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DSC01683 My life as an undercover volunteer

Secret Millionaire – Channel Nine 9.30pm 29 Oct 2009

Episode Four: Features Naomi Simson

Resilience and perseverance are both qualities that I understand. There have been times in the short eight year history of RedBalloon where I have felt that I am taking more steps backward than forward. Calamities that, at the time seemed insurmountable. I remember Tim Pethick (founder Nudie Juice) saying to me once that entrepreneurs are like clown punching bags – we take what ever punch is thrown and then we pop straight back up ready for a new day – ever postive. I asked him – ‘what if I don’t get up?’ He replied ‘well you wouldn’t be an entrepreneur then.’ My husband has often said ‘if starting a business was easy – then everyone would do it.’ But some how this is now in context, I have always had people around me to love and support me.

Failure destroys some people. Others rise from the ashes, only to come back stronger.

I’ve read about the Disabled Surfers Association – and they have a meet on the weekend. I’ve set it up so I can go down to the beach and volunteer. But I need some head space today. I have been living on $20 per day. I’m too fearful to leave my room after I get back in the evening (and I’ve got no where to go anyway). No TV or internet. I don’t mind my own company, but a week of solitude is really beginning to take its toll. I miss my family. They’re busy doing the things they do.  One of the concerns that I have is I have experienced so much and met so many different people – how can I share that with my family. I really would love my children particularly to have met the people I have I’m getting to know, but of course it would be different.

As a family we make donations, or help fund raise at schools there is so much more that we could do support others in the community.

RedBalloon has a program to assist Not-for-Profits with fund raising – there is a finite budget, but we do what we can by donating an experience voucher here and there.  The experience of volunteering is much different and one that I want to share.

Today is a day to ponder what I’m going to do. I go for a run – it is seems harder. I people watch – this area of the Gold Coast is such a melting pot. Very glitzy middle aged people, retirees, young hoods – and then there are the homeless.

I need to researching the cost of the things that might benefit the organizations I have visited so far. I want the funds to be sufficient to get the projects up and running and deliver a great result.

I’m back inside my tiny motel room by 6.00 it is dark outside.

I miss my family – what was I doing last Saturday night. Family laughs, a shared meal. I wonder what they are doing now. Life goes on without me, this is quite surreal – maybe there not there any more. How would it be if this was my new life and there was no going home next week?  What would I do?

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  • Lovely conversation with @katewaterhouse7 for the @sydneymorningherald today thanks @betabarsydney for hosting
  • Walking in the 'shoes of our customers' #brg17 @redballoonexperiences @getredii @wrappedbyredballoon #myredballoon #tropical @portdouglas
  • So much fun out on the Great Barrier Reef today with the @redballoonexperiences @getredii and @wrappedbyredballoon teams ❤️🎈💃 #brg17 #bigredgroup #myredballoon
  • Had a ball on set for @theloopeleven tune in now.... 📺💃🏼
  • Coming up on @theloopeleven this morning on @stweedie and @livphyland ask me to pick which businesses are real and which is not see you there st 9.00am @eleven_tv


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