Naomi Simson

let’s do this together

Known as entrepreneur and business leader.

Growing up I had wanted to be an artist. My mother encouraged me to have a business career, and I am forever grateful that she did. I thrive on building businesses, working with teams and solving problems. I founded RedBalloon in 2001 from home, now it is part of the Big Red Group which I co-founded in 2017 with David Anderson, Group CEO. We are a market place for experiences – in fact there are more than 2000 small businesses as part of our BRG community. I write what I am learning with a view to supporting other business owners. Together we will pull together to support the industry that has been my life for 20 years. My job is to bring people together. And now on Sundays I paint… perhaps that is my ‘next career’.

Known as entrepreneur and business leader

Last century I worked for big brands, IBM, Apple, KPMG and Ansett Airlines – all of which influenced who I am today.

find your purpose and be passionate

I have many labels: speaker, author, blogger, entrepreneur, innovator and influencer

I have many labels: speaker, author, blogger, entrepreneur, innovator and influencer…

With more than 2.8 million LinkedIn followers, I believe my gift is my ability to share insights, experience and observations about business, innovation and success. I’m passionate about shifting the way people experience life and we do that at the Big Red Group by delivering experiences. This purpose flows to our suppliers, distribution partners and the communities and people we come in contact with. I want people to create truly vivid memories and live lives worth remembering – and I believe that shared experiences are at the very heart of this. On Shark Tank Australia I am an investor and supporter of the startup community. I am also the author of two best selling books, ‘Live What You Love’, and ‘Ready to Soar’.

I am a Governor of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, and a director of the University of Melbourne Faculty of Business and Economics

the things I believe

The things I believe

The things I believe

  • The Experience Economy
  • In business, resilience, respect and responsibility are equally important
  • Passion, persistence, positivity, and purpose create a vivid experience of life
  • People need to connect more through shared experiences
  • Saying thank you spreads a sense of well being
  • Everyone deserves to have a great day at work and to feel proud of their contribution
  • What I learn is better shared.

Resources on a number of business themes

Australian entrepreneur, blogger, business investor, founder of RedBalloon and co-founder of the Big Red Group.

After launching the Australian online success story RedBalloon in 2001, Naomi went on to co-found the Big Red Group (BRG) with partner David Anderson in 2017. In addition to RedBalloon Australia and New Zealand, the group includes Lime&Tonic, RedBalloon for Business and Adrenaline.. The BRG is at the forefront of digital disruption for experience marketing; delivering material value to business partners, marketplaces and stakeholders.

Australian entrepreneur, blogger, business investor, founder of RedBalloon and co-founder of the Big Red Group

The Big Red Group

We are all about 'experiences'.

“Nothing ever becomes real ’til it is experienced," John Keats.

We believe life is vivid, interesting and challenging. With a sense of pride, accomplishment and purpose we do great work – and we make a difference in how people experience life. We work as one team (and we treat our brands as clients).

Experiences have a unique and wonderful way of increasing in value over time. The memories they create; the moments of happiness. They never wear out, tarnish or break, and that’s why we’re in the business of great experiences.

The joy of material possessions soon fades. While a new phone or outfit might serve to give you a momentary ‘high’, it’s fleeting. Experiences are an investment that will actually increase in value over time.

Experiences help build relationships. Things do not. Life is all about moments and memories and experiences are the gateway to this. Often experiences are shared and create moments of bonding and understanding between individuals.


We are changing gifting in Australia forever.


“They will never forget they way you made them feel”

Our customers love ‘that moment’ when his or her loved one opens the red envelope and discovers what has been chosen for them. They have explored the extensive range – bought for someone else – and from time to time they buy for themselves – there is nothing quite like giving the perfect gift. You feel great, and they feel great. #experiencegifting

RedBalloon for Business

Putting experiences to work for all Australians

RedBalloon for Business has been delivering experiences to our clients for twenty years, and even in times of ‘lock down’ experiences can be a valuable way to keep people connected.

Whether it is having RedBalloon for Business host virtual events or designing customer acquisition programs, in the current ‘safe distancing’ economy – our experiences still connect people.

And when you choose from our range of Gift Vouchers and eCards, these give people something to look forward to. No matter where or how people work, RedBalloon for Business helps build connections – even when you cannot be there in person.


Get your heart racing and take an adventure of a life time

Our customers are ‘adrenaline junkies’ and live life now! They love hearing from us regularly about 11th hour things to do and daily deals. We are more than a deals site and much more than ‘extreme sports’. We have the widest range of active experiences nationally and make it easy to find a date, book and go. Regardless of whether it is a local weekend adventure, holiday fun or a bucket list must do, Adrenaline has it. They book many ‘experiences of a life time’. #LiveLifeLoud.


Add a twist to your next event

Lime&Tonic puts a unique twist on the best experiences in dining and pampering in Sydney and Melbourne – updated seasonally and highly curated. We’re the equivalent of a trusted, in-the-know friend with all the right suggestions and contacts for every occasion.  Our relationships with world-class chefs, household food celebrities, acclaimed restaurants, iconic hotels and unique venues allow us to create bespoke events and experiences.

Ready to Soar

A best seller guidebook to help people work through and discover how to make their business idea a success.

Published 2016

At any given point more than 10% of adult Australians are considering ‘an innovative idea that could be the next big thing’…. Do you have an idea you think might have potential? Perhaps something people would spend their hard-earned cash on? If you could just get started. In Ready to Soar, I show you how to develop your brilliant idea into a thriving business. I wrote Ready to Soar because I want people to start their businesses with their eyes wide open - so they don’t get blindsided. Whether you want to make oodles of money, help create a better world, or simply become your own boss, Ready to Soar can help. You will learn how to avoid the pitfalls that many start-up businesses make, formulate your ideas, make plans and develop your individual roadmap for success. You’ll be challenged to think through things that might never have occurred to you when I reveal the questions I wish people had asked me all those years ago. Ready to Soar will help you turn your dream into a reality. You can grab your signed copy here or on iBooks and listen to the  Dymocks podcast. Are you #ReadyToSoar?


Live What You Love

A best selling book about when passion and purpose change your life.

Published 2015

If there's one thing we all have in common, it’s that we’re 'time poor'. Time is our most precious asset – we are all given only 24 hours a day, so how you choose to spend those precious seconds, minutes and hours will ultimately determine your sense of well being or success. I know your pain; it's mine too. The hardest thing I have ever had to do is make the choice on where I spend my time. So many choices: Education, reading, events, socialising... let alone work, family, friends and fitness. And there’s so little time. And now I'm presenting you with a new book to read... I wrote Live What You Love to better equip you to make great choices for your life and your future - where to spend your time. If you give your time to discovery, you will reap the reward, whatever that reward may be. It might be simply flourishing, or career guidance; perhaps some insights on starting a business, or you might find the inspiration you need to succeed on your academic journey. This book will make a difference to living a life you love. I know if you take the time, contemplate the words, make them your own and do the exercises I have included, your experience of life will shift – and you will have a few laughs along the way. You will discover your passion, understand the power of persistence, know the difference that comes from being positive and ultimately experience a life filled with purpose. Grab your signed copy here or on iBooks plus I've also set up a LinkedIn group so that people can share their stories about how they have put into practice #LiveWhatYouLove.



Gold Stevie Award – Business Silver Stevie Award – Individual

[ 2013 ]

Pearcey ICT Tech Entrepreneur of the year

[ 2013 ]

National Winner Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year

[ Industry Category – 2011 ]

National Winner Telstra Business Women’s Awards for Innovation

[ and the NSW Business Owner Category – 2008 ]

RedBalloon voted one of Australia’s Best Places to Work

[ BRW 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013 ]

Deloitte Tech Fast 100 Five Times

[ BRW 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013 ]

The RedBalloon community program and my philanthropic work

#humpday looking pretty good! What are you planning? #makeverysecondcount #buylocal #holidayathome @australia #huntervalley @destinationnsw @RedBalloonTeam

What is your definition of #success ? This one from #MayaAngelou is so great - but perhaps I would add 'and who you do it with'. #mondaymotivation #inspiration #quote

It is time to invest in yourself! Grab yourself this #bookbundle #deal #selfhelp #motivation #inspiration #careergrowth Use #promocode Save2021 to get the bundle for $50 (includes shipping in Australia)