• Sticky beak: Infusionsoft offices in Phoenix, Arizona

    Last week, I trekked over to Arizona in the US for a conference for about 3000 small business owners, boldly coined #ICON14. Run by US-based software company Infusionsoft, the company invited the Aussie contingent to tour its offices in Phoenix. So I thought I’d give you a sneak peek as well.

    Infusionsoft is a classic startup success story. It was founded in 2001 by Scott and Eric Martineau and Clate Mask and now has over 500 employees in a Google-type building. While there are no slippery slides or sleep pods, there are lots of brights colours, quirky touches and countless proclamations like “We help small businesses succeed” plastered all over the walls.

    I first explored Infusionsoft back in 2008 and decided it definitely wasn’t for me. But it appears that a lot has changed in six years. I decided to give it another go earlier this year and have been happy with the results so far. So it was great to be able to go behind the scenes to check it out. So here is my visit in pictures …


    Placed prominently in the entrance of the building is a large sculpture of an animal balloon.… Read more ...

  • My life in a minute: My number 1 podcast! Clever kitty Rex; and my new fave gadget

    It’s been a whirlwind over here with lots of planning, travelling, systemising and recruiting for new team members at the Australian Writers’ Centre. So here is my life in a minute!

    Grateful for: The wonderful support from listeners of my podcast “So you want to be a writer” which I co-host with the wonderfully talented Allison Tait. I’m absolutely loving producing this podcast with Allison. I’m so grateful for all the positive feedback. You’ve helped us get to #1 in the Literature category. And we’ve reached #50 out of ALL podcasts in Australia so far!

    Thrilled to: Host our recent meetup in Sydney with the wonderfully talented Tristan Bancks. Tristan shared his wisdom about writing to our community. I’m still in a bit of shock that he can write 2000 words just using his thumbs on his iPhone while walking on the beach in the morning! Tristan’s latest books are Two Wolves and My Life and Other Stuff That Went Wrong.

    Speaking at: Business Blueprint conference at Australian Technology Park, organised by the talented Dale Beaumont and his team.Read more ...

  • It’s true. I yell at my friends.

    I have a tendency to yell at my friends. I know this is not ideal. But, I confess, it’s true. Typically, this happens when I can see how amazing and talented they are – but they won’t believe me. Worse, they simply don’t believe in themselves, in their own capacity to kick their own goals or follow their dreams. It drives me totally bonkers.

    I end up yelling: “But can’t you see how amazing you are?” “Can’t you understand that people will definitely buy from you/hire you/download your app? You just need to get out there and tell people you exist!”

    I know that I shouldn’t yell at them. But after months – sometimes even years – of gentle encouragement, they still can’t see how talented they are, or how truly viable their business really is.

    This is what I hear:
    “I feel like a fraud.”
    “I don’t think I’m good enough.”
    “Why would anyone hire me? I don’t have the credentials.”

    The reality is that they DO have the credentials, skills and talents to achieve their goals. And the only person they need to convince … is themselves.… 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 ...

Feel the fear and do it anyway

Fear

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 ...

Ep 35: Celebs join the rush to write children’s books; Copyblogger closes down its Facebook page; can you plagiarise an email? What’s your favourite book? Blogging hits the big time with Foxtel’s new “Fashion Bloggers”; and meet Writers in Residence Favel Parrett.

ep35

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 celebrities join rush of authors writing children’s books, why Copyblogger is killing its Facebook page, is it wrong to post from an email? 50 cultural icons on their favorite books, the Australian premiere of ‘Fashion Bloggers’, Writer in Residence Favel Parrett, post Instagram photos from your computer and much more!

You can listen via:

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

Ep 34 Rebecca James on high expectations, print books are still winning, take criticism the right way, how to be a successful poet and more!

ep34

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 print books are still selling better than ebooks, how to write paragraphs, how do you take criticism? Top 10 tips for being a successful poet, what winning the Man Booker prize means, the reason why some blogs succeed, creating your writer platform, find your blogging community, 4 things authors can do to promote their work, Writer in Residence Rebecca James, purr your way to productivity, the best place to do an interview and more!

You can listen via:

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

Ep 33 Helen Garner’s typewriter obsession, Amazon goes head to head with Wattpad, and uber-blogger-turned author Chris Ducker’s book marketing secrets. How to manage workload when you go on holidays and a cool tool for your website.

ep33

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 Why typewriters captivate authors, Amazon gets in on the crowd-writing game, the one big reason why blogs succeed, first class train travel for 24 lucky writers, the book ‘Blog It! The author’s guide to building a successful online brand’ by Molly Greene, Writer in Residence and blogger-turned-blogger Chris Ducker, peek into the mind of your website users, how to organise time off as a freelancer, and much more!

You can listen via:

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

Ep 32 Sleep in your favourite literary home, bringing back typewriters, blogging and the law and author Kylie Ladd.

ep32

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 sleep in your favourite literary home, the Times to bring back typewriters…kind of, the business of digital life and death, we are the last generation to remember life without the internet, Moleskine embraces technology in their notebooks, blogging and the law, the one reason blogs succeed, we interview author Kylie Ladd, how to get typography right and we tell you how to find a mentor.]

You can listen via:

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

Final day of #vidtember: Top 3 things I’ve learnt from this challenge

Day30

So #vidtember is over and I’ve learnt a lot. Here are the top 3 things I’ve learn from the experience.

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Ep 31 HarperCollins accepting unsolicited manuscripts, it’s never too late to get published and New York Times bestseller Joanna Penn.

ep31

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 HarperCollins accepting unsolicited manuscripts, Cleo’s man of the year, it’s never too late to be published, Laura Ingalls Wilder memoir reveals truth behind Little House on the Prairie, how to use the Fairfax Media Style Guide, the Beer Bloggers Conference, Writer in Residence Joanna Penn, how to collaborate on writing projects, when to disclose your relationship with your case studies and much more!

You can listen via:

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

Day 21 of #vidtember: Are you using your past as an excuse NOT to have an amazing future?

Day21

Are you using the past as an excuse NOT to have an amazing future? We’ve all got issues from the past. But what can you do to put them behind you and focus on creating an awesome future? Here are my tips.

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Day 20 of #vidtember: 3 tips on how to stop feeling like a fraud.

Day20

So you feel like a fraud? Suffering from “Imposter Syndrome”. Here are my top 3 tips on how to get over it. This video is coming to you from inside my apartment in Sydney.

Read more ...

Day 19 of #vidtember: My top 3 rules to achieve your goals faster

Day19

Here are my top 3 rules to achieve your goals faster. Winging its way to you from the balcony of my apartment in Sydney.

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Day 18 of #vidtember: My top 3 productivity tips to get stuff done

Day18

How to get more done than you think possible. Here are my top 3 productivity tips.

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Day 17 of #vidtember: Top 4 tools to work and collaborate remotely.

Day17

I work with team members all over Australia and the world. Here are my top 4 tools to work and collaborate remotely.

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Day 16 of #vidtember: My top 3 rules on the people you choose to hang out with.

Day16

The people you spend most time with can have a huge impact on your life and business. Here are my top 3 rules on the people you choose to hang out with. Filmed on our back deck in the Yarra Valley.

Check out all the vidtember videos here.

Read more ...

Ep 30 Books flooding Amazon, an innovative book launch, Ritz-Carlton’s six word memoirs and we talk to business author Steve Sammartino on how he got his book deal.

ep30

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 a book is published every five minutes, the newbie writers’ podcast, the book with the world’s biggest twist (and how you can benefit), 6 word wows, meet up with @melbreaders for a quiet read, the 10 must-read books on blogging, what to put on your business card, Writer in Residence Steve Sammartino, accessing multiple gmail accounts at the same time, how to extract your kindle highlights in a usable form and much more!

You can listen via:

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

Day 15 of #vidtember: The 3 elements of a powerful customer testimonial

Day15

What kind of customer testimonials will help grow your business? I talk about the 3 elements of a truly powerful customer testimonial that will help convince your prospects.

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Day 14 of #vidtember Day 14: Dumbing yourself down to make your spouse/partner feel better in business?

Day14

Today’s video comes to you from my hotel room in Melbourne. I talk about whether you should dumb yourself down to make your spouse/partner feel better in business? Are you guilty of this? Is it compassionate – or just stupid?

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Day 13 of #vidtember: How to reach a bigger audience on OTHER people’s podcasts

Day13vidtember

Do you want to reach a wider audience? Have you thought of ways you can spread your message beyond your immediate community? Well, today’s video was filmed after I appeared on the Beers, Blokes & Business podcast with Sean Callanan, Scott Kilmartin and Steve Sammartino. I talk about how you can take advantage of the current renaissance in podcasting and reach a wide audience by appearing in other people’s podcasts!

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Day 12 of #vidtember: So you want to write a business book?

Day12

I often meet entrepreneurs who want to write a business book. Here are my top tips if you’re thinking about showcasing your expertise in a book. Filmed in my hotel room in Melbourne.

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