A duck and a dream

I had the pleasure of watching arguably the world’s best magician David Copperfield live in Melbourne recently. The magic itself was awesome...

17 reasons you should always carry a book with you

1. As someone who used to spend a lot of time waiting for real estate clients to show up – I know that clients / appointments / people in general are often late...

Reality Television your way to Success

I think I’m one of the only “motivational speakers” (not that I call myself that) who will openly admit that I watch television. I watch bad television too… even… dare I say it… reality television.

Where is the love?!

One of my businesses, Elephant Property, works in the notoriously under appreciated category of residential property management. The old adage in property management...

The power of the word

I’m quite distraught. I was eating my personal trainer approved afternoon snack of 12 almonds (my suggestion of 12 Tim Tams: not approved)...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Secret 6 - Confidence Counts

Successful people have confidence that they are important.

High achievers whilst not always shouting their achievements in a bragging format to the treetops, typically have high confidence levels. They understand that they’re trying to do good in the world, that they’re acting with the best intentions and that what they do makes a difference.

I just met a fabulous young man who wants to get into public speaking, but doesn’t think he has a story to tell that others would be interested in hearing. I chuckled when I heard that because I used to feel the same way. So one day I said – ok, regardless of what I think - if I had to tell a story and share some lessons, what would they be? From there I started telling my story at schools, rotary clubs and then worked my way up to doing paid jobs in front of thousands of people. I couldn’t start charging for my services as a speaker however until I had the confidence that I was providing value for money.

Confidence comes with success yes, but even before then it can come to you if you know you’re doing the best job you can. Success follows people who are committing to excellence even when they’re not sure anyone’s looking!

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Secret 5 - Change is going to happen, Deal with it

Imagine if every day of your life you were walking around on ground that was in constant motion.

With every step you tried to take, the ground below your feet was spinning in a non-stop fashion completely out of your control.

Well of course, if you think about it rationally, this is happening to us all every day. The world is in constant motion, it’s completely out of our control and yet somehow we manage to walk upright, not get dizzy (most of the time!) and stay in control of our movement.

In any organization and in anyone’s life change is pretty much the only thing you can guarantee. Change is any movement away from what is currently the norm.

Now if this is the case and if change is inevitable – why are so many people so opposed to change!

Successful people not only learn to deal with change, they embrace and encourage it. Change means growth, change means development.

A business that is not changing has reached a plateau or is actually going backwards. A person whose life is not changing is not growing, they’re not learning from those around them and they’re certainly not making mistakes. Mistakes are the building blocks for learning and growth.

Here are some interesting changes I went through owning my real estate agency in Launceston, Tasmania:

- When we started our real estate agency we got a lot of business because we were small and boutique. When the company grew we were seen as a large dominating player - our marketing strategy had to change accordingly.

- When we were the first to do certain things in our area (advertise on television, have computer screen monitors displaying our properties in our front office window, have a higher level of membership to certain websites etc) we were copied. I learned to realize, so what! We took it as a compliment!

- Our major competitors when we started the business were completely different to the major competitors we had 5 years in. I took this as a lesson that nothing in business is certain. The firms we once vied with the most were reduced to tiny players and other new companies and new visions in older companies were now at the forefront with us.

- We started off with a tiny team (three people, all business owners) in one office. When I sold the company there was more than 50 people in 6 offices. Your systems obviously have to change to accommodate dramatic growth like this.

- Our legislation changed, licensing requirements changed, staff changed, we moved offices 4 times, change, change, change. Be prepared for the fact that you can’t be prepared for it all.

I once heard someone say that if you don’t like change you’re going to like extinction even less! Get used to change – and find ways to create change in your life.

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Monday, May 14, 2007

Secret 4: Get Disciplined

To me, excellence is doing the same diligent tasks every day longer than anyone else.

Jim Rohn, an amazing speaker, was the first who ever really go through to me on this message. He said two things that really rang true:

1. If an apple a day keeps the doctor away – 7 apples on Sunday just isn’t going to cut it.

2. What’s easy to do, is also easy not to do.

Yes – it’s easy to find time to exercise one day, but to be disciplined and do it every day or most days – isn’t as easy. Doing what’s easy to do once consistently until it becomes habit is what sets apart the really successful.

Some of my daily disciplines include:

- As mentioned already, I read every day, usually for at least half an hour

- I try to exercise every day

- I try to learn something new every day (word of the day mentioned below in the web links is great for this because if you read every day you are going to stumble across words that are on the edge of your vocab limits)

- I try to make someone else feel special every day (a compliment, an email, a smile, a helping hand – it’s not difficult)

- These days I try to write every day. For me this is a new skill I’m loving learning.

What’s the skill you’re trying to improve at? Could you do a small amount of it every day? What other “easy to do once” things should you be doing daily?

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Monday, May 7, 2007

Secret 3: Get Perspective

Last week I spoke about taking responsibility – this week follows on in a similar vein.

I often fondly remember a story I was told when I first got into real estate. That was of two salespeople sent to the depths of Africa to sell shoes. One salesperson phoned home after a week and said “it’s useless – I can’t sell shoes here, nobody wears shoes!” He then demanded to come home.

The other sales person phoned home excitedly after a week saying “This is unreal! Send me more stock immediately, I’ve got a captive market here – nobody wears shoes!”

Now of course this is exactly the same situation – but two very different perspectives on it.

I could have looked at my childhood and said that because my parents had some dealings with some disreputable people which lead to some hard times financially that I should never go into business – after all look at what happened to them. Instead I chose to say, what other young person (I was 15 when I started my first business) knows what works in small business and what doesn’t – what a great real life education I’ve had.

I find I get perspective shifts when I’m not expecting them. I delivered three speaking presentations last week. The first in front of 400 people, the last in front of about 50. It was however the second presentation – a speaker showcase which filled me with the most dread.

I was as nervous as I can remember being before going on stage. The audience wasn’t anywhere near 400 people but there were people in the audience that I really respected, other speakers who were also showcasing their work. The fact that I knew I was going to be watched by two of these speakers in particular, people whose work I admire and look up to hugely, was what brought out my nerves.

As I sat waiting my turn to go second in the lineup of four speakers biting what little fingernails I had left I was suddenly given the gift of a change in perspective by the first speaker.

The first speaker – Walter Mikac - was not someone I had worked with or heard speak before, but he was someone who took me on an amazing emotional journey that day.

As all Tasmanians know on the 28th of April, 1996 our state experienced a very dark day. By the end of that day 35 people lay massacred at Port Arthur in the state’s South. Walter Mikac lost his wife and both his 3 and 6 year old daughters that day. Most of us will never experience anything of that magnitude in our lives, I know I certainly haven’t.

As I sat in the audience and watched Walter share his story – something which will obviously always remain very personal and very painful to him I was given a perspective shift.

Firstly – when I think I’m having a bad day – it’s almost definitely an amazing day, I just don’t realise it. When I think of Walter – I’ll realise it.

Secondly – I had to ask myself why was Walter sharing his story given the obvious emotion. He explained why and shared his message of courage and turning despair into positive action. A message all of us could benefit from and one I was very glad to receive that day.

Walter Mikac has taken an experience so unnecessarily brutal and painful and he’s turned it around so that despite the pain, he’s made positive action from the experience. Walter was instrumental in lobbying for the tighter gun laws in Tasmania we now have and he set up a foundation - the Alannah and Madeline Foundation www.amf.org.au (in the names of his two young daughters) which has gone on to do amazing work with young people.

Ten minutes into Walter’s presentation my nerves were gone. My perspective had shifted. I was simply sitting there in the audience waiting to share my story too – for reasons exactly the same as Walter’s. I had a message I thought the audience could benefit and learn from and in presenting it I would also learn from the experience. Despite my nerves – this was a great day and I just needed to realise that. If I had let my fears control me that day and had let my mind wander to simply preparing for my talk instead of listening to Walter’s – think of the valuable life lesson I would have missed out on.

You have an amazing opportunity to see today and every day for what a great days they are. Whether you chose to do so or not is up to you.

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Secret 2: Take Responsibility

Truly successful people take responsibility for things that happen in their lives - good and bad. Stop making excuses today.

When something goes wrong in your life, take responsibility. Accept and learn from what you’ve done to get yourself there and move on better from the experience.

If you’ve been passed over for the promotion you thought you deserved – take responsibility. If someone stole from you – take responsibility.

If you’re not the weight you would like to be – take responsibility. You’re the one not pushing yourself to go to the gym or not eating correctly. It’s not because you don’t have an exercise buddy or because it costs too much to exercise or because you don’t have time. It’s your willpower you need to concentrate on, not making excuses – take responsibility.

If you didn’t get that promotion – it’s because you didn’t show that you add value to your organization to the correct people. Don’t fall into the trap of blaming your boss “they don’t like me” or “they have a grudge against me”. You’re in charge of your life, if you aren’t appreciated and you think you’ve done all you can, you always have the option to take yourself somewhere else – take responsibility.

If someone stole from you – yes, they’re not a great person, however did you put them in a position where they could steal from you? Did you employ them, or leave your bag somewhere you shouldn’t – take responsibility.

You learn nothing if you use the excuse or play the blame game. Take responsibility, learn from the situation and move on a better person.

"I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse."
Florence Nightingale

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

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