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• Flexibility at work: the new normal • 21/12/12: The end of the world or the beginning? • Another way to own property with rent-to-buy • The impact of acidity on weight loss www.empoweronline.com.au

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Opportunities are a daily occurrence, but often hidden in plain sight

Welcome

to this issue of emPOWER,

Contact info for Sally email: sallyc@intelligentaccounts.com mobile: 0407 607 809

emPOWER is a fitting name for our publication because that’s exactly what we love to do at Intelligent Accounts – empower women with opportunities to build a successful business around their family. We hear all the time about the importance of achieving life balance but how do you achieve life balance while at the same time achieve more out of life. This is the juggling act most women experience everyday, wanting to ‘be there’ for their families but also wanting to achieve a little something of their own professionally. I personally got this lesson when I went through a divorce. My son was only young and I was also building a start up business. The notion of balance became a distant memory and it took sometime before I felt once again in control of my life. The experience was a powerful example to me of the importance of, not only achieving a sense of balance and alignment but also being surrounded by a strong support network and I have found this applies not only in my personal life, but in my professional life as well. This is why I got involved with Intelligent Accounts and what I wanted to share with you today, particularly if you are seeking a new opportunity. Intelligent Accounts is about delivering support to the business community who want to be more profitable, productive and efficient but need help to do so. We assist business owners to improve their reporting capabilities, enabling them to make more informed decisions, leading to greater profitability. We help them achieve these results with the knowledge and expertise that big business has access to everyday. Intelligent Accounts provides a fantastic opportunity for women who want to build their own bookkeeping business or for women in an existing similar business who wish to join a strong support network. With Intelligent Accounts you build your business, on your terms and around your family. And, of importance, you don’t need a finance background to join Intelligent Accounts. Running a household and managing the administration, budgets and varying schedules of family members has already given you a great start for your Intelligent Accounts business. Plus, Intelligent Accounts provides training and on going support in a very community focused manner. An Intelligent Accounts franchise has given many people the opportunity to create a new way of life. You can too. Enjoy this issue,

Sally


Contents 12 Cover story

Finding Balance

Deborah Hutton is one of the most recognised and well-respected media personalities in Australia. We find out about her life, the launch of her latest project, Balance by Deborah Hutton and how she’s finally reached a state of total self-acceptance.

28 Business in profile

Message in a bottle

Rebecca Derrington’s free SourceBottle service links journalists with expert sources. She discusses how her idea got off the ground.

BUSINESS

12 18

18

Three roadblocks

20

Failure to launch

22

Defend your brand

24

Our Top Ten

26

Venture forth

Do you want to turn a ‘no’ into a ‘yes’? We explain the three behavioural reasons customers say ‘no’. Throw out the old rule book for launching a product online. We show you how to develop a launch plan that works. Manage social media negative feedback. We show you the best response in this two-way flow of information and opinions. Become more efficient and make your life easier with ten of the best business apps we could find. Joint ventures can be simple. Learn how to align with the right people and use each other’s natural talents to succeed.

CAREER

Find out why your customers aren’t buying.

30

Perfect Presentations

33

Get on board

34

Flexibile working – the new normal

36

The future of work

Be an exceptional presenter. Learn the top tips to command the attention of your audience. Securing a board appointment has many benefits professionally and personally. Find out how to get started. The Diversity Council Australia argues that flexible working should be available to everyone, for a broad range of reasons. With organisations becoming even more driven by technology, develop your skills to capitalise.

YOU

33

Start your board journey to catapult your career

38

Going for goals

40

Are you right or happy?

42

What will happen on 21/12/12?

3

Learn from this year’s disappointments and successes by reflecting on what you hoped to achieved in 2012. Happiness is a choice. Let go of always trying to be right and experience real happiness. Amidst predictions of an apocalypse, we uncover what it really means to reach the end of a Mayan time cycle.


Contents LIFE 44

Better together

46

Feng shui your relationships

48

Keeping the connection

Ali Barwick shares her journey through her husband’s mental illness and how by sticking together, they made it through. Use feng shui in your home to improve your relationship and level of intimacy. It’s easy to become complacent in your relationship. We share four strategies to bring back the excitement and re-ignite intimacy.

40

Do you want to be happy? It’s really quite simple.

WELLBEING 50

Inflammation: bigger than you think

52

The acid test

55

Weigh less the right way

While inflammation is usually a good sign of your body healing, when caused by poor lifestyle it will slowly chip away at your overall health.

55

Find out how heightened acidity in your diet can lead to unpleasant health symptoms and can affect your weight. Discover the way to loose weight that will give you the results you want long after the diet is over.

Give up the quick fix and lose weight the right way.

FINANCE 56

Clear your money clutter

57

History repeats

58

Become a property innovator

Let go of your emotional money baggage and learn to respect money… and yourself. We show you how. When it comes to the share market what happened in the past will occur again. Find out the three secrets that will maximize your investing results. Use the rent-to-own strategy to match sellers and buyers and make a profit in the middle.

REGULARS 6 From the desk… 8 Meet the Experts 10 Your Say

11 Acts of Kindness 32 Great Reads 41 Check it out

You can

coach yourself

56 Respect money and you’ll have more of it.

49 Subscribe to emPOWER 60 15 Minutes 61 Coaching Toolkit

with the

Ultimate Self Mastery Coaching Program Imagine being so inspired and motivated that you knew with certainty you could achieve everything you wanted in life! Imagine having the confidence to start that business, get that new job or create the finances you desire. And imagine being able to do that and more in the comfort of your own home at a time that suits you!

Find out more at www.empoweronline.com.au


& fig mango & papaya melon mango & papaya der & cucumber relax lemon & green tea

vanilla melon

mango & papaya


From the desk...

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

Whenever I finish a cover story interview, the first thing I usually say is, “that was so enjoyable, she’s so real” and Deborah Hutton was no exception. While perhaps I should have been a bit nervous interviewing one of the most well respect media personalities in Australia, who would no doubt judge my interviewing skills, she was lovely and… real. I find it interesting that I expect anything else… like being a ‘celebrity’ means they don’t experience challenges or turbulence day-to-day and they ‘have it all handled’. Or perhaps I expect they won’t be willing to share some of their personal lessons and pain. Whatever it is, I’m always pleasantly surprised by how willing our covers are to share their ‘truth’. Perhaps it’s a testament to the quality magazine we have created (and continue to create), that our interviewees trust we will present them with integrity and respect. I’d like to think that. With that in mind, onto the next quality issue of emPOWER. We’ve worked hard to pull together a practical issue, containing information that you can readily apply in the different areas of your life. A fascinating article for those of you in business is Three Roadblocks (page 18) where Bri Williams shares the underlying reasons why your customers don’t buy. Also in business we’ve shared a step-by-step plan for you to use when launching a new product, or for any campaign. Check out Failure to Launch on page 20. To develop your career, Women on Boards outlines the benefits of securing a board position and explains how to get started (page 33). Michelle Bowden also shares the secrets of creating Perfect Presentations on page 30. One article of particular interest to me is What will happen on 21/12/12? There has been so much written about the end of the world when the Mayan calendar runs out on 21 December. Find out what it really means on page 42. And, lots of other great articles to keep you interested, so find a shady tree and enjoy this issue.

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Helen Rosing, Publisher

ank

Th

You!

I really want to thank all of our valued contributors, partners and supporters. We may publish the magazine but you make it amazing. We look forward to working with you in 2013.

Graphic Design Design Box www.designboxweb.com

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

Cover Photography Thank you to David Gubert for photography Contributors Michelle Bowden, Claire Braund, Robert Coorey, Janine Cox, Sally Curtis, Gary Douglas, Amanda Garland, Natalie Green, Dr Vesna Grubacevic, Terry Hawkins, Michelle Hext, Carolyn McCallum, Victoria O’Sullivan, Rick Otton,

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Marketing Manager Elizabeth Avelar

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


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meet the experts

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

Amanda Garland is the Vice President, Global Strategy for IBM Growth Markets. Since joining IBM in 1997, Amanda has led the organisation’s thought leadership and strategic growth strategies for the Asia Pacific region in several high-profile communications roles. Amanda’s career has seen her work in Tokyo, New York and the UK. An avid scuba diver, runner and sailor, she currently lives in Sydney with husband Jason.

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

Claire Braund is the executive director of Women on Boards, which she co-founded in 2006 following a career in journalism and public relations. A highly respected speaker on gender diversity and related business issues, Claire is a strong advocate for gender targets within organisations to bring a more balanced perspective to discussions and decision making. She is an experienced director in the small business and not-for-profit sectors.

Gary Douglas is the founder of Access Consciousness™, a set of pragmatic tools that allow people to know that they know. The Access Consciousness™ tools Gary and his co-creator Dr Dain Heer continually develop are available in over 50 countries worldwide. Douglas has written several books, including The Place, which became a Barnes and Nobles Best seller. His latest book, Divorce less Relationships is out now.

Victoria O’Sullivan is a leading Sydney-based naturopath with 14 years experience in the wellness industry. In her Sydney practice, Victoria runs programs to assist patients to achieve weight loss, hormonal balance, reduced stress, optimum nutritional levels, relieve pain and beat tiredness. She believes that optimal health and vitality are achieved through ideal body composition, balanced metabolism and hormones, positive mindset and peace of mind.

Sally Curtis is the founder of Twisted Connector, a company specialising in creating Joint Ventures for entrepreneurs. She has an almost uncanny attraction for bringing the right people together at the right time, for the right purpose. Her passion and impressive track record of results has led her to working along side clients such as Dale Beaumont, Duane Alley, Dr. Joanna Martin and Mike Handcock.

Dr Vesna Grubacevic is a Narelle Stegehuis, is a practicing Performance Transformation medical herbalist and naturopath Expert™, an internationally specializing in restorative recognised and Certified NLP endocrinology for women, with over Trainer, Certified Trainer of Master 14 years clinical experience. She Time Line Therapy™, Certified is both an accomplished writer, Trainer of Hypnotherapy, Clinical editor and technical training advisor Master Hypnotherapist, author of the for the complementary Health Transformational NLP Guide, creator Care Council. A recipient of the of the Self Empowerment Technique©, and a passionate Australian Naturopathic Excellence Award, Narelle and innovative speaker. Dr. Vesna also holds a PhD, a adopts an integrated approach of both medical science BEc and is the owner of award-winning company, Qt. and traditional complementary health care principles.

Robert Coorey is Director of Global Business at E-Web Marketing, Australia’s top online marketing agency. Robert is the author of the upcoming book “Email marketing that sells products.” He runs webinars and live events about innovative and unusual online marketing strategies that get mindblowing results. Robert has a passion for achieving the seemingly impossible and is actively attempting to break the world record for attendees in a webinar.

Terry Hawkins (CSP) is an award winning speaker, award winning entrepreneur, best selling author and founder/owner (1989) of People In Progress Global, an industry leader in enterprise training resources with offices in Australia and now the USA.  Terry’s dynamic, transformational presentation style and her powerful, action based messages have made her the most in demand speaker throughout Australia and now the USA!.

As CEO of Diversity Council Australia since 2007, Nareen Young has transformed the organisation into a flourishing independent, not-for-profit workplace diversity advisor to business in Australia providing members with a wealth of knowledge, research and expertise. In 2012, Nareen was named by the Financial Review and Westpac Group as one of 100 Women of Influence and received the top honour in the diversity category.

Janine Cox is the Senior Analyst at Wealth Within, a private investment company specialising in managing direct share portfolios through their Individual Managed Account Service. The company is also a government accredited specialist share market educator, where Janine is one of only two lead trainers educating people how to invest and trade the share market.

Michelle Hext is CEO and founder of Glow Women’s Fitness Online. Michelle’s has 20 years experience in the fitness industry and is now leading the way in Online Personal Training. Through her online training and full time centre Michelle helps women to change their lives through fitness and healthy living. Michelle was recently featured as one of Australia’s Trainers to watch in Ultrafit Magazine.

Bri Williams is a behavioural specialist, presenter and author who runs People Patterns, a consultancy focusing on the business application of behavioural economics. Bri is a CPA with a degree in Applied Psychology who has worked across FMCG, Information Publishing and Advertising industries.

Dr. Natalie Green is a Clinical Psychologist, Mindset Strategist and certified Money Breakthrough Coach who is on a mission to free women from their old money junk and empower them to be successful women in their own right. She is the author of Tap Into Your Inner Power for Weight Loss and 21 Days to Permanent Weight Loss.  She is also a highly regarded speaker.

Carolyn McCallum, Director of Feng Shui Harmony, is an expert in Feng Shui and has studied with different Masters over many years. She is a specialist in helping people buy, live in and sell homes. Carolyn is highly regarded in her field and loves to help create prosperity, abundance and wellbeing in the lives of her clients as evidenced by glowing testimonials on her website.

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

Summer 2013

8


We’d love to hear from you. Write to us at admin@empoweronline.com.au

favourite letter

I recently joined your Facebook page (www.facebook.com/emPOWERmag) and was introduced to your magazine. I’ve not seen anything like this before; such a great variety of articles. I’ve been reading all the back issues online but I’ll be subscribing to get all the hard copy magazines. I know I’ll refer back to them for information or just enjoy a few articles hear and there with a cuppa. - Nikki M, via ema

I’m a doormat! The article Stop being a doormat in the last issue (Spring 2012) was very good for me and very timely. The biggest challenge for me relates to e the need to be liked by others. On mor ous anxi so been have I than one occasion before going to an event that I didn’t go. I was so worried that I would have nothing to talk about and would end up this article I have a new in a corner sitting alone. Now, thanks to you think of me’. t wha ness busi mantra – ‘it is none of my - Charlotte, via email

You’ve opened my mind to a whole new world of possibilities with Rick Otton’s article Own your home with rent-to-own (Spring 2012 ). I didn’t know that arrangements like this even existed. The owners of our rental have been trying to sell the property without succ ess and we really to buy it but do not have the capacity to do so yet. I’ve done some mor e research since reading the article and have just sent the owner a proposal. Fingers crossed! - Felicity, via email

I read the Courageous Leadership artic le (Winter 2012) with interest but found it a bit idea list and unrealistic. My first thought was, “goo d luck with that!” For numerous reasons including culture, upbringing, values, beliefs and past expe riences, there will always be people who feel the need to blame, justify, defend and protect their own position within the organisation. While this utopia presented of everyone feeling insp ired and ‘almost breathless’ in anticipation of what might be, sounds wonderful, I really question whether it is possible. But then, I guess change happ ens one person at a time. - Jenny - via email

I was so inspired to read Carren Smith’s story, Surviving Bali (Spring 2012). I had seen Carren interviewed on 60 Minutes in conjunction with the ten-year anniversary of the bombing and thought your article shared even more. It’s astonishing to me that some people cruise through life get experiencing very little pain and others e shar to open so g bein for en Carr it in bucket loads. Thank you some of yours. - Bethany, via email

A work colleague gave me your magazine after finding it in the Virgin Blue lounge at the airport. I wanted to tell you, it’s fantastic! Congratulations to you all at emPOWER for publishing such an informative, yet practical publication. I’ve now subscribed and I’ll be sharing it with other colleagues as well. - Jo, via email

Submit ‘Your Say’ by emailing admin@empoweronline.com.au 9

www.empoweronline.com.au


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

I

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

My wife loves your magazine and often reads this page to me so I wanted to share something about her. My wife is one of those people who look for opportunities to do an act of kindness wherever we go; it’s one of the reasons I married her. As an example, the other day we had just parked at the shopping centre and got out of the car to walk in when she saw a woman struggling with a trolley and two children. She automatically went to her rescue, taking the trolley to the car while the lady took the kids. It was simple things but one of thousands. Michael – via email

My parents are getting too old now to take care of their house on their own, but my dad is too stubborn to admit that he needs some help. I hired a teenager to mow their lawn so at least dad wouldn’t have to worry about that. He was happy to accept the help because I had initiated it and not him. And he ended up bonding with the boy who was helping, so he had someone else to talk to whenever he went over.

Sue – via email


I’ve always wanted to do it and finally I got the chance. I went to the supermarket the other day and while paying to release my trolley I noticed a women next to me scrimmaging around in her bag for change. With a smile on my face, I grabbed a $1 from my wallet, handed it to her and just said, “Allow me, you can pay-it-forward one day”. It was actually quite exciting and gave me great satisfaction. Ashley – via email

I try to stay anonymous when I do good deeds for people. It’s so tempting to get credit for everything you do, but I feel that it can sometimes ruin it. Each case is different of course, but there a lot of the time, it’s nicer for the person not to know who did it. It gives them hope that there are really good people out there. I say that anonymous is the way to go! Kendall – via website

I was shopping with my four-year-old daughter last week and while she is normally good at holding my hand, at one stage she pulled away from me and ran off. Naturally, I had instant panic until I worked out what she was doing. The gorgeous little thing had seen another little girl in a pram drop her toy bear and she went to give it back to her. The mother had not noticed her little girl had dropped it so she was very grateful. I was really proud of my daughter and think we could all learn something from her. Olivia – via website

I work with a wonderful colleague who always does small acts of kindness. She is the type of person who notices what is going on for those around her. A common example is for her to make a coffee for someone who is busy on a big project and doesn’t take the time to make it for themselves. Or, if she’s going out to buy some lunch she will always ask if anyone wants her to get him or her something. Her acts of kindness may not be life changing but she certainly makes a difference. Margaret – via email

Submit your Act of Kindness & Win The reader to send in our favourite and most inspiring act of kindness before 30 November, 2012 will a gift pack from BOZ+LOVE. An eclectic mix of ‘Zen meets hippie’, BOZ+LOVE is an ethical Sydney tee and tote label that uses the power of words to remind us of the meaningful things in life. The prize includes a ‘LOVE’ Batwing Tunic Tee, valued at $69.95 and a ‘HOPE’ Large Tote valued at $49.95. To win, submit your Act of Kindness at empoweronline.com.au or email admin@empoweronline.com.au.


cover story

e c n a bal

Finding Deborah Hutton is one of the most recognised and wellrespected media personalities in Australia. She talks to Helen Rosing about her life, the launch of her latest project, Balance by Deborah Hutton and how she’s finally reached a state of total selfacceptance.

N

obody could say that Deborah Hutton’s life has been dull. Growing up she spent time in the UK, and following her parent’s divorce, she and her mother travelled extensively between New Guinea and Queensland, before finally settling in Australia. Leaving home at just 16 to ‘chase love’, she soon entered the modelling industry, appearing on her first Cosmopolitan magazine cover the same year. Her subsequent success in modelling saw her fulfil top international contracts in Germany, Italy and New York. With a ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ approach she expanded from modelling into TV and publishing, with a long-

Summer 2013

spaning career at the Australian Women’s Weekly, a magazine she calls ‘home’. As an ambassador for Qantas for 12 years she was seen by over 12 million passengers per month, presenting the in-flight video guide. She also has her own range of homewares, ‘Living with Deborah Hutton” sold online through Ezibuy.com and her own brand of eyewear “Deborah Hutton Optical and Sun. What we love about Deborah is that she’s also very real. She’s quite open about the challenges she’s had with her body image and openly admits to crying upon looking in the mirror after having a skin cancer removed from her face. Turning 50, Deborah says she finally reached the point of total self acceptance and to celebrate, she dared to bare all on the cover of Women’s Weekly, a decision that drew both praise and criticism. Now she has he latest project, a new website (balancebydeborahhutton.com.au), through which she hopes to share her views on life and help other women feel better about themselves and achieve their goals.

12


cover story

Deborah is the face of Foxtel’s Bio Channel...

Thank you to Tarsha Hosking for photography

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and

your family, and your memories of growing up. A: I had a really scattered upbringing. My father worked for Qantas and we were one of the first families to be set up in the UK when Qantas started to expand their brand. I was born in England and was about six months old when we moved back to Sydney. My parents later divorced, and my two brothers stayed with my father, while Mum and I moved to Queensland. Mum remarried and we moved to New Guinea, which was really challenging because I was definitely a minority going to school there – I was one of just a few white faces at the school. But it is what it is. Kids adapt really easily. We ended up coming back to Australia and bought a 600-acre grapefruit orchard in a place called Stanthorpe, which is on the New England Highway in Queensland. That was fantastic. It was probably one of my happiest times; living in the country, going to a tiny twoteacher school, picking fruit, swimming in dams and feeding the chooks. I loved it. When mum’s second marriage ended we went back to Brisbane and then moved to Sydney again when I was 11. I’ve lived there ever since. At 16 I decided I’d had enough and wanted to explore the world, so I quit school, left home, and moved in with an older man. My poor mother was horrified.

Q: Would you say it’s your mum

who was most influential in your life? A: Without a doubt. It’s always been very much her and me; being a single mum in the 60s, having to raise a child and the financial challenges that she’s been through. When we came to Sydney, she was working two jobs to keep us going. Still today. If I’m having trouble, I turn to her.

Q: What do you admire about your

mum? A: Her strength of character and her commitments. She’s very tenacious and driven. She’s got her opinions and she’s got her ideals, and she sticks to them. She’s quite an extraordinary woman. I really respect and admire her for all that she’s achieved against great adversity. I love her strength, it’s unbelievable.

Q: The things admire about your

mum are the same things I think people would perceive about you as well. What do you think? A: Perhaps. We all go through pretty tough times and I think that’s when you see someone’s real character. I’ve lost my two brothers in recent times. To lose a child is one thing. To lose two in the space of a couple of years… we’ve been through quite a lot.

Q: Looking back on your career,

what do you remember about leaving school and starting modelling? A: It’s really funny. I didn’t take it all that seriously years ago. I sort of fumbled my way into it. At 16 I’d fallen in love with this guy and he was the one who suggested I should start modeling. It just sort of happened. God forbid it didn’t work, because I don’t know what I would have done – I would probably have gone back to school with my tail between my legs. Modelling introduced me to the world and to people. I had to try and find my way in that, which I think is always a challenge. Probably one of the greatest challenges I had was starting work for Myer Grace Brothers and then onto television, because I started so young, very insecure and always surrounded by people who were older. Modelling was fine because I managed to find my niche and I did quite well but when I left modelling and started to work in a corporate environment, I really had to fake it to make it. I was pretty much out of my depth most of the time thinking that I always had to be somebody else because I was always surrounded by older people.

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Q: Do you think that sense of “fake it ‘til you make it” served you in some ways? A: Absolutely.

Q: Do you feel it made you try harder?

A: Absolutely. And I did. I think that’s

the reason I have persevered and I’m still hanging around in my 50s and working. I think most people look at me and think, “Oh, it’s easy for you. You can get up there and do that and talk to a crowd of people.” Well, you know what? The nerves are still there. The amount of preparation that goes into things is still there. I’m not a natural orator, and no, it’s not easy for me. Once I start, it’s fine, but I’ve still got insecurity that I think, “Can I do this?” Funnily enough, it’s only recently that I’ve worked out that I need that stress to perform. I actually have to accept stress as opposed to fight it because sometimes I look at my diary and I think, “God, I wish this month would just be over.” It’s so stupid because I’m wishing my life away.

Q: Tell us about the move into TV.

Obviously it wasn’t something you had done training in either. How did you make that transition? A: The greatest break I had was my role with Myer Grace Brothers over 14 years. They really put me out there. I wasn’t modelling for them; I was hosting a lot of events, shows and catwalk things around the country. I was honing my skills of speaking and interviewing people, and just throwing myself out there as a presenter. Obviously when I was modelling I did the odd commercial but my first real TV break was a game show with Mike Walsh on Channel 10. After that I was asked to do Looking Good on Channel 9. That was my first role doing some pieces to camera. The best thing I learned (which I hated) was to watch myself.

Q: From TV into publishing, how

did you get into the Australian Women’s Weekly and work your way up to editor without a journalism or communications degree?

www.empoweronline.com.au


cover story

editor-in-chief; I started off as the beauty editor. I got a call from Nene King, who was then editor-in-chief, asking whether I’d like the role. I thought what an opportunity, and also to learn a different skill. It’s such an iconic magazine, so I went for it. It was interesting. Again, I felt I was out of my depth. With beauty, there’s a lot of writing and a lot of research. Years ago I studied a little course in creative writing or something, but that’s about the extent of it. I would freak out every time I’d get asked to do something. When Maggie Tabberer decided to resign as the fashion editor, they offered me her job and that’s when I felt much more comfortable in the role. Coming from modelling it was more my background. I was there for quite some time. I loved the Weekly. It’s still a family magazine to me. I felt like I was a part of it for so long.

Q: It sounds like you just learned on the go and tried everything.

A: That’s the best way to learn. That

really reflects my life and how I’ve basically thought, “Don’t think about it. Just do it.”

Q: This time last year you did a

very different kind of cover story, where you appeared naked on the front of the Women’s Weekly. Why did you do that? What did it mean for you personally? A: I had to think long and hard about why I would do it. I’ve always had a real hang-up about my body, but I’ve fought my demons. I had finally gotten to a point where I didn’t care anymore. I obviously care because I exercise and try to look after myself, but I don’t care what other people think and I care less about what I think about myself. I’m not as critical. The year I turned 50 was an unbelievable year for me in so many ways. I came to accept things about myself and developed a more solid Summer 2013

Q: What part do you think

outlook on certain perspectives. I got to the point where I went, “You know what? I accept myself for who I am.” I really knew that. When I was asked to do it – and do it naked – I actually thought, “This is really going to test you.” Years ago, the ultimate nightmare for me would have been anyone looking at me naked, and exposing my body.

Q: Did you just reach that point

of acceptance or did you have to work on that as an area to improve in your life? A: It’s really interesting. Different times, some things just click. A couple of years ago, somebody said to me, “I don’t know why you hate your body, because in 10 years’ time, you’re going to look back and wish you had the body you had today.” It was a breakthrough for me. It was one of those things that shook me and I said, “You’re absolutely right.” I just got to the point where I had become much more confident in different areas of my life. I feel more comfortable in my skin now than I ever have. It’s been a gradual process over the last couple of years, but I feel I don’t have to prove anything to anyone any more.

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the media plays in the way women feel about themselves and their bodies? A: We’re bombarded by images about beauty. We’re obsessed with fashion, and with celebrity, and with sizes. Modelling was terrible for me, with my own body image, because people judge you for whatever reason, and you take it so personally. You’re supposed to be a particular size, and we think everyone is supposed to be thin and have perfect hair, and you ought to be this tall… All it does is play on your insecurities. The media plays a role because those images are out there. But at the same time, we have a hunger for them. We love to look at and critique other people. When I did that cover, I had a lot of negative feedback from women who felt very uncomfortable about me exposing myself that way. I think it reflected on a lot of their insecurities. We’re very critical of ourselves and we’re very critical of each other. I wish it wasn’t so. Acceptance of ourselves and other people’s differences would be wonderful. I don’t even know if we’re ever going to reach it.

Q: Do you think it’s every woman’s

choice and responsibility around how she feels about herself and her body? A: Absolutely. We all have demons and we all have our own journey. Like I said, it’s taken me my whole life until this point to accept myself for who I am with all my lumps, bumps, and insecurities. How often are we getting a phone call or a message that someone’s got breast cancer or someone is going through a hard time, someone’s had an accident, we’ve lost someone? These tragedies that constantly surround us remind us that we have to value what we have today. It actually doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what size you are. It doesn’t matter as long as you look after yourself and you’re good to yourself and good to those around you and appreciate the fact that we’re still here. That is the most important thing.

Thank you to John Donegan for photography

A: Well, I certainly wasn’t


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cover story

Q: Tell us about your latest project. A: It’s a new digital platform called Balance by Deborah Hutton. It came about, funnily enough, from the whole Women’s Weekly experience. I was contacted by

so many women, from all walks of life, who were both congratulating and criticising me. I started conversing through social media, and found people asking me for advice about different things. Balance started from that. Primarily, it’s about likeminded women coming together to communicate and share. I’m basically establishing a digital channel, aimed at women aged 40-plus, and it’s all done through interviews on camera. To me, there are eight different keys in life that if any one of them are out of whack, we’re out of balance. I’ve brought in coaches such as Olivia Newton-John, Nat Cook, Jane Flemming, Professor Kerryn Phelps, Zoey Bingley-Pullin and Megan Morton who help people with the different keys. It’s everything from how you look and feel about yourself, your diet, your home environment and how you have that working for you, your work area, your finances, your social and family, your spiritual, keeping your mind occupied and still really good.

Q: Very little is written about

your private life. How have you managed to keep your private life out of the media? A: When you have a public personality, it’s impossible to think that you don’t have a private life and you don’t talk about. You manage it as best you can. I don’t flaunt publicity. I’m not one of those people the paparazzi chase. I go out of my way to fly a little bit under the radar. You’ve got to try to have some sense of private life. When I do talk about things, I hope that there’s something people can take out of it rather than just talking about what I’m doing.

Q: Why do you think there’s such

fascination with negative stuff about celebrities? A: Maybe people are missing something in their life and they yearn for something more glamorous or interesting. They’re all ultimately searching for something in their life that they don’t have. That’s what I think; they sort of get their feed through other people. If you have a passion in life or you’re in a great relationship or whatever, there’s

Summer 2013

16

something that feeds you; there’s less desire to be fed by others around you.

Q: You have a number of

ambassadorial roles. What are you most passionate about? A: I get asked to do a lot of charity stuff and have to narrow it down to the things that are really important. There are a couple of different ones. Because my brother, David, died of cancer, and because Olivia Newton-John and I are friends, I’ve helped her out a lot with her cancer wellness centre in Melbourne. I also came on board years ago as a patron of Best Buddies, which is about social engagement with handicapped kids, primarily through school programmes. That’s because my brother, Rod, had a brain injury. I felt social exclusion through his eyes, when I was with him and took him to things. It just really hit a chord with me. Every charity has a great cause. I’m continually open and exposed to different things. If you’re in a position where people listen to you, it’s important to use that platform for good if you can.

Q: Finally, what advice do you have

for other women who want to achieve more in their life? A: Women have this thing where they don’t put themselves on a pedestal, they don’t back themselves or they don’t think they’re good enough. This psyche has to change. Men always apply for a job even if they think they haven’t got the skills. Whereas women say, “I couldn’t do that in case I fail.” For women to achieve, they have to recognise what they are and how good they are, and what they’ve achieved. It’s a little internal self-health check that you just have to find the confidence to do. Back yourself. Have a go and really look at the things you’ve achieved. You always look at how far you’ve got to go but it’s actually really important to stop, look back and say, “I’ve come so far. Look what I’ve done.” That helps you to take the next steps forward. Check out Deborah’s latest project designed to bring balance into your life. www.balancebydeborahhutton.com.au

Thank you to David Gubert for photography

scare with skin cancer. How did you handle it, given all the publicity? A: Honestly, I just burst into tears. My outlook on life is that the cup is always half full. I went into surgery thinking it was going to be fine. In saying that, the last thing I said to the surgeon was, “Please don’t put a skin graft on my face.” I had that last insecure, vanity moment. He just looked at me and shook his head, and I went under. That night, the bandages fell off and I looked at myself in the mirror, and burst into tears because I had this scar from my nose to my chin. I spent the night feeling sorry for myself, thinking, “I’m not going to be able to work again.” However, I have an incredible surgeon and I’m so thankful. I know now that I’m very receptive to the cancer I had, and there’s more coming

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Q: You’ve had your own health


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business | Feature

Three

roadblocks Too scared, too overwhelmed, too lazy. Bri Williams reveals the hidden reasons why people don’t make decisions.

T

hey seemed to love your products. As far as you could tell, you had all their bases covered: features, pricing, availability. So why did they walk away? Ever had a great discussion with a customer, thought the sale was almost a done deal, only to have them baulk and walk? Or maybe you’ve pitched to your stakeholders, had all the heads nodding in unison, only to find that when it was time to commit, suddenly no one was returning your calls? We are about to uncover three key behavioural reasons why your buyers don’t take action when you think they will, and what you can do about it.

You are a change architect

Too scared

When we are considering a change – buying something, moving our superannuation, approving a business investment – we consider what we have

to gain as well as what we have to lose. But throw away the abacus – this is by no means a straightforward calculation. Known as loss aversion, we are significantly more motivated to avoid loss than seek gain. For instance, if I flipped a coin and offered you $100 on heads to win, and $100 on tails to lose, you would probably be reluctant to take the bet. Instead, what if I offered you $100 to lose but now $250 to win? That’s much more attractive, isn’t it? Losing is much more painful than winning is pleasurable. Typically, your buyer (customer, investor, stakeholder) is subconsciously assessing what they have to lose in three areas I call PES-imistic: psychological, economic and social. Psychological is the cost of making the decision fit with their existing view of the world – like fitting a square peg in a round hole. Economic is the financial cost and includes not only what they may have to contribute, but also what they have to give up to do so. Social is their social standing; an assessment of how they will look in the eyes of others if they take the action you want. Fotolia

In business, we often describe ourselves by function – I’m a marketer, an accountant, salesperson, customer service consultant and so on – but we should think about ourselves a little differently. In fact, we are

all change architects. Every day we try to change people from one state to another. From browsers to buyers, from noncustomers to customers, from non-investors to investors, from opponents to advocates, from good employees to great. The main effort of our work, whether we realise it or not, is in behavioural change. This means that knowing how to change behaviour is a core business skill. So let’s get you qualified! The first thing to acknowledge when you are seeking to get people to change is that we have an innate tendency to want to keep things as they are. When you are speaking with customers, listen for “I’m happy with what I have,” while stakeholders might say things like, “Let’s come back to this down the track.” So what’s holding them back? There are three reasons that are often hidden, even from themselves: too scared, too overwhelmed or too lazy.

Summer 2013

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Feature | business

So how can you overcome a buyer who is too scared to act? Your job is to diminish the loss side of the ledger so the gains seem worth changing for. It’s all about mitigating fear by showing them they have nothing (or very little) to lose by changing; and using fear by showing them the downside of failing to take action. Remember, sticking with the status quo will have its own problems that they might have overlooked.

Too overwhelmed

Known as the paradox of choice, we desire choice but get easily overwhelmed by it. Just look at how many options we have in superannuation, mortgages and insurance, but how little attention we typically pay. If your customer looks dazed when they walk into your shop (or they visit your website but don’t click to progress), you may be overwhelming them with choice. This may also be the case if your stakeholder is struggling to focus on your proposal, and is getting confused about what you’ve recommended. Your role in overcoming choice overload is to clarify their choices. You can use a few techniques to clarify: use language that affirms; use certainty rather than portfolio risk; and structure choices using relativity. Language that affirms – when presenting information, it is up to you to decide how it is best articulated. For instance, imagine your doctor is discussing options for surgery. Would you prefer the technique that has an 80 per cent chance of survival or that with a 20 per cent chance of mortality? The results are the same, but the option presented in the affirmative will persuade more patients. Certainty rather than portfolio risk – surprisingly, we prefer certainty over distributed risk. For instance, imagine a superannuation fund that guarantees performance at four per cent, versus a fund that may achieve anywhere in the range of two to six per cent. Debates about risk

profiling aside, most people prefer certainty, so if you can present your recommended solution as having certainty, you will overcome the paradox of choice. Relativity – part of the reason we get overwhelmed by choice is that we start to compare the options on multiple dimensions. Rather than apples with apples, we compare them with oranges, lemons and whatever else has been thrown together. It’s up to you to provide the dimensions for comparison – what does option XYZ look like relative to option XYY? In a stakeholder scenario, this means being clear on the criteria for investment. With customers, construct the criteria that showcase your strengths.

Too lazy

Now, I know we’re all hard working and well intentioned, so let me explain why I’m calling us “too lazy” to take action. People are like AA batteries. We have a certain amount of energy we can access, and the more we have to think, the more our batteries are drained. The father of behavioural economics, Daniel Kahneman, uses a metaphor for how we think called System 1 and System 2. System 1 is the more habitual, gut instinct type of thinking that kicks into gear when we are asked to multiply four by five. System 2 is the type of thinking that is activated if we are asked to multiply 34 by 78 – you can already feel the strain. System 2 chews up more cognitive effort because it deals with unusual requests, so we try to keep it for short burst, special occasions. In other words, we try to be cognitively lazy. To remember which is which, System 2 sets the alarm to go for a run in the morning, and System 1 is the one that hits snooze when the alarm goes off. When it comes to getting your buyer to take action, it’s important to know whether you are triggering System 1 or System 2 thinking. Imagine you are at the supermarket. System 1 is in its element, coasting along the aisles selecting brands

with which you are familiar and price points that seem reasonable. Suddenly your favourite brand of cereal is nowhere to be seen. Cue System 2. What are your options? Another supermarket? Another breakfast? Another brand? In the space of a few seconds, you have moved from a relatively benign shopping experience to one that requires problem-solving. When dealing with your buyer, you want to reduce the amount of hard thinking they have to do and keep them in System 1 (however, if you are trying to disrupt people out of their habits, you need to activate System 2). To make life simple, use a couple of key techniques: Provide anchors – there’s a reason retailers leave the recommended retail price on the sale price tag, and it’s called anchoring. Help your buyer know they are getting a good deal by pointing out what the product is worth. It makes it easy to buy today when you can easily process that you’ve had a win. With stakeholders, consider anchoring the recommended solution to a more expensive option for it to be perceived favourably. Do what others do – rather than have your buyer wonder what other people would do in their situation, tell them. ‘Most popular’ and ‘best seller’ lists and stickers help your buyer follow the decisions others have taken, easing their cognitive load. When dealing with stakeholders, be deliberate in the order in which you seek and obtain approvals. Ensure you have influential stakeholders on board before you tackle those least committed. So now you know the three behavioural reasons your buyer may not be taking action: too scared, too overwhelmed or too lazy. You also know ways of influencing them to move beyond these roadblocks, and hopefully you now feel responsible for doing just that. After all, as a change architect, you are in the business of behaviour.

Bri Williams runs People Patterns, a consultancy specialising in buyer behaviour, which tweaks clients’ interactions with buyers through the application of behavioural science. A marketer and consumer behaviouralist, Bri is also a specialist contributor to Smartcompany.com.au, and a facilitator, speaker and author. www.peoplepatterns.com.au

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business | Feature

Failure to

launch?

Think you’re ready to launch your new book? Robert Coorey has some bad news: the old way of launching just doesn’t cut it any more.

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ou’ve just finished writing your book. Now you’re ready to send an email to your list and the whole world will bang down your door and buy your book, right? Wrong! The old way of doing launches was to write one long huge sales page with hundreds of bullet points, amazing testimonials, tacky product images and hide the price somewhere down the bottom, near a big fat ‘Buy now’ button. On the day you were ready to launch your new ebook, you would blast

an email to your list and point them to the shiny new sales page. The trusted old way of launching worked really well at the start of online marketing but has become less effective as time has gone on. The reason is that people are getting more savvy online, so they just skip to the bottom of the page, look at the price and most likely bounce off your page and never buy from you. So what’s the solution? How can you do a launch without the seemingly necessary evil of a long-copy sales page?

The sideways sales letter

PhotoXpress

The answer is what internet entrepreneur Jeff Walker calls the sideways sales letter. Instead of having a three-page sales letter that you put out on launch day, start a few weeks earlier and send out three lead magnets of quality content over three separate emails. Quality content is called a lead magnet because the content is so good that it attracts leads to your business like a magnet. The email should be short copy with a link back to your blog, where they can access your lead magnet (for example, watch a video,

download a chapter from your book, or access some other piece of great content). You also allow the user to comment below the piece of content, so they can join the conversation. There’s a number of reasons why a sideway sales letter works better than the old long copy sales page. 1. 1. It builds hype and anticipation during the launch period. Let’s face it, most people are bored at work. Following your launch process is an exciting story that people can distract themselves with. As long as your story and content is interesting to them, you will capture your audience’s attention. Also, by including the ability to comment under each piece of content, you’re getting people engaged with your launch and they can feel as though they are a part of the process. They’re also more likely to share with friends. 2. You get time to test, measure and tweak your offer. As you share the various pieces of content, you’ll get feedback from your fan base, and you’ll know what to tweak for the next piece of content. You’ll also start to get a feel for how much demand there is out there for your ebook. 3. No ugly surprises on launch day. If you’ve followed the process correctly, you can avoid the ‘build it and they will come’ fallacy. Because you’ve been testing different pieces of content all the way through your launch process, you will know what to expect on launch day itself. If your launch process keeps building the anticipation, your fans will be kicking down the door to buy your book on launch day.

Summer 2013

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Feature | business

Building a launch team

I recently followed Michael Hyatt’s launch of his best-selling book, Platform, and he credited a large part of his success to building a launch team. A launch team is a core group of people from your list who are willing to roll up their sleeves and help to get the word out about the launch. Here’s how you build your launch team. 1. Email your list and/or write a blog post encouraging people to join your launch team. The benefits could include a copy of the book in advance, special access to you and your team, a private webinar, a link from your website to their website (great for search engine optimisation) and discounts on any other products you have. 2. You ask the launch team for their commitment to writing a review on Amazon, helping to promote your launch to their list and coming up with creative ideas to further spread the word. 3. Nuture and look after your launch team through the launch process. Keep them in the loop with what’s happening, so that they feel special and part of the process.

Testimonials, endorsements and partners

Dan Kennedy recently launched an internet marketing course, and during the launch he had the endorsements of 10 of the world’s best online marketers, who all highly recommended that you buy his course. Do you think that this made a huge difference to his results? You bet. Getting the top 10 online marketers to endorse your product might be out of reach for a regular little author just getting started, but there are always joint venture partners out there who are hungry for new products to promote to their list.

On top of that, an emerging trend in online marketing is for your joint venture partners to throw in their own bonus on top of your product. So if you’re selling an ebook for $47, for example, they might throw in an extra $197 of value if the customer buys from their affiliate link. Two-week launch plan Day 1 Research and find out all of the blogs, Facebook fan pages and other related sites that could potentially plug your book. Contact them, let them know what you’re doing and see whether they are willing to promote your new book. The ones who agree are now your joint venture (JV) partners. Day 2 Email your database or reach out to Facebook fans and ask whether they want to join your launch team. Day 3 Drip release Lead Magnet One – a chapter from your forthcoming book. Release it to your email list, Facebook fans and Twitter followers. Also get your JV partners and launch team to send Lead Magnet One to their list. The video should be hiding behind an opt-in squeeze page that requires name and email to watch it. This enables you to capture all of the leads your JV partners are sending through into your funnel. Day 4 Have a catch-up call or webinar with your JV partners and launch team. Find out how they’re going, what the response has been so far, whether there are any questions and what else you can do to support them. Day 5 Re-send Lead Magnet One to all the people who didn’t open or click on your first email, with a slightly different twist. Day 6 Send Lead Magnet Two – a special unreleased video that shows your unique method, and you should seed in a few testimonials. Again, the lead magnet should go out to everyone – your email list, Facebook fans and Twitter followers. Your JV partners and launch team should also be sending it to their people.

See the ‘Two-week launch plan’ boxout to find out how these ideas would all work in practice, then finish writing your book, follow the plan and wait for the sales to flood in.

Day 7 Touch base with your JV team and launch team – make sure you let them know that you sincerely appreciate their work. Day 8 Re-send Lead Magnet Two to those who didn’t open or click through. Day 9 Send Lead Magnet Three – an invitation to a webinar in two days’ time. This goes to your list, your partners and also your launch team. Day 10 Remind people who haven’t yet registered for the webinar to attend. Day 11 Touch base with your JV team and launch team, making sure you let them know again that you sincerely appreciate their work. Day 12 Run webinar. This should be 95 per cent solid content, with five per cent at the end explaining more about your forthcoming book and the bonuses available when people buy it. Day 13 Pre-launch to your launch team and JV partners. Let them know that the book is ready just for them, and for them to go and get it, to test out the ordering process and bonus delivery. This will help get any bugs out of your system for tomorrow’s full launch. Day 14 Full launch. Blast your list twice – at the start of the day and halfway through the day. Facebook and tweet hard! Get your JV partners and launch team to plug it at least once to their list, and hopefully twice to their list on the same day. If you have the budget, run Facebook ads to drive greater sales.

Robert Coorey is director of global business at E-Web Marketing, Australia’s top online marketing agency. He is also the author of the forthcoming book Email Marketing That Sells Products. Robert runs webinars and live events about innovative and unusual online marketing strategies that get mind-blowing results. You can connect with Robert on www.ewebmarketing.com.au or through LinkedIn.

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business | Social Media

Defend your brand The phenomenal rise in social media means your business brand’s reputation is more open to attack than ever before. Zoe Wyatt is on the defensive.

Do not remove!

The worst possible response a company can make to negative comments is to immediately remove all offending posts. As Rachel Strella explains, in her article ‘Social Media & the Consumer: How to Handle Negative Feedback’ at SocialMediaToday.com, “The only thing worse than deleting comments would be to respond defensively, thus initiating a battle with the audience. I highly recommend not deleting negative feedback unless it’s an extreme circumstance, such as inappropriate language or lewd comments.” However, if you allow your audience free rein to voice their opinion, and displeasure, all over your social media sites, and make no response, you are not only allowing untold damage to your brand but potentially inflaming the situation.

Summer 2013

So what should you do when negative feedback is received on social media? Really, the question is what should you have done? No business should commence social media marketing without first having a strategy and policy in place, with a clearly defined process to follow when negative feedback is received. A plan for brand reputation and management must extend to social media and internet properties generally, and include specific terms and conditions of use on each site. This is important, not only to protect your business brand but from a legal liability point of view as well.

Show you care

In the aftermath of a public relations nightmare, though, remaining silent can be a critical error. Strella sums it up this way, “Don’t ignore the feedback, either. Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away any more than deleting it.” Instead, a business should acknowledge the feedback either in a way that seeks to better understand the situation, or simply as a way of being seen to care enough to respond. Strella explains, “When done correctly, acknowledging negative feedback and responding appropriately is an opportunity to demonstrate excellent customer service.” It may come as a surprise, then, that the majority of businesses have no system in place to respond to negative comments, or they plan to deal with such situations by ignoring the comments. A recent study by Satmetrix highlights that the majority of organisations are blind to the opportunities and threats of social media.

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According to Richard Owen, CEO of Satmetrix, “While 77 per cent of consumers post about products, 67 per cent of businesses have no means of measuring what is being said, and less than 1 in 20 have any insight into the sentiment of what is being said. This is both a huge threat and a massive lost opportunity. Not only are companies running the risk of losing customers by not addressing their issues shared online, but they are also walking past the opportunity to capitalise on positive comments made on the social web.” So what should you do to protect your business and brand on social media? You need to get specific advice for your business from your lawyers, but the simplest advice is to start talking. By finding your voice in the face of negative feedback, you may empower your established community on that site to find theirs as well in your defence. At the very least, the complainant will know they have been heard and you will have exercised your right of reply. In the end, that’s what social media is about – a two-way flow of information and open expression of ideas and opinions. Zoe Wyatt is a sought-after social media marketing specialist, speaker, trainer and mentor. Based on the Sunshine Coast in Australia, Zoe travels the world giving training to entrepreneurs and savvy business owners on how to maximise social media marketing. You can connect with Zoe on her website at www.socialmediashortcut.com or via LinkedIn.

PhotoXpress

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hen met with negative feedback or a tirade of angry comments on their Facebook page, what do most businesses do? In the majority of cases, the answer is nothing. Many companies do not limit negative comments on their page but neither do they respond to them. It appears that many are simply employing the ‘ignore it and it will go away’ approach. But what should they do? If a business prevents comments, are they seen to be limiting free speech and expression of their customers’ opinions? If they continue to allow comments but make no response, is this doing them more harm than good?


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business | Tools and ideas

Our Top

10

The emPOWER team tried and tested a range of business apps. Here we share some of our favourite’s. Find them in the app store. Bump We love this business card tool. By “bumping” two smartphones, you can trade contact information, photos and files.

Google Drive

My Tax

A great tool for on the go. Allows you to store and edit files from any of your devices, your PC, smartphone or tablet.

If you want tax time to be simple and easy you need the My Tax tool. Can be used for personal or small business tax purposes.

WebEX SoundNote This tool is fabulous in meetings. Tracks what you type, draw and records the audio. When you ready you can play the audio back and make additional notes.

A great tool for meetings online. Allows you to see all the people involved in the chat and the speaker’s presentation from their computer screen.

GoodReader Finally a tool to allow you to write on PDF’s. We love this app, great to highlight and write on PDF’s.

HootSuite for Twitter We love the simplicity of this social media tool. Great if you use twitter and then want to simultaneously post on LinkedIn, Facebook and Foursquare.

Keynote Look no further than this presentation tool. Apple’s equivalent to Powerpoint use to create your own presentation.

Dragon Dictation No more typing with this voice recognition and recording tool, dragon dictation. Converts what you say into a text, which can then be emailed to you.

BatteryBoost Magic BatteryBoost Magic is a must have. Shows you how much time you have left to do web browsing, music playback and more. Also, shows you how to get the most out of your battery.


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FreeFax:1800 999 019 Email: radius@printforce.com.au


business | Feature

FORTH!

Joint ventures can be as easy as ABC. Not knowing where to start and with what focus is the pot hole that trips most people up, says Sally Curtis.

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f you are thinking about setting up a joint venture, you need to start with alignment; both parties need to have the same point of view. If you are passionate about customer service, for example, would it make sense to join forces or align with someone who is in it for the

Summer 2013

quick buck and the desire to ride off fast into the sunset? Of course not. So look for people who feel and act the same way as you do in regards to outcome for your customers, as well as the outcome you both seek. Look for people who have complementary skill sets, with similar business beliefs.

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PhotoXpress

Venture

For example, when I work with clients for whom I am securing joint venture opportunities, what I look for is an alignment with my values around customers’ experiences and a sense of community, and a very strong giftedness in themselves and what they deliver. Working with these people is bliss, because they have a huge vision that can easily grow, through connecting them with the right people at the right time for the right purpose. In other words, they know who they are and what they stand for, and people see and feel this instantly. Imagine trying to talk a client up, saying how fabulous they are but their story changes constantly. They are creating mixed messages with the potential to damage reputations and credibility for both parties. If you are lying or trying to communicate something you don’t really feel or believe, your body will give you away. People get an instant sense that something is not right and they move on. This is why every success book says you must love what you do with passion and, more importantly, be able to communicate this effortlessly and with certainty. If you can’t easily explain who you are and what you do, how can you expect others to be able to talk about you, refer or introduce you? When you know who you are and what you stand for, it is very easy to communicate this to others, who then in turn understand the reason for the introduction and see a potential joint venture opportunity straight away. It just feels right and makes sense. You can then share your vision effortlessly. Be clear on what it is that you believe in. What are you really passionate about? What do you do that is absolutely effortless, so effortless that you don’t value it at all and might even think that everyone does it? You may not even know what it is – ask a friend. As an example, some people can make phone calls to anyone, anywhere, about anything, cold calls or warm, and think nothing of it. The thought of doing that for other people is the stuff of nightmares. So consider who you could work with


Feature | business

who loves your nightmares, and whose nightmares you love.

What is a joint venture?

A joint venture is two or more people who have come together to make an impact and growth for each other, in a way that they would not have been able to do on their own. It’s not an adding game but a multiplying game. You get to multiply your time, effort and resources, through and with each other. What conditions would make the joint venture a great opportunity for both of you? Who does each of you have within your network that can become a leverage point for each of you, a multiplier? Are you willing to receive advice and guidance? This is an easy question to say yes to, but not always easy to maintain. Communication and planning to overcommunicate in a time of crisis need to be put into place in the beginning. Do you want more qualified leads with an improvement in conversions? For this, would you be willing to share some of the revenue? Know what your deal beakers are. What would make you walk away from an opportunity?

Who do you have in your network?

This is the most overlooked part of joint ventures. It is often hidden in plain sight and people don’t even consider those people who are right next to them - the one person in your network who is a key person of influence who can open a door, and make an introduction or suggestion of just the person you are looking for. Often the ideal person or joint venture partner is just one step away. In all your enthusiasm about finding your ideal joint venture partner, consider the other person’s circumstances. Consider timing. If they go on holiday at a particular time of year with their family and it’s that time now, don’t make contact yet. Be considerate about what might be going on in their world. Only make contact with them when you have a clear level of your understanding of what the potential win-win is. Be considerate of their level

of understanding and the best way to communicate with them. Where you meet is important. Try meeting in a great environment – a beautiful outdoor location or a good restaurant. That way it is comfortable for each person. Depending on the type of joint venture, if you’re building long-term relationships, get the families to meet, too, so you can really see the way the person treats people and builds communities, because a great family represents a great community and a leader of a community. What is each person’s comfort level to move forward and what arrangements or paperwork do you each wish to put into place? Will it be as simple as a heads of agreement that just states what you have discussed and outlined? Who is doing what, when and what are the expected results for each of you? What is the contingency plan that you agreed to, and so on? Or do you both feel the need to be more formal and legal? All the joint ventures that I have been part of, or have secured for my clients, have been built on trust and a simple confirmation in email or on a heads of agreement, nothing more. We have simply communicated well, planned for potential changes, and documented an agreed course of action. A great joint venture is based on alignment, open and ongoing communication, a great blend of natural talents or giftedness, and a multiplying result for each party.

Which joint venture?

This is a common question. If we look at the online scenario, let’s assume that you have a community of people – this is a distribution channel, and it can be large or small. Your community knows what you stand for, knows who you are, and loves you for it – this is your brand or identity. Let’s say your community is made up of working mums, who strive for life balance and empowering their children, who are under 10. So in this example you actually have a solid brand and a distribution channel. What is missing is product, people or events – something to share with your community that adds value to them. Helps them share more engaging time with their

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kids. The ideal joint venture partners for this example are people who can support your community with product, their expert knowledge or events. Perhaps it could be a book that describes 10 top discovery places in your capital city to which you can take your kids. There are so many people around who have written great books, articles, programs and activities for kids and parents just because they are passionate about it. They often don’t have the brand or distribution channel to share it with others. In these cases, they would love the opportunity to do so and share in the profits with you. It could be an expert wanting to share some new insights on how to engage children in family activities, who wants to do a webinar for you. She might be an expert for parents who have special-needs children going through difficult stages. This expert would simply love the opportunity to share her knowledge and create awareness of her practice. She may be new to your city or state, having recently moved there. In this case, you may only add value to your community, but think of the massive value it could be to that one family who is looking for the right person to support them, and you provided that introduction. Alternatively, your partner could be an organisation that runs specialised events or programmes that have a personal development focus for children under 10. You could promote these to your community and receive an affiliate commission, or your children could attend free of charge. Anything is possible, you just have to ask. Finally, here’s a couple of tips to bear in mind. Don’t go networking for clients – go networking for joint ventures and alliances. And don’t overcomplicate joint ventures and alliances – they can be really simple. Sally Curtis is the founder of Twisted Connector, a company specialising in creating joint ventures for entrepreneurs. Her passion and impressive track record of results has led her to work alongside clients such as Dale Beaumont, Duane Alley, Dr Joanna Martin and Mike Handcock. For more info see www.twistedconnector.com

www.empoweronline.com.au


business | Women in business

Message in a

Rebecca Derrington’s free SourceBottle service links journalists with expert sources. She discusses how her idea got off the ground.

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself. What were you doing before you commenced SourceBottle? A. Before I started SourceBottle, I was running a home-based marketing and public relations business called Wagging Tongues. When I had my first child, my husband and I decided that I would start my own consultancy since I wanted to continue working, but needed flexibility around when and where I would work. (I laugh at my naivety when I think back to how I planned to slot in motherhood around the needs of my clients.) That’s when the juggling began and even now, seven years on, I still struggle with it on a daily basis. Q. How did the decision to start the business come about? A. I just felt the relationship between journalists, PR professionals and businesses was really inefficient. Journalists were being inundated with unsolicited and (many times) irrelevant PR pitches, while thousands of interesting businesses were going unnoticed because journalists so often stuck to their usual sources. This meant that no one was winning –

bottle least of all readers looking for fresh perspectives from credible, thoughtprovoking sources.

Q. Tell us a bit about SourceBottle? A. SourceBottle is a free online service that helps find expert sources and case studies for journalists and bloggers working on a story. To do this, it emails free media leads and publicity opportunities to anyone subscribed to the service. The easiest way to explain how the service works is by giving an example. The other day, a journalist posted this on the site: “National women’s magazine seeks financial expert who can give advice on financing a car.” Anyone subscribed to the service, who had registered an interest in ‘finance’, would have received this lead in an email alert. Then, if they’d had the requisite expertise, they could have responded (via the site) directly to that journalist, with the aim being to be quoted/profiled in a national magazine for free. It’s that simple. Q. Did you undertake research prior to launching the business? If so, what kind and how much? If not, what told you that it was a good idea? A. I didn’t plan to start this business in the beginning. I was just frustrated by the whole PR process. I questioned why we weren’t just asking journalists what sorts of expertise or experience they were looking for in a source. So I looked around for a service that could help and couldn’t find one here. Sure, there were a few services overseas, but they didn’t cater to the needs of

SourceBottle Summer 2013

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Australian journalists and bloggers. And while a few were free, many of the established services charged for the leads as well. It wasn’t until a week before my second child was due that I decided I had to make it happen. I was desperately trying to finish the last of my client work before taking a few weeks off, when I took a call from a client prospect who expected me to be on hand the following week (what, mid-birth?), should she need it, and could I confirm my availability? It was then that I decided I would make that lame-brained scheme of a free service a reality.

Q. Did everyone support you right from the start or were friends/ family cautious? How did you overcome the doubters? A. I’ve never met with any resistance from family or friends. They’ve always been supportive and just believed I could make it work – even if they didn’t fully understand it at first. But after sending out a press release announcing the launch of the service, I got mocked by a couple of journalists on Twitter with comments such as, “Seen this new service SourceBottle?” “I’m going to ask for a pony and see what happens,” and so on. While these sorts of comments weren’t ideal, they did help strengthen my resolve to make the service a success. Q. How have you funded the business? Where has the biggest expense been? A. The site is self-funded, with the development costs being the biggest initial expense. They’re also a large component of my ongoing costs since continuing to innovate and refine the service is essential in the online space.


Women in business | business

Q. Tell us about the growth of SourceBottle. A. It’s now three years since I started SourceBottle with just a handful of subscribers. Now, the service has over 16,000 subscribers and has generated more than 15,000 media leads on behalf of journalists and bloggers. But the journey has been unexpectedly slow, and at times I’ve felt like throwing in the towel from frustration. I just didn’t appreciate the time it would take for people to ‘buy in’ to a service like SourceBottle, which offered them daily opportunities to get quoted in the media as an expert for free. Q. What has been the strategy behind your website? Have you aimed to automate this? A. As a small business, your ability to be nimble and quickly accommodate changes is one of your greatest advantages. That’s why the SourceBottle website will always be a work-in-progress. While a large part of the site is automated, it’s far from a ‘set and forget’ site. For example, I have a VA in Australia, one in the UK and one in the US, who are each responsible for approving and tweeting the call outs in their geographic area (and time zone). Likewise, I still manually code and upload all the advertisements and enter the subject lines in each email alert. Q. Was the site always monetised or did this happen as you grew? If the latter, how did you introduce it? A. SourceBottle has always offered paid advertising in the Drink Up! email alert, so I anticipated generating revenue from advertising at some stage. However, I also knew it was going to take time before the audience was sufficiently large and engaged to justify charging for an advertisement, so didn’t expect to earn an income in the first six months to a year from advertising. So I looked at ways I could fill the space and source new subscribers at the same time. One way that worked well was to offer the space to people as a prize for encouraging friends to sign up. Not only did this create goodwill,

it also meant I could showcase the testimonial-style of advertising I wanted to offer. The paid Find Giveaways subscription service was not something I had originally planned, but it evolved from a conversation I’d had with a subscriber-come-friend. She said she would benefit from a service that let you request prizes and giveaways for her events. Then I added the Find a Case Study service as a way for PR professionals to find case studies to quote in media pitches. While it’s only a monthly fee of $25 to subscribe to both services, the requests service now counts for nearly 40 per cent of revenue generated through the site. Q. As the business has grown, how have you needed to grow personally? A. I’ve had to learn to relax my overwhelming need to control every element of the business. Like the site, this is still a work in progress. Q. You’re a proud working mum of three boys, why is it important for you to have your own business? A. I’ve always enjoyed working in the industry as it provides me with a creative outlet unlike any other. But I needed flexibility and found that the only way I could achieve that was to start my own business in the industry I love most. My work makes me feel relevant, valued and stimulated, and as a result, I

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believe I’m a happier, more fulfilled – albeit exhausted – mother. Q. How do you juggle the business and your family? A. Probably poorly. The only way I’ve managed is to try to do more on less sleep. It’s crazy how quickly the days fly by and how shattered I feel at times. And then there are days when the mother guilt engulfs me. I just take it one day at a time and try not to be too hard on myself. Q. Were there times when you felt it was not working or too hard? A. Definitely. There still are. Particularly now that I’m starting another new business called The Media Bag from scratch. But to get me through the low ebbs, I have two expressions up on the wall: “Never, never, never give up,” by Winston Churchill and, “Suck it up princess,” by a dear friend of mine, Frances Pratt. Q. What else would you like to achieve in the business? A. So, so much. International growth is my primary focus for SourceBottle, along with establishing The Media Bag service. Q. What advice do you have for other women starting out in business? A. Be bold, tenacious and dig deep for inspiration when the going gets tough. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.”

www.empoweronline.com.au


career | Feature

Perfect

presentations

Presentation skills are vital to your career success. Michelle Bowden offers some hints on how to improve your own presenting style.

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ost of us have experienced a business meeting that went wrong. Where the presenter either didn’t grab your attention from the start, or where they lost control of the presentation at some stage. But the question is, have you ever been the presenter who delivered a less than successful business presentation or pitch? Have you ever facilitated a meeting that ended in your client walking out at the end, busting to get back to work, with no intention of engaging in a business partnership with you in any way, shape or form? At the time, it feels as though the meeting was a huge waste of time for you, for them and for your business. Interestingly, most people think of presenting as something separate from life. As something we only do when there’s a lectern, some slides and an audience. But just because you don’t have to make big pitches to a board or represent your company at an industry conference, it doesn’t mean you don’t present to people. We present to people with the intention of influencing them every single day. We present to our clients, our staff, our suppliers and potential clients. You are presenting yourself every day at work whether you realise it or not, and presentation skills are critical when you are trying to get ahead in your business.

Summer 2013

The more successful entrepreneurs I meet, the more I realise that regardless of their intelligence and business acumen, regardless of their excellent products or service, and regardless of their commitment to their business, these people have one thing in common. They know how to present their ideas in a compelling, influential and memorable way. They know how to structure their thoughts, and how to connect with people, and they say what they want to say in a way that resonates with their audience. They inspire and compel their audiences to take action.

What is presenting?

Presenting is any form of communication with another person (including face-to-face, over the phone, by email or through the internet), from one-on-one, to small and large groups, and we present both formally and informally. In short, most people in business present regularly every day of their life. Presenting is about connecting with people through the words you choose to say and the way you choose to say them. When you present, you show people who you are and how you can help them. It’s an opportunity to step up and be noticed for what you can offer. Presenting provides a unique opportunity for you to showcase your professional expertise and accelerate your career.

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You may have thought that you were just running another team meeting, but your team members that morning were hoping it would be a motivational event that would encourage them to work harder and not apply for that job with your competitor. You may have thought that this was just another prospective client as you answered the phone to convert the business – but this potential client has already spoken to your three closest competitors as they shop around for the best solution to their problem. You may have thought that you were just a small part of the picture, just the technical expert with the graphs and charts, but the client was watching the way you presented your information with a plan to refer you to their biggest supplier. You may have thought you were just answering another email enquiry that came through your website contacts page, but the person enquiring actually had over one million dollars to spend on their next investment property purchase, and they were judging your interpersonal skills. Presentation skills really matter. In case you’re not yet convinced, did you know that in a business context, audience members or clients typically give you less than five minutes to prove yourself before completely switching off?


Feature | career

According to a recent survey in Australia, conducted with over 800 employees from small, medium and large businesses, if you are an effective business presenter, you are in the minority. When asked about workplace presenters they had seen in the last 12 months, only 38 per cent of respondents thought presenters understood their needs as a client. More than half the respondents said that presenters generally read from their PowerPoint slides. Only 40 per cent of respondents found presenters to be engaging, and only 28 per cent said that they were moved to action after seeing presenters.

difficult skill to take charge of and improve immediately. It’s time you started to win more appointments and close more deals. With improved presentation skills, you can showcase your professional expertise on a daily basis, accelerate your business, and generally get more of what you want in your life.

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Be exceptional

Anyone can be an exceptional presenter; it’s just a matter of knowing what to do and doing it. Here are 10 tips to get you started.

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What does all this mean?

It means we are typically going to too many boring meetings and workplace presentations where the presenter is not enjoying themselves and the audience is enjoying themselves even less. It’s critical that you remember that anyone can be an exceptional presenter; it’s just a matter of knowing what to do and doing it. Every important presentation should be planned, and the good news is that the more practised or accomplished you are at crafting your message, the more efficient and productive you will become. There are only three phases to exceptional presenting: Analysis – where you work out what you’d like to achieve. This is where you ascertain the current state of your audience as well as your own desired state. Design – where you put your presentation together, making sure that you shift your audience from their current state to your desired state. Delivery – where you communicate the message to your audience so that they are compelled to take action. This three-phase approach is resultsorientated. Ultimately, it will help inspire you to step up and really be heard by the people around you; structure your message so it’s clear and compelling; deliver your message with excellence (no matter how dull you think your subject is!), so that your audience responds positively. If you are not good at presenting in business, you need to learn how to do it right now. Improving your presentation skills will help you to command attention, gain respect and easily sell your ideas to anyone. And the great news is that it’s not a

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Analyse the audience before writing out what you’d like to say. What are they thinking, feeling and doing, and what change are you trying to create in them?

Learn how to build rapport. Remember, it’s not about you, it’s all about the audience. Make a plan for how you will flex your personality and approach so you are as like your audience as possible – that’s what rapport is all about. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse to increase your confidence and improve your performance. A typical executive that I might coach in my business would rehearse their opening and closing between 50 and 200 times. Yes, you read those numbers correctly. Great presenters are made not born. Warm up before you try to speak, so you don’t trip over your words. In particular, warm up your lips, cheeks and jaw. A rich, resonant vocal quality does wonders for your credibility and makes it easier for people to listen to you. Focus on your audience at all times. It’s not about you – it’s always all about them.

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Don’t read out your slides to your audience. PowerPoint is a visual aid – it’s not the presentation. Use your body to support your message. For example, don’t place your hands over your crotch in what is known as the fig leaf or reluctant nudist posture. Do try to stand with your hands by your side, and use them as a visual aid when necessary to reinforce your key messages.

Connect with your audience – really see them. Look into the whites of the audience’s eyes and truly engage them. This way, you’ll be more compelling, you’ll reduce your own nerves and guess what – the secret to an interesting voice is direct, connected eye contact. Pause and breathe. This helps your audience to catch up with your ideas, and it gives you clarity of thought and a feeling of greater relaxation, plus it also helps you project your voice more powerfully. Ask for what you want, so the audience knows what you want them to do as a result of listening to you, and be sure that you leave them feeling terrific at the end.

Remember – it doesn’t matter how good your company is, how good your products or service are, how good your ideas are or how good your message is if no one’s listening. Improve your presentations skills today and reap the extraordinary benefits. Michelle Bowden is a master of presentation and influence, and the author of How to Present, the ultimate guide to presenting your ideas and influencing people using techniques that actually work. For more information, visit www.michellebowden.com.au.

www.empoweronline.com.au


GreatReads

Enjoy some time out for yourself with these new inspiring and motivational books. Business

How to Present

By Michelle Bowden, Wiley & Sons, $27.95

You can be a confident, clear and influential presenter every time says presentation skills expert Michelle Bowden. In her book she shares her internationally proven 13-step system to exceptional presenting, starting with analysis (plan what you would like to achieve), then design (put your presentation together) and delivery (communicate your message for results). How to Present will help you, maximise your impact in meetings, conferences and conversations, manage your nerves so you feel calm and confident, engage your audience and master the art of persuasion, deliver your message clearly and with authority, command attention and achieve your goals. Whether you’re presenting or speaking to one person or thousands, this is the essential guide to becoming an outstanding presenter.

Inspiration

Woman of the Wise Earth

By Nicole Gruel, Balboa Press, $47.95

This book is a treasure trove for the modern woman who seeks a deep sense of connection to her Self, her womanness, the Earth and her ancient feminine power. It is filled with lived wisdom, story, beautiful image, yoga, creative play and more. This book dives spiritually deep with 33 women who are consciously walking their path and revelations they have received along the way. WOWE is a companion for any woman who feels called to come into her full vitality, intuitive guidance and natural radiance. It is an offering from one sister to another and an invitation to play, to dance, to laugh, to cry and to simply be with one’s perfectly imperfect entirety.

Life

Wired for Life

By Martina Sheehan and Susan Pearce, Hay House, $19.95

Wired for Life will explain why you think, decide and act the way you do. It explores the 5 fears commonly triggered by your brain’s threat response – fear of failure, fear of losing control, fear of standing out, fear of missing out, and fear of facing the truth – and how they creep undetected into so many parts of your life, impacting on your ability to experience happiness, freedom, success and fulfillment. Wired for Life reveals 3 steps for harnessing the power of your mind, overcoming these fears, and creating the life you want. It shows you how to Wake Up, Think Differently, and Grow. You will understand what it really means to be a mind gardener and you will be motivated to cultivate your mind daily.

You

The Third Space

By Dr Adam Fraser, Published by William Heinemann, $29.95

Dr. Fraser recognised a common thread, which he coined ‘The Third Space.’ People who successfully transitioned from one scenario to another, used the transitional space in between to get over the previous scenario and not carry that baggage into the next one. His research showed that it’s not what you DO, it’s what you do IN BETWEEN what you do that matters. Using the Third Space in daily transitions improves productivity and performance, particularly in the workplace. It also enables people to develop resilience, allowing them to be motivated and productive following a setback. The book explores countless case studies that demonstrate ‘The Third Space’ is critical for happiness and balance.

Business

Joy of Business

By Simone Milasas, Access Consciousness Publishing LLC, $35.00

Joy of Business, is about the difference business can be and opens up the space to do business in an entirely different way. It shows you ways to create business beyond what this reality says is possible and come away with dynamically effective tools to create what you know is possible for your business. Would you be willing to know that everything is possible?  That it’s only us that stop the flow of what we can create and generate and invite into our life and our business? What if you could create your business with ease and joy?  It truly is just a choice. Summer 2013

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Feature | career

Get on Board Adding a board appointment to your CV, says Claire Braund, is a sure way to draw attention to your capabilities while catapulting your career up the ladder of success.

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ith so much focus nowadays on improving the gender balance on boards, it’s important to understand the benefits a board appointment can bring to your career and business. There are several major reasons why being a director will benefit your career: 1. Joining a not-for-profit board indicates to management or your clients that you are interested and engaged in your community at a leadership level. 2. A directorship might be the one thing on your curriculum vitae that makes you stand out when applying for a new role. 3. You build market and industry knowledge and networks through exposure to a diverse range of issues from the perspective of a director. It may be where your next client or job comes from. 4. It builds your capacity to develop career and leadership skills that you may not be able to develop in your dayto-day job. 5. If you need to take a career break at any stage, a directorship

can give you continuity on your CV. It helps you to maintain professional contacts and could provide you with the confidence to re-enter the workforce more easily after a significant break. 6. Directorships improve career resilience and provide strategic understanding of workforce dynamics. 7. It gives you the chance to explore the idea of a post-executive board career.

Women on board

Having a woman in the boardroom makes good business sense for the organisation, too. Research tells us that the dynamics of the discussion in the boardroom and the quality of decision making when women are present is different. The range of issues canvassed increases and includes usefully different perspectives from female board members. Boards with women are also more likely to be best practice in terms of board evaluations, codes of conduct, conflict of interest guidelines and looking more closely at executive remuneration arrangements. Finding a board appointment that suits your interests, skills and geography takes patience, determination and effort. You need to make a plan and stick to it – you can’t just sit around waiting for opportunities to present themselves to you. With women being a minority when it comes to board positions, it is up to you to take control of your professional future and make sure that you are progressing wisely down

the right path towards your goals. It is important to step away from the day-today grind of work and spend quality time reflecting on your board aspirations and developing plans for your future.

Network now

Take time to write a board CV and make your aspirations known to those in your personal and professional network. It’s important to be clear on the type of role you are looking for and what skills and networks you are able to bring to the table. You need to view strategic networking for yourself as a key component of your board journey. It is a great way to meet new people, find out about organisations, build your contacts and create a name for yourself. You should also think about a group of people who may be able to help you achieve your goals. Make a list of six people of influence, make contact and keep in touch with them. Join an organisation that specialises in helping people achieve their board ambitions. These organisations often list board vacancies, so be sure to scan them frequently and apply for roles. Be strategic in your networking and professional development. If you can see a need on a board, build a business case to fill that need – with yourself. If you have little or no board experience, look at smaller not-for-profits or industry and professional association committees, and government bodies that select by professional expertise. If you have some experience, there are many smaller companies, including ASX-listed, that are SMEs whose boards value having directors that are successful SME operators, because they understand the challenges of a smaller company. There’s a board position waiting for you…

Claire Braund is the executive director of Women on Boards, which she co-founded in 2006 following a career in journalism and public relations. A highly respected speaker on gender diversity and related business issues, Claire is a strong advocate for gender targets within organisations to bring a more balanced perspective to discussions and decision making. 
 www.womenonboards.org.au

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career | Gender diversity

Flexible working

– the new normal A

t some point in our working lives, nearly all of us will want and need flexible working. Flexibility can assist mothers, fathers and grandparents, employees battling an illness or managing a disability, people caring for elderly parents, volunteers giving back to their communities, and those who want to ease back on work as they prepare for retirement. For too long, however, flexible working has meant lowpaid, insecure part-time work, with limited career prospects, and this needs to change. Findings from Diversity Council Australia’s research show that those who engage in flexible work, especially part-time or reduced hours, are penalised in terms of career opportunities – and these are very often women. While many people have access to ‘basic’ flexible work options, flexible working and careers are not standard business practice in Australia, and flexibility is still not viewed as a legitimate management tool and career choice.

Benefits for all

The crazy thing is that flexible working can provide considerable benefits for employees and organisations – improved productivity and performance; sustainability; employee engagement, health and job satisfaction; and attraction and retention of people talent. So what does it take to make flexible working the norm instead of the exception to the rule? The answer lies in adopting new ways of thinking and acting. For example, the language we use inadvertently fosters the

Summer 2013

view that flexible work is ‘special treatment’ for a select few – mothers of young children, for instance. Instead, it should be available to everyone for a broad range of reasons and at all levels of seniority. The definition of flexible working has to be broad. It’s not only about being flexible with the how, when and where work is conducted; it’s also about all types of flexibility and being able to have flexible careers, which includes ramping up or ramping down career investment at different life stages. Organisations need to have an open mind and be creative about the possibilities. They also need to integrate flexible work and careers into their business strategies instead of bolting them on as a set of arrangements separate to the way the business runs. Businesses need to foster a culture that proactively encourages men to engage in flexible working. Providing senior male role models who work flexibly, and using fatherhood as a pathway to greater access, will assist. It is especially important for men to be engaged in leading organisational change on flexibility because leadership roles are disproportionately held by men.

Make it happen

The bottom line is that employers need to stop talking about it and start doing it. This means skilling up managers to make flexible working a reality for employees. It means offering flexible work at the point of recruitment – not just after returning from parental leave. It means introducing flexible career paths instead of automatically putting working mothers on the career path to nowhere. It means creating a culture of flexibility where all forms of flexible working are encouraged.

And it means getting to the point where people who want more flexible roles feel able to request it. DCA has identified 10 essential elements for flexibility to be mainstreamed: 1. A culture of flexibility that attracts and retains talent. 2. Those who engage in flexible work progress in their careers. 3. Everyone, at all levels, engages in flexible work. 4. All forms of flexible work are engaged in. 5. The approach to flexible work is dynamic, adapting to the changing needs of individuals and the organisation. 6. There is a proactive approach to flexible work, evident in the business strategy and in management behaviour. 7. Flexible work is evident in both formal and informal processes. 8. Flexible work is engaged in for any reason. 9. Flexible work is based on trust. 10. Flexible work is a tool for increasing business performance. Leading employers already understand the benefits of flexibility and are successfully mainstreaming it. Isn’t it time all employers follow their lead to make flexible working the new normal?

As CEO of Diversity Council Australia since 2007, Nareen Young has transformed the organisation into a flourishing independent, not-for-profit workplace diversity advisor to business, providing members with a wealth of knowledge, research and expertise, and achieving substantial growth in membership and public profile. www.dca.org.au

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As many mothers will tell you, it’s a struggle to find work that acknowledges their hard-won skills but also provides muchneeded flexibility. Nareen Young says this must change.


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career | Feature

The future of

work

As technology increasingly changes the way we work, Amanda Garland asks whether you will be ready for what lies ahead.

Everything will be connected

According to IBM’s CEO Study for 2012, 71 per cent of Australian and New Zealand CEOs see technology as the most critical factor that could impact their organisations. Leading business thinker Lynda Gratton believes that by 2025, more than five billion people worldwide will be connected via mobile devices. Much of

Summer 2013

that change is happening in emerging markets, meaning some significant shifts in the world economy. By 2020, for example, China’s GDP is expected to constitute 19 per cent of the world’s economy, more than any other country. In other words, technology is becoming a critical factor in how almost every global organisation is preparing for the future. What does this mean for individuals? New technologies have already given rise to a range of work practices that have the potential to render us not only more productive, but more creative. More people are choosing to work for themselves. Working from home is set to grow rapidly; according to a recent report commissioned by IBM, ‘A Snapshot of Australia’s Digital Future to 2050’, one in four Australians will be working partially or full-time from home by mid-century. The way we value things is also being changed by technology. Digital reputation, for example, is fast becoming one of the most important assets for a successful career, while working from home has made achieving work/life balance a priority for many.

Wanted: change agents

All these changes constitute significant opportunities for working women. For future success, we’ll need to build up new skills while continuing to develop existing ones. Demand will be especially strong for businesswomen with skills in the following areas. Digital literacy: Working online enables many new ways of doing business, but it also requires technical skills and a broader appreciation of what constitutes reputation and brand. As

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oday, women are gaining more and more business traction in every industry around the world – although there is still some way to go before female business leaders cease to be the exception. The future of work is going to be fundamentally driven by technology, that much is certain. But it’s worth remembering that human values and aspirations have always played an equally, if not more important, role in defining how we fit work into our daily lives. We can already see trends emerging in the way people work using technology. Many of those trends are taking place on a global scale, dramatically affecting how nations and businesses will operate in the future. And while these changes may seem far removed from the office or the home, they’ll also have an impact on how we go about our work as individuals, business people and social beings. In the coming years, we will see growing demand for new skills that represent significant opportunities for women to build on existing competencies. However, we’ll face challenges, too; we’ll have to be increasingly adept at negotiating balance in our roles at work and home, and using new technologies to support our work and life goals and values.


Feature | career

high-speed broadband internet continues to rise, a large part of business communications will migrate to real-time online communication. Social media will dominate how businesspeople connect to others. Companies are already embracing new practices such as swarm work, in which teams from different countries come together in virtual workplaces and jump in when their skills fit a particular area. Mastering new technologies and staying up-to-date with digital tools will be a core part of any individual’s working life.

Ultimately, technological and social change will lead most of us to rethink our personal values and aspirations. As work and home life become increasingly blended, the success of our careers will be defined by one old adage: do what you love, and love what you do. Women have numerous new opportunities to take the lead as business continues to evolve, particularly by investing in new skills and approaches to how they do business in the present. If we can harness technology to support our existing goals and even inform new ones, the future of work is bright.

The success of our careers will be defined by one old adage: do what you love, and love what you do

Imagine this… It’s the year 2032, and Lucy is a 31-year-old global environment consultant living in Sydney. It is 7am and Lucy has barely opened her eyes before she walks into her home office and turns on her cognitive assistant, Bruce. Bruce informs her that an NGO is asking for submissions for the design of a water recycling solution for Shenzen, China. Bruce reminds her that she has completed similar projects in Africa and China, so has a good chance of winning this bid. Lucy is still in her PJs as she connects to the cloud and watches an online video to get the details of the Shenzen competition and what it is paying – $100K for the three-week project. Lucy is very specialised, so she uses her virtual community to get the total package of skills she needs. She suggests they all meet in their virtual meeting room later, and downloads the bid video to a team room that they can access via the cloud. Lucy and her husband Ben share the responsibility for their children. Today Ben will spend four hours working at home and watching over the kids, who are home-schooled. Lucy and Ben felt it was important for the kids to feel part of the global community and now education is available at such high quality online – with the ability to tap into experts around the world as well as to collaborate with classmates – home-schooling seems right. It also helps when the family travels every other year for a month to Bangladesh to work on a community project. At 2pm Lucy connects with her colleagues and they decide they will bid for the project. With the help of Bruce, they pull together the material they need for their bid, and by 5pm the bid is submitted. Two hours later, Lucy has a reply – they have won the bid. She breaks the good news to her collaborators via a videoconference. At 7pm Lucy, Ben and the kids head to the park for a picnic. It is only then that Lucy realises it is the first time she has been outside the house all day and other than at breakfast, she has not spoken to another person in the flesh the whole day. By 9pm Lucy is back in her home office. She is doing a course in biometrics, which she thinks might increase her value in the workplace. Finally she updates her online profile, noting that she and her virtual team have just won the Shenzen contract – digital reputation is so important these days she thinks, as she heads to her bedroom.

Cultural intelligence: Business is faster and more global than ever before. IBM’s 2012 CEO Study found that 72 per cent of Australian and New Zealand CEOs are changing their organisations to ensure faster, more relevant responses to markets and individuals. Cross-cultural knowledge will be particularly valuable as businesses expand into growing markets such as AsiaPacific; learning a new language or spending time abroad will be an increasingly worthwhile investment. Sense-making: The value of information in business will continue to grow. Most, if not all, business leaders are already looking at how to turn Big Data (the vast amount of information that we digitally generate every day) into better decision-making. People with an aptitude in higher-order thinking and observation will be in demand for their ability to make sense out of this data. Building up these skills can involve anything from learning to use analytics software for your own business, to asking what data would make your decisions at work and home more efficient. Having that sort of analytic, correlative mindset will prove a valuable asset in an increasingly knowledge-based business environment.

Business becomes personal

The future of work will see women increasingly involved at all levels of business. Women are arguably advantaged in some areas, such as social intelligence and analytic approaches to problemsolving, but we also have to ensure that we balance these strengths with our own values and goals. Take working from home. Technology enables a far more flexible workplace, which bodes well for women in enabling them to balance family time with pursuing a career. But it is important to understand the boundary between work and home; and the importance of having a direct and in-person involvement in decision-making and with decision makers, to meet work goals and for career progression. The old-fashioned idea that only women want family time is already evolving; men are taking on a greater share of raising children to meet their own needs for meaning beyond the workplace. Merging work and home offers men and women alike powerful opportunities to enrich more than just their careers.

Amanda Garland is the Vice President, Global Strategy for IBM Growth Markets. Since joining IBM in 1997, Amanda has led the Asia-Pacific region in several executive communications roles. An avid scuba diver and runner, she currently lives in Sydney with husband Jason.

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you | Feature

Going for goals! Are goals really the pathway to progress or can they be the highway to hell? Terry Hawkins has some pointers to guide you to real success.

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in a philosophical way, and intellectually we can all go, “Well, of course no one expects to be happy all of the time.” But I think somewhere, deep inside of us, we have this innate expectation that unless we are constantly happy, something’s not going right. But I actually think it’s quite the contrary. When we’re being challenged, when life delivers us areas for contemplation – areas where we are faced with our own inadequacies, our own need for improvement, whatever it is – it is the chance for us to be better, to improve, to evolve. If you look back over every year of your life, you will see that throughout each year you have gathered and collected an incredible amount of knowledge and experience. To me, this true wisdom is the sign of a successful human being. So before you race off to make your new list for 2013, give yourself some reflection time to pause and ask yourself some self-supporting, lifeenhancing questions.

Step 3: achieve and analyse Next, list the goals that you set out to achieve. Now look at each of the goals. If one of them was maybe to lose some weight, did you achieve it? If yes, great – why did you achieve it? What was it that you did differently that helped you to achieve that goal? Do this for all the goals you achieved.

Step 1: contemplate

Give yourself the gift of time. Find a quiet, peaceful place and write away to your heart’s content, answering the following questions. What did I gather? What did I gain and how am I better as a human being because of this past year? Whose lives have I positively influenced? Where did I improve myself or someone else?

Step 2: celebrate

Next make a list of what was great in the past year, the things you celebrated. What Fotolia

s the end of the year approaches, we tend to start looking forward to the new one as a ray of hope, being optimistic that it will be as good as, or much better than, the one gone by, depending on our situation. We can set ourselves up prematurely with such huge demands and expectations. “This is going to be the year that I break through!” “This is going to be the year that I make it in my business.” “This is going to be the year that I find my great love!” “This is going to be the year that I lose this weight.” “This is going to be the year that I achieve all my goals.” “This is going to be the year that I climb Mount Everest!” You get the idea… Before I give you a few strategies that may help you achieve what you want to in the future, whether that be next week, next month or even next year, I would love for us to just pause for a moment and consider the pressure we place on ourselves when we keep expecting the following year to be better than the last. And what exactly does better mean? We can become so addicted to ‘feeling happy all the time’, that we forget that many of our most precious and meaningful moments have come about through great anguish, heartbreak and challenge. One of the greatest wisdoms that I’ve learned over the years is to stop thinking that my ultimate success and fulfilment in life will happen when I’m 100 per cent happy all the time. I know I am stating this

made you smile? What was brilliant? What were the moments where you went, “Oh, that was fantastic!”?

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Feature | you

Step 4: accept and analyse

Now list at least five goals that you didn’t achieve. What did you hope to achieve last year that you di dn’t achieve? Why do you think you didn’t achieve it? What was it that you did? Did you have self-doubt? Did you keep buying chocolate biscuits when you were trying to lose weight? Whatever it was, have a look at the strategy that you used to not achieve your goals. It takes a strategy to achieve and not achieve – a strategy is simply a plan of action to achieve a goal. The point here to get you to recognise what got in the way so you don’t do it again.

Step 5: highs and lows

The next thing I want you to do is to think about what was your greatest joy during the year. Why was Personal project Write down five to ten goals – small, medium or large – that you would like to achieve over the next year. Then on a project board, using sticky notes, create a chart like the one below. Have a real brainstorm to come up with some ideas, and use a different colour for each of the following headers.

it such a joy? What happened to bring about such an emotional shift in you? Now turn it over: what was your greatest disappointment? Whatever it is, I want you to sit and really ask yourself why it was such a disappointment. Let’s not make it about anybody else. Let’s not make it about the economy. Let’s not make it about the people around us, our staff, whatever. Let’s make it about us – both for our joys and our disappointments. It might be confronting but it is also very liberating.

Step 6: elevate

Next, what is the one thing, which if you had more of, would have made your life happier, more fulfilled, more peaceful? Really think about this question without going to external resources. “If I had no access to more [whatever it is – for example, time, money, love and so on], how could I access more [whatever it is that you want]? How could I become really resourceful with what I have?” Again, write down your thoughts on where you could become more resourceful. By sitting with ourselves, doing the work, really asking the tough questions, along with answering them honestly, we Goals: these could be anything you want to achieve, such as write a book, lose weight and so on. Specifics: lose 10 kilos, for instance. Why: the emotional leverage – what’s the motivation behind it? To feel fit, to fit back into my skinny jeans and so on. Old habit: what old habit do I need to

get to see the blockages we have that do not allow us to achieve what we want. Once you are clear with what you are doing, as opposed to what you are not doing, you can actively start changing the behaviours that are not working. It may sound simple but it is your personal honesty that will bring about the letting go of old behaviours that don’t serve you any more. From here, it is a matter of working out what you want, why, by when and what may stop you. The project sample in the boxout will give you a guideline to follow as a future reference, not just for the coming year, but for any goals you wish to achieve in your life. For added support, consider using visual elements, such as photos or pictures. As you progress through your goals, don’t give up after one relapse. You’re disappointed – OK, then accept that. What are you going to do with that disappointment? Past disappointments can become our future wisdom if we let them. It’s all right to fall off the bike, as long as you get back on and learn how to ride better. So with all of this in mind, let’s go into this new year with a welcoming heart. Regardless of what it brings, we will have 12 months’ more life experience – and that’s priceless.

stop? Stop buying chocolate biscuits, for example. New habit: which habits do I need to commence to support my goal achievement? Buy more fruit and vegetables, for instance. By when: list the expected date of achievement.

Terry Hawkins (CSP) is an award winning speaker, entrepreneur, author and Founder/CEO (1989) of People In Progress Global. Terry’s dynamic, transformational presentation style and her powerful, action based messages have made her the most in demand speaker throughout Australia and she now continues her journey as a resident of the USA! www.TerryHawkins.com www.PeopleInProgressGlobal.com 39

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you | Feature

right or

Are you

happy?

Has anyone ever told you that happiness is just a choice? Gary Douglas introduces a whole new way to think about people’s points of view.

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hat if your unhappiness is the thing you have used to control everyone in your life since you were tiny? Would you be willing to use something else instead? Such as happiness? Have you noticed that most people hate it when you are happy? How much fun could you have with that? Could you have more fun being happy than always trying to be right, getting it right and following all the rules? Have you ever thought you would just be happy if you could get all the rules right? So here’s a new rule. Rules do not apply. What if you could just ask questions that bring you to greater awareness instead?

Know that you know

Access Consciousness has a different perspective on happiness. We don’t expect you to smile at everyone or pretend to be happy. We just ask you to be willing to be you, without judging you, making you small and insignificant, or making you wrong. Can you see how this level of allowance of you could be happiness-inducing? Are you aware of how much of the stuff that is projected at us feels heavy? What if anything that is heavy is a lie for us, and anything that is light is a truth for us? Take a look at some of the limiting points of view about you that feel really heavy. Would you be willing to return them all to sender now? When we do that, we start to see who we truly are, and to have allowance for the people around us. So much more fun than trying to be right or avoiding being wrong. And a lot more expansive than trying to fit into the limited realities that other people present as the right answer. What if happiness is never about an answer, and always about choices? Happiness is just a choice. It’s a vibration we create and surround ourselves with. Your point of view creates your reality. Your reality does not create your point of view.

Gary Douglas is the founder of Access Consciousness, a set of tools that allow people to know that they know. The Access Consciousness tools Gary and his co-creator Dr Dain Heer continually develop are available in over 50 countries worldwide. Gary is also the best-selling author of The Place. Find out more at www.accessconsciousness.com and www.garymdouglas.com. Fotolia

When we function from the awareness that we actually have, we have a lot more choices and different possibilities. We stop trying to get it right and we start functioning as an infinite being. This is where you just know that you know, without knowing how or why or having to prove your point of view. Most people don’t make that choice; it is all about being right and the proof. What if you never fit in again? Would that make you happy? If your joy quotient is about minus three and sliding backwards, you may wish to look at what you are doing to make yourself fit in or be right that actually isn’t

fun for you at all. So what can give you freedom from this? What if you choose to be in allowance of the people around you, rather than resisting and reacting to all of the stupidity in the world, or aligning and agreeing with everything we think is right? What if all of it could be like a rock in a stream, where the water just meanders around the rock, without a point of view? With allowance, you don’t have to judge you or the other person. You can look at everything and everyone with the idea that it is all just an interesting point of view. If you don’t buy the point of view as real, you can allow the water to wash over the rock in the stream, without ever getting unhappy about whatever you are aware of. How does it get better than that? We make ourselves so wrong for knowing what we know, then not allowing ourselves to have that awareness as just an interesting point of view. Have you noticed how often you try to prove your point of view, rather than just allowing it to be? What if being happy comes from having total allowance and total acknowledgment of you knowing what you know?

Be yourself

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Check it

Out

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

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END VIOLENCE AGAIN WOMEN AND GIRLS On 14th February 2013 join one billion women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP and DEMAND an end to violence. One Billion Rising, an initiative of the V-Day global activist movement, is designed to show the world our collective strength, our numbers, our solidarity across borders. It’s a global strike, a new way of being, a refusal to accept violence against women and girls, an act of solidarity and an invitation to dance. To join the ‘rise’ start by simply inviting your friends to join in the campaign via Facebook. You can also find a ‘rising’ event near you or organise your own. www.onebillionrising.org

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MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE BBBYO have created a range of beautiful and healthy reusable bottles that resemble the colours of the fish in the ocean. Perfect for juices and smoothies or hot drinks, BBBYO bottles keep drinks chilled for over 24 hours or warm for up to 12 hours. Add an ocean-inspired neoprene cover to protect the bottle from bumps, prevent scratching and add an extra layer of insulation. BBBYO’s ‘Message in a Bottle’ is about raising awareness for Coast conservation and in particular reducing plastic pollution in our oceans. BBBYO donate profits from the sale of bottles to coast conservation. www.bbbyo.com

START 2013 ORGANISED AND IN STYLE Take control of your life in 2013 with the new Inner-b Mum Organiser. This stylish diary organiser will help you get things done faster and more effectively, with dedicated spots for all your life reminders. The perfect accessory for every mum, this practical diary has space to write all your appointments, to-do lists, birthdays and anniversaries plus, kids activities and family and outings. Available in six stylish and fashionable colours - fuschia, purple, green, yellow, orange, blue. www.inner-b.com.au

FINELINES APP Lingerie brand Finelines has launched a world first in apps – the Finelines Bra Fitting App. This fantastic little tool is like having a professional fitter inside the change room, showing the user how to determine their correct bra size and bra shape; it’s a virtual fitting room for women. Use the app to get advice and tips, watch instructional videos and source stockiest information and directions. www.itunes. apple.com/us/app/fine-lines/ id560999031?mt=8 www.finelineslingerie.com.au

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GRATITUDE: A JOURNAL TO IGNITE CHANGE From The Happi Empire, this gorgeous Gratitude Journal is a fun and creative tool used to promote empowerment, happiness and wellbeing. The journal works on the basis that by focusing on what you feel grateful for, you will experience deep joy and turn judgement into appreciation. With four step-by-step exercises repeated throughout the journal, gratitude is accessible and easy to express on a daily basis. Bonus exercises then help break the cycle of negative thoughts and generate a positive mentality. This journal is the perfect accessory to inspire happiness and positivity! www.thehappiempire.com

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6 SISTER 2 SISTER CHANGES YOUNG GIRL’S LIVES Life Changing Experience Foundation (LCEF) is a not-for-profit organisation that has supported vulnerable teenage girls since 2003. The Life Changing Experiences Foundation’s main initiative is the SISTER2sister Program. The 12-month program aids teenage girls to overcome circumstances beyond their control such as parental loss, domestic violence, sexual abuse, depression and self-harm. Each girl is matched with a professional female role model who provides guidance and support to them to help these young girls to make positive changes in their lives. www. lifechangingexperiences.org www.empoweronline.com.au


you | Spirituality

What will happen on

?

As the summer solstice approaches, there is talk of ancient predictions of an apocalypse, but the Mayans actually had a different lifechanging event in mind.

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he forthcoming summer solstice and its effect on humankind has been the subject of much speculation in recent years. According to the Mayan calendar, 21 December 2012 marks the end of a time cycle. To fully understand the implications of this historic moment, we need to understand the culture from which this calendar originated. The Mayan culture is one of the largest in the American continent. Born during the third millennium BC, the Mayan civilisation was most prominent in Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala and surrounding regions. In fact, there is still a strong Mayan presence in Guatemala. The Mayans are credited with creating the only known fully-developed written language of the pre-Columbian Americas. In addition, they came up with some pretty amazing mathematical, artistic, architectural and astronomical systems. And one of their most notable accomplishments is the development of a calendar based upon the movements of the planets. As indicated in many ancient texts, the Mayan calendar is divided into what are known as bak’tuns. Each bak’tun is

a 144,000-day cycle, and each cycle of 13 bak’tuns represents the beginning of a whole new cycle of creation and a period of conscious evolution. The forthcoming summer solstice (21 December 2012) will be the final day of the 13th bak’tun, indicating a full cycle of creation.

End of the world?

So what does this really mean to us? There has been widespread mention of some type of apocalyptic event. However, there is actually no evidence from any Mayan writings that suggests this outcome. In fact, modern-day Mayans have refuted this notion outright. They accuse governments and the media of perpetuating the end of the world myth for monetary gain. For example, many films and documentaries have depicted this notion in films, such as Independence Day (released in 1996) and 2012 (released in 2009). Felipe Gomez, leader of the Mayan alliance Oxlaljuuj Ajpop in Guatemala City, issued a statement illustrating his vexation over the various apocalyptic myths pertaining to the Mayan calendar. “We are speaking out against deceit, lies and twisting of the truth, and turning us into folklore-for-

profit. They are not telling the truth about time cycles.” Gomez told the New York Daily News that a new Mayan time cycle “means there will be big changes on the personal, family and community level, so that there is harmony and balance between mankind and nature”. The Mayans have always lived close to nature, and their culture demonstrates an enormous level of understanding about the solar system. With this knowledge, the Mayans predicted that on 21 December 2012, the Sun will be just about perfectly aligned with the plane of the Milky Way galaxy. As with all new time cycles, this marks an evolution in consciousness. The Mayans made this prediction on the first day of their civilisation, 4 Ahau, 8 Cumku (3113 BC). Essentially, this means that this planetary prediction was made looking a remarkable 5,125 years into the future. Looks as though they knew what they were doing… This cosmic event is expected to transform our civilisation from a predominantly fear and division-based way of living to a higher vibration of life, based on love and unity. This means the human race will change to be less about ‘me’ and more about ‘us’, incorporating a type of karmically-based spiritual physics supported by what the Mayans taught as basic Laws of the Universe.

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Spirituality | you

Equal and opposite reactions

Not only are we pure energy, but we To understand how the Mayan culture are also part of the same energy field. lives and how they predict this next stage of Therefore, it would make sense that humanity to develop, let’s look at physicist whatever energy we project returns to Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion. our awareness in some form or another. According to this Law, every action has Everything that we experience is a an equal and opposite reaction. Not only reflection of our emotionalised thoughts, is this a valid physical law, but it holds true words and deeds. spiritually as well. The Mayans operated Thoughts on karmic theory, which follows Newton’s Jane Roberts, an American author, poet Third Law of equal actions and reactions. and spirit medium, was among the first to Looking at this through a spiritual karmic coin the phrase “thoughts create reality”. lens, the proverb “you reap what you sow” With this knowledge, we can empower is this law in action. Other forms of this ourselves to create the reality we desire. law are “what goes around comes around” The most successful people in the world are and “you get what you put out”. Also the ones who understand this principle best. referred to as the law of attraction, this law They are able to accomplish great things states that whatever emotional energy one because they’ve focused their thoughts on puts out in thought, speech and action is what they want. The idea is to keep your returned to the sender. attention and thoughts more on what is There have been many philosophers wanted and less on what is unwanted. who have taught this type of spiritual Everything that is around is a result of physics, including William Atkinson what you’ve been thinking. If you don’t (1862-1932), Florence Shinn (1871-1940), like what you see, change your thoughts. In Walter Russell (1871-1963), Napoleon Hill order to change (1883-1970), something, you Jane Roberts Everything that we to claim (1929-1984) and experience is a reflection of need ownership Bruce Lee (19401973). The times our emotionalised thoughts, by taking responsibility may be different, words and deeds for it. In but the message order to change our lives, we must take remains the same: focus your thoughts and energy deliberately, and with positive intent responsibility for the thoughts we’re sending out. and emotion, because everything that you Additionally, praying for others can send out will be returned to you. affect both the person being prayed for and These authors explained that the person doing the praying. If we think everything (including us) is pure energy, about it, what is a prayer? A prayer is a vibrating at different speeds. Emotions are spiritually focused thought fuelled by the understood to be energy in motion (hence, powerful emotion of love. e-motion). In this way, we can now see ourselves as creators of our reality instead of Words victims of life’s circumstances. Our actions Florence Shinn, one of the aforementioned (both physically and energetically) cause great authors of the new thought reactions that are reflected back to us. This movement, explained the Law of Karma puts us in an empowering state of mind in her book, The Game of Life. She wrote, and takes us out of the victim consciousness that has become prevalent in today’s world. “Whatever man sends out in word in deed, will return to him; what he gives, he will This is the spiritual evolution that the receive.” She gave an example of a female Mayans foresaw in this cycle of creation. student who had a habit of lying. The

student was warned that if she continued to lie, she would be lied to. The student didn’t care very much and insisted that she couldn’t continue without lying. One day, when speaking on the phone to a man that she loved, she felt that he was lying to her. Shinn told her that this was a result of the Law of Karma. Since the student lied herself, someone has to lie to her, and Shinn warned that it would be a person from whom she wants the truth.

Deeds

How you choose to take action is the physical element of these spiritual physics. Naturally, in this way, humankind will truly understand that it’s unwise to hurt another. Hurting another will always come back to hurt the self. Before acting, always ask yourself, “Am I acting out of love? Is this what I would want for myself?” Emotions are the energetic fuel behind our thoughts, words and deeds. This is the electromagnetic and spiritual petrol that crystalises our thought forms and manifests them into physical reality. The most powerful energy in the universe is love. The polar opposite of love is fear. Love expands while fear constrains. It’s in our best interest to send out emotionally charged loving thoughts and energy. This is beneficial to humankind both individually and collectively. There may not be a sudden earth-shaking change at 12:01am on 21 December 2012. However, there will, energetically, be a tipping of the consciousness scale. The consciousness of mankind is expected to be slightly more positive and more receptive to this way of life. Is an action committed out of fear or love? Is the intent behind an action positive or negative? Are the thoughts one keeps empowering or disempowering? These are the truths that the Mayans believe will resurface as part of a spiritual rebirthing during this new time cycle. The summer solstice symbolises a shift to a more spiritualist way of life. If this is all comes to pass, this will be a wonderful cycle of creation to be a part of.

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inspirational profile

Better Ali Barwickand her husband suffered an extremely tough fiveyear period, but by sticking together and supporting each other, they made it through to the other side.

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y husband, Matt Barwick, and I have had a pretty challenging last five years. It all began when we started having infertility problems when trying for a baby in our late twenties. Several years of struggling with infertility was hard enough on our relationship, but things went from bad to worse when Matt’s only sibling, Steve, took his own life after suffering from depression,which was unknown to many, including Matt. Suicide is so cruel, crude and unexpected. It’s hard to imagine a worse piece of news than learning of the suicide of a loved one. But unfortunately, I was the one who received the phone call and had to utter the words that inflicted such pain on the love of my life. In such circumstances, many people are expected not to cope, but to say that Matt didn’t take the devastating news well would be an understatement. In fact, he lost his mind—literally—and soon after the funeral became a manic, frenetic wreck, and ended up being admitted to a psychiatric ward. It is difficult to describe the fear, pain and helplessness one feels when their husband is subjected to such intense

Summer 2013

r e h t e tog

torment and trauma. You yearn to give them everything they need but I knew little about mental illness. And when the doctor told us Matt had been diagnosed with bipolar—an incurable mental illness that was triggered by the death of his brother—I was lost for words. This was uncharted territory for me. So I found the best support I could give was simply to be there. To stand by his side as a show of support, even when I didn’t know exactly what to say or do.

From mania to depression

Following Matt’s time in hospital, we had several OK weeks. He went back to work and things almost went back to a level of normalcy. But we had been warned by the doctor that it was likely that Matt could be struck down by depression following his manic episode, so I wasn’t too surprised when Matt started to show signs of it. We talked a lot about how he was feeling following his time in hospital, so the subject was not taboo. And because we were so open with one another, I could tell when he began to become depressed. Gradually, the way in which he spoke changed. His demeanour changed. He showed less and less interest in those things he was passionate about,such as music and surfing. He started to lose his self-confidence and doubt himself.

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These changes were hard to understand as an observer looking from the outside. From my perspective, Matt was exactly the same fabulous, athletic, smart, funny talented and capable person I fell in love with, but he slowly started to harbour a deeply negative view of himself. He started talking about looking for new, less challenging work or taking a demotion. He became worried that he couldn’t cope at work, and that he wouldn’t be able to hold down his job, we would lose the house and I would ultimately leave him. As he became more depressed, he started to withdraw from everything and everyone. His deep depression came to a head one morning when Matt admitted that he was having suicidal thoughts. This was immensely scary because I knew that I wasn’t physically strong enough to stop him if he was truly determined. I think it was when he saw how scared and upset I was that he realised how bad his mental state had become, and agreed to get medical help.

Medical intervention

When Matt admitted that he’d had thoughts of suicide, I immediately took him to see the psychiatrist he’d seen following his time in hospital. We went together and explained Matt’s symptoms, and that he had thought of harming himself. The doctor prescribed anti-depressants; it took about a week for them to start working and Matt gradually began to feel better. I was relieved that we had sought medical help and that Matt was receiving treatment. Normally, Matt would do anything to avoid taking paracetamol if


inspirational profile

he had a headache, so I was concerned that he may resist taking the anti-depressants, particularly given the potential weight-gain side-effects. healthy in body—which Thankfully, Matt was committed to getting is important—but more better and knew that the medication was emphasis is needed on part of that recovery, together with light educating people about the exercise, eating and sleeping well. importance of taking time I remained relatively positive in the out to enjoy activities that hope that it was just a matter of waiting promote mental health, too. for the medication to work, and in the Road to recovery meantime providing love and support as Matt’s recovery was slow, but gradually Matt still battled the depressive thoughts. I saw signs of improvement—glimpses of Needless, to say this was a difficult time the old Matt returning. These signs were because the drugs didn’t take effect straight a glimmer of hope,and provided me with away —a true test of our relationship, as great strength, determination and optimism was our infertility battle. During Matt’s that he would eventually recover fully. depressive episode,I took time off work In hindsight, I think this terrible time has and cared for him for several weeks. This genuinely strengthened our relationship was 24/7 care, which I was unaccustomed because we now know we can get through to,and made all the more challenging because Matt was clearly in such emotional anything, provided we are together. This has always pain. But in many been a fundamental respects, I felt It can be foundation and truism lucky to be able to overwhelming and of our relationship – be there to help at a moment’s you may feel helpless, so much so that we had the words ‘Better notice, to support but just by being there Together’ engraved on and care for our wedding bands. We my husband you are providing have always maintained unconditionally, immense support the firm view that our because there was lives are, indeed, always better when we nowhere else I would have rather been. are together, and these past five years are a If anything, caring for Matt during his testament to that. I now realise, more than depressive period strengthened my love for ever, how much I love Matt and try not to him because I couldn’t imagine life without him, and would have done anything to help take him for granted. Thankfully, Matt eventually recovered him feel better. It was tough some days from his depression and has been when Matt couldn’t bring himself to get fortunate to not, as yet, suffer any more out of bed, and I often wondered whether bipolar symptoms, due to his continued I should have been doing more or whether commitment to taking his medication I was doing the right thing. I also felt and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If I quite isolated because there weren’t many were to offer any advice to other women resources to help carers of people suffering experiencing similar hardship, it would be from mental illness. The experience made to try to remain positive. If your partner us both realise that we mustn’t take life and is suffering from a depressive episode, our mental wellbeing for granted. There know that it will not last forever. It can is a lot of focus in society about physical take time for the medication to start wellbeing and ensuring people remain

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working but it will eventually, and your loved one will start to feel better. At the time, it can be overwhelming and you may feel helpless, but just by being there you are providing immense support. Let them know you are always there and provide reassurance, even though it may not feel as though they are listening. Talk to your partner about their feelings often, be open and honest, and don’t be afraid to ask them whether they are feeling suicidal. This difficult conversation could save their life. Also, try to take some time out for yourself if you can. You won’t be able to help if you don’t look after yourself, too. After this tumultuous period, we continued with countless fertility treatments, including IUI and IVF, over many years, having a heartbreaking stillbirth along the way. Thankfully, we persisted and got supremely lucky with a little miracle—baby Oliver— who is perfection. And it is fair to say we are both besotted with him. Remarkably, Matt kept a personal diary throughout this entire ordeal and was motivated to write a book, called Life in Limbo, in the hope that by sharing his intimate feelings during this time, it may help others dealing with infertility, depression and mental illness. He says he just wants the book to make a difference, to go some way towards de-stigmatising these issues and providing insight from a sufferer’s perspective—I genuinely believe it will. Life in Limbo, by Matt Barwick, is now available at all good book stores or online at www.bigskypublishing.com.au

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life | Feature

Feng shuiyour

relationships

Carolyn McCallum has studied the ancient art of feng shui, and believes that you can improve your love life by adopting its practices.

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eng shui is a traditional Chinese practice dating back over 2,000 years. In essence, it is the study and application of how qi (pronounced chee, which means life force energy) moves in our surroundings, and how our buildings, their interiors and our environment affect us. Developed over two millennia, feng shui is used by people the world over to help create prosperity, abundance and wellbeing in their lives. Many people would like to increase their prosperity by using feng shui. However, it’s important to focus first on your relationships and health, because without these two things, prosperity is worthless. You might be rich but you won’t be happy. Once people use feng shui to help support their relationships and health, the prosperity quickly follows. Understanding the feng shui in your surroundings will bring you more opportunities to improve every aspect of your life.

Traditional teaching

Compass School

In Compass School, the South West is the area in feng shui that corresponds to relationships. That being the case, there is a number of important factors to consider. First, you need to find the South West of your home, garden and each room in your home. Think about what is there. Missing this section of your home, or having a toilet, drain or ugliness of any sort in this area, negatively impacts on your relationships and any romance you may want. Filling the South West of your home, garden and each room with beauty assists in improving the romance and type of Fotolia

There are many schools of feng shui, each with its own approach. This article is based around the principles of the Flying Star, Compass and Yin Yang schools, all of which are several hundred years old. The

most recent school – Black Hat – was developed in the USA in the 1980s, and although some of its ideas were based upon traditional feng shui, the majority of it was simplified to such an extent that the results were largely compromised. Unfortunately, it is this school that forms the basis of most modern feng shui books, so you may previously have tried to put this type of feng shui into practice with limited results. Ensuring a positive, loving and supportive relationship is not, alas, as simple as merely activating the romance corner (the far-right corner of your home, as you walk in the front door), as the Black Hat School advises. Traditional feng shui is far more complex, but it does produce the

desired results; and this article will provide you with a greater understanding of the complexities of traditional feng shui.

Summer 2013

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Feature | life

relationships and partners you attract. Flying Star School Sometimes people who want to either There are nine flying stars in the Flying The Chinese believe placing mandarin support their romance or increase their Star School. These stars relate to positive, ducks in the South West helps to attract opportunities of finding a partner are neutral or negative energy, depending on positive relationships and romance. You recommended to place a water feature the time period. We are currently in Age can also use pairs of anything beautiful where the flying star 4 is located. A really 8 (2004 to 2024), so the prosperous flying to achieve the same results. Some items important aspect of the placement of water stars are now 8, 9 and, to a lesser degree, you may consider include: a pair of red features is to ensure that every time you see 1. These stars are considered positive for candles; a pair of elephants (with trunks up them, you think about what you are trying relationships, health and wealth. The flying for good luck); a statue of lovers; a picture to achieve. With water features placed in stars 2, 3, 5 and 7 are negative, and create or photograph of a couple; a picture of the flying star 4, the purpose is to activate challenges wherever they are located, so obvious love symbols, such as a heart; rose romance and support your relationships, quartz; pictures or ornaments of Cupid; two need to be remedied. The flying stars 4 and so the affirmation could be, “Positive 6 are generally considered neutral stars. red roses; or a pair, or artwork of a pair, of relationships, love and romance flow easily A professional feng shui consultant anything that you find beautiful. and freely into my life.� (costing between It is also important Yin Yang School $400 and $700) that there is a clear Filling the South The focus in Yin Yang School is on needs to work out path from the front West of your home, balancing the yin and yang (complementary exactly where the door to your bedroom, garden and each forces) of the home, as well as correct fire, flying stars are and that your door and water placement. In terms of located in the home, bedroom is well aired room with beauty relationships and the bed you sleep in, so they can provide to keep the positive assists in improving the recommendations on females should sleep on the left-hand (yin) qi and opportunities side of the bed, and males should sleep on the best colours and for romance fresh romance and type the right-hand (yang) side as you stand at materials to use, the and regular. Your of relationships you the base of the bed looking at your pillows. optimum positioning bedroom is an attract If you are a single woman, and you sleep of furniture, stoves, important area, where on the right side of your double bed, you fireplaces, barbecues your relationships and are hindering the opportunity for a male and water features, as well as whether any health are either supported or challenged, to come into your life, because the male remedies are required. Rooms where you depending on the energy located there. side of the bed has been taken. Likewise, eat, sleep, study or make money should be If it is dark and full of clutter, the energy if you are a couple and you are sleeping rooms where the flying stars are good. It is there is stagnant, and it is likely you will on the wrong side, this will contribute to best to have bad flying star combinations struggle with relationships. The colour red imbalance within the relationship. in the bathrooms, laundry and kitchen, represents love and romance, so burning The Yin Yang School also advises that because the drains help drain away this red candles, for instance, in the South the stove should not be seen from the front negative energy. Where a potentially bad West of your bedroom helps support this door. If it is, it is likely that the couple that flying star falls in an important room, the romantic energy. Creating an area full of professional consultant uses their knowledge resides in the home argues quite a lot. Quite objects representing love in the South West often when you come across this layout, to modify, reduce or defeat these effects. of your bedroom also helps. The energy of neutral stars takes on negative you’ll find that the husband spends a fair bit For singles wanting to find a of time sleeping on the couch instead of in or positive qualities depending on their partner, remove any old relics, photos or the marital bed. immediate surroundings. So if the area memorabilia from previous relationships, While this article provides several where the flying star 4 is located is clear which are stopping you from moving on tips to help attract romance and improve of clutter and full of beautiful things, the energetically. Buy new sheets, signifying your relationships, to get superior results, star takes on the positive qualities relating you are ready for a fresh start. You also you need to engage a fully trained and to romance, creativity and academic need to make space for a new partner to experienced feng shui consultant, to help achievement. If the sector where the flying come into your life. Leave some room in star 4 is located is cluttered, the star takes on you achieve a supportive environment. the wardrobe and bathroom cupboards, They will be able to recommend ways to the negative qualities relating to adultery, and a dresser drawer or two empty to help you create prosperity, abundance sex scandal and laziness. So depending on ensure you are making space for a new and wellbeing in your life using a holistic how tidy or untidy the area is that contains romance to enter your life. approach. the flying star 4, your relationships with For couples in a relationship, ensure people are affected accordingly. there are no pictures of children in your bedroom. It is much better to keep the Carolyn McCallum is a highly regarded feng shui consultant and is the director of Feng energy of your bedroom all about you as a couple. Putting your marriage certificate on Shui Harmony. Her website contains many testimonials and details about the various types of consultations she offers to suit every budget. To find out more, visit the wall, for instance, or a photo of the pair www.fengshuiharmony.com.au and www.everythingfengshui.com.au. of you is preferred in this sacred space.

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life | Feature

Keeping

the

connection

Has your partner stopped looking at you in that special way, and doing or saying special things? Dr Vesna Grubacevic can help the two of you reconnect.

Positive associations

One sure-fire way to ruin a relationship is by having too many or too intense negative associations between partners. For example, every time a couple goes to bed, they argue or talk about their problems in bed. This can link arguing and problems, and all the associated feelings, to the bed. Often this can lead to less intimacy in bed because of the ill feelings that have been linked to the bed. Other ways of developing negative associations include: complaining every time you speak with your partner; frowning all the time; using a commanding or demeaning tone of voice. Instead, next time you are with your partner, make sure you use a facial expression, tone of voice or touch that assists your

Summer 2013

partner to feel a positive emotion. If you want to only have a positive association to the bed, make sure that fighting or discussing problems in bed is off-limits, and only reserve the bed for intimacy.

Re-ignite the attraction

Remember the first time you met and the attraction you felt for each other? Too many negative associations over time can outweigh that attraction for your partner. To re-ignite that attraction, sit opposite each other and look into each other’s eyes. As you each remember that moment when you were first attracted to each other, really feel that attraction. Repeat this several times on separate occasions to bring that attraction that you once felt for each other back.

Fulfilling each other’s love needs

There are three ways that partners know that they are deeply loved by the other: being looked at with a certain look or being taken out to places, or being bought gifts; being told certain words (such as, “I love you”) or hearing a certain tone of voice; being touched in a specific place or in a specific way (a kiss or hug, for example). When you first started your relationship, you probably did all three of these, then after years of being together, you each settled

Align your priorities

Our priorities in life and in a relationship can change over time. This is how partners can drift apart and feel little or no connection. Therefore, it is important that each of you is clear about your top five priorities in life and in a relationship. Your priorities determine how you spend your time, so if you complain that your partner spends little time with you, perhaps your priorities are different. It is important that you align your priorities, then set common goals that you can work towards as a couple. Applying these strategies will assist you to keep a close and strong connection with your partner for many years to come. Dr Vesna Grubacevic is the founder of award-winning company Qt, an NLP Trainer, who holds a PhD in Clinical Hypnotherapy and a BEc. She is an author, speaker and the creator of breakthrough behavioural change techniques. For more techniques on improving your relationships, visit www.qttransformation.com.

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hen we first get into a new relationship, we feel the excitement, passion and adventure of someone new in our life. In that excitement, we are open to experiencing new things and are more accommodating of the other person’s needs. After years of being in the same relationship, however, complacency can set in and partners can end up in a comfort zone. The main problem with a comfort zone is that we tend to drift along in life and in a relationship, feeling unfulfilled. We stop challenging ourselves and each other, and the excitement of life and the relationship may disappear over time. In turn, the close connection and intimacy between partners can suffer. By using the four strategies below, you can prevent this happening in your relationship, and ensure that you keep the close connection with your partner for many years.

into your preferred one. Often the love needs between partners can be different, so it is important to understand these. For example, if your partner has a need to be taken out in order to feel loved, and your need is to hear that you are loved in a special tone of voice, when was the last time you did this for each other? By fulfilling each other’s love needs regularly, you feel a greater love and connection between you.

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wellbeing | Spotlight on

Inflammation: than you think

bigger

Leading naturopath Victoria O’Sullivan outlines the effects of chronic inflammation and what you can do about it.

Summer 2013

own body instead. Left untreated, chronic inflammation can slowly chip away at your body, affecting your overall health.

Impacts on the body

Inflammation releases chemicals into the blood or tissue to fight against the affected area. Without an immediate injury to repair, the chemicals released wear down cartilage and tissues, leading to further inflammatory triggers. Chronic inflammation degrades your cellular health, and has been linked to degenerative diseases such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and many more. When your body is not in order, physical symptoms influence emotional responses, leading to stress, fatigue and depression. These problems feed the cycle of inflammation by lowering your immune system, resulting in even more damage to your overall health. A growing number of people are suffering from chronic inflammation without even realising it. You don’t have to be old with arthritis to suffer from it. Chronic inflammation can result from both genetic and lifestyle factors. While you can’t control your genetic disposition, you can control your lifestyle. The biggest factors contributing to chronic inflammation are poor food choices, excess weight, cigarette smoke (first- and second-hand), UV radiation, stress and environmental toxins, such as pesticides.

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What to do about it

Leaving inflammatory symptoms untreated ignores the underlying causes of inflammation and doesn’t fix the actual problem. To combat chronic inflammation, you need to address what you’re putting into your body and fight the process from the inside out. Preventing chronic inflammation is not an overnight fix. To get to the root cause, you have to change your lifestyle. Luckily, these lifestyle changes benefit your overall health and quality of life. Internal damage can start well before physical symptoms arise. The good news is that if we eat well and reduce environmental toxins and stress, we can address inflammation’s physical signs. Make good food and a positive environment your top priorities and your body will thank you. The first step to fighting chronic inflammation is recognition. Finding out what foods can promote inflammation and what symptoms to look for will make you aware of the changes in your body and motivate you to do something about it. Controlling your food intake is the easiest way to combat chronic inflammation. Making conscious and informed decisions about what to put into your body is the first step to change.

Food for thought

All forms of sugar and most starchy foods are pro-inflammatory. Steer clear of sweets, pastries, biscuits, milky chocolates, chips, breads and snack foods, including rice and corn cakes. When we eat sugary or starchy foods, we trigger a pro-inflammatory release of sugar into our bloodstream, which causes your body to store fat. Eating sugary foods also triggers a spike in insulin levels, which in turn increases your appetite, setting up a vicious cycle of overeating. Instead, get your carbohydrates from whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Oatmeal,

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hances are you’ve bumped, broken or bruised some part of your body at some point in your life. If so, you know what inflammation is like. It starts with pain, then the heat comes, followed by redness and swelling. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury and is necessary for healing. An everyday bump is referred to as acute inflammation and is a normal response. But there is a second type – chronic inflammation – which is a reaction in the body without an immediate injury to repair. Inflammation is usually a good thing; it’s a sign that your body is sending over emergency cells to fight and heal the affected area. But when it lingers in response to a poor diet, stress, smoking or excess weight, the inflammation fights your


Spotlight on | wellbeing

brown rice and whole-grain breads and fully absorb the nutrients from food you can 3. Add more leafy greens to your diet. pastas are digested more slowly, easing the tolerate and not overreact. Foods such as broccoli, avocados rise of blood sugar. Fruits and vegetables In today’s lifestyle, stress can be almost and leafy greens have a high alkaline not only provide healthy carbohydrates, a daily occurrence for some. When you feel content to regulate your body’s pH but are also known to fight inflammation. stressed, your nervous system is affected levels. Healthy fats, found in olive oil, almonds, and you can have trouble sleeping. Both 4. Calm down. Stress and lack of sleep walnuts, avocados and salmon, also work to stress and lack of sleep raise the hormone increase cortisol levels in the body, reduce inflammation. cortisol in your body, which regulates the which promotes inflation. Try to get Antioxidants are anti-inflammatory. anti-inflammatory response. Over time, in eight hours of sleep and relax. Berries of all types, but particularly periods of high stress and little sleep, your 5. Control your weight. Excess weight blueberries, are delicious antioxidant body becomes less sensitive to cortisol and promotes excess inflammation, super food. Spices such as cinnamon inflammation takes over. Your immune reducing the body’s ability to cope with and turmeric are also super foods, as are system can change and make you more anti-inflammatory foods. garlic, onions and horseradish. These vulnerable to infections and diseases, more Anti-inflammatory foods foods contain high concentrations of factors that promote inflammation. Try to cancer-fighting phytochemicals. Lower get eight hours of undisturbed sleep each • Flax seeds • Asparagus • Garlic • Beans amounts are also found in whole grains, night and take up activities that reduce • Ginger • Berries other vegetables and beans. Dark leafy stress. Pets can also work wonders for highly • Lean meats • Broccoli greens are another important antioxidant stressed people. • Olive oil • Carrots source. By replacing Those carrying • Omega-3 • Cayenne pro-inflammatory excess weight are in enriched eggs pepper Controlling your processed, starchy a permanent state • Onion • Celery food intake is the easiest of inflammation. • Pineapple • Cherries and sugary foods • Pomegranates • Cinnamon with foods high in Research shows way to combat chronic • Salmon • Citrus antioxidants, you that fat isn’t just the inflammation • Soy • Dark work to neutralise storage of excess • Green and chocolate inflammation in the body. energy that the body has not used. Instead, white Tea • Dark green Foods with a high alkaline content, when not maintained at an ideal level, fat • Turmeric veggies such as avocados, leafy greens, soya beans, functions like an endocrine organ, releasing • Walnuts • Edamame • Whole whea • Fish radish and broccoli work to help regulate hormones into the system and prompting • Flax oil the pH of our blood cells. When we eat an inflammatory response. Excess weight too much acid, the body is forced to draw also reduces the body’s ability to cope Pro-inflammatory foods on its alkaline stores to balance the surplus with inflammatory foods. The only • Muffins • Bread and acid. The acid creates nasty things such answer is weight loss to reduce the body’s • Noodles baked goods as yeast, harmful microforms, mycotoxins pro-inflammatory activity and allow it to • Pancakes • Candy and bacteria. The body removes these more readily regulate the effects of pro• Pasta • Cereals highly pro-inflammatory toxins through inflammatory foods. Even after moderate • Pastry • Cookies • Pie • Corn syrup the skin. physical movement, the body produces • Pitta bread • Corn-starch A general rule of thumb when it comes antioxidants, which fight inflammation. • Pizza • Crackers to food is that if it has sugar or is made Finally, here are five tips to bear in • Popcorn • Croissants with flour, it’s pro-inflammatory. An antimind when trying to deal with chronic • Potato chips • Fast food inflammatory diet is bright, colourful and inflammation. • Potatoes • Flour fresh. 1. Reduce your intake of pro• Rice • Fried foods • Sherbet • Fruit juice – eat inflammatory foods. Avoid foods that • Soda the real thing Other considerations are made with sugar or flour to keep • Sugar • Granola When you’re adjusting your diet, be extra your blood sugar low. • Honey cautious of how different foods affect 2. Increase your intake of antioxidants. • Ice cream and your body and mood. Foods that are Stock up on blueberries, garlic, spices frozen yogurt considered anti-inflammatory may upset and leafy greens to fight inflammation your stomach. Unlike a food allergy, food and cancer. intolerances fester in the body for longer periods of time and promote inflammation. Victoria O’Sullivan is a leading Sydney-based naturopath with 14 years’ experience in the wellness industry. She runs programmes to assist patients to achieve weight loss, Many people are sensitive to certain foods hormonal balance, reduced stress and optimum nutritional levels, relieve pain and beat but are able to cope with the symptoms. tiredness. Victoria has also played a pivotal role in establishing and operating O’Sullivan By cutting out these foods, your body can Health Foods in Sydney. www.victoriaosullivan.com.au

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wellbeing | Feature

The acid

test

If you exercise well and eat sensibly, yet still struggle to shift those kilos, Narelle Stegehuis thinks you should consider how acidity and hormones impact on weight loss.

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or many women, maintaining a healthy body weight can be challenging and frustrating. In fact, 75 per cent of women find traditional weight loss formulas, such as eating less and exercising more, simply don’t work. So what do you do when the tummy fat just won’t budge? First of all, it is important to remember that although the elements of this traditional weight loss formula are justified, many others, such as acidosis and hormonal factors, are often overlooked. With the typical western diet high in animal proteins and processed foods, acidosis is not uncommon, and imbalance in your body’s pH can lead to a range of unpleasant symptoms, including stubborn abdominal fat. Acidosis or heightened acidity can cause symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, aches and pains, bloating, digestive problems, hot flushes and mood changes. It has also been associated with health conditions such as polycystic ovarian disorder, endometriosis, thyroid imbalance and unexplained infertility.

What causes acidity?

Acidity is primarily caused by the breakdown of food. When processed foods and those that are high in animal proteins are broken down, they raise the pH in our body slightly, creating acidity, while whole foods, fruits and vegetables create alkalinity. According to Dr Gerry Schwalfenberg from the University of Alberta, Canada, this means our diet has become 30 times more acidic. This is because 100 years ago, a typical diet contained more vegetables and fibre but fewer processed foods and soft drinks. This means the ratio of potassium to sodium has changed from 10:1 back then to 1:3 now.

Summer 2013

mood-enhancing protein). This potentially contributes to lower moods or depression. If your body is too acidic, it also has the potential to influence insulin levels, possibly affecting egg quality, quantity, ovulation and implantation. Because it also triggers The top five acidity triggers are poor excess weight gain, it decreases your fertility diet and excessive anaerobic exercise; dramatically. Excess body acidity is also excessive dieting and fasting; inflammation; linked to a hostile cervical environment, health conditions such as PCOS, diabetes which accounts for about three per cent or endometriosis; and stress. of infertility cases. Couple this with its influence on sperm quality and other The impact of acidity hormones that are involved with fertility, Over-acidity has many impacts upon the and it has the potential to be a leading body, due to its influence on the cell. Firstly, cause of unexplained infertility. under healthy conditions, the nucleus of Chronically high levels of cortisol also the cell is slightly acidic but the surrounding reduce insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake area is alkaline. This difference in pH by the cells, and increase fatty tissue around creates an electrical current, which allows the stomach. This can make conditions nutrients to pass into the cell nucleus and such as polycystic ovarian disorder, or other toxins to be pumped out of it. hormonal imbalances worse. However, if there is little or no Leptin is a hormone that regulates difference in acidity between cell nucleus your satiety. The lower the leptin levels and environment, there is a reduced are, the hungrier you feel. Acidosis reduces electrical current between the two, and less leptin concentration through a negative influx of nutrients and elimination of toxins. link with cortisol; the higher the cortisol This affects your cell’s metabolism. levels, the lower the leptin levels. Studies According to Dr Wiederkehr from have shown that a diet high in protein Switzerland, acidity has several effects (acidic) is associated with significantly lower upon the body, and is linked to hormonal leptin levels than a diet high in fruit and imbalance and poor bone health. vegetables (alkalising). For instance, Acidity blocks an increase in You’re not going energy production in acidity increases the little powerhouses crazy – there is a reason in your cell nucleus the production of the stress called mitochondria, why those gruelling hormone cortisol well. This impairs hours at boot camp are as in your adrenals. on the influx of not paying off Cortisol activates nutrients into the the production of cells, slowing your inflammatory hormones such as interferon metabolism. Chronic acidity decreases the gamma, leading to a state of chronic levels of thyroid hormones T3 and T4, but low-grade inflammation, symptomatic of significantly increases thyroid stimulating unexplained aches and pains or fatigue. hormone levels. This can cause mild Inflammation puts your body in an energy- hypothyroidism. storing rather than energy-expending Acidosis draws calcium from your mode, making it easier to put on weight bones, too, because calcium is alkalising. and harder to lose it. If the pH in your blood increases due Acidosis-induced cortisol excess also to an acidic diet, your body mobilises influences tryptophan (a naturally produced calcium from the stores in your bones to alkalise it to reduce its harmful potential.

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Feature | wellbeing

It is your body’s way of trying to maintain equilibrium no matter what cost. This not only leads to an increased risk of osteoporosis as calcium is drawn out of the blood, but also to a higher risk of calcium deposits in the kidneys and gall bladder.

How does this affect your weight?

biscuits or a soft drink, to give you that quick boost of energy that compounds the problem even further. The bottom line is, when your body is acidic, it has no option but to store it for future use – as body fat. So you’re not going crazy – there is a reason why those gruelling hours at boot camp are not paying off.

Reversing the damage

For many women, restoring balance is the first step to feeling great and getting on top of their health. It also means they can manage chronic illness or unexplained infertility more effectively. Regular exercising and relaxing help reduce acidity in your body, however the most obvious step is to change your diet. Include more alkalising fruits and vegetables, and reduce the intake of acidic grains, meats, sugars and soft drinks. It is also important to adjust your diet to balance your hormones, especially if acidosis has created imbalances. Alkalising combinations containing magnesium, potassium or calcium can help improve the acid-alkaline balance, although they should be used with the guidance of a practitioner. Your body may need support to recover from the impact of all this acidity. Although it has an amazing capacity to correct itself, sometimes it needs a helping hand. Medicinal herbs and nutritional support to switch your metabolism from energy-saving to energy-expending mode, and gently support natural hormonal balance, are also recommended. Remember, if you are gaining weight, watching your diet and exercising, yet the kilos won’t budge, it’s time to take a different approach. Sudden weight gain and stubborn body fat are symptoms that something is not right. Although getting to the cause can take time and expertise, it is the key to healthy long-term weight management. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Narelle Stegehuis is a medical herbalist and naturopath specialising in restorative endocrinology for women, with over 14 years’ clinical experience. She is a writer, editor and technical training advisor for the media. A recipient of the Australian Naturopathic Excellence Award, Narelle adopts an integrated approach to medical science and complementary health care principles. www.massattack.com.au

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Increased levels of insulin, combined with elevated levels of cortisol, put your body in fat-saving mode rather than fat-spending mode. This slows down your metabolism and encourages your body to store fatty tissue, especially, but not exclusively, around the tummy area. Symptoms of this type of imbalance can include fatigue, light headiness, menstrual cycle irregularities, anovulation or cravings. These deposits can be the most stubborn to shift, especially when compounded with the glycemic influence of some medications

such as birth control pills and hypertensive medications. Ironically, this fatty tissue is not just dead storage, but starts to act as a gland itself and secretes even more cortisol, insulin and inflammatory mediators. This perpetuates the cycle of unexplained weight gain because your body produces fat cells, even when you are sleeping, to engulf inflammatory cells as a protective mechanism. This is why for some women, even a diet of lettuce and celery won’t budge the weight. Your thyroid regulates your metabolism, determining the rate you store and burn fuel. Acidosis can trigger low thyroid function and a slow metabolism, once again putting you in energy-saving rather than energyexpending mode. Key symptoms to look out for are extreme fatigue, bloating, hair loss and constipation. Elevated cortisol levels further impact on this, because they impair the conversion of (largely inactive) thyroid hormone T4 into the (more active) T3. This means there are fewer active thyroid hormones available for your body to use, slowing your metabolism even further. This is why for some women, a simple glass of wine or a piece of cake may be the make or break for wearing their favourite pair of jeans. Increased acidity within the body can trigger imbalance in the hormone leptin. This adds an extra challenge to maintaining a healthy body weight because low leptin levels increase your feelings of hunger, so you eat more often even though your body does not need the extra fuel. Often you’ll be tempted to choose energydense foods such as sweets, chocolate,

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Feature | fitness

Weigh less the right

Slow, sustained weight loss, says Michelle Hext, is far preferable to an extreme quick fix that may only last a few weeks.

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an you really lose 4kg a week? Yes, you can if you have enough weight to lose – but just because you can, does that mean you should? Before you answer, let’s give you some insight into rapid weight loss. Firstly, let’s look at a 4kg weight loss in the context of your overall goals. Is your goal to lose only 4kg in total? If so, losing 4kg in a week is not realistic, given the small amount you have to lose. If you weigh 104kg, losing 4kg in a week becomes more realistic – but not reasonable. There is a distinction because rapid weight loss brings many risks, one (the least dangerous) being putting the weight back on –with interest. With the introduction of weight loss reality shows, it is easy to get caught up in thinking that losing four, five, or even 10kg is normal, when it isn’t. Contestants on these shows are closely monitored by medical staff as they are introduced to a very low calorie diet and dehydration, and go from being sedentary to training to exhaustion. Putting things into perspective, the average women’s dietary intake should be around 2,000 calories per day before you add exercise. When you add exercise, you need to increase the calories burned to make up the shortfall to maintain your weight. It is common to find contestants on reality shows on 1,200 calories per day,

way

and given the amount of training they are doing, you can see the need for medical supervision and why the weight loss is so great, bearing in mind that a lot of the initial weight loss is water weight.

Slow and steady

The safe recommended guideline for weight loss is between 0.5 and 1kg per week. This has been proven to be the most successful method for sustained weight loss and lifestyle change. By reducing your intake to 1,500 calories per day – no less – and eating whole foods (no shakes or weight-loss bars), and getting an hour’s exercise a day, you will lose 1kg per week and be able to sustain this weight loss over time. If you have a lot of weight to lose, you will probably drop much more than 1kg in the first week, and it’s possible to get close to the 4kg mark. But don’t expect to lose 4kg again the following week because the initial loss is a lot of water weight – which is OK but don’t confuse weight loss with fat loss. And here is the key. For long-term sustainable healthy weight loss, you want to lose body fat. You will lose water, and that is OK so long as you remain hydrated, but what you don’t want to lose is muscle. Rapid weight loss often sacrifices the muscle we need to help us become strong and toned. By sticking to the safe guidelines of 0.5 to 1kg per week, you are far less likely to sacrifice precious muscle if you eat correctly.

training circuit on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; and 20 minutes of intervals followed by 25 to 40 minutes of steady state cardio on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Do not cut out any food groups, including carbs. Do not use meal replacement shakes or bars – eat real food. Your total calorie intake while losing weight should be 1,500 calories per day – no less. Eat six small meals, two-and-a-half to three hours apart. Each meal should contain protein and complex carbs, ensuring you get two fruit and five veggies every day. Drink plenty of water and green tea, and allow yourself a small treat of 150 calories within your daily allowance, or have one treat meal each week. You can lose a good amount of weight each week without going to extremes, and create a positive, healthy lifestyle change that will see you right for a lifetime.

Fitness and food

You need the correct training and nutrition for safe, sustainable, healthy weight loss. Train six days per week: 20 minutes of intervals plus a 40-minute weight

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Michelle Hext is CEO and founder of Glow Women’s Fitness Online. Michelle has 20 years’ experience in the fitness industry and is now leading the way in online personal training. Michelle helps women to change their lives through fitness and healthy living. www.glowwomensfitnessonline.com.au

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finance| Mindset

money clutter

Clear your Dr Natalie Green has realised that if you respect money, you respect yourself, and that can only work in your favour.

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hen it comes to money, it’s simple – you either feel really positive and abundant, relaxed, happy, secure, grateful and appreciative, or you don’t. The negative (don’t) side is the fear, worry, doubt, anger, resentment, guilt and embarrassment that you can choose to attach to money. Where do you sit? Do you avoid paying bills on time? Do you avoid having enough money in the bank so you don’t have to worry? Do you avoid asking for a raise, increasing your fees or getting paid by someone who owes you money? Or do you avoid having an uncomfortable conversation with someone who owes you money? Money clutter is another term for avoidance, and if you don’t handle these situations quickly and efficiently, the negative emotional charge left behind piles up physically and emotionally, and takes a significant toll, adding to the ever-growing pile of emotional money baggage.

Practical pointers

Track every cent flowing into your life and business daily, and you’ll be paying positive attention. If you track your inflow of money and keep increasing your daily goal, you’ll soon have money flowing in daily (gifts, wages, refunds, loose change and so on). You’ll become aware of your patterns and be able to be proactive not reactive, and thus make informed choices about how to manage your money, how to spend your time and energy, and therefore improve your overall sense of self. Make the time to track your money daily because this powerful action can increase how much you make.

Pay some respect

How you do money is how you do everything. Firstly, if you are disrespectful of money, you probably aren’t respecting yourself. When people don’t respect money, they are disempowering themselves. Money doesn’t have control over you – it’s just money. It is the energy and value that you give the money that matters. When people fundamentally disrespect money, there is something in themselves that they’re not respecting. Money is really a metaphor for selfworth. So how do you do money? You don’t have to be consumed with money, but you do want to welcome it into your life. What are you going to do differently, moving forward? Focusing on money doesn’t make us greedy, selfish, uncaring or insensitive. It has the opportunity to make us extraordinary human beings and a greater version of ourselves, because of the huge growth opportunity that focusing on a money breakthrough has to give our gifts to others with nothing truly holding us back. Dr Natalie Green is a clinical psychologist, mindset strategist and certified money breakthrough coach who is on a mission to free women from their old money junk and empower them to be successful in their own right. www. drnataliegreen.com.au Fotolia

You can learn to clear your money clutter once and for all by following these tips. 1. Identify who owes you money – be they clients, friends, family members, refunds or even unclaimed rebates – and request they pay it back or start a payment plan with you.

2. Stop your bills and receipts clutter. Place all your receipts and bills in a folder, and keep it organised. Add to it daily, reviewing the folder contents and paying weekly or fortnightly. 3. Schedule your payments – set up a system and mark in the calendar for payment. 4. Use your gift cards. Do you have unused gift cards lying around? Someone spent that money on you, so respect them and yourself, and spend the gift card on yourself as intended (not on paying bills). 5. Gather up your loose change. Is there money lying around all over the place? Don’t just throw money around; gather it up, respect it and put it towards something for yourself. 6. Pull out your wallet or purse, and take a good look at it. Is it dirty, ragged and worn out, or cluttered with receipts and ‘stuff’, or is it neat, tidy and pretty? What does your wallet say about your relationship with money? If you need to go and buy a new wallet, go and get one; it doesn’t have to be expensive, just new, fresh and clean. 7. Pay attention to money and start tracking your income daily. Money needs to be cared for, nurtured and appreciated, and you can choose whether to attend to it positively or negatively.

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Trading | finance

ats

History

e rep

When it comes to shares, the market tends to move in cycles. Janine Cox explains how you can profit from history repeating.

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ne of the best-kept share market secrets is how price history repeats – in other words, how what happened in the past will occur again. Investors around Australia do not realise that price repeats itself, so have struggled to invest successfully on their own because they usually miss the big moves the markets offer most years. So allow me to let you in on a secret or two, and set you straight on the realities of the share market. Whether you have direct share investments, managed funds or superannuation, what I am about to share is essential to your success. The saying ‘history repeats’ couldn’t be more true when talking about the share market. History gives us a window to the future of stock, commodity and currency markets, to name a few. The challenge I have is agreeing with the assertion that the market will exhibit two or three big moves in most years, because this just isn’t true.

Furthermore, this is not why most investors lack success when investing in shares. The reasons why investors struggle to invest successfully doesn’t come down to picking yearly market moves or something highly technical in nature, it has more to do with understanding three simple things: being clear on why you are investing; understanding the herd mentality; knowing how to manage risk. A lack of knowledge or understanding of these three areas affects anyone’s ability to be a successful investor. I often get frustrated when people tell me that the market is too complex to understand, or investors overlook these three areas. While the share market may seem to be complex, this is simply not the case. I have assisted many people without a higher school certificate to learn and profit from the share market. Let me share three secrets taught to me long ago that still hold true today.

Secret one: the transfer of wealth

The first secret about the market is that the herd mentality is a major contributor to why market moves repeat, and it exists simply because of a lack of knowledge. Let’s face it, the big end of town likes you to remain uneducated, so you will follow the herd and ensure that the transfer of wealth

from those without the knowledge to those in-the-know will continue.

Secret two: market moves repeat

Remember the adverts on TV from financial institutions, telling you to invest with them for 10 years and get an average 7.5% pa? What they don’t tell you is that around every two to three years, and every four to six years, the market will have a significant correction. So if you pick the wrong time to exit, you will lose, like so many in the GFC. Having some knowledge as to how the market unfolds would have saved many people from losing thousands.

Secret three: don’t lose

A wise man once said to me, “It’s not how much you make, it’s what you don’t lose that is most important.” When I heard these words, a light bulb turned on in my head. In the boom, everyone thought they were making money, but when the market fell away, they went down like passengers on the Titanic, while the band kept playing. So you need to know when to cut your losses if an investment goes south in a big way. A lot of Australians work hard while their super savings are left unprotected, and women are particularly vulnerable. According to the statistics, women are likely to have half the super balances of men, so we cannot afford to put our heads in the sand. You probably know you need to do something, but sometimes it is easier to do nothing, and without action you get nowhere. If all you do after reading this article is to find out what the masses do, then don’t do it, you can turn ‘hit and miss’ investing into success in the market. Once you get started, you will find that it is not really that hard.

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Janine Cox is the senior analyst at Wealth Within, a private investment company specialising in managing direct share portfolios. The company is also a government-accredited specialist share market educator, where Janine is one of only two lead trainers educating people how to invest and trade in the share market. www.wealthwithin.com.au

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finance | Property

inno

Become a property

innovator!

Rick Otton’s innovative way of using the rent-toown strategy means he can help both property sellers and buyers, and be financially rewarded himself.

I

way always pay more for the opportunity of ownership, so their rent is more than that which a normal tenant would pay. There is a very powerful reason why people are willing to pay more than average rent on a rent-to-own - they see themselves as future homeowners, not tenants. Also, a percentage of the tenant’s rent can go towards buying the house. The difference is that you can treat some of the

Helping the buyer and the seller

When I started buying houses in 1999, two per cent were sold with seller terms; now it’s 20 per cent. My job as a property innovator is to give other people what they need first, then I can get what I want. Here’s how it works. In this example, a seller was trying to sell his townhouse in Sydney. I rang the seller and said, “Are you trying to sell your house?” The seller replied, “Yes, it’s on the internet.” I asked how long he’d been trying to sell it, and the seller said, “The agent has been trying to sell it for three or four months.” I asked, “How’s it going?” Seller: “Well, he hasn’t sold it yet.” Me: “What are you doing?” Seller: “I have moved to Melbourne, I have brought a new house, I have got my house in Melbourne with the family and I am trying to get rid of the house in Sydney.” Me: “What do you want for it?”
 Seller: “I have had it on the market for $525,000 and I will now take $450,000 just to get out of it.” Me: “Why do you have to get out of this transaction?” PhotoXpress

n any property transactions I am part of, I like to position myself in the middle, becoming the property innovator. By using this model, I can solve a problem for a seller or for a buyer, and be financially rewarded at the same time. In the property innovator system, I like to use a unique strategy called rentto-own, which can solve many first-time buyer hurdles, including the deposit and the loan. Rent-to-own is also called a lease option, because the paperwork that’s used to support the transaction is a residential tenancy agreement with an option to purchase given to the buyer. When a buyer purchases a property on a lease option, it’s for an agreed-upon price upfront. The buyer makes a monthly payment for a specified period of time, and has the option, but not the obligation, to purchase the property – either during or at the end of the rent-to-own period. People who can’t buy a home in the traditional

extra rent as forced savings that can count towards a deposit. Sellers love this strategy because they can sell their house faster and lock in the sale price, which gives them relief from making another mortgage repayment.

Summer 2013

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ovator!

Property| finance

Seller: “The payments are killing me. I have got payments in Sydney; I have got payments in Melbourne.” Me: “What is more important, the house goes away or the payments go away?” Seller: “I want the payments to go away.” So I said, “Let me ask you something, if I give you the $450,000 that you want for the house, I can’t give you the $450,000 right now, can I rent it for a while and pay you down the road when I get the $450,000?” The seller replied, “I can’t do that - the rent is only about $300 per week and I need about $450 per week. I have got a mortgage, I have got rates, I’ve got taxes, and I’ve got all this sort of stuff.” I said, “How much rent would I have to give you every week to cover all that stuff?” He said, “Well look, if you want to pay me $450 per week, when you are ready, you can write me another cheque for $450,000.” I faxed him my form, and he sent it back to me three minutes later. On the form, I agreed to buy the property for $1. Then I called an agent. I said, “I have got this property; I need you to rent it.” Agent: “Where is it?” I gave the agent the address. Agent: “How much rent do you want for it.” Me: “I want $500 per week.”
 Agent: “The real estate up there only rents for $300 per week.” Me: “Yes but tell the tenant that if they want to pay the $500 per week, the rent goes towards buying the house.” Agent: “Are you kidding? So it isn’t dead rent.” So the agent emailed me some paperwork, I signed it and sent it back. That night she rang me up. Agent: “I have three people who want the house - which one do I give it to?” We discussed it and eventually we gave it to a tenant buyer who had $9,000 cash to put towards owning their own home. The agent said, “I forgot to ask you one thing Mr Otton - what is the price of the house?”

The money was going towards the house but everybody forgot to ask how much it was. I said, “It is $500,000.” So, the next day, the agent sorted it out, she sent the papers. I sent her the forms to be completed, and she sent them back to me.

Easy for everyone

The seller was happy because he had peace of mind. His mortgage payments would be made every month by the tenant/ buyer. The burden for him of having two homes in Sydney and Melbourne had disappeared. The tenant/buyer was pleased because they realised their dream of home ownership. They got in with a low deposit and didn’t have to qualify for a bank loan.

In the property innovator system, rentto-own can solve many first-time buyer hurdles, including the deposit and the loan I, as the property innovator, was glad because I solved the problems of two people: the seller who was having problems selling his property and a buyer who couldn’t get a bank loan. I looked after them first and I was financially rewarded for my efforts. In this property transaction, I received $9,000 upfront, with $200 per month in cash flow and a backend profit of $41,000, with no bank loan and just $1 invested.

Case study

Rob, a student property innovator, completed a similar transaction. Some local real estate agents know to bring him properties that need to move fast, so an agent phoned Rob and said that this guy really needed to sell. He first listed at $270,000 and had dropped the price to $225,000. Rob offered $210,000, which he

refused. Rob then said he’d pay $225,000 if the seller paid the $5,000 commission to the agent. Rob would pay $300 a week on a two-year lease option. Rob then sold the property on to a new tenant/buyer on a lease option for $250,000, at $430 a week. It’s not a bad weekly cash flow, and Rob has no loan debt and no fees. The old owner pays for insurances and rates, and the new owner takes care of the house. Rob received $8,000 upfront with $130 per week in cash flow and a backend profit of $25,000.

Fast and flexible

Rent-to-own is easy for mums and dads to get their heads around, because it’s simply a residential lease, which they’re already familiar with, and an option. An option is a piece of paper that contains the names of the two parties, the address of the property, the price the property may be bought at, the period of time the option is good for, the option fee, including how it is payable, and the price credits for the deposit. The rent-to-own strategy is ideal for first-time buyers who want to get into the property market without large up-front costs, investors who wish to control more properties without tying up cash, sellers who want a fast exit from the market, sellers who want to turn negatively geared property positive, and sellers who want to secure the full retail price for their property. Of all the strategies, this is the most flexible and has the most variations – and as far as the variations are concerned, there really isn’t a right or wrong way to set up a rent-to-own. The most important factor is that both the buyer and seller are in agreement. The property innovator system enables you to build up a portfolio of properties, so you can benefit from positive monthly cash flow and capital-gain profits without taking on the usual fees and obligations of ownership - plus you can help others along the way.

Rick Otton is a real estate consumer advocate, property investor and business owner. He is also the author of How to Buy a House for $1, now available at all good book stores, priced at $24.95. For more information visit www.howtobuyahouseforadollar.com.

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action

change your life in 15 minutes

Take

15 minutes is more than enough time to totally transform your life by taking purposeful action. While you work your way through these quotes consider one massive action you could do today…

“If you only do what you know you can do, you never do very much.” Tom Krause

“Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and do.” Andrew Jackson “Action conquers fear.” Unknown “Act as if it were impossible to fail.” Dorthea Brande “Everything you want also wants you. But you have to take action to get it.” Jules Renard “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” Jim Rohn “Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.” Benjamin Disraeli “Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” Napoleon Hill

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action.” Confucius “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.” John F. Kennedy “Remember, a real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.” Tony Robbins


coaching toolkit

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Coach yourself to success

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live your Best life week 1

Set Your Goals

Areas of Your Life

Date:

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

Where are you now?

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

family

eg.

6

7

2

3 4 wellbeing

finances

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

social

0

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

7

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

5

wellbeing

business/career

Where do you want to be?

spirituality

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

family

self

Imagine your life with these results

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

6

eg.

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

5

finances

8

2

3

10

social

0

5

2

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

4

wellbeing

business/career 10

spirituality Summer 2013

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

eg.

5

8

2

social

family

self

5

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

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8


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

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

It is the 30 Wellbeing I feel so ha t h A p ri l 2013 and what I haveppy and proud of reached my achieved. I have 60kgs and I goal weight of am fit, healt look fantastic. I much more hy and have so fit into that energy. Now I can and I feel fasexy black dress bulous.

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

Goal 1

Write your goal

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

to achieve

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

Why you want to achieve it

Goal 2

Write your goal

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

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

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week 2

Making it Happen

Date:

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

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

Goal 1 Action

Completed

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

Goal 2 Action

Completed

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

Summer 2013

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week 4

Date:

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

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

week 6

Date:

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

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

week 8

Date:

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

Required action:

Fotolia

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

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