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Silicon Valley: Innovation’s Holy Grail

We often think of Silicon Valley as the Holy Grail of innovation. I spent last week in California and learned a lot during my visits to Salesforce, Facebook and LinkedIn. Each started as a small business less that two decades ago… but each is driven by a sense of purpose and a shared sense of values. Salesforce nurtures young businesses through the Heroku innovation lab – it was really great to meet with these people and members of EO to realise that whilst they might be in Nirvana when it comes to the ‘startup ecosystem’, the business challenges they face are no different to anywhere else.

Thought for the week

What I’m reading

Fear often thwarts passion… Gary Vaynerchuk on why entrepreneurs must focus in on their own desires.

There’s so much opportunity yet success really comes from the ability to say ‘no’: read why the most successful people are embracing ‘no’.

We’ve all heard this: never take advice from someone you wouldn’t want to switch places with. Read an interesting post with a framework to quickly get you into the top 5–10 percent of your field so you can begin the real quest of becoming the best at what you do. 

On the blog

I’m often asked when did you know that you would be successful – what was that moment; there was no one moment – there were many. In fact it is quite a journey. However there were some pivotal things I did which led us to where we are today. Being reminded every day of why I do what I do was one of those pivotal moments. The second was that I did believe that I could do it, be it and have success. Believing in yourself is the first step. I wrote about my entrepreneurial journey here.

Facebook HQ and its campus is phenomenal; such an innovative workplace. I wrote about my experience, the anatomy of a great workplace and the five lessons I learned from my visit to Facebook, 1 Hacker Way, here. 

Quote of the week

In the Media

Listen to me on the radio talking to Dan & Candice from Chilli FM about my best business advice and Season Three of Shark Tank which airs on Ten next Tuesday at 8.30pm.

Business News Australia asked me what the first question is that I ask of startup entrepreneurs – read the article here.

Where to get my books

Ready to Soar (how to turn your brilliant idea into a business you love) – grab chapter one for free here!

Live What You Love (When Passion and Purpose Change your Life).

Come and join me!

Facebook Community of Business Owners and Business dreamers –
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Click to discover how I can help you progress to the next level through my Facebook Community The Huddle.


  • 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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