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I was recently asked a whole bunch of questions by a journalist…. here is my response.

Talent versus drive:

As an entrepreneur we face much adversity, in fact, we are like those clown punching bags that you hit which keep bouncing back up. You have to have drive, persistence and passion. There is no faking it until you make it.

You must truly believe in your purpose and keep going and going as if this was the last day to get it done. I have met some very talented people who have no real drive. Even if I look at those people who got the best scores at high school – they were not necessarily driven to achieve. They had nothing to prove. They were already there.

Me, on the other hand, a total ‘middle of the roader’ with a not very impressive academic record wanted to prove that I could make something of myself. To create something bigger than myself… something that will create a legacy….RedBalloon Changing gifting in Australia forever – so people have vivid stories to share.

Reader Interactions


  1. "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.

    Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.

    Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

    Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.

    Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

    — Calvin Coolidge

  2. Hi Naomi,

    Absolutely. Always interested in why people go into business for themselves – what do most successful athletes, business people, actors etc say "It took 10 years to become an overnight success". Like exceptional stand out talent instant overnight success is equally very very rare. Most times its just hard work, finding your niche and delivering something customers want and need.

    The most important element in all of that is to love what you do – wealth, success, etc is a by product IMHO.

    Love your work 🙂

  3. I knew someone far more interesting had said it far better than I… at least we agree.

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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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