Valerie Khoo


This is the personal blog of Valerie Khoo – artist, author and podcaster. Valerie is passionate about exploring the worlds of creativity and business. She is co-host of the popular podcasts ‘So you want to be a writer’ and ‘So you want to be a photographer’. Valerie is a mentor to artists, writers and business owners on how they can turn their passions into thriving professional practices. She is author of ‘Power Stories: The 8 Stories You MUST Tell to Build an Epic Business’. Valerie is also CEO of the Australian Writers’ Centre, one of the world’s leading centres for writing courses.

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  1. Naomi Ellis

    Just what I need to read. Thank you!

  2. The Plumbette

    So good! Think of the time spent (wasted) pinning motivational quotes that could have been used to get a head start on a goal. A very timely read for me.

    1. Valerie Khoo

      That’s right. Time to get off Pinterest. And start doing! (I have to remember that too!)

  3. Linda

    Thank you. Such a great read and just what I needed to kick-start the new year.

    1. Valerie Khoo

      Have a great start to 2015 Linda!

  4. lolshelley

    Your post really resonatated with me Valerie. My vision board looks fabulous, my Facebook wall is full of inspiring quotes and all the while I should be working on my novel! Procrastination is a big problem but I have finally taken action. I launched my first blog 3 weeks ago. I only have two posts but it’s a start and something that I hope will help with my writing. You see, like a lot of aspiring authors, I have this crazy fear of failure. I decided that as long as I kept my words safely tucked away in the confines of my computer, away from the eyes of the world, my dream of becoming an author could remain intact. Whereas, should I release my words to the world and people say “Your writing sux. You will never be an author”, my dream would be smashed into a million tiny fragments. But then it dawned upon me that if I didn’t show my writing to the world, my dream would never come true. If I failed and never became a published author, I would STILL be a writer. So I took that leap of faith and started my blog. Knowing that my blog was merely a tiny pin head in the infinity of cyberspace, I knew I had to do something more confronting….so I shared the link to my blog on my Facebook page where my nearest and dearest would read my words. It was one of the scariest things I have ever done but also one of the most liberating. My second action step will be to enrol in your Creative Writing Stage 1 course around March next year. I have decided this is MY year to do something for me and reconnect to the magic of writing. Thank you for creating such an amazing centre for the writing community. Shell.x

    1. Valerie Khoo

      I’m so happy to hear this. And remember, there is no failure. Call it learning!

      1. lolshelley

        Thanks Valerie.

  5. Zita @ It's time...

    love it! So so true!
    And that’s why I have taken 12 months leave from my job and booked some holidays overseas!! Time to stop making goals knowing I’m not going to achieve them and actually doing something about my life!

  6. Carol Jones

    Good morning Valerie from rural Australia.

    What you say is so true. I’ve never had a vision board. I’m also so weary of inspirational quotes that I glide right over them without reading a word. And don’t use Pinterest, which I consider to be nothing more than a glamourous wish list.

    I’ve mentored 3 women in the past few years and they all have one thing in common. They do things. And they meet their goals. Including one woman who was shocked to hear me say she was a real go getter. That’s not the way she sees herself. But give her an idea, and she’s off with it and figuring out how to make it work for her small business. And she’s increased her revenue by many $$$$$$$ in the last 12 months. All she needed was someone to talk to.

    I have business friends who have excuses for doing nothing. So many excuses. All the time. And they’re nowhere near where they want to be. I’ve stopped short of cutting them off. But to be honest, Valerie, I get impatient when I hear flimsy excuses for doing nothing. Especially when I see others gouging out footholds in the sides of mountains so they can get to the top.

    I set 10 goals every December. And I’ve never met all of them. Most years I only achieve 8 out of 10. One year I achieved 9 out of 10. But I would never have achieved any of them if I didn’t get off my derriere and do something to make them happen.

    What have I achieved? I have more than 350,000 customers in 29 countries for a very humble signature product in a declining market. I taught myself through squillions of free online teleseminars at 1AM in the morning (all in the USA) how to be on the first page of Google for my most important search terms. Free. Without ever paying to be there. And have stayed there for many years.

    And my proudest achievement is I’ve done this by staying out of retail stores. And pursuing my goal that all my products are made with love and care in RURAL Australia by men and women who have a disability. A feat I was discouraged from pursuing by marketing gurus. Their mantra is to make as cheaply as possible in China. And wholesale.

    Maybe for some. But not for me. Personal contact is what I thrive on. And my customers love knowing they’re putting something back into the Australian and my local rural community by buying from me.

    A fact that would be lost under the harsh conditions of doing business with the likes of Woolworths and Coles.

    All success starts with a dream. But like you say, there comes a time when you have to put in the hard – and I mean HARD – work to achieve those dreams.

    Your own story of success is testament to that. You do walk the talk.

    Always love your posts. And best wishes for 2015. ~Carol Jones, Ironing Diva❤

    1. Valerie Khoo

      350,000 customers in 29 countries. AMAZING! Congrats on your success Carol 🙂