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As the year draws to a close – one begins to reflect on the year, it’s ups and downs – and then what the next year might look like. I have not been blogging quite as often – simply because I have been setting aside that time to write a book.

One of my highlights for 2013 was being a speaker at ‘Wired for Wonder’.

Better to have a mind opened with wonder …..than closed by negativity.

Wired for Wonder was a daunting yet exciting experience given I was the speaker in between Brene Brown and Shawn Achor. Their combined TED talks have had something like 20 million views. You can imagine that at the Wired For Wonder event (hosted by the CommBank) held at the National Institute for Dramatic Arts (NIDACate Blanchett, Mel Gibson and Baz Luhrmann all attended this school) – I was curious to know how my presentation on ‘the journey to leadership’ would be received. (I am sure that all of the above consider their legacy.)

As I shared in my LinkedIn post: I figured if I’m having fun – surely the audience would have fun… I relaxed, was myself and had a good giggle with the audience – weaving my tale whist touching on some of the ideas of the other speakers. And I was happy with the outcome and the feedback.

The event was experiential and uplifting I stayed and enjoyed the complete program – and it inspired me to think more deeply on “What will my legacy be?”.

Each morning I look in the mirror – smile (and I smile back – totally infectious) and affirm that “I know myself to be generous and competent – and that I can count on myself to do good work – no matter what presents itself.” This has worked for me as my leadership journey continues.

I challenged the audience to ask the hard question of themselves – over and over again “What is my purpose? – Why do I do what I do? – How have I made the world a better place today?” – Ultimately I believe that our legacy will appear from asking the hard question and that only in seeing a greater ’cause’ can we become true leaders. I claimed that leadership is not charisma – and that we are not born to leadership – we choose it. Or more aptly our purpose chooses us – and forever we are committed to it.

Never ever giving up – but with an open mind, available to creativity, wonder and imagination.

Sometimes this may well seem impossible – but as Vinh Giang pointed out in the final session, “the word impossible is really a mispronunciation of I’m possible” – And I borrowed my headline from him too.

What will your legacy be? My journey to leadership started with a sense of purpose, it took persistence, and uniting the team – and of course passion. (That was the four steps to my leadership journey that I shared with the group.)


Picture: Shawn Achor and myself – with colleagues Lauren Ashton and Sarah Bowden

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  • Happiness:
Think less, Feel more;
Frown less, Smile more;
Judge less, Accept more;
Watch less, Do more;
Complain less, Appreciate more;
Fear less, Love more....
Give it a crack 😎on a weekend like this what's to stop you! #naturalbeauty #happiness
  • 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


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