People were pushing each other and bumping their bags and briefcases into the person beside them, concerned that they would lose their position in line. You know how it is when everyone wants to get to the front of a line, and there is always some person who rudely is pushing their way to the top with no regard to anyone else.
This kind of aggressive behavior reminds me of a football scrum, although I have never actually been in one.
My handbag felt heavier than normal and my shoulder was feeling fatigue from holding my bag for so long filled with books, sunglasses, purse, makeup and anything else that I had chosen to throw in there during the day.
My muscles were tightening around my neck and my eyes felt as though a lemon had sprayed the corner.
I was exhausted, yet I had to wait in line like everyone else for the powers to be to let us on the plane.
"Excuse me, excuse me." I heard a lady in the background politely mumble.
"Excuse me, excuse me." I heard it again and again as the sound got closer and closer.
Finally, the person was right beside me.
A Qantas attendant was assisting a very good looking man in his early 40's get through the crowd. As I looked down and moved aside simultaneously, I noticed a stick. The man was blind.
It stopped me in my tracks.
Here I was complaining to myself about how tired I was, how Qantas once again had let me down, how my back ached and my throat was dry - and here was a man that couldn't see two feet in front of him.
I've learnt over the years, that I shouldn't feel pity for someone in this situation. He sure doesn't want me to. Instead, I felt respect for the way this person who I don't know and most probably will never know, sees the world - not through their eyes, but through their other senses; listening, felling and smelling.
I've always thought that being blind would be the worse disability of all. To wake up and not see the sun rise, a child being born, the waves crashing on the rocks or someone smile, would mean that you would miss out on so much. I, like most people, do not spend enough time appreciating what we have, rather than what we have not.
Life can throw us many curve balls, but sometimes its good to just sit down by yourself and appreciate how good life really is and how lucky we all are.
When asked the questions about my business and marketing in general, I found it really easy to communicate the good, the bad and the ugly experiences I have had over time.
Starting a business at 25 is quite naive really, unless of course it is a technology company or perhaps a restaurant. When you think about the industry of marketing consultancy, people pay for experience. They want to know that the person who is managing their marketing needs actually has experience in marketing and hopefully has a few successes and failures under their belt. The latter being the most important because that's where you learn your real lessons.
I made so many mistakes particularly in my first 5 years of owning a business. I had learnt from "old school" leaders who were more like dictators and less receptive to a caring and nurturing work environment. Back then, you either sunk or swam and if you swam, you were given more and more responsibility.
So, when I first started my business, I didn't invest heavily in my team. In fact, I was terrible. If I was totally honest with myself (like I was on radio yesterday), I was of the mind-set that if you paid someone a salary, then they just need to get on with it and do their job. No complaining.
In fairness, I had no-one that really guided me and for quite some years, I found myself happily working from a different office to my staff in Queensland and small team in Sydney. I enjoyed not having people ask me questions. It was total bliss. Besides that, I could go out for long lunches without feeling guilty - something I loved to do on Friday's. Very old school huh!!!
Then one day, I had a moment where it all became clear. That is not how you get a high performance team. By investing in your team and understanding what they want to achieve out of life as well as work, you will attract the right people and keep them.
As a business owner it is also important to understand your shortfalls. I have many - I can't lie. Some of my shortfalls are that I am always thinking ahead but when you have an entrepreneurial spirit like that, you need to make sure your number 2 is the complete opposite.
Others shortfalls include:
- I am a perfectionist and that's hard for everyone around me, but great for clients
- I do too many things at once and am working really hard to do one thing right before moving on to the next
- I have to go away and think about things before making really hard decisions because my first thoughts are not always the right ones
- I don't have enough time in the day to do everything I would like to do
- I care too much about people - and this is possible.
It was great to walk back down that road yesterday and talk about how much I have learned from my mistakes.I am quite proud of my journey and know that because I wasn't afraid to take it, I have become a much better version of myself and I have a fairly good story to tell.
The other question that was asked was about what small businesses should do with their online strategy. It is really important that small businesses focus on "Content Driving Connections" because this is the only way to steer your online strategy and reap the branding and financial rewards. If every small business owner placed those words on their screen savers, and remembered it every single time they went online, you would find that the success of their online strategies would be not only more sustainable but a better return on investment.
Cyber bullying exists but often its the ones that cry that they have been bullied, that have infact in some shape or form contributed to the situation. There is a social media protocol and simple solution to most things. "Block" exists and if you ever want to not read something being said, it simply takes you a few seconds. Secondly, never feed the situation - and that goes online or offline.
In the case of Charlotte Dawson, it was her blatant put down of New Zealand, her place of birth, that started the ball rolling.
I woke up unexpectantly at 3am and have stayed awake ever since. Instead of going back to sleep, I looked out my window and soaked up the view of the parkland. I don't think I have ever seen it at 3am before. It was beautiful, peaceful and the perfect setting to the start of a new year in my life.
The hashtag was #businesschicks and #itabuttrose. It's impact was for all to see, as the event was trending somewhere in the social media sphere and people who had never heard of Ita Buttrose from all over the world, were joining the 'trend' and retweeting tweets related to her speech. Such is the power of a #hashtag and of course, my favourite social media platform, Twitter.
What is a hashtag?A #hashtag is a symbol or a metadata tag used on microblogging social networking sites Twitter, identi.ca and Google+ that is followed by a keyword phrase without spaces. It ties the conversations of different users into one stream, which you can find by searching the hashtag in Twitter search or by using a third-party monitoring tool like HootSuite.
All tags are case insensitive and can become trending topics if enough people start using it and virally spending the 'word'.
When trending goes viralA hashtag can go viral very fast. Take for instance the re-launch of Big Brother. The tweeting went ballistic on Twitter and many popular tweets were displayed during the show. The hashtag #BB trended through the entire episode. Just like when #thevoiceau was on. It trended as did all of the judges. Who didn't tweet something about #joelmadden #keithurban #seal ?
What can small businesses do to get their messages across on Twitter with hashtagsIt's hard to judge, but popular hashtags for small businesses are: #smallbusiness #entrepreneur #inspiration #success - make up your own one but make sure it is clever and you never know where it may go.
The reality is that on Twitter or any other medium it is not critical to 'trend' on a topic. What is important is the information that communicate and the story that those 160 characters tell.
This morning she was the keynote speaker at Business Chicks, a networking event founded by entrepreneur Emma Isaacs. As I sat at a table hosted by PWC and next to two inspirational women; Melissa Bridge (founder of GXY Search) and former Jimmy Choo CFO and now an executive at PWC, Chelsie Harris, I was interested in what Ita had to say. Having not watched the telemovie about her life, Paper Giants, I was aptly impressed by her wit, self-depreciating mannerisms and intelligence.
Yes, I will be considered a year older in a matter of days and it is reason for reflection.
An action packed weekend, filled with laughter, good friends, great food and a few bottles of french Bordeaux, it is fair to say, I am ready to get my teeth sunk in to the week ahead.
While it may seem all fun and games, it isn't always and is definately dependent on how you look at it.
The 1.6 per cent annual rise in spending is the worst result since 1961-62 - an era when there were no credit cards and shoppers used pounds, shillings and pence.
The Bureau of Statistics revealed sales for the normally strong month of June had fallen by 0.1 per cent, following an 0.6 per cent drop in May.
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