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 Big Red Group which I co-founded in 2017 with David Anderson, Group CEO. It is a marketplace 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. I spend much of my out of work hours painting… 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, podcaster, 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 Big Red Group by through our experience marketplaces including RedBalloon, Experience Oz, Lime&Tonic and Adrenaline. This purpose flows to our suppliers, distribution partners and the communities and people we come in contact with. 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, and on the Advisory Board of UTS

the things I believe

The things I believe

The things I believe

  • Life is better shared – I believe in community
  • In business, resilience, respect and responsibility are equally important
  • Passion, persistence, positivity, and purpose create a vivid experience of life
  • Connection is created through shared experiences
  • Being kind, generous and loving – and simple ‘Thank You’ can make someone’s day
  • 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, speaker, founder of RedBalloon and co-founder of  Big Red Group.

After launching the Australian online success story RedBalloon in 2001, Naomi went on to co-found Big Red Group (BRG) with partner David Anderson in 2017.

Headquartered in Sydney's CBD Australia, Big Red Group is the largest marketplace of experiences in ANZ, and home to leading brands including Adrenaline, Experience Oz, Lime&Tonic, and RedBalloon.  

Australian owned and operated, Big Red Group leads and grows the experience economy through, know-how, state-of-the-art tech platforms, industry alliances and partnerships. 

At Big Red Group we deliver connection to audiences, opportunities for growth and leadership in driving sustainable results for community.  In 2021, Big Red Group serves an experience approximately every 30 seconds.


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

Handpicked Podcast

Short, sharp and to the point. Advice, ideas, stories and conversations answering questions from business owners in each episode. Subscribe on your favorite podcast network.


Series One from 24 May 2021

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. 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.



Member of the Leaders for Climate Action

[ 2021 ]

BRG ESG program 

[ 2019, 2020, 2021 ]

Shark Tank Australia 

[ 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 ]

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 ]

WATCH – @JohnBarronUSA, our panel and guests discuss today’s big issues on The Drum:

Join the conversation with #TheDrum

#flashbackfriday 21 years since I drafted the first marketing plan for what became @RedBalloonTeam And I note that the movie #theredballoon which inspired the name is now streaming on @SBS And I haven’t aged a day 😳#entrepreneurlife #businessowner #anniversary #redballoon #fbf