• My Life in a Minute: Chris Ducker, Seth Godin – and we turn 9!

    It’s been a while since I’ve shared “My Life in a Minute’ so here is the latest on what’s been happening in my world.

    Thoroughly enjoyed: A recent mastermind session with entrepreneur, podcaster and author of “Virtual Freedom” Chris Ducker, which he held at the Australian Writers’s Centre’s training rooms in Sydney. There’s nothing like a power day sharing ideas with fellow business owners. I highly recommend it.

    With entrepreneur, podcaster and author of “Virtual Freedom” Chris Ducker in Sydney

    Thrilled to meet: Seth Godin at a wonderful Business Chicks lunch. I hosted a table of some awesome peeps as we absorbed Seth’s inimitable style in Melbourne.

    Marketing guru Seth Godin and fabulous friends

    Loved presenting to: A wonderfully engaged group of PwC partners at the PwC Partners Summit at the Gold Coast. It was all about “Storytelling in Business”.

    At the PwC Partners’ Summit

    Awesome hanging out with: A group of brilliant graduates of the Australian Writers’ Centre in Melbourne who have gone on to create successful careers as writers. We filmed a series of videos which are now being edited.… Read more ...

  • Feel the fear and do it anyway

    I have a confession to make. For the past couple of years, I’ve been cruising. I’ve been so far into my comfort zone it’s been like living life in a down and feather doona with a bowl of M&Ms in easy reach. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been working hard. It just means that I’ve been working hard only on projects and activities that I’ve been confident in achieving.

    As a result of working hard, my career has progressed and my business has grown. While that’s great, it’s also part of the reason I’ve been content to roll around in my comfort zone – because there has been no imperative to get out of it. If life is generally moving in the right direction, it’s easy to be complacent.

    However, I knew there was something inherently dissatisfying about what I was doing. I wasn’t stretching myself. And that meant I was limiting my opportunities for personal growth.

    Your comfort zone is a great place to be. But it should be considered a place to drop into from time to time, not a default state of existence.… Read more ...

  • How to find a consultant who will help transform your business

    You’ve been there. Your business is growing and you just can’t do everything. It’s time to call in the experts – consultants who can help take you to the next stage of your business.

    This is be hard for control freaks. But if you want your business to grow it’s important to accept that there are only 24 hours in a day and you can’t actually be an expert in SEO, sales, operations, admin, customer service, accounting, strategy and human resources. Well, you can try – but you’ll go crazy!

    Handing over the reins to consultants can be both liberating and filled with danger. Some consultants can truly transform your business. Yet some consultants can charge you a tonne of money but you end up with little to show for it.

    So how do you determine of a consultant is right for you?

    Well, if I had a magic formula that could give us all the answer for this, I would already be retired and sipping pina coladas on a tropical island.

    Nevertheless, over the years, I’ve learnt a few things – often, the hard way.… Read more ...

Make 2015 your most productive year yet

productivity
You want to be a productivity ninja, but it seems like no matter how hard you work, your “to do” list doesn’t get any shorter. So how can you achieve your goals and complete all your projects efficiently – without losing your mind?
 
1. It’s all about focus
Many people think that focus is all about concentration. Experts say that you need to shut down all your browsers and ensure you’re not multi-tasking. But focus is much more than just giving one task your undivided attention. After all, what happens if you’re focusing on the wrong task.
 
Steve Jobs once famously said:
“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.”
So before you even think about mono-tasking, take a long hard look at what you’ve decided to focus on.
Read more ...

Ep 49 Writers who take themselves too seriously, the decline of content mills, Hot Dudes Reading! And all your magazine writing questions answered.

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 Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait.This week we talk about writers who take themselves way too seriously, Frankie magazine sees its first readership drop, mapping the imaginary, the future of content mills, the book Literary Miscellany by Alex Palmer, all your freelance writing questions answered, hot dudes reading and more!

You can listen via:

iTunesStitcher, or find the transcript, show notes and listen via our blog here. 

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Ep 48 Harper Lee’s new book; top journalists turn to branded content; Women of Letters goes from Melbourne to New York (via Molly Ringwald); What surrounds YOUR desk? And Writer in Residence crime thriller author Candice Fox.

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Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait.This week: join Kate Forsyth in Oxford, Harper Lee to publish a sequel, Women of Letters travels to New York via Molly Ringwald, how top journalists are pivoting their careers, Australia’s new creative grants model, nine famous writing spaces, share your desk, what you should read next, Writer in Residence crime thriller author Candice Fox, the apps we’re in love with, how to keep an interview on track and much more!You can listen via:

iTunesStitcher, or find the transcript, show notes and listen via our blog here. 

Read more ...

Ep 47 Get the most out of writing comps; how NOT to write an obituary; sex scenes; what one blogger really earns; and Writer in Residence Nigel Bartlett.

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 Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait. This week: what’s in a name? Mapmaker Chronicles cover reveal, why Allison is not sponsored by her husband, getting the most out of writing competitions, how not to write an obituary, why writers have such a hard time writing about sex, what Allison has learned in her fifth year of blogging, the almost million-dollar man Pat Flynn, Writer in Residence Nigel Bartlett, how to find the right PR person for the product, and more!You can listen via:

iTunesStitcher, or find the transcript, show notes and listen via our blog here. 

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I get asked curly questions on the Flying Solo podcast.

FlyingSolo

This week, acclaimed business coach and founder of Flying Solo Robert Gerrish interviewed me on the Flying Solo podcast. Robert’s not only a great business coach, he’s a great interviewer. And he certainly kept me on my toes. I hope you enjoy it.

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Ep 46 Ask HarperCollins’ editors your questions; write good endings; Liz Gilbert’s new book; Nora Roberts’ blog; RescueTime app; and Writer in Residence crime thriller author James Phelan.

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 Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait.This week we talk about becoming an enthusiastic respite in the lives of your readers, Elizabeth Gilbert to release a book on creativity, ask the HarperCollins editor part three, the basics of endings, winter weekends, Writer in Residence crime thriller author James Phelan, how you teach teach yourself to write faster, the app RescueTime and more.

You can listen via:

iTunesStitcher, or find the transcript, show notes and listen via our blog here. 

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Ep 45 We’re back! What age do authors break through? How to write a 93,000-word book in 6 weeks. The 7-minute workout. And author Lisa Heidke on her new book “It started with a kiss”.

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 Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait.

This week we talk about Hello 2015! A new storytelling platform, write 93,000 words in six weeks, the Thiel grant for online writing, are you at the right age for your breakthrough book? Think small for freelance writing success, the book ‘The art and craft of feature writing’ by William Blundell, 10 blogs for writers in 2015, Writer in Residence Lisa Heidke (plus a giveaway!), work out in 7 minutes, how to close you can be to your subject, and much more.

You can listen via:

iTunesStitcher, or find the transcript, show notes and listen via our blog here.

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Featured in Switched on Leadership magazine

leadership

I was recently interviewed for an article in Switched on Leadership magazine about the power of storytelling in business. And the editors were kind enough to put me on the cover.

You can get a free three-month subscription to the magazine here.

If you’re interested in the new world of digital magazines, this combines the written word with an embedded podcast of the interview. … Read more ...

Sydney-based businesses: do you want a business makeover?

VK Business

If you’re a business based in Sydney, enter this. Seriously. You have nothing to lose. Just do it.

Microsoft is running a competition and entries close midnight on Thursday 15 January 2015. Basically, it’s a “Modern Biz Technology Make-over” and its website states:

  • Is your business using old, outdated computers and servers?
  • Are you stuck only being able to work from your office?
  • Do you struggle to get access to your files when you are on the road or working from home?

Sounds like your business is in desperate need of a make-over!

Microsoft and partners, Lenovo and XCentral, welcome applications from Sydney Metro based Small Businesses to participate in a reality web series called the “Microsoft ModernBiz Technology Make-Over”. Hosted by Australia’s favourite host, David Koch.

So if you’re looking to upgrade your computer system, need some help taking it into the 21st century, and want more flexible options – enter.

Just think – you could kick off 2015 with new … everything!

You can get all the deets here.

And guess what? If you win, I’ll be one of your mentors in the reality web series.… Read more ...

So you want to start a business…

newbiz

So you have an idea. And you’re convinced it’s going to be the Next Big Thing. You’re even seriously thinking about throwing in your day job so that you can turn this brain spurt into your very own business.

Before you resign from your secure job and start planning lazy days around the pool while your yet-to-be-hired minions are running your yet-to-be-created empire, it’s worthwhile to consider a few critical factors.

1. Are you passionate about it?

Running your own business is damn hard work. While it can be romantic to think that you can work your own hours and call your own shots, the reality is that you’re often burning the midnight oil just to get it off the ground.

So ask yourself how passionate you are about your business idea. Is it the sort of thing that you wake up thinking about? Or it is simply that you’ve identified an opportunity in the market and know you can make money from it?

Whatever your answer, it needs to be underpinned with passion. Without it, your idea is dead before it even gets off the ground.… Read more ...

Ep 43 Words banned by UK Government; Online news sites thrive; Finland turns back on cursive writing; what YouTube knows about you; and Copywriter in Residence Bernadette Schwerdt.

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 Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait.

This week we talk about “only pizzas are delivered” – the new UK Government style guide, good news about journalism, handwriting versus typing, Seth Godin answers digital publishing questions, blogs versus podcasts versus videos, Copywriter in Residence Bernadette Schwerdt, how to manage your Christmas deadlines and more!

You can listen via:

iTunesStitcher, or find the transcript, show notes and listen via our blog here. 

Read more ...

Get a head start into 2015.

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At this time of year, it’s natural to reflect. Take stock. And dream about the possibilities for the year ahead. We make plans, outline big goals and create vision boards that feature everything from the house we want to live in, the lifestyle we want to aspire to and the career we hope to achieve.

Look around and you’ll find countless motivational speakers popping up in your Facebook stream or inbox promising to help you achieve your goals for 2015.

We find ourselves sharing pretty quotes on Instagram with pithy messages like “The power of dreams is amazing possibilities” or “2015 is your year to shine”. Nice sentiments, sure. But it’s also important to remember that dreaming about making our dreams come true just isn’t the same thing as taking action to really make them happen.



Get a reality check

In the midst of all the feel good festivities, maybe it’s time for a reality check. I don’t mean to be a downer at a time of year that’s supposed to be filled with sparkles and sunshine. But maybe it’s time to emerge from the cotton wool cocoon of pretty pictures of Pinterest of the life you want to live – and actually start living it.… Read more ...

Ep 42 New Harry Potter stories; Novella competition; Book trailers; Create your author platform; and what kids want to read. We also talk to ghostwriter Sally Collings.

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 Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait.

This week we talk about the best books of 2014, how authors are selling books on YouTube, the Novella competition, why sitting makes you depressed, the art of social media for writers, what kids really want to read, 12 new Harry Potter stories to come, creating your writer platform, an interactive novel, Writer in Residence Sally Collings, gifts for writers, why you should be networking and more!

You can listen via:

iTunesStitcher, or find the transcript, show notes and listen via our blog here. 

Read more ...

Ep 41 Is blogging dead? The art of note-taking, novels written by computers, how to transcribe effifciently, Kidspot’s Voices of 2014, and Writer in Residence Rachael Johns.

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 Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait.

This week we talk about the business of freelancing, NaNoWriMo finishes, is blogging dead? The best book note-taking system, print highlighted passages in your kindle, novels written by computers, the Kidspot Voices of 2014, Writer in Residence Racahel Johns, easy transcription, to pseudonym or not to pseudonym and more!

You can listen via:

iTunesStitcher, or find the transcript, show notes and listen via our blog here. 

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Ep 40 New word: “vape”; How to pitch to editors; the future of journalism; new magazine for teens; clickbait headline generator; and Writers in Residence The Minimalists.

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 Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait.

This week we talk about get your freelancing business up to scratch, the best middle fiction books of 2014, the newest word in the dictionary, 10 words invented by writers, an editor reveals what she wants to read, the future of journalism, The Hoopla launches a quarterly newspaper aimed at teens, is it plagiarism or “mixing”? Why writing businesses fail, Writers in Residence The Minimalists, the clickbait headline generator, how to find the time to read and much more!

You can listen via:

iTunesStitcher, or find the transcript, show notes and listen via our blog here. 

Read more ...

Ep 39 Finding your voice; the benefits of “write-ins”; most under-rated books; life advice from sponsored posts and author Charlotte Wood

Ep39
 Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait.

This week we talk about the best Australian books you’ve never heard of, a transformative library, is ‘finding your voice’ laughable? Life advice from sponsored posts, an author reveals how she failed, the book Hades by Candice Fox, Writer in Residence Charlotte Wood, how to record phone interviews and much more!

You can listen via:

iTunesStitcher, or find the transcript, show notes and listen via our blog here. 

Read more ...

Ep 38 Should writers use co-working spaces? Tom Hanks’ new book inspired by typewriters; double space or single space after a full stop, AWC graduate Lisa Chaplin scores a book deal; how to do your own publicity and Writer in Residence Toby Jenkins.

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 Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait.

This week we talk about Tom Hanks’ book release, should you work from a co-working space?, Twitter etiquette, whether to double or single space after a full stop, DIY publicity, AWC graduate Lisa Chaplin scores a book deal, Writer in Residence Toby Jenkins, free Microsoft Word app hits the Apple charts, how to find the armpits, Storyology 2014, and should you only take stories that interest you?

You can listen via:

iTunesStitcher, or find the transcript, show notes and listen via our blog here. 

Read more ...

Ep 37 Having a muse, why NaNoWriMo is great for your perfectionism; self-publishers versus traditional publishers; what your handwriting says about you and how to get a website makeover. And meet Writer and Editor in Residence Bernadette Foley.

ep37

Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait.

This week we talk about the ‘Middle Fiction’ kids reading guide, blogging Betties, Michel Faber plans to stop writing novels, is Amazon doing the world a favor by crushing book publishers? Perfectionism is slowing your progress, what your handwriting says about you, the Rescue My Site competition, why you must write before you get your perfect writing space, the minimalists are coming to Australia, Writer in Residence Bernadette Foley, get into Google+, Storyology workshops and much more!

You can listen via:

iTunes, Stitcher, or find the transcript, show notes and listen via our blog here.Read more ...

Ep 36 Swimmers, bathers or togs? Why you should care about Google+. The top 4 ways that authors can promote their books; what to do if you have multiple offers; Write or Die; and meet InStyle editor Kirsten Galliott.

Ep-36

Every week I co-host the podcast So you want to be a writer with fellow journalist and author Allison Tait.

This week we talk about what publishers really want, swimmers vs togs, why authors should care about Google+, what to do if you have multiple offers, how to tell if your story idea is mediocre, four things you should do to promote your book, the Writer Unboxed Un-Conference, Writer in Residence and Editor of InStyle magazine Kirsten Galliott, Write or Die, know what you’re worth, and much more!

You can listen via:

iTunes, Stitcher, or find the transcript, show notes and listen via our blog here.Read more ...

My Life in a Minute: Chris Ducker, Seth Godin – and we turn 9!

Kate Hennessy, yours truly, Sue White, Rah Gardiner

It’s been a while since I’ve shared “My Life in a Minute’ so here is the latest on what’s been happening in my world.

Thoroughly enjoyed: A recent mastermind session with entrepreneur, podcaster and author of “Virtual Freedom” Chris Ducker, which he held at the Australian Writers’s Centre’s training rooms in Sydney. There’s nothing like a power day sharing ideas with fellow business owners. I highly recommend it.

With entrepreneur, podcaster and author of “Virtual Freedom” Chris Ducker in Sydney

Thrilled to meet: Seth Godin at a wonderful Business Chicks lunch. I hosted a table of some awesome peeps as we absorbed Seth’s inimitable style in Melbourne.

Marketing guru Seth Godin and fabulous friends

Loved presenting to: A wonderfully engaged group of PwC partners at the PwC Partners Summit at the Gold Coast. It was all about “Storytelling in Business”.

At the PwC Partners’ Summit

Awesome hanging out with: A group of brilliant graduates of the Australian Writers’ Centre in Melbourne who have gone on to create successful careers as writers. We filmed a series of videos which are now being edited.… Read more ...