Where did you grow up and where are you based now?
I was born and bred in Frankston on the Mornington Peninsula. I then spent five years living in the Melbourne CBD, two years living in London and have spent the last eight years back in the hood, residing in Carrum.
What did you want to be when you ‘grew up’?
I had three choices of what I wanted to be when I grew up. A lawyer (like Ally McBeal), a journalist (like April O’Neil) or a forensic pathologist (basically a detective like Nancy Drew but the cool science side).
When and how did you transition from working for someone else to working for yourself?
This isn’t my first business. When I was in my 20’s I started and grew a video production agency with a business partner who I sold to when I was 27. Then I went back and worked for other people for a while. In 2014, while I was working as a senior digital producer, I became frustrated that my role had become too account management based and less creative. I spent too much time managing people and projects instead of doing the work.
I left not knowing what the next step would be. And in my first week out of work I was referred a copy job. That turned into a brand building job. That led to another copy job. I went to a few networking events and got some more copy, content and brand story projects. Within a month I was pretty busy. My husband said, “The universe is telling you something. Why don’t you have another go?” Heart Content was born.
What’s your why?
When was the last time you asked “Why?” in your business? Why do I do what I do? Why should people work with me? Why should people buy from me? Why should my customers love me? Why am I here?
I’m the little girl that always asked why. I’m on a lifelong learning mission. A mission to seek to understand people and the world around me. To understand why. And so, my Why is to help you find and understand your why, then help you articulate that to the people that matter.
What do you love about what you do?
Many of the businesses I work with have lost their way and aren’t sure why things aren’t working any more or why they can’t grow. They started their business because they were good at a something, not because they knew how to build a business or a brand. When I work with a client, it’s like a little light turns back on for them. As they reconnect with their why, they start to glow. They get their energy back, their passion ignites again. They find purpose and motivation.
It’s quite magical. And whilst I love the writing and planning and strategy and creativity, it’s the magic light switch that these things flick on for my clients that’s at the heart of why I love what I do.
What’s challenged you most since being in business?
My greatest challenge in my business has happened only recently. I’ve become a mum. And I underestimated the emotional side of what that meant for me. So right now I’m trying to work out how best to balance my business baby with my human baby – the guilt, the joy and the adventure of it all!
What are your greatest achievements to date?
Starting my business (both of them). Writing a brand history book for Renault. Living in London and working for the BBC. Keeping my business alive as I welcomed a tiny human into the world.
What are some of the lessons you’ve learned along the way?
Trust your instincts. Ask for help. You’ve got to give to get. Surround yourself with people who build you up. No just means not right now. You aren’t for everybody – and that’s okay.
What’s the toughest decision you’ve had to make since running your own business?
The toughest decision I’ve ever had to make in business was deciding to leave one. When it was time to move on from my first business, it was difficult, scary and emotionally exhausting. There is nothing more daunting than walking away, not knowing what the next step might be. But starting that business and leaving that business are two of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Deciding to start something and deciding to stop something (then actually doing that) are the two most difficult things in life. It’s easier to never change anything – but life is way too boring without it!
What are some resources you or your business can’t live without?
An internet connection everywhere I go is a must. It means I can operate my business from anywhere and I pay a premium to be with the carrier that offers me the best connection.
An online presence. Even if people meet you face to face, they will check out your website to see if you’re the real deal. It also allows you to build a community around your offering.
Networking. This is how I find clients, work on my business and meet people who are on the same journey as me. It keeps me sane, connected and growing. I couldn’t do business without it.
What advice would you give someone wanting to start their own business or change jobs to an industry/role that they’d love?
Don’t spend years waiting for “the right time”. There is not right time and there’s no time like now. I’m not saying you don’t have to have some sort of plan (a short set of dot points will do the trick!) but you don’t get anywhere if you don’t take action.
What’s something most people wouldn’t know about you?
When I was a teenager, I started a youth depression awareness campaign on the Mornington Peninsula called Footprints Forever. This was pre Beyond Blue when nobody was talking about the issue of depression at all, and I’m proud to have been involved in getting the conversation started. I was awarded a Centenary of Federation Medal for service through youth as a result of this work.
What does your ideal day look like?
One that involves family, work and play in equilibrium. Along with time to eat well, read for enjoyment, laugh loudly and learn thoughtfully.
What’s one of your favourite quotes?
Nothing is more powerful than the stories we choose to tell ourselves.
Who or what inspires you?
I’m inspired in some way by each and every person I meet because we all have a story to tell. But I get daily inspiration and motivation from the amazing Seth Godin, who writes about marketing, tribes, respect and doing your best work, even though sometimes that’s the hardest thing to do.
Anything you’d like to add?
It’s a privilege and an honour to be a part of the Soar Collective. I’m grateful each and every day for the people here who challenge me, support me, and create opportunities for me to shine as a human being.