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Founder & Editor in Chief JANINE GARNER | Managing Editor KATE STONE | Contributing Editors Melissa Browne, Nikki Fogden-Moore, Chris Allen Featured This Month Jen Brown, Amber Daines, Linda Murray, Dermot Crowley, Alicia Beachley, Rachel Bourke, Louise Agnew, Colin Boyd, Dr Jenny Brockis, Angela Lockwood, Margot Andersen, Lucie Trinco ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES DESIGN INTERN Hayley Chiplin | Published By: LBDG | MEMBERSHIP ENQUIRIES AND FEEDBACK Š LBDG 2014 All content in this newsletter is protected under Australian and International copyright laws. Reproduction in whole or in part without the written permission of LBDG is strictly forbidden. The greatest care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of information in this online magazine at time of going to press, and we accept no responsibility for omissions or errors. All rights reserved.

#LBDG #bebrave #netweave #collaborate #frommetowe


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A Message From Me Hi there As I write this, I am currently in a very cold, wet, shivery England with my family, catching up with people I have not seen for many, many years. You could say that for once, I am in fact the antithesis of this month’s GLOSS theme: Productivity. And for a selfproclaimed workaholic, it’s a big change... and it feels great (OK strange, but great)! In many ways this is a lesson for us all - and me individually - in what makes for successful productivity; a great team. Because GLOSS is driven by an amazing team; not just the editorial wonder women and man, but the guest contributors and you, the readers. It is this powerhouse combination that makes GLOSS what it is - and means that I can sit back and enjoy reading it here in Yorkshire, just as you will enjoy it wherever YOU are in the world. Have a great November, and as always, Remember, continue to Connect~Inspire~Succeed

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Your Editorial Team JANINE GARNER Founder & Editor in Chief “Togetherness – or collaboration – requires a plus and an equal sign. Togetherness can, and does, create the momentum of greatness.” Janine Garner is a business woman, entrepreneur and socialpreneur who is passionate about the return to open and transparent corporate relationships and the power of commercial collaboration in futureproofing careers and businesses. Founder and CEO of LBDGroup (the Little Black Dress Group), her first book, From ME to WE: Why Commercial Collaboration Will Future Proof Business, Leaders and Personal Success is being released in January 2015. Janine is also the founder of Australia’s first gift giving circle, the First Seeds Fund, committed to supporting women and children at the grassroots of Australia with a focus on education and employment. She is the winner of an International Stevie Award, a Top 10 finalist in the DARE Magazine Daredevil Awards and was listed in 2013 as one of Australia’s “Most Inspiring Women” by Madison Magazine. Janine is a sought after keynote speaker, mentor and advisor. She writes every week for her own blog and is a regular commentator in the business print and on-line media.

KATE STONE Managing Editor “A heart that loves is always young. And quite possibly perennially stuck in the 70s, but that’s a personal choice.” Managing Editor Kate Stone is a ghostwriter, columnist, copy writer and editor who has a passion for all things social media and graphic design. If she isn’t living in someone else’s head, she is online or onscreen, or often both together. She is determined to bring her love of the written word, presented as beautifully as possible, to people whether they like it or not. She is the sole (at present) outpost of LBDGroup in WA, but is working very hard on changing this, and is proof positive that the power of a collaborative community is alive and well. Find her in one of her various guises on Twitter at @ oskythespy, read her own writing at What Kate Did Next or e-mail her at if you are looking for someone to time share your brain with.

In This Month’s Issue


Contributing Editor Melissa Browne is an author, entrepreneur, business owner, and shoe & jumpsuit lover.

She has two successful, awardwinning businesses - Accounting and Taxation Advantage & Business Advantage Coaching and is the author of the recently published to rave reviews business book, More Money for Shoes. She has also just branched out into a new venture with Rod Soper, thinkers.inq - go to the website to find out more about this incredibly innovative model for early childhood education. A regular contributor to the Sydney Morning Herald, find Melissa on twitter at melbrowne_ or visit


Contributing Editor Nikki FogdenMoore is all about practicing what she preaches – and what she preaches is balance. Balance between work, home and maintaining your personal best.

The owner of Life’s A Gym, Nikki is a motivational speaker, trainer and all round powerhouse who will help bring your body and soul together. Connect with her on twitter @ nfogdenmoore or visit



Designer Lucie Trinco knows handbags. With her training honed in Milan, Italy, she spent the last 3 years before starting Il Tutto as Head of Design at Oroton, and has designed handbags for brands such as Jigsaw, Mambo, Fiorelli and Saba. At an age when her friends are having babies, Lucie saw a gap in the market for an on-trend bag that catered to the needs of a new mother. Realising there were no baby bags out there she would want to be seen carrying, Lucie knew she had to do something. “When my friends were begging me to design them a bag with baby features they couldn’t find in a cool and luxurious leather handbag, I researched the market, and realised nobody was doing it well. Not everybody wants a gingham bag in blue or pink that screams new mother”.

Contributing Editor Chris began his career as a soldier and was commissioned as an officer, serving with the Royal Australian Regiment.He was engaged in humanitarian aid work for CARE International during the 1999 East Timor emergency and in the wake of September 11, 2001 became involved in Australian government protective security.

Chris’s first novel, Defender, was selfpublished before being re-released by Momentum Books with his second novel, Hunter, released at the end of 2012. Both novels rocketed to the top of the charts and there is a US film / TV franchise in development. His third title in the series, Avenger, will be published this year. Visit him at IntrepidAllen



Jen is the principal Performance Coach & owner of SpartaPT – a triathlon coaching and personal training business based in Penrith, Australia. Specialising in helping build a strong body and strong mind, training smarter so you can get faster and fitter and avoid the niggling injuries which can have such a devastating impact on your performance. Jen writes for, Australian Triathlete – The Pink Edition, Witsup. com – Women in Triathlon and Mountains Sports.

Since she started out working in hospitality, sales and marketing and then transitioned into below-the-line marketing activity, Alicia Beachley has forged a successful career. Alicia began her agency career with the international sales promotion agency The Continuity Group, in 1993, where she gained invaluable experience in retail sales promotions working with major clients such as Coles, Woolworth’s and Franklins. In 2008 Alicia started April5, an independent, multi-service agency that specialises in sales promotion and brand activity, events, consulting and marketing communications and retail and experiential campaigns that drive consumer action, change behaviour and deliver measurable results for its clients.



Founder of Decision Central, corporate speaker and business mentor, Angela Lockwood collaborates with and advises businesses and organisations, on the best and

Linda is a successful businesswoman, coach, strategist and mentor, speaker and trainer.



Amber Daines has over 16 years of communications expertise in journalism, PR and marketing. As Founder of boutique consultancy Bespoke Communications, Amber’s clients include major corporates, entrepreneurs, artists and not-forprofit groups.

Rachel is a sought after sales trainer, mentor, speaker and peak performance specialist. She maintains a diverse range of clients globally including Senior Executives, Law partners, Leading Business Advisors, World Class Trainers - even Olympians. As the founder of SalesSPACE, Rachel combines the latest Neuroscience research with her own deep knowledge of the sales process to create customised sales messages and systems that guarantee optimal results for her clients.

Since 2001, Amber has contributed to a number of books and in May 2013 launched her first e-book ‘Well Spun: Big PR and Social Media Ideas for Small Business’.

NOV ‘14

In This Month’s Issue

most effective ways to make better choices in the workplace. She is the author of ‘The Power of Conscious Choice’- a book that helps people make better decisions about the things that matter. Angela’s powerful and efficient strategies help shift businesses when they are stuck to generate positive momentum.

Linda’s talent is teaching women to increase their commercial success while using their authentic feminine approach. She mixes her personal experience in business, her strong academic background and her observations of hundreds of businesses to show businesswomen and female executives how to enjoy greater commercial outcomes and accelerated individual success.



Louise Agnew, author of Worthy Women – stories to inspire financial confidence and success in your life. Louise is a qualified financial adviser, certified SMSF specialist with over 12 years’ experience in the industry both in corporate and boutique firms. She currently runs a financial planning business on the Gold Coast and is the founder of Lyfe Academy a financial literacy training centre for executive women. She is adviser to a property business that her husband runs and speaks on wealth creation strategies in and out of SMSF. Her passion is to engage as many women in financial strategy and help them create more money from what they currently have in place.

Dermot Crowley is one of Australia’s foremost thought leaders on productivity. Building on many years of experience in the productivity training industry, he created Adapt in 2002 with a vision of helping management and staff in Australia’s leading organisations to manage their time, priorities and emails more effectively using tools like MS Outlook and mobile technology.



Dr Jenny Brockis is a Medical Practitioner, healthy brain advocate and future mind planner. She works as the Director and founder of Brain Fit. An expert in brain fitness she teaches individuals and organisations how to stay brain healthy, eliminate poor thinking skills ans boost mental performance. A professional speaker and author of three books, Jenny provides cutting edge insights into how neuroscience provides the perfect pathway to navigate our increasingly complex, complicated

Margot is the Owner and Director of talentinsight Australia, a company founded on the principal that true career fulfilment and organisational success occurs when individuals and businesses talk openly and honestly about what they need, their responsibilities and genuinely work to bring out the best in each other. As the organisation’s principle coach she brings a depth of knowledge and experience in operational and performance management, career mentoring and leading and developing high performing teams.

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Sales Productivity:


Rachel Bourke

You have a to-do list that is several pages long, your calendar for the week is full, and you have meetings booked well into the following months. The word ‘busy’ doesn’t even begin to cover your situation. But amongst all this furious effort you know that your sales figures do not reflect the frenzy of activity and in reality, sales productivity is low. It is now affecting your bottom line – and so you search for new ways to attract more clients. Productivity is not productive if it is not increasing the most important aspect of your business - your profits. If you are serious about successfully growing your business, sales productivity needs to be the holy grail of your business life.

There are 2 broad approaches to increasing sales revenue. The first is to increase your capacity. Essentially finding a way to do more of the same thing within a set time - working longer hours or hiring more staff. Be warned – This is usually the first step people take but should only be done after increasing effectiveness. The second and more rewarding method is to increase effectiveness. Increased effectiveness will give you better results with similar effort - and often in less time. By increasing your effectiveness, you are increasing your sales productivity with very tangible financial increases. One of the best practices you can implement is optimising your sales process.

The Harvard Business Review reported: ...“people in sales who implement the Increased Effectiveness Approach see an average increase of 30% and as high as 200%. This is a revenue increase with very little cost increase.” By creating sales strategies and messages that speak specifically to the part of the human brain responsible for directing all decisions - the instinctual brain - you are able to establish rapport and convert leads quickly and effectively. Be aware that the instinctual brain will discard you in seconds if it can sense nervousness, confusion or a lack of preparation. Unless you are professionally prepared for all sales-related conversations you will obtain a “no” before you get to your second sentence. As researched by neurologist Dr Paul MacLean, our brain contains 3 distinct layers - the neo-cortex, the limbic and the R-complex.


The neo-cortex is our rational thinking brain responsible for higher cognitive functions. This part of the brain distinguishes man from animals.


The limbic system is the middle part of our brain and its main concern is emotion. It helps determine whether you feel positive or negative towards something and what captures your attention.


The R- Complex includes the brain stem and cerebellum. It is rigid, obsessed, ritualistic and paranoid.

It is the combination of the limbic system and the R-complex that is commonly referred to as the ‘instinctual brain’. In any situation of uncertainty, the instinctual brain is dominant, initially overpowering the rational neo-cortex. It is always wary and looking for a reason to fight or run. It provides intuition or gut feel. People can rub you the wrong way without having said a word. This is your instinctual brain in action. In a sales situation, your first impression is vital. One wrong move can be fatal in terms of success as it is far easier to keep an engaged brain engaged than it is to re-engage a disengaged one. Another important thing to understand about the instinctual brain is that its character trait is dominance. By simply ensuring a person feels important, you are ‘giving’ them dominance; they don’t need to be aggressive or defensive, you’ve put them centre stage and ensured they feel safe. It’s a ‘no-brainer’ so to speak.

Essential tips for a productive Sales System: Your sales system needs to reflect the goals and nature of your business. It also needs to be targeted to the instinctual brain by adhering to the following:

Mindset: Your state of mind has more influence over another person’s instinctual brain than any other single aspect. If you are nervous, confused, lacking in confidence, those around you will feel nervous, confused and lacking in confidence as well. Conversely, if you are feeling confident, clear, and focused you will influence others to feel the same.

Message: Your sales message must be spot on. You may need several variations of your sales message so you can target specific client or client groups however each one must be focused on making sure the instinctual brain can very quickly understand what you are offering.

Congruence: The instinctual brain can spot a fake across a crowded event. You must have 100% belief in what you are offering and understand your ‘why’.

The rule is that the first sale is always to yourself.



Credibility, like reputation, can precede you. Do others recommend you? Do you have longevity - not necessarily in your current business, but in your business relationships? Highlight aspects of your career that point to your credibility education, business experience and awards you have won.

The fortune is in the follow-up. Your life is busy, so are the lives of everyone around you. No matter how much your prospective client loved your presentation and promised to call you first thing on Monday, you cannot underestimate the number of things that can arise and de-rail the best intentions. Pick up the phone, prepare a well-crafted email and consistently keep the lines of communication open.

Excellent joint venture partners also add weight, as does being transparent with your philosophy in business. The superpowers of credibility are statistics, client case studies that prove your results, brilliant testimonials and third party endorsements.

Confidence: Projecting confidence is essential. People buy from confident people.

Diligence: Nothing makes people feel unimportant faster than lack of preparation. The message is ‘You’re not really worth the time and effort’. Diligence is not about perfectionism, it’s about ensuring people know they are important. Make sure everything you have for them is finished, well presented and relevant. Then go an extra step and provide them with something they weren’t expecting.

Sales productivity is not busy. It is not ticks on a to do list. It is the combination of your determination to succeed in business and a sales system that is precisely tailored to your product, your clients and your why.




I’m not a big fan of the adage “We’ve always done it this way”. Equally, I don’t subscribe to the notion of change for the sake of it. Reinventing the wheel is as much a waste of time as sitting down to watch it spinning endlessly around a circular path. Organisations are, in my view, like human beings. They have limitless potential to improve throughout the course of their entire life – not just part of it - but they have to want to. And, like any humble human being in search of the best version of themselves, organisations have to be willing to take on impediments to improvement and fight off acquiescing to mediocrity. I have seen all sorts of productivity models throughout my career; some good, many not so. The good are typically characterised by an engaged and energised workforce, where individuals are not entrenched within a lacklustre, “we’ve always done it this way” culture.


Instead, individuals within a productive workforce are constantly looking for ways to improve their life at work, contributing to the enhancement of overall performance and reaping the personal and professional benefits. The reverse is true of the non-productive workforce. In these environments, individuals are happy with exactly what they’ve been doing since the day they started and they don’t want anyone coming along to upset their little apple-cart. Largely, this type of culture develops over a long period of time because managers have allowed it to. People become very familiar with a certain way of operating and are set in their ways. Of course, we all know that believing this type of culture will withstand the tests of time only happens in fairy tales. No workplace operates in isolation from the rest of the world. There are inevitably factors, internal and external, which will impact on an organisation.

Chris Allen

Leaders, real leaders, don’t post quotes about leadership; they’re quoted. Staff changes, market changes, technology changes, raw material changes, budgetary changes; nothing is constant. Unfortunately, I’ve seen too many situations where a headin-the-sand culture has crippled organisations and change has literally steamrollered right over the top of them regardless. An organisation’s productivity, or lack thereof, is a direct reflection of its leadership. And, like it or not, leadership – real leadership – is tough work. Unfortunately for some, leadership is little more than a social media hashtag. Rousing motivational quotes about ‘leading people’ and selfies of self-styled, self-promoting leadership success stories absolutely abound online, encouraging us all to want to drop whatever it is that we’re

doing and follow blithely in their inspirational footsteps; but what have any of these people actually done? Leadership isn’t about telling everyone how great a leader you are or how great a leader they could be just by listening to you. Leadership is about getting on with it. It’s about seeing the potential in others, guiding and mentoring, setting an example, setting a strategic direction, making the tough decisions, taking (not delegating) the tough conversations, and leading the charge when you’re waste deep in the molasses of overcoming obstacles on the path to improved productivity and, dare I say, achieving actual outcomes.

Leaders know that maximising productivity is their responsibility equally as much as is failure. They know because they live it every day. You’ve got to be able to take the good with the bad. Accept that it’s not all yellow brick roads and champagne corks popping. It’s hard work. So, if you want to call yourself a leader and you want to show everyone how productive you are, stop talking about it and roll your sleeves up.

Leaders, real leaders, don’t post quotes about leadership; they’re quoted.

Leadership isn’t about telling everyone how great a leader you are... Leadership is about getting on with it.

Confession. I have long had a rather intense obsession with classic 19th and early 20th century English literature. It stems from my teenage years, when I was the true-toform bookworm huddled in bed under my duvet into the late evening, my Itty Bitty book light (anyone else remember those?) clipped onto my well-tumbled copies of novels such as ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Brontë and Jane Austen’s ‘Sense and Sensibility’ transporting my mind to another time and place. I can still read them time and again and not get bored.

Communicating Authentically Means Making Enemies - But Really, That’s OK. Amber Daines

What I admire most about these novels is not the heady romance or the female protagonist’s personal escapades, as much as the authenticity the authors achieve in their story telling. This was an era when, in order to be published, female authors often penned their books in a pseudonym, as female literature and women writing for a living was not widely accepted as the norm unlike Cool Britannia or America. It was their attempt to explore a new writing voice with minimal consequence. Even contemporary author Joanne Rowling (J.K. Rowling) used initials to write her bestselling ‘Harry Potter’ book series without the stereotype of gender defining her audience. Brilliant! This lack of ‘identity’ in many ways enables a true freedom to communicate from the heart, and express or depict honest accounts of taboo personal interactions, social mores and deep-held longings that enthralled readers for decades beyond their publishing date. (How else do you explain so many Hollywood versions of bonnet dramas?) These tales also alienated many others. That is the biggest take-out the Woolfs and Austens of the literary world have taught me in my career. They knew what communicating authentically was about some 200 years ago. During the past two years I have gradually steered my communications business towards more training and strategy projects, and moved away from running traditional PR campaigns for my clients. I have had to deliver dozens of pitches, presentations and key note addresses where I was tailoring my message to a very specific audience – from sales teams to fundraisers to angel investors. It has enabled me plenty of chances to refine what I say and how I deliver it. What has struck me is that not everyone is going to be won over by your own communication style – but in the end, that is your blessing in business, not a curse. Making enemies used to be seen as a bad thing. But in attracting and retaining ONLY the loyal clients, the most supportive social media followers, the most trusted peers and best advisors who respect and admire, you have a better shot at being successful long term.

Clearly for me, getting my key messages across to a room of former rugby league players turned sales managers requires a different sense of self, a different set of examples and analogies to say motivating better communication skills among a seasoned bunch of corporate types. My line of business requires agility and on-the-spot responses to challenging questions by those I am working with. It demands me being vulnerable in a room full of near strangers – a slightly terrifying prospect on many a day. But it also gives me a perfect opportunity to be candid on what I am really there to do: to debunk myths on topics such as the media process, give tips based on my experience about successful brand building and being true to your leadership values.

as The Barefoot Investor (http://barefootinvestor. com), is one who springs to mind. Once again, he is not everyone’s financial cup of tea. I get that. But he the real deal. Case in point: in a recent Herald Sun article, Scott Pape openly shared his own heart-wrenching story of losing the family property and all his possessions in a fire. Epic stuff. The opening lines in the article were Pape’s own: “We lost everything. Three words that get to the guts of it.”

Sometimes the crowd is not ready for such truths. I walk away knowing being 100% authentic may have made a few of my participants uneasy or ruffled their egos. I am sure I may even be seen as an enemy (of the status quo). That is hard going when naturally, I would love everyone I work with to love me back! Who doesn’t?

Pape has, in the midst of his own personal tragedy, simply nailed what makes a top shelf communicator – power and passion in his prose.

But if it’s not to be, so be it. I have decided they don’t hire me to hear platitudes purely about what they already do well. We all can learn more and being able to be constructive critiqued is a mindset I aim to adopt with all my clients and vice versa.

So with a nod to my opening theme, let me leave you to wrestle with one of my favourite quotes by modernist writer Virginia Woolf “If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.”

In 2014 the super accessible and capacious use of social media elevates the power of ghost written blogs. All kinds of communicating can be done under a modern pseudonym of sorts. Not everyone adopts this approach but there are plenty of high profile though leaders who do. Scott Pape, otherwise known

I could not agree more.

Will it have won him more clients or fans? Who knows but it certainly made him human, likeable and very real.

Be who you are not who the world wants you to be

The Power of Focus Colin Boyd One of the greatest hindrances to productivity in the workplace is an overwhelming level of distraction. My research has found that most professionals noted office distractions and unproductive meetings as being detrimental to their progress. So firstly the bad news: our brains were designed to be distracted. In fact our brains were designed to keep us alive and protect us from external threats (i.e. getting eaten by a sabretooth tiger). The brain is primed to notice anything in its surrounding environment that might cause harm, which in turn triggers your fight, flight or freeze response. The problem with this is that it does not serve us well in a 21st century office environment (especially our much loved open office Google beanbag loving designs). So, knowing that our brains are designed to be distracted, we must be very specific in creating time and space for ourselves to truly get focused. Now for the good news: When we understand the limitations of our brain we can work with it more effectively, and dramatically increase our level of productivity. Many practitioners say that you need to get more focused, but achieving focus does not come without some conscious structure.

1. Focus on a Specific Task:

2. Distraction Free Environment:

Many times when we start work in the morning we don’t have a clear idea of what we want to achieve. Or if we do, it’s usually quite vague. When I coach people at my productivity workshops I’ll ask them what they want from the day? And some will give me quite a vague answer, but the more focused or specific they can be the more equipped I am to help them. Having a specific outcome or task in mind is a crucial part of getting focused.

As I’ve mentioned previously our brain is designed to be distracted. So to create focus, one of the easiest strategies is to ‘reduce distractions’.

There is a part of our brain called the reticular activation system, which is designed to notice specific criteria. It’s an automatic goal seeking mechanism. The more specific we can be, the easier our brain moves towards that criterion. To work with our brains, as opposed to against, we must be very specific in the task we want to achieve. Another good idea is to use the ‘verb test’. In other words ask, “Am I using an action word to describe what I would like to do?” For example, If you wrote “marketing project” as a task, it’s very vague and the brain must then work harder to decipher what specifically in the marketing project must do. But if you were write “design marketing brief to send to management”, This is a more specific task that the brain can process easily. Be specific when you write tasks down and run the verb test.

Reducing distractions in your environment is like minimising threats for your brain. When I say threats, I don’t mean actually being attacked (although this sometimes feels like it might happen); I’m referring to e-mail pop-ups, interruptions, phone calls, social media alerts, e-mails registering with a ‘beep’ on your iPhone. When we reduce distractions it give us the opportunity to use our precious brain energy not for protection, but for thinking. To get focused, you must create a (somewhat) distraction free environment.


3. Set A Time Frame: I don’t know about you, but I can sometimes be an adrenaline junkie. Waiting for the last day or hour before I actually work on the task I need to get done. Parkinson’s Law suggests - expands so as to fill the time available for its completion

In other words, if you give yourself all day to do a project it will usually be completed at the end of today. If you give yourself an hour it will usually be completed in an hour. If you give yourself 37 minutes it will usually be completed in 37 minutes.

I trust you get the pattern. So the idea is to compress time. This works practically by using a countdown timer (not a stopwatch because that counts up) on your smartphone. For example, set the time for 30 minutes or 90 minutes. It’s very important that you press ‘start’ on your countdown timer as it creates a fake timeframe, which all of us adrenaline junkies love. Setting a timer will reduce procrastination and get you more focused. As my model suggests, when you have a Specific Task and a Distraction Free Environment it enables you to create Clarity. You’ll know what you’re doing and you won’t be distracted from it. When you have a Distraction Free Environment and a Set

Timeframe it gives you the time and space which move into Flow. This will enable you to be immersed in your task and build momentum. When you combine a Set Time Frame and a Specific Task you feel a heightened degree of focused pressure, which I think creates Hustle. All of these elements come together to create focus. So to get focused at work and be massively productive you need a clear task, distraction free environment and a set timeframe. This will give you a sense of clarity, flow and hustle. Now stopping being distracted by this article and go get focused!

Productivity and The Power of Habits Melissa Browne

I work with a colleague, Lauren, who gets up at 5:30am everyday and either runs or goes to the gym. I admire her dedication and each week I tell myself that I should start exercising in the morning before the length of time I spend at work wears me down and stops me doing something at the end of the day. Of course I’m not a morning person (really, really not a morning person) and so any exercise before I start work simply never happens. And unfortunately, I don’t get any fitter by thinking I should do it. The difference between Lauren and I is she has created a daily habit which means that every day she is ensuring she exercises. I’m sure she doesn’t enjoy getting up as early as she does and would rather sleep in some mornings but she has a long term goal of completing a half-marathon within a particular time. So she simply does it. Often we set lofty goals and things we want to achieve but before long the daily grind sets in and it becomes too hard and we quickly lose focus. Athletes don’t get to the Olympics by crossing their fingers and wishing or by waking up in the morning and deciding it’s too hard and hitting the snooze button. Instead they set up a series of daily habits and rituals that cover everything from when they get up, what they repeat to themselves before a race, what time and how often they train, what they eat and perhaps even the underwear they wear. It’s all designed to create a series of habits to help ensure success and the achievement of their long term goals. Interestingly all athletes don’t have the same habits and rituals to help them succeed. There isn’t a secret formula for success that if all Olympic athletes adopt this training

regime or this eating pattern or this combination it will ensure they succeed. Instead it’s about figuring out what will work best with their bodies, their sport, their goals and their timetables and then having to discipline to see it through. It’s the same for us mere mortals. Too often clients see me and want the magic pill or formula which will guarantee success but sadly there’s no such thing. However by working out what is important to you, how you best work, what your goals are and what is best for your customers you can set up a series of rituals and habits that will to set yourself up for success and make you and your team most productive. So if we’re talking business, money and achieving our financial goals, what habits or rituals can you employ that will help make you the most productive and hopefully help you achieve your goals? 1. Have A Daily Mantra: This might seem silly, however often we carry around money messages in our head that are self-defeating. They might be, “I’m terrible with money”, “I can’t save”, “I’ll never understand the financial side of my business” or sneaky ones such as “I’ll never be able to buy a home until I meet my future partner”. Just like a successful athlete might repeat a daily mantra around how they want to achieve success, why not create a daily mantra around how you want to view business, money and financial success. I’m not talking The Secret here but rather positive money messages that will infect

the way you think. Stick them up on your mirror so you see them every day and start replacing unhelpful thoughts with affirming ones. 2. Set Up Daily Rituals: These are the small things you do every day that will help set you up for success. These might include not checking your emails until 10am so you’re dealing with the important first and not the urgent. Or it might be having a daily huddle with your team at 9:19 every morning so everyone is on the page or perhaps it’s using blockout so that you or other team members can’t be distracted by phone calls or questions if you need to get a chunk of work done. It’s all about creating powerful, everyday habits that will make you and your team the most productive and help set you up for success. 3. When In Control, Take Charge: This might seem a strange one – of course if you’re a business owner you’d take control, right? Well yes and no. I’ve met so many business owners that tell me that they have to do things a certain way because that’s how their industry does it. My response? It’s your business – do it your way. For example most accounting firms track time in six minute increments and if you talk to any accountant they’ll tell you how frustrating it is and what a time waster it is. Which is crazy. So in my firm, we don’t track in six minute increments. Actually we don’t track time at all and yet we still know how long it takes for our jobs to get done and the sky hasn’t fallen in. My accountants are more productive (and much, much happier) and they can spend their time on something more important. Of course in order to do this I needed to create other systems that worked far better than tracking time in six minute increments but I could do that because, guess what? It’s my business.

4. Use Technology: When I exercise there are amazing and cheap apps I use that track how I’m going, motivate me and keep me accountable. It’s the same in business. Make sure you research and use those things that will free you up to concentrate on the things that are most important. There is everything from online diaries to cloud based accounting to online note books to online logbooks to time trackers to apps that will audit your social media usage to cloud based solutions that will all integrate and talk to one another saving you time inputting into three different databases. It’s all about making the most of the one thing that all business owners have a short supply of: time. 5. Get Help. There’s a reason why professional athletes have coaches. Sure they might be able to do it by themselves but it’s much easier when there’s someone there pushing them along, helping to correct any imbalances, celebrating with them and keeping them accountable to what they say they are going to do. It’s the same with the rest of us. Often we see the athletes on the podium but we don’t see them at training again the next day. At the recent Commonwealth Games a reporter asked Sally Pearson if she was going to take time off to celebrate now that she had won Commonwealth Gold. She laughed and said she’d eat some tim tams and have a day off but then it was back to training and racing a few days later. That’s because Sally understands the importance of daily habits and she knows that when she stops being productive on off-race days, she’ll be far less effective when it matters which ultimately will mean she won’t reach her goals. It’s the unsexy side that is not often talked about that success consists of lots of small and often tedious steps. But once these steps or daily habits are set up, they will help carry you towards successfully achieving your goals.

Top Tips For Running Promotions Alicia Beachley



3 4


Don’t try and Never run a If you run a game Permits aren’t People can’t enter run a promotion promotion of skill (25 words scary or expensive a promotion if without getting without Terms and or less) 90% of and they don’t they can’t find it. the right advice, Conditions, people won’t take very long to Be sure to it can land you in it protects you the bother to enter. obtain. factor in hot water legally Promoter and sets Think about Consider running communications and with the the guidelines for running a game of a game of chance around your ACCC. those entering. chance. draw promotion promotion. Rules are changing and you will all the time (the significantly latest being increase the "like-gating" on



People want to believe they have a chance to win. One prize is not enough, 3 are good, 5 are too many.


9 10

Prizes need to be Set your Think about what Get a great agency aspirational and promotional you want to do to help you! There relevant to your objectives at with the data that are specialist audience. Offering the outset of you generate from Brand Activation a prize that the campaign. your promotion. agencies that involves choice will Promotional Make sure those are experts in be more appealing methods will vary who enter opt this space and to your audience, depending on in for future are dedicated i.e. a travel whether you are marketing (this to creating voucher vs. a trip aiming to generate can be covered in campaigns that to Disneyland. awareness or trial, your Terms and deliver on brand

What exactly is Brand Activation? Brand Activation is a marketing discipline, and is a relatively new term in the industry. Brand Activation campaigns turn ideas into actions and engage with consumers. In simple terms, the key aim of these sorts of campaigns is to get consumers to act. It’s about bringing brands to life via experiences and forming long-term emotional connections. What are some of the strategies that companies are employing? Brand Activation campaigns take many forms and may involve some, or all of the following:

Consumer promotions Experiential Marketing Digital campaigns Shopper Marketing Sampling campaigns

Best practice Brand Activation is strategically-led and delivers measurable results, with a focus on ROI (Return On Investment).

It’s all about the Base Challenging the current Status Quo and Simplifying Financial Overwhelm Louise Agnew

we are and keeping it simple is the most effective way to achieve one’s objectives and ultimate goals. We are consumed by the media, filling us with the bigger and better versions of “The Block”, which isn’t anything to do with the renovations or competitors, but rather the acquisition of overpriced real estate, and introducing hotter and sexier men in “The Bachelor” when all we really want is some basic human connection. What I am really saying is that “You can have it all, just not all at the same time”.

As sweet and sassy as Meghan Trainor’s appearance and song might be, her message rings true in many aspects of business or rather the enormous focus on everything but the “bottom” line. All too often we are faced with the glitz and glamour of being the entrepreneur that we get ourselves into financial overwhelm. This coupled with information overload and the high expectations of us women, indicative of modern day life and pressures of striving to achieve “more”, like the large inner city home, private school for kids and endless “charity balls”, and motivating sales events rather than settling for what is rather a more authentic and real approach to an affordable lifestyle and all that it may imply. Come on, let’s face it - we are simply not living in a barbie doll world anymore. All we need is a gentle tap on the shoulder and reminder that bringing it back to basics, being who

In our busyness and our businesses, we tend to forget the basics of what we all most need to focus on, and what’s important to us; time, love and the ability to provide for our family’s needs, basic food and shelter, and for those of us with an altruistic view of the world, making a significant difference to others in our community. And with this latter statement comes the overwhelm of not being able to meet our life’s purpose.

As Don Draper says most aptly “Keep it Simple but Significant”. It’s certainly not easy to create wealth, but with better planning, and the (thankfully rapidly becoming) more readily available information out there, we can be assured of attaining all we desire in this life. And yet I find it unfathomable that in Australia most women (with access to this information and help) retire on not a whole lot more than the current measly pension of $427.15 per week. ( 9.10.14) So here is how we stick with the BASE in Business.


So having a good consistent cash flow will reduce stress. Easier said than done of course, however the best way to this is to start with a base amount of savings to begin with, working out your minimum acceptable income to live on and then set a business plan around how you will achieve the sales required to meet your cash flow needs.




CASH - Is still and always will be

BOTTOMLINE - No matter how skinny or fat, you need to have good reporting tools to determine your net position at all times.

Forecasting is a good way to get some planning in place. When it comes to investing your surplus funds in the market for instance, using an investment manager, financial planner or strategic adviser, will keep you on track. Striving to keep your bottom line growing above the 3% inflation rate will ensure your money is working for you. Keeping any extra funds in cash isn’t making the most of your bottom line, so consistently placing unused funds into an investment returning 5-7% would be more effective. There are varying types of diversified investments for this from managed funds, investment bonds, regular saving plans or even superannuation if you don’t need access to these funds. These will all provide tax deductibility.



Always know what your yield ratio for your business is so that you can focus on the bigger picture and a saleable asset; after all what did we start businesses for if it wasn’t to sell for a decent retirement? My general rule of thumb with business is to ensure that your yield is well over the 10% mark to keep it looking attractive to unexpected buyers.


women we are bad at this, value your business by keeping a business valuer close at hand to help you continuously determine the value of your business. This will excite and drive you to grow. I often find clients don’t know their personal financial net value, and can’t even place a figure on their assets minus their liabilities, and often leave out superannuation figures as well. It’s a lot more motivating if you know where you are at. This will ensure that “every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top”


business going takes courage, momentum and perseverance. Don’t yield to what others are saying – ignore the noise and seek out good advisers.




NEVER YIELD - Keeping a


the most forgotten investment vehicle and resource we have to build our businesses well. From strategies like buying commercial property to house your business premises using your super funds, to running your business within the super environment for tax effectivity. There are of course pro’s and cons’ to both however the 15% tax environment is great when considering building a strong long term bottom line business.

PROTECT YOUR ASSETS - “Bringing the ol’ booty back” debate is all very well but for many it’s the whole package that needs protecting.

Asset protection (personal & business insurance) is paramount to any plan, whether it be financial or a business plan. Mitigating risk and insuring your number one asset, yourself, and your income is the most important facet to financial stability and security. When starting a business, don’t be caught out, calculate your risk level especially if you are borrowing to buy a business. Make cash flow allowance for good insurance. It will quite literally pay “dividends” if you ever need to use it.

The best way to cut through financial overwhelm and create a productive, effective and amazing outcome is quite simply to get help. I don’t mean just financial advice, but a financial education, one that is an education for life, your life and your business life. And if the above seems a lot to know, it’s merely the tip of the iceberg compared to what is available to you. Making your money work smarter, harder and more tax effectively will give you a great base or foundation to create a life of stress & debt free living. Knowing who to trust, seeking credible financial information and resources together with consistently reviewing and challenging is what savvy women know how to do. Talk with your girlfriends about money, collaborate and as the song “All about the Base” by Meghan Trainor implies, “challenge the status quo” by focusing on things that are more important. This together with the basics of financial education & management will be a springboard to your confidence and future financial success.

Before we arrive at work, our brain has already been making repetitive choices that operate on unconscious and conscious levels. In other words, some choices we think about, others we don’t. Whether we think about our decisions consciously or whether we make our decisions without thinking, making constant repetitive choices can sometimes feel like we are operating on auto pilot, we just have too much

The key to allowing people to be focused so better choices can be made is to cut through the overwhelm by limiting choice and making the process of choosing simple.

THE DECISION FATIGUE EPIDEMIC Based in part on the work of American social psychologist, Roy Baumeister, and American professor of pschology, EJ Masicampo, the term ‘decision fatigue’ has been explained as a state of mind that occurs when the brain experiences a depletion in mental stamina as a result of making too many decisions. When this happens, we end up making poor choices or impulsive decisions, or we leave the decision to another person.

Being fatigued by too many choices is experienced by people on a wide scale and in all areas of our lives, from the simple like choosing what to wear (come on, that should be a simple decision) to the more complex like the acquisition of a new business. Too much choice will often frighten people into inaction, or making no choice at all, as we despair over the possibility that our choices are not the right choices, the best choices or the perfect choices.

Lockwo od

Over the course of the day, the compounding effects of making choice after choice can result in a parent screaming like a banshee out of sheer frustration when a child asks, “What are we having for dinner?” The mere thought of having to make yet another choice in the day – even one as simple as what to eat – could just be too much to think about.

Making choices becomes too hard, making it easier to deflect the responsibility to someone else.


to think about.

How To Overco me The Over wh elm of C hoice

Have you ever experienced one of those days where you wake up in the morning, choose to hit the snooze button – twice – roll out of bed, hop in the shower and choose whether to wash your hair or not? Then you get out of the shower and choose what to wear; this choice alone can be a complicated run of choices… shirt and shorts, dress and heels or pants and jacket? Then what colours should you wear? Which shoes to wear? Once the outfit has been chosen, the next string of choices begins. What will you eat for breakfast? What time will you leave? Which coffee will you drink? Which way will you go to work? Which car park will you park in? For those of you with children, some of these choices are replicated multiple times each morning.

In the 21st century one thing we do not lack is choice, and that has become our challenge. We have shops that stock door handles and nothing else, acres of land dedicated solely to the sale of cars and department stores laden with clothes to suit all tastes. If you still can’t find what you are looking for, simply browse the internet and revel in the infinite online options available. Whether it’s home décor, parts for your car, pizza topping combinations, cocktail mixes or colours for your toenails, there is a bewildering and often overwhelming array of choices available. All we have to do is take a look at the array of Christmas decorations and potential gift options starting to creep onto the shelves, to see not having enough choices is never an issue. We are faced with an average of 35,000 decisions per day, ranging from the simple to the complex. Decisions like will I hit snooze or wake up? Will I have tea or coffee? Will I wear pants or a skirt (mainly a decision specific to women)? Then there are more complex questions like will I go to the meeting or keep working? Will I ask for help or keep struggling? Will I pitch my idea or keep it to myself? Other choices take in a larger world view, such as when people make the conscious choice to live their lives in a particular way because of religion, geography or relationships. Some people may choose to sacrifice financial reward and opportunities to have more time with family or to be able to live life at a slower pace.

Life is full of infinite possibilities; the challenge is learning how to make good choices in the face of so many possibilities. The purpose of making a choice is to move us onto the next choice. It is helpful to remember that in the real world ‘perfect’ choices are a myth. Choosing will always be an exercise in coping with an unknowable future. No amount of deliberation, analysis and time can ever guarantee that you have identified the perfect and right option. The only way the outcome of a choice can become clear is by making the choice and acting on it. It is this constancy of repetitively making choices that underlies all of the actions we take and ultimately how our lives will unfold. Making a choice can be difficult. The more we are faced with an array of choices with compounding complexity, the more we can be left feeling overwhelmed, fatigued and stuck in choice, or paralysed by too much choice. When decision fatigue takes over, we are too exhausted to made good choices, if we can be bothered making any choice at all. In my work with business owners I see time and time again when decision fatigue takes over, we become poor decision makers resulting in more mistakes, or choices that take us in the wrong direction or keep us stuck in our current situation. The key to making better choices is to find focus and do the things that matter. Don’t try

to do everything, as Billionaire Warren Buffet says, work within your circle of competence and do that well. Paralysis, fatigue and overwhelm are not effective states to facilitate making good choices. It is when we are focused on what is important and working on our priorities we can make, not just good choices, but the best choices. To make the best choices;


Limit the number of choices you need to make.


Work within your circle of competence.


Know you get to choose what happens next.

This is an edited excerpt from Angela’s book, ‘The Power of Conscious Choice’, available now.

Stand in Your Spotlight Margot Andersen

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage - Anais Nin

A couple of weeks ago I had the good fortune to attend the truly inspiring LBDG Business Forum about unleashing your potential. It was one of those forums that left you not only feeling encouraged and challenged but more importantly better equipped to face the leadership landscape in both our personal careers and our businesses. In amongst all of the learning there was one theme that seemed to underpin many of the speakers’ presentations – courage. Courage to not only step up to the challenge or think more creatively, but more critically to step out of the way of ourselves. When facing big decisions, new challenges or a changed environment, the saying ‘we are our own worst enemies’ often rings true for many of us. At the heart of it is fear – fear of failure, fear of what others think, fear of not being good enough. The expectations, limitations and fears that circle in our minds so often stop us maximising not only our current opportunity but also our true capability. Changing career paths, taking on a bigger or more diverse role, proposing new ways of doing business, voicing an opinion that is not shared by the consensus or standing up publicly to share your views all requires a high degree of internal strength, conviction and courage. For many of us it means shaking off the age-old thinking that the best way to succeed is to keep your head down, fly under the radar, play it safe and don’t make too much noise. How ironic is it that what we want from our leaders is almost the exact opposite. We want and expect our leaders to stand up and voice opinions, propose new ideas, create new environments and generate high levels of engagement. We want them to stand behind what we believe to be the right decision and tell us why. Courage is an inherent trait amongst great leaders and it is why we admire them so much. The good news is that courage isn’t just available for a select few but for all of us. It isn’t so much a skill but a decision. It is the decision and ability to move ahead in the presence of fear and not as many say in the absence of fear. It’s a mindset and it can be learnt. So how do we overcome our fears and learn to live and lead with greater courage? In between many useful reminders, tips and strategies last week, there were a few that stood out that I believe we should strive to embrace.

Create an environment that supports courage and learning Creating a safe and supportive environment is critical to developing courage. Sacha Coburn who presented at the forum about being ‘Fearless and Free’ shared a great analogy about a child learning to walk. Picture the environment in which a child learns to do this – they are invariably surrounded by people that are all enthusiastically cheering every effort made to stand up and walk. Real dangers are removed and risks to ‘step out’ are actively encouraged. Wild cheering and delight is taken with every step – not every time they fall over. The observers aren’t saying ‘well you’ve fallen over three times now, we better seek some professional help’; instead they are saying ‘up you get, have another go, you’ll be okay’! Surround yourself with other courageous thinkers, doers and advocates.

Note who you are listening to So often when we are driving significant change or introducing new concepts and ideas, the critics appear to come from nowhere and have the loudest voices. Knowing who your key influencers and advocates are is critical to building effective frameworks of support. Your trusted advisors will be able to offer insight, constructive feedback and advice to help you not only maintain courage but also influence.

Gain some perspective Ask yourself ‘what is the worst thing that can happen?’ If it turns out that all it is that your idea/comment/view is rejected you will invariably be remembered as someone who was at least prepared to offer a contribution. It is part of human nature to want to fit in, to be accepted and liked. Let’s face it no one goes out of his or her way to not fit in. However when we risk our own contribution for fear of not fitting in, it is often the disappointment in ourselves that remains long after the situation has ended.

Lose the perfectionist tag Perfectionism is the equivalent of paralysis. It creates unwarranted stress, crushes creativity, prevents productivity and ultimately limits profitability. It often also prevents true connections with others around us being formed. Openness and honesty about our own journey and lessons learned allows for a greater level of authenticity and engagement with those around us.

Be assured that the fire will come – and be ready for it You can be guaranteed that when you attempt something new, there will be challenges and hurdles to overcome. They may come in the form of time, expense or people – regardless or their form they will exist. When we know that they are part of the experience, they lose their power to hurt us personally, but instead become merely a part of the problem solving process.

Connect Confidence is infectious. When you surround yourself with other like-minded and courageous individuals it not only helps you overcome your doubts and lingering fears but also helps you impart confidence to those that you are looking to influence. It takes courage to challenge the norm, to make a tough decision, to answer the critics, to stand up for those who can’t stand for themselves, to not allow failures and disappointments deter you from your course, to be vulnerable and allow others the space to also be vulnerable. It takes courage to lead both your teams and businesses through periods of great uncertainty and change and remain true to your path. Leaders who consistently demonstrate courage will stand apart from the masses and earn the trust and respect of those that they lead. Courage is what we will all be remembered for – the decisions we make or don’t make. What will be your decision today?

Get The Balance Right Dermot Crowley

One of my recent coaching client had all of the usual senior manager productivity problems. Three hundred emails per day. Back to back meetings most days. Large teams to manage and massive, high profile projects to deliver on. The additional challenge was that this woman had to do it all in a four day week. Inevitably, her work spilled over into her time with the family, and she ended up virtually working on the fifth day, or working back ridiculously late during the week to protect her non-work days.

organisations we work for; the unrealistic expectations of our managers; the unrealistic expectations of our clients, there are some simple mistakes I see many people make all by themselves that feeds the problems that are within our control and can be fixed.

Most of us face the same problem with work/life balance. Too much to do, too little time. For some people, throwing more hours at the issue is an acceptable solution. In fact, some relish working the long hours because they can, and they love the work. For many, there are certain times in our career where this is possible, and we believe that by putting in the hours now we will climb the ladder and reach a point where we can have a family, slow down a bit and reduce our crazy work-hours. But the reality is that most of the middle to senior managers I work with in this supposedly more balanced phase of their careers, male and female, are working long hours to stay on top. Even if they are not staying in the office late, they are bring the laptop home, or are glued to their mobile device instead of their kids and families. While some of the causes of work/life imbalance are out of our control - the culture of the

I believe there are four different things that need to be balanced if we want to achieve a better overall work/life balance. If these factors are slightly out of balance, they have a compounding effect and throw your balance right off.


The first thing that we need to get in balance is the amount of time we spend reacting versus pro-acting. I reckon email is to blame for the massive increase in reactiveness in the modern workplace. We are constantly distracted by interruptions that fragment our work and stop us from focusing on the mission critical tasks we need to get done. If your day is spent reacting to one issue after another, then you are likely to spend your night catching up on your real priorities. Structure your day so that you have set times where you process emails, and turn your email alerts off so you don’t get distracted when trying to focus on important work. I process emails for about 45 minutes both in the morning and afternoon, and have a 5 minute quick check about once per hour. Other than that, my focus is on my meetings and my priorities.


Stephen Covey wrote extensively about the balance between importance and urgency in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Everything has an element of importance, and an element of urgency. The problem today, again fuelled by our instant email, is that most organisations are driven by urgency, yet they measure your performance on how well you execute on the important. Even when you are clear about your priorities, it can be a challenge to get to them when everything that comes to you in the day is urgent, and everyone is screaming for it now. We need to manage expectations better, and not get sucked into the urgency trap. There are actually four types of urgency, and only one worth reacting to. Some urgency is real, some urgency is false. Learn to test if something is really urgent or just a squeaky wheel. Some urgency is reasonable but much is unreasonable. Things come to you as urgent usually because someone has not done their work when they should have. Work is complex, and most people have good intentions, but don’t support poor work practices by rolling over every time someone comes to you with an urgent ‘crises’. Ask the question “Why is everything you come to me with urgent?”, and set the expectation that that work gets delivered in a timely way rather than last minute. This is not easy sometimes, and requires a consistent approach, but over time people learn to work with you in a more proactive way.

MEETINGS/TASKS One of the biggest challenges I see at the managerial level is too many meetings. Meetings are very public, and we don’t like to let others down, so we say yes to far too many. If your week is full of meetings your will not leave enough time during core working hours to get your tasks done, which are often just as important as your meetings. The difference is that tasks are private – you do them by yourself, and nobody really knows or cares until your have missed the deadline. Therefore you put them off until later, and eventually the deadline means you have to do it tonight (even though you promised yourself that you would have a romantic evening with your partner). The solution to this is easy and hard. Less meetings! Think about how much of your core working week, whether it be 5 days or 3 days, should be available to meetings, and how much should be protected for doing your other priorities. A good balance would be 50% meetings and 50% tasks. The reality for many of my clients is more like 80% meetings and 20% tasks! It is hard to hold the line on this in the face of the onslaught, but worth the effort.

ROLE1/ROLE2 The final balance to get right is between your different roles. You have a job title, but within that are probably several different roles, or key areas of focus. You may be a manager of a team, but also have a role in a key project, as well as having a business development focus. These different aspects of your job can sometimes get out of balance, and you end up ignoring a role for too long and then have to react to it. I often see law firm partners who spend most of their time managing their team and doing client matter work, but leaving the business development behind. Sit down and clarify what your roles are, both inside and outside of work, and try to get some balance with the time you spend on this across your week. Take time to plan your week within the context of these roles. Just like a tight-rope walker trying to maintain balance on the wire, these different variables require constant adjustments to stay in balance. But when you get it right you begin to see an overall balance begin to emerge – a calmer, more relaxed and more productive balance.

For High Performance: Dial Up Your Brain Fitness Dr Jenny Brockis

Which is why being brain fit is essential for today's modern businessperson. Brain fitness is the capacity to use your brain to the best of your ability in everything you do, starting with a higher level of brain awareness. It's knowing why you think and act the way you do, and what it takes to upgrade any thinking skill that you believe could do with a little love and attention, by driving your brain's natural plasticity. It starts with getting back to the basics. Being so super busy it's so easy to put ourselves last, yet as any super athlete will tell you, high performance starts with doing the practice and the preparation. It's about doing all those things we remember our Mums telling us to do, like:

Our brain is often described as being a bit of a Goldilocks. It certainly is the ultimate diva with a long list of demands for everything to be "just right". With over 400 neurochemicals bathing our brain that like to be kept in balance, it's a wonder our brain runs as smoothly as it does.

High performance requires whole brain thinking. When we are consciously aware of our thoughts (which is less than half the time we are awake) we are using our pre-frontal cortex, which is located right at the front of our brain. This is our "executive suite", because it's the area we use for planning, organising and decisionmaking. It’s where we keep our brains' brakes (because there are certain times when we recognise it's better not to do or say certain things) and where we hold our working memory for attention and focus.


Productivity is being able to do things that you were never able to do before.

Presenting the picture perfect of "yes, I do have everything under control", and "yes, I can get that order out to you before c.o.b today", and "yes, I will be on time for the parent-pupil meeting tonight at 6 p.m." can be hard, if not sometimes seemingly impossible. It's not so much we don't enjoy being busy, or challenged even, it's about having that sense that we're heading in the right direction, and we've got the balance right of the best use of our time, energy and effort.

"eat your greens", "walk don't run", and "get outside and play" because the brain science shows us she was right. Creating your own high performance brain requires the right fuel, the right amount of training and preparation, and the right amount of rest and relaxation.

- Franz Kafka

Super busy, super keen, super dedicated. That's what seems essential in order to achieve business success today. So where does super frazzled, super stressed and super exhausted fit into that scenario?

Some scientists say we have become a bit lopsided because for the emphasis in business previously has been to value our knowledge and expertise, our logic and analytical thinking, which is predominantly left hemisphere driven. We have “dissed” the relevance of the soft fluffy stuff, our emotional regulation, empathy, trust, creativity, the innovation and insight, which is right hemisphere driven.

the workplace, such as dealing with too much stress, lack of engagement, uncertainty, lack of autonomy and fear, much can be addressed through knowing how to first create a fit brain, optimised for best performance and then to operate this high performance brain.

Today, to create a point of difference, to stand out from the crowd where so many share access to the same information and expertise, we need to use our ability to think adeptly using both hemispheres. It’s not a question of being left brained or right brained, it’s time to incorporate whole brain thinking.

Tomorrow’s business growth and success will come from those businesses creating a brain friendly culture: one that values and nurtures all brains at work.

Moving from surviving to thriving. When we are more confident of achieving success, our level of competence rises and we open up to continuing growth and opportunity. We move into thrival mode. But too often we keep ourselves in survival mode, frightened of sticking our head over the parapet wall in case we get shot down. Yet while there may be others ready to cut us done to size, our greatest enemy is often ourselves and our own thinking. One of the brain’s primary functions is to keep us safe, which it is very good at. When alerted to the threat of something new in our environment, the brain’s limbic system activates the stress response of “fight, flight or freeze.” Our brain has operated with this system since we were hunter-gatherers, except our threats today include the emotions and behaviours we observe in others, rather than the physical threat of being a sabre-tooth tiger’s breakfast. Building brain awareness provides us the ability to understand why we think and behave the way we do, which helps us to better understand the brains of others. Being brain aware allows us to maintain that important sense of perspective, to stay focused, to communicate more effectively and to relate better to others. It’s what drives motivation and boosts productivity. Looking at what some of the major concerns many people find difficult or frustrating in

Mindful leadership

In a world that is so crazy busy and often chasing its own tail, adopting a more mindful approach calms our mind, broadens our perspective, clarifies our thoughts and hones our attention to focus on what matters. Being mindful is about:

Speaking less and listening more; Being open to new ideas and alternative viewpoints; Taking responsibility for and learning from our mistakes; Nurturing and developing the minds and brains of those who will follow; It is about being, not doing.

5 Top Tips for Building Brain Fitness and Awareness 1


Nourish your brain with brain healthy foods including leafy greens, 3 portions of fish each week, some deeply pigmented red fruits and berries, seeds and nuts and whole grains. Plus stay hydrated by drinking enough water to prevent those neurons from drying out. Our brain is 70% water so keep the flush happening with 6-8 glasses of pure water every day.

Rest your brain; with 7-8 hours of good quality uninterrupted sleep. Sleep is essential for learning, deepens our level of understanding and regulates our mood. As the saying goes we know what it's like when we wake up tired and grumpy, so let them sleep in! With a tired brain, cognition, accuracy, and our sense of humour fly out of the window. Having trouble sleeping at night? Then why not try a 20-minute "Power nap" as a quick cognitive refresher.


Exercise your brain with 20-30 minutes daily of aerobic exercise and moving more throughout your day. It's the best workout for your brain, lifting your mood, attention, focus and memory, and boosts the production of new neurons. Yes, exercise builds your brain.


Challenge your brain and drive its natural plasticity by learning something new, something you expect to find hard and keep working at it. So often we choose to do what we like and what we're already good at - and there's no challenge in that!


Still your brain. Take 10-15 minutes out of your day to undertake a mindfulness practice, to listen to a piece of beautiful music, or walk in a quiet place. Something to take you away from the hurly-burl of everything else in your life, to give your brain the breathing space it needs to restore, replenish and reinvigorate your thinking.


Success in business is influenced by a number of factors, but it absolutely relies on your ability to be productive and effective. So, what is it the really sets some people apart from the crowd? You know those people; they are stand out, they are dynamic, they seem to achieve more, have greater success and just seem in flow. What are they doing that’s different? For years I have been fascinated by Peak Performance and the impact it has on peoples ability to outperform and out succeed those around them. Peak Performance is essentially the state when you perform to the maximum of your ability, whilst feeling confident, focussed and completely aligned with what it is you’re doing. We all know what that state feels like, but for too many people, it’s a rare occurrence rather than a daily event. In order to really maximise your success, it’s so important to know how to achieve that state of Peak Performance, but also to be able to sustain it. The most important ingredient in achieving success is having the right mindset. It doesn’t matter how intelligent you are, what great jobs

you’ve had or the environment you were born into. What matters is the choices we make. The biggest choice that determines your success in business is the decision to be successful. Have you really decided to make your dreams come true? Don’t worry about what others are doing or what their definition of success is. Know what you want to achieve and make the committed decision that you will make that happen no matter what. Don’t be afraid of failure; be afraid of comfort. Highly successful people don’t stay in their comfort zone for long. They are constantly pushing the boundaries, stretching themselves and expanding. They are doing what others are afraid to do – that’s why they stand out. Never give up and be prepared to fail … often! See failure as your friend. It helps you learn and innovate new and improved ways of doing things that will continue to maximise your success. Obviously this success mindset takes practice and commitment. As soon as you’ve made the decision to be successful and to enjoy the triumphs as well as the challenges, you will start to reap the rewards.

Maintaining a state of Peak Performance is also essential in order to remain productive and effective in business. Success requires sustained Peak Performance, not just a little spurt here and there. Tony Schwarz has done fantastic work through The Energy Project around transforming organisations by energising their people. Anyone in business knows that time is finite and there is rarely enough of it to complete all we want to achieve.

natural rhythms throughout the day, our average productivity increases to around 80%!

Structure your day for success by creating working blocks of no more than 90 minutes at a time and then take a deliberate renewal break at the end of each block. Step away from the task at hand and disengage your thinking. Simply take a walk around the office, listen to your favourite song or grab some fresh air. Literally, change gears in order to replenish your energy and reset your focus. Fortunately, unlike time, energy There is a science behind why is expandable and renewable courses and workshops are so it is a powerful resource to structured with a morning tap into if you are committed tea break, lunch break and to being successful. In order to afternoon tea break generally achieve this, we need to work following a 90 minute session. with our body, not against In order to maximise learning it. When we are faced with and concentration, we need deadlines and never ending toto make sure we take regular do lists, we tend to go into the planned breaks. Over the mode of ‘head down, bum up’ coming weeks, start planning and try to push through the day, your calendar in blocks of up rarely taking breaks. Studies to 90 minutes to increase your have shown that this work daily productivity. Aside from style can reduce your average getting more done in less time, productivity for the day to just the beauty of this work style 60%! As elite athletes know, rest is that you also have lots more and recovery is as important as energy left a the end of the day sweat and hard work. to invest in what really matters to you (family, friends, exercise, Researchers Peretz Levie “me time”). and later Nathanial Kleitman uncovered our bodies natural I have heard so many tendency for cycles, known as professionals say “It doesn’t our Ultradian Rhythm. This is matter how much sleep I get; where our physiology naturally it’s just never enough”. Sleep oscillates between periods of is the foundation to our ability high alertness and fatigue. If we to think clearly and perform work in conjunction with these optimally. In fact, 95% of the

population need between 7 and 8 hours sleep a night. If you just make one improvement in your daily life to increase your success potential, it would be to get enough sleep. Having said that, I’d like to challenge your definition of “tired”. I want you to think about your energy in a different way. Rather than our bodies being fuelled by one energy source, ie, sleep, I want you to imagine we actually have multiple different batteries or sources of energy – mental, physical and emotional. Each battery gets drained by different activities and at different speeds. Next time you’re feeling “tired”, ask yourself what type of “tired” am I feeling? Which of my batteries is depleted? Rather than just relying on sleep to refuel, recharge your energy based on the battery which needs it most. For example, if you are feeling emotionally fatigued, exercise or connecting with friends can help recharge. If you are mentally tired, meditation can be a great retreat for your mind. If you are physically tired, a massage or simply reading can allow your body to recover. You have everything you need to be wildly successful. You just need to make the decision, commit to making your dreams come true and treat your body like a high performance vehicle that will help you drive amazing outcomes.

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All of the amazing illustrations were done by the incredible LYNNE CAZALY on the spot at the LBDG Melbourne Business Forum. Thank you Lynne for allowing us to use them on social media and here!

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Jen Brown


Tell us a little about your business and what you do.


The easiest way to explain it is this. As we grow older, we can forget what we loved doing as kids. It’s easy to lose who you are. But at some point in your life, you heard of an event or adventure. Maybe a friend was doing it or you saw something about it on Facebook. It could be a triathlon, an ocean swim, your first 5km fun run, Tough Mudder, walking the Kokoda Track in honour of your family member who served in PNG, or climbing Mt Kilimanjaro before the glacier disappears. ]Suddenly - and very quietly - you think to yourself, “I’d love to do that one day”. Perhaps the idea even causes the butterflies in your stomach to take flight. And then just as quickly - but a lot more loudly - you think to yourself, “I can’t” or “there’s no possible way I could do that”. So SpartaPT is a triathlon and endurance sports coaching business. We help people to do ‘that' thing which makes the butterflies in their stomach take flight. Sport has taught me more about myself than anything else I’ve ever done. So I now share those lessons and help people - particularly women - to challenge their assumptions about what they are, or are not, capable of. I want ordinary people to realise they are capable of extraordinary physical achievements.

What’s the bravest decision you have had to make in your business?


That’s a tough question. I was a lawyer for 13 years before I set up Sparta and then left the law permanently to work full-time within Sparta. I’m often asked this question but I never felt like I was being brave at any point because it felt like something I had to do. So I never felt brave; only compelled. But if I must answer the question, it was probably leaving the safety and security of my (soul-sucking) legal career to start it in the first place! A lot of people questioned my decision and raised an eyebrow when I told them that I was leaving law to become a personal trainer.


But realistically it’s check my phone (oh, the shame!). I’ve broken the habit of reading my emails or Facebook first thing (yay me!) so my compromise is to look at Instagram. What I love about Instagram - as opposed to the other popular social networks - is that it’s generally always full of inspiring sayings and beautiful pictures. It injects a little beauty into my morning. From there, every day is different. Sometimes it’s out the door to train clients or myself. Other days it’s straight to the coffee machine.

What’s your vision for your business? I confess that I hate this question. It feels really contrived to answer it because if there’s one thing I’ve learnt, it’s that my business needs to balance both what my clients want and what I want. And I feel that I when I answer this question, I’m making it all about me.

Most inspiring quote?

But if I have to answer it, I will say that Sparta will always remain a specialised training facility where the concept of team and community is our number one guiding principle. I’ve often said that the saying “all for one, one for all” describes Sparta perfectly. It’s a team and family environment where everyone feels safe and comfortable to express their goals (which are often goals their family think are a little crazy) and have the support, skills and tools they need to do it.


What’s the first thing you do in the morning? I wish I could say something profound like an hour of exercise, yoga or meditation.



It stays with me (literally) because when I left home to go to uni a week after my 18th birthday, my mum gave me a small granite rock with this quote carved into it. It sat at my desk when I was at uni and on every desk I’ve worked at since. It seemed only fitting to make it the tagline on Sparta’s website because it perfectly captures the idea that we can shape our future and life.

Ask for help. I still suck at this but it’s something I realise is crucial. As the old saying goes, no (wo)man is an island. Find your ‘tribe’. Find your circle of friends, acquaintances and other women who inspire, challenge and believe in you. I didn’t network for the first 12 months I was in business because I hated networking (or at least the form I was used to as a lawyer). That was also the hardest period of my life and the only time in my life I felt really isolated.

What would you tell your 21 year old self now if you could? Never forget who you are. Back yourself, trust yourself and kick the $hit out of life.



I have a few but the one that stays with me sits on my desk - The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams - Eleanor Roosevelt.

than in the 13 years I was a lawyer. I wouldn’t say that it dictates everything I do but I know immediately if I’ve made the wrong decision (for me).

Top 3 tips for women in business?

Listen to your gut instinct. My mum used to make me toss a coin when I was a kid to get my rational brain out of the way and discover what my ‘gut’ was telling me. I’ve probably relied on my instinct more in the last three years


It’s November and the Christmas season is about to descend upon us. More sunshine hours await, busy days cramming in the end of the year business activities, and then the party network season kicks into full swing for summer. Are you ready to attack this November with a new sense of vitality to look your very best season? Great. Welcome aboard with a quick effective workout for all levels. No excuses. It’s even boardroom friendly. Here are four exercises you can seamlessly squeeze into a crazy day and combine into express workouts during a busy week to keep you feeling fit and fabulous.



Why: The ultimate base exercise to lengthen and strengthen. Take it up to a push up style plank so you can engage your core and use the full body length to work from top to toe. HOW: Start in a push up position with wrists in line with shoulders and feet hip width apart. Hold your body straight and long with hips in line and avoid dropping your belly button to the floor. Position one arm in the centre of your chest on the floor and raise the other arm out in front. Reverse this with one leg raised and both arms back to the start position. Repeat each side.


Jump Squats

Why: Explosive, heart rate boosting and firing your biggest muscle groups. putting squats back in the mix to boost your metabolism and fire up the biggest muscle groups. HOW: Take your feet wider to mix up the squat and focus on a strong core so that you really isolate the exercise as you some from start position, to deep squat then back up again.

Avoid letting your head drop down and make sure your feet are wide enough to feel the power required in the inner thigh for that stubborn area. Focus on squeezing your thighs and really focusing on the down and upward movement. Think ballet dancer combined with finely tuned athlete. Afraid to do these in your office - then try a static version without the jump. Using your body weight to strengthen and lengthen your legs is extremely effective and if done in super sets with high intensity can work your cardio as well.


Crunches - controlled version

WHY: The number one basic for lean abs and connection to your core. Go right back to keeping it simple with this version that isolates the muscles, takes the pressure OFF your neck and focuses on technique. We need our core for posture, digestive system efficiencies, lower back support and a sense of strength in mind and body. HOW: Start with your back on the ground and feet hip width


apart. Head should hang in your hands completely with no tension on your neck at all. Look up to the sky or ceiling - NOT towards your knees. This will avoid you straining on your neck. Start with head slightly raised and keep this tension in your upper abs. Pulse up towards the ceiling never taking your head all the way down to the ground. Focus on squeezing your abs and go for 30-60 reps. Then rest and repeat.

The Super Stretch!

Why: We don’t stretch enough and stretching is vital if you sit a lot for work, do a lot of driving and don’t utilise the core and bigger muscle groups. This stretch strengthens the thighs, knees, and ankles • S ​ tretches the hips, lower abs, hamstrings, and calves; shoulders, chest, and spine • ​Stimulates the digestive system • ​Helps relieve stress • ​Relieves backache HOW: Start on the floor with one foot out in front with 90degrees over the ankle. Avoid leaning so you knee is over your toe. See picture for posture. Push your hips forward stretching through your back leg and front thigh - tighten the gluteus, pull in your abs and shoulders back. Reach up high and strong with your arms, eyes forward and breath. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Repeat for the other side. Bring it all together in this 15 Minute metabolism booster De-clutter your mind and re-energise with this simple routine for busy people. Warm Up with 25 jump squats (or static squats if you are doing these in your office) Then do 3 sets of the 3 exercises x 25 reps. Do the stretch in between each set and hold for 60 seconds Repeat as per 3 rounds End on the stretch again. I know it sounds VERY simple but it really really works. Try it and let me know how you get on.

Tips: • Posture - long tall and shoulders back - think perfect posture. • Keep your belly button to your spine for core activation at all times (even while you are reading this) Remember to use nature as your gym and add these sets of exercises onto a walk or incorporate your own training sessions if you are out and about with your kids during sports days or supervising on the beach. You don’t need a gym to stay in the best shape of your life - you need the right mindset and a hard drive of exercises you can do with great technique to maximise results for your time. Keep it simple, workout, rest, repeat.

Happy training Nikki




THE LBDG FAIL SAFE CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE by Lucie Trinco our online shopping guru!

Does Christmas shopping fill you with dread? Are you time poor but want to find the perfect gift this Christmas? Want to avoid the shops and have perfect gift wrapping done for you? Then I am here to help. I have scoured the internet for the coolest gifts around, some from our very own LBDG community to bring you this easily shoppable ultimate Christmas gift guide... ENJOY!

Team Gift Ideas: 1. Il Tutto - Pixie mini bag (available in 5 colours) $99.00 2. Country Road - Photo frame $69.95 frames/60167955-411/Dita-Large-Frame.html 3. Country Road Fig scented candle $59.95 4. Red Balloon - Social race sailing $75.00 5. Uberkate Secret Tablet keyring $225 6. Hanako Therapies “The Courage Kit� $89.95 7. Uberkate Uberbanner $215

Beach Lover Ideas: 1. Il Tutto - Queenscliff Beach Bag (available in 2 colours) - Large enough to fit 4 beach towels $129.00 http://www.iltutto. 2. Country Road - Beach towels from $44.95 3. Sunny Jim Beach shade $149.95 4. Quay Eyewear from The Iconic $39.95 5. Deshabille Sarong - The best sarong EVER - looks like a skirt $69.95 6. Deshabille Goddess dress - suits everyone - the perfect throw over dress this summer $99.95 http://www.deshabille.

Gifts for Him: 1. Red Balloon -Beer and BBQ cooking class $140.00 beer-and-bbq-cooking-class 2. Deus cap from The Iconic from $29.95 3. Designer cork screw set for the wine lover $125.00 4. Gone Surfing sock pack from The Iconic $89.95 5 Country Road Overnighter $99.95 6. Arbonne - The Men’s duo is perfect for any man. Soothe a clean shave with the scent of Sky in a revitalizing balm, and finish with a splash of citrus, woods and refreshing herbs from our classic cologne. $39.95 Contact Michelle for special LBD discounts:

Gifts for Her: 1. Arbonne - Eyeshadow pallette You can apply the eye shadows dry for a soft, pretty look or wet for an intense, dramatic effect. Four dessert-rich shades: Icing, Gingersnap, Plumberry and Ganache. To purchase contact Michelle for special LBD discounts: 2. Il Tutto - Audrey Tote The perfect everyday tote. Made from a gorgeous Italian nappa leather, this tote bag will take you from board room to play date with ease. Comfortably carries a laptop making it a great work bag. $399 http://www.iltutto. 3. Country Road leather stone cuff - CR have just launched their jewellery collection and it doesnt dissapoint. $99.95 http:// 4. Uberkate Russian circles - The Ultimate personalised gift this Christmas $645.00 5. Country Road Clutch - How fun is this! - perfect for the Christmas party season $39.95 shop/woman/accessories/new-in/60172763/Tres-Bien-Clutch.html 6. Aim For The Stars - Aim For The Stars has produced a limited edition ‘Star’ bracelet. These fine link gorgeous bracelets available in both silver and gold. All profits go to support Aim For The Stars enable girls and women to invest in their future and fulfil their potential. $50.00 7. Arbonne - When the clock strikes midnight, make sure lips are ready to pucker up. These conditioning lip crèmes boost natural lip colour and deeply hydrate lips. They moisturise to help smooth fine lines for supple, kissable lips. Set includes Pink, Peach and Berry. To purchase contact Michelle for special LBD discounts:

Kids Gifts:


One of my all time favourite websites for kids gifts is without a doubt Rudy and the Dodo. Its curated selection of creative and whimsical toys for kids is elegant and thoughtful. Not a licensed toy in sight, just lots of creative play. This is always my one stop shop. 1. Make your own feather head dress from Rudy and the dodo -$29.95 2. Collage kit by Rudy and the Dodo - $24.95 3. Cotton On Kids Swimmers My must have for every Christmas stocking are new swimmers and Cotton On Kids have a great selection. From $19.95 4. Country Road swimwear- From $29.95 4. DIno World figurines - What little boy would not love these and at only $9.95 they make the perfect stocking stuffer http:// 5. Pop out and Play Christmas wonderland form Rudy and the Dodo $14.95- PLEASE BE AWARE THAT OUR LOVELY FRIENDS AT HANAKO THERAPIES, RACHEL AND JEFF, ARE GIVING ALL LBDG MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS 15% OFF ALL PRODUCTS PURCHASED THROUGH THE GIFT GUIDE. SIMPLY ENTER ‘lbdg15’ AT CHECKOUT AND SAY ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS’ TO YOURSELF!




Featured This Month BOOK: ZERO TO ONE: NOTES ON STARTUPS, OR HOW TO BUILD THE FUTURE 1. Can you create breakthrough technology instead of incremental improvements? 2. Is now the right time to start your particular business? 3. Are you starting with a big share of a small market? 4. Do you have the right team? 5. Do you have a way to not just create but deliver your product? 6. Will your market position be defensible 10 and 20 years into the future? 7. Have you identified a unique opportunity that others don’t see?

Great questions, great discussion points. Great book. Aspiring entrepreneur or established, pick it up and go through it in detail. There’s a reason why it’s a bestseller for Peter Thiel.

Get It Here

WEB: FLYING SOLO If you’re a small business, startup or brand new entrepreneur extraordinaire, Flying Solo is the place for you. It’s targeted specifically to cater to the Australian market and is full of great advice, links and financial resources for those striking out into the wild blue yonder.

Look At It Here

BLOG: HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD Guy Kawaksaki is the author of several business and marketing books and a managing director of early-stage Venture Capitalist firm Garage Technology Ventures.He provides realistic entrepeunerial advice from his own experience and it just makes sense. This is simply great writing and great advice. It is for anyone in startup mode, but also anyone looking ot go to the next level. Thoroughly recommend.

Read It Here

Lois Lane Lives: Meet Me At The Barre Why Productivity Needs To Get Physical Kate Stone

them out from those who do. But you know what? It’s also about making sure our bodies are healthy and equally excellent in their ability to be productive. Hence my decision to get off my own arse, which possibly rivals the bubble butt of the ubiquitous Ms Kardashian West (minus Photoshopping, sadly) and take it – not to a nunnery, but somewhere else it could get into a habit (ha!)

Once upon a time, in a very, very far off land, I used to be quite good at sport - and surprisingly fit. I could not only get up a flight of stairs without puffing like a puffy thing, but actually enjoyed exercising. Hang on – let’s put a qualifier on that. Like most writers, I enjoyed team sports as long as I could observe and support rather than be the playmaker. I also quite like being bossy and geeky, so coaching was a match made in heaven – but coaching a sport that I actually played, rather than just technically understood. So netball – big fat tick. For a very long time, Saturdays were all about the court. Coach, umpire, play, repeat. Then do it all again mid-week. Hence the quote from Aristotle (the philosopher, not the philanderer. Both Hellenic admittedly). We are what we repeatedly do; if we want to excel, we have to work at it. And productivity comes from that striving for excellence – it doesn’t come from standing around having a sneaky cigarette (yuck) and gossiping about Kim Kardashian’s bare arse breaking the internet. Productivity is the result of continuous hard graft. It’s about nurturing our minds every day, expanding our thought processes and knowledge. Being greedy in what we read, see, hear, absorb and take in from the incredible minds around us. It’s expansion and forward thinking and engagement. It’s acceptance that we don’t have all the answers, and seeking

I have started something called Xtend Barre, which is a combination of ballet, pilates and medieval torture. I was quite proud of myself for remembering long ago ballet classes and keeping my hand resting lightly on the barre rather than gripping it like the life preserver I wished it to be, as I pliéd and bourréd my way to inner thigh hell. I managed a weak grin as my feet (courtesy of Parkinson’s Disease) tried to crawl through my ankles as I pointed my toes in the approved manner. My hands were a picture of Margot Fonteyn-like grace (I liked to think) as I chasséd gaily across the room with my hand weights, crying like a large baby on the inside and gritting my teeth. You know what though. Despite the stomach muscle pain today, I feel great. And it was fun. There were a lot of muppets just like me there, and we all grumbled and moaned like madwomen. It was part of belonging. Every single one of us was there to break a cycle of non-productivity – and maybe to look and feel better. If you want to work well, then mind and body have to be in tandem. As someone who has been physically sick a hell of a lot, I promise you this is true. So get productive. Break up your day. Go for a walk. Or better yet, watch White Nights and see Mikhail Baryshnikov doing a bit of his fabulousness. You’ll be imagineering Black Swan before you know it. And productivity will be right around the grand jeté.


“We Don’t Network, We Netweave”™ LBDG is about community. It’s about business leaders and entrepreneurs collaborating. It’s about creating sustainable, leverageable and successful businesses. It’s about netweaving connections, knowledge and insight for results. JOIN US

Members of the LBDGroup are cross functional and cross industry. Lawyers, bankers, marketing and PR professionals, media, mining, construction, designers, jewellery, fashion, philanthropists, non-for-profit, human resources, fitness, health and wellbeing, property, sales, speakers and authors to name but a few. And with a fabulous mix of corporates to own business it is the quality of conversations that we have that make us so different. JOIN US We offer three levels of membership for women that are committed to building their businesses, to fast track their growth and to ensure that they are surrounding themselves with the best in the businesses. BLACK, DIAMOND and PLATINUM membership levels are designed to offer increasing one to one mentoring and group mentoring and business education and training. Depending on where you are in your journey there is a membership level that’s right for you “Janine has an enviable drive and motivation that is not only infectious but so supportive & constructive. It is so very refreshing and admirable to see someone turn their passion in to reality and back it up with such determination to bring likeminded, talented & intelligent women together.” Prue Thomas Group Marketing Director- Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge & Glue Store - Australia

“Janine Garner is an inspiring visionary who brings together like-minded people to pursue and attain professional goals. Janine is a confident and warm person, and her skill of collaboration is impressive. The Little Black Dress Group is a brilliant source of knowledge and expression for business women and Janine is the keystone to its success.” Kath Creel Marketing Director at Impact AV Australia


Gloss november 2014  
Gloss november 2014