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Tell me I “cannot” do, be or have something – and that is the surest way to inspire me into action as I recently shared with the LinkedIn influencer program.
What inspires me is simply when the ‘impossible becomes possible’ – to tackle a problem and never give up, no matter how challenging.
The pet name my peers gave me at university was ‘Num’ – because it rhymed with dumb… I had an idea that I was not the smartest academic in class – and that there were definitely cleverer students on campus. In fact my own father said to me as I was finishing my degree, “Just in case your university education does not get you a job – let me send you on a touch-typing course, at least you will have that to fall back on.”
At some point I said to myself “you just wait – I will show you, I will be a ‘success.'”
I have never thought that people took me seriously. It is as if my need to ‘prove’ myself has fueled my relentless pursuit to create a best work place, for growth and for being “world-famous” for what we do. To show all those people that said to me “you can’t” – that in fact I can.
After leaving corporate life, I became a marketing consultant, and even in doing that somehow my clients would look at the marketing plans I created… and pick and choose which elements they would do – as if it was a shopping list. I thought as an ‘expensive’ consultant surely I would be listened to. Still no.
As a start-up, I put into practice at RedBalloon the things that I had been advising my clients to do. I wondered if I could build a brand based on listening to customers and responding. If having a work place that people loved to be at, was to also to create a highly profitable business. Somehow I still needed to “show them.” (Whoever “them” is).
Even now when I hear business leaders say “oh it is easy for you, you only have a team of 60”, I want to stamp my feet. “No!” I yell inside. “When will I be taken seriously?” Then I am inspired to do more, work harder – to prove that it is possible.
And I am equally inspired by other people’s stories of creating the possible from the impossible.
If I hear a story of someone who has overcome the odds, worked hard, focused, fulfilled on his or her word – and has been relentless in changing the world to make it a better place – I feel unbelievably inspired and uplifted.
My motto is “if it is meant to be, it is up to me” – but to change the world, first it takes a dream… these words have always inspired me:

To dream … the impossible dream …
To fight … the unbeatable foe …
To bear … with unbearable sorrow …
To run … where the brave dare not go …
To right … the unrightable wrong …
To love … pure and chaste from afar …
To try … when your arms are too weary …
To reach … the unreachable star …

This is my quest, to follow that star …
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far …
To fight for the right, without question or pause …
To be willing to march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause …

The Impossible Dream by Musical “Man of La Mancha”
Lyrics by Joe Darion

When the impossible becomes possible, the world is a better space.
(Thanks to my father for the touch-typing – it takes me more time to choose the headline and the picture for my posts than it does to type. Picture: my Dad, Mum and I, at my graduation from the University of Melbourne. He was always challenging me… and he still does.)

Grow & Scale Your Business by Naomi Simson

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