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As the new book ‘Ready to Soar’ begins to arrive in book stores I reflect on why I dedicated hours and hours to putting down on paper what is in my brain. The experience of nearly 30 years of being in, or working with small business has given me not just vast knowledge but battle scars.

People ask me regularly “I’ve got a business idea, what should I do next?” – and quite frankly the answer to that question is different (and not short)… for each person.

People are also curious and want to know how RedBalloon started – yet that was such a long time ago (15 years) and the world was a vastly different place, with no social media, digital photography, smart phones – and even Google was in it’s infancy. There are some fundamentals about customer experience that stay the same – and building brand reputation but the way I would go about it would be completely different. I call on many other start up stories in the book – not just my own.

I nervously await what people will think, whether my years of working in small business and with start-up

s help people on the emotional journey as well as the skills, tenacity and passion that they will need to bring to his or her new enterprise.

Dr Andrew Rochford on the cusp of launching Docta.com said of me (and the book)

After two hard years of trying to get my idea off the ground I have figured out the difference between a good idea working and not working isn’t just about how good the idea is. It’s about people and timing. For me it was the right advice at the right time from the right person (Naomi) that has helped launch my idea to the next level.

No matter who you are or what your business idea is, one thing is certain, You don’t know what you don’t know. Hence, the reason the right advice from the right person at the right time cannot be valued highly enough.’

 

For many the language of entrepreneurship is confusing; ‘pivot’, ‘a raise’, ‘hockey stick’, or even ‘dog feeding’ (which has nothing to do with my dog Dexter, Head of security).  I want more people to understand the language that we speak.

  • I imagine teachers reading Ready to Soar and being well versed in how to engage their students; being equipped with a considerable understanding of entrepreneurship and start ups, to enable them to inspire their students.
  • I imagine bankers reading it tobe able to understand more about the journey of the start up and small businesses they meet – building empathy for that chosen path.
  • I imagine the family and friends of those starting businesses or running small businesses reading it to assist them better support their entrepreneurial loved one.
  • I imagine professional people such as accountants and lawyers reading it – giving them insight, advice and support to their clients.
  • I imagine government and policy makers reading it to assist them develop programs to support the innovation eco-system.
  • And of course I imagine the 10 percent of Australians who are currently considering starting a business reading it – it is simply an essential guide – which could save them a fortune in lost opportunity or misplaced energy. Please no ‘crash and burn’. A book to refer to over and over again.

There is a big conversation going on about Australia as an Innovation Nation – but it is not the idea alone that will create great businesses – we must also grow great business leaders.

I’m looking forward to being a part of

the #Idea Nation at the MCG on 25 May with a significant $20,000 prize pool on offer. Ready to Soar will help the winner invest it wisely to make sure that they turn that prize pool into a soaring success.

Join me together with other well seasoned entrepreneurs and business leaders.

with Pete Williams, Radek Sali, Adrian GIles, Tein-Ti Mak and Kate Gibson
Me with Pete Williams, Radek Sali, Adrian GIles, Tein-Ti Mak and Kate Gibson

 

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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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