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I am often out and about meeting people, customers and suppliers and of course speaking to groups this can take me to anywhere in Australia (and sometimes overseas). It still surprises me that a business that no one had ever heard of a decade ago now appears in the most remote and far distant places.

I dreamed that RedBalloon would become a household name in Australia and New Zealand – and in the past few weeks I have discovered that this dream is on its way to becoming true.

On a flight to Bali to present at one of our fantastic supplier events I sat next to a woman and she asked what I did – I said I founded a businesses more than a decade ago – she said ‘oh’ and told me she was an aviation lawyer – I enquired about that, so she politely asked me a little more about what I did. I said I founded RedBalloon… at that point she got all excited, blushed and said “Oh oh – I don’t believe it you’re business is amazing – I know all about it – I buy all my gifts from you…” and the conversation went from there.

I was in Sale in eastern Victoria a large county town. I was at a supermarket (buying supplies for the trip)… and the kind employee helped me scan at the check out – as she could clearly see that I was a novice. She asked if I was in Sale for work and I said “Yes – I am the founder of a business called RedBalloon” – she said “Wow that is a fantastic site – I bought my mum her Christmas combined birthday present from it – I cannot believe I have met you here at work, in Sale”.

Then I was in Colac in western Victoria for a speaking engagement – and the hair was a flutter – I had to rush to a hairdresser for a quick blow dry…. and the hairdresser of course asked “What brings you to Colac?” I told her… and she called everyone over and said “I cannot believe it – this is the woman that started that great business RedBalloon – you know the one, it is amazing – and I’m doing her hair – just wait until I Facebook this… can I have a photo….”

Three far away places and the RedBalloon story proceeded me…. but then just now I asked a colleague to find out where our customers reside – of course we are everywhere in Australia and New Zealand… but here is something that amazed me.

346 Peruvians, 223 Jordanians and 33 people from Christmas Island have all visited our store online in recent months. In fact, we have customers (ie people who have purchased from us) in 129 countries outside of Australia, which means we are earning for Australia precious export dollars.

It is the beauty of being online – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week we can serve anyone in the world…. RedBalloon is a global story.

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@naomisimson

  • Happiness:
Think less, Feel more;
Frown less, Smile more;
Judge less, Accept more;
Watch less, Do more;
Complain less, Appreciate more;
Fear less, Love more....
Give it a crack 😎on a weekend like this what's to stop you! #naturalbeauty #happiness
  • Friday drinks must be here soon surely ... or I'm out! #friyay
  • In the 90s I left my cushy job at Apple.

I’d be a squillionaire if I still had my stock options.

I don’t regret it. Here's why:

After 10 years of corporate, I wanted to ‘do my own thing’. I started with freelance marketing.

My strategy? Hard work and build strong brands.

It seemed to work - new clients came from referrals.

But after 18 months, I came to a realisation:

All my clients wanted was “more customers”, not complex branding plans.

SO I thought I’d build a brand of my own. Something to get them “more customers”. RedBalloon was born. The purpose? Give people amazing experiences.

16 years on, RB has delivered 3.8 million customers to 2000 small businesses.

Now, when I give talks, I always get the same question: “How did you build such a strong brand?” Funny how it comes full circle.

I can’t answer that with a time limit.

Though I think I found a way - an online course. “How to Build your Business Brand” - years of experience in one place (link in bio if interested). But, that’s not the point of this post.

If I stayed with Apple I’d be unbelievably wealthy.

Quitting was still the best thing I’ve ever done.

So if you want to take a leap of faith, do it.

All I ask you is this:

Trust yourself and never underestimate the power of brand.
  • #tbt the originals circa 2004 🎈 it reminds that an entrepreneurs journey is long and full of twists and turns. What a ride! @redballoonexperiences
  • I have always been rushing! I need to remind myself of this one regularity. I'm intentional, not frenetic. Choose the one thing that needs to get done to make everything easier! #inspiration

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