16 May 2011

Trekking in Peru – Challenge, Growth and Contribution.

The happy faces of the children, the mountain peaks floating amongst the clouds, the ease with which the shepherds herd their llamas in high altitude, the engineering brilliance of the temples, the powerful spirituality and forward thinking of the ancient Peruvians… so many magical moments… so often the internal conversation that am truly blessed to have had this experience.

I have just returned from trekking in Peru to raise much needed funds for the StepUP Foundation and to bring StepUP to the Gladstone community.

Very succinctly, StepUP’s aim is to educate and excite teenagers about the possibilities for their future in business and in life. The program has already changed
the lives of teens throughout Australia and been the catalyst for amazing shifts in their thinking.

Participating in the Trek was also an opportunity to check out of the frantic world of business and busy-ness for awhile… to check in with myself… to reconnect with my purpose in life and to be re-energised to reach for new heights and set new goals. And what better environment than the peaks and valleys of Peru, culminating in the awe inspiring, Macchi Pichu. I trekked alongside like minded people from all over Australia and was guided by a young Peruvian man who shared his point of view based on a deep understanding of his culture and history passed through the generations – a very powerful message which gave a new dimension to our experience and learning.

What became clear was – There are treks and there are StepUP treks… Yes, this trek was physically challenging as we reached heights of over 4600 metres and walked for up to 10 hours a day, and it was important to remain mentally alert given the rugged terrain… but in addition to this we had the opportunity to spend time in the communities… we painted a school building, gave out school books, stationery items, clothing and fruit… we supported ventures who supported their community, we contributed and connected with the people of Peru and that was extremely rewarding – what a privilege. We were challenged to step up and to choose to make positive changes in our lives. So may life lessons were learnt.

And of course, the 360 degree views were incredible, the landscape dramatic, the wildlife and the people exquisite and the photo opportunities endless.

Thank you to all who supported me in my fundraising efforts – in doing so you have contributed to the future of the teens in our region.

Remember a journey outside is a journey inside… my recommendation… add a Trek in Peru to your life list!! And make it a StepUP Trek.

18 April 2011

Success can stem from tragedy

In February this year, we attended the annual Nixon Advantage conference with our peers from all over Australia and New Zealand. One of the speakers during the conference, was Michael Hill (of Michael Hill Jewellery fame). Michael was sensational! He is charismatic, energetic, has a story to tell and a lesson to share. I was inspired by Michael and I have since read two of his books - "Toughen Up" and "Think Bigger". Most people aren't aware that Michael Hill's success actually stems from a tragedy. In 1977, at the age of 40, Michael and Christine Hill's dream home burnt to the ground. It was as he watched this tragedy unfold, that Michael made a profound decision that set him on the road to success. He decided that after 23 years of working in his uncle's jewellery business he would buy it from him. As it turns out, Michael couldn't convince his uncle to sell the business to him, so Michael and Christine started their own jewellery business - and the rest as they say is history! There are a few lessons I have learnt from listening to Michael and reading his books:

  • Set 30 year goals - yes, 30 year goals - it will extend your life!

  • Visualise your goals with absolute clarity.

  • Your comfort zone is a dangerous place to be - it's much more exciting to think bigger.

  • Love what you do! Opportunity is often disguised as work.

  • Present yourself (and your products/services) perfectly.

  • Inside of each of us is everything we need. All the tools. All the talent. Just allow the true you to come out. Be and do something remarkable!

  • Surround yourself with people to learn from.


Always pursue what you love

Always extend your talents

Never abandon your dreams

Are you in your comfort zone? What will wake you up?

Are you facing tough times, and it's time to make a change?

Wherever you are in life, regardless of your age or situation, it is never too late to make a change, toughen up, and set yourself some BHAG's (Big Hairy Audacious Goals!)

Just go for it!

18 March 2011

Getting to know you...

In our last blog, my business partner, Steve Marsten, spoke about the "Speed of Trust" and how to build relationships to make sales and grow business. He made the point that selling is all about relating to people.

Here at Sothertons Gladstone, we have the pleasure of meeting and working with many different people in diverse roles, businesses and industries. What we have found is that the interpersonal relationships between owners, partners and team members can have a profound effect on their ability to work together to achieve amazing results.

It is so important to get to know the people around you - both in your personal life, and in your professional life. However, sometimes that is easier said than done!

Late last week I had the opportunity to attend DISC training in Brisbane and become DISC Accredited. DISC is a language used to discuss human behavioural styles. It is about how people tend to act and communicate. It is based on a four factor model that helps explain how people differ behaviourally.

DISC can help you:

  • Identify your own style and understand your own preferred communication style and way of behaving;
  • Identify other styles to work more effectively with others through better communication; and
  • Adapt and apply your own style to make the most of your own behavioural strengths.

The DISC process uses games and activities and can be lots of fun to do together as a team, encouraging participation and acceptance of each other. It will certainly start some interesting conversations!

For more information, please contact me, or check out this website for further information on DISC: DISC Profile Introduction

I trust this introduction to DISC will get you thinking about your own behavioural and communication style and the styles of those close to you, and I encourage you to share your thoughts with us.

09 March 2011

I was recently handed a card with a quote on it – It read...

If you want

to get what you want,

you should help someone

get what they want

You can read this and use it in many ways. I interpreted it as the Speed of Trust which I know is a well known book.

Often we are approached by sales people in stores and at our homes and immediately our tension levels rise and our trust usually drops. Good sales people move us from high tension/low trust to low tension/high trust. Maintaining the trust - which is not always easy - creates buyers for life!

To accelerate trust you should ask yourself “who do you know, who knows who you need to know?”

Focus on the easier sale first – go to people you know (and who trust you) and ask for their referrals. Then straight away you have “social credibility”. Another key point to remember is…

The more you know about the people you serve,

the better you can serve the people you know.”

Selling is about relating – not persuading. You can provide more meaningful solutions when engaged in dialogue; give up imposing your agenda and aim to genuinely listen to your clients and customers needs.

Also we are often found side stepping the issue of price: “So how much will it cost me?” We focus on making sure we explain the value of our offer first – which is understandable, however a person with an abundant mindset may respond with “Here are your options. I’ll advise you on which one is the best fit for your needs – even if that means introducing you to another company.” This approach is more likely to build trust more quickly.

Finally, always remember “if you don’t follow up, they won’t follow through!” You sell when trust exists. The faster you create trust, the quicker sales will occur and the faster your business grows.

23 February 2011

Lifetime Learning

Hello from Hamilton Island!

The three of us, Judy Reynolds, Steve Marsten and Tina Zawila, along with our peers from all over Australia and New Zealand, are currently on Hamilton Island, practicing what we preach and engaging in personal and professional development (lifetime learning) by attending the Nixon Advantage annual conference.

We believe that the difference between who we are today and who we are tomorrow, is the people we meet, the books we read and the actions we take. So we are here because we are determined to walk the talk, and we have met and heard from some amazing people over the last few days!

We heard from Andrew Sobel, author and leading authority on client relationships. Andrew used an analogy around The Beatles, which evoked emotion and amplified our learning. Andrew identified seven key lessons in innovation, collaboration and loyalty from the Fab Four.

  1. Create Face Time - spend time with your team and your clients.
  2. Use Humour to Connect - ease tensions and create emotional connections.
  3. Evolve Your Songs - treat longstanding clients like new ones and bring the same energy and excitement to your 100th meeting as you did to your 1st.
  4. Create a Role for Everyone - Integrate each person into the team and let them shine.
  5. Blend Differences to Create Greatness - bring diverse professionals together, foster collaboration and encourage them to produce the best ideas.
  6. Share the Credit - Create a one-for-all, all-for-one culture.
  7. Have Conviction - communicate with belief, passion and conviction.
The power of the whole (the band) was greater than the sum of the individuals.

Take a look at Andrew's web page www.andewsobel.com

We can't wait to get back and share our learnings with our team, our clients and our community.

We look forward, to paying it forward.

17 February 2011

Find your voice…make a difference…

Our very first post on this site outlined our aim – to empower you in business and life. To help you achieve success … whatever that means to you.

Recently I came across the December 2010 issue of a magazine called “Success. What Achievers Read”, and I couldn’t put it down – I started reading from cover to cover. One of the articles is an interview with Maria Shriver where she talks about her personal journey to find her “voice” as she puts it, “to become the solution, to make a difference”. Maria discusses the definition of success and how her definition has changed throughout her life. Click here for Maria Shriver's interview in Success Magazine

Reading this article, and many others in this magazine, challenged me to consider my personal definition of success, to find my voice, to define how I want to make a difference. Have you taken the time to think about this lately?

Here at Sothertons Gladstone, we are constantly challenging our clients (and team members) to do the same…to establish their definition of success, and to articulate, with clarity, their vision for their future. What does it look like, feel like, and how driven are you towards it?

We then determine where they are now, and how they are going to achieve their goals and aspirations. This usually involves breaking down goals and projects into small, manageable tasks and actions, which can be achieved in short time-frames to keep them on target.
When we can see our future clearly, and establish realistic and practical tasks and time-frames, all of a sudden, we feel empowered, energised and focussed.

Helping others through this process allows me to find my voice…to make a difference in peoples’ lives and businesses…and that aligns to my definition of success.

Have you found your voice?

11 February 2011

So What's Your WHY?.....

I believe in life long learning… I know what I know – I know what I don’t know – and best of all… I also know that I don’t know what I don’t know (yes, go back and read that again!)… and this is why I live in this state of anticipation – nothing can be more exciting and energising than that. My eyes and my heart (all senses) are wide open to the amazing opportunities and possibilities that are out there for me and for others. My purpose in life is to make a difference to others – to encourage others to recognise their potential, and to be inspired to embrace it, to be the very best that they can be – in life and in business.

That said… I had the opportunity to spend some time with a vibrant group of people from all over Australia and New Zealand - all part of the 10X family – our business coaching division (www.10x.com.au) at our Super Club in Brisbane last week. During the two days, Paul Dunn spoke to us about the power of WHY and confirmed my belief in validity of Simon Sinek’s theory that people don’t buy what you do or how you do it but rather WHY you do what you do. I recommend a TED.com talk by Simon Sinek – “How great leaders inspire action”. Have a listen. Here is the Video:

Each of us, particularly if we are in business, should spend some time becoming clear on why it is we do what we do… what is the purpose beyond the purpose of our business? If our WHY is big enough we will stay on purpose and we will attract others who align with our WHY – to the point that what we are selling will become secondary to this emotional connection with people at a higher level. Imagine dealing only with clients or customers who get why it is you do what you do – what an amazing space to be in – the perfect space to become even more inspired to see and act on the possibilities and opportunities that are there for you to make a difference.

This is a passion of mine… can you tell??

By the way here is Paul Dunn in action on Youtube

01 February 2011

Success- How do YOU define it?

Success for some is based on money and material possessions, for others everyday tasks bring success. So how do you define success?

  • To be the best in your field
  • To own your own business
  • Run a profitable business
  • Enjoy each day
  • Be the best parent or partner you can be
  • Have an expensive car
  • Own your own home or
  • Retirement

The aim of this blog is to empower you in business and life. It’s about making your life simpler by providing advice and solutions from reliable and creditable sources.


It’s about taking your business and life to new levels through innovative coaching, consulting and training focusing on revenue, profit, cashflow, business value and well being.


It’s about helping you reach your desired personal financial success through tax, superannuation, budgeting, insurance, retirement and investing.