A Very Famous Hollywood Actor – and me! (sort of)

One of the funky bars at The Abbotsford Convent where I might see the Very Famous Hollywood Actor

This week, a Very Famous Hollywood Actor is filming for 10 days around the Australian Writers’ Centre in Melbourne. I’m pretty excited because I used to have a huge crush on this man. I’ve seen the production schedule – complete with details of all the buildings, steps and facades where he’ll be acting – and I’ll admit that I’ve been tempted to bring a foldable chair and set up camp next to the film crew just to watch.

I’ll call it research. Who knows? I might even blend in. Perhaps I can offer some suggestions on how they can improve the script!

Fortunately, I’ve managed to quell this kind of stalker fan-girl behaviour when I’ve interviewed celebrities as a journalist. Many people ask me who has been my most enjoyable person to interview.

To be honest, I actually find many entrepreneurs far more interesting to chat to than celebs. This is largely because when you interview a celebrity, they are usually on a gruelling schedule, have just finished a major project and have done nothing else but live and breathe that film, album or world tour for the past six months.… Read more …

The Changing Face of PR: The Rise and Rise of Blogger Relations

The Changing Face of PR The Rise and Rise of Blogger Relations HERO

Last week, I was on a panel at a Networx Brisbane on “The Changing Face of PR: The Rise and Rise of Blogger Relations”. I’ve been heavily immersed in the blogosphere for years now and it’s been fascinating seeing this industry evolve, particularly over the past couple of years.

The reality is that it’s evolving very quickly and some bloggers are becoming powerful media channels in their own right. Some are only at the start of this journey, while others have created businesses for themselves out of their blog. So it wasn’t surprising that the organiser of the event, Iceberg Events, had to turn people away as the function booked out!

We also filmed this video on the tips you should consider when working with bloggers:

 

The video was prepared by Ride Free Media

 … Read more …

DOs and DON’Ts of going on the telly

DOs and DONTs of going on the telly Valerie Khoo

Last week, I was on Sky Business to talk about personal branding alongside Trevor Young, author of microDOMINATION: How to leverage social media and content marketing to build a mini-business empire around your personal brand.

We were interviewed by Nigel Freitas on the “Technology Behind Business” show. I’ve already written a lot about personal branding so I won’t repeat that here.

In case you get the opportunity to be interviewed on the telly, here are my DOs and DON’Ts.

DON’T assume they will do your hair and makeup. Some shows, like Sunrise, will give you the whole works so that you look like a Glamazon. Not all shows have the budget to do this so make sure you’ve done your makeup before you get there.

My tips for television: Mascara is your best friend. It gives your eyes definition and helps them to stand out. Concealer is your second best friend, don’t leave home without it. And powder is also vital because you can get pretty shiny under those studio lights.

DO turn up early. You don’t want to be rushing through the door as you’re about to go live on air.… Read more …

The pros and cons of entering business awards

The pros and cons of entering business awards HERO

Last week, I was interviewed by the wonderful Robert Gerrish on The Coaching Couch radio show. Robert is the brains behind the dynamic Flying Solo community of small business owners.

We chatted about the pros and cons of entering business awards. My businesses have been fortunate enough to win multiple awards. There are many benefits (some of them very unexpected) but, for some awards, you do have to invest a great deal of time in the submissions process. Is it worth it? We find out. I hope you enjoy the interview.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Read more …

3 business books that changed my life: Eddie Machaalani, co-founder and co-CEO Bigcommerce

Eddie Machaalani 3 Business Books

 

Eddie Machaalani is the co-founder and co-CEO of Bigcommerce, the leading e-commerce platform for small businesses looking to grow their revenues faster. Starting with $20,000 in credit card debt from a rented office above a friend’s shop in Sydney, Australia, the company has grown over 100% year-over-year, has raised $35M in capital and processed over $1 billion in transactions.

Eddie holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Technology, Sydney and is an active angel investor and speaker.

A prodigious reader, he has found business books to be an invaluable resource as he’s built his business along with partner Mitch Harper, and we’re delighted to have him share his choices in this latest instalment of the continuing series, “3 business books that changed my life” …

Extreme Revenue Growth: Startup Secrets to Growing Your Sales from $1 Million to $25 Million in Any Industry by Victor Cheng
An incredible, “best kept secret” book for startups that touches on every part of the business and really drives home the strategies of all great businesses and how to fuel revenue growth.… Read more …

My life in a minute: In your seat pocket, billion dollar announcement, and where to find me

My Life in a Minute plane

Flying: In your seat pocket
This month, if you’re flying Virgin, reach into your seat pocket and you’ll find a huge report written by yours truly in the Virgin inflight magazine. It’s a comprehensive guide to setting up a small business. The guide starts on page 105. You can view the online version of the April issue here.

Cuddling: Gus the Boxer at the Haul wrap party. Years ago, a dog called @GusTheBoxer started following me on Twitter. At first, I didn’t follow him back. I thought: “A dog. On Twitter. I mean really.” Plus, I was in Sydney. Gus was in Melbourne. It would never have worked.

But Gus was so funny and engaging that I ended up not only meeting Gus in real life, but also his human @scottkilmartin. Turns out that Scott was the brains behind sustainable streetwear brand Haul.

I’ve loved Haul products for years now so it was sad to see it close its doors recently. I was honoured to go to the wrap party, cuddle @GusTheBoxer, bid the Fitzroy store good-bye and wave owner Scott Kilmartin off on his next big adventure!… Read more …

Killing your darlings: getting rid of products to improve profits

Enterprise Kill Your Darlings

Off with her head! That’s been the theme for this week. I’ve been watching The Tudors on DVD – and Henry VIII sure loved a good beheading when it came to getting rid of the traitors (or wives) that got in his way. I channelled Henry when I did the gardening earlier this week and got immense satisfaction from dead-heading 93 roses in the backyard (yes, I counted). Then I heard that publishing house Bauer Media axed another two magazines (Madison and UFC) after already putting Grazia on the chopping block. This inspires this week’s Enterprise post.

Earlier this week, publishing house Bauer Media announced the axing of two magazines: monthly fashion magazine Madison and martial arts magazine UFC. This comes hot on the heels of its decision to shut down weekly fashion rag Grazia.

These kinds of decisions are never easy – for management, owners, staff or readers – but sometimes, the best strategy is to clean house as swiftly as you can so you are not bogged down by under-performing products.

The same can be said for the products and services offered by small business owners.

Read more …

My life in a minute: Candace Bushnell, new jewellery and posters of cats

Life in a minute 15 March 2013 POST

Loving: This awesome poster from PosterCandy.com.au.
This is a great new service where you can turn your Instagram photos into a poster. It’s all done online and, using the PosterCandy application, you can drag and drop the photos you want into posters of various sizes.

I chose a poster that’s 100cm x 70cms, it arrived last week and I love it! Apparently, it fits standard IKEA frames so I’m going get that next time I visit that monolith.

(And no, this is not a sponsored post. I just think this is really cool!)

Featured on:

* Social Media Knowledge did this interview with me here.

* 612 ABC Brisbane radio. I did a 10 minute segment on “The 7 Deadly Sins of Social Media” this week.

Reading: The latest issue of Latte
Well, since I’m editor of Latte magazine (published by Business Chicks), I’ve obviously already know it intimately. But there’s nothing like the feeling when the printed copy finally lands in your hands. In this issue, I interview best-selling author and creator of Sex and the City, Candace Bushnell. [...]

Are you an abdicator or activator?

Abdicator or activator

Timothy* is an abdicator. He has an amazing business that has a lot of potential to grow, and a service that’s in high demand. And yet, even though he’s been in business for seven years, he just can’t seem to get to the next level.

The reason? He’s an abdicator. Timothy is afraid to make decisions about his business that will move it forward. So he either delays making these decisions, or makes them the responsibility of someone else – so that he has someone to blame if it all doesn’t go to plan.

Do you recognise any of this behaviour in the people you deal with – or maybe even in yourself?

1. Abdicators find suppliers they can blame. I’m all for delegating and outsourcing. However, there is a huge difference between delegating and abdicating.

Timothy wants to hand over important functions of his business to suppliers and then expects them to work miracles, with little support or input from himself. The reality is that while he can delegate the role to them, he still needs to take responsibility for this decision. He might need to:
* ensure they are fully briefed on the overall business and how their roles fits within that
* be clear on his expectations of them, and query their expectations from him
* consider a regular monitoring or “catch up” meeting to see that everything is on track
* most importantly, gain a minimum level of understanding of their skill or at least their KPIs to be clear on whether they are doing a good job. [...]

My life in a minute: Chocolate, foot therapy and a brand new office

Life in a Minute 6 March POST

Excited: That we have got the keys to our new premises in Melbourne. I’m so thrilled that we’re now one of the arts and culture organisations at The Abbotsford Convent. This precinct is a thriving creative and artistic community and our new neighbours include Drama Victoria, Illustrators Australia, Complete Works Theatre, The Creativity Institute and more.

The Abbotsford Convent is located right in the heart of inner city Melbourne (the nearest station is Collingwood). The grounds are beautiful, there are two bars, gallery spaces, a bakery, restaurants, 3MBSFM, stunning gardens and lots of training rooms where we’ll be holding our courses.

Loving: Best. Invitation. Ever.
I love this clever invitation from Dell. It’s the size of a computer, my photo is included on the top right, and the whole thing is MADE OUT OF CHOCOLATE. Did I mention that it’s the size of a computer … that’s a lot of eating …

Welcoming: Phoebe is the newest member to join our team. It’s her first week at the Australian Writers’ Centre and it’s as if she’s already been here for ages. Welcome Phoebe!

Honoured: To be included in Shopify’s list of “30 books that will help you increase sales”.

I’m so honoured that my book “Power Stories: The 8 stories you MUST tell to build an epic business” is in the same company as books that I’ve admired for ages. These include Robert Cialdini’s “Influence”; Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink”; and Anthony Robbins’ “Unlimited Power”.

Catching up with: I love catching up with my writerly buddies Kerri Sackville and Allison Tait. There’s nothing quite like a lunchtime discussion on agents, readers, and the writing process that’s guaranteed to be full of everything from angst to inspiration. These talented women are a wonderful support and are full of sage advice. [...]