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)...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Secret 9 – Peacock Feathers

I have a confession to make. I’m afraid of birds. I’m getting better at it, but after a memorable childhood experience I’m naturally jittery around them.

I do have a tie for my favourite types of birds. The first is kookaburras. A new addition to my favourites list after my husband trained two of them to hand feed from our back balcony.

My other favourite type of bird though is the peacock. I’ve always been fascinated with their gorgeous tails and their regal colouring. At the Gorge, a must see next time you’re in Launceston Tasmania there are numerous birds, but put almost any other type of bird next to a peacock and it’s hard not to stare at my favourite.

They’re so different from most birds with their calm mannerisms, their looong tails and their hypnotizing colouring.

In the business world I see a lot of sparrows. Pleasant enough little birds, yet where there’s one sparrow there’s lots of others and it’s hard to tell the difference between them.

A peacock is different, as opposed to the sparrow, it says look at me, it’s obvious that I deserve your attention because I’m different.

Perhaps so many of us grow up to be sparrows because back in school being different didn’t often make you popular!

In real estate, in your job, in your business, in anything – you can chose to be a sparrow and do what everyone else does in the same ways as everyone else, or you can chose to be the peacock and to stretch yourself and differentiate yourself in a spectacular way. I chose peacock, always have, always will!

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What is customer service?

Think about the last time you took a ride in a taxi or airport transfer. Over the years I’ve certainly had some funny experiences – especially on one chilly night in Melbourne where our taxi driver told us that living in his country was all about sleeping and partying (in some more expressive language than that!)

I must say however I’m always keenly aware of cleanliness, odour and the ability of the driver to assist when asked questions. Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised, often I’m not.

The reason that I’m writing is that I had a great experience this weekend up on the Gold Coast with our airport pick up.

To me when I experience amazing service it’s usually just a whole bunch of tiny things adding up. The components to our service this day included:

• Being greeted with my name spelled correctly on the sign (it’s a small thing I know, but with the number of times my name is spelled incorrectly I always appreciate it)
• Our driver introduced himself by name – Barry, shook our hands and asked for each of our first names
• While we were waiting for our luggage Barry took our carry on to the car
• Barry carried our luggage to the car for us
• He then informed us of the better spot for the one of us with shorter legs (me!) to sit
• In the car were magazines and some jokes that had been printed out
• Barry had a pleasant and knowledgeable answer to every question we asked from how far away a dinner spot was (7 and a half minutes walk) and who he though would win Big Brother (his vote was for Joel!)
• Our pick up time was confirmed and rechecked and he let us know where our driver would be waiting for us
• In case of any other questions we were asked to take a business card so that we could call straight through in case of any problems
• On the drive home Barry remembered the dinner spot and asked how the meal was
• Our luggage was lifted from the boot of the car onto the footpath in front of the airport (ie: so we didn’t have to lift it above the curb)
• Our doors were opened and closed for us
• Barry also requested on the return journey that we take a card in case we needed another ride next time we were in that area.

Nothing Barry did was rocket science – but it all lead to an extremely pleasant customer service experience and one that will make me want to refer Barry and “BT tours and Airport Transfers” whenever I get the chance.

It definitely made me remember that customer service is about little things done well consistently.

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Secret 8 – What’s your Everest?

Over the course of my husband’s work – which is quite physical - I’ve watched with great admiration as he’s set himself a goal and then gone all out to achieve it. I’ve seen him push himself physically, training for months on end to prepare himself for a single event stretching only a few days.

Earlier this year I watched one of my good friends as months of physical training culminated in her running her first half marathon.

I’m proud as can be of both of them, but in some ways, I’m also jealous of them both knowing that they’ve gotten to feel that sense of elation that comes from seeing the fruition of physical discipline to achieve a goal. I imagine it’s akin to what those who reach the summit of Everest feel, though perhaps less cold!

I don’t know if I’ll ever train to the same intensity as my husband and I don’t know if I’ll ever run a half marathon like my friend, but the more I study them as role models the more I realise that this tactic does not just get utilized in our lives from a sporting or a physical perspective.

Any time I’ve wanted a promotion in a job, I’ve pushed myself to show that I was ready to my boss. When I wanted to start any of my businesses I’ve pushed myself to take action. When I wanted to implement a innovative idea in my company I’ve pushed myself beyond listening to what “can” and “can’t” be done.

I’ve pushed myself not just outside my own comfort zone – but quite often outside of what others thought was possible, outside what I knew was possible and outside what others were prepared to do.

I love the study of successful people and this is a common thread amongst them all. What is your half marathon going to be? What is your Everest and are you prepared to push yourself to get there?

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Secret 7 – Turbo Charger or Anchor?

Imagine you’re a person who wants to achieve greatness in your life (I hope you are if you’re reading this!). Now you might want to be the best hairdresser, the best business owner, the best figure skater you can be, whatever it is for you, picture it vividly.

Now imagine a case where every day as you went about your life trying to achieve your dreams the people who were closest to you were constantly put out negativity, constantly trying bring you down and constantly belittling your dreams and goals.

Could you still achieve greatness?

I like to think you could, but it would be like trying to sail a ship with the anchor dragging behind you. You might get some momentum – but wow would it be hard work!

Each day we can make a conscious choice as to who we surround ourselves with the majority of the time. I have a very special group of friends and mentors who have definitely helped contribute to my success.

I have many friends who own their own businesses, I have encouraging positive friends who have dreams that are totally different to mine – but they still have dreams, I have a husband who supports my goals 100% and I have mentors who delight in sharing their success and lessons learnt with me.

As opposed to being a dragging anchor these people put turbo charged motors on my sail boat – propelling me closer to my goals.

Do I still have people in my life who are not as positive as they could be? Sure I do – I just try to make sure that I spend the majority of my time with turbo chargers, not anchors. And I try to encourage everyone in my life to dream big, have goals and see a positive future for themselves. The best way I feel I can do this is to be a turbo charger myself.

Here’s wishing you a turbo charged week!

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Monday, June 11, 2007

Without Passion...

I had a sensational day yesterday with two fabulous high achieving young women. We talked about so much – but one conversation really stands out in my mind. We were talking about “passion” and about how vital is to love what you do. It reminded me of a phone call I had last week from one of my former staff members – Emma Matheson.

Emma came to work for us under an REIT scholarship when she was just a teenager. She worked with our company under that scholarship for four years.

During that time – as you can imagine - there were ups and downs. Emma and I had many conversations about how if she persisted and stuck with the program she’d be able to achieve all her goals.

Last Thursday when I checked my phone messages I had one from Emma telling me that her new real estate office in St Helens Tasmania was opening on Tuesday and that now SHE was the youngest licensed manager in the State (a title I used to hold!)

I almost burst out of my skin with pride. Congratulations Emma and thank you for reminding me what I’m passionate about – helping other people achieve all they’re capable of!

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Monday, June 4, 2007

Absolutely Abbie

I went to my post office box to pick up my mail the other day and pulled out the mass of paperwork there always is. As I flicked through I noticed some bills, some money coming in, some correspondence - all pretty normal, except for one package. It was from the post office / newsagency (where we do all our book mailouts from). I thought it was my bill for the month – despite the fact that it was kind of a weird shape.

When I got home inside that envelope there wasn’t a bill – there was a small pack of quotation cards with a note saying “thought you might appreciate these – regards Abbie”.

Abbie works at my newsagency and saw these and thought I’d like them – she was absolutely right. This was a really simple gesture, but something that put a huge smile on my face that day and reinforced my decision to continue using this particular post office and newsagency’s services.

It’s a perfect example that customer service can be as simple as a small, thoughtful gift like this, but still be long lasting and have a huge impact.

Thank you Abbie – I look forward to doing more business with you soon!

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Friday, June 1, 2007

What can you do behind someone's back?

I had a very weird experience earlier this week that I’ll share with you today instead of moving on to tip 7 in the secrets series (don’t worry we’ll get back onto that next week!)

On Monday I drove for about 2 hours to do a 3 hour training workshop. As I do before any session I spent that driving time getting in the right state of mind. It doesn’t matter whether my audience is 2,000 people or 10 (as this group was) the preparation is the same. I listen to the right music, I’ll listen to some business interviews or a CD from Rick DeLuca at www.realestateideaclub.com and I’ll rehearse what I’m going to say as I drive to my destination.

I arrived at the location with my head in the right state of mind, I was ready to go and ready to wow! I went upstairs and introduced myself to the new receptionist at this training location and as I did so one of the other staff came out into the reception area. She saw I was introducing myself and said to the new receptionist (and to me) – “Oh this is Kirsty, you’ll hear lots about Kirsty.”

I smiled to myself and thought, what a nice thing to say. It was then that the smile sort of faded from my face because she continued speaking and the entire passage went something like this:

“Oh this is Kirsty, you’ll hear lots about Kirsty…. I wouldn’t say people don’t like her, but there are a lot of other people who aren’t very happy at the money she’s made in the industry when they’ve been in it longer.” This isn’t a verbatim quote obviously because my word for word memory suffers a little my jaw is on the ground but you get the point… the words “I wouldn’t say people don’t like her… but” definitely stick in my mind!

Tall poppy syndrome is what we call this in Australia and unfortunately it’s prevalent. I know I used to find myself doing it when I was younger – disliking someone for whatever reason without really knowing them or their story.

This obviously isn’t the first time I’ve come across it, but wow – the way this one was presented to me was certainly a first!

I could have taken this a number of ways, but firstly I decided to go downstairs and give the best presentation I could to the room of my colleagues who had been waiting downstairs. It was a fabulous session and they were one of the best groups I’ve ever shared an afternoon with.

Secondly, I had to realise that there are only two ways I’ll ever be able to stop these sorts of comments being made about me:

1. Do nothing, be nothing, accomplish nothing. No thanks!
2. Do my best, strive to set an example and share what I’ve learnt so that others can achieve their own dreams and goals. This way may never stop all these sorts of comments – but it’s my preferred option for sure!

I’ll leave you with a little thought a mentor of mine once said to me… Never say anything behind someone’s back you wouldn’t say to their face, and always remember the best thing you can do behind someone’s back is to pat it!

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

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