Author Archives: Naomi Simson

The Happy CEO

I have said many times before (including in dedication in my book) ‘thank you to all the past, present and future RedBallooners’. Each play their role in delivering good times to 1000′s of Australians and New Zealander’s every week. Today however marked the end of an era with Kristie Caddick (nee Buchanan) leaving RedBalloon after seven years. Originally joining as a Marketing Manager – and since 2012 she has been the CEO. She has chosen to dedicate the next part…

Shark Tank Australia Episode Eleven on TEN Sunday 26 April 7.30pm

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In reviewing my notes for this episode I was left feeling a little sad. I know this is not an emotion that we often talk about when it comes to business. In my book Live What You Love I talk about the four elements to support living a life of passion and purpose. One of these elements is persistence. I am very clear in defining the difference between persistence and pigheadedness. And I fear that episode 11 had an element…

When the big fear gets in your way: failure.

A blank white screen has been sitting before me for a little too long, and I am questioning why it has taken me so long to write on this topic. This isn’t because I haven’t made any mistakes – between you and me, I’ve made a lot. Given my deep commitment to positive words, I really struggle with the word “mistake.” I would rather refer to mistakes as experiences or life lessons. (More on the power of positivity in Live…

Shark Tank Australia Episode Ten on TEN Sunday 19 April 7.30pm

‘Youth’ might be the theme of this weeks episode. With two entrepreneurs under the age 25 years in the Tank the enthusiasm was infectious. I love the innovation that we were presented with. Some simple ideas to everyday problems. Really great to see the entrepreneurs protecting their ideas through patents – but as a note to would be pitches, much better to outline a rosy (yet realistic) view of the future for investors – rather than mentioning the litigation word….

Good is the enemy of Great – Jim Collins

It is now more than a month since I sat enthralled with thousands of other Australians listening to one of the worlds great business commentators – Jim Collins. Having consumed his books and been influenced by his insights into leadership and greatness, I wondered what would stand out for me as time moves on. His delivery style was authentic, and very grounded – he was happy to share stories about his personal life as well as his work. It is…

Shark Tank Australia Episode Nine on TEN Sunday 12 April 7.30pm

In some ways Episode Nine was all about family. I think many people would have robust discussions based on their personal experience with the problems that each of our entrepreneurs presented to the Sharks. I remember as a young mum literally juggling two small children at bath time – Problem solved CharliChair.  I put it to a bunch young people in my life (ie my kids and their friends who are at uni) what they thought of the idea of…

The future of retail… Why Freckleberry changed its spots?

Is the end of bricks and mortar retail approaching? In the most recent episode of TEN’s Shark Tank, John McGrath talked in depth about the rise of online retail versus bricks and mortar. I thought the topic was worth exploring more, because the jury is still out as to what is the most effective business model for retailing. Before RedBalloon was started back in 2001, I looked at all sorts of online business opportunities. One thing I noted was that…

Has Shark Tank made pitching the new Aussie national sport?

Move over Monopoly, Scrabble and Jenga; there’s a new game in town, and I seem to be playing it every day. My guess is the other Sharks are playing it too. Official kick off starts at 7.30pm on Sunday nights in close to a million homes across Australia, but it’s played outside those hours too. Who knows, it could become a new national sport. The game I’m talking about is called ‘Pitch It’. When we started filming Shark Tank, it…

Shark Tank Australia Episode Eight on TEN Sunday 29 March 7.30pm

Here are my notes that I took on set during the shooting of this episode. Italian fast food, an online portal, deodorant – and I don’t know how to categorize the G-Stick – oral hygiene I guess. There were laughs – but plenty of advice and insights. Tommy Sugo – Fast fabulous authentic Italian pasta -  very impressive presentation (including the fantastic arancini balls). With one store in operation, and father in-law a key supplier – the founders had set…

Where it all began…A checklist for Start Up businesses

“How did you start?” is the question that I get asked most, which is a wonderful question because it also gets me to reflect. I was a guest on Channel Ten’s Studio 10 last week and this is the exactly the question they wanted me to answer – with a bit of a twist: How do you turn your passion into a business? So I share below the 5-minute video where I summarize the key steps I took to start…