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Naomi Simson friends

I had the privilege of meeting Professor Fiona Wood (Australian of the year 2005). She shared with the 800 women at the Business Chicks event Melbourne (and the following day in Sydney) her journey, persistence and passions. She is a fundamentally curious person with a passion for learning that is addictive.

As a child growing up in Yorkshire, she heard her father say when she was just a small girl – ‘Who are we not to dream’ – even though he was a minor, with little education – he had big dreams for his children, all four of them going to tertiary education.

This very humble woman who has dedicated the past two decades to healing burn victims had some very profound things to say:

  • “We should praise a little bit better – it does not hurt”
  • “I think of all the people who helped me along the way – that I wish I’d thanked more – and now they are not here”
  • “Taking a little extra time can make someone’s day – just seeing what they do and telling them.”
  • “Thanking people is about getting positive energy in”
  • “The choices we make – make history tomorrow.”

Why is a natural state of happiness so important?  Professor Wood shared that those with the predisposition of positive energy are far more likely to heal – than those who are negative.

In her experience some of the toughest nursing jobs are those in the burns unit and the oncology unit – yet consistently she has seen lower absenteeism by nurses in those units. She says in her belief it is because those nurses are the one’s that are thanked the most, by their medical colleagues, but also the patients.

Professor Wood is passionate about us simply being grateful to those around us – and such positivity will hold us in great stead, in case we find ourselves in a calamity.

Thank you, Fiona, for your inspiring words – There were 800 women today who left, knowing that they could follow their dreams – and also feel wonderful by simply saying thank you sincerely to the people around them.

If you would like to donate to the burns, trauma and scarless healing foundation it will be very gratefully received.


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  • 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
  • If you caught @sharktankau tonight I might have mentioned #gettinglucky @luckybuddhabeer 😂 🍺 @ten_insider @beer.pal


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