About Valerie Khoo

Valerie Khoo is founder and national director of the Australian Writers' Centre, the country's leading centre for writing courses. She is a journalist, blogger and author. Her latest book is "Power Stories: The 8 stories you MUST tell to build an epic business" (Wiley). Valerie is a keynote speaker, small business commentator, and investor and mentor to startups and businesses in Australia.

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Here are my most recent posts

Ep 3 Is cursive becoming a lost art? Inspirational blogging quotes, interview with Dr. Anita Heiss and more!

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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 parents and lawmakers fearing cursive writing will become a lost art, we tell you our favourite inspirational blogging quotes, we chat about Hazel Edward’s new book Authorpreneurship, you tell us your word crushes, we interview Dr. Anita Heiss, and more.

You can listen via:

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

Ep 2 Writers in Residence, words to use more, Best Australian Blog Comp launches, interview with Fleur McDonald

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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 why 1 in 10 Americans think HTML is an STD, Women’s Weekly labels an innocent man as accused, the 2014 Best Australian Blogs competition, and we’re joined by leading rural author Fleur McDonald.

You can listen via:

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

So you want to be a writer Ep 1

podcast-GraemeSimsion

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 Amtrack’s writers in residence, the ProBlogger conference, Stephen King’s reading list, and we’re joined by Graeme Simsion.

You can listen via:

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

Honoured to be named as one of “Australia’s 20 Best Business Blogs” by SmartCompany

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This week, I was honoured and humbled to be included in SmartCompany’s annual list of Australia’s 20 Best Business Blogs. This is along with heavyweights like Digital Pulse from pwc, Deloitte Digital’s blog, and Salesforce’s blog.

And also insightful bloggers like Tristan White’s excellent blog on Culture, Suzi Dafnis’s wonderful blog for the Australian Businesswomen’s Network, Darren Rowse’s pioneering Problogger, and Paul Wallbank’s tech blog Decoding the New Economy.

Check out the full list yourself here.Read more ...

Are you measuring value the right way?

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When it comes to putting a value on products, services – or even pets – are you measuring this the wrong way? Traditional methods of measuring value often do not take into account important factors that can have a huge impact on the utility and worth of a transaction, experience or product. Read my post on Money Circle here.… Read more ...

What’s wrong with down-playing your success?

Tall poppy

Yesterday, I was sitting at Sydney Airport, about to catch a plane to Brisbane. A well dressed man and woman sat down opposite me. Dressed in business attire, they looked like colleagues. It was 6pm, at the tail end of the day.

The woman said: “Well it’s been a successful few days Harry.”
The man replied: “Thank you for your involvement. I appreciate it.”
The woman (brushing aside his comment) said: “Oh I felt like a dead weight most of the time.”

I heard this and thought: “WTF?”

Admittedly, I have no idea about the back story on this. I don’t know how much the woman contributed to the “successful few days”. But I did know that the man thanked her for her involvement. And rather than say “You’re welcome” or take it as a compliment, she downplayed her contribution.

I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake her.

But it’s a reaction that I see among many people …

“Oh what a delicious cake.”
“Oh no, it’s way too dry.”

“That blog post you published last week was great.”
“Really?… Read more ...

Do you want to be a Key Person of Influence?

Key Person of Influence

When I was young, I use to go into the local bank and I’d notice that some of the tellers would decorate their work spaces with funny cartoons. Invariably, they were tongue-in-cheek jibes about the nature of work. The characters in the cartoons would complain about their bosses, the hours, and the mere fact that they had to be there.

Even as a child, I was puzzled as to why people would stay in a job where they found more to complain about than to enjoy. I assumed, that these cartoons were a reflection of what these bank tellers thought about their work.

Then, when I entered the workforce for myself, I worked with people who would say things like: “I hope your day is well despite the fact that it’s a Monday” or “It’s Wednesday! More than half the week is gone. Hooray!”

These same people always left work 15 minutes early, never went the extra mile and always gave the impression that they found work to be a chore.

I guess I’m really lucky because I love what I do but I found it confounding that people would stay in a job that they don’t enjoy.… Read more ...

Don’t you deserve everyday luxury?

post-everyday luxury Rex on chair

My friend Luisa believes in “everyday luxury” – and it makes a lot of sense. Why stash the items that you love the most into the back of the cupboard? Why save the “good stuff” only for special occasions? Instead, treat yourself to these things every day. Why? Because you’re sending a message to yourself about what you’re worth. My post about this is on Money Circle here.Read more ...

As an entrepreneur, how much should you reveal on your blog?

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I’m fascinated by the world of blogging. Whether you blog about parenting, life, toy trains or business, the blogosphere is a wonderful way to connect with people in your community and beyond.

Many entrepreneurial bloggers use it as a marketing tool – a way to connect with customers through smart and helpful content marketing. Their posts position them as experts in their field; their articles become must-read content. As a result, they gain a loyal following.

But how much is too much?
Some other entrepreneurs use their blog more as a way to track their entrepreneurial journey. They chronicle the highs, lows and lessons along the way. But how much is too much?

The world of blogging is all about authenticity. And some business bloggers are comfortable about talking about their failures. There is nothing wrong with this at all. However, I have been following a particular founder’s blog for the past year. And, I have to admit, it’s compelling reading. But for all the wrong reasons.

She is always tired, always stressed and rarely writes about any good news in her business.… Read more ...

The one where I emerge from a bubble – and writer’s block

Celebrating the end of writer's block on the back deck.

Celebrating the end of writer’s block on the back deck.

For the last month, I’ve been in a (self-imposed) bubble. No, I didn’t decide to do a digital detox. I didn’t go to New Jersey to marry Jon Bon Jovi. And no one bought my business for a billion dollars so that I could laze on a beach in Bali, sipping cocktails for the rest of my life.

The bubble has been the result of the fact that I’m been immersed in two major projects which have consumed my life. Hence, the infrequent blog posts, the paltry number of Tweets, the intermittent appearances on Facebook and – shame of all shames – the failure to experience Christmas properly (and all the things that go with it – like writing Christmas cards, putting thought into gifts, and so on).

Forgive me, I was on another planet.

While I wish I could have been Superwoman – able to combine overseeing these projects with everything else in life in a single bound – this was simply not going to happen.

And I’m ok with that.… Read more ...