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role models for entrepreneurs

Role Models for Entrepreneurs

“We all need role models — someone to lead the way, and  show us what is possible”

My goal this year is to be the role model that other people were to me. It might sound odd – but I feel so incredibly fortunate to have had so many people contribute to my growth and development… what if I could be that person to others. To show people what is possible when you set your mind to something when you choose to be a great employer – when you are happy to share what you have learned with others? What if in being that role model I could build a community of 100,000s of people around the world all supporting the education and learning to create great businesses that contribute to the well-being of their employees and customers. So yes I am on a mission this year. My game is to create a community of like-minded people… but where did this begin.

Back in 2011, I attended an Entrepreneur Workshop and the words of Avril Henry still resonate with me. She explained that one of the traits of entrepreneurs is that “we are there for the long term.” We do not give up easily – we are fiercely opportunistic and are forever looking at the next success story. Success is in our blood. We are undoubtedly attracted to others who share this trait…

I am not sure I fit the conventional mould when it comes to having “mentors” in my life. I like to think of my role models as inspirational people whom I have drawn wisdom, experience, knowledge, and life purpose from along the way. One could easily argue that it was my parents, who consistently and relentlessly nurtured and supported me.

My mother had a long career in computing; she worked for one of Australia’s great entrepreneurs.

As a young girl, she was a role model to me. My mother spent much of her career as a systems analyst with the business Lyndsey Cattermole founded, Aspect Computing (acquired by KAZ Group in 2003 for $215 million). Mum had said to me when I was at University, “If Lyndsey can do it, you can too.” I guess that’s where my mantra has come from — evolving into “If it is meant to be, it is up to me.”

I am not alone in thinking that Lyndsey is one of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs. At the age of 25, she had founded her business, the largest Australian software and services company, which went on to become a major force in Australian ICT with 1.300 employees. She remained on as the Managing Director before selling the business — she was a Director until 2004. She has won numerous accolades and awards, including the EY Champion of Entrepreneurship.

My mother was one of Lyndsey’s longest-serving employees and during that time, Mum would ask me along to some of their events. I remember Lyndsey being larger than life and very effervescent — she was always talking loudly and full of enthusiasm. Most of all, she was engaging. She would give me little gems of wisdom such as “study hard, work hard and follow your passions.”

Catching up with Lyndsey Cattermole: 20 years on

Role models are people that you view from a distance, you learn from, you read what they write, watch them speak, or observe their behavior. They are different than mentors.

I am inspired by more than I can list. People who run big businesses and small. But they all have something in common: they had an original thought, a vision, or a desire to simply do things differently. They share the entrepreneurial spirit I have — and my intention is to be a role model to others, as I have been fortunate to have been led by such wonderfully inspiring entrepreneurs along my journey.

Role Models are not necessarily perfect – but we observe them and learn from them. Often what they write or say answers a question that we have.

You may well be a #RoleModel for others – you are unlikely to realise.

“People around you watch what you do, more than hear what you say. So remember to align your words with your actions.”

I believe what goes around comes around, I have had many role models (and continue to) – and it is indeed my responsibility to be that for others. What about you?

If you have not already do join me in the conversation. Click here to receive an invitation to my community – you will find that you get to meet a bunch of my #rolemodels in the community as I begin to introduce the subject matter experts on #BusinessSuccess.


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  • 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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