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)...

Monday, March 31, 2008

Is 2008 Going To Be A Year Of Growth For You?

I’ll make this short and sweet. If you want 2008 to be a year of growth for your business, here are 2 things you can do to help you achieve that. In actual work time they could take as little as ten minutes, in thinking time – perhaps a little longer.

1. Draw up a growth matrix.

Plug everything you do in a work week into one of these four boxes.

If you love doing it and it is helping you grow your business plug it in the top left hand quadrant. Note here that something that makes money in your business may NOT necessarily be helping you grow your business. The business owner who still sees all their own clients isn’t growing their business, they’re growing their job. Growth comes from leverage and you can’t leverage one on one time with yourself.

If it helps you grow your business but you don’t love doing it – it goes in the bottom left hand box. Love it but it’s not about growth, right hand top. Don’t love it and it’s not about getting growth, bottom right hand side.

I’ve found the easiest way to do this is to go back over a week’s dairy / schedule and just start plugging things in. Mark my words: your first instinct for where something should go may not always be right. Keep asking yourself is this really helping to GROW my business.

Once you’ve got your matrix sorted, this is what I recommend you do with each area:

2. Read this post by Scott Ginsberg


Short, sweet and done. Now I’m off to grow my business!

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Book Review - Secrets of Internet Entrepreneurs Exposed by Dale Beaumont

In my opinion this is far and away one of Dale’s best Secrets Exposed books. The contributors experience and content varies widely as do their suggestions and tips for new players. Whether you’re in business online now or you’re considering it in the future, if you can’t get value from this read, you’re not trying.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

3 Things Vegas Reminded Me About Business

I recently had the pleasure of being invited to speak in none other than Vegas (baby – sorry – can’t help myself with that!) While there good old Vegas reminded me of a few things about business that had almost slipped my mind.

1. Nothing lasts forever

Since the last time we’d been to Vegas the classic Stardust hotel and casino (home of the eternal Wayne Newton for so many years) was gone, as was the old Aladdin, and the new Aladdin (transforming into Planet Hollywood).

This time while in Vegas at 2.30am in the morning (after a quick powernap) we got to watch what was truly an awesome site. Another Vegas icon – the Frontier got imploded to the ground to make way for yet another “bigger / better” in Vegas.

The Frontier was originally opened October 30, 1942 and was only the second to open on the strip. It also housed Elvis’ first show on the Strip in ’52 and now it is no longer.

In Vegas you can do the Eiffel tower (half size), the New York skyline and the canals of Venice in a day, but don’t expect them to be here forever.

In the same way, we can expect to constantly see changes on the business landscape. Say the word Google or Yahoo in the 80’s and you would have received a polite “pardon me?”.

2. You’ve got to know when to hold em

Kenny never spoke truer words than “You’ve got know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away and know when to run”. And despite the fact that the song is called “The Gambler” it could have just as easily been called “The Entrepreneur”.

Steve Jobs knew to hold on to Pixar when it was going through troubling times. Bill Gates knew when to fold first company Traf-O-Data. Tyra Banks knew when to walk away from her music career (and back into the arms of her loving television audiences). Warren Buffet knew to run in the opposite direction of tech stocks missing out entirely on the tech crash.

3. If you build it, (and have faith in it) they will come

Celine and Caesars Palace “built it”, it being a $95 million purpose build Colosseum and didn’t let poor early reviews stop her mammoth 5 year stay. Over 3 million fans have seen the show with revenues in excess of $400 million.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Powerfully Potent

Ever said a word so often that it just becomes a mash of sounds and almost loses any resemblance to its meaning? I’ve been doing that today with the word “powerful”

The reason it’s crept into my head was after reading an article about David Geffen, referred to at a time as “the most powerful person in Hollywood”.

Powerful… pau-er-fel… the word was still repeating in my head when I went to a personal training session this morning.

My fabulous personal trainer Brett (www.jumpfitandpt.com.au) somehow tuned into my mood and started telling me about the difference between strength and power when it came to his line of work.

Strength, he said, could be represented by him walking outside and slowly but surely lifting a car above his head. On the other hand power, he mused, is a combination of not just strength but also of speed. So instead of slowly lifting the car, power would be shown by propelling the large object with both speed and strength.

Too often when I personally think of power or of someone being powerful I think of just in terms of strength (of will, of action, of thought, of achievement) but Brett’s conversation with me got me thinking about the key element of speed in the actions of some of the most powerful people out there in business today.

• Steve Jobs showed strength in coming back to Apple and showed speed in new product implementation with key design features (imacs, ipods, iphones).
• Martha Stewart showed strength in making her comeback from jail and speed to the market with new concepts immediately after her release.
• Larry & Sergey of Google didn’t build the first search engine (don’t mistake speed for needing to be first) but they are the strongest player in the market and are constantly speedy at improving and increasing their range of services (check out Google… analytics, earth, alerts, knoll, maps, scholar as examples). I know I don’t go more than 2 hours of any day at my desk without using a Google product. If they’d just stuck with their search engine this wouldn’t be the case.

All too often these days people shun the word “power” not wanting to be thought of as “power hungry” or having “let the power gone to their heads”!

For me however, I want power.

I want the power to:
• Do work I love
• Look after my family
• Live the life I want to
• Achieve my goals
• Do all of the above without harming others

Power shouldn’t have the negative connotations it’s been stigmatised with lately if we all remember the true meaning (not the over-hyped one). In fact one of my favourite dictionary definitions of powerful simply says that power is ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something. Now we all want that don’t we?

The 25 most powerful people in business:

The 100 most powerful people in sport 2007: http://www.businessweek.com/table/07/0926_power100.html

Hollywood’s most influential infants

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Megaphone or Muffler?

After getting back from an amazing trip to South East Asia I took some artwork from Cambodia and Vietnam in to be framed at a local store.

I had been recommended to this particular store by not one but two of my friends and after seeing the work they performed I know why, it was total quality and very impressive.

What surprised me though was that as I was discussing my order with them – I mentioned these two friends who had so glowingly referred me to this business. The reply I got basically amounted to “that’s nice”.

Now what they could have done in this instance was ask me one simple question that I believe would have a lasting positive impact on their business and their bottom line. They could have asked me just who it was who had referred them.

They could have sent them a thank you card or called and thanked them personally or sent them a discount voucher for their next framing. Something… (anything) to let them know that they appreciated the referral.

When someone refers a friend to your business - that’s advertising dollars you haven’t had to spend, because you’ve just got yourself a walking talking billboard going around advertising your business! What you do to thank them for doing your marketing for you can act as a megaphone or a muffler – which would you prefer?

I got turned into a megaphone when a local airline newspaper published a list of my favourite restaurants in Launceston. The savvy owner of one – Sara from the divine Novaros - sent me a gorgeous bunch of orange roses to thank me for mentioning them (and I haven’t stopped mentioning them since!)

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Secret in Action

Heard of “The Secret” (www.thesecret.tv)? If not, you may be the only one out there as it appeared to be EVERYWHERE in 2007.

I like to keep on top of what’s causing fuss in the world, so of course, I watched the DVD. Some of it I really enjoyed (especially seeing such high quality speakers like Dr. Denis Waitley), some of it I thought a little out there, but on the whole I took away some valuable points.

The fundamental message I got from The Secret was about harnessing the power of the law of attraction, ie: what you think about the most will come to you. That way the person who thinks all the time “lose weight” really just reinforces “weight” “weight” “weight”, the same with the person who really doesn’t want to get fired, or get a parking ticket.

On the positive side however thinking about what you most want in a positive way (getting a fab promotion, launching a successful business where money pours in your doors, being your ideal body size) and consistently focussing on it means that you can attract those things into your life (according to the Law of Attraction).

I’m a bit of sceptic, so just after I watched the DVD I thought I’d give it a test and set myself a target for book sales in the next month far in excess of what I’d ever sold before. On the final day of the month I tallied all my sales up and saw that I was around $127 short of my goal. I smiled, over the moon with my record sales, and went about my daily activities heading into the post office that afternoon. There in the post office were two cheques (a rarity for us as most of our sales are online) for book purchases amounting to just under $130.

Do I live my entire life worshiping the power of the Law of Attraction? Well I wouldn’t go that far, but it does give me reason to smile every now and then.

Just last Thursday I flew into Sydney, my plane was delayed and I was a little confused about where I was going. As I was standing in the taxi line thinking to myself – how do I get to Manly – I wish I had someone to ride with. A couple walked the line asking “Is anyone going to Manly?”. They took me right to my hotel door!

The next morning I jokingly mentioned my shoe size at a speaking job, later that day Sue from www.swissmasai.com told me she was sending me a gift pair of shoes!

Later that day after I’d filmed a TV spot for Sky Business I was standing at the TV station again thinking where on earth am I heading – and who do I end up sharing a taxi with? A dynamic young PR rep for Random House (one of Australia’s leading book publishers). View the Sky Business interview below.

And as I got back on my plane to come home to Tassie I remembered the days when all I wished for was to spend my lives on planes and in hotels! Perhaps I should have been a bit more specific! Be careful what you wish for (you may just attract it!)

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By Kirsty Dunphey with 2 comments

This takes the (cup)cake!

I had the pleasure of staying in Melbourne this weekend, celebrating my birthday, heading to the Grand Prix and the Zoo, as well as catching up on a few business meetings. It was flat out – as you can imagine (ie: not even enough time to buy new shoes!)

I stayed at a newly rebranded hotel – Quest East Melbourne, www.questeastmelbourne.com.au and to say I was surprised was an understatement! I’m used to Quest serviced apartments being done in a very traditional corporate (think lots of beige) style. This place was FUNky (with a capital FUN): boutique style rooms, all mod cons, amazing tiling (what I like tiles!) and was as groovy as many of the so called boutique hotels I’ve stayed at in Melbourne.

And upon arrival I had my own little cupcake waiting in the room along with a personalised note. For around $3.50 (the going rate of a cute cupcake) and a little time and energy (exactly what I talk about in Interaction Enhancement) – I’m even more likely to go back to stay here and to recommend Quest East Melbourne to others – hence this blog. And while I can’t guarantee you’ll receive a cupcake – I can say that you’ll find a very lush place to stay with amazing friendly staff

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Kirsty's new free book - Peacock Feathers

Grab your copy of Kirsty's new book here: www.kirstydunphey.com/downloadme.html

Print it, email it to friends, share as much as you like!

Happy reading

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Birthday Time – How old are you?

As I write this it’s the day before my 29th birthday. 29 – you know one year before… gulp… one year before “old”. Or at least that’s what I thought at age 15 when I swore I’d never be old. Never be th.. th… thirty.

I also swore I’d never wear socks and sandals, complain about my aching back and also – even for a brief period of time that I’d never get married. Seems, despite my insistences to the contrary that I didn’t know much about what the future would hold for me the tender age of 15!

As much as I pretend though, I’m excited to be heading into my 30th year of life. I learnt a bloody lot in my 20’s, I also messed up a lot, made amazing friends, met the love of my life and amassed a pretty good collection of fancy shoes. If I can keep growing like that through my 30’s and onwards – it’s exciting.

That and I have some pretty amazing role models around me showing me that you’re only as old as you feel.

Seems the 70 + year olds I know have as much energy, vitality and verve for life as I ever managed in my 20’s.

In their 70’s and loving it there was my host family in Texas: Bonnie and Ben who outdanced me until the wee hours.

My new girlfriend Geri who still feels to me like a naughty teenager (I don’t really believe her when she says she’s in her 70’s) gossiping with me and gabbing about how we’re going to run off to Vegas and take over the world.

And then of course my father in law who in his early 70’s still plays competitive squash and is a fire cracker.

I say if Frank Lloyd Wright could still design homes until the year he died (he was 92) imagine what my 30’s and what your next decade hold for you.

Stay fabulous (at any age)


By Kirsty Dunphey with 1 comment

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Flexibility: The Tale of Two Pizzas by David Reed

Flexibility! A key to developing customers who return! Recently, I had a pair of experiences that are a perfect illustration of this customer service secret.

My family and I were looking for an early dinner before returning to our church for normal Wednesday activities. There is a family owned pizza restaurant near our house in Frisco. We had been there before and really enjoyed their pizza. It was early, so we were just about the only patrons there.

My son happens to be a fan of cheese pizza and does not care for all of the other toppings. My wife and I prefer a good pepperoni pizza. We approached the counter to place our order. The cook took his place just behind the counter and started flipping the dough, trying to convince us of their Italian authenticity. Politely, I told the young lady working the register (I’ll call her Rose), that I wanted one large pizza. I asked if I could have three fourths of the pizza with pepperoni and one fourth with extra cheese. (I also let her know that I was fine paying for an entire one ingredient pizza.)

Rose looked at me and said that they could only split the ingredients on a half pizza. (The cook was listening to the conversation and was anxious to start building our order.) I restated that I really wanted only a couple of the slices to be extra cheese for my son. I asked, “Can’t you just tell the cook (who was listening to the whole conversation), to leave off the pepperoni on a couple of slices?”

Her response was: “No. Our system won’t allow us to do that and it will confuse the cook.”

After an additional unpleasant exchange of comments, we cancelled our order and left the restaurant. I have spoken to several groups since that day and have used this establishment as the negative example of flexibility. Without naming the restaurant, one person in the audience guessed the location! She had experienced the same poor service and also vowed to never return.

Several weeks later, we were in the same position on a Wednesday night and my wife was hungry for a good pizza. She had seen another local pizza restaurant called “Sal’s” in Plano and we decided to give it a try.

We walked in and were greeted by a friendly young man. (Let’s call him Tony.) It was early and we were again the only people in the place. Tony escorted us to our table and gave us the menu. He took our drink order and then the moment of truth happened…

I asked Tony if it would be possible to get a large pizza with three fourths pepperoni and one fourth just extra cheese. (My wife kicked me under the table, not wanting to go through another unpleasant experience.) Tony smiled and said, “Sure, I don’t see why not.” (My wife breathed a sigh of relief and smiled.)

The experience and pizza were both great and we have recommended Sal’s many times. We would choose their pizza whenever we are hungry for that type of food.

What is the difference between these two experiences?

It is their flexibility and willingness to give the customer what they want. Organizations need standards, policies, and rules to operate efficiently, but it is critical that all employees utilize some basic common sense when dealing with customer requests. Your goal should be to satisfy 100% of needs for each customer, within reason. Also, don’t let your computer system dictate what you can deliver to your customer. Learn to deal with exceptions!

Here is another example of this point. There is a phrase that appears on the bottom of many menus that drives me crazy! You can probably guess it. “No Substitutions Please.” When I see that, I read “Mr. Reed, we are not interested in truly meeting your need. Please go elsewhere.” (I’m not talking about asking to substitute a skewer of shrimp for my fries, but for only some comparably priced item on the menu.)

Contrast that with another line at the bottom of a menu I saw just this week: “Anything is possible. Please ask.” This demonstrates a true desire to give a customer what they want and dramatically increases the chance that your customer will return.

This same concept applies to businesses outside of the hospitality industry. Employees should be trained to ask the question: “How can I satisfy this request?” instead of simply answering, “No, we do not do that.” Many new product and service ideas come from organizations that listen to their customers and make every attempt to tailor their offering to the specific need. Chances are there are other customers who want the same thing, but have been conditioned not to ask.

Flexibility! Giving your customers exactly what they want will eliminate their desire to go to your competitor! Take a few minutes and review your systems and policies and ask yourself, “How would my employees deal with a request that is slightly different than what we are used to hearing?” Develop a culture of flexibility and your organization will be one step closer to delivering world class customer service.

Reproduced with permission Customer Centered Consulting Group www.cccginc.com

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

C’mon – You Know You’ve Googled Yourself!

After reading the following article “Googling yourself is so hot right now” http://www.smartcompany.com.au/Free-Articles/Trends/20071218-Googling-yourself-is-so-hot-right-now-.html?source=cmailer I wanted to be one of the first to stand up and say – I google myself all the time! And I think anyone who trades off their name should do it at least every 3 months.

Why? For an ego pump up? To get the gossip? To find other people who have your name and have done crazy cool things you can now attribute to yourself? … er.. no, not for any of those reasons.

If you trade off your name, you want to Google yourself to find out:

1. What will the public see when they search for just your name? Is your website coming up first or perhaps have competitors bought keywords on your name?
2. What media articles there are out there about you.
3. Is your SEO (search engine optimisation) working (at all)
4. Do you perhaps need to include common misspellings of your name in your SEO strategy (like Kristy and Dunphy for me!)
5. And the easiest way to stay on top of what the web is saying about you is to set up a Google alert on yourself.

To find out what else I think you should do if you trade of your name, read my article here: 10 tech tips for anyone who trades off their name http://www.kirstydunphey.com/samplew.html#start

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By Kirsty Dunphey with 2 comments

Friday, March 7, 2008

Book Review - Buzz Marketing by Mark Hughes

Fun, Fun, Fun

Hughes does a great job of making this book about buzz fun, light and cohesive. It intertwines awesome buzz examples from a multitude of industries, with the authors personal experiences predominantly through some very cool marketing of half.com, while also spelling out Hughes’ rules for buzz (not just examples – so that you can easily translate to your own industry!) The chapter on Britney gave me a giggle in light of current events, but not to worry, this book is so good I’ll definitely be paying it some very positive buzz.

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Top 10 Tips For Getting Noticed And Getting Ahead In The Workplace

1. Be an idea champion: Show initiative, suggest new ideas and offer to take charge in implementing them.

2. On time is late (10 minutes early is on time)

3. Go the extra centimetre: Don't worry about the extra mile, the extra tiny little bit is all you need to do to stand out, grab your boss a coffee without being asked, remember everyone's birthdays and be the first to wish them well or

4. Smile.

5. Keep it at home: Personal life is personal, business is business. The most outstanding people I've ever worked with know how to keep the two separate. So if your boyfriend has just dumped you or you had a fight with your best friend - deal with it outside of work hours and see point 4.

6. Never utter these words to a customer: That's not my job. Just see point 4 and be flexible and make it happen.

7. Follow up: Delegate, share and collaborate, but where your name is associated with a piece of work always go back and double check that your expectations have been met.

8. Keep your inbox to a minimum: I'm a big time management nut and this is my number one time management tip. Only keep in your inbox what you're currently working on that day. Shift everything else to folders to address at the appropriate time. My inbox usually has less than 10 items in it and works more like a to do list. Also check and sort your junk email often (there's nothing worse than an important email going unnoticed due to over-active spam protectors).

9. Read more books that will enable you to become better at your job (my goal is 1 per week, but if you're not reading any at the moment start with one per month or every 6 weeks and work up from there)

10. When you deserve a promotion or pay rise go to your boss with a list of reasons and proof of your achievements. Don't be afraid to show the progress you've made, the projects you've put together and the work that may otherwise go unnoticed. Sell yourself!

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Monday, March 3, 2008

Book Review - One Minute Goddess by Jean- Pierre LeBlanc

I wanted more!

I found this book almost like an overview of a much larger book – I wanted more, more information, more tips, more details, more stories. It was a quick read, but I really felt as though I wanted further details and examples or stories to back up what Jean-Pierre was saying. I would definitely buy a larger version though – so it’s got my attention enough to say that!

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