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. Bin Teo

    Well said Valerie! And yes, you deserve props for this thoughtful post 🙂

  2. Sean Callanan

    Thanks Val, good post. Unfortunately it is a very Australian trait.

  3. Valquiria

    Brilliant article.

  4. skipitydo

    Hi Valerie Thanks.

  5. Kelly Exeter

    Oops guilty. I trained myself out of doing this but for whatever reason have started doing it again recently. Thanks for the reminder Val!

  6. Alexx Stuart

    Love this Valerie. 13 years of catholic school girl guilt coupled with Aussie cultural norm and I’m still trying to break the shackles of downplaying success but I believe what you believe: We should get comfortable with success. Hope you’ve been well xx

  7. Michaela Fox

    I am SO guilty of this but really trying to get better. Thanks for the reminder.

  8. Dannielle

    I am guilty of this, but I have been trying to change. Thanks for the reminder!

  9. Johanna

    So true. I used to be self deprecating when I was in the UK, then went through a stage of feeling empowered to feel good about my achievements in South Africa – arrived in Australia and thought ‘oh no Tall Poppy, this isn’t a good way to win friends’ and went back to being self deprecating. Time to get over it methinks!

  10. Angus Pryor

    Yep, I agree with the sentiment. Strangely, it’s probably only because I was on a course at some point in the past, and we were actually trained on how to accept a compliment, that I don’t seem to have an issue with this. I usually just say thanks. I suspect if people reject the compliment outwardly they may struggle to enjoy it inwardly. I think Mark Twain is quoted as saying he could go for months on a single compliment.

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  12. Gabrielle Cardwell

    Great reminder Valerie! I have been guilty of this on so many occasions. I am trying to teach myself to respond to a compliment with “Thank you” and nothing else even though I always have the urge to add “It was nothing”.

  13. Layton Mills

    Only just found this blog Valerie, love it 🙂 I’m from Canberra (Don’t hold it against me) but you don’t know what tall poppy is until you build a business in the ACT 🙁