The stupidest tax in the world

The stupidest tax in the world HERO

Tax. The very word can send shivers down a business owner’s spine. And when it’s tax time, you can hear entrepreneurs – and accountants – all over the country curse, grump and throw their general ledgers out of the window. But I have to say, I understand the need for tax.

Roads, infrastructure, public spaces, education … I get it. They’re not going to happen without taxes being levied. So, in many ways, it can be a good thing.

When it comes to personal income tax, we all complain about how much we pay – but it makes sense. Ditto for company tax. They’re both tied to your level of income or profit. Broadly speaking, these taxes are only going to be levied if you actually generate the income needed to pay them.

But without a doubt, the stupidest tax in the history of mankind has to be payroll tax. Even when I first learnt about it in Year 8 in Miss Aurisch’s Commerce class at school, I thought to myself: “A moron invented this tax.” I may have been a mere 13 years old, but nothing about it made sense to me.… Read more ...

Can a conference REALLY change your life?

Can a conference REALLY change your life HERO

Conferences are funny things. You get 200 or so people stuck in a room, often with no windows; and they’re all watching a bunch of other people on stage talk about their areas of expertise. These conferences can be life changing, inspirational events – or they can be the most boring two days of your life.

The trouble is that when you sign up, you’re never quite sure which one you’re going to get.

Last week I attended the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network Conference in Istanbul, Turkey. And I’ll admit, the event itself was overwhelming. It was full of successful female entrepreneurs from around the world, the agenda was laden with interesting sessions; and it was peppered with impressive experiences such as cocktails and dinner in the Esma Sultan Mansion on the banks of the beautiful Bosphorus.

A conference like this has a jam-packed schedule. There were workshops, networking opportunities and the organisers even scheduled early morning Pilates sessions in case you were inclined to give your abs a workout before getting into the conference for the day (I didn’t feel the need to disturb my abs for this purpose).… Read more ...

My life in a minute: Istanbul, amazing women, and la dolce vita in Rome

MLIAM 14 JUne 2013 HERO

I’ll admit, it’s been an extraordinary couple of weeks. My life is not usually like this. If it was, I think I’d have cardiac arrest from sensory overload.

I was fortunate enough to attend the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network Conference in Istanbul, Turkey. Amazing. More on that in a future post!

It was wonderful to connect with female entrepreneurs from around the globe – including our wonderful homegrown ones as well. Here I am with Cathie Reid (APHS Packaging), Tina Tower (Begin Bright) and Catriona Pollard (CP Communications and also presenter of the seminar “PR and Media Releases that Get Results” at the Australian Writers’ Centre.)

L-R: Valerie Khoo, Cathie Reid, Tina Tower, Catriona Pollard at cocktails at the Esma Sultan Mansion

I had never been to Istanbul before so it was wonderful to discover a new city.

An oasis in the middle of the Bosphorus, Istanbul

A visit to Turkey is not complete with some whirling dervishes

I discovered these gorgeous kittens in a fishing village and had to resist the temptation to bring then home!

Baby kittens in a fishing village near Istanbul

Then a few days in Rome with my fabulous friend Nicole, where we visited what seemed to be every ancient monument in existence, ate ridiculous amount of pasta and then shopped, shopped and shopped.… Read more ...

Australia named second best country in the world to be a female entrepreneur

Female Entrepreneurs in Australia HERO

It seems that female entrepreneurs living in Australia are in a pretty good position. Last week, Australia was named the second best country in the world to be a female entrepreneur, according to the new Gender-GEDI Index launched by the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network at its annual conference in Istanbul, Turkey.

This result even surprised the researchers.

Australia has been named the second best country in the world to be a female entrepreneur, according to a new global index.

The Gender-GEDI Index compares key metrics from 17 countries, measuring everything from business environment and ecosystems to the attitudes and social norms likely to impact entrepreneurship. It has a particular focus on “high potential women” who are “innovative, market expanding and export-oriented”.

The study by the US-based Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute, was launched Tuesday by the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) at its annual conference in Istanbul, Turkey.

Ruta Aidis, the institute’s project director, said she was “surprised that Australia did so well, coming ahead of countries like France and Germany.”

You can read more of this article in smh.com.au.… Read more ...

The one where I got stuck with a hen’s party on a flight to Istanbul

The One Where I Got Stuck FEATURE

What’s worse than having a drunk, a smelly football team, or a flu-ridden passenger next to you on a flight? … A hen’s party!

Yes, it happened to me on my recent flight from Dubai to Istanbul.

Now I have to say … I didn’t mind them so much because it was actually like watching the cast of Footballers’ Wives act out an episode.

The entire hen’s party were from Manchester in England and they were heading to Istanbul to party hard with the bride-to-be before her big day.

If you’re not familiar with the masterpiece that is Footballers’ Wives, it was an over-the-top dramatisation soap opera about an English soccer team and their WAGs. It was so popular it even spun off the television series Footballers’ Wives: Extra Time, and featured bogan characters like Chardonnay, Mel, Tanya, Lucy and Bruno.

After boarding the plane, the hen and her party then tried to rearrange everyone in the cabin so they could all sit together. I prayed to the Upgrade Gods that the flight attendants would take pity on me, and offer me a seat in first class so that the hen and her hennettes could party on in Rows 9 to 11.… Read more ...

My life in a minute: Shucking oysters, quad-biking and 3D printing

Wineglass Bay, Freycinet Peninsula, Tasmania

Wineglass Bay, Freycinet Peninsula, Tasmania

Loving: This week I was in Tasmania. I’ve had a soft spot for Tassie ever since I went there for my version of Schoolies at the end of Year 12 … decades ago! This trip, I visited Freycinet and it was stunning. Apart from sampling some amazing Tasmanian produce, here’s what else happened:

I did my best Stig impression when I went quad-biking.

David the activities coordinator showed us how to shuck oysters straight from the marine farm, then brought out some bubbles to go with them.

My favourite bridge in the world, Spiky Bridge, on the way to Freycinet. I go there every time I'm in Tassie because it's just so weird looking.

I'm wearing fly-fishing gear but I can't focus because I'm annoyed at the missing apostrophe (there should be one after the n).

Meeting: Wonderful writers in the Australian Writers’ Centre community in Brisbane and Perth. My travels have enabled me to connect with our students and they never cease to inspire me with what they achieve!

With Cassy Small in Brisbane

Marvelling at: 3D printing
I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these.… Read more ...

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

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

L–R: Networx Brisbane MC Cat Matson; and my fellow panellists Natalie Birt, yours truly and my co-founder in SocialCallout.com Michelle Palmer (© James Sybille, Square-I.co Photography http://square-i.co/

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!

I could talk about blogging all day!

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.

On air with host Nigel Freitas and Trevor Young

DO turn up early.… 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.

Robert Gerrish

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