I like cats. I like blogging. So I can build a $37 million company right?

Ben Huh

There used to be a time (yes this is true) that I used to wake up each morning, reach for my phone and – before even checking emails or messages – I’d look up Icanhascheezburger. If you’re not familiar with this internet phenomenon, it’s simply a website full of cat photos accompanied by funny captions. These days, other animals of the non-feline variety also feature on the site.

I used to look up this site because I was guaranteed to have a giggle. And it was a great way to start the day. Such a simple idea, so effective. Since then the site has grown from one person blogging funny pictures of cats into a media empire which has garnered more then $37 million worth of investment.

Behind this empire is entrepreneur Ben Huh. And when I had the opportunity to interview the Seattle-based business owner when he was in Sydney earlier this week, I couldn’t pass it up. His story is this week’s Enterprise post.

I have cats. I like taking photos of them. I love sharing these pictures with my friends.

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. [...]

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. [...]

Travelling with pets: flying in Australia

Travelling with pets: flying in Australia POST

Little doggie Rambo is somewhat of a frequent flyer. I only wish that he could earn points for all his travelling. I know that many people think it’s a hassle to travel with pets but it can be a pretty seamless experience. A bit of planning means that your furry friend can enjoy your destination with you.

I’ve received so many emails and messages asking for tips on travelling with pets I figured it was high time I wrote them all down. Regular readers will know that I travel a lot between Sydney and Melbourne – and I usually bring some of all of my menagerie with me. So when it comes to flying with pets, what’s the deal?

1. Booking your pets on the plane

While my furballs would dearly love their own Learjet, this is not going to happen any time soon. So we have to fly regular airlines like Qantas and Virgin. Fortunately, this is pretty easy (and a lot less expensive).

In fact, in some cases, it’s free. For example, with Qantas, your pet carrier is considered a piece of luggage so it’s just part of your regular luggage allowance. If you have an extra bag, you pay for the extra piece. On my most recent flight (yesterday), this extra piece was only $20.

You can’t front up with your pet unannounced. When you book, you need to let the airline know. And unless you have a guide dog, your furry friend doesn’t get to travel with you in the cabin. They go downstairs in the cargo. (This is unlike some airlines in the US which are more pet-friendly.) [...]

My life in a minute: Writing, dining, stage-mothering and lots of driving

My Life in a Minute 15 Feb 2013 POST

Melbourne Writers’ Club: It was great to connect with fabulous people in the writing community at Melbourne Writers’ Club last week, which is a monthly networking event organised by Sandi Sieger, editor-in-chief on Onya Magazine. I was honoured to speak at the event at the The Honey Bar in South Melbourne.

Oscar’s Table: While we’re on all things writing, I do love restaurants with a literary theme. I had dinner at Oscar’s Table at Docklands in Melbourne. It is full of Oscar Wilde quotes, lampshades are made from pages from books and there’s a giant original painting of the man himself adorning the walls.

Getting ready for his closeup
My little doggie Rambo had a photo session with celebrity photographer Gina Milicia last week. He also stars in Gina’s latest book “Making the Shot” which is full of her pro tips on taking portraits.

A very pretty high tea
It was great to check out high tea at Christine Re Tea Rooms in Collingwood in Melbourne. This was the venue of Rhiannon Colarossi’s WellbeingWeb event. Check out how gorgeous it is! [...]

My life in a minute: Breakfast with Twitter, Power Stories to launch in Brazil, Join our Summer School

Adorable Rocky patiently waits to be let in

I’m usually a hermit. I love nothing more than being cocooned at home with my furry babies.

However, my diary had other plans for me this week. So what’s been on the agenda?

Power Stories to launch in Brazil
Big news this week is that my book Power Stories: The 8 stories you MUST tell to build an epic business will be launched in Brazil. The publishers are busy translating it into Portuguese as you read this.

I can’t wait to see the version they sell in Brazil. I won’t be able to read a word of it – but I’m sure I’ll be excited anyway!

Breakfast with Twitter
Sean Callanan at @SportsGeek organised breakfast at the SCG with Mike Brown, Twitter’s head of international growth, this week. Twitter is expanding its reach here. My friends know that getting me to an early breakfast appointment is nothing short of a miracle. Getting me to the SCG is an even bigger one.

Nevertheless, it was worthwhile to hear from the likes of Mike, Wendell Sailor (yes, he’s massive), Scott Dools (yes, he’s funny) and Shaynna Blaze (yes, she’s gorgeous). [...]

We met online. Then we fell in love.

Rambo FEATURE

I have Monika’s Doggie Rescue to thank for bringing sweet adorable Rambo into my life … wouldn’t you like to fall in love too? [...]

My life in a minute: Radio segments, fluff balls – and still getting cosy with Richard Branson

Life in a minute 2 Nov 2012 FEATURE

“Power Stories” keeps powering on … on the radio, on a podcast and right next to Richard Branson on the bestseller lists … all the while I’m inspired by Kelly Exeter and exhausted shepherding the furries to the vet … [...]

Why my dog (dressed as Superman) is the long tail of the internet

Long tail of the internet FEATURE

Yes I bought a Superman outfit for my dog. No, I am not kooky. What I am though is part of a growing trend in e-commerce – the “long tail”, as it is termed, where many entrepreneurs are doing a roaring trade selling less of more. [...]

2 dogs, 2 cats and me – in a 2-door car across 2 states. Melbourne to Sydney: in one day

Rocky (left) and Rex (right) in the back seat of the car.

 

My car used to be a sleek little sporty number. It’s black, it’s a convertible and, apparently, goes really fast. (I’m a Sunday driver so I wouldn’t know). These days, it’s a zoo-on-wheels – covered with white fur.

You see, one of my furry babies (Rocky the cat) gets airsick. So I have no option but to pile everyone into the car when driving from the farm (one hour out of Melbourne) to Sydney (home).

And that’s exactly what I did yesterday when I managed to wrangle Rex (cat), Rocky (cat), Rambo (dog) and Dougal (dog) into the vehicle. With nothing but an audiobook of Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink” and Jim Collins’s “Built to Last” for company, we set off from the farm to head back to Sydney. (Yes, it’s true. Again. I forgot to load my iPod with ANY music).

Oh. My. God.

We had driven for no less than 40 minutes when Rex (on the right of the picture) let out an almighty M-E-O-W. At that instant, I knew I was it was only seconds until I would smell the results.… Read more …