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wisdom from richard branson

I posted this article on LinkedIn as part of it’s influencer program. I find myself reflective at this time of year – thinking about the wins of 2014 and the opportunities for 2015. I’m excited for the coming year as I have much coming up: the launch of my book in March “Live What You Love”, the airing on Channel Ten of Shark Tank Australia, and being invited to join a global leadership program…

There is much to be excited about, but that’s not to say that everything goes smoothly all the time. In fact, there have been many things this year that have been really challenging, things that just have not gone to plan, and incidents that have left me wondering about humanity.

I choose to take the positive route and look for the good in everything. I seek opportunities to learn and grow, but that can sometimes take incredible energy.

I was asked some months back, “If there was one thing you could change what would it be?”. There are many things that I would work on, so it was hard to choose just one.

I do believe deeply if we had a balanced voice in leadership in all spectrums of community then our society would be a different place.

As I was finalising the manuscript for my book I reached out to all sorts of people that I knew, have met, or I was connected to some how.

I was looking for the people who had followed their dreams – sometimes at great cost to themselves – and people who believed in their vision and would pursue that relentlessly. I requested of them a sentence to use on the cover of my book. I wanted it to have a balanced voice – men and women from different parts of the community.

One of the people I asked was Sir Richard Branson. It just so happened that on that day I had published a quote from him on my LinkedIn status –

“At the end, entrepreneurship is not about wearing expensive suits and earning a lot of money. It is all about being true to yourself, to your values in life. Your dreams.” Richard Branson

This quote got more than 1000 likes and was shared extensively.

I cannot imagine how many people ask Sir Richard to write a comment for their books, so not surprisingly his people said “No.” to any contribution for my book.

This ‘knock back’ made me reflect about these motivational quotes ‘everywhere’. It made me look at what people do publish all over social media (which I really like – as do millions of others). The vast majority of them are by men. In fact it is often hard to find a woman quoted. There is no balanced voice in these messages.

Where are the women of history? The female leaders, the women from different cultures and backgrounds to guide us with their wisdom?

Since that time (around six months ago) I have only quoted women. It’s not because I don’t think the male contribution isn’t fantastic, it’s just that they get disproportionate airtime.

We need women on every stage, quoted equally in the media, and we need inspirational women’s quotes everywhere too.

Here is my collection so far… enjoy them (and please feel free to add a comment of your own favorite female quotes – so I have plenty of new ones for the new year.)

There is always opportunity – even in rejection. Without the knock back I never would have seen the need to amplify our women of history in a different way.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Thank you for sharing those great quotes. One of my favorite (and it is from a woman!) is from Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. Have a great 2015 and I look forward to meeting you one day.

  2. Actually no matter if someone doesn’t know afterward its up to other visitors that they will assist, so here it takes place.

  3. Thank you for sharing those great quotes. One of my favorite (and it is from a woman!) is from Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. Have a great 2017 and I look forward to meeting you one day.


  1. […] own personal hits and misses with her readers in regularly updated posts, including the day she was turned down by Richard Branson. As a star on the latest season of Shark Tank, Simson also has some great advice for entrepreneurs […]

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  • Reflecting on this weeks planning session... people of different backgrounds, different ages, nationalities all united by a shared senses of #purpose to do something meaningful and valuable for others. #leadership #quote
  • Each year I look at what it is I want to achieve. And how I want to contribute. I also build new messages and insights for my keynotes. One topic I’m considering is Influence... how to impact others. This will incorporate personal leadership, but it is far more shifting viewpoints and aligning people.  This is what I’m working on at the moment.  What are you planning for 2018?
  • Looking good team! #BRG #kickoff
  • Oh it’s all about #BRG and 2018 for the next few days ❤️ Love to plan 💙Love to dream @redballoon @getredii @davidchristopheranderson @wrappedbyredballoon
  • Loveit @redballoon and this is what we do for our day job!


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