Marion King

Conocer Consulting

Website  LinkedIn

Where did you grow up and where are you based now?
I grew up in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges in Victoria, then we moved to Wollongong, NSW. This is an aboriginal name meaning, ‘between the mountains and the sea’. rolling surf and picturesque mountains. Now I live on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, which is a pretty wonderful place too!

What did you want to be when you ‘grew up’?  
A librarian, because these are the people who provide a pathway to knowledge. Knowledge is power. I also wanted to be a leader in an organisation, so I could guide and inspire staff do achieve their potential.

When and how did you transition from working for someone else to working for yourself?
I took a break from working as the Manager, Learning Commons at Holmesglen then for five years as the Victorian Parliamentary Librarian. I knew I wanted to move towards achieving my career goal of starting my own business and sharing my knowledge of leadership and management. It’s been an interesting journey, redefining and rediscovering myself, not to mention the challenge of running my own business! 

What’s your why? 
I've always known that businesses thrive with the right leaders and the right culture. I work with them to achieve this winning combination. I’ve seen some very good leaders and some that are toxic, in my time. I want to change the toxic ones and work with the good ones to make them even better. 

What do you love about what you do?
My career move from Library Manager, (which I loved) to self-employed Management Consultant, where I can put into practice everything I've learnt about Leadership, Coaching and Workforce Planning, which I love even more. I love that what I’m doing contributes to organisational success. For example, I consult in HR areas, interviewing, induction and retention, so businesses can get and keep the best talent.

What’s challenged you most since being in business?
I’ve needed to be very focused on what I really want and determine who are my potential clients. I’ve realized it’s not just about having fun, it’s also very importantly about generating my own income. I haven’t had to do this before!

What are your greatest achievements to date?
My coaching work with clients, where I have helped them to achieve both their business and personal goals. My workshops on ‘Building Resilience at work’, I’m also very proud of, as the feedback has been very positive. 

What are some of the lessons you’ve learned along the way?

  • Look at the competition.
  • Focus on my ‘point of difference’
  • Identify my potential clients and determine the alignment between their needs and my expertise.
  • Go for it!
  • Don’t be a chameleon and change myself totally but identify other areas of business, where I have the ability to deliver a good service. 

What’s the toughest decision you’ve had to make since running your own business?
The toughest decision has been to persevere and believe in myself, when I was just starting up and still trying to find my direction. 

What are some resources you or your business can’t live without?  
People; they are the best for support and guidance and the really good ones will tell me when I’m wrong. That’s great too! It’s good to have a reality check.
Articles on the internet and books, I couldn’t live without. Such valuable information on the areas I’m providing services in. 

What advice would you give someone wanting to start their own business or change jobs to an industry/role that they’d love?
Do some research and career planning to work out what you really want. Then you will know where you are going and why. Don’t be put off but be realistic and look out for other opportunities as well. Don’t just follow the straight road. 

What’s something most people wouldn’t know about you?
Life can sometimes be too short, so I want to do everything, so I don’t miss out.

What does your ideal day look like?
Getting the most important (and often hardest) things done first, so then I can work on the other stuff but also do some exercise, play music and learn more French or Spanish.

What’s one of your favourite quotes?
“Here's to the crazy ones — the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently — they're not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things." Jun 13, 2014. Steve Jobs

Who or what inspires you?  
People around me, the amazing RMIT teacher who has just finished teaching us the Cert IV in Training and Development, my mother, my daughter, my partner. 

Anything you’d like to add?
I really admire artists (that includes musicians and actors as well as visual artists). They are the people who view the world from a different perspective and question how we do things. That's why I think lateral and creative thinking is so important in business.