It is not often that I am short for words. I love to talk and I rarely (if ever) get nervous or flustered when speaking to large groups. Today lunch time was a whole new experience.
I was a finalist in the NSW Telstra Business Women’s Awards in two categories, Business Owner and also Innovation.
At the briefing for finalists the night before – I heard from past winners how important it was to prepare a couple of speeches in case you won not one but two awards. I thought naively … “it’s okay if I win I’m pretty good on my feet.”
So as I stood in the spotlight…the experience washed over me, the sheer delight at being acknowledged for what we are up to at RedBalloon. Knowing that 4000 entries had been received for these awards, and as the winner, I am now representing NSW in the National finals in Melbourne on 9 December in two categories.
I thanked the sponsor – ‘Yellow for seeing Red’ thought I was pretty clever with that one. I thanked our supply community, the people that make RedBalloon what it is. I included Telstra in that – given that the broadband Next G thingie that hangs out of my Mac keeps me very productive even when I am travelling all over the show. And of course Nokia for believing in innovation.
My team were loud and proud, and I am so honored to work with such a great bunch (past too) of committed RedBallooners who are changing gifting in Australia forever so people feel great when they receive a gift and they get to experiences something they have always wanted to do, to share with family or friends.
Jemma who is the GM for RedBalloon (we’ve been together for over five years) knows me pretty well. When I returned to our table she said – that was the shortest speech I have ever heard you make. At that point, it dawned on me… I was heading for the doghouse, I forgot to mention my business partner and husband who has supported me unbelievably since the day we met. He has always seen me as ‘bigger’ than I see myself.
Thank goodness I got another chance at the microphone when I won the innovation award.
Feeling out of my depth, nervous, excited, mixed with adrenalin was a fantastic experience. Being honoured by your community absolutely exhilarating.
Thank you so much to all those who have and continue to support me, my mentor’s, EO buddies, customers and suppliers. To the amazing RedBalloon team who take my big scary crazy ideas and turn them into process and systems – with flair and fun.
To Jemma and Pete – thank you.

Grow & Scale Your Business by Naomi Simson

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