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48 hours in Miami

As I write this, I’m 36,000 feet in the air and halfway between Miami and my destination of Los Angeles.  I had three nights in Miami post-Necker, originally to catch up with a friend who was travelling from New York to meet me.  However plans changed at the last minute as she had to be at work for the weekend.

So what was originally billed as a weekend of partying turned into a weekend of solo time – time that as it turned out was much-needed after the excitement, large group-ness and information overload of the week before; not to mention the book launching just before I left!

My little sis is Miami-bound soon for a couple of days before setting off on a Caribbean cruise (‘mazing!), so I promised her a download of my things to do while I was there – then figured that some of you might find yourself there sometime in future, so I should make a blog post out of it…

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Episode 1 – The Merrymaker Sisters

Merrymakers

In my very first Remarkability podcast I spoke to health and happiness advocates Carla and Emma of The Merrymaker Sisters. The Merrymaker Sisters shared their secrets on ‘following your bliss’ and so much more.

Click HERE to listen now.

 

 

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The biggest thing I learned from Richard Branson

I just left Necker Island yesterday, after what are up there as five of the best days of my life.  The invite came three months ago, and it was one of the (rare) instances where I said yes immediately and decided to figure out how to make it happen later.  As the man himself says: “Screw it, just do it!”.

I travelled there with 22 members of Business Chicks and I don’t quite have the words to describe the week.

Magical, inspiring, motivating, gratifying, nurturing, connecting, healing, loving…

In my time on the island – and in the 24 hours since I left – my brain kinda felt like a freshly-shaken snowglobe, where the sheer amount of experiences, new people and new information were all floating around furiously.  It’s only today that my thoughts have started to settle and clear “take-outs” have materialised.

I’m writing now from my hotel room in Miami, fuelled up on key lime pie and an iced coffee from the local diner.  I wanted to first get down in black and white what seems to be in the running so far for the biggest take-out I had – and it’s something I learned straight from Richard himself.

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I HAVE A BOOK!

I am so excited that my very first ever book is going to be onshelf next week. This might also explain my lengthy absence from the blog for the last couple of months…

Why write a book?

I wanted to capture the many, many learnings I’ve had since starting The Remarkables Group in May 2012 – did I mention many?

I wanted to write it when those early years were still fresh in my brain, and so that those on this journey too might glean some tips from me on what to do (and maybe more importantly) what not to do when starting a business.

I knuckled down to writing over September and October last year, tapping away furiously at the kitchen table every Monday and Saturday for seven weeks.

My dear friend Lisa Messenger very kindly agreed to write the foreword, and I was over the moon to receive a book offer from Hachette Australia in March this year.

The team there has worked furiously to get the book out in record time – considering some books take almost a year to get from go to whoa, this is no mean feat.

The result is Remarkability: Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You.

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8 things I’ve learned about letting someone go

A couple of weeks ago, I got a Facebook message from a kick-ass young entrepreneur who occasionally asks for my advice.

It read: Need a little advice! Tomorrow morning I’m letting go someone for the first time. I’m so nervous! Any good reads or advice?”

I sooooo got why she was nervous.  Letting someone go is hands down one of the shittiest bits of running your own business.  I’ve had to do it several times – the shortest tenure being three weeks and the longest being seven months.

I’m afraid it doesn’t feel any less shitty the more I’ve done it, but I’ve definitely learned some things that help me do the deed with more compassion, professionalism and conviction each time.

I could write a LOT on this topic, however as a starting point I’m sharing the email I sent her – verbatim.  I hope it helps you if you ever need to part ways kindly with someone on your team.

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Please send a grown-up

I should have expected it.

The team structure had been motoring along nicely for five months, which is just about the amount of time for a big change to hit…

Last week a senior member of the team left the business after just three months with us – to pursue a once-in-a-career opportunity elsewhere.  It was one of those “blessing disguised as a curse” moments, as we hadn’t had the huge success we had both hoped for out of the role.

It was the first time in quite a while that something has knocked the wind out of my sails.  It was also the first time in quite a while that I wanted a margarita at 11am in the morning!!!  Thankfully both feelings were temporary…

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Eight gifts for eight occasions

At The Remarkables Group, we send a LOT of gifts.  Not in a bribey “please spend money with us” kind of way, but as a thank you for someone’s support or to congratulate them on a special event in their lives.

It’s a great way to make someone feel appreciated, and I know personally I probably get more out of giving a gift than receiving one!

The importance of sending a thoughtful, well-timed gift cannot be overestimated.  Particularly in our industry, clients and influencers are “love-bombed” (as I call it) daily by various different companies trying to get their attention or their money.  So the more unique, special, thoughtful or touching gifts are, the more unique, special and thought-about the gift receiver will feel.

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It’s not all about the money

Sorry Meja.

Since I started my business, I’ve been fascinated by how you go about selling your company.

The steps that happen in the run-up to that point where you say: “Ok, the money’s hit my account – it’s yours” intrigued me.

Mainly because I was so focused on what we needed to get done, worrying that we’d make enough money so I could feed the cat; and facing down the “OMG WHO GAVE ME A BUSINESS, I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING!!!” moments that – really – the point where someone wanted to buy my business felt like it was not just years, but light years away.

What fascinated me most was how that initial contact takes place.

Do you just get a call one day and someone says: “Hey, I’d like to buy your company?”

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Stuck for affirmations? This should help

Are you an affirmations person?

If so, you are going to love these!

I see the amazing Nicole Bayliss for a tarot reading each year (and have introduced a lot of friends to her too).

I get her newsletter and these little babies popped into my inbox last week.  I knew I had to share them with you all, and happily Nicole agreed.

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7 lessons on success from the movie Joy

Yesterday I finally got to see a movie I’d wanted to see for months – Joy, starring Jennifer Lawrence.  I took my fake little sister Jenny as my date.  I say “fake” as I also have a “real” little sister Jenny, but by strange coincidence I got paired up with another Jenny back in 2011 as part of the SISTER2sister mentoring program.

It was exactly the movie we both needed as a big year of big plans stretches out ahead.  I LOVED it – JLaw was completely fantastic in her role and the random assortment of characters around her were fascinating in all their flawed glory.  The movie is based on the true story of entrepreneur Joy Mangano, who invented the Miracle Mop and many other products since.

Watching the story unfold, I was in awe at the standing start the main character was coming from as she sought to fight her way out of the less-than-ideal existence she was leading.  I had a fresh appreciation for the supportive people around me and the savings I had when I started The Remarkables Group almost four years ago now (!!!).

I spotted some marvellous lessons on success woven throughout the movie.  I don’t think there are any major spoilers here beyond what the trailer shares.  If I do give anything away…. Sorreeeeeee!

Lesson 1: In order to succeed, you need to tune out all those who say you can’t do it, who think you’re less than you truly are and who haven’t had success themselves.

Joy’s family in the movie are, well, pretty horrible.  They take her for granted, question her ideas and tell her she can never amount to much.  They are completely oblivious to the raw potential and pure guts she has, which makes her success all the sweeter!

Joy scene 2

Lesson 2: Cherish those who want to see you fly, and keep them near you.

Conversely, Joy’s best friend and ex-husband give her their full support and encouragement from the very beginning, then throughout all the negativity and challenges she experiences.  The movie closes with both these people still her closest aides and advisers.

Lesson 3: Get rock solid legal advice.

Joy goes with her investor’s lawyer to make the legal arrangements to patent her idea, which results in a shambles of a situation.  Finding a lawyer who was a specialist in patent law would have prevented the whole disaster.

Lesson 4: In the early days, you can sell your product better than anyone.

Joy manages to get QVC onboard to sell her mop invention, but the presenter screws his spot up and doesn’t get a single sale.  Joy wangles her way onto presenting it herself live on air, and does a pretty crap job initially.  Once she finds her voice and begins to talk about her product though, she comes alive and the sheer belief and passion she has for it shines like a beacon.  The result?  50,000 mops sold!

Lesson 5: If all else fails, get a new haircut and kick absolute ass

When everything has pretty much gone to shit and she is at rock bottom, it’s pretty clear that Joy feels she has nothing left to lose.  She hacks off her long hair and gets on a plane to Texas in one last attempt to save her business.

Joy scene 5

Lesson 6: Rock a power pose for extra confidence

In Texas Joy faces her VERY intimidating business adversary, who is the instigator of the whole mess she’s in.  In what is probably the best example of a power pose I’ve seen in my life, she stands her ground and tells him how it’s going to be.  I’m a massive fan of the power pose when I’m speaking.  Just by planting my feet further apart than normal and facing the audience squarely, it tricks my brain into thinking I’m in control and confident – even if inside I’m terrified.

Lesson 7: No matter how hard you think your life is, there is an alternative reality waiting for you if you believe in yourself and are willing to step outside your comfort zone.

As I already mentioned, Joy had the odds stacked against her starting her business – and she could very easily have pulled her head in and remained a broke mother of two with limited prospects.  However a little voice told her that she could be more, could do more, and create a life bigger than she even imagined.  That voice got her through seemingly impossible challenges.

Joy scene 1

Pretty inspiring, yah?

By the way, if you’re like me and the first thing you do after watching a movie or TV show is to Google the “real” person behind the story, here’s Joy Mangano.  And you might also enjoy this Vanity Fair story on the similarities and differences between the movie and real life.

Joy Mangano

Five movie stars from me – if you see it, let me know what you think!

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