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Mellissah Smith Blog - Page 8 - Marketing Manager Blog

Mellissah Smith

Happy New Year to my dear friends both old and new,
It's been a mammoth year for so many reasons, but I don't need to bore you with too much disclosure on this subject - after all you do read my blogs from time to time.

2012 has come and gone, and with it came ups and downs and few side-way turns - but what is a year, without steering left or right from what could possibly be a boring straight road ahead?

I started 2012, in the worse possible fashion. I was in another country, at a celebration that was marred by a relationship that was not meant to be and ensured that there was no celebrating the new year coming in. For someone who is somewhat superstitious about bringing in a new year, that was a less than perfect situation.  Nevertheless, it gave me an experience in life and a new appreciation for the fact that "everyone has their own shit to deal with" - and sometimes you just have to let people learn from their own mistakes and continue on their own journey without trying to advertly change them.

It's a great realisation to come to when you can look back at the year, and see how much you have grown as a person and how much more understanding, accomodating and less selfish you can become. I have watched others live their lives and occasionally fall down,  and its refreshing to see it from a different perspective. Positivity has been key and has been an underlying theme to everything that has gone on throughout the year. Sure, there have been moments and sometimes days, where it was hard to be positive, but this theme kept creeping back and let me assure you, it worked wonders.

While the start was not the best, it was a year that I became a better employer and business person. Business, as you know, is important to me. Every year, if you spend time taking in feedback and re-educating yourself, you will always improve and become a better version of yourself. I am sure my employees and friends have seen the journey more closely and can see a positive change that will take our company to a whole new level. It's not often a business person shares such insights, because everyone is out there trying to spruik how great they are at business or how much success they have achieved. I just tell it how it is and hope that some aspects of my life, relates back to the people I share it with.

I always feel that by sharing my inner most thoughts on a business blog, people that can relate to the fact that you don't have to be "on" 24/7 nor do you have to pretend to be "fine" with everything. You can show that you have feelings, that sometimes you get hurt by someone else's actions or that you make mistakes and sometimes you just take things the wrong way. I never wanted this blog to not tell the truth or how it really is. On that note, this blog has been a remarkable achievement and something that I am proud of for so many reasons. The hundreds of emails I receive weekly regarding this blog is something that I treasure dearly.

In 2012, I travelled and met some of the most interesting people imaginable. I have taken risks, climbed mountains, and hopped on flights just because there was a good party or an opportunity too good to miss. I have challenged my own sanctum by not doing things that were expected - over and over again. I have been continually grateful for the people around me and for the experiences I have had and that I know I will continue to have.

I sat on a plane only months ago, next to a gentleman who after 3 hours, decided to start a conversation. I don't really talk to people on planes, but on this particular occasion, it seemed right. We have since become firm friends and met up a few times even though we live in opposite ends of the world. His commentary on life and business is completely mesmerizing and his notes with words of wisdom and unabated kindness, are something I will treasure long after we lose contact.

I love to write, and often write notes to people and have been continually pleasantly surprised by others doing the same. In the past week, I have received more than a dozen letters, emails, and text messages with heartfelt notes from people that have been in my life or that are in my life, giving me insight into what I actually mean to them or an appreciation for a moment in time. To those people, thank you. Those messages mean more to me than you can ever imagine.

Everyone comes into your life for a reason, a season and a lifetime. We always hope for a lifetime, but just because they don't, doesn't mean that it doesn't have just as much meaning. 

I feel privileged to live the life I do, to have what I have and to be able to share my thoughts and opinions with people like yourselves. I can't imagine my life any way other than how it is, but I wouldn't care if it all changed. We are all on a journey and life isn't about what possessions you have, or how many friends you have on facebook. It's about being free to live your own life and being able to experience things that make you happy, sometimes sad or indifferent.

My niece said to me today "everyone's perception of the meaning of life is different and no-one can tell you that one way is right or wrong". Wise words Ashleigh. 

For me, this new year is different. It's about new beginnings and an openness to business and life. My theme for 2013 is "kindness and understanding" and with that, I wish you all a very happy new year. May this year, be the best one ever.


“If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.” Jack Dixon.

I woke up this morning feeling a little bit down.

The year has gone so fast – yet, I feel as though I have done so little. I have been chasing my tail trying to accomplish so much – yet, my ‘to do list’ seems to be getting longer and longer. There is so much more to be achieved, but with only 27 days left to the year, it looks as though I have literally run out of time.

Apparently, I am not alone.

Small business owners the world over struggle to fit everything in to their daily schedule – with this time of year marking a time where the scoreboard comes out and crosses begin to appear, with thick red markers firmly reminding entrepreneurs that they have not done enough hard work or scored the goals they needed to win the game.

But do entrepreneurs ever really ‘win’ the game? If you are anything like me, you keep changing the goal posts and every time you get close, you shift the posts just that little bit further. 

One of my close girlfriends rung me today. She hasn't been out on a date in 5 years because she was married and now newly single, was about to embark on her first dating experience.

She asked,"I am new to this stuff, but I am going on a date tonight to a dinner and a movie and I am not sure what the protocol is with paying."

I asked, "do you like him?" 

She said, "yes, he is a really great guy and I really like him".
It's been a very long relationship. One that I have enjoyed immensely particularly when I have been to the beach and there is sand everywhere, surf boards to fit into the car, towels, dogs, bags and left over rubbish. You have been very reliable and you always come up shiny and new when you are washed.

But... it's over. I am calling it a day.

And here is why...

I don't in any way think that Alan Jones comments on the death of Julia Gillard's (Australian PM for those who don't know) father. He has been made aware by the Australian public, the media and the social media enthusiasts that his comments were not acceptable. Slap over the wrist. Wake up call. You name it - he got it. But when does the punishment stop?

Then, when I thought I couldn't stomach another day of media both traditional and online slandering the poor old guy that has just got verbal diarrhea at times, it did get worse and this time it was personal.

Mercedes PR people got on the bandwagon. Not only did they profess to cancel their advertising because of the comments, but they also gained millions in publicity over "taking away the Mercedes that Alan Jones was given to drive".

And it was all lies. Some dumb PR person or manager who instigated the PR activity trying to leverage the Mercedes brand should be sacked. Not Alan Jones. He makes a living out of being controversial and saying stuff that either the general public really want to say but don't, or that is plain ridiculous and happens to be either his opinion or a cause of generating publicity for his show. David McCarthy from Mercedes is who I am talking about. Generating PR spin is one thing, but stay within your brand guidelines and brand values. Mercedes isn't a brand that is known for "trolling" or "gutter tactics".

I thought and bought a brand that was reputable. That stood above the rest. Was quality, stylish, reliable, decent and the brand that everyone wants to own, but not everyone can. I am not sure how lying to generate publicity as reported in the media in the past 24 hours is something that is in line with the Mercedes brand.

Here we have an example of a PR person generating publicity only to fall flat on their face and while they may have millions in mileage in terms of column centimeters, they are no doubt going to lose a lot more than that with loyal brand followers turning off their brand.

My next car may have cost Mercedes between $150 to $250k. I am sure I am not the only one that has now got a distaste for the Mercedes brand over one very fatal and very stupid PR stunt that has clearly backfired.
Every now and again, this blog gets personal. Very personal.

Today is one of those days. Not because I feel particularly inspired to share how I am feeling, but as I am sitting here on a Sunday, enjoying the Spring breezes through my balcony opening, I thought I would share with you something that a former Monk shared with 800 people at a conference I attended in Istanbul.

Life on earth is limited.

It is. We may live to be 80 and if we are really lucky, 100, but most probably, we will die before then. Therefore, we have only ourselves to blame for not making the most of what life has to offer us.

Prioritize things and people that are most important in life

As I hustled for my spot in line for a delayed flight, I became slightly overwhelmed by the crowd that had gathered around vying to get their place in line after waiting for hours for the flight to be called.

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.
Today is my birthday. I have finally turned 39, a number that I have been using for quite some time, just to get use to it.

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.
Ita Buttrose is not only one of Australia's highest profile businesswomen, she is someone that I think most women would love to sit down and have a coffee with, me included. Starting her career as a coffee girl for Women's Weekly with no grand plan and no real aspirations, Ita Buttrose was the first to do many things other women before her had not done. She was the first woman to be appointed to the News Limited Board and was the Editor for Cleo magazine, the first offshoot for the Packer empire.

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.
There is a reason why this marketing blog has been neglected and it's not something that I particularly wanted to share.

And, to some extent, I won't.

However, today I received in the mail a book and it was a reminder that 'everything happens for a reason'.

I travelled around the world twice in six weeks for business and when you do such an exhaustive trip like that, twice, you immediately get a feeling that 'it had better be worth it'. Fortunately, it always is. Afterall, its a journey and when we embark on any journey with an open and honest mind, we move that step forward to realising whatever it is that we were meant to realise.

Both trips were different. Other than for the business aspect, they could not have been more different. The first trip was one of adventure, excitement, opportunity and putting in place things for the future that needed to be put in place.
Sometimes, life doesn't go as planned. And that is ok.

As we continue to embark on the journey of life, we will experience it in it's enormity. Sometimes we will be so happy, we will literally want to pinch ourselves. Other times, we will be grateful and know that we are lucky to be in the position in life that we are in. There will be times where we will be sad and disheartened, but those, we hope will be few and far between. They will only help us build character and learn what we want out of life and what we do not.

I have had a few days of being disappointed by someone else's actions. But that's ok. They are living their life and I am living mine and at the end of the day, it's their life to live and we can only choose our own paths and learn the lessons we need to learn from our own experiences.

"Losers live in the past. Winners learn from the past and enjoy working on the present toward the future." Denis Waitley.

If I look back at the past, I only see the positive influences that are directing me to the future. A fall in the park as a seven year old, taught me to be strong and that everything heals. A teacher in fifth grade that had me in tears because she dared to give me a A- on an essay, only to have to change the mark to an A once I brought it to the Head Masters attention, taught me to stand up for what you believe in. My Year 8 crush who never even noticed that I existed, taught me that not everyone is on the same page. Crashing my boyfriends new car when I was 20 years old into the garage wall while trying to park it, taught me to not sweat the small stuff.
Last night, I had the most awful dream, that a friend who has been unwell, was pushing himself to the limit and not letting himself get better, had a car crash. It felt so real. In the dream, I found him all mangled, and lifeless. After months in hospital, it was time for him to get out, but there was no-one to look after him, as he had literally no-one in his life. No-one knew what to do, and no-one felt it was their responsibility. I started to cry in my dream because I felt for him. Then, the tears streaming down my face woke me up. I was completely shakened. It felt so real. The pictures in my dream were so real. It took moments before I realised that it was just a bad dream.

In Australia, it's Mother's Day today.

A day that we show appreciation for our Mother's and tell them how important they are to our lives.

My Mother is an interesting woman. She is highly religious, has an incredible sense of resilience and shows compassion to people around her like no-one I have never seen before.

As a child, I remember looking up to her. I loved that she wasn't showy like some other people's Mother's and that she always stood in the background, quiet, yet very supportive. She was the type of Mother that would bake a cake, pop into the school unannounced and give a slice to each of the kids in our class so that they could enjoy her delicious baking for morning tea. Knowing that I had a phobia of eating food out of a lunchbox, she also use to drive 10 kilometres to drop me off fresh lunch, or my favourite fish and chips, on days when the canteen didn't operate - so I would not starve.