Category Archives: Articles

The state of Small Business – It’s a team game

The state of Small Business – It’s a team game

Small businesses are essential to economies around the globe; we the little guys – serve our local communities, we too can serve the world because we can access customers anywhere. I find myself in a fortunate position almost as a spokesperson on behalf of small business because of my role on TENs Shark Tank Australia. In Australia small businesses (turning over less than $2million) represent 96% of all business and employ 63% – almost two thirds – of the working population,…

My Work Life When I Was 22

My Work Life When I Was 22

I often have a good giggle with audiences when I’m presenting, about what it was like working “last century.” The funny thing is that in just a decade, many of the practices seem completely archaic. How did we cope? We had telephones that you would dial, and then wait after each number you dialed for the rotary piece to return to base. The sound was distinctive… dddd, dddd, dddd (very hard to replicate in writing). No speed dial, voice recognition,…

RedBalloon turns ‘Blu’ for a day

Megan Bromley, Head of Employee Experience at RedBalloon

Here is an international success story… which is humbling – and has left all RedBallooners quite ‘Blu’. I post this here to answer a question I had today in my session at EY. What does WorldBlu or a democratic business look like? Way back in 2001 when RedBalloon was founded, I had so many hopes and dreams for what the business could be. I wanted to change gifting in Australia forever and to encourage ‘good times’ over more ‘stuff’. After…

The ‘customer gets customer’ rule for start-up valuation

Crisp found that it had ‘lines out the door’ when it commenced operations because people attract people. Photo: Stuart Bryce.

As we head toward Sunday night and the new time of 9.00 on Channel Ten’s Shark Tank I wonder how many pitches will be considering how customers find customers. For the telephone to be successful, the owner of the phone needed to have friends who also had the device… it was the original ‘friends get friends’ marketing campaign. Fax machines were only useful if you knew someone who had one. In my early days at IBM the first fax machine…

To dream the ‘impossible’ dream….*

To dream the ‘impossible’ dream….*

A BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) is a dream – but not an impossible dream. In fact by definition it is possible – but not probable. Do you have a personal BHAG? I wonder how many people simply give up their dreams because they tell them selves that they are too ‘old’ too ‘poor’ or not clever enough to reach their dreams. To turn dreams into reality will take a degree of risk taking, it may take giving up a…

When the big fear gets in your way: failure.

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…

Where it all began…A checklist for Start Up businesses

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…

Why “I didn’t know” is no excuse

Why “I didn’t know” is no excuse

This article first appeared on LinkedIn in March 2015. I was always getting into trouble as a child and breaking the rules. At the time I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I didn’t think anyone would notice. I was trying to ‘get away with it’. One thing I have found fascinating through my experience on TEN’s Shark Tank, is that some people pitching somehow still think they are in the schoolyard, and that cutting corners is OK….

Why I ate pet food on national TV and why I would do it again

Image courtesy of TEN - On set for Shark Tank

When I walked into work on Monday morning I was met by RedBalloon’s PR Executive who greeted me with, “You’ll never believe the headline I just read about you!” The article she was talking about was Shark Tank recap: The night Naomi Simson ate dog food on national television. There’s no doubt eating food meant for canines makes great TV, but there was actually a very real business reason why I did it… it’s called “customer experience”. During episode two…

‘The Sharks’ reveal their secrets to running a successful business.

View the video on Secrets to Success here on TenPlay

THEY are ‘The Sharks’ on Ten’s new reality show Shark Tank — and here they reveal their secrets to running a successful business. This article appeared in news.com.au on 18 February 2015 So just who are these entrepreneurs and what have they done to be worthy of the label ‘Shark’? Tech entrepreneur … Steve Baxter from Shark Tank. INTERNET PIONEER STEVE BAXTER My business motto is… Do business you are proud of. The best deal I ever made was… On…