floral scent on silky soft skin. It’s just divine and is the perfect way to indulge your skin after a warn winter’s bath. Also available in the collection is a bath and massage oil, shower gel and body milk. (Eau De Toilette 50ml, $31.95; Body Butter 200ml, $29.95;



Booty Up Our editor’s knee-high boots were looking a little flat as they lay folded over in her cupboard waiting for winter to hit. That was until we received an interesting new product called Booty Shapers, which are simply inflatable inserts for all types of boots – ankle through to knee-high. Her boots now stand proud and perfectly shaped waiting for their next outing. If you leave them all summer, though, be sure to check the shapers are fully inflated every now and again. ($12.95;




Comfort Plus Having been sent a pair of shoes from the latest ECCO Thrill range, our director snapped them up to try and has been raving about how comfortable they are ever since. This latest range of street footwear for women has style and comfort at top of mind, thanks to the shoes’ PU (polyurethane) technology, which involves moulding the shoes’ upper and outersole together to help make the shoe flexible, shock absorbent and light. The shoes’ uppers are made from full grain leather, giving the added benefit of durability. ($199.95;

Get in the Spirit The Mind Body Spirit Festivals are on again and as a regular at these events, emPOWER can highly recommend you check them out. Offering a diverse range of solutions for your emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing, the Mind Body Spirit festivals aren’t just for the ‘alternate’ people among us. Discover personal growth strategies, natural therapies, alternative healing, self-development and spiritual awareness. The festival is running from June 5-8 in Melbourne (at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre) and June 26-28 in Brisbane (at the RNA Showgrounds). The Sydney festival will be held in November. For more information visit

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Gorgeous & Green We’ve come across a great website that features a host of free resources (articles, blogs, newsletter, links) and sells a range of products – all aimed at helping women to look good and feel great naturally. The site aims to help women nurture themselves while also nurturing the planet. The blogs are insightful with categories ranging from Domestic Goddess, Green & Gorgeous and Chemical Nasties to Health & Beauty and Great Books (reviews & recommendations). If you’re looking for solutions to a natural and organic lifestyle, it’s definitely worth a look. Check it out at




Like most women across the world, you have spent most of your life looking after everyone else…

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A Mother’s


Nothing could have prepared Julia Rollings for the discovery that two of her six adopted children had been trafficked illegally. She tells Tammy Warner-Wilson about the long road to reunite them with their birth family.


ife is anything but ordinary in Julia Rollings’ household. As mum to eight children – six who were adopted from foreign countries – Julia and her husband Barry, a journalist, have lived a happy and chaotic existence watching their multicultural brood grow into young adulthood. While the idea of rearing eight children is nothing short of terrifying for some, Julia wouldn’t have it any other way. When she married Barry in 1984 she already had a daughter Alix from a previous relationship, and Barry came with four children of his own. A year later they had Briony, and their cheerful clan of kids grew to six. Then the children from Barry’s previous marriage moved to Perth to live with their mother and suddenly there were just two children in the house. The idea of inter-country adoption – which they had initially discussed when Julia was pregnant with Briony – came up once more. “We wanted to think of children who were in need of a home, rather than just continue to reproduce them,” Julia recalls. “We considered local foster care and adoption as options, but inter-country adoption enabled us to meet a child’s needs while also meeting our desire for a certain level of permanency, which the other options didn’t necessarily offer.” Between 1988 and 1998, Julia and Barry welcomed another six children into their family. First came Haden, a baby

June/July 2009

boy from Korea, followed by Joel, a two-year-old from Taiwan who had been born blind. Next were Madhu and Sadan, brothers from India, estimated to be 10 and five years old respectively. Finally, in 1998, the family was complete with the arrival of siblings Akil (3) and Sabila (2). Julia admits there was never a time when she and Barry consciously decided to have such a large family. “We found it incredibly rewarding, as much as it was hard work. It’s so satisfying seeing kids come from very poor beginnings and just flourish. And frankly, I’ve talked to a few parents with very large families and they agree – you tend to reach saturation point at about five [children]. After five it doesn’t make a difference!” she laughs.

A Painful Truth Life continued in the Rollings household until a dark day in 2006 when Julia discovered articles in the Indian media alleging an orphanage in Chennai was involved in child trafficking. “I knew that particular agency had been implicated in a scandal along with our agency in 1999, the year after we adopted Akil and Sabila,” she says. “At the time none of the orphanage directors were arrested, so I thought there must have been a misunderstanding. But this time there were a couple of families in other countries that had adopted children who were identified as having been trafficked.


“We had to decide whether to look into it. In the end we decided we had to, driven in part by the thought there could be a family that had been exploited, but also because I knew I wasn’t going to get any peace unless I knew.” In a stroke of good fortune, Akil and Sabila’s Indian passports had the first names of both birth parents, along with the name of their hometown, which only had a population of around 70,000. Armed with these details, some of Julia’s friends in India travelled to the town to uncover more information. Miraculously, they encountered a former neighbour who remembered the family. “He described the children’s father as a drunk who used to beat his wife and kids. He’d taken the children and sold them for $50,” Julia says with distaste. “The neighbour explained their mother, Sunama, had moved away, but he was able to provide a phone number for her brother. When our friends rang he was delighted the kids were okay.” The realisation that the children had been sold was heartbreaking for the Rollings family, particularly for Akil and Sabila. “As furious as I was, I realised that it was so much worse for the kids because this was their identity, their story. It was everything they knew about themselves,” Julia explains. Given they’d always expressed a desire to meet their birth family, the decision to reunite Akil and Sabila with Sunama was relatively straightforward.

NamE: Julia Rollings Biggest achievement: Getting Love Our Way published was a real highlight. Best parenting advice: ‘This too will pass’. The idea that what you’re dealing with now – whether it’s the ‘terrible twos’ or the teenage years – isn’t going to continue. Tips for other families considering inter-country adoption: Really prepare yourself because children who have been through trauma in their early lives come with a lot of baggage. While adoption can be absolutely wonderful, you need to be able to put your own feelings and needs on hold. Don’t expect the child is going to come into your family and be terribly grateful for all you’ve done. Sometimes they do, but it wouldn’t be a realistic expectation for most kids. Have faith that nearly everything will work out given enough time and support.

“It was something the kids had wanted long before we’d had suspicions that something might be awry, so I knew they would be enthusiastic. Even if that hadn’t happened, I would have still felt I had a duty to put that mother’s mind to rest.” Despite this, Julia had been careful to investigate the legal implications of their situation before starting the initial search for Sunama. With relief, she discovered that as both children were now Australian citizens, they could not be forced to return to India permanently. Later Sunama would also give her blessing, recognising that Akil and Sabila were loved and living happy lives full of opportunity in Australia.

Photo: Lorinda Miller

Ready to Reunite In March 2007, Julia travelled to India with Akil and Sabila to meet Sunama, her second husband, Babu, and their five children. “It was very emotional. We had four days with them and it was lovely,” she recalls. “They had absolutely no money and they all lived in a single room. There was no furniture to speak of, except a table in one corner, which is where Sabila and I slept on a mattress. The rest of the family slept together on the concrete floor.” Since then, Julia and Barry have generously provided financial support for Sunama and her family. They paid off their debt, devised a plan for the family to run a small business in order to be self-sufficient, and organised for Babu,

who was ill with asthma and heart problems, to get treatment at hospital. Unfortunately, a short time later Babu suffered a stroke, leaving him totally disabled. Julia and Barry had no choice but to move the family out of the city to a nearby village where they could access bathroom facilities and running water. In mid-2008 Babu passed away, but Sunama has remained in the village with

FAST FACT 61 percent of the 440 children adopted into Australian families last year were from other countries.

her children, and Julia and Barry continue to support her. “We’ve taken it on quite happily. We knew if we didn’t we’d be standing back and watching her lose her second family. She’d already struggled and managed to survive the tragedy of losing her first two kids, and we weren’t about to watch her lose the others.”


Akil and Sabila have benefited too. They’re now in regular contact with Sunama and their siblings, communicating often via email and post. The Rollings family also travel back to India to visit. With the permission of Akil and Sabila, Julia released a memoir, Love Our Way (HarperCollins). “In part, I thought it was just a fantastic story. We’d gone from somewhere pretty horrible to having a fabulous relationship with a family in India, and we all felt enriched by it,” she explains. “I also thought we could put a human face to the global problem of child trafficking. We knew there would probably be media interest, which would generate political pressure to take the issue seriously. Plus, I thought there was a chance we could make some money to support Sunama.” So what is it that this super-mum finds so rewarding about motherhood? Pausing momentarily to find the right words, Julia says: “Being able to have that kind of influence on a human being is as much as I could have hoped for. Being able to help children who have come from losing so much rebuild their lives is so special. I can’t imagine doing anything else that would be so personally rewarding, or that would have the same long-term impact. The children I raise will have children themselves and will be contributing to society. I’m very proud of how they’ve all grown up.”

Family Ties


to independently of children. It’s a chance to talk about other topics and interests. Further education or hobbies away from the demands of family and home can also help us to maintain an identity outside of being a ‘parent’.

Letting Go


y mother has many friends. The number of Christmas cards she receives is testament to this. A bit of a rarity in this age of technology, but by mid-December there are cards strewn all over her house. She is a great woman. Fun, interesting, flirty and energetic are words that come to mind when I think of her. But to me, first and foremost she is my mother. Like many children, the way I view my mother is subjective. She is a nurturer, carer, confidante, at times a teacher and also a grandmother. But whenever I see her interacting with others I’m able to view her in an entirely different way. She’s not only my mother but also a person. Standing back and looking at my parents as individuals can be a lovely surprise. I often wonder how my children see me. Retaining a sense of self has always been very important but I admit, sometimes I’ve had to make a conscious effort to do so. Mostly, I’ve done this through my work, connection with friends, and generally through people I’m bonded

June/July 2009

Many parents suffer grief as their children pass through various life stages. Watching my youngest son’s end-of-year preschool concert was enough to stir a feeling of sadness thinking he was now moving on to ‘big’ school. In the scheme of things, this pales in significance to when it comes time for kids to leave home. One of my close friends is struggling to find purpose for herself as the last of her children prepares to leave home. She’s been a stay-at-home mum for most of her life and having had her children early means she is still very young. Knowing what to do and how to do it can be daunting. Like any loss or life change it takes time to adjust. Some parents will be more susceptible than others. Recognising that feelings of emptiness and uncertainty about what the future may hold are normal will go a long way towards dealing with the shock of an empty house. Small changes and a little planning around fulfilling your own world, rather than others, will help parents cope when the inevitable happens, and it might even mean a bit of relief. Motherhood at its most basic level is selfless. The dependence of a newborn baby is bonding and it’s natural to respond to their demands. While this


experience is full of love and reward, adjusting to a new life can take time. It can also be a shock to our self-esteem. Loss of freedom and financial dependence (even if only temporary), combined with the responsibility of a child can be overwhelming. The fact that working within the home is difficult to quantify in a monetary sense only adds to this. However, as children grow and develop greater levels of independence, a parent can too. A friend of mine recalls how astounded her children were when they discovered she used to work in advertising. “I was suddenly cool. They just couldn’t visualise me as anything other than their mother. It suddenly dawned on them that I once had a very different life.” To take time out from the demands of family life can be very difficult, not only on a practical level but also emotionally. Mothers are often plagued by guilt. Being kind to ourselves and investing in our futures is a way to ensure our children learn to respect and consider our needs. We teach our children to be kind and considerate to others yet often they leave their worst behaviour for the ones they love the most. There are many little ‘street angels and house devils’ out there. And while the safety and security of parental love comes without condition there is value in establishing your own boundaries of respect and civility. Placing value in proper behaviour can mean the difference between a harmonious life and a tumultuous one. It makes for a happier parent, happier home and, of course, happier children.

Photos courtesy ANZ; iStockphoto


Juice up

your love life


A little bit of what you fancy can be good for you! But maybe you don’t fancy the idea of petrochemicals (like propylene glycol & paraben preservatives), harsh synthetics, liquid silicones, sugars, artificial flavours & colours in your precious & sensitive body? Thank goodness for Sylk, the unique natural personal lubricant made from gentle, oh so slippery kiwifruit vine extract – clever little plant! Gentle, safe & allergy-free, Sylk feels so exquisite, so natural, so good with condoms & toys. It’s surely the intelligent choice in a world full of unnecessary chemicals.

Sex is natural – your lubricant should be too The beautiful kiwifruit vine provides the key ingredient of Sylk. The extract is actually from the pruned plant, a byproduct of the fruit harvest that would otherwise be wasted. Kiwifruit is high in Vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, dietary fibre & antioxidants, & low in calories, sodium & fat. It’s a good source of folic acid, Vitamin E & Arginine, which helps blood flow & has been used to treat impotence. Sylk has a proven track record along with many satisfied customers as it’s recommended by health professionals & has sold worldwide for over 16 years. Available from larger Coles, Woolworths & Safeway supermarkets, selected pharmacies & health stores or privately & securely online at

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he question of how to create a conscious relationship after being together for a while is one that most couples need an answer for at some point. Has your relationship taken a back seat while you try to juggle the responsibilities of a career, home, finances and other issues? When you invest conscious time, energy, attention and commitment, what emerges is a deeply satisfying relationship. There are steps you can take right now, with or without the aid of your partner, to get your relationship back into a loving space and keep your heart intact.

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1. Increase awareness and intention When you approach your relationship with awareness and intention, you invest meaning and potency to it.

2. Face issues courageously Rather than running away, falling apart or becoming aggressive when things get challenging, stand up and face each issue

June/July 2009


without distorting it. Turn toward the challenge and embrace it as an opportunity for individual and mutual growth.


3. Communicate effectively Take the time to simply talk to each other about what is bothering you. Otherwise, in time you might begin to resent your partner for not understanding you. Think about how much better you are going to feel when there’s discussion rather than discord.


4. Take responsibility for your emotional responses Blaming your partner for how you feel can be attractive and even comforting, but it actually damages the very fabric of your relationship. Stop responding with the impulse to fix or change your partner. Instead, when negativity arises, breathe deeply, refrain from speaking from a place of anger or blame, and turn your attention to understanding your own emotions. Respond only when you are calm.


Creating a conscious relationship fosters psychological, emotional and spiritual growth for you and your partner. Savleen Bajaj explains how to be present in love.



5. Attack the issues, not each other When there’s a disagreement, address the issue and don’t attack one another’s personality. That will just prolong the argument when it isn’t necessary. Once you deal with a matter head on, it will be easier to find a solution to the problem. But if you insist on attacking each other, the problem will just persist and all this leads to is more resentment.


6. Have an open mind You have to have an open mind and heart when you are talking to your partner about what’s troubling them. If you are owned by your baggage, stories, limiting beliefs and habits, you will not be able to listen attentively or onsciously. Listen to what your partner has to say and don’t pass judgement. You can learn a lot about what you can do to improve the relationship by just hearing your partner out.


7. Develop empathy To develop empathy, you must be willing to step outside of your experience, beliefs and perceptions to feel as your partner feels. You will then deepen your understanding and compassion for them. In this field of empathic love, you each will flourish like a well-tended plant.

attitudes, skills and practices that can help you deepen and grow in love and satisfaction together. All too often couples try to hide their problems behind closed doors. Talk to a trusted person or schedule a session with a therapist or counsellor. Many couples often need the boost of professional help to get the many aspects of their concern sorted through and resolved.

8. Keep the romance alive Make a serious effort to take time ut from your individual roles and responsibilities just to spend quality time together. Go out with your partner just as a couple and do something that makes your heart sing. Consciously make a plan to do something special and fun at least once a month.

Give yourself and your partner the gift of looking into each other’s eyes with love and respect. Don’t miss any more moments of it. May you be blessed with a lifetime of a loving, skillful, and satisfying relationship!



9. Seek help There is hope and help. A good relationship need not be left to chance. You can learn

Savleen Bajaj is an international coach, psychologist, speaker, author, facilitator and consultant who works with her clients to achieve personal breakthroughs and holistic success. Visit her website at or contact her on (03) 8802 7983.

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In The Know

The latest tools, techniques and resources to help you lead a more empowered life. 1

1. Boost for Home Business

Home Biz Chicks is a new online resource, launched purely to support women in home-based businesses. For those who want to start a home business or those already working from home and want to take their business to the next level, homebizchicks. com is a membership-based site offering tools, articles, interactive teleseminars and expert strategies to get you on the right path to start or grow your business.


2. Win for Working Women

The Federal Government’s Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) has released its 2009 Employer of Choice for Women list. This year 111 organisations, ranging in size and industry, have been recognised for their support of women in the workplace, meeting the stringent criteria set out by EOWA. The citation is handed out to non-government organisations with more than 80 employees that have demonstrated they have policies and practices that support women across the organisation. For a complete Employer of Choice for Women list visit

3. Out of the Blue

Project Blue is a new social media movement focused on shifting the way depression is represented and perceived in society. According to Project Blue, one in four women experience depression in their lifetime, yet many never talk about it. The Project’s first initiative is ‘Blue Like You’ – a collaborative eBook designed to present 100 candid and authentic experiences of depression in an accessible, female-friendly format. Blue Like You is currently seeking women aged 15 to 35 to authentically share their experience of depression. The idea is that, “Together, we can change the face of mental illness and empower women across Australia”. To find out more and make a submission visit


4 4. Wine & Dine


The Hunter Valley Wine and Food Month is taking place throughout June, with a huge range of intimate experiences lined up for food and wine lovers. From intimate meals with Hunter winemakers to local art displays and indulgent experiences set by the open fire in Hunter guesthouses, cellar doors and restaurants, the NSW Hunter Valley is said to have something for everyone this June. For the full month’s program visit

5. Stress Less

Encouraging Australians to slow down and look after their emotional wellbeing, Lifeline is inviting us all to participate in Stress Down Day on July 24. Wear your slippers to work, organise a morning tea or do something else that will help reduce stress, and make a donation to Lifeline to support its 24-hour telephone counselling support service. Register to get involved by visiting


Be silly for a serious cause and pick your nose on June 26 for Red Nose Day. This annual event supports SIDS and Kids, which is dedicated to saving the lives of babies and children during pregnancy, birth, infancy and childhood, and to supporting bereaved families. Red Nose Day 2009 sees the introduction of some fun, new Red Nose merchandise, which is available throughout June from leading retailers or by visiting



6. A Bit ‘On The Nose’

Create a Million Dollar Mindset For many years men and women have struggled to generate wealth, often working themselves into the ground only to miss out on the life they’re working so hard to create. What if there was another way? What if there was a part of you that was inherently guided and connected to all things? What if you could gain clarity around what you really want and start to attract it into your life? OneLife is an educational organisation committed to helping ordinary people create a million dollar mind set through extraordinary systems. Best selling author, multi-millionaire and educator Roy McDonald says that it’s possible for anyone to create wealth if they are committed to consistently following OneLife’s simple steps. Our programs will help you get in touch with your true potential, and empower you to create a huge vision for your life by providing the necessary tools and financial strategies. There is an old saying “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” OneLife’s philosophy is about teaching people how to fish so they can take charge of their own financial future. Our Abundance program is designed to help people from all walks of life totally transform their lives and create true abundance in all areas.

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Spotlight On...



’d sell my soul for a good massage. Relaxing or remedial, shiatsu or Swedish – I love them all. Needless to say, I was quick to put my hand up to experience ayurveda for this article. All I knew was that the word ‘ayurvedic’ was often followed by the word ‘massage’. It was a good sign. I arrive at Ayurve Beauty Salon & Wellness Day Spa in Sydney and am greeted by Rekha Sharma, the resident ayurvedic doctor. She is well versed to educate me about ayurveda and I quickly establish that it involves much more than just massage. “Ayurveda is a holistic science that works on your body and mind,” she explains. “It treats the human body as a whole.” Ayurveda is centred on the notion that everyone is born with a distinct bodily constitution, which includes a combination of the three ayurvedic ‘doshas’. Each dosha – vata, pitta, and kapha – is governed by two of the five earth elements: air, space, fire, water and earth. An individual generally has one dominant dosha, which determines their physical, mental and emotional characteristics. If a person’s doshas are imbalanced, illness can arise in the body. “Knowing about your dosha helps you understand what sort of lifestyle and

June/July 2009

diet you [would benefit] from following,” says Rekha. “If you are maintaining your body type, you should have no imbalances or disease.” In order to establish my body type, Rekha uses a number of diagnostic tools. First is a detailed questionnaire, which includes multiple-choice questions such as, ‘Do you have loose stools?’ and ‘Is your weight above average for your build?’. From my responses, Rekha determines that I am a ‘pitta person’. The pitta dosha is associated with the fire and water elements and governs the digestion and metabolism functions in the body. Among other things, the qualities of pitta include high body temperature, a sharp mind and a tendency to get irritable if a meal is missed. Yes, that sounds like me! Rekha provides nutritional guidelines indicating the ideal diet for a pittadominated body type. I am dismayed – though not surprised – to discover that for optimal health, I should cut out everything from alcohol and avocado, to lime and lentils (I’m not that disappointed about the lentils). “If you don’t know what body type you are, foods can sometimes make you sick,” Rekha explains. “It’s the small things that will make a big difference in your body.” To confirm her findings and identify any imbalances in my body, Rekha


performs a tongue and pulse analysis. The size of the tongue also determines your body type. In my case it’s medium in size, which confirms I’m pitta. “The tongue is a real picture of your body, like your feet and hands. We divide the tongue into nine different zones, each representing different organs,” Rekha explains. Rekha notices some white coating on the base of my tongue that indicates there is an imbalance in my lower abdominal area. She then performs the pulse analysis by putting two fingers on my left wrist. “We locate each dosha in your pulse to get an idea about the imbalances in your body. If one is not in the place it should be, it means there is an imbalance we need to address with supplements or lifestyle changes,” she says. “It shows up that you have gone through a lot of stress recently, which is causing an imbalance in your digestive system.” While all of this information is both interesting and helpful, I’m desperate to experience my long-awaited massage, but Rekha emphasises the necessity of the initial consultation. “It’s important because the external therapies rely on the findings. If I don’t know your body type or your existing imbalances, I can’t recommend the right treatment for you.” Finally it’s time to try the fun stuff. Rekha has recommended a shirodhara


Never one to shy away from a spot of pampering, Tammy Warner-Wilson gets more than she bargained for when she experiences the ayurvedic art of shirodhara massage.

Spotlight On...

treatment, which includes an ayurvedic massage followed by oil being continuously poured on the forehead. First Rekha wraps my feet in a hot steam towel, which helps my skin absorb the properties of the massage oil she has created specially for me using Indian herbs. She begins to massage my shoulders and back with firm, purposeful hand strokes. Slowly she moves down my body, massaging my arms, the backs of my legs and finally my feet. Then Rekha asks me to roll onto my back and starts to massage the front of my feet, legs, chest and neck, finishing with a scalp massage. A defining feature of this style of massage is the focus on ‘marma’ points where two or more types of tissue meet, such as muscle or joints. When massaged, the marma points release toxins and

blocked energy in the body. I notice when Rekha focuses on these areas, particularly my knees and hips, I feel a sense of calm. When the massage is over, it’s time to experience shirodhara. Rekha explains the physiology behind this technique. “We pour the oil on the forehead where the third-eye is located as it gives a flow of prana [life force] throughout your body. It also clears the vibrations around the nerve impulses, which indirectly gives a soothing effect to the area of the brain that is stimulated during stress or anxiety.” I remain lying on my back on the bed while Rekha prepares. She places a copper pot in a stand above my head and adjusts my hair so it hangs loosely over the top of the bed. She invites me to shut my eyes and a moment later I feel the first trickle of oil in the middle

of my forehead. It comes thicker and thicker, flowing down through my hair and eventually dropping into a pan on the floor below. At first it’s off-putting, but soon my mind goes blank and I fall into a transcendent state of meditation. About 10 minutes later the oil stops and Rekha starts another scalp massage before draining the masses of oil accumulated in my hair. To finish, she wraps a warm steamed towel around my head and feet. When I can get up, I feel dazed and slightly dizzy, but very peaceful. Once I’ve managed to sort out the oil-slick on my head, I say a heartfelt goodbye to Rekha and shuffle slowly to the car park. Arriving home, my husband takes in my unusually serene state. I give him a big oily kiss before collapsing on the bed and drifting into a deep sleep.

Origins: Ayurveda has been practised for more than 5,000 years. Originally communicated by a divine force to the ancient saints and sages of India through deep meditation, the principles of ayurveda were passed down orally through generations before being recorded in the Vedas – sacred Indian texts written between 1500 and 500BC. Growth: Ayurveda went through a period of decline during the era of British rule in India, but gained popularity again when the country gained independence in 1947. In the West, interest developed in ayurvedic principles during the 1970s when teachers from India began visiting the United States, Europe and Australia. Methodology: The Sanskrit term translates literally as the ‘science of life’. Ayurveda is based on the premise that every person is born with a unique bodily constitution that determines their basic physiology and personality. To help maintain a balanced constitution for optimal health and wellbeing, ayurveda incorporates five main streams of treatment, including diet, aromatherapy, colour therapy, sound therapy and touch therapy (massage). Cost: Ayurve Beauty Salon & Wellness Day Spa charges $90 for the initial ayurvedic consultation (60 min), and $165 for a shirodhara massage (90 min).


Qualifications: Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) is a six-year degree in India, and is equivalent in both duration and curriculum to a modern-medicine degree. In Australia, there are now a variety of educational institutions offering courses from certificate to advanced diploma level. More Information: To find a therapist in your local area, visit Contact Ayurve Beauty Salon & Wellness Day Spa on (02) 8297 4800, or visit




e are forever being bombarded with statistics about what is likely to bring us to an untimely demise. Heart disease! Diabetes! Cancer! What we do know undoubtedly is that our health is the result of all of our lifestyle choices, and by establishing healthy habits we can avoid long-term illness. The minefield of recommendations can make us want to put off changes, but through a series of easy tests we can start to gauge our risk of developing either heart disease or diabetes, which enables us to put together a simple strategy to swing the test results in our favour. We can do this by making some easy lifestyle adjustments. Dr Gerald Reaven from Stanford University discovered the easily identifiable cluster of signs that can indicate an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. He suggests this cluster of symptoms –

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known initially as syndrome X, but more recently as metabolic syndrome – is a silent killer. Silent because we aren’t aware of the signs and, unless our doctor is checking for them, it is easy to go undiagnosed. Bear in mind that if you have any family history of heart disease or diabetes, it is even more important to speak to your doctor about your risk. The discovery of the syndrome X markers is far from overwhelming. It is, in fact, liberating to know you can easily detect potential precursors to such serious diseases. One test can even be done at home with a simple tape measure! The following risk factors are the five to check for. One by itself is not a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome, which is characterised by a cluster of these signs. It’s generally recognised that a person who has at least three of these signs is at increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.

if your waist measures 88 centimetres or more (102 centimetres for men) you are at increased risk. Triglycerides

A higher than normal level of this type of fat in your blood can be another risk factor. Triglycerides are usually checked when you have your cholesterol checked. Triglycerides levels of more than 1.69 millimole per litre are considered a risk factor. Low H.D.L. Cholesterol

We’ve all heard about healthy and unhealthy cholesterol, and HDL is the healthy type. This is considered important because it takes the LDL, or unhealthy cholesterol, off the walls of our arteries. Women need to have less than 1.29 mmol/ litre (and men 1.04 mmol/litre) for it to be considered a risk factor.

A large waistline


Think apple rather than pear-shaped. Women are often an hourglass shape, storing more fat around our hips and our thighs, however as we gain weight we can increase the amount of fat stored around our mid-section. Excessive fat here, known as central obesity, can play a role in the development of metabolic syndrome and may in fact be the precursor of the other signs associated with it. As a general rule,

A blood pressure reading is a measure of how much pressure your heart has to exert to pump blood around your body. As we age, we can develop atherosclerosis where our arteries become narrower due to plaque deposits on the linings of the arteries making it harder for the heart to do its job. Blood pressure is measured as two numbers, one on top of another. The top number is called the systolic blood pressure and is a



Known as the silent killer, metabolic syndrome is a cluster of symptoms that can indicate serious health complications. Take action now to reduce your risk with this advice from naturopath Emma Yates.


measurement of the pressure when your heart beats or contracts, while the bottom number is a measure of the pressure when the heart is relaxed and is called the diastolic blood pressure. If your blood pressure is more than 130/85 mm Hg, this can be considered another risk factor. Elevated Fasting Glucose

This means your body is having trouble reducing your blood sugar levels when you consume a meal high in carbohydrates. Insulin, the hormone responsible for taking the carbohydrates into the cells to be used as fuel, is not working effectively. An elevated fasting glucose test of more than 5.5 mmol/litre could be an indicator of metabolic syndrome. It’s important to note that this can also be a risk factor for diabetes.

Plan of Attack Armed with the information above, the following plan can help you identify and decrease your risk of developing heart disease or diabetes. 1. Get Diagnosed

Get referrals for the tests to find out if you are at risk. Three out of the five tests will require your doctor sending you to a pathology lab for a fasting blood test. Fasting is necessary for the test’s accuracy. Your doctor should be more than happy to crunch the numbers for you and see where your test results lie in relation to the numbers that are generally accepted as indicating an increased risk. Fostering a relationship with your doctor where you are proactive about making changes, and lining up for regular health exams benefits everyone concerned – your family, your physician and, better still, you. Prevention is always better than cure, and by taking an active role in managing our health and reducing risk factors for disease, we can be healthier, happier and more productive. 2. Eat To Maintain Health

Dietary changes may help with all the markers we have gone through. A larger than healthy waist circumference can be addressed through weight loss; high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol have been shown to be affected positively by the introduction of good fats into the diet such as omega-3s, which come from fish, nuts

and seeds. The reduction of saturated fats is critical here as there has been a direct correlation found between high saturated fat levels and low protective HDL cholesterol levels. Saturated fats are found in meat, full-cream dairy products, the dark meat of poultry and pastries. Triglycerides and cholesterol are sourced from foods, but they are manufactured by the liver too, so keep alcohol to a healthy minimum to avoid unnecessary stress on the liver. One key way to reduce blood pressure is to reduce your salt intake, so keep your sodium

Preventative Eating for Syndrome X

• Eat mostly vegetables, which are low glycaemic index carbohydrates (potatoes and corn are the exceptions). • Avoid white bread, white pasta, sugar and only eat two pieces of fruit a day to avoid too much fructose (fruit sugar). • Eat protein with every meal. Fish, organic chicken breast, turkey breast, lean meat, eggs and low fat cheeses are all healthy choices. • Keep salt to a minimum. • Drink sensibly, having at least two alcohol-free days a week. • Use olive oil for cooking instead of butter or margarine to avoid saturated and trans fats. • Choose water instead of soft drinks or fruit juices. • Keep your fibre levels up with wholegrains, legumes, fruits and vegetables. • Have fish at least three times a week.

positive effect on all of the markers: improving blood pressure, reducing waist circumference, increasing HDL cholesterol, reducing triglycerides and regulating blood glucose levels. Body mass index is still an accepted way of measuring whether you are in a healthy weight range for your height and your doctor or naturopath can easily check this for you. Though there are many weight loss products promising to help, just by making the healthy dietary changes above and increasing physical activity, you can get into a healthy weight range. One of the consistent issues with weight loss for everyone is eating out and lack of planning. Unfortunately, it’s often difficult to get the healthy choices we require to maintain good health in food courts and some restaurants – not that we shouldn’t treat ourselves occasionally – so taking lunch to work or baking some chicken breast and having it with a salad for dinner is a healthier choice. Weight loss, though often made technical, is really just about how much energy is burnt and how much is stored. To get into those stores we need to reduce our food intake and get moving! 4. Get moving

The benefits of exercise for metabolic syndrome can’t be overlooked. All of the markers discussed can only benefit from us moving more: for example, an increase in HDL levels, the reduction of blood sugar levels by sensitising your cells to insulin and a reduction in blood pressure. Exercise doesn’t need to be difficult – just consumption to less than three grams per by walking you are making a difference. A day by not adding salt to foods and checking great way to check to see how active you labels. Avoid packaged food as these all tend are is to get a pedometer to count your to be high in added salt. steps. You need to aim for 10,000 per day Keep blood sugar levels balanced by for maximum benefits, and most people reducing your intake of white flour products are surprised by how few steps they take and sugars. Try focusing on wholegrain each day. Start taking the stairs, park at varieties, which have a lower glycaemic index, the edge of the car park, walk the dog and meaning the energy from the carbohydrates get active with a friend. is released slowly into your blood stream. Excess amounts of simple carbohydrates, Emma Yates BHSc ND is a qualified such as sugar, will causes sharp rises in blood naturopath with more than a decade’s glucose levels and if not burnt as energy, will experience. She is available for end up around your middle. consultations and corporate speaking 3. Manage your weight

engagements. For more information email

Keeping your weight down will have a




t’s a dark, cold, rainy winter morning, the alarm is bellowing for you to get up and exercise… What do you do? Do you spring out of bed, don your training clothes and hit the pavement with enthusiasm? Do you repeatedly hit the snooze button until it’s time to get up for work? Or do you just turn the alarm off the night before knowing it will be too cold to exercise, and tell yourself you’ll commit to exercise next week? If you answered one of the latter two, you’re not alone in wanting to stay snuggled up in your blankets on a cold winter’s morning, but it really won’t do much for your fitness plan. If this keeps happening, you may need to change your strategy slightly. For example, you could change the time of day you dedicate to your fitness or adjust your training choice – an indoor aerobics class might be more enticing than a run around the block – or simply have some options in place in case the day is particularly cold or raining.

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The most important thing, though, is to stay motivated for fitness. Embrace these winter months, get out and maintain that momentum. By implementing the following five tips, you will be a new person come summer.

What is Your WHY?


You might have goals in mind when you commence or maintain your exercise regime, but ask yourself why you want to achieve those goals. Identifying your ‘why’ and getting clear on what that is results in a stronger motivator than, ‘I just want to get fit’, or ‘I just want to lose some weight’. Your goal might be losing five kilograms by a certain date. Your ‘why’ in that case might be: ‘I want to lose five kilograms for my sister’s wedding, which will make me feel more confident and happier with myself to enjoy the day and every day after that’.


Action Plan


Yes, you have heard it all before: setting goals will help you get results. But do you really go through with it? Have you ever set a New Year’s resolution to be fitter and healthier? Most people do, but what they don’t do is actually set an action plan around it. Sure, getting fitter and healthier is important, but what does that mean? Does it mean exercising three times a week? Does it mean eating out only twice a week instead of five times? Be clear on what your goals are, be specific, with clear, measurable actions and timeframes associated with them. Then, most importantly, establish a clear set of milestones or mini goals along the way. This will be motivating and rewarding as you go.


Rewards v Non-rewards

Now that you have your goals, your ‘why’, and your mini goals, we are going to tighten those screws a little so the wheels of the wagon don’t loosen. This gem of a motivator was introduced to me by one of my mentors, Dr Fred Grosse. The Rewards v Non-rewards principle works like this: you have a goal


Fling off the doona and throw yourself into fitness with these five tips on maintaining motivation through the cold months. By James Short.


that you want to achieve, plus certain activities you need to do in order to reach that goal. For example, you want to lose five kilograms and in order to do that you need to keep a food diary and exercise four times a week for 45 minutes. All well and good, but how do you keep on track? This is where a reward and non-reward come in. Take a two-week block of keeping your food diary and exercising four times a week (that is your commitment). Your reward is something that you reward yourself with – something that doesn’t have a detrimental effect on your goal, such as a bottle of wine. More like a massage or facial. If you do not fulfil your commitment then you must activate your non-reward (this is fun!). This might be buying that new dress you wanted, but donating it to charity; or giving your partner a foot massage twice a week for two weeks – something you would have otherwise enjoyed yourself.

want to let down. More importantly, someone who can hold you accountable and ‘call’ you if you haven’t fulfilled your commitment. Accountability is why the personal training profession has seen an explosion. Someone knocking on your door at 6am… Sorry, but you can’t turn that alarm off.

The Big ‘A’ Word – Accountability

James Short is a fitness expert, presenter, trainer and coach. He is the 2008 Fitness Australia Fitness Professional of the Year. For more information visit


It’s time to get an accountability buddy so there is no more hiding or justifying a missed training session. Enrol someone for the journey; someone you trust and don’t

Have Some Fun


Don’t take things too seriously, have some fun with exercise. Try something new and different. If you don’t like going to the gym, don’t go to the gym, go dancing or swimming or play a sport. Many people ask me, “James, what’s the best type of training I can do?” My response time and time again is, “The one that you are going to do”. It’s that simple. So lighten up and enjoy the journey, as that is where the true magic begins.

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While some may say, ‘we are what we eat’, perhaps the more accurate statement is ‘we are what we don’t eat’. Naturopath Emma Yates explains the crucial vitamins and minerals needed for optimal health, and why a supplement is sometimes key to getting everything we need.


here are arguments for and against the need for supplements in our diet, but the one sure fact is that Australian consumers are becoming more and more health conscious. Sales of vitamins and dietary supplements are continuing to grow, reaching a value of $1.1 billion in 2007. The global trend is towards multivitamins and fish oils. In 2002 the Journal of American Medical Association stated that, “Inadequate intake of several vitamins and minerals has been linked to chronic diseases, including coronary artery disease, cancer and osteoporosis”. It went on to recommend, “All adults take one multivitamin daily”. It is recommendations like this that have people supplementing to close the gap between what we should eat and what we do eat. One of the most popular arguments against supplementing is that we can get everything we need from a balanced diet. Force of habit finds me unobtrusively eyeballing people’s trolleys at the checkout, and a balanced diet is usually not the snapshot I see. Supply and demand dictate what is on our supermarket shelves, and they tend to reflect the taste buds of a nation that like high-fat, high-sugar,

June/July 2009

low-fibre and processed options. If our diet lacks variety our bodies struggle to receive all the vitamins and minerals we need. Reasons we may not be getting everything we need for peak performance include skipping meals and eating processed, tinned, packaged and fast foods. Our lifestyle habits can also decrease nutrients, such as alcohol consumption, which reduces zinc and B vitamins. Smoking reduces vitamin C and caffeine reduces our iron absorption. There’s no doubt that getting all our vitamins and minerals through whole foods, fruits and vegetables is preferable, however with a population increasingly suffering from coronary heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis, it would seem we’re not getting all of the nutrients we need for peak performance, let alone optimal health.

The All-in-One Approach So which supplement is right for you? Which vitamins and minerals can help women perform at their peak? One only has to venture into a health food store or the vitamin aisle at the local chemist to feel overwhelmed by a multitude of options. While some women may have certain conditions requiring them to supplement


their diet with specific vitamins and minerals, multivitamins are generally the preferred choice for convenience and value. There are many choices on the market and a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals will offer you more protection. The following are things to look for in a good multivitamin for women: B vitamins. Often considered the energy vitamins, they work to help your body release the energy from food. B vitamins shouldn’t be underestimated, though, because they also work to support the nervous system and heart health, and are important in mood balancing and the manufacture of red blood cells. Folic acid is vitamin B9, and should always be included in the multivitamin for women planning pregnancy. Iodine. This is a mineral and should be included in your multivitamin because of its importance in thyroid health. Thyroid problems in women are becoming more and more common and iodine is a basic building block for thyroid hormones. New research is also suggesting it’s important for a baby’s normal brain development to include iodine in your multivitamin to optimise levels before pregnancy.

Iron. Iron is an essential part of

hemoglobin that carries the oxygen in your red blood cells. Low oxygen throughout the body means low energy levels. Low iron is a common deficiency in women and when our iron is low we can feel exhausted. It’s important to note that low iron can be a serious problem if untreated, so make sure that if you suspect low iron, talk to your doctor. Zinc. Another important addition, zinc

plays a vital role in immune health, is essential in a multitude of enzyme reactions responsible for energy production, protein digestion and the metabolising of alcohol. Calcium and Magnesium. These work together to keep our bones strong. Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body and is stored in the bones. It contracts muscles and is responsible for nerve conduction. While calcium is contracting muscles, magnesium is relaxing them. Magnesium not only relaxes your muscles, it, like zinc, works in many enzyme reactions in the body. Vitamin D. Known as ‘the sunshine

vitamin’ (because it can be made by the body from sunshine), vitamin D assists with the absorption of calcium and bone health. Interestingly, in our sun-burnt country, vitamin D deficiency is only now being recognised as an issue for Australians.


Antioxidants. This is even more

important if you exercise regularly. Antioxidants stop the destructive effects of free radicals. Free radicals are generated through normal metabolism, but can also be generated from smoking, alcohol consumption, exposure to pollution and even the herbicides on food. We now know, where there is tissue damage in the body, there is free radical damage. Free radicals damage cells, cells make up tissue and damaged tissue can lead to disease, or may be a side-effect of a disease. So

to reduce your risk of cellular damage, make sure there are antioxidants in your daily multivitamin supplement. The body makes its own antioxidant molecules but for extra insurance vitamins selenium, A, C and E also act as antioxidants in the body, stopping the damage to your cells from free radicals. It’s important to note, though, pregnant women should not use a multivitamin that contains more than 2500iu of vitamin A.

Something Fishy There has been extensive research done recently on the fatty acids found in fish known as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and the evidence to support their use is compelling. These important essential fatty acids can be found in the membranes of every cell in the body as phospholipids. The integrity of your cell’s membranes is determined by which fats are available for your body to incorporate into the cell wall. Cell walls made from healthy polyunsaturated DHA and EPA means the cell is able to communicate effectively with other cells, allow healthy amounts of nutrients to be absorbed, waste products to be efficiently removed, and respond effectively to hormonal stimulus. The DHA component of fish oil is essential for eye and brain health and are essential in the formation of your body’s anti-inflammatory compounds, so will help reduce inflammation and swelling of the joints. It is recommended we consume at least two to three meals of oily fish each week, however it’s important to note that deep fried fish from the fish and chip shop is not


the answer. This type of fish is low in Omega 3 (the combination of DHA and EHA essential for optimal health) and will not have the benefits of fresh fish. If your lifestyle prevents you from consuming this much ‘good’ fish in your diet, Omega 3 complex supplements are easy to find and will remain so, as it is one of the most popular of supplements. To help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke, the Heart Foundation recommends consuming 500mgs of Omega 3 complex every day, or more if you are at risk of heart disease. If you’re planning a pregnancy it’s important to have sufficient Omega 3s for the baby’s eye and brain development. Omega 3 complex is also fantastic for the skin and has been used effectively for dry skin conditions such as eczema for many years. Even without a skin condition, Omega 3 complex moisturises the skin from the inside, out. Omega 3 complex supplements generally come in 1,000mg capsules. For a good quality supplement, check that there is 180mg of EPA and 120mg of DHA. If you are worried about contaminants such as mercury or dioxins, the good news is that the Therapeutic Goods Administration requires that all fish oil supplements sold in Australia contain zero or near zero levels of such contaminants. Emma Yates has been a qualified naturopath for more than 12 years and now facilitates corporate workshops teaching permanent lifestyle changes to improve health and wellbeing. Contact her via email at

Great Reads

Enjoy some time out for yourself with these new motivational books. Spiritual Business: Creating a Business From the Heart

By Kate Forster, Dogma, $49.95 A self-help book with a twist, Spiritual Business is a business planning book, but instead of confusing business jargon, it has practical and fun exercises in each chapter that guide the reader through creating their own unique business plan. It’s an approach that encourages readers to bring more of themselves and their passion and heart into their business. Also beautifully illustrated, the book explores fundamental themes such as discovering your core values, how to find your source of inspiration and vision and, from this, how to create a mission and intention for your business.

Quick & Easy Energy Boosters

By Janet Wright, Duncan Baird Publishers, $16.95 This little book is jam-packed with step-by-step 5-minute routines to help boost your energy anytime, anywhere. Readers are shown what exercises are effective at certain times of the day as well as how you don’t need a special place for exercise – anywhere will do. Tailored techniques for boosting physical and mental energy are explained, as well as ideas for practising with a partner. It’s the perfect guide to boosting energy that’s easy to read and well set out with clear examples and steps.

Our Stories, Our Visions

By Zoe Sallis, Duncan Baird Publishers, $24.95 Forty of the world’s most influential women talk about what drives and inspires them about work and life. Answering 10 intimate questions such as ‘What is your greatest fear?’ and ‘Do you think women can make a difference in the world and be instrumental in stopping war?’, great women including Judi Dench (actress), Mary McAleese (President of Ireland since 1997), Jane Fonda (actress and peace activist) and Kim Phuc (UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, often called “The girl in the picture”, after she was photographed as a child running naked in the street after a napalm attack in the Vietnam war), candidly share their views and offer words of wisdom for all women.

Love in the Age of Drought

By Fiona Higgins, Macmillan Australia, $34.99 This inspiring story is testimony to the fact we can’t choose who we fall in love with, and that love can conquer all. Love in the Age of Drought is a true story about a career girl from the city meeting a cotton farmer from the country and how, against the odds, she was able to adapt to life on the land in the name of love.

Now Is the Time

By Patrick Lindsay, Hardie Grant Books, $19.95 Now Is the Time is a collection of reminders that within us lays the power to change our lives, if we just embrace the moment and seize the day. Accompanied by a meaningful quote from a noted luminary, these morsels of insight offer inspirational guidance as well as specific actions we can take, such as taming our inbox, embracing the traffic, rewiring ourselves or volunteering our time.

June/July 2009


Looking for even more






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hen we talk of branding, we often think of it as it relates to products, services and business. But in a competitive job market it’s not just organisations that need to make a statement. Now, more than ever, individual candidates and existing job holders, need to stand out from the rest to not only get noticed, but to thrive. This is where the power of the ‘personal brand’ comes into play. A brand is instantly recognisable – it stands for something, represents certain qualities, and stays true to its values over time. No matter where you are on the corporate ladder – starting out, a rising star or an established leader – personal branding is absolutely vital to your success. After all, numerous others may

June/July 2009

have your job title, but only a few might share your vision and appreciate the particular talents you offer. By connecting with the individuals and companies that value your ‘mission’ in the world, you will have a much greater chance for success. “Today, in the age of the individual, you have to be your own brand... [you have to become] CEO of Me Inc,” says Tom Peters, author of The Brand Called You. Ultimately, this is about building your own personal brand, but what does that mean? “Much like the brands that we all know, such as Coke, Nike, or McDonald’s, your personal brand in the workplace is a combination of the product you offer (i.e. your job performance), the values you embody, and how the two work together to create the ‘wholeness’ that is you.” A personal


brand is much more than just a job title; it’s a holistic look at your goals, passions and values and how those figure into, and enhance, what you offer an employer. So the next question is, are you willing to sit back and simply ‘stumble across’ your personal brand, hoping you will one day discover what you want to represent to the world? If this is the strategy you choose, bear in mind that if you don’t create your own personal brand, chances are, someone else may decide to do it for you. Will someone else’s impression of you be enough to keep you one step ahead in the professional world? Successful people have greater clarity on how their personal brand makes them unique. A personal brand is something


Building a reputable brand isn’t just for business; individuals can also benefit from creating and promoting their own brand in a competitive job market. Tarryn Brien offers five steps to a winning personal brand.


we all need to take responsibility for actively creating and maintaining. Below are a few steps that will help you create the best personal brand for you.



Develop a positive image of your ideal personal brand

Honestly evaluate the image you are portraying now and compare it to what you would like it to be. Your personal brand should evoke your career aspirations, what you want to accomplish, and the impact you want to have on others in the workplace. But remember, keep your brand in line with your core self, and don’t try to be something you’re not – this is essential to the brand’s ultimate success. To help identify your personal brand, ask yourself: • What are my strengths? • What would I like to accomplish in my working life? • What values do I stand for? • What distinctive qualities am I already known for? • What am I passionate about? • When do I feel at my best? • What unique contribution can I make? • What past successes can I leverage off of ? • How do I define success?



Ensure your personal brand is unique

According to John Williams, author of Image and Branding – Living Your Brand, “While some of your personal brand attributes may overlap with others’, your overall message should be one-of-a-kind – that’s what will differentiate you and make your personal brand stand out”. Don’t be intimidated. Remember, it’s you who truly knows what makes you unique! If you are still struggling then ask someone you know and trust to help you identify some of your personal strengths and unique qualities, or consider

consulting a professional. But remember, authenticity and honesty are vital building blocks for your personal brand, because a personal brand is only as good as the reputation you are able to build around its unique promise of value, and what you ultimately deliver.



Close the gap

Once you have defined your personal brand, look at what steps need to be taken to close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be. Define some specific goals and objectives as they relate to your career progression. You don’t need to wait for everything to be ‘perfect’. Take some positive steps now that can start moving you towards your personal brand vision. For example, if you are applying for positions, ensure your resume reflects your personal brand qualities.



Consistency, consistency, consistency!

When you consistently present yourself based on the messages you’ve identified, you’ll have created an effective personal brand. Those who interact with you, both inside and outside of the business realm, will have a strong sense of who you are and what you stand for. Remember to re-evaluate and track the success of your personal brand at intervals to determine whether it still accurately reflects your goals, passions and values.



Communication is key

It’s no use developing an excellent personal brand if no-one else knows about it. Take every opportunity to highlight your unique qualities. View every interaction as a ‘moment of truth’– you need to live


your personal brand at all times. John Williams says that the most powerful form of communication is face-toface – personal interactions provide the greatest opportunities to make memorable impressions. This includes, for example, your resume, how you come across in interviews, participation in work meetings and your daily interactions with colleagues. All the choices and decisions you make in the workplace can enhance or detract from your personal brand, so choose wisely. If you are struggling to adhere to your personal brand then re-examine whether it authentically represents what you stand for. If developing your personal brand seems too time consuming, remember that most of us put hours into developing our work ‘to do’ lists, ticking off all the smaller day-to-day tasks which, while they need to get done, don’t necessarily add value or propel you closer to where you ultimately want to be in your career path. By spending time developing and staying on track with your personal brand, you keep your eye on the bigger picture which may actually allow you to shed some of those pesky ‘non-essential’ tasks which eat up so much of your working life and don’t add value to your career aspirations. A personal brand also doesn’t have to stop with the workplace. If you have developed your brand in an authentic and honest way, your core values will provide an excellent barometer for navigating not only your working life, but your personal life too. Put the steps to personal branding into practice and you will become the success you are meant to be.

Expert business coach and facilitator, Tarryn Brien is practice owner of The Happiness Institute in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and offers corporate and individual coaching sessions, programs and corporate workshops. To contact her email or phone 1300 733 743.


For a Rewarding Review

Performance reviews can be a great way to increase fulfillment at work. Kate James looks at how employees and managers can get the most out of the review process.

June/July 2009

of her outstanding achievements to the meeting with her manager. When the customer-service database was upgraded earlier in the year, Jenny had kept copies of emails showing how she’d resolved an impending IT issue prior to the launch date and how she had also exceeded her role expectation by highlighting several other issues to the IT department before clients had access to the new system. Jenny was able to easily prove that she had not only achieved her KPI of ‘providing excellent after-sales technical support to all customers’ but had exceeded it.

From The Top-Down If you’re a manager reviewing staff, remember that many people find the process daunting and don’t know what’s expected of them. Several months prior to a formal review, spend some time with your team members outlining what you’d like to see from them at the meeting. Ask them to collect case studies or firm evidence about key areas so they’re not wasting time during the review process trying to recall examples of where they displayed the skills required of them. Be considered in the way you provide feedback. Keep the points you make specific to the role rather than personal, offer ways to resolve any issues, and


remember to provide positive as well as constructive feedback on any negative results. Remember that any feedback – even if it is in the form of constructive criticism – is welcomed by most people. Everyone wants to perform well in their role, yet most of us lack the awareness of how we can improve until it’s pointed out to us. Kate James is a career coach who works with her clients to achieve balance and fulfillment in all areas of life. For more information visit



ost people assume that no news is good news, but sometimes we’re met with a shock at annual review time. This can be because without regular feedback it’s difficult to know whether you’re meeting expectations. Effective feedback is given periodically rather than just once a year. Top-performing managers make time for both the annual review and a formal mid-year review as well as giving regular informal feedback throughout the year. The mid-year review is an important opportunity for you to check in, clarify your role objectives and get a sense of how well you’re performing. It’s also a chance for you to showcase your successes and let your manager know if you’re ready to take on new challenges. Preparation for review should be done on a weekly basis. In a busy role it’s easy to forget where and how you exceeded your key performance indicators (KPIs), so keep a weekly diary and note your key outcomes and achievements including specific examples. This will help you prepare for your mid-year or annual review. Jenny, a client services manager working for a finance organisation, was well prepared for her review. Knowing her company was tough at review time, she took solid evidence


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Coaching principles are some of the best life tools one can arm themselves with. Savleen Bajaj reveals the key skills for effective coaching in the workplace.


n today’s highly competitive business environment, organisations can’t afford anything less than outstanding performance in order to survive and thrive. As they operate in environments of continuous change, more and more managers are finding themselves in a coaching role to teach, facilitate and mentor during the course of their normal day-to-day management duties. Coaching is the art and science of facilitating positive change, which makes it a critical skill for managers at all levels, not to mention the benefits coaching principles can have on developing one’s ‘self ’. The ‘manager as coach’ concept is becoming increasingly popular as the value of sustainable on-the-job learning is recognised in the workplace. It can deliver tangible benefits to both individuals and organisations if managers are equipped

with cutting-edge tools to be able to effectively deliver the result, and elicit the very best performance from their people. Effective coaching helps people to progress and contribute more fully to the business objectives and ensures that individuals get the guidance they need to perform to the best of their ability. Coaching is a powerful tool that establishes the platform managers need to orchestrate increasing demands and to manage multiple priorities, especially in the face of downsizing, cost-cutting and reengineering. It is the key to unlocking potential and leads to improved employee performance, increased productivity and bottom-line results. When employees meet or exceed expectations, everyone benefits. This leads to job satisfaction for both the manager and the employee, and, in turn, provides the catalyst for self-motivation. Successful companies recognise that in the current complex business environment, autocracy no longer works. Effective management not only depends on leading from the front but also advising and developing people through coaching and training. The ‘manager as coach’ has the responsibility to gear everything they do as both a growth experience for the individual and a learning experience for the group. A successful outcome is very much dependent on the manager’s ability to help their employees develop

the personal and technical skills needed to improve performance levels. Coaching is both practical and interactive and focuses individuals on the skills and knowledge required to boost performance; to resolve specific problems; to strengthen their skills; to increase motivation and drive; to broaden their knowledge on tasks, goals, processes, and expectations; to foster a higher sense of responsibility; and to increase autonomy through feedback. It enhances optimum performance and is designed to help employees develop their skills and competencies in a focused, structured, measurable, achievable and supported way. While coaching may occur spontaneously, its benefits are too important to be left to chance. Arm yourself with an arsenal of tools, skills and best practices for coaching in your workplace. Here are some basic essentials you can empower yourself with today and, to learn more, consider doing an actual coaching course. There are plenty of great companies out there offering accredited training to become a coach. You will learn some of the best principles for self-empowerment, both in the office and life in general.

Increase Personal Awareness Increase both self-awareness as well as awareness to the needs, thoughts and

The benefits of coaching in the workplace feelings of others. Regularly examining your own attitudes is crucial for you to stay objective. Have the ability to coach by routinely observing, assessing, and interacting in ways that develop and maximise individual effectiveness of yourself and those around you.


Maintain a Positive Paradigm Make the paradigm shift necessary to believe in the value of coaching. Recognise the significance of using yourself as an instrument of coaching. Empower others to move beyond their comfort zones by constructively challenging their attitudes, beliefs, ideas and behaviours. A positive paradigm teamed with a collaborative attitude keeps the coaching process objective and focused on business outcomes.


Create a Climate of Trust, Respect and Confidence Establishing a platform of mutual trust, safety, confidence and respect is the foundation for effective coaching. Commitment to the employee’s success is the basis for rapport. This helps the employee to build personal confidence in the security of the coaching relationship, and creates a safe environment for risk taking, experimentation and exchanging of ideas.


Be a Great Role-Model Be positive, respectful, encouraging, patient and confident. Model how your employee must speak and act, in order for them to perform at their best. Show them that you care about them. Be consistent in words and actions in order to be a positive role-model of the attitudes and beliefs valued by the organisation. Actions speak louder than words.


Act With Courage The coach needs to act with courage in the face of interpersonal or organisational challenges. Coaching requires the skillful confrontation of issues that may be uncomfortable to address. There is a critical balance between being supportive and caring and being clear and direct. Proactive


1. For employees: improved performance, greater enthusiasm, inspiration, challenge, increased personal and job awareness, job satisfaction, confidence and work output. 2. For managers: improved communication, motivation, delegation, employee empowerment, planning, problem-solving, giving feedback, confidence, effective monitoring skills, reduced conflict, personal awareness. 3. For the organisation: creates a climate for success, shared vision and commitment, develops an environment that fosters synergy, builds a confident, harmonious, reliable, responsive, profitable and competitive business.

behaviour moves people and the organisation forward to experience breakthrough results.

Giving Feedback

It is essential that the communication process through which the coaching is delivered is effective at creating a shared understanding. Listen not only to words but also non-verbal signals such as body language. Actively listen with clear focus and an empathetic ear, suspend judgement and encourage open, two-way communication. Incorporate different communication styles to promote growth, development and improvement.

Feedback in coaching is defined as information that is to be used in the formation of potential performance behaviour. As a coach, it is your responsibility to provide information on previous behaviour, and on the desired behaviour. The giving of feedback must follow a certain process to be effective. Remember to: • focus on behaviours, not personalities; • be specific on the description of the behaviour; • be realistic, objective and sincere; • make yourself clear; and • gain commitment on an action plan.

Communicate a Clear Vision

Be Solution-Focused

The coach consciously eliminates ambiguity and mixed messages. Communicate the vision you have of the employee’s potential behaviour or performance. As the coach, you need to have a clear vision of the desired situation. This will allow you to accurately benchmark against the current situation and be able to define the gap between the two. The gap is the problem area that needs correcting. The coaching is on the gap because it is specific and measurable.

Focusing on solutions is productive and energising. Use the 80/20 rule and spend 80 percent of your time and energy on the solution and 20 percent on the problem. With this approach, problems are simply seen as opportunities for improvement and indicators of where to focus your attention. Solutions are fundamentally about improving the success of all involved.

Active Listening



Collaborative Goal-Setting This is a very important aspect of the coaching as it establishes the partnering process. The desired outcomes are addressed by both the coach and the employee. It is also critical to establish the consequences if the achievable goal(s) are met or not met to encourage taking ownership for the goals. Motivate and inspire yourself and others to take personal responsibility for effective results.




The Power of Quality Questioning Questioning is more an art than a science. It is timing, building on data, leading, and creating dialogue rather than monologue. Ask solution-focused questions and stay out of analysis paralysis. Keep moving forward, learning, adapting and exploring possibilities. Use quality questions to get creative as this empowers your mind into a more resourceful state. When coaching, you need to be using powerful questions that deepen the learning, are open-ended and propels yourself and/or the employee forward towards the goal.


Savleen Bajaj is an internationally respected leadership authority, success coach, professional speaker, psychologist and author. She is the founder of Lotus Wellness-World Centre for Mind, Body, Spirit Intelligence. For more info, call (03) 8802 7983, email or visit


Business need not be all about cut-throat competition and one-upmanship. In fact, says Matthew Catling, success today means embracing your competitors and looking at the bigger picture.


Developing With Abundance So how can business owners start to employ this type of win-win thinking and relationship building? The first step is to really get clear on your business. Start with the big picture – what does my business stand for? What is the contribution I want

An effective strategy will be to think win–win in every aspect of your business

your competitors as your strategic enemy and the thought process is often, ‘How can I crush my competitors?’ Imagine if you could look at your competitors in a different way, with a more abundant way of thinking. I see a lot of business owners come from a very ‘scarcitydriven’ place and often what occurs from this type of thinking is decisions that are limiting, sometimes manipulative and generally playing small. The people that are really going to succeed – and I see this happening currently – are the big thinkers, the creators

June/July 2009

who come from a place of abundance, an abundance of customers, an abundance of resources and huge opportunities to create and contribute to the planet. These thinkers often come from a place of ecology – the study of change and its effect. These people will ask themselves, ‘What is the big-picture effect of this decision I am making and how will it impact my staff, my customers, the community and the planet?’



here has never been a more important time to band together and challenge any talks of recession or economic crisis as a united front. What does this mean for business? I believe businesses need to get more creative, strategic and develop a better understanding of customers’ wants and needs. Developing a niche and being able to communicate that niche to the market in the right way is also very important. So with all the competition out there, what can businesses do to work together and create wealth as a united front? I think the first step is letting go of the word competition. This word itself separates businesses. You start to look at

to make to my customers, to my staff and to the planet? Write a three to five-year vision of what the company needs to look like in order to fulfil this vision. The next step is the research and development phase. Most business owners assume to know what their customers want, or they try to be all things to all people. This is very challenging from a business point of view. Imagine stopping for a second and emptying the cup. Forget everything you know about your business, let go of the scarcity type of thinking, which is, ‘I have to be all things to all


customers because there is not enough’. There is more than enough business out there, the human race is expanding at an exponential rate and there have never been more potential customers than there are now. What I am saying is, take yourself out of the picture, forget what you think you know. Start with a blank canvas and get out there and start researching your customers, spend as much time as you possibly can in understanding your target market. Look at your business model currently – who buys the most, who loves your product or service currently? Once you have uncovered this information, it’s time to research your ideal customers on every level – what are their buying habits? What drives them on an internal level? What are their values and beliefs? Where do they socialise? Who do they contribute to if they contribute? Why do they buy your product? With this type of information you can start to restructure your business. The next step is to look at your staff. Do they share anything in common with your customers? Do they have similar belief systems and values? Are your employees happy? Are they inspired by your vision? Do they know the vision? Remember, your employees are on the front lines and are often the interface between you and your customers. If your employees are passionate, your customers are going to be, too.

Next we need to look at the market – who is currently serving your market or a bigger, generalised version of your market? Instead of thinking scarce, think abundantly – how can your product or service add value to their customers? What do you do that they cannot, maybe because they are too big or maybe it would be too costly to restructure? How could your business add value to theirs and in essence create a win-win relationship? The customers are winning, the staff are winning and both business are winning.


The Bigger Picture Triple bottom line will become a must for businesses, so how can your businesses also contribute to the planet? Some companies give a percentage of turnover to charity and are moving towards being eco-friendly. I believe businesses that aren’t making these shifts already are going to be left behind. I think we all agree that going green will be a large part of how businesses will be able to operate moving forward, so start thinking about what you can do to make an even bigger contribution to the planet. I see a lot of businesses making huge beneficial impacts on the planet and what happens

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is they develop a stronger more connected relationship with their customers. Fundamentally, most people don’t trust businesses, and there are a lot of situations that have occurred and are occurring that are creating this thought process – how can you be different? How can you build an incredibly strong trust with your customers? Many businesses will do this through a genuine desire to contribute and help. So in essence, an effective business strategy will be to think win–win in every aspect of your business. Take yourself out of the equation. I love Zig Ziglar’s quote, “To achieve success all I need to do is stop thinking about what I want and start finding out what others want and help them achieve their success, and then I will automatically be successful”. So let go and go on a journey of contribution. Start by asking, “What is my business really about?” Create win–win relationships with your team, discover what they really want, then move outwards – who are my customers and what do they really want? Then think of the marketplace – who is in my market segment and what do they really want? Finally, what does society need and how can I contribute to the planet?

Matthew Catling is an accredited master coach, trainer and presenter. He is the founding director of the Your Future Now group of companies. For more information visit

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Success Profile

Staying Power J


Name: Juliet Potter Age: 36 Companies: Girl PR and Inspiration: I have to go to Randwick Children’s Hospital all the time with my son [who has nephritic syndrome and suffers from minimal change disease], and no matter how hard life is I always get a reality check and think I am so lucky to have had the opportunities I’ve had. Tips for Business Success: • Always keep your cards close to your chest, especially if you’re the ideas person. • Have a good solicitor. • Avoid having a business partner unless you absolutely need one.

June/July 2009

uliet Potter knows more about cars than most. The creator of car website can translate pretty much any car-related acronym – ABS, ESP, GPS … You name it, she knows it. But Juliet’s passion for all things auto doesn’t necessarily come from a love of ‘cars’. Ten years ago the five-foot-two blonde beauty recognised the male-dominated auto industry failed to cater to female consumers. Dismayed with the variety of car seat covers available to her, Juliet identified a gap in the market and, in 1999, established Diva Denim. Collaborating with a local seamstress to design denim car seat covers for the female fashion-conscious, Juliet also created aromatic car spritzers and lip balms. However, despite booming sales resulting from editorial appearing in women’s magazines, distribution of the products in traditional car and auto stores proved problematic. Juliet responded by creating a website to sell the products herself. To her surprise, though, she was also inundated with queries from women seeking car advice. Recognising yet another gap in the market, Juliet decided to license Diva Denim products offshore in order to focus on a new information-based auto website for women. “I started thinking about how women buy over 50 percent of all new cars”, she explains, “and yet, you have this multibillion-dollar industry that doesn’t identify its market as female.” Juliet pitched her business plan to potential investors for three years before selling a 51 percent share to an investor who could create her “dream website”. was launched soon after, but when the business relationship turned sour she resigned as a director. Juliet bounced back the following year with the support of two investors (Martin Hoffman, former ninemsn CEO, and Rob Antulov, former director of strategy for Fairfax Digital) to create, an online one-stop-shop for women offering everything from tips on buying and selling


vehicles to technical information about tyres. Since its inception in 2007, AutoChic, which generates revenue from online advertising, has experienced 500 percent growth, boasts a 25,000-strong database of members and averages 3,000 unique viewers a day. “That’s without spending a cent on advertising or SEO [search engine optimisation]”, Juliet points out. “It’s all viral, word of mouth and PR.” While she loves the freedom and flexibility of running an online business, Juliet’s faced her fair share of challenges. She freely admits her blonde hair, blue-eyed appearance has often hindered her success in the traditionally male-dominated industry. “I recognised that I was never going to be taken seriously because of how I look,” she explains. Then there was the former employee and acquaintance who both set up rival businesses based on Juliet’s intellectual property, as well as the investor relationship which ended badly. But it’s Juliet’s belief in her ability that keeps her ahead of the competition. “I understand the consumer and what they want,” she says. “It’s not easy – I’m translating a really male-dominated product to make it palatable to women.” These days Juliet has multiple projects on the go. At the time of writing she’d just finished filming as the host of Channel Seven’s new classical car program Chrome, and recently launched a new car website in the US. She’s also developed her own public relations company, Girl PR, which offers a more integrated solution for her advertising clients, as well as entrepreneurs needing to build a brand. Juliet is straight-up about the future. “I want to conquer America with the new site. I know that I can do it. I’ve done it here three times over under the most excruciatingly difficult circumstances!” she laughs. “I don’t believe in destiny or karma, I just believe life is what it is and you learn from your mistakes. Hopefully, at some point, you get rewarded for all of your hard work.”

Photo courtesy Juliet Potter

Fast cars and automobiles are all in a day’s work for Juliet Potter, founder and director of car website for women Tammy WarnerWilson finds out how she’s making it big in a man’s world.


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Entering local, state and national business awards is a great way to reflect on and grow your business, as well as connect with like-minded women and celebrate your success. Kelly Pendlebury reports.


omen have come a long way in the last few decades, making waves in the business world across a variety of fields. We’re not only reaching the glass ceiling, in many cases women are smashing right through it. Speaking to a number of these successful businesswomen, what became clear is how awards can add a huge amount of personal value to their lives, as well as allowing them to regroup and focus on their business and its continuing growth and excellence. Bronwyn Parsons is a great example of this. After taking out the WA title for the Telstra Businesswoman of the Year in 2006, the general manager of Add Wealth (financial planning services) went on to take out the 2009 title at the Western Australia ‘40 Under 40’ Awards, proving she has a head for business and a plan for results. Bronwyn is a big advocate of entering business awards, even if it’s simply to go through the process. She

June/July 2009

believes the key to maintaining success is reflection. “Taking the time to sit down and remember all the things you’ve done is one of the most valuable exercises anyone can complete,” says Bronwyn. “Reflection is something that none of us, particularly women, do enough of. There is something really empowering about remembering what you have achieved. “One of the things I find most inspiring is the stories of other people’s success. I have met some of the most incredible people through the awards process. It’s amazing the bond that has been created with some of the other winners. The life stories I have been privileged to hear will motivate me for years to come. I am surrounded by people who wouldn’t hesitate to offer their help should I ever need it.” This now means Bronwyn has a network of successful businesspeople with whom she can bounce ideas, ask questions and tap into a wealth of knowledge. “One


of the most gratifying things for me is that they consider they can do the same with me.” Fran Meagher, co-ordinator of the Australian Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award, agrees with Bronwyn saying that the benefit of entering awards is twofold. “Nominees are given an opportunity to really stop and reflect on how far they have come (something us women seem not to do enough) and secondly, by entering a submission to the likes of the Veuve Clicquot Award, nominees have seven highly regarded senior members of the business community looking at their successes.”

Getting Started The beginning to any award process is a nomination either by yourself or a third party. Once you have been nominated, it’s your responsibility to take it to the next level by tooting your own horn and promoting yourself. Each different award will have a standard application procedure or entry kit that will be supplied when you accept the nomination. Most applications will require you to answer various questions across different categories. The guidelines for answering these are very specific, so you will know exactly what is expected. According to Fran, the key to a winning application is to understand the

Telstra Business Women’s Awards Location: National/State Closing date: July 24, 2009 ActionCoach My Business Awards Location: National Closing date: August 26, 2009


Australian Home-Based Business Awards Location: National Closing date: August 2009, date TBC

Australian Small Business Champion Awards Location: National Closing date: TBC, see website Smart Company Awards Location: National Closing date: August 3, 2009


The Stevie Awards for Women in Business Location: National Closing date: August 1, 2009

characteristics of the awards you are nominated for and to base your entry on how well you can demonstrate these personally and professionally. Although the process of entering may seem a hindrance to time-poor business owners and professionals, it’s actually a fantastic way to take time out of your business to work on your business and ensure that you continue on your path to success. Jody Fenton, CEO of Boutique Money Management and recipient of the 2008 Quest Business Achiever Award in Queensland, explains how being a part of the awards process assisted her to stay in touch with her clients’ needs and helped her focus on what the business needed to keep growing. “Like for many awards, we also had to document our business and customer service policies. Customers are everything in business and it’s important to take time out regularly to make sure you stay focused on giving your customers what they want. Awards like the Quest Business Achievers are one way you can do this as a business owner and also gain some recognition and support for your efforts.” So just how can this recognition help you? The prestige of winning such awards and the ongoing benefits are

opportune and have longevity, especially if promoted in the right avenues. “Winning an award not only provides you with a sense of achievement, it also provides you with credibility as an individual,” says Bronwyn. “This credibility can then be used to assist with the promotions and marketing strategy within your business.” Sol Trujillo, departing CEO of Telstra, sums up the importance of women in business and entering awards: “They are a showcase of successful women role-models and provide a powerful platform to help redress the ongoing under-representation of women in management ranks. “Women comprise 45 percent of the Australian workforce but they represent only 12 percent of executive managers and 8.7 percent of board appointments in ASX top-200 listed companies. “Diversity of talent breeds powerful businesses and commercial results bear this out. For the past two decades, firms that are majority-owned by women have grown at about twice the rate of all firms.” It is obvious that Australian women are at the forefront as they continue to break through that glass ceiling and give the boys a run for their money. And, at last they are taking the time to recognise their achievements, support each other and celebrate their success.


Women in Information Technology Award Location: National Closing date: Nominations close July 6, applications close July 15, 2009

Australian Business Arts Foundation Award Location: National Closing date: Nominations closed for 2009 but worth looking into for next year

2010 Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award Location: National Closing date: Late 2009, date TBC Australian Business Awards Location: National Closing date: Register online to be notified about the 2010 awards NSW Local Business Awards Location: NSW Closing date: September 9, 2009

Women in Business Award Location: Queensland Closing date: TBC, see website

Quest Business Achievers Award Location: Queensland Closing date: Varies depending on location Melbourne Business Awards Location: Victoria Closing date: TBC, see website

Messenger Local Business Awards Location: South Australia Closing date: Voting begins for the Southern region on July 1, and for the Western region on September 2. Other regions closed for 2009


From options to futures, derivatives to dividends, wealth expert Dale Gillham describes your choices for investing in the sharemarket.


n my last article we looked at the bigger picture of investing and discussed the three laws of wealth creation. Now it’s time to delve into the detail and explain the various investment options available in the sharemarket, together with the pros and cons of each.

Option 1 Shares The first area to understand is shares themselves (or equities as they are known) which represent part ownership of a company. As the part owner of a company you are entitled to a share of the profits by way of receiving a dividend. When a company distributes part of its profits back to the shareholders, the dividend can be expressed by a number of cents per share held. When talking about shares we often hear the phrase ‘blue chip’ but what are blue chip shares? There is no formal definition of what a blue chip share is, however in essence they are shares in a company that is highly valued. These types of companies are known for their ability to generate solid profits in the good times and hold up in the bad. Examples of blue chip shares are any of the four major banks. As a general rule of thumb, you could call any of the shares listed in the top 50 for the Australian market ‘blue chip’. Benefits

Investing in shares allows you to expose yourself to both capital gains as the shares

June/July 2009

rise in price, and income in the form of dividends as described above. By investing in blue chip shares you know you are investing in the biggest and safest shares in our market that have proven over time to be very good at producing returns for a reasonable level of risk. Research I conducted for my book shows that if all you did was buy and hold the top 10 shares for 10 years, your return would be approximately 12 percent per annum. Other benefits are that it is relatively easy and cheap to buy and sell shares as this can be done online, and you are buying an asset that is generally very liquid meaning you can buy and sell freely. Lastly, good shares can be used as security to borrow funds for further investment. Areas of Caution

Neither your investment nor your return is guaranteed, so you need to be aware that losses can occur when you purchase shares. No share continually rises, therefore when investing in shares you need to expect that they will fall at some time. The last 18 months has been evidence of this where many have fallen by 50 percent, with many smaller shares falling further. Given this, anyone using a buy and hold strategy needs to expect that two or three years out of 10 will see their portfolio underperform or show negative returns.

Option 2 Derivatives A derivative is a financial product, known as a ‘contract’, that derives its value from an underlying asset.


A contract is a legally enforceable agreement between individuals or entities. The underlying assets can be such things as shares, currencies, commodities (such as wheat, copper or gold) or interest rates. A derivatives trader is buying or selling contracts, which means they are buying the ‘right’ or becoming ‘obligated’ by selling. “Derivatives are leveraged instruments, which enables users to control large financial positions in the underlying asset – such as shares, indices, currencies or commodities – with smaller amounts of money. Derivatives allow a trader to make money in a rising or falling market. For example, if you think that a share will rise in price you can purchase a ‘call option’ (one type of derivative) and if you are correct the value of the option will rise as the price of the share rises. However if you think the share will fall in price you would purchase a ‘put option’, and if you are correct the value of the option will rise as the price of the share falls. Buying put options on shares you own is called hedging as it protects you to any downward movements in the price of the share and is like a form of insurance. Derivatives were developed for the purpose of controlling risk in the financial and commodity markets, very much like the reasons insurance companies developed their business by offering people the opportunity to reduce their risk. The different types of derivatives are futures, options, warrants, contracts for difference, short selling, forward sale agreements, margin foreign exchange and swaps.



As an exercise in researching the market before my next article, find the top 50 shares in the market. To do this all you need to do is look in the business section of most major weekend papers or visit the stock exchange website ( Once you find the top 50, highlight the top 20. When you are looking at the newspaper, familiarise yourself with all the data in the various columns and what it means by following this guide: 52 Week High/Low: The highest and lowest price traded for that share in the past 52 weeks.

While explaining all the above derivatives is beyond the scope of this article, below is a brief outline of the ones you might be more familiar with. For more information on all derivatives visit the glossary page on the ASX website, Futures

Futures are standardised exchange traded contracts to buy and sell commodities, securities or other assets on a specific date at a preset price. They are legally binding agreements between a buyer and a seller. Options

Options are standardised contracts between two parties. They give the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell an asset at a specific time at a predetermined price. There can be options over shares, futures contracts and even over property. There are two types of options: • Calls – an option contract that gives the holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy the underlying asset at the exercise price at or before a fixed expiry date. • Puts – option contract giving the holder the right, but not the obligation, to sell the underlying asset at the exercise price.

will be placed into your account or taken from it depending whether the position goes in your favour or not. They are traded over commodities, securities, indices or other assets. The Pros and Cons of Derivatives

Another pro is that some derivatives allow limited downside risk such as options, while others have unlimited risk, such as futures. Other benefits are that some derivatives markets are among the largest traded markets in the world and are therefore highly liquid. Some of the cons are that often derivatives are complex in nature and are therefore generally only suited to experienced and knowledgeable traders. As derivatives expose you to high leverage they generally are not considered a passive investment and therefore can be time-consuming to manage. Given the higher risk nature of derivatives, they are not something those new to the sharemarket should jump at immediately. It’s always wise to invest in solid low-risk assets with the bulk of your money and once you have gained the knowledge and experience, then place a small percentage of your capital into leveraged investments such as derivatives. In my next article I will start to discuss how you can create your own powerful portfolio.


Contracts for Difference

Contracts for Difference (or CFDs) are relatively new to Australia. They are an overthe-counter derivative product without an expiry date where in the contract the parties agree to exchange the difference in the price of the underlying asset. Each day, money

Dale Gillham is the chief analyst and cofounder of Wealth Within, the author of How to Beat the Managed Funds by 20 Percent (Wrightbooks) For more information visit his website at


ASX Code: Three-letter code for the share (for example, WBC = Westpac Banking Corporation). Company Name: This is the full name of the share or security. Last Sale or Market price: The last price that the shares traded on the ASX, or the most recent price offered or bid for the shares. +/-: The change in price of the share during the preceding day expressed as cents per share. Volume: How many shares were bought/sold on that day. Buy/Sell or Bid/Ask: Price that the buyer (bid or buy) wants to pay for the share and the seller (sell or ask) wants to accept for the share. DPS: Dividend (income) per share, expressed in cents per share. Dividend Yield: The dividend shown as a percentage of the last sale price for the shares. EPS: Earning per share, is the portion of the profit allocated to each share, expressed as cents per share. PE Ratio: Price earning ratio is the price paid for the share relative to its profit.

In Pursuit

Are your thoughts making you poor? Sandy Forster firmly believes the power of the mind can be harnessed to create wealth – and she’s got the fortune to prove it. Tami Dower traces her journey from welfare to millionaire.


andy Forster was convinced she was put on earth to be a millionaire, she just wasn’t quite sure how to get there. As a single mum on welfare with two young children and a $100,000 debt, she felt light years away from fulfilling her cosmic destiny. Then, in the midst of her financial turmoil, a chance find set her on the path to riches. It was a small ad in the local paper looking for people to sell a personal development home-study course. The course was based on a principle called the Law of Attraction, brought to prominence in 2006 by Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret (Simon & Schuster). The theory holds that whatever is going on in your mind is what you attract into your life. Sandy responded to the ad and within 12 months had become a walking billboard for the course’s teachings, becoming the company’s top Australian salesperson and turning her financial situation around. Unfortunately, this was short-lived. Just when it was looking like she had escaped her monetary malaise, the company went bust. “I was languishing around in no-man’s land again, heartbroken because suddenly this great income I’d created had disappeared,” she recalls. “I went back to feeling like, ‘Oh my gosh, what’s wrong with me? Why can’t I create success?’” Rather than letting adversity overwhelm her, Sandy turned it into an opportunity. She retrained as a life coach so she could put her newfound understanding of the Law of Attraction into practice to help others achieve their goals. Eventually, the life coaching morphed into prosperity mentoring. “I created a coaching program, which I did over the phone,” she explains. “That became very popular, but then I realised the people who

June/July 2009

really needed to hear the information probably couldn’t afford the program. I realised I needed to get the information into more people’s hands.” It was around this time she came up with the idea for Wildly Wealthy Women, a multi-platform program to help women invest and build their wealth. The program spawned what is now Sandy’s main business – The site was an instant success and led her to write her first book, How to be Wildly Wealthy Fast which hit the international bestseller list in 2005. When Sandy set up Wildly Wealthy Women, she was yet to rack up her first million, but as far as she was concerned, she was already wildly wealthy. “I’d been $100,000 in debt, I’d been on welfare and suddenly I was in a position where I’d paid off all my debts,” she beams. “It was a total switch in a matter of years, so in my mind I was massively wealthy.” For Sandy, generating wealth is not about having a flashy car or expensive clothes, it’s about expanding her options. “Some people might be quite happy not having any money, but I need choice,” she says. “If I don’t have choice and freedom, I feel like a caged animal. I knew the only way to live the life I wanted was to have total financial freedom, because that would give me freedom in all the other areas of my life.”

The first step towards a prosperous life, according to Sandy, is to create what she calls a ‘millionaire mindset’. “It doesn’t matter which practical strategies you put into place; if you don’t have the mindset to create prosperity and wealth, then nothing’s going to happen,” she says. This is where the Law of Attraction comes into play. As Rhonda Byrne articulates


Photos courtesy Sandy Forster

Laying the foundations

1. Create a millionaire mindset: If you think you’re going to be wealthy, then the forces of the universe will conspire to make it so. 2. Seize the day: Act on opportunities when they are presented to you. 3. Seek mentors: Shortcut your learning curve by following the lead of someone who has created the sort of success you desire. 4. Don’t be deterred by what you don’t have: You don’t need to have great skills, a great education, great connections or even great business savvy – all you need to understand is that with the power of the mind, you can create anything. 5. Don’t let lack of capital stand in your way: Despite the old adage, you don’t actually need huge amounts of money to create money. Wildly Wealthy Women was established with a $495 website. 6. Leverage the internet: With a web-based business, you have few overheads and, if you do it right, you don’t have to pay huge advertising bills. 7. Love what you do: When you’re doing something that you love, the energy is there, the order is there – the universe can’t help but listen and give you what you want.

in The Secret: “People who have drawn wealth into their lives … think thoughts of abundance and wealth, and they do not allow any contradictory thoughts to take root in their minds.” It was this philosophy that guided Sandy from a position of poverty to one of prosperity. However, training her mind to think in this way meant she had to force herself to let go of some deeply ingrained beliefs and attitudes. “I had what you’d call a poverty consciousness,” she admits. “I’d been brought up in a family where you heard things like, ‘It takes money to make money,’ and, ‘The rich get richer and the poor get poorer’. “We live on the Sunshine Coast and one day my daughter was out with my mum and dad. She came back and said, ‘It was so scary with Pop in the car today’, and I thought, well I know the car’s a bit of a bomb, but I thought he was an okay driver. I asked her what happened and she said, ‘He turned the car off and we rolled down the hill!’ Suddenly I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, he does too’. He used to turn the car off at the top of Buderim Mountain and roll all the way down as far as he possibly could, to save petrol. “In that moment, I realised that even though I so wanted to create prosperity and abundance on a logical level, who I was on the inside was exactly the same as my parents because I’d learned the way they thought about money. I realised I actually needed to change who I was on the inside, so that everything on the outside would begin to change. I started creating a prosperity consciousness and getting rid of the poverty consciousness.” Sandy believes that when you change your mindset, you are more likely to be able

to see the opportunities that will help you create wealth. “When you have a poverty consciousness, those same opportunities are there but you can’t see them because even though you want the prosperity, you don’t believe it’s possible.” Changing your mindset has to start with concentrating on what you actually want, says Sandy. “Stop ringing your friends and emailing people and talking about what you don’t want, what’s not working. Try to put all your focus on what it is that you do want. When you put your focus and your energy there, it becomes the order that you send out to the universe and that’s when the opportunities are presented to you. “It’s all about the mindset. You can’t just sit around on a mountain meditating for your millions and expect them to drop in

your lap; you’ve got to take practical actions. But unless you’ve cultivated your millionaire mindset, those practical actions won’t create the success you want.” Sandy also points out that financial success comes in many different packages – you don’t necessarily have to be a millionaire to be ‘successful’. “To some people, it’s going to be as simple as being able to pay their bills every month or just get out of debt. For others, it will be having that little bit extra so they can go on holiday or buy something for the kids. And for some, it’s being financially free, being able to invest or buy real estate or travel the world. Whatever it happens to be, it’s going to be different for everyone. But I teach people that the principles are the same – first you’ve got to create that millionaire mindset and then anything’s possible.”

Name: Sandy Forster Age: 42 Role: Prosperity mentor and author Worth: More than one million Proudest Achievements: 2008 Mentor of the Year, Stevie Awards Author of international bestseller How to be Wildly Wealthy Fast (Universal Prosperity) Biggest Inspiration: Mark Victor Hansen, co-creator of the Chicken Soup For The Soul series. Favourite Inspirational Quote: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” – Anon

“You can’t just sit around on a mountain meditating for your millions and expect them to drop in your lap; you’ve got to take practical actions. But unless you’ve cultivated your millionaire mindset, those practical actions will not create the success you want”




If you can close your ears to the grumbles of gloom, you’ll soon hear the sound of opportunity knocking, says wealth creation expert Yza Canja.


ll we have been hearing for the last year is, “Credit crisis, credit crunch, global recession…” But I say, “When there is crisis, there is opportunity!” You have to be brave and ballsy to make the choice to look for opportunity, but you don’t need to be Donald Trump or Harry Triguboff to create it – you just need to be determined. I believe that opportunities are created, not found, and there is no better time than the present. There is opportunity to turn so many different investments into wealth-creating machines. Property is something that I am


Shop With Confidence

needs a roof over their head, so property is not going out of fashion. Are there risks in investing in the property market during these uncertain times? Absolutely. But these risks can be mitigated, while still maximising your wealth potential. Property is on super sale right now, but the knack of investing in property during such a market is to follow a strict formula of choosing the right properties with the right finance structures, and making sure the numbers stack up. Does it all sound too much? I can assure you, it’s easier than you think. Remember, you don’t need to do everything yourself, you just need to find the right people to teach you a few basics so

You will need the following to start shopping for a bargain – with confidence. 1. Know your budget and borrowing capacity. Work with a finance expert to get clear on what you can afford and how to structure your finance. 2. Get finance approval before you start placing any offers to purchase properties. 3. Never lock in to purchase a property without full finance approval. 4. Check with your financial expert which entity would be the best for you to place the property name in – should you buy in your personal name, your business name, your trust name etc.

passionate about and as devastating as the credit crisis is for some people, I have found this situation to be a great levelling field for me to be able to spot great property buys. Australia has not seen such an opportunistic property market in the last few decades (if ever) as we are experiencing now. Rates are low, prices are low, yet demand for housing is still high. Everyone

June/July 2009

you understand what to look for, then the professionals can do the rest. Allow me to simplify this into some general steps on how to find a bargain in property: • Be clear on your price range. • Make sure the type of properties you are looking for suit the area you have chosen. For example, if you’re looking in


areas that are close to the CBD, then it’s likely that units and townhouses are more appealing to the demographic of that area. People who like to live near the city usually have smaller families or are single. If you are looking at houses, make sure the area is mainly populated by families that prefer to have front and back yards. Be specific about the type of property you are looking for (two-bedroom unit, threebedroom house etc). Concentrate on searching in only three areas. If you narrow your search to these areas then you won’t be too overwhelmed with the amount of stock and won’t lose too much focus. You will become a specialist in these areas. Make sure these areas have lifestyle hubs (shops, cafes, transport, etc) that are close to business districts, though not necessarily inside those districts. Make sure to research and inspect every property that fits your specified property type in your chosen suburbs so you can compare each property and how far your money will go. Narrow your search by concentrating on the properties that have been on the market for four weeks or more. If properties have been on the market for longer, it means it’s taking a while to sell and you will have more bargaining power. Always find out why the vendors are selling the property. Knowing the reason can also assist you with your negotiations. Try to speak to the vendors personally where possible and find out their intentions for selling and what it is that they really

! Feature

want. Not everything is about money; people have different reasons for selling and sometimes these reasons are more important than just getting a good price. I have known a good few people who would sell their family homes (which are emotional assets) to people they ‘liked’ rather than people who were just waving their money about. • Don’t be set on choosing a property at the top of the range, instead choose a property that has the potential to be just as good as the top of the range. This allows you the potential to push your property value upwards when you compare it to similar properties that sold for a higher price. • Be sure to research the rental potential of each property that you are researching, even if you are looking to purchase a home to live in. You can do this by speaking to local real estate agents. Don’t


only listen to the rental appraisal of the real estate agent selling the property, check with other agents as well so that you are sure to get a less-biased appraisal of its rental income potential. • How do you know if you are getting good rent? I have a simple way of telling whether properties can get good rent: If you buy something at $300,000, then you want to know that you will receive at least $300 per week in rental income, if its purchase price is $400,000, then you want at least $400 per week in income. There are exceptions of course, but I’ve always found this is a good general formula. I once read a great book by Simon Reynolds called When They Zig You Zag (Pan Macmillan). In this book the author summarises that successful people tend to react to situations differently from the


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general public. It talks about finding your own path in life rather than getting caught up with everyone else’s. In these interesting times, it’s easy to get caught up in following the panic and reactions of the general public – they are all zigging! Stop, breathe and know that everyone else’s path does not need to be yours. When you are open to this, your vision will be widened and you will be able to see that amazing find or opportunity that others dismissed when they looked at it through the glasses of fear and panic. Know that you have the choice to create something different for yourself – now zag!

Yza Canja is a financial strategist and founder of CMoney ( Yza is offering a free first consultation for emPOWER readers, which includes a debt management review. Phone (02) 9371 4799 for more info.

“It’s not about what we have to offer, because we already know it’s a winner. It’s what you choose to accept into your life that will make the difference!”



have heard so many people say they are ‘going to do this and going to do that’ yet not really ‘do’ much of anything. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to talk about your passions – sometimes it has to start there to build on your ideas and grow your confidence but don’t let it be just talk. Not only will you get bored of the talk, so too will the people listening. Don’t overload yourself, just choose something to start you on your passionate path. Whether it’s exercise, study, reading that book you bought two years ago or planning that holiday you keep dreaming about. Get serious about your passionate pursuits and don’t make this week another ‘gunner’ week, make it a ‘doing’ week.

June/July 2009

Devour Your Passions • Grab your diary and turn to the

beginning of next week. • Look back at your ‘octopus’ notes and

Cooking Time: 15 minutes Ingredients: • • • •

Notebook Pen Diary, calendar or weekly schedule Imagination


• Choose one passion you want to

pursue in the next month. • Write that passion in the centre of a

fresh page in your notebook. Draw a circle around it and date your page.

write down one activity to try out next week. Then write another activity the following week and so on. Do this for one month. Try out four or five new activities over those coming weeks and discover what worked for you, what you liked and didn’t like so much. Then, at the beginning of the following month choose to keep pursuing the activity that worked best and perhaps you are now ready to include another passion in your weekly pursuits. Have an intention to give time to your passions each week. It could be 10 minutes or 10 hours, it’s up to you. Just make sure you set an intention and do it, as it will most certainly feed you passionately in all areas of your life.

Alison Nancye is a writer, life mentor, mum, and author of Recipes for Everyday Life. To find out more about Alison or to buy her book, go to



To help ‘cook up the life of your dreams’ we’ve borrowed a recipe from Alison Nancye’s new book Recipes for Everyday Life on creating weekly intentions to bring your passions to life.

Turn on Your Imagination Oven • Think of a whole load of ways you could pursue the passion you are interested in. For example, if it’s exercising you could list swimming, hoolahooping, walking, mountainbike riding, yoga, pilates, etc. If it’s art it could be visiting art galleries, taking art classes, watching films and reading books about artists etc. • Now list your ideas in random lines off the core centre passion, like an octopus with many tentacles (just keep the ideas flowing). • Now think of ways you could pursue each of those activities listed. For example, if swimming is one of the exercises you have suggested, you could list off that (like another octopus) ways to start swimming, for example, beach, indoor swimming, swimming club, swimming with friends, water aerobics, etc. If it’s visiting art galleries it could be creating a list of the local, day trip and weekend away art galleries, a list of the art exhibitions coming up, choosing friends to go with you, etc.

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J U N E / J U LY 2 0 0 9

”If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.” – Rabbi Harold Kushner

I am a great believer in ‘things happen for a reason’. Sometimes that reason doesn’t present itself straight away but time and time again, something will happen in my life and it will later be revealed to me why it happened, and it’s often for the better. We are faced with new situations and circumstances every day, whether they have to do with work, family, our health or relationships. Sometimes we may not like what’s being presented to us, but it is happening for a reason. Perhaps we are to learn something from it, perhaps it is a warning sign not to continue on a particular path, or perhaps it is simply a challenge we need to overcome to realise what we can achieve. There is something good to take from every situation we are in. Sometimes this will be obvious, and we will celebrate and be thankful for our good fortune. Other times we need to look a little harder, but finding the good in any situation will always make us feel grateful for what we do have, rather than sad about what we don’t. I have a friend who has a long-term illness that challenges her every day. Sometimes it’s debilitating, she’s had to have surgery and is constantly on medication, yet she remains positive. She is determined to lead a normal life, achieving success wherever possible. Whenever we get talking about it she’ll often say, “I’m lucky really… there are so many people who are worse off than me”. That is what I mean by finding the good. My friend could be a victim, feel sorry for herself and focus on the negative, but instead, it is so much more healthy for the soul that we be grateful for what we do have, what we can do, what is possible. In this issue of the Coaching Toolkit, Noel Posus has written a fantastic article about how we can all be good ‘Goal Keepers’. We realise that for some of you who have been using our goal-setting tool and haven’t quite achieved your goals, this may be disheartening. Again, there is a ‘good’ to this situation. There is a reason why you haven’t quite reached your goal and acknowledging this is the first step to rectifying it. Perhaps you need to reassess your actions, or perhaps the whole goal itself. Either way, Noel takes us through what to do if we’re not achieving our goals. Rather than feeling like a failure, there is an opportunity here. So next time a situation feels like it’s weighing you down, of course it’s okay to feel like a victim for a short time – throw yourself on the bed and have a big cry – but then pick yourself up, start searching for the good and nurture your soul.

Helen Rosing


You make them and break them, but don’t seem to be achieving them. Master coach Noel Posus has this advice on setting and seeing through your goals. To help understand where this fits it, let’s look at the various stages of the ‘cycle of change’. stable behaviour

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June/July 2009

Cycle of Change


e all have good intentions when we set goals, however good intentions don’t always deliver the results we’re looking for. I must admit that even professional life coaches (myself included) make commitments to achieve and yet something gets in the way and we’re left wondering what happened. So, what are the likely goalsabotaging culprits and what can we do about them? The first thing that always come to mind for me and with the clients I work with is the often referred to phrase, ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’. This phrase is typically the best indication of what goes wrong in our striving toward a goal as it indicates that the most important step of the process, planning, is the one we most often skip or don’t do very well.




Pre-contemplation: This is when we’re saying to ourselves, ‘Problem? What problem?’ We have no idea what change


Action: You now have your plan in motion and you’re at least 24 hours into implementing your goal-achieving plan. Remember that the first step of any good plan needs to be implemented within 24

iStockphoto; Diagram source: The Stages of Change Model, adapted from Prochaska, J. Q , & DiClemente, C. C. (1983). Stages and processes of self-change in smoking: Toward an integrative model of change. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 5, 90-395.


we want or why we’d want it and therefore haven’t even considered creating a plan yet. Contemplation: This is where we first realise that we want something to be different than it is now and we might even be saying something to ourselves such as, ‘I don’t want to feel this way anymore’. At this stage, we probably haven’t yet created a plan, but might have some ideas about how to achieve what we want. Preparation: This is arguably the most important step of the entire change process and it’s where we need to put in some concerted effort to ensure we’re ready for the road ahead. There’s a lot to think about here. Consider the following: • What specifically do I want? • Why do I want it? • What am I putting at risk (negative feelings or consequences) if I don’t achieve my goal? • How does this relate to my values? • What support and/or resources do I need and how do I get them? This could include needing to learn how to do something, getting a friend or partner to help or hiring a coach. • What are the potential obstacles in my way? • What are at least two solutions for each obstacle? Plan ahead for the challenges, setbacks, pitfalls, procrastination and even failure! • What do I need to do to keep myself focused? • What is my inspiration (desire-based) strategy going to be to keep me on track toward what I want? • Who is going to keep me accountable and how do I give them permission to do that? • What is my motivation (fear-based) strategy going to be to keep me moving away from what I don’t want? • How am I going to measure my progress? • How will I celebrate the milestones? • In what way will I celebrate the final achievement? • How can I make sure I learn from this process? • How am I going to teach what I’ve learned to someone else?

to 48 hours of your commitment to the goal/plan in the first place for best results. At this stage you’re checking in on your progress against the plan and also in terms of how you’re feeling. You might say to yourself here, ‘I really feel like I’m getting somewhere’. Maintenance: Here your change is feeling pretty successful so far, such as being able to amend a habit and keep to the desired behaviour for at least three weeks. You continue to say to yourself, ‘I am enjoying this change and will stick with it.’ Stable Behaviour: If your maintenance strategy is successful, you exit the model into having a stable new behaviour fully integrated into your daily life. Relapse: We all fall back from time to time to old behaviours and/or slip up sometimes with our commitment to ourselves. It happens and is part of human behaviour. We always need to plan for this possibility at the beginning of the goal-setting process. We need to clearly understand our beliefs about failures, slipups, mistakes, challenges and our ability to learn and grow from these experiences – and also how to get back on track.

Hit & Miss If you aren’t achieving your goals, it’s worth asking yourself the following questions: Did I really want the goal in the first place? The second most common reason we don’t achieve our goals is that we weren’t really committed to the goal, full stop. A great example of this is when we set goals that are based on what other people want for themselves or for us. For example, if someone tells you that you should lose weight, go to the gym or quit smoking, that’s their goal and not necessarily yours. Even if you say to yourself, ‘I should quit smoking’, it’s still not a commitment. Instead, that statement sits somewhere between contemplation and preparation. Before you can truly prepare for the goal, you have to know why you really want it and what your honest and true commitment to it is. If you’re not sincerely committed, you’re unlikely to achieve the goal. In some cases, you might still achieve the goal, but you won’t feel fulfilled by it because it wasn’t something you truly wanted for yourself in the first place.

Honour your own needs and go for only what you want. Achieving what you want can have flow-on benefits to the fulfillment of others’ needs. Did I start with the wrong goal? Sometimes we set the wrong goal because we’re not necessarily thinking clearly or honestly enough to zero in on the right goal at the right time. A classic example of this is when someone sets a goal about time management. Technically, there is no such thing as time management. You can’t ‘set aside’, ‘make’ or ‘manage’ time. What you can do is be far more skilled and effective with your choices about your schedule. You control your choices, not time itself. Get really clear about what is the most important, relevant, practical, beneficial and do-able goal to work on. Consider which goal needs to be achieved first before you can work on another one. Many goals relate to each other and in most cases what you learn about yourself and the skills you enhance while working

it’s not a specific goal and it could mean a sizable list of smaller goals that you need to work through one or two at a time, in the most logical and supportive order possible. Consider what’s the first small goal you can achieve. Use that goal to prove to yourself that you’re capable of achieving what you set out to and that the ultimate change you want is going to happen one step at a time. Think critically about your goals. Create a strategy and measure your progress from one goal milestone to the next. You may have a lot of things you want to achieve, so you also need to make sure the list doesn’t become overwhelming. Ensure you celebrate each milestone achievement and use that positive energy to propel you forward to your next milestone.

Getting on Track If you already know that you’ve relapsed, then your first opportunity is making the choice whether to get back on track or not. If you’re not sure you’re committed to giving it another go, you may want to consider speaking with someone else (like a

Creating Milestones

A great way to help you achieve your goals and ensure you stay on track is to set clear milestones. Milestones will be your measuring markers along the way and allow you see that you are getting results. A good time to plan these milestones is in week two of your coaching sessions, if you are following the enclosed Coaching Toolkit. For example, if you are working on a health goal to lose 12 kgs in the next six months, your milestones may be: • A loss of 4kgs in the first month • A loss of 2kgs monthly • Be walking for at least half an hour every day within two months • Be walking at least one hour every day within one month

toward one objective will support you as you work toward other achievements. Consider it to be life-skills training. Which skills do you need to learn first before you can accomplish the bigger achievements? Did you go for something that was too big to succeed? If the goal you set for yourself is as big as solving world hunger then you’re not likely to succeed or even feel like you’re making progress. Let’s say for example that your overall desire statement is, ‘I want to turn my life around’. That’s a great statement, but


friend, partner, colleague or coach) to check in and challenge any self-limiting beliefs and thinking. If you are committed to making a go of it, start by either revisiting your original plan and editing it to be successful, or create your plan now if you never had one to begin with. And remember, plan to achieve! Don’t plan to fail. Noel Posus is a master coach with 20 years experience as a professional educator, coach and author. He is the founder of coaching businesses and Incredible Awareness ( a coach I’ve always been very fortunate to enjoy my job, so I’m not sure whether I should be tolerating a dull patch in the type of work that I do, or whether it’s time for me to move on and do something a little different? Could I just be expecting too much from my work? – Tash


It looks like you have a classic case of boredom and too much familiarity. A few of your basic human needs are not being fulfilled. The ‘Six Basic Human Needs’ (according to Anthony Robbins) are: 1. Certainty or Comfort 2. Uncertainty or Variety (this is why we seek adventure) 3. Significance (to be needed, to feel important, to feel like you have a purpose, to feel unique) 4. Connection / Love 5. Growth (we are either growing or dying) 6. Contribution

Q. A.

The question to ask yourself here is, ‘What needs do I want my work to fulfill?’ Is it enough that it gives you a salary to facilitate the other areas of your life? What inspires you and excites you? Perhaps at one point your work was all that you needed to keep you excited. Perhaps there are things outside of work that can now pique your interest so that your job is just the means to an end in order to enjoy the other areas of your life? Maybe it is not so much tolerating the dull patch but rather using the temporary quiet time as an opportunity to recoup, rest, and let other areas of your life, which you may have neglected when things were busier at work, blossom. Look at your relationships, health, fitness, investing, hobbies, creativity, family, friendships, spiritual growth and charity. Would now be a good time to focus your energies on any of these other areas? You are probably feeling a lack of uncertainty, significance, growth and contribution in your work life now, but the question would be, ‘Can I have these needs fulfilled outside of work?’ If not, then I would suggest using this down time to explore all the other things you could do with your life workwise that would satisfy more of your needs and at the same time pay the bills. Source: Malti Bhojwani is an international life coach and NLP practitioner. For more information visit her website at

June/July 2009

How can I organise my time (and my life) to become more efficient at work? With so many different, and often competing tasks, to accomplish each day, I find it hard to stay focused. Can you help? – Karen You are not alone! David Allen, author of Getting Things Done, says that today’s average adult receives “more information in 72 hours than our parents received in a month”. That’s a massive increase in one generation. But don’t despair – there are some very effective strategies you can implement immediately to help regain your focus and your sanity: • De-clutter. Never underestimate the power of an uncluttered workspace – physical and mental. Whether it’s your desk, office, home, or social calendar, get rid of anything you don’t use, need or love. Definitely keep only current projects on your desk. Ensure everything has an appropriate place to go once it’s finished or pending project. • Plan & Prioritise. Invest time at the beginning of each day/week/month to clarify what has to be done and when. Break your deadlines into manageable timeframes. Write them down in a book or electronic format, NOT on post-it notes! Keep them visible. Commit to doing the important stuff first. • Mono-task. Multi-tasking is so passé! If you get bored easily, schedule work in half-hour blocks. Thirty solid minutes on one project. Take a five-minute break and return to thirty minutes on another project. This strategy works if you plan what you will be working on and stick to the timeframes. Use an alarm if necessary. • The N Word. Learn to say no. Creating healthy boundaries is vital – at home and at work. It ensures you are focused, establishes respect between you and others as well as saves your sanity. If ‘no’ seems a bit radical practice, ‘I’ll get back to you in 24 hours’. Giving yourself time before committing to a task ensures you are in control of your day, not the other way ‘round. • Email. Don’t let it control your life. Turn your email off while working on other projects. Schedule in a number of times daily, depending on the nature of your business, to check and respond to emails. Stick to it! You’ll be amazed at how your productivity increases! • Phone calls. Use voicemail as often as possible. Schedule certain times of the day to make phone calls. Doing this in blocks saves you time and energy. It also lets your brain settle into a certain space and momentum, increasing overall efficiency. Source: Roz Howland coaches individuals and businesses to achieve their goals through better levels of organisation. For more information or to sign up for her newsletter visit




What are the best tips for dealing with procrastination?

– Sandi

Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday by losing time today. It is the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be done. This affects both performance and emotional wellbeing. It commonly involves feelings such as guilt, inadequacy, self-disgust, stress and depression. Overcoming procrastination usually involves both better organisational and time-management skills as well as a clearer understanding of its personal or emotional meaning. The following are six steps you can implement to eliminate procrastination and start living a proactive lifestyle. 1. Write an intention statement. Use this in conjunction with the task that needs to be completed. You can start your statement with, ‘I intend to complete … today’. 2. Release perfectionism. Perfectionism is a form of rigidity or inflexibility. It can lead to ‘starts and spurts’ performance. 3. Use positive language. The words that you communicate in thought or speech about the task matter can have a profound effect on getting the job done. 4. Set goals and prioritise. Break down tasks into tangible, manageable stage goals, and provide these goals with appropriate deadlines. Be determined to complete one task at a time. Make the results measurable so you can see your progress. 5. Boost your motivation. Dwell on your strengths, on tasks you have accomplished and feel good about, in order to remind yourself that you can be successful. 6. Adopt a resourceful state of mind. Recognise selfdefeating behaviour and its associated thinking. Try to work out why you procrastinate: what do you gain from it? Find out how to overcome such behaviour. You might choose to sort it out yourself, or to consult an appropriate person such as a psychologist, coach or counsellor.



Source: Savleen Bajaj is an international success coach, psychologist, author, speaker, facilitator and consultant. For more information visit

What are the best ways to teach children to be empowered? – Tina Life between the ages of 7 and 10 is referred to as the imprint period. This is a very crucial time in a person’s development. During this time we make many decisions and form beliefs about what we can do, what we can’t do and what type of person we are. Often, our beliefs and the meaning we add to events as a child can be unresourceful. These beliefs become part of our identity, which is then stored by the unconscious mind and creates the parameters inside which we live the rest of our lives. This is because the unconscious mind is responsible for keeping us safe. So while you have plenty of evidence for an unresourceful identity you are going to play safe in life. It is important to have great communication with children so you can provide an adult perspective on events to empower their beliefs. Remember to focus in on your child’s unique talents. Celebrate the things they are really good at rather than focusing on those they are not so good at. The unconscious mind cannot process a negative, so rather than saying ‘do not drop the glass’, more effective language would be ‘hold onto the glass tightly’. Remember this when assisting your children to focus on what they want, rather than on what they do not want. When your children want something, teach them to find a way to create an opportunity to have it. Allow them to make some choices of their own, so that they can learn to be at cause. Be a role model by celebrating who you really are and teaching them to have confidence in their own bodies. Ask your children their opinions and perspectives to gain insight into the way they feel about themselves and tell your children that you love and accept them. Have your children take 100 percent responsibility for their actions and results. Remember, creating responsibility is a lot more effective than instilling the concepts of blame and fault. Source: Rachel Anastasi is an empowerment coach, speaker, mentor and founder of Free To Be Me Life Coaching. For more information visit


Ask a Coach

Send your coaching questions to emPOWER and if we publish your question and answer in the next issue, you’ll win a pack from Avon worth almost $150. The winner’s goodie pack will include Avon’s Anew Clinical Thermafirm Face Lifting Cream ($59.99), Anew Clinical Eye Lift ($49.99) and the Anew Clinical Micro-Exfoliant ($39.99). Total Prize Value: $149.97. For more information, or to contact an Avon representative call 1800 646 000. Submitting your questions through the website at will ensure a response, regardless of whether it’s printed in the magazine. Alternatively, email your questions to or post your questions to emPOWER Magazine, PO Box 1397, Baulkham Hills, NSW 1755.





live your Best life w

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week 1



Set Your Goals



Areas of Your Life Date:


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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 5inspiring goals for different areas of your life. Using the coaching models provided, complete the following exercises. ily



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

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













family 5

finance Where are you now?

wellbeing social


On the chart, rate yourself on a scale of 0 - 10 in relation to where you feel you are at in spirituality each area of your life right now. Then, draw a line around the chart, joining the dots where 5 you have marked your rating in each area. partner social


partner 10






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5 8













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4 wellbeing









A ‘10’ means you consider that area is perfect and a ‘0’ means major improvement is neededfinances . business/career

5 social




Where do you want to be?


Next, give yourself a rating in relation business/career to where you want to be in each area of your life in the next wellbeing 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 spirituality can realistically achieve in that time. There’s no need to aim for a perfect 10 in any or every area.

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

partner 10

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.


self 5


Imagine your life with these results





business/career 10

spirituality June/July 2009


BUSINESS/CAREER This area considers the level of success and/or fulfilment you feel in relation to your business, career or current employment. FINANCES This final area refers to how you feel about your level of financial freedom and/or your progression towards your desired level of financial freedom.

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



It is th e 20th of July and I f 2009 eel so h a ppy and of what proud I have achieved have rea . I ched my goal we of 60kg ight s and I look fan I am fi tastic. t, healt h y and have much m so ore ener gy. Now fit into I can that se xy black and I f dress eel fabu lous.

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 to achieve

[Date] and I feel so ................................................... [Emotion1] and ....................................................... [Emotion 2] It is ..............................

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


week 2

Making it Happen


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


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Goal 2 Action


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June/July 2009


week 4


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


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


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.


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.


If you’ve felt over the last few weeks that you need some more support, you may wish to consider seeing a professional life or success coach. While this model is a great guide, nothing will ever replace the power of sitting one-on-one with someone who can support and guide you to achieve your goals. If you are looking for a coach, check out the ‘Coach Directory’ over the page, or you may also consider posting a question on the ‘Ask a Coach’ page on our website.

Making University student Jessica May was struggling to settle back in after an overseas trip and break-up with her long-term boyfriend when she was referred to life coach Nil Pozcu. After completing six weekly sessions of coaching, Jessica has found peace, set goals and has more balance in her life than ever before.

* As told to Rachel Anastasi, empowerment coach, speaker and mentor. For more information visit

June/July 2009

the Shift Jessica says:

After breaking up with my boyfriend I was lonely and sad. I felt a sense of disempowerment and was genuinely unmotivated for life. I was getting angry easily and taking it out on others. I started being coached by Nil once a week over the phone as I’m in Melbourne and Nil is in Sydney. Nil created a space for me to explore my negativity, then create a more positive outlook and set some goals. I realised I had been so hung up on the break-up that I had been focusing on it to the exclusion of everything else. Through coaching I gained a lot of clarity around the situation and was able to see things in a more relaxed way. I had been adding my own meaning to things instead of dealing with what was actually so. I am now practising acknowledging any negative thoughts I’m having, and then letting them go. I focus on living in the present and choosing how I relate to my past. I have started doing things for myself again, such as walking and playing drums. One thing I realise is that after a session with Nil, the good feeling lasts a few hours then it’s my responsibility to sustain it long term. I do this by remembering that my feelings are my choice, not who I am. I am now able to maintain a great friendship with my ex-boyfriend, and I am finding it so much easier to settle back into life here in Australia. Coaching is such a worthwhile tool and has made a big difference for me.


Nil says: When I first started coaching Jess she was quite miserable. We set an intention for what she wanted to achieve from her six sessions. She was so enthusiastic and open to change it was easy for me as the coach to create a clear space of trust and openness. I heard a lot of limiting beliefs in her language and could tell many of her strategies were driven by fear. We explored events from her childhood to find the root of some of the disempowering beliefs she was gathering evidence for. I was able to highlight the link between the way that she felt in the present and the decisions she made as a child. Once she was able to gain clarity Jess was able to eliminate those old beliefs and adopt new ones to serve and support her. We developed strategies for Jess to pick herself up when she was down and identify where the behaviour was coming from. We spent some time setting goals and creating Jess’s vision for the future, and established tools to make the change. We then created specific measurable results so she would know when she had achieved the desired outcome. Jess took 100 percent responsibility for her results and we created accountability around taking actions. Jess’s curiosity, commitment to change and willingness to let the negative stuff go made the most difference in terms of the success she created through being coached. It confirmed for me that commitment and trust in the process is paramount for anybody who is considering working with a coach. As Jess created so much change in such a short space of time, it really reiterates the lasting change coaching can make. I love facilitating change and assisting people to make simple connections that create big shifts in their thinking.

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Advanced Success Life Coaching

Dynamic Life Coaching

The Coaching Room specialises in life and career coaching, relationship and personal development coaching in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Phone: 1300 858 089

Transform stress into success. Start creating more of what you want in your personal and professional life today. “You are the key to your success”. Based in Freshwater, Sydney. Phone: 02 9939 5420

Time to stop making excuses & take charge of the direction of your life! Coaching for success in your health, career, relationships. Call Antoinette for your FREE introductory session. (03) 9331 1439 or 0411 338 115

Life Coaching for Results

Find The Best Coaches

Noel Posus – Master Coach

Do you want more energy and time to do the things you love? Do you want to achieve inspiring goals? Results guaranteed or your money back. Email:

Introducing the exciting new field of Rapid Change Technologies, discover how quickly you can create change in any area of your life. Call now 1300 176 375 for your free bonus.

Coach of the Year 2008/9 – 20 years experience, one of Australia’s most successful coaches, phone and email coaching and life skills training – Sydney/National/International. Phone: 0416 006 476

Multi Coaching International

Creative Future Dynamics

Holloway Consulting Coaching

Need support as you learn to use the Law of Attraction in your life? Personalised life coaching by phone from anywhere. Contact Malti today! Phone: 0419 119 900

Create the future you dream of. Clear what’s stopping you. Relationships, health, finances and more. Email: Phone: (02) 9436 1246 or 0407 300 888

Mandy’s passion for nurturing personal growth, self belief and courage enables people to achieve the great things they are capable of achieving! Phone: 0419 547 942

Create...Life Coaching

FBF Connex Coaching

Lotus Wellness Centre

Create the life you want right now! Be the person you want and live the life you have always dreamed of. Try it out today! I have 5 FREE 1-hour sessions to give away. Email Angela at with your contact details or call 0418 449 337

Global business success coaching providing you with tools and solutions to leverage your expertise to build a highly profitable, sustainable business. Phone: Danette Hibberd on 0417 092 307

Located in Melbourne, we specialise in life coaching, mind-body-spirit wellness and psychological services. Call us to help you create your desired life! (03) 8802 7983 0404 313 792

FIRE UP Coaching College

Gaining Outcomes GO

Free to Be Me Life Coaching

Igniting the Potential Within! Our coaching and coach training programs are experiential and inspiring – journey to greater self awareness – learn to coach or be coached. Call 1300-FIREUP or +61 3 9510 8272 Email

Have you been stuck in a rut or having difficulty communicating and actioning what you want? We offer one-on-one coaching to help you work out a clear and inspiring path. Phone: 0404 891 771 - South Melbourne

Do you want to create an extraordinary life? We work with people to help them let go of old unresourceful behaviours to transform their results and live a life they love. Phone: 0401 887 766

Fall In Love, Stay In Love

Goals Group Program

a2a coaching

Carolin Dahlman is a love coach and author. She will help you get a fabulous, happy and healthy relationship. Both singles and couples are welcome. Phone: 0424 327 191

Turning dreams into goals, then into reality. The coming together of like minded people for attainment of goals. Fortnightly meetings that provide clarity, direction and accountability. Phone: James Short on 0413 524 121

Linda Anderson is a Masterful Coach with clients globally. She can help anyone live their fullest potential. You deserve the best – act today!, (02) 8572 9481

Noel Posus – Master Coach

The Happiness Institute

Altered Paradigm Enterprises Adelaide

Specialising in custom-design training and coaching programmes and solutions for groups and organisations – Sydney/National/ International (Coach of the Year 2008/9). Phone: 0416 006 476

Specialising in positive psychology coaching we will help you be more optimistic; achieve personal goals; be happier and more resilient. Based in Sydney CBD. Email Tarryn Brien:

Assisting women to feel ecstatic in all relationships in their lives. Imagine if you could talk about your life & be inspired by the response. Achieve inspiring results. Organise a complimentary appointment now. Phone: 1800 129 884 or 0417 811 330

Bluebird Coaching

Your kids drive you nuts?

Located in Sydney: leadership/management, career, life coaching & mentoring. Lead yourself so you can lead others, live the life you were meant to live. Phone: (02) 9548 6076, 0412 558 099

Who’s in control in your family? Do you crave a responsible child? For parental coaching contact us for a free report and complimentary assessment. Kym: 0414 994 664, Julie: 0419 622 547


Advertise your coaching service to women all over the country. Contact us on (02) 9686 4398 to list the details of your company in our coach directory, or email

Discover to Ultimate Financial Freedom Would you like to make $5,000 plus a week part time from home? We can show you how we achieved this and how we replaced our previous yearly income in under 120 days. Personal Development is a $19 billion a year industry. This is a genuine home business where you are coached personally by top income earners Sue and Jerry Smart for FREE. All you need is a computer and a phone to build your own international business. Would you like an office by the pool, on the beach, or on the golf course? You can work anywhere you desire for Ultimate Freedom.


The first 10 qualified enquiries will receive a complimentary report –

“How to Prosper in the New Economy”

For more information contact Sue & Jerry Smart on1800 72 12 51 or 0417 461 540 or go to and leave your details

emPOWER Magazine - Jun/Jul 2009  

emPOWER is the leading personal and professional development magazine in the Australian online space for professional and business women. We...